Showing posts with label Dog Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dog Health. Show all posts

Friday, September 7, 2018

FLEA CONTROL: The In's and Out's of Getting Rid of those Pesky Critters

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Photo  by Christina Welsh (Rin) 
Bleh – fleas! ‘Tis the season – are you prepared? It’s not just at home where you need to be ready either. Different geographical areas have different climate conditions so the flea season varies depending on where you are – keep that in mind whether you are at home or traveling. Something else to be aware of is that fleas, in various stages of their disgusting lives, can survive indoors even during the cold weather. Following are some helpful facts about fleas and information on how you can prevent them from infesting your pets and your home.

Even though there are more than 2,000 known species and subspecies of fleas, only one class of flea called the ‘cat flea’ is to blame for almost all the fleas found on cats and dogs in the United States. What is really daunting is that there is evidence of fleas dating all the way back to the dinosaur era which means they obviously aren’t going away by themselves – all the more reason to do something to protect your pets and family.

Most fleas can survive for an average of two to three months without ‘food’ which is actually the blood they suck from their ‘hosts’.  A female flea consumes 15 times her own body weight in blood daily! You should also know that while adult fleas suck blood from a cat, dog or other mammals, their larvae live and feed on organic debris in the host animal's environment – that’s your home! Be aware that some fleas can jump 150 times their own length – that compares to a human jumping 1,000 feet. So if you happen to see one flea, there may be more than 100 offspring or adults looming nearby in furniture, carpeting or on your pet.

Now let’s talk about how to prevent these gross little parasites from getting into your life and how to get rid of them if they do. As a pet owner, one of your main responsibilities is to keep your pet healthy. Taking them to the vet for their annual check-ups is very important. While you’re there, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about a flea prevention method for your furry friends such as Advantage, Advantix or Frontline. Certain products can also help to prevent ticks in addition to fleas.

If you see fleas on your pets or in your home, take action immediately. Not only are fleas a huge annoyance, but they can also transmit diseases and tapeworm. If your home becomes infested, you will probably need to purchase flea bombs – make sure read and adhere to the directions carefully and contact your vet to get further advice and relief for your pet and family.



Thursday, September 6, 2018

VACCINATING Your PIT BULL TERRIER: Keeping Your Dog Healthy

Pit Bull - Photo by maplegirlie 
There are many different vaccines available today that can prevent infection and disease in your Pit Bull. Vaccines are also available that can help keep many diseases and infections from severely affecting your dogs’ health. Vaccination will boost your Pit Bull’s immune system to help him be less susceptible to these diseases.

Most veterinarians recommend beginning vaccinating your Pit Bull at around eight weeks of age and continuing every four weeks until around eighteen weeks old. Vaccination against rabies is now a legal requirement for all dog owners. Rabies can be transmitted easily to humans, and there is no cure for the disease once it is contracted. The rabies vaccine is usually given to Pit Bulls at around twelve weeks old, with a booster at one year, then every two years after that.

Many vets also recommend a distemper combination vaccine beginning at six weeks of age and continuing every four weeks until the Pit Bull is around eighteen weeks old. This one vaccine can be used to prevent five different diseases: distemper, parvo, influenza, adenovirus, and coronavirus. Distemper is very contagious and affects the respiratory and nervous systems. It can cause many problems, including fever, coughing, diarrhea, seizures, and even possible death. Parvo and coronavirus are more severe in puppies but can affect dogs of any age. These two diseases usually occur in conjunction with each other and can cause weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, and possibly death. Influenza and adenovirus cause a dry hacking cough that can lead to more serious infections, such as pneumonia.

Some owners choose to also vaccinate their Pit Bulls against Lyme disease, the first dose usually given at around twelve weeks old. The second dose is given around three weeks after the first, and a booster is needed once a year thereafter. Lyme disease can affect the joints, heart, kidneys, and brain if left untreated.

It is important that you limit your Pit Bull puppy’s contact with other dogs until he has received all of his vaccines to prevent him from getting sick. Occasionally serious side effects from the vaccines may occur, but it is well worth the risk to protect your new Pit Bull from all of these potentially deadly diseases. Annual boosters should be given in a timely manner to ensure your dog will continue to be adequately protected throughout his lifetime. For some vaccines, there are three-year boosters now available, but they are not recommended for use until the dog is an adult.



Thursday, August 30, 2018

HEARTWORMS And Your PIT BULL TERRIER: Dog Health Advice

Pit Bull
Photo  by lubasi 
One of the most devastating parasites which may threaten your Pit Bull is the heartworm. These nasty creatures can linger in your pet for years before dealing a death blow to your Pit Bull. Heartworms are treatable, but it is best to use a protective stance rather than wait for the infection to occur.

