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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 ‘Dog Digestion’

Best Diet For an Overweight Dog

Monday, November 23rd, 2015


The best diet for an overweight dog is obviously one that causes it to lose unhealthy fat while retaining muscle.

An overweight dog needs a weight loss program just as much as an overweight human does. Besides being fed too much food, the major reason a dog becomes overweight is that it doesn’t get enough exercise for its age and breed. For example, 10 minutes of walking every day isn’t even close to the amount of exercise needed by an active working dog like a Border Collie whose tradition is herding sheep or cattle. In contrast, a smaller dog like a Yorkie or toy poodle requires a lot less exercise.

If your dog is really out of shape it will need to increase its energy level by running or playing games that provide aerobic exercise. Start slowly with any new exercise plan to give your dog time to build its muscles and get used to a more active lifestyle.

An overweight dog is usually the result of feeding it too much food. This is the number one reason why a dog gets fat. To start a program of weight loss for your dog, begin by cutting back at least 25% on the amount of food you feed it each day. Keep track of not only how much food your dog is consuming daily, but also how fast the food is disappearing from its bowl. You do need to be aware that cutting back on the amount of food means you’re also cutting back on nutrients. Supplementing the dog’s diet with a good quality vitamin like Winston’s Senior Complete Multi Vitamin will ensure that your dog is still getting the nutrients it needs.

The best diet plan for an overweight dog is to feed it fewer treats and table scraps. Too much of either of these can contribute to a dog’s weight gain, so stop giving your dog table scraps or extra treats. Reward it instead with healthy foods like green beans, a banana, carrots or specialty dog biscuits from a store that features wholesome snacks.

Substitute giving your overweight dog treats by spending time playing fetch or Frisbee which will engage your pet and offer less motivation to beg for treats. When your dog does play games with you, reward it with love and attention rather than treats. Helping your dog lose weight won’t instantly make your dog slim and fit, but continued adherence to a plan of daily exercise, cutting out extra treats, and feeding it a high-quality dog food in moderate amounts will help your dog live a healthier, longer life.

Why Dogs Vomit

Monday, May 11th, 2015


There are many reasons why dogs vomit so if you find your dog vomiting, don’t automatically assume that your dog has an illness.

    The most common reasons why dogs vomit include the following:

(1) Eating foreign objects or plant material. If your dog has swallowed a solid object of some kind it will often vomit it back up. If the foreign object is small enough, it can pass through the intestinal system and you’ll see it in your dog’s stool. If it’s too large or has sharp edges, your dog will continue to suffer and an emergency visit to the vet for x-rays will become a necessary life-saving action.

If you believe your dog may have eaten leaves or berries from a bush, you need to be sure the plant is not poisonous. The easiest way to check is to go online to the ASPCA poison control website at http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control. There you’ll find a list of toxic and non-toxic plants, the 17 most common poisonous plants, and animal poison control FAQs.

(2) An allergy to certain foods.
If you have recently started your dog on a new diet and the vomiting began shortly thereafter, you might try mixing half of its old food with half of the new food and watch closely for changes in behavior or lingering illness. It’s possible that an intolerance or aversion to ingredients in the new food may be causing the vomiting. If you suspect this may be the cause, you can continue changing the ratio of old food to the new food to see if the vomiting goes away.

(3) Eating greasy foods or foods higher in fat content.
Table scraps or desserts can easily cause intestinal distress and vomiting in any dog. Their systems were not designed to digest rich, fatty foods that many humans eat on a daily basis. These types of food are often not healthy for us, let alone for our dogs. If your dog vomits soon after scarfing down something from your table, it’s a clear indication that you need to avoid giving it any types of food you normally eat.

Causes of vomiting that require a visit to the vet for diagnosis and treatment:
(4) Infection with parasites, viruses or bacteria can cause gastrointestinal infections also known as viral gastroenteritis. Diarrhea and vomiting are the most obvious symptoms. Many different types of bacteria and parasites can also cause GI infections and diarrhea but most of these are not serious and will go away on their own after a few days; however, others can be serious.

(5) Ulcers which can be caused by anti-inflammatory medications prescribed for skin conditions, arthritis, or other chronic health problems. Pain relief medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen inhibit a hormone-like substance that acts as a protection for a dog’s stomach lining. Prolonged use of these medications can cause severe stomach ulcers in dogs. Another less common cause of canine stomach ulcers is a mast cell cancer in the dog’s skin. Mast cell cancers release histamine which leads to stomach ulcers.

(6) Kidney Failure.
Early signs of kidney failure in dogs are increased water consumption and increased urine output. Signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting and diarrhea.

(7) Cancers.
Some possible signs of cancer that warrant a visit to your veterinarian include any new lump or bump; a change in size, shape, or consistency of an existing lump; a runny nose, especially if bloody; difficulty urinating or bloody urine; limping or a change in gait; foul breath and lethargy.

(8) Inflammatory bowel disease.
The cause of inflammatory bowel disease is unknown. Genetics, nutrition, infectious agents, and abnormalities of the immune system may all play a role. The most common signs of inflammatory bowel disease in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Vomiting is more common when the stomach or upper portion of the small intestine are affected and diarrhea is more common when the colon is involved. There is an increase in the frequency of defecation, but less stool is produced each time. There is often increased mucous or some blood in the stool. Sometimes stools become loose. Many times the diarrhea and vomiting may be irregular.

(9) Liver disease.
The early signs of liver disease include chronic intermittent vomiting and diarrhea. Vomiting is more common than diarrhea, loss of appetite, or weight loss. Drinking and urinating more often than normal may be the first signs, and a key reason for visiting the vet.

Whenever your dog continues to display any of these symptoms and the cause is not readily apparent, you should schedule an exam with your vet. Your pet’s health and life may depend upon it.

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