About LA Theriault

The Best Age to Neuter Your Dog

Ask anyone what the best age to neuter your dog is and you’ll discover just how controversial the topic can be.  Some people say before six months and some people say after six months of age. This post will help you decide the best age to neuter your dog based on facts.

Ultimately, you want a healthy dog who has a long, happy life. This information is general in scope; the decision on what age to spay or neuter your dog isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. That said, there is evidence to show that a dog who has reached sexual maturity before being spayed or neutered has an overall healthier outcome.

Is It Really THAT Important to Have My Dog Neutered?

 It’s important to have dogs spayed or neutered for a number of reasons. First, the overpopulation of pets in North America is putting dogs at risk of being euthanized. Shelters can only hold so many dogs and it’s not always that easy to find homes for them. 

Read more on how important it is to find the best age to neuter your dog!

Can I Still Have My 1 Year Old Dog Neutered?

Actually, you’re right on time!

Veterinarians suggest allowing a larger breed dog to fully mature before neutering. Males who are neutered too early experience a decline in testosterone. Lack of testosterone can lead to obesity.

It can be a complicated subject, so make sure to talk to your trusted veterinarian for the best advice on the best age to neuter your dog.

Protect Your Dog While Fertile

Waiting a year to have your dog neutered means keeping him away from female dogs in heat.  His behaviour will change and it will be harder to keep him inside.

Females in heat will draw dogs from miles away. Male dogs can pick up the scent from as far as 3 miles away.  If the best age to neuter your dog is over six months of age, make sure to keep her safely indoors. When bringing your dog outside be sure to stay with her and keep her on a leash.

You might be interested in: Are Dog’s Mouths Cleaner than Humans?

What About Neutering Before Six Months of Age?

If you decide that the best age to neuter your dog is BEFORE six months of age, there are some things you should know. Early neutering is thought to interrupt thyroid hormone production. That results in hypothyroidism, a chronic condition that slows your dog’s system down. 

In addition, males who are neutered too early (as stated above) tend to lose testosterone. Low testosterone can affect the healthy growth of bone structure.  Abnormal growth can cause structural problems in the bones. These structural problems can leave your dog vulnerable to injuries like ACL tears.

Take a minute to check out this YouTube video on the best age to neuter your dog.  Trust me…it’s worth a watch!

What Are the Risks of Having my Dog Neutered?

Most veterinarians would say that the benefits of having your dog neutered far outweigh the risks.   Studies show that waiting until your male dog reaches full maturity is best for the dog; however, it puts increased responsibility on the owner.

Any type of surgery poses a risk because of the anesthetic. There is less risk in a young, healthy dog. The older a dog gets, the more of an issue it can become.  Veterinarians usually like to do some pre-surgery blood work just to make sure there are no underlying conditions that could complicate the surgery.

Can I Wait Until I Can Afford To Have my Dog Neutered?

Once you’ve decide on the best age to neuter your dog, it’s time to look at your bank account. Unlike things like tooth extractions which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, neutering is relatively inexpensive.  Expect to pay about $200 unless you have dog insurance.  If you cannot afford it, however, there are ways to get around the cost.

Humane societies and other non-profit organizations help low-income families cover the costs of spaying or neutering.  You can always ask the veterinarian if they offer CareCredit. 

CareCredit is, essentially, a credit card designed to help you when money is tight. They give you six months to pay it off in full before you begin to accrue high interest rates.  Most people love this option because it enables them to make monthly payments they can afford.  Also, most people are able to pay the balance off before the six month period is over.

If you live in Canada:

Contact the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS). This organization represents humane societies across Canada.  

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies provides a list of clinics/shelters across the country that provide assistance in the spaying and neutering of pets.  For a comprehensive report on strays who’ve been sheltered in Canada, you can also read their latest statistics.

If you live in the United States:

Contact the Humane Society of the United States. This organization works to protect animals nation-wide and operates through donations. They, too, can help you find low-cost clinics to spay or neuter your dog.

If you live in the United Kingdom:

Contact the Humane Society International organization. This non-profit organization will help you find affordable surgery.  Interested in statistics? Check out the website for tons of information.

