Monthly Archives: July 2013

LYME DISEASE 101

Lyme disease is an easily preventable tick-transmitted disease. The effects from Lyme disease can be painful and no fun for your pup. Not to mention you as well can contract Lyme disease from a tick.

Symptoms

  • Lameness due to inflammation of the joints, many only have acute lameness that lasts only three to four days but reoccurs days to weeks later, in the same leg or in other legs
  • Lack of appetite
  • Depression
  • Damage to the kidney
  • Heart or nervous system disease

Prevention

Young dogs appear to be more susceptible to Lyme disease than adult dogs. Ticks can be found anywhere, but are most commonly seen in the upper Midwestern states, the Atlantic seaboard and the Pacific coastal states.

If your dog gets diagnosed with Lyme disease he will probably get put on antibiotics, which take about four weeks to work. Unfortunately, there may be some long term joint pain even after the bacteria is cleared out. There are things you can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to your pup.

  • Don’t let your dog roam in tick-infested environments.

    Courtesy of michigananimalhospital.com

    Courtesy of michigananimalhospital.com

  • Groom your dog daily and remove ticks immediately if found. Pull ticks straight out when removing, don’t twist or crush the tick. Wash your hands as soon as you remove the tick to limit exposure to yourself.
  • A veterinarian can recommend a variety of sprays, collars and topical products to kill and repel ticks.
  • There are routine vaccines that should be given to dogs.

Quick Facts

The topic of Lyme disease can become a little controversial between veterinarians. Not all dogs that are positive for Lyme disease are clinically ill, so it’s hard for vets to decide whether or not to treat them. The United States does have a better track record with Lyme disease than other places. According to Dr. Erika de Papp, DVM, DACVIM, in New England 50-75 percent of dogs test positive for Lyme disease.

For Lyme disease to be contracted the tick must be attached for at least 48 hours, this is why it is so important to remove the tick as soon as you find it. Adult ticks are active whenever the weather approaches or exceeds freezing. So, if there are several warm winter days in a row ticks could be active, don’t consider it safe just because it’s winter.

Lyme disease is scary and may even cause permanent damage to your pup. Both you and your dog need to always check for ticks. Keep your pooches protected and make sure you’re always on the lookout for ticks!

Photo Courtesy of animalgeneral.com

 

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A DOSE OF POOCH PRESCRIPTION

The healing effects of dogs have been spoken of for centuries. Does a dog's saliva have healing agents? Do therapy dogs take away the pain of patients? Can a dog help someone live longer? Many people believe that all of these are true.

Dogs and Wounds

Licking wounds is a natural instinct for animals. It’s what they do in the wild, so that’s usually what a dog’s first reaction is when a person is hurt. In the wild animals will lick each others wounds to try and heal them. But, does this do anything?

The mechanical action of a dog’s tongues can be helpful in dealing with a wound. Saliva of a dog’s tongue can act to loosen any debris that may be on the surface of the wound, according to Stanely Coren, a professor of psychology, at the University of British Columbia. So, at the very least a dog’s saliva can cleanse the area of the wound.

Dogs and Therapy

The number of therapy dogs is constantly growing, because people and doctors are starting to notice their effect. According to Jack Baron, director of UCLA’s People Animal Connection (PAC) it is very common for people to wake up, start eating, finally take their medications and if paralyzed suddenly move a finger to wave at a dog.Best friends

  • Baron says one look at a therapy dog strolling into a hospital room and a patient’s blood pressure will drop and heart rate will slow.
  • From a study at the University of Southern Maine researchers found that therapy dog visits calmed patients with severe dementia. Here's a pin about good dogs helping with dementia.
  • A study at UCLA found that therapy dog visits had a significant effect on heart patients. The study found that visits from therapy dogs reduced pressure in the heart and lungs by ten percent, reduced stress hormones by 17 percent and lowered anxiety levels by 24 percent.
  • A study at Massachusetts General Hospital found that therapy dogs reduced patient’s pain levels.
  • Other studies have shown that the benefits last a full 45 minutes after the dog leaves.

“We’re not just crazy dog nuts. Real science proves the dogs make a difference,” Dawn Marcus, M.D. and author of, The Power of Wagging Tails said.

“They know when someone needs love. And that’s better than any medicine,” Coleen Moran, a nurse at UCLA Medical Center said.

Dogs are not only our best friends, but in some ways our medicine. They never give up on you and always want you better. They’ll sit all day in a hospital bed with you and look at you with eyes that say, ‘don’t give up’. They do the best they can to cure our pain, because they know that it just would mean plenty more years of loving you.

Does anyone have a therapy dog in their life?

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DESIGNER DOGS

Affenhuahua, Bulloxer, Baskimo and Bagle Hound, it may sound like a different language, but actually it's designer language. These are just some of the names of recognized hybrid dogs, which the media has tagged as designer dogs. Many of these kinds of pups can be found in shelters and they get called mutts. Mutts no more, these are designer dogs!

A mutt is a dog with uncertain ancestry. A designer dog, or hybrid dog, is a dog with a documented purebred ancestry. The ACHC (The American Canine Hybrid Club) is the main source, where you can see all of the recognized hybrid breeds.

There are some risks to getting designer dogs. You never really know what you’re going to get. You can’t be too sure how big they are going to get, what type of care they are going to need and their capabilities.

If you are going to bring home a designer dog the best way to find out what their personalities is going to be like is to look up what both the breeds are like and know you could get any mix of that. You can’t always guarantee a designer dog is going to be a 50/50 mix, some dogs are multi-cross generations.

For example, if you are trying to find a pup that is hypo-allergenic, like a Poodle and you find a Poodle and Golden Retriever mix you can’t guarantee that pup will be hypo-allergenic because a Golden Retriever is not. Half of that litter may shed and some may not.

If you’re willing to take a gamble on what kind of dog you are going to get there is a huge benefit to getting a designer dog. According to dogbreedinfo.com, designer dogs tend to have much less genetic problems than purebred dogs.

Here’s a Pomino. (American Eskimo x Pomeranian)

Courtesy of Dogbreedinfo.com

Courtesy of Dogbreedinfo.com

Here’s a Raggle (American Rat Terrier x Beagle)

Courtesy of Dogbreedinfo.com

Courtesy of Dogbreedinfo.com

Here’s a Confetti Australian Shepherd (Australian Shepherd x Miniature Schnauzer)

Courtesy of Dogbreedinfo.com

Courtesy of Dogbreedinfo.com

Here’s a Cattle Collie Dog (Australian Cattle Dog x Collie)

Courtesy of Dogbreedinfo.com

Courtesy of Dogbreedinfo.com

The best thing you can do before you bring home a dog is to do plenty of research. You are not just bringing home a dog; you’re bringing home a life-long companion that you will need to take care of for the rest of that dog’s life. Designer or purebred all shelter dogs need a home, so make sure you rescue if you’re looking to add a family member to your home.

Does anyone have any awesome designer dogs?

 

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