04 Aug

UNDERSTANDING MAGNETIC THERAPY FOR DOGS

By Shawn Messonnier, DVM
In recent years, therapy for dogs using magnets has gained a large following among some pet owners. It is seen as a safe and simple method of treating various disorders, often producing positive results without side effects or much expense. This type of treatment is often used in conjunction or to replace other therapies include traditional medications, surgery, and of course complementary therapies such as acupuncture and herbs. You might ask, does this treatment method really work, and if so, can my dog benefit from magnetic field therapy? Continue Reading »

09 Feb

Why Learning Canine first Aid is important

This is why all dog owners need to learn Canine first Aid.

One of my students experienced this the day after she had taken the Canine First Responder course:

Hi Pauline,

Many thanks for the course on Saturday – very enjoyable and useful.
You’ll not believe it – had to put my training into practice on Sunday afternoon.
Jess decided to jump the sea wall at South Queensferry – 2 foot on our side – around 15ft on the other side.
It is beach below but Jess managed to land on the rocks!
Damaged paw and possible neck injuries.  Managed to keep her calm, while I examined her – dispatched hubbie off to get the car and daughter to phone vet.  Emergency vet gave sedative and pain killers – and we took her home, hubbie slept downstairs on air bed beside her all night as she cried all night.  She was admitted this morning for full tests and x-rays – should hear later this afternoon – not expecting it to be too bad as I say bad strain or possible fracture but not broken bones!
There you go!  Who would have believed it??
Thanks again for a great day.

11 Mar

Go Walkies for Guide Dogs

Go walkies logo

Coming soon from Guide Dogs!

‘go walkies’ for Guide Dogs is an exciting new dog walking event with a difference, as it could be your dog that gets sponsored! We will be launching go walkies in spring 2010 and we are appealing to the nation’s dog lovers to get involved – you don’t even need your own dog to take part, you can join in the fun by sponsoring our very own guide dog or even dressing up for the day!

21 Jan

Caring For Your Older Dog

Once your dog becomes older it is time to take some preventative steps in order for them remain healthy, happy and active.

Have your vet examine your pet annually or more often, if necessary.Once your dog becomes older it is time to take some preventative steps in order for them remain healthy, happy and active. Have your vet examine your pet annually or more often, if necessary.As in humans, keep your dogs weight within the proper or optimum range.

An overweight dog has far more health problems such as joint problems, arthritis, diabetes and liver or kidney malfunctions.

Cut down on the amount of treats given to your pet.As with dogs of any age, make sure there is always fresh, cool water available. Some older dogs have problems getting to the water bowl so either take the water to them or place bowls of water in several different places so they do not have to go far for a drink.If possible take your dog for a short walk daily. This helps the dog’s blood circulation and provides some new sights and smells to stimulate them and it gives you quality time to spend with your pet.

He may be older but still curious. Even better take your dog to Doggie Paddles for a swim, the water is warm and your dog will receive a non-weight bearing exercise. And he’ll LOVE IT……You may need to switch from dry food to a moist or canned food as your dog ages.  His teeth may not be able to handle the hardness of dry kibbles. Looking after your older dog and taking him to the vet regularly helps keep your dog healthy and happy longer.

22 Sep

I’m in doggy paddle therapy

How hydrotherapy saved Pepper the disabled dachshund

When Pepper the dachshund lost the use of her legs she was nearly sent to the great kennel in the sky.

But her owner Joy Bloyce knew there was life in the old dog yet. Continue Reading »

