Activ4Pets Blog – For all Petkind

July 17, 2018

BLOOD PARASITES OF DOGS

Blood parasites are organisms that live in the blood of their animal hosts causing different pathological conditions like anaemia (low blood levels), jaundice, etc and often resulting in the death of untreated animals.

 

What are the different blood parasites seen in dogs?

There are different blood parasites seen in dogs. The most common ones are,

  • Babesia
  • Ehrlichia
  • Hemoplasma
  • Hepatozoon
  • American canine hepatozoon
  • Trypanosomes

How is your dog getting infected with these blood parasites?

Blood parasites of dogs are transmitted through,

  • Bite of ticks
  • A bite of lice, fleas, flies and mosquitoes
  • Eating of ticks by dogs
  • Contaminated needles
  • Contaminated blood transfusion

 

Which dogs are more commonly affected?

Dogs which are more commonly affected by blood parasites are,

  • Young dogs (below 6 months of age)
  • Old dogs
  • Dogs which are immunocompromised
  • Dogs suffering from chronic organ dysfunction like liver or kidney.

 

What signs are exhibited by dogs having blood parasites?

Dogs having blood parasites may show few or all of the following signs depending upon the type of pathogen involved which ranges from mild illness to the most severe form leading to the death of the animal.

  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Poor body condition
  • Weakness
  • Eye discharges
  • Bloody stools
  • Progressive anaemia
  • Jaundice etc

Owners are advised to consult a vet immediately if they notice any of the above signs. Your vet will conduct a detailed physical examination along with blood tests to demonstrate the pathogen involved.  Also, he may recommend the therapy accordingly which may include the use of appropriate antibiotics and other supports. In severe cases of anaemia, he may also recommend the blood transfusion from a healthy donor.

 

Are humans affected by these blood parasites?

Although it is not clear whether the disease is transmitted through dogs, some of the cases have been reported in humans with Babesia organisms. Human Babesia infections are acquired by way of bites from infected ticks or through contaminated blood transfusions.

Transmission of Trypanosomes through biting of flies, eating of contaminated food and contamination of wounds has been found in humans.

 

Tips to prevent the occurrence of blood parasites in dogs:

Diseases of blood parasites are best prevented by:

  • Control of ticks, fleas, lice and flies by use of sprays or spot-on solutions to get rid of them (on a regular basis)
  • Screening/checking the donor’s blood prior to transfusion
  • Keeping up a good health and hygiene of your pet
  • Providing good nutrition and a healthy environment which is less burdened with external parasites like ticks, fleas, lice, flies and mosquitoes.

 

A healthy pet is a happy pet

Dr. Chandrashekhar Salimath

 

July 3, 2018

IS YOUR PET SUFFERING FROM HEAT STROKE

Heat Stroke is an extremely serious condition characterized by the increase in body temperature which is accompanied by multiple organ failure often resulting in death. The normal rectal temperature for cats and dogs is approximately 101.5°F to 102°F. Hyperthermia is the increase in body temperature above the normal levels. Anything above 103°F is considered an abnormal temperature. Animals with Heat Stroke usually have the temperature of 106°F and above. In total there is a disparity between heat dissipation from the body and the external environmental temperature.

What are the signs of Heat Stroke?

Signs of Heat Stroke include:

  • Increased body temperature
  • Reddishness of gums and other mucous membranes
  • Vomiting
  • Increased salivation
  • Bleeding from the nostrils
  • Rapid breathing/ panting
  • Increased / irregular heartbeats
  • Distress
  • Minimal urination
  • Loss of coordination/ wobbling gait
  • Seizures/ convulsions
  • Muscular tremors
  • Collapse  
  • Unconsciousness

 

What are the causes of Heat Stroke?

Most common causes of Heat Stroke are:

  • Very high environmental temperature with humidity (like in summer)
  • Increased activity/ exercise (especially in direct sunlight)
  • Being enclosed in a closed car/ chamber
  • Housing in an improperly ventilated room

 

Which dogs are more commonly affected with Heat Stroke?

