Hot Spots on Dogs: Prevention and Treatment

Hot Spots on Dogs: Prevention and Treatment

What are Hot Spots?

Canine owners discuss hot spots on dogs daily in online forums. Contrary to popular belief, hot spots have been around for a very long time. Unfortunately, they have a notorious reputation for causing severe discomfort, this is the main reason why dog owners must pay close attention to their dog’s skin. Recognizing the symptoms is the key to keeping things under control.

A hot spot is a common skin infection that occurs in canines. When skin bacteria overwhelm the skin’s defenses, damage normally occurs on the surface. Intensive studies show that the skin damage takes place when the dog begins licking, gnawing, and scratching itself.

Table of Contents

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What happens to the dog’s skin during the early stages of the formation of the hot spots?

It becomes moist, red, and infected. It’s also important to point out that pus begins to run from the infected area. When this happens, crust will begin to develop over the hot spot.

There’s a strong possibility that your furry friend will lose hair in the infected area. Your dog may bark and pull away when you touch their irritated skin.

Dogs do not take the right approach when a hot spot develops. They get the impression that licking and gnawing helps relieve the pain associated with hot spots. However, this type of behavior causes more irritation and pain.

There’s an old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Hot spots are not as bad as they look. In most instances, they can be treated with topical treatment.

Why do dogs begin to lick and chew on themselves in the first place? This is an excellent question. The dog will instinctively scratch, gnaw, and lick on an area that is causing discomfort.

Here are several things that cause canine skin irritation: skin allergies, matted hair, flies, ticks, fleas, excessive skin moisture, skin scrapes, and humidity.

This may be hard to believe, but some dogs are driven by boredom. When boredom sets in, they may scratch and gnaw for entertainment.

Your veterinarian will make an earnest effort to diagnose the problem. The location of the hot spots may provide helpful clues.

Let’s say your dog has a hot spot on their hip area. This may be a sign of an anal gland infection, hip arthritis, or fleas.

What if your dog has a hot spot near their ear? They could have a nerve irritation, an allergy, or an ear infection.

Home Remedies for Hot Spots on Dogs

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If you catch the early stage of a hot spot, you may be able to treat it with over-the-counter products. At this point, the medication should be able to deal with a small and non-painful hot spot.

What kind of over-the-counter product should you use? You can go with a medicated shampoo, a topical spray, or herbal therapy. You have several options at your disposal.

However, you should make certain that the product is safe for your beloved pet. If you’re in doubt, you can get in touch with your veterinarian.

It’s vital for you to avoid using human products for hot spots on dogs. This may seem like a good idea, but this can have an adverse effect on your dog’s health.

Human topical products contain zinc oxide. If your dog ingests this powerful ingredient, it could make them sick.

Here are the fundamentals of home hot spot treatment for canines:

  • If the infected area is small, carefully clip the fur covering the hot spot. This will make it easier for medication and air to penetrate the wound.
  • I know that may be a huge challenge, but you should discourage your canine from licking the hot spot.
  • Do not cover the infected area with bandages.
  • Do not use over-the-counter products that are not approved by your veterinarian. Check with your vet before starting the home treatment process.
  • Place a warm compress on the area three times daily for five to ten minutes. This will help keep the area clean and speed up the recovery process.
  • Go to the source to stop the irritation. If you don’t, you will be fighting an uphill battle.

Preventing hot spots:

  • Flea control should be your top priority. A flea collar or flea shampoo will help fight off fleas.
  • Dry your canine thoroughly during the warmest months of the year.
  • Regular grooming will help keep your dog’s skin in tip-top condition.
  • If your dog gets bored, give them mental stimulation. Take them for a walk, or introduce them to a new exercise routine.
  • Buy dog food that has essential fatty acids. This will help maintain a healthy coat.

What should you do when hot spots get out of control?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but 30% of canines who develop hot spots typically have another kind of skin disease. This could be a bite wound, a serious immune-mediated disease, or a severe skin infection. If you think things are serious, you should contact your veterinarian. They will access the condition and take appropriate action.

If the infection begins to spread, you should take your dog to the vet. They will sedate your dog. This will make it easier for them to clip and clean the hot spot.

Your vet may recommend oral anti-inflammatory medications, oral antibiotics, and oral pain medications. They may also use strong topical treatments.

The severity of the situation will determine your vet’s approach. For example, the vet will take massive action if your dog is in severe pain.

Some dogs may get one or two hot spots during their lifetime, while others may battle them throughout their life.

Final Word

Hot spots on dogs can lead to serious medical issues if they are ignored. Your veterinarian will not hesitate to tell you this is a serious subject that dog owners cannot afford to ignore.

If you notice the symptoms early, you may be able to use over-the-counter products to eliminate the hot spot. If you wait too late, you will have to take your dog to the vet. Luckily, hot spots are treatable. They cause discomfort, but they will not put your canine’s life in jeopardy.

Why Are German Shepherds So Prone To Hip Dysplasia?

German shepherds are well-known for being intelligent, loyal, and physically strong. This is why they have been a favorite among canine lovers over the years. It’s also imperative to mention that German shepherds are active members in police departments, rescue units, and military units around the globe.

German shepherds also excel at being household companions and world-class show dogs. It’s fair to say that this breed is a well-rounded dog.

Despite their impressive physical prowess, these loving dogs can develop health issues. German shepherd hip dysplasia is one health ailment owners need to keep a close eye on.

german-shepherd

Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is a dog skeletal condition that can be trigger by environmental factors or traumatic fractures. Malformation takes place at the ball and joint socket or both hips.

X-rays help veterinarians diagnose canine hip dysplasia. There’s a serious problem when the ball and hip socket does not connect properly. The loose hip rubs on the socket when the dog walks or run. As a result, burn spurs can develop.

Bone spurs can cause degenerative joint disease, hip joint pain, and lethargy. Fortunately, there are treatment options for canine hip dysplasia.

Symptoms of Canine Hip Dysplasia

Look at your shepherd’s hind legs closely? Do they appear bent? If so, your beloved canine is the product of hind leg breeding.

What is hind leg breeding?

This is where breeders want their shepherds to have a 90-degree angulation. This may be impressive in the eyes of some shepherd lovers, but this can cause serious health problems. It’s not unusual for German shepherds with angulated legs to have back problems.

Bent legs can be a clear indication of German shepherd hip dysplasia. If your dog struggles with walking up the stairs, you should get in touch with the veterinarian. They will give your beloved canine a full examination.

Unfortunately, canine hip dysplasia is irreversible. However, it can be monitored and treated. This will minimize chronic pain, and extend your dog’s life.

Recent studies conducted by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals uncovered that 19.7% of German shepherds born between 2011 and 2015, suffered from hip dysplasia. These studies have helped scientists develop effective treatments for this canine ailment.

CHD has a wide range of signs. The looseness of the joint and severity of the disease plays a role in the diagnosis.

Here are some symptoms of German shepherd hip dysplasia: small range of motion, limping, “bunny hop” gait, lameness in the hind legs, etc.

Is the pain severe?

The pain can range from mild to extreme. In some instances, owners were forced to get a wheelchair for their shepherd.

Surgery for hip dysplasia is an option on the table, but it’s expensive. This includes Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis, Femoral Head Osteotomy, and Triple Pelvic Osteotomy. Please keep in mind that these procedures can run from $1,000 to $3,000 per hip. As you can see, this may not be an affordable option for some shepherd owners.

If the case is severe, Total Hip Replacement is another option that can be taken into consideration. However, this can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000.

Invasive surgery may not be the best choice for your furry friend. You can check out non-surgical medical options. This includes weight management, massage therapy, and physical therapy. You can also try anti-inflammatory medicine and glucosamine supplements.

Some shepherd owners opt to put their dogs in leg braces. They can slow down the progression of this nagging issue.

limping german shepherd

Several Other German Shepherd Hip Problems

When it comes to physical problems, German shepherds normally show clear signs of weakness in their hips and hind legs.

