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

Keeping Your Aging Dog Hydrated

dreamstimepreventingdehydrationHow much water do you drink per day? Health experts tell us we need to drink at least ½ gallon of water per day to replenish our fluids. Because the human body is 60% to 80% water, it’s important to constantly hydrate particularly if you are out in the heat.

Dogs too need plenty of water. Although it depends on your dog’s size, activity level and age, the general rule of thumb is that dogs need to drink between 8.5 to 17 ounces of water per 10 pounds, meaning a 50-pound dog needs between 42 and 84 ounces of liquid refreshment to stay happy and hydrated. Just like humans, dogs can go a long time without food to survive, but not water. Keeping your dog hydrated is important to your dog’s overall health.

 

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Ten Things Your Senior Dog Wants to Tell You

I talk to my dog all the time and yes, he does talk back. Studies have shown that the average dog knows about 165 words,  but mine is much smarter than that! I’m sure yours is too.

Dog Destruction

Wouldn’t you love to know sometimes what your aging dog is thinking? When he gives you “that look”? He is more in tune to your feelings than you know. I’ll bet if your dogs could tell you what’s on their mind, here are a few things they would want you to know.

  1. We both need to exercise more. I know, I know exercise is work. After a long day, you want to watch TV, play some video games or talk to your friends on your cell phone. Personally, I’m content just to lay by your feet and be lazy as I get older. As much as we’d like to be couch potatoes, we need to get up and move more! Exercise will keep both our minds and body healthy, plus it’s something we can do together.
  2. I may be old, but I’m not ready to be put out to pasture yet. I may not be able to chase balls or run as fast as I used to, but I still have a lot of life left in me. Sure, our walks are shorter and it takes me longer to get up from sleeping. I’m just a little slower!
  3. I really do miss you when you are gone. You know when you walk in the door and I am so excited to see you? I truly get lonely when you’re gone. Maybe you could leave me a to do list like you do with the kids … I’m not just another pretty face you know. I could organize my toy bin (by the way, my toys are looking a little raggedy. Is there some new ones in my future?)
  4. I get jealous when you come home smelling like another dog! Are you cheating on me?
  5. I’m not as dumb as you think. You know how you try and disguise my arthritis pills or medicine by wrapping it in a piece of meat or peanut butter? No matter how you try and disguise it, it still tastes yucky. You’re not fooling me.
  6. You are the center of my universe. You may have other friends and family and a job to go to, but you are all I have. You are my whole world. I love you unconditionally, even when you are crabby or having a bad day. You can do no wrong in my eyes. You are my best friend. I live to make you happy.
  7. I make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. Don’t yell at me if I have an accident in the house. Don’t be mad if I sometimes get confused. Don’t tell me not to beg for food then sneak me table scraps. Sometimes I get mixed messages from you. I’m not being bad because I am angry at you. I’m may be scared, bored or frustrated but the concept of “revenge” is a human one not a canine one.
  8. I’m not as cute as I once was. Sure when I was a puppy. I was adorable. Now my muzzle is graying and my hearing and sight is fading. My coat is not as shiny and I have picked up a few pounds. I have watched you age as well. I love you as much today as the day you brought me home.
  9. You must love me until death do us part. Please don’t turn your back on me because I am getting older. I have watched you lovingly take care of your elderly parents. You too will grow old. Hopefully we will grow old together.
  10. I’m a good listener. I am always here for you. When you are sad, stressed out or in pain, I know it. I am very perceptive about your emotions. If your head is hanging low, I may ask for you to pet me, not because I want to interrupt you, but because I am trying to distract you. I trust you and I need you to trust me. I may not always understand your words, but I understand your tone of voice and your body language. Let me comfort you when you’re sad – it will make me feel better

And the most important? Don’t cry for me when I am gone. Celebrate the life we had together. We had a good run my friend.

Preparing Your Senior Dog For a Move

dreamstime_xl_69538601Moving is one of the most stressful events many of us will undergo. Spring and Summer are the two big moving times of the year; nobody would move in the cold and snow if they could help it! It can be physically and emotionally brutal no matter if you are downsizing (so much to get rid of) or upsizing (too many empty rooms). Just know, it’s not easy for your dog either.

When we moved from New York to Colorado, I thought I had prepared my dogs. We stopped numerous times along the way (much to my husband’s chagrin) to let the dogs out and feed them. We did not feed them in the car so they wouldn’t be car sick. We brought along their favorite blankets, toys and bedding, so something would seem familiar. Before we even brought anything into the house, I let the dogs sniff around and moved all their stuff in.

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Could Your Senior Dog Have Separation Anxiety?

dreamstimeanxiousdogOn my child’s first day of school at pre-kindergarten, I was a nervous wreck. What if she cries? What if she hates it? What if she doesn’t make any friends?

I opened the car door, waiting for her to start bawling. Instead, she waved goodbye and never even looked back. I was the one who fell apart!

I was not so lucky with my dog Buddy. He became attached to me. Very attached.  If I left him in the house alone, he would poop in the same spot, even if I had just let him out. He never had toileting issues if I was home. If I left him outside, he would not quit howling until my car pulled up.  To say the least, I was not popular in the neighborhood!

When I walked back in the door, he acted like I had been away for a year!

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Could Your Senior Dog have Heart Worm?

dreamstime_xl_59605191All across America, vets begin testing dogs (and cats) for heart worm in April, which is why April is National Heart Worm Awareness Month. It used to be that heart worm was only prevalent in certain parts of the country. Unfortunately, it has now been detected in all 50 states, with the disease spreading to new regions of the country every year. For instance, after Hurricane Katrina, 250,000 pets with heart worm were sent across the country to be adopted.

What is Heart Worm?
Heart worm is a disease caused by foot-long worms (heart worms) that live in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of affected pets, potentially causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. It can not only affect dogs and cats, but wolves, coyotes, ferrets and foxes as well. Heart worms live inside a dog, mature and mate, potentially causing several hundred heart worms in a dog.

How is Heart Worm Transmitted?
Heart worm is transmitted through infected mosquitoes. Once a pet is bitten it can take up to 6 months for the heart worms to grow. Heart worms can live for 5 to 7 years in dogs and up to 2 or 3 years in cats. Fortunately, humans can’t get heart worm from their pets. Continue reading

Dog Proofing Your Back Yard For Your Senior Dog

dreamstimedogallergiesIf you’re like me, you are itching for winter to be over and for Spring to arrive. March brings with it the beginning of Spring, Easter and the start of daylight savings time … all which mean you’ll have more daylight hours to play with your dog!

However, is your backyard pet proofed and poison proofed? With March also being National Pet Poison Prevention Month, it’s time to take a hard look at what can be dangerous for your dog.

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