Dog First Aid – Allergic reactions

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Dogs too would have an adverse reaction if the body is invaded by foreign substances. The immune system serves as protectors against foreign substance that will invade the body. When antigens are sensed, the immune system will trigger the production of antibodies. Bacteria, virus, fungus and parasites are infection causing agents. The body would benefit from the immune system’s protection against these harmful antigens

However, the immune system can also overreact to harmless substances. An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system sends out antibodies to fight harmless substances like pollens, dust, and ingredients in food and medications. Not all dogs would have an allergic reaction to these allergens. What first aid methods can you administer if your pet is hypersensitive to any of these allergens?

Common signs of allergic reaction are sneezing, coughing and wheezing as well as immense itching. A swollen face, vomiting and diarrhea are other symptoms of allergic reaction. Allergens in the environment like pollens and dust causes allergy symptoms to occur. The allergic reaction could have been triggered by an insect bite or by an ingredient in the dog’s food. In a lot of cases, allergic reactions are not life threatening. Oftentimes, the allergic reaction will resolve itself. First aid treatment would still be necessary to ease the discomfort of the pet. A dog can die from severe case of allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is an emergency situation. With this kind of allergic reaction, the dog would suffer breathing difficulties because of the swelling of the airways. This type of allergic reaction cannot be treated at home.

Allergic reaction is usually not a serious condition and can be managed at home with first aid treatments. Due to an inquisitive nature, dogs have the tendency to suffer from allergic reactions thus Benadryl and antihistamines are a must in the dog’s first aid kits. An application of herbal medication to the affected area will relieve the itching. One effective first aid method for the dog’s itchy skin is to bathe the pet with cold water and oatmeal shampoo. Vinegar compress, ice packs and a paste made from baking soda and water are first aid treatments for insect stings. The same remedies are proven to relieve other symptoms of allergic reaction.

Allergic reactions can be prevented if the pet is not exposed to the causative allergens but it is difficult to pinpoint what triggers the pet’s hypersensitivity. Since dogs cannot tell us what ails them the only way a pet owner can administer first aid is to be constantly aware of the changes in the dog’s appearance and behavior.  

<a href=””>Sarah’s Dogs</a> has more information about <a href=””>first aid for dogs</a> as well as.<a href=””>allergic reactions</a>.

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robbie on October 18th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Dog First Aid – Repeated Seizures

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Dogs are not only man’s best friends as more than being great companions, these animals are treated as family members as well. As such, the dog owner would suffer even more if the pet is injured and in pain. A seizing dog is not a pretty sight. A dog owner seeing a seizing dog for the first time would panic as the pet would appear to be suffering from severe pain. The dog owner would naturally want to help the pet but is there a first aid for a seizing dog?

A dog can have a seizure that is either single or repeated. A dog that would convulse only once in a seizing episode is said to be having a single seizure. As the name suggests, a dog suffering from repeated seizure will seize again and again in a single seizing episode. A single seizing episode may not have serious effects on the dog but repeated seizures would certainly be fatal as the dog may not be able to regain consciousness.

Repeated seizures can be status epilepticus or cluster seizure. These two types of repeated seizure would have the dog suffering from one seizure after another. However, in status epilepticus, the dog would continue to seize without regaining consciousness. In cluster seizures, the dog that has regained consciousness after recovering from the first seizure would again become unconscious as another seizure occurs. These two types of repeated seizures are life threatening thus a vet has to be notified.

Seizures cannot be controlled with first aid although medications can control the frequency of seizures. First aid methods are aimed to save the pet from pain, to prevent the pet’s condition from worsening and more importantly to save the life of the pet. As these first aid objectives would be ineffective if administered on a seizing dog, the best thing an owner can do is to let the seizure run its course.

Keeping the seizing pet comfortable and preventing the pet from being injured would be the owner’s role. The owner can move the pet to the floor to ensure that it would not fall from heights. Sharp and hard objects that can fall and injure the pet must be removed. Pet owners are advised not to hug a seizing pet to keep it from trembling. A seizing dog would have no control over its muscles and the pet can accidentally bite the owner. It would be better to talk softly to the seizing dog. The owner’s voice is believed to have a calming effect on the dog.

