Category: Health

Shaker syndrome in dogs: what it is, symptoms and treatments

There are many health problems that can cause tremors in a dog’s body. Many of these are physical, often the result of an emotional problem or simply age. Some are congenital, which means they have a genetic predisposition to certain symptoms. One cause that we dog owners often overlook is a neurological reason for changes in mobility. This is because the brain gives incorrect instructions to the rest of the body. Even knowing these general causes, it can be difficult to know why a dog is shaking or trembling, something we can see with shaker syndrome.

In this new article from Glòries Veterinary Hospital, we tell you everything we know about shaker syndrome in dogs, a condition scientifically known as idiopathic cerebellitis. Since knowing its cause is very difficult, we will focus mainly on its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. We started!

What is Shaker syndrome in dogs?

Shaker syndrome in dogs is also known as generalized tremor syndrome (GTS) or idiopathic cerebellitis. The disease causes inflammation of the cerebellum, specifically, a part of the brain that controls aspects of the nervous system in dogs. More specifically, it is responsible for the coordination of voluntary movements and muscle contractions.

Many of us, as caregivers of our dogs, may wonder what causes shaker syndrome in dogs. It is an idiopathic disease, its cause being unknown. This does not mean that there is no underlying cause of shaker syndrome, it means that we do not know what it is yet. However, even if the etiology of idiopathic cerebellitis cannot be clearly established, we know that it is a type of central nervous system disorder.

Shaker syndrome can affect both sexes of dogs equally, but it is more common in young or middle-aged dogs. We also know that small dogs and those with white fur are the most affected. For this reason, it is possible that a genetic factor exists, but we are not yet sure what it could be.

Symptoms of Shaker syndrome in dogs

The reason for the common name of idiopathic cerebellitis is because its main symptom is the trembling of the dog’s body. This tremor appears as a slight, general tremor throughout the dog’s body.

Unfortunately, there are still many veterinary challenges to overcome in diagnosing a dog with this symptom, as it is not pathognomonic. This means that it is not an exclusive symptom of this particular disease. There are other syndromes, disorders, and diseases that can make a dog’s entire body shake. One particular aspect of Shaker syndrome that can help distinguish it from other diseases is the fact that generalized tremor does not stop easily and occurs on a daily basis.

It is important to differentiate between a generalized shaking and other reasons why a dog is shaking. Dogs may shake their body involuntarily due to a medical problem, but they can also do it on purpose.

Diagnosis of Shaker syndrome

If you think your dog may be suffering from this syndrome, you should go to the vet as soon as possible to verify the diagnosis. However, since the symptoms are very similar to other conditions that cause the dog to tremble or change his gait, the diagnosis is not easy.

Diagnosing Shaker syndrome in dogs requires a number of tests to be comprehensive, including:

  • Complete medical history.
  • Current symptoms.
  • Initial symptoms and their development over time.
  • Blood test.
  • Urine analysis.
  • Electrolyte level analysis.
  • CSF sample (Cerebrospinal fluid collection).

Based on this thorough examination, the veterinarian must make a differential diagnosis and rule out other causes that may explain the symptoms. These can include physical problems such as hypothermia in dogs, or perhaps a psychological and emotional cause, such as anxiety. In either case, the vet will need to observe the context of the tremors.

Treatment of shaker syndrome in dogs

Sometimes shaker syndrome in dogs can be a serious health problem for the animal. In these cases a period of hospitalization may be necessary until the dog stabilizes various vital signs that could be affected. On the other hand, drug treatment involves cortisones. These are powerful anti-inflammatories that reduce the state of inflammation of brain tissues. It should be mentioned that corticosteroids act by inhibiting the immune system, which results in multiple side effects.

After starting treatment, the dog can recover in about a week, but it can also develop a chronic disease state.

Remember that the vet is the only person trained to indicate a specific treatment if your dog suffers from shaker syndrome. They can also tell you how often to have post-treatment checkups and how to progressively reduce cortisone administration.

Shaker syndrome in white dogs

Although shaker syndrome can affect many dogs, it is true that small and white dogs are the most affected. For this reason, if we adopt a breed of small white dog or a cross with said breed, we must be particularly attentive to the tremors in its body. In this regard, the breeds most affected by white dog shake syndrome include:

  • Poodle.
  • West Highland White Terrier.
  • Maltese Bichon.
  • Bichon Frize.
  • Havanese.
  • Bichon Bolognese.

Regardless, we should carry out regular reviews with our trusted veterinarian, but especially, it will be interesting to pay special attention to the previous breeds.

Do you think your dog may be suffering from shaker syndrome? Visit our Glòries Veterinary Hospital and your dog will be in the best hands to find the best treatment and improve his health and quality of life.

How to treat mosquito bites in dogs

Like us, our dogs can also become victims of mosquito bites. The problem is not so much the bite itself, which does not usually have great consequences, but the diseases that these insects can transmit to animals. This is why it is so important to protect dogs from mosquito bites.

