Archive for the ‘Dogs Health’ Category

Officials Warn Virus Could Sicken and Kill Dogs

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Health officials are warning dog owners to be on the lookout for a deadly canine virus that could sicken or kill their pets.

Dozens of dogs have been killed by the canine parvovirus in New Jersey, according to ABC News affiliate WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.

The American Veterinary Medical Association says the virus is highly contagious and can affect all dogs, although puppies and unvaccinated pets are most at risk.

Pet Health: How to Prevent Parvovirus

Does Your Dog Need a Flu Shot?

Do Your Pets Carry Salmonella?

The virus affects a dog’s gastrointestinal tract and symptoms can include lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.

Abigail E. Rigby, a pug belonging to Bill Danosky and his wife, Chris, gets an injection of the parvo-distemper vaccine at Bortell Animal Hospital in Bloomington, Ill. • The Pantagraph, David Proeber/AP Photo

The virus is spread though dog-to-dog contact or from contaminated surfaces or items.

Trenton Health Officer Jim Brownlee told WPVI-TV that the virus can spread extremely easily in puppies.

“It’s not easy to clean up, it’s not easy to pick up and so you’re stepping in it, animals are stepping in it and that is exactly the way it’s transmitted,” Brownlee told WPVI-TV.

In worst-case scenarios some dogs have been so sick, that owners have reportedly asked that the animals be euthanized.

“They end up signing their dog over to us as a release and because the dog is very sick we end up having to euthanize the animal,” Elaine Thaxton, manager of the Trenton Animal Shelter, told WPVI-TV.

News reposted from:

By ABC News

Ear inflammation: a common problem in dogs

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Ear inflammation, or otitis, is one of the most common medical problems that dogs experience; because there are many causes, it is important to seek veterinary care to prevent severe pain and damage to deeper structures of the ear, which may lead to dizziness and long- term hearing loss.

Inflammation may occur in the outer ear, middle ear or inner ear, known by the medical terms otitis externa, otitis media and otitis interna.

The outer ear comprises the ear canal, which ends at the ear drum. A dog’s ear canal has an “L” shape and can be quite sensitive. For this reason, a professional evaluation with an otoscope is required to safely examine the entire ear canal and ear drum. The structures of the middle and inner ear are behind the ear drum and contain nerves for hearing, balance, and appropriate facial movement.

Allergies are the most common cause of ear inflammation and infection in dogs. These patients may show skin problems, but some dogs manifest allergy as otitis alone.

Other causes of otitis are parasites, plant material, trauma, tumors and hormone problems.

What symptoms will a dog with otitis show?

  • Persistent or aggressive rubbing and scratching at the ears
  • Changes in ear position
  • Shaking of the head, head tilt or head-shy behavior
  • Redness, discharge, swelling or malodor
  • Dogs with allergies may also lick, bite, chew or rub the skin.

The diagnostic and treatment plan recommended by your veterinarian typically involves examination of the ear canals with a scope and sampling of ear exudate. The exudate is examined microscopically for bacteria and yeast.

For severe, long-standing cases, X-rays or CT scan may be recommended, as well as deep-ear cleaning under anesthesia to assess and treat the deeper structures of the ear.

Treatment for infection and inflammation often involves application of medications in the ear. Cleaning may also be recommended.

For dogs with no history of otitis, routine ear cleaning is not required.

When administering ear medication, remember:

  • Apply only medications or treatments recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Do not place cotton-tipped applicators or any other instruments in your dog’s ears. These can irritate the ear canal, push material closer to the ear drum, and can even cause painful rupture of the ear drum.

