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Joint Issues

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Osteochondritis (OCD)
  • Stiffness/Inflammation
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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 ‘Cocker Spaniels’

Sudden Aggression in Dogs

Monday, October 19th, 2015


Aggressive dog behavior may take the form of growling, snarling, snapping, biting or lunging at people. It’s very important to determine what is causing the sudden aggression in a dog.

Aggression in dogs can be caused by behavioral issues, medical conditions or both. If a dog suddenly begins to display signs of aggression or hostility, you’ll need to know the cause, or causes, before attempting to help your dog.

Hypothyroidism can sometimes cause a dog to behave aggressively. Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in dogs that causes the thyroid gland to produce less than the normal amount of thyroid hormone. The symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs can include weight gain, loss of energy, hair loss and sudden aggressive behavior.

When a dog is suffering from congenital or neurological problems, it may display aggressive behavior. A neurological problem caused by illness or injury can affect a dog’s judgment and behavior.

Trauma to a dog’s head, epilepsy and brain tumors can also cause sudden aggression and abnormal behavior in dogs.

Seizures that occur in the region of the brain that contributes to aggression can cause sudden behavioral problems in a dog. Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to this condition. The breeds include Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Bull Terriers, Poodles, and Springer Spaniels.

The symptoms of this type of aggression include a sudden change of mood before a seizure, the sudden onset of violent or hostile behavior, dilated pupils, heavy salivating, and aggressive posture. After an aggressive seizure a dog may appear lethargic, sleepy, or depressed.

Obviously, aggressive behavior in a dog must be diagnosed as soon as possible because it usually will continue to get worse and it could also be a sign of something more serious. Contact your veterinarian as soon as you begin noticing any sudden changes in your dog’s behavior or the signs of aggression.

The underlying cause of the problem will have to be diagnosed before any treatment can be planned. The vet will determine what type of treatment is necessary depending on the exact cause of the aggression.

If you have children or other pets, their well-being, or even their lives, could be in danger if the aggressive dog is not diagnosed and treated.

Cataracts and Eye Problems in Dogs

Monday, May 4th, 2015


One of the most common conditions that affect a dog’s eyes are cataracts. The formation of cataracts in dogs can be caused by various things. All breeds and ages of dogs can develop cataracts but certain breeds are more susceptible to cataracts than others; among these are Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers, and Terriers.

Cataracts are an interference of lens fibers that obstruct sight by blocking clarity in the lens, either partially or totally. Smaller cataracts may not disrupt a dog’s vision at first, but the cataract could grow in size and density and cause a dog to lose its sight entirely if the cataract is not removed.

Cataracts that form in dogs over 6 years of age are called “senile cataracts.” When cataracts develop much earlier than this they are called “developmental cataracts.” Developmental cataracts can be hereditary or caused by trauma, infection, toxicity, or diabetes. “Inherited cataracts” are common in Standard Poodles, Afghan Hounds, Miniature Schnauzers, Old English Sheepdogs, and Welsh Springer Spaniels.

Congenital cataracts are present at birth; developmental cataracts develop early in a dog’s life; senile cataracts occur in dogs over six years of age, and inherited cataracts occur independently or in association with other visual diseases. Cataracts can also be caused by a trauma related to an auto accident or an object penetrating the eye. In trauma cases, the lens becomes damaged and a cataract may develop.

As a dog ages, eye health becomes a major concern. Over time, free radicals can cause oxidative stress on the cells of the eyes, and as a consequence, dogs have more difficulty fighting oxidative stress as they get older.

Exposure to oxygen and sunlight causes a chemical reaction in the cells, and the lens of the eyes are affected by this oxidative action because the lens acts as a light shield for the retina. Blood flow also decreases as the animal ages, resulting in nutrients being slowly depleted from the eye, causing even more stress and damage.

Dog cataracts are not a problem you might face only if you have an older dog. Cataracts can form at a fairly early age in some breeds. Afghan Hounds can develop cataracts at age 6-12 months, American Cocker Spaniels at 6 months or slightly older, German Shepherds at 8 weeks, Golden Retrievers at 6 months or later, Labrador Retrievers at 6 months or later, Siberian Huskies at 6 months or later, and the Standard Poodle at a year or later.

Cataracts are easy to identify by their white or bluish-white appearance in the pupil of the eye. If you suspect that your dog has or is developing cataracts or an eye problem, contact a veterinary ophthalmologist immediately.

A Dog’s Lifespan

Monday, April 14th, 2014

A dog’s lifespan varies widely by the type of breed, and also its size. All dog breeds belong to the same species, evolved from the wolf, yet they age at very different rates and no one understands why there is such a variance. Some dog breeds live to be 16 to 20 years old, whereas breeds like the Irish Wolfhound have a life expectancy of only 6 to 8 years.


