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Archive for October, 2013

Dog Hair Loss, What Can It Mean?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

COCKER SPANIELWeb Md has provided us with a very thorough list of conditions that can cause a dog to lose his hair. If your dog is losing his hair, even if it’s only small patches, don’t assume that it’s an allergy. It could be something more serious. A colleague lost her dog to cancer yesterday and one of the first symptoms was hair loss. This is not meant to scare you as most times hair loss can be something very simple and treatable. Have your dog checked out so that the proper treatment can be administered. Here is Web MD’s list of diseases that may cause your dog to lost his hair.

Hormone-Related Diseases with Hair Loss

 

  • Cortisone excess: Symmetric hair loss over trunk and body. Abdomen is pot-bellied and pendulous. Seen with Cushing’s syndrome. In some cases, the dog is taking steroids.
  • Growth hormone-responsive alopecia: Bilaterally symmetric hair loss, mainly in male dogs. Begins around puberty. More prevalent in certain breeds, including ChowChows, Keeshonds, Pomeranians, Miniature Poodles, Airedales, and Boxers.
  • Hyperestrogenism (estrogen excess):Occurs in females and males. Bilateral symmetric hair loss in perineum and around genitals. Enlarged vulva and clitoris; in males, pendulous prepuce.
  • Hypoestrogenism (estrogen deficiency):Occurs in older spayed females. Scanty hair growth and thinning coat, initially around vulva and later over entire body. Skin is smooth and soft, like a baby’s.
  • Hypothyroidism: Most common cause of bilaterally symmetric hair loss without itching. Coat is thin, scanty, and falls out easily. Involves the neck beneath the chin to the brisket, sides of body, backs of thighs, and top of tail.

 

Other Diseases with Hair Loss

  • Acanthosis nigrans: Mainly in Dachshunds. Hair loss begins in armpit folds and on ears. Black, thick, greasy, rancid-smelling skin.
  • Color mutant alopecia (blue Doberman syndrome):Loss of hair over the body, giving a moth-eaten look. Papules and pustules may appear in areas of hair loss. Also affects other breeds.
  • Demodectic mange: Localized-Occursin puppies. Hair loss around eyelids, lips, and corners of mouth, occasionally on the legs or trunk, giving a moth-eaten look. Fewer than five patches, up to 1 inch (25 mm) in diameter. Generalized-Numerous patches that enlarge and coalesce. Severe skin problem complicated by pyoderma. Primarily affects young adults. Generalized form is associated with immune deficiencies.
  • Nasal solar dermatitis (Collie nose):Loss of hair at junction of nose and muzzle. Can lead to severe ulceration. Affects dogs with lightly pigmented noses. May be part of an autoimmune problem.
  • Pressure sore (Callus):Gray, hairless, thickened pad of wrinkled skin, usually over elbows but may involve other pressure points. Caused by lying on hard surfaces. Mostly seen in large and giant breeds.
  • Ringworm: A fungal infection. Scaly, crusty circular patches 1⁄2 to 2 inches (12 to 50 mm) across. Patches show central hair loss with a red ring at the periphery. Some cases show widespread involvement.
  • Sebaceous adenitis: Seen mainly in Standard Poodles, but does occur in other breeds, including Akitas. Symmetrical loss of hair over face, head, neck, and back. Dandrufflike scales and hair follicle infection can develop.
  • Seborrhea: Dry type-Similar to heavy dandruff. Greasy type-Yellow-brown greasy scales that adhere to hair shafts; rancid odor. May occur secondary to other skin problems.
  • Vitiligo: Some hair loss, but mostly pigment loss that causes hair to change color. Mostly seen on the face and head. Seen most often in Rottweilers and Belgian Tervuren.
  • Zinc-responsive dermatosis: Crusty, scaly skin with hair loss over the face, nose, elbows, and hocks. Cracked feet. Caused by zinc deficiency. Arctic or Northern breeds are most susceptible.

Remember, your pets count!