Tips for successfully administering ear cleansers and medicated drops:

  • Two people may make the job easier, with one to hold the dog and the other to apply medication.
  • Many dogs tolerate ear medication well. Help them by offering a treat, praise, or a positive activity afterwards.
  • Consider application outdoors or in a non-carpeted area as the job might be messy.
  • When cleaning the ears, place applicator nozzle just inside the ear opening. Gently fill the ear canal with the cleansing liquid. Gently massage the base of the ears. Allow dog to shake out contents. Use a soft cloth to wipe the ear flap. Use a cotton ball moistened with alcohol to cleanse the tip of the applicator after use.
  • With ear drops, locate the ear canal opening and provide the volume recommended by your veterinarian; gently massage the base of the ear. If you find it hard to count drops, err on the side of more medication.
  • It is normal for dogs to shake their heads or scratch their ears right after application.
  • Medicate for the full recommended time, as your dog’s ear is likely to look and feel better before the infection is entirely resolved.

Always contact your veterinarian if the problem worsens, or if your dog is too painful, fearful or aggressive to safely apply medication. Follow up with your veterinarian to ensure that your dog is responding appropriately.

While otitis is a common problem, you can safely help your dog with veterinary exam and careful treatment.

Article reposted from:
Written by: Dr. Jennifer Schissler Pendergraft • A veterinary dermatologist who works in the Dermatology & Otology unit of Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Hair Loss in Dogs

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

What is Alopecia?

Alopecia is the medical term for partial or complete hair loss. Alopecia is almost always a symptom of an underlying disease or condition. Thus, if your dog is suffering from alopecia, it is important to seek veterinary attention for your dog.

Alopecia is categorized in different ways depending on how and where the hair loss occurs. Localized alopecia means that the hair loss is only in one area on your dog. Symmetrical alopecia is when alopecia occurs in the same area on both sides of your dog’s body. Multifocal alopecia means that the hair loss occurs in multiple distinct regions on your dog. Generalized alopecia, also known as diffuse alopecia, is when the hair loss occurs all over your dog’s body. There is also a type of alopecia called coat funk or alopecia x that appears to have a genetic link. Alopecia x is a rare condition, but when it occurs it tends to impact certain breeds more frequently such as Alaskan Malamutes, Chow Chows, Samoyeds and Siberian Huskies. Finally There is an inherited condition called color-dilution alopecia which causes bilateral hair loss generally on your dog’s trunk. Color-dilution alopecia tends to impact dogs with fawn or blue coats, and is actually a type of follicular dysplasia.

What will alopecia look like in my dog?

Your dog will be missing hair.

How does my dog get alopecia?

Alopecia can be caused by a variety of diseases and conditions including allergies, parasites such as sarcoptic mange, pyoderma, hair follicle disorders, autoimmune diseases, endocrine diseases such as Cushing’s disease or hypothyroidism, or nutritional deficiencies. Alopecia can also be caused by reactions to certain medications or by your dog’s excessive licking, biting or scratching of a particular body part.

How is alopecia diagnosed?

Your vet will want to know all about your dog’s diet, behavioral tendencies (if your dog bites or scratches his body a lot, for example), and what medications or supplements you give your dog. Your vet will also want to know when you first noticed the alopecia, and, if it is spreading, how quickly it has spread thus far. The breed of dog you have will also help your vet to figure out which underlying disease your dog has because many hair loss disorders are specific to certain breeds. Your vet will then likely take a sample of the impacted area of your dog via a skin scraping or biopsy.

Dog Alopecia Treatment

Treatment is determined based on the cause of the alopecia. In some instances of alopecia, the hair will not grow back.

Preventing Alopecia in Canines

Preventing alopecia is dependent upon whether the root cause of the alopecia is preventable.

Article reposted from:

Dog Eye Infection: 3 Primary Health Risks for Your Dog

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

A nasty dog eye infection may begin as a simple allergic reaction to ragweed and before you know it you may find your sweet dog in your home with blood all over her paws and face. Then you would need to drive 30 miles on a Sunday to an emergency animal hospital and be told by the doctor your dog has a more serious problem underneath her eye that will cost you $3,000.

This news brief gives you 3 primary health risks related to your dog’s eye infection and one dog parent’s painful experience with a dog eye infection in their dog’s eye.

