Category: Health

How to treat feline vestibular syndrome

Feline vestibular syndrome is a neurological disorder that affects the cat’s balance and can occur at any stage of its life. This dysfunction can be due to different causes, therefore, the prognosis may be different for each case.

To understand this condition a little more, from this space we will detail, clearly and concisely, what this syndrome is about, what causes it and how it is possible to make an accurate diagnosis.

The anatomy of balance

The vestibular system, also called the vestibular apparatus, is the set of organs that are related to the balance of the entire body and orientation with respect to the center of gravity. Regulates the position of the eyes, trunk and extremities, depending on the position of the head.

An alteration or abnormality in the vestibular system can lead to feline vestibular syndrome, which manifests itself with the animal’s lack of balance or erratic movements.

Instability and difficulties in coordination are just some of the manifestations that appear as a result of alterations in the vestibular system, a condition that can be detected through observation of symptoms and a neurological examination.

Feline vestibular syndrome symptoms

The clinical symptoms of vestibular syndrome in cats are usually easy to identify:

It is possible to see a head tilt in cats, which may be slightly or much more pronounced. In these cases, one of the ears may be closer to the ground than the other. This condition is accompanied by difficulties in standing up.

Also, there is a linear and continuous movement of the eyes, called nystagmus and they usually manifest in a slow phase, called pathological, and a fast phase, called compensatory. The movement can be from top to bottom, from one side to the other or alternately.

The cat may have strabismus, which is an abnormal position of the eyeball at the time it raises its head. Strabismus can be positional or spontaneous, with ventral strabismus being the most common.

Furthermore, the animal may manifest a lack of motor coordination due to ataxia, a state in which the cat moves in an uncoordinated way, walking in circles towards the affected side.

Some clinical signs, such as ptosis, miosis and protrusion of the third eyelid, also usually appear included in Horner syndrome, caused by a deficit of the sympathetic innervation of the eyeball.

The animal can also present otitis, absence of facial sensitivity, atrophy of the chewing muscles and, in the rarest cases, nausea and vomiting.

Causes of vestibular syndrome in cats

From inflammations to tumors, there are many causes that can give rise to feline vestibular syndrome, being infections one of the most common pathologies that can cause this state. However, sometimes the specialist diagnoses it as feline idiopathic vestibular syndrome, due to the difficulty of finding a specific cause.

The following are some of the pathologies that can cause feline vestibular syndrome:

  • Trauma to the head can affect the vestibular apparatus, so it is necessary to analyze possible blows to the face, bleeding or open wounds.  
  • Infections or inflammations such as otitis media / interna, caused by bacteria or fungi that cause itching, sores, redness of the ear and excessive earwax. Other related pathologies can be toxoplasmosis or parasitic encephalomyelitis.
  • Congenital malformations, documented in cats of the Siamese, Persian or Burmese breeds, which may have a certain predisposition to develop the syndrome.
  • Metabolic / nutritional pathologies such as hypothyroidism or thiamine deficiency can cause vestibular symptoms.
  • Neoplasms, through the appearance of tumors that can put pressure on the organs that are part of the vestibular system.
  • Degenerative, such as abnormal lysosomal storage.
  • Vascular, such as cerebrovascular disease.

Diagnosis and treatment of feline vestibular syndrome

Observation of clinical symptoms and physical examination are the starting point for the diagnosis of feline vestibular syndrome by the veterinarian. From there, it is necessary to carry out hearing tests and neurological examinations in order to identify where the injury is located.

The vet may also use complementary tests such as blood tests, urine tests, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ear cultures, cytologies, etc., in order to find the origin of the syndrome.

Once the problem is identified, the doctor will establish the appropriate treatment according to the primary cause of the vestibular syndrome. In certain cases, even when the associated pathology has been resolved, the cat may be left with its head bowed.

In cases where it is diagnosed as feline idiopathic vestibular syndrome, that is, without a known cause, it is not possible to treat the syndrome itself, although drugs can be administered to alleviate the associated symptoms.

Also, symptoms may spontaneously disappear when the adjacent lesion is treated. If the situation is more serious and there is no way to cure the pathology, the treatment will be aimed at providing the animal with quality of life through palliatives to alleviate the symptoms, as well as a change in the animal’s habits.

In all cases, it is necessary to take the animal to a veterinary consultation in case of suspicion of the syndrome or the appearance of clinical signs. In addition, it is recommended to avoid any type of infection through periodic cleaning of the cat’s ears, always taking care not to do it in excess or to use materials that can damage the hearing health of the pet.

The vet will provide guidelines for proper ear cleaning and will indicate which materials are best suited to perform it.

