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PET HEALTH ISSUES

DOG FAQ'S


A dogs normal temperature is- 100.5 to 102.5
Normal heart rate- 180 beats a minute for puppies
60-160 beats per minute for most adult dogs
180 beats a minute for toy breeds
Normal respiration is 10 to 30bpm.
The normal heart rate is 70 to 160 bpm. Large dogs tend to have slower heart rates. The more active the dog is the slower its resting heart rate will be.
Gestation - 62 days and they cycle every 4 to 6 months.
Their heat lasts about 9 days.
The average life span is about 10 to 14 years, although smaller breeds tend to live longer. Some of the largest breeds only live 6-8 years.
Their weight ranges anywhere between 2-3 lbs for some of the toy breeds to over 150 lbs for some of the giant breeds.


PET FIRST AID KIT
Just as every family should have a First Aid Kit for People emergencies, you should also keep a First Aid Kit for your Pet's emergencies. Most of the following items can be found at your local store;
Sterile Gauze Pads (4" x 4")
Sterile Gauze Rolls
Butterfly Bandages
Self-Adhering Bandage (sticks to itself, requires no tape)
Alcohol Prep Pads (to clean instruments and hands)
Instant Ice Packs
Latex Gloves (at least 4 pair)
Antiseptic Solution (to clean wounds)
Triple Antibiotic Ointment
Small Flashlight
Scissors
Tweezers
Collar/Leash
Emergency Blanket
A muzzle sized for your pet(s) or something to use as a muzzle, such as a towel, cloth belt or stocking.
The name, address and phone number of both your vet and an animal emergency hospital that is open 24-hours should also be included. In emergencies we tend to panic and forget important things.

HOW TO APPLY PET FIRST AID:
Would you know what to do if your dog or a neighbors pet has been hit by a car? Your first reaction might be to rush over to it and give assistance. Stop!... it may not be safe for you or the animal. Check out the traffic and only when it is absolutely safe proceed. You will not be able to help the injured animal if you get injured! Also consider that the animal itself may also pose a hazard. Watch the animal to see if it is exhibiting aggressive behavior. Walk towards it slowly talking in a quiet, soothing voice. Once you have ascertained that the animal is not a threat approach slowly. The animal may be terrified and you do not want it running away.
1ST..... no matter how calm the pet is please restrain the mouth, a frighted and injured animal will bite out in pain. (CAUTION: Muzzle only when there is no facial or mouth injury...and NEVER muzzle if the animal is vomiting ). Use a belt, coat or other soft fabric to make a muzzle. Check to see if the animal is showing signs of
shock. (see below **)

2nd .....Make sure that the animal is breathing and that you have a pulse. If not, start pet CPR.
If the animal is unconscious:
Clear the airway
Examine mouth and throat for foreign body or vomit
Do finger sweep if needed to clear the back of the throat
Lay animal on its side with head and neck extended
Keep the head down low- do not elevate it more than necessary
Extend the head and neck

If the animal is not breathing at all:
Provide mouth to nose ventilation
Pull the animals tongue forward and GENTLY hold it's mouth closed over it. Place mouth over nose & give breathe 20 breaths per minute, making sure that no air escapes from the sides of the animals mouth and that the chest rises with each breath. If you are doing mouth to nose respiration and the chest will not rise, there may be something in the windpipe- especially if you can't see anything in the back of the throat that could be causing an obstruction. If you have determined that there is nothing blocking the back of the throat, but the animal is still not breathing try the Animal Heimlich Maneuver.
If animal is not too big, pick it up while you are standing and place it head down with its back along your legs. Put your arms around the stomach and clasp them just below the rib cage. Squeeze both the chest wall and abdomen together suddenly. Keep repeating until foreign body is dislodged or it is apparent the foreign body is not able to be dislodged or another cause of the airway obstruction is present. Following are some signs to look for if you suspect airway blockage
Animal very distressed
Animals gums going blue
Animal paws frantically at it's mouth
Animal salivates or drools excessively
Animal has difficulty breathing
You can't get the animals chest to rise

If there is no heartbeat in the animal:
Commence chest compressions:
For small dogs or cats: amount of compression should be a minimum of 20% of diameter of chest approximately 1cm.

