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Joint Issues

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Osteochondritis (OCD)
  • Stiffness/Inflammation
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  • Growing Pains
  • Mobility Problems
  • Joint Pain
  • Back/Spinal Problems
  • Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)

Symptoms

Is your pet becoming less active, less playful, or desiring shorter walks? The following symptoms could be early signs of OCD, Arthritis or Hip Dysplasia.

  • Moving more slowly
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Weight shift to another leg
  • Personality change
  • Reluctant to walk, jump or play
  • Refuses using stairs or the car
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in behavior
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping
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Archive for the ‘Puppy Facts’ Category

Animal Shelter Adoptions

Monday, November 16th, 2015


There are some important questions you need to ask about the health of any dog you’re considering adopting from an animal shelter. Most dogs available for people to adopt from city or county operated animal shelters are mentally stable and physically healthy.

Unfortunately, some dogs being offered for animal shelter adoptions have been abused or neglected by their former owners. Sometimes they have suffered from an illness or disease that might create problems for someone who wants to adopt a dog that will be with them for as long as possible and also won’t require a lot of expensive medical treatments.

To be fair to both yourself and the dog you’re considering for adoption, the questions you should ask the animal shelter staff are:

(1) Has the dog been spayed or neutered? It’s important to know the answer if you don’t want to breed the dog or bear the expense of having the procedure done;

(2) Are all the dog’s vaccinations up to date? Most dogs offered by shelters have had their vaccinations brought up to date, but ask if the dog has just arrived and whether the shelter has had time to give the dog any needed vaccinations;

(3) Has the dog needed any medical treatments since it arrived at the shelter? If it has, what treatments were given and what were they for? This will help you determine whether the dog may acquire certain illnesses in the future;

(4) Does the dog currently require any medications?

(5) Is the dog’s breed or breeds known to the staff? This will help you in understanding what types of health conditions the dog is predisposed to due to its breed, or mixture of breeds;

(6) Does the dog have any behavioral issues? Was the dog given up because it was dangerous or had serious behavior issues? This could definitely become a problem for anyone with small children or who has other dogs or cats in the home;

(7) How long has the dog been at the shelter? If the dog has been there for more than six months there’s a good chance that it may be suffering from mental distress after being cooped up and abandoned for such a long length of time;

(8) What kind of personality does the dog have? If it’s boisterous or overly active, it may not be appropriate for a family or even for a single person who has many time commitments in their life;

(9) Does the dog play well with the other dogs in the shelter or is it aggressive towards them?

If you’re considering an animal shelter adoption, you need to find out the answers to these questions before committing yourself to adopting your first, or next “best friend.”

Dog Medications During Pregnancy

Monday, October 12th, 2015


Giving your dog medications during pregnancy may not be a good idea for her unborn puppies. A few medications are considered safe during pregnancy, but any drug not recommended or prescribed by a veterinarian should be avoided as it could result in birth defects to the puppies or harm to the mother.

Your vet may also recommend vaccinations during your dog’s pregnancy to protect the unborn puppies from diseases like canine distemper, parvovirus, and rabies. A pregnant dog exposed to any of these diseases who hasn’t been vaccinated, is risking her life and the lives of her puppies.

The most common drugs considered safe for a female dog during pregnancy are Thryoxine which is used to treat hypothyroidism; Revolution which is a flea, tick and worm preventative; Psyllium; and insulin. Antibiotics and pain medications are sometimes given to a pregnant dog during a difficult delivery but giving a dog antibiotics during pregnancy can be unsafe.

Some antibiotics can be administered during pregnancy but carry the possibility of putting the puppies at risk by causing deformation or death of the puppies. However, allowing your pregnant dog to suffer from bacterial infection without any treatment may be just as dangerous to both puppies and the mother.

Newborn puppies are immunologically suppressed and should not be exposed to bacterial infections. Treating your pregnant dog with safe antibiotics before she delivers removes any risk that the puppies will contract a bacterial infection from her.

A dog’s pregnancy lasts approximately 63 days and for the duration of that time your dog’s diet has to be carefully monitored and so does any medication given her. Monitoring your dog’s diet and medication during pregnancy will ensure that the puppies get the nutrients they need. Being careful that your dog receives only the correct medications during pregnancy is just as important as her diet.

A high-quality, dog food is essential for the health of both the mother and her puppies. Vitamin and calcium supplements aren’t absolutely needed and should not be given without first consulting your vet.

Proper care of the mother during her pregnancy will increase the chances of her giving birth to a litter of healthy puppies.

Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatments

Monday, October 5th, 2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potty Training a Puppy

Monday, August 24th, 2015


Potty training a puppy or housebreaking a puppy can be an easy task if you know how to do it properly. It can be easy, but also requires a lot of patience, constant monitoring of the puppy, and dedication to getting the job done while remaining loving and supportive of your new puppy.

Puppies don’t have complete control of their bladder until they reach at least 6 months of age. The more time you can spend with your new puppy, the faster your puppy will be housebroken.

