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  • Your Dog | Epilepsy - fighting fits | Indepth Dog Articles
    A fit is split into three different stages Aural phase This is when your dog signals that a fit is about to begin His behaviour will change and he may become restless apprehensive hide or seek attention Some dogs will not show any signs Ictal phase This is the actual seizure Your dog will lose consciousness and usually fall to his side become stiff or toned and make involuntary kicking motions He may cry out and lose control of his bladder and bowels Most seizures will last between a few seconds and three minutes Postical phase This is the recovery period following the seizure Your dog may be disorientated uncoordinated restless unresponsive and not himself He may also temporarily struggle with his vision as the heightened activity in the brain makes it difficult to interpret what he sees Some dogs may only take a short time to recover while for others it can take several hours During a seizure there is not much you can do Ensure your dog cannot hurt himself during a fit by removing any potential dangers If you own other dogs remove them from the area so he can be alone All dogs react differently when they re not themselves some dogs can get aggressive Be careful not to put yourself in a position where your dog could bite or attack you You will get better at handling fits and will find out what works best for your dog Your dog is most likely to have a fit when he is relaxed or sleeping If a seizure is prolonged lasting more than five minutes or your dog has multiple seizures without recovery it is known as status epilepticus This can be very serious even lifethreatening so you should seek veterinary help without delay If your dog has more than one fit in a 24 hour period even with recovery it is called serial or cluster seizures These require veterinary attention if your dog has three or more seizures it is an emergency Your vet may alter your dog s treatment to try to prevent status epilepticus or cluster fits happening regularly Diagnosis If your dog has had a seizure your vet will look at your pet s history and give him an examination to try to find the cause Your vet may run a series of tests which might include X rays blood tests urine analysis and an MRI scan of the brain You will also be asked to keep an eye on your dog and report any further fits If your vet s examination cannot find an underlying cause for the seizures a diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy can be made Treating and managing epilepsy Your vet will usually recommend medication to bring your dog s epilepsy under control if fits are occurring every three weeks or more frequently Your dog may need a combination of different tablets The medication will not prevent seizures completely but should make them occur less often It is important that

    Original URL path: http://yourdog.co.uk/Indepth-Dog-Articles/epilepsy-fighting-fits.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Your Dog | Tick-borne diseases | Indepth Dog Articles
    through their nesting spot they will take cues from his breath and body odour and look to latch on There are many tick species native to the UK but fortunately the list of diseases they transmit is small Taking your dog abroad opens him up to the risk of foreign ticks and the diseases they might carry With climate change and the relaxed pet travel legislation which says it is no longer compulsory for dogs to be treated for ticks before entering the UK it is also possible foreign ticks could reach our shores What diseases can ticks transmit There are lots of tick borne diseases worldwide but UK dog owners need to be most aware of Lyme disease borreliosis The only disease carried by UK ticks An infected dog might be lethargic have a fever lose his appetite or begin to struggle with arthritis In chronic cases Lyme disease can cause kidney heart or nerve problems which can be fatal Symptoms can occur a long time after the infective bite Ticks are commonly found in woodland Babesiosis This disease is rare in Britain but can be a risk if you take your dog abroad Symptoms include lethargy rapid heart rate rapid breathing anaemia and a yellowing of the skin between eight and 21 days after infection The disease can strike suddenly and be fatal Dogs who recover from babesiosis remain carriers of the disease and need to be monitored in case of a relapse Anaplasmosis ehrlichiosis Although this disease doesn t occur naturally in Britain there have been reported cases of infected dogs in the UK An infected dog might display signs of fever lethargy loss of appetite depression and in severe cases meningitis or seizures Prevention When it comes to tick borne diseases prevention is better than cure Regularly check your dog for ticks Ticks that are not engorged can be tiny as small as 1mm When stroking or grooming your dog look out for ticks and remember to check those harder to reach areas such as between the pads and toes If you find a tick on your pet it is important to remove it safely as incorrect removal can result in the transmission of infected fluids There are some tick prevention products on the market Very few repel ticks while several only kill ticks and can take up to 48 hours to do so It is important to understand what the product you choose does and always check if it needs more frequent application for tick control If you live in an area where ticks are prevalent you can vaccinate your dog against Lyme disease If your dog has been bitten by a tick and is showing symptoms of a tick borne disease seek veterinary help as soon as possible The quicker a tick borne disease can be diagnosed and treated the better the chance of recovery Safe tick removal When removing one of these parasites from your dog you need to detach the whole of

