Congestive Heart Failure

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Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs

AD, BH, SchH 2, IPO 2, ITT 3, V, CD”Ex”, CGCT Gold, Breed Champion Quanto

Causes & Symptoms
Congenital Heart Disease in Dogs
Your beloved pet can have heart problems just like you. Know the symptoms so you can get your companion the help he needs. I lost Quanto, my favourite GSD, to a miss diagnosis when he was treated for kennel cough.
Heart disease may lead to congestive heart failure. That’s when your dog’s heart has trouble pumping blood to the rest of its body.
Heart disease can affect one side of the heart or sometimes both sides. It can progress slowly and may take years to spot.
Congenital means that the dog was born with a heart defect. But old age, injury, and infection can exacerbate it. Diet and exercise play roles too.
Take notice of these early symptoms of heart problems:
Coughing more than usual (during or after exercise or a few hours before bedtime)
Having a hard time breathing or exercising
Tiring easily
Pacing before bedtime and having a hard time settling down
Your vet will want to know any symptoms you’ve noticed. He or she will want to know what she eats, what medications and supplements she may be taking, and if she is current on heartworm protection.
The vet will listen to your dog’s chest and may want to run some tests, including:
A blood and urine test to check for any other problems that could be affecting your dog’s heart.
Chest X-rays. These use radiation in low doses to make images of your dog’s internal organs.
An EKG. This test measures electrical signals from your dog’s heart and tells how fast it’s beating and if that rhythm is healthy.
An ultrasound. Ultrasound uses sound waves to look at the size, shape, and movement of the heart.
Heartworm antigen test. Your vet will take blood from your dog to test it for heartworms.
Holter monitor. This is taped to your dog’s chest and worn for 24-48 hours to capture heart rhythms and rate.

The Little Dog Angel

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High up in the courts of heaven today
a little dog angel waits;
with the other angels he will not play,
but he sits alone at the gates.
“For I know my master will come” says he,
“and when he comes he will call for me.
“The other angels pass him by
As they hurry toward the throne,
And he watches them with a wistful eye as he sits at the gates alone.
“But I know if I just wait patiently that someday my master will call for me.
“And his master, down on earth below,
as he sits in his easy chair, forgets sometimes,
and whispers low to the dog who is not there.
And the little dog angel cocks his ears and dreams that his master’s voice he hears.
And when at last his master waits outside in the dark and cold,
for the hand of death to open the door,
that leads to those courts of gold,
he will hear a sound through the gathering dark,
a little dog angel’s bark.

Author: Noah M. Holland


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Breed: German Shepherd Dog

Name: Vanoben Bosunski        Tattoo: HC292

KUSA: Registration No. BJ012154

DOB: 20/07/1992       Died: 04/12/2004   12y 5 1/2m

He was one of a litter of 11 puppies born to my dogs:

Bosun: Simaxdal Drogo and Thandi: Orinoco

He was the spit image of his father and chosen by my son Colin who started his training. However, due to the fact that he was a student at university, time for training was limited so I took over responsibility for his training.

Coyote was a dog trainer’s dream, one in a million! He bonded closely with me from the start and above all, enjoyed going to trials.

His record in the obedience ring I believe is second to none.

Over a period of 11 Months he progressed from Beginners to Class C as is recorded on his Blue card and signed by all the judges.

23/07/95         96%    Beginners Class

19/08/95         97%     Novice Class

11/11/95         90.1%     Class A

01/05/96         94%     Class B

01/06/96         93.8%  Class C

Our interest at the time was concentrated on obedience competition with the result that Coyote was not often entered in the breed ring. He did however score Best of Breed as a Novice and in Open competition. He also received his Canine Good Citizen Certificate.

In his senior years Coyote often helped to collect funds for TEARS (The Emma Animal Rescue Society).

Jan Meyer

The Rainbow Bridge

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If it should be that I grow frail and weak,

And pain should wake me from my sleep,

Then you must do what must be done,

For this last battle can’t be won.

You will be sad, I understand –

Don’t let your grief then stay your hand,

For this day, more than all the rest,

Your love and friendship stand the test.

We’ve had so many happy years,

What is to come will hold no fears,

You’d not want me to suffer, so

When the time comes – please let me go.

I know in time you too will see,

It is a kindness you do to me,

Although my tail its last has waved,

From pain and suffering I’ve been saved.

Do not grieve that it should be you,

Who has to decide this thing to do?

