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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
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Archive for the ‘Dog Diseases’ Category

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.

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.

Why a Dog Goes Deaf

Monday, November 7th, 2011


It can be heartbreaking when a pet dog goes deaf.

Most dog owners believe that when a dog becomes deaf it also becomes aggressive and will bite and attack other dogs and humans because it cannot hear and is fearful of its surroundings. Any breed of dog can develop this type of behavior, deaf or not, but aggressive or defensive behavior is not the result of loss of hearing.

Most deaf dogs are familiar enough with their surroundings and family that they are able to manage quite well in spite of their loss of hearing.

If a dog does become defensive or aggressive after losing its hearing, it”s usually because it’s been living as a stray and has found it more difficult to defend itself because of the disability. This instinctive behavior is not usually found in dogs who are part of a loving family.

Deafness in dogs is categorized as either conductive or neurologic. These two causes of deafness are very different but both have the same effect when a dog loses its ability to hear in one or both of its ears. Diagnostic testing is the only way to determine which type of deafness a dog has.

Conductive hearing loss occurs when the inner or outer portion of the ear becomes damaged by ear injury, excessive wax build up, or ear infections, leading to deafness. Excessive wax buildup in the ear takes a relatively long time to cause deafness, whereas injury and ear infections can quickly lead to deafness if not taken care of promptly.

Neurological deafness is caused by a defect of the inner ear or the nerves leading to the brain.

When a dog goes deaf an owner can usually detect the change by observing the dog’s behavior. At the onset of the hearing loss it may appear as though a dog is no longer listening to or obeying commands. However, in a very short time it will become apparent by the dog’s actions that it can no longer hear commands and does not respond to other noises as it had always done before the hearing loss.

Another common sign of deafness is when a dog seems to be confused by commands given it and will randomly move its head in search of sounds. Under normal conditions a dog responds when called, but when deafness occurs, the dog may continue to scan its surroundings trying to determine if anyone is calling it.

Testing by a veterinarian is the only way to make a positive diagnosis of deafness in a dog. The Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response, (BAER) test monitors the electrical activity in the brain that relates to a dog’s hearing. The BAER test can determine neurological causes of deafness.

BAER testing is an accurate way of diagnosing deafness, but most dog owners are easily able to detect deafness in their dog. Most of the signs of deafness are easily noticed and most owners will be able to tell if their dog has become deaf.

There is no “standard” way to cure deafness in dogs. If the cause of the hearing loss is conductive, hearing can sometimes be restored. Treating dangerous ear infections or repairing the damage of an ear injury can restore full hearing or just a portion of a dog””s hearing, assuming that the inner structures of the ear have not been severely damaged.

When a dog is born with an abnormality of the inner structure or nerves of the ear, there is no way to surgically repair the abnormality and the dog will be deaf for life.

Whether your dog becomes deaf or has come to you with an acquired hearing loss, it deserves all the love, attention and patience you can give it. Loving a deaf dog can teach you important lessons about caring for others in this lifetime.

Hip Dysplasia in Border Collies

Monday, October 31st, 2011


Border Collies are a breed of dog known for their very active lifestyle. Sadly, hip dysplasia in Border Collies is not a rare occurrence, and the more you know about hip dysplasia, the better you will be prepared to watch your pet for any signs of this debilitating disease.

Border Collies are loyal, easily trainable, intelligent dogs with natural energetic personalities. They require a lot of room to run around in, making them better suited to living on a farm or ranch where they can expend their surplus energy. They are not really suited for living indoors, especially in an apartment. These dogs are meant to work and play outdoors in wide-open spaces.

They form a strong bond with their owners but can be unfriendly to strangers, making them good dogs for guarding your house and property. They are not “attack dogs” but they will certainly let you know if a stranger approaches your house.

Border Collies have natural inbred herding instincts and may start “herding” small children or small pets in your household. They are hardy, high-strung dogs with a determined drive. If you’re a person who likes to play sporting games with your dog, you’ll love Border Collies.

But if you’re just looking for a calm, friendly family pet, a Border Collie probably isn’t the ideal choice. They are demanding dogs that need a lot of attention, ample outdoor exercise and a task like herding sheep, goats, or whatever animal (or person) it feels is in need of herding!

Border Collies also like receiving direction. They require firm leadership from an owner who has the time and patience to follow through with obedience lessons and training. They will dominate a weak-willed owner, so it’s very important that a Border Collie understands who’s boss around the house. Severe punishment or harsh treatment for infractions or disobedience are not recommended because they can cause negative reactions in Border Collies, whereas positive reinforcement helps them.

Border Collies are medium-sized dogs with a light frame, long hair, and athletic bodies that are strong and agile. The typical Border Collie has a slightly wide head with a tapered muzzle, half-perked ears and dark, oval eyes. The long tail sometimes raises but never curls over the back. Their coats are usually sleek and their coat colors are solid black, black and white, black and gray, or red and white.

A healthy Border Collie can live as long as 15 years. Common health problems include deafness, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia.

