How to Care for a Dog with Brain Cancer
Dog Brain Compared to Human Brain
Dog Brain Size by Breed
Dog Brain Facts
Do Dogs Think?
Do Dogs Have Feelings?
Dog Brain Structure Tumor, Games, Size
Dog Brain Structure and Intelligence
Dog Brain Tumor, Size, Anatomy & Games
The Smartest Dog on Earth
Dog Brain Functions & 3D Dog Head Model
Dog Brain Train, Care and Cure
Dog Training Brain Effect
Dog Brain Food & Toys
Dog's Brain Inside & Outside
Dog Brain vs Human Brain
Dog Thoughs & Thinking
Dog Brain MRI
THE SMARTEST DOG
ON THE EARTH
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86 year-old retired psychology professor John Pilley and his border collie Chaser are inseparable. Human beings have lived with dogs for thousands of years. You'd think that after all that time we'd have discovered all there is to know about them. But, as we first reported last fall, it turns out that until recently scientists didn't pay much attention to dogs. Dolphins have been studied for decades, apes and chimps as well, but dogs, with whom we share our lives, were never thought to be worthy of serious study. As a result, we know very little about what actually goes on inside dogs' brains. Do they really love us, or are dogs just licking us so they can get fed? How much of our language can they understand?
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THE SMARTEST DOG ON THE EARTH
Chaser, a dog who can identify over a thousand toys. There are 800 cloth animals, 116 different balls and more than a hundred plastic toys. One thousand twenty-two toys in all. Each with a unique name:
So Chaser could recognize the names of every one of these toys?
John Pilley: That's true, that's true!
In every test, Chaser correctly identified 95% or more of the toys!
DOG BRAIN STRUCTURE
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3 MAIN AREAS OF CANINE BRAIN
Dogs are amazing creatures. They are able to lead blind people through bustling streets, bring errant sheep back to the herd, and can be trained to do everything from fetch a ball to detect cancer. But how exactly do dogs' minds work? And how do their brains compare to humans' and other animals'? We sat down with some of the country's top veterinarians to learn more. What Does A Dog's Brain Look Like? - All mammals have similar brain structures. The hemispheres, lobes and parts of the brain have the same names and the same basic functions. But in dogs, the parts of the brain associated with smell show they have incredibly sensitive noses. More so than other companion animals like cats and ferrets. They use a much larger portion of their brains for analyzing smells. It is also presumed that dogs associate scent with memories, which is why they can be trained to sniff for bombs and drugs.
The front part of the brain is called the telencephalon. Information from the five senses is interpreted there, and it is also where thought occurs. Dogs have large telencephalons which makes their ears, nose and eyes exceptionally sensitive. It also is responsible for dogs' undeniable personalities, and their advanced social behaviours.
Behind the telencephalon lies the diencephalon. Most basic functions are controlled in this portion of the brain. Chewing, breathing, equilibrium and the collection of information from the senses all occur here. This part of the brain is highly advanced in dogs, contributing to their fast reflexes, agility and the acuteness of their hearing.
This part of the brain is behind the diencephalon. It is responsible for finer muscle skills and the regulation of blood flow and pulse rate, and is also the brain's reward centre. For dogs, this part of the brain contributes to their remarkable endurance and stamina and is the part of the brain responsible for their love of playing fetch and other games.
At the base of a dog's brain, where it connects to the spinal cord, is a structure known as the medulla oblongata. Here the basic functions that occur without thinking are regulated. Digestion, heart beat, respiration, swallowing and sneezing are all controlled in this area of the brain. The medulla oblongata is the first part of the brain that develops in puppies before they are born.
In the middle of a dog's brain is the corpus callosum. This is a wall of nerve cells which facilitates communication between the left and right side of the telencephalon and diencephalon. Depending on the breed of dog, the corpus callosum's size and the speed at which it allows the halves of the brain to interact can vary significantly.
As mammals the dog's brain has a fairly similar structure to the human brain: The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain responsible for the way in which we use our senses, such as sight, touch, vision and taste. The cerebral cortex of the dog has pronounced ridges on the surface, and this implies how advanced their brain is at distinguishing between these sensory stimuli. Dogs need this finely tuned hearing and sight because they have to hunt in order to survive, as well as protecting themselves and their pack.
Dogs are famous for their impressive sense of smell. The olfactory bulb is responsible for this and in dogs this area is very large, 150cm squared compared to 5cm squared in humans. Sense of smell is vital - they use it to interpret the world around them and everything within it. Just think how much we use our vision to find our way around the world - to a dog, his sense of smell is just as important. We have been able to utilise this in order for the dog to help us: search and rescue and sniffer dogs are now vital and enable us to live in a much safer society than we would be able to otherwise thanks to a nose 1,000 times more powerful than our own.
