Diabetes In Dogs: A Serious Disease That Is Completely Manageable

Diabetes in dogs is a serious endocrine disease that causes too much glucose in the blood. The most common type of diabetes in dogs is acquired, insulin-dependent Type II diabetes mellitus, also known as IDDM. This type of diabetes is similar to adult-onset diabetes in humans. The other kind of diabetes in dogs is diabetes insipidus.

The earlier diabetes in dogs is detected, the better the chances of successful treatment.

Diabetes insipidus is caused by a lack of vasopressin, the antidiuretic hormone that controls water resorption by the kidneys. In dogs, the more common diabetes mellitus is a deficiency of insulin, the hormone that plays a critical role in sugar metabolism. The highest occurrences are in obese canines between 5 and 7 years, and female dogs are more susceptible. Spaying eliminates the interaction of the female hormones with blood sugar levels, and thus helps stabilize insulin levels. Untreated diabetes in dogs can lead to urinary tract infections and cataracts. A simple blood test will indicate if glucose counts look suspicious. A full physical exam should be done annually on your dog, even if it seems perfectly healthy.

The symptoms of diabetes in dogs usually include:

– Drinking excessive amounts of water;
– Frequent urination (may start to urinate in the house);
– Weight gain (or weight loss in some cases);
– Increased lethargy during the day.

Don’t panic if your dog is diagnosed with diabetes.

Diabetes is a manageable disease in dogs. It takes more work to care for diabetic dogs, but our pets are family members. The least we can do in return is provide proper health care, especially if they suffer canine diabetes. Responsible guardians try to provide an enjoyable life for their pets, with less pain.

The goal after a canine diabetes diagnosis is to get glucose levels down to a normal (or only slightly elevated) level by following some simple steps. Diabetes in dogs means someone must administer insulin injections that are easy to do and will quickly become routine. You must monitor how your dog responds to the injected insulin dosage by testing the urine with test strips. The test strip will tell you how much sugar is present in the dog’s system, and you may have to adjust the dosage of insulin based on the results.

Your veterinarian will instruct you on how to use the test kits, results to look for, when to administer higher or lower dosages, and the proper way to administer the treatment. Stick to the time schedule your veterinarian provides, and keep a record of the test strips results, amount of insulin given, and your dog’s eating behaviors and attitude. This will help you understand the dog’s condition, and assist your veterinarian if other problems arise.

Commercial dog food companies have helped create this epidemic of diabetes in dogs.

Their processed food contains a high concentration of sugar to make it more palatable. The benefit to the companies is increased sales because dog owners see their beloved canines “wolf” down the food like it’s the best they’ve ever eaten, so the owners keep buying it.

Be strict about what you feed your dog.

Emphasize foods high in fiber and protein, and restrict fats and carbohydrates. Feed your dog at the same times every day. What they eat and when they eat it affect the sugar/insulin levels.

One-third of the total daily amount of food should be given half hour prior to the injection. The remaining amount of food should be given 8-10 hours later. If you give your dog snacks before bedtime, reduce the dinner amount by the snack amount. Exercise will affect the sugar levels in the dog’s blood stream. You don’t want that level “up” one day and “down” the next. The “up and down” isn’t good for the dog. Set up an exercise program and stick to it. If your dog is overweight, put it on a diet to lose weight slowly.
As in humans, blood sugar levels will fluctuate.

It is crucial to take your pet periodically to the veterinarian for a whole day (8-hour period at least) to monitor blood sugar levels throughout the day. This helps ensure your diabetes treatments are working properly. Family members age teen and up should know how to give the insulin in case of a dog health emergency. Post instructions by the phone, the fridge (where the insulin is kept), the bed, and where the dog hangs out a lot, of how to give the injection to your pet just in case. Make a diabetes “Dog Health Cheat Sheet” for potential problems; include the veterinarian’s emergency number and basic actions to take in each scenario:

Too much insulin is accidentally injected.

The needle breaks off while in the dog.

There’s a seizure (not common, but can happen occasionally).

Cool Pet Bed Technology

What you do not know about dog cooling products puts your pet at risk for heat difficulties and discomfort. Pet products manufacturing and modern thermoregulating technology have joined to make available dog cooling jackets and cooling pet beds to aid in your dog’s safety and comfort. Dog cooling beds, jackets and other products represent technological advances in protection against heat exhaustion and heat stroke in dogs.

