Dog Head Tilt: What’s Right or Wrong About This Habit?

Dog Head TiltDog head tilt normally looks like your dog wants to express herself or she wants to get your attention, however when your dog tilts her head too often, loses her balance and has strange eye movements, you need to bring your dog to your veterinarian immediately for a checkup to see if your dog has underlying health problems that could affect her central nervous system.

This news brief gives you signs to watch for when your dog tilts her head so you know when to take action before your dog’s health is at risk from Ataxia which results in loss of coordination of your dog’s limbs, trunk and head.

Dog Head Tilt: 7 Signs of Ataxia

  1. Tilting head – Your dog may start to have abnormal behavior and tilt her head to one side.  She might have a loss of balance or have vertigo and feel dizzy.  Unusual head movements could indicate nerve damage and discomfort in your dog’s head and neck area.
  2. Hearing loss – Your dog may not react to your vocal commands as quickly as usual and you might realize you have to raise your voice higher to get her attention.
  3. Weak limbs – Your dog may start to favor one leg more than another or have noticeable weakness in one or more limbs.  Even without signs of dog head tilt, your dog might have difficulty on stairs, walking or jumping because her limbs are not strong enough to hold her weight.  In the worst cases, your dog won’t be able to hold her legs up at all.
  4. Stumbling – Although puppies fall over easily, your healthy adult dog should stand up straight on all four legs and have excellent balance.  Bring your dog to your vet if your dog continuously falls over, sways or stumbles.
  5. Drowsiness – If your dog is excessively tired or seems unfocused, she may have health issues related to her head, nerves and brain area with no instances of dog head tilt.  An active dog may get tired, however it’s not normal for your dog to have a low energy level and act like she’s in a stupor.
  6. Appetite loss – Your dog may suffer from motion sickness if she has vertigo or balance problems which can result in nausea and a lack of appetite.
  7. Behavior change – Take your dog to your local veterinarian if your dog’s energy level changes or she shows abnormal behavior.

Cricket Ditty – Challenges and Solutions for Dogs with Ataxia

Dog Head TiltMargaret Ditty discovered her dog Cricket had Ataxia when her 7 year old Chihuahua started losing her balance, falling over and exhibiting moments of exaggerated dog head tilt.  Cricket has Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME) as a result of a vaccination at age 7.  You can learn more about GME from Margaret’s stories on her site, Pet Parents Fighting GME.

These 2 videos show Cricket struggling to stand up on a wood floor and Cricket walking down the hall with her custom designed wheelchair.

3 Types of Ataxia

  1. Sensory – Your dog’s spinal cord becomes compressed gradually.  Symptoms to watch for are when your dog misplaces her feet and her limbs become weak.  This condition can start with cerebral lesions in your dog’s brain near her neck.
  2. Vestibulocochlear – Damage to this nerve in your dog’s inner ear can cause hearing problems, dog head tilt and change your dog’s head and neck position.  Your dog may tend to lean over, tip over and even roll over.
  3. Cerebellar – Your dog may have uncoordinated movement, head tremors and swaying of her body. 

Causes of Ataxia

  • Spinal cord – Your dog’s ataxia may be caused by things like degeneration of nerves, loss of blood from a blood clot, malformation, cancer, as spinal cyst, infections or a trauma to her spinal cord.
  • Metabolic – Your dog may be anemic or have low blood sugar and low potassium levels.
  • Neurologic – Your dog may contract an inflammatory anti-immune disease to her central nervous system.
  • Vestibular – Your dog may get a fungal infection in her middle ear which can affect her peripheral nervous system and lead to dog head tilt.

Diagnosis of Ataxia Symptoms

  • Health history – Whenever your dog shows abnormal behavior, it’s critical to keep a journal so you can give your veterinarian a clear, step by step description of your dog’s illness with actual dates when symptoms were noticed.
  • Tests – Your veterinarian may order tests including blood counts, urinalysis, MRI and X-rays to determine if your dog has cancer.  Your dog may need an ultrasound to check her pancreas, liver and kidney function.
  • Expenses – 
  • If you have dog health insurance, some of your expenses may be covered, however you can expect initial bills to add up to over $3,000 if your dog has Ataxia.

Treatment for Your Dog with Ataxia and Dog Head Tilt

  • Drugs –  Consult with your veterinarian about drugs to treat your dog with Ataxia if your dog experiences pain from inflammation.  Ask your vet about alternative medicines and all potential side effects.
  • Exercise – Your dog’s motor skills may be limited and you might need to make changes in your home to help your dog from sliding on slippery floors. 
  • Products – Look into products that might help your dog grip the floor better or dog wheelchairs that allow your dog more mobility.

This news brief gives you information about symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of Ataxia so you can take better care of your dog.  Much thanks to Margaret Ditty and Cricket for the work they are doing to help dog parents.  Awareness of signs of diseases can make a huge difference because you’ll know when to bring your dog to your local vet or emergency animal hospital if needed.

Share this article with your friends and family so they can watch for signs of abnormal or excessive dog head tilt in their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Can Dogs Eat Raspberries or Is Fruit a Toxic Threat?

Can Dogs Eat RaspberriesCan dogs eat raspberries as a way to add antioxidants and healthy snacks to your dog’s diet, or do you put your dog at risk for toxic poisoning and increase your dog health expenses with extra trips to your vet by giving your dog treats that contain natural sugars, xylitol and may even result in potential side effects like diarrhea and digestive problems?

