What is canine hip dysplasia? Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is one of the most frustrating diseases in veterinary medicine today simply because it is so difficult to prevent and treat. CHD is a developmental disease of the bones in which the head of the thigh bone poorly fits the hip socket, causing damage to the cartilage, gradual destruction of the joint, pain and swelling. This disease should not be confused with hip arthritis. Rather, it is the most common cause of arthritis in the hips. How is canine hip dysplasia transmitted? CHD is a heritable disease. It is passed on by the parents to the offspring. The only effective measure therefore to eradicate the disease is to prevent dogs with hip dysplasia from breeding. However, this is easier said than done, because not all dogs with hip dysplasia show signs of the disease. Seemingly normal dogs still carry the gene for CHD and are bred, causing the disease to stay within the genepool. How does one know if a dog has hip dysplasia? A dog with hip dysplasia generally has less energy and movement. It has difficulty rising from a sitting position, lameness in the back legs, is hopping like a rabbit when running, and is reluctant to go up the stairs. However, these symptoms are usually not evident till the dog reaches middle age. In extreme cases though, some dogs exhibit obvious hip problems as early as 5-6 months of age. How does a vet confirm if a dog has hip dysplasia? Sad to say, there is no blood test or genetic test yet that will detect if a dog is a carrier of CHD or not. Diagnosis of the disease is routinely done through physical examinations and x-rays. X-rays help in assessing how bad the condition is, and through comparison with future x-rays, it can also serve as a gauge of how well the chosen treatment is working. Two techniques for taking x-rays of CHD-afflicted dogs are listed below: 1.hip-extended ventrodorsal view x-ray – It provides a frontal view of the pelvis and hip-joints and best assesses the degree of severity of arthritis present. 2.PennHIP radiography technique – It is used to detect hip looseness in dogs as young as four months of age. What are the treatment options for canine hip dysplasia? There is no real cure for CHD just yet, but there are conservative or non-surgical ways to relieve its symptoms. These include the use of drugs to relieve pain and inflammation. Rimadyl, Ectogesic and Deramaxx are effective and have given a lot of suffering dogs the relief needed to live a normal life. Weight loss programs, controlled exercise and physical therapy are also very effective in certain cases. When conservative treatment is not enough, the only other option is surgery. Surgery can be very effective as it corrects the underlying cause of hip pain which is a malformed joint. Surgery is approached in two different ways when dealing with hip dysplasia. Prophylactic surgery is done to prevent the progression af arthritis while therapeutic surgery aims to treat already arthritic hips. Triple pelvic osteotomy is the primary preventive procedure available. It involves cutting the pelvis in three places and rotating the hip sockets to provide better coverage. This procedure is effective as long as it is done before arthritis sets in or before the joint is damaged. Another kind of preventive surgery, although still being studied if it is effective or not, is pubic symphysiodesis. This involves manipulating the way the pelvis grows to ensure a tighter hip. This procedure is done on very young dogs. Therapeutic procedures include total hip replacement and femoral head ostectomy. Total hip replacement is performed mainly on larger dogs. High density, medical plastic is used to replace the socket and a high-quality, non-corrosive alloy is used for the ball. This procedure has a high success rate, almost completely eliminates pain and enables the dog to completely resume activity. Another therapeutic procedure for hip dysplasia is femoral head ostectomy. It involves the removal of the top of the femur which then eliminates the painful grinding at the hip joint. The femur is then allowed to float freely causing the formation of scar tisue which then serves as a false joint. This procedure is not recommended for mild cases of arthritis and is generally effective only on smaller, well-muscled dogs. Can canine hip dysplasia be prevented? The best measure of prevention is of course careful breeding since hip dysplasia is a heritable condition. The onset of hip dysplasia can be delayed in many dogs with a genetic predisposition by preventing excessive weight gain during the early months and by making sure that the puppy does not place undue stress on the hips. OFA and PennHip offers information on breed risk. Prospective puppy buyers are advised to check for pedigrees for OFA, PennHip or GDC certifications.
Arthritis is the term used in both human and veterinary medicine to describe any type of joint inflammation. Several types exist, including rheumatoid, degenerative, and infectious arthritis, each having a different cause. Infections, autoimmune diseases, trauma, and certain drugs, such as sulfa antibiotics, can promote joint inflammation. The clinical signs associated with joint disease are basically the same. Stiffness or lameness involving one or more limbs is often the most obvious sign of a joint problem, usually aggravated by cold weather and/or exercise. New medications and surgical techniques have been introduced in the treatment of canine joint disease. Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, describes the condition in which a cartilage defects or erosion occurs. It can be inherited but is usually a part of the normal aging process in older dogs. Infectious arthritis is caused by bacteria that gain entrance to the blood stream causing inflammation in one or more joints. Bacteria from the gums, periodontal disease, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease can cause damage to the cartilage and joint structure. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune-related disease seen frequently in toy breeds. Caused by an overactive immune system, antibodies coalesce within the joints causing inflammation. Fever and depression are also features of these diseases. Hip dysphasia refers to a hereditary arthritic condition which begins as a partial dislocation of the hip joints. In time the cartilages lining the joint surfaces wear down because of abnormal strain on the joints. The key to lessoning the effects of any form of arthritis is early detection and treatment. Your veterinarian can prescribe antibiotics, immunosuppressive drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as vitamins and supplements, and even cortisone if needed. The real key is you and your observations to your veterinarian.
