Dog Health Misc.

Can Dogs Eat Oranges?

If your question is, “Can dogs eat oranges?”, the quick answer is YES.

Keep reading, because there is more to this answer you should know.  You must have a reason for asking whether dogs can eat oranges, right?  In this post, I’m going to address reasons due to weight, nutrition, and overall safety.

Can Dogs Eat Oranges if They Are Overweight?

Before getting into this topic, you should know that most experts only recommend feeding oranges to dogs with no underlying health concerns. Diabetes would be the biggest concern, since diabetic dogs have a strict diet to be followed.

The Issue of Weight Gain in Dogs

There is some concern that overfeeding fresh fruit like oranges to dogs could contribute to weight gain. I’m not a veterinarian or a dietician, but in my opinion…feeding your dog a few slices of oranges now and then isn’t going to be a problem, especially if you substitute the orange segments for pre-packaged dog treats.

On the other hand, if you are adding food to an already high-calorie diet, then yes – weight gain is possible.

Have you ever considered getting your dog’s DNA tested? Find out which dogs are more prone to stomach upsets and weight gain, or which breeds may carry certain genetic mutations.  Read my review of two different DNA TESTS.

Oranges versus Processed Treats

Have you looked at the calories on a bag of processed dog treats? In addition to the added calories, there are countless ingredients including sodium that can be harmful to the overall health of your dog. In my mind, substituting those high-cal treats with fresh fruit or even dried sweet potato slices has to be a better option. 

Guidelines Around Feeding Dogs Oranges

According to veterinarians at Banfield Animal Hospital, a dog’s caloric intake should only include 10% treats (and that includes oranges).

Overall Caloric Guidelines for Dogs

It is recommended that dogs receive 30 calories per pound of body weight. Of course, slight variations exist based on the size and activity level of the dog, the time of year, and whether the dog is a puppy or an adult.


  • A 5 pound dog = 120 – 180 calories per day for full-grown dogs
  • 10 pound dog = 420 – 630 calories per day for full-grown dogs
  • 20 pound dog = 700 – 1050 calories per day (same as above)
  • 30 pound dog = 930 – 1400 calories per day (same as above)
  • 50 pound dog = up to 2000 calories per day
  • 70 pound dog = up to 2500 calories per day
  • 100 pound dog = up to 3600 calories a day

**Always check with your veterinarian for your dog’s precise caloric needs. Activity level, dog’s physical health, and other factors can impact how much a dog should eat to avoid weight gain.

Wondering what else your dog can or can’t eat? Check out my post on 32 Poisonous Plants You Should Know About.

Comparing Oranges & Dog Treats

An average orange contains about 47 calories in addition to fiber and vitamin C.  Plus, oranges are almost 90% water!

You Might be Interested in:  Dog ACL Brace Comparison

Grab that bag of dog treats out of the cupboard and have a look at the stuff in those things. To be honest, I wish I had taken a closer look before. Oranges would have been a better choice from day one, not the heavily processed treats with questionable nutritional value.

The average store-bought treat contains 70 to 100 calories (or more) and include a high amount of salt and other detrimental ingredients like:

  • Corn
  • wheat gluten.
  • Meat and grain meals
  • BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)
  • BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
  • Ethoxyquin.
  • Food Dyes
  • PG (Propylene Glycol)
  • Rendered fat.

What Vitamins Does a Dog Need?

Unlike people, dogs are able to produce Vitamin C within their own bodies.  That means it’s not necessary to supplement with additional Vitamin C.

However, because Vitamin C is not stored in the tissues, and any extra is excreted through the kidneys, too much Vitamin C is not toxic.  Veterinarians, however, do not recommend feeding your dog orange peelings because they’re hard to digest.

The Rules Are Different for Diabetic Dogs

A healthy dog who eats an orange now and then is going to be fine.  That might not be the case, however, for a diabetic dog.

Click the blue link above and read Diabetic Life Expectancy of Dogs

Can Dogs Eat Oranges?

Please be careful no matter what you feed your dog and make sure to avoid the peeling. It probably goes without saying, but the peeling is gross. Besides, it doesn’t digest all that well and that last thing you want is your dog vomiting orange peelings.

Comments?  Questions?  Please comment in the form below!  Don’t forget to tweet, pin, and post this article.  

Your Top 3 Questions on Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

I’ve quickly learned that Cushing’s disease in dogs – like many other illnesses – is complicated.  For that reason, I want to break this down in the simplest way possible.  If your dog has Cushing’s, or you suspect it, you probably have the following questions:

  1. How does Cushing’s disease in dogs develop?
  2. Is it difficult to treat Cushing’s disease in dogs?
  3. Is the disease fatal?

