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Pet Articles

Category: Lifestyle

Help! My pet has just drank some Anti-Freeze

Ethylene Glycol Toxicity
Winter has arrived and many people, as a precautionary measure, are putting antifreeze into their cars’ radiators, to prevent the water from freezing. Ethylene glycol is the main ingredient found in antifreeze. Antifreeze is not as commonly used in South Africa as on other very cold parts of the world, as we do not get the very cold temperatures found in some parts of the Northern hemisphere. It is however found in many other products, which are found in South Africa. It is found in lower, less harmful concentrations in hydraulic brake fluid, solvents, motor oils, paints, film-processing solutions, wood stains, inks and printer cartridges.


My dog seems sore in its front leg

Elbow dysplasia in dogs
What is elbow dysplasia? Elbow dysplasia is the collective term that describes a number of conditions that affect the growth and development of a dog’s elbow. It is most commonly seen in large and giant breed dogs. Labradors, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Rottweilers are the most common breeds but it can occur in any breed. There are a number of different theories as to why elbow dysplasia occurs but it is often a combination of factors, which leads to the abnormal development of the joint. Defects in cartilage growth, trauma to the joint, genetics, exercise and diet may all play a role in the development and progression of elbow dysplasia.


My puppy is trying to chew the cord of my laptop charger

Electrical Injury in our pets
Although this may sound like a very unusual topic to discuss it is something that happens far more frequently than we would like. The most common reason for our pets to get electrocuted is chewing on electrical cords. In general the age groups affected in both cats and dogs are approximately 2 months to 2 years of age - the young and the curious. During this phase of their development they tend to be curious about the world. Teething and growing creates the perfect atmosphere for chewing anything in their path. The incidence of electrocution can often coincide with the festive season with all the decorative lighting being put up but for most of us who work with a laptop from time to time and has to plug it in to charge, this could pose a risk for our pets.


My pet is battling to pass a stool

Bowel movements - a serious situation
Ever notice your dog or cat in a hunched-up position either in the garden or in their sandbox and just not being able to “come right” with passing whatever it is they want to pass? In cats and female dogs, the posture of the animal when passing stool and passing urine is the same. It is therefore important to try and establish whether they are battling to pass a stool or alternatively if they are struggling to urinate. Both conditions may require veterinary attention and if the animal repeatedly hunches and strains with no apparent relief, it may be a sign that they need to see the vet.


Can I, or my dogs or cats contract bird flu from my pet birds?

Avian Influenza South Africa 2017
The information provided here is not an official statement but is meant to provide some general information on bird flu because of the break out of bird flu in September 2017 in South Africa. Bird flu or Avian Influenza (AI) is a family of influenza viruses that mainly affect birds. They are named according to two proteins on the surface of the virus (Haemagglutinin and Neuraminidase). The only ones of commercial concern are the H1, H5 and H7 types. There are dangerous (HP or highly pathogenic) and LP (low pathogen) strains. So when you see someone talking about HPAI H5N8 that means the dangerous type of H5N8 avian influenza.


I love the mean look a dog with cropped ears have

Ear cropping in dogs - Why vets do not do it anymore
Ear cropping in dogs was a procedure done by vets in the previous century whenever dog owners requested it. Cropping is the removal of part, or all, of the outer ear, or the pinnae (externally visible flap) of the ear of an animal. Cropping the ears also involved taping the ears up after the surgery, to make the ears pointy. Why was ear cropping done in the past? Ear cropping was historically done on working dogs to reduce the risk of medical conditions like infections or haematoma. An othaematoma is when a small blood vessel in the ear bursts when dogs shake their heads (with ears flapping from side to side against the top and bottom of the dog’s head) and which causes the ear to “balloon” out with a blood-filled pocket in the ear. Although these initial reasons for doing cropping were sound, it turned into a cosmetic procedure over time and became more about “the looks” of the animal, rather than anything else. The surgical procedure of ear cropping was no longer done for functional reasons and was purely done for aesthetic reasons – “to give a dog that mean look”.


My cat is damaging my furniture by scratching it

Should I declaw my cat?
Many people think that declawing a cat means that you cut the nails really, really short so that they do not have the capacity to grow again. Nothing could be further from the truth. When a cat is declawed, the greater part of the last digit of its toe is amputated. Cats’ nails are attached to the last digit on their feet and one cannot effectively remove the nail, without also removing the greater part of the digit itself. There are muscles and tendons attaching to the bone of the last digit and some of the bone should be left intact for the foot to function normally after the procedure. If one was to do a similar procedure in a human, it will be like removing the tip of your finger just in front of the first knuckle.


