Heat Stroke in Cats: Know the Signs

Even though heatstroke is more common in dogs than in cats, cats can get it, and it is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary attention. Signs of heat stroke Panting or rapid breathing Restlessness Drooling Excessive grooming Sweaty paws Bright red gums and tongue Vomiting Stumbling Unresponsiveness High fever Collapse Extreme lethargy What to […]

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Giardia

Giardiasis is an intestinal infection of both man and animals caused by a single cell, flagellated protozoan parasite Giardia intestinalis (also known as Giardia lamblia).
Giardia is composed of just one cell and it is not a bacteria, virus or a “worm”. This parasite is found worldwide and is a common cause of
“Traveler’s Fever”. Other names are “Montezuma’s Revenge”, “Rocky Mountain Hershey Squirts”, and “Beaver Fever”. Well, you get the idea. The parasite is found in contaminated water and if not properly treated can cause a diarrhea in people as well as our four legged friends.  A lot of dogs can be infected without displaying any signs of illness.
The Giarida life cycle consists of two phases. The delicate feeding form is a single cell with flagella, (the string like tentacles that make it mobile) and it lives in the gut of the infected animal. The cystic form is hardier and is shed in the feces of the animal and can survive several months in the environment, especially in water and damp areas.
Your canine friend can be infected  when it swallows the giardia cyst in contaminated water. The cyst then passes into the dog’s intestine where it develops into the trophozoite or the feeding form. It then attaches to the intestinal wall and begins to feed. If the giardia population is large enough, then there is enough damage to cause the clinical signs of diarrhea, which can be fatal in small puppies. The organism then becomes the cystic form which is passed in the feces and can re-infect the dog, or be picked up by other dogs or even people.
Giardia can be diagnosed with a special fecal floatation test or a direct smear but is often missed becgiardia_2009ause of its small size and inconsistent shedding. If Giardia is suspected, a .snap test can be performed on the feces to detect specific cell antigens to the organism. It is more expensive than the standard fecal tests, but is more accurate. Often times, a presumptive diagnosis is made with the clinical signs and the dog is treated without a definitive diagnosis.
Treatment for giardia consists of a round of antibiotics, such as metronidazole, for 5 – 7 days. Other parasiticides, such as fenbendazole, are often administered in addition to the antibiotics. If the diarrhea is severe, other medications to soothe the intestinal tract and even IV replacement fluids may be necessary.
Because of the potential exposure to the human members of the family, if your dog is diagnosed with giardiasis, disinfection of the area and good personal hygiene is important. Particularly, people that are immune compromised, such as AIDS or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, should use extra care when handling feces or giving medications.
giardia
To disinfect the pet’s area, diluted bleach (1 part bleach mixed with 32 parts water) can be used and other surfaces can be sprayed with Lysol. The cysts are also susceptible to drying so avoid over-watering the backyard so it can dry out. Wash the pet’s bedding with some bleach added to the water and then toss them into the dryer on hot setting should kill the majority of the cysts.
The best way to avoid infestation of your pet is to avoid areas where other dogs and wildlife aggregate. Bring your pet’s own water with you when you do go on excursions so they will not be tempted to drink from steams or standing pools of water. If you take your dog camping or swimming and they do break with diarrhea when they return, alert your veterinarian to the possibility of contamination so treatment can be started right away.
There was a giardia vaccine available called GIARDIAVAX, however, it was not a preventative. At best it may have reduced the shedding of cysts if a dog was infected. It has been removed from the market due to lack of sales.under license.

Happy Thanksgiving!

My staff and I want to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

The clinic is closed Thursday through Sunday for the holidays. If you should have an emergency, the North Houston Veterinary Specialists are now open 24 hours and can be reached by calling 832-616-5000.

They are located at 1646 Spring Cypress Rd, Ste. 100 in Spring, TX 77388

 

Tips for avoiding the Pet ER for Thanksgiving-

  • Limit the table scraps and do not feed bones to your pet. Changing the diet or feeding fats can cause upset stomachs, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Do not feed the following foods at all: Chocolate, raisins, grapes, raw dough, macadamia nuts, garlic, onions, sugar substitute xylitol, and alcohol.
  • If you have visitors, please ask them to keep their prescriptions out of reach of your pet. Pets are curious and have been know to get into purses and luggage and eat the medications, bottles and all.
  • Although poinsettia plants have gotten a bad wrap for causing poisonings in pets, they really are not toxic but can cause vomiting if ingested. Mistletoe, ivy and other houseplants are more toxic.
  • Use shatter proof balls on your Christmas tree.
  • Keep your pet from drinking the water if you are using a fresh tree.
  • Watch the electric cords and keep them from chewing on them.
  • Tinsel and ribbons can also be choking hazards to your pet.
  • With visitors going in and out, it may be best to keep the dog in the back bedroom to prevent escaping out the front door.

Cat Health : Signs of Liver Problems in Cats

The signs of liver problems in cats can be quite subtle, but some cats can exhibit a yellowing of the skin and eyes combined with vomiting. Have routine blood tests done to confirm a healthy liver with pet tips andadvice from a practicing veterinarian in this free video on cat health. Expert: Carrie Burhenn Contact: www.felinemedicalclinic.com Bio: Dr. Carrie Burhenn is a full-time veterinarian who received her degree in veterinary medicine from Oregon State University in 1990. Filmmaker: Lisa Fenderson

Seizures in Pets

Seizures in petsSeizures are a neurological anomaly that may occur in some pets. They are caused by a wide variety of reasons and may manifest differently from animal to animal. Seizures, although frequently frightening for the owners, can often be managed by medication once properly diagnosed. This handout will provide general information on the description, causes and solutions for seizure disorders in pets.

