Maybe your dog's breed is prone to pacing; that's not a concern. But dogs who begin pacing following injury or in their later years may be suffering from spinal problems. In a normal walk pattern, each of the dog's legs move individually in a four-beat gait, with the diagonal pairs of legs moving nearly together. For example, the left hind and the right front legs move forward almost together, with the left hind paw landing a fraction of a second before the right front paw; then the right hind leg goes forward closely followed by the left front.
After getting the opinions of three orthopedic specialists and engaging in countless discussions with other owners of dysplastic dogs I made a very difficult decision. I was going to have Sandy undergo a surgery called bilateral femoral head osteotomy (FHO). I knew that I faced challenging post-operative care and rehabilitation, but I assumed that I would do the best I could when the time came.
Heartworms are horrible. No arguments there. Anyone who has ever known or had an infected dog knows how slowly but surely the parasites can sap the animal’s strength and vitality. Going through the treatment to kill the heartworm is no walk in the park either. The “cure” is quite capable of killing the dog in the process of trying to save its life. But some people just don’t like the idea of giving the dog the chemical preventatives that can keep the pooch safe from infestation. And some dogs are sensitive to the drugs, reacting to each dose with vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms.
Manufacturers of deworming products have gone out of their way to let us know that, left unchecked, these pesky parasites can plague dogs that are in poor health, rob them of nutrition, attack vital organs, and cause unthriftyness, illness, and even death. If a dog's health is poor and he is hosting an uncontested parasite population, all sorts of bad things can happen. It is important to protect our dogs from parasites, but as it turns out, protection largely follows as a result of building the dog's overall health. Toxic dewormers may be unnecessary to dislodge what few worms a strong and healthy animal might have.
Conventional medical practitioners use the word colitis to indicate inflammation of the colon (the large intestine), as opposed to inflammation of the small intestine or the stomach. One of the large intestine’s most important roles is to absorb water. If the colon is not functioning properly, a lot of water is left in the stool; that’s diarrhea. There are many different types of diarrhea, and, unpleasant as it may be to contemplate, the characteristics of the diarrhea help us identify which part of the dog’s digestive system is not working properly.
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First, I need to make it clear that there are many types of rear end lamenesses that may end up being diagnosed as hip dysplasia, but you really can't accept the diagnosis of hip dysplasia without hip x-rays. Hip dysplasia is a radiographic diagnosis, not a clinical diagnosis. That may be splitting hairs, but I see many dogs with conditions such as ruptured and improperly healed cruciate ligaments or lower back arthritis that have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Only radiographs can determine whether or not a dog has hip dysplasia.
Diabetes is a common and serious problem in pets. Formally known as diabetes mellitus (the sweet sickness), it’s a disorder of the pancreas gland. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, whose purpose is to drive nutrients, specifically glucose, or blood sugar, into the cells. It’s the body’s most important fuel molecule. Good management is the key to longevity for diabetic dogs.