Allergic dermatitis is one of the most common skin diseases that may pester or affect your beloved dogs or cats. You should be informed, however, allergic dermatitis is a serious chronic skin disease that can never be cured, only treated or controlled. Literally, the term ‘allergic dermatitis’ is derived from root words allergy, which means sensitivity or physical reaction to certain substances, and dermatitis, which means inflammation that is normally and usually exhibited or found in the skin. Hence, allergic dermatitis can be accurately defined as skin inflammation caused by exposure to strong and harsh substances called ‘allergens’ in medical jargons. These substances are often absorbed through the skin, inhaled or taken in as food. Symptoms of allergic dermatitis The most common symptom or sign that your cat or dog is infected with allergic dermatitis is excessive itching. Dogs usually chew, bite, lick or scratch the itchy part of their skin, which will consequently bring about skin redness, open sores or, to your dismay, hair loss. In dogs and cats, however, sometimes, it will be hard to differentiate if their itching is caused by fleas or allergic dermatitis. If the pet’s itching persist and there are no signs that it is caused by fleas, then, automatically, it is allergic dermatitis. The most common spots where allergic dermatitis manifests in your pets are the armpit areas, the feet and the face. Be cautious and alert because if allergic dermatitis is not treated immediately, it may infect the entire body. Some pets would also tend to itch, but not indicate any skin problems. In such cases, a visit to the veterinarian would be advised. Specifically, for dogs, allergic dermatitis is manifested by redness in the face, dark or stained areas on the foot due to licking excessively and oily skin due to chronic rubbing. Cats do not get allergic dermatitis as frequently as dogs do, but when they are infected with it, some additional symptoms may be observed. Among them are the appearance of small bumps all over the body, lip ulcers, neck excoriation and patches of lost hair. Causes of allergic dermatitis Several causes are cited for the occurrence of allergic dermatitis in pets. The most basic is hereditary or genetic factors, meaning, it runs in the pet’s family. Another is the inhalation or intake of allergens like grass, tree pollens, feathers, cigarette smoke, weed, house dust and wool. Take note that several of these also cause harsh allergic reactions to hyper-sensitive humans. Treatment Since allergic dermatitis is treatable but never curable, medications available in the market would only help ease your pet’s discomfort until the symptoms fade away. It would be best to seek the help of your trusted veterinarian to get prescriptions for such medications and know their accurate and safe administration. Since medicines for pets are not easily distributed, it would help if you would also ask your veterinarian where the drug shops for pet care are. These drug stores usually practice strict drug distribution practices to secure safety both of the pet and the owner. Cortisones, antihistamines, anti-fungals and antibiotics are the usual drugs prescribed by veterinarians for pets with allergic dermatitis. Prevention To avoid the occurrence of allergic dermatitis in your pets, be sure they would not be exposed to allergens identified. Clean your house thoroughly to get rid of dusts and pollen that might arouse allergic dermatitis among your pets. Give your pet a good and quick bath after a short outside trip to eliminate pollens and dusts that might have been stuck through their furs.
