GENERAL CARE

Is Pedialyte Good for Dogs?

Is Pedialyte good for dogs? That depends. As a former veterinary technician, I often get asked about which home remedies can be given to our dogs. Many times, prompt home treatment can help avoid a costly vet visit, saving you money and getting your dog back to normal faster than waiting for an appointment. That said, using home remedies in place of veterinary care can have its drawbacks.

Is Pedialyte Safe For Dogs?

This is a more complicated question that it seems. A better question might be “is Pedialyte safe for dogs?” The quick answer is yes, unflavored Pedialyte is safe to give a dog, although some dogs will not drink it on their own.

The real question is why do you think your dog needs Pedialyte? Are they dehydrated? WHY are they dehydrated?

Most of the time, people get concerned about dehydration when their dog has a bout of vomiting and/or diarrhea.

In some situations, Pedialyte can certainly help a sick dog. But I have seen the use of Pedialyte in dogs go awry. I’m going to advise that if you think your dog needs Pedialyte, you should really get a veterinarian to take a look at things before you start in on home treatments.

What is Pedialyte?

Pedialyte is an oral rehydration solution, made up from a combination of liquid, salts and sugars that combat the effects of dehydration. It comes in flavored and unflavored versions. I definitely recommend getting the unflavored version for use in animals.

Dehydration in Dogs is No Joke

Dehydration is no joke in humans or animals. Not only does dehydration mean that an animal doesn’t have enough fluids in their body, it also means that their balance of salts, called electrolytes, is off as well.

Without the proper levels of sodium, potassium and magnesium in their bodies, nothing works as it should. Improper electrolyte balance can cause a dog to appear weak and lethargic, and leads to heart arrhythmias, kidney damage and even neurological deterioration.

How Dehydration is Treated in Dogs

The primary treatment for a dehydrated dog is hospitalization with fluid therapy, and close attention to monitoring any electrolyte imbalance. For mild dehydration, often some fluids given under the skin (sub Q) is all that is needed. If your dog is vomiting up fluids, then Pedialyte isn’t going to help the situation.

Only in the very earliest stages of dehydration would Pedialyte be helpful or appropriate, and only if the primary reason for the dehydration is known and being treated. The problem is, by the time your dog is showing signs of dehydration, things have already gone too far to safely give them Pedialyte as a treatment.

If your dog is showing signs of dehydration, go to your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Once they have assessed your dog, your vet can advise you if you are still in the safe zone for using Pedialyte. Or they can recommend more aggressive treatments.

Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Sunken appearance of the eyes
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Dry nose and gums

Should I Give My Dog Pedialyte?

If your dog is vomiting and/or has diarrhea, you could certainly try giving them unflavored Pedialyte to prevent any dehydration. It may or may not help, but probably won’t hurt. If your dog has had vomiting/diarrhea for more than a day, get a vet check. Read “Home Treatment Goes Wrong” below.

Vomiting and diarrhea are probably one of the most common reasons for people to make urgent vet appointments. It is also normal for many of us to wait a bit on these symptoms before heading to the vet. Honestly, if I brought my fur kids to the vet every time they had a single bout of digestive troubles, I’d be bringing someone in every week!

That said, sometimes vomiting and diarrhea signal a serious, life threatening problem.

This is a rough guideline to help you judge when you need to see a vet either immediately or urgently (appointment within 12-24 hours) for digestive symptoms. This is not a comprehensive list. When in doubt, go to the vet!

When to Go to the Vet for Vomiting/Diarrhea

  • Go ASAP if your dog is trying to vomit but nothing is coming up. This is an emergency!
  • Go ASAP if your dog can not hold down any water or food (vomits immediately after or within a few minutes of eating/drinking).
  • Go ASAP if your dog is passing black, tarry-looking stools.
  • Go to the vet urgently if your dog can not hold down any food for a 24 hour period, even if they are able to keep water down.
  • Go to the vet urgently if you dog is eating/drinking but then vomiting within a few hours of eating/drinking.
  • Go to the vet urgently if your dog has had watery stools (but not black, tarry stools) for more than 3 days with no other symptoms.
  • Go to the vet urgently if you know your dog ate something they shouldn’t and now they are vomiting!

Home Treatment Goes Wrong

While you can certainly try to treat an upset stomach at home for a few days with a bland diet and Pedialyte if the symptoms are mild, waiting to seek veterinary care when the symptoms are serious is a really, really bad idea. I won’t sugar coat it. I have seen dogs die from waiting too long to get veterinary care for vomiting and diarrhea.

One case I remember well, and will share with you as an example (all identifiers have been changed to protect privacy). Cody was a 2 year old lab mix with no known health problems. The owner brought Cody in for an upset stomach that was not getting better with home treatment.

