Category: Dog Health

Dog allergies are probably as common as allergies in humans. Allergic reactions in dogs usually produce the same range of symptoms, too. The most common reaction in a dog is itchy skin that will lead him to scratch constantly. However, they may have respiratory reactions such as coughing or sneezing, or digestive symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea.

An allergy is simply a hypersensitive reaction to a substance that is usually considered harmless. It happens when something that most animals would not have a problem with, triggers an immune system response in a particular dog. Sometimes a pet can become allergic to something that never gave him a problem in the past. Often this is because he has been over exposed to it for a while. This happens in humans too.

The following are the main things that can cause dog allergies and how to deal with them to avoid having your pet suffer.

1. Flea allergies

While of course fleas always cause discomfort and scratching, sometimes a dog will develop an allergy to the saliva of the flea. This makes the bites intensely itchy and can cause the dog to start chewing his skin.

The remedy for this is to get rid of the fleas and protect your dog from these parasites in the future. It is not possible to stop your pet from encountering fleas because they can be found in all the places he likes to go when you take him walking, as well as when he meets other dogs. So do not wait for the fleas to become a problem, but treat him every couple months whether he seems to be scratching or not.

2. Food allergies

Dog food allergies are very common, especially as a result of built up intolerance to ingredients used in most dog foods including dairy products, soy, corn or even beef or chicken.  You will need to change the dog’s regular food. You may need to try several different brands until you identify one that does not cause a problem. The allergy may disappear after around 6 months and at that point you can rotate foods every few months to prevent another intolerance from building up.

3. Contact allergies

Just like many children, dogs can become allergic to household products that come in contact with their skin. This could be the detergent that is used to wash their bedding, a spray that you use in the house, something they come into contact with in the yard, or plants that you have in the house or garden.

The symptoms of contact dog allergies are often a lot like eczema in humans. The dog will usually develop dry, red, itchy patches of skin. The skin may form blisters or become cracked.

If you can identify what is causing the problem, you may be able to remove the irritant from the dog’s life. If not, your pet can be treated for contact dog allergies with oral steroids or shampoos prescribed by your vet.

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Seeing a dog sneezing can be funny when it just happens once or twice, but if your pet is starting to sneeze a lot, you may begin to wonder why. Is it just a normal part of a dog’s life, or could it be a sign of something more serious?

Like humans, when animals sneeze it is because their nasal passages are irritated or inflamed. This may be caused by something getting into the nose, like pepper, or it could be a symptom of a viral infection that is causing inflammation. If your dog also has a runny nose it is likely that he is going down with some kind of virus.

An infection of the sinuses is another possible cause of repeated sneezing. Sometimes this can be caused by a tooth infection. An abscess in the upper jaw can easily spread to the sinuses. In this situation you will probably realize that the dog is in pain and needs treatment.

More rarely, a cyst or polyp in the nose might cause a dog to sneeze. If this happens, the dog sneezing could gradually become more and more frequent and you might not even notice that your pet’s habits had changed for a while.

Of course, sometimes dog sneezing may be one symptom of a more serious problem. In this case there will usually be other symptoms too. Consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible if your pet is panting, coughing or wheezing, or appears to have breathing difficulties.

It is also a good idea to see the vet if any viral infection lasts for longer than a couple of days, or if the dog is very tired and lethargic, or is running a fever. Some viruses are more serious than others and may require treatment.

Another sign that means a trip to the vet’s office is if your pet has nosebleeds along with the sneezing. It’s not unusual to have a few drops of blood when a sneeze causes a small capillary to burst, but a flow of blood could be a sign of mites, exposure to rat poison or even a tumor in the sinuses.

Of course, a canine sneeze from time to time is usually nothing to worry about. Dogs like to poke their noses and sniff in all kinds of places, so it is not surprising if sometimes they pick up something that irritates. This could be pollen from a plant, smoke, dust or a small foreign object.

