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Taking Care of your Dog’s Ears..

Dogs have great ears. Your dog can hear sounds over a wider range of frequencies and at a greater distance than you. Unfortunately, dogs pay a price for their superior hearing abilities. A dog’s ear design contributes both to his advanced hearing and to many ear problems he may experience. Ear mites, infections and aural hematoma are the most common conditions. Read on to discover the symptoms of ear disorders in dogs and how to prevent and treat them.

Ear mites

Also called ear mange, ear mites (otodectes cynotis) are tiny crab-like parasites that live in the ear canals, and sometimes on the body of dogs. They feed on earwax and other secretions in the ear canal. Ear mites do not usually bite, but they can cause a bacterial infection or severe inflammation in your dog’s ears.

Symptoms: If your dog is suffering from ear mites, you may find he excessively shakes or tilts his head; or rubs and scratches his ears. You may also notice hair loss around his ears or odor emanating from within his ear canal. To check for ear mites, look inside your dog’s ears for a thick, dark brown substance. Mites can sometimes be seen as small, white moving dots.

Prevention and Treatment: Ear mites are very common, and very contagious, so it is best to keep your dog away from other dogs – or any furry animal – who suffers from them. If your dog exhibits any of the symptoms listed above, take him to the veterinarian. Ear mites can be persistent, but they are easy to diagnose and you can treat your dog at home. Your veterinarian will clean out your dog’s ears and prescribe anti-mite eardrops. It usually takes four-to-six weeks of treatment to effectively eliminate the mites.

Infections

Ear infections are common in dogs – especially dogs with floppy ears – and can be caused by the following factors:

  • Trapped foreign bodies, especially the seedpods of common weeds.
  • Use of eardrops or cleansers that irritate the ears.
  • Health problems such as hormonal imbalance, allergies and food intolerance.
  • High humidity and swimming, which can leave your dog’s ears moist and create a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria.

Symptoms: If your dog has an ear infection, he may scratch at his ears or shake his head. You may also find that he has debris or unpleasant-smelling discharge in his ear canal or on his ear flaps, or that his ears are red and hot.

Prevention and Treatment: Keep your dog’s ears dry, and check and clean them once per week. Ask your vet to show you how. If you think your dog may have an ear infection, take him to the vet as soon as possible. Ear infections in dogs are painful, and if left untreated they can spread to the middle and inner ear and cause serious damage. Depending on the seriousness of the infection, your vet will either prescribe antibiotics or simply clean the ear out with solutions.

Aural Hematoma

If your dog shakes his head and ears excessively, due to a problem on the inside, he may develop a hematoma. A hematoma is the result of a blood vessel breaking in the earflap. Symptoms: If your dog develops a hematoma, his earflap will swell noticeably and feel hot to the touch.

Prevention and Treatment: A hematoma is painful and although it will heal on its own, it is wise to take your dog to the vet. Your vet can lance the area to relieve the pressure and let the healing begin. The surgery may also prevent ridging and scarring on the earflap, which may result if you let the hematoma heal on its own.

Ear problems, especially infections, in dogs can be hard to eradicate – but usually because people are not good at following the treatment procedure. Sometimes ear infections require several visits to the vet, and a change of medication. It is very important to ensure that you follow your vet’s recommendations, and continue to bring your dog in for check-ups until the problem is completely eliminated.

Caution: Keep out of your Dog’s reach!

Sharing a snack seems the easiest option to score brownie points with your pooch and what could make your pet happier than a choco-chip cookie or a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken. More out of love than ignorance, dog owners often forget that their best buddies belong to a completely different species and that their body mechanisms are poles apart from ours. What seems perfectly nutritious treat for humans may prove to be toxic or even fatal to canines.

Awareness about foods can threaten the health and well-being of your beloved pet can help you chart out acaution safe and healthy diet plan for your pooch. Keep your dogs from digging their paws into these potentially dangerous treats.

Chocolates: None of us can resist digging our teeth into dark chocolate and neither can our pooches. There are few things more toxic and harmful for a dog, rather than larger amount of cocoa containing in the products. Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and hyper-activity even in minute quantities. When ingested in larger amounts, it can lead to severe arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats), cardiac seizure, coma and even death. Dark chocolate, which ironically has a protective effect on the human heart, is the most potent canine killer.

Bones: It is difficult to keep a dog away from a bone and most pet dogs receive left-over bones as ‘special treats’ after parties. It is important to bear in mind that our pampered pooches have long parted with their wild wolf-ish instincts and that their digestive systems could be a bit more fragile than we think. Splinters and sharp pieces can pose a choking hazard and lead to abrasions and injuries in the digestive tract. Large bones like beef and lamb shinbones boiled in water are the safest bet if you must treat your dog with bones. Chicken, pork and fish bones however, are a complete no-no, especially for puppies.

Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic offer countless health benefits for humans but the thiosulphate content in them can lead to gastric irritation in dogs. Long-term consumption has also been known to increase the risk of hemolytic anemia and permanent liver damage. Scan the labels of all food items for onion and garlic content before you serve them in your doggie’s bowl.

Caffeine, alcohol and tea: Natural stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can cause restlessness, confusion, lack of muscular co-ordination and disorientation. An overdose can lead to potentially lethal conditions like respiratory distress and coma. You may raise a toast to your best bud but don’t share your drinks with him.

