LUV My dogs: health

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Why Your Dog is Good for You?

Why Your Dog is Good for You?
  Dogs offer more than just companionship. If you’ve got a furry friend already, you likely have quite a few reasons to thank your dog. If you’re considering getting a pooch, check out these surprising benefits of having a dog.

1. RESISTANCE TO ALLERGIES!


  While dogs can be one of the worst triggers for people with allergies, growing up in a house with a dog makes children less likely to develop allergies over the course of their lives. Even if you were just a fetus when your mother lived with a dog, you are still less likely to be bothered by animal hair and dander, or to develop eczema as an adult.

2. You’ll exercise more.

  Owning a dog can motivate you to exercise every day. On those days when it might be easy to skip a workout, looking at your dog standing by the door waiting to go for a walk can give you the push you need to get out there. Taking your dog for a 30 minute walk every day can greatly improve your health.

3. Dogs Boost Your Mood

  Dogs have long been known to make great companions, but did you know that they actually improve your mood? Research has shown that it only takes a mere 15–30 minutes with your pet to feel more relaxed and calm. Playing with your dog also raises your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that are associated with pleasure and tranquility. Psychologists from Miami and St. Louis Universities found that the benefits of having a canine companion can be equivalent to having a human companion. Looks like pooches can get your tail wagging!

4. Your social life may improve.

  Not only does walking your dog help you to get exercise, it might also help you get a date. People are more likely to stop and talk with you when you’re walking a dog. Going to the dog park or taking your dogs to run errands can also lead to strangers striking up conversations with you about your dog.


5. Dogs Are Better Than Medicine

  In addition to boosting your mood, your dog is also great for your health. Your body reaps a lot of benefits from having your fur baby around. Dog owners have been found to have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, fewer heart attacks, and according to a study by the British Journal of Health (2004), dog owners also have the added benefit of having fewer medical problems than those without pets.

6. CANCER DETECTION!

  Your dog could save your life one day. It seems that our canine friends have the ability to smell cancer in the human body. Stories abound of owners whose dogs kept sniffing or licking a mole or lump on their body so they got it checked out, discovering it was cancerous. The anecdotal evidence was later backed up by scientific studies. Dogs are so good at this that some of them are trained to detect cancer, in as little as three hours.

7. You can grow old gracefully.

  Dog ownership benefits elderly people in many ways. Alzheimer’s patients have fewer outbursts when there is a dog in the home. Caregivers of elderly patients report less stress. Dogs offer wonderful companionship for the elderly as well.

8. Dogs Can Help Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

  Clearly, dogs are extremely helpful in helping people deal with medical issues. Dogs have been found to be beneficial to people with various medical issues, but especially with those diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Dogs help people with RA to move more often and encourage play as well as helping them get their mind off of their condition. Dogs are great motivators to get moving and they sure are good at distracting us from things!

9. You’ll feel safer.


  Dogs can be an effective home security system. Studies show that barking dogs deter burglars. Just knowing that you’ve got a dog who can use its keen sense of hearing to detect anyone prowling around can help increase your sense of security, which is good for both your mental and physical health.

10. BE HAPPIER!

  Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than non-pet owners. Even for those people who do become clinically depressed, having a pet to take care of can help them out of a depressive episode, in some cases more effectively even than medication. Since taking care of a dog requires a routine and forces you to stay at least a little active, it is harder to stay inside feeling down all the time. The interaction with and love received from a dog can also help people stay positive. Even the mere act of looking at your pet increases the amount of Oxytocin, the “feel good” chemical, in the brain.

Happy days with your dog!

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Everything about your English Bulldog

Everything about your English Bulldog
  The English bulldog is a brawny little powerhouse whose characteristic crablike waddle exudes great strength, stability and vigor.The English Bulldog is a wide, medium-sized, compact dog with short legs. The body and head are massive with extra skin on both the skull and forehead falling in folds. The cheeks extend to the sides of the eyes. The muzzle is wide, short and pug with a broad, deep stop. The black nose is broad with large nostrils. The dark eyes are deep set. The rose ears are small, thin and set high on the head. 
  The jaws are massive, very broad, and square with hanging upper lips. The teeth should have an under bite. The tail is either straight or screwed and carried low. The short, flat coat is straight, smooth and glossy. Coat colors include red brindle and other shades of brindle, solid white, solid red, fawn, fallow, piebald, pale yellow or washed-out red or white or a combination of these colors.
  The Bulldog is a medium-sized breed of dog commonly referred to as the English Bulldog or British Bulldog. Other Bulldog breeds include the American Bulldog, Old English Bulldog , Olde English Bulldogge, and the French Bulldog. The Bulldog is a muscular, heavy dog with a wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose.The American Kennel Club , The Kennel Club , and the United Kennel Club  oversee breeding standards. Bulldogs are the 5th most popular purebreed in the United States in 2013 according to the American Kennel Club.

