What Is the Quality of Life for a Dog With Hip Dysplasia?

22 Sep 2015 | Filed in Dog Life Style

As your dog grows, the bones that connect her thighs and pelvis may grow at different rates. This creates a mismatched ball-and-socket joint that can lead to pain and a condition called hip dysplasia. The condition usually is hereditary but can result from diet and excess weight. Though painful, hip dysplasia is treatable. Medicines coupled with improvements in diet can greatly enhance an affected dog’s quality of life.

Hip Dysplasia Affects Mobility

Hip dysplasia begins development during the growth years. It can begin in puppies as young as three or four months, but typically sets in at about a year or two. The severity of the condition depends on how differently the femur and pelvic socket grow. Mild cases may not show up until well into adulthood, with mild to moderate arthritis. In more serious cases, a dog will likely have difficulty sitting or getting up, and may walk with a limp or favor one hind leg.

Quality of Life Depends

The qualify of life for a dog with dysplasia greatly depends on the severity of his condition and how you treat or manage it. Left untreated, hip dysplasia is painful and is sure to worsen as he ages. Anti-inflammatory drugs are one line of treatment. Though no drug can reshape the bones to make them fit properly together, prescribed anti-inflammatories can reduce the swelling of muscles and ligaments surrounding the joints, allowing your dog to move and live more comfortably.

Nutrition Matters

A better diet and some supplements can vastly improve your dog’s quality of life. The main goal is to keep her thin and as light as possible and still be healthy. Less weight to carry puts less stress on displaced hips, leading to less discomfort. In addition to a properly monitored diet — ideally composed of fresh, natural foods — glucosamine and antioxidant supplements lessen the deterioration of ligaments that protect thigh and pelvic bones from rubbing together. Do not alter your dog’s diet or administer supplements without your veterinarian’s approval.

Limit Exercise and Calcium

Larger breeds are more prone to hip dysplasia because they tend to grow rapidly. When exercising an at-risk puppy, be sure to monitor and control his play and exercise. Discourage high-impact play, such as wrestling or games of Frisbee. Also critical to monitor is his calcium level. Too much calcium may encourage uneven bone growth and lead to dysplasia. Puppies of at-risk breeds who eat commercial diets should never be given calcium supplements. Consult your veterinarian for specific plans and diets to help treat dysplasia.

Hereditary Health Problems of a Basset

19 Sep 2015 | Filed in Dog Health

Originally bred as a hunting companion, the wonderfully good-natured Basset hound is a loyal and mellow family oriented canine. According to Just Basset Hounds, these stocky low-riders are generally strong, healthy and long-lived dogs. However like most dog breeds, there are certain hereditary health issues to which Basset hounds are predisposed.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus

Gastric dilatation-volvulus, commonly called bloat, occurs in dogs with deep, narrow chests like the Basset. It develops when a dog takes in tremendous amounts of air during exercise or when gulping food or water. If the air is not released properly the stomach rotates, cutting off blood supply to the heart. If not treated almost immediately it can be fatal. Symptoms include swollen belly, excessive drooling, abdominal pain, restlessness, panting, shallow breathing and nonproductive vomiting or retching.


Glaucoma occurs when extreme pressure builds inside the eyes. According to Dogtime.com, if not treated in its early stages glaucoma can cause blindness. Signs of glaucoma in Bassets do not typically appear until a dog is approximately 2 years old, but when they do appear the disease progresses rapidly. Symptoms to watch for in one or both eyes include redness, squinting, tearing, bulging, enlarged pupils, cloudy corneas or indicators of pain such as rubbing or pawing at the eyes.

