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The Irish wolfhound, one of the largest dogs

Its appearance is enough to attract attention. The Irish wolfhound is one of the largest sighthounds. In addition to its impressive, rustic brown appearance, this dog has a caring, patient, gentle and affectionate character, perfect for keeping company with owners who have room to accommodate it.

Irish Greyhound Characteristics

One thing is for sure: you will rarely see a dog this big. The Irish Greyhound measures between 71 and 90 cm at the withers and weighs between 40.5 and 68 kg depending on sex and age. This dog with an imposing build develops a massive musculature as well as an elongated body without being too heavy or massive. It has a long head carried high with a skull of medium size. The long muzzle is one of its particularities. It has small dark eyes and small ears that form a rose. The Irish wolfhound also has a long tail in harmony with the body and with hair of medium thickness. It is best recognized by its short, shaggy coat, which is so hard to the touch that it is called "wire". The coat can be red, grey, brindle, fawn, white or black.

History of the Irish Wolfhound breed

The Irish wolfhound has a rather tumultuous history. It is a very old breed whose existence is mentioned by the Celts of Ireland, its country of origin. One of the first stories about it was told by the Roman consul Quintus Aurelius in 391 B.C. He received seven Irish dogs as gifts and never stopped praising them, especially for their ability to fight lions and bears in the arena. The strength of this dog is such that it is used to hunt wolves. In Europe and especially in Scandinavia, it was offered as a prestigious gift to kings and nobility. Unfortunately, the Irish wolfhound almost disappeared in the 19th century because of the reduction of the wolf population in Ireland. It was reborn from its ashes thanks to George Augustus Graham, a passionate breeder who made crosses with the Borzoi, the Deerhound and the Great Dane to develop the breed.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound owes its success to its exemplary character. It is a patient, gentle, quiet and pleasant dog. He is affectionate and gets along wonderfully with children to whom he will show himself very protective. Because of their sighthound origins, Irish Wolfhounds are certainly not made for sedentary or urban life. He needs a lot of space to be able to move and preserve his balance. Beware, it is a great hunter and it tends to run away. Houses should be secured with very high fences to keep it in the garden.

Diet and main health problems of the Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound has a relatively short life span. It can live from 6 to 9 years generally. Because of its weight and size, it ages very quickly. In addition, this breed can suffer from dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer. It needs a diet rich in energy to adapt to its physical activities.

Tapeworm in dogs: symptoms, cause, treatment and prevention

There are different types of tapeworms. They are flatworms that frequently parasitize dogs. When an animal is infested, certain signs can be revealing. Symptoms are most likely to appear when the dog is severely infected. What are the modes of contamination of the dog by tapeworms? Is there an effective treatment and can tapeworms be prevented in dogs? Let's take stock of the situation.

Tapeworms common in dogs

Tapeworms are parasites of the digestive tract. They are one of the many worms that can infest the dog.

These plathelminthes (flatworms), called tapeworms or taenias, belong to the Taeniidae family and to the Taenia genus and to the cestodes class. In common parlance, they are called tapeworms. The most common tapeworm found in dogs is Taenia pisiformis, which can reach an impressive length of nearly 200 cm as an adult. Other tapeworms found in dogs include Taenia ovis, Taenia hydatigena, Taenia multiceps and Taenia serialis. There is also another parasitic cestode of the dog: Dipylidium caninum responsible for dipylidiosis.

In the case of echinococcal tapeworms, contamination is problematic because it can be transmitted to humans, in whom it is sometimes fatal. Echinococcosis is a zoonosis due to the tapeworm of the genus Echinococcus whose larva contaminates humans. However, this type of tapeworm is not particularly dangerous for dogs.

Other parasitic worms in dogs

There is a danger for humans with other parasitic worms of the dog Toxocara canis or Ascaris of the dog. However, this one is not a tapeworm. It is a nematode (round worm), whitish, which settles in the small intestine. It is responsible for human Toxocariasis.

