Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How fat is your dog ?

Many dog owners do not often care on the above question as long as they are healthy or fat enough. The worrying part is often seen in pet owners when the dog is below the ideal weight level i.e. dogs start becoming thin. Now when you ask a vet like me about which worrying is appropriate, the answer would be both. Idealism in everything is the best and that implies to dog's body weight too. Now vets will ask you to maintain your pets weight in an ideal level as far as possible by balancing its diet and exercise. What exactly is an ideal weight for your dog ? This article is trying to help you sort out this question.

Dogs around the world come in different sizes. From a toy breed Chihuahua which may weigh as less as 2 pounds to St. Bernard which may weigh up to 190 pounds in normal condition the weight range of canines is wide. As such, one chart of dogs weight to classify thin, healthy and fat dogs will be insufficient. Taking weight as a parameter to classify also does not seem correct. To simplify this job, the body condition of dogs is divided into 9 stages according to Purina body condition system. You can observe your dog and find out how ideal his body weight condition is.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Flea allergy dermatitis

Monsoon is at our door step and with the cool rain, humid season also commences. Humid season helps in breeding and increase in number of tiny jumping parasites, the fleas. Once fleas get a hold on your pets body, your pet will sooner or later develop an allergic condition. Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common allergy in dogs and is caused by flea bites, specifically the saliva of the flea. It is a very itchy disease and predisposes to the development of secondary skin infections.

Oddly enough, most animals with flea allergy have very few fleas – because they are so itchy, they groom themselves excessively, eliminating any evidence of fleas. However, a couple of flea bites every two weeks are sufficient to make a flea allergic dog itchy all the time. Any animal can become allergic to fleas, although some dogs are more attractive to fleas than others.

Fleas are bloodsucking insects with a life span of 6 to 12 months. This life span is influenced by environmental conditions and can vary from two to three weeks up to a year. Optimal conditions include humidity of 75 to 85 percent and temperature of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity is more important than the temperature.

The adult flea spends most of its life on the host, while the immature stages (eggs) are found in the environment.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Your Pet Dog’s Life Expectancy

We all will do anything and everything we can so that our pet will have a long and healthy life. But how long is the average life of a particular breed of dog and what can we do to maximize the likelihood that our dog will live longer than expected?

A myth is heard that one year of a dog’s life is equal to seven human years, so that, for example, a dog at age one is like a human child at age seven, and a 5-year old dog is the equivalent of a human adult of 35. In fact, there is not any linear relationship between human and dog years. Dogs mature much more quickly than humans. A dog at age one has generally achieved its full growth and is sexually active – this is obviously not true of a seven year old human child. So a dog at age one is similar to a teenager, who has some growing out to do but is more or less mature physically.

Thereafter each year in a dog’s life may be seen as about equal to 4 to 6 human years. Overall, the life expectancy of most dogs is around twelve years on an average. But the actual expected life span of any particular dog is highly dependant on its breed. Generally speaking, the larger the breed of dog, the shorter its life will be. We veterinarians guess that this is because larger dogs’ bodies must work harder than those of their smaller compatriots.

Factors That Contribute to Life Span

Various important suggestions as to how dog owners can improve the odds of their particular dog living beyond the standard life span are discussed. A number of steps owners of dogs should take to extend their pet’s life are also included.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Influenza and You

What is swine flu?

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people.

Are there human infections with swine flu in the U.S.?

In late March and early April 2009, cases of human infection with swine influenza A (H1N1) viruses were first reported in Southern California and near San Antonio, Texas. Other U.S. states have reported cases of swine flu infection in humans and cases have been reported internationally as well. An updated case count of confirmed swine flu infections in the United States is kept at CDC and local and state health agencies are working together to investigate this situation.

Is this swine flu virus contagious?

CDC has determined that this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. However, at this time, it not known how easily the virus spreads between people.

What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

Swine influenza: Technical Information & Updates

(Source: WHO, OIE; Transferred by WVA and Modulated by NVA)

In response to cases of swine influenza A (H1N1), reported in Mexico and the United States of America, the Director-General convened a meeting of the Emergency Committee to assess the situation and advise her on appropriate responses.

The establishment of the Committee, which is composed of international experts in a variety of disciplines, is in compliance with the International Health Regulations (2005). The first meeting of the Emergency Committee was held on Saturday 25 April 2009. After reviewing available data on the current situation, Committee members identified a number of gaps in knowledge about the clinical features, epidemiology, and virology of reported cases and the appropriate responses. The Committee advised that answers to several specific questions were needed to facilitate its work. The Committee nevertheless agreed that the current situation constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. Based on this advice, the Director-General has determined that the current events constitute a public health emergency of international concern, under the Regulations.

Concerning public health measures, in line with the Regulations the Director-General is recommending, on the advice of the Committee, that all countries intensify surveillance for unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia. The Committee further agreed that more information is needed before a decision could be made concerning the appropriateness of the current phase 3.