Rosco Brembt is fast. At just over a year old, the tri-color Beagle mix had earned himself the full name of Rosco the Rocket, for his ability to take off like a shot throughout the house, owner Karen Brembt said.
But there was one thing even he couldn’t outrun: a hookworm infection that simply refused to resolve.
“Dr. Louer said put him on dewormers, and we’ve done that for nine months now and he just got clear,” Brembt said. Hookworms are vampire-like intestinal parasites that hang onto their host’s intestinal wall and suck their blood.
Rescued from a shelter in South Carolina, Rosco made his way to New Jersey in January, Brembt said, bringing his stubborn case of hookworms with him.
It’s common for dogs with intestinal parasites to have diarrhea, and Rosco had the telltale sign but not consistently, Brembt said. “He had diarrhea, he had hard stools, he had soft stools,” she said. “Everything you can think of, he had it.”
Now almost 2 years old, the Rocket has been on a special drug protocol Dr. Louer developed with parasitologists at Cornell University. “There are reports of multi-drug resistant hookworms,” Dr. Louer said.
“It started with Greyhounds in Florida at the track, and, basically, these hookworms don’t respond to traditional (medications). It’s being reported more and more.”
In Rosco’s case, Dr. Louer said he was treated consistently with medication that, theoretically, should have gotten rid of the parasites, but there were always eggs showing up in the stool samples when they were tested at the lab.
“Now there’s new protocol, and that was a combination of Advantage Multi and Drontal Plus,” Dr. Louer said. “That’s what we did and that’s why finally we got a negative fecal after nine months!”
Just because there was finally some good news doesn’t necessarily mean Rosco’s out of the woods, however. With another stool sample recheck due in a couple months, Dr. Louer was cautiously optimistic. “It may not be over,” he said. “We have to wait and see.”
Hide the Stash
Curious canine and feline companions can get themselves into a lot of trouble if left unattended with the candy bowl. Potentially toxic Halloween hazards include treats containing chocolate and the artificial sweetener xylitol. Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate, and sugar-free candies containing xylitol can cause serious problems in pets, including vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, elevated heart rate, seizures and liver damage.
Watch the Decorations
Lit pumpkins and electric and battery-powered Halloween décor, while certainly festive, present risks for pets. Chewed cords can cause life-threatening electrical shock/burn and, if ingested, batteries can cause chemical burns or GI blockage. Candles can easily be knocked over and start a fire, and pets can get burned or singed by the flame. Glass and plastic shards can also lead to lacerations within the esophagus and GI tract.
Careful with the Costumes
Dressing up isn’t for everyone. For some pets, wearing a costume can cause unnecessary stress. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume doesn’t limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, and carefully check for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Ill-fitting outfits can also lead to injury if they get twisted on external objects or your pet.
Keep Calm and Keep the ID On
With Halloween comes an increase in front door activity, and too many strangers can be scary or stressful for pets. When opening the door to visitors, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. Consider keeping pets in a separate room away from the door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Always make sure that your pet is wearing proper identification. A collar with identification tags or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.
Because of their association with Halloween and witchcraft in the public consciousness, black cats often get a bad rap. Black Cat Day falls on Oct. 27 and was created in 2011 by the United Kingdom charity Cats Protection, to show people that a black cat could be the perfect cat for them, and to help raise awareness about black cats in general. Sadly, black cats are more likely to be put to sleep or to wait a long time to be adopted from shelters. When the campaign was first launched, statistics showed it took black cats an average of a week longer to find a home when compared with other colored cats. There are several ways to celebrate Black Cat Day, including adopting a black cat from a shelter and sharing on social media using the hashtag #BlackCatDay.
Next to springtime, fall can be the most miserable time of the year for dogs with seasonal allergies. Canine seasonal allergies occur when they come in contact with or inhale something that their immune system does not tolerate well.
The immune system’s inflammatory response every time it encounters that allergen in the dog’s environment causes reactions such as itchy skin and recurrent ear infections.
Pet owners might see their dogs chewing at their feet, rubbing their faces on the carpet or furniture or scratching at their ears.
Tree and grass pollen, dust/dust mites, mold/mold mites and flea bites can all trigger an allergic response in dogs with seasonal allergies.
Over-the-counter remedies, such as antihistamines, as well as oral prescription medications and medications that modulate the immune system’s response to allergens are all treatment options for seasonal allergies in dogs.
Limiting exposure, medicated baths and prescription-strength lotions and sprays can also be helpful.
Choosing the right therapy - and getting relief! - begins with proper diagnosis.
If your dog seems itchy and uncomfortable, call to make an appointment to have them examined at Greenwood Lake Animal Hospital today!
Launched by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, Oct. 14 marks National Pet Obesity Awareness Day.
The day seeks to remind pet owners that obese pets often experience a poor quality of life and have a short life expectancy.
Pet owners who are unsure if their dog or cat is overweight can find tools and resources for pet weight loss at petobesityprevention.org.