Sunday, October 26, 2008

Osteochondritis Dissecans: Dog Bones Disorder

In any joint in the body, two bones come together and movement is allowed between them, there is an exceptionally smooth area of cartilage covers in surface of each bone which acts as a cushion and protects the underlying bone. If anything disrupts this smooth cartilage surface, movement of the joint becomes painful, this is called Osteochondritis Dissecans. OCD usually affects shoulder, ankle, elbow and knee joints, and primarily seen in human, horse and dog. In dogs, OCD mainly strikes large dog breeds, and is fairly common in Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Saint Bernards. Not all big breeds are vulnerable: OCD is less likely to affect Doberman Pinschers, Collies, and Siberian Huskies.

This disorder seems to be spontaneous and not so easy to predict. OCD often cause of rapid bone developments and usually found in puppies between ages four to eight months of age. OCD also ocassionally found in older dogs and small dog breeds, and the male dogs are more often affected almost five times than female dogs. OCD can be heriditary from any or both parents who had the condition. Other common cause of OCD are; too much stress on dogs young bones also, restricted blood flow to the cartilage, overweight problems, trauma, developed cracks on growing bones and weight bearing bones, or poor diet and nutrition. Proper petsafe is needed to ensure good health and wellness of dogs.

Every time this dog would move the joint or bear weight on it, the flap would irritate the underlying tissue and create pain and discomfort. That's why a dog limps with this condition. Injury to the surface cartilage may lead to the separation of the cartilage from the bone or cause a decrease in blood supply that leads to cartilage flap formation. Common signs of OCD are; limping dog leg, favoring one paw or leg while walking or even when lying down, swelling at the shoulder or, more rarely, the elbows and knees, pain and discomfort when trying to extend a swollen joint.

Osteochondritis Dissecans can be treated, one treatment method called "conservative treatment" requires the dog to be confined to pens or dog crates for number of weeks where activity and jumping will be kept to a minimum. After four to ten weeks of confinement there is about a sixty percent chance that the cartilage defect on the humeral head will heal and the dog will return to normal activity. The most direct approach and the one that returns the pup to normal activity the soonest is the surgical approach. In surgery the veterinarian makes an incision over the shoulder and accesses the shoulder joint. Opening the joint space the surgeon inspects for any loose cartilage pieces and rotates the humerus to expose the back side of the head of the humerus where the defect comes into view. For growing puppies, it has been recommended that animals that are susceptible to the disease be fed a diet that is lower in protein and fat, or that they are fed in a limited manner to allow steady even growth during the first year of life. This theory may have merits, but more specific studies need to be done before any general recommendations can be made. Some people believe that an overweight growing dog will be more likely to develop OCD, but there isn't much evidence yet. Protect a young pup's limbs from unnecessary physical impact, such as repeated jumps off a deck or out of a car. Proper diet certainly play a role, choose healthy, natural and balanced puppy diet that promote healthy bone growth and may reduce your dog's odds of getting OCD.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Patellar Luxation - Kneecap Disease on Dogs

Patellar Luxation - Kneecap Disease on Dogs

Patellar luxation is usually a congenital condition in which the kneecap, or patella, dislocates outside of its normal trochlear groove. The dislocation clinically referred to as luxation, can occur on either the medial, or inside surface, or the lateral, or outside surface, of the knee. There are varying degrees of patellar luxation that are graded depending on whether the patella is intermittently or constantly luxated. This abnormal displacement of the kneecap results in pain, cartilage damage, and arthritis. There are varying degrees of severity of this disease, and surgery may be needed. This condition is common occurs on cats, dogs and humans. On dogs, this condition typically affects small and miniature breeds such as the poodle, Pomeranian, Chihuahua, Schipperke, Bichon Frise, and pug so they need proper petsafe. It is also seen in the cocker spaniel, golden retriever, Labrador retriever, and mixed breeds. On the rare occasions, this condition on larger dog breeds, the kneecap is as likely to move to the outside (lateral) side of the legs as to the inside.

