First things first...
Happy Birthday Abigail! You can read about her here.
I have a subscription to Dog Fancy and every month I enjoy reading the different articles about dog care, breeds, tips, etc.
I have read many articles on winter exercise for dogs. Some as simple as just letting them run in the back yard for 15 minutes. Some as complicated (to me) as training for sled dog competitions.
Now obviously, not all dogs would be able to do some of the things that I have read about. Take my bassets as an example. We get some deep snow here, and to let them run about in the back yard is a great idea but not always possible as they tend to get stuck in the deep snow and sled dog? Forget it!
But I did read one article a few years back that was interesting about things you can do inside. Like setting up an obstacle course inside the house in the family room, basement, or hallway. Or a game that encourages a dog to use their sense of smell in a game of hide and seek whether with a treat, favorite toy, or favorite person. Or teaching new obedience skills or tricks. Something to keep them busy, interested and active.
For our house, we have done some of the hide and seek, play fetch with a very soft ball, tug, and still get out for walks if the weather permits. Sometimes we play in the back yard if hubby snow blows a maze for them to run through.
I thought it would be interesting to take a poll to see how you all keep your pups fit through the winter. If you would like to participate, please email me and I will post the info on DOT next time. Or if you would like to make this subject the focus of your next post, just send me your link and I will list that. Send to thegardener63ataoldotcom.
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
First things first...
Thursday, November 11, 2010
First up in the Spotlight, we want to say a belated Happy Birthday from all of us on DOT to Buckey of Bits and Pieces who turned a happy 15 years last Friday!
If we have any newbies to the site here please leave a comment to introduce yourself and leave a link so we can get to know you!
So over the past month we have introduced a kitten into the house. And some have wondered how to introduce a newcomer to older established pets in the home, whether it be another dog or a kitten. While I am no expert at this I can tell you what has worked for me and I am sure others can chime in with their comments to offer advice from their experience as well.
First, have patience, and a lot of it. While you may think the new additions is adorable, others in the home may not. Time is needed for all to make a successful adjustment.
Second, do not put the new addition right in to the mix with your current pet(s). Have a separate room, gated or closed door at first to allow the new addition to get acclimated to a small area at a time and your older pets to get used to new noises and smells of the newcomer.
Third, supervise. Only allow the new addition around the older one when you are right there to reinforce good responses or correct any negative responses. This protects the new addition as well as keeps the older pet from becoming overwhelmed. And keep the encounter short with building longer exposure as time and reactions permit. When the visit is finished put the new addition in their safe zone. This builds their confidence and reassures the older pet by permitting personal space and affection from you.
Forth, slowly expand the territory the new addition can explore. Baby gates are a wonderful item for this process as it allows limited exploration while permitting exposure to existing pets through the gate. In time you will be able to fully integrate all pets together. This also assists with potty or litter training too. (For puppies this in no way takes the place of crate training!)
I hope some will find this information helpful and look forward to reading comments and suggestions from you all as well.
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I received one picture for the DOT Costume parade and it was of beautiful Sydney submitted by Janet...
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Happy Dog's On Thursday everyone! In my last post I had mentioned that we would have a birthday spotlight for everyone who submitted the information to me. Please click on the links below to stop by and visit them I know they would love the Happy wishes.
Sissy and Gretchen at Don't Mess with My Tutu were celebrating Sissy's birthday and Gretchen's Gotcha Day.
Sue's pack at the Portuguese Waterblog are celebrating birthday's for 6 members of the pack on the 26th. Now I bet that is going to be a party!
HoneyDew and Sampson both turned another year older on Sept 23 and Oct 10th, but we celebrate them together by attending a doggy event. Last year it was a local paws and play. This year we celebrated with doggy sundaes and a romp on a local hiking trail with lots of sniffing.
I haven't received any information/pictures for a costume parade this year. If any would like to participate please email me a pic with a link to your blog and I will still post them.
Hope all of you are having a great day,
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
A dog can express more with his tail in minutes than his owner can express with his tongue in hours.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Recently while planning our trip to see our son who lives in a different state than us, I came upon this link, Bring Fido.
I found this very helpful as not only did it list the hotels in the area that accepted dogs, but also gave the nightly rate, pet fee, pet amenities at the hotel, and information such as off leash dog parks, dog beaches, interesting places to visit with your dog as well as local vet care.
I realize that for a lot of people, vacation season is over, but take a moment to check out the site and you may find that you would like to add it to your favorites for next year!
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Rally Obedience or Rally-O is a fun new sport where dogs and handlers negotiate a course of signs than give them directions on a specific maneuver or exercise to perform. Rally is a lot of fun in that you can talk to your dog and encourage him all you want while in the ring. This is in contrast to formal obedience competition where you can only give a command one time and no talking to your dog in between. Rally-O is great for new handlers and young dogs but even seasoned veterans can benefit from the relaxed atmosphere and variety of maneuvers and commands that are incorporated into the courses. The variety of handling skills involved is sure to keep dogs on their toes. There are three levels of Rally competition-Novice, Advanced, and Excellent. Three scores of 70/100 pts are needed to complete each level and then the dog may continue competing for the Rally Advanced Excellent title.
For more information go to:
American Kennel Club
Thursday, September 2, 2010
...unfortunately my main computer is down with the flu, jk, actually it is at my computer guys who assures me it can be fixed. This also means that for today no pictures are available and that this will be a very short post as the computer that I am on is archaic and extremely slow.
HoneyDew and Sampson are away to a new groomer who opened her business at the beginning of our road and are having a full spaw treatment! We will let you know how that goes.
Also wanted to send a shout out to Henry of 4weeksfortyblankets.blogspot.com
who completed his project and surpassed his goal. Many thanks to those of you who assisted him with encouraging comments, blankets, and toys. Great Job Henry!
