What are some of the most common dog and cat health problems? Over the course of a year, there are successes and struggles when it comes to caring for pets.
Revival Pet Care Pros have helped customers overcome, manage and come up with prevention plans for many pet health challenges. We’ve put together a list of the most common cat and dog health issues we have helped with.
Parvo in Puppies
Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that is often fatal. It affects poorly vaccinated puppies and the most commonly affected are age five to ten weeks but there is a high risk for those under one year. Always remember that any unprotected dog can get the disease. Signs of parvo include anorexia, depression, vomiting and diarrhea. Parvo puppies also won’t drink. Revival Pet Care Pro Lisa offers this advice when dealing with parvo:
“We prevent parvo by vaccinating the puppies starting at six weeks of age with a 5-way vaccine. The immunity they get from mom will wane so the longer one waits to vaccinate, means they are left wide open for wild parvo virus. Proper disinfection is also critical for parvo prevention. I recommend using disinfectants such as Rescue Disinfectant or Virkon. Give me a call and I would be happy to help go over the vaccination schedule or disinfection options with you,” says Lisa.
Effective treatment must be done aggressively to save infected pups. Treatment includes the use of IV fluids, IV fresh frozen plasma, injections of Convenia (a long-acting antibiotic) and Cerenia (a medication to manage nausea and vomiting). Your veterinary professionals will best be able to help manage an outbreak.
Coming Soon! Elanco has introduced a novel monoclonal antibody product to the market that will revolutionize treatment and save lives. This product must be kept frozen and administered by IV injection. Speak to your veterinary professional about this important breakthrough.
Coccidia and Giardia in Dogs and Cats
Coccidia and giardia are both intestinal parasites that cause diarrhea. Coccidia impacts both dogs and cats; however, keep in mind treatment and prevention plans are very different for these two species. Coccidia is spread through feces and is a major problem for babies under eight weeks old. Giardia affects animals of any age and usually is spread by drinking contaminated water. Both can be spread from mom to baby by fecal-oral contamination. Revival Pet Care Pro Darwin offers this advice when dealing with coccidia and giardia:
“Cleaning up any feces as soon as possible is important to help prevent the spreading of both coccidia and giardia in dogs and cats. The most common misunderstanding of coccidia and giardia is not knowing the difference between them. Both are considered parasites but they have completely different ways of working (or not working) with the intestines. When it comes to treatment for coccidia we generally use Sulfamethoxazole Trimethoprim or Albon. For giardia we use Metronidazole or Fenbendazole. Fenbendazole can safely be used during pregnancy. Also, probiotics such as Doc Roy’s GI Synbiotics to support a healthy GI system are a must!” says Darwin.
Nursing Puppy Loss
Most of the time moms are great at giving newborn puppies or kittens what they need. But there are some things you should always watch for, so at the first sign of trouble, you know what to do. Here is advice from Pet Care Pro, Gina, on preventing nursing puppy loss:
“It’s important to get the puppies nursing as soon as they are born. Part of this is starting mom on lactation support such as Breeder’s Edge Oxy Momma three days before whelping to make sure her body is ready to nurse when the need arises. Puppies that gain weight consistently resist most issues when exposed. I recommend having a quality digital scale to weigh the puppies before and after nursing to track weight gain. When you see issues in the first four weeks chilling is the number one cause of death. Dehydration is number two. A Puppywarmer Incubator or heating pads help keep newborns warm and electrolytes such as Breeder’s Edge Puppy Lyte are always useful to help with dehydration,” says Gina.
Heat Cycle Issues
There are several factors that can influence a female dog’s heat cycle. It’s important to know that while heat cycles vary from female to female, they are consistent for each individual. Therefore, if you notice a change in a female’s heat cycle that indicates something isn’t right. Revival Pet Care Pro Michelle offers this advice when dealing with heat cycle issues:
“One of the most common causes of dog heat cycle issues are vitamin deficiencies. I always suggest to have females on good vitamins. I recommend Breeder’s Edge B Strong,” says Michelle.
