Pet obesity is becoming a major health concern, and something we are seeing more and more. We are now asking pet owners to get on board with a drive to help reduce the number of overweight pets, and help to keep their pets in tip top condition. So, I hear you cry, "Why does it matter if my best furry friend has a bit of extra weight? Doesn't it make him more cute and cuddly?”
Just as human vaccines have eradicated devastating diseases such as smallpox and polio, pet vaccinations are a vital weapon in the fight against the many diseases that threaten our beloved pets. Take parvo (parvovirus), for example. This horrific virus causes viral gastroenteritis in dogs that literally strips the lining of the intestine. It's hideously painful and often results in death. Parvo is also highly contagious. Just a single gram of faeces infected with parvo can spread the disease to another 1,000 animals. The virus will also stay in the environment for about 12 months, and can even survive on your shoes and clothes for up to six months.
If your cat or dog is not doing the things it usually does as routine then most likely there is something wrong with them. But how do you decipher the problems and fix them before they become an issue? Most pet owners get a good idea of what their cat or dog’s regular routines are. Some cats love jumping up on a particular chair or table. Some are particularly active—others, not so much. Sometimes we all wish our furry family members could talk so they could tell us what’s wrong, so while we wait for a feline translating device to be made (ahem! Google?), you should be reading your pet’s body language and taking them for regular vet check-ups. Dogs don’t whinge, complain or tell you they don’t feel well. Whingeing is a human thing. You whinge because your partner cares about what you have to say. Dogs don't whinge because no-one likes it. It doesn't get them anything, so they’ve learned not to do it. They suffer in silence, so we don't realise they're unwell. We don't realise they're unwell unless they stop eating, or they're vomiting, or drinking 10 litres of water. We often miss the subtle signs of ageing. So, what are those subtle signs?
Heartworm is a potentially fatal parasite (Dirofilaria immitis) that lives in the heart and the blood vessels around the heart. What is heartworm disease? Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets and is caused by foot-long worms that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets, but the dog is a natural host, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring.