Showing posts with label Dog Diseases. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dog Diseases. Show all posts

Thursday, August 30, 2018

HEARTWORMS And Your PIT BULL TERRIER: Dog Health Advice

Pit Bull
Photo  by lubasi 
One of the most devastating parasites which may threaten your Pit Bull is the heartworm. These nasty creatures can linger in your pet for years before dealing a death blow to your Pit Bull. Heartworms are treatable, but it is best to use a protective stance rather than wait for the infection to occur.

This disease is not spread from pet to pet via contact, but by another nasty creature, we all know as the mosquito. The mosquito is a necessary link in the transfer of the disease. The number of dogs infected with heartworms always increases during the height of the mosquito season. Long mosquito seasons will increase the rate of infections rapidly. 

Once heartworms are transmitted by the mosquito into the dog's bloodstream, they travel through the blood into the heart and the major pulmonary blood vessels. The heartworms are in the immature stage and are called microfilaria.

Upon arriving in the heart, the microfilaria will set up residence and grow into adult heartworms. These fully grown parasites cause heart blockage and damage to surrounding tissues by clogging the heart and the major blood vessels leading from the heart. Adult heartworms will also interfere with the valve action within the heart. 

When the heart and main blood vessels get clogged, the blood flow to other critical organs is reduced, which can cause problems for the liver, kidneys, and lungs, resulting in organ failure.

Most dogs which are infected with heartworms will not show any outward signs of disease for as long as up to two years. Sadly, by the time the disease starts to show signs in the dog, it is in the advanced stage. These signs depend on several factors, such as the number of adult worms and microfilariae present, as well as their location. The length of time the infection has been present, and the amount of damage already done to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys are all essential factors.

Signs of Heartworm Infestation - The most obvious outward signs of heartworms are:
Unexplained weight loss.
A dry almost constant cough with labored breathing.
Shortness of breath.
Sudden weakness.
A sudden show of nervousness or listlessness, accompanied by a loss of stamina.
The signs of heartworms are most noticeable after the dog has been engaged in exercise or play. Some dogs with heartworms may even faint or drop dead suddenly right after engaging in rigorous play or exercise.

Treatment for heartworms is available but it is costly and in some cases may prove fatal to the dog itself. To prevent this horrible disease in your Pit Bull, be sure to keep your dog’s regular vet appointments. Heartworms can be prevented easily by administering heartworm medication to your pet each month.

As always, talk to your vet if you have any concerns that your dog may have heartworms, and never try to treat the disease on your own. Always consult a properly qualified professional before starting any type of treatments on your dog.



Sunday, August 12, 2018

BANDAGING Your Dog

English: A Dog Wearing a Inflatable Elizabetha...
A Dog Wearing an Inflatable Elizabethan Collar
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Having a dog is a big responsibility. Some even compare taking care of a dog to that of a baby. The only advantage of having dogs compared to having babies is that they won’t grow older and turn into stressful teenagers. Because dogs are like babies they sometimes also end up in harmful situations. They would sometimes get themselves trapped in a tight place or get hit by something that will injure one of their limbs. When that happens, we should learn how to bandage our dogs to prevent further damage. Here are some basic ways of how to bandage your injured dog.

1. When your pet has a bandage, it should always be clean and dry. So it’s pretty important to make sure your pet stays inside most of the time when it has a bandage. To prevent the bandage from getting wet when the pet goes to pee or poop, a trash bag or plastic covering should cover the bandaged leg. You may use empty bread bags. When your pet has wet or dirtied up the bandage, it would require changing. Make sure to check the bandage twice a day to see if it is clean and dry. Check also for foul odors or discharge and if there is any, call your veterinarian immediately.

2. After bringing home your pet from the veterinarian make sure that the bandage is still in place. Your pet might have been irritated by it and has chewed or tried to scratch it off. Look closely at the position and the location of the bandage when you do check. Look at the toes of the pet, the bandage might have slipped up making the toes stick out. Also look at the size, if the bandage has become loose. This should be taken into account when a dog has been bandaged in the abdomen or leg area. This is because one end will be bigger than the other and eventually become narrower. When the bandage telescopes down the limb of the dog it may bunch up and abrade the limb. When that happens, the bandage should be changed as well.

3. If the dog is bandaged up in the leg make sure it isn’t too tight. Observe how the toes will appear at the bottom of the bandage at least twice a day. This is done to check for sweating, swelling, or pain. Check for skin chaffing, redness, discharge or swelling before and after the bandage has been applied.

4. To prevent the pet from chewing the bandage because of the bothersome experience it gives, put an Elizabethan collar. If you have observed that the pet is chewing or scratching it excessively, ask the vet if there might be problems.

These are the times that you should already be taking the pet back to the veterinarian:

• Swelling above or below the bandage
• Chewing the bandage
• Bandage becomes wet
• Bleeding or discharge above, below or through
• Scheduled bandage changes




Tuesday, July 17, 2018

CANINE HYDROTHERAPY: Choosing The Right Therapist

Beagle swimming
Beagle swimming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dogs are like people in so many ways: they need to be touched, loved, and appreciated; they need exercise, proper nutrition, and good care; and sometimes they get the same diseases, like arthritis.

It's been found that one of the best treatments for humans suffering from arthritis and other joint diseases is water aerobics, a form of hydrotherapy. It should be no surprise that dogs benefit similarly from the support and warmth of hydrotherapeutic pools, especially since most dogs enjoy water so much anyway.

While a few years ago canine hydrotherapy was looked upon as a little odd, to say the least, today canine hydrotherapy facilities are growing much more common. Veterinarians are as likely today to prescribe canine hydrotherapy for hip dysplasia and other canine joint problems as they are to prescribe medications. 

How Does It Work?

Canine hydrotherapy is very simple. Special pools with powerful jets are provided for the dogs. The Jets are set up so that the dog can swim against a current, building its muscles and strengthening the ligaments around weak or damaged joints. Generally, the canine hydrotherapist enters the water with the dog, helping guide him into exercising the right parts of his body, calming him and remaining close by in case the dog grows distressed.

This sort of exercise is called isokinetic – it isolates particular muscular movements to help retrain weak muscles. The number of treatments needed depends on the dog and the problem. If the hydrotherapy is recommended for a short-term condition, like rebuilding strength or recovering from surgery, it can be as few as three sessions. For a dog with a chronic illness, the hydrotherapy may be long-term or even ongoing for the rest of his life.

What Should I Look For?

The canine hydrotherapy pool should be warm but not hot; ideally, somewhere around 92 degrees is best. Therapists should work closely with your dog's veterinarian so they know what to treat for your pet. An individual plan should be developed for your dog intended to optimize wellness, with consideration given to muscle development, conditioning, general fitness, and relaxation.

Common reasons for the use of canine hydrotherapy include pre or post-surgical conditioning; dysplasia or arthritis; obesity; cardiovascular workouts for older dogs; stroke reconditioning; and pain management, usually secondary to a joint disease.

How Do I Know Who To Use?

In Britain, the Canine Hydrotherapy Association was formed in 2000. They maintain standards and further the knowledge and use of good practice in hydrotherapy.


Not every hydrotherapist is a member. You can also find a good canine hydrotherapist by asking about the experience the therapist has had with dogs. Have they bred or shown dogs? Run kennels? Did they ever work in a veterinary capacity? 

Canine hydrotherapy is a new-enough industry that there are no schools or degrees. Your best bet: let your dog choose. If the dog likes the therapist, if he's willing to work with the therapist and cooperates in his treatment, then you have a good canine hydrotherapist for your dog.


Monday, July 9, 2018

Yikes I Saw A Flea On My DOG

Scanning Electron Micrograph of a Flea. See be...
Scanning Electron Micrograph of a Flea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At some stage of your pet's lifespan every pet owner will have to deal with the problem of fleas, ticks and mites. If left untreated they can take over your pet's skin and coat so it is really important to keep it under control. It's best to stop the problem before it gets out of control. Rather treat your pet for a few fleas than treat the whole house for an infestation! 

There are some misconceptions about fleas. It is not something that only happens to dirty animals! In fact it is probably more common in clean animals because fleas prefer a clean coat. Coming into contact with other animals also causes exposure to the problem and can start a flea problem in your home.

Fleas, mites and ticks are parasites with a short lifespan so they reproduce quickly. Female fleas can lay up to 25 eggs a day. So you can see just how quickly the problem can get out of hand! They tend to prefer warm conditions so summer and spring are the most troublesome times for pets and owners. 

The main thing is that you want to catch the problem early! This means brushing your dog often and inspecting their coat. Fleas, ticks and mites are tiny black, brown crawling creatures that can even look like dirt. It may help for you to examine the fur under their ears and arms/legs. Fleas like warm places. You can also sea flea egg sacks and flea droppings in their fur if you look closely. If you still cannot see the fleas try combing your dog on a bright surface, something like a piece of paper should work well. 

This is a problem that needs to be treated right away. Instead of heading for the pet store to buy expensive over-the-counter treatments, sprays or dips you should rather seek professional help right away. It will save you time. Your vet should have some pamphlets or handouts about flea control. Some vets even prescribe oral treatments if the problem is out severe. 

