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Joint Issues

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

Symptoms

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

  • Moving more slowly
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Weight shift to another leg
  • Personality change
  • Reluctant to walk, jump or play
  • Refuses using stairs or the car
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in behavior
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping
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Posts Tagged ‘Arthritis In Dogs’

Low Carb Dog Food

Monday, March 21st, 2016


If your dog is substantially overweight or obese like one fourth of all dogs in the United States, you should begin feeding your pet a low carb dog food which can be beneficial to any overweight or obese pet.

Dogs are able to maintain an appropriate weight consuming almost any dog food on the market as long as they don’t over-indulge at mealtimes, are not fed too many treats and snacks at other times, and are getting enough exercise. But even for dogs who are not overweight or obese, a low-carb diet can help avoid health problems later in life.

Obese dogs are at risk for diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, hip dysplasia, and metabolic disorders. A low-carb diet is a necessity for dogs that are overweight and for dogs diagnosed with diabetes.

Dogs are omnivores which means they eat meat and vegetables, including fruits and grains. But considering the evolution of dogs who originated from the wolf, it makes sense that over-feeding your dog with grains like wheat and corn is not a good idea.

Dog’s bodies were designed for diets that are low in sugar and refined starches, and the high doses of carbohydrates a dog consumes when eating manufactured dog foods are not healthy. It may shock you to know that most commercial dog foods contain between 30% to 70% carbohydrates.

In addition to the high doses of carbs, many dog foods contain filler ingredients such as corn meal and starches. These ingredients, along with animal by-products which are the leftovers from other food processing, are unfit for human consumption. The reason they are added to dog food is to provide cheaper ingredients for the manufacturer and make a dog feel full faster without providing the nutrients a dog needs; something akin to fast food for humans.

Dog food ingredients you should try to avoid include wheat, corn, cornmeal, yellow corn and whole grain corn, brewer’s rice, cereals, and potatoes. All of these are filler ingredients that are very high in carbs.

There are many good brands of low-carb dog foods. Some come in the form of raw and dehydrated foods which are beneficial to a dog’s health because they are higher in nutrients. Several brands use entirely grain-free recipes as well as hormone-free turkey and meat.

Check for pet foods that are lower in carbs by examining the ingredients. Look for a low carbohydrate and high protein content in the food. Some of the ingredients to look for are beef, chicken, lamb, turkey or pork. Never give your dog any food containing “animal meal” or “animal fat.” This is a red flag for very poor-quality dog food.

Dog foods containing vegetables and fruits are also good for your dog and provide many of the nutrients missing in meat. Many low carb dog foods may also contain apples, bananas, cranberries, spinach, carrots, and celery.

Low carb dog foods with these ingredients are healthy for dogs in all stages of life, from puppies to senior dogs. Just remember to avoid all dog foods containing grains and buy those with real meat, fruits and vegetables.

How Often Do I Need To Walk My Dog

Monday, February 15th, 2016


Do you walk your dog once a day, twice a day, or sometimes more? How often do you need to walk your dog?

A dog needs to be walked regularly, both for exercise and for potty breaks. Walking your dog is also important for both its physical and mental health. There is no concrete answer to how often a dog needs to be walked, but there are some general guidelines you can follow.

Some dogs only need to be walked once a day, while others will need four or more daily walks. Before my own dog became pretty much immobile from hip dysplasia and arthritis, he needed to go on four or five daily walks, although I always suspected he didn’t really need that many walks but just wanted to get out and scope the neighborhood as often as he could.

The average dog needs at least two short walks every day. Fifteen minutes or less is usually enough for most dogs, especially small ones, so they can take care of their physical needs while getting in a little exercise for good health.

Some of the factors that determine how often you need to walk your dog include the following:
(1) If you work long hours, you may only be able to take your dog out once in the morning before work, and again when you come home;
(2) The size of the dog; smaller dogs need fewer and shorter walks;
(3) The breed of the dog, because some dogs have small bladders;
(4) The energy level of your dog. A dog with a high energy level needs longer or more frequent walks to expend excess energy;
(5) The type of food you feed your pet. Feeding a dog solid foods like kibble doesn’t require potty breaks as often as does a dog who eats a diet of mainly soft foods.

Regardless of the type of food, a dog will need short walks to urinate and exercise.

If your dog comes down with diarrhea, you’ll obviously need more frequent walks to prevent accidents from happening. If your dog becomes ill and is not able to go outside, you’ll have to avoid walks until your dog feels better.

