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The Most Dangerous Canine Disease, But Also The Most Preventable One

Posted by Lejia Feng on

The Most Dangerous Canine Disease, But Also The Most Preventable One

Canine distemper is a virus that affects a dog’s several body systems, including the gastrointestinal, respiratory tracts, spinal cord and central nervous systems, as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eye.

This is the most dangerous disease for dogs, however, it is also the most preventable.

How Do Dogs Get Infected With Canine Distemper?

Puppies and dogs most often become infected through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) to the virus from an infected dog or wild animal. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment. Infected dogs can shed the virus for months, and mother dogs can pass the virus through the placenta to their puppies.

What Are the General Symptoms of Canine Distemper?

The first signs of canine distemper include The first signs of canine distemper include sneezing, coughing and thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose. Fever, lethargy, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, depression and/or loss of appetite are also symptoms of the virus.

Once infected, puppies are severely weakened. Often the virus travels to the brain, causing seizures, shaking and trembling. A weakened immune system leaves an infected dog open to secondary infections like pneumonia.
are also symptoms of the virus.

Once infected, puppies are severely weakened. Often the virus travels to the brain, causing seizures, shaking and trembling. A weakened immune system leaves an infected dog open to secondary infections like pneumonia.

Sneezing, coughing and thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose.

Fever, lethargy, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, depression and/or loss of appetite

Clinical symptoms

Which Dogs Are Prone to Canine Distemper?

All dogs are at risk but puppies younger than four months old and dogs that have not been vaccinated against canine distemper are at increased risk of acquiring the disease.
Yes, canine distemper should sound familiar to you if your dog is up-to-date on his vaccinations. Veterinarians consider the distemper vaccine to be a core vaccination, along with the parvovirus, canine adenovirus, and rabies vaccines.
The disease is highly contagious and potentially lethal. So please see your vet right away if you suspect your dog has been infected before it is rapidly spreaded. And it needs to be aggressively treated as soon as it’s discovered.

How Can Canine Distemper Be Diagnosed and Treated?

Veterinarians diagnose canine distemper through clinical appearance and laboratory testing.

Please be noted that, currently there is no available medication that can destroy the virus that causes canine distemper. Rather, the mainstay of treatment typically consists of supportive care and efforts to prevent secondary infections; control vomiting, diarrhea and neurologic symptoms; and combat dehydration through administration of fluids. Veterinarians can offer intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and antibiotics to ward off secondary infections while the infected dog builds up his immune response. Some dogs are able to survive the infection, while for others canine distemper can be fatal. Also, Dogs infected with canine distemper are separated from other dogs to minimize the risk of further infection.

How Can Canine Distemper Be Prevented?

Although there is no cure for dogs who are already infected, there is measure for its prevention. Make sure your dog has completed his series of vaccinations. The vaccine for dogs is called the distemper shot. If you have a puppy, make sure he gets his first vaccination at six to eight weeks of age. Be sure to keep him away from any possibly infectious dogs or environments until he’s finished with his vaccinations at four or five months old.

Also, routine cleaning and disinfecting your home will ensure that the virus is not in your dog’s living environment.

Are There Lasting Health Issues?

Dogs who recover from canine distemper may have seizures or other central nervous system disorders that may not show up until many years later-sometimes in their old age. They may also be left with permanent brain and nerve damage, and these symptoms also may not show up until years later.

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The Most Dangerous Canine Disease, But Also The Most Preventable One

Canine distemper is a virus that affects a dog’s several body systems, including the gastrointestinal, respiratory tracts, spinal cord and central nervous systems, as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eye.

This is the most dangerous disease for dogs, however, it is also the most preventable.

How Do Dogs Get Infected With Canine Distemper?

Puppies and dogs most often become infected through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) to the virus from an infected dog or wild animal. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment. Infected dogs can shed the virus for months, and mother dogs can pass the virus through the placenta to their puppies.

What Are the General Symptoms of Canine Distemper?

The first signs of canine distemper include The first signs of canine distemper include sneezing, coughing and thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose. Fever, lethargy, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, depression and/or loss of appetite are also symptoms of the virus.