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Hi everyone! Penny here, wishing everyone a happy Dogs on Thursday! Since we last barked, my family took me on vacation to Highlands, NC. We stayed in a wonderful pet friendly hotel.Here I am in my car seat... riding like a good girl. It was very interesting to be able to travel. The best thing about being in Highlands is that it was about 15 degrees cooler than where we live in Georgia. Wow! I felt like running around and being outside! Mommy and Daddy were amazed at the difference in my attitude in the cooler weather.
Our hotel was great, but of course, I had to be on duty to protect us. I didn't get a lot of sleep the first night, because I stayed awake and stood at the foot of the bed to make sure everything was good and secure. I will admit that by the third night fatigue got the best of me and I had to snuggle up by Mommy and get some sleep. A dog can only do so much, you know.
There were two dogs in the room next door to us: a West Highland White Terrier named Zoe and a Yorkie named Cookie. Evidently Cookie was a rescue who had had a bit of a rough life before she found her forever home. I'm really sorry she had a tough time, but honestly, Cookie had a little problem with personal space -- she was always in my face! I like to maintain a certain distance from other dogs... at least till I get to know them better. But I guess Cookie was ok. She really liked to bark! She and I alerted everyone to comings and goings around the area for which we were responsible. I was glad to have a little bit of help for a change, to be honest.
Highlands is a very dog-friendly town. I was able to sit at some outside tables with my family while they had dinner (and of course, they ordered food for me too!). I was treated like the Princess I am everywhere we went. I even supervised while Mom & Dad went to mine for gemstones:Mommy ended up getting some very pretty jewelry made!
We only stayed 3 days, but it was a good trip. I'd have liked to have stayed a bit longer in the cooler weather, but I understand I had to come back to work guarding our house. A dachshund's work is never done.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I frequently get asked if there is anything that will make a person's dog shed less. And the answer is no. There is not anything you can feed your dog, put on your dog, bathe your dog with, etc that will eliminate shedding. It's biologically impossible.
Dog (and cat) hair grows in three phases: Anagen-the growing phase, Catagen-the in between phase, and Telogen-the resting phase. Telogen hairs are the ones that are falling out, or shedding. The individual hairs are not on the same cycle and thus some hair will always be in the Telogen phase. Occasionally a severe illness will push all hairs into the telogen phase and they will all fall out, but this is not a desirable way to end shedding.
Your best bet is to brush regularly and collect all the Telogen hairs in one spot. Then you can dispose of it before it gets dropped off all over the house!
Obviously some dogs (typically those that require routing grooming or clipping) such as poodles, bichons, and certain terriers don't shed as much. Their hair cycle and biology is a bit different but don't expect these breeds to never lose any hair. Remember, people don't "shed" but we still lose hairs just from regular "grooming!"
Shaving your dog (and I'm talking about the dog that are not meant to be shaved) does not make your dog shed less. It makes them shed shorter hairs. These hairs are often them embed themselves in clothing, furniture, etc and are near impossible to get out!
Now if you want to shave your dog for other reasons that is your prerogative. But I'm going to come right out and say it (and I don't mean to offend anyone) but I hate, hate, hate when people shave dogs not meant to be shaved. Think Goldens, Shelties, Border collie, Collie, Aussie, Pyrenees, Husky, Malamute, Lab, German Shepherd, etc. Yes, I have seen people shave short haired dogs like labs. I don't understand it, but I see it. Be aware-repeated shaving of these dogs often causes the hair to eventually fail to regrow like normal. It will be fuzzy, short, dull, patchy and irregular in length. It's easy to spot a dog that has been repeatedly shaved-in my opinion, they look terrible. Sort of like what you would expect a hypothyroid dog on cheap dog food to look like. So consider yourself warned!
As far as shaving your dog to keep them cool the jury is out. I have read lots of threads on shaving on a well known veterinary forum and the opinions vary widely. I will stick with recommending not to shave and encourage use of the good old AC but others will likely have another opinion.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
...enjoying the 'dog days of summer'. We hope you and your canine pals are finding ways to stay cool and making the most of the summer we have left. We are! We will be back with lots of pictures to share and will be looking forward to seeing yours too!
In the meantime, Happy DOT's from
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!
Friday, July 30, 2010
Penny here again. I know I'm preaching to the choir for all the folks who read this blog, but it's really nasty hot in most of the Northern Hemisphere right now. So remember those of us with heavy fur coats in this weather. Make sure we have lots of water and shade to stay in (if we're not ensconced in your houses).
And please, please... don't leave us in the car!!!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Hello everybody! Penny here, with this week's Dogs on Thursday! I hope everyone has had a good month since we last barked. I'm feeling much better and am back to my old bossy self.
Here in the US, we celebrate our independence on July 4th. I was a tiny puppy last year, so I really didn't pay any attention to what was going on around me. I was pretty content to let Mom and Dad handle security. But now that I'm a Big Dog, I have responsibilities to protect our house, and I take 'em seriously.
Evidently on July 4th, people insist on setting off fireworks. Fireworks are very noisy things that are no doubt a threat to our house and our pack. They sound just like thunder! And you can't see them coming either. I had to be constantly on guard. Sounded like they came from both sides of the house, so I was on the run all night, looking out windows to see if I could find out where they were coming from. I wanted to find the cowards and put an end to it! And of course, I had to sound the alarm by barking so that I could let everyone know we were under attack.
The problem was, around here, people do a lot of celebrating. They celebrated the week before the 4th and all during that week. I was exhausted from all the work I was doing.
I'm wondering who I have to bark at to get these things taken away. This is just a lot of work for a Big Dog like me! Maybe I should get Mom and Dad to take me on vacation next year...
