Saturday, October 28, 2017

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Heartworm Disease, Tylenol Poisoning, and more ...

Heartworm Disease – A Potentially Deadly but Preventable Infection

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

I don't like giving my dog(s) drugs. I don't like using chemicals and poisons for any reason. But. I would never mess with heartworm. Cookie gets one preventive product and one product only - heartworm preventive.

With any drugs, particularly with those used to prevent things, it's all about what is a bigger risk. To me, getting heartworm is a risk that is way higher than the potential risk that comes with trying to prevent it. The disease is horrible, and the treatment for it isn't any better.

"I think most pet parents are familiar with term heartworm disease. They know veterinarians recommend preventative medications. In my experience, though, families don’t fully appreciate the seriousness of this condition" ~Dr. Christopher Byers

I always seek natural ways of dealing and preventing health problems. I don't believe there is a natural, effective way to prevent heartworm out there, at least not yet. I've even heard a claim where the owner thought he's preventing heartworm sufficiently enough because he doesn't let any mosquitoes land on his dog. I wonder where he lives. I might need to move there.

Until such time when something better comes along, I'll keep using a proper heartworm preventive because this is not a disease I want to mess with.

Read Dr. Byers' detailed article about what heartworm is and what are the associated risks.

Want to Avoid Hip Dysplasia? Avoid Vitamin Supplements!

Dr. Karen Louis

I think there is still a lot many people don't understand about hip dysplasia. Otherwise, I wouldn't be hearing that somebody's senior dog got it. I hear that most of the time. It's not a cold that you can catch. And it's not something that comes with old age. Resulting arthritis can come with age, but hip dysplasia itself is a problem that starts when a puppy is growing up. The hip joints either do or do not form properly. If they are really messed up, it will become apparent immediately. If they are messed up just a little bit, it might not show until the joints are full of arthritis.

With hip dysplasia, though, arthritis is a secondary problem to poorly formed joints. So when it's the time to prevent hip dysplasia? Before and shortly after puppies are born. Before they're born by screening their parents for genetic predisposition. And after the puppies are born with careful considerations to diet and exercise.

In her article, Dr. Louis explains why excess supplementation is a bad idea, particularly for large breed puppies.

Supplements are great. But it's important to know precisely why and what to supplement. Throwing multivitamins into your dog's bowl willy nilly can cause more trouble than good.

Tylenol poisoning in dogs

Dr. Justine Lee

What if your dog helped themselves to a bottle of "candy" you didn't hide away properly? To dogs, what's within reach is fair game. Human medications are on top of the list when it comes to dog poisoning.

One tablet you might give your dog (after consulting with your veterinarian) might be perfectly safe. A whole bottle never is.

"When it comes to poisoning, it’s the “dose that makes the poison.” ~Dr. Justine Lee

If your dog gets into Tylenol, act immediately. Time is of the essence with any type of poisoning.

Read Dr. Lee's article explaining Tylenol poisoning.

Bladder Stones in Dogs: Can You Prevent Them?


Do you know what's one of the best tricks to prevent any issues with the urinary tract? Hydration. Proper hydration helps prevent urinary tract infections and even bladder stones.

"The best tip for management and prevention of any kind of crystal and stone is to focus on keeping your canine companion hydrated. The role of adequate water intake cannot be stressed enough.”

There are other factors at play, such as age, breed predisposition, diet, and medical issues but proper hydration is helpful in all cases.

To learn more about what you can do to prevent bladder stones, read petMD article.

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