My Boerboel with its long tail really looks strange. I much prefer a Boerboel with a short tail.

Tail Docking in dogs - Why we as vets do not routinely do it anymore
To start off with let’s define what we are talking about when we are talking about tail docking in dogs. Tail docking from a veterinary perspective refers to a surgical procedure done to puppies between the ages of 3 to 5 days old, where a portion or partial length of the tail is amputated or cut off with a scalpel or surgical scissors, bleeding is stopped by cauterisation or tying off of bleeding blood vessels with absorbable suture material, and placing a suture or sutures in the skin to close off the wound.


My dog makes a strange snorting sound with funny gagging movements almost like something is stuck in his/her throat.

Reverse Sneezing in dogs
What is reverse sneeze? Reverse sneezing is repetitive, forceful inspiratory (breathing in) efforts generally caused by irritation of the lining of the naso-pharynx or area at the back of the mouth and nose where these two openings join into one. Unlike a normal sneeze where air is forcefully pushed out the nose to clear the irritation, a reverse sneeze involves air being pulled forcefully and rapidly into the nose. This is commonly seen in small and toy breeds breeds with long thin nasal passages like Miniature Pinchers, Toy Poms, Chihuahuas, Malteses, Dachshunds, Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers and other Terriers, etc., and brachycephalic (short nose) breeds like Pugs, Boston Terriers, Shih Tsus, Pekingeses, etc.


Is Tick Fever and Tick Bite Fever the same disease in dogs?

Erlichiosis (Tick bite fever) in dogs
It is not. Tick fever or Babesios in dogs, is not the same disease as Tick bite fever or Erlichioses. Both diseases are transmitted to dogs by ticks, but they are caused by two totally different organisms or parasites and the clinical signs, progress and treatment are very different. To further confuse the matter, Tick Bite Fever in humans is not the same as Tick Bite Fever in dogs and once again, although transmitted by ticks, is caused by a complete difference parasite. Tick Bite Fever in dogs is not transmissible to humans or vice versa.


What do I feed my dog, how much and when?

Nutrition in dogs: guidelines to a well-fed pooch
Feeding your dog an appropriate well balanced diet for its life stage is vital to good health and wellbeing. Nutrient requirements differ depending on the breed and age of the dog and there are a few important factors to take into consideration. Many people see dogs and cats as a similar kind of animal and therefore it is useful to understand the difference between the two species to better understand how to feed your dog properly.


Can my kitten make me sick?

Cat Scratch Disease
There are many diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. These diseases are called zoonotic diseases. Although the list below is by no means comprehensive, some of the more common diseases that we can get from our household pets are: Ringworm, which is a fungal infection of the skin Hook worm, roundworm and tapeworm infection Toxoplasmosis Cat scratch disease Scabies, a mite that causes severe itchiness and skin lesions In this article we are going to look at cat scratch disease (CSD), the cause of it, the symptoms and how to prevent it. Cat scratch disease, or cat scratch fever, is caused by an organism called Bartonella henselae or formerly called Rochalimaea henselae. It is a small anaerobic (organism which does not need oxygen to survive), gram-negative, non-motile bacterium. Domestic cats are the natural hosts for this organism and the animal from which humans can contract the disease (also known as the vector). If a cat harbors this bacterium, the cat very rarely shows any signs of the disease which is described as asymptomatic. It is therefore impossible to tell if a cat is infected with this organism without further testing. Fleas are the organism responsible for transmission of the disease between cats and therefore flea control is one of the best ways to prevent this disease. The infection rate is much higher in a population of cats that are flea ridden and can be as high as 61%. As a cat scratches and bites at fleas, the organism gets stuck between their teeth and under their nails. Kittens younger than 12 months are 15 times more likely to carry the infection than adult cats.


My dog did not go out of the yard and is now limping lame on one of his hind legs

Anterior cruciate ligament rupture in dogs
Often time vets are confronted with this situation in veterinary clinics. As far as the owner knows their dog would not have been subject to any trauma, yet they can hardly take weight on one of their back legs. There are many possible causes but by far one of the most common reasons for this situation occurring is a tear of the major small ligament inside the knee.


