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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 ‘Dog Pain | Discover Ways To Minimize Your Dogs Pain’ Category

Why Dogs Foam at the Mouth

Monday, October 27th, 2014


There are many reasons dogs foam at the mouth but the first thought that usually comes to most people’s minds when they see a dog foaming at the mouth is – RABIES! Fortunately, this is rarely the cause. In areas of the world where dogs are routinely vaccinated for rabies, the spread of canine rabies is at a very low level.

    Some of the reasons a dog may foam at the mouth include:

When dogs are playing hard and exerting a lot of energy they often salivate heavily which may look like they’re foaming at the mouth. As a dog expends more energy or effort, its breathing becomes rapid and the air it breathes turns the saliva into a froth or foam.

Stress or anxiety can also cause a dog to foam at the mouth. Drooling is not the same as foaming at the mouth. However, if a dog becomes highly stressed or anxious, the dog’s drool combined with its rapid breathing can build up foam around the mouth.

If a dog bites or eats something that leaves a nasty taste in its mouth, it may salivate and pant, creating foam that stays around its mouth. If a dog becomes nauseous it can also salivate and pant, creating foam around its mouth.

A dog who is having difficulty swallowing something may also foam at the mouth. If a dog is experiencing a lot of difficulty swallowing, it may also be having difficulty breathing. This is a condition for a veterinarian to check as soon as possible.

If a dog ingests a poison it may foam at the mouth. If you suspect your dog may have been poisoned it’s critical to get it to the veterinarian immediately to prevent permanent damage or death.

Seizures will cause a dog to foam at the mouth. The seizure itself causes a dog to salivate and pant very rapidly which creates foam around its mouth. In this case there is no need to worry about the foaming but the dog may need to be prescribed an anti-seizure medication.

If a dog does develop rabies it will foam at the mouth and display erratic behavior. Instead of the erratic behavior lasting a short time, the dog will be exhibiting the behavior and will foam at the mouth most of the time.

The length of time that dogs foam at the mouth varies in longer or shorter durations and severity. A dog who foams at the mouth during an excitable playtime will resume normal breathing and the foam will disappear once the exertion ends.

While foaming at the mouth is not usually a serious matter, if your dog is having other distressing symptoms you should see your veterinarian as soon as possible to protect your dog’s health.

Canine Distemper

Monday, October 20th, 2014


For many years canine distemper was one of the most deadly viral diseases affecting dogs. Since the introduction of a vaccine to combat the disease, the incidence of distemper infections has dropped considerably.

Good vaccination practices in the U.S. have played a major role in the reduction of distemper cases in this country, but unfortunately, canine distemper is still a huge problem in other parts of the world.

The canine distemper virus is an RNA virus. A variation of the canine distemper virus causes measles in humans.

Canine distemper can affect dogs of any age but is more likely to affect younger puppies rather than older dogs. This may be due to an acquired immunity resulting from a canine distemper vaccination, or to exposure to the virus, resulting in the dog developing an immunity to the virus.

The wide range of clinical signs accompanying an infection of distemper often makes it very difficult to diagnose a young dog with distemper. In some dogs, a temporary fever and a lack of appetite, sudden lethargy or mild depression, are often the only signs of the onset of distemper. Some dogs infected with the distemper virus may have discharges from the nose and eyes in addition to coughing, a fever, lack of an appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. It is not uncommon for an infected dog to display some but not all of the symptoms associated with canine distemper.

Distemper infections often go undiagnosed when an owner believes the dog just has a cold or some other non-life threatening illness. The unfortunate consequence of misdiagnosing a dog’s distemper symptoms could result in the death of the dog.

Some dogs are able to survive the initial viral infection but later develop neurologic signs in one to two weeks after becoming infected. These signs include seizures, sudden and strange changes in behavior, and constantly walking in circles. Many dogs who develop neurologic signs develop rhythmic motions or twitches. Sometimes an affected dog will act as if it’s chewing on something due to continuous contractions of the head muscles. If a dog is able to survive the initial viral infection and does not display any neurologic damage, it does not mean the dog is completely in the clear. A distemper infection can also lead to retinal damage and discoloration of the dog’s cornea. Sometimes, the dog’s skin, nose and foot pads will become very hard.