Here are some things to consider when you start potty training a puppy:

Most puppies will let you know when they need to go. Obviously they can’t talk and are not mature enough to understand that they need to give you a “distinctive signal” when it’s time to take care of business, but if you pay close attention to your puppy you’ll learn to recognize the warning signs.

When you see your puppy repeatedly making the signs it uses when it has to go outside, act fast and immediately take your puppy to wherever you’ve chosen as the place to “do it.” When your puppy does eliminate itself, praise it and reward it with a doggy treat. The puppy will then learn to expect praise and a treat when it eliminates outside at its “toilet”.

When you’re not available to supervise your puppy, you can limit it to a specific area of your house by installing childproof “gates” to keep it confined to that area.

Try to keep your new puppy on a regular bathroom schedule. Take the puppy outside as soon as it awakens every morning and do the same every night before putting it down to bed.

Most puppies, since they still have small bladders, will have to relieve themselves about 15-20 minutes after eating and drinking water. Puppies will usually have to go potty immediately after playing or walking for exercise, and almost always after waking up from a nap. If you set a routine schedule for exercise, walks, and mealtimes, the potty training will become embedded in the puppy’s brain, and as each day passes, your potty training job becomes easier.

If your puppy doesn’t relieve itself within 10 minutes or so after going to its designated “potty spot”, take the puppy back in the house and watch it closely for 10 to 15 minutes. When you feel it’s ready to go, then take it to the “potty spot” again. Your puppy should take care of its business the second time around.

Potty training a puppy doesn’t mean you’ll never have to clean up its mess inside your house. Should this happen, immediately pick up the puppy and take it to its designated spot. Never punish your puppy for going potty in your house, and never, never yell or rub its nose in the soiled spot, or the puppy will be afraid of going potty whenever you’re around.

What To Expect When Your Dog Is Ready To Start Whelping

Monday, March 30th, 2015


There are some signs you can watch for that indicate your dog is finally ready to start whelping and present you with her gift of beautiful little puppies.

When your female dog is ready to whelp (give birth) she will show some of the whelping signs listed below – and may even show all of them. If you are not experienced in watching over and helping your dog give birth you should call your vet. Too long a delay getting help from a vet when needed could endanger your dog and its puppies to be born.

The first stage of whelping can easily be overlooked. It takes place within 24 hours following the female’s temperature drop. The dog’s temperature will drop to 98° Fahrenheit (your dog’s normal temperature is 99 Fahrenheit, 100F, or 101° Fahrenheit). As soon as the dog’s temperature starts to drop below 99 Fahrenheit and continues to drop every hour or two, there will be a period of about 12 to 24 hours before the puppies start being born. When her temperature hits 98 Fahrenheit or 97.9 Fahrenheit you have about 2 to 12 hours before whelping begins.

It’s important to know that normal body temperature for animals is usually higher than a human’s temperature. The normal rectal temperature of a dog will be between 99.5 Fahrenheit and 102.5 Fahrenheit. The normal temperature of a puppy when it’s born is 96 – 97°F. A dogs temperature gradually increases as it begins to grow until it reaches 100° Fahrenheit when it’s four weeks old.

The mother dog may appear to be more restless than usual and will stretch out on her side frequently, trying to get comfortable. She may look for a quiet place like a closet or under a bed.

Her eyes will dilate, and she may seem to be staring at you and probably won’t want you out of her sight. She may vomit, have a bowel movement, or urinate frequently due to the intense pressure from the puppies getting ready to be born.She may also release some mucus.

As the mother dog begins her next stage of labor she may go to her whelping box, or your couch (or wherever she has chosen to have her puppies). She might have some mild contractions and vomit, poop, and urinate more. She also might start shivering and panting and licking her vulva.

The last stage of labor begins when her water sacs break and she starts shivering and panting. At that point her contractions will become stronger and will come closer together than they did before. She will probably be vomiting, grunting and pushing her puppies out. The normal time for her to be pushing out a puppy that’s in the birth canal will be from two to ten minutes. Keep careful watch for any puppy that is only halfway out and seems to be stuck. It must be pulled out or it will drown if pushing by the mother doesn’t expel the puppy within a few minutes.

Puppies getting stuck in the birth canal are very common. The best way to get a puppy completely out of the mother’s birth canal is to use a feeding tube and a syringe. Insert the syringe past the puppy and push in some K-Y lubricating gel. One common misconception people have if they have never watched or helped a female dog give birth is that doing this will kill the puppy. Remember – you cannot kill a puppy that is dead, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain if you are aggressive when trying to save a stuck puppy. If you do not try to help, it will certainly die.

You need to be observant during the waiting period so you can notice if there is a green discharge coming from the mother’s birth canal. When this happens before the puppies are born, it indicates an early separation of the placentas. You will need to call your vet immediately.Sometimes two puppies will try and come out at the same time but this is physically impossible. It could be a medical emergency or as happens sometimes, the puppies will manage to just fix themselves.

Watching and helping your female dog when she needs your assistance during her whelping ordeal is a beautiful experience and women who have given birth know that using the word “ordeal” can be a very accurate description of the birthing process.

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