This news brief gives you benefits of organic raspberries for your dog along with precautions when you choose fruit as food for your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Raspberries?  3 Facts about Fruit for your Dog

  1. Wash fruit – Raspberries are not toxic for dogs, however you need to thoroughly wash off fruit when you give it to your dog just like you do for your consumption.  Even when you buy organic fruit, it’s wise to wash your fruit off to get rid of toxic substances that may have touched your fruit.  Check all the berries to make sure they’re fresh.  Toss out any rotten berries and never give spoiled fruit to your dog.
  2. Measure servings – Give your dog up to 3 raspberries at a meal.  These berries are easy to serve because there are no seeds, no stems, no peel and no pits to remove.  Can dogs eat raspberries?  The simple answer is yes, however organic raspberries are expensive and still contain calories so you don’t want to overdo it.  You may feel guilty that you’re being stingy, however the Can Dogs Eat Raspberriesbenefits of 3 ripe raspberries to your dog’s immune system far outweigh the harm your dog may get from most table scraps.
  3. Watch for side effects – Your dog may have an allergic reaction to certain fruits or get diarrhea after she eats too much fruit.  Start with 1 raspberry at a meal and make sure your dog doesn’t have a problem with her digestive tract.

Benefits of Raspberries for your Dog

  • Antioxidant – Organic raspberries significantly outperform non-organic raspberries in antioxidant activity because of higher levels of phenols and anthocyanins which protect your dog against free radicals that can cause cancer and heart disease.
  • Fiber – Raspberries are a good source of fiber, aids digestion and fights obesity because it reduces your dog’s appetite by filling up her stomach. Another good reason to say yes to “Can dogs eat raspberries?”
  • Minerals – Raspberries are rich with minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron and folic acid.
  • Vitamins – Raspberries also contain Vitamins C, K & B Complex
  • Anti-inflammatory – Phytonutrients in raspberries lower oxidative stress and reduce inflammation which gives your dog anti-cancer benefits.

Note:  Only purchase ripe organic raspberries at full maturity for the best benefits.  Keep your raspberries refrigerated and be sure to consume them within 1-2 days of purchase.

Is Xylitol in Raspberries Dangerous for Dogs?

  • Xylitol is a naturally forming alcohol in plants and fruits like raspberries. 
  • The 0.05g of xylitol in 1 cup of raspberries is not toxic to dogs.
  • Can dogs eat raspberries?  Yes, however only give your dog up to 3 berries per meal.
  • A 20 lb dog must eat 4 – 6 cups of raspberries to get hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
  • A 20 lb dog must eat 32 cups of raspberries for the xylitol to cause fatality.
  • Dogs under 20 lbs must eat 1 – 2 cups of raspberries to get hypoglycemia and 16 cups to result in death.
  • Larger dogs must eat 12 cups of raspberries to get hypoglycemia and over 60 cups to result in death.

This news brief explains benefits and precautions of giving raspberries to your dog so you can keep your dog healthy. 

Share this article with friends and family so they have information on the health benefits of raspberries for their dogs.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Dog Vaccination Schedule ~ Dosage and Dog Health Risks

Dog Vaccination ScheduleYour dog vaccination schedule is reviewed when you and millions of responsible dog owners bring your dog to your local veterinarian for your dog’s annual wellness visit.  Over the years, most dog owners leave it up to their vet to make the decision on what vaccines are necessary and how often their dog should be vaccinated, however there is not enough attention paid to serious side effects which can permanently harm your dog’s health from over-vaccinating.

This short video with Margaret Ditty and her dog, Cricket, gives you all the information you need to ask more questions about your dog’s next shot so you can keep your dog healthy.

Your Dog Vaccination Schedule: 3 Key Questions to Ask Your Veterinarian

Dog Vaccination ScheduleYou’ll hear Margaret Ditty’s gripping story about her Chihuahua named Cricket in the interview below.  Margaret is the founder of Pet Parents Fighting GME.  If you own a toy breed, your dog is more prone to this disease, however no breed is exempt. 

3 Key Questions to Ask:

  1. Does my dog need this vaccination?
  2. Is the dosage safe for my dog’s breed, size and age?
  3. Can I have a titer test to determine if my dog needs this vaccination?

Cricket’s disease, Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME) is an inflammatory auto-immune disease that affects her central nervous system.

Margaret Ditty and Cricket on Dog Health News TV

You can go to Pet Parents Fighting GME for more information and also read Cricket’s story to get further details.

This news brief about your dog vaccination schedule helps you to ask more questions about vaccines and consider alternative ways to care for your dog’s health.  Margaret Ditty’s story about Cricket shows you one dog out of millions who suffer from the results of too many vaccines, incorrect dosage of vaccines and medications, and lack of information about symptoms.  Awareness of symptoms related to dog health illnesses along with fast action might save your dog’s life.

Dog Vaccination ScheduleShare this article and interview with your friends and family or anyone you feel would benefit from Cricket’s story so they can help protect their dog from chronic health diseases like GME.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Dog Diseases: 3 Major Dilemmas When Your Dog Gets Sick

Dog DiseasesDog diseases impact your life as a dog parent with worry, sleepless nights, and confusion because you’re often caught by surprise, faced with life or death decisions for your dog, and even worse, your veterinarian may not know about your dog’s condition which could lead you on an expensive and frustrating search for dog health specialists to heal your sick dog.

This news brief gives you a picture of what millions of dog owners repeatedly deal with when their dog gets sick so you’ll understand what you need to do for your dog if she becomes ill.

