Teaching Your Dog to Ask to Go Out

Teaching your Dog to tell you when needs to go at the right place and time is something that must be learn with the help of their owners. The application of an appropriate method, a certain dedication on the part of the owners and the patience are the keys to obtain an adequate learning. The training methods used today take advantage of the puppy’s natural tendency to keep the place clean and the reward for doing well. The use of punishment is not advised.

dog-with-fear

Remember that positive reinforcements (prizes) work better than an abuse whose purpose is to punish. Never use blows to try and educate your dog.

The secret of learning

You must keep in mind that there are no miracle learning methods that deliver results in 24 hours or less. Teach the dog to relieve itself in the right place and manner depends on the application of a suitable method, dedication and perseverance by the owner and a great deal of patience on both sides.

Dogs, like wolves, present from cubs an innate tendency to leave the den to do their needs. In this way they help keep the burrow clean and reduce the risk of being detected by a predator and suffering from parasitic diseases.

Newspaper

You’ve probably noticed that 10 or 20 minutes after eating, your dog wants to do its needs. Well, ideally you should put newspaper in the place where you want it to be. Make sure that this site is far from the place that your dog is destined to eat and drink water.

Now, you must be aware of the movements of your dog. As soon as you see start spinning in a circle as he sniffs the floor as if looking for something, you can be sure that is looking some where to do a tummy. As you observe this behavior, distract your dog with a little palm or some noise and take it immediately to the place where you placed the sheets of newsprint. If you urinate or defecate on newspapers, congratulate him with soft words as you caress him.

Now, step by step, the dog will identify the sheets of newspaper as a site allowed to do belly. Let a week go by so that you learn correctly and practice day by day.

If you decide that the place had intended it is not exactly ideal, them moves slowly newsprint (about 30 cm. Per day) to the new site that you’ve assigned. 

Using this method, your dog will not notice that the paper moves, and will continue to do its things as if nothing is happening.

You should watch for your dog when you wake up, when you finish eating or drinking, or even when you have just played. These most commons times when an accident occurs and must return to teach your puppy from the beginning.

Now, if your dog had previously chosen a specific place, you can start by placing the newspaper there and start to walk slowly until it is in the place where you had thought.

Towels

There are on the market a kind of diapers impregnated with a smell that the puppy identifies as a suitable place to urinate or defecate. You can find them in pet stores or veterinary consult. They are also known as training pads and supplement the function or n of newsprint.

They have shown to be more effective from the beginning, something that you do not get with the newsprint, but until after a few days of training. Either method works, but these diapers have been specially designed for that. The decision to use one or the other depends entirely on you.

The walks on the street

Once completed calendar or Vaccination established by the vet, the puppy can and go for a walk. Under normal circumstances, the puppy will progressively replace newspapers on the street to meet their needs. When the dog does almost all of his or her needs away from home, newspapers may be removed. As I seek to bring to walk your dog just as you have already calculated that wants to go to the bathroom (about 10 or 15 minutes after eating), and reward him when he does on the street. Try to carry plastic bags to collect the debris and deposit them in the trash cans in the park or at home. It is not right to leave excrement on the streets, as you could foster disease and of course, you do not like it too to your children will encounter one of these gifts while they playing in the park.

teaching-your-dog-to-do-its-needs-outside

It is very important not to come into your home right after your puppy has finished to make their droppings outside. Try to keep walking for a few more minutes before returning.

Time is your enemy

Voluntary control of your dog on urination and defecate is not complete until it meets the 3 or 4 months old. A puppy under old need a m s walks the street (remember you should be fine vaccinated) or newsprint.

On average, a puppy of 2 months can tolerate 3 or 4 hours before going to the bathroom, and this time is increasing as the dog develops. Do not press your dog trying to hold it as long as possible.

If at 4 or 5 months old the puppy does not show any progress, consult your veterinarian to rule out medical problems that could be associated with that incontinence.

Try not to punish him

Although your friends, relatives or even veterinary surgeons have suggested you use a funky newspaper to punch it as punishment, or even rubbing the puppy’s mouth over urine or excrement, worldwide dog behaviorists recommend avoiding punishment during toilet training, and more u n if the punishment is to use violence. Recently studies conducted on the scientist subject  have shown that systems like punishing the dog or rub his nose in urine are completely ineffective and quite traumatic for the puppy.

Again we ask you: BE PATIENCE… 🙂

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Golden Retriever with Hip Dysplasia

Golden Retriever with Arthritis and Hip Dysplasia

Golden Retriever with Arthritis

Golden Retriever with Arthritis Overview

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of arthritis is “inflammation of joints.” Arthritis can be caused by many different things and conditions, such as infection (especially from a tick-borne diseases), immune-mediated disease, trauma, and problems with the metabolism. The most common form of arthritis in dogs, however, is due to degenerative changes in joints which is caused by developmental problems, age or overuse.

Golden Retriever with Arthritis

While all dogs regardless of age or breed can be affected by arthritis, certain factors increase a dog’s risk factor. Poor conformation, for example, can make a dog much more likely to develop arthritis. Large breeds, such as Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and German shepherds are more prone to arthritis, and obese dogs are more likely to develop it than dogs that are fit. Also, older dogs are prone to arthritis because of the years of wear and tear on their joints.

