Good question. Hair loss around the paws does happen at times especially in dogs that are very active. I would watch the area and if it becomes open I would have him checked out by your regular vet. If the redness goes away and the hair comes back then I think you are in the clear.View Thread
Pets add so much to our lives: great companionship, unconditional love, and unfortunately, a slight risk of making us sick. There are a few diseases that pets can get and give to humans. These are called zoonotic diseases. And it's important for pet owners to know about these potential risks, so you can take precautions to make sure your household is protected.
Here are some of the most common offenders:
Round Worms Round worms are a parasite that most household pets will have at some point in life. The worms live in their intestines, and pets typically have them as puppies or kittens. These worms lay eggs that are then deposited in the soil when your pet defecates. People are infected with round worms through accidental ingestion. The worms can migrate through tissues such as the lungs, and eventually end up in the eye, causing permanent vision loss. Preventing round worm infections includes deworming your pet at a young age and performing periodic stool checks during the year. Also many heartworm preventatives are very good dewormers. So monthly treatment for heartworms is important for avoiding round worms, as well.
Hookworms Hookworms are another parasitic intestinal worm of dogs and cats that can infect humans. They can be found in the soil or sand where an infected dog has defecated. The larvae can migrate through skin and cause a painful skin rash in humans. Hookworms travel through different organs in the body causing various problems. Routine stool checks on your pet and good hygiene is the best way to avoid getting this parasite.
Giardia Giardia is the mostly commonly diagnosed parasitic disease for people in the US. It is also an intestinal parasite that dogs and cats can have and give to humans. Typically transmitted through contaminated water, it causes chronic diarrhea that can last from one week to several months. Giardia can also be more severe and cause a skin rash and joint swelling. This is a parasite we are finding more and more often in pets, especially in puppies and kittens. Again, regular hand washing, good hygiene, and routine fecal examinations can help reduce the spread.
Lyme disease Lyme disease, or Borrelia burgdorferi, is spread by ticks and can cause rash, headaches, and muscle pains. It can also move through the body and cause more wide spread problems in the joints and other organs.
Ringworm Ringworm is not really a worm at all, but rather a fungal infection that causes a circular-like lesion on the skin. Dogs and cats can have ringworm and can also be carriers that give it to you. Ringworm in people causes an itchy, flaky skin rash.
Leptospirosis Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that causes liver and kidney failure in pets, and can also infect humans. It is spread through the urine of infected animals and can live in water and soil for long periods of time. There is a vaccine for Leptospirosis, but it may not completely protect your pet. So be sure to talk with your veterinarian to determine if this vaccine is necessary.
Rabies Rabies is the most dangerous zoonotic disease that we have encountered so far. It is a virus that causes neurological problems and that can be transmitted by dogs, cats, and animals in the wild. If a human is infected and not treated, they rarely survive. The vaccine for rabies is very effective at preventing this disease, and keeping your pets current is vital. We vaccinate dogs and cats as a way to not only protect them from rabies, but to also keep humans safe from this deadly virus.
Of course, there are more zoonotic diseases than just the ones listed above. But the best way to protect yourself and your family is to be educated about them, use good hygiene, and have regular conversations with your veterinarian about how to keep your pets safe and disease-free.View Thread
Almost everyone loves summer, including most pets. By practicing the following safety tips and taking some simple precautions, you can increase your pet's chances of avoiding some potentially stressful summer hazards.
1. Watch for heated cars. It's always fun to take your dog -- and even some cats -- in the car with you. But remember how your car can heat up under the summer sun. Even with the windows down, the internal temperature can rise quickly. And pets will overheat fast. What you think is just a short run into the grocery store could be dangerous. Your best bet is to leave pets at home and let them enjoy the nice, cool house.
2. Provide lots of fresh water. When it's hot outside, pets will drink a lot more water. So make sure you keep their bowls filled up. Pets are also notorious for spilling their water, or even playing in it. So make sure you keep your pet's water in a bowl that cannot be turned over. Also, remember that water sitting in the sun will get hot. So if a pet is already overheated and they drink hot water, it is not going to help them to cool down.
3. Ensure plenty of shade. Many pets should not be in direct sunlight for long periods of time. If you are out at the park with your pet, make sure you take your breaks in the shade. This is especially true for our dark coated breeds. Direct sunlight for extended periods can really cause them to overheat especially fast.
4. Be careful of loud noises. Some common summer sounds can be scary to your pets. Fireworks and thunderstorms are the often the biggest offenders. Thunderstorms arise very fast and can really cause pets to become frightened. Make sure your pets are in a safe place where they cannot hurt themselves or get loose. Many times their natural instinct is to run, and we see lots of pets getting lost during times when there are storms or loud fireworks going off.
5. Avoid the hot pavement. Be careful when walking your pet on the hot cement during the summer, because their feet can get burned. I typically see lots of problems with foot pads around the spring and summer. Many pet owners want to enjoy the nice warm weather, and they'll take their pets for a walk or run while they do. But if your pet's feet are not adjusted from living inside during the winter, they can burn and blister. Walking pets in the grass is a great way to prevent these types of injuries.
6. Beware of parasites. Fleas, ticks, snakes, bees, and bugs really come out in numbers during the summer months. And it's always important to protect your pet from fleas and ticks with good monthly prevention. And avoid areas that are common habitats for snakes and bees. Nothing can ruin a nice summer day like a snake bite or bee sting.
