Saturday, December 31, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Dogs and Sickness
Dogs make great pets. Folks have pets for various reasons – companionship, security,children like them and to be part of family. Dogs make people happy. It is always refreshing to come home after a tough day at work s, stressed and anxious, to be loved by a welcoming dog at home. For the dog, you are everything and she totally trusts you with all her loyalty.
"The greater love is a mother's; then comes a dog's; then a sweetheart's”-Portugese saying.
As far as I can remember we always had dogs at home. We had a Pomeranian dog Caesar since 1997 for the past 14 years. He grew up along with my kids as part of the family. Among the two larger females, a German Shepherd Dog (GSD)and a Great Dane who towered well over him in size, he still ruled the roost. He recently was acting his age. He was moaning a lot and was slow to move around. He stopped barking and kept coming into the kitchen all the time to lie down at the feet of my wife. The vet said he was just old and he passed away 2 weeks ago.
We decided to have another male dog in the house and opted from a breeder for a 42day old pup- a GSD. 3 days later, Dino became very sick with parvo virus with marked vomiting, bloody stools, fever and dehydration. Vet gave him 5-10% chance of living.
So at home we rolled up sleeves and decided to make him better. My son with his wife (surgical trainee and physician respectively), my wife a pediatrician dripped him with IV fluids and hemacoel, antibiotics for secondary infection and other drugs like for children.
He looked so sick like a ragged doll. He yelped in rhythmic fashion denoting abdominal spasms. We were helpless except to support him with correction of dehydration and hoping he would get better. And that he did thanks to support from friends and help from above.
As a Gastrointestinal surgeon, I am concerned about the spread of diseases from dogs to humans. In most countries, dogs form popular pets. It is reassuring to know that some diseases such as common cold, canine parvovirus, canine bordatellosis, heartworms do not spread to the humans. Though these can be severe and sometimes fatal in dogs, they do not affect humans.
Infections which spread to humans from dogs include rabies, tick borne diseases, lice, scabies, hydatid disease (dog tape worm), toxoplasmosis(parasite), salmonella (typhoid),etc. Generally small infections do not spread from the dogs to human. It is important to keep the dogs vaccinated and healthy. When concerned about spread of disease from dogs to humans, please contact your vet or your doctor.