Monday, August 25, 2008

Help my dog eats poop!

Why does my dog eat poop?

Sometimes we don't know why a particular dog starts eating poop, but certain conditions can trigger the behavior. Since some of these indicate a dog who needs help, you'll want to consider them as possibilities for what is going on with your dog.

1. A dog with a physical problem that causes excessive hunger, pain, or other sensations may resort to eating feces. If your adult dog who has not previously had this habit suddenly develops it, take the dog to your veterinarian for a check-up.

2. A dog who is not getting enough to eat or is going too long between meals may eat feces. Your veterinarian can help you evaluate the dog's weight and can suggest a feeding schedule and amount. Sometimes it takes experimentation to see what works best for a particular dog.

3. A dog with intestinal parasites or other condition that creates blood or other fecal changes may eat feces. One dog may eat the feces of another dog who is shedding something like this in the stools. A fresh fecal specimen to your veterinarian for evaluation can detect some of these problems.

4. Sometimes a change of diet helps. There doesn't seem to be any one food that is right for all dogs, and your dog may need something different than you're currently feeding. Be sure to make any changes of diet gradual, mixing the new food in with the old over a period of several days or weeks, to give the dog's intestines time to adjust and avoid diarrhea from the change.

5. Some dogs develop a mental connection that they will be punished if their humans find them in the same room with feces. Dogs react to this fearful situation in various ways, and one way is to eat the feces so it will not be there to make the human angry. This is one of many reasons not to use punishment when housetraining a dog.

6. Boredom can cause dogs to do all sorts of things, including eat feces. Interesting toys that have treats inside them for the dog to get out can help with lots of boredom-based problems.

7. Dogs may do just about any wild thing when suffering from separation anxiety. If that is the problem, this won't be the only symptom, and you'll want to help your dog work through the separation anxiety.

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My cat may have bladder infection

Hello...I hope that you can help me.

I have two cats which are indoor only. They are both males, ages 9 & 10 (approx.)

all of a sudden the older one went in his litter box and peed a little, then jumped on a sofa in our sun room and peed a little. (Thank goodness we have a blanket/sheet on all sofas so we don't have too much fur on them. He then went on the sofa in the Living Room and did the same.

An hour later my husband saw him jump on the sofa down in our TV room and do it again.

Can you please tell me why he all of a sudden is doing this? Is it possibly a bladder infection?

I am hoping that you can help as we took these two cats in from outdoors and can NOT pick them up to take to a vet.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to read your response

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hypocalcaemia in Dogs

Hypocalcemia is a condition in which the calcium level is too low in the bloodstream. It is also sometimes called “Eclampsia” or “Milk Fever.”

It can occur in any dog or cat but is most commonly seen in small breed dogs that are either pregnant or nursing a litter. The problem is caused by the increased demands of pregnancy or nursing a litter, which require high levels of calcium. As the puppies grow inside the mother, the mother’s body must supply calcium through her bloodstream for the bone growth of the puppies. After birth, the calcium is supplied through the milk for the puppies’ nutrition. As each day passes, and the puppies grow, more milk (and therefore more calcium) is required.

If the female has a large litter, it increases the demands for milk production and calcium for the puppies. This condition occurs when the calcium level of the blood is decreased below the minimum levels needed for the health of the female.

Early signs of this condition include nervousness, panting, shivering and muscle tremors. If not treated at this early stage, the condition progresses to seizures — and eventually death. Prompt treatment of this condition is required to prevent death.

Hypocalcemia often recurs in later pregnancies, often on subsequent times much quicker than the first time. If a bitch has had it before and is therefore of known susceptibility to it, then it may occur in late pregnancy, before the birth of the puppies has occurred. IT IS IMPORTANT TO SPAY THESE PETS AFTER THE FIRST EPISODE FOR THE WELL BEING OF YOUR PET!

Initial treatment of this condition requires IV Calcium to replace what is needed by the female. Follow-up doses of calcium and other drugs are often required.

Please follow the below instructions:

Give all medications as directed.

Feed HIGH QUALITY PUPPY FOOD to the bitch (this is higher in calcium than normal adult dog food).

Allow only LIMITED FEEDINGS (3-4 times each day). Supplement the puppies with an artificial milk replacement product. Remember that as the puppies grow, they will require more milk. If the female is allowed to nurse too much, the chances of the condition recurring increase greatly.

Spay the female as SOON as the puppies are weaned.

Notify your veterinarian if any of the following signs are observed:

Staggering, muscle tremors, excessive panting, or seizures

Refusal to eat or vomiting

Breasts become hard, painful, or swollen

Any other condition you feel is abnormal for your pet

This article has been kindly donated by the Claws and Paws Veterinary Hospital. For further information about this clinic visit

'Slipped Discs' in Dogs

The bones of the backbone that protect the spinal cord are called vertebrae. Discs between these vertebrae act as "shock absorbers". A disc is composed of a pulpy, jelly-like center surrounded by hard fibrous tissue.

