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Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

We've all heard it, "Don't give your dog chocolate it will kill him". We'll how true is it you're probably wondering. Do I have to rush him to an emergency vet if he ate one of my M&M's?

The truth is chocolate contains theobromine that is toxic to dogs in sufficient quantities. This is a xanthine compound in the same family of caffeine, and theophylline.

Toxic Levels

The good news is that it takes, on average, a fairly large amount of theobromine 100-150 mg/kg to cause a toxic reaction. Although there are variables to consider like the individual sensitivity, animal size and chocolate concentration.

On average,
Milk chocolate contains 44 mg of theobromine per oz.
Semisweet chocolate contains 150mg/oz.
Baker's chocolate 390mg/oz.

Using a dose of 100 mg/kg as the toxic dose it comes out roughly as:
1 ounce per 1 pound of body weight for Milk chocolate
1 ounce per 3 pounds of body weight for Semisweet chocolate
1 ounce per 9 pounds of body weight for Baker's chocolate.

So, for example, 2 oz. of Baker's chocolate can cause great risk to an 15 lb. dog. Yet, 2 oz. of Milk chocolate usually will only cause digestive problems.

Clinical Signs

Xanthines affect the nervous system, cardiovascular system and peripheral nerves. It has a diuretic effect as well. Clinical signs:

Hyper excitability
Hyper irritability
Increased heart rate
Increased urination
Muscle tremors


There is no specific antidote for this poisoning. And the half life of the toxin is 17.5 hours in dogs. Induce vomiting in the first 1-2 hours if the quantity is unknown. Administering activated charcoal may inhibit absorption of the toxin. An anticonvulsant might be indicated if neurological signs are present and needs to be controlled. Oxygen therapy, intravenous medications, and fluids might be needed to protect the heart.

Milk chocolate will often cause diarrhea 12-24 hours after ingestion. This should be treated symptomatically (fluids, etc..) to prevent dehydration.

If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate contact your Vet immediately! They can help you determine the the proper treatment for your pet.

Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

Hip dysplasia is the most common cause of osteoarthritis in young dogs. It is mainly an inherited condition and it is where the ball and socket joint of the dog don't fit together properly due to a loose joint. This then leads to other changes such as osteoarthritis and pain. Some dogs will have no signs where as others will be severely debilitated.

If a bitch or dog that has hip dysplasia but no signs of the disease goes on to have puppies, the pups may show severe signs. It is therefore essential that bitches and dogs have x-rays and a good "hip score" before breeding to make sure there is less risk of producing affected puppies.

The acceptable score varies from breed to breed. Your vet will be able to take x-rays and send them away for scoring by the BVA/ KC (British Veterinary Association/ Kennel Club). These x-rays need to be perfectly straight with the dog on its back and are thus taken under general anaesthetic.

If my young dog has hip dysplasia what can I do to help?

- Manage the diet. It is vital the growing dog doesn't grow too fast or too slowly and is fed a diet appropriate for the breed and age.

- Overweight dogs are at high risk and may develop more severe symptoms.

- Exercise carefully. It should be carefully controlled. Ask your vet your advice.

- Pain relief. Ask your vet! N.B. human pain killers are poisonous to dogs!

- Surgery. Hip replacements can be performed at specialist centres when dog fully grown.

- Physiotherapy

- Swimming

Please ask advice from your vet before changing diet or exercise of your pet.

My old dog has hip dysplasia what can I do to help?

- Make sure your old dog is not overweight as this will put a great strain on the already suffering joints. If your dog is overweight consult your vet as he or she will
need careful monitoring throughout the diet. A special food may be indicated which is filling and has all the essential nutrients but less calories.

- Joint supplements containing glucosamine and condroitin may help.

- Careful exercise. Little and often is best and don't be tempted to overdo it at the weekend. Your old pet simply isn't up to it any more!

- Swimming and physiotherapy

- Pain relief may be prescribed by your vet

If your pet is still in pain despite the above then surgery may be an option. You should also consult with your vet before changing your pet's diet and exercise regime.

Beck The Vet -

Author Bio
Beck the Vet is the Online Veterinary at Parcel Pets where she helps pet lovers by providing free vet advice. Parcel Pets are one of the UK's leading pet supplies sites.

Signs of Heart Disease in the Cat

Many cats with heart disease are asymptomatic, showing no sign of their disease until the abnormality within the heart causes the heart to fail and not function normally.

