Category: Health

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.

Signs, diagnosis and treatment of feline stomatitis

Stomatitis is one of the most prevalent diseases in cats, a picture with no apparent cause that usually occurs at least once in the life of our pet and that can endanger his life. However, it is possible to treat this pathology in a timely manner, to give the animal quality of life through a timely diagnosis.

To know what feline stomatitis is about, what are the signs that manifest and what is the most successful treatment to follow, today we are going to know a little more in depth all the details of this disease.

Plasmocytic lymphocytic stomatitis in cats

Feline stomatitis is a serious infectious process that occurs in cats. It is a chronic disease, that is, it prevails over time despite the administration of treatments, so it seeks to preserve and improve the quality of life of the cat.

It is a pathology of slow progress that consists of a progressive deterioration of the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and digestive tract, specifically esophagus and stomach. If not detected and treated in time, this disease can complicate and cause the death of the animal.

Two types of presentations can occur from this chronic disease: type 1 stomatitis, which involves only the labial mucous membranes and gums; and stomatitis type 2, which is related to the other structures onwards, until complicated with esophagitis.

Some experts have associated the disease with the presence of some retroviruses, which are common in cats; However, there is no clear cause that explains the presentation of the disorder.

That is why there is no specific breed of cat at greater or lesser risk of suffering from this pathology nor is it predominant in a given sex. Nor is it a contagious disease, so it does not represent a risk to the other animals in the house.

Symptoms of feline stomatitis

This disease manifests itself with the inflammation of the gums and has among its most representative clinical signs the presence of:

  • Ulcers in the mouth and tongue, which can become bleeding.
  • A considerable increase in saliva.
  • Halitosis
  • Inapetence for difficulties in eating food.
  • Abrupt drop in weight.
  • Pain in the affected area, which can be recognized by the cat’s groans or resistance to contact in the mouth area.
  • Teeth fall

Eventually, these combined symptoms significantly decrease the quality of life of the feline, becoming a risk to their survival due to the loss of blood and body weight.

Analysis and determination of feline stomatitis

Usually, cases of feline stomatitis that arrive at a veterinary consultation are in an advanced state, representing one of the most critical points in the diagnosis of this disease. This is because, for the owners, it is usually difficult to identify the presence of this pathology, precisely because of the independence of the animal.

In some cases, symptoms tend to be associated with seasonal changes or alterations in cat behavior, without paying attention to significant details such as tooth loss, contact pain or excessive salivation.

For a correct diagnosis, the veterinarian applies a wide variety of tests to rule out other possible conditions and determine the severity of the case; That way, you can establish the possible treatment.

In principle, the veterinarian will thoroughly review the feline’s oral cavity, a process that will accompany the taking of samples if he considers it necessary, as well as a routine of blood tests and viral tests.

Samples may be ideal for tissue biopsies; If dental pieces are compromised, some radiographic plates will be necessary to determine the depth that the disease has acquired.

In general, the results indicate the presence of an ulcerated mucous tissue with dense submucosal inflammatory infiltrate, characterized by the predominance of plasma cells, lymphocytes, neutrophils and histiocytes.

Disease treatment

As it is a chronic disease, we cannot speak of a complete and total cure for feline stomatitis; Therefore, the treatment is clearly symptomatic, that is, it is designed to attack and reduce the presentation of symptoms in order to provide a better quality of life for the cat.

The choice of medications and techniques will depend entirely on the severity of the condition and the evolution of the animal. According to the veterinarian’s diagnosis and prognosis, the procedure to be followed will be determined.

To avoid bleeding, one of the key points to treat is ulcers, while to avoid pain inflammation should be treated; that way, it is possible to get the cat to eat food again, with total normality.

It is not advisable to apply cortisone in the anti-inflammatory treatment since it usually complicates the condition. In certain cases, it will be necessary to include surgical processes such as the extraction of dental pieces, in order to reduce inflammation and risks.

All the steps will be prescribed by the veterinarian and reviewed periodically, to confirm that the treatment is being carried out smoothly.

How to care for a cat with stomatitis?

In addition to drug treatment, there are certain elements of the cat’s routine and life that must be modified. Being a chronic disease, you need to make changes in your lifestyle. Thus, we must take into account the following aspects:

Change the cat’s food for a milder supplement, in order to decrease inflammation and pain.
Help him in the feeding; pain and discomfort will scare you from trying to eat. That is why it may be convenient to feed it bite by bite.
Consult with the veterinarian about the possibility of providing an extra nutritional supplement, according to the weight loss and the level of lack of appetite.

