Category: Health

Differences between neutering or spaying your pet

Spaying or neutering is one of the most responsible ways that dog and cat owners can care for their pet, avoiding unwanted litters. The first time you are likely to come up with many questions about spay and neuter procedures, from the risks involved to how much they will cost. Here are some answers to the most common questions pet owners have about spaying and neutering.

What is the difference between spaying and neutering?

In castration, the sex glands are removed by surgical techniques. That is, the testicles in the case of males and the ovaries in females. In this way, two things are achieved: sterility and the absence of sexual activity. But practicing only the sterilization avoids the fertility of the dog, but maintains a normalized sexual behavior.

The castration technique is more drastic and invasive than in the case of spaying, but it also has its advantages: it controls the character in cases where there are specific problems related to coexistence (such as aggressiveness, escapes, etc.), and all the advantages related to sterilization: it prevents diseases related to the uterus or the breasts, in the case of females, and it prevents prostate diseases in the case of males. It is important to consider spaying and castration as options to avoid procreation, provided that new litters are not desired.

Why spay or neuter?

Animal shelters across the country are full of unwanted puppies. The organization “Protective Associations and Animal Defense” (FAPAM) estimates that the number of dropouts per year is over 300,000. This alarming figure means an average of three animals abandoned every five minutes in Spain.

Spaying and neutering reduce the number of unwanted litters, which in turn helps reduce the number of unwanted pets or stray animals that enter shelters or kennels. These procedures also have specific health benefits that can help a dog or cat live a healthier and longer life, and can also minimize behavior problems coupled with heat. Spaying your pet helps prevent serious health problems, such as breast cancer and pyometra, a life-threatening uterine infection.

Spaying male dogs helps prevent them from developing testicular cancer. Neutered male dogs are also generally less aggressive and less likely to stray from home.

On the other hand, some diseases, such as prostate cancer and certain orthopedic conditions, are slightly more common in dogs and cats that have been spayed or neutered.

For most pet owners, the benefits of spaying or neutering their animals outweigh the disadvantages.

When should you sterilize or neute your pet?

The age to spay or neuter a pet can vary depending on the size of the pet, but in general terms, the procedure can be practiced from 4 months. Each owner should discuss their specific circumstances with their personal veterinarians, as there are several factors that can influence the timing of spaying and neutering.

For example, a dog’s breed can make a difference. Larger dog breeds tend to mature a little later than their smaller counterparts. So intervening too early could harm or interrupt their maturation, keeping them more childish.

The situation in the home of an animal should also be considered, for example, if two cubs from the same litter live in the same home, they should be sterilized before the female goes into heat.

If you only have one pet at home, the urge to castrate or spay will be much less, but you should pay attention to your animal when it is in heat and circulates freely.

Before your pet is going to be spayed or neutered, it is very important that your regular vet does a complete checkup to make sure it is free from health problems. The complete medical history of the pet should be provided as the underlying conditions or prescription medications may be relevant.

Recovery from spay and neuter surgery

You can help your pet have a safe and comfortable recovery after being spayed or neutered by following some precautions:

  • Keep your pet indoors and away from other animals during the recovery period.
  • Do not allow your pet to run and jump from side to side for at least 2 weeks after surgery, or whenever the vet recommends it.
  • Make sure your pet cannot lick the incision area by using a cone, or other methods, such as putting an old shirt on and tying it on its body.
  • Check the incision daily to make sure it’s healing properly. If there is redness, swelling, discharge, or unpleasant odor, contact your vet immediately.
  • Do not bathe your pet for at least 10 days after the intervention.
  • Call your vet if you notice your pet uncomfortable, is lethargic, eats less, vomits, or has diarrhea.

For medications that help manage pain, see your vet.

Is spay and neuter surgery dangerous?

Spaying and neutering are common procedures, but it is important to know that there is always a certain degree of risk for animals undergoing surgery and with general anesthesia, so it is important to know the animal’s health status as well as its clinical history.

Dogs and cats should undergo a complete physical examination to ensure their general good health before performing the surgery. A blood test is recommended to ensure that the animal does not have underlying health problems. In case of liver and kidney problems, or heart murmurs may require further investigation.

Myths about spaying and neutering pets

Several misconceptions persist about spaying and neutering pets. One of the most popular beliefs is that both sterile cats and dogs get fat. This is not true as long as dog owners provide the right amount of exercise and food.

For dogs, they tend to need fewer calories (about 20%) after being spayed or neutered, but changing their diet properly and keeping them active will prevent weight gain.

Another misconception is that spaying or neutering your pet always changes their personality. That is not true either. Your behavior should not change. In any case, it can help stop unwanted behaviors related to heat, such as marking at home, or aggressiveness towards other animals.

How much does it cost to spay or neuter your dog?

The cost of spaying or neutering a pet varies widely depending on geographic area, animal type, and size. For example, the price of castrating a dog or dog will depend on several factors: weight, sex, physiological state, type of surgical technique, etc. You should know that the bigger the pet, the more expensive the operation will be. And in addition, it will always be more expensive to operate on a female than on a male, since the intervention is greater and more complex. Neutering your pet in Spain can be between € 100 and € 400.