More about repeated seizures and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on October 17th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Helping a choking dog

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Dogs are exuberant and curious animals that have the inclination of getting any object into their mouths. Therefore it is common for dogs to choke on large chunks of food, on bones, plastic toys, stones and on pieces of wood. Choking is one of the most common reasons why dogs are rushed to veterinary clinics. A blockage that will obstruct the airways will be created by the swallowed object. Choking is an emergency situation that when not given the necessary first aid treatment can result to the death of the dog.

One of the responsibilities of dog owners is to have firsthand knowledge on how to help a chocking pet. The pet would certainly benefit from the professional help administered by veterinarians but first aid would certainly be crucial in saving the life of the pet.

Coughing can at times be mistaken as chocking. A pet owner must carefully ascertain if the dog is really choking and not simply coughing. Administering choking first aid on a dog that is merely coughing would do the dog more harm than good. A total or partial airway obstruction can be created by a swallowed object that gets lodged in the throat. If the obstruction is not removed at once the dog can expire.

A dog with a blocked airway would gag and try to vomit. Other symptoms would be excessive salivation and pawing at the mouth. It would be apparent that the dog finds it hard to breathe. An owner that wants to help the pet would commonly open the mouth to see the presence of foreign object. Because of the stress, a normally gentle pet can turn into an aggressive dog. Be careful in opening the dog’s mouth. By placing the lips of the dog between the teeth and your finger you can prevent the dog from biting your fingers. It would be a good idea to ask another person’s help in restraining the dog. Once the mouth is open, you can sweep the inside of the mouth with a finger. Tweezers or long nosed pliers can be used to remove the foreign object that causes the chocking, however be very careful not to cause the dog further harm.

If choking is caused by an object that is not visible, dislodging the blockage can be done by using the Heimlich maneuver. Grasp the hind legs of a medium sized dog so that the rear end is towards you. Position a fist behind the last rib and push forward several times until the blockage is dislodged.

Sarah’s Dogs has more information about what to do if your dog is choking and first aid for dogs.

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robbie on October 14th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Why do dogs love to eat snow

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The first snow fall is the sign that the fun winter activities of dog owner and pet is about to begin. The dog owner does not have to bundle up the pet as the thick fur would protect the dog from the freezing temperature. Winter recreational activities would be even more enjoyable if the pet is around. Most dog owners though would be concerned about the pet’s inclination to eat snow. Although the habit to eat snow would be much better than eating rotting animals and feces, eating snow cannot be totally danger free. People holding plastic cups of snow topped with bright colored syrup is a common sight.

Snow with fresh or candied fruit toppings is also a favorite dessert. It seems that dogs really do have a lot of similarities with humans as these animals also love to eat snow. Dogs are not fastidious eaters as they would love to eat even unflavored snow. Haven’t you ever wondered why the dog loves to eat snow? Is the dog thirsty because you always forget to fill its water bowl?

By eating snow, dogs in the wild have survived the winter months when the rivers and streams are frozen. Modern day dogs don’t need to fend for themselves as the owners provide the pet with all its basic needs as well as all the comforts imaginable. Dogs though are very curious animals. Sunlight glistening on the snow crystals would entice an inquisitive dog to investigate. Once tasted, the dog would take another mouthful because the melting of the cold snow on the warm tongue would be pleasant sensation for the dog. Because snow eating is not dangerous, the dog owner would not prevent a pet that seems to get so much pleasure from eating snow.

However, if the pet has ingested large amounts of snow, it is possible that the body temperature will be lowered. The dog that has been eating snow excessively stands the risk of hypothermia. Eating snow is not entirely harmless as the dog can be eating snow laced with toxic substances. Instead of being topped with brightly colored and fruit flavored syrup like the snow people love to eat, the dog may be eating snow topped with anti freeze or other toxic substances. This would naturally result to poisoning.

Excessive snow eating can be attributed to a medical concern. Kidney disease or thyroid diseases can be the reason for the dog fondness for eating snow. Dogs with diabetes and Cushing’s disease will eat snow to satisfy the huge appetite that is a manifestation of the disease. To stop the dog’s snow eating habit, these medical concern must be addressed.

At Sarah’s Dogs you can learn more about why dogs eat snow as well as dog first aid and other common dog behaviors.

