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Liver Shunt

This condition is often referred to as a "liver shunt" but the current favored term appears to be portosystemic shunt. These have also been referred to by more exact terms since there are specific types of shunts that vary slightly. The broad categories are extrahepatic and intrahepatic shunts, depending on whether or not the shunt occurs in the liver or outside of it. Specific types of shunts are patent ductus venosus, portal-azygous, portocaval (portal-abdominal vena cava), atresia (lack of development) of the portal vein and acquired shunts that occur due to
changes in blood pressure or circulation.

Yorkshire terriers are reported to have a higher than normal incidence of liver shunts. They are reported to be more likely to have extra-hepatic shunts which is good since they are easier to repair.

What are the signs?
Most shunts cause recognizable clinical signs by the time a dog is a young adult but once in a while one is diagnosed at a later time in life. Since the severity of the condition can vary widely depending on how much blood flow is diverted past the liver it is possible for a lot of variation in clinical signs and time of onset of signs to occur. Often, this condition is recognized after a puppy fails to grow, making an early diagnosis pretty common, too.
Signs of portosystemic shunts include poor weight gain, sensitivity to sedatives (especially diazepam), depression, head pressing (pushing the head against a solid object), seizures, weakness, salivation, vomiting, poor appetite, increased drinking and urinating, balance problems and frequent urinary tract disease or early onset of bladder stones. If the signs of problems increase dramatically after eating this is a strong supportive sign of a portosystemic shunt.

How is Liver Shunt diagnosed?
This is frustrating since there is not a test for this condition. There was a "definitive" test and there is almost one - special dyes injected into the liver circulation that show up on X-rays can outline the problem pretty clearly. Most of the time. But this is a pretty invasive test making it a poor choice for "screening" purposes. There are a number of possible abnormalities that might point towards a portosystemic shunt on routine labwork, including low BUN (blood urea nitrogen), low albumin, mild anemia, increases in ALT (serum alanine aminotransferase) or ALKP (serum alkaline phosphatase). If these hints are present, it would be a good idea to test the serum bile acid levels prior to eating and after eating. If this test is supportive of poor liver function then it may be a good idea to consider ultrasonagraphy and dye contrast X-rays.

How is it treated?

So far in my research I haven't found a cure for Liver shunt besides surgery for portosystemic shunts. As far as I know, dogs with extrahepatic shunts (occurring outside the liver itself) is easier to do than surgery in dogs with intrahepatic (inside the liver) shunts. If you know of a different cure please let me know.


CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS OF HEPATIC PORTOSYSTEMIC SHUNTS
by Larry Snyder, DVM

Clinical Signs: Most dogs will be diagnosed with port-systemic shunts under one year of age, but dogs as old as eight have been diagnosed with the condition. Animals are usually stunted, thin, depressed, have trouble gaining weight, and are usually characterized by the owners as chronic "poor doers". In most affected dogs there will be some degree of behavioral signs ranging from listlessness, apathy, or depression to more severe signs of circling, head pressing, stupor, drooling, blindness, or convulsions, some leading to coma. These behavioral changes are due to an accumulation of toxins (especially ammonia) that affect the brain causing a condition called Hepatic Encephalopathy. These toxins are most abundant in the blood stream following the dog eating, especially a high protein meal, & may remain high for hours afterward. Not all dogs with the shunt will show this meal associated behavioral change, but in 25% of the affected dogs that do, the diagnosis becomes clearer. A high percent of affected animals show an intolerance to anesthetics or tranquilizers, & will show increased recovery times following use of these products. Even anti-convulsants used to control seizures may be potentially dangerous if allowed to concentrate in a dog with functional shunt. Approximately 75% of affected individuals will show digestive system symptoms including poor appetite, ascites, vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, or occasionally deranged appetite (eating paper, etc.). Urinary system symptoms may include increased thirst and urination, & in a majority of porto-systemic shunt cases, there will be crystals or stones formed in the urinary tract. These crystals will be either uric acid or ammonium urate (ammonium biurate or thorn-apple crystals.). There can be bladder stones formed or crystals may be noted on the hair around the prepuce or vulva.

Laboratory Findings: Routine performed serum chemistries are fairly nonspecific toward confirming the diagnosis of porto-systemic shunts, but there may be a decreased total protein (primarily albumin), decreased blood glucose, decreased cholesterol, & decreased blood urea nitrogen (BUN). The uric acid levels may be elevated in a significant number of affected individuals. Acid levels are extremely important in the diagnostic screening of symptomatic potential shunts. Fasting and 2-hr. post meal blood samples are evaluated for bile acid levels. In virtually all porto-systemic shunts there will be a significant rise in the bile acid levels over normal. The use of bile acids in screening clinically normal dogs for liver shunts is not currently being advised due to the variation of normal bile acid levels in Yorkshire Terriers, & other breeds as well. Reports of recent vaccination with modified-live vaccines causing high serum bile acid levels in normal animals have not been confirmed as of this time. Liver function testing with Bromosulfaphthalein (BSP) or ammonia tolerance testing are sensitive & reliable if performed correctly. These tests measure the liver's ability to excrete/detoxify known agents, and thus measure liver function accurately.

Radiography. Radiography is one of the most important methods of establishing a diagnosis of porto-systemic shunt, & is currently the only universally accepted method of confirming a shunt, short of major surgery. Injection of a radiopaque dye into the spleen (Splenoportograpy) will show the shunt on radiographs & allow accurate assessment for surgical correction.

Nuclear Medicine. The placement of a radiopharmaceutical agent (radioisotope) specific for the liver into the colon for absorption through the mucosa has been gaining favor because of its noninvasive diagnostic value. This procedure requires expensive equipment & the diagnosis is based on the distribution of the radionuclide in the lung or heart compared to that in the liver. This procedure also does not identify the exact location of the shunt for surgical correction if required.

Ultrasound. Until recently, ultrasound was fairly unreliable for nonsurgical diagnosis of porto-systemic shunts. With the advent of Color Flow Ultrasound, there is the potential for diagnosis of this condition on non-anesthetized animals. At the present time, this technology appears to be the diagnostic procedure of choice. If currently undertaken research confirms its value, Color Doppler Ultrasound will soon be the preferred screening and diagnostic tool.

At the present time, Hepatic Porto-Systemic shunts are considered to be UNQUESTIONABLY genetic by some of the leading canine experts, but the mode has not been identified at the present time; research is being conducted at Michigan State University to identify this pattern. Genetic disorders in dogs can spread relatively rapidly if a dog, whether affected or a carrier, is a well-respected animal in either conformation or ability, and is used extensively for breeding. This is especially true in the case of the male that can produce hundreds of offspring during his breeding life. If the cause of such a condition can be discovered, then a working strategy can be implemented to control and eliminate the disorder.

The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Foundation, Inc. is currently funding research into both the genetic nature of the problem & into the use of Color Flow Doppler Ultrasound as a diagnostic & screening tool. These steps will hopefully become the basis for setting up an open registry for Yorkshire Terriers & other affected breeds to hopefully eliminate, or at least minimize the problem within each breed.

For More information contact the YTCA

Sources
?Richard, Michael, DVM Q&A-DR Mike Retrieved February 1998 from the WWW http://www.vetinfo.com/Q&A.html
?Shumsky, Terri (1993) How to buy your Toy Dog, and Raise it Expensively California Creations by Terri.
?Snyder, Larry D.V.M. YTCA Foundation

My name is Karen Tobias and I am a surgeon at University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. I have been studying and surgically correcting portosystemic shunts for 15 years. I have recently received funding from the AKC Canine Health Foundation and the YTCA to study genetics of normal Yorkies and Yorkies with liver shunts.

The Canine Health Foundation of the American Kennel Club and the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America have joined forces to investigate the cause of one of the breed's most heartbreaking diseases: Congenital Portosystemic Shunts. Portosystemic shunts, or "PSS", are abnormal blood vessels that form a bypass around the liver. Toxic blood that is normally filtered and cleansed by the liver is shunted to the heart and brain, resulting in depression, behavior changes, poor growth rate, and other signs of illness in affected dogs.

One out of every seven Yorkshire Terriers presented to Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine for any reason was found to have a portosystemic liver shunt! The hereditary nature of this birth defect has already been established in Irish Wolfhounds, Maltese, and other breeds. Many breeders assume the disease is genetic in Yorkshire Terriers as well; however, this has yet to be proven.

