Dog Foods Secrets

Friday, March 24, 2017

Arthritis In Dogs – What You Can Do To Help Your Dog

Canine Arthritis is a common ailment as dog’s age. It is similar to humans as calcification and inflammation cause joint pain and reduced activity. Some forms of arthritis like Canine Hip Dysplasia can develop early in life due to genetics and diet.  Fortunately, arthritis in dogs can be treated.

Treatments for canine arthritis range from natural supplements using chondroitin and glucosamine, to veterinary prescribed drugs such as Rimadyl and Deramaxx.  Studies and actual results have shown that natural supplements can be extremely effective in fighting the effects of arthritis in dogs without the potentially dangerous side effects of Rimadyl and Deramaxx.  Before deciding which treatment option is best for your dog, you should observe the signs of dog arthritis.

Signs of Dog Arthritis

1.  Limping and general reduced activity.

2.  Favoring one or both of the front or back limbs.

3.  Morning activity or cold weather makes the dog less active.

4.  Difficulty rising from a resting position, especially in the morning.

5.  Pain to the touch.

6.  Reluctance to jump.

If you suspect your dog has arthritis, you should know the different forms or types of arthritis. The most common disorders are listed below.

Types of Dog Arthritis

1.  Osteoarthritis – Also known as canine arthritis or dog arthritis, it is the most common form of arthritis and most easily treated. Develops slowly as the dog ages.

2.  Rheumatoid Arthritis - This is an immune mediated disease and can affect the whole body. Several joints can be affected and the lameness can come and go without notice. Considered a more serious condition than dog osteoarthritis.

3.  Degenerative Disc Disease - This is where the discs in the      vertebrae develop calcification and become rigid. They become less able to withstand compression. This can lead to a severe injury and paralysis if the discs rupture or become herniated.

4.  Stifle Joint Disorder - This is a condition in which the knee and joint becomes unstable. This is usually from a stretched or torn ligament. This can also cause the joint cartilage to become damaged and inflamed.

5.  Canine Hip Dysplasia - This is caused by looseness in the socket connecting the thighbone and hipbone. This development usually occurs when the dog is young but can develop at any age.  A common sign is to hear a clicking sound when the dog walks.

Treatment Options

1.  Natural Supplements – Most natural supplements use chondroitin and/or glucosamine as its primary ingredient.  All of the glucosamine forms originate and are extracted from shellfish.Chrondroitin is derived from animal cartilage. Many products like Free and Easy for Dogs use glucosamine and chondroitin and       combine additional supplements to provide a synergistic effect. Besides glucosamine and chondroitin, some of the more popular and effective supplements added are msm, ester-c, and hyaluronic acid. Many studies have been done which have proved the effectiveness of these supplements in  humans. Dog owners have also reported many positive outcomes for their dogs using these natural supplements.

2.  Rimadyl & Deramaxx - These drugs are obtained by prescription only. They are called NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). Rimadyl was introduced by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in January 1997 to help treat dogs with inflammation and pain associated with surgery or canine arthritis. It is effective but it must be used with caution. Search Google for  "What Your Vet May Not Tell You About Rimadyl" for more detailed information. At a minimum, you need to have blood work done to monitor the liver enzymes to ensure your dog doesn't have a toxic reaction to the drugs.

3.  Surgery - Surgery can be an easy decision or a very difficult decision. Often, money is a concern and some surgeries like disc surgery can cost around $3,500. Often, the age of the dog has to be considered when making this decision. And the outlook and prognosis is very important. You do not want the dog to suffer unnecessarily. At the very least, you should only consider surgery after ensuring an accurate diagnosis has been made.  This may involve taking x-rays and a myelogram. A myelogram is done by injecting dye in the spinal canal to enable your doctor to detect abnormalities of the spine, spinal cord, or surrounding structures.

Summary - Dog Arthritis can be a very debilitating disease if left untreated. Dog owners should pay close attention to their animals and take prompt action when symptoms are noticed. Often a natural supplement is all that is needed to help your dog.  Sometimes more aggressive treatments are needed such as surgery.  The most important thing is to notice and diagnose the problem and then decide what treatment is best for your dog.

Copyright 2006 William Smith

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

6 Great Tips For Getting Your Dog Toilet Trained

One of the toughest jobs that a family faces when a new puppy comes home is getting the dog housebroken. This means that the dog will eliminate outdoors and not use your home and furnishings as a toilet. Lots of people think that getting doggy toilet trained is a tough task, but it doesn’t need to be. If you arm yourself with plenty of information for the best ways to get your dog house trained, you are on the right path to having a dog that goes to the bathroom where you want him to go.

When to House Train

A dog can be toilet trained at any age, but the best age to begin is between eight and twelve weeks old. If you set up a housebreaking routine as soon as you bring your puppy home, before long he will get the right idea of where to do his business. A crate is a great tool for toilet training a puppy. It keeps him confined when there is no supervision and most dogs learn quickly that if they make in their crate they will have to sit in it. Most dogs are fairly hygienic and won’t enjoy having to sit in dog doody or urine.


The Advantages of Using a Crate

Be sure there is enough room in the crate for your pup to turn around, but don't leave so much room that he will be able to eliminate and lie down far away from it. Many dog owners view a crate as a jail cell or to use as punishment, but your dog will love having his own space where he can escape from the hustle and bustle of the household for some quiet time. Make your dogs crate a happy place and don’t use it for punishment. You can feed your dog in the crate, or while he is in there, offer him some treats. Place a favorite chewy or toy in there with him, add blankets and he will have a cozy den to escape to whenever he feels the need. Utilizing a crate for your dog can keep him out of trouble and not only in housebreaking.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Keeping a close eye on your puppy is a key factor in getting him properly housetrained. Whenever you see that he is sniffing, circling or beginning to squat, immediately take him outside to the place where you want him to go and see if he eliminates. If he does, praise him lavishly. A good idea is to have a cue, such as “hurry up” so that your puppy knows what you want him to do. When he is going to the bathroom repeat the cue and then give your dog lots of praise for a job well done. It is better to take the dog out and nothing happens then take a chance of an accident happening.

Have a Schedule

Feeding, watering and walking your dog on a regular schedule will make housebreaking that much easier. Puppies are like children and they thrive on a routine. Try and take the dog out around the same time everyday so they will be able to adjust their bodily functions. The first thing you should do in the morning is take the puppy from the crate and don’t let his feet touch the ground. Bring him to the place where you want him to go, give the cue, and praise upon a successful completion. Take your puppy out at least every two hours, after eating or drinking and especially after play. Before you know it, your puppy will be letting you know it is time to go out and do his business.

Don't Let the Puppy Roam

Letting your puppy roam around the house is a sure fire way to have accidents. If you have decided you don't want to use a crate, and even if you do use one, confining the dog to certain areas of the house can make housetraining easier for everyone. It is difficult to keep track of a puppy when he has the run of the house, but if you gate him in the kitchen, he will still be able to be part of the action and can be better supervised in case of an accident.

Don’t Get Discouraged

There will be times when you first begin housetraining that you feel your pup is just not getting it. He may have accidents in the house as well on occasion. There is no need to be discouraged. If you stick to your routine, keep a good eye on the dog and make frequent outings to his outdoor bathroom, in no time your puppy will be housebroken. Another good idea is to use the same door all the time when you are taking him out so that when he has to go, he will scratch on the door to be let out. Once this happens, you can say hurray and know that your puppy truly is beginning to understand that going to the bathroom in the house is a no-no.

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