I'll bark at you next month!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
In my last post, I had requested that if anyone knows of, is involved in, or supports a fundraising event that benefits our canine friends to leave a comment and I will be happy to post it here in our forum. Here is today's in the spotlight submitted by Vivian and her son Henry...
How this all started
Henry is going to have the entire August off with no summer camp or pretty much anything planned. In all the years I’ve been working we always had a place to “stash” him (day care, school, after school care, nanny, grand parents, summer camps, all of them). I’m starting a business so I work from home most of the time and not making any money. It seems logical to save the money and keep him at home and let me entertain him.
That’s a tall order. I just hope we both survive the month.
So I have to get creative and come up with something challenging. Henry loves animals. Henry likes working on a project, keeping track of things, and taking charge. Henry can take pictures, write, and do math.
Here is my grand idea:
Campaign: Four Weeks 40 blankets
During the month of August, Henry and I will collect 40 blankets on bahalf of Humane Society of Silicon Valley. We will cordinate with our friends and family, advertise through assorted organizations we belong to, as well as Freecycle and Craigslist. We will pick up the donations from homes and businesses, and drop them off every Friday at Humane Society office. We will also collect toys, food, medications that people want to donate. We will keep track of the donations, take pictures, blog about our experience, and set up a Facebook Page to share with our followers.
We have received blessing from Humane Society and we can turn in whatever we collect. So we are on track for a kick start!
Please drop on over to 4 Weeks, Forty Blankets to show your support. I am sure they would welcome your comments as well as your blanket ;-)
If you know of a project, fundraiser, etc. to help rescues, non profit shelters, or a fundraiser please leave a comment or email me directly to thegardener63ataoldotcom.
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
This month I'm going to spend a little time explaining one of the more common and simple tests that your dog may need at some point in his or her life. This is one of my favorite tests to perform as it is quick, easy, and and give us important information!
A fine needle aspirate or FNA is also known as a needle biopsy. This is a simple procedure that is no more painful to your pet than giving a vaccination or other injection. The procedure involves placing a small needle into a tumor or mass on, in, or under your pet’s skin. Cells or other material are then removed from the mass with the needle and placed on a slide. The slide is then stained and the material evaluated under a microscope. There may be a small amount of bleeding or oozing from the puncture site, but no other side effects are typical.
This is a simple, nearly painless, cost effective procedure that can help us identify many abnormal structures on your pet. If a benign mass such as a cyst, lipoma, or histiocytoma is identified then you and your pet will be able to avoid a more expensive and more painful surgery. If a more serious mass such as a mast cell tumor or melanoma are identified then we know we need to schedule a surgery right away. Sometimes we get a sample that is difficult to interpret or has unusual characteristics and we send the slide to a certified pathologist to help us find out what is going on with your pet so we know the next step in treatment.
This test is also very quick and can be performed in the clinic laboratory so you will know the results before you leave!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
In our area we have had several fundraisers recently for our local Humane Societies. In Crawford County there was the Barking Lot event...
awesome fundraiser for an awesome non-profit rescue!
How about in your area? Any events going on that you would like to share the information about? Please leave a comment, and we will be glad to post the information!
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Penny here. I've been sick this month. Not to worry, because I'm ok now, but I want to alert you to what was wrong.
I had some tummy troubles -- wasn't feeling so well and threw up several times. The last time had blood in it. Mom and Dad took me to the Emergency Vet. Mom was scared that I had Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE), which was something my brother Oscar had a number of times. I had had it when I was only 8 months old. All I knew is that I didn't feel good at all.
The emergency vet was very nice even though they had to stick me a couple of times and take some blood. They measured something called Packed Cell Volume that measured how thick my blood was and it turns out it was too high. I did indeed have HGE again. They told Mom and Dad I'd have to spend the night there to get fluids. Mom was pretty upset about having to leave me, but I knew she'd come back to get me. They shaved my pretty fur off my front leg and put an IV in it to give me fluids, but I still kept throwing up more blood. Took awhile but they got my tummy settled down and I went to sleep.
The next morning, Mom came to get me and I went to my vet and I had to stay again to get more fluids. I guess I was pretty sick since they kept me in the hospital. I got to go home late in the afternoon. Mom got a roasted chicken for me to eat since my tummy was still tender, and she gave me my medicine in pieces of Velveeta cheese. Velveeta cheese is very yummy!!
I wanted everyone to know about HGE because my mom has really researched it on the internet, and it turns out that a lot of dogs die from it because their folks think it's "just an upset tummy" or "just a little diarrhea." They don't take their dogs to the vet in time to get medicine for them. So I want to let people know if their pet doesn't stop having these symptoms after a little while, they need to get them some medical care. It's very important.
I want all dogs to have a long, healthy life so they can boss their people around just like I do!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Link sent in by Rose and MaggieMae.
I wanted to share a bit of information with you all that I just found out. After having HoneyDew for going on 7 years, she has come down with her first bad ear infection. Ear infections are common with any drop ear dog but Bassets are very susceptible to them. The vet prescribed a course of antibiodics for her. I asked him if I get them at the regular drugstore or where could I get them? He explained that Giant Eagle carried them for dogs and this particular type was on a list that Giant Eagle would fill for FREE!
Yes you read that correctly. I didn't know that! All you have to do is show them your Giant Eagle Card. I don't know if you have Giant Eagle in your area, but maybe another grocery chain with a pharmacy may offer this type of program. In this economy, it is worth looking into!
And yes HoneyDew is doing much better.
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
In the past we have talked about routine blood testing. This month we will discuss a little about routine urine testing as it often goes hand in hand with blood testing.
