Dog Dry Skin. Why Is Your Pooch Feeling Itchy?

Dry skin is a common affliction affecting all breeds of dogs. It can be quite irritating to the canine; resulting in an unhappy dog owner. For those who have a canine pal with flaky dry skin that has them scratching uncontrollably, here are some helpful tips for getting rid of it.

 Common Causes For Dry Skin On Dogs

Though it may seem like a minor problem, dry skin can be the first indication of something bigger. It usually is the first symptom which leads to other health conditions like Cushing’s Disease or skin allergies. That’s right, even dogs can develop allergies the same as their human counterparts. Some of which include:

 * Flower Pollens

 * Animal Hair & Dander

 * Dirt & Dust

 * Flea Bites

 * Different Kinds Of Food & Grains

All of these common allergens can be the cause of your dog’s dry skin, which left untreated can develop into atopic dermatitis. This skin disease can leave a playful pooch uncomfortable, potentially leading to another form of infection.

Other Reasons Dogs Develop Dry Skin

Sometimes dogs have dry skin due to other factors such as harsh weather conditions. It can also be brought on from getting too many baths or because of an allergic reaction to a particular dog grooming product.

If you think that this may be the cause of your dog’s dry skin, then it’s best to consult with a professional veterinarian. This will help to rule out any other more serious skin conditions.

Common Dry Skin Symptoms

Because every dog is different, symptoms of dry skin may include:

* Irritation which makes your dog continuously scratch.

* A noticeable loss of hair on your dog.

* Dandruff and flaking in dog’s fur.

* Redness & inflammation upon your dog’s skin.

 * Over excessive oil in their skin and fur.

 * An odor emanating for dog’s body.

 * Skin wounds and scabs.

Depending on your particular dog, some of these dry skin symptoms might not present themselves. But, in the event that you should spot any of the ones above; then it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for a more exact diagnosis.

Treatments For Dogs With Dry Skin

Determining where your dog’s dry skin is coming from can be somewhat tricky. Your local veterinarian can put them on a special diet to eliminate food allergies from being the cause.

Some foods tend to be harsh on your dog’s delicate system because of certain ingredients like corn, eggs, soy product, chicken and beef.

Your veterinarian can test your canine companion for environmental allergies, but unfortunately, there is no cure at this time.

The most common ways of treating dog allergies include:

* Totally avoid the source of allergen.

* Vet treatments such as allergy shots.

* Keeping the symptoms under control (dry skin, irritation, redness, etc.)

Many veterinarians will compile various treatment options for controlling your dog’s allergies.

Excessive bathing is easy to get under control with a veterinarian-approved dog shampoo and by giving your pooch fewer baths.

For dog’s suffering from dry skin due to environmental allergies, it’s best the purchase an indoor humidifier to use in extreme weather conditions. But, if their skin condition is because of a poor diet; try switching over to a high-end dog food with 100% all natural ingredients.

So make an appointment with your local veterinarian and discuss the different options for treating dry skin on dogs. This will help provide some much-needed relief to both you and your forever friend as well.

How To Give Your Dog Medicine Without Causing Any Damage

The simplest and most common way to give medicine to dogs is by mouth, unless you’ve purchased a newer version of medicated chews, you will have to fight your dog to get him to take medication.

The pet owner will be called upon to perform this task at some time or other, so it is advisable that he master the basic technique at the earliest opportunity.

In giving a dog a pill, the animal is first placed in a sitting position. The left hand is then put over the bridge of the ani­mal’s nose, and with the thumb from one side and the fingers from the other, gentle pressure is applied to the animal’s cheeks so that they press against the teeth of its upper jaw.

The pill is held between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand. While the pressure of the cheeks against the teeth is maintained with the left hand, the dog’s mouth is gently forced open with the middle finger of the right hand.

Ordinarily the dog will not attempt to close its mouth because it would be biting down against its own cheeks. The pill is then quickly thrust far into the mouth onto the roof of the tongue.

The dog will then swallow the pill by reflex action. This can be encouraged by tickling the throat region from the outside, with the thumb and the forefinger, after the mouth is closed.

It is best to administer liquid medicines in a small glass vial or bottle when you give medicine to dog.

With the animal in the sitting position, the open end of the vial is placed in the pouch of loose skin between the animal’s teeth and the corner of its lips (buccal pouch).

The medicine is given slowly, and the speed of administration should be gauged by the rapidity with which the animal swallows. Care should be taken not to have the dog’s head

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raised too high. Ask your veterinarian to demonstrate these simple procedures.

In addition to giving give medicine to dog orally, the veterinarian may administer medicines by way of the rectum; on, into, or un­der the skin; into the nose directly or by inhalation; into mus­cles, the trachea, veins, joints, and the spine; and on mucous membranes.

o Give a Dog a Liquid Medicine

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Tail Docking And Ear Cropping How TO’s

dog tail docking explainedTail docking and ear cropping are performed either to meet certain show standards or simply to improve the appearance of an animal. They bear no relation to health.

