Capitol Illini Newsletter
In the FALL 2013 Issue ...
Tales of family reunions….
What would happen if your dog or cat wandered away from home? Would your furry companion find its way back home?
With the powers of micro- chipping your pet, your worries of losing your pet can be comforted with this permanent identification.
Microchipping is a simple procedure where the veterinarian injects a microchip underneath the skin, usually be-tween the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a routine shot, and your pet will not react any more than to a vaccination. A microchip is permanent pet ID and will last the life of your pet. If a pet gets lost and found, an animal shelter or veterinarian office can scan the microchip for the pet’s unique ID code. This number is used to retrieve contact in-formation and reunite you with your pet. Oliver, shown to the left, came to Capitol Illini as a stray cat. A microchip was found and the search for the owner began. Although the registration of the pet owner had changed, the use of Facebook helped track down Oliver’s owner and they were reunited. Rocko , shown above, wandered off from home one day. With the help of a microchip, he was reunited with family 12 hours later.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
An occasional vomiting or diarrhea episode seems to be pretty standard for dogs and cats. Still, many owners may notice their pet seems to be vomiting more frequently or not having normal stools lately, or ever. Perhaps there has been weight loss over time but nothing acute. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is probably the most common cause of chronic intestinal clinical signs. What is inflammatory bowel disease? IBD refers to the condition that results when cells involved in inflammation and immune response are abnormally called into the lining of the digestive tract. This infiltration thickens the bowel lining. It interferes with absorption and motility. The bowel’s function is disrupted resulting in poor ability to contract and absorb. Chronic vomiting results if the infiltration is in the stomach or upper area of the small intestine. A watery diarrhea with weight loss occurs if infiltration occurs in the small intestine. A mucous diarrhea with fresh blood occurs when the large intestine is infiltrated. Of course, the entire gastrointestinal tract from top to bottom may be involved.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association defines IBD as an inflammatory infiltration for which no specific cause can be found. The actual stimulation may be by-products from bacteria, digested food, or something yet unknown. Therapy is directed at suppressing the immunological/inflammatory infiltration and low antigen diets. The diagnosis of IBD requires tissue biopsies. Prior to biopsies, less invasive diagnostic tests may be performed in order to rule out other diseases that may cause similar signs. First step is running blood work and urinalysis. These tests can rule out other possible problems such as kidney or liver disease. Fecal testing and deworming is often performed to rule out parasites. An abdominal ultrasound and/or endoscopy is generally recommended.
A diet change is an essential part of the treatment for IBD. The diets that have shown success are hydrolyzed protein diets or novel proteins. Hydrolyzed proteins are “predigested” so as to create protein segments that are too small to stimulate the immune system. Novel protein diets mean using an unusual protein the animal has never been exposed to such as rabbit, venison, or duck. Any diet change takes about a month to see a good response. Sometimes, diet is not enough and medications may be prescribed. The treatment goal is to suppress the gastrointestinal inflammation. In milder cases of large intestinal IBD, metronidazole may be able to control symptoms. Usually, prednisone or predinisolone is needed and will work on any area of the intestinal tract.
If your pet has consistent vomiting, diarrhea or chronic weight loss, consult your veterinarian. Inflammatory bowel dis-ease continues to be a common cause of chronic intestinal distress in both humans and animals. Research for less invasive tests and newer treatments is ongoing. This information was obtained at www.veterinarypartners.com
Demodectic mange, also called demodicosis, is caused by a mite. This mange is not considered contagious. It is been thought that Demodex mites are only transferable from mother to newborn pup. Mites live inside hair follicles which makes it difficult to treat and harder for chemicals to reach the mites. These mites are also normal residents of a dog’s skin. Only some individual dogs have problems caused by the mites.
Demodicosis has three forms:
1. Localized=occurs as isolated scaly bald patches. Mostly considered a puppy ailment and resolves without treatment.
2. Generalized=the entire dog is affected with patchy fur, skin infections, and bald, scaly skin.
3. Demodectic Pododermatitis=mang
Feline Fun Facts:
- Cats can make about 100 different sounds.
- A group of cats is called a clowder.
- Domestic cats can run up to 30 miles/hour for short distances.
- Domestic cats can jump up to five times their own height.
- The Egyptian word for cat is “Mau”.
- Black cats are considered lucky in Britain and Australia.
- The Cheetah is the only cat without retractable claws.
- Cats spend nearly 1/3 of their waking hours grooming.
- Cats usually have 12 whiskers on each side of their face.
“A 10 pound dog could be poisoned by as little as a stick and half of gum.”
Xylitol is a non-caloric sweetener that is widely used in sugar-free gum, as well as in sugar-free baked products. While xylitol offers sweetness without calories for humans, a small dose can be lethal for a dog.
Xylitol has two deadly effects for dogs. One, the dog can become hypoglycemic or low blood sugar. The pancreas confuses xylitol with real sugar and releases insulin to store the “sugar.” The problem is xylitol does not offer the calories of sugar and the rush of insulin only serves to remove the real sugar from circulation. Ingestion of xylitol can lead to rapid and severe drop in blood sugar levels.
The other reaction associated with xylitol in the canine body is actual destruction of liver tissue. Signs take longer to show up, typically 12-72 hours, and not all dogs experience liver necrosis. It is still unknown how this happens, but the dose required is much higher than hypoglycemic dose.
The hypoglycemic dose of xylitol for dogs is considered to be approximately 0.1 grams per kilogram of body weight (about 0.045 grams per pound). A typical stick of gum contains 0.3 to 0.4 grams of xylitol, which means that a 10 pound dog could be poisoned by as little as a stick and a half of gum. The dose to cause liver tissue destruction is 1 gram per kilogram of body weight.
Ideally, the patient should be seen quickly (within 30 minutes) and can be made to vomit the gum or candy. If longer than this, a sugar IV drip is given for a good 24 hours. Liver enzymes and blood clotting tests are monitored for 2 to 3 days.
So far, there are no known reports of xylitol toxicity in cats. At this time, feline toxicity is unknown.
Any dog having known to ingest xylitol-containing products should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Meet the Staff… Cassie
Cassie joined the Capitol Illini Staff in May 2012 as a receptionist. She plans to continue her education in the future with a focus on art. Cassie enjoys working at Capitol Illini because she is happy building relationships with the great pets and owners she meets on a daily basis. Also, she enjoys keeping the clinic laughing with her comedic talents. Outside of work, Cassie loves to spend much time with her cat, Frahnkenhead.