Although it can sometimes be a challenge to obtain a urine sample from your pet, it is a very important test, especially in older pets. It is ideal for your vet to evaluate a urine sample on your pet at the time of his or her annual bloodwork and exam.
Urine screening can help the doctor identify systemic diseases such as diabetes or liver disease as well as disease more specific to the urinary tract.
Routine urinalysis can help identify signs of bladder infections, inflammation, and crystals which may eventually lead to bladder stones if left untreated.
Urine testing can also tell us if your pet has protein in the urine which can be a sign of many different disease processes. We can also evaluate the concentration of the urine-this lets us know how well the kidneys are functioning and gives us clues as to if your pet is drinking abnormal amounts of water.
Check with your vet to see when and how they would like the urine sample obtained. For most routine screenings a "free catch" sample is just fine. But if there are specific concerns the doctor may want a more sterile collection method or first catch in the morning for example.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Did you know:
- In New Zealand, a dog named Tisha protected and raised orphaned rabbits.
- In 1910, Jean the Bitagraph dog (a collie mix), became the first dog to star in American movie.
- Dog whiskers are called vibrissae. Located on the muzzle, above the eyes and below the jaws, vibrissae can sense very small changes in airflow.
- According to legend, a dog named Soter was the only one of fifty watchdogs to survive an attack by invaders and warn the citizens of Corinth of the impending seige.
- In 1957, a Russian Dog named Laika was the first living creature to go to space.
- Studies indicate dogs can detect autism in children.
- From 1993 to 1998, Shanda a golden retriever, was mayor of the small town of Guffey, CO.
- Saur a dog belonging to a king of Norway during the 11th century became king for three years. The king had been deposed and, when he returned to power, he named Saur king and forced everyone to treat the dog royally because of the indignity the king had suffered.
Here's hoping you all have a wonderful week with your royal prince or princesses!
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Hi everyone! Penny here. Since the last time we barked, I've been on a vacation! I took my very first out of state trip with my pack. Mom and Dad were nervous about how I'd behave, but of course, a Princess has to be on her best behavior at all times with her subjects, so naturally, I put my best paw forward!
Yeah, that's me... sacked out in the stroller. Being a Princess is hard work!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
How can I say this in a manner that won't offend or upset any of our readers?
Maybe just by saying up front that this post is not to criticize but rather to educate anyone who comes across this page if they would happen to google puppies or dogs.
It has happened again in our neighborhood where a person has gone to a pound and adopted a puppy only to surrender it to the same pound in less then a year when the puppy has grown into all 75 pounds.
The reason? They didn't realize it was going to be so big, it wasn't obedient, it barked and they have neighbors, etc.
Did they spend time walking, playing, grooming, teaching, etc. on a daily basis? NO. Did they take it for basic obedience training? NO. What they did do was upon advise of an "expert" was to put a shock collar on the puppy that would shock the puppy when it barked. Of course with disasterous results, ie. the puppy would bark again, then yelp, then howl, etc...
I would encourage anyone who knows of someone who is about to adopt an adult dog or puppy to take the following list with them:
--Is this dog an owner turn-in, a stray dog, or a shelter save? Most likely, the shelter will have more information if it is an owner turn-in.
--Why did the owners give him up? Did the family give any information about the dog? It will be helpful for you to find out everything you can about the dog’s past so you can train him well.
--What is the age of the dog (it can be approximate)? If it is a rescue dog, he can range anywhere from 8 weeks to 15 years.
--How long has this dog been in the shelter or foster care? If he has been in the shelter for a long time, he may have some kennel-related behavior issues, and may have a need for remedial housetraining. If the dog has been with a foster family for awhile, the family may give you valuable information about him.
--Upon arrival, has he had any medical or behavioral problems? They may or may not be serious.
--What kind of medical treatment has the dog had? See if there are any treatments that need to continue or if there is any long term effect.
--While in the foster home or shelter, has the dog been getting any training or socialization? Does the training need to keep going?
--Are there any training or behavior issues that need to be addressed, such as housetraining or dog aggression? Make sure you can handle these issues.
--What is the activity level of this dog? What are the exercise needs? Choose a dog who has the activity level that is the same as yours.
--Will this dog be compatible with my lifestyle? A shelter or a rescue should be able to help you find a perfect dog for your lifestyle.
--Does the dog have any signs of aggression with people or animals? If the dog has aggressive behavior, he will need extra training. Don’t choose this dog if you have no idea how to train an aggressive dog.
--Does the dog prefer a certain type of people—men, women, kids, or the elderly? Try for a good match, even though dogs are adaptable.
--Does the dog need to have another dog in the house? When you are adopting, don’t forget about your existing pets.
--What is the return policy of this rescue group or shelter? Will they take the dog back if the new home doesn’t work out for him or he has a major medical problem? If the dog has major medical or behavior problems, a good shelter or rescue group will usually accommodate a return.
--Has the dog been altered and has he got his first vaccines and worming? Usually this will be done. However, the majority of the municipal shelters will do just the bare minimum.
or buying a puppy:
--Have I found the right breed to fit into my lifestyle and home?
--How big will this dog get?
--What are the breed characteristics?
--Will you have enough time to spend training, grooming and exercising a dog?
--Am I willing to spend the resources to ensure the best future for a dog?
While I know that there can be extenuating circumstanes that some may have to make the decision to rehome a dog, too many "cute puppies" grow up to be very large dogs or have different characteristics then what a person expects and end up in the pound or rescue.
Luckily for the dog above, he was rescued from the pound and then finally adopted. I hope he has found his ever-after home this time!
Thank you for reading, I will get down off my soapbox now.
Give your dog a hug today,
Thursday, May 13, 2010
This post is about some of the more common disease of the eye seen in pets.
