Vernon Hills Animal Hospital

1260 South Butterfield
Mundelein, IL 60060

(847)367-4070

www.vhah.com

Interesting Cases 

Fleas

There are many causes of itching in dogs and cats; fleas are but one of those causes.  Fleas are small dark brown bugs that run through the fur. They have long jumping legs and can leap great distances when placed on a hard surface like a table. The best way to find fleas on your pet is to run a flea comb through their hair.  The teeth of the comb are close together and the fleas don't fit between them, so they are lifted out and can be seen.

The arrow (right) points to a flea next to the flea comb that caught it.

Vernon Hills Animal Hospital serving Lake County including Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Hawthorn Woods,  and Long Grove.

 

Below are close-ups of fleas.  You can see that they are bugs with moving legs. In life they jump and leap.

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Live fleas can be hard to find in some cases, but fleas can be diagnosed by the presence of "flea dirt" in the hair coat. Fleas bite and suck blood.  Their droppings are small granules of black, digested blood that look like ground pepper.  This so-called "flea dirt" is found in the fur next to the skin, as opposed to being on the tips of the hair like regular dirt.  The best place to find it is the rump, right over the hips.  Flea dirt can be differentiated from regular dirt by placing it on a wet, white paper towel and smearing it.  True flea dirt makes a reddish brown smear.  This is an extreme example of flea dirt from a heavy infestation, and it was collected with a flea comb.

If you bathe this pet, the water will be reddish-brown from the digested blood in the flea feces.

 

Vernon Hills Animal Hospital serving Lake County including Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Hawthorn Woods,  and Long Grove.

So you want a long-haired dog?    

 

Here's a Malamute with a fairly typical shedding of the coat that is seen every spring.  Note that the black garbage bag, garbage can, and floor are all full of big handfuls of hair, and yet the dog's coat isn't even slightly thin.  We hope the owner has a good vacuum cleaner!


Toenail problems caused by owner inattention      One of the responsibilities of owning a dog is to perform basic grooming including toenail clipping when needed.  Some dogs have long fur that covers the nails and some owners forget to check those nails on a regular basis.  All three of these dogs presented for limping.  The dog on the left had one nail grown so long it formed a corkscrew shape, got snagged in the carpet and was pulled partially off, causing bleeding and pain.  The same thing happened to the dog in the middle.  This nail had to be removed and measured 1 5/8 inches along the outer curve.  That owner was shocked how long the nails were!  The dog on the right had an overgrown dewclaw.  This is the first toe that is like a human thumb.  It is a little way up the leg and as such the nail doesn't rub on the ground and grows longer than the other nails.  This one grew in a circle and grew right into the pad causing a hole.  The sad thing is that this wasn't the first time this happened in this dog.  Be sure you cut your dog's nails regularly, or have a groomer do it if you can't.

 

Vernon Hills Animal Hospital serving Lake County including Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Hawthorn Woods,  and Long Grove. Vernon Hills Animal Hospital serving Lake County including Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Hawthorn Woods,  and Long Grove. Vernon Hills Animal Hospital serving Lake County including Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Hawthorn Woods,  and Long Grove.