A sugar substitute fit for humans, which can be lethal to your dog

Xylitol Toxicity
What is xylitol and where can it be found? Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that is commonly used as a sugar substitute in human foods. It is found in and extracted from corn fiber, birch trees, hardwood trees as well as other fruits and vegetables. Xylitol is a sugar substitute most commonly found in chewing gum, candies, breath mints, baked goods, cough syrup, children’s edible vitamins, mouth wash and tooth paste (all of the sugar free variety). There are many more human products on the market that may contain xylitol. It may also be purchased in a granulated form to be used for baking, or as a sweetener over cereals and in beverages. As society’s pressure to look lean and slim, and the need to diet increases, this sugar free alternative has grown drastically in popularity over the last decade.


False Pregnancy

Pregnancy
False pregnancy, also known as Phantom pregnancy or Pseudo-pregnancy, is a condition of both dogs and cats, whereby the unsterilised female animal (regardless of whether she was mated or not) shows some or all of the typical signs of pregnancy but is not really pregnant. In other words, she shows mammary gland development (with or without milk production) but does not produce any offspring.


Lameness in old dogs

Lameness
As a dog gets older, he or she may start to struggle to get up or get a little slower on walks. You may notice that they are worse in winter than in summer or after resting for a prolonged period. Sometimes they may not to be able to place any weight on a leg at all and this may happen quite suddenly. Lameness in older dogs can be broadly placed in three categories:


Proptosis

Displacement of the eyeball
Proptosis is defined, as the forward displacement of the globe (eyeball) out of the socket, with the eyelids trapped behind the globe. Proptosis is an ophthalmic emergency. Any suspected trauma to your pet’s eye warrants a visit to your veterinarian immediately. Let us first have a look at the normal eye anatomy: Predisposing factors: Breed predisposition Proptosis is a condition more commonly seen in Brachycephalic breeds (dogs with prominent bulging eyes, short noses and shallow eye sockets). Pekingese, Pug, Boston terrier and Shihtzu are over represented.


Breeding with your dog

Breeding
Understanding the female’s cycle A female dog will only come into heat for the first time between the age of seven months and anytime up to a year of age. Occasionally this period may be longer. The age at which they first come into heat is governed by a combination of factors but usually smaller breeds start at a slightly younger age than the larger breeds. This is by no means a set rule as there is a great variation. Once she has started to cycle, a female dog will then come into heat every 4 to 7 months but your giant breed dogs may only cycle once every 12 to 18 months. It can take up to 2 years for them to develop regular cycles. Once started the heat cycle can last 2 to 3 weeks. There are two main parts to a female’s cycles namely pro-oestrous and oestrous. Pro-oestrous is the period during which her vulva will be very swollen, she may have a bloody discharge (volume varies greatly) and she will not allow any males to mount her. This is essentially the non-receptive part of her cycle. The second part is known as oestrous. At this point her vulva is still swollen, any bleeding has stopped and most importantly this is the period during which she is receptive to males and will allow mating. It is essential to understand this to avoid unwanted pregnancy. It is only when the bleeding stops that she is in full heat and at her most fertile.


Bones: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Bones
Although most of us grew up with the assumption that bones are good for our pets this is in fact a fallacy, one that more pet owners should be made aware of.  Let’s look at some effects and risks involved when feeding bones to pets. The Good: The unfortunate truth is that the only good thing about feeding your dog bones is that they like it and it keeps them busy, especially if they have a tendency to chew. Sadly just as we all enjoy our McDonalds, KFC and pizza we know these foods are not good for our health and the same applies to bones for your dog. They carry no nutritional value and are indigestible. Perhaps the only part of the bone a dog may actually eat and digest would be bone marrow.


What is trichobezoar?

Hairballs in cats
The elusive and very unpleasant hairball is something that every cat owner will experience at some point. Cats in general are very clean and well-kept animals and grooming is an essential routine for them to ensure their cleanliness. A healthy cat is one that grooms.  Hairballs are simply a by-product of your cat’s hygiene. A trichobezoar, commonly known as a hairball, is a clump of indigestible hair, moistened by bile and digestive fluid that may or may not contain bits of food or other foreign material. Hairballs are not usually round in shape but rather drawn-out and the shape of a sausage. This is due to their passage through the oesophagus, the tube connecting the stomach to the mouth, which is long and cylindrical. Hairballs can occasionally resemble faeces but on closer examination one will notice it is made up of hair. It also does not smell like faeces although it does not have a particularly pleasant odour.


