Helping Your Senior Dog Recover

Is your dog recovering from an illness, surgery or an injury? It can be an anxious time for pet parents as we feel sorry for our dogs. The veterinarian will give you a list of instructions but it can be difficult to process the overload of information at this stressful time. From knowing what exercise your dog can handle to possible complications, the details can make the difference between a speedy recovery and lingering side effects.

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Physical Therapy For Senior Dogs

If you have ever had a hip or knee replacement, you know that physical therapy is in your future. It is an integral component of the rehabilitation process, one that will help restore your mobility and strength.

What is Canine Rehabilitation?
Actually canine rehabilitation often mirrors that of humans. According to the Whole Dog Journal: “Veterinary rehabilitation uses many of the same modalities and techniques for animals as physical therapy does for humans.”

The onset of Flyball, Frisbee golf and agility trials have made canine therapy more popular than ever before. Introduced in Europe in the 1980s, it is known as Animal Assisted Therapy or AAT here in the United States. It is not exclusively for senior dogs, because younger dogs may be facing an injury or recovering from an accident. And it’s not just for dogs but horses, cats, rabbits and even birds as well.

Physical therapy is often advised for pets suffering from joint, spinal cord, and soft tissue injuries, osteoarthritis and pain, inflammation, hip and elbow dysplasia, and other conditions from old age. It combines physics, biomechanics, anatomy, physiology and psychology.

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Does Your Senior Dog Eat Poop?

Did you know it is a myth that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s?  Think about all the things they eat during the day both outside and inside. Dogs are known to raid garbage cans, drink water out of the toilet, and lick themselves. They will chew their way through the day.

However, a not-so-pleasant thing to us humans is dogs who eat their own poop. There is even a scientific name for this habit—coprophagia (kop-ruh-fey-jee-uh)—and also both behavioral and physiologic reasons why some dogs view poop as a delicacy.

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Does Your Older Dog Sleep A Lot?

As humans age, we often sleep less deeply and wake up more during the night, causing many of us to take naps during the day (if we can get away with it). According to the Sleep Foundation, healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep nightly.

Many of our dogs sleep more than we do. Adult dogs generally sleep 12 – 14 hours/day, whereas puppies and older dogs require more, ranging from 15 – 18 hours/day. Unlike humans who generally receive eight hours of consecutive sleep, dogs sleep on and off throughout the day. In fact, 30% of a dog’s day is resting, while 20% is consumed with activity.

Does your dog sleep more than this? Are you worried? Don’t be unless your dog’s habits suddenly change. Dogs sleep different amounts depending on their breed, age, sex, and environment.

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How to Recognize If Your Older Dog Is In Pain

When children are hurt, you can often tell by their screams or the expression on their faces. When dogs are in pain or hurting it can be hard to tell.

If you step on their paw accidentally, they may respond with a loud help. However, it is part of the animal instinct not to show they are hurting as the pack may see it as a sign of weakness.

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Questions to Ask Before Adopting a Dog

blogMany people give puppies as holiday presents – for some people it works out well and for others they abandon the dog when the cute factor wears off. To make sure you are ready to adopt a dog, you need to start by doing some research and soul searching.

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Could Your Senior Dog Have Cancer?

breastcancerNobody likes to hear the “c” word whether it applies to humans or dogs. Our mind takes us to a withering body and an endless round of treatments that can have detrimental side effects. The mere word is scary. Since October is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, we thought we’d talk about the signs and symptoms and potential courses of treatment.

The earlier you catch it, the greater the chances for remission!

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What Your Dog’s Paws Tell You

dreamstimedogpawsJust as we communicate with our dogs through body language and voice tones, they too communicate with us through their body language. A wagging tail often tells you they are happy. A certain stance means they are aggressive.

And pawing often means they want to play or want attention. Have you ever noticed that when puppies want to play, one usually paws the ground or paws at the other animal?

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10 Surprising Facts About Rabies

helpemuprabiesThink you don’t have to worry about rabies? Unfortunately, you do!

As recently as this month, two cases were reported in Utah after exposure from a rabid, dead bat. Although the prevalence of rabies has declined dramatically in the United States, there are an estimated 55,000 human deaths annually from rabies worldwide.

Many of us just know that we vaccinate our pets for rabies. However, what is rabies, really? How is it contracted and what are the symptoms? Here’s 10 surprising facts about rabies including symptoms.

What is Rabies?
Rabies is a contagious virus. People usually contract rabies from a bite or broken skin after exposure to an alive or dead animal. The virus travels from the wound to the brain, where it causes swelling, or inflammation.
What Are the Symptoms of Rabies?

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Drooling
  • Excessive salivation
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia

    Here are some facts you may not know about rabies.

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Canine Hydrotherapy Can Be Great For Your Aging Dog

doghydrotherapyAs you know, Help’EmUp is all about helping older dogs who have mobility issues, either temporarily because they are recovering from an injury or permanently due to old age. Our dog harness is perfect for dogs who need help  getting up from the floor, in and out of the car or who suffer from hip dysplasia, arthritis, muscle atrophy and more.

Another great way to treat chronic conditions, help with post-operative recovery or to help your senior dog get much needed exercise is through canine hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy means “Water healing” in Greek and dogs can benefit as much as humans.

Water therapy is non weight bearing and low impact, meaning it is easier on dog’s muscles and joints. Water creates a certain buoyancy versus pounding on a hard pavement. Every step a dog takes on land causes a shock wave that is absorbed by all limbs, muscles, and joints, causing pressure. Hydrotherapy allows for muscles to be strengthened without the harmful impact. Because water creates resistance, muscles have to work harder than they do on land.

What is Canine Hydrotherapy?
Canine hydrotherapy is conducted in a heated pool or spa either at home if you have one or at a rehabilitation center. Although it is obvious, the first thing is to make sure your dog knows how to swim. If not, a canine life jacket may be required. Continue reading