3 Things Turtle Owners Need To Know About Ear Infections

Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things Turtle Owners Need To Know About Ear Infections

Many people believe that turtles don’t have ears, but this isn’t true. Your pet turtle lacks the outer ears that you have, but it still has an inner ear, and this inner ear can get infected. Ear infections in turtles are also known as aural abscesses. Here are three things turtle owners need to know about ear infections. What are the signs of ear infections? If your turtle has an ear infection, the area around their eardrum will be swollen. You may also see dry, firm tissue that looks diseased in the area. When turtles have ear infections, they usually experience pain when they open their mouths, so your pet may stop eating. How do turtles get ear infections? A number of different bacteria can lead to ear infections in turtles. If the water in your pet’s habitat is dirty, bacteria from the water may enter their ear canals while they swim, leading to an infection. Poor husbandry, including keeping your pet’s habitat at the wrong temperature, has also been linked to ear infections. A diet deficient in vitamin A makes the cells within the ear canal slough off and build up in ear canal, and this blockage of sloughed cells can also cause an infection. How are ear infections treated? Your vet will need to drain your turtle’s abscess. The area will be numbed first so that the procedure doesn’t hurt your turtle, and then the vet will use a scalpel to open the abscess. The vet will let the pus drain out, and then they will wash out the inside of the abscess with antiseptic solution to get rid of any remaining bacteria. The area will then be coated with an antibiotic ointment. Usually, the abscess is left open so that pus can continue to drain. At home, you’ll need to continue treating your turtle. Your vet may send you home with some antibiotics or painkillers to give your turtle while they heal. These antibiotics may be oral, topical or injectable; if your vet wants you to give your pet injectable antibiotics, they will show you how to give the injections first. While your turtle’s ears are healing, make sure that the water in their habitat is kept very clean. This is important because bad water quality can slow down the healing process. A stronger water filter can help you keep the water clean. If your turtle’s eardrums are bulging, they may have an ear infection and should be seen by a clinic like St Laurent Animal...

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3 Things Hamster Owners Need To Know About Atrial Thrombosis

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things Hamster Owners Need To Know About Atrial Thrombosis

As your pet hamster gets older, they may develop age-related disorders like atrial thrombosis. Atrial thrombosis is a cardiovascular condition characterized by the development of a blood clot in one of the atriums (chambers) of the heart. Here are three things hamster owners need to know about atrial thrombosis. What are the signs of atrial thrombosis? Atrial thrombosis can affect both male and female hamsters. The main signs of the condition are tachypnea, tachycardia, and cyanosis. Tachypnea refers to abnormally fast breathing; healthy hamsters should take between 40 and 110 breaths per minute. Tachycardia, an abnormally fast heart rate, occurs when your pet’s heart beats faster than the average of 310 to 480 beats per minute. Cyanosis occurs when the tissues don’t get adequate oxygen and manifests as blue or purple discoloration on the skin. Your pet’s fur will conceal most of their discolored skin, but check their feet, ears, and nose for signs. Why do hamsters develop this condition? Most of the time, thromboses (clots) form secondary to heart failure. When your hamster’s heart fails, blood is able to pool within the heart, where it coagulates, forming clots. Post-mortem studies of hamsters with atrial thrombosis have also revealed bilateral ventricular hypertrophy. This condition is characterized by the thickening of the walls of both heart chambers. The walls thicken in response to needing to work harder to pump blood. Hamsters with atrial thrombosis also have lesions on their heart valves, though researchers aren’t sure if this is a cause. There is also evidence that androgen levels play a role in the development of atrial thrombosis.: male hamsters that have been castrated develop this condition at a higher rate, according to the Merck Vet Manual. Can vets treat atrial thrombosis? Atrial thrombosis, like other types of cardiac disease in hamsters, is managed with supportive therapies. These supportive therapies include oxygen therapy and putting your hamster in a warm incubator. Your vet may also give your hamster food and water through a syringe if they haven’t been eating or drinking due to their illness. Medications can also be used to treat cardiac disease, though these drugs aren’t specific to hamsters. Furosemide and enalapril, drugs that are used to treat both high blood pressure and heart failure in humans, can be used, though your vet will need to estimate a hamster-appropriate dose. These medications can be used long-term to control your pet’s condition, though sudden death may still occur. For more information, contact Bramalea Animal Hospital or a similar...