All dogs are at risk of having a Heat Stroke however, there are some risk factors like:

  • Old dogs
  • Dogs with the thick hair coat
  • Dogs with compromised thyroid
  • Breeds like pugs and boxers (brachycephalic breeds)
  • Breeds like Huskies, St. Bernard, etc are prone (if raised in tropical climatic conditions)

What to do in case of Heat Stroke?

Consult your vet immediately if you notice any of the above signs and if you suspect that your dog might be having a Heat Stroke. However, as a first aid one can follow certain steps like:

  • Remove the dog from the hot environment
  • Use ice packs to cool the body  
  • Use wet towels to cool the body
  • Use fans to cool the body
  • Offer cool water to drink
  • Avoid forced drinking
  • Do not immerse the animal in cold water.

Note:

 

  • It is advised to cool the body gradually
  • Avoid use of ice/cold water to immerse the dog as it diminishes heat loss from the body by constricting the blood vessels
  • Do not overcool the animal as it may result in other problems (stop cooling once the rectal temperature reaches to 103°F).

 

 

How to Prevent Heat Stroke in dogs?

Heat Stroke can be best prevented by:

  • Providing good ventilation
  • Offering cool water to drink all the time
  • Use of air conditioners/ fans during hot weathers
  • Treatment of the underlying cause like a thyroid problem
  • Trimming of hair coat during summer
  • Sprinkling water during daytime
  • The regular check-up by a vet

 

A healthy pet is a happy pet

Dr. Chandrashekhar Salimath

June 26, 2018

Feeding Of Orphaned Kittens

Kittens cannot regulate their temperature until they start walking and generate heat by muscular activity. Hence they should be provided with an optimum environmental temperature for initial few weeks of their life. The optimum temperature should be around 85°F for first two weeks of life and about 80°F for next two weeks. Warm temperature can be provided using:

  • Circulating hot water blankets
  • Hot water bottles wrapped in towels
  • Heating pads (with due precaution not to damage the skin)
  • Heat lamps

Note:

If kittens are not moving from warmer to cooler areas then such kittens should be examined for their viability and any other problems.

Kittens should consume mother’s first milk (colostrums) in the first 24 hours of their life as it provides passive immunity to fight infections in early life. In case of orphans, your vet may opt for giving other mothers serum as injections to give initial immunity.

Note:

  • Donor cats should be negative for feline leukaemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus and should have the same blood type as the kitten.
  • One should go for early vaccination in kittens which have not received enough colostrum.

A milk-based diet should be offered for the first 3 to 4 weeks. Commercial milk replacers are a better choice over homemade diets as they are:

  • balanced,
  • of high nutrient density
  • low in fiber,
  • contain protein of high biological value.

Note:

Kitten milk replacers should have a source of Taurine for optimal growth to occur.

 

How to prepare a milk replacer for kittens at home?

The ideal homemade milk replacer for kittens under emergency conditions should contain:

  1. ½ cup (120   ml) whole milk
  2. 1 egg yolk
  3. A drop of multivitamins

 

How much should you feed the orphaned kitten?

Kittens should receive 220 to 380 kcal/kg daily which should be divided into 4 to 6 feedings. Once the orphan kitten reaches 2 weeks of age frequency of feeding can be reduced to 3 times.

Note:

The feeding formula should be warmed to 95 to 100 °F before feeding the kittens below 2 weeks of age.

 

How should I feed my kittens?

One can use following equipment for feeding kittens:

  • spoons
  • droppers
  • bottles
  • tubes

Use of bottles and tubes is better advised over spoons and droppers to avoid aspirations. Advantages of bottle feeding are:

  • Low risk of entering the windpipe
  • Satisfies the need of neonates to suckle

 

One should depend on either bottle marketed for kitten use or those intended for human babies. Tube-feeding is faster but caution must be taken to ensure proper placement of the tube into the digestive tract (vet’s help required) and to prevent overflowing and regurgitation. It is advised to follow the instructions given by your vet to use the feeding tubes in kittens.

 

When should you introduce solid food to orphan kittens?

