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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 ‘Asthma in Dogs’ Category

Asthma Treatments for Dogs

Monday, May 30th, 2016


Pet asthma is a medical condition that’s easy to diagnose in dogs and there are several different asthma treatments for dogs that can control the symptoms of this disease.

Asthma in dogs is defined as the sudden narrowing of a dog’s airways that causes breathing difficulties. Asthma can be triggered when a pet inhales something it’s allergic to. When this happens, the lower parts of the lungs begin to tighten and the dog will begin to wheeze or cough. Its gums may turn blue, and heavy panting ensues.

In extreme cases a dog will collapse from a lack of oxygen. This is why it’s important to consider every asthma attack as a medical emergency. Too much exercise or exertion can also trigger an asthma attack.

Some pets with asthma may have only occasional mild attacks, while others can have repeated attacks ranging from moderate to severe.

Diagnosing Asthma in Your Dog
A veterinarian will use a combination of tests which include x-rays and blood assessments as a way to diagnose asthma. This will help rule out other ailments or illnesses like airway obstructions, infections or heartworms that can cause the same symptoms as asthma.

Your veterinarian may have you keep a record of your dog’s asthma attacks in order to establish what triggers are causing the attacks. If your dog has a problem breathing after an energetic exercise period or when pollen counts are high where you live, keeping track of the attacks can help your veterinarian formulate the best treatment plan for your dog.

Traditional asthma treatments for dogs include administering steroids and antihistamines to help reduce swelling and control the allergic reactions.

In more serious asthma cases, it may be necessary to inject epinephrine during an attack to allow the dog to breathe easier. Your veterinarian will teach you how to give your dog injections of epinephrine if it has a very serious case of asthma.

Asthma treatments for dogs may also include alternative medical treatments, such as dietary supplements, herbal remedies or acupuncture.

Regardless of the type of medical treatment you choose for your dog, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to control the circumstances that trigger the asthma attacks. For example, if dust triggers the asthma attacks, you’ll need to find a way to filter out dust from the air inside your house. If you’re a smoker and your dog’s asthma attacks are triggered by cigarette smoke, you may need to quit smoking or only smoke in areas well away from your dog.

Obese Dog Health Problems

Monday, January 25th, 2016


When a dog is obese it’s more susceptible to developing serious medical conditions because of an elevated glucose level and the extra amount of fat that puts additional pressure on its joints and also on its heart. If you have an overweight or obese dog, you should consider placing it on a slimming diet to prevent possible health problems from occurring.

Obese and overweight dogs are predisposed to getting diabetes because their blood glucose level will continue to increase. The dog’s body will naturally secrete insulin in higher amounts but at some point its body will not be able to cope with the increased amounts of insulin and diabetes will result.

A dog with extra weight is much more likely to develop arthritis at a younger age. Typically a dog will develop arthritis after the age of eight but an obese dog may have joint problems much earlier in life because the extra weight adds stress on the joints which in turn cause pain and swelling.

Extra weight can add pressure on the dog’s ligaments and tendons causing further soreness. The ligaments in the dog’s knees and feet may become injured, causing incapacitation. Weight loss is essential to reduce stress on the dog’s joints, tendons and ligaments. In severe cases the dog will require surgery.

Arthritis is not a treatable condition, but may be managed with supplements like Winston’s Joint System, a combination of three, totally-natural whole food supplements developed by a Naturopathic Doctor for his own dog. There are no side-effects with Winston’s because it’s just good whole food and there are no dosage problems because the body uses only what it needs.

An overweight dog is also susceptible to heart problems and cardiovascular disease. Obesity and excess weight causes the heart to pump more blood to the fat tissues, creating an additional workload on the heart. Over a period of time the heart will become weakened and the walls of the heart chambers may be damaged or the blood vessels may dilate and cause heart problems.

Obese and overweight dogs will usually develop breathing problems also. The lungs may be pressured by fatty tissues surrounding the lungs, preventing the dog from breathing normally. The lungs then become overworked because they are having to provide more oxygen to the fatty tissues.

Obese and overweight dogs can also develop liver disease, because the liver is the first place the body deposits the fat. Excess fat in a dog’s liver causes hepatic lipidosis leading to liver failure.