Here are four common problems associated with German shepherd hip dysplasia:

1. Hock Walking

Your canine’s hock is the joint at the back of their leg. It’s located between the hind foot and lower thigh. Some shepherds are accustomed to standing and walking on their hocks. This can put a tremendous amount of pressure on their hips. They will walk around with an irregular gait.

A Hock Holder is probably your best solution for this problem. The Hock Holder is designed to support the hock and relieve stress.

2. Degenerative Myelopathy

There’s a strong possibility that you may have heard of degenerative myelopathy. It is a progressive, chronic, and fatal disease. Sadly, it’s common in this breed.

Degenerative myelopathy typically affects dogs between the ages of five and fourteen. It has a negative impact on the dog’s muscle coordination and spinal column. If it’s not treated, it can cause paralysis within the back legs.

You must contact the veterinarian immediately when you notice something wrong with your dog. You cannot afford to procrastinate. If you do, you are putting your dog’s health in jeopardy.

3. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis normally takes place in older dogs. Cartilage deterioration causes inflammation in the hip joints. When this happens, your beloved canine will begin to walk slower. They will also have difficulty walking on stairs.

With little cartilage between the joints, the bones will grind against each other. This causes a severe case of inflammation.

A good brace is usually recommended for this medical situation. It will not cure arthritis, but it will provide relief for your canine.

4. Canine Myasthenia Gravis

We cover German shepherd hip dysplasia without discussing canine myasthenia gravis. This is where the signal transmission fails to take place between the muscles and nerves. This leads to fatigue and weakness in the muscles.

Unlike CHD, canine myasthenia gravis signs normally surface in the canine’s face. Braces will work fine, but they will not help the canine overcome the dreadful disease.

Final Word

German shepherds are loyal and loving dogs. Their size makes it easy for them to defend their owners with pure ease.

As a German shepherd owner, you must be ready to deal with German shepherd hip dysplasia. Taking heed to the critical information in this article can help you and your canine deal with this problem effectively.

The Gassy Dog Problem And How To Fix It

This subject may make you laugh, but expelling gas is a natural order of life. It’s normal for human beings and canines to pass gas daily. Recent studies show that the average person typically passes gas anywhere from five to fifteen times a day. However, there aren’t any specific statistics for dogs.

Passing gas is okay, but you may get worried when your dog develops a sudden case of bad gas.

guilty-dog-funny-pet

What should you do?

This guide will break down the typical causes of excess gas, and it will cover some sound solutions to this smelly problem.

Three Common Causes of Excessive Gas in Dogs

Something remarkable happens when your dog eats food. The food travels through the gastrointestinal track. Bacteria break down the food with pure ease.

In some cases, the process will produce an unpleasant odor. On other occasions, the food will pass through the gastrointestinal track without incident.

If you notice that your beloved canine is having a gas problem, you should pay close attention to their behavior.

1. Foods

Beans

High-fiber foods can cause a surplus of gas in dogs. This includes chickpeas, soybeans, etc. This is one of the main reasons why some dog owners are not fond of giving their dogs beans.

High-fiber foods

It’s imperative to make certain that your dog gets an adequate amount of fiber. However, they should not consume too much fiber. If they do, your dog will be gassy.

High-fat foods

An experienced veterinarian will not hesitate to tell you that you should not give bacon to your dog. Bacon can cause extra gas and many other health problems.

Table scraps

It’s normal for dog owners to be tempted to give their dog table scraps. This sounds like a great idea, but table scraps can compromise your dog’s health. In this case, this will be your canine’s digestive system.

Dairy products

Contrary to popular belief, some breeds are lactose intolerant. If you are giving milk to your dog, it may be time for you to stop. We’re pretty sure your dog will appreciate your decision.

Cruciferous vegetables

It doesn’t take an Ivy School graduate to know that cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli can help you stay healthy. However, you should not give them to Fido. These veggies have isothiocyanates. These chemical compounds are well-known for causing gas in humans and dogs.

2. Swallowing an Excessive Amount of Air

How does your dog eat their food? Do they eat fast? There’s a strong possibility they are consuming too much air if they eat fast. This can cause excessive gas.

Some dog breeds have the tendency to consume too much air when they drink. When this happens, a bad case of gas can develop.

Did you know that breeds with short noses are prone to consuming too much air when eat and drink? The same is true for breeds with short skulls and flattened faces.

The following breeds have the tendency to consume too much air while eating and drinking: Pugs, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Boston terriers, and boxers.

Dogs release swallowed air by passing gas. When they do, you may not smell anything since its air.

3. Medical Conditions

You should be concerned if your dog’s gas presents the following problems: Loss of appetite, vomiting, bloating, weight loss, or diarrhea. These medical issues can be a sign of a serious problem. You should get in touch with your dog’s veterinarian when these problems occur.

The following medical issues may lead to your beloved canine getting excessive gas.

  • Food allergies
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Intestinal parasites

Let’s take a close look at six ways of reducing or preventing dog flatulence.

After reading the content above, you now have a good idea of what can cause excessive gas. It’s now time for us to focus on some solutions. They can remedy the situation if you take heed to them.

You should contact your veterinarian if you have further questions.

ashamed dog after farting

1. Keep Your Dog on a Balanced Diet

Giving your dog premium food with wholesome ingredients can curb excessive gas. If you give your dog cheap food loaded with processed ingredients, they will be prone to getting bad gas.

For instance, you should focus on reading labels before making your final purchase. The labels will uncover the ingredients in the dog food.

What should you look for? You should look for foods that have lamb, chicken, brown rice, and peas. Anything else is unacceptable.

It’s important to mention that healthy food does not have artificial flavors. We know this is a common thing these days.

You should also avoid the following: Thickening agents, artificial flavors, GMOs, and preservatives.

Gradually introduce your canine to their new diet. You don’t want to upset their digestive system. If you do, you will be dealing with a gassy dog.

Your vet may recommend a low-fiber diet. This type of diet will be easier on your dog’s system.

2. Smaller Meals

Besides changing your dog’s diet, you should break up their meals. Giving them smaller meals throughout the day will pay huge dividends for their health.

3. Slow Down Their Eating

If your dog eats too fast, buy a slow feeder dog bowl. This type of dog bowl will make it more difficult for your canine to eat fast. Eating slow will improve your dog’s digestion, and lower their bloating. In the end, there will be less gas.

4. Adding Probiotics to Your Dog’s Diet

Did you know that canine probiotics are good for your dog’s health? They will improve your dog’s immune system, digestive health, and well-being. When this comes into play, you can extend your dog’s life.

You can give your dog PetHonesty’s probiotic chews. This will help your dog stay healthy.

5. Physical Stimulation

Your beloved canine needs physical stimulation. Exercise will be good for their mind, body, and digestive system.

A 30-minute walk after a meal will help to eradicate your dog’s gas problem. Make sure you respect your dog’s physical limitations. Overexertion can open the door for more serious problems.

6. Refrain from Giving Them Human Food

It’s not unusual to see some dog owners give their dog a steak for dinner. This may seem like a good idea, but this could backfire on you. As I stated earlier, you should avoid giving your dog table scraps. They can cause excessive gas and many other problems.

Stick with high-quality dog food. This will help your dog stay healthy.

Don’t Freak Out if Your Dog Develops a Fast Case of Gas

It’s your responsibility to keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy. Please keep in mind that your pet will pass gas occasionally. This is the natural order of things.

You will not be able to stop your dog from passing gas. You must learn to accept this fact.

If your dog develops a bad case of gas, they may have a health issue. This could be bloating, diarrhea, etc. When you see something wrong, you should call the vet immediately. Paying close attention to your dog’s behavior will help you make the right decision.

Is Your Dog Hyperventilating? – Learn What This Means

If your puppy has experienced hyperventilating in the past, you know this can be an extremely stressful situation for you and your beloved canine. Feelings of worry and anxiety can come into play as your puppy struggles to breathe. This is a normal reaction for dog owners that have a close bond with their pets.

