Monday, November 9, 2009

Dental Care For Your Dog!


When you want to make sure that your dog stays in good health throughout his life, you will find that you need to look into how to take care of his teeth. Most people don't think much about the dental care of their dogs, but the truth of the matter is that when your dog gets no dental care, you will find that his general health and his digestive health are going to suffer from it. Dirty teeth and gums that get no attention are actually severe health risks, especially as your dog gets older and if you want to keep your dog in good condition, you will discover that there are a few things that you need to know.

Just about every problem that humans have with their teeth, dogs can get as well. If your dog has had no dental care by the time that he is six, there is a significant chance that he is going to have gingivitis or some other persistent dental issue. The issue that dogs are looking at is that tartar and bacteria will build up and with no attempt being made to clean them, they are going to get infected. Because of their location, the infection can get into the blood stream and go on to cause more health issues.

If you re interested in moving forward and making sure that your dog can enjoy good dental health, preventative measures are quite important. If your dog gets to a point where he needs surgery to deal with these issues, this can be quite pricey and even dangerous for him. On the other hand, through a regular regimen of tooth brushing and mouthwash, you can make sure that your dog's gums and teeth stay health. Your veterinarian can recommend good products to you for this purpose and if necessary, can show you how to use them to ensure your dog's health.

Another trick that you might need to consider is looking into treating your dog with a chunk of very tough rare meat. Essentially, you need to look into stew beef and chunk steaks because they have a lot of connective tissue. Because the meat is so tough, your dog will spend a fair amount of time chewing on it and the connective tissue will essentially act like dental floss. If you can find meat on bones that will not splinter, the bones can also scrape some tartar away. If you want to make sure that the meat does not introduce harmful bacteria to your dog's system, simply dunk it into boiling water for thirty seconds.

If you are looking for tools that will make it easier to brush your dog's teeth and if you are interested in making sure that your dog won't dread having his teeth brushed, look into toothpastes that come in chicken, liver and beef flavors. Avoid using human toothpaste because some of the materials there will be unpleasant or even unhealthy for your dog. It can take some time to make your accustomed to this process, so be patient!

Taking care of your dog's teeth is quite important, so see what you can do!

Diabetes in Young Dogs


By. Kelly Marshall

Diabetes is a major concern no matter what gender, age, or even species you are. In addition to more children being diagnosed as a diabetic, it is also being found that some dogs, and puppies alike, can suffer from the lack of insulin as well. It is believed that some pups develop diabetes due to an autoimmune disorder or damage caused to the pancreas of the puppy from having parvovirus. It also seems to be an inherited trait most commonly passed along in the breed of Gold Retrievers. Larger dogs are often more prone to diabetes than small breeds of dogs. Overweight dogs are also at higher risk. While the disease once mainly attacked older dogs, pups and younger dogs are now more commonly being diagnosed also.

As with people, there are two types of diabetes that dogs may experience. Those two types are Diabetes insipidus and Diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus is formed by the lack of a certain hormone that aids in water absorption of the kidney. Diabetes mellitus is commonly divided into two subtypes: Type I and Type II. These types are characterized by the lack of insulin. Diabetes mellitus is the more common type.

Diabetes in dogs can be identified in pups by several different factors. Inadequate growth is probably the most noticeable symptom of a puppy with diabetes. The puppy fails to continue growing although it is hungry and eats heartedly. The pup will lose weight and may even become paralyzed, often in the hind quarter, to an extent. As with humans, dogs with diabetes may be thirsty and drink more often and also urinate more often than typically expected. If your pup or dog appears weaker, thirstier, is losing weight and urinating more often, then diabetes is a strong possibility.

If it is suspected that a dog or puppy has diabetes, there are several health complications that could result from no treatment or lack of proper care. High levels of sugar in the blood are potentially toxic to certain organs in the body. Diabetes may reduce the number of years of life that the dog lives and cause organ failure.

In most cases, injections are the only treatment that is effective at controlling diabetes in canines. Control through diet or pills are often ineffective for use in dogs. The pet owner must administer daily insulin injections. In addition, the level of sugar should be examined through blood testing and testing of the urine periodically and to determine the correct amount of insulin to give through shots. It is also important to monitor the feeding amount and schedule of the pet.

It is possible to have a dog with diabetes that appears as healthy as dogs without the disease. With the proper monitoring and care, the dog may live as long as or longer than the expected life span of any healthy dog. However, diabetes must be detected, diagnosed, and carefully treated. This takes much dedication, love, and attention on the behalf of the dog's owner.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Heat Stroke in Dogs - the Truth About Canine Heat Stroke


Heat stroke in dogs is a life-threatening situation. When your dog's body temperature rises too high, numerous organs can become damaged. The most important organs put at risk include the heart, liver, kidneys, and brain. Canine heat stroke usually affects older or overweight dogs. Those that are less than six months old are also at risk. Also, dogs that have a heavy or dark coat are more at risk.

Causes

Your dog's body temperature should be between 100 and 102.5 Fahrenheit. Various factors can cause it to rise. Heat stroke is normally brought about when dogs are locked in parked cars or other areas with little ventilation. In addition to heat and poor ventilation, excessive humidity or muscular activity can cause heat stroke in dogs. Other factors that increase your dog's risk are his weight and age.
Symptoms

Canine heat stroke can bring about a range of symptoms. In the early stages of the stroke, your dog will start to salivate excessively. As the condition gets worse, his gums will turn dry and turn dark pink. Most dogs also experience weakness, diarrhea, and vomiting. Your dog's heart rate will also rise which will cause him to pant much more than normal.

Treatment

It is very important to treat heat stroke in dogs as soon as possible. Failure to treat the condition promptly can cause chronic problems in the future or even death. Your dog's body temperature needs to be lowered quickly. If you choose to take him to a vet immediately, you should put some ice packs on your dog to help lower the temperature. At the very least, you should roll down the windows or use the air conditioner on the drive to the veterinarian's office.

Treatment involves administering fluids intravenously. As mentioned earlier, canine heat stroke can cause damage to various organs such as the liver and kidneys. Therefore, the veterinarian will monitor your dog's liver and kidney function for a few days after the stroke.

Prevention

There are a few important things you can do to prevent heat stroke in dogs. Most importantly, you should never lock your dog in the car on a hot, sunny day for too long. If you leave your dog in the car, make sure the windows are rolled down far enough to provide plenty of ventilation. Also, if your dog is outside on hot days, make sure he has plenty of water to drink so he doesn't become dehydrated.

By. D Swain

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How to Treat Mange


Dog mange is a condition caused by the Demodex mite that causes irritation to the skin and hair loss. Most cases of mange appear in young dogs. Demodectic mange or Demodicosis is caused by the Demodex mite. The mite can be found in hair follicles. The Demodex mite, in small numbers is normal to be present on the skin of pet. Only when the mite begins to reproduce rapidly it causes the demodectic mange disease also called mange.

Treatment of canine mange

If the disease is temperate usually it heals spontaneously. Statistics show that 90% of demodectic mange cases are localized and can be treated locally. As a local treatment can be diluted Amitraz (3ml to 30 ml of mineral oil), or 1% rotenone ointment (Goodwinol ointment) and applied on the skin daily. In some cases these wounds will heal on their own but they may get worse before they improve. The numbers of mites should be reduced after only four weeks of treatment.

If the number of mites hasn’t reduced, the disease probably should be treated as a generalized form. If a dog develops generalized demodicosis, more aggressive treatment is usually needed. Although treatment is recommended, studies show that 30% to 50 % of generalized cases of mange heal will recover on their own without any treatment.

