Flea Life Cycle
The life cycle of the flea is divided into two phases:
- Parasitic phase – adult fleas feeding and reproducing on the animal.
- Free-living phase – eggs laid by the adult flea drop off the animal and continue to develop in the environment. The new immature flea then jumps onto an animal and commences the parasitic phase again.
The immature flea jumps onto the animal and begins to ingest its first blood meal almost immediately. Mating usually occurs within 8 to 24 hours, allowing the laying of eggs within 24 to 28 hours of first infesting the dog or cat (Dryden, 1994). The female flea is capable of laying eggs for an average of 100 days and it has been reported that fleas may live up to 113 days on cats (Dryden, 1995).
The flea’s ability to multiply is phenomenal. The female flea lays, on average, 27 eggs per day over 50 days (a total of 1350 eggs per flea). Most of these eggs are usually laid within the first 10 days of infestation. Approximately 40% of eggs will survive and develop through to the adult. If the female flea survives only one week, she may have laid 162 eggs, of which 65 may develop through to the adult stage within 3 weeks.
The life cycle can be completed in as little as 2-4 weeks under appropriate weather conditions. The following graph illustrates the enormous reproductive capacity of the flea if permitted to multiply uninterrupted on the animal.
Ctenocephalides felis (the cat flea) must ingest blood in order to reproduce and lay fertile eggs successfully. Once they drop off the animal and hatch, the larvae feed on the feces of adult fleas and also other organic debris.
If you suspect your dog or cat has fleas, call our office. We can look at your dog or cat and verify the flea infestation. We will also talk you through the clean-up process at this visit.
We may give your animal a medication called Capstar. This is a fast acting oral flea control medication and usually starts to work within 30 minutes.
We will also apply a topical flea and tick control medication, such as Frontline. These types of products will help eliminate the other stages of the flea life cycle, except for the pupa stage. The pupa will have to grow into an adult flea in order to be affected by the flea and tick control medication.
The fleas will also be in your home, especially where your animal has been, such as couches, chairs, bedding (human and animal) and carpet. The first step is to vacuum everything as soon as the flea infestation as been identified. Fleas love to hide under items such as couches, dining room hutches, beds and dressers.
Everything will need to be cleaned or laundered, especially soft items such as pillows, bedding or stuffed animals and your clothing. Knockout E.S. is a product to assist you in the clean up process. It should be applied to surfaces per the label instructions. If you get a product from the store, please be sure it is safe for cats, dogs, and children.
Floors without carpets need to be vacuumed first and then can be mopped with its regular floor treatment. If you feel you need to use bleach, please add a small amount to the mop water.
To rid your home of a flea infestation is a process that can last several months of diligent cleaning and keeping your animal on a flea and tick control medication to stop future infestations. If you have further questions about fleas, flea infestations or the best flea and tick control product for you pet, please call our office.
Eating Feces (Coprophagia)
Definition: Coprophagia is the ingestion of feces. It is normal for a mother cat or dog to ingest her newborn offspring’s’ waste products. This prevents disease and keeps the den odor free, thus preventing discovery by predators. Puppies occasionally begin eating feces when their mother ceases to perform this task, and they may continue this behavior until they are weaned. Some persist beyond weaning and separation from their littermates and mother.
If stool is available, a puppy prone to Coprophagia may be tempted. Some dogs appear to enjoy this activity, which makes it all the more repugnant to their owners. This behavior does not occur in kittens or cats, perhaps because of their instinct to cover or bury waste and their more selective eating habits.
A number of solutions have been proposed to discourage Coprophagia in dogs.
- Intentionally baiting fecal material with foul-tasting substances may render the experience unpleasant, but this method is not always successful
- The best way to correct Coprophagia is to prevent access to fecal material. If your dog is in the habit of eliminating in your yard, routinely remove deposits. Supervise yard access to monitor progress. Diligently leash walk your pet, moving quickly away from the sample as soon as possible.
