Posts Tagged ‘dog article’

Performing the Heimlich Maneuver on your Dog

Monday, January 20th, 2014

As we all know, dogs can get in to things that they aren’t always supposed to and sometimes these items can be harmful to your dog or too big for your dog to ingest. Hearing your dog try to cough up whatever he got into is always a scary thing, especially if they can’t! We found this very informative article on Petmd.com which gives you step-by-step instructions on how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on your dog and what to watch for!

How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver if your Dog is Choking

Most dogs will chew nearly anything: bones, toys, shoes, socks, etc. But would you know what to do if something became lodged in the windpipe or stuck on the palate and your dog began to choke? It’s important that you do not wait for veterinary assistance, as the dog may suffocate.

What To Watch For

If the dog is suffocating, it will often panic. A dog may paw at its mouth if something is lodged, though this does not necessarily mean it is choking. Another suspicious sign of choking is an unresponsive or unconscious dog; in these cases, check the throat and mouth for foreign objects.

Primary Cause

Almost any small object can cause choking, though the most common are hard rubber balls, lumps of gristle, and chew toys or sticks that have become swollen due to moisture.

Immediate Care

Be very careful when dealing with a choking dog, as even calm animals will panic when they cannot breathe. Protect yourself by restraining the dog, but do not muzzleit.

  1. Use both hands to open the mouth, with one hand on the upper jaw and the other on the lower.
  2. Grasping the jaws, press the lips over the dog’s teeth so that they are between the teeth and your fingers.
  3. Look inside the mouth and remove the obstruction with your fingers.
  4. If you can’t move the object with your fingers, use a flat spoon handle to pry it away from the teeth or roof of the mouth.

If the dog is still choking and you can’t see anything in the mouth, or the dog has fallen unconscious, follow these guidelines.

For a SMALL Dog

Pick the dog up by its thighs and gently shake and swing it. If his condition does not improve, apply forward pressure to the abdomen just behind the ribcage.

For a LARGE Dog

Do not try to pick up, shake, or swing a large dog; you’re more likely to do further damage due to the animal’s size. Instead, perform the equivalent of the Heimlich maneuver:

  1. If the dog is standing, put your arms around her belly, joining your hands. Make a fist and push firmly up and forward, just behind the rib cage. Place the dog on his side afterward.
  2. If the dog is lying down, place one hand on the back for support and use the other hand to squeeze the abdomen upwards and forwards.
  3. Check the dog’s mouth and remove any objects that may have been dislodges with your fingers.

Note that the object might be quite a way back towards the throat, so you might have to hunt around and hook it out with your index finger. If the dog required artificial respiration or CPR, seek immediate veterinary attention.

Veterinary Care

It is likely objects stuck in the throat have caused damage. Depending on the length of time the dog was without oxygen and the damage to the throat, the dog may require hospitalization for a few days. In some cases, bronchoscopy (whereby a small camera is inserted into the windpipe to visualize and remove the foreign body) may be recommended.

Although this may just be minor scratching, it is still important that a veterinarian examine the dog for potential problems. Sometimes foreign bodies stuck in theesophagus such as bones can cause respiratory distress and mimic choking.

Prevention

The best way to prevent choking is to treat your dog as you would a small child. Although it’s almost impossible to stop them putting things in their mouth, you should always be present and keep an eye on what they’re chewing. Avoid moisture-swollen chew toys or sticks, and cut up large chunks of food, especially gristle. T-bones are also known to cause choking when given to dogs.

Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/common-emergencies/e_dg_choking

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How to Ease Separation Anxiety in Dogs- Modern Dog Magazine

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Dogs are very loyal in nature and get attached to their owners, sometimes a bit too attached and have problems with separation anxiety. We found this very informative article in Modern Dog Magazine that goes over how to help your dog deal with separation anxiety. Happy Woof Wednesday!

  • Give your dog a minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour of aerobic exercise each day.
  • Work on basic obedience commands (come, sit, sit-stay, down, down-stay) for 15 or 20 minutes each day. Use rewards for compliance (praise, a quick pat on the chest, a food treat) rather than reprimands or punishment for lack of compliance. If you need help getting consistent obedience from your dog, work with a professional trainer.
  • Wean your “Velcro dog” from being attached to you at all times when you’re home. Use a baby gate to barricade her in a separate room for part of the time when you’re home.
  • Provide her with a delicious distraction, such as a Kong toy stuffed with a food treat (peanut butter is a popular Kong stuffer) while she’s by herself. You can also use a “down-stay” or “get in your bed” command to put some distance between you.
  • Ignore her for 20 minutes before you leave and 20 minutes after you return. Effusive goodbyes and hellos make a dog with separation anxiety feel worse.
  • When you leave her alone, don’t give her the run of the house or apartment. Instead, use a baby gate to confine her to one room, such as the bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen—wherever she’s least likely to do damage or disturb the neighbors. Leave a radio or TV on very low to provide distracting background noise.
  • Do not leave a dog with separation anxiety in a closed crate. Many dogs with separation anxiety have panic attacks when crated and will injure their mouths or front feet trying to bite or claw their way out of the crate.
  • Don’t use an anti-bark collar. It’s unlikely to work on a dog with separation anxiety.
  • Start a program of desensitization or “flooding.” Flooding for separation anxiety would involve setting aside several hours on a weekend during which you enter and leave your apartment so often that you essentially wear the dog out. Leave the apartment every few minutes, on a varying schedule, for a minute or two at a time then come back. Be sure not to return while your dog is barking or howling, or else you will be rewarding her for that behaviour. If it’s impossible to walk out the door without having your dog bark, you might have a friend remain in the apartment while you go in and out. Desensitization for a dog with separation anxiety involves giving her your customary cues that you’re leaving—such as picking up your car keys or briefcase, opening the coat closet, putting on your “work shoes,” and so on—without actually leaving.
  • A DAP diffuser or collar may help calm an anxious dog.
  • An antidepressant may be helpful for a dog with separation anxiety. Clomicalm (clomipramine) is widely used for that purpose. In severe cases and for occasional use, an anti-anxiety medication can also be given one hour before your departure. No drug can extinguish separation anxiety on its own, however. Desensitization is essential.

Excerpted from Hound Health Handbook © 2004, 2009 by Urbanhound, LLC Used by permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. New York All Rights Reserved Available wherever books are sold.

Source: http://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/how-ease-separation-anxiety-dogs/21954

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Preventing Winter Issues in Your Pets

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The weather is starting to cool down here in Washington as I’m sure it is in your hometown, so we want to make sure you all are prepped for the cold months ahead. There are many problems that arise when the weather gets colder and Revival Animal Health has a great article on some of the issues associated with Winter. We hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Stay warm!

Shedding

For pets that spend more time inside during the winter, the indoor heat can take its toll on their skin and coat. It causes moisture loss and dry skin, resulting in uncomfortable itching. Their winter coat also becomes too much for them, and they’ll start shedding to get comfortable again – the reason why many people feel their pet has been shedding all winter.

Coat strippers help remove the dead hair coat without damaging the remaining coat – they’re excellent for those double-coated dogs with a winter coat that wants to mat. Mars Coat Strippers will remove dead hair mats with little pulling of the skin. The result is a fluffed-up coat that keeps them warm outside and breathes on the inside, which lets your pet be more comfortable in all temperatures.

Once the dead hair is removed, bathing helps clean the skin and replace the lost oils and moisture. Many forget that some dogs are itchy just from the winter grime of everyday living, so bathing is important for healthy breathing skin.VET BASICS® Oatmeal Protein Shampoo replaces winter moisture loss while cleaning the winter grime from the skin and coat. You know your dog’s coat: if you feel you have an extra dry coat, use a cream rinse such as Fresh ‘N Clean® or Premier Cream Rinse every 2 weeks to rejuvenate the coat. Cream rinses help the coat repel moisture and ice, so they’re great for dogs that spend time outside. They’re most helpful when used in the cold of winter and in the hot summer sun.

Nail Care

Rough ground and surfaces help wear down your pet’s nails naturally, so it’s easy to rely on nature to trim your pet’s nails during the summer. However, nail trimming is often forgotten during the winter, which results in long nails that tend to break or crack, causing pain.

Foot restraint is a submissive problem for pets, and many are uncomfortable with it. Before you trim for the first time, rub and massage their feet when pets are relaxed to let them know that it’s okay to let you restrain their feet. Start slow until you and your pet are comfortable. The Oster® Gentle Paws is perfect for the novice nail trimmer – it’s essentially a powered emery board. It won’t let the nail get too short, and dogs like the sanding effect, which won’t twist the nail like clipping sometimes does. Before touching the nail, rub the leg and paw with the trimmer running so they get used to the quiet sound. Once they calm down, you can trim one nail at a time while speaking softly – they should respond in kind.

Ear Care

Ears build up more waxy material in the winter because the skin is trying to replace the lost oils. Clean the ear canal at least twice a month to avoid issues. Check the ear canal and put a small amount of Doc Roy’s® EAR CLEANSER, rub gently, then wipe with a soft tissue or cotton ball. If the ear is infected or irritated, clean the ear several times, then daily until resolved. Most ear infections can be cured with daily cleaning if they are caught early.

Skin & Coat Care

Some dogs also need inside-out support for skin and coat care. Fatty acid supplements such as Doc Roy’s® TRI OMEGA 3 are helpful for preventing cracking and replacing the oils of the skin from the inside out. Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory effects that help with joint and pad trauma while Omega 6 will keep the tissue soft and the pad pliable. Both keep trauma, ulcer and deep pad cracks in check.

The footpad is actually a huge, thick callus that heals quickly with care. Salt and snow melts dry out the pad, causing cracking and licking. Be sure to wash winter ice melt off your dog’s feet and apply a moisturizer. If repair is needed, use Mega-Tek Pet Rebuilder. Mega-Tek will moisturize and heal the chemical damage. House dogs usually need boots or socks to prevent excessive licking and chewing of the pad. Children’s socks work, but one warning. This year I put 4 socks on our dog, and when she ventured from carpet to hardwood floors, feet went everywhere! She did learn to handle it quickly, but it was the funniest thing she has done in her 9 years.

Joint Care

Feet problems are common in winter and surprisingly, most are arthritis-driven. Sore joints will cause limping and poor foot placement, which increases trauma to a pad. Oral glucosamine and chondroitin, such as Doc Roy’s® ACHES AWAY, will increase the joint fluid, easing fatigue and trauma. The result of both is a pad and joint system that will give to the concussion trauma of running. Pain-free running will keep your dog placing their feet correctly, which decreases the wear on their joints.

As a veterinarian, it is ironic that I’ve had to deal with every one of these problems in my own pets, but that just means they could happen to anyone. Preventing winter issues on the outside and the inside out as well as appropriate shampoo has made winter easier for us. A few of these prevention practices can keep your pet healthy and feeling good all winter long.

Source: http://www.revivalanimal.com/articles/winter-issues.html

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