Dog Constipation

Dog ConstipationConstipation In Dogs

By Admin

Dog constipation happens when a dog strains repeatedly and is unable to pass stool.  The leading cause of constipation in dogs is ingesting bones, wood, or other indigestibles.  A healthy dog should have one or two stools a day.  If your dog is not straining and is active, alert and eating well, but has not defecated in a few days chances are the problem is not serious.  Other causes of irregular bowel movements are ingestion of hair balls from cleaning themselves, tumors, and the slower intestinal movements, perineal hernia’s or prostatic enlargement in older dogs and lack of exercise.

A dog that has an impaction will pass blood tinged or watery brown stool.  This can be mistaken for diarrhea.  This is caused by the liquid stool being forced around the blockage.  The dog may have lack of appetite, be listless and may vomit or pass small amounts of blood streaked, foul smelling feces.  Some long haired dogs get feces stuck and matted over their anus.  They can not defecate.  This referred to as Pseudocoprostasis.  The hair and matted feces must be clipped around the anus so the dog can defecate.

Mild constipation in a dog can be relieved by adding over the counter laxatives such as Metamucil to the dogs food.  Adding water to a dry dog food diet may be helpful for inactive bowels.  Mineral oil, which lubricates and softens the stools, maybe be a relief for constipation.  It is best to put the mineral oil in the food.  It may pass into the respiratory system and cause pneumonia.  Milk and liver have a laxative effect and can be a cure for constipation.

In older dogs with constipation, the intestines become lazy and moves the feces through the intestines much more slowly.   The long the feces is allowed to stay in the intestine, the more water is removed from them, which makes the stool much harder and drier.

Preventing irregular bowel movements includes giving your dog plenty of water, feeding a balanced diet with fiber, and make sure the dog gets plenty of exercise.  Do not give your dog bones.  Chicken, steak, and pork chop bones are all dangerous for your dog.  They can cause obstructions and can cut the intestines.

What Causes Bad Breath In Dogs

Bad Breath In DogsBad Breath In Dogs

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What causes bad breath?  Usually bad breath in dogs is caused by problems with the dogs teeth and gums.  Plaque develops on a dogs teeth just like it does on human teeth.  Few dog owners brush theirs dogs teeth.  The plaque hardens and turns a brownish color that is called tartar or calculus.  The tartar that is under the gums loosens the delicate membranes that holds the teeth in their sockets.  This causes infections to develop around the receding gums and teeth.  This is known as periodontal disease.  The dog odor is bad and the gums are red and swollen.  The dog may have trouble chewing or may drool.

More than 80% of dogs that are three years old develop periodontal disease which affects the gums.  The overgrowth of gum tissue will cause a foul mouth odor.  How to cure smelly breath?   A teeth cleaning is necessary to save the dogs teeth.  Sometimes extractions of the teeth is needed.

Mouth odor causes are red or bleeding gums, loose teeth, tartar on the teeth, sensitive or painful mouth, reluctance to eat.

If your dog has a very sweet mouth odor combined with lethargy and increased water intake, urination, and appetite may indicate diabetes.  Your vet will want to take a urine sample to check for sugar.  Kidney disease in dogs can produce dog bad breath too.

Dogs do not get cavities often.  They are more prone to fractured teeth and malocclusions.  A malocclusion is a misalignment from a normal bite, which is generally a scissors bite.

Prevention of periodontal disease is very important.  Chronic mouth infections constantly spread bacteria and toxins to the kidneys, liver and heart of the dog.  This can cause damage to these organs.

The time to prevent future dental problems is before the tartar forms.  Your dog should have his teeth cleaned on a yearly basis to prevent dental disease.

Cellulitis In Dogs

Cellulitis In DogsCellulitis In Dogs

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Cellulitis in dogs is an inflammation which involves the deep layers of the dogs skin.  What causes cellulitis?  It is caused by deep cuts, scratches, puncture wounds, bites and lacerations of the skin which lets bacteria set in.  If proper care is taken in the first few hours, infection can be avoided in most fresh wounds.  Cellulitis and abscess of the leg are common in both dogs and cats.

Cellulitis symptoms are pain or tenderness to pressure, firmness, warmth, and a change in color.  You may see red streaks in the skin and be able to feel enlarged lumpy glands in the groin, neck or armpits.  As the infection spreads out from the wound into the sub-dermal lymphatic system.

