Veterinarian Near Me: Bad Vets and How to Avoid Them

veterinarian near me

How to choose the best veterinarian near me and avoid the bad vets might be the first question you want answers to as a new dog owner because your greatest fears include whether or not your dog’s vet will overcharge you, what if your vet can’t treat your dog in an emergency and even worse, what if your vet misdiagnoses your dog’s health symptoms which results in harmful side effects from your dog’s medication prescribed by your vet.

This news brief gives you essential questions you need to ask any veterinarian before you decide to put your dog in their care.  I hope when you read this post you’ll have all the ammunition you need to avoid bad vets near you and keep your dog healthy.

Who is the Best Veterinarian Near Me? Tips to Pick the Right Vet for Any Needs

You may already know how to take care of your dog’s basic health needs like walks and exercise.  These are subtle tips to help you select the best vet for your dog’s professional care.

  • Word of Mouth – Members of your community who’ve used local veterinarians near you for years could be your most valuable source when you need to find a good vet for your dog and avoid the bad vets. Dog owners in your local area will be honest about their vet’s service quality and give you actual examples how their dog’s health emergencies were handled.
  • Friendly Atmosphere – Observe the behavior and attitude of the vet and staff.  Notice the manner in which your questions are answered.  Take of how the vet and staff made you feel.  If you don’t feel comfortable, you may walk out and say to yourself, this is not the best veterinarian near me and continue your search.  Bad vets may not have the best bedside manner which could make you and your dog nervous or anxious at vet visits.
  • Busy Office – There are pros and cons to a busy veterinary office.  A busy waiting room could mean the vet has happy clients and an outstanding reputation… or, sadly the office staff may overbook and you’ll be forced to wait longer for your Veterinarian Near Meappointments.  Ask dog owners in the waiting room how long they usually for their appointment.  Bad vets near you may have a lot of clients because they’re the only vet office in town.  That doesn’t mean their clients are happy with the service or the vet.
  • References – Most vets will give you names of clients who they know will give you a positive reference. Word of mouth references are better because you’ll get the truth about the good and bad vet’s service.

8 Questions to Ask Before You Choose Your Vet

  1. How many veterinarians work at your practice?   You might discover the best veterinarian near me is 5-10 miles further away from your home because you want access to a larger practice with qualified staff on board in case your primary vet is too busy or on vacation.  Sometimes the best vet for your dog is not the nearest one to you if you want the best professional care for your dog. 
  2. What are your office hours and emergency policies?  You want to make sure your vet is open on Saturdays and has an emergency line in case you need help after hours or on holidays.  Ask about local emergency clinics they can refer you to and whether your primary vet will be able to care for your dog at that clinic.
  3. What services does your practice offer?  Overnight boarding services may be on your wish list for the perfect veterinarian near me.  That’s why you need to ask about all the veterinarian near meservices your vet offers.  Check to see if the vet’s practice has an on-site pharmacy.  Find out if the vet’s prices for their products are competitive. There may some bad vets who will overcharge for products which means you need to compare prices before you buy any medications or supplements for your dog. 
  4. Can my primary veterinarian perform surgery?  Your vet may need to refer you to another specialist outside of her practice to perform your dog’s surgery.  Ask for a list of the vets, surgeons and specialists that may treat your dog instead of your primary veterinarian.
  5. What type of equipment do you have on-site? Ask if the practice has x-ray equipment and the ability to do your dog’s blood work on-site.  Your dog’s tests will be done faster and may be less expensive if they are done on-site.
  6. How much is an office visit? You need to know how much it will cost for every visit to your vet.  Ask if there’s an extra charge for emergencies, Sundays and holidays.  When you compare prices for office visits, make sure you look at all the services for veterinarian near meeach vet and pick the one that’s best for you and your dog. You may discover your choice isn’t the same veterinarian near me as your neighbor because you are both looking for different benefits and conveniences like a dog nutritionist and on-site products.
  7. Do you have payment plans? – When your dog has an accident or develops an illness, it’s good to know if your vet has payment plans to help you afford care for your dog.  Find out if the vet will accept your dog health insurance plan to cover  certain services.
  8. What’s your policy on vaccinations, cancer care and euthanasia? Ask about the vet’s policy on annual vaccinations including kennel cough.  It’s helpful to know what to expect if your dog has cancer or when you need to make end of life decisions for your dog.

veterinarian near meNow you know that the best veterinarian near me may not be the closest or the least expensive.   When you get the answers to the questions above you’ll be able to choose a veterinarian near you that suits your needs. 

