Common Misconceptions About Dogs
Dog Misconceptions, Stereotypes, Stigmas & Breaking Truth!
Biggest Collection of Dog & Puppy Common Misconceptions!
Generally Mistaken Dog Lies, Facts & Truths
Small & Big Dog Breed Misconceptions
Dog & Puppy Body Language & Emotion Misconception
Shelter, Rescue & Service Dog Misconceptions
Adopting a Senior Dog Misconceptions
Military, K9 and War Dog Misconceptions
Guide and Adopted Dogs Misconceptions
Common Misconceptions about Spaying & Neutering Dogs
General Misconceptions about Flea & Ticks on Dog
Dog & Puppy Food and Diet Misconceptions
Common Misconceptions about Protections with Dogs
Dog Psychology Misunderstanding & Misconceptions
Dog Breeds Misconceptions - Pitbull
Dog Breeds Misconceptions - Amstaff
Dog Breeds Misconceptions - Rottweiler
Dog Breeds Misconceptions - Bull Terrier
Leash-Reactive Dogs Misconceptions
Misconceptions Facts about Dogs & Puppies
Unhidden, Revealed and Explaned
The Myth of Dog-Eating in China
Dominance Over Dogs Alpha Method Misconception
Socializing Dog & Puppy Misconceptions
Separation Anxiety in Dogs Misconceptions
Dog Parks & Resorts Misconceptions
Dog Agression & Bites Misconceptions
Biggest Dog Legends & Myths
Dog Evolution Misconceptions
Training & Obedience Dog Misconceptions
Bait & Fighting Dog Misconceptions
Losing a Dog Grief Misconceptions
Misconceptions about Dog's Paws & Noses
Dogs Microchipping Misconceptions
Chocolate and Dog Misconceptions
Dog & Cat Misconceptions
Lyme Disease in Dogs Stigmas
Cancer in Dogs Misconceptions
Dog E-Collar Misconceptions
Dog and Puppy Common Stereotypes & Stigmas
Liver Shunts in Dogs Misconceptions
Blind & Deaf Dog Misconceptions
New Puppy Misconceptions
Dog Cloning Misconceptions
Dog Veterinary Misconceptions
Sledding & Working Dogs Misconceptions
Dog Traveling Misconceptions
Surfing & Boarding Dogs Misconceptions
Dogs In Cars Misconceptions
Hyena Dog Misconceptions
Canine Parve Virus Misconception
Pavlov's Dogs Misconception
Dog vs Coala Misconceptions
Dog vs Ferret Misconceptions
Dog Howl Misconceptions
Black Dog Syndrome Misconceptions
Dog Insurance Misconceptions
Walking Dogs Misconceptions
Diabet In Canines Misconceptions
Dog & Puppy Stereotypes
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All information on this page presented
For Educational Use Only !
No any article pretend to be a single truth.
We have a science where we can test this, and we want to know.
So why don't we test it?
Many of our misconceptions about dogs are based on our perception of the world around us. That makes sense - your perception is your reality.
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Wolves are stunning animals which has been represented through our history, art, and culture for centuries. The origin of the domestic dog is not clear. Where did dogs come from? That simple question is the subject of a scientific debate right now. A new study suggests dogs and wolves evolved from a common ancestor between 9,000 and 34,000 years ago.
The History of Discrimination:
Urban legend isn't limited only to stories about Bigfoot and Pop Rocks. A number of dog breeds have also fallen victim to rumors that have spread like wildfire through the years. Here is a look at myths about dog breeds and the truth behind the rumors. In the 1950's it was that new dog from overseas, the German Shepherd, that was the dangerous breed to steer clear of. 1970's it was that sleek black devil dog, the Doberman Pincher. By the 1980's the Rottweiler had moved up on the list of dangerous breeds needing to be eradicated. Keep the children far from its slobbering jaws and lightening reflexes. Today, it is the American Pitbull, or anything that remotely resembles a "pit" looking-like dog. Close to 200+ dog breeds registered with the AKC and only one breed is designed with jaws lock in place? This same mythical breed can hold its front teeth closed while chewing with its back teeth. It's been said they have more bite pressure per square inch than any other breed and don't feel pain.
Brain swelling makes this breed go crazy. All of these beliefs revolve around the "pitbull". How did the most popular dog in America at the turn of the century get to this point one hundred years later? People believe myths, without recognizing a real pitbull on pictures. Disreputable breeders came out of the woodwork, mass producing notorious breeds such as the "pitbull", Rottweiler, Doberman, and German Shepherd. They sell the puppies to inexperienced owners that use the dog as a status symbol. The puppies grow into adolescence with no training or manners imposed upon them. More often than not, the unruly "teenagers" are deposited on the doorstep of a local shelter because owners have no idea how to deal with them. Color does play a factor It is a statistical fact that black dogs are far less likely to be adopted from shelters and rescues than any other color dog. Some people have a subconscious aversion to black dogs. Likely due to the fact that movies and TV shows almost always depict a dark colored dog as the portent of doom and evil.
DOG-EATING IN CHINA
STIGMA & MISCONCEPTION
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Eating dog meat is not a Chinese tradition and the Yulin "dog-meat" festival is just a money-making scheme carried out under the banner of culture, argues Hu Yifu! There is a misconception among some that China has always been a dog-eating nation. The growing popularity of eating dog in China is due mainly to prominent depictions of the practice in the film Shaolin Temple and a popular historical TV show about a monk, helped by over-promotion by some restaurant-owners and local governments. The recent controversy over the "dog-meat" festival in Yulin, a city in south-west China's Guangxi province, is awkward for the local government. Officials first stirred up the debate to promote the importance of the festival, claiming it supported local culture while boosting the local economy. But the local government never expected that its commercial activities would come under pressure from dog lovers around the country. It was forced to quietly claim that the whole affair was run by local businesspeople in an attempt to avoid responsibility.
China's history of dog-eating
Dogs have been a part of Chinese households for at least 7,000 years, archaeologists say. The mythological ruler Fu Xi was said to have domesticated six wild animals: the pig, ox, goat, horse, fowl and dog, indicating that dogs were often kept even in ancient times. Records show that back then dogs were kept mainly to assist with hunting. As the Chinese people became more engaged with agriculture, the dog's role as hunter became less important, but it was not cast aside. Its loyalty to its owner made it valued for its role as a guard. Those who advocate the eating of dog maintain it is a Chinese tradition, claiming that historical documents tell of "dog butchers" who specialised in preparing the meat. Others quote from works by founder of the Han dynasty Liu Bang and Qing dynasty painter Zheng Banqiao as proof that the Chinese have always enjoyed dog meat, but this is not enough to prove it is a tradition or custom. The San Zi Jing, a text used to teach children since the 13th century, describes dog as one of the six animals raised by people. This is generally taken to mean that these animals were a source of meat. But as agriculture developed and eating habits changed cows, sheep, chickens and pigs became the main sources of meat for Chinese people. Dogs gradually stopped being used as food and the reasons behind this are complex. Prior to the Qin and Han dynasties the combination of primitive agricultural techniques and the chaos of constant war meant that living standards were low and meat a rare luxury, offered primarily to the elderly as a sign of respect. Beasts of burden and guard dogs which died of illness or old age could not be wasted, so our thrifty ancestors would cook the meat and eat their fill.
Dog meat was not an essential food for people, as can be seen from a study of sacrificial offerings. These offerings to the gods and their ancestors were important and great attention was paid to the goods to be offered. For the grandest of imperial ceremonies a cow or horse would be sacrificed, for less important occasions a pig or sheep, and the ordinary people would offer pork, chicken or fish. But dog was almost never used, and it was regarded as disrespectful to the spirits to do so. That taboo is still common today, showing that dog meat is not suitable for refined tastes, and certainly not for serving to guests.
Dog fell increasingly out of favour after the Han dynasty. Philosophical Taoism, which rose in the late Han, saw dogs as unclean and consumption of dog was believed to harm efforts to live a simple life. During the Tang and Song dynasties dog consumption decreased further as the range of available meats increased and stories of faithful dogs and Buddhist ideas of reincarnation spread. China has many ethnic minorities, each with its own traditions and culinary customs. But none of them can be described as dog-eating. In Islam dogs are regarded as unclean and so there is a religious prohibition on eating dog meat. Mongols are traditionally nomads and see dogs as guards and staunch companions. For Manchus eating dog is taboo, due to a legend that a dog saved the life of their forefather Nurhaci. The Tibetans are Buddhist and will not kill animals unnecessarily, and see dogs as loyal companions, so rarely eat them. And even the Zhuang people of Guangxi, where the Yulin "dog-meat festival" takes place are not recorded in historical documents as being keen dog eaters.
All about the money
Local government officials are evaluated by their superiors on GDP growth. But remote and poor regions struggle to meet these growth targets, and the officials responsible are under considerable pressure. This gives rise to various odd money-making schemes, with cultural events designed to boost the local economy a popular choice. Yulin, situated in China's south-west border province of Guangxi, has never been a part of mainstream Chinese culture and has no famous historical figures or events to make use of. So people scratched their heads and came up with a "dog-meat and lychees" tradition to attract tourists and investment. Dog-eaters have, naturally enough, any number of reasons to explain the legitimacy of the practice, going as far to defend its legality by pointing out that anything not banned by law, is permitted. But have they thought that there are moral standards as well, higher than legal ones? Or our own standards as human beings, higher again? Legal standards are designed to protect our basic security. Moral standards maintain our civilisation and ensure we do not tend towards the degenerate. And our own standards push us forward to achieve more. While the dog-eating advocates argue the reasons for their case, have they considered the shock and horror of the ordinary people seeing dogs slaughtered in the streets of Yulin?
DOG & CHOCOLATE MISCONCEPTIONS
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Rule #1: Know Your Dog's Weight and How Much Chocolate Was Eaten
With any poisoning or toxicity question, know your dog's approximate weight and the best guess as to how much of the toxin your pet may have eaten. If you ever have to make a call to animal poison control, 1-888-426-4435, it's almost a waste of money, if you don't have a general idea of the amount of the offending substance. Try to round your dog's weight to the nearest 10 pounds: 20, 50, 100 pounds... Get the best idea of the most chocolate your dog could have eaten: three 16-ounce bags of peanut M&M's, 4 ounces of dark chocolate, and so on.
Golden Rule #2: What Kind of Chocolate?
The darker the chocolate, the more toxic. Baker's chocolate is scary - white chocolate is almost nontoxic. How Much Chocolate Is Toxic for Dogs?
Baking chocolate: Approximately 0.5 ounce for a 10-pound dog, 1 ounce for a 20-pound dog, and 1.5 ounces for a 30-pound dog all require a call to the vet. Baking chocolate includes Baker's Chocolate, Callebaut, Ghirardelli, Guittard, Lindt, Menier, Scharffen Berger and Valrhona.
Dark chocolate: Approximately 1.5 ounces for a 10-pound dog, 3 ounces for a 20-pound dog, and 4.5 ounces for a 30-pound dog all require a call to the vet.
Milk chocolate: Approximately 3.5 ounces - more than 2 regular Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars for a 10-pound dog, 7 ounces for a 20-pound dog, and 10.5 ounces for a 30-pound dog all require a call to the vet. Milk chocolate includes M&M's, Hershey's, Mars, Kit Kat, Dove, Cadbury, Toblerone, Kinder, Ferrero Rocher and Galaxy.
White chocolate: Approximately 47 pounds of white chocolate for a 10-pound dog, 95 pounds of white chocolate for a 20-pound dog, and 145 pounds of white chocolate for a 30-pound dog all require a call to the vet.
Semi-sweet chocolate has a similar toxicity.
In case you are wondering how we came up with the information above, there's a formula. If you are mathematically inclined, you can follow the table below and get a good idea of the level of chocolate toxicity. You have to know how to convert the chocolate into its toxic form. If your dog ingests an amount CLOSE to 20 mg or more of toxic ingredient per pound of dog, you need to call the vet right away.
Example 1: Cookie has eaten 3 ounces of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains 130 mg/oz of toxin, as shown in the chart above. So, 3 oz x 130 mg divided by 20 pounds of dog weight = 19.5. Is this a worrisome amount for Cookie? Yes, it's very close to 20. YOU SHOULD CALL THE VET or bring the pet to the emergency hospital. Remember, anything close to 20 or above is an emergency.
Example 2: What if this was 3 ounces of milk chocolate? Let's do the math: 3 oz x 58 mg divided by 20 pounds of dog weight = 8.7. You are not anywhere close to the toxic "magic number" of 20. You can relax.
MYTH: A little chocolate won't hurt
Chocolate can be toxic and life-threatening to dogs. As little as 1 ounce of dark chocolate may be enough to kill a small dog. Keep the chocolate for yourself and nobody gets hurt. Chocolate can be very toxic to your dog, but the amount and the type of chocolate is critical in assessing whether or not you have to panic.
MYTH: M&M's or some chocolate brownies kill dogs
Do not Panic! - Neither of these products is solid chocolate, so the amount of chocolate ingested is much less and therefore less toxic. The pet may still get an upset stomach or diarrhea.
MYTH: All chocolates - the same bad for dog
Yes. Unsweetened baker's chocolate contains 8-10 times the amount of Theobromine as milk chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate falls roughly in between the two for Theobromine content. White chocolate contains Theobromine, but in such small amounts that Theobromine poisoning is unlikely. Caffeine is present in chocolate, but less than Theobromine.
DOG AND PUPPY FOOD
AND DIET MISCONCEPTIONS
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MYTH: Dogs are fine sharing one food bowl
How would you like it if every time you sat down to a meal, someone sat beside you eating from your plate? Dogs should have their own food bowl. This helps prevent food aggrestsion and makes it easier for you to know if your dogs are eating enough food or overeating.
MYTH: Bone Broth is just another fad
Bone broth seems to be everywhere lately, with claims of health benefits ranging from improved digestion and weight loss, to arthritis relief and healthy skin. It may seem like just the latest in a long line of health trends, but bone broth is actually an ancient superfood with a history dating back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. If our dogs' descendants could have boiled water, chances are they would have brewed up this nutrition packed potion, themselves!
MYTH: Dogs just need to eat meat because that's what wolves eat
This one might appear to make sense but the meat that we feed it likely to be "leans cuts" as opposed to what the wolf would eat which also includes the bones, hair, internal organs, and stomach contents i.e. vegetable matter.
MYTH: Dogs can eat anything that humans do
Wrong! Feeding dogs food that humans enjoy can be fatal. Some foods that are toxic to dogs are chocolate, macadamia nuts and onions. Other ingredients that are dangerous for dogs are avocado, potato peelings and green-looking potatoes, rhubarb leaves, raisins and grapes.If you have concerns about your dogs diet, it is best to speak to your veterinarian or canine nutritionist for advice.
MYTH: My dog must be hungry since he will eat as much as I will feed him
Dog obesity closely mirrors human obesity and it is going in the wrong direction. You are putting pressure on a dog's joints and internal organs when he is overweight and therefore potentially taking years off his life.
MYTH: Bone Broth can't have that much nutritional value
It may seem farfetched that a simple stock brewed from the parts of animals we typically throw away could be so healthy for our dogs. Each cup of bone broth contains about as much protein as a large egg, a chicken wing or two slices of bacon. It is also packed with collagen, glycine, glucosamine, amino acids and several vitamins and minerals. Not bad for a cup of broth!
MYTH: If you feed a dog human food, he will learn to beg at the table
One dog owner's "begging" is another's "attention" behavior, eagerly sought-after and highly valued. Behaviors that are reinforced continue and/or increase. If you fed your dog his own dog food from the table, he would learn to beg at the table. It has nothing to do with what type of food he is being fed! If you don't want your dog to beg at the table, don't feed your dog from the table. Whole Dog Journal readers know full well that human-grade food is better for dogs than much of the junk that's in many brands of dog food. Whether it's fed in a form that we recognize as something we might consume, or it's been transformed into something that more resembles our mental concept of "dog food," it all still comes from the same basic food ingredients.
MYTH: "Soup" can't possibly ease arthritis pain
You may have heard that bone broth is a natural source of glucosamine, a nutrient frequently used to reduce joint pain, but it offers another important benefit for dogs suffering from arthritis. Collagen nourishes the skeletal system and is essential for rebuilding bone that is constantly lost due to aging and normal wear and tear. In this way, bone broth for dogs not only helps ease existing arthritis pain, it can also slow its progression.
