The Dog Owner’s Guide to Canine Liver Disease

VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 5.0/5

Canine liver disease is one of the causes of death in dogs and is something to be taken seriously by dog owners. The liver is responsible for a number of essential, important body functions and a problem with the liver will affect the overall health and well-being of your dog

Liver Functions

The liver has several important functions to maintain the health of your dog. Blood detoxification, waste removal and the production of bile to aid digestion of food are just some of these vital functions. The liver is involved in nearly all body processes and is a strong resilient organ that continues working even though liver disease in your dog may be present in early stages.

The liver plays a role with almost all biochemical pathways that allow growth, fight disease, supply nutrients, provide energy, and aid reproduction. Liver cells go through thousands of chemical reactions every second in order to perform all of this work. As the liver is involved with so many processes, it is an obvious target to be affected by different diseases. Liver function is vital to life.

Milk Thistle for Dog Liver DiseaseIn Stock

Milk Thistle for Dog Liver Disease

Natural support for liver disease and liver detox in dogs

A healthy liver is important for dogs because it detoxifies any chemicals or pesticides they may be exposed to, toxins in food they scavenge, and chemical prescription drugs.

Canine Milk Thistle is essential for dogs with liver disease, and for dogs on medication for:

  • heart worm prevention
  • steroids
  • pain and anti-inflammatory medications

No known side effects: gentle for long-term use
1 bottle is a 2-month supply for most dogs

Day after day for every second of life, the liver processes raw materials and manufactures the building blocks of the body. It recycles old material to make new, and detoxifies body waste. Because of its importance in the dog’s body and the far-reaching effects of its activity, symptoms of liver disease are usually non-specific and unpredictable. The liver is susceptible to a wide range of diseases including degenerative disease, viral and bacterial infections, neoplastic disease (tumor), and toxicity.

Liver conditions are difficult to diagnose as it has an incredible life preserving capacity, which means it can easily continue to perform its function with up to 70 or 80% of the liver affected by disease. It has a phenomenal reserve capacity, which often means that by the time liver disease is diagnosed; it is very advanced meaning the condition may be untreatable in the worst cases. While it is of tremendous benefit that the liver can keep your dog alive despite an overwhelming infection or a tumor, it means the option of treating symptoms early is rare when a better outcome could be expected. However, the liver is the only organ in your dog’s body that is capable of complete regeneration, so if treatment is successful, the chances of complete recovery are high.

LIVER FUNCTIONS DEFINED

Metabolic

The liver is the organ that co-ordinates the metabolism of fat, carbohydrate, and protein. This is performed alongside the circulatory system, the lymphatic system, and the endocrine (hormone) system. Metabolism is dependent on a healthy liver.

Protein

The liver produces all proteins except for those synthesized by the immune system. It does this by assembling amino acids into protein. The main protein produced by the liver is called albumin.

Normal albumin in the bloodstream is important for many bodily functions. Without it being produced by the liver properly, it can cause fluid in arteries and veins to leak out and pool in the abdominal and chest cavities. Albumin also transports calcium, vitamins, hormones, fatty acids, bilirubin, and many drug medications through the bloodstream.

One consistent finding with liver disease is low protein levels. This low level occurs only when the liver has been diseased over a long period of time as aforementioned; the liver has a remarkable capacity to continue working while diseased.

Carbohydrate

With the aid of the hormones insulin and glucagon, the liver maintains normal blood glucose levels. Abnormalities that affect blood glucose level result from insulinoma or diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes).

Glucose that is stored in liver cells is called glycogen. It acts as reservoir during times when carbohydrate intake is low (fasting or starvation). The liver can also manufacture glucose from proteins or fats. When your dog has liver disease, his body may have difficulty regulating blood glucose levels which leads to hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). Because of these abnormalities, intake of calories and diet are an important aspect of liver disease.

Lipids

The liver regulates fats (called fatty acids) in the bloodstream. Excess amounts of carbohydrate and protein are converted into fatty acids. From the fatty acids, the liver produces cholesterol, which is necessary for many functions particularly the sex hormones, and cortisone.

Detoxification

There are times when your dog’s liver may have to fight very hard against toxicity. Any type of poisoning from weed killer or car anti-freeze your dog may ingest will have a serious effect on the liver as it tries to flush out the poison. Often the impact of poisoning is too severe for the liver to fight back and sadly the outcome usually results in death or the dog being euthanized. It is important to protect your dog from access to any toxic substances and to be aware that dogs do not tolerate some drug medications like humans so care must be taken not to give any medication that has not been prescribed by your vet. Even then, some drugs are quite aggressive and may affect your dog’s liver if he is undergoing some other kind of treatment.

Detoxification is an important liver function. In the liver cells, a complex process occurs depending on the substance being detoxified. The offending toxin is inactivated and eliminated by the body. It will either pass through the kidneys and excreted in urine or, secreted into bile and passed out in the feces.

Bile Metabolism

Bile is made up of electrolytes, cholesterol, bile acids, bilirubin, and globulins. It is produced by hepatocytes, secreted into channels in the liver called and stored in the gall bladder. Drugs are eliminated in the bile, red blood cells are re-circulated through the bile system, and fats are absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream only in the presence of bile.

When red blood cells break down and are recycled, they release bilirubin from their hemoglobin. The liver, along with spleen and bone marrow, recycle this bilirubin, salvaging some of the compounds and excreting the rest in the bile. Bilirubin, which is toxic, binds to albumin and is detoxified and excreted. Eventually this will reach the intestines and be broken down by intestinal bacteria, where it imparts the dark color to stools. If this bilirubin cannot be excreted from the gallbladder (when there is an obstruction in the bile duct), there will be very light colored stool.

Excess amounts of bilirubin that build up in the bloodstream will cause jaundice, the yellow discoloration of the mucous membranes and skin that can occur with liver disease.

The fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, require bile for proper absorption from the intestines. These vitamins are stored in the liver, and are converted to active compounds as part of the liver’s job.

Blood Clotting

Proteins initiate and maintain blood clotting and are synthesized by the liver. A diseased liver is unable to synthesize these proteins, leading to potential bleeding problems. Vitamin K is also an essential component of these clotting mechanisms.

Red Blood Cell System

The liver removes old or damaged red blood cells from the circulation, and is involved with the storage of iron and the breakdown of hemoglobin. Because of this, chronic liver disease causes anemia in most cases. The liver (along with the spleen), is a storage organ for blood. If there is a severe blood loss, the liver expels this blood into the bloodstream to help make up for the loss.

Reticuloendothelial System

Specific cells called Kupffer cells line the inside of the liver. These cells are part of the immune system. They eliminate and degrade the substances that are brought into the liver by the portal vein. Some of these substances are bacteria, toxins, nutrients, and chemicals. When the liver is diseased, it will not be able to perform this function resulting in a build up of toxic substances such as bacteria, chemicals, or drugs. This can lead to further complications such as septicaemia where there are excess bacteria in the bloodstream. Anti-biotics are commonly used in the treatment of liver disease precisely for this kind of reason depending on specific diagnosis.

Vitamins

Many vitamins are stored in the liver, and perform their functions only when the liver activates them when needed.  These include some of the B vitamins and Vitamin C, along with A, D, E, and K previously described.

Trauma

Canine liver disease may be caused if your dog receives a blunt blow to the front of the abdomen and is injured. The most common cause of this type of injury is where a dog is injured in a road accident.  A liver lobe can be fractured and bleed into the abdomen, even leading to death from internal bleeding. A more common occurrence is a bruise (contusion) that heals itself. Heatstroke, diaphragmatic hernia, and liver lobe torsion can also cause liver problems.

Pancreatitis

This severe inflammatory disease can cause digestive enzymes to spill over into the liver causing disease. The close proximity of the pancreas to the liver and the bile ducts results in some degree of hepatitis whenever there is a case of pancreatic inflammation. The liver disease will regress when the pancreatitis is treated.

Anemia

Anemia decreases the oxygen available to liver cells and leads to their death.

Hepatitis

Inflammation of the liver is called hepatitis. Hepatitis may be caused by many antagonists include trauma, bacteria, virus, poison or bile.