Your dog has a fur coat. Summer days can be annoyingly uncomfortable for your canine, but thermoregulating technology in a cooling pet bed surface can have far reaching benefits to the health and well being of your canine.

When dogs look for a cool surface area to lie on to cool their bodies they will usually find a spot on the tile, stone, or wood floor, surfaces that are hard on the canine’s bones and joints. However, those surfaces quickly trap heat and warm up, the refreshment is short-lived and the pressure on the bones and joints has a cumulative damaging effect.

A cooling pet bed is a solution. Canines only perspire around their paws, not enough to cool the body down. They rid themselves of excess heat by panting. Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body; as it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. This is an efficient way to control body heat, but severely limited in areas of high humidity or in close quarters.

 Cooling pet bed technology is perfect for regulating dog discomfort from heat.

Brachiocephalic (pug-nosed) dogs are more prone to heat discomfort and heat stroke because their nasal passages are smaller, making it more difficult to circulate sufficient air for cooling. Overweight dogs are also more susceptible to heat stroke because extra layers of fat act as insulation, trapping heat in their bodies, restricting breathing.

Age is a factor in a dog’s tendency to overheat and suffer heat stroke. Puppies may not have fully developed temperature regulating systems, and older dogs’ organ systems may not function at peak levels. All reasons to take advantage of the wonderful cooling pet bed technology.

Some dogs thrive around water and often make good companions on boats. However, a boat for a dog can become sweltering. To a dog or pet, boat surfaces, such as fiberglass, can get extremely hot in the sun. Dogs absorb heat through the pads on their feet so be sure to protect them. Heat stroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion are real dangers for dogs on boats, especially for overweight animals.

 Providing a shaded area on the boat for the dog is a safe and responsible thing to do, and if you provide your boating pal with acooling pet bed it can make a world of difference to its comfort and safety.

The advanced cooling pet bed does not work on electricity or batteries. The thermoregulating cooling pet bed creates a dry, room temperature cooling effect by passively removing heat from the dog’s body, which escapes into the surrounding air without electrical or mechanical devices.

The cooling pet bed utilizes a combination of specialized foam, fluid and a shapeable outer membrane to create a unique and superior molding effect that conforms to pressure points. The Canine Cooler® pet bed contains a unique filling that becomes gel-like when activated with water. It is paw-puncture proof, easy to clean. Fleas hate the cool surface but dogs love it!

Place the cooling pet bed on a solid cool surface out of direct sunlight, preferably in one of your dog’s favorite spots. Your pal will probably discover the cool dog bed on its own when it feels hot, and will keep coming back to experience the same refreshment.

The canine cooling pet bed offers unparalleled body support because of the advanced fluid-based design, providing comfort for dogs with hip and joint ailments as well as skin problems from allergies to hot spots. The cooling pet bed is desirable for treatment and comfort of Cushing’s disease — symptoms of panting and restlessness are alleviated by the cooling effects. Similarly, it helps reduce the panting, pacing and restlessness typical of canine autoimmune hemolytic anemia. The cooling capability of the pet bed is therapeutic for post-surgery recovery, dysplasia, post-chemotherapy and other health conditions in which a soft, cooling effect is needed.

For the senior dog, this bed is very low profile, but incredibly supportive; easy for the animal to get on and off. The Canine Cooler® pet cooling bed is ongoing health therapy for the animal and is the most comfortable and innovative bed that you can give your dog especially during the summer season. This cooling pet bed is a powerful tool against the dangers of heat stroke.  It carries the best warranty and it’s made in America!

How to Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth

 


Providing good oral care for our canine family members can actually extend their lives by as much as three to five years. In order to successfully clean your dog’s teeth, you must get your dog used to having its mouth handled by lifting its lips and 
examining the teeth. Do this 2-3 times per week, and each time, give your pet a small treat and lots of praise after you have finished. Your dog will be more comfortable with the teeth cleaning process when it knows there will be a treat when it’s over.

 Introduce toothbrushing slowly to gradually accustom your dog to having you handle its mouth.