Some worms may look like tapeworms to the untrained eye. They develop in the intestine of their host and lay their eggs there, just like tapeworms. The eggs are then passed in the feces and contaminate plants and the environment. They can be ingested by other animals and also by humans who are contaminated in turn.

The eggs of all types of intestinal worms that are not expelled turn into larvae and feed on the organs of their host, grow and become adult worms that will lay eggs. It's an endless chain.

So, whether you suspect the presence of a tapeworm or another parasitic worm of the digestive tract, you should go to the veterinarian without delay.

Tapeworms in dogs and ring of pregnancy: a sign that does not deceive

Even if the dog doesn't show any particular symptoms at the beginning, the owner who is attentive to his little companion can spot pregnant rings in the stools. Their presence is the formal proof that the dog is infested by tapeworm.

These rings are segments of the tapeworm's body. They detach as the parasite grows. Although detached from the worm, the segments are mobile during the first hours so that they can extract themselves from the dog's body by simply passing through the anus. After a few hours, these rings dry out and look more or less like opalescent rice grains.

The contamination occurs when the dog eats the viscera of contaminated animals. This is the case, for example, with dogs that roam freely and eat prey or with dogs that are fed waste from slaughterhouses. The dog can also be contaminated by eating raw meat. The risk is also very high if the dog swallows a louse or a flea, since these parasites can be infested with larvae.

Apart from the presence of gravid rings in the dog's feces, the recurring symptoms are itching in the anal area: the dog tries to relieve it by biting or licking this area. He also tries to rub his hindquarters on the floor. This is called sledding.

>Tapeworm in dogs: treatment and prevention

It is necessary to treat the dog contaminated by a tapeworm in order to protect its health but also the health of humans. It is sufficient to administer a deworming agent to the dog. This treatment quickly kills the tapeworm which is then expelled by natural way. But be careful, as we have seen there are different types of worms, some are not tapeworms. However, the owner of the animal may not know how to distinguish between one or the other. It is therefore very important to consult the veterinarian so that the dog receives a suitable deworming treatment. If the wrong dewormer is given, it may not be possible to eliminate the parasite.

The best way to prevent tapeworms is to feed your dog well-cooked meat and to control fleas and lice. A careful and regular inspection of the dog's coat is essential to detect fleas or their excrements. It is also a good idea to give your dog a flea collar, which can be recommended by your veterinarian. A periodic deworming as a preventive measure is also necessary.

The Braque d'Auvergne, a dog with a beautiful spotted coat

The Braque d'Auvergne is a purely French breed that owes its fame to its speckled coat, which distinguishes it from other Braques. Docile and intelligent, it is known to be very loyal to its masters. This pointing dog will make a great pet at home by its many qualities.

Characteristics of the Braque d'Auvergne

The Braque d'Auvergne is a large, robust and robust dog with harmonious proportions and a certain elegance. His physique gives him a lot of endurance and flexibility, which allows him to work in difficult conditions. The males can measure between 57 and 63 cm for a weight of 26 to 30 kg while the females are between 53 and 59 cm and weigh between 17 and 25 kg. This dog has a long head with a slightly accentuated stop and marked superciliary arches. The black nose is accompanied by open nostrils. The lips are strong and the jaws powerful. The Braque d'Auvergne has hazel colored eyes which are oval and of rather large dimensions. The ears placed behind have rounded tips and are flexible. This dog is distinguished by its short and bright coat giving on a black color with white stripes that can be grayed or spotted.

History of the Braque d'Auvergne breed

The Braque d'Auvergne is a purely French breed that originated in the Cantal region. Legend has it that the improvement of the breed was initiated by the Hospitallers, companions of Gerard the Hospitaller and caretakers of the Xenodochium of Jerusalem. The Braque d'Auvergne has appeared for nearly 200 years in the Auvergne region and is the result of several selections. It was used as a hunting dog. During the Second World War, the breed was close to extinction. Fortunately, the remaining specimens were crossed with Pointers, which allowed the breed to survive. The official recognition by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) took place on June 30, 1955.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Braque d'Auvergne

Although it was developed for hunting, the Braque d'Auvergne is an excellent companion dog. It has a good character: affectionate, gentle, loyal and obedient. He gets along wonderfully with children, including the youngest. He also loves family life and remains faithful to his masters. It is a dog full of tenderness. He will be able to cohabit easily with the other dogs or animals in the house. This dog can live in an apartment or a house. On the other hand, it must go for long walks every day to keep in shape both physically and psychologically.