Goals of our study: Our study will serve as the first step in identifying a genetic cause for Congenital Portosystemic Shunts. By evaluating pedigrees of affected and unaffected Yorkshire Terriers we will try to answer the following questions: Are liver shunts genetic? Do liver shunts occur equally throughout the breed or is there an increased risk of portosystemic shunts with certain ancestors? What is the risk of inheriting a portosystemic shunt? And, is it likely that we will be able to isolate a carrier gene? If a genetic basis for PSS is found, the information gained can then be used to pursue genetic testing for the condition.

Dr. Karen Tobias can be reach at : Dr. Karen Tobias, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, PO Box 1071, Knoxville TN, 37901-1071.

Canine Heartworms and Heartworm Prevention for Dogs

By Whitney

Heartworms

Heartworms can be found in cats or dogs, but they are generally more often found in dogs, as dogs tend to spend more time outside than cats. No matter where you live, your dog is susceptible to heartworm disease, and yes it is 1) a disease and 2) worms.

Typically heartworms found in female dogs are about 14 inches long and about 1/8 inch wide, whereas heartworms in male dogs are about half that size. Well, one or two of these may not pose too much of a concern, but a dog's heart can house up to 300 full-grown worms, give or take.

Your dog contracts heartworms, so to speak, by mpsquitoes. When the mosquito initially bites a dog, it ingests microfilariae, which grows and changes within the mosquito. When that same mosquito bites another dog, it passes the altered micorfilariae to the second dog. Once in the second dog's body, the microfilariae travel throughout the bloodstream, until reaching the heart and lungs, where they position themselves and grow into exremely long worms.

Adult female worms, can produce thousands of microfilariea a day, which can live in your dog's bloodstream for up to three years, waiting for a mosquito to pick them up to transport to another dog, starting the process again. (The process of picking up the microfilariae, having it undergo changes, and then despositing it into another dog, tend to take about 10 days.)

Heartworm disease can be treated, but it's so much easier and cheaper to prevent them in the first place.

Heartworms look like spaghetti noodles

Signs of Heartworms

Because heartworms tend to occupy the more important organs, you may notice dysfunctions of the heart, lungs, and even the liver and kidneys, because the heartworms will cause damage to tissues of the organs, usually causing the cough, overall weakness, and anemia.

Heartworms can clog the heart and major blood vessels, and because of this, it can cause restricted blood flow to your dog's organs, which will cause the lack of exercise or excitement.

The disease can also, cause dysfunctions with the valves of the heart, which can also cause the dog to slow down.

Usually, once infected, dogs don't show symptoms for up to two years, and by the time you notice the symptoms, your dog has progressed heartworm disease.

Here are the general signs and symptoms of the different stages of heartworm disease.

Acute: No abnormal signs

Mild: A slight cough

Moderate: exercise intolerance, cough, and abnormal lung sounds

Severe: exercise intolerance, cough, breathing difficulties, abnormal lung sounds, enlargement of the liver, temporary loss of consciousness due to poor blood flow to the brain, fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity, abnormal heart sounds, weight loss, loss of stamina, and even death

© Mark D. Kittleson, D.V.M. 

Diagnosing and Treating Heartworms

A simple blood test can be preformed to diagnose heartworm disease. You vet will run a filtration test to determine whether there are microfilariae in your dog's bloodstream, but even if you dog may be infected with heartworms, he may not have any microfilariae in his bloodstream. This is why veterinarians will also perform an occult test, which will show whether there are worms in the heart.

If you vet notices that, in deed, your dog has heartworms, he will probably want to perform an x-ray so that he can determine the severity of the disease.

Usually depending on the severity of the disease, your doctor will either prescribe that you start the dog on a preventative (this is only the case for very acute heartworms), or, the typical answer is to treat the disease with an arsenic-based drugs.

The treatment for heartworm disease is a very serious treatment, as it can kill your dog. You want to keep your dog very low-key for the full term of the treatment- loads of rest and little excess stimulation or excitement. Now, depending on severity of the disease, your dog may not want to move around or be active, which is actually a good thing.

The drugs that are used to treat heartworms, kill the worms and all microfilaria. The dog's liver and kidneys will then work on overtime to rid the dog's body of the bi-products of the drugs and the dead heartworms and microfilariae.

After the treatments, you dog may suffer nausea, vomiting, and even lack of appetite. Usually, depending on the severity, your dog will get 2 shots of the drugs, within a few week span.

It's not uncommon that the vet give the dog 4 shots (halving the normal 2 amounts) and giving each shot a few weeks a part from each other, so that the treatment is spread out and less potent. Usually, this is the case for dogs with severe heartworms.

Heartworm Prevention

Preventing heartworm disease is so much cheaper and healthier than having to treat the disease.

There are several different forms of heartworm preventatives that you can buy. Here are four.

Interceptor- Broad Spectrum Parasiticide. Contains once-a-month Flavor Tabs to prevent heartworm disease, control adult hookworm infection, and control & remove adult roundworms & whipworms in dogs and puppies.

Heartgard Plus- Comes in small, medium, and large forms for the different weight levels of dogs. Heargard is a chewable pill that has a beef flavor. Heartgard not only prevents heartworms, but it can help control more species of roundworms and hookworms than any of the other preventatives.

Valuheart- Valuheart is available in for small, medium, and large dogs. The product prevents heartworms by eliminating them in their development stage.

Sentinel- This product is meant to prevent heartworms and fleas, as well as hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.

All four preventatives must be administered monthly.

Natural Heartworm Prevention

In general, heartworm preventatives have tons of adverse effects, such as liver problems, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, lethargy, seizures, tremors, paralysis, autoimmune disorders, thyroid problems, fever, dizziness, coughing, nerve damage, and several other side effects. Some veterinarians even claim that long-term heartworm preventatives can cause liver and kidney disease, skin allergies, and other cancers.

For these reasons, you may want to find a natural alternative to the heartworm preventatives commonly sold by most veterinarians.

Typically, you can ward off mosquitoes with various herbs and natural oils that have anti-parasitic properties. These usually ward off mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks.

A few herbs that you may want to try as natural heartworm prevention, include

Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

Clove Flower Buds (Eugenia caryophyllata)

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)

Spearmint Herb (Mentha spicata)

Turmeric Root (Curcuma longa)

Wormwood (Artemisia annua)

You'll also want to make sure that your dog has a healthy diet, a strong immune system, and good blood circulation. Mosquitoes are less likely to bite healthy dogs, but if they do, a healthy dog will have the strong immune system that can fight off the microfilariae before they become worms. And, if your dog has good circulation, the microfilariae may not have the chance to lodge itself within the heart or lungs.

Don't leave your dog's health up to chance, though. You want to find some preventative that will work for your dog. Talk with an "alternative" veterinarian for more natural heartworm prevention methods.

 

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the advice in this article should in no way replace that of a licensed veterinarian. If you have any questions or concerns, you should consult a veterinarian.

 

Health and home remedies

NEVER GIVE YOUR DOG TYLENOL, IBUPROFEN, or NAPROXIN IT'S POISONOUS!!

      A healthy dog has a temperature of 101-102 degrees, a respiratory rate of 15-20 breaths per minute, and a heart rate of 80-120 beats per minute. They have pink mucus membranes (gums, inside of lips, tongue, and inside of eyelids) when pressed gently the pink should return quickly. Their ears should smell clean, and their eyes should be clear and bright.

      Vet care should never be dismissed. They are trained to care for our pets and can diagnose things we might not see or notice. I am NOT a vet, but here are some home remedies, that I have found helpful and some that I have not had to use, but have been recommended by other breeders. These remedies should never take the place of a veterinarian's advice. If ever in doubt always consult your vet!!!! I never hesitate to call my vet.

 

EYES:

Boric Acid:

This is great to flush out eyes, when irritated. It also yields some antiseptic properties. It can help to clean tear stains as well, followed by cornstarch under the eye to help keep the area dry. MIXTURE: 1tsp to a pint of sterile water.

 

Cod Liver Oil:

This acts as a lubricant and surrounds the grit or sand etc. and helps to lift it out of the eye. There is a high amount of vitamin A in this oil, which will help heal the cornea if there is an abrasion. ONE DROP in the lower lid.

