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Dog Parvovirus

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Dog Parvovirus

Australian-Kelpie-pup

Dog Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus infection, called “parvo,” is an extremely contagious disease of domestic dogs – especially puppies and unvaccinated adults. Canine parvovirus (CPV) affects cells lining the digestive tract. It is shed in infected dogs’ feces for several weeks. Parvo is spread by oral contact with infected fecal matter, which can be on a dog’s fur or feet, in a crate, on a bed, shoe or carpet or on many other objects. Dogs that are young, immunocompromised, stressed or sick are especially vulnerable. Infected dogs shed CPV in their feces before they show symptoms of sickness, which is why parvo is so highly contagious. Signs appear within 5 to 10 days after infection and involve sudden, severe gastrointestinal distress. Dogs with parvo have profuse, foul-smelling, bloody diarrhea and profound abdominal pain. They vomit, develop a high fever and lose weight. Many go into shock, collapse and ultimately die.

Causes of Parvoviral Infection in Domestic Dogs

Canine parvovirus is shed in the feces of dogs for several weeks after they become infected. Clinical disease is caused by oral contact with infected fecal matter, which can be present on a dog’s fur, feet, crate, bed, owners’ shoes, carpet and any number of other objects. This is called infection by the “fecal-oral” route.

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Dog Parasites

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Dog Parasites

Welsh-Terrier

Dog Parasites

Ringworm is the popular name for dermatophytosis, a frequently-identified fungal skin infection seen in dogs. Its name originates from the red, ring-shaped irritation that accompanies infection in human beings. Fungal dermatophyte species identified in canine ringworm infections include Microsporum canis (most commonly identified), Microsporum gypseum, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. These robust and hardy fungi can live for a very long time in the environment (from months to years) in the form of infective spores (seed-like structures), and take their nutritional supply from the keratin protein in the hair, nails, and skin layers. Different strains can vary in virulence, or disease-causing ability.

How is Ringworm Spread?

Ringworm is transmitted by contact with skin lesions, hair, and scale. The fungus can also be isolated from carriers (infected but asymptomatic dogs) as well as from the soil and surrounding environment. Carriers do not show signs of infection, but can infect surrounding animals. Hairs (which are covered with infectious spores) are continuously shed from the infected dog. The veterinarian should examine the dog’s environment and living style in cases of infection, including close contact with any humans or pets with dermatitis in the household.  Puppies and sick and immunocompromised dogs (as well as those from shelters) are at the greatest risk for infection.

What does Ringworm Look Like?

Ringworm lesions can appear quite variable in dogs, who do not demonstrate the classic human ring-shaped lesion. Dogs typically display bald spots with associated scaly, crusty, irritated and sometimes itchy lesions that mimic other clinical veterinary conditions such as mites, allergy, or bacterial infection. Your veterinarian has the diagnostic tools to differentiate these variable conditions from one another.

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Dog Neutering

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Dog Neutering

Tibetan-Mastiff

Dog Neutering

Have you heard the term “early neuter” and wondered what it means?  Do you question whether it’s a good idea for your dog?  Early neutering traditionally meant having surgery to prevent reproduction in male or female pets before six months of age. More veterinarians are performing neuters earlier for several reasons, including being sure to have the surgery before the first heat, having fewer surgical complications and quicker recoveries.  The first heat can be at or before four months in small breeds of dogs, and does  not occur at an exact age in any animal.

The veterinary community now widely accepts “early neuter” to mean “pediatric neuter.”  This implies having the surgery at six to eight weeks of age, with the animal weighing at least two pounds. Pediatric neuter has become the best way to deal with overpopulation in shelters. Concerns veterinarians used to have, such as anesthetic and surgical risk, are now minor, thanks to safer anesthetic drugs and more available information regarding pediatric surgery.

The decision whether to have your pet neutered is a complicated one that opens up another discussion. This article addresses only pediatric vs. regular age at neutering. There are a few negatives associated with pediatric neuter. The main three are:

Female Dogs’ Increased Risk of Incontinence:

All spayed female dogs have a 4.9-20% risk of incontinence. One study shows a possible increased risk if these dogs are spayed before 3 months of age2. More research must be done to determine the real risk. Female incontinence due to spaying is treated with medication and usually responds well to treatment.

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Dog Hip Dysplasia

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Dog Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia in German Shepard

Dog Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common joint disease of dogs. It results from abnormal development of the hip joint as a puppy grows. Symptoms include moderate to severe pain and stiffness in one or both hips and can appear at any age. Hip dysplasia is hereditary and is found in many animals (including cats) but it primarily affects large breed dogs such as German shepherds, Labradors, golden retrievers, Rottweilers, great Danes and St. Bernards.

Anatomy

The dog’s hip joint is where the femur (leg bone) attaches to the pelvis (hip bone). It is a ball and socket joint in which the almost spherical top of the femur (the femoral head) fits into the acetabulum, a cup-like depression in the pelvis. A layer of cartilage covers the joint surfaces, allowing smooth, nearly frictionless action over a wide range of motion. A fibrous joint capsule and several strong straps of tissue (ligaments) help keep everything in place. See figure.

hipdysplasia-labeled

Dogs affected by hip dysplasia are born with normal hips that then develop abnormally during rapid growth. In the dysplastic hip, the ball and socket do not meet properly. The acetabulum is too shallow and the femoral head too flat. The connective tissues supporting the joint may be lax. These abnormalities yield an unstable joint, and degenerative joint disease is the result. Abnormal motion in the joint causes accelerated wear. Cartilage damage occurs, joint tissues are inflamed, and bone spurs form. This causes pain. Degenerative changes tend to increase the instability of the hip, and a vicious cycle ensues.

For more information click here: Dog Hip Dysplasia

 


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