Monday, September 30, 2013

Oral Ulceration and Chronic Ulcerative Paradental Stomatitis in Dogs

Oral ulceration and chronic ulcerative paradental stomatitis (CUPS) is a disease of the mouth which causes painful ulcers on the gums and mucosal lining of the mouth cavity. The cause of this condition has been determined to be a hypersensitive immune response to bacteria and plaque on the tooth surfaces, and sometimes signs of CUPS will start subsequent to a dental cleaning, when these materials are loosened in the mouth.
While it appears that manipulation and antigenic stimulation (substances that stimulate the production of antibodies in the body) in the oral cavity may trigger stomatitis, it is also believed that such animals would probably have eventually developed the disease anyway. In some cases, the only resolution is to remove all of the teeth, so that the bacteria that is normally found on the surface of the teeth is no longer present in the mouth at all.

Certain breeds of dogs appear to be at higher risk for developing this disease. Maltese, cavalier king charles spaniels, cocker spaniels and Bouvier des Flandres have been found to have a higher incidence. One of the complications of CUPS is idiopathic osteomyelitis, inflammation of the bone and marrow, which cocker spaniels have been found to be predisposed to.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Herbal Supplements

You can hardly turn on the television any more without seeing an ad for an herbal supplement. Advertisers tout claim herbal products can do everything from improving memory to improving your mood to helping you lose weight. Like most events in human medicine, this movement has carried over into veterinary medicine, and a number of herbal supplements are now available to animals. Along with the benefits of herbal treatments, however, have come questions about the safety and effectiveness of "natural" or "alternative" therapies.

The case supporter
Proponents of alternative treatments point out that the difference between herbal and prescription treatments is not as large as we think. Medications have been derived from plants for at least 3000 years, and 25 percent of our prescription drugs still are. Many of the drugs that are now synthesized originated from plants at some point. Clearly, plant-based medications can be dependable and effective.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cat's Eating Habits

Cats love their meat. In fact, these furry carnivores must eat animal tissue to maintain their long-term health. Cats require high amounts of amino acids, "building blocks" that prevent disease. Vegetarian diets, therefore, are out of the question for cats.
Kittens (cats less than a year old) need food specially designed for their young systems- with an increased level of the necessary proteins for growing muscles and bones.

Many cats enjoy raiding a dog's food bowl. But cats are not small dogs and do not receive proper nutrition from dog food products. That means meal swapping is not allowed: Cats should eat only cat food. When choosing a food, cat owners should look for one that contains proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins. Extra vitamin and mineral supplements are not only unnecessary but potentially harmful. Supplements can unbalance a complete and balanced cat food.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pet First Aid

We cannot stress enough that you SHOULD NOT get on-line during a pet emergency or when your pet is seriously ill. In an emergency, first aid is not a substitute for veterinary treatment. However, before you are able to get your pet to a veterinarian, knowing some basic first aid can help. Always seek veterinary care following first-aid attempts.
Bite Wounds
Approach the pet carefully to avoid getting bitten. Muzzle the animal. Check the wound for contamination or debris. If significant debris is present, then clean the wound with large amounts of saline or balanced electrolyte solution. If these are not available, then regular water may be used. Wrap large open wounds to keep them clean. Apply pressure to profusely bleeding wounds. Do not use a tourniquet. Wear gloves when possible.
Bite wounds often become infected and need professional care. Call your veterinarian.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


It's not a scenario you want to imagine: finding your dog unconscious on your living room floor or your cat hit by a car. Finding your pet not breathing or with his heart not beating can be a terrifying experience, but there are things you can do. The most important step you can take is staying calm. If there's another person with you, have her call your veterinarian while you perform CPR.

Step 1: Check for responsiveness
Before you begin doing anything to your pet, make sure he is truly unresponsive.
  • Check his breathing by placing your hand in front of his nose and mouth. (Be sure not to cover them and block his airway!)
  • Check for his heartbeat by placing your ear against area where your pet's left elbow touches the chest.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Microchipping - HomeAgain

It's always sad to see a flyer stapled to a signpost or on a bulletin board at the grocery store with a picture of a lost Snuggles or Scruffy. You imagine a child waiting for the phone to ring, hoping that some kind person happens to find his kitty and see his flyer.
Sadly, once a pet is lost, the odds are against her finding her way home again. According to the American Humane Association, only about seventeen percent of lost dogs and two percent of cats ever find their way back from shelters to their original owners. Almost 20 million pets are euthanized every year because their owners can't be found. There are ways to beat these odds though, and they're a little higher-tech than the nametag and collar you're used to. To give your pet the best chance to be identified, no matter how far he roams, have him implanted with a microchip.