Share this article with your friends and relatives to make sure they have the questions they need answers to when they look for a veterinarian near them.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like breaking news on how to NOT overpay for your dog’s healthcare costs and reduce the number of times your dog gets sick, then claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

Dog Supplies You Need On-Hand for Any Weather Emergency

Dog SuppliesDog supplies like canned or dry food and vital medications for your dog top the list of things you’ll need in weather emergencies like hurricanes or floods when you’re faced with life-threatening conditions, no electrical power and no plumbing… or even worse, you may lose your dog if you let her go outside in a storm to do her business and she runs away because she’s scared and disorientated.

This emergency dog supply checklist will help you plan for any approaching or sudden violent weather like tornadoes and tropical storms or blizzards so you’ll have enough food and necessities to take care of your dog and not have to worry.

Dog Supplies for Any Weather Emergency

You know there are times when you may need to hunker down in a storm or evacuate  your home with your dog.  Use this emergency supply checklist to choose the items you’ll need to care for your dog in any weather emergency.

  • Collars & Tags:  Make sure your dog wears her collar with tags that include your dog’s name, your telephone number and any critical medical information. 
  • First Aid Kit: Small bottles of hydrogen peroxide, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil are good to have in case your dog has cuts or infections. Pack a face cloth, towel, cotton balls and cotton swabs for scrapes or to keep your dogs eyes and body clean and dry.  You may want to add Benadryl to your dog supplies to keep her calm. Ask your vet for a complete list of first aid items to complete your kit.
  • Medications:  Pack a 4 week supply of medications for your dog with health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.  Keep your dog’s medications in a waterproof container.  Rotate her medications so they don’t expire and you’ll always have a fresh supply on hand.
  • Food and Water: Plan to have a 4 week supply of dog food and treats.  You may want to have a dozen feeding dishes and water bowls so you don’t have to wash them out and waste water.  YourDog supplies dog supplies should include a 4 week supply of water for your dog and additional water everyone in your family.  Rotate these supplies so they don’t go bad or expire.
  • Ice packs and cooler – You can store ice packs in your freezer in case your power goes off and you need to cool off your dog or keep your dog’s medication from getting too warm.
  • Trash & Poop Removal:  Stock up on poop disposal bags, paper towels, soap, disinfectant and garbage bags.  Trash bags are critical during a storm to keep your environment clean and avoid bacterial infections.
  • Emergency Indoor Potty – Use a small kiddie pool and put pieces of grass pod in it to create a place for your dog to relieve herself almost like the outdoors. Add newspapers and puppy pads to your dog supplies as a backup to use indoors for your dog’s waste.  Let your dog urinate or poop on some newspaper or a puppy pad before a storm so your dog can find his scent indoors. 
  • Dog travel bag or crate – You may want to have a crate or travel bag ready for your dog in any weather emergency.  SmallDog Supplies dogs may be safer in a dog travel bag if you need to leave your home in a storm, flood or hurricane.  You’ll also need a bag to carry food and supplies in an evacuation from your home.
  • Flashlight – You should have 3 large flashlights and plenty of batteries available if you lose power in a storm.
  • Blankets – Old blankets are perfect dog supplies to protect your dog on you hard basement or tile floor.  You will need blankets to keep your dog warm if your heat goes off in a blizzard.  You may also need blankets to carry your dog out of your home in a weather emergency, flood and high winds.
  • Photos of your dog – Put a dozen photos of your dog with her medical history in case she goes missing in a storm.
  • Toys – Keep a collection of old toys in a waterproof box you can carry.  Your dog will need plenty of toys to play with if you’re unable to go for walks outdoors or if you need to put your dog in a shelter through a storm.

Additional Dog Emergency Services and Protection

Here are 4 precautions to take in addition to the dog supplies listed above.

  1. Rescue Alert Sticker – Display a Rescue Alert Sticker on or near your front door. List the number of dogs in your household, the breeds and the name and number of your veterinarian.  If you leave your home, write “EVACUATED” over the rescue alert sticker.  You can get these stickers at your local pet supply store.
  2. Microchip: If you live in an area that’s prone to disasters you may want to have your dog microchipped In case your dog goes missing in a storm.  Your dog’s microchip can be read in most animal shelters.
  3. Safe Shelter for Your Dog – Lay out a plan for your dog in case of natural disasters like a blizzard or hurricane. Have a list of quality shelters and boarding kennels you can call in an Dog Suppliesemergency.  Find pet friendly hotels and motels in your area and out of state.  Be prepared with a list of friends and relatives who will take in your dog and your dog supplies if needed for her safety.
  4. Dog Caregivers  Arrange for temporary and permanent caregivers for your dog.  This will be a tough decision because of the responsibilities and emotions that surround emergencies that result in dog adoptions if something happens to you.  Whoever you choose must understand the level of care you expect for your dog.