The temporal lobes on the canine brain are also very pronounced. This is the section where memories are stored. This will not come as a surprise to many dog owners - when we take our dogs to their favourite field where they seem to remember chasing a rabbit many months ago, even if they haven't been there for a long time. This supports the idea that dogs can have an impressive memory; vital for canines and wolves living in the wild. Perhaps this part of the brain has evolved in this way because a good memory is vital to their long term survival.
The frontal lobes are situated in the cerebral cortex and are famous for being responsible for our human intelligence. We are the most intelligent species on earth - we invent new medicines and discover the complexities of space. Without this vital section of the brain none of this would be possible. All species have a frontal lobe they just are not as developed as our own. The frontal lobes of the canine brain are fairly long compared to many smaller mammals. This part of the brain is responsible for the dog's intelligence and its nature. Many breeds are bred specifically for their intelligence and have been for generations - Border Collies for example are widely considered to be the most intelligent of all the breeds and therefore need a huge amount of mental and physical stimulation.
The complexity of the appearance of the canine brain, hints at the intelligence of the dog, and the way in which it has evolved over many centuries. It will be interesting to see what the brains of these animals look like in another 500 years and how they will further evolve to adapt to the world in which they live.
To be more knowledgeable in the area of canine brain read the following articles:
THE STRUCTURE OF THE DOG'S BRAIN
DOG'S BRAIN INSIDE
CANINE BRAIN TRANSECTIONS
DOG BRAIN FUNCTIONS
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The Cerebrum & Limbic System
Billions of cells make up a dog's brain. The cerebrum of a dog's brain is the part that controls emotional, behavioral and learning functions. When people teach a dog to sit, this is the area of the brain that accomplishes the task. When a dog marks its territory, the cerebrum is responsible. The cerebrum also influences affection or aggression shown by the creature. The limbic system is a network of cells in the brain that combines the learning and instincts of a dog. This system also controls the five senses, emotions, joy, anger, hunger and even sex.
Cerebellum & the Pituitary Gland
The cerebellum is located at the base of the brain and is responsible for muscle control. The spinal cord extends from the brain down into the spinal column. It is full of nerves carrying signals from the brain to the rest of the body. The pituitary gland is a small hormone-releasing gland attached to the bottom of the brain. It is a link between the endocrine and nervous system. The pituitary gland pays a large role in growth, milk production, skin color, ovaries and the testes of a dog. When a female dog comes into season and a male dog picks up the scent of estrus, the molecules are sent to the pituitary gland. This gland will help a dog decipher when a female is ready to breed or is coming out of estrus.
Olfactory Bulbs, Vomeronasal Organ & Pineal Gland
The olfactory bulbs are responsible for how well a canine can smell. These are four times larger than human being's at 2 ounces and are capable of allowing the animal to smell up to 10,000 times better than a human. The vomeronasal organ is a round pouch of receptive cells just above the roof of the mouth; it has ducts that open to the nose and the mouth permitting scents to enter it. These scent molecules are sent to areas of the olfactory bulbs to be processed so the animal's brain will know what to do with them. The pineal gland helps a dog to sense environmental and seasonal lighting as well as affecting breeding. The gland contains melatonin and helps to control metabolism and even sexual development.
A dog's mammalian brain is much like that of a human's. The various sections control a myriad of different functions. Natural chemicals send constant messages throughout the animal's system. These signals tell the body when it is in danger, needs food, when to breed and even how to do the tricks people teach it.
DOG BRAIN INTELLIGENCE
& ACTIVITY EXPERIMENT
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Fido's expressive face, including those longing puppy-dog eyes, may lead owners to wonder what exactly is going on in that doggy's head. Scientists decided to find out, using brain scans to explore the minds of our canine friends."When we saw those first brain images, it was unlike anything else," said lead researcher Gregory Berns in a video interview posted online. "Nobody, as far as I know, had ever captured images of a dog's brain that wasn't sedated. This was a fully awake, unrestrained dog, here we have a picture for the first time ever of her brain," added Berns, who is director of the Emory University Center for Neuropolicy. He added, "Now we can really begin to understand what dogs are thinking. We hope this opens a whole new door into canine cognition, social cognition of other species."
There is also evidence that dogs who experience traumatic events experience symptoms of PTSD, just like humans. When observed in an MRI, dogs' brains react similarly to humans' when exposed to emotional stimuli like the sound of a baby crying. They also experience pain like we do. Emory University researchers have developed a new methodology to scan the brains of alert dogs and explore the minds of the oldest domesticated species. The technique uses harmless functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), the same tool that is unlocking secrets of the human brain.
The Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE) is publishing on May 11 the results of their first experiment, showing how the brains of dogs reacted to hand signals given by their owners.
The dog brain experiment
"A hand signal was given that indicated the presence or absence of a food reward that would be received. The left hand up indicated a hot dog reward, while both hands pointing toward each other horizontally indicated no reward. The hand signals were chosen to be easily distinguishable and were maintained for approximately 10s"
Of course there were training methods to keep the dogs heads very still during the scans. And also calibration of the machines to ensure scan noise was kept to a minimum.
For Callie, there were 19 reward trials and 20 no-reward,
for McKenzie, 16 reward and 11 no-reward trials
To prevent harm to the dogs they were trained to wear ear muffs and head wraps that reduced the effects of the scanner noise to acceptable levels. They were completely unrestrained and able to leave the machine at any time.
The right caudate region was found to 'fire' in both dogs under reward hand signals and a NO reward signal resulted in inactivity in this section of the brain.
Berns realized dogs could be trained to sit still in a brain-scanning machine after hearing that a U.S. Navy dog had been a member of the SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden. "I realized that if dogs can be trained to jump out of helicopters and airplanes, we could certainly train them to go into an fMRI to see what they're thinking," Berns said.
So he and his colleagues trained two dogs to walk into and stay completely still inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner that looks like a tube: Callie, a 2-year-old feist, or southern squirrel-hunting dog; and McKenzie, a 3 year old border collie.
The dogs were trained to wear earmuffs, to protect them from the noise of the scanner. They were also taught to hold their heads perfectly still on a chin rest during the scanning process, to prevent blurring of the images.
"We know the dogs are happy by their body language," says Mark Spivak, the professional trainer involved in the project. Callie, in particular, seems to revel in the attention of breaking new ground in science.
"She enters the scanner on her own, without a command, sometimes when it's not her turn," Spivak says. "She's eager to participate."
Of course, standing inside an FMRI machine isn't exactly a normal canine experience, and Berns' team needed eight months to train his dogs, a 2-year-old feist named Callie and a 3-year-old border collie named McKenzie, to remain motionless inside the machine while wearing noise-reducing earmuffs.
In the experiment, the dogs were trained to respond to hand signals, with the left hand pointing down signaling the dog would receive a hot-dog treat and the other gesture (both hands pointing toward each other horizontally) meaning "no treat." When the dogs saw the treat signal, the caudate region of the brain showed activity, a region associated with rewards in humans. That same area didn't rev up when dogs saw the no-treat signal.
"These results indicate that dogs pay very close attention to human signals," Berns said. "And these signals may have a direct line to the dog's reward system."
Mirror into human mind
The researchers think the findings open the door for further studies of canine cognition that could answer questions about humans' deep connection with dogs, including how dogs represent human facial expressions in their minds and how they process human language.
With such an evolutionary history between man and man's best friend, the studies, the researchers point out, "may provide a unique mirror into the human mind," they write.
"The dog's brain represents something special about how humans and animals came together. It's possible that dogs have even affected human evolution," Berns said.
Dog empathy, and how it compares to the human version, is another possible area of investigation.
In fact, research published in the August 2010 issue of the journal Current Anthropology suggests our love of these furry four-legged creatures may have deep roots in human evolution, even shaping how our ancestors developed language and other tools of civilization.
DOG BRAIN THOUGHTS & EMOTIONS
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Copyright © by Stanley Coren.
In recent times science has progressed a long way beyond Descartes and we now understand that dogs have all of the same brain structures that produce emotions in humans. Dogs also have the same hormones and undergo the same chemical changes that humans do during emotional states. Dogs even have the hormone oxytocin, which, in humans, is involved with feeling love and affection for others. With the same neurology and chemistry that people have, it seems reasonable to suggest that dogs also have emotions that are similar to ours. However it is important to not go overboard and immediately assume that the emotional ranges of dogs and humans are the same.
What Is Your Dog Thinking?
Do Dogs experience the Same Emotions as People?
Dogs have the same brain structures that produce emotions in humans. They have the same hormones and undergo the same chemical changes that humans do during emotional states. Dogs even have the hormone oxytocin, which in humans is involved with love and affection. So it seems reasonable to suggest that dogs also have emotions similar to ours. However, it is important not to go overboard: The mind of a dog is roughly equivalent to that of a human who is 2 to 2.5 years old. A child that age clearly has emotions, but not all possible emotions, since many emerge later in the path to adulthood.