The symptoms of hyperventilation can be frightening for anyone. Fortunately, there are many options at your disposal. They can help you prevent and remedy the situation with ease.

What should you do when your dog begins to hyperventilate? The first step begins with you determining the cause of the problem.

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In this article, we will share some valuable advice that can help you deal with this canine medical issue. We will go over the signs that you need to pay attention to, we will point out the common causes of hyperventilation, and give you solid pointers that can help you resolve the problem.

Common Signs of Dog Hyperventilating

What is hyperventilation? It is a medical term for shallow and rapid breathing. When a canine’s breathing is normal, the red blood cells deliver fresh oxygen throughout the entire body. This helps support important bodily functions such as movement of the muscles.

When a dog is not getting enough oxygen, hyperventilation can set in. This will have a huge impact on the dog’s body.

Here are the primary symptoms of canine hyperventilation:

  • Blue gums
  • Wheezing or snorting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fainting or collapse
  • Dizziness or weakness
  • Open-mouth breathing, heavy breathing, or rapid breathing

If hyperventilation is left untreated for a long period of time, serious consequences can come into play. This includes heart failure. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that heart failure leads to death.

If your dog does not get enough oxygen, they could suffer from serious tissue or organ damage. As you can see, hyperventilation is one matter that should be taken seriously at all times.

Six Causes of Dog Hyperventilation

It’s vital to point out that several things can cause your dog to hyperventilate. Some may cause hyperventilation for a short period while others can lead to serious breathing problems. When the hyperventilating reaches this point, your dog will be facing serious side effects. Let’s take a close look at the six main causes of dog hyperventilation.

dog with tongue out

1. Stress, Anxiety, and Pain

Stress, anxiety, and pain can cause heavy panting. For example, some dogs are not fond of being separated from their owner for a long period time. This is called ‘Separation Anxiety’.

When a dog begins to suffer from separation anxiety, they may begin to breathe rapidly. This is why you must train your canine properly. This will help your canine adjust to being alone.

It may take several weeks or several months for the training to pay off. Exercising patience is the key to helping your dog cope with being alone.

Canines can also display symptoms of hyperventilation during stressful or new situations. Nervous dogs are well-known for whining, acting skittish, and breathing heavily.

Unfortunately, some dog owners punish their dogs for this type of behavior. It’s critical to point out that this can be detrimental to the dog’s mental and physical well-being.

2. Overheating

According to some veterinarians, it may not be a good idea to subject your dog to an intense walk during humid weather. If you do, you could be putting your dog in harm’s way. They could be facing dehydration or a heat stroke. Both are harmful to your canine’s health.

Dogs lower their body temperature by panting. In many instances, this can cause short-term hyperventilation. When their body temperature reaches a certain point, they may not be able to cool down. When this happens, they may faint or develop a serious fever.

Please keep in mind that heat-related illnesses can cause your dog’s demise.

If you believe that the heat is making your dog hyperventilate, you must help them cool down. Take them to a shady area and give them water. Placing ice packs on their body can help lower their body temperature.

Prevention is the key to avoiding overheating. You must limit physical exerting activities during hot and humid days. Take your puppy on walks during early in the morning or late in the evening.

You should also consider keeping a cold bottle of water on hand. This simple measure could save your dog’s life.

3. Metabolic Acidosis

What is metabolic acidosis? This is where a large amount of acid disrupts the normal blood pH level in your dog. This serious condition is normally caused by an underlying problem with the kidneys or liver.

If your dog ingests a toxic substance, they could develop metabolic acidosis. In most instances, they will experience lethargy and feelings of nausea. They may also vomit.

4. Reverse Sneezing

A reverse sneeze takes place when your puppy takes long breaths repeatedly. In the canine medical field, this is called ‘Snorting’. This typically occurs with breeds that have flat faces and short noses. It’s common with bulldogs, Boston terriers, and pugs.

Should you be worried about reverse sneezing? No, you shouldn’t be worried. Reverse sneezing normally happened when sporadic breathing takes place.

However, you should take your dog to the vet if you feel like they are having serious issues with reverse sneezing. If they faint or begin choking, seeking immediate medical attention is your best option.

5. Respiratory Diseases

Intensive studies show that many respiratory diseases can cause hyperventilating in dogs. For example, your dog can suffer from hyperventilation if they have asthma.

Many other respiratory conditions can range from mild to serious. This includes a collapsing trachea. This medical condition is common with small breeds and breeds with a brachycephalic skull.

A collapsing trachea is a medical condition where the trachea and throat muscles weaken. This can cause hyperventilation and difficulty with breathing.

Mild cases can be resolved with positive lifestyle changes. Your vet will not hesitate to tell you that serious cases normally require surgery.

Kennel cough and laryngeal paralysis can cause hyperventilation. Labrador retrievers normally get laryngeal paralysis when they get older. Their airways get narrow, and hyperventilation sets in.

Kennel cough is a dangerous viral and bacterial infection. It can be life threatening for pups, elderly dogs, and dogs with a weak immune system.

Canines with kennel cough will have a dry hacking cough. They may also have a runny nose and fluid running from their eyes.

If you believe your dog has a kennel cough, you should take them to the vet’s office. A simple blood test will detect if they have it.

6. Allergies

Just like human beings, dogs suffer from allergies. Chemicals in fragrances, pollen, and plants may cause your dog to have an allergic reaction.

Your dog may also have an allergic reaction to certain foods. If so, they will have an upset stomach or diarrhea.

dog allergies

You can use antihistamines to treat minor allergies. Monitor your beloved canine closely. If the symptoms don’t go away within several hours, you should get in touch with your vet. They will give you their medical opinion. If it’s something small, they may encourage you to try an over-the-counter product at a retail store or pet store.

You should take your dog to the emergency room if they faint, have a weak pulse, or experience dizziness. Every moment is critical during this period, so don’t hesitate to rush you canine buddy to the animal hospital.

Keeping Your Dog from Hyperventilating

You should contact the vet if you don’t know why your dog is hyperventilating. An underlying condition may be the cause, but you should let the veterinarian make the determination. Making an earnest effort to avoid triggering negative emotions can help your dog stay calm. When it comes to hyperventilation, prevention is the key.

Your Dog’s Coughing Might Be A Clue That Urgent Care Is Needed.

Does your dog cough from time to time? There’s no need for you to be alarmed. According to many leading veterinarians around the country, this is natural.

Coughing periodically does not mean that your canine friend has a health issue. Dogs will cough to expel anything that may be irritating their throat. In short, an occasional cough is nothing to worry about.

However, you should be concerned if your dog has a persistent cough. It’s vital for you to learn more about different types of canine coughs.

ill-dog

What causes canine coughs? How do you deal with a persistent canine cough? In this article, we will address these questions.

At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your dog stays healthy.

What are the Different Types of Dog Coughing?

When your dog coughs, it’s imperative for you to pay close attention. If it sounds serious, you should take your canine friend to the nearest vet.

Paying close attention to your dog’s cough will help you describe it to the veterinarian. This can help them diagnose the problem and choose the best option for treatment.

Here are a few types of common coughs that you may hear from your dog:

Foreign Matter in the Esophagus

Let’s say you are having dinner. If something gets stuck in your throat, you will begin to cough. This is your body’s way of getting rid of foreign matter stuck in your esophagus.

Your dog will respond in the same manner. If something gets stuck in their throat, they will begin to cough.

Allergies

Did you know that allergies can prompt your dog to cough? The following things can make your dog cough: cigarette smoke, mold, dust, grass, and pollen.

Pneumonia

This may sound weird, but some dog owners are unaware that their dog can get pneumonia. They are under the impression that only humans are susceptible to getting pneumonia.

What is pneumonia? It is a respiratory infection of your dog’s air pathways and lungs. In many instances, pneumonia is caused by a bacterial infection. It’s also important to mention that pneumonia can be a symptom of another disease such as canine influenza.