Dog Diseases: 3 Decisions to Make When Your Dog Gets Sick

  1. Symptoms – You can’t move fast enough if you notice your dog’s behavior is stranger than normal or your dog’s bark sounds like a scream and he bangs his head against the wall.  Bundle up your dog, call your veterinarian and bring your dog to your local animal emergency hospital.  Thousands of dog owners regret one thing, and it’s always that they waited too long to get help for their dog.  Potentially fatal diseases include cancer, heart disease, kidney disease and neurological diseases like Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME). Many dog diseases have no known causes and dog owners find it difficult to decide how to deal with their dog’s seizures, pain or chronic medical condition.  There are times when your dog will need animal hospital emergency care rather than suffering in your home.
  2. Medications – Your next painful decision is whether to give your dog drugs that have potential side effects, or to seek alternative health solutions from non-conventional holistic veterinarians.  Your vet will most likely spell out what the prescribed medication is and why your dog needs it.  Then, your choice comes down to Dog Diseaseswhat you think is best for your dog and your budget.  Do you say thank you and take your sick dog for a second opinion?  For thousands of dog owners who come to grips with dog diseases, there’s no time for a second opinion.  Check out the benefits of dog health insurance for your dog when he’s healthy so you’ll have coverage for many dog health costs when your dog needs medical care from a chronic disease. 
  3. Quality of Life – Some dog owners with dogs that need continuous veterinarian consultations to monitor their dog’s health condition spend several hours a day caring for their dog.  There are visits to specialists, emergencies for seizures, unexpected reactions and complications that put additional stress on dog owners and your dog.  Is there a simple answer to what you should do when your dog gets sick?  Every situation for you and your dog has unique factors that make dog diseases a Dog Diseaseshuge emotional challenge for all dog owners.  All you can do is make the best decision for the quality of life for your dog and your family. 

This news brief highlights the 3 critical decisions you need to make if your dog becomes ill or needs immediate life-saving dog medical care.  Dog Health News suggests that dog parents learn as much as they can about their dog’s breed and any potential health diseases or challenges so you can be prepared to take care of your dog.  You may want to look for veterinarians who specialize in preventive or alternative care if you prefer more natural ways to care for your dog’s health.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have information to help with dog diseases in case their dog gets sick or they know of dog owners who are puzzled by their dog’s odd behavior.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

Check out our new podcast series, Sit.Stay.Listen. for more information on dog health.

By the way… claim your FREE “How NOT to Overpay to Keep Your Dog Well” video news.  Just go HERE now to get your Dog Health and Wellness Video News.

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Can Dogs Eat Lemons? You May Be Surprised By The Answer

IMG_1507Can dogs eat lemons or will your dog scrunch up his face and run the other way after you squeeze tangy lemon juice into his water bowl, because your dog may not like the zesty taste of lemon added to his favorite beverage, and even worse, your dog might avoid his water bowl altogether if he doesn’t like the taste.

This news brief gives you 10 reasons to run out to your grocery store and buy a large bag of lemons to help keep your dog healthy and add lemons to your entire household’s daily diet or skin care treatment.

Can Dogs Eat Lemons?  10 Reasons Lemons Keep Your Dog Healthy

  1. Alkalizer – Lemon juice alkalizes your dog’s pH level and can relieve the pain of arthritis.
  2. Anti-Oxidant – Lemon juice fights against aging, bacteria, cancer and tumors.  You can add lemon peel to your dog’s food to help keep your dog’s brain healthy and make your dog calm.
  3. Bad Breath – You can squeeze 1 or 2 drops of lemon juice in your dog’s water bowl and see how he likes it.  The lemon juice may help to keep your dog’s breath smelling sweeter.  Can dogs eat lemons?  We don’t recommend that your dog eat a whole lemon, of course.  Also, be sure to remove the seeds when you give your dog any fresh lemon juice.
  4. Cleanser – You can add lemon juice to your dog’s shampoo or to give your dog a good cleansing.  Another way to give your dog a rinse is to use a quarter cup of lemon juice and 2 or 3 quarts of homemade room temperature green tea.  If you’re worried about toxic chemicals in your household cleansers, you can use fresh lemon juice and organic apple cider instead. Can dogs eat lemons? Yes they can, and this means they can lick your floor if you washed it with lemon juice.
  5. Ear Infections – You can mix a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice with a pint of distilled water and use a soft cloth or cotton ball to wipe out your dog’s ears and keep them clean.  For ear infections, use a mixture of 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice and 3 tablespoons distilled water.  Put 2 or 3 drops of this mixture in your dog’s ears to help heal ear infections or get rid of ear mites.
  6. Eye Wash – You can mix 1/8 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice with 3 tablespoons of distilled water and put 2 or 3 drops in your dog’s eyes to treat an eye infection.  Warning:  Don’t use this lemon juice solution for pink eye because your dog may have conjunctivitis which is highly contagious.  Check with your veterinarian before you use lemon juice for your dog’s eye infections.
  7. Flea Repellant – Can dogs eat lemons and will that help with flea prevention?  The jury is out on the internal benefits of lemon juice to keep fleas away from your dog.  However, you can make a homemade spray with fresh lemon juice and water to help your Can Dogs Eat Lemonsdog fight off fleas.  Although lemon juice spray will not kill fleas, it may keep fleas away from your dog because fleas don’t like the smell or taste of lemons.  Rub lemon oil into your dog’s skin to increase the flea repellant strength of lemon as long as your dog doesn’t have any skin irritations or sensitivities.
  8. Frostbite – You can apply lemon oil to the tips of your dog’s ears to help prevent frostbite in cold weather.
  9. Miscellaneous Benefits – Dental health, detoxification, digestion, immunity booster, liver health, parasite prevention, urinary tract infections.
  10. Can dogs eat lemons? – The most important point is that a small amount of lemon juice or any part of a lemon is good for your dog’s health.  If you can add lemon juice or lemon peel to one of your dog’s meals every day, you may help your dog increase his immunity and stay healthier.  