Nuclear or Lenticular sclerosis is a normal age related change of the lens. This is what gives your older dog that hazy look in his eye. This causes no appreciable vision loss, is not a cataract and does not proceed to blindness.
Cataracts are an opacity of the lens. They can be congenital, inherited, secondary to diabetes, traumatic, secondary to other intraocular disease, or toxins. There are other less common causes as well. Rate of progression is very variable and can take from days to years to reach full maturity and blindness. Cataracts can be surgically removed but patients must undergo some other testing to make sure they are an appropriate candidate for this procedure.
Conjunctivitis is a very common ocular disorder. This in inflammation or reddening of the conjunctiva, or the pink fleshly lining of the eye, essentially "pink eye." This is most commonly caused by allergies, infection, foreign objects or other irritants. It can be associated with ocular discharge of various character-serous (clear), mucoid (mucus), or mucopurulent (pus-like mucus). It is typically treated with drops or ointment containing a steroid plus or minus an antibiotic and usually resolves uneventfully. Some dogs with chronic allergies use these drops on a regular or as-needed basis. This can occur in one or both eyes.
Corneal ulcers are a scratch or defect in the cornea-the clear covering of the eye. This can be caused by any number of things-cat scratch, dog pawing at it's eye, running through the weeds/brush, etc. Uncomplicated superficial ulcers usually heal quickly and with no complications. They are treated with antibiotic drops and sometimes anti-inflammatory pain medications. E-collars are frequently placed if the animal is bothering the eye. Deep, infected, or chronically non-healing ulcers are treated more aggressively because the more weakened the cornea is the more chance there is for rupture of the cornea-a very serious side effect. These are often treated with more powerful antibiotics, serum from the dog's own blood, and various surgical procedures depending on the situation. Some of these are even serious enough to be treated by a specialist. Corneal ulcers are especially prevalent in dogs like pugs or boston terriers due to their ocular conformation.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or Dry Eye is a deficiency of tear production. This leads to inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva with secondary ulcers, infection, and pigmentation of the cornea. This a disease that is very painful left untreated and typically requires life-long therapy. Causes can be congenital (rare), drug induced, autoimmune-mediated inflammation, endocrine and other systemic diseases. Diagnosis is made by measuring the amount of tears produced in a minute. A strip of paper is placed under the lower eyelid which has millimeters marked on it with a dye. As the tear fluid flows up the paper the dye is diluted and shows "how many" tears the pet has made. Treatment is aimed at clearing up any infection and keeping the eye hydrated. Artificial tears are used as often as possible, especially in the early stages. Topical cyclosporine is the gold standard of treatment and helps to increase the tear production of the affected eye. Other options are available if cyclosporine does not work but can be very expensive.
Glaucoma is a painful condition where the pressure inside the eye rises above normal. The pressure rises because of an increased production of the fluid inside the eye, or an inability for the fluid to drain. This condition, in addition to causing discomfort, can lead to blindness. Signs of glaucoma include a dilated pupil, reddening of the conjunctiva, enlargement of the eye, a blue color to the eye and signs of pain or vision loss. Treatment for glaucoma varies widely from patient to patient based on time of presentation ( if caught early enough, emergency treatment can be instituted to save vision), goal of the owner (maintain comfort vs. vision vs. maintain eye), demeanor of the dog (many topical meds will need to be given) and financial limitations. Treatment can include hospitalization, referral to a specialist, medications, and or surgery up to and including removal of the eye.
Most often ocular related problems are simple and non-emergent. But because some of them are truly emergencies and require aggressive therapy is it best not to "wait and see" when your dog is having an eye problem. Sometimes even a matter of a few hours can make a difference and there is not a way to tell over the phone if your pet is having one of those problems. As you have noticed a lot of eye problems can present as redness and squinting-but some are more serious than others!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Our apologies that this post is so late and a very quick one at that. Our grandma arrived from way down south somewhere so our mom is taken up with her and other human family!
Grandma came with some treats, but she forgot to bring Izzy, so Sampson has been very cross with her. He even growls at her! Mom gives him time out in his kennel when he does this.
I of course, have been Grandma's angel, and give her lots of slobbers so she won't miss Izzy as much.
HoneyDew (Doggy Angel) Switzer
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Hello!! Hope everyone is doing well! I know you haven't heard from me in a long while and so much has been going on! Work has been busy and life is going to be getting even busier.
We recently found out that we are pregnant!! Yes, Jackjack and Abigail are going to have a human sibling! My due date is not until Nov, however, I have a lot to do before then and a lot on my plate. With saying this, I was hoping that someone would step up and kindly take over this blog. Paula passed this down to me a while ago and we have posters but It would be great if someone could take a more pro-active role as leader. Being pregnant, I am wanting to cut back on the responsibilities that I have and focus on getting my life ready for an addition. I never really planned to be the primary person in charge of this blog...as much as I love our community...I already have a lot that I'm committed too. I kept it going when no one else wanted to take over and I think it's time for me to step away. I hope that by stepping down from the blog I might actually end up posting to my own blog again but as of right now I barely post there either.
So, here is my plea! If you would like to take over and help keep the posters organized and make sure the mr. linky gets posted. Please please please contact me!
In preparation for the summer heat coming...here are two pictures of my pups swimming at my friends house! They have so much fun!!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Hello all! Penny here for yet another late edition of Dogs on Thursday. I'm pondering whether or not to fire my typist, considering she's late getting my post up yet again. This time her excuse is that we have visitors here in the den -- some friends from out of town. Problem is that my typist also is responsible for my dinner, and I don't want to jeopardize the continuing stream of food and goodies that come my way. Guess I'm going to have to find a keyboard designed especially for pups.