Diet and main problems of the Braque d'Auvergne

The Braque d'Auvergne is not a fragile dog. On the contrary, it is robust and not very prone to diseases. It is simply necessary to watch for the appearance of entropion, an anomaly of the eyelids. As far as his diet is concerned, as he is an active dog, he needs the maximum amount of energy. However, the quantity must always be in accordance with the exercises practiced and the lifestyle.

The Icelandic Shepherd, sporting dog

Nordic Spitz of flock, the Icelandic Shepherd is a great sportsman always of good mood. Pleasant companion dog, it also excels in guarding. Thanks to his versatility, he is a delight for families looking for a curious, playful and lively pet.

Characteristics of the Icelandic Shepherd Dog

Full of vigor and strength, the Icelandic Shepherd reveals all the physical characteristics attributed to a Spitz. It has an average height of 42 to 46 cm for a weight oscillating between 10 and 18 kg. It is recognized in particular by its tail set high and in plume on the back. This dog is endowed with a body inscribable in a triangle. It has a muscular and straight back, a muscular and wide loins with curved ribs. Its head is formed by a domed skull longer than the muzzle. It has a black nose and a developed muzzle with a more or less accentuated stop, but without excess.

Of average size, the eyes of dark brown color reveal a shape of almond. The ears for their part are well drawn up and of triangular form. Their position depends mainly on the mood of the dog. As for the coat, the Icelandic Shepherd has either a short or a long hair. The coat can be black, gray, chocolate or fawn. White markings are observed on the collar, face, tip of the tail and chest.

History of the Icelandic Shepherd Dog

The Icelandic Shepherd is an ancient breed that arrived with the first Vikings around the 9th century. It was mainly used in driving cattle and herds. A controversy surrounds its true origins. Some say that it descends from the Karelian Bear Dog while others speak of an affiliation with the Norwegian Buhund. The Icelandic Shepherd Dog has not had the happiest of days, because due to its high popularity in Iceland, the dog population has grown exponentially. They were raised in the worst conditions so that they ended up developing diseases that could be transmitted to humans and other animals. The breed almost became extinct as a result. Today, it remains rare, with only about 5,000 specimens in the four corners of the globe.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Icelandic Shepherd

The Icelandic Shepherd is a very pleasant animal. It is curious, playful, always in a good mood and friendly. They are not aggressive or fearful. It is a perfect pet. Unlike some breeds, it does not run away and does not start hunting. It can therefore get along with the other animals in the house provided it is socialized as soon as possible. On the other hand, it is necessary to accustom it to solitude, because it tends not to support to remain alone. Since it is an outdoor dog, it needs to evolve in a house with a garden instead of an apartment in the city.

Diet and main problems of the Icelandic Shepherd

Luckily, the Icelandic Shepherd does not suffer from any genetic defect. However, in order to live up to 12 years, corresponding to its average life expectancy, it needs a diet compatible with its lifestyle and age.

Food poisoning in dogs: causes, how to react?

In case of food poisoning in dogs, it is essential to react as soon as possible. An emergency consultation with a veterinarian is of course highly recommended. This implies to identify the symptoms that can lead to suppose that the dog has been poisoned by eating something. Let's take a look at the causes of food poisoning in dogs and how to react to help your pet.

What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning is also called food poisoning. It is a digestive infection caused by the ingestion of food or non-food substances that have been contaminated by a pathogen such as
  • A bacterium,
  • A virus,
  • A parasite.
Some animals are particularly exposed to it because they have the annoying habit of eating what they find on their way. The dog is no exception to the rule. He can therefore also be intoxicated by different substances.

Symptoms of food poisoning in dogs

The symptoms of food poisoning are relatively similar to those of gastroenteritis. It is therefore necessary to be particularly vigilant because if the poisoned dog is not treated quickly, its health can be seriously endangered.

