Dog Health

Dog Health

Canine Worms

Dogs often become infected with worms. Intestinal parasites can cause major health issues for your dog or puppy. Roundworm infestation is very common in puppies. Tapeworms are usually suspected of infecting your dog when infestations of fleas are a problem.

You can see evidence of tapeworm without using a microscope. There are other types of worms that can’t be detected by the naked eye, including whipworm and hookworms.

It’s vital the type and any presence of intestinal parasites are diagnosed as early as possible because different worm types often require varied forms of treatment. You need to take your dog’s stool samples to your vet so he can look at them under the microscope to see if worms are present. Most vets will check stool samples when they do an annual exam.

Worms can cause a range of problems such as: dry hair, weight loss, diarrhoea (sometimes with blood in it), an unhealthy overall look, and also vomiting (worms may be present in the actual vomit.

However, there are some worms that cause minimal or no symptoms at all. Sometimes worm eggs will lay dormant within the body of your dog and will only get activated when he’s stressed or if it’s roundworms, in the end stage of pregnancy, where they become active and infest the puppies before they’re even born.

Roundworms

Canine WormsRoundworms can be found active in a puppy’s intestines, where they may cause poor growth and a pot-belly look. These worms can be in the stool or vomit. If a puppy has severe infestation, it can cause the intestines to become blocked and this may prove fatal.

This worm may grow as long as seven inches. One female may create 200,000 eggs per day. These eggs have a hard shell and can live in soil for many years. Dogs can get infected if they ingest the eggs from soil that’s contaminated. The eggs hatch in the dog’s intestine and the larva get into the lungs from the bloodstream.

The larva crawl up the dog’s windpipe and are then swallowed, causing a gag or cough in the dog. The larva return to his intestine where they eventually turn into adults.

Roundworms usually don’t infect adult dogs. However, the larvae may exist in the adult bitch’s tissues and only become activated prior to birth. Worming the bitch won’t affect the larvae and won’t stop the puppy infection.

Most breeders worm litters of puppies very 2 weeks to ensure the health of litters. Untreated puppies have been known to die from severe roundworm infestation. When buying a puppy always ask the breeder to provide a written record of all worming treatments given to the puppy. The breeder’s worming record should be given to your Veterinarian for his records and as a reference guide for future worming requirements.

Roundworm may be treated by using an over-the-counter worming product sold in pet shops. However, consulting your vet is the best way to learn how to deal with worms and also to give the appropriate medication. Deworming products are highly toxic to worms but may also cause your dog to become ill if incorrectly used.

Hookworms

Hookworms are very small and they connect to the small intestine’s wall and suck the dog’s blood. Dogs get hookworm when they make contact with contaminated soil and the larvae inside it. Similar to roundworms, the larvae of the hookworm grows into adulthood whilst in the dog’s intestine. Puppies may get this as well whilst in the female dog’s uterus and she can infect her puppies through her milk.

A severe hookworm infestation may kill puppies but a chronic infection generally won’t harm adults. If it happens, symptoms include: weight loss, diarrhoea, progressive weakness and anaemia. The faeces are examined by the vet to diagnose this worm.

Tapeworms

Tapeworm spreads to dogs that ingest fleas or those who hunt and then eat infested wildlife. Dogs will shed parts of the tapeworm that have the eggs via their faeces. These parts are usually flat and will move a little once excreted. They resemble rice grains and may be found stuck to hair near the dog’s anus or in his stool. Over-the-counter remedies won’t kill tapeworm so the vet is your only option.

Whipworms

Adults resemble pieces of thread with an enlarged end. They live in the dog’s cecum, the first part of his big intestine. As infestations are usually light, a faecal exam may not detect the eggs. The vet might have to do several checks before making the right diagnosis.

Prevention

Some worms that cause infestations in dogs can also affect people so it’s critical to eliminate the worms from the environment as well. Faeces should be removed from your back yard daily. Purchase a vermicide from the vet and also get your dog’s faeces checked regularly if problems persist. Never mix wormers and don’t use a wormer if your dog is on any other medications (including heartworm prevention) without asking your vet.

When you walk your dog in a park or around your local streets, take a small plastic bag to collect any of his faeces so he isn’t contributing to soil contamination. In addition to the fact it is  illegal in many places to not clean up after your dog,  social etiquette and common sense necessitate the immediate removal of  your dog’s faeces in any public place.

Your Veterinarian will be able to advise you on the correct wormer and dosage for your dog.

Canine Worms

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Canine Neuter FAQ

Canine NeuterNeutering provides several health benefits for dogs. One of the major worries is about the prostate gland. Testosterone can gradually cause the gland to grow bigger during the dog’s lifetime.

As the dog ages, it often becomes uncomfortable and if it grows so big, it may affect your pet’s ability to defecate. Infections can be caused when the prostate’s affected and neutering is the only way to solve this problem.

If your dog is neutered, his prostate may shrink a lot. It also prevents prostatitis and benign hyperplasia (an enlargement), both issues that occur as a dog gets older. There’s also a widely-held belief that if you neuter your dog, it will prevent the onset of prostate cancer. However, this is just a myth.

