Teaching your dog commands to follow is an important part of dog ownership. The ‘down’ command is a great first lesson. Remember to always give praise, have lots of patience and reward correct behavior with treats as positive reinforcement.
Everyone that owns a dog should learn how to prevent dog ear infections. Checking your dogs ears frequently will prevent infections. Dirt, wax and parasites can lead to canine ear infections in dogs.
Healthy ears are pink. Any signs of redness can be a sign of infection or inflammation. A small amount of earwax is normal and healthy. An excessive amount, a change in color or consistency can be a cause for concern.
If your dogs ears have a unusual smell, strong odor, or if he whines when you touch his ears, it may have a health problem, such as infection or dog allergies.
Cleaning your dogs ears regularly prevents wax and oil build up. Excessive amounts of earwax can provide a fertile environment for bacteria and fungus. You should regularly pull out the hair any hair in the ears of your dog. This improves air flow in the ear canal which prevents infections and infestations.
Ear infections in a dog can be uncomfortable and agonizing. If left untreated, canine ear infections can compromise hearing and cause permanent deafness.
Canine anatomy which includes heavy overhanging ear flaps are a cause for infection.
The most common dog ear disease is otitis externa which is an inflammation of the external canal. Otitis media which is a middle ear infection can develop from otitis externa and canine allergies is the biggest cause of infection. About seventy five percent of dogs with a food allergy or atopy have ear disease.
Some ways to prevent infection in a dogs ears are:
- cleaning dogs ears on a weekly basis
- tape the ears over the dogs head for one to two hours each day to increase ventilation to the ear canal.
- feeding an all natural diet
Routine dog ear care can prevent many ear problems. Regular cleaning keeps the ears of your dog healthy and odor free.
Hair loss in dogs or Alopecia can be a signal of serious medical problems. It is associated ..with skin diseases, endocrine disorders and allergies. Excessive licking can indicate a skin problem. Other symptoms are thinning coat, patchy areas, bald spots, itchy skin, and spotty bare areas.
What causes hair loss in dogs?
Hypothyroidism in dogs is an endocrine disease which occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Signs of dog hypothyroidism are thinning hair, lethargy, weight gain, or a dull, dry coat. A blood test which measures thyroid hormones is used to diagnose this disease. Synthetic thyroid hormones are given to manage this disease.
Mange in dogs is a skin disease which is caused by mites, usually shows up as itchy skin with patchy hair loss around the eyes, front legs, and the body. Skin scrapings are used to confirm the presence of mites. Topical anti-parasitic ointment or dips can be used to cure dog manage. If your dog has a severe case or inflamed skin, your vet may want to use benzoyl peroxide shampoo, or anti-parasitic drugs or antibiotics.
Cushing’s disease in dogs is an endocrine disorder that causes the adrenal glands to produce too much Cortisol. This elevates blood sugar and increases fat and protein bread down. Symptoms of Cushing’s disease are weeping sores, hair loss along the back, increased thirst and urination, thin skin, excessive panting and muscle weakness. Diagnosis can be made by measuring the cortisol levels in he blood. Life long drug therapy is used to manage the disease and in most cases in successful.
Ringworm in dogs is a fungal disease that affects the skin and mucous membranes. Symptoms are thinning hair and a circular lesion with crusting around the edges. Dog ringworm can be identified through microscopic examination or skin cultures. Treatment involves oral and topical medications and anti-fungal shampoo therapies.
Bacterial Skin Diseases
Bacterial skin diseases on dogs can result from underlying problems which include: Allergies, manage, and hypothyroidism. The dog scratches until the hair falls out, chews or licks itchy areas, then damages the skin, causing bacteria to form. A patchy loss of hair is more common than the hair loss that is seen with endocrine diseases. To diagnose this disease your vet may do a microscopic examination of the skin lesions for the presence of bacteria. Treatment involves a three to six week course of antibiotics.
