Fruits That Are Good For Pets To Eat

People love fruit because it is sweet as well as being loaded with nutrients that are excellent for your body.  Any pet owner who has ever dropped a piece of fruit on the ground only to see their dog snatch it up and eat it as quickly as possible quickly realizes that pets love fruit too.  What many pet owners do not know about fruit is that certain types are also good for your pet’s body, and others are not.  As we have stated many times, your pet’s body is not exactly like yours, and reacts differently to many foods than yours does.  Just because you can enjoy a certain food does not mean your pet can as well, without getting sick or worse.

Below is a list of fruits that are good for your pet, although we should note that feeding your pet too much fruit can cause them to become sick, have an upset stomach and also get diarrhea.  Small amounts in moderation of these fruits are fine.

Apples: They are loaded with potassium, fiber, phytonutrients, flavonoids, vitamin C.  However we should also mention to  not give dogs the core or the seeds.  Apple cores and seeds contain arsenic.
Bananas: These tasty treats are full of potassium and high in carbohydrates.
Blueberries: High levels of antioxidants, selenium, zinc and iron. Also very high in vitamins C, E, A and B complex.
Blackberries: High levels of antioxidants, polyphenols, tannin, fiber, manganese, folate, omega-3. Additionally high in vitamins C, K, A and E.
Raspberries: Loaded with dietary fiber, antioxidants, potassium, manganese, copper, iron, magnesium. Also source of vitamin C, K and B-complex.
Cranberries: High levels of vitamin C, fiber and manganese.  These treats assist healing of urinary tract infections.  Additionally balances acid-base in dog’s body.
Strawberries: Chock full of fiber, potassium, magnesium, iodine, folic acid, omega-3 fats, vitamins C, K, B1 and B6.
Kiwis: Lots of fiber, potassium and high in vitamin C.
Pears: Loaded in fiber, folic acid, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, copper, pectin and vitamins A, C, E, B1 and B2.
Watermelon: High concentrations of vitamins C and A, potassium, magnesium and water. However you should not feed your dog the seeds or rind.
Cantaloupe: High levels of vitamins A, B complex, C, plus fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid and folic acid.
Oranges: Loaded with fiber, potassium, calcium, folic acid, iron, flavonoids, phytonutrients, vitamins A, C, B1 and B6.
Pumpkin: Full of fiber, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, zinc, iron, potassium and Vitamin A. However there are some restrictions regarding pumpkin.  Even though you can feed your dog pumpkin seeds, most recommend feeding them to dogs unsalted, roasted and then grounded. Do not feed your dog any other part of the pumpkin due to the small, sharp hairs on the pumpkin stem and leaves.

Animals can benefit from eating any of the fruits listed above, however if the fruit that you are eating is not on the list you should avoid feeding it to your animal before consulting with a veterinarian.  Never assume that your animal can eat the same things as you can, as certain foods that humans eat every day can make your animal very sick.

Opening 1-27-14 For Veterinary Services

Pet Health Hospital will be officially opening for business on Monday, January 27 2104. We look forward to providing you with the highest quality veterinary services and animal care in Las Vegas. Please contact us directly to arrange for your appointment at our new facility, and feel free to stop by and see the new animal hospital for yourself. Dr. B and the staff are anxiously waiting to see you again, and welcome you to the Pet Health family.

Our philosophy is different than other veterinarians. We believe that animal care is most effective through prevention of disease and maladies, and our primary focus will be to prevent the costly surgeries and longtime care that complicates so many pet owner’s experiences. Through ongoing, small preventive services and care, we have found that many cases of sickness in animals can be prevented, saving the thousands of dollars in treatment and potential heartache that comes with a sick pet. We feel that through ongoing wellness plans we will more effectively lengthen the life and happiness of your pet. We will be performing the services that you will find standard at all veterinary hospitals, but will also be offering this unique approach to animal health to those who choose it.

When you visit our new facility, be sure to inquire about our feline and canine wellness programs, and get a sense as far as the added quality of life that these approaches to veterinary medicine can bring. We want you to be involved in your pet’s health plan, just like you would be for yourself or your children. After all, aren’t those furry little guys your kids anyway?

