Common Vision Issues in Dogs

Visions are flawed in dogs too. Alike humans, dogs may face vision issues or blindness due to certain illness or disease. In case of mild blindness, many dogs tend to fool their owners in believing that they can see well. It is only when they lose over 80% of vision that the owners can find out about the problem.

There are other common vision issues in dogs, some of which are as follows;


SARDS

Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome or SARDS is most common in older animals. The median age for the condition in Dogs is 8.5 years. A study found that more than 60% of dogs diagnosed with SARDS are females. It is more common in Dachshunds and Miniature Schnauzers. Pugs, Brittany Spaniels, and Maltese are other breeds also have greater chances of being diagnosed with SARDS.

Cherry Eye

Dogs are gifted with three eyelids, where two are readily visible and third one is faintly visible. It consists tear producing glands in dogs. The gland remains hidden from outside until the dogs are affected with congenital weakness in ligaments which causes the glands to pot out of their place. It looks like a ‘cherry’ popping out of their eye.

Cornel Wounds

The surface of dog’s eyes is covered with a clear skin-like tissue called cornea which can be injured in many instances. Getting poked in the eye, poor tear production or abnormal anatomy are some of the cases of corneal damage in dogs. A dog with corneal damage often rubs at the affected eye and squint because of pain. The eye may also be red and have excessive drainage.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) or Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome or Keratoconjunctivities Sicca is very common among dogs. When they develop a dry eye, their tear glands start producing fewer tear. Tears in dogs is important for removing residue and potentially damaging elements from the surface of the eye and nourishing corneal tissues. A dry eye can cause corneal ulcers or chronic drainage of mucus from eyes.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

The conjunctiva is the mucus membranes which covers the inside of a dog’s eyelids and some parts of their eyeball. Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, causes inflammation of the conjunctiva in dogs. The symptoms of conjunctivitis include reddened and swollen conjunctiva, eye drainage and discomfort.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when the balance of production and drainage of eye fluid is disrupted and pressure within the eye increases. The symptoms of Glaucoma may include pain, eye redness, increased tear production, a visible third eyelid, corneal cloudiness, dilated pupils and enlarged eye.

Cataracts

The Cataract blocks light from reaching the back of the eye resulting in poor vision or blindness. Sometimes the part or all of the lens may develop a cloudy, opaque cataract. It is commonly confused with a normal aging change that affects a dog’s lenses called Lenticular sclerosis. Cataract forms a white, grey, or milky appearance in eyes.

Entropion

Entropion causes hair to rub on the surface of the eye, resulting in pain, increased tear production and eventually damage to the cornea. Some dogs may have eyelids that roll inwards causing Entropion. They can be a congenital problem in some dogs or also develop overtime as a result of chronic squinting due to discomfort or eyelid scarring.


If you find anything wrong with your dog’s eye or suspect any problems, do consult your nearest vet.

How does Hydrotherapy works on Pets?

What is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy, also known as hydropathy, is the water therapy implemented to relive any joint pain, injury or for the treatment. A part of alternative medicine, it has multiple uses and benefits.

It originally began as a treatment for humans in ancient times, and later expanded to include animals too. The first instance of the therapy saw benefits among racehorses as well as racing Greyhounds.


How does it works on Dogs?

Hydrotherapy was recognized as a therapeutic option the pets, both dogs and cats, to improve their medical conditions and to aid their emotional states.

The therapy extensively uses the properties of water — buoyancy, viscosity, resistance, and hydrostatic pressure — to improve your pets joint movement. Water produces buoyancy when submerged, hence it easily supports the weight of the body by reducing gravity. It also helps to reduce stress on the joints and creates a safer environment for the quick recovery. It also helps for quick recovery after the surgery. The hydrotherapy gets your dog exercise its muscle and bones in a safer environment which can be a relaxing experience.

Some of the available forms of hydrotherapy for dogs include whirlpools, underwater treadmills, and dog pools

What are its benefits?

