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Joint Issues

  • Hip Dysplasia
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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
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  • 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 ‘Diabetes in Dogs’ Category

Sudden Weight Loss in Dogs: Signs and Symptoms

Monday, May 23rd, 2016


Sudden weight loss in a dog that is not attributable to increased exercise or activity should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian. Some dogs do experience cyclical weight changes because they live in seasonal climates and are exercised and walked less during the cold winter months.

To be healthy, a dog should have sufficient fat covering the ribs. If your dog’s ribs start showing where they did not before, it could be an indication of a serious problem with your pet.

Hyperthyroidism, a disease of the thyroid gland, can cause sudden weight loss if a dog’s system contains excess amounts of the thyroid hormone, putting a dog’s thyroid on overdrive and causing the dog to become sluggish.

There are other diseases that can cause sudden weight loss in dogs such as Addison’s Disease, which is a deficiency of the hormones in the adrenal glands. Some of the signs of Addison’s include severe dehydration when plenty of water is always available to the dog, and a rapid loss of appetite followed by sudden weight loss.

Sudden weight loss can also be a result of inflammatory bowel disease which occurs when a dog’s stomach or intestines react adversely to inflammatory cells like lymphocytes. A dog with inflammatory bowel disease usually will display signs of weight loss, a loss of appetite, lethargy, and diarrhea. Gastritis displays the same symptoms and is caused when a dog gets an infection or inflammation in the stomach area. If a dog eats spoiled food, its stomach lining can become irritated and the result is a change in its appetite. Diabetes will also display the same symptoms.

Parasite-borne diseases can also cause a sudden weight loss in dogs and these are caused by hookworms, roundworms, heartworm disease, giardiasis, mange, or salmon poisoning disease, a bacterial disease contracted by eating salmon or trout that carry the parasitic organisms.

The signs and symptoms of many types of tumors, including pituitary, stomach, pancreas, colon, lungs, or kidneys can also result in a sudden weight loss in dogs. Fungal infections such as histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, or aspergillosis will also cause a sudden weight loss.

Weight loss in a dog is not a life-threatening emergency, but your pet will still need veterinary care. You should schedule an appointment for a complete diagnosis to determine the underlying cause.

Low Carb Dog Food

Monday, March 21st, 2016


If your dog is substantially overweight or obese like one fourth of all dogs in the United States, you should begin feeding your pet a low carb dog food which can be beneficial to any overweight or obese pet.

Dogs are able to maintain an appropriate weight consuming almost any dog food on the market as long as they don’t over-indulge at mealtimes, are not fed too many treats and snacks at other times, and are getting enough exercise. But even for dogs who are not overweight or obese, a low-carb diet can help avoid health problems later in life.

Obese dogs are at risk for diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, hip dysplasia, and metabolic disorders. A low-carb diet is a necessity for dogs that are overweight and for dogs diagnosed with diabetes.

Dogs are omnivores which means they eat meat and vegetables, including fruits and grains. But considering the evolution of dogs who originated from the wolf, it makes sense that over-feeding your dog with grains like wheat and corn is not a good idea.

Dog’s bodies were designed for diets that are low in sugar and refined starches, and the high doses of carbohydrates a dog consumes when eating manufactured dog foods are not healthy. It may shock you to know that most commercial dog foods contain between 30% to 70% carbohydrates.

In addition to the high doses of carbs, many dog foods contain filler ingredients such as corn meal and starches. These ingredients, along with animal by-products which are the leftovers from other food processing, are unfit for human consumption. The reason they are added to dog food is to provide cheaper ingredients for the manufacturer and make a dog feel full faster without providing the nutrients a dog needs; something akin to fast food for humans.

Dog food ingredients you should try to avoid include wheat, corn, cornmeal, yellow corn and whole grain corn, brewer’s rice, cereals, and potatoes. All of these are filler ingredients that are very high in carbs.

There are many good brands of low-carb dog foods. Some come in the form of raw and dehydrated foods which are beneficial to a dog’s health because they are higher in nutrients. Several brands use entirely grain-free recipes as well as hormone-free turkey and meat.

Check for pet foods that are lower in carbs by examining the ingredients. Look for a low carbohydrate and high protein content in the food. Some of the ingredients to look for are beef, chicken, lamb, turkey or pork. Never give your dog any food containing “animal meal” or “animal fat.” This is a red flag for very poor-quality dog food.

Dog foods containing vegetables and fruits are also good for your dog and provide many of the nutrients missing in meat. Many low carb dog foods may also contain apples, bananas, cranberries, spinach, carrots, and celery.

Low carb dog foods with these ingredients are healthy for dogs in all stages of life, from puppies to senior dogs. Just remember to avoid all dog foods containing grains and buy those with real meat, fruits and vegetables.

How to Diagnose Diabetes in Dogs

Monday, March 14th, 2016


Diabetes can severely affect a dog if not detected in its early stages. It’s not always easy to diagnose diabetes in a dog but early detection can improve the quality of the dog’s life, prevent complications, and has been shown in some cases to cure the disease.

Diabetes is a disease caused by an increased amount of blood sugar that can’t be regulated by the insulin produced by a dog’s body. Diabetes can also result from the pancreas failing to produce enough insulin, thereby making it impossible for a dog’s body to assimilate all the glucose in the blood. The symptoms of the disease are the same for both types of diabetes.

The early signs of diabetes in a dog include changes in eating habits or more frequent urination. A high level of glucose in the blood can cause increased thirst in a dog and it will drink more water than usual. This intake of extra fluids results in more frequent urination. A dog may also have an increased appetite, but still lose a significant amount of weight.

The most challenging thing about canine diabetes is the fact that it may not have any symptoms at all. In some dogs, diabetes may slowly disrupt its bodily functions without showing any discernible signs of disease.

