Nutritional Requirements Of Dog

Whether you feed your dog a premium commercial food or prepare homemade meals, it is important to understand the fundamentals of canine nutrition. Here is a review of the basics to help you get started in making the right and informed choices for your dog. There are six major classes of nutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. It all begins with energy, the basic requirement of life. The energy content(measured in calories) of a food is determined by how much of the first three elements the food contains. Vitamins and minerals are also essential for many functions of the body and, because about 70 percent of a dog’s body is made up of water, that too is critical. PROTEINS Proteins are complex molecules made up of amino acids, the building blocks of cell growth, maintenance and repair. In companion animals, one of the biggest demands for protein comes from the maintenance of fur and hair, which can use up to 30 percent of the daily protein intake, according to Barbara Fougère, BVSc. Proteins are made up of 20 amino acids. While dogs, cats and even humans produce about […]

Diagnosis & Treatment Of Heartworm Disease

Many dogs with heartworm disease show no outward signs of illness, especially early in the course of their illness. The parasites usually are diagnosed during routine blood work that is done for some other reason. The initial diagnostic protocol for dogs presenting with a deep, soft cough and signs of weakness or exercise intolerance includes a thorough history and physical examination. Most veterinarians will recommend drawing blood for a complete blood count and serum chemistry profile, and taking a urine sample for a urinalysis. These routine tests are relatively inexpensive and non-invasive and can provide a great deal of valuable information about the animal’s overall health. Diagnostic Procedures Depending upon the results of the initial work-up, the veterinarian may recommend taking chest radiographs (X-rays). This is one of the best ways to assess the severity of heartworm infection, because most dogs with heavy heartworm burdens have enlarged right heart chambers and pulmonary arteries. The most accurate screening for heartworm infection is a simple blood test that detects a substance produced by adult female heartworms in infected dogs. This ELISA test (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunochromatographic test), is extremely sensitive and […]

Symptoms Of Fleas Infestation

One of the most common problems caused by fleas is a hypersensitivity reaction. In a nutshell, this is a severe allergic reaction to certain substances that are found in flea saliva. Dogs that are hypersensitive to flea saliva can have horrible reactions from only a few flea bites. They become intensely itchy. The most frequently affected areas are the rump, thighs, tail base, belly, flanks and upper arms (especially under the arm pits). Owners of dogs with fleas may notice one or more of the following signs in those or other areas: Scratching Licking Chewing Biting Rubbing Skin abrasions (sores) – often red, raw, weeping and/or bloody Pus oozing out of skin sores (pyoderma) – caused by secondary bacterial infection Patchy areas of hair loss (alopecia) Tapeworm segments on or around the dog’s anus and in the stool Tapeworm larvae on or around the dog’s anus and in the stool (look like rice) A dog’s self-mutilation in reaction to flea bites sets the stage for potentially devastating secondary bacterial skin infections, which can be fatal. Many dogs that do not have flea allergies still develop severe flea bite dermatitis as […]

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca in Dogs

Sometimes called dry eye syndrome, Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is characterized by a deficiency of aqueous tear film over the surface of the eye and in the lining of the lids. The result is severe drying and inflammation of the cornea (the transparent front part of the eye) and conjunctiva (the clear membrane that covers the sclera — the white part of the eye). This condition is relatively common in dogs, particularly cocker spaniels, bulldogs, West Highland white terriers, Lhasa apsos, and shih-tzus. In addition, there is some suspicion that females may be more predisposed to KCS than males. Symptoms and Types Excessive blinking Swollen conjunctival blood vessels Chemosis (swelling of the tissue that lines the eyelids and surface of the eye) Prominent nictitans (third eyelid) Discharge of mucus or pus from the eye Corneal changes (chronic disease) in the blood cells, with pigmentation and ulceration Severe disease can lead to impaired or complete loss of vision Causes Immune-mediated adenitis (inflammation of a gland that is brought about by abnormal activity of the body’s immune system) is most common, and is often associated with other immune-mediated diseases Congenital in pugs and […]

