Activ4Pets Blog – For all Petkind

May 18, 2018

Is your dog scratching his EARS

 

Ear infections (otitis) are quite common in Dogs. Cocker Spaniels are notorious for ear disease due to their ear canal anatomy. Ear problems arise due to ear anatomy, bacteria, and yeast.

What is noticed?

  • Dogs feel itchiness inside the ear and keep scratching which further damages the ear resulting in more complications. It is a painful condition wherein dogs may become dull and have a reduced appetite.
  • Dogs are usually seen walking with the affected ear tilted onto one side and some dogs become aggressive because of the pain which should be handled cautiously to avoid any injuries to the owner or handler.
  • One or both the ears can be affected simultaneously. Most dogs develop a foul-smelling discharge from the ear canal.

Owners should be wary of any changes and act as quickly as possible by consulting with their family to help relieve their pet from pain and irritation. To help handle the problem, you should always use commercial ear cleansing solutions to clean the affected ear per the advice of a veterinarian.

 

Is your dog scratching his EARS

 

How to prevent?

  1. Ear infections can be prevented by regular grooming and bathe your dog and be maintaining good hygiene.
  2. Be careful while bathing your dogs and use caution not to let water enter the ear canal.
  3. Rinse your dog’s ear canal with cleaning solutions or drying agents on a regular basis.
  4. Dogs that swim in lakes or ponds are prone to ear infections. Swimmers ear solution should be used to avoid problems.

 

Healthy pets happy parents!!

Dr. Prachi Kshatriya

May 15, 2018

Is CAT the right pet for you

 

Cats and dogs differ in many things when it comes to petting. Unlike dogs, cats do not require the same level of attention, grooming and company/activity. Hence are suitable for

  • Apartments (small living spaces)
  • People with busy work schedule
  • People who have no time to move around with pets etc.

However one has to choose a cat depending on its temperament, age, breed, etc that suits them the best.

Temperament:

Cats are most of the time solitary hunters and prefer to stay aloof/alone compared to dogs which like to live in packs or company. Cats are still affectionate and love the company of people. They express their affection by way of:

  • Purring
  • Rubbing their tail and face against favoured individual
  • Low levels of vocalization (meow in low volume)

Aggression and fear is expressed by

  • Arched back
  • Hissing sounds
  • Open paws
  • Spitting etc

 

Choose the breed wisely:

There are different types of cat breeds available all over the world. One has to choose wisely depending on their preferences like longing for long hair breeds which demands regular grooming and maintenance of hair coat. Some breeds are very active like Abyssinians and some are calm and less active like Persians and Scottish Fold cats. Some cats like Siamese require more attention compared to others. Therefore, it is advised to choose the breed wisely after discussing with your vet in detail about the different breeds and their characteristics.

 

Sex preference:

Consider the behavioural issues associated with male and female cats before choosing the right sex cat for you. Unneutered/intact male cats show:

  • more aggressiveness
  • territory dominance or urine marking

Intact female cats often roam around with male cats during her periods and keep on littering kittens. Such problems could be avoided by opting for spaying at the right time as suggested by the vet.

 

Age of kittens:

Kittens which are reared from a very young age adopt well with the in-house environment compared to adult cats. Hence, start rearing the kitten at the right age after discussing with your vet regarding the care and nutrition.

Therefore choose the right type of cat that suits your preferences and environment to have a happy petting and parenting. Consider following points before choosing the kittens:

  • select kittens from a reliable source
  • choose a healthy kitten with a good temperament
  • choose an active kitten
  • ensure mothers regular vaccinations
  • ensure all health records and breed registration papers

 

A healthy pet is a happy pet

Dr. Chandrashekhar Salimath

May 8, 2018

ANAL SAC DISEASES IN CATS

 

Anal sacs are nothing but the anal glands present on each side of the anus which produces small amount of dark, foul-smelling liquid that is squeezed out during defecation.

Anal sac disease may be caused by

  • Clogging of anal glands (impaction)
  • Infection
  • Abscesses  
  • Tumours

However, anal sac diseases are less common in cats than dogs and cats commonly have anal sac impactions.

