Dog Pyometra

Dog pyometraDog Pyometra

By Admin

Dog pyometra is an abscess of the dogs uterus.  It occurs in females over six years of age and in unspayed females.  It is a life threatening disease of the uterus.  A hormonal imbalance is suspected to be the cause of the disease.

Pyometra in a dog usually appears from one to two months after the female goes out of heat.  A female with pyometra appears depressed and lethargic, vomits, refuses to eat, drinks excessive amounts of water and urinates frequently.

Most of the time there will be abdominal enlargement.  A low grade temperature may exist.  The condition is due to an abscessed uterus.  The canine infection can be fatal, if left untreated.

If the cervix is open, you will see a yellow or greenish foul smelling vaginal discharge.  If the cervix closed and there is no vaginal drainage, rapid deterioration or death can occur.  See your vet immediately.  Uterine infections in dogs can happen a few weeks after the birth of puppies too.  A red or brownish discharge can be present.

An infection of the vagina is not common in dogs.

Pyometra symptoms are:

loss of appetite
increased water intake
increased urination
enlarged abdomen

Spaying is the treatment for canine pyometra dogs with a uterus infection.  In most cases medications is unsuccessful.  Immediate surgery is required because pyometra in dogs is life threatening.

Prevention includes spaying your dog before the first heat.  Having the procedure done early may prevent breast cancer.

Canine Giardia

Giardia in dogsCanine Giardia

By Admin

What is giardia? It is a single cell parasite that lives in the intestine of dogs.  Canine giardia is caused by a microorganism present in contaminated feces and bodies of water.  Giardia in dogs is a common health problem.  Symptoms of parasitic infection include dog diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and lack of appetite.  Some parasites can cause intestinal upset.  Fecal samples can be examined for the presence of giardia, and a drug called Flagyl is commonly prescribed to treat it.  Dogs with giardia do not always show symptoms.  It can be especially fatal in puppies under six months of age.

The dog giardia vaccine is not recommended because it only prevents spreading of the disease through fecal matter and not the disease itself.

Dogs, cats and all animals can get this disease.  It has the potential to infect humans too.  They are too small to be seen by the naked eye.  It is spread by feces of infected animals.  Some dogs can be carriers and show no signs of the disease.  Humans that have giardia have diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, and sometimes fever and nausea.

The best way to diagnose the disease is by a trichrome stain of fresh feces.  The cysts may not be seen on a regular fecal examination.

Treatment of giardia is done by giving the antibiotic metronidazole or Furazolidone.  Kaopectate can be given to help control diarrhea in dogs.

Since the dog parasite is spread by fecal contamination of food, water, and the environment, prompt disposal of waste is very important.

The best way to prevent giardia infection is to make sure your dog has clean drinking water.

Canine Cancer Symptoms

Canine cancer symptomsCanine Cancer Symptoms

By Admin

Canine cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs.  One out of ever three dogs will get cancer and more than half will die of the disease.   Canine cancer symptoms vary depending on the type of cancer the dog has.

With timely detection and therapy many types of dog cancer can be managed.  Researchers are developing new treatments options that will impact the quality and quantity of a dog’s life with cancer.

One reason dogs have a higher rate of cancer incidence than humans is due to genetics.  It runs in some breeds more than others.  Nearly 60 percent of Golden Retrievers die of some form of cancer.

Dogs are exposed to environmental carcinogens at a higher rate now than ever before.  Exposure to tobacco smoke, pesticides on lawns, electromagnetic fields, increase the risk for dogs developing cancer.

Early diagnoses is the most important thing that can be done to enhance the cure rate of dogs with cancer.  Taking your dog in for a regular vet check ups is essential.

Dog tumors can be benign or cancerous.  A canine tumor is a lump, bump, growth or mass on the dog.

Symptoms of Cancer are:

sores that do not heal
abnormal swellings or lumps
change in bowel or bladder habits
lameness, stiffness, or limping
difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating
lack of interest in normal activities
loss of appetite
difficulty eating or swallowing
weight loss
persistent cough
offensive breath odor
discharge from the nose or mouth

The most common types of cancer in dogs are, bladder cancer, brain tumors, lymphoma, lung cancer, skin cancer, testicular cancer and bone cancer.

Dog Parasites

Dog Parasites

By Admin

What are parasites?  A parasite is an organism that lives in or on a host and obtains its nourishment from the host.  Intestinal parasites are dog parasites that live in the intestine of dogs and draw blood.  Worms in dogs are a common problem.  Some people think if their dog is found to have parasites in his stool, that he must be suffering from a disease state.

This is not always true.  Most dogs are infested with intestinal parasites at one time or another.  Some are born with them and others acquire them later in life.  They develop a certain a mount of immunity when they recover.  This helps to keep the worms in check.

We should distinguish a disease state from the presence of canine parasites.  Not all dogs with parasites will suffer from symptoms of a disease.

If canine worms are causing disease, there will be some change in the appearance of the stool.  This can be reflected by a decline in the general health of the dog.  Symptoms of parasites are a loss of weight, decreased appetite, upset stomach, anemia, mucus and/or blood in the feces.

Most dogs are capable of developing a resistance to certain dog worms like those having a larvae phase which migrates in their tissues like dog roundworms, hookworms and threadworms.  The effect is on the maturation cycle.  Instead of becoming in the intestine, the larvae remain dormant as cysts in the tissues.  Tapeworms and whipworms have no migratory stage and cause little build up of immunity.

Resistance to canine roundworms appears to be age related.  Dogs over six months of age usually do not have a heavy infestation of worms.  Ten or more worms are considered to be a heavy infestation.  Dogs with worms can suffer from malnutriton.

Cortisone which is an immunosuppressive drug have been shown to activate large numbers of hookworm larvae lying dormant in the dog’s tissue.  Stressful events such as surgery, trauma, severe disease, and emotional upset like shipping can activate dormant larvae.  This leads to the appearance of parasites in dogs stool.

During pregnancy, roundworms and hookworm larvae are activated and migrate to the unborn puppies.  Even when the mother has been wormed, a heavy parasite problem may appear in the puppies.  This happens because none of the deworming agents are affective against larvae encysted in the tissue.

Different types of worms in dogs may require different medications.  If your puppy is diagnosed with more than one type, ask your vet about a medication that will protect against more than one parasite at a time.

If your puppy goes outside for any length of time, more than likely it will pick up worms sometime in its life.

Dog Ear Hematoma

Ear hematoma in dogsDog Ear Hematoma

By Admin

A dog ear hematoma is a sudden swelling of the ear flap that contains blood.  Causes of a hematoma in dogs are scratching, violent head shaking, or rough handling of the ears of dogs.  It can be easily mistaken for an abscess or a growth.  A canine hematoma can be very painful.  It usually happens in one ear, but can happen in both.

In the absence of known trauma to the dog ears, predisposing factors such as irritations and dog ear infections should be looked for and treated.

To prevent ultimate scarring and deformity of the dogs ears, blood should be released from the hematoma.  It can not be removed with a needle and syringe, as serum accumulates in the space formerly occupied by the blood clot.

The treatment for an ear hematoma in dogs involves surgery.  It involves the removal of a window of skin to provide open and continuous drainage.  The ear is then bandaged until it heals.  An Elizabethan collar can be used to keep the dog from scratching its ears after surgery.

Ear flap hematoma’s affects breeds with long, floppy ears.  Problems with dog ear mites and dog ear infections can cause a dog ear hematoma.  The canine ear can become red and infected and cause many problems if left untreated.  Ear infections in dogs can be prevented with regular grooming.