You’ll need a dog toothbrush (a washcloth or gauze pad wrapped around your finger also works well), and toothpaste specially formulated for animal use. Dogs cannot spit, and human toothpaste is not safe to swallow in large quantities. Your dog will most likely swallow whatever you use to clean its teeth with, so it is important to buy toothpaste that has been formulated specifically for dogs. A good alternative for cleaning your dog’s teeth is a solution of vitamin C and water in a ratio of half teaspoon of vitamin C to a cup of water.

Position yourself on the floor, with your dog in front of you. With smaller breeds or puppies, you can hold the dog in your lap. It may be necessary to start with gauze and work up to the toothbrush. Lift your dog’s upper lip and clean your dog’s teeth in a circular motion, making sure to brush at the base of each tooth where it meets the gum line. The toothbrush bristles should be angled at 45-degrees to the tooth surface. Also, make sure to clean your dog’s back molar teeth, which are more likely than the front teeth to develop problems. Gently force the bristles into the area around the base of the tooth and the spaces between the teeth with about ten short back and forth strokes, focusing on the outside of the upper teeth.

Do only one or two teeth the first few times. As your dog becomes comfortable with teeth cleaning, brush more teeth in each session. Clean your dog’s teeth twice a week. Always give your dog a small treat after each session.

 Hard bones are the primary cause of your dog’s teeth breaking; knuckle bones are soft.

Giving bones to your pet to chew on is an effective method for keeping tarter from accumulating and aids in keeping your dog’s teeth clean.Raw knuckle bones (the joints), from your local butcher or meat counter at the  supermarket, are great because they are soft  and allow your dog to scrape its teeth into the bone, nicely cleaning food and tartar from teeth. These bones still have some tendons and muscle meat. They will clean your dog’s teeth and  provide a nice oral workout as well as a healthy amount of natural calcium. Your dog will enjoy a good knuckle bone. It will be content and relaxed while chewing, and a little sleepy afterwards. Keep your dog on a towel that is easily washed.

 Cooked bones can splinter and cause mouth injury as well as intestinal problems.

Supervise your dog to prevent it from swallowing a large piece of bone, which may cause choking or digestive problems. Give your dog bones that are too large to swallow and NOT cooked. Do NOT give unthawed frozen bones to avoid the possible breaking of teeth. Raw carrots are a good substitute for cleaning your dog’s teeth.

see other article about cleaning dog ear

Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

Keeping the dog’s ears clean is important because a damp environment creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, often leading to painful sensitivity, redness, swelling and infection. Avoid dog ear infections by practicing preventive care. That means regularly examine and clean your dog’s ears. Cleaning your dog’s ears is important for good grooming and overall health. This is especially true for canines with pendulous ears, lots of hair in their ears, allergies or other medical problems that render them susceptible to ear infections.

Some guardians never check their dog’s ears unless the dog is shaking or scratching them.

That’s unfortunate because, by that time, there is usually an ear health problem requiring veterinary intervention to determine if the dog is infected, infested or needs treatment.

Before cleaning the dog’s ears, inspect for potential problems. Take note of any matter in and around the ear canal, particularly excess wax. A dark wax may be a sign of ear mites.

 Do not use water when cleaning your dog’s ears.

A weekly ear cleaning with an approved cleansing solution, or a mixture described at the bottom of the page that you can prepare at home, minimizes or prevents dog ear infections.

If ear problems are discovered, soak a cotton ball thoroughly in the ear wash. Squeeze out excess and gently clean dirt,

 Unless the ear is infected, the dog will probably enjoy this part of the cleaning.wax and other matter from the exterior area of the ear, and consult your veterinarian. Hold the ear flap up so the ear is tilted up; fill the ear with cleanser until it runs out. Do this while holding a towel to catch overflow from head shaking. Gently massage the base of the dog’s ears so you hear a squishing sound. If your dog attempts to move around the ear may be infected or you may be massaging too vigorously to free the discharge, so be very gentle. Aggressive pressure is not required when cleaning your dog’s ears.