As a dog owner myself, I realize there are many more questions than that. However, for the sake of this post, I want to concentrate on what I think are the 3 most pressing questions.  FIRST, the disclaimers:


Disclaimer:  I am not a veterinarian. I do the best I can to provide quality content based on sound research. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t get it wrong sometimes. Please take your dog to a licensed veterinarian for the “real” diagnosis.

Affiliate:  Please note that affiliate links may appear on this page.


How Does Cushing’s Disease in Dogs Develop?

Cushing’s disease develops when the adrenal glands (located near the kidneys) create too many of the hormones that support normal functioning of the body.  The main concern is the over-production of cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone triggered under stress.  In a healthy dog, the adrenal glands release the hormone which (among other things), tells the liver to release glucose.  In high amounts, this reaction essentially poisons the dog’s endocrine system and creates a dangerous imbalance. It’s this imbalance that creates the symptoms (see below).


Your Top 3 Questions on Cushing's Disease in Dogs










In addition, cortisol affects the dog’s blood pressure, electrolytes, immune function, and changes the way the dog metabolizes fat.

In medical terms, the disease (also called Cushing’s Syndrome) is known as hyperadrenocorticism.

When a dog is diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, it means he has a tumor that is either on the pituitary gland (below) or on the adrenal gland (below).


The details:

Cushing’s disease in dogs can present in one of three ways:


  • Pituitary tumor (small gland at the base of the brain)

This is the most common cause of Cushing’s disease in middle-aged to older dogs.  Thankfully, it’s usually benign, meaning non-cancerous. There are rare cases of malignant tumors of the pituitary gland, but an otherwise healthy dog diagnosed with Cushing’s disease stemming from the pituitary gland has an excellent prognosis.

In a small percentage of dogs (approximately 15%), the tumor grows and presses on the brain. When that occurs, the dog may experience neurological symptoms. If this happens, the outlook for the dog’s prognosis is not as good.

The larger tumors that end up causing neurological symptoms are known as macroadenomas.  These are tumors that are larger than 1 cm. The smaller tumors, or microadenomas, are generally too small to cause neurological symptoms and can usually be managed with ongoing pharmaceutical treatment.


  • Adrenal tumor (two glands located near the kidneys)

Adrenal tumors come in second-place, but still only represent a very small percentage (around 15% to 20%) of Cushing’s disease in dogs. These tumors have roughly a 50/50 chance of being benign (non cancerous), or malignant (cancerous).

I’ve read several different articles and studies on the topic, and it seems there is a divide among professionals on whether to perform surgery or not.  Surgery is risky, and there’s no guarantee that another tumor won’t pop up in the pituitary gland.

The adrenal glands are what produce the “fight or flight” response when the dog is under stress.  It doesn’t have to be labelled as “good” stress or “bad” stress. The important thing is how much stress the dog has and how it is affecting his/her endocrine system.  Adrenal glands serve an important function in maintaining balance within the body by regulating digestion, the immune system, and energy.


The following YouTube video was created by a holistic veterinarian.



Digging deeper into the adrenal glands:

The adrenal glands might be small, but they are complicated and vital to the dog’s life. There are 3 zones within the adrenal gland:

  1. Zona Glomerulosa (Outer Layer)

This layer is responsible for secreting the mineralocorticoid hormones which transport sodium and potassium through the cell walls and maintain water balance, among other things.

2. Zona Fasciculata (Middle Layer)

This layer makes up 70% of the cortex and is responsible for secreting glococorticoid hormones (cortisol and corticosterone), the fight-or-flight stress hormones.

3. Zona Reticularis (Inner Layer)

This layer produces the sex hormones including progesterone, estrogen, and androgen., these hormones work together to sustain your dog’s life

  • Iatrogenic Cushing’s disease

The third type is caused by excessive use of corticosteroid medications (prednisone is one example) over time and is rare.



  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Pot-bellied abdomen
  • Fat redistribution to the belly
  • Skin infections
  • Loss of fur, primarily on the trunk.
  • Muscle weakness
  • Change in skin pigmentation
  • Easily bruised because of skin thinning
  • Neurologic abnormalities (circling, behavioral changes, seizures, etc.) Note: neurological abnormalities typically show once the disease has progressed. At that point, the pituitary tumor is large enough to press on the brain.


