Abscesses and Your Pet
An abscess is a localized collection of pus in a cavity.  Most abscesses are formed by the invasion of tissues by bacteria.  This can be the result of a dog bite, cat bite, puncture wound or any other type of trauma that breaks through the skin and causes infection.
Please follow these simple steps to help your pet recover quickly and safely:
Antibiotics:  please give your pet the entire prescribed antibiotic according to the label, even if your pet appears normal.
Draining: Draining from wound site is normal.
What to look for:  if the abscess site becomes swollen, red or has a bad odor from that area, or if your pet continually licks at the suture, you should bring your pet in right away so we can treat the problem.
Draining a bite abscess
This is a large abscess over the shoulder, required careful anaesthetic, drainage, flushing of the abscessed area and the insertion of a plastic drain for 5-7 days until the subcutaneous tissues healed. With antibiotics and pain relief she made a good recovery and the drain  was removed a week later.
Canine Bladder Stones
What are bladder stones?  Bladder stones, more correctly called uroliths, are rock-like collections of minerals that form in the urinary bladder.  They may occur as a large, single stone or as dozens of stones the size of large grains of sand or pea gravel. 
Are these the same as gall stones or kidney stones?  No.  Gall stones are in the gall bladder, and kidney stones are in the kidney.  Although the kidneys and urinary bladder are both part of the urinary system, kidney stones are usually unrelated to bladder stones. 
What problems do bladder stones cause?  The two most common signs of bladder stones are hematuria (blood in the urine) and dysuria (straining to urinate).  Hematuria occurs because the stones irritate the bladder wall, causing bleeding from its surface.  Dysuria occurs when stones obstruct the passage of urine out of the bladder.  Large stones may cause a partial obstruction at the point where the urine leaves the bladder and enters the urethra; small stones may flow with the urine into the urethra and cause an obstruction in this area. 
When an obstruction occurs, urine cannot pass out of the body and the abdomen becomes very painful.  Your dog may cry in pain, especially if pressure is applied to the abdominal wall. 
When there is no obstruction occurring, hematuria, and dysuria, are the most common signs seen in dogs with bladder stones.  However, pain usually also occurs in the bladder.  This is known because when bladder stones are removed surgically, many owners tell us how much better their dog feels and how much more active it has become.
Why do they form?  There are several theories of bladder stone formation.  Each is feasible in some circumstances, but there is probably an interaction of more than one of them in each dog.  The most commonly accepted theory is called the Precipitation-Crystallization Theory.  This theory states that one or more stone-forming crystalline compounds are present in elevated levels in the urine.  This may be due to abnormalities in diet or due to some previous disease in the bladder, especially infection with bacteria.  When the amount of this compound is so great that is cannot all be dissolved in the urine, so it precipitates and forms tiny crystals.  These crystals stick together, usually due to mucus-like material within the bladder, and stones gradually form.  As time passes, the stones enlarge and increase in number. 
How fast do they grow?  Growth will depend on the quantity of crystalline material present and the degree of infection present.  Although is may take months for a large stone to grow, some sizable stones have been documented to form in as little as two weeks. 
How are they diagnosed?  Most dogs that have bladder infections do not have bladder stones.  These dogs will often have blood in the urine and will strain to urinate, the same symptoms as a dog with bladder stones.  Therefore, we do not suspect bladder stones just based on these clinical signs. 
Some bladder stones can be palpated (felt with fingers) through the abdominal wall.  However, failure to palpate them does not rule them out. 
Most bladder stones are visible on radiographs (x-rays) or an ultrasound examination.  These procedures are performed if stones are suspected.  This includes dogs that show unusual pain when the bladder is palpated, dogs that have recurrent hematuria and dysuria, or dogs that have recurrent bacterial infections of the bladder. 
Some bladder stones are not visible on radiographs.  They are said to be radiolucent.  This means that their mineral composition is such that they do not reflect the x-ray beam.  These stones may be found with an ultrasound examination or with special radiographs that are made after placing a special dye (contrast material) in the bladder. 
How are bladder stones treated?  There are two options for treatment.  The fastest way is to remove them surgically.  This requires major surgery in which the abdomen and bladder are opened.  Following two to four days of recovery, the dog is relieved of pain and dysuria.  The hematuria will often persist for a few more days, before it stops.  Surgery is not the best option for all patients; however, those with urethral obstruction and those with bacterial infections associated with the stones should be operated on unless there are other health conditions that prohibit surgery. 
The second option is to dissolve the stone with a special diet.  This avoids surgery and can be a very good choice for some dogs.  However, is has three disadvantages: 
*1.  It is not successful for all types of stones.  Unless some sand-sized stones can be collected from the urine and analyzed, it is not possible to know if the stone is of the composition that is likely to be dissolved. 
*2.  It is slow.  It may take several weeks or a few months to dissolve a large stone so the dog may continue to have hematuria and dysuria during that time. 
*3.  Not all dogs will eat the special diet.  The diet is not as tasty as the foods that many dogs are fed.  If it is not consumed exclusively, it will not work. 
Can bladder stones be prevented?  The answer is a qualified *yes.*  There are at least four types of bladder stones, based on their chemical composition.  If stones are removed surgically or if some small ones pass in the urine, they should be analyzed for their chemical composition.  This will permit us to determine is a special diet will be helpful in preventing recurrence.  If a bacterial infection causes stone formation, it is recommended that periodic urinalyses and urine cultures be performed to determine when antibiotics should be given. 
Diabetes Mellitus
What is it?  An endocrine disorder, when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to meet the animal*s requirements.  It is a failure of the pancreas to regulate blood sugar.
How is diabetes diagnosed?  The veterinarian can diagnose diabetes based on the 4 classic signs, the presence of a high level of glucose in the blood and presence of glucose in the urine.
What is insulin?  A hormone which is needed to transport glucose, amino acids and minerals, through the blood to energy-producing cells.
How much does insulin cost?  Approximately $20.00 per bottle.
What happens if there is not enough insulin? Glucose cannot move into the cells and the glucose level in the blood rises to abnormally high levels.
What will high levels of glucose in the blood do to my pet? Because the cells do not have glucose to use as energy, the body will start breaking down fat and protein to use as alternative energy sources.  The animal will eat more, but lose weight.  The body will try to eliminate the excess glucose in the blood by excreting it in the urine.
What are normal levels of glucose in the blood? Normal is 80 * 120 mg/dl.  It may rise to 250-300 mg/dl following a meal, however, with diabetes, it will rise to above 400 mg/dl.  Usually 400 * 600 mg/dl.
What are signs of diabetes? Glucose attracts water, so when it is excreted in the urine, it takes large quantities of bodily fluids with it. Classic signs of diabetes:
  • Frequent urination / large amount of urine
  • Increased water consumption
  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite
What causes diabetes?  Damage to the pancreas, obesity, and possibly by medications that elevate the blood sugar long enough to damage the pancreas.  In cats, diabetes is created by immune mediated protein deposition in the pancreas.
Are there other body parts affected by diabetes?  Yes, sometimes the high level of glucose in the blood can cause cataracts (opacity of the lens, blinding the eye).
TREATMENT
Can I still hike and run my dog?  Mild to moderate exercise is best.  Running and hiking for long periods of time can disrupt glucose levels in a diabetic animal, possibly sending it into a glucose crisis.
Should my pet be on a certain diet? Eukanuba has a glucose control diet available, however, some pets can lose too much weight on this diet.  Consult with your veterinarian if this diet would benefit your pet.  Canned food is NOT recommended; it contains too many sugars for a diabetic patient.  A quality dry food is best (Science Diet, Iams, Eukanuba).  Diets that are high in fiber are preferred because they are generally lower in sugar and slower to be digested, therefore, the dog does not have to process a large amount of sugar at one time, Science Diet w/d formula is high in fiber.
What is hypoglycemia? Low blood sugar.
How does hypoglycemia happen? The insulin dose may be to high if your dog is not eating his normal amount of food, or is exercising to vigorously.  Another reason may be that too much insulin is given.  This can happen when two different family members inject the dog, or you forgot that you had already given it.
How do I recognize and treat hypoglycemia?  Most likely, your animal will become hypoglycemic at the peak insulin time (5-8 hours after insulin injection).  When the blood glucose is only mildly low, your animal will be very tired and unresponsive, when you call him / her, he / she does not respond.  Within a few hours, the blood glucose will rise and your animal will return to normal.  If your animal is slow to recover, give 1 tablespoon of corn syrup in the mouth.  If in 15 minutes, there is no response, give another tablespoon, if still no response, contact the veterinarian.  In severe hypoglycemia, the animal will have seizures or lose consciousness.  THIS IS AN EMERGENCY, bring your animal to the clinic for intravenous glucose.
Keep corn syrup on hand at all times, store some in a small container to take with you for an unexpected crisis.
Feline Onychectomy
Declawing a cat is the actual removal of the last finger bone (P2) and toenail (P3) in the foot.  A surgical cut is made at the joint between the middle (P1) and the last bone (P2) of the foot.  Surgical glue is then inserted into the incised joint and the skin is closed tightly.

Litter Box:  You will need to replace the litter in your cat's box with shredded paper for a few days.  This is to insure that litter granules cannot get into the incision sites, which would cause pain and infection.

Exercise:  If your cat is an outdoor cat, try to keep him / her indoors for one week.  This will reduce the chance of the incisions being split open and becoming infected.  It is not unusual for your cat's feet to be tender after a declaw.  Your cat will probably stay fairly quiet until the toes heal and the pain diminishes.

Food and Water:  Give only ice cubes to lick on.  1/2 normal amount of food tonight.

If swelling lasts more than 24 hours, or if lameness persists, there is a chance the incisions have opened or become infected.  Please call us or bring your cat in so we can take a look at the toes.
Pyometra
The word pyometra is derived from Latin pyo meaning pus and metra meaning uterus. The pyometra is an abscessed, pus-filled infected uterus. Toxins and bacteria leak across the uterine walls and into the bloodstream causing life-threatening toxic effects. Without treatment death is inevitable.
What Might Make a Veterinarian Suspect this Infection?
Classically, the patient is an older female dog. (Pyometra can occur in cats but its not nearly as common.) Usually, she has finished a heat cycle in the previousl 1 to 2 months. She has a poor appetite and may be vomiting or drinking an excessive amount of water. In the more usual open pyometra, the cervix is open and the purulent uterine contents is able to drip out thus a smelly vaginal discharge is usually apparent.
There is also a form of pyometra called a closed pyometra, where the cervix is closed. In these cases, there is no vaginal discharge and the clinical presentation is more difficult to diagnose. These patients also tend to be sicker than those with open pyometra due to retention of the toxic uterine contents.
Lab work shows a pattern typical of widespread infection which is often helpful in narrowing down the diagnosis. Radiographs may show a gigantic distended uterus though sometimes this is not obvious and ultrasound is needed to confirm the diagnosis.
How does this Infection Come About?
With each heat cycle, the uterine lining engorges in preparation for pregnancy. Eventually, some tissue engorgement becomes excessive or persistent (a condition called cystic endometrial hyperplasia). This lush glandular tissue is ripe for infection (recall that while the inside of the uterus is sterile, the vagina below is normally loaded with bacteria.). Bacteria ascend from the vagina and the uterus becomes infected and ultimately pus filled.
What is the the Usual Treatment?
The usual treatment for pyometra is surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries. It is crucial that the infected uterine contents do not spill and that no excess hemorrhage occurs. The surgery is challenging especially if the patient is toxic. Antibiotics are given at the time of surgery and may or may not be continued after the uterus is removed. Pain relievers are often needed post-operatively. A few days of hospitalization are typically needed after the surgery is performed.
It is especially important that the ovaries be removed to remove future hormonal influence from any small stumps of uterus that might be left behind. If any ovary is left, the patient will continue to experience heat cycles and be vulnerable to recurrence.
While this surgery amounts to the same end result as routine spaying, there is nothing routine about a pyometra spay. As noted, the surgery is challenging and the patient is in a life-threatening situation. For these reasons, the pyometra spay typically costs five to ten times as much as a routine spay.
*  Pros: The infected uterus is resolved rapidly (in an hour or two of surgery). No possibility of disease recurrence.
*  Cons: Surgery must be performed on a patient that could be unstable.
Is there an Alternative to Surgery?
In the late 1980s another treatment protocol became available that might be able to spare a valuable animal*s reproductive capacity. Here, special hormones called prostaglandins are given as injections to cause the uterus to contract and expel its pus. A week or so of hospitalization is necessary and some cramping discomfort is often experienced. The treatment takes place over the course of a week. This form of treatment is not an option in the event of a closed pyometra as described above.
*  Pros: There is a possibilityof future pregnancy for the patient (though often there is too much uterine scarring). Surgery can be avoided in a patient with concurrent problems that pose extra anesthetic risk
*  Cons: Pyometra can recur. The disease is resolved more slowly (over a week or so). There is a possibility of uterine rupture with the contractions. This would cause peritonitis and escalates the life-threatening nature of the disease.
Prevention
Spaying represents complete prevention for this condition. Spaying cannot be over-emphasized. Often an owner plans to breed their pet or is undecided, time passes, and then they fear she is too old to be spayed. A female dog or cat can benefit from spaying at any age. The best approach is to figure that pyometra will eventually occur if a female pet is left unspayed; any perceived risks of surgery are very much out-weighed by the risk of pyometra.
Snake bites:
Prevention & Treatment
By Becky Lundgren, DVM

