Observable abnormalities in our pet’s behavior warrants immediate veterinarian visit. In most cases a change may not be sudden but gradual. All the more reasons to maintain a regular schedule with a local veterinary clinic. Pets can catch a bout of their regular diseases like fleas and ticks, but also human like illnesses like arthritis, cancer, glaucoma and cataractscan even occur.
Eyes that are bright clear and free of anomalies indicates to the vet that the animal has not vision related issues. However, sometimes pets are brought to the vet with injuries. Pets can suffer from inverted eyelids, a condition called entropion. Some pets suffer from a condition called distichiasis, where extra eyelashes grow on the inner surface of the animal’s eye lids. Some pups have been known to contract “cherry eye” where the gland of the third eye lid stick out and up from its regular position. You can read more about Veterinary Ophthalmology at All Creature Veterinarian Services
Often overlooked, ticks can be serious, sometime even deadly. A seasonal parasitic problem usually starting in early spring and can last till late October. In the United states only 12 or so dozen species affect dogs or cats but there are known to be many as 850 species of ticks in the world. Lyme Disease in humans and animals is caused by ticks, tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are also common diseases as result of a ticks. The ticks mouth parts latches onto the flesh of the host thus making it hard to remove. The tick begins feeding almost immediately once on the host. Some species of ticks feed up to six times their body weight in blood. It is during this blood meal that can last up to several days that can spread a number of diseases. Ticks have a barbed feeding tube with many backward facing projections allowing it to latch on strong to the pet. The ticks saliva glands produce a substance that further glues the parasite to our pets.
Cancer is a leading killer among dogs. About two in four dogs in North America will develop cancer and one in four dogs will die from a form of cancer. This number is double for dogs over 10 years of age. If you pet develops cancer, you will note a distinct change in your pets regular behavior. Multiple scientific and medical initiatives have been undertaken to cure and eradicate canine cancer. The Morris Animal Foundation has undertaken a goal of curing this disease within 10-20 years, while collaborating with cancer specialists advising pet owners on how to access treatments and its options. Oncura Partners, an oncology specialist group, and the MAF Canine Cancer are bringing research scientists and pet owners together for a cure. Pfizer Animal Health made a $1.1 million donation helped create a canine cancer tissue bank, The Golden Retriever Foundation has promised $500,000 toward research and early detection.
In dogs and cats, arthritis causes long term pain that can affect their behavior and activity levels. There are therapies and veterinary diagnostics that can offer help. Arthritis is more common in dogs than it is in people. About one out of every six people suffer from some form of arthritis. Compare to dogs where about one in every five, suffer from the pain of arthritis. The number doubles in dogs older than 7 years of age. Arthritis occurs as dogs and cats grow older. The joins don’t function as smoothly and lose their original lubrication in join mobility. Some veterinarians believe over half of all dogs and cats with painful arthritis are not diagnosed as the sign of pain are not recognized by pet owners. Pets owners may think the pet is older and hence has a different personality, but in fact, it is the onslaught of the diseases that reduces our pets energy level and character.
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