There are many types of heart disease that can affect cats. Any type of heart disease can cause heart failure.

Why the Signs of Heart Disease Occur in Cats

In a normal healthy cat, the heart functions as a pump, responsible for moving the blood to various parts of the body. Essentially, as the heart disease progresses, the pump begins to fail.

One of the most common complications of heart failure is fluid build-up within the lungs. This is known as congestive heart failure. It occurs because the heart is no longer able to function as an efficient pump. Occasionally, fluid may build up in the abdomen and in the legs also.

Signs of Congestive Heart Failure in Cats

The signs seen in cats suffering from congestive heart failure include:

  • weakness
  • lethargy
  • decreased appetite
  • difficulty breathing
  • increased respiratory rate
  • increased respiratory effort
  • cyanosis (a purple coloration of the gums), if the heart failure is severe enough to cause inadequate levels of oxygen to reach the body
  • bloated, fluid-filled abdomen
  • swelling of the legs

Unlike in dogs, where coughing is frequently a symptom of heart disease, in feline heart disease coughing is rare. Vomiting or dry heaving is sometimes seen as a symptom of heart disease in cats though.

Feline Thromboembolisms (Blood Clots) and Heart Disease

Another potential sequelae (negative outcome) of heart disease in cats is a condition known as a thromboembolic event. A thromboembolism is a blood clot that forms within one of the chambers of the heart.

In some instances, these blood clots break free and pass out of the heart and into the blood vessels. Eventually, these blood clots become lodged in a blood vessel, causing an obstruction of blood flow in the vessel.

The most common symptom of a thromboembolic event is paralysis in the hind legs. This occurs when the blood clot lodges in the large blood vessel known as the aorta near its end. The aorta normally splits into two arteries that supply the blood flow to the hind legs. When it becomes occluded (plugged), the blood no longer reaches the hind legs. This condition is also sometimes referred to as a saddle thrombus.

The signs seen when a saddle thrombus forms as a result of heart disease in a cat include:

  • suddenly beginning to drag the hind legs
  • crying in pain
  • difficulty breathing, panting, open mouth breathing

Other Signs of Feline Heart Failure

Some cats will develop an arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) as a result of heart disease. This may result in fainting episodes, also known as syncope.

Unfortunately, sudden death is also sometimes seen with feline heart disease.

Kitten Food and Nutrition for Optimum Growth and Development

While adult cat food will not "hurt" your kitten in the short term, it is selling him short on the extra nutrients he needs for active growth, which takes place throughout the first year of his life. Save the adult cat food for your big guys, and give your kitten what he needs: kitten food, for his first year.

Kitten Food 101

Kittens are not just miniature cats. Kittens' growth and development need extra protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals to get the right start in life. The extra protein is needed for growth and development of strong muscles and supporting tissue; fat is essential for fatty acids, as a carrier for fat-soluble vitamins, and for the additional calories for energy. As a rule, only foods specifically formulated to meet kittens' needs should be fed to kittens.

Kitten Food for Kittens - Give Them the Right Start in Life

Kittens are not just miniature cats. Kittens' growth and development need extra protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals to get the right start in life. The extra protein is needed for growth and development of strong muscles and supporting tissue; fat is essential for fatty acids, as a carrier for fat-soluble vitamins, and for the additional calories for energy


Adenoviruses are linear, double-stranded DNA viruses which infect a wide variety of mammals and birds. Two have been identified in the dog: canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1) which infects most of the major organs causing, amongst other diseases, hepatitis, and canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) which causes respiratory and enteric diseases.

Canine adenovirus type 1 causes canine hepatitis. The virus invades the dogs liver, causing swelling, cell damage sometimes liver haemorrhage and often acute death due to shock. An infected dog will shed the virus in the faeces and urine. Other dogs become contaminated via the mouth or nose and the virus then lodges in the tonsils. The virus is not airborne. The incubation period is 4 to 7 days. Canine hepatitis was first documented in the silver fox in 1925, but the disease did not appear in domestic dogs until the 1930s and 1940s.

Symptoms include fever, lethargy, tonsillitis, abdominal distension and pain, loss of appetite and a pale colour. Often there is vomiting. Some dogs will develop the classic hepatitis blue eyes. The is due to odoema (fluid swelling) of the cornea of the eye. In severe acute cases, especially pups, death can occur in 1 to 2 days. If dogs can survive the initial few days, they should recover and have lifelong immunity. However, regular vaccination is a preferntial.

