Signs of Dog Parasites in Poop

Signs of Dog Parasites in Poop


As a dog owner, you’re probably already familiar with the risk of intestinal parasites in your pet. Dogs are prone to having parasites, and many dogs will experience intestinal parasites at least once in their lifetimes. Most of the time, these types of parasites are not too serious and can be cleared up with medication and a trip to the vet.


It’s important to learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of parasites in your dog’s poop. Once you know what to look for, you can be aware of any changes that may signify an issue with your dog’s digestive and intestinal health.




Diarrhea is a common symptom of intestinal parasites in dogs. However, it is also commonly associated with a variety of other ailments and conditions. Some dogs may have diarrhea from factors as mild as a change in diet, while others may have diarrhea from organ failure.


If your dog experiences diarrhea just once or twice and then seems to be fine, there is probably nothing wrong. On the other hand, if she has diarrhea frequently, and especially if there is blood or mucous in the diarrhea, take her to the vet. She may have intestinal parasites that need to be cleared up.




Vomiting, like diarrhea, may be a symptom associated with a wide range of health problems in dogs. However, intestinal parasites are one of the potential causes of this symptom. If you notice your dog vomiting for more than a day, with or without the other symptoms on this list, take her to the vet as soon as possible to be diagnosed.


If your dog is vomiting from intestinal parasites, this vomiting may occur more frequently shortly after your dog has eaten. However, this is not always the case; dogs may vomit from intestinal parasites at any time as well.




Scooting sometimes means that your dog’s anal glands need to be expressed by a vet or groomer. However, in some instances, this behavior may also mean your dog has intestinal parasites.


Dogs tend to scoot because they have itching around the anus and rear end. This symptom is associated with the presence of worms that exit the dog’s body through the anus when the dog poops. As the parasitic infection worsens, you may notice your dog scooting more and more. A dog who scoots once now and then doesn’t need to see a vet, but a dog who scoots often does.



Loss of Weight

As intestinal parasites linger within a dog’s body, over time they will cause the dog to lose weight. Although weight loss is not an early sign of intestinal parasites in dogs, it can be a symptom later on.


If you think your dog’s weight loss could be caused by parasites or if you’re unsure what’s causing her to lose weight, take her to the vet to be examined. Weight loss can be a symptom of a wide range of health problems, including some that are much more severe.



Swollen Abdomen

A swollen abdomen is typically a symptom of a moderate to severe infection from intestinal parasites. Dogs who have been dealing with parasites for some time already may experience swelling of the stomach and abdomen as the infection causes more inflammation within the body.

Additionally, heartworms can also cause a swollen abdomen in later stages of the disease. For this reason, it is necessary to take your dog to the vet to be thoroughly checked out if you notice abdominal swelling. The problem could be worms, or it could be something much more serious that requires immediate treatment.



Dull and Patchy Coat

Finally, if your dog has intestinal parasites, chances are good her coat will appear dull as well. It may not shine the way it is supposed to, and the hair may become brittle in some instances, too. Some dogs may experience patchy hair loss as a symptom of worsening intestinal parasites.


Coat health problems can be attributed to food allergies, fleas, and contact dermatitis as well. If you notice changes in your dog’s coat health but aren’t sure why, talk to your vet for more information. A quick stool sample and checkup for your dog can help rule out or diagnose intestinal parasites.




With the help of this guide, you should be ready to examine your dog’s stool and make sure she doesn’t show any signs of parasites. Need to purchase an In-Home test kit? Shop here . After taking our test, if you do notice a problem with your dog’s poop, don’t panic, but don’t wait to take her to the vet either.


When you bring your dog to the vet, bring along a stool sample from within the last 24 hours, too. This way, the vet can carefully examine the sample for signs of parasites and can let you know what, if anything, your dog may be dealing with. 


June 22, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications
Dog Kidney Disease: Symptoms and Stages

Dog Kidney Disease: Symptoms and Stages

Kidney disease does not need to be an immediate death sentence for dogs. Treatment is available to help improve and prolong a pup’s quality of life, which can last for years if the disease is treated in time.

The stages of kidney disease are based on the progression of the illness. The International Renal Interest Society has a system to help vets diagnose and treat dogs suffering from the disease. The first symptoms to arise are typically increased drinking and urination.

The later stages of kidney disease can also render your dog with pale gums, bad breath, and mouth ulcers. If you want to know more regarding the symptoms and stages of dog kidney disease, please read this article.

What is Kidney- Disease in Dogs?

Healthy kidney function is required for your dog to successfully remove toxins from the blood and excrete them from the body through the urine. The kidneys are also responsible for performing many other vital tasks:

  • Controlling blood pressure
  • Maintaining blood acidity levels
  • Preventing water loss
  • Keeping a healthy metabolic balance


If the kidneys stop functioning correctly, it is referred to as kidney disease. There are stages to the disease. Your Vet would need to investigate to make a correct diagnosis. There are two types of kidney disease which would be acute and chronic.


An acute illness can generally be cleared or cured once there is treatment. When something is chronic, it cannot be cured, and it progresses until treatment will no longer be available to alleviate the symptoms.


What is Acute Kidney Disease?

If kidney disease is acute, the condition has resulted from complications from another illness, such as kidney stones or cancer. It could also be due to exposure to toxins. It is possible to treat and reverse kidney disease when it is acute. The prognosis depends upon the severity of damage to the kidney, and the underlying cause is promptly and successfully treated.

Acute kidney problems occur due to a urinary obstruction in the pup’s body. When blood flow is reduced, it leaves your kidneys more susceptible to infection. Some other causes of acute kidney disease include:

  • Snakebites
  • Extreme dehydration
  • Heat strokes
  • Bacterial infection


If acute kidney disease is caused by urinary obstruction, it is the exact reverse. Once the block is cleared, the kidneys resume their normal function.


What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease is an irreversible long-term illness that advances gradually over time. Symptoms often do not show until the disease has already progressed. There is no remedy for chronic kidney disease. However, there are treatment options to slow the progression of the disease. Chronic kidney disease is more common in older dogs.

The early symptoms of chronic kidney disease are often overlooked because they are relatively mild or nonspecific. Poor dental health is one of the major causes of chronic kidney disease in older dogs. The bacteria from dental disease enter the dog’s bloodstream and damage the kidneys. Chronic kidney disease can also result due to the aging process.


What Are the Symptoms of Kidney Disease?

It is essential to know the symptoms of kidney disease in dogs. If your dog displays any of the following symptoms, do not dismiss it as simply a change in their behavior. You should take any signs you may notice seriously and have them investigated by your Vet:

  • Excessive thirst/drinking
  • Excessive urination
  • Bad breath
  • Lack of energy
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in urine
  • Pale gums
  • Oral ulcers
  • Fragile bones

More symptoms occur in stages two and three. Due to the build-up of toxins, the dog may start to have breathing problems. They may also be anemic because the kidneys cannot generate the hormone required to develop red blood cells.


What Are the Stages of Kidney Disease?

Your Vet needs to know what stage of kidney disease your dog is in so that they can give them the best treatment possible. Kidney failure advances in stages. Your Vet will use the International Renal Interest Society’s staging system to diagnose your dog. The stages of chronic kidney disease are primarily based on the dog’s serum creatinine concentrations and urine-specific gravity.

