Cuterebra in Cats and Dogs – AKA Warbles

cuterebra botfly

If your dog or cat is outside and chasing or hunting for rodents such as mice, rats or rabbits, he or she may accidentally pick up a nasty passenger – a cuterebra or botfly.

Cuterebra is the scientific name of the North American rodent botfly. Also known as “warbles” (sounds so cute but it really isn’t!), there are 26 different species in the U.S. and Canada and, can also be found in Mexico and other neo-tropical regions.

How Does My Cat or Dog Get Warbles?

botfly cuterebra larvae The botfly’s eggs develop parasitically in rodents and rabbits. So, in order to be close to their preferred hosts, adult female cuterebra lay their eggs – approximately 5-15 per site – around entrances to rodent dens or nests, as well as along runways used by the rodents.

So, when Fido or Kitty hunt for those pesky mice and get close to their hide-outs, they may brush against the eggs and accidentally pick them up in their fur. Then the fun begins.

The Life of the Cuterebra

The cuterebra eggs in your pet’s fur are stimulated by her body heat and hatch. Then the maggot or “warble” crawls around until it finds an opening into the body (mouth, nose, open wounds, etc.).

botfly aka horsefly

Depending on the type of species of botfly, it will migrate to a specific location in the subcutaneous tissue (the tissue beneath the skin). It forms a breathing hole through the skin and starts to grow. The breathing hole creates swelling and infection that you can actually see.

It takes about 30 days for it to mature and leave your pet, after which it burrows into the soil to finish its development into an adult fly.

Note that the possibility for cuterebra infestation is seasonal. In the northern U.S. and Canada, most cases occur in the summer and early fall when the adult flies are active. In warmer climates, infestations can occur during longer periods of the year.

Which Animals Are More Prone To Get Cuterebra Warbles?

Warbles in Cats Because cats and terriers tend to hunt rodents, they are more likely to get the warbles. Most cases of warbles occur around the head and neck, because your pet is sniffing or digging around the rodent’s contaminated nest.

But even if your cat or dog doesn’t hunt, it’s still possible for them to brush against grass blades where cuterebra eggs have been laid and pick up the infestation. And even newborn kittens can be infected if the mother brings home cuterebra larvae in her fur.

What Are The Symptoms?

The most obvious symptom is a lesion or raised opening in the skin that contains the warble maggot. It’s usually about 1 cm in diameter. As the warble matures, the hole gets bigger. Sometimes you won’t see anything until after the maggot has left your cat or dog and the empty place becomes infected or develops into an abscess.

Depending on where the maggots migrate within your pet’s tissues, symptoms may also include:

  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Depression or lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Circling
  • Paralysis
  • Lesions in the eye / blindness

How Is Cuterebra Diagnosed?

If your vet sees that lesion with the maggot in it, the diagnosis is easier – s/he will be able to quickly determine if it’s a warble.

cuterebra in dogs

If the warble hasn’t become obvious, however, it’s harder to diagnose, as the other symptoms listed above could also be indicators of several different health issues. That’s why it’s important to take your pet to the vet.

If the symptoms are respiratory, the vet will have to consider allergies, other possible parasites, and other causes. If the symptoms are more neurological, there are many other conditions that could cause them (such as distemper, heart worms, and rabies) and need to be ruled out.

And quite often, your cat or dog may develop secondary bacterial infections in the empty cysts left in the skin after the warble has dropped off. These infections can sometimes be worse than the actual warble.

How Does a Vet Get Rid of Warbles?

If the warble can be seen in a lesion under the skin, eyes or nose, the vet can remove it. No stitches are usually required, but if there’s a severe infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.

treatment for cuterebra

Your vet may prescribe an anti-parasitic medication to kill the maggots that are still in the migrating stage.
If the infestation has migrated to the lungs, it can be treated with corticosteroids.

If the maggot infestation has progressed to the point where it’s done irreversible neurological damage, the prognosis is poor.

Cat and Dog Cuterebra Prevention

There are a few things you can do:

  • Keep your cat or dog from hunting rodents.
  • If your area has numerous mice, rats, rabbits or other small mammals, inspect your pet frequently for any sign of warbles. The earlier you get it removed, the less like it is to cause serious or permanent damage.
  • Finally, here is the easiest way to prevent this type of infection. Keep up with your parasite prevention treatments – heartworms, flea control, and topical flea and tick treatments. These help prevent the maggots from developing and even kill them before they have a chance to crawl inside your cat or dog.

And don’t forget that Banixx Pet Care is ideal for preventing secondary bacterial infections caused by warbles. Its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial formula is easy on tissue and helps aid in the recovery of any infection. It does not sting or burn, and its soothing properties go to work immediately. Just apply it 2-3 times daily to the affected site, for a period of 2-3 days or, as needed

Will A Cat Ear Hematoma Go Away On Its Own?

cat ear hematoma

If your cat has been shaking her head repeatedly, there’s a good chance she will develop an ear hematoma or swelling of the ear flap. This situation happens because a blood vessel in the earflap ruptures, due to the violent shaking, then blood accumulates in the ear flap, and the flap feels thick and spongy.

Ear hematomas are also known as auricular or aural hematomas. They can be very sensitive and painful and involve the whole ear flap or just part of it. Your cat will be miserable, so it’s something you’ll want to address as quickly as possible.

What Causes Cat Ear Hematomas?

can you get ringworm from a cat Excessive head shaking is a leading cause of cat ear hematomas. But what typically causes a cat to shake her head so much and so hard?

The most common cause of head shaking is an ear mite infection. These pesky little parasites cause your cat’s ear to itch, which can make your cat shake her head and/or scratch her ear incessantly. That’s when one or more blood vessels rupture, and the hematoma develops.

Other causes include different types of ear infections, such as those caused by allergies, immune disorders or blood clotting deficits.

Will A Cat Ear Hematoma Go Away On Its Own?

