Be Lungworm Aware – For Dogs Sake

Lungworm in dogs

A lungworm diagnosis is enough to strike fear into the owner of any dog. This is because the parasite can prove fatal. Relatively new to the UK the first cases of Lungworm infection were reported on the South coast. Now, however, the condition is becoming diagnosed more frequently and cases have been reported throughout the UK. To contract and become infected by lungworm…

Raw Feeding Dogs- Is it safe?

If you, like many other dog parents have switched your companion to a raw food diet, or are considering it, you might be concerned about information out there that says Raw food is not safe. Here’s another side to the story, from a holistic vet’s perspective. Let’s debunk some of the common criticisms of raw food. 1: There are no health benefits…

Diabetes, how do I know my dog has it?

Diabetes and Dogs

Just as with humans there are several indicators of diabetes in dogs. And they’re pretty similar too. For instance both increased thirst and urination is usually prevalent, along with a bigger appetite but which doesn’t lead to weight gain – quite the opposite in fact.

Other causes for concern include cataracts in the dog’s eyes, sweet or ‘fruity’ smelling breath, excessive tiredness, repeated urinary tract infections and continuing skin infections.

Unfortunately, diabetes is a rather common hormonal disease for our canine friends.

My dog is displaying a couple of these symptoms – what should I do?

It’s important for any dog suspected of having diabetes to be checked out by a vet at an early stage – certainly for treatment to have the best effect and to ensure the condition doesn’t worsen. That’s because left untreated diabetes can lead to life threatening secondary conditions and, in a worse case scenario, coma and death.

What veterinary tests can confirm diabetes?

Testing your dog’s sugar levels is the first stage. If it’s high (normal levels are from 80 to 120) and there is sugar in his or her urine, in addition to some of the above symptoms, then your vet will probably diagnose diabetes. This is usually the result of a physical examination, checking blood and carrying out a urinalysis.

What age does a dog usually develop diabetes?

The majority of dogs are diagnosed as diabetic between the ages of seven to ten years old. However it can occur as young as 18 months (especially in Golden Retrievers).

Are particular breeds at risk?

Unfortunately yes, certain breeds of dog are statistically more likely to develop diabetes. This includes Poodles, Cairn Terriers, Springer Spaniels, Dachshunds, Standard/Miniature Schnauzers and Australian Terriers.

However, vets report that diabetes is a condition they very rarely find in breeds such as German Shepherds, Collies, Boxers and Cocker Spaniels.

Meanwhile, around 70 per cent of dogs who are diagnosed with diabetes are female.

How do you treat a dog with diabetes?

A dog who is diagnosed with diabetes is either lacking in a hormone called insulin, or their body has a faulty response to it. In the first instance you’re looking at Type 1 Diabetes and in the second, Type 2.

How does insulin work?

Insulin is secreted by the pancreas and is used to carry glucose into the dog’s cells for energy (glucose goes into the dogs blood stream after food is broken down). If there’s no insulin to deliver the glucose into the cells it is left in the blood stream where it becomes known as high blood sugar (or hyperglycaemia) and is the cause of the symptoms listed above.

The good news is that this condition of hyperglycaemia can be managed by injecting the dog with insulin. This usually happens twice a day and isn’t difficult to administer since most needles are small and the dog feels little discomfort.

Looking after the insulin itself is probably the most taxing consideration of the treatment since it needs to be kept cool in the fridge at all times then warmed up prior to administration (by rubbing between the palms).

Not all dogs are equal

Dr Who gets Dog Friendly for Fireworks Night

David Tennant NArrates Woofering Heights. Video to help Calm your dog during Fireworks Season.

Fireworks this year may not prove quite as frightening and stressful for your dog, after all – thanks to an intriguing sleep-inducing video narrated by former Dr Who David Tennant. Designed to calm down the hysteria and anxiety suffered by dogs at the loud bangs and explosions caused by fireworks, the video features a slow moving tale ‘Woofering Heights’ against the backdrop…

Grass Pollen allergies

Hayfever is a common complaint at this time of year which affects many people but pollen and grass pollen allergies can also be a problem for many dogs causing discomfort for many pets. Causes Spring into summer is the most common time for grass pollen allergies to be seen in pets and there are many different types of grass and other pollens…

Dog Health – Preventing Heat Stroke

Preventing Heat Stroke In Dogs

Most of us look forward to the sunny days and warm weather that summer brings but it can cause our canine companions to struggle, especially when exercising. Heatstroke can be a serious risk for dogs as the temperature rises but by being familiar with the symptoms along with what you should and shouldn’t do if your dog is showing signs can be…

Are Labradors prone to being overweight?

If you are lucky enough to share your life with a Labrador Retriever you can help notice that as a rule they love their food and for some keeping them at healthy weight can be a challenge. Now a study from a group of scientists based at The University of Cambridge have uncovered some interesting findings which may help explain why for…

Plants and your Dog

It is that time of year again where we can start to look forward to spending more time outdoors and for many of us that will mean spending time in our gardens tidying up flower beds and maybe adding some new plants. However there can be hazards in the garden for our dogs that we might overlook or be unaware of. Plants,…