Tag Archives: health

How Green Vegetables Help Your Dog’s Kidneys

Dogs can develop health problems during their lifetimes. Dogs may have issues with their kidneys as they age. You should bring your dog to the veterinarian for annual exams on a regular basis. The veterinarian will help you manage the animals health in a variety of ways and can identify problems before they become serious.

If you have concerns about your dog’s long term health, talk to your veterinarian about how best to care for your pet. Veterinarians can recommend the best selection of cheap dog food, as well as one for higher price, and help you manage other concerns. Diet is of particular importance because your dog needs certain nutrients to thrive. There are some foods with health benefits that you may not be aware of. You may be surprised if your veterinarian makes suggestions you don’t expect. One of these may be to feed your dog certain green vegetables.

Your veterinarian may recommend that you feed your dog green vegetables to help protect its kidneys. You can give the vegetables in small amounts, especially when you first introduce them. Good vegetable choices include broccoli, strawberry tops and Swiss chard. Asparagus can provide your dog with vitamins including Vitamin A, B1, B2, C, E and other essential nutrients.

Cucumbers and celery can help to promote kidney health. Other helpful greens include collard greens, mustard greens, bok choy, dandelion greens and cabbage. Since dogs typically don’t chew their food, you may need to boil the vegetables or put them into a food processor. Kale is a superfood for humans and can provide many health benefits to dogs. It can prevent cancer and heart disease. Kale is packed with antioxidants which can improve health.

Some vegetables can cause health problems for your dog so be sure to consult with your veterinarian before introducing diet changes. For example, spinach is a bad choice for your dog’s diet. It contains oxalates which can be toxic to the animal’s kidneys in large amounts. Avoid parsley as it can cause diarrhea. Ask for the best vegetables and guidance on how to change the animal’s diet. Your veterinarian will recommend that you introduce new foods slowly so that the dog doesn’t experience stomach upset.

Preventative Medicine

healthy puppyAn important part of long-term pet health care is preventative medicine. Animals are vulnerable to a wide range of illnesses and injury. Many of these can be slowed or eliminated with preventative medicine. You can work with your veterinarian to learn more about the best preventative medicine for your pet.

One of the most fundamental kinds of preventative medicine is vaccinations. These can ward off a wide range of problems like feline leukemia, parasites, rabies, distemper, hepatitis and parovirus, among others. There are some optional vaccines that your veterinarian may recommend depending on where you live, the pet’s age and your lifestyle.

An annual exam is a key part of preventative medicine. Annual exams are not just a time to update vaccinations. A veterinarian can learn a lot about your pet through an annual exam. If your dog or cat has gained a significant amount of weight, the animal should be tested for diabetes. If your pet has diabetes, you can manage it through a weight loss diet and medication. If the animal is slowly gaining weight, your veterinarian may recommend a food change to prevent more weight gain.

There are some issues that affect certain breeds of animals that should be checked on a regular basis. Certain types of animals may develop joint problems or heart issues that can be managed if they are checked regularly. Your veterinarian can also administer screening tests and genetic screening tests so that you can develop a plan for the animal’s long-term health.

Dental health is an often-overlooked part of preventative medicine. Many animals are vulnerable to gum disease which is not only painful for the animal but can affect the pet’s general health. Your veterinarian may recommend daily or weekly brushings and annual professional cleanings.

Dogs need annual heartworm testing and should receive a prescription for heartworm prevention medications. Depending on your location, the doctor may also recommend tick and flea control actions. Older male cats are vulnerable to urinary tract problems which your veterinarian can assess on an annual basis. If these issues aren’t addressed, the animal can experience a great deal of pain. Over the long term, these problems can threaten your pet’s life. That’s why prevention is so important for animals.

My Dog’s Nose is Swollen. What Should I Do?

Pets can develop some odd symptoms when they are ill. Dogs sometimes have swollen noses. While this may seem more amusing than concerning, it can actually be a sign of a serious problem. You should consult your veterinarian immediately if your dog’s nose swells.

pet allergiesDogs and cats can contract a fungal infection called aspergillosis. This infection can be disseminated or nasal. The nasal version attacks the dog’s sinuses, nose and nasal passages. Your veterinarian will need to examine the dog to determine if aspergillosis is present. Dogs typically contract this infection from direct contact. Since dogs tend to sniff almost everything, it’s easy for them to contract this sort of fungus through dust, grass clippings or hay. The veterinarian may perform a variety of tests such as a nasal swab or cultures from nasal discharges.

