Category: Curiosities

¿How to act to increase the body temperature of our pet?

Our pets are very prone to heat stroke in the summer months. At this time of the year, the temperature reaches peaks of heat that are not only unbearable for humans but also for animals.

This alteration of the animal’s body temperature can generate not only changes in mood but also important health problems that should be avoided. Therefore, in the following post we tell you what is the way you should act before the increase in the body temperature of your pet.

¿Why can our pet’s body temperature rise?

In the same way as in people, thermoregulation is responsible for regulating body temperature in animals and keeping it within a constant and balanced range. In case the temperature rises, we are faced with a febrile process, which can be caused by external agents of microbial or non-microbial origin.

In general, the most common cause of fever in pets is infectious in nature. It can also be generated due to other factors such as inflammations, immune problems and neoplastic alterations. In other minor cases, there are no specific causes.

¿What to do if the pet manifests a feverish state?

If we are faced with the suspicion of fever in the pet, it is best to measure the rectal temperature with a thermometer. A temperature higher than 39 degrees can be considered moderate, while if it exceeds 41 degrees it is already a high fever.

Next, we must keep the animal under observation for the first few days. Adequate hydration is essential to take care of the health of our pet, especially in the hottest months. You should ensure that the animal has clean and fresh water all the time, even when the temperature has dropped.

Do not try to decrease your body temperature dramatically; We advise you to use a cloth dampened with fresh water and place it on your abdomen, gradually the temperature will gradually decrease.

If the fever does not decrease or has some other symptoms, it may be a more complicated matter, so you should take it as soon as possible to the veterinarian for a corresponding review.

¿How to protect our pet from excessive summer heat?

During the summer months, excessive heat can also raise the pet’s body temperature. Therefore, it is advisable to take certain precautions to take care of your health:

Taking the pet for a walk is essential to exercise it; nevertheless, it is necessary to avoid the walk in hours in which the sun is in its maximum splendor. In the summer months, it is convenient to walk it very early in the morning or after sunset; Between noon and four in the afternoon you should restrict the exit due to the intensity of the sun’s rays.

Although leafy fur protects the animal from weather changes, it is advisable to keep it with short hair during the summer season. However, it is not advisable to cut it much at the level of shaving as it can expose the skin to the weather.

¿What is canine atopy?

If your dog shows redness or skin lesions and scratches very often, it is likely that he is suffering from canine atopy, an inflammatory skin disease that is caused by a hypersensitivity to certain environmental components.

To learn more about this pathology, we have prepared this interesting post in which we tell you what canine atopy is about and how its symptoms can be relieved.

Some notes on Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Of unknown origin, Canine Atopic Dermatitis, commonly known as canine atopy, is a chronic disease that is associated with allergies. The most prominent symptom is intense itching, which forces the dog to scratch compulsively.

The areas most affected by canine atopy are usually the ears, ankles and armpits, although it also occurs in the abdomen, around the eyes and between the fingers of the animal’s legs.

There are various substances or elements that can trigger the allergic reaction that canine atopy produces, including mold, dust, mud, pollen or grass. The specialists relate this pathology to the state of the animal’s skin and to a certain genetic component.

This disease manifests itself more commonly among younger dogs, whose ages range between the first and third year. Many times it occurs in the warm months of the year, although its incidence is also maintained in the fall and winter.

In addition to the genetic component, Atopic Dermatitis can also occur more frequently among certain very well differentiated races:

German shepherd
Irish setter
French bulldog
Shar pei

¿How to identify canine atopy?

If we notice that our dog scratches compulsively, it is likely that we are facing a picture of canine atopy. Simply check the pet’s skin to identify lesions caused by the allergic reaction, especially in the most sensitive areas.

By observing the skin of the animal, we may find irritation, hives and redness in certain areas. In the most complicated cases, we can visualize deeper lesions, hairless areas and darkened and rough skin.

Other pathologies can occur as complications of canine atopy, such as bilateral conjunctivitis, otitis or infections generated by bacteria.

Treatment of Canine Atopic Dermatitis

After a thorough review by the veterinarian, the specialist can determine the most appropriate treatment to improve the clinical picture of the pet.

The most common actions include periodic baths with a special type of shampoo, a significant improvement in the diet of the animal aimed at strengthening the skin and adequate control of any attack of parasites.

