Educational Articles

Breeding

  • Chediak-Higashi Syndrome is a rare genetic disease of smoke-blue Persian cats. The condition affects how the body processes waste products, resulting in changes within the body’s cells and leading to abnormal pigmentation of the skin and coat. The condition can lead to eye abnormalities and problems with blood clotting, but most cats can have a normal lifespan with careful health monitoring.

  • Chronic egg-laying occurs when a female bird lays one egg after another or lays repeated clutches of eggs. Chronic egg-laying may lead to malnutrition and egg binding. There are both behavioral and medical interventions to stop chronic egg-laying.

  • This handout discusses the growing trend for designer dog breeds – the crossing of pure dog breeds to create dogs that combine “the best of both worlds.” The pros and cons of this practice are highlighted, along with some of the more common designer breeds currently available.

  • Cat lovers consider sweet, soulful, kitty eyes gazing at them to be heartwarming. Those feline glances can melt some human hearts. But after the loss of a feline, canine, or human companion, could those mournful eyes indicate that the cat is actually mourning?

  • Egg binding is not uncommon in birds and may be resolved easily if treated early. Egg binding occurs when the female bird is unable to expel the egg from her body. If a prolonged period has elapsed since the bird began attempting to lay the egg, she may become critically ill. Birds with egg binding may or may not have passed an egg more than 2 days ago, are usually weak, not perching, often sitting low on the perch or on the bottom of the cage, and are straining as if trying to defecate or to lay an egg. Treatment varies depending upon how sick the bird is, as well as the location of the egg and the length of time the bird has been egg bound. Critically ill birds are first treated supportively for shock, and then attempts are made to extract the egg. If your veterinarian cannot see the egg through the vent, surgery under general anesthetic may be necessary to remove the egg from the abdomen. A hysterectomy (removal of the oviduct and uterus) is typically the last choice therapy, when medical and egg extraction through the vent are not possible.

  • This handout discusses the need for ensuring your pregnant cat is receiving adequate nutrition to make sure both she and her kittens thrive during this time of increased demands on her body. Feeding and diet suggestions are provided.

  • This handout discusses the need for ensuring your pregnant dog is receiving adequate nutrition to make sure both she and her puppies thrive during this time of increased demands on her body. Feeding and diet suggestions are provided.

  • All dogs evolved from a common ancestor and over the course of tens of thousands of years, evolution (mainly driven by humans looking for specific behaviors and characteristics) created the multitude of breeds in existence today. Humans started breeding dogs for pleasure in the 19th century and this led to dog shows and an intense diversification of the dog species into over 400 breeds recognized today. DNA tests can be performed on mixed breed dogs to determine their breed ancestry.

  • Hemophilia A and B are clotting disorders involving a deficiency of a specific clotting factor (A: Factor VIII, B: Factor IX) needed for appropriate homeostasis. They are caused by a sex-linked recessive genetic mutation. Affected dogs will show inappropriate hemorrhage including bruising, lameness induced by bleeding into joints and body cavity hemorrhage. It can be diagnosed with a slow APTT and demonstrating low levels of the factor involved. Hemophilia A is more common than B and is generally, more severe. Because it is sex-linked recessive, males are more likely to be affected than females but females still act as carriers, so genetic screening is important prior to breeding to prevent this disease.

  • Infertility in a queen (an intact female cat) is defined as the inability to give birth to live kittens, despite appropriate breeding with a fertile male. This handout provides an outline of common causes of infertility along with how they are diagnosed and, when possible, treated.