What is the pseudogestation of a dog

Pseudogestation, also known as false pregnancy, pseudociesis or popularly as a psychological pregnancy, is a physiological condition that can develop in various species, including dogs. It occurs as a result of a hormonal alteration after heat and has a high incidence among female dogs that have not been sterilized.

Thus, it is possible to begin to notice alterations in the dog’s behavior and bodily changes of the pregnancy, after six weeks after the heat. In these cases, it is convenient to take the animal to a veterinary consultation, in order to confirm that it is not a real pregnancy.

What happens during the pseudogestation of a dog?

Milk production in the breasts of the dog represents the first symptom to be observed in cases of false pregnancy or pseudogestation. This symptom is called pseudogestation lactation and is due to the increase in the hormones progesterone and estradiol, which are set at the same level as they would be during a real pregnancy.

Contrary to what many people believe, the symptoms of pseudo-pregnancy do not last the same number of months that a pregnancy would last under normal circumstances. This condition should disappear in about 10 days, without leaving any consequence on a physical level.

However, in some cases there may be a possibility that the condition may be complicated due to an infection or some dog behavior; Also, other conditions may occur due to some unusual alteration.

What happens after 10 days of presenting the condition?

One of the aspects that most attracts attention among pet owners who have pseudo-management is the appearance of maternal behaviors, manifested through the collection of objects that are part of their environment and that serve to treat them as if they were their own puppies .

Also, it is possible to notice that the dog manifests itself too tired and altered. It is not surprising that, while the pseudogestation lasts, the dog begins to roam the house, with some signs of sadness and depression.

Other symptoms generated by this hormonal imbalance are referred to certain physical and psychological changes, such as the presence of a bulging abdomen, breast swelling, loss of appetite, vulvar flow, irritability and apathy, although its appearance will depend on other factors and not all of them necessarily appear.

What to do during the pseudo-management of your pet?

One of the most delicate issues in cases of pseudogestation in female dogs is the excessive production of milk or serous fluid. If this condition arises, it is necessary to avoid as much as possible that the animal licks the breasts, since it will start to take out milk, made it helps that the breasts are refilled with milk.

In these cases, the treatment carried out by the veterinarian includes the prescription of a group of specific medications called antiprolactin, which act by decreasing the prolactin hormone.

On the other hand, female dogs that have pseudo-management need to be distracted, so it is very important to perform any activity that manages to keep the animal distracted, such as taking it out for a walk or increasing the frequency of physical exercise.

During the development of these activities, it is also convenient to remove from the dog those objects of the environment that he decided to adopt as his puppies. This is important as it will allow you to distract your mind and decrease the production of hormones typical of pseudogestation.

What are the complications associated with pseudogestation?

Mastitis is one of the main problems associated with pseudogestation and the necessary care must be taken to avoid this condition. It consists of an inflammation of the mammary glands, which can occur with or without infection in one or several glands, and whose degree of involvement in the animal is variable.

If necessary and depending on the state of the dog, the specialist will make the appropriate diagnosis through blood studies, where the leukocytes will indicate if there is inflammation, and will determine the appropriate treatment, which in many cases can be initiated with medications, but which in certain occasions may include surgery.

Another of the studies that the veterinarian can perform for an accurate diagnosis is a microbiological culture of the milk that the animal is producing. Also, you can order an ultrasound of the mammary glands. These studies will help give a safe diagnosis.

In addition to mastitis, another complication associated with pseudogestation is pyometra, an infection of the uterus caused by the accumulation of bacteria in the cervix.

If mastitis is diagnosed, what is the treatment?

The first step in treating mastitis is to apply the correct antibiotic, according to what the crop threw. Among the antibiotics that veterinarians usually prescribe is amoxicillin, cephalexin and cefoxitin.

Once the appropriate antibiotic is established, the specialist can also prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication, in order to relieve pain and inflammation. Some drugs can help reduce milk production.

In situations that are more serious, the option may be the drainage of the abscesses of the mammary glands through surgery, debridement to remove dead tissue or even mastectomy.

It is necessary to be attentive to the appearance of symptoms that may indicate a psychological pregnancy in our pet; Although this condition may disappear with the passing of days, in certain cases it can be complicated so it is recommended to go to a veterinary visit, in order to perform a general evaluation.

What is pyometra about and what are the symptoms

An infection in the uterus generated by various factors can produce pyometra, a disease suffered by dogs and cats in reproductive age and that can become fatal if not treated in time, hence the importance of acting urgently at the time it is detected .

This condition can also occur in ferret, rabbit and guinea pig females, although less frequently. It usually occurs after heat, when progesterone levels are higher and usually causes future kidney problems to the specimens who suffer from it.

Pyometra: an infectious hormonal disease

Pyometra is an infectious hormonal disease of the uterus and whose development, despite being known for many years, is still a subject of study by scientists. Although this pathology is caused by the presence of bacteria, it is known that progesterone and estrogen play a preponderant role in the development of this condition.