Overview
  Laughter, love and a face everyone adores ensure the enduring popularity of the Bulldog. He's a gentle family companion today, but he was originally bred to fight bulls for sport – a past that, combined with his stalwart devotion, has made the breed the mascot of a number of colleges as well as the United States Marine Corps. No breed is more admired for the qualities of loyalty and determination that the Bulldog represents.
  Few breeds are as easily recognized as the Bulldog, with his wrinkled mug, distinctive underbite and Churchillian jowls. Sometimes referred to as the English or British Bulldog, he's a short, sturdy dog with a bow-legged gait, weighing between 40 and 60 pounds.
If all you're talking about is personality and temperament, the Bulldog is just about perfect. He loves children and is very easy to train as a family pet. He's an endless source of amusement, clever and very affectionate. He’s also an attention magnet everywhere he goes.
  The Bulldog may be perfect in spirit, but in the flesh, he’s a different story. These dogs are intolerant of warm weather, and may die if overheated. Too much exercise or stress can make it difficult for them to breathe. Without exception, Bulldogs must live indoors, and need air conditioning in all but the mildest summer weather.
  Most Bulldogs are born by C-section. Because breeding them is expensive, the puppies are, too. Love is an expensive proposition when you own a Bulldog.
  In general, the Bulldog is an easy-care breed. His exercise needs are manageable for even the most dedicated couch potato, and he doesn’t tend to be a picky eater. He has a short coat that doesn’t require any fancy grooming, but he does have some special needs when it comes to skin care. Last but not least, it’s important for him to live in air-conditioned comfort, not only to prevent heatstroke but also because he loves his family and wants to be with them. He’s not a dog who can or should live outdoors.

Highlights
  • Bulldogs can be stubborn and lazy. Your mature Bulldog may not be very enthusiastic about going to a walk, but it's important that he is exercised every day to keep him fit.
  • Bulldogs can't tolerate heat and humidity. When your Bulldog is outdoors, watch him carefully for signs of overheating and take him inside immediately if he starts to show distress. Some people put kiddy play pools filled with water in a shaded spot for their Bulldogs to lie in when the weather is warm and everyone is outside. They definitely are housedogs and should not live outdoors all of the time.
  • Bulldogs are sensitive to cold weather.
  • Bulldogs wheeze, snort, and snore. They also are prone to sleep apnea.
  • Bulldogs are well-known for having flatulence. If this problem seems excessive with yours, talk to your vet.
  • Bulldogs' short noses make them prone to a number of respiratory ailments.
  • Bulldogs can have pinched nostrils that make it difficult for them to breathe and may require surgery to correct.
  • Bulldogs are greedy eaters and will overeat if given the chance. Since they gain weight easily, they can quickly become obese if you don't monitor their food intake.
  • Because of the size of their heads and fronts, Bulldogs have difficulty giving birth. Most require caesareans to deliver their puppies. It isn't advised for inexperienced breeders to try to breed them.
  • As a short-nosed breed, Bulldogs are sensitive to anesthesia. Be sure to talk with your vet about this before any surgeries are done.
  • To get a healthy pet, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs for genetic health conditions and good temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Bulldog has a distinctive walk: a loose-jointed, shuffling, sidewise roll.
  • Many Bulldogs breathe in a labored fashion and it’s often difficult for their bodies to dissipate heat.
  • Bulldogs can’t swim. Their massive head, solid torso and short legs limit their ability to stay above water. If you have a pool, spa or pond on your property, limit your Bulldog’s access to it.
  • The Bulldog’s smooth coat can be brindle, solid white, solid red, fawn or fallow, or piebald.
  • Comparable Breeds: Bull Terrier, French Bulldog
History
  The term "Bulldog" was first mentioned in literature around 1500, the oldest spelling of the word being Bondogge and Bolddogge. The first reference to the word with the modern spelling is dated 1631 or 1632 in a letter by a man named Preswick Eaton where he writes: "procuer mee two good Bulldogs, and let them be sent by ye first shipp". In 1666 Christopher Merret applied: "Canis pugnax, a Butchers Bull or Bear Dog" as an entry in his Pinax Rerum Naturalium Britannicarum.

  The designation "bull" was applied because of the dog's use in the sport of bull baiting. This entailed the setting of dogs onto a tethered bull. The dog that grabbed the bull by the nose and pinned it to the ground would be the victor. It was common for a bull to maim or kill several dogs at such an event, either by goring, tossing, or trampling. Over the centuries, dogs used for bull-baiting developed the stocky bodies and massive heads and jaws that typify the breed as well as a ferocious and savage temperament. Bull-baiting, along with bear-baiting, reached the peak of its popularity in England in the early 1800s until they were both made illegal by the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835. This amended the existing legislation to protect animals from mistreatment and included bulls, dogs, bears, and sheep, so that bull and bear-baiting as well as cockfighting became prohibited. Therefore, the Old English Bulldog had outlived its usefulness in England as a sporting animal and its active or "working" days were numbered. However, emigrants did have a use for such dogs in the New World. In mid-17th century New York, Bulldogs were used as a part of a citywide roundup effort led by Governor Richard Nicolls. Because cornering and leading wild bulls were dangerous, Bulldogs were trained to seize a bull by its nose long enough for a rope to be secured around its neck. Bulldogs as pets were continually promoted by dog dealer Bill George.
  Despite slow maturation so that growing up is rarely achieved by two and a half years, Bulldogs' lives are relatively short. At five to six years of age they are starting to show signs of aging.
  In time, the original old English Bulldog was crossed with the pug. The outcome was a shorter, wider dog with a brachycephalic skull. Though today's Bulldog looks tough, he cannot perform the job he was originally created for as he cannot withstand the rigors of running and being thrown by a bull, and also cannot grip with such a short muzzle.
  The oldest single breed specialty club is The Bulldog Club, which was formed in 1878. Members of this club met frequently at the Blue Post pub on Oxford Street in London. There they wrote the first standard of perfection for the breed. In 1894 the two top Bulldogs, King Orry and Dockleaf, competed in a contest to see which dog could walk 20 miles. King Orry was reminiscent of the original Bulldogs, lighter boned and very athletic. Dockleaf was smaller and heavier set, more like modern Bulldogs. King Orry was declared the winner that year, finishing the 20-mile walk while Dockleaf collapsed. The Bulldog was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886.
  At the turn of the 20th century, Ch. Rodney Stone became the first Bulldog to command a price of $5,000 when he was bought by controversial Irish American political figure Richard Croker.


