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 Monthj

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.

Can Pets get Skin Cancer?

Unfortunately, Yes! Like Humans, pets are susceptible to cancer and other form skin related diseases. Many domesticated and wild animals suffer from some form of cancer too.

Skin tumors are the most common form of cancerous tumors found in Dogs.  However, if it’s caught during early onset, it can be treated effectively. The disease is generally classified into Benign and Malign cancers. The term ‘Benign’ is used for less harmful cancer tumors, while ‘Malign’ is used for harmful cancer tumors.

Dogs have certain sensitive areas in the body where there is less or none protection from hair, like nose and ears. Many dog breeds lack enough fur in their body making them more susceptible to skin related diseases. Too much unprotected sun exposure may cause cancer in dogs.

Photo © Dogs Naturally Magazine

Dog melanomas and mast cell tumors are two major types of cancer found in dogs. These are fatal and life-threatening if left treated.


Six Common Types of Cancer in Pets

Malignant melanoma

Malignant melanoma is a type of skin cancer in dogs that affects pigmented cells known as melanocytes. This tendency is common in humans too. Dogs often develop tumors in pigmented cells that do not metastasize (spread to other parts), which are called melanocytomas.

It mostly occurs in the empty spots, however, some may develop in the body part with hair too. Experts believe that it is mostly a Genetic factor which causes the development of melanoma.

Compulsive licking and unhealthy lifestyle must be prevented in the pets to stop spreading the cells to other body parts.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is a rare form of skin cancer prevalent in dogs. Pets with light-skin or hairless body are akin to this type of cancer. Dalmatians, Keeshonds, Standard Schnauzers, Basset Hounds, Collies, Bull Terriers and Beagles are few breeds mostly affected by it. Most squamous cell carcinomas appear as firm and raised or often ulcerated plaques and nodules.

As reported by PetMD.com, “Tumors can often grow outward into large masses and have a surface that resembles a wart. Treatment includes surgery to remove the primary tumor. Incompletely excised tumors should be treated with radiation therapy to prevent regrowth. These tumors infrequently spread to local lymph nodes and the lungs.”

Mast cell tumor

Mast cells tumor generally occur through allergic reactions. The immune cells contain chemicals or granules that are released upon stimulation by an allergen. These cells are located throughout the body and within the skin. This is a more slow-growing cancer in dogs, however, more aggressive mast cell tumors grow faster and may ulcerate.

Mast cell tumors are mostly found in Boxers, Boston Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Pugs, Shar Peis, and Bulldogs.

As reported by Pets.WebMD.com, “Mast cell tumors most commonly occur on the trunk of the body, though they are found on the legs about 25% of the time.”

Melanomas

Melanomas or Benign melanoma in pets are less harmful. It occurs frequently in dogs with dark pigmented skin. Malignant melanoma is a type of Melanomas which is more aggressive. These tumors are usually solitary and appear as small brown/black masses. They can also appear as large, flat, or wrinkled tumors.

As reported by PetMD.com, “Most melanoma tumors are diagnosed after they are removed. Fine needle aspirates can be done on such tumors; however, they are less likely to exfoliate (distribute into the syringe during aspiration), so the sample obtained in this manner might not be diagnostic.”

Hair Follicle Tumor

Most hair follicle tumors are benign or less harmful and can be cured with surgical removal. They develop as a result of the disordered growth of the hair follicles in dogs. Malignant hair follicle tumors need special care and treatments.

Epitheliotropic lymphoma

Lymphoma is a type of blood-borne cancer of lymphocytes (white blood cells). They are found throughout the body, including the skin, where they offer protection against various pathogens that this organ can come into contact with.

According to PetMD.com, “While technically not a skin tumor, another common cancer that occurs in the superficial layers of the skin is Epitheliotropic lymphoma.”

There can be several forms of lymphoma in dogs. Epitheliotropic lymphoma occurs mostly on skin. Chemotherapy is a common form of treatment.


It is important that you provide proper care, diet and environment to your dog. Each breed of dog may have specific conditions, hence, you must consult your vet for medical guidance. To ensure that your pet is safe, get it checked from a reliable veterinarian today.

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.