Posts Tagged ‘canine’
How do I assess my dog’s weight?
When assessing your dog’s weight without a set of scales, you can get an indication by running your fingers down the side of their rib cage. At an ideal weight, you should be able to feel their ribs under a slight fat covering. If their ribs are felt too easily, they may benefit from gaining a little weight, and if their ribs are difficult to feel, they may benefit from losing a little weight.
Another thing that will give us an idea if the dog is at ideal weight, is by running our fingers down their spine. For a dog at ideal weight, you should be able to feel the spine under a slight fat covering. If the spine is prominent then they may benefit from a little weight gain, and if the spine is difficult to feel, they may benefit from losing a little weight.
Lastly, a good indicator is to assess your dog whilst standing up. For a dog at ideal weight their tummy will gather in just slightly after their last rib. If this is not noticeable on your dog, then they may benefit from losing a little weight.
Pet Blood Bank UK have created a video to show pet owners what happens from as soon as you and your pet walk through the dog to the end of a donation session.
The age at which a dog becomes geriatric will depend on the individual, and factors such as breed, but is generally about eight years of age. It is important to realise that geriatric dogs will be less active and rest more, this is normal healthy ageing. What we see with CDS are behavioural issues which may affect the pet’s welfare and the human-dog bond.
Possible symptoms include disorientation (sometimes the dog doesn’t seem to know where he is even though he is somewhere familiar) and reduced interaction with the family, which may lead to fear or irritation. Disturbed sleep, for example becoming restless at night and sometimes crying at night for no apparent reason. You may see loss of housetraining and an increase in anxiety levels. In severe cases these changes strongly resemble senile dementia in old people, and can be very distressing for the dog and owner.
What can be done to help? It is important to realise there is no such thing as a cure for CDS. However a number of things can help.
- Drugs – the most commonly used drug is Selegiline .This is an enzyme blocker which increases levels of helpful chemicals in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine
- Diet- there has been a lot of research into “healthy brain” diets. As the brain ages it becomes less able to use glucose as fuel. By suppling diets that are rich in certain fats called medium chain triglycerides, we can fuel the older brain more efficiently. Also correct levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins B C & E and other ingredients such as Arginine can improve blood flow to the brain, reduce inflammation and help reduce free radicals which damage the brain.
- Enrich the environment – It is important to give plenty of attention and interaction to geriatric pets. Most older dogs will still enjoy walks and play, although maybe not so energetically as they did in their youth. Make sure beds are comfy and warm as older dogs will spend more time in them. Puzzle type dog toys can also be useful just as Sudoku and crosswords are helpful in keeping our human brains active