Monthly Archives: April 2019

Reducing The Risk Of Lyme Disease In Dogs

Lyme-Disease-In-DogsLyme disease endangers the lives of millions of dogs every year across the globe. As the mercury rises, tick numbers increase and so does the risk of Lyme disease. This, in turn, puts the lives of our pets in danger.

According to a report, Lyme disease has been one of the most prevalent tick-borne diseases in the world compared to the others. The worst part, in fact, is – only a few percentages of dogs actually exhibit symptoms. Most of them rather go undetected until the last stage encroaches.  Therefore, it is important to be aware of the risk factors, the symptoms dogs show and how pet parents can prevent their dog from getting infested in the first place.

How Is Lyme disease Transmitted to Dogs?

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi which is found in most of the wildlife animals like rodents and mammals. When a deer tick feeds on these animals, the bacterial larvae get transmitted into the tick body where they mature and become infectious. When this infected tick takes another blood meal from the dog or cat to complete its lifecycle, the bacterium gets transferred inside the mammal and causes Lyme disease.

Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Dogs

Though only a few of the dogs actually exhibit symptoms, some of them which do, experience –

  • Lameness
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Discomfort
  • Joint Swelling

In case, Lyme disease is not detected early, the condition may exacerbate to kidney failure and neurological dysfunction which may, in turn, lead to the death of the affected animal. Therefore, one must keep a tap on their pet’s health and pay regular vet visits for early detection.

How to Diagnose Lyme disease In Dogs?

The first strategy of detection includes an examination of the symptoms. A vet checks the dog thoroughly for the presence of ticks and bumps of any sort. Furthermore, a blood test is carried out to detect the antibodies created in the dog’s body against the bacterium. If the test shows positive, the dog is diagnosed for containing the strain and is likewise treated. However, at times, this test can also give false results because once the disease stays in the body for a longer period; it may not contain a detectable amount of antibodies. Therefore, a second test – Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) may be conducted to gauge the presence of bacteria in the body parts of the animal, like joints.

Treatment of Lyme disease generally involves therapies and antibiotics. However, it is recommended to rather prevent the occurrence of disease than curing it. Reason being, in cases where it goes undiagnosed, a pet may have to suffer from fatal consequences whereas prevention completely eliminates the chances of contraction. Therefore, pet parents are recommended to follow a Lyme disease prevention program for better management of the disease.

revolution-red-pack-for-dogs

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How to Prevent Lyme Disease In Dogs?

Regardless of whether you are living in a tick-infested area or not, tick prevention is of prime importance. Globalization and people traveling quite frequently with their pets nowadays, has expanded tick population to other states which all the more necessitates the urgency of Lyme disease prevention.

So, here are some guidelines recommended by most of the vets across the globe which can help you combat the menace.

  1. Regular physical inspection of a pet is necessary to ensure there are no ticks on the pet. The pet must be checked necessarily when he returns back from outdoors.
  2. In case you see bumps on the dog’s body while you move your hand around, report about it to your vet. If you actually find a tick attached to his body, pull it out gently with the help of tweezers.

Make sure you don’t twist it otherwise you will break the tick’s head which may cause vomiting inside the pet’s body, ultimately leaving the pet infected.

Flush this tick in the toilet or dump it in the alcohol for further examination.

  1. Use flea and tick preventative monthly pills or chews. They are the most effective way of keeping the dog protected from ticks when continued year round.
  2. Use tick collars, tick sprays to safeguard your dog when going out to a dog park, picnic or even just a walk.
  3. Bath your dog thoroughly with tick shampoos and keep him well-groomed all the time. Follow good hygiene to make him less attractive to ticks.
  4. Keep the grass and bushes in the yard short, lawn mowed. Also, make sure you remove the leaf litter regularly because ticks find them to be the best place to hide. Keep the trash bins closed to prevent the rodents from getting enticed to your yard.
  5. Vacuuming the house weekly is a necessary part of preventing the house and the pet from infestation. Linens, pet beddings, his belongings, upholstery, furniture – everything must be wiped or washed weekly.
  6. Feed the right food to your pet as per his/her age to strengthen his immunity. Keep him healthy and maintain optimal weight.
  7. Pet parents must also vaccinate their dogs and cats against Lyme disease. However, consultation with professionals is a must as some pets may not be fit enough for this method.

