Getting Ticked Off About Ehrlichiosis

Ehrlichiosis (pronounced “err-lick-iosis”) goes by many names, but no matter what you call it, this devastating dog disease can wreak havoc on your pet.

ehrlichiosis ticks and hunting dogs

Hunting dogs exposed to ticks are at higher risk for tick borne diseases like ehrlichiosis.

I’m sharing this entry about EHRLICHIOSIS, an excerpt from Dog Facts, The Series 5 (Chapter E) This chapter covers a lot of ground, and here’s the topic list:

Ear, Ear Mites, Eating, Eclampsia, Ectropion/Entropion, Ehrlichiosis, Electrical Shock, Elizabethan Collar, Endoscope, Enteritis, Epilepsy, Euthanasia, and Eyes.

I’ve broken the massive book into discounted treat-size alpha-chapter sections. Folks can choose which ones they most need. Each chapter will release every other week. Of course, you can still get the entire book either in Kindle or 630+ pages of print.

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

Chapter E of Dog Facts

WHAT IS CANINE EHRLICHIOSIS?

Canine ehrlichiosis is caused by one or several species of Ehrlichia bacteria, most commonly Ehrlichia canis (E. canis) or Ehrlichia lewinii (E. lewinii). This specialized bacteria requires an intermediate host, or vector, to infect its victim. The brown dog tick and the Lone Star tick are the primary vectors.

The disease has been reported worldwide wherever these ticks are found. Most cases in the United States occur in dogs living in the Texas Gulf coast regions and other southern states. All dogs are susceptible, but those with greater exposure to ticks. Outdoor dogs, working dogs and hunting dogs are at highest risk. Doberman Pinschers and German Shepherds seem to be more severely affected. Ehrlichiosis is diagnosed most often during the warm months of tick season.

Ticks attach themselves and may be hidden by fur.

Ticks attach themselves and may be hidden by fur.

HOW DO DOGS GET EHRLICHIOSIS?

The tick becomes infected when it bites an exposed dog and ingests infected blood. The tick may transmit the disease for up to five months after engorgement with infected blood. Once infected, transmission of the disease to dogs can occur in any stage (by larva, nymph, or adult tick). It is even possible for ticks to survive winter months and infect susceptible dogs in the spring.

The organism is passed to dogs in the tick saliva when the infected parasite takes a blood meal. Blood transfusion from an infected donor dog also has the potential to transmit the disease. E. canis initially invades and damages the white blood cells of the host dog. From there, the rickettsiae spread via the blood to lymphatic tissue including the liver, lymph nodes and spleen.

WHAT SYMPTOMS DOES EHRLICHIOSIS CAUSE?

Signs of the disease can vary greatly from case to case. That makes canine ehrlichiosis an extremely frustrating disease to diagnose. Dogs suffering stress are also more susceptible.

There are both acute and chronic stages of the disease. Dogs suffering from the acute phase exhibit sudden severe symptoms, or show few or no signs at all. Signs include:

  • a week-long fever
  • eye and nasal discharge
  • loss of appetite, depression
  • swollen legs
  • stiffness and reluctance to walk
  • weight loss
  • neurologic symptoms such as muscle twitches

X-rays may reveal signs of pneumonia. The acute stage lasts two to four weeks; dogs either recover, or proceed to the chronic phase of disease.

The chronic stage of the disease can last for several months, and appears to affect dogs with suppressed immune systems. The bone marrow is compromised, resulting in a reduction in the production of blood cells. Often, the dog will develop kidney disease. Low platelet counts may cause bleeding tendencies, and long nosed breeds like shepherds may suffer nose bleeds. Fatigue, bloody urine, discoloration and bruising of the skin occur in all breeds.

HOW IS EHRLICHIOSIS DIAGNOSED?

Diagnosis is based on signs of disease along with history of tick exposure. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, which isolates the DNA of the causative agent, is now commonly employed for confirmation. The PCR test, in combination with a test for antibodies to the Ehrlichia infection, is typically the best way to make a concrete diagnosis.

WHAT TREATMENT IS RECOMMENDED?

The antibiotic doxycycline is effective against E. canis when administered early in the course of the disease. Dogs may require six weeks or more of treatment before being cured, and some may benefit from fluid therapy or blood transfusions. Infection does not impart immunity and dogs can be reinfected. Dogs with chronic disease in which bone marrow is irreparably damaged may require months of therapy before any improvement is apparent, but prognosis is not good and often th
e dog dies despite treatment.

CAN YOU PREVENT EHRLICHIOSIS?

There is no vaccination available to prevent canine ehrlichiosis. The best way to proteipadverticalright_634x982 (1)ct dogs is to reduce or prevent exposure to ticks. In high-risk environments (i.e., kennel situations where the disease has been diagnosed), your vet may recommend a daily low-dose of antibiotic used as a preventative.

Ticks hate bright sunlight so keeping yards and fields mowed short, and limiting your dog’s ranging can help. Ticks carry many other kinds of “nasties” so using a vet-approved tick preventive in endemic areas may be recommended.

Find out more details about digging and other “E” topics in  Dog Facts, The Series 5 (Chapter E).

Does your dog get ticks? Are you using tick treatment to protect him? Has your dog ever suffered from a tick-borne disease? Please share your tips and tricks so others can help save landscaping and still enjoy their canine diggity dogs.


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!



HIDE AND SEEK: Audio Book Now Available!

audio of Hide And Seek thrillerHIDE AND SEEK, THE AUDIO BOOK!

A mysterious contagion will shatter countless lives unless a service dog and his trainer find a missing cat . . . in 24 hours.

A STALKER hides in plain sight.

A VICTIM faces her worst fear.

AND A DOG seeks the missing—and finds hope.

And yes…that is MY voice (or should I say…VOICES) on the audio book! It’s now available here:

AMAZON

AUDIBLE

Coming Soon to iTUNES!


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

What to Do About Cat Dehydration: Know the Signs

cat dehydration

Cats evolved as desert creatures and have an amazing ability to conserve water, but cat dehydration can still kill. Even though cats seem to prefer to drink water in the weirdest places (the sink? your glass? the TOILET?!) they most often just don’t drink enough water. It’s important to know the signs of cat dehydration and provide ample drinking ops to keep kitty healthy and happy.

WEIRD FACTS! Wonder Why Pets Love Bathrooms? CLICK to find out now!

WHAT IS CAT DEHYDRATION?

Dehydration is the excessive loss of body water. Normal water loss occurs in the cat’s litter box deposits, through moisture exhaled with the breath, and through sweat. These fluids are replaced when the cat eats and drinks.

I’m sharing this information from my DEHYDRATION entry from Cat Facts, The Series 4 (D): The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia  which includes these topics: Deafness, Declawing, Dehydration, Dermatitis, Diabetes Mellitus, Diarrhea, Dominance, Dreaming, and Drowning.

I’ve broken the massive book into discounted catnip-size alpha-chapter sections. Folks can choose which ones they most need. Each chapter will release every other week. Of course, you can still get the entire CAT FACTS book either in Kindle or 540+ pages of print.

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

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WHAT CAUSES CAT DEHYDRATION?

Any illness may prompt the cat to stop eating and drinking, and prolonged fever increases the loss of body fluid. Specific disease conditions such as diabetes or kidney failure, as well as injuries or illnesses that result in vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding are all common causes of dehydration.

Grey cat drinks water from a pond

SIGNS OF CAT DEHYDRATION

A normal adult cat’s total body water is approximately 60 percent of his body weight. Signs of dehydration become apparent when the cat loses as little as five percent of normal body water. A 12 to 15 percent loss of total body water results in imminent death.

The earliest noticeable sign of dehydration is the loss of skin elasticity. Dry mucus membranes are another sign of dehydration. The cat’s mouth is dry, the gums are tacky instead of wet, and saliva may be stringy and thick.

HOW TO CHECK FOR CAT DEHYDRATION

When the loose skin at the cat’s shoulder blades is gently grasped and lifted, it should quickly spring back into place upon release. When slightly dehydrated, the cat’s skin retracts slowly; more serious dehydration causes retracted skin to remain in a ridge, and spring back little if any.

When your cat suffers dehydration, her capillary refill time (the time it takes for blood to return to tissue after pressure is applied) is delayed. You can get a general idea of the state of dehydration with this easy test. I recommend you do this when your cat feels fine, to know what “normal” looks like.

Gently press one finger to the side of your cat’s gums; this will briefly block blood flow, and turn normally pink tissue white when the pressure is quickly released. Normally it takes less than two seconds for the white to return to pink. At seven to eight percent dehydration, capillary refill time is delayed by another two to three seconds. Longer than four or five seconds indicates severe dehydration. Such cats may also have sunken eyeballs, involuntary muscle twitches, and their paw pads feel cold.

Veterinarian male doctor making an infusion therapy to a cat on blue yellow background.

VETERINARY CARE FOR CAT DEHYDRATION

A cat with noticeable dehydration needs immediate veterinary attention. Fluid and electrolyte (mineral) loss will be replaced, and steps taken to prevent further loss. Intravenous fluid therapy may be necessary.

ipadverticalright_634x982 (1)In mild cases in which the cat is not vomiting, oral hydration with plain water may be sufficient. Your veterinarian may prescribe a balanced electrolyte solution such as Ringer’s lactate with five percent Dextrose in water.

Fluids for treating dehydration in children, such as Pedialyte, are also suitable for cats. They should be given as directed by your veterinarian.

Find out more details about catnip and other “d” topics in  Cat Facts, The Series 4 (D): The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia 

Has your cat ever suffered from dehydration? Do you have a “kidney cat” and give fluid therapy at home? Please share your experiences! (Oh, and I hope you’ll forward this post to those who need the info…)


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Thriller Thursday: Just Fall…for Nina Sadowski #ITWBlog

Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai

Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai

THRILLER THURSDAY is a new occasional feature of Bling, Bitches & Blood. As a member of International Thriller Writers and alumni of the ITW Debut Author Program, it is my honor to showcase select ITW authors and books participating in the ITW Bloggers Program. If you love reading great books as much as I do, check out my Spotlight Guest Nina Sadowski! 

Hey there Sweet Peeps! Let me introduce you to Nina Sadowski and her new psychological thriller JUST FALL–for fans of Gillian Flynn.

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK

“What a terrific novel! JUST FALL arrived in the mail this morning and I read the book at one sitting, which I haven’t done in years.  Nina Sadowsky’s premise is original. here voice is clear, her storytelling skills are remarkable, and her pacing is perfect.  I may have to sit down and read this one again.”  Sue Grafton, New York Times #1 best selling author

“Character rich and compulsively readable, Nina Sadowsky’s JUST FALL is a marvelous surprise. Exploring the universal need for family and human connection and the cost incurred when those bonds are severed, JUST FALL takes the reader on a wild ride through the psyches of two damaged people who hope to find redemption in one another.  This novel is a winner.”  Diane Keaton, actress and author

“A devilish tale of love, lies and betrayal. Sadowsky twists our most cherished romantic fantasies and exposes them to be frightening facades hiding terrifying secrets.  Prince Charming, dream weddings and “happily ever after” are never what they appear to be in this wickedly fun crime drama. GONE GIRL meets BODY HEAT, packed with all the sex intrigue you want but never in the way you expect!” Ted Sullivan, writer and producer REVENGE, SUPER GIRL

Sadowsky headshot 2015 high res

AUTHOR BIO

Nina R. Sadowsky is an entertainment lawyer (in recovery) who has worked as a film and television producer and writer for most of her career.  JUST FALL is her first novel.

She has written numerous original screenplays and adaptations and done rewrites for such companies as The Walt Disney Company, Working Title Films, and Lifetime Television. She served as President of Production for Signpost Films, a film financier and foreign distributor, where she worked on such projects as the Academy Award nominated “The House of Sand and Fog.”

Sadowsky served as executive producer for the hit film “The Wedding Planner,” starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, produced “Desert Saints,” an independent film starring Kiefer Sutherland,  produced the supernatural thriller, “Lost Souls,” which marked the directorial debut of Academy Award winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminsky for New Line Cinema, produced the telefilm “Northern Lights,” starring Diane Keaton for The Disney Channel, and served as executive producer for the animated half hour comedy pilot, “Quints” for UPN.  She also produced “Jumpin’ at the Boneyard” starring Tim Roth, Jeffrey Wright and Samuel L. Jackson, which was featured in the Sundance, Montreal and Torino film festivals.

She serves as adjunct faculty at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts program, teaching both writing and producing.

Connect with Nina

JUST FALL…THE STORY:

JUST FALL is a psychological thriller that explores what happens after “happily ever after,” as a young bride discovers on her wedding night that her perfect husband is a killer; it is a metaphor for the perils and pleasures of intimacy and the fears we all have about revealing our “ugly sides” to those we love.

THENJust Fall final cover

Ellie Larrabee’s life is perfect. She’s thriving at work, living in a fabulous apartment, and engaged to the man of her dreams. To all appearances, Ellie and Rob Beauman are a golden couple—blessed with good looks, success, and romantic chemistry that’s off the charts. Surely their future together promises nothing but happiness.

But on what should be the most wonderful day of her life, moments after saying “I do,” a shocking secret threatens to shatter Ellie’s happily-ever-after. She learns that the man she just married and loves with all her heart hides a dark past beneath his charismatic exterior. And the more harrowing truth she uncovers, the deeper Ellie is swept into a vortex of betrayal and uncertainty from which she may never escape.

NOW

On the island paradise of St. Lucia, Ellie isn’t basking in honeymoon splendor—she’s grappling with the chilling realities of her violently derailed life: Rob has blood on his hands and some very dangerous people on his trail, and only Ellie stands between him and the lethal destiny he’s facing. Rob never dreamed that Ellie would be dragged into the deadly world he’s trapped in—or used as a pawn against him. And Ellie could never have imagined how far she’d be forced to go to save the man she loves.

GET THE BOOK

(Note the story contains “plenty of sex & violence.”)


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Something A Little Different (Could Change Your Professional Life…)

Do you know about Joseph Michael free training?

If not, you should.

In less than 2 years, Joe’s flagship course, Learn Scrivener Fast, has enrolled 17,000+ students (!) and generated more than 7-figures in online sales.

And yes, I’m one of his students, can’t say enough great things about Scrivener. I use the program to write my thrillers (maybe you do, too). So when he reached out to me to share this news, I was happy to help out.

UPDATE! Joe just opened up a BRAND NEW CLASS with all the kewl details on creating your own online biz! Discounts apply but only until 8-29-16. . .

CHECK IT OUT HERE!

Last week, I shared the links, below, because Joe is celebrating his 2 year “teachiversary.” (he’s a writer, and so it’s legal to make words up!)

To celebrate, he’s been “paying it forward” the past couple of weeks with give aways of some of the best practices he learned the hard way. I sent out the links to freebies to several of my email lists. In case you missed ’em, here they are again (don’t know how long these’ll stay available, though. This is for writers, readers, nonprofits, volunteers, you-name-it if you have a passion you’ve always wanted to share:

Bundle-2

Joseph’s 10 Dirt Cheap Course Creation Tools (he uses ’em to create his courses)

Joseph’s Course Creation Bundle (love this! yep, I downloaded it…)

When this info hit the email lists, I actually got a couple of notes back saying, “there’s gotta be a catch.”

Guess we’ve been trained to be suspicious. That’s one reason I love my writers community because…

TO GOOD TO BE TRUE?

Uhm, nope. In the “indie” world, there’s a whole lot of support and sharing of resources. It’s what we do, sort of a new-age promo tactic but more than that–because it’s the right thing to do. I subscribed to Joseph’s email list ages ago, and he’s always got something neato-torpedo to share.

Now he’s stepping up the goodies so if you missed out on the other stuff, I wanted to share directly here with all my blog readers. Oh, and by all means SHARE this if you know others who might benefit (pay it forward yourself *s*).

A TEACH-ABLE LUNCH

To celebrate, he’s unpacking everything he’s learned in a new online training called 6-Figure Lunch Break: How One “Average Joe” Turned A 60-Minute Lunch Break Into A Profitable Six Figure Online Business (even without an audience or list).

The best part?

He gave me some free tickets to share! You can access the free training for a limited time here:

Register For The Free Training Here

In it, you’ll discover…

  • How a guy who couldn’t get a job as a pizza delivery guy ended up building a profitable online course business (and quit the 9-5 for good)
  • How to make extra money in 2016 (even if you have a job, family commitments, and other adult responsibilities)
  •  The one market trend that hit 56.2 billion in 2015 and is expected to double this year (and how you can tap into this wave before it passes)
  •  How ordinary people who are willing to teach what they know (even without being an expert) are doubling and even tripling their income

If you’ve ever wanted to profit from your passion, but didn’t know how, or you’re already teaching online but want to reach a wider audience and earn more money, watch the free training now.

I’ve already signed up. Cuz I know it’ll be worth it. Can’t wait to hear back what y’all think!

Enjoy!

Oh, and if you like the FREE stuff, just imagine how great the full course will be.

CHECK OUT THE NEW COURSE HERE!

Offer Ends 8-29-16!


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!