MYTH: Picky dogs won't eat it
You know the type. No matter what treat, topping or technique you try, these pups simply will not touch something new! One of the greatest benefits of bone broth is that it is naturally delicious meat gravy that dogs can have as a separate snack or eat over their favorite food! Unless your picky pup is a vegetarian, chances are he or she will eat it!
MYTH: Bone Broth will upset sensitive dogs' bellies
While you should always consult your vet before making diet changes, especially when there are digestive troubles involved - bone broth tends to be safe and beneficial for dogs with delicate tummies. It is one of the mildest foods you can give to your pup as it comes from one of the most basic of dog foods - bones, and contains nothing extra.
MYTH: It's ok for you dog to have bad breath, it's natural and normal
TOTALLY WRONG! If your dog's breath smells this can be a problem. Smelly breath tends to occur if there is dental or health problems. If it starts to smell for a couple of days have your dog checked out. A quick visit to your veterinarian will clear things up!
MYTH: Blind Society Belief - Marketing hype on pet food labels and not the reality
Well, we are all guilty of believing the marketing hype on pet food labels and not being picky enough about what exactly is going into our dogs' stomachs.
MYTH: Feeding kibble all day
Feeding kibble all day, every day is not always the healthiest choice - most kibble is pretty laden with fat in order to make it palatable to dogs. I often think it must be pretty boring to have the same meal every day too! Pet parents are often worried about feeding wet food because of concerns that the poop will be too soft. A really good quality wet food will be made with digestible ingredients so your dog poops a smaller amount and they are easy to pick up too!
MYTH: The kibble will keep your dogs teeth clean
Nothing beats brushing!
MYTH: Dog treats are healthy!
Check the treats you feed you dog! You may be feeding a great diet, then treating your dog with snacks and treats that are full of preservatives, sugars and tons of fat. It's very simple to make healthy treats you can keep in a jar and cheaper than buying them.
MYTH: Greasy smelling coat and bad breath connected to dog's diet
If your dog has a greasy smelling coat and bad breath it is a lot to do with their diet. This is something that we don't seem to connect.
MYTH: My dog is always hungry so I feed him more
This will lead to an overweight dog in almost all cases. Dogs are scavengers and as such they seem to have been biologically designed to be ready to eat whenever food presents itself and keep eating until they pop literally. It's a good idea to watch your dog's weight very carefully and adjust the food intake as necessary to make sure you can feel your dog's ribs and he or she keeps a "waist".
MYTH: I feed both of my dogs out of the same bowl because they get along well
Wow, what mellow dogs you have! Let's keep them that way and feed them out of separate bowls! Most dogs will eventually fight over food or eat too much or not get enough if fed out of a communal bowl.
MYTH: I don't feed my dog people food because I don't want him to beg
First, people food is food. Second, you get what you reward. If you reward for polite behavior the begging will cease pretty quick. Plus, dogs that don't know any better will beg for people food even if you didn't give him any of that food because they can smell it! I do agree however that is a good idea to be careful about what you feed your dog, not overfeed and not feed unhealthy foods.
MYTH: I don't train my dog with treats because I want my dog to obey me even when I don't have any treats
Getting your dog to listen to you whether you have a treat nearby or not is a matter of being a little tricky and making sure your dog never can tell if you have a treat or not. For instance, I might ask my dog to be quiet in the house and if he does I can go to the cupboard and get him a treat. I don't need to have that treat in my hand and show it to him first, because we have had enough experience together that he knows a treat is coming if he listens. This is a matter of being tricky, practicing training and being consistent in rewarding your dog for good behavior. It is also a matter of making sure you do not rely on the luring phase of training too long. I suggest that people go from luring something like a "sit" to using the same hand gesture with "empty fingers" - no treat but it looks like you have one, and then feed your dog a treat after sitting. This can easily transition to a hand signal with a reward afterwards.
MYTH: Bacon Won't Harm Dogs
You should not give chocolates to your dogs, although we know that many other human food products harm dogs, too. But some people give their food to dogs. In that more shocking collection is bacon. For many people, it seems logical that bacon would be a nice treat to gift to your canine companion from time to time. After all, bacon is a meat that must be there in the dog's diet. However, bacon can be very harmful to dogs and it will lead many health problems. Due to the rich levels of fat and grease in this pork food affects the pancreas, which is called as pancreatitis. The pancreas releases the digestive enzymes which are required for proper food digestion and absorption. Pancreatitis declines the ability of the pancreas, means that it doesn't function properly. This will lead to your dog digesting food partially and it becomes extremely ill. So the next time you will provide your breakfast plate and find your dog flashing his cute puppy eyes at you with drool drooping from his lips, rather than bacon it is better to go with other foods which are easily digestible.
MYTH: Dogs need carbohydrates
We often think that dogs, like us, need carbs in their diet as a direct energy source. Because of this a lot of dog owners feed rice, potatoes or even pasta, and many commercial dog foods include those foods as well as cereal. However, dogs do not have the same digestive track as humans, being primarily carnivores their intestines are much shorter than ours, which causes them to not digest these types of food well. Dogs should get the least possible amount of carbohydrates in their diet, preferably none, to avoid bloating, excess sugar and long term consequences such as blindness. Eating a little cereal won't make them sick, but it should not be the main part of their diet. Instead, dogs need to get their energy from high amounts of protein, preferably from meat!
MYTH: A supplement needs to be "balanced"
This statement doesn't make sense because the goal of supplementation is to provide nutrients that are in short supply in the regular die, which can vary quite a bit from one food product to another, depending on ingredients. In other words, we want to improve upon what's already provided in the food by adding nutrients that are lacking or in short supply, resulting in a better overall balance. A supplement that is "balanced" in itself may add more of what's already plentiful in the diet but still not help achieve sufficient levels of something else. An example: the minerals copper, iron, and zinc interact with each other and ideally should be present in the diet not only in sufficient amounts, but also in the proper ratio. Let's say we add a supplement which in itself provides a correct ratio of these 3 minerals to a diet that already contains an adequate amount of copper, much more iron than the dog actually needs on a daily basis, but not enough zinc. That supposedly "balanced" supplement does nothing to fix the issue, as it adds a little bit more copper to what's already sufficient, adds even more iron, and doesn't help with addressing the zinc deficiency.
MYTH: Dogs need a complete multivitamin/mineral supplement in addition to commercial food
From the discussion above, you can already guess that this claim is incorrect. After investigating many commercial foods and comparing their nutrient content to the nutritional guidelines and recommendations of the National Research Council, I have found that most minerals are supplied in overabundance, many times more than the average dog needs on a daily basis. A few tend to come up short, but these are generally required in tiny amounts, so that not much needs to be added on a weekly basis. The fat soluble vitamins A and D are generally present in sufficient to high amounts, and adding more is not necessarily a good idea. The content of the water soluble vitamins of the B complex varies greatly from product to product and manufacturer to manufacturer.
MYTH: Dogs eating processed foods need lots of antioxidants
I agree that antioxidants are important, but please realize that when supplied in concentrated dosages and too great of an abundance, nutrients with anti-oxidant properties actually start to act as pro-oxidants. My recommendation is to not go overboard, too much of too many "good things" isn't necessarily in your dog's best interest, especially if certain health issues are present. Choose to supplement fresh, unprocessed foods rather than yet another thing from a bottle or jar.
MYTH: Nutrient X and nutrient Y work together, so they are both supplied in this product
You already understand that ultimately the balance in the final diet, composed of food items and supplements is important, not just what the supplement adds. Sometimes it's wiser to just add one of the two, or more of one and less of another, to get a good balance. Example: an oil blend supplement claims that it is balanced in omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. Most commercial foods, and also many homemade diets, already contain enough or even excessive levels of omega 6 fatty acids and no shortage of omega 9 fatty acids, so adding more of these is (a) unnecessary and (b) won't help to create a better overall balance. Once again, save money and only add what's really needed.
MYTH: If adding this supplement doesn't help, at least it won't harm, so it's ok to use
I wish I could say this is true, but it's not. Even something as innocuous as vitamin C can cause serious problems under certain circumstances. Sometimes products even contain not only poor quality ingredients best avoided, but outright suspect substances, like the synthetic version of vitamin K, menadione. As a rule, do not buy any supplements for which you can not obtain a detailed analysis of nutrients and an ingredient list. If a manufacturer is not willing to inform you just how much of a particular nutrient e.g. iodine, your dog will be ingesting per recommended daily serving of the product, using the excuse that this is "proprietary information" or some such nonsense - you are better off looking for a more trustworthy business.
MYTH: It's good for a dog to have some variety in their food
Dogs love to be on a routine! At my job dogs know when breakfast, dinner & lunch is about to happen because of their routine. Some will start to bark and want to go inside when it turns to that time. You want to keep your dog's food consistent and if you do change it don't do it often. If you do change it often it could cause internal problems.
MYTH: Dogs like tasty food
Dogs have very poor taste buds and eat primarily based on their sense of smell.
MYTH: Dogs eat rocks, lick concrete or eat their or another animals stools because of nutrient imbalances
No one knows why dogs eat "stuff" that they should not eat. Some veterinarians believe that some dogs that eat "things" may be trying to get attention or acting out of boredom. It is important for dogs to eat a well balanced diet that will fulfill their dietary and nutrient requirements and have plenty of opportunities for play and exercise.
MYTH: Putting garlic in your dog's food will get rid of Worms & Fleas
There is no scientific proof that putting garlic in your dog's food does much more than give him garlic breath. So if you are trying to keep vampires out of your home -sure go ahead, but if you want to get rid of worms it's not going to do much. Talk to our friendly vet nurses instead. Large amounts of garlic can even be harmful.
MYTH: Dogs Eat Grass to Make Themselves Vomit
It's true that dogs will often throw up after eating a lot of grass. However, this does not mean they ate that grass to induce vomiting, or that it is somehow a sign of illness. The origin of this myth is most likely due to an incorrect assumption by dog owners. People observed their dogs vomiting after eating grass. They assumed that dogs intentionally ate grass when feeling sick to their stomachs in order to make them vomit. When you consider the real reason, this conclusion seems like the long way around. Why do dogs eat grass? Probably because they simply like it. Some dogs like to graze while others chomp. Enough grass in the stomach can create minor irritation and cause the dog to vomit. Some experts believe that a dog's taste for grass goes back to the days when a wild canid would eat the stomach contents of its prey - usually plants like grass and leaves. Regardless of the reason, it's relatively harmless as long as the grass is not chemically treated. That being said, if grass-eating has led to chronic vomiting in your dog, you should probably keep him away from the grass and visit your vet just in case.
MYTH: Table Scraps Are Good For Little Dogs
No! Some foods can be harmful to your canine companion – they can pose choking hazards or cause gastrointestinal problems such as pancreatitis. While your trash can or bin won't fill as quickly, you could be feeding your dog harmful bones, high-fat content foods and even ingredients that are toxic to your dog. Cooked bones are especially known for splitting and splintering, and just imagine what those splinters could do to your dog's internal organs. Other issues involve gastrointestinal problems and pancreatic concerns. Table scraps are empty calories for dogs. They need precisely balanced nutrition for their specific life stage and special needs to stay healthy. Do your dog a favour and stick to dog food and treats. If you want to reduce waste, try composting instead.
MYTH: Your dog's diet should be including supplements
If the person that told you isn't a veterinarian then don't listen to them. Some dogs may need supplements depending on their body but not all do. Every dog is different so you want to consult your veterinarian about supplements and if you should use them. If your dog is eating high-nutrient filled food most of the time you wont need any supplements.
MYTH: Dogs shouldn't eat human food
This belief is true to a degree, but it is not an absolute, ironclad rule. Examples of human foods that are dangerous or deadly for pets to consume include chocolate, grapes, raisins, caffeine, and alcohol. These should be avoided 100% of the time. On the other hand, some common staples of the human diet can also supplement a canine's meals. Fresh fruit and vegetables are vibrant and nutritious - particularly apples, bananas, carrots, and spinach.
MYTH: Digestive issues arise if a dog's diet changes often
This may be the case in the short term, but only because dogs' stomachs become so accustomed to the same dog food every day, that anything new is a shock to their system. Incorporating a more diverse and well-balanced diet into your dog's life will make it healthier as well as more resistant to an upset stomach. People would get bored if they literally ate the same thing every day for years. There is no reason not to make your dog's diet more interesting so long as it is sensible, affordable and nutritious. You can incorporate cooked meat like chicken, lamb and pork into their dog food, as well as fruits or veggies to strengthen their stomach and provide them with rich nutrients.
MYTH: If you do choose to feed your dog human food, they will start to beg a lot more
This behavior does not depend on what you feed them but rather how you handle them when you and your family are eating. Do your best to deter begging by having them in another room when you dine or to train them from an early age that begging is not okay. Make sure to always feed your dog out of its bowl and not from the dinner table - that will help establish boundaries.
MYTH: Foods other than dog food will negatively affect their weight
This assumption is a misconception because one's dog could just as easily become overweight on a diet of purely dog food. Moderation and balance is crucial on a daily basis. Pet owners have the responsibility to provide a mix of foods that are healthy and enjoyable. A fusion of dog food and human food - cooked meat, fruits, and vegetables can accomplish this goal. Regular exercise is equally important to maintain a reasonable weight for one's pooch.
MYTH: Dogs need variety in the food they eat
Your dog thrives on routine. Changing diet frequently and rapidly will do him more harm than good.
MYTH: Giving your dog leftovers will reduce waste
While your trash can or bin won't fill as quickly, you could be feeding your dog harmful bones, high-fat content foods and even ingredients that are toxic to your dog. Cooked bones are especially known for splitting and splintering, and just imagine what those splinters could do to your dog's internal organs. Other issues involve gastrointestinal problems and pancreatic concerns. Do your dog a favor and stick to dog food and treats. If you want to reduce waste, try composting instead.
MYTH: Dogs need a lot of different foods to eat
While we humans get bored if we have to eat the same food over and over, dogs are not the same way. In fact, your dog loves his routine. If you change the food that you give him frequently, he is more likely to become picky and will demand food changes more often. It could also cause gastrointestinal distress, which is never fun for a dog. It's also not true that you need to add supplements to their food. While something like a glucosamine supplement would be good for an older dog who is developing joint issues, a dog who is eating high quality food should not need any supplements.
MYTH: Bully Sticks
Bully sticks pack a big caloric punch! In most cases such quantity has a wide negative influence for your dog. In public, there's a misconception which actually equil bully sticks to a daily treats for your pet. That's dangerous and not adviced to fill your doggy on a permanent maner with bully sticks. Look for something more healthy and less caloric.
MYTH: Raw Dog Food Misconceptions
Your dog is not a wolf! A trip down the pet food aisle in any brick and mortar store and even searching ecommerce sites, can be overwhelming for any pet parent. Lately, the trend has been for pet food companies to place a picture of a wolf on the front panel of the bag and talk about the importance of ancestral diets, biologically appropriate diets, meat-rich diets, high protein / low carbohydrate, bringing out the wild side of your animal, etc. Many of these concepts play on the belief that a dog is not different from a wolf and should be fed like one. Most searches on the internet have good stories to support their rationale, however, it is likely that the majority of pet parents have never questioned if there is any peer-reviewed science or any science at all that supports this belief.
This brings us to the question many pet parents ask: Is my dog a wolf and should it be fed like one? In short, the answer is no. Although dogs are descendants of wolves, their domestication by humans led them to evolve from a mainly carnivorous diet to foods rich in starch. In 2013, Axelsson et al. conducted whole genome sequencing of both dogs and wolves to identify genetic variants occurring through the domestication of dogs. Of the variants identified in the study, the researchers found differences in genes tied to brain function - domestication for certain roles/functions and starch digestion - increased ability to digest starch vs. a wolf. Still not a believer? In 1999, Murray et al. conducted digestibility studies looking at starches / flours in dogs. In their study, they investigated the starch digestibility of corn, barley, potato, rice, sorghum and wheat. The digestibility for all sources were greater than 99%. In 2015, Bazolli et al. found similar results looking at rice, corn and sorghum in dogs. In all studies, starch digestibility was greater than 98%.