Canine filariasis: symptoms, prognosis and prevention

Filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by heartworm immitis, also known as “heartworm”. This disease is transmitted through a parasite that is transmitted through hosts, in this case, mosquitoes. Canine filariosis can become highly dangerous, since the adult form of this parasite settles on the right side of the heart, causing considerable damage to a dog’s body. Therefore, if after reading this article you think that your dog could be suffering from filariosis, it will be very important to go to the vet as soon as possible.

Filariasis or heartworm in dogs

Canine filariasis, as mentioned above, is transmitted by a mosquito bite. These worms lodge in a dog’s heart and lungs, with the ability to cause heart failure or even death. The heartworm in dogs is a parasite that exists worldwide, however, its level of infection differs from country to country. Dogs that live outside the home are more likely to get this disease.

When a mosquito with the filariasis parasite bites a dog, the larvae become lodged in the dog’s skin. From there, they undergo several modifications before reaching maturity. Depending on how advanced the dog is in this filarial phase, the disease can be treated by a veterinarian.

In the next stage, the immature worms reach the bloodstream and travel until they are in a heart chamber, such as the right ventricle and pulmonary arteries. Here, they continue their maturation process. When the capacity of the worms is very high, they can travel to the right atrium, including the vena cava and / or the hepatic veins. This infection in the pulmonary arteries can affect the dog’s circulation, obstruct blood flow and form clots.

Blocking or forming blood clots in the heart can cause “pulmonary thromboembolism” and lead to heart failure. Also, if the heartworms are close to the heart valves, they can interfere with the heart’s function. This interference can cause valve disease. The presence of worms in the vena cava or hepatic veins can cause the presence of vena cava syndrome. This syndrome causes liver failure that can occur hand in hand with: jaundice, ascites, or anemia.

Symptoms of filariasis in dogs

The clinical manifestations of filariasis in dogs depend on the size of the dog and the number of worms that are present in this infection. A high number of heartworms are needed for symptoms to be visible. If a dog suffers from a low infection count, heartworm symptoms may not appear.

Canine filariasis symptoms include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Lack of predisposition when it comes to physical activity.
  • Weight loss.
  • Cough.
  • Accelerated breathing.
  • Fainting, especially before exercise.
  • Filariasis in dogs: prognosis

If a dog has any of these symptoms and currently lives in an area where the heartworm is common, this may be a more than possible prognosis. If this is your case, we recommend that you go to the vet as soon as possible for a safe diagnosis.

Also, a vet, in addition to the blood test, is likely to perform an x-ray test. This test will show the possible damage that the parasites have caused to the dog’s heart and lungs. This will allow the vet to understand the severity of the condition.

Heartworm in dogs: treatment

The treatment of filariasis in dogs will depend on the state of the animal and the degree of infection. Once the vet has performed the appropriate tests, they will be able to confirm whether the disease is high or low risk:

  • Low risk: it would correspond to dogs with low presence of parasites and without additional injuries. Normally, this stage has no symptoms and no other diseases. An x-ray will be normal and filariae may not be seen on exams.
  • High risk: they are dogs that have symptoms and there are alterations in their radiographic examination. Parasites are observed and there are concomitant diseases.

In both cases, the treatment must be administered under strict veterinary control. The life cycle time of the filaria must be taken into account. In this treatment, the veterinarian will aim to eliminate the presence of adult filariosis quickly to avoid the risk of thromboembolism. For the same reason, physical activity during this time may be restricted.

There is also a possibility that the worms can be removed by surgery. Months after treatment, a dog should always be retested to ensure that the disease has been completely eliminated.

Can you prevent filariasis or heartworm in dogs?

As we have explained to you, filariasis in dogs can cause serious and fatal consequences and diseases. For these reasons, knowing how to prevent the heartworm in dogs is key. There are several products on the market that can be used to prevent the appearance of worms. These products help prevent larval development. It is very important that you follow your dog’s deworming schedule strictly since he is a puppy.

In addition, it will also be important to consult a veterinarian before choosing an appropriate deworming time for your animal. Ideal prevention would also include mosquito control in your home, as they are hosts to the parasite.

You can also follow other preventive measures, such as: avoiding night walks (especially in summer), since this is when mosquitoes are most frequent. If your dog lives outside, we recommend keeping it indoors during the months of high mosquito presence. Do not forget to deworm your dogs both externally and internally and, if you consider it convenient.

Is filariasis in dogs contagious?

Is heartworm in dogs contagious to other dogs? No: filariasis in dogs needs the intervention of a mosquito to develop. This means that a dog cannot, on its own, infect another animal. The heartworm can only be transmitted by mosquito, from animal to animal, and never from a dog to a human.

What is otodectes cynotis in cats?

There is a type of mite that affects the ears of mammalian animals such as dogs, rabbits, and ferrets, but especially the cat. It is the Otodectes cynotis, barely perceptible to the naked eye but harmful to the health of our pets. Read on to know everything about its effects.

What is the otodectes cynotis?

