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Common Health Problems

Bad Breath

My pet has BAD BREATH
If your pet has bad breath or tartar buildup he may be in need of a dental. This is a very simple sedated procedure that is done at your veterinarian clinic.

Home Remedies
Tartar Control Milk Bones or home dental care brushing kit.

Blindness or Clumsiness

BLINDNESS Or Clumsiness
Some dogs that are completely blind can live happily in familiar surroundings. They know their way around so well that their owners have no idea they are blind and just regard them as being clumsy. Most dogs that are blind can live a very normal happy life if they are in the same environment.

Canine Epilepsy

There are two types of epileptic fits. The first type is calledGrand Mal, where the animal falls or slumps to the ground.Petite Malis the second form of epilepsy. This is where the animal stays on its feet.

Signs
If you notice your pet having a seizure, do not try to take hold of its tongue, you may be bitten by the unconscious animal champing its jaws. Observe the dog but do not touch it, touching the dog during a seizure may aggravate the dog and prolong the fit. A dog with congenital epilepsy may initially show signs such as dilated pupils, apprehension, restlessness, followed with foaming at the mouth, champing of the jaw, facial twitching, head shaking, collapse, lying on its side rigid with its head back, unconscious, and may be defecating or urination. The seizures will usually last from one to three minutes. Recovery may be quick or the animal may remain confused or disoriented for hours. Once recovered, see your veterinarian. If the seizure last for more than five minutes, you need to take the animal to the veterinarian immediately!

Treatment
Treatment by your veterinarian will vary due to the cause. Usually a drug given daily to control the epileptic fits.

Causes
- Trauma, a blow to the head.
- Poisoning, slug and snail poisoning, toxins, and insecticide rinses.
- Brain Tumors.
- Infection, viral or bacterial.
- Low blood sugar level.
- Severe case of worms.
- Milk Fever, low calcium level in the blood.
- External stimulation, such as loud music or noises, hot weather, over excitement.

Diarrhea

My pet has diarrhea
The most common causes of diarrhea are a change in your pets diet and intestinal parasites. Blood is sometimes found in diarrhea, don't be alarmed but contact your veterinarian. Change your pets food gradually. If you suspect intestinal parasites bring a stool sample to your veterinarian for a fecal flotation.

Ear Related

My pet has a smelly ear?

Ear infections can be dangerous if left untreated. The most common symptoms of an ear infection are a smelly ear, a gooey buildup in the ear canal, and shaking the head. Your veterinarian can determine if your pet has an ear infection, and will treat with antibiotics.

My pet is scratching it's ear?

Ear mites are most commonly found on puppies or kittens. They are microscopic insects that live inside the ear canal and cause your pets ears to be very itchy. They can be treated very easily with a medication prescribed by your veterinarian.

Fleas

My pet has fleas

There are many different ways to get rid of fleas but not all products are safe for puppies and kittens.
Please read all labels before using any product on your pet.

  • Flea Shampoos - Kills adult fleas on pet but does not prevent fleas.
  • Fleas Spray- Will prevent fleas for two to three weeks and may leave a residue.
  • Flea Dips - Kills fleas for two to three weeks and may leave a residue.
  • House Treatments - House treatments are an excellent form of flea control but can be dangerous to your pet if precautions are not taken. ALWAYS READ ALL LABELS!
  • Yard Treatments - Same as house treatments.
  • The Flea Pill - The pill taken once a month orally does not kill the adult fleas on your pet but it prevents the new eggs from hatching. Other flea preventatives must be used along with the pill to maintain flea control.
  • Flea Combs- The flea comb is an excellent method of flea control on puppies and kittens.

Heartworms

Tell me more about HEARTWORMS

Did You Know That:

Heartworms have been diagnosed in...

Cats, horses, dogs, jaguars, ferrets, tigers, foxes, monkeys, sea lions, & humans.

Heartwormsare contracted when a mosquito with the heartworm bites your pet. The worms gather in the heart where they clog the arteries, eventually killing the animal. There are usually no physical signs until it's to late. Have your dog tested once a year for heartworms along with it's regular annual vaccines.

Prevention
Monthly or daily heartworm preventative purchased at your veterinarian clinic.

Heat Stroke

How Can I Protect My Pet From Heat Stroke?

Animals become overheated very easily in the summer time. Heat stroke is a common killer this time of year. Be sure to provide plenty of water and shade. If your pet has a heat stroke it might go unconscious. Bring your pet IMMEDIATELY to the veterinarian. IT'S AN EMERGENCY! If unable to get to a veterinarian immediately, spray of pour cold water on animal. Be careful not to drown the animal if it is unconscious. You can also soak it's feet in alcohol to lower its body temperature.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a deformity in the hip joint. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint, the ball fitting perfectly into the socket. In some cases the socket is to shallow and/ or the head of the femur (the ball) is irregular or too flat. This will result in poorly formed joints which will be subject to wear and tear on the joint surfaces, and assists the development of arthritis. The ligament and capsule around the joint become slack and the hindquarter muscles waste.

Causes
Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition. It may be influenced by exercise, diet, and growth rate within the first six to twelve months of the dogs life. The incidence of this disease is higher in larger, heavier breeds.

Signs

  • Awkward movement in the initial stage.
  • Difficulty in getting up after lying down.
  • Activity restricted.
  • Difficulty in jumping.
  • Lameness in one hind leg to the other.

