Rare human disease found in dogs

by Sue on May 18, 2016

A rare, severe form of pulmonary hypertension which, up until now, has only been classified as a human disease has also been discovered in dogs.

“Our research is the first to document the existence of pulmonary veno-occlusive disease, or PVOD, in dogs,” said Kurt Williams, the lead author of the study and an expert in respiratory pathology in MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “PVOD is considered one of the most severe forms of pulmonary hypertension.”

The number of pulmonary hypertension (or PH) cases reported in the United States is low, affecting under 50 people per million each year. PVOD is diagnosed in only about 10 percent of PH cases. Unfortunately, there are very few effective treatment options for PVOD and a lung transplant often becomes the best choice.

“PVOD might be more common in dogs than in people, but this has yet to be determined and needs to be looked at further,” Williams said.

Pulmonary hypertension develops because of abnormal blood vessels in the lungs. That makes it harder for the heart to push blood through and provide oxygen to the rest of the bod. In cases of PVOD, the small veins in the lungs become blocked increasing pressure in these blood vessels and ultimately causing heart failure.

“The same process happens in canines,” Williams said. “These dogs also come in with similar symptoms as humans, yet because subtle changes in health may not be recognized as quickly in dogs, death can occur quickly once the animal is seen by a veterinarian.”

Symptoms include coughing, increased rate of breathing, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite and chronic fatigue. Progression of the disease in humans can last up to two years before death finally comes.

“PVOD is a poorly understood disease not just because it’s so rare, but also because there’ve been no other animals known to have the disease,” Williams said. “Our finding changes things.”

Williams said that the discovery could be very important for human medicine because the canine disease may serve as a model for human PVOD.

“Its cases like this that help to remind us how important veterinary medicine is to medicine in general,” he said. “Our colleagues in the human medical community are becoming much more aware of the many diseases shared by our respective patients and how together we can learn from each other.”

 

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Heatstroke in Dog: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

by Sue on May 5, 2016

Heatstroke or heat stress is a state of hyperthermia (elevated core body temperature above the normal range) resulting in thermal injury to tissues. Heatstroke occurs when heat generation exceeds the body’s ability to lose heat. Heatstroke is a very serious condition: it can lead to multiple organ failure and dogs can die quickly from heatstroke.

 

What are the main predisposing factors?

A warm/hot, humid environment

Lack of adequate ventilation/air flow

Lack of adequate shade

Lack of adequate drinking water

Excessive exercise

What are the signs of heatstroke?

 

Signs may vary between individuals, but commonly include:

Incessant panting (increases as heat stroke progresses)

Drooling, salivating

Agitation, restlessness

Very red or pale gums

Bright red tongue

Increased heart rate

Breathing distress

Vomiting, Diarrhea (possibly with blood)

Signs of mental confusion, delirium

Dizziness, staggering

Lethargy, weakness

Muscle tremors

Seizures

Collapsing and lying down

Little to no urine production

Coma

How do you avoid heatstroke for your dog?

 

You can help to prevent heatstroke by ensuring your dog is kept in appropriate environmental conditions and being aware of the symptoms so action can be taken swiftly.

Provide your dog with a cool, shaded area with good ventilation at all times – adequate ventilation and air flow are important as dogs cool down via evaporative cooling (panting) which requires adequate air flow.

Provide plenty of clean fresh water and extra water sources in case of spillage.

Bring your dog indoors on hot, humid days if the indoor environment is cooler for the animal (e.g. air-conditioning, child-safe fans, open windows where possible and shade).

Do not exercise your dog in hot, humid conditions. On hot days try to walk your dog very early in the morning or very late in the afternoon when it is cool, and avoid the hottest part of the day.

Do not leave your dog in a car or vehicle – even when the windows are down dogs can still overheat and die. One study found that even on mild days the temperature inside the vehicle rises rapidly to dangerous levels.

Avoid hot sand, concrete, asphalt areas or any other areas where heat is reflected and there is no access to shade.

How should you treat a dog with heatstroke?

First step is to instigate Emergency First Aid at home – the aim of first aid is to help normalize body temperature.

  1. Apply or spray tepid/cool water onto the animal’s fur/skin. Followed by fanning of the pet to maximize heat loss.
  2. Wetting down the area around your pet can also help.
  3. 3.     Don’t use ice-cold water or ice as this may exacerbate the problem. NOTE: There are videos online of dogs playing in kiddie pools full of ice. This is perfectly safe providing the dog is not suffering from heatstroke. Dropping the temperature down too quickly on a dog with heat stroke can cause shock.
  4. Then take your dog to the nearest Vet immediately.
  5. Heat stroke is a life threatening emergency – always see a vet. Even if your dog looks like they may be recovering or you just suspect they might have heat stroke they should still always be checked by a vet. Given the seriousness of this condition, it is better to be safe than sorry and have your dog checked out by a vet.