If you don’t hear the squishing sound, you may not have enough cleaning solution in the ear or you are not creating enough movement.The cleaning will start at the part that protrudes from the side of the head or flops over, and also the external part of the ear that is gnarled, fleshy and, in some breeds, hairy around the entrance to the ear canal. From the external opening, the L-shaped ear canal descends vertically before taking a 90-degree bend for a horizontal jaunt to the ear drum. You should clean up to the external ear canal and no further — the vertical part before the 90-degree bend! Use your finger as a gauge to a safe access area to clean into the external ear canal — as far as you can see with a flashlight — and gently clean with a cotton-tipped swab only if you have been instructed by your veterinarian. Otherwise, use cotton balls or soft cotton cloths around the entrance to the ear canal, with a gentle, veterinary-approved cleaner. Be careful not to rub too hard as you can do more harm than good by rubbing the ears raw, leaving a nesting ground for bacteria and ultimately infection. Hydrogen peroxide is sometimes recommended but should be avoided because it leaves excess moisture and that can lead to the very difficulties you are trying to prevent. Finally, use an ear drying powder or cream and fold ear flaps back for about five minutes to dry canals.

You’ll be surprised at the amount of debris you can remove.

If you would prefer to make your own dog ear cleaner, here are three good dog ear cleaning recipes your veterinarian will approve of. Choose one, don’t use them all at the same time, and never use them to treat an ear infection.

Recipe #1: Mix one part white vinegar with one part rubbing alcohol (50/50 mixture) in a squirt bottle and shake well.

Recipe #2: Mix 50/50 vinegar and water, massage it in the ear for 60 seconds, clean the dog’s ear with cotton balls (not Q-tips). If your pet requires medication, apply it afterwards.

Recipe #3: For cleaning and to get rid of ear mites, soak a few crushed garlic cloves in oil (mineral oil, olive oil, or almond oil)overnight. Garlic helps kill the bacteria that can lead to ear infections. Put 3-5 drops of oil in the ear canal after thoroughly cleaning your dog’s ears. Do this once a day for at least a month. Oil will smother and starve the mites.

Use dog ear cleaning recipes only as indicated above. Site owners or their agents will not be responsible for any injuries resulting in the use or misuse of the recipes. Use with your own discretion.

Relate article: How to cleaning dog’s teeth

Citronella Bark Collar – Best Solution to Stop Dog Barking

It is unrealistic and unfair to discourage your dog from barking if it’s trying to alert you to something; this can have dangerous consequences. Along with training, a Citronella Bark Collar is the most effective and humane solution to stop diagnosed problem barking.

If you are dealing with an uncontrolled and excessively barking dog, and you want to know how to stop the seemingly continual dog barking, it’s important to understand the facts surrounding the problem before deciding on a solution.

 
Certain breeds of dogs have a propensity to bark more than others but that alone does not answer the questions, is it excessive and if it is, why? A dog does not bark without reason. Barking could just be vocalizing hunger, or asking for some needed exercise or a bathroom break. Attention-getting barking arises from internal distress. Barking intended to sound an alert arises from a passing person, other dog or vehicle as the case may be.

The question becomes: is the barking appropriate?

The family comprises the dog’s pack. Expect your dog to bark and maybe not stop barking if left alone for long periods of time. Barking that starts after you are gone for 20 minutes or so and continues incessantly could be separation anxiety, a psychological condition that requires some extra attention.

Anxiety stress is not pleasant for your pet and homeopathic remediesto reduce stress and anxiety while promoting relaxation are available to assist in the solution.

Training And Technology Perfect Together!

The best news of all is if, after careful evaluation, there are indications that the problem is a dog talking back in a dominance tug-of-war for authority then training to control dominance is necessary, but it does not involve physical punishment. Along with humane and proper training methods and behavior management products, the situation is solvable with citronella technology, an important development in canine behavior management solutions.

 Citronella Bark Collar is the Most Humane and Effective
Nuisance Barking Solution.

A Citronella Bark Collar uses technology to deliver a harmless burst of citronella spray to interrupt your dog’s barking.

Trainers have used it with great success.

“I’ve used it with great success with several of my clients’ dogs. Companion dog owners who would never accept any other type of anti-bark collar have no qualms about using yours.” -Terry D. Morrow, Trainer

“It can be used to either interrupt behaviors or to act as a deterrent to discourage behaviors, all without causing the dog pain.” -Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D. Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Animal Behavior Associates, Inc., Littleton, CO

It’s Better Because…

Shock collars are inappropriate and attempt to reduce barking with pain, are less effective and may increase anxiety and aggression, potentially making behavior problems worse.

Ultra-sonic collars are not as severe as the pain of electrical shock; however, behavior experts report that they have 25% the success rate as with the Citronella Bark Collar.

