Monday, May 22, 2017

A DOGS Golden Years

With appropriate care most dogs live complete and happy lives.  Unfortunately, an adored pet never seems to live long enough.  Each breed has different life spans.  While taking care of your aging dog you need to adapt his environment for his comfort.  As dogs get older, they develop aches, joint pain, generalized weakness and an almost definite increase in medical problems.

Adjust his surroundings to minimize discomfort.  Protect him from excessive heat and cold.  Older dogs are unable to regulate body temperature as a younger dog.

English: Picture of aging Chocolate Labrador
Picture of aging Chocolate Labrador
(Photo credit: 

Try to give your dog regular exercise.  Make sure your dogs health matches his exercise routine.  If your dog exhibits signs of heavy panting or opposes exercise you need to change his routine.

Adapt his diet and feeding schedule to his needs.  As dogs age they are less active and need fewer calories.  Prescription diets are available.  Discuss special diets with your veterinarian.

Older dogs can experience hearing loss and declining eyesight.  Accommodate for his safety.

Senior dogs require special dental care.  They are more likely to develop gum problems and disease.  Complete dental cleaning should be performed by your vet every six months which does require anesthesia.  Make sure complete bloodwork is performed.

Older dogs need extra bathing and grooming.  Dry skin can be a normal part of aging or it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.  They also require more frequent nail trimming.

Take into consideration his age in human years.  If he is 13 in dog years, he may suffer the same aging ailments as a 75 year old human.

Continue with bi-annual vet exams.  Senior dogs need extra care with their aging problems.

Give his life quality!  Keep those memories alive!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

HEART WORM, fleas and other parasites

Heart worm, fleas and other parasites in dogs need to be eliminated by following appropriate medications in them.  Many products have come up in the commercial fields to protect the dogs from heart worms, fleas and other parasites like hook worms, whip worms, round worms, lice, ticks etc. 

Picture of a heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) m...
Picture of a heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) microfilaria taken through a microscope at 400x. Taken by Joel Mills
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Among the heart worm, fleas and other parasites, the fleas produce the hyper sensitive reactions in the affected animals. Hence, the animals infested with fleas start severely scratching of body. Many times, the scratching is so severe and the skin becomes more hyperemic and dermatitis occurs in the affected areas. 

Animal will not lie down or sleep comfortably due to the constant bites by the fleas. Hence, animal looks as if affected by some severe skin disease.  If the animal is not properly attended for this tick bite problem, there will be often secondary bacterial invasions in these sites and there may even be a bad smell emanating from the skin areas. 

Close observation of the dog is highly essential to rule out the occurrence of fleas disturbing the animal to a greater extent. Similarly, the skin of the animal needs to be tested for the presence of ticks, lice etc. For this, the hair materials need to be separated and the close observation with patience is required for the proper diagnosis.

In many incidences, if anemia is present, the blood protozoa need to be ruled out in addition to the hookworm problems.  The clinical problems like anemia, loose motion, pot belly etc. might be recognized by the dog owners themselves and however, the dog needs to undergo the routine health related examination involving fecal examination, hematological examination and blood smear examination.  

Many commercial products have come up in the market, which are useful to deal with all these conditions by single dose.  Drugs like ivermectin are highly useful and are available in both injection and oral form in addition to the solution form that can be applied on the skin. These drugs in dogs can lead to the prophylaxis of these conditions also.  

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Taking Kitty to the DENTIST

It is important for you to go to the dentist at least annually for checkups. This is, however, also important to your cat! Many people never think about it, but good dental health can keep your cat happy and disease-free. Whenever your cat goes to the vet, make sure that dental health is checked and discussed, and if your cat is acting strangely at all, especially with eating habits, make sure that dental health problems are not a concern.

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Kittens, like baby humans, have fewer teeth than adult cats. Each kitten has 26 temporary teeth, which begin to appear at about three weeks of age. An adult cat will have 30 permanent teeth-16 on the top and 14 on the bottom. A cat usually begins getting his or her permanent teeth when he or she is three of four months old. Some of these teeth have two roots while others have three.

The most common dental diseases found in cats are resporption lesions and gum disease (gingivitis). Resorption lesions are also known as cervical line lesions or neck lesions and often result in tooth loss. These lesions are difficult to detect, as they often grow below the gum line. Gum disease is found in over 70% of cats by the age of three. You can tell if your cat has gum disease by looking for yellow and brown tarter build up along the gum line and over the tooth, red inflamed gums, and chronic bad breath.