Infectious Hepatitis

Adenovirus or herpes virus causes infectious hepatitis. It is transferred from dog to dog by oral contact and ingestion of contaminated materials. It usually causes a transient non-specific illness characterized by lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. It sometimes develops into a full-blown case of severe hepatitis. Treatment supports your dog while he fights off the virus. Infectious hepatitis can be prevented by routine vaccination.

Bacteria, viruses, and fungi

Bacterial infection is common in many liver problems so antibiotic therapy is often the first line of defence. Specific diseases include Infectious canine Hepatitis, canine Herpes virus, Leptospirosis, abscesses, histoplasmosis, coccidiomycosis, and Toxoplasmosis.

There are several known bacterial causes of hepatitis. Treatment is based on proper diagnosis and administration of antibiotics. Research shows that bacteria is a normal inhabitant of the liver and only becomes a problem when the liver is under attack from other causes.

Leptospirosis is one bacterial infection common in wildlife and transferable to domestic dogs and people through contaminated water. It is very dangerous and sometimes fatal but routine vaccination is the preventative measure to take.

Parasites

Unfortunately, some kinds of parasites will infect the liver in your dog. A lot depends on your geographical location as some regions have a higher risk factor. Diagnosis is usually symptom based accompanied by fecal examination, and standard diagnostic techniques for liver disease. Treatment is the appropriate parasiticides.

Chronic Hepatitis

Some breeds of dog have a genetic predisposition to chronic hepatitis. This disease is primarily found in Bedlington Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, and West Highland White Terriers. The liver stores abnormal and toxic levels of copper. The course of the disease is variable, with some dogs presenting with acute hepatitis, and some presenting in end stage cirrhosis of the liver.

Diagnosis is made after a liver biopsy. Treatment requires the use of copper binding and anti-inflammatory drugs to decrease liver inflammation with dietary
modification to limit copper intake.

Heartworms

These worms can block blood flow into the liver and cause liver failure. A routine and regular de-worming programme for your dog can prevent this. In general, any disease that can cause failure of the right side of the heart can also cause liver problems.

Toxins

Disease to the liver is caused by the ingestion, injection, or inhalation of a toxic substance, which adversely affects the liver. Due to the nature of the liver, that has a detoxification function, it is to be expected that an overload will be harmful.

There are some factors contributing to a greater likelihood of toxicity. Female dogs are more at risk than males, fatty diets are more dangerous, and high exposure to toxic chemicals, pesticides and so forth are all factors that put your dog at risk. Continuous exposure to these toxins could result in death but certainly, there will be severe inflammation of the liver cells. The damaged tissue resulting from the inflammation will be replaced with fibrous scar tissue. This could lead to cirrhosis of the liver in severe circumstances.

Toxins include many common drugs, such as anabolic steroids, chemotherapy drugs, some antibiotics, glucocorticoids, anaesthetics, parasite control drugs, and phenylbutazone.

Some of drug-induced hepatitis is a predictable side effect of the drug, while other incidences of hepatitis are considered an unpredicted or abnormal side effect of a given drug. This is difficult to diagnose unless there is a known exposure to the drug or toxin and the testing has been done. A biopsy will confirm liver destruction, inflammation, and fibrosis, but it will not single out the causative agent.

Different dogs have different tolerances to drugs and insecticides and so forth. For example, collie sheep dogs who ingest ivermectin a common parasite control product for worms in cattle horses and sheep, will be fatally poisoned, yet the rest of their canine friends will not be affected at all.

Drugs that cause liver damage

Dogs are extremely sensitive to cortisone and will develop lesions in the liver after long term or multiple dose therapy for a disease such as like Cushing’ disease. While cortisone is an effective treatment for Cushing’s disease, the side effects may cause liver damage. If signs of liver disease are noticed during treatment, the cortisone therapy can be stopped, the liver disease will improve, but the lesions may take months to heal.

Anti convulsant drugs such as Phenobarbital, primidone, and phentoin, may cause liver disease in 6 to 15 % of all dogs on anti-convulsant therapy. Inflammation of the liver varies according to the drug dosage. The extent of liver disease is variable and unpredictable. Treatment for the liver is removal of the drug treatment.

There are so many chemical compounds toxic to the liver and quite common treatments for ailments such as arthritis, heartworm, worms, parasites; epilepsy to name a few may cause some degree of liver damage.

Portal Vascular Abnormalities

This is a congenital defect is usually seen in young dogs and puppies where blood is passed from the digestive tract into the bloodstream without being detoxified by the liver. Symptoms of this condition are inconsistent but warning signs are youth, malnourishment, and chronic unwellness, poor tolerance to medication and anaesthetic and pica (eating unusual items). Diagnosis is based on a full veterinary work up with specialized X-rays, laboratory tests, and history. The only treatment is surgical intervention to correct the circulation abnormality.

Cancer

Cancer can arise directly within the liver (primary) or spread from elsewhere (metastatic or secondary) through the circulatory or lymphatic systems. There are two blood supply routes to the liver through the portal vein and hepatic artery. This additional blood supply makes it likely that a tumor in a different organ will spread to the liver. Liver cancer is normally diagnosed long after the cancer is well established due to the remarkable powers of endurance the liver has.

Other than cancer, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes Mellitus, Pancreatitis, Cushing’s disease, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease may cause secondary liver disease for example.

Cirrhosis of the Liver

Cirrhosis of the liver occurs as the end result of several liver diseases. Cirrhosis can occur as a result of many different liver diseases. It is likely to occur in copper storage diseases of the liver, as the end result of chronic hepatitis, as a breed related disorder (Terrier breeds, Dobermans, Labradors, Cocker Spaniels and Standard Poodles), side effect of anti-seizure, and some de worming treatment. Cirrhosis sometimes appears after leptospirosis or infectious canine hepatitis although it is a rare complication in these cases.

Summary of Diseases

Amongst all of these various medical conditions your dog may suffer, the one that appears without much warning is chronic hepatitis, so awareness of symptoms is important for dog owners. This disease can be present for a long time without displaying symptoms. When clinical signs are present, it is likely the liver is markedly decreased in size and function. Even when things get this bad, it is possible to manage the condition. Recommendations include a low to moderate protein diet, drug therapy, supportive therapy with vitamins and natural products such as milk thistle.

All of the diseases mentioned that your dog could suffer from progress and slowly destroy the liver cells resulting in scarring and fibrous tissue in the liver or cirrhosis. Many dogs live for extended periods of times even if cirrhosis present. At this stage, it is difficult to identify the underlying cause for the disease.

New and Emerging Liver Diseases

Hepatocutaneous Syndrome

This syndrome is characterized by degeneration of the skin cells probably caused by nutritional imbalance caused by metabolic abnormalities as the result of pancreatic tumors or severe liver dysfunction.

It affects mainly older dogs who show clinical signs a syndrome primarily of skin disease although some dogs will exhibit symptoms of illness such as lethargy, poor appetite, and weight loss prior to the skin eruptions. The skin lesions frequently appear on the muzzle, lower legs, and footpads. Lesions can also appear on the mouth, earflaps, elbows, and genitalia. Most lesions consist of crusting, erosions, or ulcerations, but blisters may also occur. Footpads are often severely thickened and fissured and are often painful and the dog is lame.

Diagnosis is based on your dog’s history, physical examination, blood tests to identify abnormalities such as elevated liver enzymes and low protein levels, and skin biopsy.  Abdominal ultrasound may show a “honeycomb” pattern of the liver due to liver degeneration or less commonly a pancreatic tumor.

If a pancreatic or liver tumor is identified and able to be surgically removed, the skin lesions will normalize. This type of tumour spreads to other parts of the body quickly so surgery is not a total solution. In cases of end stage liver disease, surgery is not possible, so the aim of therapy is to increase quality of life and decrease uncomfortable skin lesions with supportive care, good nutrition. Milk thistle is helpful as a natural support element. Your vet will advise on a program of care that may involve fluid therapy, amino acid infusions, and a tailored course of minerals, protein, and enzymes. Unfortunately, despite the supportive care, the disease will progress and has a poor outcome with a survival time of around one year in most cases.

