The Dachshund: A Tiny Dog With A Big Personality

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There are few more smile inducing sights than seeing a miniature dachshund confidently standing up to a larger, more docile dog. This tiny creature with short stubby legs and a long body is stubborn, often foolishly so, and will fearlessly frolic with other dogs, cats and any other pet you may have in your home. A lively little mutt, a dachshund is an ideal choice for the first time dog owner due to their relaxed temperament and ability to fit in pretty much anywhere. Your dachshund will be your faithful companion and relish any opportunity he has to sit with you and succumb to your chin rubs.

Although he is a healthy breed, the dachshund has a few medical ailments that need to be watched out for as he grows older. Be aware and get him to the vet if you spot any of the warning signs of the following conditions.

Epilepsy

As with the human condition, dachshunds can develop seizures at any age. Watching your dog have a seizure can be terrifying, but the best thing you can do is stay with him and soothe him until it passes. It is thought that this neurological condition is genetic and incurable. However, there are plenty of medications that can be utilized to get your little hound’s epilepsy under control should he develop it at some point in his life.

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Parasites

In a similar way to other hounds that love their walks, dachshunds are susceptible to anything parasitic ranging from fleas to ticks. The best way to combat this is to ensure your little guy starts a regular flea prevention routine from puppydom. Spot on treatments are the simplest and least intrusive way of giving your dog medication. You place a tiny pipette of medicated liquid onto the back of his neck once a month to keep him protected against the nasty parasitic blighters.

There are many parasites carried by other tiny critters that you need to be aware of. If you have a read of a post about a heartworm dog named Bobby Sue, you’ll see just how deadly parasites can be. Mosquitos can carry heartworms and release the parasitic larvae into a dachshund’s bloodstream after biting his skin. If your little pal starts coughing, seems wheezy or is losing weight, get him to the vet for a check up.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Because dachshunds weren’t blessed with the strongest of vertebra, their elongated shape means that they can find themselves with a whole host of back issues. They may need to have anti-inflammatory medication or have an operation to have discs removed if the pain becomes too great. It’s vital when you lift up your dachshund to give him a cuddle that you support his rear end and back. Because this is such a prevalent problem in the dachshund breed, owners have tried to fend off back problems with visits to a doggy acupuncturist or chiropodist with great success.

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If you find yourself the proud companion of a dachshund, you’ll be welcoming a fiery, entertaining and delightful little creature into your home. He or she will be at the center of many a comical memory and will be a welcome addition to any family.

Cold Facts: Common Health Concerns Among Siberian Huskies

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It is no wonder why the popularity of Siberian Huskies has grown exponentially over recent years; they are just so hard to resist. There aren’t many other breeds that are quite as strikingly gorgeous as the Siberian husky, what with those piercing blue eyes, that thick coat of fur and those disarming wolf-like looks. But it isn’t just their appearance that makes them such amazing pets. It is their joyful demeanour, their buoyant energy, their loyalty and friendliness. But the fact they make the best furry friends imaginable is also what makes it so hard to cope with when they get sick. There is an emotional bond that can crush your soul like nothing else.

Yes, Siberian Huskies tend to be incredibly healthy compared to a lot of other breeds, but that doesn’t mean they are free of all health concerns. Quite the contrary, in fact. Of course, the best medicine in your arsenal is knowledge and prevention, which is why we are going to highlight the main health problems of this very special breed:

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Corneal Dystrophy
Unfortunately, Siberian Huskies are known for suffering autoimmune disorders that affect the eyes and one, in particular, is to do with the cornea. Unfortunately, this tends to be a hereditary disease and one that your local veterinarian will probably tell you has no known cure, whether medicinal or therapeutic. What it looks like is tiny white spots in the cornea, with the condition affecting your pups vision. It’s not nice, but the good news is it isn’t painful.

Zinc Deficiency
Another autoimmune disorder your husky is susceptible to is a low level of zinc in their body, which tends to cause hair loss. The most common areas of hair loss are on the face – lips, chin and eyelids – but it can also occur at their elbows, hocks and feet. The obvious thing to do is add a zinc supplement to their diet. However, before you do this we would strongly recommend you speak to your vet first.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Yeah, Huskies tend to get it pretty rough with their eyes, and this is another hereditary example of this. This is a condition whereby your dog’s retina slowly disintegrates over time. The best way to ensure that this condition doesn’t affect your puppy is to have your Husky screened at an early age and let it undergo the necessary examination. While this won’t cure them, it will allow you to make lifestyle adjustments to ensure any progression is put off for as long as possible.

Hip Dysplasia
Ask any vet and they will tell you that a lot of big dogs are prone to hip dysplasia and Siberian Huskies fall into the category. To give you a little more information on it, hip dysplasia is where the joint doesn’t quite fit together properly, making later life a lot harder for them. There are certain things you can do to help your dog if they suffer from this. However, we would also recommend you ask the breeder whether the pups parents have been screened for hip dysplasia. It is hereditary, so those parents who were fine on this front tend to produce a litter that is unaffected too.

Common Pooch Problems Vets Spot Instantly

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We all want our pets to be healthy and happy. When it comes to dogs, there are some health problems that are very easy to spot. In fact, sometimes a vet may be able to diagnose them without any invasive tests. Want to know what they are? Then read on

Dehydration

Water is very important for all living beings, and it’s no different when it comes to the canine species. When a dog’s fluid levels drop below a certain level, they will begin to suffer from dehydration. Ideally, a dog’s hydration should always be above 80%, much in the same way that it should be this high for us humans. There are some very visible symptoms that giveaway dehydration. Firstly, take a look at the dog’s eyes. If they are sunken, then there is a good chance that the pup is dehydrated. Lethargy, a dry mouth, and loss of appetite are also indicators that the dog hasn’t been getting enough water too. This can be confirmed by a very easy skin-tent test to check the elasticity of the skin.

Obesity

Sadly, there is a high number of dogs out there that suffer from obesity and other weight problems. Owners find it too tempting to spoil their pups with lots of treats and tidbits! Even though a pooch may not be self-conscious about all the extra weight that they are carrying, it is important that the dog is treated and put on a diet to prevent any serious illnesses developing. It’s easy to tell if a dog is overweight. If you can’t feel its backbone when you stroke it, then it needs to lose a few pounds. Similarly, you should be able to feel its ribs without pressing at all.

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Canine Congestive Heart Failure

Heart failure in dogs may not be so easy to spot just by looking at a dog, but there are some classic tell-tale signs that give it away. You should ask if the dog has been sleeping and exercising as normal. If they have been sleeping excessively or have been reluctant to exercise, then they could be suffering. A lack of appetite and persistent cough are also common symptoms however this does need to confirmed by further tests including xray and echocardiogram.

Dental Diseases

Taking a look at a dog’s teeth can tell you a lot about their dental hygiene. One of the most common dental diseases is periodontal disease which affects around 80% of all dogs at one point in their life. If a dog suffers from this illness for a long time, it can sometimes lead to heart problems and diabetes. This is very easy for vets to spot as most dogs that have the disease will have a smelly breath and some visible swelling on the gums. They might also lose interest in eating because of the pain.

Thankfully, you won’t always be flummoxed by a dog’s health condition. Some are very easy to spot. Plus, it helps speeds up the whole treatment process!