GENERAL CARE

11 Must-Do’s For Puppy’s First Night at Home

I love puppies and I bet you do too. I mean, how can you trust a person who doesn’t love puppies? Your puppy’s first night at home is a big deal! In time, the puppy will become part of the family and you will be his/her pack, so don’t worry about those first mishaps. There’s no guarantee you won’t initially be awake half the night, but I know that the following tips are going to go a long way in preparing you, your family, and the new puppy for a new adventure.

In this post, I’m going to give you 11 things that you can do to prepare for puppy’s first night at home. They’re all easy and inexpensive, but hugely important.  Let’s go!

 

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Puppy’s First Night at Home

 

#1  Bring Something Familiar for Puppy’s First Night at Home.

A puppy’s sense of smell is developed from the minute he or she is born.  The first thing they likely smell is their mother and the old blanket she is laying on.  Ask the shelter, breeder, or person you are getting the puppy from if you can have a familiar object for the puppy’s first night at home.  That might include:

  • a familiar blanket
  • a towel
  • a piece of fabric from the house
  • a chew-toy
  • a piece of clothing from the previous owner

 

#2  Put the Puppy in a Crate From the First Night.

Everybody wants a piece of the puppy the minute he or she is in your house. When the sun goes down, a family argument over which bed the puppy should sleep on begins. The truth is, puppies should not sleep on beds until they are old enough to jump on and off themselves.

After the lights go out and everybody goes to bed, the puppy is left in a big, scary, unfamiliar home.  The anxiety will probably cause unwanted behavior like shoe-chewing. To make it easier on everyone, let the puppy sleep in a crate overnight. And don’t think you are doing the puppy a favor by giving him a huge crate!  Puppy’s do better in crates that are appropriate for the size of the puppy.  Not too big, and not too small.

 

#3  Minimize Puppy Anxiety to Maximize Best Behavior

I had no idea what to expect the day I brought my golden retriever home. She was about 10 weeks old and actually started off on a good foot (or paw!).  That changed quickly whenever I left the house. Unfortunately, nobody told me to put her in a crate from time to time. Instead, I left her with free roam of the house. What a disaster! She chewed through hundreds of dollars worth of shoes and systematically shredded every pillow, cushion, and book, in the house.

It’s a big, new world for your puppy and he or she needs you! If you’re able to bring your puppy with you wherever you go…great! However, it’s probably not practical all of the time. Get your puppy used to going into the crate when you’re going out. Again, the crate is going to provide a sense of security.

 

#4  It’s Time to Put SNARL Into Action!

SNARL is an easy way to remember the following requirements of dog ownership:

  • S = Spay
  • N= Neuter
  • A = Arrange for vaccinations
  • R = Rabies shots required
  • L = Licensing for your dog

 

#5  Get a License to Own a Dog 

Laws differ depending on where you live, so check with your local SPCA to find out what licensing you need for your new puppy.  For example, the State of New Jersey Department of Health requires owners to have a license for dogs seven months of age or older.  Before you can get a license, you’ll have to provide proof of vaccination.  Licensing is inexpensive and the money is used to fund nonprofit organizations like low cost spay and neuter programs.

If your puppy happens to get away and is picked up by Animal Control, you’ll pay a much higher fine than the original cost of licensing.

Um…don’t forget how much new puppy’s like to pee…especially wherever they are not supposed to!

 

 

#6 Start Walking the Puppy

Everybody knows that dogs need to be walked and we all say we are going to do it. Then it rains. Or you get tired. The truth is, your dog is going to be much better behaved if he or she is walked regularly. When the puppy is very young, a short ten or fifteen minute walk is enough. As the dog grows, the length of the walk should grow as well.  Walking provides the following benefits:

  • Weight control
  • Blood pressure control – yours!
  • It allows your puppy to exercise his or her mind through a myriad of sights, smells, and sounds.
  • Walking promotes a balanced dog and a balanced dog is a pleasure to be around.
  • You get to show the dog that you are the pack leader!  I highly recommend Cesar Milan’s books on being a pack leader. I’ve read all of his books and I can promise you his methods work if you stick with it.

