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tick infestation on dogs

Tick Infestation on Dogs: Signs, Cure, and Prevention

Ticks are the banes of the existence of all animals. Every mammal on Earth is susceptible to tick bites and tick infestations, yet dogs always seem to get the brunt of the trauma. It could be the fearless nature of our dogs that causes them to trudge through tick-infested woods.

A tick infestation on dogs is not a laughing matter and can severely threaten a dog’s health. Our veterinarian office in Tucson, AZ, has plenty of experience with ticks, and we want to spread awareness. Here are some signs, cures, and prevention methods to help when your dog has ticks.

Signs of Ticks & Tick Infestations

If you’re worried about a tick infestation in dogs you own, don’t worry. Here are some easily-identifiable signs that you can check on your dog. Some symptoms are more severe than others.

Small Bumps on the Skin

If your dog has small, black or brown bumps on its skin, these are most likely ticks. Often, you won’t be able to see them until they mature, but once they grow, they’re relatively easy to spot. Simply run your hands through your dog’s fur routinely to find them.

More Serious Symptoms

Here are some more severe symptoms that the incidence of ticks can cause:

  • Rashes
  • Shivering
  • Fever
  • Weakness, fatigue, and partial or total paralysis
  • Chronic pain
  • Appetite loss
  • Kidney failure
  • Nose bleeds
  • Anemia and blood-clotting issues

Removing (Curing) Ticks

Removing a tick is as simple as firmly grasping it by the head with a pair of tweezers or a tick-removal tool. However, don’t, under any circumstances, squeeze a tick’s body. Its fluids are very toxic and can rapidly lower a dog’s health.

Preventing Ticks

If you want to prevent a tick infestation on dogs, here are some easy things you can do.

Sprays

Tick sprays are very effective but laborious methods of tick prevention. Pet owners should spray these products on their pets, taking care of their eyes and ears. Each spray lasts for a certain amount of time before requiring reapplication.

Collars

Tick collars are a reasonably modern alternative to other treatment methods. These collars contain a chemical that ticks loathe, keeping them away. However, owners of active dogs should avoid these, as getting them wet reduces their effectiveness.

Shampoos

Shampoos are the most effective method for tick prevention, but they are also useful for dogs with a tick infestation. Lather it onto your dog during bath time and leave it on for ten minutes for best results!

Don’t be Afraid to Bring Your Animals to Us

Bring your dog to us if you’re ever afraid to remove adult ticks yourself. We can help reduce the chance of tick-borne diseases and protect your dog’s health. We have years of experience treating tick infestation on dogs and other animals.

At Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic, we believe in providing quality service and knowledge for pets in our area. Visit our blog to learn more about what to do when you encounter abandoned kittens.

Call Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic at (520) 889-9643 to schedule an appointment for your best friend today!

dog destructive chewing

Destructive Chewing in Dogs: Reasons and Solutions

It is common for dogs, particularly puppies, to use their mouths for exploration, entertainment, and play. While a little playful chewing is common and rarely harmful, your dog’s behavior can quickly damage items in your home if you don’t address the problem. 

If you are dealing with destructive chewing, you should address the situation quickly to correct the behavior. Seeking the advice of a veterinarian may help the problem. Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic provides veterinary services in Tucson, AZ, and can help determine whether the behavior is normal or linked to a more significant problem.  

Here are some of the main reasons behind destructive chewing and how you can address the behavior. 

Cause #1: Separation Anxiety 

Adult dogs quickly attach to owners and can experience separation anxiety. A change in the family’s schedule, a new home, or being left alone for long periods can spark fear in your dog, resulting in destructive chewing.

Other signs of separation anxiety include frantic greetings, following you around the house, and barking when you leave. 

Solution

Punishing your pets when they display anxious behaviors is not the solution. Reacting harshly will only make the problem worse. Desensitization techniques can address dogs’ destructive chewing caused by anxiety, which exposes your dog to a stimulus starting at a low intensity. 

It is important to remember that your dog is not acting out on purpose and that punishments often create more serious issues. 

Cause #2: Seeking Attention 

Dogs may act out to seek the attention of their owners. Owners give more attention when dogs and puppies display inappropriate actions, inadvertently reinforcing the behavior. A dog’s destructive chewing behavior results in more attention, even if it is negative. 

Solution

You can stop attention-seeking behavior by giving your dog plenty of positive attention each day. Identify your dog’s favorite chew items and put these objects where they cannot reach them. Ignore negative actions and praise good ones.  

Cause #3: Boredom

Dogs explore the world with their mouths and may chew clothes, furniture, and shoes if they are left without chew toys. Dogs may display destructive chewing behaviors if left alone for long periods without appropriate entertainment. Puppies need regular mental stimulation and outlets to curb negative actions. 

Solution

Dogs, particularly large breeds, need to lead active lifestyles to remain happy and exhibit healthy behaviors. Play with your dog regularly in safe areas and encourage your children to take them on daily walks. 

Increase your dog’s opportunities for mental stimulation, particularly when they are left alone. Purchase chew toys and use a clicker to encourage your dog to play with the toys instead of munching on other items. 

Taking your pet to a behavior class is another excellent way to reinforce the positive behaviors you are teaching at home. Are you experiencing destructive chewing or dealing with separation anxiety in greyhounds? Find out whether the behavior is normal or part of a more significant problem by making an appointment with Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic.

how to trick your dog into taking liquid medicine

How to Trick Your Dog into Taking Liquid Medicine

Regardless of breed, dogs have one thing in common: they don’t enjoy taking liquid medication. Dogs are intelligent about sniffing out pills, tasting medicine that’s mixed in, or wriggling away as you try to dispense liquid medicine. (Pill guns are a different story for another blog.)

Wondering how to trick your dog into taking liquid medicine? Here are five tried and true tricks from Tucson’s top-rated veterinarian, Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic, to get your dog to take medicine. Give them a try – we think you’ll find one that works for you.

Ask Your Vet for Compounded Medicine

Ask your vet if you can get the prescription compounded into ready-made dog treats. This makes your job easier and ensures that your dog receives the correct dosage. (Yes, we are happy to do this for our dog owners!)

Use a Syringe or Dropper

Draw the medication into the syringe or dropper (remember, 1ml = 1cc, 5cc = 1 teaspoon, and 15cc = 1 tablespoon). If it’s refrigerated, warm it in your hand first.

Get your dog into a comfortable spot or have someone hold the dog if needed. Grab the dog’s head with your non-dominant hand and place your dominant hand on top of its muzzle, circling with your thumb and fingers.

Then raise the dog’s nose toward the ceiling and squeeze your fingers behind its canine teeth. Place the dropper or syringe behind the canine teeth and squeeze the contents into the dog’s mouth. Praise your dog!

Peanut Paws

Another answer to the question “how to trick your dog into taking liquid medicine?” works wonders for most fur babies, as it doesn’t seem like medicine to your dog. Mix the medicine into your dog’s favorite brand of peanut butter (some dogs like all peanut butter, but you’ll find that some can be choosy!) Spread it onto a silicone mat and watch your dog enjoy the treat.

Canned Food

This method of hiding liquid medicine from dogs works wonders for some, but it doesn’t work with everyone. Food flavor choices that work best include duck and salmon combo, tuna, chicken casserole, and salmon.

Start with a small amount of food to make sure your dog eats it all. If the dog doesn’t eat it at that concentration, continue mixing in more food until you reach the “magic ratio.” If your dog doesn’t finish all of the food, it’s not getting a correct dose, so find a different method for next time.

Bread  

If your dog likes bread, that’s an acceptable alternative to canned food. But be careful not to use breads that are toxic to dogs, such as raisin bread, garlic bread, any bread with xylitol (sugar alcohol), or bread with nuts and seeds.

Stay Calm

Your dog can sense your mood and emotions from speaking tone and body language. If you are uneasy, your dog will be too and less likely to respond as you want.