The famous ear mite called Otodectes cynotis is a surface mite capable of living in cats, dogs, rabbits, and ferrets. It is usually found in the ear canal, but can also live on the surface of the skin. These mites are highly contagious, and animals become infected by direct contact with another animal that suffers from it. The mite is barely visible to the naked eye and can be seen as a white speck moving over the animal’s skin.
About the mite otodectes cynotis
It takes about 3 weeks for a mite to develop from egg to adult, going through a total of 5 stages. Adult otodectes cynotis mites live for approximately 2 months, during which time they reproduce continuously. The full life cycle of ear mites takes place in the host animal, although mites can also survive for a limited time in the environment.

What are the clinical signs of cat ear mites?

Ear mites or otodectes cynotis are a common cause of ear disease and infection in cats, although it is true that other conditions, also in the ear, can cause similar clinical signs. They are the second most common ectoparasite (external parasite) found in pets, as the first has always been the flea.

Infections are a very common problem in puppies and kittens, although pets of any age can be affected. The clinical signs of infection vary in severity from one pet to another and include combinations of:

1. Irritation of the ears causing scratching of the ears or shaking of the head.
2. A dark, waxy, or crusty discharge from the ear.
3. Areas of hair loss as a result of self-trauma caused by excessive scratching.
4. A crusted rash around or inside the ear.
5. An auditory hematoma. It is a large blister of blood in the ear, caused by the breakage of small blood vessels between the skin and the cartilage, as a result of scratching the ears.

Skin lesions most often affect the ear and surrounding skin, but occasionally other areas of the body may also be affected.

How are mite infections diagnosed?

Typical clinical signs with a history of contact with other cats or dogs would suggest the appearance of otodectes cynotis. Although these mites cause ear disease, other causes can give rise to very similar clinical signs and should be ruled out before starting treatment.

The exact diagnosis is made by looking at the mite. This is usually straightforward and can be done by examining the pet’s ears with an otoscope or through a microscopic examination of ear discharge. If the ears are very sore, the pet may need to be sedated to allow the ears to be properly examined and treated.

What is the treatment of otodectes cynotis in cats?

Your cat’s vet will advise you on which insecticide products are best suited. No medicine can penetrate the eggs, so the chosen one will target to kill only the adult mite forms.

The veterinarian will always be the one to decide what may be the most appropriate treatment according to the client’s situation and preferences. If you think that your cat may be suffering from this ear infection due to otodectes cynotis, do not hesitate to make an appointment and bring it to our clinic so that our professionals can examine it and provide the best solution.

Heat stroke in pets: what to do and how to help prevent it

It’s almost summer now! And as temperatures soar, a common problem that all pet owners should be aware of is heat stroke (also known as heat stress). With the heat of the summer months, the number of cats and dogs that visit the vet increases due to this problem. Unfortunately, many pet owners don’t even realize that their cats and dogs can have problems if they are exposed to high temperatures too long. Do you want to know what the symptoms are and how to help with heat stroke? Continue reading.

What is heat stroke?

Heat stroke is a state of hyperthermia (core body temperature raised above the normal range) that causes heat injury to the tissues. Heat stroke occurs due to an increase in body temperature above 40.5 degrees Celsius.

What are the main factors that cause heat stroke?

Heat stroke can endanger your pet’s life, causing damage to internal organs, or even being fatal. Here is a list of factors that favor the appearance of heat stroke:

  • A warm or humid environment and with inadequate ventilation (for example, leaving your pet in the car in the middle of summer is very dangerous, since it can reach high temperatures inside).
  • Being in a place without shade for a long time.
  • Lack of hydration.
  • Excessive exercise

What are the symptoms of heat stroke in animals?

These are the main symptoms that your pet can show in case of heat stroke. They include:

  • Panting that increases as the heat stroke progresses.
  • Begins to drool or salivate more than normal.
  • Agitation, restlessness.
  • Very red or pale gums.
  • Bright red tongue.
  • Incrise of cardiac frecuency.
  • Breathing difficulty.
  • Diarrhea with vomiting (possibly with blood).
  • Signs of mental confusion, delirium.
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy, weakness.
  • Muscle tremors.
  • Seizures
  • Little or no urine output.
  • Fainting or coma.

How to prevent heat stroke in your pet?

  • You can help prevent heat stroke by making sure your pets are kept in proper environmental conditions and by knowing the symptoms so that action can be taken quickly. For this, we give you some tips that can help you avoid this unpleasant situation:
  • You should try to have a fresh and well ventilated space for your pet at home. Good ventilation is critical because many animals lose heat when panting (evaporative cooling) that depends on good air flow. Outdoor pets should also always have access to shade.
  • All pets should have access to plenty of clean, fresh water at all times.
    Never leave your pet in a car as temperatures rise extremely fast, even on moderate days, and can kill pets quickly.
  • Avoid exercising animals in the warmer hours.
  • Avoid hot asphalt or any other area where heat is reflected and there is no access to shade.

What to do if your pet shows symptoms of heat stroke?