Both of these ingredients can be found at your local drug store.

 

Pain, swelling, & fever:

Willow Bark:

This contains Salic acid, which was the natural source that led to the isolation of ASA and our modern aspirin. Willow Bark doesn't upset the stomach, and dogs seem to like its flavor. It is highly effective at reducing pain, swelling, and fever. THE DOSAGE is less problematic you can use a pinch or more depending on the size of your dog.

Willow Bark can be found in either the herb form or powder form at most health food stores.

 

Loose Stool:

Canned Pumpkin:

NOT pumpkin pie mix! Plain pumpkin. ONE Tbl spoon with food for several days.

 

Upset Stomach:

Peanut Butter:

My vet says this helps if your dogs like it. Mine do! ONE Tsp. every few hours as needed.

 

Constipation:

Mineral Oil:

ONE Tsp. up to four times daily.

 

 Fading or Hypoglycemia:

Light Karo Syrup:

RUB Syrup on gums and under tongue and roof of mouth.

Dyne:

Give 2-4 ml every 20-30 min

 

 Dehydration:

Unflavored Pedialyte

Rebound (you can get this from your Vet)

 

COMMON HOUSEHOLD MEDICATIONS, YOU CAN USE ON YOUR DOG.

 

Buffered Aspirin:

(Pain relief, anti-inflammatory)

5 mg per pound, every 12 hours.

* Do not give to pregnant or whelping dogs, as this can cause hemorrhaging!

 

Benadryl:

(Allergies, itching, etc.)

1/2 mg per pound every 8 hours.

 

Dramamine:

(Reduces motion/car sickness)

Up to 50 mg every eight hours.

 

Hydrogen Peroxide 3%:

(To induce vomiting after accidental ingestion of poison)

10 mg by mouth every 15 minutes.

 

Pepto Bismol:

(For diarrhea, vomiting, & anti-gas)

1 tsp. per 5 pounds, every 6 hours.

Kaopectate:

(Relieves diarrhea)

1 ml per pound every 2 hours.

 

 Helpful measurement conversions:

 

1tsp= 5 cc

1 cc=1 ml

4oz=1/2 cup

60z=3/4 cup

80z=1 cup

 

 Yogurt (plain, whole) is good to give after worming or antibiotics to restore the natural probiotics in the stomach.

 

Luxating Patellas

Luxating is a fancy word for dislocating. Patella is your dog's "knee", the joint on the front of her hind leg. So a luxating patella is a dislocating knee or trick knee, a knee that keeps slipping out of its socket. This can happen in yorkies with weak ligaments, tendons, and/or muscles. It can also happen in Yorkies whose kneecap groove is too narrow or shallow. The knee usually slips inwardly, toward her body, and locks so that your Yorkie can't bend her leg.
Suspect luxating patella if your Yorkie sometimes lifts one hind leg while she is running, or if she often moves both rear legs at the same time, like a hopping bunny.
Sometimes the knee slips only for a few moments, then slides back into place. Sometimes the knee slips out and stays out, and your Yorkie will hold her leg off the ground and limp, perhaps tucking her thigh into her body. Luxation may occur in one knee, or in both. It is seen in many other toy breeds, and in both sexes, though it seems to be more common in females. No matter how firm the knees seem as puppies, toy dogs are liable to injure their knees.

Is luxation serious?
There are four degrees (grades) of luxation:

I. The knee only slips out when the vet manipulates it.
II. The knee luxates occasionally when your Yorkie is walking or running. She may not seem to mind much, or she may shriek, but it usually slides back by itself as she continues moving. Or you can slip it back manually (ask the vet to show you how).
III. The knee luxates frequently and causes chronic lameness. Even when you put it back manually, it doesn't seem to last long.
IV. The knee luxates, stays that way, and you can't put it back into its socket. This grade is very rare.

How is luxation treated?

?The first treatment should be to crated for a week or two and supervise the activity - no jumping.
?Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (like Rimadyl). These will hide the symptoms, but do absolutely nothing to strengthen or correct the knee.
?Steroidal anti-inflammatories. These are extremely damaging to the immune system, have awful side effects (short and long term), and should never be used.
?Surgery. Surgery is seldom the answer and should only be done by an orthopedic surgeon. Call the American College of Veterinary Surgeons at (301) 718-6504 and ask for a referral to an orthopedic specialist or college of veterinary medicine in your state. If surgery is your choice, that dog will have problems down the road with arthritis from the surgery. In the opinion of most vets, surgery is overkill for Grade I or II luxating patella. I would only go with surgery on a Grade IV luxation, or on a Grade III that did not respond to natural treatment. Surgery costs about five hundred dollars per leg, it is uncomfortable for your Yorkie, and there is a 50% chance that some degree of luxation will return.

Natural ways to treat your Yorkie:

?Feed fresh foods.
?Keep your Yorkie lean. Fat dogs have to carry more weight on their weak leg joint.
?Moderate exercise, walking up slight inclines (gentle hills), will strengthen the muscle groups around the patella.
?Vitamin C is one of the building blocks of strong ligaments and connective tissue.
Glyco-flex and Glucosamine are nutritional products packed with minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and lubricating agents. They build cartilage and cushioning fluid in injured joints, and help heal damaged connective tissue.

What causes luxating patella?

Occasionally it's caused by an injury, but in the absence of such proof, the weak tendons and/or shallow kneecap groove of luxating patella is considered hereditary. Never breed a Yorkie with any degree of luxation (even a "wiggly" knee), whether it has been repaired or not. Fixing the knee doesn't fix the genes that caused the problem.

OFA Certification
The Orthopedic Foundation of America will issue registration numbers to dogs whose patellas have been x-rayed by a vet, forwarded to the OFA, and found to be normal. This condition is so common in Yorkies that we believe it is essential that all breeders start doing these x-rays before breeding. Then you will be able to INSIST on seeing the OFA certificate for each parent before buying a Yorkie puppy. It will be one more way to pick out the responsible breeders from the rest of the pack.

For More Information visit the Orthopedic Foundation of America

Sources
?Chihuahua Kingdom Retrieved February 1998 from the WWW http://3lbdogs.com/wellness/
?Shumsky, Terri (1993) How to buy your Toy Dog, and Raise it Expensively California Creations by Terri.


What is patellar luxation?

The knee cap (patella) normally fits into a groove in the thigh bone (femur). The
patella slides up and down in this groove as the leg bends and straightens. Patellar
luxation means that the knee cap has slipped out of the groove. There are several
reasons why this happens, including malformation of the groove. Luxation may
happen only occasionally, or may happen continuously. The knee cap may pop back
into the groove on its own, or your veterinarian may need to push it back into place.
Your dog will be lame when the patella is out of place. Over time your dog may
develop other degenerative joint changes, such as osteoarthritis.

How is patellar luxation inherited?
The mode of inheritance is not yet known. Some researchers think that this disease
may be polygenic.

What breeds are affected by patellar luxation?
This disease is inherited in the following breeds: miniature and toy poodle, Yorkshire
terrier, Pomeranian, Pekingese, Chihuahua, Boston terrier, Basset hound, Shih-tzu,
Silky terrier, and Lhasa apso.  (Patellar luxation may also occur in any breed as a
result of trauma.)
For many breeds and many disorders, the studies to determine the mode of
inheritance or the frequency in the breed have not been carried out, or are
inconclusive. We have listed breeds for which there is a consensus among those
investigating in this field and among veterinary practitioners, that the condition is
significant in this breed.

What does patellar luxation mean to your dog & you?
When present, the condition is usually evident in young dogs by around 6 months of
age, but if mild it may go unnoticed until the dog is older. When the knee cap is out of
place, your dog will be lame and may refuse to bear weight, or his/her knee may be
"locked". The severity of the condition varies widely. In mild cases, the knee cap may
only slip out of place occasionally, causing your dog to "hop" for a few steps, and
then it may slide back into the groove on its own. In severe cases, the knee cap slips
out of place more often, or is never in a normal position. It may not go back into the
groove on its own and your veterinarian may need to push it back into place.
As a result of patellar luxation, your dog may develop other degenerative joint
changes, such as osteoarthritis. If your dog has a mild case of this disease, you may
not notice the actual luxation, but your dog may eventually develop pain due to
osteoarthritis.

