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Posts Tagged ‘Insulin for Dogs’

How to Diagnose Diabetes in Dogs

Monday, March 14th, 2016


Diabetes can severely affect a dog if not detected in its early stages. It’s not always easy to diagnose diabetes in a dog but early detection can improve the quality of the dog’s life, prevent complications, and has been shown in some cases to cure the disease.

Diabetes is a disease caused by an increased amount of blood sugar that can’t be regulated by the insulin produced by a dog’s body. Diabetes can also result from the pancreas failing to produce enough insulin, thereby making it impossible for a dog’s body to assimilate all the glucose in the blood. The symptoms of the disease are the same for both types of diabetes.

The early signs of diabetes in a dog include changes in eating habits or more frequent urination. A high level of glucose in the blood can cause increased thirst in a dog and it will drink more water than usual. This intake of extra fluids results in more frequent urination. A dog may also have an increased appetite, but still lose a significant amount of weight.

The most challenging thing about canine diabetes is the fact that it may not have any symptoms at all. In some dogs, diabetes may slowly disrupt its bodily functions without showing any discernible signs of disease.

To help in diagnosing diabetes in your dog, watch carefully for any of the following symptoms that are evident for more than a week or two: Lethargy , excessive water consumption, increased urination, an unexplained weight gain or weight loss.

If you suspect that your dog has diabetes, you should have blood and urine tests done by your veterinarian to confirm or rule out diabetes. Diabetes is often discovered during a routine checkup when blood and urine tests are performed by a vet. If the test results show an increased level of glucose in the blood as well as in the urine, it’s a good indication that a dog may have diabetes.

Undetected diabetes can lead to frequent infections, eye cataracts, kidney failure, blindness, pancreatitis, nervous system damage, and possible early death.

If diabetes is diagnosed in a dog early enough, it may fully recover from the disease; but this usually depends on the age and health condition of a dog. For older dogs, a full recovery generally is not possible.

Full recovery from diabetes may be possible only in the following cases: A younger dog that loses weight and has a complete change of diet, or a dog with diabetes resulting from an abnormal pancreas function if it receives specific treatment for the diabetes.

Even if the condition is not always treatable, regular administration of insulin can often control diabetes in dogs.

Diabetes is regarded as a silent killer, and while a permanent cure for canine diabetes has not been discovered, a dog can often live a normal life with the proper care.

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.

Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs

Monday, January 19th, 2015


Diabetes in dogs is a condition where the pancreas does not produce sufficient amounts of insulin to effectively process the foods a dog eats. Because the food isn’t processed appropriately, it is unable to pass into the cells where it can be utilized, causing an excess of sugars to be passed into the bloodstream.

Common symptoms of diabetes in dogs are extreme thirst, excessive urination, ravenous hunger and weight loss. As the disease progresses, almost every system in the dog’s body can be impacted. If you suspect your dog may have diabetes, it is important to see a veterinarian for testing, diagnosis and the beginning of treatment.

Even though your dog may be drinking large amounts of water, its body is using more water than normal in order to flush its systems in an attempt to bring the blood sugar to a normal level.

Weight loss is caused by the body’s inability to take in adequate nutrients. The body begins to consume itself producing ketoacidosis, a condition that can become deadly if not treated.

Your dog may also exhibit symptoms of lethargy which is caused by its elevated blood sugar. The body and muscles are not able to operate efficiently under these conditions so it is easier for the dog to just lie around your house.

Because the symptoms of diabetes in dogs could also be an indication of other diseases, your veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination to determine if any of your dog’s systems such as heart, eyes or kidneys have been damaged.

Additional tests may be run on the blood and urine samples once the diagnosis of diabetes has been confirmed. The urine may be tested for protein presence. This indicates whether the diabetes has begun to break down muscle tissue in order to provide nutrients for your dog’s body. Your veterinarian may also want to conduct a hemoglobin A1c test on the blood to help him determine how long your dog’s blood sugars have been elevated. The blood may also be tested to determine if your dog’s kidney function has been impacted and how much function is left.

Once a dog is diagnosed with diabetes, the vet will prescribe insulin injections. It may take a few weeks to determine the appropriate dosage, but then the dog should be able to live a relatively normal life except for the addition of daily injections and possibly testing of blood sugar. Diabetes can be a juggling act as diet, medication and exercise must all be part of the equation in caring for a diabetic dog.

A low protein dog food is often recommended for diabetic dogs in order to minimize the strain on the kidneys and to protect their kidney function. Regular exercise is also recommended for a diabetic dog in order to help maintain control of the diabetes.

Treating a diabetic dog involves a combination of medication, food and exercise. Finding an appropriate balance is key to controlling its diabetes and preventing further complications.

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