- You may wish to reward your pet for good behavior with a tasty treat. In extreme cases, it maybe necessary to place a “basket” muzzle on a very determined dog. This type of muzzle forms a cage around the dog’s muzzle so that it can pant and vocalize but is unable to put anything in its mouth.
- Provide a wide variety of appropriate objects for your dog to chew and increase the time you spend playing with or exercising your pet.
- Some dogs learn the Coprophagia is a way to get your attention, even though the attention often consists of scolding. As difficult as it may be, ignore your pet if you catch it “in the act” and concentrate instead on preventing future episodes.
Some dogs develop a taste for the stool of other pets, such as cat feces. The same approach applies to these variations of Coprophagia.
- Prevent access to the feces of other animals by being vigilant during leash walks.
- Make your cat’s litter box, placing the box on an elevated surface, installing a cat door, or opening the room door just enough to allow the cat in or out.
Eating Grass and Other Plants
Ingestion of inappropriate items (pica) is seen in diseased and apparently healthy individuals. Plants may be an occasional and normal part of a pet’s diet. Pets may be attracted to both indoor and outdoor plants.
Oral investigation (tasting, chewing, and possibly swallowing) is common in young cats and dogs. Although, it usually subsides in mature animals, taste preferences may persist. Cats are primarily carnivores (meat eaters) but occasionally eat plants, even in the wild. A pet may also eat plant material if it feels nauseated. This is not specific sign of intestinal parasitism. Though a pet with internal parasites may feel ill enough to eat lawn grass, pets with worms do not necessarily eat grass or anything strange. Similarly, pets with other unrelated medical problems may eat grass.
Although eating lawn grass is not usually harmful, report this to your veterinarian if it becomes excessive or is accompanied by other changes in your pet. If the grass has been treated with chemicals, such as organophosphate or carbamate pesticides, poisoning is possible. Ingestion of nontoxic plants, such as grass, can produce mild gastrointestinal upset by mechanical irritation of the digestive tract. The fact that vomiting follows ingestion does not mean the plant is poisonous. Contact your veterinarian to be sure of your pet’s safety.
House pets can destroy ornamental plants, often creating quite a mess in the process. Carefully remove plants to an elevated surface or to another location to prevent access. For example, hang plants out of reach, keep branches well trimmed, or replace houseplants with cacti. If cats seem particularly attracted to specific plants or foliage types, replace these plants with others that are less tempting. You may also decide to leave nontoxic plant as an intentional lure away from your favorite foliage. You might plant a small box of catnip with seeds available from most pet stores.
Many plants are poisonous to both cats and dogs. Household and outdoor plants and trees may cause signs ranging from mild gastrointestinal upset to respiratory arrest and death. Some vegetation is so toxic that even small quantities may be very dangerous.
A partial listing of nontoxic ornamental houseplant is included for your convenience. Contact your veterinarian for details.
|African violet||Jade plant|
|Baby’s breath||Mother-in-law tongue|
|Begonia Norfolk||Island pine|
|Boston fern||Palms (all indoor varieties)|
|Ferns (all indoor varieties)||Rubber plant|
|Grape ivy||Swedish ivy|
Stone chewing by dogs is probably a form of play, but it can be harmful to a pet’s health. Teeth may be broken or worn, exposing the sensitive pulp and leading to pain or infection.
Stones may be accidentally eaten. Small stones may pass through the length of the bowel without consequence. Larger stones may lacerate the intestinal wall or obstruct passage of food, resulting in severe illness, the need for abdominal surgery, and possibly death.
Although your dog may enjoy this activity, it is wise to discourage it by redirecting attention to safer toys (balls, rawhide chew toys). Keep the dog on a leash or closely supervise it in rocky areas.
The spectrum of dental disease in the dog and cat is wide and varied. This paper reviews the dental problems seen in dogs and cats, what services the veterinary dentist can offer, and what pet owners should know about their pets’ teeth and gums.
For more information about how we clean your pets teeth during a dental procedure at the clinic, click here.