As a first step in treating the generalized form of mange you should start the treatment with a prescription product called Amitraz (Mitaban-Upjohn). Amitraz dips must be applied every two weeks. Before starting the treatment it is recommended that medium-length and longhaired dogs breeds to be clipped short, so that the solution can get into contact with the skin. First you have to wash the dog entirely with an antibacterial shampoo, like benzoyl peroxide shampoos, and carefully towel dry the dog. Before washing you dog with benzoyl peroxide shampoo you should apply a protective ophthalmic ointment to the eyes of the pet. After drying the dog, apply the Amitraz. Don’t forget to wear protective gloves when applying the Amitraz. Let your pet air-dry after the Amitraz dips. You might also want to administer an antibiotic to control secondary skin infections. This treatment require between 4 and 14 dips given at 2 week intervals. Skin scrapings should be tested for mites after every 4 dips. The treatment should continue until no mites will be found after two consecutive treatments. Dogs with generalized mange can be considered cured only after one year from the last treatment, if no mites we’re found during this period. As side effects to the Amitraz dips, some dogs may feel sedation or nausea.

Some dogs may not respond to this treatment. Although Ivemectin is not licensed for the treatment of demodectic mange, this is used by some veterinarians as treatment for this disease. In some cases, this drug offered good results. Large daily doses of liquid ivermectin must be administered so that the active ingredient should be effective against the Demodex mite. This should only be administered under close veterinary supervision. A second option if Amitraz dips did not work for your dog is Interceptor or Moxidectin. This is may be more effective than Ivemectin. No matter the treatment you choose to treat your dog for mange, you should first speak with a veterinarian.

By. Anne Ming

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Infectious Canine Hepatitis - a Look at Hepatitis in Dogs

Infectious canine hepatitis is a highly contagious disease. The virus that causes this disease can cause damage to your dog's liver as well as other organs. If treatment isn't sought quickly, the disease is usually fatal. Puppies are especially susceptible to life-threatening complications.

Cause

As mentioned earlier, hepatitis in dogs is caused by a virus. The specific virus is canine adenovirus type 1, also referred to as CAV-1. It is transmitted through contact with infected animals and objects. Common objects that can harbor the virus include feces, food bowls, and water dishes. The virus can also be transmitted by parasites such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. In some cases, it can also be inhaled.

Symptoms

Dogs with infectious canine hepatitis develop a wide range of symptoms. They include vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Your dog may also get a high fever. You may also notice that your dog's stomach will appear enlarged. This is caused by the swelling of the liver.

Hepatitis in dogs also causes sensitivity to light. Your dog's eyes will tear when exposed to light. In severe cases of the disease, symptoms include bloody gums, nose, vomit, and diarrhea. It is also common for dogs to experience seizures, which is usually a sight of impending death within days. Some dogs die within hours of showing symptoms.

Diagnosis

This disease is diagnosed based on a physical exam and clinical signs. Blood and urine samples will also be sent to the lab to be analyzed. There is also a test that can detect the presence of the virus in your dog's stool.

Treatment

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for infectious canine hepatitis. Dogs can usually fight the disease on their own as long as they have a healthy immune system. Treatment involves giving the dog intravenous fluids, enemas, and blood transfusions. Since the eyes usually become inflamed, your dog may also be given eye drops to get rid of the inflammation. Even after the disease has been treated, dogs can shed the virus for months after infection. Therefore, your dog will pose a threat of infecting other dogs.

By. D Swain

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dogs: Eye Diseases that May Require Surgery


Just as we are vulnerable to acquiring certain diseases, our dogs can also get them. And in the same way that our body feels terrible when we are sick, our pets can also feel weak and tired when they are inflicted with a disease.

One of the rather commonly affected areas in dogs is their eyes, and among the disease that can be developed are the following:

Cataracts, Distichiasis, Cherry Eye, Glaucoma

Cataracts

This is brought about by old age or a disease called canine diabetes. Breeds that are prone to this condition are Golden and Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Chesapeake, Poodle, Afghan hound, and English Sheepdogs. A visit to the vet will be very helpful. There is a specialist called a vet ophthalmologist who will take a look at your dog’s eyes and suggest a need for surgery, since drugs are not very effective to rid your dog of cataracts.

Distichiasis

This condition is brought about by the abnormal growth of eyelashes which then causes irritation and infections to the eye. This can be present in both upper and lower eyelids, and breeds that usually get afflicted with it are: Dachshund, Cocker Spaniel, Bulldog, Retriever, Sheepdog, and Poodle. Treatment is done through the removal of eyelashes by a method called electrology, or a dog can also undergo electrical depilation (hair removal), and if these will not work, surgery.

Cherry Eye

Another common eye problem, Cherry Eye strikes the 3rd eyelid prolapses by means of the growth of red mass in the eye corners. Breeds affected are usually Bulldog, Pekingese, Cocker Spaniel, and Mastiff. The only recommended treatment is surgery, because other forms of treatment such as gland removal will still require lifetime maintenance.

Glaucoma

This is a condition brought about by the production of liquid in the eye area which will eventually lead to blindness. Unlike cataracts, glaucoma may occur even with younger dogs, and breeds that usually get afflicted with it are: Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, and Terriers.

If it is detected early on, treatment can be in the form of drugs. However, since this condition spreads fast, it may require surgery if it is discovered late, to prevent blindness.

To prevent the condition from getting worse, always take time to examine your pet. If you notice that your dog is scratching his eyes more often, take a look at him and also have him checked by a doctor so that proper diagnoses can be made, and consequently, proper treatment. This could ultimately save your dog from going blind.

By. Anne Ming

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What Is The Rabies Disease


Rabies is a disease humans may get from being bitten by an animal infected with the rabies virus. Rabies has been recognized for over 4,000 years. Yet, despite great advances in diagnosing and preventing it, today rabies is almost always deadly in humans who contract it and do not receive treatment.

Rabies can be totally prevented. You must recognize the exposure and promptly get appropriate medical care before you develop the symptoms of rabies.

Where rabies is found: Human rabies is quite rare in the United States. Only 27 cases have been reported in people in the United States since 1990. Yet in some areas of the world (for example, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America), human rabies is much more common.

The incidence of rabies in people parallels the incidence in the animal kingdom. The great strides that have been made in controlling the disease in animals in the United States and in other developed countries is directly responsible for this decline in human rabies.

Although rabies in humans is very rare in the United States, between 16,000 and 39,000 people receive preventive medical treatment each year after being exposed to a potentially rabid animal. Some regions of the country have more cases of rabies than others do. Rabies in wildlife accounts for greater than 85% of animal rabies in the United States.

Animals that carry rabies: Raccoons are the most common wild animals infected with rabies in the United States. Skunks, foxes, bats, and coyotes are the other most frequently affected.

Bats are the most common animals responsible for the transmission of human rabies in the United States, accounting for more than half of human cases since 1980, and 74% since 1990. Rabid bats have been reported in all states except Hawaii.

Cats are the most common domestic animals with rabies in the United States. Dogs are the most common domestic rabid animals worldwide. Almost any wild or domestic animal can potentially get rabies, but it is very rare in small rodents (rats, squirrels, chipmunks) and lagomorphs (rabbits and hares). Large rodents (beavers, woodchucks/groundhogs) have been found to have rabies in some areas of the United States. Additionally, fish, reptiles, and birds are not known to carry the rabies virus.

For a human to get rabies, 2 things must happen. First, you must have contact with a rabid animal. Second, the contact must allow for the transmission of infected material, which will involve exposure to the saliva of the infected animal usually through a bite or scratch.

Contaminated tissue in the rabid animal includes saliva. Other potentially infectious tissue is in the brain or nerve tissue. The virus is transmitted only when the virus gets into bite wounds, open cuts in your skin, or onto mucous membranes (for example, into your eyes or your mouth). The virus then spreads from the site of the exposure to your brain and eventually spreads throughout your body's major organs.

Moreover, bites are the most common source of transmission. Scratches by infected animals are far less likely to cause infection but are still considered a potential source of rabies transmission. Bites or scratches are often not confirmed in cases of human rabies traced to bats. Therefore, treatment might be necessary after a close encounter with a bat.

In the 20 cases (since 1990) of human rabies associated with a bat, a definite history of a bat bite could be confirmed in only 1 case. It is unclear how the virus was transmitted in the other cases perhaps by an undetectable bite.

Rabies has rarely been transmitted by other means. Examples include inhaling a large amount of bat secretions in the air of a cave by 2 cave explorers and inhaling the concentrated virus in laboratory workers studying rabies.

