The Merck Veterinary Manual -Recommendation

The Merck Veterinary Manual is an absolute must have for all pet owners it is as informative and as it is helpful. I have l posted the table of contents so you can see for yourself that owning this book is as important as owning a leash, a crate, heart wormer etc..

Table of contents

1 Description and Physical Characteristics………………………..2

2 Selecting and Providing a Home for a Dog ………………………7
3 Routine Care and Breeding ………………………………………….11
4 Behavior……………………………………………………………………..17
DISORDERS AND DISEASES OF DOGS
5 Blood Disorders …………………………………………………………..33
6 Heart and Blood Vessel Disorders…………………………………53
7 Digestive Disorders……………………………………………………..77
8 Hormonal Disorders…………………………………………………..128
9 Eye Disorders…………………………………………………………….140
10 Ear Disorders …………………………………………………………….155
11 Immune Disorders …………………………………………………….164
12 Bone, Joint, and Muscle Disorders………………………………176
13 Brain, Spinal Cord, and Nerve Disorders ……………………..194
14 Reproductive Disorders ……………………………………………..214
15 Lung and Airway Disorders ………………………………………..224
CONTENTS
viii TABLE OF CONTENTS
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3
16 Skin Disorders …………………………………………………………..238
17 Kidney and Urinary Tract Disorders……………………………283
18 Metabolic Disorders…………………………………………………..300
19 Disorders Affecting Multiple Body Systems ………………..305
CAT BASICS
20 Description and Physical Characteristics…………………….330
21 Selecting and Providing a Home for a Cat ……………………334
22 Routine Care and Breeding…………………………………………338
23 Behavior……………………………………………………………………345
DISORDERS AND DISEASES OF CATS
24 Blood Disorders …………………………………………………………359
25 Heart and Blood Vessel Disorders……………………………….370
26 Digestive Disorders……………………………………………………383
27 Hormonal Disorders…………………………………………………..415
28 Eye Disorders…………………………………………………………….423
29 Ear Disorders …………………………………………………………….433
30 Immune Disorders …………………………………………………….439
31 Bone, Joint, and Muscle Disorders………………………………445
32 Brain, Spinal Cord, and Nerve Disorders ……………………..455
33 Reproductive Disorders ……………………………………………..469
34 Lung and Airway Disorders ………………………………………..475
35 Skin Disorders …………………………………………………………..488
TABLE OF CONTENTS ix
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36 Kidney and Urinary Tract Disorders……………………………514
37 Metabolic Disorders…………………………………………………..525
38 Disorders Affecting Multiple Body Systems ………………..528
HORSE BASICS
39 Description and Physical Characteristics…………………….550
40 Selecting and Providing a Home for a Horse ………………..557
41 Routine Care and Breeding…………………………………………560
42 Behavior……………………………………………………………………566
DISORDERS AND DISEASES OF HORSES
43 Blood Disorders …………………………………………………………581
44 Heart and Blood Vessel Disorders……………………………….592
45 Digestive Disorders……………………………………………………602
46 Hormonal Disorders…………………………………………………..641
47 Eye Disorders…………………………………………………………….646
48 Ear Disorders …………………………………………………………….655
49 Immune Disorders …………………………………………………….659
50 Bone, Joint, and Muscle Disorders………………………………664
51 Brain, Spinal Cord, and Nerve Disorders ……………………..708
52 Reproductive Disorders ……………………………………………..726
53 Lung and Airway Disorders ………………………………………..736
54 Skin Disorders …………………………………………………………..755
55 Kidney and Urinary Tract Disorders……………………………781
x TABLE OF CONTENTS
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7
56 Metabolic Disorders…………………………………………………..788
57 Disorders Affecting Multiple Body Systems ………………..793
BIRDS
58 Description and Physical Characteristics of Birds ………..816
59 Selecting and Providing a Home for a Pet Bird……………..827
60 Routine Care and Breeding…………………………………………832
61 Disorders and Diseases of Birds ………………………………….839
EXOTIC PETS
62 Amphibians ………………………………………………………………864
63 Chinchillas ……………………………………………………………….873
64 Ferrets ………………………………………………………………………886
65 Fish…………………………………………………………………………..899
66 Gerbils ……………………………………………………………………..919
67 Guinea Pigs……………………………………………………………….925
68 Hamsters…………………………………………………………………..940
69 Mice …………………………………………………………………………953
70 Prairie Dogs ………………………………………………………………962
71 Potbellied Pigs …………………………………………………………..970

72 Rabbits ……………………………………………………………………..983
73 Rats ………………………………………………………………………..1003
74 Reptiles …………………………………………………………………..1013
75 Sugar Gliders …………………………………………………………..1039
TABLE OF CONTENTS xi
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9 SPECIAL SUBJECTS
76 Emergencies…………………………………………………………….1050
77 Diagnostic Tests and Imaging …………………………………..1070
78 Infections………………………………………………………………..1078
79 Diseases Spread from Animals to People (Zoonoses)…..1088
80 Drugs and Vaccines………………………………………………….1118
81 Poisoning ………………………………………………………………..1145
82 Pain Management ……………………………………………………1211
83 Travel with Pets ………………………………………………………1216
84 Health and the Human-Animal Bond………………………..1228
85 Cancer and Tumors………………………………………………….1233
Glossary………………………………………………………………………..1251

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Cold Weather Checklist For Your Pets

You are prepared for winter…is your pet?

By Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM

First, the basic supply list:

Do you have enough of the following items to last a few days, should the roads become unsafe for travel or the veterinary office is closed?

  • pet food
  • litter
  • fresh water supply
  • soft warm bedding
  • any medications your pet takes on a regular basis

Now for the safety checklist and weather considerations:

  • Outdoor pets
    Some pets are better suited than others for living outdoors. There is a common misconception that dogs will be “fine” if left outside. This is not true! All pets need adequate shelter from the elements and insulation against cold weather. Pets should not be left outside for long periods in freezing weather – like humans, they can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite. The young and the senior pets are especially at risk.Certain breeds, such as Huskies and Samoyeds are better suited to very cold weather, but the majority of dogs and need your help and intervention. Indoor accommodations are best during extreme temperature drops, but if that is not possible, set up a suitable house in an area protected from wind, rain, and snow. Insulation, such as straw or blankets will help keep in body heat. If your animal is prone to chewing, do not use blankets or material that can be ingested. Cedar shavings can be irritating to the skin, so use with caution depending on your pet’s hair coat.Caution – do not use a heat lamp, space heater, or other device not approved for use with animals. This is a a burn hazard for your pet and a fire hazard. Pet supply vendors sell heated mats for pets to sleep on or to be placed under a dog house, but read and follow directions carefully before use.

    Fresh water is a must at all times! Pets are not able to get enough water from licking ice or eating snow. A heated dish is a wonderful tool for cold climates. The water stays cold, but doesn’t freeze. Caution needed for animals that may chew. Outdoor pets require additional food for energy and maintaining body heat in harsh climates.

  • Foot care
    Dogs walking in snowy areas may get large ice balls between their pads, causing the dog to limp. Be sure to keep ice clear from this area. For dogs that have a lot of hair between the pads, keeping it clipped shorter will help with ice ball formation. Dog boots offer protection to those dogs that will tolerate wearing them. See what our viewers have to say about canine paw care and boots.
  • Salt and chemical de-icers
    Pets who walk on sidewalks that have been “de-iced” are prone to dry, chapped, and potentially painful paws. This will encourage the pet to lick their paws, and ingestion may cause gastrointestinal irritation and upset. Wash off your pet’s feet after an outing with a warm wet cloth or footbath.
  • Frozen lakes and ponds
    Animals don’t realize what “thin ice” is. Once they fall in, it is very difficult for them to climb out and hypothermia is a very real and life-threatening danger. “Ice skating” dogs are prone to injuries such as cruciate tears if allowed to “skate” with their humans. This is also true of icy walks.
  • Antifreeze Dangers
    Thirsty and curious pets will lap up antifreeze. Just a few licks can be fatal. Lock up antifreeze containers and clean up spills immediately. For more information, please see previous article about antifreeze toxicity.
  • Heat-seekers beware!
    Cats will seek warmth where they can get it, and that may be the warm engine of a car just parked. Before staring your car, knock on the hood or honk the horn to scare off any cats – and prevent tragedy.
  • Arthritic animals
    Arthritis is worse during cold and damp weather. Take special care to handle your pet gently, watch out for icy walks, provide soft (and possibly heated) bedding, and administer any necessary medications. See your veterinarian if your pet is arthritic or you suspect arthritis.
  • If your pet sleeps in the garage…
    As mentioned above, be on the alert for any antifreeze leakage or antifreeze containers left out where they could spill or be chewed on. Also, do NOT start the car in a closed garage – for your safety and your pet’s safety – carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer.

Canola Oil In Pet Foods

Canola Oil In Pet Foods

Canola Oil In Pet Foods

As you faithful readers know, I don’t feed my own pets processed pet foods nor do I ever recommend it be fed to anyone’s pets. I
recently saw a couple of pet food companies bragging about thier food
containing “Healthy” Canola oil in thier foods. WHAT? I thought!   How
is Canola Oil healthy? How is it even species appropriate for our
carnivorous pets?

Canola
is actually a made up/coined word friends. It appeared out of nowhere
and is not listed in any but the most recent reference sources.It is a
name given to “rape” seed! Well, come on, you have to admit that canola
sounds far better than rape, right?. The name canola disguised the
introduction of rape oil to America.

Yes, Canola oil comes from the rape seed, which is part of the mustard family of plants. Rape is the most toxic
of all food-oil plants. Like soy, rape is a weed. Insects will not eat
it and it is deadly poisonous! The oil from the rape seed is a hundred
times more toxic than soy oil!

Canola (Rape) is a semi-drying oil that is used as lubricant, fuel,
soap and synthetic rubber base, and as an illuminant for the slick
color pages you see in magazines. It is an industrial oil and does not
belong in any body, ours or our pets!

Rape oil was the source of the infamous chemical-warfare agent ,
mustard gas, which was banned after blistering the lungs and skin of
hundreds of thousands of solders and civilians during WW1. Recent
French reports indicate that it was again used during the gulf.

