Although entropion is a somewhat common condition in dogs, few canine owners know about it until their dog is diagnosed. It’s important to be aware of this condition to prevent possible damage to your dog’s eyes.
Entropion is a hereditary condition in which a dog’s eyelid is rolled inward. This causes irritation to the eye, which can become so severe over time that it can cause permanent damage to the dog’s eye and vision. Entropion is painful for a dog, especially if he develops chronic conjunctivitis or lesions of the cornea.
Symptoms of entropion include excess discharge and tearing from the eye. Your dog will often be squinting due to irritation and sensitivity to light. The afflicted eye will often look red, and you may see white spots on the cornea. If you suspect your pet has entropion, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian right away to prevent severe complications. A vet will be able to properly diagnose this condition.
The only treatment for entropion is a surgery that tightens the eye lid to prevent it from folding inward. Multiple surgeries may be required if your dog has developed entropion on more than one eyelid or if the condition is especially severe.
Since entropion is hereditary, there is no way to prevent it except to avoid breeding dogs that have this condition. Although entropion occurs in many breeds, it seems to be particularly severe in mastiffs and chows. Always let us know if your dog is experiencing eye irritation.
Feline acne is a medical condition that is more serious than the name makes it sound. We think of acne in humans as a relatively harmless case of pimples; however, feline acne can become serious if not treated. The bacteria, which usually causes black, oily spots on a cat’s chin, can create an infection that can spread throughout the body and make your precious fur ball very sick!
The most common symptom of feline acne is black pimples on the chin or lip area. These can develop into abscesses that break open, forming crusts. Swelling, itching and hair loss may be present in severe cases, and secondary infections can develop.
Although a definitive cause of feline acne is unknown, stress, poor grooming, and a suppressed immune system can be factors, as can the presence of other skin conditions such as atopic or contact dermatitis. There is also some evidence linking the disease to a cat’s sensitivity to plastic and dyes.
Bring your cat to see us if you notice symptoms of feline acne. We will rule out other conditions such as ringworm, allergies or yeast infections. We may use skin scrapings, a biopsy, or a culture and sensitivity test to get an accurate diagnosis.
Like human acne, feline acne is difficult to “cure,” but we can treat it. Antiseborrheic shampoos or benzoyl peroxide gels can help break down the excess oils. We may prescribe oral or topical antibiotics if there is a secondary bacterial infection, or corticosteroids if there is much inflammation.
At home, owners should regularly clean the chins of cats who are prone to the development of feline acne, and switch to glass or stainless-steel food and water dishes. Be mindful of circumstances that cause your kitty stress, and minimalize these stressful conditions.
One of the most important decisions a pet owner will make is whether to spay or neuter their pet. Unfortunately, pet overpopulation is a heartbreaking problem. The Humane Society estimates that there are more than 3 million homeless pets in the U.S., and most—2.7 million—are euthanized each year.
We know spaying or neutering is the responsible thing to do; plus, your pet will be more likely to focus their attention on their human family. But another good reason to spay or neuter is that your pet will live a healthier, longer life! A 2013 study found that dogs living in U.S. states with the highest rates of spaying/neutering also live the longest, with neutered males living 18% longer and spayed females living 23% longer than unneutered/unspayed dogs.
Spaying female dogs and cats before their first heat cycle reduces her risk of uterine infections such as pyometra, uterine cancer, and breast cancer, which can be fatal.
Unneutered males will do just about anything to find a mate and are more likely to visit our hospital after having been hit by a car, injured in a fight with another male, or contracting other diseases and injuries associated with roaming. Neutering male dogs and cats can help prevent testicular cancer and will also make him less likely to roam, less aggressive, and better natured in general than an intact male.
Neutering cats and dogs requires only a short hospitalization and offers lifelong health benefits. Although spays and neuters are generally safe procedures, they should only be performed by a knowledgeable veterinarian who is familiar with your pet and can provide proper follow-up care.
Hurray for fall! It brings cooler temperatures and wonderful celebrations at Halloween and Thanksgiving. Keeping your pet safe will bring more joy to the season. Follow these tips:
· Keep candy away from pets, especially anything containing chocolate or xylitol, which can make them very sick!
· Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach.
· Keep pets inside and be sure they are micro-chipped in case of escape while trick-or-treaters are at the door.
· Halloween costumes may be cute on your pet but if it’s obstructive, uncomfortable or causes stress, resist the urge!
· Many traditional Thanksgiving foods are poisonous to pets: Turkey skin or fat can cause life-threatening
pancreatitis. Poultry bones can splinter in the throat, and holiday sweets can have poisonous ingredients. Be sure
guests don’t drop food under the table where pets can reach it and keep the trash out of reach.
· Other people foods that can be harmful include yeast dough, onions, raisins and grapes.
· Watch your pets around visitors, especially small pets that may get stepped on and those that may bite when
provoked or are susceptible to stress.
· Don’t forget your pet’s well-being if you are traveling! Make arrangements for their comfort and security.
It can be a scary situation for both you and your pet if your pet runs away and is unable to find his way home. Microchip technology has helped many lost pets return home. The tiny chip is implanted under your pet’s skin with a hypodermic needle in a quick procedure that causes no more discomfort than a typical injection. If your lost pet is found, a veterinarian or shelter uses a scanner that is passed over the area, and the chip transmits an identification number that guides them to the database where your contact information is registered.
Microchipping substantially increases the likelihood of finding your lost pet. According to the AVMA, a study of more than 7,700 pets at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, while microchipped dogs were returned 52.2% of the time! Cats without microchips were reunited only 1.8% of the time, compared with 38.5% of microchipped felines!
If your pets are not yet microchipped, please call us to make an appointment and help ensure that your lost pet will return home.