|Posted by lgruen56 on June 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
Protect Your Dog's Feet from Getting Burned on Hot Pavement
Foot pad burns may be a hard-to-see injury
By Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM
Dog's feet and pads are tough, right? Most people are aware that foot pads can be injured by stepping on something sharp, but what about something hot? Dangerously hot pavement and metal surfaces are hard to avoid in the heat of summer. Running on hard pavement is tough on feet, too. Read this Quick Tip to learn about this potential hazard and how to minimize risk.
Pavement, metal or tar-coated asphalt get extremely hot in the summer sun. We remember to wear sandals, walk on the grass and not sit down on these surface in the heat of the day (most of the time -- I know that I have been surprised a time or two).
Harder to remember is summer heat and our dog's feet. Unlike the obvious wounds such as lacerations, foot infections (fungal, bacterial), or foreign bodies such as cheat grass), burned pads may not be readily apparent to the eye.
Signs of burned pads:
• limping or refusing to walk
• licking or chewing at the feet
• pads darker in color
• missing part of pad
• blisters or redness
I recently assisted a vet colleague at a wilderness first aid talk that he was presenting. One of the audience members shared a story of what had happened to their dog and brought up a good point about foot pad health. They had been swimming/floating in the river for about an hour and a half. When it was time to go, they walked along the road, but then their Labrador Retriever refused to go on. They figured that he was just exhausted from the swim. Turns out, his foot pads were bleeding and he was in pain. The time in the water has softened his pads up quite a bit and the hot road asphalt severely burned the pads.
Burned pad first aid:
It is important to keep the foot area cool and clean. As soon as you notice the problem (limping along on the road), flush with cool water or a cool compress if available. Get the dog to a grassy area or if possible, carry him.
At first chance, your vet should examine your dog for signs of deeper burns, blisters and possibility of infection. Your vet will determine if antibiotics or pain medication is needed. Washing the feet with a gentle cleanser and keeping them clean is important. Bandaging can be difficult to do and to maintain (monitor and change often), but licking must be kept to a minimum. Some dogs will tolerate a sock to keep the area clean, but caution is advised for dogs that may chew and ingest the sock. Lick deterrents (bitter sprays) may help reduce the damage caused by licking.
Best advice is to be mindful of hot surfaces -- asphalt and metal (i.e. boat dock, car or truck surfaces) -- and walk your dog on the cool side of the street or in the grass. Another tip is to lay down a wet towel for your dog to stand on when grassy areas are not available. Good way to keep cool while loading up the car.
|Posted by lgruen56 on April 8, 2014 at 1:05 PM||comments (3)|
Lungworms in Dogs
Parasitic Respiratory Infections in Dogs
Lungworms are a parasitic worm (nematode) that settles in the lungs and windpipe (trachea), causing severe respiratory problems. Dogs that spend a lot of time roaming in the woods and/or on fields are at higher risk of developing this type of parasitic infections.
Symptoms and Types
There are several species of worm that can migrate to the lungs of animals, causing coughing and shortness of breath. The parasite most commonly seen in dogs is the Oslerus osleri.
Adult worms create nodules in the windpipe of the animal and lay eggs. The larvae that hatch cause reactions in the airways, leading to obstruction of breathing. Complications can lead to more serious problems such as shortness of breath (dyspnea), bronchitis, emphysema, fluid build-up in the lungs, and even pneumonia.
Signs are not severe unless there are large numbers of larvae living in the airways. Minor infections that do not cause any signs are also possible. Dogs that have been previously infected with lungworms have a degree of immunity and may be able to fight off a re-infection if the load is not too great.
How do dogs get lungworm?
Unlike many diseases lungworm is not actually passed from dog to dog. The worm needs slug and snail hosts in order to grow and develop and it is from eating these that infection may occur.
Dogs become infected with lungworms when they drink water or eat prey infected with the larval stage of the worm. The larvae then migrate out of the intestines via the bloodstream to the lungs, where they develop into adult worms and lay eggs in the host's lungs. The eggs are then coughed up by the animal or passed in feces, which may then be eaten by birds, rodents, snails, or other pets.
Puppies may also become infected by their mother (dam) when they are licked by or ingest feces from the infected dog.
Tests to check if a dog has a lungworm infection include:
• Physical examination (lung auscultation) and history
• Chest X-rays
• Fecal examination for eggs
• Complete blood count (CBC)
• Examination of fluid from lungs (tracheal wash)
Lungworms are treatable with anti-parasitic (anthelminthic) medications. Commonly used medications include:
These medications should eradicate the worms over time and will help clear the animal of the infection. In severe cases, where secondary infections and lung damage have occurred, other medications such as corticosteroids or antibiotics may be necessary to help your pet recover.
Living and Management
An infection with lungworms does not typically last long. The dog often eliminates the worms by coughing them up or excreting them through the feces. Then, as long as the prescribed medication is given and the dog does not develop a secondary lung disease such as pneumonia, the prognosis is good.
In severe cases, repeat X-rays or fecal examinations may be needed to follow up.
To prevent exposure to rodents, birds, or other animals which may carry the lungworm larvae, dogs should not be allowed to roam outdoors.
|Posted by lgruen56 on April 2, 2014 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
Every dog should be seen by their veterinarian on a yearly basis. In Florida, dogs need annual heartworm tests. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitos! A heartworm test requires a small blood sample. Heartworm prevention is a necessity. Help prevent Heartworm in your dogs. The disease is deadly and costly to treat. Also, Florida State law requires your dog to have a rabies vaccination. This used to be a yearly immunization, but newer laws recognize the 3-year vaccine. Rabies is the only vaccine mandated by law. It must be administered by a veterinarian. These are two important reasons to see your vet every year.
There is also now a 3-year distemper vaccine. The Rabies and Distemper are the most important vaccines for your dog. If you are from up north, you may not be familiar with the leptospirosis vaccine. It is very important here in Florida due do the wild life in the area, especially Raccoons. This disease is transmitted via the animals excretions. This vaccine is also necessary if your dog likes to swim in ponds that are untreated.