Category Archives: Signs and Symptoms
Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is a tick-transmitted infectious disease caused by the spirochaete bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. It got the name, Lyme, after the place in Connecticut where the condition first occurred. Lyme disease are wider spread throughout United States, especially in Midwestern states, states is Pacific coastal and also Atlantic seaboard. It is also common in Europe. There are actually three species of ticks that can be possible carriers of Lyme disease, but it is the Ixodes scapularis (formerly called Ixodes dammini), or deer tick, that is found to be its primary carrier, especially in the Northeast and upper Midwest.
In the United States, the risk of getting tick bites is high particularly between the months of April and November. Lyme disease is usually passed on to dogs, and even to humans, through a bite by the slow-feeding, hard-shelled black-legged deer tick, which clings onto the dog’s skin for at least a day or two before transmitting the bacteria to the host, and it then affects many organs of the body. However, its symptoms manifest only two to five months after the dog gets a bite.
Studies reveal that young dogs are more susceptible to Lyme disease than the adults. Infected dogs suffering from Lyme disease would usually exhibit lameness due to the inflammation on the joints, loss of appetite, depression, fever that rises from 103 to 105ºF, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, arched back and walking stiffly, sensitivity to touch, and difficulty in breathing. In rare cases, the dogs may develop irregularities in the heart, including complete heart block; complications in their nervous system, and; kidney problem. The latter condition is found to be more prevalent among Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and Bernese Mountain dogs. If left without treatment, this kidney condition may eventually results in glomerulonephritis, which can cause infection and blood filters dysfunction and kidney failure, and even death.
Aside from dogs Lyme disease may also affect other domestic animals, although it is a rarity in cats and causes no significant problem in horses.
It is highly recommended that as soon as symptoms start to manifest, the infected dog should immediately be brought to the veterinarian for appropriate treatment. During check up, the veterinarian would usually base his diagnosis of Lyme disease according to symptoms presented, result of physical examination, and on the medical history of the dog. He may even do a blood test on the dog to verify the bacterium presence that causes the disease. Initial treatment would normally include administration of antibiotics, like doxycycline or amoxicillin, which course may stretch for 14 days or longer, depending on the dog’s progress. Unless its Lyme disease normally is chronic in nature, dogs are likely to exhibit improvement within 48 hours of treatment, and symptoms would normally subside three to four days after receiving antibiotic treatment. Aside from antibiotics, an antimicrobial therapy may also be applied to the infected animal, and a pain reliever may be administered should the dog exhibit severe pain.
Chronic Lyme disease, on the other hand, is difficult to treat and requires several weeks or longer periods of antibiotic treatments to completely rid of the bacteria since the Lyme organism has already contaminated the body for extended period. In some cases, the infected dog may suffer from joint or organ damage that could last for the duration of its life.
Nevertheless, there are certain measures to prevent Lyme disease in dogs. As a basic rule, it is advisable to avoid woods, brush, tall grass, and other possible tick-infiltrated areas as much as possible. But since the tick carrier of Lyme disease is so tiny that it can easily go unnoticed and it does not even make the dog to itch, it would be difficult to determine the presence of these creatures. Therefore, it is better to have your dog vaccinated against Lyme disease. You may also consider getting preventive tick collars for your pet, and bathe it regularly with an appropriate tick shampoo, especially right after walking your dog through bushy or woody areas. Other ways to avoid ticks in your dogs are to check them for ticks around the neck and around the armpit, and brush your pet regularly to remove excess hair. It should be noted that ticks adhere to warm fur.
Lyme disease is generally curable without complications if it is diagnosed and treated promptly.
Chocolates are quite poisonous for dogs, and your pet dog might suffer chocolate poisoning in dogs if they consume lots of it. Seeing how rapid they consume those chocolates you just had tossed to them and that pathetic ‘begging for more’ look from your pet dogs might give you an impression that these four-legged friends must have been sharing the same love for chocolates as you do. But then, you should never make a mistake of giving in to pity, otherwise, you will be doing more harm to them than good.
Chocolates may be a delight to humans, but it is toxic, and even fatal to animals, particularly dogs, because of its theobromine content that dogs cannot readily digest. Theobromine, a term derived from the Greek word Theobroma, which means “food for the gods”, is a bitter alkaloid substance that belongs to the methylxanthines found abundantly in cocoa beans and in chocolate. It is also found in tea plant, guarana berry, and kola nut.
