Author: midget74

Dogs & Liver Disease

By Sarah Tidwell, eHow Contributor

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Dogs & Liver Disease
    • Causes
      A variety of factors can cause liver disease in canines, including ingesting poisonous substances and being exposed to bacterial infections. Dogs that have health issues such as heart disease have an increased risk for liver disease. Some species of dogs simply do not rid their bodies of copper properly and therefore become at risk.


    • Dogs may experience one or more symptoms, including jaundice, pale gray stools, gastrointestinal deficiencies, bleeding disorders and ascites. Jaundice will cause a yellowing of the skin that is the result of an obstruction in the gall bladder causing toxin buildup. Pale gray stool reflects the color of a dog’s feces if he is experiencing liver problems. The bile duct can get obstructed and cause a discoloration in stool. When the liver cannot metabolize nutrients, gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea and lack of appetite will arise. This creates lethargy and can lead to weight problems and other ailments caused by lack of nutrition. Bleeding disorders happen when clotting is interrupted due to the liver disease. Inability of a dog’s wound to scab over can be a sign of liver ailments. Ascites is a collection of fluids in the abdomen and is presented as an increased lower stomach cavity.


      • Upon suspicion of liver disease, a veterinarian will examine the abdomen to feel for an enlargement of the liver and review the color of the dog’s oral membrane for signs of jaundice. If there are no signs of liver disease after a physical examination, the veterinarian can screen the dog’s blood to check enzyme levels. In severe cases, a liver biopsy may be done to learn the condition of the dog.


      • The treatment for liver disease is determined by evaluating the cause. Some canines will be given antibiotics to kill an infection that bred the disease. If the disease was caused by trauma, the dog can be hospitalized for constant care or released to the owner and instructed to discourage activity for a number of days.

      Dietary Care

      • Providing the proper diet can be the best treatment method for dogs suffering from liver disease without an underlying cause. Optimal levels of vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates and proteins promote liver health and aid in repairing any damage. These substances only require the liver to do minimal work because they do not contain the material of some processed foods that need extra energy to break down and digest.

    By Michelle Liew

    Hen in Sri Lanka has chick without laying an egg

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    A hen in Sri Lanka gave birth to a chick without an egg, veterinary officials said. — PHOTO: KOREA HERALD (KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – A hen in Sri Lanka gave birth to a chick without an egg, veterinary officials said. Instead of being laid by the hen and incubated in the nest, the egg was incubated inside the hen for 21 days and then the chick hatched inside the mother. The chick is normally formed and healthy, veterinarians say, although the mother hen died. The government veterinary officer in the area, P.R. Yapa, said he had never seen anything like it before, the BBC reported. An examination of the hen’s carcass showed the fertilised egg had developed within the hen’s reproductive system but stayed inside the hen’s body until it hatched, Dr Yapa said.   TO READ THE FULL STORY… Log in Subscribe    

    By Michelle Liew

    Protein for dogs

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    Protein for dogs, in their diet, is essential for optimal health…
    Why are proteins necessary for dogs? 
    • the body needs protein to function
    • protein is necessary  for all growth, maintenance and repair of the body’s cells
    • muscles, organs and tissues comprise protein
    • it is important for digestion
    • essential for regulating  metabolism
    • maintains healthy skin, hair and nails
    • transports oxygen, vitamins and nutrients around the body in the blood
    • essential in the production of antibodies that fight disease
    Why do dogs need protein in particular?
    Protein is the main category of food that is consumed by wolves in the wild and our domestic dogs only differ, by a mere 2%, genetically, from their wild ancestors; their digestive systems are just the same.
    In the wild a wolf will mainly live off the prey they have caught. From this, they will eat various parts including muscle meat, organ meat (kidney, heart, liver etc) and the stomach. In eating the stomach, the contents are also consumed, which can include semi-digested grains and vegetation…
    So, with that in mind, would it not make sense that to thrive, a domesticated dog’s food should simulate, as much as possible, the natural diet?
    The answer is, of course – yes!
    However, the majority of commercial dog food today falls way short of providing your dog with the essential health foundation of protein that he or she will need in order to thrive. And I mean ‘thrive’ not just ‘survive’…
    But what if my dog food says it meets the minimum required amount of protein?
    You must be aware that the minimum amount of protein that must be in commercial dog food is ONLY 9% of the entire food! As long as the food meets this standard, then they can claim it is ‘balanced’ and meets all requirements…
    But those requirements are not ‘to keep your dog healthy’, those requirements are only a legal obligation, and in many cases, the companies do not have any interest in depleting their profits any more than they have to – so will provide the minimum, or only just above it.
    This is not enough – as I have mentioned above, protein for dogs is essential, and in LARGE amounts. This should equate to at least 70-80% of their diet.
    What exactly is a good source of protein for dogs?
    Good quality protein for dogs can be found from many sources, including: 
    • chicken breast
    • turkey thigh
    • beef steak
    • lamb steak
    • calf or lamb liver
    • chicken, lamb or calf kidney
    • salmon fillet
    • sardines
    • cottage cheese
    • yoghurt
    • eggs
    As well as low protein levels, a lot of commercial dog food has LOW QUALITY protein which comes from undesirable sources such as soy, wheat and corn. These are all extremely hard for your dog to digest and provide no nutritional value.
    Why do they use these forms of protein? Quite simply…because it’s cheaper.
    Conclusion: If you feed your dog commercial dog food, then please look at the label – for more help deciphering it, you can visit my posting here.
    Make sure your dog is getting a good quality protein, as without it, your dog could be facing the future with a multitude of health problems such as cancer, diabetes, allergies, heart failure and even death at an early age, as the body wears out from lack of proper nutrition.
    Keep your dog safe and healthy by making the right choices
    To your dogs health!