If we had to name two things children want, it could be easily covered under the titles, pets and toys. We all loved toys as children and still love our pets even as adults. Pets play an important role in their owners’ lives. Some pets have even been known to save lives and learn to dial 911 in an emergency. As companions, they provide us with warmth and friendship, as well as undying loyalty. Some pets have special training and can assist people with disabilities. Others are great hunters and protectors of our property and our families. For a child, a pet means even more. For children, a pet represents many things. They learn about relationships, compassion, responsibility, love, and so much more. It is not impossible to raise a child without a pet, but their lives are greatly enhanced if they are allowed to have one. No one can downplay the significance of owning a pet. The benefits far outweigh the pitfalls. However we have to know how to be safe when choosing a pet – especially when we have children. Not only do we have to choose the right pet for our family, we also must keep our pets in good health to protect others in our household. And, keeping a pet healthy can be expensive. Certain types of pets require more care than others and you should always consider whether or not you can afford not only the purchase of your pet, but also the ongoing care they will require. However, your concern for your child’s health is directly related to your concern for their pet’s health. There are diseases that a child or even an adult can contract from pets. Keeping your pet healthy is very important to your child’s health. Zoonotic diseases or Zoonosis are terms used to describe diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans. Normal contact with an animal or contact with an animal’s bodily fluids can result in the transfer of disease. I don’t want to scare parents away from getting a pet for their child because as I said, the benefits of owning a pet far outweigh the dangers and drawbacks if you take the necessary precautions. Here are 10 tips you should follow when choosing a pet for your child. 1. Do not buy a pet from disreputable dealers who keep large numbers of animals caged together waiting to be sold. 2. Always check the facilities where the animal was kept while waiting to be sold. If the conditions there are bad, then likely the condition and the care of the animal prior to sale was likely bad also. 3. Find out what care has been provided to the animals, by a licensed Veterinarian, prior to being sold. 4. Read whatever tips you can find about the type of pet you are purchasing for your child. You should know any diseases that type of pet is known to be susceptible to. You should know all about the proper shelter, food, and care your child’s pet will require. Reading up on this prior to purchase is a good idea, so you will know what you are getting into. 5. Clean your pet’s shelter and make sure all feces are removed daily. 6. Make sure you have a qualified Veterinarian examine the pet before you hand it over to your child. 7. Bathe your child’s pet regularly. Keep in mind your child will be in constant contact with their pet. Whatever the pet gets into, your child gets into. 8. Make sure your children get into the habit of washing their hands every time they handle their pet. 9. Stay current with all vaccinations and checkups your Veterinarian recommends. If your pet seems ill, keep your child away from them until you can get them to a Veterinarian. 10. Teach your child how to handle your pet to avoid having it injure your child. Make sure they know not to squeeze it too tightly, pull on its extremities, agitate it, or tease it unnecessarily. These 10 tips I am providing you are by no means all the things you need to be aware of. Specific types of pets have different rules you need to be aware of about handling and caring for them. You should include your child in the learning process where possible so they understand why those rules are necessary. Read up on the pet you are bringing into your home and spend time discussing your questions and concerns with your veterinarian. I hope this article has been helpful to you as a parent. Remember, know what you are getting into before you choose a pet for your child. What you don’t know could cost you in more ways than one.
Copyright 2006 John Young The cage was small, but the people were nice and Tiger felt safe. He was fed, petted and regularly groomed. Still, it wasn’t home. Tiger had been ‘home’, and still had vague memories of the woman who had cared for him and the other cats who lived with her. Then he had been taken to this place, and had been here so long he had almost forgotten ‘home’, and the woman. There was uneasiness here, though, and Tiger felt it. Something was about to happen. Something bad. Then two humans came in. He was put in a cage with them. He jumped up in the woman’s lap. He was put in a dark place that bumped and jostled. He heard strange, scary noises. He howled, and a male voice answered with noises he couldn’t understand. Then there was light. And TERROR! A small hand reached for him and tried to grab him. There were people he didn’t know; they all approached him. There was another cat that arched and spat. Then, horror of horrors… There was a dog! Tiger fled. He fled down a long corridor and bolted through the first open door he found. He hid in the darkest place he could find…among soft and hard things he didn’t recognize. He heard voices. He heard the dog bark, and he shuddered. He heard the child’s high pitched voice, and a woman’s voice…which were easier to bear. He hunkered down and remained as invisible and silent as he could. ADOPTION IN HASTE The staff of animal shelters greet people looking for new pets with both joy and misgiving. People walk between the cages, looking over each cat, and the staff hope they will select a cat that has been there for a long time. But they know what the people are looking for; they are looking for kittens, not adult cats. If there are no kittens, the customers will sometimes reluctantly choose an adult cat as a “consolation prize”, pay the adoption fees and cart him or her off… Only to return the cat two or three days later. “I’m sorry, but this cat just didn’t work out. We couldn’t fit it into the family.” Or… “This cat is just too wild. We need something tamer, something that will fit in.” “What happened?” The staff member asks. “The cat bolted and hid. It took us three days to find it, and when we finally did, we had to chase it all over the house before we caught it. We need something tamer; something that will fit in better.” So go the sad tales of the returnees… but wait, it can be worse for cats adopted in other ways. “The landlord won’t let me keep her, could you please take her in?” People who adopt strays off the street, or a friend’s cat, many times don’t realize the full extent of the things they need to do for their new cat… In Part 2 We’ll discuss those things. Adequate preparation would have saved Tiger -- by safely and easily introducing him to a happy home…
A constant supply of fresh water is essential to your dog's good health and comfort. Water is very important, representing and estimated 70 percent of the dog's weight. Like man, a dog can go without food for a surprisingly long time, but if he is deprived of water, he can't survive for more than a few days, or even hours, in a hot, dry environment. A dog's water consumption varies according to the climate to his activity, and to the composition of his meals. Heat and exercise dehydrate him quickly. He gets very thirsty in cars or any confined space. However, excessive thirst for not good reason should be reported to your vet, because it may be an early symptom of diabetes or kidney trouble. At home he should have a clean, full water bowl next to his food dish, another in his play area, and possibly a third one that is accessible at night. Away from home the problem is more difficult. A thirsty dog is attracted to water in the gutter, in stagnant pools and rain puddles. Clean rain water is fine, but hard to find. Caustic chemicals used to melt snow on streets and sidewalks, weed-killers and insecticides on lawns and golf courses contaminate most standing water and should be avoided. Try to train your dog to drink only from his own bowl or what you offer him. Try to keep a water-filled plastic container with you or in your car, especially if you plan on a lot of walking or running during hot weather. Milk is the only liquid, aside from water, that appeals to dogs and still agrees with them, (although it may cause loose stools). They are seldom tempted by other drinks and particularly dislike carbonated drinks. Milk is always another good source of protein but should not be used as a substitute for meat. Most any flavored drink should be avoided, as it only tends to irritate the kidneys, causing frequent urination and dehydration.
