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 Britney Spears’ Dog, Hannah, Celebrates Her First Birthday

It's great to learn that a dog who was very sick during her first few months of puppyhood has reached the milestone of her first birthday.

Reportedly, Britney Spears’ dog, Hannah, just had the opportunity to blow out all of the candles on her dog cake on her special day.

Hannah, a Yorkshire terrier, is quite a popular pooch, as she even has her on Twitter handle (@HannahSpears) with nearly 55,000 followers. Hannah received a birthday shout out from Britney Spears on her Britney Spears Instagram page:

“Everybody wish Miss Hannah Banana a happy birthday!!! We celebrated her first today, cake and all :),” Spears wrote as a caption to the photo. 

Health Issues for Britney Spears' Dog

During her puppyhood, Hannah was in and out of the veterinary hospital receiving care for a variety of mild to severe illnesses.

RadarOnline details Hannah’s hospitalization drama starting back in November 2013 when Spears “found Hannah listless, eyes half shut, not responding to voices, not eating, and having trouble breathing. She eventually went home, but by January 3 was back in for the third time. The poor pooch remained in the hospital until late afternoon Friday, undergoing tests for liver function and being monitored for an erratic temperature and fluid in the lungs. Her condition remains unstable and if it were not for Britney’s money and ability to pay the vet bills, Hannah would be dead by now.”

Common Health Problems in Puppies

Puppies tend to have immature immune systems and are prone to a variety of conditions related to their physical development. It’s not surprising to hear that Hannah has needed veterinary medical care. Some of the most common issues affecting puppies requiring treatment include:

Respiratory Tract Infection and Irritation

Many bacterial, viral organisms and environmental irritants (dust, pollen, smoke, etc.) can cause inflammation of the eyes, and respiratory tract (nasal passages, trachea, and lungs). Clinical signs include cough, sneezing, eye and nasal discharge, lethargy, decreased appetite, and more.

Gastrointestinal Parasites

Coccidia, Giardia, Hookworm, Roundworm, Tapeworm, and Whipworm are parasitic organisms capable of infecting the digestive tract of puppies (which can also affect adult dogs and people) causing diarrhea, vomit, and anorexia (decreased appetite).

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

Hypoglycemia is commonly caused by an infection, inflammation, or other stressors that use up the body's available blood glucose (sugar). Unlike adults, puppies don’t have the same capacity to store glucose in the liver and will exhibit lethargy (tired behavior), ataxia (stumbling), or even fall into a coma when their glucose precipitously drops.

Based on the RadarOnline report, it sounds like Hannah had hypoglycemia, which can be related to a congenital (present from birth) problem where blood does not properly flow through the liver for detoxification called portosystemic shunt (“liver shunt”).

Additionally, Hannah may have been suffering from pneumonia (“fluid in her lungs”), which results from infection or aspirating (inhaling) food, water, vomit, or other substances which can cause “trouble breathing.”

Prevention is the Key to Keeping Puppies Healthy 

Preventing puppies from becoming infected with many bacterial, viral, and parasitic organisms can be achieved through veterinary-guided vaccination protocols, diagnostic testing (checking feces for parasites, blood tests, etc.), providing regular de-worming medication, and good sanitary practices (disposal of feces and urine, bathing, disinfecting of environmental services, etc.).

Unfortunately, puppies are not as discriminating as adult dogs in keeping themselves clea. Also, many times they do not stop themselves from eating various materials in their environment (dietary indiscretion).

As a result, they are much more prone to coming down with infections or ingesting materials that can potentially cause mild to severe digestive tract upset or other health problems.

I hope that Hannah has many more healthy years to come with Spears and her other household canine and human companions.

Britney Spears

Image of Hannah and Jayden James via Britney Spear's Instagram page

Image of Britney Spears and Hannah via Hannah's Twitter page

Patrick Mahaney, VMD

Patrick Mahaney, VMD

Patrick Mahaney takes a close look at celebrities, their pets, and other hot-button pet parenting topics from a veterinary perspective. His path to becoming a veterinarian was not the pursuit of a childhood dream, but was rather a serendipitous migration from his original plan, which was to pursue a career in marine biology or fine arts. To satisfy his creative urges, Dr. Mahaney writes a pet health column, guest blogs for Perez Hilton's TeddyHilton.com, and created CelebrityPetNews.com (CPN), which puts a veterinary spin on issues pertaining to celebrities, their pets, and public health.

Read Patrick Mahaney, VMD's Full Bio
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