Stage 1 Kidney Disease

When the kidneys work properly, they can remove toxins from the pup’s body. When the kidneys are compromised, waste builds up in the blood, which causes what is referred to as uremic poisoning. When dogs are in stage one of kidney disease, there is no build-up of waste in the blood. 

In stage one, there is a small amount to no protein in the urine, and the pup typically maintains normal blood pressure. However, diagnostic tests may indicate abnormalities in the urine concentration or irregular kidney palpation. Most dogs do not present with symptoms during this stage.

Stage 2 Kidney Disease

Waste is typically eliminated through the kidneys. During stage two, kidney disease waste starts to accumulate in the blood. The dog’s renal function declines. They may begin to leak protein into their urine, and their blood pressure will rise. Pups in stage two may have mild kidney failure but still not display clinical symptoms.   

Stage 3 Kidney Disease

The dog may demonstrate moderate amounts of waste products in their blood during this stage. Dogs with stage three will often have protein in their urine and increased blood pressure. Their excessive drinking and urination may escalate as well. Kidneys are only working between about 15 and 25 percent during this stage.

Stage 4 Kidney Disease

In stage four kidney failure in dogs, creatinine levels are high. The pup is at risk for emerging systemic signs affecting the entire system. The kidneys will not be able to filter out waste. Protein in the urine increases further, and blood pressure may become higher or still be elevated. Dogs suffering from stage four kidney failure have kidneys that only work about under 15 percent.

Acute Kidney Disease

There are five stages of acute kidney disease. In acute kidney failure, the severity of the illness can vary in different dogs. Many dogs recover once they receive treatment. Other dogs develop chronic illness, and some dogs sadly do not heal. Creatinine levels will climb higher in some more than others, and there are varying degrees of decreased functioning of the kidneys.


What is Treatment for Kidneys Disease?

Treatment for kidney disease typically occurs in two phases. First, the kidneys are flushed to remove toxins from the dog’s system. Three possibilities can happen in the first phase of treatment:

  • Kidneys resume normal functioning for months or years
  • Kidneys resume normal functioning during treatment but stop when treatment ends
  • Kidney function does not come back


If the first phase of treatment is effective, your Vet will help you improve your pup’s quality of life. This improvement is achieved through one or more of these steps:


Special Diet

The best food for a dog with kidney disease is low in protein and phosphorus and not acidic. This way of eating will help decrease the protein wastes or toxins that may make your dog feel sick. It is meant to take the stress off the kidneys. Talk to your Vet about the proper diet for your pup.

Phosphate Binder

High blood phosphate levels can lower your dog’s energy and leave them no appetite. There are binding phosphate drugs that keep phosphate from getting into the bloodstream. Your pup will need these drugs for the duration.

Home Fluid Therapy

Fluid will help prevent dehydration, flush out the toxins, and maintains electrolytes. Once the dog becomes stable, fluid therapy may be decreased.

Therapy for Protein in the Urine

Dogs with increased protein in the urine are at risk for the swift progression of chronic kidney disease. Blood pressure medications will help decrease pressure in the kidneys.

Drug to Adjust Parathyroid Gland and Calcium Levels

The increased blood calcium stimulates the parathyroid gland to remove calcium from the bones. It makes the bones brittle and weak. Calcitriol may help increase calcium absorption from the digestive tract.

Drug to Promote Production of Red Blood Cells

Your Vet may recommend this treatment if your dog has consistent anemia.

Kidney Dialysis

If the above treatments do not work, your Vet may suggest kidney dialysis to extend and improve the quality of your pup’s life. It involves a machine taking and cleansing the dog’s blood before going back into their system.



There are four stages of chronic kidney disease. Symptoms vary with the stages, but there are common symptoms to watch out for, including increased drinking and urination. Treatment is not expensive or complicated. It is worth it to pet parents to improve the quality of life for their faithful companion.   




June 15, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications
How to Remove a Tick from a Dog

How to Remove a Tick from a Dog

Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that attach themselves to a host, causing many tick-borne diseases. It is scary to think about them infecting your dog, but it is common for dogs to get ticks. However, if you know how to remove ticks safely from your pup, you can keep your canine companion healthy.

You will need tweezers or a good tick-removing tool when removing a tick from your dog. You want to be vigilant to get the entire tick out of your dog's skin. If there is a tick bite upon removal, you should take your pup to the vet.

Your vet will check your pup for any tick-borne illness. If you want to learn more about removing a tick from a dog, peruse this article.

What is a Tick?

If you want to understand why ticks are dangerous to your dog, you must first understand what a tick is. A tick is a tiny arachnid, which is the same class as spiders. Ticks feed off blood to sustain their lives. Ticks have a complex cycle of life:

  • Egg
  • Lar
  • Nymph
  • Adult


A female tick produces thousands of eggs at a time. Ticks cannot jump up onto your dog to feed off their blood, so they use grass or other vegetation blades to climb on and attach themselves to their host. Ticks start with a small host, such as a bird, and as the tick progresses through their life stages, they gradually pick bigger and bigger hosts, which is how your pup ends up with ticks.


Ticks carry diseases to humans and animals, and they can transmit diseases to many hosts. Ticks thrive in certain areas, including the grass, beach, woods, lawns, forests, and even urban areas.   Ticks will typically infect animals and people with some of the illnesses below; however, they transmit many diseases.

Lyme Disease

Lyme is spread by the deer tick or the black-legged tick, which is located in the Midwest, northeastern, and pacific United States

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

This illness is passed on by the Rocky Mountain wood tick and the brown dog tick. They are in the United States but also in Central and South America.


Transmitted by the black-legged tick located in the northeast and upper Midwest, the tick transmits microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells.


The lone star tick, found in southcentral and eastern U.S., transmits this disease with Lyme-type symptoms and is treatable with Doxycycline.

Diseases from ticks only take a few hours to spread. The faster you remove the tick from your dog, the better the outcome will be. It is better to get rid of a tick when it is alive to decrease the likelihood of your pup being infected with a tick-borne illness.


Where Do I Check My Dog for Ticks?

You should surviel your dog for ticks every time you return from a walk. You should start by running your fingers through your pup's hair from the head to the back, concentrating on specific areas:

  • Head around the eyes, ears, and under the chin
  • Neck including around the collar
  • Feet, including the bottom of paws and in between their pads
  • Armpits where the front legs meet the chest
  • Under their tail

Checking for ticks on your dog is an essential job as a pet parent.


What Supplies Do You Need to Remove Tick from Your Dog?

There are different ways you can remove ticks. However, having the right tools makes tick removal much easier and more effective.

  • Point tip tweezers or tick remover
  • Latex or rubber gloves
  • Magnifying glass
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Jar or small container with a lid
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Treats

You should always wear gloves while handling ticks to avoid contact with the skin. Use the treats to distract your pup from the process. When it is over, reward them with a treat for being a good boy or girl and tolerating it.


How to Use Tweezers to Remove Ticks?

You should follow specific steps when using tweezers to remove a tick from your dog. Be careful not to pinch your dog with the tweezers.