Most snakes will try to avoid you or your pets; snakes typically bite only as a last resort. But while you may wisely decide to simply walk away when you encounter a snake, dogs and cats will often harass the sliding invader * and may get bitten as a result.
While hiking, stay on open paths. Off trail hiking can stir up snakes. Keep your dog on leash a and away from high grass and rocky outcrops in which snakes like to rest. Don*t let the dog explore holes or dig under rocks or logs.  If you hear a rattling noise, keep your dog at your side until you figure out where the snake is, and then move away with your dog.
Don*t let your pet examine *road kill* snakes. Dead pit vipers can have some muscle contractions after death, and thus have been known to *bite* even after they*re dead.
If your pet is bitten by a snake that you think might be venomous, get medical attention   immediately. It*s better to go in and be checked out rather than wait and be sorry.
Preventive Options
Using *snake-bite vaccine* may be useful if you*re in a part of the country that has lots of venomous snakes, in addition todog  training.
A snake bite vaccine has been created by Red Rock Biologics. The vaccine creates protective antibodies, and those antibodies can neutralize venom immediately. Red Rock states that, on average, antibody levels in recently vaccinated dogs are comparable to treatment with three vials of antivenin.  The bitten pet will still need to be examined by a veterinarian to determine just how much treatment will be necessary.
Treatment
Treatment for pit viper envenomation involves controlling shock, neutralizing the venom, controlling intravascular coagulation, minimizing tissue death and preventing any secondary infection.
Prognosis
A significant factor in the outcome of a venomous snake bite is how much venom was injected, but there is no way to determine that amount.  If the bite injected a large amount of venom, even a vaccinated dog given massive post-trauma treatment may not survive.
However, we do know that quick action on the owner*s part improves the prognosis. A venomous snake bite is a life-threatening emergency. Irreversible effects from venom begin immediately after the animal is bitten, so speed of treatment is critical. The size of the snake can sometimes indicate how much venom was injected, and the size of the snake relative to that of the pet is significant; pound for pound, smaller animals are more likely to have more problems, because of the *dose of venom* per pound of their bodyweight.
Snake-bite envenomization treatment is complicated and your pet*s well being is best served by taking your bitten pet to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Canine Lick Granuloma
What is a lick granuloma?  A lick granuloma is an open sore on the skin caused by and perpetuated by constant licking.  It is generally located on one of the legs, especially near the carpus (wrist) joint.  Typically, the hair will be licked off and the area will be either raw and weeping or thickened and scar-like. 
Lick granulomas usually begin with an itching or tingling sensation on the leg.  The dog responds to that by licking; this may serve to further increase the itching or tingling.  Very shortly, a vicious cycle develops, creating a habit much like a child sucking its thumb.  Even if the problem that initiated the itching or tingling sensation is gone, the habit of licking continues. 
Are there certain breeds that are more likely to do this?  Yes.  German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Labrador Retrievers, and Irish Setters do this more often than other breeds, but it is possible in any breed.  In addition, male dogs are twice as likely to do this when compared to female dogs. 
Why does a dog do this?  Agreement has not been reached on the answer to this question.  There are three basic views on the subject.  Some see it as a primary skin disorder, some see it as a behavioral problem, and some see it as a neurologic disease involving the nerves in the area.  It is likely that most lick granulomas have more than one cause or a single cause with one or more contributing problems. 
How is this diagnosed and differentiated from other skin disorders? In most cases, the diagnosis is made based on the appearance and location of the lesion and the fact that the dog has a compulsion to lick the area.  However, certain skin tumors, parasites, embedded foreign bodies, and allergies can create lesions that look very similar.  In addition, trauma that causes bone fractures or nerve injury can also lead to constant licking, creating a similar lesion.  Therefore, if the diagnosis is in doubt or if the dog does not respond well to initial treatment, fungal cultures, radiographs (x-rays), and biopsies may be recommended. 
How is a lick granuloma treated?  Many approaches have been taken to this problem, and none have been successful in all cases.  Often, success is only achieved after several *trial-and-error* attempts have been made. 
The approach to treatment generally begins by trying to eliminate potential psychological factors.  Boredom and stress are important issues that should be addressed.  It has been suggested that another dog be acquired to keep the affected dog distracted from the licking cycle.  Since this approach may not be successful, it should be limited to situations in which acquisition of another dog has already been a consideration. 
  If no initiating cause can be found and eliminated, various medications are used.  These fall into two categories:  drugs to deaden feeling or relieve inflammation in the area and mood-altering drugs.  In many cases, a drug in each category will be used simultaneously as a means of attacking the problem from both angles.  Some dogs will respond best with combination drug therapy and the use of restraint collars.  These collars are wide enough to obstruct the dog*s access to the lick granuloma.  They may be needed for 6-8 weeks. 
  Many dogs develop secondary bacterial infections within the lick granuloma.  Long-term antibiotic therapy of 6-8 weeks duration can be helpful in some situations. 
  Some rather aggressive and unusual treatments have been used with variable degrees of success; improvement is seen in 20-40% of cases.  These alternative treatments include radiation therapy, surgical excision of the lesion, cryosurgery (freezing), and the injection of cobra antivenom. 
What is the prognosis?  This is one of the most difficult medical problems that happens to dogs.  Because the initiating factor is usually not identified and because there is such a strong habit that forms, treatment can be very frustrating.  Regardless of the initial treatment chosen, it is always possible that is will not be successful.  If that happens, it is important that you communicate that to us so another avenue can be pursued.
Canine Orchiectomy (Neuter)
  An orchiectomy, or neuter, is the surgical sterilization of your pet by the incision of the spermatic cord and removal of the testicles.  He has been put under anesthetic in order to have this surgery performed, therefore, it is important for you to understand the following information to ensure a safe and healthy recovery.

The Night of the Surgery:  He may be sleepy and little disoriented.  Try to keep him inside where he cannot wander into danger.  Allow him to rest undisturbed.

Eating and Drinking: He many not feel like eating the night of the surgery, this is normal.  He will resume his normal eating / drinking schedule within 48 hours.  If, however, he does seem interested in food and water, you can start with a small amount of water and * the amount of food usually given to him.  Excessive eating and drinking may make him vomit or have diarrhea.

Exercise:  Do not encourage intense exercising (hiking, running) for at least one week.  Leash walking is a good idea, as the incision site will heal quickly and without complications.  No swimming for two weeks.

Sutures:  It is important to look at his suture line on a daily basis to ensure there is no redness or swelling.  If there is redness or swelling, please call us so we can see him to prevent infection.  If you notice him licking excessively,  please call us so we can offer suggestions to prevent him from irritating the site and from pulling out the sutures.  The suture material we have used to neuter him is absorbable, therefore, we will not need to see him back to remove them.
Feline Orchiectomy (Neuter)
An orchiectomy, or neuter, is the surgical sterilization of your pet by the incision of the spermatic cord and removal of the testicles.  Your cat has been put under anesthetic in order to have this surgery performed, therefore, it is important for you to understand the following information to ensure a safe and healthy recovery.

The Night of the Surgery:  He may be sleepy and little disoriented.  Try to keep him inside where he cannot wander into danger.  Allow him to rest undisturbed.

Eating and Drinking: He many not feel like eating the night of the surgery, this is normal.  He will resume his normal eating / drinking schedule within 48 hours.  If, however, he does seem interested in food and water, you can start with a small amount of water and * the amount of food usually given to him.  Excessive eating and drinking may make him vomit or have diarrhea.

Exercise:  Do not encourage intense exercising (hiking, running) for at least one week.  Leash walking is a good idea, as the incision site will heal quickly and without complications.  No swimming for two weeks.

Sutures:  Feline neuters do not require sutures due to the small incision, however, it is important to look at the incision site daily for redness or swelling.  If there is redness or swelling, please call us so we can see him to prevent infection.  If you notice your cat licking excessively,  please call us so we can offer suggestions to prevent him from irritating the site.
Ringworm In Cats
(Dermatophytosis)
What is ringworm? *Ringworm is the common name given to a fungal infection of the superficial layers of the skin, hairs and nails.  The name comes from the classical appearance of C-shaped red raised *ring* marking the boundary of inflammatory lesions of the infection in people.  The fungi responsible for ringworm belong to a specialized group known as dermatophytes, and these can cause disease in both humans and animals.  There are many distinct species within the group.  Some species of dermatophytes will only infect humans or only infect certain animals, whereas others can be spread from animals to people. 

In cats, one type (species) of dermatophyte called Microsporum canis is responsible for almost all ringworm infections, and this species is infectious to both cats and dogs, and also humans.  Occasionally ringworm infections in cats may be caused by  species such as Trichophyton mentagrophytes. 

What does ringworm look like?  The lesions of ringworm in cats may be very mild or even undetected.  A *cigarette ash* scaling in the depths of the coat may be the only visible indicator.  In other cases there are discrete, circular, thickened plaques with hair loss (alopecia) that occurs due to the increased fragility of infected hairs.  The main sites for these lesions are the skin of the head, chest, forelegs and along the ridge of the back to the base of the tail.  These lesions are not usually itchy.  Occasionally infection of the claws (onychomycosis) may occur.  Claws become rough and pitted with a scaly base.  The claw may become deformed.  Ringworm may sometimes cause a more generalized disease where a much larger area of the body is affected often with patchy hair loss. 

How do you diagnose ringworm infection?  The majority of cases of feline ringworm cased by M. canis will show-up as a yellow-green fluorescence when the skin and coat are examined in a dark room with a special ultraviolet lamp.  However, not all cases show clear fluorescence and some other dermatophytes like Trychophton mentagrophytes do not fluoresce.  In addition, some skin ointments and other materials will fluoresce and may give a false positive result. 
Confirmation of ringworm requires culture of the fungus in a laboratory.  For this a sample of hair and skin scrapings are taken.  Culture results take up to four weeks but there is usually an indication within a few days if the result is positive.   Because there are a number of causes of hair loss in cats these other causes may have to be ruled out by additional tests. 

Treatment of ringworm  Although in many cats ringworm is a self-curing infection (with resolution typically taking 3-5 months), treatment of the disease is always indicated to minimize the risk of spread of infection to humans (particularly children) and other pets.

Two forms of treatment can be used for cats with ringworm * topical therapy (application of creams, ointments or shampoos) and systemic therapy (administration of anti-fungal drugs by mouth).  In addition attention must also be given to cleaning the environment. 

*1.  Topical treatment  Occasionally, topical therapy is used alone for treatment of ringworm, but more commonly it is used in combination with oral dosing.  Various creams and ointments are available to apply to localized areas of the skin affected by ringworm, or if there is more generalized disease your veterinarian may advise the use of a shampoo.  It is extremely important only to use preparations that have been specifically provided or recommended by your veterinarian for topical treatment of cats. 

*2.  Oral treatment  For most cases of ringworm effective treatment will require administration of an oral anti-fungal drug.  The most widely used drug for this purpose is griseofulvin, although newer alternative drugs are becoming available.  The response of individual cats to treatment varies, and it is important that therapy is not stopped to soon, otherwise the disease may recur.  Treatment must usually be continued for a minimum of six weeks, and in some cases much longer therapy is required.  If there is more than one cat in the household, try to separate infected from non-infected cats and just treat the infected ones.  In some situations, it may be preferable to treat all of the cats.  Your veterinarian will be able to advise you regarding your own circumstances. 

*3.  Environmental cleaning  Hairs infected with ringworm contain numerous microscopic fungal spores that can be shed into the environment.  Infection of other animals and humans can occur, either by direct contact with an infected cat, or through the environmental contamination with these fungal spores.  In addition to minimizing direct contact with an infected cat, it is therefore also important to attempt to keep the environment free of spores.  Topical treatment of affected skin, and clipping of infected hairs (with careful disposal) may help to reduce environmental contamination, and it is also worthwhile considering restricting the cat to certain rooms of the house that are easy to clean.  Thorough vacuum cleaning of rooms where the cat has access to is the best way to minimize environmental contamination, and this should be done as frequently as is possible (e.g. daily or every other day).  In addition, the use of diluted bleach is recommended in areas that can be readily disinfected. 

