Saturday, May 19, 2018

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Coughing, Fungal Infections, and more ...

Coughing in Dogs and Cats – What’s Going on with Your Pet?

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Coughing, Fungal Infections, and more ...

Coughing is a straightforward symptom with not always straightforward reasons. The cause of your dog's coughing can be inflammatory, mechanical, infectious, cardiovascular, or neoplastic (cancer). And that is only the list of categories of the potential problem. Given there are so many variables, there is no way I'd brave guessing what the reason for my dog's coughing is.

While you can gain some clues from the way the cough sounds like, when it happens, whether or not there is any phlegm and so on, would you really bet your dog's life or well-being on the accuracy of your guess? And how many of the above causes you figure can be treated at home?

To learn more about the mechanism of coughing, causes, and treatment, read Dr. Byers' article.

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Coughing
Kolchak and Kennel Cough
The Kennel Cough Cockup: Kupo's Story

Is Blastomycosis the Same as Valley Fever?

Dr. Jean Dodds

Just like not all bacterial infections are not the same, fungal infections are all different as well. Fungi can invade your dog's skin on their organs. Your dog can get an infection by skin exposure, inhalation or ingestion. Some fungi will make your dog sick only if he's immunocompromised and some will make any dog sick.

There are quite a few fungi that can infect dogs, you can read about all of them here.

To cut to the chase, blastomycosis and Valley Fever are both caused by different fungi. Either of them is more prevalent in different geographical regions. The symptoms are somewhat similar but can also be misdiagnosed as something else altogether which can be quite dangerous to your dog's prognosis.

To learn more about the differences and similarities between blastomycosis and Valley Fever, read Dr. Dodds' article.

Your Dog Will Love This 2-Minute TLC Treatment

Dr. Karen Becker/Mercola Healthy Pets

Is your dog obsessively licking their paws, between their toes, licking or chewing at their rear end or inner thighs? Allergies are likely to blame.

Is there anything you yourself can do to help them out? Yes, you can rinse or soak your dog's feet to remove the allergens.

Read Dr. Becker's article to learn when this can help and how to do it effectively.

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in your dog: Excessive Licking

Is It Wrong To Treat Dogs for Cancer?

Dr. Sue Ettinger/Dog Cancer Blog

There was a time when if I were faced with a cancer diagnosis, I would have said no to the treatment. At least to the typical cancer treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy.

The more I have learned about these things, the more likely it has made me think about that differently, and the choices I would be likely to make today are vastly different than those I would have made in the past.

Dr. Ettinger's article, however, has been sparked not by the debate about outcomes but about costs. It is true, the fancier the available treatment options, the higher the cost.

The question raised is whether or not it is ethical to spend all that money on your dog's cancer treatment if there are people who cannot afford theirs. Did this spin on the subject catch you by surprise?

When my dog is sick, I spend whatever money I have available on whatever treatment might best help them. My money, my choice. I earned the money. And my spending it contributes to jobs and taxes, helping everybody.

If we decided that spending money on "excessive dog care," what is next? Is having a car going to be excessive? Or just a car that runs? How about clothes? Food?

I think that helping other is right. But so is making our own decisions about what to do with money we earn.

What say you?

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