Posts tagged "pet health"

Dog with diarrhea? How to deal with your dog’s loose bowels

Dog with diarrhea? How to deal with your dog’s loose bowels

December 17, 2018 Posted by Dogs, Pet Health 0 thoughts on “Dog with diarrhea? How to deal with your dog’s loose bowels”

Dog with diarrhea? How to deal with your dog’s loose bowels

The following is a guest post from veterinary nurse Ellen Herrlin.

Diarrhea is very common in dogs, but it can be a difficult time for both of you. Not only does the dog experience discomfort and anxiety, but the pet owner also suffers when the dog has to repeatedly relief itself, even at night. In this post I’m offering advice on how to navigate the situation.

Diarrhea

The correct term is gastroenteritis, which is the inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It often occurs suddenly (acute gastroenteritis), usually with vomiting. It is considered a chronic condition if the dog has had diarrhea for more than two weeks and some dogs have recurring problems that can be difficult to get under control. Simple cases can be quickly resolved with basic treatment at home. Puppies or older dogs suffer a little harder, and you should also act a bit faster in summer when heat waves can also complicate matters. Already losing fluids, your pet can become even more dehydrated due to the summer heat.

Cause of diarrhea

The causes of a dog’s diarrhea can be very many and it isn’t unusual not to discover what started it. However, some of the most common causes are:

  • – Sudden change of food
  • – Parasites
  • – Medicine
  • – Virus
  • – Bacteria
  • – Stress
  • – Intake of something inappropriate
  • – Allergy
  • – Pancreatitis (pancreatitis)

Treatment

If the dog suddenly comes down with diarrhea, but is otherwise in good health and still has a good appetite, try the following treatment at home before turning to professional care.

Gastroenteritis Diet

In a healthy and otherwise happy dog, you can give their stomach a break from food for 12-24 hours, but always allow them access to water. Then, small portions of feed specifically designed for gastroenteritis are introduced, gradually increasing in size and frequency. When the diarrhea has faded away you can return to the normal feeding pattern and portion sizes for one week. After that introduce a gradual feed transfer to move your dog from the special feed to their regular diet. Mix a small amount of the special diet with a small amount of their normal food. After a week increase the amount of their normal food in the mixture until your furry friend is 100% back on their usual diet.

Gastroenteritis feed is good for the stomach as it contains all the nutrition that a dog needs without overworking the gastrointestinal tract. The feed comes as both dry and wet food. Wet food is usually more popular with dogs and it also contains liquid. If your dog eats only dry food, it can be soaked, if your dog will accept it.

You can also make your own gastrointestinal diet for your dog by bringing together boiled cod (or other white fish) or chicken and overcooked rice. Cook the cod and rice for an extended time so the ingredients become indistinguishable. You can offer the remaining liquid to your dog if he or she doesn’t like to drink plain water. If you do not want to give your dog rice you can just skip it.

Liquid

One of the risks of diarrhea is dehydration as fluid loss occurs through diarrhea (and possibly vomiting). It is not uncommon for a dog to avoid drinking as usual as the balance has been broken. If you are worried about dehydration, always contact your veterinarian. To encourage your dog to drink, you can offer the water left over from cooked rice (as described above). Soak their food in the water or feed them water by directly squirting it into their mouth with a syringe (do this only if the dog accepts it and swallows the water). Alternatively there are fluid replacements. There exist special nutritional and liquid supplement for animals that contain the correct balance of salts, electrolytes and sugar. Some also taste of chicken, which often makes a dog drink the liquid on its own.

If the dog drinks a little, but you are uncertain that they have drunk enough to avoid dehydration, you should plan about 0.5 litres of water per kilogram of body weight as the absolute minimum requirement. Bear in mind the time of year and anticipate that excessive heat, as well as the diarrhea and vomiting, will necessitate increased fluids.

Probiotics

With diarrhea the surface of the intestines is irritated. You can help your dog to recover by providing good gastrointestinal bacteria, probiotics, which may accelerate the recovery of the intestines. In addition to containing good bowel bacteria, they should also bind and calm the intestinal mucosa.

Bear in mind that while much research has been conducted into probiotics, there is no hard evidence that it helps with diarrhea. However, many have found that it is a good dietary supplement to aid recovery from diarrhea. Bowel normalisers may also help and can be purchased from the veterinarian or at the pharmacy.

Potato flour?

Potato flour is an old idea that is not recommended by veterinarians. Certainly, it can help to make the dog’s stool firmer, but it doesn’t treat the gastrointestinal tract. Potato flour is not as gentle as the special gastroenteritis diet and can further inflame the intestine, and aggravate the actual problem.

Potato flour does not address the cause of the diarrhea and does not help to treat the gastrointestinal tract. Usually the diarrhea returns as soon as the potato flour has been passed, but the original problem has been aggravated in the process.