For medium-sized dog: amount of compression should be a minimum of 2 - 2.5cm.

For large dogs: compression should be about 4cm. (difficult). Care must be taken in all instances not to further injure the animal when applying compressions to chest.

Do not stop compressions for more than 15 seconds. Do approximately 100 compressions per minute. Continue mouth to nose breathing at 20 per minute.


3rd.....If the animal is bleeding determine where the blood is coming from.

ARTERIAL (HIGH PRESSURE) BLEEDING
This occurs when an artery is cut. Arteries carry blood under high pressure so you will see a jet of blood shooting outwards or blood filling up very quickly under the damaged tissue causing swelling. Arterial bleeders need to be stopped very quickly as it does not take long for an animal to pump out its blood supply through a damaged artery. Arteries are located deep in muscles and tissues so are not normally damaged if it is a shallow wound.

VENOUS (LOW PRESSURE) BLEEDING
Veins carry blood under a much lower pressure so do not squirt out blood- they tend to ooze out blood instead.
Veins tend to lie just under the skin surface so they tend to be the first blood vessel damaged in an injury.

Use direct pressure in applying a bandage, handkerchief, or clean rag to the wound and press down very firmly. Do not release the pressure. Then place a bandage or wrap around the pressure pad to keep it in place.
Do not change the dressing if blood starts to seep through it. Add more layers to it instead.

DO NOT APPLY A TOURNIQUET UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES


SPLINTING BROKEN LIMBS
Use bubble-wrap, magazines or newspapers
Wrap around the limb with slight pressure
Tape around the splint in 2 - 3 places.


** SYMPTOMS OF SHOCK........
A pet may be going into shock if one or more of the following signs are evident:
Depression
Pale gums
Poor refill in the gums
Weak pulse
Rapid heart rate (early on) or possibly slow heart rate (advanced)
Cold extremities
Panting (early on) or possibly slow deep breathing (advanced)
Although an animal may go into shock for any number of reasons, the most common reason is trauma from being hit by a car or reaction to a severe dog fight and the blood loss that follows both.
Other causes.......
Severe illness/infection e.g. Parvovirus
Gastric bloating/restriction in large breeds
Poisonings
Organ failure (e.g. kidney or liver disease)
Allergic reaction (e.g. to bee stings, new medications or foods)
Blocked urine outflow e.g. F.U.S. in cats
TREATMENT FOR SHOCK.....
Keep the head down lower than the rest of the body.
Keep airway open - head and neck extended, clear back of throat
Slide the animal onto a firm platform for transport e.g. flattened cardboard box, (small pets), sheet of plywood, blanket (hold in all 4 corners) Keep animal on it's side. Watch out for vomiting causing an obstructed airway
Keep an eye on the breathing and heartbeat while transporting
Keep the animal warm.)

OTHER FIRST AID TIPS.....

BITE WOUNDS: Approach the pet carefully to avoid getting bitten. Muzzle the animal. Check the wound for contamination or debris. If significant debris is present, then clean the wound with large amounts of saline or balanced electrolyte solution. If these are not available, then regular water may be used. Wrap large open wounds to keep them clean. Apply pressure to profusely bleeding wounds. Do not use tourniquets. Bite wounds often become infected and need professional care. Wear gloves when possible.

Call veterinarian.

BURNS:(chemical, electrical, heat - including heating pad)
Symptoms: singed hair, blistering, swelling, redness of skin. Flush the burn immediately with large amounts of cool, running water. Apply an ice pack for 15-20 minutes. Do not place an ice pack directly on the skin. Wrap in a light towel or cover. Large quantities of dry chemicals should be gently brushed off the animal. Water may activate some dry chemicals.

Call veterinarian immediately.

DIARRHEA:Withhold food for 12-24 hours but NOT water. Sometimes pets who appear to be straining are sore from diarrhea rather than from constipation. Your veterinarian can help you decide which it is and what will help. Trying at-home treatments without knowing the real cause can just make things worse. Call Vet to make appointment. CALL THE VET IMMEDIATELY if your pet shows signs of bloody diarrhea !!