  • Hydrotherapy helps in relieving pain and for strengthen or re-training muscles. The dog is effectively weightless when swimming which helps to minimize pain and enforce strengthening of muscles or bones.
  • It encourages a full range of joint motion, thus improving muscle tone without imposing unnecessary stress on damaged tissues.
  • It also helps your dog lose unnecessary body weight by encouraging regular exercise.
  • It helps dogs to recover from the injury or surgery.
  • It can be beneficial for dogs who suffer from arthritis due to old age. The water buoyancy helps to reduce joint swelling, stress on muscles and bones etc.
  • The older dogs tend to experience sadness and fear, especially when their ailing health cause pain. The support of water and relief from pain promotes a sense of safety and well-being in them.

Learn more about pet therapy services to prevent major injury or illness.

Obesity Related Condition in Dogs & Prevention

Obesity is common in dogs with unhealthy diet or lifestyle. As a pet owner, you must keep their weight in check and offer optimum quantity of nutritious meal. It’s completely wrong to feed your dog from your plate or dinner table, because their meal requirement vastly differs from humans.

According to a study, “Obesity accounted for more than 1.3 million of nationwide pet insurance claims in 2016, a 23 percent increase from three years before.”

10 Obesity related conditions

Obesity causes various medical conditions in Dogs. Some of the common conditions are;

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cystitis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • hepatitis
  • Cruciate ligament injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Chronic renal disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Lipomas

Hydrotherapy

Water therapy, also known as hydrotherapy, is a technique of cutting unnecessary body weight.

  • In pets, the hydrotherapy helps to focus on their body weight and intensely cut fats.
  • The advantage of hydrotherapy is that water is denser than air, hence providing more regression. Using water helps to lose weight at shorter span of time.
  • Along with weight loss, water therapy has many other perks for dogs. Regular water therapy helps maintain fitness, strength and condition of body. Being in shape reduces most of the future medical conditions.
  • Water buoyancy makes it possible for dogs with joint problems to exercise without any pressure. It is effective for joint and limb problems.

Sparky’s Case

This is Sparky. He recently finished his underwater treadmill therapy for weight loss. He started the therapy on June 5, 2018 and completed on September 21, 2018.

When he was brought in, he weighed the startling 26.5 lbs and at the end of the therapy he weighed only 23 lbs. The hydrotherapy helped Sparky lose 3.5 lbs in 3 months and recover from obesity related conditions, such as osteoarthritis and liver disease.

Beside hydrotherapy, the preventive measures for obesity in dogs are; healthy meal, regular exercise, enough playtime and socializing with humans and other pets.

Happy Cat makes a Happy Life

They’re fuzzy, they’re very adorable, and although they invade your privacy all the time, they are your best friends.

A happy cat makes a happy life! Treating cats can be challenging than treating your canine, as cats tend to live in their own space and care less or none about the worldly affairs. It doesn’t mean that cats do not need a human companion.

DID YOU KNOW? Cat is the most popular pet in the United States. More people own cats than dogs.

Happy Cat Month was initiated by CATalyst Council in 2016. CATalyst Council created the annual event to help spread the word about the health, welfare, and value of companion cats. Often, cats are viewed as self-reliant, aloof, and less in need of medical care than dogs. The aim of this event is to counteract these stereotypes and ensure cats are well cared for, enriched, and receive the preventive care they require.

Here are 5 tips to keep your cat happy

Respect their space

Unlike dogs, cats do not indulge in socializing with their human counterparts. They mostly seek a solitary and safe environment. Avoiding crowd is common among cats, hence, you shouldn’t unnecessarily indulge in these activities. Offering them a safe and lonely place in the house will keep them happy and satisfied.

Provide entertainment

Your cat needs entertainment too, either that accounts for taking them out or playing with toys. Make sure your cat has enough toys to play with. It’s essential that you make time to spend with your cat. It helps to bond with your pet and promote a happy lifestyle.

Feed them right

An obese or overweight cat is more prone to diseases. Feeding them complete and balanced diet is important to keep their weight in check. Diet plays a great role in preserving your pet’s life, either that be a cat or a dog. Indulging them in regular exercise will also help to curb fats and burn calories.

A non-vegetarian diet is a must for a cat. Most pet owners tend to force a vegan or vegetarian diet to their cats, which is entirely wrong.

Keep their teeth in check

Regular oral care will help keep your cat’s mouth healthy and help prevent dental disease, a common malady in cats. As they tend to nibble on bones and hard surfaces, providing regular dental care can prevent many future possibilities of dental issues.