Once infected, puppies are severely weakened. Often the virus travels to the brain, causing seizures, shaking and trembling. A weakened immune system leaves an infected dog open to secondary infections like pneumonia.
are also symptoms of the virus.

Once infected, puppies are severely weakened. Often the virus travels to the brain, causing seizures, shaking and trembling. A weakened immune system leaves an infected dog open to secondary infections like pneumonia.

Sneezing, coughing and thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose.

Fever, lethargy, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, depression and/or loss of appetite

Clinical symptoms

Which Dogs Are Prone to Canine Distemper?

All dogs are at risk but puppies younger than four months old and dogs that have not been vaccinated against canine distemper are at increased risk of acquiring the disease.
Yes, canine distemper should sound familiar to you if your dog is up-to-date on his vaccinations. Veterinarians consider the distemper vaccine to be a core vaccination, along with the parvovirus, canine adenovirus, and rabies vaccines.
The disease is highly contagious and potentially lethal. So please see your vet right away if you suspect your dog has been infected before it is rapidly spreaded. And it needs to be aggressively treated as soon as it’s discovered.

How Can Canine Distemper Be Diagnosed and Treated?

Veterinarians diagnose canine distemper through clinical appearance and laboratory testing.

Please be noted that, currently there is no available medication that can destroy the virus that causes canine distemper. Rather, the mainstay of treatment typically consists of supportive care and efforts to prevent secondary infections; control vomiting, diarrhea and neurologic symptoms; and combat dehydration through administration of fluids. Veterinarians can offer intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and antibiotics to ward off secondary infections while the infected dog builds up his immune response. Some dogs are able to survive the infection, while for others canine distemper can be fatal. Also, Dogs infected with canine distemper are separated from other dogs to minimize the risk of further infection.

How Can Canine Distemper Be Prevented?

Although there is no cure for dogs who are already infected, there is measure for its prevention. Make sure your dog has completed his series of vaccinations. The vaccine for dogs is called the distemper shot. If you have a puppy, make sure he gets his first vaccination at six to eight weeks of age. Be sure to keep him away from any possibly infectious dogs or environments until he’s finished with his vaccinations at four or five months old.

Also, routine cleaning and disinfecting your home will ensure that the virus is not in your dog’s living environment.

Are There Lasting Health Issues?

Dogs who recover from canine distemper may have seizures or other central nervous system disorders that may not show up until many years later-sometimes in their old age. They may also be left with permanent brain and nerve damage, and these symptoms also may not show up until years later.

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NEXT ARTICLE

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Dogs Get Diabetes Too! Is It The Same As Humans?

Posted by Lejia Feng on

Dogs Get Diabetes Too! Is It The Same As Humans?

The growing diabetes epidemic is not limited to people, but is increasing among dogs as well. Researchers estimate that one in 200 dogs will develop diabetes.

Fortunately, treatment has made huge strides in recent years, and as a result, although it still cannot be completely cured, it can be managed successfully and dogs with diabetes are living longer, healthier lives.

Is Canine Diabetes the Same as Humans?

To understand what diabetes is, it helps to understand some of this process.

The mechanism of diabetes is relatively simple to describe. Just as cars use gas for fuel, body cells run on a sugar called glucose. The body obtains glucose by breaking down carbohydrates in the diet. Cells then extract glucose from the blood with the help of insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas in specialized cells called beta cells. (The pancreas, an organ situated behind the stomach, produces several hormones.) In diabetes mellitus, cells don’t take in enough glucose, which then builds up in the blood. As a result, cells starve and organs bathed in sugary blood are damaged.

Diabetes occurs in dogs in two forms:

 

  • Insulin-deficiency diabetes—This is when the dog’s body isn’t producing enough insulin. This happens when the pancreas is damaged or otherwise not functioning properly. Dogs with this type of diabetes need daily shots to replace the missing insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs.
  • Insulin-resistance diabetes—This is when the pancreas is producing some insulin, but the dog’s body isn’t utilizing the insulin as it should. The cells aren’t responding to the insulin’s “message,” so glucose isn’t being pulled out of the blood and into the cells. This type of diabetes can especially occur in older, obese dogs.