In this article we will discuss how to treat mosquito bites in the case of dogs. We will explain how to identify bites and, above all, what precautions you must take to make it happen.

Symptoms of a mosquito bite in dogs

Typically, a mosquito bite on a dog will mean nothing more than a small mark or red bump on the skin. At best, this only produces some inflammation and itchiness. Only in some cases can more serious discomfort occur. For example, if they are allergic to mosquito bites or if the bite is on the face, nose, or inside of the mouth. Some bites can cause inflammation of the throat and make it difficult for the dog to breathe, causing suffocation in the worst case.

In these cases, the dog may suffer a significant allergic reaction, known as anaphylactic shock. This is an emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention. The severe reaction occurs after the bite, or a few hours later, and its general symptoms include nervousness, diarrhea, vomiting, breathing problems, and weakness, as well as swelling, redness, or itching at the site of the insect bite.

More than the bite itself, the most important problem with similarly stinging mosquitoes or insects (such as bees) is the fact that they carry and transmit serious and life-threatening diseases. These diseases can include canine leishmaniasis. In such cases, the bite would form a wound that does not heal, even after considerable time has passed.

Another serious mosquito-borne disease is filariasis, also known as heartworm in dogs. Both filariasis and leishmaniasis can reside in the dog for months before triggering any symptoms. Therefore, even if you think that the bite is not serious, in reality the disease may have already been transmitted to the dog by the mosquito or a sandfly.

What can I do if my dog ​​has been bitten by a mosquito?

Generally, mosquito bites in dogs go completely unnoticed, partly because of the hair. If you detect a bite or find a mark that could be, you can easily treat it at home. Only if your dogs show signs of anaphylactic shock, you should see a vet urgently. In this situation, a professional should also control bites that are very swollen or that affect more delicate areas such as the eyes, nose or the inside of the mouth.

If leishmaniasis or filariasis is common in your area, it is especially important that you inform your vet about any mosquito bites or marks that may be of concern. This professional will be able to advise you on what steps to follow, carry out the relevant tests to check if there is an infection in our dog and recommend the most appropriate preventive measures.

Home remedies for mosquito bites in dogs

If your dog shows signs of being bothered by the bite, you can treat the area with something cool. This will minimize the swelling and itching of the animal. For this, you can use ice, or a bag of frozen food wrapped in a cloth or towel so as not to damage the skin.

To reduce the chance of infection, you can wash the area with plenty of soap and water. Remember that mosquito bites in more sensitive areas, or that cause more than a local reaction, should not be treated at home. In these cases a veterinary check-up is necessary.

How to prevent mosquito bites in dogs?

In order to prevent mosquito bites and their possible diseases, veterinary products that contain repellent are recommended. Pipettes, collars, and sprays are commercially available at many pet stores. Consult your veterinarian about the most suitable product for your beloved dog’s situation. It is advisable to apply it every month, especially for those dogs that live in areas where filariasis or leishmaniasis are, unfortunately, more common. They should at least be applied during months when mosquito numbers are at their peak (like summer).

You must bear in mind that some substances that claim to be mosquito repellants do not achieve the expected results. Either the effects are non-existent or limited to a short period of time, leaving the dog unprotected immediately. Therefore, only specific veterinary products should be used to deal with serious diseases such as leishmania or filariasis. In addition to this, there are certain precautions that you can take at home and abroad:

  • Avoid leaving your dog outdoors, especially at times of the day when mosquitoes are most active, such as dusk, dawn, and at night.
  • Prevent mosquitoes from entering your home by placing screens on doors and windows.
  • Remove any organic material from the garden or patio, as this is sure to attract mosquitoes.
  • Eliminate standing water, as it is the ideal place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

Now you know. It is important to take care of our furry animals and protect them against mosquito bites. Do you have any questions about it? Do you need us to advise you on the best products to repel insects in your pets? Come visit us at Hospital Veterinari Glòries or call us at 932 460 805, we will be more than happy to advise you on the best remedy.

Is there dwarfism in dogs?

Can dogs have dwarfism? The answer is yes, dogs can experience dwarfism like many other animals. The main cause of this is a lack of hormone production in our dog, leading him to experience dwarfism at birth.

In this article we will explain in detail what dwarfism is in dogs, how to detect it and its possible treatment. Read on to learn more about this endocrine disease.

Dwarfism in dogs

Dwarfism or pituitary dwarfism in dogs is an endocrine disease in which a deficiency of growth hormone occurs and sometimes appears together with other deficiencies of hormones generated in the hypothalamus, such as TSH and prolactin. This results in dwarfism or the lack of normal growth as the months go by and the dog grows.