Between 1950 and 1953, white mustard(rape) seed was irradiated in
Sweden to increase seed production and oil content. Irradiation is the
process the experts want use to make our food “safe” to eat.
Genetically engineered fruits and vegetables – which will soon have
innocent things like hepatitis-B spliced into their DNA – are another
example of man”s misuses of technology and abuse of public trust by
powerful interests and “head-in-the-sand” watchdog agencies.

Canola oil has some very interesting characteristics and effects on
living systems. For example, it forms a latex-like substances that
agglutinate the red blood corpuscles, as does soy, but much more
pronounced. Loss of vision is a known, characteristic side effect of
rape oil which antagonizes the central and peripheral nervous systems;
again, like soy oil, again, worse. The deterioration takes years,
however. Rape (canola) oil causes emphysema respiratory distress,
anemia, constipation, irritability and blindness in animals and humans
alike. Rape oil was widely used in animal feeds in England and Europe
between 1986 and 1991 when it was eventually thrown out. You may
remember reading about the cows, pigs and sheep that went blind, lost
their minds, attacked people and had to be shot.

Funny, the industry loves to talk about canola”s “qualities” that
make it “healthy”. They say “it has an unsaturated structure(Omega 3,
6, 12), its wonderful digestibility and its fatty acid makeup”. They
have been trying to turn us against naturally saturated oils and fats,
while they come to the rescue with canola oil. They even tell us how
Asia has warmly embraced canola due to its distinctive flavor. Isn’t it
wonderful how internationalists brokers “help” third-world peoples?
Reminds me of the introduction of the microwave oven (don’t even get me
started on that one!).

Rape’s new name provided the perfect cover for commercial interests
wanting to make billions in the United States. The euphemism is still
very much in use, but is no longer needed.

God forbid you are still feeding kibble in the first place. However,
if you are, check the ingredients, do a google or yahoo search on
canola oil in pet food and canola oil toxic…

Some Of The Common Genetic Health Issues- Listed by breed

Here is a list compiled to help breeders and owners (or soon to be owners),

become aware of what some of the common genetic problems may be in their breed/dog of choice.

**Not every breed is listed here; if you don’t see your breed shoot me an e-mail and I will be glad to research it for you!!**

askfdo@rocketmail.com

Affenpinscher: Corneal ulcers, patellar luxation, cryptorchidism, elongated soft palate, retained puppy teeth, dermoid cyst

Afghan Hound: Under bite, juvenile cataracts, elbow joint deformity, hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, chronic pancreatitis, corneal dystrophy, von Willebrand’s disease

Airedale: Hypothyroidism, spondylosis deformans, pyometra, umbilical hernias von Willebrand’s disease

Akita: Hip Dysplasia, entropion, retinal atrophy, hypothyroidism

Alaskan Malamute: Hip Dysplasia, hypothyroidism, juvenile cataract, patent ductus areteriosus

American Foxhound: Osteochondrosis of spine, deafness, cryptorchidism

American Staffordshire Terrier: Craniomandibular osteopathy, cervical vertebral instability, cleft palate, hip dysplasia, cataract, bad bite, cryptorchidism

American Water Spaniel: Hermaphrodism, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, retinal atrophy

Australian Cattle Dog: Deafness

Australian Shepherd: Spina bifida, poor temperament, cleft palate, hip dysplasia, retinal atrophy, cataracts, bad bite, epilepsy, deafness

Australian Terrier: Diabetes Mellitus, cryptorchidism, atopic dermatitis, cleft palate

Basenji: Pyruvate kinase deficiency, Fanconi syndrome, coliform enteritis, persistent papillary membrane, corneal leukoma

Basset Hound: Bad Bite, ectropion, corneal dermoid cyst, aggressive temperament, osteochondritis dissecans, radius curvus, patellar luxation, glaucoma, hernia, thrombopathia, cervical vertebral instability, defective third cervical vertebra, achondroplasia, lens luxation, bon Willebrand’s disease

Beagle: Elongated soft palate, cryptorchidism, deafness, vestibular disorder, cleft lip and palate, glaucoma, intervertebral disc disease, epilepsy, pyruvate kinase deficiency, pulmonic stenosis, cataracts, retinal dysplasia

Bedlington Terrier: Retinal dysplasia, copper toxicosis

Belgian Malinois: Bad bite, shyness, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia

Belgian Sheepdog: Bad bite, shyness, epilepsy, hypothyroidism

Belgian Sheepdog: Bad bite, shyness, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia

Bernese Mountain Dog: Bad bite, hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans, cleft palate, retinal atrophy

Bichon Frise: Bad teeth with age, patellar luxation, epilepsy, hip dysplasia

Black and Tan Coonhound: Ectropion, hip dysplasia, factor IX deficiency

Bloodhound: bad bite, ectropion, cryptorchidism, hip dysplasia, bad temperament, entropion

Border Collie: Bad bite, cryptorchidism, retinal atrophy, osteochrondritis dissecans, deafness, lens luxation

Border Terrier: Cryptorchidism, hip dysplasia, retinal atrophy

Borzoi: Missing premolars, gastric torsion, hypersensitivity to some anesthesia

Boston Terrier: Cocked eyes, elongated soft palate, cherry eye, frequent vomiting, deafness, cataracts, cleft lip and palate, body tumors, patellar luxation, mast cell tumor, pituitary tumor

