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A hernia is caused by tears or bulges in the body that allow tissues or organs to pass or protrude through. Hernias can be genetic or the result of an injury. There are different types of hernias, and they can occur in different areas of the body.

Some hernias can be detected through X-rays and others may appear only through symptoms such as eating problems, respiratory trouble or excessive salivation. Hernias do have the potential to be life-threatening, so take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as you notice either an unusual bulge or symptoms of illness.

How Do I Know If It’s a Hernia?

There are several symptoms to look for if your dog has a hernia. Any unusual symptoms outside of normal behavior should be cause for concern, but these symptoms are attributed to hernias:

Types of Hernias

  1. Umbilical: An umbilical hernia is usually inherited through genetics and is not caused by cutting the umbilical cord too close. This hernia appears as a swelling or bulge near or under the belly button that may adjust as the dog eats. These hernias are not considered serious and usually close on their own. Large ones may grab or encapsulate other organs or intestines and restrict blood flow as it closes. The loss of blood flow can be life-threatening, so always have the hernia examined by a veterinarian.
  2. Inguinal: These hernias appear in the groin area and are most commonly seen in females that are pregnant, bloated or constipated. Males can be affected by this type of hernia, but this is uncommon. Recurrence on the opposite (healthy) groin is possible, so both sides should be checked by your vet.
  3. Perineal: These hernias appear around the anus and are usually caused by hereditary muscle weakness or muscles that weakened from other causes. This type of hernia typically affects older males more than females. A hernia can appear on one or both sides of the anus. The anal glands are commonly removed when the hernia is being treated surgically since they are usually the cause of the hernia. Perineal hernias are more common in small or toy dogs.
  4. Diaphragmatic: Most of these hernias appear after car accidents but can be the result of genetics. These are the most difficult to treat because of the locations of nearby internal organs. The hernia is caused by a tear where the diaphragm meets the rib cage. This can put pressure on internal organs and cause difficulty with breathing.

Treatment

Treatment for all hernias in dogs is surgery unless it is an umbilical hernia that closes and resolves itself. Hernias are most commonly mistaken for tumors, but do not try to diagnose your dog yourself; what may appear to be a small and harmless hernia to you might be one that is pressing on other organs that you can’t see or cutting off blood supply to other parts of the body.

Let your veterinarian make the determination and decide the time and type of treatment needed; it just might save your pet’s life.

Other Considerations

Hernias can be passed down through generations, and affected dogs are usually not recommended for breeding. If you want to breed for pets and not for show animals, be prepared to have the offspring examined and treated for hernias if they exist in the parents.

Attached Images:

This guest post was written by Kristine Lacoste, a writer and editor with PetsAdviser.com, a pet advice site.

by guest blogger Claire Jorge

Planning to get a puppy is something that truly puts a spark of excitement in dog lovers; and the first time that you see and hold your puppy is not only a thrilling moment, but a happy one as well. You spend the day playing and cuddling your puppy, and getting so much pleasure out of the experience; and then came the puppy’s first night away from its mother. You put your puppy in its place, preparing it for bed. You put water and maybe a few toys to keep it occupied during the night. You turn off the lights and go to bed. Then, the whining starts. When this happens, you do everything to make it stop. But are you doing it correctly? Also, why is the dog whining in the first place?

Apart from growling and barking, another way that dogs communicate with humans is by whining. There are different reasons why puppies or dogs whine. Before you employ means to discipline your dog or call Cesar Millan, it is best to understand why it’s whining in the first place. This way, you’ll know how to approach the problem the right way. Remember that various breeds are pretty impressionable and doing the wrong thing could actually exacerbate instead of improve the problem.

Like kids, puppies also cry when they miss their moms. This is demonstrated through whining, particularly on its first night in a new home. Dogs also whine, and there are various reasons for this as well. It may be due to pain, anxiety or they may be in need of something, such as food, water or attention. So, here are a few things that could help your puppy get more comfortable; and thus, reduce or alleviate whining. These tips are also useful for those with more mature dogs.

Create a Warm and Comfortable Environment

Make sure that your puppy has a warm and comfortable place to sleep in. Puppies often cuddle with their moms and siblings, and they are so used to being enveloped by something warm. Keeping puppies warm is also necessary since these animals are too young to have enough fat or fur that helps in protecting them from extreme cold.

Let It Know You’re Nearby

If possible, don’t leave a new puppy outside. Have it somewhere near where it can smell your presence. A puppy may whine because it feels unsafe or unsure. Hence, having the scent of its pack leader, which is you, nearby, will help in calming it down. Try putting the puppy’s crate in your room or have it snuggle in a shirt or any cloth that has your scent. If the whining doesn’t stop, ignore it. Don’t have the dog sleep in bed with you as it will learn that whining means that it will then be taken to your bed.

Bladder Control

Puppies are small and their bodily systems aren’t exactly mature yet. This is why their bladders only hold a small amount of urine. So, when your puppy whines, it could mean that it needs to go to the toilet. You may have to take your puppy outside to do its business every two hours. Though it may seem like a lot of work, it’s a great way to toilet train your puppy at a very early age.

