Asthma Treatments for Dogs

Pet asthma is a medical condition that’s easy to diagnose in dogs and there are several different asthma treatments for dogs that can control the symptoms of this disease.

Asthma in dogs is defined as the sudden narrowing of a dog’s airways that causes breathing difficulties. Asthma can be triggered when a pet inhales something it’s allergic to. When this happens, the lower parts of the lungs begin to tighten and the dog will begin to wheeze or cough. Its gums may turn blue, and heavy panting ensues.

In extreme cases a dog will collapse from a lack of oxygen. This is why it’s important to consider every asthma attack as a medical emergency. Too much exercise or exertion can also trigger an asthma attack.

Some pets with asthma may have only occasional mild attacks, while others can have repeated attacks ranging from moderate to severe.

Diagnosing Asthma in Your Dog
A veterinarian will use a combination of tests which include x-rays and blood assessments as a way to diagnose asthma. This will help rule out other ailments or illnesses like airway obstructions, infections or heartworms that can cause the same symptoms as asthma.

Your veterinarian may have you keep a record of your dog’s asthma attacks in order to establish what triggers are causing the attacks. If your dog has a problem breathing after an energetic exercise period or when pollen counts are high where you live, keeping track of the attacks can help your veterinarian formulate the best treatment plan for your dog.

Traditional asthma treatments for dogs include administering steroids and antihistamines to help reduce swelling and control the allergic reactions.

In more serious asthma cases, it may be necessary to inject epinephrine during an attack to allow the dog to breathe easier. Your veterinarian will teach you how to give your dog injections of epinephrine if it has a very serious case of asthma.

Asthma treatments for dogs may also include alternative medical treatments, such as dietary supplements, herbal remedies or acupuncture.

Regardless of the type of medical treatment you choose for your dog, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to control the circumstances that trigger the asthma attacks. For example, if dust triggers the asthma attacks, you’ll need to find a way to filter out dust from the air inside your house. If you’re a smoker and your dog’s asthma attacks are triggered by cigarette smoke, you may need to quit smoking or only smoke in areas well away from your dog.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Dental Treats For Dogs

Dental treats for dogs are not necessarily a discretionary indulgence but are useful in keeping a dog’s teeth and gums healthy and its breath smelling fresh. There are many kinds of dental treats available for dogs and you can choose from a wide selection at Petco, PetSmart, or any pet supply store.

Among your choices for dog dental treats are:
* Hard biscuits, which are relatively inexpensive, yet effective at preventing tooth decay.
* Dog dental treats designed to give a dog the maximum benefit from chewing the treat.
* Fresh-breath dog dental treats that include ingredients like cinnamon to freshen a dog’s breath.
* Dental treats made from natural bones or rawhide.
* Soft treats that are nutritionally balanced and specially formulated with vitamins and minerals.

Some of the benefits of giving your dog dental treats include:
(1) Chewing dog dental treats strengthens a dog’s jaw muscles.
(2) Dog dental treats freshen a dog’s breath.
(3) Dog dental treats will scrape the dog’s teeth, helping to keep them clean and preventing plaque build-up.
(4) Dog dental treats massage a dog’s gums to keep them healthy.
(5) Dog dental treats augment the benefits of daily tooth-brushing.
(6) Dog dental treats can be given to a dog if it strongly objects to having its teeth brushed.
(7) Daily dog dental treats help prevent tartar and tooth decay.

Dog dental treats are designed to please almost any type of dog and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, textures and flavors. You can choose from doggy treats that are nutritionally balanced, specially formulated, fortified with dog vitamins and minerals, wheat-free, holistic, organic, made from veggies, plus dozens of other formulas and tastes.

Some dog dental treats are made from natural bones; rawhide that has been knotted, twisted, chipped, and compressed; or biscuits filled with bone marrow. The hard texture of crunchy dog biscuits helps loosen the plaque that builds up on a dog’s teeth and along the gum-line. When a dog is given hard treats regularly it will keep plaque from accumulating, and also exercises the dog’s jaws and helps strengthen its teeth.