Nasal aspergillosis is simple to treat. Your veterinarian will apply an antifungal drug to the dog’s nasal passages and nose. The dog will need to be anesthetized for this treatment and then, you will need to monitor your dog to make sure he doesn’t show signs of the problem in the future.

Allergies can cause your dog’s nose to swell. Dogs can be allergic to pesticides, foods, grass, pollen and other irritants. Usually, a swollen nose is one of the first signs of allergies. You should consult your veterinarian to make sure the allergy isn’t severe. If it is, it could affect your dog’s breathing over time.

It’s important to have regular dental treatments for your dog. If your dog’s nose swells, it may be a sign of an infected tooth or gum disease. Your veterinarian can examine the dog and determine if the animal needs special treatment. Regular cleanings will prevent dental problems in most dogs.

Dogs get in to lots of things. Active dogs run around, play, run into bushes, yards and other places. Some get into scrapes with other dogs. They can easily hurt their noses. Often, a swollen nose is caused by a bruise, cut or a bite from another animal. Usually, these injuries heal quickly. Monitor the dog carefully for infection. You can clean the wound with a disinfectant and apply antibacterial ointment to the area. If it doesn’t heal or gets worse, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Do Pets Have Allergies?

pet allergiesDoes your pet sneeze? Does your dog chew his feet? Does he rub his face or constantly lick his groin? Is your cat wheezing? These are all signs of pet allergies, which can make animals very uncomfortable. If you are concerned, you should consult with your veterinarian. Allergies are frustrating but they can be treated successfully in most cases.

Allergies can lead to serious problems for pets. Some animals begin scratching their skin so hard that they develop sores and welts which are vulnerable to infection. Dogs get recurring ear infections. Cats may have scabs on their faces. Hair loss is another symptom of chronic allergies.

Pet owners aren’t always familiar with the signs of allergies which can vary depending on the type of animal. Some cats make frequent noises that sound like they have hairballs. This can actually be wheezing that is allergy-related asthma. A veterinarian can x-ray the cat’s lungs and determine if the animal has asthma, which can be easily treated. Your cat will be much more comfortable if the asthma is addressed.

What are pets typically allergic to? Often, they are sensitive to the same things as humans. They can have reactions to foods, grass, pollen, trees and medications. Fleas often trigger allergic reactions in animals. Your veterinarian will ask you detailed questions about your pet’s behavior and the substances the animal is exposed to.

Your veterinarian will recommend a variety of treatments based on the source of the allergen. If it’s food-based, you will need to change the pet’s diet. You may need to experiment with a few foods to find one that your pet both likes and tolerates. Your veterinarian may recommend changes in flea repellents and household cleaners. The animal may additional special treatment for seasonal allergies.

If your pet has a severe allergy, your veterinarian may prescribe an epi-pen. This is a treatment that is used on humans with severe allergies. When your pet is exposed to a bug bite, chemical or other serious allergen, you will need to inject the animal with the epi-pen. This will reduce the severity of the reaction until you can reach an emergency veterinarian.

Your Dog’s Emotional Well-Being

Dogs love their owners. Your dog is probably very excited every evening when you return home from work. However, if you work long hours or your dog has a sensitive personality, the situation can become stressful for your pooch. Many people use dog boarding facilities (aka doggie day care) to help their animals deal with the effects of long work hours.

pet careLonely animals can act out in a variety of ways. Some become depressed. Dogs are descended from pack animals so they naturally prefer to be around people and other animals. Some dogs get separation anxiety which can lead them to act out in unexpected ways. All dogs destroy something once in a while, but dogs with separation anxiety can become overly destructive. They may tear up furniture, chew on possessions like your favorite pair of shoes or bark excessively. Instead of viewing your dog as a nuisance, you should consider the dog’s emotional needs which are probably causing the issues.

If you can’t be home more often, consider doggie daycare for the times when you can’t be around. These facilities are designed to help keep animals entertained while their families are busy. Instead of sitting around the house feeling lonely and looking for trouble, your animal will get fresh air and exercise. At a dog boarding facility, the dog will interact with compatible animals and get a chance to feel like part of the pack for a while.