Raw eggs and uncooked meat: Raw and frozen animal products may harbor disease causing organisms such as E.coli and Salmonella infections. Raw fish and eggs can lead to Vitamin B deficiency if included in the pet’s daily diet plan. Too much liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity. All meats and animal products should be sufficiently boiled or cooked to counter any risk of infections.

Salt: It is difficult to imagine human food without salt but a canine’s metabolism is simply not cut out to process this natural tastemaker. Foods with high sodium content like canned meats, table scraps, soups, gravies, sauces and preserved foods can lead to bloating, electrolyte imbalance and kidney malfunction.

Rich, spicy food: Akin to some humans, fatty and spicy goodies can cause vomiting, flatulence, bowel irritation and pancreatitis in dogs. Some dogs may be prone to obesity and indigestion, especially if they have not been doing adequate physical exercise. Reserve these for your human guests.

Grapes and raisins: These seemingly harmless treats are known to contain certain compounds that are likely to cause kidney failure in canines. Moreover, smaller dogs may choke on them.

Nuts and mushrooms: Nuts like almonds, macadamia and walnuts can cause muscle weakness, cramps, nervous disorders and digestive problems.

Yeast products: Live yeast spores in partially cooked breads can prove to be fatal for dogs even in small quantities as it can rise within the digestive tract and cause bloating, gas build-up, immense discomfort and rupture of the intestines.

OTC medications and supplements: Always consult your vet before supplementing your pooch’s diet with vitamins or synthetic nutrients originally meant for humans. Common drugs like Asprin and Ibuprofen can cause mortality in canines.

Safety tips for your pooch’s diet:

  • A dog’s dietary requirements may vary according to breed, gender, age and size. A professional vet would be the best person to chart out a well-balanced and healthy diet plan for your canine. Keep the vet informed about any recent dietary changes or feeding habits.
  • Buy dog foods of reputed companies only and feed your dog in accordance with the amount mentioned on the pack, which is in relation to his age and breed.
  • Educate your children about the differences between a human and a canine diet and discourage them from sharing unhealthy treats like candies, chips and chocolates. Make them aware of the potential hazard that some treats pose for the pet.
  • Check the labels on all food stuffs in detail before including them in your dog’s food chart.
  • Feed your dog just the right quantity at fixed intervals and make sure that the diet is balanced in all essential nutrients.
  • Make sure that your dog’s food is prepared under hygienic conditions. Old, spoilt or moldy food can lead to infections, toxicity and sickness. Your dog needs clean, well-cooked food just as much as you do.
  • Keep toxic household products like cleaners, detergents, acids and aerosols well out of your pet’s reach.
  • Discourage your pets from entering ‘food-laden’ areas like the kitchen, always monitor your dog’s diet intake and feed them under supervision.
  • Don’t give in to your pooch’s fuss and tantrums regarding food – adopt training techniques to stop them from ‘begging’ and whining for food. Safety and health should always be at the top of priority list.

Caution: keep out of your Dog’s Reach!

Sharing a snack seems the easiest option to score brownie points with your pooch and what could make your pet happier than a choco-chip cookie or a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken. More out of love than ignorance, dog owners often forget that their best buddies belong to a completely different species and that their body mechanisms are poles apart from ours. What seems perfectly nutritious treat for humans may prove to be toxic or even fatal to canines.

