The battle of the bulge! Hypothyroidism by bcs24005


									                                                                                                                            SPRING 2009

                                  CASTLE	VETERINARY	SURGEONS
Montalbo	Road,	Barnard	Castle,	Co.	Durham
Branch	Surgery:	34	Maude	Terrace,	St.	Helen	Auckland,	Co.	Durham
Practice Facilities
• Ample Parking
                                                            The battle of the bulge!
• Modern Surgical Facilities                               The long winter months are often a time
                                                           of inactivity and weight gain for many pets.    Hypothyroidism
• Separate Wards for Dogs & Cats                          however, keeping our pets fit and trim is just   The thyroid glands,
                                                    as important for pets as it is for ourselves, since    found in the neck,
• Qualified Nursing Staff
                                                                                                           produce thyroid
                                                     obesity is known to cause or worsen a number of
• In-house Laboratory                                                                                      hormone which
                                                     conditions including arthritis, heart disease,        regulates your
• Pet health Counsellor for                          and diabetes mellitus – to name just three!           pet’s metabolism.
  advice on all aspects of pet                       If you suspect that your pet has become a little      Under production
  health from birth to old age.                        too “cuddly”, the first thing to do is to arrange   of thyroid hormone is called
• Reception Offices open                                for us to weigh him or her. We will also give      hypothyroidism and is a
                                                                                                           relatively common condition
0 from 8.15am - 6.00pm                                   your pet a thorough physical examination to       in older dogs. Lower levels
0 Monday to Friday for:                                 check for any medical conditions that can also     of thyroid hormone result in
  •	Making	of	Appointments                                       result in weight gain (such as hypo-      a decrease in the metabolic
                                                                 throidism – see panel right).             rate, usually leading to weight
  •	Pet	Food	&	Accessories
                                                                                                           gain and generalised lethargy.
  •	Routine	Worming	and			                                       Although conditions such as hypothy-
                                                                                                           Other signs often include coat
    Flea Treatments                                              roidism can be an issue for some pets,    problems and recurrent ear
                                                                 in the majority of cases there are no     and skin infections.
  Consulting Times                                               underlying medical problems and here      Diagnosis of hypothyroidism
    barnard Castle Surgery                                       we can advise you on the best form of     can be tricky, but in confirmed
                                      X-ray of an arthritic
         By Appointment              hip joint in a dog. The weight loss programme for your pet.           cases, daily treatment with
         monday - Friday             symptoms of arthritis So, if your pet is looking a little podgy       oral thyroid supplements are
         8.30 - 10.30am,            are often much worse in                                                usually very successful in
                                                                 get in touch since weight loss can make   treating the condition.
  1.30 - 3.00pm, 4.00 - 6.00pm          overweight pets.
                                                                 a huge difference to your pet’s health!
      9.00am - 12.00 noon
Emergencies seen at any time
                                                              Rabbiting on.....
(Please phone first if possible)     WiTh The onset of warmer spring weather, now is the time to protect your rabbit from the
                                     risk of infectious diseases – specifically Myxomatosis and Viral haemorrhagic Disease.
01833 637700 (Office Hours)
                                     Myxomatosis is a very distressing viral disease that affects both wild and domesticated rab-
      St. Helens Surgery             bits. The virus is spread by blood sucking insects such as rabbit fleas and mosquitoes. The
         By Appointment              virus multiplies on the skin of affected rabbits, causing puffy swellings of the eyes, usually
        monday & Friday              leading to blindness. Affected rabbits become very ill, often suffering from pneumonia and
                                     sadly most will die over a period of 10-14 days.
 8.30 - 11.00am, 2.00 - 6.00pm
                                     Viral Haemorrhagic Disease is another highly contagious and very deadly viral
      tuesday - thursday
                                     disease. The virus is spread both by direct contact between rabbits, or via contami-
 8.30 - 10.00am, 2.00 - 6.00pm       nated hutches, bedding or food and sometimes inadvertently by humans. Symp-
            Saturday                 toms include loss of appetite, lethargy, nose bleeds and sudden death.
         9.00 - 11.00am              happily we are now able to offer you protection against both of these deadly infec-
  Emergencies seen during            tious diseases – please contact us now to arrange a health check and vaccination.
   normal surgery hours.             While we’re on the subject of rabbits, don’t forget that another danger they
    (Please phone first)             face comes from flies. if your rabbit is allowed to get at all soiled around the
01388 450700 (Office Hours)          bottom area, flies can lay eggs there which develop into flesh eating maggots
                                     within hours causing pain and sometimes death. So don’t forget to check, and
                                     if necessary clean, your rabbit’s bottom area daily and to seek veterinary advice if
      01833 695695                   their droppings are too loose or too hard and predispose to soiling. And if you do
(Out of Hours Emergencies)           see any signs of fly eggs or maggots – please call us straight away.
                                                                                                                             Rabbit photo: Jane Burton