Types of arthritis seen in dogs

Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease (DJD): This is the long-term deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints. This cartilage allows the joint a pain free range of motion.  When the cartilage becomes inflamed or wears down, your pet will most likely experience pain.

Hip dysplasia: This is a genetic disease that results in malformation of the hip joint (a ball-and-socket joint). Chronic inflammation of the hip joints occurs because of misalignment, and the cartilage in the joint gradually deteriorating, causing pain and inflammation. There are various surgical procedures available to help dogs with hip dysplasia, as well as medications that can help alleviate the pain associated with it.

If you are considering owning a purebred puppy that may be at risk for hip dysplasia, consider getting a puppy from a local breeder who has had both parents certified against hip dysplasia and other inherited forms of joint disease by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). To learn more about OFA certification, visit their Web site at www.offa.org Genetic screening for hip dysplasia is available for  Golden Retrievers and Labradors, as well, using the Hip Dysplasia DNA Dysgen Test®.

Golden Retriever Hip and Joint

Elbow dysplasia:

This is a hereditary disease in which the bones do not develop normally, causing misalignment of the joint, damage to the cartilage, and even chipping of the bones, which leads to chronic inflammation. This is most common in larger-breed dogs like Golden Retrievers and German Shepard and is thought to be inherited.  Surgery is often needed to correct this problem.

Knee dysplasia:

Some dogs, especially small toy breeds, will have malformed knee joints. As seen with hip and elbow dysplasia, this is an inherited conformational defect that causes arthritis. Some of these smaller breed dogs will be effected by knee caps that pop in and out of position; the medical term for this is “luxating patella.” A dog suffering from this will limp until the knee cap returns to the correct position. Surgery is often needed to correct knee dysplasia.

Signs & Symptoms

Arthritis can be mild to severe; your four-legged pooch may experience different signs depending on the severity of the arthritis.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Lameness
  • Swollen joints
  • Popping and cracking during joint movement
  • Muscle atrophy (the muscles around the joint become smaller)
  • Licking area around joint
  • Slow to get up from a resting position
  • Loss of appetite or unusual weight gain in some cases
  • Unwillingness to walk, jump, or climb stairs
  • Accidents in the house
  • Vocalizing pain by whining or whimpering
  • Depression or aggravation
Golden Retriever with Hip Dysplasia

Diagnosis & Treatment

In order to treat your dog’s arthritis, your vet will want to perform a thorough physical exam and take a complete history of your pooch. Your vet will perform simple motion tests and observe your dog’s movements.

They may recommend the follow additional tests, as well:

  • Antibody/Antigen tests to identify if your pet has been exposed to tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease
  • PCR testing, if necessary, to confirm exposure to certain diseases
  • Chemistry tests to evaluate kidney, liver and pancreatic function as well as sugar levels
  • A complete blood count to screen for infection, inflammation, or anemia
  • Urine tests to screen for urinary tract infections and other diseases, and to evaluate the kidney’s ability to concentrate urine
  • A thyroid test to determine if the thyroid gland is producing too little thyroid hormone
  • Radiographs (x-rays) of the joints and back
  • Joint fluid analysis to help evaluate the cause

Once your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, your vet will recommend a treatment protocol tailored to your pet’s specific needs. Treatments may include:

  • Treating the underlying cause of arthritis, if possible
  • Prescribing medications or supplements to help with pain
  • Dietary management, if your dog is overweight
  • Nutritional supplements thought to help lubricate the joint and help rebuild joint cartilage such as Chondroitin
  • Surgery for the various dysplasias, as outlined above
  • Joint Health Supplement for Dogs like Chondropaw

If your dog is put on a medication such as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, your vet may recommend routine lab tests on blood and urine to monitor your pet’s tolerance to the medication. Make sure you follow all recommendations from your vet and call immediately if your dog’s condition gets worse.

Prevention

While not all forms of arthritis are preventable, you can help reduce your dog’s risk as well as the severity of the disease by ensuring your pooch gets plenty of appropriate low impact exercise,eats properly to support slow growth in puppies and to maintain lean body weight, and that you contact your vet early if you think your pet may have arthritis.

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Dog analgesic for Arthritis

Relief For Dog Arthritis

Relief For Dog Arthritis

Strategies to ease your dog’s arthritis pain

The easy run becomes a difficult walk; the jump to a couch is no longer possible; lying down is accompanied by a deep groan. As our dogs age, things that were once second nature become an effort. Today, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine and companion animal care, many dogs are living to a ripe old age. On the downside, that longevity also increases the odds that they’ll suffer from some form of degenerative joint disease (DJD), or osteoarthritis. There are several types arthritis in canines, but in this article, we’ll address the most common form, the age-related degenerative form.

Relief For Dog Arthritis

As dogs get older, the cartilage surfaces of their joints begin to thin, and cartilage cells die. When the cells die, they release enzymes that cause inflammation of the joint capsule and release of excessive joint fluid. Extra bony growths (osteophytes) can develop. With severe cartilage thinning, the normal joint space narrows and the bone beneath the cartilage deteriorates. All of these processes set in motion further changes in the normal functioning of the dog’s joint, and an ongoing spiral of pain, lameness, limb inactivity and muscle atrophy sets in.

