What is an allergy?
An allergy is a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen. Most allergens are proteins from plants, insects, animals or foods.
“…with allergies, the immune response can actually be harmful to the body. ”
Exposure to the allergen, usually on multiple occasions spanning months to years, sensitizes the immune system, and a subsequent exposure to the same or related allergen causes an over-reaction. Normally the immune response protects the dog against infection and disease, but with allergies, the immune response can actually be harmful to the body. Allergies may be thought of as an unnecessary normal immune response to a benign foreign substance.
I have read many things on the Internet suggesting that I should feed my cat raw food.
I know my cat’s wild cousins hunt their food, so they eat their food raw. Is it OK for me to feed my cat raw food? Is that better than feeding prepared dry or canned food?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stand united in their position (based on very robust data) that feeding raw food to cats is potentially dangerous to both the cat and to you. The most recent study, conducted from 2011 through 2012, screened commercially available raw pet foods for bacteria that can cause illness. The raw pet food products were frozen in tube-like packages, made from ground meat or sausage. Nearly 25% of the raw food samples tested positive for harmful bacteria, including Salmonella ssp. and Listeria monocytogenes. These bacteria can pose a health risk for the cats who eat the raw food, as well as for the cat owners who handle the food while preparing it.
What kind of illness does Salmonella cause?
The CDC estimates that 1.2 million or more cases of food-borne salmonellosis occur in humans in the US annually. Approximately 400 people die each year from the disease. There is some uncertainty as to the total number of cases because milder cases may not be diagnosed.
Symptoms of salmonellosis in humans generally start 12 – 72 hours after exposure and include:
- Diarrhea (often bloody)
- Stomach pain
My dog was diagnosed with anaplasmosis? What is it?
Anaplasmosis is a tickborne disease caused by the infectious bacterial organism Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It is transmitted through bites of the deer tick (also known as the black-legged tick) and western black-legged tick. A lesser form of anaplasmosis is caused by Anaplasma platys and is transmitted by the brown dog tick. Anaplasmosis has been reported worldwide in a wide variety of animals.
What are the clinical signs of anaplasmosis?
Infection with the more common form of anaplasmosis, A. phagocytophilum, often causes lameness, joint pain, fever, lethargy, and not eating (inappetance). Most infected dogs will have symptoms for 1 to 7 days; however, some will have no or only minor symptoms. Less common clinical signs include vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and labored breathing. Rarely, neurological signs such as seizures have been reported.
How is anaplasmosis diagnosed?
Several types of tests, including enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), are available to help your veterinarian diagnose anaplasmosis. In addition, the organism can sometimes be seen through a microscope during peak phases of infection.
What is acute renal failure?
Acute renal failure (ARF) or acute kidney failure (AKF) refers to the sudden failure of the kidneys to perform normal filtration duties. This is not the same as the much more common form of kidney failure called chronic kidney disease (CKD). ARF leads to accumulation of toxins and other metabolic wastes in the bloodstream, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and disturbances in the acid-base balance of the blood. Older cats are at higher risk for developing ARF.
“ARF is potentially reversible if diagnosed early and treated aggressively.”
What are the clinical signs of acute renal failure?
The clinical signs of ARF may include sudden anorexia (not eating), listlessness, vomiting (the vomited material may have blood in it), diarrhea that also may contain blood, a strange breath odor, and/or seizures. Some cats will urinate more frequently while others may not be producing any urine at all. There may be a recent history of ingestion of a toxin (especially antifreeze) or of recent trauma, surgery, or illness. Many cats are in shock by the time they reach the veterinary hospital. The veterinarian will frequently find enlarged and painful kidneys during the physical examination.
What causes acute renal failure?
There are numerous causes of ARF. Some of the more common causes include:
Most animals give birth without any complications. However, mothers occasionally need help with delivery. We usually attempt to resolve the problem using medical therapy first, but when that doesn’t solve the issue, we will perform a caesarian section.
During a c-section, the mother is given an anesthetic. An incision is then made along her abdomen and through the uterus to retrieve unborn puppies or kittens. In some situations, we may recommend that the mother be spayed during this procedure, usually to prevent future problems of this nature.
We perform many types of soft tissue surgeries at our clinic. Soft tissue surgeries are those that are not associated with bone. These surgeries can provide many benefits to pets.
Probably the most common soft tissue surgery performed on pets is the removal of masses, or lumps. Most of these masses, once removed and tested, are found to be benign (nonharmful); however, occasionally they are more serious. Early removal and accurate diagnosis of a lump is necessary to improve the outcome in your pet if the mass is cancerous.
If your dog suffers from frequent ear infections, surgical intervention can reduce their occurrence by improving airflow into the ear canal.
Surgery can also help resolve several problems related to the eyes. Tearing in your pet’s eyes can mean an infection is present or may be a sign that the cornea (outer layer of the eye) has been damaged. Surgery may allow the cornea to heal faster with less scarring, improving your pet’s ability to see. In some pets, the eyelashes may actually damage the cornea. Surgical intervention improves comfort in these pets, reduces the chances of corneal scarring, and enhances the pet’s vision in the long term.
Please contact us if you’d like to discuss how soft tissue surgery might be able to help your pet.
Neutering your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents male animals from reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Neutering will not change your pet’s personality.
By neutering your pet, you’re reducing or eliminating his risk for prostate and testicular cancer, as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Neutering will also reduce or eliminate undesirable and embarrassing behavior, including roaming, fighting, humping, and spraying. In addition, neutering your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.
Neutering, which involves removing the testicles, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure his safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.
To set up an appointment to have your pet neutered or to learn more about this procedure, please call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to neuter your pet, please call us or stop by so we can discuss your concerns.
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