Occasionally, they will get something larger stuck in the nose. If the sneezing continues and the dog is also pawing at its nose or shaking its head, it is probably trying to dislodge something. Most times, the dog sneezing will get rid of the irritant but if the problem continues, see your vet because there may be something there that needs to be removed.

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There are several books on the market under the topic of dog breeding for beginners. The problem with many of these books is that they do not give you a full understanding of what is required out of you as a person to start dog breeding.

While many of the dog breeding for beginners books are very good at explaining a lot of the technical information you will need to start off dog breeding, they do not tell you what exactly you should consider before you start.

Many people do not realize how much time it takes to breed dogs. Puppies grow up fast but during their growth periods they require a lot of attention. Before attempting to breed dogs you should think about all of the vet visits, clean up, and care that puppies need.

Jumping into dog breeding is a learning process. You must be willing to learn all about the breed and the growth cycle of puppies before starting the process. The best way to start to learn about how to breed dogs is by reading everything you can on the subject.

Often times when people come to me for advice about dog breeding for beginners, I tell them they should buy a day planner. As they learn they should write down notes in their day planner as if they were taking care of a litter of pups day by day. This is helpful also for in the feature as a reference of shots and care.

You should also consider how much space you have before deciding to breed dogs. Most people think that you only need a small place in which to set up a play pen for mothers and pups. This is untrue. When the play pen needs to be cleaned you will need to have some place to put the pups. You will not want dirty pups running all over your home.

You will also need space for the pups to play in when they get older. In most parts of the United States, puppies can not play outside unattended. This is in part due to the large predator birds as well as animals that can stalk your puppies. The best idea is to have a large caged area outside which has a roof on it. This will keep mother and pups safe during play time.

While breeding dogs for beginners can seem very lucrative, you must also consider the upfront costs. Vet bills can become quite high. Often times breeders learn to administer vaccinations on their own. This is not extremely hard to do and can save you money. It is not recommended that a beginning breeder attempt this. Beginning breeders should be taking their pups to the vet regularly. Vets can usually spot problems in pups long before a beginning breeder can.

There are many great websites which will give you a wealth of information on dog breeding for beginners.

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Dog vomiting is annoying and messy, and in some cases also damaging for the dog’s health. So how do we stop it? This article considers how to deal with a dog throwing up, and prevent it from happening again.

Many things can cause a dog to vomit. It may be something that they have eaten, and in that case it will probably just happen once. It your dog is vomiting repeatedly, it could be a sign of another disease.

This could include distemper, allergies, parvovirus, worms, or something more serious like hepatitis or kidney disease.  If you are not sure why your dog is having this problem, it would be wise to take a trip to the veterinarian’s office.

Like diarrhea, repeated dog vomiting can lead to dehydration. In some cases this can be fatal. If the vomiting continues and especially if it is accompanied by diarrhea, see the veterinarian for treatment to prevent dehydration. A small dose of Pepto Bismol works on many dogs but you should only give medications with your veterinarian’s approval.

Some dogs just seem to have a delicate digestion that makes them throw up occasionally. It is likely to happen any time they eat too much or get a little over excited after a meal. Kids often do the same thing. If your dog is like this, try feeding them a little less, with more frequent meals. Do not feed them anything but regular dog food or something very bland like plain boiled rice.

Vomiting in dogs is often caused by eating too fast. This often happens when you have more than one dog in the household. They finish their food as fast as possible so the other dogs cannot compete for it. If this is happening in your house, try feeding each dog in a different part of the house.

You can also watch out for signs that the dog is about to vomit so you can cover floors or furniture. Many dogs will salivate a lot, lick their lips and swallow excessively when they are feeling nauseous. They will then start to heave right before the stomach contents come up.

Stop dog vomiting after the first episode by keeping the dog calm. Help him to rest and relax by speaking to him calmly. Do not show any anger or fear about what he has done. In hot weather, try to keep him cool by encouraging him to stay in a cool place or switching on air conditioning. Remove all food and edible toys from his environment for a few hours, and do not exercise him. If he needs to go outside for potty, keep him on a leash, even in the backyard.