I don't know how all of you welcome people into your home, but I have a carefully skilled methodology. First, I stand up on my hind legs and put both of my front paws on their legs. This makes sure they notice me right off. Then, once they've seen me, I make sure to lay right down in front of them so they can give me belly rubs. I can tell right off if I'm gonna like someone based on if they give me belly rubs! And considering I'm an adorable princess, they should really like me.
Our guests have been here a couple of days, and I'm doing my best to make them feel right at home. My favorite way is the toe nibble. Once someone feels comfortable enough to take off their shoes, I go right for the toes. I hear my mom saying "no toes" in the background, but really, who can resist an adorable puppy nibbling on their toes? One of my mom's friends has particularly tasty toes. I'm going to be very sad when she leaves.
The warmer weather here has brought out some interesting creatures. Last time I told you about chasing a duck. A couple of days ago, I saw a bunny and I took off after it! Silly rabbit hid under some bushes and my dad wouldn't let me go after him. I could have totally taken the bunny. Dad now says I might like to be an earthdog. I thought I already was one considering I'm a dachshund and all. You can't get much closer to the earth than I am!
I hope all of you enjoy the spring and survive the pollen ( I had to have a b-a-t-h because my coat had gotten green from being outdoors in it and my mom was sneezing). I'll bark at you next month!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Endocrine diseases are some of my least favorite topics. They can be confusing and complicated and hard for clients (and often veterinarians) to understand. Today I thought I would do an overview of some of the more common endocrine diseases in dogs in hopes that it might help someone better understand them, or what to be watching for in their own pet.
Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland and is the most common endocrine disorder of the dog. Fortunately it is also the simplest! The thyroid gland can be thought of as the metabolic control center of the body. So, in simple terms, everything slows down when the thyroid gland is not working enough (not producing enough thyroid hormone). The most common cause of this is idiopathic atrophy, meaning that the thyroid tissue is replaced by fatty tissue for unknown reasons, and lymphocytic thyroiditis, which is an inflammatory condition that allows the thyroid tissue to be replaced other kinds of cells. Neither of these conditions is a cancer or systemic disease. It is limited to the thyroid gland and all the effects are secondary to the lack of hormone production.
Common signs of hypothyroidism include lethargy, weight gain with a normal to decreased appetite, dull, dry coat including hair loss, seeking warm places to sleep, and decreased heart rate. There are other, less frequent signs, including seizures, which can occur if left untreated.
Diagnosis is made by simple blood testing. The most common test and usually the first one run is total T4 level. If this is low, then there will likely be some follow up testing to confirm the diagnosis. Usually this is active or unbound T4. Most thyroid hormone circulating is bound to a protein which makes it inactive. The total T4 tests the bound (inactive) hormone plus the unbound (active ) hormone. It's only the active we really care about. So the second test will give us that result and confirm the diagnosis. If your vet strongly suspects your dog is hypothyroid then they may run both tests at the same time, or some other thyroid panel, depending on their lab. The second test is relatively expensive, so the T4 is usually done first as a screening test.
Treatment for hypothyroidism is simple and involves giving your dog a small pill of synthetic thyroid hormone. This is usually given twice daily and is life long. There will be some follow up testing to make sure the dose is correct but once stable testing will only need to be done once or twice a year.
Diabetes Mellitus is a lack of insulin production which subsequently decreases uptake of glucose from the blood stream into the cells. The initial cause of the decreased insulin production is not well understood but could include pancreatic disease, obesity, genetics, infection, immune-mediated, or rarely neoplasia.
Hallmark signs of diabetes are increased urination and thirst along with weight loss with a normal to increased appetite. Cataracts are another common finding. Left untreated, pets with diabetes can develop a severe condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis. Dogs with this advanced problem will often have decreased appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. These dogs typically require hospitalization and intensive care.
Diagnosis can be as simple as a blood glucose test and urinalysis (excess glucose spills into the urine). It is advisable, however, to have a more thorough blood testing done to screen for other concurrent or underlying problems. Abdominal radiographs or ultrasound are a good idea as well, although they are normal in most cases.
Treatment is aimed at controlling the clinical signs and regulating the blood glucose levels. This is typically done with a special diet and insulin administration. Usually the insulin is given twice daily (yes, you will have to give your dog an injection but the needle is very small!). Your veterinarian will likely have you do some monitoring at home and adjust the insulin dose based on these results. Usually this is with urine testing but some people purchase a glucose meter and do blood testing at home. Your vet will also likely do some blood glucose testing in the clinic, frequently at first, and then less as your pet become regulated and the correct dose of insulin is found.
Diabetic cataracts can be removed in most cases by an ophthalmologist. Dogs with diabetes are predisposed to urinary tract infections and doing a urinalysis or culture 1-2 times a year is frequently recommended.
Hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing's Disease
Cushing's disease is production of too much cortisol hormone by the adrenal gland. Most cases of Cushing's disease are caused by a benign tumor in the pituitary gland. The tumor causes an increase in an intermediate hormone that subsequently causes the adrenal gland to work overtime. A few dogs with Cushing's disease will have a tumor in the adrenal gland itself.
The most common signs are increased urination and thirst, increased appetite, a pot-bellied appearance, increased panting, hair loss, and muscle weakness.
Diagnosis can be complicated and expensive. Results of basic bloodwork and clinical signs can often give your vet a suspicion of Cushing's disease. The degree of suspicion often dictates which test will be run next. Frequently it takes multiple tests to finally arrive at the diagnosis.
