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The #1 source for immediate, long-term relief for dogs suffering from degenerative diseases like hip dysplasia, OCD and arthritis.

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
We Can Help!
 

Archive for the ‘Dog Diseases’ Category

Do Dogs Have Allergies?

Monday, May 7th, 2012


Dogs have allergies just like humans; allergies are, in fact, quite common among dogs. And, as in humans, an allergy can’t be cured in a dog but it can be treated, both with medication and also by protecting your dog from whatever is making him sick.

As in humans, allergies are caused by an immune system that overreacts to an innocuous substance, such as pollen, certain foods, or even fleas. The three most common allergies in dogs are:

  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis is genetic. It affects dogs who have inherited a tendency to develop skin problems caused by pollens, grasses, trees, and dust mites.

    This allergy is seasonal and is most often a reaction to pollen. It causes skin irritation and shows up around the top of a dog’s stomach and anal area. Your vet may give your dog steroids for short-term relief from the itching. A regimen of therapy allergy shots can lessen your dog’s sensitivity to allergens on a longer-term basis.

  • Flea Allergies
  • This is an allergy to the saliva of bloodsucking fleas and is the most common skin disease in dogs. In allergic dogs, a flea bite can cause extreme itching, reddish bumps, and can inflame a dog’s skin for days. Steroids and antihistamines can help a dog with flea allergies, but the only real treatment is to rid your house, yard, and dog of the fleas. Pet Bath Ultra uses Flea Blast Technology to generate super-oxygenated molecules to bathe your pet without water. This amazing brush will leave your dog with a lush coat that smells fresh and clean without all the fuss.

  • Food Allergies
  • Dogs can also be allergic to several different types of food. They may experience allergic reactions to dog food contents such as chicken, beef, or corn which are typical ingredients in commercial dog food. This allergy usually shows up as skin problems such as rashes, itching, and areas of infected skin. Some dogs may also suffer from an upset stomach accompanied by chronic diarrhea or vomiting.

    If your dog is suffering from an food allergy, you should try eliminating certain foods from his diet. Contact your vet and ask if there is a special food they would recommend for your dog to aid in overcoming his allergy. A visit to your vet is necessary if your dog demonstrates these allergy symptoms: frequent scratching, licking and chewing; recurring skin or ear infections; flaky skin; hair loss; or chronic stomach upset.

    Antihistamines, steroids, and other medications can relieve your dog’s discomfort from itching, but steroids should not be considered a long-term solution since they can cause serious health problems in your pet. Antihistamines are safer, but they can make your dog drowsy. Air filters and air-conditioning will cut airborne allergens. For dust mite allergies, wash your dog in hot water every week. Avoid letting your dog go outside in the early morning and late afternoon hours when pollen levels are at their peak.

    After taking your dog on a walk, wipe it down with a moist towel to remove any pollen that might have accumulated during your outing. A good product to use after every walk or outdoor play session is Paw Clean. Just spray it on your dog’s paw pads and between the “toes” to eliminate harmful germ spreading substances. To keep an allergic dog’s sensitive skin from drying out after a bath, use a hypoallergenic dog shampoo. For flea allergies, you can fill your dog’s bed with cedar chips to keep fleas from taking up residence.

    Does your dog have allergies? If so, what is he or she allergic to? Are you able to control your pet’s allergy? How? Please share your success story with our readers who may need your help.

    Vision Problems in Dogs

    Monday, April 2nd, 2012


    Vision problems can be painful or disorienting to a dog. Eyeglasses, although sometimes prescribed for dogs, is something very few dogs can ever get used to.

    Symptoms of vision problems in dogs can include the following:
    * Excessive tearing or redness
    * Closed or partially closed eyes most of the time
    * Rubbing the eyes or face
    * Cloudiness in the eyes
    * Discharges from the eyes

    When dogs have difficulty with their vision it’s usually the result of eye problems ranging from ingrown eyelids to corneal ulcers which are open sores on the cornea, the clear structure covering the iris (the colored part of the eye). Many eye problems in dogs can be treated with medication and surgery, and others can easily be prevented.

    Eye and eyelid diseases are divided into specialized categories: hereditary, trauma, inflammatory, eye and eyelid tumors, and congenital. The difference in the anatomy of a dog’s eyes in different breeds of dogs can predispose certain breeds to eye and eyelid diseases. Giant and large breeds for example, have deep, large eyes which can predispose them to chronic conjunctivitis.

    Conjunctivitis, or “dog pink-eye” is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eye and is the most common eye disease in all domestic animals. Dogs with allergies are often prone to developing conjunctivitis. Viruses or bacteria can also cause conjunctivitis, while allergies are a less common cause.