This process is diagnosed when the dog grows abnormally according to its breed and age. In addition, there are deficits of other hormones that lead to other endocrine processes, such as hypothyroidism or heat problems in females or testicular atrophy in males. These can occur at the same time in addition to dermatological problems and secondary infections.

Furthermore, dwarfism is a congenital disease, which means that puppies can inherit it from their parents under an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern. And which races are the most prone to suffer from it? The most predisposed breed seems to be the German Shepherd, although it can also be seen in the Weimaraner Braque, Pinscher, and Spitz-type breeds.

How to detect dwarfism in dogs?

The symptoms of dwarfism in dogs are much more evident when dogs reach two or three months of life, before that, they can be seen as normal puppies.

From that moment, in a dog with pituitary dwarfism, the following signs can be observed:

  • Lengthening at the closure of the epiphyses of the long bones.
  • Secondary bacterial infections of the skin or respiratory system.
  • Fontanelles stay open longer than in a normal puppy.
  • Comedones and papules on the skin.
  • Calcification of the penile bone.
  • Late appearance of all teeth.
  • Hyperpigmentation.
  • Thin and hypotonic skin.
  • Progressive skin peeling.
  • Hypothyroidism at 2 or 3 years of life.
  • Reproductive disorders: such as anestrus (lack of heat) in female dogs and testicular atrophy in dogs.

Although dwarfism does not have to be dangerous to the health of the animal, it can reduce life expectancy to less than 10 years. However, by providing them with a healthy and pleasant lifestyle, we can help puppy dogs to have a happy life.

Diagnosis of dwarfism in dogs

The diagnosis of pituitary dwarfism is based on clinical signs and also by laboratory diagnosis.

Differential diagnosis

The differential diagnosis of dwarfism in dogs may include the following diseases:

  • Juvenile hypothyroidism.
  • Hypoadrenocorticism.
  • Iatrogenic hyperadrenocorticism.
  • Juvenile diabetes
  • Malnutrition.
  • Portosystemic shunt.
  • Gonadal dysgenesis.
  • Bone disease
  • Nephropathy

Clinical diagnosis

The clinical diagnosis is based mainly on the observation of a proportional reduction in the size of the dog depending on the characteristics of its breed and age, which is usually accompanied by other clinical signs that we have discussed previously, such as various skin disorders.

Laboratory analysis

The laboratory analysis will be based mainly on a blood test with measurement of certain factors and hormones:

  • Hemogram and biochemistry: the hemogram and biochemistry in these dogs are usually normal, although there is the presence of hypophosphatemia, mild hypoalbuminemia and in some cases there may be azotemia (increased creatinine or urea), since the deficiency of growth hormone can affect the development of the renal glomeruli, responsible for filtering urine.
  • Analysis of hormones: analysis of thyroid hormones usually reflects an increase in free and total T4 but unlike what is expected in hypothyroidism, which is an increase in TSH, in dogs with dwarfism there is a decrease in TSH due to lack of release of the hypothalamus in this disorder.
  • Insulin Growth Factor Assay: Insulin Growth Factor Type 1 (IGF-1) Assay is the best way to indirectly reflect growth hormone values. In dogs with dwarfism this factor is significantly reduced, being less than 50 ml.

Other ways of diagnosis

Another way to reach the definitive diagnosis of canine dwarfism is by stimulating the release of growth hormone with xylazine or GNRH. In a healthy dog, the growth hormone will increase after this administration, however, in dwarfism this effect does not occur.

Is there a cure for dwarfism in dogs?

Many people wonder if there is a cure for dwarfism in dogs. The answer, sadly, is no. At the moment, there is currently no cure for canine dwarfism. That said, it is important to let you know that there is a treatment for therapeutic use.

The treatment of canine dwarfism is carried out mainly with the administration of progestogens, such as medroxyprogesterone. This drug induces the production of growth hormone in the mammary gland. At all times of treatment, dogs should be monitored and controlled every week, as they can cause acromegaly or diabetes. Generally, the clinical signs of the skin improve, adult hair grows, and weight gain.

Talk to your trusted vet to see what treatments and lifestyle changes would benefit your dog if he experiences dwarfism.

Is it possible to cure feline uveitis?

Uveitis in cats is an ophthalmological disorder that can affect the uvea of ​​felines of all ages. However, it is more common in stray cats. Among its most frequent causes are certain systemic pathologies, trauma, contusions and deep wounds from fights or accidents.

To learn more about feline uveitis, keep reading this article where we will answer the question that many caregivers ask themselves when they suspect that their cat has this disorder: is feline uveitis disease curable?

Uveitis in cats: definition and types

The term “uveitis” is applied by veterinary medicine to designate different inflammatory processes that occur in the uvea of ​​both felines and canines.

Depending on the area of ​​the eye affected, we have the following types of uveitis:

  • Anterior uveitis: mainly affects the iris and / or the ciliary bodies.
  • Intermediate uveitis: affects the posterior portion of the ciliary bodies.
  • Posterior uveitis: it develops mainly in the choroid.