Animals infected with rabies may appear sick, crazed, or vicious. This is the origin of the phrase "mad dog." However, animals infected with rabies may also appear overly friendly, docile, or confused. They may even appear completely normal.

Seeing a normally nocturnal wild animal during the day (for example, a bat or a fox) or seeing a normally shy wild animal that appears strange or even friendly should raise suspicion that the animal may have rabies.

Furthermore, the average incubation period (time from infection to time of development of symptoms) in humans is 30-60 days, but it may range from less than 10 days to several years.

Most people first develop symptoms of pain, tingling, or itching shooting from the bite site (or site of virus entry). Nonspecific complaints of fevers, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, and irritability may accompany these complaints. Early on, these complaints may seem like any virus, except for the shooting sensations from the bite site. Gradually, however, you will become extremely ill, developing a variety of symptoms, including high fever, confusion, agitation, and eventually seizures and coma.

Typically, people with rabies develop irregular contractions and spasms of the breathing muscles when exposed to water (this is termed hydrophobia). They may demonstrate the same response to a puff of air directed at them (termed aerophobia). By this point, they are obviously extremely ill. Eventually, the various organs of the body are affected, and the person dies despite support with medication and a respirator.

A rarer form of rabies, paralytic rabies, has been linked to vampire bat bites outside of the United States. In this form, the person who was bitten develops a paralysis, or inability to move the part of the body that was bitten. This spreads gradually throughout the body, and the person ultimately dies. Hydrophobia is less common in paralytic rabies than in classic rabies.

By. Alisha Dhamani

Monday, August 17, 2009

Diabetes and Gum Disease


Gum Disease is often called the sixth complication of diabetes. People with uncontrolled diabetes are especially at risk because diabetics are more susceptible to contracting infections.

A study in the November issue of the Journal of Periodontology found if you have poorly-controlled type 2 diabetes, you are more likely to develop gum disease than diabetics whose disease is well controlled. Other studies have suggested that if you have severe gum disease, you’ll be more than three times as likely to have fatal heart or kidney disease.* If you have type 2 diabetes you should be especially careful about your dental hygiene.

A two-way street

Diabetes can cause gum disease, and gum disease can worsen diabetes, making it harder to control blood sugar, and putting you at increased risk for complications. If you have diabetes, it is extremely important to maintain a regimen of excellent, regular oral care to ward off gum disease and the risks that come with it.

Diabetes increases the potential for infection in many of the body’s systems, including the mouth. Diabetics with poor blood sugar control often have gum disease more frequently and more severely, and often lose more teeth than diabetics with good control. Poor blood sugar control increases glucose levels in your saliva, feeding the bacteria in your mouth and setting the stage for gum disease.

Avoid smoking

Smoking is also a factor in gum disease. If you are a diabetic who smokes, and you’re over 45 years of age, you are 20 times more likely to develop severe tooth loss, bone loss and gum disease.

A checklist of symptoms to watch for

· Sore or bleeding gums
· Tooth Loss
· Poor wound healing
· Oral diseases and infections
· Cavities
· Tongue pain
· Dry or burning sensation in your mouth
· Things don’t taste right

Treatment for mild gum disease

If the damage is not yet advanced, a deep cleaning called scaling and root planning will remove tartar and infected tissue underneath the gum line. It will help smooth the teeth’s damaged root surfaces, allowing your gums to grow back close against the teeth, closing the little pockets where bacteria thrive. Your dentist might suggest a special mouthrinse or antibiotic to help in controlling any infection.

Keep in mind that scaling and root planing will only work if you stick to good daily brushing and flossing. If you fall down on that job, you’ll be going backwards as fast as the dental work brings you forward.

Treatment for advanced gum disease

You might need to have gum surgery. This would clean out the infected areas underneath the gums, then reshape or replace any bone that has been damaged. It would help you save your teeth from falling out or having to be removed.

As a diabetic, you’re at increased risk for many things, and tooth damage or loss is one of those things that you can prevent. Be very faithful in your daily dental hygiene and twice-yearly check-up and cleaning visits. Also, perhaps re-think your choice of dentist. Dentistry has changed out of sight in recent years, becoming much more technologically sophisticated.

By. Patricia Woloch

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Demodectic Mange



Does your dog seem to suddenly have small bald patches around his face, forelegs or eyes? He may be suffering from demodectic mange, which is caused by a tiny mite called Demodex canis. The naked eye is unable to see this tiny mite, so a trip to your veterinarian would be in order to properly diagnose the presence of the Demodex canis.

Every dog naturally has this type of mite on their skin, but in order to be diagnosed as mange, lesions must accompany the other symptoms. Puppies can get this mite from their mother, but the Demodex mite is not contagious between other dogs. This type of mange can affect puppies from three months up to twelve months of age. In the pores of the puppies' skin, the mite resides, but doesn't cause symptoms until some (unknown) point, they activate.

A puppy's immune system is not yet developed, so the demodex mites produce a substance that allows them to multiply once the puppies' resistance to their presence has decreased. As a dog matures, and his immune system is functioning properly, he is less likely to contract demodex mites and mange. The mite will usually disappear on its own for puppies, even without medication from the veterinarian.

Older dogs can also be affected, as their immune systems have sometimes already been compromised by other health issues. The prognosis for an older dog is taken a bit more seriously, but can be diagnosed and treated effectively.

If you see evidence of this mite on your dog, it is best to take him to the vet to confirm the presence of the Demodex mite. The veterinarian will determine if the dog indeed has the condition by scraping the skin or taking an biopsy.

The Demodex mite can cause localized areas, such as the head or legs, and sometimes over the dog's entire body, a lost of hair. These areas could appear red, scaly and crusty. You'll actually be able to see bare areas of skin. Surprisingly, this condition doesn't cause itchiness for the dog. Other times, Demodectic mange can begin as a localized infection and develop into something more serious. If your dog's skin is sore, crusty and oozing, the hair follicles are probably clogged with debris and the mites themselves. This level of mange requires specific treatment, which your vet can outline for you. It may include using an ointment around the eyes, giving him a bath with medicated shampoo, and giving him an oral medication as well. If your dog is experiencing lesions on his feet (in extreme cases, this is possible), your vet may recommend a specific topical medication to treat those areas.

Depending on the time a puppy contracts this mite, he could have it recur, even after successful treatment, up until the time his immune system is up and running at full tilt. The key is to catch the symptoms early and get treatment for your dog as soon as possible.

By. Joann Henry

Parvo Recovery Preventing Parvo Virus Naturally


In addition, over the years, the parvo virus has mutated into at least two different strains. Every case of canine parvo virus, or CPV, comes from these two strains.

Every different species has its own parvo virus and it cannot be spread outside of the species, so there is a human parvo virus, a canine parvo virus, a feline parvo virus, and so on. However, it can be spread by contact. For instance, if your cat would wander through your neighbor's yard and would pick up the virus on her feet, she can track it inside of your house and infect your dog.

Sadly enough, my neighbour's puppy contracted parvo virus. The puppy had all of the classic dog parvo symptoms, yet my neighbour really did not know what was wrong until he took the puppy to the vet. Once he did that, parvo treatment began immediately. After several days of intensive treatment for parvo virus, the puppy was free to come home. The puppy was lucky. Many dogs die from parvo virus before they can be treated.

The parvo virus works in two ways either through the intestines or through the heart. When a dog gets an intestinal infection, it is picked up by the animal through oral contact with contaminated feces. Simply put, your dog would have to come into contaminated feces from another dog. The intestinal dog parvo symptoms occur when the virus attacks the bone marrow, rapidly dividing cells in the intestinal crypts and the lymph nodes. This allows normally occurring bacteria from the intestines to enter the blood stream to make the animal septic. The virus can be shed in the stool for up to three weeks thus making this a very contagious disease for pets that have not been inoculated.

The cardio form of this infection is usually seen in puppies that are infected before birth or shortly thereafter. It is noteworthy that the cardiac form of CPV is not as common since the mother passes immunity on to her pups from birth. The parvo virus will then attack the heart in the infected puppy and death will occur shortly afterwards.