Now that you know how to trick your dog into taking liquid medicine, you’re prepared for any prescriptions your vet might give you. Click here to learn about the signs to take your pet to the vet.

For complete veterinary care, call Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic at (520) 889-9643 to schedule an appointment.

when to take your pet to the vet

When to Take Your Pet to the Vet: Top 7 Signs

Pets are a vital part of the family, but communicating with them can often be difficult. They may not be able to talk, but certain behaviors are cause for concern. For this reason, you want to be sure you can recognize the signs of distress and know when to take your pet to the vet.

If your pet begins to display any of these signs, have them come in for veterinary services in Tucson from Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic right away.

Different Eating Habits

While skipping a meal here and there isn’t usually an issue, not eating for two or more days is concerning. Often pets will do this if they have a mouth injury or are sick, or immediately following being spayed or neutered. When the opposite occurs, and your pet is unusually hungry, it may be a sign of a serious medical issue. Both are signs that your pet needs to see a vet as soon as possible.

Drinking More Water

Pets will often drink more water when the weather is warmer or activity increases. It becomes a problem if they drink excessively for several days without reasonable cause. This may be an indication of kidney disease or diabetes.

Strained Breathing

A notable sign of when to take your pet to the vet is labored breathing, fast panting, or shallow breaths. When this occurs in sync with sudden inactivity, weight loss, and coughing, it may signify a serious lung condition.

Vomiting

Like humans, pets will occasionally vomit to rid their bodies of something that didn’t agree with them. However, if they vomit blood for more than once in 12 hours, don’t wait too long before taking them to a vet. Vomiting that occurs along with diarrhea, lethargy, and a poor appetite can indicate dehydration or more serious conditions that require medical attention immediately.

Noticeable Eye Changes

A pet’s eyes can show signs of illness and should be seen by a vet if they remain dilated or constricted. Other indicators of when to take your pet to the vet are unusual discharge, drooping, or the third eyelid covering part of their eye.

Persistent Coughing

While an occasional cough is usually nothing to worry about, your pet will require medical attention if it continues for more than two days. There are various reasons they may be coughing, so testing would be needed to make a proper diagnosis. Common reasons your pet may be coughing include an infection, kennel cough, or something lodged in their throat.

Pet Shows Signs of Pain

One of the most apparent indicators that a pet needs to see a veterinarian is when they show signs of pain. These may include limping, flinching, yelping, crying, panting, hiding, and unwillingness to move. A vet can help narrow down the source of the pain and resolve the issue quickly.

Taking Your Pet to the Vet

Vet visits are often stressful for our pets and can lead to anxious behaviors. Here are tips when taking your dog to the vet compiled by our Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic team to make your visit as seamless as possible. Call us at 520.889.9643 today to make an appointment.

taking dog to vet

Tips When Taking Your Pet to the Vet for the First Time

Excited about bringing your new puppy or kitten to their forever home? Now that you’ve stocked up on food, toys, and other essentials, it’s time to make an appointment with the vet. 

Besides your family within the household, the vet will be the most important person in your pet’s life. After all, they’ll be keeping your furry friend healthy throughout their life and caring for them when they’re ill. Throughout this article, we will be discussing the following helpful tips for taking your pet to the vet for the first time.

Set Up a Vet Visit Right Away

Even if you purchased your pet with a certificate of good health from a shelter or breeder, it’s a good idea to get them checked out right away. Consider making an appointment with the vet within the first two weeks of bringing your puppy or kitten home. Your pet may be on a vaccination schedule or require specific medication to keep them healthy in their new environment. 

While you may not anticipate an emergency occurring within the first few days of bringing your pet home, you never know what can happen. Building a rapport with a veterinary clinic you can trust early offers peace of mind. Our Tucson, Arizona veterinarians provide the best care for pets at every stage of their life. 

Consider Investing in Pet Insurance

Pet insurance can help you save significantly on veterinary visits as most policies reimburse up to 80% after deductibles. In fact, insurance policies cover services like spaying and neutering, intestinal parasites, and flea and ticks prevention. Additionally, pet insurance protects against emergency vet bills. 

Preparing for Your First Veterinary Visit

Are you nervous about your pet’s first veterinary visit? Here are some easy tips you can follow to help things go smoothly and to get the most out of your visit:

  1. Don’t forget to bring your pup or kitten’s adoption papers from the breeders or the shelter. These papers let your vet know what vaccinations your pet has and which ones they still need. 
  2. Bring along a list of the medications and supplements your pet is taking and how often you’re giving them to them. 
  3. If you are a new pet parent, you might have a few questions you would like to ask the vet. Write them down beforehand and bring the list with you to the visit. 
  4. Pack a few treats to help keep your pet calm during the appointment.
  5. If your pet is small, you might want to consider bringing them in a carrier to protect them from potentially combative pets. Using a carrier will also help your pup or kitten feel safe in a new environment.

What Can You Expect from Your First Visit

Believe it or not, taking your pet to the vet for the first time is one of the most important visits you’ll have. During this visit, the vet will dig into your pup or kitten’s health history, go over their dietary needs, and they may even take blood work to uncover any hidden issues. The vet will also check for infections, heart murmurs, fleas, and ticks. You can reach out to us today to learn whether dogs need to be vaccinated for neutering.

Dog Teeth Problems

dog teeth problems

Much like humans, dogs can also develop oral diseases, including broken teeth and periodontal diseases. Dogs are five times more susceptible to dental problems than humans. In addition, the prevalence of periodontal diseases is at 80% among dogs over the age of 3.

The most common dental problem among dogs is bad breath. However, this is quite harmless when not accompanied by other serious dental diseases like periodontal disease. In the same line, cavities are also common among dogs and harmless when they are not a symptom of something serious.

This is because canines have an alkalizing mouth which promotes the buildup of plaques in their mouth. As bacteria multiply, their symptoms also do. As a result, it can lead to inflammation and tissue damage. This causes tooth loss and pain for your pup.

This article takes you through the various dog teeth problems often seen in your pet. Keep reading for signs, treatment, and prevention.

What is Dental Disease in Dogs?

Unlike humans, canines have little to no problems with tooth decay. But most dogs over three years old have dental disease. It comes in four stages, generally beginning with plaque and tartar in the mouth. This then leads to lightly inflamed gums, often called gingivitis.

If left untreated, they can progress into severe gum disease (periodontitis). And in due course, it may involve loss of bone and soft tissue around the affected teeth. In severe cases, it can affect other organs in your pet’s body and even organ failure.

Periodontal disease is one of the most common dental diseases seen in dogs. More than two-thirds of dogs aged three and older have the disease. Another common condition seen is fractured teeth. However, cavities are pretty rare and are present in only 10% of oral conditions.

When do Dogs Get Teeth Problems?

Dogs generally develop gingivitis at two years of age. However, it can get better with regular treatment. By the time they are three years of age, most dogs would have developed a dental disease. Gingivitis progresses to periodontal disease at about 4-6 years of age. When left untreated, it leads to bone loss.

Are Dental Problems Common in Dogs?

Dental disease is quite prevalent in canines. It is one of the most common ailments seen by vets. Unfortunately, only a few pets show outward signs of the disease. Therefore, it is up to the vet and the owner to spot this painful condition.

Of all dental diseases, periodontal disease is the most common infectious disease. It is a progressive, inflammatory disease that affects the supporting structures of the teeth. It is also the leading cause of early tooth loss in dogs.

Is the Dental Disease in Dogs Fatal?

Periodontal disease can cause more complications than just pain and loss of teeth. Untreated inflammation in pets can be a leading cause of liver, heart, and kidney diseases. In the end, they can untreated gum disease can destroy the bone so much so that even the slightest pressure can fracture your dog’s jaw.

Common Dog Teeth Problems

Dental complaints are the most common health problem for dogs. One of the most common issues is bad breath. Bad breath though harmless, does show signs of bad dental health. On the other hand, Cavities are uncommon and periodontal, or gum disease in canines is not.

