The dog is a “yes” animal, very popular with people who can’t afford a “yes” man..Robert Davies
The week of March 17th is “National Poison Prevention Week, and poisoning can happen to any pet at anytime, even from products around our house that we may or may not even think about. And since dogs “do the darndest things, they may be exposed to some of these products with good intention onthe part of the owner, intentional poisoning or abuse, by products left around the garage or driveway, or of course, the good old garbage. What are the most common household poisons? Read on!
Foods such as chocolate, onions, moldy cheese, raisins and grapes. If your dog ingests any of these, call your vet or poison control hotline.
Alkaline household cleanser such a solvents and paint strippers. the dog may walk into spilled products, or an owner may unknowingly may use them to remove paint from fur. They can cause inflammation of the kin, vomiting and diarrhea, seizures, or ulcers on the tongue. If you suspect the dog has had exposure to these products, DO NOT INDUCE Vomiting..what burned on the way down will burn on the way up!. If the dog’s skin has been exposed wash with soap and water.
Insecticides with “chlorinated hydrocarbons”…where are these found? Believe it or not, in concentrated insecticide rinses and flea collars, as well as mothballs. they can cause restlessness, agitation, “twitching”, seizures, excessive salivation, coma, and death. If skin exposure has occurred, wash the fur with soap and water.
Organophosphate insectcides: found in insecticidal sprays,, shampoos, and flea collars. Can cause drooling, respiratory distress, frequent urination and defecation, and muscle tremors. Thoroughly wash your dog with soap and water
Warfarin rodenticide: dog can eat the poison or a rodent that has been poisoned (and did you know, that “coumadin”, a common blood “thinner” is warfarin?).Because it “thins the blood” or inhibits clotting it can cause bleeding gums and bruising to the skin. The the dog could bleed to death. If the product has been recently ingested, induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide.
Strychnine rodentcide: used as a rodent bait and occasionally in intentional poisoning. Can cause stiffness and seizures and can lead to death within 1 hour of ingestion. induce vomiting immediately
Slug and snail bait (metaldehyde): Some dogs like the taste (go figure) and may eat it deliberately. Can lead to tremors, drooling, coma, or death. If recently ingested, induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide.
Antifreeze (ethylene glycol): this can lea from car radiators or be spilled when being added to a radiator. dogs love the taste of this, but is can lead to unsteady or wobbly gait, seizures, vomiting, collapse, coma, and death. if recently ingested, induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide.
Aspirin: sometimes owners give this to a dog with good intention to manage pain, but it can lead to appetite loss, depression, and vomiting. If you dog is in pain contact your vet for pain management options.Also unsafe are cold remedies, Advil (Ibuprofen, and Tylenol (acetaminophen).
Lead and other heavy metals such as zinc. Some dogs chew everything, so chewing on flakes old pain, fishing weights made of lead, old pipes, or batteries can expose your dog to lead poisoning. Initial sins may be vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain, staggering and unsteady gait, and paralysis. Induce vomiting if you suspect lead has been infested.
Illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and although not illegal, alcohol. (not that anyone has any of those around-be honest with your vet if you suspect your pet has had exposure to these products). The can lead to lack of coordination, agitation, fear and biting, and dilated pupils.
Sedatives and antidepressants : dog may have accidental exposure or been administered intentionally.. Can lead to depression, staggering gait, coma, and death. Induce vomiting.
With any possible exposure to a toxic substance, always contact poison control (1-888-426-4435) or contact your vet immediately! As a general guideline for treatment of potential poisoning, you should not induce vomiting if:
- the animal is having difficulty breathing
- having seizures, convulsions, or “fits”
- is not conscious
- has a history of bloat (you will know if your dog has had this)
- a slow heart rate
- if the toxin is likely to be a caustic, acidic, or petroleum based product
- if the object the dog ate was pointed or sharp and puncture the dogs intestinal tract (I had a dog eat a wooden Teriyaki skewer once, luckily he survived with veterinary care)
- or the product information says not to induce vomiting.
If you believe inducing vomiting is appropriate, use a 3% Hydrogen Peroxide solution of 1 teaspoon for very 10 pounds of body weight. This can be repeated up to three times, allowing 15 to 2 minutes between administrations.
When calling, the more information you can provide the better, so if you know:
- The name of the poison
- how much the animal ate or was exposed to
- when it happened
- your dogs vital signs(only you know what the normal breathing rate and pulse is for your dog), temperature, and the color of the membranes (the color of your dogs gums)
- approximate weight of the pet.
The life you save just might be your best friend’s!
Now this seems like a simple place to begin, but is anything in life easy?
Like anything else in training, you need to start in a distraction free area. As with all of our training, we want to teach with positive reinforcement, so be sure to be in a good mood, have lots of great tasting (and smelling treats), and an area that is free from distractions. So, let us begin….
Start by standing close to your dog (but not in front of him). Only say his name once, and as soon as he looks at you reinforce his attention with a treat. One of the things you don’t want to do at any time is that automatic repeating of his name (or a command) over and over if the desired response is not done…SIT SIT SIT SIT SIT SIT SIT only tells him that
this is the complete command, so when you say it once it “doesn’t count” and
that he can respond when it is convenient.
As soon he gives you hit his attention, reinforce his attention with a treat and lots of praise. If you call his name and he does not respond, then make a noise such as a whistle to get his attention, but do not repeat his name. As with all training, the reinforcement should be given as soon as he responds, so there is no question what he is being rewarded for.
When he starts to show progress on this exercise, you can move to an area with more distractions. Like all training you don’t have to schedule training sessions; “teachable moments” can occur at anytime you are together, so be sure to practice practice practice…hmm, should I have only said this once?
Portuguese Water dogs are one of several breeds of dogs that have webbed feet….the others are:
Akita, Brussels Griffon, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chinook, Field Spaniel, German Shepherd, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Leonberger, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Otterhound, Plott Hound,Redbone Coonhound, Spanish Water Dog, Weimaraner, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
Training your dog can be a fun activity that can strength the relationship you have with your dog if it is done is a positive manner. Here are just a few basic pointers.
You want to start in a good mood. Dogs are very conscious of body language, so you don’t want to convey impatience or anger when training. This should be fun for both of you.
When teaching a new command, you should have a lure that your dog REALLY likes. It could be his favorite toy, or a delicious treat he just can’t resist.. Using the lure allows you to show the dog what you want, rather than using a leash to push or pull him into the desired position. For most dogs a treat is the greatest incentive, but you know your dog best. Mine is definitely food motivated. Liver/cheese training treats that I make are perfect.
Once your dog has started to respond to a command, you should be able to stop using the lure, and use verbal and hand signals. Hand signals should always be used with verbal commands. One, dogs are very observant of our body language and will learn these silent commands, and they are great to know if you are in a place where you want to quietly instruct your dog to do something, and if your dog becomes hard of hearing when he is older he will still respond to your signals. Just be sure to use the same signal each time you give a verbal command. Start with bigger hand signals, and with time you can use more subtle hand movements. This bilingual training will “just happen”…
Training sessions should be limited to one or two commands. Start with a command your dog knows, and then add the new one. Always end the session with a command your dog can do well, so you end on a positive. Try to keep the sessions short-it is best to keep sessions to no more than 10 minutes for a puppy and 15 or 20 minutes for an adult. It can be difficult to set up regular training throughout the day, so doing short sessions i.e. during a commercial break, when you are feeding your dog, etc are great opportunities.
If your dog is having problems learning a task, break it down into steps. For instance, if you are having trouble getting your do to lower himself into the down position, use your lure to have him lower his head, then use the lure to get him to lower his shoulders and body until he is in the down position.
When training more complex behaviors that require multiple steps, teach the last part of the behavior, and then work backwards towards the initial steps.
Generally you only want to move to another commands when your dog can respond without hesitation. Always be patient, as dogs are all different, and different breeds have genetic tendencies that can affect the way they respond to you and their surrounds….try to get a Beagle to look at you when he is on a scent. There are also different tasks that are more comfortable for your animals. For instance we have two Chihuahuas at our house. Bessie, the more submissive, throws herself down on the ground for “down”. The more dominant dogs, Dahlia…..we’ll, let’s just say she is far more reluctant to do “down”, but she is great with the less submissive behavior “sit”.
Is your dog looking “stiff” or sore in the hips when getting up, doesn’t want to exercise anymore, won’t climb stairs, stand on his hind legs, limps, or “bunny hops”…then it is time to call your vet, as he/she may have a condition called “hip dysplasia”. Or, perhaps you have been told by your vet your dog has dysplasia. If so, let me help you to understand what your options may be..
The back leg bone, the femur, has a knob on the end called the femoral head that fits perfectly into a socket in the pelvic bone called the acetabulum. A strong ligament attaches the head to the socket. They are encased in connective tissue called the joint capsule and cushioned by spongy cartilage. Fluid lubricates the joint so it works smoothly.
Hip dysplasia is inherited, and is the result of improperly developed hip joints. The muscles, ligaments and connective tissue loosen, the socket wears down and the head loses contact. This changes the bones’ shape and wears away the cartilage so bones grind painfully on bones.
The condition can begin in puppies as young as 5 months old, and may worse with age0-sometimes it only becomes obvious when the dog reaches his senior years. Frequently, it will be seen in them in the middle years of your dog’s life.
It usually affects the larger breeds of dogs, especially Rottweillers, Great Danes, Retrievers, Shepards, and St. Bernards, but can in occur in any breed.
Treatment of hip dysplasia is limited due to the inherited nature of the disease, but a healthy diet and weight can help (besides improve your dog’s overall quality of life in many ways).
Exercise, massage, a warm and dry area to sleep, joint supplements, anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medications may also be part of your vet’s treatment plan for your dog.
Surgical options do exist, such as hip replacement, but most cases do not require surgical intervention.
Weight plays a significant role in managing hip stress, so a healthy diet is especially important.
Exercise can also be an important part of management, as walking and running strengthen the muscles around the joint, so talk to your vet about an appropriate exercise program, and always let your pet set the pace. Swimming is another excellent way to exercise the muscles around the joint. Running long distances and jumping usually should be avoided.
Anti-inflammatory pain relievers may also be appropriate, and should be discussed with your vet, as should the use of joint supplements.
Try to provide traction on slippery floors, and a carpeted ramp can be used to prevent jumping on the couch or into the car.
An orthopedic bed with a firm surface can also help your dog, as can the application of a warm bottle to the joints twice a day (limit this to 15 minutes at a time).
Massage is another option, and can be applied by gently rubbing the joint in a circular pattern for periods of less than 10 minutes.
When applying massage, use your fingertips and monitor your dog’s response. If he/she appears uncomfortable, stop immediately!
As with any medical condition, always speak to your vet before beginning a treatment. This article is intended to assist you in discussing appropriate treatment options with your vet. Only a licensed veterinarian should make a diagnosis and treatment plan!