Hudson Veterinary Hospital

Some living organisms can be extremely harmful to your pet's health.

Canine distemper virus

Canine distemper virus

Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) is a viral disease that infects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous systems. Dogs who have not been vaccinated for Canine Distemper are the most at-risk. While the disease can also be contracted when improperly vaccinated or when a dog has high susceptibility to bacterial infection, these cases are rare.

Canine parvovirus

Canine Parvovirus (CPV)

Canine Parvovirus (CPV) is a contagious disease attacking cells that rapidly reproduce. It can occur at any age but is ordinarily seen in puppies around 6 to 20 weeks old. There are two types of CPV, intestinal and cardiac. Intestinal CPV is most common and is distinguished by diarrhea, decreased appetite, vomiting, and weight loss. Cardiac CPV is usually only seen in very young puppies and attacks their heart muscles, typically resulting in death. Vaccination is extremely important and can help prevent Canine Parvovirus. Certain breeds, namely Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers, are particularly susceptible to infection so extra caution should be taken.

Feline immunodeficiency virus

Feline immunodeficiency virus

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is comparable to AIDS in humans and is often found simultaneously occurring in cats with feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Similar to AIDS, FIV is present in blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and saliva. The most common transmission of the virus is through a cat fight or during pregnancy as an infected mother passes it to her offspring. In very rare cases, a cat may contract FIV through saliva. Feline immunodeficiency virus is a slowly progressing virus and cannot survive outside its host.

Feline leukemia virus

Feline leukemia virus

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is responsible for the majority of household cat deaths. It affects all breeds, though it is more common in males and typically occurs in felines aged one to six years old. Outdoor cats and cats in multiple-cat environments are considered the most at-risk for contracting FeLV, a virus spread through warm fluids, such as nasal secretions, saliva, urine, or a mother's milk. It can also be spread from a mother to her kittens while they are still in the womb. Grooming one-another and fighting tend to be the most common ways in which the virus spreads. Because feline leukemia cannot survive outside of a host, ordinary detergents, including bleach, successfully kill the virus on household surfaces.

Feline panleukopenia virus

Feline panleukopenia (FPV)

Feline panleukopenia (FPV), also known as feline distemper, is a viral infection among cats that is caused by parvovirus. Similar to parvovirus, it is extremely resilient and can survive on nearly any surface and for extensive periods of time. FPV is highly contagious and often fatal. While it is not contagious for humans or dogs, ferrets can spread the disease to and can obtain the disease from cats. This virus is spread through contact with an infected animal's bodily waste, body fluid, bed, or dishes. Pet owners can also carry the disease on their clothing and shoes.

Rabies

Rabies

Rabies is an often fatal viral infection that is transferred when a pet comes into contact with an infected host. Most often, exposure occurs through contact with affected wildlife, namely bats, coyotes, foxes, or skunks. A rabid animal could bite another or make contact with an existing wound, resulting in an infection; transmission can also occur when an animal makes contact with infected saliva through the eyes or mouth. Being that the virus is zoonotic, humans are capable of contracting rabies from their pets.

Leptospirosis

Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) is a viral disease that infects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous systems. Dogs who have not been vaccinated for Canine Distemper are the most at-risk. While the disease can also be contracted when improperly vaccinated or when a dog has high susceptibility to bacterial infection, these cases are rare.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is caused by exposure to a spirochaete bacteria (double membrane, asexual bacteria that is cylindrically shaped). Infection carrying ticks spread Lyme disease to pets, generally canines, by attaching to the pet and feeding on their blood for an extended period of time. This bite transmits the bacteria from the tick to the pet. Ticks that carry Lyme disease are more and more common in our area. They also thrive in temperatures above freezing, so more cases are reported during the months of March through October. 

After feeding on an animal's blood supply for several hours, it can take weeks to months for the bacteria to self-replicate and travel through the bloodstream and embed itself in muscles, joints, tendons, the heart, and lymph nodes. Some pet breeds can develop a fatal type of Lyme disease that specifically attacks their kidneys. Because Lyme disease can be fatal if left untreated, we recommend contacting the veterinarian when you first notice something might be wrong with your pet. For pet owners who live in high-risk areas, vaccination is highly recommended. 

Symptoms of Lyme disease in domestic pets:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Hesitant to get up from resting position
  • Hesitant to run, jump, or walk
  • Lethargy
  • Limping on one leg then shifting to another
  • Occasional or permanent inability to bear weight on a limb
  • Swollen, painful joints
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
How is Lyme disease treated?  
Lyme disease is often extremely difficult to detect. When the veterinarian suspects a patient to have contracted the bacteria, its blood will be tested. It takes most animals 1 to 5 months to exhibit symptoms of an infection after becoming contaminated if they show outward signs at all. Often, pet owners bring in their animal to address another issue; after blood tests are conducted, they are surprised to learn their pet has Lyme disease. 
Once your pet has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, it can be treated with oral antibiotics that are administered daily for a period of 4 weeks. If the disease has progressed to the point of causing kidney damage, more powerful antibiotics might be necessary, and hospitalization can be required. Reoccurrence can happen, though it is rare. In these instances, the disease is managed with antibiotics for an extended period of time. 
 Please contact our office if you would like more information on the dangers of Lyme disease or if you wish to schedule a vaccination appointment.

