What is spaying and why to spay my cat/dog?
Spaying is a routine surgery done to female dogs or cats to remove their ovaries and uterus, or only the ovaries. This surgery will make your female pet non-capable to produce puppies or kittens. The incision is usually very small (1-5cm depending on the size of the animal) and the recovery time usually is 1-2 days. After the operation a buster or Elisabeth collar is given to prevent the pet from licking the wound.
Spaying prevents very serious reproductive diseases like pyometra, uteritis etc and prevents the appearance of mammary gland cancer (which is very common in pets and often malignant) if done in young age. Additionally, we avoid the exhausting “heat” seasons that are very frequent and loud in cats and quite messy in dogs.
The prevention of unwanted puppies and kittens and the contribution to the reduction of stray dogs and cats are as well great advantage of spaying our female dogs and cats.
What is neuter and why to neuter my male cat/dog?
Neuter is a routine surgery done to male dogs or cats in order to remove their testicles. The incision is very small and in cats we don’t even use sutures or a buster collar. Dogs however need to wear the buster /Elisabeth collar for few days.
Although neutering doesn’t prevent so many diseases as in female dogs or cats, only prostatic diseases however has many practical reasons. Prevention or treatment of territorial marking and aggression are the most common reasons to do the surgery. Additionally many kennels do not allow non neutered dogs to stay in their premises.
Is my dog/cat going to be fat after the spaying/neutering?
NO! It is true that the appetite of our spayed/neutered pets have the tendency to increase, however if we regulate the diet and don’t overfeed, they will not gain weight. Ideally you should change to a specific diet for sterilized animals that contains less calories.
What is the best age to spay or neuter my pet?
For the female, the best age for small breed dogs is before their first cycle, approximately 6 months
old. For the large breed dogs the best age is at the age of 8-9 months.
The best age for cat spaying is 6-7 months old.
Male dogs and cats is better to be neutered approximately 7-8 months old.
What is FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency virus?
FIV is a very common and widely spread virus that affects cats. The virus is closely related to the HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus that causes AIDS to humans however there is no cross infection between species. It is transmittable between cats mainly through fights. It compromises the immune system and makes the patients susceptible to other secondary infections. A cat infected with this virus can live happily exclusively indoors! The cornerstone of monitoring an FIV positive cat is regular check ups.
The FIV test is very easy to perform, we just need 2 drops of blood and 10 minutes patience and it is recommended to be performed annually to all cats that have access outdoors and especially to those that fight.
There are no available vaccinations against FIV.
What is the FELV or Feline Leukemia Virus?
FeLV is a less common that FIV basically because the last years cat are being vaccinated against FELV. However still we find cases in free range cats! It is transmitted through fight wounds, close contact, food bowls and from mother to kittens. Cats that suffer from FeLV develop tumors and secondary infections/inflammations depending of the severing of the disease. The FIV test is very easy to perform, we just need 2 drops of blood and 10 minutes patience
To prevent FeLV we recommend vaccination to all cats that like to roam outside.
What are the Harvest Mites?
Harvest mites or Trompiculla autumnalis are orange tiny bugs that live in the grass. They cause very often skin irritation, especially in the areas that are in close contact with grass.
What is the brachycephalic syndrome?
Brachycephalic syndrome is the condition that affects the short nosed breed of dogs and cats, as Pugs, French and English Bulldogs, Boxers, Boston terrier, Shih Tzus, Pekingese, Himalayan, Persian and others.
These breeds have been bred to have short muzzles and noses for a child-like appearance and this have caused them many problems. The brachycephalic syndrome consists of few anatomical abnormalities like narrow nostrils, elongated soft palate, everted laryngeal saccules and narrowed trachea (windpipe). All these abnormalities make their breath noisy and difficult, reduce their physical activity and don’t allow adequate cooling of the inhaled air, in other terms they suffer from heat much more that any other breed. Especially in the UAE climate they suffer the most, it gets very difficult to walk those dogs the hot months of the year, with result to gain weight and reduce their physical activity even more, making all this process a vicious circle.
As well we experience make heatstroke cases during the hot months of the year and all the dogs suffering are mainly short nosed.
The cornerstone of managing the brachycephalic syndrome is keeping our short nosed pets slim, avoid walking them during the hot hours of the day and performing some surgical interventions to improve the circulation of the air in their upper respiratory system. A great time for this procedure is during spaying/neutering.
What are skin allergies?