    Original URL path: http://yourdog.co.uk/Indepth-Dog-Articles/tick-borne-diseases.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Your Dog | Heart failure | Indepth Dog Articles
    around the body as it is fi ghting against the back flow An estimated 75 per cent of all heart problems in dogs are in small breeds with leaky heart valves Cardiomyopathy This is a deterioration of the heart muscle which can become enlarged flabby or weak making it less able to pump the blood This is more common in large breeds of dog Pericardial disease The pericardium is a sac that surrounds the heart protecting it from trauma it contains fluid to keep the heart moist When excess fluid suddenly collects in the pericardium because of a bleed or tumour inside it it pressurises the heart so that it can no longer pump properly Arrhythmia This is an irregular heartbeat the dog s heartbeat might be too fast or too slow or not in a regular rhythm An arrhythmia can be a symptom of another condition most commonly cardiomyopathy or it can be a problem in itself The heart is stimulated by electrical impulses which tell the heart when to beat If there is a breakdown in these signals it is known as a heart block Spot the symptoms Often the first sign that your dog has a heart related problem is a murmur picked up by the vet at a routine examination It s a good idea to get your dog vet checked regularly as he can look fine with no symptoms but have heart disease A healthy heart makes a distinct lub dub sound which is clearly audible and in a regular rhythm A murmur is an abnormal sound caused by changes in the blood flow through the heart A murmur can be innocent and cause no problems or it can indicate your dog has heart disease Murmurs are graded on a scale of one to six depending on their loudness although loudness does not always correlate to the severity of a problem All heart conditions display similar symptoms that you can look out for particularly if your dog already has a heart murmur including Exercise intolerance Breathlessness Coughing Fainting Restlessness Lack of appetite Weight loss Tiredness and weakness Diagnosis If your vet suspects your dog has a heart condition he or she might refer you to a veterinary heart specialist for further tests and treatment A cardiac ultrasound shows the heart in real time so a thick heart muscle or leaky valve can be detected An electrocardiogram ECG assesses the electrical activity of your dog s heart revealing irregularities in his heartbeat Radiographs show the size and shape of the organ and any fluid retention in the lungs When your dog s heart begins to fail the body detects the low blood pressure and releases hormones to retain fluids This can be harmful in the long run as fluid builds up in the lungs Blood tests can also detect if the heart muscle has been stretched What treatments are there Treatments for a dog with a heart condition mainly consist of medication to help the heart

    Original URL path: http://yourdog.co.uk/Indepth-Dog-Articles/heart-failure.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Your Dog | Hip Dysplasia | Indepth Dog Articles
    Dogs can be passed a genetic tendency for hip dysplasia by their parents This is why the BVA and the Kennel Club have a hip scoring scheme in place so that with selective breeding the risks of hip dysplasia can be reduced Your dog s lifestyle can also contribute to hip dysplasia Being overweight or having intensive exercise can cause the disease to develop particularly during puppyhood Although symptoms can begin at any age problems often begin in the first year as a dog s skeleton matures Ensuring that your dog s weight is kept under control that he has all the vital nutrients and that he gets the right amount of exercise reduces his risk of developing hip dysplasia The condition can be seen in smaller breeds but it is more common in larger breeds as they undergo a big change in size and bodyweight during adolescence How do I know if my dog has Hip Dysplasia Dogs with hip dysplasia can show a range of symptoms including Hind limb lameness and weakness Bunny hopping when trying to run Stiffness Difficulty getting up A change in gait Exercise intolerance General hip pain A thorough examination by your vet who will be able to assess mobility muscle wastage and joint pain will give an idea of the condition but hip dysplasia can only be confi rmed by an X ray What treatments are there With hip dysplasia the extent of the malformation doesn t always correlate to the amount of pain it causes A dog with mild hip dysplasia might be in a lot of pain whereas a dog with a more abnormal hip might not suffer too much Every dog is treated individually Discussions with your vet will help you understand the options and what is best for your pet In many cases the condition can be managed through a careful lifestyle Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is vital as extra weight puts added pressure on the joints He will still need regular exercise to keep his weight down and maintain mobility in the joint but the intensity should be restricted so he doesn t overdo it Many vets suggest hydrotherapy for dogs with hip dysplasia This water based therapy builds up the muscles around the hip helping to stabilise the joint without putting any pressure on it Physiotherapy and alternative treatments such as acupuncture can also ease the condition Always remember to find a specialist who is qualified to carry out any treatment on your pet Massage quality bedding and applied heat such as heat lamps and hot water bottles will also help to keep him comfortable Your vet might recommend joint supplements or prescribe painkillers in addition to a managed lifestyle For dogs who are seriously debilitated partial or full hip replacement surgery might be needed Common breeds at risk and their BMS German Shepherd Dog 18 Golden Retriever 18 Labrador 14 Springer Spaniel 14 Newfoundland 25 Bernese Mountain Dog 15 Hip Scoring The BVA