Clinical signs of medial patellar luxation are lameness that is often intermittent, and may be unilateral or bilateral; thick, swollen stifles; pain on range-of-motion; crepitus; palpable luxation; inability to jump or walk normally; medial displacement of quadriceps muscle group; lateral bowing of the distal third of the femur. Common symptoms are intermittent or consistent lameness; bowlegged stance; reluctance to walk or jump; occasionally holding a rear leg out to the side when walking.

Medial patellar luxation, or MPL, is a very common disease of small or toy and miniature breeds in which the kneecap occasionally rides on the inside of its normal groove. Primarily congenital, although occasionally acquired through trauma, MPL causes lameness in one or both rear limbs. The degree of lameness is determined by the severity and duration of the disease, as well as the extent of existing arthritis. Patellar luxation is graded on a scale from I to IV, with IV being the most severe. The disease can progress from the less severe to more severe grades over time. The more severe forms are often accompanied by malformation of the femur and tibia, as well as varying amounts of arthritis and requiring enough rest on dog crates.

Some veterinarians and medical experts can identify dogs with this condition as early as eight weeks of age. They explain that the problem is a genetic defect so they are not advisable to be bred. On treating this condition, when the problem occurs only due to my manipulation or only occasionally on its own, no surgery is necessary and no medicines need to be administered. When the knee locks up frequently or the dog exhibits pain it its knee surgery is required. There are a number of surgical techniques that attempt to fix this problem. Some veterinarians relocate the patellar ligament and a small portion of bone (the tibial tuberosity) where it attaches to the tibia or shinbone. Others remove a portion of the medial patellar ligament and reinforce the lateral patellar ligament with suture. Often, the groove in which the patella rides is deepened. Because it is impossible to cleans and maintain an animal as aseptically as a human being, the vet begin all orthopedic cases on a broad-spectrum antibiotic several days prior to surgery. They continue this medicine for a week following the surgery. The affected leg or legs are bandaged for three days following the surgery and the pet is limited to short leashed walks for an additional two weeks. Because the surgery is relatively straight forward, few post surgical complications occur. Vet will try to do both legs at the same time even if the current problem is confined to a single leg. This is because left unattended, problems with the lesser-affected knee or sub clinical problems will lead to arthritis of that knee.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

About Beauceron

About Beauceron

The Beauceron, well-known as Berger de Beauce, Bas Rouge or French Shorthaired Shepherd, or simply a herding dog breed from plains region in La Beauce, Paris France. La Beauce is generally acknowledged as the cradle of the breed. The Beauceron was used as a livestock herding and guarding dog extensively on farms in France. Most often with sheep, but were also used with cattle. Their ability to follow commands without hesitation was well utilized during both wars in Europe, where the military used them on the front lines to run messages. Beaucerons were also used to pick up trails, detect mines and support commando activity. In recent years the breed has been used as police and military dogs.

This breed stands 61 to 70 cm (24 to 27.5 inches) in height and weighs 30 to 38.5 kg (66 to 85 pounds). Its standard colouring is black and tan as well as black, tan and grey (harlequin). Other colours, such as the once prevalent tawny, grey or grey/black, are now banned by the breed standard. The coat is short, close and smooth except on legs, tail and flanks, where there is a slight fringe. The Beauceron is an old and distinct French breed of herding dog, developed solely in France with no foreign crosses. Dogs were bred and selected for their aptitude to herd and guard large flocks of sheep as well as for their structure and endurance. Beaucerons were used to move herds of 200 to 300 head traveling up to 50 miles per day without showing signs of exhaustion. The ideal Beauceron is a well balanced, solid dog of good height and well muscled without heaviness or coarseness. The whole conformation gives the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness, exhibiting the strength, endurance and agility required of the herding dog. He is alert and energetic with a noble carriage.
Despite their foreboding appearance, Beaucerons are tolerant by nature and do well in family situations. The breed will usually not tolerate harsh physical treatment from adults. They are gentle with children and older people, and this is especially true of dogs that have grown up with children. Beaucerons are sociable with other dogs they know, but are territorial and will often not tolerate an intruder. They get along well with cats if introduced at an early age. Being herding dogs, they instinctively try to herd livestock. The Beauceron is still used extensively for herding and protecting sheep and cattle. The high drive, high performance attitude of this breed serves many ranchers well with their seemingly endless energy. Many police forces throughout the world are now relying more on their canine units, and many of these previously used breeds in police K-9 work. They are used in apprehension of criminals (tracking and bite work), personal protection, narcotics detection, riot control, search and rescue, body recovery, prison security and secured escort. France's military forces still train Beauceron as do some other countries, whose K-9 trainers have been impressed with the breed.

