A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O PQ R S T U V W X Y Z 

A

Abscesses: Abscesses are inflamed areas filled with pus which are caused by bacteria from a puncture wound or a severe scratch. The surface of the wound closes up, sealing bacteria and debris inside. Lancing of the abscess may be necessary to allow pus to drain, and antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the infection.

Antacids: for gastric upsets and vomiting, Maalox and Mylanta work well. For a Cat - 1 tsp. per 5 lb. For a Dog - 1 Tbs. per 15 lb.

Antidiarrheal Agents: Kaopectate for cats.  Kaopectate or Pepto Bismol for dogs. Cat - 1 tsp. as often as 5 times daily. Dog - 1 Tbs. up to 5 times daily. If the diarrhea is not gone after one day, call your veterinarian. Warning: Do not give Pepto Bismol to cats.

Antiseptic Cream: for minor cuts. Be sure that the one you use is described as safe for small children.

B

Behavior: Contrary to what you may think, you can teach an old dog new tricks. You don't have to live with behavior problems. Many of the most common disagreeable behaviors such as barking, biting, spraying, urinating or defecating in the house, etc., can be eliminated with the right mixture of care, patience and understanding. After it has been ascertained that the problem is a psychological one and not a physical one, there are many programs that can be implemented. There are specialists in the field of animal behavior modification who have had repeated success with even some of the most frustrating problems. Don't think your only options are to live with the problems or get rid of the pet. A little training can go a long way. Consult your veterinarian to find a program that will work for you.

Bloat: Gastric dilation is a life threatening disease that is characterized by a tremendous ballooning(dilation) of the stomach with gas. This frequently is followed by a twisting of the stomach that closes both the inlet and the outlet of the stomach. The stomach area will appear tense and bloated. Your dog will act very uncomfortable and possibly pant, pace, and/or vomit. Shock and heart failure develop quickly. Most cases occur in large deep-chested dogs. The disorder appears suddenly in seemingly healthy dogs. Call your veterinarian immediately if you see symptoms of bloat.

Breeding: Your pet should receive a complete physical examination and be given any necessary vaccinations. A stool sample should be checked for intestinal parasites. Large breed dogs (both female and male) should be examined and be free of hip dysplasia. Female cats should test negative for FeLV virus infection (feline leukemia), which can cause abortion, stillbirth, and other reproductive problems.

Burns: Skin appears red, inflamed, or blistered. Your pet may bite or paw at the injured area. Apply cold water, or a cold compress. A slight burn can be treated with a paste of baking soda and cool water.

C

Choking: The animal gags and/or drools; swallowing is painful so appetite often diminishes. While someone holds the pet, check for any objects in the throat. Don't probe too deeply; additional gagging may worsen the condition. Call your veterinarian.

Choosing a pet: Choosing the right pet for you and your lifestyle will make both of your lives a lot happier. Ask yourself some important questions before you go to the animal shelter or pet store: Do you have room for a pet? Do you work all day or are you frequently out of town for extended periods? Are you aware that having a pet can limit your options in renting a place to live? Are you prepared for the expense, and the time needed to feed, shelter, and care for your pet? These are hard questions but well worth considering. A pet is a major addition to your household, in fact a wonderful one! But he or she may be with you for the next 10 to 20 years of your life, so don't make a snap decision.

Convulsions and Fits: Your pet may run frantically, "swim" on the floor, his eyes may appear glassy, or he may foam at the mouth. Be careful! Your pet may also bite! Move your pet to a dark, quiet room. Keep him warm. Call your veterinarian.

Coughing: Sneezing and coughing can have many causes such as respiratory infections, foreign bodies (a blade of grass) caught in the airways, allergies, tumors, and kennel cough in dogs, a highly contagious respiratory disease complex. If coughing or sneezing persists for more than 24 hours, consult your veterinarian.

Cuts: Clip the hair around the wound and wash the wound and surrounding area with an antibacterial cleanser. If bleeding is profuse, apply pressure with a clean handkerchief over the wound.

D

Diarrhea: Kaopectate for cats.  Kaopectate or Pepto Bismol for dogs. Cat - 1 tsp. as often as 5 times daily. Dog - 1 Tbs. up to 5 times daily. If the diarrhea is not gone after one day, call your veterinarian. Warning: Do not give Pepto Bismol to cats.

