How to take care of your dogs?

pet safety infographic

No pet owner ever consider a dog only a pet. For us, they are a family member. Taking care of your pet is as essential as taking care of yourself.

Owning a canine can be the biggest joy in life. It is also a big responsibility. If you are considering bringing a canine into your home, consider seriously about the commitment and responsibility a dog owner entails.

How often do you need to visit Veterinary?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends for dogs and cats to have check-ups annually, at least.

As a pet owner, it is essential to recognize the signs of common illnesses among dogs. Vaccination is another important thing you should always remember.

Vaccination, the onset of common diseases, and aging factor are few of the reasons to frequent vet clinics.

Wellness Check for Pets

A regular check or wellness examination is a periodic medical test of the pets to assess their overall health. A wellness examination may also be called a 'check-up' or a 'physical examination'. The need for a wellness check is to ensure that your dog remains healthy throughout its life.

A wellness check may also include vaccinations such as regular shots for rabies, flu, etc.

The time and duration for well checks or periodical visits may differ according to the age of the dog.

Puppy

In general, you should take your pup to your vet every 3 to 4 weeks for necessary vaccinations to ensure if it isn’t developing any complications or other physical ailments. The regular-check may include, shots for rabies and distemper-parvo. Your pup might need shots if it’s displaying symptoms of kennel cough, influenza, or Lyme disease.

Adult Dogs

Adult dogs range from the age of 1 to 7 years (depending on breed). These dogs require an annual wellness check, including a heartworm test and other tests your vet recommends based on the results of the check.

A booster shot for rabies and distemper-parvo can be essential, typically every 3 years.

Older Dogs

Older dogs range from the age of 7 to 10 years. These dogs require wellness to check every 6 months or bi-annually. Like humans, older dogs are prone to developing certain diseases and complications as they get older, including arthritis, gum disease, diabetes, vision problems (blindness), kidney disease, cancer, and dementia.

dog different age


7 Common Dog Diseases

Cancer

50% of dogs over the age of 10 develop cancer at some point. Malignant lymphoma (a tumor of the lymph nodes), mast cell tumors (skin cancer), mammary gland tumors, breast cancer, and soft tissue sarcomas are few of the common cancers found in canine.

Some of the common symptoms of cancer include a lump or a bump, an unhealed wound, any kind of swelling, enlarged lymph nodes, a lameness or swelling in the bone, and abnormal bleeding. It is necessary to take your pet to the veterinarian and take immediate medical measures.

Diabetes

Diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. Diabetes mellitus is more likely to be found in overweight cats and dogs.

It is estimated that anywhere from 1 in 500 to 1 in 100 dogs will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

Symptoms of diabetes in dogs include consistent thirst, urinating too much, a ravenous appetite and rapid or sudden weight loss.

The treatment for diabetes includes diet (diet plan recommended by a veterinarian), exercise (exercise to avoid a spike in glucose level), and insulin injections.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough (Canine infectious tracheobronchitis) is a term loosely used to describe a complex of respiratory infection (both viral and bacterial) that causes inflammation of a dog’s voice box and windpipe. It’s a form of bronchitis and is similar to a chest cold in humans.

Dogs commonly contract kennel cough at places where large amounts of canines congregate, such as boarding and daycare facilities, dog parks, training groups, and dog shows. Serious cases of kennel cough can lead to pneumonia if left untreated.

Heartworm

Heartworm is one of the common heart diseases among most dogs. Known as Dirofilaria Immitis, the heartworm or dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a small thread-like creature.

It spreads from the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no simple way to tell if the mosquito is infected, hence, every dog must be prevented from heartworm.

Heartworm is a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and pulmonary arteries of an infected animal. The worms travel through the bloodstream—harming arteries and vital organs as they go—ultimately completing their journey to the vessels of the lung and the heart chamber about six months after the initial infection. Several hundred worms can live in one dog for five to seven years.

How to prevent Heartworm disease in dogs?