 

#7 Start a Healthy Diet From the Get-Go

It’s easier to start a healthy diet from day 1 than it is to try and change it drastically later. Keep in mind that the needs of a new puppy are different than that of a mature dog. Your veterinarian can help guide you through the process of starting an awesome diet right away. Choice of diet is up to you and whether your dog has any allergies.

 

#8 Get Your Puppy Micro-chipped

There’s nothing worse than having your dog disappear.  My little labrador retriever could easily pick up a scent and off she’d go!  I quickly learned to keep her on a lead and watch her every move when outside.  If she had been micro-chipped, I could have saved myself a lot of anxiety. Once a dog is brought into the SPCA or a shelter, the dog is scanned for a micro-chip. Once that chip is found, the dog and the owner can be quickly reunited.

 

#9  Trim Those Claws

Start playing with your puppy’s paws early to get her or him used to the sensation. Dogs can get “funny” about their paws and it isn’t easy to trim the nails when they get older. I find that by getting them used to it sooner rather than later, the process is less stressful. Besides, doing it yourself might save you money at the groomer’s.

 

#10  Keep Those Sharp Teeth Busy

Puppy’s have very sharp teeth and, like infants, they learn about the world by putting things into their mouths. Keep your hands and ankles safe by providing good quality chew toys for your new puppy.  Good quality is key. The last thing you want are toys that are broken on day 1.  Remember that pieces of broken toys are choking hazards.

 

#11  Watch the Door!

 

I had no idea how fast puppies were until my little Labrador retriever took off one day. I had accidentally left the screen door open and she was outside on the lawn in seconds. People often use the same barriers used to protect babies from falling downstairs.  By installing barriers around your house, you can prevent unfortunate – or deadly – accidents.

 

There’s a lot more to owning a puppy than what you see here. In my opinion, these are some of the more important things to do in the beginning. As the weeks and months go by, you will learn more about your dog and your dog will learn more about you!  Socialization is important but watch out for over-zealous children who might be a little too rough on your brand new puppy. Start with a great diet and make sure to get those vaccinations ASAP.

I wish you luck with your new puppy and I’d like to invite you to send photos!  Don’t be shy…tell me your funny dog stories. I want to know how you survived those first few weeks with a new puppy.  Now that you know what to do with your new puppy, make sure you share the post with others.

Learn all you can about the health of your dog by starting HERE.

How to Treat a Sebaceous Cyst on a Dog

My dogs are about middle-aged now, which is 7 years old for them. Their youthful glow still lurks, but I’ve noticed changes too. For one thing, they have a lot of lumps and bumps that I find unnerving.  The veterinarian says a sebaceous cyst on a dog is nothing to worry about, yet I keep poking and manipulating them. My dogs think I’m weird.

The one thing I do know about are sebaceous cysts (also known as sebaceous pimples) and that you cannot pop them. Have you ever heard that you shouldn’t squeeze a pimple no matter how tempting it is? Same thing for sebaceous cysts on dogs. What happens when you squeeze them is the waxy material inside (made up of keratin, blood, and pus) sinks back into the skin tissue. Some of it will come out, but the stuff left inside will just make the cyst return and might even cause an infection.

You can detect an infected sebaceous cyst by touching it. An infected cyst will feel warm. However, if you can leave it alone while preventing your dog from biting it, it shouldn’t get infected.

Do I Just Ignore That Ugly Sebaceous Cyst on My Dog?

Kind of, yeah.  If the cyst is in a place that doesn’t bother the dog or hinder his/her eyesight or movement, it’s best to leave it alone. That said, what you think is a sebaceous cyst might be something else (cancerous), so please have it checked out as soon as you can. 