On physical exam, veterinarians rely on a dog’s pain response to joint palpation, detection of crepitus (a crackling or grating sensation felt within the joint), observation of gait and the presence of muscle atrophy to diagnose osteoarthritis.  Not all dogs—even those with significant Degenerative  Joint Disease—vocalize when they’re in pain, but a dog whose muscles are atrophied and limbs are stiff, who requires assistance to get up, and does little more than wander outside to go to the bathroom is usually suffering pain.

veterinarians rely on a dog’s pain response to joint palpation

DJD isn’t the only reason for a decrease in a dog’s activity level, weakness or reluctance to move, so other conditions that could be causing or contributing to this change need to be ruled out. Among the entries on a lengthy list are infections and metabolic illnesses, heart conditions, cancer (particularly bone cancer), anemia, and endocrine conditions such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease. In a perfect world, all dogs would start life with genetically sound conformation and joints. For purebreds, the importance of responsible breeding and the use of OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) certification or other screening tests to evaluate hip and elbow conformation of prospective breeding animals cannot be overstated. Regardless of a dog’s origins, feeding her a quality diet throughout life and maintaining him/her at optimal lean body weight is also crucial. If the pet is overweight, a healthy weight reduction plan should be initiated immediately.

When it comes to relief, reaching for a single solution pharmaceutical is rarely the most effective approach. Rather, best results are achieved by working with your vet to develop a plan tailored to help with your dog’s specific issues. An integrative, multimodal therapy regime can maximize your dog’s comfort and well-being as it minimizes the potential side effects of certain therapies, and is also often more gentle.

Following are a strategies that have been found to be beneficial.

At Home: Provide well-padded comfortable bedding away from cold or damp drafts. (This will also help prevent the development of pressure-point calluses.) Carpeted or padded steps or a ramp to get on and off the bed or couch are helpful. Nonskid flooring wherever surfaces are slippery is also very helpful. Outside, your dog may find a gently sloped ramp easier to negotiate than stair steps.

Body work: Many arthritic dogs appreciate muscle massages, which stimulate blood flow to atrophying muscles. Certified canine massage therapists are available in most metro areas of the country; many are willing to demonstrate techniques to owners.  Warm compresses over sore joints can be soothing, but care must be used to avoid injury from excess heat.

Supplementation:  Joint supplements are available to promote healthy cartilage and joint health. These contain varying combinations of chondroitin,  herbs and other chondroprotective substances. Many veterinarians and owners have found that a small number of these products are to be helpful. We don’t yet know whether beginning supplementation at a young age benefits every dog. This decision is best made with your veterinarian, taking into consideration factors such as diet and genetics/conformation (e.g., has a dog been diagnosed early on with hip or other joint abnormalities?). The anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA) have also been documented to be of help in dogs with arthritis. These are included in some canine arthritis diets, but to be effective, higher levels via separate supplements may be needed.

Exercise: Maintaining mobility through moderate exercise is important regardless of a dog’s age and the extent of her arthritis. (We are convinced that what keeps certain dogs going to later years is daily quarter-mile walks at a normal pace.) A dog with mild, early arthritis can and should get more exercise than an older pooch with severe cartilage erosion. Non-weight–bearing exercise— swimming, for example—is excellent if not contraindicated by other medical conditions. Look for a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) for help with designing an appropriate exercise program.

Complementary therapy: Many arthritic dogs can be made more comfortable and have greater range on motion in joints with Acupuncture. Alternative veterinary practitioners sometimes prescribe formulations of Chinese herbs to support the benefits of acupuncture.

Laser: Class IV Laser therapy is a new form of treatment that stimulates blood flow to tissues and can greatly improve arthritic conditions.

Pharmaceuticals: When it comes to drugs, there are several options. Adequan injections have long been considered the gold standard for treating arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases in dogs (can be very expensive). A potent chondroprotective agent, Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, or PSGAG) provides the body with the building blocks of cartilage it needs to assist in repairing its own tissues. Unfortunately, it is often not employed because the initial treatment consists of six injections over three weeks, and it is somewhat expensive. However, rarely have we seen an arthritis patient it did not help, and in senior dogs, we get clear reminders if  one of their maintenance injections is forgotten (every three to six weeks, depending on the dog). Adequan is largely without side effects; the main reported side effect is the potential for increased bleeding, but in 20 years of being used in hundreds of patients (including von Willebrand disease-affected dogs), we have never encountered this problem.

We can add an analgesic such as Tramadol, a synthetic opioid. While not an anti-inflammatory, tramadol is a fairly potent pain medication, as well as being inexpensive and reasonably safe. Sedation and constipation are possible side effects, but in our experience, dogs tolerate tramadol wonderfully within the proper dose range. Gabapentin and amantadine also target the nervous system, altering the transmission and strength of pain signals.

