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Joint Issues

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Osteochondritis (OCD)
  • Stiffness/Inflammation
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  • Joint Pain
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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 ‘Allergies to Dogs’ Category

Why Dogs Snore

Monday, January 26th, 2015


Some dogs snore while sleeping and some dogs snore when awake. Some dogs even snore when they’re asleep or awake. Snoring is fairly common among domestic pets but some owners find this extremely annoying. If you have a dog that snores and it’s making your days and nights uncomfortable, there are several things you can do to stop your dog from snoring.

First, check your dog to see if it has an obstruction in its nasal passage or nostrils. This will cause a constriction of its airway and make breathing difficult. Snoring is just one symptom of this problem.

Before you try to stop your dog’s snoring, it’s necessary to understand the reasons why dogs snore so you can take preventive steps to stop its snoring.

Dogs snore for several reasons:

A dog that is overweight or obese usually has excess tissue in the throat which obstructs its airways. This in turn causes snoring and an occasional gasping for air.

Allergic reactions can be caused by pollen from weeds and certain trees like Poplars. Smoke and dust can also cause nasal allergies, resulting in a thick mucus that blocks the nostrils and causes heavy breathing and snoring.

Certain dog breeds are predisposed to snoring. Dogs who have flat faces like the Pekinese, Pug, and Boston Terrier snore as their windpipe flattens, making it difficult for them to breathe.

If you are a smoker, be aware that tobacco smoke is highly irritating to your dog. If your dog is constantly exposed to a smoke filled environment it will continue to snore.

Some dogs will snore if they have a cold and the snoring will continue until its nostrils clear up.

Now that you have a few clues as to why dogs snore, here are some ways you can help your dog stop snoring:

(1) If your dog’s snoring is caused by allergens, make sure you frequently wash its bedding, including the cover to the bed, if removable. Take your dog outdoors only when pollen levels are low. When taking your dog out for a walk try to stay away from traffic and auto exhausts as much as possible.

(2) Regular exercise will help reduce your dog’s weight if it’s overweight or obese. Losing pounds will often help end the snoring problem.

(3) Flat faced dogs predisposed to snoring can undergo a minor surgical procedure while young to lessen the chance of snoring problems as they grow older.

(4) Keep your home smoke-free and never smoke when close to your dog where it can’t avoid inhaling your smoke.

(5) Alter the way your dog sleeps by changing its bed or sleeping position. You can try using a pillow to elevate the dog’s head which might reduce the snoring.

(6) Consider having your dog sleep in another room other than your bedroom at night.

A dog may exhibit certain signs when snoring that indicate an underlying illness. If your dog continues to snore heavily in spite of any anti-snoring measures you undertake, you may want to have a vet examine your dog to determine the cause. If your dog has never snored before and the snoring unexpectedly appears, you should definitely take your dog to the vet for a checkup because the underlying cause could be quite serious.

Dogs snore and people snore. Hopefully, you don’t have to put up with both every night. Taking simple preventive steps can help both you and your dog, and also increase your pet’s life span. This means your loving companion will be around a lot longer to bring you happiness.

Ear Infections in Dogs

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Chronic ear infections in dogs should be treated as soon as they are detected, because left untreated, they can result in permanent damage and hearing loss. Minor ear infections can often be treated with medication, while severe ear infections will require medical intervention by a veterinarian.

A dog’s middle and inner ear are equally susceptible to infections. The inner ear controls a dog’s sense of balance and hearing and a dog with an inner ear infection will lose its sense of balance and all or most of its hearing. If left untreated, the infection can progress to the dog’s brain and cause serious damage.

An inner ear infection in a dog is usually caused by the spread of an existing outer ear infection into the inner ear. The dark, moist environment of the inner ear can cause bacteria to multiply in the ear canal. When foreign objects or ear mites enter into a dog’s ear and the dog scratches that ear, you can almost be sure an infection will develop. Hormonal imbalances, allergies, and tumors are also known to cause ear infections. It is also possible for ear infections to be inherited from a dog’s parents and passed from generation to generation.