20 Sep

STRAINS, SPRAINS & LAMENESS

kSoft Tissue Injuries
Many pets are presented for evaluation of a mild lameness or limp which usually shows
up after rough play, or activity on ice, snow, mud, or other slippery surfaces. Most of
these cases involve damage to the soft tissues structures of the lame leg including
muscle, tendon, ligament, & joint capsule injuries. Types of injuries include partial
tears, strains (stretching but not tearing of fibers), and full ruptures of tendons and
ligaments. In most instances, pets will usually walk and bear some weight on the leg,
but will have a noticeable limp. Occasionally, animals will bear a little weight when
moving, but hold the injured leg up when standing still or sitting. Other times a pet may
weight bear only when stationary, but refuse to bear weight when ambulatory (moving).
Strains and sprains are generally not considered emergencies, however some pets will
initially be non-weight bearing on the affected leg thus mimicking a fracture. It is
always best to have a severe lameness evaluated by a veterinarian, but you may wish to
give the pet with a mild lameness 24 – 48 hours to see if the lameness resolves. Often
with strict rest and short leash walks, a minor lameness will resolve in a few days.
One of the most common soft tissue injuries seen in dogs results from damage to the
cranial cruciate ligament in the stifle or knee joint- similar to the injury seen in human
athletes (basketball, skiing, football etc.). Meniscal damages are common as well.
Cruciate ligament ruptures result in an acute non (or limited) weight bearing hind end
lameness which many owners can mistake for a fracture. If there is any doubt in the
owners mind, the dog should be evaluated as soon as possible to eliminate the
possibility of a fracture. Obese cats can also have cruciate tears.
Symptoms
• History of trauma or rough play
• Limping or non-weight bearing on a leg
• Holding up a hind end (cruciate knee injury)
• Swollen painful area on leg
• Crepitus in area (bone grinding on bone)
• Joint laxity
• Trembling swollen muscles
Diagnosis
The veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of the dog, including the bones
and joints if the dog will permit. When a dog is mildly lame, the dog should be
observed walking to evaluate the location and severity of the lameness (limp). Careful
limb and muscle palpation is used to identify thickened, warm, loose, or painful areas.
All joints should be flexed and extended and checked for laxity indicating strain and
joint effusion or swelling within the joint capsule. In many cases, the doctor will take
radiographs of the suspected area to rule out the possibility of small fractures or joint
luxations (dislocation). Occasionally, ultrasound can be used to image the soft tissue
structures and look for tears within the body of the tendons and ligaments.
Therapy
Physical therapy- In most cases, minor strains and sprains resolve on their own with a
matter of time, and strict exercise restriction. Sprains should be treated similar to how
you would treat a twisted ankle on yourself. Ice compresses can be used for the first 24
hours followed by warm compresses on the affected area after 24 hours.
Medical therapy- If the dog has been evaluated by the veterinarian and the lameness
has been determined not to be serious, your veterinarian may prescribe antiinflammatory
medication such as Rimadyl® or Etogesic®, both of which are safe aspirin-like drugs
for dogs. Never give Tylenol®, Advil®, or any other human medication to dogs, for
even at low doses, these drugs can be toxic to dogs and cause death.
Surgical therapy- In the case of cranial cruciate ligament ruptures, or severe
ligament or tendon tears, surgery may be required to repair the damage and reattach
structures. Patients are often in bandages and splints for a period of time after surgery
and their exercise restricted for several months. Many of these patients benefit from
physical therapy which owners can be taught to do at home.
Prognosis
Generally good to excellent depending on severity of the injury. Cruciate ruptures
almost always require surgery for the most favorable long term outcome. Joints that
suffer repeated trauma are likely to develop arthritis as the dog ages.
Prevention
The number one risk factor associated with sprains and strains is being overweight or
obese. Obesity in the canine and feline population is growing problem should be
corrected as soon as possible. There are a number of high quality balanced dog foods
formulated specifically to promote weight loss available on the market. Tissue Injuries
Many pets are presented for evaluation of a mild lameness or limp which usually shows
up after rough play, or activity on ice, snow, mud, or other slippery surfaces. Most of
these cases involve damage to the soft tissues structures of the lame leg including
muscle, tendon, ligament, & joint capsule injuries. Types of injuries include partial
tears, strains (stretching but not tearing of fibers), and full ruptures of tendons and
ligaments. In most instances, pets will usually walk and bear some weight on the leg,
but will have a noticeable limp. Occasionally, animals will bear a little weight when
moving, but hold the injured leg up when standing still or sitting. Other times a pet may
weight bear only when stationary, but refuse to bear weight when ambulatory (moving).
Strains and sprains are generally not considered emergencies, however some pets will
initially be non-weight bearing on the affected leg thus mimicking a fracture. It is
always best to have a severe lameness evaluated by a veterinarian, but you may wish to
give the pet with a mild lameness 24 – 48 hours to see if the lameness resolves. Often