3 Primary Health Risks Related to Your Dog’s Eye Infection:

  1. Abscess – The most common result of your dog’s body’s defensive reaction to an infection is an abscess.  White blood cells rush to your dog’s eye infection to fight bacteria and produce enzymes that attack the germ by digesting it.  Sometimes, your dog’s blood cells will collect in a pocket of pus in your dog’s tissues, organs or in confined spaces under your dog’s eye.
  2. Immune system – A weak immune system can make your dog prone to abscesses.  This means that your dog can develop an abscess around her teeth roots and anal sacs as well as her eyes.  Common causes of a weak immune system are Diabetes, Cushing Disease, chemotherapy and steroids.
  3. Blindness – Your dog can permanently harm her vision when she scratches the delicate surface of her eyes.

5 Symptoms of an Abscess in Your Dog’s Body:-

  1. Subcutaneous abscess – Your dog will have a warm, soft lump under her skin that may be painful to the touch as a result of a dog eye infection.
  2. Rupture – Your dog’s abscess may open up and form a draining hole in your dog’s skin.
  3. Lethargy – Your dog will be extremely weak with no desire to move around or play.
  4. Fever – Your dog will develop a high fever and pant more than usual.
  5. Excessive pawing and licking – Your dog may scratch or lick the abscess near her eye and cause more damage to the affected area.

3 Treatments for Your Dog’s Abscess in her Eye:

  1. Drainage – Your veterinarian’s first goal is to clean out the pus from your dog’s infection.  This includes lancing and draining your dog’s abscess and may require temporary drain tubes.
  2. Surgery – Your dog may require surgery to clean out an abscess under your dog’s eye.
  3. Antibiotics – Your dog will require antibiotics and pain medication after surgery to prevent any recurring infection

One Dog Parent’s Painful Experience with Their Dog’s Eye Infection:

Sandy and Nat recently adopted Laurie, a 7 year old collie from her owner who could no longer take care of her.  Laurie developed an eye infection from an allergic reaction to ragweed and about a week later, Nat and Sandy came home from church and found Laurie with blood all over her face and paws.  The skin around Laurie’s eye was raw and there was thick yellow liquid around the edges of her eye.

Here’s what they did to help Laurie’s dog eye infection:

  • Laurie was driven to the Emergency Animal Hospital.
  • Laurie was treated for an abscess under her eye and kept overnight on an IV, antibiotics and pain medication.
  • Laurie had a CT scan before her surgery to make sure she didn’t have a tumor.
  • Laurie’s estimate for treatment and surgery to remove her abscess was $3,000.
  • Laurie had to wear a collar for a week while the drain inserted by the surgeon allows the infection to leave her body.
  • Laurie was put on 4 different dog medications for pain, sedation, inflammation and antibiotics.

This news brief gives you 3 primary health risks which can be caused by your dog’s eye infection and how you can help your dog heal from an abscess under her eye.  I also shared with you one dog parent’s painful experience with their dog, Laurie.

Share this news brief with your friends and family so they will know what to do if their dog has an eye infection or an abscess under their dog’s eye.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

Article reposted from:
Author: Roberta Chadis

Ask the Vet: Health benefits of spaying your dog

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

I recently got Chloe, a purebred Golden Retriever puppy. I might want to have puppies someday. What are the pros and cons of spaying her?

Puppies are a big responsibility. It takes time and effort to be sure that they are healthy and find appropriate homes. In addition, the birth process can have unforeseen complications that would require emergency veterinary care for either Chloe or the puppies.

Photo courtesy: The Desert Sun

There are some significant ‘pros’ for spaying Chloe.

Spaying a female dog before her first heat can greatly reduce the risk of getting mammary cancer. A normal dog will go into heat between 6 and 8 months old, and we usually recommend a spay at that time. The benefit of spaying to prevent cancer decreases with each consecutive heat cycle.

An unspayed female dog can develop an infected pus-filled uterus (called a pyometra). This condition is life threatening and requires an emergency spay. We recently had a 48-pound dog with a pyometra, and the uterus weighed 8 pounds! A normal uterus weighs less than a pound. This surgery also costs much more than a regular spay.

