Holiday Hazards for pets

Holiday HazardsHoliday Hazards For Pets

By Admin

The Christmas holidays are here.  Holiday hazards for pets are common during this busy time of the year.  There are numerous hidden dangers for our pets.  We should be aware of potential dangers and take preventive measures to protect our pets.  We want our pets to have a safe holiday too.

Angel hair – Irritates the skin and can cause damage to the eyes and intestinal blockage if swallowed.

Artificial snow – Can be poisonous and can cause digestive upsets.

Fireplaces – Can cause burns.  Keep the firescreen in front of the fireplace.

Candles – Can cause burns and fire hazards.  Place them out of your pets reach.

Dangerous foods – are holiday hazards too.  Chocolate has theobromine which is poisonous to dogs. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and death.  Sugar free candy contains Xylitol which is a toxic substance.   Macadamia nuts and grapes are toxic to pets too.

Gift wrapping, ribbons and bows – Can be dangerous if eaten and can cause choking and obstruction of the intestines.

Ornaments – Glass ornaments can cut your dog’s paws, mouth and intestines.  Place glass ornaments out of reach or use plastic ornaments.

Tinsel – Is shiny, moves and is attractive to pets.  It can cause obstruction of the intestines and choking.

Christmas tree – Needles may puncture intestines or be mildly toxic.  They can cause vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

Tree stand water – May contain sap water, bacteria and fertilizers that are potentially toxic to your dog.  It may cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Decorative lights – Holiday lights and decorations can cause potential risks for pets.  Bubble lights that are filled with methylene chloride can be toxic to pets.

Extension cords – Dogs can chew on a string of lights and be shocked, electrocuted or suffer burns or cuts in the mouths area.

Plants poisonous to dogs :

Mistletoe – All parts of this plant is potentially dangerous for pets.  It can cause blurred vision, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, blood pressure changes and even death.

Holly – Eating holly berries can be a serious concern for pets.  Berries, leaves and seeds are all toxic to pets.

Amaryllis – Eating bulbs and leaves can cause cardiac arrhythmia’s, abdominal pain and convulsions.

Jerusalem cherry – Bears poisonous fruit that can cause gastric upset and are extremely toxic to dogs and cats.

Christmas Trees – Pines, cedars and firs can be mildly toxic can cause mouth and skin irritations.

Poinsettia  – Can be mildly toxic and can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

House Training Puppies

House Training PuppiesHouse training Puppies

By Admin

House training puppies can be challenging.   How long does it take to house train a puppy?  How     long the puppy house training  process takes depends on how vigilant you are.  You should watch your new puppy closely when he is out of his crate.  Until he is 12 weeks of age, he has not developed good bladder and bowel control.  Training your puppy takes time and patience.

You must establish a designated potty area.  Clip your dog’s leash on to his collar and take him to the chosen spot in your yard and wait.  Don’t let him wander in the yard.  He should be took to the same spot each time.  After a few times he will consistently eliminate there.  Some dogs learn faster than others.  When he goes potty in the right spot, make happy noises, praise him and give him special treats.  The more consistent you are the faster the training process will be.

You should take your pet out:

  • Immediately on waking up in the morning or after a nap.
  • After playing 15-30 minutes.
  • If he sniff’s the floor, seems restless or walks in circles.
  • Right after a meal.
  • After exercise.
  • Before bedtime

When your puppy has an accident, quieting clean up the mess with an enzymatic cleaner.  You must remove the odor, so he won’t be drawn back to the same spot.  Vinegar is a good cleaner to use.

Never scold the puppy, or hit him with a newspaper, or rub his nose in the mess.  The puppy does not understand why you are angry with him.  This will encourage him to go behind the couch or where he thinks you won’t find it.

If he goes potty in the house, clap your hands to interrupt him.  Pick him up and take him outside to the potty spot.  When he goes potty praise him and give him a treat.

Be sure your pets stool is soft and well formed.  It is difficult house breaking a puppy who has loose stools.  Diarrhea is caused by overfeeding.  The basic procedure for toilet training your dog is similar to toilet training a child, but the puppy or dog learns faster.

Patience is the key to housetraining puppies.

Canine Demodectic Mange

d.mangeDemodectic Mange

By Admin

What is the mange? Canine Demodectic mange in dogs is a disease that causes hair loss without itch. It is caused by a tiny parasitic mite and occurs in dogs three to twelve months of age. It is too small to be seen without a microscope. It is sometimes called the red mange. Dog mange can be seen in all breeds. The mange on dogs can be difficult to cure.

Most dogs have some Demodex mites living in the pores of their skin. They are acquired early in life from their mothers. The dog mites are usually present without causing symptoms. The mange mites are able to produce a substance that lowers dogs’ natural resistance to them, allowing them to multiply on the host.. It has been observed in kennels that certain females have a higher incidence of Demodex mange in their litters than other mothers. This suggest that in some purebred dogs there is a lowered immunity to the mite. Dogs with Demodectic mange should not be bred, because it is a genetic problem.

The disease is more common in dogs with oily skin that are short-haired. Symptoms of mange appear at puberty. At this time the sebum, which the mite feeds on , is increasing in amount.