MYTH: Leftovers are fine for dogs to eat
Dogs may not turn down many foods, but they also don't know what's being fed to them. As Petful maintains, while you may have the best intentions in keeping your dog happy and your trash can clean, many human foods contain too much fat for the canine digestive system, and sometimes even dangerous brittle bones. If you do give your dog leftovers, Only Natural Pet reports, healthy meat, or steamed and finely chopped vegetables and fruit are great choices. And It's important to give the animal less of their own food, to balance out the calories.
SPAYING & NEUTRERING
This article is proudly presented by
Karen "Doc" Halligan
A lot of pet owners refuse to neuter their male dogs. These pet owners tend to transfer their emotions about the procedure onto their dogs. They believe that it is a cruel and unusual punishment for their pet. However, many put off neutering, especially their dogs, because they have heard one or more of the many myths about neutering. Despite all these rumors and myths, neutering is a responsible procedure that won't harm the health of your pet. The following are some of the corrected misconceptions that stop many from having their dogs neutered. The neutering operation of female animals - also known as "spaying", involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries. This is a major operation, involving the opening of the abdominal cavity and some manipulation of the internal organs. However, animals seem to cope more easily with this sort of surgery than humans, and most bitches are up and about, wagging their tails, by the following day. After the operation, a bitch will not be able to have pups. Neither will she come into season again. The operation is permanent, and cannot be undone. For most pet bitches, neutering is strongly recommended. Most owners do not want the inconvenience of a bitch in season. They do not want the nuisance of male dogs congregating around their front door, nor the worry of the bitch trying to escape the confines of the house. They do not want to be faced with the prospect of trying to find homes for a dozen puppies whose father is well known as the local canine Casanova.
There also medical reasons for neutering bitches. Two serious illnesses can be prevented by neutering. Firstly, pyometra or infection of the uterus) is a common condition affecting older bitches. It can only be cured by major surgery, and in some cases it can be fatal. If the womb is removed when the bitch is young, pyometra cannot occur. Secondly, there is a link between female hormones and mammary cancer. If a bitch is neutered before her first season, the incidence of mammary cancer is reduced by 99%. There is a link between the number of seasons, and the likelihood of mammary cancer. The earlier a bitch is neutered, the less likely she is to develop the condition. In the past, it has been recommended that bitches should be allowed to have one season before the operation, but even this is questioned now. Many vets now routinely neuter bitches as soon as they reach 6 months of age. If any reader has worries about neutering, the best person to talk to is your local vet. Don't believe friends with their myths and yarns!
MYTH: Spaying & Neutering will change my dog's personality
A dog's personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by its sex hormones, and the only changes you will see will be positive ones. Pets become less aggressive, anxious, and distracted, thereby focusing their attention on their owners rather than on trying to find mates. They are less likely to wander, fight, howl, spray, and mount. They will be more loving, protective companions because they are not worrying about breeding, fighting, or escaping, so they are much happier. Neutering Your dog will not cause depression for the Lack Of Sex. Even if you think so, believe it or not, our pets are not humans, and they don't have the same mental drive about sex that humans do. Animals are not hung up on the idea of intimacy or the romance, like our society desires so much. Even though many pet owners humanize their dog or cat, and treat them as if they were human. The lack of having sex will not be harmful and will not affect or depress, your pet.
Many places that take care of dogs usually want your dog to be neutered/spaded. People who spew misconceptions about dogs tend to say their personality will change. This is wrong most if not all the time. I have seen tons of dogs not neutered/spaded and after they are almost exactly the same. They may be a bit more calm but they are playful the same way they were before being neutered.
MYTH: My pet will get fat and lazy if I spay or neuter it
Just as in humans, overeating, especially the wrong things, and decreased physical activity are the main causes for becoming over weight. If you don't overfeed your pet and don't neglect to take your pet for walks or some other activity, your pet ain't gonna get fat, just because of neutering. This is a misconception that is popular, because it does happen sometimes. But, it is not because of the surgical procedure, but is due to the habits of the owner over feeding their pet. All someone needs to do, is to feed their pet the right amount of food, and provide some exercise on a daily basis. Medical evidence shows this to be false. Many spayed or neutered dogs hunt, compete in agility, become service dogs, and are trained in search and rescue. Too many calories and not enough exercise cause pets to become fat and lazy, regardless of whether they are altered. The good news is that most spayed or neutered pets need fewer calories to sustain their body weight, and since they won't need to eat as much, you will save some money on pet food. They will still need plenty of exercises to keep their weight normal, however. Weight gain following a spay or neuter surgery is the result of the owner continuing to feed a high-energy diet to a pet that is maturing and has reduced energy needs as it reaches adult size. When pets reach physical maturity, they become somewhat less physically active and thus require fewer calories for energy. Since physical maturity often follows shortly after spaying or neutering, the surgery is often mistakenly blamed for weight gain.
MYTH: Neutered or spayed dogs are not good family guardians
Spaying or neutering does not affect a dog's natural instinct to protect its home and family or be a good watchdog. Most pets will be more reliable and responsible after neutering and are easier to train because of stabilized hormones. Training, not hormones, makes a dog a good guard dog. Neutered pets are better protection animals because if an intruder opens the door and there is a female in heat in the neighborhood, your pet will choose mating over protecting your house. If your dog barks at strangers now, the dog will still bark at strangers. The thought that a neutered dog will no longer make a good guard dog is unfounded. This is just us humans passing off our inherent feelings and misguided beliefs, which we are projecting onto our pets. Actually, neutering shows a responsible and loving owner.
MYTH: Spaying/neutering is too expensive
The cost of spaying or neutering your cat or dog depends on its sex, size, and age. The price varies from one vet to another, but there are numerous low-cost clinics and even some mobile spay and neuter facilities that perform the surgery for free . But whatever the actual price, spaying or neutering your pet is a one-time cost that's relatively small when you consider all of the benefits. It's really a bargain compared to the cost of huge veterinary bills from fights, unwanted pregnancies, or being hit by a car, not to mention all of the health benefits.
MYTH: Neutering/spaying is very painful and my pet might die during the surgery
Neutering and spaying are the most commonly performed surgeries in veterinary medicine, and with today's quality anesthesia and pain management medication, these surgical procedures are considered safe. In fact, most dogs return to normal within 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. Although there's always a risk during a surgical procedure, the risks of not spaying or neutering your pet are far greater.
MYTH: My male dog will feel emasculated or less like a male if I have him neutered
Dogs don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego, so neutered pets don't feel emasculated. They don't suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.
MYTH: My kids need to witness the miracle of birth
Most animals deliver in the middle of the night by themselves. Kids can experience the birthing process by watching a video instead of at the expense of the family pet. The real lesson to teach kids is the miracle of life, and by spaying your pet, you will prevent the birth of unwanted kittens and puppies, so you will actually be saving lives.
MYTH: My pet is special and her personality is so good that I want her to have puppies
Just because your dog or cat is special doesn't mean that her offspring will be anything like her, and you have the father's genes to consider as well. An entire litter of puppies or kittens might receive all of the mother and father's worst characteristics. There are absolutely no guarantees that you will get what you want out of a litter.
MYTH: I can find homes for all of my dog's puppies or kittens
Even if you do find homes for the offspring, that means fewer homes for the millions of animals in the shelters already waiting to be adopted. Also, in one year's time, each of your dog's offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population. The devastating pet overpopulation problem is created one litter at a time.
MYTH: It's better to allow your female pet to have at least one litter before she is spayed
Medical evidence indicates the opposite is true. Your dog will have much less chance of developing cancer of the reproductive organs and mammary tissue if you spay before her first heat cycle. Letting her have even one litter predisposes her to breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers.
MYTH: Preventing pets from having litters is unnatural
We have already interfered with nature by domesticating animals. Domesticated dogs mate more often and have larger litters than their wild ancestors, but cannot survive well on their own. Because of this, we euthanize millions dogs every year.
MYTH: I should allow my pet to breed because it is a purebred
Purebreds, either intentionally or accidentally bred, already account for at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country. There are too many animals and not enough homes for them as it is.
MYTH: Siblings will not mate with each other or their parents
Dogs will readily mate with their mother, father, sisters, brothers, aunts, or uncles.
MYTH: I wouldn't want to live without sex, so neither should my pet
Many owners are reluctant to spay or neuter their pets because as human beings they can't imagine life without sex, and thus imagine their pets feel the same way. The truth is that animals don't have any concept of sexual identity and the surgery does not in any way cause an emotional disturbance. Dogs are completely different species than humans and they reproduce to ensure the survival of their species - not to nurture a pup for 18 years, send it to college and hope it will marry, have a career, and produce grand pups. Males know nothing of fatherhood and most do not recognize their pups as their own.
MYTH: My dog must be six months old to be spayed or neutered
Altering pets at six months of age was established by tradition rather than for any specific medical reason. Years ago, safe pediatric anesthetics were not available, and waiting until this dog was older increased the safety of the surgery. With today's safe anesthetics, there's no reason to delay. In fact, medical evidence shows that early spaying and neutering have numerous health benefits.
MYTH: Neutering Is An Unnatural Act
But if you assume that, then you can logically suggest that having a pet isn't natural either. Dogs used to be wild pack animals, so humans keeping a dog and providing for all its care is just as unnatural. Look at it this way. Your pet relies on you to take care of it, which includes feeding it, petting it, grooming it and even taking it to the veterinarian, when necessary for its health. Did you know that neutering your dog can actually protect it from certain unhealthy situations? A female dog in heat will cause some male animals to pursue her which could possibly lead to the male pet getting lost or even worse hit by a car. Male dogs act differently and more aggressively around females, which lead to fights and injury. Neutering your pet will eliminates these dangerous situations. Neutering at an early age also significantly decreases the risk of prostatic cancer, enlarged prostate gland, perianal tumors and perineal hernia. All of which occur in later life.
MYTH: A female dog or cat should have a litter before being spayed so her mothering instincts will not become frustrated
Animals do not regard breeding or parenting in the same way as humans do. Neutering a dog or cat can be done as young as four months of age. In females, dog neutering helps prevent mammary tumors, while in male animals neutering prevents testicular cancer, spraying, or marking territory. Neutered animals are also less likely to roam and stray.
MYTH: A male dog that is not intact will not be happy
Animal reproduction has not been shown to be based on anything more than perpetuation of the species. The idea that a neutered male dog is not happy or masculine usually reflects the feelings of the owner, not the dog.
MYTH: If we neuter all dogs, eventually they will all be gone
It is highly unlikely that we would ever be able to neuter all dogs and cats. We also are not likely to run out of them any time soon. Random breeding of dogs and cats does not assure quality animals, good health, or good dispositions. Overpopulation results when there are more animals than there are responsible pet owners, and overpopulation is never good for the animals that are not lucky enough to have a good home.
MYTH: Dogs should have a litter before they are spayed
This is not true. Dogs that have a litter before they are spayed are not better for it in any way. In fact, spayed dogs are at lower risk for breast cancer and uterine infections.
MYTH: Dogs that are mostly indoors don't need heartworm prevention
This is not true. Indoor pets are also at risk for heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes, which can come inside.
MYTH: Spayed and Neutered pets become fat and lazy
This is untrue! Dogs gain weight from overfeeding and lack of exercise. If you provide exercise and monitor & control your pet's food intake, then excess weight gain can be avoided.
MYTH: Spaying or neutering your pet will change his/her behavior and personality
The overall behavioral traits and personality characteristics of your pet are established well before your pet reaches or achieves sexual maturity. The spay or neuter surgery should not alter these established traits. Your dog's caring and loving behavior will remain. Any slight changes in behavior are typically positive. Spaying or neutering will reduce your pet's desire to breed, creating a calming effect. Your pet will tend to stop roaming and fighting and will lose its desire to mark territorial boundaries with urine.
MYTH: A neutered male dog or cat will feel like less of a male
Your male dog or cat does not have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Performing the neuter surgery on your male pet will not change already established personality traits. Your pet will not experience any type of emotional or identity distress.
MYTH: There are no health benefits to the spay or neuter surgery
False!! Having the spay or neuter procedure performed on your pet will provide for him a multitude of health benefits that will help them live longer, healthier, and happier lives.
MYTH: The Spay and Neuter surgery is dangerous and painful for pets
Spays and neuters are the most common surgical procedures performed in veterinary hospitals. With today's advances in medicine, surgical technique, surgical equipment, and pain management, your pet will undergo surgery safely and comfortably. The benefits of having your dog spayed or neutered greatly outweigh the minimal risk of anesthesia.
MYTH: Good homes will be found for all potential puppies
It is possible that you may be able to find homes for your dog's litter. But you cannot guarantee that those kittens or puppies will not produce offspring of their own. Un-spayed and un-neutered pets and their offspring can produce thousands of progeny over the course of a few years - each animal produces a litter. The problem with pet overpopulation is then continued, one litter at a time.
MYTH: Neutering the Female Dogs Myths
Bitches do not feel frustrated if they grow old without producing fruit from their wombs. Reproduction in animals is at a much more basic level than in the human species. Bitches bring puppies into this world, rear them intensively for two months, and then send them off to look after themselves. The pups do not leave a strong lasting impression in the memory of the bitch. The bitch, however maternal she may have been during rearing, will go back to being the animal she was before the pups arrived.
MYTH: All neutered Bitches become Fat
This is also not true. It is a fact that neutered animals may have an appetite for food which is greater than their need, and an owner must take care to be strict with their diet. But if a standard daily ration of food is given, and if there is a house rule that Lassie is never fed tit-bits, she will not get fat.
MYTH: If a dog scoots his rear end on the grass or carpet, he probably has worms
This may be valid in some cases, but it's more likely that your pet has problems with his anal glands, which - there's no way to put this delicately, are little sacs in their rectums that can get impacted or infected. Your vet should be able to offer your dog some relief. And there you have it: the fascinating truth three common dog myths.
MYTH: SPAYING MY DOG IS INHUMANE – I WANT HIM / HER TO HAVE PUPPIES !!!
No, what's actually inhumane is subjecting a dog to the perils of breeding, and all the health risks that go with not altering your dog. In addition, bringing a litter of puppies you are unable to healthily cope with into the world is not fair. Millions of “purebred” dogs die in shelters every year. Not only does spaying and neutering drastically reduce the risk of violence and aggression in your German Shepherd dogs, but it also protects both you and your pets from the risks of more homeless puppies and dogs in this world. Furthermore, dogs that are neutered are more pleasant companions, happier dogs. Spaying or neutering your dog puts them at diminished risk for many related illnesses. Spay your dogs, and be a part of the solution, not the problem.
FLEA & TICKS IN
DOGS & PUPPIES MISCONCEPTIONS
This article is proudly presented by
Dr. Jean Hofve
Dr. Tiffany Margoli
erein lies the rub, or the scratch, as the case may be. If a dog or cat is scratching, it may not be fleas or any external parasite. Most animals that actually carry an infestation of fleas or one or two, are NOT that itchy. This is because the itchy ones are often demonstrating a flea ALLERGY, a reaction to the flea bite/saliva.
MYTH: Ear Mites vs. Yeast Infections
Lastly, people often mention they are concerned about their dog' "ear mites." In many well-homed, indoor dogs and cats, mites are a very low probability. Usually, the dark waxy material that has an odor, is a yeast infection, with its roots in food allergies. In fact, one of the cardinal signs or "flags" of a food allergy is excess ear wax/yeast, odor, and itching. Your veterinarian can easily distinguish yeast infection from mites. In addition, cat ear mites - the more common case - do not transmit to dogs. Unless you place your cat's ear wax into your ears, they won't be interested in your ears! In the case your cat really does have mites, there are simple topical products that result in a quick resolution. As summer progresses into the cooler months, remember that California fleas are like California people - they are here for the weather, all year long! In late fall winter, you can reduce flea control measures or increase application intervals to every other month, but stopping flea control completely is unlikely. Consider trying one of the natural remedies mentioned above if you'd like to experiment. It may be the perfect answer.
MYTH: Cats Can Cause Flea Problems for Your Dog
The other culprit that can be a "stealth" source for fleas on dogs is your CAT. Not only do cats tend to act as flea "buses" bringing the "outdoors in", but the fleas we find on dogs are frequently CAT flea species. Unfortunately, they find dogs just as tasty. Speaking of cats, what if you have indoor-only cats? Do you have to be concerned about fleas? Well, it depends, if you have hard surface floors and minimal material upholstery or area rugs, then it is highly unlikely your cat will have flea problems. If on the other hand, you move into a carpeted home WITH your cat, there may be eggs or larvae in the carpets waiting for a better deal. Enter: your cat. In this case, it is wise to use a topical or oral product for at least six months on the carpet. Consider using a safe product such as diatomaceous earth or boric acid powder. Sprinkle it into the carpet and vacuum it up, to desiccate remaining pests.
