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There are many reasons that could cause your pet to have issues with their paws. For dog’s, most toenail problems can be painful, irritating or just plain uncomfortable. With some, your pet could develop severe conditions if they are left untreated. Let us explore dogs nail health.
The good news is that the majority of nail and nail bed problems can be treated in a relatively short amount of time. Regular grooming of the nails can prevent a lot of possible future problems, and keep your pet’s paws healthy. Keeping them trimmed and filed will help prevent cracking and nail plate deformities.
Take a look at te following article it gives some great info into the best ways to trim our dogs nails….
When it come to the general care of our dogs, there is one task that most people shy away from…cutting the nails In this post I am going to explain the best way to trim dog nails without actually hurting them. Once you know the best way, with practice you will become more confident and hopefully it will become as easy as brushing their coat.
Of course, without doubt, the best starting point is when they are puppies. With a little bit of care at this stage, you should manage to prepare your dog to not fear the procedure for the rest of his life. The secret is ‘little and often’. That’s right, every week at this stage would be ideal. Take extreme care to just remove a little at a time so that you don’t nick the quick! Before you even start to trim dog nails it is important to prepare the tools you will need.
Bacteria and fungus infections are the leading causes of nail bed issues. These infections can cause a host of issues for your dog. A skin scraping test may need to be done if the skin or more than one nail is involved. Common causes of nail problems are:
- Bacteria or fungus
- Immune system diseases
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Infections of the toenail can be very painful and cause undue stress for your pet. An infected toenail can cause swelling and puss to gather around the nail plate. If the infection is severe enough the nail may need to be surgically removed to allow drainage and rid the infection.
Antibiotic and antimicrobial soaks are an excellent means to preventing or reducing inflammation. These treatments also allow for a better and faster healing process of the nail bed. Most general infections will run their course in a matter of days once treatment begins.
Bacteria or Fungus
Bacteria- Claws that are infected with bacteria are often fractured and oozing with a yellowish or greenish colored puss. Pain and toe swelling will also be present in the affected area. Remove all loose or fractured nails. Give antibiotics at least 2 weeks after the infection has cleared up. Healthy nail regrowth should resume quickly thereafter.
Fungus- Claws that are infected by fungus are typically caused by dermatophytes. Generally, there are only one or two nails that are affected at a time, and are actually rare in cats and dogs, but they are known to happen. Remove all loose or sloughing nails.
An antifungal medication will need to be continued at least 1-3 months after complete nail regrowth is obtained. Fungal infections in dogs must be treated aggressively. Even so, many dogs will suffer uncured diagnosis that lead to long-term treatments or amputation.
Trauma to your pets claws is normally easy to perceive, and is typically caused by environmental issues. Damage can be sustained by rough ground, aggressive play or fighting, or clawing against harder objects. Nails can also snag on carpeting, clothing, or bedding, and tear when the dog tries to free it.
The best defense against toenail trauma is to keep your dog’s nails well-trimmed and rounded.
One of the worst things that a pet owner can do is over-trim their pet’s nails. Cutting into the quick will cause bleeding and open the nail to infection. The pain that is caused by overcutting the nail can cause your pet to gain a phobia of nail trimming, and may cause future issues to accomplish the job.
If the nails are dark in color it can be hard to see where the quick ends. Use a light to illuminate the nail if needed. Make sure that the nail is not trimmed too closely to the quick, and use good, sharp trimmers.
If you are afraid to trim them yourself, go to a professional to have it done.
While dog’s toenails seem to be pretty tough, they are still susceptible to damage and infections. These can cause a lot of pain for your pet. The majority of the issues covered can be avoided by simple good grooming habits.
Keeping an eye on your dog’s nail health is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. Cracked, torn and overgrown nails could become a bigger issue for your dog if the problems are left uncared for. Grooming and proper nutrition to keep his immune system strong can help your dog avoid future problems.
The nutrition in your pet’s food is used as a source of energy for growth. Dogs require a certain amount of nutrition in their diet to maintain their health. Most high-quality commercial pet food will supply all the nutrients your dog will need. Unless your’ pet has a health condition that requires a need for extra nutrients or supplements to be added into the dogs diet, he should be fine with good quality dog food, and a supplement that should be used to make sure.