Unfortunately, like many illnesses, Cushing’s disease in dogs isn’t easily identified early on.  The veterinarian will perform a physical exam along with urinalysis and blood work.   The veterinarian can determine through a special test whether cortisol can be naturally suppressed or not.  First, the veterinarian could check the blood work for the actual cortisol level.

From there, he or she can do what’s called a “dexamethasone suppression test” by injecting a small amount into the dog.  Blood samples are taken at 4 and 8 hours post-injection. If the compound does nothing to suppress the dog’s cortisol level, Cushing’s is suspected.

“Using the word “disease” to describe Cushing’s is not considered accurate by most veterinarian professionals. Once a dog has Cushing’s, he/she has the disease for the rest of his life. In that respect, Cushing’s is really considered a “syndrome”.”


  • Is it difficult to treat Cushing’s disease in dogs?

Trilostane: This particular drug is the only drug approved by the FDA to treat both pituitary and adrenal tumors. The medication works by stopping the over-production  of cortisol from the adrenal glands.  Side effects of Trilostane could include:

  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Low Energy
  • Diarrhea

As of 2015, the FDA began adding additional side-effect possibilities to the packaging. Some of these side-effects might include severe sodium and potassium imbalance along with things like shaking and high liver enzymes.

Unfortunately, if your dog has other conditions that affect the kidneys, liver, or heart, is isn’t safe to administer Trilostane. Up until 1994, Trilostane was used for the human version of Cushing’s. Since then, it has been banned. It is still, however, considered a good choice for dogs by some veterinarians.

I’ve searched various opinions on whether this drug is found to be useful for dogs with Cushing’s, and the reviews are mixed.  Some veterinarians will not prescribe drugs like Trilostane until they are certain without a shadow of doubt that the dog has Cushing’s disease. 

Unfortunately, symptoms can be subtly, developing slowly over time. As our dogs age, it’s easy to shrug off minor things as a simple sign of aging. If no treatment plan is offered early on, the ongoing effects of too much cortisol in the body will deteriorate the dog’s health. If nothing is done until the signs are overt and obvious, it could be too late.

Treatment for Adrenal Induced Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Possible surgery and medication:  If the veterinarian has diagnosed a tumor on your dog’s adrenal gland, the first line of treatment might be medication in order to shrink the tumor. Once the tumor is down to an operable size, surgery is sometimes the next step. Another option for veterinarians who would rather not perform surgery on the dog (surgery can be risky) is to treat with medications on an ongoing basis, possibly for the entire life of the dog.

Lysodren (or Mitotane)

Lysoden is a chemotherapy drug used in humans. Although not approved by the FDA, veterinarians can prescribe the medication as an “off label” product. That means it is still legal to prescribe if the veterinarian has reason to believe it’s a good option. However, the FDA has not conducted or approved studies on the actual effects of the drug on dogs.  Both Lysodren and Trilostane are potent drugs that can have a variety of side-effects, some more serious than others.

In fact, a review of the administration of Trilostane for dogs with Cushing’s (published by the Canadian Veterinary Journal in April, 2018, and written by Julie Lemetaylor and Shauna Blois), suggests a high degree of controversy around this drug. While the drug does inhibit the over-production of cortisol, it can also create a certain level of toxicity in the animal.

ScienceDirect has some interesting details about this particular drug and how it works on Cushing’s disease in dogs.


Many dogs with Cushing’s disease develop a bloated or “pot-bellied” appearance.


Is Cushing’s Disease in Dogs Fatal?

There’s no cure for Cushing’s disease, but it is possible to control it for a long time. As long as the tumor remains small and manageable, your dog can go on to live many more years. What you don’t want to see is an enlarged tumor on the pituitary gland. Once that happens, it begins to affect the brain and causes a variety of neurological symptoms.

Dog’s with malignant (cancerous) adrenal tumors have a poorer outcome.  That said, if the tumor is on the adrenal gland but is benign (not cancerous), surgery could actually “cure” the disease.

That was pretty complicated and I hope I managed to get it right!

Please feel absolutely free to reach out to me with any corrections. The last thing I want to do is give anybody the wrong information.  Please remember what it says at the top of this post. I am not a veterinarian and I definitely don’t play one on TV. My goal is to provide information to help you better understand your dog’s health. The posts I write, however, are not meant to take the place of good ole legit advice from a licensed veterinarian.

So, now you’ve got a lot of information to think about. Question your veterinarian about this because it is very complicated. I had to leave a lot out, otherwise this post would go on forever.  Please come back soon! You don’t want miss some of the new posts I’ve got coming out soon.