with strict rest and short leash walks, a minor lameness will resolve in a few days.
One of the most common soft tissue injuries seen in dogs results from damage to the
cranial cruciate ligament in the stifle or knee joint- similar to the injury seen in human
athletes (basketball, skiing, football etc.). Meniscal damages are common as well.
Cruciate ligament ruptures result in an acute non (or limited) weight bearing hind end
lameness which many owners can mistake for a fracture. If there is any doubt in the
owners mind, the dog should be evaluated as soon as possible to eliminate the
possibility of a fracture. Obese cats can also have cruciate tears.
Symptoms
• History of trauma or rough play
• Limping or non-weight bearing on a leg
• Holding up a hind end (cruciate knee injury)
• Swollen painful area on leg
• Crepitus in area (bone grinding on bone)
• Joint laxity
• Trembling swollen muscles
Diagnosis
The veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of the dog, including the bones
and joints if the dog will permit. When a dog is mildly lame, the dog should be
observed walking to evaluate the location and severity of the lameness (limp). Careful
limb and muscle palpation is used to identify thickened, warm, loose, or painful areas.
All joints should be flexed and extended and checked for laxity indicating strain and
joint effusion or swelling within the joint capsule. In many cases, the doctor will take
radiographs of the suspected area to rule out the possibility of small fractures or joint
luxations (dislocation). Occasionally, ultrasound can be used to image the soft tissue
structures and look for tears within the body of the tendons and ligaments.
Therapy
Physical therapy- In most cases, minor strains and sprains resolve on their own with a
matter of time, and strict exercise restriction. Sprains should be treated similar to how
you would treat a twisted ankle on yourself. Ice compresses can be used for the first 24
hours followed by warm compresses on the affected area after 24 hours.
Medical therapy- If the dog has been evaluated by the veterinarian and the lameness
has been determined not to be serious, your veterinarian may prescribe antiinflammatory
medication such as Rimadyl® or Etogesic®, both of which are safe aspirin-like drugs
for dogs. Never give Tylenol®, Advil®, or any other human medication to dogs, for
even at low doses, these drugs can be toxic to dogs and cause death.
Surgical therapy- In the case of cranial cruciate ligament ruptures, or severe
ligament or tendon tears, surgery may be required to repair the damage and reattach
structures. Patients are often in bandages and splints for a period of time after surgery
and their exercise restricted for several months. Many of these patients benefit from
physical therapy which owners can be taught to do at home.
Prognosis
Generally good to excellent depending on severity of the injury. Cruciate ruptures
almost always require surgery for the most favorable long term outcome. Joints that
suffer repeated trauma are likely to develop arthritis as the dog ages.
Prevention
The number one risk factor associated with sprains and strains is being overweight or
obese. Obesity in the canine and feline population is growing problem should be
corrected as soon as possible. There are a number of high quality balanced dog foods
formulated specifically to promote weight loss available on the market. Tissue Injuries
Many pets are presented for evaluation of a mild lameness or limp which usually shows
up after rough play, or activity on ice, snow, mud, or other slippery surfaces. Most of
these cases involve damage to the soft tissues structures of the lame leg including
muscle, tendon, ligament, & joint capsule injuries. Types of injuries include partial
tears, strains (stretching but not tearing of fibers), and full ruptures of tendons and
ligaments. In most instances, pets will usually walk and bear some weight on the leg,
but will have a noticeable limp. Occasionally, animals will bear a little weight when
moving, but hold the injured leg up when standing still or sitting. Other times a pet may
weight bear only when stationary, but refuse to bear weight when ambulatory (moving).
Strains and sprains are generally not considered emergencies, however some pets will
initially be non-weight bearing on the affected leg thus mimicking a fracture. It is
always best to have a severe lameness evaluated by a veterinarian, but you may wish to
give the pet with a mild lameness 24 – 48 hours to see if the lameness resolves. Often
with strict rest and short leash walks, a minor lameness will resolve in a few days.
One of the most common soft tissue injuries seen in dogs results from damage to the
cranial cruciate ligament in the stifle or knee joint- similar to the injury seen in human
athletes (basketball, skiing, football etc.). Meniscal damages are common as well.
Cruciate ligament ruptures result in an acute non (or limited) weight bearing hind end
lameness which many owners can mistake for a fracture. If there is any doubt in the
owners mind, the dog should be evaluated as soon as possible to eliminate the
possibility of a fracture. Obese cats can also have cruciate tears.
Symptoms
• History of trauma or rough play
• Limping or non-weight bearing on a leg
• Holding up a hind end (cruciate knee injury)
• Swollen painful area on leg
• Crepitus in area (bone grinding on bone)
• Joint laxity
• Trembling swollen muscles
Diagnosis
The veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of the dog, including the bones
and joints if the dog will permit. When a dog is mildly lame, the dog should be