Here are some tips for identifying a sebaceous cyst on your dog:

1) It should feel slightly firm but moveable just under the skin.

2)  These cysts are painless growths that have a white-tinge to them (and sometimes blueish streak).

3) They might grow over time.

4) Sebaceous cysts in dogs are will feel round just beneath the dog’s skin.

5) Dogs are most likely to develop sebaceous cysts on their paws, head, back, and tail.

What is The Worse-Case Scenario for a Sebaceous Cyst on my Dog?

The worst-case scenario here would involve interference of the cyst through manual popping.  It’s going to hurt your dog and leave the wound open to infection. Once infection sets in, your dog will require antibiotics. 

Will Sebaceous Cysts on Dogs Go Away on Their Own?

A sebaceous cyst on a dog will take one of three trajectories:
 
1) It will dissolve on its own.
 
2) It will rupture naturally.
 
3) It will wall itself off. 
 

What Caused A Sebaceous Cyst to Grow on My Dog?

Sebaceous cysts form within the skin when sebum (the oily substance created by the sebum glands on the skin before blocked). Normally, sebum is released from hair (or fur) follicles through the sebaceous gland ducts beneath the skin.  Sebum is normally distributed through your dog’s fur with protects the skin and gives the fur a healthy shine.
 
When blocked, the sebum has no way of escaping through the skin. As a result, the material backs up into one place causing a raised cyst. The cyst itself is made up of
when a collection of dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria, or pus. The matter within the cyst has a horrible smell and can look like curdled milk or a dark, waxy substance.

What if The Sebaceous Cyst on my Dog Ruptures on its own?

If the cyst happens to burst on its own, you’ll need to keep the area clean and disinfected. It’s not going to be pretty, but you will need to really keep that area clean to prevent serious infection. You’ll also need to prevent your dog from digging at the wound, or licking it.

You should bring your dog to the veterinarian if the sebaceous cyst bursts. He/she will provide some medication to help heal the area. In more extreme cases, surgical removal might be an option, especially if it affects your dog’s quality of life.

Are There Any At-Home Treatments I Can Use?

The best treatment is a preventative one. Too much bathing and too little bathing can both cause the development of sebaceous cysts in dogs. Maintain a regular bath routine with good quality shampoo formulated specifically for dogs.

Personally, I am a big fan of Burt’s Bees products. They have a great line for dogs that are naturally pH balanced.

Some people like to use a turmeric paste to apply topically, and others sprinkle it into the dog food. I have never tried turmeric in my dog’s diet, and I always recommend checking with your veterinarian before trying it.

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is leave it alone. If you see signs of infection (redness, warmth) see the veterinarian.

Good luck! Now that you’ve read all about sebaceous cysts in dogs, why not share with social media. Just a click on one of the buttons is all I ask and it only takes a second of your time.

Interested in learning more about skin problems in dogs including dermatitis?  Check out this post!

Get to know me better by reading my biography below

Lisa is dedicated to writing a high-quality blog based on professionally researched data. Her time is spent writing and researching balanced with enjoying family life with her husband and two dogs.

Lisa’s writing skills emerged at an early age. Over time, her fiction has been published in various literary magazines. She has also written for non-fiction journals internationally.

Dogs are Lisa’s passion, and blogging is the means to direct her energy towards their well-being on a global scale.

 

 

To find out what Lisa is really about…click here.

Remarkably Common Infections Mistaken for a Dog Eye Stye

If your dog is as in-your-face as mine, you likely spend a lot of time looking into his/her eyes.  Sometimes they’re a little bloodshot.  Other times, you can almost hear the dog pleading for a treat.

I’m sure you notice the minute something isn’t quite right with your dog. It’s easy to shrug off a variety of conditions as minor, but are you sure you’re making the “right” diagnosis. Unless your dog sees a veterinarian, how can you be sure exactly what’s wrong? 

Dog eye styes are fairly common, but how do you know that little bump isn’t something else? Well, stick around. I’m going to show you how NOT to mistake more serious eye conditions to something like a dog eye stye.