Please keep in mind that older dogs are at a higher risk of getting pneumonia. This is the primary reason why many experienced dog owners monitor older dogs carefully.

Tracheal Collapse

When the tracheal collapse, your dog will have a honking cough. This can happen in small breeds, obese dogs, and during hot weather.

Kennel Cough

This is one of the leading causes of coughing in the canine world. If your dog has kennel cough, they will sound like a wild goose.

Kennel coughs are caused by a number of viruses and bacteria. It’s extremely contagious. This is one of the drawbacks of your dog being in a kennel.

Before checking your dog into a kennel, make sure the owner is taking measures to preserve the health of its occupants. This simple course of action can help you dog avoid unnecessary health problems. Unfortunately, many kennel owners are not going the extra mile to maintain a healthy environment for dogs.

Canine Distemper

This is a major viral disease that affects a dog’s gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous systems. If your dog has a persistent cough, there’s a possibility that they may be suffering from this serious disease.

Fortunately, the vet can give your dog the distemper vaccination. This can help prevent this disease.

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is the inflammation of the mucous membranes in your canine’s lungs. Researchers have been unable to determine the underlying causes of chronic bronchitis. A dry persistent hacking cough may be a sign of chronic bronchitis.

How to Address Your Dog’s Coughing

If you think your dog’s cough is a sign of a serious problem, you should take them to the veterinarian. When it comes to your dog’s health, you cannot afford to procrastinate.

As I stated earlier, it’s imperative for you to pay close attention to your dog’s cough.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What does my dog’s cough sound like?
  • Does my dog have a dry cough, wet cough, or a hacking cough?
  • Does my dog sound like a goose when they cough?
  • Does my dog have a short cough or a long cough?
  • When does my dog cough?
  • Is my dog showing other symptoms?

The answers to these questions can help your vet treat your dog’s coughing issue.

Resolving Your Canine Buddy’s Cough

What is making your dog cough? The answer to this question will help your vet take the best course of action.

If the cough is caused by a bacterial infection, the vet may prescribe antibiotics. Viral infections typically run their course, and your dog will spring back into action. However, fluid replacement will help them feel better while they are recovering.

It’s also important to point out that cough suppressants can minimize your dog’s cough.

Why is My Dog Coughing?

Off the bat, this is a difficult question to answer. A variety of medical issues could be the culprit, or your dog may be trying to clear their throat.

If your dog’s cough does not go away, it’s time to contact the vet. This is an exceptional move. It will help your dog stay happy and healthy.

It’s normal for your dog to cough periodically. It’s natural for them to make an attempt at clearing their throat.

Paying close attention to your dog’s cough can help you determine if your dog need immediate medical attention. If the cough is persistent and heavy, it’s time to take your beloved pet to the nearest veterinarian’s office.

Your vet will ask you a few questions and listen to your dog’s cough. At that point, they will be able to come up with a good remedy for your dog’s situation. Your dog’s health lies within your hands. Taking heed to the advice in this article will help you deal with your dog’s cough effectively.

Consider the Following When Seeking Veterinary Pet Health Care


If you have ever bought or adopted a new pet, recently moved into a new location, or possibly you are just not happy with your present veterinarian, you will most likely be seeking a new vet in your city or town. There are several things you may need to ponder when finding a new vet for yourself.

Living with a pet can provide tremendous happiness and pleasure to any family. However, pet ownership also comes with many responsibilities and sometimes can create some anxiety.

Worldwide, families are constantly bringing home many kinds of small animals and the animal instantly becomes a pet and an important part of the family. Nobody can refute the obvious that a family pet is a continuous source of fun and entertainment. Having a pet is also been shown to assist people through stressful and difficult emotional times.

With that said, we all know that our loving pets are not immune to becoming ill, sick, or injured. All pet owners ought to take very special care of their loving pets. If the pet, be it a dog, cat, or whatever, demonstrates significant behavioral or personality changes, it is time to seek the quality veterinary care.

Pet-Veterinary Services Available

One of the first considerations you should know are what services the animal clinic or hospital has to offer. Find out if it is a full service veterinary hospital.

If it is a veterinary or animal clinic, you may need to take it somewhere else for emergencies, diagnostics, special care, or surgery. You will have to decide how important it is to you to have all services available in one location? Also, if finances are a consideration, then find out what types of payments will be accepted at the animal hospital or clinic.

Many different services are performed by veterinarians. Find out what services are provided. What about emergency care? Does the veterinarian offer emergency care service at his/her veterinary hospital or clinic? Or may be they have an affiliation with an emergency hospital or clinic and you have to take your pet there? Then you will need to know how close the emergency services are from you.

These are just a few of considerations to think about before selecting a new veterinarian.

What Kind of Animals Does the Veterinary Hospital See

dog vet

Another question to consider when picking a veterinarian, is what kinds and species of animals does the veterinarian see and treat? If the doctor is a small animal veterinarian, they usually only care for dogs and cats. Sometimes this is referred to as a companion animal vet. However, some small animal vets may also provide vet pet care for small pets such as guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils, and other similar animals. Be sure to ask prior to setting up an appointment for your pet.

How Far Away is the Animal Hospital or Veterinary Clinic

Depending on your veterinarian needs, how close your vet is to your home may be a consideration. This may be especially true if you have a pet that does not like traveling in a car. With most dogs, this is probably not an issue.

Ask Your Neighbors About Their Vet

A personal approval and recommendation, or simply word of mouth, is in many cases the best method of locating a new veterinarian. Your friends, local breeders, animal/pet organizations are a good beginning in your search.

When owning a dog or cat as a pet, obviously you should approach other dog or cat pet owners in your neighborhood and ask them about their veterinarian.  In this way you will receive direct knowledge and information about possibly where and who to take your dog or cat to if needed. This is one of the better ways choose professional and quality veterinarian.

You also want to have an animal clinic or hospital,  that both your pet and you like and feel comfortable with. You want to go into a veterinary hospital or clinic where you are greeted with a friendly smile and the staff is excited to see you and your pet. This is a great start for a good experience for you both.

Search the Internet for a Veterinarian or Veterinary Animal Hospital

Using the internet is obviously a popular resource for locating veterinarians. In this technology age, most pet animal vets have websites to promote their veterinary practice and pet healthcare services. If they don’t have a website, they may not be up to date on the latest veterinary medical news.

dog-vet-check-up

It is usually best to go with a veterinarian who has been practicing veterinary medicine and surgery for a significant time some time. At least 3 to 5 years minimum. Testimonials by clients (either on the vet’s site or other review websites) provide further information about the quality of professional services provided at an individual animal hospital or clinic. Be sure to read the veterinary services page.

This will provide you the services that are offered by the veterinarian without having to call. You want to look for services such as an in-hospital laboratory, general and orthopedic surgery, preferably digital radiography, pet micro chipping, and emergency services to list a few.

You can obtain additional information of the veterinarians and their clinics or hospitals from an online veterinary directories. These online vet directory listing websites allows a veterinarian to list the profile of his/her pet hospital or clinic. Of course, there is Google search and other search engines that will easily list vets in your area.

Other Sources to Look for a Veterinarian

Other places to locate veterinarians include the yellow pages/phone directories , the state/provincial veterinary association directory.

Conclusion

Finding the best veterinarian for you and your pet will take a little time and work. Not all of vets practice the same methods or treatment. You will need to remain patient when searching for veterinarians in your location.

Is Tramadol Safe For Dogs?

As a dog lover, you are sure to give your loyal companion the best care possible from daily walks to nutrient-packed meals. Nonetheless, your dog may incur injuries or get into accidents some of which may be unforeseen.

vet and dog

Fortunately, your vet is qualified to administer pain relievers to alleviate the pain and possible discomfort. The prescription given will usually be guided by the nature of the injury and the intensity of the pain.