If your dog sheds a lot it does not necessarily denote ill health. Dogs that spend a lot of their time indoors are exposed to electric lights and central heat and air which can throw off their normal shedding schedule that nature built in. However, profuse shedding may have other causes like an unbalanced diet, a kidney or bladder infection or a parasitic ailment. If your dogs shedding leads to bald spots you should seek help from your veterinarian as soon as possible. All severe shedding conditions are either parasitic or non-parasitic. Parasitic means caused by parasites such as mites or fleas. Non-parasitic means conditions created by a hormonal imbalance and or poor diet, which can easily be treated with vitamins and a more controlled diet. Eczema is a symptom of an underlying disorder, usually dietary, rather than a disease. In older animals and altered ones, it may be caused by a hormonal imbalance due to a change of body chemistry. The skin becomes scaly and the hair falls out in patches. You must correct the cause by hormone injections or a change in diet, usually by adding fat supplements of Vitamin A and E. Eczema can also be caused by fleabite allergy, or a parasitic condition. However, these bald spots usually appear suddenly and resemble lesions, or burns. To treat these, after veterinarian diagnosis, you must eliminate the fleas and use a local application of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory medicines. Bald spots can also be caused by mange. There are two types of mange, ot mange, Sarcoptic mange or “Scabies”, which has a musty odor, often starts on the head and spreads to the ears, tail, the abdomen, chest and under the front legs. Skin eruptions may take the form of red dots or blisters, then scabs. Your veterinarian can provide medicated baths; generally sulfur preparations and anti-itch topicals. The second type of mange is Follicular or Demodectic mange or “red mange”, caused by a different family of mites that burrows into the hair follicles and most often attacks young puppies. Entire litters can be born with it. It is more serious and persistent that the other variety. In the most serious cases, pustules dot the skin where the hair has fallen out. Veterinary treatment will include oral medications and external treatments to kill the mites, but this type of mange takes a long time to cure. Lastly, he may have contracted ringworm, a contagious fungal infection, (non-parasitic), that grows on hair follicles, rather like athletes foot. It is characterized by ring-shaped red patches covered with scales, and may be dry or moist, usually starting on the head, neck, and legs. Your vet will advise strict anticontagion measures, since it is communicable to humans. Treatments include oral medications, anti-fungal shampoos or dips, and frequent applications of iodine. Remember, shedding is a symptom of an underlying condition that is best diagnosed by your Veterinarian usually by microscopic analysis of skin scrapings and or blood tests. While bald spots may not be life threatening, the animal is suffering and the conditions usually only get worse with time, so asking your veterinarian for his opinion is more sensible than just worrying about it.