It is worth noted that female dogs can also develop temporary insulin resistance while in heat or pregnant.

What Are the Symptoms of Dog Diabetes?

The four main symptoms of uncomplicated diabetes mellitus are increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, and increased appetite.

Yes, these clinical signs could be indicating hundreds of diseases.

But, the diagnosis of diabetes is easy as diabetes is the only common disease that will cause the blood glucose level to rise substantially. As dogs with diabetes often show a persistently high level of glucose in the blood, and the presence of glucose in the urine.

To conserve glucose within the body, the kidneys do not filter glucose out of the bloodstream into the urine until an excessive level is reached. This means that dogs with normal blood glucose levels will not have glucose in the urine. Diabetic dogs, however, have excessive amounts of glucose in the blood, so it spills into the urine. Once blood glucose reaches a certain level, the excess is removed by the kidneys and enters the urine. This is why dogs and people with diabetes mellitus have sugar in their urine (glucosuria) when their insulin levels are low.

How Is Diabetes Treated in Dogs?

Dogs with diabetes generally require two insulin injections each day, and nutrition is an important component of disease management. In general, they must be fed the same food in the same amount on the same schedule every day. Although a dog can go a day or so without insulin without a crisis, this should not be a regular occurrence.

Treatment must be looked upon as part of the dog's daily routine. This means that you, as the dog's owner, must make both a financial and personal commitment to treat your dog. If you must be out of town or go on vacation, your dog must receive proper treatment while you are away. Once your dog is well regulated, the treatment and maintenance costs are reasonable. The special diet, insulin, and syringes are not overly expensive, but the financial commitment may be significant during the initial regulation process or if complications arise.

Initially, your dog may be hospitalized for a few days to deal with any immediate crisis and to begin insulin regulation. One example of an ’immediate crisis’ is a dog that is so sick he has stopped eating and drinking for several days. Dogs in this state, called diabetic ketoacidosis, may require several days of hospitalization with intensive care. Otherwise, the initial hospitalization may be only for a day or two while the dog's initial response to insulin injections is evaluated. At that point, your dog returns home for you to administer medication. During the initial phase of insulin therapy, regular return visits are required to monitor progress.

 

What Can Dog Owners Do To Prevent Diabetes?

Unfortunately with dogs, diabetes is not always preventable. Some dogs are going to get diabetes no matter what you do.

But you may be able to make it easier to manage or reduce the severity of the symptoms by following the six tips listed below.

 

  • Maintain Regular Checkups

Some diseases can increase the chances of developing diabetes, for example, pancreatitis. So routine checkups and blood tests could be very helpful.

 

  • Get Female Dogs Spayed

Intact female dogs are more likely to develop diabetes. Having your female dog spayed will also decrease her risk of developing other conditions that can be associated with high progesterone levels, including pyometra, a uterine infection sometimes accompanied by high blood sugar levels.

 

  • Keep Your Dog Active

Exercise can play a role in diabetes prevention and management as it helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce weight gain. Just like People, dogs also need enough exercise to work off the calories they consume.

 

  • Buy Qulity Dog Food

A high protein diet will help keep your dog’s blood sugar levels more stable than a diet high in simple carbohydrates. And please be relaxed, just most mainstream brands offer quality nutrition.

 

  • Don’t Overfeed Your Dog

Weight control is an important part of disease management should your dog become diabetic. Of course, obesity is associated with a wide range of other health problems, so feeding dogs just the right amount is still incredibly important.

 

  • Embrace Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables make great snacks or meal toppers without packing on calories, and the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables do not cause blood sugar spikes.

Green vegetables like broccoli, kale, dandelion greens, or collards could be great to add into their diet. And the ingredients inside will help boost the food’s fiber content and regulate blood sugar fluctuations.

Make sure to consult your veterinarian before adding any fruits or vegetables or making any significant changes to your dog’s diet.

Read more

Dogs Get Diabetes Too! Is It The Same As Humans?

Posted by Lejia Feng on

Dogs Get Diabetes Too! Is It The Same As Humans?

The growing diabetes epidemic is not limited to people, but is increasing among dogs as well. Researchers estimate that one in 200 dogs will develop diabetes.