 

Common signs of Anal Sac Disease in cats:

The signs associated with Anal Sac disease are mainly due to the pain and discomfort involved with the condition and include:

  • Scooting buttocks on ground
  • Licking the anal area
  • Biting of the anal area
  • Straining during defecation
  • Swelling of anal sacs
  • Hardening of anal sacs due to impaction
  • Passing of scanty stools at frequent intervals

 

Diagnosis of anal sac diseases:

Consult your vet immediately if you notice any of the above said signs in cats. He may go for a detailed rectal examination to reveal the evidence of anal sac disease. Further investigation may be done by blood examination and/or biopsy to rule out infections/cancerous conditions

How is the condition treated?

Treatment of Anal Sac Disease may include:

  • Squeezing of anal sacs (for impacted sacs)
  • Use of softening agents (for hardened sacs)
  • Use of antibiotics (for infected sacs)
  • Use of fibre rich diet (to increase the faecal bulk and evacuation of anal glands)
  • Surgical management (in non-responding cases)

 

A healthy pet is a happy pet

Dr. Chandrashekhar Salimath

May 3, 2018

Is giving oral medication to your pet an uphill task Not anymore

 

Giving oral medicine to pets can be troublesome, especially if your pet is fussy
and smarter. Many times, your veterinarian recommends oral medications for a
longer course of treatment, but it becomes equally difficult for the parents to
administer them to pets.
Here are few techniques you can use to help administer oral medicines without
your pet knowing about it!

1. Masking it with a stronger smell: Food items like chicken, cheese, egg yolk,
etc. have a stronger smell, so either crush the medicine and mix with these
food items, or hide it in between minced chicken, egg yolk, or sweets, so
that he ingests the medicine along with the food. Camouflaging is an easy
option for fussy eaters and helpless parents.

2. Go for palatable medicines: Ask your vet to prescribe medicine (tablets or
liquids) which have flavors of chicken, beef, or fish, etc. just like
administering sugar-coated medicine works great with children. This way,
you don’t need to run behind your pet to give a pill and neither do you have
to camouflage it.

3. Administering directly: ‘It is easier said than done,’ but this method is far
more effective at saving time. Divert your pet’s attention by either playing
with him or petting him. Hold your pet him firmly, open its mouth, push the
pill in and close its mouth. Hold it for a few seconds, one or two pats on the
neck and it’s done. This method is quickly done within a few minutes! Just
the initial getting hold of your companion is difficult but overall if you have
a trained pet there is no need to mask or use flavored medicines. This
method is sometimes recommended for cat parents as they give a hard
time taking the medicines, so administering directly is the only option.

4. Use a ‘pill dispenser’: If you fail to push the medicine directly then you can
try using a pill dispenser. It has plastic straw-like barrel into which a pill can

be loaded and “shot” into the back of the pet’s mouth by compressing a
plunger. A pill dispenser enables the pet owner to avoid sharp teeth and
injury.

Note to remember: Always keep a check on your pet’s behavior while giving the
pill. Never try to administer a pill forcefully to a dog or cat with a painful mouth or
neck. If your pet becomes fearful or growls, abort the mission as you may end up
getting bitten by your companion. So, always use your judgment skill while giving
medicines to your furry friend.

Healthy pets happy parents!!
Dr. Prachi Kshatriya

May 3, 2018

DYSTOCIA…A DIFFICULTY IN DELIVERY

 

A difficulty in delivery of pups or difficulty in parturition is
called dystocia. Reported incidence of dystocia in dogs is believed to
be 2% which means 2 out of every 100 dogs do suffer difficulty
during delivery.

Which breeds are predisposed for dystocia?

Dystocia is more commonly seen in
 Bull dogs
 Beagles
 Pugs
 Boxers
 Chihuahuas
 Dachshunds and
 Yorkshire terriers

Why does dystocia occur?

Dystocia can be due to problems associated with mother
(maternal origin) like,
 abnormal uterine function
 small pelvis and
 uterine rupture or uterine torsion
Abnormal uterine functioning refers to poor or absence of
propulsive contractions during delivery process and fatigue of the
muscles after some contractions. These conditions are referred to as
primary uterine inertia and secondary uterine inertia respectively.
Primary uterine inertia may be of genetic origin or due to low levels
of calcium in the blood. Small pelvis and well grown foetuses as in
small litters may predispose the dog for dystocia. However, problems
like twisting of uterus (uterine torsion) and rupture of uterus leading
to dystocia are believed to be rare.
Dystocia can also result due to problems associated with foetus
as in,

 abnormal presentation (incorrect positioning of foetus in
the birth canal)
 oversized foetus (commonly seen in small litters and
single puppy syndrome)
 abnormal development of foetus (foetal monsters)

How to prevent dystocia in dogs?

