Pets Knowledge / Education
HYPOTHYROID In Dogs
Hypothyroidism is a common disease in middle-aged dogs. The thyroid glands, which are located in the neck and regulate metabolism, decreases production of its hormones.
This slows down the metabolism. Left untreated, hypothyroidism will affect many systems.
Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease (the immune system attacks the thyroid gland).
In some cases, the thyroid gland degenerates for no known reason.
When the metabolism slows, almost every organ will be affected. Some signs you may notice:
• Obesity with no increase in appetite
• Dog gets cold easily
• Dull, thinning hair
• Chronic Skin or Ear Infection
• Thickened facial skin
• Fat deposits in the eyes
• Dry eye
• Head tilt
FATS - not all fats are equal
Dietary Fatty Acids In Dogs and Cats
Fatty acids are essential in the diets of dogs and cats.
Fats and Fatty acids:• Provide energy
• Aid in vitamin absorption
• Reduce inflammatory diseases like arthritis
• Reduce blood pressure
• As a precursor to eicosanoids, Arachidonic Acid (AA) act as local hormones modulating inflammation which cause fevers and make pets itch with allergies,help with blood clotting, immune system modulation, control of reproductive processes and tissue growth, and regulation of the sleep/wake cycle
• Help strengthen each cell membrane
• Promote healthy growth and development of muscles
• Protect against skin and kidney infections
• Reduce risks for certain cancers
The problem is the type of fat or fatty acids fed either improve or impair your pet's health.
Honey for Infections
Honey (natures medicine)
A recent study confirmed that Honey is bactericidal, meaning it kills bacteria. We have all heard that honey can have botulism and make babies sick. This is thought to be because babies immune systems are not developed enough to fight the colostridium bacteria and their intestines more easily absorb the bacteria. This Colostridium is a contaminate, but evidently not effected by the honey's bactericidial properties because colstridium has a protective covering. There is a honey called medical grade honey which has been sterilized or the bacterial contaminates were killed. The most common bacterial ear infections are Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas. These bacteria create biofilms.
Canine Hip Dysplacia
Hip dysplasia is when the hip's ball and socket are not lined up properly.
The hip joint gets damaged by the continuous rubbing.
• Large-breed dogs are more prone to hip dysplasia
• Rapid weight gain or growth due to over-feeding and poor diet
• Repeated trauma (like too much high impact jumping) can cause inflammation of the joint and lead to dysplasia.
• Reluctance to get up or jump
• Shifting weight to the front legs
• Loss of muscle mass on rear legs
• Pain when hips are manipulated
Canine Horner's Syndrome
Horner's syndrome is a common disorder of a sudden loss of stimulation of the nerves--of the eyes and area surrounding the eyes.
This syndrome is just a cosmetic issue--it does not cause pain, and does not affect vision.
Horner's syndrome is caused when the nervous system gets damaged and stops functioning in the eye, ear, or neck area.
The heartworm looks like a long white worm and lives in a dog's heart. It can also live in the blood vessels near the heart and lungs.
• First affect the lungs
• Then enter the heart and slow down the oxygen flow to other organs
• First affect the heart--enlarging it, causing long-term damage
• The liver and kidneys may also get damaged
Most heartworms are easily preventable. They can be fatal if not treated. Even with treatment heartworms can cause serious damage and leave permanent effects. It is best for your pet to give him his preventative every month on schedule and minimize the risks of this terrible disease.
Mosquitoes spread heartworms.
When a mosquito bites an infected dog, it ingests immature heartworms, which mature inside the mosquito. When that same mosquito bites your dog, your dog will get infected.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that infects and damages the liver and kidneys. It leads to organ failure and usually death.
Rodents and wild animals carry this disease in their urine, which passes into soil or water, where it can survive for weeks.
Your dog can get leptospirosis through direct contact with the bacteria. Either symptoms will show within a week, or the dog will only become a carrier and not show any symptoms.
Animals can spread leptospirosis to humans, causing flu-like symptoms, and sometimes life-threatening illnesses. If you think you may have been exposed, contact your physician.
Your pet has a pair of tonsils at the back of its throat that help fight infection just like you.
Tonsillitis is when these tonsils are inflamed: swollen, red and enlarged.
The inflammation is caused by:
• Dental disease: tartar builds on the teeth, the gums become inflamed, and your pet's tonsils may be affected
• Any condition in the mouth that allows bacteria to multiply in the throat
Other causes include:
Repeated coughing or Excessive Barking A Foreign object stuck in mouth Some viruses
Canine Cushing's Disease
Cushing's Syndrome occurs when the adrenal glands (located near the kidneys) overproduce hormones. The adrenal glands normally produce several hormones to regulate body function, including:
• Cortisol: a hormone responsible for stress responses
• Aldosterone: a hormone responsible for balancing electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium)
Cushing's Syndrome (an overproduction of these two hormones) is the opposite of Addison's Disease, when the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones.
