All Things Dog

Health Topics That Begin With The Letter "I"

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Ideal weight
When a vet is estimating the nutritional condition of a dog, he or she will often consider the ideal weight for that particular dog. This ideal varies according to a dog's age, developmental stage, individual characteristics, and other factors. Puppies and young dogs should on no account be overweight. The following yardsticks may be used to check your dog's weight:

  • you should be able to feel your pup’s ribs, but they shouldn't be pronounced or visible
  • your puppy's waist, when viewed from above, should be visible but not too pronounced
  • there should be no substantial fatty deposits on your pup’s body
  • Above all, however, the criterion for the good health of a puppy or young dog is the activity and curiosity that characterize dogs of this age.

    Inappetence – Loss of appetite
    A dog is suffering from loss of appetite when he doesn't want to eat his food. Absolute non-consumption of food is termed anorexia. Appetite loss can be caused by a variety of things, and if your pup is suffering from loss of appetite you should consult your vet immediately.

    Infection with demodex
    Demodex is a small, cigar-shaped mite that may be found in normal hair follicles without necessarily causing problems. In some individuals, particularly young dogs, the mite may cause an area of non-itchy hair loss. Often, the area around the eyes is the first to be affected. As it is a burrowing mite dwelling deep in the hair follicle, it is often difficult to diagnose, even with a deep skin scraping. If you suspect that your pup may be suffering from infection with demodex your veterinarian is your best resource for treating the problem.

    Inflammation is a reaction of tissues to an injury, either physical or chemical, or infection; it may also occur as a hypersensitive response./p>

    While inflammation is a helpful means of fighting against “intruders”, it can also develop into a problem itself, and treatment with medicine may be necessary to cure or prevent it.

    In heat
    From a certain age, male dogs are permanently ready to mate. Females, on the other hand, are sexually receptive only at certain times. This period of readiness is known as being “in heat” (or "in season"). A female’s behavior may change while she is in heat. This usually occurs every five or six months, although it's not uncommon for this to happen only once per year. It will vary with individuals and among breeds. The first heat is to be expected at around the age of six to eight months, but again there will be breed differences.

    Genetics determine certain behavioral processes naturally, without their having to be triggered by a particular stimulus. These instinctive actions always proceed in exactly the same way and are understood by other dogs. Instinctive actions prompt certain behaviors such as protecting the pack from danger or drawing attention to danger.

    Intestinal parasites (Endoparasite)
    An endoparasite is an organism that lives in another living organism (the host). The parasite gets food and shelter from its host, and will often affect the host’s health. Endoparasites of the puppy include viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and worms.

    The majority of puppies are born with roundworm (nematodes), and therefore need to be wormed from an early age (some pups need worming as young as 2 weeks of age). Some worms may be transferred from dogs to humans, and therefore, owners have a responsibility (especially if they have children) to worm their dog on a regular basis, such as two to four times a year. Your vet will recommend the most suitable worming agent to use for your dog.

    Itching, also known as pruritus, is a symptom of a variety of disorders, but it's not an illness in itself. The causes of itching include parasites, allergies, inflammatory skin diseases, and malnutrition. Pruritus provokes scratching, which in turn stimulates further pruritus; this initiates the itch-scratch cycle, which may cause extensive skin damage. If your pup starts to scratch, seek veterinary advice.

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