Dog Food Allergies – Symptoms and Treatment

Just like humans suffer from food allergies, dogs also suffer from food allergies. Usually, when a dog is allergic to certain foods, it indicates that its immune system has identified that the specific food is allergic or harmful. While on the course, the defensive antibodies within the host body will attack the invading particle, and this immune mechanism will make your dog to become sick. Nearly, 10 percent of dogs are suffering from food allergy at some point. Moreover, they are difficult to identify first, but once, it has identified, it would be very easy to treat.

Difference between Food Allergies and Food Intolerances in Dogs

Usually, dogs might get vomit or suffer from diarrhea for a while, at the moment they ate food that is allergic, such as dairy products. And many pets have suffered with food intolerance, which means, a kind of heartburn or indigestion immediately after eating a spicy food, just as experienced by humans. Since, this condition can be uncomfortable, hence, it is better for a dog to stay away from these kinds of foods that causing allergies and as well as the one which is intolerant to their digestive system.

If dogs might have happened to eat a food, which can cause allergic to them, then they will undergo some common symptoms such as rashes on their skin. Sometimes, if a dog has prone to be allergic, then most probably they had been inherited with a certain kind of genetic pre-disposition to acquire those allergies.

Difference between Cause and Triggers

Usually, many pet parents have said that eggs can cause allergies in their pet, but, actually eggs are the triggers. But the most common reasons for allergies in dogs are inheriting allergies and environmental allergies. Meanwhile, given antibiotics at the younger age of dogs can even be one of the main causes of food allergy, because, in this case, those antibiotics might have destroyed the bacterial flora in the digestive organs, which is consider as the largest immune system of the body.

Some of the most common food allergy triggers in dogs are

  • Beef.
  • Lamb.
  • Dairy products.
  • Chicken.
  • Corn.
  • Wheat.
  • Fish.
  • Chicken eggs.
  • Soy.

Unfortunately, in many of the dog’s food these common triggers are playing a crucial part. Hence, to avoid these conditions such as intolerance or an allergy, then dogs are need to be offered with rice along with some other favourable foods. Moreover, make use of the availability of hypoallergenic dog foods, which doesn’t include these allergy triggers.

Symptoms of Dog Food Allergies

Food allergy symptoms in dogs is also similar to the allergic reactions of others causes, so, your dog may experience, itchy skin on the face, ears, feet, armpits, forelegs and the anus. Hence, in order to relieve from itching, usually, dogs will move their head up and down against any rough surface or any furniture to scratch. Sometimes, severe scratching leads to irritation and discoloured skin. Moreover, often it leaves bald patches on the skin. Meanwhile, other symptoms which includes:

  • Chronic ear infections.
  • Hot spots on the skin.
  • Hair loss.
  • Excessive scratching.
  • Increased amount of bowel movements, usually up to 5 a day.
  • Yeast infections.
  • Severe skin problems, especially in puppies.
  • Skin infections may respond to antibiotics, but, again appears, once the antibiotics are stopped.

Diagnosing Food Allergies in Dogs

In order to analyse whether the allergy is caused by a food or atopy or flea bites or intestinal parasites sensitivity, then the dog should be engaged in a food trail. Typically, this trail will last up to 12 weeks, where the dogs are been offered with variety of protein and carbohydrate foods that they never had before, which is called as novel diet. So, you can easily figure out the combinations, which have been found to be hypoallergenic for dogs.

During a food trail, your dog is not given with anything other than the trail food. This also includes no treats, no flavoured medication, and no chewable toys. Despite everything, it is advisable, while on a dog food trial, the dog should be kept out of the room during mealtime. Because, even eating a small scrap that falls out of the table can be more enough to spoil the food trial and thus will make the results to go useless.

After the 12 weeks of the food trial, the dog will be offered with regular diet. Perhaps, again if you look for any of the symptoms of a food allergy, now making the proper diagnosis would have been easier.

Treating Food Allergies in Dogs

Treating food allergies is rather easy in dogs than diagnosing them, because, you can completely avoid the food stuff that cause allergies. In general, a vet may prescribe antihistamines, fatty acids and steroids, when the dog is suffering from an irritated skin and other allergic symptoms. But the reactions will get stop only after the food is kept away from the dog completely.

Similarly, avoiding commercially available dog foods are also recommended, because, these kinds of foods would also be the real cause of allergies in dogs. Hence, it is better to opt for homemade food for providing pets. For that, you can start offering with a very mild diet and gradually add other nutritious ingredients for the dog, in order to make it more balanced as well as appetizing. Remember, while adding extra supplements to your dog diet, you should consult with your vet prior making their meals even more nutritious.

Dog food allergies are common for any breeds, hence, and it will show up at any time. Hence, if you suspect for any allergies in your dog, it is vital to take them to the vet immediately. Even though, the allergies aren’t life-threatening in any way, but, eliminating certain allergy causing foods in their diet will help them to lead a healthier and happier life.