OH..Would you do me one little favor? Could you please share this or follow me through social media? That would be awesome.



Identifying a Lump on Dog’s Neck 2018

First thing is the disclosure; I am not a veterinarian. Always see a licensed veterinarian for your dog’s health requirements.  Second disclosure is that you may find affiliate links on this page.


Identifying a Lump on Dog’s Neck

If you have discovered a lump on your dog’s neck, chances are it is a non-malignant basal cell tumor. However, as I will say over and over again, always have it checked out by a professional.

I was spending some quality time with my lab the other night, rolling my hands through the thick folds in her neck. I rubbed her chest and around both sides of her body.  As my fingers trailed back, I felt a lump. It was small, somewhat hard, and just beneath the skin.  My heart did a little lurch and (naturally) my mind went to the worst case scenario. Imagine my embarrassment when I realized it was just her nipple.  I’ll give you a second to stop laughing….

But how do you know when a lump is nothing, or when it’s something very serious? The reality is, you don’t.  Even the highest trained veterinarian can’t just glance at a lump and immediately know what it is. They probably have a much better educated guess than I do…but it still needs closer examination. “Closer examination” usually means getting a biopsy or at least aspirating the fluid to exam under a microscope. 

What I’m trying to say is not to jump to conclusions when you spot or feel a lump. A lot of times, they really are benign. If they’re not, the sooner you get your dog to the veterinarian the better.  I don’t give a lot of advice on this site because I’m not a veterinarian, but I feel pretty confident in telling you to bring your dog to the veterinarian for any suspicious lump.


Identifying a Lump on Dog's Neck 2018

Identifying a Lump on Dog’s Neck isn’t easy to do. Always contact your veterinarian for a diagnosis.

“Common” doesn’t mean benign.

For some reason, I figured the word “common” meant the lump would be non-cancerous.  That’s not always the case. Below is a list of commonly found tumors. One type – the mast cell tumor – is particularly dangerous.







  • Fatty Tumors (also known as Lipomas)

This type of lump occurs under the skin and is common in dogs. It can show up as a lump on dog’s neck, but can appear anywhere on the body. My sister’s dog had one once. It was under his jaw, at the top of his neck, and it was huge! The veterinarian did not want to lance it because he feared the dog would (essentially) bleed out. He was an old dog and ended up living with that mass until his final day.

Lipomas are normally benign (not cancerous).


  • Sebaceous Cyst

These are a little like pimples in that they occur when skin becomes blocked.  These cysts are normally found around the dog’s hair follicles or directly within the skin’s pores.  Do not lance or pinch it.  When you squeeze a pimple, you end up pushing some of the pus back inside the skin tissue where it can form another pocket.  It might even get infected. Watch for signs of redness and swelling. An infection is normally hot to the touch.  Overall, it’s not a serious thing and it won’t turn into cancer.


  • Warts

If I saw a wart on my dog, I’m pretty sure I would mistake it for something more serious. They can have a cauliflower appearance and are quite small. They can occur around a dog’s mouth, eyes, between toes, and anywhere there is more skin than fur.  It takes a lot of skill and experience to look at something like this and just know what it is.  However, it’s good to know that not EVERY lump or bump is cancer.  Warts in dogs tend to happen to young puppies, or dogs with compromised immune function.


  • Abscess

An abscess is a secondary infection caused by a wound on the dog’s body.  Bacteria invade the area which essentially disables the body’s ability to heal the original wound.  The infected site will be swollen, red, may ooze pus, and is painful.  I would contact a veterinarian for anything that even slightly resembled an infection. An abscess is a bacterial infection and will possibly need antibiotic treatment (oral and ointment, or one or the other).


  • Mast Cell Tumors

For detailed information about Mast Cell Tumors, visit my post The Truth About Mast Cell Tumor Dog Life Expectancy.

These are the most common skin cancers found on dogs. Essentially, the dog’s skin contains natural mast cells that are responsible for fighting parasitic infection, aid in repairing skin tissue, from new blood vessels, etc.  When those mast cells go awry, they become mast cell tumors. The tumors pretty much shut down the skin’s ability to do the things it is supposed to do. 

Mast cell tumors will usually spread through the dog’s body, particularly to the spleen, living, and bone marrow.