Chocolate Poisoning In Dogs
Dogs eat rapidly like gluttons but they metabolize very slowly. So, if they are allowed to consume too much chocolate, there is a tendency for theobromine, and of course, the toxins that come with it, to accumulate in no time in their body until it reaches to a poisonous level. Though the level and effects of toxins may vary according to age, size, health and weight of the dog, one thing is certain: too much concentration of theobromine in the body leads to a fatal cardiac arrest. Aside from dogs, other animals are vulnerable to chocolate poisoning, too.
The amount of theobromine content varies in different chocolate preparations, but baking chocolate ranks the highest alkaloid content, and therefore, it is the most potent in putting down dogs to serious ailment. Other highly concentrated preparations include the semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, and hot chocolate.
Chocolate Poisoning Symptoms
A small amount of chocolate intake takes two to four hours to process within the dog’s body before it exhibits symptoms of chocolate poisoning, like vomiting and diarrhoea. But high quantity dosage may show immediate signs that include hyperactivity, trembling, muscle twitching, excessive thirst, and frequent urination. Progressive signs of stiffness, seizures, and oversensitivity to noise, light and touch may also ensue. Ultimately, chocolate poisoning results in cardiac arrest, hyperthermia that progresses into coma, and eventually, death in 12 to 36 hours after ingestion.
As soon as you notice that your pet dog shows any of these signs of poisoning, or as soon as you realized you have inadvertently fed it with potentially lethal chocolate amount – whatever may come first – the first thing to do is to bring your pet immediately to the veterinarian within two hours. But if it were not possible, you may have to apply first aid by inducing vomiting. To do this, you have to prepare a one-to-one solution which consist of 3% of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and normal water, and administer one tablespoon of this solution for every 4.5 KG of your pet’s body weight. Or, you may also give one-fourth teaspoon of the syrup of ipecac as an alternative to peroxide water solution.
Using a syringe or turkey baster, squirt the solution onto your dog’s mouth to force it to vomit. If your pet dog does not vomit within five minutes after giving peroxide water solution, wait for another five minutes before repeating the same procedure. If, however, your dog still does not vomit, never give the third dosage of ipecac or peroxide water solution anymore, as it will be dangerous. Instead, call a veterinarian or your local animal poison centre for assistance.
If available, you may give your dog one to three grams of activated charcoal per kilogram of his body weight. Activated carbon, a black, odourless, and tasteless non-toxic powder, is common and effective antidote for chocolate poisoning because it sucks up the theobromine toxins and prevents the toxic compound from further pushing into the dog’s bloodstream. Among the varied dosage forms of activated charcoal, its powder form is much easier to administer to dogs.
However, induced vomiting and activated charcoal are not recommended if your pet dog is unable to swallow, having a seizure, depressed or comatose. Instead, it should already be brought to the veterinarian for appropriate treatment.
Just as humans keep a first aid kit at home, so do pet owners need to maintain an emergency kit for their pets. Remember, chocolate taste nice and sometimes is good for human, but will be deadly for dogs as they causes chocolate poisoning in dogs.
Deciding to acquire a puppy or dog deserves careful planning and discernment because owning a pet goes beyond self-pleasure. Rather, it entails responsibility to love and care for the animal and, of course, additional budget for its maintenance.
Health maintenance of pets can be costly and stressful if you are living on barely enough financial means. But certainly, these extra costs are avoidable, since there are ways by which a pet owner can limit the circumstances of spending more.
Just as humans get vaccinations to protect themselves from some serious ailment, so do pets require booster shots for immunity to serious health conditions.
Here are five most common puppy diseases to which your pets can avoid, by getting proper vaccination.
Canine distemper. Caused by paramyxovirus, the group of viruses responsible for measles in humans, canine distemper is a highly communicable, airborne, and fatal viral disease that usually attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems altogether so much so that it makes ailment very grave.
Since the virus is airborne, it can spread widely through direct and indirect contact with an infected animal. An infected dog can spread the virus through droplets that come with breathing, saliva and other bodily fluids. The virus can also be passed on through exposure to an infected animal’s excretions, such as urine and faeces.