There are currently several drugs that have been tried in the treatment of Cushing's disease. Unfortunately most (or all, I have not priced them all) are relatively expensive and some can have significant side effects if given inappropriately. Follow up tests (again, expensive) are then done to make sure dosing is at the desired level. Control of clinical signs is also a primary treatment goal. Some dogs have blood tests that indicate early Cushing's disease but no clinical signs. These dogs are usually just monitored and not treated until more abnormalities develop. Radiation therapy can be used in dogs with large pituitary tumors and removal of the adrenal gland is the recommended treatment for dogs with adrenal tumors.
Generally speaking these are all disease of middle-aged to older dogs. Hope this had been informative!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Quote for today:
Some of the great (and humerous) mysteries of dogdom:
- Why or what is it about a particular scent that determines/dictates that a dog rolls in it or pees on it?
- Why does time after time a dog eat grass only to throw it right back up?
- Why does a dog have to sniff over the same area to pee, every time it goes out even though its the same space of yard and was sniffed as well only an hour ago before it will finally settle on a spot to pee, is it used or something?
- Why is the other toy, bone, or fluffy in the other dogs mouth always better then the one in it's own?
- Last but not least why does it suddenly occur to both dogs that the only comfortable place in the house is directly behind your ankles when you are busy in the kitchen!!!
Happy DOT's from,
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Hello all! Penny here. Yeah, I'm late. My typist used the lame excuse that she's been doing taxes to try to get more money to buy me dog toys. Really. I deserve dog toys, treats, and everything else I can get. I'm a princess, after all.
I'm now a year old. My birthday was March 12. Mom informs me that I'll no longer be able to use that "puppy" excuse for not listening to her when she tells me what to do. Except now I'll play the "dachshund card", since we dachshunds are notoriously independent thinkers. Think cats in a canine body. Kind of a "what have you done for me lately?" mentality. Show me the treats and I'll think about doing it.
Since we last barked, we've had a little bit of warmer weather here in Georgia. That means I can get out and walk around with my pack. We live near a lake, and just a couple of days ago, I saw what my dad says were ducks. They were great fun to run after! Except they had the advantage of being able to fly away from me. Cowards. I seriously think I could take a duck. Dad muttered something about me being a bird dog. I'm an earthdog! Whatever that means.
We're having more thunder here too. Mom says it's spring storms. Kind of scary, but I keep barking at it and it goes away. I'm quite proud of myself for it.
Are any of you going on vacation this year? Mom says we may travel and stay in something called a hotel. Mom says there are lots of places that allow pets like me and that it's a great idea to travel with your pet. She says we're going to stay in a hotel close to home to give me a try out and see if my barking gets us kicked out. I'm a watchdog! I have to bark to scare away intruders! What does she expect me to do? But, evidently I'm going to have to learn to be quiet in certain situations. This is going to be really interesting for all of us... It would be sort of embarrassing for my folks for me to get us kicked out, I guess.
Until next time... here is me in my favorite spot:Sometimes it's good to be a pup.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Previously I wrote about senior wellness screening that your vet may want to perform on your pet. Today we are going to revisit senior wellness but from a "what can I dog at home?" perspective.
1. Lump and Bump check: Once a month feel all over your dog, checking for new lumps that may be under or on the skin. Many of these may be benign age related changes but only a quick needle biopsy can tell for sure. Also check for lumps under the chin, armpits, groin and behind the knees (back legs). These are places were lymph nodes are and enlarged lymph nodes are also something that needs to be checked out right away.
2. Dental care: If you are able it’s best to brush your dog’s teeth. If you can’t then at least try to take a quick look in the mouth and look for obvious signs of disease-heavy tartar, red or bleeding gums, irregular gum tissue or tumors.
3. Diet: Feed your older dog an appropriate diet. Your vet may prescribe a prescription diet if you pet has certain diseases like kidney failure, heart failure, or diabetes. But even if they don’t have a specific condition older pets have different metabolic needs and will need a quality senior diet.
4. Exercise: Just because your dog is older and less active doesn’t mean he should become a couch potato. Light exercise is still good to keep the muscles strong and joints loose. Go for shorter walks if needed or don’t throw the ball as far or as much but still let them exercise. Keeping your older dog lean will lessen the problems he or she may have with arthritis as well.
5. Weight: Monitor and write down your pet’s weight every month or so. When we see our pet every day it’s harder to notice a gradual weight loss or gain. But both of these changes, especially weight loss can indicate a serious problem that needs to be addresses.
6. Supplements: Two supplements that I think are great for any older dog are Glucosamine/Chondroitin and Fish oil (fatty acids). Glucosamine/chondroitin help slow down the process of arthritis as well as reduce some of the discomfort. My favorite brand is Cosequin or Dasuquin-both from Nutramax laboratories. Since nutracueticals are not regulated many of them don’t contain what they claim they do and may not be bioavailable to dogs. These two supplements are proven to be reputable. Fish oils are anti-inflammatory and are useful for many conditions such as arthritis, heart, kidney, and skin disease.
7. Eating and drinking habits: Keep an eye on your dog's eating and drinking habits. Decreases in eating can be caused by a variety of problems . Unexpected weight loss or gain in relation to appetite are also cause for concern. For example weight loss with good appetite or weight gain with normal to decreased appetite are not normal. Watching the food intake and the weight will help you notice these things. Increased water consumption is also a sign of several age related diseases that need to be further investigated.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Hello everyone! Penny here again. Since I arfed at you last time about all the things I have to watch out for with my humans, I've found another. They call it "thunder". I call it a big booming noise that comes out of nowhere. Know what I did? I barked at it!! One of my very fiercest barking frenzies, if I do say so myself. Did the job and the thunder went away. My humans, however, were not as impressed. They kept muttering something about it being 4 in the morning. I don't care what time it was... I always have to be on guard!
