Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs: Proven Home Care Tips

Degenerative Myelopathy in DogsDegenerative Myelopathy in dogs appears to be similar to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in humans and affects your dog’s brain and spinal cord nerves which results in your dog’s progressive disease… that means you’ll need to be prepared for expenses like physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, or a wheelchair and even worse you’ll be faced with challenges that include the physical and emotional burden to care for your handicapped dog.

This dog health article gives you firsthand proven ways to successfully care for your dog with degenerative myelopathy (DM).  I hope Paul Konowicz’ tips which are based his and his wife Sharon’s personal experience with Justice, their beloved Boxer, will answer your questions about how to care for your dog with this incurable disease.

What is Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs?

According to Paul Konowicz, not much is known about the mechanism of DM.  Paul says, like ALS, your dog’s muscles begin to lose nourishment and start to waste away or atrophy.  Whether that means it’s an autoimmune disease or a generic one nobody’s sure just yet. 

Something appears to attack the sheath around the nerves in your dog’s spine that prevents his nerves from working.  It may also be Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogsinflammation that occurs because of a malfunctioning protein. 

Surgery won’t help your dog with DM unless he has another condition like a tumor that could be removed at the same time. 

This is Paul’s wish: “Hopefully scrupulous breeders will not breed dogs with DM genes.”

Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs: 9 Tips from Paul Konowicz to Help Care for Your Dog with DM

Paul says the best thing you can do is make sure your dog gets lots of exercise and physical therapy. 

You can also choose from these 9 tips that worked for Paul and Sharon to care for their dog Justice:

  1. Anti-inflammatory drugs and supplements –  Try N-acetylcysteine as an anti-inflammatory drug to help prevent oxidative damage to your dog’s spinal cord. First check with your vet before you use any medications for your dog.
  2. Assisi loop – This non-invasive, FDA cleared, evidence based therapy can be used for treatment of your dog’s pain and swelling with no side-effects. 
  3. Genetic test – Ask for a genetic test to detect degenerative myelopathy in dogs from your breeder to see if your dog is prone to DM.  The cost is about $200.
  4. Harness – Some of the most important things owners can do for their dog’s health and their own physical safety is to get a good harness for your dog.  It will help your dog tremendously and help you prevent back pain or injuries when you lift your dog. 
  5. Feet – Particular care about your dog’s feet is important to prevent sores.  Your dog with DM will start curling his toes and eventually won’t be able to put his paws down flat.  Your dog will also get cuts on the tops of his feet if you don’t protect them or use special shoes.  Another symptom of degenerative myelopathy in dogs affects your dog’s ability to walk on slippery surfaces like wooden or tile floors.  Early on, try “balloon” shoes to help your dog from slipping.  Later on, special dog shoes are necessary to prevent your dog  from dragging his feet and scraping them on pavement which will cause sores.  Dog shoes need to be ordered and fitted by your veterinarian or physical therapist.
  6. Incontinence – Learn how to express your dog when he has incontinence issues.  Fecal incontinence for Paul’s dog Justice didn’t seem to be an issue because his bowel movements just came out. 
  7. Mattress – Paul recommends you get a cot with a mattress to cushion your dog and keep him off the ground.  The cot will raise your dog 18 to 20 inches off your floor which is an enormous relief for your back especially if your dog is over 50 pounds. Paul bought a mattress with 2 inch memory foam for about $125.  Degenerative myelopathy in dogs can take a toll on your dog’s body so you want to keep him as comfortable as possible.
  8. Urine, diapers and puppy pads – It’s important to keep your dog dry and free of urine scalds. This means you need to change your dog’s diapers at least 3 to 4 times daily and use baby wipes and cornstarch powder afterwards. Paul and Sharon used regular Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogsdiapers and a special dog waist wrap to secure Justice’s diaper.  They placed Justice on puppy pads for him to poop.  It is easier and less messy to just let the poop fall out.  This is probably the most difficult task and it takes some getting used to.  “However, your dog is like your child and you will do almost anything.” 
  9. Dog Health Insurance – Finally, getting good dog health insurance is critical. You will have unexpected dog health expenses with your dog because of the progressive nature of degenerative myelopathy in dogs.  The best strategy will be to get dog health insurance for your puppy before he develops any pre-existing conditions.