All you need to know about Shih Tzu

The small size Shih Tzu is your ideal companion. A breed of Chinese royalty, this little sweetheart is considered the prince of dogs. It loves and wants to be loved. From ages, this prince of the lap of the Chinese royals, Shih Tzu has not even come close to a reduction in its status. It is rarely aggressive or arrogant. You may find him a little spoiled, but his size and mischievous habits would just steal your heart.

It is neither a guard nor a hunting dog. Throw him balls and he will bring it back for you- Shih Tzu is a pure play breed. Keeping this dog as the pet should only have one purpose: being loved and love back.

Personality

Whatever you are doing and wherever you are, Shih Tzu would be willing to be with you. It is not a demanding dog which makes its personality even more pleasing. If you are working, the dog would immediately sense it and would sit by your side in solidarity without bothering you. They are least bothered by what you are doing, as far as you are with them. If you want to play, they will play along. If you want to sleep, they will snooze off with you. This breed is the easiest to distract with toys.

Shih Tzu Grooming

Is it the long flowing gold and white locks of Shih Tzu that are attracting you? Well, the Chinese royals probably have had hired a team of people who would just brush their hair. Leave this dog one day without training and you will find them in a tangled mess. Because of the long coat, this dog needs less clipping as others.

Cleaning tools

A slight problem with their grooming is that their skin needs to stay clean and well-groomed, else they would catch skin diseases. The tools you need for their grooming includes a stainless steel brush, a wire pin brush with coarse teeth.

Because of their small size, it is essential to maintain their diet and prevent them from becoming overweight as it would cause multiple stomach disorders.

10 of the Most Expensive Dog Breeds to Own

Some Dogs are expensive, apart from their cost of food, housing expenses and vet. There are many things to consider when buying or owning a new pup. Few people hesitate to buy dogs because of their cost of expenses and maintenance, especially in middle class the average families; they don’t want to spend too much money on their dog. Although there are different types of dogs, some are costlier than others especially if they are of a pure breed. Last year, a Tibetan Mastiff puppy was sold out in china for $2 million.

Getting a Dog is a major decision that will affect our life for many years, so it’s difficult task for one to choose a proper breed. There are a variety of factors which makes them expensive, if they are of rare breed, pure, extra-ordinary skills, etc.

Let’s take a look at 10 of the most expensive Dog breeds, and they are.

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are known for being affectionate, sweet, alert, friendly and gentle. They are not large breeds; they have short legs but big body. Grooming is only necessary once in a while, moderate shedding, difficult to train, and is good with kids.

Cost of treatments are high will be on top because chances of conditions like Entropion, Gastric dilatation volvulus, IVDD and panosteitis is high also they have a short life span when compared toing with other breeds.

  • Cost – $350 to $700.
  • Hypoallergenic – No.
  • Tests required – Blood, Eye.

Bernese Mountain Dog

They are known to be multi-talented, participate in a wide variety of activities such as guarding, herding, search (rescue) and carting. Training will be enjoyable with this dog (easy to train), exercise is not required much, breed is not good for new owners and not good for apartment living.

Bernese Mountain dogs have high risk on Aseptic meningitis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, oestochondrosis and prone to cancer. Lose their mobility in early stage. They rank first as the most expensive breed in medical costs.

  • Cost – $1500 to $2000.
  • Hypoallergenic- No.
  • Tests required – Elbow, Eye, Hip.

Rottweiler

Rottweiler’s physically strong, intelligent, fearless dog breed developed in Germany. Used for variety of purpose such as search and rescue, herding, police work and as guide dogs. It will need regular exercise, can be trained easily and great watch dog.

Biting or attacking tendency is high in this breed, as per the record it ranks as the second most dangerous dog breeds. They may have risk in conditions such as entropion, elbow dysplasia, sub aortic stenosis, hip dysplasia, osteochondritis of the ankle/spine and osteochondritis of the shoulder are the common health problems seen in this breed.

  • Cost – $2000 to $4000.
  • Hypoallergenic – No.
  • Tests required – Blood, Cardiac, Elbow, Eye, Hip.

Irish Wolfhound

The Irish wolfhound is a giant purebred and, it is actually the largest dog breed of dogs. They are known for being loyal, courageous, sweet and quite. It will needs regular exercise; training is not required, shed regularly, suited for apartment living and are good with kids.

They are familiar with the conditions/risks such as cardiomyopathy, gastric dilation volvulus, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, panosteitis and portosystemic shunts. These breeds have a height range of 30-35 inches.

  • Costs – $1000 and above.
  • Hypoallergenic – No.
  • Tests required – Cardiac, Hip.

