Thursday, August 16, 2007

Distemper in Dogs - Home Detection Tips -By John Schwartz

Distemper: Spotting This Dog Killer Before it's Too Late

Canine distemper is a devastating disease. It often crops up in seemingly healthy pets without any warning. What’s more, distemper often mimics benign problems, like the common cold. This is truly the most insidious aspect of this illness. Sadly, many cases progress to the point where they are no longer treatable before the owner even realizes what's happened.

How to spot the early signs of distemper

First and foremost, understand that distemper can often be diagnosed very early if regular trips to the veterinarian are scheduled and kept. This cannot be stressed enough, especially for new puppies! Because afflictions like distemper most often strike very young pups when they have weaker immune systems, it’s crucial that owners visit the vet often in the first few weeks of life. Early diagnosis means a chance to survive distemper.

Owners who suspect distemper, but haven’t had the animal seen by a vet yet, can detect it by a couple of signs. First, yellowish-green or dark green discharge from the eyes and nose is a classic symptom. It’s often accompanied by sneezing and general lethargy. Unfortunately, many pet owners assume this is just a sign that their dog has contracted a cold or has allergies and they ignore it.

If you remember nothing else about what you read here, remember this: any greenish discharge from the eyes or nose means distemper is a real possibility. RUSH your pet to the vet at the first sign! In most distemper cases, the only chance your puppy or dog has is early detection and aggressive medical therapy.

While distemper can manifest differently from one dog to the next, another hallmark of it is constant shaking or twitching. This happens in the more advanced stages of the disease, when the infected dog's neurological system has been compromised and muscles fire continuously. Unfortunately, by this stage it’s rarely treatable and the humane step is euthanasia. Having said that, always get your pet checked out thoroughly to rule out some other condition that may be causing the tremors. You never know. Dogs are like people, in that they are susceptible to a wide range of illnesses and diseases that can share very similar symptoms. Never assume!

It isn’t easy for pet owners to prevent diseases as serious as distemper. It's infamous for sneaking up on otherwise healthy puppies. But starting a new puppy out right - with good nutrition and regular visits to the vet for vaccinations and check-ups - will go a long way toward keeping him healthy and disease-free. Know and watch for the signs of distemper and your dog will have a strong ally in you!

© John Schwartz (all rights reserved)

John Schwartz is a web site publisher and professional writer. For more information about dog toys and other dog supplies, visit his site at today.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Dog Breeds : Airedale Terrier - By Dorian Regester

The king of terriers was developed to hunt otter in Yorkshire, England. It is the result of crosses between the now extinct English Black and Tan Terrier and the Otter Hound. The Airedale got the best of its hound and terrier ancestors. Its talents are many. Airedales have been and are still used as bird dogs, big game hunters, and military and police dogs.


Overall impression is of a large, robust, long legged terrier full of fire and spirit.
Height: 22-24 inches (at shoulder)
Weight: 44-50 pounds
Whiskers and a goatee
Button ears are folded forward and carried to the side of the head. They are not altered.
Docked tail is carried high but not curved over the back.


Legendary loyalty
Totally trustworthy with children
Eager to please and learns easily.
Fiery temper shows when around other dogs.


Harsh double coat that can be either straight or wavy.
Airedales are all tan with black or grizzled saddle.
Wiry coat requires professional grooming. Pets are trimmed with clippers but show dogs are hand plucked.
Waterproof coat inherited from Otter Hound ancestors.


Largest of the terrier tribe.
Loves to swim.
Puppies born black.
Beloved pet of three successive American presidents: Harding, Coolidge and Hoover. Also fancied as hunting companion of Teddy Roosevelt.


Hip dysplasia
Skin allergies and hot spots

Monday, August 06, 2007

Stop the Dog From Digging -By John S. Rhodes

You’ve probably taken great care in grooming your front or back yard lawn and garden. You finally have a chance to enjoy the warmth of the sun and the smell of the many varieties of flowers you’ve planted. Suddenly, you come upon a deep hole in your flower bed.

Upon further inspection, you notice more holes in your back yard! Who is the culprit? You’re recently acquired dog. Now what do you do? How do you stop the dog from digging?

If you’ve never owned a dog, you will need to understand that certain dogs react in different ways to change. To stop the dog from digging, it is essential to understand why they dig. There could be a myriad of reasons.