Awareness about foods can threaten the health and well-being of your beloved pet can help you chart out a safe and healthy diet plan for your pooch. Keep your dogs from digging their paws into these potentially dangerous treats.
Chocolates: None of us can resist digging our teeth into dark chocolate and neither can our pooches. There are few things more toxic and harmful for a dog, rather than larger amount of cocoa containing in the products. Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and hyper-activity even in minute quantities. When ingested in larger amounts, it can lead to severe arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats), cardiac seizure, coma and even death. Dark chocolate, which ironically has a protective effect on the human heart, is the most potent canine killer.
Bones: It is difficult to keep a dog away from a bone and most pet dogs receive left-over bones as ‘special treats’ after parties. It is important to bear in mind that our pampered pooches have long parted with their wild wolf-ish instincts and that their digestive systems could be a bit more fragile than we think. Splinters and sharp pieces can pose a choking hazard and lead to abrasions and injuries in the digestive tract. Large bones like beef and lamb shinbones boiled in water are the safest bet if you must treat your dog with bones. Chicken, pork and fish bones however, are a complete no-no, especially for puppies.
Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic offer countless health benefits for humans but the thiosulphate content in them can lead to gastric irritation in dogs. Long-term consumption has also been known to increase the risk of hemolytic anemia and permanent liver damage. Scan the labels of all food items for onion and garlic content before you serve them in your doggie’s bowl.
Caffeine, alcohol and tea: Natural stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can cause restlessness, confusion, lack of muscular co-ordination and disorientation. An overdose can lead to potentially lethal conditions like respiratory distress and coma. You may raise a toast to your best bud but don’t share your drinks with him.
Raw eggs and uncooked meat: Raw and frozen animal products may harbor disease causing organisms such as E.coli and Salmonella infections. Raw fish and eggs can lead to Vitamin B deficiency if included in the pet’s daily diet plan. Too much liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity. All meats and animal products should be sufficiently boiled or cooked to counter any risk of infections.
Salt: It is difficult to imagine human food without salt but a canine’s metabolism is simply not cut out to process this natural tastemaker. Foods with high sodium content like canned meats, table scraps, soups, gravies, sauces and preserved foods can lead to bloating, electrolyte imbalance and kidney malfunction.
Rich, spicy food: Akin to some humans, fatty and spicy goodies can cause vomiting, flatulence, bowel irritation and pancreatitis in dogs. Some dogs may be prone to obesity and indigestion, especially if they have not been doing adequate physical exercise.  Reserve these for your human guests.
Grapes and raisins: These seemingly harmless treats are known to contain certain compounds that are likely to cause kidney failure in canines. Moreover, smaller dogs may choke on them.
Nuts and mushrooms: Nuts like almonds, macadamia and walnuts can cause muscle weakness, cramps, nervous disorders and digestive problems.
Yeast products: Live yeast spores in partially cooked breads can prove to be fatal for dogs even in small quantities as it can rise within the digestive tract and cause bloating, gas build-up, immense discomfort and rupture of the intestines.
OTC medications and supplements: Always consult your vet before supplementing your pooch’s diet with vitamins or synthetic nutrients originally meant for humans. Common drugs like Asprin and Ibuprofen can cause mortality in canines.
Safety tips for your pooch’s diet:
•    A dog’s dietary requirements may vary according to breed, gender, age and size. A professional vet would be the best person to chart out a well-balanced and healthy diet plan for your canine. Keep the vet informed about any recent dietary changes or feeding habits.
•    Buy dog foods of reputed companies only and feed your dog in accordance with the amount mentioned on the pack, which is in relation to his age and breed.
•    Educate your children about the differences between a human and a canine diet and discourage them from sharing unhealthy treats like candies, chips and chocolates. Make them aware of the potential hazard that some treats pose for the pet.
•    Check the labels on all food stuffs in detail before including them in your dog’s food chart.
•    Feed your dog just the right quantity at fixed intervals and make sure that the diet is balanced in all essential nutrients.
•    Make sure that your dog’s food is prepared under hygienic conditions. Old, spoilt or moldy food can lead to infections, toxicity and sickness. Your dog needs clean, well-cooked food just as much as you do.
•    Keep toxic household products like cleaners, detergents, acids and aerosols well out of your pet’s reach.
•    Discourage your pets from entering ‘food-laden’ areas like the kitchen, always monitor your dog’s diet intake and feed them under supervision.
•    Don’t give in to your pooch’s fuss and tantrums regarding food – adopt training techniques to stop them from ‘begging’ and whining for food. Safety and health should always be at the top of priority list.

Nutrition

Caution: Keep out of your Dog’s reach!

Sharing a snack seems the easiest option to score brownie points with your pooch and what could make your pet happier than a choco-chip cookie or a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken. More out of love than ignorance, dog owners often forget that their best buddies belong to a completely different species and that their body mechanisms are poles apart from ours. What seems perfectly nutritious treat for humans may prove to be toxic or even fatal to canines.

Awareness about foods can threaten the health and well-being of your beloved pet can help you chart out a safe and healthy diet plan for your pooch. Keep your dogs from digging their paws into these potentially dangerous treats.

Chocolates: None of us can resist digging our teeth into dark chocolate and neither can our pooches. There are few things more toxic and harmful for a dog, rather than larger amount of cocoa containing in the products. Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and hyper-activity even in minute quantities. When ingested in larger amounts, it can lead to severe arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats), cardiac seizure, coma and even death. Dark chocolate, which ironically has a protective effect on the human heart, is the most potent canine killer.

Bones: It is difficult to keep a dog away from a bone and most pet dogs receive left-over bones as ‘special treats’ after parties. It is important to bear in mind that our pampered pooches have long parted with their wild wolf-ish instincts and that their digestive systems could be a bit more fragile than we think. Splinters and sharp pieces can pose a choking hazard and lead to abrasions and injuries in the digestive tract. Large bones like beef and lamb shinbones boiled in water are the safest bet if you must treat your dog with bones. Chicken, pork and fish bones however, are a complete no-no, especially for puppies.

Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic offer countless health benefits for humans but the thiosulphate content in them can lead to gastric irritation in dogs. Long-term consumption has also been known to increase the risk of hemolytic anemia and permanent liver damage. Scan the labels of all food items for onion and garlic content before you serve them in your doggie’s bowl.

 

Caffeine, alcohol and tea: Natural stimulants like caffeine and nicotine can cause restlessness, confusion, lack of muscular co-ordination and disorientation. An overdose can lead to potentially lethal conditions like respiratory distress and coma. You may raise a toast to your best bud but don’t share your drinks with him.

Raw eggs and uncooked meat: Raw and frozen animal products may harbor disease causing organisms such as E.coli and Salmonella infections. Raw fish and eggs can lead to Vitamin B deficiency if included in the pet’s daily diet plan. Too much liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity. All meats and animal products should be sufficiently boiled or cooked to counter any risk of infections.

Salt: It is difficult to imagine human food without salt but a canine’s metabolism is simply not cut out to process this natural tastemaker. Foods with high sodium content like canned meats, table scraps, soups, gravies, sauces and preserved foods can lead to bloating, electrolyte imbalance and kidney malfunction.

Rich, spicy food: Akin to some humans, fatty and spicy goodies can cause vomiting, flatulence, bowel irritation and pancreatitis in dogs. Some dogs may be prone to obesity and indigestion, especially if they have not been doing adequate physical exercise. Reserve these for your human guests.

Grapes and raisins: These seemingly harmless treats are known to contain certain compounds that are likely to cause kidney failure in canines. Moreover, smaller dogs may choke on them.

