When dogs reach senior status, expect physicial and behavioral changes. Listed are elder issues: . House soiling . Change in elimination patterns . Decreases/change in interactions with other pets. . Onset of aggression in a normally non aggressive dog . Disorientation and /or poor problem solving (getting stuck behind doors) . Changes in sleep patterns . Changes in vocalization . Onset of novel phobias Some veterinarians and researchers suggest medications, diets, supplements and behavioral or environment interventions can help aging dogs to improve their quality of life.
If your dog's ears remain healthy and normal, do not over clean them.. If your dog's ears do not seem healthy, seek veterinary help right away. Left untreated, ear infections can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss not to mention non stop pain and irritation.
While veterinarians see dogs of all breeds with ear problems, often related to food or environmental allergies. Some breed experience more infections and more severe infections.
For example some breeds have particularly narrow ear canals which do not in it self cause ear infections but can lead to a more severe infection quickly.
. French Bulldogs
. Chinese Shar-Pei
These breeds also tend not to shake their heads in response to ear discomfort (a common
symptoms in other breeds). Due to the shape of their head they may simply get no relief from the shaking - whereas other dogs might be able to shake ear gunk loose.
Dogs with floppy ears also tend to get more severe ear infections due to a more humid atmosphere under the ear flap.
Cocker Spaniels are a special case. Cocker Spaniels tend to develop more proliferative changes in the ears and that means when they have ottis (inflammation/ear infection). They are more likely to get thickened tissue in their ears, at worse it might require surgical removal of the ear canal.
This happens more often in Cockers than any other breed.
Dog sunburn can happen. To avoid this remember to apply sun screen to your dog's nose and ears before going out doors. Limit the time in the sun, help him or her to avoid walking on hot surfaces to prevent paw blisters, and make sure you can provide a shady spot and fresh drinking water for frequent breaks. Keep your dog safe from heat strokes. Swimming is a great way for dogs to stay cool. Monitor your dog while swimming and encourage frequent water and shade breaks,.
Change in appetite. Eating too much or too little can potentially signify disease. If you notice a change either way, should notify your veterinarian. There are countless diseases that can cause overeating or losing one's appetite. Your veterinarian's job will be to investigate why. This typically starts with blood work, x rays and ultrasound. Stinky breath A foul odor coming from your kitty's mouth can mean gum disease or tooth decay. Brushing your cat's teeth is a good way to decrease those risks. Imagine if you went 5,10,15 years without brushing your teeth! In addition breath that smells like ammonia can be a sign of kidney disease. Eliminating outside of the litter box Causes of this annoying habit van be behavioral or indicate a disease. Discuss your pet's symptoms with your veterinarian to rule out a bladder infection or urinary blockage before treating this as a behavior issue. Weight change Weight loss can be an indication of thyroid disease or worse, cancer. Weight gain or a growing belly can be related to various conditions such as pyometra (a uterus full of pus). Obesity by itself is detrimental to your pet's health, it an lead to arthritis, tumors and a shorter lifespan. Behavior change If your normally social kitty suddenly becomes antisocial, there may be a medical reason. A classic sign of illness is hiding: kitty feels bad, tries to hide from predators and hides in a closet or under a bed. Grooming change Lack of grooming can cause a dull or greasy hair coat, which can indicate skin disease or other problems. Activity change A sudden increase activity level in a middle aged to older kitty can indicate an overactive thyroid. If your kitty seems less than enthusiastic about moving around or playing, it may indicate arthritis or other issues. Sleep pattern change If your cat seems to sleep all day when he or she use to be active they may be trying to tell you that they do not feel well. The opposite is also true, If your kitty is up all night, roaming the house, vocalizing, or seems overactive during the day, there might be an underlying cause. Stress induced behavior A change in your cat's routine may be a sign of stress. Changes in the environment your pet lives in, like the addition of another pet, remodeling or loud noises can all cause hiding , depression or lack of appetite. Be objective and thorough when describing any potential changes to your veterinarian. Voice change Voice changes can actually indicate a problem. Normally quiet cats with an increase in vocalizations, or a usually chatty cat which suddenly becomes quiet, might mean trouble. Any of the above changes should be reason to take your cat to your vet to investigate the cause and find a treatment as soon as possible.