Drugs: There are many drugs commonly used by people that are potentially dangerous to animals, for example, the improper use of aspirin can be fatal to cats. Please consult your veterinarian before administering medications. Here is a list of common medications which have been proven safe to animals in the doses specified.

E

Exams: Regular health examinations can go a long way in ensuring a long life for your pet. Early signs of disease can be identified and medical treatment can begin before serious damage occurs. An exam should be given at least once a year. This can be combined with your pet's annual vaccinations.

Exercise: Animals are just like people, exercise is good for them both mentally and physically. Especially as your pet ages, exercise helps to burn calories and keep bodies sleek, strong and less susceptible to disease.

Eye Infections: Eye appears red, swollen, or inflamed; the area around the eye is matted with a mucus discharge. Clean matted area around the eye with warm water; check for injuries or penetrating wounds to the eye itself. Call your veterinarian.

Feline Distemper: Feline distemper is highly contagious and is spread through contact with other cats' saliva, feces, etc. Symptoms: depression, fever, yellowish vomit, convulsions and diarrhea.

F

Feline Leukemia (FeLV): Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is considered the leading cause of cat deaths. Most infected animals die in three years or less. It is a highly contagious virus that is carried in saliva, feces, etc. Blood tests can be taken to check for FeLV. Possible symptoms: leukemia, cancerous tumors, and impaired immune response.

Feline Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus: Feline Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus are contagious diseases that affect the respiratory system of cats. They are most threatening to kittens. Symptoms: sneezing, discharge from eyes and nose, and excessive salivation.

Feline Urologic Syndrome: Urinating outside the litter box may be your cat's way of telling you it has F.U.S. Feline Urologic Syndrome (bladder infection or formation of crystals in the cat's bladder). Examination of your cat by a veterinarian can determine whether the problem is physical or behavioral.

Fits and convulsions: Your pet may run frantically, "swim" on the floor, his eyes may appear glassy, or he may foam at the mouth. Be careful! Your pet may also bite! Move your pet to a dark, quiet room. Keep him warm. Call your veterinarian.

Fleas: External parasite; Other skin problems such as mites (mange) or allergies may cause your pet to scratch. Consult your veterinarian.

Fracture: Leg dangles loosely, animal limps. Muzzle the animal with a strip of cloth if necessary. Carefully wrap the broken leg with newspaper for support as a temporary splint. Place him on plywood so that he can be carried without undue movement. Keep him warm with a blanket. Take him to your veterinarian as soon as possible!

G

Gastric dilation: or bloat is a life threatening disease that is characterized by a tremendous ballooning(dilation) of the stomach with gas. This frequently is followed by a twisting of the stomach that closes both the inlet and the outlet of the stomach. The stomach area will appear tense and bloated. Your dog will act very uncomfortable and possibly pant, pace, and/or vomit. Shock and heart failure develop quickly. Most cases occur in large deep-chested dogs. The disorder appears suddenly in seemingly healthy dogs. Call your veterinarian immediately if you see symptoms of bloat.

Geriatrics: Animals age at different rates than humans but the effects of time can be similar. Arthritis, diabetes, heart failure, blindness, deafness are but a few of the problems that older pets share with older people. A thorough annual geriatric exam, often including laboratory tests (blood tests, EKG, x-ray, etc.) can help identify problems early. Remember: young animals and older animals are the ones most susceptible to disease and illness so be sure to vaccinate regularly.

H

Hairballs: for cats, professional medication can be purchased from your veterinarian or you can try Vaseline or mineral oil - 1 tsp. in the cat's food 2 times a week.

Heartworms: Heartworms are found most often in dogs. They are parasites that spend their adult life in the right side of the heart and its large vessels. Check with your veterinarian for the risk factor in your particular area. To protect your pet against becoming infected with heartworms, your veterinarian can prescribe a preventative medication. If you travel with your pet, ask your veterinarian about the risks of heartworm for the areas of the country that you will be traveling with your pet.

