Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why Dogs Snore

It is not unusual for pet owners to allow their pets to sleep with them at night. Indeed, one third of pet owners have at some point, permitted their pets to sleep on their beds. Dogs provide a companionship that can't be given by any other kind of animal. But this doesn't mean to say that it is unlikely for some people to let their cats and another pets sleep with them too.

It is made easier too by dogs having a sleep pattern which is rather similar to our own. Dogs often have complete trust in their owners, which makes them a lot more relaxed during the night. This goes a long way to explaining why most dogs fall asleep easily and even enter into a deep sleep where REM sleep activities can occur. In fact, once a dog enters this phase, the owner often needs to call them several times before they can be woken up completely.

Certainly, lots of us have seen a dog paddling during sleep and barking while asleep too. These dogs are said to be dreaming. Breathing patterns can also be observed among dogs while they are asleep. For instance, there are breeds which breathe heavily, and there are breeds which breathe more lightly. The dogs that are heavy breathers are much more likely to snore than those which do not breathe quite so heavily.

Dogs which snore can be rather a nuisance during the night, depending on the degree and frequency of the occurrence of this phenomenon. Like with humans, there are various considerations why dogs snore. Most though deal with the obstruction of the passage of air in the throat caused by the collapse of certain areas along the throat. The same as in humans.

A dog that snores very loudly should be examined for different issues to see which treatment could be best applied. Some dogs are especially susceptible to specific allergies that can cause obstruction in the airway. It may also be that there is some excess tissue in the areas that are inhibiting correct breathing. It is best for a veterinarian to check out various factors through careful evaluation of the dog's anatomical features and physical symptoms in general.

Is you dog obese? I ask this because, like with humans, obese dogs are more likely to snore than thin ones. This is because they have more tissue surrounding their windpipes. Therefore, they have excess tissue hanging around the throat which can potentially cause obstructions. Once this problem is corrected, the risk of snoring will be decreased. This would not only be healthy for your dogs, you may actually enjoy a decent night's sleep too.

The general facial features of the dog affect the amount of snoring too. Some dogs seem to have squashed faces which narrows their air passages to a certain degree. The construction of their nasal passages also largely contributes to their difficulty in breathing. They are pretty much like humans with a cold, who have to breathe using only twenty-five percent of their nostril capacity. Dog breeds with shorter faces need to expend lots of effort to breathe properly. It costs them more effort to breathe, and they are also more prone to snoring.

Minor surgery can afford your dog great relief. However, be certain that, before you take any decision, you are well informed about the potential risks and consequences of surgery to stop your dog snoring. Most procedures are irreversible, so careful thought should be given to any operation you allow. In fact, it is best to follow the guidelines offered by your veterinary surgeon.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cute Dog Names: Choosing The Right Dog Name

So you may ask, what is in a dog's name? Just what does it matter what your female dog's name is? The answer is a lot, because your bitch's name defines him or her in the eyes of your neighbours, especially if you have a small dog. What small dogs lack in stature they can make up for in attitude. For small dogs, being cute will get them everywhere. But what is a cute dog without a cute dog name?

Cute dog names are usually meant for female dogs or bitches. Abby, for example is a very cute dog name. When you put that together with a mental image, you probably see a little Westie or a Labrador pup romping around on a lawn in your mind's eye. Other cute female dog names are Queenie, Beauty, Becky and Blackie. All of these cute dog names seem to embody a bundle of fur that has a sweet nature and just loves cuddles. They all allude to a cute appearance and a very joyful dog owning experience.

However, there appears to be very few cute dog names available for male dogs. This could be because it lessens the masculine image that male dogs are supposed to have. Still, there are a few cute male dog names about. Bobby, (Old) Nick, Patch and Tigger are all cute male dog names that have the same effect as the female ones do. However, you do have to make sure that you have the right kind of male dog to name with a cute dog name, because if you get it wrong, it will make him sound silly.

Cute dog names can be appropriate for male and female members alike of certain breeds and can help to develop a lovable personality, because of the affection, with which it will be handled. But do be warned, you do not want to leave your dog open to ridicule so pick when to give cute dog names rather carefully.

While dogs are very intelligent animals, they cannot process the same quantity of information that we can. Therefore, dog names should never be more than two syllables. If they are more than that, it is very rare that a dog will respond. Max, Sam, Lady, Molly and the like are excellent dog names because they are short and the syllables are hard. They easily respond to dog names like those, and it can improve your chances of training them.

