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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)


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 ‘Loss Of Appetite’

Bad Foods For Dogs

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

There are certain foods that are bad for dogs and foods that are deadly to dogs. It’s vitally important you know what these foods are if you have a pet.

Grapes and Raisins
• Grapes and raisins can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys, possibly resulting in death.
• Eating as few as 4-5 grapes or raisins can be poisonous to a 20 pound dog.
• Signs of toxicity include vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and decreased urine flow.
• Toxicity signs usually begin within 24 hours but can start just a few hours after consuming these foods.

• Onions can cause a form of hemolytic anemia called Heinz Body Anemia, a condition that destroys red blood cells. Kidney damage may follow.
• Similar foods such as garlic and chives are also toxic to your dog’s system.
• The quantity of onions considered to be poisonous to a dog is not clear cut, but the effects can be cumulative. Avoid feeding your pet table scraps or any foods cooked with onions.
• Signs of toxicity include pale gums, rapid heart rate, weakness and lethargy, and may be accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody urine.
• Treatment requires blood transfusions and/or oxygen administration, followed by fluid therapy.

• Chocolate and cocoa are definitely bad foods for dogs as they contain a chemical called theobromide that can adversely affect the heart, lungs, kidneys and central nervous system of a dog.
• Pure baking chocolate is the most toxic form of chocolate, whereas milk chocolate requires a higher quantity to cause harm. A 20 pound dog can be poisoned after consuming only 2 ounces of baking chocolate, but it would take nearly 20 ounces of milk chocolate to cause the same effects.
• Chocolate poisoning signs include over-excitement, tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rate/rhythm, hyperthermia and coma.
• Treatment by your vet may include vomiting or administration of activated charcoal with fluid therapy and medications.

Caffeinated Items
• Caffeine is similar to the toxic chemical found in chocolate. It can damage the heart, lungs, kidney and central nervous system.
• Caffeine is found in coffee beans and coffee, large amounts of tea, some energy drinks, and chocolate.
• Signs typically begin with restlessness, hyperactivity and vomiting, followed by panting, weakness, increased heart rate, muscle tremors and convulsions.
• Treatment by your vet may include vomiting or gastric lavage and administration of activated charcoal with fluid therapy and medications.

Macadamia Nuts
• Macadamia nuts, while generally not considered fatal, can cause your dog to become severely ill.
• The actually toxin in the nuts is not known, nor is the mechanism of toxicity.
• Ingestion of just a handful of Macadamia nuts can cause adverse effects in any dog.
• Signs include vomiting, weakness, depression, joint and muscle pain, and swelling of joints.
• Onset of these signs typically occurs within 6-24 hours after consuming the nuts.
• Dogs usually recover within 24-48 hours after treatment but may need to be hospitalized if they become very sick.

• Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener often found in chewing gum and candy. In dogs, it stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, resulting in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Xylitol ingestion can also cause severe liver damage.
• As few as two pieces of gum can be hypoglycemic to a 20 pound dog. An entire pack of gum can cause permanent liver damage.
• Signs of toxicity can occur within 30-60 minutes after ingestion and include weakness, sudden collapse, and seizures.
• Your vet may induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage. An affected dog usually needs to be treated intravenously with dextrose (sugar) and monitored closely for 1-2 days. Many dogs improve with supportive care if treated early enough, though liver damage can be permanent.

Alcohol and Yeast Dough
• Alcoholic beverages contain ethanol – a seriously toxic chemical compound that causes central nervous system and respiratory depression in dogs.
• Uncooked yeast dough also produces ethanol.
• Even small amounts of ethanol can cause toxic effects in dogs.
• Signs include sedation, depression, lethargy, weakness, and hypothermia (low body temperature).
• Ethanol is rapidly absorbed into the system, so it is critical that you seek medical attention quickly. It is usually not helpful to induce vomiting in the dog. Proper treatment requires aggressive care with fluid therapy and medications.
• Under controlled circumstances, alcohol is used by veterinarians as an antidote for antifreeze (ethylene glycol) poisoning.

Fruit Pits and Seeds
• Apple seeds, cherry pits, peach pits, and plum pits contain the toxin cyanide.
• Signs of cyanide poisoning include vomiting, heavy breathing, apnea tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmias, coma, and skin irritation.

Food items we take for granted as humans can be bad for dogs, and may seriously injure or even kill your pet. Be a wise owner and be vigilant that your pet never consumes even small amounts of any of the above toxic foods.

How To Know When Your Dog Has an Allergy

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Allergies in dogs are very common and a pet who has allergies can exhibit many different symptoms. Here’s a quick guide to help you know when your dog has an allergy. If you notice that your dog has several of the symptoms listed below, you should schedule a visit to your veterinarian for testing as soon as possible.