Moreover, the canine distemper virus, which can cling and linger onto human’s skin, clothing, and shoes for at least eight hours, can be passed on to other animals through these contaminated “carriers.”
Aside from dogs of any age, canine distemper may also infect cats, skunks, and other animals. Symptoms of the disease include coughing, nasal and eye discharges, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, and intermittent fever.
Canine Hepatitis. Characterized by an inflammation of the liver, infectious canine hepatitis, or ICH, is an acute, communicable, and fatal viral disease caused by the Canine Adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1) that progresses very quickly, sometimes leading to death within hours of becoming ill. Aside from the liver, canine hepatitis also strikes on the dog’s kidneys, eyes, and lungs.
Infectious canine hepatitis can be passed on through direct contact with the infected animal’s urine, saliva, faeces, nasal discharges, and other bodily fluids. Kennels and contaminated food are also possible sources from where healthy dogs may pick up their infection. Likewise, dogs that have been cured of ICH can still contaminate other dogs even after six months since they have recovered.
Following an incubation period of between four to seven days, a range of clinical signs and symptoms begin to manifest on infected dogs through loss of appetite, pale gums, fever, abdominal pain, cough, vomiting, diarrhoea, and jaundice, among many other symptoms.
Canine Leptospirosis. Shaped like a question mark, canine leptospirosis is caused by the bacteria called Leptospira interrogans, a communicable bacterial infection that attacks both animals and humans and causes fatal ailment in dogs, like incessant liver and kidney failure.
Bacteria can gain entry into a healthy dog when its skin abrasion or open wound is exposed to the infected animal’s urine; and once the bacteria is absorbed into the dog’s bloodstream, the new host starts to exhibit symptoms like fever, joint pain, and nausea.
Canine Parvovirus type 2. “Parvo”, as it is commonly called, is one of the most fatal diseases that can affect dogs, particularly puppies that are un-immunized or unprotected by maternal antibodies, because it causes death as quickly as within 24 hours of infection.
Parvo is particularly presented in two distinct forms: intestinal and cardiac. Intestinal parvovirus is usually manifested by loss of energy and appetite, insuppressible vomiting, diarrhoea, and high fever that rises beyond 103°F.
Cardiac parvovirus, on the other hand, hits young puppies. Its symptoms are distinctly exhibited in the puppies’ constant crying, gasping, depression, weakness, irregular heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, and sudden death. If left untreated, mortality rate of puppies affected by cardiac parvo usually points to an alarming 90 percent.
Canine Parainfluenza. Frequently confused for kennel cough, canine parainfluenza is an extremely communicable respiratory disease that can be aggravated by environmental factors, such as high humidity, wind, and cold. It is normally exhibited by dry cough, nasal discharges, difficulty in breathing, sluggishness, pneumonia, and low-grade fever.
Recognizing the severity of these diseases should prompt us to immediately obtain vaccination for our pets. After all, as the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
Is your dog having congestion? A persistent cough despite the antibiotics you gave, and exerting extra effort to breathe? Perhaps, it has contracted the canine influenza virus.
Canine influenza is a highly contagious airborne disease, which is said to be associated with the same strain that affects horses. Reports have it that after a dog race held at a Florida horse racing tracks in January 2004, an incident happened where an influenza A virus, subtype H3N8, which has infected horses for more than four decades, was found to have mutated and created a new strain that claimed the lives of Greyhound race dogs.
Since that first outbreak, reports of respiratory ailment among racing and shelter dogs have spread and detected in 30 states of the US and in the District of Columbia. There is no reported evidence that the disease has spread in other countries, though.
All dogs exposed to the virus are certain to contract the canine influenza virus, 80 percent of which may develop clinical signs, while the rest may not come down with the disease at all. The canine influenza virus is easily passed on from one dog to another through their respiratory secretions. Although there is no proof that the virus can infect humans and other species, like cats and birds, humans can be its potential carrier, passing it to another dog through their hands and clothing.
There are two general clinical syndromes infected dogs may come down with, namely, the milder syndrome, and the acute pneumonia syndrome.