  • Basal Cell Tumor

This type of tumor develops on the outer later of skin. They are firm to the touch and are commonly found as a lump on dog’s neck or head. Although most are benign (non-cancerous), there are occasions when cancer develops and becomes malignant (spreads to other parts of the body).  Basal cell tumors (whether benign or malignant) are most successfully treated with surgery and – as always – it’s better to catch them early on. Basal cell tumors are especially common to older dog breeds such as Poodles and Cocker Spaniels.
  • Tick

I am so used to ticks that I can tell it’s a tick just by touching it. If you’re not familiar with ticks, they are disgusting parasites that chomp down onto your dog’s skin and stay there until they fill up with blood and drop off.  The biggest fear with ticks is the transmission of chronic and sometimes deadly disease.  Read my article on tick removal.

Obviously a tick is neither a tumor or cancer, but they must be removed as soon as possible. The longer a tick stays attached to your dog, the greater the risk of it transmitting disease.


  • Fibroma

A fibroma is a non-cancerous tumor common to dogs and found on limbs or pressure points.  These are also known as skin tags, cutaneous tag, polyps, or collagenous hamatoma.  VCA hospitals have a great article with all of the details regarding this growth.


  • Fibrosarcoma

Fibrosarcoma is a tumor found in the connective tissue. It is typically malignant (cancerous) although it doesn’t typically metastasize (spread to other organs in the body).  In some cases, if the integrity of the bone is compromised, the dog’s limp may need to be amputated.


  • Hemangiosarcoma

The National Canine Cancer Foundation describes these as deadly cancers that originate in the endothelium (cells that line the interior cells of blood vessels) and invade the blood vessels.


There are three types of hemangiosarcomas:

Dermal– Found on the skin

Hypodermal- Found under the skin 

Visceral- Found on the spleen, pericardium and the heart

-National Canine Cancer Foundation


  • Histiocytoma

This type of tumor looks like a raised button and is found on the dog’s head, ears or limbs. It is not usually found as a lump on dog’s neck.  The best thing about one appearing on your dog’s head is that it will be difficult (impossible) for him to lick at it and cause infection. These tumors are fast-growing tumors that are actually (usually) harmless. You’re more likely to see these on younger dogs and the tumor normally disappears over time. It’s rare for dogs to have a cancerous type of histiocytoma.


  • Injection Site Lump

This is one that might be self-explanatory and easily identified if your dog has recently had a shot.  That said, I still wouldn’t take it for granted that it’s just a side-effect of a needle injection. Tumors can appear at injection sites (vaccinations mostly) and can even appear years later.  Always have those lumps and bumps checked out by a licensed veterinarian.


Could YOU identify any of the above lumps or bumps?

Probably not.  As I mentioned above, most veterinarians won’t even hazard a guess without having a look at the cells beneath a microscope. 

If you have spotted a lump on dog’s neck, or anywhere else on the body, pay particular attention to additional symptoms like:

  • swelling
  • other sores that won’t heal
  • weight loss and low appetite
  • unusual bleeding or discharge from the lump
  • a bad smell coming from the area

Again, I can’t stress enough how important it is to bring your dog to a licensed veterinarian if you spot any unusual lump or bump. They are normal, especially as the dog ages, but you really want to catch cancerous tumors sooner rather than later.


VCA Hospitals are promoting this awareness now. Don’t adopt a “wait and see” approach because the sooner a cancerous tumor is treated, the better the outcome for the dog.


You Should Have the Following Information Before Phoning the Veterinarian.

Imagine how many people call the veterinarian to say their dog has a suspicious lump. It might help speed things along if you are able to also give the following information:

  • How big is the lump on dog’s neck? Would you say it’s the size of a pea or smaller?  Take a picture of the lump with a penny or coin next to it for size comparison.
  • Is the lump soft or hard?
  • Is it moveable?
  • What color is the lump?
  • Is their any discharge?
  • Have you noticed any unusual behavior in your dog recently (for example; no appetite, weight loss, fatigue)
  • Can you tell if the lump is painful for the dog?

At the end of the day, trying to sort out whether that lump on your dog is something to worry about is a useless venture.  Don’t panic, but don’t wait on it either. I keep saying this over and over for good reason: Make an appointment with your veterinarian and get that mysterious lump looked at.

With any luck, it will be nothing to worry about.  But if it is something, the chances of a good prognosis are much better if it’s caught early!


Hey, thanks for reading this post!  Come back often for the latest health-related posts or sign up for my newsletter so that you don’t miss a thing. Your next stop should be Chondrosarcoma in Dogs Life Expectancy, a nice complement to this post.

