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Pet Tips

Heart diseases in cats

My cat seems to have breathing difficulty and is lethargic

The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that one in 10 cats across the globe is either born with or develops some form of heart disease in their lifetime. There are a number of different types of heart disease in felines, but all of them present with some kind of abnormal structure or function of the heart’s chambers, valves or surrounding muscle.



Understand the life cycle of fleas

How can I get rid of my pet's fleas once and for all?

Tick and flea treatments for our pets promise quick and lasting results and are usually very effective when administered correctly. However, these treatments – including chews, spot-on liquids and collars – may not be able to get rid of flea infestations completely when pet owners don’t tackle each stage of the flea’s life cycle head-on. Understanding the life cycle of the flea is the key to eradicating this nasty pet pest.



Veterinary etiquette

What you should know about taking your pet to the vet

If you’ve noticed that your pet’s behaviour is off or they are showing worrying symptoms, don’t hesitate to call the vet and schedule an appointment. However, this is just the first step in your responsibility towards your pet and in dealing with a veterinary practice. Your pet’s condition may cause you to act emotionally or to forget important symptoms or information.



Eosinophilic granuloma complex in dogs and cats

My cat has a strange sore - almost like a fever blister - on her upper lip

What is eosinophilic granuloma complex?

Eosinophilic granuloma complex (EGC) is a disease complex that presents in three main forms, namely an eosinophilic ulcer (also known as a rodent or indolent ulcer), an eosinophilic plaque or an eosinophilic granuloma. These conditions are more commonly found in cats and horses, and only occasionally in dogs.



Urolithiasis

My pet has begun to pee a lot more frequently, but in smaller amounts. Even though she's house-trained, she still pees in the house and sometimes there is blood in her urine.

What is urolithiasis?



Rabies

I've heard on the news that there's a new outbreak of rabies in dogs. What are the symptoms and what should I do?

Towards the end of June 2021, the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) informed the public of an outbreak of Rabies in the Cradle of Humankind area. Near the end of August 2021, the Western Cape government issued a warning of a new rabies outbreak and encouraged pet owners to ensure their pets' rabies shots are up to date. In early August, three women were attacked by a honey badger and tested positive for rabies, while earlier in September, a young boy in the Eastern Cape died from rabies as the result of a dog bite. Traditionally, rabies was considered to be restricted to Kwa-Zulu Natal and KZN was declared an endemic area for rabies. Unfortunately, it is no longer the case and the whole of South Africa is now considered endemic.



Eclampsia in pets

My dog/cat recently had puppies/kittens and is starting to show strange twitches and spasms

What is eclampsia?

Eclampsia is a life-threatening condition in dogs and cats that have recently had a litter of puppies or kittens. It has been seen in pets that are pregnant or giving birth, but more commonly occurs one to four weeks after giving birth. It is a medical emergency caused by a sudden drop in blood calcium levels, usually due to calcium loss during pregnancy and nursing.



Pet heroism

Who is saving whom? How pets improve our lives

Carey was sitting on the kitchen floor; the low downlights hardly penetrating the shadows reflecting her sombre mood. It had been an incredibly tough year and she was at that point of wondering what it was all for. Her neighbours had moved out, friends were few and far between; there was hardly anyone to miss her – not immediately anyway. What was stopping her from doing something stupid with the paring knife in her hand? At that moment, the silence in her flat was punctuated by the unmistakable sound of little dog paws on tiles and then two fuzzy heads peeked out from behind the kitchen cupboard. Both her miniature pinscher and chiweenie flattened their ears against their heads and wagged nervously, but mustered all their courage to approach their teary-eyed human in that dark hole on the kitchen floor. With hands full of furry friends, there’s no room for despair and hopelessness. Carey had saved them once upon a time, and this was just their way of returning the favour. What was stopping her indeed?



Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs and cats

My pet tires quickly when playing or exercising and sometimes has a soft cough like trying to clear their throat

What is dilated cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy is a disease condition of the heart muscle that inhibits its ability to function properly. In the case of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), the heart muscle is stretched and the muscle is thin and flabby, affecting its pumping ability. Dilated cardiomyopathy can affect both pets and people.



COVID-19 and Your Pets: Update

The SARS-CoV-2 Virus

It has been more than a year since COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has been declared a worldwide pandemic. Much research has been done regarding many aspects of the virus, the disease process it causes as well as the spread of the virus. In the wake of the anticipation of South Africa’s ‘third wave’ of COVID-19 infections, this article serves as a follow-up discussion regarding information that has come to light in the past year.