Pain Management In Dogs

In recent years, veterinarians have made great progress in understanding how dogs feel pain and the best ways to manage that pain. “Many dogs will instinctively hide their pain as a survival mechanism…” Many dogs will instinctively hide their pain as a survival mechanism, which, in the past, led well-meaning experts to presume that dogs don’t feel pain the same way humans do. We now know that dogs have a nervous system very similar to humans, and we know better how to recognize and manage their pain. What is pain? Pain has as many manifestations as there are injuries, conditions, and individuals. Pain experts define pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.” “Pain is very subjective and difficult to measure.” Pain is very subjective and difficult to measure. Because dogs instinctively hide their pain to prevent potential predators from targeting them when they are injured, pain assessment in dogs can be challenging. The outward demonstrations of pain vary widely from dog to dog. It is important to recognize that just because a dog doesn’t cry, limp, or show other obvious signs of […]

Must: Daily Care For Dog’s Eye

For most dogs, healthy eyes require very little attention; beyond using a moist cloth to clean away any crusts that may accumulate overnight. Cases & Care: You can check that errant hairs or lashes if touching the cornea (the clear outer surface of the eye) and causing irritation. Dogs with long hair or with eyelid problems though may need special care, such as clipping the hair or tying it back or trimming the hair to help keep hair away from the eyes. In some cases, extra eyelashes may turn into the eye & scratch the cornea; in this situation, surgery may be recommended to correct the condition. Many eye problems can cause a watery or mucous discharge where tear ducts get clogged & tears drain out onto their face. This may cause fur on the face to stain red or brown. Pain in eye sometimes, may cause your dog to squint or paw at his eye. Swelling, redness or discharge may indicate glaucoma, a scratched cornea, an object (foreign body) in the eye or one of several other problems. Some dogs don’t produce enough tears, a painful condition called “dry eye” […]

Tick Paralysis In Dogs

Ticks act as carriers of various diseases in animals, including in dogs. Tick paralysis, or tick-bite paralysis, is caused by a potent toxin that is released through the saliva of certain species of female tick and which is injected into the blood of the dog as the tick infests the skin of the dog. The toxin directly affects the nervous system, leading to a group of nervous symptoms in the affected animal. The toxins released by ticks cause lower motor neuron paralysis, which is defined as a loss of voluntary movement and which is caused by a disease of the nerves that connect the spinal cord and muscles. With lower motor neuron paralysis the muscles stay in an apparent state of relaxation. An infestation of ticks is not necessary for a diseased state to occur. While multiple ticks are usually present on a dog that is showing symptoms of tick paralysis, tick-bite paralysis can take place after being bitten by only one tick. Conversely, not all animals, infested or not, will develop tick paralysis. Symptoms usually begin to appear around 6-9 days after a tick has attached to the skin […]

Causes of Worms in Dogs

Hereditary: It’s very common for puppies to be born with roundworms, as the larvae are often transmitted from the mother just before birth or through nursing.Dogs may become infected with hookworms by one or all of four routes: Orally Through the skin Through the mother’s placenta before birth (in utero) Through the mother’s milk Diet & Infections: Your pup can get roundworms if he eats roundworm eggs that come from another animal’s poop, or any food that is already infected. Eggs can also be carried by small animals such as rodents, earthworms, birds, and some insects. These animals are not the normal host, so in these species the egg never matures—but if a dog eats an infected animal, the egg can activate and grow into a roundworm once inside the dog.​ Immunity: In cases of puppies, their immunity is comparatively week, thus they acquire maximum change of being diseased if they come in contact with any infectious substance. Enviornment: Puppies and dogs can become infected with roundworms by accidentally ingesting eggs from the environment—the eggs can be present in soil or on plants or other objects. Source: Medfly Editorial Team […]

Worming Schedule for Puppies, Kittens, Cats & Dogs

Parasites don’t want to kill your kitten or puppy; they just want to use them as a dinner plate! Our goal is to prevent that from happening. Intestinal parasites have been around forever and are not going away, but you can control them with the proper deworming schedule. Hookworms and roundworms are by far the most common intestinal worms found in puppies and kittens. Roundworms compete with your pet for food, while hookworms live on blood, causing anemia. Rough hair coats, diarrhoea, malnutrition progressing to intestinal obstruction, and anemia are common issues with worms. We want to feed our pets – not the parasites. That is why we deworm dogs and cats. Don’t wait until you are sure your pet has parasites because they have already caused damage at this point. Strategic Deworming Guidelines Strategically deworming dogs and cats is a practice recommended by the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Deworming Puppies and Kittens Worms in puppies and kittens are common. This growth phase of their life is when they are most susceptible! Knowing when to worm puppies and kittens […]