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robbie on September 26th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

How to teach a dog to do tricks

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A dog would always be a most loyal and affectionate companion whose comic antics would continuously bring laughter and amusement to the family. Dogs are much loved pets that are even considered as the “baby” of the family so that all eyes will be turned to the dog and all the antics of the pet will be noticed and appreciated. The dog’s fun and loving nature is the reason why the pet is always taken around but a dog that can do tricks would make an owner show off the pet’s abilities. A pet owner would be very proud of a pet that can shake hands, roll over, play dead and do other tricks. Other dog owners would be impressed with an owner that has successfully trained the pet to do awesome tricks.

Many pet owners would baulk at the idea of training the dog to do tricks. Without a doubt, encouraging the dog to learn new things would be a daunting task. Dogs have varied characteristics. While some would instantly adapt to the training, other dog’s mind would seem to be wandering. Don’t be discouraged if your pooch looks at you as if you are speaking some foreign language that cannot be understood by the pet. Training the dog to do tricks is definitely not for a lazy person as a single trick entails countless repetitions before it can be learned by the dog.

Teaching the dog to do tricks is not too different from obedience training. Both would need constant repetitions, positive reinforcements and a lot of patience and perseverance from the owner. For the training to gain the desired result, an owner has to establish the position as the alpha dog to secure the respect and obedience of the pet. Directions must be simple and clear to be easily understood by the dog.

Reinforcing verbal commands with hand gestures would make the command more understandable for the dog. By holding out one hand in the shake hand trick, the dog will be prompted to extend its paw. Use an authoritative voice to give a consistent command until the trick is learned.

Dogs naturally want to please its people. The dog will be encouraged to obey if it receives lavish attention from its master. Being food motivated, dogs will be encouraged to respond well with the training with treats. Dogs are energetic but they are curious animals as well. Training the dog to do tricks must be conducted in short sessions and in an area where there are few distractions.

How do you teach a dog to do tricks? Sarah’s Dogs has more answers to this question as well as dog first aid.

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robbie on September 25th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Dog First Aid – Hot spots

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Moist eczema, acute moist dermatitis and hot spots refer to a type of skin infection that is most common in dogs. These circular sore spots would erupt on the head, face, chest, hip and on other parts of the dog’s body. These hairless patches of moist, raw, red and inflamed skin will be very itchy and at times painful. Licking and chewing are natural behaviors of dogs thus anything that causes them pain and discomfort will be constantly worried by the mouth and tongue. A flea bite that causes minor irritation will be incessantly licked and gnawed by the pet. Hot spots can develop rapidly so that a coin sized itchy spot in the skin can develops into a palm sized raw and inflamed skin with a smelly pus discharge. Pyotraumatic dermatitis is the other name for hot spot purportedly given because this skin infection is worsened by the dog’s self mutilation.

All breeds of dogs can be weighed down by this itchy and painful skin infection but hot spots usually develop in long coated dogs. Hot spots are common skin concerns of dogs living in places where the climate is hot and humid. Although not a long term disease, hot spots have the tendency to recur. Moreover, first aid treatments that could have prevented a small lesion from developing into a hot spot is oftentimes not administered by the owner as the sore spot will be hidden by the long and thick hair of the dog.

This type of skin infection could have started from a flea or mite infestation. Dogs with histories of food and inhalant allergies, with anal gland concerns and ear infections are most susceptible. Hot spots commonly develop in dogs that are not regularly groomed because the tangles in the coat are perfect breeding places for bacteria.

First aid treatment is necessary to control the spread of infection. Hot spot would not only mar the appearance but would also create immense discomfort for the pet. The hair in the affected area must be removed to expose the edges and to prevent the spread of infection. Clipping the hair will let in air that will dry the inflamed tissues. The hot spot must be cleaned daily with a sterile saline solution. A topical antibacterial ointment will control the growth of bacteria thereby speeding up the healing process.

Dogs with hot spots tend to have the skin infection over and over again until the underlying cause of the infection is not eliminated. External parasite infestation has to be controlled. Regular grooming will do a lot to prevent the development of the itchy and painful sores.

