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Hip dysplasia is a deformity of the hip joint. Although any dog can be affected, writes veterinarian Lawrence Lamb, it is predominantly seen in larger dogs such as German Shepherds, Saint Bernards, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Old English Sheepdogs, Bulldogs, etc.  Large mixed-breed dogs are also at risk for developing hip dysplasia and should be fed a special large breed growth diet the first year.

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Spot-on flea and tick products for dogs and cats have greatly improved the safety and convenience of controlling external parasites on our pets.  They are great improvement to other types of pesticides used in the past. However, I am reluctant to use them because they can come in contact with humans and I am especially concerned about their contact with children.

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Giardiasis is a gastrointestinal infection of many mammalian species.  The disease is caused by Giardia duodenalis, a flagellated protozoan parasite found worldwide.  Infection among dogs and cats is common, with prevalence rates of 5-15%.  Humans can also become infected with strains of Giardia spp.  At the Manchester Animal Hospital, we routinely test for Giardia in pets presented with diarrhea.

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I know our clients get tired of us saying it, but I really believe that age is not a disease, and mature pets that are otherwise healthy are able to tolerate anesthesia well.  A pet that is older is more likely to have more severe periodontal disease and thus more pain.  These animals still need care in order to maintain the quality of their lives.  Taking care of their gums and teeth is also one of the best ways to extend their lifespan. 

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Cough is a common problem in dogs but occurs less frequently in cats.  Cough is caused by irritation of the throat, airways, or the lungs.  The main airway to the lungs, known as the windpipe or trachea, branches into smaller airways called bronchi, which branch several more times as they travel to the deeper parts of the lung.

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