observed walking to evaluate the location and severity of the lameness (limp). Careful
limb and muscle palpation is used to identify thickened, warm, loose, or painful areas.
All joints should be flexed and extended and checked for laxity indicating strain and
joint effusion or swelling within the joint capsule. In many cases, the doctor will take
radiographs of the suspected area to rule out the possibility of small fractures or joint
luxations (dislocation). Occasionally, ultrasound can be used to image the soft tissue
structures and look for tears within the body of the tendons and ligaments.
Therapy
Physical therapy- In most cases, minor strains and sprains resolve on their own with a
matter of time, and strict exercise restriction. Sprains should be treated similar to how
you would treat a twisted ankle on yourself. Ice compresses can be used for the first 24
hours followed by warm compresses on the affected area after 24 hours.
Medical therapy- If the dog has been evaluated by the veterinarian and the lameness
has been determined not to be serious, your veterinarian may prescribe antiinflammatory
medication such as Rimadyl® or Etogesic®, both of which are safe aspirin-like drugs
for dogs. Never give Tylenol®, Advil®, or any other human medication to dogs, for
even at low doses, these drugs can be toxic to dogs and cause death.
Surgical therapy- In the case of cranial cruciate ligament ruptures, or severe
ligament or tendon tears, surgery may be required to repair the damage and reattach
structures. Patients are often in bandages and splints for a period of time after surgery
and their exercise restricted for several months. Many of these patients benefit from
physical therapy which owners can be taught to do at home.
Prognosis
Generally good to excellent depending on severity of the injury. Cruciate ruptures
almost always require surgery for the most favorable long term outcome. Joints that
suffer repeated trauma are likely to develop arthritis as the dog ages.
Prevention
The number one risk factor associated with sprains and strains is being overweight or
obese. Obesity in the canine and feline population is growing problem should be
corrected as soon as possible. There are a number of high quality balanced dog foods
formulated specifically to promote weight loss available on the market. Tissue Injuries
Many pets are presented for evaluation of a mild lameness or limp which usually shows
up after rough play, or activity on ice, snow, mud, or other slippery surfaces. Most of
these cases involve damage to the soft tissues structures of the lame leg including
muscle, tendon, ligament, & joint capsule injuries. Types of injuries include partial
tears, strains (stretching but not tearing of fibers), and full ruptures of tendons and
ligaments. In most instances, pets will usually walk and bear some weight on the leg,
but will have a noticeable limp. Occasionally, animals will bear a little weight when
moving, but hold the injured leg up when standing still or sitting. Other times a pet may
weight bear only when stationary, but refuse to bear weight when ambulatory (moving).
Strains and sprains are generally not considered emergencies, however some pets will
initially be non-weight bearing on the affected leg thus mimicking a fracture. It is
always best to have a severe lameness evaluated by a veterinarian, but you may wish to
give the pet with a mild lameness 24 – 48 hours to see if the lameness resolves. Often
with strict rest and short leash walks, a minor lameness will resolve in a few days.
One of the most common soft tissue injuries seen in dogs results from damage to the
cranial cruciate ligament in the stifle or knee joint- similar to the injury seen in human
athletes (basketball, skiing, football etc.). Meniscal damages are common as well.
Cruciate ligament ruptures result in an acute non (or limited) weight bearing hind end
lameness which many owners can mistake for a fracture. If there is any doubt in the
owners mind, the dog should be evaluated as soon as possible to eliminate the
possibility of a fracture. Obese cats can also have cruciate tears.
Symptoms
• History of trauma or rough play
• Limping or non-weight bearing on a leg
• Holding up a hind end (cruciate knee injury)
• Swollen painful area on leg
• Crepitus in area (bone grinding on bone)
• Joint laxity
• Trembling swollen muscles
Diagnosis
The veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of the dog, including the bones
and joints if the dog will permit. When a dog is mildly lame, the dog should be
observed walking to evaluate the location and severity of the lameness (limp). Careful
limb and muscle palpation is used to identify thickened, warm, loose, or painful areas.
All joints should be flexed and extended and checked for laxity indicating strain and
joint effusion or swelling within the joint capsule. In many cases, the doctor will take
radiographs of the suspected area to rule out the possibility of small fractures or joint
luxations (dislocation). Occasionally, ultrasound can be used to image the soft tissue
structures and look for tears within the body of the tendons and ligaments.
Therapy
Physical therapy- In most cases, minor strains and sprains resolve on their own with a
matter of time, and strict exercise restriction. Sprains should be treated similar to how
you would treat a twisted ankle on yourself. Ice compresses can be used for the first 24
hours followed by warm compresses on the affected area after 24 hours.
Medical therapy- If the dog has been evaluated by the veterinarian and the lameness
has been determined not to be serious, your veterinarian may prescribe antiinflammatory
medication such as Rimadyl® or Etogesic®, both of which are safe aspirin-like drugs
