BREED INFORMATION

General Pet Articles

You love your pet and want what’s best for them, and we share that same goal! To help manage your animal companion’s lifestyle and keep them as happy and healthy as possible, we’ve gathered a collection of helpful pet articles that cover everything from health tips to diet and exercise to interesting stories designed to educate and entertain. Please feel free to browse our library of topics and refer back to this resource as often as you’d like.

Havana Brown

Personality:

Affectionate, gentle, and eager to please.
Curious and enthusiastic to participate in household activities.
Only breed in which the show standard specifies that whisker color must...

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Personality:

Affectionate, gentle, and eager to please.
Curious and enthusiastic to participate in household activities.
Only breed in which the show standard specifies that whisker color must complement coat color.
Frequently stand or sit with an elevated, outstretched paw.
Enjoy carrying things in their mouths.
Very loud purr.

History:

Originated in England in the early 1950′s, the result of crossing black domestic cats, chocolate-point Siamese, and Russian Blues in order to create a cat with a brown coat and green eyes. First Havana Browns were imported to the United States in the mid-1950′s. Recognized for championship status in the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1964. The International Cat Association (TICA) accepts Havanas with lilac-colored coats and therefore deletes the word brown from the breed title.

Body Type:

Medium-sized, well-balanced cat that is mid-range between the thick-set cobby and svelte foreign body type.
Distinctive head with a square, corncob muzzle that appears like a protrusion to the face rather than as an extension of the head.
Ears are large and round tipped.
Eyes are oval, medium sized and can be any shade of vivid green.

Coat:

Coat is short, smooth, and lustrous.
Color is a rich mahogany brown, free of any markings.

Health and Wellness:

Although the Havana Brown is generally a hardy breed, some lines have a tendency to develop sinus problems when exposed to sudden changes in temperature or humidity.
Gene pools tend to be small.
Check with your breeder for immune system deficiencies that can sometimes result from close breedings.

What you should know:

Try to keep your Havana in a controlled, dry environment.

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Himalayan

Personality:
  • Quiet, gentle, and passive.

  • Playful as kittens, becoming more reserved as they...

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Personality:
  • Quiet, gentle, and passive.

  • Playful as kittens, becoming more reserved as they mature.

  • Make excellent companions for people and other pets.

History:

Breed is the result of efforts in the 1930′s to cross Siamese with Persians in order to understand the inheritance of the Siamese color-point gene.  Offspring were bred back to Persians to keep the Persian look while maintaining the color points.  Named after the Himalayan rabbit, which has the same color point pattern.  Today, Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) considers this breed a division of the Persian breed.  The International Cat Association (TICA) considers Himalayans as a separate breed.

Body Type:
  • Short, well-rounded, cobby body is supported by thick, short legs.

  • Head is massive and round with small, round-tipped ears.

  • Blue eyes are large and round.

Coat:
  • Coat is long, thick, and flowing.

  • Body coat is a lighter color with contrasting color points on face, ears, paws, and tail.  Needs daily grooming.

  • Colors include seal point, chocolate point, blue point, lilac point, flame point, cream point, tortie point, chocolate-tortie point, blue- cream point, lilac-cream point, and lynx point.

Health and Wellness:
  • Some lines have problems with hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint that can cause lameness.

  • Some lines have indicated problems with cardiomyopathy, a defect of the heart muscle that can lead to heart failure.

  • More extreme types (cats with radically flat faces) may have breathing problems, misaligned teeth, tear duct blockage or mouths too small to support a full set of teeth.

  • Other problems include intolerance of heat and an increased tendency towards dermatitis (skin inflammation).

What you should know:
  • Nicknamed Himmies by cat fanciers.

  • Often mistaken for a longhaired Siamese or Balinese.

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Iceland Farehound

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Icelandic Sheepdog

  • Friar Dog

Country/Date of origin:
  • Iceland

  • ...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Icelandic Sheepdog

  • Friar Dog

Country/Date of origin:
  • Iceland

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • 12 to 16 inches

Weight:
  • 20 to 30 pounds

Personality:
  • Intelligent.

  • Easily trained.

  • Loyal.

History:

This breed is believed to have been originally brought to Iceland by the Vikings where it was used as a herding dog.  It came close to extinction in the early 1900′s when it was almost wiped out by a viral epidemic (probably distemper).  Thirty years later, most of the Farehonds were killed to stop an epidemic of tapeworm that is communicable to sheep and humans.  A few of the breed were sent to England in the 1950′s and it has thrived there and on mainland Scandinavia.  It has been accepted for showing under Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) rules, and is now making in-roads back into its native Iceland.

Body Type:
  • A small, Spitz-type dog.

  • The tail is set high and carried curled over the back.  It is not altered.

  • The ears are carried erect and are not altered.

Coat:
  • The coat is thick and carried close to the body.  It may be either short or long in length.

  • All colors are permissible, with a golden red being the most common.

  • Moderate grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • Generally robust

What you should know:
  • Unlike most Spitz breeds, the Farehond is not a hunting dog.

  • It does not have the roaming predilection of that group but the homebody propensity of the herding dogs.

  • This is a lively dog that requires plenty of exercise.

  • Should be socialized at an early age.

  • It will be difficult to obtain a puppy in the United States.

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Irish Terrier

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Irish Red Terrier

  • Red Devil

  • Daredevil

Country/Date of origin:
  • Ireland

  • 16th ...

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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Irish Red Terrier

  • Red Devil

  • Daredevil

Country/Date of origin:
  • Ireland

  • 16th century

Height:
  • 18 inches

Weight:
  • Females:  25 pounds

  • Males:  27 pounds

Personality:
  • The Irish Terrier’s disposition is as fiery as its coat.

  • Spirited, animated, plucky.

  • Nicknamed the Daredevil because of its tendency to rush headlong and blindly at an adversary, disregarding the consequences.

  • Loving, gentle, and playful nature.

  • Does not get along well with other dogs or cats.

  • Courageous and loyal in the extreme, often recklessly putting itself in harm’s way to protect loved ones.

