Posted in Health, Information

Pain Meds For Dogs

One  of the most common questions I hear is what can I give my dog for pain.

First I want to say dogs have extremely high pain tolerance.

Second before giving your dog any pain medication you need to identify why your dog is in pain.

The only human pain medication you can give a dog is Aspirin.

Start off with 5 milligrams of aspirin per pound of dog. If your dog still shows signs of high pain you can up the dosage to 10 milligrams per pound of dog. 1 dosage ever 12 hours. DO NOT overdose your dog, you will kill your dogs liver!!!

Now when giving your dog aspirin, you don’t want to give it to them for a long period of time. I give my dogs aspirin for about 2 days then a few days off then if they still need it I will give them a few more dosages. If your dog is still hurting after 7 days it is seriously time to consult a Vet.

I am not one to take my dogs to the vet over every little problem. I try to take care of my dogs at home. The vet as we all know is very expensive, and it is a several hour drive to a good vet. If you need vet advice several vets do vlog posts on YouTube that you can check out to help you. DO NOT run straight to Facebook and ask for advice, you will get several people thinking they know everything and wanting to add their two cents.

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Posted in Health, Information

Dental Month

As I stated in an earlier post February is Dental month for our pets. Most vet offices give a discount on dental procedures for the month of February so take advantage of it if your pup needs it.

It can be really challenging to know when your dog has dental issues – after all, dogs are genetically wired to eat despite almost any degree of discomfort. Add to that the fact that most pet parents don’t know what dental disease in their dogs really looks like, and it can be a recipe for disaster in terms of untreated dental disease. Read on to learn the signs and symptoms of dental disease in dogs.

His breath smells like an open sewer

This one is pretty easy. I mean, there’s dog breath, and then there’s dog breath. And you know when your dog’s breath has gone above and beyond the commonly-accepted standard for how dog’s breath normally smells, which is a bit stinky but not terribly so.

It’s probably actually more correct to say that when your dog’s breath smells like an open sewer, he has needed a dental cleaning and examination for quite some time. Oftentimes, when you smell that really rotten smell coming from your dog, it’s actually the bacteria and infection that you’re smelling. Abscesses show up at the tips of the roots, and it happens because the presence of plaque and tartar on the teeth causes the attachment between the gums and the teeth that sit in them to begin to loosen. And this creates something of a freeway between the mouth (nasty and filled with bacteria on a good day) and the tooth root (typically a squeaky clean, if not completely sterile, place), which sets up a fantastic environment for an infection. And this infection leads to pain and bone decay and a host of other complications.

Two take away points: once the gum pulls away from the tooth, it’s almost impossible to get it to reattach; and once there is an abscess present, there is very little that can be done except to surgically remove the tooth. The moral of the story: don’t let this happen to your dog.

Worn or Broken Teeth

Teeth wear gradually – it happens in people, for sure, but the rate is drastically accelerated in species that make it their business to chew up every stick and rock in the tri-state area (Pro-tip: don’t let your dog chew on sticks and rocks).

The teeth are designed to withstand some wear. That’s what the “crown” is for – it’s the enamel on the top of the tooth that forms the biting or chewing surface. Once the enamel on the crown wears down, the sensitive pulp cavity is exposed, causing not only pain but also, again, a pathway for mouth bacteria to travel to the tip of the root and form an abscess.

When Mr. Squirrel is cast aside

Dental pain can be so subtle in dogs, their owners are often shocked when they learn the ugly truth of the state of their teeth. Many times the dog is continuing to eat just fine – even hard kibble – but they’ll start to be less interested in playing with a favorite chew toy, and that’s likely a sign that their teeth are hurting.

Reluctance to accept a chewy treat, less interest in play that involves grasping objects with the mouth, and even favoring one side of the mouth when eating are all signs that you should watch for.

When he seems to just sloooooooow down

While you shouldn’t assume your older dog’s lethargy is related to dental disease, if he is slowing down, he does have dental disease, your veterinarian can’t find another cause, and routine testing (blood work, chest x-rays) are normal, get his teeth cleaned. A thorough cleaning and exam including x-rays of all of the teeth can reveal significant disease, and very possibly the source of all of his problems.

I once had a botched root canal, and I can tell you that when the local anesthetic subsided, I experienced intense and debilitating pain. So, it makes complete sense to me that untreated dental disease can cause enough pain to slow your dog down considerably. Again – be sure to look for other problems, but if everything else checks out, address the dental disease. You will likely be surprised in the improvement in your dog’s overall attitude.

