Monday, January 28, 2013

How much food should I feed my dog?



Every dog is an individual. Like people, some pets put on weight more easily than others and need less food to keep them slim and fit, while others need extra to keep them at their ideal body weight. Feeding guides are as accurate as possible, but some pets may need less or more than this "ideal".

Assess your dog’s body condition by trying to feel it's ribs - you should just be able to feel them under a firm covering of flesh. There should be a waist between the ribs and hips and the tummy should be tucked up. Feed your pet less or more depending on how your dog measures up to this ideal. Once your dog is at the ideal weight further slight adjustments may be necessary.

Pros and cons of neutering my dog?

When should you consider neutering?

From around the age of 6-8 months, puppies reach sexual maturity and are therefore capable of breeding and producing puppies themselves!


Some veterinary surgeries will advise that the best time to have your female dogs neutered is before their first season and others may say afterwards, but none will do this during the season, preferring to wait 6-8 weeks after a season to perform the procedure.


Most surgeries will recommend neutering a male dog at 6 months of age.
It is advisable to keep your dogs on a leash at this time, as female dogs may be able to get pregnant slightly before this age. We would also recommend not leaving your dog tied up outside shops during this time for the same reasons.


Why neuter?

The benefit of having dogs neutered far outweighs the consequences and is a very responsible thing for a dog owner to do.



Neutering a dog - castration in the male (removal of the testes), and spaying the female (removal of the ovaries and uterus), not only prevents unwanted pregnancies occurring, but also curbs unwanted behavioral patterns associated with sexual activity.


It also reduces the risk of false pregnancies and certain diseases such as mammary tumors, radiometry (uterine infection) and testicular tumors.

Once sexual maturity is reached, the female will begin to come into season. Cycles of sexual activity typically occur twice yearly and will only stop once your dog has been spayed. Signs of a season may include penitence, lethargy, frequent urination and a swollen vulva.




How can I tell if my dog is pregnant?


If you do not get your dog spayed, they may become pregnant. You will not be able to tell if your dog is pregnant until 5-6 weeks after breeding. The pregnancy will last 63 days. Signs may include enlarged nipples and a swollen belly from around 4-5 weeks.



We would recommend taking your dog to the vets for a check-up to confirm pregnancy. Once there, the vet will be able to advise on the best course of action.


What changes should I expect after neutering?

In the male, you may find that your dog will not stray as much (to find uncluttered females), may become calmer and may cease any aggressive behavior or sexual behavior such as mounting or marking their territory with urine, but it will not change their basic character.



Dogs usually recover from the neutering operation remarkably quickly. They may be a little drowsy for a few hours, but by the next day they are usually lively again.


It is important to remember that once a dog has been neutered, there is a stronger tendency for it to become obese. This is because it may become less physically active due to no longer feeling the urge to roam around looking for a mate. 



You may therefore need to adjust the amount of food you provide should your dog start to put on too much weight.

The Advantages of Owning a Dog


Fitter, happier, more productive...


If you want to be all that and more, get a dog. A friend indeed

There's a reason dogs have long been called a man's best friend. Their loyalty, intelligence, devotion and affection are incredibly rewarding. From taking a long walk together on a beautiful spring morning, being greeted by a happily wagging tail at the end of a long day to relaxing at home in each other's company, owning a dog can raise spirits and engender a sense of well being like almost nothing else.



And of course for all the love you put in, a dog will give you it back tenfold.
Recent studies show that those of us who own a pet are usually healthier and happier in our lives than those who don't - and dog owners are particularly privileged.
Regular dog-walking improves fitness levels.
Why owning a dog is good for you

  • Regular dog-walking improves fitness levels.
  • Dog-walking increases social interaction - many people become friends with the fellow dog owners they regularly meet.
  • Walks help to forget the stresses and strains of everyday life, providing an opportunity to can get away from it all and spend some time with a faithful companion.
  • Dogs provide us with a sense of emotional well being thanks to the unconditional love they give us.
  • Dog owners generally have a more robust immune system, helping them stave off illnesses.
  • Dog ownership helps people to recover from personal trauma, such as bereavement.
  • Dog owners generally have reduced blood pressure compared with non-dog owners.
  • Patting a dog lowers your blood pressure, therefore lowering your chances of cardiovascular disease.
  • Dog owners often recover faster from illnesses and have a higher survival rate after a heart attack.
  • Dog-owning children have fewer sick days off school, and children who own pets often have better self esteem.