Dog parvo symptoms usually present themselves within 3 to 10 days of contact. They include the following: lethargy, vomiting, fever and diarrhea. The diarrhea can cause severe dehydration and secondary infections. The dog will not usually die from the virus but from a secondary infection.

Survival rate depends on how quickly CPV is diagnosed and treatment is begun. When the case is not caught early the best treatment option is an IV through which fluids are pushed to re-hydrate the animal more quickly, in addition anti-nausea and antibiotic shots may be given intramuscular.

The prognosis is good with proper care but an absolute death sentence without it. There have been a few reports that the human antiviral, Tamiflu, can be effective in treating CPV but there are no studies to substantiate this. A veterinarian will advise you to give your pet a parvo shot about eight weeks after they are weaned. With the prevalence of the virus and its ability to kill some precaution should be taken to protect your canine.


By. Villenoire

What is Parvo


Parvo virus was first identified in 1978 and within two years' it had spread all over the world. Over the years, the parvo virus has mutated into two different strains and there is evidence of a third strain present in Italy, Spain and Vietnam. Every case of canine parvo virus, or CPV, comes from the first two strains. Every different species has its own parvo virus and it cannot be spread outside of the species, so there is a human parvo virus, a canine parvo virus, a feline parvo virus, and so on.

Even though the virus cannot be spread from a cat to a dog or from a bird to a cat, they can spread the virus through contact. For instance, your cat wanders through the neighbor's yard and picks up the virus on her feet she can then bring it into your home potentially infecting any canines on the property.

The parvo virus works in two ways either through the intestines or through the heart. When a dog gets an intestinal infection, it is picked up by the animal through oral contact with contaminated feces. Simply put, your dog would have to come into contaminated feces from another dog. The intestinal dog parvo symptoms occur when the virus attacks the bone marrow, rapidly dividing cells in the intestinal crypts and the lymph nodes. This allows normally occurring bacteria from the intestines to enter the blood stream to make the animal septic. The virus can be shed in the stool for up to three weeks thus making this a very contagious disease for pets that have not been inoculated.

The cardio form of the infection is most often seen in puppies that are infected in utero or shortly after birth. It must be noted that the cardiac form of CPV is less common since the mother usually passes immunity on to her pups from birth. The virus will attack the heart in the infected pup and result in death shortly thereafter.

Dog parvo symptoms usually present themselves within 3 to 10 days of contact. They include the following: lethargy, vomiting, fever and diarrhea. The diarrhea can cause severe dehydration and secondary infections. The dog will not usually die from the virus but from a secondary infection.

The survival rate depends upon how swiftly parvo virus is diagnosed and treatment is begun. If the virus is not caught early on, the usual treatment is given through an IV line in which fluids are pushed to re-hydrate the puppy or dog more quickly. In addition to giving fluids, anti-nausea and antibiotic shots may be given intramuscularly. Given the proper care, the prognosis is good, but if care is withheld your dog will die prematurely. Most vets will strongly suggest that your pet be vaccinated against parvo about eight weeks after a puppy is weaned.


By. Villenoire

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Canine Distemper Disease and How to Prevent It


I am sure we all want to protect our pets from disease and one common disease, called Canine Distemper is a worldwide problem and young puppies, in particular are the most susceptible and the most likely to die from the disease.

It is possible for humans to have a sub-clinical CDV infection although anyone who has had an anti measles vaccination, will be immunized as the two diseases are related.

Dog Distemper Transmission

The disease can be spread by coming into contact with the bodily secretions and nasal fluid from an infected animal but most commonly ingestion via airborne particles from infected animals i.e. breathing in the particles.

How can it be prevented?

All dogs and all breeds are at risk from Canine Distemper with older dogs who have not been vaccinated and particularly puppies being most at risk because their immune systems are still immature. There is no cure for CDV, prevention is the only viable solution and since development of the vaccine in the early 1960's there has been a substantial reduction in the number of fatalities, attributed to this disease. At one time Canine Distemper was the highest reported cause of death in domestic dogs.

Vaccination is the way to protect your dog and until your pet has been vaccinated, be careful where you take him. Since airborne ingestion is the most common form of infection, be especially aware in parks, dog areas, kennels, and grooming premises. Try to avoid exposing your dog to any animals that you are unfamiliar with, including wild animals as it is often the wild animal population that is attributed for the sporadic outbreaks of the disease. The Canine Distemper virus (paramyxovirus) also occurs in Ferrets, Foxes, Mink, and other carnivores.

Puppies, being particularly at risk can receive vaccination from 6 weeks and should be re-vaccinated every 3-4 weeks until 16 months old. Newborn pups prior to vaccination need to be kept away from other dogs and areas of possible contamination. Adult dogs should continue be vaccinated every year.

Speak with your vet about local issues and problems that can affect your pet.

Look out for Distemper in Dogs

Following ingestion, infections are replicated in the lymph nodes although dogs can appear to be quite normal for several days following the actual contamination and initial Distemper symptoms may include

• Loss of appetite

• Runny nose

• Watery eyes

• Diarrhea

• Cough

• Labored breathing

• Sore throat.

• Vomiting

The Treatment

There is no cure for actual Canine Distemper Disease but supportive treatments include controlling the spread and the severity of secondary ailments like vomiting, diarrhea, and fluid discharge.

Providing a warm and draft free environment with good nursing care will make the dog as secure and comfortable as possible.

Monitor for dehydration

The vet will probably use antibiotics and drugs to control any nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pneumonia, twitching and spasm.

Recovery

Following recovery, an infected animal can still be a carrier and needs to be quarantined for a minimum period of 2 weeks to reduce the possibility of contaminating and infecting other animals.

Conclusion

Prevention and vaccination is the best option of all.

If during the course of treatment or convalescence the dog appears to respond well, you must avoid the temptation of allowing the animal outside, even on what might seem a mild day, as the colder air and ground can exacerbate its respiratory problems with possible dire consequences. This information was compiled for your interest because it is an extremely serious illness, and if you suspect Distemper in your dog you should consult with your Vet Practice immediately for help and treatment.

By. Cristian Stan

Monday, July 27, 2009

Four Reasons For Dog Incontinence In Your Elderly Dog


Are you worried about dog incontinence in your aging dog? Incontinence in dogs often becomes a problem as our canine friends age. In fact, canine lower urinary tract disease that causes incontinence afflicts about half of all older dogs. Here's what you need to know about this problem to help your old friend.

Four Reasons For Urinary Incontinence In Dogs

The chances of your canine friend developing one of these problems increase as he gets older. In fact, in pets older than seven, dog incontinence is the most canine common urinary tract disease.

Common reasons for canine incontinence are:

  • Cystitis in dogs
  • Dog bladder stones
  • Trauma and obstruction
  • Cancer

Cystitis In Dogs

A bacterial infection in your pet's bladder can cause incontinence in your elderly dog. Frequent urination is often a symptom, and you may notice he's drinking more water than he normally does. You may also see blood in his urine. This condition is usually diagnosed with a urinalysis, and your vet may also do a urine culture to identify which bacteria are causing it. Canine urinary infections are usually pretty easy to clear up with antibiotics.

Dog Bladder Stones

Canine bladder stones are often seen in aging dogs. If your pet is suffering from recurring bacterial infections, this may be why. The stones often have sharp edges that irritate the bladder walls, leading to a canine urinary tract infection. Bulldogs and dalmations are especially prone to this problem, although they may occur in any breed of dog.

Dog bladder stones don't always show up on x-rays, so your vet may need to do a contrast study to find them. You may need to feed him a special diet to dissolve them. If that doesn't work, surgery might be necessary to remove them.

Trauma And Obstruction

Trauma usually isn't seen in elderly dogs, but it does happen sometimes. Usually trauma will heal on its own, but it's always a good idea to have your vet check on your old friend to be sure he's healing properly.

Obstruction of the canine urinary tract can occur from canine bladder stones blocking his urethra, or from a tumor.

