Saturday, May 2, 2015

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Fleas, Horse Dung and more

6 Most Common Fleas that Affect Dogs and Cats

I don't know about you but I always though that a flea is a flea is a flea. As it turns out there are over 2,000 species of fleas around the world, 300 of which live in North America. Though, thankfully, not all of those are after our dogs.

Image Pets & Parasites

Check out petMD's article if you want to get your learn-on about fleas. A word of caution, it might get you itchy all over, it did that to me.

How Horse Dung Can Make Your Pet's Food Safer

I can just see Jasmine nodding her head in agreement. She definitely had a thing for horse poop. Horse poop is full of microscopic organisms such as fungi and bacteria.

Mushrooms that grow on horse poop (Coprinopsis cinerea) contain a protein (copsin) that inhibits growth of bacteria and acts like an antibiotic. On top of it, this protein is extremely tough and can withstand various extreme conditions, including boiling temperatures, without losing its functionality.

This might make it a good candidate for food preservation in food industry. It might not happen any time soon but it sure sounds very cool and interesting.

Heart Murmur – Should You Be Worried About Your Pet?

Finding out that your dog has a heart murmur is a scary thing.

A murmur is a abnormal sound produced by blood flow through the heart. Some heart murmurs are innocent and don't come with any structural heart disease. However, most of the do indicate a problem with the heart. To determine what is causing the murmur, an ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram) is the gold standard.

GMO Foods and Mycotoxins in Pet Foods

I am a big fan of science, fascinated by genetics and I think that genetic engineering is super interesting. But while I think that fiddling with these things in the lab would be a great fun, I don't want it in my dogs' food. At least not at this point. Particularly since what we have going right now is mostly to allow more aggressive use of herbicides, which I definitely don't want in my dogs' food.

And mycotoxins? Nobody wants those in the dog food, because it's poison.

Check out Dr. Dodds' thoughts on the subject.

Feeding Dogs with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

A couple of recent studies highlight that what and how much a dog suffering from IVDD eats can make quite a difference.

One of the yet again confirms that healthy and lean dogs have happier backs. Any extra weight increases the stress on the intervertebral discs. Being thin is important for all dogs but for dogs at risk of IVDD perhaps even more important.

Thinner dogs also recover faster from a back surgery.

Dr. Coates recommends diet moderate in fat and carbohydrates and relatively high in protein. This type of diet promotes muscle mass while lowering risk of obesity. This makes perfect sense to me.


  1. We are wondering if the different species of fleas ever fall in love and breed with each other.