Bouvier Des Flandres: Bad bite, cleft palate, gastric torsion, hypothyroidism

Boxer: Cryptorchidism, pyloric stenosis, heart defects, corneal ulcer, patellar luxation, gastric torsion, cleft lip and palate, epilepsy, dermoid cyst, mast cell tumor, entropion, elongated soft palate, osteochrondritis dissecans, retinal atrophy, von Willebrand’s disease, factor VII deficiency

Briard: Hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, retinal atrophy, hypothyroidism

Brittany: Cryptorchidism, bad bite, ectropion, hip dysplasia, factor VII deficiency

Bull Terrier: Retained baby teeth, umbilical hernia, deafness, inguinal hernia, cleft lip and palate

Bulldog: Elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, loose shoulders, ectropion, corneal dermoid cyst, facial fold dermatitis, deafness, cleft palate, entropion, collapsed trachea, heart defect, mast cell tumor, factor VII deficiency, dislocated hips

Bullmastiff: Poor temperament, cleft palate, retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, gastric torsion

Cairn Terrier: Cryptorchidism, factor VII deficiency, factor IX deficiency, patellar luxation, von Willebrand’s disease, lens luxation

Cardigan Welsh Corgi: Corneal dermoid cyst, cleft palate, glaucoma, disc disease, von Willebrand’s disease, lens luxation

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Under bite, cryptorchidism, fly biting syndrome, corneal dystrophy, patellar luxation, diabetes melitus

Chesapeake Bay Retriever: Retinal atrophy, entropion, hip dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease

Chihuahua: Retained baby teeth, bad bite, hypoglycemia, patellar luxation, cleft palate, heart defects, entropion, shoulder dislocation, lens luxation

Chinese Crested: Under bite, allergy to wool

Chow Chow: Allergies, bad bite, elongated soft palate, ectropion, entropion, patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, poor temperament, hypothyroidism

Cocker Spaniel: Bad bite, umbilical hernia, cherry eye, ectropion, corneal dermoid cyst, skin and ear problems, hip dysplasia, poor temperament, hernia, factor X deficiency, anasarca, cleft lip, cataracts, glaucoma, anemia, entropion, luxated patella, intervertebral disc disease, hypothyroidism

Collie: Over bite, under bite, nasal solar dermatitis, umbilical hernia, deafness, corneal dystrophy, cleft palate, optic nerve hypoplasia

Dachshund: Bad bite, umbilical hernia, triciasis, corneal dermoid cyst, atopic dermatitis, cataracts, diabetes, cleft lip and palate, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, von Willebrand’s disease, patellar luxation, osteopetrosis, retinal atrophy

Dalmatians: Atopic dermatitis, deafness, uric acid stones

Dandie Dinmont Terrier: Bad bite, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, dislocated shoulder

Doberman Pinscher: Color mutant alopecia, bad bite, flank sucking, vestibular disorder, renal cortical hypoplasia, von Willebrand’s disease, hypothyroidism, narcolepsy, demodectic mange, diabetes

English Setter: Vaginitis, ectropion, umbilical hernia, deafness, retinal atrophy

English Springer Spaniel: Under bite, ectropion, ear problems, obesity, hip dysplasia, entropion, glaucoma, factor XI deficiency, von Willebrand’s disease, subortic stenosis

Finnish Spitz: Cataracts

French Bulldog: Elongated soft palate, upper respiratory problems, cleft lip and palate, factor VIII deficiency, lens luxation, carcinomas, patellar luxation

German Shepherd Dog: Cryptorchidism, corneal dermoid cyst, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, poor temperament, diabetes, disc disease, heart defects, dwarfism, von Willebrand’s disease, cleft lip and palate, degenerative myelopathy, chronic pancreatitis, missing teeth, retinal atrophy

German Shorthaired Pointer: Under bite, nervous temperament, gastric torsion, entropion, von Willebrand’s disease, epilepsy

Giant Schnauzer: Bad bite, missing teeth, cryptorchidism, hip dysplasia, poor temperament, retinal atrophy

Golden Retriever: Cryptorchidism, missing teeth, bad bite, wry mouth, ectropion, immune deficiency, hip dysplasia, entropion, cleft palate, von Willebrand’s disease, hypothyroidism, cataracts, epilepsy, diabetes

Great Dane: Cryptorchidism, bad bite, ectropion, flat feet, fear biting and other temperament problems, cervical vertebral instability, hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, heart defects, degenerative myelopathy, entropion, von Willebrand’s disease

Greyhound: Cryptorchidism, gastric torsion, elbow bursitis, short spine, hypersensitivity to anesthesia, lens luxation

Irish Setters: Under bites, over bites, ectropion, osteochrondritis dissecans, hip dysplasia, carpal sub luxation, hypothyroidism, atrophy, epilepsy, von Willebrand’s disease

Keeshond: Hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, heart defects, diabetes

Labrador Retriever: Cryptorchidism, bad bite, cataracts, atrophy, epilepsy, lens luxation, hip dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease

Lhasa Apso: Umbilical hernia, patellar luxation, atrophy, hip dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease

Maltese: Retained puppy teeth, cryptorchidism, hydrocephalus, cleft lip and palate, entropion, patellar luxation, deafness

Mastiff: Ectropion, shy temperament, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism

Norwegian Elkhound: Bad Bite, cysts, hip dysplasia, entropion, cleft palate

Old English Sheepdog: Bad bite, hip dysplasia, cataracts, entropion, diabetes, deafness

Pekingese: Umbilical hernia, stenotic nares, elongated soft palate, hernia, cleft lip and palate, disc disease, cataracts, atrophy, patellar luxation, trichiasis

Pointer: Under bite, timid, umbilical hernia, entropion, cataracts, hip dysplasia, gout, atrophy

Pomeranian: Cryptorchidism, hypoglycemia, retained baby teeth, patellar luxation, entropion

Poodle (Toy): Retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia, cataracts, entropion, deafness

Pug: Elongated soft palate, entropion, aseptic necrosis of femoral head

Rhodesian Ridgeback: Dermoid sinus, hip dysplasia hypothyroidism

Rottweiler: Ectropion, hip dysplasia, entropion, cleft palate, deafness, diabetes, von Willebrand’s disease

Saint Bernard: Ectropion, diabetes, entropion, osteochrondritis dissecans, hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, epilepsy, corneal dermoid cyst

Saluki: Umbilical hernia, cryptorchidism, corneal dermoid cyst, hypothyroidism

Samoyed: Cryptorchidism, hip dysplasia, retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia

Scottish Terrier: von Willebrand’s disease, deafness, lens luxation

Shetland Sheepdog: Cryptorchidism, retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, deafness, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, von Willebrand’s disease

Shih Tzu: intervertebral disc disease, entropion

Siberian Husky: Cryptochidism, hip dysplasia, retinal atrophy, cataracts

Silky Terrier: Cryptorchidism, patellar luxation, diabetes, epilepsy

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier: Cataracts, retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease

West Highland White Terrier: Cryptorchidism, hypothyroidism

Whippet: Cryptorchidism, color mutant alopecia

Yorkshire Terrier: patellar luxation, retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia

Source: Successful Dog Breeding, The Complete Handbook of Canine Midwifery, by Chris Walkowicz and Bonnie Wilkes, D.V.M.

Dangerous Substances To Dogs

  • Animal feces. Dogs occasionally eat their own feces, or the feces of other dogs and other species if available, such as cats, deer, cows, or horses. This is known as coprophagia. Some dogs develop preferences for one type over another. There is no definitive reason known, although boredom, hunger, and nutritional needs have been suggested. Eating cat feces is common, possibly because of the high protein content of cat food. Dogs eating cat feces from a litter box may lead to Toxoplasmosis. Dogs seem to have different preferences in relation to eating feces. Some are attracted to the stools of deer, cows, or horses.[54]

  • Other risks. Human medications may be toxic to dogs, for example paracetamol/acetaminophen (Tylenol). Zinc toxicity, mostly in the form of the ingestion of US cents minted after 1982, is commonly fatal in dogs where it causes a severe hemolytic anemia.

Demodectic Mange -Symptoms & Treatments

Mange is a pain in the butt,
( more like an itch in the butt 🙂 ) but, no matter what you have heard or ‘THINK’ that you know; it can show up in vagabond mutts as well as in top of the line show dogs. Here is a very informative article on a particular type of mange that effects certain breeds more than others. For Example it is a constant battle within the the ‘bully’ breed family.

NOTE FROM FIDO:Many Vets and information you find on this condition, will tell you that it does not itch….my experience says different. I have encountered dogs that were extremely itchy and were on a regiment of steroids and Benadryl and I have met a few lucky fellows that did not have that particular affliction. However, both of these instances were diagnosed through skin scrapings as having Demodectic mange.

Demodectic Mange

Race Foster, DVM

microscopic view of a demodectic miteDemodectic mange (also known as red mange, follicular mange, or puppy mange) is a skin disease, generally of young dogs, caused by the mite, Demodex canis.

It may surprise you to know that demodectic mites of various species live on the bodies of virtually every adult dog and most human beings, without causing any harm or irritation. These small (0.25 mm) ‘alligator-like’ mites live inside of the hair follicles (i.e., the pore within the skin through which the hair shaft comes through), hence the name follicular mange. In humans, the mites usually are found in the skin, eyelids, and the creases of the nose.

Disease related to suppressed immune system

Whether or not Demodex causes harm to a dog depends on the animal’s ability to keep the mite under control. Demodectic mange is not a disease of poorly kept or dirty kennels. It is generally a disease of young dogs that have inadequate or poorly developed immune systems or older dogs that are suffering from a depressed immune system.

What is the life cycle of Demodex canis?

The demodectic mite spends its entire life on the dog. Eggs are laid by a pregnant female, hatch, and then mature from larvae to nymphs to adults. The life cycle is believed to take 20-35 days.

How is Demodex canis transmitted?

The mites are transferred directly from the mother to the puppies within the first week of life. Transmission of the mites is by direct contact only. That is, the mother and puppy must be physically touching, as the parasite cannot survive off of the animal. This is important because it means the kennel or bedding area does not become contaminated, and therefore the environment need not be treated. Lesions, if present, usually appear first around the puppy’s head, as this is the area most in contact with the mother. Virtually every mother carries and transfers mites to her puppies. Most puppies are immune to the mite’s effects and display no clinical signs or lesions. A few are not immune and it is these that develop into full-blown cases of mange.