Emergency Tips for Geographic Areas Prone to Disasters

You can get the free ASPCA mobile app that will tell you exactly what to do in a disaster like a flood, blizzard or hurricane.  This app allows you to access advice before, during and after a storm even if there’s no internet connection. You can also get a personalized missing pet recovery kit and be able to create a flyer to share on social media if your dog goes missing.

Dog SuppliesNow you have a list of dog supplies you may need in any catastrophic weather situation which will help you keep your dog safe.  I hope you’ll never need to use your emergency supplies for a real disaster, however your dog depends on your ability to be prepared and to protect her in any weather.

Share this article with your friends and relatives to make sure they have all the information they need about supplies for their dog in any emergency.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

Hope you took some great value out of this article about dog supplies for any emergency today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so leave a comment with your thoughts or questions.  Share your dog’s weather emergency situation below so others can benefit from your story.

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Chubby Dogs: 7 Ways Your Plump Pooch May Cost You More

Chubby DogsChubby dogs may be the cutest canines on your street, get lots of love and make everyone smile, however their extra pounds can be the cause of dozens of health issues that will make these overweight dogs suffer and rack up expensive medical bills at your vet.  It’s hard to say no when your dog begs for treats until one day you notice he’s twice the size he was last year and your veterinarian tells you to cut back on his food because your dog could develop diabetes or a heart condition that will add lifelong dog health expenses and potentially shorten your dog’s life.

This news brief gives you 7 ways your pudgy dog could cost you more in health expenses so you’ll understand the consequences of canine obesity.

7 Ways Chubby Dogs are in Danger of Expensive Health Risks

  1. Knees  – Extra weight can put your dog at risk for knee and leg injuries and your dog may need cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) surgery.  The average cost for CCL surgery is $3,500 without dog health insurance coverage.  Additional costs are for physical therapy that can run as high as $100 per visit as needed.
  2. Arthritis – Inflammation around your dog’s joints builds up with more pounds to carry around and your dog may develop a limp or become lame from the pain he suffers with arthritis.  You may need to spend $1,000 or more to treat your dog’s arthritis, provide a dog wheelchair and pay for medicine to reduce your dog’s pain and arthritic symptoms.
  3. Hygiene – Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) increase when chubby dogs can’t reach areas to clean because of their body weight.  The cost to treat UTI’s can be more than $500 each time your dog gets an infection.
  4. Back – If your dog carries 5-10 pounds over his healthy weight Chubby Dogsthere’s a good chance he’ll have back problems sooner or later.  Corgis, Dachshunds and Basset Hounds are prone to intervertebral disc disease (IDD) which can result in surgery that can be more than $2,000.  However, back problems are common in all breeds when your dog is overweight.
  5. Cancer – Obesity in dogs can often be one cause of cancerous tumors.  The cost for tests and treatment for your dog with cancer is over $2,000.  Medical expenses can be a minor point for your family compared to what your dog must endure with this disease.
  6. Stomach – Too many treats, large portions of food and reduced exercise can contribute to your dog’s weight gain. The consequences for chubby dogs can be things like an upset tummy, gas, diarrhea, liver disease, vomiting and dehydration.  The cost for vet visits to solve these health problems add up over the years.  Stomach-related health issues are one of the most common reason for vet visits and thousands of dog owners are unpleasantly surprised with average bills of $500 – $1,000.
  7. Diabetes – Table scraps, pieces of pizza, bites of cookies and treats loaded with carbohydrates and fat could be the catalyst for your dog to develop diabetes.  If your dog suffers from diabetes, you are faced with daily responsibility for his health and additional dog health expenses throughout your dog’s life.  The estimated annual cost starts at $1,000 to cover vet visits and blood sugar maintenance.

