About Dog Health - Answered Once and for All
By Michael Lee
Do you have questions
about dog health? Have you always been plagued with
worry over anything to do with your pet pooch? Put your worries
to rest because here are some of the most common questions
about dog health you'll ever come across.
Question #1: How can I tell
if my dog is sick?
You can tell if an animal is
sick pretty much the same way you can tell if a person is sick.
Unlike the latter, who can tell you straightforwardly if they're
feeling a bit under the weather, you just have to be more alert
to your dog's symptoms.
Be aware of any change, however
negligible, in his daily routine. Take note of his appetite,
his liquid consumption, urinary frequency, general appearance,
sudden weight loss, and drops in energy level. More drastically,
does he refuse his food completely? Is he vomiting? Does he
limp or have difficulty getting around? If he exhibits any of
the above signs, then better to be safe than sorry. Take him
to the vet at once.
Question #2: How often should
I have my dog checked at the vet?
Again, as with humans, going
for annual canine physical checkups is ideal. It should be more
frequent than that if your dog is still very young, or has a
medical condition that needs constant monitoring. As he gets
older, around age six, take him twice yearly so that any health
problems that may come with age may be detected and fixed straightaway,
and that the right course of action may be taken to ensure good
and continued health as he matures.
Question #3: Should I have my
Unless you're planning on putting
up a breeding facility, it is highly recommended that your dog be
neutered (if it is a male) or spayed (if female) once it has reached
six months of age.
This makes them less aggressive.
It also boosts their health. A male's chances of getting prostate
and testicular cancer falls to almost zero, while the same rate
holds true for females getting mammary cancer.
Spaying significantly cuts down their
risk of contracting a form of diabetes, as well as womb infections
or pyometra. On a more practical and humane note, it prevents overpopulation
or the swelling in numbers of poor, unwanted puppies in rescue shelters.
Moreover, it saves you the trouble
of having to deal with the horde of male dogs trooping to your house
each time your female dog is in heat.
Question #4: Is excessive drooling
Dogs drool. That is a given fact.
But relative to his size, a good tip would be to take note of whether
or not there is a sudden increase in his salivary output as this
could be an indication of periodontal disease, tongue injuries,
or even cysts, in which case you must take him to see the vet immediately.
Question #5: How do I deal with
Before using your vet's prescribed
ear mite medication, first clean off the deposit of hardened debris
in your dog's ear by applying some drops of baby oil in the ear
canal and letting it stand for a few hours.
Once the coating has softened, you
can flush it away with vinegar and distilled water (avoid tap water)
in equal parts using a rubber ear-cleaning syringe. Do this with
extra care as too much pressure will cause pain.
Once clean, apply a few drops of
the medication; after which, gently massage the ear's base for a
few minutes so that the medicine can be properly absorbed into the
Don't forget to read the medicine's
instructions first before applying. When in doubt about the procedure,
your vet could always do the cleaning and medicating for you, though
it would be advantageous for both you and your pet if you knew how
to do it yourself.
Watching your vet as he/she does
this is good training for you. Ear mites are contagious and if you
have more than one dog, it's best to check if the others may be
scratching their ears as well.
If you have any other concerns and
questions about dog health, visit your friendly
neighborhood veterinarian for more information.
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