Cancer

While lower urinary tract cancer is seen more often in females, males are susceptible to prostrate cancer. Persistent bleeding from the urinary tract should never be ignored. Treatment is more effective when the cancer is caught early.

Can Natural Remedies For Dogs Help Your Aging Pet?

The answer is yes. Herbs and homeopathic remedies have stood the test of time for bladder problems in people, and they're very effective for preventing and treating dog bladder problems, too. The key is to find remedies especially formulated for use in pets so that your canine friend receives the proper dosage. You'll also want to deal with a company known for producing only the highest quality natural products for pets.

Don't wait until incontinence in dogs becomes a problem for your elderly dog. Start your older pet on a natural remedy today to help prevent this problem.


By. Darlene Norris

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Canine Viral Hepatitis

Diagnosis Of Dog Diseases

In the world of canines, many diseases and infections exist everywhere, even in the most sophisticated homes and yards. Diagnosing a dog disease comes from seeing the symptoms your dog may show and then having the necessary tests done to find the exact cause of the disease. The top canine diseases are canine viral hepatitis, bloating, aortic steonosis, distemper and the parvovirus. With proper health care and diet, dogs can live a healthy life as your faithful companion for many years.

Diagnosis of Dog Diseases- Canine Viral Hepatitis


This viral disease affects younger dogs and puppies. Affecting the liver and inner lining of the blood vessels, this disease is transmitted from dog to dog by way of a discharge from the infected dog. Some symptoms of the disease stomach bleeding, increased thirst, lack of appetite, vomiting and a tender stomach when touched. Dogs do show discomfort when experiencing canine viral hepatitis.

Diagnosis of Dog Diseases- Bloating

A life threatening and serious problem in dogs, also called gastric dilation volvulus, comes from over eating as well as other health problems. Some breeds are prone to this because of their breed, but others just plain over eat. The symptoms of bloating are a restless dog and a fat looking stomach that happens quickly. Dry heaves follow such a condition and proper diagnosis is required by tests. Sometimes taking food away for twenty-four hours will help reduce the bloating problem in your dog.

Diagnosis of Dog Diseases- Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a viral infection that affects the immune system and can lead to serious complications if not death. This disease is contracted from contact with the excretions of an infected dog. Airborne particles can also contribute to infecting other dogs. Dogs rarely survive, but when they do, they suffer from muscle spasms and convulsions. The symptoms of a fever over 104 degrees, depression, pus in the eyes, convulsions, diarrhea and vomiting, if you see these signs, you need to contact your vet immediately. Proper vaccination of your dog prevents this viral disease from taking the life or livelihood of your companion.

Diagnosis of Dog Diseases- Aortic Steonosis

Aortic steonosis is an obstruction of the blood vessel that carries blood from the left ventricle and is an inherited health problem. No symptoms are visible for mild cases, but severe cases prevent the dog from any type of exercise. Dogs tend to faint when performing any kind of exercise due to the severity of the blockage. If your dog shows symptoms of fainting, tests will determine the exact cause and the vet will describe treatment objectives.

Diagnosis of Dog Diseases- Canine Parvovirus

Puppies under six months of age succumb to this particular disease. The intestinal tract, lymphoid tissue, immune system and the bone marrow are affected. Symptoms may be vomiting, convulsion weight loss and dehydration with coughing. For some puppies, death is immediate. Puppies need proper medical attention and proper vaccinations to prevent such an untimely demise.

By. David Faulkner

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What is Pyometra Dog Disease


What is the dog disease Pyometra? Pyometra in short means a pus-filled uterus which affects primarily dogs that are five years and older; more common older female dogs. If not surgically removed, Pyometra will often result in death for most dogs.

The main cause of Pyometra is usually an imbalance of female hormones, primarily progesterone which results is an overactive uterus lining. Secretions accumulate in the cavity of this organ and cause distention. Bacteria entering through the vagina may cause secondary infection in some cases; however, many of the pus-filled organs are sterile when cultured.

Pyometra usually occurs from one week to three months after a heat (but may occur at any time during any heat cycle) and may concur with a Pseudocyesis (false pregnancy) but there has not been enough evidence to suggest an establishment between these hormone-controlled diseases. The disease occurs in female dogs who have not bred for a prolonged period of time and those having produced litters.

Diagnose of Pyometra can be detected form the clinical signs and the history of a recent heat. The most common signs are digestive disorders such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. Owners might also want to be watchful of symptoms which may include swollen abdomen, excessive drinking of water, listlessness and vaginal discharge; which is often foul-smelling. Discharges indicate that the cervix is still open and this will reduce some of the abdominal pressure and toxicity associated with Pyometra.

Radiographs and blood counts will be necessary to confirm the disease. An x-ray (radiograph) will show the large, pus-filled uterus quite clearly in most cases. The white blood cell count may increase (indicating infection) two to ten times over normal limit.

The best way to avoid Pyometra is of course spaying your dog. This prevents the disease from developing as the uterus and ovaries are removed.

Is surgery going to be safe?

As most veterinarians will agree, Pyometra is a surgical disease that requires the diseased organ to be removed for an increased chance of a complete recovery. As surgery suggest, there are certain potential risks to be held into consideration especially if performed on an older dog. Heart disease, kidney disorders, and other medical conditions may increase the risk of surgery. If proper supportive therapy is carried out, even the highest risk patients stand a good chance of survival and recovery. Consult your vet for their advice and best recommendations.

By. Sarah Young

Friday, July 3, 2009

Learn About Dog Kennel Cough


Kennel cough is a condition in which a dog's windpipe and upper bronchi are irritated and damaged by infectious microorganisms. Kennel cough can be caused by both bacteria and virus. Dog kennel cough is named variously like canine cough, infectious tracheobronchitis and bordetellosis

Characteristics Of Dog Kennel Cough

One of the first warning signs of kennel cough in dogs is a rough and dry, hacking cough that will show up with in a week of the dog having the initial infection. The damage is done through the bacteria and/ or viruses damaging the lining of the windpipe and bronchi, which exposes the nerve endings. The cough is caused when the dog breathes in and out and air is exposed to the endings of the nerves which irritates them.

Seriousness and Duration Of The Disease

Most cases of dog kennel cough are mild and do not change the dog's overall health or physical condition. The cough though can be irritating to the dog as it is persistent and the dog will cough every few minutes throughout the day. The use of antibiotics can be used to quicken the healing process but in the majority of cases most dogs will recover without it. Kennel cough can last up to three weeks

Transmission of the Disease

Like colds in human's dog kennel cough can be transmitted. Because the germ is carried through the air and can be inhaled by other dogs it can cause infections in other dogs, especially if the other dog is susceptible to the microbes. If the dog is sharing a kennel then the disease can be spread very quickly amongst the other dogs (hence the name kennel cough). But it can be acquired anytime and anywhere from an infected dog.

Treatment and Prevention

The veterinarian will typically prescribe cough-suppressing drugs to reduce the annoying cough. They will occasionally prescribe antibiotics to help manage the recovery from the infection, though most dogs will recover from the cough without medication.

There are some coughs which are similar to kennel cough that can b caused by other serious respiratory diseases, so it is important that the dog be examined by a vet. You can also prevent kennel cough by having your dog vaccinated against these infectious germs. Dogs that are not in frequent contact with other dogs have a reduced chance of getting kennel cough. If taking your dog to a show or having it bordered ensure that the dog is vaccinated a few week before hand to prevent from catching the disease.


By Gloria Gangi

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tips For Choosing A Healthy Dog Food


Your dogs nutrition is critical for leading a long, healthy and happy life. There are so many different types of dog foods available to you that it is sometimes difficult to determine which one is the right one for your dog. Just because a dog food is expensive, does not always mean it is the best food for your dog.