Seek professional veterinary care if…

1. Your 6 month old puppy is suffering from diarrhea

2. Your elderly dog is suffering from diarrhea

3. Your dog’s quality of life has been affected

4. Your dog does not accept any liquid or vomits all liquids

5. Your dog is losing significant amounts of fluid

6. The diarrhea contains blood (hemorrhagic gastroenteritis)

7. The dog has eaten something toxic or that they cannot tolerate

8. Home treatments have yielded no improvements after 3 days

9. Your dog refuses food, or continues to eat whilst having diarrhea, but is in worsening condition

10. As well as having any of the above issues, your dog has a different body temperature (below 38 ° C or above 39 ° C)

Ellen is a veterinary nurse who also runs a fantastic blog which is full of great advice for pet owners. You can find it here: http://nursedolittle.se/. If you like what you read don’t forget to share this article and subscribe for more!

How to tell if your dog, or cat, is pale?

How to tell if your dog, or cat, is pale?

December 3, 2018 Posted by Cats, Diagnosis, Dogs, Pet Health 0 thoughts on “How to tell if your dog, or cat, is pale?”

How to tell if your dog, or cat, is pale?

The following is a guest post from veterinary nurse Ellen Herrlin.

We can easily tell when a person may be ill because their skin looks a little paler than usual. For obvious reasons we can’t apply the same basic logic to our furry dogs and cats. Or can we? Actually, we can. All we have to do is look at the mucous membranes to check that blood circulation is good throughout the body. If this is the case it will be shown by a nice pink color, not pale or dark red. The normal color is that of pink salmon. As a pet owner, it’s good to know how to check the mucous membranes, and know how they look when healthy so you can notice any abnormalities.

How to check your pet’s mucous membranes

The most common way is to do this is to lift the lip and look at the color. It is best to look high up or on the underside of the lip so that you will not be misled by an inflamed gum due to poor dental health. As you can see above, the membrane is smooth and pink throughout.

It’s important to remember that some animals have pigmented gums, as you can see in the image of Harry below. This means that the gums can be black, or dark, but this is completely harmless and quite normal. For Harry, however, it is possible to see a sufficiently large area of ​​mucous membrane to determine that it is normal color. Some toxins result in a black edge to the gum, so it may be helpful to know if the animal has pigmentation on the gum in general to detect any abnormalities.

In some cases, you may not see the mucosa in your pet’s mouth. Your dog, or cat, may have very many pigments, or is a being a little difficult, making you afraid for your fingers. In this case you can look at the mucous membrane inside the lower eyelid.

Pale mucous membranes

If the mucous membranes are pale, they often look almost white/gray. This may indicate poor circulation or internal bleeding.

Red/Dark red mucous membranes

It may also be helpful to know how the animal usually looks in the mouth and how the colour usually presents when the patient is feeling well. It is then easier to see when the color of the mucous membrane begins to deviate and go cross over from pink salmon to the red/dark red tone. This may indicate stress and severe infection.

CRT – Capillary Refill Time

Capillary refill refers to the time it takes for the capillaries to regain circulation after pressure. It can be very helpful to stimulate the pet’s blood circulation, and it is very easy to check. Push your finger against your pet’s gum so that the color disappears. Count how long it takes for the area to regain its colour. You can time it to see how long it takes for the colour to reappear, but the most important thing is to know if it takes more than 3 seconds. In this case, the circulation is affected and you should contact your vet.

Ellen is a veterinary nurse who also runs a fantastic blog which is full of great advice for pet owners. You can find it here: http://nursedolittle.se/. If you like what you read don’t forget to share this article and subscribe for more!

Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 3

Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 3

November 19, 2018 Posted by Cushing's Syndrome, Diagnosis, Dogs, Pet Health, water intake 0 thoughts on “Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 3”

Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 3

This is part 3 of our in-depth look at Cushing’s Syndrome, a condition that affects many dogs around the world and is caused by an excess of cortisol in the system. For an explanation of what Cushing’s Syndrome actually is and how the condition can affect your dog you should check out part 1 of this series, published a couple of weeks ago.

Last week we talked about the various steps and tests your vet may use to diagnose Cushing’s. If you suspect that your dog has Cushing’s be sure to read the post to learn about the diagnostic process. This week we’re keen to talk about life after diagnosis, the treatments that are available and what kind of life your dog can enjoy.

The Outlook For Dogs with Cushing’s

Having Cushing’s isn’t ideal, but it isn’t the end of the world either.

Medication

Most dogs with Cushing’s syndrome are recommended lifelong medical treatment with Trilostan. It can take time to find the correct dose, which can vary greatly between dogs.