Above all, dogs are great fun. They can make you laugh, even if you've had a terrible day, and they're always there for a reassuring hug when you need it. A dog's primary wish in life is to make you, its owner, happy. How noble - and cool - is that.

By http://www.purina.com

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Can Matted Hair Cause Hot Spots?

Yes Dog hot spots can happen by the hair matting & preventing the skin from getting fresh air. It is also important to note that sometimes pain can cause hot spots too.

Dogs usually lick and bite a matted area that is painful , and the constant licking and biting can eventually result in a hot spot.

Hot spots are basically circular patches on the dog's skin that occur when the dog's natural bacteria over-populate in the area, usually because the dog's immune system is not a hundred percent up to par.

Sometimes, however, skin problems that look like hot spots are in fact something else.

For example, some fungal diseases and even some type of cancer start out looking like a hot spot.

It is therefore important to get a proper diagnosis to make sure that the problem is actually hot spots and not something more serious.

What Are Hot Spots on Pets?




What Are Hot Spots on Pets?

Hot spots (flea allergy dermatitis) is a skin disease (dermatitis) caused by your pet's allergic reaction to fleas. Derm means skin, and "itis" means inflammation, so your pet will have itchy, inflamed skin.
Inflamed skin is hot, red, and itchy.



Often the skin becomes smelly because yeast and bacteria grow well on unhealthy, inflamed skin. When your pet scratches the bacteria are rubbed deep into the skin and hot spots develop. 


Hot spots are just infected sores. Pets with flea allergy dermatitis are so sensitive they can develop hot spots if bitten just twice a month by fleas. Your pet is having an allergic reaction to flea saliva, feces and exoskeleton.


Hot Spots Symptoms



  • Compulsive biting
  • Licking
  • Chewing that looks like corncob nibbling
  • Scratching around the head & neck
  • Bald areas

Hot Spots on Dogs

Dogs with fleas often bite compulsively. They chew up and down their limbs as if they're nibbling on a corncob because they are so itchy. Dogs also roll on their backs to scratch the itching skin that can't be reached with their paws.

The skin may have red bites, rather like mosquito bites, or large raw, wet areas called hot spots. As the allergy worsens, the hot spots coalesce and become large open sores. Bacteria and yeast enter the skin and infect it creating oozing, pus-filled areas called pyodermatitis (Pyo means pus).


How Are Hot Spots Diagnosed?

Find the fleas on your pet or use the presence of flea dirt to confirm your suspicion of fleas. Some prefer to confirm flea bite allergies by doing skin tests that show your pet's immune response to flea proteins.

If you part your pet's coat, you may find tiny copper-colored or blackish pepper flakes, about 1/8 inch long. Unless the flea infestation is severe, you may see nothing unusual because fleas are programmed to live in dark areas.

They dash out of sight to hide as you part your pet's hair. Instead of finding fleas, you may find flea dirt, which looks like dark dust. When flea dirt is damp, it becomes red because it is made of blood. It's very difficult to see flea eggs because they are only 1/64th of an inch in size and because they fall off the pet and to the floor.

If you have a microscope and want to look for flea eggs, search along moldings, in cracks between boards, or in leaf litter. Eggs aren't normally seen on the pet.


What Is Flea Dirt?


You might suspect fleas are causing your pet's skin problems, but can't find them. This frequently happens with cats because cats can groom so fastidiously after they are bitten that they destroy the flea. Instead of looking for fleas, look for flea dirt. 


To find flea dirt, brush your pet over a white surface, such as a white rubber bath mat or dish drainer. Lightly dampen the dirt that falls on the mat and look for tiny streaks of reddish brown. That reddish brown material is your pet's blood.


Preventing Hot Spots


Hot spots are prevented by preventing fleas. The most common methods of flea prevention include topical flea medication and oral flea medication. 


Some of the most effective topical medications include Advantage II, K9 Advantix II, Frontline Plus, and Frontline Top Spot. These products begin killing fleas within minutes. 


Topical  Revolution also kills fleas, but requires at least 24 hours to become effective.

The most effective oral flea prevention medications are Sentinel and Capstar. Capstar kills all adult fleas and begins acting within minutes. 


Capstar is given daily. The main difference between these two oral flea medications is that Sentinel doesn't kill adult fleas. Sentinel prevents eggs from developing into adult fleas.


By: www.petmed.com

Saturday, January 5, 2013

History of Presidential Pets

There's no debating about this topic, pets are no strangers to the White House. Although we may think of dogs and cats as the more common pet types, throughout history there have also been several exotic pets which have kept the President company. Read our infographic below to find out which furry friends have been the most popular and those which have been the most unusual...so far.