IMPORTANT One thing that is critical to the health of your dog is to know what NEVER to feed him. Some foods that humans can eat can be hazardous or even fatal to dogs. Some of these foods you need to avoid are: alcohol, baby food that contains onion powder, bones from fish, cat food (too high in protein), chocolate, coffee or tea, grapes or raisons, citrus oil extracts, onions, garlic, table scraps, mushrooms and more. Some of these are toxic and could cause death, whereas some will cause less severe health issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

There are quite a few more human foods that dogs should not eat. Research any food you plan to hand over to your dog. Trying to satisfy your dogs desires, could be a devastating result. In fact, chocolate is lethal for your dog, especially dark chocolate. The ingredients in chocolate are digested and excreted by a human in as little as three hours, but the same amount of chocolate in a dog can take up to 18 hours to leave a dogs body. Here are some of the symptoms of dog chocolate poisoning: vomiting, excessive urination, hyper, diarrhea, seizure, coma or death.
Read the labels of their dog food. Dogs diets should be rich in meat protein.

If you choose to have canned dog food, look for chicken, turkey meat or pork because they will help keep your dogs coat smooth and healthy. Give the foods that have a high vegetable protein level because these foods are more easily digested and give the dogs energy. They should also receive an adequate amount of carbohydrates, such as rice, corn, oatmeal and wheat.
Dont give your dog a bone! Once bones are gnawed to where they are soft enough to eat, they will feel like splinters inside a dogs throat and this could cause them to choke.

A natural dog food diet is a great way to increase your dogs overall health. People who have tried the natural dog food diet have been very happy with the outcome. They report that their dogs have shinier coats, their eyes are brighter, they have more energy and their breath is better. The idea of a natural dog food diet is to feed your dog quality human food, not just your leftovers. If you do not take care in what type of human food you feed your dog, than instead of making him healthier, you could be leading him down the path of degenerative diseases or diabetes. Many people are beginning to give their dogs more natural dog food diets.

Some people are making the meals right in their kitchen. However, the dog food industry has recognized that owners want to give their babies a variety of healthier foods, so you can find more natural dog food manufacturers on the internet. If you do choose to make your own food, be prepared to spend a little time in the kitchen. Prepare the food ahead of time, so that you are not tempted to give in to their desires of your leftovers. This can happen if you are simply too tired to get up and make your dogs meal after spending all that time making your own meal!
There are many different dog foods available. Be sure you are choosing a dog food that is high in meat protein. Before you prepare any meals for your dog from quality human food, check to be sure that the food is not toxic to your pet.

After feeding your dog his meal, take him on a walk. This will help to ensure a healthy lifestyle for you and your dog. Bring along the pet stroller so that he can have a relaxing ride back from the park after all of the playing. He will likely be ready for a nice long nap in his dog bed after his big meal and playtime!

Friday, June 12, 2009

All about a Rottweiler

A Powerful Dog

The Rottweiler is black with beautiful tan markings on the muzzle, cheeks, chest, eyebrows, and legs. The markings are typically clearly defined. There should not be any white or straw colored markings on the dog. An unusual coloring could indicate that the puppy may be a mixed breed.

The one most prominent feature of this breed is the head, which appears to be a little over-sized. Giving the dog its look of being alert, the forehead is wrinkly. Even the coat of this breed is special, being of medium length with an undercoat that is waterproof. The coat requires only minimal brushing to stay healthy and shiny. Rottweiler puppies really don’t come into their voices until they are 2 or 3 years old so if you’re looking for a puppy that doesn’t bark too much you should consider a Rottweiler.Although a Rottweiler is born with a tail, these are generally docked extremely short. The reason is that Rottweilers used for working can have problems with the tail breaking and then getting infected from being in the field.

Rottweiler dogs are great watchdogs. The size and strength of the breed makes them a great watchdog. Even though this dog does not bark often, when feeling threatened or afraid, the powerful voice is heard. Rottweilers are known to be fiercely protective of their property and their families and are vigilant about protecting what they love.Rottweilers are known to be exceptionally courageous and will put themselves in danger to protect their loved ones.

Rottweiler puppies are easy to train. Rottweilers as a breed are very attentive and like to learn and stay active. Rottweilers are known for their intelligence so if you want a dog that is more intelligent than most other breeds and is easy to train and will be obedient and respectful of your authority then a Rottweiler is the dog for you.

Rottweilers were bred to be working dogs and they love to be given tasks. They need a job to do in order to be truly happy. If they are not given work to do or kept busy Rottweilers will get bored and can be destructive so make sure that your Rottweiler gets lots of exercise.The Rottweiler dog is loyal, intelligent and desires to please. Rottweilers are also proving to be outstanding therapy dogs and recognized as excellent service dogs for the physically challenged.

Socialization is crucial for Rottweiler puppies. Rottweiler puppies should start being socialized within a year. Because of their strength and size it's important to start training early and to socialize early. They need to be taught what acceptable behavior is and how to behave around family members, kids, the general public and other dogs. If the dog is socialized young, handled with a firm hand, and introduced to various situations it will make a wonderful, devoted pet that is great with children and other animals.

Next to socialization start training early. Start teaching your pup to sit, down, stand, stay, heel and come. The most important activities are playing, eating, sleeping and social contact between you and your dog. Control the games, take charge of the sleeping areas, put your Rotti on a feeding schedule and don't let your dog demand your attention. Just like children Rottweiler puppies enjoy having a routine and thrive when they are given lots of training, lots of exercise, and a solid routine.

Rottweiler dogs often gravitate naturally towards children. It’s important to socialize Rottweiler puppies around children and to always supervise a Rottweiler that is around children because Rottweilers are very large dogs and could injure a child without meaning to. As a breed Rottweilers usually bond very strongly to children.

All dogs require exercise. Rottweiler's are very intelligent dogs and also require a mental workout. After you have given your dog some physical exercise also spend some time letting your Rotti use his brain.

Selecting a Rottweiler should be done with great care. While it’s true that Rottweilers are not the right dog for everyone, but if you are the right kind of person then owning a Rottweiler can have a lot of benefits. If you want a dog that can help you around the farm, protect your property, and do other jobs then a Rottweiler will be a good fit for you. To ensure the correct breed temperament look for an AKC registered litter.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The True Temperament of the Rottweiler


By: Charles Kassotis

Looking at the Rottweiler, there's no doubt that this dog has some mastiff in his ancestry. The breed dates back at least several centuries and was probably used in several capacities during the Middle Ages. There's no real evidence as to why, but it seems that the breed became less popular about a century ago, and was probably fairly near extinction when efforts to save the integrity of the breed finally came about.

In those early years, the Rottweiler was probably used mainly for herding. Today, Rottweilers are most often used as guard and watch dogs, though they can also be trained to herd, hunt and to perform in obedience trials. Rottweilers are also sometimes used in police, military and rescue work.

They have a reputation for being aggressive. Remember that the early breeders sought to enhance the protective nature of the dog in order to ensure the safety of the herds they were responsible for. That means there are some aggressive tendencies in this dog, but socialization and training can make them a very safe animal.

By the same token, the dog can be trained when to bring those aggressive tendencies to the forefront. Poor training, mishandling and mistreatment may also make this breed a very aggressive animal. When engaged in a fight, the Rottweiler seems impervious to pain. This has made them a very popular dog for dog fights. The reputation as a dog that will attack has prompted some cities to ban the animals from the city limits.

The Rottweiler is typically a large dog and adult males may attain a weight of 120 to 130 pounds. They have a very compact body, large neck and squared off head. As a rule, the Rottweiler will be black with some brown markings on the chest, face and legs. Most breeders dock the tails and dewclaws (if present), depending on the region in which the breeder lives. Some countries have banned docking and clipping ears.

When socialized well and trained properly, the Rottweiler is a very calm dog, but also very protective of his family and territory. They love to play, but are usually content to leave playtime outside - making them a good choice for the person with limited indoor space who wants a larger dog. As long as they're given the chance to get outdoors often to work off their energy, they'll usually be happy laying around inside.

Though territorial to a great degree, the Rottweiler will tend to greet those he knows with great affection. These are dogs that don't like to be left alone for great periods of time. They really need interaction with their people, whether it's walking, swimming, playtime or naptime. The natural intelligence of the breed and their tendency to be anxious to please make them ideal for obedience training and for learning new tricks.