Questions or comments?  Follow me on Twitter @lisatheriault46 or complete the form in the sidebar.  You can find me at as well.

Looking forward to hearing from you.  Good luck with your dog and let me know how it works out.

7 Common Treatments For Slipped Discs in Dogs

Slipped discs in dogs are no fun.  However, by the time you’re finished reading this post, you’ll have a good understanding of what happens when a disc slips or ruptures.

More importantly, you’ll have a better understanding of anatomy awareness and veterinarian-suggested treatment options.

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This post may contain affiliate links.

How to Help Your Dog From Home

You can help your dog tremendously by providing very gentle, soft-tissue massage.  Watch your dog’s reaction to the massage and do not apply pressure directly to the spine. The idea is to get blood flowing around the injury. 

Reduce inflammation by wrapping ice in a towel and applying (gently!) for ten minutes.  If your dog doesn’t tolerate it, do not force it. 


A physiotherapy can do wonders for your dog.  Water therapy is particularly good for increasing mobility.

Be careful!  Always consult with a physiotherapist or massage therapist before trying these techniques on your dog.

Post Surgical Treatments:

5. After surgery, your dog will need to be carefully shifted to avoid bed sores.

6. The veterinarian should refer you to a physiotherapist who can tailor a program for your dog that includes an exercise program, neuromuscular stimulation, hydrotherapy, etc.

7. Before leaving the physiotherapist’s office, make sure you have a print-out, and a demonstration of the home-exercises you need to do with your dog.

The Mechanics of a Slipped Disc in Dogs

Below is the skeleton of a dog.  From the neck, all the way down the spine, there are soft discs that connect vertebra to vertebra, like links in a chain.  These soft discs are what enable us to move around comfortably.  Slipped discs in dogs – as with people – are painful and sometimes difficult to treat.

I purposely embedded the images below nice and big so you’d be able to see what I’m talking about. The left image shows what various types of disc degeneration actually looks like.  Each disc has a fibrous outer ring (kind of looks like an elastic) and contains a pulpy center which acts like a cushion and absorbs everyday jolts and movements.

Slipped Discs in Dogs

Above is an Image Showing Disc Degeneration

Dogs with inter vertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a condition that allows the discs to bulge, and those bulges can press against nerves. 

Herniated Disc

When the jelly-like, or pulpy material inside the disc bursts (or herniates), the disc projects fluid into the spinal column. The risk here is compression against the nerves that send messages to the dog’s body to move, i.e. paralysis.

If the herniated disc happens in the neck, it doesn’t cause any paralysis, but can leave the dog in a fair bit of pain.

If the herniated disc happens down the back, it could cause paralysis, but the dog will not feel a lot of (if any) pain.

Degenerative Discs

Degenerative discs caused by IVDD is exactly how it sounds.  It’s a slow process where the liquid gradually makes its way out of the encased disc and into the spinal column. This is very painful for the dog.

Thinning Discs

Another problem associated with IVDD is a thinning disc (seen above) in which the entire disc wears down.

7 Common Treatments For Slipped Discs in Dogs
Slipped discs in dogs are painful and can even cause paralysis. Learn everything you can in order to best help your dog.

The Dog’s Spinal Column

The cervical vertebrae consists of the bone within the neck and extends from the shoulder blades up to the head.

Thoracic Vertebrae

The thoracic vertebrae is the system that lines the area just beneath the shoulder blades.

Lumbar Vertebrae

If you place your palm on the back of your dog’s neck and run it all along the spine, you’ll feel a little dip or sway and that is where the lumbar vertebrae is.

 Sacrum Vertebrae

Vertebrae in this area travel across the top of the pelvis and extend into the tail which is where the caudal vertebrae are found.

Caudal Vertebrae

The caudal vertebrae extend down through the entire tail.

Symptoms of a Slipped Disc in Dogs

You’ll notice something is wrong when he/she is suddenly hesitant to jump into your lap, on the bed, walk up stairs, etc.

Your dog might appear hunched or tense along his back.  If your dog is in pain, he/she will vocalize by whimpering or crying.

Inter Vertebral Disc Disease in the Dog

Above, under the category of bulging discs, I briefly mentioned inter vertebral disc disease (IVDD). IVDD is a common condition to aging dogs. They are just like us in that way…as the years pass, their bodies begin to wear down.


With Hansen Type I, the disc rupture happens very fast due to weakness in the disc.  A sudden slipped disc in dogs is extremely painful and may require surgery.  When the disc herniates, the spinal cord becomes compressed and can cause paralysis.  Hansen Type I is common in young chondrodystrophic breeds (dogs with really short and curved limbs).