The answer is: It could. The hematoma could be slowly reabsorbed (assuming the cause of the head shaking is being treated and cured). However, that could take several months, and the inflammation that goes with the hematoma could leave your cat with a permanent disfigurement (an ear that’s shriveled up, scarred – and possibly painful).

How Is An Ear Hematoma Treated?

quarantine cat with ringworm First, it should be treated by a veterinarian. We do NOT recommend that you try to drain the fluid within the hematoma yourself. If you try this in most cases, the hematoma returns within a couple of days – and then you risk infection and more inflammation.

Veterinary treatment depends on how long the hematoma has been bothering your cat, how big it is, and your vet’s preferences. If the hematoma is small or old, the vet may do a needle aspiration, this is where the fluid is removed by your vet using a syringe.

If however your vet decides that drainage is needed, he will probably perform surgery under anesthesia and place a drain in the ear to keep more blood from accumulating. Stitches may also be used to stitch the ear skin to the ear cartilage. You’ll need to take your cat back to the vet a few times to change drainage tubes and remove sutures.

Alternately your vet may decide to avoid surgery and treat the hematoma with oral steroids like prednisone, which reduces the swelling. This treatment works best if you have taken your cat in for treatment early in the hematoma-producing process. Even if the hematoma has gone untreated, the steroids can still work, but your cat is likely to end up with scarring and disfigurement.

How To Avoid Cat Ear Hematomas

cat hematoma Since ear hematomas are caused by your cat shaking and scratching to relieve the itching in her ears, the key to prevention is to treat the cause quickly and effectively.

Take your cat to the vet as soon as you see these signs for an accurate diagnosis. For a bacterial ear infection, the vet may prescribe an anti-biotic and this is generally an easy and effective fix for the infection.

Antibiotics, however, are not effective for fungal infections that are most often caused simply by an overgrowth of yeast in your cat’s ear. This will be simply treated by the administration of an antifungal medicine to your cat’s ear. If she has ear mites, the vet may prescribe an easy-to-administer, anti-parasitic formulation to get rid of them.

Either way, follow up by using Banixx Pet care at home:

  • Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties make it a potent spray that aids in the recovery of damaged/inflamed tissue while eliminating the environment in which infections and ear mites thrive. Cats, however, are not fond of sprays so read on to learn how to simply use Banixx on your cat’s ear.
  • It’s easy to use. Moisten a cotton ball with Banixx and coat the inside of the ear 2-3 times each day. It begins working immediately upon contact, and you’ll see positive results in a couple of days.
  • Thankfully, Banixx Pet care has no clinical odor, actually, no odor at all which your cat will greatly appreciate since foreign smelling treatments only make your cat afraid.
  • Moreover, Banixx has no burn or sting–another winner for your cat and finally, it’s completely safe around the eye so that you can use it with total confidence on your cat.

Sources

  • http://www.askavetquestion.com/earhematoma.php
  • https://www.vetinfo.com/cat-ear-hematoma-treatment.html
  • https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/hematoma-of-the-ear-in-cats

Hemangiosarcoma In Dogs

hemangiosarcoma in dogs

Canine cancer is one of the most common causes of deaths in dogs, particularly in older dogs. It’s estimated that half of the dogs over 10 years of age will develop some form of cancer. This is thought to be the result of better care for dogs that prolongs their lives so that they are more susceptible to cancer because … they live longer. Dogs simply used to die at a much younger age.

What is Hemangiosarcoma?

Most people know that the word “sarcoma” is scary because it’s a diagnosis for cancer. Add the prefix “hemangio” in front of it, and what do you have? Hemangiosarcoma (or HSA) is an aggressive form of cancer that is a malignant cancer of the blood vessels. And if your dog has hemangiosarcoma, you will need to treat it quickly and aggressively.

It spontaneously arises in tissue where there are blood vessels. The tumors most often grow in the spleen, liver or heart, as well as other parts of the body, including the skin (cutaneous hemangiosarcomas). Dogs are more affected by HSAs than any other species of animal.

canine acne picture The exact cause of hemangiosarcoma is hard to determine but there are opinions that it’s tied to genetics and/or environmental factors.

In humans, certain chemicals such as vinyl chloride have been associated with the development of certain cancers. Hemangiosarcoma is rare in humans, consequently there isn’t much research about it or its causes.

How serious is hemangiosarcoma in dogs? Well, it depends on where they are found. If they’re on the surface of the skin (cutaneous), they’re considered to be curable and not so serious. Cutaneous HSAs are caused by repeated exposure to the sun, and dogs with short white fur are more susceptible to getting them. (Note, though, that cutaneous HSAs can spread to other areas if they’re not removed and HSA tumors metastasize quickly and can spread to the brain, other organs, skeletal muscle and bone.)

If the HSAs are found in the spleen, heart, liver or other internal organs, it is considered a very serious disease and a life-threatening situation. By the time the symptoms are apparent, they have already spread within the body, traveling across the blood vessels to other organs and body parts. Most often this condition is accompanied by disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC); in English that’s blood clotting that occurs imperfectly inside the blood vessels.

Types of Hemangiosarcomas

  • Subcutaneous (hypedermal) Hemangiosarcoma – Dark red blood growth below the skin.
  • Visceral Hemangiosarcoma – spleen – Growth on/in the spleen.
  • Visceral Hemangiosarcoma – heart – Growth inside the pericardium (sac that encloses the heart).

Dogs That Are More Susceptible to Hemangiosarcomas

The following factors and breeds tend to be more prone to getting hemangiosarcoma:

  • Dogs that are 6 – 13 years of age (though it has been seen in dogs less than one year old).
  • Mid-to-large size breeds, especially German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, Dobermans, and English Setters.
  • For cutaneous HSAs, dogs like Pit Bulls, Greyhounds, Dalmatians, and Italian Greyhounds, that have short white hair and are exposed repeatedly to the sun.

What Causes Hemangiosarcoma?