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop gum disease by the age of three years. Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition affecting dogs and cats. Infection and inflammation of the gums and supporting tissues of theteeth are caused by bacteria present in plaque and calculus (tartar). The problem begins when plaque and calculus are allowed to build up on a pet’s teeth, especially below the gumline. Bad breath, bleeding and inflammation of the gums, receding gums, loosening and the eventual loss of teeth are characteristic of the condition. Prophylactic treatment to keep the teeth clean is therefore of great importance. Your veterinarian may recommend an oral hygiene program that includes regularly brushing your pets’ teeth with a toothpaste formulated for animals. Diet is a major factor in the development of plaque and tartar. Soft or sticky foods should therefore be avoided, while certain chewing toys are beneficial. A specially formulated diet with dental benefits (reduced accumulation of plaque and tartar) is now available for dogs.
Be patient when initiating oral home care, especially in older animals. It is best to start dental care at an early age. Introduce brushing gradually and begin by rubbing your pet’s teeth and gums with a soft gauze wrapped around a finger. Gradually switch over to a toothbrush designed for pets or to a very soft human toothbrush. Avoid forceful restraint of the patient; rather make it a bonding experience and always praise and reward your pet for its cooperation.
Regular dental check-up visits to your veterinarian are strongly recommended; the interval between check-up’s varies from pet to pet and also depends on how effective the home care program is. Hardened tartar should be removed by your veterinarian, as this requires the use of special instruments and equipment. Routine periodontal treatment performed by a veterinarian typically includes ultrasonic scaling, subgingival manual scaling, and polishing. All dental procedures in pets, including scaling and polishing, are performed under general anesthesia. The current state-of-the-art of veterinary anesthesia is such, that this poses minimal risk. The adverse effects of bad teeth on the overall health of the animal also greatly outweigh the anesthetic risk.
Their are clear indications that oral health status has a profound effect on the animal’s general health. Periodontal disease may cause bacteria and toxins to enter the bloodstream with potentially deleterious effects on internal organs. Conversely, poor systemic health may manifest in the oral cavity in various ways and may also exacerbate periodontal disease. Your pet’s dental examination is therefore not limited to the oral cavity but always includes a general physical examination. Laboratory examinations, to evaluate systemic disease concerns, are also commonly performed. Some dogs and cats suffer from chronic oral infection or stomatitis, a poorly understood condition which is frustratingly difficult to treat.
Other Dental Conditions:
Tooth decay or caries, as seen in man, may occur but is relatively rare in the dog and cat. Cats, however, are prone to developing a different type of cavity, known as a resorption lesion. These poorly understood lesions often begin at, or below the gumline. Red, inflamed gums around an affected tooth, and pain are early signs that can be noticed by the pet owner. These lesions require immediate veterinary care.
Dental fractures are very common in the dog, and dental treatment is mandatory if pulp exposure has occurred. The exposed pulp is not only very painful, but also becomes necrotic; the formation of a periapical granuloma or “tooth abscess” is also possible. Endodontic treatment (commonly referred to as root canal treatment) is now routinely performed by veterinary dentists. Subsequent to endodontic treatment, the root canal opening is filled with a dental sealant. Crown restoration, for which various techniques exist, is also available. In selected cases, other methods of fixed prosthodontics, such as a bridge, may also be considered. Most veterinarians do not offer this service, but are happy to refer selected cases to referral centers.
In the field of orthodontics, attention is paid to the manner in which the teeth are arranged relative to one another (so-called “bite problems”). In evaluating a dog’s bite, it is important examine all the teeth. Malpositioned teeth may be the result of teething problems and are not necessarily of genetic origin. On the other hand, evaluation of all the teeth may reveal that the bony structure supporting the teeth is abnormal, which is indeed hereditary. As many of these conditions may have a hereditary background, genetic counseling is always offered; it is often recommended that the animal be rendered incapable of reproduction. Corrective orthodontic treatment is restricted to conditions that obviously cause pain and discomfort to the patient. Both fixed and removable appliances, similar to those used in humans, have been used in animals with good results.