How is patellar luxation diagnosed?
Your veterinarian will diagnose this disease based on physical examination and
palpation. He/she may take radiographs to see if your dog has other problems (such
as osteoarthritis) as a result of this disease.

How is patellar luxation treated?
The treatment and long term outcome (prognosis) depend on the severity of disease
(how often the knee cap slips out of place, and how easily it slips back into the
normal position), and whether there are other problems such as osteoarthritis.
Moderate or severe cases often require surgery to make sure that the knee cap stays
in the groove in the femur, and to prevent painful osteoarthritis. Exercise restriction is
important for a period after surgery, and the results are usually very good.

For the veterinarian:
Patellar luxation may be classified in four grades, with grade I being the most mild.
Mild patellar luxation may be discovered as an incidental finding. Severe cases in
growing dogs may result in limb deformity. Surgery is usually recommended in
moderate or severe cases to stabilize the patella and correct the underlying anatomic
deformity. Surgical correction may or may not stop the progression of degenerative
joint disease, and reluxation is a possible complication of surgery.

Breeding advice
Affected dogs, as well as their parents, their litter-mates, and any dog which has had
surgery for patellar luxation, should not be bred. The Orthopedic Foundation of
America - www.offa.org - and Institute for Genetic Disease Control in Animals -  
www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/gdc/gdc.html - have registries for this condition.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS DISORDER, PLEASE SEE
YOUR VETERINARIAN.


We do not guarantee the puppies against this disorder

because the fact that a distant ancestor may have

carried the fault, and it can also result from a injury.

Here at Belles Beautiful Butterflys we strive to produce
healthy, quality puppies but can not predict the
unforeseen.

L'egg Perthes

Legg-Perthes, also called Legg-Calve-Perthes (LCP) disease, is a disease of the hip joints of small breeds of dogs. The head of the femur (the ball part of the ball and socket) begins to die and disintegrate. This causes limping, pain, and eventually arthritis. It usually appears between 6-12 months of age. It is treated surgically by removing the head of the femur and letting the muscles form a "false joint." It really does work. The dogs recuperate very well from surgery.

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (aseptic or a vascular necrosis of the femoral head)
Avascular necrosis occurs when the bone that makes up the ball portion of the hip is damaged from lack of blood supply. The reasons this occurs are not clear. Since a higher incidence of this disorder is noted in several dog breeds, including terrier breeds, miniature pinscher, poodles and possibly schipperkes, it is assumed that there may be a genetic component to the problem. In Manchester terriers, the genetic component appears to be a strong influence and heritability is pretty high for this problem.
Most of the time the clinical signs of this disease occur in 4 to 11 month old dogs and usually consist of lameness of one leg only. Pain may be mild to very severe. Some dogs have mild forms of this condition and do not require medical care. In other dogs, the condition cause sufficient pain and deformity of the hip joint to require surgical intervention. The disorder can usually be confirmed with X-rays. Atrophy of the muscles of the affected leg is not uncommon. If this is severe it can slow the recovery period considerably and may make medical therapy less likely to work.
Treatment of this condition varies according to the severity of the signs seen. In mild cases, enforced rest may be sufficient to allow healing of the damaged areas to occur. In some cases, immobilization of the affected limb using an Ehmer sling may be beneficial to recovery. Many dogs have advanced cases of this disease by the time they are examined by a veterinarian and medical treatment is not likely to work. In these dogs, excision of the femoral head (ball portion of the hip joint) is often beneficial. Removal of this section of the bone diminishes painful bony contact in the hip joint. Recovery from this surgery can be slow with recovery periods of up to one year sometimes occurring before good use of the affected leg returns. If muscle atrophy is not present at the time of surgery the recovery time is usually much less. Pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications may be beneficial.
There is a stronger tendency to treat this as a medical condition prior to surgery right now. A general rule of thumb is to allow non-surgical therapy a month to show a beneficial response. If one is not seen, surgical repair should be considered more carefully.

Sources
?Jack Russel Terrier L'egg Perthes Retrieved February 1998 from the WWW http://www.terrier.com/medical/legg.htm
?Shumsky, Terri (1993) How to buy your Toy Dog, and Raise it Expensively California Creations by Terri.
?Richard, Michael, DVM Q&A-DR Mike Retrieved February 1998 from the WWW http

 

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar, which is a condition in which there is a drastic, sudden drop in the level of blood sugar in the puppy. In small breed puppies from post-weaning to 4 month of age, the most common form of hypoglycemia is called Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia: "Transient" because the symptoms can be reversed by eating; "Juvenile" because it is seen in young puppies.

Background on blood sugar:
Glucose is the "simple" sugar that the body uses for "fuel" to run its various functions. Table sugar, or sucrose, is made up of two simple sugars, glucose and fructose, and can be broken down rapidly after eating. All sugars are carbohydrates. Grains are also carbohydrates but are considered "complex" carbohydrates because they have many more components and take longer to be broken down. The body uses glucose as its primary energy source. All the parts of the body except the brain can, if needed, use alternate energy sources--fatty acids, for example, which the body accesses by breaking down fat stores. The brain, however, is completely dependent upon glucose to function. If the glucose in the blood is lower than normal, the brain function is the first to show signs. The liver is responsible for manufacturing glucose and for storing it in a usable form, for release into the blood stream as needed. Muscle tissues store some of the important materials used in this process. Therefore, a serious liver abnormality or insufficient muscle mass may make it difficult for the body to keep its blood sugar properly regulated.

How are small breeds different?
Puppies of very small and toy breeds of dogs have characteristics that make them more prone to the development of Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia, which is brought on by fasting. Pups of any breed are more likely to develop hypoglycemia than adults, because their skeletal muscle mass and liver size are smaller and brain size, larger, in proportion to the rest of their body. Therefore, there is less glucose being put out into the blood and more being used by the brain, which is dependent upon adequate glucose in order to function. In small and toy breeds, this discrepancy is more pronounced. Even a brief period of fasting in a toy breed puppy can trigger a hypoglycemic "attack. Puppies with Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia have normal liver size and function, but inadequate glucose precursors or glucose in its stored form (body fat).

What are the symptoms?
Signs of an attack are a weakness, confusion, wobbly gait, frothing or drooling from the mouth - sometimes even a seizure and drain of blood from the head. A check of the gums will show them to be pale, almost a grayish white in color rather than a healthy bright pink. The puppy can go into shock and, if not cared for properly and promptly, may even die.

What causes it?
Episodes of hypoglycemia often occur without warning. A puppy may be stressed by shipping, or because of their tiny size toy puppies cannot eat a lot at one time, and literally run out of fuel quickly, being chilled, or even exhaustion from too much play may cause the body to use up more sugar than is available. For the young pup prone to this condition, even a brief period of fasting in a toy breed puppy can trigger a hypoglycemic "attack". Recurring hypoglycemic attacks in toy puppies can cause brain damage. Puppies should be fed several times a day a high quality diet. Most puppies will outgrow the problem. Some very tiny dogs will continue to have bouts of hypoglycemia through out their life

What is the Treatment?
Feeding recommendations for puppies at risk for hypoglycemia include: frequent (4-5 times a day) feedings of high-carbohydrate, high -protein and/or -fat foods. Feeding soft moist foods may help to prevent a hypoglycemia attack due to the high sugar content. Gatorade mixed with a little honey, Ringers lactate with dextrose or Pedialyte are good products to use if dog is having an attack. These products have electrolytes, which ailing puppies need. Honey and corn syrup can be used also. For pups who have had recurrent or prolonged signs, monitoring the urine for ketones with a "dipstick" made for diabetics is helpful, since a return to "ketone negative status" signals a return to normalcy. If these measures don't correct the problem, a trip to the vet is recommended. Eating food that is readily digested and metabolized will reverse minor signs, but intravenous glucose administration is required for severe cases.

If your puppy is conscious, give him/her a little Karo Syrup, or Honey under its tongue, or rubbed on its gums. You can also mix honey, or corn syrup with pedialite, stir to dissolve, and dribble it into the puppy's mouth. I think that Dyne also works extremely well in an emergency. I will give my puppy 1cc of Dyne every 30 min, you should see a difference within a few minutes, if not contact your vet as quickly as you can.

