All posts by Megan Hoyt

small dog joint problems

4 Common Small Dog Joint Problems

It’s no secret that dogs are very prone to developing hip and joint problems.  Some of these problems are genetic like hip dysplasia and some of them just come with aging.  However, there are certain breeds and types of dogs that are more prone to developing hip and joint problems.  This article will focus specifically on small dog joint problems.  Often times dogs that were bred for certain qualities, like short legs, face more problems than other breeds.

Here are 4 common small dog joint problems:

Patellar Luxation:

The patella is a little bone located in the tendon of the quad muscles of your pup.  It normally rests in a groove with the femur in the knee, and is also known as the knee cap.  Patellar Luxation is a condition where the knee cap basically dislocates and pops outside of its little groove when the knee is flexed, which can be incredibly painful.  According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) patellar luxation is primarily a small dog joint problem, “especially [in] breeds such as Boston and Yorkshire terriers, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and miniature poodles” (ACVS).

Patellar location can occasionally be caused by a traumatic injury, but it’s believed to be caused by multiple factors that may include the break-down of cartilage and soft tissues around the joints.  Unfortunately, surgery is one of the only fixes for most cases but according to the ACVS, recurrence of knee cap instability is uncommon after surgery.

Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture (or disease):

The Cranial Cruciate Ligament is essentially what is known as the ACL in humans.  The University of Florida Small Animal Hospital says that its 3 main functions are to prevent the tibia from displacement, prevent hyperextensions of the knee, and prevent internal rotation of the tibia (click here to read the full article) . So it’s pretty important and having it rupture is definitely a big deal!

Unlike in humans, the CCL rarely ruptures because of a traumatic injury, but more commonly as a result of deterioration/degeneration of the ligaments and tissues over time.  This type of small dog joint problem will leave your pup in serious pain and the inability to bare weight on the injured leg.  If your dog is having trouble getting around, limping, you hear an audible clicking/popping sound, or see swelling in the knee, your dog may have a ruptured CCL.  Get them to a vet!

Avascular Necrosis:

Avascular Necrosis can be found in humans but is also a small dog joint problem.  It is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply and can lead to tiny breaks in the bone and eventual bone collapse.  In dogs, this most commonly occurs with the head of the femur.  It can lead to chronic pain and arthritis of the hip.

According to Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), dogs being affected by avascular necrosis often times hold the effected hind leg off of the ground because it is intensely painful to put any weight on it.  Dogs with avascular necrosis will start showing symptoms as puppies and it is thought the cause is a recessive gene so some dogs may be carriers of the gene but not exhibit symptoms.

Elbow Incongruity:

Elbow incongruity, sometimes called elbow dysplasia (ED), refers to bad alignment of the joint surfaces of the elbow.  According to WSAVA, it is “the most common cause of forelimb lameness in dogs.”  It is typically more common with large dogs, but is also a small dog joint problem.  Dogs with ED typically start showing signs around 5 months old, which may include, “lameness elbow swelling, decreased range of motion and joint pain.” (click here to read the full article)

Dogs with more mild cases can sometimes be treated successfully with medical management including anti-inflammatory medication, hydrotherapy, or even weight loss.  There are surgical options for more severe cases and early treatment can resolve lameness and sometimes decrease osteoarthritis formation.

Treatment and Prevention of Small Dog Joint Problems

Unfortunately, many of these small dog joint problems are genetic or start from a very young age. It is extremely important to see a vet if your dog is exhibiting symptoms of any of these issues.  Surgery is the only option to really fix many of these, but there are some things that you can do to promote general joint health overall.

One thing that many of the sources we mentioned discussed was managing your dog’s weight.  Dog obesity is actually incredibly wide spread and the extra weight will put extra strain on your dogs hips and joints regardless of what issue they may be dealing with.  So make sure your pup is getting a good healthy diet and is not overweight.

Another thing you can do to promote general joint health and support is including a glucosamine supplement, click here to read why glucosamine is important for you pup!  Glucosamine is not a cure, it does help support new cartilage and tissue growth in the joints and helps them to stay lubricated and cushioned though.  Check out our Small Dog Glucosamine Joint Formula here. 