Tips to Prevent Canine Obesity

  • Exercise – Light to moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes a Chubby Dogsday helps keep your healthy dog from growing into the obese weight category of chubby dogs.
  • Diet – Work with your vet so you feed your dog a breed specific nutritionally balanced diet with limited treats for being a good dog.
  • Habits – Bad habits are hard to break, however your dog depends on your help to keep him at his healthy weight.  It’s never too late to change your habits like limiting treats to once a day.  Obesity can shorten your dog’s life, reduce his quality of life and even worse, you may face tough decisions when presented with a big bill to pay because your dog is overweight.

This article gives you reasons to keep your dog at his healthy weight to prevent him from the risks of obesity including extra expenses to care for a chubby dog.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have information on the dangers faced by overweight dogs and the costs to cover their health expenses.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like breaking news on how to NOT overpay for your dog’s healthcare costs and reduce the number of times your dog gets sick, then claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

Small High Energy Dogs: Who’s in Control of Your Leash?

High Energy DogsHigh energy dogs could knock you over, push you down or even worse, your darling dog could drag you down the street and land you in your local hospital emergency room.  Like thousands of dog owners, you could end up with a rotator cuff injury, a twisted ankle and multiple bruises unless you know how to handle your dog’s energy without putting both of you at risk when you’re out on your daily walks.

This news brief gives you 5 essential tips to manage your dog’s power in ways that will keep you on your feet and give your dog her freedom.

High Energy Dogs – What To Watch Out For

  • Leash – Your 35 pound leashed dog could take you for a walk and might actually pull so hard that you can’t keep your balance. If you have limited strength in your arms and legs, you may want to hire a stronger individual to walk your dog.  The cost for someone to walk your dog will be far less than the expense, pain and inconvenience of being injured in a fall.
  • People – Your lively dog may be a bit too much for other people to handle unless they have experience with sprightly dogs. One way to prevent accidents is to keep your dog on a leash and have her sit when other people approach to encourage good dog behavior.
  • DogsHigh energy dogs tend to be social with other dogs which means they often want to run towards other dogs to sniff them out.  A quick jolt on a leash can catch you by surprise, so the best strategy is to stay focused and have the proper type of collar and harness for your dog.

5 Tips to Harness Your Dog’s Power

  1. Speed – Keep your pace slow and train your dog to walk without pulling at her leash.  Your dog may be in jeopardy when she’s allowed to go too fast if she causes you to lose your balance and fall in the street.
  2. Location – Walk high energy dogs on streets and paths that are flat so you’re not in danger of bumpy surfaces, holes or hills.  Choose a route to walk your dog that keeps you close to your home in case of an emergency.
  3. Weather – Wind, ice and snow can add more challenges with your lively dog.  If your dog’s been cooped up indoors and suddenly has the freedom to be outdoors, she might want to leap out the door and jump for joy, pulling you down the stairs at the High Energy Dogssame time.  Weather challenges like gusts of wind, slippery surfaces and deep snow could mean trouble if high energy dogs move too quickly and you take a spin.  You can set up a place for your dog to relieve herself in your home or backyard in bad weather or hire someone to walk your dog in inclement weather.
  4. Health – You and your dog’s health are important.  That’s why it’s critical to understand your physical limitations as a dog owner with a small perky dog who needs more exercise than some of the larger dog breeds.  People who have heart conditions, arthritis and poor balance need to evaluate their physical strength before taking on an active dog with high energy.
  5. Help – When you realize your little dog isn’t enjoying the outdoors enough because you’re nervous about the risks of her high energy level, the best choice is to hire a dog walker you can trust with your dog.

Small High Energy Dogs

  • Breeds – Australian Terrier, Border Terrier, Boston Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Fox Terrier, & Jack Russell Terrier.  Farmers used many of these dog breeds to hunt snakes and rodents and assist in fox hunts
  • Characteristics –  Terriers are full of spunk and tenacious, independent, courageous and clever.  These lively dogs thrive on High Energy Dogsmental and physical stimulation for relaxation. Activities like playing frisbee, running and hiking are perfect to help slow down your overactive dog.
  • Personality – Terriers are smart, good-natured and affectionate which makes them a very popular breed.

Special Note:  Sasha, the Cairn Terrier dog, featured in this article is one of the top 10 small high energy dogs and comes from The Isle of Skye in Scotland.  I’ve been fortunate enough to take Sasha for a few walks and it’s exhilarating to feel like we could take flight if only I could run like the wind with this precious dog.

This article gives you tips on how to deal with small dog breeds with extraordinary energy levels so you can enjoy your relationship with your dog safely.

Share this news brief with your friends and family with small active dogs so they have the information they need for their safety.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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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. 