Can Dogs Eat Lemons

Note:  Dog Health News suggests that you use fresh lemons only and does not recommend the use of bottled pasteurized lemon juice because the healthy properties of lemons may be compromised in the processing.  Be sure to keep lemon juice, oil or spray away from your dog’s eyes and any open wounds because lemon juice stings and can irritate your dog’s eyes.

This news brief gives you 10 reasons to add some lemon to your dog’s diet or use lemon juice and lemon oil as a topical treatment to keep your dog healthy or free of fleas. Can dogs eat lemons?  Remember to keep the amounts of lemon juice appropriate for your dog’s size.  With all these benefits for your dog, you can feel free to use the lemons in your kitchen as an inexpensive strategy for dog health.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have the benefits of lemons and lemon oil for their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Puppy Training Classes: Is Your Dog’s Behavior Healthy?

Puppy Training ClassesPuppy training classes can provide the best environment for your dog to learn how to socialize with dogs and people as long as you choose a professional trainer who uses positive training practices that don’t harm your dog physically and emotionally.

Because of the importance of early puppy training, Dog Health News asked Anne Springer, B.A. PCT-A, CTDI, CAPCT, VA, owner of Paws for Praise to be our guest on our new podcast series, Sit.Stay.Listen.  Anne’s extensive background covers all aspects of dog health including training, grooming, animal welfare.

Puppy Training Classes: Anne Springer’s Methods and Philosophy

This short podcast gives you Anne Springer’s approach to puppy training and how her methods work.  Anne also talks about dog behavioral health, positive training and evidence based training.  You can learn more about Anne Springer on Paws for Praise.

Sit Stay Listen Podcast Anne Springer

You can find Anne Springer’s podcast and more on Sit.Stay.Listen.  Share this article and Anne’s podcast with your friends and family so they can take better care of their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

Hope you took some great value out of this puppy training classes post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. Also, you can click on the social media links below to share this article… Thank you!

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Can Dogs Get High on Hemp Seed? Health Facts & Cautions

Can Dogs Get HighCan dogs get high on organic hemp seed, one of the most nutritious gifts of nature, and could this variety of cannabis cause your dog to have an increased appetite for sweets, or even worse, what if your dog became addicted to hemp seed and began to have hallucinations that result in chronic behavior problems that pose serious health risks.

This news brief gives you the health facts and cautions about hemp seed and hemp seed oil so you can use these superfoods safely for your dog.

Can Dogs Get High on Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil?   The Facts

  • Hemp is not marijuana – Although there’s a very small quantity of tetrahydrocannabinoids (THC) in hemp, there’s not enough to cause your dog to get high.  The amount of THC in hemp seed or hemp oil is less than 1.5%. 
  • Marijuana contains 5-10% or more of THC.  The method of getting high on marijuana is usually by smoking it, so that cuts down on the possible side effects for your dog who doesn’t smoke.

5 Benefits of Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil

  1. Omega-6 and Omega-3:  The Linoleum acid and alpha linolenic acid are balanced perfectly in the Omega-6 and Omega-3 in hemp seed oil and can boost your dog’s essential fatty acids (EFAs) your dog can’t produce by herself. Good news, the answer to can dogs get high on hemp seed is ‘no’, and your dog may benefit from the additional EFAs.
  2. Inflammation: Your dog may experience a reduction in inflammation and a revitalized immune system as a result of the Omega-3 fats.
  3. Joint Pain: Your dog may have relief from arthritis pain as a possible benefit of Hemp Seed Oil.
  4. Skin and Coat: Hemp seed oil can be used on your dog’s skin to Can Dogs Get Highhelp with skin irritations, dermatitis and hemp seed oil might even increase cellular growth for healing because this oil penetrates your dog’s skin layers.
  5. Nutrition: Organic hemp seed (raw shelled) can be sprinkled on your dog’s food to add protein, fiber, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.  You’ll be happy to know that the answer is also ‘no’ to can dogs get high on hemp seeds.

Cautions About the Use of Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil

  • Quantity:  Use 1/4 teaspoon of hemp seed oil or hemp seed in your dog’s meal.  You can use a tablespoon of hemp seed oil if you apply it on your dog’s skin for each application.
  • Cooking:  Hemp seed oil contains polyunsaturated fat which makes it unstable.  When you add hemp seed oil to home made cooked dog food that’s heated, the hemp seed oil could cause your dog’s food to become rancid and make your dog sick. 
  • Fat: As long as your dog eats a nutritionally balanced diet with meat, you add Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed Oil.  If you dog eats Can Dogs Get Highchicken which is already high in polyunsaturated fat, you don’t want to add more fat and may be better off using flaxseed oil for your dog instead.

Note: Check with your veterinarian before you add hemp seed or hemp seed oil to your dog’s diet.  If your dog has health challenges that may be eased by medical marijuana, make sure that you talk to your veterinarian or dog health professional about the right dosage for your dog.

This news brief gives you the 5 benefits of hemp seed and hemp seed oil for your dog and answers the question, can dogs get high on hemp. 