If you’re interested in wholesale, private labeling, or manufacturing supplements with Liquid Health Pets fill out our contact form or call 800-995-6607 for a free quote!

Sources:

https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/patellar-luxations

https://smallanimal.vethospital.ufl.edu/clinical-services/surgery/orthopedic-surgery/cranial-cruciate-ligament-rupture/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/avascular-necrosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20369859

https://www.ufaw.org.uk/dogs/yorkshire-terrier-avascular-necrosis

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16594537

https://www.vin.com/apputil/content/defaultadv1.aspx?id=7259224&pid=14365&

dog ear infection treatment

Dog Ear Infections: Symptoms, Causes, Risks, and Treatment

Signs That Your Dog Might Have an Ear Infection

Is your dog constantly shaking their head?  Whining and pawing at their ears?  Maybe you’ve noticed some redness and swelling, or even a smelly odor.  These are all common symptoms of a dog ear infection. Dog ear infections may also be accompanied by scaly skin and smelly discharge.  Not very pleasant sounding huh?

What Causes Dog Ear Infections?

Dog ears have a different anatomy than human ears.  They have an L shaped canal which is set vertically.  As a result, it can tend to hold in fluid and other harmful things.  Dog ear infections are surprisingly a very common ailment amongst our furry friends.  They roll around in the dirt and run through duck ponds and can tend to get all sorts of yucky things in their ears.  Dog ear infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, moisture, allergies, mites, wax buildup, injury, and more.  A big one to watch out for especially with summer coming, is trapped moisture from a quick swim in the pool or run through the sprinklers.

Some breeds are more prone to ear infections as well, and there are several health conditions that can also lead to ear infection.  Some disorders and diseases that have been known to be connected to dog ear infections are thyroid disorder, endocrine disorder, autoimmune disease, meningitis, and encephalitis.  If your dog has any of these, it is all the more important to stay on top of their ear hygiene and seek medical attention if there is an issue.

Risks of Not Treating an Infection

Many dog ear infections start out as Otitis externa which means they are affecting the external part of the ear canal.  If left untreated, the infections can progress to Otitis media and interna, affecting the middle and internal ear structure which is much more serious.  These levels of infection can lead to deafness and even facial paralysis among other things.

Dog Ear Infection Treatment and Prevention

Learning the proper way to clean your dog’s ears is very important and finding a high-quality ear cleaning solution, like Liquid Health K9 Ear Solution, is vital.  Like we talked about, our dogs like to romp around and get into trouble!  So, we need to be there to clean up the mess.  K9 Ear Solution is helpful for cleaning and deodorizing your dog’s ears. It has also been designed specifically for use after bathing or swimming to help maintain proper ear hygiene.

Dog ear infection treatment should always be overseen by a vet.  As we discussed earlier, these ear infections can progress to some very serious conditions so they must be addressed quickly and effectively.  If you notice the signs and symptoms of an ear infection, consult with your vet to get the best treatment plan for your pup!

glucosamine for dogs

Glucosamine For Dogs and Why It’s Important

You may have noticed your furry friend slowing down or even limping.  Maybe they have stopped being as playful or can’t get up the stairs very easily anymore.  Sometimes this can be due simply to aging, but often times joint pain is the root cause of what you might be diagnosing as old age.  Hip and joint problems are extremely common with dogs, and this is where glucosamine for dogs comes in.  If your pup is having joint pain, it may be leading to inactivity which can impact their health even more.  Glucosamine for dogs could be the solution to getting your dog back on their feet and running around again.  

What is glucosamine?

Glucosamine is something that is naturally produced within your pets body.  It is found most commonly as a component of healthy cartilage.  Glucosamine is produced to help form and repair body tissue such as the cartilage which cushions your pet’s joints.  As dogs age, their bodies produce less and less glucosamine which slows the repair process and production of cartilage.  As a result, cartilage can become thin and bones rub together more and more,  negatively impacting their joints, and causing pain and stiffness.  Because of this, a glucosamine for dogs supplement could be extremely beneficial.  