Solid foods can be introduced by 3 to 4 weeks of age in kittens. Canned or moistened dry foods are better preferred over human foods. Solid food should be given in the form of gruels initially. Provision should be made for fresh water to be available always. This should continue for about 6 to 8 weeks of age by which time kittens should attain 6 to 10 times the birth weight.

One must always try to find a foster mother for kittens before attempting to go for homemade or a commercial diet. Advantages of feeding through the foster mother are,

  • Presence of good nutrients
  • Presence of antibodies
  • Presence of enzymes
  • Helps in behavioural development

If feeding induces diarrhoea, the formula can be diluted 1:2 with electrolyte solution until the neonate can tolerate it.

 

A healthy pet is a happy pet

Dr. Chandrashekhar Salimath

June 19, 2018

KNOW THE BREED: Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog. The breed inherits its
name after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. They are seen in a wide
variety of colours, and two coat lengths,
✓ the Smooth Coat (shorthaired)
✓ the Long Coat (longhaired)
These are seen in two types of head types,
● apple head"- Apple heads have rounded heads, close-set eyes,
and relatively short ears and legs.
● deer head"- Deer heads have flat-topped heads, more widely
set eyes, large ears, and longer, more slender legs.

 

What is the height of Chihuahua dog?
Generally, the height of Chihuahua dog ranges between 15 to 23 cm
(6 to 9 inches). However, a maximum of 30 to 38 cm height can be
seen in some cases. Because of this low height, they are regarded as
smallest breed of dog.

How much a Chihuahua weigh?
Ideally, Chihuahua should weigh around 1.8-2.7kg and the average
lifespan for a Chihuahua is between 12 and 20 years.

What are the different colours seen in this breed?
Common colours seen in Chihuahua dogs are fawn, red, cream,
chocolate, brown, mixed, white, and black. No colour or pattern is
considered more valuable than another.

 

KNOW THE BREED: Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are victims of "small dog syndrome"…
This is a condition in which owners feel no need to provide the kind
of training and socialization routinely provided for larger dogs,
untrained Chihuahuas suffer the same predictable behavioural
problems as other untrained dogs regardless of the breed. However,
they do well when given appropriate socialization and training.
Poorly socialized Chihuahuas can be easily provoked to attack, and

are therefore considered unsuitable for homes with small and
undisciplined children.
Chihuahuas love their dens and will often burrow themselves in
pillows, clothes hampers, and blankets. They are often found under
the covers or at the bottom of the bed, deep in the dark and safety
of what they perceive as their den. Chihuahuas also enjoy time in
sunlight.

What are the common health issues of this breed?
Common health issues need to be addressed are,

✓ Dental issues
✓ Breathing problem
✓ Heart problems
✓ Knee cap problem etc.

Dental care includes,
● Daily brushing
● Feeding a dental diet
● Using dental chews
Helps to prevent and control accumulation of early plaque and
tartar. Collapsed trachea is another health concern that is typical of
the Chihuahua breed related to breathing issues. Chihuahuas,
especially the short coat variety, are less tolerant to cold than larger
breeds. These are prone to some heart-related disorders and are also
known for luxating patella (kneecap), a genetic condition that can
occur in all dogs. As in other breeds with large protruding eyes,
Chihuahuas are prone to eye infections or eye injury.

Separation anxiety in Chihuahuas may result in,
● excessive salivating
● destructive chewing or
● barking
● howling or whining
Note:
Apple head Chihuahuas can have an open fontanel or moleras, a soft
spot in their skulls, and they are the only breed of dog to be born with
an incomplete skull.

A Healthy dog is a happy dog
Dr. Chandrashekhar Salimath

 

June 12, 2018

Is your kitty pregnant? Are you sure?

Queen cat in heat may have multiple mating before it gets conceived. Sometimes there may be more than one male involved in mating, and it is very common in queen cats to have a litter of kittens born to more than one tomcat. It is not mandatory that every mating turns out to be successful. Hence, it is advised to go for pregnancy diagnosis to confirm pregnancy which will not only help to plan proper feeding regimen but also take good care of the queen cat during the course of pregnancy.