The intelligence of the dog is among the highest of all the animals, maybe higher than we give him credit for. Although his brain is proportionately only half as large as ours, he is certainly the most intelligent of domestic animals. As with humans, individual intelligence varies greatly according to inherited genes. While no one breed can be said to be more intelligent that another, some breeds that have been selectively bred for work ability are often brighter and more receptive than those bred primarily for purely physical attributes. Whether a dog is a mixed breed for purebred, studies have shown that neither is much more intelligent than the other. However, dogs that have been exposed to a more varied lifestyle, both indoors and out, and with both human and animal interaction, does show more intelligent behavior. Simply put, giving your dog an opportunity to investigate and manipulate all sorts of objects, to explore all sorts of places, to share all sorts of experiences with you will stimulate his or her intelligence. Aside from getting a lot more out of life, your dog will be eager to learn more and he will learn with increasing ease and rapidity. Nothing is sadder and more wasteful than an intelligent dog that is confined in a kennel and deprived of mental stimulation. Despite opinions to the contrary, dogs are endowed with an elementary reasoning power. Anyone who has ever owned a dog has often seen him size up a situation and then taken some logical action. Guide dogs for the blind, as well as working and hunting dogs of many breeds constantly have to use their judgment and make decisions. Memory is an important component of intelligence. The dog's memory for scents is extraordinary. His visual memory is only fair, but his memory for sounds is very good, since he can remember and identify familiar voices even after an absence of many years. While he builds up a large store of identifiable sounds without the slightest effort, remembering different words requires more concentration. The dog's capacity for learning is more a matter of memory than of true understanding. He will remember the sequence of cause and effect in his actions, but he is unable to draw broad conclusions from his experience. The greater the variety of experiences and contact with others they have, the quicker they learn, and the more they retain. Dogs are bound by nature to remain intellectually inferior to man, but we owe them a chance to develop their native intelligence by training, teaching, and working with them as much and as often as we can.
A dog's behavior is influenced by certain basic instincts which you should be aware of if you want to understand your dog. Some of them have been lessoned by the protected life led by modern pets. In fact, the dog as a species seems to be undergoing an important period in his evolution since never before in history have so many of them been bred exclusively as pets. The instinct for survival is common to all living creatures. No acquired behavior pattern is strong enough to dominate entirely this powerful drive. When it is aroused, the only effective means of controlling it is constraint. Along with this instinct is the Instinct for procreation, or mating instinct. It is normally very strong although it varies for the same health reasons, hormonal balance, opportunity and more rarely, psychological inhibitions. Need for companionship is an instinct common to both dog and man. Many canine personality disturbances have no other cause than the solitary confinement imposed on them by man. Studies show that the critical period when a puppy forms his primary attachment to humans is between the ages of 3 and 10 weeks. If he is "imprinted" by sufficient pleasurable human relations during this time, he is apt to remain attached to humans, But if he is confined in a Kennel with only other dogs and deprived of human contact, he will prefer animal contact over humans forever. Like human beings, dogs are vulnerable to mob psychology. The pack instinct is a more accurate term because it usually brings out the worst side of their nature. It may take no more than one other dog for this psychological phenomenon to occur. Most dogs want to pleasure their owner. But once they become a member of a pack their old instincts take over and the owner is forgotten. It is very important never to let your dog run loose where he can get into bad company. Dogs have always retained the instinctive need for a pack leader. This need is the role hat we play in our pet's life. Dogs I whom this instinct is strongest are the most trainable. They are the ones that follow you around as puppies, who never want to leave your side as adults, who listen to you, study your facial expressions, and enjoy contact with you. They seek the approval of their pack leader and will do for free what other dogs need to be bribed to do. Most owners provide protection, food, and shelter as do wildlife pack leaders. But you must also offer leadership, enforce discipline, and maintain their prestige and authority. Psychological superiority is more important that in physical size or strength. Moreover, the modern dog's dependence on his owner is as much emotional as it is physical. Your dog will love and respect you more if you live up to his leader image of you. Be dependable and consistent so that he can trust you. You must be reasonable and fair in order to avoid offending his sense of justice. But above all, do not think it is a kindness to let your dog always have his way. In their wild state, dogs instinctively seek and accept leadership as well as a strict social code. In fact, discipline and obedience are probably more natural to them than indulgence, which they have experienced only as modern pets. Territorial instinct has a profound influence on a dog's behavior, as it has on ours. It is related to the survival instinct and is therefore very powerful and vital to his existence. Puppies as young as 2 or 3 weeks old display their sense of territory by annexing a certain corner of the nest, a bed, cushion, or chair as their personal domain. Their territory grows bigger as they do on until adulthood when they transfer their territorial instinct to their owner's home, and their pack instinct to their human family. Dogs respect man made boundaries such as fences, walls, and gates, but they also establish markers of their own. Which they mark with urine and visit regularly and refresh as necessary. Domesticated dogs are respectful of their neighbor's territory as they are jealous of their own, and seldom engage in territorial warfare. In the animal world, an intruder is always psychologically inferior to an individual who is on his home territory. Under these conditions, a tiny terrier can chase away a Great Dane. Generally speaking, dogs are most aggressive on their own territory, most submissive on another dog's territory, and most sociable on neutral ground. An old family dog will make friends more easily with a new puppy if the two are introduced on neutral ground before the newcomers are taken home. The territorial instinct varies in intensity and quality from one breed and individual to another. Still, in all dogs, as in all humanity, there is a territorial instinct. Oddly enough, both will accept with tolerance, and sometimes even welcome, intrusions by innocent infants, unthreatening inferiors, and attractive members of the opposite sex. Finally, dogs possess an instinctive loyalty that is much stronger than our own. Once a dog has accepted someone as his master, it is very difficult for him to switch his devotion to another. Better food, greater comfort, kindness and understanding may not succeed in swaying his allegiance even from an unworthy owner. On the other hand, if you adopt a dog who has been happy in his previous home, give him plenty of time to transfer his loyalty to you, you will have a friend that would never fail you.