for dogs. Never give Tylenol®, Advil®, or any other human medication to dogs, for
even at low doses, these drugs can be toxic to dogs and cause death.
Surgical therapy- In the case of cranial cruciate ligament ruptures, or severe
ligament or tendon tears, surgery may be required to repair the damage and reattach
structures. Patients are often in bandages and splints for a period of time after surgery
and their exercise restricted for several months. Many of these patients benefit from
physical therapy which owners can be taught to do at home.
Prognosis
Generally good to excellent depending on severity of the injury. Cruciate ruptures
almost always require surgery for the most favorable long term outcome. Joints that
suffer repeated trauma are likely to develop arthritis as the dog ages.
Prevention
The number one risk factor associated with sprains and strains is being overweight or
obese. Obesity in the canine and feline population is growing problem should be
corrected as soon as possible. There are a number of high quality balanced dog foods
formulated specifically to promote weight loss available on the marketSoft Tissue Injuries
Many pets are presented for evaluation of a mild lameness or limp which usually shows
up after rough play, or activity on ice, snow, mud, or other slippery surfaces. Most of
these cases involve damage to the soft tissues structures of the lame leg including
muscle, tendon, ligament, & joint capsule injuries. Types of injuries include partial
tears, strains (stretching but not tearing of fibers), and full ruptures of tendons and
ligaments. In most instances, pets will usually walk and bear some weight on the leg,
but will have a noticeable limp. Occasionally, animals will bear a little weight when
moving, but hold the injured leg up when standing still or sitting. Other times a pet may
weight bear only when stationary, but refuse to bear weight when ambulatory (moving).
Strains and sprains are generally not considered emergencies, however some pets will
initially be non-weight bearing on the affected leg thus mimicking a fracture. It is
always best to have a severe lameness evaluated by a veterinarian, but you may wish to
give the pet with a mild lameness 24 – 48 hours to see if the lameness resolves. Often
with strict rest and short leash walks, a minor lameness will resolve in a few days.
One of the most common soft tissue injuries seen in dogs results from damage to the
cranial cruciate ligament in the stifle or knee joint- similar to the injury seen in human
athletes (basketball, skiing, football etc.). Meniscal damages are common as well.
Cruciate ligament ruptures result in an acute non (or limited) weight bearing hind end
lameness which many owners can mistake for a fracture. If there is any doubt in the
owners mind, the dog should be evaluated as soon as possible to eliminate the
possibility of a fracture. Obese cats can also have cruciate tears.
Symptoms
• History of trauma or rough play
• Limping or non-weight bearing on a leg
• Holding up a hind end (cruciate knee injury)
• Swollen painful area on leg
• Crepitus in area (bone grinding on bone)
• Joint laxity
• Trembling swollen muscles
Diagnosis
The veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of the dog, including the bones
and joints if the dog will permit. When a dog is mildly lame, the dog should be
observed walking to evaluate the location and severity of the lameness (limp). Careful
limb and muscle palpation is used to identify thickened, warm, loose, or painful areas.
All joints should be flexed and extended and checked for laxity indicating strain and
joint effusion or swelling within the joint capsule. In many cases, the doctor will take
radiographs of the suspected area to rule out the possibility of small fractures or joint
luxations (dislocation). Occasionally, ultrasound can be used to image the soft tissue
structures and look for tears within the body of the tendons and ligaments.
Therapy
Physical therapy- In most cases, minor strains and sprains resolve on their own with a
matter of time, and strict exercise restriction. Sprains should be treated similar to how
you would treat a twisted ankle on yourself. Ice compresses can be used for the first 24
hours followed by warm compresses on the affected area after 24 hours.
Medical therapy- If the dog has been evaluated by the veterinarian and the lameness
has been determined not to be serious, your veterinarian may prescribe antiinflammatory
medication such as Rimadyl® or Etogesic®, both of which are safe aspirin-like drugs
for dogs. Never give Tylenol®, Advil®, or any other human medication to dogs, for
even at low doses, these drugs can be toxic to dogs and cause death.
Surgical therapy- In the case of cranial cruciate ligament ruptures, or severe
ligament or tendon tears, surgery may be required to repair the damage and reattach
structures. Patients are often in bandages and splints for a period of time after surgery
and their exercise restricted for several months. Many of these patients benefit from
physical therapy which owners can be taught to do at home.
Prognosis
Generally good to excellent depending on severity of the injury. Cruciate ruptures
almost always require surgery for the most favorable long term outcome. Joints that
suffer repeated trauma are likely to develop arthritis as the dog ages.
Prevention
The number one risk factor associated with sprains and strains is being overweight or
obese. Obesity in the canine and feline population is growing problem should be
corrected as soon as possible. There are a number of high quality balanced dog foods
formulated specifically to promote weight loss available on the market.