Periodontal disease is one of the most commonly encountered health problems in dogs. The condition affects about 80% of pets by the age of three.

Teeth issues can harm the overall health and dog’s quality of life of your dog.

Plaque and Tartar Buildup

Plaque is an adhesive film on the inside of the tooth. It is a whitish substance consisting mainly of bacteria. The plaque creates a foul smell that increases with time unless you brush. When left unattended, they cause tooth decay and gum disease.

If not brushed within 24 – 48 hours, the plaque thickens into a hard substance called tartar. Also called calculus, tartar is a yellow or brown-colored substance that stays affixed to the teeth. At this point, they are not removed by brushing and will need to be scraped with a hard object. Once it reaches the gum line, it can irritate, leading to gum disease.

The primary signs dog owners will notice are poor quality breath, stained teeth, and red gum line. As it progresses, you may also find worsening breath and bleeding gums. Other contributing factors for gum disease are age, diet, breed, and genetics.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a painful bacterial infection that affects the liver, heart, and kidneys when left untreated. As the name indicates, it affects the gums and the bones that surround the teeth. The dental disease is generally silent—there aren’t many apparent early signs and symptoms. However, once it advances, it causes untold pain for your dog, missing teeth, bone loss, swollen gums, and more.

Gingivitis/Gum Disease

vet brushing dog teeth

Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. The gums are inflamed due to the bacterial plaque, but the infection hasn’t reached the bones and ligaments. So in truth, the tartar that you see isn’t the reason for the infection.

When the hard tartar digs into the gums and gets under the gum line, it starts a vicious cycle of infection. The bacteria get trapped, which causes damage to the supporting tissues and the surrounding bone structure.

The inflamed gums become red or purple and swollen, bleeding on contact. Gingivitis at this stage is reversible. It is treated via a professional dental cleaning (under anesthesia). Following that, pet owners should follow proper oral hygiene, such as daily tooth brushing and dental cleaning.

Periodontitis

In the case of periodontitis, the infection is much more severe and affects the gum tissue, bones, and ligaments. As the vital supports of the teeth diminish, pockets develop around the roots of the teeth. This allows food, bacteria, and other debris to collect, causing infections.

The bacterial buildup in these pockets secretes a toxic substance causing further damage to the tissue. The resulting inflammation triggers the dog’s immune system, bringing in the white blood cells to fight the bacteria. However, in the process, the surrounding tissues and bones are also damaged. Over time teeth loosen and begin falling from the mouth.

Dentists treat periodontitis with a professional cleaning and regular treatment. In severe cases, your pet may require oral surgery to reach the root surface.

Tooth Root Abscess

In severe cases of periodontal disease, the bacteria reaches deep into the roots of the teeth. And then, it starts destroying the root depriving the tooth of its blood supply resulting in tissue destruction. This stimulates a response from the immune system, which floods the area with white blood cells (pus or abscess). At this stage, your pet would require a surgical intervention. The abscess affects the molars and presents itself as a swelling under the eye.

However, the tooth root abscess may also be linked to mouth trauma when dogs chew hard objects and injure their mouths. In addition, the infection causes the swelling and facial deformity, which can be pretty painful.

Tooth Fractures

Tooth fractures are common among dogs that are constant chewers. They happen when the dog chews on hard objects such as hard nylon chews, bones, antlers, and pig hooves. Your pet pooch should not chew on anything that doesn’t have a bit of a give.

The size of the chew also contributes to fractured teeth. A large chew toy will make the gum and tooth flex to an angle so that one side of the tooth is split. It is called slab fracture. Tooth fractures should be treated to save the tooth. If the pulp is exposed, root canal treatments and tooth extractions are the only options.

Retained Baby Teeth

All puppies have baby teeth which then fall out, making space for adult teeth. The adult teeth come in by the age of 6 months. In some cases, the puppies retain the baby teeth leading to overcrowding. Unfortunately, there is no way to treat retained baby teeth. However, dentists can remove them under anesthesia.

What are the Signs of Dental Problems in Dogs?

The signs of dental diseases in dogs are quite underrated. These cause your pooch untold pain and discomfort. Though these symptoms can sometimes be mistaken for older dogs, pet owners can see marked changes like:

  • Bad breath
  • Discolored teeth
  • Plaque and tartar buildup
  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Loss of interest in chew toys
  • Loss of appetite or difficulty eating
  • Increased drooling
  • Missing teeth
  • Fatigue
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Sneezing and nasal discharge (due to periodontitis in upper canine teeth)

Dog Breeds with Bad Teeth

Few dogs, especially the smaller ones, present a greater risk of developing periodontal diseases. However, as a pet parent, you need to be diligent with these breeds.

  • Pug face dental problems like plaque and periodontal disease as a result of the short-muzzled bone structure. They also suffer from overcrowding of teeth.
  • Chihuahua has a small mouth to host all 42 teeth. This makes them susceptible to periodontal disease.
  • Yorkies often have retained baby teeth.
  • Boxers and large breeds such as Great Danes and bulldogs suffer from gingival hyperplasia 0r thickening of gums.
  • Collie suffers from an overbite, soft tissue trauma, and tooth-on-tooth wear.
  • Dachshunds have a narrow muzzle hence making them susceptible to periodontal disease.

Why do Small Dogs have Teeth Problems?

Small breed dogs such as Chihuahuas, Pugs, and Yorkies are susceptible to dental disease. The consensus is the small heads which lead to overcrowding. There is not much space between the teeth, presenting more space for food particles to collect bacteria.

They also retain their baby teeth which again is a reason for overcrowding. In addition, other breeds such as pugs and Boston terriers have bite problems.

How do I Prevent Dental Disease in Dogs?

The most common risk factor for periodontal diseases in dogs is inadequate oral hygiene. The key to managing periodontal diseases is prevention. As long as their teeth remain clean, they will not harbor bacteria, and the gums will also stay healthy.

Dogs Do Not Show Signs of Teeth Pain

veterinarian examining dog teeth problem

Less than 5% of dogs show outward pain in their teeth as a result of periodontal disease. This is because their animal instinct doesn’t allow them to show any pain. As a result, they have evolved to hide even the chronic pain.

Even with bleeding gum and cracked teeth, your pet would prefer to wag his tail rather than show you that he is sick. He will be the happy dog you know.

Examine Your Dog’s teeth daily

You’re unlikely to diagnose serious oral problems in a dog’s mouth. However, there are things worth looking for between all these vet cleanings. Look out for broken teeth, discolored teeth, and loose teeth. Other signs to look out for include:

  • Blood on chew toys or water bowl
  • Bad breath(within 1-2 months of cleaning)
  • Swelling in or around the dog’s mouth
  • Increased resistance to brushing

Know the Signs of Dental Diseases in Dogs

Stay vigilant for broken or discolorated teeth as well as if the teeth are turned. Too often, breeders, even vets, are looking at the signs that the pet is old. Unfortunately, all these signs of mouth cavities go wrong all too often. There are plenty of things that can happen in your dog’s mouth — but most of it can go unnoticed.

Keep an Eye on Their Oral Health

Taking care of your pet’s oral health is akin to taking care of your own. Here are some simple steps you can follow to ensure optimum health,

  • Pet owners should do annual oral examinations, dental x-rays and dental cleaning every year under general anesthesia.
  • Daily tooth brushing is the key to a healthy mouth. A pet toothpaste and pet toothbrush with a little bit of patience can help keep your pet healthy and happy.
  • Give your pet safe chew toys to keep its mouth in top form. It helps slow down the progression of periodontal disease. For example, give them hard and rubber toys or thin rawhide bones.
  • Feed your pet healthy foods suitable for his dietary needs. This includes food with additives to prevent plaque and dried food to scrub their teeth.

