Category Archives: Dog Health

Dog articles primarily, such as Controlling Barking. Articles and downloads, cases and pictures of canine health issues.

Feeding a Dog in One Page

How to Feed a Dog In One Page

So when my clients come in, the single most common physical exam “defect” I find is the dog’s weight. And the thing is, they’re quadripeds which means they bear a lot of weight straight ACROSS the back and not up-and-down like we do.

And they’re not gifted with endless spinal health so “He can’t get up” is the death knell for the big dogs and DCM / airway embarrassment is the end of a lot of toy breeds –  BOTH mitigate by weight.

So how does LEPTIN play in this? Learn below.

How Leptin Plays in Feeding a Dog Correctly and How Much to Feed.

Diabetes III Insulin for a Fractious Pet

Diabetes III Insulin for a Fractious Pet

A mask may be necessary. Racing muzzles are pretty easy to put on. There are lots of kinds of masks.

Some people are like “Nuts to this, I know she has a right to complain but I’m not getting bitten over this” and let their dogs go. Depending on the ‘battle’ it is, I could be aligned to that thought process.

But…. Continue reading Diabetes III Insulin for a Fractious Pet

Azo and Cranberries for Dogs

Folks sometimes call the office looking for something they can do for their dog til it can get seen, or over the weekend, or just IN CONJUNCTION with a standard treatment.

And they ask about AZO, AZO Standard. Which is FINE to ask about except it turns out, the compound in AZO STANDARD is toxic to dogs.

Azo Cranberry, on the other hand, can be soothing, and it makes it harder for bacteria and inflammation to occupy the bladder and urethra.

Currently, Azo Cranberry isn’t made with Xylitol (it’s been years since manufacturers used Xylitol in anything that was possibly going to be used for dogs and cats. They’ve gone to sorbitol for the most part but MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS and look. Xylitol can be toxic to dogs.

These are Azo Cranberry gummie chews and perhaps they'd be better taken by pets? The tablets may be better suited to embedding in peanut butter, cheese or your favorite form of pill disguise. 

This is the tablet version. You can use "the adult dose" per 50 pounds of dog. That means if the 12 to adult dose is 2 tabs twice a day, go with that. If you're treating a little dog, consider quarters to halves. Still, the margin of safety on 'pure cranberry' is high. 
When treating dogs up to 120 pounds consider increasing the dose by 50% (Means 3 tabs instead of two)

I would add, that if some dog-breeder message board is running off telling people to use "just any" Azo, or they're recommending another Azo, (for example the one with the extra chemistry in it) AND you try it, AND it works and doesn't wreck your dog's kidneys or mentation, please let me know. That is COMMONLY a way I learn new things, is treating things the breeder message boards cause, SOMETIMES for better, SOMETIMES for worse. 

To wit: 
"Phenazopyridine hydrochloride in dogs
Phenazopyridine, found in products such as Pyridium, is an OTC medication used to urinary tract infections and other urinary problems. This medication may be toxic to pets and should never be administered to animals. ... Presumptive hepatotoxicity and rhabdomyolysis secondary to phenazopyridine toxicity in a dog."

It Hurts His Self Esteem When You Tell Your Dog “NO”

Current thought on dog training is never to tell your dog NO.

If he’s savaging a small child, you have to WAIT TIL HE ISN’T and then reward the STOPPING – not scold or discipline the ATTACKING –  because that would negatively impact his stress level and his self-esteem.

Peeing on the floor? Settle in and discuss his actions, help him understand how that impacts others –  DO NOT TELL HIM “NO” – What you do according to some current thoughts and studies is REWARD the “not doing the bad thing”.

Never, EVER tell your dog “No”

It’s better for a dog’s self esteem and future relationships.

When he’s done pooping or peeing on your floor, or tearing up the cushions on your sofa WAIT UNTIL HE STOPS AND REWARD THE STOPPING. Otherwise he could develop ‘daddy issues’.

Think I’m kidding? Read This

Our ancestors did not understand the fragility of a dog’s self esteem and would sometimes protect their children from attacking dogs with towels and umbrellas – further aggravating a dog’s maladjustment.

 

Heart-Wrenching Study Shows Why You Really Shouldn’t Yell at Your Dog

 

AMAZING: FOS Fructo-Oligo-Saccharides Chicory Root Soluble Fiber

What is FOS and Why Should I Care?

FOS stands for “Fructo-Oligo-Saccharides” and it’s pure “inulin”  – (not insulin lol)

Inulin is the ‘active ingredient” in all the cholesterol-lowering-good-gut-germ-growing-probiotics in the plant kingdom. Black beans, canned pumpkin, sweet potato, etc.

It turns out, to maintain a decent quality poop for most indoor dogs, “FOS” is great.

Gluten free and powerfully bio active in the gut, FOS slows an irritable bowel, and activates a stale one.

activity of soluble fiber for dogs

Question: Is FOS better than ‘canned pumpkin’?

Answer: Not really better than canned pumpkin, but FOS powder is less bulky and it’s easier. Also more economical.

Question: What is FOS Made of?

Answer: When FOS appeared on the market it was made with Chicory Root. It’s still made with Chicory Root but quite often, it also comes from “Jerusalem Artichoke” and tbh you couldn’t tell the difference because it’s both a white powder that looks like coffee creamer and has a very faint, slightly sweet taste.

Question: How do you use FOS in canine feeds?

Answer:  I use 1 tsp per 15 pounds of dog sprinkled in each feeding. IF the dog gets really gassy, or somehow (improbable) ends up with a loose(ish) stool, you’re giving too much. If the dog isn’t gassy at all and the stools are “better than ever” then you’re doing it right.