Dogs go through their developmental stages much more quickly than humans do, attaining their full emotional range by the time they are 4 to 6 months old. Much like a human toddler, a dog has the basic emotions: joy, fear, anger, disgust, excitement, contentment, distress, and even love. A dog does not have, and will not develop, more complex emotions, like guilt, pride, contempt, and shame, however.
You might argue that your dog has shown evidence of feeling guilt. In the usual scenario, you come home and your dog starts slinking around and showing discomfort, and you then find his smelly brown deposit on your kitchen floor. It is natural to conclude that the dog's actions show a sense of guilt about its transgression. However, this is simply the more basic emotion of fear. The dog has learned that when you appear and his droppings are visible on the floor, bad things happen to him. What you see is the dog's fear of punishment; he will never feel guilt. He will also never feel shame, so feel free to dress him in that ridiculous party costume.
Do Dogs Smile?
In the minds of most people, the equivalent of a dog's smiling is when he is wagging his tail. But there is actually one canine facial expression that comes close to what we mean by smiling in humans. In this expression, slightly opened jaws reveal the dog's tongue lapping out over his front teeth. Frequently the eyes take on a teardrop shape at the same time, as if being pulled upward slightly at the outer corners. It is a casual expression that is usually seen when the dog is relaxed, playing, or interacting socially, especially with people. The moment any anxiety or stress is introduced, the dog's mouth closes and you can no longer see the tongue.
How To Make Your Dog Laugh
Humans can imitate sounds of dog laughter, but it takes conscious monitoring of mouth shape to get the sound pattern right. Producing dog laughter correctly, says Coren, can make your dog sit up, wag his tail, approach you from across the room, and even laugh along.
1 Round your lips slightly to make a "hhuh" sound. Note: The sound has to be breathy with no actual voicing, meaning that if you touch your throat while making this sound, you should not feel any vibration.
2 Use an open-mouthed smiling expression to make a "hhah" sound. Again, breathe the sound - do not voice it.
3 Combine steps one and two to create canine laughter. It should sound like "hhuh-hhah-hhuh-hhah."
DOG BRAIN vs HUMAN BRAIN
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A human's brain weights about 3 pounds and is roughly the size of both of your fists placed together side by side. A 45 pound dog has a brain that weighs about 3 to 3 1/2 oz. But despite the size of a dog's brain, they are still incredibly smart. The frontal lobes of a dog are dedicated to smell. This takes up a huge portion of the brain. Despite this, dogs can still learn 150 - 300 words and commands. They can "read" us better than any other animal on earth, and even understand and work with us to achieve common goals.
In the human brain, the olfactory lobe is poorly developed while optic lobe is well developed. In case of other mammals like the dog, the optic lobe is poorly developed while olfactory lobe is well developed.
TRAIN DOG BRAIN
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Principles of Successful Training
Studies have shown that, just like people, dogs that don't use their brains lose some of the higher functions such as problemsolving ability. One of the best things you can do is to provide mental stimulation for your dog. This will help to slow the neurological (brain) signs of aging. Taking your dog for regular walks and varying the route, playing with her, teaching her new tricks and giving her puzzle toys will all help her to use her brain and stay sharp.
Research has also shown that using brain teaser toys in puppyhood also helps prevent the onset of CDS. Brain teaser toys are any toys that require the dog to solve a puzzle to get the prize for example, Kongs, kibble balls, and food puzzle toys. Research has also found that dogs that participated in adult training classes were less likely to develop CDS. Adult training classes could be agility class, obedience class, tricks class, or other dog sports.
Like humans, dogs can undergo changes in their brain such as beta-amyloid accumulation and oxidative damage. The accumulation of beta-amyloids and oxidative damage appear to be connected. Researchers have found that these physiological changes are related to the development of CDS.
Antioxidants are commonly talked about in human health and medicine, and researchers have studied the effects of feeding a diet high in antioxidants to older dogs to see if there is an improvement in age-related cognitive dysfunction. What they have found is both promising and exciting. Older dogs that received a diet rich in antioxidants showed improvement in learning and spatial attention within two weeks of starting the enriched diet. When diet was combined with mental stimulation such as walks, housing with another dog, and training, the effects were even greater. In tests used to measure an elderly dog's spatial memory and its ability to discriminate between objects, recognize objects, and adjust to new situations, dogs on diets high in antioxidants fared better than a control group of dogs fed a normal diet.
A typical antioxidant-enriched diet for humans contains Vitamin E, vitamin C, L-carnitine, DL-lipoic acid, and fruit and vegetable extracts. A similar diet for dogs made by Hills Pet Nutrition is available through your veterinarian, but if you'd like to like to add some extra brain boosting foods at home, here are a few you can try.