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

To understand hip dysplasia and the resulting arthritis, you need a basic understanding of how the dog’s hip joint is affected. The hip joint is comprised of a ball and socket that forms the attachment of the hind leg to the body. The ball portion is the head of the femur and the socket is located on the pelvis. In a normal hip joint the ball rotates freely within the socket. The bones are shaped to perfectly match each other with the socket surrounding the ball. To strengthen the joint, the two bones are held together by a strong ligament. The joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue, circles the two bones to provide added stability.

This is a normal hip joint:


Hip dysplasia is linked to 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.

This is an abnormal hip joint:

Most dogs who eventually 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.

Hip dysplasia in Border Collies causes 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.

It appears that the amount of calories a dog consumes, especially during its fast-growth period from three to ten months, has the biggest impact on whether or not a dog genetically prone to hip dysplasia will develop the disease.

Obesity can increase the severity of the disease in dogs that are genetically susceptible and the extra weight will intensify the degeneration of a dog’s joints and hips. Dogs who are genetically prone to hip dysplasia and also are overweight, are at a much higher risk of developing hip dysplasia and eventually osteoarthritis.

Exercise can be another risk factor. Dogs genetically susceptible to hip dysplasia may have an increased incidence of the disease if they are over-exercised at a young age. Moderate exercise like running and swimming is best for exercising young dogs.

Because hip dysplasia is primarily an inherited condition in Border Collies, there are no products that can prevent its development. Through proper diet, exercise, and a daily regimen of 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.

There are different assumptions on how to prevent the progression of hip dysplasia in Border Collies. Poor nutrition, inadequate or improper exercise, and increased body weight may all contribute to the severity of osteoarthritis after the hip dysplasia has developed. By watching the calories your puppy or young dog consumes and preventing obesity in your dog, allowing only non-stressful types of exercise, and a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System, are the best things you can do for your dog.

Hip Dysplasia in Rottweilers

Monday, October 17th, 2011


Rottweilers are known to be very strong and sturdy animals, but unfortunately, hip dysplasia in Rottweilers is a fairly common problem.

Rottweilers are noted for being self-confident and intelligent, and when they are properly trained and socialized, they become loving, devoted companions.

Rottweilers are extremely energetic dogs and love to play catch, keep pace alongside you when out for a run, or go for a long hike in the woods or mountains. They crave attention and companionship from their owners and when they don’t receive it they tend to get bored and destructive. A neglected or mistreated Rottweiler can quickly destroy your possessions.

A contented and well trained Rottweiler makes a devoted friend to children and an extremely efficient watchdog. They make good companions because they are always eager to please.

Rottweilers are huge dogs with challenging temperaments. They appreciate a confident owner who can show them who’s boss. They occasionally like to test authority, so you need to stay current with their training and obedience commands.

Rottweilers appreciate stimulating tasks and activities and enjoy being kept busy with obedience games. Always keep them on a leash in public because they can be somewhat confrontational with other dogs.

They are believed to have descended from the sturdy and muscular Mastiff-like dogs of ancient Rome. Their name comes from the German cattle town of Rottweil, where the dogs managed herds of cattle for hundreds of years. In the early 1900’s they became popular police dogs and today they are prized as both working dogs and beloved companions.

Rottweilers have medium-sized, powerful builds and dense, straight glossy coats. They have broad heads with rounded skulls and straight, well-developed muzzles. Their dark, almond-shaped eyes have a friendly look, and their triangular ears hang forward. They have strong necks, firm backs and often have their tails docked. Their coats are usually black with rusty patches.

A healthy Rottweiler can live as long as 12 years. Common health issues include eye problems and hip dysplasia.

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

To understand hip dysplasia and the resulting arthritis, you need a basic understanding of how the dog’s hip joint is affected. The hip joint is comprised of a ball and socket that forms the attachment of the hind leg to the body. The ball portion is the head of the femur and the socket is located on the pelvis. In a normal hip joint the ball rotates freely within the socket. The bones are shaped to perfectly match each other with the socket surrounding the ball. To strengthen the joint, the two bones are held together by a strong ligament. The joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue, circles the two bones to provide added stability.

A normal hip joint:

Hip dysplasia is linked to 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.

A diseased hip joint:

Most dogs who eventually 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.

It appears that the amount of calories a dog consumes, especially during its fast-growth period from three to ten months, has the biggest impact on whether or not a dog genetically prone to hip dysplasia will develop the disease.

Obesity can increase the severity of the disease in dogs that are genetically susceptible and the extra weight will intensify the degeneration of a dog’s joints and hips. Dogs who are genetically prone to hip dysplasia and also are overweight, are at a much higher risk of developing hip dysplasia and eventually osteoarthritis.

Exercise can be another risk factor. Dogs genetically susceptible to hip dysplasia may have an increased incidence of the disease if they are over-exercised at a young age. Moderate exercise like running and swimming is best for exercising young dogs.

Because hip dysplasia is primarily an inherited condition, there are no products that can prevent its development. Through proper diet, exercise, and a daily regimen of 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.

There are different assumptions on how to prevent the progression of hip dysplasia in Rottweilers. Poor nutrition, inadequate or improper exercise, and increased body weight may all contribute to the severity of osteoarthritis after the hip dysplasia has developed. By watching the calories your puppy or young dog consumes and preventing obesity in your dog, allowing only non-stressful types of exercise, and a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System, are the best things you can do for your dog.

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