Go Outdoor

Your cat loves outdoors. Most cats tend to spend time out of the house than in the inside. Provide a catio. It is an outdoor enclosure that will confine your cat to a given space and provide protection from the threats faced by cats that spend time outdoors unsupervised. A catio can provide hours of entertainment for your cat. Or, you can also choose to take them outdoors and play with them.

Owing a pet is a serious business. You not only have to care for them but protect them and provide a nurturing environment.

 

How to Notice Sign of Pain in Dogs

Dogs, unlike us humans, can’t express their pain. Often pets suffer in silence, because they can’t speak. It can be difficult to ascertain if they're in pain. However, there are a number of signs, some more obvious than others, which can indicate pain in dogs.

Here are 5 major signs of noticing pain in dogs

Aggressive Behavior

Dogs tend to show aggressive behavior which can seem unnatural. A pet owner must notice this behavior to assess if the dog is I any pain. Anti-social behavior such as not greeting, avoiding human contact etc can be sign of pain in dogs.

Eating and sleeping disorder

Dogs that are in pain often sleep more than the usual. It can be their natural remedy for healing the pain, or most of the times they are immobile due to weakness. A loss of appetite and dehydration are other signs of ailment or pain in dogs. Difficulty eating or chewing may suggest dental pain.

Excessive grooming

Dogs in pain tend to groom themselves more than often. Licking or scratching certain parts of their body may suggest pain or wound, example rashes, skin disease or internal injury. They tend to themselves to soothe themselves.

Shaking or Trembling

As a pet owner, you shouldn’t just assume that trembling or shaking is your dog feeling cold. It can be a sign of pain — or a symptom of illness such as; poisoning, pancreatitis, or kidney disease.

Excessive vocalization

Dogs in pain tend to be more vocal. A hurt dog may express this vocally in a number of ways: whining, whimpering, yelping, growling, snarling, and even howling.


There are number of ways to prevent pain or illness in dogs. The first thing you can do is make an appointment with your vet. The internal injury may need immediate medical attention.

Shy Cat - Tips to Expand their Comfort Zone

It may be hard to distinguish between a shy cat and a feral cat. A shy cat usually bonds with at least one family member, however, a feral cat will avoid contact altogether.

There are many timid cats compared to dogs, hence, an attention is required to bring the cats out of their loneliness.

Few Reasons for their Shyness

  • A cat may become shy or introvert if they are raised in an unsocial environment. Alike dogs, a social interaction plays an important role in cat’s life.
  • If cats are mistreated or harassed by their owners or handlers, they may become afraid of any human interaction
  • Some cats are more demanding than the others. They seek constant attention from their handlers, and in case of lack of attention they may start developing introvert qualities.

6 tips for expanding their comfort zone

Encourage a quiet home

Not only cats have sensitive hearing, but loud noises can terrify them. Cats tend to avoid noisy places and look for solitary spaces, hence you must encourage a quiet home environment. Avoid watching TV or listening to music in high volume. Also, avoid speaking loudly in front of the animal.

Show affection/Reassurance

A timid cats may require extra attention and reassurance from the pet owners. You need to show them affection through various forms; treats, playtime, compassion and emotional support.

You can offer reassurance by being closer to them and offering extra attention. 

Let them open to you

Most of the time, the best way to approach your cat is to keep a distance. When your shy cat tries to come out, you should let them approach you and then make a step forward.

Playtime

A shy cat can be approached with playtime. Creating a distraction like play time and toys can help a cat to open up with the owner. Play is also an essential part of bonding so the more confident your cat is within its own surrounding and with you the better, toys and play can help provide this confidence.

Companionship

A companionship is a closer bond shared by two living beings. A human and animal companions can set great examples. A shy cat may regress to keep a closer bond with a human, in such case, you need to reassure them with friendliness.

Timely Meal

A shy cat can sometimes avoid eating their meal. You can rekindle your relationship by offering meals on time and treats. The timely meal increases the Oxytocin level in animals which helps to keep them happy.

How to Best Celebrate National Pet Memorial Day?