Dog analgesic for Arthritis

We can elect to try a steroid for its anti-inflammatory effect. The caveat with steroids is,  that over time they have a “breakdown” effect on body tissues, including joints. Moreover, if used for any length of time, they may contribute to the development of diabetes, medically caused Cushing’s disease, liver inflammation, immune suppression or other problems. In order to prevent gastric erosion or ulceration, vets will often prescribe medications such as histamine blockers (famotidine, cimetidine), proton-pump inhibitors (omeprazole) or gastrointestinal protectants (sucralfate). If ulcer symptoms develop, steroids should be discontinued. All this having been said, many older dogs with advanced arthritis can get four to eight weeks of benefit from a long-lasting steroid injection.

If none of the above provides sufficient relief, one of the veterinary NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) might be considered. Canine NSAIDs include Rimadyl, EtoGesic, Deramaxx, Previcox, Metacam and Feldene. While these drugs are highly effective at reducing inflammation and pain, they should not be casually dispensed. We suggest using them on a very limited basis with extreme caution.

Few drugs are without possible side effects. The potential side effects of veterinary NSAIDs are numerous; they can be severe, and even fatal; their development can be completely unpredictable; and most importantly, they can be irreversible.  All Vets hold to the “above all, do no harm” portion of their oath close to heart at all times. Unpredictable, irreversible side effects are scary.

For dogs whose systems tolerate an NSAID well, they can be wonderful. However, far to many dogs, including healthy non-geriatrics, have succumbed to irreversible organ-system failure from sometimes no more than a few days’ worth of NSAID therapy. We  have also heard of fatalities from perforating gastric ulcers, seizures and other “adverse events.” The FDA has documented thousands of such deaths, which by their own estimation represent a fraction of total cases.

Blood work should be done before an NSAID is dispensed to confirm normal liver and kidney function, red blood cell count, and other parameters. These tests should be repeated at regular intervals to confirm that the NSAID is being tolerated. Ask your veterinarian for a copy of the pharmaceutical company’s Client Information Sheet; he or she should also advise you about symptoms to watch for, including any increase in water consumption or urination which is very important. The medication should be stopped immediately if symptoms develop. NSAIDs must never be given with aspirin or any form of steroid; doing so can result in death.

And please, do not give your dog over-the-counter pain medicines without consulting your veterinarian! Dogs have died tragic, unnecessary deaths from a variety of seemingly innocuous pills, including a healthy dogs whose owners gave them several days’ worth of Ibuprofen, which is toxic to dogs (and, for that matter, cats too).

dog therapy supplement

Let’s strive to support fit, structurally sound dogs; maintain them with excellent nutrition and age and breed appropriate exercise and at optimal body weights; and begin supplemental integrative therapies when they show symptoms of and are diagnosed with degenerative arthritis. Let’s work our way up to the various solutions prudently and judiciously.

Here’s to long, happy and comfortable lives for all our dogs!

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Most Common Dog Health Problems

Most Common Dog Health Problems

 

Our dogs are faithful companions, and they depend on us for good care. To help your dog live a healthy life, you should know some of the most common health problems dogs face, their signs, and what you can do for them.

Dogs and Ear Infections

Ear infections are a common dog health problem, and they can be caused by allergies, yeast, ear mites, bacteria, hair growth deep in the ear canal, and more. Symptoms your dog may have with an ear infection include:

  • Head shaking or head tilting
  • Bad ear odor
  • Always scratching
  • Showing problems with balance
  • Unusual back-and-forth eye movements
  • Red or irritated ear canal
  • Swelling around outer portion of the ear
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge

Always take your dog to the veterinarian if you think he has an ear infection. In most cases, cleaning and medicating the ear canal should quickly clear up an infection. However, surgery can be needed for chronic infections or if forceful head shaking results in the rupture of a vessel within the outer part of the ear.

Dogs and Worms

vTapeworms, Roundworms,Hookworms, and Whipworms are common internal parasites in dogs. And although any worm infestation can make your pooch uncomfortable, some, like hookworms, can be fatal in puppies. Signs your dog may have worms include:
  • Diarrhea (may be bloody)
  • Weightloss
  • A change in appetite
  • A rough or dry coat
  • Scooting on his bottom
  • Vomiting (with roundworms in particular)
  • An overall poor appearance
 The best way to diagnose a worm problem is with a visit to the vet. Treatment depends on which type of worm your dog has, but generally includes an oral medication and may require follow-up. Don’t try treating worms yourself: A medication that kills roundworms, for example, doesn’t kill tapeworms.

Fleas and Your Dog

It takes just three weeks for one flea to turn into an infestation of 1,000 biting bugs. A very common dog health problem, fleas are easy for your dog to pick up but they’re also easy to treat. Signs your dog may have fleas include:

  • Excessive scratching, licking, or biting at the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Hot spots
  • Allergic dermatitis (response caused by contact)
  • Tapeworms (carried by fleas)
  • Flea dirt (looks like small black dots) against your dog’s skin

Untreated, fleas not only make your dog intensely uncomfortable, they can also cause allergic reactions, infections, and even lead to anemia from blood loss.Talk to your vet about the right flea medicine for your dog, which may include collars, oral medicine, shampoos, sprays, or topical liquids.

Fleas and Your Dog

How to Help Hot Spots in Your Dog

They’re commonly known as hot spots, but the medical term for those bare, inflamed, red areas you often see on dogs is acute dermatitis — a bacterial skin infection. Anything that irritates your dog’s skin enough to make him scratch or chew can lead to the pain and itch of hot spots, which, if left untreated, can quickly grow and expand.