MYTH: Fleas and ticks are only a problem during warm weather
If weather alone were enough to keep insects from thriving, we wouldn't have fleas and ticks at all! In inclimate weather, these pests find places to hide - and survive - until it's nice out again.
MYTH: Fleas and ticks are only problems for pets
There are actually plenty of diseases your family can catch from fleas or ticks in your environment, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
MYTH: A healthy pet won't get fleas
While not a guarantee, it is true that a healthy animal is a much less attractive host for fleas. That's one of many good reasons to feed a high quality diet of natural food. However, even a healthy pet can get fleas in heavily infested regions, so keep a watchful eye out and use a natural flea repellent on all at-risk pets.
MYTH: Fleas live on pets, not in the houses
Fleas usually enter the house on pets, as stated above, but they can quickly find refuge in the house. Carpets, bedding, pet beds, and upholstered furniture make cozy homes for fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae. If you find fleas in the house, you must take quick action to eliminate them there - as well as on your pet, and even in your yard.
MYTH: Keeping the house clean will prevent fleas
Unfortunately, fleas can infest even the most spotless home. Fleas usually enter the house on your pets, but they can also hitch a ride on clothing, and have even been seen to jump right into the house on their own. Hard-surfaced floors are no protection, either - fleas can live in the cracks and around the edges of wood, laminate, or tile floors. They can also take refuge in furniture, bedding, and area rugs. If you live in an area with fleas, it is important to protect your pets at all times. It's also important to get rid of fleas in your yard. Creating a flea-free buffer all around the house a great way to prevent infestation.
MYTH: If I only see a couple of fleas on my pet, then it's not a big problem
More than 90% of a flea population is in the egg, larval, or pupal cocoon stage, all of which take place off the pet, usually in carpet, bedding, or furniture, or shady areas in the yard where your pet or other critters hang out. If you see a few fleas, it's certain that there are hundreds of eggs and immature stages in the environment. The process of producing an adult flea can take weeks or even months. There's no quick fix, but vigilance and persistence can get rid of even stubborn infestations. If you see a few fleas, it's certain that there are hundreds of eggs and immature stages in the environment.
MYTH: Once the fleas are gone from my pet, the problem is solved
Fleas do not surrender easily. If you have seen fleas on your pet or in house, you need to treat the house with a safe product, and stay vigilant for months. Fully solving the flea problem requires a 3-pronged approach of treating the pet, the house, and the yard. Use an outdoor treatment in shady areas under decks, bushes and trees, where fleas like to hang out. The best approach is prevention, so always protect your pets with a natural flea repellent, especially if they spend time outdoors, or at a dog park or doggie day care.
MYTH: I don't have to worry about fleas during winter
Although you may not see them in the winter in cold climates, fleas can live quite comfortably in your house, as well as on wildlife. If your pet or your house had fleas during the warm months, you're likely to have fleas during the winter months as well. If your pet goes outdoors and may have contact with squirrels, birds, or other wildlife, they can still get fleas. And, of course, fleas live happily in warm climates all year long, so flea control is a year-round battle.
MYTH: My veterinarian can most effectively treat fleas
It is fine to consult your veterinarian about flea control, but be wary of the chemical flea control products she may recommend. In addition, veterinarians may not know the best ways to get rid of fleas in the environment. We recommend trying to find a holistic veterinarian who can guide you on natural flea control products. One resource for finding a holistic veterinarian is the directory of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. We recommend trying to find a holistic veterinarian who can guide you on natural flea control products.
MYTH: Chemical spot-on flea products are an easy and safe way to prevent fleas
They are easy, yes, but they are not necessarily safe. The US Environmental Protection Agency recently (2010) completed an in-depth investigation due to the hundreds of reports of illness and death in pets. Serious adverse effects were reported for every product EPA assessed. EPA is in the process of increasing restrictions on their use. You can read more on the EPA website.
MYTH: Chemical flea collars are an easy and safe way to prevent fleas
Flea collars are the least effective control method. Fleas spend most of their time off the animal. Their effects tend not to last very long. Conventional flea collars which use chemicals may contain potentially harmful residues that are transferred to dogs' fur and can be transferred to humans who handle them. The Natural Resource Defense Council is involved in a lawsuit in California to block the sale of these products, some of which contain cancer-causing agents and poisons that linger on fur for weeks. Children are most at risk for neurological damage. A great alternative is natural flea tags, which are effective for most pets and can work for up to two years.
MYTH: Natural flea control products don't work
Although many natural flea control products don't have to go through EPA-mandated tests because they aren't classified as pesticides, this doesn't mean that they don't work. People all over the country use the natural approach to flea control effectively, and although it is not always as easy as using chemicals, you can rest assured that the products are safe for your pet and your family.
DOG BATH & WASH
This article is proudly presented by
David A. Grass
As summer is here, it's a great moment to refresh things up. And here, of course, we are not only thinking about the usual summer cleaning session. Our furry friends also deserve a lot more attention, taking into account that we usually spend more time outdoors. So, what should you do to help your pet cope with higher temperatures easier? Taking into account the large number of myths closely linked to this topic, it's easier to see why some of us may get mislead. Thus, let's demystify some of the most popular myths regarding the perfect dog wash solution for this summer.
Misconceptions About Flea Shampoo
One popular misconception is the use of FLEA SHAMPOOS. Flea shampoos do not have any lasting impact on killing fleas, and are bad for this reason: They use toxins to kill the fleas on the pet but they don't typically last more than 24 hours, so you have to use more toxins & increases total toxic load. Please don't use "flea shampoo" unless your pet has an overwhelming infestation of fleas / ticks and MUST have that "kill" effect due to health risks. There are also now oral products on the market that work much more safely for a quick kill effect on a heavily infested pet. They are intended for only a 24-hour effect and must be followed with a longer acting flea / flea combination preventative.
MYTH: Dogs hate baths
The majority of dogs would not make bathing their first choice of possible activities, but are nevertheless cooperative and put up with it very well. Although it may not be something they love, it is not a huge deal. Most actually enjoy at least parts of the experience, whether it be the quality attention they get throughout, being brushed, being rubbed down with towels, or being blow dried - yes, many dogs do like that. A significant number quite enjoy the whole process, and seem to be eager to get started.
MYTH: Dogs hate grooming
There are dogs who actually love grooming time. Why? They either like spending time with their owner, they enjoy the attention they get, they like being brushed or they love the massage that comes with the bath. Any way you take it, there is at least something they enjoy, try to find what your dog loves and use it in your own favor. Thus he will enjoy the bathing time more and more.
MYTH: Bathing your dog regularly damages his skin and coat
This is just one of those myths that never seem to disappear no matter how much accurate information there is. Bathing your dog regularly can moisturize his skin, prevent certain skin conditions and bring a series of health benefits, but ONLY IF you use the right organic dog grooming products! Top-quality products are specially created to meet their needs, as they are enriched with minerals and vitamins to help them stay healthy.
MYTH: There's no need for a dog shampoo
We cannot stress how wrong this really is! Human products do no good for your pets. This is why pet products have been created - to meet their special needs and requirements. A fact is certain that our skin is different compared to our dogs, and by washing your dog with a human shampoo you are basically damaging their natural barrier against infections.
MYTH: All dog shampoos do the same thing
There's no need to state that every dog shampoo is different. It depends on the substances used, the vitamins and what they are designed for - see the anti-itch shampoos, the deep cleansing shampoos and so on. Each one has a different purpose. How should you choose your dog shampoo? Focus on organic and all-natural dog wash products. Read the labels and try some non-toxic and no-preservatives products. Choose some that bring benefits to your dogs' health.
MYTH: A good dog wash = 30-minute bath
Brush, bathe and dry! There's no exact science when grooming your pet. This should be relaxing and entertaining! Focus on making your pet happy while cleaning and revitalizing his coat and skin. It's that easy!
MYTH: Dogs don't need bathing
If you own or host dogs you will know that unlike cats or other animals, they don't really lick themselves clean. Issues related to that are that dead skin and fur doesn't fall off and stays stuck to the dog, which can in the long term cause skin irritations and encourage parasites. Not only that, but the sebum - skin oil can become too abundant. Dogs need regular bath with shampoo to get rid of their dead skin and fur, as well as other unwanted things such as pollution which is very present in our cities.
MYTH: Frequent baths make dogs smell nice. But can they also cause doggy dandruff
They sure can. So let's not cause a dry-skin blizzard. Keep the washings to a minimum and make sure you only use soap that's made specifically for canines. Human shampoo can irritate a dog's skin. If you take these steps and still notice flakes when your dog shakes, talk to your veterinarian to make sure you are providing proper nutrition for a healthy coat.
MYTH: Frequent baths make dogs smell nice and it's good for dog's skin
While baths can make your pet smell nice, you may be stripping the natural oils out of your dog's coat. These natural oils keep the dog's skin and coat healthy and stripping the oils out could cause an increase in dander, white flakes on the coat, and itchiness. Human shampoos can irritate dog's skin because they are not designed for dog skin and coats. Use only shampoos that are for dogs because dogs require a higher pH balanced soap than humans.
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1. Proper grooming starts with understanding what a dog was bred to do
Grooming isn't just aesthetic - every part of a dog's haircut has a purpose, including the head floof. For example, poodles were bred to be sporting and hunting dogs. You know those pom-poms on their hips? Those are designed to keep their joints warm in cold water.
2. Dog baths are even nicer than the ones you give yourself
We usually spend an hour bathing our dogs. We start off by cleaning their ears and giving them a blueberry facial, which is a concentrated face wash. I will do a clay mask on dogs who have skin issues. Then I choose the shampoo and conditioner to match the dog's coat type, and I give all our dogs an argan oil face mask. Then comes the blow-dry, fluff, and style. I also love to finish with a dry argan oil to keep the follicles hydrated and detangled.
Some groomers go to dog-grooming school, but you will learn a lot more on the job
You don't need a certification to work as a groomer, but there are schools that will teach you the basics and certification programs like International Professional Groomers or National Dog Groomers Association of America. I once met a girl who took an online grooming class, and I thought that was bonkers. I spent a year working as a bather - the person who washes the dogs and prepares them for their haircut, and it allowed me to work my way up to actually grooming within a few years. Figuring out how to hold scissors was really hard at first, but you pick it up over time if you practice.
Grooming equipment can get really expensive
Any hairstylist can tell you that the better your tools, the better the result and dog grooming is no different. I spend about $400 per shear, and I have 10 pairs. The clippers are about $200 and the clipper blades are $30 each. Those need to be replaced every year or so, depending on the use.
It's harder than human hairstyling and doesn't pay as well
The average dog haircut cost about $65, which isn't much considering how much goes into grooming. Groomers make less than hairstylists, and dog haircuts take twice as long. Hairstylists also don't have to deal with trimming their clients' butts and feet.
Dogs feel calm when you feel calm
It's true that dogs pick up on your energy. I try to keep my studio very zen: I have a diffuser that spritzes calming essential oils, like chamomile and sandalwood. There are no ringing phones, no barking dogs. I try to meditate twice a day to keep my own energy in check. If I can tell a dog is especially nervous, I will bring my own dog into the room to hang out and doze off. When they see a mellow, sleeping dog, they feel a little safer. For dogs that are especially skittish, I try to gain their trust by showing them that I understand them. For example, I will give them a little head's up and slide my hand down their arm to pick up their paw to clip their nails, instead of just grabbing their paw. Sometimes it takes pups a few visits to relax, but over time, I hopefully gain their trust completely.
Just like a hairstylist needs to understand hair texture, groomers need to understand the differences in dogs' coats
There are many different types of coats - long, like a Yorkie; short, like a pit bull, and everything in between. For mutts, you can determine their coat type by looking at it and feeling it. They regulate the dog's temperature and protect the dog's skin from the outside world, so it's very important to properly care for them. Each coat type requires different amounts of oils, and you will use different tools to groom them too.
Sometimes, the dogs get a little out of control
There are always going to be dogs that are badly behaved or poorly trained. When that happens, I just take deep breaths and try to get through it, and then I ask the owner to take the dog on an extremely long hike before their next appointment with me. I also ask owners not to "baby talk" their dogs, which will rile them up. If a dog is really crazy or panicked, I've suggested clients use a mobile groomer instead who can come to their house and groom the dog there. It's not good for me or the dog to be in a situation where the dog is fighting my every move.
It's not uncommon to accidentally clip a dog.
People accidentally cut dogs all the time, whether with the scissors or the nail trimmers. Fortunately, that hasn't happened to me in years, but it did when I first started. Sometimes groomers accidentally get water in the dog's ears, which can create an ear infection. It's so important to take your time, especially when you're starting out. It's a good idea for groomers to take CPR and first aid classes to know how to react in an emergency, and if a dog is accidentally nicked, I call the owner and ask if they want me to take the dog in to the vet. Fortunately, that's only happened a few times in the 17 years I hve been working with dogs.
People will ask you to do ridiculous things, but you don't have to say yes
Sometimes people want me to dye their dogs' hair. If they have a black dog, I definitely won't do that, because it would require bleaching the dog first. I did do a beautiful "sunset" dye on a white Pomeranian, where we did a yellow head, faded to orange in the middle, and then hot pink on the rear and red on the tip of the tail. That was an unusual request, but it was my most beautiful dye job ever.
Working with cute dogs all day is even more fun than you expect
i started an Instagram for my grooming business to show off my dogs, because they are seriously so cute and fun. It's so cool to get to spend my whole day with pups. And it's only gotten better since I started working for myself: I have my own space, there's no one rushing me, and the room feels so cozy. It's so rewarding to pamper the dogs and make my human clients happy: They drop off their stinky dog and at the end of the day, they get back a gorgeous, clean fluffball.
You don't have to be perfect
For a while, I felt like I had to groom every dog perfectly. If there was even a single hair out of place, I would need to fix it. I grew out of that, thanks to the time I was working at this shop and one of our groomers left, and all of a sudden, I had to take on double the amount of clients. At one point, I was doing 22 dogs in a day - it was crazy. I realized that I could not hand-scissor the perfect cylinder legs on every dog. So I learned to be groom my dogs more efficiently. They still looked amazing, but I had to get over the fact that they weren't "perfect." But the truth is, clients don't care or can't tell if their dogs are "perfect." They just want their dog clean, healthy, happy, and cute and I can do that every single time.
DOG GROOMING MISCONCEPTIONS
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David A. Grass
Some owners don't wash their canine friends during rainy days or even worse, during the entire winter time because they fear they might get cold.
Wrong! Just think about the heating system that's active during these days in your home. It dries out the skin of your pet making it itchy. There's no reason why you shouldn't wash your dog on colder days. The only thing to be careful with is to make sure his coat is dried before going out. For extra protection, you can always buy him a sweater, if needed! Remember: with the right products you actually help his skin stay hydrated and help him get rid of dry and itchy skin conditions.
MYTH: Frequent bathing is bad for a dog's skin and fur.
This persistent myth has been around a long time. It may be true when using poor quality or human shampoos. But regular bathing with quality, appropriate shampoo, is good for dogs. This becomes readily apparent to anyone who is around a dog that is washed on a regular basis.
MYTH: Longhaired dogs shed more than shorthaired dogs
The truth is often actually the opposite. Some longhaired breeds do not shed a whole lot. Or, they may only significantly shed briefly in the spring and fall. However, many breeds with short and medium coats tend to shed heavily all year long, or at least much of it. These include, to name a few: the Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, and Corgi.
MYTH: Shaving a dog will reduce or prevent shedding
This myth seems devoid of logic. Nevertheless, it is common. A shaved dog will not shed less than an unshaved dog. The hair that comes out will simply be shorter.
MYTH: Shaving a dog will keep it cooler in hot weather
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, there will probably be little if any real effect. The density of fur is more important than length when it comes to being cooler in summer or warmer in winter. And nature takes care of that. Dogs that shed profusely in the spring, typically do not lose overall length. Rather, the density of the coat is reduced. Removing loose hair with regular brushing will have greater impact on hot weather comfort than shaving will. Dogs are actually protected from the hot sun by their fur, so too much shaving can result in more heat reaching their bodies, and in rare cases, even sunburn.