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Should You Feed Your Cat Table Food?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

CAT SUSHII would strongly advise against feeding a cat table scraps for several reasons.  First of all some human food such as onions or chocolate are toxic to cats even in small amounts. Another reason is that food for humans is usually too highly spiced and has too much fat in it. This can cause obesity and also really irritate your cat’s digestive system.

A cat regularly fed human food will either lose his taste for his own food, or be too full to eat it. Either way, he will lose the essential nutrients, including taurine, so necessary for cats to survive and thrive.
One of my cats likes scrambled eggs. I will occasionally give her a tiny piece of the egg otherwise I feed both of them a combination of wet food, dry food and a small snack in the evening. Keep your cats healthy, chose a cat food that contains lots of protein and vary it with a quality brand of wet food.
Remember, your pets count!
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Cancer Symptoms in Cats

Sunday, October 13, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

very cute catFinding out that a loved one has cancer can be a very scary thing. Finding out that loved one is your cat can also be very confusing.  It’s important to realize that different vets may have different ways of dealing with the disease. As with humans, it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion. You want to make sure that your little friend gets the best treatment possible.

Symptoms of cancer in cats may include:

  • Lumps (which are not always malignant, but are always worth having a veterinarian examine)
  • Swelling
  • Persistent sores or skin infections
  • Abnormal discharge from any part of the body
  • Bad breath
  • Listlessness, lethargy or other marked change in behavior
  • Weight loss
  • Sudden lameness
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Scaly and/or red skin patches
  • Decreased or loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating
  • Change in behavior

(Provided by the ASPCA)

Cancer in cats can be diagnosed at any age but older cats are more prone to it. Certain breeds are prone to specific cancers, but cats with white ears and heads are particularly susceptible to skin cancer. Ask your vet if your cat falls into specific at-risk categories.

Remember, your pets count!

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Crating Your Dog, How Long is Too Long

Saturday, October 12, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

SAD DOGThere are a lot of dog owners who think that their dog wants to be in their crate all the time. This is silly and not true. No dog should be in his crate for eight hours or more at a time. If you see that he poops in the crate, you know he’s in there too long. So give up those drinks after work and go home and spend time with your dog. Take him for a long walk, after all he’s been in his crate waiting for you all day. Play with him and give him plenty of exercise. In this day and age, we only tend to think of ourselves (me me me). Don’t own a dog if you want to “party” all the time. Come on, enough is enough!  I hear stories of dogs that spend most of their lives in a crate because their owners are too selfish to care for them properly. If you think I’m a bit annoyed, guess what, I am!! Grow up and take proper care of your pet!!

Remember, your pets count!

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Chronic Bronchitis in Dogs

Thursday, October 10, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG COUGHINGChronic Bronchitis usually affects middle aged dogs. It is an acute inflammatory reaction of the interior of the smaller airways. If your dog is coughing more than two months, you must consider that he may have chronic Bronchitis. Usually the cause is unknown but sometimes it’s preceded by kennel cough.  The main symptom is a harsh, dry unproductive cough. Coughing is triggered by exercise and excitement. There’s gagging and a foamy saliva that can be seen and sometimes this is confused with vomiting.  If you notice these symptoms, take your dog to the vet for a checkup. Prolonging it will make matters worse. The diagnostic work-up for bronchitis is the same as that described in diagnosing a Cough.

General treatment measures include eliminating atmospheric pollutants such as dust and cigarette smoke. Minimize stress, fatigue, and excitement. Overweight dogs should be put on a weight-loss diet. Walking on a leash is good exercise, but don’t overdo it. To avoid pressure on the larynx, switch from a collar to a chest harness or head halter.

Medical management is directed toward reducing bronchial inflammation. Your veterinarian may prescribe a course of corticosteroids for 10 to 14 days. If this is beneficial, the dog may be placed on a maintenance dose given daily or every other day. Bronchodilators such as theophylline or albuterol relax the breathing passages and reduce respiratory fatigue. They are beneficial for dogs with associated wheezing and airway spasms.