FRACTURES:Symptoms: Pain, inability to use a limb, or limb at odd angle. Muzzle the pet and look for bleeding. If you can control bleeding without causing more injury, then do so. Watch for signs of shock. DO NOT TRY TO SET THE FRACTURE by pulling or tugging on the limb. Transport the pet to the veterinarian immediately supporting the injured part as best you can.

POISONING:Symptoms: vomiting, convulsions, diarrhea, salivation, weakness, depression, and abdominal pain/tenderness. Record what the pet ingested, how much, and when (time frame). Immediately call your veterinarian or poison control center. Do not induce vomiting. In case of toxins or chemicals on the skin from oils, paints, insecticides and other contact irritants, request directions on if and how to wash the toxin off.

SEIZURES:Symptoms: salivation, loss of control of urine or stool, violent muscle twitching, loss of consciousness.
Move pet onto floor and away from any object that could be harmful. Use a blanket or pillow around the pet for padding and protection. Do not restrain the pet during the seizure, and do not cover pet as he/she may become entangled in the blanket. Time the seizure. They usually last only 2 to 3 minutes. Afterwards, keep the animal calm and quiet. Call veterinarian immediately.

VOMITING: Mild vomiting- (1 or 2 regurgitations in a 24 hr period) Withhold food for 12 - 24 hours. Give ice cubes for two hours after vomiting stops, then slowly increase the amount of water and foods given over a 24-hour period. If pet still vomits when increasing food and water CALL VET.
Moderate to heavy vomiting- (3 or more regurgitations in a 24 hour period) CALL VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY! as this could signal a serious condition.

Some of these helpful techniques call for a few items that may not readily be available during an emergency or accident so here are a few make-do suggestions;
MUZZLE: Use a strip of soft cloth, rope, necktie, or nylon stocking. Wrap around the nose, under the chin and tie behind the ears. Care must be taken when handling weak or injured pets. Even normally docile pets will bite when in pain. Allow the pet to pant after handling by loosening or removing the muzzle. REMEMBER.....Do not use a muzzle in a case of vomiting. Cats and small pets may be difficult to muzzle. A towel placed around the head will help control small pets.
STRETCHER: Use a door, board, blanket, or floor mat as a stretcher to transport injured or weak animals.

Does your beloved pet suffer from any of the following ailments: Arthritis, Hip Dysplasia, Ankle and Joint Problems, or Elbow and Shoulder OCD?
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SUMMER REFRESHER!

Summers in full swing folks and it's time to remember the following;
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are distinct possibilities if the dog is subjected to high temperatures in poorly ventilated areas, including cars (even with the windows cracked open), sheds, or other enclosures. Dogs rid themselves of body heat by panting, not sweating. A rapidly panting dog causes increased loss of water and carbon dioxide. When the dog is stressed by high temperatures and humidity and poor ventilation, his circulatory and respiratory systems can be overtaxed.

Heat stroke is the most common and most likely to be fatal. Symptoms are: panting; staring; warm, dry skin; extremely high fever (106 degrees or higher); rapid heartbeat; vomiting; and collapse. Treatment includes immersion in cold water. If no tub is handy, spraying the dog with the hose is the next best action. Ice packs applied to the head and neck may also help. Heat stroke is life-threatening; get the dog to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible after lowering his temperature.

Heat exhaustion is less serious and generally follows heavy and prolonged exercise in intense heat. It develops more slowly than heat stroke and may be preceded by a salt deficiency or a complication of heart disease. The treatment is the same: lower the temperature with cold water, then get the dog to the clinic.
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INFO ON HIP DYSPLASIA
The most common structural problem affecting dogs is hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia is a polygenetic disease, one that is caused by several genes, with an environmental influence. Thus some dogs that are predisposed to the disease by their genes will not develop it if the environmental factors are missing from their lives.
Canine hip dysplasia is a general description of malformation of the hip joint that ultimately leads to arthritis. The hip joint is a ball-and-socket arrangement that allows for mobility of the dog's rear. The ball is the femoral head, the knob at the top of the upper leg bone or femur. The socket is the acetabulum, a scooped out area on the pelvic structure. The two parts must fit together and be lubricated by sufficient joint fluid to maintain structural soundness and avoid arthritis. Hip dysplasia is joint malformation that occurs when the ball and socket are misaligned, loosely fitted, or misshapen. Dysplastic dogs experience pain, generally are not as active as healthy dogs, and may need expensive corrective surgery as they age.

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition and diagnosis before breeding is necessary to keep breeding stock healthy and limit the occurrence of the disease in offspring.

Nutrition also plays a part: studies show that puppies pushed to rapid growth manifest more hip problems than siblings allowed to grow at a slower rate. Many veterinarians recommend that puppies be fed adult maintenance dog foods with less than 25 percent protein and be kept slightly hungry so their bones are not pushed into rapid growth that may be detrimental to good hip formation.

Hip dysplasia can be diagnosed only by x-ray of the hip joint. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals pioneered hip dysplasia diagnosis with the hip extended x-ray to check for joint malformation and arthritic changes, but its method cannot measure joint looseness.

PennHip, the method developed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, takes up the slack; it measures joint laxity as well as identifying joint malformation and arthritic changes to help breeders decide which dogs to breed and which to remove from a breeding program.

Hip dysplasia can be mild or debilitating. Mild cases may need no more than an occasional aspirin; moderate cases can be corrected by surgery, and severe cases can result in painful crippling and euthanasia, even of pups less than a year old.

Myths about hip dysplasia abound and obscure both the seriousness of the disease and the opportunity to reduce its occurrence. For example, the presence or absence of hip dysplasia cannot be detected by observation. Dogs that seem perfectly agile as pups and young adults may actually be mildly dysplastic in one or both hips. Diagnosis is possible only by x-rays of the dog's hips.

Breeders can choose from several methods of hip dysplasia diagnosis. Dogs can be x-rayed as puppies and the pictures submitted to one of three registries. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals is a nonprofit foundation that uses readings by three radiologists to read each x-ray. If the dog is less than two years old, OFA issues a preliminary hip status report. If the dog is older than two, they report that the dog is either dysplastic or not and, if not, how it rates in comparison with other dogs of its breed. This second rating is issued as fair, good, or excellent.

PennHip, the system developed at the University of Pennsylvania and now owned by International Canine Genetics, uses a series of three different x-rays to determine the dog's hip status. The Institute for Genetic Disease Control uses the same x-rays as required by OFA but will report a dog as dysplastic or not at 12 months of age. Any veterinarian experienced in x-ray procedures can take pictures for an OFA or GDC reading. Only those specifically trained in the PennHip method can submit to that registry.

The American Kennel Club includes OFA certification numbers in its records of each registered dog and prints them on litter registration papers.

Puppy buyers should ask breeders for certification that breeding stock has been certified free of hip dysplasia by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or PennHIP, the testing process of International Canine Genetics. In order to pass the test, dog hips must be x-rayed and evaluated by canine radiologists. OFA will evaluate x-rays of dogs two years old and older and issue a number certifying that the dog has fair, good, or excellent hips. PennHIP evaluates the hips by looking at joint looseness as well as bone formation.

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees; even if breeders go to the expense of hip x-rays and breed only those with good or excellent hips, puppies can still develop bad hips.

In the past few years, some radicals have blamed purebred breeders for the incidence of hip dysplasia and used this accusation to encourage people to adopt mixed breed dogs from shelters. But the charge does not echo the facts on two fronts: actually, responsible breeders lead the effort to eliminate hip dysplasia and mixed breed or crossbred dogs can also have the disease. Any breed or mix can be dysplastic; however, there are almost no statistics regarding the incidence of hip dysplasia in non-purebreds as these dogs are seldom x-rayed.

Puppy buyers can help the effort by purchasing purebred puppies only from breeders who x-ray their breeding stock and provide a contract that stipulates some recourse if the pup does develop dysplasia. Owners or adopters of non-purebred dogs can also help by sterilizing their pets before they become sexually mature to prevent any possibility of producing affected offspring.
Other structural problems caused by inheritance are elbow dysplasia, dwarfism, osteochondrosis (abnormal formation of bone and cartilage), spinal disc diseases, Legg-Perthes disease (a hip malformation occurring mostly in small breeds), and patellar luxation (loose kneecap).
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