This disease is not spread from pet to pet via contact, but by another nasty creature, we all know as the mosquito. The mosquito is a necessary link in the transfer of the disease. The number of dogs infected with heartworms always increases during the height of the mosquito season. Long mosquito seasons will increase the rate of infections rapidly. 

Once heartworms are transmitted by the mosquito into the dog's bloodstream, they travel through the blood into the heart and the major pulmonary blood vessels. The heartworms are in the immature stage and are called microfilaria.

Upon arriving in the heart, the microfilaria will set up residence and grow into adult heartworms. These fully grown parasites cause heart blockage and damage to surrounding tissues by clogging the heart and the major blood vessels leading from the heart. Adult heartworms will also interfere with the valve action within the heart. 

When the heart and main blood vessels get clogged, the blood flow to other critical organs is reduced, which can cause problems for the liver, kidneys, and lungs, resulting in organ failure.

Most dogs which are infected with heartworms will not show any outward signs of disease for as long as up to two years. Sadly, by the time the disease starts to show signs in the dog, it is in the advanced stage. These signs depend on several factors, such as the number of adult worms and microfilariae present, as well as their location. The length of time the infection has been present, and the amount of damage already done to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys are all essential factors.

Signs of Heartworm Infestation - The most obvious outward signs of heartworms are:
Unexplained weight loss.
A dry almost constant cough with labored breathing.
Shortness of breath.
Sudden weakness.
A sudden show of nervousness or listlessness, accompanied by a loss of stamina.
The signs of heartworms are most noticeable after the dog has been engaged in exercise or play. Some dogs with heartworms may even faint or drop dead suddenly right after engaging in rigorous play or exercise.

Treatment for heartworms is available but it is costly and in some cases may prove fatal to the dog itself. To prevent this horrible disease in your Pit Bull, be sure to keep your dog’s regular vet appointments. Heartworms can be prevented easily by administering heartworm medication to your pet each month.

As always, talk to your vet if you have any concerns that your dog may have heartworms, and never try to treat the disease on your own. Always consult a properly qualified professional before starting any type of treatments on your dog.



Sunday, August 12, 2018

BANDAGING Your Dog

English: A Dog Wearing a Inflatable Elizabetha...
A Dog Wearing an Inflatable Elizabethan Collar
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Having a dog is a big responsibility. Some even compare taking care of a dog to that of a baby. The only advantage of having dogs compared to having babies is that they won’t grow older and turn into stressful teenagers. Because dogs are like babies they sometimes also end up in harmful situations. They would sometimes get themselves trapped in a tight place or get hit by something that will injure one of their limbs. When that happens, we should learn how to bandage our dogs to prevent further damage. Here are some basic ways of how to bandage your injured dog.

1. When your pet has a bandage, it should always be clean and dry. So it’s pretty important to make sure your pet stays inside most of the time when it has a bandage. To prevent the bandage from getting wet when the pet goes to pee or poop, a trash bag or plastic covering should cover the bandaged leg. You may use empty bread bags. When your pet has wet or dirtied up the bandage, it would require changing. Make sure to check the bandage twice a day to see if it is clean and dry. Check also for foul odors or discharge and if there is any, call your veterinarian immediately.

2. After bringing home your pet from the veterinarian make sure that the bandage is still in place. Your pet might have been irritated by it and has chewed or tried to scratch it off. Look closely at the position and the location of the bandage when you do check. Look at the toes of the pet, the bandage might have slipped up making the toes stick out. Also look at the size, if the bandage has become loose. This should be taken into account when a dog has been bandaged in the abdomen or leg area. This is because one end will be bigger than the other and eventually become narrower. When the bandage telescopes down the limb of the dog it may bunch up and abrade the limb. When that happens, the bandage should be changed as well.

3. If the dog is bandaged up in the leg make sure it isn’t too tight. Observe how the toes will appear at the bottom of the bandage at least twice a day. This is done to check for sweating, swelling, or pain. Check for skin chaffing, redness, discharge or swelling before and after the bandage has been applied.

4. To prevent the pet from chewing the bandage because of the bothersome experience it gives, put an Elizabethan collar. If you have observed that the pet is chewing or scratching it excessively, ask the vet if there might be problems.

These are the times that you should already be taking the pet back to the veterinarian:

• Swelling above or below the bandage
• Chewing the bandage
• Bandage becomes wet
• Bleeding or discharge above, below or through
• Scheduled bandage changes




Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Will Your DOG SURVIVE The Summer Sun?

Taking A Break
Photo  by Tobyotter 
As a 10-year-old child, I watched helplessly one hot August day as my beloved boxer, Duke, died in my arms. Four decades later, I still have that memory painfully etched in my mind. We didn't learn until after the fact that Duke had died of a heat stroke. Even more painful was the realization that, had we known what to look for, we could have taken measures to possibly prevent his death. In honor of his memory, I want to share vital information that may keep your dog from suffering Duke's fate.