After exposure to the virus followed by two to five days of incubation period, infected dogs usually exhibit mild and low grade fever with a rectal temperature of 102.5 to 103.5°F accompanied by soft, moist or dry cough that could go on for ten days, or even longer, without relief from antibiotics and cough medications. They would also produce bad-smelling yellow nasal discharges that correspond to secondary bacterial infection, and; most often they lose their energy and appetite. These symptoms are particular to the milder syndrome.
These symptoms may step up to a higher level, and more serious form of infections can occur when the infected dogs’ fever soar between 104 to 106°F, accompanied by viral and bacterial pneumonia. The dog may also exhibit rapid and difficult breathing patterns, and a coagulation of its lung lobes.
Despite these severe conditions, however, statistics record a death rate for canine influenza between 1 to 5 percent only. Besides, infected dogs rarely suffer beyond the milder syndrome.
In June 2009, the United States Department of Agriculture disclosed its issuance of a conditional license to Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health for the first canine influenza virus vaccine it produced. The vaccine, which is made from killed virus, is meant to control or decrease the clinical signs and severity of the disease related to canine influenza A virus, subtype H3N8. This vaccine, though, has not been proven to prevent infections.
Since canine influenza is a new type of ailment, dogs have not established natural immunity to it yet; therefore, pet owners should be very careful in taking them to places where dogs usually gather together, such as dog parks, training facilities or kennels because they might be exposed to the risk of catching the virus.
As a general rule, it is most recommended to bring your pet dog to the veterinarian when it starts to exhibit symptoms of ailment, so proper treatment can be administered. It is also important to isolate sick dog from the rest of the pets to avoid contact with its respiratory secretions, and, in addition, water should be readily available close to where your sick dog rests, because, just like humans, sick dogs, too, need to drink plenty of water to wash their flu away.
Dogs commonly develop diarrhea. There are two types of diarrhea; acute and chronic. Acute diarrhea is the type that is manageable and can be treated through first aid. Chronic dog diarrhea, on the other hand, is more serious than acute diarrhea and will entail more effort to cure.
Blood in the stool also comes in two colors. The first is very evident because of its bright red color. The bright red blood in diarrhea is called hematochezia. Hematochezia usually happens when there is bleeding in the lower intestines. The second is the black stool that has a similar color as tar but with the presence of blood. The blood that is seen in this type of stool is called melena. Melena is the old, digested blood that has gone through the digestive tract.
Dog Diarrhea with blood
Diarrhea in dogs can be handled at home; however, if blood is present in the stool, it is necessary to bring it to the attention of medical experts and have your dog diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian.
Blood in the stool can be a cause of alarm but varies in severity. Any irritation of the stomach linings can cause dogs to pass blood in their stool. This also happens when a dog has had several bowel movements.
The presence of blood in the dog’s stool may either be a minor problem or a serious problem. One occurrence of this symptom might just be passing but repeated and frequent occurrences are serious and should not be disregarded.
Causes of bloody dog diarrhea
For younger pets, diarrhea with blood is often caused by parasites or bacteria. Older pets may have this because of cancer. Diarrhea with blood could also be traced from clotting disorders, polyps in the colon or rectum, or food allergy and intolerance.
Dog Diarrhea Home Care
At home, follow the prescribed medications as advised by your dog’s veterinarian and monitor your dog’s diet closely.
Some of the treatments that you may need to administer are fluid therapy, motility modifying drugs, and antibiotics for bacterial infections.
Also, you may be asked to observe the dog’s activity and appetite as well as the presence of blood in the stool, or any signs that make the dog’s condition worst. If any changes take place, whether good or bad, the veterinarian should be informed.
Dog vomiting and dog diarrhea are the two most common warning signs of dog illnesses. These signs are usual and are not to worry about for there are various treatments available for these; however, it is important to keep in mind that these may also be symptoms of a much serious disease which can be fatal to the animal if not attended to immediately.
If a dog shows these two symptoms, dog owners should immediately give first aid measures to ensure their pet’s safety. If there is no improvement or development on the dog’s health after 24 to 48 hours of observation, it is recommended to see the dog’s vet. If the vomit already contains blood, it is best to immediately call for a medical emergency. Professional help should be sought and no home treatment should be attempted.