In case your furry friend has had surgery before, it is highly likely that the vet prescribed Tramadol upon discharge. Scientifically, Tramadol is considered an opioid-based pain reliever, meaning it modifies the transmission of pain to the brain allowing animals and humans some level of comfort.

It also inhibits the reverting of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain resulting in euphoria due to the increase of the chemicals in the blood. Given that it is a pain killer, it has no participation in muscle recovery which is the role of anti-inflammatories.

How Safe is Tramadol for Dogs?

Generally, the chemical structure of human and canine medication is customized into what their livers can assimilate. In the case of anti-inflammatories, Carprofen which is ideal for dogs belongs to the same family as Ibuprofen, for humans, has different structuring.

According to Dog Times, that is not always the case. Tramadol is one such medication where an exact chemical make-up is prescribed to both humans and dogs. However, since it only numbs pain, it is prescribed alongside an anti-inflammatory designed for joints and muscle recovery.

How does Tramadol Work?

The American Kennel Club is of the opinion that the purpose of Tramadol is to block the pain sensors in the brain such that the severity of the pain is lessened.

Where a dog would otherwise whimper due to pain post-surgery, Tramadol helps alleviate the aching into a mild discomfort and manageable pain. For example, suppose your dog was suffering from arthritis or another condition, the vet will prescribe Tramadol to lessen the pain.

What are the Effects of Tramadol on the Dog’s Brain?

Once your dog ingests Tramadol, it is disintegrated and absorbed into the bloodstreams to work with Serotonin and Norepinephrine. These are the chemical components responsible for the body’s sensation and reaction to pain.

vet and dog

Ideally, the brain produces Norepinephrine, the body’s fight or flight chemical, which is then absorbed into the blood. It leaves the brain into the bloodstream and relies on neuroreceptors to identify pain and exhaustion, reverting this information to the brain. The Veterinary Practice News advises that Tramadol is responsible for Norepinephrine’s failure to get back to the brain thus, missed pain recognition.

Due to the incomplete circuit, the brain keeps releasing additional Norepinephrine, fueling the body to move despite the grave pain and the brain to remain active. The continued lack of reverting of the gathered information draws the brain into discounting the actual extent of pain on the body.

What is the Reason for My Dog Acting Loopy?

vet and dog

As the concentration of Norepinephrine in the blood increases, it necessitates the production of Serotonin- a naturally produced neurological component responsible for euphoria. The 1800 Pet Meds advice that euphoria results from an increase in the levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine associated with the intake of Tramadol.

What are the Uses of Tramadol?

According to Therapypet.org, the uses of Tramadol are endless. Depending on the nature of the injury, it can be taken to dull any pain from the stiffness of the joint to management of chronic post-surgical pain. In dogs, Tramadol is administered to ease pain and other likely symptoms associated with ailments such as Arthritis.

Owing to its effectiveness in the management of pain, it can be abused easily thus, prudence is advised in its intake to prevent overdosing. Tramadol is commonly used in below instances;

  • Chronic pains of the nerves,
  • Fractured joints and bones,
  • Coughing,
  • Degenerative myelopathy (disease of the joint)
  • Osteoarthritis,
  • Anxiety,
  • Cancer,
  • Back pains,
  • Post-surgery pain.

Despite its wide range of uses, Tramadol is not the solution to all ailments. Rather than treat what caused the pain, it alters the brain’s perception of pain offering some degree of relief to patients.

Like most medications, it is a potentially high-risk drug, especially when misused or prescribed wrongfully. Considered a level four (4) controlled substance, the narcotic department is highly vigilant in the monitoring of its use. The vet and pharmacy are also committed to controlling its prescription and purchase as an extra measure to prevent its abuse.

Additionally, the dog owner is responsible for the health and well-being of his loyal friend. These responsibilities including the administration of proper dosage and the knowledge of possible side effects as listed below;

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea,
  • Stomach upsets,
  • Constipation,
  • Poor appetite,
  • Vomiting.

Although the above listed Tramadol side effects on dogs are the standard, their severity varies. Additionally, dog owners should also be concerned about overdoses which are likely to happen accidentally and may have fatal consequences.

Below symptoms form part of what you should be aware of since they are indicative of a Tramadol overdose;

  • Drooling excessively,
  • Drowsiness,
  • Aggression and violence,
  • Tremors.
  • Alarmingly low heart rate,
  • Lethargy,
  • Slow, shallow breathing,
  • Respiratory depression,
  • Muscle contractions and involuntary movements,
  • Convulsions.

Is tramadol Bad for Dogs?

In case you suspect Tramadol overdose by your dog, it is advisable that you seek professional assistance from your vet. He or she will determine the appropriate prescription amount to get your dog. Refrain from altering the dosage prescribed for whatever reason before proper consultation with your vet.

Despite its effectiveness in pain management, the responsiveness of dogs to Tramadol varies for a number of reasons.

It is thus advisable for dog owners to remain alert during the recovery process as this allows them to monitor their dog’s progress. Additionally, listen to your intuition on dog’s behavioral changes while maintaining communication with your vet for continued monitoring. Despite the numerous benefits it offered, your top priority ought to be the health of your dog thus Tramadol should be administered with caution.

Wondering Why Your Dog Is Throwing Up Yellow?

As a loving canine owner, it’s touching to see your dog experience tummy problems. This is the primary reason why you should make an earnest effort to make sure that your dog stays in good health.

There’s an old saying in life, “It’s the little things that count.” This old adage also applies to your dog’s well-being. Regular trips to the vet, buying premium dog food, and giving your dog vitamins will pay big dividends. If you fail to do these things, there’s a strong possibility that you are putting your dog’s health at risk.

sick-puppy

It’s important to point out that your beloved canine will experience health issues from time to time. For example, you may witness your dog vomiting.

When it comes to your dog vomiting, it can be extremely difficult to find out why this is happening. Turning to the internet for answers is a great idea. However, if you surf the internet for answers, you will be overwhelmed with the vast amount of information online. It’s vital for you to remain calm and concentrate on uncovering the facts.

You must make an effort to find the answers to the following questions:

  • What color is the vomit?
  • How often is your dog throwing up?
  • Did you find any evidence of your dog infiltrating your stash of sweet treats?
  • Is this the sign of an ulcer or another health issue?

In this article, we will take a close look at how to deal with your canine vomiting yellow. After you read the information in this article, you will know how to deal with this situation. Let’s get started.

Why is My Dog Throwing up a Yellow Fluid or Foam?

dog vet

This is a critical question. Please keep in mind that you must go to the source of the issue before you can treat your dog’s health issue effectively.

It’s time for you to put on your detective hat. You can start out by looking for clues. Frequency, consistency, and color are three matters that can help you find out why your dog is vomiting.

In this case, your dog is vomiting yellow. This is your first clue.

If your dog’s vomit is yellow, there’s maybe an issue going on inside of their liver. Your furry friend is expelling bile from their liver.

What is bile? This is a natural digestive fluid produced inside your dog’s liver. During digestion, the bile travels through the gallbladder. It eventually reaches the small intestines.

Bile serves an important purpose for the digestive process. It breaks down food and sends important nutrients throughout the entire body.

Yellow bile may appear as thick yellow mucus or a foamy liquid. It may look gross, but it plays a vital role in your dog’s digestive system.

When you see yellow bile in your dog’s vomit, it’s time for you to take serious action. This is not the time for you to have a cavalier attitude.

There are several reasons why you will see yellow bile in your canine’s vomit. Let’s take a close look at them.

1. Food Allergies

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not wise for you to give you dog table food or table scraps. Your dog may be allergic to some things.

It’s not unusual for dogs to get sick when they are introduced to a food allergen.

Here are some common food allergens you need to be aware of:

  • Soy
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Corn
  • Eggs
  • Fish

When you decide to switch your dog’s food, it’s important for you to pay close attention to their digestive habits. It’s typical for a dog to vomit or have an upset stomach when their owner makes a sudden change to their diet.

