Monthly Archives: January 2018

Cat Flu Awareness

By | Cats | No Comments

Like other types of influenza, cat flu is caused by viruses, and sometimes bacteria. And, like other types of flu, a healthy cat can survive it, but it can be fatal for kittens and older cats with other health complications. It’s important to be aware of cat flu, how to recognize it, and how to treat it.

How it Spreads

Depositphotos_82165668_m-2015Cat flu spreads like many other viruses. It is in nasal discharge, saliva, and eye discharge. Cats that are already sick are the biggest concern, but there are some who carry the virus with no symptoms. The virus can survive for several days on surfaces, which means that other cats can catch the virus indirectly.

To diagnose a cat with the flu, your vet may take swabs. Unfortunately, there are no specific treatments for cat flu, though there are ways to alleviate the symptoms until the cat recovers. The biggest concern is spreading the virus to cats with poor, or underdeveloped immune systems.

The Symptoms and Risks

If your cat has the flu, she may sneeze. She may also have runny eyes and a runny nose. Other symptoms may be hard to see in your cat, as cats often don’t show obvious symptoms. Your cat may experience aches and pains, fever, sneezing, and more.

The real trouble comes with kittens and older cats. Defeating the virus needs a healthy immune system. Kitten immune systems may not be strong enough, and other cats’ immune systems have weakened. Cats that are already ill can be killed by the flu, too.

Unfortunately, there are no antivirals for cat flu. Like human flu, antibiotics may help if bacterial infections make things worse. In most cases, your cat needs good care at home. Your cat will need some encouragement when it comes to eating a drinking. Take care to clean up after your cat, and sanitize to help prevent further spread of the virus. Steam can help clear some symptoms, so let your cat in the bathroom when you shower.

Be aware of cat flu, and watch for the symptoms. If you’re worried that your cat has the flu, bring her in to Pet Vet Hospitals immediately.

When is Your Pet Too Old for Cancer Treatment?

By | Pet Care | No Comments

When that inevitable moment comes and your pet is facing the end of his life, you will feel a range of emotions. All of them will be valid. Though it’s your vet’s job to remain professional and give you the facts, he or she will also have to make recommendations for you and your pet, and that’s not an easy job. It is no better when the diagnosis is cancer, and you simply don’t know if you should put your aging pet through cancer treatment, or say good bye.

Concerns About Cancer and Age

Old labrador retriever.If your pet is older and has cancer, it’s not uncommon for age to factor into your decision whether or not to pursue treatment, or how far to take that treatment. You may wonder if your elderly pet can withstand chemotherapy, or surgery. You might worry that medication side effects will be more pronounced.

The truth is that there isn’t an easy answer to whether or not you pet is too old for cancer treatment. It is possible that your pet would not survive cancer treatment, or that the disease has progressed so far that treatment would do more harm than good. Your vet will give you all the facts. He or she will make all the recommendations for treatment.

Asking Your Vet for Advice

If you ask for your vet’s take on the issue of age, she or he will be honest. Your vet will let you know of the risks, the possible results, and give you all the support possible. However, don’t be surprised if your vet is unwilling to tell you, outright, what route to choose. Trying to save a pet’s life, even when the situation is dire, is what your vet is all about. Of course, your vet also understands the desire to save your pet from the agony of cancer and treatment at the end of his life.

If the time comes for you to decide if your aging pet should receive cancer treatment, you want vets who care enough to be honest when advising you. You can trust our vets at Pet Vet Hospitals.

The Dog Mounting Problem

By | Dogs | No Comments

How many times have you laughed at candid photos of one dog mounting another, or something, or someone else? It’s a natural instinct, and it can be funny. It can also be embarrassing. As a dog owner, you may apologize, try to stop the mounting, and even feel angry. Have you ever wondered why it is that your dog does this? Is it purely hormones, or a need to mate? Or, is there more to dog mounting?

Mounting Reasons

bulldog lying down pantingMany, possibly most, people assume that mounting is about some sort of dog attraction. Asserting dominance is another common belief. While these scenarios may sometimes be true, in many cases, mounting is about anxiety, or an uncomfortable emotional state. While that doesn’t make mounting abnormal, it does mean that your dog could be trying to settle some unease.

It’s called “displacement behavior.” When your dog is anxious or overstimulated, he may mount instinctively as a way to relieve that tension. Humans have their own types of displacement behaviors—though it’s usually far less embarrassing.

Mounting Solutions

Like any behavior, you have to be consistent in addressing it. It’s important not to reward it, but it’s also important not to create more fear and anxiety. As long as the mounting isn’t harming anything, and it’s not excessive, you may want to leave your dog alone. If it is excessive, then you can apply many of the training techniques you use for other issues. Try to diverting your dog when he starts to mount. If you suspect it may be an issue of boredom, try to relieve that with more stimulation.

It may also help to speak with a vet. Physiological and neurological problems can sometimes cause these behaviors. If you’re concerned about an embarrassing dog mounting problem, bring your pet into Pet Vet Hospitals.

Canine Influenza Awareness

By | Dogs | No Comments

Sick DogA flu season has been in full swing for many recently. One after another, co-workers and family members have “dropped,” staying at home for days fighting the virus. We may get so busy trying to avoid the flu, or fighting it ourselves, that we forget our pets have their version, too. Canine influenza is a very real possibility for your dog and it’s important to know the signs, and to be aware of how to prevent it and treat it.

The canine flu virus is called Influenza Type A (H3N8). It is a very contagious virus and there is a vaccine. Your vet will always insist that you get your dog the vaccine. However, that doesn’t mean that the virus isn’t a threat.

Symptoms

Dogs infected with canine flu may have a lot of symptoms similar to those in humans. Ranging from mild to severe, these symptoms may include:

  • Coughing
  • Nasal Discharge
  • Eye Discharge
  • Red Eyes
  • Fever
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Sneezing
  • Fatigue

Similar to humans, these symptoms can be mild to severe. When severe, your dog could be a risk of developing pneumonia—bacterial infection in the lungs—and that could become deadly, too. You can prevent these severe results, however, if you know the signs.

Healing

If you see any of the above symptoms, take your pet straight to the vet. Your veterinarian will perform a physical and may check blood, mucus, and may take x-rays to check for signs of lung infection. If you take your pet fast, you may have no trouble getting your pet through the virus. Wait too long, however, and you could be facing a long, expensive recovery.

Because canine influenza is so contagious, he should be kept from other dogs as much as possible. If you hear of another dog having the flu and yours was in contact with that dog recently, go ahead and keep your dog away from others pets, even if he doesn’t yet show symptoms. If your pet has contracted the virus, he will probably show symptoms very soon.

It also helps to have some pet insurance when you bring your sick dog into the vet’s office. Come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals and let us help you keep your pet in good health.