  • Try to grasp the base of the tick as close to the skin as possible. Do not grab the tick's body, which can break it, leaving the tick stuck in your pup's skin.


  • Slowly and steadily, begin to pull the tick out from your dog's skin. Pull the tick straight upwards. Be careful not to jerk your hand as the tick comes out, which can detach the tick from its body.


  • Once the tick is removed, check it to ensure that all the tick parts have been removed from your dog's skin.


The goal is to pull the tick's head out from your pup's skin while its head is still attached to the body. Ticks can be black, brown, or tan, and they have eight legs. They are also very tiny. It may sound creepy, but if you look closely and see that the tick is waving its legs, you have successfully removed the entire tick from your dog's body.


How to Use Tick Remover Tool to Remove Ticks?

There is a certain way you should use tick remover to get the tick out from your dog. There are some great options for tick removal available.

  • Gently grip the body of the tick between the prongs of the tool


  • Gently rotate the tool clockwise or counterclockwise to free the tick from your dog. Do not pull the tick while it is affixed to their skin.


  • Once the tick has been withdrawn from your pup, lift it away from the skin.


  • Examine the tick to make sure it has all of its body parts. Then you know the whole tick has been removed from your dog.


After extracting the tick, cleanse the area with rubbing alcohol, wash your hands thoroughly, and clean your tweezers. If the bite area appears abnormal, take your dog to see the vet. Put the tick in a jar or small container so that your vet can see if the tick has fed off your dog. You can also get the tick tested for certain tick-borne illnesses.

How Can I Help Prevent My Dog from Getting Ticks?

There are various approaches to get rid of or prevent ticks on your dog. These products work in different ways, so it is best to read the directions carefully.


Spot-on Treatments

This treatment is a very effective method for preventing or controlling ticks and fleas. It can keep your pup tick free for about a month. Some ingredients can even prevent larvae from developing.

Oral Medications

This method kills both ticks and fleas. It also disturbs the life cycle of fleas. It is less harmful to small children and cats than spot-on treatment.


Bathing your pup with a medicated shampoo will typically kill ticks right away. This procedure needs to be repeated about every two weeks.

Tick Dips

A dip is a concentrated chemical that must be diluted in water and applied to your dog with a sponge. The treatment is supposed to be rinsed off upon application.

Tick Collars

Tick collars are usually effective for protecting the neck and head from ticks. When the tick collar contacts the skin, the chemicals are transferred to your pup's fur and skin.

Tick Sprays

Tick spray kills quickly and offers lasting protection. Sprays are often used in between shampoos and dips. Do not use it around other pets.


Tick powders kill ticks or deter them from getting on your dog. You will need to apply this product about once a week during tick and flea season.

Treat the House and Lawn

Maintain the integrity of your lawn. Keep your lawn, bushes, and trees trimmed back, which will help decrease the population of ticks and fleas around your house.



Ticks pose a real threat to your dog. You should check them for ticks every time you come inside from taking a walk. Ticks can cause certain tick-borne illnesses, and it is your responsibility as a pet parent to make sure your canine is safe and healthy.



June 14, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Cats

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Cats

Hypothyroidism in cats is inadequate functioning of the thyroid gland. It appears when the thyroid levels are too low, and body systems can be compromised.

When a cat is hypothyroid, they typically have some weight gain, a lack of desire to play, or a matted and unkempt appearance. Cats who have hypothyroidism may be intolerant to cold and low body temperature. There may also be some behavioral issues present.

It is more common for cats to experience hyperthyroidism rather than hypothyroidism. If you want to find out further about the symptoms of hypothyroidism in cats, take a peek at this article.

What is the Thyroid Gland in Cats?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland positioned just below the larynx, near the front of the neck. The thyroid secretory organ is made up of two lobes. They are on each side of the windpipe, affixed deep into the soft tissues of the larynx. The thyroid gland creates hormones that control thyroid function. The thyroid regulates many essential functions or systems in the body:

  • Heart function
  • Muscle function
  • Digestive function
  • Body temperature
  • Brain development
  • Bone maintenance
  • Respiratory weight
  • Bodyweight

The thyroid gland helps to regulate many different organ functions. Even though hyperthyroidism is more prevalent in cats, hypothyroidism is also detrimental to your cat’s health.


What is Hypothyroidism in Cats?

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland slows down and is underactive because it does not generate enough thyroid hormones. When the thyroid slows down, so does the metabolism. The thyroid stores and delivers thyroid hormones in the body. These hormones are universally known as T3 and T4. The thyroid needs iodine to create these hormones.

The hormone calcitonin is another essential thyroid hormone. It is responsible for regulating calcium levels in the body. The parathyroid glands increase calcium levels in the blood. It also helps to maintain the levels of phosphorus in the body.

The hormone generated by the thyroid gland is controlled by the quantity of thyroid-stimulating hormone created by the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus, situated directly above the pituitary gland, delivers messages to the brain and controls the TSH.

If your cat is hypothyroid, it means that they are not producing enough T3 or T4 hormones to sustain the health of their thyroid. However, if your cat is hyperthyroid, it means that they are producing too many T3 and T4 hormones.

What Are the Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Cats?

If your cat is hypothyroid, there are symptoms that they may develop, especially if it is severe. The symptoms of hypothyroidism depend on how far along the condition is. There are some common signs of hypothyroidism you need to watch out for:

  • Weight gain despite no increase in food intake
  • Lack of appetite
  • Poor coat condition
  • Weakness
  • Low energy Constipation
  • Neurological changes
  • Mental dullness
  • Low body temperature
  • Low heart rate
  • Excessive thirst
  • Sensitivity to cold

Cats with low thyroid hormone levels may also lose some of their hair. Some cats with hypothyroidism may also begin to go potty outside of their litter box. Many pet parents do not know that if their cat does this, it can be triggered by a medical condition. 

Some vets think there is also a connection between behavior issues and low thyroid hormone levels in cats. Some cats who have hypothyroidism may develop aggressive or compulsive behavior. Your vet can diagnose hypothyroidism with a simple blood test.


What Causes Hypothyroidism in Cats?

There are two primary reasons why cats can develop hypothyroidism. Cats can become hypothyroid if they are given excessive thyroid hormone replacement. Cats with hyperthyroidism are often treated with specific medication that lowers their thyroid levels. If a cat’s thyroid levels decrease too much due to the medicine, they may become hypothyroid.

Cats may also become hypothyroid if they have surgery to remove part or all of their thyroid gland. It can occur after they have radioactive iodine treatment. This treatment can sometimes be employed to treat hyperthyroidism. If the therapy decreases thyroid levels too much, it can cause hypothyroidism.  

In rare cases, cats can also be born with hypothyroidism. These cats may demonstrate sure signs of hypothyroidism, including dwarfing. Congenital hypothyroidism is a hormonal cause of dwarfism in cats. Suppose a cat has a congenital condition that they have had since birth. Cats born with congenital hypothyroidism are typically normal in size for the first few weeks.

However, as time passes, their fur does not grow properly, and they may have short legs and a large head. They may also suffer from mental dullness and lack of energy. Fortunately, these sweet fur babies can be treated with lifelong administration of synthetic thyroid hormone and maintained with the help of an attentive, caring vet and regular bloodwork.

What is the Treatment for Hypothyroidism in Cats?

