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We are specialists in the treatment of canine joint disease and its accompanying pain.

Let us help put an end to your dog’s suffering, joint stiffness, pain, immobility, and poor quality of life. Our proven products will help you easily accomplish this without the use of drugs or invasive surgery.

Joint Issues

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Osteochondritis (OCD)
  • Stiffness/Inflammation
  • Ligament Tears
  • Growing Pains
  • Mobility Problems
  • Joint Pain
  • Back/Spinal Problems
  • Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)

Symptoms

Is your pet becoming less active, less playful, or desiring shorter walks? The following symptoms could be early signs of OCD, Arthritis or Hip Dysplasia.

  • Moving more slowly
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Weight shift to another leg
  • Personality change
  • Reluctant to walk, jump or play
  • Refuses using stairs or the car
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in behavior
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping
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Archive for the ‘Arthritis In Dogs’ Category

Thunderstorms and Dogs

Monday, May 18th, 2015


Thunderstorms and dogs make a bad combination. It’s common for dogs to suffer from thunderstorm phobia or anxiety if they live in a part of the country subject to summer storms with thunder and lightning.

Dogs with thunderstorm phobia become extremely panicky and overwhelmed with fear during loud thunderstorms. The technical term for this is Astraphobia: the fear of thunder and lightning. Owners who see their dogs experiencing this fear usually feel helpless and frustrated.

Causes of a dog’s phobia of Thunderstorms
There is no way to be certain what causes a dog to be afraid of thunderstorms. There are probably multiple reasons for thunderstorm phobia, and the reasons may even vary from dog to dog. The most obvious reason is the loud noise of the thunder and the bright flashes of lightning. Many dogs suffer from noise phobia, and the thunder is just one of several frightening noises besides fireworks and gunshots that can cause panic in dogs.

It’s also possible that the cause of a dog’s fear may not be limited to noise. Changes in barometric pressure and humidity can affect your dog’s senses and even cause discomfort in its ears. Arthritic dogs or those with other degenerative joint diseases like hip dysplasia, may experience more pain during thunderstorms than they normally do at other times.

Another possible reason for thunderstorm phobia is that the dog associates the thunder and lightning with a traumatic experience it has had. It is possible that something very stressful or frightening occurred in your dog’s past during a thunderstorm.

Signs of Thunderstorm Phobia
If your dog seems anxious, hyperactive, destructive or withdrawn during thunderstorms, it’s probably suffering from thunderstorm phobia. The signs of Astraphobia are fairly obvious and easy to spot in a dog with this phobia. Many dogs will pace, pant or begin whining. Some will stay right by your side seeking your attention. Other dogs may hide and become frozen with fear. Your dog’s fearful behavior may be subtle at first but can become worse with time, eventually becoming full-blown panic attacks that are very dangerous for your dog.

Thunderstorm phobia can cause a dog to urinate and sometimes defecate inside the house out of fear during a storm. Telltale signs of anxiety and fear may begin long before the storm arrives, so take note of any of these signs you may see in your dog during normal weather when the forecast is for stormy weather ahead. Your dog is probably a better weather forecaster than the meteorologist on TV.

Preventing and Treating Dogs With Thunderstorm Phobias
If your dog has a thunderstorm phobia, there are some things you can do to protect it during thunderstorms, or at least minimize its responses to the thunder and lightning.

The most important of course is never leave your dog outside during storms.

Be aware of your own behavior and that of other people in your home. Your dog will react to human anxiety, fear and stress, even if it is not related to the storm. Do your best to remain relaxed. Go about your usual duties. Don’t pay special attention to your dog when it is exhibiting signs of fear or anxiety. Even though your natural instinct is to want to comfort your dog, coddling and praising it only reinforces and rewards the unwanted behavior.

There are ways you can indirectly comfort your dog during thunderstorms. Find a comfortable hiding place for your dog in the quietest part of the house. If you have a dog crate, place the dog’s bed inside and cover the crate with a blanket or sheet to make your dog feel safer.
If your dog does calm down and stops reacting to the storm, respond with calm praise and rewards.

Dogs with severe thunderstorm phobia may benefit from prescription medication used in conjunction with desensitization or conditioning training. Your vet may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication like Xanax (alprazolam) or Valium (diazepam) that can be given at the first sign of a storm.

Because thunderstorm phobia is likely to become worse over time, it’s important to take action when you first notice the signs. Don’t wait to address your dog’s phobia until it is very severe. That simply makes it that much harder to reverse the phobia.

Just as stress is a health risk for humans, the same applies for thunderstorms and dogs. Thunderstorm phobia can become a very serious problem that will adversely affect your dog’s health and quality of life.

Why Foster a Senior Dog

Monday, March 16th, 2015


There are good reasons to foster a senior dog. Senior dogs are usually scheduled for euthanasia shortly after arrival at an animal shelter. This is truly unfortunate and is by no means discriminatory just because of their age. The reality is that most animal shelters are full on a regular basis and since senior dogs are usually the last to be adopted, they are the first to be scheduled for euthanasia.

