Posts in Medical Information
Ticks and your Pet

Ticks are eight-legged parasites that have highly developed mouthparts. They bite to fasten themselves onto the skin and feed on blood. Luckily, most ticks do not cause serious health problems. It is however, important to remove a tick as soon as possible to avoid potential infection or diseases and submit it for testing.

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Canine Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious viral disease that affects dogs. The majority of the cases are usually seen in puppies between 6 weeks and 6 months of age. Dogs with suppressed immune systems and dogs that are un-vaccinated or not completely vaccinated are also at risk of contracting the virus. Most deaths from CPV happen within 48 to 72 hours following the onset of clinical signs. Without treatment, prognosis for recovery is very guarded for this disease

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Canine Coronavirus

This breed of cat originates in France. They are known for their woolly blue-grey double coats, which look similar to a Spanish wood called la pile des Chartreux.  This is thought to be where their name came from. They are exceptional hunters and are highly prized by farmers because of their mousing and ratting skills.  Besides their woolly coat, they are known to have orange or copper colored eyes, large and muscular bodies with shorter legs and they tend to have a “smile”  due to the structure of their heads and their tapered muzzles. The Chartreux is a very rare breed of cat (the breed almost went extinct during World War I). They were imported to North America in the 1970s.

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Leptospirosis in Dogs

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that dogs can get when the Leptospira bacteria penetrate the skin and spread through the body via the bloodstream. Leptospira bacteria are usually found in warm, humid areas and in stagnant water. Wild animals such as skunks, foxes and raccoons can also be carriers of the bacteria. The bacteria is shed and spread by the urine of infected animals. Dogs can become infected through exposure to contaminated water (by ingestion or contact through broken skin), exposure to urine from an infected animal (contaminated food or bedding, etc) or through bite wounds. It is important to know that the Leptospira bacteria is zoonotic, meaning that it can be transmitted to humans and other animals.

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Dogs, Medical InformationKari
Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a very contagious and deadly virus that affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems, as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eye. Dogs are not the only animal susceptible to this virus. Ferrets and wildlife such as raccoons, coyotes, wolves, foxes and skunks are at risk as well. Dogs of all ages are susceptible to distemper, but those with suppressed immune systems and dogs that are un-vaccinated or not completely vaccinated are at the highest risk for contracting the virus.  Prognosis for recovery is very guarded for this disease. Those who do recover usually have lasting neurological deficits for the rest of their life.

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Canine Adenovirus

There are two types of canine adenovirus, type one (CAV-1) and type two (CAV-2). Canine adenovirus-1 causes infectious canine hepatitis, which is a viral infection of the liver. While canine adenovirus-2  is one of a few viruses that causes canine infectious tracheobronchitis, which is also known as kennel cough.

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Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) causes immunodeficiency disease in domestic cats. This makes the cat’s body unable to develop a normal immune response. Once a cat is infected by the virus their immune system becomes severely weakened. This is a slow acting virus and an infected cat may not show symptoms until years after the initial infection has occurred. Cats with FIV that are kept in a stress-free environment, with proper supportive and medical care tend to not show symptoms and do live a normal, comfortable life. When the disease does reach its terminal phase, the cat becomes prone to developing secondary infections or cancer. This disease is primarily spread by deep bite wounds via saliva. It also has the potential to be spread from an infected mother to the kittens during passage through the birth canal or when the newborn kittens ingest infected milk.

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Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

Feline calicivirus is a very contagious virus seen in cats. It is responsible (along with FVR) for causing upper respiratory infections in cats. This virus is spread through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and lining of the eyelids. It can be spread by direct contact, inhalation of sneeze droplets and through sharing of dishes, bedding and litter boxes. This virus mutates readily during replication, meaning that there are many different strains of the virus out there.  Some strains are more pathogenic than others and can cause a more severe case of disease. This virus can remain stable in the environment for up to a month.

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Feline Panleukopenia

Feline panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper) is a highly contagious viral disease of cats. The virus responsible for causing feline panleukopenia is very closely related to the virus responsible for causing parvo in dogs (it is not related to the virus that causes distemper in dogs even though the name suggests that it might be).  This virus invades rapidly growing cells, such as cells in the digestive system, bone marrow and lymph tissue. This virus is transmitted through feces and/or urine of infected cats; it can also be spread by contaminated items such as bowls, litter boxes and bedding. The virus can also be transmitted from an infected mother to the kittens while still developing in the uterus.

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Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR)

Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) is also known as feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1). The term “rhinotracheits” means inflammation of the nose and trachea. This virus causes an upper respiratory infection of the nose and throat in cats. FVR is one of the most common diseases of cats in the world and many cats are exposed to the virus in their lifetime. Feline herpesvirus 1 is responsible for 80% to 90% of infectious upper respiratory diseases in cats. Cats of all ages are susceptible, but kittens, pregnant cats or those with a suppressed immune system or concurrent disease are more susceptible to infection. FVR is spread between cats through direct contact with the eyes or nose of an infected cat or through contaminated objects such as food and water bowls. This virus is easily spread and is very common in areas where multiple cats are housed close together, such as multi-cat households, catteries and shelters.

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Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease that can occur in wild and domestic cats. It is caused by a type of virus called a coronavirus. There are many different strains of feline coronavirus, which differ in their ability to cause FIP.  Most feline coronavirus infections are relatively harmless, but this initial harmless infection may later mutate to cause FIP in some cats. To further complicate things, cats with a strong immune system infected with a more harmful strain of feline coronavirus may be carriers of the virus. Meaning they may shed the virus without ever showing signs of disease.  Also, the virus can remain dormant in the body for months to years before infected cats eventually develop full-blown disease. This makes FIP a very confusing disease that is hard to understand.

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Environmental Allergies and Your Pet

Allergies occur when your pet’s immune system reacts to some type of substance. In the case of environmental allergies, the offending substances are found in the environment.  Dogs tend to have a higher occurrence of environmental allergens when compared to cats. Some dog breeds are also more prone to environmental allergies than others. This group includes, but is not limited to Terriers, Boxers, Dalmatians and Bulldogs.

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