Upset Dog

A dog can get upset if it senses that something is not right with its environment. Maybe someone it doesn’t recognize is close by or maybe he is worried about the presence of another animal. As a dog owner, it’s important to learn how to differentiate your dog’s whines so that it will become easier for you to know why it’s whining and address the problem appropriately.

Anxious Dog

Dogs also experience separation anxiety. When they do, they express this through whining. It’s a vocalization that they want to become reunited with their owners.

Dog in Pain

Dogs in pain also whine. When your dog suddenly whines for no apparent reason, have it checked by a vet. It may be in pain or maybe it’s not feeling well.

Claire Jorge is a skilled vet who regularly contributes helpful blogs to recognized animal websites. She provides guidance to pet owners, basing her advice on her experiences at Miami Animal Hospital. She currently lives with her beautiful Akitas, Betsy and Mae, which are well-trained protection dogs.

Australian Shepherds are very intelligent and very strong-willed dogs. My Aussie, Kaycee, likes to be the one to call the shots. She is very animated and, at times, argumentative! Since she was little she has never been very fond of the bathtub. So when she dropped her monkey into the bathtub, she became very anxious about how to get it out. I decided this was an opportunity to help her conquer her fear of the bathtub, and let her decide how to retrieve her toy with just a little encouragement and praise from me.

byguest blogger Dr. Susan Wright, DMV

Dog owners want their dog to be obedient, and listen and respond appropriately when they are commanded to. However, the result of an obedient dog requires a lot of time and attention in training your pup to follow your lead. The best-case scenario to obtain an obedient dog is to train your dog at the ideal time. There are certain periods of a dog’s life where it is easier to mold than others, and this is when the dog is still a young puppy. While any dog can be trained and habits can be broken, it is most ideal to have these lessened learned while the dog is still young.

Is anybody watching?

Start Young

So when is the best time to begin obedience training? Typically, the best period to start training your dog is between 7 and 16 weeks of age. This age is ideal because the puppy has had the adequate time to grow, develop and be nurtured by his mother and learn imperative dog socialization from his littermates. When you first adopt a puppy, your dog begins to interact and live with people. This is also when your dog will learn habits that may stick with him through adulthood.  Make sure you are clear on your stance about basic behavior patterns that you will accept and not tolerate, like biting, chewing aggressiveness etc.

Keep Training Brief & At Home

As your dog is still young and susceptible to some diseases it is best to keep the obedience training at home alone and begin with simple commands.  Work with your dog to understand how to sit, stay, lay down and come. Since your dog will be young and have a short attention span it is important to keep the training sessions brief and condensed, but repeat them often daily. Start out with five minute training sessions, repeated five to seven times a day. You may find it is best to work on one command at a time, and introduce others one at a time as your dog becomes proficient in leaning the skill.

Stay Positive & Creative

The best method to teach your dog is using positive learning, or positive reinforcement. Reward your dog for doing what you want him to do, verses scolding him when he does not. Dogs naturally want to delight their alpha dog, which is you, so when they receive love, attention and praise they will want to repeat the behavior to receive more of the good attention. When you are training your dog, incorporate lessons throughout the day with different activities to help teach your dog how they will use the skill and to make training fun. For example, ask your dog to sit and stay while you go grab his food to feed him. This will help your dog practice the commands and control – especially when he really wants to eat!

Reinforcing Behavior

Once your dog has some age, you might consider professional training to reinforce what you have already taught your dog. You of course may also continue training your dog at home and introduce your own distractions. It is also important to keep your dog involved in socializing with other animals, either through playtime with a neighbor dog or visits to a local dog park. Most importantly understand that obedience training is a life-long commitment to your dog.

Dr. Susan Wright DMV is a veterinarian with more than a decade of experience. Susan is a writer and serves as a dog bark collar expert. Dr. Wright and her staff share their love of dogs both professionally and personally by writing informational and entertaining pieces on the proper care of domestic animals.

Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com

Why Dogs Chase Cars

by guest blogger Dr. Susan Wright, DMV

Puppy needs attention

We see it all so often that it almost seems natural, but no matter how often we see a dog chasing a car, we all still wonder what is going on in the dog’s brain to make him want to chase a car. While we know a dog’s mind is not as developed as a human brain — which is why it is so important to consistently train your dog with positive reinforcement — we ponder at what the panting dog, chasing after the car is doing or hoping to accomplish.

Fulfilling a Natural Desire

Well the act may seem natural because in fact it is natural. Dogs are connected in their long 

line of genealogy to wild dogs and even in some cases wolves. No matter how domesticated they are, these past connections give dogs inkling to have an enhanced prey drive. Simply put, dogs automatically are attracted to things that are moving away from them and they want to chase it. Be it a tennis ball, a rope toy, Frisbee, kids riding bikes, joggers or cars driving past, if the dog is free and able they will likely chase it/them.

