Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection

Hunting and snacking on rodents has backfired. Cookie has tapeworm infection.

In theory, we knew this could happen. In practice, this is really our first experience with intestinal parasites. Jasmine did have roundworms once when she was little. Other than that, our dogs never had this issue. But life up here, in the wilderness, is different. Places to see, critters to hunt and snack on.

We cannot practically prevent Cookie from hunting the little critters and we couldn't take that fun away from her anyway.

That means we have to become much more vigilant and get on parasite watch and see what we can do in terms of natural prevention.

Cookie did not have any symptoms.

It was sheer luck we found out when we did. So it happened that after major snow fall we got a warm day when the snow partially melted and then froze with a thick hard crust. Because this is unsafe to let Cookie running through that like a fool, she's doomed do leashed walks and runs until the snow melts, hardens all the way through or gets thick enough cover of fresh stuff on top of it.

I was taking her for her morning walk when I noticed something below her bum.

It was not snow. It was not moving and kind of looked like a piece of thread and later it was gone. That's what I concluded it was - a piece of thread from something.

Later that day I noticed another one, at about the same location. That, I thought, was strange. And I couldn't really figure out where all those pieces of thread would be coming from. As it was at the beginning of the walk, by the time we came back home I forgot all about it.

The next morning I saw one actually crawl out of her bum.

Ok, this was alive, moving, crawling out of her bum. This was a worm! Kind of looked like roundworm but it was kind of short for that. Also, even though it looked white, it was kind of semitransparent.

This is exactly what I saw. Photo and video by Artem Castillo

Tapeworm didn't even cross my mind.

I was under the impression that the segments would look like segments. Kind of like a grain of rice, as it is often described. I didn't expect it to be this long and squirm around.

This is what I would have expected to see. Image Little Creek Veterinary Clinic

It wasn't until I discussed it with Dr. Krista who pointed me in the right direction that I confirmed that it indeed is tapeworm.

Called up the vet and they prepared the meds for Cookie. She got her first dose yesterday.

Not knowing how long Cookie has had this, I got also wondering whether this could have been behind Cookie's elevated ALT.

Most vets whom I asked said it would not. Jasmine's vet, though, said that if it is a flea-transmitted tapeworm it wouldn't but if Cookie has a large tapeworm burden that may have caused the elevation.

I always thought that tapeworms come either from fleas or uncooked pork.

Turns out that there is more than one kind of tapeworms and all kinds of ways a dog can contract them.

Dogs most commonly acquire Dipylidium caninum that does come from ingestion of fleas. But dogs who have access to various small mammals can also get other kinds. I always thought tapeworm was a tapeworm. Apparently not.

They can also be found in all kinds of places, such as body cavities, liver, even connective tissue.

That's life in the wilderness for you.

Cookie is being treated and I'll be looking into ways of prevention. And well be keeping even closer eye on the poop. Until now, when it was good and solid, we didn't examine it further. Now we're gonna have to.

I'll be also kind of curious to see whether getting rid of this might get the ALT back to where it belongs.

Further reading:
Tapeworms in Small Animals

Related articles:
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot? 
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide  
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy 
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking 
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary  
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment  
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit? 
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore 
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely? 
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal  
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work   
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?  
Happy Birthday, Cookie 
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps 
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit 
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update 
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is 
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach 
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated 
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury 
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?

Do you have a story to share?

Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Adoption Monday: Tank, Terrier Mix, Eatontown, NJ

Tank is a 2-year-old Terrier mix who was too rough for the granddaughter in his home.

He leans up against for affection and pets. Tank very gentle taking treats.

Tank is house trained and knows basic commands. He is very smart.

Thank likes other dogs.

For more photos and videos visit Tank's page atThe Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.


The Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded in 1945 to care for the community’s homeless, neglected and abused animals. 

The MCSPCA is not affiliated with any other shelter or welfare organization. They are not affiliated with, nor do they receive a majority of their funding from the Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, the New Jersey SPCA or the Associated Humane Societies, Inc.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Distance Is a Relative Concept

We consider distance an objective value. We measure it as the amount of space between things. We measure it in inches, yards, miles ... or their metric equivalents.

That is as objective as it gets, isn't it?

A mile is a mile is a mile is a mile.

This kind of reminds me of an old joke, though:
"What is heavier? A pound of feathers or a pound of steel?"
A pound is a pound is a pound, right?
Would you still think that if you dropped either of those on your toe?

Cookie got me thinking about these things.

When she goes exploring in the bush and gets 300 yards away, I am on pins and needles. It is further than I'm comfortable with. Does SHE think she's gone THAT far? Nope, she does not.

I got thinking about it and I figured out why.