This type tends to happen to medium and large dogs over a time.  As the dog ages, the discs weaken.  The outer part of the disc bulges and presses into the spinal column causing pain and distress.

This type is more like the type of slipped disc that happens to people. Maybe you’ve had some back pain or nerve pain but you’ve still been able to get around. It’s not comfortable, but you can manage.

One day, you do something innocuous like grab a bag of groceries and BANG, the disc slips. This is kind of what happens in dogs but instead of reaching for a grocery bag, maybe the try to jump off the bed or hurt it jumping into the car.

At this point, your dog could be facing surgery, depending on symptoms and location of the slipped disc.

There are 4 classes of disk disease and they include:

  • Class 1: back pain only; there is a reluctance to move or jump and hunched posture, quiet behavior, and often a finicky appetite (a common reason for a veterinary visit)
  • Class 2: back pain with a wobbly or incoordinated gait and mild weakness in the hind limbs; they are still able to walk
  • Class 3: presence of “proprioceptive deficits” which basically means the brain doesn’t know where the feet are; if you turn your dog’s paw over on its knuckles, it will quickly flip it back over, but with spinal compromise, the brain doesn’t realize the paw is “upside down” and they leave it that way; other times, “scissoring” of the back legs when they attempt to walk is observed; in all of these classes, the front limbs generally remain normal
  • Class 4: complete loss of function of the back legs (paralysis) but they can still feel their toes when you pinch them; pet owners will often observe their pets dragging themselves around

At the end of the day, it’s important to pay attention to your dog and how he moves. 

 Slipped discs in dogs need to be seen by a veterinarian because of the extreme pain to the dog and the risk of paralysis.

I’ve given you a lot to absorb, and I hope you found it useful. Please take a minute and share with your Twitter, facebook, or Pinterest friends for me.

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7 Best French Bulldog Rescues NJ

Disclaimer:  Lisa Theriault is not a veterinarian and cannot diagnose or make recommendations for treatment. Please see a licensed veterinarian for your dog health needs.

I noticed a lot of people like you were looking for the best French Bulldog Rescues NJ, and decided to write it up.  Please keep in mind that, at the time of this writing, the French bulldog rescues NJ network was up-to-date.

If you are looking for a rescue that isn’t listed here, you can always check with your official State of New Jersey website for a complete directory.

My search criteria included:

  • Excellent reviews, Photos, and/or positive stories from other adopters
  • Website authority
  • Related certifications and licensing by the establishment

So, let’s get started…

 7 Best French Bulldog Rescue Networks in New Jersey

1. 4 Paws Dog Rescue of NJ

The best place to see what this rescue is up to is to check out their facebook page @4pawsdogrescue. Here is a link to their website, but I find the facebook page much better to navigate. Their website can be found if you click on the heading below.

4 Paws Dog Rescue of NJ

4 Paws Dog Rescue of NJ isn’t an exclusive French bulldog rescue, but they do have a lot of animals available for adoption at any given time. Have your heart set on a French bulldog? Personally, I don’t blame you. If you decide to go through this non-profit company, stay patient because the French bulldog of your dreams could turn up at any minute.


PO Box 492    Berlin, New Jersey

Call: +1 856-359-4729Email:

We place dogs in loving, responsible, committed permanent homes, following a comprehensive adoption process which includes taking considerable care in finding good matches and educating prospective adopters about the responsibilities and costs of bringing a dog into their homes and lives. Animals in our care are spayed or neutered, receive all appropriate veterinary care…

2.   Muddy Paws Rescue NYC

I’m afraid this rescue doesn’t primarily adopt French bulldogs.  I would go through the motions of contacting them and asking how often they get French bulldogs.  They may even be able to contact you when one becomes available. Not all sites list their fees, but this one does (below). Please remember that non-profit organizations like French bulldog rescue sites usually take care of the vaccinations, veterinarian checkup, de-worming, and spay/neuter, which factors into the cost of the adoption.

Contact :  MUDDY PAWS CONTACT FORM Call +1 646-598-7297



  • Puppies: $425 – $500
  • Young adults: $350 – $450
  • Adults $350 – $435
  • Seniors $200 – $300

Special Quote from Organization:

All of our pups have seen a vet!

Adult dogs are spayed or neutered, have all of their shots, are dewormed, and are microchipped (unless there are extenuating circumstances, which we will discuss with you.)