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like breaking news on how to NOT overpay for your dog’s healthcare costs and reduce the number of times your dog gets sick, then claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

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.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like breaking news on how to NOT overpay for your dog’s healthcare costs and reduce the number of times your dog gets sick, then claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

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.

Dog Anatomy: 9 Key Differences Between You and Your Dog

Dog AnatomyDog anatomy quizzes for dog owners could sound like a fun game or a good test of your knowledge, however you may be surprised when you discover how much you don’t know about your dog’s body and the way your dog metabolizes her food, so you might want to brush up on your dog’s physiology before you put your dog at risk in case you think your dog is built just like you.

This news brief gives you 9 main contrasts that separate you from your dog so you can take better care of your dog.

Dog Anatomy 101: 9 Ways Your Dog Differs from You

  1. Body, Skin and Fur – This characteristic may be obvious, however your dog’s size and shape makes her quite different than you.  Your dog’s weight can go from a tiny toy poodle at 5 pounds to a Great Dane that stands as high as 4 feet and hits the scale at 200 pounds.  Even if you and your dog match in weight, your dog’s other body characteristics are strictly canine. Your dog’s skin is layered and much thinner than yours.  Shedding is another big difference in dog anatomy and is common to most dogs.  Fur helps insulate your dog in cold weather.  If your dog has hair, she’s better suited for warmer climates because her hair acts as a sunshade.
  2. Mobility – Your dog is more like a horse because she can change her pace from a walk to a full gallop on all four legs.  If your dog loves to swim like a Golden Retriever, you can see the difference in the dog paddle technique she uses to move through the water.
  3. Life Span – Your dog’s metabolism runs much faster than yours which shortens her life span.  This means that your dog breathes faster at 20 – 30 breaths per minute, her blood pumps faster at 65 – 120 beats per minute, and her body temperature is higher at an average of 102 degrees Fahrenheit.  Your dog sweats by panting and through her paw pads, but not through her skin. It’s important for you to understand the dangers of dehydration and heat stroke based on dog anatomy and the high rate of your dog’s metabolism.
  4. Sight – Your dog has better night vision, and sees motion much better than you because of a reflective layer in your dog’s eyes.  You can see this layer, called the Tapetum Lucidum, at night Dog Anatomywhen car headlights shine into your dog’s eyes and show a greenish glimmer.  Your dog has fewer cones in her retina which cuts down on her ability to see detail and colors as well as you.  For protection in dog anatomy, your dog also has a third eyelid called the nicitating membrane.
  5. Hearing – Your dog’s sense of hearing is 4 times better than yours because of her extra long ear canal.  Some of the health challenges are ear infections, wax buildup and lack of ventilation to your dog’s ear canal if your dog has long floppy ears.
  6. Taste and Smell – Believe it or not, your dog’s taste buds are much weaker than yours, so you don’t really have to worry about variety in her food.  Your dog’s sense of smell is about a million times better than yours and that’s why your dog’s nose is so sensitive.  Take care to remember dog anatomy characteristics for your dog when you cook, clean your home and use fragrances of any kind.
  7. Teeth – Your dog has 42 teeth compared to your 32 teeth.  The front teeth are incisors and canines used to grasp and tear food.  The back molars and premolars are used to grind your dog’s food.
  8. Urinary Tract and Digestion – Because your dog is less Dog Anatomydiscriminating about what she eats, it can affect her digestion and elimination process and be hard for you to detect.  Watch for straining, vomiting, diarrhea and discolored urine.  Bring your dog to your veterinarian if you see blood in your dog’s urine or feces. 
  9. Anal Gland – Your dog has 2 anal glands that often fill up and put pressure on your dog’s body and may become infected.  You may notice your dog scoot along the ground from time to time.  Be sure to have your veterinarian look at these glands on your dog to see if they need to be emptied.

This news brief on dog anatomy highlights the differences between you and your dog so you can better understand your dog’s behavior and physiology.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have the information they need to take better care of their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like breaking news on how to NOT overpay for your dog’s healthcare costs and reduce the number of times your dog gets sick, then claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

Dog Walking Alternatives: 3 Handy Ways to Walk Your Dog

Dog WalkingDog walking creativity creeps into your life when things happen like you break a leg, get the flu or you don’t want to go out in a blizzard or a heatwave so you might want to have a few simple ideas up your sleeve to exercise your dog that will allow you to take it easy, avoid all types of bad weather and make you look like a hero to your dog.