What are the signs of demodectic mange?

Individuals that are sensitive to the mange mites may develop a few (less than 5) isolated lesions (localized mange) or they may have generalized mange, in which case, there are more than 5 lesions involving the entire body or region of the body. Most lesions in either form develop after four months of age.

Early demodectic mange in a spaniel puppyThe lesions and signs of demodectic mange usually involve hair loss, crusty, red skin and at times, a greasy or moist appearance. The mites prefer to live in the hair follicles, so in most cases, hair loss is the first noted sign. Usually, hair loss begins around the muzzle, eyes, and other areas on the head. In localized mange, a few circular crusty areas will be noted, most frequently around the muzzle. Most of these lesions will self heal as the puppies become older and develop their own immunity. Persistent lesions will need treatment that will be described later. In cases in which the whole body is involved (generalized mange), there will be areas of hair loss over the entire coat, including the head, neck, abdomen, legs, and feet. The skin along the head, side, and back will be crusty and oftentimes inflamed. It will often crack and ooze a clear fluid. Hair will be scant, but the skin itself will often be oily to the touch. Some animals can become quite ill and develop a fever, lose their appetite, and become lethargic. Patients with generalized demodectic mange need immediate vigorous treatment.

How is demodectic mange diagnosed?

performing a skin scraping on a dogOnce Demodectic mange is suspected, it can usually be confirmed by a skin scraping or biopsy, in which case, the mites can be seen with the aid of a microscope. They are too small to be seen with the naked eye. The adults appear as tiny, alligator-like mites. Remember that these mites are present in every dog, so by themselves, they do not constitute a diagnosis of mange. The mite must be coupled with the lesions for a diagnosis of mange to be made.

How is demodectic mange treated?

The treatment of Demodectic mange is usually accomplished with lotions, dips, and shampoos. Fortunately, 90% of demodectic mange cases are localized, in which only a few small areas are involved and can often be treated topically. A treatment that has been successful for years has been a 1% rotenone ointment (Goodwinol ointment), or more recently, a 5% benzoyl peroxide gel applied daily. Bathing periodically with a benzoyl peroxide shampoo and feeding a high quality diet and a multivitamin with a fatty acid may also help some dogs. Most of these localized lesions will heal on their own and do not require overly aggressive treatment.

If a dog develops generalized demodicosis more aggressive treatment is usually required. Studies show that between 30% and 50% of dogs that develop the generalized form will recover on their own without treatment, but treatment is still always recommended for the generalized form. The treatment of choice continues to be Amitraz dips applied every two weeks. Amitraz is an organophosphate, and is generally available under the product name Mitaban. It is a prescription product and should be applied with care. Humans should always wear rubber gloves when applying it to their dog, and it should be applied in an area with adequate ventilation. It is recommended that longhaired dogs be clipped short, so that the dip can make good contact with the skin. Prior to dipping, the dog should be bathed with a benzoyl peroxide shampoo to help remove oil and cellular debris.

puppy with generalized demodicosisMost dogs with generalized demodicosis require between 4 and 14 dips. After the first three or four dips, a skin scraping should be performed to determine if the mites have been eliminated. Dips should continue until there have been no mites found on the skin scrapings taken after 2 successive treatments. Some dogs develop sedation or nausea when dipped, and toy breeds in particular are sensitive to amitraz. Half strength dips should be used on these sensitive animals.

Ivermectin should not be used in Collies and similar breeds.

Some dogs may not respond to this treatment, and the frequency of the dips may have to be increased or additional treatments may need to be instituted. Two other products, which though they are not licensed for the treatment of demodectic mange, are being widely used by veterinary dermatologists and general practitioners with some good results. One of these is ivermectin, which is the active ingredient in Heartgard, however, the concentration in Heartgard is not high enough to be effective against Demodex. Larger daily doses of liquid ivermectin must be given and should only be used under close veterinary supervision. Another drug, Milbemycin oxime (Interceptor), has also been given daily and been shown to be effective on up to 50% of the dogs that did not respond to Mitaban dips.

Dogs that have generalized demodicosis often have underlying skin infections, so antibiotics are often given for the first several weeks of treatment. In addition, we usually recommend the dog be put on a good multivitamin/ fatty acid supplement. Because Demodex flourishes on dogs with a suppressed immune system, it is wise to check for underlying causes of immune system disease, particularly if the animal is older when they develop the condition.

Prognosis and impact on breeding

Demodectic mange is not an inherited condition, but the suppressed immune system that allows the puppy to be susceptible to the mites can be. Remember that all puppies receive the mites from their mother, but only a few have ineffective immune systems and develop the mange. This sensitivity can be passed genetically through generations. Individuals that have a history of demodectic mange, and their parents and siblings, should not be bred. Through careful breeding, most cases of generalized demodicosis could be eliminated.

Can I get Demodex from my dog?

The various species of Demodex mites tend to infest only one species of host animal, i.e., Demodex canis infests dogs, Demodex bovis infests cattle, and Demodex folliculorum infests humans.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a few important points should be repeated. The mites are transferred from the mother to offspring in the first few days of life. The first sign of hair loss usually does not occur until after four months of age. Demodectic mange is almost always curable or controllable with persistent treatment, except in rare cases with very immune suppressed individuals. The immune system condition that allows for the development of demodectic mange can be an inherited condition, and breeding of these animals should not occur.