Idiopathic Vacuolar Hepatopathy

This is a condition observed in older dogs. The liver in these older dogs contain excess glycogen. Because of improved nutrition, vaccination, and de worming, dogs are now living longer and beginning to acquire geriatric diseases and other conditions previously unknown. There is speculation that increases in progestin steroid hormones may result in liver changes. It appears that almost every dog diagnosed with this condition live a prolonged life without illness from his or her liver disease. Recently studies have shown that a disproportionate number of Scottish terriers have liver changes suggesting a breed predisposition for this condition. They may have a genetic defect in ALP production.

Gallbladder Mucocele

Gallbladder mucocele is seen in smaller breeds and older dogs with Cocker Spaniels being most commonly affected. Most dogs have nonspecific clinical sign, such as vomiting, lack of appetite and lethargy. Abdominal pain and hyperthermia are common findings. Most dogs will show elevated serum elevations of total bilirubin. An ultrasound will confirm diagnosis.

General Symptoms of Liver Disease

Liver disease symptoms are very subtle and your dog may show very little in the way of signs. The alert owner can learn to recognise any unusual signs and advanced symptoms. If you have any concerns about your dog, do not wait and see but consult your veterinarian early as the earlier liver disease is caught, the quicker it can be treated successfully.

Dogs with liver disorders show many types of physical symptoms. Very few of the symptoms are specifically for liver disease, but are signs of multiple diseases and conditions that can affect the liver. Symptoms of liver disease are extremely subtle in the early stages. Your dog may experience all of the following symptoms, some of them or one of them.

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite is always cause for concern and a veterinary surgeon should be contacted without delay.

Recurrent abdominal or gastrointestinal upsets

Any vomiting, diarrhea or constipation should be taken seriously especially if they are intermittent attacks.

Progressive depression or lethargy

When your dog does not want to play or go for walks and has a lethargic demeanor this can be a symptom to be taken seriously.

Swollen abdomen

This may mean there is fluid in the abdomen due to alterations in your dog’s circulation.

Pale gray feces.

Bile is what gives feces its characteristic brown color. If the liver is not processing bile properly, the feces will be unpigmented and a grayish color.

Orange urine

Improper bile processing results in high levels of bilirubin excretion in the urine, which results in an orange color.

Jaundice

Any pale or white skin or visible tissue takes on a yellow hue. This is because the biliary pigments are accumulating in the body because the liver is not processing them.

Bleeding problems

Many of the proteins required for proper blood clotting are created in the liver. When these proteins are low or not present, the ability to clot blood decreases. Any signs of bleeding that do not stop easily should be cause for concern and your veterinarian should be contacted immediately. If your dog has any small swellings or bruises it may indicate blood-clotting problems.

Neurological symptoms

Behavioral changes, seizures, aimless pacing or circling, pressing the head against a wall or stargazing are frightening symptoms that may be caused by toxicity causing the liver to fail. Contact your veterinarian immediately as an emergency.

Abdominal Pain

This is due to the stretching of the liver capsule. The liver is sore and tender and you are likely to notice this when your dog is lifted up. Your vet will also be able to tell the liver is swollen by examining your dog.

Chronic weight loss The liver processes all the essential life force building blocks. If it is not working correctly, bodily systems are compromised and the body cannot maintain itself.

Increased Water Consumption And Urination.

These symptoms are likely to be caused by large shifts in serum and kidney salt balances.

Blood Pressure

Recent studies concluded that dog liver disease could also cause high blood pressure. This will need monitoring if your dog is diagnosed with canine liver disease.

At the Veterinarian

If you notice your dog showing any of the symptoms described, make sure you consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. Because your dog’s liver is such an amazing organ, it can function even with severe disease. This essential organ is closely involved in all other bodily functions. The liver is very resilient to attacks by viruses and bacteria, but symptoms will show up, even though another condition is causing the primary illness. Dog liver disease is very often therefore a secondary condition brought about by a primary illness in another area of your dog’s body.

Examination

Your veterinarian will use his or her expertise and knowledge of anatomy and disease to make a diagnosis. Taking known facts into account like the age and breed of the dog, his vaccination status, worming program, toilet habits and so forth, they will be able to eliminate certain diseases and use tests to arrive at a diagnosis and how affected your dog’s liver is by disease.

History

Early signs of liver disease are subtle and it is a good idea to get into the practice of taking your dog for annual routine check ups that include blood work especially if he falls into a high risk category for canine liver disease e.g. breed pre-disposition or is over eight years of age. It is important to remember that your dog may not show any explicit signs of canine liver disease, which is why a regular blood or urine test may give you an early warning. Often indirect evidence from laboratory tests can lead to the presence of liver disease.

Always provide your veterinarian with all relevant facts. Nothing is too small or insignificant and the more facts you can provide the better the chances. If for example you have been using weed killer in the garden or spilled some anti freeze in the garage the dog may have ingested or you have to admit his diet is less than healthy go ahead, your veterinarian needs to know all the facts you have because at the end of the day you know your dog best.

Physical Exam

When your veterinarian examines your dog, physical examination findings may include a distended abdomen due to enlargement of the liver. This symptom can also be indicative of other diseases it should be borne in mind. There may be enlarged lymph nodes, which could indicate secondary bacterial infection or the spread of a primary liver tumor. Bruising may be seen under the skin or after a blood sample is taken which is due to the liver’s effect on your dog’s blood clotting mechanism.

Sometimes canine liver disease is accompanied by fever indicated by a rectal temperature of 103 degrees when inflammation or infection is present. Your veterinarian will notice all of the signs and symptoms present by a full body examination and routine blood and urine tests.

Sometimes if results are inconclusive, it may require some more extensive blood and diagnostic testing to be certain of the diagnosis. Many different levels of liver enzymes are tested and compared against normal levels.

X-Rays

X rays can show increased liver size, decreased liver size liver abscesses, abnormal mineralization, and circulatory abnormalities (using special dyes).

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is one of the better techniques for diagnosing dog liver disease as the circulation of the liver, the bile duct system, the density of liver tissue and the size of the liver can be seen.

Biopsy of the liver

While this is surgery, it is most useful for diagnosis of canine liver disease as liver tissue can be examined and tested to give a conclusive diagnosis and a treatment regime based on the findings. Your dog’s liver biopsy can be taken by a full laparotomy where the whole liver can be looked at by the veterinary surgeon or by a needle biopsy. The liver will regenerate these tiny pieces of liver taken for testing so it is a low risk procedure for your dog.

Treatment

The course of treatment required in a case of canine liver disease will depend upon the cause of the condition. For example, if trauma was the trigger, hospitalization while the dog recovers from the impact of the trauma may be all that is required. On the other hand, antibiotics may be needed if a bacterial infection is at the root of the disease. Furthermore, when liver disease is caused by another medical condition such as cancer or anemia, these additional medical circumstances will need to be taken into account.

In addition to certain medications, dietary adjustments and supplements can be very useful when attempting to treat canine liver disease. Dietary changes can include adjusting the amounts of proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals that a dog eats. This will then ensure that your dog is receiving the nutrition he needs and will also help to decrease the stress and workload of the liver. Vitamin K can be helpful with respect to controlling bleeding disorders while vitamin E, as an antioxidant, helps to remove free radicals and to prevent continued damage to your dog’s liver.

Certain natural remedies can also be very helpful when treating canine liver disease. Natural herbs and substances have properties that assist with the purification of blood, the stimulation of digestive enzymes, and the protection of the liver from toxic substances. Some of these substances have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Milk thistle is another natural ingredient that is known to be very effective in cases of canine liver disease. This natural substance acts as an antioxidant like vitamin E, stimulates production of new liver cells, and helps to prevent certain toxins from attaching to the liver. Thus, many natural substances and remedies can be very beneficial for dogs suffering from liver disease.

Never use alternative therapies until you have received a proper and specific diagnosis from your veterinarian.

AN OVERVIEW OF 5 TYPES OF CANINE CANCER

VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 4.5/5

The most feared word of any dog owner is “cancer”. For dog owners whose pets are part of the family, the news that your dog has cancer is devastating. However, although it is hard to take in and very frightening, the more information you have and the more knowledge about treatment options, the easier it will be for you to decide what steps to take to do the best you can for your dog.

Understanding a little about the disease, its various forms, and the possible outcomes will at least make things clearer and assist you in making decisions along the way. You will understand what changes your dog will go through, what is likely to happen to him, and what treatment and complementary therapies are available for him.

