Illustrated Articles

Breeding

  • A caesarean section is a major surgery usually performed in an emergency to help deliver puppies. As with any anesthesia, the dog may be sleepy but should be able to eat a high quality diet and nurse puppies within a few hours. The dog should be monitored for fever, abnormal vulvar discharge, and abnormalities at her incision. It is important to ensure that puppies are able to nurse well. If not, or if the dog can not produce enough milk, then commercial milk replacer is recommended. Colostrum ingestion is important for immune protection. If puppies are not nursing within the first 24 hours, then they will need additional veterinary care. Ambient temperature is important in the first 2-4 weeks after birth as puppies cannot regulate their temperature well.

  • Chediak-Higashi Syndrome is a rare genetic disease of smoke-blue Persian cats. The condition affects how the body processes waste products, resulting in changes within the body’s cells and leading to abnormal pigmentation of the skin and coat. The condition can lead to eye abnormalities and problems with blood clotting, but most cats can have a normal lifespan with careful health monitoring.

  • Chronic egg-laying occurs when a female bird lays one egg after another or lays repeated clutches of eggs. Chronic egg-laying may lead to malnutrition and egg binding. There are both behavioral and medical interventions to stop chronic egg-laying.

  • This handout discusses the growing trend for designer dog breeds – the crossing of pure dog breeds to create dogs that combine “the best of both worlds.” The pros and cons of this practice are highlighted, along with some of the more common designer breeds currently available.

  • Cat lovers consider sweet, soulful, kitty eyes gazing at them to be heartwarming. Those feline glances can melt some human hearts. But after the loss of a feline, canine, or human companion, could those mournful eyes indicate that the cat is actually mourning?

  • Eclampsia in cats is a rare emergent condition of hypocalcemia that generally occurs one to four weeks after giving birth but can occur before. Risk factors include a poor diet, abnormal parathyroid gland, and calcium supplementation during pregnancy. Signs of eclampsia start as restlessness, panting, and stiffness and can progress to disorientation, tremors, inability to walk, and convulsions. Treatment includes intravenous fluids, careful intravenous calcium supplementation, and other supportive medications followed by oral supplementation and weaning kittens as soon as possible or supplementing their diet with milk replacer.

  • Eclampsia in dogs is an emergent condition of hypocalcemia that generally occurs one to four weeks after whelping but can also occur shortly before giving birth. Risk factors include a poor diet, small breed dogs, abnormal parathyroid gland, and calcium supplementation during pregnancy. Signs of eclampsia start as restlessness, panting, and stiffness and can progress to disorientation, tremors, inability to walk, and convulsions. Treatment includes intravenous fluids, careful intravenous calcium supplementation, and other supportive medications. This is followed by oral supplementation and weaning puppies as soon as possible or supplementing their diet with milk replacer.

  • Egg binding is not uncommon in birds and may be resolved easily if treated early. Egg binding occurs when the female bird is unable to expel the egg from her body. If a prolonged period has elapsed since the bird began attempting to lay the egg, she may become critically ill. Birds with egg binding may or may not have passed an egg more than 2 days ago, are usually weak, not perching, often sitting low on the perch or on the bottom of the cage, and are straining as if trying to defecate or to lay an egg. Treatment varies depending upon how sick the bird is, as well as the location of the egg and the length of time the bird has been egg bound. Critically ill birds are first treated supportively for shock, and then attempts are made to extract the egg. If your veterinarian cannot see the egg through the vent, surgery under general anesthetic may be necessary to remove the egg from the abdomen. A hysterectomy (removal of the oviduct and uterus) is typically the last choice therapy, when medical and egg extraction through the vent are not possible.

  • The estrous cycle, better known as a female cat's heat cycle, consists of several stages; the stage called estrus refers to when the female is sexually receptive. This handout explains the age of onset, the clinical signs of a cat in heat, the length and phases of the heat cycle, as well as the benefits of spaying a female before her first heat cycle.

  • Female dogs will have their first estrous (reproductive or heat) cycle when they reach puberty. Each cycle consists of several stages; the stage called estrus refers to when the female can become pregnant. This handout explains the cycle stages and signs as well as how to prevent mating and pregnancy in your female dog.