A Dog Eye Stye is no Different Than a Human Stye.

Styes are small, painful lumps that develop on the inside or outside of the eyelid. They are caused from bacterial growth and are usually (at least for me) treatable at home.  I use an over-the-counter antibacterial eye drop and it clears up quickly. 

The problem with diagnosing a dog eye stye is that you might be wrong. Dogs are prone to any number of eye conditions that could easily be mistaken for something else. This is true in the initial stages of infection, before symptoms become full-blown.

Common Conditions That Could be Mistaken For a Dog Eye Stye

General Eye Infection

Dogs can get irritated or mildly infected eyes from any number of things.   All it takes is a little rough play with another dog, or a gust of wind blowing debris into his eyes.  If bacteria is present, your dog’s eyes will likely have discharge.  You will notice your dog pawing at his eyes and squinting. He might be sensitive to light and have red eyes.

Mild eye infections are generally nothing to worry about, unless the condition is coming from something less obvious. The only way to make sure there’s nothing more serious brewing is to take your dog to the veterinarian.

In-growing Eyelid: 

In-growing eyelids, also known as “entropion”, occur when the eyelids fold inward.  This condition affects puppies and older dogs.  A type of surgical treatment called “eyelid tacking” trains the eye to continue growing properly after surgery. In the Twitter image below, the veterinarian is treating a patient who has an in-growing eyelid.

3 Canine Eyelash Disorders: 

There are 3 eyelash disorders that some dogs are prone to. 

a) Eyelashes grow inward.

b) Eyelashes grow from an abnormal spot on the eyelid.

c) Eyelashes grow through the inside of the eyelid.

If you own a pure breed, you probably already know the types of diseases and conditions that can affect him/her.  Certain breeds (for example, English cocker spaniel, pugs, bulldogs, golden retrievers, and toy poodles) are more prone to these types of eyelash disorders.

Third-Eye Prolapse (Cherry Eye):

Take a minute to look into your dog’s eyes.  Watch him blink. There! Did you see it? There’s a white membrane on the inside corner of the eyes. You might notice it slide up and down slightly when your dog blinks. That is the third-eyelid.

Problems with this third eye-lid affect puppies between 6 and 12 months of age.  One condition called Third-Eye Prolapse, or Cherry Eye, happens when that membrane becomes inflamed and red.  Treatment involves warm compresses and medicated eye ointment to reduce the inflammation.

The Twitter image below shows a typical dog with a case of cherry eye.  Notice how red that bottom eyelid is. Ouch!

Blepharitis:

This condition is an inflammation and irritation of the eyelids.  Initially, the condition may not be obvious to you. Your dog might scratch or paw at his eyes, which is a good indication that something isn’t right. Get him to the veterinarian before those eyes become red and swollen. The veterinarian will give you some antibacterial drops which should take care of the problem quickly.  

Meibomian Gland Tumors:

These tumors are almost always benign. The problem is that the lesions, if left untreated, may continue to grow. That growth can eventually cause damage to the dog’s eyes from the constant irritation. Corneal ulcers or infection can develop.  Surgery is recommended in this case.

 

Anatomy of a Dog’s Eye:

Have you noticed your dog’s adorable eyelashes? That part of the eye is the outermost layer. The middle layer beneath is primarily connective tissue, muscles and glands.  The meibomian gland excretes the oily film designed to keep the eyes moist.  These glands drain out along the sides of the eyelids.

NEXT STEPS

I’m sure you can see why the initial signs of canine eye conditions might be mistaken for a mild irritation, or the beginnings of a dog eye stye.

While I don’t rush to the veterinarian the minute I notice some eye irritation, I do keep a close eye on it. I gently wash my dog’s eyes with a warm cloth and look for signs of redness and discharge. If the problem hasn’t cleared up within a day or two, I contact my veterinarian and make an appointment.