In simple terms, cancer is abnormal division of the cells and multiplication. Cells in all organs and of the body grow and then divide as part of the normal life cycle. The division of the cell results in two cells, which is why it is known as “multiplication” of cells. When the multiplication of cells is unchecked, they eventually destroy normal tissues and organs. Cancer can occur in any part of the body, and at any stage of life.

The good news is that the growth in “Veterinary Oncology” as a study field and the dedicated work of researchers and veterinary cancer specialists, cancer treatment for dogs has evolved a very long way in the past thirty years.

Many types of cancer CAN be cured through conventional treatments, or knocked into remission for increasingly longer periods of time. Due to the synergy and cross over of veterinary medicine to human medicine and back again, many cancer treatments available for people are also available for dogs, and new cancer treatments are being developed every day.

There are many pioneering organizations making efforts to research and work on canine cancer treatments in the hopes that new discoveries and drug therapies will provide a treatment where currently fatal cancers can be halted before that stage or even cured.

 Herbs, vitamins, and antioxidants for dog cancer support
  • Helps promote better quality of life
  • Supports the healing process
  • Helps maintain energy levels
  • Encourages your dog’s immune system
  • Helps ease pain and discomfort

Kit contains a 2 month supply for most dogs:

TREATMENT PHILOSOPHY OF CANINE CANCER
Cancer treatment for animals is always focused on providing the animal with the highest possible quality of life for the longest amount of time possible.  That is why dogs typically do so well while undergoing chemotherapy.

Humans by comparison rationalize and understand that the of the rigors of chemotherapy will make us very ill and we will suffer severe side effects in some cases but we have the mental capacity to know we will feel ill before we get better.

The philosophy of quality of life for your dog is extremely important since they cannot consent to their own medical treatment. Your dog’s quality of life could be destroyed and cause him considerable distress where an aggressive treatment that could cure the cancer completely is used, but would sacrifice your dog’s quality of life to the extent where he would not be able to function on his own and would need round the clock nursing.

Veterinary treatments of cancer keep the dog in a state where he can perform basic tasks such as eating, drinking, and toileting and retain some comfort. Many owners will take responsibility for the dog’s needs of course but if the treatment will take away the quality of life of your dog, it is a matter for discussion between you and your veterinarian. This is one of the most difficult diseases for you as a dog owner as ultimately you are responsible for his welfare. Some canine cancer support groups out there will help you through a difficult time or decision.

TYPES OF CANINE CANCER

Normal Cell Division
Cell division is rapid in young growing pups, to allow for the quick growth in body size. As dogs become adult, this cell division slows and stops, until only cells of the skin, bone marrow, and intestine continue to divide throughout life. The body has an inbuilt monitor that keeps a close check on the balance between cell multiplication and cell death, so there is always just the right number of cells in an organ. Genes are responsible for controlling cell division and some genes switch on cell division and some switch cell division off thus maintaining the right balance.

Abnormal Cell Division
All of the causes of cancer are not fully known, but genetics, environment, and the state of an individual’s immune system are all thought to play a role. The outcome of treatment depends on how successful the therapy is at stopping the abnormal cell divisions. Abnormal cell division puts the body out of balance and can be caused by damage to a cell’s DNA. This in turn affects the genes involved in controlling the rate of cell division.

The body somehow loses the ability to kill the cells with damaged DNA resulting in abnormal cells multiplying out of control. These cells commonly known as cancer cells can spread throughout the body leading to organ failure and death.

Cell division and multiplication occurs in every organ of the body. This means cancer can occur anywhere. However, some cancers occur more frequently in our dogs than others and different breeds have more susceptibility to cancer.

The most prevalent cancers in all dogs are:
•    Breast cancer
•    Bone cancer
•    Skin cancer
•    Cancer of the mouth
•    Cancer of the lymphatic system.

Breeds that tend to have a higher incidence of cancer include Golden Retrievers, Boxers, German Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels, Flat Coat Retrievers, West Highland White Terriers, Rottweiler’s, Doberman Pinschers, Schnauzers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Danes, Greyhounds, and Standard Poodles.

Breast Cancer in Dogs
Breast cancer is most common in female dogs, but it can occur in male dogs also. It usually occurs in middle aged to older dogs, particularly if they are not spayed or were spayed later on in life. This is because the hormones associated with the heat cycle can trigger abnormal growth of the mammary cells. This is a good reason to spay your female puppy if she is not going to be bred from.
Symptoms
The symptoms are firm, irregular lumps or masses that are felt under or near a nipple. The lumps usually appear in the mammary glands between the back legs. They grow rapidly and can develop smelly ulcers on top. Veterinarians rely on a biopsy to confirm that it is cancer. Sometimes the lumps are benign, but there is a real risk that these benign lumps will turn cancerous over time. It may be a good idea to remove the lump before it becomes dangerous.
Treatment
Treatment for this type of dog cancer is surgery to cut away the lump, followed by chemotherapy. If the dog is female, you will be advised to have her spayed to remove the chances of hormonal activity that could set off the cancer again. Unfortunately, in many dogs, by the time breast cancer is diagnosed, it has already spread to the internal organs, and the outcome is not good.

Canine Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer)
Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer in dogs. It tends to occur in middle aged, large breed dogs, and it most often develops at the ends of the long bones of the leg.

Symptoms
The first indication that there is a problem is usually when the dog starts to limp. The limp progressively gets worse, and painful swellings may develop where the tumour is growing. The cancerous bone is not as strong as normal bone, and it may suddenly break.

A veterinarian can usually make a diagnosis based on the dog’s age and breed and by taking an x-ray of the sore leg. A bone biopsy will give a definite answer. Bone cancer is extremely painful, and by the time it is diagnosed, it has usually already spread to the lungs.

Treatment
Treatment commonly involves amputation of the affected leg. Most dogs do very well with only three legs, and they feel better with the painful tumour removed. Chemotherapy can extend their life, but for many dogs, the survival rates with osteosarcoma are one year even with treatment.

Skin Cancer in Dogs
Skin cancer is normally thought of as being caused by too much time spent in the sun. This is the case with dogs too, but the most common skin cancer is not related to sun exposure at all.

Symptoms
Skin cancer tumours are called mast cell tumours, and they normally appear as fast growing ulcerated nodules on the legs or body. They can be aggressive and spread to the internal organs from time to time.

Treatment
Treatment involves surgical removal of the tumour where a wide margin of skin is also removed around the tumour to ensure all traces of cancer are removed. Follow up treatment may be radiation or chemotherapy. The outlook is very positive after skin cancer and your dog is likely to enjoy a good quality of life for several years.

Canine Mouth Cancer
Different types of tumour may develop in a dog’s mouth and throat. They all cause similar symptoms: Most tumours are not found until the disease is fairly advanced, so it is a good idea to regularly look inside your dog’s mouth. These tumours can spread into the bone of the jaws.

Symptoms
The symptoms of mouth cancer are bad breath, pain and difficulty eating, and sometimes bloody saliva.

Treatment
Treatment often includes surgical removal of part of the jaw. Although dogs do seem to cope with this, it can make eating more difficult. This is often followed up with radiation therapy to try to increase survival time. These tumours do not have the best prognosis and many dogs do not survive for much more than a year after diagnosis.

Lymphatic Cancer in Dogs
Lymphocytes are cells, which are produced in the bone marrow, and are part of the body’s immune system. As with any other type of cell, they too can become cancerous. When this occurs, it is called Lymphoma and damage is possible to any organ that has lymphatic tissue. The most common areas for lymphoma to develop are the lymph nodes, the gastrointestinal tract, the bone marrow, and the skin.

Symptoms
Symptoms vary depending on which part of the body is affected, but in most cases, dogs will be come ill and may vomit, stop eating and develop a fever. Untreated, the dog rarely survives more than a few months.

Treatment
Chemotherapy is successful in many cases and can lead to remission where the signs of cancer disappear, and the dog is essentially normal. Remission can last for as much as a year, but the cancer often reappears.
This is a perplexing problem for veterinary oncologists as if the cancer did not reoccur; this would be quite treatable with a positive prognosis.

INFLUENCES ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF CANCER IN DOGS
There are four main influences in the development of cancer in dogs, some of them can be managed to reduce the risk of the disease.

