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

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Feeding Your PIT BULL TERRIER Table Scraps: DOG HEALTH Tip

Photo Wikipedia
While it is often hard to tell your Pit Bull no when he begs for your food, you should be strong and do so. Feeding your Pit Bull table scraps is a bad idea for several reasons. The obvious reason is that you will be encouraging him to beg at the dinner table, you will be feeding him an unhealthy diet which can lead to health problems, and also teaching him that it is okay to eat whatever he may want.

If you give in when your Pit Bull begs for your food, especially if you are at the table, he will think that behavior is okay, and will associate it with getting what he wants, table food. Giving in will help reinforce bad behavior. It may be okay with you that he begs while you eat, but can be very annoying if you ever have dinner guests over.

Feeding your Pit Bull table food also can contribute to many serious health problems. The food we eat is often considerably higher in calories than what he needs to meet his nutritional requirements, therefore leading him to be overweight. Studies show that over half of today’s pets are considered obese. Obesity often causes the same health problems in animals as in humans. Table scraps are usually low in vitamins and nutrients and can overload your Pit Bull’s system with fat causing stomach and digestion problems. Many foods that we eat contain toxins that are safe for us but can be detrimental to your Pit Bull’s cardiovascular system. If you still intend to feed your Pit Bull table scraps, consult your veterinarian so he can let you know what foods to stay away from. You will always be safer only feeding him dog food and treats, as these are formulated specifically for him with all of the nutritional requirements in mind.

By allowing your Pit Bull to eat food other than dog food, you are encouraging him that it is okay to eat whatever he wants. This can be deadly if he were to come into contact with antifreeze, deadly household chemicals and poisons, or many toxic plants. He doesn’t know these things are bad for him, just that he wants to eat them. As you let him explore other foods, he will want to taste everything he comes into contact with.



To ensure your Pit Bull’s health, you should really only feed him food that is intended for dogs. Again, you talk to your veterinarian, but to me, it is too risky. Your Pit Bull’s health should be the number one priority, and just like children, he doesn’t know what is best for him, you have to make those decisions.




Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Benefits Of CONES FOR DOGS

Morton does not like his Elizabethan collar at...
Morton does not like his Elizabethan collar at all. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A traditional medical cone is worn by canines after surgery is performed to protect the wounds from scratches and irritation. The most common include the Elizabethan or E collar that consists of a hard plastic cone to fit around the neck of a pooch and restrict the ability to reach target sites. Cones for dogs are available in different sizes and styles that should be chosen according to the needs of your pet.

The modern cones that are available for dogs can be worn to protect the surgical site and to ensure that the canine does not succumb to infection or additional damages. A dog is recognized as constantly licking at the wound that may cause a severe disruption to the regular healing process. Canines may bite at the injury and loosen the stitches that can lead to additional operative needs and complications.

The E collar is designed to provide a snug and secure fit around the neck of dogs that will minimize the ability to reach the targeted regions including the body and the head. The hard plastic consistency will provide the greatest levels of protection for pets. Animals may experience a great deal of stress and anxiety when wearing these collars and should be managed with alternatives.

The cone is designed to flare near the head of the dog to prevent the pet from being able to bite or scratch at the wound. It consists of a plastic material because it is more durable in comparison to other types of products ensuring that it will not be removed by the dog. Padding is included around the neck area that makes it more comfortable for dogs to wear.

If your dog cannot get accustomed to an E collar, a neck brace is an alternative that minimizes the ability to turn the head. This will restrict pets and provide the necessary levels of protection if the cone proves too stressful for the animals. Such a brace provides a strong consistency that is most comfortable for both small and larger canines.

Cones can be bought in a paper design and fitted to the shape and size requirements of the canines. Such alternatives are recommended for smaller canines because a bigger animal can roll on the material and cause damage to it. For pet owners, it is best to assess the health needs of pets and to determine the functional features that it can provide for individual needs.



The supportive devices can be better accepted by pets through a process of positive reinforcement. It is important to ensure that pets are provided with the necessary support and care that will prevent against extremes of stress. The professional and experienced vet will be able to advise on the options that are available.