Presidential Pets Infographic

Friday, January 4, 2013

Heartworm Disease Symptoms


Heartworm Disease Symptoms

Pets with Heartworm disease often cough. They find it difficult to exert themselves and don't enjoy exercise. Most pets lose weight, and some develop episodes of fainting.. Dogs experience heart failure so that blood cannot return to the heart and backs up in the liver.

Coughing
Weight loss
Edema
Exercise Intolerance
Fainting

How Is Heartworm Disease Diagnosed?


Heartworm disease is diagnosed with blood tests and X-rays. Blood tests are helpful in 3 ways: they can show tiny microfilaria, the presence of proteins from the adult worms, or the presence of immune antibodies indicating the pet has been stimulated to attack the heartworms. Some pets have blood tests that also show a high level of eosinophils, the type of white blood cell that is elevated in the presence of allergies or parasites.

X-rays diagnose heartworm disease by revealing an unusually large heart that is expanded on the right side—because it is full of worms. The vessels to the lungs are also unusual: enlarged and tortuous. In some pets, x-rays show an allergic reaction throughout the lungs that is caused by the heartworms.

Heartworm Treatment Options


Mild Heartworm Infection


The treatment is for pets that have only a very mild heartworm infection. These pets are given heartworm medicines such as Heartgard Plus or Iverhart Plus every month for two years. Often the heartworm medication is begun at half the normal dose, and then increased. This form of treatment does not kill the adult worms, but kills the tiny offspring, the microfilaria. If all the microfilaria die, and over a couple years the adults die, your pet will then be free of heartworm disease.

Recently veterinarians are also prescribing the antibiotic Doxycycline to treat mild heartworm disease. The reason for this is because they have found Doxycycline kills a symbiotic bacteria that lives within the heartworm microfilaria. 


Serious Heartworm infection


There are two ways to treat heartworm disease. If the disease is severe, your pet is hospitalized and given heartworm medicine such as an injection of melarsomine (Rx) (brand name--Immiticide) to kill the adult worms. A second injection of melarsomine is given 24 hours later. 


This treatment is effective but harsh. Some pets develop a severe lung reaction to the dying worms, which is why they must be hospitalized for the heartworm treatment. In addition to developing an allergic reaction, some pets will be harmed as dead worms drift through the blood vessels and actually plug them. The plug prevents blood from reaching the cells and this causes cells to die. 


When material floats through a vessel in the lungs, we call it a pulmonary embolus. When the material stops and plugs up a blood vessel in the lungs, we call the material a pulmonary thrombus.

It can be especially dangerous to give Interceptor if your pet has a large number of heartworms because Interceptor immediately kills heartworms. It's the pet's reaction to a large number of dying heartworms that can be fatal. Heartgard provides a slower, safer kill of adult worms, but is not FDA-approved for use in heartworm-positive dogs. Revolution is approved for use in heartworm-positive dogs. Your veterinarian will decide which heartworm treatment is best for your pet.

Heartworm Prevention


Monthly heartworm medications prevent microfilaria from growing into adult worms. Some heartworm treatments also contain additional medications to kill intestinal worms that may potentially inhabit your pet's gut. The American Heartworm Society recommends that pets remain on heartworm protection year round because when the medication isn't given consistently some pets are developing heartworm disease. The Society feels it is easier for most pet caretakers to remember to give a heartworm medicine every month than to give it a few months of the year.

By www.petmeds.com

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ear Mites & Home Made Remedy


What are Ear Mites?

Ear mites are tiny little creatures rather like spiders. They have eight legs and live on or just under the surface of the skin. The two species of mites that cause ear infections are Otodectes and Notoedres.

Otodectes infect dogs, cats, foxes and ferrets. Notoedres infect cats—usually the body and sometimes the ear. A common mite that causes skin infection and may involve areas of the head around the ears is demodex.

While demodex causes skin infections around the ear, it does not cause infections in the ear canal.
Ear mites are one of the most common causes of ear infections in pets.

Symptoms of Pets with Ear Mites:
• Head shaking
• Scratches on the ear & head
• Odor
• Intense itching (pruritus)
• Dark ear discharge

How did my Pet get Ear Mites?

Ear mites readily transmit from host to host by physical contact. Ear mites came from some other animal with which your pet has been socializing. Because mites are easily transmissible by physical contact, treatment for mites often must include all household pets.