We recommend that you have a minimum of first aid knowledge of your pet in an emergency. If you think you are suffering from heat stroke, the main objective will be to try to normalize your body temperature:

  • Remove your pet from the hot environment immediately.
  • Apply or spray warm or somewhat cold water on the fur and skin of the animal. Then apply a fan or fan to maximize heat loss.
  • Wetting the area around your pet can also help.
  • Do not use ice water or ice, as this can make the problem worse.
    Then, take your pet to the nearest vet right away.
  • Heat stroke is an emergency: always consult a vet. Even if your pet seems to be recovering or if you suspect it might have heat stroke, it should always be checked by a vet.

Treatment for heat stroke in pets

Veterinarians are prepared to assess the severity of heat stroke and then provide emergency medical treatment as necessary. They will usually check your pet’s body temperature and vital signs, and then instigate an emergency treatment that may include:

  • Put your pet on a drip (intravenous fluids).
  • Cooling treatments, for example, cooling enemas.
  • Supplemental oxygen.
  • Medication as needed.
  • Blood tests to check the function of the organs.
  • Continuous monitoring and treatment as necessary.

Other factors that can favor heat stroke in animals

All animals are susceptible to heat stroke, so owners should be sure to take active measures to prevent it. However, there are factors in them that can make them more predisposed to suffer from them:

  • Obesity.
  • Brachiocephalic anatomy (flat-faced dog breeds) such as Pugs, English bulldogs, French bulldogs,
  • Persian and Himalayan cats, among others.
  • Respiratory difficulties or respiratory diseases, such as laryngeal paralysis or collapse of the trachea.
  • Heart problems or cardiovascular disease.
  • Neurological disease.
  • Age extremes (being too young or too old)
  • Coat of thick or long hair.
  • Excessive exercise
  • Dehydration

Have you ever seen your dog or cat with any of the symptoms described in this article? Is your home prepared so that your pet can withstand the arrival of heat? We hope you have taken note of this article and pay attention to the conditions of your dog or cat at home this summer. By offering enough water and shade, and avoiding the hottest hours for walks or exercise, everyone will enjoy vacations and good weather much more.

Fear of firecrackers and fireworks: how to help your dog?

Whether it is the night of San Juan, New Year’s Eve, or the local festival of the town, they are occasions in which firecrackers and fireworks are used to liven up the festivities. Unfortunately, not all living things enjoy this show of lights, sounds and colors. Many dogs tremble, moan, hide, and walk fearfully around the home when they hear its sound. The uncertainty of its origin, added to a fearful character or a traumatic event related to sound, can bring about these behaviors. What can you do to help them? In this article we give you some tips to help your dog feel better.

Tips to help your dog afraid of fireworks and firecrackers

How do we help our dog calm down and not be so scared during the fireworks explosion? These are our tips:

  • Better if they stay inside the house, away from the noise
    Keeping your dog indoors and away from noise can help them, since they will be less exposed to sound, and also, you will avoid possible escapes due to fear. Playing music or television will help to generate white noise and distract you.

 

  • Talk to your vet for possible medications
    It is not uncommon in the face of despair and to try a thousand ways to improve the situation before, many dog ​​owners opt for medication so that they can relax. Make an appointment with your vet and discuss the situation as there are several options that can help treat fireworks phobias in dogs:

    • Pheromones: There are pheromone-based solutions that help reduce anxiety in dogs in situations such as storms, travel, separation or fireworks. You can find them in the form of a diffuser, sprays or a necklace.
    • Melatonin: This supplement can be found easily, usually in pill form, also used to relax dogs.
    • Prescription medication: In very severe cases, veterinarians may prescribe stronger medication to relax or sleep the dog. This option and its administration must always be guided by the vet.

 

  • Pressure vests for dogs afraid of fireworks
    There is a type of vest for dogs that ensures that, through sustained pressure and the comforting posture of the torso, it manages to calm dogs. Temple Grandin, a zoologist, ethologist and expert in livestock behavior, was the first to relate that certain types of touching or pressure on the body could have calming effects. They say that it is as if they continually have their master’s hand caressing them and saying, “Easy, everything is fine.”

 

  • Avoid leaks
    There is a great tendency for dogs to run away from home during the designated dates when there are parties and fireworks nearby, than at any other time of the year. How to prevent them from escaping? First of all, make sure your dog is wearing a chip ID. Second, don’t leave your dog unattended at home when there are fireworks outside. If you are going out, find someone who can take care of him at that time.

 

  • Take the opportunity to distract him and try to play with him
    Before medicating your dog, it will always be advisable to correct the situation with other methods. Act normally when you hear firecracker and fireworks noises, talk to him, give him orders to sit or lie down, and reward him. Engaging him in other enjoyable activities, such as play, will make him not relate the situation to something negative, rather the opposite.

The importance of cutting your dog’s nails

Although many people do not do it and are not aware of it, cutting the nails of the dogs is something important, since it brings greater comfort to the animal to carry out its daily activities. If you still do not know the importance of this hygiene habit, we invite you to continue reading this article, where we give you the most important reasons why you should do it.

Why do dogs need to have their nails trimmed?