There is a period of time that the virus remains dormant after a dog is infected. The clinical signs of distemper will begin to show approximately 10 to 14 days after infection. If a puppy is vaccinated against distemper but has already been infected with the virus, the vaccination will not be effective in preventing the disease.

Currently there is no specialized treatment that can kill the distemper virus. Prevention of infection is the best way to guard your puppy or dog against canine distemper. Be sure your new puppy is vaccinated at approximately 6 weeks of age. The vaccinations will need to be continued until the puppy reaches 12 to 16 weeks of age. The distemper vaccinations are given in 3 to 4 week intervals. Injection of the vaccine has to be repeated due to interference with the vaccine from antibodies in the mother’s milk being passed on to the puppies. These antibodies prevent the vaccine from being effective in about 75% of all puppies vaccinated at six weeks of age, approximately 25% of puppies vaccinated at nine weeks of age, and only a small number of puppies vaccinated at twelve weeks of age.

The follow-up vaccinations provide protection to almost all puppies who receive the vaccine.

Canine distemper virus is found in all the body secretions from an infected animal. Raccoons and skunks are often carriers of this deadly disease, so it’s a good idea to watch your dog carefully when venturing into areas where these animals are often found. Living in the city does not automatically exclude the possibility of an infected raccoon or skunk because these animals love to raid neighborhood garbage cans when foraging for food.

Kennel Cough in Dogs

Monday, October 13th, 2014


Kennel cough in dogs is a fairly easy ailment to diagnose at home. If your dog suddenly develops a ‘hacking’ cough or constantly sounds like it’s choking on something, it could be kennel cough, known to your vet as canine infectious tracheobronchitis.

These coughing sounds can be frightening, leading you to believe something is seriously wrong with your dog; but most of the time kennel cough is not a serious condition and dogs usually recover from it without needing to undergo any treatment.

Dogs develop kennel cough if they inhale bacteria or virus particles into their respiratory tract. A dog’s respiratory tract is lined with a coating of mucus to trap infectious particles. However, there are some conditions that can weaken a dog’s natural protection mechanism and make it susceptible to kennel cough infection, and the result is an inflammation of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe).

Several conditions that can lead to kennel cough in dogs include exposure to poorly ventilated or overcrowded rooms and holding areas in kennels and animal shelters; overexposure to cold temperatures; and repeated exposure to dust or smoke from cigarettes.

Kennel cough can have multiple causes and is by no means limited specifically to the conditions listed above. One of the most common reasons for a dog to develop a case of kennel cough is a bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica. Most dogs that are infected with this bacteria will also become infected with a virus at the same time. Canine adenovirus, canine herpes virus, canine distemper virus, and parainfluenza virus are among these diseases, and they are more serious than kennel cough alone.

If your dog continues to have a persistent, forceful cough, listen carefully to determine if it sounds very different from the cough-like sound made by many dogs which is referred to as a “reverse sneeze.” Reverse sneezes are normal in certain dogs and breeds, and is usually caused by post-nasal drip or a slight irritation in the dog’s throat. If your dog displays other symptoms including sneezing, a runny nose, or eye discharge, you’ll probably want to have your vet check the dog to be sure the symptoms are not indicative of kennel cough or one of the viruses.

Kennel cough in dogs is a very contagious disease and a dog who has come down with it should not be allowed around other healthy dogs.

Most cases of kennel cough will resolve themselves without any kind of treatment, but medications can help speed the dog’s recovery and help minimize symptoms during the infection. Most dogs will recover completely within three weeks, but older dogs or dogs with certain medical conditions can take up to six weeks to fully recover.

A serious case of kennel cough in dogs can lead to pneumonia so it’s wise to follow up with your vet if your dog doesn’t improve within this short period of time. Also, if your dog begins breathing rapidly or acts listless it could be signs of a more serious condition

Emergency Vet Visit

Monday, October 6th, 2014


Picture this scenario: Your beloved pet has just been hit by a car. Your dog is obviously in great pain and suffering from broken bones, internal bleeding, or both. Your immediate response will be an emergency vet visit.