It is very common for the inflammation to spread and jointly affect different uveal structures. In more advanced or chronic cases, uveitis in cats can reach the retina and even lead the animal to blindness.

Causes associated with feline uveitis

As we mentioned earlier, uveitis in cats is associated with endogenous and exogenous factors. Next, we will highlight the main causes of this pathology in domestic felines:

Endogenous causes

Many of the cases of uveitis in cats are caused by serious pathologies, such as:

  • FeLV (feline leukemia virus).
  • FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus or “feline AIDS”).
  • FIP (feline infectious peritonitis virus).
  • Systemic mycoses.
  • Systemic toxoplasmosis.

In addition, arterial hypertension also appears as a risk factor for the development of uveitis, thrombosis and intraocular hemorrhages.

Exogenous causes

Exogenous causes of feline uveitis are almost always associated with street fights, accidents, or eye trauma. The wounds, perforations, cuts and contusions derived from these phenomena can favor the appearance of uveitis.

Symptoms of Uveitis in Cats

The first symptoms of feline uveitis are practically silent. For this reason, they are often difficult to recognize early. A cat suffering from uveitis usually has the following symptoms:

  • Ocular hypotension
  • Miosis (constriction of the pupils).
  • Retraction of the eyeball.
  • Photophobia.
  • Excessive tearing
  • Pain.
  • Hypersensitivity in the eye area.

Can feline uveitis be cured?

Feline uveitis is curable in acute cases in which the cat was treated at the beginning of the disorder. That is why it is very important to take our cat to the vet so that it is properly diagnosed and treated as soon as we observe any symptoms or abnormalities in its behavior or appearance.

We must bear in mind that if it is not treated in time, our cat can suffer loss of vision or, in the worst case, blindness, which unfortunately is irreversible.

Normally, corticosteroid and non-corticosteroid anti-inflammatory eye drops are the treatment used to control and prevent the progression of uveitis, but the specific treatment should always be prescribed by a veterinarian.

All about liver failure in cats

Liver failure in cats appears as a consequence of certain liver diseases that affect liver functions, such as hepatic lipidosis, cholangitis, amyloidosis or tumors, but it can also be due to extrahepatic or toxic diseases.

In this article we will talk about what is liver failure in cats, its causes and symptoms.

What is liver failure in cats?

Liver failure refers to certain diseases and circumstances that alter the proper functioning of the liver in cats. There are many diseases that decrease the functionality of the liver, some are primary while others are secondary due to toxins or extrahepatic diseases.

The feline liver fulfills numerous functions, since it intervenes in digestion, in the synthesis of bilirubin, glycogen, lipoproteins, albumin and filters toxic compounds. In addition, it is adapted to the carnivorous nature of cats because through meat they obtain, among other nutrients, taurine and arginine, which are two essential amino acids for cats.

The feline liver forms bile salts from the conjugation of bile acids with taurine and arginine, it is involved in the synthesis of ammonia from urea and its elimination. Therefore, an arginine deficiency will cause ammonia poisoning in our cat, causing hepatic encephalopathy that, unfortunately, usually has a fatal outcome.

Causes of feline liver failure

These are the different causes of liver failure in cats:

  • Liver disease
  • Infectious diseases.
  • Poisoning.
  • Portosystemic shunt.

Symptoms of liver failure in cats

The symptoms of feline liver failure are nonspecific. However, depending on the process that causes it and its severity, we can find:

  • Lack of appetite.
  • Weightloss.
  • Lethargy.
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea.
  • Anorexy.
  • Polydipsia.
  • Dysuria
  • Depression.
  • Apathy.
  • Jaundice.
  • Ascites

In cases of hepatic encephalopathy, due to an increase in toxins not filtered by the liver, seizures, blindness, hypersalivation, behavioral changes, aggressiveness, stupor and even coma can occur.

As always, it is very important to take your cat to the vet as soon as you see that he experiences any of the symptoms mentioned above or any other abnormality.

How is feline liver failure diagnosed?

The diagnosis of diseases that can cause liver failure in cats is completed with a study of the patient’s medical history, clinical examination, blood and biochemistry tests, ultrasound and biopsies. Let’s see each of these processes below.

Physical exam

During the anamnesis and examination of the feline we must observe the clinical signs that the cat presents, observe its state of hydration, coat, state of the mucous membranes to assess jaundice and body condition, as well as palpation of the animal and look for the presence of fluid in the cavity indicative of ascites. Jaundice and ascites are late signs of liver disease in cats, with liver failure being the most specific.

