Keep Your Precious Puppy Safe With a Canine Seat Belt

Dog safety and canine seat belts have taken a new turn when discussions reached the legislative branch of the many state governments. It leads one to wonder, is this all-political mumbo jumbo or is there something behind all this political maneuvering? Are politicians trying to look family friendly or does dogs really need to be restrained?

Driver Distraction

The National Highway Traffic Administration reports that 20 to 30 percent of all motor vehicle crashes are due to driver distraction. AA & A did a similar study on driver distraction. They found that radio was the number one driver distraction followed by children and pets.

These studies lead you to believe that canine restraints may have some merit in preventing automobile accidents. Whether legislation is necessary, to require such action is yet to be seen. However, if these reports are accurate, then more studies should be done to see if canine restraint would prevent accident. Only time will tell though, it does look promising.

Protect Passengers from Injury

Statistically, when traveling 30 miles per hour a 30-pound dog will exert about 900 pounds of force in an accident. Since the majority of accidents do occur within a 10-mile radius of the home, it would not be unusual for a dog to be in the car going 30 miles an hour unrestrained as most residential streets have 30-mile speed limits.

While no studies have been done on how many people have been injured by dogs, there should be. The potential for injury here is obvious. Even when you think about a tiny dog ​​weighing 15 pounds in a school zone, the dog could fly through the windshield with a force of 300 pounds of force. That tiny dog ​​could seriously injure a child and we have all seen dogs in cars as we have picked up our children from school.

Protect the Pet

Of all the reasons I have seen stated for enabling a canine seat belt, this has the most merit. This is the only reason that has undeniable proof. There is no doubt that when you put your dog in a canine seat belt, you are protecting your dog from injury in a car accident. The seat belt works in the same fashion that buckling yourself or your children works.

However, the seatbelt works in one additional way as well. In addition to protecting your dog during the accident, it protects your dog after the accident. The canine seat belts will prevent the dog from running off after the accident. It will also keep the dog restrained until animal services can get there to take care of the dog. You, your family, and emergency services do not need to worry about a dog running around scared during an accident. It is best that the dog remain restrained until it can be taken care of properly.

Source by Heather Sneed

Facts About Canine Hip Dysplasia In A Weimaraner

Facts About Canine Hip Dysplasia In A Weimaraner

One of the major health concerns of a Weimaraner, as well as other large breeds of dog is hip dysplasia. Cats suffer from hip dysplasia too, but it is seen less commonly and the symptoms are less threatening. Hip dysplasia can also be found in humans but in rare cases only.

Canine hip dysplasia is a developmental orthopedic disease in which there is an abnormal development of the hip joint. This leads to looseness in the joints that is supposed to be snug. The looseness causes cartilage damage and ever results to painful progressive arthritis that can cripple your beloved Weimaraner. Hip dysplasia is different from arthritis in the hips but is the common cause of it.

This disorder of the joint is proved to be caused by genetic factors. If two Weims carrying genetic material for hip dysplasia were bred, then their offspring will definitely inherit the disease. Apart from that, your dog's environment also contribute to the development of the disease. Your dog's nutrition should be restricted but not to the point that you will restrict fat and calorie content in his diet. Restriction here means to prevent your Weimaraner from becoming overweight. Although exercise is recommended to keep your dog from becoming obese, the activities should be controlled to prevent unwarranted stress and trauma to the joint. Climbing stairs and jumping into and out of pick-up trucks are some of the activities to be avoided.

Puppies as young as five months will begin to show signs of the disease. Pain and discomfort during and after vagorous exercise is usually seen to puppies in this age. Without immediate attention, these dogs may be crippled at two years of age. In most cases, however, symptoms begin to show during the middle or later years in the dog's life. Other signs include decreased activity, difficulty rising, referral to use stairs, referral to jump or stand on hind limbs, pain and soreness after heavy exercise. The dog will also suffer pain when weight is being placed on the joint.

Diagnosis of hip dysplasia is based on the combination of physical exam and x-rays. There is no complete cure for hip dysplasia, however, there are methods to alleviate the clinical signs. These methods include pain medications, weight loss programs, controlled exercise and physical therapy. Another option is through surgical procedure, that is if conservative medication can not control the problem. There are two types of surgery- one involves reshaping the joint to reduce pain or help movement and another is hip replacement for animals which completely replaces the damaged hip with an artificial joint.

Source by Richard Cussons

Canine Neurological Disorders

Canine Neurological Disorders

There are so many different canine neurological disorders that dogs and puppies can experience it would be almost impossible to cover them all on this page. Having said that we will aim to cover the most common canine neurological disorders, starting with a list compiled below and then going into more detail covering each disorder. Remember that the illnesses listed below do not always display noticeable symptoms until the disease has progressed.

