Canine Care Guides

Deworming and Prevention of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Dogs and Cats

Gastrointestinal (GI) parasites include any parasites that live in the stomach or intestines of a host. A variety of GI parasites affect dogs and cats. They range from roundworms and tapeworms, which are visible with the naked eye, to microscopic organisms like coccidia and Giardia. Regardless of their size, GI parasites can cause serious illness and sometimes even death in pets. Some parasites are  zoonotic, which means humans can become infected.

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Ear Hematoma

An ear hematoma is a pocket of blood that forms within the exterior portion of a pet’s ear. Although both dogs and cats can have ear hematomas, the condition is more common in dogs.

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Ear Infections and Your Pet

Ear infections generally begin as inflammation of the skin inside the outer ear canal. Once the inflammation is present, discharge, redness, and other characteristics of an ear infection become established.

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Ear Mites in Dogs and Cats

Ear mites are small parasites that live on an animal’s body, particularly in the ears of dogs and cats. Ear mites sustain themselves by eating skin cells, blood, and earwax. They deposit their waste (a dark, crusty debris) in the ear of the host animal. They also mate and produce eggs in the ear of the host. The mite’s entire life cycle is only about 3 weeks, and the mite spends its whole life on the animal. Ear mites are contagious to some other animals (for example, cats, dogs, and ferrets), but they are not contagious to humans.

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Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a painful, developmental disease that affects the elbow joints. The disease has a genetic basis, but nutrition and other factors play a role as well. Large breed dogs (such as Great Danes and Labrador retrievers) can be affected, as well as smaller dogs, like Dachshunds. Elbow dysplasia is essentially a failure of the bones and cartilage in the joint to grow and develop properly. Affected dogs experience pain, varying degrees of lameness, and may have elbow joints that are nonfunctional.

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