An alergy, disease and virus.
Over the past few weeks three topics have interested me whilst at my weekly vet placement and also online newsletters. So here goes, a little insight into the danger of acorns to dogs, FIV in cats and Addison’s Disease (in dogs).
Acorns contain a substance called gallaotannin, when eaten in large quantities gallaotannin can cause severe gastrointestinal upsets with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation and kidney failure. When whole they can cause blockages, whilst broken down they release more toxins and sharp pieces can irritate the gastrointestinal tract.
Green acorns are more toxic than brown, and the outer shell contains the most gallotannin. Some veterinarian suggest that anything contaminated by the oak tree, be it it’s bark, leaves or surrounding water can be a risk to dogs.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), is similar to HIV/AIDS in humans. Despite this, cats can live a good quality life as it rarely leads to “acquired ID syndrome” like in humans, secondary infection usually causes more problems.
There is no cure as of yet but there are preventions. The diagnosis isn’t that simple, the initial test is the ELISA; testing for both FIV and FeLV.
Despite this, ELISA can give false positives, so a lab test is done to confirm that FIV antibodies are in the blood.
A vaccine is one prevention method, although it is risky as it will then show the cat and possibly kittens, as positive under lab tests. FIV is a retrovirus transmitted by saliva to blood, hence cat fights, dish sharing, mural grooming, sex and via the womb to kittens are all sources of the spread. Treating all cat illnesses severely, such as bladder infections and preventing flea bites, combined with a good diet all reduces the risk of FIV to cats.
Addison’s disease otherwise known as canine hypoadrebocorticism, has multiple symptoms so it is hard to diagnose. Once diagnosed treatment is effective and life long. The symptoms include fatigue, diarrhea, sweating, and muscle pain, overall Addison’s disease effects the adrenal glands. Some breeds are more susceptible than others although Secondary Addison’s can be a result of damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus during surgery. Generally, most cases of Addison’s disease are seen in young or middle-aged female dogs. Adrenal glands regulate corticosteroids, Cushings disease can result in Addison’s disease as they both effect the corticosteroids. The effect on the adrenal hormones can be controlled by drugs and a dog can function in everyday life successfully.