It’s weird to see dogs develop allergies to food they have been eating for several years. This is why many people rule out the possibility of a food allergy when their dog begins to vomit.

Dogs normally develop food allergies within one to five years of age. We must also point out that a sudden change in environment can lead to canine allergies.

Let’s say that you decide to take your family and canine on a long trip during the summer. Well, there’s a chance of your dog experiencing a stomach issue along the way. Please keep this in mind while preparing for the trip.

2. An Empty Stomach

It’s always a good idea to satisfy your dog’s hardy appetite. If your dog hasn’t eaten for several hours, bile can begin to irritate your canine’s stomach lining. Besides making your dog feel uncomfortable, the irritation can lead to vomiting. This is known as ‘bilious vomiting syndrome’.

If an empty stomach is the cause of the problem, your dog will cease to vomit yellow after a period of time.

Paying close attention to your dog’s behavior, and sticking with a routine feeding schedule can help you avoid this serious problem.

3. Car Sickness and Heatstroke

As we stated earlier, the environment can influence your dog’s health. Many factors in the environment can lead to your dog throwing up yellow.

For instance, dehydration and excessive heat can cause your dog to have a heatstroke. Intensive research and studies show that dogs are vulnerable during the summer months. It’s important for you to make sure your dog is hydrated and cool at all times.

You are putting your dog’s health at serious risk if you leave them alone in a car. Simply leave them with a relative or a close friend. This will give you an opportunity to run your errands with a peace of mind.

It’s also critical to mention that dog’s can also suffer from motion car sickness. This is especially true if your dog is traveling on an empty stomach. Please consider feeding your dog before taking a long trip.

4. Grass is Your Dog’s Worst Nightmare

For some strange reason, some dogs enjoy eating grass. It’s reasonable to think this is one of their ways of getting familiar with their environment. However, they will vomit the grass after a period of time. Grass is not compatible with their digestive system.

dog on grass

When you take your dog to the park for a walk, try to keep them from eating the grass. If your dog persists to eat the grass, there’s a strong possibility that they are not getting enough nutrition from their food. If this is the case, you should consider changing their diet.

Is Dog Vomiting a Serious Symptom?

An experienced dog trainer and vet will not hesitate to tell you that yellow vomit is common in the canine world. They will also tell you that there’s no need for serious concern.

However, a dog throwing up yellow may be a side symptom of a serious problem. In short, your dog’s vomit may not be the problem. Your dog may be having an internal health issue. This is why you should keep a close eye on your dog.

Here are some internal issues you should be aware of:

1. Gastrointestinal Problems

In some instances, yellow vomit can be a sign of digestive distress. When combined with other serious symptoms, yellow vomiting can be a sign of the following: certain gastrointestinal cancers, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, stomach ulcers, and intestinal parasites.

The diagnoses listed above should only be considered when they are paired with the symptoms listed below:

  • Weight Loss
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Diarrhea (You may see some blood)
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Sudden Change in Your Canine’s Behavior
  • Yellowing of the gums, eyes, or skin

If you witness your dog suffering from several of the symptoms above, you should take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. The veterinarian will source the problem and take necessary action to improve your dog’s health.

2. Blockage in Your Dog’s Intestines

In some rare cases, a dog throwing up yellow may indicate they wanted to try something new. In short, they ate something other than dog food. This could be any of the following: towels, rocks, a rubber ball, silverware, and a number of other things.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that these items will not be welcomed by your dog’s GI tract. These items can cause a blockage. If this occurs, your dog will need immediate surgery. This will be the only way to remove the item.

3. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis can cause yellow vomiting. Your dog’s pancreas can swell if they eat too many fatty for oily foods. If they consume this type of food, they will throw up yellow within five days after eating the meal.

Are there any symptoms of pancreatitis? Yes, your dog will experience abdominal pain and diarrhea. It’s would be an unpleasant experience for your beloved pet.

Practical Tips For Treating Dog Vomiting

Using conventional wisdom is the key to determining if your dog needs to see a veterinarian. If your dog is suffering from the symptoms above, you should take your dog to the nearest vet. Their life may depend on it!

If your dog throws up yellow periodically, you can try the following home remedies. They are simple, and they have provided positive results for dogs over the years. There’s no reason why they cannot work for your friendly canine.

1. Prevention is the Best Course of Action

Prevention is the first order of business. Your dog needs proper exercise, a healthy diet, and quality multi-vitamins.

2. Give Your Dog Small Meals throughout the Day

This may seem like a simple tip, but it will work wonders for your dog’s health. Giving your dog smaller meals throughout the day will keep them full and lower the chances of inflammatory toxins building up in their system.

Let’s say you have been giving your dog two cups of high-grade dog food every day. You serve them one cup of food during the morning and one cup of food evening. You should consider giving them half a cup during each feeding session. This equates to you feeding them four times every day.

3. Watch Your Dog’s Diet Carefully

As we mentioned earlier, a sudden change in your dog’s diet can upset their stomach. This is why you must change their diet gradually. This approach gives their digestive system a chance to adapt to the new food.

How should you make the change? Add a small amount of the new dog food to the old dog food.

You should also make sure that poisonous products and detrimental foods are kept out of reach. This is called ‘puppy proofing your home’.

4. Give Your Dog Digestible Foods

If your dog begins to throw up, you should think about giving them digestible foods. In layman terms, you should give them a simple meal.

What should you give them? Skinless boiled chicken and plain white rice will do the job. You may be tempted to add salt and pepper to the chicken. However, this will be detrimental to their health.

Serve this meal to them for two to three days. After that, gradually work their regular dog food back into the feeding routine. Mixing dog food into the chicken and rice will help you do this with ease.

5. Rehydration

Vomiting causes hydration in canines. This is the main reason why you must make sure your dog is hydrated after a session of vomiting. Giving them plenty of water will rehydrate your canine.

dog with vet
chihuahua and vaccination in front of white background

Get in touch with your vet if your dog is suffering from chronic vomiting. Your dog’s vet may tell you to bring your canine to their office for fluid treatment.

You should not be alarmed. This is a simple procedure. The vet will inject intravenous fluids into your dog.

Final Words

As a dog owner, a dog throwing up yellow is one situation you cannot afford to ignore. Fortunately, you have options at your disposal. If you take heed to the advice in this article, there’s no need for you to freak out when your dog begins to vomit yellow.

Dog Diarrhea: know what might be hiding behind this symptom

Anybody who has raised a pet from babyhood to adulthood understands the value of an iron stomach. Just as parents face the grossest situations without flinching, animal owners can tolerate their fair share of disgusting scenarios. It’s all a part of the job.

dog

We don’t become pet owners because it’s easy. We do it for the love of animals, and that means caring for them in sickness and in diarrhea. When your pooch destroys the ottoman with his own personal interpretation of a Jackson Pollock painting, you hold your nose and clean up his mess. It’s a part of the job.

Diarrhea is a common ailment for dogs because they explore the world with their mouths. They’re constantly licking or nibbling on things they shouldn’t and the natural outcome is an upset stomach. It’s why an occasional runny stool is nothing to be worried about. It’s only when diarrhea becomes persistent that a dog owner needs to investigate.

This article explores some common reasons for dog diarrhea and how to treat it. Most importantly, it considers the differences between an upset stomach and digestive problems that require veterinary attention.

Common Reasons for Dog Diarrhea

1. Spoiled/Toxic Food

Spoiled food is the most common reason for dog diarrhea. Like humans, canine stomachs respond to ‘bad’ foods by vomiting or developing dodgy digestion and very watery stools. Provided your pet hasn’t consumed poisonous materials, their diarrhea will pass in a day or two. They are likely having a reaction to something they’ve pulled from the garbage or discovered on the kitchen floor.

2. Dietary Changes

Another common cause of dog diarrhea is sudden changes in diet. Every time you change your dog’s brand of food, his stomach must adjust to a new formula. This can take several days and, while he’s adjusting, some loose stools are to be expected. To prevent these digestive issues, introduce any new foods gradually. Add the new product to the old in increasing amounts until the old food is phased out.