Great Dane

They are alert, gentle, loving, loyal, intelligent, responsive, quite, friendly, social and responsive. It participates in variety of activities such as guarding, carting and tracking. Their origin is in Germany and so they are also called as ‘German Mastiff’. They have a short lifespan comparing to other giant breeds.

It is among the heaviest dog breeds and typically weighs between 100 to 180 pounds. They have common health problems such as aortic stenosis, osteochondritis of the shoulder, hip dysplasia, lick granuloma, entropion, hypertrophic osteodystrophy and cardiomyopathy.

  • Cost – $600 to $3000.
  • Hypoallergenic – No.
  • Tests required – Blood, Cardiac, Eye, Hip, Elbow.

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan mastiffs are huge breed which are often used in Himalayas by tribes as their guard. They are extremely intelligent and strong, which makes them potentially difficult to train. Grooming should be performed regularly, to keep them in good shape. Their origin is in China.

This breed isn’t good for new owners. They have common health problems such as elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia.

  • Cost – $1.5 million (last year, in China it was sold out for 2 million).
  • Hypoallergenic – No.
  • Tests required – Hip, Thyroid.

Chow Chow

Chow Chow commonly participates in guarding. And they are known for being alert, aggressive, independent, detached, intelligent, loyal, quiet and protective. They are not a best option for kids and new owners. It requires regular exercise, to keep them healthy.

Their life span is shorter than other large breeds, up to 8-12 years. It is in the list of top 10 dangerous dogs. The common health conditions are cataracts, elbow dysplasia, diabetes mellitus, gastric dilatation volvulus, hip dysplasia, myotonia and patellar luxation.

  • Cost – $750 and above.
  • Hypoallergenic – No.
  • Tests required – Elbow, Eye, Hip.

French Bulldog

French bulldog is a small companion dog. They are intelligent, easy to train and are excellent watch dogs. Their lifespan is much shorter (9-11 years) and it’s typically 11 to 13 inches in height.

Health problems seen in this breeds are entropion, IVDD and hip dysplasia.

  • Cost – $1400 to $2000.
  • Hypoallergenic – No.
  • Tests required – Spine, Eye, Hip, Knee.

German Shepherd

German shepherd is commonly regarded as one of the best police and military breeds in the world. They are strong, intelligent and athletic breed. German shepherd is among the most popular dog breeds (worldwide). These breeds are easy to train and require less maintenance.

There are many health problems seen such as cardiomyopathy, aortic stenosis, cataracts, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hemivertebrae, gastric dilatation volvulus, compulsive behaviours, degenerative myelopathy and hemivertebrae. They are more costly for their treatments.

  • Cost – $900 to $7000.
  • Hypoallergenic – No.
  • Tests required – Blood, Elbow, Eye, Hip.

English Bulldog

They are stocky, muscular breed with an unmistakable wrinkled face. Despite their intimidating appearance, they are known for being friendly, patient and loyal to their owner. Requires low maintenance, moderate shedding, difficult to train and are good for new owners.

Aortic stenosis, deafness, colitis, entropion, elbow dysplasia, gastric dilatation volvulus, pulmonic stenosis and fold dermatitis are the common health problems seen.

  • Cost – $1500 to $3000.
  • Hypoallergenic – No.
  • Tests required – Elbow, Eye, Hip, Knee.

10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the United States

Dogs are really a boon companions to humans, since, they assist in everything that we love to adore often. Today we have different types of dog breeds that are unique in both characters and appearance. But on the whole, they are the lovely companions who always stands on our side. Hence, we are going to find out the most popular dog breeds in United States.

American Kennel Club (AKC) uses the statistics report from pet registrations every year to analyse the most popular breeds of United States. In which they have found out that there are certain breeds are more popular because they have possessed long lasting affection and love in Americans’ hearts. These dog breeds are so lovable, loyal, playful and also they act as both as a pet and as well as working dogs.

Common Characteristics of Popular Dog Breeds

Although these dogs seem to be varied with different characteristic traits and personalities, there are certain characteristic traits that these dogs have in common, which make them very popular. Usually, almost of all of them are family dogs. Hence, they always love to be on the side of his owner and his family members. Besides that, they can even accept other animals as a part of their family, when we brought up along with them. Further, they are generally in manageable size. Hence, they are the best choice for apartments, houses, and farms. Moreover, because of their intelligent capacity, people find them very adaptable and easy to train and therefore, they have become the most preferred choice for many dog owners across the nation.

