The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

February 14, 2018
by Lynn Merton
0 comments

All You Need To Know About Allergic Shock In Dogs

Image Source: pixabay.com

Allergic or anaphylactic shock occurs when allergic reactions take a serious turn and affect gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. The reaction is instant and can range from minor to severe.

An allergic reaction occurs when the body’s immune system responds to a foreign substance usually known as an allergen. These allergens can come from any source – food, water, air, earth etc. The immune system comprises of cells which attack and kill the allergens. But this also leads to a cascade of reactions that ultimately manifest to a physical form like rashes or boils.

Allergic shocks can become life threatening if left untreated. Owners must therefore be cautious in the case of a sudden allergic shock. It is very important to understand the causes, effects, symptoms and treatment methods available for allergic shocks.

Symptoms
The following symptoms are usually associated with allergic shocks and should be taken seriously. Sometimes, more than one of the symptoms will occur simultaneously.

Itching or redness at affected area
Noisy and rapid breathing
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Excess drooling
Low pulse
Seizures
Coma

Causes
Almost any substance can be termed allergen if it compromises the immune system. From peanuts to oils to flowers, different dogs exhibit allergic shock to different substances. But the most common one comes from food. Which is why veterinary doctors often advise owners to stick to regular dog food instead of home cooked food.

Diagnosis
Currently, no method exists that can accurately determine which dog will be vulnerable to which allergen. It comes from experience and sometimes takes a lifetime to figure out which substances cause allergic shock. In most cases, nothing will happen. In any case, a dog must be immediately rushed to a hospital during an allergic attack.

Treatment
No one treatment method works for every dog with allergic shock. In most cases, a vaccine works but only after the allergen has been discovered. Epinephrine and antihistamines are also given to treat the allergy. Sometimes, vets may prescribe the use of an Epipen which is a single shot of adrenaline and can be administered during another similar attack. Close monitoring of the dog after administration of the drug is required to understand more about the cause and effect.

In case of any type of allergic attack, owners must be prepared to take their dog to the vet. Often, a matter of seconds is the determining factor between a minor attack and a major attack.

Conclusion
Allergic shock can occur due to a variety of reasons but usually happens due to allergens. A dog owner must look for symptoms associated with allergic shocks and take necessary steps. A trip to the vets clinic is absolutely necessary before things go out of hand.

February 13, 2018
by Lynn Merton
0 comments

All You Need To Know About Bleeding Disorder In Dogs

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Watching our dogs suffer is extremely traumatic for pet owners. We often find ourselves at a loss. What should we do when our dog is bleeding and the flow just won’t stop?
Hemostasis is the body’s natural healing mechanism for every time there is an injury. The body executes a series of steps involving constriction of blood vessels, formation of a platelet plug and clotting of the blood. Any condition that interferes with this process is called a bleeding disorder. If left untreated, this dangerous condition can cause anything from anemia to death.

Symptoms

The warning comes when our pets start exhibiting excessive bleeding, nosebleeds, unexplained bruises, pale or spotted gums and red spots in their eyes. Bloody urine, vomit or stools are other indicators. Internal bleeding may be manifested as distended stomach, breathing difficulty and obvious discomfort in our pets. In an advanced stage, they may have seizures or lose consciousness. Other abnormal behaviors that may indicate anemia include our pets starting to eat or lick strange objects, confusion, lethargy, abnormal heart beat and shortness of breath.

Causes

There are a range of medical conditions that give rise to this problem. Some such inherited disorders are:

  • deficiency of clotting proteins in blood such as, fibrinogen (Hypofibrinogenemia), Factor VII, Factor VIII (Hemophelia A) and von Willebrand factor (von Willebrand’s disease),
  • defect in the proteins in skin tissue (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or rubber puppy disease), and
  • having too few platelets (Thrombocytopenia) or having defective platelets that are not able to clot properly (Canine Thombopathia)

Clotting protein disorders may also be a result of other ailments such as liver diseases or poisoning. Some platelet and blood vessel disorders (such as vasculitis) that also cause bleeding may be triggered by autoimmune disorders or infections.