Various tests performed on the uterine tissue of infected animals show the presence of bacteria that are usually found in the vagina or intestines, so it is considered an ascending infection that comes from the vagina, fecal contamination or a simultaneous urinary infection.

However, during the luteal phase of the animal’s reproductive cycle or heat, progesterone reaches very high levels in the blood, considering it as the main responsible for the pathology.

In addition to compromising the female’s reproductive capacity, the pyometra can also be lethal to the animal. Its prevalence is very high in middle-aged and adult females, as well as in the younger ones who have received some type of hormonal treatment.

In this way, pyometra is produced as a result of a considerable increase in progesterone levels, which develops hyperplastic changes in the mucous membrane that lines the uterine cavity, favoring secondary bacterial contamination.

In the vast majority of cases, the agent that causes the infection is the enterobacteria Esterichia coli, while staphylococci and streptococci are involved to a lesser extent. In young females, the exogenous administration of estrogens or progestogens can also boost the onset of this disease.

Classification and diagnosis of the disease

Taking into account the local clinical signs, pyometra can be classified into two types; the pyometra with a closed neck, in which vulvar discharge is not observed because the cervix is kept closed and is usually accompanied by abdominal distension; and the pyometra with an open neck, in which vulvar discharge is observed continuously or intermittently due to the permeability of the cervix

Also, it is possible to classify the disease according to its evolution, which can be acute, associated with septicemia and that causes death in a very short time, although it is not the most common; or chronic, which is the most frequent and has acute renal failure as its most serious complication, which can also cause the death of the animal.

To make a proper diagnosis, the veterinarian takes into account the status of the affected female, which is usually found in the final stage of heat, called the right-handed phase. In addition, consider whether there is a history of estrogen or progestogen administration.

Some of the characteristic clinical signs of the disease are:

  • Dejection.
  • Anorexy.
  • Dilated abdomen.
  • Considerable increase in thirst.
  • Vulvar discharge.
  • Excessive urination.

Physical examination and some complementary tests such as taking radiographic plates, ultrasound and hematology, can help to obtain a definitive diagnosis of this disease.

If there is an associated renal condition, the prognosis of pyometra is very serious, so it is essential to evaluate the levels of urea and creatinine.

Pyometra treatment

Surgery is the traditional treatment of this condition, which represents the end of the female’s reproductive life. However, at present there is a medication-based treatment that avoids the surgical procedure, although its effectiveness is conditioned by the level of severity of the condition, the age of the female or the presence of another concurrent disease.

Pharmacological treatment, which consists of the administration of prostaglandins and antibiotics, presents favorable results only after 48 hours of initiation, which is why it is not recommended in the most serious cases; In addition, it brings with it some side effects such as tremor and excessive salivation, although its appearance will depend on the dose, route and frequency of administration.

In case it is not possible to opt for pharmacological treatment or this has not provided the desired results, the veterinarian will propose the surgical alternative, the latter being the only possible option to treat adult bitches or when the disease status is serious.

The surgery involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries and is considered the safest solution, representing the most used treatment in most cases. During the postoperative period, the signs of infection must be monitored in order to avoid any complications in the animal’s health.

When the surgical procedure has been performed in time, the evolution of the animal is favorable, however, according to certain factors such as the disease status or the age of the female, there is a possibility that the pet does not support the surgery and die during the procedure or in the postoperative period.

Also, we must consider that it is usual for females who have suffered pyometra to suffer from renal failure for life, a condition that must be controlled by the veterinarian.

Because of its condition as a serious infectious disease, it is essential that the pyometra be detected in time, in order to safeguard the animal’s health; Thus, before the first suspicions, it is recommended to take it as soon as possible to a veterinary review. In addition, it is advised to use only contraceptive medications in females and perform early sterilization when they do not want to have offspring

Causes of congestive heart failure in dogs

The inability to boost blood flow at an adequate rate to meet cellular metabolic needs causes congestive heart failure in dogs, a condition that can be lethal to our pet and from which it is necessary to know what their clinical signs are in order to identify them in time. .

This condition is not in itself a disease, but a clinical syndrome produced by a certain cardiac pathology that alters the heart and prevents adequate tissue irrigation. Thus, blood accumulates in different areas of the animal’s body, such as in the extremities or intestinal tract.

In the following lines, we tell you everything you need to know about this heart failure, in order to identify the causes that produce it and make an accurate diagnosis that allows a favorable evolution of the animal.

How does congestive heart failure occur?

Different pathologies can cause congestive heart failure in dogs. One of the most common is dilated cardiomyopathy, although it can also be caused by certain heart wall defects, heart rhythm abnormalities, heart valve deficiencies or an increase in blood pressure, among others.