Vitamin E: Add supplemental Vitamin E at up to 100 IU per day for a small breed dog and 400 IU per day for a large dog. If your dog's diet already contains large amounts of vitamin E, you may not need to add extra.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a very safe vitamin, usually requiring very large doses before side effects are seen. However, there is little benefit to providing mega doses of this. Try adding 50-100 mg per day depending on the size of your dog.
Fruits and Vegetables: Add fruits and vegetables to make up to 10 percent of your dog's diet. Colourful fruits and veggies are likely to have the most benefits, so try things like blueberries, raspberries, spinach, carrots, tomatoes etc. Be careful that you don't upset your dog's stomach with these, so go slowly and add just a bit at a time. For a small dog it may not feel like you are adding any significant amount, but that's okay, remember it doesn't take much to make a difference for them.
Brain and Brawn Games for Dogs
To keep your dog happy and healthy, you've got to enjoy some good playing time together. Both the mental and physical are warranted - mental challenges help stimulate their brain just like physical exercise works out their muscles. Below are a handful of games for your pooch.
This is a classic activity for a reason: few dogs will resist a vigorous pulling of rope with you on the other end. It's always exciting for them and, depending on the size of your doggie, might be a decent workout for you too!
2. Find the Toy
The idea behind this game is to teach your dog and make them think. If they have a number of toys, try naming one in particular from another room and see if they can bring the correct one to you. If you just start with one, over time they will recognize the name - then you can begin to name more to heighten the challenge.
3. Go Wild and Freeze
Originally thought up by the dog trainer September Morn, "Go Wild and Freeze" involves dancing and singing. You should start shaking around to get your dog really enthused. After a few moments, stop your sound and movement and instruct your pooch to sit. Once they do, start up your rambunctious boogie again. Reward your dog for behaving in spite of the game's energetic nature.
The possibilities are endless on this game, but they bear repeating: use a stick or a disc or a ball and fling it through the yard, the hallway or park for time-tested back and forth fun. Certain breeds really, really take to this game, so you can keep them engaged for a long time.
Much like "Go Wild and Freeze" helps teach your pet self-control, "Speak" develops restraint as well. It does require them to be trained over time to bark at your command. If they can do so, have them sit and ask them to speak for you. They should bark just once. You can experiment with getting them to be quiet and louder by your command and reward them accordingly.
6. Hide and Seek
Another game that engages the canine cranium is hide and seek. Instead of them searching for a toy by name, they need to find you! It's much easier to play this activity with at least one other person who can help "seek" with the dog. They can move around with them and say your name aloud - and you can be vocal to draw the dog's attention closer to your hiding spot if need be.
CHECK 10 BRAIN GAMES
THE BEAUTIFUL MIND
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Sitting back and observing my dogs, I have often thought about what they think about, and just how their thoughts manifest. As one who has devoted almost 40 years to deciphering animal behavior, I see real evidence that these warm hearten beasts we call friend, have emotions and can think and reason on many levels. From the time I could walk - I have been surrounded by dogs. Owning, showing, treating, rescuing and above all loving these wonderful beings.
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Learning first hand their communication and gestures, studying and educating myself on the science and behavior of animals where, primarily the canine, has long been my path and passion. So, what have I truly learned about how the brain of a dog works? I have learned much, and I am happy to share information with you today.
Are Dogs Capable Of Reasoning
Other experts have stated they feel that dogs are capable of reasoning using the same mental process as do we humans, (although simpler in how it is all put together). For these experts, the dog is viewed as a version of the human, with the only difference being that dogs romp on all fours rather than balancing on a stilted two. A number of cultures (Ainu of Japan, the Kalang of Java and the Niasese of Sumatra, to name a few) tell historical tales of dogs that are said to actually be the ancestors of humans.
A few Tibetan monasteries bring a dog into the room of a passing priest so that his soul may rest their until he can find a human body to be reincarnated into. Some secs go a step (or two) further believing that every dog holds a human soul until they are restored to human form in the afterlife. My beliefs, as are that of many scholarly minds, are that we will find within our dogs skin, only the beautiful mind of a dog.
Looking At Dogs, Beyond the Microscope
"Say, Dog, I pray, what guard you in that tomb?"
Research has shown that the nerve cells of the dog brain work the same as do the nerve cells of the human brain. The patterns of electrical activity between the two are identical, the neurons in both brains are made up of the same chemical composite. The dog brain has within it most of the same structural design as that of a human brain.
The construction of the dog brain, like the human brain, has special areas set aside only used for certain activities. As remarkable as it may seem, if we mapped out both brains and labeled where the various functions are located within each, the dog brain would be amazingly similar to that of the human brains architecture. In example, along the side of the head near the temples we will find the part of the brain where hearing is placed, while the section dedicated to vision is located at the very back of the brain in both species. And the thin strip of material that runs across the top of the brain controls movement and the sense of touch in the dog as well as in the human brain.