The health problems of obese and overweight dogs are not limited only to these diseases and ailments. There are many other serious medical conditions that can be avoided if a dog maintains a normal weight through a reduction of calorie intake and daily exercise. A healthy and fit dog will live a longer and happier life.

Veterinary Specialists

Monday, July 13th, 2015


There are several types of veterinary specialists that often assist regular veterinarians in their practices. A general veterinarian is effective at treating most of the ailments and diseases of a pet dog, but there may be a time when a specialist needs to be called in to handle more serious conditions.

Specialist veterinarians are trained to handle specific treatments dealing with animals. These include surgery, anesthesiology, emergency care, nutrition, and dentistry.

Surgical Specialists
Surgical veterinary professionals specialize in animal surgical operations. They receive specialized training for an extensive variety of different surgical techniques that many veterinarians are not trained to undertake nor are qualified to perform.

Because surgery can be very stressful and dangerous for an animal, you’ll want to be sure your pet is in the hands of a trained surgical veterinary specialist.

Anesthesiologists
Just like in humans, anesthesia is used during animal surgery and occasionally during some diagnostic testing procedures. Most vets will use anesthesia for certain diagnostic tests but many use the skills of an anesthesiologist when a dog needs to undergo a surgical procedure.

The anesthesiologist is trained to handle cases of allergic reactions and the treatment of life-threatening situations related to the administration of anesthesia.

Emergency Care Specialists
Emergency care specialists are trained to handle any type of animal emergency medical condition including traumas, strokes, heart attacks, and emergency injuries. These specialists are trained to react rapidly to a pet’s needs and diagnose the situation quickly so treatment or life-saving measures can be undertaken.

Nutrition Specialists
Nutritional specialists are beneficial in prescribing the healthiest and most appropriate diet for a pet. Some dogs suffer from obesity and its related ailments and diseases. A nutritional specialist can assist you in putting your dog back on track to controlling its weight and improving its health.

Nutritional specialists are also useful when certain medical conditions like diabetes require a change in diet. For diabetes, a specialist will recommend a strict low-sugar diet to help your dog control its diabetes.

Dentistry Specialists
Because dental care is vital to the overall general health of an animal, dental veterinary specialists are concerned only with animal dentistry. Examining an animal’s teeth and cleaning them properly can be a difficult task for both an owner and a veterinary assistant. If your dog’s teeth or gums are in bad condition, it’s a good idea to have a trained dental specialist examine and treat the dog’s teeth, and mouth, to restore your pet to optimum health.

Why Dogs Snore

Monday, January 26th, 2015


Some dogs snore while sleeping and some dogs snore when awake. Some dogs even snore when they’re asleep or awake. Snoring is fairly common among domestic pets but some owners find this extremely annoying. If you have a dog that snores and it’s making your days and nights uncomfortable, there are several things you can do to stop your dog from snoring.

First, check your dog to see if it has an obstruction in its nasal passage or nostrils. This will cause a constriction of its airway and make breathing difficult. Snoring is just one symptom of this problem.

Before you try to stop your dog’s snoring, it’s necessary to understand the reasons why dogs snore so you can take preventive steps to stop its snoring.

Dogs snore for several reasons:

A dog that is overweight or obese usually has excess tissue in the throat which obstructs its airways. This in turn causes snoring and an occasional gasping for air.

Allergic reactions can be caused by pollen from weeds and certain trees like Poplars. Smoke and dust can also cause nasal allergies, resulting in a thick mucus that blocks the nostrils and causes heavy breathing and snoring.

Certain dog breeds are predisposed to snoring. Dogs who have flat faces like the Pekinese, Pug, and Boston Terrier snore as their windpipe flattens, making it difficult for them to breathe.

If you are a smoker, be aware that tobacco smoke is highly irritating to your dog. If your dog is constantly exposed to a smoke filled environment it will continue to snore.

Some dogs will snore if they have a cold and the snoring will continue until its nostrils clear up.

Now that you have a few clues as to why dogs snore, here are some ways you can help your dog stop snoring:

(1) If your dog’s snoring is caused by allergens, make sure you frequently wash its bedding, including the cover to the bed, if removable. Take your dog outdoors only when pollen levels are low. When taking your dog out for a walk try to stay away from traffic and auto exhausts as much as possible.

