Some Facts About the Canine Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus is an extremely contagious viral infection that first came out "out of the blue" in 1978. A series of epidemics spanned across the United States, Australia, Canada, and several European countries, causing a rattling mortality rate. It was particularly grave in young puppies, and spread quickly at dog shows and in places where dogs were housed together, like kennels and pet stores. There's proof now that parvovirus didn't exist before the 1978 epidemic.
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Parvovirus is spread mainly via contact with the feces of a contaminated animal. A susceptible dog can be infected by ingesting less than a thousandth of a gram of infected fecal material. The virus could also be carried on the hair and feet of infected dogs, and on the clothing and shoes of people who manage them. It can pollute cages and other objects too.

Symptoms come along inside a three to twelve day period and include fever, vomiting, pale gums, and bloody diarrhea. The onset of the disease is sudden and might be preceded by listlessness and loss of appetite. Death may occur in dogs of all ages, though it's more likely in young pups.
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Success in treatment depends on early and precise diagnosis made by a vet, as death can happen within 2 to 4 days after the onset of the disease. Treatment comprise of intensive fluid and electrolyte replenishment therapy having antibiotics and vitamins. Numerous days of intensive care is often demanded during the crisis period.

When this lethal virus swept the country, scientists immediately started to formulate vaccines. Nowadays, thanks to the development of an effective vaccine, parvovirus is in check. However, it's vital that puppies be immunized at the proper time. A lot of pups are exposed and most susceptible to the virus at a time while they have too few maternal anti-bodies to protect them but too many to allow for a successful vaccination. Decisions about how soon and how often to vaccinate, thence, should be made on an individual basis by the vet in charge of the dog.

The virus causing this disease is among the most hardy and resistant ever known. It can thrive on many surfaces at room temperature and stay infectious for twelve months or longer. It is also resistant to most antimicrobials. You can help bring down contamination, though, by cleaning kennels or other areas the dog frequents using a solution of chlorine bleach.


Facts About the Dog’s Nose

A dog's sense of smell is so keen that his world is full of scents, others exciting, some soothing, each having a definite message to determine his behavior. When you take your dog out for a walk, watch him closely—to him, half the fun is sniffing areas where other animals, or other dogs, have passed.

Scenting ability differs in certain types of dogs. It appears to be most penetrating in those having long noses, long ears, and pendulous lips, like the hounds and sporting breeds. Shape and color of the nostrils also may be crucial. The keenest noses are usually those whose nostrils are huge, black, and wide open. Exceptions to the color rule are the brown-nosed hunting dogs. An impermanent fading of the nostrils from black to brown is generally caused by some "off" condition; it happens oftentimes to females in season.
Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook
The dog in the house, no matter how long his nose is, can distinguish smells to an amazing level. He feels safe and at home on his blankets since they carry his scent. He loves your old coat or sweater to lie on because it bears your scent. If he rides in the car, his head out the window, he recognizes you've turned homewards because he realizes neighborhood scents. It is nearly unbelievable, but true. A dog can smell formic acid, for example, in a solution carrying only one part of the acid in ten million parts of water; and he can know your scent on an object you have held in your hand for a bare two seconds.

Because the nose is also the organ of breathing, it does its greatest work when the nostrils are clean, cool, and mucus-free. The cold nose, being a sign of a healthy dog has been overrated. A huddle beside a radiator or a snooze under blankets could warm the nose of an animal in the best of health. Dryness, nevertheless, generally indicates fever instead of warmth. When in doubt, always take the dog's temperature.
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Mucus or watery discharge is more serious. It indicates bronchial ailment or distemper, but could also result from a simple cold. Clean off the nose using a soft cloth, take away the mucus within the nostrils using a swab, and then lightly grease them with Vaseline of olive oil to maintain them soft. This is significant in the illness since mucus makes breathing hard and forbids the smelling and tasting of food.

© 2011 Tip Writer

Dog Hairstyling Tips

When it comes to pet grooming, there are certain hairstyles that your dog can sport. You may wish to take a couple of lessons in the art or to allow a professional pet groomer to do the job.
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The wiry-coated terriers would need periodic plucking or stripping, likely about two or three times a year, to keep the coat free from snags and hard in texture. When left untrimmed, the hair grows long and thick, causing the dog to be quite uncomfortable. Besides, he looks kind of like a stray rather than a stylish, well-tended pet.
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Using a stripping knife or dull penknife held between thumb and forefinger, you will be able to pluck out loosening hairs as the terrier coat is cast. You may do better, however, to take a couple of lessons in the art or to allow a professional pet groomer to do the job. If you want to handle the coat yourself, you can buy trimming guides and charts having excellent directions for every breed at your pet-supply store. You can also purchase the correct tools to do the job the right way.