Your veterinarian is the best source of information and he/she will be able to advise you most appropriately. You obviously care about your dog, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. Help the global effort to reduce the overpopulation of pets and make an appointment now to have your dog neutered.

Dog Neutering Recovery – Post Surgery

I’ve had both of my dogs neutered and they were able to walk out of the clinic just hours later.  Dogs are usually a little sleepy for a few hours after getting home. However, when they come around it’s important to keep them from chewing at their stitches. 

Medium sized or large dogs might let you get away with putting one of your t-shirts on them. The fabric keeps their mouths away from the stitches and they don’t have to endure an uncomfortable Elizabethan collar.

Your veterinarian might suggest a light diet for your dog for the first 24 hours after surgery.  In some cases, your dog might not be that hungry anyway. 

Your dog should be able to walk around comfortably soon after the surgery. However, avoid rough play and high exertion.  Ball chasing is not advised until the stitches come out.

Click here for the scoop on female spaying!

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about neutering your dog!  Why not take a second to share this with friends and family with pets of their own?

Please take a minute to Pin, Tweet, or Post. I’ll see you next time.

5 Indestructible Dog Toys for Any Dog

I know what it’s like to try and find indestructible dog toys for pit bulls.  My pit mix, although not nearly as strong as some other dogs, easily slices through most of his toys as if they were cookies. I thought it would be nice to give you a glimpse into some of the top-rated toys. I’ve tried a few of the toys listed below, and my favorite hands-down is the Kong. My dog has carried that around for years without so much as a scratch.
Again, I really want to stress that what is indestructible for one dog, could be entirely dismantled by another dog.  My advice is to put the toys away if you’re not going to be home for a few hours, or if your attention is going to be diverted.  The minute a toy or a ball splits in half I toss it in the garbage. My neighbor’s pit bull split a huge Kong in half and ended up with a severe intestinal blockage!
 

5 Indestructible Dog Toys for Any Dog

DISCLAIMER: I haven’t tried ALL of these toys. This post was written based on top reviews. I’m pretty good at eye-balling dog toys (lots of practice) as well. 

#1  Indestructible 10 inch Large Dog Ball in Orange  (Photo is in the carousel above)

This toy is touted by the company as “The Toughest Dog Ball on the PLANET!” 
From what I could see, the overall reviews seemed to support the claim, but I would still pay attention – just in case.  The company describes the ball as a “durable dog toy that come in two sizes. Most of the dog balls are designed with ridges, holes or indentations. These ensure that your fetching Labrador retriever has an easy time grabbing the ball and toting it back to your waiting hands without dropping it along the way. Our dog balls also float, enabling hours of splashing retrieval from backyard pools, creeks and ponds or shoreline and lakeside retreats.”
This toy is dishwasher safe and crafted in the United States. It is non-toxic and…to be honest…sounds like fun.

 

MY REVIEW OF THE REVIEWS:

2.    SoCal Bully Pit Bull Spring Pole – (1) Dog Conditioner – Muscle Builder with (1) $15 Value Heavy Duty 3 Knott Tug Rope Toy Included!  (Photo is in the carousel above)

I love watching people play with their dogs and I’m always amazed at how strong certain breeds are (i.e., bully breeds)! Dog toys for pit bulls are getting better these days. Companies know how much you love  your dog and they want to make sure you’re impressed right from the get-go.  I chose this toy because the idea of sitting in my Adirondack chair with a coffee while watching my pit bull mix play with this sounds appealing. 

 

MY REVIEW OF THE REVIEWS:

According to some reviewers, it’s important to start with the toy only a few feet off the ground to encourage puppies to play.  This is a great toy to start a puppy on, before he/she expects YOU to be the entertainer. I made the mistake of doing that with my dogs. Now they don’t know how to entertain themselves. I’m sure you read in the disclaimer above that I haven’t tried all of the toys in this review.  However, not going to lie….I might just order this one. It’s worth trying out! Reviewers are saying that this particular toy really wears ’em out.

3. Antler Dog Chews Large 3-Pack Save big 7-in long natural sheds from Texas

Okay, I realize that antler dog chews aren’t exactly “toys”, but they last a long time and keep your dog entertained.  I would buy these before I’d ever give my dog another type of bone. Things like chicken bones, for example, tend to splinter in a dog’s mouth.  To be honest, I’m always a little worried about my dog accidentally choking.  Regardless of what I give my dogs, I’d make sure to stick around…just in case.  