History:

Originated in County Cork, Ireland in the 1700′s as a farm dog.  The dogs were jacks-of-all-trades, watching the barnyard; guarding the children; hunting for varmints; tracking larger game; retrieving water fowl; and, warding off prowlers at night.  The Irish Terrier breed, one of the oldest terrier breeds, was refined and standardized in the late 1800′s in Ireland and England.  The Irishman came to the United States soon afterward, and was one of the original breeds shown in the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Body Type:
  • A wiry, sturdy, graceful, all-of-a-piece dog, with a moderately long body and straight, strong back.

  • The head is broad and slablike, and the jaws are muscular but not full-cheeked.

  • The teeth are strong and even.

  • The dark eyes are small and full of a fiery intelligence.

  • The medium-length tail is carried low and is not altered.

  • The small, V-shaped ears are set well on the head and are cropped short.

Coat:
  • Whole-colored shades of red are the only colors allowed.

  • A rich, very dense, wiry, close-lying, double coat free from curl, kink or softness.

  • High maintenance grooming.

Health and Wellness:
  • Hypothyroid conditions.

  • Urolithiasis (cystine).

What you should know:
  • The Red Devils served as army dogs in World War I and II, acting as sentries and messengers.

  • The stubborn nature of the Irish Terrier sometimes makes it difficult to housebreak.

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Irish Wolfhound

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Milcu

Country/Date of origin
  • Ireland

  • 100 BC

Height:
  • Females:...

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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Milcu

Country/Date of origin
  • Ireland

  • 100 BC

Height:
  • Females:  From 30 inches

  • Males:  From 32 inches

Weight:
  • Females:  From 105 pounds

  • Males:  From 120 pounds

     
Personality:
  • This is a true, gentle giant.

  • The breed’s motto is “Gentle When Stroked, Fierce When Provoked.”

  • Will protect its people, but not much good as a watchdog.

  • Very quiet, rarely barks.

  • Gets along well with other dogs and cats.

  • Laid back hound personality.

  • Tends to be a one-family dog.

  • Gracious with strangers but not gushy.

History:

One of the oldest of purebred dogs, the Irish Wolfhound was the hunting dog of the Celtic people.  It followed them on their migration across Europe and became the dominant coursing hound in Ireland, where it was so good at its job it exterminated the last wolf in the mid 1800′s and almost destroyed itself with it.  The deer hunters were exclusively the possession of the aristocracy who, of course, owned the deer in Ireland and England.  Combining great speed and strength, the Irish Wolfhound found a place as a hunter’s companion on the American and Canadian frontier and even later in Australia.

Body Type:
  • A giant, rough greyhound.

  • Irish Wolfhounds are the tallest of all breeds.

  • Rose ears are not altered, and are carried tightly against the neck.

  • Long tail is not altered.

Coat:
  • The harsh, shaggy coat protects against brambles and wet weather.

  • The hair is longer and more wiry under the jaw and over the eyes.

  • Colors may be gray, white, fawn, red, wheaten, or black.

  • White markings on chest and feet are allowed with all of the colors, and brindling may overlay any of the colors as well.

  • The most common colors are gray and wheaten.

  • Minimal grooming.

  • The coat does not mat.

Health and Wellness:
  • Gastric dilatation and volvulus syndrome (GDV, also commonly called bloat).

  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

  • Metabolic bone disease.

  • Porto-systemic shunts.

  • Cardiomyopathy.

  • Elbow hygroma.

  • Hypothyroidism.

  • Osteosarcoma (appendicular).

What you should know:
  • An Irish Wolfhound was the first purebred dog in the New World.  One traveled with Columbus on his fourth voyage.

  • The Irish Wolfhound was so valued in the 16 and 1700′s that a condemned man could buy his life with one.

  • This is a running dog and it needs a few minutes of vigorous exercise every day.  The rest of the time it just lies around.

  • A dog of great dignity.

  • Cannot bear to be laughed at.

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Coccidiosis

Coccidia are protozoan parasites that infect the small intestine of dogs and cats. In large numbers, a condition called coccidiosis can cause diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, lethargy, and death....

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Coccidia are protozoan parasites that infect the small intestine of dogs and cats. In large numbers, a condition called coccidiosis can cause diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, lethargy, and death. Usually an illness of puppies and kittens, adult animals develop a natural resistance to coccidia and can be silent carriers of the organism.

Coccidia require a fecal to oral transmission. Puppies and kittens are very likely to ingest fecal matter, and subsequently become infected by the cysts that are shed by an infected animal. About two weeks after exposure to coccidia, the susceptible juveniles will begin to exhibit symptoms. Diarrhea may be bloody and mucoid, and in advanced cases, vomiting and dehydration can lead to death.

A test called a fecal flotation is performed by the veterinarian to detect coccidia. Testing may be repeated several times while the pet is less than six months old because of the long incubation period before symptoms occur. Also, after treatment, the fecal flotation may be repeated until no organisms are seen.

Treatment for coccidia does not actually kill the parasites. Instead, Sulfonamide drugs inhibit the reproduction of the organisms, allowing the immune system to clear the infection over time. Treatment will usually last at least two weeks, and may be extended in resistant cases. Very low numbers of cysts that go undetected may remain in the animal, and relapse can occur during times of stress or immune suppression. The two most common drugs used for treating coccidiosis are Sulfamethoxine (Albon) and Trimethoprim-Sulfadiazine (Tribrissen). Side effects from these drugs are rare and associated with long-term dosing, but they can include dry-eye (KCS) which is a serious condition. So, tell your veterinarian is you notice any discharge, redness, or squinting of the eyes.

Adult animals may carry low numbers of coccidia without becoming sick. They should probably be treated until none of the parasites are found on a fecal flotation, as they can continue to be reservoirs of infection for younger animals.

Stools from an infected pet should be removed from the environment to prevent re-infection. Although human coccidiosis is not thought to originate from dogs and cats, people with compromised immune systems should avoid contact with infected animals.

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Common Household Plants Toxic To Dogs & Cats

The following common ornamental and garden plants have been shown to cause systemic toxicity or significant gastrointestinal irritation when ingested by dogs and cats. This list is not meant to be...