With early intervention and thorough treatment, cats suffering from mild to moderate stomatitis can recover their oral health without having to undergo aggressive dental surgery.

Otitis in dogs: how to identify this disease in our pet

Otitis represents one of the most common diseases in dogs and can become a serious condition if the necessary care is not taken. However, following the appropriate treatment, this disease does not represent a major complication, except for how uncomfortable it becomes for our pet.

Precisely, to prevent it from becoming a serious disease, today we will know in depth what otitis is about and how we can detect it in time.

¿How does otitis manifest in dogs?

Reason for common consultation in veterinary clinics, canine otitis is usually a fairly treatable disease and, usually, when detected in time it does not constitute a greater risk to the health of the animal.

It is a disease of the ear that influences different parts of the anatomy of the ear, and that can occur as consequences of different factors both our own pet and the environment in which it operates.

This inflammation interrupts the proper functioning of the dog’s auditory system, generating partial pain and deafness during the duration of the condition.

¿Why does it give dogs otitis?

We can explain the causes of otitis in many ways, since different factors are involved in the suffering of the dog. Thus, our pet may suffer from otitis due to:

Infection: Otitis can be generated as a result of a scratch infection, a wound close to the ear or contact with an infected animal. Also, it affects the presence of some fungi that grow and inflame the ear canal.

Allergies: Sometimes, otitis can be triggered as an allergic response to some food or topical product that has been given to the dog. Basically, the allergy becomes an infection that ends up inflaming the ear.

Strange elements inside the ear: Dogs that are in constant contact with nature or who do not clean their ears regularly, can end up with otitis due to grass, spikes or sticks in the ear canal.

Climate and humidity: During the summer stage the probability of the dog developing otitis increases; this, related to the increase in temperature, which sets a favorable climate for the proliferation of bacteria and fungi.

Predisposition: There are some factors that are found in certain dogs and that are key to the presentation of the disease, such as, for example, anatomical features such as very long ear canals, drooping ears, much fur in the area or moisture in the area. the area.

Although these factors do not determine the occurrence of the disease, it does make it more feasible in dogs that meet these characteristics.

Types of otitis

The type of otitis that the animal presents and its level of severity will depend on the area that has been affected in the ear. Thus, the following typologies can be presented:

Otitis externa: It is the most common and simple to diagnose; It is a condition in the part of the pavilion and external auditory canal, which is treated quite easily.

Otitis media: Approaching the eardrum area a bit more, it is somewhat more complex to treat and requires a much more effective diagnosis to avoid future complications.

Internal otitis: The most serious typology, which affects all internal structures, such as the ducts, the cochlea and can even affect the nervous structures that connect with the brain and eventually take the infection to that area. Most of the time, this otitis is the consequence of carelessness, or an otitis externa that was not treated properly and was strengthened.

¿How to recognize otitis in our pet?

One of the key points of this disease is to detect it in its early stages, that is, when it is an external otitis, to prevent its progression and complication.

Therefore, you should be aware of the presentation of the following symptoms:

  • Piquiña in the ears, which is manifested by a constant scratching, which often turns into groans of pain.
  • Head tilted towards the ear that is affected.
  • Pain, manifested by constant groans.
  • Bad smell coming from the area of ​​the head and that much more is identified in the ear area.
  • Inapetence
  • Fever.
  • Changes in behavior.
  • Frequent shaking of the head.
  • Redness of the pavilion of the ear.

Before any occurrence of these symptoms in the dog, it is best to take it to a veterinary consultation as soon as possible.

Complications of a badly cured otitis

Otitis can become chronic if it is not treated constantly. The treatment should not only be applied in a timely manner, but also, in time and correct indications. If not, the medicine will only strengthen the infection and complicate it.

The appearance of an otohematoma or atrial hematoma can also complicate the picture. This type of circular formation constitutes a kind of blood tumor that increases the itching and thinning of the dog, causing it to shake the head continuously and scratch more insistently.

A rupture of this accumulation of blood can become a serious hemorrhage so, if the hematoma occurs, the animal must enter the operating room.

Ultimately, chronic otitis can complicate the dog’s hearing, to the point of leaving him deaf by compromising the auditory nerve.