Genetics:
Genes have been identified in some breeds of dog that seem to increase the risk of them developing cancer. German Shepherd dogs often develop hemangiosarcomas (a tumour of blood vessels), whereas osteosarcomas are common in Rottweilers. The fact that some types of tumours are more common in certain breeds suggests that these tumours have a genetic basis. It could be possible that some dogs are born with damaged DNA in his cells hence predisposing him to these types of cancer.
Infection and Inflammation:

Papilloma is a virus that causes harmless growths in a dog’s mouth. However, there appears to be a link between papilloma virus infection and the tendency for a dog to develop aggressive cancer of the mouth.

Chronic inflammation of an area may also trigger the growth of cancer. One example of this is when a broken limb has been repaired with plates and screws. If the screws become loose over time, then the irritation to the bone may lead to osteosarcoma in the area.

Hormones:
There are very strong links between hormones and breast cancer in dogs. Spaying a female dog before their first heat virtually eliminates the risk of breast cancer later in life. However, if she is spayed after 2 years of age, spaying does not protect her at all. Similarly, a tumour known as a perianal adenoma (a tumour of the tissue around the anus) is much more common in male dogs that have not been castrated.

Environment:
In people, there have been connections made between exposure to pesticides and the development of cancer. There does not appear to be as strong a link between environmental toxins and cancer in dogs, so this may not be such an important influence. It does appear that being exposed to cigarette smoke may increase the risk of cancer of the nose and sinuses. Sun damage can lead to skin cancer in dogs.

Responsible dog ownership and attention to your dog’s well being may not prevent him developing cancer but if you regularly give him a condition check when you are grooming or make a point to have a once weekly examination, you may be able to improve the outcome by catching the warning signs early. Other warning signs to look out for are included that you may see at any time.

CONDITION CHECK STEPS AND CANCER WARNING SIGNS

1.    Feel your dog’s body all over to check for any lumps and bumps. If you dog is longhaired, pay special attention to this. If you notice any lumps or bumps, then get them checked out by your veterinarian.

2.    Check your dog’s mouth for bad breath, bleeding gums. Does he seem sore? Monitor how he eats a treat or his meal, is he having difficulty swallowing. If he shows any of these signs, he should be checked over by your veterinarian.

3.    Most dog owners know what their dog is like when he is in fine fettle and bursting with play, health, and activity with a healthy appetite so it should be easy to see if he is depressed or just off colour. Any of these signs of unwellness or vomiting or lethargy should be investigated.

4.    Does your dog have any lumps and bumps on his leg joints? Is he lame or sore? If he is showing any of these signs, he needs to be checked over.

5.    Check your dog’s body condition and see if he has lost weight unexpectedly, if so he needs a trip to the veterinarian.

6.    Are there sores that do not seem to be healing or bleeding and discharge from any body openings?

7.    Is your dog reluctant to exercise or has a distinct loss of stamina?

8.    Is your dog showing signs of difficulty, breathing, urinating, or evacuating stools?

If your dog exhibits any of these signs or you notice any abnormalities in your dog during your condition check, make an appointment with your vet sooner rather than later. Cancer treatment in dogs usually has a better outcome if it is started early, so getting a quick diagnosis is crucial.

OTHER CANINE CANCER PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

1.    Spay your female dog before her first heat to prevent breast cancer if she is not breeding stock.

2.    Male dogs with undescended testicles should be neutered as the retained testicle often becomes cancerous.

3.    Dogs with thin skin and coats with a pale colour should not be allowed too much exposure to the sun to avoid skin cancer.

4.    Choose your pedigree dog with care and avoid breeds with a predisposition to cancer or try to buy from a parental line that does not have any incidences of cancer.

5.    Feed your dog a high-quality diet that uses human-grade ingredients and little to no preservatives or additives. Good nutrition is key to good health.

6.    Keep your dog at a healthy weight. Dogs that are overweight or obese are at greater risk of developing cancer.

7.    Try to limit your dog’s exposure to chemicals and pesticides such as lawn treatments and fertilizer, known to increase risk of cancer.

8.    Avoid chemical flea and tick treatments or limit the use to when you need them.

9.    Consider using natural remedies and treatments to support your dog’s immune system

CANINE CANCER TREATMENT TYPES

Radiotherapy
Radiation therapy involves using a focused radiation beam to kill tumour cells. Radiation can also affect rapidly dividing normal (good) cells, so veterinarians try to protect surrounding parts of the body as much as possible. They also spread out radiation treatments to allow normal cells to recover.

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that may be a single drug or combination of drugs to aggressively treat the cancer. In general, dogs receive a lower dose than humans as it is important for dogs to retain basic functioning. This also helps them to avoid some side effects and tolerate the treatment more robustly.

The purpose of the drugs is to attack cells and prevent them from dividing or to damage the cell’s DNA. The chemotherapy drugs cannot differentiate between cancerous and non-cancerous cells so the immune system is compromised and side effects can occur. Side effects are not so much of an issue with dogs as they receive the chemotherapy in lower doses.

It is unlikely your dog will lose his hair as a human would, as they do not continually grow hair like humans. There may be a little thinning or change of texture though. Poodles and Old English Sheepdogs are at risk of losing their coats as they have coats that continually grow.

Surgery
The removal of cancerous tumours and growths will be done under a general anaesthetic. Biopsies may just require a local anaesthetic.

Complete removal of the tumour may be possible or in the case where a tumour affects other organs, is close to or entwined in major blood vessels, a partial removal to de bulk the tumour will be performed.

Your dog will experience some pain and discomfort after surgery and will need nursing. He will likely have some form of pain relief. It is important to discuss the surgery with your veterinary surgeon so you know what the surgery is, if the dog will need feeding tubes fitted for post surgery and you will need to discuss the options if the veterinary surgeon discovers more masses or complications.

If all of the tumour is safely removed, your dog is still likely to require follow up with chemotherapy or radiation.

Alternative and Natural Therapies
Some dog owners like to use alternative and natural therapies to support treatment that is more conventional. Many vets now offer these services and natural remedies, and they may improve the outcome for some cancer patients.

There are some natural remedies and treatments that have proved highly effective in supporting conventional medicine

IN SUMMARY
While your dog is undergoing the stressful procedures of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatment, there are things you can do to support him. Good nutrition is vital to keep up his energy levels. If his appetite is poor, he may need to be fed through a stomach tube. He may need fluids to stop him becoming dehydrated, and in most cases, he will definitely need pain relief.

It is perfectly fine to choose not to continue treatment or not to treat your dog that has cancer if the outcome is not promising or if you do not have the finances to treat him. All veterinarians will give you support to make your dog’s life comfortable and will help you when it comes to making the right decision for your pet.

You can provide palliative care for your dog at home with the help of your vet and do what you can to keep his quality of life strong for as long as possible.

Advances in veterinary care mean that dogs are living longer than in the past, and the incidence of cancer is naturally increasing as more dogs reach geriatric age. New diagnostic tests and treatment choices mean that the outcome for many cases of cancer in dogs is quite good. Work with your vet, choose your treatments carefully, and you will get the best outcome possible for both you and your dog.

Finally, do not overlook the importance of a good pet insurance policy. This will not necessarily reduce the risk of cancer, but it may make routine wellness exams and preventative care more affordable. If your dog should be diagnosed with cancer during the course of their life, it will help you to afford lifesaving cancer treatments to help your dog battle this disease. Pet insurance is an excellent way to protect yourself and your pet.

got mold remove it

VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 5.0/5

Although most of us are able to maintain our homes properly, there are going to be times when you must call in an outside service to handle some of the more difficult problems that can arise. This is especially the case if you have any type of water damage in your home, as it can be difficult to do the water damage repair on your own. Hiring a company that will be able to take care of the repair is not only going to allow it to happen quickly and effectively, they will often provide additional services that may be needed. Many companies that offer water damage repair also include a secondary mold inspection company that goes hand-in-hand with the water damage that you may be experiencing (Source: Mold Inspection Company by Environmental Services). They may also offer other services, such as being a crime scene cleaner but those are not typically needed for a household under normal circumstances.

It is a good idea for you to have the mold inspection company check for any problems with mold during the time that they are repairing the water damage. It may be several months or perhaps more before any visible signs of the mold appear but during that time, you may be exposed to the mold if you’re living in the home. This can have dire consequences, as certain types of mold can cause permanent damage to your lungs and can make you very sick. If they are able to remediate the mold before it becomes too much of a problem, you will be able to forgo the other issues that can take place during that time.