We’ve been close – we two – these years,

Don’t let your heart hold any tears.

What is “Old Age” in Dogs?

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What is “Old Age” in Dogs?

Old age is that time in our beloved pets lives when, much like aging humans, their bodies and minds are changing – slowing down.  They will still be your loyal companions and protectors but not as lively as before. This is the time when they will depend on you more than ever to be kept healthy and comfortable.

It is a known fact that dogs’ lifespans differ greatly depending on their size and breed differences. A small breed miniature poodle, as an example, can only be considered a senior until well into its teens, whereas a Great Dane is already a senior at 6 or 7 years of age.

See the article, Life Expectancy of Dogs, for more detail on the average lifespans of the most popular breeds of dogs.

Pet owners are usually advised to consult with their vets once their dog is 7 years old in order to determine the best health care maintenance programme for their dog. Naturally a smaller breed dog will not need to go as soon as a larger breed
dog. When families own several dogs of differing sizes, the symptoms of old age may be overlooked in some cases.

How can I tell if my dog is getting old?

Although aging is an inevitable and gradual process, there are some general signs to watch out for as our pets age.

Slowing down – Your dog does not always follow the other dogs outside and has to be called to come and play with them. He also plays only for a short time and then returns indoors. He has developed a routine of sleeping much of the day or spends more time indoors than was the case in the past.

You may notice a stiffness or greater effort when getting up after sleeping for some time or a hesitation when jumping into the LDV or car. There is a reluctance to use the stairs and on walks he does not run ahead as in the past.

Arthritis is very common in large breed dogs and can occur in any joint which makes it very difficult to establish without
an examination by a vet. In one of my German Shepherds I was sure the problem was in the hind legs, when in fact the front joints needed to be treated. There are many different medications available to help ease the discomfort of arthritis, so you need to see your vet as soon as you notice your dog slowing down!

Greying around the muzzle – Most dogs begin to show greying around 5-6 years. Some dogs start greying prematurely as young as 2 years of age. When people see your dog do they refer to him as, “Old”? Does he look sad?

Hearing loss – Does your dog get a fright when you suddenly come around the corner or approach him from behind? Is it getting hard to wake him up after sleeping? Has greetings and response to commands become less enthusiastic? This could be due to hearing loss which is part of the normal aging process. Your vet must be consulted to first rule out other
medical problems affecting the ears.

Dogs adapt to hearing loss quite well and training need not be curtailed. There are a number of excellent blogs dedicated to Deaf dogs that I have used quite regularly. Using hand signals during the day and lights in the dark can work well. Hand signals should form part of basic obedience training – you may need it again when your dog’s hearing is reduced.

Cloudy or “bluish” eyes – As dogs age one sometimes may begin to notice the eyes showing a bluish, transparent  haze” in the pupil area. It is regarded as a normal effect of aging called lenticular sclerosis. This is NOT the same as cataracts. Cataracts are white and opaque and can affect vision so your vet must be consulted. Dogs are very good at adapting to limited visual ability. By making use of their excellent sense of smell blind dogs will find open doors and avoid obstacles.

What can I do for my aging dog? Points to remember about the needs of an older dog.

Have your dog examined by your veterinarian at least once a year.

An older dog does not need as much food to maintain his weight but because of dehydration must always have access to plenty of clean water.

Despite the fact that he is slowing down, he still needs some exercise every day.

His nails must be kept short. Ask your vet to cut it on a visit. Lay down mats or carpets on smooth floors to reduce the risk of the dog slipping or falling.

Older dogs need to relieve themselves more frequently. Make sure to remind them to “Go Pee” (a command my dogs respond to) after eating and last thing at night. Should incontinence become a problem, you need to lay a plastic sheet or a
washable pad over his bed or mat.

Try not to allow a younger dog or children to irritate your older pet. They can become less tolerant and more aggressive with aging.

Keep up the activities he loved as a young dog. Trips to his favourite field, games of tug, fetch, swimming and spending time together.

His love for you has been unconditional from the time you brought him home as a puppy. Now is the time for you to repay that love with care and attention during the remaining years of his life.

Life Expectancy of Dogs

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Life expectancy of dogs

We all want our pets to live as long as possible. This is especially true if they are wonderful companions with enormous affection for you and the family. However, the sad thing about having and loving a dog is that they do not live as long as we
do. In fact, most dog lovers will have had a number of dogs by the time they themselves are classified as seniors. Read the rest of this entry »

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