                For further information on any of the topics covered in this newsletter,
                             please contact the practice on 01833 637700.
                               The heart of the matter!
                                                                                                                                         The heart as a pump
                                                              In a healthy heart, the right side
                                                              of the heart receives deoxygen-
                                                              ated blood from the tissues of
                                                              the body. As the chambers of the
                                                              right side contract, they pump
                                                              the blood to the lungs where the
                                                              blood is reoxygenated. The oxy-
                                                              gen rich blood then flows back                                                                                                                                Down the
DID you know that the heart disease, and this can be
                                                              into the left side of the heart. As
                                                              the chambers of the left side con-                                                                                                                           microscope!
is the most vital muscle in the gradual or sudden in onset.   tract, the blood is then pumped                                        IT’s A worrying thought that there
body? The key function of the There are many possible caus- to the tissues of the body. This is                                      are a large number of parasites just
                                                              illustrated diagramatically below.
heart (see box right) is to     es of heart disease, however                                                                         itching to live on your pet! Here we
pump de-oxygenated blood to the two most common causes As the heart muscle squeezes                                                  look at a few of them:
                                                              and pumps, valves within the
the lungs where it is reoxygen- are due to either heart valve heart prevent back flow of blood.                                      Fleas are 2-3mm in length and
ated and pump reoxygenated problems, or a problem with                                                             Oxygen-rich
                                                                                                                                     need little introduction to most pet
blood back to the tissues of                    the heart muscle itself.                          Blood to
                                                                                                  the lungs
                                                                                                                   blood from
                                                                                                                   the lungs         owners! They feed on your pet’s
the body – delivering oxygen Heart disease is commonly                              Oxygen
                                                                                                                                     blood causing intense irritation and
                                                                                                                           Blood to
and vital nutrients for life.                   associated with a range of          blood from
                                                                                    the body
                                                                                                                           the body  sometimes allergic skin reactions.
Whilst most of us (and our                      symptoms including:                                                                  Moving down in size, fur mites
                                                                                                                        Left atrium
pets!) thankfully take all this • Reluctance to exercise                            Right atrium                                     (Cheyletiella) are just about
for granted, heart disease is                   • Tiring more easily                                                                 visible with the naked eye,
nevertheless surprisingly com- • Coughing                                           Right ventricle                   Left ventricle
                                                                                                                                     but require microscopic
mon; around 10% of older                        • Laboured breathing                Right side                            Left side
                                                                                                                                     examination for positive
               dogs suffer from                 • Pale or blueish gums                            Oxygen-depleted blood              identification. sometimes
                    heart disease               • Fainting or collapse                            Oxygen-rich blood                  called creeping dandruff,
                      and it can affect If you are concerned that your                                                               these mites infest dogs, cats and
                      younger dogs              pet is showing any of these          The good news however is that rabbits. They cause a varying degree
                      and other pets signs, please come and see us new methods of diagnosis and of irritation and (like fleas) may
                   as well.                     for a full clinical examination novel forms of treatment are                         also bite owners of affected pets.
Any loss of normal heart                        – as with many illnesses, early now transforming the lives of Ear mites (Otodectes cynotis)
function is called heart                        detection is the golden rule!        many pets with heart disease. affect dogs and cats, infesting
                                                                                                                                     the external ear canal – see
                                                                  A word in your ear!                                                article left. The mites are
                                                                                                                                     visible to the naked eye
                                            DO yOu notice your pets scratching their ears? Are there any                             and lead to excessive wax              x75
                                            signs of redness or discharge? Ear problems are surprisingly
                                            common and in order to understand them better we need to
                                                                                                                                     production and great irritation.
                                              know a little about the anatomy of the ear.                                            Moving down further again in size,
                                               The ear is a complex structure protected externally by a pinna                        Sarcoptes scabiei is the mite
                                                                 (or flap). A narrow external ear canal carries                      which causes mange in dogs and
                                                                  sound down to the ear drum, where it passes                        foxes. In contrast to Cheyle-
                                                                  onto the middle and inner ear.
                                                                                                                                     tiella, this is a burrowing
                                                       Most of the ear problems seen in dogs and cats occur                          mite – living below the
                                                in the external ear canal – a condition called otitis externa
                                                (or canker). Symptoms commonly include ear rubbing, head                             surface of the skin where it
                                                shaking and reddened skin lining the ear canal. This is often                        causes very intense irritation.
                                                accompanied by a discharge which may be foul smelling.                               Please contact us if you would like
                                                There are several underlying causes of otitis externa including
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Labrador photo: Jane Burton. Ear diagram: Jenny Hole

                                                                                                                                     any further information on any of
  Inner ear                                     ear mite infestation (common in puppies and kittens – see
                                     External                                                                                        the parasites mentioned above.
                                   ear canal article right), trapped foreign bodies (such as grass seeds) and                        Finally, with the warmer spring
                                                localised inflammation of the skin lining the ear canals – often
                                   Ear drum seen as part of a more generalised allergic skin condition.                              weather here (at last!), it is essential
                                 Middle ear The key to success with otitis externa is early diagnosis of the                         to keep one jump ahead of fleas!
   The ear in cross section. Most ear problems underlying cause and effective treatment. Please come and
                                                                                                                                     Please let us advise you on the best
          occur in the external ear canal       see us if you are at all worried about your pet’s ears.                              form of flea control for your pets!

    This Newsletter is provided as an education service to our clients. All news and other items in this newsletter are for information only and should not be treated as a substitute for specialist veterinary advice. For all images, the copyright is the property of the photographer.

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