Medical Information

RABIES

Know the important dangers of an expired rabies vaccine for your pets...

 If your pet bites someone, from a mild nip to a full-blown bite/attack, and it's reported to a hospital, doctor, vet, animal control or police officer, they are required by law to report it to the Center for Disease Control as a possible exposure to rabies. Your pet will be taken into  mandatory quarantine at the city/county animal shelter for up to 90 days with no human contact the entire period. You may also incur impound fees in addition to the pet undergoing severe trauma & exposure to sick shelter animals during  quarantine.


If your pet is exposed to and bit by a any wild animal including squirrels, bats, raccoons, possums, chipmunks, skunks, birds, etc... and it is reported, authorities are required to report it to the Center for Disease Control as possible exposure to rabies and the same rules above apply.

 

 Please do not ever let your rabies expire. Some cities now allow rabies every 2-3 years while other cities still require an annual rabies vaccination. Check online for your city's requirements by googling your city name and rabies requirements.

HEARTWORM​

Heartworm disease is a problem that can happen any place with mosquitoes. Nothing else causes heartworms but the bite of a mosquito.It has been reported in all 50 states so it's important to keep your dog on prevention year-round. Many people think that because they leave their dogs inside they do not need to be on hearttworm prevention, but all it takes is one mosquito bite to become infected. From the time a dog is bitten, it takes about seven months for an adult heartworm to develop. At this time the worms infect the heart, lungs and blood vessels. Adult worms can grow up to 12 inches in length, and one dog can have up to 250 worms in its system. The good news is that heartworm disease is easy and inexpensive to prevent. However, the treatment for a dog with heartworms is not only expensive for the owner, but also high-risk for the dog. 

 For more info about heartworms visit : http://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources/heartworm.html

Wobbler Syndrome


What is wobbler syndrome?

“Wobbler syndrome” is a term used to describe disorders involving compression of the cervical spinal cord (the portion of the spinal cord located in the neck) in large- and giant-breed dogs. Basically two types of compressive disease are included: 1) disk-related disease in mature dogs with thickening of the ligaments and instability of the joints between the cervical vertebrae (bones of the neck) and 2) disease of the cervical vertebrae in young dogs resulting from developmental abnormalities which cause malformation of the cervical spine. Another name for wobbler syndrome is “cervical vertebral instability.”

 

What causes wobbler syndrome?

The causes of wobbler syndrome include cervical intervertebral disk disease, abnormalities of the cervical vertebrae, and malformation of the cervical vertebrae due to poor nutrition. Large, fast-growing dogs are at risk for vertebral-related disease.

 

What are the signs of wobbler syndrome?

Clinical signs vary widely depending on the amount of spinal cord compression caused by the cervical vertebral instability. Signs may have a rapid and sudden onset or they may progress slowly. The signs may or may not worsen. The dog may have neck pain, difficulty rising to a standing posture, wasting of the muscles (especially in the forelimbs), worn toenails, unsteady gait, and general difficulty in maintaining normal postures.

 

How is wobbler syndrome diagnosed?

The veterinarian will obtain a medical history and perform physical and neurological examinations. The breed of dog is important in suggesting a diagnosis of wobbler syndrome. This syndrome is reported in large- and giant-breed dogs, especially in older Doberman pinschers and young Great Danes. If wobbler syndrome is suspected, the veterinarian will perform additional tests. Diagnosis is made through radiographs (X-rays) of the spinal column. Myelograms (special contrast X-rays) may be needed to evaluate the spinal cord. Additionally, an analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid may be performed. Cerebrospinal fluid is obtained by inserting a needle into the spine and withdrawing fluid.

 

How is wobbler syndrome treated?

The treatment for wobbler syndrome is determined by the age of the dog, the type of cervical instability, and the severity of clinical signs. The dog’s activity is restricted. For growing dogs with vertebral related disease, the veterinarian may discontinue excessive use of dietary supplements (if these have been used) and may control food intake. Neurological (relating to the nervous system) problems may continue. In these dogs, the veterinarian will try to stop the progression of the disease. Physical therapy usually is required to help the pet regain lost function. Generally these dogs are surgical candidates. Surgical procedures may include decompression of the spinal cord, fenestration to attempt to prevent other disks from causing disease, and stabilization or fusion of the spine. Some veterinary surgeons and neurologists consider fusion of the vertebrae to try to stabilize the spine controversial. The use of steroids in combination with surgery is usually the most effective treatment. The use of steroids alone is helpful only in mildly affected patients.

 

What is the prognosis for dogs with wobbler syndrome?

The prognosis (outcome) for dogs with wobbler syndrome is variable. The earlier in the course of disease that surgery is performed, the better the outcome. Paralysis is always a possibility in dogs with wobbler syndrome; frequently these dogs cannot be helped.

GDV a.k.a. Bloat

What is GDV?

Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) is a life threatening disorder most commonly seen in large, deep-chested dogs. In its early stage, the stomach fills with gas, causing a simple gastric dilatation or bloat. Sometimes, the condition progresses no further than a bloat. A GDV is a progression of the bloat into a volvulus, in which the huge, gas-filled stomach twists upon itself so that both the entrance and exit of the stomach become occluded. This is a life-threatening emergency that requires surgery to correct.

What causes the condition?

The exact cause is still unknown. The condition is seen most commonly in large breed dogs that eat or drink rapidly and then exercise vigorously.

“Stress may be a contributing factor to GDV…”

Stress may be a contributing factor to GDV – in recent studies, dogs that were more relaxed and calm were at less risk of developing GDV than dogs described as “hyper” or “fearful”.

Is GDV serious?

Yes. This is probably one of the most serious non-traumatic conditions seen in dogs. Immediate veterinary attention is required to save the dog’s life.

Are some dogs more prone than others?

Yes, statistically we know that large, deep-chested breeds are more prone to GDV. These include Great Danes, Saint Bernard, Weimaraner, Irish Setters, Gordon Setters, Standard Poodles, Basset Hounds, Doberman Pinschers, and Old English Sheepdogs. It must be noted that any dog can bloat, even dachshunds and Chihuahuas. The condition usually occurs two to three hours after eating a large meal.

© 2018 by Sweet Home Doberman Rescue

Nikki Lilly/Tom Lilly/William Turner/Haley Rich

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