Personality
  Sociable and sweet, but with a reputation for courage that makes him an excellent watchdog, the Bulldog is a lover, not a fighter. He's dignified rather than lively and has a kind although occasionally stubborn nature. The Bulldog is friendly and easygoing; he gets along with everyone. He can be a slow learner, but once he knows something, he's got it for good. Bulldogs don't tend to be barkers. Usually their appearance alone is enough to frighten off intruders.
  Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner. Always meet at least one of the parents-usually the mother is the one who's available-to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.
  Like every dog, Bulldogs need early socialization-exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences-when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Bulldog puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

Health Problems
  Prone to breathing problems; some have small windpipes as well. Also poor eyesight, cherry eye, very susceptible to heatstroke in warm weather or hot rooms and cars. Very cold sensitive. Prone to mast cell tumors. Birth defects are common in some lines. Susceptible to skin infections, hip and knee problems. Prone to flatulence, especially when fed any other type of food other than their regular dog food. Puppies are often delivered by caesarian section. Some say it is because of the dogs’ large head size, however others claim you can hardly tell the difference between the head size of a Bulldog with the head size of other breeds when the pups are first born; claiming not enough dams are given the opportunity to try and deliver naturally because of the large head myth. A lot of Bulldogs do run the risk of having weak labors and this could increase the risk of a caesarian.

Care
  Many Bulldogs tend to wheeze and snore, while some drool because of their short snouts and outward protruding lower jaw. These are normal physical side-effects of the breed. Because of the compressed nature of the jaw, extra care needs to be taken in keeping the teeth clean. Early dental care, with daily brushing, will get your Bulldog in the habit so that it is grooming time that is looked forward to. Minimal coat care is needed for this dog, but the folds around the tail and facial wrinkles should be cleaned every day to prevent build up of dirt or rubbish. Failure to perform this regularly can lead to infection of the skin.
  Bulldogs love their daily outings, however, do not expect them to walk or jog long distances, or dart from great heights. The short-hair and snout of the Bulldog make it sensitive to extremely hot and humid climates, and most do not enjoy swimming. Using sun screen lotion on the dog's skin if you are going to be spending time in the sun, and making sure your Bulldog has plenty of water is essential for healthy days out.

Living Conditions
  The English Bulldog is good for apartment life. They are very inactive indoors and will do okay without a yard. This breed is an indoor dog. Bulldogs do best in temperate climates as the breed can chill easily in cold weather and have trouble cooling off in very hot weather.

Exercise
  The English Bulldog needs to be taken on a daily walk to fulfill its primal canine instinct to migrate. Those individuals that do not get this need met are more likely to have behavior issues. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. Teach them to enter and exit all door and gateways after the human. English Bulldogs that are in good shape are capable of moving very quickly for short periods of time.

Grooming
  The Bulldog’s coat is easy to groom, but his wrinkles need some special care. Here’s what you need to know.
  Brush the Bulldog’s short coat three times a week with a rubber curry or a soft bristle brush to keep it shiny and healthy. If you keep him well brushed, he shouldn’t need frequent baths. Bulldogs don’t normally shed heavily, but during spring and fall you may see a little more hair coming off when you brush. Step up the brushing until the shedding period ends.
Caring for the facial and nose wrinkles requires a bit more effort. Depending on the individual dog, wrinkles may need to be cleaned a couple of times a week or every day. Wipe out the crud from the wrinkles with a soft, damp cloth or a baby wipe, then dry them thoroughly. If moisture is left behind, wrinkles become the perfect petri dish for bacterial growth. Do the same for the indentation at the tail set and the outer vulval area. If you have any questions about dealing with skin problems or wrinkle issues, talk with your veterinarian who may prescribe a specific care regime.

Children and other pets
  His amiable temperament and bulk make the Bulldog an excellent companion for children, even young ones. A Bulldog will put up with a lot from a child, although he shouldn't have to, and he'll walk away if he gets tired of being tormented.
  Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  With their pacific nature, Bulldogs also get along well with other pets, dogs and cats. They may be less sociable toward strange dogs, however.

Did You Know?
  The same line of English Bulldogs has served as the mascots for the University of Georgia since 1956, under the name of Uga. Each Uga is issued his own student ID and watches games in an air-conditioned doghouse.

