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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 ‘Skin and Coat Problems’ Category

Dog Food Allergies

Monday, July 27th, 2015


Dog food allergies are common in dogs. These allergies are often due to a dog being allergic to certain ingredients in its food. If you can identify what ingredient in the dog’s food is causing the allergy, you can then remove that allergen from your dog’s diet. This should effectively reduce or eliminate any allergic reaction.

Dogs with allergies to their food may develop respiratory problems soon after eating. This often results in excessive coughing and sneezing. If the dog is having a hard time eating and swallowing food, or if it coughs the food up shortly after ingesting it, you’ll need to keep a close watch on your pet to see if this condition continues for any length of time or if it becomes worse.

You’ll need to see your veterinarian immediately if your dog can’t stop choking or is to unable to breathe as a result of an allergic reaction.

Another very common food allergy in dogs is itchiness of the skin. This can affect every part of its body, but is most common anywhere the allergic ingredient makes direct contact with the dog’s skin, including the face, nose, eyes and mouth, as well as the rectal area.

If your pet continually scratches its itchy skin, the skin will become inflamed and tender. In extreme cases, the dog’s constant scratching may cause open sores and lesions on its body.

Dog food allergies can also lead to serious problems because the dog’s body is not able to fight off any bacterial infections. These include ear infections and skin infections as well.

If you notice any symptoms of dog food allergies in your dog, you should consult with your vet who can help you determine exactly which ingredients in your dog’s food is causing the allergic reaction.

How to be a Pet Groomer

Monday, July 20th, 2015


Are you thinking about starting a career as a pet groomer? Pet grooming is ideal for people who love animals, but make no bones about it, a career in the pet grooming business can be difficult to get started in. But once you’ve established yourself as a qualified and experienced groomer it can be a very rewarding career and a lot of fun working with dogs of all sizes and types of coats.

To become a successful pet groomer you’ll need to enroll in a professional grooming school. These schools can be found in the yellow pages of your local directory, or for quicker searching use the internet. Professional schools provide their students with the tools, techniques and skills needed to break into the pet grooming profession.

It may surprise you to know that many people who work as dog groomers haven’t attended a professional school, but instead learned the grooming procedures and techniques by taking correspondence courses or night classes at their local college.

As a new dog groomer just starting in the business, it helps to get a job with an established grooming shop as a trainee or assistant. Working for a good dog grooming service will provide you with hands-on experience and the additional training needed to assist you in propelling your career forward in the pet grooming business.

There are many different breeds of dogs, all requiring special techniques for proper grooming. As a dog groomer you’ll have to know how to groom every breed of dog. For example, the grooming style of a Golden Retriever is very different than that of a Yorkie.

When you have been trained and are starting your career, you can ask friends and family if they will let you practice your grooming skills on their pet dogs at no cost to them. This will help you in improving your skills and your friends and family will probably be eager to give you a good reference when you’re searching for the right place in which to begin your career.

When you’re finally ready to be a pet groomer and you feel comfortable enough to proudly say so, you can choose whether you want to work in an established grooming shop, work from home, or even set up a mobile dog grooming business and travel to a client’s home.

Healthy Dog Food Ingredients

Monday, June 15th, 2015


It is an axiom (a generally accepted idea or proposition assumed to be true) that using healthy dog food ingredients will result in healthy dog foods. It is also true that feeding dogs healthy food enhances their quality of life by reducing illnesses, improving the coat and teeth, and providing healthy energy for their bodies.

But no matter how healthy the ingredients are in a specific dog food, if a dog’s health doesn’t improve with a particular type of food, then it is not the right diet for that dog. Many dogs are allergic to certain types of protein or other ingredients used in the manufacture of dog food, and if your dog seems to have more health issues after changing to what you believe to be a healthier dog food, you’ll need to experiment with a few other dog food brands or recipes.

Luckily, most quality dog foods also come in smaller packages, negating the need to buy large bags and waste money if your dog can’t or won’t eat the new food.

Some signs that your dog needs to change its diet are excessive flatulence, frequent ear infections, licking the top of its paws too much, and frequent vomiting or diarrhea. If this is happening to your dog, try changing the type of protein used in its food and see if the symptoms disappear or at least improve.