Fortunately, treatment has made huge strides in recent years, and as a result, although it still cannot be completely cured, it can be managed successfully and dogs with diabetes are living longer, healthier lives.

Is Canine Diabetes the Same as Humans?

To understand what diabetes is, it helps to understand some of this process.

The mechanism of diabetes is relatively simple to describe. Just as cars use gas for fuel, body cells run on a sugar called glucose. The body obtains glucose by breaking down carbohydrates in the diet. Cells then extract glucose from the blood with the help of insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas in specialized cells called beta cells. (The pancreas, an organ situated behind the stomach, produces several hormones.) In diabetes mellitus, cells don’t take in enough glucose, which then builds up in the blood. As a result, cells starve and organs bathed in sugary blood are damaged.

Diabetes occurs in dogs in two forms:

 

  • Insulin-deficiency diabetes—This is when the dog’s body isn’t producing enough insulin. This happens when the pancreas is damaged or otherwise not functioning properly. Dogs with this type of diabetes need daily shots to replace the missing insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs.
  • Insulin-resistance diabetes—This is when the pancreas is producing some insulin, but the dog’s body isn’t utilizing the insulin as it should. The cells aren’t responding to the insulin’s “message,” so glucose isn’t being pulled out of the blood and into the cells. This type of diabetes can especially occur in older, obese dogs.

It is worth noted that female dogs can also develop temporary insulin resistance while in heat or pregnant.

What Are the Symptoms of Dog Diabetes?

The four main symptoms of uncomplicated diabetes mellitus are increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, and increased appetite.

Yes, these clinical signs could be indicating hundreds of diseases.

But, the diagnosis of diabetes is easy as diabetes is the only common disease that will cause the blood glucose level to rise substantially. As dogs with diabetes often show a persistently high level of glucose in the blood, and the presence of glucose in the urine.

To conserve glucose within the body, the kidneys do not filter glucose out of the bloodstream into the urine until an excessive level is reached. This means that dogs with normal blood glucose levels will not have glucose in the urine. Diabetic dogs, however, have excessive amounts of glucose in the blood, so it spills into the urine. Once blood glucose reaches a certain level, the excess is removed by the kidneys and enters the urine. This is why dogs and people with diabetes mellitus have sugar in their urine (glucosuria) when their insulin levels are low.

How Is Diabetes Treated in Dogs?

Dogs with diabetes generally require two insulin injections each day, and nutrition is an important component of disease management. In general, they must be fed the same food in the same amount on the same schedule every day. Although a dog can go a day or so without insulin without a crisis, this should not be a regular occurrence.

Treatment must be looked upon as part of the dog's daily routine. This means that you, as the dog's owner, must make both a financial and personal commitment to treat your dog. If you must be out of town or go on vacation, your dog must receive proper treatment while you are away. Once your dog is well regulated, the treatment and maintenance costs are reasonable. The special diet, insulin, and syringes are not overly expensive, but the financial commitment may be significant during the initial regulation process or if complications arise.

Initially, your dog may be hospitalized for a few days to deal with any immediate crisis and to begin insulin regulation. One example of an ’immediate crisis’ is a dog that is so sick he has stopped eating and drinking for several days. Dogs in this state, called diabetic ketoacidosis, may require several days of hospitalization with intensive care. Otherwise, the initial hospitalization may be only for a day or two while the dog's initial response to insulin injections is evaluated. At that point, your dog returns home for you to administer medication. During the initial phase of insulin therapy, regular return visits are required to monitor progress.

 

What Can Dog Owners Do To Prevent Diabetes?

Unfortunately with dogs, diabetes is not always preventable. Some dogs are going to get diabetes no matter what you do.

But you may be able to make it easier to manage or reduce the severity of the symptoms by following the six tips listed below.

 

  • Maintain Regular Checkups

Some diseases can increase the chances of developing diabetes, for example, pancreatitis. So routine checkups and blood tests could be very helpful.

 

  • Get Female Dogs Spayed

Intact female dogs are more likely to develop diabetes. Having your female dog spayed will also decrease her risk of developing other conditions that can be associated with high progesterone levels, including pyometra, a uterine infection sometimes accompanied by high blood sugar levels.

