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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

Urinary Incontinence in Older Dogs

Monday, July 6th, 2015


It is not uncommon for older dogs to have incontinence problems; even younger dogs can have this disorder if they have a congenital deformity or have experienced an injury to the nerves that control the bladder muscles. However, urinary incontinence in older dogs is a far more common problem for anyone who owns an aging dog.

Understanding how a dog’s bladder works will shed some light on the problem. Dogs store urine in their bladder and when they need to urinate, the urine passes out of the body through the urethra. Normally, a dog is able to control the passage of urine, but if it loses control over the bladder the result is incontinence.

A band of muscles at the base of a dog’s bladder creates a valve that keeps urine from leaking out of the bladder. Dogs produce hormones that help them control these muscles consciously. Estrogen helps strengthen the bladder muscles in female dogs, and testosterone strengthens the same muscles in male dogs.

But as dogs age their bodies produce fewer of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. A dog that has been spayed or neutered is more likely to suffer hormone deficiencies. When this happens, urinary incontinence causes small amounts of urine to leak out of the dog’s bladder while it’s resting or sleeping.

Older dogs are most prone to urinary incontinence though younger animals can develop the condition due to congenital abnormalities or injury. Urinary incontinence in an older dog will usually begin to manifest itself when a dog is about eight or nine years old. Spayed females can develop urinary incontinence as early as three to five years of age.

Treatment for urinary incontinence in older dogs usually includes an oral medication prescribed by your vet. Phenylpropanolamine is the most common, non-hormonal drug used for both male and female dogs. Sometimes a vet will recommend hormone replacement therapy to treat urinary incontinence in an older dog. In these cases, daily doses of hormone substitutes need to be administered when treatment is begun, and once the dog begins to respond to treatment, the dosage schedule is reduced to once a week.

Side effects from hormone replacement drugs are rare in dogs. In some cases the medication doesn’t completely clear up the incontinence symptoms. If that happens, your dog will probably need to wear a dog diaper during the day and night.

Older dogs with urinary incontinence are also more susceptible to bladder infections because the muscles at the base of the bladder become looser, making it easier for bacteria to enter the dog’s organ. If this happens to your dog, antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian can be helpful in treating any bladder infections.

How to Tell if Your Dog Has Arthritis

Monday, June 8th, 2015


You can tell If your dog has arthritis by watching for a number of symptoms. Arthritis in dogs is a condition affecting the skeletal system causing the joints in the legs to swell up and become painful. The disease can severely limit the ability of the dog to perform certain movements.

The most noticeable symptoms of arthritis in a dog include limping; a lack of flexibility in the legs; sustained inactivity where a dog may not move from one spot all day long; fatigue to the point of not wanting to go on its usual walks; irritability if you touch its affected limbs or joints; a recognizable change in appetite; sleep patterns that have changed significantly (the dog sleeps more during the day and may be awake at night due to pain); and an intolerance to cold, causing the dog to seek out warmer areas of the house to lie down or sleep.

Arthritis occurs in dogs normally after the age of 7 or 8 and can affect dogs of any breed. Larger dog breeds have a tendency to develop arthritis at an earlier age. Arthritis is considered a disease of old age and affects approximately one in every four dogs, however, younger dogs can also develop arthritis.

If your dog has arthritis, it may experience either mild or severe pain due to swelling of the joints.
The only way to truly know if a dog has arthritis is to consult a veterinarian who will determine if the problem is arthritis or whether the pain is due to some other cause. The vet will probably take X-rays and may perform a bone density test before making a diagnosis of arthritis.

Arthritis is not a reversible condition and there is no cure for it, but the pain can be controlled by placing your dog on a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System, a combination of three, totally-natural whole food supplements developed by a Naturopathic Doctor for his own dog. Dogs suffering with joint diseases such as arthritis, bursitis, osteochondrosis (OCD), hip dysplasia and other degenerative problems with the shoulders, elbows and hocks can experience immediate and long-term relief with Winston’s Joint System. The supplement also includes an anti-inflammatory agent to help reduce pain.

Daily exercise of some sort is recommended for any dog that has arthritis. If your dog loves water, swimming is an excellent form of exercise for dogs with arthritis because the buoyancy of the water can help by making the dog’s joints feel pain free.