Popular mascot
  The Bulldog is popularly used to represent England or the United Kingdom. It has been associated with Winston Churchill's defiance of Nazi Germany. The Bulldog breed is the official mascot of the United States Marine Corps, and many bases have their own mascot on base. Thirty-nine American universities use a Bulldog as their mascot including Bryant University, Drake University, Georgetown University, Mississippi State University, Louisiana Tech University, Yale University, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina South Carolina State University, and University of Georgia.

10 Interesting Facts About Bulldogs
  • Bulldogs are the 6th most popular breed in America and French bulldogs are ranked 18th. In Los Angeles though, bulldogs are #1, and French bulldogs are #5, according to the American Kennel Club.
  • Warren G. Harding was the only U.S. President to own a bulldog while in office. His pet bulldog, Oh Boy, passed away early during his term as president, and was replaced by an Airedale terrier, Laddie Boy as First Dog.
  • Brigitte, the bulldog who plays Stella on Modern Family, has the distinction of being the first bulldog to win a Golden Collar award. She beat out dog performers from Chelsea Lately, Hot in Cleveland, Entourage, and Suburgatory. She also beat out the only human competitor, Jason Gann, the star of Wilfred.
  • Bulldogs are one of the most popular mascots for universities and sports teams. Uga, the mascot of the University of Georgia team, is one of the most famous. Sonny Seiler, famed as the attorney of Jim Williams in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is responsible for selecting who will fulfill Uga’s responsibilities. There have been 8 Ugas since 1956, and the search for Uga IX is currently ongoing.
  • Bulldogs were originally bred in England dating back to the 16th century, believed to be a mix of mastiffs and pugs. The English bulldog is what’s most commonly referred to as a “bulldog” but there are popular French and American varieties as well.
  • Bulldogs have suffered the most airline deaths of any breed due to their respiratory issues. They often suffer from hip dysplasia and other medical concerns.
  • Over 80 percent of bulldogs are delivered by Caesarean section. Having been bred with such large heads precludes most bulldog pups from being delivered naturally.
  • Bulldogs, like many brachycephalic (large-skulled) dogs are not well-suited for water and are in danger of drowning when swimming.
  • Many celebrities own bulldogs including Leonardo DiCaprio, Reese Witherspoon, David Beckham, Ashley Olsen, Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and Martha Stewart.
  • The famous haute cuisine restaurant elBulli in Catalonia, Spain run by chef Ferran AdriĆ  is named for the French bulldogs belonging to the original owners of the land where the restaurant is located.





  Have fun with your Bulldog  in this week! ;)









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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Methods Of Preventing Bloat In Deep-Chested Dogs

Methods Of Preventing Bloat In Deep-Chested Dogs
  Bloat, Torsion,  Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). Call it what you will, this is a serious, life-threatening condition of large breed dogs. While the diagnosis is simple, the pathological changes in the dog's body make treatment complicated, expensive, and not always successful.
  A typical scenario starts with a large, deep-chested dog, usually fed once daily.   Typical breeds affected are Akita, Great Dane, German Shepherd, St. Bernard, Irish Wolfhound, and Irish Setter. Sighthounds, Doberman Pinschers, Weimaraners, Bloodhounds, other similar breeds, and large, deep-chested mixed breeds are also affected.
  Factor in the habit of bolting food, gulping air, or drinking large amounts of water immediately after eating to this feeding schedule and body type. Then add vigorous exercise after a full meal, and you have the recipe for bloat.
  Of course, the fact that not all bloats happen in just the same way and the thought that some bloodlines are more at risk than others further complicates the issue.
  With this affliction, prevention is the best hope. Once you think your dog may have bloat, it could possibly be too late to save your dog's life. I'll delve a little into the situation of bloat to explain what goes on in the dog's stomach, but I mainly want to stress the importance of what you can do to keep bloat from ever occuring, especially if you have a fearful dog to begin with.
   Not all dogs are at high risk to develop this condition. It is mainly expected in dogs with deep chests who may be underweight, older, and easily stressed.
  Taking these 14 steps seriously can lessen your dog's likelihood of developing bloat, especially for anxious dogs:

1. Limit water intake to a minimal amount for an hour before or after a meal, but at all other times have fresh water available. 

2. Feed small portions of food two or three times a day.
3. Add raw meat to your dry dog food if at all possible.
4. Also if you feed dry food, look for one that has rendered meat meal with bone product as one of the first 4 ingredients.
5. Do not raise the food bowl. This is one I would have never thought of, but it could be that this causes more air intake in dogs that are candidates for developing bloat.
6. Supplement your dog with probiotics such as acidophilus to encourage healthy bacteria in his or her intestinal tract.
7. Avoid subjecting your fearful or anxious dog to highly stressful situations when possible. If this can't be avoided due to needing to make a trip to the vet,etc, try to make it as uneventful as possible. To help calm your overly anxious dog, try using the Thundershirt or Original Anxiety Wrap during events you know may raise the anxiety level in your dog.
8. Control your dog's water intake on warm summer days. Dogs don't know what can happen if they drink too much too fast. Only allow a small amount at a time every few minutes.
9. Control food gulping by placing a medium to large sized rock in with the food making your dog eat around it, but be sure its too large for your dog to eat.
10.  When feeding dry food, look for one that does not include fat as one of its first four components and does not contain citric acid. If you can't avoid the citric acid, feed the kibble dry with no water added.
11. Feed a high quality diet. 
12. Stay away from brewer's yeast, alfalfa, or soybean products.
13. Some people also take the precaution of giving their dog 1Tbs of apple cider vinegar after each meal to aid in digestion.
14. Always keep a product containing simethicone on hand to give to your dog at the first sign of gas such as belching repeatedly. This would be a product like Phazyme, Gas-X or Mylanta Gas (must be for gas, not regular Mylanta).