The veterinarian may recommend the use of corticosteroids, as well as specific allergen immunotherapy. Foods high in fatty acids help relieve symptoms not only of itching but also pain and inflammation in the animal.

Tips for cleaning teeth in dogs

Far from what they think, dental cleaning in dogs is as important as in the case of people. These dental care are essential to prevent the accumulation of bacteria, tartar, bad breath and gum infections. That is why, in the following post, we give you some tips that will help you properly perform your dog’s dental cleaning.

Acquire a special type of toothpaste

Toothpastes for people are usually harmful to dogs. Therefore, there are toothpastes specially designed for dogs that can be purchased at veterinary clinics and pet stores.

One of the peculiarities of this type of special pasta for dogs is that, in addition to eliminating food waste between the teeth, it can be swallowed by the animal without causing problems in the body.

Use a dog toothbrush

In the same way, it is necessary to use a special toothbrush for dogs, which should be made of soft bristles and of the appropriate size for their snout. In case the animal does not get used to the brush, veterinarians recommend cleaning directly with the owner’s finger until it can adapt to regular cleaning.

Other alternatives for cleaning the dog’s teeth are cloth handkerchiefs or plastic thimbles. Also, there are products on the market in spray for the snout that adequately fulfill the function of dental cleaning.

Accustom the pet to the cleaning routine

To get the dog to adapt to the routine of dental cleaning, it is necessary to go little by little. The first thing is to familiarize him with the taste of the special toothpaste, offering him a small amount that you can place in his snout with the help of your fingers.

Days later, put some of the special toothpaste on the dog brush and try to get acquainted with it. You will notice how, in a few weeks, you can brush your teeth without any inconvenience.

Chewable products that help oral hygiene

The market also offers certain types of chewable products specially prepared to prevent the formation of tartar in dogs. These foods also improve the breath of the animal and are a good complement to keep your teeth healthy.

However, we recommend consulting with the veterinarian about the convenience of using these commercial products for your particular pet, as well as how often they can be consumed.

Finally, it is recommended to brush the dog’s teeth at least three times a week, unless otherwise directed by his veterinarian.

Worrying about the oral hygiene of the dog is essential to prevent other diseases or pathologies. Keep in mind that if you have noticed a problem with your teeth or gums, you should take it immediately to the veterinarian so that you can discard any care situation.

¿How to act in front of a viper’s bite?

More and more people are going through the terrible experience of losing their pet to the bite of a viper. Although this situation can occur at any time of the year, in the warm months of spring and summer the number of cases increases considerably, so we must be prepared to know how to act before this problem.

Vipers are probably the most poisonous animals that inhabit Europe. In Spain, the best known species are the adder viper and the snout viper, the first being the most lethal in this area of ​​the continent. These reptiles measure about 25cm, have a triangle-shaped head and can be found throughout the peninsula.

Recognizing the bite of a viper

The bite of these vipers is usually very painful and can have lethal consequences if not treated in time. We can recognize this bite by two points that are separated by about 8 mm between them, unlike the snakes that leave a mark of teeth in a row.

According to the amount of venom that the viper inoculated the pet, the symptoms can be from a slight swelling in the area of ​​the bite to a severe reaction that manifests itself with nausea and vomiting. Extreme cases can cause problems of coagulation and renal failure.

What to do before the bite of a viper?

The moment one of these snakes bites our pet, the first thing to do is to stay calm. Next, it will be necessary to determine the place where the bite occurred, with the most common area being one of the extremities. It is important to identify the site of the wound promptly.

Far from what is believed, it is not recommended to apply a tourniquet or suction the wound, it is advisable to apply cold cloths in the bite and immobilize the affected area in order to prevent the poison from spreading to other areas of the body.

Then and without losing time, we must take the pet to the veterinarian who will be able to evaluate the condition of the animal and determine the treatment that is more convenient.

Treatment to counteract the effects of the poison

The most appropriate treatment to counteract the effects of a viper’s bite is the application of antivenom serum; however, this medication is often difficult to find due to its short expiration date. Therefore, the treatment is aimed at rehydrating the patient and keeping him under observation during the following hours.