There are other benefits of having your dog neutered and they include: tumours in the anus and testicles, prevention of some forms of hernias and excessive preputial discharge.

Does neutering change behaviour ?

The only behavioural changes that may happen are those that are affected by changes in hormones. Your dog’s friendliness, playful nature and his social interactions with other people won’t be affected. The behaviours that generally change are the negative ones.

90% of neutered dogs lose their interest in roaming. 70% of neutered dogs will lose their desire to mount other dogs. 60% of dogs who are neutered lose their aggressive behaviour towards other male dogs. 50% of those dogs who are neutered stop urine marking.

How exactly is the dog neutering procedure carried out?

The vet cuts an incision a little forward of the scrotum. This incision is where the vet pulls the testicles through. Stalks are cut and tied and so castration is now done. If his testicles aren’t removed, the above-mentioned benefits won’t be realised. The vet may or may not use stitches for the incision.

What to expect after the dog is brought home from the hospital?

Your dog’s scrotum are generally swollen for the initial few days. Some owners may think the procedure wasn’t done at all. If it’s an immature dog, his empty scrotum will flatten as he ages. If he’s mature, it will stay as a skin flap. Occasionally the incision is slightly bruised. Most dogs want to play as soon as they get home but, to ensure the incision stays intact, you need to stop him from playing boisterously.

Best age to neuter a dog?

Provided that both testicles have dropped, age for dog neutering is after the age of eight weeks. If a dog is neutered before he hits puberty (around the six month mark) often grow larger than dogs who have it done after puberty.

Testosterone causes bones to stop growing so if the dog doesn’t have testosterone, the point at which the growth is stopped occurs later in his life.

The same health benefits and behaviour of the prostate can happen regardless of your dog’s age. This means no dog is “too old” to gain the benefits. Most vets say the ideal age for dog neutering is six months old.

Neuter Dog Behavior Explained

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Will he still like females?

His interest will drop but he’ll be aroused if he’s near a female dog in heat. Mounting is sometimes a sign of dominance and a male that has been neutered may mount for many reasons, not all motivated by sex.

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What You Can Expect If Your Dog Needs Anaesthesia

What You Can Expect If Your Dog Needs Anaesthesia
There are some veterinary medical procedures where anaesthesia must be used such as when your dog needs dental work or a surgical procedure.

The majority of dogs don’t have problems if an anaesthetic is used. However, like all medical procedures in people and dogs, there are always risks.

The issues can be minor: mild vomiting, feeling a little dazed, and perhaps a bit sore, depending on what was done. The more serious (and potentially life-threatening) problems can include: strokes and cardiac arrest.

Fatalities caused by anaesthetic are rare. However, the veterinary team will take all proper precautions to keep your beloved pet safe and make sure that he can cope with being anaesthetised. In an emergency situation where your dog’s life is at risk, the vet will quickly decide that the possible risks of using an anaesthetic are minimal when compared to not operating.

Before having an anaesthetic.

Your vet will discuss all the possible ramifications that the use of anaesthetic may cause. He’ll conduct a thorough physical and review your pet’s medical history before talking to you about any risk factors regarding the anaesthetic and the surgical procedure itself.

Your vet may conduct blood tests to determine if there are any unforeseen risks or developing medical problems as a result of putting your beloved pet to sleep. If you have questions about any aspect of the process, ask the vet beforehand.

Prior to the vet applying the anaesthesia, he’ll usually calm your dog and make the process run more smoothly by giving the dog a pre- anaesthetic sedative. He’ll also apply an intravenous catheter so he can give his patient medication and fluids. Anaesthetic can be delivered intravenously, through the inhalation of gas, or a combination of both.

During anaesthesia.

While your dog is in the hands of the veterinary expert, he’ll receive the care and close monitoring of vital signs, in much the same way as people when they’re under an anaesthetic.

The care and monitoring processes may include:

• Intravenous fluids and/or medications to ensure blood pressure and circulation remain stable.
• Monitoring blood pressure to keep it within a safe range.
• The insertion of a tube down your pet’s trachea (windpipe) so oxygen and anaesthetic gas can be delivered.
• Measuring your pet’s oxygen levels in his blood through the use of a pulse oximetry.
• Monitoring temperature and using warming blankets so your pet’s body temperature doesn’t drop too low (leading to possible hypothermia).
• Monitoring his heart by using EKG and ECG machines.

After anaesthesia.

After your vet has finished, your pet will be placed in a semi-dark, quite kennel or cage until he recovers. During this period, pets are closely monitored to ensure their recovery happens without any problems. They’re also on hand if a problem occurs. They use blankets and pads to keep him warm while he’s recovering because it’s common for a dog to start shivering as they recover.

However, the shivering won’t always be due to your pet being cold. It’s merely one temporary side effect, as is barking or whining. Once your pet is awake and can swallow normally, the throat tube is taken out. Depending on how well he handles the anaesthetic and/or the procedure itself, medications and fluids may also be needed.

Your pet may be brought home later the same day or perhaps the next day, depending on how well the procedure went and his recovery process.

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