MYTH: Shampoo needs to produce lots of lather to be effective
Lather is not a good indicator of shampoo quality.
MYTH: There is no reason to use dog shampoo because human shampoos are just as good
Human shampoos are good for humans, but not for dogs.
MYTH: The front portion of a dog's body is lighter than the rear
The opposite is true. This unbelieveably common misconception comes into play when lifting dogs. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of a dog's mass and thus weight is in the front half of its body. This is due to the large chest that virtually all dogs have in relation to the rest of their bodies, along with the forward leaning neck and head.
MYTH: Dogs feel more safe and comfortable in new or stressful situations when they are coddled and constantly reassured
Overreactions by caretakers to normal activities such as bathing, nail trimming, or vet visits tend to make dogs feel LESS safe and more apprehensive.
MYTH: Dryers must produce a great deal of heat to dry dogs, and high-heat blow dryers designed for people will dry dogs faster than forced-air dryers made for dogs
DOG MICROCHIP MISCONCEPTIONS
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We already know that properly identifying your pet is a bare necessity when it comes to being a responsible owner, but a lot of people fall short when it comes to their due diligence. Don't get us wrong, tags are a terrific way to identify your pet should they ever get lost - they are immediately visible and can yield quick results - but, tags and collars can fall off - their real ticket home is a microchip. A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and painlessly inserted beneath the skin between your dog or cat's shoulders, the chip can be scanned and registered with the all information needed to reunite you with your buddy. But there are a few common micro misconceptions floating around that we'd like to debunk to ensure your pet has the best chance of coming home.
MYTH: A microchip is a GPS device
While it would be awesome if a chip could tell you where your pet is, that's not how it works. It's an electronic chip with a radio-frequency identification number that's linked to your information when scanned; it requires no charging - wouldn't THAT be weird. and will last the lifetime of your pet.
MYTH: Having my dog chipped requires surgery
Completely untrue - it's an outpatient procedure that most pets react to much like a vaccine. It's important to avoid any rigorous activity for 24 hours after insertion, as the chip has an anti-migration coating that needs a chance to adhere to the skin.
MYTH: My dog's chipped, so we are all set
Whether you are the one who gets your pet chipped or they already had one when you adopted them, your pet isn't automatically protected. You have to register your information to chip. You can do this through the company that manufactured the chip or the international database. Without this step, the microchip is useless.
MYTH: My dog has an ID tag, so I don't need a microchip
All pets should wear collar tags imprinted with their name and your phone number, whether or not they also have a microchip. Many cats don't wear collars or identification tags, or they become separated from their collar once lost. Only a microchip can provide permanent identification that cannot fall off, be removed, or become difficult to read. We like to think it won't happen to us, but in the United States, about 1 in 3 pets gets lost at some point in its life. Fewer than 2% of lost cats without microchips are returned home, according to one microchipping company, and if a cat is microchipped, the return to owner rate is 20 times higher than if the cat isn't microchipped.
MYTH: The shelter microchipped my dog, so we are protected
Many people adopt pets that have already been microchipped by a rescue or shelter. New owners mistakenly believe that the microchip is linked to their name and information upon adoption, but in fact the chip is still linked to that organization's information. Any time you adopt a pet that is microchipped, find out where it is registered and update the registration to link your new pet to your information. You may have to pay a small fee to update the information or learn that there is an annual fee you are now responsible to pay.
MYTH: If a dog is microchipped, any scanner can read it
Competing microchip companies use different radio frequencies to send ID numbers to scanners, and until recently there was no universal scanner that could read all frequencies. This was quite problematic if your pet was microchipped at a frequency the vet or shelter's scanner could not read, it would appear to them that there was no microchip at all. Fortunately, it is increasingly true that if your pet is microchipped, vet offices, shelters, and rescues will have a scanner that can detect your dog's microchip. In fact, many microchip companies now make universal scanners and distribute them to shelters at little or no cost.
MYTH: Once your dog's microchip is implanted, your work is done
The biggest misconception about microchips is that once implanted, your pet is protected, but there's one more key step. Too often, lost animals are taken to shelters, scanned for microchips, and the ID number leads nowhere because the microchip was never registered. Register the microchip to connect its ID number to your information. Complete the registration through your particular microchip company or through any of the universal databases that allow registration of any brand's microchip. Some services charge a fee upon registration, annually, or each time you update information. No matter where you choose to register your dog's microchip, make sure you do it and keep the information up to date. Ask your veterinarian to scan your dog's microchip at least once per year to make sure the microchip can be detected.
VETERINARY & MEDICINE
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If you have a pet and take it for its recommended biannual checks ups, you might think that you know a little bit about vets. However, you likely don't know enough. Whether it's surgical services for pets or a simple pet grooming, vets would like to clear a few things. Pet health care is extremely important, and while these are the misconceptions about vets, it is important to understand that whether a vet is preforming surgical services for pets or giving them a simple once over at a check up, they should always be trusted.
Their advice and their suggestions are based on many years of study, research, and experience. The Internet is a fantastic source of knowledge, but if something you read on the Internet contradicts what your vet is telling you, if you must clarify, get a second opinion from another vet. Do not just decide that that the blogger on the Internet knows more than your trained veterinarian. Find an honest, kind vet that you trust and you won't go wrong. Trust your pet, too. They will tell you when they like the vet.
MYTH: I think my dog has a cold, can I catch it?
No. Common cold and flu viruses can't be passed from dogs to humans, and your dog can't catch your cold either. It's very uncommon to catch illnesses from pets, but some diseases are contagious so be careful if your dog is carrying any of the common bugs that cause food poisoning - salmonella, campylobacter, giardia and others. You can easily avoid these by washing your hands after handling dogs and after picking up poo. Certain groups of people are more at risk, including those suffering from diseases that reduce immunity - such as AIDS, or those who are either on chemotherapy or drugs following transplantation surgery. If in doubt, be careful to wash your hands or wear gloves when handling animals.
MYTH: I think my dog has a headache, can I give him paracetamol
Human drugs are approved for use in humans, not dogs. Many human painkillers are poisonous to pets, and paracetamol can cause your dog stomach ulcers, kidney and liver failure, and can be fatal. Never give your dog any drug unless told to do so by your vet. It's difficult to know if dogs can get headaches because we can't ask them, but it's likely they can. If your pet is ill, or is showing strange behaviours like sensitivity to light or sound, book a vet appointment as soon as you can.
MYTH: Vets are "rich"
This is the biggest myth out there. If you have to visit a veterinary practice, don't go in thinking that the vet is getting paid a lot of money to see to your pet. The truth is, the salary for a vet is comparable to a employee in marketing or human resources. However, vets have to work extra long hours and are usually on call as well.
MYTH: Any one could be a vet
As long they don't have a problem with putting an animal to sleep, anyone could do it, right? Wrong. Vets have to go through at least five years of veterinary medicine study with top grades and severe personal motivation and drive in order to become a vet. They also have to pass a series of board exams to become certified. Surgical services for pets are very complicated to understand and that much more to preform. Your vet probably started with a lot of people in the same class, and ended up being one of the few who graduated.
MYTH: Pets belonging to vets are very obedient
A vet's pet still has a mind of its own, just like yours does. A vet might know of some good techniques and methods, but each pet will react differently, even if their owner is a vet.
MYTH: Vets love to talk about animals all the time
As much as vets probably do love animals, they are still work. You don't like to talk about your work all the time do you? Well, neither do vets. If you find yourself in a social setting with a vet, try to think of different ice breakers other than informing them that you know that there are about 46,300,000 households that have dogs as pets and 38,900,000 that have cats. Even worse, resist the temptation to ask for medical advice regarding your pet, even if it is just a way of making conversation.
MYTH: Nothing disgusts vets anymore
Sure, they have seen a lot but that doesn't mean that there aren't things that gross them out. Pet feces are never a fun item to dig through, and it takes a lot to get used to that.
MYTH: Vets become emotionally numb
Vets usually become vets because they love animals. Seeing one in pain, or having to put one down does not get easier. Preforming surgical services for pets that possibly may not make it is a very difficult thing to do. They will learn how to deal with it, but it does not mean they have become numb to the terrible feeling.
MYTH: Vets know it all in regards to animals
While a vet knows an awful lot, and definitely a lot more than the general population of pet owners, don't expect a vet to know the specifics of every single created species. If you bring in a springbok with an antler condition, it may take a little research to know exactly what's going on.
MYTH: Dogs require annual revaccinations
It is now known that certain vaccines, such as distemper and rabies, don't need to be given yearly after initial doses and boosters.
WORMS IN DOGS
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Nobody likes the thought that their pet may be carrying worms: the thought of living, wriggling, repulsive, slimy parasites inside our pets fills us with horror. Added to this, there's the fear that dog worms can cause illness in pets, and indeed in ourselves. Read on to learn about the symptoms of worms in dogs, and to learn what you need to do to minimise their impact on your dog and on your family.
MYTH: Dogs don't always show any signs of dog worms
The symptoms of worms in dogs are not always what people expect, and indeed, often there are no discernible signs of worms at all. Dogs can carry an internal worm burden in their intestines or in their lungs – without showing any immediate signs of illness. Despite this apparent good health, internally the worms can be causing serious issues - Lungworms can stop the blood from clotting and can cause the dog to shed dangerous worm eggs - Toxocara canis. This lack of obvious signs of worms in dogs is the main reason why vets recommend routine de-worming, even when animals appear to be in full health.
MYTH: Sledging or scooting does not always mean that a dog has worms
There's a widespread misconception that when a dog rubs its bottom along the ground - sledging or scooting, worms are always the cause. This is not at all true: there are dozens of other possible causes, most of which are more common than worms in dogs. Examples include impacted or infected anal sacs, dietary and environmental allergies and many other causes of itchy skin. If your dog spends a lot of time sledging or scooting, you should get your vet to take a look: a simple physical examination is often enough to establish the cause. Treatment for worms may still be recommended, but worms are rarely the main cause of this problem.
MYTH: Symptoms of worms in dogs can be dramatic
A wide range of signs of worms in dogs can be seen, including ravenous appetite, weight loss, gastro-intestinal upsets, such as vomiting or diarrhoea, pot-bellied appearance, and a dry or scurfy coat. While worms are usually only associated minor signs of ill health in dogs, but there are rare examples where life threatening illnesses can be caused by worms. The two most common examples are roundworms in puppies - the immature immune system allows the worms to proliferate in the intestines to such as extent that they can cause an overwhelming infestation and some cases of lungworm. Lungworms can cause coughing or difficulty breathing, but sometimes they can also prevent the blood from clotting. This can lead to unexpected haemorrhage, and there have been cases where dogs have died suddenly from brain haemorrhage, with no prior warning: it's only on autopsy that worms are found in the lungs, pinpointing them as the hidden cause of haemorrhage. Monthly worming using a specific anti-lungworm product can be the only way to prevent this type of scenario.
MYTH: Dog worms can be dangerous to humans
The common dog worm, Toxocara canis, can be passed on to humans. While a healthy adult human's immune system can deal effectively with the challenge, if children ingest infective worm eggs, the worm larvae can migrate through the child's tissues. If a larvae ends up in the brain or eye of a child, there can be very serious consequences including seizures or blindness. This zoonotic potential is the reason why routine worming of family dogs is so important.
MYTH: The environment needs to be protected against worms as well as the dog
As well as treating dogs for worms, it makes sense to take steps to minimise any risk of children ingesting dog worm eggs from the environment. This is why it's so important to remove faeces from any environment that is frequented by children - poop scooping in gardens and public places and why hygiene measures are essential - hand washing before meals in order to reduce the risk of worm infection. Worm eggs can survive for many years in the environment which is why it's so important to prevent them from getting there in the first place by worming dogs regularly and picking up poops.
MYTH: Fresh dog poop does not contain dangerous worm eggs
I have been contacted by parents, distraught at the fact that their child has just accidentally contacted fresh dog faeces, and worried that this will automatically lead to blindness. The fact is that dog worm eggs only become dangerous to humans once they have incubated in the environment for a few weeks, giving the eggs time to mature to the infective stage. So the risk is old dog faeces, which is another reason why it's so important to scoop that fresh poop.
MYTH: Puppies need to be wormed more often than adult dogs
Worming puppies repeatedly is a key part of their care. Puppies need to be given a worm dose every two weeks between four weeks and twelve weeks of age, because their immature immune system means that a single worm dose is not enough to eradicate the worms that they have picked up from their mother - both in the womb, via suckling, and from the breeding environment. In contrast, a typical adult dog may need to be wormed only once every three months, although some individuals may need more- or less- frequent worm treatments.
MYTH: Individualised worming recommendations are the best way to treat worms in dogs
The risk of dogs picking up worms is directly related to individual characteristics of particular circumstances. Just as pups need to be wormed more often than adults, dogs that habitually eat slugs and snails need more frequent worm doses than apartment-dwelling dogs that rarely venture outdoors. Some dog worms are more common in certain parts of the country, relating to climate and other factors. Some vets recommend routine worming with tablets, while others recommend spot-on products, and others will request faecal samples to test for worms. The key message is that every dog is different, needing a custom-designed anti-worm regime.
MYTH: Over-the-counter wormers need to be used with care
Dog wormers can be bought from many outlets, including supermarkets and pet shops as well as vet clinics, but there are key differences between different types of worm treatments. For example roundworms in dogs can be treated with one product, while tapeworms in dogs may require a different tablet. It's a waste of time trying to treat tapeworms with a product aimed at roundworms. For this reason, the inexpensive product in the supermarket can easily end up failing to solve your problem. To be sure that you are using the appropriate worm treatment, it's safest to talk to your vet, who will be able to match the right product to your pet's needs.
MYTH: If you are travelling overseas, special worming may be needed
Heartworm is common in many overseas locations, and regular specific preventive heartworm treatment is essential if you are visiting such places with your pet. And when returning from many foreign destinations with your dog, you are required to have tapeworm treatment certified by a local vet in your Pet Passport. Talk to your vet before travel to ensure that you protect your dog against any exotic worms they may encounter. Worms have been around for as long as dogs, and they will continue to cause health issues for pets and people. However logical and appropriate use of ant-worm medications means that this risk can easily be kept to a minimum.
DIABET IN CANINES:
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These are the two most common type of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes, commonly known as juvenile diabetes is when the pancreas becomes permanently damaged in some fashion or another and can no longer produce insulin for the body or can't produce it as well. This type of diabetes usually starts early in life. Insulin must be added to the body in some form, commonly through an injection.
Type 2 diabetes, usually happens later in life and is commonly caused by poor diet and inactive life style. With Type 2 the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body becomes resistant to the insulin. A major change in diet and exercise usually help curb or reverse the on set. Insulin shots usually aren't require.
For humans, there are several types of diabetes, the most common are Type 1 and Type 2. Then when you throw cats into the mix, it becomes even more confusing since cats usually have Type 2. So when most people think about diabetes in dogs, some might think in the same terms, type 1 and type 2. Which is where the misconception comes in. As of right now, research shows dogs can only get type 1. Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which the beta cells of the endocrine pancreas either stop producing insulin or can no longer produce it in enough quantity for the body's needs. The condition is commonly divided into two types, depending on the origin of the condition: Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called "juvenile diabetes", is caused by destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas. The condition is also referred to as Insulin-Dependent diabetes, meaning exogenous insulin injections must replace the insulin the pancreas is no longer capable of producing for the body's needs. Dogs have Insulin-Dependent, or Type 1, diabetes - current research finds no Type 2 diabetes in dogs. Because of this, there is no possibility the permanently damaged pancreatic beta cells could re-activate to engender a remission as may be possible with some feline diabetes cases, where the primary type of diabetes is Type 2. There is another less common form of diabetes, Diabetes insipidus, which is a condition of insufficient antidiuretic hormone or resistance to it.