After a couple of hours you can offer ice and see if he wants to lick it. If that does not cause a problem, he will probably be ready for some water after 4-6 hours and a small portion of his regular food after 8-12 hours. This will usually prevent a recurrence of dog vomiting.

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If your dog has a tendency to pick up ticks, you should watch for dog Lyme disease symptoms in your pet. Lyme disease is a serious illness that can even be fatal in some cases. It is a bacterial disease spread by ticks, especially deer ticks in the USA and sheep ticks in Europe. It was named after the town of Lyme, Connecticut, where the disease was first identified in 1975.

Dog Lyme disease symptoms are a lot like the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Joints can become inflamed, and feet and legs become sore. This means that the dog will start to limp and may have swelling around the joints or lymph nodes.

A fever usually develops, with the dog running a temperature a couple of degrees higher than normal. Normal body temperature for a dog is 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (around 38 to 39.2 degrees Celsius). 103 or above indicates a fever.

A dog with Lyme disease will probably not eat at all and may throw up. His or her breath may smell bad, like ammonia, and the stomach may be bloated and tender to the touch.

In the later stages, dog Lyme disease symptoms include confusion and seizures. If untreated, the disease can eventually cause kidney failure, neurological disabilities and myocarditis, which is similar to a heart attack.

In most cases, the tick has to be on the dog’s body for at least 24 hours before it will transmit Lyme disease. So if you always remove ticks from your pet quickly, then he or she is not so likely to develop this illness. However, it can be hard to know how long a tick has been on your pet, so keep your eyes open for symptoms of canine Lyme disease any time that your dog has had a tick.

Note that Lyme disease may not develop until several months later. It can take 2-5 months for this illness to become apparent in your dog.

It is possible for humans to get Lyme disease too, but it is always caught directly from ticks. So you do not have to worry about catching it from your dog. You will only get it if you have had an infected tick settle on you.

There is a vaccination for Lyme disease which can be given to dogs. However, there is some controversy around its use. Some vets feel that the vaccination is not effective enough to be worthwhile, as it is still possible for a vaccinated dog to contract the illness. But if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common and your dog picks up a lot of ticks, vaccination might be something to consider. You can discuss this with your veterinarian.

If your pet appears to be suffering from dog Lyme disease symptoms, take him or her to the veterinarian right away for treatment with antibiotics.

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Dog health insurance is a way of spreading the cost of veterinary care for your pet. Almost any dog can be covered from a 6 week old puppy upward.

If you are wondering about the benefits of dog health insurance, keep in mind that one in three dogs will need unexpected medical care within the next 12 months, and two in three dogs suffer from a serious (i.e. expensive) medical problem at some time in their lives.

Veterinarians are now able to treat many diseases that in the past would have been fatal for a dog. However, the cost of these new life saving treatments can be prohibitive. It would be terrible to be in a situation where complicated surgery could save your dog’s life, but you could not afford to pay for it. This is happening to more and more people as the boundaries of veterinary medicine are extended.

Having insurance makes it easier for you to deal with situations where the cost of your pet’s care would be very high. If your pet develops a serious illness or has a medical emergency, it can save you a lot of money to be able to claim the costs on insurance.

Another benefit of dog health insurance is that if your pet is insured, you are more likely to take him to the vet whenever he has a health problem. Although we all like to think that our pet’s health would come first in most situations, there might be times when a trip to the vet was put off because of financial concerns. If you have insurance you do not have to be so worried about the cost when your pet is sick.

As with health insurance for your family, you will find that the different plans offer different coverage. Before you decide on any dog health insurance, take some time to consider various plans from several different companies. Some companies will not cover certain breeds, or they may exclude certain conditions that are common in certain breeds, like hip dysplasia.

If your dog has suffered any health problems in the past, you may want a plan that covers pre-existing conditions. This can mean higher monthly payments but could save you money if the condition recurs. For a puppy, you will want to know if the plan covers vaccinations.