Signs may develop in some dogs as young as three to four months of age. In others, signs may not develop until the dog is one to three years of age. Severe cases may be determined by X-rays as early as three months. The normal practice is to x-ray dogs when they are 12 months of age to determine if they are displastic. Your veterinarian will assess whether or not your dog is displastic based on the signs shown by the dog, and the x-rays.

Treatment
Treatment will vary according to the symptoms. Hip dysplasia leads to inflammation of the bone, soft tissue, and cartilage, of the hip joint. This can cause pain and lameness. Treatment with drugs will help with the pain and mobility, but as the condition advances some cases fail to respond to drug therapy. Surgical treatment of these cases has produced good results.

Prevention
Veterinary associations have formed committees whose role is to give an independent opinion on x-rays for hip dysplasia submitted by veterinarians. The dogs found to be free of the disease are given a certificate. Hip dysplasia can be progressively eliminated by using dogs for breeding that has been given this certificate. Remember that even if both parents have been certified free of the disease, it does not guarantee their puppies will be free of it, although the chance of puppies having the disease will be lessened considerably.

Obesity

Being overweight is the most common nutritional problem in cats and dogs. Obesity affects almost one out of every four pets. As little as one extra pound can effect your pets natural vibrancy and increase the risk of the following health problems:

  • Skin problems
  • Heart disease
  • Breathing problems
  • Poor immune system
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Anesthetic and surgical complications
Causes
There are many factors that contribute to the weight gain in your pet. Some we have little or no control over such as breed type, heredity, sex and age. Although the most common factor is simply eating too much and not getting enough exercise. Supplementing your pets diet with table scraps, snacks and other foods can also complicate the problem.

Helping your pet to lose weight
In order for your pet to lose weight you must reduce the amount of calories in their diet while increasing the amount of energy output. Follow a supervised program of moderate exercise and calorie control and your pet will lose the excess weight safely and steadily. This will take the cooperation of every family member (no slipping snacks at the dinner table). Also, keep your pet out of the room while you are preparing food, this will help to eliminate begging and snacking between meals. Your veterinarian will recommend a scheduled diet program for your pet.

Hints for successful weight loss
  • Follow the directions provided by your veterinarian.
  • Regular exercise increases the chance of weight loss unless you veterinarian advises against it.
  • Encourage your pet with plenty of praise and support, dieting is not an easy thing.
  • Have your pet weighed regularly as recommended by your veterinarian.

Tracking Your pet's weight reduction
It is very important to set goals for progress. Schedule bi-monthly weigh-ins and determine how much time the desired weight loss should take. Once weight loss has been achieved, periodic check ups will help to maintain your pet's lower body weight and renewed vitality.

Keeping your pet trim
Your veterinarian can recommend a specific diet program for your pet. Be patient but firm with your pet, the success of the weight loss program depends on how well you stick to the new feeding regimen. Remember, cats should never go more than 48 hours without eating. If your cat does not eat in 48 hours call your veterinarian immediately! If you have any questions concerning your pet or your pet's diet be sure to contact your veterinarian for advise.

Scooting Along The Floor

The two most common causes for rubbing rear ends aretapewormsandanal sac fluid buildup.

Tapeworms

A tapeworm is an intestinal parasite which your pet can contract from ingesting a flea. Tapeworms can be seen in your pets stool. They'll look like little rice segments. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication to rid your pet of tapeworms.

Anal Sac Blockage/Infection

There are two small glands on either side and just below the anus called the anal sacs. They are scent glands that produce a very foul smelling fluid. In the act of defecating, the fluid is naturally discharged from the anal glands. The foul smelling fluid may serve a purpose in territory marking.

Cause of Blockage

The opening of the gland will sometimes become blocked resulting in a build-up of fluid inside the sacs. The glands can become infected or the pressure from the fluid may cause inflammation and/or irritation.

Symptoms

  • Licking around the anus
  • Scooting along the floor
  • Not able to get comfortable, pacing
  • Swelling of the glands

Abscess (the gland may become red and painful swelling may occur on either side of the anus. The abscess can rupture and release a bloody fluid. If this occurs consult your veterinarian immediately!)

Treatment
Your veterinarian can express your pets anal glands if needed.

Prevention
Alter your pets diet to make the stool firmer and regularly clip the hair around the anus.

Skin Related

Skin Problems

Biting, licking, and scratching
This usually means fleas. Please view the section on fleas.

Experiencing hair loss
Hair loss can be due to, among other things, skin allergies or demodex mange.

Demodex Mange
Demodex is a skin mite that can cause hair loss around the face and feet. It is very itchy and may cause your pet to scratch. If you believe your pet might have demodex mange contact your veterinarian for a skin scraping or culture. Demodex can be treated with a series of dips and antibiotics.

Has hot spots
Hot spots are caused when skin allergies or fleas cause your pet to bite, scratch, and lick, the same spot raw. Your veterinarian can prescribe a topical spray or oral medicine.

Vomiting

My dog is vomiting
Could your pet have eaten something that could cause vomiting? If you have changed your pets food recently it could cause vomiting. If your pet continues vomiting for a few days, has loss of appetite, or acts lethargic take your pet to the veterinarian.Dehydration can be very serious!