Training is everything with this dog and most who regularly handle these dogs seem to agree that firm training must begin very early. Because these dogs achieve a very large size fairly early, it's easy to let a Rottweiler's natural aggressiveness take over his personality.

Monday, June 1, 2009

How To Be A Responsible Dog Owner


What does it mean to be a responsible dog owner? For starters, it means getting a dog for the right reasons. Dogs are meant to be our companions and to share our lives with us. The right reasons to get a dog are to help him become all that he can be. To properly feed and exercise him. To spend quality time socializing and training him. But there are many wrong reasons to get a dog. Some of these include as a means of protection or to be a hobby breeder. When dogs are purchased as a means of protection, most people think this means keeping them away from other dogs and people to make them more protective. By doing this, your dog is not getting the socialization that he requires and as a result ends up fearful, aggressive, and destructive.

What invariably happens is the dog bites someone and ends up getting euthanized. Reputable breeders generally breed their dogs as a profession. They have studied genetic lines and ensure that their puppies are healthy and of good temperament. Breeding dogs is often very expensive, and most hobby breeders are not ready for what they are getting themselves into. Also, there is already an overpopulation of dogs in this country. It is best to leave breeding to the professionals.

Responsible dog ownership begins BEFORE you get your dog. Make sure to properly research which type of dog is right for you. Make sure to discuss with your family who will be responsible for caring for your dog. Talk with your veterinarian about what kinds of costs you must consider throughout your dog's life. Make the commitment that your dog will be cared for by you for the duration of his life. By doing your homework before you even bring your dog home, you are ensuring that you and your dog will be a good match, you know what to expect financially, and that your dog will have a forever home.

Responsible dog ownership means properly socializing your dog. Young puppies need to be exposed to a variety of other dogs, people, and sensations to help them learn to not be afraid of new situations. Puppies also require a lot of time and training. Responsible dog owners understand that the demands of puppy hood will be many. Puppies need to be housebroken, a task which often requires a lot of time and patience. They need to learn basic commands and manners and you need to learn how to properly communicate with them.

Responsible dog ownership means taking your dog to the veterinarian for regular healthy pet checkups. Usually at this time, your dog will be vaccinated as well. All good owners know that dogs need to be vaccinated on schedule to help protect them, the public, and other dogs that they come into contact with. Your dog will also need to be tested for intestinal parasites periodically. Responsible owners know that by preventing and treating parasites they are keeping their dog healthy and protecting their families as most parasites can be transmitted to humans. Another facet of good dog ownership is knowing when your dog is ill. It is your responsibility to keep your dog in optimum health.

When you take your dog for a walk or to the dog park, pick up after him when he goes to the bathroom. Not only is this common courtesy, but fecal matter can be harmful to humans or other dogs. If you do not have a fenced in yard, always keep your dog on leash. Not only are there laws in many states requiring you to do so, this will also ensure that your dog will not get loose and bite a person or another dog, or dart in to traffic and get injured or killed.

Spend as much quality time with your dog as possible. If you happen to have an employer that allows it, take your dog to work with you. Go jogging with your dog. Find a sport like agility, flyball, or sledding that you can do with your dog. Participate in community events such as dog jogs and dog fests. All of these things will enhance your relationship and are a factor in responsible dog ownership.

Common sense, proper socialization, training, and spending good time with your dog are all a part of responsible dog ownership. By displaying these traits, you can help others learn about how to be good dog owners.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Dog House

Dog Kennels More than A Home for Your Dog


Dog kennels can be really handy for many pet owners as they provide a safe haven for your pampered pooch. There are many reasons why pet owners decide to have a kennel for their dog and these include:

* If the house isn''t big enough to keep a dog in but the owner has a big garden

Sometimes people want a dog but their house just isn''t big enough to keep one in. If they have a big enough garden, a dog kennel can be a really good idea.

* To keep the dog in whilst strangers visit the home

Not all dogs are friendly, and even if they are they can be unpredictable around strangers. This means that a dog kennel can come in really handy if repairs ever have to be done to your home and a professional has to visit the house.

* To keep the dog in at night

Dogs can sometimes play up at night and so it is sometimes better to keep them in a kennel. That way a dog can whine, mark it''s territory, and go to the toilet whenever it wants to, depending on whether the kennel has a run attached to it or not. Some people just prefer to keep their dog in a kennel overnight, because they don''t want to risk the dog misbehaving whilst they are not there to supervise them.

* To leave the dog in whilst the owners are away

If a dog owner wants to go out during the day and they do not want to take their dog with them, but they also don''t want to leave it alone in the house, a dog kennel may be the perfect answer. They provide a secure, safe place for the dog and the owners mind is at ease until they get back home.

Finding the Right One for Your Dog

Whilst kennels can and do make good temporary or permanent homes for your dog, you have to make sure that you provide the dog with plenty of space within the kennel. The best ones to invest in are ones with runs attached to them and generally the rule is always ''the bigger the better''.

Obviously you would not expect your dog to live in something that was uncomfortable for them to be in. For example, you would not put a Rottweiler in a kennel that was designed for a Chihuahua. It simply wouldn''t be kind to the animal and it more than likely wouldn''t fit in it. So always provide the dog with the right sized kennel and ask an expert if you need to!

Overall, a kennel can be a great asset to all dog owners providing that they are the right size and that they get plenty of exercise out of the kennel.





Thursday, May 21, 2009

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

BO OBAMA: First Puppy Arrives at White House


Bo charmed the first family, a source who was there said. He sat when the girls sat, stood when the girls stood. The dog made no toileting errors and did not gnaw on the furniture. Bo Obama is here!Who let the dog out?

That's the Washington mystery du jour.

The identity of the first puppy -- the one that the Washington press corps has been yelping about for months, the one President Obama has seemed to delight in dropping hints about, is out. This despite White House efforts to delay the news until the big debut planned for Tuesday afternoon.

The little guy is a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog given to the Obama girls as a gift by that Portuguese water dog-lovin' senator himself, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. The girls named it Bo -- and let it be noted that you learned that here first. Malia and Sasha chose the name, because their cousins have a cat named Bo and because first lady Michelle Obama's father was nicknamed Diddley, a source said. (Get it? Bo . . . Diddley?)

Bo's a handsome little guy. Well suited for formal occasions at the White House, he's got tuxedo-black fur, with a white chest, white paws and a rakish white goatee.

Clearly, the identity of the dog was information too big to contain. A mysterious Web site called http://firstdogcharlie.com published a picture of a Portie yesterday morning, complete with a Q and A with the dog, which it said was originally named Charlie. The celebrity gossip Web site http://TMZ.comlinked to the picture. So much for the big White House unveiling.

For an Obama team that ran a famously tight-knit press operation during last year's presidential election campaign, it was a sign of how tough it can be to keep a leash on information in Washington.

It's not for lack of trying, though. Bo's story starts sometime around the Ides of March. Word on the street was that the White House was going to plant a vegetable garden. Health gurus had been pushing the Obamas to plant seedlings for months, hoping it would set a good example for children everywhere.

A Washington Post food reporter was making calls, probing, pushing. But the White House was mum. Word filtered out that the exclusive had been promised to the New York Times. But the White House offered The Post, the newspaper that cracked Watergate, a mollifier: A puppy exclusive.

These kinds of arrangements get made all the time in Washington. For a while, the puppy deal seemed to be holding up. Sure, reporters here and there nipped at the story. There were hints that the puppy was a gift. There were reports that the Kennedys were involved -- but the senator's press people professed no knowledge.

But then came yesterday morning. The FirstDogCharlie site included a photograph of a Portuguese water dog that looked exactly like the dog in a White House photograph -- right down to the multicolored lei. (FirstDogCharlie was registered anonymously on Friday on the Web site http://godaddy.com. Will its creators surface to take credit?)

The White House dismissed the Web site picture as "bogus." Both photos are reproduced here; you decide.

Still, there's lots of stuff that didn't leak out, including a secret get-acquainted session with the family at the White House a few weeks ago. The visit, known around the White House as "The Meeting," was a surprise for the girls. Bo wore a lei then, too.

