Archive for March, 2012

Pet Fecal Exams are and excellent Diagnostic and Preventive Tool

Friday, March 30th, 2012

This question comes up every day at veterinary hospitals; how important is the laboratory analysis of a dog or cat’s stool? Years ago, fecal exams were done only on animals with digestive problems, either diarrhea or vomiting. But times have changed and so has our knowledge of disease-causing parasites.

First, there are newer ones that, years ago, never existed in our local environment. Just a few years ago, we rarely saw hookworm or whipworm infections. But as people have moved with their pets from other parts of the country into South County, these “bugs” have emerged as a potential problem. In addition to intestinal worms, protozoa (named giardia) are nearly endemic in many parts of California, causing digestive upset in animals and people. And those pet store over-the-counter medications? Unfortunately, they’re not effective in eliminating many of these parasites.

Veterinarians and medical doctors are keenly aware that some animal parasites can also infect children, causing serious illnesses including blindness and paralysis. It’s a nasty world out there and we can’t just look the other way. So we’re always on the lookout.

I’m sure your vet made the right decision insisting on that fecal exam. Considering your pooch’s weight loss, it makes sense to check into the potential for a parasitic problem. Fecal exams should be done whenever there are signs of indigestion, weight loss or unthriftyness. It’s good medicine for your pooch AND for your family.


 Pete Keesling is a retired veterinarian and hosts Dr. Pete’s Petpourri, Sundays at 1 p.m. and Friday mornings at 7:10 on KSCO 1080 AM. Reach him at  Morgan Hill, CA

Top 10 Cat and Dog Medical Conditions of 2011

Friday, March 30th, 2012

From the Animal Endocrine Center Blog

Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Reveals Most Common Causes of Veterinary Visits

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently sorted its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat medical conditions in 2011. Click here to see the original report from VPI or see the lists below.
For cats, notice that two endocrine problems, hyperthyroidism and diabetes, were among the top 5 most common feline diseases. For dogs, the only endocrine problem that made the top 10 list was hypothyroidism, but I suspect that hyperadrenocorticism Cushing’s syndreome) and diabetes were not far behind.

Top 10 pet medical conditions, according to Veterinary Pet Insurance’s database of more than 485,000 insured pets:
  1. Lower urinary tract disease
  2. Gastritis
  3. Chronic renal failure
  4. Hyperthyroidism
  5. Diabetes mellitus
  6. Enteritis/diarrhea
  7. Skin allergy
  8. Periodontitis/dental disease
  9. Ear infection
  10. Upper respiratory infection
  1. Ear infection
  2. Skin allergy
  3. Skin infection/hot spots
  4. Gastritis/vomiting
  5. Enteritis/diarrhea
  6. Arthritis
  7. Bladder infection
  8. Soft tissue trauma
  9. Non-cancerous tumor
  10. Hypothyroidism

The Power of Canines to Calm Courtrooms

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Courtrooms  are stressful and scary places where victims and witnesses come face to face  with murderers and sex offenders.

But Pierce County will soon use  a specially trained dog to provide a calming and comforting influence during  interviews, arraignments, sentencings and perhaps even trials.

Meet Kiley, a 2-year-old yellow  Labrador retriever.

She will be the courthouse dog  in the County-City Building in Tacoma, at least on a temporary basis. She’s been  raised, trained and certified so she can work in a courthouse.

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