"Heats": or periods of fertility occur seasonally in female animals. Dogs come into heat twice a year. Heats last about two weeks. A bloody vaginal discharge may be noticed in the first week. Female dogs should not be bred until their second heat cycle. Cats come into heat seasonally beginning in January until July and may be in heat every two weeks during this time. The most obvious signs of heat are your cat's increased roaming, excessive friendliness or howling. Keep your pet confined indoors if you don't want her to become pregnant.

Heatstroke: Excessive panting, rapid breathing; body temperature can become as high as 108F; physical collapse; unconsciousness. Move your pet to a cool place and away from direct sunlight; fan body to provide additional cooling. Bring to your veterinarian immediately.

Hemorrhage and cuts: Clip the hair around the wound and wash the wound and surrounding area with an antibacterial cleanser. If bleeding is profuse, apply pressure with a clean handkerchief over the wound.

Hepatitis: is a highly contagious, potentially fatal viral disease of dogs. It is passed in body fluids of infected dogs. Symptoms: loss of appetite, fever, abdominal pain and nasal discharge.

Hygiene: not only makes your pet feel better but also gives you and your pet a chance to be together. It's a good time to check your pet's visible health and catch minor medical problems before they become major.

I

Intestinal parasites: cause many different kinds of problems in animals. An examination of your pet's stool can identify the problem so it may be quickly eradicated.

K

Kennel Cough: is a contagious upper respiratory disease of dogs which can progress to pneumonia. It spreads quickly from dog to dog in close confinement. Symptoms: persistent, dry hacking cough.

L

Lab Tests: Laboratory examination of your pet's urine and blood are two of the most powerful diagnostic tools available. When blood and urine sampling is necessary, usually in an older pet or a pet displaying signs of illness, testing can indicate the type and severity of the problem.

Leptospirosis: can be fatal if the liver or kidneys are severely damaged. It is passed by inhaling or ingesting bacteria shed in other dogs' urine. Symptoms: fever, depression, stiffness of muscles, loss of appetite, blood in feces, and vomitus.

Life span: of dogs and cats varies. On the average small dogs live longer (16-18 years) than large dogs (which typically live from 10-12 years). Cats will often live up to 18 years.

M

Motion Sickness: Drooling, nausea, vomiting. Stop the car and take your pet for a short walk. Medication is available for motion sickness. Your veterinarian can prescribe tranquilizers or motion sickness pills.

N

Newborns: sleep and nurse most of the time. If they cry constantly, they are probably chilled, sick, or hungry. Eyes open when they are 10-14 days old (kittens and puppies). They will begin nibbling food at 3-4 weeks of age. Weaning can be completed at approximately 6 weeks. First vaccines should be given when the puppies/kittens are 6-8 weeks old. When 6-12 weeks old they should be ready for a new home.

Nose: A dry or warm nose doesn't give any indication about the health of your pet. A warm nose doesn't necessarily mean your pet has a fever. The only way to tell is to take his temperature.

Nutrition: Pets often eat better than do their human owners. Their diet may seem boring but it's balanced, consistent, and most pet foods are formulated to supply everything your pet needs...no table scraps necessary. Warning: It's tempting to give your animal treats, but they can often do more harm than good. Amazingly enough, chocolate, even in fairly small amounts, can be fatal to dogs and cats.

O

Obedience training: can begin in short sessions about the same time as housebreaking. Start with leash training and simple commands such as sit and heel. Your puppy can begin formal obedience classes at 4 months of age. Call your veterinarian for the names of obedience trainers. Suggested books on training are: How to be Your Dog's Best Friend by The Monks of New Skete, and No More Bad Dogs by Barbara Woodhouse.

Obesity: Obesity is a common problem among dogs and cats. The primary cause of obesity is overfeeding an inactive animal. Just as in people, obesity can be harmful to your pet. Proper exercise and a good diet are necessary to help your pet lose weight. Consult your veterinarian for an appropriate weight loss program.

P

Parasites: cause many different kinds of problems in animals. An examination of your pet's stool can identify the problem so it may be quickly eradicated.

Parvovirus : Infected animals can die from complications of severe dehydration and shock. Transmission occurs when dogs ingest feces of infected dogs. Symptoms: depression, loss of appetite, bloody and watery diarrhea with rancid odor.