Case Study: Cody the Lab Mix

When I checked them into the room I immediately saw that Cody was severely dehydrated. He was weak and could barely walk. His eyes had sunken deep within his skull. His gums were tacky and very pale (anemic). His temperature was elevated at 101.4. He was also 25 pounds lighter than he had been at his previous visit 8 months earlier.

Upon taking a history, I was told that Cody had been vomiting food and water for 5 days. At first, he would eat and then vomit within a few hours. The owner tried treating with a rice and meat bland diet and was giving unflavored Pedialyte to combat dehydration.

By day 3, Cody no longer ate or drank anything on his own. His owner kept trying to force feed him, and used a syringe to make him drink the Pedialyte. Cody could not hold down any of this food, and likely very little of the fluids. He was passing a little yellow diarrhea, but hadn’t had a real bowel movement since before he was sick.

I pressed Cody’s owner for a few more details. It turns out that the owner suspected that Cody had gotten into some garbage the weekend before the symptoms started. They had not brought him in right away because there were major financial constraints. The owner could not afford diagnostics, hospitalization or any extensive treatments.

Veterinarian Joins the Conversation

I gave all this information to the veterinarian and he joined me in the room. Unfortunately, his physical exam confirmed my unvoiced fears.

Cody was extremely sick. He was severely dehydrated, anemic and was showing signs that he was becoming septic (had an infection throughout his entire body). The vet believed he could feel something that didn’t belong somewhere in the intestinal tract. With the history of garbage eating, he suspected Cody had a foreign body blocking his small intestines.

Cody needed immediate hospitalization, exploratory surgery to remove the object and any damaged tissues, and extensive care if there was any chance at recovery. The veterinarian was honest about Cody’s chances, though. Too much time had passed for a good outcome to be likely, even with expensive and extensive treatment. With immediate care, Cody had less than a 25% chance of pulling through.

No Options Left for Cody

It was a moot point, however. Cody’s owner could not afford any of the treatment options. He ended up declining all treatment, and took Cody home to think about things. The next day, he asked us to euthanize Cody for him. Even to afford this he had to borrow money from his employer.

Cody’s Owner Was Not a Bad Owner!

Cody’s owner loved him dearly! He did the best he could in dire circumstances. He read a lot of articles online when Cody was first sick, and did everything he could to treat him at home.

He didn’t understand that the symptoms were much more serious than just an upset stomach. He didn’t know that the window to treat a foreign body was limited. And he didn’t know that Cody HAD a foreign body.

Also, given his financial situation, he had very few options he could afford. By the time he brought Cody into the clinic, it was already too late to save him.

Pedialyte For Dogs- Conclusion

For minor stomach problems, you can certainly give your dog unflavored Pedialyte if you want to. Pedialyte is safe for use in dogs. However, be sure you know what you are treating for. It is easy to think the problems is one thing, when it is something completely different.

If your dog is sick for more than a day or two, get a veterinarian’s opinion. Don’t mess around. Better to spend the money and be told things are heading in the right direction than to find yourself in the situation Cody’s owner found himself.

Again, this isn’t about being a good owner vs being a bad one. The sooner you know what you are up against, the better chance you have of finding a solution before your options run out.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  Please take a minute to PIN, TWEET, OR POST!

Is Pedialyte Good for Dogs?
Must. Have. Water! These dogs are dehydrated after a long run.

Author Biography

Jen Clifford has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College. She was a field biologist for several years, and then spent 10 years working in veterinary medicine as a receptionist and technician.  Jen is currently a freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her tribe of pets. She is a passionate animal lover who is dedicated to helping people find solutions to their pet-related challenges.

You can find more of her work at her website https://MyWickedTribe.com.

Benadryl Dosage for Dogs

The Benadryl Dosage Chart infographic below is an abbreviated guide.  The chart shows the most commonly accepted Benadryl dosage for dogs. 

I am not a veterinarian and I cannot prescribe or diagnose your dog.  Please do not give your dog an over-the-counter medication without checking with a licensed veterinarian first. 

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Please read my privacy policy and disclaimer.

The Appropriate Benadryl Dosage for Dogs

WARNING:  Please make sure that the Benadryl used is either a tablet or capsule. The liquid form contains ingredients that can be harmful to your dog. Make sure there is no alcohol, acetaminophen, pseudoephedrine, or artificial sweeteners. Xylitol is extremely toxic for dogs.

Benadryl Dosage for Dogs
Benadryl can make a dog sleepy.

Here is a Simple Formula For You

The generally accepted rule is to administer 1 mg per pound, two to three times daily.

Very Small Dogs (4 – 10 pounds)

The appropriate Benadryl dosage for dogs in this case would be 1/4 of a tablet. 

Small Dogs (10 – 20 pounds)

In this case, the dosage would be 1/2 tablet.

Medium Dogs (20 – 30 pounds)

A medium dog would take 1 Benadryl tablet.

Large Dogs (30 pounds and over)

The dosage rules change a little when we get to very large dogs. Types of very large dogs include: Great Dane, Mastiff, Newfoundland, St. Bernard, Great Pyrenees.