The Beauceron is generally a healthy, hardy breed. Some lines are prone to bloat and like any breed over 40 pounds, the Beaucerons are prone to hip dysplasia. Ninety-five percent of all breeders in the U.S. breed only hip certified stock.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

About Akbash Dog Breed

About Akbash Dog Breed

One of the oldest flock-guarding dog or livestock guardian dog, Akbash Dog is comparing as a counterpart of the French Great Pyrenees, the Hungarian Kuvasz, the Italian Maremma and other white sheep guarding breeds. The Akbash Dog, native in plains and mountains of western Turkey dog while the word "Akbash" means "White Head" in Turkey, was a large lean, muscular and powerful with an elegant, racy appearance dog breed. Despite of being a large dog, they move with surprising speed and agility, able to run at great speed with a gazelle-like grace. He also has an acute sense of sight and hearing. Coat color is white all over. It is light biscuit on the ears or on the ridge line. Coloration in the undercoat is acceptable. They are weighing between 90 to 130 pounds (40 to 60 kg), averaging 90 pounds for the female and 120 lb (55 kg) for the male, but it is leaner than other Turkish guard dog breeds, and has a distinct white coat, long legs, and feathered curved tail.

According to a Roman author in the 1st Century A.D., "Sheepherders wish to have white dogs in order to avoid confusing them with wild animals, since, when the wolf attacks in the twilight, it is important that there be a color difference between the dog and the wolf; otherwise the sheepherder might strike his dog, thinking he was killing a wolf."

It possesses characteristics of both mastiffs and sight hounds. The breed is often referred to as a sheep dog, but it does not herd its charges. Instead, it is designed to live with the flock and act as a guardian. The Akbash can be used as a companion dog as well as a working breed, and if trained appropriately can be extremely personable with any creature no matter the size or age. The Akbash has been bred to be independent and dogs of this breed might think that they know better than their owners during training. The Akbash is a relatively low-energy breed. Because it is in their nature to lie with the flocks they guard most of the day, they do not possess tremendous endurance or energy.

Akbash Dogs characteristics are a combination of the Mastiff and Gazehound, they still carries the same mental and physical traits that characterized it thousands of year ago.. They are powerful dogs with medium to long white fur, bred specifically to distinguish them from wolves. They have been bred as a guardian dog whose primary function is to protect sheep from predators. Akbash dogs are calm, quiet and brave. They deserve require respect in training and raising them. They will protect you and be affectionate to their family as well. But to strangers, this dog is a good guardian and watchdog. There is a graffito in the Phrygian civilization that portrays a dog similar to the Akbash wearing a large spiked color, such that they still wear to this day to help protect their necks.

Akbash dog's lifespan was ranging from 10 to 11 years. The Akbash Dog has a non-odorous, non-matting coat so minimal grooming is required. They do shed more than the average dog and could use regular brushing. They need regular exercise such as a run off-lead even though their actively level is low. Hip dysplasia, OCD, cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, entropion, hypothyroidism, seizures, and umbilical hernias.

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