Stinky Dog? The 411 on Your Dog’s Bad Breath

Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 in Uncategorized Comments Off on Stinky Dog? The 411 on Your Dog’s Bad Breath

A dog is a wonderful addition to a family, but having a dog does require a good amount of love, patience, and responsibility. From potty training and feeding to ensuring your new puppy is healthy and happy, it is easy to see the challenges of having this new family member. While this is surprising for many to learn, a dog’s breath plays a key role in their underlying health and wellness. With this guide and the help of veterinarian, you will understand what is affecting your dog’s breath and learn the best options for treating canine halitosis. The 411 on Your Dog’s Halitosis Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, affects many humans, but it can also be an issue for your dog. Unfortunately, your dog’s halitosis could be caused by a variety of factors, so a veterinarian should examine your dog to determine the root cause. In most cases, your dog’s bad breath will stem from gum disease. Most dogs will develop some signs of periodontal disease by the age of three, but foul breath is the main symptom of this condition. Dogs with severe periodontal disease may have dark discoloration on their teeth and red, swollen gums. Other medical conditions can cause your dog to develop halitosis. Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, increase toxins in your dog’s body. These toxins can cause your dog to have bad breath. Kidney disease is also a common metabolic disease. Kidney disease prevents your dog’s kidneys from filtering toxins, leading to serious levels of toxins in the body. If your dog tends to have sour-smelling breath, they may have a form of kidney disease. Respiratory and sinus issues are also linked to chronic bad breath. If your dog’s nose or nasal passages are blocked or inflamed, your dog may develop bad breath due to the possible bacteria growth. Gastrointestinal issues, such as acid reflux or even stomach cancer, can enlarge and irritate the esophagus, leading to foul breath. If your dog has bad breath, and you are noticing changes in their appetite, consult your veterinarian immediately. Treatment for Your Dog’s Halitosis Improving your dog’s bad breath is possible, but you will first need to treat the underlying cause of their halitosis. To treat periodontal disease, your dog’s veterinarian will perform an involved cleaning of their teeth. Special instruments are used to clean and polish the teeth, removing any plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums. Teeth that have more than 50 percent loss of bone and gum tissue will need to be extracted. Most people do not place importance on their dog’s dental health, but proper brushing can reduce the risk of periodontal disease. Use the following steps to brush your dog’s teeth each day at home. Moisten a pet-specific toothbrush with water. If you do not have a toothbrush for your dog, use a child’s soft-bristled toothbrush. Apply a pea-sized amount of pet-specific toothpaste to the brush. Ask a friend or family member to help you keep your dog calm and happy during the process. Petting and lightly scratching your dog will help them remain relaxed. Lift your dog’s lip on one side, exposing their teeth and gums. Begin brushing the teeth and gums with gentle, circular motions. Lift your dog’s lip on the other side to brush the rest of...

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Common Causes of Lethargy and Weakness in Dogs

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in Uncategorized Comments Off on Common Causes of Lethargy and Weakness in Dogs

Dogs can get sick just like humans; however, it can be hard to tell how sick a dog is in some cases because they don’t talk. As a dog owner, you are the best judge of how your dog feels. If you sense something is not right, you should take your dog to an animal hospital for treatment. If your dog appears very weak and lethargic, and this is not how your dog normally acts, you may want to find out what is causing it to feel this way. Here are a few of the common causes of lethargy and weakness in dogs. Allergic Reactions Dogs can have allergic reactions to things in some cases, and an allergic reaction to something your dog consumed could cause lethargy and weakness. Medication you just started giving your dog is one option. If you recently started a new medication, make sure you tell your vet about this when you take the dog to an animal hospital. If you did not give your dog any new medication, is it possible that your dog ate something it shouldn’t have? For example, if your dog ate food that contains ingredients it was allergic to, that could have caused a reaction. Your dog may have also eaten a household cleaner, weeds, or other things that may have caused the reaction. Vets often treat allergic reactions with antihistamines or corticosteroids; however, it can be hard to tell if this is the cause of your dog’s illness. Infections An infection can also cause symptoms of lethargy and weakness, and your vet will be able to test your dog for common infections. Some examples of common dog infections include heartworms, parvovirus, and distemper. You can prevent these infections by properly vaccinating your dog each year; however, if your dog did not get all the necessary vaccinations, it could easily contract one of these infections. Most infections can be treated with antibiotics if they are detected early. If they are not detected at an early stage and treated properly, they can lead to death. This is why it’s important to take your dog to a vet if you suspect any type of problem that could be caused by an infection. Chronic Health Problems If the lethargy and other symptoms are not a result of an allergic reaction or an infection, there is a chance your dog may have some type of chronic health problem that has not been diagnosed yet. If this is the case, you will need to have a vet run tests on the dog to find out. Many chronic health issues in dogs can be treated, but the results will depend on the diagnosis, the severity of the condition, and the overall health and age of the dog. One chronic health problem some dogs acquire is diabetes. Your vet can find this out by testing the dog’s blood and urine. If your dog tests positive for diabetes, you may need to change its diet, help it lose weight, and give it more time for exercise. In addition, you may also need to give your dog insulin shots to help it control its blood-glucose levels. A second chronic health problem that can lead to lethargy is heart disease. Heart disease can affect a dog just like it does...

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5 Online Features To Look For In Your Animal Hospital

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Uncategorized Comments Off on 5 Online Features To Look For In Your Animal Hospital

If you are looking for a new veterinary practice for your pet’s regular check ups or are trying to find an emergency pet clinic to have on call in case of an emergency, there are several features that you should look for. For example, it is important to find a veterinarian whom you trust and works well with your pets but is also located reasonably close to your home. Among all of the services that you should look for, you should also consider the online services that your potential animal hospital offers. If you have constant access to the internet through your smartphone or at home, it may be easier to handle many of your veterinary issues online. Below are five services you should ask potential animal hospitals if they offer.  Online Appointment Booking  Online appointment booking can vary from simply allowing you to request an appointment via email and sending you a return email once your appointment has been made, to instant booking through a special program that allows you to see all appointment slots that are currently available. Some booking systems will allow you to book appointments with a certain veterinarian while others will only allow you to book a time. Additionally, some systems will allow you to write more information about your appointment while others only accept your contact information.  Before committing to a veterinarian or animal hospital, you should try to use their online booking service. You should make sure that it is easy to use and that you get a confirmation of your appointment soon after you book it.  Updated Schedules For Each Veterinarian It is common for pet owners to want their pets to be seen by the same veterinarian every time they take them in for an appointment. However, many animal hospitals do not schedule pets to see specific veterinarians. If there is more than one veterinarian working at the hospital, you should make sure that there is an online schedule that lets you know the hours each veterinarian is scheduled to work. This way, you are more likely to schedule your appointment when your preferred veterinarian is working.  An Easy Way to Download Forms, Information, and Checklists  Downloading forms and filling them out before you arrive at the animal hospital can save you time in the waiting room. Downloading information and checklists helps ensure that you are educated about the best way to care for your pet, especially after common veterinarian procedures. You should look for a download area on your animal hospital’s website. Alternatively, you should ask if documents and forms can be emailed to you when you make an appointment.  Chat Assistance  In case of emergency, you should call your veterinarian’s emergency number or take your pet to the nearest animal hospital. However, sometimes your pet is not ill enough to warrant emergency care but you are still concerned about their condition. Many offices offer online chat systems that allow you to chat with a vet assistant that can inform you of whether you should bring your pet in for an immediate examination or schedule an appointment for your pet. They can also give you advice on how to transport and care for an injured pet.  A Mobile App  If you will frequently make appointments with your smartphone, it...

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