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4 Things Dog Owners Need To Know About Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis

Posted by on Jan 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things Dog Owners Need To Know About Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis

Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) is a severe dental disease that can affect dogs. Here are four things dog owners need to know about it. What are the signs of ANUG? At first, dogs with this condition have red, swollen gum tissue. When you brush your dog’s teeth, you’ll notice blood on the toothbrush; you may also see blood on their chew toys or around their mouth. Over time, the symptoms get worse. The redness and swelling spreads to other oral tissues, like the insides of the cheeks. These tissues will become ulcerated, and then they will die. In some cases, the ulceration becomes so severe that you’ll be able to see exposed bone inside your dog’s mouth. What causes ANUG in dogs? ANUG is caused by bacteria; researchers believe that either Nocardia or Actinomyces bacteria are responsible. Both of these bacteria are found in the soil, so it’s easy for dogs to encounter them. These bacteria aren’t a problem for healthy dogs, but in dogs with compromised immune systems, the bacteria can lead to a serious infection. In one study, researchers injected the bacteria responsible for ANUG into the gums of unaffected dogs. Healthy dogs didn’t get sick, but dogs that had first been given immunosuppressants did become ill. If your dog is immunocompromised due to disease, stress, or poor nutrition, they may be susceptible to ANUG, so pay close attention to their gums. How serious is it? ANUG is a very serious disease. It leads to serious pain for your dog, though that’s not the worst part. The infection can spread from your dog’s gums to their bones, leading to osteomyelitis. Osteomyelitis is a life-threatening infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics, and in some cases, the affected bones need to be removed. To avoid this complication, take your dog to the vet at the first sign of bleeding gums. Can vets treat ANUG? Your vet will need to evaluate your dog’s mouth to determine the most appropriate treatment method. In the early stages of the disease, ANUG can be treated with a thorough tooth cleaning and antibiotics. Since tooth cleaning is stressful for dogs, your pet will be anesthetized first, so they’ll be asleep while the vet is working. If your pet has ulcers, they’ll be washed with oral antiseptics to prevent infection. If there is any dead tissue present, it will be debrided. In severe cases, the vet may need to pull out some or all of your dog’s teeth. This will need to be done if the ligaments beneath the teeth have been severely damaged by the infection. If your dog loses all of their teeth, they’ll adjust, but you’ll need to feed them a soft foods diet, like canned dog foot, instead of hard kibble. If your dog’s gums are red and bleeding, take them an animal emergency clinic by Mainland Animal Emergency Clinic or a vet immediately. They could have acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, a very severe type of gum...

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4 Ways To Keep Your Cat Safe For The Holidays

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways To Keep Your Cat Safe For The Holidays

During the holiday season, a lot of changes happen that can make your cat very stressed. For example, the weather changes can make your cat feel much colder than usual and with many guests coming over to celebrate the holidays, it can be overwhelming for your cat who may not be used to so many visitors. Here are four ways to ensure that you keep your cat safe from sickness and stress during this time of year:   Give Them Their Own Meals: During the holidays, you are likely going to be serving a great deal of food to your guests. In order to deter your cat from becoming interested in stealing food from the table or taking food from the hands of your guests, you will want to serve your cat their own meal before you have dinner yourself. Canned cat food is much better for your cat’s health than giving them any turkey, ham, or other foods that can be covered in butter and heavy sauces that are not good for your cat.  Keep Them Inside: With many people coming and going during this time of year and with the changes in the weather, it’s a good idea to keep your cat inside. This can help them to avoid getting hit by a car. On top of this, cats like to hide under cars because the engine keeps them warm. This can be very dangerous since guests tend to come and go and won’t think to check for a cat hidden underneath before they take off.  Keep Them in a Safe Room: There should be at least one room in your home that is blocked off for your cat. Your cat can stay in this room in order for you to keep them indoors and to ensure that they are not stressed about the large amount of people coming in and out of the house. Don’t keep them in the garage though since this area of the house can be dangerous. Most likely, you store dangerous chemicals here and if something spills, it can be fatal for your cat.  Pay Attention to Them: Before guests arrive, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your cat and pet them and cuddle them. This will help to lower their stress level and keep them comfortable in the safe room once people do start to arrive.  By knowing these things about how to keep your cat safe, you can avoid many health problems and ensure that your cat stays happy and unstressed during this time of year. For further assistance, contact a local veterinary...

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Detecting, Preventing, And Treating Tapeworm In Your Cat

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Detecting, Preventing, And Treating Tapeworm In Your Cat

Tapeworms are long, flat, segmented worms that can take up residence in your cat’s intestines. They latch onto the wall of the intestine via their hook-like mouthparts. Many cats have tapeworms, and since the signs are not always very obvious, they go undetected for long periods of time. A tapeworm infection in a cat is not, in and of itself, a life-threatening problem. However, it can weaken your cat and make him more susceptible to other illnesses. Thus, it’s important to know how to detect, prevent, and treat tapeworms in your cat. Detecting Tapeworm Infections Some cats with tapeworm develop a rough coat and begin to lose weight, but others show no outward signs of tapeworm at all. Thus, the best way to detect tapeworm in your cat, as gross as it may sound, is to closely watch his feces and rear end. If you see what look like little, moving pieces of rice either in the feces or around the anus, your cat has tapeworms. These are segments that the worm has shed – they contain its eggs. Take a look at your cat’s rear and feces every day for a week or two. If you see nothing in this time, you can assume your cat is free of tapeworms. Do repeat the evaluation every few months, so that if your cat does develop tapeworm, you detect it promptly. Treating Tapeworm Infections If your cat has tapeworm, you must obtain a deworming medication that is specifically formulated to kill tapeworms. Usually, these include the active ingredient praziquantal and are available over the counter at most pet supply stores. Administer the wormer according to package instructions, paying close attention to the dosage, which is generally based on the weight of your cat. Since tapeworms are spread by fleas (fleas often harbor tapeworm eggs, and when your cat ingests the flea, the tapeworm egg hatches), it’s wise to give your cat a flea treatment at the same time you give the wormer. The spot-on treatments that you squeeze onto the back of your cat’s neck tend to work well. If you have seen fleas in your home and are positive you actually have a flea problem, then you’ll also need to treat your home with flea powder or flea bombs to ensure your cat does not become re-infested. Preventing Tapeworm Infections The best way to prevent tapeworm is to prevent fleas. Make sure your cat is getting regular, preventative flea treatments. Your vet can recommend a brand that is right for you, and tell you how often to apply it. Keep your cat inside, where he is less likely to come into contact with other animals who have fleas and can pass them on. Fleas and tapeworms go hand-in-hand in cats, so if you can keep your cat flea-free, you’ll likely keep him free of tapeworms too. For professional veterinary care, consider pet services at Rivers Animal Hospital or do an online...