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The following common ornamental and garden plants have been shown to cause systemic toxicity or significant gastrointestinal irritation when ingested by dogs and cats. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive; all plants, known to be toxic or not, can cause considerable GI upset (vomiting, ulceration, diarrhea, subsequent dehydration) when consumed in large amounts. Pets that have ingested plant material on this list should be evaluated as soon as possible by your veterinarian and poison control services (ASPCA 1-888-426-4435). Pets that have ingested plants not on the list should be observed for any symptoms and evaluated promptly should any ill-effects occur.

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Corneal Ulcers

Corneal erosion or ulceration is a defect in the clear protective membrane covering the iris and the lens of the eye. It can be caused by physical trauma, a chemical injury, or chronic irritation as...

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Corneal erosion or ulceration is a defect in the clear protective membrane covering the iris and the lens of the eye. It can be caused by physical trauma, a chemical injury, or chronic irritation as occurs in the case of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS or “dry eye”) or entropion (hereditary inward rolling of the eyelids). Deep ulcers are considered ocular emergencies.

A corneal ulcer is painful. It usually causes photophobia (avoidance of light), squinting, and rubbing / pawing at the eye. There may be a mucousy discharge from the affected eye. Because the barrier provided by the epithelium, or the outer layers of the cornea, is compromised, the eye becomes susceptible to bacterial infection. Left untreated, an ulcer can lead to permanent scarring and vision loss. It is possible that a small ulcer in the cornea could eventually progress to complete eye-loss.

Damage to the cornea is not always obvious to the pet’s owner; symptoms are evidence enough that the eye needs immediate veterinary attention. The doctor will first instill a local anesthetic into the painful eye to alleviate discomfort and facilitate a thorough examination. Then, several tests are performed including a fluorescein stain uptake test. A sterile fluorescent dye is introduced onto the surface of the cornea, then gently rinsed away with saline. A healthy, intact cornea is smooth and non-porous and will not absorb any stain. Any defect in the smooth surface however, no matter how superficial, will retain the fluorescent dye. The eroded area will subsequently glow bright green under a wood’s lamp (black light).

Superficial erosions and minor ulcers usually heal rapidly with some protection from a topical antibiotic eye-drop or ointment. Because the cornea is constantly rinsed by the cleaning action of tears, the medication must be reapplied often. It is critical, especially during the first 48 hours of treatment, to apply the antibiotic as prescribed. This may be as frequent as four or more times a day and should be continued throughout the night as well. The clear cornea normally contains no blood vessels; therefore, systemic antibiotics like those taken orally are ineffective and useless at this stage.

The eye is treated for pain with a topical medication as well. Some medications may cause pupil dilation as an intended effect, and the pet may shy from bright light as a consequence. Also, the tear ducts drain into the nasal cavity and the oral cavity; drooling may be seen for a short time after treatment due to a bitter tasting medication applied in the eye.

The veterinarian will ask for a recheck appointment within 2 days to one week depending on the initial presentation and severity. Routine ulcers will usually resolve in about 7 to 10 days; prolonged healing despite diligent treatment will warrant further testing, a change in medications, or a referral to an ophthalmologist.

Deep ulcers, indolent ulcers (will not heal), and descemetoceles (read on) are not routine and are indeed ocular emergencies. A descemetocele (pronounced dez-met-o-seal) is an ulcer with the deepest membrane protruding through the opening in the cornea. Descemet’s membrane is the last covering that retains the fluid of the inner chambers of the eye. The pet may be referred immediately to a specialist in ophthalmology, even after-hours, for surgery to save the eye at-risk for blindness.

It should be noted that brachycephalic breeds of dogs and cats are especially predisposed to eye injuries and ailments such as corneal ulcers. Brachycephalics are animals with pushed in muzzles and protruding eyes, such as Pugs, Boston Terriers, Persians, and Himalayans.

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Cruciate Ligament Rupture

Cruciate ligament rupture is an injury to a supportive ligament in the stifle (knee). Sometimes called an ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, it is also referred to as a CCL, or cranial cruciate...

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Cruciate ligament rupture is an injury to a supportive ligament in the stifle (knee). Sometimes called an ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, it is also referred to as a CCL, or cranial cruciate ligament. The rupture can be caused by an acute injury or a chronic degenerative condition. In either case, surgery is the treatment of choice to heal the stifle and prevent arthritic deterioration of the joint.

The cruciate ligament is so named because it crosses the joint. It originates at the back of the femur and attaches to the front of the tibia. In this way, it prevents forward movement of the lower limb independent of the upper limb. The veterinarian can often diagnose a complete cruciate rupture by palpating a “cranial drawer sign” in the stifle. A partial rupture is more often diagnosed by assessing symptoms and, over time, a buttressing or thickening of the bone and joint capsule surrounding the stifle. An MRI or surgical exploration of the joint is the only way to confirm a partial cruciate rupture.

There are two widely used surgical techniques that can be performed to repair the stifle after a cruciate ligament tear. The first method is called an extra-capsular repair. This surgery involves opening of the joint capsule to remove the torn ligament as well as the meniscus (cartilage pad between the bones) if it is damaged. The joint capsule is then sutured closed. Nylon monofilament sutures are then looped behind the fabella bones adjacent to the femur, passed through a hole drilled in the tibial crest, and secured to the tag end using crimp sleeves or surgeon’s knots. This suture mimics the cruciate ligament in its function. Recovery typically requires 10 to 12 weeks of leash only activity and physical therapy such as range of motion exercises. Rarely, the sutures have to be removed months later if they break, however scar tissue that has formed around the bands continue to support the stifle.

The second surgical technique is called a TPLO, or tibial plateau leveling osteotomy. In this method, the joint capsule is opened and the ligament / meniscus are removed just as in the first surgery described. Then an osteotomy (cutting of the bone) of the tibia and rotation of the bone, followed by stabilization using a specially designed plate, is done. This changes the angle of the tibial slope, which alters the mechanics of the stifle to achieve stabilization. Strict exercise restriction is required until radiographs taken 6-8 weeks postoperatively demonstrate adequate healing. Healing in young dogs may occur within 4 weeks whereas in older dogs healing of the osteotomy site may not occur until 12 weeks postoperatively. Restricted activity and physical therapy will be prescribed for approximately 16 weeks. This surgery is almost always performed by a specialist in orthopedics.