(Dyne is a high calorie dietary supplement in a low volume form. It is a great tasting vitamin liquid. You can purchase this either at your local feed store or online. I recommend that you have this on hand for all emergencies and especially when you travel with your Yorkie.)

Are there other causes of Hypoglycemia in puppies?
There are numerous other causes of hypoglycemia in puppies, but they are much less common. It is important to distinguish between whether the signs of hypoglycemia occur with fasting or just following a meal. Hypoglycemia can also be an inherited condition. If a female has been hypoglycemic, it's likely that she will pass it on to her puppies. Some problems are caused by liver problems, such as a defect involving an abnormal blood vessel shunt (a "detour," of sorts) around the liver, and some are caused by hereditary metabolic defects, hormone defects and deficiencies, and severe bacterial infections. All of these are serious problems that need to be diagnosed as soon as possible.


Resources:
Vet@Dog Dr. Lucy L. Pinkston, D.V.M. http://www.dog.com/vet/nutrition/03.html 3-10-03
Drs Foster & Smith http://www.DrsFosterSmith.com
Yorkieviews.com 3-10-2003

***I have been using Dyne for several years & it is wonderful. For both puppies & adult dogs. 

 

Here are 3 web sites to find Dyne...

http://www.jefferspet.com/dyne-high-calorie-supplement/camid/PET/cp/272/

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=711

http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=30e0710a-7b6a-11d5-a192-00b0d0204ae5&gas=dyne

tMale vs Female

Many people believe that female dogs make better pets...female preference seems to be ingrained in these people. Most calls for pet dogs have people wanting a 'sweet girl'. They don't think females display alpha behaviours like 'marking' and/or 'humping'. They believe that they are more docile and attentive and do not participate in fighting over dominance.

 

Well folks, this is not true and they don't call them a 'bitch' for nothing!

 

In the dog pack makeup, females usually rule the roost, determine pecking order, and who compete to maintain and/or alter that order. The females are, as a result, more independent, stubborn, and territorial than their male counterparts. The females are much more intent upon exercising their dominance by participating in alpha behaviors such as 'humping'. There IS a reason people utilize the technical dog term of 'bitch' in a negative way-and it refers directly to the behaviors exhibited by the females of the dog world. Most fights will usually break out between 2 females. Males, on the other hand, are usually more affectionate, exuberant, attentive, and more demanding of attention. They are very attached to their people. They also tend to be more steadfast, reliable, and less moody. They are more outgoing, more accepting of other pets, and take quicker to children. Most boys are easily motivated by food (how true!!) and praise, and so eager to please that training is easy. However, males can be more easily distracted during training, as males like to play so often. And no matter what age, he is more likely to act silly and more puppy-like, always wanting to play games. Boys are fun-loving until the day they die. Females tend to be more reserved or dignified as they age. Witness the human equivalent of the twinkling eyed Grandpa still playing catch at age 70, while Grandma quietly observes from the porch.

 

Neutered males rarely exhibit secondary sexual behavior such as 'humping', or 'marking' and lifting of legs. Once the testosterone levels recede after neutering, most of these behaviors (if they ever existed) will disappear. Boys who were neutered early (by 5 months of age) usually don't ever raise their leg to urinate.

 

While the female will usually come to you for attention, when she's had enough, she will move away. While boys are always waiting for your attention and near at hand. Females are usually less distracted during training, as she is more eager to get it over with, and get back to her comfy spot on the couch. The female is less likely to wage a dominance battle with YOU, but she can be cunning and resourceful in getting her own way. She is much more prone to mood swings. One day she may be sweet and affectionate-the next day reserved and withdrawn or even grumpy. The female also has periods of being 'in heat' unless she is spayed.

 

Seasonal heats can be a three week long hassle not just for the female, but you and every male dog in the neighborhood. Did we mention that the seasonal heats happen TWICE a year?

 

If you are not breeding, you'd be best off to have her spayed since during this time she can leave a bloody discharge on carpets, couches, or anywhere she goes. She will be particularly moody and emotional during this time. A walk outside during this period can become hazardous if male dogs are in the vicinity, and she will leave a 'scent' for wandering intact males to follow right to your yard, where they will hang out, and 'wait' for days.

 

Research has also proven that a female NOT bred during a heat cycle stays in a flux of estrogen level which may give us the reason as to why females are more moody than males.

 

Males generally cost 1/2 the price to have neutered as a female does to be spayed.

 

 

Question: How Long Does the Heat Cycle Last in the Dog?

Non-spayed female dogs will go into "heat" or estrus usually twice a year. The age at which they start their cycles and the duration of the cycle varies greatly between the breeds of dogs and individual dogs. Learn more facts about canine estrus in this FAQ.

Answer: There are four stages to the canine estrus cycle:

Proestrus: vaginal discharge, males attracted to females, females unwilling to mate. Length: 4-20 days.
Estrus: swollen vulva, yellowish vaginal discharge, mating occurs during this phase. Length: 5-13 days.
Metestrus (or Diestrus): period after estrus or mating. Length: 60-90 days. If pregnant, pregnancy lasts between 60-64 days in the dog.
Anestrus: period of inactivity (sexual and hormonal) between estrus phases. Length: 2-3 months.

Some general "rules of thumb" for canine estrus:

·         The first estrus cycle usually occurs by age 6-12 months; for some small breeds, as early as 5 months, and for some large and giant breeds, the first cycle may not occur until 14 months of age or older.

·         On average, dogs have two cycles a year.

·         The estrus cycle lasts on average 12-21 days, but maybe be as short as a few days to four weeks. The estrus period length varies widely between breeds and individual dogs.

·         The length of a cycle varies widely, even for dogs of the same breed. If in doubt, assume the longer end of the range for the cycle length.

·         Bleeding occurs prior to a female being receptive to a male (allowing mounting by the male), but male dogs will be very attracted to the female in the proestrus stage.

·         Dogs can get pregnant during their first heat cycle, but this is not advisable as a 6-month old dog is not yet fully grown/mature, and complications for the mother and the puppies are more likely.

For dogs that will be pets, it is recommended to spay them before the first heat, eliminating the risk of accidental pregnancy and reproductive diseases later on in life. Dogs may be spayed while in heat (or pregnant), but there is additional risk due to the engorged vessels and tissue of the reproductive tract -- a higher chance of bleeding during surgery or other complications. The cost of surgery while in heat or pregnant is often higher as well.

 

 

Eclampsia

Eclampsia is an acute, life-threatening disease caused by low calcium levels (hypocalcemia) in dogs and more rarely in cats. The lactating animal is especially susceptible to blood calcium depletion because of lactating. The bodies of some lactating dogs and cats simply cannot keep up with the increased demands for this mineral that they receive from their diet. Please remember that the diet may be fine for these affected individuals, but they lack the ability to quickly shunt calcium to their milk without depleting their own bodies.

Eclampsia is most commonly encountered 1-3 weeks after giving birth, but it can occur anytime, even while pregnant. Litters do not need to be large to cause eclampsia but usually heavy milkers are at a greater risk, as are dogs of smaller breeds. The puppies and kittens themselves are not affected as the mother's milk appears to be normal during this period.

Signs of eclampsia
Eclampsia is a very serious disorder but fortunately the signs are fairly easy to recognize, especially when coupled with the period of lactation. Initially, the affected animal will be restless and nervous. Within a short time, she will walk with a stiff gait and may even wobble or appear disoriented. Eventually the animal may be unable to walk and exhibit extreme leg rigidity. Body temperature may increase to over 105° F and respiration rates will increase. At this point death can occur if no treatment is given.

Treatment of eclampsia
If you suspect eclampsia, seek veterinary attention at once and prevent the puppies or kittens from nursing for at least 24 hours. Supplement them with a commercial milk replacer. A veterinarian can confirm eclampsia with a blood test to determine blood calcium levels. Eclampsia can be rapidly corrected by your veterinarian through the use of intravenous calcium supplementation. The bitch or queen is monitored carefully for heart rhythm irregularities which can occur. She will be continued on oral calcium supplements as needed.

If she responds well to treatment, her young can gradually be allowed to nurse.