Dystocia can be prevented by
 selection of breeding dogs which are not genetically
predisposed for dystocia
 avoiding extra calcium supplementation during pregnancy as it
negatively affects normal calcium regulation in the body
 feeding of balanced diet during pregnancy
 prevention of small litters that causes oversized foetuses

 routine pre-breeding examination of dog’s reproductive tract
and health status
Note: Improper breeding management, poor nutrition,
artificial insemination and inbreeding may result in small litter

size in bitches.
How to deal with dystocia?

Dogs usually start delivering the pups on completion of full
term of pregnancy within an hour after you notice the greenish
discharge from the vagina. If it fails to deliver the pups even after
two hours of green discharge, one should consult the vet
immediately. Your vet is the right person to declare it as dystocia and
take appropriate measures to deal with. He may opt for medical
management or C-section depending on the situation to deliver live
pups with minimal suffering to the mother.
Dystocia can be devastating if not diagnosed early and
attended properly. Do take all precautions in dealing with dystocia
and have a happy puppy parenting.

 

Healthy dogs…happy dogs…

Dr Chandrashekhar Salimath

May 3, 2018

HYPOTHYROIDISM IN CANINES

 

The Thyroid Gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland situated in a dog’s neck, close to the voice box. The Thyroid is involved in production of an important hormone called Thyroxine which is required for the normal functioning of the body systems (i.e. the canine’s overall metabolism).

Hypothyroidism is a condition which is characterized by low levels of thyroxine hormones (T3 and T4) in the body leading to decreased metabolic activity in many organ systems.

 

Which breeds are more commonly affected?

Hypothyroidism is more commonly seen in Doberman Pinschers, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, English Bulldogs, Dachshunds and Boxers.

It is the most common hormonal disorder seen in Canines, but is less common in Felines. Spayed females have a higher risk of developing hypothyroidism than intact females, while the condition usually occurs in dogs between 5 – 10 years of age.

 

Why is hypothyroidism seen in dogs?

Hypothyroidism develops because of altered or impaired production of Thyroid Hormone. In most cases it is due to an immune mediated destruction of Thyroid Gland cells. In other cases it may result due to a decrease in size of the gland, an infection or cancer. Hypothyroidism is occasionally caused by a dietary deficiency of Iodine, though this is very uncommon.

 

Which systems are affected?

Following systems are affected in hypothyroidism:

  • Skin
    • Heart
    • Brain
    • Reproductive system
    • Gastrointestinal
    • Ophthalmic
    • Endocrine

 

Skin problems seen in hypothyroidism:

  • bilaterally symmetrical hair loss pattern
  • “Rat tail” appearance
  • hyperpigmentation of skin
  • dry and dull hair / coat
  • delayed healing of wounds
  • pyoderma (bacterial infection of skin)
  • Ear infections
  • “Dull expression” (dog looks sad)

 

Other symptoms involved are:

  • Weak heart
  • Stiff gait
  • General malaise
  • Infertility
  • Vision problems
  • And lastly the most classic sign: Obesity.

 

Consult your vet immediately if you notice any of the above symptoms, and he or she will perform some laboratory tests to arrive at a diagnosis. Measurement of Thyroid Hormones (T3 and T4) is necessary to diagnose the condition. Veterinarians often treat Hypothyroidism with a synthetic Sodium Levothyroxine (L-thyroxine) and the advised protocol and dosage should be followed precisely. During treatment, your pet requires bloodwork to measure T3 and T4 hormone levels. These tests are needed every 6 months to monitor the response to therapy and adjust the drug dosage, if required.

 

Healthy pets happy parents!!

Dr. Prachi Kshatriya

May 3, 2018

5 REASONS WHY YOUR DOG IS CONSUMING NON-FOOD ITEMS

 

Did your dog start eating mud or stones? Is he or she trying to eat clothes or other materials? Did you catch them chewing toys and consuming the filler materials?

This unusual behaviour could be a sign that your dog is developing Pica, a medical condition where they crave non-food items. There are 5 conditions which trigger the increased appetite for non-food items, as follows.