7 Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs

Some of the common symptoms of heartworm disease are as follows;

  • A soft and dry cough
  • Inactivity or lethargy
  • Weight loss or anorexia
  • Rapid or difficulty breathing
  • Bulging chest
  • Allergic reaction
  • Collapse

Canine Coronavirus

Canine Coronavirus is an intestinal infection that affects both feral and domesticated dogs. The virus is limited to the upper two-thirds of the small intestines. A lot of the time the infection will clear up by itself, however, it can be problematic for young pups or adult dogs with other infections such as parvovirus.

Older dogs may not show any symptoms. Some of the rare symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Treatment will involve administering extra fluids and electrolytes. If you suspect your dog has contracted coronavirus, it is important to take it to the bet.

Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that may affect the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats, dogs, and humans. Vaccination is important to curb the contraction of the disease. Rabies is transmitted to people from animals, with over 99% of cases due to dog bites. It is transmitted through the exchange of blood or saliva from an infected animal.

Ringworm

Dermatophytosis is the fungal infection affecting the skin, hair, and/or nails (claws) that is more commonly referred to as a ringworm. A ringworm infection on a dog may simply look like a bald spot, with very little inflammation or redness. The inflammation isn’t really itchy. This highly contagious disease can lead to patchy areas of hair loss on a dog and can spread to other animals and humans too.

Healthy Food for Dogs

Here is the comprehensive list of foods and supplements that can be provided to a dog on a daily basis.

dog nutrition chart

Homemade Vs. Store Brought

Homemade food is always better than store brought, however, you must give time to prepare a balanced diet. Grains and starchy veggies should make up no more than half the diet. Good choices include oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and pasta.

You can introduce store brought food into your dog's daily diet along with a homemade meal. Daily Dog Food should contain;

  • 50% of muscle meat
  • 10% organ meat
  • 15% uncooked bone
  • 20% of vegetables
  • 5% fruit

How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner?

Being a responsible dog owner is easy – you must keep your dog’s health first.

Pet-Proof Your Home

Like baby proofing your home, you should pet-proof your dog to keep it away from harm’s place. Many items that are used to baby proof your home can be used for pet-proofing as well. Safety locks for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, power outlet covers, safety lid for toilet seats, etc.

Dogs have a tendency to chew on anything they find, hence it’s important to keep medicines and leftover in an inaccessible place. Valuables like jewelry, designer shoes, and clothes can be kept out of reach.

Microchipping

There are many cases of missing pets mostly around holidays and celebrations. Most pets who wander outside the house are easily lured or distracted. To ensure their safety, make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar and ID tag). This helps to locate them and bring them home quickly.

Basic Obedience Training

Basic obedience training covers basic commands for the safety of the dogs. Basic commands like sitting, look, emergency recall, leave it, drop, lie down can be life-saving in many cases. Basic obedience training also helps in keeping them in check outdoors.

Housetraining, leash training, socializing, and proofing is a few of the other essential training guide for your dogs. These ensure that your dog follows basic manners and keep themselves out of any trouble at home or outside.

Exercise

Just like humans, dogs require exercise on a daily basis for optimal mental and physical health. The amount of exercise your dog needs depending on their breed, age, and level of physical fitness.

Obesity is common in dogs with poor diet and less exercise. Finding time to work out can be difficult for dogs with a busy owner. There's also an increased risk of health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and arthritis.

If you’re unable to give time for your pet, you can consider dropping them off to daycare.

Check-Ups

Regular checkup or wellness check is essential to keep your dog in a fit condition. Regular checkup ensures that your dog is safe from common diseases, they’ll get vaccination on time, and can enjoy a long life through preventive Medicare.

Zoonotic Diseases Facts [Infographic]

Did You Know? Urban slums have the highest cases of zoonotic infection. Most of the zoonotic diseases are caused by pet animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses.

Scientists in the US estimate that more than 6 out of every 10 known infectious diseases in humans are spread from animals, and 3 out of every 4 new or emerging infectious diseases in humans spread from animals.


What is Zoonotic Disease?

Zoonotic disease or zoonoses are terms used to describe an infection or disease that can be transmitted from an animal to a human being. In general, these diseases normally exist in animals but can affect humans through different forms of contact.

