All posts in Dogs

Liver Disease

What is liver disease/chronic liver failure?

Liver disease is caused by damage to the liver. Chronic liver failure is due to long term damage to the liver, causing the liver no longer to work properly. Liver disease is far more common than liver failure, as the liver has the ability to regenerate, even if the initial damage was severe. Liver failure only occurs when more than 70-75% of the liver is irreparably damaged (cirrhosis) and the liver begins to fail as it is no longer able to repair itself.

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Heart Disease and Congestive Heart Failure

What is heart disease and congestive heart failure?

Congestive heart failure occurs as a result of progressive heart disease. Heart disease is when the heart starts to fail in its ability to pump blood properly, but in the early stages the body is still able to compensate and the blood and tissues still receives the oxygen they need. When the heart is unable to pump blood properly though your pet’s body and there is not enough oxygen getting around it causes an increase in pressure and fluid that eventually leaks out of the heart to the lungs, around the lungs or into the abdomen. This causes congestion of the lungs and the heart will begin to fail.

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Chronic Kidney Disease

What is chronic kidney disease?

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Chronic kidney disease is a common health condition in cats and dogs, especially those who are in their senior and geriatric years. The onset of chronic kidney disease is usually slow and the signs are usually generalized and non-specific, usually your pet is “just not doing well”. Some symptoms may also not be noticed until your pet has progressed to a later stage of kidney disease. These symptoms can include, but are not limited to:

  • increased water consumption
  • changes in urination habits (increased, decreased, blood in the urine)
  • weight loss
  • not eating
  • poor hair coat
  • vomiting
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Importance of spaying your pet

Spaying your pet

cat-19106_960_720Spaying removes the ovaries and uterus from your female animal, preventing them from coming into heat, convincing, carrying a  pregnancy and giving birth. This is a surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia by a veterinarian. The recovery time for you pet is about 24-72 hours until they are feeling back to normal, however recovery time for your pet’s body to heal is about 10-14 days. It is during this 2 week recovery period your pet will need to wear an e-collar so not to disturb the surgery site and will need to stay rested and not engage in any activity.

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Cancer diagnosis and your pet

What is cancer

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Cancer is also known as neoplasia. Neoplasia means abnormal/uncontrolled growth of cells or tissues in the body. The growth itself is called a neoplasm, mass or tumor. This mass can either be benign or malignant. Benign cancers do not grow quickly and do not spread throughout the body. Malignant cancers tend to grow very fast, invade the tissues around them and can spread other parts of the body.

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Canine Breed Spotlight: Beagle

Let’s look at the Beagle!

Dog breed group: Hound Dog

Average life span: 12-16 years

History

Dogs that are similar in size and purpose to the modern day Beagle can be traced back to Ancient Greece. The development of the modern breed began in the 19th century in England. There were two lines of Beagles being bred, eventually being absorbed into one bloodline. The name Beagle has an uncertain origin. There are may theories of where the name may have came from. The French words begueule (meaning open throat) or beugler (meaning to bellow), the Old English word beag (meaning small) and the German word begele (meaning to scold) could all be origins of this breed name.

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Temperament

Beagles are happy, gentle and friendly. They don’t tend to be either aggressive or timid, but somewhere in the middle. They are an intelligent breed, but because they were bred to hunt they can be easily distracted by the smells. Early socialization and obedience training (with food rewards!) are the best ways to train your beagle to be well rounded and get them used to many different types of situations.

Is this breed right for you?

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  • They require a lot of exercise, a walk around the block won’t be enough. For this reason they do not do well in apartments, condos or other small living areas.
  • Their coat is easy to care for, however they do shed a lot.
  • They don’t do well left alone for long periods of time. Crate training is important or else they may become destructive when left alone.
  • They can be loud. They will howl and bay when faced with something unfamiliar or upsetting to them.

Health concerns

Both pure-bred and mixed-breed dogs have varying incidences of health problems that may be either influenced by genetics or environmental factors. Here are some health concerns that are more commonly seen in the Beagle.

Epilepsy is common in Beagles, but it is not a health concern specific to the breed. Epilepsy is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain causing seizures. This health issue can be controlled with medication and veterinary monitoring.

Cherry Eye can be common in Beagles. This is when the gland in the third eyelid (located in the inside corner of the dog’s eye) comes out of place and bulges. Cherry eye is corrected by a surgery under general anesthetic.

Intervertebral Disc Disease is also common in Beagles. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They might have difficulty walking or appear in pain, or in severe cases they can become be completely paralyzed. The best way to prevent this is to keep your Beagle lean. They are “chow hounds” and love to eat. Over feeding can cause them to become overweight, which can increase their risk of rupturing a disc.

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Rabies Awareness

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a viral disease of mammals (including humans) that is most commonly transmitted though the bite of a rabid animal. In Canada the majority of the rabies cases reported are from foxes, bats and skunks.

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Deafness and your Dog

There are two types of deafness, congenital or deafness brought on by other causes. Congenital deafness is when a puppy is born deaf. Dogs can also go deaf from other causes, the most common being chronic ear infections or injury and old age.

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