A foodborne illness in dogs usually results in the following symptoms:
  • Tremors,
  • Sudden loss of appetite,
  • Vomiting,
  • Hypersalivation,
  • Stomach ache,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Fever (body temperature over 39°C),
  • Paralysis,
  • Coma.
Coma occurs in the most serious intoxications. But it is necessary to react urgently at the slightest doubt, even if the dog does not present all the symptoms presented previously. Just one of them is enough to bring your pet to the veterinarian's office or directly to the veterinary clinic.

Foods that can cause food poisoning in dogs

Many foods that are suitable for humans are not at all suitable for our little companions. As far as the dog is concerned, it should absolutely not eat
  • Chocolate,
  • Raw potatoes because they contain solanine,
  • Cereals contaminated by molds that release mycotoxins,
  • Plants of the Allium family such as garlic, onion, leek, chives and many others because they are rich in organo-sulfoxides,
  • Grapes.
Among other causes of food poisoning in dogs, we frequently find:
  • Household products,
  • Pesticides,
  • Nicotine,
  • Methylxanthines such as caffeine and theine for example,
  • Certain essential oils,
  • Alcohols,
  • Xylitol from birch bark used as a sugar substitute or fake sugar,
  • Medications intended for humans,
  • Many plants.
Be careful with plants because they are known to be dangerous for cats but we often ignore that they are also dangerous for dogs. The house where we cultivate innumerable plants of interior just like the garden besides are so many dangerous universes for the dog because it is very sensitive to the toxicity (in particular of the sap) of a multitude of plants. Knowing that this animal does not hesitate, especially when it is still very young, to chew everything it finds, it is very exposed to food poisoning by plants. It is therefore better not to leave within its reach Aloe-Vera (rich in saponins), Geranium, Lily of the Valley, Glycine, Christmas Rose, Amaryllis, Hyacinth, Tobacco, Lilac, Rhododendron, Mistletoe, Chrysanthemum, Cyclamen, Azalea, Dieffenbachia, Cherry Laurel and Oleander, Yucca, Jasmine, Colchicum, Tulip, Digitale, Poinsettia, Hydrangea, Narcissus or Philodendron.

Attention, this list is not exhaustive. Many other plants can represent a health risk for a puppy or an adult dog. Don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian for a complete list of plants that are toxic to your dog.

Beware of the effects of toad venom on dogs!

When walking in the countryside, the dog can be envenomated by getting a little too close to a toad. This apparently harmless batrachian has granular glands that secrete a venomous substance. These are called parotoid glands.

When the dog sniffs, or even worse, bites the small amphibian, a defense mechanism is triggered in the latter. When the dog presses on the body of the toad with its mouth, the excessive pressure immediately causes the release of a venom from the toad's parotoid glands. In addition to being hallucinogenic, this venom can be fatal to the dog because it contains various toxins that act on several levels. If the dog ingests toad venom, it can have serious effects on:
  • The heart,
  • The nervous system,
  • Mucous membranes,
  • Blood vessels.
Even if toad venom does not cause food poisoning, its danger for the dog is worth mentioning here, because there are risks that can follow the ingestion of toad venom.

How to react when your dog is a victim of food poisoning?

At the first sign of food poisoning, the pet owner should take his dog to the veterinarian. Tests may be necessary to identify the cause of the food poisoning. Only then can the doctor prescribe an appropriate treatment.

To avoid putting your dog's health at risk, it is recommended that you take the same precautions as with young children. Household products, medication and alcohol should be stored high up or in a closed cupboard. Grow plants that are safe for pets and make sure you don't give them forbidden foods, as some are suitable for humans but not necessarily for pets.

What is a therapy dog? Understanding cynotherapy and canithotherapy

Little known to the general public, cynotherapy is a practice that consists of having a therapy animal intervene with people in difficulty to bring them relief. It is called canitherapy when the mediating animal is a dog. Let's discover together in which fields this animal mediation is mainly used, which are the problems to which cynotherapy benefits the most. Let's also see the numerous benefits of cynotherapy for children and adults who benefit from it.