Labrador Retriever

Since Labrador Retrievers are easily trainable and very affectionate, they are the best companion. In fact, they are been at the top of the popularity poll for 23 years continuously. These wonderful dogs are so loving, loyal, and has a very sharp intelligence. Moreover, they are innately good-natured and always eager to please his person. Further, they are too good with children as also with other dogs. Apart from that, they can also work as the hunting dogs or service dogs. Their average lifespan is about 10 to 12 years in which they can weigh between 60 to 75 pounds. Sometimes, they tend to gain more weight of certain physical conditions therefore, proper attention or adequate exercise are recommended. Moreover, these Labrador Retrievers have the tendency to adapt any circumstances and the love for his person and family is quite a lot.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are originally athletic, intelligent and a highly capable breed, which is basically a herding dogs. Though these dogs are generally reserved and aloof, yet not at all aggressive. They are easily trainable, particularly when they have left a job to do. Considering its exceptional working capabilities, they have often employed in both police and military services. Moreover, they can be even utilized as guide dogs, search dogs, herders and rescue dogs and also in drug detection operation. In his average lifespan of 10 to 14 years, generally German Shepherds weigh about 75 to 90 pounds. People love German Shepherds for their adaptable talents and their dedication of actively learning things. Usually, they shed a lot, thus they require regular brushing and grooming process. Despite of everything, these dogs may suffer from suffer from separation anxiety, so it should be dealt properly.

Yorkshire Terrier

These little beautiful dogs are cute small structured, hence they are well preferred for small homes. These children friendly dogs are loyal, loving and highly intelligent. Usually, Yorkshire Terriers have an ability of figuring out things. These innate character is originate from their hunting ability such as, in search for rodents and vermin’s. Even though they are small, they serve as a great protectors and watchdogs. Generally Yorkies weigh around 4 to 6 pounds and its life span is about 12 to 15 years. Despite the fact of being as the watchdog and bravado, on the other hand they are also so sweet and moreover, they are able to make a quick bond with their owners. Further they seek for praise and attention; also they respond well and even has the eager to please. However, they are easy to train, but indeed they require consistent reinforcement in their early stage, therefore, they do not build any bad habits. At last, Yorkshire Terriers can be the great family dogs for those with older children and with the people who love them more.

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are so popular for many reasons, they have the versatile ability to excel both as family pets and as well as working dogs. These friendly dogs are well tolerant, meanwhile, they are highly trainable and intelligent. People make them as an excellent hunting companions, because of their sniffing, tracking and hunting potency. Besides being as an assistance dogs they also behave as the therapy dogs. And they are one of the most popular dog breeds. Golden Retrievers weighs around between 55 to 75 pounds in his average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. In spite of their athletic build body and love of exercise, they are the dogs who loves to eat, hence, they can quickly become overweight, if not properly exercised. Though they are the boisterous dogs, they love children. Therefore, these dogs are perfect for nearly any home.

English Bulldog

Again one of the most popular dog breeds is the English Bulldog. These dogs are highly ranked among celebrities, also they earned the name of ‘The 3rd most popular team Mascot’. Originally they are originated in England, where they are used for bull baiting. So it is expected that these dogs were taller and even heavier than they appear today. Many breeders and people still admiring the strength and stamina of this bulldog. So they was re-engineered, which predominantly focusing on the gentle temperament, in order to make them as friendly dogs. That is how they became as the affectionate dogs that we are seeing them today. English Bulldogs weight about 40 to 50 pounds with an average life span of 8 to 12 years.

Beagle

Obviously, we know that the fun loving famous Snoopy is Beagle. Moreover, Beagle is the only breed which ranks in the top ten every year that conducted by the AKC registry, since its induction in 1885. Because these dogs are found to be very happy, good companion, and moreover they are just plain cute. It possess an exceptional sense of smell. Usually they have the habit of wandering and tracking, in case if they happen to watch something interesting. That is why one should have to keep an eye on them during regular walks and visits to park. Beagles weigh between 18 to 30 pounds with an average life span of 10 to 15 years. These dogs are usually chowhounds which means they love to eat. Hence, children should respect or stay away from Beagles while they are eating and further should not tease them while having food. On the other hand, they seem to be very standoffish at first, but rather they quickly warm up on strangers.

 Rottweiler

Rottweilers are usually seen in medium to large, and normally robust in nature. Also they have a powerful build personality, so they can be excellent for driving cattle from long distances, whereas they can also be used as intimidating guard dogs, since because of their stature. These reasons can be more enough for the Rottweiler to be one of the most famous dog breeds. Their dispositions are alert, bold and self-assured, yet they are obedient and intelligent dogs. Similar to other dogs this breed will also exhibit loving and playful nature with their families. Though Rottweilers are found to be inherently vicious, perhaps it can be playful, gentle and sweet if they are well socialized and well trained at an early stage. Rottweilers weigh around 85 to 130 pounds in his average life expectancy of 8 to 11 years. In order to make this dog as the protective yet gentle breed then you should train them with persistent discipline and firm affectionate care. Thereby, you can make this breed as the calm and courageous dog.