Tick prevention is not just important for your pet but also for you as well because Lyme disease can occur in humans too if the infected tick bites your skin. So, if you don’t want to get into unnecessary trouble and want to keep your pet and surroundings disease free, follow these guidelines diligently.

Summer Flea Treatments: Program For Cats And Dogs

program-for-cats-and-dogsFrom the family of ectoparasites, Fleas are the major cause of distress among cats and dogs especially in summer season because these parasites thrive in the summer season and increase exponentially by reproducing quickly once they infest your pet. Fleas can lay hundreds to thousands of eggs in their lifetime and then these eggs mature to become larvae, pupae and then adult fleas and that too in a short time span of 3 weeks.

Found in shady, moist and cool areas, these blood-sucking creatures not only suck your pet’s blood but also take away their peace by causing itching, redness of the skin, inflammation, anemia, and flea allergy dermatitis.

Therefore, as a pet parent you need to secure your pet from flea infestations, and to guard your pets against flea infestations you need to cut down the flea life cycle to eradicate fleas and keep your pet flea free.

When it comes to breaking the flea life cycle, Program is the best product currently in the market that dismantles the flea life cycle by killing the flea eggs and larvae.

There are two products under the brand name Program that is manufactured by Novartis.

  1. Program oral suspension for cats and
  2. Program for dogs which is also an oral treatment for dogs but in the form of flavored tablets.

program-oral-suspension-for-cats

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To know more about these two products read the below given table:

Program Oral Suspension For Cats

Program Flavored Tablets For Dogs

What is Program for cats?

It is a monthly oral liquid suspension that breaks the flea life cycle by killing flea eggs and larvae.

What is Program for dogs?

Monthly oral flavored tablets that eradicate flea infestation completely by cracking the flea life cycle. The formulation terminates flea eggs and larvae.

Efficacy

The treatment lasts for one month and remains equally effective. It starts its action of killing flea eggs and larvae within 24-48 hours of administration.

Efficacy

Remains effective for one month and starts killing flea eggs and larvae within 48 hours of administration.

Active Ingredient And How It Works?

Lufenuron, the active ingredient, is a benzoylphenylurea derivative: N-(2,5-dichloro-4(1,1,2,3,3,3,-hexafluoropropoxy)-phenylaminocarbonyl)-2,6difluorobenzamide.

The active ingredient once administered breaks the flea life cycle by inhibiting the synthesis and action of chitin- a key part of flea’s shell and found in egg, larva and adult life stages. This stops the development of flea eggs and larvae which results in death.

 

Active Ingredient And How It Works?

Lufenuron, the active ingredient, is a benzoylphenylurea derivative: N-(2,5-dichloro-4(1,1,2,3,3,3,-hexafluoropropoxy)-phenylaminocarbonyl)-2,6difluorobenzamide.

The active ingredient once administered breaks the flea life cycle by inhibiting the synthesis and action of chitin- a key part of flea’s shell and found in egg, larva and adult life stages. This stops the development of flea eggs and larvae which results in death.

 

Does it kill adult fleas?

Program oral suspension doesn’t kill adult fleas but there would be no new fleas emerging to infest your cat. As a result, the flea population is controlled resulting in the extinction of fleas from your cat’s body.

Recommended to be used with Capstar to eradicate the fleas completely including adult fleas

Does it kill adult fleas?

Program oral suspension doesn’t kill adult fleas but there would be no new fleas emerging to infest your cat. As a result, the flea population is controlled resulting in a total wipe-off of fleas from your dog’s body.

Program the treatment with Capstar to eradicate the fleas completely

Safety

·         It is safe to be given to kittens 6 weeks of age and more

·         Can be dosed along other flea treatments like Capstar

·         Safe to use on pregnant and lactating cats( however, consult your vet before starting the treatment on your pregnant or lactating cat)

 

Safety

·         Safe for dogs more than 6 weeks of age or more

·         Safe to be dosed along flea treatments like Capstar

·         Safe to use on pregnant and lactating dogs( however, consult your vet before starting the treatment on your pregnant or lactating dog)

 

Dosage

·         Should dose orally by mixing it in food

·         Ensure that your cat eats the entire food

·         Helpful for kittens that can’t eat solid food

Dosage

 ·         Can be given directly into the mouth after the meal or can be mixed in the food

·         Ensure that your dog completes the food

 

Killing one flea will alleviate the pain temporarily, which is also important, but to solve the problem completely, you have to target the root cause of that problem. Program for dogs and cats does that by stopping the emergence of fleas hence exterminating the fleas forever if administered regularly i.e. monthly on the same date.

