Education

Being The Pack Leader

A 23 min. lecture from Ceasar on training people to understand dogs and their personalities and Problems.

Very worth your time to watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3XbSZ48WQw

 

 

Bloat

 

 

The diagram above depicts what happens to the stomach when it bloats and twists causing a situation that can turn deadly very quickly. The mortality rate of bloat with the twist, or torsion, is about 50%.

There are two types of bloat.  The first is when the stomach fills up with gasses and the other is when it fills up with gasses and twists.  The version that twists is deadly.

Symptoms

Time is of the essence if your dog is going to make it or not. So let's take a look at the typical symptoms that indicate bloat.  

Like every rule there are exceptions. Most dogs haven't read this post and are unaware they are supposed to display a certain set of symptoms. In the early stage of bloat the stomach may look normal but be tender to the touch. The dog could appear "off", or lethargic. He may walk with stiff legs and his head hung low. There may be signs of stress and anxiety.

As the process continues you will see signs of shock setting in. Shock includes pale gums & tongue, rapid heart rate, a weak pulse, and breathing becomes very labored. There may be chills. Finally the dog will have complete body weakness and possibly collapse.

On a positive note, if the dog is able to burp or throw up any stomach contents than a torsion is unlikely but only a veterinary examination will be able to determine for sure.

Call your Veterinary Emergency Hospital and notify them that you are on your way with a suspected case of bloat. You must get to a vet within 20 minutes or the stomach will start dying off from lack of oxygen so find a close vet. Ask someone to help you with the transport to the hospital.

Treatment Options

The Veterinarian will have several issues to deal with on top of the bloat crisis. Bloat causes a number of other problems including severe dehydration, bacterial septicemia, circulatory shock, cardiac arrhythmia and gastric perforation.  All of these factors must be dealt with simultaneously.

First thing the Vet will do is evaluate your dog's gas by passing a tube into the stomach or using a large boar needle inserted into the stomach from the outside and then doing a physical exam and running some blood work. If there are signs of shock intravenous fluid will be given to help prevent, or recover from, dehydration. Antibiotics and pain medications might be given. Once the dog is stable the Veterinarian may do x-rays to determine if there is a twist, or torsion to the stomach.

It is possible the dog may develop a bleeding disorder called disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Blood clots start to form in the dog's blood vessels. Heparin is an  anticoagulant drug that might be given to either treat or prevent this condition..

Due to stress and shock the heart might develop arrhythimas. Arrhythima is a condition in which the heart beats with an abnormal rhythm. This is yet another life threatening situation for the dog. If your dog has an existing heart condition be sure you inform the Veterinarian so appropriate heart medications may be given. 

Once all of these things have been addressed, and the dog has stabilized, abdominal surgery will most likely be required.

During surgery the Veterinarian will be checking the health of the stomach, spleen and surrounding organs. The lack of circulation caused by the torsion can cause irreversible damage.  Sometimes the damaged tissue and organs can be removed.  Depending on the damage the prognosis could be dire and euthanasia might be considered.

If the damage is minimal the Veterinarian will re-position the stomach and tack it to surrounding structures. This procedure is called Gastropexy and will discourage future episodes. If the Gastropexy is not performed, 75-80% of dogs will bloat again..

The dog will be monitored very closely after surgery for any possible complications and will be treated with antibiotics and pain medications.

If the problem was just backed up gas, with no Torsion; the dog may stay for observation and be restricted from eating or drinking for 12 to 24 hours then put on a spcial eating diet and schedule before going home.

Bloat is very possible in older dogs as the wall muscles to the stomach get weak. Most times it is just built up gas and with help from a vet, it can be illiminated, but time is still an important factor. Feding an older dog several meals a day instead of one big meal is a help and contray to popular beliefs raised dog bowls are not good for bloat issues.  It is better for them to keep the head eiher level with their shoulders or lower. Do not let them gulp water. Give smaller amounts at a time. Feed a grain free food. and no heavy exercise after eating.  A little common sense goes a long way.

Dog Food Review

A Dog food review

By Jane Baetz
Olde Fashion Bassets

 

There are dog foods and then there are dog foods.  With all the hype about dog food nowadays it is hard to know what to do and what is right for your dog.

There is quality and there is quantity.  There is no right food for every dog.  But there are foods that are better for most dogs.  I happen to believe in a good quality kibble with high-grade fat, wholesome ingredients, and protein that is derived from animals rather than grains.

We’ve all heard and read about protein quality so I don’t need to dwell on that. Some dogs will do fine on grain type protein (corn, wheat, soybean meal), but it takes a lot more of it to maintain the amount of protein needed for an active dog, and more “in” means more “out”.  You still are not getting the quality protein to sustain activity and vitality.