Bleeding Disorders

Canine thrombopathia and Von Willebrand’s disease are hereditary bleeding disorders common in Basset hounds. Both of these conditions prevent proper clotting and cause prolonged or excessive bleeding. Signs of a bleeding disorder include blood in stools or urine, excessive bleeding from wounds, bleeding from the nose or gums and red splotches on the belly.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation occurs when the kneecap pops or slides out of its normal position. This condition is usually present at birth but typically does not manifest until much later. There are four grades ranging from occasional luxation to severe dislocation that may require surgical correction. Signs of patellar luxation include intermittent lameness, abnormal gait, hopping or skipping and pain while running.

Joint Dysplasia

According to Just Basset Hounds, hip and elbow dysplasia are common conditions in Bassets. They occur due to abnormal development in the hip or elbow joint. Hip dysplasia can cause debilitating lameness and arthritis. Signs of hip dysplasia are staggering, difficulty running or jumping, abnormal gait and difficulty standing or sitting. Elbow dysplasia usually can be treated but may lead to arthritis as your dog ages. Signs of elbow dysplasia are stiffness or lameness in the front legs.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

Like other breeds with long spines, the Basset is prone to intervertebral disc disease. It’s important to support your Basset’s back and bottom when lifting him, and to not allow him to jump up or down from extreme heights. Symptoms of back problems include difficulty raising up on the hind legs, paralysis and loss of bladder or bowel control. Depending on the severity of your dog’s condition, treatment can range from anti-inflammatory medication to surgical correction.

Pekingese Grooming Styles

14 Sep 2015 | Filed in Dog Gooming

An ancient Chinese breed, the Pekingese is well known for its long, fluffy coat. If you’re thinking of clipping your Peke’s coat, you can select from different grooming styles. Which you choose depends on personal preference and how much time you have for brushing and maintenance.

Show Groom

The American Kennel Club requires that show dogs only be trimmed to accentuate their natural form. Any obvious clipping or sculpting is severely penalized in the ring. A show groom entails only a minor trim to even off the coat. The hair between the pads of the paws is also trimmed to avoid matting. For a dog with a show groom, the hair should be brushed and washed regularly.

Puppy Cut

Also known as a teddy cut, the coat for a puppy cut is clipped to around 1 inch all over the body. Your Pekingese’s face should also be clipped short, and her tail fur can be trimmed to a length of your preference. This is a much easier way to keep your dog’s fur, as it requires less maintenance than a full-length coat.

Lion Cut

The lion cut provides a cute and interesting way of clipping your Pekingese. In this cut, your dog’s back, legs and are shaved to a length of roughly a half-inch, and her tummy is shaved to around 1 inch. The hair on her face, neck and shoulder is kept at its full length, as is a small tuft on the end of her tail. The goal of this cut is to be reminiscent of a lion’s coat and mane.

Pet Trim

A pet trim is halfway between your Pekingese’s natural coat and a puppy cut. The fur all over your dog will be cut to between 2 and 3 inches long. Rather than being cut evenly all over, the groomer will try to retain the shape of your dog’s natural coat. This is the best of all worlds, as you get the attractive appearance of a natural coat but with less brushing required.

Homemade Beef & Rice Dog Food

11 Sep 2015 | Filed in Dog Food

When you’re cooking for your favorite dog, you have to make sure his homemade diet includes all the nutrients the animal needs. Homemade dog food is a great supplement or alternative to commercial dog foods. Beef, rice and veggies contain a good combination of the protein, fats and carbohydrates that dogs need to thrive. A recipe with the right ingredients for Duke is easy to put together.

1Dice the carrots so they are about the same size as peas. You can also substitute frozen peas and carrots in place of fresh vegetables. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat.

2Add the ground beef to the pan and cook, stirring often to break it up into small chunks, until it is almost completely cooked.

3Add the carrots and peas, and cook until they have softened. Do not drain the beef first, because the fat will help cook the vegetables as well as provide good nutrition for your dog. It should take 4 to 5 minutes for the vegetables to soften.

4Add cooked brown or wild rice to the mixture. Stir until all the ingredients are well-combined and remove the pan from the heat.