Prevention of eclampsia
Inappropriate calcium supplementation can predispose a bitch or queen to develop eclampsia. Once a female has had milk fever during a lactation period, there is an excellent chance that it will repeat with future litters if preventative steps are not taken. Supplementation of dietary calcium does not seem to play a large role in preventing eclampsia. In fact, over-supplementation during pregnancy may actually cause it. All calcium supplements must be in the proper ratio with phosphorus. This ratio should be about 1:1 (i.e., 1 part calcium to 1 part phosphorus). In addition, it has been suggested that dog foods high in soybeans will be high in the plant product phytate. Phytates combine with calcium and can render the calcium unavailable to the bitch's body and therefore make her more susceptible to eclampsia. To remedy the problem, feed diets low in soybean.

In conclusion, it is of great importance for breeders to be able to recognize the signs of eclampsia. If you feel your female is showing these signs, remove the kittens or pups to prevent further nursing and seek veterinary assistance at once.


What is Lymphangiectasia?

As part of the normal circulatory system, lymph fluid is collected from tissues throughout the body and returned to the blood by way of the lymphatic vessels. In intestinal lymphangiectasia, normal drainage is blocked so that intestinal lymph leaks into the intestines instead of being returned to the circulation. This results in the loss of proteins, lymphocytes ( a type of white blood cell), and lipids or fats into the stool.

Intestinal lymphangiectasia may be congenital (present from birth) due to malformation of the lymphatic system, or it may be acquired in association with another disease.

What does intestinal lymphangiectasia mean to your dog & you?

Signs of intestinal lymphangiectasia usually develop slowly over several months, and may come and go. Your dog may fail to gain weight or may progressively lose weight. The loss of protein into the bowel causes loss of fluid from the circulation into the limbs, the abdomen, or the chest. Your dog's legs and/or abdomen may appear swollen and he/she may have trouble breathing. There may be a chronic persistent or intermittent diarrhea due to the loss of protein, fluid and fat into the bowel.

How is intestinal lymphangiectasia diagnosed?

If your dog has the signs described above, your veterinarian will likely suspect one of the diseases that result in loss of proteins into the gut. Laboratory tests and an intestinal biopsy are necessary to diagnose the specific cause.

For the veterinarian:

CLINICAL: diarrhea is usually mild or inapparent, in comparison with other protein-losing enteropathies.

LABORATORY: hypoproteinemia with hypocholesteremia, lymphocytopenia, and/or hypoglobulinemia; frequently also see hypocalcemia due to vitamin D and calcium mal-absorption. It is important to assess liver and kidney function to rule out non-enteric causes of hypoproteinemia.

SURGERY: a biopsy is necessary for definitive diagnosis by histologic examination. At surgery, usually see prominent network of milky distended lymphatic channels in the mesentery or on serosal surface.

How is intestinal lymphangiectasia treated?

This condition can not be cured but it can generally be well-managed by you and your veterinarian. Remissions of several months with occasional flare-ups are common.

The major goal of therapy is to reduce the loss of proteins into the intestine, to restore normal protein levels in your dog. This is done through diet, and medication to reduce inflammation in the intestinal wall. An ideal diet for dogs with intestinal lymphangiectasia contains minimal fat, and an ample quantity of high-quality protein. There are commercial prescription diets available which fulfill these requirements, or your veterinarian can give you information to prepare a low-fat diet at home. In either case, you will need to supplement your dog's diet with fat-soluble vitamins, due to the poor absorption of fat that occurs with this condition.

Corticosteroids are given to reduce inflammation, and thereby reduce loss of protein and associated diarrhea. Your veterinarian may also prescribe antibiotics.

Resources

Burrows, C.F., Batt, R.M., Sherding, R.G. 1995. Diseases of the small intestine. In S.J. Ettinger and E.C. Feldman (eds.) Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. p. 1224-1225. W.B. Saunders Co., Toronto.
Williams, D.A. 1998 Protein-losing enteropathy Proc. 16th ACVIM Forum pp 419-421
Copyright © 1998 Canine Inherited Disorders Database. All rights reserved.
http://www.upei.ca/~cidd/


Dogs and Human Emotions

Studies suggesting dogs are more humanly complex than we think are just plain wrong.

There is a study put out by Friederike Range and the colleagues at the University of Vienna in Austria and Paul Morris of the University of Portsmouth suggesting dogs have a complex range of simple unpleasant emotions such as jealousy and pride giving them a sense of fairness that has never been discovered before.

One should never mix their own emotions in with a scientific study. Humans would love to believe their little balls of fur are human, however they are not and never will be. It is studies like this one which can be very damaging when owners confuse dominance with emotion. Yes the other dogs had a reaction when another dog got the food, when the new baby arrived or when they were ignored, but the "WHY" is the question.

While dogs do possess emotions, they are not as complex as human's. Dogs do however feel the emotions coming from humans. They feel them as an energy radiating from our bodies. The dog knows if you are sad, nervous, stressed, happy, calm, strong minded, confident, passive, anxious, hyper, or meek etc.. However what we all need to understand is, a dog does not read negative energy coming from humans in the true meaning of the emotions. They simply read it as a weakness and they react accordingly. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in their pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. Because a dog communicates his displeasure with growling and eventually biting, all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. The humans must be the ones making the decisions, not the dogs. That is the only way your relationship with your dog can be a complete success.

Let's look at the why. There can be many reasons for each of these issues.

 

The New Baby

Why does a dog sometimes begin to act differently when a baby comes? This happens for varying reasons depending on how badly the owners misinterpret their dog's actions. The dog may claim the baby, the dog may be confused about his place and he may sense energy from the owners that he never felt before that confuses him. It's a new pack member and the owner's emotions change. The dog knows this and there are varying things that can effect his reactions. Emotional, nervous or stressed parents, sensing jealousy from a human sibling, not accepting the baby into the pack, thinking he is higher up in the pack, not sure where his new place is in the pack, owners sending the wrong or mixed signals to the dog. Things are different and the dog needs to be secure in his pack and see himself as lower than the baby. He needs to know the new rules regarding the baby right up front from the minute the baby comes home. Problems can and will arise when the owners fail to communicate the dog's place among the new member. If humans become emotionally upset when the dog goes near the baby or near items which smell like the baby instead of calmly but firmly claiming space around the baby/items communicating that the baby as alpha over the dog, the dog is going to react in ways he has never done before. What it is not is a human type of jealousy. It is a reaction to a new pack member and the wrong signals coming from the humans within the pack.

Other Dogs

Another claim of the study suggests that dogs hate to see their owners being affectionate to other dogs. This is not an emotion of "hate" or "jealousy" coming from the dog. It is dominance. The dog owns the human and does not want the other dog near their property. He may not want to allow another pack member in. One of the two dogs may sense an instability in the other dog, or unstable emotions coming from the humans around them, causing a fight between the dogs. An imbalance in the other dog or humans around them will cause them to react, but not hate. A submissive type dog with stable beings around him will share in the excitement of another dog, calmly say hello by smelling, or ignore the other dog altogether.

Fairness

The study also suggests a reasoning of fairness, where one dog decides things are not fair and reacts to it by refusing to obey or getting emotionally upset about it. Dogs were asked to perform a trick and the dog's enthusiasm was lowered when they saw other dogs being rewarded with food but receiving nothing for themselves. Some of the dogs even turned their heads refusing to look at the human or other dog. So why is this?

A dog who is doing a trick without food and notices someone else doing the trick using food with another dog in sight or smell range is suddenly distracted. He wants to eat the food too and he looses interest in the trick. It's a distraction and a learnt behavior that he could be getting food for his action. It is also very possible the person doing the experiment sent off a different emotion (energy) to the dog during different parts of the experiment. The dog would sense this and react differently.

The dogs who turned away refusing to look were not upset nor were they trying to get even in any way. They were in fact submitting to the other dog and or humans. Communicating their respect, as the leader eats first, and the others wait until the leader is finished. Eye contact is a challenge. Therefore a dog who turns his head refusing to make eye contact with you is telling you he is allowing you to be his leader. This misinterpretation of the dogs reaction is actually a very common and damaging one. Humans see their dogs turn away from them refusing eye contact, the humans attach their own emotions to it and think the dog is upset or mad. They go over to the dog in attempt to "make-up" offering sympathy and affection. The dog suddenly feels this human as weak and instinctually believes he needs to be stronger in order to "save the pack". He becomes alpha whether he wants the job or not because, in his mind, the pack needs a strong leader in order to survive.