What is heat stroke?

Too much time exposed to the dangerous combination of increased temperature and humidity can lead to a heat stroke. A mammal's body (and that includes humans, too) can only tolerate temperatures up to about 107 degrees before cells start dying. The higher the temperature, the faster this occurs. The longer the body remains at an elevated temperature, the less chance there is for recovery. Heat stroke can occur very quickly, given the right set of circumstances, and if too much time has elapsed, even your best efforts may not be enough to keep your dog alive.

Is my dog at risk for heat stroke?

Any dog can fall victim to heat stroke, but hot weather is especially hard on puppies and older dogs, (they have a harder time regulating their body temperature), short-nosed breeds, (like pugs, pekes, boxers, and bulldogs), overweight dogs, those with heart or lung problems, and dogs recently moved from a cooler climate. These risk factors increase if your dog doesn't have enough water if he's in an enclosed space or is exposed too long to direct sunlight.

How can I recognize heat stroke?

Heat stroke causes dogs to pant rapidly and heavily, the body's defense in an effort to lower the core temperature. Their eyes may be open abnormally wide, and they may appear to stare blankly, ignoring your commands. They may drool excessively and stagger weakly. The gums will appear pale and dry and eventually if left untreated, the animal will collapse into unconsciousness.

What should I do if my dog has a heat stroke?

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke and you're close to a vet or animal hospital, put him in the car, crank the air conditioning all the way up and get him there as soon as possible. They're the ones best equipped to handle your dog's recovery. If that's not possible, you must try to reduce your dog's temperature yourself. Get him to a shady area and either put him in a tub of cool (not cold) running water or spray him with a hose. Be sure the water penetrates his coat and wets the skin beneath. Run it over his tongue and mouth, inside the legs and on his stomach. Remember that small dogs will cool down more quickly than larger breeds. Take your dog to a vet as soon as you can.

Hopefully, your dog will never suffer a life-threatening heat stroke. If he does, at least now you know the signs and symptoms to be aware of, and the measures you can take that will offer him the best chances for a full and total recovery.



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

CANINE HYDROTHERAPY: Choosing The Right Therapist

Beagle swimming
Beagle swimming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dogs are like people in so many ways: they need to be touched, loved, and appreciated; they need exercise, proper nutrition, and good care; and sometimes they get the same diseases, like arthritis.

It's been found that one of the best treatments for humans suffering from arthritis and other joint diseases is water aerobics, a form of hydrotherapy. It should be no surprise that dogs benefit similarly from the support and warmth of hydrotherapeutic pools, especially since most dogs enjoy water so much anyway.

While a few years ago canine hydrotherapy was looked upon as a little odd, to say the least, today canine hydrotherapy facilities are growing much more common. Veterinarians are as likely today to prescribe canine hydrotherapy for hip dysplasia and other canine joint problems as they are to prescribe medications. 

How Does It Work?

Canine hydrotherapy is very simple. Special pools with powerful jets are provided for the dogs. The Jets are set up so that the dog can swim against a current, building its muscles and strengthening the ligaments around weak or damaged joints. Generally, the canine hydrotherapist enters the water with the dog, helping guide him into exercising the right parts of his body, calming him and remaining close by in case the dog grows distressed.

This sort of exercise is called isokinetic – it isolates particular muscular movements to help retrain weak muscles. The number of treatments needed depends on the dog and the problem. If the hydrotherapy is recommended for a short-term condition, like rebuilding strength or recovering from surgery, it can be as few as three sessions. For a dog with a chronic illness, the hydrotherapy may be long-term or even ongoing for the rest of his life.

What Should I Look For?

The canine hydrotherapy pool should be warm but not hot; ideally, somewhere around 92 degrees is best. Therapists should work closely with your dog's veterinarian so they know what to treat for your pet. An individual plan should be developed for your dog intended to optimize wellness, with consideration given to muscle development, conditioning, general fitness, and relaxation.

Common reasons for the use of canine hydrotherapy include pre or post-surgical conditioning; dysplasia or arthritis; obesity; cardiovascular workouts for older dogs; stroke reconditioning; and pain management, usually secondary to a joint disease.

How Do I Know Who To Use?

In Britain, the Canine Hydrotherapy Association was formed in 2000. They maintain standards and further the knowledge and use of good practice in hydrotherapy.


Not every hydrotherapist is a member. You can also find a good canine hydrotherapist by asking about the experience the therapist has had with dogs. Have they bred or shown dogs? Run kennels? Did they ever work in a veterinary capacity? 

Canine hydrotherapy is a new-enough industry that there are no schools or degrees. Your best bet: let your dog choose. If the dog likes the therapist, if he's willing to work with the therapist and cooperates in his treatment, then you have a good canine hydrotherapist for your dog.