Nuts and mushrooms: Nuts like almonds, macadamia and walnuts can cause muscle weakness, cramps, nervous disorders and digestive problems.

Yeast products: Live yeast spores in partially cooked breads can prove to be fatal for dogs even in small quantities as it can rise within the digestive tract and cause bloating, gas build-up, immense discomfort and rupture of the intestines.

OTC medications and supplements: Always consult your vet before supplementing your pooch’s diet with vitamins or synthetic nutrients originally meant for humans. Common drugs like Asprin and Ibuprofen can cause mortality in canines.

Safety tips for your pooch’s diet:

  • A dog’s dietary requirements may vary according to breed, gender, age and size. A professional vet would be the best person to chart out a well-balanced and healthy diet plan for your canine. Keep the vet informed about any recent dietary changes or feeding habits.
  • Buy dog foods of reputed companies only and feed your dog in accordance with the amount mentioned on the pack, which is in relation to his age and breed.
  • Educate your children about the differences between a human and a canine diet and discourage them from sharing unhealthy treats like candies, chips and chocolates. Make them aware of the potential hazard that some treats pose for the pet.
  • Check the labels on all food stuffs in detail before including them in your dog’s food chart.
  • Feed your dog just the right quantity at fixed intervals and make sure that the diet is balanced in all essential nutrients.
  • Make sure that your dog’s food is prepared under hygienic conditions. Old, spoilt or moldy food can lead to infections, toxicity and sickness. Your dog needs clean, well-cooked food just as much as you do.
  • Keep toxic household products like cleaners, detergents, acids and aerosols well out of your pet’s reach.
  • Discourage your pets from entering ‘food-laden’ areas like the kitchen, always monitor your dog’s diet intake and feed them under supervision.
  • Don’t give in to your pooch’s fuss and tantrums regarding food – adopt training techniques to stop them from ‘begging’ and whining for food. Safety and health should always be at the top of priority list.

Common emergency cases and first aid for dogs

Though it is always advised to rush your pet to a vet in any emergency case, still a little knowledge of first aid can go a long way in helping your furry family member cope with the situation before she gets proper medical treatment. First aid in time can save the life of your paw buddy.

 

Emergency situations

dog health

Abby

 

When do you know your dog requires emergency medical aid? It is the duty of a pet parent to be alert about the health of their paw members. Remember, a stitch in time saves nine. Here are some common diseases (conditions) which when you spot any one of them, call your vet immediately for further examination and instant treatment.

  • Haematuria and haemoglobin uria: Haematuria is the appearance of blood in urine while haemoglobinuria is another condition in which oxygen transport protein haemoglobin is found in abnormally high concentration.
  • Persistent or acute gastroenteritis with severe dehydration: Persistent (constant) or acute (short & severe) inflammation of gastrointestinal tracts involving both stomach and small intestine generally results in diarrhoea.
  • Acute abdominal colic: Severe abdominal pain could be serious or may due only to dietary indiscretion.
  • Acute respiratory distress (dysponea): This is a syndrome with the symptom of inability to adequately breathe.
  • Rupture of the urinary bladder: In this case, the urinary bladder is torn and urine releases into abdominal cavity.

In addition, every pet parent should be aware about other common diseases including persistent paroxymal cough; haemorrhage; cardiac failure; fi ts and abnormal behaviour; muscular injury and fracture; dystocia; poisoning; comma or collapse; heat stroke; snakebite; scorpion, wasp and bee stings; and burns and scalds.

For pet parents

Every pet parent should be careful about any emergency situation that could be fatal to your fur buddy. In order to tackle such life-threatening situation, we have some important points to be shared with every pet parent.

  • Keep emergency number(s) of your vet and ensure all family members are aware of it.
  • Take immediate help from a qualifi ed veterinary clinician and follow his advice.
  • Report precisely the incident and symptoms of your pet to the vet.

Things that vets do

Depending on different cases, following are some common activities done by vets in emergency situations.

  • Attempts would be made to regularise heart rate, blood circulation, respiration and abnormality of temperature (neither too hot nor too cold).
  • In case of foreign body, it would be removed fi rst and bleeding stopped by tourniquet and styptics.
  • The patient will be sedated when she shows excitability, epileptic seizure or colic.
  • Take the help of surgical intervention (if necessary).
  • To overcome shock, critical evaluation of the state of health is to be done through fl uid therapy, blood transfusion, etc.
  • In case of poisoning, specifi c antidote should be given if the poison is identified.
  • If the poison cannot be identified, symptomatic treatment as per the advise of clinician should be done and universal antidote may be tried.

First aid

First aid treatments for some emergency cases commonly faced by our fur friends are listed as under:

Epistaxis (nose bleeding): Taking proper rest is a very important aspect in the management of epistaxis or nose bleeding. The patient should be kept in a cool place. Ice pack, ice water or cold water should be applied on her. Other measures include alum solution spray, adrenaline plug and administration of vitamin K and calcium therapy. If the bleeding persists, haemostastic drugs should be administered under the strict supervision of a qualifi ed vet.

Heat stroke (heat prostration): Factors responsible for this common cause include physical exercise, environmental heat, humidity, dehydration, confi nement in a room, limited water supply, obesity and heat tolerance of individual. In case of heat stroke, the patient should be kept comfortably under an electrical fan. And apply ice bath or cold-water bath to reduce her body temperature. Fluid and electrolyte therapy may be used to check dehydration. Tranquillisers or Paracetamol tablets may also be given.