FOS is cheap.

FOS Chicory rooth soluble fiber for dogs

FOS in dogs

How Dogs Are Supposed to Eat

How Dogs Are Supposed to Eat

  • A puppy eats BIG
  • A stray eats BIG

A normal dog eats dry dog food with little interest, may even skip meals.

You have to add something to the dry food to keep them eating ‘well’ at every feeding, but then they go past “lean” and into fat.

A dog’s waist should be exactly 75% of the diameter of the chest*.  

  1. A 12 inch chest should have a 9 inch waist.
  2. A 20 inch chest should have a 15 inch waist.
  3. A 30 inch chest should have a 23 inch waist.
*exceptions exist in greyhounds and Salukis which may be < 2/3rds the chest.

When a dog is eventually at a healthy weight it will get PICKY about dry dog food. If we left it at that, our dogs would never get fat.

At that point it’s your call whether you mix something in the dry food to coaxe a lean dog to eat, or simply let her eat per her needs, and stay lean.

“She stopped liking her food. She just wouldn’t eat it.”

This is because they don’t NEED many calories when they’re mostly indoors, lean and healthy.

If I don’t say something about a dog’s overweight it means I gave up. It suggests the dog is an ornament or plaything, not a real creature.

The leading killer of dogs is overweight impacts on heart, airway and joints.

The number one owner error is struggling to convince an overweight dog to eat.

“If I don’t mix something in his dry food he won’t eat it.”

“Yes he will, he’ll regain an interest when he loses a little weight on his bratty hunger strike and he realizes you aren’t going to cave in.”

“No, I let him go hungry for two straight days looking at his dry food, then I gave him his usual milk shake, his peanut butter, Skittles and his bacon, so he wouldn’t die.”

“You just made my entire point.”

controlling overweight in dogs

dogs that are fat

Dogs and Cats Shouldn’t Have Chicken Butts

Dogs and cats should never have chicken in their butt.

Trying to get your attention with that headline.

How does chicken end up in the butts of dogs and cats? (Alternative title: “Inflammatory bowel disease due to whole protein maldigestion in colon” much less provocative.)

The gastrointestinal tract could be broken into three segments. The teeth and stomach handle the initial preparation of food for digestion, small intestine mashes everything together with digestive enzymes and absorbs all of the vital nutrients, and then the large intestine / colon picks up the water that’s left over in the gooey waste that’s left behind.

Sometimes the process is incomplete, as often happens with dogs and cats as they get older. Their digestive system becomes flimsy because they don’t chew their food as well, or can’t chew their food as well and their stomach acid production tends to decline.

The result of this, is the arrival of whole proteins in that last segment of the G.I. tract

Pieces of whole pieces of chicken as far as the body concerned, but especially as far as the germs are concerned.

The body sees these proteins as foreign invaders (having never seen them in the previous 10 years of the dogs life), and they very definitely recognize them as “not native protein“ so there is an immune response to these proteins and worse, whole proteins that enter the colon simply rot.

They are not digested any further there, so you can see how “having chicken in your butt” so to speak, would create problems. Rotting chicken in a large bowel that is absorbent, not digestive.

There are two ways to fix this, one is to give proteins that are already fully broken down and those are called hydrolyzed proteins and the second method is to give supplemental digestive enzymes including amylase, lipase, and protease.

Supplemental digestive enzymes are inexpensive, they are mixed with food that has had broth or water added to it to get the enzymes going, ideally you would let the food sit for an hour to pre-digest and then you would give it to the dog or cat.
What happens at that point is that the dog no longer experiences whole protein in the colon. The inflammation immune response and bacterial overgrowth ceases to occur in the bowels, and things proceed more normally.

You can thank me later.

Bark Collars I Like and Use

What you want in a “good” bark collar

Bark Collars Seem Barbaric (So is dropping a dog off at the pound because your apartment is evicting you, or surgically ‘debarking’ a dog)

Every year, there are improvements in the bark collars for dogs. Recently, PetSafe lost their monopoly on their stupid ‘proprietary’ ecological catastrophe “battery” that everyone had to buy for their landmark bark collar. It was a collar that led the market and required a special battery you couldn’t buy over the counter, it had to be from them. I imagine they did VERY well with that corner. But now, they can ‘suck it‘ because new collars have RECHARGEABILITY!

It’s crucial to note that this advice isn’t intended to replace the prevailing idea that dogs that bark excessively are just expressing their emotions and should be encouraged to ‘let it all out’ and then be placed in weekly counseling where behaviorists can rationalize their behavior, anthropomorphize their feelings, and help them give up the habit without establishing dominance or making the dogs feel like second-class citizens or jeopardize their self esteem.

MOST people discover that after the actual shock, most dogs are quieted by a tonal (sound) “warning” so it’s not like you’re shocking the crap out of the dog all the time. And at MY house, we put the collar on Izzy for a week or ten days and she simply gets “out of the habit” of barking her head off – –  and she can go without the collar for months. I’d say Izzy wears her collar one, possibly two months out of the year. I suppose if she ever goes deaf, having a collar that vibrates a warning will become a “thing”.

What you want in a “good” bark collar.

  1. Adjustable sensitivity
  2. Adjustable correction strength
  3. Warning vibration and sound
  4. Rechargeable
  5. Strong or replaceable collar
  6. Water proof is legitimate, not ‘wishful thinking’

This is Ajax’s Bark Collar:

This is Izzy and Luna’s Bark Collar. (Luna never needs it)