Share this article with your friends and family so they can take better care of their dog and add a little more nutritional value to their dog’s diet.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News. 

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What Not To Feed Dogs: Does Your Dog Really Need Carbs?

What Not to Feed DogsYour list of what not to feed dogs gets longer every day because certain foods may give your dog indigestion, result in obesity and lead to chronic health conditions like diabetes or kidney disease, which could make you wonder whether your dog really needs those extra carbohydrates in pizza crust when he already gets plenty of protein in his diet, is fed a species-specific nutrient balanced diet or if you make your dog healthy food in your kitchen.

This news brief gives you information you need to understand carbohydrates so you can make an educated decision about what not to feed your dog to keep him healthy.

What Not To Feed Dogs:  Take These 6 Groups of Carbohydrates Out of Your Dog’s Diet

  1. Sugars – There is truly no reason to add sugar to your dog’s food What Not to Feed Dogsbecause your dog doesn’t have the same taste buds as you do.  When you add sugar, honey, molasses or even ice cream that’s loaded with sugar to your dog’s diet, you put your dog at risk for health issues like cancer, diabetes and obesity.
  2. Cereals – If you have children in your household, take care to keep any cereals your kids may eat out of your dog’s reach and off the floor where your dog will lick up those little treats before you blink your eye. Packaged cereals of any kind are on the list of what not to feed dogs.  There is no nutritional value for your dog in any brand of cereal.
  3. Cookies – Even the smallest cookie like animal crackers are loaded with carbs.  When you’re munching on butter cookies, fortune cookies, graham crackers or any type of cookie, make sure you don’t share them with your dog.  Find a healthy dog treat from your kitchen like a small piece of carrot or a slice of apple that will be a much safer choice with fewer carbs.
  4. What Not to Feed DogsCakes and flour – Your dog may beg you to share your birthday cake and any pastry you have on your plate, however,  you might discover that these sweet foods on the list of what not to feed dogs contain flour and fat that can harm your dog’s health.   
  5. Bread and pizza – Those little table scraps you think are fun for your dog to eat could be the worst thing you feed your dog because they may result in extra pounds and digestive issues, not to mention extra visits to your vet.
  6. Potatoes – This category includes potato chips and french fries What Not to Feed Dogsthat are so easy to toss in your dog’s ever ready open mouth.  The oil and salt in these potato foods can lead to clogged arteries and possible heart conditions in your dog. 

Facts About Carbohydrates for Your Dog

  • Nutrition – Your dog does not need additional carbohydrates when you feed your dog a species-specific nutritionally balanced diet.  The list of what not to feed dogs above is a great source of information for you to use and take better care of your dog’s health.
  • Training – Your dog’s diet depends on your control of what you feed your dog.  If you allow your dog to munch on table food, you are training your dog to beg for foods that are not healthy. 
  • Energy – Your dog will store extra carbohydrates in his liver and muscles as fat.  If you feed your dog more carbohydrates than he can burn off, you may be putting your dog at risk for health problems down the road.
  • Good Carbs – Read the labels on your dog’s manufactured food so you can eliminate what not to feed dogs including grains like corn, rice and wheat.  You can add pureed vegetables and fruits to your dog’s diet for good carbohydrates if needed.  Quantity is the key factor.  Less is best when it comes to carbohydrates.

What Not to Feed Dogs

Note: A healthy diet for your dog may seem boring to you without some sweet or tasty treats, however, your dog’s tastebuds are not like yours and your dog will live a longer, healthier life without sugar and carbohydrates.  If it’s not good for your dog, it may not be good for you.

This news brief gives you facts about carbohydrates for dogs, what not to feed dogs, and reasons why you may want to take carbs out of your dog’s diet to keep your dog healthier longer and save on dog health expenses.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have the information they need about carbohydrates for their dogs.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Autoimmune Disease in Dogs: Why GME Awareness is Vital

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs Autoimmune disease in dogs may attack different parts of your dog’s body, however, when it strikes your dog’s central nervous system, this condition can be life-threatening and some symptoms of Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME) often cause severe suffering like chronic migraines that require high doses of medication to help lower your dog’s threshold of pain.

This article gives you a heart wrenching account of a dog named Cricket Ditty and her challenges with GME told by her pet parent and our guest blogger, Margaret Ditty.  When Dog Health News read about Cricket’s condition, we decided that her story needs to be heard far and wide to spread awareness about this disease.

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs: Cricket Ditty – One Dog’s Fight Against GME & NME

Margaret Ditty has kindly shared Cricket’s story so you can understand all aspects of GME & NME.

Cricket was born in January 2009 and just turned 7 years old.   She’s a  fawn colored, female, Applehead Toy Chihuahua with papers.  One weekend I had wandered into a local pet store when I saw this precious little furbaby in her pet store cage.  She looked at me, wagged her tail and woofed at me.  She had me at “woof”. 

Pet store dogs aren’t cheap and her going price was $1,300.00.  I asked the pet store worker if I could visit with her in their visiting area and she brought her to me.  She was a mere 2-½ pounds of sheer cuteness.  She was loaded with personality and spunk and not shaky like most Chihuahuas.  So I called the hubby and begged him to let me purchase her.  She could be every present for the entire year that he would have to purchase for me.  Finally my husband caved in to my pleas, even though we already have a Miniature Pinscher with heart problems at home.  I never purchased pet insurance as I always put away funds in a special pet account for my dogs figuring that my monthly contribution would be enough to cover shots and annual exams myself. Big mistake.