Dogs with droopy ears are more prone to developing ear infections than are dogs with perky, upright ears.

Symptoms of inner ear infections in dogs include:
* Odor from the ear canal
* Inflammation in the ear canal
* Violent shaking of the head
* Scratching the head and ear
* Bloody discharge from the ear
* Pain in the ear
* Drooping eyelids
* Loss of balance and coordination including circling

A veterinarian can diagnose an inner ear infection in a dog using x-rays of the head and an examination with an otoscope, an instrument incorporating a light and a magnifying lens used to examine the eardrum and the external canal of the ear.

The dog will have to be anesthetized to allow the vet to flush out the wax and other buildup within the ear before using the otoscope. If the ear drum is then found to be infected, discolored and full of fluid, a definite diagnoses of an inner ear infection is assured. The dog may not have an infection of the outer ear but if it has an inner ear infection, it will have an outer ear infection as well.

If the inner ear infection is mild it can be treated with antibiotics administered orally or by injection. Many vets will also prescribe a topical anti-fungal cream along with antibiotic ointments. For chronic or more severe infections, the middle ear has to be flushed out and then treated. It may also be necessary to cut open the ear drum to drain it of fluids.

Preventing inner ear infections requires that you feed your pet a healthy diet and see that it gets regular grooming to ward off ear infections. Early diagnosis and treatment of outer ear infections will also help prevent any inner ear infections.

Removing Pet Odors From Your House

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Removing pet odors from your house can be easy and you’ll create a healthy environment for you and your family or guests. The key to removing these odors is to first remove the source if you expect the smell to completely disappear and not have it return shortly after you’ve cleaned.

If you have a pet dog (or maybe two) you know exactly what it’s like to live with gobs of hair, a sofa and chairs that smell strange, and the ever so popular urine on your rugs and carpets.

Living with your pet day in and day out, it’s easy to get used to these odors and not even notice that sometimes your house smells like a kennel.

The first thing you’ll need to do is give your dog a bath on a regular basis. This will depend on factors like how long your dog’s coat is, whether it’s strictly an inside dog or whether it always runs around your yard, and whether you let your dog roll about in the dirt or whatever it feels like romping around in. If a dog is dirty it will spread mud or filth all over your house.

You’ll also need to be vigilant in removing excess hair from your dog and not wait until it’s all over your furniture.

Once a week remove any dog hair from your furniture using a standard vacuum cleaner with the side attachment. Just vacuum the furniture until all the hair is gone. You can also use a lint roller to pick up the loose hair.

Your floors should be cleaned at least once a week. Rugs and carpets vacuumed, and wood or tile floors swept clean before mopping. On tile or linoleum floors you can use bleach to be sure all the bacteria is killed.

Replace the air conditioning and furnace filters once a month. Loose dog hair tends to stick to filters.

Disinfecting hard surfaces that your dog comes in daily contact with will help remove any lingering odors, and by using a sanitizer you can kill more than 99% of all germs, including cold and flu viruses that may be clinging to surfaces in your home.

Standard spray air fresheners will only mask the scents in your house and you’ll end up with a dog that smells like a pet covered with flowers. Buy a spray that removes odors instead of covering them up.

You’re going to need a pet stain and odor remover if you want to get rid of all urine odors. An inexpensive and just as effective method for removing these odors is to spray the urine stained areas with a mixture of half vinegar and half water.

You should wash your pet’s bedding at least two times a month, then spray it for a fresh, clean scent.

Removing pet odors from your house doesn’t need to be a time consuming chore that you hate to face every week. Just follow the instructions above and soon your house will be free of unpleasant dog odors.

Should You Sleep With Your Dog

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Should you sleep with your dog? Do you believe it’s healthy to let your dog sleep in your bed with you? If you’re a person who suffers from pet allergies or asthma you definitely should not allow your dog to sleep in the bed with you. Some people have allergies so bad that they can’t even allow their dog in the bedroom.

Regrettably, most pet lovers feel guilty kicking a beloved companion out of their bed by wrongly assuming that their dog will take it as a personal affront. This kind of thinking is undesirable and counter-productive if your pet is causing your allergy problems. If you suffer from allergies you know are being caused by your pet, you should consider getting allergy shots to build up your tolerance to pet dander which causes an allergic reaction.

If you’re not allergic to pet dander, then by all means, let your dog sleep in your bed if you want unless it disturbs your sleep at night. Some dogs are snorers, kickers, or like to hog the covers and these actions can affect your sleeping pattern to the point of harming your health. A study by the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center found that about half the people diagnosed with a serious sleeping disorder had a dog or cat, and of those people, 53% had their sleep disturbed by their pet every night.

People who sleep with a dog and suffer from insomnia may not realize their sleeplessness could be caused by something so simple as their dog snoring or scratching the bedcovers at night. If you’re a person who has no problem falling or staying asleep, then allowing your dog to sleep in the bed is a decision you can make for yourself. In fact, some people feel calmer with their dog in the bed.

When contemplating whether or not you should sleep with your dog, reflect on the fact that dogs only sleep with people or other dogs they trust. So if your dog wants to sleep with you, it’s just letting you know that it thinks you’re a good person and you deserve its company.

Human Allergies to Dogs

Monday, April 23rd, 2012


Do you suffer from human allergies to dogs?

Most people are surprised when told there are certain dogs that are considered the best pet dogs for humans suffering from allergies. Some of the dogs in this group are purebreds while others are crossbreeds. These dogs are often referred to as “hypoallergenic dogs,” because they make perfect companions for the more than 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies and want to own a pet dog.

There are a number of breeds and crossbreeds to choose from if you are one of the 50 million people suffering from allergies to dogs. The best dogs to choose as pets if you suffer from allergies, are dogs that shed less hair or skin (both of which are called dander) and dogs that don”t have a tendency to drool. There are dogs that seem to be slobbering all the time and it”s not just dog hair that causes an allergic reaction, but saliva and dander.

If you are allergic to the dander or saliva of dogs you still have a fairly extensive list of pet dogs to choose from.

Some of the best dogs for allergy sufferers are: Airedale Terriers, Basenjis, Bouvier des Flandres, Cairn Terriers, Chihuahuas, Chinese Crested Cockapoo (crossbreed), Italian Greyhounds, Labradoodles (crossbreed), LhasaPoos (crossbreed), Old English Sheepdogs, Poodles and most poodle mixes, Schnauzers, and Yorkshire Terriers.

In contrast, some of the worst pet dogs for humans with allergies to dogs are Afghan Hounds, Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, and Springer Spaniels. These dogs tend to trigger allergy symptoms in sensitive individuals.

Dogs that don’t make good pets for most allergy sufferers are not bad breeds. It’s just that these dogs tend to produce an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals more often because they shed more, produce more dander, and their saliva often contains more of the protein produced by the sebaceous glands which causes an allergic reaction in some humans.

If you do have allergies to dogs, one of the most important things to consider when choosing a dog is to be aware that not all hypoallergenic dogs are 100% allergy free. You can’t be 100% sure that you won’t have a reaction to a dog until you have spent some time with it. In some allergic individuals, an allergic reaction can be immediate, while for others the reaction can be delayed. Try to spend several hours interacting with a dog before choosing to proceed with adoption. You can ask if it’s possible to take the dog home for several days to be sure your allergy is not affected by the dog you’ve chosen. Many breeders and shelters will allow potential pet adopters a chance to try out a pet.

Trying out a pet is not like buying a new dress or coat and then returning it a few days later because you don’t like the way it looks on you. You should only ask to take a pet home on a tryout basis if you are positive you would want to keep, and love, the dog if it doesn’t become a problem for your allergy or allergies. Think about the well-being of the animal as well as your own well-being. Taking a dog home and then returning it shortly thereafter can be traumatic for the dog and may make it skittish the next time a human shows an interest in it.

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