In other cases, the infection manages to reach the brain and can become more complex pictures that end up ending the life of the canine.

Canine otitis prevention

In the event that the dog’s breed is predisposed to the disease, there is no further prevention beyond ensuring constant medical control and identifying any symptoms that may occur.

It is important to reduce humidity levels, periodically clean the auditory pavilion with the correct instruments and be aware of the dog’s diet and diet.

The key is to always be aware and consult with the veterinarian about any anomaly.

Thrombocytopenia in dogs: how to identify this pathology?

Thrombocytopenia is a condition of the immune function of the dog and, although it can be a common disease in these animals, its diagnosis is usually complicated to make and often goes unnoticed in the life of our canine.

When our dog must undergo some type of medical procedure, especially surgery, it is usually the most propitious time for the diagnosis of this disease. And, given the perspective of an intervention, preoperative examinations are those indicated and responsible for detecting these and any other anomalies that may exist.

Although it is usually an asymptomatic disease, today we are going to tell you what the indicators may be that your dog suffers from thrombocytopenia.

¿What is thrombocytopenia?

It is a medical condition where there is an abnormal level of platelets in the blood for the life of the dog. Platelets have the task of monitoring any bloodshed and should be created in the spinal cord and released into the bloodstream.

Thus, the presence of a low number of platelets poses a risk to the life of the canine and, of course, a danger if he was pending to face any surgical procedure.

Although it is usually an asymptomatic disease, there are always some signs that can alert us. Also, very varied causes of the disease are recognized, although the most common is usually an immune condition.

Immune thrombocytopenia is a malfunction in the immune system, since it is mistaken in the identification of platelets, taking them as invasive. Thus, try to destroy them.

However, when the diagnosis of thrombocytopenia is given, it is necessary to review and rule out different diseases before concluding that it can be directly an immune process.

In any case, the good news is that this disease usually has a very good prognosis of life and that, with appropriate and timely treatments, the dog can lead a normal life and without major complications.

¿Who can suffer from this disease?

Although all dogs are at risk of thrombocytopenia, there are some slightly more likely breeds and age ranges. For example, middle-aged dogs have a higher risk of presenting primary thrombocytopenia, which is the subtype that does not underlie another disease.

Dogs of medium breeds, such as poodle, cocker spaniels and German shepherd, are also at greater risk.

Remembering that one of the types may be an immunological disease, an especially important group are dogs with a tendency to autoimmune diseases, such as cocker spaniels, who usually suffer from diseases such as dog arthritis.

In any case, the presence of the disease in any breed, size or age of the dog can not be neglected, so the constant review at the veterinarian and attention to risk symptoms is key.

¿How can I identify the presence of thrombocytopenia?

Although most of the time the disease appears asymptomatic, the truth is that in some cases it does warn its presence, only that the symptoms are confused or masked by any other condition or the suspicion of a transient virus.

If thrombocytopenia is caused by taking any medication, these symptoms should occur only in the course of drug use and should disappear when the body can be restored.

Some of the symptoms are:

  • Fever.
  • Decay (the dog is less willing to do daily activities)
  • Bleeding in the urine
  • Constant cough
  • Very frequent nasal runny nose
  • Heart murmur
  • Fading.
  • Bleeding in the gums or nose.Physical collapse (only in the extreme case of the disease)
  • Inapetence

¿What to do in the case of the disease?

In principle, the diagnosis must be made by a veterinarian, through blood tests that show the low count. From there, it is necessary to review the possible causes, adjacent diseases and even any possible immune disorder.

Once the main cause of the disease is determined, it is necessary to determine the most appropriate way to attack the problem. If, for example, it is determined that thrombocytopenia is being caused by tick disease, the right thing to do is begin by attacking this condition.

If it is the consequence of the consumption of a medicine, the need to continue with that treatment should be evaluated, as well as the possibility of suspending it or alternating it with another drug.

However, if it is an immune thrombocytopenia, there is a treatment to suppress and control the excessive action of the immune system, so that it ceases to act in an excessive way against platelets.

In addition to controlling the disease, it is necessary to help the body in the restoration of the lost, changing the dog’s diet, including vitamin supplements and, in some cases, performing iron-on-blood treatments, to ensure greater effectiveness.

Lifestyle of a dog with thrombocytopenia

Once the cause of the condition has been determined and the dog is under treatment, it may be time to return to normal life.