Also, the veterinarian administers anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibiotic medications in order to counteract the effects of the inoculated venom. The results are favorable if you act quickly (within the first six hours) and if the bite has occurred far from the head area.

Although a snake’s bite may not be deadly to most people, it can mean the loss of our pet if we do not act on time. Keep calm, locate the affected area and go to the veterinarian as soon as possible, are actions that we must take to safeguard the animal’s life.

¿Why neuter or sterilize my pet?

The reproductive cycle of our pets is an issue to which we must pay special attention. And is that, due to the captivity, this process can not be fulfilled naturally and requires special care. Because of this, it is often common for people to doubt about the convenience of castrating or sterilizing the animal.
In principle, we must bear in mind that neutering and neutering is not the same and it is important to establish the differences. In the following article, we will clarify some concepts and determine the reasons for neutering or neutering a pet.

¿What is neutering?

Castration is an invasive surgical intervention that involves the removal of the reproductive sexual organs of the pet; in the case of males, the elimination of the testes completely while, in the case of females, the elimination of the uterus and the ovaries. With this technique, the sexual behavior in the animal disappears.
In females, the risk of breast and uterine cancer is reduced. In addition, it prevents the formation of tumors in the breast and ovarian cysts. It is an alternative to avoid uterine infections, psychological pregnancies and character changes in the bitch when she is in heat.
In males, it is possible to reduce the level of aggressiveness, fights and nervousness that occur when they are in heat. Likewise, castration prevents problems of prostate, testicles and anal glands.
With castration, the pet’s sexual behavior disappears and the transmission of congenital diseases is avoided.

¿What is sterilization?

For its part, sterilization is performed as a less invasive surgery. It consists of the tubal ligation in the females and the obstruction of the spermatic ducts in the males. This technique does not eliminate sexual behavior and maintains the sexual organs in their entirety.
Like castration, sterilization prevents diseases that develop cysts and tumors in the ovaries. Also, it prevents the appearance of testicular, prostatic and anal diseases.

¿Why should we neuter or sterilizer our pets?

One of the ways to control the growth of the population of stray animals is through castration and sterilization of pets. This is how it is possible to reduce unwanted litters and the abandonment of offspring.
Sterilized or castrated, pets will live a longer and healthier life, providing greater benefits for the health of the male and female.
When the animals are in heat, they escape because of their desire to look for a mate to reproduce; by castrating the pet, this sexual behavior disappears.

¿When should the pet be neutered or sterilized?

It is recommended to perform these interventions when pets are still small. Some veterinarians choose to sterilize at 8 weeks, others at approximately 5 months of age. The veterinarian is in charge of recommending the best option.
Local anesthesia will be used at all times. Every day, due to scientific advances, these surgical interventions are less expensive and take less time. The recovery is usually very fast, between 24hrs and 48hrs.
Castration and sterilization is a crucial issue for controlling the overpopulation of dogs and cats; therefore, we recommend consulting the veterinarian about these surgical procedures, in order to avoid diseases, abandonment and unwanted pregnancies.

¿How often do you take the pet to the vet?

It is necessary that people take their pets to the veterinarian to submit them to a general check-up on their state of health with certain regularity; however, the question often arises of how often it is necessary to carry them. Waiting for severe symptoms of any illness to go to the veterinarian is not right or advisable for your pet.
This article will focus on the most common pets in the home such as dogs and cats, since birds, fish and rodents usually do not require regular visits; A sudden change of environment for these exotic species represents situations of stress, so, in these cases, they should be taken to the veterinarian only when they show symptoms of serious conditions.

Frequency of visit to the veterinarian according to the age of the pet

There are ages in the dog’s life when processes must be monitored more frequently.
During the first six months of life, it is essential that visits to the veterinarian be regular. This period includes important vaccinations for the prevention of future diseases.
In the case of cats, when they are two months old, the trivalent vaccine and the feline leukemia vaccine must be placed; at three months revaccination of the trivalent and so on until the doses of the first vaccines are completed.
From the first year and until the end of adulthood and to begin the maturity, it is necessary to take the pet to the veterinarian ideally once a year. These visits are for the reinforcement of vaccines, for example, those of sextuple and rabies in the case of dogs.
Then comes old age, therefore, you have to take it to the veterinarian every six months to make the respective revisions. In this stage they are more prone to diseases such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular problems and kidney diseases.
The visit to the veterinarian should include complete check-ups, such as a history and a physical examination. According to the signs that the veterinarian finds in the analysis, it will require complementary studies of blood, urine, x-rays and ultrasounds.
It is necessary to take the pets that are in gestation period more frequently to the veterinarian. At least you have to go when the pregnancy is detected, to make a diagnosis of fetal maturation and the status of the fetuses.