5Stir in the omega-3 supplement, which is typically available in liquid form, and allow the food to cool. Omega-3 fatty acids are great for your dog’s skin and coat. You can stir in any other nutritional supplement that your dog may need, but speak to your vet before you give any supplement.

6Portion size will vary based on your dog’s size and activity level, but a basic rule is that they should eat about 2 percent of their body weight in meat per day. If you have a 25-pound dog, this recipe will last for three days.

7Store the leftover food in the refrigerator. You can reheat a portion for 15 to 20 seconds in the microwave before serving if your dog doesn’t like cold food, but don’t serve it hot.

How Many Dog Breeds Come From Germany?

7 Sep 2015 | Filed in Dog Breeds

Germany is a nation steeped in history and culture. Through its rich history run the bloodlines of more than 30 breeds of dogs. From the magnificent Great Dane to the diminutive Pomeranian, dogs with German origins are remarkably diverse. Every group classification within the American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club contains one or more breeds with Germanic origins.

Working Dogs

Some of the most well known working dogs originate in Germany. Doberman Pinschers, developed in the 19th century by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, are wonderful companions as well as superb police and military dogs. Rottweilers are loyal, alert guard dogs and intelligent, gentle family pets. The rare Leonberger’s ancestors include the Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland and St. Bernard. Loyal and fond of children, they’re excellent family pets and farm dogs. Other working dogs with German origins include boxers, German pinschers and giant schnauzers.

Sporting and Gun Dogs

Weimaraners, dubbed “grey ghosts” because of their speed and distinctive coat color, are strong, efficient hunting dogs as well as treasured family pets that love being part of the pack. As hunting companions, German shorthaired pointers exhibit confidence on land and in water. As family pets, they’re friendly, intelligent and willing to please. Other German sporting dogs include German wirehaired pointers, German rough-haired pointers and German longhaired pointers, small Münsterländers, large Münsterländers and pudelpointers.

Herding Dogs

German shepherds, standardized by Captain Max von Stephanitz in the late 19th century, were first used to herd and protect flocks. Today they’re valued as police and military dogs as well as loyal, affectionate family companions. Although not recognized by the AKC, white shepherd dogs are direct descendents of the German shepherd. The first white shepherd puppy appeared in 1882. These calm and intelligent dogs are primarily kept as companions.

Toy Dogs

Despite their close association to French culture, toy poodles have German origins. Initially bred as water-retrieving gun dogs, they are now almost exclusively kept as pampered family companions. Affenpinschers, affectionately dubbed “monkey dogs” because of their primate-like faces, were originally used as ratters on farms. Today these playful, affectionate dogs are popular companions. Other toy breeds from Germany include the Pomeranian and miniature pinscher.

Terrier Dogs

Miniature schnauzers are most likely descended from crosses between standard schnauzers and affenpinschers. Developed as ratters, today they’re kept primarily as spirited, lively family companions. Kromfohrländers are good-natured, docile little dogs with moderate hunting instincts. Sometimes reserved with strangers, they are wonderfully affectionate family companions. Jagdterriers were developed at the turn of the 20th century. More versatile than most terriers, these sturdy little dogs are adept at hunting, tracking and retrieving.

Hound Dogs

In German, dachshund means “badger dog.” Originally developed to hunt and track badgers and other burrowing mammals, today these courageous, devoted little dogs are popular companions. Bavarian mountain hounds are German bloodhounds, capable of tracking a cold scent for hours, even days. The little known Deutsche bracke was bred to track large and small game, but is highly adaptable as a loving family pet. Other German hound dogs include plott hounds, Hanoverian hounds and Westphalian dachsbracke.

Canine Security Training

29 Aug 2015 | Filed in Dog Training

Dogs are excellent companions and can be a dependable source of protection when properly trained. Canine security training is a worthwhile endeavor for dog owners who wish to give their dogs proper behavioral formation. Although the beginning stages of security training can be started by dog owners, professional help is recommended for those who desire advanced canine security training.