The neck cone is one of the most important medical products to prevent animals from affecting the healing process. It includes the E collar, neck braces, and comes with a different material to prove more comfortable for the dog to wear on a daily basis. Be sure to provide the canine with a break from the collar when you are able to monitor behavior and reward positive responses.


    About the Author: by Olivia Cross


Monday, November 5, 2018

An Introduction to CANINE HIP DYSPLASIA

English: Muscular atrophy of thigh of a crosse...
Muscular atrophy of thigh of a crossed shepherd dog with two-year-old hip dysplasia.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
What is Hip Dysplasia?
The hip joint consists of a “ball” on the femoral bone, and a “socket” on the hip bone.
Canine hip dysplasia simply defined is when a dog’s hips do not develop normally and the ball does not fit snugly into the socket.

What Causes Hip Dysplasia?
While there is no “conclusive proof” of the cause of hip dysplasia, there are 2 general schools of thought about its cause – 1) genetic or 2) environmental

These two differing viewpoints often place the dog breeders at odds with the dog owners, causing each to blame the other for the problem.
Genetic:  The puppy is born with the problem
Environmental: The puppy is too heavy resulting in excessive growth and/or over or under exercising a puppy during its growth phase resulting in developmental problems.

The most common theory is that hip dysplasia is indeed genetic.  Most breeders have their breeding dogs’ hips rated by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (Penn-HIP), or various other international orthopedic groups.

We could discuss the merits of both theories, but it doesn’t change the facts.  If your dog has hip dysplasia, you need to deal with it. You may be deciding what to do next, or you may have already decided, and want to know what to expect.

When Does a Dog Get Hip Dysplasia?
If you subscribe to the theory that it is genetic, they are born with it.  Dogs that have severe hip dysplasia often begin to have problems as puppies.  Sometimes, the hip dysplasia does not cause pain for the dog, so they do not show signs of it until they develop arthritis in their hip joints.  Some dogs that are not as severe can live out their entire lives with few if any symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia?
There are a number of symptoms of hip dysplasia.  Some dog owners only say that their dog didn’t walk right.  Others will say they saw no symptoms at all, or just that their dog began to limp.  Following is a list of common symptoms, of which your dog may have a couple and not have hip dysplasia.

Bunny Hopping:  The dog tends to use both hind legs together, rather than one at a time. This occurs when the dog is running, or going upstairs.

Side Sit:  Also called lazy sit, slouch or frog sit.  When the dog sits, its legs are not positioned bent and close to the body.  They can be loose and off to one side, or one or both legs may be straight out in front.

Sway Walk:  Also called a loose walk.  When the dog is walking, the back end sways back and forth because the hips are loose.

Unusual Laying Position:  Legs are straight out and off to the side when the dog is laying on its stomach or legs are straight out behind the dog.  (All dogs lay with their legs behind them on occasion, many dogs with hip dysplasia lay like this all the time.)

Limping:  The dog may favor one hind leg or the other, and may alternate legs that it is favoring.

Quiet Puppy:  Puppies who are already in pain from hip dysplasia tend to be very good puppies.  They do not roughhouse the way that normal puppies do.  They also tend to sleep for a long time after playing or going for a walk.  Some owners describe their puppy with hip dysplasia as the best puppy they’ve ever had.

Dog Doesn’t Jump:  Not only do they not jump on you, but they also seem to pull themselves up by their front end onto furniture as opposed to jumping up.

Underdeveloped Hind Quarters and Overdeveloped Chest:  This is caused by the failure to use the hind legs normally and jump.  The dog also may actually be shifting weight forward.

Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia
The only way to diagnose hip dysplasia is with x-rays.  However, I must note here that you should treat the dog and not the x-rays.  Some dogs with seemingly mild hip dysplasia are in a lot of pain, while other dogs with apparent severe hip dysplasia do not display symptoms.