Unless the case was at risk, it is normal for the animal to return to a quiet life, although with some care. For example, the veterinarian can restrict the consumption of certain hard or dangerous foods, which can pierce the gums, stomach or any part of the digestive tract.

Remember that, in the absence of a good platelet block, there is no real control for bleeding, so any slight bleeding can become a risk for the animal. Also, it is necessary to take care of the physical activities of the dog, away from work and places that may be potentially dangerous for their physical integrity.

The priority is always to avoid any cuts or bleeding that can lead to bleeding.

For the rest, it is essential that the dog is kept in frequent veterinary control, taking him to reviews, medicating him and performing periodic examinations to evaluate the evolution and any existing risk.

What is canine infectious hepatitis

Canine infectious hepatitis is a very serious pathology that mainly attacks puppies and adults and is produced by a virus that affects different organs, especially the liver and kidneys. Although it is considered a controlled disease, there are still some cases, especially among dogs that have not been vaccinated in a timely manner.

Caused by canine adenovirus virus type 1, canine infectious hepatitis has as its main source of infection the intake of feces, urine, nasal secretion or saliva from infected animals. This virus is so potent that, even when the dog has been cured, it can transmit it for several more months.

This virus has an incubation period of about 7 days and its resistance is such that it can remain in the environment for weeks, being immune to different antiseptic products.

The enclosed spaces allow canine infectious hepatitis to spread very quickly, generating the risk of an epidemic. This disease is lethal in younger dogs, who can perish in a few hours if they do not receive emergency care.

¿What are the symptoms of canine infectious hepatitis?

It is important to know that the risk of death is very high in this type of hepatitis, even when the animal is treated. Initially, this disease affects the lymphatic tissues of the area around the animal’s head, and then spreads to the kidneys and liver.

Like other pathologies, the symptoms of canine infectious hepatitis can vary, depending on its severity.

Thus, usually, the dog usually shows decay or lack of energy for much of the day. In addition, it presents high temperature and inflammation of the tonsils. Tonsillitis, a very rare disease in dogs, so it can represent an alert that the animal has the infection.

In the first manifestations of the disease, the animal also presents a reddening of the mucous membranes and the enlargement of the lymph nodes that are under the jaw.

As the disease progresses, the dog usually has little tolerance for direct light, as well as loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting. In its acute phase, canine infectious hepatitis produces a yellowing of the mucous membranes, bleeding gums and inflammation of the liver, in addition to liver failure and abdominal pain.

Most deaths occur at this stage; It is estimated that 2 out of 10 animals die in the acute state of the disease, so veterinary care is essential to survive this phase and achieve complete recovery of the dog.

When the infection occurs in young puppies that have not been vaccinated, inflammation of the abdomen occurs, which can lead to death in just a few hours. In certain cases, the animal’s own immune system protects it from virus attack.

Diagnosis of canine infectious hepatitis

The veterinary professional is in charge of performing the relevant analyzes to make an exact diagnosis. To do this, it will take into account the symptoms presented by the animal and its medical history.

Both the observation of the symptoms presented and the review of their history are sufficient elements to make the clinical diagnosis, however, additional tests may be necessary for the confirmation of the disease.

In those cases, performing a lymph node or liver biopsy supplemented with DNA tests can help identify the presence of the infectious hepatitis virus.

What is the available treatment for this disease?

The treatment of this disease is symptomatic, because there is no specific therapy that acts on the virus. Depending on the stage you are in, the veterinarian can determine the use of antibiotics to attack secondary bacterial infections.

In addition, some medications are usually prescribed to reduce vomiting, diarrhea, blood clotting problems and liver failure. However, it should be borne in mind that the virus primarily attacks the liver, decreasing its ability to eliminate the digested medication.

Therefore, the veterinarian keeps the animal under observation, being able to determine the suspension of the intake, the decrease in the dose or the lengthening of the administration periods.

Prevention and care of canine infectious hepatitis

Timely vaccination is the best way to prevent canine infectious hepatitis. This vaccine is part of the vaccination plans of the puppies so it is essential to comply with the schedule provided, as well as the application of reinforcements if necessary.

If the dog has been infected and is in its recovery period, it is important to avoid all kinds of physical exertion. Although it appears to be recovered, it is necessary to wait another time before doing any physical activity, including going for a walk.