CANCER IN DOGS
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Dr. Joanne Intile
Owners of pets diagnosed with cancer often use the internet to research their animal's disease, and distinguishing fact from fiction can be a formidable task. The unfortunate truth is that for every evidence-based, accurate website centered on cancer care in animals, there are far more websites perpetuating questionable myths. Here are some common cancer misconceptions regularly encountered by oncology vets in the exam room:
MYTH: Feeding a Specific Diet Can Prevent Cancer
Many owners believe that feeding their pets a specific type of diet can prevent cancer, or that feeding their cancer-stricken pets a specific diet can alter the course of cancer treatment. While it's true that some ingredients are healthier than others, the idea that a particular diet causes or prevents cancer is false, as is the concept that feeding one specific diet will change the outcome of a pet diagnosed with cancer. Our dogs' bodies are complex, and cancer is too, so it is an oversimplification to say that any one food on its own could have a major influence over an animal's chance of developing cancer or on their ability to fight the disease.
MYTH: "Superfood" Ingredients Can Prevent Cancer
Along the lines of the previous myth, some companies will market their pet foods as containing "superfoods. These foods may contain particular fruits, vegetables or grains that have been touted as possessing special nutritive value capable of reducing risks of certain diseases, including cancer. Cancer is a complex condition with over 100 different diseases grouped under the diagnosis of cancer. Each of these diagnoses are biologically different in terms of the cancer's underlying genetic mutations, as well as the individual patient's predisposition, so the claim that one food - "super" or otherwise - can cause cancer or prevent cancer is incorrect.
MYTH: Carbohydrates and Sugar "Feed" Cancer Cells
All sugars are carbohydrates and all carbohydrates, whether from bread or donuts, are broken down into glucose and fructose during the process of digestion. All cells, whether healthy or cancerous, use glucose as a source of energy. Tumor cells are usually replicating at a faster rate than healthy cells, therefore they have a higher metabolic demand for fuel. However, sugar doesn't make cancer grow faster. Giving more sugar to cancer cells doesn't speed their growth. Likewise, depriving cancer cells of sugar doesn't slow their growth.
MYTH: Vaccines Cause Cancer
The myth that vaccines cause all sorts of cancer types in dogs and cats is false. While there is an association between injections and the development of sarcoma tumors in cats and dogs, and some vaccines are given by injection, this is the only example of a relationship between vaccination and cancer development in companion animals. Although the sarcoma tumors are most frequently associated with previous vaccination, tumors can also occur secondary to other types of injections, such as microchips, antibiotics and long-acting flea medications. We also know that cats that develop injection site sarcomas are likely to be genetically predisposed to tumor formation due to an inappropriate inflammatory reaction to the injection itself. Therefore, the injection itself is only one causal factor.
MYTH: Dogs can detect cancer
Dogs are capable of detecting smells linked to cancer. In one study the dogs had an accuracy rate of 98 percent for sniffing out colorectal cancer in humans.
MYTH: Chemotherapy will Make My Pet Sick
Many owners are reluctant to pursue consultation with a veterinary oncologist due to the misconception that the treatments offered will impart significant side effects in their pets. While chemotherapy can cause some adverse signs, they occur infrequently in veterinary patients because while the drugs we use to treat cancers in pets are the same as those used for people, we use lower dosages and space our treatments out further apart so as to minimize adverse effects. Less than 25% of pets treated with chemotherapy will experience side effects from treatment, and when those effects do occur, they are typically mild and something owners can treat at home. The chance of a severe reaction that would require a visit to your veterinarian for treatment, like intractable vomiting and/or diarrhea, or inappetence for longer than one day, would be less than 5%.
MYTH: Treating Cancer in Pets is Too Expensive
While it is true that anti-cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery can carry expensive tabs, protocols vary and veterinary oncologists will work with pet owners and their financial interests to devise optimal therapeutic plans. When it comes to chemotherapy, it's rare to have only one way to treat a particular tumor. More frequently, we have options that range in terms of numbers of trips to the hospital, concurrent necessary lab work or imaging tests, and route of administration, as well as cost. While price may certainly be a limiting factor for some owners, there is much value to be obtained from speaking directly with an oncologist and hearing all of the options and their associated costs rather than assuming the care is out of reach. Your veterinarian may be able to speak with an oncologist ahead of time to gain a better understanding of the range of potential fees as a means to prepare you prior to your consultation.
MYTH: There's no Way the Cancer has Spread Because My Pet is Behaving Normally
Vets advice performing staging tests in order to examine for spread of a particular tumor or cancer type. The exact tests will depend on the diagnosis, but can include bloodwork, urinalysis, testing regional lymph nodes and imaging tests - radiographs and x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans or MRI. The results of such tests are important, as they will influence treatment recommendations as well as a dog's overall prognosis. Owners are sometimes reluctant to pursue such testing, especially when their pets are showing no outward signs of illness related to their diagnosis. For example, a dog may be diagnosed with a cutaneous skin mast cell tumor because their owner notes a skin growth that changes in size or shape but is otherwise not bothering the pet. Mast cell tumors may remain confined to the skin or they may spread to regional lymph nodes, abdominal organs, and even to the bone marrow. While it is true that dogs with widespread disease are more likely to be ill, not every dog with regional spread of disease - to a local lymph node, will have any adverse signs. The recommendations will be different for a dog with spread of a mast cell tumor versus one with it confined only to the skin. But be careful, Rentgen CT, MRI are NOT A HEALTHY THINGS FOR SURE !!!
MYTH: Mixed-Breed Dogs are Less Likely to Develop Cancer
While certain cancers occur more frequently in some dog breeds - lymphoma in golden retrievers, bladder cancer in Scottish terriers), the truth is that cancer can occur in any breed of dog. Mixed breed dogs are not necessarily at a reduced risk for disease. Veterinarians are only beginning to understand the influence genes play in the development of cancer in dogs. Mixed breed dogs, especially those with lineages associated with known "at risk" breeds, could carry the same predispositions to cancer development as their purebred counterparts. If you are considering a particular breed of dog, or even researching a mixed breed dog, it is worth your time to have a conversation with your veterinarian about potential risks for cancer development in the future.
MYTH: I don't Need to see a Veterinary Oncologist Because I have Done My Research on the Internet
Veterinary oncologists possess the expertise regarding the diagnosis and treatment options for cancer in companion animals and have completed four years of veterinary school, 1-to-3 years of internship training and three years of residency training specificc to oncology. They have also passed a series of specific examinations that exhaustively cover both general internal medicine concepts and the more specific ﬁeld of veterinary oncology. Oncologists can recommend treatments known to be effective in treating a wide variety of cancers in animals. They are often the most equipped to evaluate other suggestions you may have received to determine whether they have any scientific merit, or, conversely, whether they could be an inappropriate use of your time and finances. Facing a diagnosis of cancer in your pet is devastating. It's natural to want to arm yourself with accurate information to make educated decisions about your dog's care. There's a staggering amount of information on the internet for owners to sift through. In addition to researching topics on your own, seeking a consultation with a veterinary specialist who will work alongside your primary care veterinarian is your pet's best chance for a positive outcome. But, yet
DO NOT BELIVE THAT SIMPLY ANYTHING VETS ARE TRYING TO "SELL" YOU !!!
In many practical cases they are mistaken with their tests and advices. Keep your mind on & working hard, before you go try any remedy on your beloved dog.
LYME DISEASE in DOGS
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Steven A. Levy, VMD
LIVER SHUNTS IN DOGS
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Liver shunts in dogs have two very big misunderstanding, it is not always to small breeds, and they do not always puppies. However, there is one thing, not a bug, they are very serious and can easily be fatal to your dog, if not corrected. Are they? Liver shunts in dogs is also known as PSS, or a portosystemic shunt is a very serious disease in which normal blood flow to the liver dog, both in the liver and the liver, is either drastically reduced or even worse, missing completely. In most cases, this state has a very young puppy, but if they are minimal, they may go unnoticed as long as two to three years in some cases. Under normal circumstances, the blood, which again is in the shape of your dog's digestive tract through the liver, which is called the portal vein led. The portal vein leads blood from the digestive organs such as the spleen, pancreas and gall bladder. It is then through the liver, where the leaves join the venous blood flowing back to travel to the heart. A liver shunt is a tube that connects the portal vein with your dog with the main stream of the blood, called systemic blood flow. Once that happens, it causes the blood to bypass the liver, and if severe enough, a puppy will not flourish, or live in some cases.
Congenital liver shunts in dogs, which simply means they are present at birth. Although they seem more common in smaller breeds, they can access all races and come in two forms, intra-and extrahepatic. If the intrahepatic shunt blood is diverted into a vessel in the liver, as is extrahepatic and redirect the blood into a container on the outside of the liver.
If the liver is a fetus still immature and unable venosus to its own function, the delivery of the fetal blood, bypassing the liver through a special vessel called the ductus. This ship carries the blood into the development of the liver instead of through them. Further, since the fetal liver is not fully operational, will the blood of the fetus led the development of her body and back into the mother through the umbilical cord. Umbilical artery, the umbilical cord and placenta, the umbilical cord of the mother has three main components.
It is in the placenta, where the blood of the fetus and the mother actually interact, what is great about this method, the fact that they never really comingle. The mother nutrients are passed from the system to the fetus and waste products from the fetus to the mother, where they are then processed through her kidneys removed and the liver. In principle, a lot of this method is the mother of the liver functions of the liver of the fetus, because it still in development.
It is when the puppy is born, that this condition can occur. Once the puppy is born, the umbilical cord is no longer functional, and it is shortly after this implies that the ductus venosus three things will do, but contracts, and then narrows. Once this process is complete and around the ship, is the puppy's blood forced by their own liver. If this ship does not include the shunting process begins in one of two forms.
When the blood by the liver and not to be deported, and although it will not make good for the liver. One of the first things that will develop is that the removal of metabolic waste products like ammonia and can not be the result, their levels began to increase by the health and life of your dog in danger. Here the liver shunts in dogs on Earth once or for several months or will remain hidden even years. All bridges are on the way to scope, the blood around the liver, and this is the actual size of the shunt from. The actual size of the shunt are different in every dog, regardless of their race.
The symptoms of liver shunts in dogs is directly related to the size of the blood, which is connected, bypassing the liver. If only 5 or 10 percent of the blood is bridged, your dog only very mild symptoms or in some cases can not all. It is this kind of thing that maneuvering for a long time undetected. However, if the amount of blood, which bypasses your dog liver increased symptoms is much more obvious and easily noticed. The first signs to look for your puppy or dog was very lethargic and appear to grow very slowly. If these symptoms begin to surface, they are usually by vomiting, diarrhea or just accompanied the opposite, constipation. If the shunting persists or worsens, the following set of symptoms is usually increased thirst, of course, that ran through the puddles. However, these symptoms seem very common to most owners, especially with puppies. But see the next symptom is anything but normal, excessive salivation.
As any dog owner knows, is drooling often in large dogs, but also large breeds are not excessive drooling like a puppy or young dog. If drooling occurs with one of the other symptoms, it is a real warning that something very wrong in your puppy or young dog. If it is a small race, there is still a warning. However, there are three symptoms, the surface of the liver shunts can be increased. If your dog suddenly starts running in circles, it's not a nice gesture, it is a serious warning sign that immediate medical help will be necessary as the maneuvering has become life threatening. If your dog is not treated immediately, there are two other symptoms that may indicate an attack, which is followed by the very sudden death of your dog. This is a very serious disease and the only way to avoid the last two complaints to detect as early as possible.
Treatment and survival
Liver shunts in dogs are very serious, even if they are very mild. The reason for this is that dogs also grow with a very mild symptoms face danger every day, and as they increase. It is important to remember that their blood is on your liver over and the bigger they get, the more they run are dangerous because they produce more metabolic waste. Your dog has a very low chance of a normal life when this is corrected. Almost all vets will be for a method of treatment, identify the abnormal blood vessel or vessels and then surgically close them as soon as possible. However, this is considered a very difficult and complex operation, so you do not want to be the most experienced professional to find it for form. There may be some cases where a few dogs with drugs such as protein diets can be treated but is extremely rare.
CANINE PARVOVIRUS MISCONCEPTIONS
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What is Parvo
Canine Parvovirus is a viral infection that dogs can get that is similar to HIV in humans, and an actual mutation of Feline Distemper. The CPV virus has a three to seven day gestation period where the dog will seem perfectly fine while it spreads to the most reproductive cells until it reaches its goal in the intestinal track. Once CPV has settled into the intestinal track it begins to reproduce rapidly and the dog starts showing symptoms as the virus destroys the intestinal lining.
How is Parvo Spread?
Contrary to popular belief Parvo can only be spread to other dogs by the feces of an infected dog, or the environment in which an infected dog had emptied it's bowls for an estimated up to 10 months if it's in the shade, and 7 months in the sun without proper sterilization techniques. Parvo is NOT spread through saliva, blood, urine or any other substance. Only the feces, secretions from intestinal track, or the intestine of an infected animal, and the virus has to be ingested in order for the animal to be infected.
Who Can Get Parvo?
All species are at risk for Parvo, however each Parvo strain is typically specific to it's species, aside from one known strain of CPV that can affect cats, called CPV-2c - discovered in 2000, but this strain is very rare. The most common form is CPV-2b. Any animal of the canine family wolves, foxes etc. is at risk any were from an hour old puppy to a 16-17 year old dog, the only reason it's said to be a "puppy disease" is because puppies are the main ones that can die from it and contract it due to the lower concentration of immunity and anti-bodies.
CPV True or False?
The younger the puppy the more at risk of getting sick T or F: False. A one day old puppy is less likely to get sick from the virus than a one week old due to what's called colostrums in the mother dog's first milk. This substance transmits the mother's anti-bodies to the newborn puppy. So the risk of Parvo goes up as the colostrums transmits less and less anti bodies, and then down as the puppies get older. So the most at risk of getting sick from Parvo is about a one week old puppy.
Once a puppy has Parvo it's more at risk of getting sick again T or F
False. Once a dog has had the disease and gotten over it, some studies has shown that the puppy never gets Parvo again, but it hasn't been 100% proven.
Once a puppy has Parvo it's never the same puppy again T or F
False. Although in some cases the animal does change forever, this is very rare. My puppy for example is about 7 months old and she contracted the Parvo virus from eating the grass at my apartment complex. She wasn't herself when the Parvo took hold, but as she got better and the nausea faded away she became more and more like she was. After the treatment was finished and she was able to come home from the doggy hospital, she was completely back to the way she was before she got sick aka trying to eat everything she could, I stopped her of course, but she didn't change a bit.
Why is Parvo so expensive?
The reason for this is because once Parvo settles in the intestines the dog becomes nauseous and can't keep any food or water down thus causing Malnourishment and dehydration to become the main cause of death. Runner up to malnourishment and dehydration is a serious bacterial infection that basically eats the intestines from the inside out, and sometimes the only way to rehydrate and nourish a "Parvo pup" is threw intensive overnight care, IV bags that include antibiotics, a special canned food diet, and follow up at home medication. There are a few other things you can try such as the Pedia Light/Water, and Pepto-Bismol mentioned in River_Dragon Wolf's article "If Your Puppy Has Parvo", or the Gatorade and water trick mentioned in alexadry's article "Parvo Puppy Home Remedies", to help with the dehydration and the food recommendations in the comments of those to articles to help with the malnourishment, but a veterinary hospital is the best way to go, so try to get care credit or something else along those lines that might help with the bill of getting your dog back to health.
To prevent sickness should I keep my dogs away from high dog traffic areas such as dog parks?
Yes and no. If you have a little puppy who just got weaned I would definitely say to keep them away from other dogs until they can get vaccinated, but after a dog is vaccinated I would say to let them go to dog parks and hang out with other dogs because they are pack animals by nature and if a dog isn't properly socialized it can cause other problems such as anxiety, depression etc. Not to mention that if a dog is kept in sterile seclusion all its life and never really aloud to go to new places and meet new people they are more likely to get sick because they won't have the immunity to little things they need to stay healthy.
MYTH: Only Puppies Can Get Parvo
It is simply not the case that puppies are the only dogs that catch Parvo - even 12 years old doggy! While it may be true that puppies tend to get Parvo more than adult dogs do, if you believe this myth, you are putting your dog at risk! Why? - Because if you assume your adult dog cannot get the virus, you will not be watching out for any of the symptoms, and with a virus like Parvo, you need to take action the instant you see anything out of the ordinary. All dogs can get Parvo, including both puppies and adults!