Fleas, mites and ticks

Fleas, mites and ticks

Fleas can cause problems for pets ranging from minor to life-threatening. Not only can these parasites cause severe itching, irritation, and allergies, but they can also transmit tapeworms and diseases. Fleas can infest dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, and rats. And fleas don't just stay on pets; they can bite people, too. 

You don't want these blood-sucking parasites on your pet or in your home. We can help keep them away or help you get rid of them if they've already found their way inside. Call us to find out how to eliminate and control fleas or to start your pet on a preventive today.

Fleas  
 The most common flea is the Ctenocephalides Felix, more commonly known as the cat flea, though there are various other types. This particular type of flea is capable of hosting on humans, cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, rats, mice, guinea pigs, ferrets, and birds. These fleas rapidly reproduce and are capable of quickly infesting an entire household with both humans and pets as their hosts. If one pet has fleas, all pets within the household must be treated. Fleas survive by ingesting the blood of their hosts. When they bite the host's flesh, their saliva irritates the skin, causing the host to itch which in turn, may cause an allergic reaction. To determine if your pet has fleas, comb a section of hair on their back, towards a white piece of paper. If black flecks, resembling dirt, fall onto the paper, gently drop a very small amount of water onto the paper. If the black flecks begin to turn a rust-colored red, your pet has fleas. The rust hue is resultant of the blood being sucked out of your pet. If nothing comes off of your pet when brushed, or if the black flecks remain black, your pet is healthy. Household inhabitants with fleas may experience:
  • Anemia
  • Mild to severe scratching
  • Open sores
  • Pet owners experiencing flea bites
Treatment for fleas  
If one pet in the household has fleas, all household inhabitants should be treated. Treatment can include either a shampoo or a topical treatment. Shampoos will kill fleas for a few days, whereas topical creams or gels will kill fleas for a few weeks. We recommend using topical treatments for a more thorough solution. If you would like recommendations when choosing a flea preventative, contact our veterinary office, and we would be happy to assist you in selecting a superior product for your pet. 
Mites  
Similar to numerous other parasites, mites exist in multiple forms. The ear mite is the most common type of mite among cats and dogs and frequently causes feline ear disease. Most mites are barely visible, forcing veterinarians to use a microscope to detect them on a pet and to determine the specific type. Most often, a pet contracts mites from another pet or from another pet's bedding. Some mites, including scabies, are contagious to humans, while others, such as mange, are not. 
  Symptoms that a pet has mites:
  • Crusty rash around ears
  • Dark, waxy or crusty ear discharge
  • Hair loss from excessive scratching
  • Head shaking
  • Large blood blisters around ears
  • Patches of scaliness
  • Scratching
Treatment for mites  
After the veterinarian has determined the type of mite bothering your pet through a microscope evaluation, they will determine the best form of treatment. Some mites can be treated with topical medications or oral medication; others are best handled with a medicated bath or dip. Some types of mites cannot be cured, but with the appropriate medication, the condition can be kept under control. 
Ticks  
There is no question that pets are curious beings, often wandering into every shrub or bush they can squeeze through. In certain geographical areas, this roaming can cause a pet to acquire ticks. More common in dogs than cats, ticks attach themselves to a pet's neck, ears, or skin folds. The bites can cause irritation, spread disease, and can eventually cause anemia. If you live in an area prone to tick infestation, be sure to periodically examine your pet after walks or after they have roamed for long periods outside. 
What do I do if my pet has a tick?  
Promptly removing a tick upon discovering one is the easiest way to prevent disease transmission. To remove a tick, carefully grip the tick with tweezers as close to the pet's skin as possible. Firmly pull the tick away from the skin while holding the tweezers tightly closed. After removing the tick, crush it, but avoid contact with the innards, as they could be carrying disease. If you do not pull the tick off just right, the head can remain attached and will continue to infect your pet, so it is critical that you remove the tick in its entirety. During tick season, try using a tick preventative to reduce your pet's chances of acquiring ticks, especially if taking your pet through heavily infested areas when hiking or camping. If you are unfamiliar with tick removal or feel unconfident removing your pet's tick on your own, contact the veterinarian, and they can remove the tick for you.

Hookworm, Roundworm, Tapeworm, and Whipworm

Hookworm, Roundworm, Tapeworm, and Whipworm

Feline panleukopenia (FPV), also known as feline distemper, is a viral infection among cats that is caused by parvovirus. Similar to parvovirus, it is extremely resilient and can survive on nearly any surface and for extensive periods of time. FPV is highly contagious and often fatal. While it is not contagious for humans or dogs, ferrets can spread the disease to and can obtain the disease from cats. This virus is spread through contact with an infected animal's bodily waste, body fluid, bed, or dishes. Pet owners can also carry the disease on their clothing and shoes.