    Original URL path: http://yourdog.co.uk/Indepth-Dog-Articles/hip-dysplasia.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Your Dog | Dental disease in dogs | Indepth Dog Articles
    of more plaque also damages the attachments holding the tooth in place and the underlying bone At this point veterinary attention is necessary to combat the process as simple brushing will not remove plaque from these deep areas In time if the plaque is left it will become mineralized and hard Tartar or Calculus will be formed The first stage of dental disease in dogs is called Gingivitis This is completely reversible with proper home care and veterinary attention If left untreated progression to periodontal disease will be the inevitable next stage but with appropriate dental treatment the disease can still be halted Stage 4 dental disease with over 50 loss of tooth attachment Symptoms of early dental problems in dogs may include bad breath red or even bleeding gums the presence of hard calculus and loose or missing teeth The increased levels of bacteria may cause problems elsewhere in the body if they enter the bloodstream Major organs such as the heart liver or kidneys may be affected Many dogs will continue to eat even though they have appalling mouths with sore gums and loose teeth It s quite common after performing a dental procedure for owners to report that their dog seems a lot brighter and happier afterwards The presence of dental disease was obviously affecting the dog s behaviour even though it wasn t off its food Periodontal disease in the dog note the reddened receding gums and presence of calculus Causes Some of the smaller breeds of dog are more prone to developing dental disease as are those dogs fed a mainly soft diet Dogs with overcrowded teeth are also more at risk as are those with certain diseases such as diabetes and other hormonal problems So how to prevent dental disease in dogs It may be obvious but the more a dog chews the cleaner the teeth become This is why hard dry foods tend to create less plaque than soft foods There are many low calorie chews available now from pet shops that have been designed specifically to help reduce plaque sticking to teeth A dog s teeth should ideally be brushed on a daily basis A soft pet toothbrush with a long handle should be used or a finger brush can be a good choice Toothpaste is available specifically for dogs which contains enzymes and fluorides With patience and a gentle touch most dogs will accept the process Once dental disease involving pocket formation is present a dental procedure performed by a vet will be necessary to treat the disease X rays may be taken to determine the extent of the problem Under an anaesthetic the dogs teeth will be scaled clean using an ultrasonic scaler and the teeth will then be polished smooth to reduce further plaque formation Hand instruments will be used to remove calculus and plaque from the pockets between the gums and the teeth In some cases the pockets themselves may be surgically treated and loose teeth removed So

    Original URL path: http://yourdog.co.uk/Indepth-Dog-Articles/dental-disease-in-dogs.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Your Dog | Skin disease - more than just skin deep | Indepth Dog Articles
    shaft so they don t appear to move Their eggs whitish nits attached to a hair shaft may also be seen with the naked eye Mites on the other hand are too small for humans to see Several species exist but all cause severe itchiness which may be confined to areas such as the face and paws or may be widespread Skin infections can be the main problem a dog has but more often they result from another disease scratching and self trauma due to itchy allergies or parasites or are associated with a dog s physical features such as pronounced hard to clean skin folds Dogs with underlying hormonal autoimmune or liver or kidney disease are also predisposed to suffer from unhealthy skin which is more prone to infection Too frequent bathing more than once every two to four weeks or a deficiency in certain nutrients can also play a role Hormonal disease can also have a direct effect on a dog s skin and cause hair loss particularly over a dog s flanks Such hair loss is generally not associated with obvious itchiness or skin disease but is a consequence of the effect of certain hormones on hair growth Root causes It s important to identify the root cause of skin disease so appropriate treatment can be chosen Blood tests can check liver and kidney function and the healthiness of the immune system They can also help identify any hormonal problems Specific tests for antibodies to mites are also available as are ones for allergy antibodies directed against common allergens Skin scrapes and biopsies can be used to detect mites and other parasites and to check for some immune diseases Vets can also take swabs of bacteria and yeasts to help them identify any infections In some cases just one or two tests are needed to clarify a dog s problem but because skin diseases often have a combination of causes a dog may have to have all the tests Treatment choices Effective anti parasitic therapy is often one of the first steps A flea collar or powder is rarely effective enough to treat affected dogs instead spot ons prescribed by a vet are generally needed and products to kill eggs and larvae in the house may also be advised In addition antibiotics and anti inflammatories may be used to treat any inflammation and infection There are a number of possible treatments for allergies Reducing the allergens in a dog s environment by being up to date with effective anti parasitic treatments washing bedding with non biological detergents and feeding a good quality low allergy food often helps Antihistamine medicines can also be used to reduce reactions In addition allergytesting lets owners know which specific allergens need to be excluded from their dog s life and can allow for more effective treatment For instance a dog with an allergy to beef and wheat should respond well to a hypo allergenic diet based on fish and corn with no