Thanks to Web MD for providing much of this information.

Remember, your pets count!

 

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Some Cats Get Crazy Over Catnip

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

CATNIPMy younger cat Millie, who is usually jumping around for anything doesn’t care for catnip while Mollie who lays around all day rolls, jumps and really gets high over it! Catnip, which is a perennial herb in the mint family, contains a chemical called “nepetalactone” that is released when catnip is crushed.  When cats get a whiff of nepetalactone, most will start rubbing themselves against it, jumping and playing around with it, sometimes eating it, and generally will act quite bizarrely.  The affects are not long lasting. It loses its effect on them and they will usually no longer be interested in it for about an hour or two, at which point the chemical will start to kick in again as they breathe it in and they will once again begin acting bizarrely around it for a few minutes. Some cat toys contain catnip but you can also purchase catnip separately and put it on your cats toy for the same affect.

Remember, your pets count!

 

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Doggie Accidents

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

PUPPY SHAMEYour dog is starting to have “accidents” in the house.  You deal with this as best as you can and keep stocking up on cleaning and pet odor removal products. Is there a better way?  If your dog is not that old, have your vet check to see if he has an infection. If an illness is not the problem, it could be hormones. Many unfixed males dogs with urinate to mark their territory.  If you have a spayed female, leakage may be a problem while she is napping. Your vet has medication that could stop this.  Whenever you are cleaning up a mess, make sure that you use a pet odor remover so that your pet won’t be attracted back to the spot by it’s smell.  Try to discipline your dog if you catch him in the act by startling him with loud noises.  If your pet does not have an underlying medical condition and you  persist with discipline, the problem will probably resolve itself.

 

Remember your pets count!

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Your Dog’s Sense of Smell

Sunday, October 6, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG SNIFFINGA dog relies on his sense of smell to interpret his world. It’s the same way that people depend on their sight. Although this contrasting world view may be hard to imagine, know that your dog interprets as much information as you do. However,he does much of this by smelling an object or animal, not by staring at it. We have plates inside our noses called turbinates.  Air passes over the turbinates. Turbinates are a spongy membrane which contain most of the scent detecting cells as well as the nerves which transport the information to the brain. In humans, the size of these detectors are about one square inch or about the size of a postage stamp.  If you could unfold this area in a dog, it would be about 60 square inches. It’s been estimated that dogs can identify smells somewhere between 1,000 to 10,000 times better than nasally challenged humans can.  So never underestimate your dogs ability to sniff things out. If an odor smells very strong to you, imagine how strong it is to your dog!

Remember, your pets count!

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Should You Leave Your Cat’s Food Out All Day?

Saturday, October 5, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

cute kitty eatingAlways feed your cats on a set schedule. An example would be as soon as you get up in the morning and again at dinner time. Some vets will say that if you leave the food out, your cat will become obese and could develop diabetes. I have a different take on this issue. yes, it’s true that if your cat is indoors and eats too much, it could get obese. I feed my cats twice per day. I leave their food out but I limit the amount of food left out. Generally, I leave them about one cup of food. I also buy food for indoor cats which has less calories. I believe that cats are “nibblers.” They eat very small amounts at a time. This is the reason that I think it’s better to leave their food out so they could eat several times per day. Taking it away just like you would do for a dog just doesn’t make sense to me. So this time, I disagree with most of the vets.

Remember, your pets count!

 

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Get Your New Best Friend From a Shelter

Friday, October 4, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

SHELTER DOG AND ATThere are always a lot of things to consider when adopting a new pet. Size, temperament, training etc. I would always recommend adopting from a reputable animal shelter. There are so many benefits of adopting from a shelter that range from ownership support services that most shelters and rescues offer to the fact in all probability the dog is already trained and house broken. You’ll also have a great feeling that you really saved a life.

According the the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)  a total of ten million pets will arrive at animal shelters and animal rescue organizations in the U.S. this year. So you really have your pick when it comes to adopting the perfect shelter dog or cat.

Remember, your pets count!

 

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