If you choose to shop for the products yourself you will need to read the labels carefully to check that you are not inadvertently poisoning your pet! Never allow your pet to ingest any of the products you use; they are highly poisonous. It's also important to protect their eyes from these harsh chemicals. There is a lot of disagreement about whether or not flea collars work. They tend to kill fleas in a localized area around the collar. 

It is important to treat your home for fleas as well. Fleas can survive in almost anything in your home-furniture, rugs and bedding. Any flea treatments will be pointless if the flea's eggs or fleas themselves remain in your living space. 

To clean your home properly you will need to sanitize and clean the areas where the pet sleeps. Depending on the severity of the problem you may need to throw away blankets that have become infested with eggs. Often - just washing the affected bedding in hot water and some flea shampoo should do the trick. Rather safe than sorry though - if in doubt toss the bedding. Having to have your home fumigated will cost a lot more! 

Fleas can become a nightmare for any pet owner. Rather stop the problem early - check your pet everyday for fleas and regularly use a preventative product approved by your vet.



Thursday, June 14, 2018

How To Properly Clean Your DOGS EARS

Ears of a dog
Ears of a dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dog's ears are not something that you look at regularly. However, in addition to your dog needing regular baths, they will also need to have their ears cleaned out on a fairly regular basis. When you clean out their ears on a regular basis, it is going to be easy for you to reduce the chance of them having any type of infection in their ears.

Selection of the proper cleaner is going to be what you have to do first. When you select the cleaner, you will want to make sure it is fairly neutral and not harsh for the ears. However, you will want to make sure you are looking at your dog's needs and make sure the cleaner is going to take care of the issues that your dog is having.

The best source for a cleaner will be from your vet. They sell or can recommend a good safe cleaner.
After the proper cleaner has been selected, you will want to keep it at room temperature. You will then take and spray the cleaner into the dog's ears. This is going to allow you to clean the dog's ears, but it is important for you to keep a paper towel or other type of towel under the dog's ears to ensure that you are not dribbling the water on the floor.


When this is done, you will want to take a washcloth or something else and try to dab the ears dry. By dabbing it dry you will prevent the dog from getting any type of recurring water in their ears. Cleaning your dog's ears is going to help the dog feel better, and also get the gunk out of their ears.

Most people know they have to give their dogs a bath, however, they normally do not realize they have to wash their ears as well. The problem is this is not something people tend to learn about and is not even really talked about. However, by learning how to clean your dog's ears properly, it is going to be easy for you to maintain your dog's ears and know they will be healthy for a longer period of time.

How often should the ears be cleaned? That is a good question and is something you should ask your vet. Some dogs require ear cleaning more often than others.



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What Are Common Signs of Dogs with HYPOALLERGENIC PROBLEMS?

Allergic Dog
Photo  by RLHyde 
Dogs that have allergies show many signs including watery eyes, coughing and sneezing, excessive scratching and biting, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and moodiness. When your dog is suffering from allergies, you may notice one or more of these symptoms. Learning what causes these allergies is the first step toward treating your dog and preventing further attacks.

Many allergies that dogs suffer from are caused by insects such as fleas and ticks, or by parasites. When you bring your dog home from a breeder or from a shelter or pet store, schedule an appointment with a vet as soon as possible. Make sure the dog has all of its shots and that is has been dewormed. This will prevent parasites from causing an allergic reaction in your dog. While you may have to do this more than once during their lifetime, getting rid of the parasites will help your dog’s temperament and keep them healthy.

If you noticed small red bites on your dog or if the dog has been scratching the same area until bald spots appear, then they may have fleas, ticks, or mites. This allergic reaction is caused by insect saliva. If your dog has open wounds, you should wait until the wounds heal before spraying or bathing them with medicine that kills the insects and their eggs. Take your dog to the vet if this is the first occurrence. The vet may be able to prescribe an ingestible pill that will protect them from future infestation. You may also want to keep your dog indoors during flea and tick season.

When your dog vomits more than once a week or has diarrhea for more than one or two days, they may have an allergy to dog food. Switching to another brand or feeding the dog softer food may solve this problem. You should take the dog to the vet anyway so that they can make sure the dog is healthy. Extreme diarrhea will lead to dehydration, so make sure you have plenty of water for your dog to drink.

If your dog’s mood changes suddenly or you notice that they are not as playful as they once were, then you should take the dog to the vet. If the dog has eaten something it shouldn’t or if it is suffering from allergies, it will not want to play as much as it used to. Finding out the cause of their allergy may be difficult because, much like human beings, your dog may be allergic to more than one thing.