Can I treat my pet's wound at home?

Wound Care at Home
When managing wounds at home it is important to always contact your veterinarian for assistance. Many home and even human wound remedies are not suitable for use in pets. Determining factors in deciding whether a wound can be treated at home or needs veterinary care includes the severity and age of the wound, the cause and location of the wound, and most importantly if the pet is leaving the wound alone. In most instances the safest and most effective way to deal with it is to take the injured pet to the veterinarian for initial treatment and advice on continued care at home. In this article we will go over some of the major components of wound treatment and care as well as giving you guidelines on when to visit the vet.


Pregnant women have to watch out for this bug carried by cats

Toxoplasmosis
Introduction Toxoplasma gondii is a tiny organism, slightly bigger than a bacterium, called a protozoa. This parasite has a worldwide distribution, except in the absence of cats. Cats are the only animals capable of completing the life cycle of this organism. Other warm blooded animals, including cats can serve as intermediate hosts for the parasite. The organism has a very high prevalence, but rarely causes clinical disease in dogs and cats. This is an important parasite to be aware of due to the fact that it is an important zoonosis, meaning it is an animal disease that can be transmitted to humans.


Why is my dog limping with his hind leg?

Patellar Luxation
Patellar luxation is a condition where the knee cap does not run in its groove but slips off to the side. Luxation is a learned word for “slipping”. It is a condition which is regularly encountered in dogs and more commonly in toy breeds. The condition can be developmental or traumatic in origin. To understand the condition better, it helps to know what the anatomy of the knee looks like. The patella is commonly known as the knee cap and sits at the bottom of the big muscle group of the upper front part of the hind leg called the quadriceps. The patella makes up the front part of the knee and glides in the middle groove of the big bone of the upper part of the hind leg, the femur. This groove is known as the trochlear groove. The groove looks like a valley with two mountain ridges on either side. The ridges on either side of the groove are known as the trochlear ridges. The ridge on the inner part of the leg is known as the medial trochlear ridge and the one on the outer part is known as the lateral trochlear ridge. The knee cap or patella fits nicely in between these two ridges and glides up and down the groove as the knee bends. The patella is stabilised by the big muscle group to the top of it, the strong ligament to the bottom of it and the ligaments and connective tissue to the sides of it. The patella ligament which sits below the patella, implants onto the front of the top part of the bone underneath the femur, the tibia, also known as the shin bone.  


Can humans get worms from dogs and cats?

Zoonotic helminths – Worms which humans can get from pets
Have you ever wondered if humans can get worms from dogs and cats? You don’t have to wonder any longer, the answer is ‘yes’.  In this overview we look at which worms can be transmitted between pets and humans, what diseases they cause and how to prevent this potential health risk. Firstly when a disease or parasite can be transmitted from animals to humans it is called a zoonosis. It is often a concern when a pet is diagnosed with intestinal worms whether the family is at risk of contracting the parasite. The concern is valid but the good news is that it is easily managed with education, proper precautions and a well organised deworming program for your pets.


Do cats bite for no reason?

Aggression in cats
Cats are often seen as less aggressive animals than dogs but they have five sharp ends that can be used at a moments notice. Cats may also be seen as more instinctive than dogs, mimicking some of the behaviour seen in their wild counterparts. This is obviously on a much smaller level. Aggression can be directed towards people, cats, other species such as dogs, rabbits and birds or inanimate objects, which would include toys or furniture. The most common causes of aggression in cats can be described under the following categories:


Does your puppy have good manners?

House training your new puppy
It is important to plan ahead for house training. Always ensure everyone in the house is involved and that everyone knows what the plan is. It is important to have consistency when training puppies so as not to confuse them. Routine is essential for achieving the desired goal of having a puppy with “good manners”. Puppies, as with human babies, benefit greatly from a fixed routine, they feel safer and it helps the learning process. 


Do dogs bite for no reason?