Plato's Noble Dog
It has been written that many ancient sages held the dogs intelligence in great esteem. The Greek philosopher Plato defined the "noble dog" as "a lover of learning" and "a beast worthy of wonder." Diogenes, a later Greek philosopher and founder of the Cynic school who advocated self-control and the pursuit of virtue through simple living. He is said to have wandered through the streets of Athens with a lantern in daylight, searching for an honest man believed that the common dog was one of high intellect. Diogenes eventually adopted the nick name "Cyon" (dog). When he founded his school, his followers were called "Cynics" (meaning dog thinkers). Upon his death, Athenians built a huge marble pillar in his memory. A dog image was carved and mounted at the very top of the monument.
It's important to know what "dumb" means...
Ancient and even in more recent centuries, writers referred to our fuzzy friends the K9, as "dumb brutes." We must consider the meaning of the word "dumb" in its original definition lacking the power of speech—not a lack of intellect. Questioning just how smart a canine is remains a debate among many great scientific minds. We have been witness to many things that dogs can do that we humans have not or ever could teach them to do. Take, for example, the Saint Bernard rescue dogs in the Swiss Alps. These gentle giants work remarkably well in groups of three or more. After a storm passes, the dogs are sent out on patrol to search the trails for missing or injured travelers. When they arrive at a sight where a person is down, two of the dogs lay tightly one on each side to the person to keep the human warm; one dog will lick the face of the person attempting to jar him awake. In the interim, a different dog will have set-out on the path back to camp to retain assistance from the hospice monks and guide them to where the weary traveler lies.
Saint Bernard Dogs Rescue Out Of Instinct Not Training
These Saint Bernard dogs are not trained to conduct this activity and have received no special directions from man as a matter of fact, no clear way to train these dogs to take such life saving measures is known. The up and coming young dog search teams are trained simply (or not so simply it would seem) by following and observing the manners of their predecessors. Running the trails beside the older dogs and deciding for himself which role he will play at the rescue scene, lay with the victim, reviving the unconscious, or going for help, each determined by the individual dogs' choosing.
A border collie named Rico convinced scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, that dogs could learn human language and could start to form guesses about what new words meant. This process is called fast mapping and was thought to be a trait of humans only until the study of Rico and his 200-word vocabulary. Scientists set up experiments to test whether Rico actually understood the meaning of new words and concluded that he did.
The brain structures that cause emotions in dogs resemble the analogous structures in humans. Dogs also have the same brain waves as humans when they are sleeping and are thought to dream, just as we do. Research at Goldsmiths College in London showed that dogs felt empathy for not only their human guardians when they cried but also for human strangers. A study at the University of Vienna in Austria led researchers to the conclusion that dogs also understand when they are being treated unfairly.
The Nose Has It
A dog's sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times greater than that of humans. Part of that is attributable to the dog's amazing nose, which has about 50 times more olfactory receptors than the human nose. Part of it is also attributable to the dog's brain. Proportionally, a dog's brain assigns 40 percent more space to analyzing smells than the human brain does. Dogs have been trained to communicate with humans to use the power of their nose and brain to help detect cancer and drugs, find lost people and warn of bombs.
Why Do Dogs Prefer HDTV
Most dogs show little interest in the average television set because of their visual abilities. In its simplest form, a motion seen on the tv screen is just a changing pattern of light across the retina in our eye. The average person cannot see any flickering above 55 cycles per second (55 Hz). But beagles see flicker rates up to 75 Hz about 50 percent faster than human rates, suggesting dogs perceive motion better than people do. Television images flicker at about 60 Hz. Since that is above a human's flicker resolution ability of 55 Hz, the image appears continuous to us and blends smoothly together. Since dogs can resolve flickers at 75 Hz, images on a tv screen probably appears less real and less worthy of attention. However, since high-resolution digital screens are refreshed at a much higher rate, reports are increasingly surfacing of pooches who become very interested in newer technology hdtvs when a nature show contains images of animals moving.
DOG BRAIN DISEASES
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Your dog may also communicate the extreme discomfort and distress caused by a brain tumor by whimpering, whining and whelping. The presence of one or more symptoms of a dog brain tumor necessitates prompt evaluation by a vet. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Such options can be highly effective, but extremely expensive.
Physical Symptoms of a Dog Brain Tumor>
Signs a tumor may be impairing your dog's motor skills and bodily functioning are:
Changes in gait, including a slower walk
Falls due to loss of balance
Difficulty jumping and climbing
Loss of senses, including sight and smell
Hypersensitivity to touch
Difficulty moving the eyes
Weakness on one side of the body
Pressing the face against a hard surface
Injuries severe enough to fracture the skull are often associated with bleeding into and around the brain. Brain injuries are classified according to the severity of brain damage.