Autoimmune Disease in DogsCricket’s first 7 years of life were wonderful.  No health issues whatsoever.  Then poof, in October of 2015 she started showing some unusual health symptoms that we were concerned about.  She seemed to be having some vision loss and she was walking a bit differently.  We took Cricket to our vet and he thought it might be a middle ear infection, prescribed ear drops and told us to use as needed.  Just two weeks later she received her annual shots, but no rabies vaccination due yet.  Another big mistake. 

From that moment on we saw a decline in Cricket’s health.  Reports say that GME, an autoimmune disease in dogs, is idiopathic in nature which means no known reason it occurs, but they are finding that toy breeds are more susceptible to this disease but not sure why.  In December, Cricket could still walk up and down the stairs, but by January she refused to go up or down the stairs.  She wasn’t as spunky and she was bumping into things that she normally would not bump into before. 

We thought Cricket might have diabetes as she wasn’t seeing very well.  This time I took her to the Animal Hospital that ran a CBC blood panel and specifically checked for diabetes.  They noted that Cricket could not walk very well, definitely could not see very well, and said she was almost blind.  After the blood work came back they found that Cricket had a severe bladder infection and put her on antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory medication.  She seemed to be getting better as apparently the anti-inflammatory medication was helping with the inflammation in her brain from the undiagnosed GME, an autoimmune disease in dogs.  Then a week later, after she had finished this medication, Cricket started getting worse. 

We took Cricket back to our local Animal Hospital who determined she indeed was having neurological problems and referred us to a canine neurologist located in Richmond, Virginia, the only one in our entire state.  We made the 2-½ hour trip one way as soon as they could fit us in. 

Cricket was in bad shape by the time we visited the neurologist at as she had been fighting this disease since October of 2015, unbeknownst to us and our educated vets!   Dr. Michael Higginbotham DVM DACVIM, with Bush Veterinary Neurology Service in Richmond, Virginia, examined her and determined she needed an MRI and possibly a spinal tap which cost us $3,200.00 .  After he completed the MRI he determined, due to the Chiari-like malformation in the back of her brain, she could not undergo a spinal tap as it would kill her. 

Autoimmune Disease in DogsThe MRI showed that Cricket had massive necrosis in the brain and Dr. Higginbotham determined she not only had GME but NME, which was due to her delayed diagnosis and treatment of this autoimmune disease in dogs.  Necrosis is when the white cells eat up parts of the brain, leave lesions and empty cavities in the brain that then are filled up with fluids, which in turn cause even more inflammation in the brain.  To save her life he had to hospitalize her overnight with Chemo Treatments via IV.  So that’s exactly what we did.  We hospitalized her to get her better and took her home the next day.

Cricket looked extremely weak and tired, not because of the Chemo as dogs react differently than humans when receiving this treatment, but due to the debilitating migraines which can be the most painful effects of this disease in the brain. 

We came home and gave Cricket the high dose of prednisone they told us to give her every 12 hours.   Although this drug helps bring down the inflammation in your dog’s brain, it has many side effects including weight gain, excessive thirst and a pot belly.  Then about a week later she was reduced to 2.5 mg twice a day and put on Cyclosporine, which is a drug used for humans to keep them from rejecting transplanted organs. Cyclosporine helps reduce your dog’s white blood cells from attacking your dog’s brain any further.  This med costs $156.00 per month! 

Autoimmune Disease in DogsA month later, Cricket did not seem to be getting any better so we had to drive up to Richmond for yet another $175.00 visit.  Dr. Higginbotham wanted to hospitalize Cricket for 4 days that would have run another $2,200.00 which we did not have.  After I broke down and cried in front of the neurologist, he cut us a break.  For an additional $156.00, he sent her home with a two day supply of Chemo that my local vet would have to give to Cricket. 

I just cried all the way home holding that Chemo in my hand like it was gold since it was apparently life saving for my precious Cricket.  My local vet administered the Chemo and Cricket seemed to start getting better.  In about 10 days, we had to bring her back for another CBC to check her white cells. 

Since Cricket was not stable on any type of wood or tile flooring throughout my home; we put down all kinds of throw rugs in the family room and put up gates to the entrance and exits.  My husband also made Cricket a doggy walker out of PVC pipe and I sewed the body support to her walker so she could walk on the kitchen tile floors without falling.  This worked and it gave her greater mobility and security on the floors. 

To help Cricket regain some strength, I bought a doggy life jacket and proceeded to do water therapy in our bathtub which seems to help control her weight gain from the prednisone and gives her more muscle strength.  Our vet thought it was an excellent idea, so I continue doing this to help rehabilitate her with hope that Cricket’s brain can re-channel the neurological damage she’s suffered from this autoimmune disease in dogs and learn to walk on floors without slipping. 

Unfortunately, Cricket didn’t seem like she was getting any better, meaning her old self, and we had to take her back to the neurologist. Dr. Higginbotham gave her 10 mg of Lomustine, a very strong Chemo Therapy in pill form.  This treatment was $456.00.  Needless to say we are hemorrhaging vet bills to save her precious little life!  This does not include the checkups with our local vet and all the additional blood work to check her white blood cell counts and to check for liver problems from the prednisone!    She seems to be doing better since this last treatment, however she still slips on floors and has good and bad days due to the neurological damage to her brain from the delayed diagnosis and treatment of this autoimmune disease in dogs.