Now you have 9 proven tips to use to help care for your dog with DM thanks to Paul Konowicz, his wife Sharon and Justice.  I hope you got value from this article so you can take better care of your dog with DM.

Share this article on degenerative myelopathy with your friends and family so they have these 9 helpful tips from Paul and Sharon to care for their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies and personal experiences from Dog Health News.

Our featured dog is Justice, a handsome Boxer who developed DM and lived in New England with his owners.  Justice was able to use a custom designed wheelchair to help him walk and run around.  I was sad to hear that Justice lost his battle with DM.  Thankfully, Justice had loving owners who took care of him through every challenge.

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.

Prevent Dog Choking: Know the Dangers of Dog Collars

Dog ChokingThe fear of your dog choking can concern you when your dog pulls hard on his leash which forces his collar to dig deep into his neck and makes him cough… or even worse you worry about your dog at home alone because his collar and tags could get stuck on something and cause him to choke before you can help him get out of his collar.

This dog health article gives you tips on dog collar safety to help you keep your dog out of harm’s way.  I hope when you read this article you’ll use these tips to prevent your dog from choking because of his collar’s poor fit or his dog tags.

Prevent Dog Choking: Steps to Check the Correct Fit of Your Dog’s Collar

First, check out whether your dog’s collar is the right one for your dog’s age, size and breed.  Here’s how to get the right size collar for your dog.

  • Use a soft measuring tape to measure the top part of your dog’s neck and add 1 inch.  This part of your dog’s neck is the narrowest part. 
  • Slide your index and middle finger under your dog’s collar to check that it’s not too tight. Your dog’s collar should fit snugly so it won’t to slip over your dog’s ears.

3 Dog Choking Dangers from Dog Collars & Tags

Second, here are 3 dangers to avoid that will help prevent your dog from choking due to his collar.

  1. Tight Collar  Your dog’s tight collar could restrict his airway and make it difficult for your dog to breath.  Tight dog collars also cause chafing around your dog’s neck which can lead to skin irritations.
  2. Loose Collar – Your dog’s loose collar can easily slide off.  This means that your dog’s collar could get caught on gates, furniture, bushes and other dogs when they play.  The risk for your dog is choking or suffocation if he’s unsupervised or home alone.
  3. Tags on Collar – Dog tags can get caught on things like your dog’s crate, furniture or bushes.  Your dog may twist and turn to get loose which could have fatal results from choking.

6 Tips to Prevent Dog Choking Injuries & Accidents

Lastly, here are 6 valuable tips to help you keep your dog safe from injuries due to his collar.

  1. Microchipping – One strategy to protect your dog from collar injuries and choking is to get your dog microchipped.  Your dog also has a better chance to be found if he’s gone missing because his collar and tags could easily be removed by someone who might want to steal your dog.
  2. Break-Away Collars – These collars will unsnap when it gets stuck on something like your dog’s crate or a bush.  Dog choking accidents can happen in the blink of your eye which means you need to supervise your dog at all times.
  3. Collar Free  Consider removing your dog’s collar when he sleeps or is home alone, plays with other dogs, and when your dog is asleep at night.  This way, your dog won’t be in danger of choking from his collar or dog tags when you’re not able to be with him.
  4. Boarding and Doggie Day Care – Discuss your collar on and collar off rules with the owner of all dog boarding and day care centers so your dog is safe in their facility and with other dogs at play.
  5. Dog Sitters & Dog Walkers – Instruct your dog sitters and walkers on your collar rules and dog choking safety so they understand the do’s and don’ts to keep your dog safe inside and on walks.  This includes being careful not to pull your dog with his leash and cause harm to your dog’s neck and throat.
  6. Groomers – You may want to give you groomer specific instructions about your dog’s collar when they wash and dry your dog for safety.  Soapy fur becomes slippery and collars can slide off while your dog gets lathered up.  To prevent accidents, always require that your dog is supervised and never left alone while they are at your groomers.