A tooth fracture requires urgent veterinary attention
Oral surgery in pets includes extractions, jaw fracture repair and oral tumor management. Unfortunately not all teeth can be saved and extraction is often the treatment of choice. Extraction techniques have been refined in order to minimize the pain and discomfort. Prevention however, remains better than cure. Trauma in dogs and cats is common and jaw fractures occur relatively frequently. The management of jaw fractures is an important aspect of oral surgery. New techniques for fracture repair have been designed and existing techniques modified to minimize damage to teeth and ensure a rapid return to normal function.
Tumor cases account for another important group of oral surgery patients. Tumors of the mouth and throat are common in the dog but occur less frequently in the cat. Oral tumors frequently go unnoticed by the pets’ owners until the tumor reaches a fairly advanced stage of development, making it more difficult to treat successfully. A variety of lesions may occur, including benign and malignant conditions. Non-cancerous masses and swellings such as gingival hyperplasia and infectious conditions may be confused with oral tumors. Conversely, oral malignancies may present as non-healing, ulcerated sores instead of “typical” prominent masses. Early recognition of suspicious swellings or persistent sores is critical and, when evident, should be brought to the attention of the veterinarian. Recently developed surgical techniques for removing oral tumors and radiotherapy are now available. These techniques often give excellent results, both in terms of cosmetic appearance and prognosis, provided they are applied at an early stage.
A greater awareness of dental disease in the dog amongst veterinary practitioners and pet owners will greatly contribute to the early recognition and prevention of dental problems, in particular periodontal disease. This is important, because periodontal disease may have a serious impact on a pet’s well-being and general health. Great advances have been made in veterinary dentistry and a wide spectrum of dental therapeutic options are now available.
What Do You Do NOW?
Call the clinic or request an appointment through your pet portal to have your pets teeth evaluated.
Many people wonder why it costs more to clean their pet’s teeth than their own.
The answer is that it is considerably more involved than having your own teeth cleaned at the dentist. When your dentist tells you to open your mouth, move your tongue, close a little, etc…
…you comply, and allow him access to your teeth. Even the best dog in the world is not going to sit still with his mouth wide open while someone accurately cleans his teeth. Therefore, to clean your pet’s teeth correctly, your pet will need to be anesthetized, and that is where the expense comes in. Anesthesia can be a scary thing for a lot of people. Knowing what is involved may help you realize that safety first is the motto for the day. Here is step by step what happens during a dental for our imaginary pet Lucky.
- No breakfast for Lucky on dental day. He may have water, but he should have no food after 10pm the night before.
- Lucky should arrive at the clinic between 7 and 8 am. Take him for a quick walk before he arrives.
- Lucky is shown to his quarters for the day, but he doesn’t take too long to settle in. The technician will take blood to run his pre-anesthetic blood screen (some pets will have had this done a few days before). He is weighed to make sure all medication doses are accurate, and he is prepped for his intravenous catheter (IV). The IV is where he receives some of his medications and, most importantly, fluids during the procedure. IV fluids help maintain hydration and blood pressure during anesthesia.
- After a physical exam by the Doctor, Lucky is then given some pre-anesthetic medications. These medications include light sedatives (to minimize future anesthesia and to control pain) and antibiotics (to prevent the bacteria from causing problems anywhere else as the teeth are cleaned).
- About 15-30 minutes later, Lucky is anesthetized with a short acting injectable medication that allows him to be intubated (to place a plastic tube into Lucky’s trachea which he will breathe through). Once intubated, Lucky breathes a controlled mix of oxygen and anesthesia. The amount of the anesthetic in the mix is constantly adjusted throughout the procedure to maintain Lucky at just the right level, just enough to keep him asleep.
- Lucky is immediately hooked up to monitors that measure the amount of oxygen in his blood, blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate and respiration. His vitals are monitored continuously and his anesthetic level is adjusted as needed. He is also given IV fluids at this time.