My biggest beef (pun intended) would be buying the antler dog chews and then losing them!   Then again, my dogs would love them so much I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t lose them accidentally.  They might store them somewhere though.

 

MY REVIEW OF THE REVIEWS:

The review, of course, was stellar on this product.  Full disclosure:   There was only one review. But it was good! Any product that can keep my dogs busy “up to 2 hours straight” is worth the money in spades.  Is it just me?  I mean, I love my dogs, but sometimes it’s nice to just have a minute to not play ball! 

 

4.  Dog Rubber Chew Toy For Aggressive Chewers Puppy (Small Medium Large) Dogs Breeds Rotatable TPR Pet Tooth Cleaning

So maybe I don’t get out much, but it really wasn’t until recently that I noticed you can buy toys and stuff food into them.  I know, I’m an idiot. I’ve HAD those things for my dogs, but it didn’t really clue in that those empty spaces were there for a reason.  I can see your eyes rolling!   You know how puppies love to chew everything including your ankles, wrists, clothes, and power cords? I have a good feeling that this rubber chew toy would take care of that in a hurry. At least it would keep him/her busy for a while and (hopefully) relieve that urge to chew.

KIND OF FUNNY:  The seller posted this notice to all potential buyers:  Diameter: 7CM, made of non-toxic soft safety rubber material, BPA-frees. DON’T buy this product from these seller named “Meiso Online”, This is a FAKE seller. You’ll never get the order.

MY REVIEW OF THE REVIEWS:

The reviews were excellent for this toy.  It’s worth stressing that the toy is really for smaller dog breeds and/or puppies.

 

Kong EXTREME dog pet toy Dental chew Size:  Large Packs:  Pack of 2

Now we’re getting into familiar territory. I love Kong toys for my dogs. They are seriously the only toy that hasn’t been chewed through.  Yes, we have lost a few of them, but that was mostly my fault for being a sucky ball thrower.  This particular toy is large, but you can get a variety of sizes at your local pet supply store, department store, or online shop.

MY REVIEW OF THE REVIEWS:

One particular reviewer raved about the Kong and how her 70 pound Coon Hound wasn’t able to chew through it. I mean, that’s pretty amazing, right? She goes on to rave about the product being dishwasher safe which is kind of weird because who puts a Kong in the dishwasher?  Anyway…she also says the toy is freezer safe.  I’ve never thought to freeze the treats but it’s a great idea in hot weather or when you really reaaaaallly want to stretch out dog-treat-time.

The Kong got 5/5 stars.

 

At the end of the day, the most important thing is your dog’s safety.  I want to reiterate that I haven’t personally tested all of these products and – like any product – I suggest keeping an eye on your dog while they have a toy in their mouths.  You already knew that; I just had to say it.  I was serious earlier when I mentioned digging out my credit card to buy these toys.   I have a suspicion that even the smaller ball would go far with treats in it.  My dogs are strong, but they’re not stupid.  They would make sure all the treats were eaten long before they destroyed the ball itself. 

I hope you enjoyed this review on “indestructible” dog toys.  Don’t forget to share the post and make sure you stick around to read more.  New to the site?  Start at My Story to find out more about me.  Don’t worry…it’s not nearly as boring as my author bio below.  

 

 

 

Plain Language Explanations of Luxating Patella Dog Massage

Before I talk about luxating patella dog massage, it’s important that I let you know I am not a veterinarian. I don’t play one on TV, either. I do, however, carefully research everything that I write about and I always suggest that dog owners consult with their veterinarian for any dog-health concerns. 

Please read my disclaimer and privacy policy.

There are affiliate links on this pae.

In this article, I want to try to provide plain-language information that will help you do 3 things:

  • Understand the dynamics of a luxating patella.
  • Recognize the 4 grades of a luxating patella.
  • How to carefully administer luxating patella dog massage.

What the Heck is Luxating Patella Dog Massage?