A hot spot’s location can help your vet diagnose its cause. Fleas, for example, may be the source of a hip hot spot, while a hot spot at the ear might point to ear problems.

Treating hot spots may involve shaving and cleaning the irritated area,antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), steroids, or topical medications, depending on how bad the hot spots are, and how much pain your dog is in.

Common Dog Health Problem: Vomiting

Vomiting is a common health problem in dogs, with dozens of possible causes, from infection or intestinal parasites to pancreatitis, kidney failure, heatstroke, or poisoning.

Symptoms are basic: abdominal heaving and drooling caused by nausea. Also, If your dog  has diarrhea, blood in their vomit, seems lethargic, continues vomiting, or can’t hold down liquids, contact your vet right away to prevent life-threatening dehydration.

Treatment depends on what’s causing the dog’s distress, and may include fluid therapy, drugs to control vomiting, and homemade foods like well-cooked skinless chicken, boiled potatoes, and rice.

Doggy Diarrhea

Diarrhea in dogs, as with vomiting, can have lots of causes, including stress, infections like parvovirus, intestinal parasites, and food sensitivative.

Diarrhea symptoms are pretty obvious — look for loose, watery, or liquid stool.

Because diarrhea can easily lead to dehydration, be sure your dog has plenty of clean water available, then take your dog to the vet if the diarrhea persists for more than a day, or immediately if there is fever, lethargy, vomiting, dark or bloody stools, or loss of appetite.

Dog Joint Pain

As  dogs age they start to have problems with their joints.  Depending on the cause, arthritis may affect one or any number of your dog’s joints. … Most cases develop as a result of abnormal rubbing within the joint caused by joint instability (e.g. after ligament damage), damage to or abnormal cartilage development, or damage caused by trauma (e.g. fractures).

We all hate to see our dogs suffer and a great supplement to help alleviate this condition is Chondropaw.  It is an all-natural pharmaceutical grade Chondroitin supplement with herbs.

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non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Natural Treatment for Arthritis in Dogs

Natural Treatment for Arthritis in Dogs

To best way to treat arthritis in dogs is to start with a short visit to the Vet. Some old dogs are a walking disaster, but natural treatment for Arthritis will help your dog. They wobble around on very unsound legs…the result of jumping from high places and tearing her ligaments at different times in their younger days.

Labrador Champ

Now older dogs must pay the price for their youthful indiscretions.

It is a challenge keeping older dogs active and comfortable, but you can do it without harmful NSAIDs … and it works quite well for older dogs so they can be  happy, healthy and active in old age.  Most owners will admit that there was a time when they thought they would never see their pets active again because their pets  joints were so bad.

Anyone who has experienced a miraculous recovery in their pet’s health always says I wish I had looked harder for a solutions years earlier so I could have kept my pet active and free of severe arthritis much earlier … and since this is also one of the most frequent questions asked by dog owners, we thought we would share some critical 3 steps for dealing with degenerative joint problems naturally.

These 3 simple steps have worked miracles for owners and pets and we know they’ll help get to the root cause of your dog’s joint pain also.  But first, let’s take a  look at the under lying causes of arthritis …

Inflammation: The Real Cause Of Dog Arthritis

We once thought arthritis was the result of wear and tear – but more recent research has shown this isn’t the case. Researchers from Stanford University say arthritis may be the result of chronic, low-grade inflammation. In a nutshell, the immune system releases proteins that damage joints – and these proteins also bind to cartilage-producing cells in the joints, causing them to secrete even more of the damaging proteins. This creates a cascade of chronic, low-grade inflammation in the joint … especially if there’s already arthritis present.

Low-grade inflammation has been linked not just to arthritis, but virtually every health condition. It’s the one, true cause of most disease. Dr Brent Bauer, director of the Mayo Clinic Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program, says “inflammation appears to play a role in many chronic diseases”

Now you might be thinking “Well, I’ll give my dog anti-inflammatory drugs and the arthritis will go away.” But anti-inflammatory drugs won’t address the cause of your dog’s inflammation. And new research shows NSAIDs (or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can cause even more damage (same in humans) to your dog’s joints and soft tissue.

Not all inflammation in the body is a bad thing. If your dog is exposed to viruses or bacteria – or if he hurts himself – then acute inflammation will bring white blood cells to the joint and start the healing process. But chronic inflammation – the kind of inflammation that stays for weeks, months and even years – is the real culprit behind most degenerative and inflammatory health issues in your dog.

Researchers are finding that heart disease can be linked to dental disease. Chronic bladder infections can lead to bladder cancer and they’re finding that chronic low-grade inflammation is a major driver of joint degenerative disease.

So here are some ways to fight against the inflammation that can cause and worsen your dog’s arthritis, in the order of significance. The more knowledge you have, the more your dog will benefit and not just his joints but his total health.

non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Step One – Leaky Gut Cure

For years, we believed a poor diet could cause joint disease, but no one was really sure how. But now we know …

Your dog’s gut lining contains millions of tiny little holes that allow digested foods and proteins to enter the body to be used as fuel. The tiny holes prevent larger, undigested proteins and toxins from entering into the body and wreaking havoc with the pet’s immune system.

But these tiny holes how been found to stretch if they do the gut is damaged – and when this happens, proteins, harmful bacteria and undigested food particles will start to enter the body, causing an immune reaction.

Most foods today are high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids and this causes the chronic inflammation that can cause or worsen arthritis.

The immune system responds to any foreign invader with inflammation … but because the dog’s gut is damaged, foreign invaders continue to enter the body with every single meal, causing low-grade chronic inflammation that can lead to arthritis (and literally hundreds of other health conditions).

What are the causes of leaky gut in dogs?

Poor Diet

Processed, grain-based foods containing wheat, rice, spelt and soy, food additives and preservatives; the lectin found in unsprouted grains; sugar; genetically modified foods (GMOs); pasteurized dairy; and meat from stressed, factory-farmed animals.

Drugs And Other Toxins

Unnecessary steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), deworming drugs, flea and tick treatments (many contain pesticides) and antibiotics (leading to an imbalance of healthy gut flora, also known as dysbiosis).

Over-vaccination

Vaccines contain foreign animal protein as well as heavy metals like aluminum, which are meant to exaggerate the immune response. This combination wreaks havoc on the immune system and causes chronic inflammation in the gut and the body. Limiting vaccines is an important step in limiting inflammation. (This could be a  vital step in itself – it’s critical to never give an unnecessary vaccine to your dog.You can find out if your dog is vaccinated too often with a free guide online.So Step One is to eliminate processed foods, drugs, toxins and vaccines as much as possible. And if your dog has been exposed to any of the above treat your pet for leaky gut.

Step Two – Fix The Fats

Fats are one of the most important ingredients in your dog’s diet … they affect every cell in his body … if he doesn’t get enough fat or gets the wrong balance of fats, things can go badly for your pet.

Many of the fats your dog eats are either omega-6 fats or omega-3 fats. Both are significant and both help control your dog’s hormones and immune system. The omega-6 fats trigger inflammation and the omega-3 fats reduce it. These fats work in perfect balance … unless we mess around with the foods we eat.

 

Because antioxidants clear the “impurities” out of your dog’s body, they are the perfect choice for fighting arthritis.

 

Today’s foods are different than the foods your dog’s ancestors ate. Most foods today are high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids and this causes the chronic inflammation that can cause arthritis to worsen. Grains are high in omega-6 fats, as are factory-farmed animals (they’re also fed grains so feeding factory-farmed animals to your dog is pretty much the same as feeding him grains … unfortunately you are what you eat).

To reduce inflammation, your dog needs to be eating grass-fed animals, not factory-farmed and grain-fed animals. And if that’s not possible, you need to add omega-3 fats to balance the fats in his diet. You can do this by adding fish or phytoplankton (but not fish oil – most fish oils turn rancid and can increase the inflammation in your dog).

antioxidants for dogs

Step 3 – Add Antioxidants

Free radicals are dangerous substances that can build up from metabolism, inflammation and environmental factors like pollution can also contribute. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and cause them to die. Free radicals build up in the body like plaque and they’re the cause of degenerative disease and premature aging in our pets.

Antioxidants are molecules that can prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants have anti-aging effects and can help prevent cancer, heart disease, eye problems, and immune issues.

Because antioxidants clear the “ gunk ” out of your dog’s body, they’re the perfect choice for fighting arthritis. Here are some foods that are loaded with high quality antioxidants:

  • Phytoplankton (contains SOD, a fierce cancer-fighter antioxidant)
  • Astaxanthin (a super antioxidant)
  • Turmeric (go online to see a potent paste you can make)
  • Wild blueberries, goji berries and cranberries (high in vitamin E, lutein, vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids and lycopene)
  • Herbs (oregano, basil, cinnamon, parsley, cumin and ginger are all high in antioxidants)

These simple steps will get to the root cause of your dog’s arthritis and we think you and your dog will love the results. Remember, treat them for leaky gut when and as they get older,  joints and movement will be so much better (and as a bonus, allergies will be too).

Why waste your money on NSAIDS.  Please go to wwww.chondropaw.com and try  natural joint supplement that will work.  Also these 3 steps will help keep your dog healthy and set your dog up to succeed – not only can you reduce his joint pain, but you’ll also reduce his risk of cancer, allergies and other inflammatory diseases.

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old dog with arthritis

Arthritis in your dog

Arthritis in your dog

Arthritis in dogs can be as uncomfortable for them as it is for humans but there are ways of managing the disease to ease your pet’s pain.

What is arthritis in Dogs ?

Arthritis in dogs has symptoms of ‘inflammation in the joints’ and is a common problem for many pets. Most people have run across a dog suffering from arthritis that has shown the textbook signs of pain, discomfort and stiffness in their joints.

If a pet has normal heathy joints, the bone surfaces are covered with a thin layer of very smooth cartilage, lubricated with a small amount of joint fluid that allows the two surfaces to glide freely over one another with very litle friction. In dogs with arthritis, cartilage within the joint undergoes transformation or damage, becoming less smooth and resulting in friction when bone surfaces rub together. This causes discomfort to your dog, as well as further damage to cartilage. As a direct result of this increased friction, new bone starts to form around the joint making the joint stiffer, which limits its movement even more – a condition known as degenerative joint disease.