Canine nutrition hasn't become as laden with diet fads as have human meal planning. But it has accumulated a number of myths which survive the ridicule of the veterinary profession. As you acquire a dog, your more experienced friends will shower you with advice, which may include some of the following affirmations: - "A clove of garlic keeps worms away" Garlic has enjoyed a reputation for centuries in the folk medicine of many cultures as an antiseptic, a treatment for high blood pressure, etc. But if your dog really does have worms, (and most of them do at one time or another), the quickest way to get rid of them is to have your veterinarian give him a specific worming medicine under his supervision. - "Raw meat makes a dog vicious" Raw or cooked meat is essential to a dogs nutrition. Fifty percent is the standard ration, and it may compare as much as 75 percent of his diet. If he is fed only meat, he may become high strung, not because the meat is raw, but because he is being given an unbalanced diet. - "A sugar cube dipped in coffee is good for a dogs heart" It is particularly good for his morale, because it probably means that he is sharing your after dinner coffee with you. Give it occasionally as a harmless treat, but not as a regular "medicine", and not as a heart remedy. - "Dogs cannot digest starch" They cannot digest uncooked starch, but they can cope with most cooked ones such as rice, whole wheat bread, and macaroni. However, dogs do not receive much nourishment from these foods. - "Sugar causes worms" Sugar is quick source of energy for dogs, as it is far us. Worms are caused by worm larvae. A puppy may get worms from his mother, and an adult dog may get them from infected food or drink, from the saliva or feces of an infected dog, or from swallowing fleas and lice which act as hosts to tapeworm eggs - but never from sugar. - "Raw eggs improve dog's coat" A raw egg yolk from time to time enriches a dog's diet. Cooked eggs are an acceptable substitute for meat in an emergency. But the best coat conditioner is far, especially unsaturated fat, rich in vitamin E, such as linseed and wheat germ oil. The eggs reputation as a coat conditioner is probably due to the fact that yolk is mostly fat. - "Milk causes diarrhea in an adult dog" Milk is healthy for all dogs. A bowl of milk with a beaten egg yolk and a couple of pieces of whole wheat toast or dog biscuits is a standard supper dish in many kennels. There are various causes for diarrhea, including internal parasites, indigestion, a change of diet, food poisoning, certain contagious diseases - and sometime, but not always, milk. Knowledge and concern are important in feeding a growing puppy whose nutrition is the foundation of his future health. But common sense is all you need to feed an adult dog correctly, as his own experience will help guide you most of the way.
Although it was once common practice to feed dogs whatever scrapes came from the dinner table, today we realize that there is much more to feeding an animal than we thought. It is important to give them foods that will provide them with a healthy life and a long one too. In fact, there are a number of researchers who dedicate their lives to understanding just what your pet should and shouldn’t eat. You can bank on what they have found that should be in your dog’s diet. It is important to provide your animal with the right type of food. That means that you should give her food that is right for the dog’s age and activity levels and that is right for her size as well as her health. You’ll find a wide selection of products to choose from in your pet store. It is wise to purchase the best quality of food for your pet that you can afford to buy. Realize that if you purchase poor quality food for your animal, his health can be lacking. Your pet’s diet should include some dry food because the crunch will help to keep her teeth clean and it will also help with gum health. It provides the fiber in your dog’s diet that is necessary. You can use wet food, but don’t give them too much of it. For example, pour some over your dog’s dry food instead of giving them the whole can. If you are interested in providing your pet with home made foods, find dog specific recipes throughout the web to use. It is important not to give your dog leftovers from your meal though. You need the food to provide nutrition to your dog based on his needs. Things like fats, and fillers in human food, as well as spices, can make a dog sick. As a puppy, your dog needs to eat frequently throughout the day, about three or four smaller meals, until they are about three months old. Then, cut it down to only three meals a day for the next three months. Ideally, your adult dog should each twice per day. You should provide your dog’s food to them for up to twenty minutes. At that point remove it if they have not eaten it and are not in the process of doing so. This will help to stop picky eaters. You do need to provide a constant amount of clean water for your pet to drink as well. Ideally, you will need to get recommendations about the amounts of food to feed your dog from your vet. Sometimes, information is also available on the food bags as well. Not sure if your pet is eating the right amount? Here’s a test. If you run your hand against the dog’s side, you should feel her ribs without pressing. If you can not feel them without pressing, she may be overweight. If you can see them, though, she is underweight.
