Health Articles - PawNation

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Hyperthyroidism is the most common hormonal abnormality in cats. Traditional treatments included radioactive iodine treatment to inactivate the tumor cells that cause excess secretion of thyroid hormone, or medication to suppress hormone secretion. Several years ago, it was found that an iodine deficient diet was just as effective as the traditional treatments for treating hyperthyroidism in cats. Credit: Gemenacom / Shutterstock The solution was revolutionary and substantially reduced the costs of treating this condition. Questions arose about this approach in multiple cat households, where it is impossible to successfully segregate food selections and where healthy cats would have access...

Help! Why Won't My Dog Eat?

Pet owners understandably become concerned when they think that their beloved companion is not eating enough. When I'm presented with a case like this, the first thing I do is try to determine if a problem truly exists. Sometimes owners mistake picky eating for not eating. As long as the pet is not too thin and is maintaining his or her weight, then caloric intake is fine. Conversely, if the pet is underweight or has been losing weight, we do have a problem. The challenge is to find out why the dog is not eating enough. Credit: Getty Creative A few questions will usually identify or rule out a problem with the food itself. If the owner purchases 40 pound bags of kibble for a 10 pound dog,...

How to Clean Your Dog's Ears

Whether they are pointy or floppy, long or short, dogs' ears are a sensitive part of their bodies. Unattended ear infections can lead to serious problems and possible hearing loss. If the ears smell bad, your dog is scratching at them or shaking his head, or if he acts in pain when you touch them, it could be a sign of an infection and the time to call your veterinarian. Also, just like the warnings for human ears, dogs' ears are no place for cotton swabs. Credit: Getty Creative Dogs have no interest in having their ears cleaned. You'll want to have all your supplies handy so you can devote your full attention to the dog and not get distracted looking for the wayward cotton balls. Your...

Veterinary research can sometimes appear to have little relevance to what dog owners care about most. Investigations delve into minutiae while we want answers to the big questions. But two recent research papers deal with possibly the biggest of big questions -- how to prolong life. Credit: Getty Creative In the first, 48 Labrador Retriever puppies from 7 litters were divided into 24 pairs based on their gender and weight at weaning. One dog from each pair was randomly designated to be the control, while the other was fed 25% less than what the control dog ate. The study ran from when the dogs were eight weeks old until they died. The pair was housed together with access to both indoor and...

Many people are somewhat familiar with Alzheimer's disease, but few know that dogs and cats can also suffer from a similar condition known as cognitive dysfunction. Credit: Thinkstock What is Cognitive Dysfunction? In short, cognitive dysfunction is a condition that is sometimes seen in older pets. Affected pets may become disoriented easily, even when in familiar surroundings. Their sleep cycle may be abnormal, often sleeping more during the course of the day but less as night. They may lose interest in interacting with the people around them. A previously house-trained dog or litter box-trained cat may even suddenly start having "accidents" in the home. NOTE: Many of these symptoms can...