At the moment that the heart presents failures, the organism begins to compensate to try that the tissues receive the necessary oxygen and blood. When this condition progresses, the body can no longer execute the compensatory mechanisms so that the symptoms begin to become more evident in the dog.

Thus, at the time when tissue irrigation decreases, vascular receptors trigger a reaction of neurohormones, chemical substances that are produced by neuroendocrine cells, leading to a considerable increase in heart rate and fluid retention.

This mechanism overloads the myocardium and has adverse effects that lead to cardiac dilation seen in congestive heart failure.

Among the other causes of congestive heart failure, we can mention the following:

  • Heart valve deficiencies.
  • Defects in the walls of the heart.
  • Accumulation of fluid in the sac around the heart.
  • Heart rhythm disturbances.
  • Heartworm disease.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Endocarditis.
  • Tumors.
  • Pregnancy.

Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure

Usually, when this condition is in its early stages of development, it has no symptoms, however, as the syndrome progresses, it is possible to observe some of these symptoms in the dog:

  • Persistent cough.
  • Difficulty or rapid breathing.
  • Exercise intolerance.
  • Weakness or tiredness.
  • Fainting.
  • Gray or blue gums and tongue.
  • Abdominal distention due to fluid accumulation.
  • Collapse.
  • Sudden death.

Once the clinical signs have been observed and identified, it is necessary to take the animal to an emergency veterinary consultation that will be used to perform the initial tests, which usually include blood tests, blood pressure measurement, chest x-ray, echocardiogram, electrocardiogram and urine tests, among others.

Other more specialized studies may include an enzyme immunosorbent test and the analysis of BNP natriuretic peptide hormone values, which has proven to be very effective for the diagnosis of congestive heart failure.

Treatment and life expectancy

Reducing the amounts of salt in the dog’s diet and limiting his physical activity to avoid cardiac overload are two of the immediate steps that must be taken to deal with this condition.

Regarding medical treatment, it is necessary to go to the veterinarian in order to establish the appropriate drugs, whose dose will be subject to the status and evolution of heart failure, as well as to the specific heart problem and cause.

The veterinary professional may use diuretics to eliminate fluid retention, edema and spills. Once the progress is observed, the doses can be gradually reduced. Also, the specialist may consider the use of digitalis glycosides, Angiotensin II Converting Enzyme inhibitors and beta blockers.

In most cases, with the appropriate treatment and necessary care, it is possible to achieve satisfactory results in the evolution of the animal, considerably improving its quality of life.

Care may include other therapies and changes in pet habits. This not only helps prevent congestive heart failure in the animal but also improves its condition if it is diagnosed with CHF.

In addition, adequate control of blood pressure should be maintained, so medical observation is crucial for the favorable evolution of the dog.

Feeding the dog with congestive heart failure

Special attention deserves the nutritional issue of the animal. The inadequate feeding produces multiple adverse consequences in the dog, so the main thing is that it does not stop eating food, being preferable to maintain the current feeding in case the animal manifests rejection when eating before any change in the diet.

If the dog has a good appetite and a good predisposition to changes in its diet, it must be balanced by gradually incorporating fatty acids – omega 3, as they are very useful to prevent the development of cardiac cachexia. As mentioned, dietary changes should consider the restriction of salt intake, a balanced content of vitamins and minerals and the inclusion of some fortified feed.

It is proven that obesity considerably increases the metabolic and cardiac hemodynamic demand, in addition to interfering and making breathing difficult and predisposing to the development of arrhythmias; Therefore, it is essential to control the weight of the pet through balanced hypocaloric diets, especially in those animals with obesity problems.

Veterinary consultations for dogs that have been affected by a heart problem become more frequent every year. It is always necessary to be aware of the proper functioning of the heart of our pets in order to detect the precise moment in which they will need medical attention.

Congestive heart failure is a clinical syndrome that can be detected in time by observing its clinical signs, in order to perform the necessary treatment that increases the prognosis of survival and improves the quality of life of the dog.

Tips for treating skin wounds in cats

Whether they were derived from a fight with another cat or generated as a result of scraping when climbing a tree, skin wounds in cats are usually quite common and usually do not represent a cause of concern since, many times, if they are Little ones heal themselves.

Treating these types of wounds is a relatively simple process, so following these tips to the letter will be enough to cure any injury to the pet. However, it is always convenient to closely observe the evolution of the wound since if an infection occurs it will be necessary to take it immediately to the veterinarian.

Clean the wound

All dirt that may pose a risk of infection around the wound needs to be removed; for this, it may be necessary to cut the cat’s hair in the injured area, in order to remove any trace of impurities much more easily.

It is essential to use clean gauze and physiological serum when carrying out the cleaning process.