    Conjunctivis can make your dog’s eyes inflamed, itchy, and sensitive to light. Your dog may avoid light, rub its eyes excessively, or the eyes may begin to water.

    Symptoms of conjunctivitis include abnormal eye discharges limiting your dog’s ability to blink or close its eyes, and pink inflammation of the eyes. Conjunctivitis usually itches, so if your dog develops this disease, you’ll need to keep its eyes clean and eliminate the cause of the pink eye with input from your veterinarian.

    Chronic superficial keratitis, another eye disease occurring primarily in German Shepherds, causes pigmentation and superficial blood vessels on the eye. It’s not very painful but it can reduce your dog’s vision if left untreated.

    Keratitis also occurs in chronic cases of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). KCS occurs when there is not enough moisture in the tear film. A thick mucus discharge is usually present with this common eye disorder. Treatment for the disease involves the application of tear stimulants and anti-inflammatory drugs.

    Corneal ulcers occur when your dog experiences an eye injury or gets a foreign object in its eye. The injury may become infected and require antibiotics. If a foreign object becomes stuck in your dog’s eye, surgery may be necessary to remove it. A corneal ulcer usually causes your dog’s eye to water excessively.

    In the case of external eye diseases such as conjunctivitis, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) and superficial corneal ulcers, eye drops with an antibacterial agent are usually prescribed. The drops need to be administered several times a day over a period of several days for successful treatment.

    There are several disadvantages to eye drops however, the most prominent one being the natural rapid removal of the eye drops from the corneal surface.

    Cataracts cause the clear lenses of your dog’s eyes to become cloudy over time. This condition is usually genetic and occurs when your dog is elderly. As in humans, surgery is recommended for cataracts and the procedure has a very high success rate; about 90% of dogs who undergo cataract surgery experience complete recovery of their vision.

    In-grown eyelids can be hereditary, or can occur as a result of chronic, untreated inflammation of the eyes. In this condition, the eyelids turn in, causing the eyelashes to rub against the eye. This can give your dog a large, often white corneal ulcer. You can examine your dog to see if it is suffering from in-grown eyelids by gently pulling the lid away from the eye, then letting it drop. If it curls back on itself, your dog is probably suffering from in-grown eyelids, and will need corrective surgery.

    Diagnosing vision problems in dogs can be difficult. For example, if your dog’s eyes are red, it could be a symptom of an eye problem requiring treatment as simple as eye drops or as complicated as emergency eye surgery. Red eye in dogs can also be a sign of inflammatory conditions or an infectious disease. If you notice any of the symptoms of these diseases in your dog, it is best to schedule an appointment with your vet to have your dog examined professionally.

    History of Rimadyl

    Monday, March 19th, 2012


    The history of Rimadyl dates back to January of 1997 when Pfizer Pharmaceuticals first introduced the drug to veterinarians. The generic for Rimadyl, Carprofen, was marketed much later. Many dog owners whose pets suffer from arthritis or hip dysplasia believe that Rimadyl has improved the quality of their dogs’ lives. However, as a responsible dog owner, you need to be aware that there is sufficient evidence proving that Rimadyl can have very serious side effects for an animal.

    Some dogs have died after being prescribed Rimadyl. Most of these cases have been attributed to the unexpected and swift onset of the well-known side effects of Rimadyl.

    Labrador Retrievers, as well as their cousins, the Golden Retrievers, are more prone than most breeds to developing hip dysplasia, arthritis and other debilitating joint diseases. Pfizer first reported that Labradors were particularly at risk from Rimadyl’s toxicity. Pfizer’s report on side effects that occurred during the drug’s initial post-approval phase states, “. . . approximately one fourth of all hepatic reports were in Labrador Retrievers.”

    This is an alarmingly high rate of incidence and if you are the owner of a Labrador who suffers from a debilitating joint disease and your vet has prescribed Rimadyl, you need to exercise extreme caution so you are not putting your dog’s health or its life at risk. Besides Labrador Retrievers, many breeds who have been prescribed Rimadyl have experienced side effects or death from Rimadyl.

    Your veterinarian should pre-screen your dog before prescribing Rimadyl. Follow-up testing and close monitoring of the dog for possible toxic reactions is equally important.

    Rimadyl or its generic Carprofen are not recommended for dogs who have bleeding disorders, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or are inclined to suffer from gastrointestinal ulceration.

    Rimadyl should never be given along with any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin, or any corticosteroids such as prednisone, prednisolone, or dexamethasone. It is also not advisable to give the drug to pregnant or nursing female dogs because it has not been tested as being safe for the mother or the unborn puppies.