Seizures, often called convulsions or fits, will manifest themselves differently in each animal. It is important to remember, that while frightening for the owner, your pet does not feel any pain during the episode. And contrary to popular belief, your pet will not swallow its tongue during a seizure episode. In fact, you are more likely to be bitten severely if you try to force anything into the animals mouth. The only precaution that you should take is to make sure that your pet is not in danger of falling or striking a limb or its head on anything during the episode. After the seizure is complete, take time to observe and comfort your pet as they may be disoriented.

As seizures appear differently in each animal, it is best to look for some of the common signs:

  1. Sporadic muscle contractions over the entire body
  2. Falling to the side with a drawn back position of the head and neck
  3. Loss or semi-loss of consciousness
  4. Involuntary vomiting, salivation, urination or defecation
  5. Changes in mental awareness from unresponsive staring to hallucinations
  6. Behavioral changes including panting, pacing, odd running patterns, extreme docility, extreme viciousness and not recognizing known individuals

During the seizure, your pet will experience three different stages. The first stage of a seizure is called the pre-ictal or aura phase. During this phase your pet may exhibit a wide range of behavioral changes. These changes may include hiding, whining, nervousness, shaking and many others. This stage may continue for a few seconds to a few hours. It is important to remember, however, that some pets do not experience or manifest any signs of this phase.

The second phase to a seizure is the ictal phase. This phase may last from a few seconds to five minutes and is the period in which the body convulses and displays the typical signs of a seizure described above. If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, it is known as prolonged seizure or status. Status is a severe and extreme seizure condition and you should seek immediate medical attention.

The third phase of the seizure is known as the post-ictal phase. This phase may include changes in mental awareness, confusion, restlessness and temporary blindness. This phase varies by pet in length, symptoms and severity.

Seizures may be caused by many different factors and they are often indicators of other physical problems. The most common cause of seizures in pets is epilepsy. A common form of epilepsy is caused by the rapid over-stimulation of the neurons in the brain. This over-stimulation may be caused from a head injury or may be genetic and inherited from birth. However, seizures may also be a side effect and indicator of other physical problems. These problems may include brain tumors, poisoning, low blood sugar, nerve or muscle problems and organ disease.

Depending on the frequency and severity of your pets seizures, it may be started on oral medications to help control the seizures. Once started, however, these medications must be given reliably, for the rest of the pets life. Therefore, your veterinarian will do careful screening and testing before placing your pet on these medications. It is important to remember that your pets seizure disorder is a manageable condition and many pets live long, happy and rewarding lives with epilepsy.

Seizures in Cats

Seizures in Cats

Seizures are a neurological aberrations that can occur in some pets. They are caused by a variety of reasons and can vary from animal to animal. Seizures, but often scary for the owners, can often be controlled by medication once properly diagnosed. This handout will provide general information about the description, causes and solutions to epileptic seizures in dogs and cats.

Seizures will manifest itself differently in each animal. It is important to remember that even frightening to the owner, your pet does not feel any pain during the episode. And contrary to popular belief, your pet will not swallow his tongue during a seizure episode. In fact, you’re more likely to be bitten if you try to put something in the pet’s mouth. The only precaution you need to do is make sure that your pet is not in danger of  falling or hitting a leg or his head on something during the incident. After the seizure has finished, take the time to observe and comfort your pet since they can become disoriented.

As seizures may appear in any animal, it is best to look for some of the common symptoms:

1. Sporadic muscle contractions throughout the body
2 Falling to the side with a drawn back position of the head and neck
3. Loss or semi-loss of consciousness
4. Involuntary vomiting, salivation, urination or bowel movements
5; Changes in mental awareness from non-staring or seeming to hallucinate

6. Behavioral changes such as panting, pacing, ,fly-biting, extreme docility, extreme agitation, aggression  or does not recognize family members

During the attack, your pet will experience three different phases. First stage of a seizure is called the pre-ictal or aura phase. In this phase, your pet may exhibit a wide range of behavioral changes. These changes may include hiding, vocalizing, nervousness, tremors, and many others. This stage may continue for a few seconds to a couple of hours. It is important to remember, but that some animals do not experience or manifest any sign of this phase.

 

The second phase of  a seizure is the  ictal phase. This phase can last from several seconds to five minutes and the period during which the body is tense and gives the typical symptoms of an attack as described above. If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, it is known as a prolonged seizure or status epileptics. Status epileptics  is a serious and extreme seizure condition and you should see a veterinarian immediately.

The third phase of the seizure is known as post-ictal phase. This phase may include changes in mental awareness, disorientation, restlessness and temporary blindness. This phase varies in length from pets, symptoms and severity.

Seizures may be caused by numerous factors and are often indicators of other physical problems. The most common cause of seizures in pets is epilepsy. A common form of epilepsy caused by the rapid over-stimulation of neurons in the brain. This over-stimulation can be caused by a head injury or may be genetic and inherited from birth. Can attack but also an indicator of side effect and other physical problems. These problems can include brain tumors, poisoning, hypoglycemia, nerve or muscle problems and organ disease.

Depending on the frequency and severity of your pet seizures, it may be treated with oral medications to help control the seizures. Once started, but these drugs must be monitored  and administered for the rest of the pets life. Therefore, your veterinarian will do careful screening and testing before putting your pet on these drugs. It is important to remember that your pet’s seizures is often a manageable condition and many animals live long, happy and fruitful life with epilepsy.