You may also want to discuss dog health insurance with your veterinarian. Some vets are linked up with particular pet insurance companies. This makes it easier to make a claim, but you may not necessarily get the best value for your circumstances.

You can often save on the monthly cost of a pet health care plan by accepting to pay a certain amount of the cost each time that your dog needs treatment. For example if you pay the first $50 or even $25 of any claim, you will pay less per month than if you want the insurance to cover everything.

More and more responsible dog owners are taking out insurance these days. Take a look at a plan for yourself. Dog health insurance can protect your pet as well as your finances.

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Dog constipation can be an uncomfortable and painful condition for your pet. Just like humans, there are dogs who have a tendency to become constipated. However, once constipation has been identified, it is usually relatively simple to treat. There are both medications and natural remedies for dog constipation.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Constipation?

If your dog is constipated, you will probably notice that he or she has difficulty passing feces. The feces are small and very dry. You may also notice blood in the feces or bleeding from the rectum.

Dog Constipation Treatment

Mild constipation can be treated at home. The usual way is to give the dog more fiber in food, just as you would with a human.

Canned pumpkin is very effective in treating dog constipation. Be sure to get the unsweetened kind. Most dogs will like the taste if you serve it along with their regular food and they don’t need much. 1 tablespoon twice a day is enough for a small dog (under 25 pounds), 2 tablespoons for a dog weighing 25-50 pounds and 3 tablespoons for a large dog (over 50 pounds).

If your dog is prone to constipation, you should probably add fiber to the diet all of the time, not only when constipation appears. Some grated vegetables or canned pumpkin can be added to the main meal of the day.

Another source of fiber is psyllium husks which are sold in health food stores and can be used for treating constipation in humans too. You may find it under the brand name Metamucil (R). Do not use sweetened or flavored varieties.

To give psyllium, sprinkle a little on the dog’s food either once or twice a day, from a quarter teaspoon for a very small dog to 1 whole teaspoon for a large dog. Be sure that water is freely available to a dog who is taking psyllium because it absorbs a lot of water in the stomach.

Milk gives many dogs diarrhea and therefore some owners give milk to constipated dogs. In most cases, this is not an ideal solution. The dog may be allergic to lactose, causing not only diarrhea but perhaps other symptoms too. If you do want to try milk, give it one time only, just a quarter cup to half cup depending on the size of the dog.

Mineral oil is frequently used to lubricate the digestive system, although it can deplete the dog’s stores of vitamin A and other essential nutrients so it should not be used for more than 7 days and some vets do not recommend it at all. Mineral oil is almost tasteless so you can just mix it with a little food and the dog will eat it. The dosage is from 1 teaspoon for a very small dog, to 4 teaspoons for a large dog, twice daily.

If your dog is not eating, or if your dog’s constipation continues despite treatment or recurs after treatment stops, it is important to see a vet to rule out other problems. Constipation can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition, such as hernia or intestinal obstruction. In some cases these require surgery. Do not assume that dog constipation is always a minor condition.

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Dog health problems symptoms are something that you should know about when you own a dog. Any dog is sure to get sick from time to time and you need to know what to do. Here are some of the common symptoms that a dog may suffer from and some of the diseases that these symptoms may indicate.

Abdominal swelling or pain: may be caused by a digestive disease such as enteritis, or by constipation, canine bloat or hepatitis. In puppies, abdominal swelling can be a sign of roundworms.

Aggression: if the dog is showing unusual aggression and an apparent change in personality, it may have rabies. Rabies is sometimes accompanied by breathing difficulties.

Blood in urine: may be a sign of kidney disease. Blood in feces is not necessarily so serious and may be caused by constipation.

Coughing: a dog that coughs may have distemper, kennel cough, an allergy, worms, canine parvovirus, hepatitis, tuberculosis, pneumonia or even heart disease.

Diarrhea: digestive disorders, food poisoning, worms, allergies, or disease of the pancreas.

Excessive drinking: indicates kidney disease or diabetes.