 

  • Keep Your Dog Active

Exercise can play a role in diabetes prevention and management as it helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce weight gain. Just like People, dogs also need enough exercise to work off the calories they consume.

 

  • Buy Qulity Dog Food

A high protein diet will help keep your dog’s blood sugar levels more stable than a diet high in simple carbohydrates. And please be relaxed, just most mainstream brands offer quality nutrition.

 

  • Don’t Overfeed Your Dog

Weight control is an important part of disease management should your dog become diabetic. Of course, obesity is associated with a wide range of other health problems, so feeding dogs just the right amount is still incredibly important.

 

  • Embrace Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables make great snacks or meal toppers without packing on calories, and the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables do not cause blood sugar spikes.

Green vegetables like broccoli, kale, dandelion greens, or collards could be great to add into their diet. And the ingredients inside will help boost the food’s fiber content and regulate blood sugar fluctuations.

Make sure to consult your veterinarian before adding any fruits or vegetables or making any significant changes to your dog’s diet.

Read more


Picking Up Dog Poop Is Gross? Well, There Is Something Even Worse

Posted by Lejia Feng on

Picking Up Dog Poop Is Gross? Well, There Is Something Even Worse

It’s not a topic anyone likes to discuss, but if you own a dog, chances are you have found yourself cleaning up a stinking brown puddle more than you’d care to think about.

And sometimes, it is much more complicated than simply picking it up and throwing it away, as not every time they are ‘pickable’.

Diarrhea is a common canine affliction and it varies in frequency, duration, and intensity from dog to dog.

You may not be able to totally prevent diarrhea, but knowing as much as possible about it might help limit the number times your dog has one of these unpleasant episodes and reduce the duration when the runs do come.

What Is Canine Diarrhea?

Diarrhea in dogs, as with vomiting, can have lots of causes, including stress, infections like parvo virus, intestinal parasites, and food problems.

It is unformed or loose stools, usually occurring in larger amounts. It is not a disease, but rather a sign of many different diseases.

If only present minor conditions, diarrhea can be resolved quickly with simple treatments.

However, diarrhea may be the result of serious or life-threatening illnesses, such as organ system failure or cancer. Even diarrhea caused by mild illnesses may become serious if treatment is not begun early enough to prevent severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

Diarrhea symptoms are pretty obvious -- look for loose, watery, or liquid stool.

 

What Is The Treatment For Diarrhea?
 

Because diarrhea can easily lead to dehydration, be sure your dog has plenty of clean water available, then take your pooch to the vet if the diarrhea persists for more than a day, or immediately if there's also fever, lethargy, vomiting, dark or bloody stools, or loss of appetite.

Once the diagnosis is known, specific treatment will be tailored to the underlying problem and may involve medication or dietary treatment.

A conservative treatment may be recommended by your vet if it is a simple acute diarrhea for a healthy adult dog.

Conservative approach may involve:

  • Withholding all food for 12-24 hours or feeding small amounts of an easily digested diet prescribed by vet at more frequent intervals.
  • Water should be offered at all times.
  • Antidiarrheal agents, dewormers and or probiotics (bacteria that support intestinal health) may be prescribed in some cases.
  • Some probiotics and supplements can be very helpful for dogs experiencing diarrhea.

Those conservative medical approaches mentioned above allow the body's healing mechanisms to correct the problem. As the stools return to normal, you can gradually reintroduce your dog's regular food by mixing it in with the special diet for several days.

Further tests or more aggressive treatment may be necessary if your dog is not improving within two to four days. Severe or prolonged diarrhea can result in significant dehydration and metabolic disturbances due to fluid loss and your pet may require hospitalization for intravenous fluid therapy or other, more intensive, treatments.

How To Prevent The Happening of Diarrhea?

Although in some cases diarrhea is unavoidable, there are some things dog owners can do to help reduce the likelihood of it occurring:

  • Provide your dog with a healthy, balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep up to date with vaccinations
  • Make sure your dog is free of parasites
  • Keep spoiled food and garbage out of reach
  • Avoid feeding your dog scraps
  • Ensure your dog doesn’t eat plant material or feces or drink from puddles while out walking
  • Minimize stress to its environment

Read more

Picking Up Dog Poop Is Gross? Well, There Is Something Even Worse

It’s not a topic anyone likes to discuss, but if you own a dog, chances are you have found yourself cleaning up a stinking brown puddle more than you’d care to think about.