Before I get into luxating patella dog massage, I need to help you understand what the condition is.  You have to understand that luxating patella dog massage should only be administered after a veterinarian has diagnosed the condition, shown you some methods, and has given you the okay to practice this at home.

 A luxating patella is also known as a:

  • trick-knee,
  • slipped kneecap,
  • dislocated kneecap
  • floating kneecap

Those are words everybody can understand! To help explain what happens, I’m going to ask you to picture a child’s race track. You remember those? You place the toy car at the top of the track and let it go. In theory, the car is suppose to barrel down the track, do a complete loop, and finish right-side-up at the end of the track.

I’ve played with a few race tracks in my life, including one I bought for my son, and it never quite worked the way it was supposed to. It always seemed as if the groove in the race track wasn’t deep enough, and the toy cars were too light.

As a result, the car would end up jumping the track.  What happens to the car is similar to what happens to the dog’s knee when it slips out of joint.

In a dog, the kneecap sits in a groove something like that of a race track. If the groove is deep enough, there’s no problem. If the groove is too flat, the knee is at risk of sliding left or right.

LATERAL LUXATING PATELLA (aka LEFT-SLIDING KNEECAP):

Lateral luxation is actually rare and happens when the kneecap slides to the outside of the leg.

MEDIAL LUXATING PATELLA (aka KNEECAP SLIDES INWARD):

This is much more common, especially in small breeds. In this case, the kneecap slips out of the groove and slides toward the dog’s body.

When this happens, you might notice your dog jump and skip. It kind of looks like a bunny hop, then quickly fixes itself. It’s possible it’s happened many times before you even noticed it.

I love the way the woman in the video below explains it. She has slo-mo images of her dog running and climbing and makes it super easy to understand! It’s worth taking a few minutes to watch it.

Hello? You Were Going to Talk About Luxating Patella Dog Massage!

Right.  Sorry.  So here’s the thing; luxating patella dog massage should only be done after a veterinarian shows you precisely how to do it. I’m not trying to get out of explaining it to you (in fact, I will try). I just want to make sure you understand that unless the problem is very minor, massage isn’t the answer, and could even make it worse.

Okay, so let’s assume you’ve been to the veterinarian and you’ve been given some tips on luxating patella massage. The first thing you should do is sit with your dog in a relaxed, quiet location. Instead of going straight for the knee, I prefer to calmly pet my dog in long, slow motions from the tip of the head down the back. Here are a few steps to get into it:

1) Make sure you’re in a quiet location without other animals around.

2) Sit quietly with your dog until he/she is fully relaxed.

3) I start with regular patting in long, easy strokes. Once I see my dog is okay with this, I gradually increase the pressure. Not too much!

4) Once my dog’s head is down and I can see she’s fully relaxed, I gently but firmly encircle the top of each leg (the healthy legs first) and rub from the top, down towards each kneecap, but not on the kneecap.

5) Never apply a lot of pressure directly on the kneecap or any joint.

6) Finally, when I get to the tender knee, I ease my way into it with soft rubbing around the knee (not on the knee). When I see my dog isn’t flinching or scared, I start back at the top of that leg. Using just my thumbs, I press firmly and slide my thumbs down to the kneecap and stop. I repeat that several times to bring blood flow to the knee.

7) Again, never place direct pressure on any joint. That said, I carefully move my hand over the knee to get a sense of how it feels. If it feels like it’s in place and my dog still isn’t showing any distress, I will continue massaging the leg, always being extra careful around the knee joint.

I like the following youtube video demonstrating dog massage although I’m not in a position to endorse it. I would massage my dog, but only if he/she had no serious condition.

No massage oil is needed or required.

VETERINARIAN DIAGNOSIS IS A MUST!

Hey, it’s not that I don’t trust you. I’m not a veterinarian, and if you’re reading this I’m guessing you’re not a veterinarian either. Here’s the thing, if the luxating patella is graded 2, 3, or especially 4, the dog may require surgery and physiotherapy. Performing at-home massage could aggravate the condition and you don’t want that.

Here is a List of Dogs More Prone to Luxating Patella:

Small, or toy breeds, tend to be more prone to this problem. In many cases it’s simply a genetic defect. Puppies should be exercised in moderation. Excessive exercise while the puppy is still forming his/her skeletal body could inflict damage. However, that’s really not the main cause of the problem.