When your veterinarian tells you

It’s not easy to get a thorough look in your dog’s mouth, but your veterinarian is trained to do it. Most dogs need to have their teeth cleaned by age 3, and yearly after that. Veterinarians are trained to recognize subtle signs of dental disease, such as red gums, gum recession, and worn and fractured teeth. So be sure to keep your dog’s yearly or semi-annual appointment with his veterinarian, and heed the advice you are given.

 

Well I hope you all learned something from this post and I hope you all keep a close eye on your pups dental heath. Especially this month when you might be able to save a couple bucks on that expensive vet bill.

If you ever have any questions feel free to email me at germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

Posted in Information, Seasonal

Cold Weather VS. Dogs

De-icing products can be unsafe

There’s a bit of controversy surrounding what is a “pet-safe” de-icing product. Back when there was only good old NaCl (salt), pets could make themselves significantly ill if they licked enough residue from their paws after a walk in the winter wonderland. And salt can be especially irritating to the skin as well.

More recently, a number of products have become available that are less irritating to the skin, but they all still contain compounds that can cause illness if ingested. Granted, it takes ingesting quite a bit of any of these products to cause serious complications in pets, and the amount that they tend to ingest when licking icy residue from their paws is minimal. However, I’m rarely shocked at the things that pets will eat – especially dogs – so it’s important to keep your pets away from these products during use, and shovel away the slush once they’ve done their job.

Pets get cold, just like us

Some people seem to believe that because cats and dogs have fur, they’re able to withstand cold temperatures better than humans. And certainly the so-called “Northern breeds,” like Huskies and Malamutes, seem especially impervious to the cold. But the temperatures can drop enough to present danger to any animal, and those that are small with short coats are at the greatest risk. Exposed skin in areas on the periphery of the body, such as ears, noses, and feet, are especially sensitive, and can quickly become compromised at low temperatures.

Never leave pets exposed to the cold when the temperature falls below the freezing mark. Bring all animals inside, and if this isn’t possible provide shelter with blankets and a heating source, as well as a way to keep water from freezing. Now, our GSDs love the cold much more than most dogs, which is fine but make sure they can have a warm place to go when they start getting cold. When it drops below freezing here my GSD refuses to come inside where my Pit Bull would much rather lay in the ray of death as I call it, (the sun shinning in the window) and will hold her bladder as long as she can before stepping foot outside.

Ice is a slippery slope

Cats and dogs don’t typically fall on the ice and break a bone, or hit their heads, like humans. Four legs and a lower center of gravity seem to provide quite a bit of protection, however they can still slip on the ice and sustain bruises, or tear ligaments. Cranial cruciate ligament ruptures – similar to a “torn ACL” in people – occur with some frequency in dogs when they slip while playing on ice and snow.

Ice and crusty snow can cause substantial damage to your dog’s paws. They can slice into the feet like a knife, and a dog that’s frolicking in the snow can sustain a deep laceration when they come into contact with this stuff. These cuts almost always have to be stitched, and they take a couple of weeks to heal – and that’s with strict rest and bandaging.

Don’t forget to take special care around frozen ponds, as the ice may not be sufficiently strong to support your pet’s weight.

Pain is intensified

People with arthritis report that cold weather intensifies their pain. No one seems to really understand why, but it’s pretty widely reported. Some people even feel that they can predict when the weather is starting to change, because their creaky joints hurt more.

In addition, people with bone plates or joint implants report that they can “feel” these metal structures when the weather is cold. The theory is that the metal transfers the cold directly to the surrounding bone, and the end result is mild pain at a previously unpainful site.

Staying warm may be more difficult for the sick

If your dog or cat is already dealing with a health problem, the cold weather may make it more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature. Hormonal diseases especially complicate this, such as thyroid problems, diabetes, and Cushing’s disease.

However, don’t use the fact that it’s wintertime as an excuse to let your pet gain weight! Any residual warmth gained by adding pounds isn’t worth it, since being overweight increases the risk of a number of conditions. So resolve to keep your pet at a healthy weight through the winter, and all year-round.

Anti-freeze

Ethylene glycol, the active ingredient in most automotive antifreeze, is highly toxic even in very small amounts to dogs and cats. It rapidly destroys the kidneys, and without very aggressive treatment (and many times even with it), it’s fatal.