Benefits of Glucosamine for Dogs

A glucosamine supplement can provide your dog with the glucosamine their body is failing to produce naturally. Glucosamine lubricates the joints, alleviating the painful rubbing.  It is also vital in the creation of new cartilage and slowing the degradation of joints due to normal wear and tear.  It may also help your dog’s body in fighting inflammation and irritation occurring naturally in their joints.  We can’t exactly turn back the clock, but glucosamine for dogs is one of your best bets for a healthier happier pet.  

Starting Your Dog on a Glucosamine Supplement

Often times, pet parents will not see results from a glucosamine for dogs supplement until a few weeks in.  It can be a good idea to start your dog on a higher dose the first few weeks they start taking it and then lower them to a normal dosage.  Pet parents have reported their dogs running around and playing like they haven’t seen for months or even years sometimes.  Signs that your pet might be benefitting from their glucosamine supplement might include more playfulness, willingness to climb stairs or go on walks, less stiffness, and more overall happiness.  

Liquid Health Pets K9 Glucosamine

At Liquid Health, our glucosamine for dogs supplement is one of our best sellers.  It comes in liquid form which makes it incredibly easy to pour over your pet’s food or even administer directly.  No more hiding capsules in peanut butter!  K9 Glucosamine has 1600 mg glucosamine in every serving along with Chondroiton and MSM, which are powerful for hip and joint problems when coupled with glucosamine.    

Using CBD Oil For Dogs

cbd oil for dogs

CBD (or cannabidiol) is the substance found in cannabis and hemp plants which has amazing effects on the human body. However, it isn’t just great for humans. In fact, you can also use CBD oil for dogs. Cannabidiol actually works much in the same way for dogs as it does for humans. It can attach to cannabinoid receptors in their bodies causing a range of helpful effects. However, you should use products designed for pets rather than regular CBD oil.

CBD Oil for Dogs: Does It Work?

CBD has many beneficial effects on the body. This is due to the endogenous cannabinoid system, which carries out important roles for your entire body. Interestingly, many mammals have the same or similar endogenous cannabinoid systems, including humans and dogs.

When dogs take CBD Oil, it’s absorbed into the body where it attaches to cannabinoid receptors. This causes various reactions in the body, with positive results. As such, dogs will get the same powerful medical benefits humans get from CBD Oil. Dogs suffer from a lot of the same issues as humans, and CBD has many great effects on the brain, body, and other organs.

Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs

Since CBD oil can have an effect on various parts of the body, it has many benefits for the health of your pets. CBD can be used to treat various conditions that regularly affect dogs. It can also help as a general daily health supplement to aid things like sleep and digestion.

Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?

CBD oil is very safe for dogs to take. There are no known harmful side effects when taken in correct dosage and there’s also no known risk of addiction. This makes it safe to use as long as THC levels are very low. It’s best to avoid CBD Oils with high THC levels. THC can have harmful side effects for animals, especially due to the psychoactive effects. CBD has no intoxicating effects, and as such, it won’t get your pets high and has purely medical effects. Research overwhelmingly finds that CBD is incredibly safe to use for humans and animals. As such, you can give it to dogs without risking any harm to them.

How To Give CBD Oil to Dogs

Generally, you can give CBD oil to dogs as you’d use it yourself. The application is also the same. You can apply the amount of CBD they need under their tongue for fast and effective absorption. You can also add CBD oil to dog foods to make it easier for them to consume. This will take longer to digest and have an effect but can be just as effective. It’s best to use hemp-based CBD Oil as this will have less THC and be safer for dogs.

In Conclusion

We take supplements often times on a daily basis to meet the needs of our bodies that aren’t always met in our normal diets.  Just like humans, dietary supplements can be very beneficial and sometimes necessary for dogs and other pets.  At Liquid Health Inc. we provide products to help your dog have a happier and healthier life because we know that they’re part of the family too.

Check out this article from AAHA for more information on some studies conducted on the safety and effects of cbd on dogs