 

How to diagnose pregnancy in cats?

Consult your veterinarian after around 3 to 4 weeks from the last mating for pregnancy diagnosis in cats. Your vet may collect all necessary history regarding queen’s heat period and mating and then go for pregnancy diagnosis. This can be done by,

 

  • Abdominal palpation
  • Ultrasonography
  • Radiography
  • Estimation of a pregnancy hormone

 

 

Abdominal palpation:

It is usually done around 3 to 4 weeks from the breeding date which requires an experienced veterinarian and a relaxed queen. Your vet will look for the presence of small round shaped compact masses that appear like beads in a chain. These are actually the palpable foetuses within the uterus and confirm the pregnancy.

Ultrasonography:

Pregnancy can also be confirmed by use of an abdominal ultrasound. This can be done anywhere between 20 days to full term. Your vet may look for the presence of gestational sacs in early days and foetuses in later stages. This is a confirmatory diagnosis of pregnancy but a number of foetuses present cannot be determined in this technique. Use of ultrasonography requires an experienced veterinarian and a cooperative queen.

 

Radiography:

Radiography is another technique wherein the images are captured by an x-ray machine and are ready for the presence of foetal bones. This can be done only after 45 days of pregnancy as the foetal images are better appreciated due to development of bones. Use of radiography carries some hazards and should be used cautiously.

 

Estimation of pregnancy hormone:

Estimation of pregnancy hormone also helps in determination of pregnancy in cats. But this is not routinely employed as abdominal palpation and ultrasonography serve better options for pregnancy diagnosis in routine practice.

Pregnancy period in cats may range between 57 to 63 days. Confirm the pregnancy as early as possible by a suitable method as advised by your veterinarian and take proper care of your queen cat and manage well for easy delivery of kittens.*I’d add something about the best way to diagnose and manage a pregnancy is with a combination of the above methods.

 

A healthy pet is a happy pet

Dr. Chandrashekhar Salimath

 

June 8, 2018

What is CHERRY EYE in dog

 

Tear production and its drainage are vital for the health of outer eye which helps in maintaining normal wetness of eye and clearance of dirt and dust particles. Cherry eye is a common disorder in young dogs in which the tear-producing gland in the eye is thickened and slipped out of its proper place. In severe cases the slipped reddish mass swells and sticks out leading to the name cherry eye.

 

Which breeds are more commonly affected?

Cherry eye is commonly seen in

  • Cocker spaniel
  • Lhasa apso
  • Beagle
  • Bulldog
  • Pekingese

 

What are the causes of cherry eye in dogs?

Different causes include,

  • Hereditary
  • Inflammation of the gland, etc.

 

What are the symptoms exhibited by dogs having cherry eye condition?

Dogs having a cherry eye condition

  • may have mucus-like or pus-like discharge from the eyes
  • swelling may be present for a short period of time
  • tear-producing gland may remain dislocated

 

How to correct the condition?

Since major tear-producing gland is affected, your vet will want to preserve the same for normal health of the outer eye. This can be achieved by performing a delicate surgery along with supportive therapy.

 

What are the complications of cherry eye condition?

Dogs with cherry eye often develop dry eye condition in later stages. Correction of the condition either surgically or medically may still predispose dogs for a dry eye condition.

 

A healthy dog is a happy dog

Dr. Chandrashekhar Salimath

June 5, 2018

Is Your Pet ANEMIA

Anaemia is a condition characterized by low blood levels in the body with special reference to red blood cells. These cells are the major component of blood and are involved in the transportation and utilization of oxygen required for normal bodily functions.

Anaemia can occur due to:

  • Loss of blood: This results from an injury, trauma due to an accident, internal bleeding due to rupture of some tumours or spleen, or parasites like hookworms and fleas which consume blood for their survival.

 

  • Destruction of blood cells: This is seen in some of the conditions like blood parasites, jaundice (yellowish colouration of eyes, skin and gums) and leptospirosis.

 

Decreased production of red blood cells: This is seen in conditions like leukaemia, kidney diseases, and other cancerous conditions.

 

How will you know that your pet is anaemic?

Clinical signs exhibited by pet animals depends on the severity and duration (i.e. whether it is long-standing or sudden occurrence) of anaemia.

Dogs and cats with a sudden and severe occurrence of anaemia may experience shock or even death if more than a third of the blood volume is lost rapidly and not replaced. Such animals may have:

  • an increased heart rate
  • pale gums and
  • low blood pressure

 

Animals with long-standing anaemia will have the reaction time to adjust to the situation, and they develop anaemic signs more slowly. These include:

  • low energy levels
  • weakness and
  • loss of appetite

Affected animals will have similar physical examination  findings, such as:

  • pale gums
  • an increased heart rate and
  • splenic enlargement

 

How to correct anaemia in pets?

You should consult a veterinarian if you notice any of the above symptoms. The vet may collect the history pertaining to your pet and its health status before conducting a blood analysis. Finally, your vet may arrive at the cause of anaemia and may guide you properly to correct the same which may include:

  • use of drugs that control the bleeding
  • removing the parasite load
  • use of drugs that stimulate red blood cell production
  • use of iron supplements
  • blood transfusion in severe cases and
  • use of blood volume expanders

 

Help your pet to maintain good health by adopting ideal health practices as suggested by your veterinarian. Ensure your pet receives regular health check-ups to ensure they are healthy or to identify any potential issues.

 

A healthy dog is a happy dog

Dr. Chandrashekar Salimath

May 29, 2018

what is the best time for OVARIOHYSTERECTOMY In Dogs

 

Ovariohysterectomy refers to the surgery in female dogs where both ovaries including the uterus are surgically removed. This procedure is more commonly known as spaying or OHE.

What is the best age for performing OHE?

The best age for performing routine OHE in dogs not intended for breeding is at least 3 months of age and before the onset of her first cycle.

For dogs which are recommended for breeding purposes, OHE can be done after the delivery of pups and the dog is in anestrus stage (sexual resting stage).

OHE is also performed in dogs showing signs of pyometra (uterine infection) on an emergency basis, as it predisposes the dog for septicemic shock and other complications like kidney failure. Hence determination of proper age at which the OHE is performed depends on the type of individual case and may be decided well by your veterinarian.

What are the advantages of getting my dog spayed?

Advantages of spaying your dog includes,

  • Lowers the occurrence of mammary tumours when aged.
  • Decreases the incidence of uterine infections like pyometra.
  • Decreases the aggressive sexual behaviour among female dogs.
  • Elimination of unwanted pregnancy in

 

Are there any problems/ risks associated with OHE?

There are few complications associated with OHE such as:

  • General risk of surgery and anaesthesia
  • Urinary incontinence (uncontrolled urination)
  • Weight gain, etc

 

Note:

Urinary incontinence is more commonly seen in dogs which are spayed at less than 3 months of age. It is believed to be associated with incomplete development of urethral sphincter.

Obesity or weight gain is believed to be associated with decreased metabolic rate and may well be controlled by the owner with proper diet and exercise.

 

Conclusion:

Pet owners along with their veterinarians must consider the occurrence and severity of disorders associated with OHE to determine the optimal age of OHE for a given dog. OHEs for uterine infections should be taken up on a priority basis if not intended for future breeding.

 

A healthy pet is a happy pet

Dr. Chandrashekar Salimath

 

May 25, 2018

How you can help your dog undergoing a BACKACHE

 

Does your dog sensitive when touched on the back?

Noticing a stiff gait?

Unwilling to go out for walks?

If the answer to the above questions is ‘YES’ then your pet is likely undergoing a serious back pain issue!

 

Breeds prone to develop a backache:

  • Dachshunds
  • Pugs
  • French Bulldogs
  • Basset Hounds

 

How do you know if it’s BACK PAIN?

  • Difficulty in standing after a long rest.
  • Stiff gait.
  • Increased panting.
  • Skipping meals.
  • Showing disinterest in playful or outdoor activities.

 

How can you help your furry friend?

  1. Make an appointment at your veterinarian’s office and after a thorough examination, prescription pain medication may provide immediate relief. But be cautious not to continue these medications for long without a discussion with your veterinarian about potential side effects. Also, you will be advised to increase your pet’s resting hours, decrease the walks and walking only on a leash. Never leave your pet unattended when you notice signs of pain.

 

How you can help your dog undergoing a BACKACHE

2. Physical therapy is recommended for back Your veterinarian may develop a special exercise routine to address your dog’s pain or refer you to a specialist.  The vet may also suggest placing a heating pad on low power on the dog’s back for 10 minutes every hour to help relieve pain. That, combined with a few weeks of rest, is sometimes all that’s needed for the dog to heal from a mild back injury.

3. Hydrotherapy works wonders in dogs dealing with backache issues. The buoyancy of the water reduces the pressure on muscles and joints, allowing them to regain strength and range of motion while minimizing strain. It also stimulates the blood flow and boosts the body’s natural healing process.

4. Laser therapy is another way of stimulating the body’s natural ability to heal. When the light energy of a laser hits the damaged cells, it stimulates blood flow, bringing more healing oxygen to the area and improving nerve and muscle function.

5. Therapeutic ultrasound uses sound waves to heal the injured area.  It helps in reducing the swelling and inflammation thus relieving Because the ultrasound waves work at a deeper level than laser therapy, it works better for deep-seated back pain.

6. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing practice that reduces pain by improving the flow of Chi, or energy. Tiny needles are inserted into the skin at specific locations which stimulates the energy of the body part, reduces stagnation, improves blood flow, and relieves pain.

 

Healthy pets happy parents!!

Dr. Prachi Kshatriya

May 22, 2018

What is HARD PAD disease of dogs

 

Hard pad disease is a common name for canine distemper in dogs. Canine Distemper is a viral disease that spreads rapidly from one dog to other and affects many systems including the lungs and nervous system. It is characterized by fever, loss of white blood cells, and inflammation of the lungs and brain. It is mostly noticed in unvaccinated pups.

 

How is the disease transmitted?

Most cases of canine distemper develop after an animal breathes in the virus from droplets of moisture exhaled by an infected animal (aerosol route). Dogs in recovery also shed the virus in their secretions for several months after the symptoms disappear. In humans, it causes asymptomatic disease.

 

What are the symptoms exhibited by dogs having Distemper?

Several symptoms are exhibited by dogs having distemper including:

  • Fever
  • A runny nose
  • Yellowish eye discharge
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

 

Secondary bacterial infections may complicate the condition with:

  • Gastrointestinal and respiratory signs
  • Pus-filled pimples over the skin (especially abdomen)

 

Nervous symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Incoordination
  • Increased alertness
  • Muscle twitching
  • Seizures

 

What is HARD PAD disease of dogs

Other symptoms include:

  • Hardening of footpad (hard pad) and nose
  • Convulsions with drooling and chewing movements of the jaw (“chewing-gum fits”)
  • The dog may fall on its side and paddle its legs (in severe cases)

 

How is the disease diagnosed?

Consult your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of the above symptoms. Diagnosis is confirmed based on the signs exhibited, blood examination, and by use of readymade diagnostic kits. Prevalence of canine distemper in the area should also be considered while arriving at the diagnosis and should be ruled out for any other diseases that show similar symptoms.

 

How to treat and prevent the canine distemper?

Vaccination is the most widely used and best available prevention for Canine Distemper. Puppies should be vaccinated when they are 6 weeks old and then at 3 to 4-week intervals until they are 14 to 16 weeks old followed by annual booster doses. However, your vet will recommend a proper schedule of vaccination depending on the case and requirement.

Treatment of canine distemper is designed to limit bacterial invasion, support fluid balance, counteract the symptoms and control nervous system problems. Dogs may recover completely from the infection and good nursing care is essential. However, treatment for the neurologic problems of distemper is usually not successful. If the neurologic signs are severe or continue to worsen, it may be appropriate to have the dog humanely put down.

 

A healthy dog is a happy dog!

Dr. Chandrashekhar Salimath