Wasp and bee stings: Wasp and bee stings produce urticarial wheels on the skin, which are quite painful and irritating to the pet. Through such stings, formic acid causing the irritation is being deposited on the skin. Attempt should be made to remove the sting as far as possible. The infected area may be washed with washing soda. In this situation, antihistamic preparations are useful.

Snakebite: Normally snakes are classifi ed into poisonous and non-poisonous types. Poisonous snakes possess three types of venom, namely, Cytotoxin, Neurotoxin and Haemotoxin. A fl at tourniquet should be applied on the bitten area. The bitten area may be incised to drain out venom as far as possible. The patient should be brought under the treatment of a veterinary clinician. If the snake is identified whether poisonous or non-poisonous, it is easy to treat with the exact antidote of the venom.

Common poisoning: It is advisable to inform vet immediately in case of your pet dog has consumed a poisonous substance. And attempts should be made to keep the patient viable by giving oxygen, artifi cial respiration or fresh air. Care should be taken to maintain the vital capacity of cardio respiratory systems. In case of ingested poisoning, attempts should be extended to evacuating the toxin from the bowel (intestine). Gastric ravage my be restored by introducing 10ml of fl uid per 10kg body weight into the stomach and then aspirating the fluid through a stomach tube fi tted with syringe. The process of aspiration may be repeated for several times.

Wounds: There may be different types of wounds, such as open wound (cut wound), closed wound (contusions), lacerated wound and abraded wound. An open wound is the one where there is a breach in the continuity of skin. Whereas in a closed wound there is no such breach and the part remains as a hot and painful swelling. Sometimes blood may accumulate inside the tissue and the condition is known as haematoma.

In case of wound caused by any sharp objects like nails, hook, glass, wire twig, girder etc, it should be removed fi rst before further treatment. Open wound should be cleaned with normal saline dressed with antiseptic or antibiotic lotion or ointment. It should also be bandaged with sterile gauze and cotton. Bandage should be changed and fresh dressings should be made on alternate day. Ignore tight bandage as it may interfere blood circulation, retard healing and invite complications.

Haemorrhage (bleeding): Bleeding may originate from an artery, vein or capillaries. In case of capillary bleeding, it may be easily controlled by applying pressure bandage over the injured area. A tourniquet with rubber bands may apply firm pressure and help in reducing the bleeding.

Primary haemorrhage denotes bleeding at the time of injury or operation. And other forms of bleeding include reactionary haemorrhage occurs within 24 hours of injury or operation. And secondary haemorrhage occurs within 7-10 days of injury or operation.

Burns & scalds: Burns are broadly classifi ed into three categories as per different degrees. They are 1st degree: the damage to epithelial cells; 2nd degree: the injury involves both epidermal and dermal layer; 3rd degree: the lesions extend into deeper structure involving destruction of subcutaneous tissues.

Burns may produce pathological changes in liver, kidney and cardiovascular systems. The affected area should be flushed with cold normal saline or water. Analgesic tablets should be given to reduce pain. However, in case of extensive burn, sedatives must be used. Soothing and protective preparations like Burnol may be used while dressing the burns.

Bone fracture

A breach in the continuity of a bone is known as fracture. It may be simple with no communications with external air. Comminuted fracture is when the bone breaks into several pieces and Complicated is the kind of injury to surrounding structures. Restriction of movement is an important aspect in the management of bone fracture. It is quite important to keep the fractured portion immobile while you inform your vet for an immediate action. As they say prevention is better that cure, so go ahead and take best care of your furry canine.

(Dr N Anbuchezhian is Managing Director of Chezhian Pet Care Hospital, Chennai and Secretary, Animal Health Awareness Trust, Tamil Nadu).

Tooth care for a small dogs

Tooth care for a small dogs – keeping their milliom-dollar smile safe!

Teething in small dogs

The adult teeth of small breed dogs (less than 10kg) appear between the age of 4 and 6 months and the fi nal molars come through, at the latest, at around 7 months.

Each half jaw carries 21 teeth including 6 incisors, 2 canines, 8 premolars and 5 molars.

Oral hygiene: starting early

As soon as the puppy’s adult teeth come through, it is important to keep a watch on oral hygiene to prevent the formation of dental plaque and tartar.

Infl ammation of the gum encourages the development of bacteria that produce toxins: the latter attack the tissue that holds the tooth (periodontium), which can come loose. The pain caused by this gingivitis can discourage the dog from eating.

Studies (Harvey & coll., 1994) have shown that small dogs are affected earlier and suffer from more severe periodontal disease.

Dental plaque

Symptoms: This is a felting fi lm of bacteria that allows the calcium present in saliva to deposit and form tartar. This hardens and can then only be removed by an operation systematically performed with a general anaesthetic for dogs: tooth depuration. This phenomenon worsens with age. The immediate consequence is an infl ammation of the gum in the area of friction, then the gingivitis extends (the gum becomes red). The tartar makes the gum recede, laying bare the crown up to the root; the teeth can become loose. A severe infl ammation rapidly becomes very painful for the dog, and generates bad breath; it can cause heart or kidney complications.

Prevention and solution: Daily brushing is the most effective solution as it prevents the formation of dental plaque. It requires both a little time and having accustomed the dog from a young age. Feeding with dental specifi c kibble helps with daily oral hygiene: the size and texture developed specifi cally for this kibble encourage daily superfi cial ‘brushing’ — the greater the contact time between the tooth and the surface of the kibble, the greater the effect.