    Original URL path: http://yourdog.co.uk/Indepth-Dog-Articles/skin-disease-more-than-just-skin-deep.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Your Dog | Obesity - cut the fat | Indepth Dog Articles
    tumours If your dog s tummy looks like it s getting bigger or appears swollen it s worth taking him to your vet to rule out any underlying health issues Health Risks If a dog is carrying excess weight it will put extra strain on various parts of the body A number of health issues could arise as a result Musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis ligament strain and slipped discs Heart and respiratory diseases Skin disease obese dogs may develop skin folds that restrict airflow to some areas resulting in them becoming moist and prone to infection Blood flow to skin may also be reduced due to cardiac or respiratory deficiency Liver insufficiency Diabetes A dogs ideal body shape When looking at your dog from above there should be a slight narrowing between the end of his ribcage and his hips giving him a noticeable waist Looking at your dog s profile the line of his undercarriage should curve from the end of the ribs towards the groin This is more pronounced in deep chested breeds such as the Greyhound and Whippet When stroking your hands along the side of your dog s body you should be able to feel each rib easily although they shouldn t be visually prominent Check your dog s weight on a weekly basis and weigh him regularly your vet can do this at a monthly health check Keeping the weight off Following the launch of the latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing PAW Report the charity has given some top tips for healthy weight loss Prevention Preventing obesity is much easier than getting a dog to lose weight A good diet in puppyhood is essential fat puppies are more likely to become fat adult dogs due to the number of fat cells they produce while growing Take action If your dog is overweight don t be afraid to seek advice from your vet on how tackle the problem effectively Cut out treats Even a small treat can significantly increase your dog s daily calorie intake Balanced diet Successful weight loss requires a combination of the right diet and the right amount of exercise Regular exercise Activity levels must be built up gradually Encouraging play and games is a great way to increase your dog s activity levels Remember that every dog is different ask your vet about how much exercise your dog needs Seek veterinary advice Rapid weight loss can be dangerous Always speak to your vet before making any major changes to your dog s diet or exercise regime to ensure that weight loss is gradual and safe Dieting tips For a dog to lose weight his calorie intake needs to be cut by up to 60 per cent Here are some tips on how to do this Speak to your vet about the amount of food your dog should be eating on a daily basis Use scales to weigh out his daily food allowance every morning If you like to give your dog naughty

    Original URL path: http://yourdog.co.uk/Indepth-Dog-Articles/obesity-cut-the-fat.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Your Dog | Arthritis - a joint approach | Indepth Dog Articles
    changes in bone contour and density in the joints However ultrasound scanning nuclear scintigraphy which involves scanning the body for active sites of inflammation and taking samples of fluid from affected joints can also help In addition blood tests can access the dog s general health and can screen dogs for some infectious causes of joint inflammation Treatment choice There is an almost infinite number of treatments available which is testament to the fact that arthritis is a universal condition affecting large numbers of animals of all species over the thousands of years that have formed medics knowledge base However it is important to realize that some treatments are more effective than others and some are better understood and backed by more scientific evidence Surgery may be an option in a minority of cases but is of no use in most old dogs who have typical wear and tear related arthritis It can be used to improve the way the bones fit together within the joint in some cases therefore reducing any ongoing damage Most dogs with arthritis will need anti inflammatory pain relieving medication usually a type of medicine called a non steroidal anti inflammatory or NSAID at least some of the time These medicines can be used as and when necessary or may be given routinely every day Although they can cause side effects in the long term this is rare and these medicines generally are safe and effective aids to comfort and mobility in affected dogs Nutraceuticals such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate can also help relieve pain and reduce joint inflammation Several scientific studies of these products in a range of different species have had varying results however their use now seems to be fairly well supported It seems that nutraceuticals are at their most useful in the early stages of disease In addition the quality of products available varies enormously and it is important to use an effective formulation even though it may be more expensive It is always a good idea to ask your vet for advice before using these products especially as several good quality products are specifically licensed for veterinary use and can be bought from them Essential fatty acid supplements may help as well Acupuncture can also provide pain relief The treatment involves placing small sterile needles into sites in the body where they can have an effect on the nervous system to modulate pain It is generally well tolerated by dogs but often has to be repeated at intervals and may prove costly Physiotherapy can help dogs to keep mobile and maintain their muscle strength and can be used to relieve pain and stiffness too Swimming can also be helpful as it allows dogs to exercise without their joints having to bear any weight and massage and other techniques can also be used Affected dogs benefit most from several two or three at least short periods of exercise a day rather than one long walk and cope best if their

    Original URL path: http://yourdog.co.uk/Indepth-Dog-Articles/arthritis-a-joint-approach.html (2016-02-08)
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