Cutaneous HSAs in dogs are thought to be associated with exposure to the sun. But, for the HSAs that attack the liver, heart, spleen and other organs, some vets believe they might be linked to exposure to certain chemicals, or perhaps there is a genetic component as certain breeds seem to get them more often.

Hemangiosarcoma In Dogs Symptoms

cure for dog diarrhea Unfortunately, if your dog has a hemangiosarcoma, most often you won’t know it until the afflicted dog collapses. This is because the tumors are fed by blood vessels, filled with blood, and can rupture and hemorrhage suddenly. Here is a list of typical symptoms:

  • If the HSA is located on the skin, muscles or bone, you may see a swelling beneath the skin.
  • Signs of circulatory shock (pale or white gums, marked weakness or lethargy, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Anemia
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Partial paralysis
  • Sudden collapse
  • Profuse bleeding — internal or external
  • Crying/whining from pain

Treatment of Hemangiosarcoma In Dogs

veteranarian neosporin alternative Your vet will give your dog a complete physical and conduct laboratory tests. S/he may also biopsy the mass via exploratory surgery to diagnose HSA.
Obviously, the right treatment protocol will depend on where the tumor is, what stage it is in, and how your dog is doing.

Most vets recommend complete surgical removals of the tumor(s) when the HSAs are on the skin. Surgery can also be effective if the tumors are located in one region of the body and haven’t metastasized. And chemotherapy will also be needed.

But if the hemangiosarcoma is found in the dog’s internal organs, he’ll have to undergo aggressive and extensive treatment. If he is been bleeding internally, he’ll need a blood transfusion to replace the lost blood.

If the HSA is in the spleen (the most common location), the organ can be removed to stop the bleeding. But there’s not a lot of good news – this type of HSA is not often cured, since even if you remove the tumor, the HSAs metastasize quickly and spread to other parts of the body. But it may be possible to delay the return of the tumors. And again, chemotherapy will likely be part of the treatment.

Many people whose dogs are diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma decide that the poor prognosis and difficult treatment protocol are too much to put their pets through, and they choose to euthanize as the most humane alternative.

If you notice masses under your dog’s skin and/or any of the above conditions are noted in your dog, get him/her to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. The earlier hemangiosarcomas are detected the better prognosis for your dog.

Why Is My Cat Coughing So Much?

coughing cat

 

Your cat meows, your cat purrs, your cat….coughs.

If your cat has a cough that doesn’t go away after a couple days, it’s a sign that there’s a problem. Just like humans, animals cough because the body is trying to get rid of irritants in the throat, windpipe or lungs. They also cough to keep from inhaling fluids, food or other foreign bits into their lungs. Coughing is a powerful reflex designed to protect your cat’s airways.

So, when your cat has a persistent cough, you need to take action.

What Is A “Cat Cough”?

coughing cats Surprisingly, cats don’t cough nearly as often as other animals. But when they do, you need to distinguish between a cough and other similar sounds.

For instance, observe carefully when your cat is coughing – or… is he sneezing? wheezing? gagging (coughing up hairballs), retching or vomiting after a coughing bout that brings up mucus? Also keep a look out for shortness of breath or respiratory distress.

In cases of feline asthma, cats tend to breathe with their mouths open, and you’ll see bluish or gray tongue or gums. (If you see this, the attack may be a medical emergency and you’ll need to act quickly)

Notice if the cough is dry or moist, and/or whether it’s accompanied by a stuffed nose or fever.

You’ll need to document all of these symptoms so that you can relay this information to your veterinarian. This will be important extra information that will help him/her make a proper diagnosis since “cat coughs” can have many causes.

My Cat Is Coughing. What Could Be The Problem?

There could many causes for chronic coughing, so let’s focus on a few of the most common:

Hairballs

Cats groom themselves often and end up ingesting hair in the process (which forms a hairball). To get rid of a hairball that forms in his stomach after grooming, your cat may need to cough it up. This condition is normal and doesn’t require a veterinarian’s assistance – even if it sounds awful while he’s coughing it up! But watch out – he may have something ELSE stuck in his throat, so if he is struggling, get to the vet for assistance.

Also, reduce/stop the usage of chemical cleaners in your home (regarding indoor cats) and chemicals in your yard (regarding outdoor cats). This will help to reduce the toxins and compounds that your cat may ingest during his self-grooming process. Just consider, whatever gets on his hair will be ingested into his system when he grooms himself. Those toxins can cause a mild upset or in some cases, severe health issues for your cat. Think on this. Your cat’s nasal area is just a few inches off the ground…so whatever you put on the ground, floor, yard etc…impacts your cat immediately!

Cat Cold

It’s not that different from a cold you or I would get – coughing, sneezing, fever, watery eyes and runny nose. Cats’ noses can fluctuate between wet and dry throughout a normal day, so that is not always an indicator of an issue; however, if there is discharge from her nose, that can be a sign of an illness. Are her ears warmer than usual? As a good indicator, a cat’s ears help regulate their body temperature; however, unusually warm ears may indicate a fever. And, just like your cold, it will eventually clear up on its own.

Feline Asthma

If your cat has allergies, she may cough to rid her system of the irritation and inflammation of her airways. Other symptoms might include sneezing, watery eyes, wheezing, itchiness, and runny nose. But unlike the signs of a cat cold, allergic cats don’t have fever.

cat asthma

What is your cat allergic to? It could be cigarette smoke, pollen, mold, cat litter dust, perfume, or a number of other things. Take note of where your cat likes to nest/sleep — has that area been treated with anything? That treatment may be an irritant to your cat.

Also, laundry detergent residue or fabric softener on her bedding after you washed it may not agree with your cat’s respiratory system. It’s always a good idea to wash your cat’s bedding with just plain water after the wash cycle (that includes detergent) particularly if your cat shows any of the problems mentioned. If you notice your cat having problems breathing, get him to a vet quickly, as an asthma attack can have serious consequences.

