LUV My dogs: prevention

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Showing posts with label prevention. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prevention. Show all posts

Monday, October 30, 2017

How To Stop Dog Diarrhea

How To Stop Dog Diarrhea
  Diarrhea is a common canine affliction and it varies in frequency, duration, and intensity from dog to dog.
  Diarrhea is a common problem in dogs, often because they will put almost anything in their mouth. But it can also be caused by more serious health problems, some of which require close attention, especially if the diarrhea is severe or occurs frequently.
  For the most part, diarrhea and vomiting are nature’s way of allowing the body to cleanse and remove a toxin. A small amount of blood or mucus can sometimes be seen in the stool when the intestinal bacteria are out of balance but this isn’t necessarily cause for alarm.
  A great many cases are mild and, with your vet’s advice, may be treated without a trip to the office.But if your dog is an otherwise healthy adult and, it is reasonable to try some home treatment.

An Important First Step
  The most important thing to remember when it comes to treating the diarrhea is that your primary goal should be to let the body do what it must while preventing any further damage.
Most animals will fast themselves when they have digestive disease and it’s a good idea to stop feeding your dog if he doesn’t fast himself. You can start with 6 to 12 hours of no food or water with most dogs. If your dog is very small and prone to hypoglycemia, you should give him tiny licks of honey or karo syrup each hour, or as needed, if he appears weak and trembly.
  After the fast, if there is no further vomiting and the diarrhea has stopped or slowed, offer small sips of water  every few hours.After six hours of water only, you may start some broth or small amounts of food. Gradually increase the amounts of food over the next four to five days.
  Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, so make sure to give your dog access to water at all times. 

Prevent The Recurrence Of Dog Diarrhea
  After a fast, food is usually introduced slowly and many people start with binders, which can normalize stool consistency. Once your dog is reintroduced to food, a bland diet will help prevent a recurrence of diarrhea. Starting with soup is a gentle way to smooth your dog’s transition back to his regular diet.

  Other bland diets include:
  • White rice
  • Rice water: Boil high-quality rice in a lot of water, remove the grains, and offer the dog the creamy white soup that’s left. A splash of broth or a bit baby food will make it more palatable.
  • Herbs, such as fennel, have gut-soothing properties
  • Canned pumpkin has the odd distinction of being effective for diarrhea and constipation.
  • Plain protein sources such as egg (prepared with no butter or oil) or chicken (without skin)
  • Probiotics, live bacteria that aid digestion- these are also found in yogurt
  • Yogurt, which has beneficial bacteria, can help in dogs who can tolerate milk and milk products.
  • Cottage cheese
  • Boiled potatoes, without skin
  • Specially-formulated dog foods: Some manufacturers offer foods that can sooth stomach problems. You may need to obtain these from your vet.
  • Over-the-counter medications for humans may also be effective for doggie diarrhea, but should be given with caution and you should talk to your vet before using them.
  If the diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours or your dog’s condition worsens at any time, call your vet immediately.
  If your dog’s digestive disease is severe or persistent, your veterinarian’s suggestions may include: fecal exams to rule out parasites; blood work to rule out liver, kidney, endocrine or other problems; x-rays or abdominal ultrasound to rule out foreign objects, obstructions, and cancer; and endoscopy to visualize the stomach and intestinal mucosa.
Prevention of Dog Diarrhea
  The best thing that you can do to prevent diarrhea in your dog is to treat it as you would a human. Keep your dog away from stray dogs as much as possible and administer vaccines as scheduled. Be sure to take your dog to the vet for a wellness visit to stave off any issues as soon as possible.
  And be sure to stay with food your dog and stick with it. Change brands if your pet develops allergies, but try to stick with a quality dog food and do not feed your dog table scraps.
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Everything about Canine Bloat

Everything about Canine Bloat
   Many well seasoned dog owners warn against the dangers of canine bloat and vets even give recommendations on how to prevent your dog from suffering from canine bloat but some dog owners have no idea what this illness is, how it occurs or how to prevent it. Read on to learn everything you ever wanted to know about canine bloat.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus
  Canine bloat is the regularly used term for the illness but often times it is referred to by the scientific term Gastric Dilitation-Volvulus (GDV) of simply Gastric Dilation. Canine bloat as it will be referred to from here on out, is a particularly serious and often life threatening illness that strikes a good many dogs every year and the outcome of each dogs affliction depends on a variety of factors. The biggest factor in helping a dog to survive canine bloat is the speed with which treatment is administered to a dog suffering from bloat.

What Is Bloat?
  When bloat occurs, the dog’s stomach fills with air, fluid and/or food. The enlarged stomach puts pressure on other organs, can cause difficulty breathing, and eventually may decrease blood supply to a dog’s vital organs.
  People often use the word "bloat" to refer to a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), gastric torsion and twisted stomach. This condition can cause rapid clinical signs and death in several hours. Even with immediate treatment, approximately 25% to 40% of dogs die from this medical emergency.

Causes of bloat
  Veterinarians have no definitive data as to why canine bloat occurs and despite attempts to intentionally recreate canine bloat in laboratories they have been unsuccessful in doing so as of yet. There are, however, a variety of theories relating to factors that are believed to contribute to bloating.
  Theories about what causes GDV abound, including issues related to anatomy, environment, and care. There are certain factors and practices that appear to increase the risk of GDV, some of which fly in the face of conventional wisdom.
  The most widely recognized and accepted risk factor is anatomical – being a larger, deep-chested dog. When viewed from the side, these dogs have chest cavities that are significantly longer from spine to sternum, when compared to the width of the chest cavity viewed from the front.
   This body shape may increase the risk of bloat because of a change in the relationship between the esophagus and the stomach. In dogs with deeper abdomens, the stretching of the gastric ligaments over time may allow the stomach to descend relative to the esophagus, thus increasing the gastroesophageal angle, and this may promote bloat.
  All dog guardians should be familiar with the signs of bloat, and be ready to rush their dog to the vet if any of the symptoms are present.
  Likelihood of an incident of bloat seems to increase with age. Purdue reports that there is a 20 percent increase in risk for each year increase in age. This may be related to increased weakness, over time, in the ligaments holding the stomach in place.
  Another key risk factor is having a close relative that has experienced GDV. According to one of the Purdue studies that focused on nondietary risk factors for GDV, there is a 63 percent increase in risk associated with having a first degree relative (sibling, parent, or offspring) who experienced bloat.
Personality and stress also seem to play a role. Risk of GDV was increased by 257 percent in fearful dogs versus nonfearful dogs. Dogs described as having a happy personality bloated less frequently than other dogs.
Dogs who eat rapidly and are given just one large meal per day have an increased susceptibility to GDV than other dogs. The Purdue research found that for both large- and giant-breed dogs, the risk of GDV was highest for dogs fed a larger volume of food once daily.
  Dogs fed a dry food that included a fat source in the first four ingredients were 170 percent more likely to bloat than dogs who were fed food without fat in the first four ingredients. In addition, the risk of GDV increased 320 percent in dogs fed dry foods that contained citric acid and were moistened before feeding. On the other hand, a rendered meat meal that included bone among the first four ingredients lowered risk by 53 percent.
  It is often recommended that limiting exercise and water before and after eating will decrease the risk of bloat. 

Other Factors which Increase Risk of Bloat 
  Dog’s Breed—Large-breed dogs are most susceptible, although on occasion, small dogs may bloat too.
 Dogs that are “deep-chested.” This means the length of the chest from backbone to sternum is long and the width of the chest is narrower.
 Dogs that have ancestor-history of bloating. It’s thought to be hereditary.
 Underweight, or thin, dogs.
 Anxious or fearful temperament. These dogs should always eat in an environment made as peaceful as possible for them.
 Aggressive dogs. Numbers five and six indicate that “nerves” or emotions can play a role in triggering a bloat episode.
 Male dogs get it more than females.
 Dogs older than seven years of age are more at risk than those that are younger.

Breeds Most At-Risk for Bloat
  1. Afghan
  2. Akita
  3. Alaskan Malamute
  4. Bernese Mountain Dog
  5. Bloodhound
  6. Boxer
  7. Doberman
  8. Great Dane
  9. Great Pyrenees
  10. German Shepherd
  11. Golden Retriever
  12. Irish Setter
  13. Irish Wolfhound
  14. King Shepherd
  15. Kuvasz
  16. Labrador Retriever
  17. Newfoundland
  18. Rottweiler
  19. Shiloh Shepherd
  20. Standard Poodle
  21. St. Bernard
  22. Weimaraner
What Are the General Symptoms of Bloat/GDV in Dogs?
  • Distended abdomen
  • Unsuccessful attempts to belch or vomit
  • Retching without producing anything
  • Weakness
  • Excessive salivation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold body temperature
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Collapse
How do They Treat Bloat
  There are only two basic things that are done to the dog in the case of bloat. The first thing a vet may try is to insert a tube down the throat making a passage for the gas to escape. But if the stomach has twisted volvulus, surgery is the only solution. The vet will have to make an incision into the stomach and relieve the gas that way. While in there, he may decide to perform what is called gastropexy. This is where the stomach is actually stapled into its normal position, or anchored into place, so that it cannot blow up should there be another episode of bloat.
  Even if the dog has been relieved of the bloat with just a tube and not surgery, he should be surgically examined regardless, so that the vet may assess the damage done by the episode. Damaged parts of the stomach may need to be removed, or the patient’s owner may decide to allow gastroplexy since many dogs that experience bloat often go through it again at a later date. Sometimes only a day or two later, they may bloat again.
   It is a good idea to have on hand at home an over the counter drug such as Phazyme, Mylanta Gas (not regular Mylanta) or Gas-X. They contain simethicone which helps reduce gas. This may buy you a little more time to get to a vet.

How Can I Prevent Bloat/GDV?
   Because the theories and research on what causes bloat aren’t always in agreement, the ways to prevent GDV can conflict as well. One thing that everyone can agree on, though, is that feeding smaller meals several times a day is the best option for reducing the risk.
   Dogs who respond to nonsurgical treatment have a 70 percent chance of having another episode of bloat. Some of these episodes can be prevented by following these practices:
  • Divide the day’s ration into three equal meals, spaced well apart.
  • Do not feed your dog from a raised food bowl.
  • Avoid feeding dry dog food that has fat among the first four ingredients listed on the label.
  • Avoid foods that contain citric acid.
  • Restrict access to water for one hour before and after meals.
  • Never let your dog drink a large amount of water all at once.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise on a full stomach.



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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why Dogs Eat Grass? How To Train Them To Stop

Why Dogs Eat Grass? How To Train Them To Stop
  Our dogs often do things that we struggle to understand. One of those things is eating grass. While we may feed our dogs a perfectly well balanced diet and provide them with all the stimulation they need, they may still take to consuming grass. There are many theories behind just why our canine friends impersonate cows chewing cud, and we are going to take a shot at the reasoning behind them.
  The general consensus seems to be that grass eating is not something to worry about; however, there are a few provisos to that consensus. There are a few incidences where grass eating should not be allowed and there are incidences where grass eating can be deterred by making a few simple fixes.

It’s Tasty
  Your dog eats every last morsel he can find under your dinner table after a meal, so why stop there? As natural scavengers, canines are programmed to search for nutrition anywhere they can find it. It’s possible that your dog finds the flavor or texture of grass yummy. Or it could be filling a nutritional need that his normal food isn’t, especially fiber.


Prevention: Some people find that the behavior stops after they switch to a high-fiber dog food. If you think this might be the case for your pup, consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

He’s Bored
  In some cases, eating grass is just something to do to pass the time. He’s got the backyard to himself, but not much to do there. Are you providing regular exercise and mental challenges for your pup? Do you notice your dog eating more grass during times when you aren’t walking or playing with them as often?

Prevention: Sometimes the solution can be as simple as providing a chew toy as an alternative or dedicating yourself to providing a consistent exercise routine.

Stomach Distress
  Some experts believe that grass is a form of self-medication. When your dog has tummy troubles, he turns to grass for relief. This is more likely if the behavior starts suddenly or if your dog is very anxious about needing to eat the grass, often extending his neck and making swallowing motions, and then vomiting afterwards. But most studies have found that this is actually quite rare — less than 25% of dogs vomit after eating grass and only 10% showed signs of illness beforehand.

Prevention: In some cases, the stomach distress can be a sign of something more serious, like gastric reflux or inflammatory bowel disease, so it’s worth calling your veterinarian for advice.

How to Get a Dog to Stop Eating Grass? 
1. Give your dog chew toys and puzzle toys with peanut butter in them for play. Sometimes dogs eat grass outdoors because they need more playtime and can become bored by themselves during the day. Puzzle toys require lots of time and licking to get the wonderful peanut butter treat out of the center and will keep your four-legged friend busy.

2. Play tug-of-war with your fur buddy with a rope toy. Games that are interactive between you and your pet stimulate the senses and tire him out, so he may avoid eating his greenery outdoors.

3. Teach your dog the “leave it” command. Sit on the floor indoors with an ordinary piece of kibble in one hand. Show it to him and as he reaches for it, close your hand, and say, “leave it.” Quickly hand him a beefy dog treat with the other hand. Practice this command so that he realizes “leave it” and ignoring the item will secure him a high-quality reward.

4. Clip a leash onto your dog’s collar and go for a walk. When he shows interest in grazing on grass or leaves, say “leave it” and call him to you. Give him lots of praise, petting and a dog treat. Keep practicing this command and reward system until you can let him off leash in an area of containment, such as a backyard with a fence.

5. Go to a secure environment and practice the command if your furry friend starts to show interest in grass or leaves. Call him to you and reward him with treats.

6. Phase out the treats slowly, so that your dog will come when you call him and leave the greenery alone. Offer lots of petting and praise for coming when you call him. Positive reinforcement of acceptable behavior creates a strong bond between you and your pet.

Don't Worry
  If you’re worried that your dog eating grass is going to hurt them, stop worrying no need for concern here. The one possible downside is that he’ll irritate his throat or stomach lining, but this issue will only cause him irritation for a second or two at most: he’ll either cough the problem away, or will toss his cookies without further ado (which rarely bothers most dogs).
  Really, a dog-eating-grass is nothing to worry about – it’s a life-long habit with many dogs, and if yours does decide that it’s no longer in his best interests, he’ll simply stop eating it all by himself.
  You may need to keep an eye on him around recently treated lawns, or anywhere where pesticides, snail bait, and rat poison could be around, since most garden chemicals are highly toxic to dogs.

Warning!!!!!!
  Grass treatments, such as fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides are harmful to your pet if he eats them soon after the treatment. These items act as poison in your pet’s digestive system.   Teaching your pet to stop eating grass and leaves altogether can keep him safe when you are in another environment and don’t know if the grass has been treated.

Relax! 
  Many veterinarians consider grass eating a normal dog behavior. While dogs don’t gain anything of real nutritional value from grass, it also may not hurt them — as long as there are no dangerous fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides used on the grass itself.
  You can help protect your grass eater by using only non-toxic products on your own lawn. When you’re out in public areas, keep an eye out for signs warning that chemicals have been used on the grass. You can also provide a safe alternative by growing a grass or herb garden specifically for him to snack on.

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