3. Food Allergies

Canines are susceptible to food allergies just as human beings are. We don’t always know why sensitivities develop, but they usually manifest in digestive issues (loose stools), persistent itching and inflammation of the ears and nose.

Common allergies include sensitivities to wheat, eggs, beef, dairy, fish, poultry, and certain types of plants. If your dog’s diarrhea is accompanied by itchiness or inflammation, consider taking them to the vet for an allergy test.

4. Emotional Upheaval

Sometimes, the explanation for dog diarrhea is as simple as a physiological reaction to turbulence. Canines are emotionally perceptive animals. They pick up on our feelings and know if a household is tense or upset. If your pet is stressed or worried by a situation – relocating to a new home is a common trigger – they may develop an upset stomach.

5. Intestinal Parasites

There are lots of harmless explanations for dog diarrhea and there are others that warrant treatment or medical attention. Intestinal parasites are extremely common in animals and, while they are not a threat to life, they can make a pet miserable. It’s why preventative treatments for ringworm and hookworm should be a part of your dog’s routine.

If your dog has been treated for common parasites but his diarrhea persists, visit the vet. Giardia, spirochetes and coccidia can be dangerous if the proper care is not given.

6. Poisonous Substances

We have touched on the effects of eating spoiled foods. Diarrhea may also be caused by poisonous substances such as toxic plants, domestic chemicals (cleaning products) and inedible items (socks, rubber toys, etc). In most cases, a few days of watery stools is nothing to worry about.

However, if you are not certain what your dog ate to contract diarrhea, keep a close eye on them. If they lose interest in their food, become lethargic or begin to vomit excessively, take them to a vet immediately. If your dog eats a substance you know to be highly toxic, call the vet for advice. They can tell you if a visit to the clinic is required.

7. Infections and Viruses

In some rare cases, dog diarrhea is a symptom of serious viral sickness or infection. Viral conditions that cause diarrhea and other digestive problems include distemper, parvovirus, coronavirus and salmonella. Most are treatable as long as the dog receives the right medications. Vaccinations are prescribed to puppies to protect them from viral and bacterial sickness. Ensure your pet is fully vaccinated to avoid these risks to his health.

8. Chronic Illness

Diarrhea is rarely life threatening for dogs. It’s a symptom of physiological upheaval that happens because their body is reacting to a ‘sickness’ of some kind. Often, it’s an inflamed tummy caused by eating from the trash. Other times, it’s a parasite or a food allergy.

Persistent diarrhea can also be caused by organ dysfunctions such as liver disease and certain types of cancer. If your dog’s watery stools continue for longer than a week and have no obvious explanation, he may have an underlying illness. Keep a close eye on him. If he becomes disinterested in food or play, take him to the vet.

Making Sense of Persistent Diarrhea

As diarrhea is a symptom of other illnesses, it only warrants immediate concern if the cause is identified as a serious threat. For instance, if your pet has eaten something very toxic, it makes sense to call the vet. If he’s just got a funny tummy after rooting through the trash, there’s probably no reason to panic.

Diarrhea that persists for longer than four days should be closely monitored. If diarrhea persists for longer than a week without an obvious explanation, seek medical advice. If it is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, treat it as a medical emergency.

  • Excessive drooling
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Sudden loss of appetite
  • Disinterest in play/exercise
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic itchiness
  • Pale or tacky gums
  • Blood in stools

Home Remedies for Dog Diarrhea

If the vet’s advice is to treat your dog’s diarrhea at home, there are various things you can do to ease their discomfort and support recovery.

A. Hydrate

If serious sickness has been ruled out, the biggest threat to your animal is dehydration. Persistent diarrhea robs the body of water and nutrients. Your dog needs lots of water and, possibly, a rehydration medicine such as Pedialyte.

If they are being stubborn and rejecting water, add a little (low salt) beef or chicken broth to their food bowl.

B. Provide Plain Food

Your vet may recommend a temporary change of food. Gastrointestinal upsets can be triggered by many different things. Providing very plain, unseasoned meals for a week or so is one way to help your dog’s body fix the problem. When the digestive system isn’t overworked, a dog’s immune responses can focus on eliminating the cause of sickness.

Give your pet foods with only mild, plain flavors such as unseasoned boiled chicken and cooked white rice. You can do this until their diarrhea symptoms improve. Then, slowly transition back to regular meals.

C. Probiotics and Prebiotics

dog probiotics

Once your pet pooch is well and truly on the mend, consider supplementing his diet with prebiotics, probiotics, or both. The introduction of ‘good’ bacteria will help his digestive environment get back to normal.

D. Careful Monitoring

You cannot keep one eye on your dog at every single moment, but it’s a good idea to try. Vigilance around trashcans, kitchen cupboards, and other prohibited areas is strongly recommended to make sure they don’t eat anything unsuitable again.

Avoid feeding your dog kitchen or table scraps. It’s always fun to give pet treats but, sometimes, the consequence is a bad stomach. The foods you give may be too rich and indulgent for the canine digestive system. Certainly, if your dog is recovering from a diarrhea episode, do not feed them any ‘human’ foods.

Hip Dysplasia In Dogs: a scary illness more common than we would like

It’s always distressing to know a dog is in pain particularly when there’s little you can do to relieve their suffering. It’s one of the reasons owning an elderly canine can be very stressful. As dogs age, their bodies weaken just like ours do. Aches and pains grow common and, besides providing extra vigilant care, there’s not much to be done about it.

vet-with-his-dog-american-staffordshire

Hip problems are an issue for older dogs as they are for elderly humans. Older canines may lose some mobility and develop sensitivity in their joints. To a degree, this is a natural consequence of maturity. However, dog owners need to understand the key differences between superficial aches and more serious joint problems.

For instance, hip dysplasia in dogs is quite common and more prevalent in some breeds than others. Is your fur baby suffering from a knock sustained while leaping about the park or do they need medical treatment? It can be hard to tell which is why this article explores the symptoms of hip dysfunction in dogs.

The difference between acute and chronic pain

There are two varieties of hip pain in canines and they require different approaches to treatment. They are chronic pain and acute pain.

Acute hip pain

Acute pain is best described as ‘temporary’ pain. It is caused by injury, accident, or the symptoms of short-term illness. Hip injuries sustained in a clash with another dog are considered acute. If a pet falls while out running or gets hit by a car, they may experience acute hip pain. This type of pain is normally treatable and temporary, though some injuries may be more serious than others.

Acute pain tends to be easy to treat because it’s usually visible. Even if you cannot see an injury right away, your dog may be limping or incessantly licking at a wounded area. These injuries require prompt attention. They may require a trip to the vet and things like cones, bandages, and medication.

Most minor hip sprains and strains can be treated at home. Though, it is probably best to consult a veterinarian just to make sure. Gentle massages, glucosamine treats, careful exercise and lots of love are all canine needs to recover from most types of acute hip pain.

Make a judgment call but ensure it’s an informed one. Leaving a serious problem untreated – even if it’s acute pain – can cause a dog unnecessary suffering and additional health complications.

Chronic hip pain

Chronic hip pain in dogs can be much tougher to diagnose and treat. It’s not caused by accident or injury, so it’s not a matter of healing the damaged body part. The term ‘chronic’ refers to persistent, recurring pain and discomfort.

It is sometimes caused by degenerative joint conditions such as arthritis. In other cases, it links to a congenital issue called hip dysplasia in which the ball and socket joints of the hips are malformed. It may also be a consequence of long-term illnesses like cancer and autoimmune disorders.

Hip dysplasia is a condition all dog owners should be aware of especially if their canine is a large breed. The problem is more prevalent in bigger dogs with larger frames. It is characterized by the progressive disintegration of hip cartilage. As the soft, springy cartilage breaks down, it leaves the bones exposed. Without their natural shock absorber, they grind uncomfortably against one another.

