Pet Articles

COVID-19 and Your Pets: Update

The SARS-CoV-2 Virus

It has been more than a year since COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has been declared a worldwide pandemic. Much research has been done regarding many aspects of the virus, the disease process it causes as well as the spread of the virus. In the wake of the anticipation of South Africa’s ‘third wave’ of COVID-19 infections, this article serves as a follow-up discussion regarding information that has come to light in the past year.

Domestic pet poisoning

My pet may have eaten something poisonous. How do I know if she will be alright?

Poisoning is a common occurrence in domestic animals like dogs and cats. The most widely observed route of poisoning is via the mouth (orally), but topical poisoning and other routes of intoxication are also possible. No matter the route of poisoning, it’s critical to treat each individual case of poisoning as a matter of urgency, as some poisons could be life-threatening for the pet. In this article, we give an overview of the most commonly encountered poisons in private practice in this part of the world.

Malicious poisoning of dogs

I think my dog has been poisoned! What must I do?

What poisons are used on dogs?

The most commonly used poisons are organophosphates (malathion, disufloton, acephate, parathion), carbamates (Aldicarb, Temik/‘two-step’) and rat poison. Organophosphates and carbamates are insecticides used for both agricultural and household applications. Temik is often used despite being a restricted substance, and may be combined with other substances. The tiny bluish-black granules, which are white on the inside when crushed, are commonly hidden in something tasty such as a piece of sausage, polony, meat or bread. Clinical signs of poisoning start within minutes to hours after exposure to the poison. Temik can kill dogs very quickly

Coughing

My pet seems to have a persistent cough. What caused it and what can I do about it?

Coughing is one of the most common syndromes veterinarians all around the world encounter during consultations. Coughing in itself is not a disease, but a symptom of something else in your pet. The onset, type of cough, duration and production will help the vet to get to the bottom of what’s going on inside your pet.

PERIANAL FISTULA

My dog has sores around his anus, which he is constantly licking. He also gets aggressive if I touch his tail and he seems uncomfortable and is just not himself. What's wrong?

Perianal fistulas are an extremely painful medical condition of the anal region of dogs. As the name describes, this condition involves infection in the skin and surrounding tissue of the anus. ‘Peri’ means around, the anus, while a fistula is a tunnel in the skin that connects an area of infection to the skin or glands. This condition is characterised by very smelly draining sinus tracts in the skin around the anus and sometimes the deeper structures beneath the skin up to the rectum. 

Corneal Ulceration

My pet's eye is half closed and there seems to be something in their eye

My pet’s eye is half-closed and there seems to be something in their eye

Chronic diarrhoea in dogs and cats

My pet has recurring episodes of loose stools

What is chronic diarrhoea?

Chronic refers to a disease that has been ongoing, either persistently or intermittently for three weeks or more. Whereas diarrhoea, as many of us can relate, is the passing of soft or loose stool. This stool is usually soft enough that it needs to be scraped up rather than picked up. It can range from the consistency of thick porridge to watery like soup.

Acute Abdomen

My pet won't eat, has a distended belly, is retching, and appears restless and in pain. She seemed fine yesterday, what could be the cause?

Now and again pet owners are faced with emergency situations when their pets are suddenly in severe belly pain. Unexpectedly, both the owner and the pet are in a moment of anxiety and distress. So what could possibly be going on? This sudden severe belly pain is what veterinarians call an acute abdomen.

My pet has put on weight and is acting slow and lazy. His hair is falling out and he has recurring skin infections. He also seems cold all the time. What's going on?!

Hypothyroidism

What is hypothyroidism?

As with humans, hypothyroidism is caused by low levels of thyroid hormone being produced by the thyroid gland, which is located on either side of the throat. Since the thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system, any decrease in thyroid hormone secretion has an effect on multiple systems in the body that rely on hormones to function properly – like the metabolism.

My pet lost a patch of fur and developed a massive sore overnight. It looks like a burn wound.

Hotspots (Acute moist dermatitis or moist eczema)

Acute moist dermatitis is a skin ailment in pets that’s caused by a trigger like an itch or pain, and exacerbated by the pet’s scratching and licking until it becomes a large bare patch of painful skin lesion. Since the lesion is an open painful wound, it’s referred to more commonly as a hotspot.

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