Will my cat recover?  The cast majority of cats, if treated appropriately, will recover from ringworm infection within a few weeks.  While the appearance of the lesions may not change much during the first week or so of treatment, some improvement should be evident within 2-3 weeks.  Occasionally, despite appropriate treatment, the infection persists, and in this situation your veterinarian may have to try alternative anti-fungal drugs.
 

The risk to humans  Ringworm can be transmitted quite readily to humans (particularly children) and it is important to take appropriate steps to minimize exposure to the fungus while the cat is being treated (see *Environmental Cleaning* above).  If any humans in the house develop skin lesions (small patches of skin thickening and reddening, typically sharply demarcated with raised scaly edges) early medical attention should be sought.  Ringworm in humans generally responds very well to treatment.
Canine  Pancreatitis
What is pancreatitis?  The pancreas is a vital organ which lies on the right side of the abdomen.  It has two functions:
  *To Produce Digestive Enzymes
  *To Produce Hormones Such As Insulin

When the pancreas becomes inflamed, the disorder is called pancreatitis.  It is a disease process that is commonly seen in the dog. There is no age, sex, or breed predisposition.

There are two main forms of acute or sudden onset pancreatitis:  1) the mild, edematous form and 2) the more severe, hemorrhagic form.  A few dogs that recover from an acute episode of pancreatitis may continue to have recurrent bouts of the acute disease, known as chronic, relapsing pancreatitis.  The associated inflammation allows digestive enzymes to spill into the abdominal cavity resulting in secondary damage to the liver, bile ducts, gall bladder, and intestines.

What causes it?  The cause of pancreatitis is not known; however, there may be several contributory factors.  It is often associated with eating a rich, fatty meal.  In some cases, it may be associated with the administration of corticosteroids; however, some dogs with pancreatitis do not have exposure to either.

Under normal conditions, digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas are activated when they reach the small intestines.  In pancreatitis, these enzymes are activated prematurely in the pancreas instead of in the small intestines.  This results in digestion of the pancreas itself.  The clinical signs of pancreatitis are often variable, and the intensity of the disease will depend on the quantity of enzymes that are prematurely activated.

What are the clinical signs? The diagnosis of pancreatitis is based on three criteria:  clinical signs laboratory tests, and radiographs (x-rays) and or ultrasound examination.  The disease is typically manifested by nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.  If the attack is severe, acute shock, depression, and death may occur.

Laboratory tests usually reveal an elevated white blood cell count; however, an elevated white blood cell count may also be causd by many other things besides pancreatitis.  The elevation of pancreatic enzymes in the blood is probably the most helpful criteria in detecting pancreatic disease, but some dogs with pancreatitis will have normal enzyme levels.  Radiographs and ultrsound studies may show an area of inflammation in the location of the pancreas.  Unfortunately, many dogs with pancreatitis will elude detection with any of these tests.  Consequently, the diagnosis of pancreatitis may be tentative in some cases.

How is pancreatitis treated?  The successful management of pancreatitis will depend on early diagnosis and prompt medical therapy.  The mild form of the disease is best treated by resting the pancreas from its role in digestion.  The only way to "turn off" the pancreas is to withhold all oral fluids and food.  This approach is accompanied by intravenous fluids to maintain normal fluid and electrolyte balance.  The presence of shock necessitates the immediate and intense use of intravenous fluids and shock medications.  Analgesics are often administered due to the intense pain pancreatitis often causes.

Will my dog recover?  The prognosis depends ont he extent of the disease when presented and a favorable response to initial thereapy.  Dogs that present with shock and depression have a very guarded prognosis.  Most of the mild forms of pancreatitis have a good prognosis.

Will there be any long-term problems?  There are three possible long-term complications that may follow severe or repeated pancreatitis.  If a significant number of cells that produce digestive enzymes are destroyed, a lack of proper food digestion may follow.  This is known as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) and can be treated with daily administration of enzyme replacement.  If a significant number of cells that produce insulin are destroyed, diabetes mellitus can result.  In rare cases, adhesions between the abdominal organs may occur as a consequence of pancreatitis.  However, most dogs recover with no long-term effects.
How To Care For Your Pet
Following Anesthesia

The Night after Anesthesia:  Your animal may be sleepy and a little disoriented, so please keep him / her in a safe place where he / she cannot fall or wander into danger. Allow him / her to rest undisturbed.

Eating and Drinking:  our animal may not feel like eating the night of the surgery, this is normal. You can offer small amounts of water and 1/4 the normal amount of food, if he / she seems hungry.  Excessive drinking and eating may make him / her vomit or have diarrhea. The following day, you can resume the normal eating and drinking schedule.

 Exercise: Your pet will probably not feel like playing or exercising when he gets home. Let him / her "lay low" for the night, he / she may resume normal activity the following day.

Sutures:  If your pet had sutures placed in the skin, care should be taken so the sutures stay in place for 14 days. The sutures should not get wet (no swimming), nor should your animal be allowed to lick excessively at the suture line.  If licking persists, please let us know so that we can help prevent further disruption of the healing process.  If non-absorbably suture has been used, you will need to make an appointment to have the sutures removed in 10-14 days.

Bandage:  If your pet has had a bandage applied, it will need to stay as dry and clean as possible.  If the bandage becomes damaged within 5 days, it will need to be replaced.  The bandage will need to be changed in 5 days or earlier, depending on the doctors orders,  please make an appointment at the desk.

Drain:  If a drain has been placed, it will need to be removed. Please make an appointment to have te drain removed.

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Kidney Failure In Cats
The term *chronic kidney failure* suggests that the kidneys have quit working and are, therefore, not making urine.  However, by definition, kidney failure is the inability of the kidney to remove waste products from the blood.  This definition can occasionally create confusion because some will equate kidney failure with failure to make urine.  Kidney failure is NOT the inability to make urine; it is the inability of the kidneys to remove toxic and waste products from the blood.  Ironically, most cats in kidney failure are actually producing large quantities of urine, but the body*s wastes are not being effectively eliminated.

Is age a factor?  Many forms of chronic kidney failure are the end result of infections or toxins damaging the kidneys.  However, the typical form of chronic kidney failure is the result of aging; it is simply a *wearing out* process.  For most cats, the early signs occur at about 10-14 years of age.

How does it affect my cat?  The kidneys are essentially filters through which the blood flows for cleansing.  When disease or aging causes the filtration process to become inefficient and ineffective, blood flow to the kidneys is increased in an attempt to increase filtration.  This results in the production of more urine.  To keep the cat from becoming dehydrated due to increased fluid loss in the urine, thirst is increased; this results in more water consumption.  Thus, the early clinical signs of kidney failure are increased water consumption and increased urine production.  The clinical signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting diarrhea, and very bad breath.  Occasionally, ulcers will be found in the mouth.

How is the diagnosis made?  The diagnosis of kidney failure is made by determining the level of two waste products in the blood:  blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and blood creatinine.  A urinalysis is also needed to complete the study of kidney function.

Although BUN and creatinine levels reflect kidney failure, they do not predict what will happen tomorrow or next week.  A cat with marginal kidney function may have normal blood tests.  If that cat is stressed with major illness or surgery, the kidneys may fail, sending blood test values up quickly.

How is kidney failure treated?  The goal of treatment is to restore function of the kidneys.  But, we must recognize that your cat*s kidneys have reached this point due to long-standing disease of aging; therefore, they will never be normal again.  However, many cats still have enough functional kidney tissue so that treatment will be very rewarding.

Treatment is in two phases.  The first phase is to *restart* the kidneys; it usually lasts 3-6 days.  Large quantities of intravenous fluids are given to *flush out* the kidneys.  This flushing process, called diuresis, helps to stimulate the kidney cells to function again.  If enough functional kidney cells remain, they may be able to adequately meet the  body*s needs for waste removal.  Fluid therapy includes replacement of various electrolytes, especially potassium.  Other important aspects of initial treatment include proper nutrition and drugs to control vomiting and diarrhea. 

What will happen after the first few days of treatment?  There are three possible outcomes due to the first phase of treatment:

1)  The kidneys will resume functioning and continue to function for a few weeks to a few years. 
2) The kidneys will resume functioning during treatment but fail again as soon as treatment stops. 
3)  Kidney function will not return.

Unfortunately, there are no reliable tests that will predict the outcome.

If my cat improves, is treatment concluded?  No.  Your cats kidneys are still damaged; they will never be normal again.  Without continued treatment your cat will soon be back in kidney failure.  Therefore, home treatment is vital.  Its goal is to keep the kidneys functioning as long as possible.  This is accomplished with one or more of the following, depending on the situation: 

1.  A special diet.  Diets that are formulated for kidney failure are low in protein.  Although somewhat controversial, low protein diets seem to permit the kidneys to work less, therefore last longer.  These diets are also lower in phosphates and are non-acidifying.  These factors help to lower the amount of protein waste in the blood, control excessive phosphate buildup, and reduce pH imbalances; together they usually make your cat feel better.  We can recommend a commercially prepared food that is formulated for kidney disease. 

2.   Fluids given at home.  Once you cat is stabilized, fluids can be given under the skin (subcutaneously).  This serves to continually *restart* the kidneys as their function begins to fail again.  This is done once daily to once weekly, depending on the degree of kidney failure.  Although this might not sound like something you can do, you will be surprised at how easily the technique can be learned and how well most cats will tolerate it. 

How long can I expect my cat to have a quality life?  The prognosis is quite variable depending on response to the initial stage of treatment and your ability to perform the follow-up care.  However, we encourage treatment in most situations because many cats will respond and have good quality of life for up to four years. 

Is kidney transplantation possible?  This procedure is being done at a few selected locations in the United States.  Generally, the cat must still be in good condition and not ill from the kidney failure in order to be accepted for a transplant.  Also, many transplant centers require that the owner adopt the cat, which has donated a kidney for the procedure. 

