By Maneka Gandhi
In this week’s Pet Talk, Maneka explains causes of indoor urination in house-trained dogs.
My dog has a lump on his right ear. Is it a tumour?
It is not unusual to find lumps and bumps on dogs, especially when they enter their senior years. The most important thing to remember is to seek the medical advice of an experienced veterinarian. Most veterinarians will call a lump, or bump, a growth, mass or a tumour. These terms do not indicate whether it is malignant or benign. So, don’t panic. Get more information before you reach any conclusions.
In most cases, your vet will recommend additional diagnostics to try and determine whether the mass is malignant or benign. Your vet typically collects these samples via fine needle aspirate or biopsy. If a malignant tumour, additional diagnostics will most likely be recommended.
Sometimes the lump is simply a haematoma — a bump which has led to the accumulation of blood. This will settle down with medicines.
What to do about a whining dog?
Just like barking and growling, your dog’s whining is a way of communicating. Whining is especially common in puppies. It is a way of seeking attention and food from their mother (or their owner). It is often pretty obvious why a dog is whining. She may be begging for food or asking to be let in or out of the house. Go through the potential reasons, for the whining, to decide how to proceed. Never punish your dog for whining, as that can make a fearful or anxious dog even more stressed out. There are many fears and phobias which affect dogs. If you can determine the reason for her fear or anxiety, you may be able to work on training and desensitising her so that she can get over them.
What are the treatments for canine arthritis?
Treatment for arthritis in dogs is geared towards reducing pain and maintaining muscle mass and joint mobility. A combination of treatments can be used to treat this condition.
Exercise and weight management (leash walking, mild controlled jogging, swimming etc.).
Pharmaceutical medications: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) are the most commonly used classes of drugs for arthritis pain.
Acupuncture and massage therapies.
Stem cell therapy.
What to do if your dog bites someone?
Take the following steps: Remain calm
Confine your dog to a crate or another room.
Help the bite victim wash the wound thoroughly with warm, soapy water.
Be courteous and sympathetic to the bite victim. Avoid laying blame or getting defensive.
Contact a medical professional for the bite victim. Offer to pay for the medical assistance.
Offer to contact a friend or family member for the victim.
Exchange contact information with the victim.
If there were witnesses, obtain their contact information.
Show them your dog’s medical records.
Why is my dog peeing in house?
The causes of indoor urination in house-trained dogs can be split into:
- Urinary incontinence: The dog may have accidents in the house, but these are often ‘spots’ of urine rather than puddles. There is a simple distinguishing feature of urinary incontinence as opposed to other causes: the dog will pee on herself and in her bed. This single sign implies a lack of control of bladder emptying.
- There are many conditions which will cause an increase in urine output, which can cause such frequent urination as to break a dog’s house-training. There are a number of features of this group of problems:
- Your dog will be drinking more to compensate for fluid loss.
- The ‘accidents’ are usually large puddles.
The primary problem; could be if coupled with other symptoms: weight loss (Diabetes mellitus, Addison’s disease, renal failure), increased appetite (Diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease), or decreased appetite (Addison’s disease, renal failure). The urine which is produced is usually not offensive unless there is a secondary bacterial infection of the urinary tract.
Excessive thirst is a symptom not to be ignored, and it is important your pet gets a thorough diagnosis from your veterinary surgeon.
- Lower urinary tract disease: Take a urine sample in a clean sterilised bottle. For a bacterial bladder infection a single course of antibiotic may be sufficient, but for urinary stones it is very often necessary to keep your pet on a specific diet for the rest of his/her life. Most of these conditions are very treatable, but can lead to serious complications if not recognised and treated promptly.
- Behavioural causes: Urine marking is distinct from medical causes of indoor urination in that it is often performed in a conspicuous area, possibly at a doorway or on an item of furniture. The root cause of urine marking, in a previously well-trained dog, is usually insecurity of some sort. This is often something as simple as the introduction of new furniture to the dog’s living area, or may be something more significant like the introduction of a new baby or pet to the house. By urinating in the house, your dog is following an instinctive urge to mark and reinforce his claim to ‘his’ territory.
If the behaviour occurs consistently in one spot, it makes sense to exclude your pet from this area by locking him out or using a deterrent. If you catch him in the act of urinating indoors, creating a noise or calling his name as a distraction, is a useful ploy. It is important not to over-react to the situation, as with an insecure dog this is only likely to make matters worse.
How to choose the right dog bowl?
Don’t touch plastic. Either get a stainless steel bowl, or a good quality ceramic bowl. Ceramic cracks if not washed with care . Choose a high quality, lead-free dog bowl.
A raised dog feeder is known to help the digestive system of your dog along with preventing many health defects that can come along with eating out of a normal dish. For example, Dog Bloat (twisting of the stomach) and mega-oesophagus (food goes into oesophagus). Both these health conditions are fatal. Also, a higher dog feeder can be cleaner to maintain as your dog will not drop as much food on the floor. When your dog is eating from a raised feeder he will be more comfortable and will have better body posture.