The result is persistent aches and pains within and around the region of the hips. Over time, there may be decreased mobility and further malformation of the joints.

Hip dysplasia in dogs is hereditary. Looking at a canine’s older parent can tell you whether they’re likely to develop similar problems one day. On the other hand, immobility and pain aren’t certainties even if a pet does have dysplasia. Recognizing a dog’s risk factors and managing these throughout their younger years goes a long way towards helping them maintain good health.

Hip dysplasia is made worse by obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition. These are factors dog owners can control. They are not predetermined even if hip dysplasia is unavoidable.

How to recognize hip problems in your pet

The most important (and trickiest) task is distinguishing between acute pain and symptoms of hip dysplasia or arthritis. Watch out for these signs if you’re worried your furry companion might be in trouble.

Swaying/Lopsided stance

Any change to your dog’s usual gait warrants closer investigation. It can be caused by a hundred different things and, more often than not, it’s a small cut or a graze on their paw. Sometimes though, it’s a sign of deep pain within the hip joints.

Keep your eye out not for an obvious limp but for a wonky stance. Is your dog leaning awkwardly to one side? Is he favoring one side of his body? Does he struggle to keep his body still when he’s stood stationary?

Pain caused by an injured paw or leg will show itself in localized tenderness. If you’ve hurt your foot, you naturally avoid stepping on the wound. Chronic hip pain is experienced across the trunk and may render one side of a pet’s body weak.

Difficulty getting upright

Sadly, age comes with decreased mobility. It’s actually very normal for elderly dogs to find getting up and down a struggle. Rising from a prone position, lowering back into a prone position, and climbing stairs can all cause discomfort for older animals.

There is little you can do besides treat an old canine carefully if these issues are a consequence of age. They should not be a chronic problem in younger dogs. If your pet is experiencing discomfort while performing basic movements (such as lying down), they may have chronic joint issues.

Physical inactivity

Sedentary dogs who were formerly very energetic require immediate attention. Dogs love to play and expend energy. Even elderly canines will do their best to fetch and chase balls. Sudden disinterest in play and exercise is a common sign of injury or chronic pain.

If your pet is happy go lucky one week and then refuses to move by the next, investigate. You may need to take him to the vet for a physical exam.

Unusual position while prone

Sometimes, a dog will relieve tightness and tension in their hip sockets by adopting a comforting position. For instance, dogs with hip dysplasia are known to lie on the floor with their back legs very close together.

It looks a little odd and unnatural and that’s because it is. Dogs do it to ease pressure and discomfort.

It should be noted this is only worthy of concern if a dog does it repeatedly. Canines are curious animals. Sometimes, they do things because, well, they just feel it. A dog who lies prone like this once or twice is not a worry.

Swollen hips

Sadly, advanced hip dysplasia in dogs can lead to visible joint deformities. This is not extremely common but still worth looking out for. If your pet’s hip bones start to jut and look overly prominent, take them to the vet.

If they flinch when you touch their hip region, take them to the vet. It could just be a sprain, but it’s better to be sure.

What to do if your dog is suffering from hip pain or sensitivity

The only way to know for certain if a dog has hip problems is to visit the vet. They can use sophisticated diagnostic equipment to find the root of the discomfort. You can do all the observing you like at home. Without a scan, you can’t take the next step forward.

The first thing a vet will do is perform an x-ray of the animal’s hips. This may involve the prescription of a sedative, but it is a safe and non-invasive procedure. While the dog is sedated, they may also perform a hip laxity exam. This involves manual manipulation of the joints to ascertain mobility.

In some cases, they’ll take a blood sample for further testing. You’ll probably need to wait a few days or a week for the results. If tests come back positive for hip dysplasia, arthritis, or another degenerative joint condition, they can advise you on the best forms of care.

Can you treat a dog’s hip problems at home?

There are many reasons a dog owner might want to avoid surgery and the expense is just one. For older dogs especially, surgery can be a dangerous option. The procedure may be routine but there is always a risk posed by anesthesia. The older or sicker the animal, the greater the risk.

dog hip dysplasia

This doesn’t mean you should automatically reject the notion of surgery. Some health problems degenerate to such a degree that a dog has no quality of life without surgical intervention. It’s an issue that needs to be discussed with your veterinary professional.

If you’re keen to avoid surgery, discuss this directly with the vet. There may be alternatives you can try at home. It really depends on the animal’s unique circumstances and factors such as age and severity of sickness. For instance, dogs of advanced age may have serious conditions that can be fixed with surgery. It doesn’t mean surgery is the best option particularly if it’s very risky.

The hope is that whatever your dog’s diagnosis, you can take him home, keep him comfortable and treat him in safe, familiar surroundings.

Here are some things you should focus on if your dog has a chronic or degenerative health condition.

Nutrient rich diet

The single best thing you can do for a dog with chronic health problems is feed a nutritious diet. Food really is medicine. They need plenty of vitamins and minerals to regenerate damaged tissues, maintain a healthy immune system and strengthen their skeleton. Few things impact health as dramatically as diet.

Dogs with joint conditions need to be fed whole meat regardless of your own dietary preferences. It’s essential for health. Lean meat provides nutritious fats, key amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. You don’t have to feed your pet organ meat – some owners dislike handling it – but know it’s packed with micronutrients.

Don’t forget the fresh fruits and vegetables. They provide a great deal of hydration and continue topping up those valuable vitamins and minerals. Some fresh produce (like onions and avocadoes) is mildly toxic for canines. Just do a little research if you’re serving produce from the supermarket. Canned dog foods have already been tested and approved.

Low impact movement

Exercise remains vital even for dogs with impaired mobility. It can be distressing to watch a canine hobble or limp around, but immobility is the fastest route to poor health. Choose activities that are suitable but do not pander to your pet too much.

They need to stay mobile whether they want to move or not. Approach them as you might a child with a superficial injury. They don’t know they ‘can’t’ until you allow them not to try. Reduce the pace when walking, allow more time for strolls and consider taking your dog swimming. Water activities are wonderful for pets with hip problems because the buoyancy takes the pressure off their joints.

Health supplements

Nutrition is always important, and you should do everything you can to feed your dog a balanced diet. It won’t be easy all the time. Humans are the smartest mammals on the planet and we still suffer from nutritional deficiencies because we don’t eat the right things. Supplementation allows us to bridge the gaps and cheat our way to a strong body.

The same options are available to dog owners. Supplementation is a superb way to ensure your pet always gets the nutrients they need.

Here are some common canine supplements:

Glucosamine

Yes, glucosamine supplements can be given to dogs as well as people. It’s a potent nutrient designed to accelerate cartilage production. As the breakdown of cartilage is a primary symptom of hip dysplasia in dogs, this supplement is strongly recommended.

Glucosamine is naturally produced in the body, but levels decline with age. Thus, supplementation becomes very important for older animals.

MSA

MSA is short for methylsulfonylmethane (don’t worry, nobody calls it that). It’s a naturally occurring sulphuric nutrient known for inhibiting pain receptors. It is given to dogs with hip problems as a pain reliever and a supplement for managing inflammation. It works by lessening a dog’s ability to process pain in their nerve centers.

Omega-3

Countless studies have demonstrated the benefits of fish oils for improved joint health and functions. It’s true in people and in canines too. According to one study, dosing dogs with omega-3 oils led to significant reductions in pain, immobility, and stiffness. One added advantage is omega-3 oils also enrich fur, eye and brain cells.

The final word on hip dysplasia in dogs

Joint problems are an unavoidable part of life for some dog breeds. Just knowing a pet is vulnerable can be very distressing for owners. It’s difficult to know your canine is likely to develop congenital issues.

However, you must keep in mind the happy go lucky nature of dogs. Yes, they experience pain and can struggle sometimes. Without a conscious understanding of sickness though, they are rarely anguished.

They have you, their favorite toys, and a daily routine they adore. Even for a dog with pain issues, life can be sweet.