Diagnosis and treatment

A veterinarian generally starts with a complete physical examination and checks for external causes like poisoning or medication. Our dog’s breed and history along with blood and urine test results (occasionally accompanied by clotting tests) help our vet diagnose the inherent problem.

Treatments would differ depending upon the immediate requirement and the cause of bleeding. The first line of response to an ongoing blood loss is to stem the flow. Anemia or any specific deficiency in blood is addressed through transfusions. If the root cause is an autoimmune disorder, medications are given to temporarily suppress the immune system. If infections are responsible, antibiotics may be administered.

Post-treatment follow up is just as critical as the treatment to our pet’s full recovery. When it comes to the health of our beloved animals, it is always better to seek immediate and expert medical care and ensure that we follow the vet’s instructions to the dot.

February 12, 2018
by Lynn Merton
0 comments

Why Kids With Pets Tend To Do Well?

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Childhood is a period of discovery, wonder and learning. Every new experience that our kids have today, shape them into who they become in the future. It is our dream that our young ones to grow into healthy, intelligent, kind and responsible adults; and our pets can play a crucial role in that journey.

Health benefits

It is a proven fact that children with pets tend to be more active! Instead of curling up on the couch with a video game, kids would prefer to go out for walks and play with their pets. In addition to the health benefits of exercise, studies have also shown that children with pets develop a stronger immunity. They are less prone to contracting ear and respiratory infections. Even when they do fall ill, they recover on lower doses of antibiotics. They are also at lower risk of developing asthma and allergies as compared to children who grow up in a pet-free household.

Intellectual growth

Pets indirectly help in kids in cognitive development. Little ones feel more confident reading aloud to a pet than to their peers, parents or teachers. Seeing life inside another animal, they are able to relate to concepts of biology better. They also develop a better connect with nature.
Through pets, children see life as it is. They understand the concepts that we may find difficult to explain to them such as birth, death, health, illness, loss and grief.

Emotional development

Pets are synonymous with unconditional love. They don’t judge; they don’t criticize. They can be the refuge that our children need, a source of comfort and companionship. So it comes as no surprise that children, especially those recovering from trauma or having special needs, find it easier to trust and confide in their pet pals than in adults.
Cuddling animals or just their physical proximity has healing powers. This ‘pet therapy’ reduces any feeling of loneliness or stress kids may have. Pets also help shy children socialize and make new friends.

Be it a mouse or a mastiff, pets require regular care and attention. They need to be regularly fed, groomed and taken for exercise. Owning a pet is an excellent opportunity for our young ones to learn to be responsible and nurturing. It teaches them empathy, sharing and patience. Pets bring families closer and strengthen bonds between siblings as they share their pet’s love and take turns in taking care of their common ward.
By giving our kids the privilege to grow up with pets, we are giving them an opportunity to forge beautiful memories of their childhood. When they blossom into wonderful human beings in the future, we can thank our animal buddies too for their contribution!

February 12, 2018
by Lynn Merton
0 comments

Why Should You Never Neglect to Take Care of Your Dog’s Teeth

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Neglecting to take proper care of your dog’s dental health can do lots of damage to his overall health. There are many problems that have been associated with poor dental hygiene in dogs. It could end up leading to periodontal disease which is a disease that results in bad breath, bleeding gums, and tooth loss. Poor oral hygiene can also trigger other health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

Here are a few issues that are caused by you not paying careful attention to your dog’s oral hygiene:

