Millennium Post


Just like kids need their parents to look after them, pets need people to take care of their basic needs


My horse hasn't been eating well since a couple of days and has perpetual yellow nasal discharge. What should I do?

Strangles is one of the most common respiratory illnesses in horses. Strangles is caused by an easily transmissible bacterium called Streptococcus equi. The bacteria can easily be carried from horse to horse, by human hands and clothing, brushes, buckets and persist on stable surfaces for weeks. Young horses are more susceptible to strangles than mature horses over five years of age, although horses can contract strangles at any age, especially if their immune system is already weakened.

Because the bacteria are so easily transmissible, one horse can quickly infect a whole stable, or one horse at a horse show can spread the illness more widely.

Strangles can be easily diagnosed by testing the nasal mucous. If caught in its very early stages, penicillin can be administered with good results. However, as the illness progresses, antibiotics are less effective and may even cause complications. With or without antibiotics, good care that includes scrupulous hygiene is essential. Any burst lymph nodes should be allowed to drain and cleaned with the antiseptic recommended by your veterinarian.

If a horse suspected to have strangled quarantine is necessary and any new horse to a stable should be kept separate to make sure it has no diseases to pass along. Anything that comes in contact with the horse, equipment including feed and water buckets, brushes, blankets, human hands should be well cleaned. Vaccinations are available, but so far, their life span is very short. If a stable is infected with strangles it should be closed to new horses and people should be advised to take precautions. Horses should not travel anywhere they might spread the disease, even if they appear to be recovered.

My cat's pupils are unequal in size. Is this important?

The pupil is the circular opening in the center of the eye that allows light to pass through. The pupil expands when there is little light present, and contracts when there is a greater amount of light present. Anisocoria refers to a medical condition of unequal pupil size where one of a cat's pupils is smaller than the other. With proper detection of the disease's underlying cause, a treatment plan can be made to resolve the issue. Anisocoria may be an indication of a serious injury or disease, so prompt medical diagnosis is essential.

The most noticeable symptom is when one pupil is visibly smaller than the other, but there may also be concurrent pain, such as pain in the eye, or pain in the head. Pain may be evidenced by pawing at the head or tilting the head to one side. Confusion may also be present, which may indicate head trauma or internal pressure.

There are several potential causes of altered pupil size in cats, including inflammation in the frontal region of the eye, increased pressure in the eye, diseases that are focused in the iris tissue itself, a poorly developed iris, scar tissue build up in the eye, medications, or tumours. See a proper eye doctor not a vet

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to

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