Aggression in dogs
Aggression is one of the most common behavioural problems in dogs. Aggression is often easy to diagnose but difficult to manage, because it is often multifactorial. There are several different categories of aggression. Let's look at the different types of aggression in dogs. Aggression in dogs Aggression can be classified into several different categories. Fighting amongst dogs in the same household is probably the most common aggression problem, followed by aggression to unfamiliar people. It is not always possible to prevent aggression but it can usually be controlled with effective management. In some cases, re-homing an aggressive animal may be a suitable solution and in a few cases, euthanasia may be the only option.


A new puppy - happiest days or worst nightmare?

New puppy
Having a new puppy join your family can be one of the most exhilarating experiences for a family but if not done the right way it can have disastrous consequences. People often let emotions get the better of them and don’t make informed decisions. A new puppy will become part of the family for the rest of its life and you will be responsible for its wellbeing. Before getting a new puppy, there are a number of things one has to consider.


Tis The Season To Be Jolly

Guidelines for Keeping Your Pet Safe This Christmas
As the end of the year draws to a close, most businesses start to slow down in anticipation of a well-needed rest. The veterinary world however, braces itself for its busiest time. The holiday season comes with a multitude of risks for animals. This occurs for many reasons, some of them are out of our control, including climatic changes and prevalence of certain parasites, but many of them can be guarded against if the pet owner is aware and vigilant.


Socialisation - The Critical Period

Socialisation of pets
Vets recognise the importance of looking at animals not only from a health point of view, but from a holistic point of view where the animal’s health is but one part of the overall wellbeing of the animal. Aspects like nutrition, shelter, behaviour and training form as an important part of an animal’s overall wellbeing as the physical and medical condition of the animal. Our domestic pets are kept as companions and the success of a pet in a household is not only measured by its longevity and health, but also how it fits into the home and interacts with the rest of the members of the household. More importantly, most pets do not stay confined to their home all the time, but often go out with the owner and interact with other animals and human beings. Just as there are rules for humans for good and acceptable public behaviour, so there are rules for good animal behaviour.


Children and pets

Children
Children and pets are synonymous. Most families at some point in time acquire a pet for their children. Be it goldfish, pocket pets like hamsters, mice, gerbils or guinea pigs, birds, dogs, cats, rabbits or even something exotic like a snake, a tortoise, bearded dragon or iguana. Pets come in all shapes and sizes and often times they are given to a child as a gift. Sometimes the child has not asked for a pet and receives one without receiving proper instructions on how to care for it. Many times children will beg and nag their parents for a certain type of pet, and eventually wear the parents down with their continuous nagging to the point where the parents cave in to the demands of the child to preserve the peace. This peace only lasts for a very brief moment before the parents realise that they made a big mistake.


Smelling as fresh as a spring breeze

How to bath your pet
Human hygiene and animal hygiene are worlds apart. Whatever is considered to be clean for humans is totally something else for our pets. Dirt may easily be disguised in the thick (or thin) coat of a pet and only once the animal is washed do we really see how dirty they are. Cats spend their days and nights grooming themselves. However many cats love taking a dust bath and will revel in the opportunity to curl and then wriggle on their back from side to side on a nice patch of bare soil.


Fireworks and Thunderstorms and your pet

Anxiety Attacks in pets
Anxiety and angst is as much part of the animal world as it is of the human world. As humans, the way in which we manage stress and anxiety is largely related to our understanding of our environment and an interpretation of cause and effect. Unfortunately this is not the same for animals. A human who is about to set off a large fire cracker can warn all those around them of the impending bang, and prepare everyone for the impact. However explaining to a dog or cat that the glitter of a burning fuse will lead to a thunderous crack to which they should not respond, is impossible. Add to that the anatomy of animals’ ears which have been specifically designed to amplify sounds by turning the ears towards sounds, and you have a recipe for disaster when it comes to shooting off fireworks in the vicinity of animals.


Urination problems in cats - Part 2 of 2

Territorial marking and Urine elimination
In part 1 of this article we looked at the difference between urine marking and inappropriate elimination in cats, and urine marking was discussed in more depth. In this article we will look at the reasons for inappropriate elimination as well as the diagnosis and treatment of both inappropriate elimination and urine marking.   In order to understand disease of the urinary system it is important to understand the anatomy of this system. The urinary system comprises two kidneys which are linked to the bladder by two tiny tubes called the ureters. The ureters terminate in the lower part of the bladder commonly referred to as the neck of the bladder. The bladder is a balloon like structure which can expand to many times its empty size when it is filled with urine. The main tube taking urine from the bladder to the genital organs is called the urethra. The urethra terminates in the vagina in female and in the penis in males. 


