Help! My Dog Has Hypothyroidism. – Travel Animal Doctor

Help! My Dog Has Hypothyroidism. – Travel Animal Doctor

Your dog goes in for her yearly check up, and your veterinarian thinks your dog has hypothyroidism. -Travel Animal Doctor What is this disease, and will your dog be okay? Hypothyroidism in dogs is a common endocrine problem that occurs in middle aged dogs, often between the ages of 4 yrs to 10 yrs old. Predisposed Breeds Some breeds that are more susceptible to this disease include Dachshund, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Irish Setter, Doberman Pincher, Airedale Terrier, and Miniature Schnauzer. Clinical signs Is your dog middle aged, and suddenly gaining weight? Is she sleeping more than usual, sluggish, and inactive? Did her usual triumphant smile get replaced by a puffy and/or droopy face? mariposavet / Foter / CC BY Are you noticing hair loss on both sides of your dog, that does not seem to itch? mariposavet / Foter / CC BY If your dog is not eating any more than usual, yet still appears to be gaining weight, it may not just be what you are feeding her. Even if you are only noticing one of these clinical signs, it is important to take your dog to the veterinary office. A common endocrine disease, called hypothyroidism, causes these clinical signs. Your veterinarian can do some tests to evaluate your pet for hypothyroidism. If your dog has hypothyroidism, your veterinarian will be able to subscribe the necessary treatment for your pet. Tests If your veterinarian suspects hypothyroidism, a series of tests can be done including what you may hear the veterinarian refer to as measurement of: Total T4 free T4 TSH These tests are obtained by taking a blood sample...
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tear – Travel Animal Doctor

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tear – Travel Animal Doctor

Thoughts of an ACL tear were on my mind this weekend when my friend took a fall. -Travel Animal Doctor She had similar clinical signs that a dog would have with a cranial cruciate ligament tear.  As I went on a hike with my husband and furry friend, I could not stop thinking about the disease, so I finally decided to come home and write about it. A cranial cruciate ligament tear is a common problem in large breed dogs, like our lab, Jade. This disease is simply put, a torn cranial cruciate ligament in the knee of your pet. In humans the term is anterior cruciate ligament, but in dogs, the same ligament is commonly referred to as the cranial cruciate ligament. Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease: So what types of dogs often get a torn cranial cruciate ligament, and how can it occur? This disease can occur quickly or progress into a disease process A torn CCL occurs most often in Labs (like Jade), Staffordshire terriers, Rottweilers and Newfoundlands Your dog is at increased risk if it is overweight. How would you know if your pet may have a torn CCL? Is your dog holding up one back leg or favoring one back leg over the other? When your dog is hiking with you does “limping” get worse? Does one knee appear to be bigger than the other or do the two back legs look different from one another in size or character? What other diseases will a veterinarian have to rule out? There are many other problems that can occur which cause your dog to look similarly discomfortable. A few examples of...
7 Veterinary Facts About Your Pet’s Dental Hygiene- Travel Animal Doctor

7 Veterinary Facts About Your Pet’s Dental Hygiene- Travel Animal Doctor

Your pet’s dental hygiene is an important topic in the veterinary and pet care industry. -Travel Animal Doctor Ultimately, just like in humans, pet’s teeth should be brushed twice a day. Read “Your Pet’s Teeth” for a brief overview on the importance of dental hygiene in your pet. This article will give you seven veterinary facts about your pet’s dental hygiene. 1) Disease Shortcomings in pet dental care can lead to serious disease processes including brain, kidney, liver and heart disease. Oral disease alone can be critically debilitating to your pet. Bacteria and yellow plaque collect on the gums of an animal’s teeth. Without removal, this plaque becomes concrete tartar or calculus that often needs to be scaled away rather than brushed. Plaque and calculus builds up along the gum line, leading to gum inflammation and loss of periodontal attachment leading to gum disease. Gum disease is commonly called periodontal disease (literally meaning “disease around the tooth”). Gum inflammation causes pockets to appear between the gum line and teeth, where bacteria dive into causing further progression of disease. The bacteria from the plaque also cause a rancid smell in your pet’s mouth. Bacterial sequestration can cause insufferable pain. Teeth are lost; abscesses form and the mouth can fester with infection. Periodontal disease alone causes immense oral discomfort and pain that may lead to difficulties for your pet to even pick up food. If gum disease is far enough along, the jawbone can actually be destroyed, making pathologic jaw fracture a likely result. A jaw fracture that is pathologic means that the fracture resulted from disease. If your pet is...
Travel Animal Doctor: What in the World are Zoonotic Ectoparasites?

Travel Animal Doctor: What in the World are Zoonotic Ectoparasites?

What are zoonotic ectoparasites, and why should I be aware of them? -Travel Animal Doctor What is a zoonotic disease? In Layman’s terms, zoonotic diseases are known as diseases that can be spread from a specific species to humans. Ectoparasites are simply parasites that infect your body externally. My first article of this series is entitled, “Parasites: Can I Contract Fleas from my Dog or Cat?”, which gave a brief description of parasites and described some of the parasites you can find on your animal that are not zoonotic. The second article I wrote, found here, gave examples of important internal zoonotic parasites. This article will focus on external zoonotic parasites, commonly called zoonotic ectoparasites. Quick Question Do you take your dog walks in fields by a pond? Do you hike with your pet in the woods? It is always an adventure traveling and exercising with pets. But keeping your pet protected from disease while exercising and traveling is extremely important. This quick list contains three parasites to be aware of that can carry zoonotic diseases, and tips to prevent them. 1) Fleas Fleas are zoonotic ectoparasites that come from prairie dogs and cats, and can cause the plague. Cats are often transmitted the plague by fleas. When active infection is present cats can spread the plague to humans by a scratch or bite. The key to prevention of the plague is to provide flea preventatives for your feline friend. This simple solution can protect your entire family from a serious disease. 2) Mites There are a number of mites that infect pets that are another type of zoonotic endoparasite....
Travel Animal Doctor: What are Zoonotic Endoparasites Anyway?

Travel Animal Doctor: What are Zoonotic Endoparasites Anyway?

What is a zoonotic endoparasite? -Travel Animal Doctor Endoparasites are simply parasites that infect your body internally. Some parasites in animals can be transferred to humans. This is called a zoonotic parasite. Not long ago, I wrote an article entitled, “Parasites: Can I Contract Fleas from my Dog or Cat?”, that gave a brief description of parasites and described some of the parasites you can find on your animal. This article is to follow up on that article, and give some examples of important zoonotic endoparasites. If you found this article interesting, you may also find “Zoonotic Ectoparasites” to be helpful to you and your pet. Do you like to take your pet to dog parks but you cringe at the dirt ground where you see all of the other pets defecating? Do you take your pet to your brother’s house on a regular basis to play with your niece and nephew? Traveling with pets is lots of fun, but it is always important to know how to keep your pet and you safe from diseases along the way. Listed below are four zoonotic endoparasites and one important disease you should be aware of when you travel. 1) Roundworms Roundworms are zoonotic endoparasites that are transmitted to the soil by contaminated feces of raccoons, cats, dogs and pigs. There are many different types of roundworms, and these zoonotic endoparasites are specific to different species. If there is oral transmission of the eggs in the contaminated feces, larvae will hatch in a person’s gut and migrate through the body and organs. This is called visceral larval migrans. Visceral larval migrans is...
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