Bo charmed the first family, a source who was there said. He sat when the girls sat, stood when the girls stood. He made no toileting errors and did not gnaw on the furniture. Bo has, after all, been receiving lessons in good behavior from the Kennedys' dog trainers. These lessons have been taking place at a secret, undisclosed location outside Washington.

Bo, though he was raised elsewhere, already has a keen sense of who's in charge inside the Beltway. When the president walked across the room during the visit, Bo followed obediently.

"He's sooooo cute," the source said, referring, let us be clear, to the puppy. "It's very exciting. They had a great meeting."

Sasha was excited; Malia focused on all the "responsibility issues"--how will Bo be trained, cared for, etc.

"Malia has done extensive research," the source said.

Just in case Portie-mania ensues -- how could it not, after all this buildup? -- a staffer warns that Porties "are not for everyone. They're very energetic. They play, play, play. Then they sleep."

They also need a lot of room to run. Fortunately, the White House has a lot of lawn.

Some issues remain to be resolved. Where, for instance, will Bo sleep? The White House has plenty of rooms to choose from, but the great question of whether he'll get to bunk with one or both of the girls remains undecided. The feeding and walking schedules are also still to be hammered out -- a "family decision," the source said.

"They're approaching this responsibly as a family," the source said.

All of this is new to the first family. Sasha and Malia have never had pets. And neither the first lady nor the president had dogs growing up.

During the campaign, word surfaced that Obama had promised a dog to his girls. Since then, he has been, ahem, hounded constantly about the choice. Precious moments in most of his first major interviews as president-elect and then as president were dedicated to the puppy question.

The Labradoodle and the Portuguese water dog -- known to its fans as a PWD -- were always in the running because they are considered good pets for children who have allergies, as Malia does.

Kennedy began lobbying for a PWD -- he has three: Sunny, Splash and Cappy. His wife, Victoria, chatted about the virtues of the rambunctious breed in frequent phone calls with Michelle Obama, the source said.

"The Kennedys and the Obamas have become great friends," the source said.

In a statement, the Kennedys said: "We couldn't be happier to see the joy that Bo is bringing to Malia and Sasha. We love our Portuguese Water Dogs and know that the girls -- and their parents -- will love theirs too."

The choice of a Portie raised one complication. The Obamas have long said they wanted a rescue dog. But the carefully bred PWDs almost never end up in shelters. Bo had been living with another family, but it wasn't a good fit, so the Kennedys acquired him for the Obamas.

As for the rescue pledge, the Obamas came up with a solution intended to lend a serious symbolic note: They're going to make a donation to the D.C. Humane Society.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Should I Micro-chip My Dog?


By. Dee Gerrish

Many pet owners are encouraged to micro-chip their pet to help recover them in the event they become lost or stolen. As a breeder for 11+ years, we always encourage pet owners to have their puppies micro-chipped. However, some states are now mandating mandatory micro-chipping. I had never heard of this until the other day when I came across a website that seemed to be written by a canine activist. Their website seemed to be geared towards canine politics, if you will, but I found it interesting all the same. The site goes on to say they believed that mandatory microchipping was an invasion to the privacy and civil liberties of all dog owners and that such laws would have a great impact on the lives of everyday pet owners, especially those with targeted breeds like the Pitbull, Rottweiler, Doberman, etc.

The article goes on to say they believed that mandatory microchipping laws would force dog owners to chip their dogs. That this would allow the local government to track and monitor dogs and their owners. Honestly, I don't see what the problem is but maybe I'm just not a very political person and I have nothing to hide. Personally speaking, it seems that every time one hears about a child or person being attacked by a dog, nine times out of ten, it was caused by a Pitbull. Too many people are using Pitbulls and Rottweilers as fighting dogs and it's a known fact gangs use such dogs to protect their property because they also have illegal things going on. Of course the issue isn't just a problem with the dogs mentioned. It is the violence and the type of people who own these dogs that are causing the problems.

The other issue politically charged animal rights activists say are problems with the micro-chip is that the chips themselves cause cancer in the dogs who have been chipped. I don't know if they are only basing this theory on one article but supposedly a 9-year-old male French Bulldog was examined by a veterinarian for a subcutaneous mass located at the site of a microchip implant. Cytologic examination of the mass was suggestive of a malignant mesenchymal neoplasm. The lymphoid cells were positive for CD18 and CD3. No aluminum deposits were detected by the aurintricarboxylic acid method. A diagnosis of fibrosarcoma morphologically similar to feline postinjection sarcomas was made after conducting many tests. Fibrosarcomas at the site of injections have been reported in dogs and ferrets. Furthermore, neoplastic growth at the site of microchip implant in dog and laboratory rodents has been described. But who is to say that indeed this cancer was caused by the chip? Sure it seems suspicious, but how many other dogs and cats were found to have the same type of cancer after having a micro-chip implanted? Enough to convince me that we should now stop micro-chipping our pets? Should we all have to worry that micro-chipping our family pets will somehow give the government more access into our lives?

Or are these fears just suggested by paranoid activists who believe we should be concerned about why states are now making it a law to micro-chip our family pets? Is there a difference between a sex offender and a dog owner? Not according to those rallying a petition to stop states from making micro-chipping your pet mandatory! While I disagree with this notion, many have the same beliefs that its nothing more than the government stepping further into our lives by keeping pet owner information stored in their government databases. Called "spy chips" by most activists, mandatory micro-chipping of breeding dogs and family pets have been passed by Florida and Texas. Other states are proposing the same laws be passed, including New York.

Over all, I have to say that I believe having your family pet as well as breeding dogs micro-chipped is a good thing. For one, its helps the breeder identify their breeding dogs if they have dogs who are nearly identical in appearance and size, to include the same gender. It helps identify the dog if a pet owner's dog should be lost or stolen. A micro-chip will help the pet find its way back home if he or she somehow gets away from its home and is picked up by animal control or a humane society or some other service that has micro-chip scanning devices. I personally own a micro-chip scanning device and use it if I find a dog wandering the streets. Collars can be removed but a micro-chip is forever! A micro-chip will actually outlast the life of the dog and the capsule is very, very small. About the size of a grain of rice. Many breeders and dog owners micro-chip their dogs and cats voluntarily. I don't think we should become so paranoid as to believe that the government is now going to watch over us through our pets. Micro-chipping is becoming very popular not only with animals, but for credit cards and humans alike. The following article was written about the plans of American Express:

" The top brass at American Express, chagrined at the discovery of its people tracking plans, met with CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) last week to discuss the issue. One outcome of the meeting was a promise by American Express to review its entire patent portfolio and ensure that any people-tracking plans be accompanied by language requiring consumer notice and consent. The meeting was organized after CASPIAN called attention to one of the company's more troublesome patent applications. That patent application, titled "Method and System for Facilitating a Shopping Experience," describes a Minority Report style blueprint for monitoring consumers through RFID-enabled objects, like the American Express Blue Card.

According to the patent, RFID readers called "consumer trackers" would be placed in store shelving to pick up "consumer identification signals" emitted by RFID-embedded objects carried by shoppers. These would be used to identify people, track their movements, and observe their behavior."

The article goes on to discuss further about the issues of using such tracking devices and while some were indifferent to the idea, some were greatly opposed. Just another method of big brother stepping in? The VeriChip implant is a glass encapsulated RFID tag that is injected into the flesh to uniquely number and identify individuals, or pets for that matter. The tag can be read by radio waves (scanners) from a few inches away. The highly controversial device is being marketed as a way to access secure areas, link to medical records, and serve as a payment instrument when associated with a credit card or pre-paid account. But is this all hyped up worry like what we saw when the "bar code" was introduced? Many people opposed the bar code on items we purchase in supermarkets and stores, but we seem to have now embraced the bar codes, not giving them a second thought any more. I think after all the fuss dies down, the same will be said about the micro-chip implant. Once something of the future, the micro-chip is finding its way into the market for all sorts of useful reasons.