What is cancer: Cancer, by definition, is the uncontrolled growth of cells. Any type of cells in the body can become cancerous. Once these cells grow out of control, they take over areas previously occupied by normal cells; sometimes these tumor cells break off and travel to other areas of the body. Wherever these cells lodge they can start new tumors. This process continues until there is not enough normal tissue remaining to sustain normal bodily functions. There are a number of factors that influence how fast a cancer may grow or spread: type of cancer cell, location, genetics, as well as any concurrent illness or debilitating condition the patient may have.
Canine distemper is caused by a virus that is shed in bodily fluids of infected animals. The virus affects primarily the lungs, intestines, and nervous system. Symptoms of the infection can include coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, inappetance, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, and encephalitis. Secondary infections can present as discharge from the eyes and/or nose, and pneumonia. Puppies, especially those from shelters, are at the highest risk. Currently there are no antiviral medications to treat canine distemper. Treatment is aimed at controlling secondary bacterial infections with antibiotics and supportive care as needed. Vaccination aimed at preventing distemper is the best strategy. Puppies should be isolated from other dogs until they have completed their series of vaccinations at 16 weeks of age.
Bloat & Gastric Torsion is a serious condition and your pet should be rushed to the emergency room if this occurs. Certain breeds of dogs
with deep chests and narrow waists, such as hounds, Bouvier des Flandres, or Doberman Pinschers are more susceptible to a syndrome of gastric torsion and bloat.
This occurs when the stomach twists on its supporting ligaments and the contents begin to release gas pressure. A similar disease is seen in cattle and horses as well. Dogs who experience such an attack are very susceptible to another which is usually more severe, and this is one case where immediate veterinary care is needed, normally requiring abdominal surgery to prevent a recurrence.
Arthritis can develop due to aging and wear and tear on the joints, such as a ruptured ACL in the knee.
Arthritis is an inflammation of any joint in the body. The inflammation can have many causes. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis which can be due to wear and tear on joints from over use, aging, injury, or from an unstable joint such as which occurs with a ruptured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in the knee. The chronic form of this disease is called degenerative joint disease (DJD). It is estimated that 20% of dogs older than one year of age have some form of DJD. One study showed that 90% of cats over 12 years of age had evidence of DJD on x-rays.
Is Your Dog Sick?
If your dog exhibits the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately:
• In distress with Vomiting or diarrhea
• Swollen abdomen
• Labored breathing
• Collapse, loss of consciousness or seizures
• Symptoms of acute pain, such as crying out, whining or whimpering
If your dog exhibits these symptoms for more than 2 days, contact your pet's doctor
• Lethargy or general weakness
• Excessive thirst
• Frequent or inappropriate urination (e.g., wetting the bed, or accidents in the house)
• Frequent panting
When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian.
When Pet Owners Should Take Their Dog to the Veterinarian
Identifying the signs of sickness in a dog can be challenging, even for the most vigilant pet owners. Since a sick dog is unable to verbally communicate what hurts, pet owners must pay close attention to identify the signs of illness. Subtle changes in behavior or appetite may be symptomatic of an underlying health problem. While dogs cannot verbally tell us when they are sick, they use physical symptoms and behavior changes to communicate.
Responsible Pet Ownership
While your pet provides plenty of health benefits that boost your well being, it relies on you for all of its own health needs.
Establishing a relationship with a trusted veterinarian ensures that your pet gets the necessary care for long-term health. Your pet should see a veterinarian at least once a year (twice a year as they get older) to check for any potential health problems and to keep up to date on any health maintenance needs such as vaccinations. Call your veterinarian today to make a check-up appointment for your pet.
Your pets provide companionship, unconditional love and plenty of smiles, but they also make you healthier just by living with you. The health benefits of owning a pet are both physical and psychological, and they extend throughout an owner’s life. By keeping your furry companion healthy and happy, you’re actually improving your own health and the health of your entire family.
Pets and a Healthy Heart
While eating right and exercise are important components of maintaining a healthy heart, sharing your home with a pet can be another way to boost your cardiovascular health, according to health research institutes. Owning a pet is linked to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and lower triglyceride levels.
Exercise and Your Pet
Professional Feline Asthma Care
No treatment of feline asthma is complete without your veterinarian's involvement. If you suspect your cat may be suffering from asthma, taking them in for a checkup is essential.
Your veterinarian can run tests to determine if your cat suffers from asthma. They will perform a physical exam and do specific diagnostic tests to determine what is causing the breathing problem. These tests can include radiographs (x-rays), blood work, parasite tests for heartworm, and bronchial samples.
Once asthma is diagnosed, your veterinarian will prescribe medicine and outline the best therapy for your cat.
Humans are not the only ones who can suffer from asthma. It is a condition that can also afflict cats. Feline asthma is similar to human asthma, in that it is a chronic inflammation of the airways inside the lungs. During an asthma attack, these airways become constricted, and the lungs create mucus and release it into the airways. This makes it difficult for the cat to breathe.
Cats suffering from feline asthma can experience labored breathing in many forms. Some endure wheezing, rapid breathing, open mouth breathing, or gasping for breath. Others manifest a persistent cough and may gag up mucus while coughing. This can leave a cat with a pronounced lack of energy and put them in a weakened state; cats can die from an asthma attack.
Talk to Your Veterinarian
Have you been maintaining your pet's preventive care visits? If your pet has not been receiving annual examinations, now is the time to do so, to ensure optimal health for your pet.
While many lumps and bumps are benign, some can present serious health implications for your pet.
Wouldn't you want to know if something was getting in the way of your pet's health?
When was the last time your pet visited the veterinarian? If you answered “not in a while,” it is time to book your next appointment. Have you recently discovered a lump or bump on your pet? Don’t let that new discovery go unexamined. While it may be completely benign, it is essential for your pet’s health to make an appointment with your veterinarian soon after discovery. Ruling out health concerns such as tumors, cysts, and infections will help to keep your pet healthy.
Discovering and Diagnosing Lumps and Bumps