Poodle

Another highly preferable dog breed is the Poodle. These dogs are often misrepresented by only considering its fashion status, but in fact they are very smart. They are highly adoptable, athletic, playful and trainable, so they perform well in canine sports. These family friendly dogs are always enthusiastic for a walk or playing games and often will become destructive when left alone for a long time. Moreover, their stylish coat is hypoallergenic. Usually, Poodles weigh around 45 to 70 pounds with an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Though they are mischievous they are so loyal and loving dogs. When they are trained well at their young stage, these dogs can be dignified, calm and exhibit protectiveness for their home and family.

Dachshund

Another highly popular breed is the Dachshund. They love to play and are often said, that they have the heart of a lion. Historically these dogs tracked burrowing prey like rabbits, wild boar and foxes. They have a tendency to succeed in any undertaking activities, those can be even entertaining and sometimes frustrating too. They love to jump, love to eat and love to bark. They are also very cute and clever to get their owners to do anything for them. They generally weigh around 16 to 32 pounds with an average life span of 12 to 15 years. Moreover, they are popular for their unique shape and structure, their large soulful eyes and captivating facial expressions. Further, they have the tendency to go jealous, so they should be properly trained and socialized.

Boxer

Nearly about 10 years, the Boxer held the middle ground with respect to popularity. They love of being with humans, especially children. They have the combination of patient and protective nature and they love playing and exercising. This breed have originated in Germany and then arrived to the United States after the World War I. These have striking attitude with sleek and short coats in an array of colors. They generally weigh around 60 to 70 pounds with an average life span of 10 to 12 years. Early training seems to be little critical for most boxers, working toward on that gives a fruitful outcome when there is a need to handle. Moreover, they serve as a guard dogs, who have the serious intention to protect their family. Sometimes, they can tolerate the hot weather and they are very good indoor dogs. They often drool a lot, snore loudly meanwhile they burrow right the way into your heart.

A Guide to Taking Care of a Six Week Old Puppy

Bringing a puppy home is very exciting. Taking care of a six week old puppy can be both a pleasure as well as a challenge. Although you’ll experience many complications and frustrations, all the hard work will have many rewards too. The success of your relationship depends on how well your train your puppy to follow the rules and regulations. It would be great if you could start training your pup from a very early age onward as it would help not only to raise a well-behaved puppy but also to develop an amazing bond between you and your dog.

Do Your Homework Before Buying a Dog

If you think buying a puppy is a piece of cake, you will surely end up being a dissatisfied dog owner. All dog breeds are different and so it is very important to do some research on the breeds you are interested in buying. This will help you make sure whether these breeds are compatible with your lifestyle and environment. Training some breeds can be tougher sometimes. But a lot of patience and the willingness to put in some effort can definitely turn these dogs into obedient, loving pets.

Get the Right Supplies for Your Puppy

Make sure to buy some supplies before you bring your puppy home. These include a crate, food and water bowls, high-quality food, a few fun toys, cleaning supplies, doggy shampoo, leash, collar, and some poop bags.

Create a Safe and Comfortable Environment

Your six week old puppy would need some time to get adjusted to his new environment. So it is essential that you create a safe and comfortable environment where he can feel happy. Keep harmful things out of your pup’s reach. Create a safe spot guarded by a boundary, in a selected area in your home. This would be the place where he can find solace if things get too overwhelming. This space can be expanded as your pups gets more adjusted and comfortable. It should also have easy access to a garden, backyard, or his outdoor potty zone.

Work as a Team to Raise Your Pup

If your pup is coming to a home that has many family members, it is important that all of you work together as a team to train your puppy. This is especially true if there are little kids in the house. The problem with not working together as a team is that your dog will be confused, because he won’t have a clear idea on what he should be doing. This confusion may jeopardize all your training efforts.

Feeding Your Pup

Talk to your vet about your puppy’s nutrition before buying a good dog food and deciding on a feeding routine because every breed has different nutritional needs. Choose a high-quality food formulated specifically for puppies and make sure that the primary ingredient is meat and the food contains plenty of good vegetables.

Learn Some Basic Dog Skills

It is important to spend plenty of time with your pup and help him learn a few basic rules of the house such as staying in his crate and potty training. Keep in mind that most puppies respond well to play training. Your puppy is just a baby and you will need a lot of patience to teach him stuff. Since he has a short attention span, try training him in short intervals so that he learns quickly.

Potty Training

Potty training is very important because you don’t want your pup defecating wherever he pleases. Puppies can be trained easily if you stick to a routine and give him good rewards. To potty train, make your dog spend an hour in his crate and then release him. Run him over to his potty area and tell him to do the job. If he does, give him lots of love and praise, and then give him a treat. Play with him for a while.

