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Spinal Injury in Dogs

Posted by vikram on November 15, 2017  /   Posted in Blog

Spinal disc herniation is also known as a slipped disc. Common in people, likewise dogs can suffer from this condition. The clinical signs from a slipped disc depend on the location of the injury. A disc injury in the lower back can cause problems in the hind quarters; where as an injury in the neck can cause problems in all limbs.

Unfortunately this type of injury can happen repeatedly in different vertebrae especially in breeds that are predisposed. Dwarf breeds with long bodies and short legs such as Basset hounds, Dachshunds and Pekingese are prone to disc extrusion, where discs deteriorate and calcify as early as one year of age. Large breed dogs like Labradors, German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers are more prone to disc protrusion, similar to that seen in people.

With spinal injuries, neurological function is lost in a specific order and recovery is greatly influenced by prompt medical attention. There are warning signs to look out for. These include: Shivering, especially when combined with unusual inactivity. Refusal to get up and play even for food. Yelping when you pet or try to pick up your dog. Refusal to bend down for food or water, limping of any kind and dragging of the back legs. You may also notice a change in posture, a pulled in head or arched back or movement that doesn’t look completely under control.

If your dog shows any of these signs call your vet immediately. In the case of dragging the back legs or showing any signs of paralysis or severe pain drive immediately to your vet or nearest emergency facility. Do not wait. The sooner you seek medical attention the better the chances for your dog. Even dogs who experienced total paralysis when treated immediately had a 50% success rate of restoring function. There is a 90% success rate for those dogs who were experiencing pain but only a 5% success rate of restoring function when the owner waited 24hours to seek medical help.

Treatment depends on the degree and duration of neurological dysfunction. Rehabilitation is an essential part of spinal injury treatment. Depending on the cause of the injury treatment may be crate rest, physical therapy, surgery or supportive care. Supportive care is often the only option and is done through physical therapy. Swimming can help and acupuncture has also been known to ease pain and increase mobility. The aim is to strengthen muscles and the neurological function in your dog. A lean, well-muscled and fit dog is better able to recover from injuries if they occur.

Quincy Dogs Spero Harness is a simple yet amazing product designed in a way to help with this condition. It enables you to take 20% – 30% of the weight off your dogs back legs, allowing your dog to walk further. This in turn helps start the process of rebuilding muscles. With spinal cases by lifting up the handles on the back you also straighten the spine slightly, making it more comfortable for your dog.

Take a look at the video below showing Snoopy. Snoopy underwent an operation on the whole of his spine. The video demonstrates the difference the Spero harness made to Snoopy. The owner started by using a strap bought from his vets for around £45. As the owner lifted Snoopy the strap tightened around his belly. The second half of the clip demonstrates the first time Snoopy used the Spero harness.

  • ‘Spero’ Dog Mobility Support Harness : Sale – £90.00.

    spero-harness

Hip or Elbow Dysplasia

Posted by vikram on November 09, 2017  /   Posted in Blog

There are many questions owners ask when their dog is diagnosed with hip or elbow dysplasia.
What is it? Why do they have it? Are there warning signs? Can it be treated? How can I help ease the pain?

Hip or elbow dysplasia is an inherited condition. Essentially it is an improperly formed joint. It means that the joint is loose and the leg movement causes too much movement in the joint. This results in painful wear and tear as the bones rub together.

One of the symptoms is limping. Others include stiffness or soreness in the hip as the dog is getting up, hesitance to stand on the hind legs, exercise or even climb stairs. Bunny hopping is another indicator that something is wrong.

Your vet will be able to diagnose the condition through a physical examination, radiographs and manual tests on your dog. Once diagnosis is confirmed there are treatments available. This can range from surgical options where the affected joint is replaced to pain management, anti-inflammatories and joint supplements.

It is important to maintain a healthy diet and weight management program. If your dog is unable to exercise properly, any weight gain will put additional stress on the affected joints.

Your vet will advise on the appropriate exercise for your dog but as a general rule you should avoid jumping or running for long distances. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for this condition as there is no pressure put on the joints and it strengthens the muscles surrounding the joints. Quincy Dogs mobility harness is a ‘must have’ as it removes some of the weight of the dogs, allowing them to exercise for longer periods of time.