You’ve just read about the dangers of dog collars and how to prevent dog choking which will help you keep your dog safe from accidents and injuries that could result from your dog’s collar and dog tags.  Freak accidents like dog’s choking by his own collar can happen in seconds so I hope this information gives you all the tips you need for your dog’s safety.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have ways to keep their dog safe from accidents, injuries or choking as a result of their dog’s collar.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Social Anxiety in Dogs: Can Dog Parents Be The Cause?

AnxietySocial anxiety observed in dogs could be rooted in specific breed characteristics, illnesses or abusive treatment which triggers fear or aggression, however your dog’s physical and emotional environment can have the most profound consequential effect on your dog’s behavior, and at the same time it leads you to wonder if dog parents who suffer from day to day stress play a prominent part in the upswing of nervousness in dogs. 

This news brief gives you tips to reduce your dog’s angst which may help you change your own behavior and result in a lower level of anxious behavior in your dog, your life and your household.

Social Anxiety in Dogs: 3 Simple Tips to Keep Your Dog Calm

  1. Energy – Your dog might pick up agitated energy in your home when he’s faced with too much commotion, raised voices, and electronic devices that beep, buzz or vibrate.  If your dog seems hyperactive or can’t stay still for very long, you may want to monitor noises and activity levels in your home for an hour.  You can turn off your phone, slow down your pace and put on some quiet music to see if your dog’s behavior changes.  Because your dog hears extremely well, you may want to use a softer voice and cut back on loud commands to see if your dog’s behavior becomes more relaxed.
  2. Exercise – Lack of exercise can have an impact on your dog’s social anxiety.  Dogs need to release stress and burn off calories Anxietyjust like you do, so your dog’s tension could be the result of pent up zest that needs to be released.  You can increase the number of times you walk your dog and find ways to add activities indoors to allow your dog to move around as much as possible.  This change of pace might help loosen up your dog and quiet him down.
  3. Food – Your dog may be hyperactive because there’s too much sugar in his diet.  Some manufactured dog foods are high in carbohydrates which turn to sugar in your dog’s body.  Check with your veterinarian and be sure your dog gets a breed specific nutritionally balanced diet that won’t contribute to a sugar high.

Herbal Solutions to Increase Calmness in Dogs

Since most people probably won’t change their behavior, even if they may be the cause of their dog’s social anxiety, here’s 2 herbal solutions you can try:

  • Essential Oils – Lavender or lemon essential oil can be placed in the room where your dog sleeps using a diffuser that is out of your dog’s reach.  Allow the calming aroma to work and keep track of your dog’s behavior.
  • Chamomile – Add a cool cup of chamomile tea to your dog’s food or water.  Chamomile has a soothing effect and may quiet down your anxious dog.

AnxietyYou can comment on the blog after you try these herbs so people can benefit from the efficacy of herbal remedies for social anxiety in dogs.  If you’d like to know more about how herbal solutions can help your dog’s apprehension, feel free to ask your question on the blog.

This news brief gives you tips to help reduce your dog’s anxious behavior which may positively affect your dog and your entire family.

Share this article with your friends and family so they can use these tips to keep their dog from uneasiness in social settings.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

Hope you took some great value out of this 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!

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 Health Insurance: 6 Key Frequently Asked Questions

Dog Health InsuranceDog health insurance became available in the US when Dr. Jack Stephens launched his business in 1982 and presented his first dog health policy to the famous television star, Lassie.  Dr. Stephens’ primary mission with VPI was to end euthanasia for dog owners who couldn’t afford veterinary medical treatments for their dog.  Dog Health News wanted to learn more about the benefits of health insurance for dogs so we could share information with you that will help you make the best choice for your dog.