The Citronella Bark Collar spray works with four of your dog’s five senses; he hears it, sees it, feels it and smells it. Citronella is a unique scent, nonoffensive to humans, which most dogs don’t normally encounter so unusual enough to distract the dog from whatever it’s barking at.

Canine Digestion Problems

Canine digestion problems are one health problem your dog does not have to suffer from. The common consequences of canine digestion problems are vomit and diarrhea. Periodic canine digestion problems can evolve into a chronic problem.

Severe or frequent vomiting and diarrhea that persist more than 1-2 days may leave a dog dehydrated and malnourished. If your canine experiences digestive problems, it’s important to call your veterinarian and discuss the situation. A fecal sample may be requested. If your dog has watery diarrhea with no blood or mucus, does not strain when defecating, and eliminates on a normal schedule, its small intestine is probably inflamed.

Feces should be checked routinely for parasites, and restrict your dog’s contact with other pets’ feces.

Prevent your dog from scavenging garbage cans or compost piles. Keep toxic substances, including antifreeze, drugs, and cleaning materials, out of your dog’s reach.

Food allergies, infection (bacterial or viral), inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, foreign bodies, metabolic diseases, organ failure of the kidney and liver, and pancreatic disease can all cause canine digestive problems.

Canine digestion problems can result from severe stomach irritation or spasms and cause vomiting. The solution to canine digestion problems are greatly within your control. Make your dog’s diet a number one priority and you will avoid canine digestion difficulties and the related problems.

To keep your dog’s gastrointestinal system functioning properly, a healthy, well-balanced diet is the key to avoiding canine digestion problems.

Canine digestion problems can result from sudden changes in diet or overeating. The aim is to avoid digestion problems, which will lead either to constipation, or to the rushing of food through the system too quickly, resulting in minimal nutrient and water absorption and a large volume of loose defecation.

The dog’s jaws are incapable of moving sideways, and instead are hinged. This allows them to open widely and ingest large chunks of meat.  Dogs can consume a large quantity of food at one time, and rest between meals. In the wild, this is known as “gorging”. This is beneficial in hunting big game. Canines, like carnivores, can consume large meals after a hunt, and then leisurely wait until the next meal opportunity arises.

Diet quality can be measured by the ease of digestion for your dog. Large, odorous stool is a reliable indicator that something is not right in the canine’s digestive tract, and what the dog is eating is the likely problem. Large amounts of vegetation, grains and fiber are difficult for canines to digest. Dogs have short and simple digestive tracts, and are not capable of fermenting and absorbing these foods like an herbivore would. High-grain, high-fiber diets in canine digestion will result in much larger stool volume.

The canine’s digestive system is a function of the mouth, stomach, small and large intestines, aided by the liver and pancreas. Functioning smoothly, the typical meal takes seven to ten hours to pass through the digestive system.

Canine digestion begins in the mouth and that is where canine digestive problems can begin. Saliva lubricates the food and passes it down the esophagus. The dog’s teeth are sharp, jagged, blade-in-shape molars designed for gripping, tearing and shredding, and specifically suited for the dog’s digestive capabilities. The canine’s short digestive tract easily digests animal flesh and fat.

Food spends a much longer time in the canine stomach, which produces a higher amount of hydrochloric acid, and aids in the breakdown of animal proteins, bones and fat. Chyme, also known as chymus, is the fluid that passes easily into the small intestine, where the pancreas and liver provide additional digestive enzymes. These enzymes continue protein digestion and also provide carbohydrate and fat digestion: carbohydrates to simple sugars, fats to fatty acids, and proteins to amino acids. Nutrients are absorbed from the small intestine into the bloodstream.

Probiotics can benefit the dog’s digestion, aid in absorption of nutrients, antioxidants and iron, and help with food intolerance. All mammals require these beneficial microorganisms and biologically produce substances to create a hospitable environment for them to take up residency, for necessary health and proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.

By the time food reaches the large intestine, most of the nutrients have been absorbed. It is here that water and electrolytes are assimilated and a bacterium breaks down the undigested fiber. The wastes are then excreted.

In addition to protein and fat, dogs require some carbohydrates in their diet. But, it is a delicate balance — too much protein and the result is disease, too little and the results are similar. The diet can go a long way in preventing canine digestion problems and many related problems caused by what the canine is digesting.