    By Michelle Liew

    Dog Pregnancy

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    Dog Pregnancy Stages Of Your Dog’s Pregnancy

    Dog Pregnancy Time Line – In Heat

    To understand dog pregnancy, you should first get a general comprehension of how her body works. Your dog will experience a heat cycle before she is able to get pregnant. Veterinarians suggest that you do not breed her during her first heat period unless it happens after she is 1 year old. Any earlier would stunt the growth of your young female.

    Most dogs go into heat 2 times a year, but it is common to skip one on occasion. While in heat she will be able to breed with more than the one male. She will be in heat for 3 weeks and her cycle will arrive every 6-9 months.

    The first thing you will recognize when your dog goes into heat is a swollen vulva and bloody discharge. Eggs are not released yet in this phase of her heat cycle. Male dogs will be chemically drawn to her more than ever before. She still will not show a major interest in them, until this 6-11 day stage comes to an end.

    In the second stage of heat she is actually fertile. Her posture will transform to a stance that invites procreation. Her bleeding will change from light pink to a golden sand color. Her vulva will remain swollen but is softer than before. The most common duration for this stage is 5-9 days but has been known to go on for nearly 20 days for different dogs. Once this stage is finished she will no longer be inviting male attention.

    Signs of Dog Pregnancy

    Early signs of dog pregnancy include a decreased appetite, a sudden decrease in activity, nipple growth, and behavioral changes. The decreased appetite is similar to a human’s morning sickness. If she feels exhausted more than normal, is far more affectionate than her regular behavior or just wants to be left alone, it is because of the hormonal changes triggered by her pregnancy. The tissue and glands underneath her nipples will swell to make room for her baby’s milk. Her pregnancy will last between 60-64 days.
    After the first few weeks her appetite will reappear and she will rapidly start gaining weight. Her abdomen will thicken and be firm to the touch. Smaller breeds look larger when pregnant than bigger breeds because they have less room to carry all of their puppies. You will be able to feel the puppy movement during the last week of her pregnancy because that is when the babies are getting into position for birth. Don’t be surprised to see several drops of milk leaking from her nipples prior to the labor.

    You should have prepared her with a whelping box by now. Any location comfortably designated for her nesting needs is good enough to be her whelping area. You can use old blankets or towels to make a soft environment for the babies to be born into. With no whelping box, your female may shred your couch, or invade your closet, to make her own nest.

    Dog Pregnancy – Giving Birth

    Take her temperature periodically. It is normally 101-102 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you see it drop into the 97-99 degrees range, and notice it has been the same consistently for 2 readings taken 12 hours apart, this is when you can be sure the delivery will happen within the next 24 hours.
    Her labor will go through 3 clear stages. The third stage is repeated with the birth of each puppy:

    Stage One: She will appear restless and have anxiety. She will often separate herself from any attention. No food will interest her, not even her favorite treats. Take her out to go to the bathroom because it may be her last chance before delivery.

    Stage Two: Her contractions will have begun. A green sac of fluid will protrude from her vulva. The puppies will start to appear either headfirst or rear first. Both are normal positions for dogs to be born in. Do not be alarmed to see them quiet and listless directly after birth. Leave her alone to stand or pace, as she needs to. The mother’s instincts will cause her to open the sac, and lick the pups to clean them. She will sever the umbilical cord herself, but sometime you may interject if the natural process takes too long. The sac should always be removed immediately if it remained unbroken during the delivery. You may clean the puppies by rubbing them gently with a fresh cloth. Keep rubbing to stimulate their circulation. The mother’s tongue or your rubs are what gets them to start squirming and crying.

    If the mother struggles with a puppy that becomes lodged then you can try to assist the birth by grasping the puppy with a clean clothe. Firmly exert steady traction but do not jerk or pull suddenly. If you have any questions then call your vet right away.

    Stage Three: Her resting period will last a few hours as her mild contractions fade away. If she delivered two pups closer together than her comfort level allowed, then her contractions will

    take longer to end.
    By Michelle Liew