And sometimes, it is much more complicated than simply picking it up and throwing it away, as not every time they are ‘pickable’.

Diarrhea is a common canine affliction and it varies in frequency, duration, and intensity from dog to dog.

You may not be able to totally prevent diarrhea, but knowing as much as possible about it might help limit the number times your dog has one of these unpleasant episodes and reduce the duration when the runs do come.

What Is Canine Diarrhea?

Diarrhea in dogs, as with vomiting, can have lots of causes, including stress, infections like parvo virus, intestinal parasites, and food problems.

It is unformed or loose stools, usually occurring in larger amounts. It is not a disease, but rather a sign of many different diseases.

If only present minor conditions, diarrhea can be resolved quickly with simple treatments.

However, diarrhea may be the result of serious or life-threatening illnesses, such as organ system failure or cancer. Even diarrhea caused by mild illnesses may become serious if treatment is not begun early enough to prevent severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

Diarrhea symptoms are pretty obvious -- look for loose, watery, or liquid stool.

 

What Is The Treatment For Diarrhea?
 

Because diarrhea can easily lead to dehydration, be sure your dog has plenty of clean water available, then take your pooch to the vet if the diarrhea persists for more than a day, or immediately if there's also fever, lethargy, vomiting, dark or bloody stools, or loss of appetite.

Once the diagnosis is known, specific treatment will be tailored to the underlying problem and may involve medication or dietary treatment.

A conservative treatment may be recommended by your vet if it is a simple acute diarrhea for a healthy adult dog.

Conservative approach may involve:

  • Withholding all food for 12-24 hours or feeding small amounts of an easily digested diet prescribed by vet at more frequent intervals.
  • Water should be offered at all times.
  • Antidiarrheal agents, dewormers and or probiotics (bacteria that support intestinal health) may be prescribed in some cases.
  • Some probiotics and supplements can be very helpful for dogs experiencing diarrhea.

Those conservative medical approaches mentioned above allow the body's healing mechanisms to correct the problem. As the stools return to normal, you can gradually reintroduce your dog's regular food by mixing it in with the special diet for several days.

Further tests or more aggressive treatment may be necessary if your dog is not improving within two to four days. Severe or prolonged diarrhea can result in significant dehydration and metabolic disturbances due to fluid loss and your pet may require hospitalization for intravenous fluid therapy or other, more intensive, treatments.

How To Prevent The Happening of Diarrhea?

Although in some cases diarrhea is unavoidable, there are some things dog owners can do to help reduce the likelihood of it occurring:

  • Provide your dog with a healthy, balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep up to date with vaccinations
  • Make sure your dog is free of parasites
  • Keep spoiled food and garbage out of reach
  • Avoid feeding your dog scraps
  • Ensure your dog doesn’t eat plant material or feces or drink from puddles while out walking
  • Minimize stress to its environment

Read more


Your Dog Coughing All The Time? It Could Be Worse Than A Simple Cold

Posted by Lejia Feng on

Kennel cough could be easily treated like a simple cold, but it can also turn into a severe and life-threatening disease depending on the causes.

Click and learn the key facts to make sure you have the right understanding and basic knowledge to deal with kennel cough.

Read more

Kennel cough could be easily treated like a simple cold, but it can also turn into a severe and life-threatening disease depending on the causes.

Click and learn the key facts to make sure you have the right understanding and basic knowledge to deal with kennel cough.

Read more


The Most Terrifying Two Words to Large Dog Owners, While Every Breed Should Be Alarmed

Posted by Lejia Feng on

The Most Terrifying Two Words to Large Dog Owners, While Every Breed Should Be Alarmed

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition resulting from an improperly formed hip joint. This painful condition can drastically reduce a dog’s quality of life, and what’s worse, sometimes it is difficult for owners to observe.