Disinfect the wound

To effect disinfection of the wound, diluted iodine should be used, it being necessary to dissolve it in water beforehand because the pH of cats is different from that of humans, which causes pets to be much more sensitive to this product.

In order to help healing, special creams or ointments can be applied that accelerate the healing process, as long as it has been indicated by the veterinarian.

Place an Elizabethan collar on the cat

Since it is a fairly common behavior for the cat to lick the places where it feels pain, it is important to avoid at all costs that the pet licks the skin wounds while healing, so it is necessary to place an Elizabethan collar.

It is best to have one of these necklaces at home, which is available for any accident that the cat may have. If you don’t have one, it is possible to temporarily improvise it with some resistant material.

Thus, we will prevent the cat from continuing to hurt the wounds, reducing the risk of infection that could complicate his health condition unnecessarily.

Recommendations for the care of skin wounds

Wound cleaning and disinfection should be done every day, in order to minimize any risk of complications.

If you notice that the wounds do not heal or have an unusual healing process, it is necessary to consult with the veterinarian to review the injury and determine the steps to follow in case an infection has occurred.

Following these three tips, it is possible to treat the cat’s skin wounds completely successfully. Remember that the health of the pet is very important, so it is essential to go to the veterinary professional for any questions or complications in the process.

What is and how canine leptospirosis is treated

Canine leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can affect both animals and humans. It represents a zoonosis of great distribution worldwide, where dogs act in transmission to man, especially in urban areas.

This disease is highly infectious so it is necessary to pay enough attention and care in case you have a case of near suffering. While it is more common in dogs, cats or other animals can also get it.

Learning everything about this disease, what are the clinical signs, how to identify it correctly and what is the treatment to follow, is essential not only to know how to act but also to try to prevent it for the good of the community.

What is canine leptospirosis?

It is an infectious disease that is caused by the serovars leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae and canicola. It is more common for outbreaks to appear during spring and fall due to a shortage of humidity and moderate temperatures.

The main route of infection of this disease is the urinary. Thus, infected dogs eliminate leptospires in the urine, contaminating their environment and infecting the most susceptible animals. However, it is also possible to spread the disease through the placenta, bites, contaminated food and contact with rats.

After the microorganisms infect the mucosa of the wounds, they subsequently pass into the blood and once there it affects the renal epithelium and the hepatic parenchyma. In addition, it can also cause damage to the central nervous system, the uvula and the placenta.

What are the clinical signs?

Being a highly contagious and dangerous disease, it is necessary to pay special attention to the clinical signs that occur in the animal, in order to take action as quickly as possible.

Among the most frequent signs, we can identify high fever, conjunctiva and mucous hyperemias, weakness, lack of appetite, vomiting, hemorrhages, low back pain, kidney pain on palpation, muscle pain, diarrhea, jaundice and seizures.

Also, it is usual for inflammation of the tongue, stomatitis, breathing difficulties and excess dark urine.

When identifying the appearance of more than one of these signs, it is necessary to go quickly to the veterinary clinic so that the specialist determines the actions to follow with the pet.

Treatment of canine leptospirosis

To treat leptospirosis it is necessary to use several antibiotics and perform other elementary actions, such as changing the dog’s diet in order to counteract the negative effects that symptoms have. The most common antibiotic to treat cases of leptospirosis is penicillin.

For its part, rehydration is essential for the adequate recovery of the animal, in addition to being necessary to be very careful with hygiene, both to avoid being exposed to what caused the contagion and to prevent transmission to people. Depending on the severity and how advanced the disease is, hospitalization of the animal will be necessary to give better care and treatment to the pet.

It is very important to go to the veterinarian before making any determination regarding the treatment of the disease, since the professional is the only one who will be able to determine the state of the disease and the steps to follow. At the same time, great care must be taken since a poorly applied treatment could be counterproductive for the animal’s health.

Disease prophylaxis

Because the main route of infection of this disease is the urinary tract, it is important to isolate the infected dog to prevent it from infecting other animals or people. Veterinarians and assistants in charge should protect themselves as well as pet owners.

Vaccines for canine leptospirosis can protect against the acute state of the disease, but cannot protect the chronic carrier, so the vaccine must be renewed every year once the disease has been overcome.

Prognosis and prevention of leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is an infection that can have very serious consequences on the pet’s organs; If it is not diagnosed in time, it could cause the death of the animal due to damage to the kidneys and nervous system.

However, if it can be identified in time and treated with due care, the infection can be completely cured without serious sequelae. Preventing the disease will always be much better, in order to avoid sequelae.

As we have indicated, domestic animals with leptospirosis generate contamination of the soil and surface waters by eliminating leptospires through urine. These bacteria can survive for several days, even in humid environments.

The first part of prevention and one of the most important actions is vaccination, which must be done in time to prevent the dog from contracting the disease. The best practice is that vaccination is not done annually but every six months, although this vaccine does not cover all the bacteria that cause leptospirosis.

Because the vaccine does not attack all bacteria, it is also necessary to constantly clean the areas where the pet is, in order to avoid exposure to the foci of infection. A disinfection of water and soil with hypochlorite or copper sulfate can be of great help to prevent the spread of the disease.

It is extremely important to avoid any skin contact with contaminated water; Every wound should be covered with bandages or waterproof cloths and splashes with contaminated water should be avoided, protecting the eyes and mucous membranes.

Being a disease that humans can also get, it is very important to be responsible for its prevention and treatment to prevent it from spreading in the community.

Tartar in dogs: why does it appear and how to avoid it?

From serious illnesses to simple situations that can get complicated, having a dog at home means constant care and vigilance. One of the most frequent problems to detect in these animals is the tartar that accumulates in the dental pieces.

Normally accompanied by stains on the teeth, tartar in dogs is one of the usual reasons for veterinary consultation, although many caregivers do not give due importance.

Tartar formation in dogs

In the same way as in humans, in dogs there are also bacterial formations generated by broken food debris and mineral salts derived from the products you consume.

All this generates a paste that usually accumulates between the gum and the tooth and that represents the bacterial plaque. This plaque, when calcified, undermines the tooth and can compromise the rest of the pieces to the point of generating infections and other diseases of the oral cavity.

Although tartar can be removed once it appears, it is best to work preventively; In this way, it is possible to avoid the annoying bad breath and, above all, protect the animal from the possibility of suffering from major evils that can result in the loss of the dental piece.

Tartar formation predisposition

All dogs are at risk of tartar at some point in their life; However, small breeds are more prone than others because their tooth enamel is of lower quality and the teeth are much smaller and closer together.

On the other hand, brachycephalic dogs have a particular skull and jaw shape, which makes their teeth much closer together and, of course, more prone to tartar formation.

Also, tartar is much more frequent without the respective care and prevention in dogs older than 5 years, regardless of the breed of the animal.

How to prevent tartar in dogs

A combination of daily cleaning of teeth, balanced feeding and the use of some commercial products, may be the solution to prevent the appearance of tartar in dogs.

Performing a daily cleaning of the animal’s teeth is a great help to prevent tartar. To do this, it is necessary to have accustomed to this routine the animal from a puppy. There are special toothbrushes and creams for dogs, recommended by veterinarians.

Some soft foods contribute to the development of bacterial plaque, so it is advisable to avoid a wet diet and replace it with dry feed that helps remove residues in the denture.

In the market there is a wide variety of products designed to be chewed by the dog and that include abrasive formulas for the plate, such as toys, cookies, bones and chews.

In the veterinary clinic, specialists use ultrasonic tartar cleaners that represent the most effective method for removing tartar in dogs. These teams release the tartar and clean the tooth in an integral and safe way.

Clinical significance of blood tests in dogs

Either because our pet has reached adulthood or it is necessary to perform a routine check-up, it may be necessary to perform a blood test, in order to corroborate or rule out any health problems.

Through blood samples, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets can be analyzed, which are considered the solid part of the blood, as well as the liquid part, from which information about electrolytes, proteins, minerals and glucose is extracted .

Now, it can often be a bit confusing to understand the relevance or impact of the information that a canine blood test can offer us; Therefore, today we are going to help you understand what this laboratory test means, one of the most common ones practiced in veterinary clinics.

¿What should we find in a canine blood test?

One of the key points in a blood test is that it offers a set of referential values ​​on certain substances and biochemical behaviors of the body. Thus, based on each reference value, the impact of what is obtained in each case is interpreted.

Let’s see what these values ​​are:

Blood count

One of the first sections of the blood test is the blood count. It is here that the behavior of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets is analyzed.

The red blood cells show us how oxygen transport is found in the animal’s blood, since this is its main function. When the values ​​are below normal, it may suggest the existence of canine anemia.

In some cases, if the value of the red blood cells is well below the minimum amount for survival, the blood test gives us an alert about the need for immediate actions, because the life of the animal is in danger.

Also in the blood count, the coagulation behavior of the animal can be analyzed, a key value so that the dog can enter surgical interventions or even understand the incidence of some congenital diseases.

In addition, through the value of platelet count, the presence of internal hemorrhages can be known, while a high value suggests the imminent risk of thrombus formation in the dog.

In the blood count, it is also necessary to give relevance to the values ​​of white blood cells, being the most used when analyzing a blood sample. Within this group, there are three values ​​to consider: neutrophils, eosinophils and lymphocytes.

In the case of neutrophils, they are indicative of bacterial infectious processes, being the first to attack, while when it is a virus, the value is usually below the indicative.