Lastly, spaying your dog can prevent an unwanted pregnancy. A female in heat is a strong attraction to male dogs and you might end up with an unknown mix of puppies. There are millions of dogs in shelters, many from accidental pregnancies.

The ‘cons’ to spaying are less drastic.

Research has indicated that spaying a large breed dog before one year old may affect bone or cartilage development. This needs to be weighed against the ‘pros’ for spaying, and you should discuss this further with your veterinarian.

A spayed female may gain weight after her operation. Like any dog, it is important to monitor her food intake and be sure that she gets plenty of exercise. Weight gain is not unavoidable in that many spayed dogs are in great shape.

As you can see, there are good medical reasons to spay Chloe. Plus, unless you are an experienced breeder with a good network of potential homes, having a litter of puppies can be overwhelming for most people.


The article is written by veterinarians at VCA Desert Animal Hospital, 4229 E. Ramon Road in Palm Springs. If you have a question, email abigail.cutler@vcahospitals

Article reposted from:

Original post by: Dr. Gail Cutler

Love your dog? Learn the 10Ls

Friday, September 5th, 2014

At the beginning of each month, remember to Feel Your Dog for the 10 L’s and report anything unusual to your vet. We want you to have many happy years with your best friend!

Early Warning Signs in Dog Cancer

1. Lumps

Not all lumps and bumps are cancerous in dogs. There are sebaceous cysts, lipomas, and warts all of which are benign but if you detect a growth on your dog it’s important to have it checked out by a veterinarian and if warranted, aspirated and biopsied.

2. Lesions

Scratches and abscesses are not uncommon for the normal, active dog but the sores that don’t heal can be of concern.

3. Lameness

Bone cancer is typically found in larger breed dogs like Great Danes, Bernese Mountain dogs, Rottweilers, Boxers, Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, and Great Pyrenees and the primary early indication is prolonged limping or favoring a limb or side. Other types of cancers can also cause persistent lameness.

4. Appetite Loss

If your dog shows no interest in eating or their daily consumption has declined for several days, take them to a vet.

5. Lethargy

Tiring out easily, unwillingness to exercise and loss of interest in normal daily activities can be an early sign of cancer.

6. Weight Loss

Not to be confused with loss of appetite. Cachexia, or emaciation, is often associated with cancer and can occur even if your dog is still eating normally. So if your dog is inexplicably losing weight, consult a veterinarian.

7. Loud Odor

A very strong and offensive smell can sometimes be a byproduct of tumors in the mouth and nasal cavity.

8. Loss of Normal Body Functions

Dogs having difficulty voiding or defecation or unusual urine or feces should be looked at.

9. Bleeding or Bloody Discharge

Blood present in vomit, stool, and nasal discharge are cause for serious concern and although not always telltale signs of cancer, your dog should be examined as soon as possible.

10. Labored Breathing

Abnormal respiration or respiratory distress can be a symptom of cancers in dogs.

Article reposted from:

Labs in the lab: how scientists aim to root out disease in dogs

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The UK’s most popular pedigree dog is about to have its genome sequenced at the institute where Dolly the Sheep was created. The research, which coincides with an online project to trace the cause of environmental illnesses in labradors, will prove a powerful tool in tackling canine diseases.

Photograph: Alamy ••• A labrador retriever puppy. The breed is suffering human-like conditions in old age.

Molly is a 16-month-old black labrador retriever and like so many dogs of her breed, she is exuberant, biddable and anxious to please. She also has a distinct personality, insists her owner Sussi Wiles, from Harefield, Middlesex. “Molly is just a bit cheeky and will do unexpected things. She will jump up at you when you are not expecting it. But she is also good-natured and cheerful and really likes being around people.”

The labrador retriever, of which there are yellow, chocolate and black varieties, is the UK’s most popular pedigree dog. It is estimated there are several hundred thousand living in homes round the country today, a popularity that has much to do with the dog’s innate, endearing good nature. Hence many owners’ fanatical devotion to them. As one website dedicated to the breed puts it: “When God made labrador retrievers, he was showing off.”