During this whole journey I joined a support group on Facebook to learn more about GME, and then I created my own group.  I personally created a GME Awareness Pamphlet that I am passing out to every person I meet at drive-thru windows, inside local pet stores and veterinarian practices, at stores or to dog owners out walking their dog.  Members of my site are passing my GME Awareness Pamphlets out as well, and some members live outside of the US!  I also created a GME & NME Awareness Video that features many dogs on these sites that are going through this horrible disease, and the pet parents who are shelling out thousands and thousands of dollars to help treat and save their pets lives. We are sharing this video with every doggy website on Facebook. 

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs

It’s been an amazing but heart breaking journey.  I’ve learned a lot about autoimmune disease in dogs and made many precious friends on these sites who are going through the same health crisis with their beloved furbabys!  They’re amazing to know and truly an inspiration of commitment and courage towards the love of their precious furbabys. 

I want to spread awareness about GME and NME to other pet parents to help save them the pain that they and their dogs could go through if not treated early.  Some dogs can die within 24 to 48 hours of diagnosis because many vets are unfamiliar with this disease to the central nervous system.  Your dog may have some or all of these symptoms.

Symptoms of GME 

•Head Pressing: Dog will press their head against things

Autoimmune Disease in Dogs•Weakness in legs

•Behavior changes

•Circling

•Seizures

•Blindness

•Drowsiness

•Head tilting

•Unsteady walk or gait

I want to bring awareness about GME and NME to pet parents of toy breeds because your dogs are at greater risk of this autoimmune disease.  Annual vaccine shots given to toy breeds at the same dose for a 125 pound dog cause your toy breed’s autoimmune system to “melt down”. This high vaccine dose is like throwing fuel on embers of an already slow burning fire existing in toy breeds!  After your initial puppy shots in the first year of your dog’s life, I recommend you have your local vet administer a titer test prior to any additional annual shots!  A titer test will determine if your dog has sufficient antibodies against current dog diseases and if they do, you DO NOT have to perform an annual shot with the exception of Rabies, which is required every three years per state law.   If you currently have a GME or NME dog, remember that your dog must be healthy enough to receive further vaccinations, which they usually are not and are EXEMPT from further annual shots to include rabies.  Ask your vet to use a big red marker on your pets file that says “NO FURTHER SHOTS REQUIRED.”  A re-vaccination of a GME & NME dog would mean certain death!

My biggest advice to any pet parent today is, “If you own a pet, be sure to sign up for pet insurance immediately!”  You cannot possibly imagine how much you will pay when trying to help your dog with a life threatening autoimmune disease in dogs like GME or NME.  It’s horrific, and you feel like you are at your VET’s mercy because the other option of putting down your beloved furbaby is not an option if they are a member of your family.  Pets, to some people, are just as much a part of your family as your own biological children.  Some of us commit to them for life as they mean that much to us as they truly are man’s best friend, full of love and devotion for you.  Do they deserve any less than the best medical care that anybody else in your family would deserve?  I say “No they don’t” and for loves sake I will fight the fight and bring awareness with every ounce of my being and with all my heart!  Thank you for allowing me to share Cricket’s story and bring awareness! 

Autoimmune Disease in DogsWarmest Regards,

Margaret Ditty

Pet Parent to Cricket Ditty

Remember to always, “Educate, Encourage and Share”

You can find Margaret Ditty on Facebook and at Pet Parents Fighting NME & GME “Educate, Encourage, Share”.  You can also join her group to stay up to date with Cricket’s condition and learn more from other members of her group.  All photos in this article are of Cricket Ditty and were provided by Margaret Ditty.

This article gives you a full disclosure about Cricket Ditty’s fight against GME and NME, an autoimmune disease in dogs, so you can take better care of your dog. Dog Health News is honored to have Margaret Ditty’s trust to share Cricket’s story and acknowledges the incredible strength Cricket has while she deals with the effects of this disease.  Margaret Ditty’s passion to spread awareness about GME and NME is unstoppable.

Share Cricket Ditty’s story with your friends and family so they understand the symptoms and challenges of this potentially deadly disease with no known cause.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

By the way… claim your FREE “How NOT to Overpay to Keep Your Dog Well” video news.  Just go HERE now to get your Dog Health and Wellness Video News.

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Does Your Dog Bite? 7 Lessons A Dog Bite Taught Me

Dog BiteHave you ever experienced a dog bite? Apparently, lots of people have and I had no idea how common dog bites are until I was recently bitten myself, far away from home, and even worse, I had no idea what was involved to keep me safe from an infection.

If you’re a dog lover like I am, you like to say “hello” to dogs wherever you go. I always ask for permission from a dog owner before I pet a dog. But sometimes, as in my case, the owner gave permission and her dog still took a chunk out of my arm.

This article gives you my dog biting story, step by step, and suggests ways to prevent an accidental bite as well as what to do if you or someone you know gets bitten by a dog.

Dog Bite Dilemma – How Do You Know If A Dog Will Bite You?

Just for a moment of levity, think Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther movie. So goes his famous exchange about petting a dog:

“Does your doggy bite?” Clouseau asks the inn keeper about the inn’s Schnauzer.

“No,” replies the inn owner standing near the dog.

“Rararararararar!” replies the dog as he bites Clouseau’s hand.

“I thought you said your dog did not bite!” says Clouseau, recoiling in pain.

“That is not my dog,” smiles the inn keeper.

Seriously though, sometimes permission from the dog’s owner does not prevent a dog bite. That’s my story.

While visiting friends in the Poconos, I would go out for morning runs. On a Monday, I met a neighbor who was walking two dogs.

“May I say ‘hello’?” I asked.