You’re more likely to see luxating patellas in:

  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Pekingese
  • Chihuahua
  • Boston Terrier
  • Pomeranian
  • Affenpinscher
  • American cocker spaniel
  • Basset hound
  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel
  • English springer spaniel
  • Lhasa Apsa
  • Maltese
  • Papillon
  • Pomeranian
  • Toy Poodle
  • Pug
  • Shar Pei

What Were You Saying About Grading a Luxating Patella?

Like any medical condition, there are usually different grades of a disease or condition. With a dog, slipped knees or trick knees are classified in grades of 1 to 4 as follows:

1. Grade I:  This is a fairly easy grade to manage. The knee might slip out of place but it easily goes back in. It can be massaged and generally doesn’t become a huge problem. The dog isn’t in pain.

2. Grade II: Things get a little trickier here. The knee can be put back into place but it’s likely to come right back out once the dog resumes activity. He might not be in pain, but there’s a possibility of developing arthritis. And THAT will cause pain.

3. Grade III: You can probably guess that we’re getting into some tricky territory at this point. Here, the dog is in pain and there’s a greater likelihood that surgery will be required because the knee remains out of joint most of the time.

4. Grade IV:  At this level, the kneecap simply can’t be manually readjusted, even with the leg fully extended.

Will Luxating Patella Dog Massage Ever Be An Option?

Here’s the answer everyone hates:  yes and no.

Luxating patella dog massage is never advised at grades 2 to 4, which is why you need to have your veterinarian’s approval. He/she is the only person who can tell you what stage the dog is in.

Again, the steps to massage I’ve noted above are not to be performed on a dislocated kneecap and never without your veterinarian’s okay. Your dog might not require surgery, but a knee brace and/or physiotherapy is possible. Another treatment mode could include hydrotherapy.

If your dog must have surgery, the veterinarian will suggest the best post-recovery plan for your dog. During the healing process, the leg and knee should not be massaged at all. The veterinarian MIGHT give you the okay after the knee has had time to heal in position, but ask first.

Types of Surgical Intervention:

Veterinarians generally don’t want to jump straight to surgery. It’s expensive (somewhere in the $2000 range), and there is always a risk when putting a dog under anesthesia. If surgery is recommended, it usually follows three steps:

  • the groove is deepened (remember the analogy of the race track?)
  • malformation of the shin bone is corrected
  • over-stretched ligaments around the kneecap are shortened.

In a long-term situation where the cartilage has completely worn away (the way it does with arthritic patients), the kneecap can be put back in place, but the cartilage cannot be replaced. In this situation, the dog has a better quality of life, but it isn’t perfect.

Luxating Patellas (Slipped Knees) Can Happen at Any Age

If you have a small dog breed, don’t think you’re out of the woods because he/she is still a puppy. In fact, if genetics plays a role (and it usually does), you might see this problem earlier rather than later.

If you ever see your dog suddenly do a “bunny hop” that quickly returns to normal, don’t pass it off as a one-time thing. That’s a clear sign of a sliding kneecap.

If your dog is getting older and has had this problem, there is a risk of the dog tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee (otherwise known as the ACL joint). This is really painful and likely requires surgery.

So…What Am I Looking For Exactly?

In the early stages, it might actually look cute. You know..your dog is running and jumping, hopping and shaking his leg. It’s quick and it returns to normal so you might e inclined to think it was just a “thing”.  In reality, you should be watching for the following signs:

  • Limping.
  • Favoring one leg
  • Knee won’t bend
  • Pain when moving the leg
  • Hesitates to jump or run
  • Won’t exercise at all

Gently inspect your dog’s leg for any swelling and make an appointment to see the veterinarian. While on the phone, ask what you can do to make your dog more comfortable while waiting for the appointment.

Good luck! The best part of having a dog is the joy and exuberance it brings to the family. Nothing takes joy out of your life than a dog who can’t move. It’s sad and painful for everybody. Take good care of your little family member and remember….no massage unless the veterinarian has given instruction.

Hi!  I’m Lisa and this is one of my dog’s Coco. He’s a hoot. In this photo, he obviously doesn’t want to give up the ball. 