This news brief gives you 3 clever ways to get your dog out for a walk if you’d much rather stay in bed.

Dog Walking: 3 Backup Plans to Walk Your Dog

  1. Take your dog for a ride – This is an ingenious plan to lure your dog into your car or truck with all the gear you need for a walk.  Your dog knows this routine and will be happy to play along.  Drive to the safe place you selected that has a secure gated area and release your dog out of the car.  You can stay inside your car until your dog has had a good run.  There’s a chance you’ll have Dog Walkingto get out of the car to clean up after your dog, however, you can enjoy the protection of your vehicle.  Use this dog walking strategy when you don’t feel well, you’re in a cast or you really just want your dog to have the freedom to run around without his leash.
  2. Let your dog out your back door – This is a convenient system if your backyard is enclosed so your dog can be outdoors and stretch his legs. You can relax in the comfort of your home and wait for your dog to ask to be let back in.  If you have a broken leg or the flu, the convenience of giving your dog some exercise in your backyard saves you from having to struggle through a walk that might risk your own health.  Use this dog walking strategy as a daily routine for your dog or just when you aren’t physically fit to walk your dog.
  3. Hire a dog walker – This is a brilliant choice to make sure your dog gets out for a safe walk with a professional dog walker.  You may even be find a volunteer in your neighborhood who would Dog Walkinglove the chance to walk your dog for free.  Make sure you can trust your substitute dog walker and always review all the rules for your dog’s safety. You can arrange for a dog walker for senior dog owners with limited mobility so their dog gets enough exercise.

This news brief gives you 3 excellent dog walking fallback plans for your dog when you can’t be sure that your dog will get the exercise he needs.   

Share this article with your friends and family so they can find alternative ways to walk their dog when the need arises.  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.

Doggy Doo: 3 Vital Dog Poop Health Tips for Our Times

Doggy DooDoggy doo might not seem important when you fall in love with your cuddly pup, however your dog owner tasks always include daily dog poop management in all kinds of weather even if you’re as sick as dog, in a mad rush to get to an appointment or even worse, you just had fight with your best friend, so you may want to have a foolproof system to pick up your dog’s poop that won’t allow you to shirk your responsibility and suffer the guilt of leaving your dog’s poop where it landed.

This news brief gives you 3 rules of conduct to guide you in your daily dog waste removal routine for your dog’s welfare, community health and common courtesy.

Doggy Doo: 3 Powerful Points about Dog Poop Disposal

  1. Bag It – There are no exceptions when it comes to dog poop pick up unless your dog poops when you’re not looking.  Your dog usually needs to relieve himself after he eats, so you may want to walk your dog about 30 minutes after every meal.  You can choose any method you like from plastic bags to pooper scoopers Doggie Dooto pick up your dog’s waste.  Your dog’s feces could contain parasites and diseases like roundworm, salmonella and E.coli.  Watch for these symptoms in dogs and people: high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes.  The bacteria in doggy doo can infect anyone in your household including children and pets.
  2. Dispose It – You want to find the closest trash can and deposit your dog’s waste after pick up or bring it home with you and toss it in your trash.  Dog poop pollutes your city or town’s sewer system which leads to streams, rivers and creeks.  Rats are attracted to your dog’s feces if left out in your yard, streets, parks and beaches.  Flies lay their eggs in dog poop and can easily spread diseases after contact with infected feces.
  3. Respect It – Your community and your neighbor’s property deserve your respect when it comes to your doggy doo.  The best strategy would be to train your dog to poop in an area that’s easy to monitor and does not jeopardize your neighbor’s lawn or Doggy Doopublic properties.  Dog ownership definitely includes responsibility for your dog’s health and his behavior outdoors in your community. 

Benefits of Your Dog Poop Disposal

  • Reduced water pollution
  • Reduced transmission of harmful organisms like Giardia, E.coli and Salmonella
  • Reduction of nitrogen from animal waste in water increases oxygen for fish, wildlife and grasses.
  • Reduction of roundworms and hookworms in your soil that can be transmitted to animals and people.

This news brief gives you the most important reasons for the meticulous job of doggy doo disposal so you can make a difference to prevent pollution and health issues for your dog, your family and your community.

Share this article with your friends and family to spread awareness about the benefits of picking up dog waste.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like breaking news on how to NOT overpay for your dog’s healthcare costs and reduce the number of times your dog gets sick, then claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

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