The zoonotic disease can be caused by a range of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Of 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans, 61% are zoonotic in nature.

zoonotic historical image

How is the Zoonotic Disease Transmitted to humans?

Zoonotic diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans through four major channels.

i. Direct contact

In the direct zoonosis, the disease is directly transmitted from animals to humans through media such as air (influenza) or through bites and saliva (rabies). Zoonosis can also occur from contact with blood, urine, mucus, feces, or other body fluids of an infected animal. Petting or touching an animal, and scratches can also account for zoonosis through direct contact.

ii. Indirect contact

In Indirect contact, the zoonosis takes place through a secondary medium with any direct contact with the infected animals. This can occur at places or areas where animals live and roam, or objects or surfaces that they were in contact with. Indirect contact can occur from pet habitats, animal shelter, and contaminated pet food or utensils.

iii. Vector-borne

Vector-borne diseases are transmitted by vectors such as mosquitos, fleas, and ticks. The vectors become a host for infection after they have bitten the infected animals. Then they are carried to human beings through the bite.

iv. Foodborne

Consuming contaminated food is another major concern for zoonotic disease. Although foodborne diseases are more common in third world countries, every year one in six Americans gets sick from eating contaminated food. Unpasteurized milk, undercooked meat or eggs, or raw fruits and stale vegetables can cause foodborne zoonotic diseases.


Who is more prone to Zoonotic Diseases?

Some people are more at risk of zoonotic diseases than others. The fitness, age, and medical condition of a person may determine the chances of transmitting zoonotic disease.

These groups of people include:

  • Children younger than 5
  • Adults older than 65
  • People with weakened immune systems

The risk may be slightly higher in people with a compromised immune system from disease or medication which includes;

  • people with AIDS/HIV.
  • people on chemotherapy or receiving radiation therapy.
  • people who are elderly or have chronic diseases.
  • people with congenital immune deficiencies.
  • people who have received organ or bone marrow transplants.
  • pregnant women (the fetal immune system is not fully developed, and the pregnant woman's immune system is altered during pregnancy).

People who fall into these categories must be extra careful when they are around animals. Take basic precautions such as washing hands after petting or touching the animal, and avoiding secondary contacts such as staying away from contaminated food or pet shelters.

What Zoonotic Diseases does a Dog Carry?

Most of the zoonotic diseases in humans are transmitted from pet animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), these are the most common zoonotic diseases found in the US. These can be prevented by implementing the best doggy daycare in Des Moines.

a. Ringworm

The symptoms of ringworm in dogs include dandruff-like scaling in the depths of the coat, red lesions on the head, chest, forelegs and the ridge of the back.

b. Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is a symptomatic infection caused by bacteria of the Salmonella type. It usually results in symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

c. Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and animals. It is transmitted from infected animals to humans through bite or saliva. Rabies vaccination is the best way to avoid rabies infection in the future.

d. Leptospirosis

A leptospirosis is a common form of infection in dogs that is caused by corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Leptospira. Signs of leptospirosis include fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite.

e. Lyme disease

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by the Borrelia bacterium which is spread by ticks. Lyme disease can cause kidney failure and death in severe cases.

f. Campylobacter infection

PetMD reports that up to 49 percent of dogs carry campylobacteriosis, shedding it into their feces for other animals to contract. Humans can easily contract the disease if they fail to practice proper hygiene after coming into contact with an infected animal. The signs of Campylobacter infection in dogs include watery to mucoid diarrhea, abdominal cramping or pain, lethargy, and fever.

g. Roundworms

Roundworms can infest the dog digestive tract. The signs of roundworm in dogs include colic, lethargy, vomiting, abdominal swelling, abnormal feces, etc. Coming in contact with contaminated soil or infected dog feces can result in human ingestion and infection.

h. Scabies

Sarcoptic mange or Scabies in dogs is caused by the Sarcoptes scabies mite, a highly contagious skin parasite. The mites burrow into their skin and cause severe itching that can result in the formation of scabs and hair loss.

zoonotic diseases facts

Prevention from Zoonotic Diseases

Zoonotic diseases are reported to be one of the most common diseases contracted by humans worldwide. To prevent zoonotic diseases, you should adopt the following measures.