Are Dog Supplements Safe For My Dog

Monday, June 1st, 2015


How can you be sure dog supplements are safe for your dog? The right supplements can be of great benefit to your dog’s health. But how do you know which supplements are right for which conditions? With a growing population of aging, overweight dogs, the market for dog supplements is expected to increase 37% by 2012, reaching $1.7 billion.

It is estimated that as many as a third of all dogs in the U.S. may be on vitamins or supplements at any given time. According to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the most common over the counter products used are multivitamins, supplements to support arthritic joints, and fatty acids to reduce shedding and improve a coat’s shine.

Dog owners also give their pets probiotics to alleviate gastrointestinal problems or antioxidants to counteract the effects of aging, such as cognitive dysfunction.

The major question most dog owners ask is “Are dog supplements safe for my dog and do they work?” This is not an easy question to answer as it depends on what the supplement is used for and how it is manufactured. Glucosamine-chondroitin supplements, commonly given to dogs with osteoarthritis, have shown mixed results in testing in humans and animals. A much more effective and safer supplement for these common problems in certain breeds of dogs is Winston’s Joint System, a combination of three, totally-natural whole food supplements developed by a Naturopathic Doctor for his own dog.

Dogs suffering with joint diseases such as arthritis, bursitis, osteochondrosis (OCD), hip dysplasia and other degenerative problems with the shoulders, elbows and hocks experience immediate and long-term relief using Winston’s Joint System™.

Fatty acids supplements can help coats look better. Vitamins C and E have been shown to reduce inflammation and help aging dogs with memory problems.

Aging dogs have special nutritional needs, and those needs can easily be supplied by augmenting your dog’s diet with a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement safe for any dog. Winston’s Senior Complete Multi is a powerful and complete once-daily multi vitamin for dogs who are five years and older. It contains almost 50 active ingredients and is rich in antioxidants to promote overall health in your dog and replenish the lost nutrients your pet is missing.

Skin Lumps and Bumps in Dogs

Monday, May 25th, 2015


It’s not unusual to find skin lumps and bumps on your dog at some point in its lifetime. Lumps can appear either on or just under a dog’s skin.

It is important to have these lumps checked by your veterinarian, especially if the lumps are new, bleeding, oozing or rapidly increasing in size. Many lumps and bumps under a dog’s skin are harmless, but others may be malignant or may become malignant.

Skin tumors are among the most common tumors in dogs. Fortunately, many of these tumors are benign and not a cause for worry. The lump may be simply a pimple or an allergic reaction to an insect bite. Sometimes these skin masses are malignant and require prompt medical attention, so it would be wise to have your dog examined by a veterinarian to assess any skin bumps that you detect on your dog.

The options for treating skin tumors depend entirely upon the cause of the tumor. For example, benign fatty masses rarely require removal unless they bother the dog owner.

Most veterinarians recommend that malignant skin masses be removed as soon as possible. The tissue removed during the operation is sent to a pathology laboratory to determine whether all of the tumor cells associated with the mass have been removed. X-rays may be taken to determine whether cancerous cells have spread to nearby lymph nodes or other areas like the bone marrow or lungs. Blood tests are done to evaluate the dog’s overall health and response to any proposed treatments.

Sometimes radiation or chemotherapy treatments (or both) will be used in addition to surgical removal of the mass in order to improve the chances of a dog’s full recovery.

Tumors can recur after surgery so regular checkups are important if the dog had a malignant skin tumor removed or treated.

Skin lumps and bumps on your dog could be any one of these types:

(1) Hematoma which is a collection of clotted blood beneath the skin;

(2) Basal cell tumor in the form of a nodule on a narrow base or stalk. It will be round, normally hairless, and may be ulcerated. These tumors are usually found on the head, neck, and shoulders of older dogs;

(3) Lipoma which is a soft round or oblong growth underneath the skin;

(4) Ceruminous gland adenoma. This is a pinkish-white dome-shaped growth in the ear canal that may become ulcerated and infected;

(5) Epidermal inclusion cyst recognizable as a firm lump beneath a dog’s skin. These cysts sometimes discharge cheese-like material and become infected;

(6) Histiocytoma is a button-like fast-growing mass that may appear anywhere on a dog’s body;

(7) Melanoma is a brown or black pigmented nodule that appears in areas of dark skin. If melanomas grow in the mouth of a dog, they are usually malignant;

(8) Skin papillomas grow out from the skin and may look like a wart. These are not painful or dangerous;

(9) Squamous cell carcinoma is a gray or reddish-looking ulcer found on the belly, scrotum, feet, legs, lips, or nose that doesn’t heal. It sometimes looks like a cauliflower.