Other ways you can help your dog is to keep them out of damp, chilly weather, provide traction on slippery floors by laying carpet down. A carpeted ramp will help climb stairs or get in and out of the car. Finally a firm, orthopaedic bed for him to lay comfortably on.

Canine Degenerative Myelopathy

Posted by vikram on November 02, 2017  /   Posted in Blog

Also known as Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy, DM or CDRM, this condition is a progressive disease of the spinal cord. The origin is unknown but it affects older dogs typically between 7 and 14 years of age.

It usually begins with a loss of co-ordination in the hind legs. Eventually weakness sets in and then paralysis. Essentially it is caused by a disintegration of the myelin sheaths around the spinal neurons. As the protective tissues deteriorate so do the underlying nerve fibres (axons), this causes a breakdown in the how the brain communicates with the spinal cord.

The clinical signs appear gradually but will worsen over time. As this condition affects older dogs, many owners mistake the symptoms for arthritis. If you see any signs then take your dog to the vet immediately as prompt diagnosis and treatment can help delay the advancement.

The condition is not curable and there are currently no treatments that can slow or stop the progression of this disease.

DM is most commonly seen in aging German Shepherds. Other large purebred dogs that have been affected include the Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Standard Poodle, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Collie, Boxer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Irish setter.

Exercise remains important for those diagnosed with this condition as it will maintain the dogs ability to walk. Physiotherapy may also prolong the mobility and increase survival time. Hydrotherapy is a great form of exercise for dogs suffering from DM.

Quincy Dogs mobility harness was designed with DM in mind and is an invaluable aid to get the dog mobile. It allows the handler to support the dogs hind legs while exercising or going up and down the stairs. As paralysis sets in a 2 wheel cart or dog wheelchair will allow the dog to remain active and maintain a quality of life longer.

Broken Bones in Dogs

Posted by vikram on October 25, 2017  /   Posted in Blog

Most fractures or broken bones in dogs are mostly likely to be caused from car accidents or falls.

Commonly affected areas are the femur, pelvis, skull, jaw and spine. A compound or open fracture is a wound that exposes the dogs bone, sometimes visible through the skin. This type of wound will be prone to infection as it is easily contaminated by dirt or bacteria.

Less obvious are sometimes break with no outward signs of injury. The signs to look out for are pain, swelling, inability to bear weight and deformity or shortening of the affected leg.

Following a trauma of this kind the dog could go into shock, suffer blood loss or injury to internal organs. It is vital to control the shock in the first instance. Dogs in shock should be transported lying down or in a hammock stretcher. This can help breathing and prevent a drop in blood pressure. You must get the dog to a vet immediately.

Handling a dog suffering from this type of injury can be problematic. The dog may be uncooperative or even try to bite. If necessary muzzle your dog so you can transport and get treatment as soon as possible. Never try to lift a dog by the front legs. For large dogs place one arm around his chest or between his front legs and the other around his rump or between the back legs. Hold the dog close to your chest so you don’t drop him if he squirms. Carry a small dog in your arms with the affected side away from your body.

Once your dog has been treated for the initial injury your dog will need time to heal. Quincy Dogs have a range of equipment to help you help your dog during recovery. The Dog Lifting harness with handle is a ‘must have’, All our harnesses will aid mobility and keep pressure off of joints during this time.

Arthritis in Dogs

Posted by vikram on October 18, 2017  /   Posted in Blog

Arthritis is also known as osteoarthritis and is a degenerative disease of the joints. The risk increases with age as the cartilage wears and cells die.

This causes enzymes to be released, leading to inflammation and fluid from the joints diminishing. This causes the bones of the joints to rub together. As the bone rubs it becomes uneven, resulting in stiffness. Sometimes osteophytes, extra bony growths, develop.

As this condition takes effect and changes the functioning of your dogs’ joints, your dog will experience pain and lameness. Normal mobility is compromised which, in turn, can start to affect the muscles. If muscles aren’t used their strength will diminish, this is known as muscle atrophy.

With the advances in veterinary medicine and research, it is possible to control the condition and provide a happy, comfortable life for your dog.

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Quincys Dog Harness

Quincys Dog Harness