  1. Dental diseases which promote inflammation
    Bacteria caused by the dental infection will trigger your dog’s immune system, resulting in inflammation. The inflammation successfully kills bacteria but it also destroys tissue. This further leads to infection, tissue loss, and pain in the areas surrounding the tissues that have been affected. The severity of the inflammation depends on the severity of the dental disease and the bacteria that it causes.
  2. Dental diseases increase your dog’s risk of getting heart disease.
    Dental disease has been linked to heart problems such as endocarditis. Dogs who suffer from periodontal disease are six times more at risk of getting endocarditis than dogs who don’t. The bacteria which is found in the infected valves of the heart are identical to the bacteria found in the infected mouth.
  3. Dental diseases complicate diabetes.
    Diabetes and periodontal disease feed on each other and worsen over time. The more severe your dog’s diabetes, the more serious his periodontal disease. The inflammation which is associated with periodontal disease can have a big impact on the blood sugar metabolism in your dog’s body. The inflammation decreases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which is a hormone that is involved in the blood sugar regulation. Address the oral problem to stabilize diabetes.
  4. Dental diseases can lead to pain and sensitivity.
    Dogs are masters at hiding pain. They might behave normal and even continue eating as if everything is normal. This however, may not always be the case. Dental diseases can be hidden. Your dog continues eating by avoiding the problematic tooth. He may however start showing certain symptoms such as swelling, a change in eating habits, bleeding, or drooling.By the time a clear sign comes up, it’s usually too late to salvage the tooth. There is a big chance that your dog has been living in pain for quite a while.
  5. Dental diseases may lead to a broken jaw.
    Dental diseases have a high likelihood of causing broken jaws – especially in smaller breeds such as poodles and Chihuahuas. They already have pretty small jaws and an infection will just weaken them even more. A jaw fracture can be caused by simply jumping off of a couch.

Take care of your dog’s teeth. You’ll just have to spare 5 minutes of your day. That’s nothing compared to the months of pain he may have to suffer through when you neglect to care for his teeth.

February 8, 2018
by Lynn Merton
0 comments

How to Deal with PTSD in Dogs

Image source: Pixabay.com

PTSD is a very serious condition. It’s a common misconception that humans are the only ones that can suffer from this disorder. Animals can experience PTSD too. Especially dogs who have worked in the military. The dogs in the military were trained to scout, be messengers, and do tactical-type tasks. They also used to participate in combat-operation tasks and other forms of law enforcement. What these dogs see in their line of duty can have a big impact on their overall mental health. Although these dogs are of above-average intelligence, resilience, and strength, they can still get canine post-traumatic stress disorder or C-PTSD.

What exactly is canine post-traumatic stress disorder?
As PTSD in canines is still a fairly new field of study, the owners and vets who examine the dog have to rule out all other possibilities before diagnosing it. Dogs behave in a certain way. We know when there’s a significant change in our dog’s behavior. The vets will conduct various tests to rule out other possibilities like actual medical causes or injuries or illnesses that might have brought on the sudden change.

There is always a difficulty when it comes to properly diagnosing a dog with PTSD as the event that might have caused him drama goes unnoticed in most cases. The symptoms that are a result of a traumatic experience may take a number of months to manifest and when it does, majority of people either miss it, or it isn’t properly diagnosed.

What are the symptoms of canine post-traumatic disorder?

Similar to the symptoms commonly associated with distress, the most common symptoms to watch out for are:

  • A change in responsiveness to the atmosphere around him.
  • Failure to follow commands and carry out tasks.
  • A change in the relationship with his owner.
  • Lethargy
  • Avoidance or escape behavior.
  • Signs of anxiety, stress, or fear.

Although these are the most common symptoms, it tends to vary significantly from dog to dog. While some dogs tend to be uninterested and lethargic, other dogs may continue to be themselves but be easily unsettled and be overaggressive towards their owners. Just like humans, the dog patients suffering from PTSD may be in different stages of the disorder, and act differently to the treatment.

How to treat canine PTSD:
The strategies most used to protect dogs against PTSD are proper training and care. Dogs are incredibly resilient creatures. In the event that he does get diagnosed with PTSD, the best mode of treatment is to combine different kinds of therapy according to the level of trauma that he has gone through. The therapies all depend on the frequency, intensity, and type of symptoms that each individual dog displays. It’s advisable to avoid stressful environments all together like places that are too noisy. Meditation can also help calm the nerves. Your vet knows best when it comes to C-PTSD treatments.