Monday, July 9, 2018

Yikes I Saw A Flea On My DOG

Scanning Electron Micrograph of a Flea. See be...
Scanning Electron Micrograph of a Flea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At some stage of your pet's lifespan every pet owner will have to deal with the problem of fleas, ticks and mites. If left untreated they can take over your pet's skin and coat so it is really important to keep it under control. It's best to stop the problem before it gets out of control. Rather treat your pet for a few fleas than treat the whole house for an infestation! 

There are some misconceptions about fleas. It is not something that only happens to dirty animals! In fact it is probably more common in clean animals because fleas prefer a clean coat. Coming into contact with other animals also causes exposure to the problem and can start a flea problem in your home.

Fleas, mites and ticks are parasites with a short lifespan so they reproduce quickly. Female fleas can lay up to 25 eggs a day. So you can see just how quickly the problem can get out of hand! They tend to prefer warm conditions so summer and spring are the most troublesome times for pets and owners. 

The main thing is that you want to catch the problem early! This means brushing your dog often and inspecting their coat. Fleas, ticks and mites are tiny black, brown crawling creatures that can even look like dirt. It may help for you to examine the fur under their ears and arms/legs. Fleas like warm places. You can also sea flea egg sacks and flea droppings in their fur if you look closely. If you still cannot see the fleas try combing your dog on a bright surface, something like a piece of paper should work well. 

This is a problem that needs to be treated right away. Instead of heading for the pet store to buy expensive over-the-counter treatments, sprays or dips you should rather seek professional help right away. It will save you time. Your vet should have some pamphlets or handouts about flea control. Some vets even prescribe oral treatments if the problem is out severe. 

If you choose to shop for the products yourself you will need to read the labels carefully to check that you are not inadvertently poisoning your pet! Never allow your pet to ingest any of the products you use; they are highly poisonous. It's also important to protect their eyes from these harsh chemicals. There is a lot of disagreement about whether or not flea collars work. They tend to kill fleas in a localized area around the collar. 

It is important to treat your home for fleas as well. Fleas can survive in almost anything in your home-furniture, rugs and bedding. Any flea treatments will be pointless if the flea's eggs or fleas themselves remain in your living space. 

To clean your home properly you will need to sanitize and clean the areas where the pet sleeps. Depending on the severity of the problem you may need to throw away blankets that have become infested with eggs. Often - just washing the affected bedding in hot water and some flea shampoo should do the trick. Rather safe than sorry though - if in doubt toss the bedding. Having to have your home fumigated will cost a lot more! 

Fleas can become a nightmare for any pet owner. Rather stop the problem early - check your pet everyday for fleas and regularly use a preventative product approved by your vet.



Thursday, June 14, 2018

How To Properly Clean Your DOGS EARS

Ears of a dog
Ears of a dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dog's ears are not something that you look at regularly. However, in addition to your dog needing regular baths, they will also need to have their ears cleaned out on a fairly regular basis. When you clean out their ears on a regular basis, it is going to be easy for you to reduce the chance of them having any type of infection in their ears.

Selection of the proper cleaner is going to be what you have to do first. When you select the cleaner, you will want to make sure it is fairly neutral and not harsh for the ears. However, you will want to make sure you are looking at your dog's needs and make sure the cleaner is going to take care of the issues that your dog is having.

The best source for a cleaner will be from your vet. They sell or can recommend a good safe cleaner.
After the proper cleaner has been selected, you will want to keep it at room temperature. You will then take and spray the cleaner into the dog's ears. This is going to allow you to clean the dog's ears, but it is important for you to keep a paper towel or other type of towel under the dog's ears to ensure that you are not dribbling the water on the floor.


When this is done, you will want to take a washcloth or something else and try to dab the ears dry. By dabbing it dry you will prevent the dog from getting any type of recurring water in their ears. Cleaning your dog's ears is going to help the dog feel better, and also get the gunk out of their ears.

Most people know they have to give their dogs a bath, however, they normally do not realize they have to wash their ears as well. The problem is this is not something people tend to learn about and is not even really talked about. However, by learning how to clean your dog's ears properly, it is going to be easy for you to maintain your dog's ears and know they will be healthy for a longer period of time.

How often should the ears be cleaned? That is a good question and is something you should ask your vet. Some dogs require ear cleaning more often than others.



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What Are Common Signs of Dogs with HYPOALLERGENIC PROBLEMS?

Allergic Dog
Photo  by RLHyde 
Dogs that have allergies show many signs including watery eyes, coughing and sneezing, excessive scratching and biting, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and moodiness. When your dog is suffering from allergies, you may notice one or more of these symptoms. Learning what causes these allergies is the first step toward treating your dog and preventing further attacks.

