Every practising veterinarian would have been confronted by clients who shiver in fear as they present their pets who they believe are suffering from cancer.
– the final ‘wrap–up’ column After more than 45 years of veterinary practice and participating in dozens of ‘refresher’ courses which share the latest knowledge in animal health matters, it has become clear to me that pet owners, over the years, still ask the same questions relative to the best nutritional regime for an elderly pet.
We have been spending what seems to be an inordinate amount of time on this subject.
Continued from last week I had promised last week to continue the discussion on the different types of commercial dog food on the market.
(Continued from last week) Actually, the scientific literature on the nutritional requirements of the elderly dog seems not to be copious.
Over the last few weeks we have been writing about the preferred feeding regimes of puppies, young adults, pregnant and lactating bitches, etc.
(Continued from last week) Before we launch into today’s theme, allow me to mention that someone – after reading last week’s column – asked me how one could distinguish between a young puppy and an older puppy.
The nutrition of companion animals (pets) has received considerable interest during the recent decades, and certain large manufacturers of dog and cat foods have conducted extensive research and feeding trials, in order to establish nutritious diets that need no supplementation.
For one thing, I have observed that, over the past few decades, more and more publications, articles, surveys, research projects and studies are being documented.
Dogs training humans? We have just completed weeks of discussing canine paediatrics and how to choose the right pup to live in your home, as an integral part of your family for the next decade or more.
(Continued from last week) Last week, we discussed the physical examination of young pups, especially their reproductive organs.
(Continued from last week) You may recall that we were discussing the features to which special attention must be paid when we are purchasing or adopting a young puppy.
(Continued from last week) The physical examination Look at and in the pup’s mouth.
(Continued from last week) Weaning The time to wean the pups away from the mother depends upon several factors which include the size of the litter.
Continued from last week Hernias Colloquially, all over the English speaking world, people describe hernias as ‘ruptures’.
This is a central nervous system disorder caused by a low level sugar in the blood (hypoglycaemia).
Continued from last week Well, let’s return to the more mundane matters pertaining to pet care.
Continued The week before last we spoke of skin infections of the young pup.
Today, on the threshold of the festive season, we’ll deal with food intake, or rather, what not to feed your pet(s) at Christmas.
Continued from last week So far, we have discussed some of the common problems that incapacitate puppies within the first few weeks of their lives.
(Continued from last week) Herpes virus of young puppies Some of you may recall that, a few decades ago, there was a great awareness of herpes virus infections in the sexually active human population.
Continued from last week Puppy septicaemia (blood poisoning) Last week, I mentioned that as a sequel to a navel infection, a septicaemia could develop.
Continued Problems at the navel site (1) Bleeding When a puppy is in the womb, it is connected to its mother by the umbilical cord which contains tubes (one vein and two arteries) which bring in nutrients and take out impure blood.
Continued from last week Puppy diseases So far, we have been looking at the caring of the newborn puppy.
Last week we described how one could ensure that food gets into the stomach of the newborn pup.
Over the last two weeks we have been discussing the formula which we could use as a substitute for the dam’s milk.
Continued from last week Today we continue where we left off last week when we discussed the provision of a suitable hygienic environment and nutrition for the newborn puppies.
Continued from last week Hand-rearing of newborn puppies The advice given below is to pet owners who are faced with the challenge of hand-rearing part or all of a litter of newborn puppies.
Continued from last week Importance of weight gain Puppies should gain one to one and half grams of weight per day for each pound of anticipated adult weight and should double their birth weight in eight to the days.
Continued from last week Temperature As a puppy is born, his temperature is the same as that of his mother.
Continued Caring for the newborn Newborn puppies are born without the capacity to adapt to environmental stress.
Continued The runt The physically immature puppy is at a distinct disadvantage, because of his low birth weight and lack of muscle mass and subcutaneous fat.
Continued Why do newborn puppies die? According to USA textbook figures, thirty per cent of puppies die between birth and weaning.
Continued Last week we started sharing some basic information on newborn pups/kittens.
Continued It is important that we understand the physiology and behavioural patterns of newborn puppies, so that steps can be taken to provide an environment which is conducive to the flourishing of the pups.
Over the previous months we have discussed problems associated with pregnancy and whelping.
Mothers learn to recognize and care for their puppies as they are born.
Continued Milk fever In high producing dairy cattle, this ailment is serious. In dogs, when milk fever (or eclampsia as it is sometimes called) occurs, the animal can die within a day or two after the onset.
Continued Breast infection (mastitis) Last week we discussed ‘caked breasts.’ Today, we will examine that ailment which is a common problem that develops just after delivery of the puppies, and as they start to suckle.
Continued Last week we discussed the infected dog’s uterus (womb) during the period immediately after she has given birth.
There are several maladies which can affect the dog after she has given birth to her puppies.
Last week, we began our discussion on the care of the mother dog after she has given birth (post partum).
Veterinarians (and human doctors as well) speak of the post partum period when referring to the time after the dam (mother dog) has given birth to her puppies.
I might have mentioned before that, unlike a human foetus, which is usually only one by itself in the womb surrounded by its own thin covering membrane (the amniotic sac), the each of the several puppies in a bitch’s womb is surrounded by its own enveloping bag.
(Continued) Caesarian operation The first question to be asked is when should one consider presenting the mother dog to the veterinarian because of a difficult labour period.
In the ‘Pet Corner’ of May 19, I mentioned how you could assist your female dog to deliver a pup that is stuck in the birth canal.
(Continued) When to call your vet We have discussed in depth the issue of ‘difficult labour’ (actually, we have belaboured the point in two separate columns), explaining what you can do at home to initially solve the problem.
(Continued) Prolonged labour (Dystocia, difficult labour) The prolongation of any phase of labour is called dystocia.
(Continued) So now the first puppy has arrived. Should you interfere or should you let nature take its course?
Continued Having already discussed the important matters that surround the pre-whelping period, we’ll concentrate today on the issues associated with labour and the actual delivery.