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Monday, March 20, 2017

Common Pet Illnesses and What To Do


If you own any pet, you very well know how vulnerable they are to various diseases. And because they can't communicate with us, it's our duty to take care of them. When you are a pet parent, it's not just about the fun parts, it's also about taking care of them when they are sick and being a responsible guardian. 

What to do if your pet seem to be sick?
If your pet seem to be a bit off, there is a huge possibility that it might be sick. Pets usually try to mask any sign of disease. This type of behavior in animals is their natural instinct kicking in, as in the wild any animal who showed weakness sign was ostracized by its members or attacked by other stronger animals. Thus, you have to be alert regarding any changes in the behavior of your pets, no matter how subtle it is.
Before giving medications to your pets on your own, you need to take them to a veterinarian and get them tested properly. At the earliest onset of symptoms it's important that you seek professional advice rather than waiting till the end when things go out of control.

Top 5 common pet illnesses.
Parvovirus- Parvovirus is a common disease seen in dogs as well as cats (however it does seem to effect puppies more than adult dogs). The disease is highly contagious though it doesn't spread cross-species. The disease is caused by a virus known as canine Parvovirus. This virus can remain in the environment for a period of at least one year. Large amount of virus is found in the feces of pets, hence if your pets even sniff feeces of an infected animal, they can get this disease. Symptoms of Parvovirus in pets:

Fever
Depression 
Diarrhea 
Dehydration
Vomiting

Always get your young pet vaccinated for Parvo.  However once your pet gets it, it needs proper care and intensive treatment.  The mortality rate is high with Parvo so vaccination is imperative. 

Skin infection - skin infection in your pets can get really messy. Skin infection can be caused by fungus (eg- ringworm), bacteria ( eg- pyoderma and impetigo) or skin parasites. These infections can either be on the surface of your pet’s skin or they can penetrate deeper. Skin infection is contagious and if you think your pet has it, you need to visit your vet office and ask for a skin test.

Symptoms of skin infection in pets are:
Loss of hair in spots
Redness of skin
Abscess 
Lesions
Pustules
Itching of skin.
Oozing sores on your pet’s skin

As bad as these symptoms appear, you need to start treatment for them instantly or things can get worse.

Diabetes- The growth rate of diabetes in pets is much more than in humans. From the year 2006-10, dogs diabetes rate in US increased by 30% whereas in cats the rate was 10%. diabetes happens when your pet’s body isn't producing enough insulin. This can be due to pancreas are working in a defective manner or it's damaged. Although diabetes can't be treated, it can be managed and controlled. 

Symptoms of diabetes in pets are as follows:
Pets get thirsty frequently 
Frequent urination
Loss of weight
In advanced cases, your pets might show symptoms like:
Depression 
Weakness
Vomiting

Arthritis- arthritis usually occurs in older pets. However in several cases, even young pets were seen suffering from this disease. This disease causes pain in the joints of pets and your pet shows signs of pain, stiffness and discomfort. Arthritis can be caused by old age, development of abnormal cartilage, ligament damage or fracture.

Some of the common symptoms of arthritis in pets are:
Limping
Irritability
Tiredness
Difficulty in moving
Muscle atrophy

Usually if your vet thinks that your pet got arthritis he will suggest X rays to confirm the bone or bones in which arthritis is prevalent. Weight loss and proper exercise can provide your pet immense relief from arthritis pain. Your vet may also prescribe joint medication.

Heartworm disease- Heartworm disease is a common and fatal disease amongst pets. Usually, the symptoms of Heartworm shows up late and by then the disease can become fatal and deadly. Heartworm is caused by worms known as dirofilaria immitis. The worms are spread in your pets through bites of mosquitoes. 

Symptoms of Heartworm in your pets are:
Dry cough
Weakness
Loss of weight
Difficulty in breathing
Seizures
Bulging of chest

If not treated on time, Heartworms can cause heart failure, damage of organs, lung disease and in some cases it might also lead to death. Your vet can test your pet for Heartworm by taking his blood sample and testing it.

You are with your pet every day so if you see something that just doesn't seem right, seek care, it could save their life.


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