Blood test

A blood count and biochemistry of the cat should be performed. Functional markers and any type of liver disease will be looked for:

  • Markers of liver disease: an increase in ALT and AST enzymes indicate cellular damage in the liver, although since they have a half-life of a few hours in the cat, if we do not see them increase, it does not have to be related to the liver. An increase in ALP and GGT enzymes leads more to damage to the bile ducts and canaliculi, if only GGT increases, it leads more to liver damage.
  • Markers of liver function: these are altered when liver failure is advanced, being hyperbilirubinemia (increased bilirubin), hypoglycemia (low glucose level), hypoalbuminemia (low albumin level), hypo or hypercholesterolemia (decreased or increased cholesterol) and increased of clotting times (due to vitamin K deficiency). Bilirubin increases in the absence of hemolytic anemia or pancreatic disease are a good indication of liver failure. In addition, before appearing increased in the laboratory test, cats usually present bilirubinuria (bilirubin in urine) which is always pathological in this species. If bilirubin is normal, the most sensitive and specific marker for detecting liver failure in cats is an increase in bile acids on an empty stomach and after two hours of ingestion.

Diagnostic imaging

Specifically, the useful technique in these cases is abdominal ultrasound, although it is usual not to find alterations even when the cat really has liver disease. In some cases, focal lesions are observed, an enlarged liver with hyperechoic parenchyma (white in the image) suspected of lipidosis, dilation of the bile ducts suggestive of cholangitis, or we can look for vascularization for the diagnosis of portosystemic shunt.

Liver biopsy

The definitive diagnosis of many diseases that cause liver failure in cats is achieved through a pathological study from the taking of biopsies. However, in cases of lipidosis it can be diagnosed by following the previous steps and a liver fine needle cytology (FAP), where numerous cells with fat will be seen, although it must be taken into account that it can coexist with other diseases, so it will not always be definitive, requiring a biopsy. In suspected cases of cholangitis, bile can be obtained from these ducts for cytology and culture, without the need for biopsy in cases of neutrophilic cholangitis.

Early detection of feline liver failure is essential for effective treatment. Faced with any symptoms, do not hesitate to take your pet to the vet so that he can choose the best way to treat the animal’s disease.

Possible complications after neutering your dog

Spaying a dog has many benefits, and most of us agree on that. Either spaying a female dog or neutering a male dog, it is a procedure recommended by veterinarians as it helps reduce litter abandonment, prevents certain diseases, and also reduces the risk of behavioral problems.

You should know that the complications of the procedures are not normal, they rarely happen. However, when dealing with surgical interventions, there can always be risks that must be taken into account.

That is why in this blog post we will provide you with more information about the possible complications after neutering a dog.

Possible complications after neutering a dog

Again, we want to emphasize that the likelihood of having complications from spaying or neutering a dog is minimal when we take the proper protective precautions and the intervention is carried out by professional veterinarians. What’s more, it is considered minor surgery. However, we must still be vigilant in case any of the following problems arise:

  • Bruising, irritation and swelling: that the site of the incision of the castration or sterilization is swollen, reddened or may have some scabs does not have to be a bad thing a priori. But you should keep in mind that it is a wound that should heal relatively quickly. In male dogs, it may even appear that they still have testicles in the scrotum, but this is due to the swelling and goes away after a few days. This means that it is not a postoperative complication of castration. However, if the swelling becomes too acute or there are purulent discharge, you should return to the vet as soon as possible.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea: due to general anesthesia, your dog will become slightly dizzy and his metabolism will be somewhat altered. This can manifest itself in vomiting and diarrhea that can be normal. However, you should control them since, if it continues for more than 24 hours, it is necessary to return to the vet.
  • Ovarian remnants: In some bitches, some ovarian tissue may remain after spay surgery. This can lead to hormonal problems, infections, or other complications. That is why, on very rare occasions, even neutered dogs can contract diseases such as pyometra.
  • Risk of infection: the risk of your dog suffering an internal infection is minimal, but we should always look for signs in case the dog’s belly swells and becomes hard. Also, since the incision site will likely bother the dog, it will always try to lick the wound area. For this reason, we need to put an Elizabethan collar around his neck, or cover that area by adjusting an old shirt to prevent this from happening, since bacteria from his mouth can infect the wound or remove the stitches.
  • Poorly healed wound: Similarly, if the dog licks the incision or hits something, the wound may not heal properly. In these cases, we must take them to the vet as soon as possible. Medicating them ourselves could make the situation worse.
  • Death: this is the risk that anyone who has a dog fears the most. Putting a dog under general anesthesia can be scary, but problems rarely arise from it. Now, it is important to say that there are cases in which an adverse reaction to anesthesia can occur that unfortunately causes death. However, it should be noted that multiple studies have been able to show that the mortality rate due to spaying or neutering in dogs is practically nil, with 0.03%.

Hypothermia in dogs. What to do?

How does the cold affect dogs? As the person responsible for your furry friend, you always want to protect him from any danger. Low temperatures can seriously harm the health of dogs. Although some dogs are better protected from the cold than others, such as the Siberian husky or Saint Bernard, the cold affects any breed. We must be very careful with some breeds, dogs with short fur and vulnerable animals.