MANAGING EYE PROBLEMS WITH YOUR DOG

Try to stop your dog from pawing at his or her eyes.  An Elizabethan collar is the best solution. I know…I can’t stand to see my dog wearing one, but it’s for his own good. There are other options you can buy including products that look like neck braces. The problem with these options is that they don’t prevent your dog from pawing at his face. You need the hard plastic of an Elizabethan collar for that.

In the video below, a senior dog is being treated for an infected eye.

Now that you have the information, you should have a pretty good idea what to look for when your dog’s eyes begin to appear irritated. Sometimes it really is just a piece of dirt or dust. Some eye drops and a gentle eye wash should do the trick. Redness, inflammation, and off-colored discharge should be an indication that the help of a veterinarian is required.

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a veterinarian or trained medical practitioner.  My posts are conducted through reliable, trustworthy agencies, organizations, clinics, and hospitals. Please advise me immediately of any errors or omissions.  Your dog’s safety is important to me and I would never knowingly publish anything that might bring harm to your dog.

5 Quick Tips on Ear Mites in Dogs

My dog is constantly digging at her ears. Sometimes I think she’s going to dig out the left side of her face. Is it ear mites?  No.  The veterinarian says it’s nothing but a little extra ear wax. The veterinarian told me if it were ear mites, my dog would have a lot of dark brown stuff coming from her ear canal and her ears would be red and sore.

The veterinarian actually took some time to give me a little tutorial on ear mites and I thought I’d share what I learned with you.

I’ve broken down the information under categories to help you find what you’re looking for.

Signs and Symptoms of Ear Mites in Dogs

  • excessive, rough scratching at the ear
  • blood blisters from so much scratching
  • fur loss around the site
  • head-shaking
  • restlessness
  • walking in circles
  • fatigue
  • buildup of brown waxy secretions
  • ruptured blood vessels

Take a few minutes to hear what the doctor in this YouTube video has to say about ear mites in dogs.

FACTS ABOUT EAR MITES

  • Ear mites live on your dog’s skin and inside the ear canal.
  • Ear mites go through an entire life cycle safely within the comforts of your dog’s auditory system.
  • Mites are arthropods, which means they have jointed legs and skeletons on the outside of the body.
  • These microscopic creatures are distant cousins to spiders and insects.
  • They’re like hippies…free-living.
  • Watch out for them! These guys are pretty contagious. If you have one animal with ear mites, there’s a good chance that any other animals you have, also have ear mites.
  • Under a microscope, ear mites look like tiny white moving specks.
  • Untreated ear mites can eventually lead to deafness.
  • Scabies are the kind of mites that humans can get. They live on the outer-most layer of the skin and cause extreme itching.
  • Mites date back 145 – 166 million years.
  • Ear mites are called Otodectes cynotis.
  • You’re more likely to find ear mites in stray dogs, or in dogs who live with a lot of other animals.

How to Get Rid of Ear Mites in Dogs Naturally

I just want to take a second to say that I’m a firm believer in good ole’ pharmaceuticals. They’re proven and they get the work done. That said, I realize there are a lot of people who prefer to try homeopathic methods first.  So, with that in mind, here are a few things you can try, once your dog has been accurately diagnosed with ear mites.

TIP:  These methods work best after the dog’s ears have been cleaned. When cleaning the ears, be careful not to get into the dog’s ear canal.  It’s easy to forget until your dog gives a yelp!

  • Dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water. Soak your dog’s ears using a cotton ball.
  • Combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Carefully fill the dog’s ear with half of the mixture.  Gently massage the dog’s ear to make sure the solution gets everywhere.  When you’re finished, your dog will want to shake his head so look out. Take a dry cloth and wipe the dog’s ears dry afterwards. Repeat daily for three weeks.
  • Take 9 drops of yellow dock root extract and mix it with 1 tablespoon of warm water. Using a dropper, gently add a few drops to your dog’s ear and massage. It’s suggested you do this every other day for about six weeks.
  • Use green tea. You’ll need to steep the tea until it’s very strong. Once cooled, use cotton balls to swab the dog’s ears. You could also use a dropper.

