Pet Talk
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Pet Talk

August 19, 2020

In this week’s Pet Talk, Maneka speaks about hyperventilating and intussusception in dogs

By Maneka Gandhi

Why does my dog sleep so much?

Since dogs do not go to school or work, it is common for them to be bored all day and thereby sleep out of that boredom. But if they sleep all day long, then there’s a problem with your dog’s health. There are chances that he may be suffering from hypothyroidism, back pain, diabetes, anxiety or many other serious ailments. Getting a thorough veterinary investigation, which may include blood work and other tests, is the only way to know for sure.

Do older dogs go through menopause?

Unlike humans, dogs do not go through menopause, as canines do not have a monthly cycle. Rather, they go into estrus (also known as heat) every six months or so. The regularity of their reproductive cycle depends on the age, breed, and individual dog.

As a dog ages, the twice annual estrus cycles may become irregular, but she is still fertile. Pregnancy is still a possibility, but with greater risk in an older dog.

I think my dog is hyperventilating, but I am not sure. What are the symptoms of hyperventilation? How can I prevent it? Also, how it can be treated?

Hyperventilation is fast breathing. It means that there isn’t enough oxygen in the body to go around and a dog will struggle to breathe. Depending on the reason for the hyperventilation, signs of it may vary from dog to dog.

Basic signs are: Rapid breathing, panting or open mouth breathing, short breath, blue or pale pink mucous membranes, unable to take a normal deep breath, weakness, collapse, drooling with open mouth breathing.

Treatment: Depending on the root cause of the hyperventilation, the exact treatment plan may vary. Cooling the body temperature down or providing sedatives, bronchodialators, steroids, antihistamines and other medications may be the initial treatment to stabilise a patient that is hyperventilating. Sometimes supplemental oxygen is even needed. Once the dog is stable, other treatments may ensue. Surgery is occasionally needed to correct the underlying reason for the hyperventilation, especially if it involves an obstructed airway, but usually medications are utilised to manage the reason for the increased respiratory rate; Prevention: Some cases of hyperventilation can be easily prevented while others cannot. Making sure a dog does not develop heat stroke by keeping it out of extreme heat, monitoring pain, stress, and anxiety levels, and getting regular physical examinations done by a veterinarian can help prevent the likelihood of a dog hyperventilating.

My dog is 16 years old and he won’t eat, not even his soft food and he’s starving himself to death slowly. What can I do to help him?

Try smelly, warm food. I use a very thick homemade stock. It must be homemade without onions. It’s not hard to make. If this also doesn’t work, then take your dog to the vet and get it checked. If reports show no such physical problems, then the only advice left is to let your animal decide. 

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I have a year-old male lab. He doesn’t eat to his capacity. Is it ok to feed your dog once a day?

No. A dog must be fed a minimum of twice a day — once in the morning and once in the evening — though puppies under five months of age should be fed three to four times a day.

How can I know or what are the symptoms that will help me to know that my dog is suffering from intussusception?

It is a problem that affects the intestines of dogs. In this, the movement in the intestines either speed up or slow down, and even stop.

Symptoms are: Diarrhoea, vomiting, decreased appetite, bloody stool, hunched back, crying. Promoting a healthy intestinal tract may help. Regular use of intestinal parasite prevention, gradual dietary changes, and ensuring your dog doesn’t eat things it shouldn’t eat, can help decrease the chances of this occurring.

Does a dog view an abusive owner differently from a kind one?

A dog views an abusive owner the way a young child views an abusive parent; in the same way, a dog views a kind owner the way a young child views a kind parent. Their owner is their pack leader and they do not compare the abuser to another (real or ideal) owner, but you can tell by their body language and habits that they are fearful, submissive and depressed. A dog who rejoices in his owner has a bounce in his gait and is eager to engage with him.

What are the signs of anxiety in dogs?

Aggression. Urinating or defecating in the house. Drooling. Panting. Destructive behaviour. Depression. Excessive barking. Pacing.

Signs of congestive heart failure in dogs?

Excessive tiredness or sleepiness. A frequent cough. Lack of appetite. Fainting spells. Difficulty in sleeping, especially for dogs who sleep on their sides. Lethargy or reduced exercise or inability to exercise at all. Fluid in the abdomen or a swollen stomach.

How do you check a dog’s vision?

Hold your hand, palm out toward your dog about 18 inches away from his/ her face. Move your hand swiftly forward until it is about 3 inches from your dog’s face. Your dog should blink. If there is no reaction, test each eye individually and call your veterinarian.

Do dogs bleed after mating?

Yes, most of them still bleed after mating. But after 9-10 days, the bleeding will become more watery, or stop.

Is it OK to vaccinate a pregnant or nursing pet?

The first half of the pregnancy is the most vulnerable time for foetal development. Vaccines that are modified live (versus killed) are generally not considered safe at any time of the pregnancy. Killed vaccines, such rabies vaccines, may be given during pregnancy (especially during the latter half of gestation) but are not recommended. There may be situations where vaccination may be advised to protect the mother’s health. But on the whole, no.

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My dog goes crazy the moment a banana is peeled. Is it alright if I give a little banana with his food?

Yes, bananas are safe for dogs. They are a good source of potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, fibre, biotin and copper. Bananas are low in sodium and cholesterol but, due to the sugar content in bananas, dogs should only eat them as a treat, and not as a regular part of their diets. Bananas fed in excess can lead to constipation. From practical experience, some dogs love bananas and some hate bananas. As long as bananas are just a snack, not the whole meal, and the dog isn’t allergic to the banana, then there’s no reason not to feed them.

My dog swallowed a chewing gum. Should I be concerned? Or will he pass it out with his stool?

Depending on the type of gum he finds; your dog can become very ill after eating some. Any chewing gum can be a choking hazard, but sugar-free chewing gums containing xylitol — a sugar-alcohol — which can cause hypoglycaemia or liver damage.

Hypoglycaemia, or decreased blood sugar, can occur when your dog eats more than 70 milligrams of xylitol per kg of body weight. Liver damage occurs if your dog eats more than 500 milligrams per kg. That may make it seem like Fido would need to eat a lot, but a stick of sugar-free gum can have up to 0.4 gram of xylitol in it. If Fido is a small dog, less than two sticks of gum could trigger hypoglycaemia. If your dog eats enough gum, you may notice signs of hypoglycaemia develop quickly. A dog’s body, unlike other mammals,’ produces insulin in the presence of xylitol. You may notice your dog stumbling, falling over, having seizures, or go into a coma. Immediate treatment is necessary to prevent further complications.

Scientists haven’t been able to determine why liver damage occurs. It can take more than 12 hours to notice signs of liver failure, including yellow or icteric gums, or depression. Your veterinarian can run blood tests to evaluate your dog’s liver enzyme values, which may indicate dysfunction. Decreased platelets and elevated phosphorus levels may be found in testing. Not every dog that develops low blood sugar will develop liver damage, and not every dog with liver damage previously showed signs of hypoglycaemia.

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