Antifreeze should always be properly disposed of, and you should take care to carefully clean your dog’s feet after a particularly sloshy winter’s walk, to ensure that any residue (potentially antifreeze-containing) is removed, so that they can’t lick it off.

Cold cars

We talk a lot during the summer months about how hot cars can get, and how deadly it can be to leave your pets inside while you shop or run errands. But you should be aware that the inside of your car can get extremely cold as well, when the temperature is low. Always consider whether it would be better to leave your pet at home on a cold day, where his comfort is assured.

 

There are several ways to protect your dogs feet from the elements and the harsh chemicals. One way is booties for your pup, an added bonus to this is watching the way your dog walks with these on. You can also buy or make paw balm for you pup. I will be posting the recipe for paw balm soon and will link it here.

I hope you all enjoyed this post. If you have any questions feel free to email me at germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

Posted in Information

7 Common Mistakes Dog Parents Make

Dogs can (and will) get into just about anything. Pet parents aren’t always aware that their actions regarding how they care for their canine companions can have serious consequences. Read on to learn how seemingly innocent actions can turn into big mistakes when it comes to caring for your canine companion.

“I’ll just leave this food here.”

Dogs are astonishing creatures, for several reasons. Many are obvious – their loyalty, sunny demeanor, great attitude, and ability to make us forget all of our troubles – but others maybe not as much. One of the most astonishing things about dogs that tends to take their owners by surprise most often is the vast array of food and objects that they will ingest, or try to.

Food should be an obvious risk, but for some reason humans continue to leave delectable items, like ham bones, sausages, and packages of thawing hamburger, within easy reach of the family dog. Even things that we wouldn’t expect dogs to seek out, like unsweetened baking chocolate, rising bread dough, and pounds of butter are fair game to these creatures that evolved as scavengers. And let’s not forget the non-food items that veterinarians find themselves surgically removing from the guts of their canine patients, including feminine hygiene products, reproductive items, and the perennial favorite, underwear.

In short: secure anything that can be ingested. Keep all food out of reach, teach your children to do the same, and buy trashcans with lids. Live by the mantra that if it could conceivably smell like food to a dog, he’ll try to eat it.

“I’ll just give him an aspirin for that limp.”

There are a few reasons why it’s dangerous to handle apparently minor injuries in your dog as you would your own. First of all, dogs are extremely sensitive to common human pain relievers, and what you might consider a normal dose can be highly toxic to your dog.

Second, giving human pain relievers – even something as apparently innocuous as aspirin – compounds your veterinarian’s ability to treat the pain with really effective drugs that are safe for dogs. These pain relievers, when used concurrently or within a day of each other, contribute significantly to the risk of gastrointestinal upset.

And finally, trying to treat your dog at home only prolongs the time until a definitive diagnosis can be reached, and effective treatment given. So if he doesn’t improve with a day of rest from the dog park, get him in to your veterinarian to find out what’s causing the problem.

“Still a hungry boy? How about a piece of this?”

Feeding your dog from the table is mildly dangerous from the standpoint that you are likely to create and obnoxious, begging, monster-dog, but it becomes really dangerous when you make it a habit and do it routinely. Feeding dogs from the table is the first stop on a one-way road to obesity, since we usually don’t factor these calories in to what the dog should be receiving, and we’re feeding them their normal diet in addition to table foods.

Here’s some perspective: a 15-pound dog that’s neutered and has an average activity level needs to consume only around 450 calories per day. Feed a cup of so of Purina Pro Plan and you’ve hit that. Add in a few biscuits, and a couple of bites of pasta with meat sauce, and you’re giving him well over what he needs and can use in a day.

“He’s eating just fine, so his teeth must be fine, too.”

Dogs have a strong survival instinct, and they are highly unlikely to stop eating due to dental pain. I have seen dogs with multiple abscessed and broken teeth continue to eat their food without missing a beat.

But dental disease has serious ramifications beyond the mouth. Abscessed teeth create pockets of infection in the body that are nearly untouchable with antibiotic therapy, yet leak nasty bacteria into the bloodstream, where they can damage the liver, kidneys, and heart. Practice routine oral care, and follow your veterinarian’s advice regarding routine dental cleanings, so that your dog never gets to that point.

“I’ll trim his nails next week. He hates it anyways.”