More than one-third of dogs in the U.S. over one-year-old are considered to be overweight. Small dogs up to 66 pounds usually only need 185- 370 calories per day, while dogs between 67- 100 pounds will require 1,000- 2,000 calories daily. Of course, this also depends upon how active they are and how fast their metabolism works.
Here is a great slideshow that depicts skin and coat issues that are often caused by dietary needs http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-skin-problems-in-dogs
How will I know if my dog is under-nourished?
It is important here for dog owners to understand that not all dogs who suffer from malnutrition are abandoned or abused animals. Many are from loving, safe homes where the owners do not understand the nutrition their pet requires.
There are some signs you can look for that can indicate if your pet has malnutrition.
- Emaciated or extremely thin
- Strong and frequent passing of gas
- Inconsistent bowel movements
- Overly runny or hard feces
- Pain while defecating
- Vomiting bile
- Decreased energy
- Susceptibility to illness
- Hair loss
- Poor eyesight
- Weak bones and teeth
- Dry skin or dandruff
While these can also be symptom of other illnesses (including internal parasites) a combination of any of these can be strong signs of malnutrition. If you suspect that your pet is under-nourished, see your veterinarian. There could be an underlying health cause that is stopping your dog from digesting the nutrition available in his food.
How will I know if my dog is over-nourished?
Most older dogs and those with low activity can easily become over-nourished. As your pet advances in age he naturally becomes less active. Other factors such as environmental limitations, excessive snacking, and table scraps can cause a dog to gain weight. Overweight dogs are more susceptible to health issues.
- Diabetes mellitus
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Urinary bladder stones
- Weight management issues
As with malnutrition, a problem with over-nutrition could also be caused by an underlying health problem. If your pet’s activity level or eating habits have not changed, but his waistline is thickening, you may want to have him checked by your veterinarian.
A healthy balanced diet
One of the best things you can do for your dog’s health is to make sure that he is receiving a healthy, balanced dogs diet. Find out what type of nutrients are important for your dog’s breed, and pick a dog food that best suits those needs. If you are in question about what brand is best, it is always a good practice to ask your veterinarian.
A balanced diet that includes Vitamins A, E, and C, along with Omega Fatty Acids is a great start. Some pets may simply require an extra supplement to be added to their daily dietary intake to balance their nutrition levels. Keep in mind though, that your pet requires exercise along with a good feeding plan.
I recently had a scare. One of my dogs decided that it was going to sneak into the lounge and open and eat a Christmas present that just happened to be dark chocolate liqueurs! A quick trip to the vet averted a potential tragedy, as a lot of us are aware that chocolate can kill dogs. What about other food items? What should we be aware of and what should we avoid in our dogs diet? Why should we consider proper dog vitamin supplements
Canine nutrition has accumulated a number of myths which survive the ridicule of the veterinary profession, but simply aren’t true. Certain items that are rumored to be good for your dog could be potentially harmful.
Canine nutrition hasn’t become as laden with diet fads as have human meal planning. But it has accumulated a number of myths which survive the ridicule of the veterinary profession. As you acquire a dog, your more experienced friends will shower you with advice, which may include some of the following:
– “A clove of garlic keeps worms away” Garlic has enjoyed a reputation for centuries in the folk medicine of many cultures as an antiseptic, a treatment for high blood pressure, etc. But if your dog really does have worms, (and most of them do at one time or another), the quickest way to get rid of them is to have your veterinarian give him a specific worming medicine under his supervision.
– “Raw meat makes a dog vicious” Raw or cooked meat is essential to a dogs nutrition. Fifty percent is the standard ration, and it may compare as much as 75 percent of his diet. There is a massive movement at the moment as more owners are pulling toward a raw diet. It is as natural as nature intended! The first time I gave one of my dogs a raw chicken wing to chew on my heart was in my mouth! I also supplement my dogs diet with our very own multi vitamins, and have noticed a massive difference in behaviour and well being.
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– “A sugar cube dipped in coffee is good for a dogs heart” It is particularly good for his morale, because it probably means that he is sharing your after dinner coffee with you. Give it occasionally as a harmless treat, but not as a regular “medicine”, and not as a heart remedy.