Research your dog’s breed to see if there are specific items it could be allergic to and see if they are present in your home. Monitor your dog to see how it behaves and what it is eating. Sometimes eating too much grass can cause an allergy attack. Once you find the causes of the allergy, take the steps necessary to reduce the dog’s exposure what is causing the allergy as much as possible.



Friday, May 18, 2018

Disorders your DOG May Inherit

English: Bitsy - A blue basset hound
Bitsy - A blue basset hound (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A vital part of good prevention is to know the common types of illnesses and disorders associated with particular dog breeds. For dogs, the parts of their body that are most frequently affected by congenital problems are the central nervous system, the eyes, the muscles, and the bones. For instance, the Beagle, Collie, miniature Poodle, German Shepherd, and Keeshond are more likely to inherit epilepsy.

Different types of nervous system disorders are often passed on within certain breeds. Examples are paralysis of the front and back legs, which is common in the Irish Setter, a failure of muscle coordination common in Fox Terrier, and abnormal swelling of the brain is common in the Chihuahua, English Bulldog, and Cocker Spaniel.

A great number of common breeds suffer from congenital eye abnormalities including glaucoma, cataracts, and blindness.

Breeds such as Basenji, Basset Hound, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, and Cairn Terrier have a high risk for inguinal hernias (gut protrudes into the groin). Umbilical hernias (gut protrudes through the navel) are inherited defects in breeds like Bull Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Pekingese, Basenji, Collie, Weimaraner, Airedale Terrier, and Pointer.

In order to keep health problems in your dog from getting serious, you need to detect them early. Therefore, it is necessary to give your dog a basic check-up about once a week. This check-up takes no more than a few minutes, and it can help prevent problems as well as expenses down the road.
Start with a body rub. This makes your pet comfortable. While giving him his rub, check for any signs of flaking or scabs which can be a sign of parasites, a skin disorder, or allergies.

Also, check for any lumps and bumps. Although they are a normal part of aging in dogs, they can also be a symptom that there is something wrong. Check for any swelling that could indicate parasites, heart trouble, or cancer.

His breathing should be smooth and quiet unless he is panting. If his breathing is raspy or rattling, he could have a respiratory problem.

Your dog's heartbeat should be regular and strong. To check for his pulse, place your hand against his chest by his left elbow. Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiply it by four. The rate should range between 60 and 160.

Lastly, examine his ears, eyes, and mouth and check for any signs of abnormalities




Monday, May 14, 2018

Could Your Dog Have WHIPWORM? How To Detect And Treat Whipworm In Your Dog

Egg from Trichuris vulpis (canine whipworm) se...
Egg from Trichuris vulpis (canine whipworm) seen through a microscope at 400x. The egg is operculated at both ends. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When it comes to keeping your canine companion healthy both inside and out, it's important for owners to know which parasites see your dog as the perfect host.

One of the lesser-known parasites that pose a danger to dogs is the whipworm. Whipworms, like most parasites, are resilient. In egg form, their hard shells allow them to survive outdoors in the soil for years at the time. In many ways, whipworms are like hookworms, but instead of ending in a hook shape, one end of this worm tapers to a narrow, whip-like point.

Unlike hookworms, whipworms can't enter the body through the skin. The only way for your dog to contact them is by eating the eggs. Whipworms exist throughout North America, and transmission is easy if your dog has any contact with other dogs. The long-lived eggs can show up in the soil, dog toys, discarded bones and water dishes. Once eaten, whipworms then grow to maturity inside your dog's digestive system.

When they reach maturity, the adult worms fasten themselves to the large intestine and the cecum, a transitional pouch between the large and small intestine. Here, these nasty little parasites slash and puncture the intestinal walls in order to feed. The female starts to lay her eggs, which the dog excretes through the faeces.

Symptoms for whipworm resemble those for other worms, such as hookworm. Many dogs can carry a certain number of whipworms without showing distress, but past a certain point, your dog may begin to exhibit signs such as a dull coat, anaemia, rapid weight loss, and a loose and bloody stool. He may also begin vomiting up a yellow-green substance. In very severe cases, the worms may begin to puncture the intestinal wall, to the degree that the intestine begins to stick to the body wall. In this case, you might see your dog licking and worry his right flank.


When you take your dog to the vet, it may take some time to diagnose him with whipworm. Whipworms lay eggs only intermittently, and even when they’re actively releasing eggs, any diarrhoea in your dog can make the eggs hard to find. Typically, vets will perform four stool samples over four days before ruling out whipworm.