This procedure is not for everyone.  The cost is often prohibitive and multiple medications must be given daily for the durations of the cat*s life.  Repeated blood tests are required to monitor function of the transplanted kidney and to monitor blood levels of the anti-rejection drug.  Also, the anti-rejection drug is expensive.  But, it is truly a cure for kidney failure. 
Canine Bladder Stones
What are bladder stones?  Bladder stones, more correctly called uroliths, are rock-like collections of minerals that form in the urinary bladder.  They may occur as a large, single stone or as dozens of stones the size of large grains of sand or pea gravel. 
Are these the same as gall stones or kidney stones?  No.  Gall stones are in the gall bladder, and kidney stones are in the kidney.  Although the kidneys and urinary bladder are both part of the urinary system, kidney stones are usually unrelated to bladder stones. 
What problems do bladder stones cause?  The two most common signs of bladder stones are hematuria (blood in the urine) and dysuria (straining to urinate).  Hematuria occurs because the stones irritate the bladder wall, causing bleeding from its surface.  Dysuria occurs when stones obstruct the passage of urine out of the bladder.  Large stones may cause a partial obstruction at the point where the urine leaves the bladder and enters the urethra; small stones may flow with the urine into the urethra and cause an obstruction in this area. 
When an obstruction occurs, urine cannot pass out of the body and the abdomen becomes very painful.  Your dog may cry in pain, especially if pressure is applied to the abdominal wall. 
When there is no obstruction occurring, hematuria, and dysuria, are the most common signs seen in dogs with bladder stones.  However, pain usually also occurs in the bladder.  This is known because when bladder stones are removed surgically, many owners tell us how much better their dog feels and how much more active it has become.
Why do they form?  There are several theories of bladder stone formation.  Each is feasible in some circumstances, but there is probably an interaction of more than one of them in each dog.  The most commonly accepted theory is called the Precipitation-Crystallization Theory.  This theory states that one or more stone-forming crystalline compounds are present in elevated levels in the urine.  This may be due to abnormalities in diet or due to some previous disease in the bladder, especially infection with bacteria.  When the amount of this compound is so great that is cannot all be dissolved in the urine, so it precipitates and forms tiny crystals.  These crystals stick together, usually due to mucus-like material within the bladder, and stones gradually form.  As time passes, the stones enlarge and increase in number. 
How fast do they grow?  Growth will depend on the quantity of crystalline material present and the degree of infection present.  Although is may take months for a large stone to grow, some sizable stones have been documented to form in as little as two weeks. 
How are they diagnosed?  Most dogs that have bladder infections do not have bladder stones.  These dogs will often have blood in the urine and will strain to urinate, the same symptoms as a dog with bladder stones.  Therefore, we do not suspect bladder stones just based on these clinical signs. 
Some bladder stones can be palpated (felt with fingers) through the abdominal wall.  However, failure to palpate them does not rule them out. 
Most bladder stones are visible on radiographs (x-rays) or an ultrasound examination.  These procedures are performed if stones are suspected.  This includes dogs that show unusual pain when the bladder is palpated, dogs that have recurrent hematuria and dysuria, or dogs that have recurrent bacterial infections of the bladder. 
Some bladder stones are not visible on radiographs.  They are said to be radiolucent.  This means that their mineral composition is such that they do not reflect the x-ray beam.  These stones may be found with an ultrasound examination or with special radiographs that are made after placing a special dye (contrast material) in the bladder. 
How are bladder stones treated?  There are two options for treatment.  The fastest way is to remove them surgically.  This requires major surgery in which the abdomen and bladder are opened.  Following two to four days of recovery, the dog is relieved of pain and dysuria.  The hematuria will often persist for a few more days, before it stops.  Surgery is not the best option for all patients; however, those with urethral obstruction and those with bacterial infections associated with the stones should be operated on unless there are other health conditions that prohibit surgery. 
The second option is to dissolve the stone with a special diet.  This avoids surgery and can be a very good choice for some dogs.  However, is has three disadvantages: 
*1.  It is not successful for all types of stones.  Unless some sand-sized stones can be collected from the urine and analyzed, it is not possible to know if the stone is of the composition that is likely to be dissolved. 
*2.  It is slow.  It may take several weeks or a few months to dissolve a large stone so the dog may continue to have hematuria and dysuria during that time. 
*3.  Not all dogs will eat the special diet.  The diet is not as tasty as the foods that many dogs are fed.  If it is not consumed exclusively, it will not work. 
Can bladder stones be prevented?  The answer is a qualified *yes.*  There are at least four types of bladder stones, based on their chemical composition.  If stones are removed surgically or if some small ones pass in the urine, they should be analyzed for their chemical composition.  This will permit us to determine is a special diet will be helpful in preventing recurrence.  If a bacterial infection causes stone formation, it is recommended that periodic urinalyses and urine cultures be performed to determine when antibiotics should be given. 
Abscesses and Your Pet
An abscess is a localized collection of pus in a cavity.  Most abscesses are formed by the invasion of tissues by bacteria.  This can be the result of a dog bite, cat bite, puncture wound or any other type of trauma that breaks through the skin and causes infection.
Please follow these simple steps to help your pet recover quickly and safely:
Antibiotics:  please give your pet the entire prescribed antibiotic according to the label, even if your pet appears normal.
Draining: Draining from wound site is normal.
What to look for:  if the abscess site becomes swollen, red or has a bad odor from that area, or if your pet continually licks at the suture, you should bring your pet in right away so we can treat the problem.
Draining a bite abscess
This is a large abscess over the shoulder, required careful anaesthetic, drainage, flushing of the abscessed area and the insertion of a plastic drain for 5-7 days until the subcutaneous tissues healed. With antibiotics and pain relief she made a good recovery and the drain  was removed a week later.
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Canine Demodectic Mange
Mange is a parasitic skin disease caused by microscopic mites.  Two different mange mites cause skin disease in dogs.  One lives just under the surface of the skin, while the other resides in the hair follicles.  Although both mites share some similar characteristics, there are also important differences.  It is important not to confuse the two types of mange because they have different causes, treatments, and prognoses. 
What causes demodectic mange?  Demodectic mange, sometimes just called *demodex*, is the most common form of mange in dogs.  It is caused by the demodectic mange mite, a parasite that lives in the hair follicles of affected dogs.  Under the microscope, this mite appears shaped like an alligator with eight legs.  All dogs (and many humans) have a few of these mites on their skin.  As long as the body*s immune system is functioning, these mites cause no harm. 
Demodectic mange most often occurs when a dog has an immature immune system, allowing the mites to grow rapidly.  Therefore, this disease occurs primarily in dogs less than 12-18 months of age.  In most cases, as a dog matures, the immune system also matures.  Adult dogs that have the disease usually have defective immune systems. 
Does this mean that demodectic mange is not contagious?  Yes.  Since the mite is found virtually on all dogs, exposure of a normal dog to one with demodectic mange is not dangerous. 
Why doesn*t the immune system mature correctly in some dogs?  Development of the immune system is under genetic control.  Thus, an affected dog usually comes from a little containing other affected puppies.  Owners of littermates should be put on the alert to watch for it.  Because the disease is due to a genetic defect, affected dogs should not be bred.  Also, parents of the affected dog should not be bred again. 
What does demodectic mange do to the dog?  Surprisingly, a dog with demodectic mange does not itch severely, even though it loses hair in patches.  Areas of bare skin will be seen.  The hair loss usually begins on the face, especially around the eyes.  When there are only a few patches of hair loss, it is termed localized demodectic mange.  If the disease spreads to many areas of the skin, it becomes generalized demodectic mange. 
How is demodectic mange treated?  The localized form is usually treated with topical medication.  The generalized form requires shampoo therapy and a special dip or oral medication.  Shampooing with special cleansing shampoos helps to flush out the hair follicles prior to dipping.  Dipping is described below.  For dogs with generalized demodectic mange, secondary skin infections may represent a complicating factor requiring antibiotic therapy.  Dogs with skin infections have very red, inflamed skin.  This is the source of the term *red mange.* 
I heard that there is a drug that can be given orally for demodectic mange?  Is that true?  Yes, with some reservations.  Ivermectin is a drug that is used for prevention of heartworms.  It is also used for certain parasites on cattle.  The cattle preparation has been used orally for demodectic mange in dogs.  In many dogs it is very successful and is less expensive to use than some of the newer topical products.  However, it is a very strong drug that can cause severe side-effects, including death, if it is not dosed properly.  It is not approved for use in dogs, so we would only consider using it as long as you are willing to accept liability for adverse effects. 
What is the prognosis for my dog?  Treatment of the localized form is generally successful.  Treatment of the generalized form is also usually successful.  However, if the immune system is defective, neither the mites nor the infection may respond to treatment. 
Following successful treatment, is it likely to recur?  Because the immune system does not mature until 12-18 months of age, a dog with demodectic mange may have relapses until that age.  It is important for retreatment to begin promptly to minimize the possibility of developing uncontrollable problems.  Demodectic mange may also occur in very old dogs because function of the immune system often declines with age.  Dogs who have immune suppression due to illness or medication are also candidates for demodectic mange. 
The dip commonly used for demodectic mange contains the insecticide amitraz.  Its use requires some caution because it is a strong insecticide that can have some side effects to your dog and to you if it is not used properly.  Your dog may experience vomiting and sedation for 24-36 hours following each application.  If so, those problems will usually be self-limiting.  If this occurs, the dip should be diluted with 25% more water the next time it is used.  Since each dipping results in the development of tolerance to the dip, your dog is less likely to have side-effects with each subsequent treatment.  Your dog should be dipped three times at seven day intervals, then examined for the presence of live mites or mite eggs.  Further treatment will be determined by the results.  If you do the dipping yourself, be sure to wear rubber gloves to prevent getting it on your hands. 
Kennel Cough
What is kennel cough?  Kennel Cough is more technically known as Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis.  This term localizes the most common clinical sign, coughing, to the trachea (wind pipe) and bronchi (within the lungs).  It may be caused by several viruses and bacteria.  These include the adenovirus type-2 virus, the parainfluenza virus, and the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica.  The infection spreads rapidly from dog to dog in close quarters,  such as boarding kennel.  This is the origin of the name.

What are the signs, besides coughing?  They are quite variable.  Other sypmtoms include discharge from the eyes and nose, swollen tonsils, wheezing,  lack of appetite, and lethargy.  Although coughing is usually mild, it may persist for several weeks.

What is the treatment?  There is no specific treatment for the viruses involved.  No drug will kill them, so they must run their course, which may take 2-3 weeks.  Antibiotics are useful against the bacteria involved, although some resistance to some antibiotics has occurred.  Cough suppressants are used to break the self-perpetuating cycle of coughing that occurs.

How can I prevent this disease?  Most vaccination programs include a vaccine against theparainfluenza virus and Bordetella bronchiseptica.  These should be administered to puppies and boostered in adults.

How effective are these vaccines?  Immunity after natural infection with respiratory viruses, like parainfluenza or bacteria like Bordetella, is neither solid or long-lasting.  We cannot expect vaccines to be much better.  Therefore, a booster just before placing your dog in a boarding kennel is good insurance against disease.

How are the Bordetella vaccines delivered?  Bordetella vaccination is performed either by injection or vioa the "intranasal" route.  The latter means that the vaccine is dropped into the nostrils.  This permits immunity to develop in the membranes of the nose and throat where the viruses and bacteria enter.  This is like setting up a road block to stop infection as a means of protecting your dog.
Stay Alert for Foxtails
Foxtails have long, slender stems hold sticky seed carriers high, ready to catch a ride on a pant leg or a pet. The carrier itself is designed like a spike, with tiny hairs that keep the nettle burrowing forward through whatever is in the way.
There's no problem when the spike falls to the ground, where breezes help it to vibrate deep into the soil. But when a foxtail lands on an animal, all too often that burrowing trick is through flesh, and that can cause some severe problems. Foxtails dig deeply into every possible opening. Once in, they keep moving, sometimes causing significant damage. They can end up anywhere, and if left alone, they may need surgical attention. Dogs may sneeze at them, but you shouldn't; they can put your pet in danger.

Be aware of these problem areas:
* Feet. Limping and licking are signs a foxtail has found a home, probably between your animal's toes.
* Ears. Because of the burrowing nature of foxtails, every head shake drives the pest farther down into the ear. A pet with a foxtail in its ear may develop a chronic, foreign-body reaction and infection.
* Nose. Because dogs like to sniff, foxtails often lodge in their noses. The signs are obvious: sneezing, sometimes violently, sometimes accompanied by bleeding or discharge. A foxtail in the nose will cause an infection and can even work its way into the lungs or spinal column.
* Eyes: Runny, red and irritated.