This news brief gives you 6 key questions to ask when you look at dog health insurance for your dog so you get the best coverage.

Dog Health Insurance: 6 Coverage Questions

  1. What’s covered? – You want to know if your dog will be covered for hereditary or congenital conditions as well as a new illness, accident or injury your dog has after you enroll. Ask if the benefits are unlimited with no annual or incident limits so your dog will be covered for his lifetime.  You can also ask for custom plans that meet your budget.  Make sure to verify that you can use any licensed veterinarian for your dog.  This means that you want to have coverage from specialists and emergency animal hospitals.  Coverage includes: prescriptions, surgery, hospitalization and care as well as diagnostics like x-rays or blood tests.
  2. What’s not covered? – Dog health insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions.  This means that your dog will not be covered for any condition that showed up before your dog’s health insurance coverage started.  Examples could be if your dog had hot spots, ear infections or allergies.
  3. Dog Health InsuranceWhat about preventative care? – Coverage may vary for preventive care, however most pet insurance companies do not cover the following:  vaccinations, grooming, flea control, heart worm, spaying, neutering, dental cleanings and parasite control.  This means that you want to verify all the items that are considered preventive so you’re clear about your dog’s policy coverage.  Most pet insurance companies do not cover things like training, therapy, exercise and feeding. 
  4. Are office visits covered?  Dog health insurance does not cover office visits for your dog. This is considered your responsibility as a dog owner and allows the insurance companies to keep your payments affordable to cover all the other bills for accidents and illnesses.
  5. What’s the coverage for hip dysplasia?  Because there’s a 12 month waiting period for coverage in the US except for Maryland and New Hampshire if your dog is over the age of 6, it’s a good idea to look into dog insurance when you get your puppy.   This means you want to ask about coverage for hip dysplasia whenever you shop for insurance for your dog.
  6. What can I expect to pay for coverage? –  Most dog health insurance companies offer choices for deductibles, so you want to see what plan works with your budget.  On average, smaller Dog Health Insurancedogs are less expensive to cover than larger dogs.  A simple estimate is between $1- $3 per day to cover your dog with insurance.  It could be a trade-off for less treats and toys for peace of mind for you and your dog.

This news brief gives you questions to ask when you shop for dog insurance so you can get the best possible care for your dog.

Share this article with your friends and family so they are informed about the questions they should ask about dog health insurance.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

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Dog Health: 5 High Priorities on Your Puppy’s Wish List

Dog HealthDog health looks like a slam dunk when you have an adorable bundle of energy in your arms that often resembles a stuffed animal and you can’t imagine anything will go wrong with your dog because you’ll take such good care of him until you find yourself calling your vet after your puppy swallows part of his toy or even worse, you end up in the animal emergency hospital after your puppy falls down your stairs.

This news brief gives you the 5 items your puppy has on his wish list that will help you take better care of your dog so you don’t have regrets when things go wrong.