How do vets help dogs with heatstroke?

Vets are trained to assess the severity of the heatstroke and then provide emergency medical treatment as required. They will check your dog’s body temperature and vital signs and then instigate emergency treatment which may include:

Putting your dog on a drip (intravenous fluids)

Cooling treatments e.g. cooling enemas

Supplemental oxygen

Medication as required

Blood tests to check organ function

Ongoing monitoring and treatment as required

More tips for taking care of dogs in hot weather:

Owners need to be aware of sunburn especially in dogs with white, non-pigmented skin and a white-colored coat.

All dogs are susceptible to heat stroke so owners need to make sure that they take active steps to prevent it.

Other exacerbating factors can include:

Obesity

Brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed/flat-faced) e.g. Pugs, English bull dogs, French bulldogs, Pekingese and Persian and Himalayan cats.

Respiratory disease/breathing problems – laryngeal paralysis, collapsing trachea

Thick/long hair coat

Heart problems/Cardiovascular disease

Extremes in age (young/old)

Neurological disease

Excessive exercise

Dehydration

Follow these rules will lead to a safe, and enjoyable, summer.

 

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Brusha Brusha Brusha

by Sue on March 30, 2016

Brushing your dog’s teeth isn’t just about fresh breath. It’s a part of good oral care is important to your dog’s overall health. Although most people aren’t aware of it, gum disease is a common and serious problem in dogs. Yet brushing your dog’s teeth can prevent it.

Veterinarians estimate that 85 percent of dogs over five years of age suffer from gum disease. Gum disease develops when food particles and bacteria collect along the gum line and form soft deposits called plaque. Over time that turns into rock-hard tartar. If tartar isn’t removed from your dog’s teeth, it will eventually inflame the gums. As the inflamed gums begin to separate from the teeth, pockets form. This causes gum disease to worsen. At this point, your dog can experience severe pain, lose teeth, form abscesses in his mouth and develop a bacterial infection. This infection can spread through the bloodstream to the kidneys, liver, heart or brain.

Gum disease is irreversible, so now is a great time to get started on a regular oral care regimen for your dog. Remember…prevention is the key.

It’s ideal to brush your dog’s teeth daily, just like you brush your own. However, if you cannot do that, aim to brush your dog’s teeth at least every other day.

Smaller dogs and dogs with flat or short, broad snouts (like pugs and bulldogs) may need more frequent brushing. Their teeth are often crowded together, which allows more plaque to accumulate and increases their risk of developing gum disease.

Things to keep in mind:

If your dog is losing weight, starts eating slower or refusing to eat for no apparent reason, it is time to have their teeth checked.

If your dog develops bad breath, don’t reach for breath fresheners for your dog until you have their teeth checked. Giving breath fresheners to a dog with bad teeth is like sweeping dirt under a rug.

Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly does not totally eliminate a professional dental done by a qualified Veterinarian. It will however greatly reduce the trips to the Vet for this procedure.

Since I started brushing my dog’s teeth, my Vet is doing a professional cleaning on my dog’s teeth every three years now instead of every year like before.

 

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Follow up to last week’s survey.

by Sue on March 25, 2016

Did anyone notice the trick selection listed? If you said there is no such thing as an “Emotional Service Animal” you are correct. There IS no such thing as an Emotional Service Animal. Service Animals are dogs which help a person with a physical, mental, or neurological disability with day to day tasks. Emotional Support Animals are strictly Companion Animals. The ADA rules say the following about Service Animals.

 

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with dis­abilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pull­ing a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Note carefully the last sentence. This is why there is no such thing as an Emotional Service Animal.

So what type of dog do you have you ask? Is it an ESA or is it a Service Dog? The answer may shock you. People are led to believe that if you have a mental disorder, your dog is an emotional support animal. Actually that is far from the truth. The ADA has a partial list of disabilities that a Service Dog can be used for.

Physical Problem:

Asthma (or other breathing problems)

Blindness (& partial blindness)

Deafness (& partial deafness)

Diabetes

Dizziness/Balance problems

Epilepsy

General Hearing Difficulty

Mobility Problems

Neurological Problems

Paralysis

Physical Weakness

Speech Problems

Seizures

 

Emotional/Mental Problem:

Age-Related Cognitive Decline

Any Psychiatric Condition (see exclusions below)

Autism

Depression

Dyslexia

Bipolar Disorder

Emotionally Overwhelmed

Panic Attacks

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Anxiety

Social Phobia

Stress Problems

 

ADA Definitions of Qualified Disability

 

Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who:

Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;

Has a record of such an impairment; or

Is regarded as having such an impairment.

