Dog Disease - Examining your dog

Any dog who comes from a caring breeder should, with regular healthcare, lead a long and healthy vet-free life. You can prevent many common health disorders occurring, or nip them in the bud by examining your dog on a regular basis.

When to do it:
A good time to examine your dog is during a regular grooming session. Look especially at the eyes, ears, mouth and genital area for any unusual discharges. If you notice something out of the ordinary, consult feet and body for cuts, abrasions, ticks and fleas.

Dental care:
A puppy’s baby teeth will fail out during the first few months but in some toy breeds the baby teeth will persist and the second teeth will not dislodge them, if this happens, veterinary treatments is necessary to remove the first teeth and allow sufficient room for the adult teeth to come through. Like humans, all dogs produce tartar and plaque, which may b due to our modern feeding regimes. If these substances are allowed to build up, they will trap pockets of bacteria breath. It may even become necessary for your vet to remove the deposits under a general anesthetic.

Cleaning your dog’s teeth:
You can avoid many of these problems by brushing your dog’s teeth/ if you start when he is young, it is relatively easy to train him to have his teeth cleaned; it just needs patience and kindness at the beginning. You can buy specially formulated toothpastes for dogs as well as brushes which are designed for their mouths. Never use your own human toothpaste, which is designed specifically for our use; dogs find these toothpastes offensive.

Hard biscuits are good for a dog’s teeth, as are chews that are specifically designed for cleaning teeth. Many of these can be purchased in supermarkets, pet shops or veterinary clinics. Chewing on a bone is a classic remedy but only give your dog big raw marrow bones-never cooked chicken or lamb bones or any little bones that can splinter and pierce the stomach lining, causing death. If you do give your dog bones, you must teach him to give them up to you when he is requested to do so, or he may become possessive and aggressive.

Caring for eyes:
The eyes of some dog breeds, such as pugs, protrude slightly and are set forward in the skull. This makes them very vulnerable to scratches from playing in the bushes and running through the undergrowth. When grooming your dog, examine him carefully for any marks on the eyes themselves. Check if there is excess tear staining in the surrounding fur or deposits scratches, ulcers or infection. Such as conjunctivitis, contact the vet immediately. Even if there is no evidence of injury there may be particles of dust in the eye. If so, bathe gently with some cotton wool soaked in optrex. You can remove tear staining from a white coat with special products available from pet shops.

Feet and claw:
Check your dog’s feet regularly, trimming back the hair if necessary. Leave some between the pads but keep it clean. Tease out any tangles with your fingers, grass seeds can embed them selves into the pad and migrate up a dog’s leg so always check for these in the summer months.
Claws should be kept short. However, great care should be taken when cutting as there is a sensitive part containing a vein and to cut into this causes great pain and an outpouring of blood. Before undertaking this yourself, watch an expert or the vet and ask them to show you how to trim them.

Should your dog develop a limp when out walking examine his feet carefully for any damage. If there is a deep cut, you should apply pressure bandages immediately. Any significant cut should receive urgent veterinary treatment.

Ear hygiene:
Some breeds are more prone to ear infections than others, and dogs with erect ears tend to suffer less than those with floppy ears, the reason being that erect allow the circulation of air. Floppy ears trap warm, moist ear, creating an ideal breeding place for bugs. The first indication of an ear infection is when the dog persistently shakes his head and scratches and ear deeply and slowly. When this happens, it is almost certain that you are already too late to apply home remedies and a visit to vet is indicated.

The vet will probably prescribe some ear drops which should clear up the ear infection relatively quickly. However, failure to do so will certainly result in a dog becoming so irritated by condition that his general health will deteriorate.

Keeping you dog’s ears clear:
You can keep your dog’s ears clean and healthy by wiping them once a week with a specially formulated ear cleansing liquid which is available from most pet shops or your veterinary clinic. It simple to use: all shops or your veterinary clinic. It is simple to use: all you need do is squeeze a little into the ear and then wipe clean with some cotton wool or tissue. If your dog objects to this, wrap him firmly within a towel while you do it or ask someone to hold him for you.
The excess hair inside the ears of some breeds can harbor mites and therefore it should be plucked out with your fingers. Do not cut it with scissors or the hairs will fall into the dog’s ear. Long ears should always be cleaned and combed after exercise as they may become matted and muddy. To feed these dogs, always use a tall, narrow dish so that their ears stay free and clean and are not immersed in the food.