What Can Be Done for My Dog?
If you have had x-rays taken of your dog’s hips at your regular vet, you may have been referred to an orthopedic surgeon.  The surgeon is going to recommend various surgical options for your dog.  I am going to give you a very brief overview of these surgeries.  You will need to discuss your dog’s options with the surgeon.  They will provide the details of each surgical option.  Some people are able to treat their dog with nutritional supplements and avoid surgery.  Ultimately, it will be your decision to determine the best treatment for your dog.

Surgical Options:
Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS) - This surgery is performed on puppies under 20 weeks of age, generally when the puppy is neutered or spayed.   It shows great promise as a preventive measure, by altering the pelvic growth.  This surgery has a short recovery period but is generally done before a puppy can be diagnosed.  However, once you’ve lived with hip dysplasia, it may prove to be worthwhile for a puppy considered at risk for developing hip dysplasia.

Dorsal Acetabular Rim (DAR) – This surgery consists of bone grafts being taken from other areas of the pelvis to build up the rim on the hip socket (cup).  The idea is for the femoral head to have a deeper socket to fit into.  It's relatively new, so there is some question as to how a dog will do into old age - there aren't many older dogs that have had it done.

Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) -  This surgery involves cutting the bone around the hip socket and repositioning the socket for a better fit with the femoral head.  The bones are plated back together so they heal in the correct alignment.  This surgery is performed on young dogs before they have finished growing.


Total Hip Replacement (THR) – This surgery consists of replacing the hip joint similar to a human hip replacement.  A new cup is usually attached to the hip bone, and the femoral head is cut off the leg bone and an implant is inserted into the leg bone.  This surgery is done on more mature dogs that have finished growing.  Due to the size of the implants, this surgery is done on larger dogs.  Previously, all artificial hip components were cemented in place.  More recently, cementless hip replacements are being performed. 

Femoral Head & Neck Ostectomy (FHO) – This surgery consists of removing the femoral head of the leg bone to eliminate the pain of hip dysplasia.  The dog’s body will then develop scar tissue to create an artificial hip joint. Long considered only appropriate for smaller dogs or as a salvage operation for a failed THR, it has become increasingly popular for larger dogs.

Non-Surgical or Conservative Management Option
Many people choose to have surgery performed on their dog only as a last resort.  Some are able to manage their dog’s hip dysplasia with supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic care, exercise, and weight management.  Sometimes, the puppy will show signs of pain from hip dysplasia, and once it is done growing and the muscles are fully developed, they seem to “go into remission”, developing signs of hip problems again as the dog ages.  Surgical options are still available to you if the conservative path is unsuccessful.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

CANINE DIABETES; is Your Dog at Risk?

Army Sgt. William A. Peyton, Jr. a JDOG dog ha...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The classic early warning signs of diabetes were all present when I brought my canine companion of twelve years into the Veterinarian's clinic. Muffy was lethargic, unsteady on her feet, drinking large amounts of water, and experiencing incontinence for the first time in her life. I knew something was seriously wrong.

After blood work and a physical examination, the veterinarian said that Muffy had developed type-two canine diabetes. After a brief discussion, we decided to try and regulate her blood sugar level with diet modification and insulin twice daily. 

At first, it was rough going. Weekly checkups revealed Muffy's sugar levels continued to bounce from one extreme to the other. Determined not give up, I monitored her urine samples at home for sugar content and adjusted insulin injections as necessary. Gradually, we began to see improvement.

After just a few months Muffy was once again her frisky self. You would never know by watching her race about that she had a serious health problem. A special diet, proper amounts of insulin and regular exercise have worked together with Muffy's routine veterinary care to turn the tide. As a result, I can look forward to many more happy years with my little dog.

Wyoming veterinarian Mary Flitner, who recently moved her practice to New Mexico, received her D.V.M. degree at Colorado State University and an award for excellence in large animal surgery in 1997. Flitner states that diabetes in dogs and cats is more common than most people realize. According to Flitner, a pet's chance of developing diabetes will increase with age. 

"This is especially true in overweight, less active dogs."

Besides weight and age, diet is another significant factor. Dogs given table scraps without discrimination are, particularly at risk. The importance of diet cannot be overemphasized, warns Flitner. 