When your dog is seriously injured and you need to make an emergency trip to the animal hospital, there are some steps you can take to make it less stressful for both you and your dog. An emergency visit is never the same as a regular visit to the vet.

If possible, call the animal hospital before you leave home and let the staff know you are on your way with a seriously injured pet. This will alert the emergency vet and hospital team, giving them time to prepare for immediate treatment upon your arrival, which could possibly make a difference in saving your dog’s life.

As calmly as possible given the seriousness of the situation, describe your dog’s symptoms as carefully as you can. The staff may need to give you some first aid steps to perform before coming to the hospital.

As soon as your dog reaches the animal hospital or emergency pet clinic, the front desk nurse or receptionist will call for “triage.” This term simply means that a team which includes the emergency vet, will examine your dog’s condition and ask questions about your pet and an explanation of what caused the injury. The vet will determine if your pet must be immediately scheduled for surgery or whether its injuries can be treated in one of the examination rooms. You may be asked to sign a release for your dog to be treated.

If surgery is deemed necessary, you’ll be asked to have a seat in the waiting room while your pet is undergoing surgery. Fully staffed animal hospitals will have a technician update you on your dog’s progress as the procedure progresses.

When your pet’s surgery has been completed, a member of the emergency veterinary team will discuss your dog’s prognosis, any at-home care required, and when a follow up appointment is needed. The vet may recommend that you leave your pet in the hospital overnight, or possibly for a few days for further observation.

If your pet is hospitalized, you will usually be allowed to personally check on your dog’s progress during regular animal hospital visiting hours. A competent and caring staff may also call to keep you updated on your pet’s recovery and progress.

When it comes time to bring your dog home, the hospital staff will give you detailed instructions for continued at-home care, including any medications the vet has prescribed.

When an emergency vet visit is necessary to save the life of your seriously injured dog, it helps to know what your responsibilities will be in order to help your injured pet receive the appropriate care it needs as quickly as possible.

Thyroid Problems in Dogs

Monday, September 22nd, 2014


Thyroid problems in dogs are often difficult to recognize because the symptoms are so subtle. You might notice a change in the level of your dog’s energy, weight gain, or severe skin problems, but not associate these changes with anything serious that you should be concerned about. To detect thyroid problems a dog needs a blood test before the symptoms can be correctly diagnosed as a thyroid problem.

Hypothyroidism is a common illness in dogs and occurs when not enough thyroid hormones are produced in the animal’s body. The thyroid hormone has many functions and the most important is to regulate metabolism. Weight gain then becomes one of the most noticeable symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Approximately 90 percent of hypothyroidism cases are caused by a genetic autoimmune disease called thyroiditis, which produces anti-thyroid antibodies in the dog’s body. Sometimes the disease will develop as early as puberty even though the clinical signs won’t appear until later in a dog’s life.

Hypothyroidism most commonly affects dogs from four to ten years of age, especially large breed dogs. Miniature and toy breeds are very seldom affected.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight loss, an elevated heart rate, increased urination, hyperactivity, lethargy, excessive hair loss and shedding, an intolerance for exercise – especially in colder weather – a low heart rate, and sudden changes in behavior such as increased aggression. All dogs suffering from hypothyroidism don’t display the full range of these symptoms, and some may exhibit only a few mild symptoms in the early stages of the disease.

In more serious cases, a dog may have seizures, chronic hepatitis, cardiac irregularities, or a loss of smell or taste.

To detect and diagnose hypothyroidism, a vet will do a blood test called a T4 panel which measures the level of thyroid hormones in the blood. A dog that tests positive for thyroid disease will require medication to regulate the thyroid hormones for the rest of its life.

More than 50 different breeds of dogs are genetically predisposed to developing thyroid problems. No matter which breed of dog you have, if these symptoms become noticeable and last for a protracted period of time, you should have your dog tested before the disease can cause serious damage.

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