    Before agreeing with your vet that Rimadyl is the best solution for your dog’s joint problems, discuss the benefits of the drug against the risks. It has been widely reported that many veterinarians are not completely informed about the serious side-effects of Rimadyl.

    If you decide your dog might benefit from Rimadyl and you believe that it’s worth the risks involved, ask your veterinarian to start by prescribing the lowest possible dosage that can be used to obtain relief, and then increase the dosage if necessary. The recommended dosage is one mg per pound of a dog’s weight, given twice a day. It’s possible that your dog may obtain relief at a lower dosage which might possibly help in avoiding toxicity. Some vets recommend that Rimadyl be used only for a period of several weeks, followed by several weeks off the drug to give the dog’s liver time to recover from the toxic effects of the drug.

    As soon as your dog begins taking Rimadyl you need to carefully watch for the following symptoms which are signs of potential life-threatening reactions to the drug:

    • loss of appetite
    • refusal to drink water or an increased thirst
    • vomiting – occasionally with flecks of blood in the vomit
    • diarrhea
    • black, tarry stools
    • lethargy or unusual drowsiness
    • hyperactivity or constant restlessness
    • sudden aggressiveness when none was evident before
    • weakness or partial paralysis
    • seizures or loss of balance

    If any of these symptoms occur, IMMEDIATELY STOP giving your pet the drug and take it to the vet. The earlier you discover the problem, the better the chances your dog will have a complete recovery.

    Is Rimadyl a “miracle drug” for dogs or are the potential side effects too dangerous? The history of Rimadyl has been plagued with several serious problems; (1) a lack of adequate warnings about the potential serious and deadly side effects of the drug, (2) the large and unacceptable number of veterinarians who are unaware of Rimadyl’s serious side effects, and (3) the severity and sometimes sudden onset of the side effects which can result in the death of the dog being given Rimadyl.

    A safer and more effective treatment for arthritis and hip dysplasia is Winston’s Joint System, an all-natural formula developed by a Naturopathic Doctor to heal his own beloved dog. For over 20 years, this long-proven formula has been providing relief from the pain and stiffness of arthritis and hip dysplasia to all breeds and ages of dogs.

    If your pet suffers from any of the following joint problems, you should place it on a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System to give your pet welcome relief from its pain:
    * Hip Dysplasia
    * Arthritis
    * Osteochondritis (OCD)
    * Stiffness/Inflammation
    * Ligament Tears
    * Growing Pains
    * Mobility Problems
    * Joint Pains

    With the information presented here, and a consultation with your vet, you should be able to decide whether the risks of administering Rimadyl are worth the possible benefits. For myself, I’d rather be safe using Winston’s Joint System than be sorry and endanger my loving dog’s health or even worse, contribute to its death.

    How To Treat Diarrhea in Dogs

    Monday, January 30th, 2012


    Diarrhea in dogs is actually more common than most people imagine. How to treat diarrhea in dogs will depend on what is causing the illness. Diarrhea can be either acute or chronic and in order to stop your dog’s diarrhea you first have to figure out the cause before applying a suitable treatment.


    Photo courtesy of T. J. Dunn, Jr., DVM

    Your dog’s diarrhea could be triggered by parasites, infections, ingredients in its food, or even the portions of food you serve. Diarrhea in dogs is seldom a serious condition and usually can be treated at home.

    The easiest way to treat diarrhea in dogs is through the use of medication. However, before treating your dog with any medication you need to identify the cause of the diarrhea. You should never give your pet an over-the-counter medication without getting a diagnosis first.

    The three most common medications used to treat canine diarrhea are:
    1) Kaolin;
    2) Pepto Bismol;
    3) Metronidazole.

    Kaolin is a medication that can be administered if your dog has eaten garbage or swallowed any toxic materials. If the toxic material or liquid is poisonous, immediately contact your vet or an animal hospital. For non-poisonous materials, Kaolin will absorb the toxins and relieve your dog’s diarrhea, but too much kaolin can constipate your dog.

    Pepto Bismol is a medication that is readily available at any drugstore and can be used to treat diarrhea cases caused by the ingestion of foods that don’t agree with your dog’s stomach.

    Metronidazole, which is an antibiotic, is often used if the diarrhea is caused by an infection such as Giardia, Entamoeba, Trichomonas or Balantidium. It kills bacterial microorganisms by disrupting their DNA. It is absorbed rapidly by the GI tract, metabolized by the liver, and excreted in the urine and feces. It can also be used to treat colitis caused by other antibiotics like penicillin.

    You may want to try feeding your dog some homemade food in place of its regular diet if you believe the diarrhea could be caused by the dog food or ingredients in the food. Homemade food gives you complete control over what ingredients your pet eats. Commercial dog food contains many ingredients that could cause further gastrointestinal distress and will not help stop the diarrhea.