It is necessary to feed the dog with a special diet recommended by the veterinarian, which helps the liver rest.

It is essential to isolate dogs that have been infected with the virus and those who have been in contact with them, in addition, the necessary hygiene measures should be taken to prevent the spread of the disease.

If your pet has some of the symptoms described above, it is necessary to rule out the presence of the canine infectious hepatitis virus; To do this, you must take it immediately to the veterinarian who will perform the necessary tests to detect and / or rule out the disease.

Keep in mind that vaccination against canine infectious hepatitis is the safest way to prevent disease and ensure animal health. In addition, it is advisable to make a regular visit to the veterinarian, in order to rule out any problem from its initial phase.

Treatment of feline gastroenteritis

If you have noticed that your cat has symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea or lack of appetite, you may be suffering from a picture of gastroenteritis. This disease, so common in humans, is also suffered by felines and is very common among the pathologies that are the subject of consultation in veterinarians.

Let’s start by understanding what is gastroenteritis. This disease is an inflammation of the stomach or small intestine, which causes discomfort in the animal and creates a digestive imbalance. It can occur in any cat, although it is usually more frequent in those with a weak immune system.

From the ingestion of food in poor condition to problems of poisoning with chemical substances, there are several causes that can cause gastroenteritis in cats. Some parasites in the stomach can also cause this disease, as well as a picture of infection, the presence of a tumor or excessive consumption of antibiotics.

That is why it is necessary to take care of what our pet consumes.

Let’s see what are the most common causes that can cause feline gastroenteritis:

  • The intake of toxic or spoiled food.
  • Eat too much food.
  • The use of antibiotic medications.
  • An intestinal infection from protozoa, viruses or bacteria.
  • The consumption of contaminated water.
  • Eat chocolate or treats.
  • A chronic stress picture.
  • The presence of some underlying disease.

Although, as we indicated, it is a disease that can affect any feline, gastroenteritis tends to occur more frequently among puppies and the elderly; In addition, some cat breeds are usually delicate of the digestive system, so they are more likely to suffer from this pathology.

First actions to combat gastroenteritis in cats

If the cat is diagnosed by the specialist with a gastritis of the common type, the matter should not represent major concern for the owners since there is the appropriate treatment that the veterinarian puts into practice to improve their symptoms and cure the disease.

One of the most frequent risks related to gastroenteritis is that of presenting a dehydration picture resulting from frequent vomiting. If the cat presents this symptomatology, the veterinarian will opt for the placement of serum to help rehydrate the animal.

The presence of fever in the animal can help the veterinarian to determine if the cat has any problem of bacterial or viral infection. If this is the case, the specialist will carry out the complementary tests to determine the type of virus or parasite and the antibiotic to be applied.

If during the next 48 hours the cat has not presented any improvement, it is likely that the picture has been complicated and it will be necessary to take it back to the veterinarian to perform more complete studies and determine why his condition.

¿Hospitalization or outpatient care?

However, although if gastroenteritis is treated in time, it does not usually represent a greater risk among cats that suffer from it, there is a type of gastroenteritis that can represent a risk of death in the animal: porcine gastroenteritis, a pathology that comes from pigs and that is transmitted by birds.

If a more severe picture of feline gastroenteritis occurs, the veterinarian will attend the animal emergency, providing the amount of serum necessary to achieve adequate hydration.

In these cases, it will be necessary to perform a much more thorough examination of the cat that includes blood, urine and feces tests to determine the origin of the infection.

General care to treat feline gastroenteritis

As we have mentioned, common feline gastroenteritis does not usually pose any danger to the animal, usually it is mild and heals without major inconvenience. The treatment to follow consists in concentrating efforts to avoid a dehydration in the cat.

At the time of the first symptoms of feline gastroenteritis, it is convenient that the animal does not consume food for at least the first 12 hours, in order to let the digestive system rest and clean it.

After this fast, it is necessary to feed the cat with a special soft diet, which is composed of some cooked vegetables such as pumpkin or carrot, also cooked white rice and chicken or turkey meat. In the market, there are some feeds for special cats in cases of digestive problems.

Maintaining good hygiene habits at home is convenient for the cat’s rapid recovery. Therefore, it is recommended to disinfect all your rest space and your food utensils.

Keep in mind that, depending on the picture presented by the cat, you can clearly identify if it is a serious case of gastroenteritis or has any other pathology that needs to be identified to attack the root problem.