As humans suffer from various allergies, our pets are suffering as well! And most often they suffer from skin allergies. The main symptoms of skin allergies are excessive scratching, chewing and licking paws and other body parts, shaking the ears, smelly skin and ears and different skin rashes around the skin depending on the severity of the allergy and the secondary complications. Allergies can be to food, environment, fleas and other.
In the UAE we experience many cases of environmental allergies and many popular breeds are genetically prone to them as Pugs, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, French and English Bulldogs, Westies, Beagles, Boxers, Cocker spaniels and German shepherds, and all of then are very popular breeds.
Those hypersensitivity disorders are not treatable but can be successfully controlled, however need close monitoring and plenty of care from both the owner and the veterinarian.
We do recommend Allergy Testing and Allergen Specific Immunotherapy wherever is applicable.
How often should I deworm my dog or cat?
For the pets that have outdoor access and especially for dogs 4 times annually is essential.
For indoor animals twice a year is enough.
In case your dog or more often cat doesn’t accept easily tablets, you can use products that are applied topically on the skin and act against external and internal parasites.
How often should I use flea and tick prevention products?
Although fleas are not very common in the UAE, ticks are very common and encountered in most of the residential areas where grass and greenery exists.
To protect your dog from ticks, you should use a monthly product between your dog’s shoulder blades but make sure to follow the instructions and not wet the fur coat for as long as it is recommended.
Why do I have to microchip my pet?
Microchipping is a legal requirement and help you to find you pet if it is lost. The procedure is completely painless, doesn’t have any adverse effects and is performed only once in a pet’s lifetime. The size of the microchip is as small as a grain of rice and contains a number unique for each animal. This is registered in the responsible date base of each country and in the event your pet will get lost, whoever finds it will take the pet to the vet’s clinic where the microchip will be scanner. The veterinary clinic will search in the database for the number and will find the owners contact information.
My pet is overweight/obese. What can I do?
Obesity is one of the most usual pathologic condition of our pets the recent years. It is not addressed as it should be and many people that have obese or severely overweight animals do not realize the size of the problem or the fact there is actually a problem.
The most important factor in the management of obesity is the adjustment of the diet. First we have to check if the food we are feeding our pet is appropriate and then we should adjust the quantity according to the ideal weight. It is always preferable to use a kitchen weight scale to measure the quantities because even a small deviation will make a huge difference, especially when it comes to small sizes pets.
As a general rule when feeding, follow the weight/daily quantity chart that exists in the backside of the food, and reduce further 10 to 20% depending on the psychical activity of your pet.
Choose diets according to the appropriate age stage of your pet and it’s psychical activity (puppy/kitten food, indoor adult, senior etc.)
Be careful with the amount and quality of treats that your pet is receiving and the other extras (table scraps,etc.)
I am pregnant! Should I rehome my cat?
No you should not. Cats can become infected by the feces of other cats and by eating birds and rodents or other meat products that have infectious cysts in their tissues. A cat can shed only once in her life oocytes through their feces and afterwards obtains immunity. The cysts become infectious after they stay in the environment for 1-5 days.
If you have an indoor cat the chances her to get the parasite are very low. In any case do not feed your cat with raw meat and avoid cleaning the litter box during your pregnancy. Make sure someone else is cleaning the cat litter, at least once daily. Clean thoroughly the vegetables and fruits you eat and don’t eat undercooked meat.
What is Giardiasis?
Giardia is a protozoan organism that is a very common cause of gastrointestinal signs in dogs and cats. It is very commonly found in the region.
The diagnosis of Giardia is very quick and easy, it requires a small stool sample and few minutes patience.
Your pet can be infected during their walk or roaming outside or we can bring the bug with our shoes in the house and infect our pet.
It is very wise to wash thoroughly our pet’s fur with an antiseptic that the veterinarian will recommend.
How often should I wash my dog/cat?
As a rule of thumb, the more rare you wash your dog the better!
Dogs have much thinner skin than humans have and a lipid layer, which we remove every time we wash our dog, is protecting it. Dogs are much more susceptible to skin infections and allergies if we bath them often.
Try to use soap-free hypoallergenic shampoos and in any case don’t bath your dog more that once a month (every 3 months is the best!), unless the veterinarian recommends the opposite.
In case you are annoyed by your dog’s smell, you can use dog cleaning wipes. Shorthair cat normally are not being washes because they groom themselves daily. However longhair cats should be bathed once monthly and daily groomed and brushed to prevent knot formation that can cause skin irritation.
I would like to strongly recommend Energetic Panacea veterinary clinic and in particular Dr Zenia. My puppy was very sick and vomiting and so I rang the clinic and was told to take her straight in. I was impressed by the care Dr Zenia took to sooth the pup (and me)