A localized pocket of pus beneath the surface of the skin is a skin abscess on a dog.  Boils pustules, pimples and furuncles are examples.  The symptoms are the same as cellulitis except that the dog abscess is fluctuant or it feels like fluid under pressure.

If hot packs are applied to an area of cellulitis, moisture and heat assist the natural defenses of the body to surround the infection and make it come to a head.  The skin that covers the top of the abscess thins out and ruptures, which allows the pus to drain form the wound.  Then the pocket is able to heal from below.

Boils, pimples, pustules, furuncles and other small abscesses which do not drain may need to be lanced with a sterile needle.  The cavity will need to be flushed with a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution to keep it open and draining until it heals from below.

How to treat cellulitis?  Antibiotics are used in the treatment of wound infections, abscesses, and cellulitis infection.  Most bacterial skin infections respond well to Penicillin, Erythromycin and Keflex, but cultures may be indicated to select the drug of choice.  Infections of the skin can be dangerous if not taken care of promptly.

Foreign bodies such as splinters beneath the skin must be removed with tweezers as they are a continuous source of infection.

Lick Sores In Dogs

dog lick soreLick Sores

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Lick sores in dogs are common.  A lick sore is also called a Lick Granuloma or Acral Lick Dermatitis.  It is a sore on dogs that is located on the lower foreleg, paw or hind leg.  It is seen in large breed dogs such as Retrievers, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Dobermans and Labradors.  The dog constantly licks his paws and legs until a dog sore develops.  It is caused by boredom and lack of exercise.  The hair is lost over the affected area.  If left untreated, the skin sores will become firm, thick and will ulcerate.  It is common in middle aged dogs that are less active.

The skin becomes thicker due to constant pressure from licking.  It usually happens to the skin over the bony pressure points on the dogs outside elbow, hock or paw.  You may see a thickened, gray, wrinkled and hairless area.  It is seen in large or obese dogs or those that spend a lot of time lying on hard surfaces, such as cement or wood.

Why dogs lick?  Dogs lick to reduce pain and irritation.  The dog also licks to relieve itching and to keep wounds clean.

Since boredom seems to be the major factor, more companionship and exercise may help.  Take the dog for a walk every day or get another dog for companionship.  Bitter Apple can be used to discourage a dog licking sores on feet.  Unless a dog skin infection develops, or the skin lesions become large,  no treatment is necessary.  Cortisone injections may be used to help relieve the itching and inflammation.   If an infection occurs, an antibiotic may be prescribed by your vet.

Separation anxiety in dogs can cause excessive canine licking and skin disorders.  If this occurs, your vet may have to prescribe an anti-anxiety drug to help eliminate the licking and calm the dog.

Encourage your dog to lie on a soft surface to prevent nodules and canine sores.  Foam rubber pads or a blanket can help prevent further damage to the affected area.

Dog Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow Dysplasia2Dog Elbow Dysplasia

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What is elbow dysplasia in dogs? This is a condition caused by a faulty union of the elbow bone with the ulna.  Dog elbow dysplasia is the leading cause of arthritis in large breed dogs. It is of developmental origin. It primarily affects Basset hounds and German Shepherd dogs, but has been described in other breeds too. It is said to be inherited, but the exact cause is unknown.  Hormones and trauma may also cause this bone disease.

The loose fragment in the elbow acts as an abrasive and irritant. Arthritis is likely to develop in the joint. Dog limping is caused by pain.

Puppies around six months of age begin to show lameness in the front leg. It can be seen in dogs up to two years of age.  Some puppies are unable to bear weight and others limp only when they trot. The elbow is held outward from the chest. Canine elbow dysplasia is seen more in rapidly growing large and giant breed dogs.  It can be in one or both legs.

In mild cases, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can be given to reduce pain and inflammation.  Glucosamine Chondroitin Sulfate which is a nutritional supplement has shown signs of helping this disease.  It can take up to a month before the dog shows signs of improvement.

In more advanced cases, treatment of dog elbow dysplasia is surgical removal of the loose piece of the bone. After five months of age, X-Rays can diagnose the disease.

Rapid weight gain and accelerated growth in puppies that are fed a high protein diet can cause this disease.  Dogs that have this disease should lose weight and puppies should bed fed a food formulated for large breeds.

Dogs that are know to have this bone disease should not be bred.