What causes arthritis in Dogs ?

Typically arthritis is a problem mainly seen in older dogs, but the condition can develop from an early age following problems with bone and joint development. Depending on the cause, arthritis may affect one or multiple joints in dogs. So what is the causes? Most cases develop as a result of abnormal rubbing within the joint caused by joint instability (e.g. ligament damage), damage to or abnormal cartilage development, or damage caused by trauma (e.g. fractures). Like humans, signs of arthritis can often vary throughout the pet ‘s life and result in the early onset of joint problems when older in age.

Joint Cartilage Erosion in Dogs

What are the signs that my dog has arthritis?

Often owners ask how they can tell if their dog’s are suffering from arthritis. As the disease progresses, it almost always causes pain and stiffness, dogs may not be as apt to exercise as they were in the past and may show lameness or obvious stiffness (especially after long periods of inactivate). Commonly this stiffness improves with any kind of movement or exercise, with cold and/or damp conditions usually worsening symptoms. Some dogs may even lick constantly at an underlying painful joint – occasionally causing unwanted patches of saliva staining – but rarely do joints appear hot or swollen; more commonly changes are subtle and undetectable to the naked eye. Some pets will show obvious signs of pain, whereas others may just become slower or grumpier.

How are dogs diagnosed with arthritis?

If your vet sees signs your dog is suffering, they can sometimes tell which joints are affected by any pain and/or discomfort by examination, including joint flexion and extension. But to investigate properly they usually suggest further tests (e.g. x-rays), which help will help locate and conmfirm arthritic change, and sometimes identify any underlying causes also.

Occasionally (in the case of suspected joint infection, for example) your vet may recommend a small sample of fluid is taken from inside the joint and, in some cases, blood samples may be required to rule out any medical conditions associated with arthritis.

How is arthritis treated in dogs 

There are many therapy options available today, it is paramount to match any treatment with their underlying causes and possible joint(s) involved. Arthritis is commonly worse in overweight and unhealthy dogs, so the most important therapy is the combination of weight control and exercise management: minimizing load on the joints, and maximizing the range of movement and fitness of the muscles around those joints.

 

Some pets benefit from anti-inflammatory therapy for a few weeks or months, with long-term drug therapy proving not as useful. Pain relief is vital and the most common veterinary painkillers used are called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Natural supplements are best for long term help with Arthritis.

Dog with Arthritis

What possible medications are available?

If your vet finds that your dog has arthritis, they may require treatment on numerous visits over their lifetime, with treatments varying greatly in terms of medication and timescale between visits to give your dog the best immediate and long-term solution.

There are three main families of drugs used to treat canine arthritis. The first are cartilage protectors designed to reduce cartilage damage (including hyaluronic acid, polysulphated glycosaminoglycans and pentosan polysulphate). These may all reduce cartilage degeneration, as well as promote repair of joint structures and reduce painful inflammation.

Nutraceuticals are not medicinal products, but supplements that are designed to support the healthy function of dogs. Commonly used “nutraceuticals” are joint supplements. A growing number of vets recommend joint supplements such as Chondropaw (www.chondropaw.com)  as these supplements tend to contain chondroitin and glucosamine, which occur naturally in joint cartilage alongside natural ingredients that are potent antioxidant.

Joint supplements can often be given as a treat alongside any prescription medicines prescribed by your vet.

The third set is anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These seem ideal for managing inflammation associated with arthritis, but potential problems are their significant side effects, resulting in some warning against long-term use. In the short term, drugs with the highest impact on analgesia and inflammation are often the first choice, but using them in the medium or long term may prove detrimental to the pet so alternatives must be sought.

New drugs are always being developed and becoming available, so development of a successful management plan in the patient requires regular review of the current medication with detailed progress reports from the owner.

Can arthritis in dogs be cured?

In terms of prognosis, unfortunately it’s the case that once cartilage in your dog’s joint(s) has been damaged it rarely repairs itself completely. But the good news is many pets can successfully be made pain free by appropriate long-term use of nutracueticals, medication and sensible management to control further deterioration.

With so much variety in severity of arthritis between patients, many dogs cope well, leading full and active lives without any veterinary intervention at all. However, certain pets will require treatment ranging from simple lifestyle changes to complex surgery.

Who can I contact for further advice?

Chondropaw.com is not a veterinary organisation and is unable to provide general or case specific veterinary advice. If you have any questions regarding any of the issues discussed in this article then please contact your local veterinary practice for further information.

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joint health for dogs

Treatments for Arthritis in Dogs: Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, and NSAIDs

Treatments for Arthritis in Dogs:
Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, and NSAIDsOG

TREATMENTS FOR ARTHRITIS IN DOGS

Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and several other nutritional supplements are widely used to treat dogs with arthritis. The reason is simple arthritis affects most dogs as they get older. Unfortunately, dog owners rarely notice the early warning signs of the diease because dogs tend to hide sore muscles and any discomfort until the arthritis in the joints has become severe.

joint health for dogs

 

But before we talk about glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and their relief of arthritis, it is important to understand that no nutritional supplement will correct structural damage to a dog’s joints. If there are calcium deposits, scar tissue, or torn cartilage, and/or changes to the bones in and around joints, these abnormalities will be persistent and will continue to affect the animal regardless of nutritional intake.