The vet can treat your cat with hypothyroidism with synthetic thyroid hormone. The medication is prescribed according to your cat’s weight. The dosage may need to be periodically adjusted, so you must maintain a good relationship with your vet. Once your cat’s medicine is at the right level, you will need to bring your fur baby back for a follow-up every six months.

With treatment, your cat will live everyday life, as they will become spryer and more active. They will become more like their old self. Their hair typically begins to grow back within the first week of treatment. However, more time is required for your cat to grow all their hair back. Most cats will start to lose weight within the first couple of weeks on the medicine.

Within the first few weeks of medication, the symptoms should calm down and become more manageable. Your cat will be a much happier and healthier feline.


Why is Hypothyroidism in Cats Considered Rare?

Studies have indicated that spontaneous adult-onset primary hypothyroidism does exist. However, research tends to focus on the hyperthyroid condition. Often, cats will only demonstrate mild clinical symptoms of hypothyroid, which is compounded by a lack of awareness of the disease by clinicians who think it is far too rare to be considered.

Better research can only be conducted if clinicians accept that the condition is more prevalent than initially believed. Hypothyroidism in cats does not depend on the type of breed. In the study showed, it was determined that males were more susceptible. With that said, hypothyroidism in cats is still a rarity.

The study shows that there are other reasons that cats develop hypothyroidism than those previously having hyperthyroidism, and treatment overcorrects the problem. The condition is acquired hypothyroidism, with primary hypothyroidism being an immune-mediated disorder that attacks thyroid tissue.

Adult cats with acquired hypothyroidism typically have a good prognosis if treatment is given. These cats can achieve an excellent long lifespan. Weight management may be the key to success.



If your fur baby is hypothyroid, it is your responsibility as a pet parent to ensure they get the best treatment possible. Hypothyroidism in cats may be rare, but it is a severe condition that should not be overlooked.



June 14, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications
Why is My Dog Vomiting Yellow?

Why is My Dog Vomiting Yellow?

It can be disconcerting when your dog vomits, especially when they are vomiting up yellow. There are a plethora of reasons that this may occur.

If your dog is vomiting up yellow, it could be due to everything from an empty stomach to something more serious, such as liver or kidney problems. Your pup could also be experiencing a food allergy. It would be safest if you kept an eye on your dog to figure out the cause of their suffering.

There may be certain things you can try to keep your dog from getting sick in the first place. If you want to know why your dog is vomiting yellow, peruse this article. 

Why is My Dog Vomiting Yellow?

If your dog is vomiting yellow, it is an indication that bile is present. Bile is a digestive juice that is excreted by the gallbladder and liver. It helps digest the fats and oils in the small intestine. There could be many reasons why bile can be expelled from the stomach and is yellow.


Empty Stomach

The most common explanation why a dog would vomit up yellow bile is that they have an empty stomach. If your dog has not eaten, and stomach acids accumulate and aggravate your dog’s stomach lining, inflammation and abdominal pain will be triggered. If your dog is retching due to an empty stomach, they may vomit again after eating.

Dietary Indiscretion

Sometimes dogs can get themselves into trouble and eat something they should not. Your dog may have ingested food from the garbage; they could have eaten poo or eaten something they found outside during a walk. Any of these occurrences could cause digestive upset.

Food Sensitivities/ Allergies

Food sensitivities can cause your dog to have an upset stomach. Dogs have delicate gastrointestinal tracts, and certain foods can cause allergies:

  • Beef
  • Egg
  • Fish
  • Lamb
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Rabbit


If you suddenly change your dog’s diet, their body does not accept the food, and they can vomit yellow. It can even happen if your dog eats the same food continuously, as food allergies can develop after persistent exposure to one brand or type of food.  


Eating Grass

If your dog eats grass, it may come up in a yellow pool of vomit later. When you walk your dog outside, discourage them from feasting upon anything they should not, including grass. Sometimes we eat things that our body needs to compensate for the nutrients we are not getting, as people are no different from dogs in that respect.

Heatstroke and Car Sickness

Dogs are like people because they can get car sick just like we do. Never leave your pup alone in the hot car, especially with soaring temperatures. Dehydration paired with excessive heat can trigger heatstroke in dogs. Some of the indications of heatstroke in dogs:

  • Reddened gums
  • Excessive drooling
  • Diarrhea

It is essential to keep your dog hydrated in the heat. Vomiting bile is one of the most frequent symptoms of a dog having a heatstroke.


Pancreatitis in dogs occurs when there is inflammation of the pancreas. It is a relatively common condition in dogs. Many symptoms may occur in dogs as a result of pancreatitis:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration

Pancreatitis is a severe illness for dogs, and your pup will need medical intervention right away. Some of the treatment protocol for pancreatitis in dogs includes fluid therapy, fasting, and antibiotics. Surgery is only necessary when intestinal complications occur or if a pancreatic abscess is present.

Liver Problems

The liver is a crucial component involved in digesting food. If there is a problem with the liver, your pup may vomit constantly. They may vomit up food, yellow bile, or water. It depends on when your dog eats or drinks. Blood may also come up if they have a stomach ulcer, which is not pleasant for your fur baby. Your dog will require immediate treatment, or they can become severely dehydrated.

Kidney Failure

During the later stages of kidney failure, your dog’s breath can be foul due to the build-up of toxins in the blood. The process is called uremia, and other organs in the body become affected. Gastrointestinal upset can include liver and gallbladder toxicity, which causes the bile ducts to fail.

When this occurs, the yellow bile, made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, will travel to the small intestine. It triggers nausea, and your dog may vomit up yellow.

Exposure to Toxins

Your dog may be vomiting yellow because they have ingested a toxin like chocolate or raisins. Some of the frequent signs that your dog has been exposed to a toxin:

  • Salivation
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Pale gums
  • Eye discharge or inflammation
  • Increased respiratory rate and effort
  • Pacing
  • Seizures
  • Collapsing


When your pet has ingested something poisonous to them, you need to get them to the emergency vet right away. If you think you may need to induce vomiting more quickly, contact an animal healthcare professional, and never do it without proper guidance.  


What Can I Do to Help Put a Stop to My Canine from Vomiting Yellow?

If your dog is vomiting yellow, there are a few things you may be able to do to help them, providing  your dog’s vomiting only requires a simple fix:


Smaller and More Frequent Meals

Smaller, frequent meals can be easier on your dog’s stomach, and it may also get them to eat if they are not consuming enough. However, be careful not to feed them constantly. For example, if your pup eats two meals a day and equals one cup of food, try feeding them four times a day with half a cup of food.

Slowly Work in New Foods

If you choose to introduce your dog to new foods, you can accomplish this by mixing the new food with the old. Once some time has passed, you can reduce the old food gradually until they are eating only the new food. This procedure will be better for your pup’s stomach and keep them from immediately rejecting the new food.

Keep Common Toxins Away from Your Dog

To prevent your dog from ingesting toxins, keep chocolate out of reach and keep human medications locked away safely. Certain plants are another toxin for your pup. You should not keep poisonous plants in the home.

Keep Them from Eating Things They Should Not

Surveille your dog when you take them for walks. Do not let them linger near trash, and discourage them from eating non-food items, even grass. Also, if table scraps are an issue, try not to have them near the dinner table when you and your family are eating.