When dogs spend a lot of time outdoors, running on different hard surfaces, such as asphalt, their nails wear out gradually and there is less need to trim them. But, nowadays, and more in the times of confinement that we are living, dogs move on softer surfaces such as the lawn of the garden, the interior of the home, or in case of living in the field, the earth.

Long, sloppy nails on dogs not only look unhygienic, but over time can bring health problems to the dog. When the nails are so long that they constantly touch the ground, they exert a force against the base of the nail creating pain. Imagine wearing a tight shoe and having to walk with them all day … wouldn’t it end up hurting you? The same happens with them, in addition, producing a constant pressure on the joint of the fingers. Over time, this can change the alignment of the front leg joints and make the foot look flatter and more extended.

As you can see, it is not only an aesthetic problem, but also a functional one: poor weight distribution can be a problem and the unnatural alignment of its joints can make your dog more susceptible to injury, or make running and walking more difficult painful for him. Therefore, nail hygiene is very important in dogs of all ages (taking special care with those of advanced age), since that simple gesture can help them dramatically improve their posture.

In more extreme cases, overly long nails can curl and grow toward the paw pad. Also, they can break or split, which is very painful, and depending on the severity, will need to be treated by a veterinarian.

Basics of your dog’s nails

We know what you have started thinking since you started reading this article: what is the correct measurement of a dog’s nail? Although it is true that in some breeds (such as the Doberman Pinscher) the nails are so short that they can hardly be seen, as a general rule you should bear in mind that when a dog is standing, its nails should not have contact with the ground. That is, they should not be standing on them. If you can hear your dog coming, his nails are too long. Therefore, it will be sufficient for them to remain above the ground. Cutting them too much can also hurt your dog, so be very careful.

Mammalian nails are made of a very resistant protein called keratin. And in fact, technically, we should be talking about “claws”, and not nails, even if we use the last term colloquially.

Their nails differ from ours in that theirs are made of two layers. The first (unguis) is a hard outer covering where the keratin fibers run perpendicular in the direction the nail grows. The second (subungi), softer and more flaky, whose grain is parallel to the direction of growth. Exaggerated growth of the first coat is what gives the curl look to the dog’s claw when not trimmed.

In addition to the four nails on each of the dogs’ fingers, we find a fifth: the famous spur. It is located inside the leg, and for many it is a matter of debate about whether or not it should be removed surgically, since some consider that the spurs are vestigial, that is, that they have no function, and that they may tear or break if they are not removed. On the other hand, the defenders of the spurs argue that they do have a function, since it helps them to better grip objects, such as bones or food, and to provide important traction when the dog runs and needs to change its direction of blow.

Regardless of the debate that arises in many places because of the spurs, there is something that must be clear: that nail must also be taken care of and trimmed like the others, maybe even more. The spurs do not usually touch the ground, so they do not wear out and tend to be sharper than other nails. Trim the tip so that it is flat and cannot cause any damage.

Useful tools for cutting dog nails

Nail clippers use blades to remove the tip of the nail. There are a couple of different models to choose from, but no matter what type is used, their effectiveness depends on the blades being sharp and clean.

Guillotine trimmers have a hole in the end, through which the dog’s claw is inserted, then, as you squeeze the tool, an internal blade trims the end of the claw. Many people find it easier to cut thick nails with this type of utensil, but others find it difficult to pass each nail through a hole at exactly the correct distance from the end of the nail so as not to harm the animal, especially if the Dog moves too much, still it’s one of the fastest ways out there.

Scissors or pliers type dog nail cutting tools are probably the easiest to use, but likewise, your blade should sharpen from time to time.

Finally, polishers are relatively new to canine manicures. It is a tool that, with a round piece capable of sanding surfaces with friction, turns like a grinder and gently trims the end of the dog’s nail. It is another of the easiest ways to trim your furry’s nails

Nail maintenance routine is crucial

Do you care about your dog’s good health? Then stop making excuses. It is possible that the moment of cutting your dog’s nails is very heavy, and you are avoiding it at all costs: your dog does not enjoy it, neither do you and it becomes hard for both of you, but if you make nail maintenance a habit, and you use rewards for your dog every time you get to do the sanitation, it is very possible that he will end up getting used to it and it will become easier and easier.

If you still have problems cutting your dog’s nails, and you think that it is impossible to do it by yourself, do not hesitate to go to the vet to have him do it or teach you the best way to do it.

Keeping your dog’s nails short is a matter of health and comfort, and it is your responsibility to commit to it.

What are the mandatory vaccinations for dogs in Spain?

If you are going to live with a dog soon, you should know that vaccines are one of the veterinary actions that you should implement as a routine in the life of your pet. It does not matter if it is a puppy or an adult, or if it coexists with you at home or abroad; vaccines will help you not get many diseases.

Although we are all quite used to taking our animals to the vet, there is a lot of ignorance with vaccinating dogs. For this reason, in this article we will help you differentiate between those recommended vaccinations and those that are mandatory for your furry companion.

Why should we vaccinate dogs?

Our dogs are always exposed to diseases in their day to day. In most cases, these diseases can be treated and curable with minimal veterinary intervention. But there are pathologies that can be fatal and there is no medicine to eliminate them, only supportive treatment. For this reason, veterinary medicine has directed its efforts towards prevention: hence the importance of the obligation and recommendation of vaccines.