"A high fiber diet, low in fat and sugar, is vital. And an annual checkup by a qualified professional is also an important part of proper pet care, as early detection of health complications increase successful management of the problem and helps prolong the quality of life for that pet." 

Flitner notes many pet owners mistakenly feel caring for a diabetic pet would be too difficult for them, an assumption that complicates the decision making the process at a critical time. 

"A diagnosis of diabetes in a family pet is hard enough to handle without misconceptions compounding the problem," said Flitner thoughtfully.


For instance, a pet owner might opt to euthanize a pet diagnosed with diabetes because they feel incapable of managing the problem. However, with proper instruction and guidance, that same pet owner could gain the confidence necessary to properly follow the care plan developed by the veterinarian, and enjoy many more quality years together with their pet. 

"People need to know by regulating their pet's diabetes, that pet can still live to their full potential," said Flitner, acknowledging most caregivers consider their pet an important part the family and struggle to make right health care decisions for them. 

Flitner notes grocery store quality pet foods are not good choices for diabetic pets because of added fillers and sugars used to improve the taste. 

"Some grocery store brands of cat food actually have trace elements of antifreeze in them, because cats are attracted to it. These type foods often have a high content of sodium, which is also unhealthy for the pet.

"A healthy well-balanced diet is important for any pet, but especially for those diagnosed with diabetes." 

Early warning signs that might indicate diabetes in your pet include: an unusually high consumption of water, increase in appetite, incontinence, lethargy, extreme changes in eyes (i.e. cataracts), lack of coordination, and vomiting. Caregivers who note such changes in their dog should promptly call a qualified professional because examination by a veterinarian is important and necessary for proper diagnosis. 

Flitner also acknowledges the temptation to remove the water bowl from the pet's reach if incontinence is a problem. 

"But, this is not the correct thing to do," instructs Flitner. 

In the case of diabetic canines, drinking large amounts of water is the dog's attempt to flush glucose out of the kidneys which have spilled over from the blood. If the glucose doesn't get flushed out, serious damage to the kidneys and other organs can develop. 

The best preventative measures against serious health problems in the family pet remain simple and practical: regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy diet. Exercise is also very important. Among other benefits, exercise helps increase the body's effective use of insulin

© Lori S. Anton
Savvy Pet Editor



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

TICKS – A Very Serious Threat to Your DOGS HEALTH

English: Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. Č...
Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ticks are not insects like fleas, but arachnids like mites, spiders, and scorpions. A tick has a one-piece body, harpoon-like barbs around its mouth to attach to a host for feeding, crablike legs and a sticky secretion to help hold itself to the host. The United States has about 200 tick species whose habitats include woods, beach grass, lawns, forests, and even in some urban areas.


They have a four-stage life cycle, egg, larvae, nymphs, and adult. Depending on its species, a tick may take less than a year or up to several years to go through its four-stage life cycle. Adult females of some species lay about 100 eggs at a time. Others lay 3,000 to 6,000 eggs per batch.

Ticks can carry various infectious organisms that can transmit diseases to cats and dogs as well as humans. The four primary diseases and their symptoms are:

- Babesiosis – lethargy, loss of appetite, weakness, pale gums
- Ehrlichiosis – high fever, muscle aches
- Lyme disease – lameness, swollen joints, fever, poor appetite, fatigue, vomiting
- Tick paralysis in dogs – gradual paralysis and poor coordination 

Of the four diseases, Lyme disease is the worst, as it can also infect humans. Studies indicate that dogs are 50 percent more susceptible to this disease than humans. Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of the deer tick, also called the black-legged tick. Symptoms in humans include fatigue, chills and fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and a red circular skin rash. In June 1992 the USDA licensed a vaccine to prevent Lyme disease in dogs. There is no vaccine for cats yet.

If your dog is outside regularly, ask the veterinarian about the Lyme disease vaccine. Watch for the symptoms mentioned earlier, and if you suspect a tick-borne disease get your dog to the vet immediately. With early diagnosis, antibiotics generally work. If possible, dogs should be kept out of tick-infested areas. In areas where ticks are prevalent, yards, where dogs exercise, should be treated with appropriate chemicals to kill adult and immature ticks.