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Oral disease is often an indication of other more serious health problems. For example, it is common for a cat with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) to have oral health problems. Dental conditions are also commonly found with feline immunodeficiency virus and feline calicivirus. Therefore, if your pet is have dental problems, you need to see a vet right away about these conditions to make sure they are symptoms of a much more serious disease.

Cats can also accidentally break teeth. This can be a result of a fall, a fight with another cat or other animal, or biting into something too hard to chew. Usually, the upper canine tooth will be the tooth fractured. This is the tooth in your cat's mouth that looks like a large fang. If this is fractured, your cat may or may not be in pain. The first symptom of this kind of a fracture is continuous sneezing.

Overall, oral health is important in all mammals. Cats are susceptible to a number of dental disease and problems, just like humans. By taking your cat to the vet often and asking about oral health, you can make sure that you are providing the best health care foods and tools for your feline friend.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fact Sheet: BEAGLE

(Original Title: The Beagle Dog Breed: An Expert Guide To This Lovable Hound)

The Beagle is a member of the Hound Group and is America's fifth most popular dog. This breed has origins dating back roughly 2,500 years ago. Today, the Beagle's keen sense of smell makes it the popular choice for working in airport security, while its amiable nature, size, and lack of health problems make them a common choice for a family pet.

The first modern day Beagle originated in England in 1830, but the Beagle's ancestors can be traced roughly 2,500 years prior in ancient Greece when William the Conqueror bred Talbot Hounds to create the Southern Hound. In Medieval times, hunters used what were called "Pocket Beagles" that could fit in the hunter's pockets and could be released after larger dogs had cornered prey in areas that only smaller dogs could reach. King Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth I were huge fans of the pocket beagle, which became extinct around the year 1900.
By the 1700s, the North Country Beagle and the South Hound were the two breeds used for hunting rabbits and the Beagle's main common ancestors. The two breeds were mixed with the Foxhound, as fox hunting became a popular sport in Great Britain. In 1830, the basis for the modern day Beagle would appear when Reverend Phillip Honeywood of Great Britain would begin breeding dogs that slowly moved away from the North County Beagle and South Hound. The first Beagles were smaller and had pure white coats.
In the 1840s, the Beagle now had four variations:
  • The medium Beagle
  • The dwarf or lapdog Beagle
  • The fox Beagle
  • The terrier Beagle
Approaching the 1900s, the number of Beagles had risen and the standard for the breed was recorded. General Richard Rowett from the United States had Beagles imported to his home in Illinoise, where he would begin breeding them and helping the Beagle become recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1884.

Beagles resemble miniature Foxhounds, but have a broader head and a shorter muzzle. The following is based off the AKC standard:
  • Coat: Beagles can come in a variety of colors, such as the Classic tricolor, the Faded tricolor, and the Dark tricolor.
  • Head: A slightly domed skull and medium-length muzzle. The ears are set somewhat low and hanging almost to the nose. Brown or hazel eyes set well apart in a gentle hound expression.
  • Body: A sturdy body with a broad and deep chest. Strong legs and sloping shoulders. The tail is set somewhat high. They are a small-sized breed, weighing from 18-30 lbs.
  • If the dog measures more than 15 inches.
  • Any cringing or sulking behaviors.
  • Straight shoulders or a disproportionately wide chest.
  • Crooked forelegs
  • Short, thin coat.
  • Tail that is curved or short.
The America Kennel Club recognizes two different varieties of Beagles:
13-inch Beagle: measuring less than 13 inches (33 cm)
15-inch Beagle: measuring between 13 and 15 inches (33 and 38 cm)

The Beagle is a happy, loving, and outgoing breed that will greet both people and other animals with joy. For this reason, they do not make good guard dogs. Small rodents should not be trusted around Beagles since they were bred to hunt small prey. Beagles are content to curl up on the couch with their owners and relax, but this breed needs daily exercise and mental stimulation. Without it, they can become destructive. Beagles should be trained early and are easily motivated with food.

  • Grooming: The Beagle's short coat only requires a quick brush once a week to remove dead hair and they do not need frequent baths.
  • Living Situation: This breed can live in apartments or houses, as long as they get a daily walk.
  • Exercise: A 30-minute walk daily will be sufficient.
  • Approximate Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Common Health Problems: The Beagle is one of the healthiest breeds and therefore, is not susceptible to many health issues. Obesity can occur in Beagles if left to free-feed.

The Rundown: Beagles are healthy, happy pack animals that need homes with multiple people. A fenced yard is a necessity due to their strong scent drive and inclination to wander. Their size is perfect for most living situations, but their tendency to howl can be detrimental to apartment living.