Protecting your pet against common medical problems…what can you do as a pet owner?

We want to help our clients take better care of their pets, preventing illness and injury whenever possible.  petsWe love to see our patients happy and healthy! Well patient visits are our favorite appointments.  Unfortunately, we see sick and injured pets too frequently so we thought that we could share some ways to protect your pet from certain conditions. Some of those conditions are preventable and some are not, but every little bit of precaution helps.  Below are tips on how to avoid some of these conditions and a few ways to prevent them.

Ear Infections – A condition characterized by inflammation of the external ear canal. It affects up to 20 percent of dogs, especially those with floppy ears. You can prevent ear infections by gently drying your dog’s ears after bathing or swimming. It’s a good idea to take a look into their ears at least once a week – problems are MUCH easier to treat if they’re detected early. If you notice any odor, redness or discharge from your dog’s ears, please call us immediately.

Skin Allergies/Dermatitis – Most skin allergies are either from fleas (the most common cause) or substances in the environment (such as pollen and mold). There is not much you can do to prevent airborne allergens but you can prevent flea problems by putting your dog on a good year-round flea preventative. And yes, year-round prevention is important, as fleas can survive indoors through the winter months. Frequent vacuuming and the changing of air filters can cut down on the amount of allergens your dog might inhale.

Diarrhea – Almost all dog owners are familiar with this condition characterized by loose, watery stool. The most common causes are the ingestion of table scraps and spoiled food, excess plant material, and a sudden change in food.

Vomiting – At one time or another, your pet may have a bout of vomiting. Usually your pet will have eaten something disagreeable, eaten too much or too fast, exercised too soon after eating or is suffering from any number of non-serious conditions. To prevent vomiting… don’t give your pet table food, change their food gradually, and monitor your pet to prevent them from eating things they can’t digest.

Pyoderma – This common condition is a bacterial infection of the skin. There are several causes and some are more easily prevented than others. The best ways to curb pyoderma are to prevent fleas and ticks and bathe your dog periodically. Problems are easier to treat if they are detected early so if you see redness, swelling or discharge, please call us.

Urinary Tract Infection – Inflammation of the urinary bladder is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Offer plenty of fresh clean water and give your pet many opportunities to urinate. Reducing the need to “hold it” can help prevent infections.

Conjunctivitis – Yet another issue is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the tissue coating the eye and lining the eyelids. There isn’t much you can do to prevent conjunctivitis. However, you can reduce the likelihood of your pet’s eyes becoming irritated by preventing things from blowing into them. If you use spray cleaners, paints or other aerosols that may irritate the sensitive eye tissue, remove your pet from the area until they are out of the air.

Mass – Skin growths or masses are lumps of tissue that are within or can be felt under the skin. There is nothing you can do to prevent skin masses but early treatment and surgical removal are much more affordable than more complex procedures.

Giardia – This condition is easier to prevent! Giardia is a parasite found all over the world, which frequently causes diarrhea. It is common in animals under close confinement, such as those in kennels, animal shelters, and pet stores. Giardia is common in contaminated water. Prevent your dog from drinking out of old water puddles, especially in dog parks.

Foreign Body Ingestion – This condition is caused by an indigestible objects being caught in your pet’s stomach or intestines. To prevent problems, keep all items that your pet might ingest but shouldn’t out of reach. Observe your pet’s behavior when playing with toys to be certain that your pet is playing with the toy rather than trying to “eat” the toy.  Check toys regularly to make sure they are not getting too worn out.

If you feel that your pet is suffering from any of these conditions and your efforts to treat or help them are not proving successful, please call us at (614)888-4050.  In most cases, the sooner you contact us, the greater probability for successful treatment and lower expense.

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