Respiratory Tract Disease

This cause is very common in cats. Bronchopulmonary disease includes conditions like bronchitis, broncho-pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and emphysema. Constant coughing is one major sign of a respiratory infection; your cat will expectorate phlegm, have a fever and possibly have difficulty breathing. You’ll need to work with your vet on this one.

Fungal Lung Infection

Your cat could pick up a fungus from the soil, and coughing is a common symptom of a fungal lung infection. A healthy cat may recover on her own but be watchful as a trip to the vet may be indicated.

Worms

cat worms If your cat has heart-worms, hookworms or roundworms (ugh!), one of the symptoms will be coughing. It’s a moist cough, and your cat will also stop eating, lose weight, be lethargic, vomit and have diarrhea. That’s why you must ensure you get preventive treatment from your vet. The treatment is particularly easy and if your cat spends much time outside, it’s probably a good idea to treat for worms on a routine basis since they are easily picked up.

Obesity

Obesity may be a cause although this is less common. Keep your cat active to keep him healthy! Maintaining a healthy weight is important! There are many inexpensive cat toys available or you can make your own cat toy by sewing up a scrap piece of cotton, filling it with catnip and sewing up the opening. This will keep your cat amused and moving for hours!

Tight Collar

If you cat must wear a collar, ensure that it is loose enough that it will slip off if it gets caught on something (so it is not a choke hazard to your cat and that it will not cause your cat to die by hanging!). If your cat cannot slip out of the collar then it is too tight and can cause damage and scaring to his larynx and windpipe, it can dig into his skin and cause coughing.

Other Less Common Causes of Coughing

These would include lung cancer and heart disease. Again, your vet will be the one to determine this one.

When To See A Veterinarian

quarantine cat with ringworm If your cat coughs occasionally and it doesn’t result in any phlegm or sputum being spit up, it’s probably nothing to worry about.

But if the cough lasts more than a day or two, recurs often, produces phlegm or sputum, is severe enough to cause discomfort, or if your cat is losing weight or acts sick, you should definitely take her to the vet. And obviously, you should high-tail it to the vet if your cat shows signs of not being able to breathe. Cats are very stoic creatures so too often she is in distress before symptoms are easy to see. Cats, just as humans, bounce back more quickly when first aid is provided before they seriously ill.

Since coughing is a symptom for so many causes, it’s difficult to make the right diagnosis without running some tests, which only a veterinarian can do. In addition, any details you can tell the vet about your cat’s symptoms, behavior and history will help pinpoint the underlying cause of the cough. How often does she cough? What time of day? Does it sound wet or dry? What was she doing before she started coughing (eating? exercising? lying on the couch? lying under the bed? lying in the laundry basket?)?

If the vet prescribes any medication(s) like cough suppressants, antibiotics, steroids or other drugs, be sure to follow the dosing directions to the letter. Cats can be very sensitive to drugs, as well as natural or homeopathic remedies – so watch for your cat’s reactions to the meds after you give them to him.

One Thing You Should NEVER Do

Do NOT give your kitty human medications to alleviate his symptoms. Even if you give her small amounts of over-the-counter cold medications or ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen, these can be toxic to her!

Preventing Coughs

It’s probably not possible to protect your kitty from every possible cause of coughs, but there are a few things you can do to reduce the chances:

  • preventing cat coughs Don’t smoke inside the house.
  • Use cat litter that doesn’t create dust.
  • Avoid things that can irritate the lungs, like perfumes, certain household cleaners (see our blog on these), room fresheners, hairspray, scented laundry detergent, fabric softener etc.
  • If your cat must wear a collar, ensure it is not too tight.
  • Make sure you take measures to prevent internal parasites, especially if you live somewhere with mosquitos (which carry the heart-worm).

CBD Oil For Dogs

cbd oil for dogs

CBD products come in different delivery types (such as oils, gummies, capsules) and different compound ranges (the compounds extracted from the cannabis plant): full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates. The article deals with the difference between the compound types.

The bottom line, for you the reader, is whether, or not you want to administer any THC to your dogs, and which type of CBD product would be best.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

cbd oil dog dosage Full-Spectrum includes all compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant, including CBD, terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids, including THC. (Under the 2018 Farm Bill, which made CBD purchase legal at a federal level, full-spectrum products are legal if they contain less than 0.3% THC.)

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil

Broad-Spectrum, which are created by extracting cannabinoids from the plant and refining the product until it contains only the specific compounds desired) includes a similarly wide range of cannabinoids, but WITHOUT THC.

CBD Isolates

CBD Isolates takes the refinement process even further – distilling the product to the purest form of CBD by removing all non-CBD compounds naturally found in the plant, including THC, terpenes, flavonoids, plant parts and other cannabinoids.

Which CBD Oil Product Is Best?

The answer to which product is better depends on your dog’s needs and your preferences.

Although it was once thought that isolates represented the most potent form of CBD treatment, that theory was refuted by a 2015 study that found full-spectrum CBD provided higher relief effects within the body.

Entourage Effect CBD Oil

Another important consideration is the “Entourage Effect,” which is a beneficial effect found with both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products, in which studies found that the blend of multiple cannabinoids magnify the effect of one another when combined.

Can CBD Oil Get Your Dog High?

happy dog on cbd oil Another point of consideration in choosing which product to use is the fear of overdosing or giving your dog a psychoactive “high” effect from too much THC. Products that contain less than 0.3% THC should not produce the unwanted effect within dogs.

However, it remains a question as to whether the production process used by some CBD suppliers is precise enough to ensure that the THC concentrations remain consistently below the legal threshold.

Until there is more consistent quality control in this area, sticking with broad-spectrum products is the best way to assure yourself that a CBD product might not inadvertently get your dog high.

For best results, consult the retailer about your dog’s individual needs and your preferences/concerns before purchasing any CBD product for your dog.