Molly is typical in possessing that lovable, affectionate disposition though she is unusual in one intriguing aspect. Information about her life is now being recorded in extraordinary detail in an online project, called Dogslife, which aims to trace the environmental roots of illnesses in the labrador retriever – and a lot more.

According to scientists at Edinburgh University’s Roslin Institute – the research institute where Dolly the Sheep was created and which launched Dogslife four years ago – the project could become the forerunner of many similar schemes. The aim is to trace the environmental roots of disease – viruses, bacteria, poor food or poor exercise regimes – in other pedigree dogs, and possibly other pedigree animals including top farmyard breeds of bulls and sheep, they say.

For good measure, the Roslin team are planning to augment the data they get from Dogslife by exploiting the very latest techniques in DNA analysis to uncover the genetic – as opposed to the lifestyle – roots of labrador disease. The aim is to create the first labrador genome. Hence its title: the Labradome project. And if it works it could become a pioneer for other pedigree animals, both pets and livestock. The labrador retriever is about to play an unexpectedly important role in the nature-nurture debate, it transpires.

“We picked the labrador for the simple reason that it is the most common pedigree dog in the UK,” says Professor David Hume, Roslin’s director. “However, the lessons learned from it will go far beyond this breed or indeed for dogs in general.

“The key point is that dogs like the labrador retriever are now getting human-like conditions because – as veterinary care and nutrition improves – they are living to ripe old ages when they start to succumb to heart disease, arthritis and cognitive loss. They get Alzheimer’s disease, in effect. They also get obese and suffer diabetes as a consequence. Hence our interest.”

Molly’s involvement in Dogslife requires Wiles to key in reams of information every month about her dog’s diet, hours of exercise, treatments for fleas and worms and any bouts of illness she might suffer. The project – which remains an exclusively labrador project for the moment – currently has more than 4,500 dogs signed up to its website.

Owners put up photos of their pets and regularly input veterinary information – though a select few have even more onerous work to do. They have to send regular samples of their dogs’ excrement to the Roslin team to provide information about the microbes that inhabit the animals’ guts and which might leave them susceptible to various digestive disorders.

Photograph: Sonja Horsman ••• Sussi Wiles and her dog Molly are taking part in an online project that aims to identify the causes of disease that affect labradors in later life.

From the huge stores of doggy data that are being built up this way, researchers expect they will soon begin to tease out some of the causes of disease that affect labradors in later life and answer key questions about their lifestyles. Are particular types of dog food associated with particular diseases? Do infections at certain stages in a dog’s life leave it vulnerable to more serious diseases in later years? And what exercise regimes are most likely to produce good health in later age for the labrador?

“If a dog is getting the trots all the time, we want to know if it’s because they have got a certain type of organism in their guts,” adds Hume. “And does it make a difference what kind of feed they get: dried food or fresh meat? How does diet affect an animal’s health status?”

Many of the roots of labrador ailments are not going to be environmental in origin, of course, but will be inherited. Hence the Roslin team’s decision to launch the Labradome project in parallel with Dogslife. This will involve geneticists creating a high-quality sequence of the genome of a single labrador retriever: the first time that a full genome of this breed will have been sequenced.

“We are going to sequence in depth the entire complement of genes in a healthy labrador retriever to ensure we have a perfect, accurate picture of the basic genetic structure of one of these dogs,” says Dylan Clements, the Roslin researcher who is leading the project. “Then we will sequence the genomes of a number of other labradors, animals that have various different labrador diseases, such as hip dysplasia.

“Then by comparing their genomes with those of our standard, healthy dog, we will be able to work out what are the differences in genetic sequences between the various animals. In this way, we hope to be able to unravel the genetic roots of some of the labrador retriever’s main illnesses.”

A key factor in setting up the Labradome project has been the recent, dramatic cut in the cost of sequencing genomes. The first human genome that was sequenced just over a decade ago cost billions of pounds. The development of ultra-fast, automated sequencing machines has since slashed the price of unrolling the billions of bases of DNA that make up genomes of mammals. As a result, it should be possible to get a really high-quality genome for a labrador for only a few thousand pounds, says Clements.