One of the real, measurable benefits to walking your dog is that it provides the dog with exercise, which is necessary to prevent obesity and muscle atrophy, and it gives you the opportunity to exercise by walking which will help increase both your stamina and health.

One additional benefit to walking your dog is that you’ll meet lots of new people who want to pet your dog and possibly strike up a conversation with you. You might be amazed if you knew how many people ended up eventually marrying after first having had a friendly conversation about their pet dogs.

Married couples can also look forward to meeting friendly neighbors with whom they may eventually become close friends with. But single women should beware of the single guy who adopts a pet dog for the sole purpose of meeting attractive, single women on his daily dog walks.

Obese Dog Health Problems

Monday, January 25th, 2016


When a dog is obese it’s more susceptible to developing serious medical conditions because of an elevated glucose level and the extra amount of fat that puts additional pressure on its joints and also on its heart. If you have an overweight or obese dog, you should consider placing it on a slimming diet to prevent possible health problems from occurring.

Obese and overweight dogs are predisposed to getting diabetes because their blood glucose level will continue to increase. The dog’s body will naturally secrete insulin in higher amounts but at some point its body will not be able to cope with the increased amounts of insulin and diabetes will result.

A dog with extra weight is much more likely to develop arthritis at a younger age. Typically a dog will develop arthritis after the age of eight but an obese dog may have joint problems much earlier in life because the extra weight adds stress on the joints which in turn cause pain and swelling.

Extra weight can add pressure on the dog’s ligaments and tendons causing further soreness. The ligaments in the dog’s knees and feet may become injured, causing incapacitation. Weight loss is essential to reduce stress on the dog’s joints, tendons and ligaments. In severe cases the dog will require surgery.

Arthritis is not a treatable condition, but may be managed with supplements like Winston’s Joint System, a combination of three, totally-natural whole food supplements developed by a Naturopathic Doctor for his own dog. There are no side-effects with Winston’s because it’s just good whole food and there are no dosage problems because the body uses only what it needs.

An overweight dog is also susceptible to heart problems and cardiovascular disease. Obesity and excess weight causes the heart to pump more blood to the fat tissues, creating an additional workload on the heart. Over a period of time the heart will become weakened and the walls of the heart chambers may be damaged or the blood vessels may dilate and cause heart problems.

Obese and overweight dogs will usually develop breathing problems also. The lungs may be pressured by fatty tissues surrounding the lungs, preventing the dog from breathing normally. The lungs then become overworked because they are having to provide more oxygen to the fatty tissues.

Obese and overweight dogs can also develop liver disease, because the liver is the first place the body deposits the fat. Excess fat in a dog’s liver causes hepatic lipidosis leading to liver failure.

The health problems of obese and overweight dogs are not limited only to these diseases and ailments. There are many other serious medical conditions that can be avoided if a dog maintains a normal weight through a reduction of calorie intake and daily exercise. A healthy and fit dog will live a longer and happier life.

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.”

Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Monday, November 9th, 2015


From time to time a friend will ask me if dogs can eat apples without getting sick. One friend called me in a panic on a Saturday morning after her pet Labrador snatched an apple off her kitchen counter and scarfed the whole thing down, including the seeds.

I told her not to worry as an apple is perfectly safe for a dog to eat. You should use caution though if you’re giving your dog whole apples as a treat since the covering of the seeds contains very small amounts of amygdalin, a compound that contains cyanide.

My vet believes that the stems of apples may also contain traces of cyanide, so I’m careful to remove the stem and seeds before giving my dog an apple. Seeds are not really that harmful because the seed coating has to be broken before the amygdalin is released, so if your dog eats the few seeds contained in an average size apple, there is nothing to worry about.

I always slice the apple and give it to my dog piece by piece because it’s safer than tossing him a whole apple to eat. As to how many seeds would be safe for a dog to consume, consider that an adult would need to eat a whole cup of seeds to feel ill.

Apples are tasty treats for dogs and provide the nutritional benefits of vitamin C and fiber, plus they’re low in sodium and saturated fat. They also contain calcium and phosphorus. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in an apple help make the dog’s skin and coat healthier.

All dogs should not be fed apples just because they contain nutrients. If a dog has kidney disease, the added calcium, phosphorus and omega-6 fatty acids may not be a good addition to its diet. Additionally arthritic dogs require monitoring of their omega-6 fatty acid levels. It’s best to check with your vet if your dog has kidney disease or arthritis.

The worst problems a dog would encounter from eating too many apples is an upset stomach or diarrhea. So when my friend asked me the question can dogs eat apples, I told her yes, but “In the future keep your dog out of the kitchen when you’re making pies.”

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