Certain breeds—Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, and Bichons Frises especially—involve clipping and scissoring expertise, and an amateur might have a difficult time trying to make his dog look right. There are a number of hairdos for Poodles—the Continental, the English Saddle, the Dutch, the Sweetheart, for instance—each one finishing up the dog having a radically different outline. It’s a big job, to be sure; the Poodle has a wealth of coat which should be taken off in some places, left on in others, and shaped based on the particular pattern preferred. Better have this done at the canine beauty shop, then later, maybe, take a few lessons from a professional in the acceptable manner of doing the work yourself.
 The Everything Dog Grooming Book: All you need to help your pet look and feel great! (Everything Series)
 By Tip Writer

Dental Problems of Dogs

image via Wikipedia
Early adulthood is a sound time to have the teeth checked to make sure that the permanent ones are aligned, not crowded too tightly together, free from disease, and not outworn by gnawing. The quantity of actual tooth decay among dogs is negligible. All the same, the dog's teeth can't repair themselves; once the enamel is worn away, they remain damaged and might need treatment or extraction.
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Safeguard against tartar, those hard brownish deposit on one or more teeth. The least of its danger is its unsightly color; the real harm is that it threatens the life of the tooth to which it adheres. It's gravest as it pushes into the gum, breaching the membrane which is the tooth's primary brace. Having this support gone, the tooth may loosen and fall out. This condition may not be painful. On the one hand, if food morsels work down into gum cavities and break down to cause abscesses, there would be considerable distress. When tartar is discovered, take the dog to the vet, who can scrape the teeth with expertise before any harm has been done. It's likewise helpful to give some dry meal or biscuits that require chewing.
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Bones and hard matters are, in a manner of speaking, the dog's toothbrush. Not that they really clean the teeth; they perform an even better service than that. They stimulate the blood supply as they rub all over the gums. Therefore, the gnawing of bones and the chewing of coarse, hard food aids in keeping the entire mouth healthy. That's why as the puppy matures we gradually lay off very moist foods and instead give drier, more crumbly mixtures. And then, while the second teeth are in, we give hard-baked biscuits at times.

All through out the dog's life you might keep his teeth clean by wiping them on a regular basis, using a damp cloth dipped in salt or baking soda, or with a canine toothpaste. A gentle turning motion will stimulate the gums as well as really clean the teeth. The dog used to this attention from puppyhood doesn't object. He relatively enjoys being fussed over.
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Don't expect the dog to announce dental troubles by crying. He hurts in silence, while rubbing the affected side of his jaw along the floor or maybe pawing it. He eats gingerly, mouthing his food with his lips instead of his teeth. He may drool as well. All of which may indicate a decomposed, broken, or otherwise tender tooth, or maybe a piece of something wedged between two teeth. In any case, it signifies an uncomfortable mouth demanding professional aid.

Tips on Caring For Your Dog's Coat

Brushing a dog's hair each day, or every two or three days, based on the length and texture of his coat, is among the most important phases of grooming. It's the best way to help prevent snags from forming and to maintain the skin clean and healthy and free from irritation.
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Ideally, a specified pattern of hair care is best established when a dog is young, particularly if he will sooner or later have long hair. Learning the right brushing methods while the hair is still short is a fine way for an owner to gain confidence. And it's very easy and pleasant to train a young pup to accept brushing by making a game of the first few sessions. You could put the puppy in your lap or stand him on a solid surface and place your hand under his stomach (to give both support and confidence) as you quickly brush through the coat.

As your dog matures, gradually step-up the length of the sessions. By this time his puppy coat has been substituted by a stronger, tougher kind of hair which, based on breed, may be short, medium, or long. Nearly all coats are two-ply. The long-haired and the medium-haired kinds, particularly, have an outer coat varying in coarseness, and a soft undercoat that's thick and dense.

The short, smooth-haired dogs have a double coat as well. However, it is less detectable because the undercoat is neither downy nor flat-lying. Thus, it's almost impossible to tell the top coat from the undercoat. When the undercoat sheds in warm weather, the major change observed is the thinner covering of the whole.

The coat is considered the dog's complexion. A deep, full, glossy coat usually entails that all is well within; whereas a dry, lifeless coat with hair perpetually shedding implies that something is wrong. Generally, the coat sheds twice each year, spring and fall, although some shedding occurs all the time. Heavy shedding between seasons might be caused by a lack of strength, following an illness, for example, whereas dryness may ensue from too many baths using harsh shampoos, or an overheated apartment. A temporary faded look could merely mean that the old coat is on the wane, since the hair tends to lose its vigor and color just prior to its casting.