Start Learning Socialization Skills Early

Your puppy will be meeting different people and a variety of animals, so it’s important he learns to socialize. The rule of thumb is that he should meet a lot of people before the age of 3 months. Invite your friends over or throw puppy parties where he gets to meet many people. This way he can learn a variety of useful skills, including bite inhibition and how to interact with each other. You should also take him on regular walks so that he gets accustomed to strangers. Well-socialized dogs make great companions, while the not so socialized ones can sometimes be dangerous.

Help Your Puppy Learn to be Home Alone

Your dog will have to be left alone at home at some point or the other. To teach him to behave when you are not at home, create a long-term confinement spot and place a comfortable bed, a bowl of fresh water, a doggy toilet, and lot of chew toys. Put him in this spot when you leave home for extended periods of time. Train him to use a doggy toilet or a potty pad during this time.
Dogs are very social animals and so teach him to enjoy his own company before you leave him for long periods. Teach him to settle down with a chew toy. The first one month of your puppy’s arrival can be really tough and challenging, and it is very important to be prepared. Without proper training, love and care, your pup can develop destructive habits and it would be too difficult for you to handle him in the long run.

Vestibular Disease in Dogs

Vestibular disease is a condition that affects the vestibular system and is responsible for the body to remain balanced. There are two types of vestibular disease, which includes peripheral vestibular disease and central vestibular disease. The major forms of vestibular disease in dogs are said to be a peripheral vestibular disease. It is the disorder which occurred due to the chronic inner and the middle ear infection which leads to the damage of nerves connected to the brain from ear. Usually, dogs suffering from this disease, may experience loss of body balance, dizziness and vertigo. This condition seems to be scary for the dog’s owner at the beginning, but it is not a critical condition and it can be cured.

In Central vestibular disease, it is mainly found to be rare in dogs which seems to be a serious condition. This type of disease will affect the Central Nervous System (CNS) and thereby, it affects the multiple body parts which finally leads to the various symptoms.

Symptoms of Peripheral Vestibular Disease

  • Chronic or Recurrent middle and inner ear infections.
  • Excessive cleaning of ears may cause the eardrum to tear.
  • The ear cleaners and loop diuretics are used in case of torn eardrum.
  • Head injury Trauma.
  • Frequent usage of certain antibiotics including neomycin, amikacin, gentamicin and tobramycin.
  • Sometimes, the presence of brain tumours are said to be the cause for idiopathic vestibular disease, which are found in older dogs.

Symptoms of Central Vestibular Disease

  • Infection.
  • Inflammatory disease.
  • Loss of blood flow.
  • Trauma or bleeding in the brain.
  • Cancer.
  • Polyps.

Causes & Symptoms of Vestibular Disease in Dogs

It affects the ability and balance of the body and the common symptoms of this disease ahead continuously. It happens if there is a problem in the dog’s inner ear.

Other symptoms includes

  • Staggering
  • Loss of co-ordination
  • Rolling
  • Falling
  • Dizziness
  • Nystagmus (Involuntary jerking eye movements)
  • Nausea
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting

Breeds that are at the risk for Vestibular Disease

As a reason of injury or trauma in the inner ear area is a cause for peripheral vestibular disease. Hence, there is no specific breeds that are most at risk for causing this kind of disease.

The another form of this disease is also called as Congenital Vestibular Disease, which has been acquired, “in utero” .So that it can be seen almost in all puppies from their birth and it would be continued till three months old. Hence, breeds such as German shepherds, Smooth Fox terriers, Doberman pinschers, English cocker spaniels, Akita’s, Beagles and Tibetan terriers are found to be at risk with this type of diseases.

An idiopathic vestibular disease is the condition that are usually seen in older dogs. Most of time, the dogs which are suffering from this form of disease are frequently get confused because of the stroke condition. Older dogs with this type of disease, would often find difficulties in eating, drinking and even in passing urine and motion. Due to this reason, it is often recommended that, the foods and the water bowls are need to be kept closer. If possible, you can also help your dog by lifting it to the bathroom. Sometimes, only few older dogs need an additional support therapy like, IV fluids for nutritional supplementation.

Diagnosing Vestibular Disease in Dogs

The Diagnose for the vestibular disease might be difficult. Even though, some of the following tests, are as follows:

  • Estimation of Complete Blood Count (CBC) for checking out some possible blood-related disorders and infectious conditions.
  • Clinical evaluation of kidney, liver, pancreas, and the sugar level.
  • Electrolyte tests for electrolyte imbalance.
  • Thyroid hormone test which determines the amount of thyroid hormone produced in the thyroid glands.
  • Urine tests are taken to check Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).
  • Ultrasound analysis to check for Tumors.
  • Cortisol test is preferred to find out Addison’s disease.
  • The parasitic infections tests.

