Seizuring is a disturbing but relatively common condition seen in pet dogs and only occasionally in cats. A seizure is extremely distressing for both pets and their owners and veterinary attention should be sought immediately. Episodes may range from a few seconds of tremoring or disorientation through to a longer period of loss of consciousness and paddling of limbs. The prolonged or “grand mal” type of seizure can cause the body temperature to rise and lead to brain and organ damage. Immediate veterinary treatment with sedatives and anti-seizure drugs is needed if the episode doesn’t quickly stop.
Lumps in dogs and cats occur in all shapes and sizes and in all locations ranging from the skin, mouth, toes and eyelids. Naturally the common question vets are asked when seeing a pet with a lump is “What is it?”. This is a very good question but not one we can always answer without performing some important tests. The first step is for the vet to examine the pet and the lump thoroughly. The next step if the patient will allow is to aspirate a small sample from the lump using a fine needle and examine it under the clinic microscope. This will help rule out different types of lumps such as an abscess, a fatty lump or cyst, or a solid growth or mass. When a solid mass is suspected we recommend a biopsy be performed and sent away for analysis by a veterinary pathologist. This is the best way to have a 100% diagnosis made. Many lumps, even if cancerous or malignant, can be surgically removed and cured, whatever the age of your pet. Hence with any lump it is best to have it seen as soon as possible as even harmless looking lumps can turn out to be serious. Another reason for urgent attention is that a small lump is much easier to remove than a large one. Check your dog and cat regularly for any unusual lumps and bumps and if concerned see your vet. This is Jerry the Staffordshire Bull Terrier who had a skin lump removed at our vet clinic this week.
Parasite treatment is often considered a priority in summer with owners concerned about fleas, however parasites are actually prevalent at all times of the year. Skin problems caused by flea-bite allergy are a common parasite related problem treated by the vet. A single flea bite can make a dog scratch for weeks and cause redness and hair loss around the thighs and rump. Affected cats tend to have scabs in their coat or over-groom rather than scratch. A monthly spot-on from your vet clinic is usually the most effective treatment together with medications to relieve the itch if severe. An exciting new meaty chew for dogs that prevent fleas for 3 months with a single dose is proving very popular. Beside fleas we also need to provide pets with year round protection from intestinal worms. Puppies and kittens need to be wormed every 2-4 weeks until 6 months of age. Adult pets should be treated at least every 3 months, or once each season may be easier to remember. Dogs can also be protected from heartworm disease which is spread by mosquitoes biting and is highly prevalent around lakes and rivers. Heartworm protection can be easily provided with a once-a-year injection by your vet and can be timed to coincide with your pets annual vaccination. Combined treatments for fleas, worming and heartworm are also available and are given every month as a spot-on or oral preparation. Talk to your vet to find out what products will suit your pet household best and ensure parasites are prevented ALL year round! This is Dakota the 3 year old cat who gets regularly wormed at our clinic.