Pain medications are used peri-operatively and are sent home after surgery. GAG supplements (chondroitin) and Omega 3 fatty acid supplements are used on a long term basis to support joint health for the life of the pet.

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Cesarean Sections (C Sections)

Cesarean Section is a surgical incision made through the abdomen and into the uterus to deliver a puppy or kitten when a natural birth would bring harm to the mother. It is performed under general anesthesia, and it is more commonly necessary on...

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Cesarean Section is a surgical incision made through the abdomen and into the uterus to deliver a puppy or kitten when a natural birth would bring harm to the mother. It is performed under general anesthesia, and it is more commonly necessary on small breed dogs whose pelvic canals are not large enough to deliver a puppy. Generally, animals with larger litters of puppies or kittens are less likely to require a C-Section, because the babies will be smaller in size. Certain breeds of dogs, like brachycephalics – dogs with pushed in faces and dome-like heads, will often require a C-Section. Emergency Cesareans are performed when something goes wrong in natural delivery, such as cessation of contractions, or a fetus lodged in the birth canal.

Normal gestation periods for dogs and cats are 63 to 65 days. If the date of conception is known, an abdominal x-ray one week before whelping (giving birth) should be performed to predict the need for a C-Section. An x-ray will reveal the size of the litter and the size of the babies’ heads.

If a Cesarean Section is planned or becomes necessary, a general anesthetic will be administered. A complete blood count, chemistry panel, and electrolyte panel will be run before anesthesia to discover any underlying illness that may complicate recovery. An intravenous catheter is placed and supportive fluids are given to help prevent dangerous dips in blood pressure that can lead to post-operative organ failure. Blood pressure, EKG, and blood oxygen saturation (pulse oximetry) are monitored carefully during the entire procedure.

Inhalant gas anesthesia is used during c-sections because they are minimally metabolized in the blood stream, and they are quickly “blown off”. Anesthetics can cross the placental barrier, so the unborn babies are susceptible to depressed heart and respiratory rates. After delivery, the newborns will sometimes require stimulants to get them breathing and thriving.

The litter is delivered with the placental sacs and amniotic fluid intact. The surgeon and nursing staff will quickly remove the sac and aspirate the fluid from the babies’ mouths. As soon as the mother recovers from surgery, the litter will begin to nurse. Oral glucose may be given to the newborns in the case that they can not begin nursing immediately.

The incision made in the abdomen to perform a Cesarean Section will be considerably larger than that of a routine spay. Healing time may be delayed because of the stress of pregnancy and nursing. It is also possible to spay the female dog after performing a C-Section, but it is important that she can begin nursing the litter as soon as possible.

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Diabetes Mellitus Part I – The Disease and Its Effects

Diabetes Mellitus is a fairly common illness found in dogs and cats. Just like in humans, this disease is devastating to the body when left undiagnosed and untreated. Symptoms are often subtle in the ...

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Diabetes Mellitus is a fairly common illness found in dogs and cats. Just like in humans, this disease is devastating to the body when left undiagnosed and untreated. Symptoms are often subtle in the early stages of diabetes, advancing to widespread deterioration in the health of the patient as the disease progresses unchecked.

In diabetic animals, the blood-sugar level – or blood-glucose – is elevated above the normal range. Elevated blood-glucose is called hyperglycemia.

Glucose is the energy source for all cells in the body. All ingested food is eventually broken down into this basic unit of energy. The heart, brain, and all other organs and tissues in the body require glucose to function and survive. It is delivered to the cells by a circulating hormone called insulin. Diabetics may have either or both, a deficiency in the production of insulin – Type I Diabetes, or a resistance to the mechanism of insulin – Type II Diabetes. Type I Diabetes is most common in dogs, and Type II is most common in cats. In either case, glucose is not delivered effectively to the cells, and instead remains in high concentrations in the bloodstream.

The symptoms of diabetes, however subtle or apparent, are caused by both the reduction in the delivery of glucose to the cells and the elevated blood levels of glucose that is unused. Diabetes tends to afflict adult dogs and cats, and since they can not communicate how they are feeling, lethargy is often mistaken for maturity. It would be obvious that something was wrong if a rambunctious puppy or kitten suddenly became lethargic, but a mellow adult dog or cat may seem normal when it is actually energy-deprived. Therefore, lethargy is often overlooked as a first symptom of diabetes.

More noticeably, the cells being starved for glucose causes the animal to feel a constant sensation of hunger. The term used for increased hunger is polyphagia. Despite an increase in food intake, diabetics will begin to lose weight. This is because they are not able to utilize the glucose that is derived from food. Instead, the body begins to burn fat stores in order to survive. Because obesity is a contributing factor in the onset of diabetes, many diabetics will present as overweight patients that exhibit unexplained and sudden weight loss.

The elevated levels of unused glucose in the bloodstream, on the other hand, cause more significant symptoms. Glucose must be dissolved in water in order to be carried within the blood vessels, and the increase in blood-glucose tells the body to retain more water in order to compensate. Increased thirst, and subsequently, increased urination are profound symptoms of diabetes. Increased thirst and urination are referred to as polydipsia and polyuria respectively. Furthermore, when blood-sugar levels reach a threshold, glucose will begin to “spill over” into the urine, becoming food for bacteria. Ascending urinary tract infections are very common in diabetic animals, causing urinary accidents to be a very common symptom. Many diabetic patients are first diagnosed when presented at the veterinary hospital with the complaint of inappropriate urination.

In diabetic dogs, cataract formation occurs in almost all cases, even after treatment is pursued. This does not occur in cats. Cataracts are an opaque plaque that forms on the lens of the eye, impairing vision. Cataract formation in a relatively young dog makes them a suspect for Diabetes Mellitus.

To summarize, symptoms of diabetes may be vague and subtle at first, progressing to an obviously unhealthy appearance of the pet. Lethargy, increased water consumption and urination, weight loss despite an increased appetite, and early cataract formation in dogs are all symptoms that describe a diabetic pet.

Some of the terms that veterinarians use to describe a diabetic pet are:

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Ibizan Hound

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Galgo

  • Podenco Ibicenco

Country/Date of origin:
  • Ibiza (island...