Many allergies that dogs suffer from are caused by insects such as fleas and ticks, or by parasites. When you bring your dog home from a breeder or from a shelter or pet store, schedule an appointment with a vet as soon as possible. Make sure the dog has all of its shots and that is has been dewormed. This will prevent parasites from causing an allergic reaction in your dog. While you may have to do this more than once during their lifetime, getting rid of the parasites will help your dog’s temperament and keep them healthy.

If you noticed small red bites on your dog or if the dog has been scratching the same area until bald spots appear, then they may have fleas, ticks, or mites. This allergic reaction is caused by insect saliva. If your dog has open wounds, you should wait until the wounds heal before spraying or bathing them with medicine that kills the insects and their eggs. Take your dog to the vet if this is the first occurrence. The vet may be able to prescribe an ingestible pill that will protect them from future infestation. You may also want to keep your dog indoors during flea and tick season.

When your dog vomits more than once a week or has diarrhea for more than one or two days, they may have an allergy to dog food. Switching to another brand or feeding the dog softer food may solve this problem. You should take the dog to the vet anyway so that they can make sure the dog is healthy. Extreme diarrhea will lead to dehydration, so make sure you have plenty of water for your dog to drink.

If your dog’s mood changes suddenly or you notice that they are not as playful as they once were, then you should take the dog to the vet. If the dog has eaten something it shouldn’t or if it is suffering from allergies, it will not want to play as much as it used to. Finding out the cause of their allergy may be difficult because, much like human beings, your dog may be allergic to more than one thing.

Research your dog’s breed to see if there are specific items it could be allergic to and see if they are present in your home. Monitor your dog to see how it behaves and what it is eating. Sometimes eating too much grass can cause an allergy attack. Once you find the causes of the allergy, take the steps necessary to reduce the dog’s exposure what is causing the allergy as much as possible.



Friday, May 18, 2018

Disorders your DOG May Inherit

English: Bitsy - A blue basset hound
Bitsy - A blue basset hound (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A vital part of good prevention is to know the common types of illnesses and disorders associated with particular dog breeds. For dogs, the parts of their body that are most frequently affected by congenital problems are the central nervous system, the eyes, the muscles, and the bones. For instance, the Beagle, Collie, miniature Poodle, German Shepherd, and Keeshond are more likely to inherit epilepsy.

Different types of nervous system disorders are often passed on within certain breeds. Examples are paralysis of the front and back legs, which is common in the Irish Setter, a failure of muscle coordination common in Fox Terrier, and abnormal swelling of the brain is common in the Chihuahua, English Bulldog, and Cocker Spaniel.

A great number of common breeds suffer from congenital eye abnormalities including glaucoma, cataracts, and blindness.

Breeds such as Basenji, Basset Hound, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, and Cairn Terrier have a high risk for inguinal hernias (gut protrudes into the groin). Umbilical hernias (gut protrudes through the navel) are inherited defects in breeds like Bull Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Pekingese, Basenji, Collie, Weimaraner, Airedale Terrier, and Pointer.

In order to keep health problems in your dog from getting serious, you need to detect them early. Therefore, it is necessary to give your dog a basic check-up about once a week. This check-up takes no more than a few minutes, and it can help prevent problems as well as expenses down the road.
Start with a body rub. This makes your pet comfortable. While giving him his rub, check for any signs of flaking or scabs which can be a sign of parasites, a skin disorder, or allergies.

Also, check for any lumps and bumps. Although they are a normal part of aging in dogs, they can also be a symptom that there is something wrong. Check for any swelling that could indicate parasites, heart trouble, or cancer.

His breathing should be smooth and quiet unless he is panting. If his breathing is raspy or rattling, he could have a respiratory problem.

Your dog's heartbeat should be regular and strong. To check for his pulse, place your hand against his chest by his left elbow. Count the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiply it by four. The rate should range between 60 and 160.

Lastly, examine his ears, eyes, and mouth and check for any signs of abnormalities




Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A DOG'S DIET Influences Oral Health

English: Charcoal dog biscuit, marketed as Win...
Charcoal dog biscuit, marketed as Winalot Shapes (a mixture of biscuits). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Your dog is your very best friend.  Every single time you walk through the door your dog is so happy to see you that he wags his tail and practically smiles at you.  How can you show your pet how much they mean to you?  Well, one way is to take care of that smile for your pet.  Did you know that your dog's diet can influence their oral health?

Humans need to brush and floss their teeth regularly to keep their teeth, tongue, and gums in good condition.  Research has recently shown a link between good oral health in humans and a lower risk of heart disease.  If good oral health can have such a profound affect on people, then it only makes sense to consider the impact it can have on man's best friend.

It is important to brush your dog's teeth frequently to keep plaque and tartar from becoming an issue.  Even wiping his gums with a clean, damp cloth can be beneficial.