(2) Regular exercise will help reduce your dog’s weight if it’s overweight or obese. Losing pounds will often help end the snoring problem.

(3) Flat faced dogs predisposed to snoring can undergo a minor surgical procedure while young to lessen the chance of snoring problems as they grow older.

(4) Keep your home smoke-free and never smoke when close to your dog where it can’t avoid inhaling your smoke.

(5) Alter the way your dog sleeps by changing its bed or sleeping position. You can try using a pillow to elevate the dog’s head which might reduce the snoring.

(6) Consider having your dog sleep in another room other than your bedroom at night.

A dog may exhibit certain signs when snoring that indicate an underlying illness. If your dog continues to snore heavily in spite of any anti-snoring measures you undertake, you may want to have a vet examine your dog to determine the cause. If your dog has never snored before and the snoring unexpectedly appears, you should definitely take your dog to the vet for a checkup because the underlying cause could be quite serious.

Dogs snore and people snore. Hopefully, you don’t have to put up with both every night. Taking simple preventive steps can help both you and your dog, and also increase your pet’s life span. This means your loving companion will be around a lot longer to bring you happiness.

Diseases in Older Dogs

Monday, December 19th, 2011


Diseases that affect older dogs can be more serious simply because the dog is older.

Our pet dogs are susceptible to many of the same diseases that we as humans have to deal with. Here is a list of the most common diseases that can affect your pet and the symptoms or warning signs to guide you in knowing when to contact your vet. Some are serious and require immediate attention while others may have slow onsets and can be more difficult to diagnose. Many of these diseases affect older dogs more than younger ones, but a dog’s age does not render it immune to any of these debilitating diseases. When deciding whether any of these symptoms affecting your dog are serious enough to warrant a visit to the vet, you should always err on the side of caution and contact your vet when any of these symptoms persist in your pet.

    Cancer – Signs and Symptoms

Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
Sores that do not heal
Weight loss
Loss of appetite
Bleeding or discharge from any opening in the body
Unusually strong stinky odor
Difficulty eating or swallowing
Hesitant to exercise or suffers from a loss of stamina
Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating

    Dental disease – Signs and Symptoms

Bad breath
Difficulty eating or swallowing
Weight loss

    Arthritis – Signs and Symptoms

Difficulty getting up from prone position
Difficulty climbing steps and/or jumping
Behavior changes – irritable, reclusive
Urinating or defecating inside the house
Loss of muscle

    Kidney disease/failure – Signs and Symptoms

Increased urination and thirst
Weight loss
Vomiting
Loss of appetite
Weakness
Pale gums
Diarrhea
Blood in vomit or black, tarry stool
Bad breath and oral ulcers
Behavior change

    Prostate disease – Signs and Symptoms

Urinating or defecating inside the house
Dribbling urine
Blood in urine

    Cataracts – Signs and Symptoms

Cloudy appearance to the eyes
Bumping into objects large enough to be avoided
Not retrieving objects when thrown

    Hypothyroidism – Signs and Symptoms

Weight gain
Dry, thin coat
Lethargy and/or depression

    Cushing’s disease – Signs and Symptoms

Thin coat and thin skin
Increased thirst and urination
Pot-bellied appearance
Abnormally increased appetite

    Urinary incontinence – Signs and Symptoms

Urinating in the bed or the area where the dog was sleeping

    Gastrointestinal disease – Signs and Symptoms

Vomiting
Diarrhea
Loss of appetite
Loss of weight
Blood in stool
Black and/or tarry stool

    Inflammatory bowel disease – Signs and Symptoms

Diarrhea
Vomiting
Mucous or blood in stool
Increased frequency of defecation

    Diabetes mellitus – Signs and Symptoms

Increased thirst and urination
Weight loss

    Anemia – Signs and Symptoms

Exercise intolerance
Very light-colored gums

    Liver disease – Signs and Symptoms

Vomiting
Loss of appetite
Behavior changes
Yellow or pale gums

As you can see from this list of symptoms, it would be nearly impossible to self-diagnose your pet with any of these diseases that can affect older dogs. If you notice that one or more of the above symptoms persist for any length of time, make an appointment with your vet and have your dog thoroughly checked for these serious diseases. You owe your faithful companion the best care you can afford.

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