Want to know more about hot spots and first aid for dogs? Visit Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on September 24th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

What makes a pet dog howl

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The haunting and eerie howling of the dog would keep fearful people awake all night. It would seem as if dogs really do follow a leader. Barking that is started by one dog will be picked up by other dogs. You would think that you are suddenly transported to a horror movie scene if the howling that was started by one dog will make other dogs howl as well. Dogs are often featured in horror movies as the howling is commonly associated with sinister happenings. Although baseless, these beliefs would nevertheless make your hair stand on end especially if the chorus of howling is piercing the silence of the rainy moonless night.

Howling is a behavior commonly associated with wolves. It seems that howling is the favored means of communication of wolves. The wilderness is a vast area and barking may be ineffectual in calling the attention of other wolves. The reverberating howl will notify other pack members of the whereabouts of the howling wolf. Dog owners would always want to have the pet around thus, modern day dogs don’t need to howl as there will be no need to find the pack members. Pet dogs though are still heard howling.

Howling is an inherited trait used by the dog to communicate. Studies have noted that dogs living inside the house with the family and dogs that are receiving sufficient care and attentions from the loving owners are seldom heard howling. Experts believe that howling is one way of getting the human family’s attention as the mournful sound is more commonly heard from dogs left alone all day. Dogs are social animals and as such pets that are left alone all day or pets that are not given opportunities to interact with the family will howl because of separation anxiety.

Dogs will be heard howling at passing ambulance and fire trucks. The sound of the ambulance or fire truck can be viewed by the dog as the howl of another dog thus it would howl its response. This will be the same as a howl that is answered by other wolves. Mistaking the ambulance sound as a howl, the dog will also let out a howl as a response.

A dog that is not provided with food, water and comfortable shelter may howl to get the attention of the owners. The howling dog may have an undiagnosed medical concern. A howl is a haunting sound that can be indicative of the pet’s pain and discomfort. Are you one the kind of owner that would shout to stop the pet’s howling or would you be a concerned owner and see what is wrong with the pet?

Find out more about why dogs howl as well as information on dog first aid at Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on September 23rd 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Common Foods Toxic to Dogs

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Most dogs owners would not give the pet chocolates knowing the toxic effect of this human food to dogs. A lot of dogs have died because of this comfort food. Chocolate has a toxic substance known as Theobromine that stimulates the dog’s nervous system so that the pet will have a rapid heart rate and very fast pulse. Drooling, vomiting and diarrhea are the less serious effects of chocolate to dogs. However, in some dogs, chocolate ingestion will result to tremors and seizures that can lead to the death of the dog.

Not only chocolates would have ill effects on the dog as some human foods are toxic to dogs as well. Foods that are perfectly safe for humans can have toxic effects on the dog. Dog owners have to know which of the foods commonly found in an average home can poison the dog.

Dog would get lots of benefits from eating fruits. Grapes and avocados though must not be given because of its toxic effects. More and more dog owners are taking the time to provide the pet home cooked meals fearing that commercial pet foods may be contaminated. Dogs would eat just about anything thus there will be no need to enhance the flavor of the meal by adding garlic and onions. These food enhancers have potentially dangerous effects to the health of the pet. Eating onions and garlic has the ill effect of bursting the red blood cells of the dog. Dogs that are regularly fed onions and garlic can develop anemia.

Dogs must be prevented from eating tomatoes and potatoes because these are poisonous to dogs too. These seemingly innocuous foods contain oxalates that cause abnormalities in the functioning of the nervous system, the kidneys as well as the digestive system. Green tomatoes are most toxic but the dog must be prevented from eating the leaves or the tomato plant as doing so would cause the dog to have tremors, to seize and to suffer from heart arrhythmia.

Foods known to be poisonous to dogs vary in the degree of toxicity. A dog owner may boast about a pet that has ingested one of these poisonous people food and show no signs of poisoning. This situation should not make other dog owners complacent as it does not really indicate that the food is safe for dogs. Poisoning will depend on the quantity of the food ingested, the body weight of the dog and the amount of toxicity the food. Furthermore, the toxic effects may not be readily apparent especially if the dog’s organs are slowly being damaged. Dog owners have to be careful in allowing the pet to eat people food.

Many common human foods are toxic to dogs. A more comprehensive list of foods toxic to dogs can be found at Sarah’s Dogs. Also you can read abotu dog grooming.