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Dogs Will Eat Anything: 4 Ways To Treat A Bowel Obstruction

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dogs Will Eat Anything: 4 Ways To Treat A Bowel Obstruction

Dogs love to chew on things, which can lead to them swallowing things that shouldn’t be inside them. Things like pieces of ribbon, sponges or even sharp objects can end up in your dog’s intestines. When that happens, you dog can develop a bowel obstruction. If your dog loves to eat things that it shouldn’t – and you haven’t seen it have a bowel movement in a day or so – there may be an obstruction. Here are four things to do when you suspect that your dog is suffering from a bowel obstruction.  Observe Your Dog Before you do anything else, observe your dog overnight. If it’s not showing signs of distress – vomiting, lethargy, pain – it’s probably not in need of immediate medical attention. Try feeding your dog a meal that’s slightly larger than usual. For instance, if you normally feed your dog 1 cup of dry dog food, increase the amount to 2 cups of dry dog food. The increased size of the feeding should cause enough pressure to dislodge the obstruction. Lubricate From the Inside If the object has gotten stuck inside your dog’s intestines, it may just need some additional lubrication. Try adding a teaspoon of mineral oil to your dog’s water bowl. If it refuses to drink the water, apply a generous amount of the oil to your finger and then wipe the inside of your dog’s mouth. Your dog will consume the oil while trying to lick its mouth clean. Remove the Object Once the obstruction begins to work its way through the intestine, you may notice a small piece of it protruding from your dog’s anus. If you can tell what it is – and it isn’t string – put on a pair of rubber gloves and carefully remove the object. If the object is a piece of string or ribbon, do not pull on it. The string may have a sharp object attached to it, or it may be wrapped around your pets internal organs. If you see string coming from your dog’s anus, wrap your dog in a blanket and go to the veterinarian.  Seek Medical Care If your dog begins showing signs of distress, you’ll need to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Some signs you should be aware of include: Pale or dry gums Swollen or painful abdomen Vomiting that smells like bowel movement Bowel obstructions can be deadly for your dog. If you’ve tried the following treatment options and your dog has still not had a bowel movement or its condition has deteriorated, you’ll need to seek emergency medical care for your dog from an animal...

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Dog Stung in the Face by a Bee? What You Need to Do

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dog Stung in the Face by a Bee? What You Need to Do

Many dogs are fascinated by insects and will try to chase and bite them. If your dog is like this and has been stung on its face by a bee, you need to take action. When stung by a bee, your dog may use its paw to scratch at the area, whimper, or try to rub its face on the carpet. Below is what you can do to help your dog and how you can prevent it from getting stung again. Handling the Bee Sting If you see a little swelling and tenderness where your dog was stung, then your dog is having a mild reaction to the bee sting. In a case like this, you can give your dog a dose of liquid antihistamine. You can find this product at pet stores. Follow the dosage instructions on the medicine bottle, or contact your veterinarian for the right dosage for your dog, which will be based on its weight. Press a cold compress over the area to reduce the swelling. If the area is very swollen and puffy, your dog is likely having a more severe allergic reaction to the bee sting. This is very dangerous, and you need to get your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. There is a chance your pet could go into anaphylactic shock, which is life threatening.  Your veterinarian will give your dog antihistamine injections immediately. They will also likely treat your dog with steroids through an IV to help with the swelling. Your dog may need to stay at the vet’s office for a couple of days to ensure it is completely well before you bring it home. Preventing Bee Stings You cannot completely prevent your dog from getting stung, but you can do some things to lessen the chances. The main reason a bee flies into your yard is to get pollen from flowers. If you have flowers in your yard that bees love, put a fence around them to keep your pet away. You should also plant red flowers, as bees cannot see the color red. Some flowers that bees love include these: Butterfly weed Coneflower Bee balm Alyssum Aster Poppies Flowers that will not attract bees include te: Shasta daisies Orelanders Red salvia Foxglove Zinnias Keep an antihistamine on hand at all times just in case your dog gets stung again. Ask a veterinarian, like one from Belle River Animal Clinic, if they can prescribe medicine that you can store for this...

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