Security dog training will allow for greater home security. Protection dogs are trained to perform various security tasks. For example, the Global K9 Group Training Program teaches dogs to investigate suspicious noises and check on children, protect property including vehicles, and still be friendly to strangers and guests. Security dog training also encourages bonding between dogs and their owners.


Many types of training programs are available for security dogs, including K9 programs for police and personal use, the Koehler method and Schutzhund training. All types of security canine training utilize the dog’s “prey drive,” which is a dog’s drive to chase, grab and shake objects. This drive comes in very handy for security purposes, but owners must be very comfortable with this behavior and recognize that their dog is simply “playing a rough game of tug.”

Time Frame

Most training programs last for two to three months, or eight to 12 weeks. Many training programs have a designated age for dogs, usually between six months and one year. All dogs should be obedience trained before they begin a canine security training program.


Certain dog breeds are better inclined to security dog positions than other dogs. These breeds include the Doberman pinscher, American bulldog, mastiff and bullmastiff, boxer, German shepherd, Great Dane, rottweiler and malinois.


Security training will not make your dog aggressive; rather, it will teach the dog to channel its natural instincts for the protection of your family. Dogs who complete security training successfully are quite sociable and attached to their owners. Negative behaviors, such as extreme aggression and disobedience ,are normally only found in security dogs who lack affection and companionship from their owners.

Dogs Who Have Trouble Getting Up After Lying Down

26 Aug 2015 | Filed in Dog Problems

Dogs are very good at coping with pain and mobility problems. This is why it’s often hard to detect problems until they become severe. They shift their weight or alter their gait to make walking less painful, and of course they can’t tell us they’re in pain. So difficulty getting up after a period of stillness is often the first sign that your dog has a problem. By figuring out the cause and putting together a treatment plan, you can help your dog cope with whatever problem is causing him to struggle.

Common Medical Causes

Lameness caused by injury or disease, hip dysplasia and arthritis are common causes of mobility issues in dogs, and if present would likely cause difficulty in getting up. Old age is another cause. A combination of joint wear and muscle weakness can make standing after prolonged immobility painful or difficult.

Other Medical Causes

Lyme disease, which is caused by a tick bite, can cause limb lameness. Obesity, especially in older dogs, can make it difficult to get up after lying down too. Panosteitis (bone inflammation), bone cancer and nerve inflammation can also make getting up difficult.

Other Causes

Injury to the paw, paw pads or legs can cause your dog to struggle when getting up. If your dog’s symptoms are sudden, it is probable that he has an injury rather than a joint or age-related mobility problem. Broken nails, lacerations to the paw pads and ligament injuries will make it difficult for your dog to get up.

Determining the Cause

Look at other symptoms and changes in behavior. For example, an elderly dog who is reluctant to play, less active in general, has gained weight and struggles to get up after lying down is likely to have arthritis. An otherwise active dog who suddenly has difficulty getting up after lying down may have an injury. Examine the paws and legs. If your dog has been urinating more than normal, Lyme disease may be the cause. It’s helpful to give your veterinarian as much information as possible, so be vigilant if you notice your dog struggling to get up.

Ways You Can Help

Gentle massage can help relieve joint pain in dogs. Always consult a professional for advice before giving a massage. For dogs with arthritis, carrying too much weight compounds the problem. Prevent your dog from gaining weight and help him shed some fat if he’s already overweight by monitoring his portion size and reducing it if necessary. Your vet will be able to advise further on weight management. Certain foods also help with mobility problems. Cod liver oil contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids for joint relief. You can also help reduce joint stiffness and pain by making sure your dog’s sleeping area is warm and dry. Keep a close eye on your dog and physically support him when he tries to get up after lying down.


A young, otherwise healthy dog with hip dysplasia may be a suitable candidate for a hip replacement. Your vet will determine his suitability by examining his hips with X-rays. For arthritic dogs, an anti-inflammatory drug treatment plan can help.

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