Monitor Your Dog During Playtime

When your dog is playing with chew toys, make sure you watch them. Do not allow your pup to destroy their toys and eat them. Only let your canine play with them while under your supervision.



If your dog is vomiting up yellow, there could be a few different causes. They could be allergic to food, or they may have ingested something poisonous.

If your dog has an episode in which they vomit yellow, it is essential to watch them. If your pup is vomiting yellow and there are other symptoms present, take them to the vet as soon as possible.






June 14, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications
Cat Kidney Disease: Symptoms & Stages

Cat Kidney Disease: Symptoms & Stages


Is there a chance your cat could have kidney disease? Would you know how to recognize it if so? What are the most common symptoms and stages of kidney disease in cats?


In the article below, we’ll help you answer all these questions and more. You’ll find out details about the common symptoms associated with kidney disease in cats, and you’ll learn more about each stage of this condition as well. By the time you finish reading, you should be ready to take your cat to the vet for more specific, individualized information.

Sick cat cuddling by window



Stage One of Cat Kidney Disease

In stage one kidney disease, cats may still be very good at hiding their symptoms. Pet owners may not recognize problems in their cats at this point, simply because the cat is not willing to show that she is feeling unwell. Unless you are very in-tune with your cat’s behavioral and health changes, it may be difficult to catch kidney disease at this early stage.


Symptoms of stage one kidney disease in cats include:


  • Lethargy: Lethargy is a symptom of a variety of health problems in cats. However, it is also associated with kidney disease.
  • Weakness: Cats who are sick with kidney disease may grow weaker, especially if they are less interested in food or water along with the illness.
  • Loss of appetite: A loss of appetite comes along with the pain and general sick feelings associated with kidney disease. If your cat has a loss of appetite that lasts more than a couple of days, take her to the vet to be checked out.



Stage Two of Cat Kidney Disease 

Many cat owners recognize signs and symptoms of kidney disease in cats by stage two. At this point, cats are typically quite sick and may have a variety of symptoms that indicate what’s going on. It is possible to manage these symptoms for some time with the help of your vet, but you must take your cat in for diagnosis as soon as possible.


Symptoms of stage two kidney disease in cats include:


  • Foul breath: A foul smell on the cat’s breath, similar to the smell of rotting fruit, is commonly associated with mid-stage kidney disease. This smell can also be attributed to diabetes and liver disease, and it is almost always a sign something serious is wrong.
  • Vomiting: Vomiting, with or without blood present, may be a sign of kidney disease in cats. If your cat vomits once or twice and seems fine, then she likely doesn’t have kidney disease; vomiting with kidney disease is very frequent.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea may also occur and can be a symptom with or without blood. It may occur almost every time your cat goes to the bathroom.
  • Excess thirst and urination: Cats with mid-stage kidney disease are typically very thirsty and may urinate frequently as well. At this point, cats may have trouble making it to the litter box when they need to urinate.



Stage Three of Cat Kidney Disease

Stage three, or late-stage kidney disease, is near the end of the cat’s life. Most pet owners understand that their cats are dealing with kidney disease by this point, as the cat is likely to be extremely sick. You can work with your vet to help keep your cat comfortable and as pain-free as possible during the last part of her life.


Symptoms of stage three kidney disease in cats include:


  • Incontinence: Cats may no longer be able to control their bladder or bowels when dealing with late-stage kidney disease.
  • Hiding: As cats recognize they are nearing the end, they may become more prone to hiding away from human members of the family. This is common behavior in cats, regardless of the cause of death or severe illness.
  • Confusion: Kidney disease, especially in its more advanced stages, typically causes some confusion in cats. Cats may become aggressive when they never were before, or they may stop and stand in the middle of a room, seemingly unaware of their surroundings for a short time.
  • Loss of vision: In very late stages of kidney disease, cats may lose some or all of their vision. This symptom usually signifies that a cat is very close to death, and euthanasia may be the best solution at this point.

sick cat sleeping




As you can see, kidney disease can vary quite a bit from cat to cat. The condition is a very serious one that must be managed with the help of a trusted vet, but it can be difficult to recognize this illness in many cats, too.


By paying close attention to your cat’s symptoms, you can help increase your cat’s chances of living a happy life even with diagnosis of kidney disease. Your vet can give you more information about your specific cat’s needs based on her health history.



May 18, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications
Signs That Your Dog is Having a Seizure

Signs That Your Dog is Having a Seizure


Do you have a dog who has been diagnosed with epilepsy? Or do you have a dog who frequently shows signs of seizures? Would you know what to look for if your dog was having a seizure?


In the article below, we’ll walk you through some of the most common signs of seizures in dogs. With the help of this information, you can better understand when your pet may be dealing with a health crisis, and when he may need to see the vet as well. Read on to learn more.

Dog panting



Mild Dog Seizures


  • Lack of awareness: Dogs who have mild seizures, also sometimes known as “absence seizures,” may simply lose focus or awareness for some time. They may seem to be confused about where they are and what they’re doing, and it may be difficult to get their attention for a short time.
  • Standing still: Dogs who experience mild seizures may stand still and appear somewhat stiff during the seizure itself. This symptom may or may not be present with others on this list. As long as the dog remains standing, the seizure is almost always a mild one.
  • Stopping mid-activity: Dogs who are in the midst of a seizure may stop mid-activity to stand still and stare into the distance. If your dog is doing this for a reason—including spotting something interesting far away—then it is likely not a seizure. However, if you cannot find any reason for this behavior, there is a chance your pet is experiencing a mild seizure instead.



Moderate Dog Seizures


  • Stiffness: Stiffness is a common sign associated with moderate seizures. Dogs may become so stiff that they cannot stand up any longer when dealing with this type of seizure. If the dog is already laying down, his legs may stick out straight from his body and appear unable to move.
  • Confusion: Dogs who have moderate seizures may become more confused than dogs who have only mild seizures. Before and after the seizure, the dog may not seem to recognize where he is, and he may show signs of aggression toward family members he normally gets along with well.
  • Licking or growling: Licking and growling are both signs that a dog is experiencing a moderate seizure, especially if they occur for no other known reason. Dogs may have repetitive motions like these through a moderate seizure, whether they show other signs from this list or not.
  • Panting: Panting is another sign that a dog is having a moderate seizure. Panting may occur before, during, or after the seizure, because the dog’s body heats up when a seizure is taking place. The panting may or may not be accompanied with drooling; however, if the drooling seems excessive, it is likely associated with seizure activity.



Severe Dog Seizures


  • Paddling feet: When a dog suffers from a severe seizure, he may paddle his feet. He may lay on his side or even on his back while his feet paddle in the air, looking as though he is trying to run. This is one of the most common symptoms of seizures in dogs.
  • Running in a circle: If the dog is able to stay on his feet during a seizure, he may run in a confused circle. This behavior occurs when the dog is confused about what is happening to him and unaware of his surroundings. It is also a good reason to keep your dog away from stairs if he is known to have seizures.
  • Collapsing: Most of the time, a dog who is having a severe seizure will collapse immediately or very soon after the seizure begins. Dogs may collapse in the middle of an activity, or they may simply collapse while walking or sitting normally.
  • Elevated body temperature: A dog who is experiencing a severe seizure may have an elevated body temperature. The dog may become warm to the touch, and you may be able to help him cool down by placing cool (but not ice cold) cloths on his paws and the back of his neck for a short time.