Did My Dog Have A Stroke? (Idiopathic Vestibular Disease)

The vestibular system is the neurological equipment responsible for perceiving the body’s orientation relative to earth. It is responsible for maintaining posture, balance of the head and trunk, and the position of the eyes in relation to head movement. The vestibular system can be divided into central and peripheral components. Central vestibular structures are located within the brainstem and cerebellum. Peripheral vestibular structures involve the nerves related to receptors in the inner ear. Idiopathic vestibular disease involves the peripheral vestibular system.

Idiopathic means that the cause of the condition is unknown. Dogs with acute idiopathic vestibular disease are often older than 7 years of age; hence, the disease is sometimes referred to as “old dog vestibular disease.” Feline idiopathic vestibular disease most often occurs in late July and August in the northeastern part of North America, and for unknown reasons tends to affect male outdoor cats more often.

Clinical signs of vestibular disease often occur quickly. Animals will often have a head tilt due to the loss of antigravity muscle tone on one side of the neck. The head will tilt toward the side of the problem. Animals can also have a nystagmus, which is an abnormal eye movement from side to side. The eye movement will include a rapid phase,which will often be away from the side of the problem. Other clinical signs that may occur include falling (often toward the side of the lesion), gait disturbance, circling and motion sickness.

Other causes of vestibular problems include inner ear infections and brain lesions. Inner ear infections also involve the peripheral vestibular system and can cause clinical signs similar to idiopathic vestibular disease. Animals with vestibular disease typically have a history of chronic ear infections and must have their ear drums examined for any evidence of possible infection. Brain lesions involve the central vestibular system. Central vestibular problems can be differentiated from peripheral problems based on cranial nerve abnormalities of the opposite side, or a nystagmus that is vertical or only present when the head is placed in certain positions.

The prognosis for idiopathic vestibular disease is excellent and the improvement of clinical signs usually occurs within 72 hours. Animals usually return to normal within 10-14 days, but some may continue to have a head tilt long term. Treatment usually involves supportive care, including preventing motion sickness, and an idiopathic vestibular disorder will rarely reoccur.

Canine Influenza

Canine influenza was first diagnosed in racing greyhounds in Florida in 2005. It is closely related to the equine influenza virus and is not contagious to people or other animals. The disease has a high rate of infection and is easily spread among dogs by aerosolized respiratory secretions, direct dog-to-dog contact, and transmission through infected objects, such as toys or bedding.

Even though transmission among dogs is high, approximately 20-50% of dogs will clear the infection without any clinical signs. The other 50-80% will have symptoms that mimic infectious tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) caused by Bordetellabronchiseptica. Infected dogs can have coughing, fever, listlessness, and a snotty or runny nose, and most recover with supportive treatment. A small percentage can develop a bacterial pneumonia, and secondary mortality from this disease can reach 5%.

A vaccine for canine influenza was developed for use in 2009. However, this vaccine is not considered a “core” vaccine by veterinary experts. It can be useful for animals kept in high density situations, such as shelters, racing kennels, boarding facilities, or dog shows. The vaccine has limitations, though, because it is a killed vaccine. A dog requires a booster 2-4 weeks after the first dose is given in order to establish immunity. The second dose or booster also must be given at least 7 days prior to entering an at-risk situation. Another limitation of the vaccine is that it will not prevent a dog from being infected by canine influenza; it will only help reduce the clinical signs. It also does not prevent a dog from shedding the virus and exposing other dogs. Please consult with your veterinarian to see if the canine influenza vaccine should be added to your dog’s preventative wellness plan.

Collapsing Trachea In Dogs

The trachea (windpipe) is a tube of c-shaped cartilage rings that connect the oral cavity with the lungs. The c-shaped cartilage has a membrane that lines the top surface. In dogs, these cartilage rings can weaken and the tracheal membrane loses its rigidity,causing the trachea to collapse. A collapsing trachea will cause clinical signs ranging from increased noise on inspiration to a characteristic “honking” cough, especially during exercise.

The trachea can be divided into an extra-thoracic portion (outside of the chest) and an intra-thoracic portion (inside the chest). The area of the collapse can be confined to an isolated portion in the trachea or it may encompass the entire structure. The most common area for the collapse is the point at which the trachea enters the chest.