Hence the decision to set up the Labradome project on the back of Dogslife, says Hume, and to exploit two of the most dramatic technological marvels of the 21st century: the internet and the genome sequencer. “We are funded to fully sequence 50 labradors which we are choosing from a spectrum of different animals with different phenotypes (observable characteristics) so we can get insights into the causes of the main illnesses that affect the breed.”

One of the principal ailments to be analyzed as part of the Labradome project will be a condition called accessory pathway disease, in which the heart short-circuits and beats faster and faster and which can lead to heart failure. Another is called portosystemic shunts, which occurs when a dog’s blood circulation misses out its liver so that it becomes clogged with unhealthy chemicals that would normally be filtered out.

And then there is hip dysplasia, in which the bones that fit into a dog’s hip socket become loose so that the animal develops severe osteoarthritis. “We know this condition is caused by a group of genes, not a singe one, and that is probably true for accessory pathway disease and portosystemic shunts as well. However, if we can create the incredibly detailed sequence that we are planning to do for the labrador retriever and compare dogs with hip dysplasia with our standard healthy animal, we hope we will be able to pin down those genes.”

Armed with this information, researchers can then study how these genes are activated and think of lifestyle changes that might prevent these illnesses from erupting. The point, they say, is that once the Labradome project is finished, it will be possible to look at a top breeding male and see what recessive traits he possesses. Chromosomes come in pairs and if a dog has a gene involved in a disease on one chromosome but has a healthy one on the other chromosome of that pair, it will not be affected by the disease. However, the dog can still pass the disease gene on to future generations so that if two carriers are bred, they can produce offspring affected by the disease. Such conditions are said to be recessive.

“And that is why the Labradome project will be so useful,” says Hume. “We will be able to spot if a stud male has got an unhealthy recessive gene. Then we could breed future generations from it by taking offspring that did not have the chromosome with the disease gene. We would only use offspring that had inherited the chromosome with the healthy gene. Effectively we will be removing that disease from the pedigree. This is known as molecular selection and we are going to use to improve the genetic fitness of the labrador retriever.”

This point is backed by Clements. “This is a fantastically exciting time for canine genetics,” he says. “It has become an amazingly powerful tool to dissect the molecular basis for why these diseases develop and to help us ways to breed out complex inherited diseases.”

For her part, Wiles is simply content that the labrador retriever is getting its proper share of the limelight. “These dogs are incomparable and it seems really fitting that they are leading the way in this sort of research. I know why Molly is fantastic. Now scientists are going to know why that is.”

News reposted from:

Written by: Robin McKie

Why Dogs Need Multivitamin Supplements?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Many pet parents assume that they are meeting their dog’s nutritional requirements by providing them with high-quality pet food made from the best ingredients. While choosing a nutritious and healthy pet food is an important step in protecting the health of your pet, the fact of the matter is you are likely not meeting all of your pet’s needs. In order to develop a strong immune system and avoid disease and infection, dogs require a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants as a part of their daily diet. In many cases, a daily multivitamin supplement will be able to meet these needs and provide your pet with more benefits than you can even imagine.