Supplements to the dog’s diet – such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, Selenium, and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) – can help  in decreasing inflammation and improving the pets ability to repair and strengthen joint tissues. And while high-quality supplements are safe, they tend to work best in combination with other forms of arthritis treatment.

Let’s look at a few ways you can make life a little easier for your arthritic dog.

How to Treat Arthritis in Dogs

Dog with Arthritis

Since it is difficult to reconstruct an arthritic joint without surgical intervention, attempts are usually made to reduce joint inflammation and pain which make the dog more comfortable even if the underlying arthritic changes are still there. It is important to remember that many of the medications discussed below have significant side effects when used improperly or in especially sensitive pets. Never give your pet any prescription or over-the-counter medication without first consulting a veterinarian.

STEROIDS

Prednisone, dexamethasone, and other corticosteroids can markedly reduce swelling and inflammation in arthritic joints but there is a downside to the use of steroids for long-term palliation of arthritis: they can actually contribute to additional breakdown of joints and damage and possibly have other unwanted side effects. Inaddition, corticosteroids can interact with other medications in negative ways when used in the treatment of arthritis. For these reasons, and due to the fact that there are newer and safer options, veterinarians do not prescribe corticosteroids for arthritis in dogs as often as they used to in the past.

NSAIDs

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs can have beneficial effects for the arthritis patient. However, NSAIDs that are intended for human should not be used in dogs and have a high incidence of potentially serious side effects. NSAIDs like Etogesic, Rimadyl, Metacam, and Deramaxx have been designed specifically for use in dogs and are safer than drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin. However, these “doggy” NSAIDs can still cause upset in gastrointestinal tract and in rare cases liver or kidney dysfunction. Inaddition, NSAID use in dogs should be supervised by a veterinarian.

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Additional Pain Relievers

Pain relieving medications like tramadol, Galliprant, Amantadine, and gabapentin may be prescribed by veterinarians if a dog’s arthritis is severe and/or does not respond to other forms of treatment.

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

Most nutritional supplements (also called nutraceuticals) are substances that are consumed orally in addition to a normal diet. These substances are safer than traditional drugs because they are considered a form of food. Side effects are very rare or unheard of as long as they are used in reasonable amounts. Stomach upset is one possibility, particularly at high doses, but generally diminishes as a dog’s digestive system adjusts.

The most commonly used nutraceuticals in pet health care are glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Administering drugs to dogs and cats in proper doses improved comfort almost immediately. Conversely, nutraceuticals may take several weeks to months of administration before noticeable improvement in mobility and attitude are apparent but with less side effects.

1. Glucosamine

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound that will improve the pets  production of joint lubricants and the health of shock-absorbing cartilage within joints.

Also Glucosamine sulfate is beneficial to other body structures besides joints. It is involved in the formation of nails, tendons, skin, eyes, synovial fluid, bone, ligaments, heart valves, and in mucous secretions of the digestive, respiratory, and urinary tracts. In healthy pets,  It is created in the production of proteins associated with cellular growth and structure.

Glucosamine as a nutritional supplement is usually extracted from crab, lobster, or shrimp shells. There are three forms of glucosamine, so when purchasing it, look for glucosamine sulfate because it is absorbed and utilized the best.

Because dietary supplements are unregulated, quality and content may vary widely. Be sure to choose a product sold by a well-established company and/or consult your veterinarian as to which would be the best solution for your dog.

2. Chondroitin Sulfate

Studies on chondroitin sulfate suggests it can be beneficial in preventing stress injuries to joints as well as aiding in the repair of damaged connective tissue and possibly the bone that underlies cartilage within joints. Chondroitin sulfate may inhibit destructive enzymes in joint fluid and cartilage and help the body repair damaged cartilage and restore joint integrity. Also it may protect existing cartilage from premature breakdown as well as keep cartilage tissue hydrated and assist in cushioning impact stress.

Some studies suggest that supplementation with chondroitin sulfate can reduce joint pain significantly. Other studies have shown that combining chondroitin sulfate with glucosamine might improve each substance’s beneficial effects, though this effect is not universally accepted.

Because chondroitin production by the body decreases with age, supplementation with this compound may be especially helpful for older dogs or cats with arthritis. Chondroitin supplements are manufactured from the cartilage of animals such as pigs, cattle, and fish.

3. Other Joint Sparing Products

The green-lipped mussel is a source of chondroitin and other beneficial nutrients, and the sea cucumber is believed to assist in the elimination of pain. They provide essential nutrients required by cartilage. Another arthritis-fighting supplement is called methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). It provides sulfur compounds that may inhibit pain. Inaddition, the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids can also help arthritic dogs.

More Arthritis Treatment Options for Dogs

Prescription medications and nutritional supplements aren’t the only forms of treatment available for arthritis in dogs. Physical therapy, weight loss, acupuncture, cold laser treatments, surgery, and other options can also improve a pet’s comfort and mobility. Although some of these options are very expensive, talk to your veterinarian about how your dog might benefit from some of the different options in arthritis treatment that are available today.

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