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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Galgo

  • Podenco Ibicenco

Country/Date of origin:
  • Ibiza (island belonging to Spain)

  • 3,000 BC

Height:
  • Females:  22-1/2 to 26 inches

  • Males:  23-1/2 to 27-1/2 inches

Weight:
  • Females:  45 pounds (average)

  • Males:  50 pounds (average)

Personality:
  • Sensitive in nature.

  • Loyal.

  • Quite adaptable to changes in its surroundings.

  • Very active.

  • Likes to be part of a family and does not fare well as a kennel dog.

History:

Like the Pharaoh Hound, the Ibizan is purported to be the dog-god Anubis of the ancient Egyptians.  Certainly, a breed resembling them did exist more than five thousand years ago, but whether or not they are the same breed is not exactly known.  The Ibizan Hound is traceable to the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain.  Especially to Ibiza, the island that gave it its name.  Used to course hares in Ibiza.  In spite of its ancient lineage, the speedy hunter was not introduced to the United States until 1956, where it gained entrance to the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1979.

Body Type:
  • A large, somewhat stocky member of the greyhound family.

  • Erect ears are not altered.

  • Long, lowset tail is not altered.

Coat:
  • Short and sleek, lying close to the skin.

  • Colors may be:  red and white (with varying percentages of each color), lion and white (with varying percentages of each color), solid red or solid white.

  • All other colors excluded.

  • Minimal grooming.

Health and Wellness:
  • Usually allergic to flea collars, insecticides, and tick dips.

  • Like other sighthounds, the Ibiza shows dangerous sensitivities to anesthetics.

  • False pregnancies are common.

  • Eye problems have been reported.

  • Congenital deafness.

What you should know:
  • The variable coat colors help to distinguish the Ibizan Hound from its look-alike cousin, the Pharaoh Hound (which is always solid tan).

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Istrian Gonic

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Yugoslavian Gonic

Country/Date of origin:
  • Yugoslavia

  • 19th century

...
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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Yugoslavian Gonic

Country/Date of origin:
  • Yugoslavia

  • 19th century

Height:
  • 18 to 23 inches

Weight:
  • 33 to 55 pounds

  • About 44 being the average

Personality:
  • Very active and alert.

  • Calm in nature, friendly, and affectionate.

  • Tends to roam.

  • Great stamina.

History:

There are many fine trailing hounds from the Istrian region of the former Yugoslavia.  They are referred to as Gonic (hound).  Legs, which are longer than are usual in a Foxhound-type dog, help the Gonic traverse the rugged mountain slopes of its homeland.  The Gonic is used alone or in a pack to trail hare, fox, and roebuck.  The Istrian Gonic comes in two coat varieties.  The rough-haired is called the Ostrodiaki.  The smooth-coated is called the Kratkodiaki.  The smooth-coated dog is about a half-inch smaller than the rough-haired variety.

Body Type:
  • Resembles a slim, long-legged Foxhound.

  • Medium-length tail should reach just to the hocks.  It is not altered.

  • Hanging ears should be long enough to reach the nose, although some variation is allowed.

Coat:
  • Double coat.  The undercoat is soft and woolly.  The outercoat is two- to four-inches long, hard, and not glossy.

  • The coat is rough and ruffled, but without waves or curls.

  • In the smooth-coated variety, the coat is very short, dense, very fine, and glossy.

  • Color is always snow white with small patches of bright orange scattered about the head and body.

  • A star of white on the forehead is highly desirable.

  • Grooming is moderate.

Health and Wellness:
  • None are presently known.

What you should know:
  • A puppy will be difficult to obtain in this breed due to the strife in the former Yugoslavia.

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Irish Water Spaniel

Other names:

    • Rat-tail Spaniel

    • Shannon Spaniel

Other names:
      • Rat-tail Spaniel

      • Shannon...

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Other names:

    • Rat-tail Spaniel

    • Shannon Spaniel

Other names:
      • Rat-tail Spaniel

      • Shannon Spaniel

Country/Date of origin:
      • Ireland

      • 1800′s

Height:
      • Females:  21 to 23 inches

      • Males:  22 to 24 inches

         
Weight:
      • Females:  45 to 58 pounds

      • Males:  55 to 65 pounds

         
Personality:
      • Known as the clown of the dog world, the Irish Water Spaniel has a real sense of humor and is willing to make a fool of itself to get you laughing.

      • Upbeat and cheerful nature.

      • Can be overly zealous in its self-appointed guardian role.

      • The desire to work for you and do small tasks, like bringing slippers, is compulsive in these retrievers.

History:

All the Irish Water Spaniels of today can be traced back to the kennel of Irishman Justin McCarthy, who claimed to have resuscitated a dying breed but has been accused of manufacturing it.  McCarthy began his work in 1834, and by 1862 the breed’s characteristics were fixed well enough for it to be shown as the Irish Water Spaniel at an English dog show.  This sporting spaniel was one of the founding breeds in the American Kennel Club (AKC).  The liver color was a definite asset in the muddy bogs of Ireland.  This is a retrieving spaniel that has not lost any of its original skills.  About half of all Irish Water Spaniels are still used for hunting.

Body Type:
      • Largest of the spaniel family, the Irish Water Spaniel is a strong swimmer with a coat that is designed to protect it in the water.

      • The long, hanging ears are not altered.

      • The whiplike tail has curls for the first few inches, the rest is naked skin or is covered with short, fine hairs.  It is never altered.

Coat:
      • The liver or puce curls, which are the breed’s hallmark, are oily and water repelling.

      • Topknot and ear hair is longer than that on the rest of the body.

      • The face, throat, the front of the hocks, and all but a few inches of the tail near the root are naturally smooth with short, velvety hair.

      • Must be professionally groomed.

      • Tends to mat without daily attention.

      • The soft-textured, hair is non shedding.

Health and Wellness:
      • Hip dysplasia.

      • Follicular dysplasia.

      • Seizures.

      • Severe skin and thyroid problems.

What you should know:
    • You can’t keep an Irish Water Spaniel out of the water.

    • Feet are webbed like a duck.

    • At a trot, the Irish Water Spaniel has a characteristic roll to the body that is reinforced by the bobbing curls.

