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A Puppy? A Rescue Dog?
Congratulations! You've found your new best buddy. Dogs need care on every level-physically, emotionally, mentally and socially.
Puppies and dogs, need a little extra attention to get the best possible start for a long, healthy life. If it seems overwhelming, don't worry; this blog is here to give healthy tips and preventive care advice.
A regular physical exam preformed by your veterinarian is an essential step in keeping your dog healthy.. These exams provide a chance to detect and prevent health problems early.
When to Call Your Vet
Your dog can't tell you if something's wrong, but they can let you know in other ways. If you dog has an illness of other health problem, it's always best if you catch it early. If you have any concerns, or notice any of the following:
Building A Bond
In the same way you need time to learn your dog's personality, your dog needs time to learn yours. Build a bond with them by:
Pick out a clean, quiet area where your dog's food and water bowls will be consistently placed (be sure to clean both regularly).
Once your puppy has had all his/her required vaccines, and it is safe to play with other dogs, your new puppy/dog will need time to adjust to their new environment and make new friends. Gradually socialize them by:
The following things should be in your house when your dog arrives and items your dog may need:
Lastly, many household items, including common foods, can be life-treating to your puppy/dog! Keep the following toxins out of reach, where they can't find them:
If there's any chance your dog has ingested something poisonous, call your veterinary clinic or poison control. DO NOT wait - contact them immediately!
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What is Cryptorchidism?
The process of testicular development and descent into the scrotum in the embryonic and neonate in young puppies and kittens.
Cryptorchidism is the result of failure of normal testicular descent into the scrotum.
To understand what cryptorchidism is one must understand how the Testicle forms early in embryonic life and then descends into the scrotum during late foetal life- in the womb or early neonatal life- soon after birth. (short version)
Cryptorchidism is not caused by any failure of testicular formation, however it is the result of failure of descending into its proper placement. Testicles and ovaries are formed when the animals kidneys are developing and it is during the last stage of development these organs called mesonephron that results in a mature functioning testicle.
The testicle, now large and formed will start to hang from the abdominal cavity by mesenteries - membranes - similar to the intestine. The testicle will slowly start to migrate towards the animal's rear being pulled caudally by the gubernaculum - tight band of connective tissue, which links one end of each testicle to the region underneath the animals perineal skin. In order for the sperm to be fertile for reproduction the testicles must relocate to a cooler site within the animal's hot body. They must relocate to a special testicle-holding pouch that sits right behind and under the skin of the penis, which is called the scrotum.
This process is called testicular descent. The path of the gubernaculum (band), from the testis (gonads) to the scrotal site, passes through a hole - the inguinal canal - in the muscular wall of the animal's abdominal cavity, somewhere in the region of the animals groin area. The role of the gubernaculum is to contract and draw the testis from the abdominal cavity through the inguinal canal and into the scrotal sac. During this process, some of the lining of the abdominal cavity also gets dragged into the scrotal sac along with the migrating testis.
So, what exactly is occurring between the migration to where the testicles do not transition to their final destination - the scrotum?
Knowing that much of the scrotum is essentially continuous with the animal's abdominal cavity is important:
In canine puppies, the process of testicular descent normally occurs shortly after birth - within 5-10 days of birth - and most male pups will have readily palpable testicles within their scrotal sacs at around 10-14 days of age. It has been notated that "most" male puppies have readily palpable testicles in their scrotum by the time they reach 8 weeks old. Because the gubernaculum may not be fully receded and contracted down in some pups, it is likely that their testicles will still be mobile and able to slide back and forth between the puppy's abdomen and the scrotum.
Puppies will often retract their testicles back into their abdomen when "excited or nervous", as a result, some pups aged 8 weeks and earlier are wrongly diagnosed as being cryptorchid. The timing of testicular descent has not been studied in every individual breed of dog and there are some breed variations in the timing of testicular descent.
Cryptochidism is defined in most textbooks as a failure of normal testicular descent. In the dog, the definition has been refined and is a condition whereby one or both testicles are not present within the scrotal sac of the animal by the age of 8 weeks. Some textbooks say that you can not 100% diagnose a dog or cat as being cryptorchid until it has reached puberty:
Cryptorchidism is divided into two subgroups:
Conditions that are sometimes confused with cryptorchidism:
Conclusion: It is recommended by veterinarian's that an animal that has not had the descending of the testicles by 1 year for a small dog breed and 18 months for a large dog breed, then that dog should be neutered because the undescended testicle or testicles can become twisted, which is painful and/or develop cancer from the heat of the core body temperature of the dog itself.
Have you wondered just what is safe to give to your precious pooch to eat other than dry or canned dog food?