A dog’s stomach will often attack unfamiliar ingredients, so a new food may not be accepted right away and often can cause diarrhea. Don’t buy a new brand or type of dog food at the first sign of these problems. Continue feeding your dog the same food for a least a week or two before deciding to try something new.

Dogs can also develop allergies to foods they eat too often, so it’s a good idea to feed your pet several foods that contain different protein sources to help it maintain a balanced diet.

Dogs are omnivores, and like humans their bodies were designed to obtain nutrients from both meat and vegetables. The reality is that pet dogs receive most of their nutrients from protein sources, so when choosing a dog food, the quality of the protein is the most important ingredient. As a general rule. three of the first five ingredients listed on the label should be protein sources.

Don’t choose dog foods containing “meat byproducts” or any with labels listing “animal protein” as a principal ingredient. These two ingredients usually don’t include muscle meat from which dogs receive most of their protein. Look for dog foods with labels listing specific ingredients like chicken and turkey. If your dog has food allergies you can choose a food containing proteins like duck, venison or rabbit.

Dogs are not able to efficiently digest corn, wheat, white rice or soy. Instead choose dog foods with whole vegetable ingredients like carrots, green beans and sweet potatoes. There are some dog foods that also include fruits like apples, and grains like oats and barley. Grain-free foods are also available that substitute potatoes in place of the grains.

Other healthy dog food ingredients include pumpkin (which helps soothe a dog’s upset stomach), cottage cheese which provides healthy bacteria, and eggs which are a healthy protein source.

There is no one dog food that’s right for every single dog, but some foods are definitely higher in quality than others. Compare labels on the dog food you now feed your pet with other brands available wherever you shop for dog food.

Depending on where you live and where you shop, you may need to visit Petco or PetSmart, or your local pet store to find a healthy dog food.

Why Do Dogs Lose Their Hair

Monday, April 13th, 2015


Dogs lose their hair in the spring and fall and this is simply a dog’s natural process of shedding. But if your dog starts losing too much hair, or loses a lot of hair throughout the year, you need to determine what’s causing the loss. Excessive hair loss can result in the dog having bald patches on parts of its body.

It’s possible that a vitamin deficiency is causing your dog to lose its hair. To prevent vitamin or mineral deficiency in your dog, start it on a daily regimen of Winston’s Senior Complete Multi, the most powerful and complete once a day multi vitamin for dogs 5 years and older. Don’t let the word “Senior” in the product name cause you to think it’s only good for older dogs. Many dogs are seniors at 5 and 6 years, but lots of dogs are still young at that age and they have many possible years of life left.

It helps to know that certain kinds of food can also affect your dog’s skin and coat and result in excessive shedding. A dog whose diet is lacking in good nutritional value can lose hair and have a coat that looks unhealthy. You may need to consult with your vet to find the best kind of food to keep your dog’s coat looking good and shedding less.

Another reason dogs lose their hair is because of skin allergies that cause itchiness and rashes, and when your dog licks and scratches the area it can result in hair loss and bald patches. Skin problems can also be caused by airborne allergens, some foods, chemicals, or parasites. These types of allergies can be treated with antihistamines, allergy shots, parasite medication and topical ointments containing steroids.

Fleas, mites and worms are some of the most common parasites that cause skin irritations and hair loss on dogs. Parasites leach the nutrients from your dog’s body and result in an unhealthy looking coat and hair loss. Some parasites like fleas cause extreme itchiness in a dog and the dog will scratch his skin excessively, causing wounds, possible bleeding, and hair loss.

To kill the parasites you’ll need to use a special formula shampoo available at most major pet stores to get rid of the skin parasites and soothe the dog’s itchiness.

If you notice a large amount of hair loss accompanied by any one of these signs – lethargy, weight loss, or sudden changes in behavior, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. The underlying cause of these signs could be a serious problem, and the sooner you act, the healthier your dog will be.

