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Pet Care

DOG Diseases

DOG Parasites

Mites, Fleas, Lice, and Ticks

Mites

Mites, like Fleas are external parasites that live in the ears of dogs as well as on the surface of their skin. Mites can be transferred from dog to dog and will cause the dog to scratch and claw at its skin due to the skin irritation.

To cure mites, use a mineral oil to daily clean the dog’s ears and use common flea powders over the ears and body of the dog.

Fleas

Fleas are small, wingless, external parasites that live off of the blood of mammals and birds. Dogs in humid climates are generally more affected by these types of parasites. Reactions may vary from dog to dog, but most reactions result in a rash on specific areas of the dog.

To control fleas, keep the dog’s living area clean and use commercially available powders, sprays and dog collars.

Lice

Another common parasite, lice can cause intense itching and skin irritation in dogs. Lice eggs are typically found on the dog’s hair and adult lice close to the dog’s skin.

To control lice, use commercially available flea powders and sprays regularly. Eliminating lice can take several weeks.

Ticks

Ticks are small to microscopic parasites that burrow their heads below the surface of the dog’s skin causing disease and irritation. Ticks are common in almost every part of the world, but are especially prevalent on beaches, in open fields and in wooded areas. These parasites are typically found between the toes and in the ears of household pets.

To remove a tick, cover the back of the tick with oil or alcohol and wait for the tick to back out of the skin. If using tweezers, make sure that the entire tick is removed and that the head of the tick is not broken off under the skin. Never use a hot match to remove ticks.

DOG Diseases

Cancer

Dog Cancer is defined as any type of tumor or growth that invades healthy tissue. Just like humans, dog experience tumors that, unless properly removed, can experience death. Not long ago, cancer was considered to be an uncommon disease in dogs, but as the average life span of dogs has increased over time, so have the incidences of cancer. Cancer is a highly variable disease that has no specific source and can spread quickly causing death before it is detected. Possible sources include genetics, diet, environment, exposure to harmful chemicals, etc.

Older dogs should be checked regularly for abnormal growths. Dogs that experience fevers, weight loss, lethargy and loss of appetite should be taken to a veterinarian for an examination. Once cancer forms it can exhibit itself as an open sore (that bleeds or causes abnormal discharge), lumps under the skin, bulges in the throat (causing difficulty breathing and eating), abnormal bowel movements, etc.

Heartworm

Heartworm is caused by the Dirofilaria immitis parasite. This parasite lives in the heart and blood vessels causing the heart to weaken resulting in death. Although most common in dogs, other animals can also contract this parasite.

Heartworm is transmitted from animal to animal by mosquitoes that bite infected dogs and then inject a healthy dog with the parasite. Once infected, dogs will begin to be affected by the parasite in about 6 months. As the parasites mature and begin occupying the right chamber of the heart, the dog will begin to experience reduced blood flow to its major organs.

Prevention is the best approach. Dogs should be given a heartworm pill each month and have regular visits to the veterinarian.

Rabies

Rabies is a virus that can cause a wide variety of symptoms in dogs. Once bitten by a rabid animal, dogs will develop a nasty and irritable temperament within days and usually die with in a week of the first signs. As the virus progresses, the dog will eventually experience paralysis of their lungs and throat causing the animal to suffocate and die.

Rabies is a virus that can be prevented through vaccination every three years. As rabies is common in both domestic and wild animals, most states in the US require dogs to have rabies shots.

Once contracted, rabies is usually fatal. This virus attacks the central nervous system, starting at the brain and radiating throughout the body through the nerves.

Rabies is transmitted from animal to animal or from animal to human through a bite wound that breaks the skin. The virus can also be transmitted through saliva.

 

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