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How Big Will My Puppy Get?
Growth Curves Help Predict Puppy's Size When Grown
May 6, 2008 Joy Butler
Everyone who adopts a puppy wants to know how big it will get. Since adopting a dog means making a commitment for its care and well being for the next 10 to 15 years, it’s wise to know whether you will end up with a big dog who needs plenty of room and a large food bowl to fill or a little dog who can get by in a tiny apartment with a small food bowl. And since most preventatives and medication dosages go by weight, this is a consideration too. If you have small children, a large dog may be too much for them while a very small dog may be too frail for their play. But it’s not always easy to know how big the puppy will be when grown. Weight of Purebred Dogs
Even though breed standards dictate size in purebreds, that standard is the ideal for that breed while individual purebred dogs can and do vary somewhat from that. However, the size of the parents is a good indication of how big the purebred puppy will get. Weight of Mixed Breed Dogs
Mixed breeds are harder to predict, but there are a few things to consider when trying to determine how big your puppy will be at maturity. If both parents are available, their size will give a basic indication of how big their puppies will get. If both parents are small, the puppies will also be small. If both parents are large, the puppies will be large. But in cases where the parents are different sizes or heritage is unknown, a few other considerations can give you an idea.
Puppies do most of their growing in the first 6 months of life. After that, growth slows until maturity which occurs at around one year of age, depending on the breeds involved. Smaller breeds reach maturity quicker than larger breeds. A puppy weighing 30 lbs at 3 months or 60 lbs at 6 months may grow to be near 100 lbs. In contrast, a puppy weighing 4 lbs at 3 months or 8 lbs at 6 months will likely reach maturity at under 12 lbs. A puppy weighing 15 lbs at 3 months or 30 lbs at 6 months may mature in the medium size range of 35 to 50 lbs. If the puppy’s age is unknown, that can be estimated by looking at its teeth. Growth Plates and Height
Height is measured from the floor to the top of the shoulder. Since growth plates of the long bones in puppies stop growing at around the 8th to 12th month (longer in large breeds), most puppies have reached ¾ of their adult height by the age of 6 months.
Routine home health checks for your dog
One of the major responsibilities of the conscientious owner is to ensure that a thorough veterinary check-up is carried out annually. Between visits owners should perform routine checks at home on a daily and weekly basis in order to assess any changes in their dogs which may indicate that an early visit to the vet is required.
Eating and drinking
Some dogs may go off their food for a day and this will not harm them, but if a previously enthusiastic eater is rejecting food for more than twenty-four hours a veterinarian should be consulted as any changes in feeding habits may signify a problem. Similarly, drinking patterns should be observed. Any deviation from the norm, particularly an increase in water consumption, should be investigated.
Watch the way your dog moves. Look for any signs of lameness and for any swelling on the legs or joints. Does he show any reluctance to jump into the car, walk upstairs, run, or play. Does he seem stiff when he gets up from a rest. Does he show any discomfort when touched on any part of his body. Arthritis is one of several causes of lameness and discomfort which can be alleviated by medication
Defecation and urination
Observing your dog’s toilet habits may not be among the top 10 spectator sports, but it can provide valuable insight into the health of your dog..The number of bowel movements per day varies considerably from dog to dog. The important thing is that the evacuations are regular and of consistent appearance. Bear in mind that certain foods may change the colour of the faeces, e.g. charcoal biscuits will produce black faeces. Any chronic or acute diarrhoea or constipation requires veterinary attention, as does the presence of blood or mucus. If the urine appears dark, cloudy, or blood tinged, or the dog is urinating excessively or has difficulty in passing urine, again, consult your veterinarian.
Coughing, breathlessness, or excessive panting may indicate problems.
As with humans, dogs can be energetic one day and lethargic the next. However, any major fluctuation in normal energy levels lasting more than a couple of days should be investigated.