Home Made Remedy

Oil helps sooth sore ears, and also can float debris out. Oil also can suffocate the mites. Holistic vets say it doesn’t really matter what kind of oil you use, although some recommend almond or olive oil. Avoid tea tree oil, though, because it can be toxic for young puppies.

For the best benefit, crush a couple garlic cloves in the oil and let it marinate overnight. Garlic naturally kills bacteria that might develop secondary to the mite infection.

Remember to remove the garlic before using the oil to treat your puppy’s ears though. You’ll need to treat the ears with the oil/garlic solution daily for at least a month.

Treating ear mites brings your pet immense relief from the irritation of having an 8-legged mite crawling and reproducing in their ears.

Not only can your pet hear the mite and feel it moving, but your pet is also in pain because mites cause itching, inflammation, and secondary bacterial infection.

By www.petmeds.com

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Dog Ear Infection & Home Made Remedy



Dog  Ear Infection Symptoms

If your dog has an ear infection (otitis), you might notice a yeasty smell coming from your pet's ear. The ear might be red and swollen. There might also be some waxy buildup visible. Your dog  might be scratching at their ears, and shaking their heads more than usual. If they scratch and then smell their paw, and lick it after, or have any other of these signs, you should probably have your veterinarian take a look at the ear canal.


Over time, as the infection moves from the outer ear to the inner ear, your pet may become deaf. If the nerves running through the inner ear are affected, your pet may become dizzy, walk in a circle, and have unusual eye movements called nystagmus.
In summary, pets with an ear infection may display the following signs and symptoms:



  • Head shaking
  • Smelly ears
  • Ear discharge
  • Pawing and scratching the head
  • Red and swollen ear canal
  • Head tilt
  • Circling
  • Nystagmus (unusual eye movements)


    Which Bacteria and Yeast Cause an Ear Infection?

    Dogs usually have yeast (Malassezia) and bacterial infections (Staphylococci, Pseudomonas). Dogs that swim typically develop Pseudomonas, and dogs with increased cerumen (earwax) typically have Malassezia. Dogs with hypothyroidism 




    typically have Staph ear infections. Less commonly, dogs have bacterial infections caused by Corynebacteria, Enterococci, E. Coli, Streptococci, and Proteus.Cats usually have yeast (Malassezia) infections, but don't usually have bacterial infections. Occasionally bacteria (Mycoplasma and Bordetella) are found in cats with middle ear infections, but it is unclear that these bacteria actually cause the infection.

    How Are Pets Diagnosed with Ear Infections?

    Otitis (ear infections in dogs and cats) is diagnosed by using an otoscope and looking deep into the ear canal. The skin inside the ear turns deep red if your pet is fighting an infection. The type of discharge deep in the ear can be seen, and some can be removed to send to the lab to identify the specific bacteria and yeast creating the infection.

    Because the ear canal makes a sharp turn, your veterinarian will pull slightly on the ear to straighten the canal and make it possible to see the eardrum. If there is fluid or pus behind the drum, which occurs with a middle ear infection, your veterinarian can diagnose a middle ear infection. Distinguishing whether your pet has an outer ear infection, a middle ear infection, or both helps your veterinarian choose the most effective treatment.



    Home Made Remedy

    If the Infection Causes the Eardrum to Rupture do not put any medications or flushing solutions in the ear that were not prescribed by the veterinarian.



    INGREDIENTS:        
          

    • 16 Oz. bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol (standard 70%)
    • 4 Tablespoons of Boric Acid Powder
    • 16 Drops of Gentian Violet Solution 1%

    Mix together in alcohol bottle and shake well.  
    You will need to shake solution every time you use it to disperse the Boric Acid Powder.  
    Purchase a flexible plastic bottle with the opening at the top so that the solution may be
    gently squeezed out and dispense solution to affected ears.  The ideal is a hair-dye bottle
    available at a pharmacy.

    TREATMENT PROCEDURE:  

    1)  Evaluate condition of ears before treating and if very inflamed and sore:
    do not attempt to  pull hair or clean out ear at all.  Just flush and then wait until  
    inflammation has subsided, which will be about two days.

    2)  Warm the solution (as instructed above) and shake the bottle each time before
    using it for treatment,.  

    3)  Flood the ear with solution (gently squirt bottle).

    4)  Massage gently to the count of 60, wipe with a tissue.

    5)  On first treatment: flood the ear twice, wipe with a tissue, and leave alone without
    massage.  

    6)  The dog will shake out the excess, which can be wiped with a tissue.


    By www.petmeds.com