Autism in Dogs and How to Deal With It

Autism-in-DogsAutism is generally a term associated with humans, but unfortunately, it can be used for dogs as well. Many may not know this, but dogs have suffered and are still suffering from autism. So what is autism? Well, in layman terms autism is the impairments in social interactions and communications as well as restrictive and repetitive behavior. Dogs that suffer from autism are known as autistic dogs. While many call it what it is, vets prefer calling this illness as “canine dysfunctional disorder” as they believe this issue is still in its diapers and that the medical group of individuals hasn’t fully understood it completely.

Symptoms of Autism in Dogs

Autistic dogs may exhibit subtle symptoms which can be very difficult to detect. However, there are some that will show some signs of autism. The symptoms of autism in dogs are listed below.

  • Unusual behaviors like avoiding playing games or limiting himself from performing certain moves.
  • Not willing to interact with other animals or dogs, even his pet parent.
  • Performing repetitive behavior on a continuous basis.
  • Showing little or no emotions to communicate happiness, sorrow or any other feelings.
  • Exhibiting signs of lethargy, even those dog breeds that are normally full of energy.

Causes of Autism in Dogs

Autism is a condition and NOT a disease. Hence, it is genetic and built-in their systems and is incurable. Nonetheless, such a condition can be treated to ease or lessen the symptoms. Furthermore, some researchers believe autism is idiopathic and might be caused by the lack of mirroring neurons in the canine’s brain. However, despite the many ongoing pieces of research about autism, it is congenital in nature and perhaps, we as individuals, cannot do much about it.

Treatment for Autism in Dogs

Unfortunately, no proper known cure for autism in dogs has been discovered. However, you can ease and lessen this condition by following these few points.

  • Autistic dogs tend to get scared of anything or everything. Thus, create a safe, quiet and peaceful place for him so that he can go hide whenever he wants to.
  • Avoid situations that your pal does not like. For instance, if he loathes being petted, then don’t do it. Simple!
  • Exercising is key to a stress-free life. Hence, make it a point to get your buddy exercising every single day.
  • Perhaps a change in diet will most likely be required if your pal has autism. Consult a vet to get the right diet for your canine friend.

It is to be said that if you suspect autism in your dog, immediately rush to a vet and get him checked. Furthermore, one may opt for pet counseling which may assist their canine pal in becoming more co-operative and open about himself.

 

You may also be interested in reading the Mystery Of Dog Behavioral Genetics.

Is Combining Flea Treatments Recommended?

Combining-Flea-TreatmentsIt’s always a great feeling having your pooch play around you, showing you the affection with its playful tactics, walking around the place as if patrolling its territory. You feel good to know that your canine is healthy and joyful and your only wish would be for your pet to remain healthy. One of the most common problems with canines is the flea and tick infestation, which is generally, cured using treatments. Some treatments may show instant results, whereas, some may not.

Not all pets are the same and thus, the extent to which treatment may show results vary. So, should one resort to a different treatment, when one is already been taken? It is always advisable to consult a vet before combining treatments. Just as we sometimes react to a combination of treatments, our pets may also do the same. Only a vet can understand and suggest an apt combination as and when required.

HEARTWORM TREATMENT:

Heartgard is a go-to option if one is looking to combine a heartworm preventatives with flea or tick treatments. This is because Heartgard doesn’t target fleas or ticks and thus doesn’t hinder with the other process. The catch here is to assure the absence of heartworm treatment from the flea or tick treatment. If not so, the combination should be avoided.

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FLEA COLLARS:

Flea collars like Preventic are safe to combine one-on-one with preventatives like Revolution, Frontline Top Spot  or K9 Advantix, Frontline Plus, etc. The combination has shown successful results of flea and tick prevention, esp., tick prevention. However, vet consultation is advised before combining Seresto Flea collar with any other treatments.

Frontline-plus-purple-pack-dogs

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ORAL FLEA TREATMENTS:

Capstar or Comfortis can be combined individually with a variety of flea and tick treatments, viz., Frontline Plus, Revolution, Advantage Multi, etc. Though it is not usually recommended to use more than one oral flea treatment at the same time, it’s safe to combine Comfortis &Capstar.

Comfortis-flea-treatment-in-california

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COMBINATIONS TO AVOID:

Let us have a look at some of the treatments that shouldn’t be combined. Frontline Plus and Advantage II mustn’t be combined. Similarly, Advantage Multi shouldn’t be combined with Revolution and other preventatives except for Capstar or the Preventic collar.

If your pet has been subjected to a flea or tick treatments, a flea bath should be avoided for a couple of days. Similarly, if the pet has been given a flea bath, flea or tick treatments should be planned a few days later.

Though external flea and tick treatments, i.e., treatments of your house or surroundings do not conflict with the preventatives being administered to your pets, it would be a smart move to avoid spraying your pet while treating your house for fleas and ticks.

Two treatments targeting the same problem should be cautiously combined. Vet consultation is the prime advice to all. Also, one should keep in mind to avoid administering treatment more than the recommended dosage without the vet’s advice.

As a pet parent, it comes naturally to one to cure one’s pooch at the earliest. But it is important to think rationally rather than emotionally in certain situations and give your canine the desired time to recover. Before taking any measure that could be potentially harmful to your pet, it is always suggested to take the vet’s advice on the same.

Dogs And Their Sleeping Habits

dog-and-sleep“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our body together.”- Thomas Dekker. This line is as true as you are while sleeping and this quote is not only valid for you but also valid for your dog. Apart from flea and tick treatments, heartworm preventives and other vaccinations, dogs also need sound and appropriate sleep to maintain a healthy body. While the body is asleep it re-energizes like charging your phone and updating the system. Hence dogs sleep a lot obviously more than humans.

A puppy can easily sleep for 20 hours out of 24 hours because that is the amount of sleep the body needs to develop properly. Puppies when awake spend all their energy in exploring, learning commands, getting familiar with smells, the people in the surroundings. And, that’s why a sound sleep is very crucial for the brain to compile all the information and store it. Similarly, for senior dogs sleep is necessary for the physical and mental rest.

Inculcating A Good Sleeping Habit In Your Pup Or Adult Dog

From the moment you bring in a new pup, you should establish the sleeping habits and rules. So, your small furry companion gets accustomed to the habits from a young age because having a pup is exhausting. Some of the habits that you need to teach him/her are-

  • Design a schedule for him/her that fits in your daily life
  • Provide a safe place to sleep like a crate with a soft bed, big enough to move stand, turn around and lie down
  • Get him familiar with the crate and inculcate a habit of sleeping only in the crate
  • You might find your pet cute if he/she sleeps on your bed but it will be no longer cute when the pup grows big and it will be very difficult to change the habit then.
  • Ensure that the place where your pup’s bed is kept is calm
  • Buy a playpen to keep your pooch safe while he is playing, this will also keep your belongings safe as well
  • Keep the playing schedule in such a way that the pup gets to sleep in between
  • Sleep between play keeps them energized and also gives their brain some time to register everything
  • Because pups have low concentration it might take some time for them to grasp commands they are taught so you can sneak in a nap time in between
  • Never wake up a sleeping pup because a small pup may get scared or behave aggressively
  • Too much of sleep can also be harmful to your pup or a senior dog
  • If your dog sleeps more than it should be, then there is a problem with his/her drinking habits or processed food which he/she is eating or heavy worm burden. Consult your vet in this case
  • You might have to take your pup to a lot of toilet breaks so keep that in the schedule for both day and night

Senior Dogs And Sleeping

With senior dogs, things are simple, because they are already trained about sleeping habits and toilet breaks. They sleep generally 14 hours a day which is not a continuous sleep. They may sleep in day and night combined and if you are lucky they will sleep mostly in the night.

Your main job is to provide a calm and comfortable place for them to doze off. Unlike humans dogs don’t sleep soundly they remain alert while sleeping so make sure that you don’t try to wake up your dog while you are sleeping because they might attack you thinking someone is attacking them.

Sleep allows the body and mind to relax and as a parent, it’s your job that your dog gets the required sleep. So, don’t underestimate the power and importance of good sleep.

“Sleep is the best Meditation”- Dalai Lama

You may also like to read How to Sleep Train your Furry Friend?