Dog Health: Your Puppy’s 5 Top Priorities for a Long Healthy Life

  1. Wellness Checkups –  Your puppy wants your guardianship to prevent illnesses before they develop into a chronic health condition. Annual vet visits to make sure your dog is healthy may be the one step that will save you money in the long run and give your dog a longer life.  You can also learn how to care for your dog at home by doing simple things like brushing your dog’s teeth and grooming your dog regularly.
  2. Dog Health Strategy – Your puppy doesn’t want to be a financial burden and would love to have the same options you have for health insurance.  The best time to think about dog health insurance is when you first get your puppy so the payments are lower and you’ll be prepared for any accidents or illnesses down the road.
  3. Puppy School – Your puppy wants to learn to behave in a safe way with your help.  This means that your puppy needs to understand who’s in control and how he can be safe at home, in the street, with other dogs and with strangers.  Enrolling your dog in puppy school is one of the best ways to be a responsible dog owner.
  4. Nutrition – Your puppy wants a diet that won’t make him sick or cause him to gain weight, like those extra treats that may not be Dog Health good for dog health because they add calories.  This means that your dog wants you to read labels on packaged dog food to make sure there’s nothing toxic in the ingredients.  Ultimately, your puppy would like to eat nutritionally balanced homemade food that’s not processed so he can live a healthier life.
  5. Exercise – Your puppy’s favorite wish is for daily exercise outdoors in the fresh air so he can breath in the smells, keep his brain alert and stay fit, not to mention his needs for elimination on a regular basis.  Exercise is critical for dog health because of the activity your dog needs to stay lean, be agile, prevent stiff joints or develop arthritis.

This article outlines the 5 bare necessities on your puppy’s wish list that will keep your dog healthy.  Dog Health News encourages you to start with these items and suggests that you learn more about all the options available for dog health insurance when you bring home your new puppy.

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

Dog Health

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Pet Insurance Cost: 6 Vital Considerations for Your Dog

Pet Insurance CostThe pet insurance cost to provide you and your dog with a viable strategy to cover unplanned dog health expenses includes many benefits like customer service and fast reimbursement for a large percentage of the bills incurred for things like your dog’s surgery or medication so you might want to look into dog health insurance when you get your dog and review your options before you’re faced with a choice between your dog’s health and your budget.

This news brief gives you things you should consider when you add your dog to your household so you can decide on the right financial strategy to take the best care of your dog.

Pet Insurance Cost: 6 Things You Want To Get from Dog Health Insurance

  1. Customer Service – When your dog has an accident or becomes ill and you need fast answers, you want to make sure that your pet insurance company is friendly, compassionate and helpful.  A good idea is to get references before you pick a company for dog health insurance.
  2. Fast Reimbursement – If you need to pay thousands of dollars for your dog’s eye surgery or cancer treatments, you want to be sure your pet insurance company reimburses you quickly.
  3. Pet Insurance CostPeace of mind – Your dog may be perfectly healthy life and then one day your dog may need life saving surgery which is another reason to look at pet insurance cost for your dog’s breed and age.  Dog health insurance gives you peace of mind when your dog needs emergency care.  Make sure you review all types of coverage and choose your pet insurance company carefully so you have peace of mind in all situations.
  4. Full coverage – There are different rates of coverage from pet insurance companies so you want to ask lots of questions.  Look at the the deductibles, limitations on number of claims and the percent of your bill that will be reimbursed.  If you’re faced with a $13,000 cost for your dog’s eye surgery, you want to be covered for 90% of the cost or $11,700.
  5. Best medical choices –  When you have dog health insurance, your dog will be covered for unplanned surgeries or medical treatments that you could make it well worth the pet insurance cost paid out monthly over the life of your dog.  A wise approach is to check out your options for your dog when he’s a puppy to get some of the lowest rates.  Shop around and compare at least 3 pet insurance companies to be sure you get the best plan for your dog.
  6. Life saving strategy – The average lifespan of your dog is 12 years.  Your quote for dog health insurance varies according to the size and health of your dog.  If your quote is $50 per month, your annual cost is $600, or $7,200 over the life of your dog.  All your dog needs is 1 or 2 accidents or an illness like cancer to Pet Insurance Costmake you grateful for your dog insurance policy.  Pet insurance cost usually runs from about $30 per month for small dogs to $100 per month for larger dogs.  In other words, the range is only $1 – $3 per day to cover your dog with pet insurance.

This news brief gives you tips on what you need to look for from pet insurance companies so you’ll be able to make an informed decision about your strategies to cover your dog health costs.

Share this article with your friends and family so they can investigate pet insurance as a financial strategy for their dog’s medical costs.  You can always depend on Dog Health News for the best dog health strategies.

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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