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Archive for the ‘Dog Health’ 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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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?

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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 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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I’m not the type of person to visit the doctor every time my nose runs, I’m comfortable with trying a few home remedies or let whatever ails me run its course. I know my body well enough to know when it’s time to consult an expert.

Papion with toy

When it comes to my dog, I’m not always sure if I’m meeting her needs the best I can.  Keeping in line with an all-natural, conservative approach as much as possible. I do consult with my veterinarian more often because I want to know that I am doing the right things to help my dog live a long, comfortable life.

At a recent visit to my veterinarian, Sadie Maybach, DVM, for Kaycee‘s shots, I asked Dr. Maybach about giving my dog a supplement to help her joints. As Kaycee gets older I notice slight changes in her energy level and overall mobility. An old injury to her leg occasionally flares up when we are out and about, so I wanted to see if there was something natural that I could do for her to ease the discomfort in her joints and limbs. Dr. Maybach was very helpful and suggested a supplement of glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate. I take glucosamine supplements myself, but I didn’t know if they were safe to give my dog. Turns out they are safe for dogs and cats and there are a lot of high quality brands out there for animals including, Nutramax and Myristol.

One thing Dr. Maybach did caution me on was whether the product contained any Vitamin D. Vitamin D is toxic to dogs, so be sure to examine the label carefully before you make a purchase.

It’s easy to make the assumption that if something is safe for humans, then it must be fine for our pets as well. However, this is not always the case and a quick call to your veterinarian could prevent a very tragic and unnecessary consequence to that assumption.

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

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by guest blogger VetDepot

Vomiting in dogs has many possible causes, some of which are temporary and not major health concerns. Other causes are potentially life threatening and require emergency veterinary attention. Knowing which symptoms could indicate a serious problem is key to promptly getting your canine companion proper treatment.

Causes of Sudden Vomiting

Sudden, or acute, vomiting develops rapidly and may be severe. Your dog may vomit multiple times in a row and have great difficulty

Cute Poodle

holding down water and other fluids. Acute vomiting is usually caused by a bacterial infection of the digestive tract, car sickness, viral infections, food intolerances, or a foreign body (such as a chew toy or bone) trapped in the digestive tract. Causes that are more serious include pancreatitis, acute kidney failure, heatstroke, toxins, liver failure, gallbladder inflammation, or medication overdose. Unless you know the cause of acute vomiting, take your dog to the veterinarian right away.

Causes of Chronic Vomiting

Chronic vomiting may occur off and on over a period of weeks or months. It is often due to severe constipation, food intolerance, or intestinal inflammation. Potentially fatal causes of chronic vomiting include liver disease, cancer, and kidney disease. If dietary changes do not help your dog, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Blood work, urinalysis, and x-rays may be necessary to determine the underlying cause. In the meantime, make sure your dog stays hydrated by providing plenty of clean drinking water.

Danger Signs

Even mild vomiting can become serious quickly. If your dog is vomiting and has any of the following symptoms, seek veterinary attention right away: diarrhea, bloody vomit or stool, reduced appetite, increased thirst, lethargy, weight loss, dehydration, and/or weakness. Also, if your dog is unable to have a bowel movement, appears to be in pain, or vomits for longer than one day, he should be seen by your vet.

Treating Vomiting at Home

If your veterinarian determines your dog’s symptoms are innocent, you can safely manage stomach upset at home with fluid therapy, dietary changes, rest, and medication. Offer your dog bland foods, such as boiled potatoes, skinless chicken, and plain rice. Offer fluids at least once per hour, and make sure a fresh supply of drinking water is available at all times. Check for dehydration regularly and report any change in symptoms or behavior to your veterinarian.

Encourage your dog to rest as much as possible and keep him away from other pets and children during recovery. While some animals remain friendly while feeling ill, others can become cranky or aggressive. Your dog may pose a danger to small children and animals during this time. Plus, the noise and activity associated with small children may be stressful for your recovering dog.

This helpful information was provided by VetDepot.com, a discount retailer of pet medications.

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

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by guest blogger David Fairhurst

Dog at the Vet

Having a pet is one of life’s great pleasures, but it can also be one of life’s great expenses. Veterinary science has progressed enormously over recent years and the rising costs of medication, operations and treatment has rocketed. For most people, getting rid of their pet is simply not an option, so it is worth to spend some time thinking of ways to reduce the bills.

Insurance

It may seem obvious, but one of the best ways to guard against unexpected vet bills is to insure your pet. Policies are available for every sort of pet, from small rodents like hamsters to horses or dogs. Take some time to compare the different policies on the market and understand exactly what is covered. Many policies exclude routine treatments such as neutering or vaccinations, and there may also be an excess to pay. Even with these relatively minor drawbacks, an insurance policy is a sensible investment given the cost of treating an animal after a road accident or major illness could run into the thousands.

Shop around

Most of us get into the habit of buying the same things from the same shops every week, and most pet owners pick up their dog or cat food when doing the weekly shop at the supermarket. Pet food is a competitive market, and far better deals can often be found online, or if you are prepared to buy pet food and other items in bulk. Factor in the costs of delivery or get together with other pet owners to share the costs.

Medication

Many of the items recommended for your pet by the vet are only available on prescription and this makes it difficult to cut down the cost. Always ask your vet if items are prescription only, and if not, shop around in local pet stores or online to try to get a better deal. This is especially the case for items such as horse digestion supplements which are not really medication, but can assist your pet’s general health. Typing the key phrase of horse digestion supplements into any search engine will throw up dozens of online stores specializing in the market.

Prevention

Our pets are really not that different to us, and although there are no cast iron guarantees, one of the best ways of minimizing the risk of illness is to keep them as fit and healthy as possible. Obesity is a growing problem with our pets, so it is vital to control what they are eating and to cut back on portions if the weight is piling on. Exercise is also important, and especially for naturally active animals such as horses and dogs who need exercising every day without fail. If owners are unable to make that commitment themselves, there are dog walkers up and down the country who will exercise your pet, and if a horse is stabled, regular riding may be included as part of the livery fees. Always make sure your pet is up to date with vaccinations, flea and worm treatments too.

Citations:

  • Photograph by Joe Futrelle [CC BY-SA 2.0]

For horse digestion supplements and other equine health products head to the wonderful Equine Warehouse online store.

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