What is cynotherapy?

Cynotherapy is an animal therapy. This branch of zootherapy involves an animal with a person in a difficult situation to bring him or her some relief. It can be for example a horse, a cat, a dog or many other animals. When a therapy dog is used, the appropriate term is canitherapy.

It is therefore part of personal care and an effective alternative to other solutions. The presence of a therapist is systematic. Thus, the dog always intervenes with a canine therapist and represents a link between the professional and the patient. This is called a triangular relationship.

The people with whom the therapy dog intervenes more specifically are, for example
  • People with disabilities,
  • People with a psychological disorder.
They can be children, adults or elderly people.

Cynotherapy: what about ethics?

The use of a therapy animal implies its unconditional respect. It must not be subjected to any physical or emotional trauma during the interventions. The human therapist accompanied by the animal must always ensure its well-being. The difficulty lies in avoiding situations that can be anxiety-provoking for the animal, especially in structures reserved for the severely mentally handicapped, as patients can be unpredictable in their reaction to the therapist and/or the dog. The animal must be protected by the professional. Also, cynotherapy implies :
  • The respect of the code of ethics,
  • The setting up of an intervention framework aiming at protecting the intervening persons and the mediating animals,
  • A training for all interveners in animal mediation,
  • A selection of animals by an ethologist who must first ensure their ability to intervene in mediation,
  • A specific education of the animals so that they become "therapy animals".
There is no room for chance in cynotherapy.

Canitherapy: when the dog becomes an actor in human healing

In France, the therapy animal is beginning to integrate various structures dedicated to human health, but progress remains to be made so that cynotherapy is as present as in the United States. For the moment, although a few retirement homes and some hospital departments have integrated therapy dogs, this is still far from being the majority.

However, it has been proven that the therapy dog puts a smile on the face of the patient, and each visit is highly beneficial to the patient. Among the many examples of patients for whom the benefits of therapy dogs are measurable, we find for example people followed for :
  • Autism,
  • Alzheimer's disease,
  • Schizophrenia.

The benefits of canine therapy for patients

Canine therapy is more widely used to help children with any type of disability. It has been proven that in young people who suffer from autistic disorder, the therapy dog plays a major role in improving communication and contact between the little patients and other people.

In a broader sense, the benefits of cynotherapy involving the participation of a therapy dog can be seen in the patient of any age a noticeable improvement in:
  • Emotional,
  • Motor,
  • Cognitive.
The link between the patient and the animal breaks the isolation and the withdrawal, pushes the patient to surpass himself because he is more motivated. The intervention of an animal is also very important for the patient to have a better perception of his environment simply because he is more attentive to the presence of the dog, involved in the therapy. The same is true when the animal involved is a horse, a pony, a cat or a bird.

The presence of an animal provides intellectual stimulation and strengthens the bond of attachment. The animal is also a source of sensory contact because it smells, moves, plays, and communicates in its own way (barking in the case of a dog). The interaction is a means of distraction for the patient who, on the other hand, feels more or less responsible for the animal. This last point is very important in the therapy because the person feels useful with the dog and therefore valued.

The therapeutic intervention assisted by the animal - in this case by the dog in the field of canine therapy - brings a plus to the patient, both in terms of physical and psychological health. In this way, the animal represents an alternative to medication.

Therapy dogs: the most popular breeds

Before talking about the most suitable dog breeds to accompany a dog therapist, it is necessary to select each dog with the following specificities:
  • Willing (hardworking),
  • Good character,
  • Calm,
  • Educated,
  • Perfectly socialized,
  • Very attached to his master,
  • Has an excellent relationship with humans.
If we were to name the dog breeds that are the most suitable for cynotherapy, we would find the German Shepherd in the lead, followed by the following breeds: Saint Bernard, Labrador, Golden Retriever, Australian Shepherd and Cavalier King Charles.