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robbie on September 22nd 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Learning basic first aid for the pet

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Why do I have to learn first aid? My dog’s vet is a neighbor. Are you one of the dog owners with the same philosophy? The vet’s expert hands would make small work of any health concern of the pet. However, there are situations when vets are not available. One of the reasons why people get dogs for a pet is because they make great companions thus they are always taken wherever the master goes. A dog owner’s competence in administering first aid would be very beneficial in emergency cases where no vet is available to help the pet. With first aid know how an owner can even prevent the pet’s condition from becoming life threatening.

A dog owner needs to act fast in emergency situations to save the life of the pet. To save the injured pet, a dog owner would rush to an emergency facility however, in most serious cases, the pet would expire before treatment is given. The life of the pet could have been saved had the owner thought of administering first aid. Unfortunately, while some dog owners would not know if the pet needs emergency care, other dog owners would have no idea how to help the pet

Basic first aid for dogs is very similar to first aid for humans. Anyone administering first aid to a dog has to be very careful as stressed dogs have the tendency to attack. Animal shelters offer first aid training to interested pet owners. First aid methods can be learned for the vet. Some veterinary hospitals are offering free first aid training as well.

Learning first aid would be easier by using the ABC approach. A stands for airways, B for breathing and C is for circulation. The first thing a dog owner should do is to make sure that no foreign object is blocking the airways and to check if the dog is breathing. The beating of the dog’s heart means that blood is still being pumped to the body parts. Artificial respiration is needed if the dog is no longer breathing. Dogs have the instinct to deal with minor bleeding simply by licking the wound. The dog’s licking will be ineffective in stopping severe bleeding thus owner has to administer first aid.

Dog owners can never totally prevent accidents that will injure the pet. To be able to administer emergency care, a pet owner has to learn how to administer first aid treatments. Due to the training, vets no doubt will be able to administer appropriate treatment to an injured pet but dog owners can alleviate the pet’s pain and even save the life of the dog with first aid skill and a well equipped first aid kit.

Want to know more about first aid kit and first aid for dogs? Visit Sarah’s Dogs.

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robbie on August 31st 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Learn how to save your dog from choking

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Dogs have this habit of gnawing anything that would fit into their mouths. Dogs are not only voracious eaters, they are also very curious animals. Because dogs don’t have hands, anything interesting in their environment will be investigated by their mouths. This habit is not only annoying as it becomes destructive but also dangerous as the dog can swallow large objects that can cause choking. Death is imminent for a choking dog if first aid is not administered as the object that is lodged in the trachea will block the airway and would make breathing difficult.

Giving first aid to a choking dog is one of the basic first aid lessons a dog owner has to learn. Dog owners have to be prepared to deal with choking as this condition is a common consequence of the dog’s inclination to chew. Dog owners would ensure that the pet remains healthy and safe from any life threatening situations but accidents can never be prevented. To be able to save the pet from life threatening conditions, a pet owner has to be competent in administering first aid.

A dog owner has to recognize the symptoms that the pet is choking so that first aid can be administered. A chocking dog would drool, gag and act frantic. It would be easily apparent that something is blocking the dog’s airway as it would continuously paw the mouth while trying to vomit. If emergency care is not given to the choking pet, the gums will pale or become blue and the breathing sounds will stop.

To help a choking dog, the object that is causing the airway blockage must be removed immediately. With the fingers, perform a finger sweep along the sides of the mouth to the base of the tongue for foreign object that is causing the dog to choke. If an object can be felt it has to be manually removed. Dog owner and dog would be lucky if the object that is blocking the airway is as easy as this to remove. An object that cannot be felt or seen would be more difficult to remove.

Small dogs would be easier to handle thus removing the blockage would not be too difficult as compared to large dogs . Small dogs can be easily held upside down and slapped on the back to dislodge the object that is blocking the airway. It would be advantageous for every dog owner to learn how to do the Heimlich maneuver. This first aid method is also known as the wheelbarrow style as the hind legs of the dog will be raised against the body of the person administering the first aid. Place the wrist on the dog’s last ribs and forcefully push the abdomen downwards until the object is dislodged.

At Sarah’s Dogs you can find out more about choking as well as first aid for dogs.

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robbie on August 31st 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips