The holidays are here and it is hunting season in South Texas ! With our beautiful warm weather comes important health concerns for our pets. Four of our major health issues we see are : Canine Parvo Virus (CPV) , Canine Distemper, Heartworm Disease , and Rattlesnake Bites.
Canine Parvo Virus: The main source of the Parvo virus is from the feces of infected dogs. The virus begins to be shed just before clinical signs develop and continues for about ten days. Susceptible dogs become infected after ingesting the virus. The virus is carried to the intestine where it invades the intestinal wall and cause inflammation. The clinical signs and symptoms of CPV disease can vary, but generally they include severe vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lack of appitite and loss of energy. The diarrhea often has a very strong smell, may include lots of mucus and blood. Any age and breed of dog can be infected with CPV , but is more commonly infects young puppies, older dogs and immune suppressed dogs. PARVO VIRUS CAN BE PREVENTED !!! Properly vaccinating your dog dramatically decreases your pets chances of contracting Parvo. Start puppies at 6 weeks old and continue the vaccine protocol through out the life of your pet. PARVO IS 98% FATAL WITHOUT MEDICAL TREATMENT
Canine Distemper: Canine distemper is caused by a virus that is shed in bodily fluids of infected animals. The virus affects primarily the lungs, intestines, and nervous system. Symptoms of the infection can include coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, inappetance, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, and encephalitis. Secondary infections can present as discharge from the eyes and/or nose, and pneumonia. Puppies, especially those from shelters, are at the highest risk. Currently there are no antiviral medications to treat canine distemper. Treatment is aimed at controlling secondary bacterial infections with antibiotics and supportive care as needed. Vaccination aimed at preventing distemper is the best strategy. Puppies should be isolated from other dogs until they have completed their series of vaccinations at 16 weeks of age. DISTEMPER VIRUS CAN BE PREVENTED ! ! ! Properly vaccinating your dog dramatically decreases your pets chances of contracting Distemper. Start puppies at 6 weeks old and continue the vaccine protocal through out the life of your pet. DISTEMPER IS FATAL IN UP TO 90% OF ALL CASES.
Heartworm Disease:Heartworm has been diagnosed in dogs in all 50 states. It is very common; it has a virtual 100% prevalence rate in unprotected dogs living in highly endemic areas. Heartworm, Dirofilaria immitis, is transmitted by mosquitoes. The mosquito injects a microscopic larvae which grows into an adult worm six to eighteen inches long inside the heart of the affected dog. It only takes ONE bite from an infected mosquito to transmit heartworm disease to your dog. The worms can cause mild symptoms, such as coughing, but with time, more severe symptoms such as congestive heart failure, weight loss, fluid build up in the abdomen, fainting spells, anemia, collapse, and death usually occur. HEARTWORM DISEASE IS 100% PREVENTABLE WITH MONTHLY PREVENTION.
Rattlesnakes: When a rattlesnake strikes a unprotected dog and venom is injected, the toxins in the snakes venom is very painful and can have serious consequences. Even if your dog survives the immediate effects of a rattlesnakes bite, he/she can be permently injured by the toxic venom. The snakes venom is made up of a compleat mixture of toxins that spread through a dog's body rapidly. Treatment for a snake bite may include costly antivenom injections, even though the use of anitivenom is associeted with an increased risk of adverse reactions that can complicated your dogs recovery. Other added cost for snakebite treatment include costly hospitalization , fluids, a number of medications and sometimes even surgery. The rattlesnake vaccine works by stimulating an animal's immunity to defend against potentially harmful agents. The vaccine is intended to help create an immunity that will protect your dog from the venom.THE DANGERS OF RATTLESNAKE VENOM CAN BE GREATLY DECREASED BY VACCINATING YOUR DOG AGAISNT RATTLESNAKES ! ! IF YOUR DOG IS BITTEN BY A RATTLESNAKE HE OR SHE STILL NEEDS TO BE SEEN BY A VETERINARIAN !