 

Geting even for being ignored

It was also suggested that dogs that were ignored gave their paws much less often, doing so in only 13 out of 30 trials and some showed more stress, such as licking or scratching themselves.

Now for the why, and this one seems a bit silly. Do we humans think the dogs enjoyed giving their paw over and over again? They do it for the reward of food or praise. No reward and the dog is not motivated. But he's not mad or jealous and he is not upset because things are unfair. Sure the dog wants the other dogs food, but he's not having a jealous fit. He's reacting. Give praise and he reacts to get more praise. Show food and he wants to eat it. He's just not as interested in the guy without the food. As far as the stress... If I were a dog I would be stressed too if I was with humans who were sending confusing vibes my way.

This study is actually really sad and damaging to dogs who come into contact with people who may believe it. We are not doing our fellow canine animals a favor by attaching our human emotions to them, confusing dominance and submission with human emotion. If we as humans do not take the time to learn a dog's insticts we will continue to see more and more unwanted dogs in shelters.

The number one cause of death in dogs today is euthanasia. A dogs temperament is a direct reflection of the owners ability to understand him and give him what he instinctually needs. There are no bad dogs. Don't let your dog down!

Written by:

Sharon Maguire

© Dog Breed Info Center® All Rights Reserved

 

 

The Steps I Took to Save My Pup..Fading Puppy Syndrome   (**at bottom)

How frustrating it is to lose a seemingly healthy pup to FDS and even more teeth grinding is that there is so little info all in one place to refer to. I hope that this will help you save your babies like it did me.

My girl had a small litter just two pups. At about day eight the little female's weight was no longer increasing and in just four days she was gone. I had not acted her soon enough to save her. Do not wait even one day to start treating a puppy that has lost weight as a possible FPS puppy. I carefully monitored the other baby. At day 11 the male puppy's weight dropped. I sprang into action. I immediately put him in an easily accessible make-shift incubator. I used a clear plastic box with a lid. I placed a heating pad on half of the bottom of it and set it on "low." Later I lowered it to warm because "low" seemed too hot for him.  I covered entire bottom with a dog bed that had a rounded stuffed edge, wrapped the baby in a hand towel and placed him in the box on the side where the heat source was located. I placed oxygen tubing about a ½ inch away from his face (blowing the oxygen by his nose and mouth but not directly in his face) and turned the tank on to 1 (25% oxygen). Then I closed lid on the box.

Oxygen: Oxygen is so very important. These babies all seem to struggle to breath. Without the assistance of an oxygen source they just cannot make it. I had bought an oxygen bottle, regulator and tubing after reading the book Puppy Intensive Care by Myra Savant-Harris. You can get an oxygen tank through a welding shop or maybe even Craigslist. The oxygen used in welding is just as effective as medicinal oxygen the difference is that it is not ?certified' for medical use. I bought tubing and a regulator on EBay. A warning though, it does not usually last long so get two big bottles so you always have a full one for backup. Better yet invest in an Oxygen Concentrator!

After about 20 minutes I checked his body temperature to be sure he had warmed up and then gave him 3 cc subcutaneous Ringers Lactate. Tip: I put the bag of Ringers in the box alongside of the heating pad so that it would be body temperature warm when I injected it under the skin. I got the Ringers and syringes from my vet. After hydrating him he was given a dab of Puppy Nutra-Cal. I gave this to him by putting some on my pinkie finger and putting it on the roof of his mouth this way he can suck it off in a way that is comfortable to him. Then I left him to rest. I kept him oxygenated and warm for the next couple hours. Two hours later I repeated the hydration and Nutri-Cal.

My next dilemma was how to deal with the infection that I believe is at the root of FDS. Through much searching of the internet I came across an article about puppies with cleft palates that develop infections. I had read in Puppy Intensive Care about using Keflex/Cephalexin to treat the underlying infection of FDS but, God Bless her, Myra does not provide a dosage recommendation and my other sources were not very helpful. Anyway this article has been lifesaving! It can be found here: http://hennwood.tripod.com/id88.htm about a quarter of the way down the author provides the following water to Cephalexin dilution:

It is acceptable in pediatric medicine to make a dilution using caps/mixed with water in order to be able to dose correctly, so if the soon to be described procedure is acceptable in "people pediatrics" I 'm sure it is fine for canines.  I have found most vets don't think this is an accurate way to get your dosage, but properly done, it is.

Choose a small container; a washed and dried pill bottle is perfect.  If using a 250mg. cap, add 10cc of tap H20 to the bottle.  If it is a 500mg cap, then you will add 20cc tap H20 to the bottle.  Do use your syringe to get the correct amount of water.  Add your water first, that way if you add an incorrect amount of water you can just dump it and start again.  If you add your med powder first, then the mix will not be correct if the amount of water is not correct.

Once you have the correct amount of water in the container, then open your capsule and add the powder from the cap to the water.  Recap the bottle and shake well to thoroughly mix the water and med.  Once thoroughly mixed you may draw up your dosage.   Each 1 cc of the mixture will yield 25mg.  This is where the TB (1 cc) syringe is important.  It has a total volume of 1cc, and has markings in 1/10ths of a cc and even smaller increments.  If your pup is just a pound then the dosage would be figured as follows.  So you know the abbreviations "cc" and "ml" mean the same thing.

Dosage is 15mg. per 16 oz. (1 pound).  

Med mixture is 25 mg. per 1cc

Each 1/10th or .1 on the TB syringe is 2.5 mg.

.6cc per 16 oz.

Below is an example of figuring dosage for an 8 ounce pup, set your calculation up with weights on the bottom.  You know

1 pound or 16 oz. would receive .6cc of the above dilution.  That is a constant.  "X" denotes what you are trying to figure out, the dosage to give for a certain weight.  You place the amount of the pup's weight in oz. also on the bottom under the x.

Next you cross multiply, 16oz times x equals 16oz x and then cross multiply .6 times 8oz =4.8

You then divide...... 4.8 divided by 16x  =.3 and that is your daily dosage, which is then divided into 2 doses, given at roughly 12 hour intervals, would be .15 cc twice daily.  One must use a TB syringe to be accurate on dosage.

.6 cc         x

---------  .    -------

16 oz.      8oz

Another example pup weighs 10 oz.

.6cc        x

------- . -------

16oz    10oz

So cross multiply .6 times 10 equals 6.    Then you divide that 6.  By 16 and that gives you .375   now since that is so close to .4 that is what you would round the med dosage up to.  It is possible to dose .35 but the .375 is more difficult and it is okay to go up to the next higher "tenth of a cc" in those cases.  So that pup would receive .2 cc twice a day for a total of .4cc a day.

Keep the mixture in the refrigerator, and shake the bottle well each time before drawing up your med dose.  The med and water parts tend to separate when the mixture sits. The mixture properly stored in the refrigerator is good for 10 days. Any left after 10 days dispose of and rinse the container and mix up a new batch, following the above instructions again.   Be sure to give the med with the feedings that fall at roughly 12 hour intervals or as close to that as possible.

My pup weighed just 5.9 oz. So using the above formula I calculated he would need to be given .115 rounded out to .1 cc two times daily. So the next time he got his sub-Q and Nutri-Cal he also got his first dose of antibiotics. I used a 1 cc syringe and just put it right on his tongue. Don't give the antibiotics on an empty stomach. Give him the Nutri-Cal first. Let him get that swallowed down, then give him the Cephalexin. These guys are stressed enough they don't need nausea added to all they are going through.

Cephalexin: Where to get it? One use for Cephalexin is as an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections in fish tanks. So go to the local pet supply store and head over to the aquarium section. I bought Fish Flex capsules by Thomas Laboratories.

Now a baby puppy can go a few days without food so don't freak out about giving him formula at this point. Often they are unable to get milk from a puppy bottle (those nipples are just too hard for them to get going). Some people like tube feeding. I don't it makes me nervous. I can do it, but I don't like it. Some people like to use a plunger syringe, I don't because it's too easy to express the plunger too fast and aspirate the puppy. I like pipettes. For these itty-bitty puppies I like the itty-bitty 1 cc pipette you can control it a drop at a time. Going slow is good. Your puppy may only take a drop or two at first. You may have to coax him at first by just putting a tiny bit on his little lips. When he licks them and figures out that it is precious moisture/food he may eagerly stick out his tongue for more - this is your queue to give him more drops. The first couple times I feed formula I sprinkle in just a little dash of sugar. Puppies love sugar and this will help encourage them to eat. Once they are lapping at the drops consistently I stop adding the sugar. If your puppy is just not interested in eating then don't force it, just continue the sub-Qs and the Nutri-Cal.