Grooming and general check
Grooming requirements depend upon the breed but most dogs require at least a weekly going over. This time can be invaluable for a general check-up. Run your hands over every part of your dog’s body to check for lumps and bumps,. Examine the skin top to toe, stomach, armpits and under the tail for any cuts, scratches, inflammation, hot spots, parasites, dandruff, etc. Note any signs of discomfort when being handled and listen to the chest for wheezing.
Examine the feet carefully. Look and feel between the toes and between the pads for any soreness, grass seeds, cysts, ticks, or excessive hair. Over-long nails can cause problems so they should be kept trimmed as short as possible. Nails can be cut using specially designed clippers, or they can be filed. Be careful when shortening nails to avoid the quick as cutting this will result in bleeding and will cause the dog pain.
Smell the ears. Any unpleasant odour is a sign of problems. Wax build-up can be gently removed with cotton wool, but never poke anything down into the ear. If your dog’s ears need a thorough cleaning then this must be done by a vet. If the ear is swollen or red this is indicative of inflammation which will need veterinary attention.
The eyes should have no excessive discharge. Gently wipe the corners of the eyes to remove any build-up of debris. Check the pupils to ensure that they are of the same size. The eyes should be clear with no cloudiness, no dull spot or bluish tinge. Check the eyelids and the edges of the eyes for any lumps. Check that there are no inward growing lashes. Any hair which obscures vision should be trimmed. If the dog shows any sign of eye irritation or soreness it should be taken to the vet.
There should be no discharge from the nose and no excessive sneezing. The dog should have no difficulty in breathing normally through its nose. The nose leather is usually moist and cool, but a warm dry nose is not necessarily indicative of illness. If the nose is very dry then oil or Vaseline will help restore it.
Examine the teeth and gums. Gums should be pink, any redness may indicate a problem. Check for growths on the gums. Make sure that there are no broken or loose teeth and that the teeth are clean and have no brown accumulations of tartar or trapped food particles. Check the tongue for sores, cuts, growths. Check the lip folds for any accumulation of food. Smell the breath. If there is a foul odour this could be a sign of bad teeth, gum problems, or digestive problems.
If your dog is on a program to adjust his weight weekly recording of any increase or decrease is important. Obesity is the cause of a great many problems in the dog.
There is an old saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, if you have any concerns at all about the health of your dog then consult your veterinarian promptly. Quite often early diagnosis of a potential problem will result in a quicker, more effective, and less costly, cure.
Popular Sweetener is Toxic for Dogs
Gum with Xylitol Can Cause Liver Failure in Dogs
by Sharon L. Peters
Special for USA TODAY
Popular Sweetener is Toxic for Dogs
Gum with Xylitol Can Cause Liver Failure in Dogs
by Sharon L. Peters
Special for USA TODAY
A sugar substitute found in a variety of sugar-free and dietetic cookies, mints and chewing gums is proving highly toxic, even fatal, to snack-snatching dogs.
Xylitol, popular in Europe for decades but a relative newcomer to the U.S. alternative-sweeteners market, can cause "very, very serious" problems in dogs when ingested, says Dana Farbman, spokeswoman for the Animal Poison Control
Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "It doesn't take a whole lot (of xylitol), and the effects are so rapid that the window of opportunity to treat the dog is extremely small," Farbman says.
The ASPCA sent an advisory to veterinarians last August warning them about the potential for serious harm or death. Veterinarians have used a variety of means to get the word out, including posting signs in their offices and making copies of the bulletin for clients to augment the caution that the ASPCA has posted on its Website.
Concerned that millions of people are still unaware of the risk, veterinarians with forums for widespread public announcements are spreading the word that way as well. Among them: Miami veterinarian Patty Khuly wrote about the problem on her doolittler.com blog, and Colorado Springs veterinarian Anne Pierce devoted her entire weekly newspaper column recently to xylitol.