Calcium is a critical tool to help during whelping. It helps lead to effective uterine contractions during whelping which in turn can speed up the birthing process. However, knowing when and how much to use is important to ensure mom gets the help she needs. Revival Pet Care Pro Michelle offers this advice when dealing with calcium deficiencies:
“I recommend giving pregnant moms Breeder’s Edge Oral Cal Plus during whelping. Sometimes people assume that Tums, cottage cheese or ice cream will fix a calcium deficiency, but they won’t. A small amount of Oral Cal Plus gel works great,” says Michelle.
Fleas on Dogs and Cats
Adult female fleas can lay 50 to 100 eggs a day, which means if these eggs are laid on your pet, they will eventually fall off your pet into the environment. That’s why treating fleas involves more than just killing the fleas on your pet. Revival Pet Care Pro Lisa offers this advice when dealing with fleas:
“Prevention is the key. Prevent by using a flea and tick product on your dogs as well as spraying your yard. Many people don’t realize how quickly one flea becomes many and why it is necessary to treat the kennel, house and premises. The K-9 Advantix II works well as a topical. For a chewable, check into Bravecto. Bravecto is labeled as safe on all breeding dogs, including pregnant moms. When treating the house, use sprays such as Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray. When treating the yard, Permethrin 10% is an inexpensive product that works well for fleas, ticks, and other parasites,” says Lisa.
Use The Revival Flea and Tick Finder to easily discover the best flea and tick preventative for your pet.
Campylobacter in Dogs and Cats
Campylobacteriosis is a disease that affects both animals and people. It is most commonly spread when an animal eats food or water that has been contaminated. In humans, it is spread through eating raw meats, especially chicken. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, cramping and fever and is most dangerous for puppies or kittens under six months old. Former Revival Pet Care Pro Deedee offers this advice when dealing with campylobacteriosis:
“The best thing anyone can do is prevention. Give moms an effective probiotic the last two weeks of pregnancy and the first two weeks after. You want her to pass only good bacteria to pups when nursing and cleaning them. I strongly recommend Doc Roy’s GI Synbiotics or you can use D.E.S. Health-Gard. You’ll want to use one of these because they won’t wash out in the digestive process and will cultivate and grow more good bacteria,” says Deedee.
Vet Basics ChlorConazole shampoo and Breeder’s Edge NurseMaid wipes can safely be used on the mammary glands and rear end of the dam to minimize exposure of newborns to bacteria and parasites so dangerous to newborns.
Canine herpesvirus is a disease that impacts mostly young puppies. It is estimated that approximately 70 percent of dogs carry this virus. Adult dogs may show signs of kennel cough, spreading disease to pregnant dams and newborns. Symptoms vary depending on the dog’s age and sex. Some of the more common symptoms during pregnancy can include fetal loss, premature birth, anorexia, lethargy and puppy death. Revival Pet Care Pro Kevin offers this advice when dealing with canine herpesvirus:
“Since herpes can go through the air, disinfecting and good hygiene is important. I recommend disinfecting with Animal Facility Disinfectant, Rescue Disinfectant or Virkon. Handwashing is critical after dealing with each mom and litter. The most common way puppies get herpes is when passing through the birth canal. I always recommend keeping mom and litter separate from the rest of your kennel for the first three weeks after the puppies are born. If exposed, puppies generally do not make it. If puppies are exposed, keep them hydrated with electrolytes such as Breeder’s Edge Puppy Lyte. Since herpes is temperature-sensitive, it can also help to put puppies in an Puppywarmer Incubator at 101° F for two weeks if they are exposed to stop the herpesvirus from reproducing. That temperature is too hot for mom, so every two hours bring the puppies to mom to eat,” Kevin.
While we hope you never have to deal with these common dog health problems or cat health problems, but know that if you do, give our Pet Care Pros a call at 800.786.4751 and we will be happy to help.
Updated by Marty Greer, DVM
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Written by: Shelley Hexom
Shelley Hexom is Revival's Content Manager and helps develop educational pet health resources. A three-time Emmy® Award-winning news anchor, Shelley works with Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, to help create useful and easy-to-understand articles, videos, and webinars. Shelley received her bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Winona State University in 2002. As a pet owner, Shelley enjoys time with her Boxer mix, Sally. Shelley has been part of the Revival Paw Squad since 2016.