If your vet finds whipworm eggs, she'll administer a potent dewormer. But all whipworm dewormers on the market are only effective against worms in their adult form. As a result, you'll probably need to re-treat your dog.

There are no simple and effective ways of removing whipworm eggs from the soil around your house. However, a contaminated environment can infect your dog over and over again. The best way to combat reinfestation is to make sure your dog's quarters are sunny and dry since whipworm eggs require moisture. Try to place him in an area of fresh new gravel, pavement or soil.




Tuesday, May 8, 2018

ARTHRITIS IN DOGS – What You Can Do To Help Your Dog

English: Bilateral hip dysplasia in a Labrador...
Bilateral hip dysplasia in a Labrador Retriever puppy. The left hip (positioned on the right side in the X-ray) is worse than the right hip, with only slight coverage of the head of the femur by the acetabulum.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Canine Arthritis is a common ailment as dog’s age. It is similar to humans as calcification and inflammation cause joint pain and reduced activity. Some forms of arthritis like Canine Hip Dysplasia can develop early in life due to genetics and diet.  Fortunately, arthritis in dogs can be treated.

Treatments for canine arthritis range from natural supplements using chondroitin and glucosamine, to veterinary prescribed drugs such as Rimadyl and Deramaxx.  Studies and actual results have shown that natural supplements can be extremely effective in fighting the effects of arthritis in dogs without the potentially dangerous side effects of Rimadyl and Deramaxx.  Before deciding which treatment option is best for your dog, you should observe the signs of dog arthritis.

Signs of Dog Arthritis

1.  Limping and general reduced activity.

2.  Favoring one or both of the front or back limbs.

3.  Morning activity or cold weather makes the dog less active.

4.  Difficulty rising from a resting position, especially in the morning.

5.  Pain to the touch.

6.  Reluctance to jump.

If you suspect your dog has arthritis, you should know the different forms or types of arthritis. The most common disorders are listed below.

Types of Dog Arthritis

1.  Osteoarthritis – Also known as canine arthritis or dog arthritis, it is the most common form of arthritis and most easily treated.  Develops slowly as the dog ages.

2.  Rheumatoid Arthritis - This is an immune-mediated disease and can affect the whole body. Several joints can be affected and the lameness can come and go without notice. Considered a more serious condition than dog osteoarthritis.

3.  Degenerative Disc Disease - This is where the discs in the vertebrae develop calcification and become rigid. They become less able to withstand compression. This can lead to a severe injury and paralysis if the discs rupture or become herniated.

4.  Stifle Joint Disorder - This is a condition in which the knee and joint become unstable. This is usually from a stretched or torn ligament. This can also cause the joint cartilage to become damaged and inflamed.

5.  Canine Hip Dysplasia - This is caused by looseness in the socket connecting the thighbone and hipbone. This development usually occurs when the dog is young but can develop at any age.  A      common sign is to hear a clicking sound when the dog walks.

Treatment Options

1.  Natural Supplements – Most natural supplements use chondroitin and/or glucosamine as its primary ingredient.  All of the glucosamine forms originate and are extracted from shellfish. chondroitin is derived from animal cartilage.  Many products like Free and Easy for Dogs use glucosamine and chondroitin and combine additional supplements to provide a synergistic effect. Besides glucosamine and chondroitin, some of the more popular and effective supplements added are msm, ester-c, and hyaluronic acid.  Many studies have been done which have proved the effectiveness of these supplements in humans.  Dog owners have also reported many positive outcomes for their dogs using these natural supplements.

2.  Rimadyl & Deramaxx - These drugs are obtained by prescription only. They are called NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Rimadyl was introduced by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in January 1997 to help treat dogs with inflammation and pain associated with surgery or canine arthritis. It is effective but it must be used with caution. Search Google for  "What Your Vet May Not Tell You About Rimadyl" for more detailed information. At a minimum, you need to have blood work done to monitor the liver enzymes to ensure your dog doesn't have a toxic reaction to the drugs.

3.  Surgery - Surgery can be an easy decision or a very difficult decision. Often, money is a concern and some surgeries like disc surgery can cost around $3,500. Often, the age of the dog has to be considered when making this decision. And the outlook and prognosis are very important.  You do not want the dog to suffer unnecessarily. At the very least, you should only consider surgery after ensuring an accurate diagnosis has been made.  This may involve taking x-rays and a myelogram. A myelogram is done by injecting dye in the spinal canal to enable your doctor to detect abnormalities of the spine, spinal cord, or surrounding structures.