    Ask your vet for a list of ingredients that can be safely used in preparing food for dogs with an upset stomach. Avoid red meat and other fatty foods that can cause stomach irritation or diarrhea. Your dog’s portions should be smaller than usual, so the stomach can handle the food and allow the body to heal.

    Fiber supplements are available at pet food outlets and can regulate your dog’s bowel movements and eliminate constipation. Fiber supplements absorb water from the dog’s intestines which causes the feces to return to their normal consistency.

    Probiotic powder or digestive enzymes can also be added to your dog’s food to relieve its diarrhea.

    During the time your are treating your dog for diarrhea, lots of fresh water is necessary in order to keep your dog hydrated, because diarrhea causes dehydration which can then lead to further complications.

    Living With a Blind Dog

    Monday, January 23rd, 2012


    Living with a blind dog can be a difficult but rewarding experience. No matter how concerned you are when your pet is diagnosed as blind or with seriously impaired vision, your dog’s blindness is going to be much harder on you than it is for your dog.

    Are you the owner of a dog that has recently become blind, or have you adopted a blind or visually impaired dog?

    A visually impaired or blind dog is really not a lot different than a sighted one. When a dog loses its sight it comes to rely on its other senses and often these senses will become even sharper over time.

    A dog’s eye sight is just the third most important sense after smell and hearing. This is not intended to demean or downplay the seriousness of your dog losing its sight, but rather to assure you that blindness will be compensated for by your dog’s other primary senses.

    Our tendency is to feel sad for our dog when blindness occurs, but what your dog needs at this time is for you to act as normal as possible because it will easily pick up on your feelings. Even though you’re feeling sadness for your dog, it’s important that you act as if nothing has changed. This will give your dog confidence in adjusting to a new way of life.

    Try not to rearrange your furniture since your dog has grown accustomed to the layout of your home. As time progresses and you choose to make a few changes in your home, you can help your dog adjust to a new layout after it has adapted to being blind. If you have small children, be sure they don’t leave large toys or playthings lying around where your dog can trip over them.

    If there are sharp corners on any of your furniture or cabinets, try padding them with bubble wrap or foam pipe insulation from the hardware store.

    Until your dog gets used to moving around the house without its sight, you can use textured rugs to help your dog recognize certain areas of your house. Sample squares of carpet are inexpensive and can be placed in the doorway of every room to make it easier for your dog to find the opening.

    If your dog uses a crate, turn the crate on its side and use a bungee cord to hold the door in an open position. That way your dog doesn’t need to worry whether the door is open or closed.

    In the beginning you should avoid picking up a blind dog to take it to its food bowl to eat. This can be confusing and your dog needs to learn where things are on its own. Plastic place mats placed under the food and water bowls will let your dog know when it’s up close to the bowls.

    Talk to your blind dog often to comfort and guide it with positive encouragement. Start teaching your dog new words like Stop, Step up, Step down, Easy, Careful, Danger, and right or left. Hearing your voice is very soothing, so talk to your blind dog often and let it know when you are walking out of a room by a soft pat and word of encouragement.

    Be careful not to startle your pet when you approach it and instruct guests and small children to be cautious when walking up to the dog because it may snap at anyone who startles it when awakened from sleep or if approached from behind.

    Instruct strangers to let your dog smell their hand before trying to pet it, and always use a leash when taking your dog outside. You can also buy bandanas imprinted with the words ‘I’m blind’ for your dog to wear when you go on walks. If your dog has always worn a collar on walks, you might want to try a harness. You’ll have more control if your dog recoils or yanks on the leash, and there will be less stress on its neck.

    Establish a home base as your dog learns to memorize the location of everything in your house and around your yard. Your dog’s bed, crate, or food bowl makes a good home base, and in the event it becomes disoriented at any time, all it needs to do is find the home base and it will be able to start out again and find its way around the house.

    Socialization is important for adult dogs who’ve recently become blind. Take your dog on visits to pet stores, dog parks, or any other places where it can socialize with other animals and people.

    If your dog is extremely anxious in public, give it Calming Soft Chews which have high potency natural ingredients formulated to help mellow or calm your dog.

    Many owners of blind dogs say their dog sometimes seems to be deaf as well as blind. What’s really happening is that your dog is just very involved in listening to everything going on around it and may not hear you when you first speak to it.

    Some owners living with a blind dog feel sad, believing that their dog won’t be able to romp and play as it used to, but with patience and training, you can help your dog “see” again by using its other senses. What will be most important to your pet is to let it know every day that you love him or her and you will find yourself rewarded in return by all the love your dog has to give, which often is more than humans give to each other.

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