Dogs should be examined frequently for the presence of ticks on their bodies. Ticks prefer sheltered locations, such as inside the ears and between the toes of the host, but a heavily infested dog may have ticks anywhere on its body. When a tick is found it should be removed immediately. The proper way to remove a tick is to use fine-point tweezers, grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull gently, if the ticks mouth parts remain embedded in the animal's skin, you should try to remove them as you would a splinter. Alcohol or other disinfectants should be used on the bite site, the tweezers, and your hands if you do not wear gloves.

The tick can and will survive after they are removed from the host. You should flush the tick down the toilet or drown them in a small container of alcohol. You should never squeeze a tick as it will release toxins that may contain any of the diseases discussed earlier. Hundreds of pesticides and repellants are available to control ticks on dogs and cats. Products range from oral medications that are available only from your veterinarian to collars, sprays, dips, shampoos, powders, and spot-on. 

The chemicals Chlorpyrifos and Amitraz are used in several types of products and are very effective against ticks. Amitraz should not be used on dogs that are sickly, pregnant, or nursing. However, no matter what type of medication you use, always check with your veterinarian first.



Monday, September 24, 2018

Taking Care Of A DOG In Its SENIOR YEARS

Senior Citizen - Boxer
Photo  by Tobyotter 
When you have a dog, you have a best buddy. Millions of dog owners around the globe know this to be true. Nevertheless, you are tasked with caring for a dog if you should opt to bring one into your home. That's why you have to have some tips about how to do this. Keep reading for some great dog tips.

Consider teaching your dog hand signals along with oral commands. Consistency and practice are key to teaching a dog these non-verbal commands. Many owners get annoyed and resort back to oral commands, but a professionally trained dog should understand both. Try utilizing only oral commands when the dog is out of the way range, but when close up, only use the hand signals.

Keep on top of fleas. Not only can fleas give rise to infection in your dog, if you are swallowed, your pet can get tapeworms also. Speak to your vet about the best prevention system, but remember that this is not a single shot deal. You will have to continue your efforts over the life of your pet.

If you have got an interest in providing your dog with the healthiest of diets and making positive contributions to the earth's environment, make his food from scratch. You can buy locally grown organic ingredients and provide him with all of the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats he wants with no preservatives while reducing the waste from packaging too.

Pup

In order to make sure your dog is healthy, be absolutely certain to permit it to have access to clean water at all times throughout the day. Just like with all living beings, water is one of the most vital elements. The sole exception would be that you would want to keep water from a pup for 3 hours before bedtime.

Dogs need frequent check-ups, as well. At regular intervals, your dog desires indications of dog worms testing, vaccinations, and general check-ups. With a puppy, you're going to need to visit your vet a little more frequently. If your dog becomes unwell or is hurt, don't delay in getting him to the vet.

Owning a new young dog is very similar to having a new baby. Puppies need lots of attention and need to be looked after continually. They are not prepared to be left alone for lengthy amounts of time and need to have a fair degree of attention devoted to them.

Treatment

When taking your senior dog to the vet for a yearly visit, be sure to request senior blood work. A blood panel can help your vet to identify any kidney, heart or vascular concerns. If caught early, treatment is often minimally aggressive and less expensive. This is the best way to keep your pet healthy for several years to come.


Your coaching methodologies should only use positive reinforcement. The promise of reward or praise will incentivize your dog faster and agreeably than domination or force. This form of training will give you numerous benefits in the future for your dog. Therefore, be kind when coaching your dog and revel in the great end result!

Don't bathe your dog once you have applied for a flea or tick medicine. Some medications out that they are waterproof, but they only mean against rain or swimming. They will mostly wash away with a dog shampoo, rendering the treatment ineffective. If you've got to wash the dog after a treatment, employ a soap free shampoo.

Not only do you have a chum when you have a dog, but you've also got a responsibility. It's important that you do your utmost to ensure that your dog is well-fed, healthy and happy. You need to make certain that you use the tips here to help so you and your dog both enjoy a good life.

    Author: Timothy Huff  


Friday, September 7, 2018

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

FxCam_1313653762455
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.