Exposure to cold, snow, wind, or heavy rain can increase your chances of catching a common cold. However, when the exposure is long enough and the temperature low enough, hypothermia can develop. This presents a life-threatening situation for your dog, so read on to learn more about the symptoms and how to act.

What is hypothermia in dogs?

Hypothermia is a complex clinical picture, but it can be characterized as a significant decrease in body temperature. It can happen to many different animals, not just mammals. Each animal will have a different body temperature, but once it falls below a certain point, the dog will become hypothermic. Basically, more heat leaves the body than can be absorbed, something that happens at very low temperatures.

The core body temperature of a dog is usually between 38ºC and 39.2ºC. When it falls below this temperature, hypothermia begins. There may be a small margin of error, especially depending on the method of taking the dog’s temperature. However, when the body temperature of a dog drops to 36ºC, we must be attentive to the appearance of any other symptoms, since this would mean that our dog needs to go to the vet immediately.

Symptoms of hypothermia in dogs

In general, the first symptoms of hypothermia in dogs begin similar to a dog experiencing cold temperatures. In mild to moderate cases of hypothermia in dogs, symptoms can include:

  • Tremors
  • Muscular stiffness.
  • Difficult breathing
  • Dry Skin.
  • Slow movements
  • Clumsiness and lethargy.
  • Drowsiness.

If hypothermia is not treated quickly and properly, the dog’s clinical picture may worsen. This will likely lead to the following symptoms:

  • Low blood pressure.
  • Decreased heart rate.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Disorientation.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden death.

How to treat hypothermia in dogs?

If you suspect that your dog has been exposed to the cold and you observe any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is essential that you go to the vet urgently. Severe hypothermia can cause irreversible damage to the body, even leading to death in acute cases.

As a dog’s body temperature drops, there is a drop in both blood pressure and heart rate. This can lead to arrhythmias. In people, ventricular arrhythmias are recognized as the leading cause of a high mortality rate in accidentally hypothermic patients. Similarly, exposure to cold can cause the heart to stop beating in dogs. The dog may also experience a decrease in oxygen in the blood, a stoppage of its metabolism and, occasionally, hypothermia can lead to complete multiple organ failure.

To treat hypothermia, a specialist will need to provide the right environment for the dog to return to a stable temperature. However, this will have to be done gradually, as putting too much temperature on the dog can also cause his body to go into shock.

The dog should not move too much to avoid further loss of heat and to prevent it from becoming weak. Warming the animal can be done with hot air, heating pillows, infrared lamps, or just some blankets.

If the case is acute hypothermia, you may need additional treatment. This could include intravenous fluid therapy to help your blood volume, as well as to be used as a means of raising your body temperature.

For the latter purpose, enemas can also be administered. The dog can also receive oxygen to help it breathe and ensure that enough oxygen reaches its blood.

First aid for hypothermia in dogs

If you observe several of the symptoms of hypothermia in a dog, we insist, you must go immediately to the veterinary clinic or hospital. However, everything you do on the way to the vet can help improve his condition. That is why you should know some first aid tips for hypothermic dogs:

  1. Dry the dog immediately: in case the dog has fallen into very cold water or is wet from rain, snow, etc., we should try to clean it immediately with a dry towel. Humidity favors the development of hypothermia in dogs when combined with very low temperatures.
  2. Provision of shelter and heat: when the dog has already dried properly, we must provide it with heat to try to regain its balance from its loss of temperature. This can be done by wrapping them in another dry towel, a blanket, a coat, or some special dog clothing. We can also hug him to transfer some of our body temperature. This provides constant heat, but not rapid.
  3. Balance blood glucose levels: To avoid a decrease in body temperature, the body needs to burn its energy reserves. That is, speed up the metabolism of glucose in the bloodstream to try to stay stable. As a result, the dog can suffer a sudden case of hypoglycemia, which means a drastic reduction in blood glucose levels. This can lead to fainting, lethargy, and even lead to a coma. If we identify the symptoms of hypoglycemic shock, we can offer them a teaspoon of honey to quickly replenish their blood sugar levels. However, honey should be avoided in puppies.
  4. Check your body: Exposure to extreme cold and hypothermia can cause injuries or burns associated with freezing temperatures. It is recommended to gently check the dog’s body for signs of injury. In particular, attention should be paid to areas with low concentration of hair such as the feet, ears, legs, muzzle, anus, tail and genitals. If you identify an injury, it is essential to go quickly to the vet.

We must emphasize the importance of recognizing that these measures are first aid to help give the dog the best chance of recovery. They will help keep the dog safe and combat the appearance of any associated health problems. However, we still have to take him to the vet for a proper examination.

