Posts Tagged ‘health’

Dog Breed Feature Part IV – How to Get a Healthy Pug

June 9, 2012

Pugs are wonderful dogs but they have a tendency towards a number of genetic health issues. Many of those issues are related to their short noses. If you are looking to get a Pug dog breed, you should know what some of the common health problems are and how to decrease the chances of your Pug having them.

Health Concerns Related to Dogs with Short Noses
Brachycephalic syndrome covers a number of more specific respiratory issues including the soft palate being abnormally long and/or the nostrils being too small for the dog to breathe properly. The issues can be as minor as only causing your dog to make noise when he breathes. But sometimes the issue can be severe enough to require surgery. Even if your Pug doesn’t have these health concerns in severity, it is important to remember that their short noses make it so that they can’t tolerate heat as well as longer-nosed dogs.

Other Health Concerns
Some dogs may develop Pug dog encephalitis which is a genetic disorder where their brain gets severely inflamed. Symptoms include seizures, abnormal gait, blindness, and even death. Two common eye disorders in Pugs include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and pigmentary keratitis. In PRA the retina gradually deteriorates while in pigmentary keratitis the retina develops dark scar tissue which eventually covers the entire eye, both which can eventually lead to blindness. Pugs also experience three common skeletal issues including hip dysplasia, patellar luxation (knee caps), and Legg-Perthes disease (femur hip bone).

How to Get a Healthy Pug
The Barron’s “Pugs: A Complete Pet Owner’s Manual” has some very good advice on how to shop for a quality Pug dog breed. They address breeders, pet shops, animal shelters, and breed rescue clubs. One very good point they made is, “In general, the smaller the “kennel” the more friendly the puppies it will produce and the more healthy those puppies will be.” So don’t go to pet shops. Visit the breeders in person at their location. The breeders should be providing certain health guarantees which last longer than a year (especially since some issues may not become evident until after several years). Good breeders will have done a number of tests and will willingly provide you with proof. Read up on the common health issues previously listed and determine which tests the breeder should have done.

This is our final article on the wonderful Pug dog breed. If you missed the others, check out Parts I, II, and III. Part I talks about the history of the word ‘pug’. Part II is the history of the dog breed itself. And Part III is about the physical and behavioral traits of Pugs. Check out those posts, all written in May 2012, and check out our All Things Pug Store by clicking HERE or one of the pictures below.

Pugs (Complete Pet Owner's Manual) Pug Double-Walled Eco Plastic Drinking Cups 16 oz - Set of Two

Webkinz Smaller Signature Pug

How to Care for Your Dog’s Arthritis

April 24, 2012

Have you noticed how your elderly pet dog has slowed down lately? If you’ve noticed that it’s getting difficult for him to walk or play with ease, and that he shrinks from physical activities, he might be suffering from arthritis. You have to ensure that the disease is detected early and treated without delay. It would be even better if you can prevent the onset of this painful ailment. Follow the tips given below to prevent, detect and treat arthritis in dogs.

Preventing Arthritis in Dogs
The first thing that you must remember is that it is impossible to prevent setting in of the age and its usual accompanists. The best you can do is following a healthy routine in order prevent the diseases that come with age and ensure good health of your canine.

1.      Control The Food Amount
Just like in the case of human beings, over eating and obese problems are prevalent in pets. Follow your pet’s diet chart carefully and avoid over feeding him. It can be hard to ignore your pet’s continuous pleas for treats, but you have to be strict with his diet so that he leads a healthy life. You can switch to pieces of carrots as treats as a good non-fat food item.

2.      Don’t Ignore Activity
Activity is very important to a pet’s health just as it is important for your health. Spend a considerable time every day playing with your pet or taking him out for a run. You can actually use this time to bond with your pet!

3.      Visit The Vet Regularly
A regular check by a professional vet is a good way of monitoring and curing the small problems that your pet suffers from with age. This will ensure his long-term fitness.

Recognizing Arthritis in Dogs
No matter how much care and love you shower your pet with, he will show signs of aging and arthritis in the long run. Early detection of the disease will ensure that you can start the treatment at the earliest so that your pet’s suffering is minimized. The usual signs of arthritis in pets include:

  • Limping
  • Sleeping more
  • Reluctance towards walking or standing
  • Decreased activity
  • Changes in attitude or behaviour
  • No interest in playing

At-Home Tips to Ease Arthritis in Dogs
While most people will ask you to visit a vet immediately and to buy a couple of dog supplies to make things easy for your arthritic dogs, there are also a number of at-home treatments that you can do for your little canine friend:

1.      Workout
Shedding the fat and excess weight will ensure that his joints are carrying lesser weight. Start taking him out for walks and making him run in order to shed the weight.

2.      Vitamins
Give him daily doses of pet vitamins containing glucosamine and chondroitin in order to ease his discomfort and pain resulting from arthritis.

3.      Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are great for the joints as they act as anti-inflammatory agents. You can introduce this nutrient in your pet’s meal by mixing fish oil pills in his diet.

Remember that a timely and regular visit to the vet is the best way to prevent as well as detect and cure the problem of arthritis. You mustn’t delay going to the vet in case you see that you at-home remedies are not having the desired effects.

Guest blogger Lisa Lyttle is a work-at-home mom and owns two little poochs. Lyttle makes innovative yet cheap halloween costumes to make a living. You can click the link to check out adult animal halloween costumes made by her.