References and Further Reading

Ackerman, L. Skin and Haircoat Problems in Dogs. Alpine Publications. Loveland, CO; 1994.

Griffin, C; Kwochka, K; Macdonald, J. Current Veterinary Dermatology. Mosby Publications. Linn, MO; 1993.

Scott, D; Miller, W. Griffin, C. Muller and Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1995.

How To Make Your Own Dog Food

This is a ‘repost’ of several week back. I feel this is an important post because I have had several comments and been involved in discussions on other blogs addressing the fact of the pet food recall. Apparently it is not ‘common’ knowledge that most of the foods on the list are ‘STILL’ not safe. It has also come to my attention (and shockingly so) that most consumers are completely unaware that before China came along to taint/poison our pet food, the pet food industry was still helping us feed our animals ‘roadkill’, by-products, euthanized animals from shelters and Veterinary hospitals. Which are infused with antibiotics and the ‘drug’ which was used to put them to sleep…’yummy’

On my last visit to the feed store (I do not frequent ‘pet stores’) I was more than dismayed to see some of the top name brand company’s still using the ‘exact’ same ingredients as they were before the recall.

My delusional thinking was that they would have made their product 100% better since being on the list. WRONG…the packaging was changed in some cases their marketing had changed in most cases…but the ‘freakin’ ingredients were not changed!!!!

It’s obvious that the opinion held of the American consumer/pet owner is of a considerable low one…in fact it seems it is concluded that we are either pretty much illiterate, or too stupid to read and understand a label!!

How to read a label

What’s In A Name?

The first clue as to the content of your dog food is in the title. If the food is named for the main ingredient, such as “Lamb Dog Food”, then the named ingredient, i.e. lamb, must make up at least 70% of the food. But if the name of the food is called a “dinner” or “formula” such as “Beef Formula” or “Chicken Dinner”, that ingredient may only make up 25% of the food. Empty fillers make up the difference in content in those types of food.

Looking For The Best Dog Food

puppies eatingOften the dog food ingredients list will be accompanied by words such as “meal” “by-products”, “crude proteins”.

By-products are dog food ingredients that make up much of poorer dog foods. Meat by-products are the left over parts of the animal unfit for human consumption, such as the intestines, organs, and diseased animals.

Crude Protein is often made from the hooves and hair of animals, as well as the feathers and beaks of poultry. Although this protein source may make up a strong percentage of a given dog food, very little of it can actually be absorbed by the dog.

Meal refers to cereal grains, the leftover hulls and husks of wheat and corn, after being processed for human use. These have very little nutritional value.

Get Out the Reading Glasses!

food labelTake a look at the ingredients label of your dogs’ food often there can be twenty or more ingredients listed!

The dog food ingredients are listed on the label in order of total volume, with the first few ingredients making up the main content of the food.

A dog food with ingredients listed as “beef, chicken meal, barley, brown rice” is therefore made with true beef as it’s main ingredient, an important animal-protein source.

Another label may read, “Ground wheat, corn meal, meat meal, chicken fat, wheat gluten”. In this example, a meat product is not the largest component of the food or even the second! The meat products that are being used are the by-products, and do not supply an adequate source of meat based protein to the dog.

What’s In Your Dog’s Dish? Do You Know About Dog Food Nutrition?

Once you have the knowledge to decipher a dog food label, it’s time to take a look at what you have been feeding your hunting dog. If that bag of food suddenly isn’t looking like it’s worth the money you paid for it, keep in mind a few other things before you start looking for an alternative brand.

So-called “organic” dog food ingredients can fall into two groups. Foods labeled “organic” contain at least 95% true organic ingredients. However, foods advertised as “made with organic ingredients” may only contain 70% organic ingredients. With the price of these specialty diets on the rise, make sure he’s getting the best dog food.

How About Some Homemade Dog Food?

Home cooked diets have become increasingly popular recently, and that popularity has grown exponentially since the dog food recall. Home made dog food can be cooked, or served raw.

While there are a variety of recipes available for making the perfect home cooked meal, most follow a standard pattern of 50% human grade meat, with vegetables, oats, rice or potatoes.

In addition, vitamin and mineral supplements may be necessary to fully attend to your dogs nutritional demands. Homemade dog food allows you to give back to your hard working hunting buddy.

The food for hunting and performance dogs requires more attention to detail. They have a greater need for fats and calories in their diet, along with a careful balance of vitamins and minerals for optimum performance ability. Proper dog food nutrition is essential in the working dog.

Despite the advantage of control over the quality of ingredients in a homemade dog food diet, the added investment of time, money and research necessary to create a balanced diet is often not feasible.

By arming yourself with knowledge, and doing research on dog food ingredients, you can find a commercially available dog food that gives you both peace of mind, and will help your dog to get the nutrition he needs to live a long and happy life.

Now Back to my post….or repost I should say!!….

In this post I have listed some options for you. I am also including recipes for feeding a raw meat diet if you so choose. ( Something I personally incorporate with my dog’s kibble.) But whatever you decide is best for your furry family member you will find some helpful tips and recipes listed below.

