Author Archives: Dr. Marc Edward

Bizarre Dog Skin Allergy Baffles Blue Pit Owner

Dr. Marc, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine blogs for dog insurance provider, Pets Best.

Hi. My name is Dr. Marc, and I’m filming for Pets Best Insurance, answering some Facebook questions for you guys at Broadway Veterinary Hospital in Boise, Idaho. This question comes from Lucy. She says her “friend’s beautiful blue pit bull has had a horrible rash on and off for months.  It’s blistery and the pet feels miserable. They’ve tried medications, steroid, changing food, detergents, et cetera, et cetera with no luck. They can’t afford the very expensive allergy testing to pinpoint exactly what the problem might be. The vet seems to think it’s an allergy. What else can they do? Any ideas on how they can pinpoint or control it?” Read More…

Top 3 Dog Heartworm Questions, Answered

A dog outside that is susceptible to a mosquito bite.Veterinarian Dr. Marc, writes for pet insurance provider, Pets Best Insurance.

1) What are heartworms and how do dogs get them?

Heartworm dog disease, or dirofilariasis, is a potentially serious disease seen primarily in dogs throughout the United States (and other areas). Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquito, meaning that dogs that spend even a short amount of time outside are susceptible to the disease.

Transmission occurs when a mosquito bites an infected host that is shedding microfilariae (immature heartworms). The microfilariae develop within the mosquito until the mosquito bites a new host and the larvae are transmitted. This is clinically important because without the mosquito, heartworm disease cannot be contracted. Once inside the new host, the heartworm larvae migrate and develop until reaching their ultimate destination in the pulmonary arteries. Once in the pulmonary arteries, the adult heartworms will start producing microfilariae and the life cycle starts over.

2) What are the signs and symptoms of heartworm disease?

Due to the systemic nature of having heart problems, many different symptoms are possible with heartworm disease. However, heartworm positive dogs are generally classified into one of 4 categories of symptom severity.

In class 1 animals, they generally have no clinical symptoms with the exception of a possible mild cough.Read More…

Dog Hemorrhoids – Is There Such a Thing?

Dr. Marc, is a veterinarian and guest blogger for the highly rated dog insurance provider, Pets Best Insurance.

Hi. My name is Dr. Marc and I’m filming for Pets Best, answering some dog health Facebook questions for you guys at Broadway Veterinary Hospital in Boise, Idaho. This question comes from Sherry. Sherry has a 13 year old Sheltie. She says he has a quarter-sized hemorrhoid next to his anus. She first noticed this a couple of months ago. She kept an eye on it, and it hasn’t changed in size, and it doesn’t seem to bother him. Her question is, “Should I be concerned or not?”

My concern for you, Sherry, is that this has the potential to be something besides a hemorrhoid. Read More…

Why Pet Insurance? The $2,000 Pistachio

Tulah ate a pistachio that caused an intestinal blockage requiring surgical removal.

Dr. Marc is a dog dad of two, and a veterinarian guest blogger for dog insurance provider, Pets Best.

As a veterinarian, it is important to be able to relate with your clientele and patients not just on a professional level, but on a personal level as well. In part, this is why I’ve decided to write a blog about a medical case that involved my own dog, Tulah.

What happened and how did it start?

For the Christmas holiday in 2012, we had my wife’s family visit from another state and spend 5 days with us. As is traditional for our family, we had lots of snacks and good food for the season. On the second day during their visit, my little Pomeranian (Tulah) vomited. For her, this is very uncharacteristic. Furthermore, it was not just a little bit of spew, but several cups all over our couch. She seemed to be acting normal and eating ok so we were hopeful that the problem wasn’t serious. Over the course of the next 24 hours, she became lethargic and continued vomiting to the point that she couldn’t hold any food down at all.

Off to the vet clinic with her dad…

Knowing that Tulah had some serious ailment, I took her into my veterinary clinic. After running a blood panel, completing x-rays, and even performing a barium study (an x-ray dye study to watch how her intestines are moving), Read More…

Pet Poison: Chocolate

chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats.Dr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best. Since 2005, Pets Best has been offering pet health insurance plans for dogs and cats across the U.S.

Signs and Symptoms

Though there is an extensive list of possible symptoms after chocolate ingestion, the most common are as follows: Vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity (such as excitation, restlessness, or panting), tremors and convulsions, seizures, racing heart rate, arrhythmia (when the heart cannot beat properly in a normal rhythm), and in severe cases death.

After chocolate ingestion, it takes nearly four days for it to work out of an animal’s system. Because of this, symptoms can progress and last for the entire 4 days that it takes an animals body to clear the toxin.

Why and How is Chocolate Toxic

Chocolate is processed by grinding hulled cacao beans. The product that results from this grinding is called chocolate liquor. Within the chocolate liquor is a chemical called theobromine. This chemical is the reason that chocolate is toxic to pets (both cats and dogs). The more chocolate liquor found in a product, the more toxic it is to a pet, meaning less of it needs to be eaten for more serious symptoms to occur.

What Chocolate is The Most Toxic?

-The highest theobromine content is found in baking chocolate.

-Followed by semisweet/dark chocolate.

-Then milk chocolate.

-Lastly, white chocolate (it contains an insignificant amount of theobromine).

How Much Chocolate Will Poison My Dog or Cat?

Toxic doses of theobromine are 9 milligrams per pound. Meaning that a 20-pound animal would need to eat 8.2 ounces of milk chocolate, or just 0.9 ounces of baking chocolate to achieve a toxic dose.

What to Do if Your Dog or Cat Eats ChocolateRead More…

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