Conclusion

Veterinary dentistry is always available to help your dog with his periodontal disease. However, keep in mind that it is already advanced by the time you notice any signs of periodontal disease. So, the best treatment option is prevention.

vet examines dog teeth

Daily tooth brushing is much more than clean teeth. It is the difference between a bundle of joy and a sick dog. It is also worth providing them with lots of opportunities to chew. And always feed your dog a proper diet. Finally, be sure you see your doctor during the day for regular checks. If you suspect gum damage talk to a vet first – brushing is sometimes ineffective.

If your dog is showing signs of periodontal disease, contact a vet. They will examine the nature of the disease and suggest a treatment plan.

In Tucson, Santa Cruz Pet Clinic is a world-renowned and trusted veterinarian that you desire for keeping up with your pet’s vaccinations at the proper time to ensure its health. Contact us today to schedule your pet’s vaccinations and check-ups.

Common Chihuahua Health Issues

Brown Chihuahua

A small dog with a big personality – that’s a chihuahua. It is also the smallest of all 155 American Kennel Club (AKC) dog breeds weighing no more than 6 pounds. A national symbol of Mexico, these amusing “toy dogs” stand among the oldest breeds of the Americas, with a lineage going back to the ancient kingdoms of the pre-Columbian era. Furthermore, chihuahuas also get along well with the family and make for an excellent apartment dog.

Chihuahuas are generally healthy amongst other breeds of this size. They also outlive most canines, big and small. However, it can also be plagued with health concerns. This article takes you through the common health issues a chihuahua may face, symptoms, and life expectancy of this breed.

Keep in mind that your chihuahua is not likely to face any of these illnesses, but it pays to be aware of them.

Do Chihuahuas Have a Lot of Health Problems?

Chihuahuas are generally a healthy breed and can outlive most dogs. They are one of the rare breeds that have the longest lifespan averaging at 20 years.

However, their small size attributes to a lot of health problems. Furthermore, they are prone to breed-specific health issues. Despite that, they are resilient when it comes to illnesses.

Common Chihuahua Health Problems

Chihuahua with Mask

Most of the health issues of a chihuahua are genetic and related to the particular breed. And as such, they have quite a few illnesses, but not all are life-threatening. And it doesn’t mean that all chihuahuas get them. Your pet may be more at risk for the below-mentioned diseases. Here are the common health problems chihuahuas are predisposed to:

Spinal Injuries

Injuries are the leading cause of health issues among small dogs, particularly chihuahuas. Chihuahua likes to follow their owner around and often shadow around. Due to their fragile nature, even minor accidents can cause serious injury.

Spinal injuries occur with dogs that play with larger dogs. An acute spinal injury causes nerve damage leading to paralysis. It may also cause spinal disc damage, which puts your chihuahua in pain and lots of it.

The latter is also called Intervertebral disc disease or IVDD. In serious cases, your pet may become paralyzed or lose motor functions in certain parts of the body. Call your vet if he is

  • Unwilling to jump
  • Cries for no reason
  • He lowers his head when you pick him up

He may be in severe pain. Depending on the severity, your vet may suggest surgery.

Canine Distemper

Chihuahuas are very susceptible to viral illnesses such as distemper. Unfortunately, it is rather contagious and transmitted between canines through the air. Also, it doesn’t have any cure either. Hence it is all the more important to get your pet vaccinated. The common signs of canine distemper include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Heavy Breathing
  • Temperature

At the onset of symptoms, you need to contact your vet right away. However, do not take your chihuahua to the vet without an appointment. Your vet will notify you after making arrangements such that other dogs do not get infected.

Patellar Luxation

As the name indicates, patellar luxation is the dislocation of the kneecap. It is a common hereditary condition among chihuahuas. There are different levels of dislocation depending on where the patella resides.

Patella consists of three parts: thigh bone, calf, and kneecap. For a dog with this condition, the kneecap dislocates quite often. The symptoms of luxation include:

  • Varying pain degrees
  • Abnormal gait
  • Lameness
  • Immobility (in worst cases)

If it’s one leg, your dog can pop it back into place by kicking his leg sideways. Depending on the severity, the treatment varies. In manageable cases, physical therapy can adjust his gait. For severe cases, corrective surgery is the only option. Whatever it is, they can lead a normal life.

Tracheal Collapse

Collapsed trachea is one of the common conditions seen in “toy dogs” like the chihuahua. The trachea is made of rings of cartilage. This structure provides strength and flexibility to the trachea. However, in chihuahuas, the cartilage is weak and prone to collapse when the dog inhales.

This condition also leads to a narrow windpipe. The symptoms include:

  • Goose-honk cough
  • Gagging
  • Difficulty breathing

As the condition worsens, the airways thin, making it difficult for your pet to breathe. In advanced cases, the lack of oxygen can affect other organs.

As for treatment, vets prescribe bronchodilator drugs for mild to moderate cases. As the severity increases, you may have to resort to surgery. To prevent collapse, it is recommended not to use collars for chihuahuas. Instead, go for harnesses to protect their fragile throat and airway.

Dental Disease

Chihuahua Dental Health

Dental disease affects more than 80% of chihuahuas before two years of age. Due to their small heads, they experience teeth overcrowding. It makes it easy for food to be trapped between the teeth resulting in plaque. If left untreated, results in gum disease, periodontitis, and premature tooth loss.

Besides that, chihuahuas also have weak teeth. Moreover, some are born with very little enamel. Hence prone to rot and cavities, not to mention bad breath.

Chihuahua can also retain their baby teeth well into adulthood. This condition is called deciduous canine teeth, where the adult teeth develop askew. Unless pet owners maintain dental hygiene, your dog could lose not only its teeth but also its life. In addition, dental issues often affect the joints, kidneys, liver, and heart.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar, is one of the most common health conditions seen in chihuahuas. A hypoglycemic attack can cause issues in the nervous system leading to seizures and sometimes coma.

Unfortunately, these attacks come without any warning. Sometimes your dog may show any of the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Tremors
  • Weakness
  • Restlessness

Even a mild case can escalate quite fast, resulting in permanent brain damage. Hence it is advised to take quick action since this is a medical emergency. Therefore, the best treatment for Hypoglycemia is to take necessary precautions and avoid it at all costs.

Shivering

While shivering isn’t a medical issue, most dog owners are worried when they see their pet shiver. However, shivering is pretty common among chihuahuas. The reason being, this dog breed doesn’t have much fat under its skin.

Furthermore, chihuahuas tend to have a hyperactive metabolism. As a result, they are losing their body heat all the time. Hence they tend to shiver much more than other dog breeds. However, it may also be a sign of a more severe problem. While this is not a concern, you may want to contact your vet if you notice something abnormal.

Heart Disease

Heart diseases are the leading cause of death in chihuahua. The common heart defect is the weakening of heart valves such that it no longer closes tight. This results in the book leaking through the valves, causing a heart murmur. However, if detected early, it can be brought under control with the help of drugs.

Apart from that, they are also susceptible to “Patent Ductus Arteriosis.” In chihuahuas with PDA, the valve that carries blood to both the parts of the heart doesn’t close as it should. Hence excess blood is carried to the lungs resulting in fluid buildup and heart strain. The symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue during exercise
  • Weakness in hind limbs
  • Shortness of breath

Another heart condition often sees in small breeds such as chihuahua is a chronic valvular disease. In a dog with this condition, leaf-like valves grow thick and go out of shape. As a result, it doesn’t close well, causing reduced valve function and cardiac output.

The most obvious symptom is a loud heart murmur in the left side of the chest. This condition is degenerative and progressive. If not treated at the right time, it can advance into congestive heart failure.

Pulmonic Stenosis

Pulmonic stenosis is a congenital heart disease where the valve is malformed. This causes the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. As a result, sufficient blood doesn’t flow to the heart.

Depending on the intensity of the condition, the treatment varies. Mild cases require dietary changes, while advanced cases need heart surgery. Undiagnosed, pulmonic stenosis can be deadly since the heart can fail under stress. The symptoms include:

  • Fainting
  • Exercise intolerance
  • General fatigue

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common conditions seen in chihuahuas. It is often seen in larger breeds where the puppies grow rather fast into their bodies. In chihuahua, however, its fragile frame is a cause of dysplasia. Any injuries that happened in their youth manifest as hip dysplasia when they grow older.