  • Multivitamin supplements will fill in the nutritional gaps in your dog’s diet. When your dog’s nutritional requirements are not met, it may be prone to injury because of insufficient bone development or a weak immune system could cause your dog to easily become infected and suffer from disease. Supplement products can help prevent these issues, because they ensure that your pet is getting all of the vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants that it needs in order to grow up strong and healthy.
  • These supplements have been created utilizing special formulas that specifically target the development of a strong immune system. This is why it can be beneficial to start providing your pet with a supplement product at a young age. These supplements have been shown to help enhance the development of the immune system, allowing your dog to protect itself against infection, illness and disease.
  • Multivitamins can help your dog maximize its energy use and prevent it from becoming lazy and lethargic early in life. Multivitamin supplements allow your dog to feel its best at all times, so it is always up for a walk around the block or a romp in the dog park with other local pooches.
  • Depending on the formula, some multivitamin supplements will help support the development of a healthy and strong bone structure. When you choose a supplement product for your pet, you will want to know what ingredients are included in the particular formula that you choose. Look for ingredients such as copper, iron, magnesium and oyster shell, all of which aid in the development of strong bones. A dog that does not receive supplements and therefore does not have an optimal bone structure may be prone to injury. Choosing the right multivitamin can help you allow your dog to live an exciting and fulfilling life without the fear of hurting itself on a regular basis.
  • Multivitamin supplements contain specific ingredients that help your dog’s body to better absorb and utilize the nutrients in its pet food. Simply because your high-quality pet food includes a certain vitamin, mineral, or nutrient, doesn’t mean that your dog’s body is capable of absorbing it. In most cases, vitamins work with one another in order to unlock the benefits for the body. A supplement product will have been created utilizing a well-balanced formula that contains a variety of vitamins and antioxidants, all of which will work together in order to maximize the positive impact on your dog’s health. Giving a daily natural supplement is a safe and effective way to ensure that your dog enjoys all of the health benefits that it deserves in order to live a long and happy life.

Pet parents who are interested in providing their dog with a daily vitamin supplement should discuss this with their veterinarian. When you tell your veterinarian what pet food products you are giving your dog, the doctor will be able to provide you with recommendations for types of supplements that might be beneficial for your pet. In many cases, a multivitamin formula is ideal for pets, as these supplements contain a well-rounded portion of the vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants that dogs need. Your veterinarian can help you choose a supplement product that is safe and effective, allowing your dog to benefit as much as possible from this nutritional boost.

Article reposted from:

Post provider: NuVet Labs

10 Easy Ways to Make Your Dogs Life More Holistic

Friday, August 29th, 2014

In honor of National Holistic Pet Day on August 30, here are a few ways that you can help your dog lead a more holistic – where your dog’s soul, body and mind are interconnected – life because a balanced dog is a happy one. (Obviously, before trying any of the tips below, always do your research and consult your trusted veterinarian.)

1. Provide frequent, clean water — Like us, dogs are mostly (roughly 70 percent) made up of water. On average, dogs need “8.5 to 17 ounces of water per 10 pounds (55 to 110 milliliters per kilogram) per day.” There could already be bacteria or other unwelcome things in your dog’s water bowl, so incorporating nice clean water is important. If you make it a point to drink filtered water, make sure the water you give your dogs is also nice and clean.

2. Feed them more raw foods — Dogs are also what they eat. They probably don’t want to eat “food” that’s constantly recalled and pulled from the shelves because other dogs are dying from it. A raw food diet — or even a more raw food diet — that you prepare at home is a sure way to help your dog get the nutrients that he needs. If you’re interested in this, look into what your dog needs for a full, healthy diet, and consult your veterinarian to make sure it’s the right choice for your dog’s health.

3. Practice the art of DogaDoga is yoga that you and your dog (or other pet) can do together. If yoga’s not your style, then good ol’-fashioned exercise will get the tail wagging.

4. Take a mindful walk — This also falls into the exercise category, but walks aren’t just about your dog. Your energy and presence matter, too. Be confident so that your dog wants to follow you; it’ll also help you avoid the less pleasant aspects of walking a dog, e.g. pulling you. The Natural Dog Blog recommends focusing and playing-training for you to truly walk with your dog in a mindful way.

5. Make your dog work — Dogs actually like to work. Give your dog some life purpose by giving her a job. Her breed and natural quirks will help you decide the job for her. A few common examples are making her carry a backpack with your personal items, fetching things for you because you’re too lazy, guarding the house or chasing the cat (just kidding!).

6. Go on a doggy date — Your dog should definitely not be anti-social. There’s nothing like a dog chilling with another dog. Even if you don’t have your own dog pack, training classes, dog parks and dog meet ups are easy ways meet new dogs. Dog socialization isn’t just about making your dog happy and entertaining the humans with their antics. Dog socialization will boost your pooch’s confidence and make them more reliable.

