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Overweight and Balding

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Image Credit: Facebook Fan Chip Laughton

Overweight and Balding: More Than Just a Middle Age Crisis

 

Weight gain and a thinning hair coat can be symptoms of the endocrine disease hypothyroidism in canines. Symptoms may be difficult to pinpoint, as onset may be slow and non-specific. The most commonly reported symptoms dog owners notice include weight gain despite decreased appetite, thinning hair coat, frequent ear and skin infections, and low energy.  Hypothyroidism appears to be a heritable condition in certain purebred dogs. Testing for hypothyroidism is not always straightforward: Unclear screening tests may require additional testing if hypothyroidism is suspected.  Read More >





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Disc Disease Basics

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A Serious Pain in the Neck: Cervical Disc Disease in Young Dogs

It’s a heart wrenching experience to see a young active dog rendered immobile due to severe neck pain. Often without history of witnessed trauma, this condition can baffle pet owners. Cervical (neck) disc disease is a type of intervertebral disc disease that first presents in young adulthood in at risk breeds.  Read on to learn more about this painful condition.

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Dehydration in the Working Dog

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Image Credit: Morgan Myrick

Die Hard Work Ethic is Hard to Tame: Dehydration in the Working Dog

A focused, hard-working dog is priceless no matter the type of work: military, police, rescue/recovery, hunting, field trial, herding, or agility-these dogs will put their job above physical needs. Dehydration can occur quickly in pets not properly conditioned to their job requirements or when they are working in environments where hydrating resources are suboptimal. Proactive, responsible handlers practice  prevention and work to reverse early signs of dehydration to keep their dogs on active duty.

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A Fresh Look at Parvo

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Image Credit: Facebook Fan Ashley Rabatin

Parvo: Once a Deadly Virus, Now Nearly 100% Preventable with Vaccination

Viral Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, a.k.a Parvovirus: A vomit-inducing, appetite-suppressing, dehydrating, stomach-aching, bloody diarrhea caused by one tough-to-kill virus. Parvovirus is not a new disease, and prevention and treatment of this condition have come a long way since discovery in the late 1970’s. Appropriate vaccination timing in puppies, as well as regular booster vaccinations, nearly eliminates the risk of infection. Read More >





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The Cute-est Parasite! ‘Tis the Season for Cuterebriasis Infestation

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Image Credit: Facebook Fan Chip Laughton

The Cute-est Parasite! Tis the Season for Cuterebriasis Infestation

If you find parasites both intriguing and repulsive, I have a unique parasite for you! The cuterebra larva (a.k.a. botfly larva) is a parasite that spends the first half of its life living and growing within the tissues of a mammal. Squirrels, rabbits, and rodents are the primary host for this parasite, but it can infect any mammal that accidentally intakes the eggs or larva – including humans! These nasty little buggers cause a condition known as “warbles”: a lumpy, writhing skin condition which occurs when multiple larva are present under the skin of one animal.   Cuterebriasis is enough to make your skin crawl… literally. Read More >





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Bite Prevention and Safety: 5 Tips to Protect Your Dog

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Image Credit: Facebook Fan D. Stotelmyer

Bite Prevention and Safety: 5 Tips to Protect Your Dog

Learn the Lingo

Pets communicate primarily through body language, but also through scent and vocalization. As a responsible pet owner, learn to interpret general pet language including communication through posture, eyes, ears, tail, and mouth. Specifically learn to recognize or distinguish signs of fear or stress in your pet from signs that your pet is content and playful. This will help you to promptly remove your pet from a stressful situation before it escalates. Normal play behaviors may mimic aggression, so interpretation and context is key. Read More >





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Holy Moldy! Mold Ingestion Causes Toxic Tremors

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Image Credit: John Arrington PhoDOGraphy

Holy Moldy! Mold Ingestion Causes Toxic Tremors

Dogs, notorious for their scavenging behaviors, possess the unique ability to sniff out and devour a foul smelling snack; this can be not only repulsive, it may lead to deadly consequences. A specific and dangerous toxic condition called tremorgenic mycotoxicosis can occur in dogs who ingest moldy decaying matter, such as old food leftovers, remains from the compost pile, or dead animal carcasses from the yard or woods. Read More >





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Weighing In on Pet Obesity: Easy Tips for Healthy Weight Management

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Image Credit: Chasen Selsor

Weighing In on Pet Obesity: Easy Tips for Healthy Weight Management

Obese and overweight dogs and cats live, on average, about two years less than their lean counterparts.  Alarmingly, a shortened life expectancy is not the worst news: Owners of overweight pets spend more money annually treating co-occurring health conditions than pet owners with healthy weight pets. This spending could be minimized if pet weight was adequately monitored and controlled. Heavy pets more often suffer health conditions like arthritis, heart disease, respiratory distress, liver disease, urinary tract infections, and endocrine disease than pets of ideal weight.  These diseases are painful and often difficult to manage. Learning keys to prevent and reverse obesity may help your canine companion experience a longer more fulfilling life. Read More >





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ALERT! Mosquitoes Spread Disease to Dogs: What You Need-to-Know About Heartworms

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Image Credit: Facebook Fans Joel and Hannah

ALERT! Mosquitoes Spread Disease to Dogs: What You Need-to-Know About Heartworms

What is a heartworm? Does my pet have worms in her heart?

Yes – in fact, heartworm infection is caused by an infestation of parasitic worms within the heart of canines (and sometimes feline and other mammalian species). Writhing, foot long clusters of vampire-like worms feeding on the blood of your pet.

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Can You Recognize the Signs? The Not-So-Obvious Symptoms of Pain

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Image Credit: Facebook Fan John Arrington

Can You Recognize the Signs? The Not-So-Obvious Symptoms of Pain

Identifying when a pet has acutely injured himself is fairly straightforward when he is exhibiting obvious outward signs such as holding up an injured limb or howling after a fall.  It’s not rocket science, after all! But did you know that most pets will mask symptoms of pain as part of their natural survival instinct? As the shepherds to our pets wellbeing, we are responsible to minimize suffering and can best serve our pets’ needs by learning to recognize the subtle symptoms of canine pain.

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