We understand that in order to select a therapy dog, the animal must have been trained according to the rules of the art and must not have experienced any trauma during its first years. Indeed, the slightest physical or emotional trauma during the first two years of a dog's life has proven consequences on its future behavior, its character, its perception of human beings. Therefore, no drift should be deplored when the dog is an integral part of this triangular relationship found in cynotherapy, and which unites the therapist, the therapy dog and the patient.

The Australian Terrier (or Australian Silky), a dog with a fiery temperament

The Australian Terrier is also small, but with a fiery temperament. Always ready to spend time, this breed is appreciated for its cheerfulness and intelligence.

Australian Terrier Characteristics

This breed comes in two types: the Australian Terrier proper and the Australian Silky Terrier. Beware of confusion, because we are talking about two distinct breeds. The one that interests us is the classic Australian Terrier. It is immediately recognized by its small size, 25 cm at the withers on average for a weight close to 6.5 kg. Low on legs and endowed with a vigorous body, this dog reveals an elastic, frank and energetic look. Beyond this muscular body, the Australian Terrier can be recognized by its long head with a flat skull, a slight but visible stop, a black nose, a powerful muzzle and strong jaws. This dog has a moustache and thick eyebrows. It has oval-shaped eyes of rather small dimensions with a soft color tending to dark brown. The ears are pointed, erect and small. The Australian Terrier has a long, rough, straight coat that can be red or light sable or silver and blue with tan markings on the ears, face, feet or under the body.

History of the Australian Terrier breed

Originating in Australia, the Australian Terrier made its appearance around the beginning of the 19th century. It was born from a cross between British breeds such as the Yorkshire or Cairn Terrier and local dogs. This animal was especially appreciated for guarding houses or tracking rodents and snakes. From time to time, it was used to watch over flocks of sheep or to help protect Australian mines. Despite its age, it was not until 1933 that the breed was officially recognized.

Living conditions and behavior of the Australian Terrier

The Australian Terrier is known for its liveliness and its smart and friendly character. It develops a protective affection towards its masters and is very attached to them. It is a cheerful and lively animal that is also tenacious and courageous, like most terriers. He knows how to defend his territory to not let any stranger pass. Sometimes, it even seems as if he is not afraid of anything. For the cohabitation to be a success, the Australian Terrier must be educated with firmness, but without violence. Note that the happiness of this dog depends on its outings and physical activities that must be numerous and regular.

Food and main problems of the Australian Terrier

The advantage of the Australian Terrier is that it is a relatively robust breed that can live up to 15 years. However, it is necessary to monitor the possible appearance of diabetes which affects many dogs. Scientific studies are being conducted in the United States to determine the incidence of this condition.

The Afghan Greyhound, the prince of dogs

It is difficult to compete with such elegance. A prince of beauty contests, the Afghan Greyhound is distinguished by its beautiful, long fur. He is also an outstanding sportsman. Its greyhound origins are not deceiving. Get to know this ancient breed better.

Characteristics of the Afghan Greyhound

They are admired for their refinement and power, their beautiful coat and their supple, elastic gait. The Afghan Greyhound is a fairly large dog that measures between 63 and 69 cm in females and 68 and 74 cm in males with a weight of around 28 kg. The dog has an oriental look. It has a fine, narrow head with a long muzzle, a slightly marked stop and firm jaws. It reveals eyes of triangular form revealing a dark color with a black border at the level of the eyelids. Note that the standard also tolerates golden eyes. The ears for their part are set low and are placed against the head. They are furnished with long and soft locks. The beauty of the Afghan Hound lies in its long, silky coat, which must also be smooth. The standard admits all coats. However, colors ranging from sandy to golden are the most sought after.

History of the Afghan Greyhound Breed

The Afghan Hound has ancient origins. Some say that it was one of the animals selected to board Noah's Ark and escape the flood. They are also found in cave paintings dating back to 2000 B.C. It is said that this breed is the result of a cross between the Bakhmull sighthounds of the Afghan mountains, the Kyrgyz and perhaps the longhaired shepherd. Originally from the Middle East, it was introduced in Great Britain around 1890. It was not until the 1930's that it arrived on the French borders. As it resembles the Russian breed Tozi, the Afghan Greyhound is also nicknamed in the same way.