However, dogs names can help them form an identity of their own. Common names do not allow them to do that, so finding something simple but unusual can help their characters no end without damaging their ability to respond on command.

I am quite willing to bet money that most dog owners do not consider the factors outlined above when thinking of dog names for a new pet. Instead, dog names are chosen at on a whim, but it is worth putting a bit more thought into it, for your dogs mental health if nothing else.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pet Medications For Addressing Skin Problems

Skin problems in dogs and cats are normally attributed to allergies which cause these pets to excessively scratch away at their fur effectively exposing the skin to more bacteria. Atopica (cyclosporine) is a type of medication used to deal with atopic dermatitis. This is a condition that materialises when a hypersensitive dog is exposed to allergens such as pollen, mould and dust mites. This medication comes in the form of a soft capsule. This capsule should be administered as it is and not opened to sprinkle the powder on food as cyclosporine is bitter in taste. In this case, pill pockets may come in very handy in the administration of this medication.

Atopica is mainly administered to dogs over 6 months old. It relieves the itchy skin, and reduces the scratching and gnawing behaviour that worsens the skin condition. This medication does this by suppressing the heightened immune system especially the cells involved in allergic reactions. Atopica is marketed mainly for dogs though some veterinarians have reported it to be effective in cats. The effects of this medication may take several weeks to materialise but the dermatitis should gradually reduce as the medication is sustained.

Baytril is an antibiotic that can be used to deal with the bacteria associated with skin infections in dogs and cats. Other than that, this antibiotic is suitable for treating respiratory tract and genito-urinary infections. This product is available in injection form or tablets that may also require the use of pill pockets to be administered.

The bacteria responsible for skin infections in dogs and cats usually congregate in the areas where the skin folds. It is here where they multiply in numbers because these areas are moist. These bacteria cause inflammation and infection causing the animal to scratch this and the surrounding areas. In this case, Baytril addresses this situation by killing the inflamed tissues. A point to note is that this medication works best on an empty stomach. The main side effects associated with these medications are diarrhoea and vomiting, and others are described on the package.

Administering bitter or unpleasant tasting capsules and tablets to cats or dogs may be a very tiring struggle and stressful for both you and your sick pet. You can however ease this situation through the use of pill pockets. These are hollow soft treats where the pill or capsule is inserted then given to the pet. Such pockets are available in a variety of tastes and sizes to suit your pet.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Medications You Should Have Close By For Your Aging Dog

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) is a phenomenon that occurs in dogs as they age. After the veterinary confirms that this condition is not a result of physical or medical condition then Anipryl for dogs should come into play. The symptoms that Anipryl drugs addresses are overall confusion, personality and behavioural change, absurd barking for no good reason, disoriented sleeping patterns, soiling in the house and so forth. All this happen despite providing pet foods and occasional veterinary visits.

Anipryl for dogs is the equivalent of the medication used to treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Cushing’s disease in humans. Other than CCD, this medication is suitable for treating Pituitary Dependant Hyperadrenocorticism. Though this is somewhat a new drug, numerous dog owners are awed at the near perfect results obtained after a short spell of use. That said, Anipryl medication still requires some more time to establish itself as the right drug for these two conditions though going by the customers’ response it is surely getting there.

The main side effects associated with Anipryl for dogs are but are not limited to vomiting, anorexia, lethargy/inactivity, seizures, hyperactivity or restlessness. Antioxidants may be added to the dog’s diet to slow down these aging effects and boost cognitive health.

Another condition that occurs in dogs during old age is osteoarthritis, among other forms of inflammation. The drug used to effectively address these conditions is Metacam Oral suspension. This is a Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory (NSAID) medication that is used in controlling the inflammation and pain that emanates from acute and chronic musculoskeletal problems in the soft tissues of the dog’s limbs. A prescription of Metacam may also be provided to address fever in dogs.

Following approval from a veterinarian, Metacam oral can be used for prolonged periods to address osteoarthritis as it is a fast and effective pain reliever. This medication should however not be given to nursing or pregnant dogs. Dogs diagnosed with liver, heart or kidney disorders should not take this drug. The same applies to dogs that are allergic to NSAID medications.

Metacam medication for dogs is given once a day. It can be administered directly, but it is better than it is mixed with the dog’s food and at the same time plenty of water should be provided during the administration. Side effects associated with Metacam oral include vomiting, loss of appetite, increased breathing rate, irregular bowel movement and nausea.