Benefits Of Payday Loans for Emergencies

VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 5.0/5

There are plenty of benefits of payday loans online. Payday loans are small loans that you can borrow for a short period of time. The lenders will give you a few hundred dollars until you get your next paycheck or for a period of a couple of months.

They are very popular in the United States. Millions of people who live in the United States are short of cash a couple of days before they get paid by their employer.

Benefits of payday loans:

#1: These loans are almost instant.

The entire process is pretty simple and straightforward. You can apply online and most of the time your application will be either approved or denied in less than 1 hour. Most people who apply for a payday loan receive a favorable answer. If this will happen, you will more likely receive your money in the same day.

I remember a time when I had to pay a few dog care emergencies. I didn’t have enough money at the time and I had to borrow it. Thanks to the magic of payday loans, my German Shepherd dog is still alive and well.

#2: Don’t struggle when you are short of cash.

I know many people who used to struggle and didn’t put food on their table when they didn’t have money to buy something to eat. It’s not a pleasant thing to do especially when you have other options. There’s no need to suffer. Borrow a small amount of money for a short period of time and then you will repay it back.

#3: Cash is not wealth.

Sometimes it makes sense to invest your money in a business even though you may risk running short on cash. Realize that cash is not wealth. Cash is just paper money that was printed by the Fed. If cash is not wealth, it means that it’s not a horror story to be out of cash.

#4: The interest rates are tiny.

You don’t need to pay huge interest rates for your payday loan online. The interest rates are so small. It feels like the loans are almost free. Banks charge such a small amount of interest because they get their money from the Fed at a very small rate. Plus, the banks also compete against each other for the same market. This means that no bank can offer interest rates indefinitely by itself. Other banks will choose to lower their interests to take their clients.

#5: You don’t need to be a credit ranking master to get a loan.

Most banks don’t even look at you if your credit ranking is bad. They will ignore you or your needs because a loan given to you represents a high risk opportunity to them. Payday loan lenders do not care about your credit rankings because the sums you borrow from them are small.

#6: Payday loans are supposed to be paid when you get your next paycheck.

The name “payday” comes from the idea that these loans should be paid when you get your next paycheck. These loans first appeared because many people living in the United States found themselves short of cash a couple of days before they got their next paycheck. This situation is explained by the low saving rate in the United States.

#7: These short term loans were created to serve people.

Bank institutions and bankers think from the perspective of how to get the most money from their clients. The don’t get the idea that you should first and foremost care more for your clients than for yourself. You should think from the perspective of the client. Payday loans were invented to solve a problem encountered by millions. It wasn’t invented just to make a profit on the back of the common folks.

Emergencies can happen. Dog care emergencies, health related emergencies and other types of emergencies can hit you and create big problems if they catch you unprepared. A payday loan will help you get out of the mess quickly and easily.

The above benefits of payday loans explain why taking on payday loans make sense when you are short of cash for short periods of time. Don’t do it unless you will have a sure way of getting money in the near future. Now, go ahead and learn more about payday loans. See if you qualify.

solutions for dog aggression

VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 0.0/5

Although there are many things that you are likely to enjoy in life, it is difficult to surpass the enjoyment that is available through pet ownership. Not only are you getting a companion when you own a dog, you are getting a family member that is going to stick with you through thick and thin. It is that unconditional love that it showed by pets which attracts many individuals to owning them, although there may be times when problems can occur. For example, your dog may end up developing some type of habit that is going to be undesirable. This can be anything from jumping on people when they enter into the home or crowding the door, all the way to something more aggressive, such as biting or nonstop barking. What are some of the things that you can do one of these problems occur?

One important thing to consider is the fact that any sudden change in your dog’s behavior may be a medical problem that will need to be addressed by a veterinarian. If your dog suddenly starts to bite at you after years of being a faithful companion, it may be possible that it could have an infection or be in pain for some other reason. It may also be necessary for you to hire a Bay Area dog training service which will assist you in rooting out the cause of the personality change within the animal (Source: Bay Area Dog Training by Good Dog, Great Dog). They will be able to work with you and the dog directly at your home so that you can once again enjoy owning your pet.

How To Reverse Aging

VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 5.0/5

We live in a world that does not really lend itself to a healthy mind and body. As a matter of fact, we are constantly exposed to toxins in the world around us that can really make it difficult for us to maintain any level of beauty. Of course, there are things we can do to help reduce some of the damage that had occurred and to turn back the hands of time. These include such items as neck firming creams, stretch mark creams and eyelash growth serum. By applying these products daily and making sure that we are taking care of our mind and body in the way that we eat, sleep and breathe, we will find that we are making improvements to our body that are felt from the inside and noticeable on the outside.

One specific problem that many people have is the formation of stretch marks. In reading some Revitol stretch mark cream reviews or if you review other popular stretch mark creams, you will find that they offer a solution that is well worth looking into (Source: www.stretchmarkscreamcoupons.com). Like any type of natural solution, however, you need to be persistent in your efforts in order to see the changes and to keep the changes going. Of course, it is very encouraging when you see the stretch marks begin to fade and your more youthful skin begin to appear again. So regardless of whether you are trying to get rid of stretch marks or if you are trying to remove some of the effects of aging, make sure that you do everything possible to make those changes and you will see a difference.

How to get urgent cash for your pet’s health emergencies?

VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 5.0/5

Every one treats their pets much more than an animal; pets become part of their families. They play an important role in the home and they can be great companions to you and to your family members.  Caring for your pet is not a difficult job.

If your pet is ill or injured, you should take some precautions to cure your pet. Know whom to call and what to do when your pet is injured; make a preplan for your pet emergency health care. Note your veterinarian’s number and keep it handy.

Sometimes in certain situations like when pet needs some medication or urgent surgery, if your pet doesn’t have any insurance, all of a sudden you need some emergency money. If you are short of cash and your next payday is after couple of weeks, you can’t leave your pet at risk; the better choice is to opt for a payday loan. Going for this loan will help you to get urgent cash to attend to your pet’s needs and saves your valuable time.

The second option you can choose is- pets insurance, this will help you pay your veterinary bills; it protects pets when they meet with some unexpected accidents or illness. This insurance can be either for unexpected or for regular health checkup of your pet. As veterinary fees are so expensive these policies can give relief from some of those fees. Paying a small amount into a pet insurance policy will help you to save big expenses in future.

Whatever the problem you might be faced with, remember your pet’s health is primary. So try to make an effort to care for your pet.

Below are some tips to care for your pets.

  1. Spend some time with your pets by playing games or taking them out to parks or gardens
  2. Provide hygienic and nutritious food and plenty of water
  3. Allocate your monthly budget to cater for the needs of your pet
  4. Research the web to get the best pet insurance deals
  5. You need to provide proper shelter to your pet
  6. It is your responsibility to keep your pet fit and healthy
  7. Do not overfeed your pet, as this results in obesity and other health problems
  8. Open pet savings account, with this you can cover most of your financial problems

 

Author Bio:

My name is Michelle. I am a tech writer from UK. I am into Finance. Catch me @financeport

a dog care blog carnival – July 5, 2012

VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 5.0/5

Welcome to the July 5, 2012 edition of a dog care carnival.

Be a guest blogger here!

Jacques Bouchard presents Pet Travel Tips: Planes, Trains, & Automobiles posted at Onward Healthcare Blog, saying, “Are you bringing your pet on a trip in a car, plane, train, bus, or ferry? This article gives you everything you need to know to make them as comfortable and safe as possible.”

Phil Basten presents The Simple Way to Toilet-train A Puppy posted at Dog Training Blog | Tips and Dog Training Resources, saying, “hassle free tips and tricks on how to train your puppy or dog.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of a dog care carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Want more than a mention?  Write a post for us!

Technorati tags: , .

How to Fight the Top 3 Dog Diseases

VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 5.0/5

According to the Sate of Pet Health 2011 Report, the top 3 diagnoses for 2.1 million dogs were dirty teeth, ear infections and chubbiness. Although the diseases are all relatively minor, dog owners can keep their dogs healthier and happier by following preventative measures to keep these three common health problems at bay.