With a contusion, there is no loss of consciousness. After a blow to the head the dog remains dazed, wobbly, and disoriented. The condition clears gradually.
By definition, a concussion means the dog was knocked unconscious. With a mild concussion there is only a brief loss of consciousness, while with a severe concussion the dog may be unconscious for hours or even days. When she returns to consciousness, the dog exhibits the same signs as for a contusion. A severe concussion causes the death of millions of neurons. Recent information indicates that brain cell death does not cease within a few hours of the injury, but can continue for weeks or months.
Seizures can occur at the time of injury or at any time thereafter. Seizures at the time of injury are particularly detrimental because they increase pressure in the skull and compromise blood flow. This worsens the effects of the injury. Seizures that occur weeks after the injury are caused by scars that form in areas where brain tissue has died.
Brain Swelling and Bleeding
Severe head injuries result in brain swelling and bleeding into and around the brain. Brain swelling, technically called cerebral edema, is always accompanied by a depressed level of consciousness and often coma. Since the brain is encased in a rigid skull, as the brain swells the cerebellum is slowly forced down through the large opening at the base of the skull. This squeezes and compresses the vital centers in the midbrain. Death occurs from cardiac and respiratory arrest.
can form between the skull and the brain or within the brain itself. A blood clot produces localized pressure that does not, at least initially, compress the vital centers. Like cerebral edema, the first indication is a depressed level of consciousness. One pupil may be dilated and unresponsive to a light shined in the eye. Another sign is weakness or paralysis involving one or more limbs.
is an inflammation of the brain. Symptoms include fever, depression, behavior and personality changes especially aggression, uncoordinated gait, seizures, stupor, and coma.Canine distemper is the most common cause of encephalitis in dogs. Signs develop two to three weeks after the onset of the disease. Other causes of viral encephalitis include rabies, pseudorabies, and herpesvirus. Rabies is a very serious disease, but with present-day vaccination programs the disease is not common among domesticated animals. Canine herpesvirus produces an encephalitis in puppies younger than 2 weeks of age.
Meningitis is an infection of the surface of the brain and spinal canal. It is caused by infected bite wounds about the head and neck and bacterial infections that travel to the brain from the sinuses, nasal passages, or middle ears. Aseptic meningitis isa nonbacterial disease of unknown cause. It affects large-breed dogs 4 to 24 months of age.
Brain tumor are common and often seen in middle age and older dogs however they can also affect the younger one too. If canine has a seizure then it could be the signs that a brain tumor is present. The most common types that often found in dogs are astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas and meningiomas. Tumor tend to be wide spread on multiple sites on the brain rather than one spotted position. Some of the tumor arise directly from the brain tissue while other types spread to the brain by bloodstream since the brain control extensive blood supply.The severity depend mainly on the brain location where the tumor arise and how fast they grow. Canine seizures can also be caused by other problems such as low blood sugar level or heart problems.
Dog brain tumor symptoms
walk in circle
loss of habits that have been trained before
facial paralysis often cause by tumor in the lower part of the brain (brainstem)
partial or fully blindness indicated that there is a tumor in optic nerve or hypothalamus
low energy level
seizures often cause by tumor in the cerebral cortex
wobbliness and tremors indicated that there is a tumor in the cerebellum region of the brain that play an important role in the integration of sensory perception
loss the sense of smell often cause by tumor in the sensory system used for olfaction olfactory system
Dogs can carry brain tumors for a few years before they started to show signs and symptoms because of slow growing rate of tumor inside the brain. By the time the owner take their dog to their veterinarian for examine, the tumor has already grow and reached a considerable size.
DOG BRAIN CANCER CARE GUIDE
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It is always painful to hear your dog has a health issues, especially something as debilitating as brain cancer. Brain cancer or brain tumors is more likely in domestic dogs than any other pets. If your dog is diagnosed with this disease, there are things you can do to treat and care for him.