Soybean meal (not to be confused with the healthy soy products found in dog food) is used to increase protein content and bulk in pet foods. It is very difficult to digest and assimilate. Dogs lack the proper amino acid needed. It is known to cause gas build-up in the digestive tract and has been linked to bloat, a major killer of dogs today. Corn Gluten and Corn Gluten Meal are the worst type of corn ingredient; it is the dried residue from corn after the removal of all the quality parts.

Poultry is the easiest meat to digest but recently food companies have found the benefits of fish and even pork. Beef has its place back on dog food labels.  Beef’s protein in smaller amounts combined with other meats has great benefits for most dogs.  Lamb has been highly publicized as the protein to beat all proteins when a suspected allergy is involved.  According to Annamarie Dittmar,DVM, at the veterinarian convention in 2005, in Las Vegas, the skin specialists announced that most vets jumped the gun on restricting foods when a dog appeared with allergies and that most allergies in dogs are from house dust, mold and most carpeting with its stain preventing properties. Although Lamb is still a great source of protein it is not as easy to digest as some of the other meats or fish.

The next ingredients that are mostly found to give allergic reactions to dogs are the grains. Most foods including the ones that advertise “for skin problems” with lamb, carries more grain than lamb.  If a dog has allergies to grasses (most grains fall in that category) this can cause havoc on the inside as well as on the skin.

All foods have the correct amount of vitamins and minerals, but it is the label’s first four or five ingredients where we need to pay special attention to for our dog’s needs.  I am not fond of corn.  In my breed we have bloat problems and corn is a major player in that.  I would much rather see brown rice, long grain rice, oatmeal, and Barley as a source for fiber and carbohydrates.

You have always been told to watch the first 3 ingredients because they make up the majority of what is in your dog’s food.  What they don’t tell you is that the first 3 ingredients can be juggled around in amount of each ingredient to make up the whole.  So if your food says chicken, corn and corn gluten, the corn and corn gluten can make up a “whole” that exceeds more than the poultry which is the first ingredient.  So there is more to a label than meets the eye.  And when a food is yellow in color it tells me exactly what I fear… CORN!

In reading a dog food label you should see a meat source as the first ingredient.  But beware of the type of meat sources.

When making a dog food quality fats in higher quantities are important; the body better absorbs quality fats; also the type and quality of the protein used in dog food is important.

There are more dog food companies out there than I can keep up with.  What I tell my puppy buyers is go to a quality pet supplier or distributor for your food not the grocery store or the discount stores. 

Three of the five major pet food companies in the United States are subsidiaries of major multinational companies: Nestlé (Alpo, Mighty Dog), and Ralston Purina products such as Dog Chow, ProPlan, and Purina One), Heinz (Gravy Train, Kibbles-n-Bits, Nature’s Recipe), Colgate-Palmolive (Hill’s Science Diet Pet Food). Other leading companies include Procter & Gamble (Eukanuba and Iams), Mars (Kal Kan, Mealtime, Pedigree, Sheba, Waltham’s), and Nutro. From a business standpoint, multi-national companies owning pet food manufacturing companies are ideal relationships. The multinationals have increased bulk-purchasing power; those that make human food products have found a place to dispose of their waste products and again profit from the un-useful parts.  It is a big money maker, to place their waste which is what they put in their food.  Waste from the human grade products that are being used for dog food.  They have found a way to make money off their garbage.  They have tons of funds to advertise, and in turn make a profit off their unsuspecting consumers.

For most dog food companies, when animals are slaughtered, the choice cuts such as lean muscle tissue are trimmed away from the carcass for human consumption. Whatever remains of the carcass such as bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, beaks, feet and almost all the other parts not generally consumed by humans, are used in dog foods. These “other parts” are known as “by-products”. Many of these remnants provide a questionable source of nourishment for our dogs.

Some veterinarians argue that feeding slaughterhouse wastes to animals increases their risk of getting cancer and other degenerative diseases. It has not been proven, but the argument alone is enough red flags for me.

Not all the pet food companies use waste or already dead animals. There are a lot of great companies out there that put their money in their food, and spend less on advertising. 

Many chemicals are added to commercial pet foods to improve the taste, stability, or appearance of the food. Additives provide no nutritional value. Additives include emulsifiers which prevent water and fat from separating, antioxidants which prevent fat from turning rancid as well as artificial colors and flavors to make the product more attractive to consumers and more palatable for their dogs.