How to prevent hypothermia in dogs

To prevent hypothermia in dogs, it is essential that we provide adequate care during the winter. We need to make sure that they are not left outside when temperatures are too low, offer them shelter in humid conditions, and always with additional protection if they need it (in the form of dog clothes, blankets, etc.). We can also provide a proper diet, preventive medications and maintain exercise, as it will help give them a chance to fight, with their fitness, if they develop hypothermia.

How and when to clean the ears of our dogs

Cleaning a dog’s ears is something that should be done regularly, be it a puppy or an adult dog. Periodic cleaning of the ears is very important to avoid the appearance of fungi and related diseases.

Here we explain when to wash your dog’s ears, the utensils you need to carry it out and the methods to do it, ensuring that everything goes perfectly.

Cleaning the ears of our dogs

First of all, to know when you should clean the inside of your dog’s ears, it is important to carry out a review at least weekly. Depending on the breed and the shape of your dog’s ears, he probably needs more continuous hygiene. Here are the steps to follow:

1. The first step is to get all the materials that may be necessary to properly clean the dog’s ears:

  • Sterile gauze.
  • Cotton swabs.
  • Saline solution (physiological serum)

Instead of saline solution, you can also opt for specific products that are marketed to clean the ears of pets. It is recommended to sterilize the gauze before application, because the cotton can fray inside the dog’s ear and break down.

Finally, for a much more thorough cleaning, you will need some cotton swabs. Yes, the same ones that are used in babies. They are much safer.

2. It is important to bear in mind that little by little you should get your dog used to this routine, so if you start as a puppy, the better. However, if you have decided to adopt an adult dog, you should still work gradually so that the process does not scare him away.
Always use positive reinforcement when your dog is still and allows you to manipulate him. This is a great way to distract them and reward their good attitude right now.

3. Begin cleaning by brushing aside the hair that is blocking the ear. In principle, if you regularly take care of your dog’s hygiene, it shouldn’t be too dirty.

The second step is to wet the gauze with the chosen product. It is advisable to apply some type of specially designed product, as it will facilitate the cleaning of the ear and will not irritate your pet’s skin. Start by cleaning the outer folds around the ear where dirt tends to collect.

4. Once the outside of the ear is clean, we recommend replacing the gauze and using a new one to clean the inside. Dampen the gauze again and little by little insert your fingers into the dog’s ear, without going too far. If you have a puppy, you should not stick your finger in more than one centimeter.

Slowly massage the inside of the ear with the gauze, taking care that your dog does not move. If you do not know the dog, it is especially important that you do it step by step. Also, doing it slowly will give you a better chance to study the ear.

5. Finally, use a cotton swab for children (which is thicker than normal ones) to finish cleaning the areas where our fingers cannot reach. It is important to do this part of the job carefully, especially if your dog is nervous, because you could cause damage to the ear.

6. Once the process is complete, all you need to do is massage the outside of the dog’s ear to calm him down and give him a reward for enduring the experience.

Remember that if you do not see yourself prepared to do this task, or you have doubts about how to do it correctly, it is better that you go to a trusted veterinarian and ask for help.

A visit to the specialist will also be essential if you notice particularly dark dirt or a bad smell, as it could be a disease.

Remember: caring for a dog in all aspects of daily hygiene is essential to prevent future health problems.

Ectropion in dogs: causes and treatment

Ectropion is a canine disease in which the eyelid moves outward, unlike entropion in dogs, exposing the inside of the eyelid. With the inner eyelid exposed, the dog can be prone to eye problems of various kinds, and even runs the risk of losing sight.

This disease has different possible causes. One of the primary or direct causes is simply improper development of the dog from birth, while secondary or indirect causes may include previous diseases of the animal. In this article we will talk about the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of ectropion in dogs.

Symptoms of ectropion in dogs

The symptoms of ocular ectropion are very obvious and easy to detect. These include:

  • Lower eyelids drooping and eyeball separation, allowing you to see the conjunctiva (transparent mucous membrane that lines the eyeball from the limbus to the conjunctival cul-de-sac) and the third eyelid.
  • Red or swollen conjunctiva.
  • Marks on the face, caused by the flow of tears that do not cross the tear ducts.
  • Inflammation of the eye.
  • Recurrent bacterial eye infections.
  • Recurrent irritation of the eye caused by foreign objects.

Causes and risk factors

Canine ectropion is known as “primary” when it is caused by poor development of the dog, with a well-known genetic predisposition.

On the other hand, it is considered “secondary” when it is the result of other factors. In this case, it is usually due to trauma, inflammation, foreign bodies, infections, corneal ulceration, paralysis of the facial nerves, rapid and noticeable weight loss, and loss of muscle tone around the eyes. Dogs with hypothyroidism can also suffer from ectropion as a result of myxedema and facial paralysis.