 Dog having a seizure running in circles



As you can see, there are many potential signs of seizures in dogs. It’s important to consider not only the signs of severe seizures, but also the symptoms of mild ones. By learning how to tell when a dog is having a seizure of any type, you can quickly recognize this problem in your own pet.


If your dog has known epilepsy, you don’t have to rush off to the vet every time he has a seizure. However, if he experiences a seizure for the first time, if he has a seizure after ingesting a foreign substance, or if he has a seizure that lasts longer than two minutes, take him to the emergency vet right away.

May 18, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications
What are Some Common Symptoms of Heartworm Disease in Dogs?

What are Some Common Symptoms of Heartworm Disease in Dogs?

Are you worried that your dog could have heartworm disease? Did you know heartworm disease is extremely common in dogs who do not take regular monthly heartworm preventative medication? What are some of the most common symptoms associated with heartworm disease in dogs?


In the article below, we’ll dive deeper into the very prevalent problem of heartworm disease. With the help of this information, you can better recognize when this problem may be affecting your own pet, and you can learn when it might be time to talk to your vet about prevention or management of this condition, as well.



Dog Coughing Easily

Coughing easily is one of the first signs of heartworm disease in dogs. Dogs may cough even when they haven’t been very active, and it is common for dogs with heartworm disease to cough after eating, too.


If you notice your dog can no longer play without having a coughing spell, or if you find him coughing easily when eating dry food, these are some early warning signs you should not ignore. Take your pet to the vet and let them know you’re concerned about heartworms. These symptoms may be a good indicator that your dog is dealing with heartworm disease.



Lethargy and Weakness

In the earlier stages of heartworm disease, you may notice your dog slowing down a little bit, but not stopping his activity altogether. In moderate to late stages, however, he may seem extremely lethargic, weak, and depressed. He may be unwilling or unable to get up and move around much.


Lethargy and weakness are related to almost every canine health condition. Therefore, if you’re unsure what’s causing your dog to be lethargic or show signs that he is growing weaker, make sure you have him thoroughly examined by a vet.



Loss of Appetite

Dogs who are very sick with heartworm disease may lose interest in eating, especially as the disease moves into its moderate stage. If your dog is showing a decreased appetite that lasts more than a couple of days, and if you know he has been diagnosed with heartworms already, this is the likely cause.


If you are unsure why your dog isn’t interested in food, take him to the vet for a checkup. The problem could be something simple and easy to resolve, or it could be something more serious like heartworms. Either way, the vet can help you and your pet both.



Lack of Interest in Play

When heartworm disease is in its moderate stage, dogs may become uninterested in playtime. Dogs who once enjoyed jumping and running will now no longer be able to do so, and they may seem lazy or unfocused as a result.


Lack of interest in playtime may be a symptom of a variety of health conditions ranging from arthritis to cancer and everything in between. Because of this, it is important to take your dog to the vet and have him examined by a professional if he shows this symptom for longer than a couple of days. A proper diagnosis can help you find the right treatment or management options, too.



Inability to Walk Far

In moderate to severe cases of heartworm disease, dogs may be unable to walk very far because of the condition. They may have difficulty breathing after walking just a short distance, or they may become so winded that they physically cannot go on any further.


In some more serious instances, dogs may also collapse or faint from the exertion required to walk with heartworm disease. If your dog has reached this stage of heartworm disease, it is imperative that you only take him out long enough to do his business and do not expect him to walk, run, or play like he once did.



Swollen Chest

As the condition reaches its later stages, heartworm disease may cause a dog’s chest to swell significantly. This swollen chest is a result of the inflammation and fluid buildup caused by the heartworms.


A swollen chest can sometimes also signify other types of heart and lung problems. However, if your dog has already been diagnosed with heartworm disease, you can likely assume a swollen chest is a symptom of this known condition instead.




As you can see, heartworm disease includes a variety of serious symptoms. Dogs who have this condition can still live a full, otherwise healthy life, however, with the help of proper care. If your dog is diagnosed with heartworm disease or if you suspect that he may have this illness, talk to your vet about managing the condition.


If your dog does not have heartworm disease, make sure you speak to the vet about putting your pet on preventative medication instead. By keeping up with monthly heartworm treatments, you can help your dog avoid this serious health risk altogether.

May 18, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications
What is The Color of a Healthy Dog's Urine

What is The Color of a Healthy Dog's Urine


Have you ever looked at your dog’s urine? Do you know what color it normally appears to be? What would it mean if your dog’s urine changed color suddenly, or over a period of time? What is a normal color for dog urine?


If you’ve ever stopped to wonder what your dog’s urine color can tell you about his health, you’re not alone. Many dog owners find themselves wondering the same thing. It’s a good idea to brush up on everything you need to know about canine urine colors, so you can better recognize when something may be going wrong with your dog.

dog peeing on bed



Healthy Dog Urine: Pale, Clear Yellow


If your dog’s urine is pale yellow and very clear, this means he has healthy urine. This is the appearance you want to strive for when it comes to the color of your pet’s pee! The urine should be slightly yellow—not too clear, but not too dark—and should not contain any cloudiness or other concerning signs.


If your dog’s urine is usually this color, then you probably have a very healthy pup on your hands. However, you can still have your dog’s urine tested at the vet any time, if you are concerned.



Concerning Dog Urine Colors


  • Clear with no yellow: If your dog’s urine is very clear with no real hint of yellow, this typically means the dog is over-hydrated. You may be giving your dog too much liquid in his diet, especially if you provide him only with wet food and broths. On the other hand, he may simply be drinking too much water on his own throughout the day.
    • Over-hydration can, however, sometimes be a sign that your dog could have diabetes. Although there are other more common signs of canine diabetes, your vet will likely want to rule out the risk of diabetes in your pet if your dog has clear urine.
  • Dark yellow: Dark yellow urine is just the opposite of clear urine with no yellow, and it usually means your dog is slightly dehydrated. Mild to moderate dehydration will cause the urine to appear dark yellow, but more serious levels of dehydration can cause urine to look caramel or orange in color.
    • Dehydration can be deadly to dogs in a short amount of time. Even if your dog is only slightly dehydrated, make sure you encourage him to take in more fluids. Give him ice, broth (with no harmful ingredients), wet food, or frozen dog “smoothies” to help him hydrate.