Now I was pretty lucky with this puppy's mother she was eager to be with her baby and because she was I found her, just hours after transferring him to the incubator, all curled up inside it with him. The lid was closed and baby nursing! Now how did she manage that? As soon as he was done nursing, just a couple minutes later, he was in distress. His mouth wasn't open and gasping but his chest was heaving, he was grunting, and his body was contorted and ridged. He desperately needed oxygen. I set the dial for 1.5 but after a few minutes nudged it up to 2 (28% oxygen) and kept the lid on the incubator closed.

This couldn't happen with mom in there because she was taking up so much room that the poor baby couldn't move himself into a comfortable-easier-to-breath position. Worried mom had to be removed. But she sat or slept quietly next to the box for most of the day. From that moment on  every time I returned to take care of baby, I let mom first lick him to stimulate peeing and pooping and then I hydrated him and set him on her to nurse. I positioned the tubing under her leg so that oxygen would blow-by his face as he nursed. Mom seemed to think this was acceptable too as she was careful not to disturb it.

My problems with this little guy started on a Saturday and by this morning he no longer sounds congested. His squeaks are audible. I cleared some congestion from his nose, the first excretion I had seen. I gave him his medicine and set mom in the box. Then set him in next to her. To my surprise and delight he dove right in and emptied 3 milk sacks in a row. He spent an entire morning with the incubator lid open, with mom in the box with him, and nursing at will. Every time I looked he seemed to be at a nipple. I kept the oxygen tubing nearby though just in case. He's not out of the woods yet and so I want to keep supporting him with oxygen. After eating he stretched out, rolled over, yawned, rolled over again and then snuggled against mom and slept peacefully for the first time in days.

 

Update 11/17/10

I'm not completely convinced we're out of the woods so he'll get antibiotics for a few more days and be kept on the oxygen blow-by for the time being. But since he's no longer struggling for breath and seems to responding well to treatment I think it is safe to start giving him a dab of Plain Organic Greek Yogurt twice a day right after he finishes nursing. I'll give it to him the same way he got the Nutri-Cal; a dab on my pinkie then applied it to the roof of his mouth. So far, so good. I will update later.

Update 11/18/10

Today baby's weight is up by .2 ounces! Breathing is regular. No crackling in the lungs. Nose a little goopy.

Update 11/19/10

Baby is still nursing well. His weight is up to 6.2 ounces. Some clear discharge from the nose but he is still not having any trouble with breathing.

 

 11/20/10

Baby now has a name. We chose to name this little fellow Dante. The name has Italian origins and means "enduring." Dante is continuing to improve. His weight is now at 6.6 ounces. 

Dante sleeps quite comfortably now that his runny nose is starting to clear up.

11/21/10

Dante is steadily gaining weight today he is at 6.8 ounces

11/22/10

No weight gain today. Dante licking up the yogurt though and has become very curious

11/23/10

Dante is 7.3 ounces today! A good gain after skipping a day.

11/31/10

After Dante's weight loss from spending a day with mom in the whelping box, I thought it was time to reassess his treatment. The smallest of activity would leave him huffing and puffing. So I thought about what it had been like for me when I had pneumonia. I decided that what he needed was more nutrition than he was getting from mom and a short exercise stints of no more than one or two minutes at a time, and he also needed to remain in the incubator with the oxygen going for the time being. I went and purchased a bigger, deeper clear plastic box so that mom could fit inside better and so that as his activity level increased he would be able to move around more and he wouldn't be able to climb out. To help strengthen him and increase the nutrition he was getting from mom I made gruel. I started by dipping my finger in it and getting a taste of it in his mouth and then he did the rest he just started licking it right off my finger! From there I just used a spoon and held it under his nose and he lapped it up. The first feeding he ate 3 tsp. full. I fed this to him 3 times a day subsequent feedings he lapped up 1 1/2 to 2 tsp. He has responded well to the gruel. Now when I bring the dish his little nose tilts up and his tail starts wagging, his tongue starts licking the air - he's ready and excited! He is now walking around more, waggles his tail whenever we talk to him, is more relaxed when he is being held, he started yipping, he is not so out of breath and he seems happier and more relaxed. This morning's weigh-in puts him at 7.6 oz.

Recipe for Gruel:

 

1 tsp. powdered Esbilac

1 tsp. baby rice cereal with probiotics and DHA

1 tsp. from a jar of Beech Nut Baby Beef with Beef Broth

Mixed with very hot water (it cools quickly) It should be the consistency of a thin smoothie

Sprinkle about 1/2 a tsp. of sugar on it and mix it in.

 This is enough to last one day for one pup. Mix a fresh batch every day.

12/3/10

Wow it's been a while since I've done an update. Dante is up to 8.6 ounces. He is doing much better just a little noise in the left lung - like it's sticky. The right lung sounds clear and normal. For the first time I found Dante playing like a puppy is supposed to. He was lying near the oxygen tubing which was blowing air in his ear. He decided to investigate this annoyance and licked at the tubing then tried to bite it, and then he rolled on his back and used his front paws to bat at it. When the tubing didn't respond in a satisfying way he walked over to mom and tried to gnaw on her ankle. Then he nudged his way to her food supply, ate his fill and curled up for a long nap.

12/7/10

What a rough couple of days for baby Dante. He had yellow mucus coming out his nose that made it very difficult for him to breath. The sneezing and gagging really wore him out. A little dab of Vicks Vapor rub on the fur just above his nose seems to help at times. I also used the bulb syringe to suck stuff out when I could. On top of all that he became constipated. To get him through it I gave him a puppy enema. I took a Colace gel cap cut it open and put it in 10 cc warm water. Then swished it around and drew about 2 ml into a syringe, then I attached it to a feeding tube, put a little Vaseline on the end and inserted into his bottom. I slowly depressed the syringe until the fluid was gone and held the tubing in place for a few seconds. Just seconds later he had a huge bowel movement. He was pretty distressed while it was happening and he was blowing a lot of snot out of his nose. But when it was over you could just see the instant relief on his face. He had been in so much pain. After he was settled I gave him a tiny drop of infant Mylicon. This morning he is feeling so much better. Only a little bit of colored mucus and then it became clear. He still had trouble with his bowel movement this morning so I gave him another small enema and he instantly pooped. The Dark Caro Syrup I have been adding to his formula doesn't seem to be doing a very good job moving things through so I will go back to adding a drop or two of mineral oil to his formula. Today we visit the vet to get a swab to see if the Cephalexin is working or if a different antibiotic would be better. Dante's weight is up to 9.2 ounces!

Author Unknown

**"Nutri-Cal"--

**If you have read my stuff on here, I do NOT use Nutri-Cal. I use Dyne. I feel it is much better for the puppy & has saved many of my babies. I do use the Karo & Honey..I just stay away from Nutri-Cal.

 

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House Rules

 

 

1. The dog is not allowed in the house.

 

2. Okay, the dog is allowed in the house, but only in certain rooms.

 

3.  The dog is allowed in all rooms, but has to stay off the furniture.

 

4.  The dog can get on the old furniture only, but has to stay off the new couch.

 

5.  Fine, the dog is allowed on all the furniture, but is not allowed to sleep with the humans on the    bed.

 

6.  Okay, the dog is allowed on the bed, but only by invitation.

 

7.  The dog can sleep on the bed whenever he wants, but not under the covers.

 

8.  The dog can sleep under the covers by invitation only.

 

9.  The dog can sleep under the covers every night.

 

10.  Humans must ask permission to sleep under the covers with the dog.

 

House Rules!

 

 

My Dog's House

 

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They Live here

You'll find they roam freely

From the front to the rear

I'm pleased you came to visit

My dogs are also glad you're here

I hope that in their own way

They bring you a degree of cheer

But if my dogs upset you

Or if you simply find them a bore

Remember, this is my dogs' house

And I'll gladly show you the door

 

 

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