This condition often presents as displacement between the hip joint and thigh bone. Depending on the severity, your dog may need no treatment or corrective surgery. The symptoms include:

  • Lameness
  • Abnormal gait
  • Varying degrees of pain
  • Difficulty walking

Hydrocephalus

Chihuahuas have a soft spot on the top of their head called a molera. While this is a characteristic of chihuahuas, a large molera is cause for concern. This condition is called hydrocephalus. It happens when the cerebrospinal fluid accumulates around the brain.

Hydrocephalus is seen in chihuahua puppies nine months of age or younger. The signs of hydrocephalus include:

  • Swollen head
  • Listlessness
  • Lethargy
  • Grogginess
  • Deficient coordination

Dogs affected by hydrocephalus can have:

  • Partial or full blindness
  • Dementia
  • Seizures(in worst cases)
  • Death

Chihuahuas with mild hydrocephalus can live into adulthood and lead a normal life.

Obesity

According to the “American Kennel Club,” a chihuahua should weigh no more than 6 pounds. Unfortunately, obesity is a critical health issue among dogs of all breeds. It leads to many illnesses, including heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and back pain. Apart from that, obesity can worsen joint problems and metabolic and digestive disorders.

The primary reason for obesity is the doggie treats and leftover food. While it is difficult to refuse a treat, they are better off with a walk or a game. Not only is it safer, but you’d also get to spend some quality time with your dog.

Eye Problems

Chihuahuas develop a host of eye problems, of which some are inherited. If not treated right away, they can lead to blindness and can be much painful.

Glaucoma, an eye disease found in humans, can also affect your dog’s eyes. It is a painful eye condition that leads to blindness if not treated at the right time. The symptoms include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Redness
  • Bluing of the cornea
  • Squinting
  • Enlarges and swollen eyes (advanced condition)

Another eye condition often seen in chihuahuas is dry eye. A chihuahua with a dry eye has reduced secretion by tear glands hence cannot keep the eye moist. This leads to itchy eyes and infections. The symptoms include:

  • Dull and dry eyes
  • Thick discharge
  • Squinting
  • Pawing at the eyes

While this is a painful eye disease, it is also treatable. Your vet will prescribe an ointment which you would have to apply for the rest of your dog’s life.

Senior chihuahuas are also affected by cataracts, a common cause of blindness. A chihuahua with this condition will have an opaque and cloudy lens instead of a clear lens. Surgery can remove the cataract and restore his eyesight. However, few pets may learn to live with the blindness and adjust to the new normal.

Liver Problems

Chihuahuas are prone to liver problems, in particular the Portosystemic Shunt. In this condition, a part of the blood supply to the liver goes around it. This deprives the liver of the much-needed blood necessary to grow and function properly.

A dog with a portosystemic shunt loses the ability to remove toxins from its body. You’ll see symptoms such as:

  • Stunted growth
  • Seizures

Treatment ranges from medication and a special diet to surgery in advanced cases.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stone is common in older chihuahuas, especially males. It is a small stone-like formation made of calcium in the kidney and bladder. Over time they can cause a lot of pain to your dog. The symptoms include:

  • Bloody urine
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Intense pain

Generally, the stones can pass out on their own. However, if your chihuahua has too much difficulty when trying to urinate, you may want to consult with your vet. In rare cases, the stones cause blockages resulting in medical emergencies.

How to Keep Your Chihuahua Healthy

Small Dog Hooked Up to Vitals Monitor

While they are at risk for the above conditions, chihuahuas are generally healthy. As long as you treat them at the right time, they can live a long and full life. In order to have a thriving dog, you need to ensure a healthy lifestyle for your chihuahua. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your chihuahua is healthy.

Give Him the Right Food

Chihuahuas are tiny dogs with a playful nature. To keep up the energy, you need to feed them with high-quality food. Any dry food with 30% protein and low in salt is perfect for them. However, you may have to feed them in small quantities multiple times a day. This is because their digestive system cannot handle a lot of food in one sitting.

Chihuahuas also have the tendency to become obese, so avoid overfeeding them. Consult with your vet and decide on a diet regimen based on his activity level. You should also avoid human food, especially coffee, chocolate, onions, and garlic.

Groom Your Chihuahua

Chihuahua is of two types: the long-haired and smooth coat. The grooming needs also vary depending on the coat. The former requires frequent grooming three times a week with a pin brush. This gets rid of the loose hair. For a smooth coat, weekly grooming with a soft-stiffened brush is sufficient.

Ensure that you clean the ears, trim the nails, and brush his teeth. Moreover, bathe him with a dog-safe shampoo every two months. Use lukewarm water for bathing him and drying him with a towel soon after.

Chihuahua is prone to a lot of dental problems. Ensure that you brush him right from the puppy stage so that he is not averse to brushing.

Ensure Regular Preventative Care

The first step of preventative care lies with you. Check its body for any abnormalities during grooming. Contact your vet if you see any swelling, redness, or swelling. Besides that, ensure that your chihuahua is vaccinated with the recommended vaccines.

Annual visits are crucial for chihuahuas. Even if they are healthy, the vet will log his height and weight to log the aging process. In addition, your vet can catch many of the illnesses mentioned above early on during the annual visits.

Excercise Your Chihuahua Daily

For such a tiny animal, your obedience training class is blessed with abundant energy. It has enough energy to run and play the whole day without getting tired. Due to their nature, they can take short walks but not strenuous exercises. For example, a walk around the block is too hard for them.

All pets require training and your chihuahua is not an exception. However, they are challenging to train. You’ll need a regular and consistent training schedule if you are to train him. Having said that, the chihuahua is also a fast-learning dog. Enroll him in a puppy kindergarten class or an obedience training class for training.

How Do I Know if My Chihuahua Is Healthy?

In addition to the annual visits to the vet, here are some indicators of a healthy dog.

  • Shiny coat: A healthy dog will have a shiny coat due to the natural oils. Licking, scratching, or chewing could be signs of skin allergies and inflammation.
  • Fresh breath: A clean-smelling breath is the sign of the absence of tartar buildup.
  • Consistent weight: Obesity is the leading cause of health concerns in chihuahuas. In the same line, your pet should also not lose weight, as it can be a sign of an illness.
  • Regular bowel and bladder movements: Changes in the bowel and bladder movements can indicate health issues.
  • Alert: Chihuahua is generally quite active. If your dog has any sudden changes like sleeping more or disengaged, it may also indicate a health issue.
  • Clean ears: Your dog’s ears should be devoid of wax buildup, discharge, or smell.

What Is the Life Span of a Chihuahua?

Much like the other toy breeds, chihuahua may look small and frail. However, they are spirited and feisty, to say the least. The life span of a chihuahua is between 15 – 20 years, much more than the average life expectancy of dogs. Generally, small breeds have a longer life span than larger dogs. It also helps that chihuahuas are quite healthy compared to other breeds.

What Do Chihuahuas Usually Die From?

Chihuahua Life Span

The leading cause of death in chihuahuas is cardiovascular disease. 18.5% of the little dogs died due to heart disease. It is most common among adult dogs over the age of 14.

Apart from that, trauma and infection are also the cause of deaths amongst chihuahuas. 16.8% died due to trauma, and 10.5% due to infection. Being small breed dogs, they are susceptible to trauma, including accidents and falls.

Conclusion

Chihuahuas have a long life span of almost 20 years. They are sassy, loving, and feisty. For a generally healthy dog, chihuahuas are plagued with several health problems. On a positive note, most of them are manageable as long as you treat them early. The older a chihuahua, the more illnesses it will face.

As long as you can ensure a healthy lifestyle, your dog is less at risk of the aforementioned conditions. Be informed, be aware, and be diligent; and you can mitigate any risk to the health of your furry friend.