PERSONAL HYGIENE

  • Wash hands before and after handling or petting animals.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything close to the pet’s shelter.
  • Wear preventive overalls when handling farm animals.
  • Avoid handling sick animals or animals with lesions without wearing any gloves and masks.
  • Always wear a mask while entering pet shelters such as dog kennel and animal farms.
  • DO NOT enter the agricultural animal facilities when you are sick!
  • Use preventive gear while cleaning any animal area.
  • If you notice any sign of illness, contact your medical personnel ASAP.

ENVIRONMENTAL MAINTENANCE

  • Keep animal shelters such as kennel and cattle farm organized and regularly cleaned.
  • It’s important to clean any urine and fecal build-up. Dry feces result in fecal dust which may be inhaled. Most bacteria reside inside the fecal build-up.
  • Clean rooms have a lower likelihood of horizontal or zoonotic transfer.
  • Build animal housing areas away from the house or in an isolated area unless you’re building a dog kennel.
  • Quarantine the animal’s housing area with the help of experts when you notice the sign of any major infection or diseases.

HERD/FLOCK MAINTENANCE

This is more applicable if you own or handle a large number of animals such as cattle flock.

  • Observe animals for health status on a daily basis.
  • Report sick or dead animals.
  • Note health problems such as diarrhea, difficulty breathing, depressed, immobile.
  • Take extra caution in cleaning the areas around ill animals. Don’t spread possible pathogens.
  • Isolate affected animals as appropriate.
  • Record history or progression of animal disease.

Preventive Takeaways from Urban Pet Hospital and Resort

Urban Pet Hospital and Resort is a premier Doggy daycare in Urbandale that ensures the prevention of any infection or disease caused by animals. Here are four preventive takeaways that you should always keep in mind.

  1. Properly wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them.
  2. Prevent contamination of water sources.
  3. Undertake pet vaccinations.
  4. Avoid contact with wild animals.

How to Prevent Heartworm in Pets

Heartworm is one of the common heart diseases among most dogs. Known as Dirofilaria Immitis, the heartworm or dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a small thread-like creature.

It spreads from the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no simple way to tell if the mosquito is infected, hence, every dog must be prevented from heartworm.

American Heartworm Society (AHS) reported that the case of heartworm in Dogs has increased by 21 percent in recent years. Almost 200 dogs get infected each year.

Stage of Metamorphosis

It generally takes about seven months for larvae, once it is inside a host, to mature into adult heartworm. They then lodge themselves into the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels and begin reproducing. Adult heartworms can grow up to 12 inches in length and can live 5-7 years. A dog can be infected with as many as 250 worms in its system.

Although it affects the heart, the adult parasites often reside in the pulmonary arterial system (lung arteries).


7 Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs

Some of the common symptoms of heartworm disease are as follows;

  • A soft and dry cough
  • Inactivity or lethargy
  • Weight loss or anorexia
  • Rapid or difficulty breathing
  • Bulging chest
  • Allergic reaction
  • Collapse

The best thing is that it can be treated successfully with safe treatments available in most veterinary centers and pet hospitals.

How to Prevent Heartworm Disease in Dogs

The heartworm in Dogs can be prevented with monthly chewable tablets. The drugs approved for use in the US are Ivermectin (sold under the brand names Heartgard, Iverhart, and several other generic versions), Milbemycin (Interceptor Flavor Tabs and Sentinel Flavor Tabs), and Moxidectin (ProHeart) administered as pills or chewable tablets.

The preventive measures are recommended year-around in the regions with higher temperature. Annual heartworm testing is highly recommended for pet owners who choose to use minimal dosing schedules. Get in touch with veterinary care in Des Moines to know more about Heartworm prevention.

 

How to Rescue Pets from Flea and Ticks

Spring and Summer are probably the best seasons for any pet to go outdoors and play. Hiding inside the bush, rolling on the grass, and trotting along the park are few of the popular activities of dogs. Although, the seasons are popular for their hue and beauty, they also serve as the beginning of the arrival of many unwanted guests –Flea & Tick.