The Everything Dog Grooming Book: All you need to help your pet look and feel great! (Everything Series)

Housebreaking or Housetraining a Grown Dog

It is really hard to housebreak the dog that grows up having no regular lessons in cleanliness or whose training was sloppy. Cases of this type are often the mistake of owners who are too lazy to house-train or who have left the dog solo for long periods of time.
The Power of Positive Dog Training 
Confinement in a shut crate night and day is useful. If you know the dog won't urinate or defecate while you're at home, you could let him out of his crate but keep him under close observation at all times. Or the dog could be leashed to a kitchen table leg or any solid support and taken out when relief is called for. Since the dog does not likes to soil his own quarters, he would be more likely to hold himself when crated or tied up short than when left to roam the house freely. Take him out faithfully at steady intervals: the very first thing in the morning, and the last thing at night, and many times during the day. When he does what is asked of him outside, praise him richly. You may extend a reward of some enjoyed tidbit. As for mistakes, clean them good using soap and water and a commercial odor neutralizes. Scold but don't spank.
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Allow one person to do the training, when possible, should be the one who feeds him. Let that person available all day and every day as needed. And let the teacher give the dog a great deal of affection. A lot of these hard-to-housebreak dogs had no one to love and no one to please. Every dog would like to please his master; and if given a master, he would want to please him as soon as he realizes how.
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If housebreaking is delayed beyond a year of age, the dog could be very stubborn; on the other hand, he might catch on really quick. Either way, housebreaking could be done, and is well worth doing. Many a supposed "dirty dog" has been sold for a bargain price simply because it was claimed he couldn't be trusted in the house. Training an older dog takes time, since bad habits should be broken as new ones are acquired.
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The dog sold as "guaranteed housebroken" might be a problem for a while. Unknown voices, a new bed, and an unfamiliar house and yard can result in a quite homesick animal. Give this dog time to get familiarized. A dog seldom forgets his house manners but he is clearly confused while moved to a new home. Don't hasten the training; your first job is to earn the dog's confidence.

© 2011 Tip Writer

Dog Feeding Myths and Facts

Although they've been proven false, there are various popular superstitions regarding feeding dogs that carry on to be handed down in families or given out by self-appointed authorities.

When you are raising your puppy, somebody might say to you not to give him milk since "milk makes worms." This couldn't possibly be true unless the milk bore worm eggs, which isn't likely. Puppies that are fed solely with milk after weaning could become debilitated from the compounding of short diet and worms they already have, but milk by itself doesn't produce worms. Unreasonable amounts of lactose, the sugar contained in milk, all the same, might produce diarrhea. Numerous dogs, particularly puppies, are not able to metabolize lactose properly.
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A different old wives' tale is that raw meat would make a dog savage. The basis for this notion is hard to imagine. It's true that a dog fed nothing but raw meat will be getting an insufficient diet and, intrinsically, may not be in the best of spirits. But the raw meat wouldn't make him brutal or blood-thirsty. Meat that can be consumed rare by humans can be ingested raw by dogs.
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Raw meat is oftentimes blamed as a cause of worms. A dog could get tapeworm from eating a rabbit he has caught, or perhaps from uncooked pork, but there's no other connection.

Another common notion is that feeding garlic or raw onions would "cure" worms in a dog. Worms are eradicated only by medicines that are made of stronger stuff than any amount of garlic or raw onions. Since worm medicines are potentially dangerous, you must turn a deaf ear to those who tell you your pup "just needs worming" every time he seems to be ailing. Your puppy may require worming, but on the other hand, he could be suffering from any of a dozen grave illnesses. Don't undermine him further by dosing with worm medicine. See your vet.
When anybody advises you to feed your dog raw eggs to make his coat shiny, assure them that the uncooked white of an egg ruins the absorption in his intestines of an important vitamin, biotin. The yolks of eggs can be given raw, but whole eggs must be cooked.

A lot of people worry when their dogs "wolf" down food. A dog's digestion does not start in his mouth as it does in humans. Eating fast and swallowing food whole is natural, and in all likelihood a regression to the time when dogs ran in packs and had to contend with others to get their share.
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A block of sulfur set in a dog's water bowl is credited with everything from keeping off worms to curing skin diseases. Alas, sulfur has no medicinal or nutritional value, and is just an ornament in the water dish.

A popular belief is that dogs must not be given the smallest speck of leftover potatoes because "starch can't be digested by dogs." This fact was confuted years ago by scientific tests. Dogs can digest cooked starch much as people can. Carbohydrates, so all-important in the dog's properly balanced diet, come partially from starches. This doesn't mean, however, that a diet of potatoes, macaroni, or bread is commended.
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