In Tucson, Santa Cruz Pet Clinic is a world-renowned and trusted veterinarian that you desire for keeping up with your pet’s vaccinations at the proper time to ensure its health. Contact us today to schedule your pet’s vaccinations and check-ups.

Dealing with Greyhound Separation Anxiety

Greyhound Separation Anxiety. Photo of an elegant greyhound with a collarGreyhound Separation Anxiety

Greyhounds are one of the oldest breeds of dogs whose roots can be traced 8,000 years back. They are gentle and sweet-natured companions with an independent streak. First bred as a hunting dog, the greyhound is bred for racing in more recent times.

Being a racing dog, your greyhound has lived its life in the presence of other greyhounds. First with siblings and then in the presence of other racing dogs. When they are adopted into your home, it may be the first time they are alone. They do not take it well and can become distressed and also panic when left alone. This separation anxiety is dangerous for greyhounds. They can injure themselves in the process.

Our article takes you through everything you need to deal with concerning anxiety in your greyhound.

Greyhound Separation Anxiety

Greyhound separation anxiety is a common behavioral problem in a retired racing greyhound. A greyhound is a sensitive dog and can get attached to the pack or its family. Unfortunately, some can display anxiety, especially when you(family) leave or return home. Sometimes, it is caused by the owners when they fuss over the dog when leaving or returning. Dogs pick on the cues and start getting anxious when the pack leaves or returns home.

Crate training is a great way to teach your puppy to settle down and self-soothe itself in the crate.

Do All Greyhounds Have Separation Anxiety?

Greyhounds do not prefer being alone and hence can have separation distress. From the time they are born, they have company most of the time. First with their siblings and then with other greyhounds. So, being alone can be daunting for them. Your greyhound may need time and patience to assimilate to the current situation. Adopting or fostering another greyhound can help him to a great extent with the anxiety.

How Long Does it Take for a Greyhound to Settle?

Most greyhounds do not trust their new owner right away. And you may not see its personality for another few days. It can take anywhere between 3-5 days to get comfortable. However, the transition period is 4-6 weeks, by which time your new greyhound will adjust to its new life.

Keep in mind; the training starts as soon as you adopt your dog.

Where Should a Greyhound with Separation Anxiety Sleep?

Greyhounds with separation anxiety enjoy sleeping closer to you but not in the same bed. Prepare a comfy bed adjacent to yours and close the door. Do not allow them to roam at night. They are used to small places and can help your greyhound feel secure in them. However, avoid crates at night.

How Do I Stop My Greyhound from Having Separation Anxiety at Night?

Separation anxiety is one of the common behavioral problems in retired racing greyhounds. They generally sleep with their pack. Now that they are with you, you become their pack. And hence prefer to sleep with you at night. When that’s not possible, they have anxiety even when you are at home. They feel removed from the pack and become insecure.

Apart from that, the anxiety may also be due to underlying medical issues. For example, arthritis, noise phobia, and failing senses like sight and hearing can stress your dog causing anxiety.

As pet owners, you can follow the routines below to prevent separation anxiety at night.

  • Allow them to sleep in the same room as you. However, rather than being in bed, place a dog bed closer to yours.
  • Calming dog beds do wonders to provide a comfy sleeping spot for your greyhound. In addition, their donut shape provides safety and comfort to your greyhound.
  • Using diluted oils can help the dogs to calm down and help them to go to sleep. For example, vetiver Lavender, Rose Hydrosol, and Violet Leaf help with separation anxiety.
  • A bedtime treat can help an anxious dog wind down and get ready for bed. When making this, a regular habit can signify bedtime.
  • Music can have a calming effect, like with humans. Classic and reggae music can help calm your greyhound, while white noise helps with noise phobia.
  • A soft and cuddly toy can comfort them through their nighttime anxiety.
  • A tired dog can fall asleep quite fast and in a deep sleep. Increasing the amount of exercise can calm the nervous energy at bedtime.

Do Greyhounds Mind Being Left Alone?

Your greyhound can do well when you are away at work. However, you cannot leave it alone for long periods. Therefore, you may want to hire a dog walker for your pet, at least in the beginning.

How Long Can a Greyhound Be Left Alone?

Greyhounds can handle being left alone much better than other dogs. The recommended time away from your dog is 6-8 hours and not more than that. Beyond this, your greyhound can become bored and lonely, leading to separation anxiety. Dogs with extreme separation anxiety may indulge in destructive behaviors. Chewing, digging, and excessive barking are not uncommon. Few may also urinate within the living quarters.

Do Greyhounds Have Anxiety?

Anxiety is widespread among greyhounds, both racing and retired. As a result, almost 60% of the dogs have been returned to the shelters with issues related to the same. They also account for 90% of the referrals to veterinary behaviorists.

How Do You Deal with Greyhound Separation Anxiety?

Understanding anxiety is the key to dealing with an anxious greyhound. Above all, you need to recognize the signs of an anxiety attack and remove them from the situation. Unfortunately, the most common reaction to the triggers is to freeze with a glazed look.

Instead of ignoring your dog’s fears, acknowledge them and stay calm and collected. It shows your dog that there’s nothing to be scared of. And, do not force it into scary situations. This tends to make the situation worse and can escalate into aggression.

Start with controlled exposure to a wide variety of low, threatening sounds and experiences that can help your dog. However, this has to take place when it is calm and not in stress.

What Helps an Anxious Greyhound?

As a rehomer, you need to understand anxiety and its consequences in everyday life. Hence, a behavioral assessment is vital for a greyhound adoption program. This is to ensure that you are aware of the temperament of the greyhound and its limitations.

To start with, ease your greyhound to new surroundings with controlled exposure and not in an off-leash park. Painful conditions and illnesses also contribute to anxiety. Hence, take your greyhound to a veterinarian for an assessment. It can be anything from dental pain to spinal pain and even arthritic conditions.

How Do You Calm an Anxious Dog?

Learn the signs of anxiety and its triggers can go a long way in helping your greyhound. But, first, remove them from circumstances that cause fear.

Here are a few other things you can do to calm your greyhound.

  • Use exercise as a bonding session with plenty of physical contact. Also keep talking to them. Anxiety can create excessive energy in your greyhound. Taking your dog for long walks or out for playing can tire him out.
  • Much like human beings, a soothing massage can help them calm down and relax. Keep one hand on him at all times while you massage with the other.
  • Isolate your dog in a calm and quiet place, if possible in his crate. You can also play some music with low lights and aromatherapy.
  • Spray “Rescue Remedy” on to soothe your dog. It’s a combination of scents that relieves stress and creates a calm environment for pets.
  • An anxious dog can benefit from a calming coat to a large extent. It gives a constant soothing pressure on the torso, which can help calm the dog.
  • Above all, your physical touch can go a long way in calming your dog when acting stressed.

Why Is Anxiety Common in Greyhounds?

Understanding greyhound separation anxiety helps you go a long way to understand your dog better. You can also handle the animal better during nerve-racking situations.

Early conditioning, socialization, and acclimatization are vital for normal social development. They also need to be exposed to new and distinct things in the first year of a dog’s life. But in the case of a greyhound, it is raised in paddocks with minimal human intervention for 12-15 months. They are also devoid of everyday household sounds and sights that other dogs take for granted in this period. Furthermore, they do not experience any human touch. This makes the transition quite difficult for the dog.

When retired, they are thrust into a domestic environment and lose their structure. On top of that, rehoming is quite tricky and stressful for any dog. This can manifest as fear and anxiety. Post-traumatic stress can result in extreme fear may also result in anxiety in a greyhound.

On a final note, the genes also decide how much anxiety a greyhound has. Diseases and anxiety are inherited and can be passed down through parents or their pups. However, when seeking speed and strength, these tend to be overlooked.

How to Recognize Greyhound Separation Anxiety

Anxiety is the constant anticipation of fear which may or may not be real. The dog will be in a constant state of turmoil. This can be exhausting and affect the judgment over time. Unless they are terrified, your greyhound can exhibit subtle signs of anxiety. However, being undetectable they are often ignored.