  Remember, we are the stewards of these wonderful animals who love us completely. Preventing bloat in easily stressed dogs is far better than trying to attempt a cure when it may be too late.



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Monday, August 18, 2014

Control Dog Shedding

Control Dog Shedding
 A well-known problem dog owners eventually run into is shedding. Nearly all of our fury buddies dogs and cats alike, can shed their hair throughout the year especially during the spring. Certain breeds have thicker coats and can shed in larger quantities. It can turn out to be a very big nuisance when you house is covered in a layer of unwanted hair. While it is unlikely that we will ever be able to stop dog shedding completely, these tip's will help reduce loose hair and also remove the hair before it becomes an issue in your home.
  Dogs naturally lose old or damaged hair by shedding. Although shedding is a normal process for dogs, the amount and frequency of hair that is shed often depends upon their health and breed type. It can also depend on the season-many dogs develop thick coats in the winter that are then shed in the spring. Dogs who are always kept indoors, however, are prone to smaller fluctuations in coat thickness and tend to shed fairly evenly all year.


  One of the best ways to avoid dog shedding is basically to brush your pet on a daily basis. Daily brushings are the most efficient way to keep your home free of hair. Brushing will make your dogs coat softer, cleaner and less likely to shed. Merely brushing your dog will help keep the house neat and might also help with any allergies you might be experiencing due to loose hair around your home.
  Start brushing your dog early on so that he becomes used to it. If you do it in a calm and gentle way, your dog may even enjoy it. Stick to a brushing schedule based on your dog's needs. Longer and thicker coats might require brushing every day or week, where shorter coats may require only once a month. You may want to brush more often during the shedding seasons of spring and fall. Have a professional groomer recommend the right brush for your dog's coat. The more you brush, the less it will end up on your furniture.


  What you give your dog to eat has a lot to do with shedding. Believe it or not your dogs coat mirrors what their diet is made of. Good quality food is always best simply because of easy to digest protein sources. A healthy diet will keep your dogs coat strong and shimmering for years to come.
  A dog with proper nutrition will have a soft and shiny coat. He will be producing essential oils from his skin, which will condition the hair and limit breakage. Look for foods that have high quality ingredients such as meat protein and vegetables at the beginning of label. Avoid foods with grain fillers and chemical preservatives. Vitamin A & E are great natural preservatives and lend to a healthy coat. For dogs with food allergies, look for foods that are grain free, have fewer and natural ingredients, and contain meat sources they have not been exposed to, such as lamb, rabbit, kangaroo, or buffalo. Most dogs do not need vitamin supplements unless recommended by their veterinarian.


  This next bit of advise is more common sense than anything else. Give your dog a bath at least once a week using a light oatmeal shampoo. Oatmeal shampoo will clean without drying the skin and also rejuvenates your dogs coat. The formula has vitamins A and E which are very beneficial for a healthy coat and you could get it in different scents. Just in case you were thinking your dog was going to be walking around smelling like oatmeal.
  Regular bathing, especially in shedding season, can really help to control where your dog loses his hair. Most dogs can be bathed at least every three months, maybe more, depending on their hair and skin types. Bathing is beneficial for reducing shedding for two main reasons. First, the massaging in the bath loosens up the hairs and can be brushed out on the spot. The massaging also helps to distribute the skin's natural oils, which help to maintain the coat, making it less prone to drying and falling out. Don't forget a hydrating conditioner during the bath. This will also keep the skin from drying an itching.


  If you suspect a medical reason for your dog's shedding, you should contact your veterinarian right away. Hormone imbalances due to hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease can cause excessive hair loss. Some autoimmune diseases of the skin, bacterial infections, and ringworm, can all cause shedding. Treat allergies with prescribed antihistamines and diet, as these will also cause dry skin and coat. Let your veterinarian know if you notice poor coat quality, bald spots, sores or skin irritations, constant scratching or licking, as these can be signs of an underlying medical issue.


  While it's true that dog shedding is a very big nuisance, with a regular routine and some time you will realize yourself worrying less and less about dog hair on the couch. Hope this was helpful. Good Luck!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Everything about Canine Diabetes

Everything about Canine Diabetes
    For years public health officials have reported a diabetes epidemic among America’s children and adults. At the same time, the rate of diabetes in America’s pets has more than tripled since 1970, so that today it affects about 1 in every 160 dogs. But while many human cases are caused and can be treated by diet, canine diabetes is a lifelong condition that requires careful blood sugar monitoring and daily insulin injections.