Living conditions and behavior of the Afghan Hound

The Afghan Greyhound's appearance is not the only thing that makes it stand out from the crowd. The Afghan Hound has a very particular temperament. Obstinate and independent, they use their intelligence and develop a wealth of ingenuity to get what they want. He can open a door himself, for example. This dog is sensitive, calm and content. Beware of its dominating side. It is also relatively susceptible, hence the importance of providing a gentle education. Obviously, as a greyhound, this dog will not be happy living a sedentary life. He needs to be constantly on the move and running around. Ideally, he should be able to participate in canisport competitions.

Feeding and main problems of the Afghan Greyhound

The Afghan Greyhound is a rather robust animal. However, it is affected by a genetic defect of its own called Afghan Greyhound hereditary myelopathy. This disease manifests itself by a degeneration of the spinal cord and usually appears during the first year of the animal's life. As the disease progresses, the dog develops paraplegia and eventually dies from respiratory arrest.

The sexual cycle in the female dog

When a female dog is in heat, it's important to keep a close eye on her as well as the males in her neighborhood, especially if you don't want her to have puppies a few months later. In order to know when to put your female dog to sleep, it's best to have an idea of how the female's sexual cycle unfolds. Let's take a look at the sexual maturity of a female dog, the four stages of her cycle and the veterinary procedures that can be used to avoid this famous heat.

Age of sexual maturity in the female dog

On average, the female dog reaches sexual maturity at the age of one year, knowing that in some females the age of puberty is only 6 months, while in giant breeds, it does not occur before 2 years. It is useful to note that the smaller the breed of dog, the earlier sexual maturity occurs.

Although the female dog has reached puberty, she is not yet 100% fertile, far from it, and it is not recommended to cover her so early because at this age her growth process is not yet complete. When you don't know if she has already been cycled or not, it is usually sufficient to inspect the female dog's vulva. The vulva is always larger in a female dog that has already gone into heat.

Each heat period lasts about three months and there are 4 to 13 months between estrus, the breed having a strong influence on this duration. Each of these episodes is referred to as inter-estrus.

The four stages of the sexual cycle in the female dog

Here is how the sexual cycle unfolds in four distinct phases in the female dog.

Stage 1: pro-estrus.

Lasts from 3 to 17 days. This marks the beginning of the heat period. Hormonal changes take place. Males are attracted to the female dog but she refuses to mate. She loses blood more or less abundantly (it varies from one female to another), her vulva is turgid.

Stage 2: estrus.

Duration from 3 to 21 days. During this phase called heat, the vaginal discharge is pink and begins to be less abundant. Ovulation begins following the increase in progesterone levels and lasts only 2 or 3 days. This is the moment when the female dog agrees to mate with a male, but it is sometimes possible that the one chosen by her master is not suitable, in which case she refuses him. In case of fertile mating, fertilization takes place.

It should be noted that the heat in the female dog appears every six months, at the latest every 7 months. The cycles are thus relatively regular.

Stage 3: diestrus (metestrus).

Duration between 57 and 65 days. This term designates the phase during which gestation or pseudo-pregnancy (nervous pregnancy) takes place. The female dog refuses to be covered by a male. Her vulva deflates, her udders swell because the mammary tissue swells more or less depending on whether or not a gestation is in progress. At the hormonal level there is a high level of progesterone.

Stage 4: anestrus.

Duration between 2 and 9 months. The genital system of the female dog enters then in a phase of rest. On the hormonal level, we find normal levels of progesterone and estrogen.

How to prevent your female dog from going into heat?

The heat period is not always appreciated by the owners of a female dog. To put a definitive end to it, you must opt for sterilization. It is performed under general anesthesia and is irreversible. Before taking this decision, you must be sure that you do not want to keep any of the puppies that the female dog may give birth to.

However, it should be noted that sterilization is an act that protects the health of the female dog at different levels, namely against unwanted litters and against many serious diseases such as malignant tumors (cancers). Sterilization also has a direct effect on the dog's behavior. The female dog becomes calmer. The same is true in the case of castration of the male, an operation that protects his health.