Excessive tearing in dogs, known as epiphora, can affect Yorkshire Terrier of any age. The causes of epiphora are many and varied , and gunk in your dog's eyes can often indicate an eye disease or parasite. Yorkshire Terriers have long, silky fur that can accumulate a lot of dried gunk. Try to keep your Yorkie's eyes as clean as possible, but in the case that the gunk dries up around the eyes. You can remove it by using a warm saline solution. Chronic discharge from a Yorkshire Terrier's eye is not normal and could be a sign of a larger problem, Check with a veterinarian if your Yorkie continues to have gunk around his or her eye.
Reiki is a hands on healing method that originated in Japan. The word Reiki is a Japanese composite word usually translated as "universal life energy". It is based on the idea that all living beings have life energy flowing through them. When life energy is high, your pets are healthy and balanced, more relaxed and less likely to get sick. When it is low, they will often be more easily affected by stress and less resistant to illness. Cats are naturally receptive to the Reiki energy and tend to gravitate towards it readily. Benefits of Reiki For Pets Enhances overall well being. Just like people, even healthy pets can have occasional physical, emotional and mental imbalances that, if left untreated can manifest as illness. Periodic Reiki treatments can help maintain your pet's natural state of well being and balance. Strengthens the immune system for cancer therapies. Cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation present stress to an already compromised immune system. Reiki strengthens the immune system to better deal with the additional stress. It helps alleviate or prevent the side effects of conventional cancer treatments and provides pain relief. Increases trust and bonding between you and your pet. People and pets often mirror each other's physical and emotional states. Animals are natural healers and sometimes take on their person's problems, often in an attempt to heal them. This happens because of the deep bond shared between a pet and his or her person. Because of the shared energy in such a close relationship, energetic imbalances are shared as well. For optimum healing, joint treatments for people and their pets can often be beneficial. Can help with behavior issues by promoting relaxation and stress reduction. Many behavior issues are caused by stress. Reiki has a calming effect on the pet and may help make the pet more receptive to training and behavior modification. Reiki is extremely beneficial for animals with a history of abuse. The gentle and the energy can help restore trust in animals who have learned to associate touch with being hurt. Provides comfort and relieves pain, anxiety and fear for terminally ill animals. Reiki is a wonderful way to facilitate the transition for terminally ill animals and their owners. Often animals will not allow themselves to transition because they intuitively feel that their person is not ready to let them go. Joint Reiki treatments for the pet and his or her person can help both through this difficult time by enhancing the bond and allowing a gentle transition.
Eighty percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some kind of oral disease by the age of 3. Dental disease is more than just a cosmetic issue. When your canine companion or feline friend has red gums, yellow teeth and stinky breath, it could be a sign of serious oral disease that could, if let untreated lead to devastating affects on your pet's quality of life. Neglecting your pet's teeth and gums can cause chronic pain issues that may even be at the center of certain behavioral problems. But never fear, pet owners, February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so now is the perfect time to call your veterinarian and schedule a dental check up for your furry family member. Oral disease can lead to serious consequences for pets, including infection, severe pain and even organ damage. With regular oral health maintenance and check-ups, most of these problems can be avoided. Your pet's dental health should be a concern all year long. Between regular veterinary examinations, pet owners should look for the warning signs of gum disease such as bad breath, red and swollen gums, yellow-brown crusts of tartar along the gum lines, and bleeding or pain when the gums or mouth are touched. Pets with developing gingivitis and periodontal diseases often paw at their face or mouth frequently, have excessive drool and may exhibit an unwillingness to eat harder foods. As with many health issues, prevention is always the best medicine. One way you can take a proactive role in preventing oral disease in your pet is by using an important tool that many pet owners neglect to purchase for their four legged friends - a toothbrush. A soft bristled toothbrush should be used to clean your pet's teeth daily to remove any food particles and prevent the build up of tarter and plaque deposits. Make sure to only use toothpaste that is specially formulated for us on pets. Overall health begins with a good diet but did you know that many dental health issues are caused by malnutrition. Work with your veterinarian to address your pet's nutrition and develop a healthy eating plan. Your veterinarian may recommend a professional teeth cleaning for your dog or cat once a year or as needed. Performing a thorough oral exam requires the use of general anesthesia, so your vet will first give your pet a pre-anesthetic exam. Once the anesthesia is administered your pet's vitals, including respiration, temperature and heart rate, will be monitored while the veterinarian takes dental radiographs and uses instruments to scale and polish your pet's teeth. Removing tarter and plaque build up that could otherwise lead to dental issues. In cases of serious oral disease, your veterinarian may recommend a tooth extraction. Keeping on top of your pet's dental health has lasting positive effect.