Can You Get Ringworm From A Cat?

can you get ringworm from a cat

If you’re new to cats, you might think this condition involves worms, but actually, nothing could be farther from the truth – it’s a common skin infection caused by a fungus that lives on the dead tissues of skin and hair.  This dead tissue is completely normal and happens all the time in animals as well as humans.

cat and ringworm Ringworm is highly contagious and can be passed from animals to humans. You can catch it by touching an infected person or animal. You can also catch it by touching objects or surfaces that had contact with the infected animal such as towels, blankets, carpets and grooming supplies. So the answer to the question, “Can I get ringworm from my cat?” is a resounding “YES!

Ringworm in cats is usually seen on the skin around the face, ears, chest, forelegs and along the ridge of the back. It results in itchy, scaly and reddened skin, as well as bald spots, and often looks like a red, hairless patch in the form of a ring (hence the name).

Cat Ringworm Facts

  • Ringworm can affect all kind of animals, including dogs, cats, cows, goats, pigs, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs and horses. But cats tend to get ringworm more often than dogs do, possibly because cats carry the spores for a longer time than dogs do and that enables the infection to take hold.
  • Studies have shown that up to 13% of human ringworm infections are triggered by an organism that commonly causes ringworm in cats. And in as many as 70% of households, where a cat has ringworm, at least one person will probably catch the infection. Children and elderly people tend to be most susceptible due to weaker or compromised immune systems.
  • Itchy skin is a first symptom. Once you get infected it often takes from 4-14 days to start itching.
  • Ringworm spores can survive in the environment for up to 18 months – so you’ll need to clean everything thoroughly if you get a case in your home.

How To Identify Cat Ringworm

ringworm on cat head While ringworm usually causes raised, circular areas that are crusted over and hairless, or simply, round hairless areas, quite often infected cats (especially long-haired cats) don’t reveal any such symptoms. That makes it harder to detect.

But look for scaly dandruff, darkened or red, irritated skin, poor hair coat or hair loss, and itchiness. You may also see raised or rounded lesions or boils that can ooze. And there may also be inflammation of the folds of skin around the nail, or a whitish, opaque appearance of the claw.

Cat Ringworm Treatment Options

ringworm on cat ear

The fungus infection sometimes goes away on its own – but, who wants to take the chance of spreading it?

If you suspect your cat or ANYONE in your household has ringworm, get it properly diagnosed by a vet (for your animals) or a doctor (for your family members). The medical professional will provide recommendations for treatment, which is normally done with anti-fungal cream or pills.

How To Deal With Ringworm

  • Clean up the environment as thoroughly as you can. Wash all surfaces, linens, cat toys; disinfect grooming brushes/combs and bedding, etc. Use bleach as much as possible but for areas such as carpet or furniture, a solution of apple cider vinegar does a fine job.
  • Keep her isolated in a room if possible until the infection is gone.

Banixx Pet Care has tremendous anti-fungal properties and has been used successfully in treating ringworm in cats and kittens. It creates an environment that kills the ringworm fungus, while providing soothing relief for any itchiness or secondary infections caused by excessive scratching, and it does not stain or discolor fur, fabric or skin.

How To Use Banixx To Treat Cat Ringworm

  • Use disposable gloves while you’re applying Banixx so that you don’t get infected.
  • Using very light pressure, gently pat Banixx on the affected area of your kitten or cat’s ringworm. A cotton ball soaked (but not dripping) in Banixx is generally a good approach. This may be done two to three times daily for the duration of the infection.
  • To prevent the spread of this infection, immediately dispose of the gloves.

ringworm on a cat

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

dogs eat grass

Every dog owner has, at some point, wondered: “Why does my dog eat grass?” Dogs do it all the time (and so do some cats). Additional questions might be: “Why does my dog vomit after eating grass? Is he sick?”

In fact, eating grass is relatively common among dogs, and some do it regularly as part of their daily routine. Most veterinarians consider it to be normal dog behavior. It is considered a minor disorder known as “pica,” or the desire to eat things that aren’t food, such as grass.

grass for dogs

The majority of dogs who eat grass aren’t sick beforehand and don’t vomit afterwards. In fact, dogs vomit in less than 25% of cases.

So: is this normal or not? Is something wrong with your dog that he eats so much grass? And, what should you do about it?

 Top 7 Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass

  1. Your dog’s tummy is upset. If your dog’s stomach is bothering him, he may eat grass to induce vomiting and get relief. The grass blades tickle his throat and stomach lining and cause him to gag and throw up. If he eats grass to vomit occasionally, there’s probably no reason to worry. But if it happens often or if he eats an excessive amount of grass in a frenzy, it could be a sign of that he has a more serious medical problem such as gastric reflux, inflammatory bowel disease, or pancreatitis that should be looked at by a vet.
  2. dog allergies of the skin Your dog’s diet is deficient. When a dog starts eating grass, vets believe she could instinctively be trying to get key nutrients and/or fiber that are missing in her diet. Dogs need vitamins, minerals and roughage just like we do. Dogs are highly instinctive and may seek out what their body needs (just like not eating when their body should not have an additional load on her system – but that is another topic). Even though dogs are carnivores their bodies still require roughage which vegetation can provide. In the wild carnivores often eat berries and other vegetation to supplement their diet. Double-check the ingredients / type of food you feed her – it may be time for a switch to a higher quality diet.
  3. She likes the taste of grass. To her, it’s as good as a doggie treat! If this is the case, there’s no need to worry. New grass growth, the little sprouts coming up, may be flavorful to your dog. However, where is she eating the grass? Is it at the park or the neighbor’s yard? Those areas may be treated with chemicals (mosquito treatment, weed treatment, chemical greening, etc.) and those chemicals can be harmful to your dog. In your own yard make sure you stay away from chemical-based pesticides and fertilizers, which you don’t want her ingesting along with the delectable green stuff. If you need to treat your yard select products that are more naturally based and, leave the area where you allow your dog to be, untreated, especially if you are not able to monitor her all the time in that space.
  4. Your dog is bored. It’s a little like what we do when weare bored – we raid the refrigerator. If your dog is outside most of the day with nothing to do, he may resort to grazing as a way to pass the time. Puppies and young dogs get bored more easily and need to find some way to expend all that energy – so they turn to eating grass (or other items). More exercise, more play, more grooming, more toys, more doggie playgrounds may be part of your solution.
  5. He might be trying to get your attention. Your dog may feel lonely and crave your attention – and may resort to eating grass and vomiting just to get you to spend more time with him. Do more with your dog – take him for walks, play a little, brush/groom him, and pet a lot. Teaching him a new trick may stimulate him enough to leave the grass or reduce his grass eating. If you are unable to take your dog for a long walk, then go for a few short walks.
  6. How to clean a dogs eyes She might be anxious. If your dog shows signs of anxiety or nervousness, eating grass could be a form of comfort mechanism (the same way we eat chocolate when we’re feeling those emotions). You can try giving her an old tee-shirt with your scent on it, or a new toy to distract her attention. To prepare the tee-shirt sleep in it one or two nights, that will really get your scent on the shirt, and your scent can be a very comforting item for your dog. Also, dogs like routine so be consistent with walks and time together, and your dog is likely to be less anxious.
  7. He’s following his instincts. In the wild, dogs are scavengers – they eat the meat they kill, including any grass and plants that may have been in the prey’s stomach. They instinctively eat anything that provides their basic dietary requirements. Your dog, of course, probably gets all those things through commercially-available dog food – but the instinct to eat grass and plants is still there.