For me, to make it 300 yards through the bush and snow would take a LONG time. 

For Cookie? Cookie's top clocked speed through the bush is 20 miles an hour. That is 35,200 yards. That is 586 yards a minute.

Cookie can cover 300 yards in 30 seconds!

Is 300 yards still far away then? Not really, is it? That makes distance very relative. Relative to how fast one can cover it. It becomes a matter of how fast, not how far.

Just check out the distance between Cookie's leaps.
Looking at it that way, I have to give it to Cookie that keeping under 300 yards is indeed staying close around.

From her perspective anyway. My idea of staying close around SOMEWHAT differs from hers. I'm measuring it by how fast I COULD get there.

The mismatch in our athletic abilities is a source of dilemma. For me. 

It's not that Cookie doesn't come back. But what if something happened out there, all those 300 yards away? How fast could I get there to help?

On the other hand, Cookie craves the freedom to explore the bush.

She thrives on running around following animal tracks and whatever else she finds so desirable out there. We don't want to take that away from her. After all, what else would we have 80 acres of property for?

I came to two conclusions.

The only meaningful way of measuring distance is in time units. And I have to seriously work on running through the bush faster.

Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Observation Skills Of Dogs  
If You Want Your Dog To Do Something, Teach It  
Tricks? It's Not Just About The Tricks 
What Constitutes The Perfect Dog?
Are Dog Training Classes Really For The Dogs?  
Look Where You Want To Go: Finding My Reactive Dog Training Zen Zone? 
Dog Training And Emotions 
Dog Training And Emotions: Postscript
Dogs Love Sentences In Question Form?
Not All Dog Trainers Were Created Equal Either 
A Thought On Separation Anxiety
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
About Freedom, Trust And Responsibility: A "Pilot Study"
So, We Have A Bear 
About Happiness: What Makes Your Dog Happy? 
Our Example Of The Use Of "Look At That" (LAT) 
Why Do Dogs Dig?
Who Is In The Wrong?
Your Dog Wants To Follow You. You Just Gotta Be Going Some Place
We Still Have Two Dogs: A "Pilot Study" Part Two  
Early Winter Safety: Exploring New Territories
Cookie Is Okay. We ... Might Be, Eventually. (Don't Try This At Home)
One Thing I Love About Winter: I See What They "See" 
Give Your Dog What They Need, Get What You Want
Cookie, The First Of The Great Hunting Rottweilers 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tapeworm Life Cycle

Cookie's snacking on squirrels backfired. Cookie has a tapeworm! More on that on Tuesday. Meanwhile, I found this great video showing the life cycle of a tapeworm. It's good to know one's enemies, right?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Veterinary Highlights: Rabies Booster Response

One reason I keep out guys up to date with their rabies vaccination has nothing to do with immunity and protection from the disease. It has to do with protection from legislation and what would happen if my dog's was late on the booster and got exposed to a rabid animal.

It has to do with the required six-month quarantine.

Having a dog sentenced to a six-month post-exposure quarantine is both financial and emotional disaster. And for many dogs, a death sentence.

The light at the end of the tunnel?

New research done at Kansas State University found that dogs with out-of-date vaccines respond to rabies booster shot the same way as dogs current on their vaccines.

This could mean only a 45 day at-home observation instead of six-month quarantine.

This might lead to changes in the veterinary industry and save lives.

Source article:
New research on rabies vaccines alters a common misconception

Related articles:
Rabies Challenge Fund

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Primer on Oral Tumors

Written and reviewed by John A. Bukowski, DVM, MPH, PhD
and Susan E. Aiello, DVM, ELS

Oral tumors are common in dogs and range from benign masses such as viral papillomas to very aggressive malignant tumors. 

Malignant oral tumors frequently recur and spread to other parts of the body, even with aggressive therapy.

Benign papillomas are pink swellings on the gums or other parts of the mouth and have a "wart-like" appearance. 

Most malignant tumors appear as swellings on the gums that often ulcerate, bleed, and become infected. 

Other common signs include drooling, bad breath, tooth loss, and facial swelling. Many pets have difficulty chewing, swallowing, and eating. Nearby lymph nodes may be swollen and painful.

Tumors in the back of the throat are particularly painful and can prevent swallowing.

X-rays and CT scans may be useful in detecting whether tumors have invaded the bones and in guiding surgery. Loss of bone next to the tumor usually indicates malignancy, but a biopsy is needed to confirm the specific type of tumor.

Benign viral papillomas usually regress on their own without therapy. 

Most other oral tumors are treated by surgical removal. Malignant tumors are often difficult to remove completely, and large pieces of the jaw bone may need to be removed. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other more specialized treatments may be useful.

Surgery usually improves survival time if there is no evidence that the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or lungs.


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