I got to do something else new too. We had snow!!!Now, my humans tell me that for a lot of you, snow is no big deal. But I was born and raised in Georgia... right in the Atlanta area. And for us, it's really unusual to get the three inches of snow that we got. Why, it was right up to my chest!
My mommy was a little upset that I was out in the snow without my jacket... but I couldn't wait to get out to play in it and I was crying at the door!I ran and played... there was so much to sniff! I think I could have stayed outside all afternoon, but mommy was afraid my paws would get too cold. Hasn't she seen that I have a lot of fur on them??(I just know a squirrel had been somewhere around this tree. Cowardly devil wouldn't come out to face me!)
So, I had to come in, and mommy wrapped me up in a warm blankie, but I kept vigil at the window just in case something came within my line of sight that I thought was a threat. Ok I did fall asleep. A couple of times. Well, more than a couple of times. But I would have sprung into action at a moment's notice.
I hope we get more snow this winter. From what I hear, I'm the only one who hopes that.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
We would like to offer our congratulations to "Sadie" the Scottish Terrier for her Best in Show win, as well as all the dogs who placed in their Group category and Best in Breed. I for one know that my pups and I enjoyed watching the event unfold over the two night viewing. I think I would not make it as a judge as everyone would be going home with a big blue ribbon!
Another group that deserves a round of applause is Pedigree Foundation who were sponsors for the Westminster event. I know they paid for and got a lot of advertisement for their dog food but did you know they did a donation drive for shelters and raised $205,000 in donations during the event which they will match! Not to mention their adoption promotion through out the program. For more information on this 501(c)(3) organization go here.
Happy Dog's On Thursday,
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
As a vet I see far too many unwanted, genetically disastrous, randomly bred dogs. I created this handout to help explain to people the merits of responsible breeding and why to consider adoption from a reputable shelter. Feel free to share this information with others!
The Truth About Dog Breeding and the Pet Overpopulation
Every year 6-8 million pets enter animal shelters 25% of which are purebred dogs*
Every year 3-4 million of these pets are euthanized*
*Estimates from the Humane Society of the U.S.
Before you breed….
The purpose of dog breeding is to perpetuate the genetic characteristics of an individually defined breed. To achieve this only the animals that best represent the breed should be used in a breeding program. These animals should fit the breed standard, have a proven performance or show record, have a genetic background clear of diseases and also have a quality temperament.
If the above standards are followed then only dogs that can improve the overall quality of the breed will be used in breeding programs. A considerable investment in time and money on the breeder’s part is required to ensure that this takes place. The breeder must be familiar with the breed standard and potential health and behavioral problems associated with that breed. In addition a responsible breeder will screen buyers of their puppies to make sure that they go to a home that understands the breed and is willing and able to provide a proper home for the puppy. A responsible breeder will also be willing to take back any puppy at any time in the dog’s life if the buyer becomes unable to care for it. Done correctly dog breeding is likely to cost money-not make money and this should not be the motivation behind breeding dogs. The proper motivation for breeding is to continue to improve upon the breed and carry on the traits of that breed for others to enjoy.
Spaying and Neutering can prevent accidental litters as well as reduce the risk and incidence of certain medical conditions. It can also reduce aggression, marking, roaming and other unwanted behaviors.
Before you buy….
Consider adopting your next pet from an animal shelter or breed rescue.
Be sure to have your current pets spayed and neutered.
Avoid shopping at stores that sell puppies-most of these come from puppy mills and irresponsible breeders.
If you just can’t find the perfect pet in a shelter or rescue then be sure to do some research before buying from a breeder-don’t be afraid to ask questions and visit the kennel. You should be able to see the parents of your puppy!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
One can only hope that this is the start of a trend so we dog lovers can have more options. As an owner of two bassets (and one of them
As for the picture above, technology has come a long way and while we aren't quite to the point of having our pups drive us about, I wouldn't rule it out!
Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Hello everyone! Penny here. Hope everyone's having a good month and had a good New Year's celebration.
I'm now 10 months old. According to some of the books my mom reads, I can be considered an adult dog. I'm here to tell you that I'm a Big Dog, regardless of what some may consider my diminutive size. At last weigh-in, I was 12.8 pounds of dachshund fury (ignore those people who maintain that I'm a bit....er... "fluffy"... I'm big boned. Yeah, that's it.).Don't I look fierce??
I'm telling you, I'm the one in charge here. My main job is that of watchdog, and it's a big responsibility. I have to keep an ear out for everything!
Did you know that once a week, my humans foolishly leave belongings outside for people to take?? Large trucks drive up and men get out and load the belongings into the truck then drive off! I have to bark fiercely in an attempt to drive them away. They leave, but unfortunately I haven't been able to persuade my people to let me outside to rescue the belongings before they're loaded in the truck. They keep muttering something about "garbage".
And they allow just anyone to walk in front of our house! With other dogs! Really. How careless. These invaders could be scheming to take the rest of our belongings, including all of the dog cookies I've carefully hidden all around the house. I have to bark fiercely to scare them away too.
And that person in the Big Brown Truck! He assaults our house on a regular basis. He sneaks up and rings the doorbell, hears me barking and runs. Coward. If only my people would open the door quicker, I'd show him a thing or two. He'd be wearing my teeth prints in his ankles!
We're even being assaulted from the air! Day after day I hear things overhead that my people say are "airplanes". I just know they're coming for us. Again, it's up to me to bark fiercely. So far, so good. They've all disappeared.
Sometimes, in the dead of night, I have to bark randomly just to scare away anything that might be thinking of approaching our den. My people don't understand this at all. They refer to it as a "mystery bark". It's not a mystery to me; it's a well-honed protection system at work. They just don't appreciate it in action.
I'm telling you, it's a big job taking care of these people. I think I deserve a cookie.