Common Health Concerns
A dry hacking cough, sometimes followed by gagging or vomiting. Prevention is through vaccination. As a complex of viruses and bacteria cause kennel cough, vaccination does not always fully protect your pet. If they do become infected with kennel cough, the symptoms are milder and shorter lived. Veterinarians will normally prescribe antibiotics to shorten the course of the disease and prevent kennel cough from developing into pneumonia which requires intensive care and hospitalization.
Otitis Externa (ear infection)
Constant head shaking and scratching of the ears. Sometimes a discharge or odor can be seen. It is important to clean the ears weekly or as needed. Usually, medicated ear drops combined with ear cleaning will resolve uncomplicated infections.
An increase in drinking and urinating, increased appetite with weight loss, and cataracts (whiting of the lens in the eyes) can be seen. Usually dogs have a concurrent urinary tract infection which will be treated with antibiotics. This condition requires a commitment by the owner. Dogs will need daily injections of insulin and a special diet but can live a normal life otherwise.
Panting, hair loss and enlarged abdomen are signs of this disease. Diagnose requires a few blood tests and treatment involves daily medication. Dogs should visit their veterinarian every 3-6 months for a check up and to monitor the disease.
Constant scratching, hair loss, chronic skin and ear infections, and licking of paws are just some of the signs your dog may have allergies. There are other conditions that may cause these signs so it is important for your veterinariana to rule these out first. There are various treatment options you can discuss with your veterinarian.
Arthritis and other Orthopedic issues
It is not uncommon for our older counterparts to become stiff and not move like they use to. Just like their human counterparts, dogs develop arthritis as they age. There are different supplements and medicines that can be used to keep your pets comfortable and active.
They slobber. Eat anything in sight whether edible or not. Sniff rear ends. Torment the cat or be tormented by the cat. The dreaded silent gas bombs. And take 5 hour naps on the sofa...... this is the life of a dog.
Lifespan: 7-18 years depending on size/breed (i.e great danes live about 7 years,
while chihuahuas can live up to 18 years)
Length of Pregnancy: 62 days. Puppies may be able to be palpated by a veterinarian
at 30 days. This is also when ultrasound can be used to detect
pregnancy but to best determine the number of puppies, radiographs
can be taken at about 6 weeks into the pregnancy.
Heat cycle: also known as estrus, can last 2-3 weeks and occurs when the dog
reaches puberty- at around 6 months of age. Larger breeds may not hit
puberty until they are 1 year or more. First sign is swelling of the vulva
followed by bloody discharge. Occurs about every 6 months or more
depending on breed.
Litter Size: wide variation. Using the chihuahua and great dane again as examples,
the chihuahua usually have 1-3 pups but the great dane can have 12
pups or more!
Weaning: 4- 8 weeks
Diet: Ominvore (meat + vegetables)
It is recommended to feed commercially prepared food.
Vaccinations: Bordetella, Lyme, 7:1 (distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus,
parainfluenza, leptosporosis, coronavirus), Canine Influenza, Rabies
Always check your local shelter or dog rescue when considering adding a dog to your family. There are a lot of unwanted dogs looking for a place to call home. Pure bred dogs can be found in shelters, if not, almost every popular breed has a dedicated rescue group.
Everyone wants a puppy. But with a puppy comes great responsibility. They require a lot of time and patience- from toilet training to obedience. Puppies need a series of vaccinations that require multiple trips to the vet and they are not allowed outside until they complete ALL the necessary vaccinations. Until then, wee wee pads are your best friend. For smaller breeds, the veterinarian may want to break up the vaccinations because sometimes little puppies can become overwhelmed. Always feed them before going to the vet.
Its never too early to start obedience training. Start with the basics such as sit, stay and come. Also start playing with their eyes,toes and ears. Doing this makes examining the puppy easy at veterinary visits. At this age they do not need their teeth brushed but it is best to start now to make your life easier later on for when they do need it.
Pet insurance is really important. We recommend a company that will give you lifetime coverage for emergencies. These are the situations where you really need help with veterinary bills. There are many variables that determine how much you pay every month: age, breed, amount of coverage, etc. Some companies to research are Healthy Paws, ASPCA, Trupanion, and Petplan but there are many more!