 

  • Nutritional or hormonal imbalance: if your companion animal is malnourished or getting insufficient minerals and vitamins from the food, they may develop pica. Also, hormonal diseases like Diabetes Mellitus or thyroid problems can increase the overall craving for consumption. So if you notice your furry friend eating items other than their food – and frequently – kindly consult your family vet.

 

 

 

  • Worm load: this mostly affects pups. Worms are internal parasites that tend to draw the nutrition from the pup’s food, hence making the dog increasingly hungry. As a result, the pup will attempt to eat just about anything to appease their cravings. It is recommended to deworm puppies as part of their vaccination schedule. This will be performed as part their regular health checks and continued into their adult life. Alternatively, a monthly Heartworm medication acts as an intestinal dewomer for adult dogs.

 

Stress: If your pet is undergoing stress due to separation anxiety, travel, sudden weather changes, etc. then they might start munching on household items as a means to reduce tension. This behaviour usually subsides as soon as the stress factor is eliminated from surroundings.

 

5 REASONS WHY YOUR DOG IS CONSUMING NON-FOOD ITEMS

 

 

  • Improper gut health: If your dog is suffering from an stomach upset (improper digestion or absorption of food), this can increase their cravings. Grass eating is a common problem and there are many theories as to the cause. It is best to discourage grass eating at all times which itself leads to gastrointestinal upset.

 

 

 

  • Boredom: some dogs spend long hours alone while their owners are at work, socializing or attending to errands. Inevitably, pets can become bored and, to help kill time, start chewing and consuming household items. The best way to resolve this problem is spending as much quality time with them while you’re at home – try taking at least half an hour each day to play with your dog and show them the attention they deserve. Positive interactions like games, walks and training help use up your dog’s excess energy while strengthening the bond between you. Otherwise, incorporating pets into your daily activities could be an option too. Many workplaces are becoming pet friendly, as well as restaurants, cafes and other public areas – so there really is plenty of options to include your pup.

 

 

Healthy pets happy parents!!

Dr. Prachi Kshatriya

May 3, 2018

Oh Gosh! Does your pet have impaired LIVER function

Vaccination protects your pet against several common infectious diseases which may otherwise cause serious illnesses. In many cases these diseases can lead to death if not treated properly and immediately. So vaccination provides an early and effective safety net against potentially harmful pathogens.

What vaccination protocol should you follow for your pet?

Your family vet will be able to advise you on the appropriate vaccination schedule depending on the type of pet, age and the location in which you live (some diseases more prevalent in certain areas). However, it is wise to have some background on the types of vaccines routinely used in pets.

 

Vaccines for dogs:

These include vaccinations for Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper, Canine Hepatitis, Canine Parainfluenza, Rabies, Kennel Cough, Leptospirosis and others.

 

Vaccines for cats:

These include vaccinations for Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper), Feline Calicivirus, Feline Herpesvirus type I (Rhinotracheitis) and Rabies.

 

Is it compulsory to get your pet vaccinated?

Vaccines are not legally required in most cases, though they are highly recommended – since the more animals not vaccinated increase the  chances of diseases spreading. Some diseases like Rabies and Leptospirosis are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from pets to to humans. Therefore vaccinating against these helps provide protection for humans too. And, because of the potential for domesticated pets to transmit a lethal diseases to humans, the Rabies vaccination is mandatory for pets like dogs, cats and ferrets. This is of particular importance to when traveling with pets, whether to different countries or within your home country itself.

 

 

WHY SHOULD YOU VACCINATE YOUR PETS

 

Are there any side effects of vaccinations?

Your pet may get a mild fever when they receive the first dose of a vaccine which is a common phenomenon. Apart from this, some dogs and cats may develop localised reactions at the site of injection but this is rare. However, it is advised to consult your vet immediately if you notice any allergic reactions like swelling of face, intense itching (Hives) or lethargy.

Pets never demand anything, but instead provide unconditional love. As pet owners it’s our duty to protect them from potentially harmful bugs. So ongoing vaccination plays an important part in enabling them to live a long, healthy life.

 

Healthy pets happy parents!!