Your dog's diet also plays a role in your pet's oral health.  Do you typically feed your dog canned or dry dog food?  What kind of treats and toys do you provide for your pet?  All of these things can affect the likelihood of trouble with your pet's teeth.

When your dog's diet is nutritionally sound, containing essential vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes, your pet's oral health will be at its very best.  Feeding dry dog food rather than a moist canned variety is best for your dog.  The tiny kibbles' hard surface rubs against the teeth to remove and reduce plaque.  The simple act of moistening the dry dog food with water or gravy eliminates this property from dry dog food.

The treats you give your pet are part of your dog's diet just like snacks are part of a person's diet.  As humans, we tend to want to overlook our snacking habits, so it can be easy to overlook the treats you give your dog.  This is not a good idea.  Carefully consider any and all items your dog will consume.


Do you give your dog bones, rawhides, jerky treats, or dog biscuits?  Maybe your pet prefers greenies or corn starch chews.  You may not have considered it, but tossing Spot a rawhide chew is like giving him a candy bar.  The rawhide, for example, contains calories and is often provided between meals.

Many of the treats and snacks you provide in your dog's diet can be just empty wasted calories.  Some treats, alternatively, provide excellent opportunity to improve oral health.  Greenies, rawhides, bones, and hard dog biscuits all help to keep tartar at bay.  The softer snacks, such as jerky treats, do not provide much relief from plaque.  The healthy treat, on occasion, will also prevent your dog from having bad breath.

Your dog's diet must be healthy to ensure excellent oral health.  Dry dog food is best whenever possible.  Don't forget to select treats for your pet that will enhance your dog's diet.  Consciously monitoring your dog's diet will positively influence your  best friend's oral health.



Monday, May 14, 2018

Could Your Dog Have WHIPWORM? How To Detect And Treat Whipworm In Your Dog

Egg from Trichuris vulpis (canine whipworm) se...
Egg from Trichuris vulpis (canine whipworm) seen through a microscope at 400x. The egg is operculated at both ends. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When it comes to keeping your canine companion healthy both inside and out, it's important for owners to know which parasites see your dog as the perfect host.

One of the lesser-known parasites that pose a danger to dogs is the whipworm. Whipworms, like most parasites, are resilient. In egg form, their hard shells allow them to survive outdoors in the soil for years at the time. In many ways, whipworms are like hookworms, but instead of ending in a hook shape, one end of this worm tapers to a narrow, whip-like point.

Unlike hookworms, whipworms can't enter the body through the skin. The only way for your dog to contact them is by eating the eggs. Whipworms exist throughout North America, and transmission is easy if your dog has any contact with other dogs. The long-lived eggs can show up in the soil, dog toys, discarded bones and water dishes. Once eaten, whipworms then grow to maturity inside your dog's digestive system.

When they reach maturity, the adult worms fasten themselves to the large intestine and the cecum, a transitional pouch between the large and small intestine. Here, these nasty little parasites slash and puncture the intestinal walls in order to feed. The female starts to lay her eggs, which the dog excretes through the faeces.

Symptoms for whipworm resemble those for other worms, such as hookworm. Many dogs can carry a certain number of whipworms without showing distress, but past a certain point, your dog may begin to exhibit signs such as a dull coat, anaemia, rapid weight loss, and a loose and bloody stool. He may also begin vomiting up a yellow-green substance. In very severe cases, the worms may begin to puncture the intestinal wall, to the degree that the intestine begins to stick to the body wall. In this case, you might see your dog licking and worry his right flank.


When you take your dog to the vet, it may take some time to diagnose him with whipworm. Whipworms lay eggs only intermittently, and even when they’re actively releasing eggs, any diarrhoea in your dog can make the eggs hard to find. Typically, vets will perform four stool samples over four days before ruling out whipworm.

If your vet finds whipworm eggs, she'll administer a potent dewormer. But all whipworm dewormers on the market are only effective against worms in their adult form. As a result, you'll probably need to re-treat your dog.

There are no simple and effective ways of removing whipworm eggs from the soil around your house. However, a contaminated environment can infect your dog over and over again. The best way to combat reinfestation is to make sure your dog's quarters are sunny and dry since whipworm eggs require moisture. Try to place him in an area of fresh new gravel, pavement or soil.




Saturday, May 12, 2018

DOG CLOTHES - Fad, Fun Or Functional??

leisure
Photo  by annrkiszt 
Your dog is not just a pet. Your dog is not just an animal. Your dog is a bona FIDO member of the family!! So, of course, your dog needs to dress the part – right?

Well, thanks to the internet and the many online boutiques you can dress your dog for every occasion from the comfort of your own home. No more “granny’ knitted sweaters for your sophisticated canine!! But is dressing up your dog just something that you like to do? Is there any benefit to your dog? It all depends on why you bought the clothes!!

