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  1. Rss Bot

    Can Dogs Get Colds?

    Rarely life threatening, but always irritating, the common cold is just a fact of life. But what about dogs? Do they get colds? Dogs can get infections that make them sneeze and sniffle, just like we do. However, your dog’s cold symptoms could also be the result of a more serious disease. What Is a Cold? When people talk about catching a cold, they are actually referring to a wide range of viruses. All of these viruses are grouped together as cold viruses because they cause similar symptoms, such as sneezing, sore throat, runny eyes and nose, and general malaise. In people, the most common viral cold agents are the rhinovirus, which is estimated by WebMD to cause more than 50 percent of colds in humans, and also the corona, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza, and parainfluenza viruses. The causes of colds in dogs are similar. There is not one specific virus that gets the label “cold virus.” Instead, several different viruses can cause cold symptoms in dogs. Some of these are more serious than others, which is why it is important to treat your dog’s cold symptoms with a little more gravity than you might treat a cold in yourself. What Are the Symptoms of Colds in Dogs? You may recognize some of your own cold symptoms in the symptoms of colds in dogs. Common cold symptoms include: Sneezing Coughing Runny or congested nose Watery eyes These symptoms could be the result of a dog cold virus, but they could also be symptoms of more serious conditions, for example kennel cough, influenza virus (dog flu), the parainfluenza virus, bronchitis, or even canine distemper. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, your safest option is to call your veterinarian for advice. If your dog is also experiencing a change in appetite, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or any other changes in normal behavior, your dog could be suffering from a more serious disease that requires veterinary treatment. Cold or Kennel Cough? Kennel cough (also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis) is a highly infectious respiratory disease in dogs. It gets its name from its most common place of transmission — kennels. At kennels and other places where large numbers of dogs congregate, it is easy for dogs to catch and transmit viruses. Kennel cough is treatable, and most dogs recover, but it can have more serious consequences in puppies and dogs with compromised immune systems. The most distinctive characteristic of kennel cough is the dry, honking cough that dogs develop. Some people equate it to the sound of a honking goose. Other symptoms of kennel cough include sneezing, a runny nose, lethargy, appetite loss, and a low fever. Since many of these symptoms can also be found in dogs with colds, it is important always to consult your veterinarian. Are There Other Causes of Cold Symptoms? Viruses aren’t the only causes of cold symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, or runny eyes and nose. Coughing could also be the result of bacterial, parasitic infection such as heart worms and roundworms. Fungal infections and allergies can also cause cold-like symptoms and can lead to damage to the lung tissue and possibly pneumonia. How Are Dog Colds Treated? If you suspect your dog has a cold, the first thing you should do is call your veterinarian. While a mild cold is probably not a cause for concern, it is very important that you rule out any other causes of your dog’s symptoms. Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam of your dog to listen to his heart and lungs and may suggest running a series of diagnostic tests to make sure your dog does not have a more serious condition. Radiographs, fecal analysis, and blood work can help isolate the cause of your dog’s cold symptoms and lead to the best treatment plan for your dog. Treatment for your dog’s cold will depend on the underlying cause. While mild colds typically resolve on their own, if your dog’s cold turns out to be an infection such as kennel cough, for example, your veterinarian will recommend a treatment protocol that could include include rest, antibiotics for secondary infections, cough suppressants, and fluids, especially if your dog is a puppy or immune-compromised. Can Dogs Get Colds from Humans? The chances of dogs contracting a cold from humans is extremely low. The viruses that cause cold-like symptoms in humans and in dogs rarely jump from one species to the other, so you can rest easy about giving your dog your case of the sniffles. Likewise, you probably won’t catch a cold from your dog, but other dogs in the household or neighborhood could be at risk of contracting whatever virus is causing your dog’s cold, so play it safe and keep your dog away from other dogs until he is feeling better. Can You Prevent Your Dog from Getting a Cold? Sadly, there is no vaccine for the common dog cold, just like there is no vaccine for human colds, thanks to the sheer number of viruses that can cause cold symptoms. Some causes of cold-like symptoms, however, do have vaccines. The vaccines for kennel cough, distemper, and canine influenza viruses can help reduce your dog’s risk of contracting these diseases. Veterinarians generally recommend that all dogs be vaccinated for distemper. Talk to your veterinarian about whether or not he or she recommends any other vaccines to keep your dog healthy. As a dog owner, you can also keep your eyes and ears open for mention of outbreaks of dog diseases in your communities and during those times avoid taking your dog to places where other dogs congregate. The post Can Dogs Get Colds? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  2. When there is a choice, wolves in Mongolia prefer to feed on wild animals rather than grazing livestock. Previous studies had shown that the diet of wolves in inland Central Asia consists mainly of grazing livestock, which could lead to increasing conflict between nomadic livestock herders and wild predatory animals like wolves.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sciencedaily/plants_animals/dogs/~4/Bnl_59N4xto View the source article
  3. A new study finds children not only reap the benefits of working with therapy dogs -- they enjoy it too.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sciencedaily/plants_animals/dogs/~4/cIuB_-50WZk View the source article
  4. Dogs are generally considered the first domesticated animal, while its ancestor is generally considered to be the wolf, but where the Australian dingo fits into this framework is still debated, according to a retired anthropologist.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sciencedaily/plants_animals/dogs/~4/pecDyZXk0zk View the source article
  5. Rss Bot

    How to Groom a Standard Poodle

    Achieving the signature look of a Standard Poodle requires loving attention and following grooming best practices. “The great thing of course about the Poodle is the fact that they do not shed,” says Poodle expert Gail Wolaniuk, a professional Poodle handler and groomer who has shown Poodles for 40 years and has a private grooming practice. “But in return for that fabulous trait is the fact that they require routine grooming. If you choose to groom your puppy yourself it adds to great bonding and training time.” Along with her partner Joan McFadden—a member of the board of governors of the Poodle Club of America—Wolaniuk breeds Standard Poodles through their Unique Standard Poodles breeding practice, and has been recognized by the AKC as a Breeder of Merit and a 2020 AKC Breeder of the Year. Here’s everything she says you need to know about caring for your Poodle’s coat, skin, nails, and more. Coat Care 101: Grooming a Standard Poodle First things first: When you bring your Poodle puppy home for the first time, it’s important to get into good grooming habits right away, starting with brushing to prevent your dog’s hair from matting. Wolaniuk recommends using a slicker-brush—one with a square or rectangular shape with short, stiff wire bristles—and brushing all the way down to your puppy’s skin. But be careful not to scratch or scrape the skin, she adds. Pro tip: Groom your puppy up on a table or other elevated surface for more control, says Wolaniuk. As for baths, you can offer these as little or often as you like (or as frequently as your Poodle gets into something dirty or smelly). Aim for an average washing of every four to eight weeks, depending on how frequently you brush your dog’s hair. “Since the Poodle has continually growing hair (like our own) and not fur, you can use any of the shampoos formulated for humans such as Pantene or Suave,” says Wolaniuk. “A wide variety of cleansing dog shampoos, whether it be whiteners, bodifiers, or clarifiers are highly recommended.” Don’t let the haircut fool you. The Poodle’s continental clip has a purpose — to protect the breed’s important joints from cold and water while they splash into swamps to hunt waterfowl. Trims can be given as often as baths, about every four to eight weeks, depending on how long you’d like your Poodle’s hair to grow. If you’d like to trim your Poodle’s hair at home, Wolaniuk recommends Andis or Oster clippers, which offer easy snap-on blades. She uses size 15 or 30 blades for trimming the face, feet, and tail base, with the higher the number of the blade corresponding to shorter cuts. She recommends using a 4 to 7 blade for clipping your Poodle’s body short, depending on your length preference. Giving a cut at home requires patience and discipline, and Wolaniuk advises taking your time and playing around with styles you prefer. “Remember hair always grows so any mistakes you make will be corrected with time as it grows in.” Grooming and bath time is a great opportunity to examine your Poodle for any changes that may need attention, such as cuts or growths, parasites (such as fleas or ticks), or anything else that may be worth discussing with your vet. Grooming Show Poodles vs. Pets “The same grooming techniques are required for the Poodle whether they are your constant companion, your competing performance dog, or your conformation show dog,” says Wolaniuk. “The main difference is the required trims needed in conformation show dogs. The guidelines to the required trims are outlined in the breed standard, set forth by the parent clubs (Poodle Club of America).” While younger dogs are shown in what’s called a “puppy trim,” adult Poodles are shown in the “Continental” or “English Saddle Trim,” which are longer and will require more ongoing coat care, she explains. Nail Care Basics for Standard Poodles Your Poodle’s nails are too long if you can hear them clicking around on the floor, says Wolaniuk. You have a few options for keeping them trim: Cutting them, using a grinder, or both. “If you cut them make sure you have a quick-stop handy in case you cut the quick, which is the blood supply to the nail,” says Wolaniuk. “This is not a problem, just apply the quick-stop.” With a grinder, you can shorten each nail around once every week or so. Or, if you’d like, you can clip your Poodle’s nails first then grind the sharp edges for a smooth finish. Keeping Your Poodle’s Teeth Healthy For ongoing dental maintenance, Wolaniuk recommends making sure your Poodle has something hard to chew on—such as bones, antlers, or Himalayan chews—and that you also brush your dog’s teeth with a dog toothbrush or finger toothbrush, using a liver- or chicken-flavored toothpaste. For extra care, you can scrape tartar buildup using a tooth scaler. And of course, don’t forget to schedule regular dental cleanings with your pet’s vet. Standard Poodle Ear Care Because Poodles tend to grow hair in their ears, and since their drop ears are prone to developing wax, it’s important to clean your dog’s ears regularly by either plucking or trimming the hair that grows inside. “The more hair you pluck out or cut out allows a better airflow to help the inside of the ear to stay dry,” says Wolaniuk. In addition, use an ear-cleaning solution to remove any excess debris, wax, or dirt and help maintain the proper PH levels in your dog’s ear canal, she adds. The post How to Groom a Standard Poodle appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  6. A new system can detect the chemical and microbial content of an air sample with even greater sensitivity than a dog's nose. Researchers coupled this to a machine-learning process that can identify the distinctive characteristics of the disease-bearing samples.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sciencedaily/plants_animals/dogs/~4/58oOFy7Hz5I View the source article
  7. Rss Bot

    Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