If you suspect your dog has Cushing’s, or if he/she has already been diagnosed with it, you need to be aware that your vet will need to take blood samples regularly to monitor the effect of the medication and avoid any side effects.

Pro Tip! It is common practice to perform an ACTH stimulation test to control the dose. However, studies have shown that measuring cortisol levels before administering the Trilostan, or three hours thereafter, are potentially better monitoring methods than the ACTH stimulation tests.

Too high a dose of the medicine may cause symptoms like:

  • – vomiting/diarrhea
  • – fatigue
  • – nausea
  • – decreased appetite

If you notice any of these symptoms during treatment, consult your veterinarian immediately.
It may indicate that the dose is too high and there is a risk that your dog might end up in an “Addison crisis” if it’s ignored.

Surgery

If the tumor is located in one of the adrenal glands, it may be removed surgically, however, this is an advanced surgery that carries a high risk of complications.

If the tumor is found in the pituitary gland, surgery may be considered if the tumor is pressing on the brain and causing problems. Operations for this type of condition are currently carried out only in the Netherlands. After surgery, medication will still be required throughout the life of your dog, and there will remain a risk of relapse.

Too high a dose of the medicine may cause symptoms like:

  • – vomiting/diarrhea
  • – fatigue
  • – nausea
  • – decreased appetite

If you notice any of these symptoms during treatment, consult your veterinarian immediately.
It may indicate that the dose is too high and there is a risk that your dog might end up in an “Addison crisis” if it’s ignored.

Iatrogenic Cushing’s

Iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome, caused by medication containing cortisone, usually resolves itself when the cortisone is discontinued.

What if I just ignore it?

If you love your pet this is not advised. If Cushing’s syndrome goes untreated it will gradually cause more severe symptoms, seriously affecting your dog’s quality of life in the process.

Available medical treatment will improve your dog’s symptoms, and with the correct dose the dog can go on to have a good quality of life. If the tumor is malignant, it can unfortunately spread to other organs to shorten the dog’s life.

Don’t forget to share this blog post with anyone you think will benefit from it. We publish a new blog post each week so follow us on social media for our updates and you’ll know as soon as a new one is available.

Until next time…

I’m a veterinarian with almost 10 years experience in small animal practice. I’m originally from Sweden but moved to Copenhagen to fulfill my dream of becoming a vet. I’ve been working in Denmark, United Kingdom and back home in Sweden. Animals, especially dogs, has always been a big part of my life. Being a vet and helping animals and their owners, feels more like a privilege than a job.
Alvin, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel follows me anywhere I go.

Caroline Edvinsson

DVM, GPCertSAM, CEO @ TERST
Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 2

Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 2

November 13, 2018 Posted by Cushing's Syndrome, Dogs, Pet Health, water intake 0 thoughts on “Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 2”

Cushing’s isn’t only for people. Your dog is also at risk! Part 2

Our blog post last week began discussing Cushing’s Syndrome and how it isn’t just for people as it can also affect dogs. If you missed it last week you can find the blog post here where we went over the symptoms of Cushing’s, how it affects dogs and how the condition comes about in the first place.

Do you suspect Cushing’s?

If after reading through our list of symptoms you suspect your pet has Cushing’s syndrome, it would be handy to comb through your pet’s disease history, as well as any clinical examinations, for any clues. Blood and urine samples will also give you and your vet more information and help to shed light.

Blood tests will highlight changes such as:

  • – increased levels of the liver enzyme alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • – increased white blood cells
  • – platelets
  • – blood sugar
  • – cholesterol

 

These would all indicate excessive cortisol levels. A urine sample will reveal further data which may indicate Cushing’s. There also exist some tests specifically designed to confirm the diagnosis of Cushing’s. These include:

  • – examining the urine cortisol/creatinine ratio
  • – the low dose dexamethasone suppression test
  • – the high dose dexamethasone suppression test
  • – the ACTH stimulation test

Some of these tests takes several hours to complete, so your dog will need to remain at your vet’s through the day. It is also common practice to perform an ultrasound to check the liver and adrenal glands.

If you know someone whose dog is affected by Cushing’s be sure to share this blog post with them. The 3rd part of our discussion of Cushing’s Syndrome will follow next week.

Just follow us on social media for our updates on when the next part has been posted. We’re very active there and it would be great to connect with you!

I’m a veterinarian with almost 10 years experience in small animal practice. I’m originally from Sweden but moved to Copenhagen to fulfill my dream of becoming a vet. I’ve been working in Denmark, United Kingdom and back home in Sweden. Animals, especially dogs, has always been a big part of my life. Being a vet and helping animals and their owners, feels more like a privilege than a job.
Alvin, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel follows me anywhere I go.

Caroline Edvinsson

DVM, GPCertSAM, CEO @ TERST

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