7. Stimulate their mind — Play is the no-brainer way to engage your dog’s mind. You can use it to simulate the thrill of the hunt or stick something tasty in a toy that makes your dog forage for food like his ancestors. You can also get your dog’s mind going by learning a new trick or giving him a new challenge.

A word of caution about dog toys: Part of human holistic living is avoiding toxins and chemicals that are not good for our bodies. Well, they aren’t good for our pets either, but many dog toys are full of them. The Bark notes how many dog toys imported from China are full of carcinogenic and poisonous heavy metals, e.g. cadmium, lead and chromium. Avoid dog toys that reek of chemicals, use bright colors or have fire retardants or stain guards. Never assume that a toy is safe just because it’s made in the United States, either.

8. Unwind with a dog massage — When the fun and excitement is over, it’s important for your dog to unwind. Like us, a good massage can help with that. Holistic Veterinary Healing lists the Tui Na massage as an effective technique to help your dog’s joints and muscles. The technique is used to prevent injury, restore joint and tissue function, improve their performance and endurance and prevent the loss of joint mobility. Another massage technique involves no physical contact. Reiki for dogs works to align all of their chakras from head to tail and remove their pent up negative energy.

Your Holistic Dog has more massage tutorials that will walk you through giving your dog the perfect massage.

9. Relax with some musical therapy — You can also let some music do the relaxing for you. A calming tune offers more benefits than pure relaxation. Pet MD explains that “music causes changes in brain activity, neurohumoral, cardiovascular and immune responses.” While there are many recordings to choose from, studies show that classical music is especially effective.

10. Find a holistic or alternative vet — If you’re loving the idea of holistic medicine for your pet, then there are vets with holistic and alternative trainings. The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association helps you find an accredited vet where acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, dog chakra clearing and homeopathy are the norm. You can also check out International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing and International Veterinary Acupuncture Society for more information.

Bonus Tip: Be balanced, be happy — I’m not sure if it’s because they study us every day or there’s some ethereal soul contract at play, but our dogs are truly our mirrors. If you strive to live your best and most holistic life, then you’ll give them permission to do the same. Now that’s a gift.

Article reposted from:

Written by: Jessica Ramos

Some dog breeds might be genetically predisposed to certain cancers

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

It is not uncommon in this postmodern age for dog owners to refer to, and even treat, their dog as if that dog were their child. “This is my baby” and “These are my kids” are phrases frequently uttered by dog owners, absent of any irony, to introduce a bounding Labrador to a new acquaintance or to draw attention from across a bar top to a smartphone picture of a pair of panting Corgis.

All commentary aside, and presuming that there are likely as many people who identify themselves in this state of affairs as there are those who are confused and nauseated by it, the following is important, if potentially distressing, news for modern parents of canine children. Dr. Gerald Post, a board-certified veterinary oncologist, wrote a post on this afternoon concerning revelations made while researching the canine genome that are beginning to make causal links between a dog’s breed and its likelihood of developing certain kinds of cancer. Post notes that while every dog is at some level of risk for cancer, some breeds of dog seem to develop specific types of cancer more frequently than others. For example, Cocker Spaniels and Basset Hounds are more closely associated with B-cell lymphomas than are other breeds and mixes. Such connections have had empirical support for some time, but it is only now, through genetic research, that scientists might be able definitively describe the connections and move towards more effective treatments.

In general, canine children should be taken to a licensed veterinarian for regular checkups. But parents should also be watchful for warning signs of specific cancers and diligent in keeping their kids away from factors that might increase risk, such as an unhealthy diet.

Janet Tobiassen Crosby, a doctor in veterinary medicine, states that about 1 in 4 dogs will succumb to some form of cancer, and that appearance of tell-tale symptoms like sudden weight loss, uncharacteristic lethargy or loss of appetite and new or changed lumps on the dog’s skin should always be checked out by a vet. While this might inspire an increase of hypochondriasis by proxy in parents of canine children, when the well-being of a child is on the line, one can never be too safe.

Article reposted from:

Written by: J. Layne Proctor
Image credit: