Friday, March 30, 2007

Canine Diabetes - Does Your Dog Have it? By John Schwartz

Canine Diabetes: A Serious Dog Disease That is Completely Manageable

Canine diabetes is a serious disease that causes there to be too much glucose in the blood. If your pet has any of the signs, a dog health exam will help you find out with certainty. Canine diabetes symptoms usually include the following:

- drinking excessive amounts of water
- frequent urination
- weight gain (or weight loss in some cases)
- increased lethargy during the day

A simple blood test can tell the vet if the glucose counts look suspicious. You should have a full physical exam done on your dog annually, even if he seems perfectly healthy. Be sure to ask your vet to include a full blood work-up, to rule out diabetes (as well as many other diseases). It’s well worth the added cost!

If your pet has been diagnosed with canine diabetes, don’t panic. While it is a ‘special needs’ issue that will influence many daily decisions, it is a manageable disease in dogs. You just have to learn some simple steps and stick to a schedule.

The first goal after a canine diabetes diagnosis is to get the glucose levels down to a normal (or only slightly elevated) level. This will not require thorough dog health exams like the original blood test. The vet can draw some blood and test the levels fairly quickly, with minimal cost to you.

Canine diabetes means someone must administer insulin injections (in most cases). They are easy to do and will quickly become routine. One person in the family should be responsible for the shots, but everyone should know how to give them (age teen and up) in case of a dog health emergency. I highly recommend posting a printout of how to give the injection to your pet in every room in your house, just in case.

In our house, where we have a diabetic dog, we made a canine diabetes “Dog Health Cheat Sheet” for potential problems, like these:

- too much insulin is accidentally injected
- the needle breaks off while in the dog
- there’s a seizure (not common, but can happen occasionally)

The cheat sheet includes the vet’s emergency number and some basic actions to take in each scenario. We made several copies to be posted all over the house, but especially by the phone, the fridge (where the insulin is kept), and the bed (where our dog hangs out a lot).

The other goal with canine diabetes is to maintain the glucose level (with your vet’s help). It is crucial to take your pet periodically to the vet for a whole day (8-hour period at least) so they can check blood sugar levels throughout the day. Just as in humans, blood sugar levels fluctuate in your pet throughout the day. Having your vet monitor and take several blood readings during a longer stretch of time helps ensure that your diabetes treatments are actually working as intended.

It’s a little more work to care for diabetic dogs, no doubt about it. But our pets are family members and we love them dearly. Right? They give us their devotion, protection, and love, so the least we can do in return is give them proper health care, especially if they have problems like canine diabetes. Going the extra mile for them will help them live happier lives with less pain and more enjoyment. Can there be a nobler goal?

John Schwartz is a freelance writer, webmaster, and dog lover. He has written many published articles on subjects that include shopping for dog supplies, improving pet health, and good dog training practices. Please visit my dog supplies website at for more dog and puppy tips.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

What Are The Top Ten Dog Diseases? By Robert Knechtel

Dog Diseases number in the scores, just as in humans. But, veterinarians tend to see some much more than others. Sadly, a great deal of grief could be avoided if more dog owners were careful to see that their pets are immunized regularly against preventable dog diseases.

While experts, as usual, may differ, what are the top ten dog diseases? Here's a list (not necessarily in order of seriousness) with a brief explanation of each disease:


Of all the dog diseases, the American Veterinary Medical Association considers the distemper virus to be the worst canine disease threat to dogs world wide. Distemper is fatal in 80% of puppies and 50% of adults. All dogs are extremely vulnerable, and should be vaccinated, with subsequent boosters in keeping the recommendation of a Veterinarian.

Parvovirus (Parvo):

Parvovirus is a worldwide dog disease. It is extremely contagious, especially among puppies, and can overwhelm a dog leading to death within 48 to 72 hours after exposure. Symptoms include depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and severe diarrhea. Parvo vaccination is essential with booster shots as recommended.


Rabies is a virus and becomes fatal when symptoms appear. Because rabies can be fatal to humans and other mammals, state and local laws uniformly require rabies vaccination, many mandating booster shots yearly.

Kennel Cough:

This is a respiratory disease especially prevalent in kennels and shelters. There are a variety of virus strains, including Bortadella. Symptoms can include a dry hacking cough along with inflammation of the larynx, bronchial tubes and trachea. Vaccination, as often as every six months is recommended.


Symptoms of Leptospirosis include lethargy, kidney inflammation, low-grade fever, vomiting, reddening of the mucous membranes and conjunctiva, and blood clotting abnormalities. Since it is a bacterial disease, also found in humans, it is treated with antibiotics. Veterinarians are often reluctant to innoculate against this dog disease, since there is questionable effectiveness, and puppies can have adverse reactions.

Infectious canine hepatitis:

While this dog disease often manifests itself with mild symptoms such as a slight fever or slight lethargy, it can, in some instances become fatal. Recovery is usually rapid. Vaccination is recommended.

Lyme Disease:

Symptoms of Lyme Disease in dogs will include lethargy, joint pain, lack of appetite, lymph node enlargement, and fever. Lyme Disease is bacterial and is spread by ticks. Treatment is with tetracycline, an antibiotic. The available vaccine is not generally recommended.


Diarrhea and vomiting are symptomatic of this dog disease so it can be confused with parvovirus. Other indications are loss of appetite, smelly diarrhea, lethargy and dehydration. Replacement of lost fluids and control of vomiting and diarrhea are the recommended treatments. A vaccine is not generally recommended.


Just as in humans, this dog disease is a serious medical problem. Frequently, obese humans own obese dogs. Obviously, limiting food intake, withholding human food and enough exercise will contribute to a dogs longer life.


Heartworms are parasites that grow and multiply, infesting the chambers in the heart, arteries in the lungs. Symptoms appear gradually, usually manifested in easy tiring, lethargy and a soft cough. If not treated, it eventually brings on death by congestive heart failure in a once active animal. Prevention with products such as HartGard is recommended.

Your veterinarian should give you a certificate showing your pet's immunization against the common dog diseases. Ask for a wallet sized card which you can carry with you.

Robert G. Knechtel maintains several websites, including PetMedShop.Com, and Go60.Com.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Practical Advice for Adopting a Dog By Kathy Burns-Millyard

If you are thinking of adding a dog to your family, consider adopting your new best friend from an animal shelter or humane society. You'll not only get a good feeling from helping a homeless pet, you'll get an outstanding companion.

Many fantastic dogs end up in shelters through life circumstances that have happened with their original owners, and the staff at these organizations carefully check the animals for sound health and good temperament. In addition, some shelter animals have had the benefit of training to develop good manners while they've been waiting for a new home.

You can find just about any age, size and breed of dog at an animal shelter. From entire litters of puppies, to young dogs, to older housebroken dogs too.

When a new dog first arrives, shelter staff carefully evaluate it for physical and behavioral soundness. They make note of quirks, and work with specialists to eliminate negative behaviors. Most shelters even have adoption counselors who interview potential adopters to understand their needs and lifestyle so they can make the perfect match.

Bringing your newly adopted dog home is exciting for you, but may be a little overwhelming for her. Keep her on a leash as you take her from room to room, giving her plenty of opportunity to sniff.

It's a good idea to make your first stop on this tour a stop at the dog's bathroom area. The excitement of a car ride and coming to a new place can give her the need to empty her bowels or bladder.

It's important to understand that Dogs are creatures of habit. So the sooner you establish a firm routine, the more comfortable your new dog will become in her new home. Always feed her in the same spot and at about the same time each morning.

You'll find she grows to anticipate "what comes next." For example, if you always feed her after you bring in the newspaper, you'll notice she becomes very excited when you open the door to step outside. Dogs catch on quickly.

Related information and resources for this article can be found at:

© 2005, Kathy Burns-Millyard. This article is provided courtesy of The Pets & Animals Shopping Network. You may publish it at no cost, as long as the links are left intact, made live, and this notice stays in place.

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Stop Barking Dog Ideas That Work By Ira Nelson

One of the most annoying habits that dog owners bemoan is their pet’s undue and uncontrollable barking. It’s been found that perhaps one third of all dog owners mention this as a behavioral problem over which they wish they had more control.

There are many reasons that dogs react to situations and their environment in this way from territorial barking, to alarm barking, to aggression, and it is helpful to know what is triggering such conduct, but the main focus of this article will be on ideas and ways to stop barking dogs that get results.

It’s important, first of all, to distinguish between appropriate an inappropriate barking. Barking that alerts you to a dangerous situation or a few barks that warning someone is approaching, for example, should be encouraged and rewarded.

This is your dog’s natural tendency to want to protect his pack. Nuisance or inappropriate barking, on the other hand, is barking that is excessive or unwarranted for the situation. Your pet may be distressed, fearful, or suspicious etc. in a circumstance that does not call for such an extreme response.

Stop Barking Dog Methods that Work

The best time to start teaching the difference between good barking and bad barking is when your dog is a puppy or still an adolescent. Start by not reinforce inappropriate barking and rewarding the appropriate silence. Be consistent and persistent with this until your puppy understands the difference.

Many people have great success with a switch-over or shaping technique such as clicker training which can be use to give you control over barking and silence.

Older dogs with entrenched habits may require stronger behavior modification techniques such as bark control collars which are used remotely and of which there are several types:

Citronella spray collars spray a scent and make a sound that most dogs don’t like and if used correctly, will help the dog associate his barking will a negative result.

Ultra sonic, vibration, and electrical collars likewise offer different types of negative stimulation which will help the dog realize that his incorrect barking results in discomfort. Many of these devices offer increasing levels of negative stimulation for dogs which are, shall we say, a little more reluctant to learn. There are even combination devices, producing, for example, both a vibration and a sound.

The methods mentioned above will work in most cases, but occasionally more drastic measures need to be taken to stop a barking dog.

In extreme cases, where all other methods have fail, it may be necessary for your veterinarian to prescribe psychotropic drugs or perform ‘debarking’ surgery. These solutions are controversial and in some areas debarking is illegal, but given the alternatives of surgery over euthanasia in the case of a drastically dysfunctional dog, it could be the best alternative.

For more information on this subject go to Stop Dog Barking.

For more information on remote training techniques go to Dog Training collars.

Ira Nelson has years of experience in the dog care and training field. More information, tips, and techniques like the ones in this article are available at

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Health Problems - By Rich Fuller

There are many dog health questions for which suitable explanation is required for the pet owners. They may be caring their beloved pet animal, dog as informed by the neighbour or friend etc. The best thing that they can do is to get their doubts cleared from the veterinarian. Here is the discussion about few dog health questions.

How deal with constipation of a puppy?

It is the normal behavior of the puppy not going to the toilet for couple of days as he/she will be nervous when they have moved in to a new place. If the puppy is drinking and eating normally, there is no need for tension. The pet owner can wait for another twenty four hours. In the mean time, make the pup walk for some time.

Try to give natural laxative like banana. Also make sure that you are giving the same food that the breeder was giving. Even after all these, constipation persists, and then takes the dog to the veterinarian to find out the cause and get the animal relieved from constipation.

What should I do incase my dog is constantly licking his rectum area?

The dog licking at the rectum area indicates that there is some problem with the anal gland. Anal gland infections are very common in pet animals especially dogs.

Impaction of the anal gland is possible if the stool is soft or if the gland is overactive. The pet owner must understand that some dogs needs expression of the anal sacs while some other dogs do not require that in their life time.

Excessive licking in the rectal area is the indication that the dog requires anal sac expression. Bad smell and disturbance in the bowel movements are the other indications that inform us that the dog require anal sac expression.

Do the dogs really need exercise?

The dogs do require exercise for healthy life. The duration of the time required for exercise varies from breed to breed.

In general the younger dogs can manage exercise better than the older dogs as they will fitter and healthier than the older ones. Besides the heart problems and other health problems will be much less in younger dog.

But the point to be noted here is that the younger dogs will damage their joints and ligaments if the exercise is excessive and wrong. The pet owner must feed the dog extra when they are under exercise regime. These dogs will need extra salt as the same will be lost more during workouts.

There list of dog health question is ever burgeoning one, for more information it is better to get in touch with the veterinarian.

To learn more about dog health sickness problem, visit our resources on how Dog's eye care health and see puppy health problems. is a comprehensive resource for dog lovers to identify symptoms, prevention and treatment options for dog health problems.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Diagnosing Illness In Your Dog Health - By Mandy Fain

As a dog owner, there are a variety of sicknesses that you will have to worry about dealing with during their lifetime. There are a lot of different things you will have to worry about, from viral infections to metabolic infections to other things. Diagnosing illness in your dog correctly can be the difference between life and death for your pet, and there are a variety of ways physicians go about diagnosing illness in your dog.

Blood tests are the way that veterinarians usually diagnose health problems in your dog. Distemper, hepatitis, herpes, and heartworm are all health issues that your dog can be afflicted with that can be diagnosed through the use of blood tests. Whether you are looking for a parasite or evidence of a parasite, it is possible to detect dog illnesses through inspection of a dog’s blood content.

Examining the urine of a potentially sick dog is also an effective way to diagnose illness in your dog. There are a whole host of diseases that can be diagnosed through checking out the dog’s urine and many times this is a procedure that can be completed right on the same site as your veterinarian. Presence or absence of certain sugars, proteins, and waste can be the indicator of infections in certain parts of the body including the kidneys; many times a catheter must be used to extract the urine directly from your pet’s bladder as they want a fresh sample, untouched by anything else.

In addition to urine analysis, fecal analysis is another reliable way of detecting illnesses and parasites in your dog’s system. Hook worms, tape worms, and other things are able to be detected through close inspection of your pet’s waste matter. In addition, any problems that affect the proper digestion of your pet’s food are able to be detected through inspection of fecal matter.

Urine and fecal analysis are the most commonly used methods of diagnosing illness in pets, both cats and dogs. They are needed to properly and accurately diagnose illness in dogs, and they are not cheap by any means. However, there are few other reliable ways to diagnose illness in dogs with any certainty. Otherwise, medications will be given out on what a veterinarian may believe to be true and their beliefs will not always be the case. Prescribing unnecessary medications can hurt your dog, so to eliminate this problem you should be sure to order the proper tests.

Learn more about diagnose dog sickness symptoms on our site. You'll also find other information such as common dog illness problems and dog health symptoms is a comprehensive resource to help dog owners identify their dog's illness symptoms and treatment options.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Fundamentals of Dog Breeding - By Eric Hartwell

The Goals of Dog Breeding:

Good temperament should be the first goal in breeding. Every breeder should be on the lookout for shyness, fear of strangers, refusal to leave a common environment, fear of unexpected changes and excessive activities in their dogs and decide if they want these characteristics to be passed onto the puppies. These signs can easily be inherited by the offspring and breeders should understand the effect of genetics on the puppies. However, good temperament is usually present in the ancestral genes and is believed to be dominant traits that can be passed on to puppies.

The Fallacies:

The commonest mistake that a breeder makes is to put a female dog and a male dog together in a room and leave them alone to let nature takes its course. This may not ensure a litter of puppies. It is important to know when the female dog will achieve sexual maturity first to ensure that she gets impregnated.

The first period of heat usually occurs anywhere after six months to 12 months of age but this period is not the best time to breed the female dog. She is not quite mature at this time. It is more advisable to wait for the second period of heat to ensure that the female dog is ready for pregnancy.

The Fundamentals:

Careful selection of parents is the first step to ascertaining that you breed good puppies. Make sure that both parents must be as free as possible from inherited or inborn faults. The breeder should fully recognize the shortcomings of his dogs as well as their merits and be fully informed about their ancestors.

In picking out the mother and the father of the brood, it is important to remember that like produces like but that characteristics don’t always blend to give the desired result. The mother should be free from any inherited shyness or savageness as these may be passed on to the puppies.

The father of the brood determines the sex of the puppies as he carried the sex-determining chromosomes. Although they have less reproductive difficulties than the females, these defects are harder to correct. Keep in mind that the father of the brood should have the appropriate amount of sperm to impregnate the female.

There is a further challenge that no hidden defects in the ancestry should crop up in a succeeding littler of puppies. It is important for the professional dog breeder to have a complete understanding of dominant, recessive and mixed characteristics of the dog first before embarking in breeding.

It is rewarding to develop puppies which are good both physically and mentally. It is especially more gratifying if the dogs grow up to be intelligent and good natured as well.

Do you want to know more about dog care or anything about the crazy world of dogs? then visit us here

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