Within 30 minutes of consuming a small amount of a xylitol-sweetened product, the ASPCA says, dogs can experience a dramatic drop in blood sugar, and they usually begin vomiting, become lethargic and can have difficulty standing or walking. Some have seizures, develop internal hemorrhaging and lesions and suffer liver failure. As few as two or three sticks of xylitol gum could be toxic to a 20-pound dog, the ASPCA says.
Immediate and aggressive veterinary treatment, which includes glucose drips and IV fluids, has proved effective in many cases.
The ASPCA's poison control unit is aware of 10 dog deaths from xylitol since 2002, and it has received scores of reports of dogs becoming gravely ill. But only a fraction of veterinarians and consumers alert the ASPCA when a dog becomes ill or dies from toxins, and there is no national clearinghouse that tracks xylitol-suspected toxic reactions.
Moreover, it's not always entirely clear what caused the problem when a dog arrives at a veterinarian's office with seizures or liver failure. "I suspect that there are more cases than we know about because they come in with liver failure, and the owner is not aware of what has been ingested," Pierce says.
She believes that xylitol ingestion is "an emerging problem" and that the number of cases probably will increase with time, "depending on how widespread xylitol as a sweetener becomes." And Dana Farbman said that in 2004, the ASPCA Poison Control Center managed 70 cases relating to xylitol-containing products, but in 2005, the number jumped to 170.
Xylitol is an all-natural sugar substitute derived from beets, birch tree bark, corncobs and other natural sources. It's as sweet as sugar but has 40 percent fewer calories. Unlike sugar, xylitol does not require insulin to be metabolized.
Right now, xylitol is used mostly in cookies, candies, cupcakes and other sweets developed for people who have diabetes. It's also sold in bags of crystals for baking. Because of its bacteria-killing properties, it is put into some oral care products, including Tom's All Natural and Biotene toothpastes.
It is also beginning to be used in a broad assortment of products intended for the general public, including Jell-O sugar-free puddings and a wide variety of sugar-free gums such as Trident, Orbit, Stride, Icebreakers and Altoids.
Makers of products with xylitol say their products are designed for people, including diabetes patients, who are seeking an alternative to sugar; they were never recommended for dogs and were never intended to be ingested by dogs. Owners should be careful because some dogs, Khuly says, "get into just about everything and eat everything they find."
There is no indication that any of the other sweeteners on the market adversely affect dogs. And there is no evidence so far that xylitol is toxic to pets other than dogs. But cats, for example, don't scavenge for sweets as dogs do, so it's possible there are risks that have not yet been discovered. For now, veterinarians advise pet owners to keep xylitol away from all animals.
For more information, go to the ASPCA Website at www.
aspca.org or visit http://www.usatoday.com/community/tags/reporter.aspx?id=1286, http://www.usatoday.com/community/tags/topic.aspx?req=tag&tag=ASPCA and http:/www.usatoday.com/
Dangerous Plants and Toxic foods to keep away from Dogs
These are plants you should keep away from your pets.
lily of the valley
These foods might be ok for us to eat, but are toxic for our dogs to eat. Do not give these foods to your dog.
grapes and raisins
coffee and tea
tomotoes, potatoes, and rhubarb
If you believe you dog has consumed a dangerous subsatance call you veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline at 1-800-426-4435 1-800-426-4435 . Signs of poisoning include vomitting, diarrhea, weakness, salvation, and convulsions. If you believe your pet has been poisoned seek veterinary attention right away.
How to Identify Fleas & Ticks
Though many people know that ticks and fleas are harmful to a pet's health, not everyone knows how to identify these parasites. Identification is important, since different parasites require different removal and treatment techniques. Pets should be checked for ticks and fleas after time spent with other dogs or outside, because even if you brush and bathe your animal regularly, it is still possible for him to get fleas or ticks. When you first spot a small insect crawling in your pet's fur, you'll need to check him thoroughly---if you've seen one bug, chances are that there are more hiding in the fur.
