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  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
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Archive for the ‘Allergies to Dogs’ Category

Human Health Irritations Due to Pets

Monday, July 4th, 2016


Some people are unfortunate because they have allergies to dogs and will never be able to enjoy the love, devotion, and companionship a human receives from a pet dog.

The symptoms of dog allergies are very similar to the symptoms of other types of allergies or the symptoms of a cold. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 15 to 30 percent of allergy sufferers are allergic to dogs and cats. Dog allergies are not as commonplace as cat allergies, but the dander that causes the allergy tends to be more widespread. A human with a dog allergy may be allergic only to specific breeds or may be affected by all breeds.

The most common allergic reaction to dogs experienced by humans is caused by dog dander and not dog hair. A dog’s dander consists of dead skin cells that contain allergens. When a dog sheds hair, it often sheds dander along with it. Since a dog’s fur has nothing to do with allergies, adopting a dog with short hair doesn’t help prevent dog dander allergy.

Some of the most common symptoms of dog allergies include coughing, sneezing itchy eyes and skin, skin rashes, runny eyes, stuffed up nose, and difficulty in breathing.

If your allergic reactions are caused by dogs, you probably will want to avoid being around dogs, but if you already have a pet you can get allergy shots for immunization. Allergens will be injected in your system once each month with the goal of making you less allergic to dogs The injections take place over a period of 6 to 9 months. Your allergic reactions won’t disappear, but they will be noticeably reduced.

Antihistamines and corticosteroids are short-term solutions and may also have side effects. If the allergy makes you itchy you can try applying topical ointments that contain steroids.

Symptoms of dog allergies can be reduced by bathing your dog regularly to reduce the amount of dander shed in your house. You can also clean your dog’s skin with a moist sponge each day.

Some hints on lowering the incidence of allergies to dogs include grooming your dog daily, using air cleaners or filters, not allowing your dog to sit on your bed or sofa, clean your home and vacuum all the corners where dander can collect, and using allergy reducing sprays on your pet.

Some people believe there are hypoallergenic dogs they could adopt without suffering from dog allergies. The truth is that hypoallergenic dogs don’t exist; all dogs shed dander. It is true that some breeds don’t shed as much dander as others, but a dog that cannot cause allergies has never existed.

Asthma Treatments for Dogs

Monday, May 30th, 2016


Pet asthma is a medical condition that’s easy to diagnose in dogs and there are several different asthma treatments for dogs that can control the symptoms of this disease.

Asthma in dogs is defined as the sudden narrowing of a dog’s airways that causes breathing difficulties. Asthma can be triggered when a pet inhales something it’s allergic to. When this happens, the lower parts of the lungs begin to tighten and the dog will begin to wheeze or cough. Its gums may turn blue, and heavy panting ensues.

In extreme cases a dog will collapse from a lack of oxygen. This is why it’s important to consider every asthma attack as a medical emergency. Too much exercise or exertion can also trigger an asthma attack.

Some pets with asthma may have only occasional mild attacks, while others can have repeated attacks ranging from moderate to severe.

Diagnosing Asthma in Your Dog
A veterinarian will use a combination of tests which include x-rays and blood assessments as a way to diagnose asthma. This will help rule out other ailments or illnesses like airway obstructions, infections or heartworms that can cause the same symptoms as asthma.

Your veterinarian may have you keep a record of your dog’s asthma attacks in order to establish what triggers are causing the attacks. If your dog has a problem breathing after an energetic exercise period or when pollen counts are high where you live, keeping track of the attacks can help your veterinarian formulate the best treatment plan for your dog.

Traditional asthma treatments for dogs include administering steroids and antihistamines to help reduce swelling and control the allergic reactions.

In more serious asthma cases, it may be necessary to inject epinephrine during an attack to allow the dog to breathe easier. Your veterinarian will teach you how to give your dog injections of epinephrine if it has a very serious case of asthma.

Asthma treatments for dogs may also include alternative medical treatments, such as dietary supplements, herbal remedies or acupuncture.

Regardless of the type of medical treatment you choose for your dog, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to control the circumstances that trigger the asthma attacks. For example, if dust triggers the asthma attacks, you’ll need to find a way to filter out dust from the air inside your house. If you’re a smoker and your dog’s asthma attacks are triggered by cigarette smoke, you may need to quit smoking or only smoke in areas well away from your dog.

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.

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