If you find any skin lumps or bumps on your dog that resemble one or more of the above descriptions, you should contact your vet to schedule an examination.

Why Dogs Vomit

Monday, May 11th, 2015


There are many reasons why dogs vomit so if you find your dog vomiting, don’t automatically assume that your dog has an illness.

    The most common reasons why dogs vomit include the following:

(1) Eating foreign objects or plant material. If your dog has swallowed a solid object of some kind it will often vomit it back up. If the foreign object is small enough, it can pass through the intestinal system and you’ll see it in your dog’s stool. If it’s too large or has sharp edges, your dog will continue to suffer and an emergency visit to the vet for x-rays will become a necessary life-saving action.

If you believe your dog may have eaten leaves or berries from a bush, you need to be sure the plant is not poisonous. The easiest way to check is to go online to the ASPCA poison control website at http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control. There you’ll find a list of toxic and non-toxic plants, the 17 most common poisonous plants, and animal poison control FAQs.

(2) An allergy to certain foods.
If you have recently started your dog on a new diet and the vomiting began shortly thereafter, you might try mixing half of its old food with half of the new food and watch closely for changes in behavior or lingering illness. It’s possible that an intolerance or aversion to ingredients in the new food may be causing the vomiting. If you suspect this may be the cause, you can continue changing the ratio of old food to the new food to see if the vomiting goes away.

(3) Eating greasy foods or foods higher in fat content.
Table scraps or desserts can easily cause intestinal distress and vomiting in any dog. Their systems were not designed to digest rich, fatty foods that many humans eat on a daily basis. These types of food are often not healthy for us, let alone for our dogs. If your dog vomits soon after scarfing down something from your table, it’s a clear indication that you need to avoid giving it any types of food you normally eat.

Causes of vomiting that require a visit to the vet for diagnosis and treatment:
(4) Infection with parasites, viruses or bacteria can cause gastrointestinal infections also known as viral gastroenteritis. Diarrhea and vomiting are the most obvious symptoms. Many different types of bacteria and parasites can also cause GI infections and diarrhea but most of these are not serious and will go away on their own after a few days; however, others can be serious.

(5) Ulcers which can be caused by anti-inflammatory medications prescribed for skin conditions, arthritis, or other chronic health problems. Pain relief medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen inhibit a hormone-like substance that acts as a protection for a dog’s stomach lining. Prolonged use of these medications can cause severe stomach ulcers in dogs. Another less common cause of canine stomach ulcers is a mast cell cancer in the dog’s skin. Mast cell cancers release histamine which leads to stomach ulcers.

(6) Kidney Failure.
Early signs of kidney failure in dogs are increased water consumption and increased urine output. Signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting and diarrhea.

(7) Cancers.
Some possible signs of cancer that warrant a visit to your veterinarian include any new lump or bump; a change in size, shape, or consistency of an existing lump; a runny nose, especially if bloody; difficulty urinating or bloody urine; limping or a change in gait; foul breath and lethargy.

(8) Inflammatory bowel disease.
The cause of inflammatory bowel disease is unknown. Genetics, nutrition, infectious agents, and abnormalities of the immune system may all play a role. The most common signs of inflammatory bowel disease in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Vomiting is more common when the stomach or upper portion of the small intestine are affected and diarrhea is more common when the colon is involved. There is an increase in the frequency of defecation, but less stool is produced each time. There is often increased mucous or some blood in the stool. Sometimes stools become loose. Many times the diarrhea and vomiting may be irregular.

(9) Liver disease.
The early signs of liver disease include chronic intermittent vomiting and diarrhea. Vomiting is more common than diarrhea, loss of appetite, or weight loss. Drinking and urinating more often than normal may be the first signs, and a key reason for visiting the vet.

Whenever your dog continues to display any of these symptoms and the cause is not readily apparent, you should schedule an exam with your vet. Your pet’s health and life may depend upon it.

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