National Mutt Day - July 31

The mixed breed makes over 50% of all the canines found in United States and over 15 million around the world. According to HelpaMutt.com, almost 75% of all the canines who land up in animal shelters are mutts. Pet owners are preconceived with many misconceptions about mixed breeds, which makes them choose a pure bred over the other.

Also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day, Mutt Day is celebrated to raise the awareness about Mutts’ plight in the animal shelters. It also highlights the important fact, potential pet owners should choose personality over the purity of the canine.

terrier mixed breedNational Mutt Day was first organized in 2005 by pet expert and animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige. She instituted not just one but two different dates for the Mutts’ Day, July 31 and Dec 2, to achieve her goal of getting 10,000 shelter dogs into loving homes and among pet owners.

The Mutt Day campaign mostly works for eliminating the misconceptions about mutts and help save dogs from landing up in shelters.

Benefits of Choosing Mutts

  • Mutts tend to have longer life than pure bred
  • Mutts are generally healthier and tend to be immune to many breed-specific diseases.
  • Every mutt has variety of coat and patterns, hence none of the mutts are alike. The mutt you choose will have unique features among all the available canine.
  • Every mutt adopted from shelter means one less dog from the street.
  • When pet owners choose mutts over pure bred, it will discourage the unnatural dog breeding in puppy farms.
  • It helps to eliminate the prevalent status quo among most upper and upper-middle class pet owners.

As reported by American Kennel Club, Labrador Retriever remains the most popular choice among the pet owners for a pure breed, while German Shepherd makes up the most popular owned breed as both a pure breed and as a component of mixed breed.


The most popular mutts available in United States today are;

Mutt

Original breeds

Chiweenie

Chihuahua & Dachschund

Cavapoo

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel & Poodle

Pomchi

Chihuahua & Pomeranians

Jack Chi

Chihuahua & Jack Russell Terriers

Labradane

Labrador retriever & Great Dane

Labrabull

Labrador retriever & Great PitBull Terrier

Shih-Poo

ShihTsu & Poodle

Mastador

Mastiff & Labrador retriever

Chipin

Pinschers & Chihuahua

 

 

Tapeworm in Pets: Symptom, Cause, Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention

Tapeworms are flat, white worms that attach themselves to the wall of gut using hook-like suckers. They feed there and grow. They typically settle in the small intestine and can grow from 4 to 8 inches. Medical name for tapeworm infestation is 'Cestodiasis'. Tapeworm species that infect dogs are mainly Taenia, Diphylidium Caninum, Echinococcus and Mesocestoides. 

Cause

The primary reason of tapeworm infestation is the ingestion of immediate hosts containing larvae. Tapeworm eggs can also be transmitted through adult fleas. Our pets are fond of scavenging, which can result to tapeworm infestation. It can also be transmitted via other animals, such as rabbit and birds. 

Symptoms

Sometimes tapeworm breaks into segments and passes into the intestine. These come out with feces as dried, white to cream colored segments of tapeworms. Some of the segments might also be seen in the fur under the tail.

Some break off into small pieces that are hard to see. Some of these resemble to sesame or cucumber seeds in size and appearance. 

Pets bite or lick the anus and scoot in response to itching. 

Tapeworms, sporadically makes pets vomit. Long, 4 to 8 inch, worms can be seen in their vomit. 

Pets also lose weight in case of heavy infection.

Diagnosis

Veterinarians look for segments of tapeworms crawling on dog's body, specially under the fur. They also examine dog's feces for segments or eggs of tapeworms, under a microscope. Not every time the segments come out in feces, so several sample might be needed for examination.

Treatment

If the veterinarian diagnoses tapeworm infestation, she will prescribe medication. Medication can be oral and/or injection. It is curable. 

Prevention

Control flea around your pet keeping your home and around clean. You can use flea spray, powder, collars, oral medication or topical liquid. 

Do not allow unsupervised roaming to your pet.

Be careful about other animals' company with your pet. 

Always cleanup after your pet, yard and park. 

Skin Cancer in Pets

It's a new information for many pet parents, but skin cancer is quite common in both dogs and cats. Skin cancers are basically the tumor on skin or subcutaneous tissue (the tissue under the skin). 60 to 80% of tumors in pets are benign, meaning, they are just appear on the body but doesn't affect by any mean. Lipomas (fatty tumors, sebaceous adenomas, papillomas (mole-like growth) are benign tumors. Melanomas, Squamous cell carcinoma and Mast cell tumor are most common malignant tumors in pets that require medical attention. 

Types of Cancer in Pets

There are number of cancers that have been diagnosed in dogs and cats, among which Melanomas, Squamous cell carcinoma and Mast cell tumor are most common and fatal. 

Melanomas

It affects pigmented cells known as melanocytes. This tumor grows fast and and spreads to other organs such as lungs and liver. It is more frequent in dogs but much less in cats. 