Demodectic canine mange may take one of two forms:

Localized form – It occurs in dogs up to a year old. The first sign is the thinning of the hair around the eyelids; the corners of the mouth or on the front legs, which give a moth eaten appearance in these areas. It progresses to patches of hair loss about one inch in diameter. It can be confused with ringworm. If five patches or more are present, the disease could be progressing to the generalized form. The hair begins to grow back after one or two months. The majority of cases are healed in three months. Treatment of mange involves dipping with an insecticide dip. This must be done at least 3 times with 10 day intervals between dips. The dip will kill all parasites, but not the eggs. That is why several dips are required.

Generalized form – The disease begins as a localized case, but instead of improving it gets worse. You will see numerous patches on the legs, head and trunk. The patches coalesce to form large areas. Hair follicles become plugged with debris and mites. The skin breaks down to form sores, crusts and draining sinus tracts. It can be a severe and disabling condition.

Treatment of the generalized form is prolonged and response is slow, which requires frequent changes in medications. You should clip away the hair to facilitate topical therapy of the skin. A betadine shampoo can be used to wash the whole dog to remove scales and debris.

This form of Demodectic mange should be treated by a vet. Treat until skin scrapings are negative. Cultures from infected skin sores will determine the most effective antibiotic. Cortisone can be used to treat severe skin irritations. However, it may depress the dog’s immunity to the mites making the dog’s condition worse.

Canine Sarcoptic Mange

Sarcoptic MangeSarcoptic Mange

By Admin

Canine Sarcoptic mange in dogs is a disease caused by a microscopic spider-like creature called a mite.  Your vet can make a diagnosis by examining skin scrapings under a microscope in which he look for sarcoptic mites.  Any breed can get dog mange.  Parasitic mites, which are external parasites that cause the mange in mammals, embed themselves in the skin and hair follicles in the animal.

This skin disease causes your dog to scratch and bite at himself very intensely.  The intense itching is caused by the female dog mites tunneling a few millimeters under the skin to lay their eggs.  A mite egg hatches in three to ten days.  The immature mites then develop into adults and begin to lay eggs too.  This cycle takes on 17 to 21 days.  A mite is a round parasite with four pairs of legs.

What does mange look like?  Symptoms of  mange are small red bumps that itch.  The bumps look very much like insect bites, which they are.  The skin breaks down which allows serum to seep out, which is caused by scratching, rubbing and biting at the itch.  You can see scabs, crusts, and patches of hair loss.  The skin becomes thick and darkly pigmented in the last stages.

The mites prefer the skin of the ears, elbows, legs and face.  Crusts and early hair loss are seen in these areas.  Intense itching and crusty ear tips, make the diagnosis certain. Most home remedies do not cure mange on dogs.

What is scabies? Scabies in dogs is a common name for Sarcoptic mange. Canine scabies is highly contagious.  If your dog has scabies, they can be transferred to you.  The first sign is an intense itching of the skin at the belt line.  Mites do not live on human skin over three weeks.  The problem is self limited if the dog is treated.

How to treat mange?  Treatment of Sarcoptic mange includes clipping scabies affected areas on long haired dogs and bathe the entire animal in an insecticide dip.  At least three dips are required at intervals of ten days each.  A fourth dip may be needed to catch late hatching eggs.

Dandruff shampoos can be used between insecticide dipping to loosen scales.

Cortisone will help relieve severe itching.  If the dog has sores that look infected, they can be treated with a soothing topical antibiotic ointment.

Enlarged Prostate Gland In Dogs

Prostate Gland In Dogs

By Admin

An enlarged prostate gland in dogs is common in dogs that are not neutered and older dogs. The prostate gland is a sex gland in male dogs found at the base of the bladder.  It partly surrounds the uretha.  Prostatic gland enlargement occurs in many dogs over five years of age.  Few dogs show any ill effects from it.  Prostate enlargement is also known as benign prostate hyperplasia or prostatic hypertrophy.

The enlarged prostate gland usually expands in the rectum backwards when large enough, it can push forward exert pressure on the outlet of the bladder, which causes changes in the voiding pattern.  This can cause frequent urination, dribbling, and loss of control of the bladder.  This is not common.  A very swollen prostate can cause a dog a lot of pain.

The most common prostate symptoms in dogs are difficulty in urinating and straining at stool.  The feces may appear ribbon like or flat on one side.  Fecal impaction or blockages do occur.  One sign of fecal impaction is diarrhea.  It is caused by liquid feces forcing its way around a solid lump.  Some dogs walk with a rigid and stiff back wit advanced disease.  You may notice a limp or prosterior weakness that affects one or both rear legs.

Treatment for swollen gland enlargement of the canine prostate involves the administration of estrogen which is a female hormone.  It should be prescribed by your vet because the dosage is important to prevent complications.

The surgical treatment of choice is castration.  This results in shrinkage of the dog gland.  Dog prostate cancer is uncommon.

What is prostatitis?  Chronic prostatitis in dogs is a bacterial infection of the prostate gland.  Symptoms of prostate infection are fever, pain on urination an arched back or a tucked up abdomen and difficulty voiding.  Secretions that look infected can drip from the penis.  Periodic flare ups can cause the disease to become chronic.  It can cause sterility in male dogs.

Prostatitis in dogs should be treated by a vet.  Based on the cultures of prostatic secretions, an antibiotic is prescribed by your vet.  The antibiotic must be continued for four to six weeks.  If there is lack of response to the antibiotics, castration is recommended.