Primary ectropion generally occurs in puppies and is more common in larger breeds, or those with very loose skin and folds, such as the Saint Bernard, Great Dane, Bloodhound, Bullmastiff, Newfoundland, Shar-peis, and some Spaniels and Retrievers. Secondary ectropion, on the other hand, is more common in older dogs.

How is ectropion diagnosed?

Canine ectropion can usually be diagnosed simply by observing and examining the pet. The breed and medical history of the dog help to identify the probable causes, which is very important to know in order to request other complementary studies.

Once ectropion has been diagnosed in dogs, the veterinarian will be able to perform a complete eye exam on the animal to identify probable causes and decide what is the best treatment for the condition.

Ectropion treatments

The treatment of this disease is usually very simple when it comes to mild cases. Once diagnosed, a prescription for eye drops or other lubricants is administered to help keep the eyeball moist, which in such cases, it is essential to keep hydrated so that other complications do not appear. Antibiotics are also given for secondary infections.

If the ectropion is caused by another disease, such as hypothyroidism, it should be treated in the same way. Treatment of severe cases of ectropion requires surgery. Whatever the case, the prognosis is positive.

But, in a large percentage of cases, dogs with ectropion will manifest eye problems or a very pronounced eversion. For this reason, it will be more than necessary to do everything possible to try to repair the defect through surgery. The operation, which of course has to be carried out by a veterinary professional, consists of creating a tension in the eyelids.

It is a simple procedure, but it must always be carried out by an ophthalmologist veterinarian or, at least, with ophthalmological experience. This consists of removing a small part of the tissue from the lower eyelid and joining the resulting edges to tighten the area. In this way, the eyelid skin becomes tight again, correcting the defect.

Ectropion vs entropion: what’s the difference?

Due to the similarity of both terms, and since both refer to eye disorders, it is not uncommon for confusion to occur between ectropion and entropion disease. But they are easy conditions to distinguish if you look at the words. Thus, if the ectropion is eversion of the lower eyelid, entropion consists of invagination of the lid margin.

Invaginate refers to the edge of the eyelids turning towards the inside, which can cause damage to the eyeball itself. It can be a very common congenital defect in breeds such as the Chow chow and can even affect both eyelids. It is an ailment that requires surgical intervention.

How to prevent ectropion in dogs

To prevent canine ectropion it is important to maintain a regular hygiene in the dog’s healthy eyes. In this way, you will avoid minor illnesses that can develop into bigger problems. Another recommendation is to avoid breeding with dogs that already have this disease.


What is brucellosis in dogs? Symptoms, treatment and prevention

Brucellosis in dogs is a bacterial disease. This pathology is serious since it is capable of causing other health problems, such as sterility or abortion in our dogs.

In this article we will explain what brucellosis in dogs is, as well as its symptoms and treatment. Finally, we will include how to prevent brucellosis in dogs. Read on to learn more!

What is canine brucellosis?

Canine brucellosis is a disease caused by a bacterium called brucella canis that damages the reproductive system and can cause the animal to suffer a spontaneous abortion, sterility, an infection in its reproductive system, or develop a sexually transmitted disease.

It is also possible that male or female dogs suffer from this disease and remain asymptomatic. In fact, this pathology does not affect females that suffer from it and, unfortunately, it is very contagious among dogs.

Below, we’ll explain the symptoms of brucellosis in dogs so you know when it’s time to call your vet to properly diagnose and treat your dog.

Symptoms of canine brucellosis

One of the most common symptoms of brucellosis in dogs is spontaneous abortion. Pregnant bitches suffer a spontaneous abortion, their unborn puppies are usually aborted about two weeks before the probable date of delivery, although they can also be born dead on the date or be born alive but get sick and die. If this happens to your dog, brucellosis must be one of the conditions that your vet should consider.

If the dog is suffering from an ongoing infection due to brucellosis, it is possible to detect enlarged lymph nodes, which are located in the groin or under the jaw. In males, their testicles can also become inflamed early in the disease, but as the disease progresses, they atrophy due to destruction of sperm, resulting in a reduction in size.

The diagnosis can be determined by a blood test or an abortive tissue removal. This test can also tell us if the dog has been infected at some point in its life. The vet will determine if your dog needs other tests for a more accurate diagnosis.

Treatment of canine brucellosis

Once your dog has been correctly diagnosed by the vet, he will also determine the best treatment for him. This will likely include intramuscular and oral antibiotics for about three weeks. Unfortunately, this will not kill the bacteria in all infected dogs. For this reason, its eradication is considered difficult.

Prevention of canine brucellosis

What can you do to prevent canine brucellosis in your dog or bitch? These are some of the actions you can take to avoid the disease in your pet:

  • The sterilization of the dog (either male or female).
  • Avoid large dog communities, where contagion can be easy.
  • Do not acquire dogs of unknown origin.
  • Keep your pet up to date with veterinary checkups and vaccinations.
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