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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Alleviates dog pain and suffering

Why are Joint Supplements Important for your Dog?

Why Are Joint Supplements Like Chondropaw Important for your Dog?

Your dog having joint problems is not that different from you having arthritis or joint pain or swelling. You can barely move as each attempt to move a limb pulling on a 5-ton vehicle. it also gets worse during cold weather as the muscles tend to pull on the different structures that connect it to the joints, leading to increased swelling and pain. These physiologic responses are the same with dogs.

Typically, a pet dog who has joint problems will often display the following manifestations:

 – Highly irritable especially when made to move from a particular spot

 – Difficulty sitting up from a lying position or standing up from a sitting position

 – Purposely slower movements of the limbs

 – Incessant licking of the joints

 – Hesitates to move either to walk or to run or even avoids it entirely

 – Whines or cries even though there are no apparent reason

 – Stays in its kennel, create, or dog bed for unusually longer periods of time

 – May not eat or drink unless its food and water bowls are brought closer

 – Struggles climbing up and down stairs or avoids doing so

 – Limps while walking sans any valid reason

 – Behaves in a manner that is grossly different from past behavior

There are just some of the possible signs that your dog may already be suffering from joint problems. A trip to your veterinarian can help establish your suspicions with absolute certainty. Your dog will also be provided with a variety of treatments to help alleviate the symptoms as well as possibly reverse the progression of the condition. In many cases, you will be given a joint supplement which you will administer to your pet. But why are joint supplements important for your dog?

Alleviates pain and suffering

Just like us, when our pets are in pain they get grumpy, agitated, irritable, and aggressive. They may not feed, refuse to play, or even go out for a walk simply because their focus is on the pain experience. Inadvertently, they may begin showing signs of deteriorating health. Many supplements for dog joint contain ingredients that have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. These can help reduce the inflammation which is technically the primary source of the pain. This way your pet can be really free from pain and suffering, allowing it to enjoy its being.

Alleviates dog pain and suffering

Improve quality of life

As already presented above, the severity and magnitude of pain can have an impact in many aspects of a creature’s existence. Not only are they physically affected, their social and emotional wellbeing are also damaged. Dogs are very social animals, everyone knows that by now. If they are unable to join their masters and their children during family outings and activities, they will feel depressed and lonely, too. This can lead to a host of canine behavioral issues that may require professional help. That is why alleviating pain and suffering and improving overall physical mobility can help improve the quality of life or our dogs with joint problems. The best dog vitamins for joint health can thus, help.

Enhances overall mobility

One of the most important reasons why dogs need joint supplement like Chondropaw is to enhance their overall mobility. Your pet is not Garfield who loves to lie and sleep around all day long. They need plenty of exercise and play, lest they develop canine behavioral problems. And since they essentially have 4 legs to move about, a problem in any one of these can significantly impair their mobility. You don’t want this to happen, do you? Besides, a dog without play is a dog that is dull and quite unsocial.

Facilitates positive canine behavior

Like we said, a mobile dog is a happy dog. If your pet is able to exercise, it is able to dispense of all that energy inside it. This leads to significantly more positive canine behavior. Your pet is a lot easier to train and will obey most of your commands. It really becomes a little bundle of joy for the whole family.

owner dog relationship

Strengthens owner-dog relationship

Giving your pet the best supplements for dog joint like Chondropaw essentially tells your pet that you care so much for its well-being. This endears you more to your canine friend, further strengthening the relationship that you have. For many, the loyalty of a dog is simply incomparable. No human being can ever replicate or even match the tenacious dedication, loyalty, and commitment of a pet dog to its master.

Conclusion

Canine joint problems are a great concern for many dog owners as it affects their pet’s level of comfort and mobility and significantly impairs their ability to bond and socialize with their masters and other dogs. Giving them the right joint supplement should help prevent the rapid deterioration of their articular health while promoting Optimum mobility and overall quality of canine life.

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Chondropaw Review

Chondropaw Review – Does This Supplement For Dogs Really Work?

Chondropaw Review
Does This Supplement For Dogs Really Work?

Chondropaw has been on the market for over 20 years and has helped thousands of dogs across the world experience a higher quality of life.

Most people would agree that their dogs are considered to be part of their family. Thus, it can be heartbreaking when one’s loved animals suffer from infections and injuries that can cause serious health conditions. Fortunately, there is a supplement that has been designed specifically to help dogs suffering from arthritis and other mobility problems with no known side effects.

What Is Chondropaw?

As stated previously, Chondropaw has been created specifically to help dogs with the symptoms of various painful injuries and infections, especially when dogs enter into old age. The product does not require a vet to administer, and can be done from the comfort of one’s home.