Canine allergies to parasites, pollens, dust mites, certain foods, chemicals, can cause itchy skin. This causes your dog to scratch off his hair, rub his face, or lick his paws. It may not be possible to identify the allergic disease and diagnose the allergen. Flea bite allergy can be confirmed by the presence of fleas or flea dirt. Flea allergy in dogs is diagnosed by itching around the tail base and flea infestation. Bacterial and fungal disorders must be ruled out. Treatment of allergies in dogs includes flea control, anti-itch medications such as antihistamines, and corticosteroids, supplementation of fatty acid may help an itchy dog.
Canine Alopecia X is a group of unidentifiable loss of hair conditions that resemble endocrine type diseases such as Cushing’s disease. They are treated with Melatonin. It helps about half of dogs restore their hair.
When you groom your dog, you should look for any signs of skin irritations or irregularities. Early detection of the problem, can minimize loss of hair for dogs.
Eclampsia in dogs or milk fever is caused by a deficiency in serum calcium in the blood due to a malfunction of calcium metabolism. Toy dogs are most likely to have this problem. Eclampsia usually happens up to six weeks after puppies are born. It occasionally happens before delivery, but is more common in dogs nursing.
Canine symptoms of eclampsia are restlessness, anxiety, rapid breathing, nervousness, and whining. The dog staggers or has stiff legs. Females with eclampsia hide under furniture, attempt to climb walls, maul or even kill their puppies. The temperature of the dam may be elevated up to 106 degrees. The dog fever causes the female to pant more, which raises the PH of the blood and lowers the serium calcium level more. Her face may take on a pinched look that exposes the teeth. Muscle twitches may be seen or felt. The female may look glassy eyed and shiver. As the condition worsens, she falls down on her side and exhibits spams and salivates profusely.
If left untreated, dog eclampsia will eventually lead to convulsions and death.
Since the immediate loss of dog calcium is through the milk, early symptoms might be controlled by removal of the puppies.
Eclampsia is considered to be a medical emergency and must be attended by a vet. A calcium solution must be given intravenously or subcutaneously to restore low calcium levels. An overdose or too rapid administration can cause heart stoppage or heart attack. so careful medical supervision of these treatments is very important.
The problem is caused by a body deficiency, complicated by the increased draining of calcium supply by the puppies. It can not be treated by adding calcium to the diet. In fact, high calcium fed during pregnancy may actually increase the risk. This condition can often recur with each litter. Females who have a history of having canine eclampsia may routinely be given calcium injections prior to and following whelping puppies. If this does not help, puppies must be removed and hand fed.
The two most common causes of fever in dogs are viral and bacterial infections. Some examples of viral infections are hepatitis, parvovirus, and distemper. Examples of bacterial infections are skin abscesses and pyometra. Respiratory infections can be viral or bacterial. Some other causes are heatstroke, eclampsia or low blood calcium, and tick fever.
The average temperature in dogs is 101.3. The adult dogs temperature can range from 100 to 102.5. A body temperature above 103 in a dog is considered to be a canine fever. An elevated temperature is not necessarily a sign of dog illness. A dog can have a variation in temperature of one or two degrees depending on the time of day, their emotional state and amount of activity, or the environment, such as being outside on a hot day. Fever can be one of the symptoms of a sick dog.
Most dogs hair insulates against heat loss or heat gain. On a hot day the only way a dog can lower its body temperature is by panting. A dogs sweat glands are located on the foot pads.
Viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells can cause fever by stimulating white blood cells to produce chemical substances called pyrogens. Pyrogens are helpful in combating unwanted invaders. Fever may mean your dog’s body is responding to the challenge and fighting the infection.
Some of the signs of a fever in dogs are:
- Lack of appetite
- Nasal discharge
Dogs can seem cold and shiver or feel hot and pant or seek a cool place. There may be an increase in the heart rate and respiratory rates.
If a dog has fever over 105 it may have had a heatstroke. A shower or cold water bath must be given immediately to lover the body temperature before brain damage or death results.
Dog fever can be controlled by aspirin. Providing shade and plenty of water helps prevent heat stroke in dogs.