These are just a few methods to try. It’s important to remember not to miss a day of treatment.  Those mites are going through an entire life-cycle that takes 3 weeks to complete.  If you’ve ever had a flea infestation, you know how hard it is to get rid of them.

How to Get Rid of Ear Mites with Medical Intervention

  • One drop of medicine on the dog’s skin.
  • A medicated wash to flush out your dog’s ear.

That’s it.  It’s not even a list! Bring your dog to the veterinarian and get a topical treatment. It’s fast, easy, effective, and probably cheaper in the long run.  Some medications like Revolution and Advantage Multi also treat other problems like heart worms and fleas, American dog tick, and mange.

Your veterinarian will likely suggest the drug Ivermectin, a broad spectrum anti-parasitic, for immediate treatment and a long-term preventative like Revolution.

Ivermectin is used to treat head lice, scabies, and other parasites.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ear Mites:

  • Where do ear mites come from?

If your dog suddenly has ear mites, he or she probably got them from another animal. Ear mites are very contagious.

  • Can I get ear mites from my infected dog?

It’s possible, but unlikely. Wash your hands after handling your dog and make sure to wear gloves when cleaning around the infected ears.

  • What do ear mites look like?

Ear mites can be seen under a microscope. They look like white dots against a backdrop of a dark brown substance. That substance is what’s left-over after the mites have chewed into your dog’s skin. It’s essentially a buildup of dead skin and blood.

  • Will ear mites go away on their own?

Ear mites must be treated. They will not go away on their own.  In fact, a long-term infestation of ear mites can cause permanent damage to the ear and/or deafness.

  • Can I stop it from ever happening again?

You can! Talk to your veterinarian about topical solutions that you can apply monthly. These medications sometimes work to prevent other problems like worms, fleas, and ticks.

Summary

In my opinion, it’s best to have your dog’s ears treated by a professional. You never know what underlying conditions your dog might have. Pharmaceutical treatments are very safe when used as directed. More doesn’t equal better.

If you’d prefer to use home-based treatments, monitor how well it is working and don’t miss a treatment.  If the treatments aren’t working, bring your dog to the veterinarian.  Likewise, if you use at-home treatments successfully, but the mites come back, bring your dog to the veterinarian. 

It’s important to treat and then prevent ear mites, fleas and ticks. Keep reading for more information on all of these issues.

Please share with other dog-lovers like you!

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ways to Lower the Cost of Cataract Surgery for Dogs

The cost of cataract surgery for dogs can be upwards of $3500 to $4500, depending on the veterinarian hospital. If your dog has any underlying disease or complications, the surgery could cost more.  That’s a steep price for most people, myself included.

I live in Canada and I admit that I tend to take healthcare costs for granted.  Sure, we technically pay for it through out taxes, but I rest assured that any sudden hospitalization won’t result in a bill that’s going to make me go bankrupt.  

$3500 to $4500 or more sounds like a lot of money!

THE COST OF CATARACT SURGERY FOR DOGS

The cost of cataract surgery for dogs includes the following:

  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Hospitalization
  • IV Fluids
  • Anesthesia
  • Surgery
  • Supplies
  • Monitoring
  • Medication

The following video details more information about cataracts in dogs:

3 WAYS TO LOWER THE COST OF CATARACT SURGERY IN DOGS.

1.If you are fortunate enough to live in an area with multiple animal hospitals, you can probably shop around for a better deal.  I suspect the price won’t fluctuate drastically, but it might be possible to save a little bit.

Although, even with competitive options, I recommend staying with the veterinarian who knows the dog’s health history and has the records. Some veterinarians might not even perform the surgery unless they’ve seen the dog previously.