If you’re considering adopting an adult dog or a puppy, and you’re concerned about the dog’s lifespan, the best advice is – think small.

Around 40% of small breed dogs live longer than 10 years. In contrast, only 13% of giant breed dogs will live that long. The average 50-pound dog has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years, while a giant breed like the Great Dane is considered senior or elderly at 6 to 8 years of age. Dogs that weigh less than 30 pounds live the longest.

In a study involving more than 700 dogs and 77 different breeds, researchers found that a dog’s weight and size are the chief determining factors in a dog’s lifespan. It’s not unusual for a miniature poodle to live for 16 or 17 years, while a 12-year-old Labrador Retriever is considered an old dog. Giant breeds that weigh more than 100 pounds are considered geriatric when they reach 6 to 7 years of age.

A good rule of thumb is the larger the dog, the fewer years it will live. If you want a dog that will live for a long time you may want to consider adopting a mixed breed rather than a purebred, which on the whole usually have shorter lifespans than most mixed breeds.

When deciding between a male or female dog, remember that females tend to live a little longer than males, mimicking the human condition in this respect.

If you’re considering a purebred dog, it’s a good idea to research the types of ailments and diseases specific to the breed before deciding. Many large-breed dogs like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers will develop hip dysplasia and the condition can become so serious that the dog will have to be euthanized.

Cancer is a common disease that can significantly shorten a dog’s lifespan, and some breeds like Boxers, Rottweilers, and Golden Retrievers have unusually high rates of cancer. Cancer is the most common cause of death in older dogs and nearly 42% of those dogs die from some form of cancer.

Flat-faced dogs such as Pugs and Shih Tzus, are predisposed to breathing problems that can cause overheating and even death. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are likely to develop a heart condition called mitral valve disease. Cocker Spaniels are susceptible to recurring ear and eye infections.

Being a responsible pet owner means seeing that your dog has the correct type and amount of nourishment, and proper exercise. Very important for a dog’s lifespan is the prevention of obesity which will help your dog live a longer, healthier life.

The American Kennel Club has published a list of the most popular dog breeds and their average life span:

Beagles — 12 to 14 years
Boston terriers — about 15 years
Boxers — 11 to 14 years
Bulldogs — 10 to 12 years
Chihuahuas — 15 years or more
Dachshunds — 12 to 14 years
Doberman Pinschers — 10 to 12 years
German Shepherd dog — 10 to 14 years
German shorthaired pointers — 12 to 15 years
Golden retriever — 10 to 12 years
Labrador retriever — 10 to 14 years
Miniature Schnauzers — 15 years or more
Pomeranians — 13 to 15 years
Poodles — 10 to 15 years
Pugs — 12 to 15 years
Rottweilers — 10 to 12 years
Shetland Sheepdogs — 12 to 14 years
Shih Tzu — 11 to 15 years
Yorkshire terrier — 12 to 15 years

Weight Loss For Fat Dogs

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Weight loss for fat dogs seems like a no-brainer. The easiest way to tell if your pet needs to shed a few pounds is to feel around its ribs and spine. You should be able to feel both, with only a thin layer of fat separating the skin from the bones. If you can’t find its ribcage, you definitely have an overweight dog.

Ask your veterinarian to evaluate your dog’s weight at the point when it reaches maturity. As a rule of thumb 15% above the ideal weight is obese, whereas 10% to 15% is considered overweight. If your dog weighs more than it should, don’t be discouraged. In industrialized nations more than 20% of all dogs are overweight or obese.

Keeping track of your dog’s weight can be a relatively easy task. Your vet will weigh your dog every visit and you’ll then be able to determine whether you’re overfeeding your dog or not.

Some breeds of dogs are naturally prone to obesity, while others like Greyhounds and German Shepherds are characteristically slim.

Small and medium size breeds are just as likely to be overweight or obese as are larger dogs. Some of the smaller and medium size dogs with a tendency to put on excess weight are Dachshunds, Scottish Terriers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, and Basset Hounds.

Among larger breeds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Rottweilers tend to be the most susceptible breeds for weight gain.

Although not as common, giant breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog, Newfoundlands and Saint Bernards can easily put on extra weight and you may not even notice until the dog becomes obese.

If you are serious about weight loss for your fat dog, you should begin feeding it a daily regimen of Winston’s Digest All to speed up weight loss. Overweight dogs usually lose an average of five pounds within the first two to three months of a daily regimen of Digest All.

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