How to Administer Benadryl to Dogs

Most dogs will eat just about anything you put in front of them. However, there are those picky dogs that you have to trick.  I usually stick a tablet inside a piece of bread and that works.  Some dogs are a little smarter than mine and need different options.

Pet stores sell various types of treats that come with a hole in which to place the tablet.  Dogs are usually so happy to get treats they’ll just gobble it up in seconds without even noticing the pill.  

Benadryl Capsules 

If you are using Benadryl capsules, break one open and sprinkle it on the dog’s food, mix it with a teaspoon of peanut butter, or sprinkle on a piece of toast.  

READ THIS POST ON DRUG COMPOUNDING 

REMINDER:  Refer to the Benadryl dosage chart before using an entire gel cap!  A small to medium dog doesn’t need as much of the medication. You might have to buy a tablet that you can cut into appropriate sizes.

Side Effects of Benadryl for Dogs

It’s always worth pointing out potential side effects. The most common side effects include dry mouth, fatigue, rapid breathing, and urinary retention.  If you’re sticking with the Benadryl dosage chart, however, most healthy dogs will not show any serious side effects.  You may not even notice the ones noted above.

You might also be interested in Putting a Dog to Sleep with Benadryl.

Disease versus Benadryl for Dogs 

Never assume that that Benadryl dosage chart is right for all dogs. In fact, your veterinarian may have very good reasons for not recommending the medicine at all. 

If your dog has any kind of chronic condition (diabetes, Cushing’s, allergies that have secondary bacterial infections, glaucoma, etc.) ask your veterinarian if Benadryl is appropriate.

If your dog hasn’t been to see the veterinarian for a while, he/she may suggest a visit.  The reason for this is so that the dog can be examined for underlying conditions. There’s a chance that your dog needs more than just Benadryl, or that the problem you thought you were treating wasn’t actually the whole picture.

You Don’t Want to Miss These TIPS:

Just because you gave your dog Benadryl safely a few years ago, doesn’t mean it’s safe now.  Remember, your dog’s health may have changed and he/she could have underlying conditions you are not aware of.

Look at the product ingredients to be sure it only contains diphenhydramine. Some Benadryl products have added ingredients.

Benadryl should not be given to your dog long-term. If your dog continues to suffer from allergies and itching, bring him/her to the veterinarian.  Aggressive itching and biting at the area can cause a bacterial infection.

Read About Lick Granulomas here!

At the end of the day, everyone wants a happy and healthy dog.  Remember that you’re not alone when it comes to health-care decision making. Always check with a licensed veterinarian before administering over-the-counter drugs designed for people or pets. The appropriate Benadryl dosage for dogs may vary according to special health considerations.  

Please feel free to copy and embed the infographic below.  Use it and share all you like.

Please come back to visit. You don’t want to miss out on some of the awesome posts coming up soon.  Also, make sure to leave comments in the form below. I love connecting with readers! 

Care to send me a message?  Email:  latheriault@hugspetproducts.com

Benadryl-Dosage-Chart-For-Dogs
Benadryl for Dogs Dosage Chart

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!

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 clothing, or a chew-toy.

#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 behaviour like shoe-chewing.

You might be interested in reading a post by the American Kennel Club (akc.org) Teach Your Puppy These 5 Basic Commands.

To make it easier on everyone, let the puppy sleep in a crate overnight. And don’t think you are doing the puppy a favour by giving him a huge crate!  Puppies 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 Behaviour

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. Their developing immune systems, energy levels, and teeth development are all positively affected by a good diet.

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.

READ: 99 Reasons to Buy a Pebby Toy!

#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.

11 Must-Do's for Puppy's First Night at Home
Puppies are a bad idea to give as Christmas presents!  As cute as they are, puppies should never be brought home on impulse.

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.

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. 

How to Treat a Sebaceous Cyst on a Dog

A sebaceous cyst on a dog is nothing to worry about.  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.

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The one thing I do know about are a sebaceous cyst on a dog (also known as sebaceous pimples) is 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 dog cysts.  When you squeeze, 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 an Ugly Sebaceous Cyst on a Dog?

Kind of, yeah.  If the cyst is in a place that doesn’t bother the dog or hinders 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 a 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 cyst on a dog 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 Dog Cyst?

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.    When a sebaceous cyst walls itself off, it forms a protective barrier keeping it from erupting. If it feels like little peas inside, just leave it alone. Once walled off, the cyst will remain the same. Remember, these are typically benign and don’t need a lot of medical intervention.  That said, I think it’s important to mention again that you should get any new lumps and bumps checked out by a veterinarian. He/she will provide you with the best advice.

What Caused A Sebaceous Cyst to Grow on My Dog?

A Sebaceous cyst on a dog forms 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 cyst on a dog. Maintain a regular bath routine with a 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.

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

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