A physical impairment is defined by the ADA as:

Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine.

A mental/emotional impairment is defined by the ADA as:

Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

The ADA does not list all conditions or diseases that make up physical, mental, and emotional impairments, because it would be impossible to provide a comprehensive list given the variety of possible impairments.

Exclusions to the Qualified Disability Definition

Neither deviant behavior (e.g., political, religious, or sexual) nor conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict is a symptom of a dysfunction in the individual. According to Title II of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, current or future interpretation of psychological disabilities excludes common personality traits such as poor judgment or a quick temper.

Service Animals are allowed into places posted Service Animals Only. Emotional Support Animals are NOT allowed into places posted Service Animals Only. Service Animals are recognized by the Department of Justice under the American’s with Disabilities Act. Emotional Support Animals are recognized by the Fair Housing Act and the Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act. This means that Service Animals have access to any place open to the Public. Emotional Support Animals are allowed into dwellings with a “No Pets” policy that the owner is renting or leasing, and on Airlines. Taking an Emotional Support Animal into a place posted Service Animals Only is against the law as it is misrepresenting a dog as a Service Animal. The ADA states the following about misrepresentation.

Under federal laws, the fine for misrepresenting a dog as a service animal is $3,000, plus you can be subject to prison time. State laws vary, but many carry penalties as well.

 

This also leads me to bring up another misconception. Registries or certifications of Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals.

Each year more and more sites have popped up online claiming to “Register” or “Certify” service dogs and emotional support animals.

 

The Facts:

  1. No federal government agencies certify or register service dogs or emotional support animals.
  2. No federal government agency designates any businesses as an official registrar or certifier.
  3. Ask yourself how someone can certify that you have a legitimate service dog or ESA if they have never seen your dog.
  4. The certificates that these bogus businesses issue aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. You might as well get your neighbor to certify your dog because it would be just as legitimate.
  5. These businesses bank on the fact that most people believe your dog must be registered or certified by someone to be a “Real” service dog or emotional support animal.

 

Real service dogs or emotional support animals do not need to be registered or certified by ANYONE and any business claiming to do either is misleading you.

 

You may read more about the above at this website http://www.servicedogtag.com/the-service-dog-registration-certification-scam/

 

The ADA states the following. ADA will not impose any type of formal training requirements, registration or certification process. While some groups have urged the Department to modify this position, the Department has determined that such a modification would not serve the full array of individuals with disabilities who use service animals, since individuals with disabilities may be capable of training, and some have trained, their service animal to perform tasks or do work to accommodate their disability. A training, registration or certification requirement would increase the expense of acquiring a service animal and might limit access to service animals, especially for individuals with limited financial resources.

 

Hopefully this helps clear up some, or allot of confusion when it comes to Service Animals verses Emotional Support Animals.

 

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It’s shedding season again!

by Sue on March 2, 2016

Despite the common belief, there is no way to completely stop your dog from shedding. Aside from the hairless breeds, all dogs shed to one degree or another, regardless of size, coat length or hair type. The best you can hope to do is control or reduce dog shedding by regular grooming.

Dogs need to get rid of unneeded or damaged hair. Most grow a heavier coat in the winter to help them safe from the elements and then shed that extra fur in the summer to stay cool. Shedding can also result from skin irritation or infections, parasites or a poor diet. There are many ways that you can reduce dog shedding or prevent it from becoming a problem

 

REGULAR BRUSHING!

Regular combing and brushing is essential.  Use an appropriate brush for the dog’s coat type, followed by a finishing comb. Many breeds benefit from daily brushing. It makes the coat softer, cleaner and less prone to heavy shedding. It will also root out fleas and other parasites.

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OIL!

Try adding unscented salmon oil to your dog’s food on a daily basis. It is almost without taste, contains omega-3 fatty acids that help condition the skin and provide a healthy, shiny coat. It also helps control shedding in many breeds.

NUTRITION!

If a dog isn’t receiving the proper nutrition he needs, his skin and coat will suffer. What dogs are fed helps to influence the texture of their dog coat and skin health. Healthy skin has healthy follicles that support long-lived lustrous hair. Unhealthy skin has sickly hair follicles and poor skin oils. The hair is brittle and dull. It breaks off and falls out easily. It’s important that the dog’s food full of nutrients. For a dog coat to be healthy and not to shed, dogs require proteins that are absorbable.

Remember, it’s not possible to completely stop shedding but if you take these steps, you can definitely control and reduce dog shedding.

 

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A fantastic contest open to ANYONE!

by Sue on February 29, 2016

This is not a joke. It’s real. We really are giving one away.