Increasing eosinophils indicate allergies or the presence of a parasite. On the other hand, lymphocytes can indicate viral diseases when they are at low levels; In some cases, it may even be an indicator of leukemia.

Dog biochemistry

In the next section of the blood test, we find the count of different substances that belong to the biochemistry of the dog and allows us to know its current state, as well as the functioning of its organs.

Among these chemical values ​​are proteins, where albumin and immunoglobulin values ​​are analyzed. In high values ​​they usually indicate dehydration, while in low values, they are indicative of the need to deepen the studies.

Glucose shows us the value of blood sugar that is circulating. A low value may be the explanation for weakness, seizures and other more complex conditions.

In the case of creatinine, this value is related to renal functioning, which, together with elevated urea, are indicators of renal insufficiency.

Finally, bilirubin, which is a waste product of the liver as a result of the normal destruction of red blood cells, is an ideal value to know the functioning of the liver. A high value may suggest a liver problem or a possible case of anemia.

In some cases, the sodium and potassium values ​​in the blood are added. These are not usually part of the general analytical routine, but are taken into account when there are suspicions of severe renal damage, especially if previous urea and creatinine tests have been altered.

Another value not very frequent, but that can be requested, is cholesterol. In the case of dogs, their relevance is not the same as in humans, since they are not exposed to risk of clogging of cholesterol in the arteries, so it represents only a reference value for suspected thyroid diseases or a improper dietary

¿Why should we do blood tests on our dog?

Taking a blood sample for analysis is the most common veterinary study technique that exists. It is a kind of photograph of the animal’s functioning and the most expeditious way of visualizing what may be afflicting the animal.

The sample is very simple and is usually taken from the front leg of the dog. From the same sample, the usual analytical values ​​can be taken and the review of the special values ​​based on any doctor’s hypothesis can be used.

If the dog undergoes a persistent diagnosis, has a strange symptomatology in the last time or is of advanced age, the blood test is the key point to be able to throw an adequate vision on what may be happening.

And although it is not possible to make an accurate diagnosis only from the analytical one, the reference values ​​give the veterinarian an idea of ​​where he can direct the efforts and in which aspects he should concentrate more carefully.

The blood test in dogs can be the key to get the pet to overcome some type of infection, be diagnosed in time any serious condition or may be prepared to support a surgical intervention; Knowing the reference values ​​helps us better understand the indications of the veterinarian in charge.

What is intestinal malabsorption syndrome in dogs?

Malabsorption is a very common condition in dogs and implies difficulties that your body has to absorb normally the nutrients that come from the food they eat.

There are many diseases that can cause this problem; Therefore, we will dedicate this article to the analysis of issues related to this particular syndrome, which affects the functioning of the small intestine of the animal.

¿What is intestinal malabsorption syndrome?

In the first instance, it is important to know that this syndrome is not in itself a disease, rather it represents a process derived from some condition of the small intestine or pancreas.

The pancreas is responsible for the secretion of enzymes that collaborate in the digestive process, while absorption of the obtained takes place in the small intestine. Therefore, both are key pieces in the dog’s food process.

It is basically a syndrome that affects the dog’s ability to develop digestion. Whether a section of the intestine or pancreas is failing, the dog is not able to absorb and take advantage of the nutrients in the digested food.

¿What are the symptoms of this condition?

To detect the possible presence of this syndrome in the dog, it is necessary to be aware of the following manifestations:

The animal does not gain weight.
It presents a representative decrease in muscle mass.
It shows an abnormal increase in appetite or a sudden decrease in appetite.
Eat feces or foreign items such as pieces of the wall, sand, dirt or others, in search of recovering lost nutrients.
He suffers frequent diarrhea, with a smell of decomposition.
Chunks of undigested food are displayed in bowel movements.
The hair around the anus is oily and cakes very easily.
It has frequent flatulence and very strong intestinal sounds, which can be heard very easily.
Vomit frequently, yellow in color.

In the most extreme cases that require immediate medical attention, it presents accumulation of fluids in the abdominal cavity; In addition, symptoms of anemia can be visualized through the color of the mucous membranes, such as the gums and the lower eyelid.

¿Why do SMI dogs suffer?

There is a wide variety of factors, all related to the functioning of digestive structures, which can lead our pet to suffer intestinal malabsorption.

That is why, to find the right treatment, it is essential to find out what the incident factors are.