Should I Stop My Dog From Eating Grass?

Most veterinarians agree that eating grass is a behavior issue that really isn’t too serious. Watch out for sudden, frenzied and excessive grass eating – that could be a sign of a more serious issue that should be checked by a vet. But if it’s a casual grazing session, you don’t need to stop your dog from doing it.

However, whether you feel you need to stop her from making a habit of this or not, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • dog diarrhea Make sure you maintain consistent parasite prevention – both intestinal and external. Your dog can pick up parasites from the ground when grazing. This is especially common in areas where there is fecal residue from other animals, like at the dog park, common ‘potty’ areas for other pets and barn yards. You cannot see the parasites
  • Feed her higher quality food, and try adding vegetables (cooked or raw, depending on what she likes) to her diet. Vegetables can also be fed as treats, like a piece of carrot, for example.
  • Give him plenty of exercise and provide some mental exercise with new toys and attention.
  • Be aware of toxins in your yard and get rid of them to keep your dog from accidentally ingesting them with the grass. That includes fertilizers, weed killers, insecticides, dumped liquids and items that might secrete toxins.

Horse Cribbing: Causes and Treatment Options

horse cribbing

Cribbing, also known as crib biting, aerophagia and wind sucking, is a behavioral situation in which the horse is most likely relieving stress. Historically we thought was that horses cribbed to receive a high or euphoria but, new studies (which vary) suggest that horses crib for stress relief.

What Is Cribbing In Horses?

Cribbing is when a horse puts its front incisors over an edge (such as a board) and pulls back, arching his neck, and sometimes ‘taking in’ air.

A long time ago cribbing was considered an unsoundness. In 1889, a colt that cribbed was returned from Scotland to Belgium (no small journey) because it was deemed unsound as a ‘crib-biter’.

Interestingly, wild horses observed in the wild do not crib. Yep, we ‘caused’ it!

Horse Cribbing Causes

  • Horse management/maintenance – Long stretches of time with no forage and little to no interactions (boredom and stress).
  • Possibly genetic predisposition – Some horses may inherit their cribbing behavior; these horses start cribbing at a young age. Thoroughbreds, more than warmbloods and Quarter Horses, and possibly following certain bloodlines (per a Japanese study of 1,500 Thoroughbreds with a 1 percent rate of cribbing, but 7 or 8 percent within certain bloodlines).
  • Diet – High grain diet/low forage. Especially when this is started at a young age, this seems to increase the frequency of a young horse starting to crib.
  • Pain – Likely related to confinement after an injury.

Is Cribbing Contagious?

Apparently not since many companions of cribbers do not take up the habit. Companionship can help reduce cribbing and is a suggested management step.

Best Ways To Manage Horse Cribbing

Cribbing has been called a behavioral disorder, and a harmful addiction; however, thoughts on this are changing. Rather than attempting to stop or curb the behavior, letting the horse crib is growing. The following are steps recommended to limit cribbing.

  • cribbing horses Keeping forage available all the time, which is, after all, what nature intended
  • Having companionship for the horse – can be a goat, chicken etc.
  • Reducing surfaces that the horse can ‘latch’ onto are becoming more accepted practices.
  • Cribbing collars are an option and have been widely used. There are several types, but they do not eliminate the urge, they just make the action of cribbing painful or uncomfortable. Some consider this option tormenting, due to the thought that a horse cribs for stress relief, as opposed to an addiction that they might become ‘weaned from’.

Is Cribbing Damaging to Your Horse?

Cribbing may result in increased colic, gastric ulcers, weight loss, wearing down of the upper incisors (this is a quick way to check to see if a horse cribs), under development of some neck muscles and over development of others, weight loss/eating challenges, damage to fences, barn, etc., and flatulence.

horses cribbing The above problems all fall in the category of damage; however, the degree must be weighed against the value of the horse. For example:

  • Is this horse a fantastic babysitter for your other horses or for his/her rider?
  • Is this horse a great performance horse?
  • Is this horse a great producer?
  • Is this horse your unicorn?
  • Does this horse show great promise?

If you look hard enough and you will find a blemish in any horse. Okay, so with cribbing we do not have to look hard, but is it really a reason to turn away?

In the past, multiple horses that led in their sport were cribbers… many major competitions, including the Olympics, would very likely have been different if those horses were discarded for their cribbing.

