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Grooming your best friend

Your pet’s fur can fall prey to various infections from worms, virus or mites.

My dog gets exhausted very easily and his ears and tongue turn blue after a long run. What should I do?
These could be symptoms of a heart disease that could eventually lead to heart failure. A dog heart attacks looks like this:
Difficulty breathing including panting
Tilting of the head
Arrhythmia
Pain and discomfort
Seizures or sudden collapse
Stiffness of the forelimbs
Avoid administering any food or water during the attack. Due to the pain and discomfort associated with the heart attack, the dog may become aggressive. Pet owners should gently place a hand on the dog's chest to determine the pace of heartbeat. Take the dog to a vet immediately and have all the tests done.
Three years ago, I took my 18-month-old female Pomeranian to the vet after a small scab came off her shoulder area. The vet said it was a "hot" spot, however, the hair has not only never grown back in that area but the spot has gotten larger. I can see tiny red spots around the perimeter of the hairless area.
The condition you are describing is focal alopecia which is a localised area of hair loss on a dog. Pyotraumatic dermatitis, also known as "hot spots," can leave such a characteristic lesion after they heal. Due to damage to the hair follicles during active inflammation, the hair may or may not grow back. My concern is that you notice red spots around the edges of the lesion and that it is gradually increasing is size which strongly suggests an active inflammatory response. Ringworm produces circular hairless lesions with a red ring and should be ruled out by your regular veterinarian. Proper tests should be done to diagnose the disease correctly. The treatment involves clipping the wound just past the red area so that the skin can be cleaned with a chlorhexidene solution and cool water followed with topical application of an antimicrobial ointment or spray such as Vetericyn. Oral supplementation with omega fatty acids can also reduce the severity of chronic dermatoses.
My bulldog has broken out with these bumps around his mouth and chin. They look like little blisters. They don't seem to hurt him but I'm still worried that he is allergic to something around the house.
This sounds like a fairly common ailment known as canine acne. In fact, bulldog is one of the breeds that is the most affected by this complaint (as well as Boxers and Great Danes). This condition most commonly begins to develop around the age of five to eight months (equivalent to adolescence in humans). Typically, the condition will resolve itself after about one year of age—and if chronic acne still persists veterinary care may be required. Keeping the skin around affected areas clean with mild anti-bacterial cleanses will help to control outbreaks and prevent infection. Anti-inflammatories are only generally required if your dog is scratching the affected area more than is healthy for the skin. I would still recommend that your dog sees a vet, who may decide to take a skin biopsy to be sure that the acne is the cause. Other possible reasons for these symptoms include ringworm and demodecosis (a mite infestation).
Why does my dog shed hair?
Shedding a small amount is normal for every mammal including you. But any more means that the dog is not well and you need to have a blood and urine test. Dogs with untreated allergies often leave more hair and dander on furniture. Daily brushing, a good diet and proper grooming will significantly reduce your pet's shedding and help prevent flaking skin and hair loss related to improper nutrition. Never bathe a dog more than once a month (less often for some breeds) or it will become dry and shed/dander more.
(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)
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