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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 Grooming’ 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.

How to Choose a Dog Groomer

Monday, June 27th, 2016


When you need to find a dog groomer to keep your pet looking its very best, a good place to start is with your regular vet. A lot of veterinarians, especially those with larger facilities or animal hospitals, also offer dog grooming. The groomers employed in facilities like these are professional dog groomers, trained in the correct methods of grooming all breeds of dogs. While keeping your dog looking its best, you’ll also feel safe knowing your pet is receiving the best care available while getting its “haircut.”

There are some important questions you should ask a prospective groomer before committing your pet to the scissors.

(1) What breed or breeds of dogs do they personally own?
(2) Did the groomer go to school to learn dog grooming or did they learn it ‘on the job?’
3) How long have they been grooming dogs?
(4) What breeds do they feel comfortable with and which breeds are they best at grooming?
(5) Do they have more than one style of grooming for different breeds?

Questions to ask the staff at the facility:

(A) What hours does the groomer work?
(B) How are dogs checked in and will they call you when it’s time to pick up your pet?
(C) How far in advance do you need to make an appointment?
(D) What is the fee for grooming and what does the fee include?
(E) What type of shampoos and conditioners are used?
(F) Is the ear hair plucked from breeds with hair in their ear canals?
(G) If your dog refuses to willfully submit to a grooming and needs to be sedated during the grooming, what safeguards does the facility have in place for sedating a dog and is there someone who will monitor your pet during the process?

The relationship you will want to develop with your dog’s groomer should be professional yet friendly. The answers you receive to these questions should help in choosing the best groomer for your pet.

Removing Ticks From Dogs

Monday, June 13th, 2016


Removing ticks from your dog should be a priority as soon as you notice even one tick appearing on your dog’s skin. Many ticks can carry serious diseases like Lyme’s Disease.

The types of environments where ticks are usually found are places with thick vegetation, in tall grasses, bushes, and heavy brush in the woods where ticks have a lot of vegetation to crawl around on.

Removing a tick is not difficult but can be very upsetting to some dogs. To safely remove a tick from your dog’s skin, soak a cotton ball in mineral oil and hold it against the tick for about 30 seconds. Using tweezers to squeeze the dog’s skin surrounding the tick, grab the tick’s head between the tweezers, carefully pulling it out, making sure to remove its entire body.

Next swab the area with rubbing alcohol, and be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after removing all the ticks.

When removing a tick it’s important that you don’t twist or pull too hard on it as you may break the tick’s body, leaving part of it still attached to your dog’s skin. If a tick is not removed completely or correctly, it can leave your dog vulnerable to a number of diseases.

Another method of safely removing a tick from your dog is to rub the tick in a circular motion. Ticks do not like this movement and will oftentimes crawl out on their own, permitting you to easily remove them.

Be sure that you do not make any of these common mistakes when removing a tick from your dog:
(1) crushing the tick, as crushing it will allow its blood to enter your dog’s blood stream, and it may be carrying debilitating diseases;

(2) attempting to remove the tick with your fingers. This not only makes it too easy to crush the tick, but also exposes you to any potential diseases the tick may be carrying.

Ticks are nasty little creatures that neither you or your dog want to see. Learning how to properly remove them will help ensure your dog’s health and prevent the transmission of deadly diseases.

Why Do Dogs Sweat?

Monday, April 11th, 2016


Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do dogs sweat?” This is not an unusual thought since you never see sweat pouring down a dog’s face or under its armpits when the weather is hot and humid.

Dogs have a different way of regulating their body temperature than do humans. Dogs will sweat through their foot pads and also release heat by panting. They are not able to release body heat as efficiently as humans do because we release body heat by sweating through our skin.

If your dog pants excessively on a hot day it’s because it feels warm and needs to relieve some of its body heat. By panting, a dog sends cool air over its tongue and deep into the lungs which alleviates some of the heat.

