Because your veterinarian is the best source of accurate information for all your pet’s health care needs, we have included a section of pet information for your convenience. This Pet FAQs page includes many topics concerning pet health care, pet nutrition and pet diseases.
The nutritional needs of our dogs constantly change through the course of their lives depending upon their environment. Who said dog foods were all alike? As dog owners we should always choose a food that has good overall quality. Dog owners should always look for a statement on the food bag that says the product successfully passed feeding trails of the Association of American Feed Control Officials. This should ensure that the food contains no nutritional deficiencies or excesses that may be detrimental to your dog in the long run. Stage of life is also another important factor when feeding your dog. Growth requires energy, puppies being much more active than their older counterparts and therefore, young growing puppies will require more energy than older dogs. With young large breed dogs you need to be more aware that high energy intake can directly affect growth. Large breed puppies which grow too fast can develop a mismatch between their body growth and their bone growth. If the bones cannot keep up with the growth rate the dog could end up with an orthopedic disease. Whilst intact growing animals require more energy, neutered dogs require less energy in comparison. Obesity tends to occur more often in neutered dogs than in intact dogs. Neutered dogs tend to gain weight more easily and are often less active, dog owners should recognize this change and not continue to feed the same amount of food to their dog after neutering.
Parvo is a viral disease of dogs. It affects puppies much more frequently than it affects adult dogs. The virus likes to grow in rapidly dividing cells. The intestinal lining has the biggest concentration of rapidly dividing cells in a puppy’s body. The virus attacks and kills these cells, causing diarrhea (often bloody), depression and suppression of white blood cells — which come from another group of rapidly dividing cells. In very young puppies it can infect the heart muscle and lead to “sudden” death.
Canine distemper is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus (paramyxovirus) which attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of dogs. Although dogs are the most commonly affected, Canine Distemper is also seen in foxes, ferrets, mink and many other carnivores. These infected animals are often the cause of the spread of this disease to domesticated dogs. At normal temperature the virus can remain active in infected tissue for several weeks, provided the infected source does not dry out, or become exposed to ultraviolet radiation (sun light). At below zero, the virus can remain active for several months. At temperatures of 32°C or greater, the Canine Distemper virus will be destroyed very quickly.
Lyme disease can affect individual pets differently. Some animals may display no symptoms. Other animals may develop fever, loss of appetite, painful joints, lethargy, and vomiting. If left untreated, the spirochete may damage the eyes, heart, kidneys, and nervous system. Lyme disease has been diagnosed in humans, dogs, cats, horses, goats, and cattle. Other species may also be at risk. Cats may show lameness, fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, eye damage, unusual breathing, or heart involvement. Many cats do not show noticeable symptoms, despite being infected. Infected dogs may be lethargic, have a poor/loss of appetite, or a fever (103° – 105 ° F). Dogs may also experience lameness shifting from one joint to another, fatigue, kidney damage or failure, heart disorders, or neurological involvement (e.g. aggression, confusion, overeating, seizures). Dogs can be infected with the Lyme bacterium but not exhibit any noticeable symptoms. Dogs appear to have the same expression of disease as humans, therefore, humans have been considered an animal model for dogs. Transplacental transmission has occurred in dogs.
Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Domestic animals account for less than 10% of the reported rabies cases, with cats, cattle, and dogs most often reported rabid. Rabies virus infects the central nervous system, causing encephalopathy and ultimately death. Early symptoms of rabies in humans are nonspecific, consisting of fever, headache, and general malaise. As the disease progresses, neurological symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hyper-salivation, difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.
Have your veterinarian screen your dog for worms twice a year – and more often if your dog is at high risk of a worm infection. Examples of high risk pets are those animals living in crowded urban areas, show pets, hunting dogs, and multiple pet households. Worm your dogs only under a veterinarian’s guidance. The newer heartworm preventatives are also effective against some of the major intestinal parasites- round worm, hookworm, and whipworm, as well as heartworm. Control fleas, which can carry certain tape- worms. These tapeworms can be transmitted to dogs or people who accidentally swallow an infected flea. Prevent your dog from eating animal carcasses, such as rabbits and rodents, which may contain immature tape worms that will mature in your dog. Maintain good hygiene. For instance, whipworm and roundworm eggs dropped to the soil in your dog’s feces can remain infectious for years, while hook worm larvae can accumulate in the earth of a dog run. All can re-infect your dog. Rapid removal of feces is important. Pave over your dog run. This is much safer than having a soil or gravel surface in which worms can survive.
Dental Hygiene For Your Pet
As a child you are taught that brushing your teeth at least once a day was very important. As you become an adult you truly learn the value of brushing your teeth. If you are a pet owner do you know the value also of cleaning your pets teeth? Periodontal disease is the most common disease in both veterinary and human medicine. It is also one of the easiest to prevent. Some 80 percent of all animals over 2 years of age have some sort of dental disease that needs to be treated. Home dental care is the first line of defense against periodontal disease in dogs and cats, and the biggest weapon is the toothbrush. The mechanical action of the toothbrush removes plaque. Ideally, brushing should be done daily, but a minimum of 3 to 5 times weekly is recommended. It is easy to do and usually requires no more than 30 seconds to complete. You should use a veterinary-approved toothpaste, not a human toothpaste. Dogs and cats can’t spit out the foam as we can. They tend to swallow the foam, which can lead to irritation of the gastrointestinal tract and therefore create more problems for the pet owner.