15 June 2018
FRIDAY, June 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The scorching heat of summer poses dangers to people, but dogs also need protection from soaring temperatures, one veterinarian warns. Benjamin Brainard, director of clinical research at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine, offered the following tips to help pet owners keep their dogs cool when it heats up outside: Never leave dogs in the car. Never leave a dog unattended in a parked car on a hot day — even if the windows are down. “There is never a safe way to leave your animal in a car in the summer,” Brainard said in a university news release. “Even with the windows down, it still gets much hotter inside a vehicle than outside.” Always provide water and shelter. Dogs can get heat stroke just like people. Never leave a dog outside without access to fresh water or shelter. During very hot or humid weather, dogs should be brought indoors if possible. “Dogs don’t sweat. The only way for them to get rid of heat is evaporation through their tongue,” Brainard said. “The more humidity, the less effective that evaporation will be.” Avoid strenuous activity during peak sunlight hours. Dogs may not be able to run as far or as fast in hot, humid weather — even if they run consistently during the winter. “There are some dogs that will continue to push themselves no matter what they feel. If you throw a ball, they’ll continue to fetch it,” Brainard said. He noted that pet owners may have to set activity limits during the hottest part of the day to keep their dogs safe. Some dogs need more help than others. Hot weather can be more taxing for certain dog breeds, including pugs, bulldogs and other “flat-faced” dogs. Older and obese dogs may also be less tolerant of the heat and need to take breaks and drink water more often. Not all dogs can swim. “If you take your dog out on a boat or to the lake, be sure you know they can swim ahead of time,” Brainard said. Dogs heading out into deep water should wear a doggy lifejacket. Protect dogs against summer pests. Pets should be protected from fleas and ticks with the appropriate preventive treatments. Pet owners should keep in mind that the treatments made for dogs are harmful to cats until they are dry. It’s also important to be aware of snakes, which may be more active in the summer. Don’t forget the sunscreen. Certain dog breeds have sensitive skin that can be irritated by the sun’s UV rays. These pets may benefit from sunscreen that is safe for animals. Sunscreens formulated for people, including products that contain zinc, may be toxic to dogs. Consult a veterinarian. Pet owners who have concerns about their dog’s sun and heat exposure, ticks or fleas should talk to their animal’s vet. The ASPCA website also has a 24-hour poison control hotline and emergency medical guidelines. More information The ASPCA provides more safety tips to help pets stay cool in hot weather.
03 May 2018
THURSDAY, May 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — French Bulldogs can melt your heart with their wrinkled faces and big ears, but they come with a special set of health problems, a new report warns. The breed is becoming the most popular in the United Kingdom, so researchers at the Royal Veterinary College analyzed data from more than 2,200 French Bulldogs that received care at more than 300 veterinary clinics in 2013. The most common issues during that year were ear infections, diarrhea and conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye surface). Other troubles included breathing problems (nearly 13 percent of the dogs) and skin conditions, which may be due to their short muzzles and skin folds, respectively. The study was published May 2 in the journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology. “French Bulldogs are a relatively new arrival to the list of common U.K. breeds, so there is very little current research on them in the U.K.,” said study author Dr. Dan O’Neill, a senior lecturer at the college. “Our study … provides owners with information on the issues that they could expect and should look out for in French Bulldogs,” he added in a journal news release. “It may also help potential new owners to decide if a French Bulldog really is for them,” O’Neill suggested. “There is a worry that increased demand for the French Bulldog is damaging to these dogs’ welfare because of the health risks associated with their extreme physical features,” he explained. O’Neill added that one of the “interesting findings from our research is that male French Bulldogs appear to be less healthy than females. Males were more likely to get eight of the 26 most common health problems, while there were no issues that females were more likely to get than males.” More information The American Kennel Club has more on the French Bulldog.
06 February 2018
TUESDAY, Feb. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Most dogs are excited to hear the words “Want to go for a walk?” But one-third of pug dogs have an abnormal gait, and this may be a more serious health problem for this breed than previously thought, researchers say. The finding was based on survey responses from 550 owners of pugs registered with the Swedish Kennel Club. All dogs were 1, 5 or 8 years old. Through owners’ reports and videos of the dogs walking on a leash, the researchers found that 31 percent of the pugs had a gait abnormality or indications of one. The study authors described this as a high percentage. Abnormalities included lameness, poor coordination and weakness. Indirect signs of gait abnormality included a dog’s inability to jump and unusual wearing of the nails and the skin on their paws. Gait abnormalities were strongly associated with older age, and were also linked with breathing problems and excessive scratching around the neck, ears and head. Pugs with abnormal gait also were more likely to have incontinence, the findings showed. The researchers found no connection between weight and gait abnormalities in the pugs. The report was done by Cecilia Rohdin, of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, and Anicura Albano Animal Hospital in Danderyd, Sweden, and colleagues. It was published online Feb. 5 in the journal Vet Record. Noting that an abnormal gait was the most frequent reason cited for having to put a pug to sleep, the study authors said this “suggests gait abnormalities to be a more significant health problem than what previous published scientific literature has suggested.” The researchers noted that abnormal gait can be caused by orthopedic and neurological conditions, but did not try to determine the cause of each dog’s gait issues in the study. However, Rohdin and colleagues said in a journal news release that “the high prevalence of wearing of nails reported in the questionnaires, and the fact that lameness was not a common finding in the submitted videos, suggest that the majority of gait abnormalities in the pugs were indeed related to neurological rather than orthopedic disorders.” More information The American Kennel Club has more on pugs.