Once the expected possibilities have been ruled out, then the vet will examine for the neurological assessment for determining, whether the vestibular disease is the problematic condition of central or peripheral disease. If they have been diagnosed in the peripheral vestibular disease, an otoscope test would be used for looking the infections deep into the dog’s ears or if they have been diagnosed for the central vestibular disease, the vet will recommend for various diagnostic procedures such as MRI, Spinal fluid tap, CT scan. Sometimes a surgical biopsy is recommended to see the presence of any Tumors or Polyps. In the meanwhile, the vet will even look for other symptoms of infection which might be the major reason for this type of vestibular disease.

Treatments for Vestibular Disease in Dogs

Since Vestibular Disease have been caused by different reasons, the treatment would be based on the deep analysis and reason for this disease.

In general, the dogs that are born with Congenital Vestibular Disease, have already accustomed to it and in such cases, they are not cured because of their age. So, their problem will be cured or reduced if they are aged. The dogs suffering from idiopathic vestibular disease, would probably clears up on its own, within a couple of weeks. Although, some dogs may suffer terribly from this disease and for those dogs, proper nursing care and homeopathic treatment are available. Sometimes, the medication for nausea could be provided to alleviate stomach related problems. Besides, the other symptoms are also getting treated in order to make the dog more comfortable to improve their health.

In most of the vestibular disease, the underlying issues can be identified by the treatment. Mostly, it will get cleared up, on its own. Usually, the antibiotics are prescribed both for the inner and middle ear infections and even, the thyroid therapy and medications are given for thyroid problems. Or else, if there is presence of the cancerous tumors or polyps, a surgery is required for removing them and proper treatment should are given.

If the central vestibular disease is found to be untreatable and have dangerous infectious, which occur due to some damage in the brain.

Preventing Vestibular Disease in Dogs

Even though, nothing can be done virtually for preventing the few forms of vestibular disease. But, still there are some ways for preventing Peripheral Vestibular Disease. They are over cleaning of your dog’s ears because, sometimes it could cause trauma to its ear or head. Once, if you find any infection on their ear, immediately take them to the vet. So that, you can prevent the possible conditions which leads to the Vestibular Disease.

In general, the Vestibular disease in dogs could be scary for the dog owners and also for dogs, which are get infected for the very first time. Often, consult your vet for keeping your dog’s health in a good condition with a regular physical check-up. By doing so, you can help your dog to improve his health by giving a regular treatment.

Tracheal Collapse in Shih Tzu

Small breed of dogs like the Shih Tzu are considered to have a genetic tendency towards a disease called tracheal collapse. The trachea is also known as the wind pipe and it is a tube inside the neck through which the air passes. It is usually made of C shaped rings of cartilage and is filled with a muscle. This muscle is called tracheal membrane and it holds the windpipe and adjusts its shape and size. This adjustment will depend upon the amount of air that is inhaled or exhaled. The usual manifestations of tracheal collapse are excessive sneezing and problems in breathing.

The tracheal collapse happens when the tracheal muscles get weakened. There are certain conditions that cause the tracheal muscles to get flattened; some of them are obesity, lung diseases, and cardiac problems like chronic heart failure, heartworm infection, cardiomelagy and anaphylactic reaction to contaminants. Thus the airway becomes smaller and causes reflexive coughing and if you do not address these issues then it will cause inflammation.

Tracheal collapse usually is seen in 6-7 years old Shih Tzu. Usually after a walking session, you will observe sneezing and coughing. The coughing will sound like a goose honking and it sometimes is accompanied by some forceful movement in the abdomen. The Shih Tzu will easily get tired and show shortness of breath.  It is not necessary that you will get clinical signs always as they often are not manifested especially in the preliminary stage. In case of extreme conditions the gum of the dog will bear a blue discoloration and the breathing will be extremely difficult. In case you see these symptoms, know that the situation is of extreme emergency.

Usually in the diagnostic process the x-ray of the place where the trachea has collapsed or has a confined part. There can be a variety of treatment like cartilage supplements, cough suppressants, dieting and weight management, tracheal prosthesis and stents. You cannot prevent this condition as this is genetic in nature and this is regarded as an inborn character. However there is no need to worry as majority of the dogs with this condition respond to treatment. In case you get to see the above mentioned symptoms like breathing problems and coughing with your Shih Tzu who has attained a mid-age, it is better to consult a vet.

Smelly Shih Tzu

If you are a pet owner then you must have been worried about the most common problem of all- dog odor. People often will tell you that even after treating their pet with a bath, the smell just lingers on. Some pet owners also say that even aromatic shampoos are ineffective at times and just don’t work. Such situations are quite common in long haired pets like the Shih Tzu. This smelly condition is not a common occurrence in every Shih Tzu but you should also know that this is not normal. This smell is caused by something and you have to be responsible as an owner and do something about it. In case the situation goes untreated, many other medical problems may arise and those may be even tougher to treat.