Tags and collars are a good start—they're certainly better than no ID at all—but they aren't 100 percent dependable. Tags can fade, rust, or get scratched and be impossible to read. Collars can tear or slip off, or even worse, get caught on something while your pet is wandering in the wilderness and hurt or kill him.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pet Vaccinations

Vaccinations are the most important preventive measure you can take for the health of your pet. Health threats vary from city to city and even in various sections of cities. Therefore, your veterinarian can tailor an immunization program for your pet based on local conditions.
Your dog or cat generally can be immunized for the following diseases:
  • Dogs can be immunized against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, coronavirus, Bordetella, rabies, and Lyme disease.
  • Cats can be immunized against feline panleukopenia (distemper), rabies, feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, chlamydia, feline leukemia, and FIP.
In recent years, some veterinarians have changed their recommendations regarding the frequency of vaccinations. The following fact sheet provides answers to important questions concerning vaccinations.

Tips to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy

Simple Steps Ensure a Long Life for Your Pet
As a responsible pet owner, you can take a few simple steps that will go a long way toward keeping your pet healthy and happy. The American Animal Hospital Association suggests these practical tips that can ensure your pet's health and happiness.
Make your home a safe environment
Unfortunately, making your home pet safe often is a job that is overlooked. Pet proofing your home can lower the risk of a serious pet accident occurring. A pet owner needs to be aware of several potential dangers. Poisons in the home that can kill or seriously injure your pet include some kinds of house plants (dieffenbachia, philodendron, hyacinth, and mistletoe), pesticides, and medications. Low electrical cords are extremely hazardous when chewed. Keep harmful objects out of your pet's reach. A little prevention may be just enough to avoid a pet tragedy from happening in your home.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Paracetamol Poisoning in the Cat

Paracetamol is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. At manufacturer recommended doses it has an excellent safety record in humans. However, this is not the case in cats. Cats are simply unable to remove the drug from their bodies fast enough to prevent toxicity developing.

Symptoms of Paracetamol Poisoning
In the first few hours, an affected cat's breathing may become faster and more laboured. Her tongue may go blue and her heart beat faster. These are all effects of a reduced oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. The cat is likely to be depressed, may vomit, or develop swellings of the head and paws. If the cat survives these early symptoms, over the next few days, she is likely to produce blood-stained urine, develop abdominal pain, and may become jaundiced (where the whites of the eyes become yellow). Seizures are possible, as is a lapse into a coma. Death can occur up to 6 days after the consumption of paracetamol.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pet Toenails Trimming

Depending on your pet's attitude, you may not want to say N-A-I-L T-R-I-M too loud. While some cats and dogs barely notice when you're trimming their nails, others just plain don't like it and will let you know by squirming, whining, or worse-growling or biting.
By knowing beforehand the proper way to do a nail trim on your pet, you may be able to save Kitty or Rover (and yourself!) some distress. But if your pet simply refuses to cooperate, becomes aggressive, or if you just don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, it may be better to let a professional groomer or veterinarian conduct the dreaded deed.

First, you should know why trimming your pet's nails is important. While long nails may be fashionable for supermodels, your dog's or cat's overgrown nails will drag on the ground and make walking or running uncomfortable for your pet. This, in turn, could result in soreness or other problems further up the leg. Dewclaws (the sixth toenail that's found higher up on the paw near a pet's "ankle") that are not trimmed regularly can curve back into the skin, which is very painful, and cause infection. Although it's common for many dogs to have their rear dewclaws removed when they're young pups, dewclaws on their front legs often remain. Cats have them, as well.
In addition to trimming nails for health reasons, a pet's blunt nail tips are less likely to hurt you or your furniture by scratching.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Senior Pet Care

Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are living longer than ever before. However, with this increased lifespan comes an increase in the types of ailments that can afflict senior pets. As pets reach the golden years, there are a variety of conditions and diseases that they can face, including weight and mobility changes; osteoarthritis; kidney, heart, and liver disease; tumors and cancers; hormone disorders such as diabetes and thyroid imbalance; and many others.
Just as the health care needs of humans change as we age, the same applies to pets. It's critical for pet owners to work closely with their veterinarian to devise a health plan that is best for their senior pet.
When Does "Senior" Start?
So when is a pet considered a senior? Generally, smaller breeds of dogs live longer than larger breeds, and cats live longer than dogs. Beyond that, the life span will vary with each individual, and your veterinarian will be able to help you determine what stage of life your furry friend is in. Keep in mind that some small dog breeds may be considered senior at 10-13 years, while giant breeds are classified as seniors at ages as young as five. Your veterinarian is your best source for more information to determine when your pet reaches the golden years.