Summary - Dog Arthritis can be a very debilitating disease if left untreated. Dog owners should pay close attention to their animals and take prompt action when symptoms are noticed. Often a natural supplement is all that is needed to help your dog.  Sometimes more aggressive treatments are needed such as surgery.  The most important thing is to notice and diagnose the problem and then decide what treatment is best for your dog.

Copyright 2006 William Smith




Saturday, March 24, 2018

PARVOVIRUS & Discussion Of ASPIRIN For Dogs

English: High mag. Image: Parvovirus infection...
High Mag. Image: Parvovirus infection
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you want to talk about the parvovirus - often shortened to "parvo" - as it relates to dogs, there are two main categories to consider. Depending on the age of the dog being affected, the virus in question may be associated with the intestines or the heart, both of which are vital for the dog's long-term condition. As serious as this condition is, you may still wonder what it is all about. For those who do not know, here are a few details to consider, aspirin for dogs included.

Like one could imagine with any virus, the way that parvovirus is spread is from one being to the next. When a human or creature comes in contact with an infected dog's waste, they stand the chance of passing that condition along to others. This is even more noteworthy when you consider that the illness in question can last for a number of months in the open air. For this reason, as well as others, the idea of solutions has a greater level of importance.

To some degree, I think that there is a help to be had with alternatives to aspirin for dogs. As for Assisi Animal Health, in addition to other companies, will tell you, this particular condition can be characterized by a number of symptoms. However, with the discomfort that vomiting and the like can cause, wouldn't it make sense for the aforementioned alternatives to be brought into the fold? It's just a matter of understanding what's safe for dogs to use.

If you want to talk about long-term solutions to this very problem, vaccinations cannot be overlooked. Your dog is unlikely to catch the condition when he or she is young, meaning that you should see your vet for the appropriate shots. For dogs with the parvovirus already, veterinarians may issue antibiotics in addition to extensive therapy sessions. Once these are given and carried out, it's easy to see that your dog's condition will become better.


These are just a few of the essential details to cover when it comes to the parvovirus. Dogs may contract this disease, which makes it all the more important for pet owners to exercise the greatest level of care imaginable. You have to know that a condition like this can only be helped by respectable authorities, veterinarians being the most helpful. Make it a point to consult those in the medical field and, before long, you'll have all of the information and care you could want.




Monday, February 12, 2018

LYME DISEASE in Dogs and Humans

These black-legged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, a...
These black-legged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, are found on a wide range of hosts including mammals, birds, and reptiles. Black-legged ticks, I. scapularis are known to transmit Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, to humans and animals during feeding, when they insert their mouthparts into the skin of a host, and slowly take in the nutrient-rich host blood.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
It is summer time and that means walks in the woods, camping and all those glorious trips on nature trails enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. However, lurking in some areas there lies a nasty tick that can cause both humans and animals an opportunity to become very ill.

It is an illness that is caused by a bite from an infected tick and it does not care who you are human or dog. This problem surfaced around 1975 when a group of children in a Lyme, Conn., suffered a severe outbreak of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. This unusual grouping eventually lead researchers to identify the bacterial cause in 1982 and thus led to the name "Lyme disease." In 1984 it found its way into the canine population and since has skyrocketed. It is a serious and deadly disease if left untreated.

According to statistics released by a pet insurance provider (Veterinary Pet Insurance) in 2008, Lyme disease is the most common canine infectious disease for the third year in a row. Forty-seven percent of all the claims Veterinary Pet Insurance received were for tick born infectious diseases. Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis (caused by the Brown Dog tick and the lone star tick, infection enters the white blood cells and causes anemia and other complications) and anaplasmosis (caused by deer ticks, the disease is similar to Lyme disease) are among the three leading infectious tick diseases.

What is the cause? 
Warmer climates, urbanization and an increase in the rodent and deer populations are the primary causes. A female tick can lay approximately 3,000 eggs per season and once the tick population gets established there is a big problem in removing them. Once a disease that was established in a few areas has now managed to move through the entire Northeast, the Midwest and in areas of California and Oregon.

What is Lyme disease? 
It is a disease caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi which is transmitted into the bloodstream by the saliva of the infected tick by means of a prolonged bite. It cannot be transmitted from dog to dog or to humans from dogs. It comes from the tick bite itself and reacts differently in humans than it does in dogs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only two ticks are known to carry this bacterium, the black-legged deer tick, found throughout most of the United States and the Western black-legged tick found only in the Western states. Granted that there are other ticks that carry
different types of bacteria, but only these two ticks carry Lyme disease.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs? 
It is difficult to diagnose. Common symptoms are fever, limb discomfort, lameness, swelling in the joints, lack of energy and loss of appetite. Since these symptoms are common to many other canine diseases it may take a while to determine the actual cause of the problems. Lyme disease can take up to 5 months after exposure to surface.