Maintaining oral health can add up to five years to your pet's life.
Matting refers to densely tangled clumps of fur in a pet's coat. If a coat is not properly and/or frequently brush or comb loose and live hair becomes embedded in large masses. sometime mats can be combed out, but if left too long it is impossible without seriously harming the animal.
Matting is especially prevalent in long hair dogs during seasonal shedding, if the excessive hairs are not removed. Regular and frequent grooming, especially brushing is absolutely necessary to not only prevent mats, but to keep your pet's coat and skin healthy. Dangers Severe matting can be extremely painful to your dog during brushing. Brushing only causes live hairs to be pulled out of the skin with excruciating pain. Even mild matting can cause your pet a great deal of pain. Matting can cut off blood supply to extremities and deny regular air circulation. Skin denied fresh air and stimulation from regular brushing becomes quite unhealthy. It can turn dark pink to re and open sores are apt to form emitting foul odors. Even organic matter, like weeds and stickers can become embedded in the skin. Matts have been known to contain stool of the pet and even fly larvae that further irritate the skin. Remember, sometime these mats and their consequences can be completely hidden from view. Some severely matted pets may require the attention of a veterinarian. Removing Matts
Shaving a matted cot is a delicate and slow process requiring experience and expertise. A dog's skin is thin like tissue paper and dense mats can cause it to become loose due to the weight of the matting. Clippers can easily cut loose skin if not done properly and safely. After shaving, a pet may develop an itchy skin response. Owners should watch to ensure that constant scratching does not cause the skin to become irritated. Prevention Dead, loose hairs should be remove through regular and thorough brushing and combing. This is especially important for long haired dogs and when dogs shed seasonally. Keeping your dog's hair at a manageable length also helps to prevent matting. Regular grooming is essential too. Grooming should be done on a regular basis every 4 to 6 weeks, after 8 to 10 weeks a coat may become too dirty and matted to maintain.
With cold weather here and continuing, we ask you to bring your pets inside and exercise the utmost caution when exposing them to the cold.
As a general rule, if it is too cold for you then it is too cold for your pet.
Bring Your Pet Inside: Do not leave your pet outside, i the cold for prolonged period of time. Remember, thermometers might show one temperature, but the wind chills can make it feel much much colder. Limit time out and be mindful of frostbite on ears, tail and paws. If you run with your dog, pay attention to cold paws and if it gets too cold, leave your pup at home. Cats should always be left indoors. Outdoor cats are often victims of road traffic, wild animals, dog and cruel people and freezing or starving to death in severely cold weather.
Acclimate Your Pet To Cold Weather: If your pet spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure to introduce him or her gradually to dropping temperatures, rather than exposing them to the extreme cold all at once.
Provide Adequate Shelter: Adequate shelter is mandate by law. If your dog lives outdoors, you must provide a well insulated and draft free doghouse. The opening should face south with a sturdy flexible covering to prevent icy winds from entering. Line the floor of the shelter with straw not hay. Towels and blankets can become damp or freeze making the space colder.
Beware Of Antifreeze And Rock Salt: Antifreeze often collects on driveways and roadways. Although it smells and tastes sweet to your pet it is lethally poisonous. If you suspect that your pet has ingested this contact your veterinarian immediately! Deicing products like rock salt can irritate foot pads.
Be sure to rinse and dry your pet's feet after being outside.
Dry Off Wet Pets: A wet pet is a cold pet. Towel or blow dry your pet if they get wet from rain or snow. Also it is important to clean and dry paws to prevent tiny cuts and cracked pads.
Provide Plenty Of Food And Water: It takes more energy in the winter to properly regulate body temperature so your pet may need additional calories if he or she spends a lot of time playing or working outdoors. Your pet is just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as in the summer, so be sure to provide plenty of fresh water. Snow is not a substitute for water. Refill outside bowls often to prevent freezing.
Carefully Keep Pets Warm Inside: Keep your pets warm, dry and away from drafts while inside. Space heaters and other supplemental heat sources can burn your pet. Keep portable heaters out of reach and make sure all fireplaces have adequate screening. and of course never leave your pet alone with an unattended fire.
Groom Regularly: Your pet needs a well groomed coat to keep him or her properly insulated/ short or coarse haired dogs might get extra cols do consider a sweater or coat. Long haired dogs should have their paw hair trimmed o ease in cleaning and snow removal.