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Canine Bordetella B. Bronchiseptica.  Better known as Kennel Cough.  It is a bacterial respiratory tract infection transmitted by nasal secretions.  Harsh, non-productive cough may last 1-3 weeks.  Bordetella can occur alone or in combination with other respiratory problems.

 Canine Corona.  A highly contagious, but mild and self-limiting intestinal disease that occasionally will cause death.  Causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs of all ages, but is seen most often in young puppies.

 Canine Distemper.  Distemper is the number one killer of unvaccinated dogs and is highly contagious.  Its victims are usually puppies, although older dogs may come down with it too.  Because distemper manifests itself in various forms, it can be difficult even for experienced veterinarians to diagnose.  Symptoms include some but not all of the following: diarrhea, vomiting, reduced appetite, cough, nasal discharge, inflamed eyes, fever, convulsions, exhaustion and lack of interest in toys, games or attention.  While dogs with distemper occasionally recover, they may suffer permanent damage to the brain or nervous system.  Dogs that receive treatment immediately have the best chance of survival.

 Canine Adenovirus Type 1 & 2 - Infectious Hepatitis.  Infectious hepatitis in dogs affects the liver just as it does in humans, but humans do not catch the canine form.  In dogs, it spreads through contact with an infected dogs stool, saliva or urine.  Intense thirst is one specific symptom, but all the other symptoms are similar to those of distemper.  Hepatitis progresses rapidly and often is fatal, so prompt veterinary treatment is critical.

 Canine Letospirosis.  Leptspirosis (lepto) is caused by a spirochete - microorganism that often is carried by rats.  Lepto is an infectious bacterial disease transmitted by urine.  It can infect a dog that has contact with a rat or eats something contaminated by rats.  
Symptoms include bloody diarrhea or urine, fever, exhaustion, red and congested eyes and mouth membranes, painful mouth ulcers, vomiting, increased thirst, loss of appetite, pain when moving and the whites of the eyes may become red or jaundiced.  Lepto can permanently damage the liver and kidneys, so prompt veterinary treatment is necessary.  Since humans can catch Lepto, it is important t keep from infecting yourself when caring for a sick dog.  Your vet can explain proper precautions.

 Canine Parainfluenza.   Parainfluenze, also know as infectious canine tracheobronchitis, spreads rapidly from dog to dog.  It is caused by several different viruses, as well as a bacteria.  Symptoms are a frequent dry, hacking cough and sometimes a nasal discharge.  Other than that the dog usually appears to feel fine and many dogs infected with parainfluenza do not even miss a meal.

 Dogs vaccinated against parainfluenza sometimes get it anyway, but usually have milder symptoms than unvaccinated dogs.  Although the disease usually runs its course, it is more dangerous to puppies than it is to mature dogs.  They should be kept in a warm, humid room while recovering.  No matter how old the dog is, your veterinarian will probably prescribe antibiotics to prevent complications and medication to control the cough.  Whether your dog is 9 weeks or 9 years old, see your vet right away if he starts coughing.  It could be a sign of something serious.  Our puppy's vaccinations must never be closer than three weeks apart.  Four weeks apart is ideal.

 Canine Parvovirus.  Parvovirus (parvo) attacks the stomach lining, bone marrow and lymph nodes, and in young puppies even the heart.  It is highly contagious and spreads through contaminated stools, easily encountered via dog paws or shoes.  Beginning with depression or exhaustion and a loss of appetite, symptoms soon progress to vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes bloody) and fever.  Puppies with infected hearts (myocardial parvovirus) often die suddenly or within a day or two of contacting the disease.  Those few that recover may suffer chronic heart problems.  How severely adult dogs are affected depends on the individual.  Some dogs become extremely ill, while others just lose their appetite and lower their activity level for a day or two. 

 Rabies.  Rabies always is fatal.  A dog with rabies is a danger to humans and other animals.  The disease is a virus that can infect dogs that come in contact with squirrels, cats, raccoons, skunks, foxes bats or other warm blooded animals that already have the virus.  It affects the nervous system and is generally passed from animal to animal or animal to human through infected saliva, usually from a bite.  Rabies  can also infect a victim through cuts or scratches that come in contact with saliva from a rabid animal.  

 One of the first signs of rabies is a difference in disposition.  A gentle dog may act aggressive or an independent dog may suddenly crave affection. Soon the dog's pupils may become dilated and light may seem to cause him pain.  Eventually the dog won't want any attention and may develop stomach trouble and a fever.  As the disease progresses its symptoms can include bared teeth, random biting, lack of coordination, twitching facial muscles and loss of control of the facial muscles, resulting in an open mouth with the tongue hanging out.   The dog's voice may change and it may drool , paw at its mouth and cough.  Finally it slips into a coma and dies.  All warm blooded animals are susceptible to the disease, so anyone bitten by a dog or any other animal needs to see a doctor right away.  

 Rabies vaccine prevents this dreaded disease.  Your vet gives the rabies shot separately, not in combination with other vaccines.  Some rabies vaccinations are good for longer than a year.  Depending on which state you live in also depends on when they will receive there first vaccine.  Vaccination can be done anywhere from 10 weeks to 6 months. 

 Internal Parasites

Heartworms.  Heartworms are transmitted from dog to dog by mosquito bites.  As the worms mature inside the dog (a process that takes about 8 months), they migrate to the heart and lungs.  There they interfere with heart action, eventually killing their canine host.  Symptoms include a chronic cough, weight loss, exhaustion and eventually death.  

