Dog Basic Health Check
|Congratulations – you have a new puppy!
You’ve anticipated the new arrival by ‘puppyproofing’ your home and had lots of fun choosing the crate, bed, blanket, toys and other supplies he or she will need. This frisky little creature is sure to bring you much joy. In return, you can make a major contribution to your pet’s longevity, happiness and quality of life by providing him or her with good nutrition, loving attention in a safe, sanitary environment and regular checkups at your veterinarian’s.
Spaying or Neutering your puppy
Many veterinarians believe that spaying or neutering not only helps solve the serious problem of unwanted pet overpopulation but also makes for friendlier, easier-to-live-with pets. Spayed female dogs are more relaxed, while neutered males are less likely to roam, urine-mark their territory, or fight with other males. Plus, sterilization has health benefits – it helps to minimize the risk of cancers of the reproductive organs and the mammary glands in females and reduces the incidence of prostate problems in males.
Spaying removes the uterus and ovaries of a female dog, usually after the age of six months. A major surgical procedure, it is performed under general anesthesia and most often involves an overnight stay at an animal hospital. Complications are rare and recovery normally is complete within two weeks.
Neutering, also carried out under general anesthesia, removes the testicles of a male dog through an incision at the base of the scrotum. Usually performed when the puppy is about six months old, it necessitates an overnight stay at the animal hospital. Full recovery takes about seven to ten days.
Your puppy’s basic health check
• Thorough physical examination to determine his or her state of health.
Make your new puppy feel at home
Your Geriatric Dog
What you can do at home:
Obesity is a big health risk. An older dog is a less active dog, so adjustments to your pet’s diet to reduce caloric intake are imperative. This will relieve pressure on his joints as well as manage the risks of heart failure, kidney or liver disease, digestive problems and more. Other changes to his nutrition should include increasing fiber, fatty acids and vitamins while decreasing sodium, protein and fat.
Arthritis’ severity can range from slight stiffness to debilitation. An exercise program, also to maintain muscle tone and mass, can be adjusted to suit his condition. Anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve the pain. Your veterinarian will prescribe any necessary medication.
Intolerance to hot and cold temperatures occurs because your dog produces less of the hormones which regulate the body’s normal temperature. Move his bed closer to a heater and bring him indoors on cold days.
Tooth loss or decay not only makes it harder to chew but also increases the likelihood of infection or tumors. Brushing and cleaning the teeth will help keep these to a minimum.
Prostate enlargement or Mammary Gland Tumors is mostly diagnosed in unneutered or unspayed dogs. Have the prostate or mammary glands examined at checkups.
Separation Anxiety presents itself when older dogs can’t cope with stress. Aggressive behavior, noise phobia, increased barking and whining or restless sleep are a few signs. Medication combined with behavior modification techniques are key.
Skin or coat problems in aging dogs means the skin loses elasticity, making your pet more susceptible to injury while the coat’s hair thins and dulls over time. Grooming more often and fatty acid supplements are highly beneficial.
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction manifests itself in confusion, disorientation or decreased activity. Medication can help solve some of these issues.