 What Is Diabetes?
   The medical term for the illness is diabetes mellitus (mellitus is a Latin term that means “honey sweet,” reflecting the elevated sugar levels the condition produces in urine and blood). The mechanism of diabetes is relatively simple to describe. Just as cars use gas for fuel, body cells run on a sugar called glucose. The body obtains glucose by breaking down carbohydrates in the diet. Cells then extract glucose from the blood with the help of insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas in specialized cells called beta cells. (The pancreas, an organ situated behind the stomach, produces several hormones.) In diabetes mellitus, cells don’t take in enough glucose, which then builds up in the blood. As a result, cells starve and organs bathed in sugary blood are damaged. Diabetes is not curable, but it is treatable; a dog with diabetes may live many happy years after diagnosis.

What Type of Diabetes Do Most Dogs Get?
  Diabetes can be classified as either Type 1 (lack of insulin production) or Type II (impaired insulin production along with an inadequate response to the hormone.)
  The most common form of the disease in dogs is Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas is incapable of producing or secreting adequate levels of insulin.   Dogs who have Type I require insulin therapy to survive. Type II diabetes is found in cats and is a lack of normal response to insulin.

Risk Factors
  Several factors raise a dog’s risk of developing diabetes. These include breed, age, gender, weight, diet, virus infections, an inflamed pancreas, chronic inflammation of the small bowel, Cushing’s disease (excess production of the hormone cortisol) and long-term use of progesterone-like drugs or steroid drugs.
  • Breed. A study published in the Veterinary Journal in 2003 examined diabetes rates in thousands of American dogs and found that overall, mixed-breed dogs were more prone to diabetes than purebreds. Among purebreds, breeds varied greatly in their susceptibility.
  • Age. Dogs most often develop diabetes during middle or old age.
  • Gender. Female dogs and neutered male dogs are more likely than intact males to get diabetes.
  • Weight. Obesity can make cells resistant to insulin, but it’s unclear whether it actually causes diabetes in dogs.
  • Diet. A diet high in fat may contribute to pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas), a risk factor for diabetes.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs?
Diabetes can be a silent disease. Your veterinarian may discover your dog’s diabetes through routine bloodwork, but before that, you are likely to notice some of its symptoms: greater than normal hunger and/or thirst, weight loss, and frequent or copious urination . The following symptoms should be investigated as they could be indicators that your dog has diabetes:
  • Change in appetite
  • Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Cataract formation, blindness
  • Chronic skin infections  
  A blood test that measures your dog’s blood glucose level is the most common diagnostic tool, but a high glucose level does not always mean diabetes. Because other diseases sometimes raise these levels, your vet may run additional tests to rule out such causes.
  Once your dog is diagnosed, her veterinarian will obtain a “serial blood glucose–concentration curve” by measuring her glucose level repeatedly over many hours. The results will help the vet choose an appropriate insulin, dose and dosing schedule.
  After treatment starts, your dog will need to be routinely tested to see how well the protocol is working. Most commonly, either a fructosamine test or a glycated hemoglobin test, which reveal average control over the previous one to three weeks (fructosamine) or two to four months (glycated hemoglobin) is used. In contrast, the daily blood glucose measurement is a snapshot, an indication of your dog’s glucose level at one specific moment.

How Is Diabetes Treated? 

  Diabetes treatment is based on how severe the symptoms and lab work are and whether there are any other health issues that could complicate therapy. Each dog will respond a little bit differently to treatment, and therapy must be tailored to the individual dog throughout his life.

Some dogs may be seriously ill when first diagnosed and will require intensive hospital care for several days to regulate their blood sugar.
  Dogs who are more stable when first diagnosed may respond to oral medication or a high-fiber diet that helps to normalize glucose levels in the blood.
  For most dogs, insulin injections are necessary for adequate regulation of blood glucose. Once your pet’s individual insulin treatment is established, typically based on weight, you’ll be shown how to give him insulin injections at home.
  Spaying your dog is recommended, as female sex hormones can have an effect on blood sugar levels.
  Your vet may also show you how to perform glucose tests at home.

Management
  You are not alone. You can manage diabetes just like thousands of other pet owners. Diabetes can usually be controlled by simply learning to give your dog daily insulin injections. Vetsulin® (porcine insulin zinc suspension) is the only veterinary insulin approved by the FDA for dogs and is a good insulin choice for your dog. If your dog has other problems as well, your veterinarian will suggest the appropriate management.
  Along with insulin therapy, your veterinarian will set up a management program that will include recommendations for feeding your dog (type of food, quantity, and timing of meals) and regular exercise.
  Daily insulin injections are essential to control the blood glucose level in your dog. Your veterinarian will work with you to determine the right dose of Vetsulin. This process may take a few weeks, but the end result is very manageable. Some diabetic dogs may require only one injection per day, while others may require twice-daily injections.
It is very important that injections be given at the same time every day. Once you and your dog have established a routine, things will be easier and your dog will be healthier. The key to success is patience with the learning process. The payoff will be a noticeable improvement of your dog’s condition and quality of life over time.