MYTH: Only Unvaccinated Dogs Can Get Parvo
This myth is just as dangerous as the previous one, and just as common. Here's the nasty little truth that no one in the medical profession - Big Pharma, vets, wants you to know - not only can vaccinated dogs still get Parvo, but the shots themselves can actually give them the virus! Every single vaccine you give your dog increases the chance of some sort of side-effect, so please don't fall for that "annual booster shot" scam that many vets are still perpetrating - they are not only unnecessary, but dangerous too! Your dog can get Parvo - within hours sometimes of being vaccinated, and even a fully-vaccinated dog - again, both adults as well as puppies, can still get the virus and be hit just as hard as an unvaccinated dog and sometimes even harder, since unvaccinated animals don't have all those toxic chemicals from the vaccines flowing through their bodies.
MYTH: Parvo Is Only Contracted Through Infected Feces
Again, many local news websites are to blame for spreading this myth. Although infected feces may be the most common way for the virus to be transmitted, it is not the only way - not by a long shot. For example, urine and vomit from an infected dog can give your dog the Parvovirus. So can nose-to-nose contact, and we all know how dogs like to sniff each other. You can also walk the virus into your yard or house on your shoes - all you need to do is tread in some dog poo, and voila, now you have got the virus on your property as well. Now, you are probably thinking that this would never happen to you, because you'dd never step in the stuff in the first place. It sounds good, but here is the problem - it takes an incredibly small amount of feces to infect a dog. According to information I found, 1 gram which is less than 0.03 ounces of Parvo-infected material contains tens of millions of virus particles, and yet it only takes 1,000 or fewer, particles to infect your pet. That means you might step on a speck of poo that you can't even see as you are walking along the street.
Another common means of transmitting Parvo is on your hands. For example, you see a dog somewhere - e.g. at the park, at your friend's house, and pet it, not knowing that the dog has the virus, because there are no symptoms yet and so the owners don't know either, then go home and give your own dog a cuddle, and bingo, your dog can be infected too! You really can't be too careful when it comes to this virus, which means you need to keep your dog away from others as much as you can, no visits to the dog park, because even if they insist on seeing current Parvo vaccination certificates, it doesn't mean the dogs in the park don't have the virus, and be ultra-careful with personal hygiene - make sure you wash your hands with hot/warm soapy water before and after handling any dog.
MYTH: A Positive Parvo Test Means The Dog Has Parvo
If your dog is sick and you take it to the vet's to see what's wrong, then if you describe any symptoms that sound like Parvo - e.g. vomiting, diarrhea, fever, the first thing the vet will likely do is administer a Parvo test. At one time, this meant taking a blood sample and sending it off to the lab to be analyzed, and this, of course, took at least one day. That sort of delay can be fatal with a virus such as Parvo. So that's why, these days, the vet will do the Parvo test in the clinic using a stool sample, the results are instant. If the test comes back positive, your vet will tell you that your dog has the virus and, of course, will try to get you to pay a lot of money to have it treated. The problem? A positive Parvo test does not always mean that your dog actually has the virus. For one thing, the test is not foolproof, as claimed. Vets will also tell you that administering this test shortly after a dog has been vaccinated will give you a false positive and hardly surprising, considering they have just injected a ton of viral particles into your pet! But there is another, more dangerous reason why the test may come back positive. There are bacterial infections such as campylobacter that cause symptoms that are almost indistinguishable from Parvo, and the Parvo test can come back positive even though it's not actually Parvo at all. This is dangerous, because apparently this infection must not be treated in the same way that Parvo is. For example, only a small number of antibiotics which are not the ones usually given for Parvo will work. However, few vets will test for this if the Parvo test comes back positive, since they assume correctly, in many cases, that Parvo is what your dog has. If you ask for a campylobacter test, there is one available, but you will have to request one, if you think it's worth it. There are other reasons for a positive Parvo test than your dog actually having the virus. Having said that, if it looks like Parvo, it's usually but not always safest to assume that's what it is and take action immediately.
MYTH: A Negative Parvo Test Means The Dog Doesn't Have Parvo
Conversely, a negative Parvo test can mean that your dog does have the virus. Why? Because as I said earlier, the test is not foolproof. Clearly, this is maybe even more dangerous than a false positive, since you will assume that your dog is OK, when in fact the virus is attacking your dog's intestines, and by the time you realize he's seriously sick, it can be too late. Quite frankly, in my opinion, if your dog is showing Parvo symptoms, you might as well assume it is the virus, since waiting around to see who's right - you or your vet might cost your dog his life. And if you are wondering how much it might cost you if it turns out the vet was right and your dog doesn't have Parvo after all, don't worry, because I cover this issue later on. Don't assume your dog is OK just because the Parvo test comes back negative: he could still be sick.
MYTH: When Blood Appears In The Diarrhea, It's Already Too Late
One of the main symptoms of Parvo is the diarrhea, but it's not just any diarrhea, it usually smells really obnoxious, and you will often see blood in the diarrhea too. BTW, many news reports often provide an incomplete list of Parvo symptoms, focusing on the vomiting and diarrhea, and they frequently downplay or even omit the one symptom that usually appears first and is the best sign that something is seriously wrong with your dog - a loss of appetite. This blood might be bright red, which comes from a fresh internal wound, or dark red almost brown or black, which comes from old blood being ejected and which means the internal wounds are healing. Now, the problem seems to be that some vets will tell dog owners that once blood appears in the diarrhea, it's already too late and you might as well kill your dog. They will use terms like "put to sleep" or "euthanize", but what they really mean is "kill" your beloved pet. I shudder to think how many dogs have been murdered needlessly because the poor dog owner took the vet at his or her word, when in fact blood is a very normal part of how the Parvo virus works, and it definitely does not mean that your dog is doomed to die. Blood in your Parvo-infected dog's diarrhea does not mean you should have him killed - you need to keep on fighting for his life, because he would never give up on you.
MYTH: Parvo Can Be Treated Using Pedialyte, Gatorade, Chicken, Eggs, Rice, Etc...
Most people haven't ever had any success with the above products, but they all carry an inherent risk, and I for one would never conduct such an experiment on my own dogs if they were sick with Parvo. Don't believe everything you read on the Internet, and don't believe what your vet tells you, because their knowledge often extends only as far as what Big Pharma has taught them in vet school – what drugs to prescribe. Medical students, including vets, spend very little time at all on natural health, nutrition, so why would you look to them for this type of information when your dog's life is at stake?
MYTH: Cats Can't Get Parvo From Dogs
Many news stories will report that cats cannot contract Parvo from infected dogs, but sadly, it turns out that this is not the case. They do state, however, that humans can't contract Canine Parvo, which is correct - at the moment. If you dig back to the 1970s, it is suspected that the Canine Parvo virus was a mutation of an existing Feline Parvo virus, although whether this mutation was natural or accidental or deliberate or man-made is unclear. Hmm, it seems that some infected cats “escaped" from the research lab. Who knows, this may have been part of the experiment to see what would happen. So, there is a clear historical precedent linking these two viruses together, which means it's entirely possible that one animal can infect the other. It may be a rare occurrence, but I have read about it happening, so be warned! Feline Parvo symptoms are the same as those of the Canine variety, but treatment needs to be tailored to the cat's different body chemistry. BTW, for some reason, Feline Parvo is also known as Feline Distemper or Feline Panleukopenia. If you have a dog with Parvo, and you also have cats, then keep a very close eye on them because they may develop Parvo too.
MYTH: If Your Dog Gets Parvo, You Should Have It Vaccinated
This is one of the most dangerous myths there is! Folks this is outrageous and is simply another egregious way to separate you from your cash. I came across this article that tells of a man who lost five dogs because his vet insisted on vaccinating them when they were clearly already infected. Some vets will even try to vaccinate a dog that is showing Parvo symptoms, which to me seems like utter madness. I mean, why inject additional viral particles into a dog that is fighting for its life trying to get rid of the ones that are already attacking it? Under no circumstances should you ever let your vet vaccinate any dog that has Parvo, or any dog that has been exposed to the virus, because they have been around a dog that is sick with Parvo.
MYTH: Parvo Can Only Be Treated By A Vet And Is Expensive To Treat
Finally, vets would have you believe that they are the only people who can successfully treat Parvo. Being a natural cynic, my response would be, yes, they would say that because they stand to make a lot of money. How much money? Well, some people are lucky and get away with a bill of just a few hundred dollars - maybe as little as $500. After searching for alternative solutions, I found three that keep cropping up:
Parvo-K is a homeopathic remedy, using something called nosodes, that seems to get a lot of bad reviews. From what I can gather, the dosage instructions are hard to follow, and it doesn't seem to be that effective at treating the virus. Next, there's Parvaid, which does seem to have been around for quite a while. Again, though, there are a lot of negative reviews, and the information on the manufacturer's website is extremely confusing. It looks like a mentally ill child wrote the material. If you have a sick animal, will you have time to figure out crucial things such as how to use the product, how much to give to your dog, how often, and for how long? The ingredients, are not pleasing to see alcohol and garlic in this product. That leaves ParvoBuster.
Now, I did find a couple of negative reviews of this company, but they really weren't credible, it was though they'd been written by a 5 year old child - no offence to 5 year old olds intended. They gave the appearance of having been written by a competitor to deliberately tarnish Parvo Buster's reputation, which is an underhand practice I would never condone. That alone would be enough for me to eliminate whichever manufacturer did that from further consideration. Treating Parvo doesn't have to cost you and arm and a leg or your dog's life at the vet's. There are safe, affordable, 100% organic alternatives to treat Parvo that anybody can do at home.
BLACK DOG SYNDROME
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FRED LEVY ART
By now, most dog lovers have at very least seen something about the stereotype that surrounds black dogs. It basically states that a dog that has black fur is less likely to be adopted, simply based on color. Professional pet photographer, Fred Levy is out to see if he can't help break that stereotype. Some people think it's based on the association that many people and cultures with the color black, making it somewhat of an "evil" color. Some think it has something to do with racism. Either way, "black dog syndrome" is a very real thing. It started with Levy overhearing a conversation while in a public dog park. This led him to ponder the existence of black dog syndrome, and why this seems to be a big factor when it comes to adoption, and black fur. A dog shouldn't be overlooked just because of its coat. That's a minor element when it comes to the dog. It's a disputed theory that black dogs are the last to get adopted at shelters, perhaps because of superstition or a perception that they are aggressive. The fur shouldn't be the deciding factor! There still isn't any hard evidence of the existence of Black Dog Syndrome. Some people out there think it's nothing more than myth, while others draw "evidence" of its existence through statistical data on the turnaround time for black dogs finding forever homes while in a shelter.
DOGS IN QURAN
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David A. Grass
Background: Some think that Muslims are not allowed to keep dogs, because they are considered unclean or are banned in Islam. In the early part of chapter 18 of The Quran it narrates a story about the people of the cave who were righteous and had a dog, who slept close to them at the cave entrance [18:18]. Furthermore, The Quran clearly states that believers are allowed to use trained hunting dogs and eat what they catch: They ask you what was made lawful to them, say: "All the good things have been made lawful for you, and what the trained dogs and birds catch, you teach them from what God teaches you." So eat from what they have captured for you and mention God's name upon it, and be aware of God. God is quick in reckoning. [5:4] However, in traditional narrations, attributed to prophet Muhammad and his companions but recorded by later generations, there is a mix of information about dogs, some positive but most of it negative, however there is no negativity about having a dog in The Quran. This is likely where the misconception results from.
DOG INSURANCE MISCONCEPTIONS
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Every pet owner can benefit from the protection pet insurance affords. Every dog owner, without exception. Why? There is no dog alive that is incapable of becoming seriously ill or injured to the point where the financial burden placed upon us as owners is both stressful and, in many cases, just plain unaffordable. As we all recognise, veterinary bills are rarely cheap even for routine events. But think, for a moment, about the really serious stuff. Things like cancer. Things like hereditary illnesses that can be both debilitating but, ultimately, entirely curable and manageable.
How would we feel to be told by a vet that the best possible treatment for an illness or injury is readily available only to then realise we just can't afford the expenses? This happens and it happens all too often. Pet insurance should no longer be a consideration for caring, conscientious pet owners. It's an absolute necessity in this day and age. With that said, there are some common pet insurance myths that need to be busted and we've uncovered seven of the most common.
Absolutely no dog owner ever wants to think, what if. What if I could have gotten the very best treatment on offer to keep my dog alive, healthy and happy. This, you see, is precisely what pet insurance is for, and if you don't have to claim that's the best position of all to be in. Not claiming on your insurance is not money lost. It just means you have had the immense good fortune to have a fit, healthy dog. That is a reason to celebrate.
MYTH: I will want until my dog is older and more likely to need insurance
There are couple of problems with this. The first is that some insurers won't actually cover dogs over a certain age and, the ones who do, can often make the premium you pay more expensive as the dog gets older. The second problem is that dogs can and do get ill or injured at any age. Whilst it's undoubtedly true and older dog is statistically more likely to suffer from age related conditions, it is also true that young dogs can develop lifelong illnesses at an early age, and are just as likely to injure themselves. Each has exactly the same chance of picking up the same types of conditions that can cost a lot of money in veterinary bills. Don't take the chance. It's not worth it.
MYTH: My dog's sensible. I doubt he will need to be insured
Ignoring the fact that even sensible dogs can get all types of illnesses, don't be quite so sure of what your dog is capable of doing to himself. Just examine the story of Rusty, a Bull Terrier from Kent who astonished vets after managing to consume a pair of bicycle handle bars. Yes, you read that correctly. Left to his own devices in the back-yard, Rusty started to eat an entire pair of handlebars. But even if your dog's no Rusty, how about gentle giant Mal, the St Bernard, who needed surgery after destroying his gums by trying to clean the remaining bits of potato from a potato peeler at his home in St Helen's. Our dogs can sometimes be very creative in the way they go about injuring themselves. Be prepared.
MYTH: I am confused by the pricing and levels of cover
Prit Powar, head of pet insurance at Direct Line, said: "In our experience one of the most common misconceptions surrounding pet insurance is what will be covered by a policy. Many owners believe that once they have purchased a policy, any treatment carried out by their vet is covered. We have received enquiries about claims for flea and worming treatments, vaccinations and neutering, which are not covered by an insurance policy. The purpose of insurance is to protect against the unexpected which is typically to cover the costs associated with treating illness or injuries. However the treatments highlighted are very much usual, expected costs associated with owning a pet. Owners should also be careful about what additional treatments are covered by their insurance, as this is hugely dependent on the individual policy. Not all pet owners may want or need the same level of cover and its advisable to check that the cover they have provides the level of vet fee cover they want and includes cover for all their needs."
MYTH: Does lifetime pet insurance really mean what it sounds like it means?
Now, here's a subject in its own right. So we have got you covered.
MYTH: All the pet insurance policies look much the same to me. I should just pick the most affordable, right?
Wrong! Not all pet insurance is made equal. Those companies who are insurance specialists - you know the ones, they really do have long-standing expertise in insuring things, cars, homes etc - they have worked hard to maintain a good reputation. That's worth its weight to you as a consumer if you are with them.
MYTH: Making a claim is probably a nightmare. What if I fill the form in wrong?
Never fear. 9 out of 10 veterinarians will not only provide guidance on this, many will actually do it for you - some at a small fee. Remember, if you have just been given some horrible news that your dog has been diagnosed with a serious illness, needs an operation as soon as possible and will need to be on medication for months, years or even the rest of their life, the last thing you will want to do is worry about whether you can afford it. You need to be clear headed and you need to know your dog is covered and the financial burden will be eased. You do not want to be one of those unfortunate people who has to take out expensive loans just to provide your dog with the quality of life they deserve. Pet insurance companies do pay out on legitimate claims and your vet can help you all along the journey.
MYTH: I will just put some money aside each month in the bank. If my dog needs anything, I will use those savings
Fine, in theory. Unless you happen to be saving potentially thousands of pounds each year. You see the biggest problem with this misconception is that saving small amounts will just about cover routine treatments. But when you really need it, when you really, really need access to the absolute best veterinary care to provide treatment for long term, serious illness or injury, you could find your savings gone in one shot. Having a pet insurer in your corner when your dog is most in need will not only give you peace of mind for now, but it could be the peace of mind you need for the rest of your dog's natural life.