In regard to tail docking, the amount of tail to be removed depends either on show requirements for the particular breed or on personal preference. The best age at which to perform the operation is when the animal is a couple of days old, although it can be done at any time during the animal’s life.

At the very early age, however, the tail docking is very simple, is accompanied by very little pain or hemorrhage, can be performed without anaesthesia, requires no sutures or bandages, results in very rapid healing, and seldom has any undesirable consequences.

At a later age at least local anaesthesia is necessary, bandages and sutures are required, some pain and annoyance are invariably encountered, heal­ing is slower, and infection, though quite uncommon, is much more likely.

As for ear cropping, the amount of ear to be removed also depends either on show requirements for the particular breed or on personal preference.

The best age at which to perform this operation depends both on the breed and on the animal’s state of health. The best time to operate on Danes, Dober-mans, and Boxers is when they are ten or eleven weeks of age.

Bostons, Bull Terriers, Toy Manchesters, and others may be operated on when they are four to six months of age, if the conformation of the ear is the usual one for the breed con­cerned. If the conformation is unusual, it may be necessary to operate at an earlier or at a somewhat later period.

In contrast to the tail docking, ear cropping is a major surgical operation, performed un­der general anaesthesia. In some techniques the cut ears are merely bound with adhesive tape, without the use of sutures. But the more common approach is to stitch the cut ear, and after a couple of days to have them bound in wire splints un­til healing is complete and the stitches can be removed.

A third technique, which the author prefers, is to stitch the ears with a dissolvable suture material and then paste them to­gether in a standing position on top of the head. The latter technique requires no bandaging and all the aftercare can be performed by the owner. This method is also accompan­ied by the least amount of discomfort to the animal.

Often the ears will not stand after healing is complete. But if the operation was properly performed, the ears will stand erect after the cartilage develops. If the ears do not stand by the time the animal is nine or ten months old, it is unlikely that they ever will.

In such cases no amount of taping, rolling, or stretching will do any good, and only corrective surgery can remedy the defect.

Dogs that have their ears cropped must be in a vigorous state of health, because good health will result in proper de­velopment of ear cartilage which is essential in causing the ear to stand erect; poor health might result in deficient devel­opment of ear cartilage, in which case the ear might never stand erect.

If it is determined that the animal’s health is not as good as it might be, it is advisable to get the animal into proper condition before the ear-cropping operation can safely be performed.

Tail docking and ear cropping are at best inhumane whims of fancy. While it is true that tail docking or ear cropping do often improve the appearance of an animal, they also seem to give it an artificial freakishness.

It is hoped that we can some day arrive at standards based on the natural attributes, and not have to resort to cosmetic surgery. The issue will come to a head only when an informed and sufficiently outraged dog-loving public will raise its voice toward the abolition of these barbarous and unnecessary practices.


It must be stated at the outset that if, at any time, the owner suspects that his animal has distemper, no effort at home treatment or nursing should be made. The dog distemper cases should immediately be taken to a veterinarian and should be put under strict veterinary supervision during the entire course of the disease.

Distemper is by far the worst disease of dogs. Of all the dogs that die during the first two years of life, probably ninety-five per cent will die of distemper alone.

Among domestic animals, distemper is exclusively a disease of dogs. It is caused by an extremely potent filterable virus, and the extent of the disease is world-wide.

The disease may be transmitted by direct contact with infected dogs or indirectly by contact with dogs, persons, or places that have been exposed to the infection. It is not transmissible to man. The virus is every­where. It is in the air, on the ground, on people’s clothes; it is truly omnipresent. No dog is safe from its ravages.

When distemper first strikes, the primary manifestations are depression, loss of appetite, and high temperature. These symptoms are often overlooked by the owner, and the general feeling usually is that the animal is somehow indisposed.

Dog distemper illnessThese symptoms last only about two days. Then the virus causes a breakdown of the resistance of the various systems of the body, and a burst of complicating infections results, which give rise to a large variety of secondary symptoms. It is by these secondary symptoms that distemper is commonly characterized. Only the major ones will be considered here because these are the ones that will generally be recognized by the owner.

The most prominent and constant secondary symptom of dog distemper is a discharge from the eyes which usually starts as a watery exudation and changes in a few days to a dense, whitish, mucous-like accumulation.

Often the discharge is so copious that the eyelids stick together, and after the discharge is wiped away the eye membranes appear to have an angry, red aspect.

There may be occasional vomiting. A very common symp­tom is diarrhea, which may become increasingly severe and bloody as the disease progresses. A watery and, later, a mu­cous or pus-like nasal discharge is also very characteristic, and this will often be accompanied by rubbing of the nose.

Very commonly, too, there is a cough; characteristically this is steady and mild, but there may be occasional paroxysms which often end up in gagging and vomiting.

Where the nervous system is involved, there may be twitch-ings of the face, head, and neck, but most often in the limbs.