A typical animal shelter is a stressful environment for any dog but is especially hard on senior dogs who are less able to deal with this type of stress and they often become disoriented. Also, older dogs find it more difficult to fight diseases at their advanced age and animal shelters often harbor contagious diseases like kennel cough that are very easy to contract.

Senior dogs have a tendency to be less hopeful than younger dogs when they find themselves confined to a shelter and they may become depressed. A depressed dog does not look like a happy dog and most people searching for a dog to adopt won’t consider any dog that doesn’t look and act like it would be happy to have a new home. Most people who visit animal shelters are hoping to find a beautiful puppy or a young dog.

If you choose to foster a senior dog it will be important to help the dog maintain good emotional and physical health. This will make the dog more appealing to someone looking to adopt a dog. By providing a pleasant and supportive home environment while a dog is waiting for adoption increases the odds of finding a new home.

If you decide to foster a senior dog, you should be patient, compassionate, and committed to the dog’s well-being. You’ll need to be flexible and have a practical attitude if you really want to help a senior dog recover from the traumatic experience of being placed in a shelter. Your goal should be to prepare the dog for adjustment to a new home.

You shouldn’t foster a senior dog if you don’t have the time to care for it because you’re often away from home. Plan on caring and exercising the dog at least an hour every day. A senior dog will also want to spend significant time with you each day; time to play and time for you to show it love.

It shouldn’t be an important consideration if you’ve never fostered a dog. If this is the first time you’ve fostered a dog, the shelter will help you choose the right dog that will make the best companion for you during the fostering period.

Remember that during this fostering period you will be responsible for the dog’s food and other needs. Some animal shelters and most dog rescue organizations will pay for any needed medical care.

A leash and collar is often provided by the shelter or rescue organization. If you already have or can buy a comfortable dog bed, your senior dog will be quite happy. You can also use old blankets and towels to make a comfortable place for the dog to sleep.

A reasonable question to ask if you’ve never fostered a dog is, “How long will it take for a senior dog to be adopted?”

Since a lot of senior dogs are adopted by people who are seniors themselves, smaller dogs tend to be adopted more quickly than larger dogs.

Dogs Who Develop Hip Dysplasia

Monday, March 2nd, 2015


Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that primarily affects large and giant breeds of dogs but can also affect medium-sized breeds, and some small breeds. It is primarily a disease of purebreds, although it can also occur in mixed breeds.

Dogs who develop hip dysplasia suffer from an abnormal joint structure and a laxity of the muscles, connective tissue, and ligaments that would normally support the dog’s hip joints. As the disease progresses, the articular surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. This separation of the two bones within the joint causes a drastic change in the size and shape of the articular surfaces.

Most dogs who develop hip dysplasia are born with normal hips, but due to their genetic make-up the soft tissues surrounding the joint develop abnormally. This leads to the symptoms associated with hip dysplasia. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left hip.

The symptoms of hip dysplasia cause afflicted dogs to walk or run with an altered gait, similar to a bunny-hop. They begin to resist any movement that requires full extension or flexion of the rear legs. They will experience stiffness and pain in their rear legs after exercising and on first rising in the morning. Climbing stairs becomes difficult if not impossible. Some dogs will limp and are less willing to participate in normal daily activities, including walks they formerly enjoyed.

Because hip dysplasia is primarily an inherited condition, there are no products that can prevent its development. Through proper diet, exercise, and a supplement such as Winston’s Joint System, you can slow, and sometimes halt, the progression of these degenerative joint diseases while providing your dog with relief from its pain. Winston’s provides many of the raw materials essential for the synthesis of the joint-lubricating synovial fluid as well as the repair of articular cartilage and connective tissue.

    Dogs who are prone to develop hip dysplasia include the following:

Afghan Hound, Airedale Terrier, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, American Eskimo Dog, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Water Spaniel, Anatolian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog, Basset Hound, Beagle, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Bichon Frise, Black and Tan Coonhound, Black Russian Terrier, Bloodhound, Border Collie, Border Terrier, Bouvier des Flandres, Boxer, Brussels Griffon, Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow-Chow, Collie, Curly-Coated Retriever, Dalmatian, Doberman Pinscher, English Cocker Spaniel, English Foxhound, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, French Bulldog, German Shepherd, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Giant Schnauzer, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Irish Setter, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Wolfhound, Keeshond, Labrador Retriever, Lhasa Apso, Mastiff, Newfoundland, Norwegian Elkhound, Old English Sheepdog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Pointer, Portuguese Water Dog, Pug, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Samoyed, Shetland Sheepdog, Shiba Inu, Shih Tzu, Siberian Husky, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Standard Schnauzer, Weimaraner, and Welsh Springer Spaniel.

This is by no means a complete list of dogs who can develop hip dysplasia. It is important you understand that just because your dog’s breed is on this list does NOT mean it will develop hip dysplasia at some point in its life.

Learn How To Improve Your Dogs Health That Suffers From Hip Dysplasia

How To Calculate Your Dog’s Age

Monday, February 2nd, 2015


Here’s an easy way to calculate your dog’s age in human years. Dogs age faster than people do, but the conventional wisdom that one dog year equals seven human years is an oversimplified method of calculating a dog’s age. You can guess the approximate age of a dog this way but it doesn’t take into account the fact that dogs mature more quickly than children do in their initial years.