LOSING A DOG:
GRIEF & EUTHANASIA MISCONCEPTIONS
This article is proudly presented by
Dr. Phil Zeltzman
Unfortunately, since the normal life span of most animals is so much shorter than our own, sooner or later most animal lovers will experience the loss of a beloved pet. Whether struggling with an animal's chronic illness, facing a decision about euthanasia, or mourning the loss of a pet, our reactions may be so intense that we feel shocked and overwhelmed by them. Saying goodbye to our pets is one of the hardest things we ever have to do. As pets walk into our lives, our homes, and our families, they also walk into our hearts forever. Of all the worries pet owners may have around surgery, anesthesia probably tops the list. Unfortunately, their concerns are often the wrong ones. There are many misconceptions in our society about dog loss that make it an even more difficult time for grieving pet owners. These are five popular misconceptions about pet loss, as well as the reality most pet owners face.
There is nothing special about the relationship between animals and humans.
Your relationship with a companion animal can be just as special and loving as those you have with any other family member or close friend. Loving an animal is different from loving a human being, because a pet loves you in a way that people cannot: profoundly, boundlessly and unconditionally.
Losing an animal is less painful and less significant than losing a human loved one.
Pain over the loss of a beloved companion animal is as natural as the pain you would feel over the loss of any significant relationship. Since cherished pets weave their way into every aspect of your daily life, in some ways it may be even more difficult to cope with losing them. Once they are gone, you are repeatedly encountering evidence of their absence and constantly reminded of your grief.
Having close relationships with animals and grieving at their loss is abnormal and unnatural.
You need not let anyone influence you to believe that your relationships with animals are somehow wrong or less important than those you have with humans. Loving animals well and responsibly teaches all of us to better love all living beings, including humans. Grief is the normal response to losing someone you love, and grief is indifferent to the species of the one who is lost. Love is love, loss is loss, and pain is pain.
Relationships we have with animals are not as important as those we have with humans.
Having deeply meaningful, spiritual and healthy relationships with animals is not abnormal, and in some cases may be more emotionally healthy, spiritually healing and personally rewarding than those we have with humans. Pets offer us a kind of loyalty, devotion and unconditional love that cannot be found in the more complicated relationships we have with relatives, friends and neighbors.
Death of a pet can be a useful "dress rehearsal" for the real thing, especially for children.
Death of a pet is often a child's first real encounter with a major loss. Suddenly friendship, companionship, loyalty, support and unconditional love are replaced with overwhelming and unfamiliar feelings of loss, confusion, emptiness, fear and grief. Far from being a so-called dress rehearsal, for most children pet loss is a profoundly painful experience.
Most people think of euthanasia as a quick and easy way to get rid of their sick, dying, old or unwanted animals.
Deciding when and whether to euthanize a beloved pet is probably one of the most difficult choices an animal lover ever has to make. On the one hand, you know that choosing to end your dog's life will intensify your own emotional pain, yet postponing the decision may prolong your animal's pain and suffering needlessly. At such times it is very important to explore all aspects of the euthanasia decision with your veterinarian and with others whom you trust, to listen to what your animal may be trying to tell you, and to trust your own intuition.
Conducting rituals, funerals or memorial services for dead animals is a frivolous waste of time and money, and those who engage in such practices are eccentric and strange.
Whether for animals or for humans, death ceremonies and rituals help meet our needs to support one another in grief, acknowledge the important role our loved ones played in our lives, honor the memory of our departed companions, and bring meaning to our loss.
MYTH: Grief only begins
once the dog is gone...
The grief that comes along with saying goodbye to your friend starts the second you receive the diagnosis that your pet has cancer, a serious illness, or that there are limited additional therapies that can make them comfortable as they age. This grief is called anticipatory grief. It is a very real form of grief and can be very strong. Pet owners facing a difficult diagnosis may experience some or all of the stages of grief - denial, bargaining, depression, anger, and acceptance, as they anticipate the loss of their friend. Some owners express that this anticipation is even stronger than the grief that begins after euthanasia when the pet is gone. Once departed, there is often a sense of relief that the pet is no longer suffering.
MYTH: I will just "know" when the time is right for euthanasia
You are mistaken.. for you, there will be never a suitable time for euthanasia! Because it's your best friend. There is no "perfect" time for euthanasia. There is a window of time from terminal diagnosis to natural death, in which euthanasia may be considered appropriate. Within that window, the decision to euthanize a pet is a very personal one for each family. Working with the family's veterinarian, owners should begin to develop their own decision-making guide for their pet. For some owners, a loss of appetite may be their indication that their pet is ready - for others, their pet may continue to eat despite uncontrollable pain or loss of motor function. Discussing the dog's personality, diagnosis, symptoms, progression, and role within the family will assist a veterinarian in helping decide when the time may be right. Ultimately, I encourage family members to discuss their pet together to help decide when the most appropriate time to say goodbye to that pet, prior to any true suffering.
MYTH: No one will understand
There are people who understand the depth of your grief. They may not be your friends, family members, or co-workers, but they are out there. Many towns & villages provide a safe place for dog owners to discuss their feelings and to lend support to others going through similar experiences. These meetings typically consist of a small group of pet owners, a licensed clinical social worker who facilitates the meetings, and myself, a hospice veterinarian. At the start of the meetings, a short video about pet loss and a brief presentation of the normal grief process shown and is followed by an open discussion by those in attendance.
MYTH: Time heals all wounds
Dealing with your grief in a healthy way requires work. Just as the funeral ritual helps people acknowledge and express their grief when a human friend or relative passes away, rituals can also help during the grief journey after the loss of a pet. Grief work can include creating a pet memorial, keeping a journal of your emotions and memories, lighting a memorial candle, writing a letter to your pet, having a small service to spread your dog's ashes. Children are especially good at creating artwork and poetry to honor their lost friends. Many veterinarians have a page on their website dedicated to pet memorials. They allow owners to post their remembrances or light a virtual candle for free.
MYTH: I should get another dog right away
Replacing the loss doesn't work. Some pet owners feel they may never get another pet because the grief is too difficult. Other pet owners feel they need a pet in the house to distract them from their grief. Regardless of the timing of a new addition, remember that it must be the pet owner's decision to get a new pet. A new relationship, even a great new relationship, cannot ever replace the relationship that was lost. If a new pet is forced on a grieving person, they may grow to resent the new pet and or the giver.
MYTH: You shouldn't be grieving for your pet this much
Grieving for the death or loss of your companion is hard work. It can be incredibly exhausting, painful, and overwhelming to process through the many emotions that are faced during this time. It can be made harder if assumptions are made about a few common myths associated with pet loss. This article explores nine frequent misconceptions when it comes to experiencing the death of a companion animal and clears them up with the truth. Research shows that grieving for the death of a companion animal is just as painful, if not more so than the death of an immediate family member. You have a right to experience and feel your emotions whether or not our emotions are understood by others.
MYTH: Expressing your emotions for the death of your pet should be limited and hidden
It's healthier to allow your body to process through emotions and to experience your grief. Emotions can be very high especially in the acute phase of grief, or right after experiencing the death of your companion. Knowing that your reaction is very normal can be helpful to allow yourself to start moving through your experience.
MYTH: You killed your animal by euthanasia and should feel horrible
A lot of Veterinarians decide on Veterinary medicine because the option of euthanasia is available. Our pets don't deserve prolonged suffering and pain. Euthanasia can be a gift in which we can halt suffering and help our dog's transition as comfortably as possible. Facing the choice of euthanasia can be one of the worst and most difficult choice a pet owner may ever have to make, but at times it shows the immense love and compassion shared. It can be a selfless act when we want to hold on but know that our pets deserve more, no matter how painful it is to let go for ourselves.
MYTH: The Veterinarian didn't care about my dog and wanted them to die
When we grieve, we try to cope with our intense emotions. It is common to misplace blame or accuse others for the death of our companion. Medical mishaps do happen, and experiencing one is tragic. Countless Veterinarians have come to my office grieving as such. I have yet to meet one that purposely wanted a bad experience during surgery or for a companion animal to be euthanized. You have a right to be angry and it can be helpful to express your anger, but finding positive outlets to funnel that anger is important.
MYTH: If I have to take time off of work for grieving my dog's death I am weak and crazy
Your pet is a member of the family and the experience of grief can be immense. We need time to grieve and process through our experience. Depending on the personal life circumstances a person is facing, at times it can be just too much to keep working as normal throughout the experience. Taking some time off can be just what we need to step back and process.
MYTH: The pain of loss is too much and you should never have another pet
Yes, the pain loving pet owners experience after their passing is immense. It can be hard to place the experience into words and our journeys are all very much unique. As part of the human condition, we will experience a lot of grief throughout our lifetime and some of the most substantial experiences can be the grief of losing a beloved pet. How much joy and unconditional love was shared? How many times did we experience pure and wonderful emotions shared between ourselves and our pet. The pain of grief can represent the pain in having our companions no longer sharing our lives with us. We grieve as much as we have loved, and at times even more so. Don't rush into adoption to "cover up" your loss, as no two pets are the same. At the same time, don't forever push away any dreams of future companions, either.
MYTH: I have been grieving for months, I should be over this already
Grief does not follow a timeline. Commonly the beginning experience can be intense and it does lessen overtime; however, there are many ups and downs along that process. No two experiences are alike in time, intensity, or duration. The important thing is to continue meeting your basic needs throughout your process of grief to keep going.
MYTH: I should have known this was coming or been able to act quicker
Our pets are biologically pre-programmed to hide pain unless you are trained to be able to identify it. We couldn't have known what the end of life looked like, or will look like for our pets, just as we cannot identify it for ourselves. Feelings of guilt can feel like they are drowning us when it comes to making choices in our dog's end of life, or having to make medical decisions extremely quickly. We do the best we can, with what we know, at the time we know it. No one can ask for anything else.
MYTH: Euthanasia is risky
Okay, so this is not a complete myth. Of course there is always a risk with anesthesia, but it's immensely smaller than most pet owners believe. Of ALL patients, including the healthiest and the sickest, what percentage of pets don't make it through anesthesia? 30%? 20%? 10%? 5%? 1%? What would you guess? Out of 98,000 dogs and 79,000 cats that underwent anesthesia at over 100 different practices. This was an extravagantly large study by veterinary standards. According to PubMed, Brodbelt found that the overall risk of anesthetic and sedation-related death in dogs 0.17% and in cats 0.24%. As you can see, this indicates that anesthesia is very safe overall, much safer than most would think. With our improved knowledge of anesthesia drugs and excellent advancements in monitoring equipment, the percentage of dogs and cats that die under anesthesia is a fraction of 1%. Surely, specific conditions trauma, diseases and infections can increase the risks, but these issues are more manageable than you might think. By performing pre-operative blood work and tailoring the anesthesia drugs for each pet, veterinarians can minimize the risks.
MYTH: Most complications occur during surgery or while under anesthesia.
Here is a great example of a classic urban legend. Most of the time, the biggest risks are not during surgery and anesthesia but during recovery. As a pet awakens, there are a number of complications that can arise. In the Brodbelt study I mentioned earlier, over 50% of pets who died after surgery, died within 3 hours of the procedure ending. this is why it is critical to take your pet to a hospital where trained nurses will continue to closely monitor your pet after anesthesia.
MYTH: All vets offer and practice the same anesthesia techniques
Actually, every veterinarian seems subject to personal opinion when it comes to anesthesia; the same way everyone has their own personal preference when it comes to cars. Some people want a Ford, while others only buy Honda, but ultimately both cars will get you from point A to point B. Similarly, different veterinarians will use different methods. Naturally they will choose the methods that they are the most knowledgeable and comfortable with and that they feel are safest for your pet based on blood work, physical examination, disease, breed, age etc.
MYTH: Anesthesia drugs can harm my pet
While all medications even a "simple" antibiotic have risks, very few pets will experience an unexpected reaction. Each drug has its time and place, which is why pre-operative examination, basic blood work and sometimes additional lab work are important before surgery. Additionally, it may be possible to temper the side-effects of some drugs. For example, some anesthesia drugs can indirectly affect the kidneys, which can be protected by keeping the patient on the proper amount of IV fluids. Please remember, anesthesia is very safe overall. What matters most is the nature of the drugs used, the knowledge of the people using them and the care provided to patients when they wake up from anesthesia.
MYTH: My pet is too young for anesthesia
Young patients do present the veterinarian and their staff with a bit more of a challenge compared to adults. Pediatric pets are typically smaller and more sensitive, so they need anesthesia techniques and protocols to be tailored for them. For example, because of their usually smaller size, they lose heat quicker so their temperature has to be closely monitored and specific techniques should be used to keep them warm. Young patients also have fewer energy reserves than adults. This is the reason why your veterinarian may recommend a small meal the morning of anesthesia, whereas adults should be completely fasted overnight. Youth is not a reason to avoid anesthesia - however, your veterinarian should make sure pediatric patients are kept warm, vital signs are closely monitored and anesthetic drugs are chosen wisely.
MYTH: My pet is too old for anesthesia
This is another big misconception. Old age is basically never a reason not to perform a surgical or medical procedure. Sure, it may be an issue in the owner's mind, but rarely in the veterinarian's opinion. Thanks to the advances in veterinary medicine, pets enjoy longer lives now than ever before. Although, like humans, As pets age their bodies change, resulting in a slower metabolism, greater sensitivity to medications and slower healing time. Geriatric patients often do need some additional pre-anesthesia screening including blood work, chest radiographs - to ensure their lungs are free of disease or cancer and an EKG to confirm they do not have any major heart problems. Once their overall health status has been assessed, the veterinarian can decide on any pre-anesthesia supportive care or medications. Anesthesia drugs should then be chosen to minimize side-effects for geriatric pets based on their specific condition. My philosophy is simple: age is not a disease! Cancer is a disease, a uterus full of pus pyometra is a disease, and a gallbladder about to burst is a disease, but age by itself is not.
MYTH: My dog is too sick for anesthesia
Many pet owners think that their dog or cat cannot be placed under anesthesia repeatedly in a short span of time. While ideally your pets would not need frequent anesthesia, here are examples of times when they may: When pets get radiation therapy to treat cancer, their position has to be exactly the same to irradiate the tumor in the same manner every time. Since pets won't hold still long enough, this means they have to be anesthetized for every session. The "standard" protocol is to put them under anesthesia 5 days a week for 4 weeks. That's 20 anesthesia episodes within one month. And most do very well, even though many of these cancer patients are very sick already. A more common situation might be taking X-rays under sedation on a Monday, fixing a broken bone under anesthesia on a Tuesday and changing a bandage under sedation on a Wednesday. These days, there are many options for very safe drugs to perform sedation or anesthesia. These drugs leave the body quickly, so they have few harmful effects. Some drugs can even be "reversed," which means that we can give sort of an antidote to wake the patient up. Your veterinarian will carefully evaluate your dog's blood work and physical health status to determine if he is stable enough to be anesthetized, or what stabilization treatments are needed first. In some extreme or emergency situations, we may have no choice. A very sick patient may need to undergo anesthesia immediately to have the surgery that will make him feel better or save his life. For example, if a dog "bloats" or presents with a hugely distended or twisted stomach, he will need surgery as soon as possible. I will, however, give large volumes of IV fluids before anesthesia starts.
MYTH: My dog will be groggy for days after having anesthesia
This concern is more often false than true. Sure, every pet, like every human, handles anesthesia differently. Even if two patients are given the same anesthesia drugs and undergo the same procedure, one may recover very quickly and act like nothing ever happened while the other may recover slowly and still seem a little groggy for a day or two. If your pet seems groggy a few days after a procedure, it is important to let your veterinarian know - your vet can look up records to see what drugs were used and adjust accordingly with alternate drugs or lower dosages. A sleepy pet may be a sign of an underlying condition. However, in most cases, pets are not really groggy from the anesthesia - rather they are groggy from their pain medications, which can sometimes cause sedation. Most modern anesthesia drugs are processed by the body within minutes to hours. Again, please double check with your veterinarian.
MYTH: There is no danger
Anesthesia is safe most of the time, some pet owners seem to take it for granted. Whether a procedure is performed under sedation or anesthesia and despite a pre-surgical exam, blood work and sometimes further diagnostic tests, any pet could have a rare reaction to a medication. This doesn't mean that you should be overly paranoid. All it means is that anesthesia should be taken seriously, and that you should talk with your veterinarian before your pet is sedated.
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