A Dog Coat can be a very useful item of clothing for your dog. It can keep him warm in the cold weather, dry in the wet weather and can protect him from infections in the same way that our clothes protect us. It can also keep him clean which may be especially useful after a romp in the park on a wet winter’s day. Just take the coat off after it’s dirty and keep most of the dirt contained. Then you can let your clean(ish) dog into the car which helps keep the car cleaner. Dog coats come in many different styles and colors so pick the coat that's most appropriate for its use. And of course what dog would be seen out without the matching doggie hat??

Just like people wear, you can get ‘designer’ labels for your dog to make him feel like a million dollars, (and it probably costs that too). Many celebrities always have their dogs dressed in the latest doggie fashion. A practice that Paris Hilton with Tinkerbell has raised to an art form, or so it seems!

Apart from coats and sweaters, other useful dog clothing items include dog t-shirts and dog sunglasses. These can look cute but they do also serve to help protect your pet. The sunglasses can protect him from UVA and UVB rays and the t-shirt helps protect his skin. Dogs can develop skin cancer the same way that people can and this is one of the main cancers in dogs. And you thought it was just to make Fido look cute!!


As you can see, getting clothing for your dog is not just vanity on your part, although it is fun dressing up your dog. It can also play a vital role in keeping your dog healthy and happy. And if you do get the urge to step out on the wild side – get your dog some formal wear or a great costume for Halloween – go on have fun and buy your dog some great clothing today!!






Tuesday, May 8, 2018

ARTHRITIS IN DOGS – What You Can Do To Help Your Dog

English: Bilateral hip dysplasia in a Labrador...
Bilateral hip dysplasia in a Labrador Retriever puppy. The left hip (positioned on the right side in the X-ray) is worse than the right hip, with only slight coverage of the head of the femur by the acetabulum.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Canine Arthritis is a common ailment as dog’s age. It is similar to humans as calcification and inflammation cause joint pain and reduced activity. Some forms of arthritis like Canine Hip Dysplasia can develop early in life due to genetics and diet.  Fortunately, arthritis in dogs can be treated.

Treatments for canine arthritis range from natural supplements using chondroitin and glucosamine, to veterinary prescribed drugs such as Rimadyl and Deramaxx.  Studies and actual results have shown that natural supplements can be extremely effective in fighting the effects of arthritis in dogs without the potentially dangerous side effects of Rimadyl and Deramaxx.  Before deciding which treatment option is best for your dog, you should observe the signs of dog arthritis.

Signs of Dog Arthritis

1.  Limping and general reduced activity.

2.  Favoring one or both of the front or back limbs.

3.  Morning activity or cold weather makes the dog less active.

4.  Difficulty rising from a resting position, especially in the morning.

5.  Pain to the touch.

6.  Reluctance to jump.

If you suspect your dog has arthritis, you should know the different forms or types of arthritis. The most common disorders are listed below.

Types of Dog Arthritis

1.  Osteoarthritis – Also known as canine arthritis or dog arthritis, it is the most common form of arthritis and most easily treated.  Develops slowly as the dog ages.

2.  Rheumatoid Arthritis - This is an immune-mediated disease and can affect the whole body. Several joints can be affected and the lameness can come and go without notice. Considered a more serious condition than dog osteoarthritis.

3.  Degenerative Disc Disease - This is where the discs in the vertebrae develop calcification and become rigid. They become less able to withstand compression. This can lead to a severe injury and paralysis if the discs rupture or become herniated.

4.  Stifle Joint Disorder - This is a condition in which the knee and joint become unstable. This is usually from a stretched or torn ligament. This can also cause the joint cartilage to become damaged and inflamed.

5.  Canine Hip Dysplasia - This is caused by looseness in the socket connecting the thighbone and hipbone. This development usually occurs when the dog is young but can develop at any age.  A      common sign is to hear a clicking sound when the dog walks.

Treatment Options

1.  Natural Supplements – Most natural supplements use chondroitin and/or glucosamine as its primary ingredient.  All of the glucosamine forms originate and are extracted from shellfish. chondroitin is derived from animal cartilage.  Many products like Free and Easy for Dogs use glucosamine and chondroitin and combine additional supplements to provide a synergistic effect. Besides glucosamine and chondroitin, some of the more popular and effective supplements added are msm, ester-c, and hyaluronic acid.  Many studies have been done which have proved the effectiveness of these supplements in humans.  Dog owners have also reported many positive outcomes for their dogs using these natural supplements.

2.  Rimadyl & Deramaxx - These drugs are obtained by prescription only. They are called NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Rimadyl was introduced by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in January 1997 to help treat dogs with inflammation and pain associated with surgery or canine arthritis. It is effective but it must be used with caution. Search Google for  "What Your Vet May Not Tell You About Rimadyl" for more detailed information. At a minimum, you need to have blood work done to monitor the liver enzymes to ensure your dog doesn't have a toxic reaction to the drugs.