Some dog treats are soft and don’t offer the same dental effects that hard treats provide. However, some soft treats are nutritionally balanced and specially formulated with added ingredients to provide basic dental health. These treats are identifiable by the words “contains high levels of calcium” or “fortified with vitamins and minerals” listed on the label.

When choosing dog treats be sure they’re manufactured from 100% natural products that make them safe for a dog to eat. Treats made from natural sources also taste great so a dog won’t even notice its teeth are being cleaned at the same time. Doggy dental treats come in a wide array of flavors like cinnamon, peppermint extracts, chlorophyll, parsley seed, and baking soda. There are enough choices to please any dog’s palate.

Next time you’re in a pet store, buy your best friend some doggy dental treats to help keep its teeth clean and reduce the chances of it developing gum disease. An added benefit of treats are that they help eliminate doggy breath – and we all know how overpowering that can be at times.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

 

Raising Dogs and Cats in the Same House

Dogs and cats are not sworn enemies. They often live together in the same house without problems. If you are raising both dogs and cats in the same house, there are some rules that should be followed so the animals can coexist in peace.

If you adopt a cat and dog at the same time when they are young, they can easily adapt to living together and even become good friends, or at the very worst, learn to tolerate each other.

Each pet will need its own space in order to feel comfortable and safe. You’ll also need to be sure each pet is fed enough food or one of them will attempt to steal the other’s food.

If you have a dog or a cat that’s used to being the only animal in the house, adopting a new pet is not always an agreeable event for the pet who has established your house as their sole domain You’ll need to make sure you introduce the new pet gradually so there won’t be fights and the pets will be able to adjust to one another.

When you bring a new pet into your house, you should keep it isolated from the other for a short period of time, allowing it to interact with your existing pet for just a few minutes each day until you are convinced that there will be no problems between them; or if there is, the problems will be minor.

As the pets become better acquainted you can increase the length of time they spend together. This will allow both pets to feel more comfortable. The old pet won’t feel threatened by the new one and the new pet won’t tend to be aggressive toward the other in an attempt to establish its territory.

Dogs are usually more likely to accept a new cat. However, some cats may never accept a new dog and will always be hostile towards it.

If you are going to raise both dogs and cats in the same house and don’t want to make the old pet jealous of the new one, don’t show more affection towards the new pet, even if the new pet is a puppy or a kitten. The old pet may feel neglected and may develop an attitude towards the new pet.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

 

Children and Pet Dogs

Children and pet dogs make natural companions, but when children are small they often are unpredictable in their behavior, and situations may arise where a child accidentally provokes a pet dog in the wrong way and injury to the toddler can result.

Not every dog makes a good companion for children and not every child is suitable for a pet dog. The majority of problems involving pet dogs and children happen with youngsters under six years of age. If you have children under six you need to give a lot of thought before choosing a pet dog. Large dogs bred as guard dogs, or dogs who have a history of being aggressive or biting, should not be adopted into a family with small children. Large, energetic dogs can easily knock children over and are not good choices. And if you have small children you often won’t have the free time to spend hours grooming or walking a high maintenance dog.

Young puppies are usually the natural choice when bringing a new pet into a family with children. However, be prepared to devote almost as much of your time to the puppy as you do to your child. If you have decided to adopt or buy a dog because you feel it will be good for your children, or if your children begged for a pet, but you don’t really want a dog and are not committed to training and taking care of a puppy, then you should not consider adopting one. It will not be fair to either you or the dog. Dogs can help teach your child responsibility, patience, kindness, and compassion, but no young child is capable of properly training or caring for a dog, whether full-grown or puppy, so you as a parent ultimately have to take full responsibility for the animal.

Your children will have to be trained on how to treat a new dog, so plan on spending a lot of time training both the dog and your children. Children and pet dogs seem like a natural combination but without proper training, for both the dog and the child, you’re inviting trouble.

Hopefully your pet will be with you for a long time so spend the time in the beginning to avoid unwanted behavior in the future. Read books on how to train a pet dog and consider enrolling your puppy in an obedience class. Well-trained dogs are a joy to be around and are a necessity if children are part of the family.

Dogs have a unique relationship with people. Understanding and changing a dog’s behavior involves understanding dog behavior and the importance of dominance and submission in the dog’s consciousness. In a dog’s mind the family is a pack unit and everyone in that family has a certain ‘position’ in the pack. In most families, one or both of the parents are considered the pack leaders and the dog is subordinate to them. This may be obvious to the dog or it may not really matter much. However, when small children are involved, dogs almost always consider the children equal or lower in the pack hierarchy than they are, and this is where problems arise.

Because the dog considers the child a subordinate, it may refuse to obey a child’s commands or will ‘accidentally’ bump into the child and knock him or her down. It may go from bad to worse with the dog growling at a child when the child is near its food or toys. It may even bite a child who tries to play with it. You need to understand this hierarchal relationship in the minds of dogs and take precautions to prevent such problems.

When dogs bite adults it is usually out of fear or aggression. When dogs bite children it may also be from fear or aggression, but many times it is a “warning bite.” The warning bite is usually to the face or hand and while traumatic for the child, is usually not too serious.

Almost all dog bites are a result of a failure on the parents’ part to recognize and prevent potential problem situations. This does not completely take the blame away from the dog. Dogs are capable of learning to control their behavior and not bite.

The best advice is that a dog and small child should never be left alone unattended. Even the oldest, sweetest, most passive dog and the best-behaved child is no guarantee that a serious incident won’t occur in your absence..

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Hip Dysplasia in Great Danes

Hip dysplasia is a debilitating disease that affects the hip joints in dogs. It is commonly found among large breed dogs but also can occur in medium and small size breeds. Certain breeds like Great Danes are more susceptible to hip dysplasia, and the disease is more common in pure-bred dogs than in mixed breeds.

HIP DYSPLASIA IN GREAT DANES – WHAT IS IT?

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition, which can affect any dog. Although the causes may vary, the effects are always the same: loss of mobility, increasing pain, impaired gait, even behavioral and mood-changes in your dog, including snappishness and depression.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HIP DYSPLASIA?

Hip dysplasia robs your dog of its most fundamental drive as an animal: to run. Our domestic pets share common roots as hunting pack-animals, like wolves. While many breeds of dogs have developed specialties, such as the ability to burrow, dig, and swim in the pursuit of prey, all dogs are literally born to run. However, hip dysplasia makes running and even walking painful, sometimes to the point where the animal has difficulty rising from a sleep-position, and resists movement. Playtime with other dogs and humans becomes too excruciating to bear. This lack of activity may result in weight gain, which compounds the discomfort of hip dysplasia. The condition may even make the dog’s hips and lower back too sensitive to touch, during brushing, grooming, bathing—even hugging! So, your dog becomes less active, isolated, disconnected, and often low-energy.

SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG MAY HAVE HIP DYSPLASIA:

  • Hobbles, or walks/trots with an irregular gait
  • Tries to keep weight off one of the rear legs
  • Starts to slow down or limp on a favorite walk or run
  • Stays in bed instead of playing outdoors
  • Whimpers or yelps when climbing stairs
  • Flinches when hip area or lower back are touched

In short, hip dysplasia can reduce your feisty, sparkling companion and playmate to a diminished creature, which barely leaves its bed.

 WHAT HAPPENS IN HIP DYSPLASIA – WHY DOES IT HURT?

Dysplasia is simply the dislocation of a bone from its proper place. “Plasia” is the Greek word for molding, so it’s easy to visualize an architectural form, like a beam or column, separating from its stabilizing molding.  Hip dysplasia or displacement is one of the best-known types of dysplasia in dogs.

The degenerative process of hip dysplasia is gradual, and so the onset of symptoms—the pain, specifically—also is somewhat gradual, taking place over the course of years. In simple terms, the two bones of the hip joint shift out of alignment. The structure of a dog’s hip bones is similar to our human hip formation, consisting of a precisely fitted ball-and-socket joint. This is called a “spheroidal” joint, referring to the spherical head of the distal or articulating bone, which fits into the cup-like cavity of the accompanying bone.

The purpose of joints is to provide movement to the body. A healthy canine spheroidal joint controls this movement with the support of muscles, ligaments and tendons. The ends of the bones are covered in tough cartilage, and lined with synovial membrane, with contains a small amount of synovial fluid as lubricant. In fact, the ball and socket joint is the most mobile in the body – in both dogs and humans.  The design allows the articulating or distal bone to rotate around three main axes with a common center, allowing the leg (or, in the case of the elbow ball and socket, the arm) an extremely versatile range of movement. The ability to swivel, pivot and rotate with speed and agility is what makes dogs great hunters.

In the case of the hip, the articulating or distal bone is called the femur. The cup-shaped socket bone is called the acetabulum, located on the pelvis.

Perhaps because they are such hand-working structures, the ball and socket joints are prone to disease, and to simple mechanical wear and damage over time. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula, two products for dogs developed by a naturopathic doctor, offer support and relief for many conditions affecting the joints, including hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory diseases which also are common in dogs, attacking the cartilage, muscles and membrane linings of cartilage and joints.


 

HERE’S THE BREAKDOWN:

  • Hip dysplasia results in several symptoms which reduce mobility and cause pain:
  • The muscles and joints become lax, and the joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue which circled the bones for added stability, loses its elastic strength.
  • As this happens, the articular (working) surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. The bones slowly separate as the soft tissues around the joint degenerate. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left.

With the loss of protective scaffolding between the bone surfaces, the nerves in the bone-endings themselves are exposed. When bone touches bone, there is acute pain. In addition, the loss of tensile strength of the supporting tendons, muscle and cartilage mean that other structures in the hip and leg must compensate in terms of weight-bearing and movement. This unnatural compensation may cause fatigue, pain, and may even cause the dog to injure itself—running to catch a Frisbee, or climbing stairs, for instance.

WHAT CAUSES HIP DYSPLASIA?

Experts disagree as to the source of hip dysplasia in dogs.

  • TOO MUCH FOOD? One theory is that feeding a young, growing dog too many calories early in its development contributes to the disorder.
  • TOO MUCH EXERCISE? Another theory is that too much exercise, or the wrong kind of exercise, or simply too much high-impact exercise, such as fetching, jumping and catching a ball or Frisbee on concrete, contributes to hip dysplasia.

These theories are not conclusive, though of course appropriate nutrition and training are essential to the health and well-being of any pet.

A factual observation about this condition is that hip dysplasia tends to affect large breeds more so than smaller dogs. This, too, is relative—it is possible for small dogs to become affected by hip dysplasia, too.  However, we correctly associate the condition most frequently with big breeds.

These breeds do carry a genetic predisposition toward the condition. It is also true that purebreds, especially in these large dogs, are most likely to become vulnerable to hip dysplasia, therefore calling upon informed and responsible breeding practices.

But here’s the thing: many of us fall in love at the animal shelter. We may generously rescue a dog whose history is entirely unknown. A darling “Shepherd mix” from the pound may represent a complex genetic history, a history to which we have no access. Medical problems may indeed manifest down the line, and hip dysplasia could be one of these. This condition is common, and is not a death-sentence. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula (www.dogshealth.com) offer a holistic, gentle and effective way to manage your dog’s hip dysplasia, from the first signs of stiffness, discomfort or loss of mobility.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Our first instinct as dog-lovers is to stop the pain. Sometimes our decision-making process is clouded by emotion—guilt, fear, even panic when we see our beloved canine companion suffering. Many conventional treatments for hip dysplasia in dogs have side-effects, or simply don’t work.

  • If your dog is clearly in pain, schedule a visit with your veterinarian. An X-ray examination will be recommended as a first step.
  • Monitor your dog’s weight. Obesity makes hip dysplasia worse. If your dog becomes less active, weight-gain may become a challenge. Eliminate treats, and if possible, offer your dog low-impact exercise like stretching and swimming.
  • Remove unnecessary physical stressors from your dog’s life.
  • Replace stairs with a ramp while your dog is recovering, to prevent further damage to the damaged hip.
  • Provide a padded dog-bed—sleeping on hard surface may increase the inflammation associated with hip dysplasia. A gel-bed, which actually contains a soft jelly that conforms to your dog’s body, relieves pressure from sore joints.
  • Experiment with low-heat heating pads or fleece-covered hot water bottle, as well as gentle massage, as ways to relax your dog and provide comfort during the healing process.

Bringing a dog into your life requires a leap of faith, and a demands commitment to that dog’s health and well-being. It is virtually impossible verify the genetic “blueprint” of any animal, even if the animal is pedigreed and purchased through a breeder. Recessive genetic tendencies are difficult to identify, and may take us by surprise. Because we are unable to identify the sources of this condition, realistically it is not possible to truly prevent it. Avoiding large breeds and purebreds may be one precaution, but many dogs who are not in either of these categories do experience hip dysplasia as well.  With this in mind, advanced formulas and ongoing research continue to offer non-invasive, non-intrusive, gently effective treatments for the common canine condition known as hip dysplasia.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Chocolate Can Kill a Dog

Have you ever wondered if chocolate can kill a dog or if that’s simply a myth spread by some dog owners?
Some ‘people foods’ are safe to feed your dog as long as you don’t overdo it by giving your pet too much. However, there is one people food you never should give your beloved dog and that is chocolate. Chocolate can seriously sicken your dog and sometimes can even kill it. Veterinarians rate chocolate as one of the most common causes of dog poisoning.

No amount of chocolate is safe for your dog to ingest. The most dangerous types of chocolate are dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate. Milk chocolate and white chocolate present a less serious risk but still should not be given to a dog.

What makes chocolate so poisonous that it can kill a dog? The answer lies in the ingredients used to make chocolate. Cocoa and cocoa beans contain caffeine plus a chemical compound called theobromine, which is the real threat to dogs. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of a dog’s body weight is potentially deadly. Since an average chocolate bar like Hershey’s milk chocolate weighs one and a half ounces, it would take a fairly large amount to poison a dog. Obviously smaller dogs are at more risk than large ones.

Don’t assume that this means it’s safe to give your dog small amounts of chocolate. You have no way of knowing how much theobromine a given cocoa product contains, and the more of this chemical you feed a dog, the more poisonous it is to your pet. For example, unsweetened Bakers Chocolate contains about 390 milligrams of theobromine per ounce — about 10 times more than milk chocolate and more than twice as much as semi-sweet chocolate. Although white chocolate contains very little theobromine, veterinarians recommend that you do not feed this treat to your dog either.

The reason theobromine is so dangerous to dogs is because it metabolizes more slowly in an animal’s system than it does in humans. Approximately 18 hours after a dog eats chocolate, half of the theobromine it ingested is still in its system.

It’s true that a large enough amount of chocolate can kill a dog but even small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea in a dog. If your dog eats a large toxic amount of chocolate it can cause high blood pressure, a rapid heart rate, respiratory failure, tremors, seizures, and even cardiac arrest.

I certainly don’t recommend ever giving your dog chocolate and it’s something I would never allow my pet to eat. But in the event your dog should manage to get its paws on your chocolate stash, you should know that dark chocolate is the supreme dangerous form of this delectable item. Dogs have died from theobromine doses as low as 115 milligrams per two pounds of body weight. This translates to 20 ounces of milk chocolate, or 10 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, or just 2.25 ounces of baking chocolate, all of which could potentially kill a 22 pound dog.

Now that you know chocolate can kill a dog, never feed your pet any form of chocolate. If your pet does consume chocolate you should contact your vet immediately. If your vet is not available because it’s after business hours, you can call the ASPCA poison control hotline at 888-426-4435. The call is toll-free but there is the possibility you may be charged for an emergency consultation, so don’t call the poison control hotline unless you are sure your dog has eaten a toxic amount of chocolate.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Prozac For Dogs?

Prozac or its generic Fluoxetine is increasingly being prescribed by veterinarians across the country to treat behavioral problems in dogs like fear aggression and separation anxiety. This practice of prescribing human medications for dogs has created a lot of controversies because many dogs don’t respond to this type of medication and will experience intense side effects.

Unfortunately, behavioral problems are one of the main reasons dogs are euthanized in animal shelters or surrendered to dog rescue groups by their owners.

Prozac, or Fluoxetine, is an antidepressant that increases serotonin levels in the brain. It is frequently administered to dogs for treating separation anxiety, aggression, and other anxiety-related issues.

Prozac is usually prescribed in combination with a behavior modification program. Once the anxiety or fear levels diminish, dogs are able to learn the necessary skills to help them cope with the object or situation that is triggering their anxiety. For this reason, Prozac is often prescribed for a short period of time until the behavior modification program takes hold.

Veterinarians will start a dog on a small dose of Prozac that is less than the dog needs and then gradually increases the dosage. Increases in dosage need to be done cautiously because any sudden increase or decrease in the dosage of Prozac can cause severe behavior changes in a dog.

Prozac has some serious side effects for dogs and cannot be given to a dog taking any of the following medications: monoamine oxidase inhibitors, diazepam, phenylbutazone, digoxine, or buspirone (a generic of Buspar, a psychoactive drug used to treat anxiety disorders such as severe anxiety separation issues).

Any dog who has a history of seizures should never be given Prozac and dogs on Prozac for a long period of time will need to have their liver and kidney enzymes checked regularly as long-term use can cause damage to these vital organs.

The most common side effects that dogs experience on Prozac are changes in appetite, weight gain or loss, lethargy, weakness in the limbs, or diarrhea. Unwelcome behavioral side effects include anxiety, panic attacks, hostility and aggression, restlessness, irritability, hyperactivity, trouble sleeping, or increased depression.

Some additional serious side effects that require a veterinarian exam are tremors, muscle twitching or stiffness, problems with balance or coordination, confusion, or a very rapid heartbeat. Some dogs also develop allergic reactions that cause a skin rash or hives, difficulty breathing, or a swelling of the dog’s face, lips, tongue or throat. Any of these side effects necessitate immediate discontinuance of the Prozac.

Treatment with Prozac can sometimes be beneficial in improving problematic behavior in a dog, but any dog being treated with this medication is always at risk of numerous side effects and must be watched carefully for any indications of a problem.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Overactive Bladder in Dogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

 

Hip Dysplasia in Giant Schnauzers

Giant Schnauzers were bred for tasks such as herding and cattle driving. The breed was created by crossing Standard Schnauzers with bigger dogs like Great Danes. This interbreeding with Great Danes who were susceptible to hip problems was responsible for introducing hip dysplasia in Giant Schnauzers.

HIP DYSPLASIA IN GIANT SCHNAUZERS – WHAT IS IT?

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition, which can affect any dog. Although the causes may vary, the effects are always the same: loss of mobility, increasing pain, impaired gait, even behavioral and mood-changes in your dog, including snappishness and depression.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HIP DYSPLASIA?

Hip dysplasia robs your dog of its most fundamental drive as an animal: to run. Our domestic pets share common roots as hunting pack-animals, like wolves. While many breeds of dogs have developed specialties, such as the ability to burrow, dig, and swim in the pursuit of prey, all dogs are literally born to run. However, hip dysplasia makes running and even walking painful, sometimes to the point where the animal has difficulty rising from a sleep-position, and resists movement. Playtime with other dogs and humans becomes too excruciating to bear. This lack of activity may result in weight gain, which compounds the discomfort of hip dysplasia. The condition may even make the dog’s hips and lower back too sensitive to touch, during brushing, grooming, bathing—even hugging! So, your dog becomes less active, isolated, disconnected, and often low-energy.

SIGNS THAT YOUR DOG MAY HAVE HIP DYSPLASIA:

  • Hobbles, or walks/trots with an irregular gait
  • Tries to keep weight off one of the rear legs
  • Starts to slow down or limp on a favorite walk or run
  • Stays in bed instead of playing outdoors
  • Whimpers or yelps when climbing stairs
  • Flinches when hip area or lower back are touched

In short, hip dysplasia can reduce your feisty, sparkling companion and playmate to a diminished creature, which barely leaves its bed.

 WHAT HAPPENS IN HIP DYSPLASIA – WHY DOES IT HURT?

Dysplasia is simply the dislocation of a bone from its proper place. “Plasia” is the Greek word for molding, so it’s easy to visualize an architectural form, like a beam or column, separating from its stabilizing molding.  Hip dysplasia or displacement is one of the best-known types of dysplasia in dogs.

The degenerative process of hip dysplasia is gradual, and so the onset of symptoms—the pain, specifically—also is somewhat gradual, taking place over the course of years. In simple terms, the two bones of the hip joint shift out of alignment. The structure of a dog’s hip bones is similar to our human hip formation, consisting of a precisely fitted ball-and-socket joint. This is called a “spheroidal” joint, referring to the spherical head of the distal or articulating bone, which fits into the cup-like cavity of the accompanying bone.

The purpose of joints is to provide movement to the body. A healthy canine spheroidal joint controls this movement with the support of muscles, ligaments and tendons. The ends of the bones are covered in tough cartilage, and lined with synovial membrane, with contains a small amount of synovial fluid as lubricant. In fact, the ball and socket joint is the most mobile in the body – in both dogs and humans.  The design allows the articulating or distal bone to rotate around three main axes with a common center, allowing the leg (or, in the case of the elbow ball and socket, the arm) an extremely versatile range of movement. The ability to swivel, pivot and rotate with speed and agility is what makes dogs great hunters.

In the case of the hip, the articulating or distal bone is called the femur. The cup-shaped socket bone is called the acetabulum, located on the pelvis.

Perhaps because they are such hand-working structures, the ball and socket joints are prone to disease, and to simple mechanical wear and damage over time. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula, two products for dogs developed by a naturopathic doctor, offer support and relief for many conditions affecting the joints, including hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory diseases which also are common in dogs, attacking the cartilage, muscles and membrane linings of cartilage and joints.


 

HERE’S THE BREAKDOWN:

  • Hip dysplasia results in several symptoms which reduce mobility and cause pain:
  • The muscles and joints become lax, and the joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue which circled the bones for added stability, loses its elastic strength.
  • As this happens, the articular (working) surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. The bones slowly separate as the soft tissues around the joint degenerate. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left.

With the loss of protective scaffolding between the bone surfaces, the nerves in the bone-endings themselves are exposed. When bone touches bone, there is acute pain. In addition, the loss of tensile strength of the supporting tendons, muscle and cartilage mean that other structures in the hip and leg must compensate in terms of weight-bearing and movement. This unnatural compensation may cause fatigue, pain, and may even cause the dog to injure itself—running to catch a Frisbee, or climbing stairs, for instance.

 

WHAT CAUSES HIP DYSPLASIA?

Experts disagree as to the source of hip dysplasia in dogs.

  • TOO MUCH FOOD? One theory is that feeding a young, growing dog too many calories early in its development contributes to the disorder.
  • TOO MUCH EXERCISE? Another theory is that too much exercise, or the wrong kind of exercise, or simply too much high-impact exercise, such as fetching, jumping and catching a ball or Frisbee on concrete, contributes to hip dysplasia.

These theories are not conclusive, though of course appropriate nutrition and training are essential to the health and well-being of any pet.

A factual observation about this condition is that hip dysplasia tends to affect large breeds more so than smaller dogs. This, too, is relative—it is possible for small dogs to become affected by hip dysplasia, too.  However, we correctly associate the condition most frequently with big breeds.

These breeds do carry a genetic predisposition toward the condition. It is also true that purebreds, especially in these large dogs, are most likely to become vulnerable to hip dysplasia, therefore calling upon informed and responsible breeding practices.

