Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by a single celled parasite called Leishmania and is transmitted by a biting sandfly. (1) The disease is common in tropical and subtropical areas where the sandfly is found such as the Mediterranean basin (e.g., Italy, Spain and Portugal), the Balkans, central and southwest Asia, north and northwest China, north and sub-Saharan Africa, and parts of Central and South America. (6) The disease has now moved to Northwest Italy and North America. (2) Leishmania infantum is the strain of the parasite found in the old world and Leishmania chagasi in the New World. (6) There is a vaccine available and a blood test in the UK if your pet has travelled to Spain or surrounding areas.
Caring for a dog during the winter months requires you to be extra vigilant. The harsh, cold conditions of winter weather can wreak havoc on man’s best friend. There are many things you can do to ensure your dog is properly cared for throughout the rough winter season.
Pancreatitis in dogs and cats is a disease that has been around for a long time but until recently the only way of diagnosing it was with an ultrasound or surgery and a biopsy. The blood test and the in-house test that can be run at the vets was launched two to three years ago and since then, many more pets are being diagnosed with pancreatitis than ever before.
Hip dysplasia is mainly a problem in medium to large breed dogs. The dog breeds most commonly affected are the German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, St. Bernard and Golden Retriever. It is also becoming more prevalent in certain breeds such as the Rottweiler and the Border Collie. Certain kennel clubs and federations have taken great steps with breeding programmes to reduce the incidence of hip dysplasia in puppies that are registered and tested for the problem. The main problem lies in backyard breeders and people that have a litter at home with their dogs as they may not be aware of, or test for hip dysplasia.
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Treating ear infections first of all involves diagnosing the cause of the ear infection and treating it. Many pet owners think that if their pet had an ear infection before and the drops they got from their vet worked the last time, if they buy more of the same drops the drops will cure it. But not all ear infections are the same, even if the discharge looks similar to a previous ear infection. Ear drops on the market can either contain a specific antifungal or antibacterial or, be a simple flushing drop with an altered pH (usual over the counter type ear drops), or have a combination of an antifungal, antibiotic and a cortisone (steroid) to treat allergies. They can get quite pricey so its worthwhile getting the ear infection properly diagnosed prior to putting any ear drops in.
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FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) is a fatal viral disease of cats caused by a Corona virus that mutates. Symptoms include recurring fevers, lethargy, anorexia, weight loss, jaundice, large distended bellied filled with yellow fluid, inflammation of the eye, seizures, diarrhoea and death. There is no reliable cure and diagnosis is tricky.
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