Cat Diarrhea: Why Does My Cat Have Diarrhea?

cat diarrhea

No one likes to talk about diarrhea, but … there it is. Sitting in the litter box, or maybe not in the litter box, or somewhere between the two. It can’t be ignored. Messy and disgusting – but a sign of something gone wrong in your cat’s digestive tract.

diarrhea cat

Your cat has diarrhea when he passes watery, strange looking (gray or yellow), foul-smelling bowel movements more frequently than normal. It happens when fecal material moves through the intestine quickly – too quickly to absorb water, nutrients and electrolytes. Your cat, who is usually very finicky about using the litter box, may have uncontrollable accidents around the house or just outside the box, due to the urgency of releasing the bowel movement. Not a pretty situation, and certainly tough on your home and everyone else involved.

Most of the time, diarrhea will either resolve itself or be cured just by changing your cat’s diet (covered later in this article) But sometimes, diarrhea can be a sign of a more serious condition.

Cat Diarrhea Symptoms

Typically, your cat will exhibit some (if not all) of these symptoms:

  • Soft, watery, frequent bowel movements
  • Straining with small amounts of soft/sometimes bloody/mucoid stool
  • Accidents
  • Blood or mucus in the feces
  • Straining to poop
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of energy and/or appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Staining and soiling of her fur, particularly noticeable on long hair cats, around the back end

Cat Diarrhea Causes

The list of possible causes is long – and some causes are worse than others:

  • Abrupt change in diet
  • Eating garbage or food that’s gone bad – or eating non-food material
  • Stress
  • Inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Food allergies
  • Neurologic abnormality
  • Viral, bacterial or fungal infection
  • Parasites
  • Kidney, pancreatic or liver disease
  • Immune system abnormality
  • Hyperactive thyroid gland
  • Feline distemper
  • Drugs and toxins
  • Possible anorexia

When is it serious enough to call the vet?

If your cat has diarrhea for a day or two and is eating and behaving normally otherwise, you probably don’t need to worry about it – it will go away on its own.
But if you see any of the following symptoms, they are signs you need to take your cat to the vet immediately:

  • Your cat is vomiting, or is lethargic, appears to be in pain, has a fever or exhibits any other disturbing symptoms.
  • The diarrhea contains blood – either bright red or tarry and dark, or is explosive, and watery or is very frequent.
  • A sign that is not readily visible is that your cat is in danger of dehydration. This is especially important if she’s a kitten, or, very old, has a medical issue that you are aware of, or she has a health problem that would impact her immune system. If the diarrhea has gone on for a few days (2 or 3) then it is likely your cat is indeed dehydrated and should have veterinarian attention.

cat quarantine Any of these symptoms listed above may indicate that you could be looking at a medical emergency, so don’t hesitate to hurry your cat off to your veterinarian. Try to recap the sequence of events in your mind, or, better, on paper, so that you can report the facts to your vet for a quicker, more accurate diagnosis.

And STOP YOURSELF if you’re tempted to give your cat human medications to stem the tide of diarrhea. Over-the-counter medications for humans are much stronger than anything you’d want to give your cat and can be harmful to your kitty. For example, aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are extremely toxic to cats. The human formulation of Imodium was not meant for cats, even in smaller doses!

Your vet will perform a complete physical exam on your cat, including diagnostic blood tests, electrolyte panels and urinalysis. If he/she thinks your cat swallowed something to cause the problem, an X-ray may be in order. And you’ll most likely need to bring in a sample of the feces to check for various infections and parasites (an easy way to accomplish this is to take a plastic bag, put your hand around the outside to push it inside out, then grab the feces with the bag and ‘pull’ the edges of the bag back over the feces (like starting with the bag inside out and pull it back to outside out

One of the biggest concerns for your cat will be loss of fluid, resulting in dehydration, especially if your cat has also been vomiting. If it’s really serious, the vet may administer intravenous or subcutaneous fluids (fluids that are administered under the skin).

How can I stop or prevent cat diarrhea from happening?

my cat has diarrhea It’s always a good idea to “follow the doctor’s orders” when it comes to treating your cat. After diagnosing the cause of the diarrhea, the vet may prescribe medications, de-wormers and other therapies to relieve the problem, so be sure to read the dosing instructions carefully.

Some other things the vet may recommend:

For adult cats who are otherwise healthy, simplify your cat’s diet. Don’t give him treats or scraps from the dinner table, but stick with nutritional cat food that feeds the good bacteria found in your cat’s intestine.

Veterinarians have changed from saying “withhold food for 24 hours” to “don’t withhold food” – cat anorexia can lead to other major problems. Instead, in some cases, you might want to switch to a bland diet such as boiled rice or pasta with boiled skinless chicken, potatoes, turkey, low fat cottage cheese or yoghurt, and even meat-based baby foods. Also, making meals smaller is a great option to provide nutrients without ‘overloading’ your cat’s system. Feed smaller amounts more frequently but monitor her physical acceptance of the food. So if she can tolerate her usual feedings of twice a day broken down to four times a day, for example, that may help her system settle and heal while still consuming appropriate nutrients.

If you recently changed your cat’s diet before she started with the diarrhea, go back to what you were previously feeding her to see if that helps. It’s possible something in the new food disagreed with her.

Make sure your cat has plenty of fresh water available, at all times. Adding another bowl of water with diluted chicken or beef broth may encourage your cat to drink more. Hydration is so important to overall health! Warm water added to canned cat food is another tip. Water and electrolytes are vital to your cat’s health, so you might need to get creative in providing sources.

If you have household guests coming you may want to put an additional litter box and fresh water options in the area where she is most comfortable, in addition to the usual locations. Additional household activity can upset your cat’s normal routine which can upset her system. Don’t let the only litter-box options be in an area where your cat has to face the increased activity since this may cause too much stress for her.

Probiotics may be helpful, but you should make sure the vet is okay with this. If you’re given the go-ahead, pick a probiotic made by a reputable company that’s specifically formulated for use in cats.