The administration of vaccines for dogs in Spain not only serves to prevent, but also eradicates infectious diseases (as has been the case of rabies for years), helps to maintain public health (since many of these diseases can be zoonoses, that is, they can be transferred to humans), and favors the decrease in the overuse of antibiotics.

What vaccines for dogs are mandatory in Spain?

The vaccines called compulsory, are those that are considered vital in the life of a dog, although they may vary according to the country, or even according to the Autonomous Community within Spain. These are usually applied when the dog is still a puppy, usually after the sixth week.

The mandatory vaccines for dogs in Spain are:

  • Parvovirus: This is a vaccine that helps prevent Canine Parvovirosis, a disease that damages the intestines, causing bloody diarrhea. This is usually one of the first vaccines to be injected, as puppies are prone to contracting this virus if it is not prevented.
  • Distemper: Distemper is a disease that can also affect cats. It is a highly harmful condition since it affects the puppy’s digestive, respiratory and nervous systems, which can lead to death. It is a very contagious disease, but luckily, it can be avoided by administering their respective vaccines. As with Parvovirus, the puppy is also usually injected during its first weeks of life.
  • Rabies: many years ago, the rabies virus was highly established throughout the world, and although it is considered fulminated in Spain, it is important to prevent it, since it can also be passed on to humans. The rabies virus is transmitted through saliva, in the case of dogs the most common is that it enters the dog’s blood system through a bite. Today it is a vaccine that can also be administered while the dog is a puppy, although it is warned that its effectiveness begins after a couple of weeks, so caution is necessary.

Other vaccines for dogs

There are other optional vaccines that you may be interested in learning about. In this case, it would be interesting for your dog’s veterinarian to advise you according to the environment in which the dog lives or its breed, therefore, we recommend that you request an appointment to determine what other vaccines might be recommended in the case of your pet.

Vaccines of an optional nature in Spain, are normally supplied on an annual basis, and there is the option of creating “multipurpose”, where various vaccines for dogs are mixed in one, and thus, prevent different diseases, such as: hepatitis canine, leishmania, leptospirosis, lyme, kennel cough or coronavirus, among others.

Gastritis in dogs: how to detect and treat it

It is not pleasant to see our pets fight health problems. In addition, the way to cope with diseases, in many occasions, is much more complicated than with people, since they cannot always express what hurts them. Knowing what is happening to them and how to fix it requires additional effort.

If you are noticing that your dog is not working as well as it normally does, particularly with issues related to digestion, you may be suffering from gastritis. It is a fairly common ailment, especially when these are young, since they tend to eat more things without any control.

Do you want to know what exactly canine gastritis is, what are its symptoms and how to treat it? So keep reading to find out everything.

What is gastritis?

Gastritis is an infection, in this case in dogs, the result of inflammation of the gastrointestinal lining in the stomach. This inflammation causes a variety of very annoying symptoms to the animal.

The lining of a dog’s stomach can be irritated by various substances or foreign bodies, which is very common in younger dogs, as they tend to eat things they shouldn’t.

Gastritis can be acute, where symptoms appear suddenly and severely, or chronic, where they appear constantly and may even worsen over time. If you have the feeling that your dog may be suffering from some kind of gastritis, do not hesitate to consult your vet.

Next, we will tell you more about the possible symptoms, the causes of gastritis and the possible treatments.

Common symptoms of gastritis in dogs

As we have previously said, the symptoms of gastritis in dogs are the result of inflammation in the gastrointestinal lining. When this, called gastric mucosa, becomes inflamed and the condition continues over time, it can cause other conditions such as ulcers, gastrointestinal blockage, or infection.

Next, we detail some symptoms that your dog may suffer in case of having gastritis. If you notice any of it, you should go to the vet to be examined and receive treatment:

  • Excessive vomiting, which may include frothy, yellow bile.
  • Decreased appetite or anorexia.
  • Dehydration or increased thirst.
  • Lethargy.
  • Depression, sadness.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Blood in the stool or vomit.
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Abdominal discomfort or pain, which can cause a curved back.

In the case of acute gastritis, these symptoms can be severe, although they can also disappear within 24 hours. Gastritis can be chronic when it lasts more than two weeks, it even lasts over time and can have more serious consequences. In any case, we insist: it must be reviewed by a veterinarian.

Possible causes of gastritis in dogs

Acute cases of canine gastritis are generally caused by inflammation of the stomach due to the intake of contaminated substances or substances not prepared to be digested. One of these cases could result:

  • Raw or spoiled, rotten or contaminated food.
  • Trash.
  • Sand for cats.
  • Certain plants.
  • Mold or fungus in the food eaten.
  • Foreign objects or non-food items.
  • Toxins or poisons, including chemicals and cleaning products.
  • Medicines.

On the other hand, it could be that the cause was not related to something ingested by the dog. These causes could be:

  • Infection with bacteria, viruses or parasites.
  • Long-term exposure to allergens.
  • Immune disease.
  • Stomach cancer.
  • Renal insufficiency.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Ulcers.
  • Neurological disease.

Treatments for canine gastritis

The usual treatment for symptoms caused by gastritis in dogs goes through, first of all, the rehydration and restoration of electrolytes, in the most severe cases, by intravenous fluid. In addition, your vet may prescribe antibiotics to treat the bacteria and antiemetics to help control possible vomiting.

Whether severe or not, it will generally be good to stop the animal from eating food, and provide only water for 24 to 48 hours. Afterwards, it is advisable to gradually reintroduce food in small amounts.

In the event that the dog suffers from recurrent gastritis, the vet may well prescribe a low-fat diet; He will be the one to advise you on what is best and safest for your dog’s recovery.

In anything, it will always be important to treat the underlying causes of gastritis. If the reason is that your dog ingested something unusual, you should take steps to prevent it from having access to that substance. You should be aware that if your dog tends to ingest objects, you may have to have surgery to remove it.

If the cause of gastritis is exposure to allergens or toxic products, the responsible substances should be removed from the dog’s environment, and if the veterinarian sees it necessary, prescribe antihistamine treatment.

When it comes to other conditions whose symptoms are, among others, gastritis, such as kidney disease or stomach cancer, they should be treated independently.

If you think that your dog suffers from gastritis frequently, it is important that you take action on the matter: watch what he eats, what substances he may have been exposed to, his behavior and other symptoms that may appear, and analyze it together with your vet.

Is it possible to prevent gastritis?

Depending on what is causing your dog’s gastritis, it will be possible to prevent it. Although, most of the time, it is inevitable. Especially if it is the result of a change in diet, food allergy or medications. If your dog continues to suffer from recurrent gastritis, and any other disease or cause has been ruled out, try to change elements of its routine until you notice that it improves. This will help you identify the problem.

If your dog develops gastritis as a result of getting into places they shouldn’t, the problem may be a little more difficult to solve. Dogs love to get into things like trash, plants, and rummaging through food that is not theirs, making it a difficult behavior to mitigate. However, you can take steps to lessen the problem. For example, if your dog has a habit of picking up food that is not his, always try to place it in places where it can not access it.

It is important to note that these behaviors in your dog may also be the result of anxiety, stress, or lack of exercise. So you need to make sure that you give your pet the exercise it needs and spend an adequate amount of time with it.

What is the prognosis of bone cancer in dogs?

Dog bone cancer, or canine osteosarcoma, is unfortunately an aggressive and rapidly spreading disease to other parts of the body. It is one of the most common bone tumors in the canine world. If you want to know more about the disease, its causes, treatments, as well as some data for its early detection, do not hesitate to continue reading this article.

What exactly is bone cancer in dogs?

Bone cancer, or osteosarcoma, is a malignant tumor that originates in the bones. This cancer arises from the abnormal production of cells that create and break down bones (called osteoblasts and osteoclasts, respectively). Long bones (such as those in the legs) are the most commonly affected, although bones such as the dog’s jaw, hips or pelvis can also be affected. Bone cancer in dogs can also affect non-bone tissues, including the mammary glands, liver and kidneys.

Causes of bone cancer in dogs

The causes of bone cancer in dogs are not well understood. But it is known that there are certain breeds of dogs more prone to developing it. For example, the Scottish Greyhound is known to be genetically predisposed to osteosarcoma, and it also occurs frequently in other large breed dogs, especially Rottweilers. Large or giant dogs are also at higher risk, as are middle-aged or older dogs.

Is it possible that my dog ​​has bone cancer? Signs and symptoms

Osteosarcoma can occur in any bone in a pet’s body, but in dogs, most tumors of this type appear on the front limbs, near the shoulder, wrist, and knee. Osteosarcoma is extremely aggressive and spreads rapidly to other parts of the body, making early detection and treatment vital.

The symptoms of bone cancer in dogs can be subtle, and may include:

  • Lameness that does not go away and swelling of the affected bone: one of the most common symptoms when a tumor affects a limb.
  • Swelling or lump appearance: This is usually the first sign of a tumor in the skull, jaw, or ribs.
  • Difficulty eating, in the case of tumors that affect the jaw.
  • Neurological signs, such as seizures or wobbly walking – these symptoms are related to skull or vertebral / vertebral tumors
  • Breathing difficulties, related to rib tumors
  • Loss of appetite and lethargy.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your veterinary specialist in animal oncology, so that he can carry out an evaluation.

Diagnosis and action against bone cancer in dogs

To diagnose this type of cancer in dogs, veterinarians generally follow these steps:

  1. First, the vet will perform an x-ray and perform a physical and orthopedic examination to rule out other possible causes of the limp.
  2. To obtain a definitive diagnosis and determine the best type of treatment for your dog, biopsies will be made of any problem area identified on the x-ray performed.
  3. Chest x-rays or computed tomography (CT), blood tests, and a urinalysis will be done to assess the animal’s general health and determine whether or not the cancer has spread.

Advanced computed tomography, or X-ray, is highly recommended for limb bone tumors because it provides better information so that veterinarians can determine if surgery is possible in each case and how surgery should be performed to achieve favorable results.