Consequences of not taking the pet to the vet

Not taking pets to the veterinarian is abandoning them at risk of developing zoonoses, that is, diseases transmitted to people. The owner and those near the pet are at risk. Some of these diseases are ringworm, rabies, toxocariasis, toxoplasmosis and leptospirosis.
By having a pet, regardless of age and breed, you must take it immediately to the veterinarian so that the specialist offers a diagnosis of your health and the best recommendations. Also, to detect if there is any disease or special condition that must be treated.
The frequency with which the pet should be taken to the veterinarian will depend on the vaccination control of the breed, the growth and the special condition that may arise.
The recommendations offered here are the minimum to keep them healthy, however, the frequency varies depending on various factors that the veterinarian must determine.

¿How is the pregnancy diagnosis made in domestic species?

Many people go to the veterinarian to make the diagnosis of gestation of their pets, for which imaging techniques and serological tests are performed. However, there are situations in which the analysis of gestational age and fetal maturation is especially important, especially if we do not know the date of ovulation.
Pregnancy occurs when the female carries in the uterus an embryo or a fetus after the fertilization of the ovum by the sperm. Like all living beings, pets have a reproductive cycle; In the present article, we will know how the pregnancy diagnosis is made in domestic species.

Diagnosis of pregnancy in dogs and cats

There are some physical signs, common in domestic species such as the dog or the cat, that indicate that they are in gestation. The paralysis of the heat cycles, reddish and swollen nipples, increased appetite, vomiting and, most obviously, the increase in the size of the abdomen, reflect that they are pregnant.
Manually, a diagnosis can be made by palpation between days 17 and 20 of pregnancy. This maneuver requires knowledge and skill.
The clinical diagnosis made by the veterinarian offers more accuracy about the gestation time and the development of the fetuses. Among the most commonly used techniques are ultrasound and radiography as imaging techniques, serological tests and hormonal assays, such as relaxin diagnostic kits.
The gestation time, development of the fetuses and hormone levels, vary according to the species. The gestation in dogs and cats is very similar because they hardly vary in a few days, however, it is not the same.

Techniques used for the diagnosis of gestation in dogs and cats

The x-ray is used to estimate the gestational age and the possible date of delivery. Through it some fetal structures are visualized.
When the veterinarian makes the diagnosis with this method, it must take into account the stage of gestation. What is recommended by the specialists is to make an X-ray after the first third of gestation, because the smaller the fetuses, the more sensitive they are to radiation. This technique should be used at the end of pregnancy to count the number of fetuses.
The diagnosis by ultrasound yields an estimation of the gestation time by the measurements of the diameter of the gestational sac. The results are also used to record the evolution of the organs. It also serves to analyze if pregnancy is viable.
Ultrasound is one of the safest and most reliable techniques, it does not produce risks for the animal. In small breeds it is recommended to use mode B, in probes of 5 MHz or 7 MHz. For more accuracy, at the moment of the execution of the diagnosis with this technique the patient must have a full bladder.
Relaxin is a pregnancy-specific hormone in mammals, secreted by the placenta. Some experts say that this type of diagnosis by relaxin is not safe for bitches, since they would be positive due to normal hormonal cycles in heat.
However, in the market the Witness Relaxin kit is commercialized, which allows diagnosing the pregnancy of the dog and the cat, specifically. Also, it allows to distinguish a false gestation in the bitch.
Some commercial brands recommend doing the pregnancy test from the fourth week on bitches and cats after 25 days of riding.