Causes of Dog Vomiting
There are many reasons why dogs exhibit these symptoms. One of the many reasons would be that the dog may have an upset stomach due to food and water that have gone bad. Or it could also be that the dog has eaten a non-food object or was exposed to insecticides or any chemical. It could also be brought on by food allergies. If the condition is serious, this could be a symptom for a glandular problem such as hypodrencorticism or could be symptom of bacterial infection.
One way of telling if your dog has eaten something poisonous is by examining the vomit and the stool. This might be a bit too much for some but has proven to be very helpful in curing the ailing animal and determining the cause of their ailment. It is essential to inspect the color or the texture of the vomit and stool, and if possible, bring a sample to the dog’s veterinarian.
Home Remedy Treatments for Dog Vomiting
At the first sign of either dog vomiting or dog diarrhea, dogs should not be given anything. Water, meat, and dog food should be removed from the dog’s diet. Only milk should be given if the dog requires or is need of liquids, except if the dog is lactose intolerant. Dog owners should be very careful about this to avoid aggravating the dog’s condition which may lead to something critical.
When dealing with these symptoms, only soft food should be given to the ailing dog such as milk or meat broth mixed with cooked rice. Baby food is also recommended since it is can be easily digested.
Antibiotics, antacids, and other drugs may also be given to lessen vomiting or adjust intestinal motility. If the symptoms persist, it is advisable to have the vet take a look at your dog for further diagnosis and treatment.
If your dog has gone at least 24 hours without vomiting, then you can start feeding him with regular food but in small amounts. One thing to remember is not to rush things. Usually, the stomach needs at 24 hours or more of complete rest.
Dog with diarrhea symptoms is considered easy to evaluate by simply looking at its symptoms itself. It is quite easy as these symptoms are the same and common in almost every dog. If you feel your dog lacks the energy and activeness he previously showed or he is not eating his food properly even if something of likeness is in front of him this indicates diarrhea. The disorder or problem in the dog’s digestive system is referred to as diarrhea. Other serious symptoms include dehydration and passing of loose stools. If any dog is found to be suffering from this disorder he should be immediately taken care of and treated.
Also a symptom of dog diarrhea is indicated through frequent bowels throughout the day which are loose and in many cases watery too.
When a dog suffers from a disorder in his digestive system a whitish fluid substance is created in his intestines which often come out with the stool he passes. The presence of this substance or mucus in the dog’s bowels is a strong proof indicating a problem present in the digestive system of the dog.
There are different types of dog diarrhea, with severe and less severe outcomes. Chronic diarrhea is the most severe case of diarrhea in dogs where in some cases blood is also seen in the dog’s bowels. Normally the diarrhea in dogs could stay for a period of 2 days to 2 weeks but anything that goes further should immediately be reported to the veterinarian. Sometimes the diarrhea may also come and go for some periods, but if the period is within the safe days as stated above it may be fine but if this condition persists consult a vet immediately.
Another painful symptom of dog diarrhea is vomiting. Though usually dogs don’t vomit but if you ever experience your dog spitting the food out that he had just eaten it is an indication that something is terribly wrong with the dog. Vomiting is usually associated with a problem or disorder of the stomach. A dog that is vomiting may tend to be low on energy, develop fever or experience low or no appetite at all.
Generally the symptoms of dog diarrhea are somewhat the same as in humans and the need is to monitor your dog on his actions and conditions. Though there are home remedies that can easily cure your pet however you need to assess whether the condition of your dog is getting better or worse.
Dog diarrhea is categorized into two types and their symptoms may vary accordingly to the severity and also the type. In mild diarrhea cases your dog may appear to be active, playful and normal with only a little more than usual bowel activity with no blood. This activity may be experienced from the last 24 hours and is not of much concern.
Whereas dogs that are at a more severe stage of dog diarrhea may show lack of appetite, lethargy, dehydration, depression and frequent bowel activities with presence of blood.
During the initial days of diarrhea in your dog it is considered fine to try home remedies. The very first step would be to feed your dog with a bland diet. Try feeding him boiled chicken as in this stage the lesser oil he takes would be better. Do not use any seasoning on his food. You can also give him vet prescribed antibiotics.
You should never ignore dog with diarrhea symptoms as it tends to make the situation worse. Your dog may suffer chronic consequences which may be irreversible at later stages. You should always take care of your dog and provide him with proper medical attention to enjoy a long healthy companionship with him.