It is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, often seen in large or giant breed dogs, although it can occur in smaller breeds, as well. So whatever breed, you should be alarmed.

 

What causes hip dysplasia and which breeds are prone to it?

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that is affected by factors such as diet, environment, exercise, growth rate, muscle mass, and hormones.

As mentioned earlier, this disease is most commonly seen in large or giant breed dogs (generally greater than 50 lbs or 22 kg), including bulldogs, mastiffs, American Staffordshire terriers, St. Bernards, retrievers, and Rottweilers.

However, dogs of all breeds and all sizes are susceptible to this inherited condition, including some small breeds, such as pugs and French bulldogs.

How can I tell if my dog has hip dysplasia?

Some cases of hip dysplasia are so mild there are no symptoms, but if your dog seems

 

  • stiff or sore in the hips when getting up
  • hesitant to exercise, stand on its hind legs or climb stairs
  • limping or bunny-hopping
  • loss of thigh muscle mass
  • noticeable enlargement of the shoulder muscles as they compensate for the hind end

 

 

These signs can be seen in puppies as early as a few months old but are most common in dogs one to two years of age. If the above symptoms showed without getting better in a week, then a visit to the vet is in order.

If left unattended, it can eventually cause lameness and arthritis of the joints.

When do dogs develop hip dysplasia?

Each case is different, depending on the dog. Hip dysplasia can begin to develop in puppies of five months old and worsen as they age-or not show any clinical signs at all until a dog has reached geriatric years. In many cases, though, the condition becomes noticeable in dogs in their middle or later years, as it often takes years of gradual bone degeneration until becoming symptomatic.

How can hip dysplasia be treated?

Each case is different, depending on the dog. First, for the definitive diagnosis of a dog’s hip dysplasia, the vet needs an evaluation, which may include a physical examination, radiographs and manual tests on your dog’s hips.

Then, for the treatment, there are quite a few options.

If your dog’s hip dysplasia is not severe, or if your dog is not a candidate for surgery for medical or financial reasons, then conservative treatment can be applied, that is, nonsurgical approaches. Depending on your dog’s case, the vet may suggest the following:

 

  • Weight reduction to take stress off of the hips
  • Exercise restriction, especially on hard surfaces
  • Physical therapy
  • Joint supplements
  • Anti-inflammatory medications (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids)
    Joint fluid modifiers

If your dog is a good candidate for surgery, then the most common surgeries veterinarians use to treat hip dysplasia in dogs are:

 

  • Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO)
  • Femoral head ostectomy (FHO)
  • Total hip replacement (THR)

Are there any preventative measures for hip dysplasia?

Not all cases of hip dysplasia can be prevented. However, there are some measures that help reduce your dog’s risk of developing this disease.

  • Feeding your puppy an appropriate diet

Keeping your dog’s skeletal system healthy should start when your dog is young. As most hip dysplasia conditions are developed from puppyhood, a proper diet will give them a head start on healthy bone and joint development and help prevent the excessive growth that leads to the disease. Keep your puppies at a normal and lean weight during growth, rather than overfed and encouraged to grow too big.

  • Providing them appropriate levels of exercise

As your dog grows, proper exercise will help strengthen the muscles around the joints and prevent obesity, which is a major contributing factor to hip dysplasia. Also, obesity causes many other health problems in dogs, so talk to your dog’s veterinarian about a good exercise program.

  • Breeder’s health screening

The best way that breeders can prevent hereditary hip dysplasia is to screen their breeding dogs for the disease to ensure that they only breed dogs with hip joints rated normal or higher. And as a prospective owner of a new dog, do your research on the breed of your choice and find a responsible breeder that does the appropriate health screenings. By doing this, you can really save a lot of trouble.

Apart from what mentioned above, massage, warm and dry sleeping areas, joint supplements, and, potentially, prescription veterinary pain-relieving medication can help prevent and manage the condition.

Although hip dysplasia may be torturous for both the owner and the dog, by learning the key facts and preventative measures you can take to deal with it can go a long way toward keeping your dog as comfortable as possible.

Read more

The Most Terrifying Two Words to Large Dog Owners, While Every Breed Should Be Alarmed

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition resulting from an improperly formed hip joint. This painful condition can drastically reduce a dog’s quality of life, and what’s worse, sometimes it is difficult for owners to observe.