Signs and Symptoms

Benign melanomas vary in sizes ranging from very small to 2.5 inches in diameter. It appears in the area of skin covered with hair. It may be black, brown, gray or red in color. In orange cats, freckles on lips and gums can appear which is very normal and harmless. It is known as letingo simplex.

Malignant melanomas appear on the body parts where is less or no hair, such as mouth, lips, toenail pads and/or pads of the feet. It is more common in black dogs. 

Treatment

First procedure of melanomas treatment is surgery. If surgery is unable to remove the tumor, radiation therapy is applied. 70% times it is successful but recurrence is common. Depending on the severity of the tumor, chemotherapy is also used combining with surgery and/or radiation therapy. In case of oral melanoma, vaccination is a popular practice.

Squamous Cell Carcinomas

The tumor affects thinly furred skin. It doesn't spread but can be aggressive and may lead to destruction of tissue around the tumor. Though the cause of this cancer is still unknown, most of the times it is induced by exposure to the sun. That is why, the best preventive measure for this is to limit the exposure of your pets to the sun. 

All the pets are prone to this tumor, yet pets with short coats, especially with light skin are likely to develop it much faster. It typically appears on the dogs of age 6 to 10 years. 

Signs and Symptoms

This tumor is firm and raised with a wart-like appearance. It appears on abdomen, around genitals and feet. 

Treatment

Surgical measures are used to remove squamous cell carcinomas. Photodynamic therapy is used to cure this tumor in inoperable locations. Use of a drug called Piroxicam has proven effective in developing immune system within the body of the animal to fight back the tumor cells. 

Mast Cell Tumors

It occurs in the mast cell of the immune system. It is common in both cats and dogs. It sometimes disappears and returns back in few days. This can be confusing for pet parents to predict the disease. Although it is common in most of the breeds, Labrador retrievers, Boxers, Pugs and Golden retrievers are predisposed to develop this tumor. 

Signs and Symptoms

Mast cell tumors are slow growing, rubber-like tumor. It is unusual skin masses, specially raised, hairless pinkish-yellow masses. These appear on trunk but 25% times it is on the legs. Itching, swelling and redness occurs in unbearable amount. 

Treatment

Like other tumors, first attempt of cure is through surgery for mast cell tumors, too. That may include radiation or may be not. Depending on the severity of the case, surgery might be accompanied by chemotherapy and/or steroids.

Diagnosis

Veterinarians diagnose pet cancer using either of the two methods: biopsy or needle aspirate cytology. Biopsy involves removing of small amount of tissue from the tumor and testing. Whereas, in Needle aspirate cytology, a needle is used to remove a microscopic amount of cells from the tumor in order to examine cell structure. 

Cancer is curable in pets if promptly identified. Take your pets to the veterinarian as soon as you seen any sign of cancer, do not ignore any. If it not cancer then it is a good news, but if it is, your pet will be cured in early stages.

Heart Disease in Dogs - Symptoms, Prevention, Diagnosis & Cure

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease has become very common in human beings. Very few people know that animals also suffer from cardiovascular disease. Since there have been less research and studies in animal health, many of the reasons and cure for animal heart disease are still unknown. 

Statistics show that 10% of all dogs in US have heart disease. Sometimes it can be mild but most of the time it is deadly. It's more common in small breed dogs of over 5 years of age. 13% heart disease patients are suffering from heartworm disease.

Symptoms

No symptom is visible in the early stage of heart disease in dogs. The signs vary depending on the type of disease and severity. The dogs start experiencing fatigue and loss the willingness to play or even walk. Other symptoms include difficulty in breathing, trouble in sleeping and may start coughing. They tend to lose appetite and lose weight. Sometimes, there might be distended stomach. Eventually, heart disease progresses to congestive heart failure.

Prevention

Sadly, there is no prevention measures discovered yet for heart disease in dogs, except for heartworm disease. The tragic fact is that even though heartworm disease can be easily prevented, 13% of the heart patients suffer from this disease. The best preventive measure pet parent can adopt is to take their dog for whole body screening every year. This will definitely prevent heartworm disease. At the same time, other heart disease will also be diagnosed in it's early stage. Though there is not complete cure for heart disease, it can be reduced up to a level with medication. 

Diagnosis

It's mandatory to take the dog to a veterinarian to diagnose the heart disease. The vet will look for the abnormal sounds in his chest, such as murmurs or irregular rhythm. If something comes of on this, the dog is put on further tests, for instance, blood pressure, x-rays, cardiac ultrasound, ECG and like. The presence of heart disease is declared by the analysis of the reports. 

Cure

Like there is no prevention for heart disease in dogs, there's no cure for congestive heart failure (CHF). The medication can help the heart work better. Dogs with heart disease are treated in either of the two ways: Conventional therapy or Pimobendan. Which method to implement depends on the practice of the vet. A study, however, has shown that pimobendan cures the heart better than conventional therapy.