Skim a comb over the top of your pet's hair, moving slowly from back to front. Only comb deeper into the fur if you don't notice any ticks on the first shallow pass. Shallow combing is important because you don't want to accidentally touch a tick with the comb, as you may crush the tick's body; the Camino Animal Clinic explains that this can "force harmful bacteria to leave the tick and enter the [pet's] bloodstream."
Look for insects attached to the animal's skin as you're gently combing. Ticks latch on to your pet and typically don't move once they are attached. Ticks have small heads and spindly legs. The body will be flat if the tick has just recently latched on, or it will be puffy and engorged if the tick has been feeding on the animal's blood for a while. Ticks may be black, red, or brownish, ranging from 1/8 to 1/2 inch in size. The deer tick, which carries Lyme disease, is especially tiny and hard to detect. All adult ticks have eight legs, making them easy to distinguish since most insect species only have six legs.
Remove the identified tick by grabbing the insect's head with a fine-tipped tweezers. As with combing, you'll want to avoid the tick's body; if you grab the body with your tweezers, you risk forcing bacteria into the bloodstream.
Kill the removed tick by placing it in a container of rubbing alcohol.
Clean the area where the tick was attached using a disinfectant. Also apply an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin.
Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water.
Consult a veterinarian if the tick you removed was engorged; this means that the tick had been attached and feeding for quite a while, so your pet should be checked for Lyme disease and other illnesses.
Examine your pet's belly, where fur is thinner, to get a good look at the animal's skin. Look for small red or pinkish circles measuring anywhere from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch in diameter. These circular discolorations are most likely flea bites. Locating the bites is an easy way to initially identify a flea problem before you've located the fleas themselves.
Comb the animal's hair from back to front to get a better look at your animal's skin. Keep an eye open for small, oval-shaped specks. Fleas are very tiny, measuring less than a 1/4 inch long, and even if you're looking directly at the flea, it can be hard to tell if the small brown object is truly an insect or if it is just a piece of soil or flea feces.
Watch for movement to confirm that the brown speck is really a flea. Fleas often scurry from exposed skin to more furry areas of the animal to hide. In addition to preferring thicker fur, fleas tend to hide near "crevasses" in the animal, such as near the animal's joints, near the base of the tail, or in neck folds. Even if you find a dead flea, you should still continue searching for movement until you identify a live flea infestation.
Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap after you've positively identified the fleas and consult a veterinarian immediately, as recommended by the FDA. In almost every situation, you'll want to give the animal a flea bath using a flea-removal product, but a veterinarian's advice is necessary for selecting the best product for your animal.
How to Treat Dog Mites
Mites are insects that live on your dog. Microscopic members of the arachnid family, mites burrow under your dog's skin and lay their eggs. In small quantities, your dog won't even notice they are there. However, when the population begins to grow, the result can be inflamed, reddened patches of skin and incessant scratching. In the case of ear mites, a noticeable odor may come from the dog's ears, while the ear canals appear red and irritated.
Treat ear mites with mineral oil. Using a small eyedropper, place 3 to 5 drops of warm mineral oil into the dog's ear canal. Gently massage the dog's ear to help work the oil in. Wait 2 hours, then wipe the dog's ear out with a cotton swab, tissue or cotton ball. Repeat this procedure twice a week for at least 3 weeks.
Take care of skin mites with a soothing ointment. Combine 1 cup calamine lotion, 1 cup aloe vera gel, and 1 cup soluble sulphur. Mix until well blended, then transfer the remedy to a large pan. Add 1 gallon distilled water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and allow the contents to simmer for 30 minutes. Allow the contents to cool, then apply the resulting mite treatment to your dog's fur. Make sure the dog is well coated, including the feet and the skin between the toes. Do not rinse the treatment off; allow the dog to dry naturally. Repeat the procedure once a week for 3 to 4 weeks.
Save yourself some money by washing your dog in medicated shampoo and then coating him with petroleum jelly. The thick coating of jelly smothers the skin mites and alleviates skin irritation. Shampoo the dog and reapply the petroleum jelly, ensuring you have completely covered the tail and exterior of the ears, every other day for at least 2 weeks.