Pet Dental Care

Meat Toothpaste
Dental care can add as much as five years to your pet's life.
Dental care is a little known yet absolutely necessary component of caring for your pets. By the age of three, some 80 percent of all dogs and 70 percent of all cats show signs of dental disease, which can lead to the more serious problems of heart, lung, and kidney disease. Fido's dog breath and Tabby's tuna breath aren't something to be ignored---they are probably indicative of an oral problem, and the sooner you have it treated by your veterinarian (and learn to care for it yourself), the sooner you and your pet can smile proudly.
The stages and faces of oral disease
Periodontal disease---an infection of the tissue surrounding the teeth---takes hold in progressive stages. Plaque and tartar form naturally when food remains in the cracks and crevices of the teeth, especially at the gum line. (Because canned food tends to stick more easily to the surfaces of the teeth, it is somewhat more likely to cause plaque than dry food. But any food will cause problems if the teeth are never cleaned.) At this stage the plaque is still soft, and brushing or chewing hard food and toys can dislodge it. If left to spread, plaque can lead to gingivitis--an inflammation of the gums--causing them to become red and swollen and to bleed easily.

Plaque soon hardens into tartar that forms a wedge separating the tooth from the gum. At this point plaque can grow below the gum line, causing more damage, and professional cleaning is needed to help manage it. If the plaque and tartar buildup continue unchecked, pus can form at the root of the tooth and the tooth becomes impacted. In the final stages of periodontal disease, the tissues surrounding the tooth are killed, the bony socket holding the tooth in erodes, and the tooth falls out. This is a very painful process for your four-legged friend, but the problems can be averted before they even start.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Toxoplasmosis in Pets Preventive Measures

Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease found in some farm animals and household pets. Cats are the carrier of the disease and can transmit it to people through feces-especially when fecal material handled or allowed to sit until old and dry. The fecal matter is then either ingested or can become airborne and then is inhaled.
Although cats can transmit the disease, they are not the major sources of infection to humans. People are more likely to pick up toxoplasmosis by handling or eating raw meat or not cleaning up thoroughly after handling the meat.
Cats can get toxoplasmosis from eating raw meat or prey of animals such as mice. Therefore, cats who hunt stand a greater chance of being exposed or infected. In most cases, cats will show no signs of being infected. However, lethargy, loss of appetite, and fever may indicate early infection with the disease.

Declawing or Onychectomy

Cats use their claws to climb and scratch, to defend themselves, and to hunt. Displaying their claws and scratching objects are also considered by many to be a social behavior of our feline friends. Outdoor cats may scratch trees to mark their territory and to remove frayed or worn outer layers from their claws. Unfortunately, this can pose a problem when indoor cats choose their owners' furniture or curtains as tree substitutes.

What can you do about your cat's destructive scratching?

A variety of options are available; however, owners often choose declawing as a means to end destructive scratching in the home. Declawing is controversial, as it provides no health benefit to the cat and is done strictly for human benefit. Opponents say it is unnatural and cruel, and can result in psychological damage to the cat. Proponents say that declawing has no more negative effects than does any other surgical procedure, and that by ridding unwanted behavior, it could increase the chances for a cat to enjoy a safe, permanent indoor home.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Grooming Your Pet

Grooming your pets doesn't mean that they have to be made-up and untouchable; it simply means that you're taking good care of their health by keeping a watchful eye on their hygiene. Pets, like humans, are more likely to remain healthy when they are clean and well groomed. Contrary to popular belief, dogs and cats are not wild animals; they require regular grooming attention to keep them healthy in their domestic environments. One of the major benefits of a regular grooming regimen is that you will become familiar with your pet's body. This allows you to quickly recognize problems with his health, so you can bring them to your veterinarian's attention sooner. Remember that you should seek help from your veterinarian if you think that your pet will be difficult to groom alone.


Exercising Your Pet

You know it's good for you. You know that exercise can give you energy, help you maintain a healthy weight, keep your muscles and joints flexible, help you live longer, and above all, make you feel better. For all the same reasons, your pets need to get up and get moving. Not only can exercise extend your furry friends' lives; it may also expend some of their nervous energy and make them a little less likely to chew on the living room drapes.
The thing is, nobody's filled pets in on all of these benefits of exercise. Without someone to lead the way, they're not going to run laps or do leg lifts in their spare time. So as a wonderful pet parent, part of your job is ensuring your animal family members get safe, enjoyable exercise on a regular basis--whether they're cats, dogs, turtles, or ferrets! All pets need some physical activity to live a happy, healthy life.

Different pets need different amounts of exercise, so you'll want to talk to your veterinarian before starting your pet's workout program. With your veterinarian's approval, you can embark on an exercise program that won't seem like work at all--to your pet, it's play.