You can visit a dog boarding facility to see if it will be a good fit for your canine. Ask to see the play area and check to see if there are toys for animals to play with. Ask questions about how often the dog boarding staff takes the dogs out for walks. If your dog will interact with a lot of other animals, how will the staff prevent fighting? What are the credentials of the dog boarding company’s team? Are they trained to deal with different animal personalities? Do they know what to do in case of an emergency?

Even if you don’t use a dog boarding facility full-time, you may find that part-time use helps your dog cope with loneliness. Doggie daycares help provide the socialization that is so critical to a dog’s emotional well-being. They also help the pet get an appropriate amount of exercise which will keep your pet healthy and happy.

 

Addressing Pet Obesity

Veterinarians and pet advocates have become more concerned with pet obesity in recent years. There have been many public awareness campaigns to address the issue. Why is pet obesity such a concern? Just like in humans, weight issues can lead to a variety of health problems. Obese pets do not tend to live as long and they have reduced quality of life. They can develop heart disease and respiratory problems. Weight can create or advance arthritis. Excessive weight is also linked to a higher injury risk. It’s clear that your pet’s weight is an important part of its overall health.

pet obesityYour pet’s diet is an important part of weight management. Often, pet obesity becomes a problem because owners over feed their animals. It’s easy to do this with the best of intentions. Owners want to please their pets and sneak them snacks to show their love. Many pets beg for food regularly and if the strategy works, they will get in the habit of begging on a regular basis.

As pets age, their nutritional needs change. Older, less active cats and dogs do not have the same caloric needs that puppies and kittens have. If you have pets at different stages of life, they should not eat the same foods. It’s important that your pet’s diet is tailored to its age and activity level.

Exercise an important part of preventing pet obesity. All animals need daily exercise. You should take your dog for walks or give it an opportunity to run in the yard. If your dog is lethargic, you will need to interact with the animal to get it to move more often. Play games with the dog to get it to move more often. You’ll quickly see a difference.

It’s important to work with your veterinarian to deal with pet obesity issues. Your veterinarian can help you understand the full range of issues that contribute to pet obesity. These can include overfeeding, arthritis, age, lack of exercise, diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer. Before you attempt to treat pet obesity on your own, make an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she will do a full examination so you will have a full picture of your pet’s health. Then, you can formulate an effective weight management strategy.

 

What Causes My Dog To Scratch His Ears?

dog ear problemsKeeping your dog’s ears clean is vitally important, especially if you have a breed such as a spaniel, poodle, or basset hound where the ears hang down over the ear canal and there is a tendency for infection. Also, dogs like Labradors or pit bulls that love to swim or play with lawn sprinklers can have ongoing issues since their ear canals are being exposed to water and because of the way the canal is shaped water gets trapped causing infections. Professional ear cleaning at regular intervals not only makes your dog more comfortable, but in the long run, it could save your dog’s life. A professional dog groomer has the training and experience in order to properly clean your dog’s ears and keep him healthy.

Parasites, bacteria, and yeast like to hide in a dog’s ears. Without human intervention to clean these nasty buggers out, your dog can end up sick and irritated. Some dogs grow a lot of hair inside their ears, which make it easier for these problems to stay in your dog’s ears unnoticed. The hair can be difficult to remove, especially if it gets matted. Typically, the best way to remove this hair is to tweeze it, an undesirable job which most dog owners would rather not attempt.

Ear mites are parasites which actually eat the wax in a dog’s ears and lay their eggs in it. As the mites get more and more irritating, your dog will keep scratching at his ears with his paws, which will cause bloody scratches and sores on your dog’s ears. These sores may become infected. Eventually, after dealing with the mites awhile, the dog’s ears will release a serum that mixes in with this dark earwax and will block his ear canal. This causes more infection and eventually the dog will be in horrible pain and may lose his hearing.

A groomer can determine if your dog has mites by looking at the color of the wax. If the wax is dark, then your dog most likely has mites. A veterinarian can prescribe ear drops that will get rid of the mites.

If your dog is prone to yeast infections in his ears because of a food or other type of allergy, your best bet is to hire a groomer to clean the ears out a regular intervals. With some breeds, if you perform the ear cleaning at home, it may take you several hours a week to do it properly and you absolutely cannot skip cleaning sessions. If the ears are not cleaned properly, your dog may eventually develop hearing loss, pain, facial paralysis, and other neurological side effects such as loss of balance or severe headaches.