Please do not use this information as a diagnostic tool – we are not Vet’s and this is for information only.

If you have any concerns we advise you to take your dog to the Vet asap as canine neurological disorders can be progressive, degenerative and lead to death if not treated fast.

  1. Canine Vestibular Disease
  2. (leading to seizures) – Epilepsy
  3. Degenerative Myelopathy
  4. CDS – Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
  5. Parkinsons
  6. Rabies
  7. Hepatic Encephalopathy
  8. Acquired Myasthenia Gravis
  9. Distemper
  10. Strokes

Now lets discuss all of the canine neurological disorders listed above in a little more detail.

Canine Vestibular Disease – This illness is also a serious issue if it affects your dog (as is any illness). Canine Vestibular disease has very similar symptoms to the symptoms of a stroke.

The main causes of Canine Vestibular disease include congenital factors – this is when it is transmitted to the puppy before it is even born. The most common age for dogs to be affected by this disease is when they are middle aged or older (around 13 years of age).

Another cause of the disease is through tick bites causing a nasty infection known as Rocky Mountain Fever. It can also be caused by lesions affecting (on) the brain. If your dog has recently suffered an ear infection (middle ear infection) this has also been known to cause the disease.

The symptoms of Canine Vestibular disease can include…

  • Coordination problems – this can include your dog walking around in circles.
  • Watch for problems with your dog’s face. The disease is known to cause your dog to have problems being able to control the muscles in his face/head.
  • Watch for sickness in your dog – motion sickness is another symptom of the disease.
  • The nervous system is also affected by the disease sometimes causing a dog’s eyes to roll backwards and forwards in the socket – this is called Nystagmus.

Epilepsy – This condition is actually more common in dogs and puppies than you might think. Epilepsy normally starts when your puppy is very young (as early as 2 years of age). Fortunately Epilepsy can be controlled quite well with appropriate medication – so your puppy is quite capable (even with the illness) of living a full and active life.

Seizures can come in a variety of types including….

  • Tonic Clonic Seizures
  • Petit Mal Seizures
  • Partial Seizures
  • Complex Partial Seizures
  • Status Epilepticus
  • Cluster Seizures

Your dog will go through three stages when having a seizure including the…

  1. Pre-Ictal Phase – this is just before the seizure starts – you may notice that your dog has sudden behavior changes.
  2. Ictal Phase – This is when the seizure starts – your dog’s muscles may go into an uncontrollable condition that leaves their legs straight and stiff – your dog may also be paralyzed when suffering the seizure. The seizure may last anywhere from several seconds to a few minutes. Your dog may lose control of his bowels during the seizure and may also salivate.
  3. Post-Ictal Phase – This is the period after the seizure has ended.

Degenerative Myelopathy – This disease is also referred to as Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy. This illness normally affects dogs between the age of 7 years of age and 14 years of age. The main cause of the disease is thought to be due to the sheath that surrounds the neurons in the spinal chord is attacked by dog’s immune system which leads to a progressive and degenerative loss of coordination in the back legs (Ataxia) and eventually paralysis. Basically the brain and the back legs stop communicating effectively.

Below are some of the symptoms that you should look out for.

  • Dogs with this disease will often stand with their back legs very close together with the feet also pointing in different directions due to the lack of coordination.
  • Your dog may appear to stagger when he walks around the House or when outside.
  • You may notice that your dog is actually not capable of walking as the disease progresses – this may leave your dog trying to drag his feet along the floor – causing problems with the paws and nails.
  • As the disease continues to progress your dog’s back legs may become completely paralyzed.
  • Balance will be affected.
  • You may notice that your dog is unable to control his bladder and/or bowels.
  • The disease can progress quite quickly (in months) or it can take a few years.
  • Eventually the nerves in the cranium and respiratory system will be affected which will lead to you making the very upsetting decision to have your dog put to sleep. Follow your Vets advice throughout the disease as you don’t want your dog to suffer any more than you would want to suffer.

CDS – Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome – This refers to dementia (as dogs can get this degenerative disease too). Always watch for sudden behavior changes in your dog as this is normally a good indication that something untoward may be happening.

The signs and symptoms of CDS can include the following…

  • Your dog may not respond to you when he is called.
  • Watch for signs of disorientation.
  • Does your dog seem confused and even walk around in circles?
  • Watch for changes in your dog’s personality – normally you as the owner will be the first to notice any things that ‘just don’t seem right’ about your beloved pooch.
  • Memory loss is another symptom.

Parkinsons– This is one of those canine neurological disorders that many owners don’t realize can actually affect dogs as well as humans with very similar signs and symptoms. This disease is hereditary and will normally affect younger dogs.