3.  Surgery - Surgery can be an easy decision or a very difficult decision. Often, money is a concern and some surgeries like disc surgery can cost around $3,500. Often, the age of the dog has to be considered when making this decision. And the outlook and prognosis are very important.  You do not want the dog to suffer unnecessarily. At the very least, you should only consider surgery after ensuring an accurate diagnosis has been made.  This may involve taking x-rays and a myelogram. A myelogram is done by injecting dye in the spinal canal to enable your doctor to detect abnormalities of the spine, spinal cord, or surrounding structures.



Summary - Dog Arthritis can be a very debilitating disease if left untreated. Dog owners should pay close attention to their animals and take prompt action when symptoms are noticed. Often a natural supplement is all that is needed to help your dog.  Sometimes more aggressive treatments are needed such as surgery.  The most important thing is to notice and diagnose the problem and then decide what treatment is best for your dog.

Copyright 2006 William Smith




Thursday, April 12, 2018

Helpful Products For BLIND DOGS And Helpful CARE Hints

English: Australian Shepherd with Microphthalm...
Australian Shepherd with the microphthalmic eye, from Gypsy's Eye Blind Dog Rescue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A blind dog can still lead a happy life. There are many products for blind dogs that help them to do just that. It is important that you treat your pet just as you always did. If you treat your canine like he or she is fine, they will adjust. If you treat your canine differently and feel sorry for the dog, the dog will pick up on your sadness and it will be bad for the canine.

One of the best things that you can do for a dog that cannot see, treats it like every other dog. A dog has a very good memory and will often be able to navigate its own home and other areas that he is used to spending time in. Many people who see your pet in its own environment, may not even realize he is unable to see.

No matter how careful you are, there is always the chance that a pet can escape. This is scary for dog and human. A medical tag should be attached to the collar. If anyone stops to help the escape artist, they can see right away that the dog has lost its vision and will need some extra help getting home to you.

A hoop harness is another product that is helpful for any dog who cannot see. The hoop harness consists of a harness with a loop on the front. The loop is held several inches in front of a dogs face. This way instead of your pup walking into walls and other things, the hoop hits the object first. This alerts the animal to walls, and furniture, and prevents possible injury.

The scent of a dog is amazing. They can smell things in the air that humans are clueless about. For this reason, using scented markers can help your pup find dishes, her bed, and another item that she must get to. They work well and they are reusable. They can be easily freshened up each month for continued use.

There are leashes that are made for vision impaired and disabled dogs. They allow you to lead the dog so that he or she knows where to go. They are unlike traditional leashes in that they are short and not made for taking walks. They are wonderful for helping you to help your pet.




As mentioned, your dog will not likely need help to navigate through their own home. That is unless you rearrange the furnishings. This can be very difficult for a blind dog. It is best to avoid moving your furniture, or the dog's bed and other items.

Help your pet to live a happy and rewarding life by keeping the above suggestions and products in mind. With a few helpful items, the animal will be able to figure out his surroundings. Your dog can still be taken for walks, always on a leash, of course. Your dog will still enjoy playtime with you and cuddle on the couch. Continue to love him just as you always did.


    About the Author: Tammie Caldwell


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Epilepsy in Dogs and Cats

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Epilepsy in dogs and cats is similar to that in humans. The main symptom is a type of seizure. Seizures can come in many forms and several of these are listed below:


Generalized Seizures


Generalized seizures are the most common type of seizures in dogs and cats. There are several variations of these seizures:

1. Absence seizures (petit mal): sudden brief loss of consciousness, rare in animals
2. Myoclonic seizures: muscle jerk of one or more muscles
3. Clonic seizures: rhythmic muscle contractions
4. Tonic seizures: increase in muscle tone in all skeletal muscles
5. Tonic Clonic seizures (grand mal): the most common form of seizure in pets




Tonic Clonic Seizures


Tonic Clonic (grand mal) seizures account for 60% of seizures in cats and 80% of seizures in dogs. They are usually accompanied by a loss of consciousness, and consist of a tonic phase, where the increased muscle tone causes the animal to fall on its side with its limbs extended, and a clonic phase, consisting of intense muscle jerking or paddling movements. 

In order to diagnose true epilepsy, other causes of seizures must be first ruled out. Once a tentative diagnosis of epilepsy has been made (by excluding all the other known causes of seizures), the animal can be prescribed anticonvulsant drugs. These drugs are not appropriate for animals with seizures caused by a problem outside the brain. The overall goal of anticonvulsant therapy is to eradicate all seizure activity, but this is rarely achieved. A more realistic goal is to reduce the frequency of the seizures to a level that is acceptable for the owner, without having negative side effects for the animal. 


Since epilepsy is not curable, the owner must be prepared to give the medication for the rest of the animals life.