Diabetes in Dogs

Introduction

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic, or long-term, disorder that occurs in both dogs and cats. Diabetes affects approximately one in 150 dogs. The number of cases has increased dramatically over the past 30 years, but the mortality (death) rates have dropped at the same time. This is due to a better understanding of the disease, early diagnosis, and improved treatment.

The disease is characterized by insufficient production of the hormone insulin or a decreased response to insulin in the …

Ectoparasites: Sarcoptic and Demodectic Mange Mites

Mange is a skin condition caused by mange mites – arachnids that live in the skin and cause irritation for our companion animals. There are two types of mange that affect companion animals – sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange. Regardless of the type, mange tends to more frequently affect dogs than cats; therefore, this article addresses the condition in dogs.

Sarcoptic mange

Sarcoptic mange, also occasionally referred to as scabies, is a highly contagious skin disease caused by mites that …

Canine Vaccine Guidelines

dog shelter 3

Introduction

When should I vaccinate my puppy? Does my dog need to be vaccinated every year? These are common questions about vaccinations for which there are no easy answers. Deciding which vaccines to get, when to get them, and how often to booster them depends on a number of variables, including the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, what your dog’s chances are that it will get the targeted disease, and the seriousness of the disease. Although this article provides …

Dog Collars and Harnesses

Every puppy should have a collar to wear on its first day home. Collars can save a dog’s life by helping owners keep the dog from wandering into traffic or other dangers, and they can be a ticket home when a dog is lost by providing owner contact information on a tag attached to the collar. There are many collar options available to dog owners and it is helpful to know the benefits and perhaps even the dangers of the …

Crating Dogs

German Shepherd and Beagle in Crate

Crating dogs is a practice that can sometimes raise eyebrows. Individuals who do not understand the natural instincts of dogs might think that owners are subjecting the dog to a cruel or, at least, unnatural situation. However, dogs like to create dens and, when left to their own devices, will often seek out small, dark areas to sleep in. They might even dig out burrows in the owner’s yard. In addition, dogs are a crepuscular animal, which means they are …

My dog had 12 puppies. How do I know if they are all getting fed? Can she feed that many?

Most large breeds of dogs can feed 12 puppies quite well. But you will probably need to help the mother along by giving her extra food as long as the puppies are nursing. Most dams will need two to three times as much food as they consumed before becoming pregnant.
As a general rule, feed 150% of the maintenance energy requirement during the first week of lactation, 200% of maintenance during the second week, and 300% of maintenance the third …

Ectoparasites: Fleas

The most common external parasite of the dog and cat is the flea. Fleas love warm, humid environments and do not survive for long periods in extreme heat, cold, or low humidity. Depending on where you live, fleas can definitely be a year-round concern, though we tend to have heightened awareness during warmer weather. Fleas are wingless insects and cannot fly, but they are capable of jumping as high as 2 feet. Adult fleas feed exclusively on the blood of …

Pet Food Labels: Nutritional Adequacy Statement

AAFCO Statement

One of the most important items to look for on the information panel is the “Nutritional Adequacy Statement.” This statement provides the guarantee that the pet food is complete and balanced for the animal for which it is intended. All commercial pet foods are required to be nutritionally complete and balanced. By being complete, it means all the nutrients that are required by the animal to meet its daily needs are included in adequate amounts; balanced means that the nutrients …

Alopecia X

dog white poodle

Alopecia X is the name given to a cosmetic condition found primarily in Nordic breeds of dogs, as well as miniature and toy poodles. The primary symptom of alopecia X is the loss of coat ( alopecia is the medical term for hair loss). This is actually a hair cycle problem where the normal shed and growth patterns are disrupted. The dog sheds hair and fails to regrow a normal coat.

The primary clinical presentation of alopecia X is the …

Body Condition Scoring Your Dog

Sheep guarding dog

More than half the dogs in the United States are not at their ideal body weight. Obesity is a common concern and can result in health issues such as diabetes, joint disease, and stress on internal organs. At the same time, underweight dogs may be more prone to illness as well. One way to determine if your dog is at the ideal weight is to monitor its body condition score (BCS).

BCS is a way to visually evaluate your dog’s …