THE COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT
The complete blood count is a simple test that remains at the forefront of screening tests which can reveal disease before signs emerge. To understand this test, it is important to know that blood consists of two major parts: plasma and cellular elements. The plasma is the part of the blood that is liquid which allows the blood to flow easily. The other part of the blood consists of blood cells. A simple drop contains millions of cells.
The pancreas is an organ near the stomach with two main jobs:
1. Releases digestive enzymes which help to break down food
2. Releases hormones such as insulin which regulates blood sugar
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas.
An acute episode of pancreatitis is when digestive enzymes leak out from the pancreas too early. They will digest the actual organs, including the liver, gall bladder, and intestines. Some cats that recover from an acute pancreatitis episode will always have recurrences of the disease.
Pancreatitis can be life-threatening and can cause major health issues, including brain damage, abnormal bleeding, blood clots, and respiratory failure.
Diabetes is a pancreatic disorder.
There are two types:
• Type 1 diabetes: the body does not produce enough insulin
• Type 2 diabetes:(more common) the body is unable to use the insulin correctly
Your pet needs insulin in order to absorb glucose and convert it into energy.
Untreated, your pet's health will decline because the glucose cannot get into the cells to give them energy.
The term cancer encompasses more than 200 diseases all characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of cells.
Whether in people or animals; it has become an all to common reality. Cancer has become the leading cause of death in older patients, even with advances in treatments and our ability to detect cancers sooner. Because cancer causes such great suffering, we continually look for new causes, preventions and treatments.
Tips For Backyard Chickens
Chances are with the trend of backyard chickens increasing, you know somebody or you've considered getting some. They are gentle and can become pets as well as produce better quality eggs than we might purchase at the store.
Chickens need to forage. That is why you've seen or heard the phrase broadcasting chicken feed. In addition to supplying the needed food, if they are not allowed to hunt and peck they get a little nuts. Additionally, their diet affects the smell of their stool. Vegetarian based feed formulated to meet their needs is far less smelly.
A clear liquid produced by the eye maintains the shape of the eye. Extra liquid constantly drains from the eye. For the pressure within the eye to be healthy, the amount of fluid produced needs to be equal to the amount draining.
Glaucoma occurs when liquid does not drain properly, yet the eye keeps producing more. The pressure causes the eye to swell, which is painful and leads to blindness.
Canine Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)
Tears are essential to keeping the eyes moist and healthy by transporting oxygen to the eyes and removing waste. Tears have three portions: water, oil and mucus.
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) is a common eye condition where the tear glands do not produce enough of the water portion of tears. Therefore, there will be a yellow discharge on the eyes.
This also causes eye irritation, inflammation of the cornea, and can lead to blindness.
People have two eyelids. Your pet has a third protective eyelid at the inner corner of each of its eye. This eyelid sweeps across the eyeball to moisten it or to remove dirt, when needed.
Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva. The tissue that surrounds the eyeball and lines the eyelids and third eyelid. It can affect one eye or both.
Colitis is inflammation of the colon (large intestine). It can be either acute (lasting only a few days) or chronic (lasting for weeks or longer).
The reason for the inflammation is often idiopathic (unknown). Some possible causes include:
• The immune system attacking its own body
• Bacterial or fungal infection
• Parasites: for example, whipworms
• Food allergies
• Eating contaminated food
• Constant exposure to wetness
Canine Babesosis is a disease that destroys red blood cells. Young babesia parasites go into red blood cells and destroy them. Younger dogs in kennels are more prone to infection. The dog's immune system will destroy any infected red blood cells in order to destroy the parasite living inside. If many cells are infected, this results in red blood cell deficiency, called anemia. Sometimes, the immune system will also destroy uninfected cells. This is called immune-mediated hemolytic anemia.
The cause of babesiosis can be:
• Tick bite: a tick feeds on a dog for 2 to 3 days, and infects it with the babesia parasite
• Infected pregnant dog spread to her unborn puppies
• Dog bite: from another infected dog
Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) is an intestinal condition shown as a sudden onset of bloody diarrhea. Left untreated, the dog can quickly go into shock from the rapid blood loss and die. With prompt medical attention, most dogs recover.
The exact cause is unknown, but some theories include:
• Eating decaying material
Coccidiosis is an infection of the intestinal tract caused by a one-celled organism called coccidia. Infection is usually mild, but can be damaging or life threatening to newborn, young, elderly animals or any animal with a weak immune system.