The longer you wait between nail trimmings, the longer the cuticle inside the nail becomes, and the more difficult it is to actually clip the nail without cutting right into the cuticle. And once that happens, nail trimming becomes a traumatic event for your dog, and he anticipates that it will be painful every time, so it gets more and more difficult to accomplish.

If you have a puppy, get him accustomed to your handling his feet. Play with his feet, massage the areas between the toes, and practice trimming his nails. It’s usually really straightforward with puppies anyways, because the sharp little tips are simple to snip. Give lots of treats and verbal praise once the task is over, and you’ll be one the road to a lifetime of simple nail maintenance.

“I don’t think there’s a chance he’ll get heartworm disease.”

According to the American Heartworm Society, heartworm disease strikes dogs in all of the 48 continental United States, plus Hawaii. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitos, which in many places in the country are present year-round.

Heartworms kill dogs by setting up shop in the large vessels that lead into and out of the heart, where they mature and compromise cardiac function. Much like vaccinations against infectious diseases, routine monthly heartworm prevention has saved the lives of countless numbers of dogs, for only about $5 per month. If you forego the prevention and decide to “roll the dice,” you’ll possibly be looking at extended treatment with a drug that is derived from arsenic, is extremely painful to administer, and requires strict cage rest for several days after administrations. And that’s assuming the disease is caught with enough time for effective treatment.

So don’t gamble with your dog’s health and well-being. Use heartworm prevention every month year-round, to make sure that he doesn’t get this terrible disease.

“I’m sure it’s just something he ate.”

When 3 people in your office get the same stomach bug after eating at the sketchy-looking new food truck in the parking lot, you can pretty much assume that yes, it was something you all ate. But when your dog comes down with similar symptoms, who knows? He could have picked up intestinal parasites at the dog park, leptospirosis from drinking in the creek on a hike, or swallowed the squeaker out of his new toy.

One episode of vomiting, or a bit of diarrhea that resolves with a bland diet after 24 hours are likely not cause for exceptional concern. But several episodes of vomiting, accompanied by loss of appetite, lethargy, and diarrhea that continues should be investigated, because so many diseases cause these signs. Hopefully, it’s something simple, but it’s dangerous to assume that.

 

I hope you all enjoyed this post and if you have any questions feel free to email me at germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

Thanks

 

Posted in Information

Medications Poisonous to Dogs

7 Human Medications that are Poisonous to Dogs and Cats

Advil

Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) have revolutionized the way pain is treated in both human and veterinary medicine. Animals like dogs and cats tend to be exquisitely sensitive to these medications, and the dosages that we routinely pop into our mouths can easily cause toxicity in pets. Even one tablet of Advil, which contains 200 milligrams, is toxic to a small dog, and the effects worsen as the number of doses given increase. Other NSAIDs, including naproxen, Motrin (which is also ibuprofen, like Advil) and aspirin, have toxic effects of varying degrees.

Toxic effects can be as mild as a bit of vomiting or diarrhea, or as bad as ulcerations and perforations of the GI tract ans severe kidney damage. There are a number of very effective NSAIDs that have been developed for and used extensively in animals, and your veterinarian can help you get them.

Tylenol

Tylenol, also known as acetaminophen, is also toxic to animals at typical human doses. It’s especially toxic to cats, and can create an especially dire situation that ultimately destroys red blood cells and causes sever liver failure and often death. Dogs can tolerate Tylenol a bit better than cats, but it’s easy to give too much, and again, there are much better and much safer medications that should be used instead.

Diaper Rash Cream

Topical medications can be dangerous when used on pets, even when they’re apparently and inherently innocuous, like diaper cream. Why? Because animals will lick pretty much anything that’s applied to their skin, if they can reach it. Diaper rash cream often contains zinc oxide, which helps to heal skin by providing a barrier from further irritation.

That’s great, and using zinc oxide on your pet’s skin to heal it may actually work, but if your pet ingests it, its likely to cause pretty severe gastrointestinal irritation, which will likely make your pet have vomiting and diarrhea.

Imodium AD

Many people will reach for Imodium AD (the generic name is loperamide when they have a bit diarrhea, and they figure it can’t hurt when they see the same in their pets. Imodium is occasionally used to treat diarrhea in dogs and cats, but it should be used cautiously, and there are a couple of good reasons why.