Soft Tissue Injuries in dogs

Many pets are presented for evaluation of a mild lameness or limp which usually shows

up after rough play, or activity on ice, snow, mud, or other slippery surfaces. Most of

these cases involve damage to the soft tissues structures of the lame leg including

muscle, tendon, ligament, & joint capsule injuries. Types of injuries include partial

tears, strains (stretching but not tearing of fibers), and full ruptures of tendons and

ligaments. In most instances, pets will usually walk and bear some weight on the leg,

but will have a noticeable limp. Occasionally, animals will bear a little weight when

moving, but hold the injured leg up when standing still or sitting. Other times a pet may

weight bear only when stationary, but refuse to bear weight when ambulatory (moving). Continue Reading »

06 Sep

Canine hip dysplasia

The signs of Canine hip dysplasia

Difficulty getting up from a lying or sitting position or in climbing stairs.

Moving both rear legs together while walking

A painful reaction to extension of the rear legs

Dropping of pelvis after pushing on rump

A stilted gait or pelvic swing while walking

An aversion to touch

A change in behavior

Whining

Reluctance to walk, climb stairs, jump, or play

Lameness after strenuous exercise

Hunching of back to avoid extending the hips when standing

What is canine hip dysplasia? Continue Reading »

06 Sep

Dog Toys

Dog toys are popular for a number of reasons. They keep your dog happy. They drive away boredom. They are for exercise and play. They are fun. Dog toys keep both you and your pet occupied and stimulated. Dog toys, even the very simple ones, are good tools for bonding and communication between you and your dog. Continue Reading »

23 Aug

Dog Law

As responsible dog owner, we need to know about dog laws – our rights and responsibilities. It is important for dog owners to meet with the requirements of the law. Continue Reading »

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