Abnormal weight loss in dogs
If a dog or cat has anemia, it means that there has been a drop in red blood cells—red blood cells carry oxygen to the cells in the body and pick up carbon dioxide—for which there can be many causes. Anemia can be caused by trauma, immune-mediated diseases, cancer, genetic defects, kidney diseases, bone marrow and infectious diseases are some of the causes of anemia. There are also human foods and medication that can cause anemia. Onions, for instance, can cause anemia in dogs and cats. Common signs of anemia are pale gums, lack of appetite, faster than normal pulse, weight loss, and black or tarry stool.
Abscesses in cats
A bite wound abscess is a fairly common occurrence, especially with cats who go outdoors. An abscess results when bacteria invade and infect a cut, scrape, or bit that a cat has received in the course of fighting with another cat or other animal. Learn more
Abscesses in dogs
Let's face it. Dogs like to play—and with play sometimes comes scrapes and cuts. Most often, minor cuts and scrapes are kept clean by your pooch. They lick them and care for them as they heal. Sometimes, that is not enough and an abscess can occur because bacteria set in, infecting the wound. Learn more
Canine Babesiosis is an infection caused by an infection with the organism Babesia, normally transmitted by ticks. The disease normally takes 24-48 hours to be transmitted after a tick has been removed. The species of babesia will determine how mild or sever the disease is. Common symptoms of babesiosis are pale gums, anorexia, depression, difficulty breathing, weakness, and fever. Since tick-borne illnesses can be difficult to identify, it is best to keep a close eye on a dog who has recently been bitten by a tick and if showing any symptoms, should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. Learn more
Canine acne may be ugly, causing your pooch to have low self-esteem, but it's essentially a benign, self-limiting problem that, as with humans, is an adolescent issue, by and large. Learn more
Feline acne may be ugly, causing your cat to have low self-esteem, and while it can be a benign, self-limiting problem in other cases it can be more problematic and cause your cat irritation and discomfort. Learn more
Fleas are dinosaurs. Actually, they are not dinosaurs, but like the shark and crocodile, they have been one of the worlds most common parasites for over 100 million years. They have hard exoskeletons and can jump thirteen inches and when they bite the irritate the skin, making a pet very itchy. They are infamous for spreading the bubonic plague in Europe, but they can transmit tapeworm to a pet if eaten by them and cause anemia in young kittens or puppies if not treated. The best way to stop fleas from spreading is to give a cat or dog one of the many veterinarian approved flea preventives throughout the year. Learn more
Demodex or demodicosis are parasite mites that cause a skin condition commonly known as mange. Demodex can be found in both cats and dogs and live in their hair follicles and oil glands. If infected, a pets hair will thin, their skill will become scaly and appear reddish-brown and itchy, often giving them a scruffy look. Unless generalized, demodex will appear on their head, neck, and ears for cats, while for dogs it will commonly appear on their face, trunk, and legs. While demodex can be cured, it's important to have your pet visit a veterinarian as demodex can be a secondary symptom of FeLv, FIV, or other diseases that compromises a pets immune system.
Canine distemper is a very contagious and deadly virus that is not only found in dogs and ferrets, but can be found in certain wildlife species such as raccoons, wolves, foxes, and skunks. Since there is currently no cure, vaccination is the only way to prevent this virus. Learn more
Feline distemper or panleukopenia, is an extremely contagious and deadly virus that is spread when your cat comes into contact with an infected cat's saliva, urine, blood, nasal discharege, or feces. Vaccination is the only treatment for panleukopenia, and without is, there is a high mortality rate. Learn more
Feline Leukemia (FeLv)
Feline leukemia virus or FeLv is a highly contagious and potentially fatal retroviral infection which will weaken a cat's immune system, making them susceptible to illnesses and secondary infections. FeLv is often called the "friendly cat" disease as it is commonly spread through grooming or cats sharing a food and water bowl. FeLv was first recognized in the mid-1960's and a study done by The American Association of Feline Practitioners found that out of 18,000 cats, 2.3% of them tested positive for FeLv and is one of the most common infectious diseases in cats. Learn more.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Feline immunodeficiency virus or FIV is very similar to HIV in humans. Like Feline Leukemia, FIV is a highly contagious and potientally fatal retroviral which will weaken a cat's immune system, making them susceptible to illnesses and secondary infections. Though there are many similarities to HIV, FIV is not zoonotic and cannot infect humans. FIV was discovered in the 1980's and is called the "fighting cat" disease as it is commonly spread when cats scratch or bite each other during a fight. A study found that 18,000 cats found that 2.5% of them were infected making FIV one of the more common diseases in cats. Learn more
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the US and across the world. It is typically spread when a mosquito transfers the microscopic eggs from one animal to another. The eggs travel through the bloodstream to the heart where the worms will hatch and grow into foot-long worms. Heartworms can cause severe lung disease, heart failure, and damage to other organs in the body if left untreated. You can learn more about this deadly disease by checking out the American Heartworm Society.
Pain management during surgery: Cats
Pain management during surgery: Dogs
What veterinarians do to help keep your pet comfortable during surgery. Learn more
Canine Parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious disease that spreads from dog to dog through direct or indirect contact with feces. Dogs can contract it by eating an infected dogs poop or even smelling an infected dogs hindquarters. This is one disease you do not want a dog to get as it will cause extreme vomiting, diarrhea, fevers, anorexia, lethargy, and severe abdominal pain. Puppies are especially vulnerable to parvo as the extreme loss of body fluids can cause them to develop cardiovascular and respiratory failure, often leading to death. Learn more
Despite sounding like a parasite, Ringworm is actually a fungal infection, which can be rather nasty as it is zoonotic and can be passed from one species to another. While more commonly found in cats, kittens, and puppies, dogs can be infected with ringworm if kept in high stress and dirty kennels. Ringworm is contracted through soil or a contaminated object, beginning as a small hairless lesions that look scaly and normally develop on the scalp, trunk, or nails and in some cases can become pustular.
Tapeworms are a parasite that is normally transmitted when a cat or dog ingests a flea while grooming. Tapeworms get their name from the fact that these parasites actually looks like tape. They have segmented bodies, each with a digestive and reproductive system. The tapeworm will use it's mouth to attach itself to a pets intestinal tract, stealing the nutrients from the food a cat or dog eats. Eventually the segments will break off, traveling through a pets digestive tract, eventually exiting through the anus. Signs that a pet is carrying tapeworms will usually appear in the fur around a cat or dogs anus or stool, looking like grains of rice. Overeating and excessive amounts of weight loss is another sign of tapeworms.
Unfortunately, when dogs and cats ingest acetaminophen (Tylenol)—either accidentally or because their pet owner inadvertently gave it to them, they can develop poisoning at low doses. Learn more
Ticks are bloodsucking parasites that require a host to survive and reproduce. Because ticks like to live in tall grass and trees, cats and dogs are one of the most common hosts for ticks. They will climb on to the host, burrowing it's mouth into your pets skin to drink it's blood. Because they are slow eaters ticks can stay on pets (or even humans) for days. Because they penetrate the skin, ticks can cause diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and several other diseases. The best way to prevent ticks in the first place is to treat a pet with preventative care in the first place. However, if a tick is found on a pet, remove it from the cat or dog with a pair of tweezers, pulling it out slowly and carefully so as to not to pull of it's head. Learn more