All commercial dog foods must have preservatives to stay fresh and appealing. But some are not safe. Synthetic preservatives like BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), propyl gallate a (a less-toxic version of automotive antifreeze) and ethoxyquin which have been linked to Cancer in dogs, but the dog food companies vehemently argue the issues. A good preservative that can be found in quality food is tocopherol, which is a fat soluble vitamin E. Tocopherol is a natural antioxidant with eight naturally occurring compounds, which is a safer alternative and often beneficial.

In the clinic that I work we are finding more and more pets with Diabetes.  This is arguably due to pet foods high in sugars, which are added for better taste. Beet pulp sugar (not to be confused with beat pulp fiber), sucrose (table sugar), corn syrup (a derivative of corn starch), and molasses are the most widely used sweeteners in the pet food industry. Corn syrup is also known as an effective "humectants and plasticizer", that is an ingredient, which gives the product dampness, and flexibility as found in the soft and chewy type foods.

The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) regulates the pet food industry.  All labels must say the food is complete and balanced and approved by the AAFCO.  But this does not insure the actual quality of the foods listed on the label as being the best for your dog. And most foods are the minimum of what is expected from AAFCO. The quality of the products is not controlled, as long as it meets or exceeds the AAFCO’s label recommendations.

You are not going to find a quality food at the department or discount store, nor are you going to find qualified personal to help you with your questions.  Big companies have been known to sponsor dog shows and field trials.  They have the money to do so, it is all in their advertising budget.  Just because they sponsor dog events does not mean they are the producing the best dog food.

I am not pushing any one particular food. There are a lot of quality foods out there. I do feed one particular kind. A great locally made food that you can trust and one that does not carry a high price or fancy bag, it is American Natural Premium. It comes in a plain white bag but packed with all the healthy quality ingredients that your dog needs and deserves. Here is a link to the web site that tells you what is in the food. 

We need to educate ourselves in what we are feeding our dogs.  If you have a hard working dog that is trying to give you their all, then you owe it to them to feed them the kind of quality food that will give them their best performance, coat and endurance, what they need to get the job done.  Skimping on quality is skimping on them. They give 100% and we need to do the same.

BIO:

I have been breeding and showing dogs for 38 years.  I have worked very closely with a local dog food company and with the vet I work for, Dr. Annamarie Dittmar.  I have had 35 years of hands-on experience with dog foods and have been involved with several dog food trials. My dogs compete in conformation (having over 100 champion titled dogs), agility, obedience, and although I don’t compete myself, my dogs have excelled in field and scent trials. I also have my own dog grooming business.  So my experience with dogs is widespread. It is important that my dogs get a quality food for performance as well as a beautiful healthy coat.  You can find my Bassets at www.oldefashion.com. I feed American Natural Premium as do most of my clients, including several hunting dogs, which have Master Hunter titles, and excel at their sport.

Additional information added 2 years later:

You have to be more careful than ever now when buying food.  You don’t want anything that is made in or ingredients bought from China.  There have been so many problems.  Read your labels carefully.  It may say packaged in the USA but read the fine print it may be made in or ingredients bought from China.  Only trust what is USDA approved in the USA.

 

Glaucoma

The Basset Standard

Appearance
The Basset Hound possesses in marked degree those characteristics which equip it admirably to follow a trail over and through difficult terrain. It is a short-legged dog, heavier in bone, size considered, than any other breed of dog, and while its movement is deliberate, it is in no sense clumsy. In temperament it is mild, never sharp or timid. It is capable of great endurance in the field and is extreme in its devotion

Head
The head is large and well proportioned. Its length from occiput to muzzle is greater than the width at the brow. In overall appearance the head is of medium width. The skull is well domed, showing a pronounced occipital protuberance. A broad flat skull is a fault. The length from nose to stop is approximately the length from stop to occiput. The sides are flat and free from cheek bumps. Viewed in profile the top lines of the muzzle and skull are straight and lie in parallel planes, with a moderately defined stop. The skin over the whole of the head is loose, falling in distinct wrinkles over the brow when the head is lowered. A dry head and tight skin are faults. The muzzle is deep, heavy, and free from snipiness. The nose is darkly pigmented, preferably black, with large wide-open nostrils. A deep liver-colored nose conforming to the coloring of the head is permissible but not desirable. The teeth are large, sound, and regular, meeting in either a scissors or an even bite. A bite either overshot or undershot is a serious fault. The lips are darkly pigmented and are pendulous, falling squarely in front and, toward the back, in loose hanging flews. The dewlap is very pronounced. The neck is powerful, of good length, and well arched. The eyes are soft, sad, and slightly sunken, showing a prominent haw, and in color are brown, dark brown preferred. A somewhat lighter-colored eye conforming to the general coloring of the dog is acceptable but not desirable. Very light or protruding eyes are faults. The ears are extremely long, low set, and when drawn forward, fold well over the end of the nose. They are velvety in texture, hanging in loose folds with the ends curling slightly inward. They are set far back on the head at the base of the skull and, in repose, appear to be set on the neck. A high set or flat ear is a serious fault.