Serious Dog Urine Colors


  • Pink or red: Pink coloration in a dog’s urine usually means the dog has some bleeding going on somewhere within the urinary tract. Although the cause of the bleeding may be nothing too serious, it still needs to be treated as soon as possible by a vet. Pink could indicate a urinary tract infection as well.
    • Red urine, however, is more serious. It means your dog has a lot of internal bleeding from the bladder, kidneys, or elsewhere in the urinary tract. It could indicate an injury, a very serious infection, cancer, or other severe issues that need prompt medical treatment.
  • Brown: Brown urine is not to be confused with dark yellow, caramel, or orange urine, which can indicate dehydration. Brown urine usually means there is internal bleeding somewhere within your dog’s body, and it can also be a sign of toxin ingestion in a dog.
    • If you know your dog has consumed something potentially harmful (such as a cleaning solution, a human food that is dangerous to dogs, or a foreign object), and you see brown urine, take him to the emergency vet immediately. This could be a sign of life-threatening symptoms related to your dog’s toxin ingestion.
  • Green: Finally, green urine can indicate there is something wrong with your dog’s kidneys. Although green urine is not very common, it is still a potential symptom to be on the lookout for, especially if you know your dog has already been diagnosed with kidney failure.
    • Typically, green urine indicates late-stage kidney failure, cancer of the kidneys, or extremely severe urinary tract infection. Urine may turn green because bilirubin makes its way into the kidneys, where it is not supposed to be. Dogs will likely be very sick if they have reached the point of having green urine, but this is not always the case.

Dog with healthy yellow urine


 With the help of this guide, you should have a better idea of what normal urine looks like for your dog. 

May 18, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications
My Dog Has Blood in Stool: What Does it Mean?

My Dog Has Blood in Stool: What Does it Mean?


Have you noticed blood in your dog’s stool? Many dogs experience bloody stool at least once in their lives, and sometimes, this problem is nothing to be worried about. However, since bloody stool can also indicate severe health problems in some dogs, it is important to have this symptom checked out by your vet as soon as possible.

In the article below, you’ll find out more information about some of the most common causes of bloody stool in dogs. You can use this information to choose when it may be time to see a vet with your pet.

Sick dog with blood in stool



Mild Causes of Blood in Stool for Dogs


  • Eating garbage or human food: Dogs who regularly get into the garbage or enjoy snacks made up of human food may be prone to bloody stool. Even if your dog does not eat anything particularly harmful to him, he may still have bloody stool as a result of eating something not intended for canine consumption.
  • Changing diets suddenly: If you have suddenly changed your dog’s diet to something completely different than he is used to, you may notice that he has blood in his stool for a short time. If diet is the cause of the problem, the bloody stool should clear up in a day or two after your dog’s stomach becomes adjusted to the new food.
  • Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids may cause dogs to experience blood on the outside of the stool only. This blood is typically bright red and appears in streaks. Hemorrhoids almost always clear up on their own, but your dog may need topical medication from the vet in some instances.


Moderate Causes 


  • Intestinal parasites: Intestinal parasites can cause bloody stool. Dogs who are suffering from intestinal parasites may have other symptoms as well, including visible worms or parts of worms in the stool, lack of appetite or extreme increase in appetite, lethargy, and more. Look for these signs if you suspect your dog could have parasites.
  • Digestive infections: Digestive infections may contribute to bloody stool in dogs of all ages. In puppies, bloody stool is a common sign of parvovirus, which is often fatal for very young dogs. In adults, parvo is not usually fatal, but can still be a serious health problem without the help of a vet.
  • Pancreatitis: Pancreatitis can be a serious condition if left untreated. However, if your pet is prone to pancreatitis and you are working with your vet to keep it under control, it may be a moderate problem instead. Pancreatitis can often cause bloody stool, bloody diarrhea, and bloody vomiting in dogs who are affected.


Severe Causes


  • Cancer: Many types of cancers, especially those that affect the digestive system, can lead to blood in the stool. If your dog is living with cancer and you are working on managing the condition, bloody stool may simply be a part of your pet’s life throughout the process
  • Ingestion of toxins: Toxin ingestion leads to acute and significant blood in the stool. Your dog may experience very bloody stool and bloody diarrhea if he has eaten something toxic. If you see a large amount of blood in your dog’s stool, take him to the emergency vet to be examined immediately.
  • Ingestion of foreign objects: Dogs who ingest foreign objects like sticks, rocks, or pieces of toys may be prone to bloody stool. If you know your dog has ingested an object like this and you see blood in his stool, don’t wait; take him to the emergency vet right away to prevent serious complications and even potential death.
  • Kidney or liver disease: Kidney and liver disease are both likely to cause other symptoms before they lead to bloody stool in dogs. However, be on the lookout for bloody stool as an indicator that something is wrong with one or more of your dog’s organs.
  • Immune system disease: Although less common than some of the other severe causes of bloody stool on this list, it is still possible that your dog could have an immune system disorder contributing to this symptom. If your dog is already diagnosed with an immune system disease or disorder and you notice bloody stool, this may not always be cause for a trip to the vet. Otherwise, however, see your vet right away for diagnosis.

Sick bulldog laying on floor



Blood in the stool is usually a sign of a mild to moderate problem, especially in adult dogs who are otherwise healthy. Rarely, it may indicate a more severe issue, and it should always be taken very seriously when seen in puppies.

May 18, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications
What's the Difference Between Our Lab Tests vs Standard Veterinary Industry Tests?

What's the Difference Between Our Lab Tests vs Standard Veterinary Industry Tests?

What’s the Difference Between Our Lab Tests vs Standard Veterinary Industry Tests?

At Affordable Pet Labs, we’re working to move the veterinary industry into the next level of high-value care. Our goal is simple: to make lab testing more convenient and stress-free for pets and pet owners, and step in and help busy veterinary clinics by taking on some of their lab work for them.

What is the Basic Health Assessment?

The Basic Health Assessment is a complete test pets can have semiannually or annually. This universal test provides us with a broad view of your pet’s condition; it lets us know how they’re doing and screens for potential health problems. We recommend the Basic Health test for puppies before their spay or neuter surgery, and it can be used annually going forward to monitor organ function and detect signs of disease.

Our Basic Health Assessment includes:

  • Blood chemistries
    • Kidney function
    • Liver function
    • Blood sugar level
    • Electrolytes and fluid balance
    • Proteins
  • Complete blood cell count (CBC)
    • Hemogram
    • White blood cells
    • Platelets and reticulocytes
  • Heartworm antigen test
  • Fecal test (intestinal parasite exam)

What is the Total Health Assessment?

The Total Health Assessment is a step up from our Basic Health Assessment, and it’s the most comprehensive organ analysis and disease detection panel we offer. This assessment comprises over 50 essential tests to screen your pet for underlying diseases and determine their current health status.

Our Total Health Assessment includes:

  • Blood chemistries
    • Kidney function
    • Liver function
    • Thyroid hormone
    • Blood sugar
    • Pancreas
    • Electrolytes and fluid balance
    • Proteins
    • Calcium, phosphorus
    • Cholesterol, triglycerides
  • Complete blood cell count (CBC)
    • Hemogram
    • White blood cells
    • Platelets, reticulocytes
    • Blood parasites
  • Heartworm antigen test
  • Fecal test (intestinal parasite exam
  • Kidney disease early detection (SDMA – Symmetric dimethylarginine)

How Our Tests Compare with What’s Provided at Most Veterinary Clinics

Our Basic Health Assessment and Total Health Assessment are ecomparable to the veterinary industry standard Adult Panel and Senior Panel, but they have some key differences.

Our Tests are More Comprehensive

At Affordable Pet Labs, we take our testing capabilities further and customize our panels to include additional values that exceed industry standards:

  • Heartworm antigen test
  • Kidney disease early detection (SDMA)
  • Fecal test

These added values make our tests much more comprehensive, so they provide more information about your pet’s overall health.