 If you acquire your dog as a puppy  put her on a heartworm prevention program prescribed by your vet.  If you acquire a dog as an adult  your vet must give her a blood test before prescribing preventative medication.  An annual test is critical, because if a dog already has heartworms and takes preventative medication, the combination can be fatal.

 Canine Giardia.  Giardia is a waterbourne protozoal parasite found in lakes, ponds, puddles, swimming pools wells and other outdoor water sources in the wild and in the backyard.  After ingested, Giardia chews on the inner lining of the small intestine, this creates irritation, which is accompanied by inflammation, stools coated with mucous, weight loss, diarrhea and bloating.  Dogs can also pick up the protozoa from licking an affected dogs stool.

 Coccidia.  Coccidia, another protozoan, lay their eggs in the animals stools.  Once inside the dog, coccidia lines her intestinal tract causing watery stools, bloating, straining during elimination, vomiting, weight loss and sometimes a streak of blood on the stool. 

 Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms.   Many puppies are born with roundworms and some get hookworms from their mothers' milk.  Your dog can pick up one of several species of worms, including hookworms and whipworms when out for a walk.  She might eve ingest a tapeworm while nipping at the flea that suddenly jumped from the grass and lander on her well groomed back.  Fleas play host to tapeworms.  Prevention through clean quarters and quick removal if internal parasites is the best.  Your vet can also test the stool to see if any of these parasites exist.

 They symptoms of roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms and hookworms are similar and include dull eyes, a rough dry coat, weakness, weight loss despite an enormous appetite, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes bloody) and a big bloated belly (not just after eating).  Most dogs have only two or three symptoms, while others totally lose their appetites when harboring worms.  Occasionally a dog may have no symptoms at all but then suddenly becomes severely anemic from a heavy infestation.  Hookworms are bloodsuckers and can kill a dog as tiny as as Chihuahua puppy within weeks.

 Do not treat yourself, see a vet.  A vet should check the dogs stool at least twice per year to make sure they are parasite free.


     External Parasites

 Fleas, ticks and a mixture of mites are the most common external parasites that annoy and endanger dogs.

 Lyme Disease.  Lyme disease is transmitted in the Northeast by the deer tick, in the West and Midwest by the California black eyed tick and in the South by the black legged tick.  Lyme disease occurs when a carrier tick transmits a particular bacterium into a dog (or person) through its saliva.  An estimated 50 percent of deer ticks are carriers.  These ticks are also more difficult to find on your dog because they are small but they must be attached for nearly two days before infection can occur.  

 A dog with Lyme disease may become lame, depressed, weak and feverish, suffer painful joints and be reluctant to move.  If you live in a rural are known for having a large population of deer ticks, your vet may suggest vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease.

 Scabies.  Saracoptic mange also called scabies is caused by a crab shaped mite that literally gets under your dog's skin.  After burrowing in they drink blood, mate and lay eggs.  Symptoms are relentless scratching, tiny red bumps and patchy crusted areas.  See your vet before your dog suffers hair loss or a bacterial infection.

 Red Mange, Follicular or demodectic mange.  Red mange, follicular or demodectic mange is caused by a different type of mite.  Itching is a symptom in some dogs but not in other, look for small circular moth eaten looking patches.  Red mange is usually found on the head, or along the back, sides and neck.  In young dogs it is often stress related.  Most dogs have some of these mites on them all the time and never have a problem.  The problem comes when they are under stress, their defenses break down and the result is a small patch of demodectic mange , sometimes called juvenile mange.  This is easily treated by your vet.

 Ear mites.  Does your dog continuously scratch her ears or shake her head.  If so she may have ear mites.  Ear mites move into the ear canal and proceed to eat the outer layer from the walls of their cottage.  Wipe gently inside the ear with a cotton ball.  If it comes out with rusty brown or blackish goop on it your dog has mites.  This is easily treated by your vet.

 Walking dandruff.  Walking dandruff or Cheyetilla causes severe itching of the spinal back area.  You will also notice an unusual large amount of flaking when you groom your dog.  This is easily treated by your vet but may take a couple of treatments.  

 Fleas.  Dogs react to fleas in a variety of ways.  A dog with a fleabite allergy is miserable with just one or two fleas on her, while another dog may have a severe infestation without even bothering to scratch.  Once your dog has fleas, your house does too, so you'll have to treat your home and yard.

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is
more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.  Do not
break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand
between the blows, your patience and understanding will more
quickly teach me the things that you would have me do.  Speak to
me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must
know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps fall
upon my waiting ear.  When it is cold and wet, please take me
inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to
bitter elements.  And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of
sitting at you feet beside the hearth.  Though had you no home, I
would rather follow you through the ice and snow than rest upon
the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are
my god and I am you devoted worshiper.  Keep my pan filled with
fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I
cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.  Feed me clean food, that I may
stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your
side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life
should your life be in danger.  And, beloved master, should the
Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not
turn me away from you.  Rather hold me gently in your arms as
skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest -- and I
will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was
ever safest in your hands.

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P.O Box 12157 Austin, Tx 78711

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*Dog and Cat breeders are regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and RegulationP.O Box 12157, Austin, Tx 787111-800-803-9202,*Dog and Cat breeders are regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and RegulationP.O Box 12157, Austin, Tx 787111-800-803-9202,

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