Sudden trauma can result in injury to the disc causing it to bulge or even rupture. When this happens, the disc (or disc contents) is forced out of its normal position and pushes against the spinal cord causing pressure on the cord and nerves. This causes pain, weakness, incoordination, and possibly paralysis of the legs, bladder, and rectum. Other clinical signs are rigid or splinted abdomen, pain when picked up, reluctance to move or jump up, hunched posture, lowered head and neck, and loss of urine or bowel control. Signs may develop gradually or suddenly. Disc protrusion against the spinal cord can also result from a deterioration of the disc as the pet ages or arthritic changes within the bone itself.

Disc disease can occur anywhere along the spinal canal. "Pinched nerves" in the neck area are usually very painful and may cause front leg lameness. The pet often is presented with a reluctance to move the head up and down, usually keeping the head tucked low to the ground. Lesions further down the spinal column cause varying signs depending upon the particular nerves compressed by the involved disc. All four legs can be affected in severe cases.

Based upon the severity of clinical signs, your pet may respond to medical treatment alone or surgery may be required. Medical treatment involves strict cage rest, anti-inflammatory and pain medication and sometimes muscle relaxants. Surgery is performed to relieve pressure, provide stabilization, and to help prevent future episodes of pain. Pets with disc disease will usually have recurrent episodes, especially if the pet is overweight or does a lot of jumping. Diet modification is also highly recommended.

If your pet should start showing any of the above signs, IMMEDIATE treatment is crucial. If your usual vet is not open, take your pet to the nearest emergency clinic.

Diagnosis is usually based upon history, physical exam, x-rays and possibly myelography (injecting contrast medium into the intervertebral space, and then taking xrays). Predisposed breeds are Dachshunds, Shih Tzus, Pekignese, Welsh Corgis, German Shepherd Dogs and Beagles. However, any breed can be affected.


Depending upon the severity of disease, your pet may need to be hospitalized or can be treated at home. Complete recovery may take weeks to months.

Your pet needs to have STRICT CAGE REST for a number of weeks. This means that you need to keep your pet in a large cage or small bathroom. Carry your pet outside to use the bathroom. Absolutely no stairs or steps. Excessive movement can cause further injury to the spinal cord.

When picking your pet up, protect the back and try to keep it straight. Some pets may be so painful that they will need to be muzzled before you try to move them.

Make sure that your pet is able to urinate and that he can empty his bladder. Some pets may need help with this. DO NOT attempt to express your pet’s bladder without directions from your veterinarian. A urinary catheter may need to be inserted.

Recumbent pets will need to have a thick layer of blankets/padding to lay on. Try to alternate sides every 4-8 hours.

Give all oral medications as directed. It is very important that you do not combine anti-inflammatory medications unless directed to do so by your veterinarian.

We recommend putting your pet on a nutritional supplement to help prevent/delay arthritis build up.

Do not allow your pet to become overweight and try to discourage jumping.

Notify your veterinarian if your pets condition worsens or if you should have any questions or concerns.

This article was donated by the Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital. For further information visit

Introducing Super Pug!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Heat Stroke

Dogs don’t sweat the way people do in order to cool the body down during extreme temperatures. They cool off by panting; the air cools the mucous membranes and blood vessels in their mouth and tongue. Extreme cases of heat stroke lead to the disruption of the dog’s internal cooling mechanism, and they quickly go into cardiovascular shock, which is life-threatening.

Cars are the worst culprit. Even windows left open do not always provide the air flow needed, and the hothouse effect is very rapid! If you absolutely must leave your dog in the car, park only in the shade with windows open (so that they cannot jump out), and NEVER for more than 7 - 10 minutes. They must have access to cool, clean water at all times and be able to avoid direct heat by providing shade if outdoors, or a fan if left in an apartment during the hottest part of the day. Puppies and older dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke. If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, this is an emergency situation and should be treated by your veterinarian immediately.

Some of the signs to watch for include:
1) unusual sluggishness or unresponsiveness
2) pale or dark red gums, sometimes with a dry feel
3) erratic breathing



Immediate correction of hyperthermia:

Monitor your pets temperature with a rectal thermometer. The normal temperature for a dog is around 38.5°C or 101°F. Dogs suffering from heat stroke often present with body temperatures around 105ºF.

Spray with water or immerse in water before transporting to veterinary facility
Stop cooling procedures when temperature reaches 103°F, to avoid hypothermia.

Give artificial respiration support if required.

Don't let a fear of heat stroke stop you from enjoying the great outdoors with your pet, but please be aware of the danger. A little caution goes a long way, even just providing access to water and shade at all times will prevent your pet from developing this condition.

This article was donated by the Columbia Animal Hospital. For further information visit