The first rule in taking care of your dog is: When your dog is sick, take him to a veterinarian! Use with caution advice of friends or people who are supposed to be "old, experienced dog breeders." Only a veterinarian is qualified to diagnose trouble and prescribe treatment. However, it is your job to keep your dog from getting sick. Let us assume you start with a puppy. You should know something about "shots", worm medications, flea powders, and poisons. While a puppy is nursing, it may receive protective antibodies in its mother's milk. As soon as the puppy is weaned, this natural immunity will begin to disappear and may be gone within two weeks. Many puppies are susceptible to diseases at this young age. Your veterinarian may prescribe a vaccination program beginning at 6 to 8 weeks, so it is important that you contact him/her immediately. Distemper, hepatitis and leptospirosis are common and serious diseases which destroy many pets each year. Rabies is also a threat which should be guarded against in rural as well as metropolitan areas because of the possible chance of exposure to bites of infected animals. The only satisfactory method of protecting your dog is by vaccination. Your veterinarian may want to give your puppy immediate temporary protection at the time of purchase or adoption with a "puppy shot" of antiserum which contains antibodies against distemper, hepatitis and leptospirosis as well as some of the other common diseases. Vaccinations provide long term immunity and most puppies will be started on a series of vaccinations on their first visit to the veterinarian. Booster vaccines are then advisable on a regular basis for adult dogs, to maintain his overall health for years to come. By M Adley petmedsonline. org
Even if you give your pet the good things he needs such as a good amount of physical activity and good foods for him, you need to realize that your pet can still become sick. The best way to help you pet is to make sure that as soon as you notice something wrong that you take care of it. For example, the symptoms that you may feel yourself when feeling sick, such as diarrhea, lack of appetite or a look of being out of it can be a sign that he has a bug. But, on the other hand, if the symptoms last more than a few days, it’s time to call your vet. They may have something more serious such as parasites or an infection. One of your first concerns should be when you pet has diarrhea. This is very important to notice especially in puppies. Again, it may seem like he just has a bug, but it can also signal that there is something more wrong such as a virus, parasite or bacterial infection. While a change in the type of food the dog eats or just the stress he is under can cause it, it’s important to take steps to protect your animal when he has diarrhea. You need to insure your pet, especially your puppy, does not dehydrate. If the condition lasts for more than a day or so, you should call your vet. You may need to collect a sample for the vet so that he or she can figure out what the problem is and how to treat it. What about a dog with what looks like a cold? Dogs that are coughing or have discharge coming from their nose are often suffering from a URI (Upper respiratory infection.) These are caused by a virus or bacteria that are lurking in the air. It is important for you to realize what is happening with your dog, for your sake and the pets. What they have is something they can pass on to you and your family as well. Some pets can develop dehydration or even develop pneumonia. Dogs that are exposed to a shelter like situation can also contract other respiratory diseases such as Bortadella or kennel cough. Rest and some proper care can have the dog over this disease within a few days. You can have your dog vaccinated for this condition which is a great thing to do for anyone who uses a doggie daycare of needs to use boarding shelters for when you travel. Most municipalities will require that all dogs receive a certain number of vaccinations. These are very important to your dog’s health. They help to prevent more deadly diseases from affecting your pet. For example, parvovirus, distemper and rabies are diseases that can be vaccinated against. Your dog will likely need to have a booster vaccine every year or so to protect them continuously. Doing this protects you and the dog as well as other dogs in the area. Parasites can also attack and harm a dog. For many dogs, there are a number of parasites that can affect them. In order to monitor for this, your dog will need to be seen by a vet regularly and the vet is likely to need you to provide them with a sample of fecal matter. A good thing to watch for is small rice sized granules in the dog’s bedding or near its anus. This is a sign of worms and your pet needs to be seen by a vet to help stop the problem. But, that’s not all of the parasites that can infect your dog. On his skin there can also be parasites. For example, mange and sarcoptic mites are critters that like to live here the hair follicle and on the skin of the pet. Ear mites live inside the pet’s ear. They can really cause your dog pain and should be taken care of. You may not be able to see them, either. If your dog is uncomfortable or is scratching quite a bit, even skin biting, there are most likely parasites that need to be taken care of. Of course, there are also fleas to contend with. You should always consult a qualified veterinarian if you are concerned about your pet's health.