Dr. Prachi Kshatriya

 

 

May 3, 2018

Oh Gosh! Does your pet have impaired LIVER function

 

Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver with impaired functioning and progressive damage. No abnormal signs are noted until 80% of the liver is damaged, after which the changes are irreversible and liver will fail to function completely. This disease affects dogs over 6 years of age and breeds which are at increased risk include Labrador Retrievers, Standard Poodles, Scottish Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, West Highland White Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Keeshonds, Skye Terriers and Doberman Pinschers. 

Factors initiating liver damage include:       

  • Autoimmune diseases.       
  • Infectious diseases like Leptospirosis, Infectious canine hepatitis, etc.       
  • Tumorous growths or cysts involving the liver.       
  • Toxins.
  • Genetic diseases like copper storage disease.
  • Parasites like liver flukes.
  • Drugs like anti-inflammatory medications, analgesics, antibiotics, anaesthetics, dewormers, corticosteroids and anticonvulsants.
  • Idiopathic or unknown causative agents. 

 

Oh Gosh! Does your pet have impaired LIVER function

What will you notice?

Signs depend on the extent of damage caused and the severity of the condition:

  • Vomiting or diarrhoea (maybe blood tinged)
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy and dullness
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Abdomen looks distended and fluid filled (ascites)
  • Pain in abdomen when touched
  • Yellow tinged eyes, skin, gums, urine and feces (jaundice)
  • Poor body condition
  • Nervous signs like seizures, disorientation, circling and coma in terminal stages

 

Oh Gosh! Does your pet have impaired LIVER function

 

How will your vet proceed?

If you notice any of the above signs take your pet to a vet and he will perform liver function tests, radiography, abdominal ultrasound, complete blood count and other tests like biopsy, laparoscopy, etc. if required. The treatment aims at providing supportive therapy and preventing the progression of the disease. Supportive therapy includes fluid therapy, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and supplements like vitamin B and salts like potassium, etc. 

Apart from this, the affected dog’s activity should be restricted with use of a cage until fully recovered. Also, diet modifications play an important role in curing liver disease. Feeding protein and carbohydrate-rich diets and low fat feed with multiple meals throughout the day are advisable. In cases of ascites, diuretics are prescribed to remove the accumulated fluid in the body. If your dog’s condition is serious then hospitalization will be recommended by your vet. 

 

What is the prognosis?

The prognosis is influenced by the clinical signs of the disease as well as by the extent of liver damage. In cases of chronic hepatitis where over 80% of liver damage has occured, prognosis is guarded as the disease is difficult to cure. However, if diagnosed early and treatment started before sufficient damage has occurred the survival of the dog can be prolonged. Vets can successfully reduce pain levels with appropriate treatment, although the prognosis is still not very good.

 

Healthy pets happy parents!!

Dr. Prachi Kshatriya

 

April 25, 2018

Is bad breath of your dog bothering you

 

Why does it occur?

Common causes of bad breath in dogs are:

  • Diseases of gums
  • Tartar or plaques
  • Odour producing bacteria over the tongue
  • Abscess tooth

The long-standing bad breath may also indicate problems with lik:

  • Liver Failure
  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus

 

What should I do about it?

Consult your veterinarian immediately to know the underlying cause of bad breath. Your veterinarian may perform a detailed investigation of physical examination and blood examination before arriving at the conclusion and will suggest you the treatment accordingly. If it is due to oral diseases like plaques or gingivitis your veterinarian may suggest professional cleaning of teeth along with some antibiotics. If it is a long-standing bad breath your dog may have liver problems or kidney diseases which should be addressed on priority basis.

 

How do I prevent it?

As a pet owner, you must follow certain tips to prevent the occurrence of bad breath or halitosis.

  • Provide good and healthy food
  • Maintain good oral hygiene by regular brushing of your dog’s teeth
  • Consult your veterinarian regularly for routine health check-ups of your pet
  • Provide good quality chews for your dog which will help to clean the teeth and minimise bad breath
  • Regular cleaning of plaques by a qualified veterinarian in older dogs

 

It is advised to,

 

  • Use the products which are designed for pets
  • Use the good quality products as recommended by your vet
  • Treat the underlying cause and not just the symptom

 

As your dog’s bad breath is one of the worst situations that you can experience as a pet lover, because of the close relationship, it becomes necessary to take appropriate measures to prevent the same.

 

A healthy dog is a happy dog

Dr. Chandrashekar Salimath