The best way to deal with foxtails is through prevention. Steer clear of areas dense with foxtails, if you can. Keep the fur between your pet's toes trimmed, and go over your pet after every outing from head to toe, catching the foxtails before they get a chance to dig in.
Be aware that once a foxtail is imbedded, it isn't going away. If you suspect a foxtail is in your pet's ear or nose, consult your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may still be able to grab the nettle before it can cause more trouble.
Food Allergies
Food allergies in dogs are usually built up over time from eating certain foods - this means that if your dog develops a food allergy, it will be to one of the major ingredients in dog food such as chicken, beef, corn, lamb, andpork.  Your dog won't have an allergy to something it hasn't been eating - so the idea behind hypoallergenic dog foods is to give them ingredients that are not standard for American dog food.
The most common hypoallergenic ingredients are duck, rabbit, salmon, and venison, with potatoes usually added in.  The reason behind this is that these are rarely used in dog food, and your dog will not have built up an allergy to them.  Also remember that you should not give your dog any other food while it is on a hypoallergenic diet.
More Info
Sunscreen for Pets
Sunscreen can and should be used on cats and dogs. Animals that have light-colored noses and thin, very short, or missing fur are most in need of protective sunscreen, or sunblock. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends use of sunscreen in appropriate animals. Pets with light skin and short or thin hair coat are particularly prone to sunburn or skin cancer. Pets who have suffered hair loss from allergies, hot spots, disease, surgical preparation, or radiation can benefit from sunscreen. If your dog*s coat is shaved so the dog is cooler during the summer, sunscreen may be helpful.
In pets, sunburn can appear as red skin or hair loss. Sunburn can irritate or exacerbate existing conditions, such as allergies or hot spots.
Sunscreen can be applied to the bridge of the nose, ear tips, skin surrounding the lips, and any area where pigmentation is low. The sunscreen should be fragrance free, non-staining, and contain UVA and UVB barriers similar to SPF 15 or SPF 30 for humans.
There are some sunscreens created specifically for pets, but using baby sunscreen is also an option. Most human sunscreens have ingestion warnings because the ingredients can be toxic if a child or dog ingests them, so if your pet is likely to lick it, look for a pet-specific sunscreen. One thing to remember about sunscreen is that you need to use plenty of it, and you should re-apply regularly during sun exposure. It is recommended to use at least 1 tablespoon of lotion or cream for each body area treated! Sunscreen should be re-applied every 4 to 6 hours during the brightest time of the day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Doggles has an SPF 15 spray sunscreen.
Nutri-Vet offers an SPF 15 sunscreen both in a lotion form and a spray.
Epi-Pet Skin Care Line has just introduced Epi-Pet Sun Protector. It's labeled for use in dogs and horses and all animals except cats and has SPF equivalency of 30-40.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs
What is separation anxiety in dogs?
Most dogs sleep, bark occasionally or chew their toys when left alone in the house or in a room without access to you. Dogs with separation anxiety, however, can make leaving the house or even the room an emotional and difficult chore. Separation anxiety can cause them to whine or bark incessantly, pace, chew furniture, destroy blinds, rip up carpeting, eat through drywall, climb bookcases, mutilate plants or scratch at windows and doors.
Dogs with severe separation anxiety can destroy thousands of dollars in furnishings, go through plate glass windows, bloody their mouths and paws and defecate and urinate everywhere. Their howling, barking and whining can also lead to problems with neighbors and landlords.
Since dogs are pack animals, they naturally wish to be with people all the time. Most adult dogs  can be left alone for 8 hours or even longer if they have access to a yard for elimination. They are unhappy, they are bored but do not become problems.
A dog with separation anxiety is different. When you go to the door to leave, he becomes anxious and may try to leave with you. You manage to get outside and close the door but you can still hear him whining and scratching on the inside.  When you return to find your house in a shambles,  you get upset at your dog -  who gets even more upset. This cycle repeats and builds upon itself until you are ready to give your dog away.
Anxiety usually begins when he thinks you are getting ready to leave. It can also be exhibited if you put him in a room and close the door behind you. If your dog is anxious and distressed all the time, you need to look for another underlying cause.
Separation anxiety is not affected by whether the owner is loving and attentive or not.
When it is not separation anxiety!
Sometimes tearing the drywall, eating the baseboard, raiding the cupboards is not separation anxiety, it is simply bad behavior or your dog having a delightful time when you are not home to correct him.
Causes of separation anxiety in dogs
Separation anxiety can appear in dogs that are not properly socialized, dogs that have been shuttled from one home to another, dogs that have a more dominant relationship with you and dogs that are naturally nervous:
*- She may be aghast that you, her pack member, has gone away without her permission.
*- He may think that he will never see you again and is worried about how he will survive.
*- He may be afraid of being left alone in the house.

Whatever the cause, here are some techniques for solving separation anxiety.
1. Check out the dog and the environment
To begin with, make sure that nothing is physically ailing your dog.  If your dog is healthy, it is worth checking out his environment for sources of discomfort. Is it too hot or too cold? Are there threatening sounds such as other dogs barking?  If you cannot find anything wrong with either your dog or her environment, then it is time to tackle separation anxiety directly.
2. Leave home quietly and come home quietly
As often as you can, step out of the front door while your dog is watching as well as when he is not watching.  Do this several times a day varying the amount of time you are outside. Vary what you do as well. Take your coat, keys and briefcase sometimes. At other times just take a walk around the block.
3. Give your dog plenty of exercise, socialization and fun
A dog that is tired and happy is more likely to sleep and not get into trouble. If you can arrange it, take him on a long walk right before you leave.  If you find that a significant increase in exercise decreases the separation anxiety, you can then see if exercise at more convenient times works as well.
4. Feed him before you leave
Some dogs become more tense if they are hungry. A stomach-filling meal with complex carbohydrates can make him sleepy and relaxed. The goal is to have a well-exercised, well-fed dog happily engaged in snoozing before you leave.
5. Leave the radio on
An empty house can be unnerving to some dogs. They can hear every car, pedestrian, delivery person and squirrel that is outside the door. A strange sound can set off whining and barking. A radio can add some white noise to the environment and dampen his reaction to what is going on outside.
6. Training
The importance of training your dog cannot be overemphasized. A well trained dog has something to fill his mind, has better control over himself and is more likely to respond to you when you tell him to be calm and quiet. Place particular emphasis on sit-stay and down-stay commands. A high strung dog will find it difficult to sit-stay or down-stay for any length of time. This will teach him self-discipline.
7. Doggy daycare
In order to save your house and keep your sanity, you may want to take your dog to daycare while you modify his behavior. You can then go about your day without having to worry about what awaits you at home. 
8. Medications: Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain of mammals. Melatonin is thought to help regulate the natural rhythms of sleep and wakefulness.
Melatonin, along with exercise and a meal beforehand, may encourage your dog to sleep while you are away so that he can match your working hours with his sleeping hours.
 It does not work with all dogs and you should consult your veterinarian as to the dosage that is acceptable for your dog.
Ruptured ACL
Anterior (Cranial) Cruciate Ligament
The knee is a fairly complicated joint. It consists of the femur above, the tibia below, the kneecap (or patella) in front, and the bean-like fabellae behind. Chunks of cartilage called the medial and lateral menisci fit between the femur and tibia like cushions. An assortment of ligaments hold everything together, allowing the knee to bend the way it should and keep it from bending the way it shouldn*t.
There are two cruciate ligaments that cross inside the knee joint: the anterior (or, more correctly in animals, cranial cruciate) and the posterior (or, more correctly in animals, the caudal cruciate). They are named for the side of the knee (front or back) where their lower attachment is found. The anterior cruciate prevents the tibia from slipping forward out from under the femur.
Finding the Rupture
The ruptured cruciate ligament is the most common knee injury of dogs. Chances are that any dog that suddenly has rear leg lameness has a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. The history usually involves a rear leg suddenly so sore that the dog can hardly bear weight on it. If left alone, it will appear to improve over the course of weeks but the knee will be notably swollen and arthritis will set in quickly. Dogs are often brought to the vet in either the acute stage (shortly after the injury) or in the chronic stage (weeks or months later).
The key to the diagnosis of the ruptured cruciate ligament is the demonstration of an abnormal knee motion called a drawer sign. It is not possible for a normal knee to show this sign.
The Drawer Sign
The veterinarian stabilizes the position of the femur with one hand and manipulates the tibia with the other hand. If the tibia moves forward like a drawer being opened, the cruciate ligament is ruptured.
Another test that can be used is the tibial compression test where the veterinarian stabilizes the femur with one hand and flexes the ankle with the other hand. If the ligament is ruptured, again the tibia moves abnormally forward.
If the rupture occurred some time ago, there will be swelling on side of the knee joint that faces the other leg. This is called a medial buttress and is a sign that arthritis is well along.
It is not unusual for animals to be tense or frightened at the vet*s office. Tense muscles can temporarily stabilize the knee preventing demonstration of the drawer sign during examination. Often sedation is needed to get a good evaluation of the knee. This is especially true with larger dogs.
Since arthritis can set in relatively quickly after a cruciate ligament rupture, radiographs to assess arthritis are a good idea. Another reason for radiographs is that occasionally when the cruciate ligament tears, a piece of bone where the ligament attaches to the tibia breaks off as well. This will require repair and the surgeon will need to know about it before beginning surgery.
How this Happens
There are several clinical pictures seen with ruptured cruciates. One is a young athletic dog playing roughly who takes a bad step and injures the knee while playing. This is usually a sudden lameness in a young large breed dog.
A recent study identified the following breeds as being particularly at risk for this phenomenon: Neapolitan mastiff, Newfoundland, Akita, St. Bernard, Rottweiler, Chesapeake Bay retriever, and American Staffordshire terrier.
On the other hand, an older large dog, especially if overweight, can have weakened ligaments and slowly stretch or partially tear them. The partial rupture may be detected or the problem may not become apparent until the ligament breaks completely. In this type of patient, stepping down off the bed or a small jump can be all it takes to break the ligament. The lameness may be acute but have features of more chronic joint disease or the lameness may simply be a more gradual/chronic problem.
Larger overweight dogs that rupture one cruciate ligament frequently rupture the other one within a year*s time. An owner should be prepared for another surgery in this time frame.
What Happens if the Cruciate Rupture is Not Surgically Repaired?  Without an intact cruciate ligament, the knee is unstable. Wear between the bones and meniscal cartilage becomes abnormal and the joint begins to develop degenerative changes. Bone spurs called osteophytes develop and chronic pain and loss of joint motion result. This process can be arrested by surgery but cannot be reversed.
* Osteophytes are evident as soon as 1 to 3 weeks after the rupture in some patients. This kind of joint disease is substantially more difficult for a large breed dog to bear though all dogs will ultimately show degenerative changes. Typically, after several weeks from the time of the acute injury, the dog may appear to get better but is not likely to become  normal.
* In one study, a group of dogs was studied for 6 months after cruciate rupture. At the end of 6 months, 85% of dogs under 30 lbs of body weight had regained near normal or improved function, while only 19% of dogs over 30 lbs had regained near normal function. Both groups of dogs required at least 4 months to show maximum improvement.
What Happens in Surgical Repair?  There are three different surgical repair techniques commonly used.
Extracapsular Repair *
This procedure is currently favored as the surgery can be performed in a relatively shorter time than the other procedures. The knee joint is opened and inspected. The torn or partly torn cruciate ligament is removed. Any bone spurs of significant size are bitten away with an instrument called a rongeur. If the meniscus is torn, the damaged portion is removed. A wire or a very large, strong suture is passed around the fabella behind the knee and through a hole drilled in the front of the tibia. This tightens the joint to prevent the drawer motion, effectively taking over the job of the cruciate ligament.
**The dog may carry the leg up for a good 2 weeks after surgery but will increase knee use over the next 2 months, eventually returning to normal.
**The dog will require 8 weeks of exercise restriction after surgery (no running, outside on a leash only including the backyard).
**The wire or suture placed will break 2 to 12 months after surgery and the dog*s own healed tissue will hold the knee.
Intracapsular Repair
This procedure has fallen out of favor lately as it has been unable to demonstrate superior results to the extracapsular technique described above. Intracapsular repair intuitively seems like it should do better as it uses living tissue (rather than an artificial material) to essentially make a new ligament. This takes more time surgically. As with the extracapsular repair, the knee joint is opened, fragments of the ligament are removed, as is damaged meniscus. After this a strip of connective tissue is dissected locally and passed through the middle of the joint exactly where the cruciate ligament used to be. The new ligament is attached at the opposite end to an implant or simply sewn into place.
**Bandaging for a couple of weeks after surgery is commonly recommended.
**Again, the dog may not bear weight for a good 2 weeks after surgery and will likely require 2 months to return to normal function.
**Again, 8 weeks of exercise restriction will be necessary for healing.
Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)
This procedure uses a fresh approach to the biomechanics of the knee joint and is meant to address the lack of success seen with the above two techniques long term in larger dogs. With this surgery the tibia is cut and rotated in such a way that the natural weight-bearing of the dog actually stabilizes the knee joint. As before, the knee joint still must be opened and damaged meniscus removed. The cruciate remnants may or may not be removed depending on the degree of damage.
The TPLO rotates (as indicated by the arrow) the sloped tibial plateau until it is perpendicular to the line between the stifle and the hock joint centers *
This surgery is complex and involves special training in this specific technique. Many radiographs are necessary to calculate the angle of the osteotomy (the cut in the tibia). At this time the TPLO is felt to be the best way to repair a cruciate rupture regardless of the size of the dog and is probably the only procedure to be considered for dogs over 50lbs. This surgery typically costs twice as much as the extracapsular method.
**Most dogs are touching their toes to the ground by 10 days after surgery although it can take up to 3 weeks.
**As with other techniques, 8 weeks of exercise restriction are needed.
**Full function is generally achieved 3 to 4 months after surgery and the dog may return to normal *activity.
General Rehabilitation after Surgery
Rehabilitation following the extracapsular repair method can begin as soon as the pet goes home. The area can be chilled with a padded ice pack for 10 minutes a couple times daily. (Do not try to make up for a skipped treatment by icing the area longer; prolonged cold exposure can cause injury.) Passive range of motion exercise where the knee is gently flexed and extended can also help. It is important not to induce pain when moving the limb. Let the patient guide you. Avoid twisting the leg. After the stitches or staples are out (or after the skin has healed in about 10-14 days), water treadmill exercise can be used if a facility is available. This requires strict observation and, if possible, the patient should wear a life jacket. Walking uphill or on stairs is helpful for strengthening the back legs but no running, jumping or other "explosive" type exercise should be performed for a full three months after surgery. Rehabilitation for patients with intracapsular repair is similar but slower in progression.
Rehabilitation after TPLO is gentler. Icing as above and rest are the main modes of therapy. After 3 to 4 weeks, an increase in light activity can be introduced. A water treadmill is helpful. No jumping, running or stair-climbing is allowed at first. Expect the osteotomy site to require a good 6 weeks to heal.
What if the Rupture Isn*t Discovered for Years and Joint Disease is Already Advanced?
A dog with arthritis pain from an old cruciate rupture may still benefit from a TPLO surgery. It may be worth having a surgery specialist take a look at the knee. Most cases must make do with medical management. Visit our section on arthritis treatment.
Meniscal Injury
We mentioned the meniscus as part of the knee joint. The bones of all joints are capped with cartilage so as provide a slippery surface where the bones contact each other (if the bones contact each other without cartilage, they grind each other down). In addition to these cartilage caps, the stifle joint has two *blocks* of cartilage in-between the bones. These blocks are called the menisci and serve to distribute approximately 65% of the compressive load delivered to the knee. The only other joint with a meniscus is the jaw (tempero-mandibular joint).
When the crucial ligament ruptures, the medial (on the inner side of the knee) meniscus frequently tears and must either be removed, partly removed, or ideally repaired. This is generally done at the time of cruciate ligament surgery and we would be remiss not to mention it.
Pets with meniscal damage may have an audible clicking sound when they walk or when the knee is examined, but for a definitive diagnosis the menisci must actually be inspected during surgery. It is difficult to access the menisci and thus repairing a tear in the meniscus is problematic; furthermore, poor blood supply to the menisci also makes good healing less likely. For these reasons, removal of the damaged portion of the meniscus is the most common surgical choice. This leaves some meniscus behind to distribute the compression load on the knee but removes the painful, ineffective portion.
Areas of current research include techniques to improve blood supply to the healing meniscus so that repair can be more feasible. If meniscal damage has occurred in a cruciate rupture, arthritis is inevitable and surgery should be considered a palliative procedure.
Abscesses and Your Pet
An abscess is a localized collection of pus in a cavity.  Most abscesses are formed by the invasion of tissues by bacteria.  This can be the result of a dog bite, cat bite, puncture wound or any other type of trauma that breaks through the skin and causes infection.
Please follow these simple steps to help your pet recover quickly and safely:
Antibiotics:  please give your pet the entire prescribed antibiotic according to the label, even if your pet appears normal.
Draining: Draining from wound site is normal.
What to look for:  if the abscess site becomes swollen, red or has a bad odor from that area, or if your pet continually licks at the suture, you should bring your pet in right away so we can treat the problem.
Draining a bite abscess
This is a large abscess over the shoulder, required careful anaesthetic, drainage, flushing of the abscessed area and the insertion of a plastic drain for 5-7 days until the subcutaneous tissues healed. With antibiotics and pain relief she made a good recovery and the drain  was removed a week later.
Canine Bladder Stones
What are bladder stones?  Bladder stones, more correctly called uroliths, are rock-like collections of minerals that form in the urinary bladder.  They may occur as a large, single stone or as dozens of stones the size of large grains of sand or pea gravel. 
Are these the same as gall stones or kidney stones?  No.  Gall stones are in the gall bladder, and kidney stones are in the kidney.  Although the kidneys and urinary bladder are both part of the urinary system, kidney stones are usually unrelated to bladder stones. 
What problems do bladder stones cause?  The two most common signs of bladder stones are hematuria (blood in the urine) and dysuria (straining to urinate).  Hematuria occurs because the stones irritate the bladder wall, causing bleeding from its surface.  Dysuria occurs when stones obstruct the passage of urine out of the bladder.  Large stones may cause a partial obstruction at the point where the urine leaves the bladder and enters the urethra; small stones may flow with the urine into the urethra and cause an obstruction in this area. 
When an obstruction occurs, urine cannot pass out of the body and the abdomen becomes very painful.  Your dog may cry in pain, especially if pressure is applied to the abdominal wall. 
When there is no obstruction occurring, hematuria, and dysuria, are the most common signs seen in dogs with bladder stones.  However, pain usually also occurs in the bladder.  This is known because when bladder stones are removed surgically, many owners tell us how much better their dog feels and how much more active it has become.
Why do they form?  There are several theories of bladder stone formation.  Each is feasible in some circumstances, but there is probably an interaction of more than one of them in each dog.  The most commonly accepted theory is called the Precipitation-Crystallization Theory.  This theory states that one or more stone-forming crystalline compounds are present in elevated levels in the urine.  This may be due to abnormalities in diet or due to some previous disease in the bladder, especially infection with bacteria.  When the amount of this compound is so great that is cannot all be dissolved in the urine, so it precipitates and forms tiny crystals.  These crystals stick together, usually due to mucus-like material within the bladder, and stones gradually form.  As time passes, the stones enlarge and increase in number. 
How fast do they grow?  Growth will depend on the quantity of crystalline material present and the degree of infection present.  Although is may take months for a large stone to grow, some sizable stones have been documented to form in as little as two weeks. 
How are they diagnosed?  Most dogs that have bladder infections do not have bladder stones.  These dogs will often have blood in the urine and will strain to urinate, the same symptoms as a dog with bladder stones.  Therefore, we do not suspect bladder stones just based on these clinical signs. 
Some bladder stones can be palpated (felt with fingers) through the abdominal wall.  However, failure to palpate them does not rule them out. 
Most bladder stones are visible on radiographs (x-rays) or an ultrasound examination.  These procedures are performed if stones are suspected.  This includes dogs that show unusual pain when the bladder is palpated, dogs that have recurrent hematuria and dysuria, or dogs that have recurrent bacterial infections of the bladder. 
Some bladder stones are not visible on radiographs.  They are said to be radiolucent.  This means that their mineral composition is such that they do not reflect the x-ray beam.  These stones may be found with an ultrasound examination or with special radiographs that are made after placing a special dye (contrast material) in the bladder. 
How are bladder stones treated?  There are two options for treatment.  The fastest way is to remove them surgically.  This requires major surgery in which the abdomen and bladder are opened.  Following two to four days of recovery, the dog is relieved of pain and dysuria.  The hematuria will often persist for a few more days, before it stops.  Surgery is not the best option for all patients; however, those with urethral obstruction and those with bacterial infections associated with the stones should be operated on unless there are other health conditions that prohibit surgery. 
The second option is to dissolve the stone with a special diet.  This avoids surgery and can be a very good choice for some dogs.  However, is has three disadvantages: 
*1.  It is not successful for all types of stones.  Unless some sand-sized stones can be collected from the urine and analyzed, it is not possible to know if the stone is of the composition that is likely to be dissolved. 
*2.  It is slow.  It may take several weeks or a few months to dissolve a large stone so the dog may continue to have hematuria and dysuria during that time. 
*3.  Not all dogs will eat the special diet.  The diet is not as tasty as the foods that many dogs are fed.  If it is not consumed exclusively, it will not work. 
Can bladder stones be prevented?  The answer is a qualified *yes.*  There are at least four types of bladder stones, based on their chemical composition.  If stones are removed surgically or if some small ones pass in the urine, they should be analyzed for their chemical composition.  This will permit us to determine is a special diet will be helpful in preventing recurrence.  If a bacterial infection causes stone formation, it is recommended that periodic urinalyses and urine cultures be performed to determine when antibiotics should be given. 
Canine Bladder Stones
What are bladder stones?  Bladder stones, more correctly called uroliths, are rock-like collections of minerals that form in the urinary bladder.  They may occur as a large, single stone or as dozens of stones the size of large grains of sand or pea gravel. 
Are these the same as gall stones or kidney stones?  No.  Gall stones are in the gall bladder, and kidney stones are in the kidney.  Although the kidneys and urinary bladder are both part of the urinary system, kidney stones are usually unrelated to bladder stones. 
What problems do bladder stones cause?  The two most common signs of bladder stones are hematuria (blood in the urine) and dysuria (straining to urinate).  Hematuria occurs because the stones irritate the bladder wall, causing bleeding from its surface.  Dysuria occurs when stones obstruct the passage of urine out of the bladder.  Large stones may cause a partial obstruction at the point where the urine leaves the bladder and enters the urethra; small stones may flow with the urine into the urethra and cause an obstruction in this area. 
When an obstruction occurs, urine cannot pass out of the body and the abdomen becomes very painful.  Your dog may cry in pain, especially if pressure is applied to the abdominal wall. 
When there is no obstruction occurring, hematuria, and dysuria, are the most common signs seen in dogs with bladder stones.  However, pain usually also occurs in the bladder.  This is known because when bladder stones are removed surgically, many owners tell us how much better their dog feels and how much more active it has become.
Why do they form?  There are several theories of bladder stone formation.  Each is feasible in some circumstances, but there is probably an interaction of more than one of them in each dog.  The most commonly accepted theory is called the Precipitation-Crystallization Theory.  This theory states that one or more stone-forming crystalline compounds are present in elevated levels in the urine.  This may be due to abnormalities in diet or due to some previous disease in the bladder, especially infection with bacteria.  When the amount of this compound is so great that is cannot all be dissolved in the urine, so it precipitates and forms tiny crystals.  These crystals stick together, usually due to mucus-like material within the bladder, and stones gradually form.  As time passes, the stones enlarge and increase in number. 
How fast do they grow?  Growth will depend on the quantity of crystalline material present and the degree of infection present.  Although is may take months for a large stone to grow, some sizable stones have been documented to form in as little as two weeks. 
How are they diagnosed?  Most dogs that have bladder infections do not have bladder stones.  These dogs will often have blood in the urine and will strain to urinate, the same symptoms as a dog with bladder stones.  Therefore, we do not suspect bladder stones just based on these clinical signs. 
Some bladder stones can be palpated (felt with fingers) through the abdominal wall.  However, failure to palpate them does not rule them out. 
Most bladder stones are visible on radiographs (x-rays) or an ultrasound examination.  These procedures are performed if stones are suspected.  This includes dogs that show unusual pain when the bladder is palpated, dogs that have recurrent hematuria and dysuria, or dogs that have recurrent bacterial infections of the bladder. 
Some bladder stones are not visible on radiographs.  They are said to be radiolucent.  This means that their mineral composition is such that they do not reflect the x-ray beam.  These stones may be found with an ultrasound examination or with special radiographs that are made after placing a special dye (contrast material) in the bladder. 
How are bladder stones treated?  There are two options for treatment.  The fastest way is to remove them surgically.  This requires major surgery in which the abdomen and bladder are opened.  Following two to four days of recovery, the dog is relieved of pain and dysuria.  The hematuria will often persist for a few more days, before it stops.  Surgery is not the best option for all patients; however, those with urethral obstruction and those with bacterial infections associated with the stones should be operated on unless there are other health conditions that prohibit surgery. 
The second option is to dissolve the stone with a special diet.  This avoids surgery and can be a very good choice for some dogs.  However, is has three disadvantages: 
*1.  It is not successful for all types of stones.  Unless some sand-sized stones can be collected from the urine and analyzed, it is not possible to know if the stone is of the composition that is likely to be dissolved. 
*2.  It is slow.  It may take several weeks or a few months to dissolve a large stone so the dog may continue to have hematuria and dysuria during that time. 
*3.  Not all dogs will eat the special diet.  The diet is not as tasty as the foods that many dogs are fed.  If it is not consumed exclusively, it will not work. 
Can bladder stones be prevented?  The answer is a qualified *yes.*  There are at least four types of bladder stones, based on their chemical composition.  If stones are removed surgically or if some small ones pass in the urine, they should be analyzed for their chemical composition.  This will permit us to determine is a special diet will be helpful in preventing recurrence.  If a bacterial infection causes stone formation, it is recommended that periodic urinalyses and urine cultures be performed to determine when antibiotics should be given. 
Dewclaw Removal
A "dewclaw"  is actually the first digit, or finger on your dog's foot.  Removing the dewclaws may be necessary in sporting breeds to prevent tearing or injuring of the digit.  Some owners have them removed for cosmetic reasons.  Removing the dewclaws involves anesthetizing your dog and surgically removing the digit.  A bandage is placed over the incision on both feet, for protection and to keep the area free of debris.

Please read the following after-care instructions to ensure a healthy recovery.

The Night after Anesthesia:  Your animal may be sleepy and a little disoriented, so please keep him / her in a safe place where he / she cannot fall or wander into danger. Allow him / her to rest undisturbed.

Eating and Drinking: Your dog may not feel like eating the night of the surgery, this is normal.  You can offer small amounts of water and 1/4 the normal amount of food, if he / she seems hungry. Excessive drinking and eating may make him / her vomit or have diarrhea.  The following day, you can resume the normal eating and drinking schedule.

Exercise:  Your dog will be limited to exercise until the sutures and bandages are removed.  No swimming is allowed for 2 weeks.  The bandage needs to stay as clean  and dry as possible.