Dear Adam, I am a member of the Bouvtrain list. That's how I got your name. I'm almost through your book and it has certainly given me some new ideas. Gypsy is a 1 1/2 year old Bouvier. She is very high-strung but we're working on it. You're absolutely right that it does no good to send your dog away to school. For $900 bucks she now does just what the dog trainer tells her to do. I'm getting a lot better, though. Here's my question. I exercise her in the morning. We play ball for 30 minutes and then we walk a mile practicing sits, downs and stays. At night we play ball for about 15 minutes. I work from 10am to about 7pm. She stays in the kitchen with a dog door leading to a large 6' fenced back yard. She sleeps almost all day and she doesn't sleep at night. She paces and barks. I make her stay in the kitchen (baby gates) so I can get some sleep. I don't know any other Bouviers so I don't know if this is normal or not. She has hip dysplasia and has had hip surgery. I thought it might be pain so tried giving her an aspirin at night. Didn't help. I tried getting up to correct her but she hears me and gets in bed before I get there. Right now I'm just trying to ignore her. The kitchen has a large bay window to the front of the house but there are curtains. She's been doing this for months and I haven't had a full nights sleep in months, either. Would crating her help? Any ideas would be appreciated. Robbye and Gypsy Dear Robbye: Thanks for sending me this e-mail. It's a perfect example as to why simply "ignoring" bad behavior will never work on dogs that care more about pleasing themselves than anything else. Here are some tips: When she starts to bark, you'll need to yell, "No!" from your bedroom, and then continue saying, "No, no, no!" as you run to her and administer a correction. It doesn't matter if she climbs back in her bed at this point, as you've already used the word, "No!" as an event-marker. So she'll know what she's being corrected for. As long as you continue saying, "No!" you have an additional 7 to 14 seconds in which the dog will still associate your correction with the behavior. Put a crate in your bedroom and let her sleep in it. Even though it doesn't seem like much to us humans, dogs think that sleeping together is quality time when they're not alone. This can help with some of her anxiety. You may also try just putting her on a leash and attaching the leash to the foot of your bed. If she knows a down-stay, you can simply correct her if she gets up. After a couple of evenings, she'll learn that when you bring her into the bedroom and make her lay down, it's time to stay put. If you don't feel that her hip is bothering her, I would recommend increasing the amount of exercise time. Feed her as soon as you get home from work and then take her out and play ball for at least 30 minutes. An hour would be even better. If you can't play ball with her for a whole hour, then work her through a very intense obedience routine (heel, sit, heel, down, come, heel, etc...) for about 15 minutes and then play ball with her for another 10 minutes. When I lived in Berkeley, California I had an American Pit Bull Terrier that was a very high-energy bitch. If I took her to the park on a Monday afternoon and played fetch for a whole hour, we'd later return to my apartment and within 20 minutes she'd be bouncing off the walls again. However, if I took her out on a Wednesday and we simply did an intense obedience routine for 20 minutes, we'd return to the apartment and she would collapse under my coffee table and not move for the next 2 hours.
Tired of hearing your child whine about wanting a pet? All parents seem to have this problem at one time or another. Many children want a pet, and it's a perfect way to teach children responsibility. If you've decided to give your children the opportunity to have a pet of their own, you just have to figure out which pet is the right pet! There are a few smaller, easier to care for animals that make great first pets. These are typically a bit more affordable than bigger animals such as dogs or cats. However, with any pet, the owner's personality affects the decision. Gerbils make great pets for smaller children, as they are active during the day and are extremely curious and friendly. Gerbils are actually desert animals. They are very clean animals, which makes cleaning up after them a lot simpler. For a young child's first pet, these are perfect! Gerbils are very social animals, so a pair is definitely the way to go with these animals. However, be sure they are not mates; otherwise you'd better be prepared to take care of lots of little gerbils! A large aquarium-style tank with a deep layer of wood shavings makes for a perfect home for these little creatures, as they love to tunnel and dig. To keep them (as well as your child) entertained, tunnel-type toys are great! Gerbil food is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at any pet store. They also enjoy the occasional bit of lettuce or cheese. Gerbils usually live up to three years. Guinea pigs are good first pets, as they don't scratch and can be gently handled. Like gerbils, they're social creatures, so a pair is preferred. Guinea pigs are very timid, so they need lots of places to hide in their cage. An aquarium-style tank works well for guinea pigs as well, as long as they have a grazing area and places to burrow. Guinea pigs need a daily diet that his high in fiber and vitamin C. Guinea pigs live up to six years. Most people aren't entirely keen on the idea of keeping mice, but if you're looking to get one as a first pet, you should keep in mind that, like the others, they are social. Two to three female mice are the best way to go as males tend to fight and produce a much stronger smell. Cages must be cleaned two to three times a week. A wire-mesh cage works best for mice, as they need a well-ventilated living space, with tunnels and other toys. Mice need a lot of things to gnaw on, such as dog biscuits. Though they generally have a shorter life span than gerbils or guinea pigs, mice are by far the highest maintenance. However, any of these pets are perfect for a child's first pet, and what better way to give your child a lesson in responsibility?