Here are a few signs that a greyhound may exhibit in times of anxiety:

  • Greyhound Separation Anxiety - Anxious Puppy Hiding Under BlanketLicking lips (anxious dogs have a pink-stained muzzle)
  • Whining
  • Fight or flight response
  • Yawning
  • Freezing or shutting down
  • Hiding
  • Hypervigilance
  • “Velcro dog” behavior where the dog follows you everywhere
  • Tail tucked low and tight
  • Destructive behavior
  • Restlessness
  • Growling and biting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Chronic diarrhea

How Do You Treat Anxiety in a Retired Racing Greyhound?

Unlike other dogs, greyhounds have an unusual upbringing. They stay with their littermates for a good portion of their first year. Then, at one year of age, they go for training. By 15 months of age, they move to a race track. When in training or a racing kennel, these dogs are surrounded by other greyhounds.

Once they retire, for the first time in their lives, they are alone. So, it makes perfect sense to have behavior problems and anxiety. However, with careful handling and training, you can treat the anxiety.

  • Crates: Your greyhound has been in a crate for the better part of its life. Crates can protect your dog and your home from him. In the same way, place your dog in his crate 15 minutes before you leave home. It helps him to settle in.
  • Reward calm behavior: Wait until your greyhound is calm and collected before you let him out. Do not let your arrival home be the most exciting part of the day for him. Do not talk or pet or cuddle him when he is anxious.
  • Treat dispensing toys: Make his mealtimes more interesting by including food puzzles. This way, he can have a positive experience even you are not home.
  • Kong toy: Frozen kong toy filled with peanut butter can keep the dog busy. You can also replace it with bully sticks, chew toys, or bones that can keep him busy. However, you may want to adjust his meal timings and amount.
  • Watch your tone: The high-pitched squealing tone of your voice when you come home creates excitement.
  • Supplements: Dog treats packed with supplements can help manage anxiety.
  • Medical intervention: Medication can help your greyhound to relax. He can gain control of himself and also unwind when alone.

Crate Training for a Greyhound

Greyhounds are used to living in crates with other dogs. As a result, they find crates safe and secure. On the other hand, the regular sounds and smells of your home are rather new and stressful. They may find a crate safe and secure. In addition, frequent use of a crate can help the transition easier for a new dog.

To start with, introduce him to the crate in short periods. And then, as the days go by, increase the time he spends in it. Let it be his personal space. Ensure that you feed him in his crate. Let the dog stay in the crate when he is excited. Do not let him out when he is making noise.

However, for many dogs, particularly those with anxiety, being in and out of a crate can be stressful. As a result, they may try to push or chew their way out of the crate. In this case, a large wire crate can keep your new greyhound safe unsupervised. It should be big enough to allow him to stand upright, turn around, and lay down in a comfortable manner.

Should Greyhounds Sleep in a Crate?

Yes! Greyhounds can sleep in a crate at night as long as he is crate trained. Moreover, he should have enough out-of-crate time during the time. Do not forget a potty break before they go to sleep. Many greyhounds prefer to sleep in one, enjoying the safety it provides.

How Long Should I Crate My Dog?

As a general rule, do not confine your greyhound in its crate for more than 8 hours. If you are crating it for more than 8 hours, you need to have a dog walker come in to walk him. Older dogs and puppies need more frequent breaks. In case you are crating him at night, ensure that they have enough time outside the crate. You can consider a doggy daycare or a pet sitter as an alternative.

You can leave a crate-trained dog with the door open so that he can come and go as he likes. This allows him to be comfortable in his den-like environment.

Conclusion

Female Owner Calming Greyhound. Greyhound Separation Anxiety. Owner giving loveIt is natural for you to ensure that your greyhound has a wonderful place to live with enough toys and great food. However, it is not enough for your dog. Greyhounds, in particular, need direction and boundaries. This will give the dog a sense of security in his new environment.

Most dogs experience some kind of anxiety at some point in their lifetime. Being aware of the anxiety-inducing situation can help you better handle your greyhound. Exercise, soothing music, and a full belly can help a greyhound with its anxiety.

Crate training can also help your dog with its anxiety since it mimics a den-like environment. For a crate-trained dog, it is a safe and secure place where he likes spending time. In fact, many dogs prefer sleeping in crates at night where they can enjoy relative safety.

Dog Health Issues by Breed

Dog Health Issues by Breed - Dog Wearing MaskAccording to the American Pet Products Association research, Americans spent about $31.4 billion in vet care for their beloved pets.

Watching your pet struggle is one of the most painful experiences a pet owner could go through. Yet, despite all your tender care, there’s nothing you can do, and health issues can plague its short life.

While purebred dogs are attractive for their traits, the selective breeding process is also the reason for many inherited diseases. Our article takes you through the various dog health issues you may face depending on the breed, their health concerns, and much more.

Why Do Certain Dog Breeds Have Health Problems?

Genetics is the most important cause of dog health problems in purebreds. The reason being the centuries of selective breeding. Due to this, these breeds have more genetic disorders and diseases compared to the others.

Apart from genetic issues, there may be health issues due to the dog’s size. For example, Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds are prone to hip dysplasia due to their large size. On the other hand, smaller breeds like chihuahua are at a greater risk for injury due to falls.

Common Health Conditions in Dogs

Like humans, pets are also susceptible to sickness, few more than others. Keeping your dog healthy and routine wellness visits can minimize such occurrences and help you discover them at an early stage.

Here are some of the common health issues found in dogs:

  • Cancer – Dogs develop cancers such as melanoma, lymphoma, prostate cancer, breast cancer, to name a few, in their old age.
  • Vomiting – While vomiting is not always serious, it can also be a sign of gastrointestinal (GI) blockage, toxicity, and many other serious diseases.
  • Diarrhea – Diarrhea in itself isn’t an emergency but visit a vet if it is accompanied by vomiting and lethargy.
  • Arthritis – Arthritis is prevalent among older dogs. It is very difficult to spot an animal with arthritis since it would rather not show discomfort.
  • Urinary Tract Infections – Dogs, especially puppies, can get urinary tract infections. The signs of the disease include frequent urination, inappropriate urination, bloody urine, increased thirst, lethargy, etc.
  • Parasites – Parasites may be internal like heartworms (grows inside of heart and lungs) and external like flea or tick (causes paralysis, blood poisoning, or even death).
  • Kennel Cough – Kennel cough is a common and harmless condition; all your dog needs are just some good food and rest.
  • Ear Infections – Quite common among dogs, ear infections are caused by dirt, dust, or grass seeds getting lodged in the ears.
  • Skin Allergies – Dogs experience a variety of skin issues characterized by red, inflamed, and scaly skin.
  • Dental Disease – Dental disease is a serious yet often overlooked condition in pets since it does cause not only damage to the teeth and gums but also heart disease and failure.

Healthiest Dog Breed

Belgian Malinois is one of the healthiest breeds with endurance and strong athleticism. They are high-energy working dogs that are pretty intense and are not a choice for people with no experience. Furthermore, they are guard dogs as well.

They are nearly always free of liver or kidney disorders and rarely have heart issues.

Longest Living Dog Breeds

Dogs age differently than humans and have a pretty short life expectancy of 8–15 years. However, depending on the quality of care, few breeds can live well above the predicted life expectancy.

Here are some of the breeds that have the longest life span:

  • Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler)
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Maltese
  • Beagle
  • Shih Tzu
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Cockapoo
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Toy Poodle
  • Chihuahua
  • New Guinea Singing Dog

An Australian Cattle Dog named “Bluey” is the oldest recorded dog in history, having lived to 29 years and 5 months.

Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds

Dachshund - Low-Maintenance Dog BreedDachshund makes for excellent companions due to their affectionate nature. Unfortunately, they also have short legs and can only take short walks.