Diagnosis of gestation in rodents

Hamsters and guinea pigs (guinea pigs) are the most common domestic species of rodents.
Two weeks is the time necessary for a hamster to give birth. The diagnosis of pregnancy can be evidenced by the changes in the belly, swollen nipples, weight gain and the elaboration of the nest. Also, if you are accompanied by other hamsters in the cage you will behave in a hostile manner with them.
Unlike previous rodents, the pregnancy of guinea pigs can last up to 68 days, that is, a little over 2 months. The diagnosis of gestation for this domestic species is very similar to that of the hamster and that of mammals in general: swollen nipples, enlargement of the belly and changes in mood.
Ultrasounds may be done, but due to the size of these animals, it is recommended to wait until they show the first physical features of pregnancy.

Pregnancy diagnosis in rabbits

The gestation period in rabbits is considered one of the shortest of domestic animals. The duration is between 29 and 35 days, with a general average of 31 days.
The diagnosis of pregnancy in rabbits is commonly performed by palpation after 20 days of mounting. It is in this period that the embryos are detectable, not before. The palpation should be done by the veterinarian because, if not done correctly, an abortion can be caused by poor handling.
As a common method to perform pregnancy diagnoses, ultrasound can be used but it is more expensive and takes more time than palpation to know if the rabbit is pregnant.
Behavioral changes becoming aggressive, drinking water more frequently and growth of the abdomen, are some symptoms that reflect that they are pregnant. In some occasions, for the preparation of the nest the rabbits pull the hair from their body for its construction, their intention is to keep the warm newborns, because they are not able to control the body temperature, until after 7 days of birth.
It must be borne in mind that, at the moment of making a diagnosis to a domestic animal, it is safest to inquire about the gestation periods and particular processes of each species. Although most mammals have similar behaviors, each animal has a clinical history that must be respected in order for the pregnancy to develop successfully.

The dangers of the caterpillar processionary in animals

The processionary caterpillar is a lepidopteran insect that in its larva stage is covered with hairs that are stinging on contact with the skin of domestic animals and people. These hairs, which completely cover the body of the caterpillars, are easily detached from them and can even be transported by strong air currents. In the following article, we will know the dangers that the processionary caterpillar generates in pets.
The appearance of the processionary caterpillar occurs in spring. In general, they do not seek interaction with pets or humans, since the large nests in the tops of the pines seek to bury themselves with speed to continue their transformation. But, sometimes, they can reach the most urbanized areas, entering gardens that expose our pets to the dangers of contact with the processionary caterpillar.
Two essential aspects are combined to expose dogs and cats to the dangers of relating to a processionary caterpillar; the first, the intrinsic curiosity of our pets; the second, the striking of the insect, since its morphology can draw attention away.
The pet that detects it will want to sniff and even “taste” this strange being that transits its yard and that is where it is exposed to the caterpillar’s stinging hairs, with the different dangers that this contact entails; the greater the passion for investigating the insect, the more serious the consequences for our pet may be.

¿How does the processionary caterpillar affect the animals?

In case of only sniffing the processionary caterpillar, the animal will be exposed to a picture of allergy; Now, if he comes to lick the insect, following his instinct to know more, he runs the risk of developing a partial and even total necrosis of the tongue.
More serious cases have been recorded in relation to the ingestion of a processionary caterpillar by pets, which causes a strong inflammation and can cause the animal to suffocate and trigger its death.
There are two risk factors that we must attend to avoid the contact of our pet with the processionary caterpillar: the time of year in which the caterpillars appear in their phase of larva, which is early spring, and pine groves . In case of exposing ourselves in this season of the year to contact with conifers, we must take care that our pet is not in contact with these insects.
The symptoms that can present a dog or cat that has sniffed or licked a processionary caterpillar, are the following:

  • He has a nervous mood, outside of his daily attitude.
  • Start scratching with despair.
  • Start salivating too much, trying to drink much more liquid than usual.
  • You have some type of swelling in your tongue or skin.
  • It has a red or violet color on the tongue.
  • Blisters or ulcers form in different areas.

When identifying this possible contact, it is essential to go as soon as possible to the veterinary emergency, in order to provide the necessary attention. If you know you have a long journey to get there, you can rinse the affected area with water or saline, remembering not to rub.

¿Why does my dog lick his legs so much?

If you notice that your dog very often licks its paws, do not think that it is only grooming like most cats and dogs do, if it does more than usual it is possible that your pet is not completely healthy.

We present some of the reasons why your dog licks his legs so much. It is important to identify the cause for your pet to overcome this discomfort.

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