Rub an over-the-counter acne cream over the affected areas. Check the label to be certain the medication's active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide. A 5 percent concentration should be enough to kill any surface mites. Apply the acne cream three times a week for 2 weeks.
Get rid of harvest mites with using a prescription preventative medication such as Revolution or Frontline. This medication is applied once a month and will protect your dog from mites and fleas. The contents are applied directly to the skin, between the dog's shoulder blades, and within 2 hours can be safely exposed to water with no need for reapplication.
Signs & Symptoms of Dehydration in Puppies
Taking care of a new puppy presents many challenges, such as house training and discipline. One of the challenges you may not have thought about is keeping your puppy properly hydrated. Dehydration can quickly go from a discomfort to a serious problem. There are a few signs and symptoms to watch out for when your puppy is dehydrated.
Dehydration in Nursing Puppies
Before your puppies have been weaned, they will be getting the nutrients and liquids they need from their mother. But even on an all-liquid diet, your puppies may still need to consume more fluids, especially in hot climates. If your dog experiences any of the following symptoms, you should take them to your vet or get them on a milk supplement product right away. Symptoms to watch for in newborn puppies include low weight and neck skin that stays stiff when gently pinched. If the litter is abnormally large, keep a close eye on all the puppies.
After your puppy is weaned, they will need to drink more water, as their food will no longer be in liquid form. In addition to the neck pinch test, there are other symptoms you can look for. Your puppy may be dehydrated if it is lethargic, has dry or sunken eyes or a dry mouth and nose. Dehydrated puppies may also have a delay in capillary fill time, meaning that if you press your index finger into the gumline of your puppy, it takes a few moments for the blood to refill the area. If your dog is severely hydrated, it is important to only let them drink a little water at a time, so they don't get sick. Some pet owners recommend Pedialyte or non-flavored water enhanced with electrolytes for severely dehydrated dogs.
In addition to the signs and symptoms listed above, there are a few other things to watch out for. If your puppy has had loose stools, a high fever or vomiting, they will likely need to consume a lot of water to stay properly hydrated. Dehydration leads to loss of crucial minerals your puppy needs to stay healthy. If you live in a hot climate, make sure your dog has constant access to cool, clean water. Adding wet food to your dog's diet in the hottest months of the year will add valuable moisture into their diets.
Spaying and neutering
Spaying and neutering of dogs are highly wanted if you don’t want to breed the dogs and however, these activities need to be carried out by qualified veterinarians specialized in pet care and management. Anesthesia is required along with due surgical procedures for carrying out the spaying and neutering.
One has to understand first the terms like spaying or neutering. Both are related to the surgical approaches of sterilization in case of females and males respectively. However, the term neutering is also related to such procedures in both sexes. Accidental pregnancies that are not wanted can be highly minimized by these procedures.
Spaying and neutering helps to prevent occurrence of pyometra, which is a common reproductive disorder-giving problem to the dog owners. In male dogs, the neutering helps to prevent the occurrence of prostate enlargement or cancer. Hence, these help to minimize the incidences of reproductive disorders in dogs.
By these spaying and neutering, the male dog’s desire in search of female dog in heat is highly minimized and hence, wandering of male dog is reduced. The animal becomes calm also by these surgical remedies. Territorial behavior of these animals is also highly minimized by these in case of male dogs.
Spaying of your dog before the occurrence of first heat is the best one to avoid the incidence of breast cancer. If the dog is spayed after the first heat, the chances of occurrence of breast cancer in them is more and has been proved by research. Younger group of dogs need to be subjected to these operations to avoid complications in future.
Many veterinarians prefer the spaying and neutering of dogs only at the age of five to six years. However, these can be performed even at the age of three to five years. Postoperative care needs to be followed meticulously to avoid the occurrence of infections by microbial organisms.