A simple blood test can detect if a dog has been exposed to the bacteria and treatment can begin. Dogs are usually treated with an antibiotic (usually doxycycline) and will begin to show improvement within a few days after receiving treatment.

The interesting thing is some dogs can test positive for the disease and never appear sick, as their bodies are capable of fighting off the bacteria. It is recommended, however, that if your dog tests positive and several other tests show the same result it is best to have your dog treated, but that is a matter of personal judgment.

What are the complications of Lyme disease in dogs? 
Lyme disease does not cause permanent arthritis in dogs. The type of arthritis or lameness caused by this disease is non-erosive arthritis; it does not cause damage the bone. The swelling and lameness will go away with treatment.

The potential problem related to Lyme disease is kidney complications if left untreated. These problems can be fatal to your dog. It is necessary to have your vet do a routine urinalysis if your dog has contracted Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a dangerous disease, but when caught early and treated most dogs achieve full recovery.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease in humans? 
Lyme disease in humans affects different areas of the body as it progresses. The place where the tick has bit the human usually causes a reddish rash and "flu-like" symptoms.

Medically it is described in three phases as
(a) an early localized disease with a skin inflammation;
(b) early problems of the heart and nervous system, which could include palsies and meningitis and
(c) later a disease that causes motor and sensory nerve damage and brain inflammation as well as arthritis.



Many people do not even recall a tick bite, as some ticks can be as small as the period at the end of this sentence. Some people do not develop a reddish rash, but even the rash will disappear by itself with no treatment at all. Some people suffer from flu-like symptoms and possible swollen glands plus a headache. If you are like most people you "get over" these things without the aid of your doctor and this is where the seriousness of this disease begins.

As the bacteria spread through your body it begins to affect your heart muscle causing and inflammation, which can cause abnormal heartbeats and heart failure. The nervous system can develop facial paralysis, abnormal sensations due to the disease of peripheral nerves, meningitis, and confusion. If this is not enough, you can also develop chronic arthritis and suffer from anxiety and depression.

How is Lyme disease diagnosed in humans? 
If you live in an area where Lyme disease is known and show up at the doctor's office with the usual red rash the diagnosis is simple. If you have been bitten by a tick be certain to tell your doctor. In most cases without your doctor know if you have been bitten or if you have been in an area where Lyme disease is known, they will review your history and try the process of elimination to exclude certain diseases. Blood tests are not significant in the early stages of the disease, though can be helpful in the later stages. Currently, the best test is what is called the Western Blot assay antibody test.

How is Lyme disease treated in humans? 
In most cases, Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics that work really well in the early stages of the disease. If the disease has progressed undetected for a while, it may be necessary to take some intravenous drugs and pain-relieving medicines can also be given.

How do you protect your dog and yourself? 
Since dogs carry ticks into the home, it is wise to check your dog every time it comes in. A tick check is simply done by going through your dog's fur and parting it with your fingers. Begin at the ears and head while working your way down, on black dog's use a flashlight to help you see the ticks. If you find one do not stop as you may find more, ticks love company. Use some sticky tape to help remove the tick or use tweezers making certain you remove the whole tick, legs and all. Do not try burning them off with a match or cigarette.

Keep your grass cut; trim bushes around your house so that they get a chance to get some sun. Ticks love damp dark places. If you live near a wooded area keep the area around your home free from the growing brush; a stone or mulch path surrounding the area is a good idea.

Use year-round flea and tick preventatives. If you live in an area where Lyme disease ticks are prevalent there are vaccines available to help prevent the disease. A vaccine along with the flea and tick preventative will go a long way in protecting your dog. Though it is known that the vaccines do not always work, they are worth a try. The vaccines are usually given twice, a few weeks apart and then once a year and are recommended if you live in areas known for the disease.

Regarding us, humans wear protective long pants, long sleeves, and boots if you are venturing into the woods and if you pick up a tick be certain to remove it at once. Spraying an insect repellent that contains DEET will help too. If you get a tick and remove it, save the culprit in a jar so that is can be identified as not all ticks carry Lyme disease. It takes approximately 48 hours once a tick becomes attached to you or your dog to transmit the bacteria, that is why checking yourself and your dog is so important. The quicker you remove them the better off you both are.




Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Medical Problems Of GOLDEN RETRIEVER

What a happy fellow.
Photo  by Jamie McCaffrey 
Epilepsy
Also known as seizures, epilepsy disorders normally occur from viral infections, and environmental factors as well.  Even though an inaccessible seizure isn’t always a problem, dogs that have recurring seizures should never be bred.  Vets can recommend medicines that control recurring seizures, although medicine isn’t always effective.  Although epilepsy doesn’t affect the health of a Golden Retriever, it does have an effect on breeding.  You can never tell if it is indeed heredity, therefore breeding is pretty much out of the question - to avoid passing it on to the litter.

Skin allergies
Skin allergy is the most common medical issue with Golden Retrievers. Skin allergy is normally the result of allergens such as flea bites, dust, airborne pollen, food, and even mold.  Symptoms will vary, although they can include bits, scratching, licking, and even ear infections.  Diet is extremely important here, as it can help to prevent a lot of these problems.  If you consult with your vet, you can more than likely eliminate the risks your pet has of getting a skin allergy.

Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a condition that causes the thyroid gland to malfunction.  Golden Retrievers that are affected by this disease will normally show such symptoms as coat problems or obesity.  This medical problem can also result in a lack of fertility as well.  A lack of fertility can be a big problem for breeders, as it makes it very hard for the affected Golden Retriever to breed.

The treatment of hypothyroidism involves taking the oral supplement for hypothyroidism on a daily basis.  Once it has been treated successfully, the prognosis will appear to be normal and the dog will have a normal, healthy lifespan, providing there are no other medical problems.  This condition is somewhat common with Golden Retrievers and can be diagnosed by your vet.

Some Golden’s who suffer from hypothyroid problems will have seizures, although this will stop once they go on the oral treatment medicine.  Even though the hypothyroid condition isn’t associated with epilepsy, you should monitor your dog to be on the safe side.  You don’t want to take any chances with your dog coming down with epilepsy, which is why you should always have your vet do routine checks.


Even though medical problems are somewhat common with Golden Retrievers, you can help to prevent them from making sure your dog is healthy.  If you do your part and make sure that you treat your Golden well, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.  Golden Retrievers are generally healthy dogs, although they can get ill from time to time.  If you take your dog to the vet and get him treated as soon as he gets sick - he’ll be better and back to his normal self in no time at all.



Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Everything You Should Know About CARING For Animals

puppy
Photo   by Dawn Ashley 
Most of us have had pets of one kind or another. If you have a dog or you think that you may need one in the future, you have got to think about some things first. This article will supply you with superb advice on caring for your dog.

When you have a dog, make certain that you give him enough water. Water should be provided to your dog at all times of the day, particularly in the summer. Put his water bowl somewhere where nobody will trip over it, otherwise, you will be cleaning your floors all day!

If your puppy dog is teething and chewing at everything, buy him an exciting gnaw toy and keep it in the fridge. Not only will this provide him with a good substitute for your furniture, but the cold will help to make his gums feel a bit better. Most younger dogs nibble out of necessity, not poor manners.

Pup

If you're brooding about adopting a dog, try taking one or two weeks off work so you can spend some time with your little dog and teach it one or two good habits. Coaching your little puppy and helping it become used to its new environment will be way easier if you're home.

When clipping a puppy's toenails, start slow. Introduce your tiny dog to them prior to beginning cutting. You'll only be well placed to get a single nail done in a sitting. It might take a while for puppy dog to become ok with the concept of nail clipping, but shortly, you'll be able to get through it all at once.

Treatment

When taking your senior dog to the vet for a once a year visit, be sure to request senior blood work. A blood panel can help your vet to identify any kidney, heart or vascular concerns. If caught early, treatment is typically minimally invasive and less pricey. This is a great way to keep your pet healthy for many years to come.

When you train your dog, you'll always need to use positive reinforcement. Rewards and praise make your pet learn quicker than threats and violence. Tolerant coaching is better for several years to come and it's better. be kind during training; you will get better and faster results.

Care

Take care to keep your dog cool while traveling during the summer by vehicle. Even with your air conditioning on, the dog may become overheated in his pet carrier. An easy and lower cost dog ringworm home-based treatment and freezing one or two-gallon jugs of water and placing them near him where he will curl up and chill.


If your dog is really rowdy or simply excitable, gurus recommend that you don't bring them along on vacation. Many times the thrill and misunderstanding of a new area full of strangers are too much for the hyper dog and unpleasant events may occur. Find a great dog house to look after your pooch as an alternative.

These pointers may help you become a better owner for your dog. Use these different tips and do more research on the things you have got to know about to correctly take care of your dog. Read this draft over as many times as you need to.


    Author: Lisa Thomas