Figuring for the difference in maturation between a child and a dog, the first year of a dog’s life would be equal to about 15 human years, not seven.

A dog’s size and breed also influence the rate at which a dog ages. Smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs but they generally mature more rapidly in the first few years of their life. A large dog will mature more slowly at first but is considered elderly by the age of five.

In contrast, small and toy breeds aren’t considered elderly until they reach 10 years of age. Medium-sized breeds fall between small breeds and large breeds in lifespan.

* A small dog weighs 20 pounds or less
* A medium dog weighs 21 to 50 pounds
* A large dog weighs more than 50 pounds

Here’s How To Calculate Your Dog’s Age in Human Years:
1 Year = 15 human years
2 Years = 24 human years
3 Years = 28 human years
4 Years = 32 human years
5 Years = 36 human years

At 6 years of age the size of a dog begins to determine its age in human years:

6 Years = 40 human years for small breeds; 42 for medium size breeds; 45 for large breeds
7 Years = 44 human years for small breeds; 47 for medium size breeds; 50 for large breeds
8 Years = 48 human years for small breeds; 51 for medium size breeds; 55 for large breeds
9 Years = 52 human years for small breeds; 56 for medium size breeds; 61 for large breeds
10 Years = 56 human years for small breeds; 60 for medium size breeds; 66 for large breeds
11 Years = 60 human years for small breeds; 65 for medium size breeds; 72 for large breeds
12 Years = 64 human years for small breeds; 69 for medium size breeds; 77 for large breeds
13 Years = 68 human years for small breeds; 74 for medium size breeds; 82 for large breeds
14 Years = 72 human years for small breeds; 78 for medium size breeds; 88 for large breeds
15 Years = 76 human years for small breeds; 83 for medium size breeds; 93 for large breeds
16 Years = 80 human years for small breeds; 87 for medium size breeds; 120 for large breeds

If you’ve adopted a puppy or dog from a shelter but the dog’s history is unknown, it’s still possible to estimate how old the dog is. Checking a dog’s teeth can give you a rough indication of its age. The degree of tooth growth helps determine how old a puppy is, and the degree of wear and tartar buildup helps estimate the age of an adult dog.

Here are some general guidelines:
* By 8 weeks: All baby teeth are in
* By 7 months: All permanent teeth are in and are white and clean
* By 1-2 years: Teeth are duller and the back teeth may have some yellowing
* By 3-5 years: All teeth may have tartar build-up and some tooth wear
* By 5-10 years: Teeth show more wear and signs of disease
* By 10-15 years: Teeth are worn, and heavy tartar build-up is likely. Some teeth may be missing.

In older dogs, signs of aging may show up in a variety of ways, including a cloudy appearance in the eyes, graying hair around the muzzle, face, head and body, a lack of elasticity in the skin, and possible stiffness of the joints.

If you’re still not sure of its age and really want to know if your dog’s breed is susceptible to any genetic diseases like hip dysplasia or arthritis, your vet can also estimate your dog’s age based on a complete physical exam or tests by checking its bones, joints, muscles, and internal organs.

Hopefully this information will assist you in figuring out how to calculate your dog’s age.

Help With Vet Bills

Monday, September 15th, 2014


In these difficult economic times many dog owners are finding that they sometimes need help paying vet bills. Fortunately, there are programs and organizations willing to help with vet bills when money is tight.

If you need spay and neuter services for your dog, most ASPCA branches often sponsor low cost spay and neuter clinics.

Many vaccination clinics set up special events during the year and offer free or inexpensive vaccines for your dog. Vaccines usually dispensed at these events include Rabies, Corona, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Leptospirosis. Heartworm and parasite testing is sometimes offered free of charge also.

If your dog needs medical treatment or emergency care and you’re unable to afford such care, there are charitable organizations across the country who work with caring veterinarians to provide medical care for dogs who would otherwise go untreated.

These organizations include the following:
The American Animal Hospital Association is a companion animal veterinary association. They have a foundation called Helping Pets Fund that gives aid to sick and injured pets.

United Animal Nations which provides assistance to animal rescue organizations and helps victims of disasters, domestic violence and foreclosures to care for their pets.

Help-A-Pet assists physically and mentally challenged individuals, senior citizens and children of the working poor to provide their pets with lifesaving veterinary care.

Labrador Life Line helps individuals and rescuers care for Labrador Retrievers by providing medical assistance, supplies and transportation to foster homes and permanent homes.

The Pet Fund provides financial assistance to pet owners to help pay for medical and preventive care of a dog. The Fund also works to decrease the number of animals that end up being euthanized or surrendered to animal shelters due to preventable or treatable illnesses.

Another source of help is one of the many community food banks that accept and distribute pet food to help owners feed their pets. Local humane societies sometimes are able to provide a list of sources for low-cost or no-cost pet food.

Getting help with vet bills when you truly need it should never, and I mean never, cause you to be embarrassed. Think first of your loving companion and not your pride. Your dog needs you. You are its reason for living.

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