Look, I’ve already mentioned that I’m not a veterinarian. I love dogs and I would never knowingly say or do anything to harm them. Please take the information I’ve given you for entertainment purposes. I think it’s mostly on-track, but I would rather you take your dog to a qualified veterinarian.

Take a minute to read my disclaimer and privacy policy on the homepage and make sure you come back! I’ve got lots of info up my sleeve and big plans for the future that you don’t want to miss. 

What is Serotonin Syndrome in Dogs?

Serotonin Syndrome in dogs is most often caused by accidental ingestion of owner’s medication. 

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This is especially dangerous if the dog is already on medication to begin with. Antidepressants on their own are generally safe. Dangerous interactions can occur if combined with certain medications.  

The safety of antidepressants in dogs has to be measured in strict dosing guidelines.  This post will explain some of the more popular antidepressants and dosages considered dangerous.

People opt to treat their dogs with antidepressants for behaviours that might otherwise pose a risk to other people or animals.  

If you’ve ever watched The Dog Whisperer, you’ve seen Cesar Milan at work. It’s amazing what he can do to modify and correct a dog’s behaviour.  Nine out of ten times, the owners must claim responsibility for encouraging the bad behaviour. 

Sometimes, however, the dogs that Cesar Milan sees require more intensive training. At that point, he brings the dog to his ranch where he can spend time rehabilitating the dog.  Most people don’t have that luxury.  Antidepressant use in dogs is a valid option for some people.

 In many cases, antidepressants work to alter the dog’s mood in a way that enables the dog to learn better behaviors. Once these new behavioral systems are imprinted onto the dog, antidepressants are slowly weaned.  For information on how to wean your dog off of prozac, visit the post: 5 No-Fail Steps to Wean Your Dog Off of Prozac.

Signs of Serotonin Syndrome in Dogs

Serotonin Syndrome is a risk taken when prescribing antidepressants. Mild signs of Serotonin Syndrome in dogs includes diarrhea. Severe signs include the following:

  • rigidity
  • hyperthermia
  • arrhythmias
  • transient blindness
  • vocalization
  • seizures
  • renal failure

Serotonin Syndrome in dogs can occur when the dog ingests other antidepressants (the owner’s medication) or is given a higher than normal dosage. The antidepressants listed below are a few of the common ones. These include an explanation of the dosages that can cause mild serotonin syndrome up to high doses that can be deadly. 

The following YouTube video explains one reason why dogs are administered antidepressants.

 

Antidepressant Dosing to Avoid Serotonin Syndrome in Dogs

  • Amitriptyline

This class of antidepressant, known as a tricyclic, was one of the first antidepressants available in the late 1950’s. Although it works well to treat depression, high doses can be lethal in dogs.

Mild to moderate symptoms of Serotonin Syndrome can begin at a dosage greater than 2 to 3 mg/kg.

Potentially deadly symptoms appear in dosages of 15 mg/kg.

  • Citalopram

This antidepressant, known as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), was granted approval for use in 1998. Although veterinarians were treating dogs with antidepressants during that time, the practice wasn’t sanctioned.

This SSRI can induce serotonin syndrome in dogs in relatively small doses. For example, a dog will experience mild symptoms of serotonin syndrome at just 0.5 mg/kg.

At 2 to 3 mg/kg, signs of serotonin syndrome in dogs becomes apparent. Anything over 20 mg/kg can be lethal to a dog.

  • Clomipramine

Clomipramine is a tricyclic (similar to Amitriptyline) that is classified as an antidepressant, but typically used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder in humans.

Serotonin syndrome in dogs becomes evident at 2 to 3 mg/kg, which can turn fatal at doses greater than 10 mg/kg.

The next video from YouTube is a previously aired newscast discussing the risk of serotonin syndrome to humans.

 

Escitalopram (Brand name: Lexapro)

Lexapro is another SSRI used in the treatment of depression and anxiety. As with people, fast tapering can result in serious side-effects including confusion, electric shock sensations, insomnia, and lethargy. 

If a dog is administered this anti-depressant, serotonin syndrome becomes apparent at only 0.3 mg/kg.  Increase that to 4 or 5 mg/kg and the ravishes of serotonin syndrome become severe.