Sutures:  Your dog has had sutures placed in the skin, so care should be taken so the sutures stay in place for 14 days.  The suture site will be bandaged until the sutures are removed.  If you pet chews at the bandage, and e-collar can be applied.

Bandage:  Your dog has had a bandage applied over the suture line where the dewclaws were removed.  The bandage will need to stay as dry and clean as possible.  It will need to be changed in 5 days.  Please make an appointment to have it changed.  If the bandage becomes damaged (wet or dirty), within 5 days, it will need to be replaced.  The incision site will need to be bandaged until the sutures are  are removed in 2 weeks.  If the bandage becomes damaged after 5 days, but before 14 days, it will need to be changed again.
Cryptorchidism
(Retained Testicles)
Cryptorchidism is a condition in which a male*s testicles have not descended (dropped) into the scrotum. At birth, a male puppy*s or kitten*s testicles are located near the inguinal ring. By 2 to 3 weeks of age, they*re in the puppy*s scrotum. By 6 months of age, they*re palpable in the kitten*s scrotum.
In the fetus, a structure called the gubernaculum connects the testicle (located next to the kidney during development) to the scrotum. If this structure fails to develop properly, the testicle will not end up in the scrotum, but will end up in the abdomen, the inguinal canal, etc.
Cryptorchidism can be unilateral (only occurring on one side) or bilateral (occurring on both sides). Unilateral cryptorchidism usually involves the right testicle. Bilaterally cryptorchid animals are usually sterile because the higher body temperature inside the abdomen is enough to prevent sperm production. (The animals will, however, still exhibit male behaviors.)
Cryptorchidism is a fairly common defect in dogs. Dog breeds most likely to be affected include Yorkshire terrier, Pomeranian, French poodle, Siberian husky, miniature schnauzer, Shetland sheepdog, Chihuahua, German shepherd, dachshund, and brachycephalic breeds, but it can happen in any breed or mixed breed. It*s considered to be an X-linked, autosomal-recessive trait. If an animal is cryptorchid, he should not be used for breeding. Dogs with cryptorchid testicles are prone to testicular torsion and testicular cancer, so these dogs should be neutered to prevent problems later.
Cryptorchidism in cats is uncommon. The most common breed associated with cryptorchidism is the Persian. Congenital abnormalities that have been known to occur simultaneously with cryptorchidism are: patellar luxation, shortened tail, kinked tail, tetralogy of Fallot, tarsal deformity, microphthalmia, and upper eyelid agenesis. Unlike dogs, it may be possible to visually differentiate between a castrated cat and one with retained testicles, because cryptorchid cats have barbs on the penis.
Laboratory Diagnosis
A testosterone assay can be used to differentiate between a castrated male and a cryptorchid male.
Treatment
Surgical removal is the only treatment for cryptorchidism. Even if the animal is a unilateral cryptorchid, both testicles should still be surgically removed. (The cryptorchid testicle should be removed to prevent testicular torsion and testicular cancer, and the normal testicle should be removed to prevent cryptorchid offspring.) This surgery is more complicated than the usual neuter surgery, because the cryptorchid testicle can be difficult to locate. Depending on the case, some pets will be able to go home the day of the surgery, and some may have to stay in the hospital overnight. A 2-week recuperation (reduced activity) is advised because this surgery usually involves opening the abdomen, and the surgical site has to have time to heal before the pet resumes normal activities.
Many males will need to wear a protective Elizabethan collar during recuperation to prevent them from licking or chewing at the incision. Owners should check the incision regularly for redness and swelling, which could indicate a post-operative infection or self-trauma. If non-dissolvable skin sutures are used, they will need to be removed by your veterinarian at about 10 to 14 days after surgery.
Prognosis
Cryptorchid animals that have had both testicles removed, and have no other defects, will generally live a normal lifespan for the breed.
Kidney Failure In Dogs
What is meant by the term *Chronic Kidney Failure*?  Presumably the term *chronic kidney failure* suggests that the kidneys have quit working and are, therefore, not making urine.  However, by definition, kidney failure is the inability of the kidney to remove waste products from the blood.  This definition can occasionally create confusion because some will equate kidney failure with failure to make urine.  Kidney failure is NOT the inability to make urine.  Ironically, most cats in kidney failure are actually producing large quantities of urine, but the body*s wastes are not being effectively eliminated.

When is this likely to happen to my dog?  The typical form of chronic kidney failure is the result of aging; it is simply a *wearing out* process.  The age of onset is related to the size of the dog.  For most small dogs, the early signs occur at about 10-14 years of age.  However, large dogs have a shorter age span and may go into kidney failure as early as seven years of age. 

What changes are likely to occur in my dog?  The kidneys are nothing more than filters.  When aging causes the filtration process to become inefficient and ineffective, blood flow to the kidneys is increased in an attempt to increase filtration.  This results in the production of more urine.  To keep the dog from becoming dehydrated due to increased fluid loss in the urine, thirst is increased; this results in more water consumption.  Thus, the early clinical signs of kidney failure are increased water consumption and increased urine production.  The clinical signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting diarrhea, and very bad breath.  Occasionally, ulcers will be found in the mouth.

How is chronic kidney failure diagnosed?  The diagnosis of kidney failure is made by determining the level of two waste products in the blood:  blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and blood creatinine.  A urinalysis is also needed to complete the study of kidney function.

Although BUN and creatinine levels reflect kidney failure, they do not predict it.  A dog with marginal kidney function may have normal blood tests.  If that dog is stressed with major illness or surgery, the kidneys may fail, sending blood test values up quickly.

Since this is basically just a wearing out process, can it be treated with anything other than a kidney transplant?  In some cases, the kidneys are worn out so that they cannot be revived.  However, with aggressive treatment many dogs will live for several more months or years. 

Treatment occurs in two phases.  The first phase is to *restart* the kidneys.  Large quantities of intravenous fluids are given to *flush out* the kidneys.  This flushing process, called diuresis, helps to stimulate the kidney cells to function again.  If enough functional kidney cells remain, they may be able to adequately meet the body*s needs for waste removal.  Fluid therapy includes replacement of various electrolytes, especially potassium.  Other important aspects of initial treatment include proper nutrition and drugs to control vomiting and diarrhea. 

What can I expect from this phase treatment?  There are three possible outcomes due to the first phase of treatment:

1)  The kidneys will resume functioning and continue to function for a few weeks to a few years. 
2) The kidneys will resume functioning during treatment but fail again as soon as treatment stops. 
3)  Kidney function will not return.
Unfortunately, there are no reliable tests that will predict the outcome.

If the first phase of treatment is successful, what happens next?  The second phase of treatment is to keep the kidneys functioning as long as possible.  This is accomplished with one or more of the following, depending on the situation: 

1.  A special diet.  The ideal diet is low in protein, low in phosphorus, and not acidified.  This type of diet helps to keep the blood tests as close to normal as possible, which usually makes your dog feel better.  Also, once a kidney disease is advanced, a decreased protein diet will decrease the workload on the kidneys.  We can recommend a commercially prepared food that is formulated for kidney disease. 

2.  Fluids given at home.  Once you dog is stabilized, fluids can be given under the skin (subcutaneously).  This serves to continually *restart* the kidneys as their function begins to fail again.  This is done once daily to once weekly, depending on the degree of kidney failure.  Although this might not sound like something you can do, you will be surprised at how easily the technique can be learned and how well most dogs will tolerate it. 