    Hip dysplasia. These two words terrify large and giant breed dog owners, but the truth is hip dysplasia can happen to any size or breed of dog. This painful condition can drastically reduce a dog’s quality of life and is difficult for owners to watch. The good news is that embracing responsible dog ownership and educating yourself about potential health conditions like hip dysplasia can go a long way toward keeping your dog comfortable. Learn what all dog owners should know about hip dysplasia, including the symptoms, treatment options, and preventative measures you can take to keep your dog healthy, happy, and active. What Is Canine Hip Dysplasia? Hip dysplasia is a common skeletal condition, often seen in large or giant breed dogs, although it can occur in smaller breeds, as well. To understand how the condition works, owners first must understand the basic anatomy of the hip joint. The hip joint functions as a ball and socket. In dogs with hip dysplasia, the ball and socket do not fit or develop properly, and they rub and grind instead of sliding smoothly. This results in deterioration over time and an eventual loss of function of the joint itself. What Causes Hip Dysplasia in Dogs? Several factors lead to the development of hip dysplasia in dogs, beginning with genetics. Hip dysplasia is hereditary and is especially common in larger dogs, like the Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Labrador Retriever, and German Shepherd Dog. Factors such as excessive growth rate, types of exercise, and improper weight and nutrition can magnify this genetic predisposition. Some puppies have special nutrition requirements and need food specially formulated for large breed puppies. These foods help prevent excessive growth, which can lead to skeletal disorders such as hip dysplasia, along with elbow dysplasia and other joint conditions. Slowing down these breeds’ growth allows their joints to develop without putting too much strain on them, helping to prevent problems down the line. Improper nutrition can also influence a dog’s likelihood of developing hip dysplasia, as can too much exercise – or too little. Obesity puts a lot of stress on your dog’s joints, which can exacerbate a pre-existing condition such as hip dysplasia or even cause hip dysplasia. Talk to your vet about the best diet for your dog and the appropriate amount of exercise your dog needs each day to keep them in good physical condition. Glucosamine For Dogs Large breed dog foods often contain joint supplements like glucosamine. If your veterinarian diagnoses your dog with arthritis, glucosamine will likely be part of a comprehensive treatment plan. They will most likely recommend a chewable supplement veterinarian-grade dose of glucosamine and chondroitin. You can also purchase supplements with these ingredients, like Glyde Mobility Chews, for dogs that might be prone to developing arthritis and hip dysplasia down the line. Joint supplements are often used as an early intervention and throughout the progression of arthritis, as they are safe for long-term use in most patients. While research is still limited, these supplements may help reduce symptoms of hip dysplasia. Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs Some dogs begin to show signs of hip dysplasia when they are as young as four months of age. Others develop it in conjunction with osteoarthritis as they age. In both cases, there are a few symptoms that owners should be familiar with. These symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the disease, the level of inflammation, the degree of looseness in the joint, and how long the dog has suffered from hip dysplasia. Decreased activity Decreased range of motion Difficulty or reluctance rising, jumping, running, or climbing stairs Lameness in the hind end Swaying, “bunny hopping” gait Grating in the joint during movement Loss of thigh muscle mass Noticeable enlargement of the shoulder muscles as they compensate for the hind end Pain Stiffness or limping Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia in Dogs At your dog’s regular checkup, your veterinarian will perform a physical exam. Sometimes this exam is enough for your veterinarian to suspect hip dysplasia. In other cases, it’s up to owners to let veterinarians know that when dogs are experiencing discomfort. One of the first things that your veterinarian may do is manipulate your dog’s hind legs to test the looseness of the joint and to check for any grinding, pain, or reduced range of motion. Your dog’s physical exam may include blood work because inflammation due to joint disease can be indicated in the complete blood count. Your veterinarian will also need a history of your dog’s health and symptoms, any possible incidents or injuries that may have contributed to these symptoms, and any information you have about your dog’s parentage. The definitive diagnosis usually comes with a radiograph or X-ray. Your veterinarian will take radiographs of your dog’s hips to determine the degree and severity of the hip dysplasia, which will help determine the best course of treatment for your dog. Treating Hip Dysplasia in Dogs There are quite a few treatment options for hip dysplasia in dogs, ranging from lifestyle modifications to surgery. If your dog’s hip dysplasia is not severe, or if your dog is not a candidate for surgery for medical or financial reasons, your veterinarian may recommend a nonsurgical approach. Depending on your dog’s case, the vet may suggest the following: Weight reduction to take stress off of the hips Exercise restriction, especially on hard surfaces Physical therapy Joint supplements Anti-inflammatory medications (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids) Joint fluid modifiers If your dog is a good candidate for surgery, there are more options. While there are quite a few different surgical strategies, the most common surgeries veterinarians use to treat hip dysplasia in dogs are: Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO) Femoral head ostectomy (FHO) Total hip replacement (THR) DPO/TPO DPO/TPO surgery is usually performed in young dogs less than 10 months old. In this surgery, the function of the ball and socket joint is improved by selectively cutting the pelvic bone and rotating the segments. FHO FHO surgery can be performed on young and mature dogs. The surgery involves cutting off the femoral head, or “ball,” of the hip joint. This results in the body creating a “false” joint that reduces the discomfort associated with hip dysplasia. While FHO does not recreate normal hip function, it can be a successful pain management strategy. THR The most effective surgical treatment for hip dysplasia in dogs is a total hip replacement. The surgeon replaces the entire joint with metal and plastic implants. This returns hip function to a more normal range and eliminating most of the discomfort associated with hip dysplasia. Preventing Hip Dysplasia in Dogs Not all cases of hip dysplasia can be prevented. However, there are some steps you can take to reduce your dog’s risk of developing this disease. Keeping your dog’s skeletal system healthy should start when your dog is young. Feeding your puppy an appropriate diet will give them a head start on healthy bone and joint development and help prevent the excessive growth that leads to the disease. As your dog grows, providing appropriate levels of exercise and a healthy diet will prevent obesity, which is a major contributing factor to hip dysplasia. Also, obesity causes many other health problems in dogs, so hold off on the table scraps and fatty foods. As a prospective owner of a new dog, do your research on the breed of your choice. Find a responsible breeder that does the appropriate health screenings, such as radiographs for hip dysplasia and more. The best way that breeders can prevent hereditary hip dysplasia is to screen their breeding dogs for the disease. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) health testing can help breeders determine the condition of their dogs’ hips, ensuring that they only breed dogs with hip joints rated normal grade or higher. Prognosis For Dogs With Hip Dysplasia Dogs with hip dysplasia often lead long, full lives, especially with treatment. If you think that your dog may be affected, talk to your veterinarian. Treatment options and lifestyle changes you can make to keep your dog comfortable well into old age. The post Hip Dysplasia In Dogs appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  8. Osteoarthritis is a common problem in dogs, particularly in seniors and large breeds. Although there is no cure for this progressive condition, identifying the problem early and initiating appropriate management can help keep your dog active and improve quality of life. What is Osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis, also referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), is a progressively worsening inflammation of the joint caused by the deterioration of cartilage. In a healthy joint, cartilage acts as a cushion to allow the joint to move smoothly through its full range of motion. In cases of osteoarthritis, this cartilage cushion begins to break down because of factors such as age, injury, repetitive stress, or disease. The loss of this protective cushion results in pain, inflammation, decreased range of motion, and the development of bone spurs. While any joint in the body can develop osteoarthritis, the condition most commonly affects the limbs and lower spine. Risk Factors for Osteoarthritis in Dogs Any dog can develop osteoarthritis, particularly as they age. But there are some factors that can predispose your dog to this condition, such as: Large or giant breeds, such as German Shepherd Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers Obesity Age, particularly middle-age to senior dogs Repetitive stress from athletic activities such as agility, flyball, or diving Injuries such as fractures or ligament tears Prior diagnosis of hip or elbow dysplasia Infections that affect the joints, such as Lyme Disease Improper nutrition Poor conformation Genetics If your dog is predisposed to developing osteoarthritis, it is especially important to stay up-to-date with regular wellness visits to your veterinarian. They can help ensure your dog maintains a healthy weight and active lifestyle, and can often catch signs of osteoarthritis early before the problem becomes serious. Signs of Osteoarthritis in Dogs Osteoarthritis can be difficult to detect in its early stages, and often the symptoms do not become apparent until the affected joint is badly damaged. Some dogs can also be very stoic and will hide their pain until it becomes severe. Thus, it is important to monitor middle-aged to senior dogs and those predisposed to osteoarthritis for early signs of joint disease. These signs include: Stiffness, lameness, limping, or difficulty getting up Lethargy Reluctance to run, jump, or play Weight gain Irritability or changes in behavior Pain when petted or touched Difficulty posturing to urinate or defecate, or having accidents in the house Loss of muscle mass over the limbs and spine If you suspect your dog may be exhibiting signs of osteoarthritis, it is important to have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian, who will perform a full physical examination, including palpating your dog’s joints and assessing their range of motion. Your veterinarian may also recommend X-rays of the affected joints, which will help rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. X-rays can also help your veterinarian evaluate the degree of damage to the joint. Treatment of Osteoarthritis Unfortunately, osteoarthritis is a progressive disease and there is no known cure. Preventing the development of osteoarthritis through diet, exercise, and the use of protective joint supplements is the best way to keep your dog’s joints healthy. When osteoarthritis develops, treatment is typically focused on controlling pain, decreasing inflammation, improving quality of life, and slowing the development of the disease. Treatment of osteoarthritis is usually multimodal, meaning that several different therapies are used simultaneously in order to achieve the best outcome. Joint Supplements These are often prescribed to improve function, reduce inflammation, and slow the progression of joint damage. Glucosamine and chondroitin are two common joint supplement ingredients that are used in both humans and dogs. These supplements work by reducing inflammation, promoting healing, and increasing water retention in the cartilage, which provides more cushioning for the joint. Green-lipped mussel (GLM) is another proven joint supplement ingredient for both humans and dogs and contains beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, glycosaminoglycans, and antioxidants. GLM is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can help decrease pain and preserve joint function. Joint supplements like Glyde Mobility Chews are often used as an early intervention and throughout the progression of osteoarthritis because they are safe for long-term use in most patients. NSAIDs In addition to the use of joint supplements, pain control is a mainstay of osteoarthritis treatment. The most commonly used pain control medications for more severe osteoarthritis