Well we have compiled a list of fruits & veggies you can safely feed to your favorite furry friend:
So in an article I read on dogster, it raised the question: "Do dogs have belly buttons"? If dogs have belly buttons, where are they located?
Week by Week
The following is a youtube video going thru week by week, the stages of a dog's pregnancy.
Hope you enjoyed the video!
Yes, dogs can eat bananas. Bananas are a great snack to give to dogs, but in moderation because they do contain sugar.
For small dogs, a couple pieces once or twice a week. For large dogs, a 1/2 of a small-med size banana twice a week
Just like humans there are some health benefits to eating bananas for dogs. In moderation, bananas offer many vitamins and minerals that are beneficial and bananas are low in sodium and cholesterol.
The best way to give your dog bananas is to:
*Never give your dog a banana peel, it can pose a risk for choking and intestinal blockage.*
If you are unsure about giving your dog bananas, always consult with your vet.
Discovery of a genetic mutation that causes chondrodystrophy (CDDY).
Did you know that some of the most popular short-legged, long-backed dog breeds may suffer from a genetic mutation and also at risk for paralysis caused by intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)?
In an ancient occurrence the marriage of the short-legged phenotype and a predisposition to IVDD came from when dogs became domesticated from wolves, a variation in size and shape of purebred dog breeds transpired from the breeding selection. One of the most extreme examples of breed differences was in limb length, with extremely short limbs defining many breeds.
The chondrodystrophy associated mutation occurred a long time ago. There are descriptions of short-legged dogs dating over 4,000 years ago and before this, short-legged dogs were depicted in carvings in ancient Egypt.
IVDD is an inherited disorder caused by chrondrodystrophy (CDDY), a condition of shorter legs and abnormal intervertebral discs in which the discs degenerate prematurely. As the discs press on the nerves of the spinal cord, a dog may experience pain, nerve damage, loss of bladder/bowel control and/or paralysis.
The mutation that causes dogs' short legs and susceptibility to IVDD is a functional fibroblast growth factor (FGF4) retrogene insertion on canine chromosome 12. A retrogene results from the retrotransposition of processed mRNA (messenger RNA). In this case, the mRNA is copied back into DNA and inserted into the chromosome. It is called "retro" because it is going backward to make a DNA copy from RNA.
Dog Breeds Identified with the FHF4 Genotype:
This mutation affects breeds from all over the world.
More research is needed to better understand the impact of the discovery on a breed-specific level.
The following information was taken from an article insertion from a research team at the National Institutes of Health studying breed sizes and morphology that made this finding in 2009.
How to Treat Hot Spots
Hot spots are painful to look at and irritating to your dogs. They start by your dog licking, scratching and chewing at the same area until their skin is red and raw, Ouch!
What are they and Where do they come from?
Pyotraumatic dermatitis also known as a Hot Spot, can develop within a few hours and can have different reasons as to the cause of the lesion. Could be from an insect bite, activity they were involved with, contact with allergens-outdoors, inside or food, or an underlying skin disorder. Dogs with allergies already have sensitive skin prone to itchiness making them more susceptible to hot spots.
What are the Symptoms of Hot Spots?
Treatment for Hot Spots
Ideally the best treatment involves treating the lesion and removing the underlying cause. You must stop the need to lick, chew and scratch in order to break the cycle. Your dog may stop for awhile, but if you do not find the underlying cause, its only a matter of time before they begin licking, chewing and scratching again. Hot spots left untreated can become infected and then require more intensive treatment to include antibiotics.
As soon as you notice your dog developing a lesion as described above then it is time to take your dog to your veterinarian. The lesion can develop quickly after the initial breakthrough of the skin and depending on how persistent your dog is, their lesion can develop in one day of licking.
By seeking treatment and receiving medications quickly, the prognosis of recovery should be a good one!
Does your dog react to fear from events they may have experienced in the past?
A very fearful dog may never be normal if they have been abused, that's why its so important in how you discipline your puppy growing up. So, keeping a realistic expectation can be very helpful and may help your dog improve in situations where your dog is nervous or skittish.
Keeping your dog comfortable and trying your best to minimize exposure to frightening situations. Providing a good diet, exercise and mental stimulation may help your dog deal with challenges they may encounter. The use of modification techniques known as desensitization and positive conditioning can treat all sorts of phobias, fears and anxiety disorders. You may even benefit from a certified behaviorist if fears are extreme.
Talking with your veterinarian about possible natural remedies could be helpful. Pheromones may help dogs feel more relaxed. If afraid from thunderstorms, there are wraps that can help keep a anxious dog calmer in that situation. No matter what has caused your dog to become fearful there are a number of treatments worth giving a try in helping your dog recover and possibly overcome the traumatic events they encountered in the past.