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for great dog training tips and advice
Dog costumes have improved dramatically over the years as more and more people consider their pets as part of the family. But Halloween can also be a scary time for your dog, too. Plan ahead and get him used to the costumes on him and the kids as well as the ringing door bell.
Here are few more tips to help keep Halloween safe for your dog.
- Chocolate,raisins and macadamia nuts can be toxic to your dog. Keep the treat bowl out of your dog’s reach and put away the kids loot bag when they return from trick or treating.
- If your dog is going to wear a costume, practice wearing it ahead of time so he can get used to it. Make sure it is comfortable and has no parts that can be chewed on or choked on.
- Let your dog get used to your kid’s costumes also. Costumes and masks can scare your pet and may lead to accidental dog bites.
- Get your pet used to the door bell ringing. All the kids visiting your door can frighten your pet. Practice with the neighbor kids at ringing the door bell and make the dog sit quietly in after they have barked a few times.
- Teach your dog not run out the door when the door is opened. Halloween has the highest incidence of lost dogs. Make sure your dog has ID tags on him and perhaps even have him microchipped in case he should escape.
- Have a safe and quiet place available. If Halloween is still too much for your dog, create a safe and quiet place for him to stay during all of the activity.
Find a great selection of dog Halloween costumes at my store FavoriteDogCostumes.com
A tick is a small parasite related to spiders. They are most normally found in wooded areas and those fields of high grass and like mosquitoes and fleas pose a health hazard to your dog and to people as well as they carry the Lyme disease, Rocky mountain spotted fever and other illnesses that can affect your dogs health and even his life. While many people know that ticks can be detrimental to their dogs health they simply aren’t sure what to do to protect their dog from these parasites. Here are a few tips that may help you to protect your dogs from ticks and keep him healthy.
Since ticks are found in wooded areas and high grass and especially prevalent during the spring and summer it is a good idea to keep the grass in your yard mowed and short. Ticks are far less likely to inhabit areas where there is no tall grass.
You will also want to keep your yard free of spilled bird seed and other things which might attract mice and squirrels because ticks often use these animals as a host and food source.
Don’t allow your dog to roam. The best way to protect him from ticks is to limit his access to areas where there is not a high concentrations of these parasites.
If you take your dog camping with you check him/her every three hours for signs of ticks. Make sure you check him thoroughly including the inside of his ears and around the genital area. Ticks do not attach immediately to a new host and usually don’t start feeding until after they are on the host for about 4 hours. (It is also wise to thoroughly check all humans who are camping in wooded areas for ticks as well.)
If you find a tick use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the body as possible and pull the tick straight out. Never remove a tick with your bare hands. Ticks have teeth designed to latch onto a host and remain fixed and twisting and turning the tick may result in leaving the head with the disease carrying fluids attached.
Once the tick is removed then clean the area with soap and water and apply antiseptic.
Using protectants such as Advantix and Frontline Plus may prevent ticks from using your dog as a host. Ask your Veterinarian about these and other products that may help to protect your dogs from ticks.
If your dog has had access to any area where ticks may live and suddenly appears lame, feverish and has a loss of appetite and appears lethargic then take him to your Veterinarian immediately for treatment. Be sure to tell your Vet of the places your dog has been so that he can be tested for tick spreading diseases.
Your dog is your trusted companion and your friend. You want to be able to share those outside adventures, picnics, hiking and camping trips with him but, you also want to keep him safe. Following these few tips will help protect your dog from ticks and the associated health problems they cause while still enabling him to enjoy all those out of door adventures.
Meet Jack…an English Bulldog with a great outdoor job and an exciting story to tell. Sadly, Jack’s career was almost derailed due to an unexpected injury. Like so many NBA stars and skiers, Jack hurt his knee and was sidelined for many weeks. Thankfully, prompt care and a great surgery team got Jack “back on the road again!”