The second Sunday of September is celebrated as the National Pet Memorial Day. This day is observed to offer a tribute to your pets, past or present, and to re-attest their importance in your life. This year, the favorite day will be celebrated on September 9.

History

This was the same thought that ran through the minds of International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories members when they decided to designate the second Sunday in September as National Pet Memorial Day. It is a day where pet lovers can remember their lost friends and show their appreciation for the love, memories, and joy their pets gave them throughout their lives. National Pet Memorial Day is now celebrated by hundreds of people all over the United States. Read more

There are many ways to celebrate your pet, although, it isn’t a part of any national holiday or event.


Plant a Tree

The best way to celebrate a relationship is by planting a new sapling. This nurtures your relation with your pet until or even after the tree is gone. By planting a tree, you become closer to your pet and nature. This can be a great way to pay a tribute to your beloved pet.

Donate to a Charitable Organization

You can choose to donate money and stuffs to the organizations working for the rescue and benefit of pets. There are many organizations working for rescuing stray pets and rehabilitation. This can be a great way to pay a tribute to your pet by helping its kinds.

Volunteer with a Rescue Group

Look into volunteer opportunities with local rescue groups and animal shelters, such as walking or socializing dogs or helping out with cats who are waiting to be adopted. Your help could end up making it easier for these pets to find good homes.

Adopt a Pet

The best way to pay a tribute to your pet is by adopting another. About 3.3 million dogs and 3.4 million cats enter the shelter every year. By adopting a pet, you can save one from landing in the shelter. This can be a great deed which you can pay as a tribute to your past pet.

Share Memories

The best idea to celebrate the pet Memorial Day is by re-sharing the memories and moments you shared with them. You can use social media to post your stories and photos. Don’t forget to use the hashtag, #NationalPetMemorialDay.

Animal Pain Awareness Month

September is celebrated as the Animal Pain Awareness month by International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) to coincide with Human medicine’s pain awareness month. IVAPM is an independent body which educates and informs about pet health, awareness and pain management.

In animals, especially dogs and cats, pain can come in many ways; surgical pain, arthritis, skin related disease and cancer, just to name a few.  For most pets, old age can be a result of intense physical pain, however, most causes of pain can be prevented if pet owners are aware about their pet’s health and need.


Animal pain awareness is a campaign targeted to inform all the people about how to care best for the animals in their surroundings.

Animal Pain Awareness

  • Unlike humans, animals cannot report their feeling or pain, hence, most pet owners remain unaware about the ailing condition of their pets.
  • Alike humans, animals account for living organisms in the world who play important role in the cycle of ecosystem.
  • Most of the people in the civilized world still remain unaware about animal rights.
  • Animal Pain has always remained a nonchalant subject as most societies around the world used to believe that ‘animals lack consciousness.’
  • The ailing condition of an animal can sometimes be contagious which can affect animals and humans alike.

How to Encourage Animal Pain Awareness

  • By educating the veterinary community to recognize and treat pain in all animal species.
  • By recognizing that treating pain in animals requires an interdisciplinary approach.
  • By encouraging open communication on topics related to the treatment of pain in animals.
  • Supporting standards of care for animals in pain.
  • Promoting pain management instruction for all veterinary students.
  • Promoting humane, scientific investigation in the field of veterinary pain management.
  • There are many options to treat the various causes of pain in animals including pain medications, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, laser therapy, and therapeutic massage.

 

To learn more about animal pain awareness, consult with the experienced veterinarian.

The Grooming Brushes for your Dog

Dog grooming is a process by which dog’s appearance is enhanced. It not only enhances the appeal but also keeps your pet hygienic and clean. It is also essential to keep your pet stress free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

Much like your dog, pet brushes come in just about every shape or sizes. As a pet owner, you must first consider your pet’s coat and the grooming need to determine what brush to buy.


Types of Pet Brush

Slicker brush

A Slicker Brush is primarily designed to get rid of any debris, loose hair and mats/ knots in the fur. It is typically rectangular in shape and has fine wire bristles, packed tightly together. This type of brush works with all pet coats.

Each wire bristle is angled slightly as to not scratch the skin, however, you must be cautious while using this type of brush as it tends to be sharper. You shouldn’t apply heavy pressure on it.