Though they are stars of the racetrack, Greyhounds are some of the lowest maintenance pets out there. They have low grooming needs and do not need much exercise either.

Other low-maintenance dog breeds include pug, chihuahua, Yorkshire terrier, to name a few.

Dog Breeds with Most Health Problems

While no breeds are 100% healthy, certain breeds tend to have more diseases than others. Here are some of the most unhealthy dogs:

  • Shar Pei
  • Rottweiler
  • Weimaraner
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • German Shepherd
  • Bulldog
  • Golden Retriever
  • Chow Chow
  • Boxer
  • Great Dane
  • French Bulldog
  • Dobermann Pinscher
  • English Bull Terrier
  • Bernese Mountain Dog

Famous Dog Breeds and Their Health Issues

Due to selective breeding, some dogs are susceptible to diseases mostly inherited through the bloodline. Unfortunately, though sad, it is a reality most pet owners must face when they buy or adopt a dog.

Here are some of the dog health issues based on breed to help you make a well-informed decision.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniels have the highest number of health issues amongst all dogs. They are prone to a variety of orthopedic issues, epilepsy, heart and liver disease. Cocker spaniel is also at risk for eye disorders, namely cataracts and glaucoma. Its floppy ears are also the cause of ear infections.

Saint Bernard

Being a large breed dog, saint bernard suffers from bone cancer and cardiac disorders.

Siberian Husky

Siberian huskies are predisposed to a host of autoimmune ailments, most of which affect the skin, causing sores and hair loss, mainly on the face. One such condition leads to eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma.

Bulldog

Bulldogs suffer from respiratory problems. The results of smashed-in faces of the breed cause small nostrils, elongated soft palate, and a narrow trachea.

Pug

Pugs with their characteristic bulgy eyes and squashed faces are at peril for breathing problems and eye problems. In addition, the eyes can pop out of their socket in case of any accidents or fights. If the damage is severe, he may lose eyesight. But generally, they are a healthy breed with a long life.

Dog Health Issues - German Shepherd BreedGerman Shepherd

German shepherds are famous for being family dogs as well as guard dogs. Being a large breed, it is at risk of hip dysplasia which causes walking problems, pain, and arthritis. Another disease commonly found in german shepherds is degenerative myelopathy (DM), also known as chronic degenerative radiculomyelopathy (CDRM), an untreatable condition that results in progressive paralysis.

Labrador Retriever

Under-exercised labrador retriever is prone to weight gain much more than other dogs, which bring a host of other health problems. They are also genetically prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Other genetic diseases include eye issues such as progressive retinal atrophy.

Beagle

Beagles are more susceptible to epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes seizures. They will have their first seizure between 6 months to 3 years old.

Shih Tzu

Toy breeds like Shih Tzu tend to develop wobbly kneecaps or patellar luxation. The kneecap can pop out of place, causing the dog to limp, hop or skip a step. While it can easily pop back into place but severe cases may need surgery.

Boxer

The muscular breed is predisposed to heart conditions, thyroid problems, skin allergies, bloat, and elbow dysplasia. They have a higher chance of developing cancers, including mast cell tumors and lymphoma. If caught early, both these cancers are treatable.

Doberman Pinscher

Dilated cardiomyopathy is common among Doberman Pinschers, so much so that most owners do not know that their dogs have it until the dog collapses. While medications can regulate the heart rhythm, there is no cure.

Yorkshire Terrier

Small breeds like Yorkshire terrier are susceptible to Portosystemic shunt, a blood vessel birth defect. In addition, they are prone to digestive problems and hereditary liver defects portosystemic shunt. As with other toy breeds, tracheal collapse is also possible.

Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers tend to suffer from skin allergies caused by plants of pollen. Otherwise, they are also susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia.

Toy Poodle

Toy poodles are at the risk of developing bladder stones which can be dangerous if not treated at the right time.

Rottweiler

As with other large breeds, Rottweiler is at risk for developing joint issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia, osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD), a degenerative bone disease, and arthritis. They may also develop epilepsy.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature schnauzers are at a higher risk of developing diabetes than other dogs. Apart from that, they can also have epilepsy, pancreatitis, and portosystemic shunts (liver shunts).

Chihuahua

Chihuahuas have a life expectancy of 18 years; But being a toy breed, it has a collapsing trachea.

Dalmatian

The most common defect you’d see in a dalmatian is deafness. They also tend to develop kidney or bladder stones.

Great Dane

Otherwise called gentle giants, Great Danes are family dogs. They tend to develop gastric dilation and volvulus syndrome (GDV). Another health concern affecting the great Dane is hip dysplasia, commonly seen in large breeds.

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland sheepdogs are affected by a group of eye problems called collie eye anomaly, which affects the retina and optic nerve. On a lesser note, they are also prone to develop dermatomyositis or Sheltie Skin Syndrome.

Maltese

Though Maltese do not have many health problems, they are often plagued by little white shaker syndrome. It is an inflammation of the cerebellum which causes the shaking bad enough that the dog cannot walk. The condition is seen in dogs that have a white color coat.

French Bulldog

Much like the English bulldog, the French bulldog also develops respiratory problems known as brachycephalic airway syndrome. As a result, they tend to struggle to breathe when overheated.

Boston Terrier

Due to their protruding eyes, Boston terriers are susceptible to a variety of eye issues, particularly the cherry eye.

Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds have floppy ears and sad eyes. In addition, they can develop intervertebral disc disease, which can affect the spine, making it difficult to walk.

Irish Setter

Though Irish setters are hardy, they are also predisposed to hereditary diseases such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, bloat, epilepsy, and bone cancer.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Most dogs often develop heart problems in their old age. However, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel develops degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) quite early on.

Things Pet Owners Can Do to Minimize Suffering

Not only does poor health wreck havoc on your dog, but it also takes a toll on you too. Here’s what you can do to minimize the suffering:

  • Educate Yourself – Educate yourself about the health issues faced by your pup and the symptoms. Most of these, when caught early, can help avoid complications.
  • Non-traditional Treatments – Apart from the traditional methods, you can also look for nontraditional treatment options such as homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, supplements, etc. Another non-traditional treatment is stem-call therapy which introduces healthy new stem cells to the tissues.
  • Use a Reputable Breeder – Always buy your pup from a reputable breeder. In addition, they should have their dogs screened by reputed organizations such as American Kennel Club.
  • Good Health Is Better than Good Genetics – If you are the owner of such a breed, learn to spot the symptoms and adopt a healthy lifestyle. This helps your pet to live a pain-free life.

Is Breeding Harmful to Dogs?

Overbreeding a dog more than it could handle is terrible for the health of the mother as well as the pups. They also lead to overpopulation resulting in the euthanasia of unwanted animals.

On the other hand, inbreeding leads to life-threatening congenital disabilities like hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness, heart defects, skin problems, and epilepsy in purebred pets.

Common Health Problems Due to Breeding

Common Dog Health Problems Due to BreedingThe breeding process of purebred dogs causes a variety of health concerns that affect the body and behavior. For example, the flattened nose of a bulldog or a pug is caused by selective breeding, but these dogs have breathing problems, among others, due to their short nasal cavity.

Here are the consequences of breeding on dogs:

  • Hearing Loss
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • Cancer ( Leukemia and Brain Tumors)
  • Blood Disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Skin Problems

Conclusion

Do your research before purchasing your dog. Find out about the hereditary problems that may creep in later on.

Then find reputable breeders. Ask your friends, family, or local kennel clubs and rescue groups and weed out unscrupulous characters. Once you have decided on the breeder, ask for the health of the parents. And more importantly, get the pups screened for genetic issues. Do not purchase a puppy without the necessary documentation.

Your pet’s health is important. In Tucson, Santa Cruz Pet Clinic is a world-renowned and trusted veterinarian that you desire for getting your pet the proper vaccinations at the proper time. Contact us today to schedule your pet’s vaccinations and check-up.

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