The addition of salivary calcium chelating agents, such as sodium polyphosphates, reduces the transformation of dental plaque into tartar by fi xing it in the saliva. The latter, produced in greater quantities by chewing dry food, helps mechanical cleaning and enzymatic anti-bacterial action.

Particular predisposition of small dogs

It has been demonstrated (Gioso & coll., 2001) that the thickness of mandible/height of fi rst molar ratio decreases signifi cantly with the size of the dog. For dogs weighing more than 30kg, the thickness of the lower jaw is equivalent to the height of the carnassials. For dogs weighing less than 5kg, this ratio can drop to 0.6, or even 0.5 for Yorkshire Terriers.

When periodontal disease occurs, the progressive destruction of the bone along the root can weaken the jaw and cause fractures. (File developed with the help of the veterinarians of the Royal Canin Research and Development Centre)

Caring for dogs who are convalescing

If your dog has been ill or had an operation, you’ll have to give him some special care and attention. Here’s a guide to what you need to the dietary and medical needs of a recovering dog.

Your dog needs sleep, rest and peace While he’s recovering, your dog may feel weak, and gets tired easily. He’ll probably spend more time than usual resting or sleeping. But don’t worry, this is a natural reaction to illness or surgery. It means your dog is conserving energy while his tissues heal and his body gets back to normal.Your dog’s special dietary needs Good nutrition is especially important for a dog who’s been ill, injured, had an operation, or not eaten in several days. If he doesn’t eat properly at this time, his wounds may not heal right away, and he’s more likely to get an infection. Supplying the right amount of high-quality nutrients also prevents your dog’s body from using his own important tissues as energy sources.Proteins: Proteins are the major building blocks in the repair process, and are important in helping your dog’s immune system to fight infection. The protein needs of convalescing dogs are usually higher than they are for normal and healthy dogs.

Fats and carbohydrates: Fats and carbohydrates are excellent sources of energy. Dogs need larger amount of energy than normal, so the tissues that have been affected by illness, injury or surgery can repair themselves quickly. Increasing the level of fat in your dog’s diet provides them with a more “Concentrated” food. So your dog needs to eat smaller amounts of food to receive the higher levels of energy needed for repair.

Minerals and vitamins: Convalescing dogs need to eat food that gives them the correct balance of minerals and vitamins. This helps speed up the healing process, decreases the recovery time, and builds up depleted body stores.

The medical needs of a convalescing dog

Stroke and groom him gently, and look for any changes in his coat or skin. If he has an injury or has had surgery, check to see if this area has any redness or discharge. Watch for any weight loss or gain, lumps or swelling, vomiting or diarrhoea. Tell your vet right away if you notice these signs or anything else unusual.

Giving medicines to your dog: Always remember to give the full course of the treatment of any drug your vet prescribes. Don’t stop giving the medicine because your dog seems better. This may cause your dog to become worse, and may make future treatments harder. If you think your dog is reacting badly to any drug, get advice from your vet right away. Your vet can show you how to give the medicine.

Caring for dressings: Your dog may need bandages, splints, casts and other dressings, if he’s recovering from an injury or surgery. These may be put on to protect the wound from dirt or to discourage your dog’s natural tendency to lick a wound. Keep the dressing clean and dry by keeping your dog away from dirt and water, especially puddles.

When to contact your veterinary practice

Here’s a list of signs worth reporting to your veterinarian:

  • Collapse or convulsions.
  • Increased frequency of urination, increased amounts of urine produced, or urination in the house by a previously house-trained dog.
  • Greatly increased thirst and water intake.
  • Persistent cough or abnormal breathing.
  • Diarrhoea or vomiting that lasts for more than 24 hours.
  • Loss of appetite for more than 24 hours.
  • Weakness or lethargy.
  • Swelling, bad odour, or change in colour of the skin around a dressing.
  • If a dressing slips out of place, falls off, or is chewed off.
  • If your dog is determined to chew a dressing or lick a wound.
  • Lameness or a change in the way your pet walks or runs.
  • If your dog is in obvious discomfort. Persistent head shaking, excessive scratching, pawing of ears, or rubbing his hindquarters along the ground may be signs of distress.

What to feed dogs while they’re recovering

Good nutrition is particularly vital while a pet is recovering from illness, injury or surgery, so your vet may prescribe a special diet for your dog. This diet will include all the nutrients and energy a convalescent dog needs, and may be in a more concentrated form. Besides, your dog should always have access to clean, fresh drinking water. If he can’t move around at all, you may need to take special care to make sure he has water right at hand (or paw).

How to encourage your dog to eat

  • Feed your dog small amounts, often. Divide the daily allowance of food into small meals of fresh food.
  • Warm the food gently to just below body temperature. Don’t try to give your dog food that’s very hot.
  • Leave the food beside your dog for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then remove it if he seems to have no interest in it. He’s more likely to eat fresh food if you offer it to him later on.
  • Some dogs have exotic tastes and may like flavourings such as garlic powder. Ask your vet what flavourings would be fine to use in your dog’s food.

Diamonds are a dog’s best friend!!

i Love Dogs’ La Collection de Bijoux is a stunning line of dog collars that showcases over 100 carats of sparkling diamonds and exquisite jewels. These breath-taking, limited-edition collars are in a class of their own, and are most certainly the first-of -its-kind. Even the most pampered pooch will stop in his tracks for the chance to wear one of these elegant beauties.

