Category Archives: canine health

Can Dogs and Cats Get Asthma?

asthma nisa yehBy Linda Cole

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that affects around 25 million people in the United States. It can also affect dogs and cats. Fortunately, there are effective treatments that can help our furry friends maintain a good quality of life.

Although there is a difference between asthma and allergies, the two conditions go hand in hand. Certain chemicals in the body react to irritants in the air and can produce similar reactions. An allergic reaction can trigger a response in the nasal membranes, eyes, skin, tongue and breathing passages. Symptoms range from itchy watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose, to red, itchy irritated skin. Asthma is a disease of the bronchial tubes in the windpipe that moves air in and out of the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Triggers in the respiratory system create an excess of mucus production and irritation in the airways which can narrow or block them. Pollutants that cause an allergic reaction can also trigger an asthma attack.

Asthma is more common in cats, but dogs can also be susceptible to it. The disease affects pets in the same way it does humans. An attack can be sudden and brought on by irritants and allergens in the environment. It can be difficult to determine which pollutants are causing the problem, but it’s important to try so you can eliminate them from your home, if possible, to help prevent future attacks.
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Aspergillosis in Dogs

aspergillosis roxannaBy Langley Cornwell

As responsible pet owners, we all want to make sure our pets are happy and healthy. This often means staying apprised of conditions and diseases we may not have ever heard of. One condition that may be unfamiliar to many dog owners is called Aspergillosis, and it is a source of serious concern. Essentially, this is known as an opportunistic infection. It is a fungus that is unable to settle in and take hold until a dog’s immune system is compromised by another condition or disease.

So if your dog has an immunodeficiency or has recently had a health problem that affects his immune system, you should know about Aspergillosis and be on the lookout for it.

Where Does Aspergillosis Come From?

Dogs are curious creatures, and it isn’t uncommon to find them rolling in grass clippings or sniffing dust bunnies. Sadly, this is how Aspergillosis can get into a dog’s body. There are two kinds of Aspergillosis: nasal and disseminated. The aspergillus fungus is a species of mold that is found in dust, straw, hay and grass. Because of this, dogs that spend time outdoors or on farms are most likely to develop any type of Aspergillosis, rather than inside dogs that are supervised when they go outside.
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What Causes Anemia in Pets?

anemia Anna FoxBy Linda Cole

Anemia isn’t a disease, but it is an indication that something is wrong with your pet. It’s caused by a drop in the number of red blood cells and can be a result of a medical issue, parasites, or from eating certain human foods. It’s important for pet owners to know the signs of anemia, because it is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that needs immediate attention.

Red blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, and their primary function is to transport oxygen throughout the body and collect carbon dioxide. When the number of red blood cells drop, the kidneys detect a decrease in oxygen and secrete a hormone called erythropoietin which sends a signal to the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. If there is a lack of certain vitamins and minerals, such as copper, iron and B12, the bone marrow doesn’t have all of the ingredients it needs to produce new red blood cells and can’t provide enough of them, which can result in a pet becoming anemic.
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How to Recognize and Prevent Canine Car Sickness

car sick grantBy Langley Cornwell

Most dogs love to ride in the car, no matter whether it’s a short trip to the dog park or on a long road trip. The key phrase here is “most dogs.” For those of us who have dogs that get motion sickness – also called car sickness – it can be a challenge to even take the dog to the vet when necessary. If your dog does not do well in the car, you’ve probably driven past happy dogs with their head sticking out of a car window enjoying the wind, and thought: wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do that with my dog? So, why do some dogs enjoy car trips while other dogs get sick riding in the car?

Fear and Anxiety

If your dog is not accustomed to riding in the car, he may become anxious and essentially work himself up into being sick. Many times, especially in the case of anxiety motion sickness, it can take about 15 minutes before the dog vomits. To alleviate fear and anxiety and help your dog enjoy trips in the car, you will have to train the dog to associate the vehicle with good things.
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How to Help a Dog with Stiff Joints

stiff joints fredBy Laurie Darroch

Stiff joints in a dog can be caused by a variety of physical issues, or just simple aging. There are ways to help your dog achieve the best function and ambulation possible, as well as decrease the accompanying pain or discomfort.

Signs of Joint Pain

If your dog’s movement seems slower than normal, or they move in stiff awkward motions, they may be experiencing joint pain. Normal activities such as climbing the stairs or jumping up to a favorite resting spot may be difficult or even impossible. Obsessively licking a sore area, limping, swollen joints, resistance to normal physical activity, slow walking, or joints that are tender to your touch are all signs there is something amiss.

Massage

A gentle massage to the sore joints and surrounding areas can help loosen the stiffness your dog is experiencing. Some conditions may cause extreme joint pain. Check with your vet to make sure a massage is not going to damage your dog’s joints further. They can give you tips on how to do it effectively as well.
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3 Parasites You May Not Realize Your Pet Has

parasites BobBy Linda Cole

It’s not difficult to figure out if your pet has fleas. Left untreated, it doesn’t take long for a full blown flea infestation to invade your home and pet. It’s not always so easy, however, to tell when parasites are affecting your dog or cat. Here are three parasites you might not realize your pet has.

Cuterebra Parasite

The Cuterebra (Botfly) is a large, non-biting fly that lay eggs around openings of rabbit or rodent dens. Some eggs are deposited on plants and rocks in the area. Rabbits and rodents are the normal host for the fly, but dogs and cats can collect eggs on their coat when poking their head in and around burrow openings. Eggs exposed to the warmer body temperature of a pet hatch into larvae that crawl around looking for a way into their host, usually through the mouth or nasal passage during grooming, or through an open wound.
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