- The dental technician begins cleaning Lucky’s teeth immediately, using an ultrasonic scaler that vibrates at very high speed. The scaler vibrates the tartar off the teeth without damaging the enamel. As a rule, this is the part of the dental that takes the most time. The teeth are cleaned below the gum line as well, and then the doctor evaluates the teeth for any pockets, damaged teeth, abscesses, or irregularities.
- Extractions: If there are any teeth that are “bad” or suspicious the doctor will determine if they need to be extracted. This requires utilization of dental radiographs (x-rays) as well as physical examination. The doctor only extracts teeth if necessary. Most of the time if the tooth is bad enough to be removed, Lucky hasn’t been chewing with that tooth, and so he won’t miss it. In fact, once the bad teeth are extracted Lucky will probably feel better and be happier. Clients often comment that they did not realize how painful their pet was until they saw how much better they felt once the teeth were extracted! The goal of routine dentals is to keep the teeth healthy and prevent the need for extraction.
- Once the scaling and extractions are complete, the teeth are polished with a high speed rotary polisher, kind of like the rotating heads that buff out your floors or car after a wax. This smoothes out microscopic abrasions to the enamel, and makes it more difficult for the bacteria to hold on and buildup more tartar.
- Time for Lucky to wake up. Anesthesia will probably have lasted anywhere from 30-90 minutes depending on how involved the procedure was. Recovery is different with each dog. Lucky will hang out for a couple of hours until he feels like he’s ready to walk around. Some patients are a little nauseous after anesthesia, and will need a little help combating that, but most recover uneventfully. Lucky can go home, often by 3 in the afternoon.
- Once at home, Lucky should take it easy. He should avoid stairs, and be allowed to sleep undisturbed. He might want a little something to eat, which should be OK, but it’s best to wait until the next day for a full meal. If he had any extractions, he will have to eat canned food for a few days ( or soften his dry food with warm water and allow to soak 10-15 minutes).
- Home dental care will start in about 1 week. At Lucky’s release the technician will work with Lucky’s human to determine the best home care regimen for him.
All in all, it’s a big day for Lucky, but it will save him lots of pain and discomfort in the future.
Chocolate is a family favorite, especially around the holidays! We get and give chocolate treats at Halloween, eat chocolate bunnies at Easter, various chocolate cakes and cookies at Christmas, chocolate hearts on Valentine’s Day, not to mention birthdays and other family events. Although we can digest chocolate with relative ease, to our furry friends it’s toxic.
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic in sufficient quantities. So the type of chocolate and the amount of chocolate ingested, along with the weight of your pet, is very important. Baking chocolate is the worst for animals because it contains high concentrations of theobromine. Semisweet, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and chocolate cakes/cookies follow respectively. Thus if a 15 lb dog eats 2 oz of milk chocolate he/she will probably experience digestive problems, while 2 oz of Baker’s chocolate can cause severe problems.
Problems seen from toxic chocolate ingestion usually occur within 12 hours. The symptoms include:
- Hyper-nervousness or irritability
- Increased heart rate
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Muscle spasms
- Coma & Death (rare)
If you notice any of these symptoms or believe your pet has ingested chocolate, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Treatment will depend on the time of ingestion, the amount and the type of chocolate and your pets’ weight. Typical treatments include, but are not limited to, inducing vomiting, IV fluids, administering activated charcoal, anti-seizure medications and cardiac medications. The effects of chocolate toxicity can last for several days so hospitalization may be required.
In order to enjoy happy holidays and events with your pets, please keep all your chocolate treasures away from their reach and inform friends and family not to feed them.
Eyes and Vision
Did you know that the volume and weight of a cat’s eye in relation to that of its body is greater than that of any other mammal?
The eye of the cat is situated at the front of the head, as with humans, which means that they have to turn around to see behind them. The total vision of the cat is 280 degrees, wider than that of humans (220 degrees), and is even wider than that of dogs. Another characteristic of the cat eye is that the iris, the colored part of the eye, presents a great variety of colors – shades of green, yellow, mauve and orange. The pupil of the cat also varies dramatically in shape and size according to the intensity of light. In bright light it shrinks to become a mere slit. The cat’s eye also has exceptional sensitivity to light and, therefore, cats enjoy good twilight vision. Contrary to popular belief, cats cannot see in total darkness. In fact, if it can move in the dark, it is thanks to its “radar” whiskers.