are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs can not only reduce pain, but also decrease inflammation in the joints. However, NSAIDs have significant side effects with continued use, particularly in patients with poor liver or kidney function. Your veterinarian will discuss the risks and benefits of NSAID therapy for your dog, and may recommend regular blood work in order to monitor your dog’s health during NSAID therapy. Additional Treatments Your veterinarian may also recommend other treatment modalities such as physiotherapy, acupuncture, cold laser, and changes in diet. In severe cases, they may recommend surgery to remove damaged tissue from the joint, or even to replace the joint entirely. Weight Management No matter what your dog’s joint health looks like, it is important to maintain a healthy weight and active lifestyle. In dogs with osteoarthritis, carrying excess weight on damaged joints is not only painful, but can also speed up the process of cartilage breakdown. In healthy dogs, obesity can predispose them to earlier development of osteoarthritis, as well as many other diseases. If your dog is overweight or obese, your veterinarian is your best resource to help you begin a diet and exercise plan to improve your dog’s health. Osteoarthritis is a painful condition, but fortunately, it can be managed. Maintaining your dog at a healthy weight and identifying signs of joint pain early are the first steps to maintaining your dog’s mobility. Joint supplements may also help manage inflammation and pain, as well as slow the progression of the disease. The post Osteoarthritis in Dogs — Signs and Treatment appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  9. Many dogs suffer from arthritis as they age. This painful condition, which occurs in dogs and people, results when cartilage, the cushioning between the bones, begins to thin and wear away. As a result, the ends of the bones start to rub against each other, and you may notice your dog starting to limp. Trauma, disease, or normal wear and tear that comes with use over years all may cause arthritis. “While there is no cure for canine arthritis, some treatments can lessen pain and improve mobility,” says Dr. Jerry Klein, the AKC’s chief veterinary officer. What Is Glucosamine? Glucosamine, a naturally occurring compound, is one of the more popular over-the-counter arthritis remedies. It is one of several natural substances, or nutraceuticals, that are known as chondroprotective agents, used in the treatment of arthritis in humans, dogs, horses, and other animals. In dogs, glucosamine is also often used to: Alleviate pain and joint wear caused by hip dysplasia or other structural changes. Aid in the treatment of spinal disc injury. Ease recovery from joint surgery. Try to keep performance dogs in peak condition. Glucosamine joint supplements are said to alleviate the symptoms of joint damage by boosting the repair of damaged cartilage, specifically articular cartilage, or the moist, spongy material that forms a cushion between joints. Joint supplements like Glyde Mobility Chews are often used as an early intervention and throughout the progression of arthritis, as they are safe for long-term use in most patients. “Cartilage plays an important role, and when damaged, it won’t usually repair or duplicate itself on its own,” says Dr. Klein. “So the bones of the joint may rub against each other, causing pain and inflammation.” Dr. Georg Ledderhose first identified glucosamine in 1876. Glucosamine is supplied in one of three forms: glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, or N-acetylglucosamine. No one knows exactly what the mechanism of action is, but glucosamine, an amino sugar, appears to improve the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, one of the building blocks of cartilage. Glucosamine is often used in conjunction with another natural substance, chondroitin sulfate, which is also aimed at stimulating cartilage repair. Chondroitin is made from cow or pig cartilage and is also derived from the shells of crabs, oysters, and shrimp, or synthesized from plant sources in laboratories. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulates these products as dietary supplements, not drugs, and as such, they are not subjected to the same stringent FDA review and approval process as pharmaceuticals. Dietary supplements are evaluated for safety after they are on the market, mostly through “adverse event monitoring.” Glucosamine has been used in veterinary practices in Europe and the U.S. for about 20 years. Does Glucosamine Work? Starting in the 1980s, scientists began investigating glucosamine and chondroitin to try to prove whether they work, but so far, there is still not a common consensus, and studies in humans have been inconclusive. In 2012, an examination of studies in humans found that one form — glucosamine hydrochloride — had little effect, while another form — glucosamine sulfate — offered pain relief superior or equal to “the commonly used analgesic or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.” The scientists determined that “the question of the benefit of glucosamine treatment remains largely unanswered.” But, they noted that, because the supplements have “low and rare adverse effects, it represents a viable option for the management of osteoarthritis.” They also expressed the opinion that it could be useful in combination with drugs and other natural products. Unfortunately, there’s little in the way of veterinary research thus far. In 2007, scientists at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, conducted a review of 16 clinical trials of treatments for osteoarthritis in dogs. They reported their results in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and found that preparations containing glucosamine provided a “moderate level” of comfort, and were on a par with some prescription drugs. “Glucosamine and chondroitin are commonly recommended by veterinarians as an alternative for treating osteoarthritis in canines unable to tolerate the adverse effects of NSAIDs, or as add-on therapy,” concluded a February 2017 article in Open Veterinary Journal. “Although glucosamine and chondroitin have benign adverse effect profiles, the clinical benefit of using these agents remains questionable. Further study is required to clarify the uncertainty around the clinical benefit of using these agents and quantify any treatment effect that exists.” Does Glucosamine Have Side Effects? There have been very few side effects observed in patients taking glucosamine, including: Allergies (specifically among those who are allergic to shellfish) Fatigue Insomnia Excessive thirst and urination (at high doses) Some are wary about the sugar-based substance’s use in dogs with diabetes How Do I Give My Dog Glucosamine? Before giving your dog glucosamine, you should consult with your veterinarian to identify your dog’s condition and determine the correct dosage. Most available formulations of glucosamine for dogs are oral, such as flavored tablets, pills, powders, or liquids. These supplements are available in pet-supply stores, veterinarian’s offices, and via online sources. Parnell’s Glyde Mobility Chews are a joint supplement with strong scientific backing, containing the unique combination of green-lipped mussel, glucosamine, and chondroitin to promote healthy joints. Green-lipped mussel (GLM) is another proven joint supplement ingredient for both humans and dogs that contains beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, glycosaminoglycans, and antioxidants. GLM is a powerful anti-inflammatory that combined with glucosamine and chondroitin can help decrease pain and preserve joint function. Glyde Mobility Chews are the only joint supplement with proven levels of these key ingredients to help maintain youthful mobility throughout your dog’s life. With Glyde Mobility Chews, protecting your dog’s joints is as easy as giving them a daily chew that tastes like a treat. However, it may take weeks to see improvement, so veterinarians recommend evaluating the effects of the treatment only after your dog has been taking glucosamine for about three months. So what’s the bottom line? If your veterinarian agrees, a glucosamine supplement may be worth a try to relieve your dog’s arthritis pain and help boost their energy and mobility. The post Can Glucosamine for Dogs Help Treat Arthritis and Joint Pain? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    Why Is My Dog Limping?

    Like us, dogs limp for a variety of reasons. Unlike us, dogs can’t tell us what happened or where it hurts using words, leaving us struggling to figure it out for ourselves. Your most valuable resource for determining the cause of your dog’s limp is your veterinarian. Before calling to make an appointment, however, most of us want to know a little bit about the common causes of limping in dogs, what to expect from a veterinary visit, and when limping is a veterinary emergency. Gradual Onset vs. Sudden Limping There are two types of limps: gradual onset and sudden onset. Gradual onset limps happen slowly over time. Sudden limps happen quickly, like their name implies, usually after an injury or trauma. Knowing whether or not your dog’s limp is sudden or gradual can help your veterinarian narrow down the possible causes of your dog’s limp, and can help you determine if your dog’s limp is a veterinary emergency. In general, gradual onset limps are caused by an underlying, chronic or degenerative condition, such as osteoarthritis or dysplasia. Sudden onset limps, on the other hand, are usually caused by an injury or trauma. Just because your dog has a gradual limp does not mean you should put off making an appointment. Some causes of gradual limping, such as bone cancer or hip dysplasia, can be treated more effectively if they are caught sooner rather than later. When to Call the Vet In general, it is usually better to play it safe and schedule an appointment with a veterinarian for a limp that lasts more than a few minutes, but as with people, dogs seem to have a knack for getting hurt outside of normal office hours. So how do you know when you can wait until the next morning and when you should rush to the emergency room? Gradual onset limps or sudden onset limps that don’t seem to be bothering your dog too much can usually wait a few hours, and in some cases, may even resolve on their own during the waiting period. In other cases, however, your dog can’t wait. Broken bones or dislocated joints require immediate care, and nerve damage can be a sign of a more serious neurological condition or spinal injury. You need to get your dog into the veterinarian or veterinary emergency room if your dog shows any of the following signs of an emergency: Dangling limb (dislocation) Swelling Hot limb Obvious break or unnatural angle Common Causes of Limping in Dogs Lameness in dogs is a frequent veterinary complaint, and there is a huge range of possible causes, from chronic conditions to trauma. This may seem overwhelming, but these causes can be broken down into a few categories. Paw Injury If you’ve ever stepped on a piece of glass, then you know how it feels to have something sharp lodged in your foot. Foreign bodies, like glass, nails, sticks, thorns, plant matter, or anything else that should not be in your dog’s paw, hurt. They make it uncomfortable to walk and can lead to infection. Insect and animal stings or bites can also cause tenderness and limping, as can lacerations, broken toenails, burns, frostbite, and bruising. A sign that your dog may have something stuck in his paw is that he will lick his paw incessantly. Joint Disease Some conditions cause gradual wear and tear on joints and the musculoskeletal system. This leads to limping. Osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, ligament disease, intervertebral disk disease, and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) all can cause limping on any of the affected limbs. Infections like Lyme disease can also cause joint pain and limping, which is just one more reason why it is important to have your dog on an effective tick preventative. If your dog is diagnosed with arthritis or suffers from dysplasia, your vet will most likely recommend a veterinarian-grade joint supplement of glucosamine and chondroitin. Joint supplements like Glyde Mobility Chews are often used as an early intervention and throughout the progression of osteoarthritis because they are safe for long-term use in most patients. While research is still limited, joint supplements such as Glyde can help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. Bone Disease Some diseases affect the bones in your dog’s legs. Younger dogs, especially large breed puppies, can develop conditions such as hypertrophic osteodystrophy and panosteitis, which make walking painful. Certain cancers, such as osteosarcoma, also affect bones and require prompt diagnosis for the best prognosis. Injury or Trauma Injuries and trauma are the most obvious causes of limping in dogs. From car accidents to sports injuries, our dogs are exposed to almost as many types of injuries as we are. Broken bones, fractures, sprains, dislocations, ligament tears, joint trauma, and spinal injuries can all cause moderate to severe limping, and in some cases the dog may not be able to put weight on the affected leg at all. Proper conditioning can help reduce the risk of some sports injuries, but a limping canine athlete should be given plenty of rest until the cause of the limp is identified and treated. If your dog becomes acutely lame (especially if he’s a puppy), wait for about 15 minutes and try to keep your pup quiet and still. They are like children and will likely yelp and cry for about five minutes. You may find them acting perfectly normal after that time and save yourself a trip to the emergency room. If, however, they are still lame or non-weight bearing after 15 minutes, you should have them be seen by their veterinarian. Diagnosing a Limping Dog Sometimes the cause of your dog’s limp is clear, like a broken bone or a piece of glass in a paw pad. Other times, the cause is a little more elusive. Your veterinarian may have to run some tests to determine the cause of your dog’s limp. Radiographs can help identify a broken bone, joint disease, and other skeletal abnormalities. Biopsies and joint fluid collection can help identify cancer and other possible causes, and blood testing for infectious diseases like Lyme or immune-related diseases may also be necessary. Prior to testing, your veterinarian will perform a physical examination of your dog to test for tenderness, pain, and range of motion in his limbs. You can also do your own examination at home before you call the veterinarian. However, without proper training, testing the range of motion and manipulating your dog’s leg is a bad idea and could injure your dog further. You can gently run your hand down your dog’s leg and paw to check for swelling, heat, and to determine where your dog is tender. This information can help your veterinarian determine whether or not your dog can wait for an opening or if he needs to come in on an emergency basis. Treating a Limping Dog The treatment for your dog’s lameness will vary depending on the cause. Your dog’s treatment plan could be as simple as a few days of rest, or it could entail surgery, further testing, and a prolonged recovery. While this may sound intimidating, in most cases the sooner you get your dog in to see the veterinarian, the better the prognosis. While you are waiting for your appointment, try to keep your dog as calm as possible and abstain from exercise or play to avoid making the limp worse, and if necessary, crate your dog in the car to prevent further injury. For further questions about your dog’s limp, contact your veterinarian and schedule an appointment. Note: Never give any over-the-counter or prescription human pain medication—including ibuprofen or acetaminophen—to dogs as this can be toxic or fatal. Always consult your veterinarian. The post Why Is My Dog Limping? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  11. Researchers have used new methods for DNA sequencing and annotation to build a new, and more complete, dog reference genome. This tool will serve as the foundation for a new era of research, helping scientists to better understand the link between DNA and disease, in dogs and in their human friends.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sciencedaily/plants_animals/dogs/~4/XlyaiNwW3OM View the source article
  12. Researchers show that wolves have evolved ambush hunting tactics specifically tailored for catching and killing beavers. The study challenges the classic concept that wolves are solely cursorial predators. Instead, wolf-hunting strategies appear highly flexible, and they are able to switch between hunting modes (cursorial and ambush hunting) depending on their prey.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sciencedaily/plants_animals/dogs/~4/m-CrhO7C7yk View the source article
  13. Animal owners frequently report concerns and worries relating to caring for their animal during the pandemic, new research suggests. The study also revealed owners had increased their appreciation of their animals during the first lockdown phase. The notion that people 'could not live without' their animals and that they were a 'godsend' or a 'lifeline' in the pandemic was frequently expressed.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sciencedaily/plants_animals/dogs/~4/b0QOcB1hK3g View the source article
  14. While many pooches love being pampered, some of our canine companions go berserk when they see a brush. But brushing your pup’s coat isn’t just a great way to keep them in tip-top shape—it’s a vital part of responsible dog ownership. Routine grooming sessions keep you connected to their overall health so you can examine their coat, body, and paws for any problems. Don’t lose hope if your dog wiggles, hides, bites, or runs away at the sight of a brush—there are ways you can make the ritual much more positive for you both. Why Does My Dog Not Like Being Brushed? Your dog may hate brushings for a lot of reasons. Dogs have good memories. They will remember previous scary or painful experiences, especially negative experiences that happened during puppyhood. Pay attention to how your dog reacts before, during, and after brushings. Do they react negatively to certain motions? If your dog is flinching every time you get near them with a brush, they likely have bad experiences associated with brushings. Some dogs become anxious about brushings. This could be because they have anxiety or because they find new experiences scary. It’s also possible that your dog has a past, or a history of abuse, you don’t know about. Rescue dogs, in particular, will often have a fear of abandonment and may be negatively reacting because they don’t trust you. If your dog is biting while being brushed, it may be because they don’t enjoy brushing, they’re scared, or have been abused. It’s also possible that your beloved pup may have had a bad grooming experience before. Their fur may have been brushed too hard or that they might have sensitive skin, and will avoid your brush to prevent potential pain. And, of course, some dogs are also just impatient. They’ve got energy to burn and don’t want to sit still. Regardless of the reason, it’s possible for all these pups to learn to love brushings. How to Brush a Dog that Hates Being Brushed Since dogs can’t communicate why they don’t like being brushed, you need to treat them respectfully and gently as you brush them. It can be easy to get angry or frustrated when you’re having a difficult time brushing your dog. But showing frustration will equally frustrate your dog and make the process more difficult. You need to show them lots of love and patience. Load up on treats to give your dog as you brush them. Don’t hesitate to give them a treat every couple of seconds—you want to give them a reason to cooperate. Create a relaxing environment for your brushing adventure. Make them comfortable by placing them on something soft, like their bed or a towel. It also helps to keep them in a contained space where they can’t run away from you, like a patio or porch. Always start by giving your pooch a treat. Have them sniff the brush first to introduce them to it. If your dog doesn’t react well to a brush, try a grooming glove that fits your hand to make it seem like they are being petted, not brushed. Start by brushing one small section at a time. Focus on sections that are easy to reach that don’t bother your dog. As you move the brush through their fur, offer treats. Try short brushing sessions. Praise your dog as you brush, then stop after a few strokes. If you discover an area where they don’t mind being brushed, try practicing there. Be patient as you brush them and constantly compliment them. If your dog is tolerating you, you can use a treat to reposition them so you can get to more areas. You can use a treat to get them to roll over or turn around so you can get to their other side. You may only be able to brush a few small sections at a time when you start brushing your brush-hating dog. That’s okay! The goal is to show your dog that this is a positive activity. If you hate brushing your dog as much as they hate being brushed, you could try giving them baths more frequently to help remove hair and decrease shedding. For dogs who hate sitting still, you may have better luck brushing them after an energetic activity like a long walk or Agility training. If treats aren’t enough to distract your distressed dog, try using a puzzle toy filled with treats to make them think as they eat. Remember, every time you brush your dog, the goal is to build trust with them. You want to make every brushing session a positive memory to reinforce that it What To Do When Your Dog Is Aggressive While Being Brushed Biting or growling during brushing is not acceptable and often requires professional intervention. If your dog is biting you or your brush, or acting aggressively, consider working with a trainer to curb the fear or aggression. You may also need to work with a groomer who is trained to deal with aggressive dogs. They will often team up with other groomers to restrain your dog so everyone stays safe. It may be time for a vet check-up, to rule out medical conditions causing pain during brushing sessions. Arthritis, infected ears, or inflammation in the joints could cause your dog to jerk when you’re near those sensitive spots. Even though your dog may hate brushings, it’s an important part of pampering them. In time, your canine companion may even grow to love being brushed. The post Why Does My Dog Not Like Being Brushed? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  15. Congratulations on your new puppy! This adorable, four-legged family member is going to bring you love and affection — and also some challenges, including how to survive teething and nipping. Puppies’ mouths are filled with 28 tiny, razor-sharp teeth that seem to be attracted to nipping at your fingers and toes. Although an annoying behavior, this is completely normal for teething puppies and something you can train away. When Do Puppy’s Teeth Fall Out? Puppies get their baby teeth at a much younger age than human babies — as early as two-weeks old. As puppies grow, they explore their world with their mouths. When a puppy is about 3-to-4-months-old, puppy teeth begin to fall out to make room for 42 adult teeth. (That’s about 10 more teeth than people have.) This process can be awfully painful for your pup — his gums will be sore. When teething occurs, you might notice the puppy drooling or see little spots of blood on his toys, although if you notice anything unusual, talk to your veterinarian since both symptoms could also be related to a more serious issue. Once your puppy is 6-months-old, his baby teeth should have fallen out. According to AKC Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Jerry Klein, “You may find puppy teeth on the floor, although the puppy is likely to swallow most of the teeth. If you find that some don’t fall out, be sure to tell your veterinarian. They may need to be removed by a veterinary professional.” View a complete timeline of puppy teething. How to Survive Puppy Teething The teething process is very uncomfortable for a puppy. Your job as a responsible owner is to provide something your pup can chew on to soothe sore gums and help make this process a little more comfortable. By doing so, you’ll be preventing the puppy from finding something on his own to chew, whether it’s your shoes, your couch, or your children’s toys. The best objects to offer teething puppies depend on your dog’s size and level of activity. They include rubber teething toys that you can put in the freezer, such as a Kong, edible puppy teething rings, and flavored puppy chew toys. Ask your veterinarian what the safest chew toys are for your puppy, and whatever you choose, always supervise chewing and playtime because nothing is safe for every dog. Dr. Klein suggests that allowing puppies and older dogs to chew anything very hard can cause damage to their teeth. Check the toys periodically to ensure they aren’t falling apart. Your puppy should not be able to chew chunks off or pull pieces of fiber or stuffing from them. Sticks can also be hazardous, although many puppies chew them. How to Stop a Puppy From Nipping Puppies naturally nip at each other while playing and sometimes don’t realize how hard they’re able to bite down without hurting the other dog. If they bite too hard, another dog will make a loud yelp, warning the puppy, “Hey, that hurts!” You can teach your puppy that biting hurts with a loud, high-pitched “OW” if he bites you. Then give him a treat or verbal praise for backing off. Beware that some puppies get even more worked up if you yell. In this case, turn around quietly or walk away, or gently put the pup in a crate for a few minutes to calm down. Now is the time for them to learn how to moderate the force of a bite, called bite inhibition. Any adult dog might put their mouth on you or someone else, like your vet, if they’re in pain, but the outcome will be harmless if the dog has learned bite inhibition. After teaching him that biting you is painful, let him know what he can bite or chew on. If he starts nibbling at your fingers or toes while you’re playing, offer him a toy instead. Keep toys where you can easily reach them so you can quickly offer an acceptable alternative when the puppy feels a need to chew. If he continues to nip you, stop the play session so that he realizes that biting is not rewarded. You may also need to redirect that excessive puppy energy with outside playtime, a walk, or a training session. Never hit your dog or otherwise physically punish him. If your pet seems to be biting out of aggression (not during play), speak to a veterinarian or dog trainer about ways to deal with that behavior. Caring for a Puppy’s Adult Teeth Once your dog has all of his adult teeth, you want to ensure that they stay pearly white. Begin a healthy-teeth routine by getting your puppy used to having his mouth and teeth touched at an early age. You can purchase a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste (an enzymatic product is recommended as it works both mechanically and chemically to remove plaque). Do not use human toothpaste because it can include ingredients like xylitol that are toxic or even deadly to dogs. Also keep in mind that even though they are no longer teething, adult dogs still like to chew. So continue to give your dog chew toys and edibles that will satisfy this natural instinct and can help keep teeth clean, too. Good luck with your new puppy, and enjoy guiding him through this important time. Before long, the memories of your pup as a nipping, chewing little monster will be something you look back on fondly. The post Puppy Teething and Nipping: A Survival Guide appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  16. When you bring that soft, sweet-smelling little ball of puppy fuzz into your home, you know right away that she depends on you for, well, everything. It’s up to you to give her all the care she needs every day. It can be a little intimidating — she needs the best puppy food, plenty of attention, gentle training, safe toys, puppy socialization, a comfortable home, and proper veterinary care. And that includes puppy shots throughout her first year. Which Shots Do Puppies Need? Going to the vet repeatedly over several months for vaccinations, and then for boosters or titers throughout your dog’s life, may seem like an inconvenience, but the diseases that vaccinations will shield our pets from are dangerous, potentially deadly, and, thankfully, mostly preventable. We read about so many different vaccinations, for so many different illnesses, that it can sometimes be confusing to know which vaccinations puppies need and which ones are important but optional. Here is an overview of the diseases that vaccinations will help your pet to avoid. Bordetella Bronchiseptica This highly infectious bacterium causes severe fits of coughing, whooping, vomiting, and, in rare cases, seizures and death. It is the primary cause of kennel cough. There are injectable and nasal spray vaccines available. If you plan on boarding your puppy in the future, attending group training classes, or using dog daycare services, often proof of this vaccination will be a requirement. Canine Distemper A severe and contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and nervous systems of dogs, raccoons, skunks, and other animals, distemper spreads through airborne exposure (through sneezing or coughing) from an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment. It causes discharges from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and, often, death. This disease used to be known as “hard pad” because it causes the footpad to thicken and harden. There is no cure for distemper. Treatment consists of supportive care and efforts to prevent secondary infections, control symptoms of vomiting, seizures and more. If the animal survives the symptoms, it is hoped that the dog’s immune system will have a chance to fight it off. Infected dogs can shed the virus for months. Canine Hepatitis Infectious canine hepatitis is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, and the eyes of the affected dog. This disease of the liver is caused by a virus that is unrelated to the human form of hepatitis. Symptoms range from a slight fever and congestion of the mucous membranes to vomiting, jaundice, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. Many dogs can overcome the mild form of the disease, but the severe form can kill. There is no cure, but doctors can treat the symptoms. Canine Parainfluenza One of several viruses that can contribute to kennel cough. Coronavirus The canine coronavirus is not the same virus that causes COVID-19 in people. COVID-19 is not thought to be a health threat to dogs, and there is no evidence it makes dogs sick. Canine coronavirus usually affects dogs’ gastrointestinal systems, though it can also cause respiratory infections. Signs include most GI symptoms, including loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Doctors can keep a dog hydrated, warm, and comfortable, and help alleviate nausea, but no drug kills coronaviruses. Heartworm When your puppy is around 12-to-16 weeks, talk to your vet about starting a heartworm preventive. Though there is no vaccine for this condition, it is preventable with regular medication that your veterinarian will prescribe. The name is descriptive — these worms lodge in the right side of the heart and the pulmonary arteries (that send blood to the lungs), though they can travel through the rest of the body and sometimes invade the liver and kidneys. The worms can grow to 14 inches long and, if clumped together, block and injure organs. A new heartworm infection often causes no symptoms, though dogs in later stages of the disease may cough, become lethargic, lose their appetite or have difficulty breathing. Infected dogs may tire after mild exercise. Unlike most of the conditions listed here, which are passed by urine, feces, and other body fluids, heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. Therefore, diagnosis is made via a blood test and not a fecal exam. Kennel Cough Also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, kennel cough results from inflammation of the upper airways. It can be caused by bacterial, viral, or other infections, such as Bordetella and canine parainfluenza, and often involves multiple infections simultaneously. Usually, the disease is mild, causing bouts of harsh, dry coughing; sometimes it’s severe enough to spur retching and gagging, along with a loss of appetite. In rare cases, it can be deadly. It is easily spread between dogs kept close together, which is why it passes quickly through kennels. Antibiotics are usually not necessary, except in severe, chronic cases. Cough suppressants can make a dog more comfortable. Leptospirosis Unlike most diseases on this list, Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria, and some dogs may show no symptoms at all. Leptospirosis can be found worldwide in soil and water. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be spread from animals to people. When symptoms do appear, they can include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, severe weakness and lethargy, stiffness, jaundice, muscle pain, infertility, kidney failure (with or without liver failure). Antibiotics are effective, and the sooner they are given, the better. Lyme Disease Unlike the famous “bull’s-eye” rash that people exposed to Lyme disease often spot, no such telltale symptom occurs in dogs. Lyme disease (or borreliosis) is an infectious, tick-borne disease caused by a type of bacteria called a spirochete. Transmitted via ticks, an infected dog often starts limping, his lymph nodes swell, his temperature rises, and he stops eating. The disease can affect his heart, kidney, and joints, among other things, or lead to neurological disorders if left untreated. If diagnosed quickly, a course of antibiotics is extremely helpful, though relapses can occur months or even years later. Parvovirus Parvo is a highly contagious virus that affects all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies less than four months of age are at the most risk to contract it. The virus attacks the gastrointestinal system and creates a loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and often severe, bloody diarrhea. Extreme dehydration can come on rapidly and kill a dog within 48-to-72 hours, so prompt veterinary attention is crucial. There is no cure, so keeping the dog hydrated and controlling the secondary symptoms can keep him going until his immune system beats the illness. Rabies Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that invades the central nervous system, causing headache, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death. It is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Treatment within hours of infection is essential, otherwise, death is highly likely. Most states require a rabies vaccination. Check with your vet about rabies vaccination laws in your area. Of course, your veterinarian should weigh in and can always provide more information and guidance if needed on necessary and optional vaccinations. Puppy Vaccination Schedule The first thing to know is that there is not just one puppy vaccination schedule for all dogs. Factors such as which part of the country you live in, and your dog’s individual risk factors will come into play. Some dogs do not need every vaccine. This decision is between you and your veterinarian. Always discuss puppy vaccinations at your regularly scheduled appointments. That said, here is a generally accepted guideline of the puppy vaccination schedule for the first year. Puppy’s Age Recommended Vaccinations Optional Vaccinations 6 — 8 weeks Distemper, parvovirus Bordetella 10 — 12 weeks DHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza, and parvovirus) Influenza, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease per lifestyle as recommended by veterinarian 16 — 18 weeks DHPP, rabies Influenza, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis, Bordetella per lifestyle 12 — 16 months DHPP, rabies Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease Every 1 — 2 years DHPP Influenza, Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease per lifestyle Every 1 — 3 years Rabies (as required by law) none Puppy Vaccinations Cost How much vaccinations for your puppy will cost depends on several factors. Where you live is one: Veterinarians in crowded and expensive urban areas will charge more than a rural vet in a small town. In other words, there are significant differences in price. But no matter what the range in costs, some vaccines, such as the “core vaccines,” and for rabies, are necessary. Vet Info has a helpful guide for the approximate cost of puppy vaccinations for her first year. The average cost will be around $75—100. These will include the core vaccines, which are administered in a series of three: at 6-, 12-, and 16 weeks old. The core vaccines include the DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza). Your pup will also need a rabies vaccination, which is usually around $15—20. (Some clinics include the cost of the rabies vaccination.) Often animal shelters charge less for vaccines — approximately $20 — or are even free. If you acquired your dog from a shelter, he would most likely have been vaccinated, up until the age when you got him. The initial puppy vaccination costs during the first year are higher than during adulthood. Vaccinations for Adult Dogs: Boosters and Titers There is a difference of opinion about having your adult dog vaccinated every year. Some vets believe too many vaccinations in adult dogs pose health risks. But others disagree, saying that yearly vaccinations will prevent dangerous diseases such as distemper. Talk with your vet to determine what kind of vaccination protocol works for you and your dog. Many dog owners opt for titer tests before they administer annual vaccinations. Titer tests measure a dog’s immunity levels, and this can determine which, if any, vaccinations are necessary. One key exception to this is rabies: a titer test is not an option when it comes to the rabies vaccine. This vaccination is required by law across the United States. Your vet can tell you the schedule for your particular state. And it’s all worth it. For your effort and care your puppy will lavish you with lifelong love in return. This critical first year of her life is a fun and exciting time for both of you. As she grows physically, the wonderful bond between you will grow, too. The post Your Complete Guide to First-Year Puppy Vaccinations appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
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    Why Do Puppies Shed Their Coats?

    There is not much in this world cuter than a puppy. Besides their downy ears and ridiculous antics, part of their undeniable appeal is their soft puppy coats. Unfortunately for adoring owners, puppyhood doesn’t last forever. Loss of puppy coat is a normal part of your dog’s growth, but it can be alarming for first-time owners. Here is what you can expect during this phase of your puppy’s life. What’s the Difference Between a Puppy Coat & Adult Coat? Puppies are born with a single coat of soft, fluffy fur that helps regulate their body temperature. This coat naturally gives way to their adult coat, which is usually thicker and stiffer than their puppy coat. As they develop, dog breeds with double coats grow two layers of adult fur, with the undercoat usually shorter than the outer coat. Dog breeds that have single coats grow their own distinctive coats as they shed their puppy coat – some short and curly and some long and silky. Some changes in appearance are normal during this phase. Dogs may develop coats that are a different color than their puppy coat. Dalmatians are known for this, as they are born without spots, but many breeds develop different coat coloring and patterns as they shed their puppy fur. English Setters, Bedlington Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, and Shih Tzu are a few of the breeds that may change colors dramatically from puppy to adult. When Do Puppies Shed Their Coats? Puppies lose their puppy coats between 4-to-6 months of age, although this time frame varies widely from breed to breed and can start at 12 weeks or wait until they’re one year old. You might not notice your puppy shedding, especially if she is a shorthaired breed, or the change could be dramatic. Some long-haired breeds go through a few awkward months known as “the uglies” and may look a little ruffled, patchy, or shaggy as their adult coats come in. Other breeds, like the Pomeranian, can take up to 2 years to grow their adult coat in fully. Many people believe that longhaired dogs, like Collies, shed more than shorthaired dogs, like Labrador Retrievers. Although the long hair may be more noticeable on your clothes or couch, shorthaired dogs often have denser coats that naturally shed more. Even breeds that are non-shedding will shed a small amount of hair when they are puppies, although it may take longer for this to happen. You may wonder whether the amount of shedding your puppy does is an indication of how much shedding he will do as an adult. It varies – there are puppies who will shed hardly at all but start shedding a lot more as an adult, and other puppies will shed more than they will as an adult dog. As an owner, you can play an important role in helping your puppy develop a healthy adult coat. “A complete and balanced diet that includes the proper vitamins and nutrients is important for a proper and healthy coat in dogs,” says Dr. Jerry Klein, the AKC’s chief veterinarian officer. “Ask your vet or your breeder about the best diet for your puppy. And be sure to give him plenty of fresh, clean water, because dehydration can cause hair loss.” Grooming Your Puppy’s Changing Coat Regular grooming is an essential part of caring for any dog and is especially important as your dog’s coat transitions from puppyhood to adulthood. Grooming is a great bonding experience for you and your dog, and it also ensures that he is comfortable being handled all over his body. This is especially important for puppies growing into longer coats, as regular grooming is necessary for their health – and your sanity. Proper grooming is also important to make sure your dog’s adult coat comes in healthy. If you plan to take your pup to a professional groomer, it’s a good idea to start when he is young. Look for a groomer you can trust to be gentle and patient. If you have a dog that will need to be groomed with electric clippers, you can hold an electric toothbrush near his puppy coat while you give him treats to get him used to the sound and vibration. There are a variety of different kinds of dog brushes – bristle, wire-pin, slicker — and it’s important to use the type that’s most appropriate for your pup’s type of coat. Puppy coats often require a softer brush than the adult coat will, so ask your breeder, groomer, or veterinarian to suggest the best kind of brush for you to use. You want to get your puppy used to being brushed right from the beginning – so be gentle and patient, give him a chance to sniff the brush, present a puppy toy for him to chew while you brush, and reward him with a treat when you finish. In addition to brushing, bathing your dog also helps remove dead hair. Be sure to use a no-tears shampoo that won’t irritate his eyes. Abnormal Puppy Hair Loss & Shedding Loss of puppy coat is normal, but not all hair loss is healthy. “Take your pup for a full checkup if he is exhibiting exceptional hair loss or has any of the symptoms listed here,” says Dr. Klein. Bare patches of skin Scaly skin Red or inflamed skin Loss of large patches of fur Excessive scratching These are symptoms of a condition called alopecia and could be caused by a larger problem, like fleas, ticks, mites, fungal or bacterial infections, medical conditions such as Cushing’s disease or inflammatory bowel disease, hormone imbalance, poor nutrition, or stress. All of these conditions require a veterinarian’s diagnosis and treatment. The time you spend raising a puppy is filled with excitement, fun, dedication, and sometimes with worry. Your puppy’s coat doesn’t need to be a hassle. With regular grooming and the right knowledge, you and your puppy can weather the transition from puppyhood to adulthood together – even if your puppy does develop a case of “the uglies” along the way. The post Why Do Puppies Shed Their Coats? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  18. Investigators have published a global review of mammal strikes with aircraft, noting that events have been increasing by up to 68% annually. More mammals were struck during the landing phase of an aircraft's rotation than any other phase, according to a new article.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sciencedaily/plants_animals/dogs/~4/QEoHJyfRluY View the source article
  19. Scientists have developed a novel method to induce stem cell generation from the blood samples of dogs. Through this technique, the scientists hope to advance regenerative therapies in veterinary medicine. This would mean that, in the near future, veterinarians might be able to reverse conditions in dogs that were previously thought incurable.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sciencedaily/plants_animals/dogs/~4/p2Ni8rD2r3A View the source article
  20. Rss Bot

    How to Groom a Labrador Retriever

    Friendly, fun, eager to please, and low-maintenance, it’s no surprise that since 1991, a Labrador Retriever — black, yellow, and chocolate — has scored the top spot as the most popular dog breed in the U.S. Naturally, you’ll want to keep your Lab well-groomed and looking in tip-top shape. Paying attention to your dog’s coat, feet, teeth, ears, and eyes gives you the opportunity to spot any medical problems, such as lumps or skin infections, and seek veterinary care before these issues escalate. Although bathing a male Lab who weighs 65-80 pounds or a female who weighs 10 pounds less may seem overwhelming, know that Labs are no strangers to water. Bred to hunt waterfowl or upland game in the icy waters of Newfoundland, leaping into a bathtub and getting wet means nothing short of a good time. You can forget about doing a lot of fussy coat maintenance on this medium-size breed, too. “Their short, dense, weather-resistant coats should never be clipped or trimmed,” says Marilyn Little, judges’ education co-chairperson for the Labrador Retriever Club. Labs will need some basic care. Count on regular brushing, a bath, nail trims, oral care, and ear cleaning. Taking the First Plunge But before rushing your Lab into a total spa experience, Terri Becker DiMarino, president of the California Professional Pet Groomers Association, recommends preparing your dog for accepting touch. “Handle your Lab’s body—feet, face, mouth, and ears for several days prior to grooming to accustom the dog to the sensation of touch,” says DiMarino. “If you plan on taking your Lab to a groomer, this training will be a good preparation for a new handling experience in a strange place.” Once your Lab is comfortable with someone’s touch, establish a regular schedule to groom your dog. When the time arrives, assemble everything you need before beginning. Here’s a list of grooming essentials: Wide-tooth metal comb. Quality canine shampoo. Thick, absorbent towels. Canine cool air hairdryer. Canine bathtub or indoor bathtub or shower. Canine grooming table or outdoor picnic table. Canine blunt or sharp scissors. Canine Dremel. Canine toothpaste and toothbrush. Disposable dental wipes. Veterinary ear cleaning solution. Flea and tick medication. To prepare Labs for getting their nails trimmed with a grinder, DiMarino encourages owners to turn it on and off for a few days before using it for the first time. If a dog has never been exposed to a canine hairdryer, prepare him for the experience by plugging it in and letting it run a few times before using it. Offering food treats while the grinder and dryer are running will help the Lab look forward to the new noises. “This gives the dog time to become accustomed to the different sounds,” says DiMarino. Preservation breeders handle their puppies from day one. They often start trimming their puppies’ nails, lightly brush their coats, and check their ears a few weeks after birth. The pups receive their first baths before they go to their new homes, if not sooner. Coat and Skin Care “Comb your dog before a bath,” says Little. “This gets rid of any debris that might cling to the coat and remove any tangles.” For Labs who spend most of their time indoors, Little recommends bathing once every four to six weeks. Dogs who compete in conformation shows are bathed four to five days before they are shown. “Labrador Retrievers shed twice a year in handfuls,” says Little. “Combing them every day during heavy shedding and bathing in warm water gets rid of the dead hair and saves it from falling all over your floor.” Use a quality canine shampoo, rinse with clean, warm water. If your Lab goes for a pool swim, it’s a good idea to bathe the dog to remove the chlorine, which could otherwise dry out the coat. Pawticure Patrol To retrieve in the field and to prevent foot injuries from happening in companions around the house, Labs need strong feet with well-developed pads. Keeping nails short helps maintain healthy well-arched toes. “When you hear clicking on the floor, it’s time to trim your dog’s nails,” says DiMarino. “If you’d rather not wait that long and want to keep your dog’s feet in healthy condition, rev up the grinder once every three to four weeks.” Owners and handlers who show their Labs in conformation usually trim their dogs’ feet the day before the competition. The hair between the toes on the pads needs trimming, too. If not, your dog will slip on slick surfaces when walking. As your Lab ages and isn’t as steady as in younger years, this job plus nail trimming becomes more important. Use canine scissors–either blunt-nosed or sharp for trimming the hair on the pads. If you don’t feel confident trimming your dog’s nails or the hair on the pads, ask your breeder for lessons or take your dog to a professional groomer to get the job done. Say “Woof” All dogs need oral care. Veterinarians recommend brushing your dog’s teeth once a day with a canine toothbrush and paste. You can also use canine dental wipes. Periodically your Lab will require professional cleaning, so check with your veterinarian. Ear, Eye, and Skin Care The Lab’s ears round out the breed’s soft expression but often block air from circulating underneath. This makes them a target for infections. To prevent them from becoming serious, check and clean excessive wax buildup. Your breeder or veterinarian can demonstrate how to safely clean the ears and keep them debris-free. Kind, friendly eyes complete the Lab’s in-your-face appeal. If you notice any yellow or green discharge, notify your veterinarian. Otherwise, wipe them with a clean cloth after a romp in the field or a swim in the lake. For skin and health protection, keep your dog tick and flea free. The Lab’s double-thick coat gives these pests a great place to hide. Here’s where the daily comb and monthly bath will help you find these troublesome irritants before they have a chance to wreak havoc on your dog’s body. What’s the payoff for keeping your dog well-groomed? “This is a wash-and-wear breed, so a little regular care goes a long way,” says Little. The post How to Groom a Labrador Retriever appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  21. You’ve probably heard the expression “a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth” at least once in your life. Most of us have just accepted this as fact, when we think about it at all, but have you ever wondered if it is actually true? Here’s a hint: the answer is no. Apples and Oranges Comparing a dog’s mouth to a human’s mouth is “like comparing apples and oranges,” according to Colin Harvey, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine and the executive secretary at the American Veterinary Dental College. This is because both dog and human mouths are full of microbes. While there is some overlap in the types of bacteria between species, there are also a host of different dental bacteria in your dog’s mouth that you won’t find in yours. Take the bacterial family known for causing periodontal disease in humans and dogs, Porphyromonas. Researchers discovered that dogs have a type of Porphyromonas called P. gulae, whereas human mouths contain its relative, P. gingivalis. Both bacteria are what most of us would consider “dirty,” and can cause problems for dog and human teeth. In fact, dogs have more than 600 different types of bacteria in their mouths, which is a similar number to the 615 and counting types of bacteria Harvard researchers have found in human mouths. These bacteria can also be joined by other bacteria that we (humans and dogs) pick up from our environments, adding to the mix. Can Humans Get Dog Germs? Perhaps part of the reason the idea that “a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth” came to be so widely believed is that we don’t typically swap diseases with our dogs when we swap saliva. You are not going to get the flu from a dog kiss, but you might get it from kissing a human loved one. Most of the bacteria in your dog’s mouth are not zoonotic, which means you probably won’t get a disease from a big old doggy kiss. There are exceptions to this. Dogs that are fed a raw diet are at an increased risk of contracting salmonella, which can be spread to humans, and you really don’t want to share kisses with a dog that regularly raids the litter box. In other words, kissing your dog is less risky than kissing another human, but that does not mean that your dog’s mouth is necessarily cleaner than a human’s — he just has a mostly incompatible set of germs. Can Dog Saliva Heal Wounds? While we’re on the subject of dog mouths, there is another folk belief that you’ve probably heard before about dog mouths: dog saliva helps heal wounds. This gets a little more complicated. Most mammals, humans included, lick their wounds. Historically, ancient cultures even believed that dog saliva had curative powers, and the Greeks and Egyptians both used dog saliva in healing practices and featured dogs in their religious healing rites. They may have been on to something. The act of licking, alone, offers some benefits to wound healing. The tongue removes dirt and debris from the wound site, which lowers the risk of contamination and infection. Of course, too much licking can lead to self-trauma, as in the case of hot spots, and can actually make things much worse. But what about the saliva itself? As it turns out, there are certain proteins in saliva called histatins that can ward off infection, and further research has revealed that there are other beneficial chemical compounds in saliva that can help protect cuts from bacterial infections. As if that wasn’t enough, there is even more evidence that suggests licked wounds heal twice as fast as unlicked wounds. Dog saliva is not alone in these properties. Human and other mammal saliva show similar wound-healing activity, which might help explain why we instinctively hold a cut to our mouths and kiss “boo-boos.” Does this mean that you should have your dog lick your wounds, or that you should lick your own wounds? Maybe not. Not all of the research about saliva was good. Curative properties aside, saliva has its risks. Take the bacterium Pastuerella, for example. This bacterium is harmless in the mouth, but can lead to serious infections if introduced into an open wound, resulting in sickness, amputation, and even death. And there are plenty of other germs we can pick up from our environments in our mouths that we do not want a wound exposed to. Also, excessive licking of a wound can lead to infection and self-mutilation. In short, while there is some truth to this folk remedy, you are probably better off treating your wounds and your dog’s wounds with more conventional care to avoid any unnecessary risks. If you have more questions about whether or not you should let your dog lick your wounds, contact your doctor or your veterinarian for professional medical advice. Oral Hygiene Comparing the cleanliness of human and dog mouths misses a major point: oral hygiene. Both dogs and humans are equally susceptible to dental disease and benefit from good oral hygiene practices to keep their mouths clean and healthy. Regular brushing and dental cleanings help humans and dogs keep harmful bacteria, like the kind that cause periodontal disease, in check and are an important part of a daily routine. You can begin brushing your dog’s teeth when he is a puppy. This will make it easier down the road when your dog is older and full of firm ideas about what he does and doesn’t like. Training your dog to enjoy tooth brushing is just as important as getting him used to the process. Talk to your veterinarian about ways to make tooth brushing enjoyable, and be sure to use toothpaste designed for dogs and never human toothpastes, which can contain harmful substances such as xylitol. Your dog’s mouth might not be cleaner than yours, but keeping your dog’s mouth healthy will make you feel better about those sloppy, wet dog kisses. Celebrate the February “AKC Treat of the Month” with 35% off Dogswell Dental Jerky and Wag More Bark Less Dental Biscuits. These treats are perfect for keeping your dog’s mouth clean and fresh. Offer valid February through February 28. Use promo code 35DENTAL during checkout on Amazon. One bag per order eligible for discount. The post Is a Dog’s Mouth Cleaner Than a Human’s Mouth? appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  22. Welcoming a new litter of puppies into the world is very rewarding, but dog pregnancies can be confusing and stressful, as well as time-consuming and costly. If you are considering breeding your dog, there is so much information that you need to know, You should be familiar with your breeds standard and individual breed health test recommendation as well as the responsibilities you’ll have in raising healthy well-socialized puppies. You will also need to know the signs of pregnancy in dogs and how best to care for your pregnant bitch. Here are the answers to some of your questions. How Long Are Dogs Pregnant? Dogs are pregnant for approximately 62-64 days, or about two months, although the Merck Veterinary Manual says, “predicting the timing of a delivery can be difficult because the date of breeding does not always match the date of conception. The length of pregnancy can also vary with breed and litter size.” Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC chief veterinary officer, explains that during the first month of pregnancy, the fertilized eggs travel to the uterine horn, where they embed themselves in the lining at about 15-18 days. Fetal growth is rapid during early pregnancy, and these swellings double in diameter every 7 days, according to Merck. By the end of the first month, a veterinarian can detect a fetal heartbeat, and the development speeds up into the second month as the embryos develop into recognizable puppies. At the end of the second month and the start of the third, the puppies are ready to be born. How to Tell if Your Dog Is Pregnant Dogs don’t have the option of picking up a pregnancy test kit from the pharmacy, which means we have to rely on other methods to determine if a dog is pregnant. The most accurate way to tell if a dog is pregnant is through diagnostic testing. Palpation If you know the date your dog was bred, your veterinarian can perform abdominal palpation starting at approximately the 28-30-day mark. At this stage in the pregnancy, the puppies feel like little golf balls or grapes depending on the size of the dog. These “balls” are fluid-filled sacks surrounding the fetus. Abdominal palpation should not be attempted without the assistance of a veterinarian, as it could damage the pups. The sacks lose their distinct shape after one month, so the timing of this test is important. Ultrasound Alternatively, your veterinarian can do an ultrasound between 25 and 35 days of gestation. An ultrasound can usually detect fetal heartbeats, giving you an estimate of the number of puppies the bitch is carrying. The puppies’ heartbeats are 2-to-3 times faster than the mother’s. Hormone test At about 25-to-30 days of gestation, your veterinarian can perform a blood test to measure the dog’s hormone levels to see if she is producing the hormone relaxin. Relaxin is only produced during pregnancy, making the test relatively accurate. X-ray X-rays are one of the most effective ways to determine if a bitch is pregnant. However, this is best done at 55 days or more, as the puppies’ skeletal systems don’t show up on an x-ray until then. An x-ray at this time allows you to get an accurate count of the number of puppies, which will prepare you to know when your dog is finished delivering. Signs of Dog Pregnancy Diagnostic testing isn’t the only way to determine whether a dog is pregnant, although it is the most accurate. There are signs of dog pregnancy you can watch for, including: Increase in appetite Weight gain Increase in nipple size Swollen belly Tires more easily Nesting behavior More affectionate Irritability In addition, some dogs may vomit and have a decrease in appetite for a few days in the first few weeks due to changes in hormones. “Some dogs will exhibit these sighs, but may actually be experiencing a false pregnancy,” says Dr. Klein. “There are also other conditions that can cause changes in appetite, weight gain, and a swollen abdomen. To rule out a more serious condition, take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup.” Caring for a Pregnant Dog Once you have determined that your dog is pregnant, there are some steps you should take to make sure she stays healthy throughout her pregnancy. Proper Nutrition One of the most important things you can do for your pregnant bitch is make sure she receives proper nutrition. If your dog is already on a good quality dog food and is at a healthy weight, you won’t have to make any changes to her diet for the first two-thirds of her pregnancy unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian. In fact increasing the amount of food at this stage can be harmful. As her weight increases in the last weeks of her pregnancy, veterinarians recommend increasing her food intake gradually, until she consumes 35-to-50 percent more than usual. Increase her intake slowly and feed her small, frequent meals, as large meals can cause discomfort. Exercise If you’re trying to breed your dog, some veterinarians believe that limiting strenuous exercise during the first two weeks of gestation will enhance the implantation of the embryos. After that, normal exercise is fine until your dog’s belly is enlarged. “During her last trimester, the best exercise for your dog should not be overly strenuous. Shorter and possibly more frequent walks will be more beneficial for the mother to be as f she needs her energy to carry the pups and give them nutrition,” suggests Dr. Klein. Visits to the Vet Before you breed your dog, take her to the vet for a prenatal checkup. She should be up-to-date on vaccinations. Your vet will probably recommend either a fecal exam to check for intestinal parasites or just have your dog de-wormed with an appropriate medication suited for your dog prior to mating. It is now thought that de-worming the pregnant dam with an appropriate de-wormer (Fenbendazole) starting on her third trimester (about day 40 of gestation) and continuing under about 14 days post whelping significantly decreases the amount of roundworm and hookworms in newborn puppies, allowing them to grow and thrive to their utmost. You should also ask your veterinarian what to do in the event of an emergency near the time of expected labor and set up a plan with your family and pet sitter. Regular veterinary visits can help your dog stay healthy during pregnancy. When the veterinarian confirms your dog’s pregnancy, they will also examine the dog for any mechanical or anatomical concerns your dog may have that could prevent them from having a normal whelped litter. This is a good time to discuss planning on whether a normal birth or cesarean may need to be considered and scheduled in advance. If during the exam your veterinarian determines that your dog is already pregnant, and if the pregnancy is an accident, this is also a good time to discuss taking precautions in the future, such as spaying, to prevent any more surprise litters. Preparing for Puppies As the end of your dog’s pregnancy approaches, you’ll notice a significant enlargement of her breasts and nipples, and might even detect some milky fluid as the milk glands develop and enlarge. Her abdomen will increase in size and may sway a little as she walks. At the very end of the pregnancy, you might even be able to see or feel the puppies moving around inside the mother. By this time, you want to prepare yourself and your dog for whelping, or puppy birthing. The best way to do this is to set up a whelping box. Whelping boxes offer a safe, warm, draft-free, easily cleaned location for your dog to have her puppies. There are whelping boxes made that can be purchased or you can even use a small children’s plastic swimming pool. The whelping box should be easy for the mother, but not the puppies, to get in and out of. Your dog may prefer to have it in a quiet area of the house but in an area that you can have easy access. Once you have purchased or built your whelping box, take some time to get your dog accustomed to it. If you don’t introduce her to the whelping box beforehand, she might decide to deliver someplace else—like your closet. If this is your first time breeding your dog, talk to your veterinarian about your role during labor, and read and learn what you need to know. Unless you plan to have an experienced breeder on hand, you will need to be prepared to step in when necessary during the whelping process. It’s always a good idea to have another person there with you to help keep the puppies warm or to assist if you need help. Whelping Supply Checklist: Lots of newspaper to line the whelping box during delivery for easy cleanup and garbage bags Non-skid bath mats for bedding after whelping is done Dry, clean towels to clean the puppies Paper towels to help with clean up Thermometer to check your dog’s temperature before whelping Clean, sterilized scissors to cut the umbilical cords Unwaxed dental floss to tie off the umbilical cords Iodine to clean the puppies’ abdomens after the cord is cut and dab on the end of the cut umbilical cord Heat lamp set high above the box on one corner only to allow the puppies to crawl to a cooler spot in a box or hot water bottle to keep the puppies warm (be careful it isn’t too hot). Bulb syringe to clean puppies’ nose and mouth A baby scale in ounces Honey or Light corn syrup Veterinarian’s phone number and the number of a nearby emergency clinic Whelping When your pregnant dog’s time approaches, watch out for the warning signs of labor. Pregnant mothers may stop eating a few days before whelping and may also start trying to build a “nest” — hopefully in the whelping box. Many pregnant dogs close to delivery start to pant heavily. A drop in rectal temperature usually precedes delivery by about 8-to-24 hours from a normal temperature (100-to-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit) to 99 degrees or even lower. Many bitches ready to whelp may not eat or eat very little. Abdominal contractions may begin slowly and gain strength and frequency – sometimes they’re strongest for the first delivery accompanied by straining and moaning. You may see the water sac come out when there’s a puppy in the birth canal, and within one hour the first puppy should be delivered. Each puppy is born enclosed in its placental membrane and in each case, the mother licks the puppy vigorously and tears this membrane off, sometimes eating it. If she does not remove it, you will have to do it, as puppies cannot survive for more than a few minutes before their supply of oxygen runs out. You may need to rub the puppy with a clean towel until you hear him cry. The bitch should also sever the umbilical cord as she cleans her pups. If she does not, it is up to you to snip the cord and tie it off about one inch from the belly with some unwaxed dental floss. You should wipe the abdomen of all of the puppies with iodine to prevent infection. Some dogs deliver their puppies one right after another, but others may deliver a few puppies, and then rest before delivering more. If there’s a break of more than a two hours, you’ll want to call your veterinarian. You must also keep track of the number of placentas. A retained placenta can cause problems for the mother. Generally, the entire duration in hours of a normal whelping is about equal to the number of puppies in utero. So, a litter of 6 should normally take about 6 hours total. Don’t forget to offer the mother water to drink and to take her outside to relieve herself if she is in the middle of having a large litter. She’ll often need to urinate. Bring along extra towels and don’t leave her unsupervised as sometimes they can pass a puppy while they are outside! During this time, the puppies should be kept warm in their whelping box with a light towel over them to prevent them from becoming chilled. All of the puppies should be placed along the mother’s belly, and you should watch to be sure she lets them all nurse within a few hours. Keep an eye on the pups to make sure they are all breathing normally and nursing. Possible Dog Labor Complications Sometimes during delivery, things go wrong. If you experience any of these signs, call your veterinarian: Your dog’s rectal temperature dropped more than 24 hours ago and labor isn’t starting. The mother is exhibiting symptoms of severe discomfort, or if she doesn’t deliver the first puppy 2 hours after contractions begin especially if she has passed green discharge. More than 2 hours pass in between the delivery of puppies, or your dog experiences strong contractions for an hour without a birth or if the mother seems exhausted. Trembling, collapsing, or shivering are warning signs of serious complications that could put both the bitch and the puppies at risk. It’s normal for dogs to deliver a dark green or bloody fluid after the first puppy, but if this happens before the first puppy, call the vet. Your dog shows no signs of whelping 64 days after her last mating. All of the placentas aren’t delivered. Puppies aren’t nursing. Pregnancy can be a stressful time for dogs and owners, but it doesn’t have to be. The more you know about dog pregnancy ahead of time, the better prepared you will be to care for your dog. For more information about dog pregnancy, consult your veterinarian. And remember, your responsibilities have only just begun. Raising newborn puppies – assuring they are healthy, well socialized, and placed in loving forever homes – is a big, important job. The post Dog Pregnancy: Signs, Care, and Preparing for Puppies appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  23. From daily walks to proper socialization, you do a lot to make sure your dog is healthy and able to live a long fulfilling life. Whether your dog is from a local rescue or a champion breeder, an important component of keeping your dog healthy is annual vet visits. At these appointments, your vet gives your dog a physical exam, vaccinations, preventative prescriptions, and tests for parasites such as fleas and ticks. Like many things, when COVID-19 spread to the United States and spurred shutdowns across the country in March 2020, annual wellness check-ups were put on hold. While the start of shutdowns was about a year ago, veterinarians are still seeing the effects of this. The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) is making recommendations to clinical teams and dog owners to ensure that all dogs are getting the proper care they need during these unusual times. We talked to CAPC representatives about their recommendations. Here’s why they suggest. Move Up Appointments With the onset of the lockdowns, there was a lull in annual veterinary visits throughout March and April. Because of that pause in visits, there were lapses in critical annual parasite testing and preventative dispensing for diseases, including heartworm and Lyme disease. When vet offices opened, there was a rush to get appointments and longer wait times for appointments. Now that it’s time for annual visits for many dogs whose appointments were affected by the lockdown, it’s important to make sure those lapses don’t occur again. “We believe that every pet needs to be tested annually and receive parasite preventives in a timely manner,” said Dr. Chris Carpenter, president, and CEO of CAPC. “Our concern is that the delayed veterinary visits in 2020 may cause difficulties in pets getting access to healthcare in 2021.” To avoid long wait times, scheduling backups, and potential lapses in care, the CAPC suggests that pet owners reach out to their veterinarians — rather than wait for an automatic reminder — and schedule their 2021 annual appointments as soon as possible. To account for the influx of appointments, vet appointment software reminder systems will automatically schedule annual exams later in the year, which will likely result in scheduling difficulties and inaccurate scheduling. That’s why CAPC is also asking clinical teams to review the scheduling system and move-up appointments manually. “Patients whose care was delayed during March and April 2020 contributed to overwhelming our schedules last summer and fall,” said Dr. Rick Marrinson, a practitioner in Florida, and CAPC board member. “To prevent both a lull in our spring 2021 schedule and an overly busy summer and fall, we are manually adjusting appointments, where applicable, back to March and April of 2021.” Shifting Gears With the challenges from the past year, many vet clinics across the country had to make protocol adjustments to continue caring for pets. Many teams have been in survival mode since the start of the pandemic. The CAPC hopes that moving up appointments and proactively clearing up potential scheduling conflicts will make life easier on clinical teams. “We’re now shifting gears to prepare for the annual cycle of 2021 wellness visits,” said Cathy Michaelson, partner at Aumsville Animal Clinic and director of operations for CAPC. “By reaching out to clients to proactively schedule, we can minimize the anticipated backlog of appointments in the summer and fall. Ultimately, we want to lessen the pressure on our dedicated veterinary team while ensuring all of our patients receive timely preventive care.” The post Experts Say Schedule 2021 Vet Appointments Now; Avoid Pandemic Delays appeared first on American Kennel Club. View the source article
  24. A cross-cultural analysis found several factors may have played a role in building the relationship between humans and dogs, including temperature, hunting and surprisingly - gender. The analysis used ethnographic information from 144 traditional, subsistence-level societies from all over the globe. People were more likely to regard dogs as a type of person if the dogs had a special relationship with women -- such as having names and being treated as family.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sciencedaily/plants_animals/dogs/~4/wMp7i_yv6u8 View the source article
  25. More people could be protected from life-threatening rabies thanks to an agile approach to dog vaccination using smart phone technology to spot areas of low vaccination coverage in real time. The work could help save the lives of children worldwide.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sciencedaily/plants_animals/dogs/~4/26VYEhoQ5fA View the source article

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