Just one look at Jack and you can tell that this is a dog meant for bigger things. From blogging about his travels as New Mexico’s Canine Travel Reporter to his awards from the governor, Jack oozes confidence and excitement. So, when Jack ruptured his cruciate ligament, neither he nor his human partner, Jill, were going to let anything stand in the way of his speedy return to the spotlight.
Like people, dogs have two cruciate ligaments to help provide support for the knee. Their presence keeps the femur and tibia from sliding around and destabilizing the joint. According to veterinary surgeon, Dr. Phil Zeltzman, repairing torn a cruciate is the most common surgery at veterinary surgery centers. He adds that certain breeds (Labradors and Rottweilers) show up with this injury more frequently than other pets.
Dogs can rupture these ligaments with sudden twisting movements while running or even from slipping on ice. In Jack’s case, a sudden meeting with a child’s snow sled was enough to cause the injury. After seeing Jac
k limp into the house that snowy day, Jill knew an appointment with his veterinarian was needed.
In most cases, diagnosing a cruciate tear simply requires a veterinarian’s examination and, if the patient is not cooperative, a touch of sedation. Palpation of the knee joint is the key to the diagnosis although it is also a good idea to take x-rays of both knees to look for any other problems.
The next step is surgery. According to industry experts, pet owners spend more than $1 billion dollars on cruciate surgeries for their pets each year. A variety of procedures exist to help stabilize the knee, but most surgeons will utilize one of three procedures. Because of Jack’s anatomy, breed and size, surgeons at the New Mexico Veterinary Surgery Center determined that the Tibial Tuberosity Advancement surgery would be the most effective solution.
Radiographs to the left show a ruptured ACL ligament in one of my patients, Luna. Compare it to the normal knee and you can see at the 90 degree angle of the x-ray on the left, the femur or the big thigh bone sits almost behind the tibia or the lower leg bone. The cruciate ligament stabilizes the knee. Luna had a TPLO surgery (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) performed by Dr. Payne of North Houston Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Payne is a veterinary orthopedic surgeon and travels to the veterinary clinic that requires his services.
The surgery requires very special instruments and surgical skills for a successful outcome and at Luna’s 6 week check up, she was walking great.
As with any pet surgery, cost certainly is an issue. It is not unusual for these cruciate surgeries to range in cost from $1200 to more than $3000. David Goodnight, CEO of PurinaCare pet insurance says that nationwide, the average cost for this type of surgery is $2500.
Some pet owners will question the need for surgery as fibrous tissue in the dog’s body will eventually stabilize the joint. Sadly, this could lead to bigger problems, including severe osteoarthritis or even a rupture of the ligaments in the other knee. Certainly this route only increases the pet’s discomfort.
After surgery, most dogs feel much better. In fact, it’s a challenge for owners to keep their pets rested during the recovery. Jill recalls her experience with Jack, “Luckily I remembered to always keep him on a leash outside…by day three after surgery, I could see him wanting to run!”
This 8-10 week recovery period is crucial. Too much activity can delay healing at the site or even cause enough damage that a second surgery might be needed! The doggie patients need to stay in a crate when they can’t be supervised, go outside ONLY on a leash and only for bathroom breaks until the surgeon says short walks are ok. Running, jumping and stairs should be avoided.
Jack has made a complete recovery and is now back educating people about the wonders of New Mexico. But he is not out of the woods yet. About half of dogs who rupture one cruciate will tear the opposite knee’s ligaments. Along the course of his recovery, Jack’s veterinarians have made several recommendations to help him avoid this fate.
First, weight control! Excess weight creates additional stress on joints and can lead to ligament tears.
Next, daily exercise is important. Spending about an hour each day engaged in moderate exercise is not only a good way to keep your dog healthy and limber…it will probably help you too!
Finally, don’t overdo it! You wouldn’t run a marathon without training, so don’t expect your dog to hike 4-5 miles with you immediately.
Your veterinarian will also have some helpful ideas to protect your pet’s joints. Nutraceuticals, like glucosamine or rehabilitation exercises can help strengthen and support the knees.