Some of them are:

Pancreatic insufficiency; The pancreas does not produce digestive enzymes to develop the digestive process.
Infectious enteritis; It is a lesion in the digestive mucosa, responsible for absorbing nutrients and which is affected by an infectious-bacterial process.
Inflammatory disease; In this case, it is a disease where the immune system attacks the intestinal mucosa, as if it were an external or enemy factor of the body. Eventually, it ends up destroying the segment of the small intestine.
Surgical removal of a segment of the intestine; the absence of a considerable segment of the intestine leads to force the functioning of the rest, and can cause imminent paralysis.
Atrophy of the intestinal villus of congenital origin; It consists of an inappropriate development of hairiness that is responsible for absorbing nutrients obtained from food. It is the most frequent cause in the German shepherd.
Bacterial colony too developed; a bacterial colony of abnormally developed intestinal flora that affects and replaces that of average functioning.

¿How to diagnose intestinal malabsorption syndrome in dogs?

One of the main problems in this picture of symptoms is that it is usually identified as a mild digestive disorder or gastroenteritis. Therefore, the first treatment protocol is usually symptomatic.

However, upon realizing that the diarrheal process does not stop with the usual medications and the anemic picture is getting worse, the intestinal malabsorption syndrome option begins to be considered.

From here, it is necessary to develop a variety of exams and tests, including a stool test, abdominal ultrasound and even an endoscopy. However, the decisive exam is intestinal biopsy.

¿What are the life expectations of the dog with SMI?

The prognosis of intestinal malabsorption syndrome will depend on the disease that has given rise to the problem. Thus, if the origin is pancreatic, the expectations are quite good, because only by following the treatment the dog will evolve.

However, if it is a disease of the small intestine tract, the expectations of quality of life decrease to the point that euthanasia can be considered as an alternative to avoid the suffering of the animal.

¿What is the treatment of SMI?

The appropriate treatment for this condition is based on recognizing the origin of the syndrome. However, in general, the treatment includes a detailed review of the animal’s diet, as well as including medication that fights the underlying symptoms.

Among the medications to be used, a cocktail of antibiotics, immunosuppressants and some corticosteroids is usually used, which help to reduce the inflammation of any segment, as well as to soften the immuno-aggressive response that deteriorates the mucosa.

In the case of villus atrophy, a gluten-free diet is sufficient, while when it comes to an abnormal colony of intestinal bacteria, antibiotics are the best alternative.

On the other hand, since they are failures in pancreatic enzymes, they are administered through supplements, in the company of a strong vitamin load and a diet free of bowel risk factors.

Intestinal malabsorption syndrome is one of the most complex clinical pictures to diagnose and treat in a dog. It requires constant monitoring and timely treatment.

Therefore, when making a decision, it is crucial to consider the quality of life of the dog above all things.

Steps for cardiopulmonary revival in dogs

A trauma, an electric shock, a drowning or obstruction of the airways, are just some of the causes that can generate a cardiorespiratory arrest in our pet.

In those cases, we must act quickly and perform the so-called cardiopulmonary resuscitation as soon as possible. In the following article, we detail the steps to follow to perform this maneuver successfully.

Check if the dog is breathing

The first thing we should do is verify if our pet is breathing; To do this, we must observe if the pupils are dilated and if the gums are gray or bluish. These are the first symptoms that tell us that the dog is wrong.

From there, we should approach our face to the animal’s snout to see if we notice its breath, visualize if there are thoracic movements and bring the ear closer to the heart area to check if the heart beats.

Also, the pulse can be felt at the level of the femoral artery that passes through the inner side of the thighs. Make sure the airways are clear of obstruction, removing any object or food immediately.

Once we confirm the dog’s lack of breathing, we have to proceed to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation consisting of a respiratory phase and a cardiac phase.

Perform the respiratory phase of revival

To motivate breathing in the respiratory phase, we have to lay the animal in a lateral position, resting on its right side. It is necessary to extend the head a little back and get closer, take your snout strongly and blow at the level of the nostrils.

We can know if we are performing this maneuver well because the thoracic cavity will make an extension movement through the air inlet. Keep in mind that this movement depends on the size of the dog.

In addition, we must be careful with the pressure and the time in which the air is exhaling, so that we will not cause trauma to the lungs.

Perform the cardiac phase of the maneuver

In the cardiac phase, to perform the cardiac massage we have to put our hands intertwined and support them in the chest area; extend the shoulders and make a movement by pressing the thoracic cavity firmly. The movement must be carried out with the arms extended, without flexing them.

In large breed dogs, for every 15 times we do the compression movement at the chest level, we must perform 5 breaths, while in smaller dogs we will perform 10 chest compressions and 3 breaths.

Each time we finish the massage, we must observe whether the animal has resumed its voluntary respiratory movement and heartbeat again. This should be done for about 20 minutes since, after that time, it is difficult to obtain a favorable response in the animal.

Regardless of the dog’s response to the cardiopulmonary resuscitation maneuver, we must immediately go to the veterinary clinic to attend to the animal for possible injuries that have caused both the respiratory arrest and the performance of the maneuver.

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