But here’s the thing: many of us fall in love at the animal shelter. We may generously rescue a dog whose history is entirely unknown. A darling “Shepherd mix” from the pound may represent a complex genetic history, a history to which we have no access. Medical problems may indeed manifest down the line, and hip dysplasia could be one of these. This condition is common, and is not a death-sentence. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula  offer a holistic, gentle and effective way to manage your dog’s hip dysplasia, from the first signs of stiffness, discomfort or loss of mobility.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Our first instinct as dog-lovers is to stop the pain. Sometimes our decision-making process is clouded by emotion—guilt, fear, even panic when we see our beloved canine companion suffering. Many conventional treatments for hip dysplasia in dogs have side-effects, or simply don’t work.

  • If your dog is clearly in pain, schedule a visit with your veterinarian. An X-ray examination will be recommended as a first step.
  • Monitor your dog’s weight. Obesity makes hip dysplasia worse. If your dog becomes less active, weight-gain may become a challenge. Eliminate treats, and if possible, offer your dog low-impact exercise like stretching and swimming.
  • Remove unnecessary physical stressors from your dog’s life.
  • Replace stairs with a ramp while your dog is recovering, to prevent further damage to the damaged hip.
  • Provide a padded dog-bed—sleeping on hard surface may increase the inflammation associated with hip dysplasia. A gel-bed, which actually contains a soft jelly that conforms to your dog’s body, relieves pressure from sore joints.
  • Experiment with low-heat heating pads or fleece-covered hot water bottle, as well as gentle massage, as ways to relax your dog and provide comfort during the healing process.

Bringing a dog into your life requires a leap of faith, and a demands commitment to that dog’s health and well-being. It is virtually impossible verify the genetic “blueprint” of any animal, even if the animal is pedigreed and purchased through a breeder. Recessive genetic tendencies are difficult to identify, and may take us by surprise. Because we are unable to identify the sources of this condition, realistically it is not possible to truly prevent it. Avoiding large breeds and purebreds may be one precaution, but many dogs who are not in either of these categories do experience hip dysplasia as well.  With this in mind, advanced formulas and ongoing research continue to offer non-invasive, non-intrusive, gently effective treatments for the common canine condition known as hip dysplasia.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

 

Stopping Dog Biting

If you have a dog that sometimes bites other dogs or even people occasionally, stopping your dog from biting may not be as easy as you think.

Biting problems begin when a young puppy gently bites its litter mates, people, and objects in an effort to explore the world surrounding it. If an owner doesn’t teach a young puppy that biting is unacceptable behavior, the puppy will continue the behavior when it becomes an adult. Some adult dogs will bite out of aggression and can cause serious injury to another dog or a human. Thankfully, there are ways to modify the behaviors that lead to biting.

When a young puppy bites its mother during nursing or bites another puppy with too much pressure during playtime, the result is a high pitched yelp. If you are playing with your puppy and it bites you, make a high pitched sound as if you were in pain. The puppy should back off and appear to be concerned. If the puppy continues to bite after you have “yelped” loudly, immediately stop playing with it and walk away. This will cause your puppy to associate biting with the removal of your attention and it should begin learning to bite less. With proper training, puppies will grow out of their biting habit between six months and one year.

Petco and PetSmart sell products such as Bitter Apple Spray that you can rub on your hands just before playing with your puppy. The sprays are harmless but taste awful to your puppy, and will deter it from biting you. If your puppy is teething it will often bite because teething is painful. If this is the case, give your puppy safe, durable toys specifically made for puppies to chew on.

Sometimes it’s necessary to stop older dogs from biting. A dog who is adopted when it’s older, or a puppy who has been allowed to bite while young, probably have not had proper training and are biting out of fear or aggression. It is absolutely necessary that your dog understands you are the “alpha” in the pack and you are in charge.

Biting is never acceptable in a pet and stopping dog biting should be way up on your list of things to teach a new (or old) dog. If you find that you are unable to break this habit in your pet, find a private dog trainer or suitable obedience school to help your dog quit its biting habit before another dog or a person are seriously injured.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?