Here is a video series on how to prepare your own dog food this is free for you to view. It also covers many other topics of interest.( all dog oriented) If you check it out, I would to love to get some feedback on what you think!!**** This is highly rated video series and that is what I am going on. I have not had the oppotunity to check it out myself as of yet.

About the Expert

Elise has been working in animal behavior with both domestic and wild canines since the early 1990s. She began working with domestic dogs in Philadelphia, PA where she worked at the Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania in the Behavior Clinic. She held a position there for 2 years and during that time she co-developed a Puppy Problem Prevention Program with Lois Hall. During this time Elise was also studying Animal Behavior and Learning at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as working with a local trainer, Steve Lindsay. Prior to moving to Massachusetts where she pursued her Ph.D. in Animal Behavior, she worked as an animal behavior consultant with her own private clients. Since 1996 Elise has been located in Montage, MA. After completing her fieldwork on Chilean foxes, she opened her training center and began providing both private and group classes, as well as individual evaluations and consultations.

http://www.expertvillage.com/video-series/554_homemade-dog-food.htm

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If you are concerned about the health and well being of your dog and wish to ensure they are getting uncontaminated foods there are ways of making your own healthy dog food. A suggested formula is 75% carbohydrates to 25% meat. A simple dog food recipe is to combine and cook brown rice, ground meat, vegetables, water and a small amount of brewers yeast. Dogs can’t digest vegetables very well, so they need to go through the food processor thoroughly before adding. Amounts of water vary depending on whether you want dry or wet food. Your dog food should be served at room temperature.

Ingredient ideas for dog food:

  • Rice is a good carbohydrate for dogs. Brown rice is preferable as it has more nutrients.
  • Brewers yeast which can be found in some grocers and health stores.
  • Flour, such as corn flour, soy flour or whole wheat flour.
  • Codliver oil or flaxseed in small amounts adds omega 3 and helps keep their coats shiny.
  • Garlic can help get rid of tape worms and fleas as well as fight infection. (caution as large amounts can cause illness in dogs)
  • Meats suggested to use are liver, beef, tuna, lamb or chicken. It’s easier to add to food if the meat is ground.
  • Dogs also enjoy peanut butter and biscuits can be made with them by adding flour, bone meal and/or powdered milk, brewers yeast and even carrots. Peanuts are one of the few nuts that are safe for your dog. (Dog Biscuit Recipe)
  • Some vegetables are ok such as carrots, broccoli and spinach, but they need to be put through a food processor first to aid in digestion. (Broccoli is not good in large amounts.)
  • Bonemeal may need to be added to ensure they are getting calcium. Raw meaty bones are a good source of calcium. Powdered milk is also a popular ingredient in dog food.

Peanut Butter Pooch Cookies

21/2 cups whole wheat flour

¼ cup white flour

¼ cup oatmeal

11/4 Tbsp baking powder

1 Tbsp honey

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup milk

Combine flour, oatmeal, and baking powder. Combine milk, peanut butter, and honey in a separate bowl and mix well. Stir peanut butter mixture into flour/oatmeal mixture. Knead dough and roll-out on floured surface to a quarter inch thickness. Cut out treats using a cookie cutter. Place aluminum foil on cookie sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes.

Tail Waggers

3 Jars Baby Food – (1 carrot, 2 meat)

1/3 cup Wheat Germ

1/4 cup powdered milk

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Mix ingredients well and then press into small “patties”. Bake in 350 oven for about 15 minutes.

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Disclaimer:
The natural raw diet described here is a suggestion for increasing wellness and well-being for dogs. Before making changes to your dog’s diet a proper assessment of its health should be made by a qualified veterinarian.

What does the diet consist of ?

Ingredient #1 : Raw Ground Turkey
I buy my turkey from a butcher.
Call a local butcher and ask him to order a box of ground turkey – 38 – 40 pounds.
It will arrive frozen.
The butcher will then cut that chunk into at least 1 pound blocks and package it for you.
Just take a package out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the day before to thaw.
Estimate roughly 50% of the meal to consist of meat.

Ingredient #2 : Softened Oats
There are many different types of grains which can be used but I prefer to feed oats because they seem to digest more completely. Just cover oats with boiling water and let soften for 20 minutes.

Ingredient #3 : Raw, Freshly Juiced Vegetables
I put the veggies through a juicer and use the juice only.

Carrots – Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, G, K, potassium, calcium. I use carrots as the base and add a few others to vary the juice daily.

Apples – Vitamin C

Greens: Vitamin A, C, potassium, chlorophyll.
Kale – has the same nutrients as cabbage, helps with digestive disorders
Swiss Chard – high in Vitamin A
Watercress – intestinal cleanser
Mustard Greens – intestinal cleanser
Parsley – an herb, helps with oxygen metabolism with the adrenal and
thyroid glands, healing for the genito-urianry tract.

Celery – Contains organic sodium (maintains fluidity of blood and lymph). Natural diuretic helpful for arthritis, water retention, urinary problems, chemical imbalances.

Beets – Copper, manganese, potassium. Builds red corpuscles and tones blood. Add only a small slice to the daily juice once a week due to beet’s cleansing properties.

Alfalfa Sprouts – The highest source of Vitamin A.


Here is great recipe contributed by Sharon of Baby Boomer Advisor Club….Thanks Girlfriend!!!

*Click Here >