Canine adenovirus type 2 is related to the hepatitis virus and is one of the causes of infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as kennel cough. Vaccination against adenovirus-2 will not prevent infection with this virus but limits its severity so the chance of secondary bacterial infection and complications occurring is minimized. In most cases of kennel cough, the disease is multifaceted and will include a combination of bacterial and viral agents.

Normally, symptoms of kennel cough will develop within a week after a dog has been exposed. The most common symptoms are a dry, hacking cough followed by retching, and coughing up a white foamy discharge. The cough is brought on by an inflammation of the trachea (windpipe) and bronchi (the air passages to the lungs). Some dogs also develop conjunctivitis ("pink eye"), rhinitis (inflamed nasal mucous membrane), and a nasal discharge.

Canine influenza

Canine influenza or dog flu is influenza occurring in canines. Canine influenza is caused by varieties of Influenzavirus A, such as equine influenza virus H3N8, which in 2004 was discovered to cause disease in dogs. Because of the lack of previous exposure to this virus, dogs have no natural immunity to this virus. Therefore, the disease is rapidly transmitted between individual dogs. Canine influenza may be endemic in some regional dog populations of the United States. It is a disease with a high morbidity but a low mortality.


The highly contagious equine influenza virus H3N8 was found to have been the cause of Greyhound race dog fatalities from a respiratory illness at a Florida racetrack in January 2004. The exposure and transfer apparently occurred at horse racing tracks, where dog racing also occurs. This was the first evidence of an influenza A virus causing disease in dogs. However, serum collected from racing Greyhounds between 1984 and 2004 and tested for canine influenza virus (CIV) in 2007 had positive tests going as far back as 1999. It is possible that CIV caused some of the respiratory disease outbreaks at tracks between 1999 and 2003.[2]

H3N8 was also responsible for a major dog flu outbreak in New York state in all breeds of dogs. From January to May 2005, outbreaks occurred at 20 racetracks in 10 states (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia.)[3] As of August 2006, dog flu has been confirmed in 22 U.S. states, including pet dogs in Wyoming, California, Connecticut, Delaware, and Hawaii.[4][5] There is no evidence that the virus can be transferred to people, horses, cats, or other species.[6] There are three areas in the United States that may now be considered endemic for CIV due to continuous waves of cases: New York, southern Florida, and northern Colorado/southern Wyoming.

H5N1 (avian influenza) was also shown to cause death in one dog in Thailand, following ingestion of an infected duck.[7]

[edit] The virus

Influenza A viruses are enveloped negative sense single-stranded RNA viruses.[8] Genome analysis has shown that H3N8 was transferred from horses to dogs and then adapted to dogs through point mutations in the genes.[9] The incubation period is two to five days and viral shedding may occur for seven to ten days following the onset of symptoms.[10]carrier state. It does not induce a persistent

[edit] Symptoms

About 80 percent of infected dogs with H3N8 show symptoms, usually mild (the other 20 percent have subclinical infections), and the fatality rate for Greyhounds in early outbreaks was 5 to 8 percent,[11] although the overall fatality rate in the general pet and shelter population is probably less than 1 percent.[12] Symptoms of the mild form include a cough that lasts for ten to thirty days and possibly a greenish nasal discharge. Dogs with the more severe form may have a high fever and pneumonia.[13] Pneumonia in these dogs is not caused by the influenza virus, but by secondary bacterial infections. The fatality rate of dogs that develop pneumonia secondary to canine influenza can reach 50 percent if not given proper treatment.[5] Necropsies in dogs that die from the disease reveal severe hemorrhagic pneumonia and evidence of vasculitis.[14]

[edit] Diagnosis

The presence of an upper respiratory tract infection in a dog that has been vaccinated for the other major causes of kennel cough increases suspicion of infection with canine influenza, especially in areas where the disease has been documented. A serum sample from a dog suspected of having canine influenza can be submitted to a laboratory that performs PCR tests for this virus.

Laboratory Urinalysis and Hematology for the Small Animal Practitioner

Laboratory Urinalysis and Hematology for the Small Animal Practitioner
Carolyn A. Sink and Bernard F. Feldman

Thanks to vet7713013!!!!

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New high quality version!!!

Small Animal Surgery, 3rd Edition

Small Animal Surgery, 3rd Edition
Theresa W. Fossum