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Liver Disease in dogs

DDD_liver_gallbladder_pancreas-150x150The liver is one of the most important organs in the body of your dog. It performs various functions like aiding blot clot, digestion, detoxification of waste products, and manufacturing of the body’s building blocks. If the liver fails to work properly, your pet can fall sick causing hepatitis which can progress into serious liver disease.

The liver is prone to being affected by a variety of diseases, including bacterial and viral infections, toxicities and neoplastic and degenerative diseases. According to canidae.com, “Canine liver disease is the fifth leading cause of death for dogs, and it’s estimated that three percent of all diseases veterinarians see are connected to the liver”. However, liver diseases can be treated and your pet can make a full recovery. [Read more…]

Pneumonia in Dogs

sick-dogThere is nothing more distressing then when someone you love is ill. It is even more difficult when the one who is sick cannot tell you what is wrong. It’s no different when your dog is not feeling well! When your dog is sick you just want to make him feel better! We understand. The best thing you can do for your dog is be diligent in your efforts to stay informed and educated! [Read more…]

What are bladder stones?

bladder stonesIs your dog having trouble urinating? It’s quite possible he has bladder stones. What are bladder stones? Bladder stones form as a result of mineral deposits in a dog’s urinary tract. As time goes on, these crystals gather together to form stones.  Bladder stones are primarily found in the bladder however they can be found in the urinary tract, kidneys, urethra and/or ureters.  The development of bladder stones in dogs is a painful and serious condition.  In fact, if the entire urethra is blocked by a bladder stone and thereby prevents your dog from urinating, death can result as toxins and waste will build up in your dog’s body. [Read more…]

What is 1 Good Reason to Exercise Your Dog?

Pet Exercise

Walkies!

Summer boredom impacts not only your two-legged kids but your four-legged kids as well. Bored kids and dogs spell “t-r-o-u-b-l-e”! One way to address summer boredom is by keeping your dogs exercised and plumb wore out! All kidding aside, did you know that exercising your dog is important ALL year long – not just during the summer?  It’s true.  Exercise promotes good health and reduces problem behaviors in your dog.

We all want our dog to be healthy, right?  Well, a good daily dose of exercise will definitely promote good health. Exercise builds strong bones and muscles in dogs just like it does in you! Strong bones and muscles are essential building blocks for good health.  They keep your dog protected against illness and injury.  Those long lean muscles will keep your dog flexible and mobile so he can continue to run, jump and play.  Exercise also prevents diseases that can plague aging dogs.  Cardiovascular disease, liver disease, cancer and obesity are three such diseases that can result from poor exercise habits.  Starting good habits now will last your dog a lifetime, literally. Exercise your dog today! First start with a trip to the vet for an exam to make sure your pup is healthy enough to increase physical activity. Then you can adjust the intensity and duration according to your dog’s level of fitness.

What happens when your kids get bored?  If they’re like most kids, they’ll either nag you or get into mischief! A dog will do the same if he is bored!  Destructive and problematic behaviors are often times a direct result of a bored, unexercised dog.  A dog is an inquisitive creature, by nature.  He is always up for some type of challenge whether it is physical or mental – and believe me, if you don’t provide the challenge, he’ll create his own.  Your dog’s predatory instincts demand that he explore the world in which he lives.  A nice long walk or romp at the dog park will fulfill those demands. Say good bye to problem behaviors such as jumping on people, chewing your favorite shoes and even aggressive behavior.  Again, poor behaviors are often masking a deeper issue and we can often point to boredom and lack of exercise. Exercising is imperative to keep your dog healthy and quite frankly, out of trouble. When exercising in the heat always take precautions and look for these signs of your pet overheating.

Remember to be safe, healthy and have a happy Summer!

Next Article: Invisible Fencing Can Keep Your Pets Safe

FIV in cats, do you own an FIV+ cat?

My FIV+ kitty Thomas

My rescue kitty Thomas

I adopted my FIV positive cat named Thomas in 2008 when he became an orphan after the death of his owner. Thomas’ veterinarian agreed to take him in and find him a forever home. Or at least a foster in the mean time. Being an adult cat with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, finding him a home was going to be a challenge. Many FIV+ cats in this type of predicament are euthanized. Caring for an immune deficient cat involves a little more time and money than caring for a healthy cat. I’ve learned a lot about FIV in cats along the way.

So what symptoms does an FIV+ cat have? Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has an article which thoroughly covers the feline immunodeficiency virus:  “An infected cat’s health may deteriorate progressively or be characterized by recurrent illness interspersed with periods of relative health. Sometimes not appearing for years after infection, signs of immunodeficiency can appear anywhere throughout the body…”

Symptoms of FIV in cats (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus):

  • Diverse symptoms owing to the decreased ability to develop a normal immune response. Associated immunodeficiencies cannot be distinguished clinically from feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
  • Recurrent minor illnesses, especially with upper respiratory and gastrointestinal signs
  • Mild to moderately enlarged lymph nodes
  • Inflammation of the gums of the mouth and/or the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth is seen in 25 percent to 50 percent of cases
  • Upper respiratory tract disease is seen in 30 percent of cases – inflammation of the nose; inflammation of the moist tissues of the eye; inflammation of the cornea (the clear part of the eye, located in the front of the eyeball); often associated with feline herpes virus and calicivirus infections
  • Eye disease – inflammation of the front part of the eye, including the iris; disease of the eye in which the pressure within the eye is increased (glaucoma)
  • Long-term (chronic) kidney insufficiency (see more)

Next Article :Exercising Your Pets

Do pets get diabetes too?

Absolutely they do! Diabetes mellitus is not uncommon in dogs and cats. It occurs when the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas are destroyed and the body is no longer able to regulate the essential nutrient glucose (sugar), this results in high levels in the blood and urine. The diagnosis of diabetes generally relies on different testing methods. Since the disease always results in an elevated blood sugar level, some form of measurement of glucose, in both blood and urine, is used.

Diabetes mellitus can strike at any age but typically appears in the middle to senior years (5 and older for dogs, 10 and older for cats.) Symptoms may be hard to notice at first, learn to recognize the signs early and contact your veterinarian as soon as they are noticed:

First Signs Seen with Diabetes Mellitus

  • Increased urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss, even though appetite is good or increased

Those are the first signs usually seen, your pet may exhibit one or many of them. Keep in mind they are also general signs of many diseases such as kidney failure or urinary problemshyperthyroidismCushing’s disease and more. A trip to the vet is the only way to diagnose for sure.

Signs as diabetes progresses:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweet/chemical smelling breath
    *from ketones, by-product of fat breakdown, since sugar can’t be utilized
  • Weak muscle tone and muscle wasting
    *cats may have “dropped hocks” walking crouch-like
  • Cataracts (dogs)
  • Seizures, coma, death

Treatment of diabetes involves controlling blood sugar with insulin as well as diet and exercise for essential weight control. The type of insulin your veterinarian chooses will be tailored to your pets specific needs to provide optimum regulation of blood sugar. A blood glucose curve will determine the right dose of insulin then curves will be done periodically to monitor your pet’s progress.

Diabetes

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