Tracheal collapse is common in middle-aged and older toy and miniature breeds, with Yorkshire terriers, poodles, and Pomeranians being the most affected. Many times the coughing is triggered by activity or exercise. Secondary problems, such as obesity, increased respiratory irritants (cigarette smoke), development of a respiratory infection, or anesthesia involving the placement of an endotracheal tube, can exacerbate the disease. Dogs suffering from an extra-thoracic collapsed trachea can often have a cough initiated by palpation of that area. A definitive diagnosis is often made by endoscopy, radiography, or fluoroscopy.

Treatment of a collapsing trachea usually focuses on a combination of correcting any secondary problems and medically managing the cough. Any secondary problems must be addressed and corrected, including an owner giving up cigarettes or pets undergoing a strict diet plan. Other alterations to a pet’s environment that can improve the disease include removing stress, restricting activity if weightloss is not a concern, and wearing a harness instead of a collar to take any pressure off of the trachea.

Medical management involves medications such as cough suppressants, bronchodilators, and steroids. Surgical correction is usually not considered until medical management has proven ineffective. Surgical correction involves the application of plastic rings to the external surface of the trachea or insertion of intraluminal stents inside the trachea. Both procedures have a high rate of complications and should be discussed and performed by a veterinary surgical specialist.

Feline Upper Respiratory Infection

The most common cause of sneezing in cats is an upper respiratory infection. Feline upper respiratory infections can develop from a single agent or can be a mixed infection as well. The most commonly involved agents are feline herpes virus (FHV-1), feline calici virus (FCV), and the bacterial agents Bordetellabrochiseptica, Chlamydophilafelis, and Mycoplasma. FHV-1 and FCV are responsible for 90 percent of feline upper respiratory infections. The disease is normally spread from infected secretions, either airborne or through shared objects among affected cats.

The common clinical signs of an upper respiratory infection seen in cats are sneezing, nasal discharge, runny eyes, cough, oral or nasal ulcers, and fever. A tentative diagnosis is often made from the clinical signs (sneezing or runny eyes) and history (recently adopted from a shelter, recent stressful event, exposure to other outdoor cats). Specific tests involving conjunctival scrapings, oral swabs, and samples from the trachea can be used to identify the organisms. More serious conditions, such as pneumonia and other generalized signs, can occur with complicated infections. Chest X-rays may need to be done if pneumonia is suspected in a cat.

Most upper respiratory infections will run their course and be resolved after 7-10 days, regardless of treatment. Even though 90 percent of these cases are viral in origin, many cats are still placed on antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infections. More serious infections can cause loss of appetite, lethargy, or fever, and these patients may need to be hospitalized to receive fluids and intravenous medications.

Another important consequence to consider is that infections with herpes virus are permanent and recurring. Episodes in affected cats may recur, especially after stressful events such as boarding or introducing another member to your household. Oftentimes the symptoms will become less and less severe as the cat matures and may not be noticeable to the owner.

The prognosis is good in most cats with appropriate supportive care. However, the disease can be life threatening in young kittens, older cats, and nursing mothers. Careful steps also must be taken in order to prevent the spread of the disease among cats by having your cat vaccinated and isolating clinically ill cats. Since the disease is also spread by contaminated objects, it is also important to disinfect all contaminated bowls, litter boxes, toys, and other objects with a diluted (1:32) bleach solution with water.

Pyometra

Pyometra is a disease that occurs when the uterus in an older female dog or cat fills with pus. Most affected dogs and cats are older than six years of age and have not been spayed or still have their ovaries and uteruses. Some spayed dogs can get an infection from a remnant of the uterus, which is called a stump pyometra.

The cause of a pyometrais an interaction between the lining of the uterus and the hormone progesterone. After a heat cycle takes place, the ovary releases progesterone to prepare the lining of the uterus for pregnancy. In older animals, this causes a syndrome called Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia, in which the tissue that lines the uterus becomes excessive or persistent. As fluid accumulates along the lining of the uterus, bacteria can ascend from the vagina and the uterus becomes inflamed and ultimately infected and filled with pus. This infection can spread to other parts of the animal’s body, causing the animal to become systemically ill as well.

