This has guides about the essentials for your dog
Prevention is always preferable to treatment in medicine, and that applies to dogs as well.
Some issues you simply cannot prepare for, however there are a few important steps that can play a big part in ensuring your dog stays healthy.
- Regular exercise
- Up to date vaccinations
- Flea treatment
- Pet Insurance?
Allergies and Hypersensitivities are some of the most commonly seen issues in dogs. Some breeds or individual dogs may be particularly susceptible to skin conditions.
Allergies are an unexpected reaction provoked by exposure to substances known as allergens or antigens. Many environmental substances can act as allergens, inculding food, moulds, preservatives, dyes, pollen, fleas, bacteria, drugs and vaccines. these substances can enter the body by being touched, swallowed, breathed in or injected. Allergies may also be developed after repeated exposure to an allergen, such as food allergy dematitis after being on the same diet for many years.
Hypersensitivities arise when a dog's immune system overreacts to a foreign allergen or antigen, resulting in intense itching of the skin, which can affect the entire body or only the exposed area.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis is one of the most commonly seen skin conditions in dogs. Many dogs are allergic to the saliva of the flea, causing itchiness and potentially dermatitis in those affected. This can come even if the dog is not infested with flea - the reaction can be triggered by a single flea bite due its hypersensitive nature.
Before any treatment can begin it is necesssary to diagnose the cause of the reaction. This could entail sending samples to a laboratory or altering the dog's diet or routine.
Chocolate contains an alkaloid called "Theobromine". It can be used as a diuretic, heart stimulant, vasodilator or muscle relaxant but can be poisonous in excess, with some dogs being particularly at risk.
Toxic doses are reported at about 100 mg/kg body weight with fatalities at around 200 mg/kg. The toxicity of chocolate and risk it poses thus depends on the amount of Theobromine ingested and the weight of the dog. The amount of Theobromine found in choclate can vary significantly - cooking chocolate or good quality dark chocolate can have around 20mg/gram while milk chocolate may only have around 1.5mg/gram.
Consequently a larger dog is likely to be at little risk if they sneak a small chcoclate bar, whereas a smaller dog could face poisoning even if they only consume a smaller bar of chocolate with a high cocoa and theobromine content. even big dogs could be at risk after consuming a large bar of dark chocolate.
Symptoms include thirst and urinary incontinence, vomiting, diarrhoea and cardiac problems. Older dogs and those with preexistant heart issues are likely to be at greater risk. Signs are often delayed and injested theobromine can be active in the body for up to 24 hours without taking effect.
If you suspect your dog has injested any amount of chocolate please consult us as soon as possible.
Ensuring that your animal is fully up to date with their vaccinations is one of the most important things you can do to safeguard their health as a pet owner.
Click here for key information on what, and when, you should be doing.
Our Pet Health Club is an easy and affordable way to ensure your pet is covered when it comes to preventative health.
The scheme includes everything necessary for the prevention of fleas, worms and other parasites, as well as routine vaccinations.
Joe Clarke APDT, canine behavourist and trainer, hosts weekly Puppy classes in Socialisation and Habitualisation at our Sidmouth Parade clinic. Junior classes, for dogs 5-6 months and older, are held in a set 6 week block at our Neasden clinic.
Click here to find out more.