What special precautions do you take with your pets to make sure they have fun and healthy summers?View Thread
The only thing I would worry about is dogs with chronic allergies are very prone to infections. The infections can become resistant to many antibiotics. I would make sure you treat the skin allergies aggressively to prevent infections that could be spread to you.View Thread
Should you be concerned about mosquitos and your pets? The answer is yes. Mosquitos can cause serious problems for our pets, including transmission of heartworm disease, West Nile virus, and even allergic reactions for some.
Heartworms Heartworm disease is by far the biggest threat pets face from mosquitos. There are many natural reservoirs for heartworm disease, including feral dogs, coyotes, and wolves. When a mosquito feeds from one animal with heartworms and then moves on to the next, it will inject the worm larvae into the next animal. The larvae then mature and migrate to the animal's heart and lungs. Once there, the worms cause damage to these organs. And if left untreated, they can lead to heart failure.
The good news is that giving your pet preventatives each month can significantly decrease his chances of contracting heartworms. Preventatives are very effective and we rarely see failures of these products when they are given correctly.
West Nile Virus Mosquitos also carry and transmit the West Nile virus, which can be a devastating disease for pets. It can cause a loss in muscular control, difficulty walking, and anorexia. Testing for this virus is also very difficult. Many times the pets are already recovering by the time the testing is complete. There is a vaccine for horses. But as of right now, the vaccine is not approved for dogs and cats. The risk of contracting West Nile virus is directly related to how much time a pet spends outside. So, obviously, outdoor pets are at the greatest risk.
Allergic Reactions to Mosquitos Mosquitos can also cause allergic reactions for some pets. In my practice, I see many pets that get just a few mosquito bites, and their ears will swell and they will lose much of their hair. This occurs the most around the head and neck, where the fur is typically shorter and where mosquitos have a better chance at getting to the skin to bite. Some allergic reactions to mosquitos can be very strong and cause lots of inflammation and swelling in our pets.
For West Nile Virus and allergic reactions, good mosquito control is the only way to help prevent these problems. In addition to keeping your pet inside during times when mosquitos are the worst, this can also include: - hiring a service to spray for mosquitos - setting mosquito traps in your yard - making sure you don't have any standing water around for mosquitos to breed - keeping your ponds and outdoor fountains treated to prevent mosquito breeding
There are some products that do help to repel mosquitos. But there are also some that claim to repel them and don't. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian so he or she can advise you about which products should work best, based on your pet's age, breed, and medical history.
What have you done to prevent mosquito problems for your furry friends?View Thread
SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED: - Rubbing alcohol - A pair of tweezers, forceps, or another pulling device (never to be used again or on a person) - A jar with a lid -- for the tick afterward - Someone to help you hold the pet
STEPS FOR REMOVAL: 1. Have a helper hold your pet's head and keep the area that you will be working on still. The last thing you want is the pet jumping or moving as you attempt to get the tick out.
2. Put some alcohol around the area where the tick is attached. This helps to wet the hair around the area so you can get a better view. It also helps to kill bacteria around the area. There will be an open wound after you remove the tick, so you want to try to keep the area clean.
3. Take your removing device of choice -- I prefer a hemostat -- and grab the tick as close to the skin as possible.
4. Apply gentle pressure to your removing device while pulling the tick straight back from the skin. Try not to twist, jerk, or rotate the tick because you are more likely to break it and leave the head still imbedded. As you gently pull on it the tick will let go. It may take a minute or two of gentle pressure. Don't crush the tick because that may release more of the potential bacteria and diseases that ticks can spread.
5. Once the tick is removed, drop it in a jar with some alcohol.Secure the lid on the jar and let the tick stay in there for a day or two. Flushing or throwing the tick away will not necessarily kill it. They are very resilient creatures. Instead, a long alcohol bath will do the trick.
6. Once you are sure it is dead, then throw it away.
7. After removing the tick, clip your pet's hair around the site so you can monitor it over the next few days. Keep an eye out for any excessive swelling or redness. If you notice any, see your veterinarian and they will most likely start some antibiotics.
8. Clean the area again with some alcohol to prevent infection.
If things do not go as planned and the head is ripped off, attempt to gently remove the head from the skin. If that's not possible, see your vet to have it removed. If a visit to the vet isn't possible, use warm compresses over the next few days to help your pet's body expel the remaining part of the tick on its own.
The best place to look for ticks on your pet is around the head, neck, and behind the ears. Most ticks will migrate to these locations, although they can be found on all parts of the body.
If you have read this and you feel faint or nauseous about trying to do it yourself, don't worry. My office has many clients who will simply come to us to remove the ticks, rather than attempt to do it at home. So feel free to run your pet to your regular vet's office and they can remove it for you.
We vets have a whole class on tick removal in veterinary school. Just kidding, but we are happy to help.
Have you had any tick sightings on your own pets? What did you do that worked best for you in the tick's removal? View Thread
I agree, however as I learned with my own cat, some will not stay indoors only. I wish I could explain to them all the dangers out in the real world and convince them all to stay inside. Even if I could, I still think some of the cats will still ignore my advice. Like the old saying says "Dogs have owners and cats have staff"View Thread
I am sorry to hear about your cat that broke his leg. Some just will not stay inside but it sounds like he is much smarter about going outside now. There is always risk of injury when they go outside.
I love what you are doing with the break away collars, microchips, flea medicine, and keeping them in at night. It sounds like you are taking great care of them. Keep up the good work and tell the youngest one to be careful. The cats without much fear can get themselves into trouble especially when encountering wildlife.View Thread