Click below to enter for a chance to win a fitbit

http://contest.io/c/jrz3mdwr

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We still have quite a few of these clearance items left.

by Sue on February 24, 2016

1/2 off or over 1/2 off. Once they are gone, they are gone.

http://www.servicedogtag.com/clearance-sale/

 

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We have three clearance items on our site…

by Sue on February 17, 2016

1/2 off or over 1/2 off. Once they are gone, they are gone.

http://www.servicedogtag.com/clearance-sale/
 

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Should your dog wear clothes?

by Sue on January 28, 2016

You’ve seen them at coffee shops, street corners, fire hydrants, jazzed up in sweaters, smoking jackets, ascots and sunglasses. Yes, dogs wearing clothes. It happens every single day; someone gets up and dresses up their dog in some hand-made or specially-ordered article of clothing. Maybe you dress your dog up too. If you do, maybe you already know why. If you don’t dress up your dog, you probably wonder “Is it really necessary?”

There is a difference between turning your dog into a hipster extension of your own style and simply protecting him or her from various weather conditions. If you have a tiny dog with little fur, such as Chihuahuas and Yorkies, and you live, let’s say, in Minnesota, your dear dog might benefit from a well-made sweater or even a down-lined jacket in the middle of winter. With the right gear, you and your short coated dog can still hit the great outdoors during the winter months. Getting some much needed fresh air and exercise while staying warm and comfortable.

Dogs with such thin fur or thinner body types need some extra protection against the conditions. However a Siberian Husky,Saint Bernard or the like simply don’t require anything since they are well suited to such temperatures.

If you are an avid runner and you don’t mind dashing out in the rain, you can still take your dog with you if you put on their rain jacket. If it is a warm rain, you and your pet probably won’t mind, but those chillier drizzling runs can become quite uncomfortable for both of you, so you should both put on your rain gear. No matter what type of fur your dog has, in this case, it makes sense to suit up for the cold rains. Remember you both need to towel off and get warm upon return.

Whereas outdoor gear is a matter of protecting your pet from cold and damp or other uncomfortable conditions, dressing them up for other reasons is a matter of preference for human companions. While there is no harm in it, it certainly isn’t necessary, and it might even feel a bit confining for your pet to wear anything when it is perfectly comfortable in good weather.

If you want to dress your dog in clothes, monitor the response. If he or she behaves as if they don’t like it or get overheated, reconsider your plan to dress your dog.Even though your dog can’t let you know whether that costume is to their liking, an occasional dress up might not be too bad, as long as you find a costume that fits your dog comfortably and don’t keep them in it too long. Dogs can “dress up” as superheroes, bumblebees and pretty much anything that humans can, so it makes sense for die-hard Halloween fans to extend the holiday to their dogs.

NOTE: If you plan to take your dog someplace with hot and blistering asphalt, find some protective wear for his or her feet with some dog boots that are now available.

Under ideal climate conditions, your dog’s coat is beautiful, And as long as you keep it healthy and shiny, why not let it glow on its own? Sometimes just letting your dog be a dog is the best way to go, as long as the conditions are safe for you to do so.

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What do you think about dog clothes?

by Sue on January 26, 2016

I have been noticing quite a trend as of late in dog clothes. Summer clothes. Winter clothes. Clothes that match the owner. Fancy collars. Lots of bling. Sunglasses. Booties. You name it and there is probably something like that made for a dog. The popularity of the dressing up of dogs as grown so quickly over the last few years, that what was once considered nonsense has now become the norm.
Gunny does have a Hawaiian shirt that he wears for special occasions. He also has a float coat and doggles for when we go sailing. But, other then a couple rain coats and winter coats (and a t-shirt I bought him once to keep his incision clean after the operation), he’s pretty much a clothes free weiner.

I have nothing against doggles or footwear on dogs. Doggles can prevent cataracts which can develop from long term exposure to the sun. There is also nothing wrong with footwear as pavements and sidewalks do become rather hot on a dogs feet in the summer. Not to mention the dangers of de-icer on them in the wintertime. However, personally, I do have a problem with fancy clothes on service dogs. Mainly because it draws attention to the dog and makes the dog look more like a pet than a service dog.

Emotional Support Dogs and some forms of Service Dogs that are allowed or encouraged to be petted, are fine dressed up. It has been proven that dogs which are “dressed up” tend to be more inviting and less threatening to the public than dogs which are not. A service dog which is mildly dressed would be less frightening to children as well as some adults who are wary of dogs, thus be more accepted. I call mildly dressed such as having a bandana on or maybe a snazzy collar or harness.

What do you readers think of them?

What do you readers think of dog clothes in general?

Comments please?

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