Our Tests are Much More Affordable

Every pet owner knows that lab tests are expensive. Our tests are much more affordable than standard tests, especially with their additional values.

Our Tests Make Bloodwork Less Stressful for Pets

Instead of having to schedule an appointment, drive your pet to the vet, and sit in a busy lobby, your pet can have their testing performed in the comfort of your home. That means less stress and anxiety, and a faster, easier testing experience for them and you.

Why Should You Trust Our Tests?

Affordable Pet Labs is run by veterinarians and veterinary technicians. That means we use the same licensed laboratories as your pet’s regular veterinarian; therefore, you can be assured that you’re getting the most accurate and trusted results.

To learn more about the tests we offer, click here. We also invite you to contact us if you have any questions about our tests and ordering process that are not covered in our FAQ

May 02, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications
Symptoms of Dog Valley Fever to Keep an Eye Out for

Symptoms of Dog Valley Fever to Keep an Eye Out for

Dogs are very susceptible to a disease known as Valley Fever. This illness is triggered by a fungus that lives in the soil of hot, dry climates. Due to a dog’s proximity to the ground, they are more likely to fall prey to the illness.

The good news is that if you act as soon as you see the symptoms, your dog will likely have a good prognosis. The symptoms vary from fever to vomiting and diarrhea. Your pup may also suffer from severe joint pain and pain in the back or neck area.  

If you see any or all of the symptoms below in your dog, you need to get them medical treatment. If you want to learn more regarding the signs of dog Valley Fever, read this article.

dog sick with valley fever in Arizona

What is Canine Valley Fever?

Valley Fever is a life-threatening fungal disease that dogs can encounter when spending time outdoors. It is common in the soil in dry, hot places. Some of the places in the United States where Valley Fever exists include:

  • Arizona
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Utah
  • Texas
  • California


Valley Fever is instigated by a fungus called Coccidioides immitis. Canine Valley Fever is also known as Coccidioidomycosis. Once your dog inhales the fungal spores, it begins to attack your pup’s immune system.



The fungi live in desert areas and are often observed in the dust. Dogs will go digging in the dirt, as they like to do, and they inhale the spores of the fungi, which triggers an infection. It is also important to note that even if your dog spends most of their time inside, they can still come into contact with the spores. When the spores are inhaled, they develop into spherules, which expand until they burst and release a cloud of endospores.

Spherules are microscopic structures that have many other endospores. The endospores are released and grow into more spherules, continuing the cycle. As the process persists, the infection becomes worse. Dogs catch Valley Fever when they dig around the spot where the fungus lives.   

Dogs with weaker immune systems are more vulnerable to getting very sick from Valley Fever. Young puppies and senior canines are also susceptible. The disease is not contagious.

Your dog cannot give the illness to other animals or your family. However, Valley Fever can also infect humans in a similar way that it infects animals. 


What is the Difference between Primary and Disseminated Disease?

There are two types of Valley Fever in dogs. These include primary and disseminated diseases.

Primary Valley Fever

The primary disease settles in the lungs, and it may go away on its own. If your dog gets it, they may need medication. Some of the symptoms of the primary disease include:

  • A dry, harsh cough
  • Fever over 103
  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite


Your dog may develop pneumonia as the symptoms progress.

Disseminated Valley Fever

Once Valley Fever has spread to other parts of the body, it becomes a disseminated disease. The fungus has spread throughout the body. This spread can cause more intense symptoms, such as:

  • Back or neck pain
  • Lameness
  • Seizures
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the chin or in front of the shoulder blades

In disseminated Valley Fever, the joints may also be affected. You must get your dog to the vet for treatment right away, as this is a serious condition, and your dog’s life could be in danger.

Dog with fever in Arizona

Symptoms of Valley Fever Further Explained

Valley Fever has many symptoms, including:


Elevated body temperature is one of the initial signs of infection. Dogs with Valley Fever often have a temperature above 102 degrees.


Coughing is typical if your dog is infected. The cough is similar to kennel cough, so it is sometimes misdiagnosed.

Lack of Energy

If your pup has Valley Fever, they may be sleeping more and showing reluctance to play or get exercise. Their energy levels are usually deficient.

Lack of Appetite

Your dog may feel uncomfortable and not want to eat anything. If they are not eating due to vomiting and a lack of appetite, they may lose weight.


Joint Pain

Your dog may have pain and swelling in the joints, which is often accompanied by lameness, which will cause them to walk abnormally on one or more limbs.

Seizures or Back/Neck Pain

Valley Fever targets the central nervous system. When the disease travels to the spinal column, it can trigger pain in the back or neck.


Your pup’s gut is affected by Valley Fever, as the fungus will often attack their gastrointestinal system. They may also experience extreme nausea, which can cause vomiting.

Skin Ulcers

If your dog has severe Valley Fever, they can develop inflammation under the skin which may turn into wounds when scratched. The swellings and wounds may discharge a yellow-reddish fluid if left untreated.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

When there is an infection, lymph nodes will swell as the immune system tries to fight off the illness.

Eye Inflammation

When Valley Fever spreads, it can even affect the eyes. Dogs may experience inflammation of the eyelids.

What is the Treatment for Canine Valley Fever?

If your canine is sick enough to require treatment from your veterinarian, a few options are available. The following explains the treatment of canine Valley Fever.

Anti-fungal medication is the treatment for canine valley fever. Your dog will be given anti-fungal medication for six to twelve months. Dogs whose joints are wearing down or have disseminated disease in the bones, skin, or internal organs typically need to be on the medication longer.

If the central nervous system has been affected by the illness, it typically entails lifetime treatment to prevent the symptoms from recurring. The three medications used to treat Valley Fever in dogs includes the following:

  • Diflucan (fluconazole)
  • Sporanox (itraconazole)
  • Nizoral (ketoconazole)

These medications are all similar in their way of action. However, they differ in some of their chemical attributes and their metabolism. 

What Are Supportive Treatments for Dogs with Valley Fever?

Medications will help heal the infection. However, you also want to ensure that your dog receives the best care possible, and the following supportive treatments can assist your pup with recovery.

Cough Medicine

Your dog may have a nasty cough as one of their symptoms.. Your veterinarian might prescribe cough medicine to help relieve your pet’s discomfort.

Pain and Fever Medicine

Pain or fever relief medication may also be prescribed during this time, which will help ease your pup’s pain and reduce their suffering.


Many pups do not feel like eating when they have this illness. However, they may require medications to help with nausea and vomiting, which may promote appetite.


Your dog may feel too sick to eat or drink, which can cause severe dehydration. They may require hospitalization to be given intravenous fluids and medications.

Dog sick with fever


If you live near an area where Valley Fever is prevalent, you must take extra precautions for your dog’s health. Limit their exposure to soil and airborne dust. There is a Valley Fever vaccine being tested currently and it may be available in the future.

Try to keep your pup in the house as much as possible and walk them on safe, paved walkways. If you take action as soon as you see any of the above symptoms, you may save your pet’s life.

Shop Our In-Home Dog Valley Fever Test Here






May 02, 2022 — InTouch Practice Communications