Forequarters
The chest is deep and full with prominent sternum showing clearly in front of the legs. The shoulders and elbows are set close against the sides of the chest. The distance from the deepest point of the chest to the ground, while it must be adequate to allow free movement when working in the field, is not to be more than one-third the total height at the withers of an adult Basset. The shoulders are well laid back and powerful. Steepness in shoulder, fiddle fronts, and elbows that are out, are serious faults. The forelegs are short, powerful, heavy in bone, with wrinkled skin. Knuckling over of the front legs is a disqualification. The paw is massive, very heavy with tough heavy pads, well rounded and with both feet inclined equally a trifle outward, balancing the width of the shoulders. Feet down at the pastern are a serious fault. The toes are neither pinched together nor splayed, with the weight of the forepart of the body borne evenly on each. The dewclaws may be removed.

Body
The rib structure is long, smooth, and extends well back. The ribs are well sprung, allowing adequate room for heart and lungs. Flatsidedness and flanged ribs are faults. The topline is straight, level, and free from any tendency to sag or roach, which are faults.

Hindquarters
The hindquarters are very full and well rounded, and are approximately equal to the shoulders in width. They must not appear slack or light in relation to the over-all depth of the body. The dog stands firmly on its hind legs showing a well-let-down stifle with no tendency toward a crouching stance. Viewed from behind, the hind legs are parallel, with the hocks turning neither in nor out. Cowhocks or bowed legs are serious faults. The hind feet point straight ahead. Steep, poorly angulated hindquarters are a serious fault. The dewclaws, if any, may be removed

 

Tail
The tail is not to be docked, and is set in continuation of the spine with but slight curvature, and carried gaily in hound fashion. The hair on the underside of the tail is coarse.

Size
The height should not exceed 14 inches. Height over 15 inches at the highest point of the shoulder blade is a disqualification.

Gait
The Basset Hound moves in a smooth, powerful, and effortless manner. Being a scenting dog with short legs, it holds its nose low to the ground. Its gait is absolutely true with perfect coordination between the front and hind legs, and it moves in a straight line with hind feet following in line with the front feet, the hocks well bent with no stiffness of action. The front legs do not paddle, weave, or overlap, and the elbows must lie close to the body. Going away, the hind legs are parallel.

THIS IS EXCEPTIONAL MOVEMENT:

Beautiful reach and drive. All parts working in harmoney in a smooth straight forward gait, effortlessly.

Vestibular Disease in Dogs

Yeast Problems In Dogs

YEAST PROBLEMS IN DOGS

 

Small amounts of Malasezzia AND  Candida albicans are natural occurring yeasts on humans and animals, it is when it gets out of control that problems occur. Candida also called Thrush, is notorious for being an "opportunistic" pathogen

Most yeast comes from dogs with allergies, autoimmune problems, (Generally these levels are low in a dog with constant yeast overgrowth.) and sensitive skin issues.  Allergies and autoimmune problems are hereditary. Usually cortisone is used to control both of these issues. Immune testing should be done to measure immunoglobulin levels (IgG, IgM and IgA). Allergy testing can be done also, but the outcome is usually the same you can’t get away from most of the allergens. Yeast spores live on the body and when the immune system is out of whack they get out of control. With allergy problems the skin becomes warm and moist and that is a perfect surface for growing yeast.

 

Dog foods with poor quality proteins and fillers help yeast flourish. Yeast thrives on High carb diets. If your dog is producing healthy levels of immunoglobulins, he should be able to overcome almost any infection, and particularly an opportunistic yeast infection.

 

Skin is the biggest filter organ in the body, you can understand than that this is where the junk and toxins in the body end up, causing the issues you see.

For treating yeast you must treat topically and internally.

To understand systemic yeast flare-ups you need to know the mechanics. In a nutshell…. When the yeast/fungus starts to over grow in the gut, it destroys the mucus lining of the intestinal wall, which is a protective lining. The digestive tract is a "closed system" much like a real septic system, and it is designed to keep the waste toxins from leaking through the walls of the digestive system and into the blood stream.

