Lyme Disease in Dogs

cjIt is hard to get an early diagnosis of lyme disease in your own dog. The first sign of lyme disease in humans is a rash, well; animals do not develop this rash. Lyme disease is also not one of the first illnesses that the veterinarian looks for when you take your dog in for a visit. Many other common illnesses can produce some of the same symptoms, so it can be hard to detect.

Lyme disease does affect each dog different as it does with humans. Many dogs that are affected with lyme disease seem to be in pain and many stop eating. They may even run very high fevers. Lyme disease affects the entire body and some dogs may become lame and then even if untreated the lameness can disappear but can reappear later on. Your dog may not even show any signs of an illness for a long period of time and in fact have lyme disease, and then the symptoms can show up a year later.

Diagnosis of lyme disease can be done with a blood test. But, if your dog has had the illness for a long time even confirming that it is, in fact lyme disease can be hard to prove. In many cases, the antibodies that are present when a dog has lyme disease may have already disappeared or have not been created yet.

So, of course, the best way to go to ensure that your dog does not contract lyme disease is in the prevention. Always groom your dog after they have been outdoors in and around where ticks live, high grass, thick brush, or even in the woods.


Dog Grooming Tips

clBrushing your dog daily will remove pollens, grasses, and other outdoor irritants as well as stimulating the skin’s circulation and preventing matting. Brush carefully and down to the skin, taking care not to tug on tangles, and using a soft bristle brush on sensitive areas.

Bathing should also be done on a monthly basis, following a thorough brushing. Use a natural, low lather, low irritant shampoo, wet your dog down thoroughly with lukewarm water, and apply the shampoo using your hands. Avoid getting water or shampoo in his eyes and ears, and lather all over, right down to his skin, then rinse thoroughly. Shampoo residue is a major cause of skin irritation for dogs. After rinsing, towel dry your dog, and avoid using any coat finishers or blow dryers, which can also cause skin irritation in a sensitive dog.

Grooming is essential for a dog’s skin health, helps you identify skin problems early on, and is a great way for you to bond with your dog as well!


Lyme Disease Treatment in Pets

ckAntibiotics will be taken for a long period of time and some times and may not be very effective if your pet has had the disease for a long period of time. Sometimes, your veterinarian can switch the antibiotics so see if that may cure the disease. But, if your pet does get bitten again, the disease can reoccur.

So, the best treatment for lyme disease is in the prevention. Ticks can be found in many different areas and are just waiting for the next warm body. Keeping your pets out of thick brush and high grass will help them from getting ticks, but there are many products on the market today that can in fact keep ticks off of your pets or kill these pests if your pet already has ticks.

Bathing your pet or grooming your pet can also help in preventing ticks the time to attach to your pet. After, your pet has been outdoors, comb him completely and check his skin. This can be a long process if you dog or cat has long hair. But, it will be well worth the time.

If you do find a tick on your pet and it is moving around then you will be able to remove it very easily. Be sure to kill the tick. If the tick has attached it is very important it remove it properly. You can use tweezers or your fingernails. Grab the tick close to your pet’s skin and pull straight out very firmly. Do not allow any of the contents from the tick on your skin or your pet’s skin. Lyme disease can be transmitted through a cut on the skin. And yes, humans can also contract lyme disease.


Is your rabbit eating right?

cxMost sources recommend 80% of the diet should be Timothy hay or other brands of grass hay. Too many vegetables in a rabbit’s diet typically leads to diarrhea and other digestive problems.

Pellets

Rabbits are generally fed dry food pellets available from pet stores, supermarkets, and farm suppliers. Pellets were originally designed for rabbit breeders for the purpose of providing as much food energy and vitamins as inexpensively as possible. This is optimal when the rabbits are being bred for food or for experimentation.