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac): 

Prozac is another SSRI used to treat depression in people.  Veterinarians began prescribing Prozac in the 1990’s to treat severe behavioral issues in dogs caused by anxiety.  Dosing should remain under 1 mg/kg because anything above that level could initiate mild to moderate symptoms of serotonin syndrome in dogs.

If dosing is set at anything over 10 mg/kg, severe or even fatal effects of serotonin syndrome emerge.

  • Sertraline:

This classification of antidepressant is another SSRI used to treat behavioral disorders in dogs. 

Serotonin Syndrome in dogs begins with mild symptoms at dosages within the 10 to 2- mg/kg range.  Doses within the 30 to 50 mg/kg range are dangerous, and deadly at 80 mg/kg.  

  • Venlafaxine:

This antidepressant is classified differently and is known as an SNRI (selective-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor). This particular drug works by increasing serotonin and norepinephrine in the body and brain.

Veterinarians who chose to prescribe this antidepressant know that a dosage of 1 mg/kg can create signs of serotonin syndrome in dogs. Dosages at the 6 – 7 mg/kg range are simply dangerous.

The Timeline of Serotonin Syndrome in Dogs

Signs of serotonin syndrome in dogs can occur anywhere from 10 minutes to 4 hours post ingestion. This isn’t because the veterinarian failed to treat properly.  In most cases, the dog got into the owner’s medication and, essentially, overdosed.

Not all dogs will experience serotonin syndrome. That depends on the size of the dog and how much he/she has ingested. If you refer to the list of antidepressants above, you will see how varying dosages become dangerous.

Clinical Treatment of Serotonin Syndrome in Dogs

When a dog presents with serotonin syndrome, the first thing the veterinarian will do is stabilize the dog according to his/her clinical signs. Other medications may be used to block the effects of serotonin on the body (seizures, agitation, heart disturbances, etc.). 

If the dog hasn’t vomited, the veterinarian will administer activated charcoal to absorb the excess medication out of the dog’s system. This is especially important to administer if the dog has swallowed extended-release tablets.

Preventing Serotonin Syndrome in Dogs 

The best way to prevent serotonin syndrome in dogs is to keep medications away from your dog. I know, it sounds simple but it’s so easy to forget. I’ve had things on the counter that I didn’t think my dogs could reach only to come home to a big surprise. Luckily, it wasn’t anything serious like medications. 

The worse place to store antidepressants are in the bathroom cabinet. Heat and moisture can affect the medication. I keep my medications in the kitchen, in a designated cabinet above the counter. My dogs would have to learn how to drag a kitchen chair to the counter, climb up, and open the cupboard drawer. They’re smart…but not that smart.

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23 Noble Traits of the Humane Society Dogs For Adoption

When I talk about Humane Society dogs for adoption, I’m really talking about dog adoption in general. There was a time when I really wasn’t keen on the idea of adopting a shelter dog.  My reasons were probably similar to most people’s. I wanted a puppy, I was afraid of what kind of behavior I’d get from a rescue dog, and I had a preconceived notion of what I wanted the dog to look like.

 I was much younger then and I didn’t understand the full consequences of not adopting. As I matured and gave thought to what it means to really love dogs, it occurred to me that there are thousands upon thousands of dogs sitting sadly in rescue shelters all over the world.

If you’re on the fence about whether to adopt a dog from a shelter or not, read through the list below. My aim is to give you as many facts to go on when making that important decision.

Here are your 23 Noble Traits of The Humane Society Dogs for Adoption

  1. You Take Profits Away From Puppy Mills. It is estimated that there are 10,000 puppy mills in the United States. Not all commercial dog-breeding facilities are bad. However, when there are shelters all over the world with perfectly good dogs waiting for a home, why go that route?

2. Adopting an adult dog means avoiding the puppy phase altogether.   Sure, puppies are cute!  I love puppies. But I also remember going through hundreds of dollars worth of shoes when my gorgeous lab ate them all.

The happy couple in this tweet below look very happy with their newly adopted dog!

3. Humane Society Dogs for Adoption have a whole team rallying behind them. They want to see those dogs go to homes where they can be happy and free. If you have questions or need help finding resources, the Humane Society is right there with you.