Chondropaw is made from 100% natural ingredients. It contains pure pharmaceutical grade Chondroitin and small doses of botanical extracts to achieve best results. The active ingredient Chondroitin is the base of healthy cartilage in dogs. This unique formula, taken weekly, helps to support dog’s healthy bones, as well as their muscle, tendons and ligaments.

What Symptoms Can Chondropaw Help With?

Chondropaw is known as an effective treatment for various ailments that can commonly be found in dogs. Specifically, Chondropaw can help with the following.

  • Arthritis – This can cause painful joint stiff and inflammation
  • Hip Dysplasia – Is the cause of pain and discomfort in dogs during exercise.
  • Arthrosis – This is a common cause of decreased flexibility and pain in dogs.
  • Swelling, especially around the joints
  • Difficulty in climbing stairs
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Long lasting pain and discomfort
  • Slowness in getting up and down
  • Limping
  • Shivering and trembling
  • Lack of interest to run and play

Chondropaw Features

  • All natural: The product contains no harmful chemicals or drugs and is made from 100% natural ingredients
  • Safe: Chondropaw has no known side effects and can be safely used with other supplements and medications
  • Only once a week: Chondropaw only needs to be taken once per week and comes in an easy-to-use liquid dose
  • Over the counter supplement: The product is readily available without a prescription
  • Fast release: Chondropaw, works fast, and one may notice changes in as little as 86 hours after the first dose
  • Cost effective: The product is inexpensive and with no shipping costs throughout United States
  • Satisfaction guaranteed: The product is fully supported by a 90 day money back guarantee with no questions asked

Chondropaw Ingredients

Chondropaw is made from all natural ingredients that supports bones, cartilages, muscle, tendons and ligaments. The product contains the active ingredient Chondroitin and botanical extracts. Both are proven to help improve the health and longevity in both humans and animals with no known side effects.

What Are The Packages And How Much Does It Cost?

There are two packages available of Chondropaw that are available to purchase. What one decides to buy is determined by the weight of the dog. For dogs over 25 pounds, the price is $49.95 and includes 5 doses of 5 milliletres each. If one has a dog that weighs under 25 pounds, the price is $44.95.The product is readily available for purchase through the Chondropaw website, as well as in leading retail stores nationwide.

CHONDROPAW IMPORTANT NOTICE OF DOSES

Chondropaw Directions

Each box of Chondropaw contains five does that is to be applied over a four week period. The dosing schedule of Chondropaw can be found below:

  • Week 1: Dispense two doses into the dog’s mouth, once a week.
  • Week 2-4: Dispense one dose in the dog’s mouth, once per week.

Chondropaw is recommended to be applied directly into the dog’s mouth to prevent contamination and infection.

What to Expect While Taking Chondropaw

One should expect to see results within thirty days of using the supplement. If one does not notice results within ninety days, one can can take advantage of the company’s 90-day money back guarantee and return the product to the manufacturer for a full refund. However, if one notices notices a considerable improvement in the health of one’s dog, Chondropaw strongly recommends that one continues to apply the product on a weekly basis for at least six months to get optimum results.

Chondropaw is safe to use along with other prescription and OTC medications. The medication is safe from side effects and drug interactions. Additionally, it is recommended that one consults with their vet if one has health concerns relating to Chondropaw.

What Are People Saying About Chondropaw?

ChondroPaw joint supplement for dogs is rapidly gaining in popularity with dog owners the world over. With hundreds of testimonials from happy customers, the product is getting a reputation for being the joint care supplement for dogs that actually works.

The Bottom Line – Is Chondropaw Recommended?

In spite of the mixed bag of customer reviews, there is enough evidence to suggest that Chondropaw could be a viable treatment for dogs that display the common signs of aging such as arthritis, hip dysplasia and arthritis.

Both the negative and positive reviews of the product should be taken with a grain of salt, as the effectiveness of any given medication is largely determined by one’s point of view and personal expectations. In addition to this, the product is not sold or advertised as a magic pill that is guaranteed to cure all illnesses under any condition. If one has a serious health concern relating to their pet it is recommended to consult with their vet first before taking Chondropaw or any other supplement.

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DOG WITH HIP DYSPLASIA IN VET

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: a Common Disability in Large Breeds

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: a Common Disability in Large Breeds

Hip Dysplasia is a congenital condition in which the normal anatomy of the hip joint is altered. Normally, the thigh bone joints with the pelvis at the hip joint in a way in which the convexity of the femur head fits completely into the concavity of the hip known as acetabulum. The surface of this joint is covered in cartilage, an avascular tissue that provides cushion for mechanical impacts on the joint, as well as a wider range of motion.