Thus, if you have a very high fever, have very frequent vomiting, evacuate stool with blood, are fatigued, suffer seizures or lose consciousness, do not hesitate to take it urgently to the veterinary clinic to rule out gastroenteritis or any other disease; The specialist will determine the treatment to follow.

The care in the meals, a balanced diet and the maximum care in the hygiene of the space that inhabits, are essential factors to avoid any digestive problem in the cats. Keep these aspects in mind and you will have a healthy and happy pet.

Learn to detect the signs of heart problems in dogs and cats

As in people, the heart is one of the most important organs in the body of pets, since it is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body and maintaining energy in the body’s cells. When the animal is tired, irritable, coughing or has difficulty breathing, they can be signs of heart failure.

Heart disease in dogs and cats is usually more common than we think; Therefore, it is essential to keep your heart health under control in order to avoid serious problems that may affect your well-being.

In the following article, we will learn to detect the signals that can help us identify heart problems in dogs and cats.

Common heart problems in dogs

According to recent studies, most cases of heart disease that occur in pets worldwide are usually acquired, while only a small percentage are congenital or inherited pathologies. These problems usually occur in animals in adulthood.

There are many reasons that may represent a risk of suffering from these diseases for these animals; However, specialists believe that poor diet and the intake of processed food are key factors that increase the chances of suffering from these pathologies.

Unlike what happens with humans, blockage of the arteries is not a very common condition among dogs; However, there are other heart diseases that usually occur in these animals:

Valvular disease is among the most common cardiac disorders in dogs; Over the years, the heart valves usually weaken and begin to filter the blood when the pumping occurs.

On the other hand, myocarditis is another very common heart disease among dogs and is an inflammation of the heart caused by a bacterial infection; This pathology weakens and enlarges the muscle of the organ.

Another parasitic disease that affects dogs’ hearts is canine dirofilariosis or heartworm. This pathology usually occurs in humid areas where carrier mosquitoes abound.

Dogs also usually present with pericarditis or pericardial disease, which is an inflammation of the pericardium, or arrhythmia problems, which is the manifestation of an irregular heart rhythm.

Common heart problems in cats

Heart disease in cats occurs less frequently than in dogs. Nearly 10% of cats worldwide suffer from cardiac pathologies and, far from what is thought, these problems can occur at any age of the pet.

Although cardiac problems in cats occur very similarly to those in dogs, there are some marked differences.

For example, in cats the symptoms are not usually manifested in the same way which makes proper diagnosis difficult. Therefore, it is essential to remain alert to identify the disease in time.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the heart disease that occurs most frequently in cats. In fact, it represents almost 80% of cardiac pathologies in felines.

In this disease, the walls and cardiac ventricles become very thick or hypertrophied, which produces a growth of the heart muscle. The severity of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy will depend on how thick the muscular wall is.

Feline CMH can be an inherited disease, with a strong genetic predisposition in the Maine Coon and Ragdoll races.

Other diseases can also cause thickening of the left ventricular wall in cats, such as aortic stenosis, hyperthyroidism and systemic hypertension.

Signs of heart disease in dogs and cats

One of the most representative signs of this type of pathologies is the persistent cough that canines present and that usually gets worse at night or at times when the animal tries to rest. This distinctive sign manifests itself in dogs since cats with heart problems do not cough.

Pets that have heart problems usually have serious breathing difficulties. The normal rate of respiration is below 32 breaths per minute; If the animal is above this series or makes a lot of effort while breathing, it may be presenting a picture of heart disease.

In addition to loss of appetite, animals that suffer from heart disease often experience alterations in their weight, whether they increase or decrease it. When weight gain occurs it may be due to the accumulation of fluids in your abdomen.

Another sign of heart disease in pets is excessive fatigue that makes them reluctant to exercise. You will notice that they are reluctant to play or run, are exhausted to the minimum effort or are very easily agitated.

In the most severe cases of heart disease, animals may collapse or lose consciousness. This is an unequivocal sign of an emergency, so you should take your pet immediately to the specialist.

The appearance of one or more of these symptoms may trigger the alarm signal since it is likely that the pet is suffering from heart disease. It is advisable to take the animal as soon as possible to the veterinarian so that he can rule out other pathologies and determine what to do to relieve the symptoms and solve the problem.

Remember that it is necessary to provide the pet with a balanced diet and maintain it with a healthy body weight, this will help reduce the risk of heart problems.

Early detection of any heart disease is essential to safeguard the animal’s health; A quick diagnosis can help relieve the condition of the pet and improve its quality of life.

Guidelines to improve our pets’ joints

Joint ailments in pets occur in the same way as in humans; The pathologies that occur in this field usually generate a severe decrease in the mobility of the animal, intense pain and a notable decrease in its quality of life.

That is why we must be aware of any symptoms that indicate joint problems in the animal; In this article, we will know some tips to improve our pet’s joints.

The joint in the pet

When we talk about the joints in pets we are referring to the joints between two or more bones that make up the skeleton of animals. These joints are generally mobile and allow movement of the limbs through the sliding of the pet’s bones.

The articular cartilages, on the other hand, are elastic structures that have the function of preventing bones from wearing out when rubbing. This structure is very resistant and helps protect the bones from any impact.

The wear of articular cartilage disrupts normal movement and causes pain in the animal; Therefore, it is necessary to take care of the pet’s joints by decreasing their premature degeneration.

Factors that influence joint performance

There are several factors that can condition the normal performance of the animal’s joints, in some of which we can intervene for greater care.

The correct feeding is closely related to the physical health of our pet, so any alteration in its diet and its nutritional content can affect the joints of the animal.

That is why a healthy and balanced diet is recommended, which adequately covers all your nutritional needs. This also includes supplements specially developed to strengthen cartilage, such as fatty acids and hyaluronic acid.

It is necessary to consult with the veterinarian about the exact dose of these supplements, in order to avoid any side effects on the pet.

On the other hand, many animals tend to develop problems of excess weight throughout their lives, which can lead to serious problems in their joints.

The overweight wears the protective cartilage of the bones, exposing it to impacts and impacts. That is why it is recommended to maintain a strict control of the weight of the animal, through the intake of healthy and nutritious foods and in regular amounts according to their breed and condition.

The benefits of physical exercise in the animal

In addition to healthy eating and overweight care, physical exercise is very important as it maintains the animal’s joint health in optimal conditions.

Frequent physical activity improves the pet’s muscular strength, as well as its balance and coordination, which favors the animal’s joints. With physical exercise, the pet enhances the performance of its joint mobility.

By increasing physical resistance, constant and moderate physical exercise allows better control of the animal’s weight, helping to prevent fractures and injuries of different types.

It is important that the exercise be performed on a regular basis and without demanding too much from the pet since it can be counterproductive for the animal’s joints.

How to improve pet’s joints

Regular physical exercise is the best activity that the pet can do to keep his joint health in good condition. Keep in mind the following tips to safeguard your joints:

Taking the animal for a walk is a good daily practice for the care of its joints. Veterinarians recommend at least two walks a day, in the morning and at night, with an average duration of 20 minutes per departure.

As much as possible, it is recommended that the animal can move freely when walking, therefore, it must be left free of leashes in a safe area.

In order to improve the muscles, bones and joints of the dog, it is convenient to overcome some obstacles along a circuit. Also, we can teach them to sit down to strengthen their joint mobility and the upper third.

Other dynamics, such as pawling or zigzag movements, are also very useful for improving the mobility of your spine and the muscles of the animal’s back. These exercises are very beneficial for your joints.

Veterinarians recommend walking them on some soft surfaces, such as foam beds, as it helps improve their muscle strength.

Important considerations when performing the exercises

We must determine the amount of exercises or the duration of the tasks according to the age, size and breed of the animal; In general, it is convenient to start with short sessions of less than 15 minutes, to gradually increase them as the weeks go by.

It is necessary to prevent the animal from getting too tired when performing the exercises; We must ensure that the activities are practiced as a game to avoid any significant joint or muscle injury.

Also, the owner must take care of any discomfort that may occur in the pet during the development of activities; If this situation arises, the exercise should be suspended as soon as possible and taken to a veterinary consultation to identify the problem.

In addition to improving the health of the joints in the pet, performing regular exercises directly influences the emotional state of the animal, as well as the relationship between pet and owner.

A combination of these activities sequentially will significantly improve the animal’s joint health. If you consider that the pet may be suffering from a problem in its joints, do not hesitate to bring it to the clinic as soon as possible, in order to rule out any pathology that puts your health at risk.

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