Pet Health Surprises

by Mary Haight on August 13, 2011

Pet health surprises come in many forms, most of them unwelcome.  Just the other day, we heard that Merial ran out – completely – of the medication that is used to treat heartworm, thanks to a production snafu.  Apparently, it will take *months* to get the product back on hospital shelves.

We try to hedge our bets when we talk about the relative merits of pet insurance after your dog is 10 years old, and exactly what kind of coverage is offered to safeguard your pet’s health, and life, in that scenario.

We are relieved and hopeful when the FDA comes out with new news that they have a program that will track contaminated pet food at the Federal, State and Territory (Puerto Rico) level in real time. When contamination is found, it’s logged into the Net and gets in front of all 200 people watching the system.  That’s fast.

Pet Health – Diagnosis is Key

Pet health is not always a sure thing.  Try as we may, our  pet’s health is not completely in our control.  Infections happen.  There are simply things we don’t notice in our pets until they’ve advanced.  A couple of years ago I wrote about methicillin resistant Staph aureus  MRSA, the superbug bacterial infection that morphed from a common Staph infection.  Bacterias enter through cuts or tears in the skin.  There were worries that therapy dogs were bringing MRSA germs in to the residents. That was debunked. This infection is passed from humans to dogs, not vice-versa yet. (One of my pet peeves: The preponderance of unnecessary and ill-advised anti-bacterials use continues to make targeting MRSA very difficult.) Human and pet health are endangered by this stealthy bacteria. 

Dr. Lorie Huston spoke with The Bella Foundation ‘sFounder, Jillian Moss, whose dog Bella was the first to be diagnosed with and die of MRSA in 2004. She started the foundation in Bella’s honor to educate the public and veterinarians about this, and other bacterias, and what protocols need to be followed in surgery and after-care to avoid infection.  Moss reminded people they need not be overly concerned about  MRSA if they have a healthy dog. Early detection is the key to successful recovery. This is more a problem for those pets whose health is already compromised or in the case of more-vulnerable-to-everything seniors. Smart to know about it should you need to call up this information later.

Pet health is easier to maintain when prevention is practiced.  Take a few minutes to listen to this informative interview at Animal Cafe!

11 comments
dogs4ever
dogs4ever

Excellent article on MRSA! It just makes sense that we practice preventive care with our pets and ourselves. Regular checkups for our pets is key to identifying any underlying health concerns that could potentially become a threat to our pets.

Amy@GoPetFriendly
Amy@GoPetFriendly

It seems like more and more antibacterial products are introduced every day! We're definitely heading the wrong way in that area, and I don't see an end to it. I hadn't heard about the heart worm medication - that's sad.

Pamela
Pamela

Pet health surprises have many of us running to the internet looking for answers. But it's so hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. I feel fortunate to have an excellent vet to rely on and who is happy to address questions raised when I search online.

Mel
Mel

Yup. With you and Edie on the overuse of anti-bacterials. Just try finding hand soap that doesn't have it! Surprising and sad news about the heart worm treatment. I had heard a rumor, but hadn't see it confirmed. I hope they get their butts in gear for those who want to save their dogs. Preventable, but so many rescue dogs have it. Sad to think they might not even be able to be treated because of this.

Kyla
Kyla

Education is definitely important. Unfortunately, I learned a lot about parvo last week because I fostered some puppies who fell ill because they weren't properly vaccinated. It's funny how confused people are about the disease. What causes it, how it is spread, when the puppies stop being contagious, etc. Talk about becoming a clean freak - I must have bleached my floors 20 times last week! On the topic of heartworm, a while back we did a post on alternative treatments. I am NOT recommending these treatments, as I am NOT a veterinarian. However, in the face of having no other solution, they might be worth a try. http://upforpups.org/2010/03/an-alternative-heart...

Edie
Edie

I'm with you about the over-use of antibacterials. I grew up in a household with a European mother who was very neat but NOT obsessed about germs. That's carried over into my adult life (well, except for the very neat part) and I believe it's kept me healthy. I rarely get sick and, in any case, not being germ phobic leaves me free to worry about other things (too numerous to list).

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