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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Puppies are just like children....and I have questions!

Sometimes I find being a pet owner, is pretty similar to having babies and children.  I have questions about my dog's health and behaviour - just as I would raising my three children.  Recently, I had the opportunity to ask Dr. Amy Dicke some of my most pressing questions.

Why does my dog gorge herself and then throw up?

Gorging on food is a competitive behavior exhibited early in the lives of a litter of puppies. The behavior usually wanes as littermates are dispersed to individual homes, competition lessens and food is plentiful.
When a dog gorges and immediately brings up undigested food it is more accurately termed regurgitation,not vomiting. When a dog regurgitates it is expelling food that is in the esophagus or food tube and has not yet reached the stomach.
Regurgitation can be curbed by slowing down the eating process. If you have more than one dog, try feeding them in separate bowls, separate areas, or at separate times to cut down on “competitive” eating. Food can be placed on a cookie sheet rather than a bowl to make it more difficult to gulp large mouthfuls. Or you can try feeding smaller meals several times a day to cut down on the amount of food eaten at any one meal.
If your dog continues to throw up be sure to seek advice and care from your veterinarian.

On the subject of vomiting, why do we have no warning when she throws up?  We can be walking along and she simply throws up while walking.

Usually when a dog throws up without warning or effort it is regurgitation, which is the expulsion of contents in the esophagus – the tube that takes food from the mouth to the stomach. Often an animal that regurgitates will just spit up with very little effort. They don't use the abdominal muscles as they do when vomiting.
In regurgitation the contents never actually reach the stomach. The content is often undigested food and tubular in shape. Also, the motion an animal goes through is different with regurgitation versus vomiting.
Also be sure to give your dog adequate time to digest their meal before exercising. If your dog continues to throw up be sure to seek advice and care from your veterinarian.

We haven't been able to find the funds to spay our dog.  Are we putting her at risk for cancer by not doing it?

There is a study that reports dogs spayed before their first heat had a lower incidence of mammary cancer later in life. Spaying also eliminates uterine cancer or infection, as well as inconveniences associated with the heat cycle and unwanted pregnancies
Many local SPCA’s offer spay/neuter services. Check with the SPCA in your area as most offer lower-cost spaying services. If you live in Ontario, you can find the information here: http://spayneuter.ontariospca.ca/

Why does my dog shiver?
Dogs shiver, or tremble out of excitement, fear, anxiety or because they are just cold.
Be sure to contact your veterinarian if shivering and trembling persist, it may also be a symptom of something more serious.

 How do I better help my dog to socialize with other dogs?  She whines when meeting other dogs like she really wants to see them, but then is very scared of them up close.

 Socializing with other dogs is important for the emotional health of your dog. Start by introducing your dog to one dog at a time. If you have a friend with a dog, invite them over for a ‘play-date’ or invite them on a walk. When your dog is socializing with new people or dogs it is important that it be a positive experience. Praise your dog and have treats ready to reinforce appropriate behavior.
To increase the opportunity to socialize with others you might consider taking your dog to doggy daycare or to group training classes once or twice a week.

Should you ever let your dog drink from a puddle? 

The majority of times a dog drinking from a puddle will not experience any serious health consequences; however, it probably isn’t best for them. There are risks,including harmful bacteria and other contaminants. It’s best to train your dog to avoid drinking from a puddle. Try to carry a doggy water bottle when out on walks.

 DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for informational and educational purposes only.  This information should not be substituted for the guidance and advice of your veterinarian or animal behavior professional. For nutritional information please visit www.iams.ca or contact the Iams Consumer Care Nutrition Specialists toll free at 1-800-675-3849.

1 comment:

Janet said...

What an interesting post today! Answered some of my questions too! :)