Immature coccidia, called oocysts, are passed in the stool of an infected animal. They survive for a long time and mature on the ground. If an animal swallows the matured oocysts, they begin to replicate in the animal's intestine.
Causes of infection include:
• Eating contaminated ground
• Eating an infected mouse
• Babies nursing from an infected mother
• Animals less than 6 months have no immunity to coccidia, and can get the disease from other infected animals
In kennels, animal shelters, and breeding facilities, infected animals should be isolated.
Giardiasis is an intestinal infection caused by Giardia - one-celled protazoan parasites - that invade the gastrointestinal tract and cause diarrhea and possibly vomiting. Giardiasis is contagious and can spread to humans.
Giardia thrives in non-flowing water, such as ponds or lakes some estimates say 75% of the earths surface water is contaminated. They are transmitted to dogs in two ways:
Canine Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus
Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) or Bloat is often a fatal condition most commonly occurring in large, deep-chested dogs. The stomach bloats with gas and fluid because it twisted on itself. This causes blockages at the entrance and exit of the stomach, which cuts off blood flow and creates the emergency. A dog with a bloated, twisted stomach will die in pain within a few hours unless it gets immediate medical attention.
The exact cause of GDV is unknown. However, some dogs are more prone to it. Factors include:
Large breed dogs that eat and drink very quickly (causing air to get trapped in the stomach), and then exercise (causing the stomach to twist)
Large Breed Dogs like Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Setters, Greyhounds, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepards, Labs and Old English Sheepdogs. Many also only eat one meal a day.
Skin conditions can be difficult to diagnose
Think back to when you had poison ivy, a case of hives or an itchy mosquito bite. You probably couldn't sleep well and had trouble concentrating because of the itching and discomfort. Unpleasant, right? When your pet has a skin problem, it's even worse because your pet cannot communicate its discomfort other than scratching, itching, rubbing or being irritable. Your dog or cat is stuck feeling miserable until you take action. Because diverse skin problems can often look similar, an accurate diagnosis is critical to an effective treatment. As a pet parent you will want to pay attention to the signs of skin disease and schedule time to see us at A Pet's Place.
Bone marrow produces red blood cells and releases them into the blood. These red blood cells transport oxygen throughout your pet's body, which allows the entire body to function properly. After around 8 weeks, the body removes the old blood cells from the bloodstream and creates new ones.
Anemia is a reduced number of red blood cells in your pet's blood. An anemic pet will either remove too many cells or not produce enough new ones.
Anemia is not a disease on its own, but a result of another disease.
- Kidney failure because your kidneys produce a hormone which stimulates the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells
- Blood that does not clot properly
- IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia) where the immune system is attacking the red blood cells
- Excessive parasites in or on the body (whipworms, hookworms, blood parasites, ticks or fleas)
- Any injury that causes excessive bleeding
- HGE (Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis) Believed to be caused by a bacterial infection leading to bloody diarrhea
- Tumors or Cancer in the intestinal tract, urinary bladder, kidneys, liver, bone marrow or spleen
A platelet is a type of blood cell produced by the bone marrow that helps blood clot. If your pet gets a cut, the platelets go to the damaged blood vessels and clump together, sealing the leaking blood vessel.
Thrombocytopenia is a decrease of the platelets, in which causes increased bleeding and bruising.
The main cause is an autoimmune disease (the immune system attacks its own body). In this case, the immune system mistakenly thinks the platelets are enemies. The spleen then removes platelets from the blood 10 times faster than normal.
Canine Addison's Disease
Addison's disease occurs when the adrenal glands (located near the kidneys) fail to produce enough hormones. The adrenal glands normally produce several hormones that control body function. For example:
Cortisol: a hormone responsible for stress responses
Aldosterone: a hormone responsible for balancing electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium)
It is most common in young female dogs, and you can manage it with hormone supplements.
Humans and cattle can also have this disease.
Arthritis is a condition where a joint becomes swollen and inflammed. This inflammation typically causes the body to lay down additional bone to try to stabilize the joint. It can affect any joint but typically we think Hip Dysplacia. Many pets get arthritis in their backs as discs get compressed and the body tries to fuse the vertebrae together.
Their are two types of arthritis:
- Primary - like Rheumatoid Arthritis where the immune system attacks healthy joints. This type is very uncommon in pets, but as with people it is devastating and progresses quickly.
- Secondary - Osteoarthritis; where the cartilage gets damaged from the bones hitting together. This stimulates the release of histamines which cause inflammation, and trigger increased blood supply to try to repair the damage. The problem comes in when new bone is laid down around the joint to try to stabilize it. This new bone has no cartilage to protect it and continues to be damaged; resulting in pain and more inflammation.