Achieving an Adrenaline Rush

Today’s dogs are far enough removed that the chase is not about a kill in the end result, more of just a fun adrenaline rush for the dog to do his best to chase the object and even try to entice it/them in a game of chase. If you have been to a dog park or had a doggie play date lately, you know firsthand how excited dogs get when they are participating in an intense, friendly game of tag. They enjoy the chase, the catch and then want to play repeatedly. This act is all related back to their natural instinct of having a prey drive.

Training, Safety Precautions & Exercise

So the next time you see a dog chasing a car you can rest assured that, while the act is dangerous, it is natural for the dog. Responsible dog owners should do their best to work with dogs to change this behavior through training and the use of safety measures like installing an invisible fence around their property to help keep their dog safe and within the allowed roaming area. However, no amount of safety precautions should ever be enough to leave your dog roaming around outside without the owner monitoring their dog.
Unfortunately, there is always a chance that the first time a dog escapes it could be their last time, especially if the dog is a car chaser! Rather, owners should spend outdoor time with their dog together and even spark their natural need to chase by starting a game of chase with their four-legged best pal! Not only will the act help fulfill the dog’s natural tendency and need to chase, the time spent is great exercise for both the owner and the dog – a win-win as they spend quality time with one another, getting back to the basics of why they adopted a dog in the first place!

Dr. Susan Wright DMV is a seasoned veterinarian, a wireless dog fence expert. Dr. Wright and her staff provide informative information to dog owners on how to provide a safe dog environment.

Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com

Several weeks ago the evening news reported a story about a man who left his dog on Mt. Bierstadt in Colorado after the dog had become injured and unable to walk (Read the news article)Without food or water for eight days, this dog was somehow able to survive.

It’s really an amazing story on several levels; from the incredible will to live on the part of the dog to be able to fight off starvation,

Australian Shepherd

dehydration, and the harsh elements; to the group of strangers who selflessly took action to save the life of this dog who had been abandoned in a harsh, unforgiving environment by her master.

I imagined myself in that same situation and wondered what circumstance, if any, could possibly force me to choose to leave my dog

behind without shelter, food, or water?

Would you have been able to leave your dog on that mountain?

by guest blogger Claire Stanton

Dog licking childs face

Dogs and cats are two of the most popular pets around. Millions of people have these animals in their homes, and both canines and felines are treated as part of the family. Most of these pets are really loved to the point that they are spoiled more than kids. On top of that, they even have insurance, which is actually not a frivolity but a necessity since animal care can become pretty expensive.
Because you love your pet, you should not only be able to provide it with its basic needs. You must also give your canine or feline companion love and attention; and you will only be able to provide your animal with the best that you can offer by educating yourself about them. Knowing what your animal needs or likes is very helpful. But one major aspect that you should also pay attention to is emergency care. In case your animal gets into an accident, you’d know how to approach the situation and how to give first aid to your pet.

1. Caring for Cuts and Wounds

Animals are very rambunctious, and their hyperactivity can sometimes lead to disaster. In case your dog, for instance, cuts itself while playing outdoors, there are certain steps you have to follow, especially if your animal is bleeding. First, do not panic. Second, stop the bleeding. Get a clean cloth or gauze and put this over the wound. Apply pressure. Then, take your pet to a vet clinic or an animal hospital for treatment. Your vet will most likely give your pet a sedative or general anesthesia so that he can clean and close up the wound. Your pet will probably be given pain killers too.

2. Reminders When Taking Care of a Poisoned Pet

There are so many ways that your pet can be poisoned. It could ingest or inhale a toxic substance. Some noxious elements are also absorbed through the skin. If you suspect that your pet was poisoned, immediately contact poison control. You can also call the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or ASPCA. Have their numbers handy just in case.

Never encourage your pet to drink liquids because the fluids will only distribute the poison to the blood and other bodily organs much faster. Also, it is not a good idea to induce vomiting, particularly when your animal is – experiencing seizures, having difficulty of breathing, or unconscious. Do not induce vomiting if you believe that the poison is something very acidic or a flammable product, like gasoline.

3. What To Do When Your Pet Experiences Hypothermia

Winter is just around the corner, and it’s truly a wonderful and magical time. However, this is also the season when people, as well as pets, are at risk for hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature gets really low. Your pet may experience hypothermia if it gets left out in the cold too long or if it falls in a pool of freezing water. But aside from environmental factors, hypothermia in animals, specifically dogs, may be a sign of a serious disease or infection.

If your pet experiences hypothermia, here are a few things that you should remember. First, place your pet in a warm environment. Then, dry your pet, in case he is wet, and cover with thick blankets. To add more heat, put a hot water bottle on the covers. Finally, call your vet.

Citations:

Claire Stanton is a freelance writer and a pet owner. She blogs about pet care, veterinarians and animal hospitals, like Buford Animal Hospital that offers affordable yet excellent vet services.

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