The signs and symptoms of Parkinsons in dogs can include…

  • Muscle jerks and twitches.
  • Your dog may suffer from the onset of tremors
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Problems walking and a difficulty in balancing

Hepatic Encephalopathy-Also referred to as Portosystemic Encephalopathy. This disease is caused by renal failure in dogs or to put this is into an easy language that is more understandable, this disease is caused when the liver stops working properly and adequately removing toxins from your dogs blood. Due to the livers failure to work properly these toxins eventually build up in your dog’s blood stream leading to Hepatic Encephalopathy. This disease can be treated but if it is left to progress it can lead to….

  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Coma
  • It can even be fatal if not treated.

Rabies – This disease is one of the more serious illnesses that a dog (or human) can suffer from. The disease is transmitted via saliva and can be fatal. The incubation period for the disease can vary with signs and symptoms of Rabies sometimes taking several months to appear. Due to the fact that most bites which transfer the saliva and disease occur around the head and facial area the disease can affect the brain quite quickly – with incubation being as short as 2-3 weeks.

As previously mentioned the disease is normally transmitted via a bite. The infected saliva carrying the Rabies virus will then travel via the nerves in your dogs body and then directly to the brain. The virus will then return through the nervous system again and start affecting the glands and other organs within your dog’s body.

The signs and symptoms of Rabies depend on the form that your dog is infected with as there are two types – Dumb and Furious. Both types will lead to massive personality changes in your dog. If for example your dog is quite aggressive without being infected – after infection he may become affectionate and want to be around humans. If however your dog is quite quiet before infection after he is infected he may become furious, savage and very unpredictable.

Other symptoms can include…

  • An inability to control the facial muscles with the facial expressions changing.
  • You may notice that your dog is salivating and drooling massively.
  • Alongside the salivating the jaw will be fixed (paralyzed) with the eyes staring in a fixed manner.
  • Dogs with rabies also shy away from bright lights.
  • Do NOT approach a dog if you fear it has Rabies – they are VERY dangerous.
  • Paralysis, coma and death will normally occur approximately 15 days after the first signs and symptoms of the disease have been exhibited.

Acquired Myasthenia Gravis – This nasty disease is classed as a Autoimmune condition (disease) – basically this means that the immune system actually turns on itself and starts attacking it’s own immune system. The cause of this disease is due to the neurons and interconnecting muscles being damaged – which will then lead to…

  • Muscle weakness
  • Tiredness after exercise
  • The muscles in the eyes may also be affected
  • The muscles in the face may become affected which will cause changes to your dog’s facial expressions.
  • You may also notice that there are some changes in your dogs voice.
  • Problems with the esophagus can also occur which will then lead to a difficulty in swallowing.

This is another of those canine neurological disorders that can be congenital and affect certain breeds including…

  1. Dachshunds (Miniature)
  2. Springer Spaniels (all types of this breed)
  3. Fox Terriers (smooth variety)
  4. Jack Russell.

Distemper – This is another particularly nasty disease. Distemper is actually a virus which can be transmitted from dog to dog normally by your dog inhaling particles which have been infected by the discharges from another dog that is carrying the disease. The incubation period for the disease is anywhere between 7-21 days.

The early signs and symptoms of Distemper will include some of the following…

  • A cough
  • High temperature
  • Tiredness and lethargy
  • Eyes that have become reddened
  • Loss of appetite
  • Runny nose
  • Your dog may also make a noise when he breaths
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Later symptoms (normally after a few weeks) of Distemper may include…

  • Nervous twitches
  • Fits
  • Paralysis
  • The pads of the nose may become thickened.

Dog Strokes – This is a problem that can cause quite severe behavioral changes in your dog. The symptoms of a stroke can also leave your dog with mobility problems too. There are two types of Strokes – one which is caused by hemorrhaging in the brain and the other which is caused by a blocked artery which blocks blood flow to the brain.

The major symptoms of a stroke in dogs can include the following…

  • Your dog may find it difficult to balance.
  • You may notice that your dog becomes more tired and seems lethargic.
  • Watch your dog when he eats – by supervising your dog closely you may notice that your dog eats out of one side of the bowl – this a common symptom of a stroke in dogs.
  • You may notice that your dog has difficulty seeing and may even become blind through having a stroke.
  • Try calling your dog – this is important – if you suspect your dog has had a stroke watch for his reaction when he is called. A symptom of suffering a stroke can sometimes lead to dog’s turning the wrong way when his name is called.
  • Watch how your dog holds his head – tilting of the head is another symptom of a stroke in dogs.
  • Of course sudden behavior changes should always be explored by the owner to make sure that they are not caused by an undiagnosed illness. Sudden changes in behavior is another symptom of your dog having suffered a stroke.