Pet Insurance

2. There are 10 top pet insurance companies in the United States including:

  • Healthy Paws.
  • Pets Best
  • Petplan
  • Trupanion
  • Embrace
  • 24PetWatch
  • AKC Pet Healthcare
  • ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
  • FIGO
  • Nationwide
  • PetFirst

Like any insurance company, premiums typically rise the older the dog is when you sign up.  The greater the chance of health issues, the more it’s going to cost. However, if you can still get on a pet insurance plan, it will still be cheaper than paying for the full amount of surgery.

Whether your dog qualifies for insurance and the cost will depend on:

  • your dog’s age
  • your dog’s current health
  • whether your dog has any ongoing chronic health problems

3. Get a Referral

Ask friends or family for referrals to alternate veterinarian clinics/hospital to see if you can get a reduced rate.

Sample Cost of Cataract Surgery for Dogs

A rough guide on insurance deductibles might look something like this:

$4700 for surgery

Minus a 10% deductible that you pay:  $470

Health insurance covers the remaining balance of $4230.

Again, that’s just a general formula that might not apply to all insurance companies.  It’s best to get quotes and study the health plan for details on what is, and isn’t covered.

WHAT ARE CATARACTS?

Cataracts in dogs are no different from cataracts in humans.  This condition occurs naturally with age and involves a clouding of the lens.  Cataracts are not painful, but they do affect vision.

If your dog has cataracts, he may not be as active as once was, will appear clumsy, and his eye/eyes might appear red or irritated.  Since he can’t see very well, your dog might end up rubbing or pawing at his eye.

Cataracts usually develop in stages, from immature cataract that causes blurred vision to mature cataracts where the eyes look cloudy and the visions is seriously impaired.

There is also a third more severe case called hyper mature cataract where the lens starts to shrivel.

DOG BREEDS PRONE TO CATARACTS INCLUDE:

  • Siberian huskies
  • Boston terrier
  • Golden retrievers
  • Miniature poodles
  • Cocker spaniels
  • Mniature schnauzers

Cataracts are typically genetic; however, there are also certain conditions that increase the risk, including:

  • Advanced age
  • Diabetes mellitus (chances are as high as 75%)
  • Low levels of calcium
  • Uveitis which is an inflammation of the eye.

 How to Tell If Your Dog Has Cataracts

The easiest way to tell whether your dog has cataracts is by a cloudy or grayish film located just behind the retina.  

However, there are other ways of spotting cataracts such as if there is inflammation in the eye sockets, chronic eye redness, or whether one eye is bulging compared to the other.

You may also notice your dog pawing at the eyes and sometimes, you may even notice that they are not seeing very well. These are all signs that could suggest canine cataracts.

How to Treat Canine Cataracts

Once you notice that your dog is displaying the symptoms above, the best course of action is to take them to the vet. The vet will want to know about the medical history of your dog so be sure to provide them with any previous medical records.

The vet will also proceed to conduct a physical examination. The dog may get a blood test as well as a urine analysis. This will help to determine if there are any underlying conditions that may lead to the development of canine cataracts such as diabetes. In such an instance, the dog will be put under the right medication.

There will also be a physical analysis of the eyes. There is a high chance that you will be directed to a veterinary ophthalmologist who is better suited to handle issues relating to vision. Cataracts in dogs have a tendency to develop at a rapid rate.

What Does Cataract Surgery Involve?

Cataract surgery in dogs is performed the same way it is in humans.

  • General anesthesia is used (not the case for people)
  • A small slit is made in the eye.
  • A small tool is used to slide the eye lens out
  • A replacement lens is inserted.

Cataract surgery for dogs is quick and painless and almost always results in a positive outcome.  Yes, it’s expensive, but hopefully you can find a cheaper route through one of the methods above. 

Regardless of the cost, cataract surgery is a worthwhile option to improve your dog’s quality of life. 

I hope you were able to get something useful from this post! I encourage you to share it with your friends and family. 

To find out more about what makes me tick, please read my biography by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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