Fainting: heartworms or heart disease.

Fever: like humans, dogs develop a fever with many illnesses, including kennel cough, parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, rabies, Lyme disease, food poisoning, or heatstroke.

Fits, convulsions or seizures: may be canine epilepsy.

Flaky or scaly skin or scabs: mange, scabies, dandruff, allergies.

Hair loss: usually caused by parasites such as mange, fleas, scabies or ringworm. Can also be caused by allergies, Cushing’s syndrome or overactive thyroid.

Lameness and difficulty walking: arthritis, hip dysplasia, Lyme disease, rabies, thrombosis, cysts, patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap).

Losing weight: probably worms, although this might also be a symptom of a serious condition such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer.

Nasal discharge: distemper, kennel cough, allergies.

Not eating: could be caused by Lyme disease, kennel cough, mange, rabies, heartworms, heart disease, any virus.

Panting (other than after exercise): often a sign of heart disease.

Scratching ear: a sign of fleas, allergies or ear infection.

Shaking head: ear infection or fleas.

Vomiting: many possible causes including distemper, canine bloat, enteritis, hepatitis, parvovirus, worms, kidney disease, allergies, food poisoning, diabetes, Addison’s disease, or just over eating.

Wheezing: probably kennel cough.

When dog health problems symptoms develop in your much loved pet, it can be very worrying. You cannot ask the dog to tell you exactly what is wrong and often times, the same symptoms may have many different causes.

Some of these canine health problems are common illnesses that are not grave at all, but sometimes there can be an underlying condition that is potentially serious or even life threatening. Therefore, if you see any dog health problems symptoms developing in your pet, consider taking your dog to the veterinarian right away to discover exactly what is wrong.

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dog not eating can be worrying. Clearly, a dog who does not want any food is not the healthiest of animals. But what is wrong? In this article we look at some of the possible causes of a dog not eating and what you should do.

Like children, dogs often lose their appetite when they are sick. This actually helps the body to recover because it can concentrate all of its resources on the illness without having to handle digestion of food at the same time. Any kind of minor bacterial or viral infection may cause this to happen.

If the dog is also coughing, it may have infectious bronchitis, also known as kennel cough. This is a very common mixture of viral and bacterial infection that is easily passed from dog to dog. The symptoms are a lot like flu in humans, including fever and lethargy or depression, but may last for up to a month.

There is no complete treatment for kennel cough and in most cases you just have to keep the dog home and let it rest. However, you might want to have it checked by a vet. Sometimes antibiotics are necessary to prevent pneumonia. As with flu in humans, kennel cough can sometimes be serious or fatal, especially in old dogs or those with impaired immune systems.

Lyme disease is a more serious infection that is passed on to dogs from ticks. A dog with Lyme disease will often have painful joints and may limp. It will probably also have a fever and bad breath. Lyme disease must be treated as soon as possible to prevent serious complications from developing.

A puppy not eating may be suffering from red or demodectic mange. This is a parasite that lives on virtually all dogs and many humans, but only causes problems in puppies up to one year old or adult dogs with depressed immunity.  The skin becomes itchy, reddened or scaly and the puppy loses hair in circular patches.

Another possible cause of a dog not eating is that the dog has an abdominal obstruction. This means that they have swallowed something that is causing a blockage somewhere in the digestive system and will not pass out. It could be a bone or anything that they swallowed that is indigestible. These obstructions can cause serious problems and you should see the vet with your dog to check this out. Surgery is sometimes required to remove the obstruction.

More rarely, loss of appetite in a dog may be caused by rabies, heart disease or heartworms. Of course, these are serious conditions that will have other symptoms too.

In summary, there may be many different reasons for your dog’s loss of appetite. It would not be possible to be sure what is wrong without seeing the dog. However, you can be sure there is something. Dogs do not stop eating for no reason at all. Therefore, it is important to take your pet along to the vet’s office so that the problem can be investigated and the vet can discover the cause of the dog not eating.

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