1.     Dental Tartar

In humans, periodontal disease has been dubbed “the silent killer.” The destructive bacteria bred by tartar have been linked to aspiration pneumonia and heart disease in humans. Its full effects are still unknown.

As in humans, the greatest threat posed by this type of bacteria is damage to your dog’s organs. Bacteria can travel through the gums to the bloodstream, infecting vital organs. Dental problems can also cause a loss of appetite as well as broken or lost teeth.

Dental tartar is a mineralized plaque that actually makes it easier for plague to accumulate. Though tartar can accumulate above and below the gum line, it is often apparent as a hard yellow or brown residue. Other direct signs of dental tartar are swollen, bleeding or irritated gums. You may also notice that your dog’s breath has become increasingly foul.

Behavioral symptoms of periodontal disease can be displayed in chewing and eating habits. Your dog may be experiencing pain caused by periodontal disease if he favors softer foods, neglects his chew toys or favors one side of his mouth while chewing.  Chewing less may also cause your dog to vomit, and you may notice his food to be poorly digested.

Periodontitis is incredibly common among all ages, but is seen in 80 percent of dogs older than three. There are many preventative measures that can be taken to keep you dog healthy, such as daily brushing habits. Also, dogs with healthy chewing habits have healthier teeth, making chew toys and crunchy treats essential parts of your dog’s dental care routine.

Extensive yearly exams are also recommended for identifying periodontal diseases. Larger breeds are recommended to undergo these exams once a year; while smaller breeds need to visit the doggie dentist twice as often.

2.     Otitis Externa

It may have an elaborate name, but the second most common canine disease is an ear infection. While there are some external factors that may cause an ear infection, many dogs are predisposed to the condition through genetics.

Some dogs, like Chinese shar-peis, chow chows and English bulldogs, have predispositions to abnormal ear canals. Other breeds with hair inside the ears or long, heavy ears can be more susceptible to infections.

Causes of infections include fungus, bacteria or parasites. Infections are most common in humid weather during the summer months and can particular affect dogs that are exposed to water or foreign bodies. Physical symptoms include redness and swelling of the external ear canal and abnormal odor or discharge from the ear. Behavior symptoms include scratching or rubbing the ears, shaking the head and exhibiting signs of pain when the ear is manipulated.

Prevent ear infections by cleaning your dog’s ears routinely and treating them monthly with an ear mite preventative. A visit to the vet will be necessary to treat an ear infection.

3.     Overweight

Overweight dogs are more susceptible to a variety of health problems like pancreatitis, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems. Despite consequences that could lead to life threatening conditions, obesity and overweightness is extremely common in dogs. In fact, it is estimated that over 50 percent of dogs are overweight.

For some breeds, obesity is obvious; but if you need to check to see if your dog is overweight, there is a simple way to do so. If you can feel your dog’s ribcage and spine, your dog is at a healthy weight. Once your dog reaches maturity, ask your vet to provide information for your dog’s optimal weight. Dogs that are up to 15 percent over are considered overweight, while those that are above 15 percent are considered obese. Weigh your dog periodically to monitor his weight (or weight loss if needed.)

Though some breeds are genetically predisposed to weight gain, owners are often to blame for their dog’s unhealthy weight. Overfeeding and lack of exercise are the two biggest causes of weight gain. Controlling portions and limiting snacks will help reduce your dog’s calorie intake, and ramping up activities is the only way to help your dog burn more calories. If you are too busy to walk your dog regularly, consider hiring a high school or college student as a dog walker.

By taking control of your dog’s diet and exercise routine, you should see a weight loss of 1 to 2 percent per week. Stick with your program to maintain this weight.

If your dog has a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, the problem could be medical. Thyroid problems and hormonal imbalances can also lead to weight problems.

Aniya Wells is a freelance blogger whose primary focus is writing about online degree programs. She also enjoys investigating trends in other niches, notably technology, traditional higher education, health, and small business. Aniya welcomes reader questions and comments at aniyawells@gmail.com.

A Memorable Baby Shower

VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 5.0/5

Although there are many special days that we will have in our lifetime, the birth of a child is one that is always going to be cherished. That is why it is important to consider the baby shower and everything that is associated with it. You would want the memories from the shower that was given to last for a lifetime, so some advance preparation is necessary. What are some of the things that you should do to ensure that the baby shower is comfortable and memorable?

One thing that you can do is to have everything set up far in advance of the date when it will be held. This will give everybody the opportunity to prepare in advance and to attend the happy occasion. You should also ensure that the registry is in place so that the guests can begin purchasing items at their convenience. Those items may include everything from a burp cloth or baby security blankets all the way to some more specific items, such as trumpette baby socks (Source: Trumpette Baby Socks by Burps, Bibs, & Beyond). Although it is a good idea for most people to stick to the registry, you can also pick up some items on the side such as diapers, which are going to be used in large numbers once the baby actually arrives.

Finally, make sure that you choose activities which will help to make the baby shower enjoyable for everyone involved. There are many different baby shower games which can be enjoyed and it will not only help to make it a great day for the new mother, it will allow other people to remember their special days as well.

a dog care blog carnival – September 6, 2012

VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 5.0/5

Welcome to the September 6, 2012 edition of a dog care carnival.

Be a guest blogger here!

dog care

Jon Anderson presents The Dog Owner’s Guide to Canine Liver Disease posted at Holistic Dog Care Tips, saying, “Canine liver disease is one of the causes of death in dogs and is something to be taken seriously by dog owners.”

Kimberly Gauthier presents Wanted! Soft Perfume and Non Toxic Flea & Tick Treatments posted at Keep the Tail Wagging, saying, “This year I decided to move away from spot flea and tick treatments and look for safer, holistic options and was surprised to find several options that really work and are less expensive. Our favorite is Bright Eyes Pet Wellness.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of a dog care carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Want more than a mention?  Write a post for us!

 

Technorati tags: a dog care carnival, blog carnival.

Your Dog and Worms: Inulin PK for Dog Worms

VN:R_U [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 5.0/5

Worms are a very common issue with your dog. Dogs like to do what dogs like to do and this involves eating things they are not supposed to, frolicking and romping around in things that smell really bad, roll in and eat horse and cattle manure, swim in stagnant ponds and puddles and chase vermin and rodents.

Very often, our terrier friends may decide to eat their prey when they catch them and mice and rats are not the best things to eat and expose your dog to worms and other nasties, but the terriers seem to like them! It may have something to do with your dog’s sense of taste, which is not very sensitive or discerning! However, your dog is by nature a scavenger and will eat almost anything, including feces. Watch your dog closely when he is next let loose. He will begin sniffing around chasing scent to try to find something he can eat or chew and whatever he puts in his mouth is likely to be worm infested.

All of these fun past times that your dog loves to indulge in expose him to the worms that infect him and cause some nasty symptoms. He may also become affected with some unpleasant ailments from the worms too.

Although we love our dogs dearly, worms are one of the less pleasant things we have to deal with as responsible pet owners. Worms need to be managed because if not treated, can cause your dog to become unwell and he will not thrive. It is vital that puppies are treated for worms as soon as possible to avoid their little stomachs and intestines being damaged by worms. Left untreated worms can cause your dog to become extremely ill and some kinds of worm infestation can be fatal to your dog.

Inulin PK 100% Natural Botanic Oil Formula for Worms in DogsCanine Inulin PK for Dog Worms
Pet Wellbeing Inc.
PetWellbeing Inc
Dog worms Supplies
pwb-39

A healthy, herbal product, Canine Inulin PK fights

internal parasites

– including roundworm – and helps repair the damage they’ve caused.

To tell if your dog has worms, regularly look out for the symptoms described in the list below.

Symptoms of Worm Burden a Dog Will Show:
Always suspect worms when a dog loses his appetite.
Check the coat to see if it is dull looking. You can do this during regular grooming sessions.
Not the most pleasant job, but check to see if there are any visible

worms in your dog’s feces

. Some worms are visible to the naked eye but not all of them so this is not a one hundred percent method.

Sometimes worms can be seen on the dog’s fur, around the rear. Tapeworms initially appear small and moving, and later dry out and look a little like grains of rice.