Monitor your cat. If you don’t see improvement after two or three days, or if your cat isn’t drinking water or still acts sick, take her back to the vet.

cat eating

Sources

  • https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-diseases-conditions-a-z/cat-diarrhea-when-it-serious-and-how-do-i-stop-it
  • https://www.petmd.com/cat/care/cat-diarrhea-5-treatment-options-you-should-try
  • https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/diarrhea-in-cats
  • https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/digestive/c_ct_diarrhea_acute
  • https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/diarrhea

Cracked Dog Paws: Prevention and Treatment

cracked dog paw

Your dog’s paws are truly amazing. Like a great pair of running shoes, they can take your dog through all kinds of conditions, from the blistering heat of summer sidewalks to the icy roads of winter. The paw pads provide support, enhance traction and act as shock absorbers for your dog’s bones and joints. They also contain scent and sweat glands that enable him to mark his territory.

But, unlike running shoes, your dog’s paws need some TLC to ensure they don’t get dry, cracked, blistered or infected. And it’s not just cold or hot weather that can affect your dog’s paws.

Causes of Cracked Dog Paws

Injuries

Your dog may end up limping because he stepped on a thorn or sharp object, ran around for a long time on a rough surface, or otherwise cut or scraped his paws. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to make a quick trip to your vet.

injured dog paw

Allergies

Dogs who have chronically irritated feet may be suffering from allergies to pollen, yeast, food ingredients, mold or mites. This makes the feet itchy, and your dog will lick and chew her paws until the skin becomes red and infected. To arrest this issue, you will need to get to the source of the allergy and find a way to eliminate or reduce your dog’s exposure to it.

Health Issues

Dogs with hormonal imbalances or autoimmune disease may have a predisposition to get cracked, bleeding or swollen paws because their bodies don’t fight off foreign cells as well, and they have a limited ability to generate repair and replacement of cells in the paws. (Paw cells must have a good blood supply and be able to replace cells at a high rate in order to be healthy). Either of these conditions require veterinary care to diagnose and treat.

How can I treat cracked, dry or bleeding paws?

bleeding dog paw If your dog’s paw pads have minor cracks (small fissures or cracks in the paw pads) or they seem dry, but she’s not limping or bleeding, you can treat these at home yourself. First, make sure they’re clean. Then use a gentle but potent anti-bacterial product like Banixx Pet Care spray – just spray it on and let it dry. This is an especially good solution, as it sets up a hostile environment for any bacteria that loves to set up house in your dog’s cracked paws.

This may be followed by an application of Banixx Wound Care Cream that serves not only as another gentle antimicrobial layer but contains moisturizing marine collagen and aloe to rejuvenate and replenish the paw tissue. This may be re-applied on a regular basis until the cracks are gone.

If things have gone to the next level and the cracks in the paw pads are bleeding or you see open wounds, then it’s definitely time to get them looked at by a veterinarian. Don’t let things deteriorate to the point where you see that your dog’s paw pads are bleeding more heavily, there are missing sections, or you notice a terrible smell. If this happens, infection may have set in, and the vet may need to prescribe an expensive medication and even provide a (dreaded) cone to ensure your dog doesn’t lick her paws.

Banixx Pet Care spray and Banixx Wound Care Cream can be part of the package that helps restore the pads to good health, and rest assured, these can be applied in conjunction with any medication that your Vet prescribes.

How can I prevent dry cracked dog paws?

Be aware

If your dog is licking or chewing his paws, that’s one sign that there may be an injury or irritant. Check the paws, make sure there’s no foreign body in there, and then use Banixx Pet Care to soothe irritation and aid in the recovery process. The sooner you notice an issue and start working to alleviate it, the less chance of infection – so daily monitoring of your dog’s feet is a great habit to get into.

Practice good grooming

Groom your dog’s paws on a regular basis by keeping the nails clipped and hair trimmed between the paw pads to prevent matting (which can be another source of irritation to the paw pads). Check regularly (even after every walk) for debris like pebbles and grass/grass seeds that can get caught in your dog’s paw pads. Clean out anything you find by putting your dog’s paw in a bowl of warm water to dislodge it, or using tweezers.

Take note of seasonal weather changes

dog playing in the snow Being too cold or too hot can cause the paw pads to crack, blister, chap and bleed. You can use boots in both summer and winter, though not all dogs will accept wearing them. In winter, check her paws after walks out in the snow and ice, and wipe them down afterward with a moisturizing product like Banixx.

Road salt can get into any paw cracks and cause intense pain and/or infection, something you definitely want to avoid. Then again, during summer months, try not to walk her during the hottest part of the day, and try to find grass to walk on, rather hot pavement, rocky ground or hot sand. It’s important to note that when the outside air temperature is only 77 degrees, hot asphalt, in the sun, has been measured as high as 125 degrees.

Moreover, you can fry and egg at 131 degrees!! So, in summer, just imagine how your dog feels as you drag him along to the farmers market or outdoor festival being held on asphalt. During these more intense months, whether it’s a cold intensity or hot, when you come in from your walk, check the paws and wipe them down.

Moisturize

Just like with humans, moisturizing can prevent painful cracks and bleeding. Using Banixx Wound Care Cream on a regular basis will keep those pads soft and healthy. Just apply it to the paw pads and massage it gently between the paw pads, up in between each toe and the back of the paw. It’s important your dog not lick off the Banixx, as the longer it stays in contact with the dog’s paw, the more effective it is – so after applying, try distracting her with a treat, a game or a toy.

Remember, most problems with cracked or dry dog paws can be handled by you at home – but make sure you consult with your veterinarian if you notice deep cracks with excessive bleeding or oozing, crusting, or an obvious injury like a bleeding cut or missing pad. And if you suspect that allergies or health issues are the cause of your dog’s sore paws, you’ll need to visit the vet to get to the bottom of it.

Healthy dogs need healthy feet. Take care of them as you would your own.

Sources

  • https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/how-care-your-dogs-cracked-and-dry-paws
  • https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/treat-cracked-paw-pads/
  • https://www.dog-care-knowledge.com/dog-paw-problems.html