Urination problems in cats - Part 1 of 2

Territorial marking and Urine elimination
Ask any cat owner and they will tell you that cats are not just small little dogs. So naturally a fair amount of the medical problems cats suffer from are unique to this species. In this two-part series we are going to explore one of the more common problems that affect cats.


Getting the most from your visit to the vet

Visit to the vet
Everybody wants value for money. No one will deny that it is no different when taking your pets to the vet. We love our four legged and feathered friends dearly, but like everything else in life, most of us have to budget for their expenses, and make sure we derive as much value out of a visit to the vet as possible. The starting point of deriving value for money is to be courteous to the staff working in a veterinary practice. Being rude and obnoxious with the staff of the veterinary practice (especially the reception and support staff) will not endear you or your pets to them, and if you get their hackles up before the vets have even seen your animal, the total experience of visiting the vet is likely to be compromised in the long run.


We're all going on a Summer Holiday

Traveling with your pets
Going on holiday is always fun but we must never forget or neglect our pets in the excitement leading up to a well-deserved vacation. When going on holiday find someone to look after your pets while you are away. It will be a good idea either to get a house sitter or place your pets in a kennel over the holidays as medical problems can just as easily arise when you are not at home. Giving the vet notice of your impending holiday and making arrangements for someone to take your pets there in case of an emergency is an important part of your holiday planning. Also, stock up on enough food and make sure your pet has enough medicine if they are on chronic medication.


Your pet's once a year health check-up

Annual Check up
Many people wonder why vets recommend having a once a year check-up for pets. There are many reasons but probably the most important is that the average dog or cat ages by approximately seven “dog/cat years” for every human year. It may differ slightly from breed to breed and usually cats and small breed dogs age slower than large breed dogs. The average life expectancy of a large breed dog is about twelve years whereas cats and smaller breed dogs can quite comfortably live to eighteen years. Just like in humans where the average life expectancy has increased dramatically over the last twenty years because of better healthcare, proper nutrition and a general improvement in living conditions, so has the life expectancy of our pets. Animals which are kept as domestic pets live a much more sheltered lifestyle than their wild counterparts, where there is little protection from natural predators and harsh environmental conditions. Nutrition for pets has also become a much more advanced science than in years gone by and these days it is quite common to find specialised diets for life stages, breed types and conditions. The average quality of life and life expectancy in large breed dogs who suffer from arthritis has been substantially increased because of specialised diets catering for their particular needs.


Behaviour difficulties

Behaviour
“Man’s best friend.” The reason why dogs have been described like this over centuries is because of their unwavering loyalty and their good nature towards humans. However now and again, behavioural problems crop up in pet dogs which cause many people to dispute whether dogs are really man’s best friend. Behavioural problems can range from aggression, to destructive behaviour like chewing and digging, to house soiling. Some of these problems can be blamed on uninformed and uninvolved owners who do not spend the time to properly socialise and do basic training when they first acquire their dogs as puppies.


Vaccinating your puppy and kitten

Vaccination
Getting a new puppy or kitten is always exciting and most of us just want to cuddle this cute little bundle of fur. It would be lovely if this were enough to keep them healthy and disease free forever but unfortunately it isn't. Just like human children, animal babies also need immunization when they are very young. A newborn puppy or kitten isn't naturally immune. They do have some antibody protection that they received through the mother's blood via the placenta, but this is roughly only 10%. The other 90% is through the first milk they take in from their mother. This milk is called first milk or colostrum because only the milk produced in the first two days after birth contains antibodies (called maternal antibodies). These antibodies are like little soldiers standing ready to counter any attack from a virus (the enemy). The intestinal lining of the newborn starts changing 6 hours after birth and starts losing the ability to absorb these antibodies.  It is therefore very important for new puppies and kittens to start suckling as soon as possible after birth. The newborn is only able to absorb these maternal antibodies for the first two days of its' life. Proper vaccination of the mother will ensure that she has proper antibodies levels which can then be passed on to her babies. If for some reason the puppy or kitten did not receive this precious colostrum (fostered pets, bottle fed pets or perhaps failure of the mother to produce milk), they will be at a greater risk of contracting disease.


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