Imodium is an opioid – like morphine, although much weaker in terms of sedative and pain-relieving properties – and one of the side effects of all opioid drugs is that they slow down the normal movement of the gastrointestinal tract by increasing absorption of fluids from the intestines. It’s probably pretty obvious why this helps with diarrhea, but if the diarrhea is caused by something infectious, like parvovirus or salmonella, this increased absorption may translocate these harmful bacteria from the intestines, where they were already a pretty big problem, to the bloodstream, where they will for sure be a major problem.

Another reason is that giving anything that masks the symptoms of the disease may ultimately confound making an accurate diagnosis and truly treating the problem definitively. And finally, loperamide can cause neurotoxicity in dogs that have a specific gene mutation that can be seen in any dog, but is more common in herding breeds, like Australian Shepherds and Shelties.

Cough Medicine

Human cough medications often contain a drug called dextromethorphan. Once again, this drug has been used in animals at very low doses, but can cause toxicity. Signs of toxicity include hallucination, tremors, shaking, increased salivation, seizures, and even death.

And once again, it’s worth pointing out: coughing has many causes in animals, including parasites (lung worms and heartworms), heart disease, asthma, and pneumonia. Giving an over-the-counter medication to stop the coughing only prolongs accurate diagnosis, and may be toxic to boot.

Cold Medicine

Both pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are frequently present in decongestant products like Sudafed. Pet parents who are purchasing allergy medications for their pets should be aware of the potential for toxicity with this drug, since it is often combined with antihistamines. Pseudoephedrine is highly toxic to both dogs and cats; phenylephrine less so, but both can cause neurologic (seizures, tremors) and cardiac (rapid heart rate, arrhythmias, low oxygen) abnormalities.

Pepto-Bismol

Pepto-Bismol seems so innocuous, with its creamy smooth minty pinkness. But Pepto-Bismol contains salicylic acid, which is the active ingredient in aspirin. Toxicities usually occur with long-term administration – the pet parent who gives a dose of Pepto every few hours over 2 – 3 days or more – or in pets that are exceptionally sensitive to salicylic acid.

Salicylate toxicosis causes vomiting (with or without blood), diarrhea (with or without blood), and abdominal pain. With severe cases blood loss through GI bleeding can occur, and even death.

I use Pepto-Bismol for my dogs but I am very careful about it. I give less than the recommended amount and I only give it once. I don’t give it every few hours and I only don’t do it often! The most I have given my boy is 25ml twice in one week when we first got him because of food change, new environment, and everything else. When I give my pup Pepto I feed it with his food, and 1/4 – 1/2 cup cooked white rice.

 

Check out Dog safe human Medication for some medicine you can give your pup.

Always be sure to contact your vet before administering any human medication.

 

Thank you, I hope you all enjoyed this post and if you ever have any questions feel free to email me at germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

 

 

 

Posted in Information, Puppy Training

New Puppy Schedule

With all of you that are getting a new puppy, below is rough puppy schedule to help you make the most of your day. Now when taking your pup out to go potty make sure you use the words “outside” and “potty” as much as possible. This way when your pup is older you can say, do you need to go outside and go potty? and if your dog is like mine they get super excited starting to run around and race you to the door.

When you pup is little you will want to take him everywhere with you, and that is ok, but your pup needs to learn that he is not always going to get to go everywhere and that sitting in his crate for a few hours while mom goes grocery shopping is ok. So don’t spoil your pup to much.

 

puppy-schedule

Enjoy your new pup and if you ever have questions feel free to email me at germanshepherddogs@doglover.com

Posted in Information

Puppy Essentials

Ok, so your bringing home a new pup. Below is a list of the essentials, and the optional when it comes to puppy supplies.

Essentials:

Optional:

 

You also need to find the vet you are going to use, and you should know where there is an emergency vet for the just in case. You also need to have plans, how you are going to potty train, where do you want your dog going to the bathroom?, are you going to clean up the dog potty. Check out Bringing home a new pup for more information.

I have added an Amazon link for most products because I love shopping on amazon. I can shop in my pj’s and it is all delivered to my door in just a few short days. Obviously there are several other places you can buy this stuff. I also get a very small kickback from amazon when yall order from these links. This money I get back I use to buy more dog products, and write my honest opinion about these products on a post for all of you.

I hope you all enjoyed the post today and if you have any questions feel free to email me anytime. germanshepherddogs@doglover.com