When this mucus lining is broken down due to fungus growing out of control and fungus die-off, it allows body toxins and waste to leak through the walls of the digestive tract and into the bloodstream, in short it is like the body is becoming septic. What makes this problem worse is, as the fungus dies off and decays, the waste from the fungus/yeast alone can make one "sicker than a dog". When the toxins leak into the body a whole cascade of events starts to take place, one of which is the alteration of the pH of the gut, bladder and reproduction organs. These changes in the body are the "symptoms" you recognize when you have yeast overgrowth. It is referred to as 4 stages of severity of overgrowth depending on these symptoms.

Probiotic have been a proven help for systemic yeast.  Yogurt is a cheaper very good choice on a daily basis. Some examples of good more expensive supplements are:

  1. Pet Enzyme
  2. Probiotic Miracle
  3. Prozyme
  4. GNC Probiotic Formula
  5. Nutri-Vet Probiotics

Thyroid problems can cause skin irruptions. Low normal in Bassets happens a lot and most vets would read it as normal when it can be causing a lot of problems in our breed.

Antibiotics can cause yeast infections as the medication kills off natural needed flora and overgrowth appears.

Quality food is a must for skin problems, no corn wheat or soy, no grains at all in some cases.  Quality foods  have brown rice, pea flour, rice flour, all fillers are grain free. White rice is not as good but acceptable unless you are trying to eliminate all sugars. Omega 3 is important for good skin. Supplementing like Vit E or fish oil including Cod liver oil, can be taken very successfully also. Just remember dogs need twice as much supplement as humans because of their metabolism.

Dogs need very little carbs.  They are omnivores meaning they eat meats and greens. Grains and gluten free flours are just fillers. Yeast needs sugar as a source of energy. Carbohydrates break down into sugar.

Garlic or oregano are also good foods for an anti-fungal supplement.

Parts that sweat on your dog are his nose and the pads of his feet, and ears during hot humid months when yeast tends to thrive, you'll need to disinfect these areas, also trouble spots like the armpits and dew laps and the groin area.

The summer months are when you'll need to be vigilant about cleanliness and addressing any dietary issues that might be contributing to yeast.  Even dogs without skin problems or allergies can get yeast in those folds and hot areas in the humidity.  Keep them clean and Dry Dry Dry!!!  Dogs with skin problems usually have little fur in these areas and makes the skin more at risk to the environment.

 

To repeat… keep them clean and dry. Yeast cannot be allowed to accumulate on skin the only way to stop is regular bathing, with quality degreasing shampoos. Some are:

 

  1. Pyoben
  2. Sebolyte
  3. Sebolux
  4. Chlorhexiderm
  5. Selsun Blue
  6. Miconazole
  7. Nizoral
  8. Ketochlor
  9. Oxydex,
  10.  

Do not use oatmeal based shampoos since that is a grain, and can produce starches/sugars on the skin.

Dogs should be bathed twice a week to start than once a week, When; after a week the skin is still looking good than you can go to once every 2 weeks, but in dogs with bad problems, never less than that.  You can’t let the yeast even start.  A 50/50 Apple Cider vinegar and water rinse is also very helpful. Do not forget the inside ear flaps and you can go into the ear canal when scrubbing. Whatever shampoo you use let it sit on the dog at least 5 minutes for short haired dogs, 10 min. is better.

Sometimes just spot cleaning helps if only a couple areas are bad.  That can be done with a wet wash cloth with a bit of medicated shampoo on it then towel dry. Does not need rinsing

 

I will repeat here, On healthy dogs the yeast spores are naturally there but are kept in control by the body’s natural immune system, when out of control they need to be killed, there is oral medication called Ketoconazole, or fluconazole. This does not last long term and needs to be given on a regular basis to keep yeast spore off the skin to help dogs with problems.

 

Having said this, I just heard from a friend that she found something that is working on her dogs.  Both are in a medical profession, and have come up with a solution they say works well, in between bathing to kill yeast spores from the skin. She sprays a combination of alcohol, vinegar, betadine and boric acid daily on the skin, and tells me it has been working.

Recipe:

Add 6 ounces of the isopropyl alcohol to a bottle, and add 1/2 teaspoon of boric acid powder. Shake until the powder is completely dissolved, and add 2 ounces of white vinegar. Shake again, and add 1 teaspoon of the Betadine. Again, shake well.
 

It is also important to keep teeth clean yeast can get in the mouth also. It is a fungus that can get everywhere.

 In summary:

If you have a dog with problems

Start from the inside out.  Food, probiotics. And supplements

Test for autoimmune and thyroid problems

Keep the skin clean and dry.