The soft, warm fur of your pets provide the safest environment for fleas and ticks to breed. These parasites feed on your pet’s blood and can cause health problems ranging from allergic reactions to serious tick-borne illnesses.

Female fleas can lay 40 to 50 eggs a day. That can lead to an infestation in days.

Fleas and ticks are more common during the warmer months that may last until the winter. The infected pets can spread illness to their human counterparts as well.

Signs of Flea & Ticks Infestation

  • Flea droppings, which look like dark specks, in the fur
  • Flea eggs, which look like white specks, in the fur
  • Excessive licking or scratching
  • Scabs or hot spots on the skin

Flea & Ticks Complications

  • Flea or Ticks infection can lead to significant blood loss or anemia over time.
  • The lack of red blood cells can be life-threatening for young dogs and cats.
  • Ticks also carry diseases, such as Lyme disease (a bacterial infection).

How to Remove Fleas & Ticks

  • Use gloves or tissue to cover your hands.
  • Grasp the tick with tweezers from the side, by its head, close to the skin.
  • Pull straight up. Don't twist.
  • Don't squeeze (or pop!) the bloated belly.

Flea & Tick Prevention

Flea & Tick Shampoo

Flea and tick shampoo is mainly useful for killing the parasites present on your pets. It doesn’t work as well to prevent fleas and ticks. You can buy the shampoo without a prescription, but follow the directions carefully. While applying the shampoo, you need to cover the animal’s entire body and wait 10 minutes before rinsing.

Collars

Flea collars can be useful to ward off fleas and ticks, however, puppies and kittens may need flea collars with a lower dose of chemicals. Wash your hands with soap and water after you handle it.

Tablets

Some oral tablets can be useful to prevent flea and tick infection. One type is a quick fix that kills adult fleas within 30 minutes. You can consider giving it to your pet daily. Other medications can keep flea eggs from hatching. Some flea medications need a prescription. Also, there are dogs-only oral products that kills fleas and ticks. Check with your vet to see which treatment is right for your pet.

Skin Treatments

Most skin treatments consist of creams that can be applied on pet’s skin. You put these treatments on your dog or cat’s back. They work well for a month. Some kill fleas and ticks as well.


Be careful and take precaution while taking your pets out of the house.

What Causes Eye Boogers in Dogs?

Eye boogers generally refer to a buildup of mucus in the eyes. While blinking the eyes, the eye flushes out the secretions of rheum, a watery fluid. The mucus generally accumulated in most quantity while sleeping.

Mucus helps protect the eyes from dirt, chemicals, soil, and other foreign agents. Eye boogers are generally harmless, however, in some cases, the discharge of eye booger may exceed and cause problems in pets.

Allergies

Dogs may experience allergy of grass, pollen, dust, pollen and other antibodies that lead to a physical reaction like eye discharge. Some breeds are particularly prone to allergies namely terriers, setters, retrievers, and flat-faced dogs like bulldogs, pugs, and Boston terriers. Some of the common symptoms of dogs experiencing allergies are:

  • Itchy and runny eyes
  • Irritated skin
  • Excessive scratching
  • Pawing at eyes

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva. It’s also known as ‘the pink eye’. The conjunctiva is a thin transparent layer of tissue that sits on the inner surface of the eyelid. You should get your dog checked with the Vet immediately if you notice pus-like eye boogers and excessive redness in and around the eye. Conjunctivitis can be troublesome for pets as they often paw their eyes due to irritation. Pet’s conjunctivitis is transmittable to humans too.

Epiphora

Epiphora is the excessive watering of the eye. It’s common for eyes to produce water, however, it can be a problem if they start producing excessive water. Signs of Epiphora are excess wetness around the eyes, brown stains underneath the eyes, a smelly odor, and skin irritation. This condition is more noticeable in breeds with lighter fur. You should consider visiting the Vet if you notice any such condition.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca is also known as the Dry eye disease (DED) or the Dry eye syndrome (DES). It is a multifactorial disease of the tears and the ocular surface that results in discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface. KCS occurs when the tear gland gets infected or when it experiences trauma. Some of the common symptoms of KCS are yellowish discharge, inflammation around the eye, excessive blinking or swelling of the eyelids. It may also lead to corneal disease or damage if not treated soon.

Glaucoma

The increased pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve helps to transmit images to the brain. If the damage continues, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. Some dog breeds are more prone to Glaucoma such as Poodles, Chow Chows, and Cocker Spaniels. Glaucoma is also common in senior or the aging dogs.

There are two types of glaucoma in dogs. Primary glaucoma is when the eye is unable to drain, causing fluid to build up inside the eye. Secondary glaucoma is caused when the eye is impacted by trauma (such as inflammation or cancer), which physically blocks drainage.


Eye boogers in common conditions are usual, however, daily cleaning of the eyes is essential to keep your pet’s health in check. Most ailments in pets occur when the initial problems aren’t corrected on time.

Water Diabetes in Dogs

Diabetes Insipidus (DI) or Water Diabetes is a rare disorder in dogs that affects their water metabolism, preventing the body from conserving water and releasing too much of it. The condition is characterized by frequent or increased urination, dilute urine (Dull urine), and increase thirst for water.

Unlike Diabetes mellitus, this disease isn’t caused by deficiency of insulin.

There are two major DIs that affect dogs;

  • Neurogenic (Central diabetes insipidus)
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus

Neurogenic DI is caused by the lack of the hormone vasopressin, which regulates the body's retention of water. The hypothalamus in the brain controlled the production and regulation of vasopressin. A dysfunction in its release can be caused by a head injury or also a tumor in the brain. The dysfunction on the production of Vasopressin can also be due to failure in hypothalamus or in the pituitary gland.

Nephrogenic DI is caused by a deficiency of antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which functions to stimulate the capillary muscles and reduce the flow of urine, effectively conserving water for the body's various functions. The cause of Nephrogenic DI is found in the kidneys and their inability to respond appropriately to ADH, allowing too much water from the body to escape into the urine.

This is typically an acquired condition, and may be due to amyloidosis of the kidney, cysts on the kidney, or an imbalance of electrolytes.

Other common symptoms seen in dogs with Diabetes Insipidus may include:

  • Increased urination (polyuria)
  • Increased drinking (polydipsia)
  • Decreased urination with dehydration
  • Houses oiling
  • Poor hair coat

Some of the common causes of DI are;

Inadequate secretion of antidiuretic hormone ADH

  • Congenital defect
  • Unknown causes
  • Trauma
  • Cancer

Renal insensitivity to ADH

  • Congenital
  • Secondary to drugs
  • Secondary to endocrine and metabolic disorders
  • Hyperadrenocorticism - overactive adrenal glands
  • Hypocalemia - low calcium levels in the blood
  • Pyometra - bacterial infection of the uterus
  • Hypercalemia - Increased levels of calcium in the blood

Secondary to renal disease or infection

  • Pyelonephritis - bacterial infection of the kidneys
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • Pyometra - bacterial infection of the uterus

Sometimes, dogs can have a varying issues for urinary accidents at home. Some of these causes shouldn’t be confused with DI.

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urinary stones
  • Incontinence
  • Urinary Tract Cancer
  • Kidney disease

 You must contact your nearest Vet to for the diagnosis, and offer medications as required.

 

National Pet Obesity Awareness Month

In the year 2016, obesity in pets accounted for more than 1.3 million of nationwide pet insurance claim. It was a sharp 23% rise from the previous years.

October 10 is celebrated as Pet obesity awareness day to bring the issue of rising obesity and diseases in pet into light.

With unhealthy diet and carelessness from pet owners, dogs and cats face large consequences from Obesity related conditions. Your pet’s meal requirements vastly differs from your dietary requirement.

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s (APOP) 2016 clinical survey recently reported that nearly 54% of dogs and 59% of cats are clinically overweight or obese.

Obesity may cause severe diseases and condition in pets. Inflammation, diabetes, heart conditions, metabolic and endocrine disorders, are few of the common medical conditions. The strain to bone, joins and internal organs far exceed the consequences.


10 Obesity related conditions

Obesity causes various medical conditions in Dogs. Some of the common conditions are;

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD). It refers to the progressive and permanent long-term deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints. It is more common in older dogs and cats. The bulging weight of the body can affect the joints in legs of pets, which can lead to Osteoarthritis.

Cystitis

Cystitis stands for inflammation of the bladder. It is also used as a general term for any disease that causes inflammation. The most common cause of cystitis in pets is an infection caused by bacteria. Other causes of Cystitis include bladder stones, tumors or polyps in the bladder, and abnormal anatomy (especially in female dogs).

Hypothyroidism

In pets, if their thyroid stops producing the needed amount of hormones, the metabolism slows causing many of the body's normal processes are disrupted. In dogs, thyroid disease is almost always hypothyroidism, whereas, overactive-thyroid hypothyroidism occurs mostly in cats.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is the case of liver inflammation. It can occur suddenly or can also be a long-standing process of liver decline (chronic). As liver is the first organ to come in contact with toxins and harmful products absorbed from food, it can get infected too quickly among pets.

Cruciate ligament injuries

The cruciate ligament is a major part of dog’s knee. Cruciate ligament is a common form of injury seen in dogs. Also called ACL or CCL tear, a ruptured cruciate is often a painful and immobilizing injury. It is more common among Overweight or obese dogs, as they are more prone to this type of injury mainly because of weaker joints or bones.

Diabetes

Diabetes insipidus is sometimes called "drinking diabetes" because it is a rare diabetes which often leads to failure in regulating body’s water content.

Diabetes mellitus or Diabetes in general is a common disease in middle-aged and older dogs. It’s a complex disorder of carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in dogs. It can be the result of a relative or absolute insulin deficiency or of peripheral cell insensitivity to insulin which is characterized by high blood glucose concentrations such that the renal threshold is exceeded.

Other common forms of obesity related conditions include intervertebral disc disease, chronic renal disease, Congestive heart failure and lipomas.

Common Vision Issues in Dogs

Visions are flawed in dogs too. Alike humans, dogs may face vision issues or blindness due to certain illness or disease. In case of mild blindness, many dogs tend to fool their owners in believing that they can see well. It is only when they lose over 80% of vision that the owners can find out about the problem.

There are other common vision issues in dogs, some of which are as follows;


SARDS

Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome or SARDS is most common in older animals. The median age for the condition in Dogs is 8.5 years. A study found that more than 60% of dogs diagnosed with SARDS are females. It is more common in Dachshunds and Miniature Schnauzers. Pugs, Brittany Spaniels, and Maltese are other breeds also have greater chances of being diagnosed with SARDS.

Cherry Eye

Dogs are gifted with three eyelids, where two are readily visible and third one is faintly visible. It consists tear producing glands in dogs. The gland remains hidden from outside until the dogs are affected with congenital weakness in ligaments which causes the glands to pot out of their place. It looks like a ‘cherry’ popping out of their eye.

Cornel Wounds

The surface of dog’s eyes is covered with a clear skin-like tissue called cornea which can be injured in many instances. Getting poked in the eye, poor tear production or abnormal anatomy are some of the cases of corneal damage in dogs. A dog with corneal damage often rubs at the affected eye and squint because of pain. The eye may also be red and have excessive drainage.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) or Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome or Keratoconjunctivities Sicca is very common among dogs. When they develop a dry eye, their tear glands start producing fewer tear. Tears in dogs is important for removing residue and potentially damaging elements from the surface of the eye and nourishing corneal tissues. A dry eye can cause corneal ulcers or chronic drainage of mucus from eyes.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

The conjunctiva is the mucus membranes which covers the inside of a dog’s eyelids and some parts of their eyeball. Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, causes inflammation of the conjunctiva in dogs. The symptoms of conjunctivitis include reddened and swollen conjunctiva, eye drainage and discomfort.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when the balance of production and drainage of eye fluid is disrupted and pressure within the eye increases. The symptoms of Glaucoma may include pain, eye redness, increased tear production, a visible third eyelid, corneal cloudiness, dilated pupils and enlarged eye.

Cataracts

The Cataract blocks light from reaching the back of the eye resulting in poor vision or blindness. Sometimes the part or all of the lens may develop a cloudy, opaque cataract. It is commonly confused with a normal aging change that affects a dog’s lenses called Lenticular sclerosis. Cataract forms a white, grey, or milky appearance in eyes.

Entropion

Entropion causes hair to rub on the surface of the eye, resulting in pain, increased tear production and eventually damage to the cornea. Some dogs may have eyelids that roll inwards causing Entropion. They can be a congenital problem in some dogs or also develop overtime as a result of chronic squinting due to discomfort or eyelid scarring.


If you find anything wrong with your dog’s eye or suspect any problems, do consult your nearest vet.

Obesity Related Condition in Dogs & Prevention

Obesity is common in dogs with unhealthy diet or lifestyle. As a pet owner, you must keep their weight in check and offer optimum quantity of nutritious meal. It’s completely wrong to feed your dog from your plate or dinner table, because their meal requirement vastly differs from humans.

According to a study, “Obesity accounted for more than 1.3 million of nationwide pet insurance claims in 2016, a 23 percent increase from three years before.”

10 Obesity related conditions

Obesity causes various medical conditions in Dogs. Some of the common conditions are;

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cystitis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • hepatitis
  • Cruciate ligament injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Chronic renal disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Lipomas

Hydrotherapy

Water therapy, also known as hydrotherapy, is a technique of cutting unnecessary body weight.

  • In pets, the hydrotherapy helps to focus on their body weight and intensely cut fats.
  • The advantage of hydrotherapy is that water is denser than air, hence providing more regression. Using water helps to lose weight at shorter span of time.
  • Along with weight loss, water therapy has many other perks for dogs. Regular water therapy helps maintain fitness, strength and condition of body. Being in shape reduces most of the future medical conditions.
  • Water buoyancy makes it possible for dogs with joint problems to exercise without any pressure. It is effective for joint and limb problems.

Sparky’s Case

This is Sparky. He recently finished his underwater treadmill therapy for weight loss. He started the therapy on June 5, 2018 and completed on September 21, 2018.

When he was brought in, he weighed the startling 26.5 lbs and at the end of the therapy he weighed only 23 lbs. The hydrotherapy helped Sparky lose 3.5 lbs in 3 months and recover from obesity related conditions, such as osteoarthritis and liver disease.

Beside hydrotherapy, the preventive measures for obesity in dogs are; healthy meal, regular exercise, enough playtime and socializing with humans and other pets.

Diabetes among Dogs

Alike humans, dogs may suffer from diabetes too. There are two types of diabetes common in dogs.

  • Diabetes Insipidus
  • Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes insipidus is sometimes called "drinking diabetes" because it is a rare diabetes which often leads to failure in regulating body’s water content.

Diabetes mellitus or Diabetes in general is a common disease in middle-aged and older dogs. It’s a complex disorder of carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in dogs. It can be the result of a relative or absolute insulin deficiency or of peripheral cell insensitivity to insulin which is characterized by high blood glucose concentrations such that the renal threshold is exceeded.

It is a disease of the pancreas. Diabetes typically occurs when dogs are between 4 to 14 years old. Unspayed female dogs are twice as likely as male dogs to suffer from diabetes.

The Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs

  • Change in appetite
  • Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Cataract formation, blindness
  • Chronic skin infections

Types of Diabetes Mellitus

There are two types of Diabetes Mellitus.

  • Type I is an insulin dependent diabetes which results from total or near complete destruction of the beta-cells. It is more common form of Diabetes mellitus among dogs. Most forms of diabetes can be managed with insulin, however, dietary and lifestyle improvements are also essential.
  • Type II is a non-insulin dependent diabetes because some insulin producing cells remain in the body, however, the amount produced is insufficient or the tissues of dog’s body is resistant to it. It commonly occurs in older obese dogs.

The breeds which are more prone to Diabetes are;

  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Dachshund
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Pomeranian
  • Terrier
  • Toy Poodle

When you know the cause, the vets can look into the diagnosis and possible treatment, however, the effective treatment is only possible during the early onset of the disease.