Poisoning: Your pet cries, crouches, has labored breathing, drools, vomits, trembles, or may be in a coma. If your pet has ingested poison and you can identify it, contact your veterinarian or the local poison control center (629-1123). When vomiting is recommended, use a hydrogen peroxide solution or syrup of ipecac. (With some poisons, however, it is harmful to induce vomiting.) If you can't get your pet to a hospital immediately, give him activated charcoal, milk, egg whites, or milk of magnesia to help absorb the poison.

Pregnancy: lasts approximately 63 days in both cats and dogs. The mother's appetite will increase dramatically in the last third of pregnancy. Prepare a special whelping box with the mother's usual bedding for the birth. The temperature should be kept at 85 F for the birth and the first week. Newborns sleep and nurse most of the time. If they cry constantly, they are probably chilled, sick, or hungry. Eyes open when they are 10-14 days old (kittens and puppies). They will begin nibbling food at 3-4 weeks of age. Weaning can be completed at approximately 6 weeks. First vaccines should be given when the puppies/kittens are 6-8 weeks old. When 6-12 weeks old they should be ready for a new home.

R

Rabies: is a virus transmitted through bites of infected animals (including skunks, rats and raccoons). It affects the spinal cord and brain. Symptoms: excitement, paralysis, and personality changes.

Reproduction: More than 26 million puppies, dogs, kittens, and cats are destroyed at humane societies every year. And this figure does not include all of the stray animals killed in the environment. Spaying or neutering your pet is a way for you to help stop this needless tragedy of unwanted animals dying.

S

Scooting: on the hindquarters and excessive tail licking may be an indication of either worms or anal sac disease. An exam can easily diagnose the problem so treatment can begin.

Senior Pets: Animals age at different rates than humans but the effects of time can be similar. Arthritis, diabetes, heart failure, blindness, deafness are but a few of the problems that older pets share with older people. A thorough annual geriatric exam, often including laboratory tests (blood tests, EKG, x-ray, etc.) can help identify problems early. Remember: young animals and older animals are the ones most susceptible to disease and illness so be sure to vaccinate regularly.

Sneezing and coughing: can have many causes such as respiratory infections, foreign bodies (a blade of grass) caught in the airways, allergies, tumors, and kennel cough in dogs, a highly contagious respiratory disease complex. If coughing or sneezing persists for more than 24 hours, consult your veterinarian.

Split Nails: Profuse bleeding from foot; dog limps. Wash the injured toe with an antibacterial cleanser; wrap with cotton and adhesive tape. If necessary, pack with talcum powder, flour, or styptic powder to help stop the bleeding.

T

Tail licking: Scooting on the hindquarters and excessive tail licking may be an indication of either worms or anal sac disease. An exam can easily diagnose the problem so treatment can begin.

Teeth: One of the most common human and animal diseases is periodontal (gum) disease. The buildup of plaque and then tartar on the teeth leads to gum infections, root infections, bad breath, and eventually tooth loss. The hard chewing action of dry food can help reduce the potential of dental problems as can daily cleaning with a soft toothbrush or gauze. Most important for a healthy mouth is periodic professional care, which includes a thorough cleaning and scraping of plaque under general anesthesia. After cleaning, the teeth are polished so that plaque has a more difficult time adhering to the surface of the tooth, an important step in preventative dentistry.

Temperature: normal temperature for a cat is 100-103F; a dog's normal temperature is 99.5-102.5F.

Ticks: External parasites They can carry a number of diseases. To discourage ticks from lodging on your pet, use a powder, dip or spray insecticide. Check your pet often. If you find a tick, dab it with alcohol, grasp it with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pull straight out.

Training: your pet can begin at an early age. Housebreaking should begin when your puppy is 7-8 weeks old. Frequent walks (especially after meals and play) and praising the puppy when it goes is the most effective way to housebreak your dog.

Travel: Long trips can be hard on anybody: human or animal. But travel need not be traumatic for pets.

V

Vaccinations: are an essential part of a good health maintenance program for your pet. They provide protection from highly contagious, often fatal diseases. Most vaccines need to be given yearly; rabies is given every two years. Consult your veterinarian for more information.

W

Worms: and intestinal parasites cause many different kinds of problems in animals. An examination of your pet's stool can identify the problem so it may be quickly eradicated.

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