“Of course,” said the owner. So I let the bigger dog sniff my hand and then petted his head without incident.

The following day I saw the same neighbor with the same two dogs and asked, “May I say ‘hello’ again?”

“Of course,” she said again.

“What’s this dog’s name?” I asked about the same dog that I had petted the day before.

“Whiskey,” said the owner.

Again, I put my hand out for Whiskey to sniff, but this time he went for my arm.

The attack seemed to happen in a split second. The next thing I knew, I was pulling away and clutching my arm.

Whiskey’s owner apologized profusely. I barely managed to type her phone number into my cell phone and run into the house. I yelled for my partner to get ready to go to the hospital.

A Dog Bite Requires Serious and Immediate Attention

The first priority is for you to prevent infection.

My host called the community security guard to report the attack. The guard came to the house immediately then cleaned and wrapped my wound, called an ambulance, then called the dog warden.

An ambulance arrived 45 minutes later (by which time we could have been at the closest hospital). The EMTs cleaned and wrapped my painful bite again and sent me to the emergency room rather than to an urgent care facility.

(Full disclosure: I could have ridden in the ambulance but bleeding was minimal so my partner drove me instead.)

When I arrived at the nearest ER, a doctor examined me then announced, “We don’t have the skill set to fix your wound.”

“Wait. What did he say?!” I said to myself. “How bad IS this dog bite?”

Dog Bite(The only time I looked at the bite was right after I was bitten. My partner and our host in the Poconos are former rugby players who have seen their share of nasty gashes. They politely looked at my wound and reacted with forced calm so that I wouldn’t be alarmed.)

The staff at the first ER explained that I would have to go to the next closest emergency room “for stitches and to meet with a plastic surgeon.”

“Plastic surgeon?! Are you kidding me?!!”

They cleaned my wound again and hooked me up to an antibiotic IV to eradicate any infection. I also had to have a DTAP shot to update my tetanus vaccination.

In the meantime, the dog’s owner had already faxed all of Whiskey’s veterinary records to the hospital. Fortunately, Whiskey was current with all his shots.

The county dog warden was in touch with me and with Whiskey’s owner within an hour of the dog bite. The hospital required me to fill out a form detailing the dog attack so the dog would be on record.

Two hours later we drove to a bigger hospital where I got big stitches, leaving lots of breathing room in my skin to, again, mitigate any infection.

My partner asked my doctor how often she treats people for dog bites.

“All the time,” she replied. “It’s extremely common.”

Now, two weeks later, my dog bite is still stitched up and covered with bandages and will be so for at least two more weeks.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you know the bite can leave all kinds of scars. Physical, psychological and emotional wounds can last a lifetime.

As inconvenient and painful as my wound is, it will heal. The greater scar, I feel, is my new fear of expressing my affection for some truly darling animals (not just dogs) who mostly just want to be loved.

7 LESSONS I LEARNED FROM MY DOG BITE EPISODE

Of course, it makes sense for you to be more cautious around animals in general.  To that point, I’d like to share 7 lessons I learned from this episode and from others who have shared similar experiences with me.

1 ~ Take great care when approaching a dog you don’t know, no matter the breed. For people who love dogs it may be hard, but there are some dogs you just have to walk on by. Even if the owner Dog Bitegives permission to pet the dog, be cautious and watch the dog’s body language to protect yourself from a dog bite.  Are his ears back? Is she snarling? Is his tail wagging? Are her ears pricked up for the squirrel behind you? Is he curled up and trying to sleep?

2 ~ Even dogs you know may bite under certain circumstances, e.g. My sister’s adorable Yellow Lab, whom I’ve known all his life, has been known to nip at people who interrupt his naps. Some dogs get over-stimulated and lash out when more than one person pets them at a time.

3 ~ Dog owners should keep their dogs current in all their vaccinations. This would have been a very different story if the dog bite had come from a dog who hadn’t had all his shots.

4 ~ Dog owners should keep control of their dogs for everyone’s safety, including the dog. The owner of the dog who bit me had no reason to think that her dog would bite since he’d never done it before. While she was very concerned for me, I’m sure that she was concerned for her dog, too. Too many bites and most states will require that a dog be destroyed.

5 ~ Get IMMEDIATE attention for your bite. Go to an urgent care facility, an emergency room or your doctor’s office. Your dog bite can cause complications that you can’t imagine if you haven’t experienced them including infection, severed muscles, damaged nerves, rabies, in extreme cases, and more.

6 ~ Children should have adult supervision when meeting a new dog. There’s no way around how awful my type of bite or any Dog Bitebite from a dog would have been for a child. While dogs and kids together make for great photos and videos, adults should always supervise closely.

7 ~ I was lucky that my dog bite wasn’t deeper, wasn’t on my face and that the dog’s owner was conscientious about her responsibility. Even though she didn’t think her dog would bite me, she took all the right steps to be helpful after he surprised us all!

Lajla LeBlanc, guest blogger, is also a member of the Dog Health News Advisory Board.  Lajla is an award-winning professional photographer, copywriter, blogger and graphic designer.  Her artwork appears in DHN banners and logos like the one you see above.  Photos in this article were taken by Lajla; she is the woman in red.

This news story gives you Lajla’s account of being bitten by a dog and some lessons she learned along the way that will help you prevent getting bitten as well as tips on what to do if you have to deal with a dog bite.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have the information needed about dog bites.  You can always depend of the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

Hope you took some great value out of this post today! We’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. Also, you can click on the social media links below to share this article… Thank you!

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