About insulin administration
  Because diabetes is caused by a lack or shortage of insulin, your dog will need management with insulin such as Vetsulin. Your veterinarian will help you find your dog's correct dose and tailor your dog's insulin dose accordingly. You may also have the chance to choose whether to administer Vetsulin to your dog using syringes or the VetPen® insulin pen. Once you have the correct insulin dose, it is extremely important that you administer your dog's therapy at the same time every day. Just like any routine, getting used to this will take a little time. Once you and your dog acclimate, however, you'll both find the process fairly simple, painless, and quick.

What Should I Know About Treating My Diabetic Dog at Home? 

  As your veterinarian will explain, it’s important to always give your dog insulin at the same time every day and feed him regular meals in conjunction with his medication. This allows increased nutrients in the blood to coincide with peak insulin levels, and will lessen the chance that his sugar levels will swing either too high or too low. You can work with your vet to create a feeding schedule around your pet’s medication time. It is also important to avoid feeding your diabetic dog treats that are high in glucose. Regular blood glucose checks are a critical part of monitoring and treating any diabetic patient, and your veterinarian will help you set up a schedule for checking your dog’s blood sugar.

  Please also consult your vet about a consistent, daily exercise program and proper nutrition for your dog to help keep his weight in check.
How Can Diabetes Be Prevented? 
 Although a certain form of diabetes, the type found in dogs less than a year of age, is inherited, proper diet and regular exercise can be very effective in helping to prevent onset of diabetes in older dogs. Aside from other negative health effects, obesity is known to contribute to an ability to respond normally to insulin.
Complications
  Concurrent disorders that can make diabetes more difficult to control include hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease), infections, hypothyroidism, renal insufficiency, liver insufficiency, cardiac insufficiency, chronic inflammation (especially pancreatitis), EPI, severe obesity, hyperlipidemia, and cancer.

Survival Statistics
  With proper treatment, dogs with diabetes have survival rates very similar to those of non-diabetic dogs of the same age and gender, though their risk is greatest during the first six months of treatment, when insulin therapy is introduced and glucose levels are being regulated. Diabetic dogs are more likely to die of kidney disease, infections, or liver/pancreatic disorders than of diabetes itself. But once their condition stabilizes, diabetic dogs can lead happy, healthy lives.

My dog is regulated—what's next?
  Regulation or stabilization of clinical signs of diabetes often goes very well for years. It is recommended to see your veterinarian on a regular basis (2–4 times a year). On these occasions, a general examination will be performed and rechecking the blood glucose level may be advised. Unfortunately, your dog may suffer occasionally from stress, infections, dental problems, or other situations that can alter his or her diabetes. At that time, your dog will again show typical signs of diabetes (drinking and urinating more, for example), indicating you should consult your veterinarian.

What Can Happen If Diabetes Goes Untreated? 
  If diabetes progresses without being treated, dogs can develop secondary health problems like cataracts and severe urinary tract problems. Ultimately, untreated diabetes can cause coma and death.

Day to Day With Your Diabetic Dog
  Keeping a logbook can help you monitor your diabetic dog’s progress. Every day, record blood glucose test results; any ketone test results; changes in your dog’s appetite, weight, appearance, water intake, urination frequency or mood; and any treatment changes your veterinarian makes. A simple notebook, calendar or computer spreadsheet works well.
  Among the things to watch for on a day-to-day basis are hyperglycemia, when blood glucose levels rise above the top end of the recommended normal level (ask your vet what this is for your dog; since perfect control isn’t always attainable with current methods, vets generally try to keep most dogs below 200 mg/dl), and hypoglycemia, when the level drops to 60 mg/dl or less.
  Hyperglycemia can lead to ketoacidosis (harmful levels of ketones in the blood), which qualifies as an emergency, and you should call your vet right away. Symptoms include drinking lots of water, urinating frequently or copiously, loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, lethargy, ketones in the urine, or—in the most serious situation—coma. Test strips are available to detect ketones in your dog’s urine, and you should report the presence of ketones to your veterinarian immediately, even if your dog has no other symptoms.
  In hypoglycemia, a range of symptoms may be present, including restlessness, lethargy, confusion, weakness, wobbliness, lack of coordination, shivering, sweaty paws, seizures or coma. Test your dog’s blood glucose level if these symptoms appear. If it is below the recommended level, rub maple syrup, Karo syrup or tube cake frosting—high-sugar foods that are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream—on your dog’s gums and the inside of her cheek, then call your vet to report the episode and get further instructions.

  Modern medicine has made caring for a diabetic dog quite doable and certainly worthwhile. Although daily care can seem burdensome at first, once you get used to it, it becomes a routine part of the day, like feeding her or taking her for walks. Owners do not need to worry that shots and blood tests will take over their lives. Nor do they need to fear that their dog will not be happy. Almost all diabetic dogs can be treated at home and can enjoy a good life. A diagnosis of diabetes offers a challenge, but it’s a challenge that can be successfully met.


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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Are Human Pain Meds Safe for Dogs?

Are Human Pain Meds Safe for Dogs?
  As dog owners, naturally, when our pets appear to be suffering, we want to do anything and everything in our power to help. In the case of aspirin and ibuprofen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs) for humans may be easily attainable and ready to hand, but they are almost universally toxic to dogs. There are veterinarian-approved and prescribed NSAIDs specifically formulated for dogs - always consult with a veterinary health care professional before attempting to treat your dog at home. 
  
Analgesics are drugs used to relieve pain. There are many classes of painkillers. Demerol, morphine, codeine, and other narcotics are subject to federal regulation and cannot be purchased without a prescription.
  Buffered or enteric-coated aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is an over-the-counter analgesic that is reasonably safe for a short time for home veterinary care in the recommended dosage for dogs. Buffered or enteric-coated aspirin is much safer than regular aspirin because it is less likely to cause stomach and duodenal ulcers.
  
Is Aspirin Effective?
Aspirin is one of the most common medicines used for relieving pain in dogs. However, enteric coated aspirin is safer than the usual aspirin. Aspirin can be given to dogs in case of a musculoskeletal injury, bleeding or clotting. Dosage of aspirin clearly depends on the body weight of the dog. 5 to 10 mg of aspirin per pound is sufficient. Repeat the dose after every 12 hours. However, it should not be used if the dog is pregnant.


Can you give a dog ibuprofen?
  When it comes to ibuprofen for dogs, all of the same terms and conditions for over-the-counter NSAIDs like aspirin apply. While buffered aspirin and buffered baby aspirin may be given to dogs - only with great care, and preferably after a veterinary consultation - ibuprofen has an even narrower margin of safety. In point of fact, ibuprofen for dogs is even worse and more dangerous than aspirin, and should be avoided at all costs. The same issues caused by aspirin can be caused by ibuprofen, including stomach ulcers and kidney failure. If a possible side effect of a medication is death, it's probably not worth the risk when there are canine-specific NSAIDs that your vet can prescribe.

Symptoms of accidental aspirin or ibuprofen ingestion
  What if the circumstances are different? What if you didn't give aspirin or ibuprofen to your dog, but have come home to find your bottle of Motrin or Advil open on the floor? How do you spot accidental ingestion of these NSAIDs? Since the primary ill-effects dogs suffer from these medications are related to digestion and filtration, the symptoms of poisoning are reliably related to those systems. Things to look out for if you suspect your dog has gotten hold of human pain meds include vomiting. If the dog has enough aspirin or ibuprofen in its system, that vomit may contain blood, as may the dog's feces, which may express itself as bloody diarrhea.
  Seemingly innocuous symptoms include lack or loss of appetite, which can lead to fatigue and lethargy. In large enough amounts or given enough time, the dog may experience abdominal pain, which can lead the dog to hunch over or struggle to find a comfortable resting position. The dog may also seem confused or disoriented. In more advanced cases, a dog who has ingested aspirin or ibuprofen not meant for them can have seizures and even lapse into a coma. Basically, it's bad news all the way around.

What is Glucosamine?
  Glucosamine is a herbal medication that gives immediate relief from pain to dogs. It is also effective in humans. These can be easily found in drug stores. You can also get it from your veterinarian. Taking it from a veterinarian would be a better idea since he/she will know the safest brand to take.

Use of Acetaminophen as a Pain Reliever for Dogs
  Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog acetaminophen. The medication is easy to overuse if you don't know the exact safe dosage. Overuse of this pain killer can cause liver and kidney damage.
  If your veterinarian does advise you to use acetaminophen over drugs approved for use in dogs, the dosage should never be more than 10 milligrams per pound. In addition, you'll never give more than two or three doses per day or serious side effects could occur.

What is Tramadol?
  Tramadol is an analgesic. These can be given in place of NSAIDs or along with them. Tramadol do not have side effects to the extent of NSAIDs or aspirin. They are great for chronic pain in both dogs and humans. Tramadol are given to arthritis patients also. The dosage should be limited to what is prescribed by the veterinarian. Overdose can lead to damage to the liver, nervous system or kidney.
What is Adequan?
  Adequan is meant to heal the pain caused by joint injuries and arthritis. They are also known to repair the areas of problems. It does not have any side effects and can be given to dogs safely. However, you will need the assistance of a specialist, since this medicine can only be given through injections.

Are Narcotics Safe?
  Narcotics are considered as an unpleasant aspect. However, it is one of the best pain relievers known. If narcotics are given in a controlled manner and under expert supervision, they can be the best way you can help your dog escape the pain. Narcotics is usually used in serious health conditions, post-surgical conditions, to fight cancer, or to treat large amount of pain. Some of the examples of narcotics that veterinarian are allowed to use are Fentanyl Patches, Amantadine, and Neurontin etcetera.

Is your dog in pain? Consult a vet!
  Can you give a dog aspirin? Technically yes, but only under certain conditions and doses.   Can you give a dog ibuprofen? Best not. The rule of thumb to follow is that if it's human pain medication, think twice before offering it to your dog, even with the purest motives and the best of intentions. After you think twice, put the bottle of ibuprofen or aspirin back in the medicine cabinet. If you cannot get to a vet, then at least give one a call - in the long run, it's possible you'll spare your dog further and completely unnecessary pain.
  If you have dogs, especially if they have free reign of the house, make certain that all human medications are safely and securely bottled. Then see to it that your cache of aspirin, ibuprofen, and all your other medications for that matter, are stored in cabinets, boxes, cupboards, or other home-storage facilities well out of reach. As we all know, dogs can get into mischief around the house; knock the wrong thing over, or the wrong thing open, and trouble can follow.

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