Understanding Brain Cancer
Learn the different types. Dog brain cancer generally falls into two categories. Your dog may have a tumor that develops within the brain or the surrounding tissues in the area. He may also develop brain cancer from tumors that have spread from other parts of the body into the brain. Tumors that spread from other places in the body generally have a worse prognosis, because the dog has much more cancer to deal with than just that in the brain. Recognize early stages cancer symptoms. When your dog is in the early stages of brain cancer, it can be difficult to recognize the symptoms because they are very similar to those of aging or of minor infections. They can also be vague, non-specific, and can vary from case to case. This can make it hard for most owners to realize that their dog has a medical problem. To compound the problem the symptoms are typically vague and non-specific. Some of the symptoms your dog may have include:
Atypical or strange behavior
A change in appetite
Loss of balance or drunken gait
Loss of vision
Notice the late stage symptoms. Once the brain cancer has progressed, your dog may experience different symptoms. These can depend on the part of the brain that is being attacked by the cancer. The later stage symptoms include:
Confusion or acting confused
Walking or pacing in circles
Pressing her head into walls or other surfaces
Difficulty or inability to stand
Diagnose Brain Cancer
If you notice any of the symptoms in your dog, take him to your veterinarian. She will diagnose his conditions from your description of the symptoms, the behavior she sees, a physical examination, and additional testing.
If your vet suspects brain cancer, she may do a spinal tap to test spinal fluid. She will likely refer you to a nearby specialty clinic or university that has a CT or MRI machine that can be used on dogs. These tests are needed because brain cancer does not show up on normal X-ray images.
If any of these tests make your doctor think it is cancer, she will perform a biopsy on the tumor to be 100% sure of the cancer diagnosis.
Your vet should be cautious for any mental changes in your dog if he is over five. Any significant neurological changes in this age group can be because of brain cancer.
Your vet may perform chest or abdomen X-rays to see if the cancer has spread from or to another location.
She may also run blood and urine tests to help rule out any additional possibilities that may causes his symptoms.
Treating the Cancer
1. Talk to your vet. If you dog has been diagnosed with brain cancer, you should discuss different cancer treatments with him. He may also recommend you see a veterinary oncologist, who is a vet specialist that deals with animal cancer treatments. Discuss all the different options with him, since the treatment will vary depending on your specific dog's case. Your vet or the vet oncologist can also offer insight into what the treatment will entail, what your dog will go through, and how much it will cost.
2. Give palliative care. If you cannot afford treatment for your dog or your dog's prognosis is not positive at all, you may need to plan a palliative care program. Palliative care is supportive care that focuses on maintaining or improving your dog's quality of life without giving him treatment to slow the progression of the cancer or help him fight it. It is similar to hospice care in humans, where you aren't giving up on him but being realistic about his chances of survival. This can be done by giving him: Diet and nutrition support, Medications, such as pain medications or steroids to help with symptoms. This can also include psychological support for the dog's family.
3. Get surgery. You may consider brain surgery to extend your dog's life. Brain surgery on dogs is very rare and requires a specialist veterinary neurosurgeon. The surgeon will go in and try to remove as much of the primary tumors as possible with as little damage to the other brain tissue as possible. This method can be done on its own or in addition to other treatments.
4. Have chemotherapy or radiation. In most cases, surgery should be followed by radiation or chemotherapy. These methods are used to shrink the size of the tumor or stop the tumor from growing. The combination of these methods with surgery will likely give your dog the longest post surgery lifespan. These treatments will be overseen by a veterinary oncologist at her clinic or at an animal hospital. However, chemotherapy may be given to your dog and monitored at your local veterinarian office. Radiation is more common, while chemotherapy is not given as often. Similar options may be available if your dog has tumors in other portions of the body as well.
Using General Care
1. Monitor her nutrition. While your dog is battling cancer, you need to monitor her eating habits. She will likely have days where she will eat normally, but there will also be days when she will not eat much at all. Talk to your vet about the best food to feed her, which may be wet, canned, or dry. Keep her food in an easy to access location, especially if your dog has trouble walking. Softer foods are generally easier to eat than dry foods, especially since one of the symptoms is swallowing difficulties. Also monitor how much your dog is drinking every day as well. You don't want her to dehydrate. Clean and refill her water bowl every day. If she needs to drink more, place a few more water bowls around the house to encourage her to drink.
2. Keep him safe. Dogs with cancer are likely to be wobbly or unsure on their feet, so your dog may need extra safety precautions. Make sure his access to stairs or steps is protected with a baby gate or blocked off in some way. Only let him go up and down stairs if you can help him. Watch his movements carefully when he is outside. Don't let him wander unsupervised around the yard. He may wander off or injure himself. Also watch him closely around other animals to make sure they don't roughhouse or fight.
3. Clean your dog. When a dog has brain cancer, she is more likely to have accidents. Keep a check on the fur around her bottom for fecal matter and urine. It may collect on her fur if she can't get out in time to go or if she goes while lying down. If this happens, wash the area with soap and water and dry it thoroughly. This will keep the skin from getting irritated. If this happens often, talk to your vet about your dog's quality of life. It may be time to consider alternative options. Use waterproof pads under her bedding if she has accident often.
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