Although it is comical to look at, if your dog is scooting along the ground on his bottom or scooting against furniture, your dog is likely to have an

itchy bottom

, which may be caused by worms. Your dog will also do this if he has problems with his anal glands.

Your dog may vomit if he has a

worm burden

and worms may be visible in the vomit so always check this. Vomiting may make him dehydrated so know what to look for.

There are many signs of dehydration in your dog. A simple test is to pull up the skin at the back of your dog’s neck gently. If the skin does not immediately spring back to its normal position (within 1 or 2 seconds), your dog is dehydrated and needs immediate attention. The longer it takes for skin to return to its normal position, the more severe the dehydration. He may show dry gums, sunken eyes and is urinating too much or too little. Your dog will be lethargic and a return to normal colour will be slow when you press a finger on a pink part of his gums (capillary refill time).

If your dog has a bloated stomach, it is an indication of a worm burden. This is especially true of puppies that carry a worm burden from their mothers

If your dog is not thriving on the food he is getting and shows lack of appetite or increased appetite and seems permanently hungry, he may be carrying a large worm burden. He may even lose weight and become unthrifty, as the worms will be making use of the nutrition and not your dog.

If your dog has diarrhea, always suspect a worm burden especially if there is blood in it. Remember diarrhea can lead to dehydration too, so be alert to this.

Symptoms for dogs with worms will become progressively worse if treatment is not given. With worms in your dog, you can never beat the worms but you can control them with prevention and regular dosing with drug treatment or natural remedies.

How do Dogs Acquire Worms?
Types of worms will be looked at in detail later but it is interesting to note where dogs acquire these worms from and how important it is to treat all of the species they can carry.
If a mosquito bites your dog, he can become infected by heartworm.

If your dog has fleas, he can acquire

tapeworm

from ingesting the fleas when he is itching or licking his coat.

Drinking from infected water sources can give your dog hookworm infection from ingestion of the hookworm eggs or larvae.

Roundworms and

hookworms

can infect the fetus of a puppy while inside the womb.
Roundworms are also acquired when your dog eats and infected animal such as a mouse or rat.
Contaminated water and food can transmit

whipworm

to your dog.

Dog Intestinal Worms
The five intestinal worm varieties

roundworm

, hookworm, tapeworm, whipworm, and heartworm can be easily acquired as we saw earlier. Each worm type causes different symptoms and long-term ailments and these are looked at here.

Roundworms
These are the most common type of worms that are likely to infect your dog. They are generally 2-4 inches long, tan or white and “spaghetti-like” creatures with tapered ends.
If your dog is

infected with roundworms

, he may experience vomiting, diarrhoea, and show a generally unhealthy appearance. If he becomes heavily infested, he may pass whole worms in his stools. This type of worm can cause intestinal blockages, which is a dangerous condition.
A large percentage of puppies are actually born with microscopically small roundworm larvae in their tissues. These worms have migrated to the mother’s uterus, then right into the developing pup. Roundworms can also be transferred to a nursing pup through its mother’s milk.

Tapeworms
Tapeworm segments are usually 1/4-1/2 inches long. When tapeworm segments dry out, they tend to look like a grain of uncooked rice or a sesame seed.

Tapeworms live in a dog’s small intestine and steal the nutrients from the food that your dog consumes.
Dog

tapeworm symptoms

include abdominal discomfort, nervousness, itching around the anus, vomiting, and weight loss

The only way that dogs can get tapeworms is by eating an infected flea.
When your dog ingests the flea, it is digested, releasing a tiny tapeworm. The tapeworm fastens itself on the wall of your dog’s intestine. Initially, the worm is just a head, a throat and a segment. The worm then starts growing new segments, each of which has its own digestive and reproductive systems. The worm feeds on the nutrients in your dog’s food as it passes by in the intestine. Eventually, the worm sheds off its older segments. When these dry out, they look like tiny grains of rice or sesame seeds.

Each of the worms segments contains many thousands of eggs.

Tapeworms can grow up to 15 feet long and the largest tapeworm ever found was almost 60 feet long!

Hookworms
Canine hookworms live in your dog’s small intestine. They are very similar to earthworms in type.
Typical

hookworm symptoms

include itchy feet, a rash on the dog’s feet, wheezing and coughing, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea, and blood in the stools or black stools.

Both puppies and adult dogs can suffer anemia and even death — when infected with hookworms. These worms enter your dog through its skin and then move through the skin to the lungs. From the lungs, they are typically coughed up and then swallowed. Hookworms are different to other intestinal parasites in that they feed on the dog’s blood. Puppies are especially susceptible to hookworms and can die of a hookworm infection.

Hookworms are difficult to diagnose because they are not usually passed in the stools. In most cases, the only way they can be diagnosed is with a fecal test performed by your veterinarian.
How severely hookworms may affect your dog depends on its overall health and age.

Whipworms
Like hookworms, whipworms bury their heads into the dog and suck its blood. They live in the first section of your dog’s large intestine. These worms get their name from their whip-like shape.

Your dog’s symptoms with whipworms will be relatively mild, although exceptions do occur. Heavy infections can result in bouts of diarrhea and feces may be streaked with fresh blood. Young dogs or dogs with a chronic infection can suffer severe weight loss, dehydration due to diarrhea, and anemia.

Dogs must ingest

whipworm eggs

to become infected.

Whipworms are hardy and can survive outdoors in the soil for years.
If your dog shows chronic weight loss and its stool seems to be covered with a mucus-like substance, it may have whipworms and will need whipworm medication

It is usually difficult to prove that the

dog has whipworms

because they produce comparatively few eggs. Even if you look at several of your dog’s stool samples, you may not see the whipworms.
Hookworms seldom cause the dog’s death, but they can be a real nuisance for the dog.

Heartworms
Heartworms are very dangerous because they can actually kill your dog. It can be as long as nine months from the time your dog becomes infected until the heartworms become adults and a threat to your dog’s life. During this time, you will not know the dog has become infected. This is why heartworms are often called “the invisible killer.”
Unfortunately, your dog will show symptoms of

heartworm disease

after the heartworms have become mature and are in the dog’s heart and lungs. The symptoms of heartworm disease at this stage include a dull coat, weight loss, difficulty breathing, fainting spells, and an enlarged abdomen. Ultimately, the dog will suffer congestive heart failure.

The only way your dog can contact heartworms is if a mosquito that has fed on another dog infected with heartworms bites him. When the mosquito ingests blood from an infected dog, it also takes in microscopic creatures called microfilaria. When the mosquito next feeds on your dog, these microfilaria are deposited on his skin. Sixty to ninety days later, they break through and enter one of the dog’s arteries and are transported to your dog’s heart. This tiny microfilaria will then develop into adult heartworms, which, if left untreated, can clog your dog’s heart and lungs and cause its death.

The only way that heartworms can be diagnosed is through a blood test administered by your veterinarian. If you live in a warm, wet area such as the south, or any area where mosquitoes are prevalent, you should have your veterinarian give your dog this blood test as part of its regular, yearly check up. This way, if it has been

infected with heartworms

your vet can begin treatment before it is too late.

Preventing Worm Infestations
The best way to prevent your dog from contacting any kind of worm is to take preventative measures. Natural remedies are available that can be used in conjunction with a broad-spectrum dewormer from your veterinarian. There are all in one products to tackle all varieties of worm to protect your dog and natural products to complement drug therapy and prevent infestations. When in doubt consult your veterinarian.

Be sure to keep your dog flea free as it only through fleas that your dog can contact tapeworms.
Try not to allow your dog to be exposed to stray animals or wildlife, as they often carry dog fleas and other parasites. It is a good idea to keep your dog away from dog parks that are not well maintained, as these can be a source of parasites

Keep your dog from eating animal carcasses, such as those of birds, rodents, and rabbits. These carcasses can carry immature worms that then mature into adult worms after your dog ingests them.
Do not let your dog eat feces that are either his own or from other dogs or animals.

Inspect your dog’s anus and feces regularly and look for signs of tapeworms. As indicated above, tapeworm segments are small, wide, and flat and resemble grains of rice.

Get puppies tested as early as three weeks after they are born, as it is highly likely that they are carrying a worm burden that has been transmitted from their mother.

Putting your dog on a regular deworming program with a natural product or drug therapy is the best thing you can do to maintain good health and to prevent some of the unpleasant effects that worms can have.