As we have previously mentioned please don’t use the information above regarding common and less common canine neurological disorders as a diagnostic tool. Please always get paid or free vet advice if you are at all concerned that your dog has any of the conditions on this page

Source by Tobias Charles

The Top 3 Canine Behavior Problems and How to Solve Them – Part 2

In part one of this 3-part instructional we pointed out that some canine behaviors are ingrained, while others are learned. We also highlighted successful ways to control excessive barking. In part 2 we will deal with effective techniques to stop biting.

Canine Behavior Problems: Biting

According to the U.S. Disease Control Center in Atlanta, Georgia, about 1,000,000 people in the United States are bitten by dogs every year. The majority of victims are children between the ages of 5 and 8; in most cases, the biting dogs were house pets.

Dogs bite for a variety of reasons. Dogs may bite or display threatening behavior when they are angry, afraid, agitated, over-excited, or when challenged or seeking to protect.

The first thing to do when confronted with biting dogs is to discern “why” the dog behaved aggressively. If the dog was being teased or felt threatened, the problem may not be with the dog. Instead, fault may lie with whomever or whatever teased him or made him feel threatened.

Some dogs bite or snap at their caregiver’s hands when the caregiver tries to take something away from them. According to Barbara Woodhouse, internationally known dog trainer, canine behavior expert, and author of Barbara Woodhouse’s Encyclopedia of Dogs & Puppies, the best cure for such aggressive behavior is to “return violence with violence.”

Effective Ways to Stop Biting Dogs

When the dog attempts to bite, the caregiver should act swiftly by suspending the dog off his front legs by his choke chain; at the same time, scold in a violent tone of voice, “No bite!” The dog should be allowed back on his front legs only after he shows signs of discomfort (usually within 10 seconds). Once subdued; caress and praise him.

This process should be repeated every time the dog attempts to bite; he must be forced to respect your authority. While this type correction may sound cruel, it is not. Curing the dog of biting using this means is much kinder than having the dog sentenced to death in the gas chamber because of injuries inflicted on someone he bit.

Inexperienced caregivers may have a difficult time correcting their dog this way; if that is the case, the help of an expert dog trainer should be sought.

Preventing Aggressive Behavior in Dogs that Leads to Biting

Some dogs are so naturally protective of their owner they attack anyone who approaches, without being given a command. This can be quite dangerous. Allowing a dog to lunge toward people could very well lead to other aggressive behaviors, such as biting.

One of the best methods to prevent this type aggressive behavior in dogs is to take the dog among crowds – muzzled if necessary. Get people to touch him (muzzled), and give him a sound scolding if he attempts to attack.

Another effective method is to get someone who trains dogs to snatch him from you and really shake him (by his choke chain) when he shows signs of vicious behavior. He must be defeated, and then praised for submitting.

What About Puppies that Bite?

Puppies are notorious for biting and nipping during play. One mistake people often make with puppies that bite is to let them get away with it. Caregivers often think such behavior is cute and believe the puppy will naturally grow out of it without intervention. The reality is that such “innocent” biting and nipping can become a learned bad habit, difficult to break once the puppy is older.

Caregivers should address nipping and biting early on, instead of waiting until the puppy has grown and the problem more difficult to correct. Puppies are not like children; they are growing dogs. And dogs need training and an understanding but firm, consistent hand to teach them what is acceptable and what is not. Correction methods for young puppies that bite are different than methods for grown dogs.

How to Handle Aggressive Behavior in Puppies

When a puppy bites hard enough to hurt he must be corrected firmly. Say “No bite!” in a firm tone. If that doesn’t work, use what is called “the shakedown method,” which resembles what the mother dog does to her pup to keep order in the litter. Shake the puppy by catching hold of the loose skin of its neck on both sides under the ears. Repeat “No bite!”

Correcting aggressive behavior in puppies older than 12 weeks is done the following way: grab the puppy by the scruff of the neck with both hands, and lift him off his front feet, if necessary. Make the puppy look you straight in the face, and repeat “No bite!” If you sound angry enough, the puppy will understand.

This correction method must be consistent. If you permit a puppy to bite one time, but get annoyed and correct him the next, the puppy will become confused and will not learn effectively.

Puppies are especially likely to bite or nip children who play with them either for too long a period, or are too rough with them. When a puppy shows signs of being tired of being “mauled” during play, it is time to let the puppy rest. Put the puppy away in his box or pen, and instruct others to leave him alone and let him rest.

Under no circumstances slap a puppy or dog’s nose to discipline him; this is cruel, as well as ineffective. And always give plenty of love and praise for submissive behavior after correction has been administered.

At Savvy Dog Lover, we care about you and your pet. In part 3 of this 3-part instructional we discuss the problem of jumping. Read part 3, “How to Prevent Dogs and Puppies from Jumping up on People” at []

©2006 Lori S. Anton

Savvy Dog Lover editor

Source by Lori Anton