Older dogs, particularly of large breeds, commonly suffer from this degenerative condition of the hip joint that directly affects their quality of life.

Older Labrador Retriever Dog

Dogs with Hip Dysplasia show a partial joint of the femur head into the acetabulum, as well as anatomical variations on the acetabulum itself as an uneven surface that causes abnormal and continuous friction on the cartilage as the joint moves.

The cause of Hip Dysplasia was commonly believed to be purely genetic. Multiple genes expressing in abnormal ways would lead to malformation on the hip joint, leading to dysplasia. However, in the past decades, researchers have found that environmental factors also contribute to the development as well as the severity of the condition.

 

For instance, neutering a dog while it is still a puppy or before it reaches its full developmental maturity doubles the odds for it to develop Hip Dysplasia when compared to non-neutered dogs and dogs that were neutered after they developed, according to a recent study.

 

Overweight and injuries involving the hip joint at a young age are also considered risk factors for Hip Dysplasia.

How do I know if my dog has Hip Dysplasia?

The main issue caused by this condition is chronic pain in the hip joint caused by the osteoarthritis subsequent to abnormal tearing and wearing of the anatomically modified joint.

Old dog with Hip Dysplasia

Since dogs tend to accommodate to chronic pain more seamlessly than they do with acute pain, they adapt themselves and their behavior around the pain, thus not showing any clear signs of suffering.

However, as the hip joint gets more and more compromised through time, pain can worsen and functional limitation of the joint becomes evident, being detected by one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty standing up after rest

  • Stiffness on the back legs

  • Lameness and reluctance to walk, run or play

  • Irritability

  • Reluctance to climbing stairs or jumping on higher surfaces

  • Reluctance to stand on two legs

  • Abnormal gait

  • Atrophy of thigh muscles

 

The final diagnosis of Hip Dysplasia should be made by a veterinary practitioner after the performance of an X-ray of the hips. The X-ray image findings should then be correlated with one of the many standardized categorizations of Hip Dysplasia.

HIP DYSPLASIA IN DOGS TREATMENT

As a congenital condition, there is no final cure for Hip Dysplasia. Therefore, the main goal for both veterinarians and dog owners is to ensure that the dog’s quality of life is held at the highest possible point for the longest possible period of time.

 

According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), weight control and exercise are key in order for the animal to be healthy and enjoy quality of life. Overweight puts more mechanical stress on the hip joints, thus accelerating the development of osteoarthritis and worsening the pain. On the other hand, mild to moderate exercise performed regularly and gradually helps toning the muscles of the thighs, leading to a more stable joint.

DOG WITH HIP DYSPLASIA IN VET

However, it is important to note that excessive exercise harms the dog’s joints, having the opposite effect on their quality of life.

 

As the OFA states, a group of drugs known as “disease-modifying osteoarthritis agents” (DMOA) may help enhance the synthesis of glycosaminoglycan and hyaluronate, two substances present in all normal joints. These two molecules are dramatically decreased in the hip joints of dogs with Hip Dysplasia.

 

The most commonly used DMOA is chondroitin, a popular molecule used for the treatment of osteoarthritis in humans and animals.

 

Chondroitin sulfate is the main molecule of the Chondropaw ® formula for dog’s joint care.

 

For more information about Chondropaw® and its benefits, visit chondropaw.com

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ChondroPaw® Joint Care Change Live

Why ChondroPaw Joint Health for Dogs is Superior to Other Supplements

WHY CHONDROPAW JOINT HEALTH FOR DOGS IS SUPERIOR TO OTHER SUPPLEMENTS

Fort Lauderdale, FL – 

ChondroPaw joint supplement for dogs is rapidly gaining in popularity with dog owners the world over. With hundreds of testimonials from happy customers, the product is getting a reputation for being the joint care supplement for dogs that actually works.

“It’s true that ChondroPaw is different from other supplements,” says Cesar, the company founder and CEO. “And the reason for this is that our formula contains 99% pure pharmaceutical grade Chondroitin Sulfate along with micro-doses of botanical extracts. It’s a formula so effective that dog owners see improvements within 30 days – and many of them even sooner than that.”

The product is also vet approved, and won’t cause any side effects such as nausea, vomiting, adrenal gland damage or GI distress. Manufactured in an FDA-registered facility, it’s also gluten free, shellfish free, and comes with a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

“It’s heartbreaking to see your dog in pain,” comments Cesar. “If you’ve noticed that your dog is slowing down and having difficulty with common activities, that may be a sign of joint problems. This is not something that will go away on its own, and you need to be careful to choose the right supplement, otherwise you could do more harm than good. With ChondroPaw, you’re making the best possible choice for your furry friend.”

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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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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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