How to Check for Ticks

Monday, December 29th, 2014


Ticks are a threat that no one wants to find on their dog. Ticks can transmit diseases and even cause anemia or paralysis in your pet. As a dog owner, there are some basic facts you should know about the risks, prevention and removal of ticks. You can learn how to check for ticks and protect your pet from this annoying problem.

Ticks are parasitic arthropods that feed on the blood of their hosts. They are attracted to warmth and motion, often seeking out mammals like dogs. Ticks tend to hide out in tall grass or plants in wooded areas. If your dog enjoys romping around in areas like this, its chances of contracting a tick infection is greatly increased.

Once a dog comes in contact with the tick, it climbs on and attaches its mouthparts into the skin and begins sucking on the dog’s blood. Once locked in place, the tick will not detach until its meal is complete. It may continue to feed for several hours to several days, depending on the type of tick. On dogs, ticks often attach themselves in crevices or areas with little to no hair – typically in and around the ears, areas where the insides of the legs meet the body, between the toes, and in skin folds.

Most species of ticks go through four life stages – eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults. All stages beyond the egg stage will attach to a dog for a blood meal. The life span of a tick can be several months to years, and female adult ticks can lay hundreds to thousands of eggs at one time.

The following ticks are among the most common types in the U.S. –
* Deer tick
* Brown dog tick
* Lone star tick
* American dog tick

The Dangers of Ticks
Not all ticks transmit disease – in fact, many ticks don’t carry any diseases. However, the threat of disease is always possible where ticks are concerned, and these risks should always be taken seriously. Most tick-borne diseases will take several hours to transmit to a dog, so the sooner a tick is located and removed, the lower the risk of disease.

The symptoms of most tick-borne diseases include fever and lethargy, though some can also cause weakness, lameness, joint swelling and anemia. These signs can take days, weeks or sometimes as long as months to materialize. Some ticks can cause a temporary condition called “tick paralysis,” which is exhibited by a gradual onset of your dog having difficulty walking that may develop into paralysis.

If you notice any signs of illness in your dog after exposure to wooded areas or after removal of visible ticks, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for testing and treatments.

Some of the most common tick-borne diseases are:
* Lyme disease
* Anaplasmosis
* Babesiosis
* Ehrlichiosis
* Rocky Mountain spotted fever

How to Check for Ticks on Your Dog
To search for ticks, run your hands all over its body, paying close attention to the ears, neck, skin folds and other crevices. Closely examine any raised areas by parting the hair. Depending on species and life stage, a tick may be as small as a pencil point or as large as a lima bean when engorged with the blood of your dog. If you live in an area where ticks are prevalent, or your dog spends a lot of time in high grasses or wooded areas, you should check for ticks once or twice a day.

Here is the proper way to remove ticks:
1. Wear latex gloves to protect yourself. Use a pair of tweezers or a specially-designed tick removal tool to grasp the tick where it has attached itself to your dog’s body.

2. Be very careful not to squeeze the body of the tick when trying to remove it. This could cause bacteria to be injected into the bite area.

3. Pull the tick straight out from the skin slowly and steadily. Try not to twist or turn the tweezers or tool. Some of your dog’s skin may come off with the tick, but this is normal. If there is bleeding from the skin just apply slight pressure to the area.

4. If part of the tick’s head still appears to be embedded in your dog’s skin, use the tweezers to gently pull it out. If all of the head can’t be removed at this time it should eventually fall off. Complications from tick’s heads not being removed are rare, as the tick is dead and obviously can no longer feed on your dog.

5. After removing all the ticks you can find, clean your dog’s skin at the bite areas using Pet Solutions Rx. This is an all-natural, non-toxic, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal agent that promotes rapid healing. It’s an all-inclusive “first aid” in a bottle that reduces bleeding of minor wounds, decreases pain, swelling and itching.

It is important to know that there are no shortcuts to make a tick release itself from its host – a tick will not voluntarily detach until its meal is complete. DO NOT apply hot matches, nail polish, petroleum jelly, alcohol or other chemicals to the site. These methods are not effective and can be harmful to your dog.

Learning how to check for ticks and how to rid your dog of them plays an important role in your dog’s health.

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