How long can I expect my dog to live?  The prognosis is quite variable depending on response to the initial stage of treatment and your ability to perform the follow-up care.  However, we encourage treatment in most situations because many dogs will respond and have good quality of life for up to four years. 
Medial Luxating Patella
By Wendy C. Brooks, DVM
The medial luxating patella, commonly called *trick knee,* is an extremely common problem in toy breed dogs. An owner typically notices a little skip in the dog*s step. The dog may even run on three legs, holding one hind leg up, and then miraculously be back on four legs as if nothing has happened.
In fact, something has happened: the kneecap (or *patella*) has slipped out of the smooth groove in which it normally rides up and down. It has slipped *medially,* which is to say towards the opposite leg, as opposed to *laterally,* which would be away from the dog entirely. With the patella dislocated (or *luxated*) medially, the knee cannot extend properly and stays bent. Hopefully, the patient will be able to slip the kneecap back where it belongs and be back to normal in only a few steps. For some dogs, getting a kneecap back where it belongs and normal extension of the rear leg is a mere dream only attainable with surgical correction.
Approximately 50% of affected dogs have both knees involved while the other 50% has only one knee involved.
Which Dogs Need Correction?
Medial patellar luxations are graded to assess severity.
Grade I: The kneecap can be moved out of place manually but will fall back into its natural position once the manipulator lets go.
Grade 2: Same thing except that the kneecap does not move back to its normal position when the manipulator lets go. These dogs are likely to progress to arthritis development and should be considered for surgery to prevent conformational damage. There is some controversy over whether grade 2 dogs should have surgery.
Grade 3: The patella is out of place all the time but can be manipulated back into its normal position manually (though it will not stay there).
Grade 4: The patella is not only out of place all the time but cannot even be manipulated back into place by hand. Such a dog has extreme difficulty extending his knees and walks with his knees bent virtually all the time.
It is not a good thing to have one*s knee cap out of place; the entire weight-bearing stress of the rear leg is altered which, in time, leads to changes in the hips, long bones, and ultimately arthritis. How severe the changes are depends on how severe the luxation is (i.e., the grade as described above) and how long that degree of luxation has been going on. In time, the legs will actually turn inward, making the dog *knock-kneed.* The luxation is not considered a painful condition but after enough time and conformational change, arthritis sets in, which is indeed painful.
Dogs with Grade I luxations do not require surgical repair.
Grade 2 dogs may benefit from surgery and most often the owner is called upon to judge how big a problem the lameness is.
Dogs with Grade 3 or 4 disease definitely should have surgery.
This type of surgery is often referred to a surgical specialist, though if your regular veterinarian is well experienced, the surgery can be done at your regular hospital. If referral is needed, your veterinarian will make a recommendation or you can visit www.acvs.org to locate a veterinary surgeon near you.
What Surgical Procedures Are Available?
Lateral Imbrication:  This procedure alone may be adequate for a mild case but is often used as an adjunctive procedure to supplement one of the other surgeries. When the patella slips out of its groove, the joint capsule surrounding it is stretched to allow this motion. Imbrication simply involves taking a tuck in the joint capsule. The tightened joint capsule does not allow for the slipping of the kneecap and the kneecap is confined to its proper groove.
Trochlear Modification: The patella rides in a groove at the bottom of the femur (thigh bone). In toy breed dogs this groove is shallow, which allows the patella to slip. If the groove is deepened, the patella stays where it belongs. The normal groove in the femur is lined by slippery lubricated cartilage, called *hyaline cartilage.* This cartilage is peeled or cut away, the bone underneath is sliced out to form a deeper groove, and the cartilage is replaced. Techniques that do not preserve the original cartilage are no longer recommended.
Tibial Crest Transposition: If the knock-kneed conformation has already started to set in, the tibias (or leg bones) will have rotated. In particular, the crest on the tibia where the thigh muscle (the quadriceps femoris) attaches may have migrated inward. If this is the case, the crest will have to be removed and pinned back where it belongs to straighten out the leg. Severe rotation of the tibias may involve actually cutting through the entire bone and de-rotating it back into place.
Should both Knees be Repaired at once or Should they be Staged?
Some surgeons feel that doing one leg at a time, 8 weeks or more apart, is beneficial as the patient will have one good rear leg upon which to walk. If the patient is very young (under age one year) it may be a good idea to do both legs at the same time so as to prevent conformational problems in the leg not operated first.
Post-operative Care
If imbrication was the only procedure, expect 3 to 4 weeks of confinement. If any of the other procedures above were utilized, expect more like 6 to 8 weeks of confinement depending on the surgeon*s preference. During this time easy walking (no running or jumping) is helpful. The dog should be using the leg by two weeks post-operatively though some dogs must be retrained to use the leg after surgery. Physical therapy is in order if the dog is not using the leg after one month.
Parvovirus
Attempting to shield a puppy from exposure is completely futile.
The biggest problem in protecting a puppy against this infection ironically stems from the natural mechanism of protection that has evolved.  Puppies obtain their immunity from their mother*s first milk, the colostrums, on the first day of life. This special milk contains the mother*s antibodies against parvovirus and until these antibodies wane to ineffective levels, they will protect the puppy.
*** REMEMBER: The more maternal antibodies a puppy has,
 the less likely a vaccine is to work. ***
How Parvo infection happens:
Whether or not infection happens depends on  the interaction of three things:
*1. Host Vitality (including immune experience / vaccination status)
*2. Virulence of the virus (including how many viral particles the host is exposed to)
*3. Environmental factors
Obviously these three aspects interplay somewhat; a stressful environment will reduce host vitality, a dry environment will reduce the number of viral particles, etc.
Where does the virus come from?
Remember that this virus has been around for nearly 20 years, it is very hard to disinfect away, and is shed in large numbers by infected dogs. This means that there is virus everywhere: on every carpet, on every floor, in every yard and park. Virus is shed for the first two weeks or less after infection in the stool of an infected dog but only a tiny portion of infected stool (which could be months old depending on the environmental temperature and humidity) is needed to infect a non-immune dog. Some dogs become what is called sub-clinically infected, which means they do not appear particularly sick. These animals tend not to be confined since no one knows they are infected thus they can spread virus around a large area depending on where they are leaving their droppings.
Why only puppies?
The most important factors in parvovirus infection seems to be the immune experience the host (dog) has had with the virus plus the number of viral particles the host is exposed to. Twenty years ago when the virus was new, all dogs young and old were susceptible but now, because the virus is present everywhere, all dogs, even unvaccinated ones, have at least some immunological experience with this virus. Any exposure no matter how small is likely to generate some antibodies.  Also, vaccination is a widespread process nowadays and it is likely that a dog has had at least once vaccination at some point. Will these antibodies be enough for protection? In general, the answer seems to be yes as infection in dogs over age one is somewhat unusual. It is important to realize, however, that this observation should not be taken to mean that adult dogs should not continue their vaccinations. Even though infection is somewhat unusual in adult dogs, adult dogs should still continue their vaccinations as this is still a life threatening disease for which treatment is expensive and no chances should be taken.
Incubation
The virus enters the body through the mouth as the puppy cleans itself or eats food off the ground or floor. A minuscule amount of infected stool is all it takes. There is a 3 to 7 day incubation period before the puppy seems obviously ill.
It is in the GI tract where the heaviest damage occurs. The normal intestine possesses little finger-like protrusions called villi. Having these tiny fingers greatly increases the surface area available for the absorption of fluid and nutrients. To make the surface area available for absorption greater still, the villi possess microvilli, which are microscopic protrusions. The cells of the villi are relatively short-lived and are readily replaced by new cells. The source of the new cells is the rapidly dividing area at the foot of the villi called the Crypts of Lieberkuhn. It is right at the crypt where the parvovirus strikes.
The virus kills one of two ways:
1. Diarrhea and vomiting lead to extreme fluid loss and dehydration until shock and death result or
2. Loss of the intestinal barrier allows bacterial invasion of potentially the entire body. Septic toxins from these bacteria result in death.
How is survival possible?
Even parvovirus cannot disrupt the entire immune system. Plus, every day that goes by allows more antibody to be produced. This antibody can bind and inactivate the virus. Whether survival is possible amounts to a race between the damaged immune system trying to recover and respond versus the fluid loss and bacterial invasion.
Parvo: The physical Illness and Its Treatment
Treatment for parvoviral infection centers on support. This means that the clinical problems that come up in the course of the infection are addressed individually with the goal of keeping the patient alive long enough for an immune response to generate. We do not have effective anti-virus antibiotics and must rely on the patients immune system for cure.
Be prepared for a 5 to 7 day hospital stay and a substantial expense. Intensive care is needed to treat this infection.
There are certain basic treatment principles which can be viewed as must haves in addressing the Parvo puppy.  Beyond these basics are some added pluses that may or may not contribute to the chance for survival. In order to achieve the usual survival rate of approximately 75% to 85%, the basics must be delivered. If an owner is less concerned about expense and simply want to maximize survival chances, some of the optional treatments may be employed.
The basics:
1. Fluid Therapy: One of the ways Parvo can kill is via the metabolic derangements that occur with dehydration. It is crucial to replace the vast fluid losses (from vomiting and diarrhea) with intravenous fluids. Fluids are given as a steady drip rather than simply under the skin so that absorption into the circulation is direct. Potassium is usually added to the fluids in order to maintain electrolyte balance. Dextrose (sugar) is frequently added as the stress of the disease may lower blood sugar especially in a very small puppy.
2. Antibiotics:  The second way Parvo kills is through bacterial invasion of the circulatory system (sepsis). Since the GI tract is damaged, antibiotics cannot be given orally. They are given either as injections or are added to the IV fluid bag.  There are a number of antibiotics which may be selected.
3. Control of Nausea: Patient comfort is a very important part of treatment for any disease but it is especially important for Parvo treatment as these puppies feel extremely nauseated. Again, the GI tract is too damaged for oral medication so medications are given as injections.
*** Home treatment for Parvo infection is a bad idea. Mortality rises substantially and the heavy diarrhea and vomiting lead to heavy viral contamination in the home.  Still, if financial concerns preclude hospitalization, home care may be the puppy*s only chance.  Fluids will have to be given under the skin at home as will injectable medicines. **
In our experience, a puppy that has not shown obvious improvement by the 4th day of treatment does not survive.
Caring for the Recovering Dog
Diet: Your puppy is recovering from some extensive damage to his/her intestinal tract.  It is typical for stool to be a little loose at first or no stool to be produced for a few days as the tract recovers. The stool should gradually firm up over the first 3-5 days at home and your puppy should be active and of normal attitude. If the diarrhea persists, if vomiting occurs or if your puppy seems depressed, please contact our office at once for instructions.
Your puppy may be ravenously hungry after going so long without food. Please stick to this diet.
*1st 24 hours: *Ice cubes (no water)
*2nd 24 hours:*Ice cubes (no water) & rice or mashed potatoes (5-8 small feedings daily)
*3rd 24 hours:** rice or potatoes & * dog food (5-8 small feedings daily) water okay
*4th 24 hours:*5-8 small feedings of dog food a day * water okay
Do not let puppy gorge, it will result in vomiting and diarrhea.
Exercise: Your puppy should be considered contagious to other puppies for a good month so it is important to *play it safe* by restricting trips to the park, obedience school, or other neighborhood area.
Other Pets: Cats and humans are not susceptible to Parvo virus. Other dogs and puppies, however, are at risk. If your puppy was indoors only, wait at least one month before any new puppies come into your home. If your sick puppy was outdoors, remember that it can take seven months before the virus is eliminated from soil.
Bathing: Your puppy may be bathed at any time, as long as you do not allow him/her to get cold or chilled after the bath.
Resuming Vaccination:  Follow your vets recommendation. Your puppy cannot be re-infected with this virus for at least three years, but there are other viruses that your puppy should be protected against.

Sensitive Stomach Diet



1st 24 hours: *Ice cubes (no water)
2nd 24 hours:*Ice cubes (no water) & rice or mashed potatoes
***(5-8 small feedings daily)
3rd 24 hours:** rice or potatoes & * dog food
***(5-8 small feedings daily) water okay
4th 24 hours:*5-8 small feedings of dog food
***a day * water okay


Call us with any problems or concerns
at 324-2375
Obesity and Your Pet
If your pet is overweight it is taking in (eating) more calories than it needs. Set all excuses aside ... excessive weight in an otherwise healthy pet is a direct result of consuming unnecessary amounts of food. If your pet is overweight it should be examined for heart, thyroid or other metabolic disorders. A detailed history should be taken with emphasis on frequency of exercise, amount and type of food being provided and other parameters relative to calorie requirements.
What To Do About An Overweight Dog
Be sure your veterinarian evaluates Thyroid Gland function in any overweight dog or cat. Hypothyroidism is a very common instigator of excess weight in pets and this needs to be corrected or your attempts to reduce your pet's weight will probably fail.
A healthy dog can abstain from food for five days before any noticeable health effects occur. They generally don't HAVE to eat every day. (Very small breeds are an exception...but unless there's really some medical problem present, missing a day of eating isn't a major catastrophe.) Always be sure fresh water is available. So start out by feeding a very high quality, complete and balanced dog food. Look on the ingredients list...MEAT should be the first item listed, not corn.
Record an accurate pre-diet weight. Reduce by one-third your pet*s total daily ration previously given. Include in this total all treats, snacks, or left-overs if you insist on continuing to provide these. Reweigh the pet in 2 weeks. Remember if the pet begs for food, that's a good sign! But don*t give in.
If you find upon weighing your pet after two weeks that it has lost even a little weight, you*re on the right track; keep up this schedule! If no weight loss is evident, again reduce by one-third the amount being fed. Weigh the pet again in two weeks. Depending upon the results either keep feeding this amount or reduce again by one-third the total amount being fed. If you persist a good outcome is certain.
It is also important to get everyone*s cooperation in restricting the pet*s intake. There is usually someone in the household who feels sorry for the dieting pet and surreptitiously provides "just a little" something extra. More helpful would it be for the person to take the pet for a walk or a run to burn off a few calories.
Keep in mind most overweight pets have a slow metabolism. They simply don*t burn off those calories very fast and in fact don*t generally have "eager eater" appetites. Because of this slow metabolism, though, they don*t require very much; so "just a little extra" will make a big difference over a period of time.
As in people, dogs carrying extra pounds of weight place extra demands on virtually all the organs of their bodies. When we overload these organs, disease and sometimes death are the consequences. The health risks to overweight dogs are serious and every dog owner should be aware of them. The more common consequences of obesity in dogs are discussed below.
Complications of Obesity
Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes)
One of the most common complications of obesity in dogs is the development of diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes). Obesity causes an increase in the secretion of insulin in response to the increased blood glucose level in the overweight dog. Insulin is also more in demand simply because there is a greater amount of tissue in an overweight dog. When requirements for insulin exceed the ability of the body to produce insulin, diabetes mellitus develops.
Damage to joints, bones, and ligaments*
Approximately 25% of overweight dogs develop serious joint complications. The bones, joints, muscles, and associated tendons and ligaments all work together to give the dog smooth and efficient movement. If they are required to carry excess weight, they can start to become damaged. Arthritis can develop and the pain and joint changes associated with hip dysplasia can become markedly more severe.
Heart disease and increased blood pressure
As in people, overweight dogs tend to have increased blood pressure (hypertension). The heart has an increased work load since it must pump additional blood to excess tissues. This can lead to congestive heart failure.
Difficulty breathing
In overweight animals, the lungs can not function properly. The additional fat in the chest restricts the expansion of the lungs. The extra fat in the abdomen pushes against the diaphragm, which separates the abdominal cavity from the chest.
Decreased stamina
Dogs who are overweight have less endurance and stamina. The heart, muscles, and respiratory system are all asked to do more than they were designed for.
Heat intolerance
Fat is an excellent insulator, which is fine if you are a polar bear. But if you are an overweight dog in the heat of summer, the excess fat can make you miserable, and much less capable of regulating your body temperature.
Decreased liver function
The liver stores fat so when a dog is overweight, an increased amount of fat builds up in the liver. This is called hepatic lipidosis. This condition can result in decreased liver function.
Increased surgical and anesthetic risk
The effects of obesity on the heart and lungs have serious ramifications during anesthesia. Cardiac arrest (heart stops) and poor circulation of oxygenated blood to the tissues can occur. The increased fat in the tissues makes surgery more difficult and the procedure will also take longer, which again increases the anesthetic risk.
Reproductive problems
Overweight dogs tend to have more problems giving birth than dogs at their optimum weight. This difficult birthing is called dystocia, and may require a cesarean section (C-section).
Digestive disorders
An overweight dog has an increased risk of developing constipation and may also have more problems with intestinal gas and flatulence, which is not pleasant for the dog or the owner.
Decreased immune function
Obesity in the dog is associated with decreased resistance to viral and bacterial infections. Canine distemper and Salmonella infections, especially, seem to be more severe in dogs who are overweight.
Skin and hair coat problems
The risk of skin and hair coat diseases are increased in dogs who are overweight. The skin forms more and different types of oils, the skin may fold in on itself creating pockets, which are ideal for the accumulation of oils and the development of infections.
Increased risk of cancer
Obese dogs tend to have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancers, including a particular type of cancer of the urinary bladder.
Decreased quality and length of life
It is evident that the health, ability to play, even to breathe, are diminished in overweight dogs. Overweight dogs may become more irritable due to being hot, in pain, or simply uncomfortable. Overweight dogs die at a younger age than those maintained at an optimum weight.
We must contribute positively to our dog's health. The next time those big brown eyes say, 'Can I please have a treat,' think very carefully first. In most cases, your answer should be 'No, and I'm doing this for your own good,' and it will be absolutely true.
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