One of the reasons is the water and the food provided to your Shih Tzu. Miniscule kibble particles and moisture always sticks to the long hair of the Shih Tzu breed and gets accumulated through time. After these get dried up, these are notoriously difficult to get rid of even during bathing. The same case is true secretion from the eye containing moisture, sweat, oils and small amount of fatty tissue known as meibum. These eye secretions not only cause the odor but also leave tear stains and these are very difficult to remove.

If you want to avoid such conditions then the only way is to maintain hygiene. You have to ensure that the dog’s face is gently wiped clean after every meal and the sticky and greasy leftovers are removed properly and the hair is wiped dry. It is advisable to use a soft towel to wipe the area around the eyes. The vital point here is never to leave the face of the Shih Tzu moist so that bacterial growth is avoided. A strong doggy smell is also caused by the affected anal glands. These glands are located on the either side of the anus of the dog and must be squeezed in regular intervals to empty them as they often get affected as the Shih Tzu grows older. You can learn to do it yourself of can ask the groomer to do that for you. The cracked skin also released body odor in Shih Tzu’s as there is accumulation of bacteria and formation of pus- that usually smells horrible.

The foul body odor in a Shih Tzu is not a dangerous case and can easily be avoided and treated with the right grooming technique and hygiene maintenance. You have to treat the case in the early stage so that you do not have to visit the vets regularly in future. Remember the golden words- health is wealth and prevention is better than cure.

Shih Tzu Shedding

It is quite common for a Shih Tzu to shed. They usually do not shed heavily but their hairs do change from time to time and get replaced. It is true that this is not a big headache for you as an owner but you must get to know about different shedding that is applicable to the Shih Tzus. These cute and cuddly breed of dog have furs just on their faces and have hair just like us on the remaining parts. Usually the hair is longer than fur and also thinner. The fur seems a lot fluffier and it can grow up to 2 inches maximum and then it breaks. No matter if it is hair or fur, these are shed so that new growth can take place on its place. Usually during the catagen phase of hair growth, there is a transition phase between the phase of rest and active growth. In case a hair is unable to bear the stress I this phase, then it usually gets shed.

It is usually during the spring or fall, i.e. twice a year that a Shih Tzu will shed. Since longer hairs are not the ones which are shed so the owners often tend to overlook the shedding. It is always the shorter hairs that are shed during the shedding season. This is the reason behind the requirement of regular grooming and combing for the Shih Tzu breed. This is not only for the aesthetic purpose but also for the removal of the short and thin hairs. In case they remain with the Shih Tzu coat then they get entangled with the longer hairs and then the distressing knots and mats get created. In case there is no air circulation, the skin runs the danger of getting dried up or even infected. If the Shih Tzu scratches the tangled hair area, then it may also remove the area along with the uppermost skin covering and pus will be formed.

The Shih Tzu pups start to shed the lighter and fluffier baby coat compared to the adult coat as early as 3 months to about 9 months. This period lasts around 3 months so in case your puppy is of this age you should be prepared to see some shed hair everywhere – on your doormats, clothes, bed and carpet etc. The pregnant bitches also shed a lot of hair due to changes it her hormones. However it is no big reason to get worried as after parturition and during the lactating stage of the puppies the hair growth becomes normal.

Shih Tzu Nail Care

Attending to the nails of your Shih Tzu is quite an easy task. However many owners usually take their pet to the grooming team to get the nails done as they think they cannot do it themselves. The process is quite simple though. The vital thing here is that you should have a well behaved dog and you should have a basic awareness of the anatomy of the canine nail. It is a fact that you are the best person to trim the nails of your Shih Tzu because after all you are the person your Shih Tzu trusts the most. So if you want to save some precious money and save the effort to visit the groomer, then you should know these points for a hassle free nail trimming session.

The best time to trim your dog’s nails is right after the bath as the nails will be soaked in water and will be soft. Take the paw of your dog in your hand and talk in a soothing tone to it so that the dog does not panic and remain relaxed. Never grab the nails of the dog suddenly and start to trim. Not only your dog can get nervous and bite you but you may cause a wound on its nailbed because of the sudden jerky movements. When both of you are relaxed then trim the nail in a swift but smooth motion.

Trim the nails above the pulp- you can easily see the blood supply in a bright light. The pulp is usually found inside the nail and is dark reddish in color. If you hit this structure accidentally then there will be bleeding. It may not be an emergency situation but you can be pretty sure that you dog will experience pain. Just apply a clean piece of cotton over the bleeding and keep the pressure for 2-3 minutes.

After you trim the nails use a file or an emery boar to work on the pointed and jagged edges. Normally you should trim the nails of your dog every 4 -5 weeks, though it will depend on its activity- like scratching himself, floor or cement scratching or digging. You should also check if the dog is facing difficulty to walk due to the nails. Large and overgrown nails will cause infection as fungal and bacterial impurities will get in and get infested easily due to the blood supply in the nail.