Pin brush

Pin brush is often a wooden brush with wire pins that have a protective ball at the end to prevent scratching the skin.

It’s made for longer and silkier coat types. It’s usually recommended for show dogs –who have long fur coats.

Bristle brush

The bristle brush is best suited for dogs with short or wiry coats. The bristles remove debris and leave a nice shine. It can also be used on double coated dogs (a soft undercoat and weather-resistant outer coat), such as Collies and Huskies.

Shedding blade

Shedding blade is a brush in a horseshoe shape comb with small, harmless teeth used for shedding loose fur. A shedding blade works several ways, but you must ensure caution to avoid any injury to your dog. Do not apply heavy pressure when brushing with a shedding blade, especially around sensitive areas like the groin and bony projections

Undercoat rake

The undercoat rake looks like a pin brush, but with fewer and longer pins. It’s designed to get deep into double and heavy coats of dogs.

On most shedding breeds, it can remove dead and fuzzy undercoat in minutes, and leave the top coat shiny and healthy. On harsh-coated dogs, they mimic the hand-stripped look quickly and easily. Undercoat rakes can be used on a wet or a dry.


Check Pet Grooming to learn more about best brush for you dogs.

How often do you visit for Well Checks?

A well check or wellness examination is a periodic medical tests of the pets to assess their overall health. A wellness examination may also be called a 'check-up' or a 'physical examination'. The necessity of a well check is to ensure that your dog remains healthy throughout its life. A well check may also include regular shots for rabies, flu etc.

"The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends for dogs and cats to have check-ups annually, at least."


How often to visit Vets?

The time and duration for well checks or periodical visits may differ according to the age of the dog.

Puppy

In general, you should take your pup to your vet every 3 to 4 weeks for necessary vaccinations and to check if it’s developing any complications or other physical infirmities. The regular check may include, shots for rabies and distemper-parvo. Your pup might need shots if it’s displaying symptoms of kennel cough, influenza or Lyme disease.

Adult Dogs

Adult dogs range from the age between 1 to 7 years (depending on breed). These dogs require annual wellness check, including a heart worm test and other tests your vet recommends based on the results of the check.

A booster shots for rabies and distemper-parvo can be essential, typically every 3 years (note that there are state laws which mandate the frequency of rabies shots—your vet will tell you when you need to bring your dog in for his rabies shots).

Older Dogs

Older dogs range from the age between 7 to 10 years. These dogs require wellness check every 6 months or bi-annually. Alike humans, older dogs are prone to developing certain diseases and complications as they get older, including arthritis, gum disease, diabetes, vision problems and blindness, kidney disease, cancer, and dementia.


What to expect in Wellness Check?

Pre Examination

To better assess the need for well check, you vet will inquire about your dog’s diet, exercise, thirst, breathing, behavior, habits, elimination patterns (i.e., bowel movements and urination), lifestyle, and general health.

When you schedule a well check, your vet might ask for urine or stool sample too. It’s mandatory that you keep records of your dog’s previous tests, check-up, illness and medical history.

Physical Examination

The thorough physical examination includes;

  1. Alertness and appearance: Does your dog appear bright, alert and responsive?
  2. Evaluation of gait: Is there any stiffness, lameness, swelling or asymmetry?
  3. Skin and hair coat: Check for inflammation on skin or hair loss and hair quality.
  4. Body Condition Score (BCS): On a scale of 1-9, a number is assigned to indicate if your dog is underweight, overweight or ideal weight. A score of 5 indicates an ideal body weight.
  5. Overall Measurement: The overall measurement may include assessing the body weight, body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and capillary refill time.
  6. Examination of face and mouth: This includes overall tests of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and throat etc.
  7. Palpation of lymph nodes: Are any enlarged or painful?
  8. Auscultation: Are there unusual breath sounds, a heart murmur, or a heart rhythm abnormality? Auscultation is performed on both sides of the chest.
  9. Palpation of the abdomen: Are there areas of discomfort or palpable abnormalities?
  10. Rectal examination: Are there any growths present within or around the rectum? Is the prostate gland enlarged or painful? Is the stool normal?

Check Pet Medical Services to learn more about pet health and well checks.