Puppies have between one and three rounds of puppy shots and deworming, and are spayed or neutered if old/large enough.

I love this picture from Twitter!

3. Animal Alliance of New Jersey

I particularly like the care and detail that went into this website. When you click on the link FIND A DOG, you will be taken to directory. The directory enables you to indicate the breed, age, size, gender, and special characteristics you might be looking for. For example, is this dog good with children?

Contact 1 (609) 818-1952

PO Box 1285, Belle Mead, NJ  08502

A special note from Animal Alliance of NJ:

Routine care for our animals is provided by the staff veterinarians at Planned Pethood. Services include a routine medical exam, age-appropriate distemper and rabies vaccinations, de-worming, flea and tick preventatives, leukemia and FIV testing for cats and microchipping for dogs. We routinely accept animals in immediate need of skilled veterinary care due to horrific abuse, neglect or illness.

Like what you see? Remember this…once you get that new dog home you’re going to need a lot of health care information. Sign up now before you forget. Don’t worry, I won’t overwhelm you with emails.  You will get the best of the best with timely information on everything from a simple cough to cancer.


4. It’s a Dog’s Life Rescue of NJ

Some of these rescue websites make it easy to find contact information, and others are trickier. However, I was able to locate the email address, phone number, and general location within New Jersey.


Call: 1 (609) 712-6144

It’s easy to look for the type of dog you want, but I don’t see any listing of fees anywhere.  When you see the dog you want, you’ll see a purple button that says Ask About Me. I presume if you do that it will take you a little deeper into the process where you can get all of the pertinent information you need.

5. French Bulldog Rescue Network

This organization has a good presence on facebook and you can find them there by visiting: FBRN20

Note: I prefer the facebook page to the webpage, which you can find at Their organization is online, but the dogs are in foster homes around the country.  Depending on availability, you might be able to find a French bulldog right in your own backyard so to speak.

NOTE: If you go to their website, you’ll see a purple banner at the top of the page to the right. The banner says Available Dogs Foster Dogs.  Click on that link.

Fees: Wasn’t able to easily find.

French Bulldog Rescue Network Mission Statement:

FBRN’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home French Bulldogs in need from commercial breeding kennels, import brokers, public shelters, private rescue dogs, as well as provide education and training. Our goal is to place healthy and happy French Bulldogs into forever homes.

Best French Bulldog Rescues from New Jersey

6. SNORT (Short Noses Only Rescue Team)

These guys have an awesome website at: SNORT

When going through SNORT to adopt a French Bulldog, there is a $10 application fee, but I couldn’t find anything more on additional fees. Like the other shelters listed on this post, SNORT is totally non-profit and works with volunteers.

Their application process is not on a first come, first served basis.  They prefer to find a home that best suits the dogs’ needs. They ask potential adopters to complete a length application form after which you may be contacted by phone for an interview or visited (with your permission) at your house. Keep in mind that the ultimate health, safety, and well-being is what SNORT is all about. Have patience and the right dog will find his way to your heart and home.

If you’re interested, you can find their online application form here:  ONLINE FORM


It’s important to note that the rescue only works within certain areas:

S.N.O.R.T. only adopts to residents of NJ, NY, PA, MD, DE, VA, DC, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT and ME.  Applicants who live outside of this area will not be considered.  In addition, we do not ship our dogs or provide assistance with transportation to adoptive homes.  Adoptive homes must be willing to travel to the foster home to pickup their adoptee.

7. French Bulldog Village

I really like the look of their website and the fact that information is easy to find.  They have a PO box located in Rockaway, New Jersey.

French Bulldog Village
P.O. Box 237
Rockaway, NJ 07866

President: Suzanne Orban-Stag

I hope you found this useful. I think most rescues are hesitant to post their physical location for the safety of the animals. That means you’re likely going to have to get the ball rolling by applying online, or by emailing them with your questions. Judging by the many, many photos of adopted dogs (including French Bulldogs!), I would say it isn’t that hard to start the application process.

Please remember:  Fees, emails, phone numbers, and addresses change over time. If you have a hard time locating any of these rescue shelters, please look to your State’s animal welfare directory.  I included the link in the top paragraph of this post.

Happy Tails!

Now that you’ve read this post, why not find out what else is going on with Your Dog’s Health Matters. Part of the adoption process involves having the animals spayed/neutered and vaccinated.  Click on either of those links to get up-to-date information on those topics.

Hey, once you have that dog in your house, you’re going to want to know a helluva lot more about his or her health. Sign up for emails with my latest, most popular posts!