Most sources recommend a minimum of 18% fiber, low protein (14-15%), and less than 1% calcium. Depending on the amount of vegetables available, an adult rabbit should be given between 20 ml to 40 ml per kilogram body weight daily. Pre-adolescent and adolescent rabbits (7 months and younger) can be placed on an aggressive pellet diet as they can consume, although additional vegetables are preferable to additional pellets. An older rabbit (over six years) can be given more pellets if they are having difficulty maintaining a steady body weight. Timothy hay-based pellets are great for rabbits that have stopped growing and do not need to gain weight. Alfalfa-based pellets are best only for young, growing rabbits or older rabbits which are under-weight.

Hay is essential for the health of all rabbits. A steady supply of hay will help prevent gastrointestinal stasis and other digestive tract problems in rabbits. Additionally, it provides a number of necessary vitamins and minerals at a low food energy cost. Rabbits enjoy chewing on hay, and always having hay available for the rabbit may reduce its tendency to chew on other items. Timothy hay and other grass hays are considered the healthiest to provide the rabbit. As a persistently high blood calcium level can prove harmful to the rabbit, hays such as alfalfa and clover hay should be avoided. Alfalfa is also relatively high in food energy, and a constant diet of it can cause obesity in rabbits.

Treats

Treats are unhealthy in large quantities for rabbits, just as they are for humans. Most treats sold in pet stores are filled with sugar and high food energy carbohydrates. If an owner is determined to feed the rabbit treats, the best treat to provide it with is fruit.

Acceptable fruits (seeds and pits MUST be removed): Banana, Mango, Pineapple, Peach, Apple, Kiwi, Berries, Orange and other citrus fruits.

Pineapple, mango, and papaya all contain a natural enzyme which is thought to reduce hairballs.

Fruits or other treats must be given in moderation, as rabbits easily become overweight and suffer health problems. Their diet should consist of no more than half a tablespoon of fruits or treats per day.

However, fresh fruits should not be given to rabbits under the age of 4 months because their digestive systems are not always developed enough to handle the fruit. It can cause enteritis that causes death within 48 hours.

While a common myth that rabbits should be given lettuce, this is not a good idea because it contains little to no nutritional value for the rabbit and again can cause enteritis which leads to a quick death.

Caecal pellets

Do not be alarmed if you see your rabbit eat some of his feces. These are called cecal pellets, and are a vital part of his diet. Caecal pellets are soft, smelly, clumpy feces, and are a rabbit’s only supply of Vitamin B12. Due to the design of the rabbit’s digestive system, they cannot extract some vitamins and minerals directly from their food. At the end of their digestive system is an area called the caecum where cellulose and other plant fibers are broken down and fermented. After they have been broken down and passed, a rabbit’s digestive system can finally extract the vitamins from them.


Dogs Water and Beverages

czA constant supply of fresh water is essential to your dog’s good health and comfort. Water is very important, representing and estimated 70 percent of the dog’s weight. Like man, a dog can go without food for a surprisingly long time, but if he is deprived of water, he can’t survive for more than a few days, or even hours, in a hot, dry environment.

A dog’s water consumption varies according to the climate to his activity, and to the composition of his meals. Heat and exercise dehydrate him quickly. He gets very thirsty in cars or any confined space. However, excessive thirst for not good reason should be reported to your vet, because it may be an early symptom of diabetes or kidney trouble.

At home he should have a clean, full water bowl next to his food dish, another in his play area, and possibly a third one that is accessible at night. Away from home the problem is more difficult. A thirsty dog is attracted to water in the gutter, in stagnant pools and rain puddles. Clean rain water is fine, but hard to find.

Caustic chemicals used to melt snow on streets and sidewalks, weed-killers and insecticides on lawns and golf courses contaminate most standing water and should be avoided. Try to train your dog to drink only from his own bowl or what you offer him. Try to keep a water-filled plastic container with you or in your car, especially if you plan on a lot of walking or running during hot weather.

Milk is the only liquid, aside from water, that appeal to dogs and still agrees with them, (although it may cause loose stools). They are seldom tempted by other drinks and particularly dislike carbonated drinks. Milk is always another good source of protein but should not be used as a substitute for meat. Most any flavored drink should be avoided, as it only tends to irritate the kidneys, causing frequent urination and dehydration.


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