Tag: pet illness

Dog Flu – What You Need To Know

We’ve heard of swine flu and bird flu before, but this year all the news is about dog flu. With all the dramatic headlines flashing across the internet it’s important to know the facts and how this affects you. We’ve researched the answers for some of the questions that we were curious about, to help you weed through all the headlines and keep you and your pets protected!

The Dog Flu & You

  • What is the dog flu and why have I never heard of it before? The dog flu (H3N8) is a relatively new strain of the flu (think 2004) that evolved from a strain that was found in horses previously. Due to it’s relatively new appearance on the viral scene and this year being the first real epidemic, not too much is known about it.
  • What are the symptoms?  Symptoms in your pup are similar to the symptoms you might exhibit if you caught the human version. You’re going to notice a general malaise, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and likely a lack of appetite. Try to stay in tune to your pet’s behavior and isolate them quickly if you notice any symptoms of dog flu.
  • What if I have other pets in the house? It’s important to note that your pet may be contagious to their peers before you notice signs of sickness. Try to stay in tune with your pet’s behavior and keep them isolated if you notice anything out of the usual. Don’t forget food and water bowls, toys, and bedding are also ways that pets can spread disease! Be sure to wash your hands and possibly change your clothes after contact with an infected pet.
  • How dangerous is it? Like with people, most pets will have a miserable week or so and then start to mend. About 5% of cases so far have been fatal. It’s a small figure but enough for pet owners to take note. Dogs with shorter or flat snouts have a harder time with dog flu due to the mucus build up in their respiratory tract.
  • Are there ways I can prevent it? Minimize your pets exposure to other dogs. Dog parks and kennels are two places where your pet may come into contact. Ask your vet if you should consider a canine flu shot. Dog flu shots don’t prevent the virus, but they can help to reduce the severity. If you frequently have your pet around others this may be a good route to go.

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Diseases In Pets And How To Guard Against Them!

Nobody likes catching a cold or the flu and that’s no different for your pet! Since your pet can’t talk sometimes it can be hard to know when they are under the weather. Unlike humans, most pets aren’t likely to suffer from the common cold or simple illnesses that are easily overcome by lots of rest and soup. When a pet gets sick it’s something to pay attention to. Here is a list of some common diseases in pets and how you can avoid and treat them.

Dealing with Pet Diseases

  • Dental Disease: This can be found in most pets and left untreated can cause prolonged discomfort and lasting health issues for your pet. Most dental diseases are can be identified by a foul (fouler than usual!) breath, excessive drooling and loss of appetite. If you suspect your pet of suffering from dental issues be sure to make a vet appointment. Preventative measures can and should be taken. If brushing your pet’s teeth sounds like a nightmare try investing in dental treats and toys. They can be found in most pet aisles.
  • Obesity: Obesity in pets is one of those diseases that few pet owners take seriously. While a chubby pet may be extra cuddly and cute long-term obesity can cause long-term damage. You can find your pet’s healthy weight here. Maintaining the recommended weight will keep your pet safe from liver and kidney diseases and also protect their joints. Be sure your pet gets plenty of exercise and keep the treats to a minimum!

Diseases in pets: obesity

  • Allergic Dermatitis: This is one of the many diseases that toy breeds of dog are susceptible too. If you notice your pet scratching excessively with bald patches that are red and flaky it’s a good sign your pet is suffering from allergic dermatitis. Fortunately this can often be helped by increasing your pets’ intake of protein, essential fatty-acids, and antioxidants. Always check with your vet first though to ensure there isn’t an environmental factor that needs to be removed.
  • Heart Worms: Heart worms are one of the diseases that affects dogs more than cats. If you are raising your pooch from a puppy your vet will provide preventative treatment against heart worms. If you are adopting a pet and don’t know its medical history keep an eye out for some common signs: fatigue, coughing and weightless. This is not one of the diseases that can be treated at home and requires immediate veterinary attention.
  • Ear Mites: Maybe not technically a disease, ear mites are still a common ailment of pets. Fortunately they are easy to treat and as a result usually not a threat. If your pet seems heavily pre-occupied with scratching their ears then it is likely they have mites. If it is a mild infestation simply rubbing their ears with mineral oil can do the trick. If it seems more serious you can get special drops from your vet. Be certain to keep your pets ears clean though since excess scratching can lead to infection.

Remember that regular vet check-ups are a must to keep your pet free from all types of diseases!

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