Treatments for canine osteosarcoma

Because osteosarcoma tumors are quite aggressive, amputation of the affected limb, followed by chemotherapy to treat metastasis, is possibly one of the most common treatments. Although amputation is not the best option for all pets, it can be a good alternative for dogs: healthy dogs can work quite well with just three legs.

Limb-sparing surgery, in which the tumor is removed and the affected bone replaced with another, may be another good option depending on the location of the tumor and whether it is relatively small at the time of diagnosis. However, the complication rate for this type of surgery, specifically infection, is especially high.

In cases where surgery is not an option, due to the location of the tumor, stereotactic radiation (SRS / SRT) can be a beneficial treatment. It can also be an alternative to amputation for dogs in which the cancer has not destroyed a large amount of bone. This type of advanced and highly accurate radiation therapy uses high doses of radiation to damage and kill cancer cells. Still, follow-up chemotherapy is still recommended and necessary in many cases.

The main advantage of SRS / SRT stereotactic radiation is that it provides a high radiation dose with sub-millimeter precision. Which means:

  • Maximum damage to the tumor and minimal damage to nearby healthy tissues
  • Fewer treatment sessions compared to conventional fractionated radiation therapy (CFRT): in this case, patients require only 1-3 sessions, which means less anesthesia for your pet and less risk.
  • Great chances of a faster recovery with fewer side effects.
  • Options to treat tumors previously considered intractable with radiation.

Bone cancer in dogs: life expectancy, survival and prognosis

The prognosis for pets with bone cancer depends on the severity and progression of the disease, as well as the treatment chosen.

Dogs with limb bone cancer receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatment are known to have a median survival of about one year, similar to the survival time for dogs treated with amputation and chemotherapy if it has not yielded the expected results. .

If your dog suffers from this or another type of cancer, it will also be important to discuss with your veterinarian the way in which you will address pain: you will have to agree with him on how you are going to handle the pain of the animal in the pre and postoperative period, as well as everything what you can do to improve your situation.

How is the sexual cycle of a female dog

Do you have a female puppy at home and you still haven’t decided on its castration? In that case, and if you have not yet gone through your first sexual cycle, you are interested in knowing what that cycle will be like and what it will consist of. If you have the necessary information at home before the heat happens, it will be easier for everyone to help the dog to handle this situation as well as possible.

How long does a female dog’s zeal last?

Although there are some particular aspects to each breed and size, dogs generally begin puberty from six months to two years (approximately). If you want your dog to reproduce, the ideal is to do it between the ages of two and six, it is recommended that they not stop for the first time after the age of six and that it be the last time after the age of nine.

The heat of a female dog lasts around fifteen and eighteen days, and normally occurs every six or seven months, although there are dog breeds, such as the German Shepherd, that suffer it for shorter intervals.

Dogs are monoestric, which means that they only have one sexual cycle for each heat season, where a single ovulation of the ovaries occurs. Ovulation happens whether the dog is mounted or not, unlike cats, which will only do so if it has been mounted.

Stages of a female dog sexual cycle

A dog’s sexual cycle is made up of four stages: proestrus, estrus, right-handed, and anestrus. The entire stage lasts between 140 and 300 days approximately, and although a bitch is usually in heat twice a year, sometimes it may happen only once, since the heat can occur a few months after the expected.

Now, we tell you what each of the stages of a bitch’s sexual cycle are like:

  • Proestro

This phase begins the moment the dog begins bleeding. Her body begins to prepare for a possible pregnancy, the first physical changes appear: the vulva will become visibly more swollen, and will begin to urinate more frequently and radiate pheromones that will attract nearby males. This stage can last from nine to thirteen days.

  • Oestrus

This will be the stage in which the female will search for a male to mate with him. On a physical level, you will still suffer blood loss, but in less quantity. At this time ovulation occurs and the uterus prepares for possible pregnancy. When she reaches the end of the cycle, her estrogen levels begin to drop and progesterone appears, which favors pregnancy.

  • Diestrus

At this time the heat begins to come to an end and the embryo, if it has been fertilized, begins to implant in the uterus. In the event that the femalehas not been fertilized, it can go through a period known as pseudometrus or pseudopregnancy. It is a delicate moment in which you must control your dog for possible uterine difficulties, as well as unhealthy psychological behaviors.

  • Anestrus

Anestrus stage is called the time of sexual rest of the female dogs. There are no hormonal changes and their duration can vary according to each case.

Some facts and advice about your dog’s sexual cycle

Here are some tips and extra information that can help you even more during this period:

  • Although most females will lick and keep clean themselves (especially the smaller ones) to avoid bleeding, you can also use special packs or panties available at pet or veterinary stores.
  • Blood losses, behavioral changes, and even an increase in the size of the animal’s vulva tend to be greater during the first heat than in those that will come later.
  • It is important to have a minimum control over the dates of each one of the heats; If you notice that your dog is taking too long to have the next heat, you should take her to her vet, as she may be suffering from some type of maladjustment in her health that prevents her from continuing her sexual cycle normally.
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