Why Does Your Dog Gag So Much?

ea457adccaa9e569cff05de9b4f3b04d_SThere are several things that could make your dog gag very often. Gagging is a symptom that is similar to choking and coughing. While your pet may not actually be choking on an object or a bone, he may be suffering from a condition known as reverse sneezing. When your pet sneezes, he releases air from his nostrils, but if he’s suffering from reverse sneezing he will rapidly take in air through his nose and make loud coughing, hacking or snorting sounds.

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Ear Infection

88f135a483ef01fac8d7b920488085e4_SEar infections in dogs are an extremely common problem year-round. Some breeds, like Cocker spaniels, are predisposed to more chronic ear problems. In fact, “it is estimated that up to 20 percent of the dog population is affected by this disease.”

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Trimming Your Dog’s Nails

737344dd8934cc52da9f7f85f2627abb_SNail trimming is an important part of a regular grooming routine. If your dog’s nails get too long, they can break, which is painful and sometimes results in infection. Long nails can also cause an irregular gait that leads to skeletal damage.

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Dog Nutrition: A to Z

3707d8f2be163bd14c78cf07586f13bb_SCan something as simple as carefully reading a dog-food label add three to five years to your pet’s life? Can the wrong bite of an ostensibly healthy fruit have nasty and lasting consequences? Does your dog need a diet—and would you know if he did? For pups as for people, scientists are constantly -reexamining and revising the official live-longer-and-better guidelines.

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A Dog Owner’s Guide to a Healthy Heart

ba1b7eb9b8ad142948e3b9dce300b4c6_SCombination of proper Diet, Exercise, Supplements, and regular Vet checkup will ensure your loved in tip top shape.


By Dr. Hank Cerny

 

Diet

As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. Your dog relies on you to provide proper nutrition and help them maintain an ideal body weight. Obesity is the enemy of a healthy heart, so talk with your veterinarian if your pet needs to lose weight.

Choosing a diet can be overwhelming, as there are numerous choices all claiming to be the best. I look for quality ingredients and reputation. What is the first ingredient, the second, the third? Does the diet contain antioxidants? Does my dog like the taste? Your veterinarian can give you diet recommendations and help you select the best one for your dog.

Exercise

Regular exercise is important to maintain a healthy body and mind. Walking, running, hiking and swimming are all options. Talk with your veterinarian to help tailor an exercise program that is safe and healthy for your pet.

Veterinary Checkups

Remember: Your dog relies on you for proper care and you should have medical checkups done annually or more often if a health condition exists. But why so important you ask? Three out of every four dogs have some form of dental disease (tooth and gum) by the time they reach middle age, generally between 5 and 9 years old. Dr. Larry Glickman at Purdue University has shown a strong link between gum disease and heart disease in dogs.

Having regular professional dental cleanings at your veterinarian’s office as well as brushing your dog’s teeth daily may prevent or delay the onset of heart valve damage. If your dog has a heart condition, early diagnosis offers the best possible outcome. Medications are available to reduce the workload on the heart and improve the quality of your dog’s life.

Supplements

There are several supplements on the market that have heart healthy benefits. Two of my favorites are Omega 3 fatty acids, such as Nordic naturals Omega-3 Pet, and Coenzyme Q10. There are two forms of Coenzyme Q10. The ubiquinol form offers better absorption than ubiquinone. Numerous scientific studies support the use of these supplements for heart health. Talk with your veterinarian before starting any supplement.

Dr. Hank Cerny, DVM, MS, is a veterinarian at Yankee Hill Veterinary Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Food Allergies 101

36fdb1a35cd2f54f95cf2119fb5bc7ed_SIs your dog itching and scratching? Does she have frequent ear infections or poor coat quality? You could be contributing to your dog’s distress without knowing it if she’s allergic to what you’re feeding her. Food allergies are a rising concern with dog owners and it seems like more and more dogs are suffering from them.

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