Country/Date of origin:

  • Ireland

  • 1800′s

Height:

  • Females:  21 to 23 inches

  • Males:  22 to 24 inches

Weight:

  • Females:  45 to 58 pounds

  • Males:  55 to 65 pounds

Personality:

  • Known as the clown of the dog world, the Irish Water Spaniel has a real sense of humor and is willing to make a fool of itself to get you laughing.

  • Upbeat and cheerful nature.

  • Can be overly zealous in its self-appointed guardian role.

  • The desire to work for you and do small tasks, like bringing slippers, is compulsive in these retrievers.

History:

All the Irish Water Spaniels of today can be traced back to the kennel of Irishman Justin McCarthy, who claimed to have resuscitated a dying breed but has been accused of manufacturing it.  McCarthy began his work in 1834, and by 1862 the breed’s characteristics were fixed well enough for it to be shown as the Irish Water Spaniel at an English dog show.  This sporting spaniel was one of the founding breeds in the American Kennel Club (AKC).  The liver color was a definite asset in the muddy bogs of Ireland.  This is a retrieving spaniel that has not lost any of its original skills.  About half of all Irish Water Spaniels are still used for hunting.

Body Type:

  • Largest of the spaniel family, the Irish Water Spaniel is a strong swimmer with a coat that is designed to protect it in the water.

  • The long, hanging ears are not altered.

  • The whiplike tail has curls for the first few inches, the rest is naked skin or is covered with short, fine hairs.  It is never altered.

Coat:

  • The liver or puce curls, which are the breed’s hallmark, are oily and water repelling.

  • Topknot and ear hair is longer than that on the rest of the body.

  • The face, throat, the front of the hocks, and all but a few inches of the tail near the root are naturally smooth with short, velvety hair.

  • Must be professionally groomed.

  • Tends to mat without daily attention.

  • The soft-textured, hair is non shedding.

Health and Wellness:

  • Hip dysplasia.

  • Follicular dysplasia.

  • Seizures.

  • Severe skin and thyroid problems.

What you should know:

  • You can’t keep an Irish Water Spaniel out of the water.

  • Feet are webbed like a duck.

  • At a trot, the Irish Water Spaniel has a characteristic roll to the body that is reinforced by the bobbing curls.

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Irish Setter

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Red Setter

Country/Date of origin:
  • Ireland

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • 25 to...

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Other names/Nicknames:
  • Red Setter

Country/Date of origin:
  • Ireland

  • 1800′s

Height:
  • 25 to 27 inches

Weight:
  • 60 to 70 pounds

Personality:
  • This is a dog with an Irish sense of humor.

  • A clown.

  • Energetic and excitable.

  • Not as intelligent as the other setters and often difficult to train.

  • Has a reputation for being flighty and featherbrained.

  • Nonaggressive towards people and other dogs.

History:

The original setter was used to point game and then drop, or set, while nets were thrown over the birds.  With the advent of firearms about four hundred years ago, the job of the field dog changed.  The original setters were bred with heavier Spanish pointers and a whole new, and quite handsome, type of dog was created.  The English Setter and Irish Setter share a common ancestor.  The original Irish Setters were red and white (a color not allowed in United States show rings) and is still found in Europe.  A star in the show ring due to its burnished copper coat, it is overshadowed in the field by the English Setter.  The Irish Setter was one of the foundation breeds represented in the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Body Type:
  • A medium-sized, gun dog built along racier lines than the English or Gordon Setter.

  • Hanging ears are well feathered and are not altered.

  • Long tail is low set and held well below the topline of back.  It is not altered.

Coat:
  • Moderately-long coat without wave or curl.

  • Hair on head, forelegs, and ear tips is fine and short.

  • The hair on ears, backs of forelegs, and toes is long with silky feathering.

  • The only acceptable color is red, from mahogany to chestnut.

  • Moderate grooming required.

Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.

  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.

  • Gastric dilatation and volvulus syndrome (GDV, also commonly called bloat).

  • Persistent right aortic arch (PRAA).

  • Metabolic bone disease.

  • Granulocytopathy.

  • Wheat-sensitive enteropathy.

  • Megaesophagus.

  • Progressive retinal atrophy.

  • Atopy.

  • Otitis externa.

  • Idiopathic epilepsy.

  • Acral lick granuloma.

  • Perianal fistulae.

  • Melanoma.

  • Osteosarcoma.

What you should know:
  • The name setter comes from the breed’s habit of setting or crouching when game is spotted.

  • There is a red and white variety of Irish Setter, which is recognized in Europe but not the United States.

  • Irish Setters are rovers, roaming all over the countryside if given the chance.

  • If confined to an apartment or not given enough exercise will become hyperactive and/or destructive.

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Clostridium Perfringens

There are at least 100 species of the bacterial genus Clostridia that exist in nature, a variety of which are employed commercially in the production of useful compounds like ethanol and acetone....

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There are at least 100 species of the bacterial genus Clostridia that exist in nature, a variety of which are employed commercially in the production of useful compounds like ethanol and acetone. Four species are considered pathogens however, or disease-causing organisms responsible for illness in people and animals. Botulism is a life-threatening paralytic disease that leads to respiratory failure after intoxication by spoiled foods or wounds infected by C. botulinum. Tetanus is also a paralytic disease colloquially named “lock-jaw”, caused by C. tetani. C. difficile is responsible for colitis in people, and C. perfringens is the organism that causes gas gangrene, or “black-leg”. In dogs and cats, Clostridium perfringens is implicated in mild to severe forms of diarrhea. While it is always treated as a causative agent when identified in symptomatic pets, many animals may carry the organism without becoming ill. Clostridium therefore, may be thought of as an opportunistic pathogen in pets, which may become a cause of disease when some other insult has occurred in the digestive tract.

All Clostridia species have several characteristics in common: they are capable of producing toxic substances; they are anaerobic bacteria, meaning they grow in the absence of oxygen; and, they produce endospores which are protective barriers to the stresses of the harsh environments in which they thrive. These attributes make Clostridium an ideal opportunist, as it can be found in many sources of infection, cause significant disease, and may survive antibiotic therapy and exposure to disinfecting chemicals.

C. perfringens can be cultured from the feces of approximately 80% of dogs, healthy or not. Therein lies the problem in diagnosing the organism as the primary cause of diarrhea. As a resistant spore, Clostridium may exist as part of the “normal” bacterial flora in the digestive tract. It is when an overgrowth of this pathogen occurs that the enterotoxins produced by Clostridium cause fluid leakage from the intestinal wall, and thus diarrhea ensues. In some cases, whether because the animal is particularly susceptible or the strain of Clostridium is especially virulent, the diarrhea can become a life-threatening hemorrhagic colitis (bloody, mucousy diarrhea associated with massive protein and fluid losses).

To determine whether Clostridium is responsible for the presenting illness, it must first be identified in the feces of the sick pet. Fortunately, when large numbers of C. perfringens are present, they are easily identified as dark-staining spore-containing bacterial rods under the microscope. In the absence of any other primary cause for diarrhea, such as parasites, intestinal foreign bodies, or metabolic disorders, the presence of Clostridium gives a presumptive diagnosis. Since diarrhea is so common a symptom in many disease processes, a thorough assessment must be performed to rule out other causes. The veterinarian will want to verify that blood work is negative for abnormalities not associated directly with Clostridium infection. Being an opportunistic pathogen, C. perfringens overgrowth may be secondary to an underlying disorder. Furthermore, an animal does not need to be treated for Clostridium unless symptoms are present; microscopic identification of the organism in the healthy patient is not necessarily a justification for treatment.

A better test to determine whether Clostridium is a cause of diarrhea, rather than an incidental finding, is a fecal enterotoxin level. This test measures the amount of toxin found in the feces and must be performed at a reference laboratory. Better still, a DNA test can be used to identify the specific strain of Clostridium perfringens known to be responsible for disease.

In most cases, microscopic identification of the organism in a symptomatic pet will support beginning antibiotic therapy. A history of dietary indiscretion is a common trigger to Clostridial overgrowth. Antibiotics used in C. perfringens infections include a combination of metronidazole and amoxicillin, erythromycin, and tylosin. Response to treatment occurs rapidly as the enterotoxin levels subside, and the bacterial overgrowth is abated. Treatment is usually continued for two to three weeks to avoid antibiotic resistance and relapse of the symptoms.

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Dental Care & Cleaning

Periodontal disease is one of the most common problems in dogs and cats despite the fact that it is easily preventable. Some statistics show as high as 85% of all pets suffer from some form of oral...

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Periodontal disease is one of the most common problems in dogs and cats despite the fact that it is easily preventable. Some statistics show as high as 85% of all pets suffer from some form of oral disease. Preventive dental exams and cleanings are key to avoiding infection and disease which may progress to other organ systems in the body. Liver, kidney, and heart valve infections are commonly secondary to periodontal disease.

Brushing your pet’s teeth and using oral care products prevent and delay the onset of problems with the teeth and gums. Eventually however, a professional cleaning will be needed to remove plaque and tartar that these measures miss. Ultrasonic scaling followed by high-speed polishing is the most effective method of dental prophylaxis. It is performed under a general anesthetic.

Before anesthesia, blood work is assessed to screen for underlying organ dysfunction which may need to be addressed or may change the anesthetic protocol. Antibiotics are often prescribed before a dental cleaning to prevent systemic infection when bacteria enter the bloodstream through inflamed gum tissue. The pet is intubated with an endotracheal tube after induction of anesthesia. This measure prevents aspiration of water and cleaning solutions into the lungs.

An ultrasonic scaler is a powered scraper attached to a hand piece that removes concrete hard calculus (tartar). The end of the scaler oscillates at around 25 thousand cycles per second. This is so fast that the eye cannot detect the vibration, but tartar is blasted away easily. Tartar is so hard and firmly attached to the tooth enamel that brushing will not remove it. It harbors millions of bacteria that can invade the gums.

A gingival probe is used to measure and explore pockets around the teeth if they have occurred. Loose teeth are extracted at this point. Endodontic procedures (root canals and crowns) are performed only by specialists and referral for these procedures is usually necessary.

After scaling, a high-speed polisher is used to remove microscopic defects in the enamel’s surface. It is the tiny pores in the enamel that gives a foot hold for tartar formation. Polishing can slow new tartar development significantly.

Fluoride treatment is the final step in a professional dental cleaning. Fluoride binds with enamel and strengthens it, preventing tooth decay in the future.

Antibiotics may be continued after a dental prophylaxis for several days to prevent infection

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Colitis

Colitis simply means inflammation of the colon. The causes and treatment for colitis may or may not be a simple matter, however. It is a symptom rather than a disease. Diarrhea with mucous and blood are the first indicators of colitis, and it may occur acutely, chronically, or episodically....

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Colitis simply means inflammation of the colon. The causes and treatment for colitis may or may not be a simple matter, however. It is a symptom rather than a disease. Diarrhea with mucous and blood are the first indicators of colitis, and it may occur acutely, chronically, or episodically. Usually, colitis describes diarrhea that is not associated with mal-absorption of nutrients and weight loss.

The colon is the last stop along the digestive tract before stool is eliminated. Its function is to remove water and process fiber. The colon is home to a dense but fragile flora of billions of beneficial bacteria. During inflammation, the delicate balance of certain species of bacteria becomes more weighted to pathogens (harmful bacteria). Pathogens produce toxins and cause excessive cellular sloughing of the intestinal wall, producing the mucous that is associated with colitis. Bleeding can occur which further feeds the harmful bacteria. Red blood is a symptom of colitis, whereas black tarry stools (digested blood) would be indicative of upper GI bleeding.

Diagnosis of colitis is made primarily by history and observation, but discovery of the underlying cause of inflammation is necessary to treat the problem and prevent relapse. If the pet seems otherwise healthy on examination, trial dosing with colon-active medications may be attempted. However, there are some rule-out tests that should be performed on all colitis patients. A fecal flotation test to check for intestinal parasites like Giardia and whipworms is requisite on all diarrhea cases. Next, a fecal cytology is examined under the microscope to look for pathogenic spore-forming bacteria called clostridia. These pathogens produce enterotoxins and large amounts of gas that lead to painful cramping and urgency to defecate.

The sudden onset of colitis (acute colitis) is usually attributable to stress or dietary indiscretion. A history of boarding, separation anxiety, or garbage-rooting may call for a short round of medication like metronidazole or sulfasalazine. These antibiotics also have anti-inflammatory effects on the colon. Beneficial bacteria called probiotics can be given to reestablish the normal flora of the colon. These “good” bacteria can themselves reduce inflammation as in-vitro studies demonstrate. Bland diets low in sugar and fat can also be prescribed to help firm up stools.

In the case of chronic, episodic, or refractory colitis (doesn’t respond to treatment), further diagnostics are warranted. Cats should be tested for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Leukemia. Biopsies of the colon wall may be taken with the use of a colonoscopy to diagnose Inflammatory Bowel Disease, a condition where white blood cells invade the lining of the intestine. In this disease, prednisone may be added to antibiotics to treat the autoimmune response that is causing the inflammation. Food allergies can also cause colitis, especially in cats, and novel protein / novel carbohydrate foods may be curative. These types of diets are not available over-the-counter, as their indiscriminant use would introduce new food allergies into the dog and cat population.

The prognosis for colitis is generally good, as long as the underlying cause is discovered and treated.

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Conjunctivitis

The conjunctiva is the normally pink fleshy tissue under the eyelids. When it becomes irritated and inflamed, the condition is called conjunctivitis. The tissue will swell and turn bright red. The...

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The conjunctiva is the normally pink fleshy tissue under the eyelids. When it becomes irritated and inflamed, the condition is called conjunctivitis. The tissue will swell and turn bright red. The sclera (white part of the eyeball) is usually involved and will be blood-shot. Vessels dilate which are not normally apparent when the eye is healthy. Many factors can cause conjunctivitis including allergens (allergic conjunctivitis), chemicals like shampoos, and foreign bodies. Secondary bacterial infection of these delicate tissues is very common.

It is important to have any irritated eye examined by your veterinarian as soon as possible. Conjunctivitis can accompany very serious ailments of the eye such as corneal ulceration (an emergency), KCS (chronic lack of tear production), and glaucoma (increased fluid pressure inside the eye). Never reuse old eye drops or human prescription drops. Medications containing steroids can accelerate certain injuries to the eye leading to permanent damage or blindness. Your veterinarian will perform a complete eye exam which may include a Schirmer tear test, a fluorescein stain uptake test, and tonometry to measure intraocular pressure.

Inflammation of the conjunctiva causes dilation of the vessels that carry oxygen and antibodies to the tissues around the eye. This is what makes the fleshy tissue bright red. Occasionally, the inflammatory response may reduce the body’s ability to fight off bacteria in the eye which leads to secondary infection. Also, the tear ducts may not flow as well; the tears normally wash away contaminants and bacteria. A thick discharge of mucous will result which harbors the bacteria. This mucous should be gently removed with a warm wet gauze sponge, being careful to avoid touching the delicate cornea (the clear covering of the globe). Removing the mucous will help to prevent further infection as well as facilitate treatment of the conjunctivitis with topical ophthalmic medications.

After ruling out other serious problems with the eye, your veterinarian will prescribe an eye drop or ointment. An ointment may be a little more difficult to apply, but it has the benefit of remaining in contact with the tissues for a longer time than a drop. The medication will probably contain one or more antibiotic ingredients to give it a wide spectrum of activity against various bacteria found in the eyes. Culturing the eye is indicated in the case of resistant infections. The medication may also contain a steroid ingredient to help with inflammation. A steroid is indicated to treat allergic conjunctivitis.

Your veterinarian will also schedule one or more rechecks. If the eye looks worse in the meantime, you should alert the doctor immediately. It is important to follow up on any eye problem to avoid more serious problems that may lead to permanent injury or blindness.

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Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids (cortisone and its derivatives) are powerful hormones that control many functions in the body. Synthetic cortisone drugs are used for immune suppression and anti-inflammatory...

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Corticosteroids (cortisone and its derivatives) are powerful hormones that control many functions in the body. Synthetic cortisone drugs are used for immune suppression and anti-inflammatory purposes. Conditions in which a corticosteroid might be prescribed include allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, and adrenal gland diseases. They have many beneficial purposes as well as numerous side effects. Corticosteroids must be used judiciously in order to avoid complications that may arise when they are contraindicated or inappropriately dosed.

Without steroids, we could not treat serious conditions such as anaphylaxis, a life threatening allergic reaction to an allergen or toxin. Nor would we be able to control autoimmune disorders wherein the body’s immune system inappropriately attacks normal cells, organs, and tissues. IMHA (immune mediated hemolytic anemia) is a serious example of an autoimmune disorder. Without steroids, animals with this condition could not survive.

Typical side effects of steroid use include increased thirst and urination, panting, increased susceptibility to infections, and rarely, excitability or nervousness. Mild symptoms are normal and expected. If the side effects seem dramatic, consult your veterinarian.

Steroids can cause stomach irritation, and other drugs that have this potential should be avoided. NSAIDS are never prescribed along with steroids for this reason. Vomiting or black tarry stools are a sign that significant irritation is occurring in the upper GI tract as a result of steroid administration.

In treating certain diseases with a steroid, it would be harmful to abruptly stop the administration of the medication. In these cases, a maintenance dose of the drug may be prescribed, or the dosage may be tapered slowly over a period of time. Read and follow label directions carefully to avoid recurrence of disease or adverse reactions.

The overuse of steroids can cause symptoms of hyperadrenocorticism (excess production of cortisone). Signs of this include increased susceptibility to infections, muscle wasting, and insatiable thirst and hunger. The medication can suppress the normal production of cortisol (natural form of cortisone) in the body because of the feedback mechanism from high levels of the hormone in the bloodstream. When this occurs, suddenly stopping the steroid can lead to rapid declines in cortisol levels, and an Addisonian crisis can occur. This is the opposite of too much hormone and is often fatal.

Because of the potentially serious side effects from inappropriate steroid use, many people fear these medications. Corticosteroids have a very important role in treating serious diseases, and when dosed properly, they can be invaluable.

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Texas West Animal Health

16367 South FM 4,

Santo, TX 76472

Phone. 940-769-2222

Fax. 866-632-3365

Email. texaswestvet@gmail.com