Educational Articles

Breeding

  • Pyometra is defined as an infection in the uterus. Pyometra is considered a serious and life threatening condition that must be treated quickly and aggressively. Pyometra may occur in any sexually intact young to middle-aged cat; however, it is most common in older cats. Typically, the cat has been in heat within the previous 4 weeks.

  • Rabbit syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a spirochete organism called Treponema cuniculi. Infected rabbits will develop sores that are confined to the mucocutaneous junctions, such as the external genitals, anus, lips, nostrils, and eyelids. Treatment involves two to three weekly penicillin injections. Humans cannot contract this disease from rabbits.

  • Most cats care for their kittens with little need for human intervention; however, if they do not, then their caregivers will need to step in. Maintaining a warm environment and ensuring they are receiving enough milk is critical to survival. Weights should be checked daily in the first 2 weeks and any prolonged crying should be investigated thoroughly. Feeding can be supplemented with commercial milk replacer if needed and all kittens can start the weaning process around 4 weeks of age by offering gruel-like kitten food mixed with milk replacer. Rarely milk fever or eclampsia can affect the mother causing spasms and panting around the weaning time and must be addressed by a veterinarian immediately. Kitten diets that have been trialed for growth are recommended. Kittens normally receive temporary immunity through the placenta while in utero and by ingesting their mother’s milk in their first day of life. This immunity starts to fade around 6 weeks of age and vaccination is recommended at that time. Worms are a common affliction in kittens and regular deworming is recommended starting at 2 weeks old. Contact your veterinarian for specific instructions. Commercial over the counter dewormers can be harmful to young kittens.

  • Most dogs care for their puppies with little need for human intervention; however, if they do not, then their caregivers will need to step in. Maintaining a warm environment and ensuring puppies are receiving enough milk is critical to survival. Weights should be checked daily in the first 2 weeks and any prolonged crying should be investigated thoroughly. Feeding can be supplemented with commercial milk replacer if needed and all puppies can start the weaning process around 4 weeks of age by offering gruel-like puppy food mixed with milk replacer. Milk fever or eclampsia can affect the mother causing spasms and panting around the weaning time and must be addressed by a veterinarian immediately. Puppy diets meeting AAFCO requirements for growth are recommended. Puppies normally receive temporary immunity from ingesting their mother’s milk in their first day of life. This immunity starts to fade around 6 weeks of age and vaccination is recommended at that time. Worms are a common affliction in puppies and regular deworming is recommended starting at 2 weeks old. Contact your veterinarian for specific recommendations. Commercial over the counter dewormers can be harmful to young puppies.

  • Cryptorchidism is the failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum. Some purebred cats are more at risk, but it can affect any cat and is believed to be an inherited trait. Diagnosis can usually be made by palpation but sometimes requires blood testing or abdominal ultrasound if the cat’s history is unknown. Risks of retained testicles include testicular cancer, spermatic cord torsion, and the development of undesirable male characteristics, so neutering is strongly recommended. Surgery is generally routine, and recovery is similar to any abdominal surgery.

  • Cryptorchidism is the failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum. Toy breeds may be more at risk, but it can affect any breed of dog and is believed to be an inherited trait. Diagnosis can usually be made by palpation but sometimes requires blood testing or an abdominal ultrasound if the dog’s history is unknown. Risks of retained testicles include testicular cancer, spermatic cord torsion, and the development of undesirable male characteristics, so neutering is strongly recommended. Surgery is generally routine, and recovery is similar to any abdominal surgery.