It may surprise you, but dogs do have sweat glands. Their sweat glands are divided into two groups: Merocrine glands are located in a dog’s foot pads and are activated when the dog is warm; apocrine glands are considered to be sweat glands and they are located all over a dog’s body. The apocrine glands don’t actually release sweat, but secrete pheromones used as a means of communication between dogs.

Dogs sweat when they are unable to effectively rid themselves of excessive heat and the internal body temperature begins to rise. When the dog’s temperature reaches 106°, damage to the body’s cellular system and organs may become irreversible. Many dogs die from heat stroke when it could have been prevented.

Since dogs don’t have complex means to eliminate sweat and body heat, they can suffer from heat stroke on very hot days; or if you leave them in a car, even if the windows are partway down. Especially avoid leaving your dog outdoors during times of extreme heat. If you must keep your dog outdoors make sure it has a shaded area where it can cool off and be sure it has plenty of cool water to drink to help it maintain a normal body temperature.

Signs of a heat stroke include: excessive panting, unconsciousness, sudden collapse, increased rectal temperature (over 104° requires action, over 106° is a dire emergency), seizures, lying down and unwilling or unable to get up, dizziness or disorientation, or in the worst case, a coma.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke you need to take immediate action. Start by moving your dog out of the heat and away from the sun. Begin placing cool, wet rags or washcloths on its body, especially the foot pads and around the head.

Do not use ice water or very cold water. Extreme cold may cause the dog’s blood vessels to constrict and prevent its body’s from cooling. This can cause its internal temperature to rise. Overcooling can also cause hypothermia.

When the dog’s body temperature reaches 103°, stop cooling. You should give your dog cool water, but do not force water into its mouth.

Now you know why dogs sweat and what to do if your pet begins showing signs of heat stroke.

Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatments

Monday, October 5th, 2015


It’s fairly easy to determine whether your dog is suffering from allergies. Dog allergies can affect any breed of dog, no matter where you live. The symptoms of dog allergies are the same for all breeds and the treatments for those allergies are usually the same.

Some of the symptoms of dog allergies are: excessive scratching, pawing at the face or eyes; excessive sneezing, continual runny nose, watery eyes, acute coughing, skin rashes or dry, crusty skin, continually rubbing its face on the floor or furniture , and chronic ear infections.

Seasonal allergies affect many dogs and are caused by spores or pollen grains in the air. These allergens are inhaled and sometimes are able to penetrate a dog’s skin.

Seasonal dog allergies usually occur when a dog is between the ages of 1 and 3. However, some dogs don’t develop seasonal allergies until they are 6 to 8 years old.

If you notice allergy symptoms in your dog you’ll need to schedule a vet visit to have blood tests performed. This is the only way to confirm if the dog really does have seasonal allergies or if the symptoms could be related to a disease that has infected the dog.

Two methods veterinarians use to determine if a dog is suffering from allergies are an ELISA test, the most commonly used test to diagnose allergies; and intradermal testing.

To effectively treat seasonal dog allergies, the vet first has to determine the cause of the allergy, and then you’ll need to limit or eliminate exposure to that allergen. Most dog owners whose pets suffer from seasonal allergies will keep the dog out of grassy or flowered fields during pollen seasons and will also keep the grass on their lawn cut short.

The vet may recommend topical ointments to relive the dog’s itchiness and the other symptoms of seasonal allergies. In addition, regular bathing of the dog’s skin will help reduce allergic reactions.

Some dog owners have reported that a change in their dog’s diet reduced the allergies by strengthening the dog’s immune system. Omega 3 fatty acids are known to help in boosting a dog’s immune system.

The vet may also prescribe antihistamines and steroids if the dog’s allergies continue to worsen.

Some vets also use immunization therapy to reduce a dog’s allergic reactions. This is accomplished by injecting the allergen in small amounts in the dog’s system and after a few shots, the dog will begin to build an immunity to the allergens.

The symptoms of dog allergies should not be ignored and treatment should begin as soon as you know for sure that your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies.

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