It is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, often seen in large or giant breed dogs, although it can occur in smaller breeds, as well. So whatever breed, you should be alarmed.

 

What causes hip dysplasia and which breeds are prone to it?

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that is affected by factors such as diet, environment, exercise, growth rate, muscle mass, and hormones.

As mentioned earlier, this disease is most commonly seen in large or giant breed dogs (generally greater than 50 lbs or 22 kg), including bulldogs, mastiffs, American Staffordshire terriers, St. Bernards, retrievers, and Rottweilers.

However, dogs of all breeds and all sizes are susceptible to this inherited condition, including some small breeds, such as pugs and French bulldogs.

How can I tell if my dog has hip dysplasia?

Some cases of hip dysplasia are so mild there are no symptoms, but if your dog seems

 

  • stiff or sore in the hips when getting up
  • hesitant to exercise, stand on its hind legs or climb stairs
  • limping or bunny-hopping
  • loss of thigh muscle mass
  • noticeable enlargement of the shoulder muscles as they compensate for the hind end

 

 

These signs can be seen in puppies as early as a few months old but are most common in dogs one to two years of age. If the above symptoms showed without getting better in a week, then a visit to the vet is in order.

If left unattended, it can eventually cause lameness and arthritis of the joints.

When do dogs develop hip dysplasia?

Each case is different, depending on the dog. Hip dysplasia can begin to develop in puppies of five months old and worsen as they age-or not show any clinical signs at all until a dog has reached geriatric years. In many cases, though, the condition becomes noticeable in dogs in their middle or later years, as it often takes years of gradual bone degeneration until becoming symptomatic.

How can hip dysplasia be treated?

Each case is different, depending on the dog. First, for the definitive diagnosis of a dog’s hip dysplasia, the vet needs an evaluation, which may include a physical examination, radiographs and manual tests on your dog’s hips.

Then, for the treatment, there are quite a few options.

If your dog’s hip dysplasia is not severe, or if your dog is not a candidate for surgery for medical or financial reasons, then conservative treatment can be applied, that is, nonsurgical approaches. Depending on your dog’s case, the vet may suggest the following:

 

  • Weight reduction to take stress off of the hips
  • Exercise restriction, especially on hard surfaces
  • Physical therapy
  • Joint supplements
  • Anti-inflammatory medications (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids)
    Joint fluid modifiers

If your dog is a good candidate for surgery, then the most common surgeries veterinarians use to treat hip dysplasia in dogs are:

 

  • Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO)
  • Femoral head ostectomy (FHO)
  • Total hip replacement (THR)

Are there any preventative measures for hip dysplasia?

Not all cases of hip dysplasia can be prevented. However, there are some measures that help reduce your dog’s risk of developing this disease.

  • Feeding your puppy an appropriate diet

Keeping your dog’s skeletal system healthy should start when your dog is young. As most hip dysplasia conditions are developed from puppyhood, a proper diet will give them a head start on healthy bone and joint development and help prevent the excessive growth that leads to the disease. Keep your puppies at a normal and lean weight during growth, rather than overfed and encouraged to grow too big.

  • Providing them appropriate levels of exercise

As your dog grows, proper exercise will help strengthen the muscles around the joints and prevent obesity, which is a major contributing factor to hip dysplasia. Also, obesity causes many other health problems in dogs, so talk to your dog’s veterinarian about a good exercise program.

  • Breeder’s health screening

The best way that breeders can prevent hereditary hip dysplasia is to screen their breeding dogs for the disease to ensure that they only breed dogs with hip joints rated normal or higher. And as a prospective owner of a new dog, do your research on the breed of your choice and find a responsible breeder that does the appropriate health screenings. By doing this, you can really save a lot of trouble.

Apart from what mentioned above, massage, warm and dry sleeping areas, joint supplements, and, potentially, prescription veterinary pain-relieving medication can help prevent and manage the condition.

Although hip dysplasia may be torturous for both the owner and the dog, by learning the key facts and preventative measures you can take to deal with it can go a long way toward keeping your dog as comfortable as possible.

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