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Archive for the ‘Dog Care’ Category

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.

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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

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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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by guest blogger Susan Wright

Big dog

All our dogs start out as adorable – and tiny – puppies, but knowing how big he will be as a fully-grown adult canine is important. His size will affect everything from the dog food bills to your dwelling. Let’s face it, some dogs are just too big for an apartment lifestyle.

Look to the Parents

The easiest way to estimate a puppy’s future adult size is to look at the parents. Regardless of whether you are adopting a purebred or mutt, the parents’ height and weight are very revealing about their puppies’ future stature. The sex of the dog plays a factor, too. Male puppies will likely be larger and take after their daddy in size, and the females will take after their mommy.

Paw Prints

If you are eyeing an entire litter and trying to pick out future weight and height, take the paw and head size into consideration. Those puppies in the litter with the larger paws and head size will be on the higher end of the size range for the breed.

Determining the adult size of mixed breeds can be difficult. In addition, the more complex the mix, or an absence of parents can make the estimate that much harder, but asking Fido for a quick paw shake can be very telling. One day Fido will grow into those oversized, clumsy, cute puppy paws, and it will make for a big dog!

Loose Skin

Just like a puppy will grow into his paws, he will also grow into his skin. The more loose skin that you see on a dog, the greater room he has to grow into that skin, and the larger he is likely to become as an adult.

Calculating the Growth

Puppies are usually not ready to leave their mother until they are eight to 10 weeks old. At two and a half months old (10 weeks), a puppy is roughly 25 percent of his fully-grown adult weight. At four months old he is roughly 50 percent of his adult weight, and at six months old he is roughly 75 percent of his adult weight.

A dog’s height is measured from the floor to the top of his shoulder. When your puppy turns six months old, he will be approximately 75 percent of his adult height. While these weight and height calculations are only estimates, you may be able to see if you are in the ballpark of choosing a puppy that will grow into the dog of your dreams.

Rather than depending on any one category above, try taking all of the factors into consideration. If you still feel extremely unsure about your puppy’s adult size, ask an expert. Veterinarians see tons of puppies each year and they can give you a better indication of how big a dog will grow. They may even be able to offer some insight into the dog breed. Moreover, a vet is an excellent source for your numerous questions as a new puppy owner.

Susan Wright provides care for family pets as a veterinarian, is a writer and dog owner that prefers to keep her dogs safe with wireless dog fences.

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

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by guest blogger Susan Wright

Dog barking through fence

How many times have you encountered a dog owner, explaining away their dog’s aggressive nature, by blaming it on the breed? The fact is, the owner is wrong; aggression is a learned behavior, not one that any breed is genetically predisposed to exhibit. There are some breeds that seem to appear in the news more often than others for attacking people. Most often, their aggressive attitude is due to the way they have been trained and punished by their owners.

The Advantage of Proper Training

When given the appropriate training and home atmosphere, even dogs known best for their aggressive personalities’ are teachable and can become people friendly and highly affectionate.

It is better a dog bark a warning for someone to keep away, than to have one that will bite first. Some of the warnings a dog might show, which tells you to stay clear of them are, growling, snarling, snapping and trying to attack while on a leash. There are precautions to take for your dog’s safety as well as for people while out for daily exercise. Typically, a muzzle or head harness assures the safety of everyone you may encounter.

Deliberate Aggression

There are owners that deliberately train their dogs to be aggressive. For some reason, it makes the owner feel strong and protected. All dogs will show aggression at some point, especially when they are startled, by something or someone coming at them out of nowhere.

Dogs will show aggression when they are taking a stand marking their territory, feeling vulnerable to attack by humans or other dogs, sick, guarding their toys or food, responding to discipline or while breeding.

Cause of Aggression

If you know what is causing your dog to be aggressive, you can then teach them how to respond in a gentler way, when the situation arises in the future. Punishment will only cause more aggression, use a gentle but firm and consistent training method to teach your dog how to become a more gentle and loving companion.

All breeds need to be taught, humans are the leaders of the pack. If there are children in the home, they need to be taught to handle their dog gently when playing with them. Children should also be taught to, teach the pet who the pack leader is. Some breeds are not recommended for the elderly or families with small children. Dog seekers should research breeds before bringing a new dog into their home.

Susan Wright provides care for family pets as a veterinarian, is a writer and dog owner that prefers to keep her dogs safe with wireless dog fences.

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by guest blogger Hawkbacker

Depending on the type of coverage, auto insurance protects those who become injured as the result of a traffic accident. Insurance

Dog missing ear

claims are filed when injury occurs or if there is damage to personal property caused either by the owner or someone else. If a pet is riding in a vehicle and becomes injured as a result of a traffic accident, medical costs for the veterinary care of the animal may be covered under the policy.

For insurance purposes, pets are considered property, and pet owners are not entitled to damages for the mental anguish for a pet injury or death in an auto accident. If there is liability insurance, the pet owner is typically entitled to reimbursement for the expense of physical damages sustained or value of the pet.

Liability Insurance And Pets

Liability insurance is meant to restore a person’s health or property to its condition prior to a collision. If a person is injured in a traffic accident caused by another party, the at-fault driver is responsible for getting the injured person or persons back to where they were.

When it comes to pets, if the at-fault driver carries a liability policy that includes both coverage for bodily injury and personal property damage, an injured pet will be protected when a claim is filed. It is important to take a close look at any liability insurance purchased, because if the policyholder causes an accident with animal injury as a result, personal property damage must be included in order to avoid a possible lawsuit brought by the pet’s owner.

Collision Insurance And Pets

If a driver causes an accident that injures his or her own pet, coverage may or may not extend to the payment of medical treatment. If a driver crashes his or her automobile while the pet is riding in it, insurance companies may honor a claim for the vehicle damage but not the injuries sustained by the pet. Many insurance companies do not even offer this extended protection.

Insurance providers call this an exclusion. Exclusions for pets are actually the norm in the insurance industry. Those shopping for car insurance are encouraged to ask an agent whether the provider being considered includes pets in the collision coverage.

Coverage Limits For Pets

The insurance providers that do include pet injuries as property damage on a collision protection policy usually don’t charge extra. The coverage limits generally range from between $500-$1000 per accident, regardless of how many pets are injured. Pet owners should also remember that regular pet insurance will not cover injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Pets Killed In Car Accidents

As pets may be considered property under a policy, courts often recognize the so-called market value of the pet as a special consideration when making a judgment on pet’s death.

If a pet is killed as a result of an accident caused by someone else, insurance companies will only pay for the market value of the animal. If the insurance company refuses to pay what pet owners feel is a reasonable amount, going to court may result in a greater compensation amount. It is up to the pet owner to decide if the court costs are worth taking legal action. These types of matters can typically be addressed in small claim’s court if there is a dispute.

Protect Your Pet

Pet owners can take precautions to minimize the severity of a pet’s injuries should an automobile accident occur. Keeping dogs in the rear seating area of the vehicle, not having them sit on a person’s lap, and not letting them roam the neighborhood will decrease the chances of an injury. There are also harnesses that pet owners can buy to better protect their pets and their overall driving safety.

If you have a pet, be sure to review the current insurance policy to make sure the pet is covered by property damage insurance. Pet owners may also want to consider whether pet insurance can provide protection for their beloved animals.

DiscountCarInsuranceQuotes.net, a leading provider of free car insurance quotes, contributed this article. Looking to save insurance? They help drivers protect their investments while providing them the opportunity to cut their insurance rates.

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

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by guest author Claire Waltham

Home security is vital, especially today when robberies and home invasions are still on the rise despite police efforts. People employ

German Shepherd guard dog

several means to beef up their security. They install surveillance cameras, door and window alarms, heat sensors, and other gadgets that can improve their safety. Many also opt to use guard dogs. Some of these animals are trained by professionals. Still, the average dog can help in protecting a home as it is innate in canines to be protective of their space.

One concern of many dog owners is regarding dog biting accidents. Many take precautions, which often include dog training and socialization. They expose their animals to all sorts of circumstances so that their canines will get used to people and especially children. When animals are well-trained and balanced, biting incidents are greatly reduced. But what should a dog owner do if his pet bites an intruder? Can the intruder sue him? Is the injury the dog’s or the homeowner’s fault? When a guard dog or a pet bites a person who trespassed on a property, there are certain elements that must be established first. It is better for a property owner to call an injury attorney who can help him make sense of the situation. But generally, a dog owner can avoid legal responsibility based on the following elements:

  • The dog was provoked.

When a dog senses an intruder, its first reaction is to growl or bark. This alerts the homeowners of the situation. But a burglar or prowler may react differently. Instead of running away from an already tense dog, he could provoke the animal by trying to beat or frighten it so that it will shut up. People should remember that dogs are loyal animals, and they tend to listen only to their masters. An intruder who tries to silence a dog by force can find himself in a dangerous situation. Instead of silencing the dog, he could get bitten or get mauled.

A dog owner can avoid liability if he is able to prove that his animal was provoked. Provocation includes teasing, hitting, slapping, attacking, or throwing things at a dog. Nevertheless, each dog bite incident is different. In some cases, dog owners must also prove that their dogs are not abused. They are also required to state whether or not their animals have been involved in previous biting incidents.

  • The intruder was aware of the dangers of injury from the dog.

A trespasser who forcibly enters a property which is known to be guarded by canines will most likely get bitten. When a biting accident happens, the homeowner will most likely avoid accountability if he is able to prove that the intruder was well aware that there were dogs in the area. Therefore, it is important for people with guard dogs to post warning signs, like “Beware of Dog” or “Warning: Guard Dogs.” People who ignore such signs will have a weaker case if they decide to sue animal owners.

  • The person was breaking the law or trespassing.

Generally, when trespassers get bitten by guard dogs, the animals’ owners are not liable. However, situations vary, and each state has their own regulations about this. Dog owners can protect themselves from liability if they post visible warning signs. If a person expects visitors in his property, it is also important o contain or restrain a dog to prevent accidents.

Citations:

  • Photo courtesy of Maggie Smith at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Claire Waltham is a freelance writer who specializes in personal injury issues. She regularly blogs for several known and successful lawyers, such as Bob Cohen’s attorneys.

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