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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)


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 ‘Dog Diseases’ Category

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.

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
Loss of appetite
Pale gums
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

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

    Inflammatory bowel disease – Signs and Symptoms

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

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.

Caring For a Dog With Cancer

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Caring for a dog with cancer is one of the most unselfish and loving things a human can do for their pet.

After working with the owners of hundreds of dogs with cancer, Dr. Kathy Mitchener, a Veterinary Oncologist, has identified three commandments of Cancer Care that are essential in maintaining the quality of life and the all-important human-animal bond. These three commandments can help build a feeling of hope for both you and your dog.

Commandment Number One: Do Not Let Your Dog Hurt

Comprehensive pain management is critical to the quality and longevity of life for dogs with cancer. Research has shown that once an animal is in pain, the pain response magnifies and the animal will suffer more. The goal is to prevent pain, not try to lessen it once it occurs. Local anesthesia sometimes proves to be helpful in dogs that have localized pain.

Pain-relieving medications like Fentanyl patches can be applied to your dog’s skin and they will slowly release their active pain killing ingredient. Oral pain relievers can also help, especially if your dog’s pain is mild. If your dog needs to undergo surgery, the pain medication should be started while it is still anesthetized, so when it wakes up the pain reliever is already working.

The proper care of a dog with cancer will help in managing its pain. Handle your dog gently and use an orthopedic bed or similar device to make your dog more comfortable and decrease its risk of painful secondary problems such as “bed sores.”

Commandment Number Two: Do Not Let Your Dog Vomit

Unlike humans, nausea and vomiting are not normal for dogs who are undergoing a treatment of chemotherapy. However, if your dog becomes nauseous and/or begins to vomit, it is vitally important that you manage the problem as quickly as possible. Vomiting dogs can quickly become dehydrated and develop electrolyte imbalances. Nauseated and vomiting dogs also will generally not eat, which brings us to the Third Commandment.

Commandment Three: Do Not Let Your Dog Starve

This is perhaps the most vital of all the Commandments. If a dog will not eat, but has a functioning digestive tract, the first step is to try to increase its appetite. Feed it good tasting food that has delicious aromas to tantalize your dog’s sense of smell. Try warming up the food to enhance your dog’s appetite.
Your dog’s diet will need to be tailored specifically for it. A proper and correct diet will limit your dog’s weight loss. The right diet will also improve your dog’s response to chemotherapy and decrease the adverse effects of radiation therapy. Your dog’s diet should limit the amount of simple carbohydrates and contain moderate amounts of highly digestible protein, and moderate to relatively high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

In caring for a dog with cancer, the medical management of the cancer is only one part of the objective. The emotional needs of your dog need to be met if you wish to succeed in providing the quality of life it wants and deserves. Spending as much time with your pet during this ordeal should be a priority, and simple petting and talking to your dog will strengthen the bond between you and may do wonders in prolonging your pet’s life.

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