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7 Signs and symptoms that your dog may have Hip Dysplasia

Blog5 - 7 Signs and symptoms that your dog may have Hip Dysplasia

What is hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a skeletal condition that especially affects large dog breeds and less common in smaller breeds.
This is a disease that affects thehip joint which is like a ball and socket joint, when a dog has hip dysplasia this joint does not develop correctly and instead of sliding smoothly the joint tends to grind.

7 Signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia

#1           Stiffness and pain

#2           Muscle mass loss in the thighs

#3           Not as active as they were

#4           They have a narrow stance

#5           Their hind end exhibits a lameness

#6           They tend to sway when they move especially at their tail end

#7           Climbing stairs, running or jumping becomes difficult for them as well as trying to get up from a lying down position.

What causes this disease?

Hip dysplasia is a common genetic disease found in the larger breeds of dogs such as St Bernard, German Shepard, Great Dane and Golden Retriever Labrador.
The disease usually shows by the time the dog is 18 months old and studies have shown that environmental factors such as poor diet, overweight, torn ligaments (especially at an early age), etc.
There have even been studies that have shown dogs that were neutered too early were more likely to get hip dysplasia than those that were neutered at a later stage of their life.
As this disease gets more and more researched new information is continuously coming to light.  As with the many other diseases out there today science has made some major breakthroughs in understanding this disease and its origins more.

How is the disease treated?

There are various types of operations that can be performed on your dogs such as a triple pelvic osteotomy, femoral head ostectomy, total hip replacement and dorsal acetabular rim arthroplasty.
There are many natural remedies as well as various rehabilitation therapy’s such a laser therapy, hydro-therapy and weight control.

Conclusion

If your dog does have hip dysplasia do not despair as it can be treated, through various, therapies, lifestyle changes and treatment you best friend and a faithful companion can go on to live a productive life.
Speak to your vet and they will help you and your dog through the change one will have to make living with this disease.There are also many different beds and custom designed feeding bowls to help ease your dog’s pain and designed for the comfort to help with hip dysplasia.

Could acupuncture help ease your animals pain?

Blog4 - Could acupuncture help ease your animals pain?

Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves the insertion of a fine needle into various predefined places on the body to stimulate and get a response from the nervous system such reflexes.
Acupuncture is very useful in the treatment of pain it is said to be quite relaxing for the animal and many actually peacefully fall asleep during the treatment.

5 Benefits of acupuncture

#1           Helps in alleviating gastrointestinal problems

As acupuncture increases the blood flow and stimulations the circulation this could help to settle the digestive tract and help with problems such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

#2           Benefit animals being treated for hip dysplasia and arthritis

It can aid in the recovery of nerve injuries and can be used in conjunction with rehabilitation to help manage the pain of hip dysplasia and arthritis.

#3           Help animals suffering from asthma

Acupuncture has been known to offer relief to suffers from allergies and asthma as it has been known to have great results with anti-inflammation and immune-calming

#4           Good results in the management of pain

One of the main benefits of acupuncture is pain management and as a result, it can be used in conjunction with many rehabilitation, post-op and chemotype treatments.  It helps the body fight by boosting the immune response and makes them more comfortable as it alleviates pain.

dog - Could acupuncture help ease your animals pain?

#5           Alleviates the effects of skin problems

It can help manage the pain of skin problems such as hotspots and allergic dermatitis.  Its stimulation of the circulation helps to promote faster healing and the pain reduction will stop the animal from wanting to scratch and or chew on the infected skin area.

Can acupuncture have any adverse effects on an animal?

There may be a bit of discomfort from the needles especially first-time patients.  The needles can cause a bit of tingle and numbness around the areas treated.
There is the alternative of acupuncture laser treatment which is completely painless, here a laser is used instead of needles so the animal experiences no discomfort at all.
If done by a professional acupuncturist who is experienced in the treatment of acupuncture for animals there is no risk of any side-effects.
Someone who does not know how to perform acupuncture on an animal could cause the dog a lot of pain if not harm.

Conclusion

Never try acupuncture on your own always make sure that your acupuncturist is legitimate and trained to be able to treat your pet.
It has been a great therapeutic practice especially for dogs that have a lot of pain.

7 Ways in which physical therapy could improve your animal’s mobility

Blog3 - 7 Ways in which physical therapy could improve your animal’s mobility

The growing rise of physical therapy for pets

Your pet was born to move, be it a dog, cat or horse and without this ability, it is as if their life force ebbs away.  When it really does not have to as with human beings, physical therapy can help our furry friends regain their mobility or at least some form of it in order to make getting around a lot easier for them.
Rehabilitation for pets has become a big demand for dogs that are part of the police force and military.

Ways in which physical therapy can benefit your pet

#1           Hydrotherapy treadmill

A special type of treadmill is encased in a glass tank.  This tank is filled with water, the higher the water level the less weight the pet has to put on the treadmill.
The treatment is usually started with a higher water level and a slower treadmill speed.  As the treatment progresses the speed is increased, and the water level will be lowered.

#2           Ultrasound

This ultrasound is a device that delivers heat to the tendons, muscles and ligaments by means of ultrasonic waves which can stimulate muscles.  This helps in the healing process of the muscles, tendons and ligaments.

#3           Laser

This is called a cold therapy laser which has been known to increase the circulation which can help in the alleviation of pain and inflammation as it increases the recovery time.
The laser stimulates the cells without damage or discomfort to the animal.

#4           Assistance with weight loss

There are various programs and workouts to help get the animal back to a healthy weight and regain energy, muscle mass and fitness levels.

#5           Range of motion

The manual stimulation of the animal’s limbs by a therapist.

The therapist will manipulate the animal’s limb to stimulate the joint and get it to move in the way it should when the animal is in motions.  This is known as Passive range of motion or PROM and has long since been a means of physical therapy for humans.

img3 - 7 Ways in which physical therapy could improve your animal’s mobility

#6           Heat therapy

The use of hot and cold therapy on injuries has been done for decades.  We all know muscles must be warmed up before training this is much the same for physical therapy and is done through the use of various heat pads.  The use of ice can be used after the therapy to reduce the pain and any swelling that may have occurred during the treatment.

#7           Obstacle course

This is a course that the therapist puts together to increase the dog’s balance and paw placement.  The course use includes cones that the animal has to manoeuvre around, inclines that they must climb, tunnels for them to get through, etc.  The course starts off gradually to get the animal used to the treatment and to gradually increase in order to grow their strength, stamina and agility.

Conclusion

Physical therapy for animals has come a long way and can now help animals with a wider range of therapy needs such as arthritis, pain, inflammation, swelling, pain, soft tissue damage, problems with their gait, spine injuries and joint injuries.  If your dog suffers from such issues speak to your vet as there are tailor-made programs for your pet.

5 Benefits of hydrotherapy for animals

Blog2 - 5 Benefits of hydrotherapy for animals

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is actually a Greek word and translates to “water healing” and has been used for centuries to treat various ailments.  The buoyancy of the water helps to keep the full body weight off the injured body part allowing the muscles, joint and ligaments to be able to move without causing stress to them.  This can greatly speed up recovery time and help alleviate the pain of physical therapy.

7 Benefits of hydrotherapy for your pet

  • The water makes the body weightless and thus relieves unnecessary stress on the injured muscle, joint, ligament, etc.
  • Encourages weight loss and is ideal for dogs who need to shed a few pounds as it is a low impact workout on an underwater treadmill.
  • Helps promote balance and coordination for the animal
  • As water increases the circulation it is really good for the animal’s coat and their skin
  • Not only does water help aid in digestion but it can rid the body of toxins to improve the immune system as water tends to help with lymph drainage.

Conclusion

Water has always had great healing properties we drink it to survive, bath in it to keep us clean and swim in it for exercise and fun.  Just as it is really healthy and beneficial for humans it is just as much so for your pet.  A lot of animals do not really like getting wet but with the correct therapy they can overcome that and start to enjoy the feel of the water.
That is why it is really important that when seeking hydrotherapy, you ensure the therapist is certified and trained to help your animal.There are some instances where water therapy may not be ideal for your animal, for instance, there may be a problem with their ears if so your vet will not advise water therapy as it could cause serious damage to the inner ear.

7 Signs your dog has arthritis

Blog1 - 7 Signs your dog has arthritis

What is arthritis?

This is one of the most common ailments that can affect nearly any animal from young to old.
Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints and is known as “degenerative joint disease” which causes abnormal movement of the bones within a joint.  Over time this abnormal movement can wear down the cartridge, which is the barrier between bones until bone starts to rub against bone with starts to cause pain and inflammation that can become quite severe.

7 Signs your dog has arthritis

#1 They develop a limp

Limping could be one of the first signs of arthritis.

#2 They do not move around as well as they used to

Your dog may not want to jump to catch that frisbee or will battle to get upstairs or in and out of a car.  You may even hear them cry when they try to get up from a sleeping position.

#3 Problems with their spines

As arthritis can occur in various parts of the spine it can cause the animal to look like it has a hunch on the part of its back.  When it walks its back end could seem like they are swaying,and, in some cases, it can cause lameness in the legs.

#4 Atrophy of the muscles

Muscle atrophy is when the muscle starts to die off due to lack of use.  A dog which exhibits this will have one muscle that looks a lot thinner than the rest of them.

#5 Excessive grooming

Dog do not really understand their pain, so they may start to chew at the spots that are in pain or lick them a lot

img2 - 7 Signs your dog has arthritis

#6 They become tense, aggressive and irritable

Even the most passive and gentle of animals may become a bit aggressive especially if you accidentally pet a spot that increases their pain.  They may become jumpy and yelp at a touch.

#7 Lethargic

Your pet may start to tire more easily when you go for a walk.  Or not want to play and run around as much as they used to.

Conclusion

A lot of these signs and symptoms could also be due to sprains or fractures so if you see your dog limping, excessively grooming or becoming snappy seek your vet’s advice.