Either they smell something interesting and wish to investigate; or if they come from an animal shelter they may want to protect their toys or even certain types of food from other dogs; or it is inherent in their breed.

When you bring home a dog for the first time, their natural curiosity is to smell everything; especially in a yard or flower bed. Sometimes they are looking for scents from other dogs as well. In some cases, they may sense a smell deep in the ground; consequently, they dig.

In addition, dogs tend to dig out of boredom. It is important to stop the dog from digging by taking him or her on daily walks. Exercise is a key factor in alleviating any type of misbehavior. Keeping your dog occupied with other activities will certainly help you to stop the dog from digging.

Again, depending upon the dog’s breed, you need to research their habits and then act accordingly. You can also purchase books on the dog’s breed, as well as their behavioral aspects.

Overall, however, to stop the dog from digging will take a certain amount of time and effort to understand the dog and the breed. More importantly, do not scold your dog.

Changing a dog’s behavior requires you to be kind, patient and loving. If you’ve ever seen the show, the Dog Whisperer, the method that always seems to work is to fully engage the dog in an exercise program and, at the same time, letting the dog know you are the pack leader. Once this type of training is establish, you will never have to stop the dog from digging again.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dog Ear Infections: Signs, Causes and Treatments By Shannon Magnus

The ear consists of three parts: the outer ear, middle ear and the inner ear. The outer ear, or the visible part of the ear, is most prone to infections. It is reported that about 90% of infections happen in the outer ear.

Infections of the outer ear canal are common among dogs. Dog ear infections, or Otitis Externa, occur frequently in dogs because of the way their ears are designed. The horizontal and vertical components of a dog's ear make it difficult for particles such as water or debris to drain out.

Signs that Your Dog Has an Ear Infection

* Your dog is constantly and excessively shaking its head.

* There is yellow to brown discharge in your dog's ears.

* Your dog's ears have a yeast-like smell.

* There is redness and swelling on your dog's infected ear.

Possible Causes of Dog Ear Infection

Dog ear infections are caused by a variety of things. However, allergies are the typical cause of dog ear infections. If your dog has allergies or is highly susceptible to allergies, your dog is likely to have ear infections.

Water getting into the ears is another common cause of ear infections among dogs. So if your dog likes to swim, it is prone to ear infections. This is because of the way your dog's ears are designed. When water gets inside your dog's ears, the water can't properly drain out. Thus, your dog's ears become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. This doesn't mean, however, that you shouldn't allow your dog to swim or play in the water anymore. It just means that you should thoroughly dry your dog's ears after to prevent ear infections.

Cleaning Your Dog's Infected Ear

Regardless of how much you take care of your dog's well being, your dog will most likely eventually have ear infections. When this happens, you need to know the correct way of cleaning your dog's ear before putting medication.

1. Put a few drops of ear cleanser into your dog's infected ear.

2. Next, gently rub or massage the ear to loosen any debris that is stuck in there.

3. Using a soft cloth, gauze or cotton ball, gently scrape and wipe the dirt out of the infected ear.

Medicating Your Dog's Infected Ear

After thoroughly cleaning your dog's infected ear, apply medication according to the veterinarian's instructions or the instructions found on the label.

Your dog's veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate treatment based on what has caused your dog's ear to become infected. For instance, if your dog's ear infection was caused by a yeast infection, the veterinarian will prescribe an anti-fungal medication. If the infection was caused by a bacteria, your dog will be prescribed antibiotics.

Medications for dog ear infections are typically applied directly into the ears. However, if your dog has a severe ear infection, the veterinarian may prescribe oral treatment. The veterinarian may also clip the hair around your dog's infected ear to allow more air to circulate in it. Surgery, for reconstructing the ear canal so that it drains better and easier, is the last recourse when topical and oral treatments have failed.

While all dogs are prone to ear infections, those belonging to breeds with large ears that flap over the outer ear canal as well as those breeds of dogs with very small ear canals are most susceptible. As a dog owner, it's your responsibility to take care of your dog's well being. Take proper care of your dog's ears and learn how to detect the early signs of ear infections.

I love dogs and have owned them most of my life. I've done a lot of research and put together a free website and newsletter for fellow dog owners. Please visit: Dog Behavior, Health and Obedience Training

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