4. Did somebody say Boxer? Yes! Humane Society dogs for adoption include pure-bred dogs as well as mixed-breeds. Your choice is not limited!  Do you really need a piece of paper that certifies your dog is a dog?

Did you know that the top 5 dogs found in shelters include:

  • Beagle
  • Boxer
  • Labrador retriever
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Chihuahua

5. The dog you choose has been in the best possible hands. Dogs from shelters have been treated beautifully. They’re fed well, happy, and eager to go to a good home.

Some people like ’em BIG! Check out this adopted Mastiff ” Ace” in the tweet below:

6. Adopting a dog from a shelter is a pay-it-forward situation. The more people who adopt from shelters, the better word gets around. If everyone would consider adopting before buying, the world would be a better place.

7. Adopting from the Humane Society puts valuable money in their coffers. Globally, the Humane Society is working hard to stop animal testing and animal cruelty.

8. The fewer dogs on the street means a decrease in the cruel efforts to eradicate them. In some parts of the world, governments “solve” the stray dog situation by poisoning, electrocution, and shooting.

9. When considering Humane Society Dogs for Adoption, consider that the adoption fees (ranging from $170 to over $600) includes the following:

  • Physical exam
  • Behavioral evaluation
  • Vaccinations for distemper and bordetella
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Deworming medication
  • Flea Treatment
  • Tick Treatment
  • Spay Neuter
  • A FREE follow-up exam
  • A package of medications for the dog (if needed) to get you by for about 2 weeks.
  • A bag of dog food
  • Free dog ID tags

The benefits of adopting a dog from the Humane Society extend way beyond the list noted above.

10. Adopting a dog from the Human Society lessens the burden of the 3.3 million dogs put in shelters every year (approximate).

11. You literally save a life. Every year, there are approximately 670,000 dogs euthanized because there simply isn’t enough room.

12. You get to show off! Adopting a shelter pet is gaining in popularity and status.

13. You get to see the Humane Society team in action. You will understand just how much these people care about the dogs. You would think they’d want to stand on the street-corner handing dogs out like candy, but they don’t.  Volunteers work very hard to make sure they are NOT handing dogs to people who haven’t prepared themselves.

14. I don’t really want to let this secret out, but you can always bring the dog back if you feel it’s not working out. Most places offer a 60 day return policy. Do your homework ahead of time! 

15. Some Humane Society shelters also offer to microchip your dog. Did you know that only about 14% of lost dogs are reunited with their families?

16. Pet Insurance might not be on your radar, but it should be. Your dog will get a free examination by a licensed veterinarian when you adopt from a shelter. If the dog has no pre-existing conditions, you can get pet insurance.

17. Join a community of 1.6 million people who adopt from shelters every year. Dogs enrich our lives, lower our blood pressure, and make us laugh. Check out the tweet below and you’ll see why it’s important to cater to your dog’s strengths, not his weaknesses.  Hilarious!

18.  Be a dog owner! Approximately 44% of all households in the United States have a dog. You can be one of them.

19. Boost the numbers. As it stands now, 23% of dogs are adopted from the Humane Society or another shelter.  The trend is slowly rising, but you can help tip the scale

20. Become a dog expert like Cesar Milan. Pet problems are the most common reason people re-home their dogs.  You can learn to be a pack leader quickly and easily (I did!), and once you are seen as the pack leader, behavioral problems will disappear.

21.  Pet owners laugh more, love more, and have better overall health.

22. Ensure that at least one more dog goes to a home that respects and values his life. Make sure that you are the one who provides food, water, and a safe home where the dog can finally be safe.

23. Add 1 + 1.  Two dogs are just as easy as one. I did it! 

Now that you are convinced to adopt a dog from a shelter, take some time to do your homework first. It’s an exciting process that shouldn’t be rushed. Visit the shelter, do research on the particular breed that interests you the most, and make sure your house can accommodate the dog’s needs. 

Congratulations! You are on your way to becoming a valued and respected adopter.

I hope you enjoyed the post and I want you to stick around for more great content. To get you started, I suggest visiting 11 Ways to Reclaim Your Dog’s Health in 2018

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