In severe cases there may be intermittent convulsions, characterized by champing of the teeth, foaming at the mouth, falling on the side, violent shaking movements all over the body, involuntary passage of stool, urine, or both and hysterical running and barking. These convulsions may lead to partial or complete paralysis, but more often they gradually increase in frequency and lead to coma and death.

The skin may also show various manifestations. There may appear small, red spots around the face, eyes, internal surface of the ears or thighs, or on the abdomen. These red spots may become further irritated, swell, and fill with pus and rupture, thereby giving the animal an offensive odor and a scabby form of skin irritation.

Along with these specific symptoms, the animal may show marked temperature variations, variable appetite, intermittent seizures of depression, and any or most of the general signs of disease that were described earlier.

In treating a dog with distemper, the most potent drugs and expert nursing are required—strictly a veterinary prob­lem. Where only the digestive or respiratory systems are pri­marily affected, about fifty per cent of the cases survive. Where the nervous system is involved, and especially where convulsions have appeared, ninety-nine per cent of the cases will die. The entire course of the disease usually lasts from six to ten weeks.

To combat this frightful scourge, the veterinary pro­fession has devised a very effective method of immunization. This protection should be the first concern of the new dog owner. If he chooses to do nothing more, his dog should at least be afforded the benefit of protection against distemper.

The dog acquires a certain amount of protection from its mother. This protection usually lasts until the animal is about nine weeks old. At this age, some veterinarians proceed directly with the permanent immunization.

distemper in dogsOther veterinarians prefer a later age at which to give the permanent vaccinations, and in the meantime advise injecting puppies with distemper serum, which consists of secretory and excretory products of the distemper virus and confers a temporary immunity of from one to two weeks (though veterinarians in general place less confidence in serum than they used to.)

The dog distemper serum injections are given every one or two weeks until the animal is four months of age or older. Then the animal is given three injections of distemper vaccine, each two weeks apart. Distemper vaccine consists of dead distemper germ. When these three injections are completed, the animal is con­sidered to be protected against the disease for life. The ef­ficiency of this protection is very high and is generally con­sidered to be in the neighborhood of ninety-five per cent.

There are many modifications of this procedure. Some veterinarians prefer to give two injections of distemper vaccine and one of live distemper virus. Others prefer variants of this method. But, as a general rule, most veterinarians use the three-distemper-vaccine method. It is a safe, cautious and proven method of immunization.

Recently, a new method has been devised whereby very young puppies (as young as nine weeks of age) may be given a single vaccination that confers immunity for life. The material injected consists of a form of live virus from which the disease-producing power has been eliminated by various means. This method is quickly winning favor among impres­sive numbers of veterinarians.

When it was first produced, it was not without its shortcomings. Considerable caution had to be exercised in its use and disastrous results were occa­sionally reported in the literature. However, rapid progress has been made and the shortcomings of this single-injection method have been almost entirely eliminated. It is already apparent that if the current wave of popularity continues at its present rate, it will become officially recognized as the best method in the eradication of dogdom’s worst affliction.

The Distemper Complex

In recent years, veterinarians have come to recognize a whole series of diseases that are closely related to and scarcely distinguishable from distemper itself. These are the diseases of the distemper complex. Their detailed discussion would be useless here.

However it is well to interpolate this note be­cause the subtlety of distinction has been such as occasionally to confuse the dog owner. This is nothing strange since the status of our knowledge on this point is also confused. One veterinarian will call a particular disease dog distemper while another will disagree.

This is not the place to say which one is correct. They may both be right. But it is unlikely that they are both wrong. In the face of such complexity, the owner should permit free and open consultation among veterinarians concerning this problem and not consider any difference of opinion as a proper reason for mistrust in the profession.

Dog Anatomy for Dummies

Most people are as curious about the inner workings of the animal body as they are about their own. This short series of anatomical plates has been included not merely to satisfy this curiosity but also to give a general appreciation of the artistic dog anatomy.

No attempt has been made to identify the structures in detail for this would serve no useful purpose. But it is sufficient to state that the structure of the dog is very similar to that of the human being.

Canine anatomy, which deals with the structure of the dog, is of basic importance to the veterinarian in the treatment of disease. For it is only because of his intimate knowledge of anatomy that the veterinarian can determine the exact location of any ailment whenever disease occurs.

Whether we speak of veterinary medicine or of human medicine, the fact remains that dog anatomy is the foundation stone upon which the entire edifice of modern medicine is built. Disease is essentially an impairment of the function of a particular organ. Without an understanding of the anatomy of the organ, scientific treatment is impossible.

Thus dog anatomy is of crucial importance to the veterinarian. As a dog owner, you can have the complete assurance that your veterinarian has profound anatomical knowledge that he uses all the time in his efforts to keep your dog healthy.

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A Side View of the Internal Organs. The Upper Drawing Shows the
Female and the Lower Drawing, the Male.

An Abdominal View of the Internal Organs

Reproductive Organs of the Male (A) and the Female (B)

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Muscles and Salivary Glands of Head
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The Penis
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The Heart
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