The clinical signs for a pyometra can be varied. The first clinical signs are usually seen within 4 weeks after a heat cycle in cats and 8 weeks in dogs. A vaginal discharge is the best indicator of a pyometra but will only be present if the cervix of the uterus is open. If the cervix of the uterus is closed, no vaginal discharge will be present. Other clinical signs of a pyometra include decreased appetite, lethargy, depression, vomiting, and diarrhea. Another unique clinical sign with a pyometra may be a sudden increase in drinking and urination. An endotoxin produced by the bacterial component of a pyometra, E. coli, causes a temporary paralysis of the kidneys’ ability to concentrate urine. This loss of concentrating ability for the urine causes the animal to suddenly drink excessive amounts of water.

The diagnosis of a pyometra involves a combination of history, clinical signs, and diagnostic tests. Since the timing of a pyometra is typically 4-8 weeks following a heat cycle, it is important to know when the last heat occurred. Physical exam findings such as distended abdomen and purulent vaginal discharge can support a diagnosis. Finally, more advanced diagnostic tests can help confirm a diagnosis. A complete blood count can show an elevated white blood cell count which would support a diagnosis. Abdominal X-rays may show tubular, fluid-filled structures in the area of the uterus. An ultrasound is also helpful to assess size, thickness, and presence of fluid in the uterus.

Treatment for a pyometra involves surgically removing the uterus and ovaries. The surgery can be a challenge because the severe infection that takes place during a pyometra does not make the pet an ideal anesthetic candidate. Depending on how severe the systemic extent of the disease is, extended hospitalization, including aggressive fluid therapy and intravenous antibiotics, may be necessary to overcome the illness. Animals surviving surgical correction of the problem have an excellent prognosis.

Pyometra is almost entirely a preventable disease. Spaying your dog and cat before 6 months of age will prevent the disease from taking place.

Broken Teeth In Pets

A broken tooth is a very common occurrence in dogs and cats. A fracture of a tooth is most common in the canine (fang) and upper fourth premolars of dogs and the canine of cats. A fractured tooth can occur due to acute trauma from being hit by a car or baseball ball bat or chronic trauma from chewing on bones or hard objects. The fracture can often be visible on direct examination, but also can be covered by tartar and calculus and only become evident when the teeth are cleaned.

A fractured tooth can invade the endodontic structures of the tooth that contain the blood vessels and nerves of the tooth. This is a very painful condition for dogs and cats. Dogs and cats will often hide their pain and owners may ignore the problem because “it doesn’t seem to bother him.” Many times an owner will not realize their pet is in pain until the problem is fixed and the pet acts years younger.

Besides being painful, the exposed root is also vulnerable to bacteria from the mouth, which can leak and infect the bone and surrounding tissues. This infection can cause an abscess that is visible as a draining tract outside the mouth. The bacteria can securely hide inside the root and the body’s immune system is unable to clear it up even with antibiotic treatment. The bacteria can also spread throughout other parts of the body, especially the liver and kidneys.

There are only two options to treat a broken tooth. The first is endodontic therapy. Endodontic therapy has the advantage of being less painful and keeps the chewing function of the tooth. The infected pulp is removed and the canal is filled with medication to discourage future bacterial contamination. A vital pulpotomyis a related endodontic procedure that is performed in animals younger than 18 months and keeps the tooth alive. Overall, the results of endodontic treatment are excellent when performed by an experienced dental specialist.

The other option for a broken tooth is extraction of the tooth. There are occasions when this is the best treatment option. However, a veterinarian will often try to avoid this procedure due to the loss of tooth function and unnecessary risks. An extraction is also a very painful treatment, similar to an extraction of wisdom teeth in people.

Most importantly, ignoring the problem is not a good solution when dealing with a broken tooth. This is a painful condition that can cause infection to spread throughout the body. Correcting the broken tooth, by either endodontic treatment or extraction, will allow your pet to be more comfortable and have a healthier life.

Safety At Dog Parks

Pet Tip: Dog Parks

Dog parks are the fastest growing segment of city parks in the United States. They can be a great way for you and your four-legged friend to enjoy some time outdoors. Follow these helpful suggestions to assure that the day ends safely:

Obey all rules and regulations. Practice general courtesy by picking up your dog’s messes, as no one wants to step in your dog’s mess any more than you do. Try to remain civil toward other pet owners, and remove yourself and your dog if there are any disagreements that could escalate further.

Pay attention to your dog at all times, especially if it is your first visit. Understand general signals, postures, and social behavior of dogs, and learn to recognize any signs of aggression, stress, tension, fear, or other threatening behavior, and learn to differentiate it from playing. Know when to step in and separate your dog from others to prevent fights that may lead to injuries. Don’t allow other dogs to threaten or intimidate your dog, and if they don’t leave, remove your dog. On the other hand, watch your own dog for over-excitement or bullying behavior, and avoid putting other dogs or people at risk for injury by leaving if they are showing these signals.

Make sure your older dog is up to date on vaccinations and has a valid license. Don’t bringing puppies younger than 4 months old, or one that hasn’t been fully vaccinated. There are risks of dogs transmitting illnesses such as rabies or kennel cough to one another through close contact. Protect your dog by avoiding the dog park if they are ill or not up to date on vaccinations.

Introduce your dog slowly to other dogs by allowing them to greet other dogs through the fence before entering the park. If your dog does not have much experience socializing with other dogs, introduce your pet to dogs in other situations. This will give you a better idea of how they will react to others. If your dog is not friendly or polite to others, get help with a trainer to correct any unwanted behavior before bringing your pet to a dog park.

Do not take your pet to a dog park if they haven’t been spayed or neutered. The same goes for a female dog in heat. Dogs use scent to communicate with one another, and unaltered pets or those in heat send out signals that can cause fights or other problems.

Think safety before bringing your pet to a dog park. Avoid peak temperature hours, and watch for heat exhaustion. If the park is not equipped with clean water for pets to drink, bring your own. Carry a cell phone, and have the number of the local animal control agency available to report any aggressive dog or person that won’t leave the park.

Bringing your pet to a dog park should be an enjoyable experience for both you and your pet, and following these tips will help ensure that you both have a good time at the dog park.

Blindness In Dogs And Cats

Blindness can occur in pets either gradually or suddenly. When blindness occurs gradually, the pet is usually able to adapt to their surroundings due to their heightened senses of hearing and smell. A pet can very easily memorize the interior of a house or the layout of a backyard. Owners may not even know their pet is blind until the pet’s surroundings change, such as when furniture is moved or the pet is taken to a completely new location. Once in an unfamiliar setting, the pet may be very hesitant or bump into furniture or objects, making it obvious to the owner that the pet cannot see.

Acute loss of vision can cause anxiety in a pet. A pet may begin to bump into walls or doors and be confused by the sudden change. Gradually, over a period of 1-3 months, a pet should be able to adapt to his or her new environment and use other situations and familiarity of the environment to have a quality life. It important to remember that positive encouragement and plenty of reassurance is needed to help your pet adjust to his or her new environment.

Following are simple tips that may help your pet compensate after becoming blind:

Keep the routine walking paths that your pet uses free of toys, chairs, or other obstacles.
Gate dangerous areas, such as stairs, open doors, or swimming pools, to prevent an accident.
Teach your pet commands such as “easy” so that when approaching crowded or unfamiliar areas, he or she is cautious and slow.
Tap an obstacle that is nearby so that your pet recognizes the object. Remember to offer positive reinforcement and praise once your pet has navigated the obstacle.
Keep the furniture in place and do not rearrange it periodically to make it easier on your blind pet. This includes your pet’s bed, food, and water dishes. If a new piece of furniture is added, be sure to tap the furniture to alert your pet to the new obstacle. Don’t forget – plenty of reinforcement and praise once your pet navigates the new item.
Keep your pet on a leash when entering a new environment to help them navigate the area. Once your pet is comfortable, you can take him or her off the leash to explore the area. Once again – plenty of reinforcement and praise!
Blind pets can still go for walks. Switch from a collar to a harness so that your pet feels more comfortable, and be as consistent as possible on your walks. A pet will more quickly adapt to his or her surroundings if the path is the same each time.