1. Licking or Biting its Paws
Itchy paws may be a sign that a dog has fleas. Fleas are tiny parasites that can cause allergies. When a dog has fleas, it licks and bites at its paws trying to relieve the itchiness. If not treated promptly with a flea and tick treatment, the behavior can become obsessive.

2. Searching Out Cool Places to Lie Down
Due to the extreme itchiness almost everywhere on the body, a dog will seek out cooler places like tile floors, cement sidewalks or porches to help relieve the discomfort. The coolness helps bring temporary relief from the itching.

3. Excessive Scratching
An allergic dog will scratch at its skin more than usual, sometimes so hard that it results in wounds and bleeding which can lead to infections. Hair loss can also be a result of excessive scratching as the dog continues to scratch the same spot repeatedly.

4. Lethargy
Since allergies weaken a dog, it will be noticeably lethargic and less interested in its usual activities.

5. Lack of Appetite
If a dog is affected by allergies, its appetite will be diminished and sometimes it may even refuse to eat at all. If this happens only a few times, and the dog otherwise seems okay, the refusal to eat could be due to several other causes, many of which are normal occurrences and nothing to be concerned about. However, repeatedly refusing to eat over a period of a few days could be indicative of something even more serious than an allergy.

6. Aggressiveness
Because allergies cause a dog considerable discomfort, its behavior will change. A dog may become irritable and aggressive, reacting adversely to the kind of attention it normally enjoys.

The above symptoms may also be accompanied by watery eyes, dry and flaky skin, breathing difficulties, swelling of the limbs and nasal discharges.

It’s important to know when your dog has an allergy and be able identify the cause of the allergy as soon as possible to reduce its exposure to whatever is causing the allergic reaction.

Diseases in Older Dogs

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Diseases that affect older dogs can be more serious simply because the dog is older.

Our pet dogs are susceptible to many of the same diseases that we as humans have to deal with. Here is a list of the most common diseases that can affect your pet and the symptoms or warning signs to guide you in knowing when to contact your vet. Some are serious and require immediate attention while others may have slow onsets and can be more difficult to diagnose. Many of these diseases affect older dogs more than younger ones, but a dog’s age does not render it immune to any of these debilitating diseases. When deciding whether any of these symptoms affecting your dog are serious enough to warrant a visit to the vet, you should always err on the side of caution and contact your vet when any of these symptoms persist in your pet.

    Cancer – Signs and Symptoms

Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
Sores that do not heal
Weight loss
Loss of appetite
Bleeding or discharge from any opening in the body
Unusually strong stinky odor
Difficulty eating or swallowing
Hesitant to exercise or suffers from a loss of stamina
Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating

    Dental disease – Signs and Symptoms

Bad breath
Difficulty eating or swallowing
Weight loss

    Arthritis – Signs and Symptoms

Difficulty getting up from prone position
Difficulty climbing steps and/or jumping
Behavior changes – irritable, reclusive
Urinating or defecating inside the house
Loss of muscle

    Kidney disease/failure – Signs and Symptoms

Increased urination and thirst
Weight loss
Loss of appetite
Pale gums
Blood in vomit or black, tarry stool
Bad breath and oral ulcers
Behavior change

    Prostate disease – Signs and Symptoms

Urinating or defecating inside the house
Dribbling urine
Blood in urine

    Cataracts – Signs and Symptoms

Cloudy appearance to the eyes
Bumping into objects large enough to be avoided
Not retrieving objects when thrown

    Hypothyroidism – Signs and Symptoms

Weight gain
Dry, thin coat
Lethargy and/or depression

    Cushing’s disease – Signs and Symptoms

Thin coat and thin skin
Increased thirst and urination
Pot-bellied appearance
Abnormally increased appetite

    Urinary incontinence – Signs and Symptoms

Urinating in the bed or the area where the dog was sleeping

    Gastrointestinal disease – Signs and Symptoms

Loss of appetite
Loss of weight
Blood in stool
Black and/or tarry stool

    Inflammatory bowel disease – Signs and Symptoms

Mucous or blood in stool
Increased frequency of defecation

    Diabetes mellitus – Signs and Symptoms

Increased thirst and urination
Weight loss

    Anemia – Signs and Symptoms

Exercise intolerance
Very light-colored gums

    Liver disease – Signs and Symptoms

Loss of appetite
Behavior changes
Yellow or pale gums

As you can see from this list of symptoms, it would be nearly impossible to self-diagnose your pet with any of these diseases that can affect older dogs. If you notice that one or more of the above symptoms persist for any length of time, make an appointment with your vet and have your dog thoroughly checked for these serious diseases. You owe your faithful companion the best care you can afford.

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