Thousands of years ago, Pekingese dogs used to sit on the royal throne beside the emperors of China – that sounds pretty luxurious! And dogs in ancient Egypt were lavished with collars made from gold – and now www. ilovedogsdiamonds.com is setting new heights of luxury with their diamond dog collars!Pet luxuries on the rise…There are multiple reasons for the increase in luxury products and services for dogs – there are more people without children these days, or who are delaying childbirth until later in life, so dogs are acting as child substitutes for such people. This is even the case for many empty nesters who are waiting for grandchildren and in the meantime are lavishing their dogs with luxury products and services. Combine these demographics with the fact that many people have higher disposable incomes nowadays, millionaires are on the increase, and luxury is becoming available to a greater percentage of the population, and you can see how luxury for Fido and Fifi has risen to high levels!

Luxury at new level…

On October 15, 2007, www.ilovedogs.com and www.ilovedogsdiamonds.com were launched and celebrated with a big party in Torrance, CA offi ce – dogs were invited, of course! The designer of La Collection de Bijoux (designer diamond studded collars for dogs) is trained at university and has worked in the jewellery business for several years. Even though he specialized in designing diamond jewellery, but had never designed diamond jewellery for dogs, still he came up with such beautiful and luxurious creations that left all dog lovers in awe!

Inspiration behind designs for La Collection de Bijoux…

The designs are created to shower ultimate luxury and indulgence on our beloved pooches. Here, designers are inspired to set new standards in dog luxury and give dogs the same level of indulgence that we humans have – and isn’t indulging our dogs an extension of indulging ourselves. And designers here believe to treat dog collars just like a fine diamond necklace for women.

Each design as unique as the pooch…

Each collar can be customized to suit the needs of each pooch and his parent. Not even this, they can even create a matching piece for the pet parent as well. And what’s more, a percentage from the sale of each collar is donated to a charity of customer’s choice.

Present accolades…

The company has recently become the official sponsor of the AKC USA World Agility Team for 2008, 2009 and 2010. They are also actively involved in the SPCA International’s Operation Baghdad Pups, helping to rescue and safely transport U.S. soldiers’ mascots and companion animals from Iraq. The fi rst dog, Charlie, will be arriving in the States on Valentines Day, with more dogs to follow, all going to loving homes and escaping the daily threats of the war in Iraq.

Besides, they also offer premium range of dog vitamins and supplements, such as Multivitamin with Green Tea, Glucosamine and Chondroitin with Green Tea, Omega 3 with Green Tea, Reishi with Green Tea and Green Tea. All these are veterinarianformulated and are made in the USA according to strict FDA standards. Each tablet is blister sealed for superior freshness and purity. Besides, a great feature of their website www.ilovedogs.com is that they have an online vet and professional trainer to answer questions, and both guarantee a personal response within 48 hours!

Building a sparkling future…

The company intends to be the Neiman Marcus of the dog industry, by providing premium, proprietary products and services to dog lovers. They are not only a very young company, but also aim to be the leader in the market for premium dog vitamins and supplements. They are also developing other premium products such as oriental silk portrait art, an exotic leather collection of dog carry bags, as well as a silver and turquoise collection of collars.

– by Varsha Verma

Caring for young dogs

Young dogs need a lot more calories than their older counterparts. But meeting this need is easy; just follow the guidelines in this article.

Caring for your breeding female dog

If your female dog is eating a good balanced diet, she will not need any extra food for the first five weeks after she’s mated. In the womb, most of the growth of developing puppies takes place during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy. So you should start increasing her daily feed intake by about 15% each week from about the fifth week onwards. By the time she is due to give birth, she may be eating 50% more food than usual. It may be difficult for her to eat large meals because of the pressure the puppies put on her stomach.

The last couple of days before giving birth, many female dogs loose interest in food. The day before she has her babies, her rectal temperature may drop slightly, and she may start looking for a place to give birth. It’s a good idea to give her a large, comfortable box early in the pregnancy, so she’ll be used to it and will probably want to give birth in it. Once she starts feeding her puppies, her energy (calorie) need will rise quite a bit. By the third to fourth week of lactation, she may require up to four times her normal quantity of food. Give her food in several meals, and make sure food is easily accessible to her at all times; bring the food to her so she doesn’t have to leave her pups. Remember that it’s very important for her to eat enough high-quality food, designed for lactation, so she can feed her fast-growing puppies. It’s also important that she has access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Raising motherless puppies

If you can’t find a suitable foster mother dog to feed orphaned puppies, you will need to feed them at less than six weeks of age on a suitable puppy-milk substitute. Or, if your female dog is not able to produce enough good milk, you will also need to use a milk substitute and give the puppies’ supplemental feedings. Puppies under one week old need to be fed 6 times a day, or every 4 hours, day and night. After they are two weeks old, you can reduce this feeding routine to 4 meals a day or every 6 hours. You will need to use either a syringe or a puppy feeding bottle.

Ask your vet to show you how to feed the puppies. By the time the puppies are about three weeks old, they can feed by lapping their milk substitute from a bowl, and will begin to nibble a little food, as well.

Puppies must be kept warm, but not too hot. You can use heat sources such as heating lamps, hot water bottles covered with towels or blankets, or heating pads covered with blankets. Just make sure it’s not too hot!

Puppies under 3 weeks of age need to be stimulated to pass urine and feces. Their mother would have licked them to clean them; you can simulate her behavior by stroking their rears with warm, damp cotton batting.