When it comes to detecting movement, the vision of the cat is extremely acute. The eye reacts almost instantaneously, immediately focusing on the moving object, prey, evaluating size, distance and any obstacles in the cat’s path to it. The merest quiver, suggesting the presence of possible prey, registers on the eye and this is the cat’s chief hunting tool. The prey has only one means of escape from the constant vigilance – to freeze completely (“play dead”).
Do Cats Have Color Vision?
This is a commonly asked question. Cats cannot see as many colors as humans can. They can distinguish between certain colors, including different shades of blue and greenish yellow. Cats cannot see orange and red; these colors appear white to the cat.
When kittens are born, they are blind. They do not open their eyes until they are seven to ten days old. For the first three months, their vision is significantly weaker than that of humans; however, it develops and is refined as they age.
The cat’s vision usually remains excellent well into old age. Some cats do go blind, usually as a result of illness or injury.
The eye of the cat is often an indicator of its emotions. If angry or sexually aroused, its pupils often dilate; whilst being stroked, it may blink with pleasure.
Caring for Your Cat’s Eyes
As with any animal, the eye is a very delicate organ and should be treated with the utmost care. Minor irritations should never be ignored as these can deteriorate rapidly and may result in irreversible damage. You should never leave any eye problem untreated for longer than 24 hours. If treatment has been commenced, your veterinarian should be consulted if the eye does not begin to improve within 24 hours.
Cats sometimes acquire a foreign body in their eye, for example, a small splinter. It is important to take great care when trying to remove any foreign body from the eye. First, place the cat under a good light. Roll the eyelid away from the eyeball with both thumbs. Most cats will not allow you look under their third eyelid (this is the small flap in the corner of the eye) but you should be able to see if there is anything protruding from the under its edge. It may be possible to remove a large foreign body with your fingers; small foreign bodies may be removed by flushing the eye or gently wiping with a dampened swab. If you cannot remove the foreign body, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Cats are intelligent and agile creatures. During play, a kitten or an adult cat makes full use of its surroundings to provide itself with mental and physical challenges. Particularly attracted to moving objects, cats investigate new things on ground level or elevated surfaces alike. Play allows a young animal to practice important life skills without adult consequences. Running, jumping, hiding, and other playful antics could be invaluable later when hunting for food or escaping an enemy.
Play gives you an opportunity to teach acceptable behavior to your cat. Avoid forms of play that encourage a cat’s aggressiveness. No cat should learn that it is acceptable and fun to pounce on, grip, bite, or scratch any part of a person’s clothing or body. Such innocent fun as chasing waffling fingers or toes under the bedcovers could lead to problems later. The target of a cat’s playful attention should be directed away from its human playmate. Introduce a variety of toys for your cat to chase, such as lightweight balls or toys suspended from string or wire. Your cat can simulate attacks without risking injury to anyone.
Young cats often appear to respond to some “phantom” enemy during normal play. The pet may pause as if to listen or look at something and then race away. Some people believe that, during such episodes, the cat is reacting to an imagined object or intruder. It is also possible that the cat is responding to a real stimulus that people cannot understand.
Undesirable Nightime Activity
Juvenile cats are normally very active, sometimes overwhelming their owners. Young cats tend to be more active during evening and nighttime hours and frequently disturb their owner’s sleep. Cats are naturally crepuscular (more active at dawn and dusk) because they have adapted to hunting in relative darkness. If your cat is satisfied with the amount of attention and exercise it gets before your bedtime, chances are good that is schedule of peak activity will gradually match yours. If your young cat tends to nap during the day when you are home, wake up to play.
Though cats frequently seem to amuse themselves when there is no available playmate, they often thrive on additional social interaction with you. To increase your chances of sleeping through the night, play appropriate games with your cat and engage it in other activities it might enjoy, such as brushing, before retiring to bed. Provide a variety of attractive toys to entertain your cat so it is less likely to awaken you.
Once you have gone to bed, consistently ignore your cat’s attempts to get your attention and it will eventually stop disturbing you.
Preventing Damage During Play
“Cat-proof” your home by removing or preventing access to valuable or hazardous objects that will attract your cat. Apply screens on windows to prevent accidental falls or intentional escapes. It is normal for a cat to investigate elevated surfaces (tabletops, mantel) in its territory. Your valuable may be accidentally destroyed in such exploration, or the cat may destroy objects through playful mischief.
If your cat damages items in certain areas, it may be necessary to close the door to that room. Another option to discourage your cat from returning to an area is to make it an unpleasant place to visit. Strips of sticky tape placed sticky side up are an unpleasant surprise for cats to step on, as are cookie sheets filled with water. If your cat is destructive or harmful with its claws during play, keep them well trimmed to avoid damage.
Canine bloat, Gastric Dilitation and Volvulus, and GDV are all names for the same condition. It’s a very scary problem that comes on very fast, and requires action just as fast.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Bloat is relatively easy to recognize. If your dog looks like it swallowed a watermelon and is lethargic, he needs to be seen right away. Sometimes the dog will be attempting to vomit without success, have shallow breathing, or he could be completely collapsed.
WHAT IS BLOAT?
Bloat is a condition in which food, air and stomach secretions prevent the stomach from emptying. Gas continues to build up in the stomach and can ultimately flip over on itself. Not all bloat patients turn into a volvulus, but many do. When the somach flips, other organs (like the spleen) can twist with it. The ability for food and gas to pass out of the stomach is eliminated completely. The dilated stomach then obstructs the blood flow to the stomach, gas continues to build up, and ultimately, the stomach will die. If not diagnosed and treated quickly, the patient will die as well.
IS MY DOG AT RISK?
In general, any larger breed dog with a deep chest is at risk. There are breeds that are more susceptible, as body type is the most important factor. Lean, deep chested dogs, and dogs with a family history of bloat are at the highest risk for bloat. Dogs that are more skittish or have intense, nervous personalities, also have an increased risk. There are some studies indicating higher fat diets (especially if fat is listed in the top 4 ingredients on the bag) and feeding your dog from an elevated bowl(they swallow more air), can increase the risk as well. Great Danes, German Shepherds, Irish Setters, and Standard Poodles are at the top of the list, but Rottweilers, Weimaraners, Dobermans, Retrievers (Labrador and Golden) are also on the list. To see if your dog has an increased risk of bloat, use this link to get a risk assessment: click here.
BLOAT CAN BE TREATED, BUT IT NEEDS TO BE CAUGHT EARLY!
The longer your dog is bloated, the more damage to the stomach blood supply, and the greater risk he will die before, during or after surgery. Initial treatment is focused on decompressing the stomach and treating shock symptoms. Most will need emergency surgery to reposition the stomach and to remove portions of the stomach that have died as a result of the torsion. Once the stomach is repositioned and the unhealthy portion removed, the surgeon will then tack the stomach to the body wall to prevent the stomach from flipping in the future.
CAN I PREVENT MY DOG FROM BLOATING?
The only definitive prevention is surgical tacking. It’s possible that feeding your dog canned food, splitting meals into multiple smaller meals through the day, slowing down the rate at which your dog eats, and placing food bowls on the ground may help prevent bloat. However, the best prevention is to anchor the stomach in a correct position inside the abdomen so that it can’t twist. On a healthy dog, the recovery is minimal, and complications are rare. Please discuss this important procedure with us at any time. We recommend dogs at risk have the stomach tacking done at an early age, such as when the pet is spayed or neutered, but it can be done at any time.
For more information visit veterinarypartner.com.
|C.E.T. Hextra Petite||50/piece||Gravy Bones Lg||80/piece|
|C.E.T. Hextra Med.||40/piece||Hill’s Science Diet Light Treats||14.8/treat|
|C.E.T. Hextra Lg.||64/piece||Iams Biscuits -Original Large||137/piece|
|C.E.T. Hextra XL||122/piece||Iams Biscuits -Original Small||31/piece|
|C.E.T. VeggieDent Small||85/piece||Meaty Bone Medium||64.2/bone|
|C.E.T. VeggieDent Reg. and Lg.||119/piece||Milk Bone Small||20/piece|
|Hypoallergenic Treats||17/piece||Milk Bone Medium||87/piece|
|Lean Treats||7/piece||Milk Bone Lg||115/piece|
|No Grainers Chicken||17/piece||Milk Bone XL||225/Piece|
|No Grainers Fish||17/piece||Milk Bone Puppy||10/piece|
|No Grainers Pork||17/piece||Milk Bone Mar-O-Snack||30/piece|
|Pill Pockets Lg. Beef||29/piece||Pedigree Lg. Dentabone||300/piece|
|Pill Pockets Sm. Beef||11/piece||Pedigree Med. Dentabone||188/piece|
|Pill Pockets Sm. Chicken||11/piece||Pedigree Sm. Dentabone||105/piece|
|Restricted Calorie Rewards||13/piece||Pedigree Reg. Dentastick||70/piece|
|RX Diet Canine Treats||15/piece||Pedigree Sm. Dentastick||49/piece|
|Sam’s Yams Big Boys||80/piece||Pupperoni||21.3/stick|
|Sam’s Yams Veggie Rawhide||40/piece||Purina Lg. Busy Bone||618/piece|
|Sam’s Yams Bichon Fries||20/piece||Purina Sm. Busy Bone||309/piece|
|T/D Regular Bites||18/piece||Purina T-Bonz||42/piece|
|T/D Small Bites||9/piece||Snausages Beef Flavor||17.4/piece|
|Treats for Dogs||14/piece||American Cheese||97.2/slice|
|Al’s Grill Burgers||36/piece||Baby Carrots||3/piece|
|Al’s Grill Drumsticks||10/piece||Bologna||87/slice|
|Al’s Grill Riblets||36/piece||Breyers All Natural Vanilla Ice Cream||280/cup|
|Al’s Grill Steaks||16/piece||Cheerios||110/cup|
|Beggin’ Strips||30/piece||Goldfish Crackers||2.7/piece|
|Chew-eez Beef Rawhide Strips||60.6/piece||Kraft Cheez Whiz||45.5/tbsp|
|Chew-eez Chicken||60/piece||Liver Sausage||92/ounce|
|Frosty Paws||140/cup||Peanut Butter||96/tbsp|
|Gravy Bones Sm/Med||35/piece||Popcorn – Air Popped||31/cup|
|Popcorn – Orville Redenbacher Light Butter||20/cup|
If arthritis pain took your dog out of the picture, where would you be, besides a little lost?
You’ve always enjoyed those long walks with your best friend. Problem is, joint pain and inflammation can sometimes make it difficult for him to lead the way. That’s why it’s important to recognize the early signs of osteoarthritis, and what to do when they appear. In mild cases, you’ll notice stiffness and difficulty rising, walking and climbing stairs. As osteoarthritis becomes more severe, your dog won’t act like himself. He’ll resist your touch, he’ll whimper and he’ll limp.
If you notice any of these signs, see your veterinarian. And when you discuss treatment, ask about Rimadyl® (carprofen), a pain relief medication that can help a dog suffering from arthritis. So you and your family can continue to enjoy all those long walks he takes you on.
Aging and CDS
Contrary to popular belief, the signs of old age aren’t always signs of old age. They could be signs of a medical condition known as canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome.
It’s difficult to watch your dog age, especially if your old friend starts to lose interest in your family and begins to require a lot more care. Some of the signs once thought of as simply “old age” may actually be signs of a medical condition known as canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). Now there’s a medical advance–Anipryl® (selegiline hydrochloride)–that offers new hope for the millions of families with dogs that suffer from the behavioral changes associated with CDS.