To help in diagnosing diabetes in your dog, watch carefully for any of the following symptoms that are evident for more than a week or two: Lethargy , excessive water consumption, increased urination, an unexplained weight gain or weight loss.

If you suspect that your dog has diabetes, you should have blood and urine tests done by your veterinarian to confirm or rule out diabetes. Diabetes is often discovered during a routine checkup when blood and urine tests are performed by a vet. If the test results show an increased level of glucose in the blood as well as in the urine, it’s a good indication that a dog may have diabetes.

Undetected diabetes can lead to frequent infections, eye cataracts, kidney failure, blindness, pancreatitis, nervous system damage, and possible early death.

If diabetes is diagnosed in a dog early enough, it may fully recover from the disease; but this usually depends on the age and health condition of a dog. For older dogs, a full recovery generally is not possible.

Full recovery from diabetes may be possible only in the following cases: A younger dog that loses weight and has a complete change of diet, or a dog with diabetes resulting from an abnormal pancreas function if it receives specific treatment for the diabetes.

Even if the condition is not always treatable, regular administration of insulin can often control diabetes in dogs.

Diabetes is regarded as a silent killer, and while a permanent cure for canine diabetes has not been discovered, a dog can often live a normal life with the proper care.

Overactive Bladder in Dogs

Monday, February 8th, 2016


An overactive bladder in a dog causes frequent urination because the dog is not able to hold the urine in its bladder for long periods of time. A dog with overactive bladder may also urinate in unacceptable places.

There are many reasons why a dog may suddenly start urinating frequently. A dog with diabetes will show signs of excessive thirst and hunger along with frequent urination. Frequent urination can also be a sign of a severe urinary tract infection that has spread to the dog’s bladder. Bladder stones or an enlarged prostate gland that exerts pressure on the bladder can also be the cause of an overactive bladder.

To determine the cause of an overactive bladder in a dog, the veterinarian needs to perform several examinations like urine analysis, blood tests, and X-rays.

If the cause of frequent urination is associated with diabetes, the dog may be prescribed insulin therapy to lower its blood glucose levels. If the diabetes is severe, the dog may require insulin shots for the rest of its life.

If the cause of the overactive bladder is a urinary tract infection, the dog will be prescribed antibiotics for the condition. If the cause is internal inflammation, corticosteroid drugs will be administered. These are only short term solutions and the vet will need to establish a proper treatment plan to control the dog’s urinary tract infections. Once the infection is cured the symptoms of overactive bladder will decrease.

If the dog has bladder stones, the vet will recommend a specific prescription diet and medication to help dissolve the stones.

If the dog is suffering from an enlarged prostate gland, the vet will have to perform a biopsy to determine if the cells are malignant. If malignancy is present, the vet may recommend chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

For dog owners who are not willing to submit their pet to these procedures, there are some natural remedies that promote stronger and healthier bladders in dogs. A vet should still be consulted before administering any of these remedies.

Some commercially available natural remedies include:
* Only Natural Pet Canine Bladder Control
* VS Bladder Strength for Dogs
* Simple Medicinals Bladder Control for Pets
* Only Natural Pet Cranberry Wellness
* Newton Homoeopathics Bladder Kidney

It’s important that the dog have follow up checks with a veterinarian to verify the success of any natural treatment option.

An overactive bladder in a dog can cause suffering and uncontrolled urination. Please be aware that although this may be distressing and problematic to a dog owner, the problem is far more serious and critical to the dog’s health and well-being.

Obese Dog Health Problems

Monday, January 25th, 2016


When a dog is obese it’s more susceptible to developing serious medical conditions because of an elevated glucose level and the extra amount of fat that puts additional pressure on its joints and also on its heart. If you have an overweight or obese dog, you should consider placing it on a slimming diet to prevent possible health problems from occurring.

Obese and overweight dogs are predisposed to getting diabetes because their blood glucose level will continue to increase. The dog’s body will naturally secrete insulin in higher amounts but at some point its body will not be able to cope with the increased amounts of insulin and diabetes will result.

A dog with extra weight is much more likely to develop arthritis at a younger age. Typically a dog will develop arthritis after the age of eight but an obese dog may have joint problems much earlier in life because the extra weight adds stress on the joints which in turn cause pain and swelling.

Extra weight can add pressure on the dog’s ligaments and tendons causing further soreness. The ligaments in the dog’s knees and feet may become injured, causing incapacitation. Weight loss is essential to reduce stress on the dog’s joints, tendons and ligaments. In severe cases the dog will require surgery.

Arthritis is not a treatable condition, but may be managed with supplements like Winston’s Joint System, a combination of three, totally-natural whole food supplements developed by a Naturopathic Doctor for his own dog. There are no side-effects with Winston’s because it’s just good whole food and there are no dosage problems because the body uses only what it needs.

An overweight dog is also susceptible to heart problems and cardiovascular disease. Obesity and excess weight causes the heart to pump more blood to the fat tissues, creating an additional workload on the heart. Over a period of time the heart will become weakened and the walls of the heart chambers may be damaged or the blood vessels may dilate and cause heart problems.

Obese and overweight dogs will usually develop breathing problems also. The lungs may be pressured by fatty tissues surrounding the lungs, preventing the dog from breathing normally. The lungs then become overworked because they are having to provide more oxygen to the fatty tissues.

Obese and overweight dogs can also develop liver disease, because the liver is the first place the body deposits the fat. Excess fat in a dog’s liver causes hepatic lipidosis leading to liver failure.

The health problems of obese and overweight dogs are not limited only to these diseases and ailments. There are many other serious medical conditions that can be avoided if a dog maintains a normal weight through a reduction of calorie intake and daily exercise. A healthy and fit dog will live a longer and happier life.

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