Weaning puppies

For the first few weeks of their lives, puppies feed on their mother’s milk, which is very rich in calories, protein, fat and calcium. At around 3-4 weeks of age, puppies can lap or nibble moist food from a bowl. Young puppies may need four or five meals a day. In the early stages of weaning, their mother’s milk is still an important part of the diet. But by 6 to 8 weeks, most puppies can be completely weaned, and are ready to leave their mother.

After weaning

  • Once weaned, your puppy will continue to grow very quickly, and will need about two to three times the energy intake (calories) of an adult dog of the same weight. The time for you to change the frequency and size of the feedings depends on the breed of your puppy. Small breeds reach their adult weight at six to nine months, whereas very large breeds such as Great Danes are not fully grown until they’re 18 to 24 months.
  • Larger breeds have two distinct phases of growth, and after they’ve turned 6 months, you should feed them an appropriate junior-dog diet. These diets have more calories than adult foods to meet your young dog’s needs for maturation, but fewer calories than puppy foods to reduce the risk of joint or hip problems later on.
  • If you’re feeding your puppies a special puppy diet, the label on the food package will tell you how much to feed puppies of various ages and sizes.
  • Do not overfeed your puppy as fat puppies are more likely to have weight problems and can develop joint and leg problems.
  • Your puppy’s feces should be well formed and firm. Feeding a highly digestible food will produce smaller amounts of wellformed feces.
  • Some puppies are particularly sensitive to changes in their diet, so make any such changes gradually, and resist the impulse to feed table scraps.
  • Puppies should be fed 4 times a day until they’re 4 months old, 3 times a day until they’re 6 months old, and then at least twice a day after that. This is especially important for very small and large breeds of dogs.
  • Puppies should have clean fresh water available to drink at all times. As the puppy gets older, you may find that giving him milk to drink causes diarrhea.
Dog Health

FAQs about ear infections in dogs

Ear infection is one of the most common infections in dogs and is a matter of concern for all pet parents. Here are some of the common queries about this disease.

Q: What are the common ear infections in dogs?Dog health

A: The ‘Otitis Externa’ or the infection on the external ear canal is the most common type of infection seen in dogs. And when the middle ear is affected, it is called ‘Otitis Media.’

Q: Which breeds are more prone to ear infections?

A: Ear infections can be commonly found in breeds like Cocker Spaniel, Poodle and German Shepherd.

Q: Is it seasonal?

A: It may occur all round the year but are more common in humid seasons. Many a times, dogs show signs of infection after a bath or after getting soaked in the rain.

Q: What are the causative factors?

A: Ear infections are caused by a variety of bacteria and/or fungi. Infestation of ear canal with ticks or mites may also lead to infections. Foreign bodies or tumors or hardened earwax may also cause ear infections. Allergy is another important factor.

Q: How can an infected dog be recognized?

A: Discomfort is the first symptom. When the infection is severe, the dog shakes his head strongly and tries to scratch his ears with paws. The inside of his ear often becomes red and infl amed and sometimes a black or yellowish liquid may also ooze out of the ears. An offensive odour may be smelt as well and the dog keeps on whining in pain.

Q: What to do in such cases?

A: As soon as you notice these symptoms, consult your vet immediately. He will give some tablets to reduce the pain. Rush him to the vet as early as possible and get him treated.

Q: What are the treatments for ear infections?

A: To treat ear infections effectively, fi rst the causative factor has to be identifi ed. The ear canal has to be examined thoroughly, preferably with an Otoscope to rule out the presence of foreign bodies or ticks inside. Bacterial or fungal infections have to be treated with suitable antimicrobials. To choose the right medication, it is better to examine a sample of the secretions from ear canal by doing culture and sensitivity test. As per your vet’s advice, the dog has to be dosed with tablets and/or eardrops. Sometimes antiseptic lotions may have to be applied inside the ear.

In some complicated cases, maggots may develop inside the ear canal. Such dogs have to be sedated and treated fi rst for the maggots and then for the ear infection.

Another important part of the treatment is the identifi cation of underlying disease. For example, if it is due to allergy or low thyroid function, it has to be diagnosed and treated. If this is not done, the dog may respond temporarily to treatment but the infection will relapse later.

Q: How far the treatment will be effective?

A: Ear infections will subside completely, when detected early and treated promptly. But in some dogs, they tend to recur. As said earlier, this may be due to an underlying disease, which also needs to be tackled along with the primary treatment. Besides, when the dog is not much co-operative to treatment, ear problems may recur frequently.

Q: How to prevent ear infections?

A : The golden adage “prevention is better than cure” holds good here also.

  • Preventive measures include regular cleaning of the ear has to be practiced since puppyhood.
  • The ears have to be cleaned once or twice a week preferably with dry cotton using fingers.
  • Never use ear buds because they may push the wax deep inside the ear.
  • If the earwax is hard, it may be softened using some medication as per your vet’s advice.
  • While giving bath, always take care that water never enters the ear canal.
  • Use cotton swabs inside your dog’s ears before giving him a bath and remember to promptly remove them afterwards.
  • Do not allow your dog to get soaked in rain or under a tap.

Please keep in mind, HEALTHY EARS MEANS BETTER LIFE.

(Dr. C. S. Arun has been providing health care services in and around Mysore City. He runs 4 pet shops cum clinics to cater to the needs of pet parents. )