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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thyroid Issues

From poor coats, aggressiveness, seizures, to heart issues, the thyroid can be the cause of a lot of symptoms. If your dog has been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, see the resources below to help you treat and live with thyroid issues in your gimpy.

Canis Major resource

Thyroid Info resource

Thyroid information from Dr. Dodds

Hypothyroidsim

OFA Thyroid resource

MARVISTAVET Resource

Arthritis

Below are some great articles about arthritis in dogs, and also resources to help manage the pain and support groups.

Canis Major Resource on arthritis

ASPCA Resource

Arthritis Foundation

Support Group

Alternative k9 nutrition group

Friday, August 15, 2008

Reverse Sneezing

My dog was making this horrible noise and I was sure she/he was choking or dying!
I think my dog is having a seizure because he/she was making this horrible noise and couldn't seem to breathe right!

If there is one sure fire freak out time, its when your dog is making horrible noises and can't seem to breathe. Maybe they are even pawing at their nose or mouth. I get people asking me all the time what a reverse sneeze is and what it sounds like. Frankly, its virtually impossible to describe it by writing about it, unless you describe it as sounding like someone trying to hack up a big loogie, but there are variations of the reverse sneeze that words simply can't describe.

To answer your next question: should I rub their nose, hold their nose shut, stick my hand down their throat, rub their neck, rub their throat, etc. to make it go away? Eh, I don't know if any of that actually helps, but hey, whatever makes you feel better (except the sticking your hand down their throat thing).

Thankfully, dog owners have captured their dogs in mid reverse sneeze, so I bring you... the concert of reverse sneezing. You may want to pass on the popcorn for this one:

A pug reverse sneezing

Boston Terrier reverse sneezing

A golden reverse sneezing

Not to be confused with a dog with kennel cough

Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that can show itself from a simple skin rash to a possible fatal systemic disease. Just because your dog has a rash doesn’t mean that it has lupus! If your dog has a rash, please consult your vet for testing. Rashes can also be more benign things such as food allergies, ringworm, or mites. For more information on lupus, please consult the links below.

Discoid Lupus picture

Discoid Lupus explanation

Lupus Erythematosus

Very good article on the different types of lupus

Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis (ZRD)

Does your dog have crusty lesions around its mucus membranes (eyes, muzzle, foot pads, private area? Is your dog an: Alaskan malamute, American Eskimo dog, Samoyed, and Siberian husky, Doberman Pinscher, or Great Dane?

Its possible that your dog is suffering from Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis.

If you suspect that your dog has ZRD, please consult your vet for the proper treatment.

To find out more information, please visit these links:

Basic information on the disease

DVM360 article with pictures

Siberian Husky Health Foundation article

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Inducing vomiting in dogs

A lot of people ask, usually during a crisis, how to make their dogs throw up something they have eaten.

Before providing links to resources, I want everyone to be aware of some simple steps you need to take BEFORE you need to induce vomiting in your dog.

1.) Always keep your vet’s phone number handy. NEVER induce vomiting unless a vet tells you to do so.

2.) If your vet is closed, make sure you keep the number to your closest emergency vet handy. You should also know how close the emergency vet is, how long it will take to drive there, and that you know how to get there.

3.) Keep the Pet Poison Control number handy: (888) 426-4435 (Please note that you will most likely be charged a $60 consultation fee on a credit card if you call this number).

If you pet has ingested something that requires you to induce vomiting, your pet will most likely require immediate follow up care. Just because your pet threw up the substance or object, some of that substance may have entered the blood stream and you will need to ensure that proper follow up care is sought immediately.

You should never try to induce vomiting if your dog is unconscious, having difficulty breathing, choking, can’t stand, has ingested a caustic (like draino, bleach, etc.), or has ingested something more than 2 hours ago.

If you dog has ingested a large toy or soft toy, you should not induce vomiting as this may cause a blockage coming back up and your dog could suffocate. Get your dog to a vet so they can induce vomiting (if appropriate) where they have the tools to handle a blockage.

If you dog has ingested something sharp, do NOT induce vomiting. The force of the dog vomiting will cause that sharp object to pierce the esophagus on the way back up and will cause even more damage, if not death.

4.) Always have hydrogen peroxide on hand. The basic 3% solution found at most drug stores will work. Please note that hydrogen peroxide loses its effectiveness over time or when exposed to bright sunlight, so remember to throw out old bottles and buy new bottles periodically.

5.) Ask your vet for a syringe or purchase a liquid medicine dropper or syringe-like instrument for administering the peroxide. They just won’t voluntarily drink it, you’ll need to squirt it in their mouth (click here to see how to administer liquids with a syringe)

When you call your vet, you will need to tell them the following:

1.) size of your dog
2.) what they ingested
3.) how long ago it was ingested
4.) How much of it was ingested (if medicine, what is the dosage, how many pills, etc.)

Remember, have the proper tools on hand to induce vomiting
ONLY induce on the approval of your vet
Take your dog in immediately for follow up care

The following are links that describe how to induce vomiting. They should NOT be used instead of the direction of your vet, but are only to familiarize you with how to induce vomiting should your vet tell you to do so.

Suite 101 article (excellent article)

Dog First Aid 101 link

Pet Place link