– “Dogs cannot digest starch” They cannot digest uncooked starch, but they can cope with most cooked ones such as rice, whole wheat bread, and macaroni. However, dogs do not receive much nourishment from these foods.
– “Sugar causes worms” Sugar is quick source of energy for dogs, as it is far us. Worms are caused by worm larvae. A puppy may get worms from his mother, and an adult dog may get them from infected food or drink, from the saliva or feces of an infected dog, or from swallowing fleas and lice which act as hosts to tapeworm eggs- but never from sugar.
– “Raw eggs improve dog’s coat” A raw egg yolk from time to time enriches a dog’s diet. Cooked eggs are an acceptable substitute for meat in an emergency. But the best coat conditioner is far, especially unsaturated fat, rich in vitamin E, such as linseed and wheat germ oil. The eggs reputation as a coat conditioner is probably due to the fact that yolk is mostly fat.
– “Milk causes diarrhea in an adult dog” Goats Milk is healthy for all dogs. A bowl of goats milk with a beaten egg yolk and a couple of pieces of whole wheat toast or dog biscuits is a standard supper dish in many kennels. There are various causes for diarrhea, including internal parasites, indigestion, a change of diet, food poisoning, certain contagious diseases- and sometime, but not always, milk.
Knowledge and concern are important in feeding a growing puppy whose nutrition is the foundation of his future health. But common sense is all you need to feed an adult dog correctly, as his own experience will help guide you most of the way. It must also be stressed that supplementing your dogs diet with a suitable dog vitamin supplement should be high on the list.
Separation anxiety in our dog is one of the most common phrases used by pet owners to describe a reaction in our pet when we leave a room or our home. It does not matter the length of time that we will be gone, only that he has been left alone. We can describe separation anxiety as a behavioral issue that manifests itself through signs and symptoms such as; excessive salivation, barking, whining, the destruction of things within the home, and attempts to flee from his crate or room. Other, more severe signs can be messing in his room or crate, scratching at the walls, doors, and floors or carpet, and in extreme anxiety even jumping through windows to escape.
This type of behavior is very stressful not only for our pet but for us humans who love them as well. Not only do we worry about the damage that is caused to property, but we also worry over what the behavior is doing to our dog. Because our pets become attached to their humans they can become anxious when they perceive that they are being left. This perceived threat to their usual content surroundings can trigger separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is not the same as bad behavior.
The following list of symptoms, according to the ASPCA, may indicate signs of separation anxiety:
Urinating and Defecating: Some dogs urinate or defecate when left alone or separated from their guardians. If a dog urinates or defecates in the presence of his guardian, his house soiling probably isn’t caused by separation anxiety.
Barking and Howling: A dog that has separation anxiety might bark or howl when left alone or when separated from his guardian. This kind of barking or howling is persistent and doesn’t seem to be triggered by anything except being left alone.
Chewing, Digging and Destruction: Some dogs with separation anxiety chew on objects, door frames or window sills, dig at doors and doorways, or destroy household objects when left alone or separated from their guardians. These behaviors can result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped paws and damaged nails. If a dog’s chewing, digging and destruction are caused by separation anxiety, they don’t usually occur in his guardian’s presence.
Escaping: A dog with separation anxiety might try to escape from an area where he’s confined when he’s left alone or separated from his guardian. The dog might attempt to dig and chew through doors or windows, which could result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped front paws and damaged nails. If the dog’s escape behavior is caused by separation anxiety, it doesn’t occur when his guardian is present.
Pacing: Some dogs walk or trot along a specific path in a fixed pattern when left alone or separated from their guardians. Some pacing dogs move around in circular patterns, while others walk back and forth in straight lines. If a dog’s pacing behavior is caused by separation anxiety, it usually doesn’t occur when his guardian is present.
Great informational tips on how to deal with separation anxiety on this video
It is always good to watch our dog’s behavior and understand what the signs and symptoms they are displaying mean. By understanding what is motivating the behavior and anxiety, we can begin to eliminate the stress and create a happier and healthier environment for our pet