Another solution is to opt for temporary sterilization, either by pill or by injection. This sterilization is not definitive. It simply secures the reproduction periods.

The sterilization is covered by the dog health insurance. To find out the amount of the reimbursement, it is necessary to compare the formulas proposed by the mutual insurance companies for dogs by going through an online comparator.

Hyperactive dog: how to calm him down?

Being the owner of a hyperactive dog is not easy. At any given moment, the animal becomes unpredictable and impossible to control. This crazy dog is in fact suffering from a developmental disorder. Let's take stock of its main cause, its main manifestations and the attitude to adopt in order to calm down a hyperactive dog.

Hyperactivity in dogs: the cause

Hyperactivity is normal in puppies. However, it stops spontaneously after a few months. On the other hand, it is no longer normal when this hyperactivity continues to manifest itself in an adult dog. The animal then presents a very unstable emotional state.

Hyperactivity affects dogs:
  • Whose mother died when they were entering their 4th week,
  • Who were weaned too early and/or physically separated from their mother also during the 4th week.
It can also occur if the dog was raised by an immature mother.

The 4th week is crucial for a puppy. It is at this very moment that he discovers play with his brothers and sisters. When their mother is present, she regulates all interactions between her puppies, born from the same litter. This is the time when the puppies learn to bite. The female dog teaches her pups to control the strength of their jaws. This is how, afterwards, a female dog that has passed this period in excellent conditions will be able to bite while playing but without causing pain.

The absence of a mother in the puppy at this precise time is an extremely important trauma that leaves indelible marks and that we find later in the animal's behavior.

How does hyperactivity in dogs manifest itself?

The main manifestations of canine hyperactivity are easily detectable in the animal's behavior.
  • Reacts instantly to any type of stimulus,
  • Eats very quickly,
  • Is constantly on the move,
  • Multiplies the effusive attitudes,
  • Barks as soon as it hears the slightest noise,
  • Begs without limit for activities, even during the night,
  • Plays in a completely uncontrolled way,
  • Rarely rests,
  • Disobeys constantly,
  • Is unable to control himself because he can hurt by biting.
At the slightest doubt, do not wait to consult the veterinarian.

How to deal with a hyperactive dog

The owner must always be very consistent with his animal. As soon as the dog bites, the owner must make sure that it does not do it again. In other words, the dog must learn that chewing on a person or an animal, even while playing, is absolutely forbidden. Be careful: children should never be left alone with a hyperactive dog.

This type of dog must be perfectly supervised on a daily basis. But to try to educate it, you must not shout at it or force it. You should not play with balls or other throwing games of any kind.

Best solutions for calming a hyperactive dog

Indifference works very well. The owner should turn his back to his dog to let him know that he has decided to ignore him. You should not look at him, talk to him or touch him.

Sudden gestures should be avoided. Adopting a calm attitude can have the effect of calming (moderately) a hyperactive dog. This animal also needs a routine to be a little calmer, such as eating or going out at the same time, following the same route when going out on a leash, etc.

As much as possible, we must try to tire the dog so that it is calmer. To do this, it is necessary to give the dog plenty of exercise through games and targeted routes, and to teach him to stop running or playing when his master tells him to. Firmness is required both in terms of behavior and voice. Of course, it is important to know the difference between giving a firm order and shouting.

There is still the medication solution. Certain psychotropic drugs are prescribed to hyperactive dogs when their owners are no longer able to control them. It is also possible to use pheromones that have an anti-stress effect.

It is imperative that the hyperactive dog be monitored by a veterinarian. He also needs to be seen regularly by a dog trainer and held by a confident owner who plays the role of dominant. However, it is common for owners of hyperactive dogs not to be able to cope and even to end up fearing their animal. In these circumstances, it is best to make the decision to place the dog in a foster home without children.

Augustas in dogs: risks, precautions and prevention

Auger mites are one of the small bugs that can cause severe allergic reactions in dogs, which can lead to skin lesions. These mites may be tiny, but they can be very virulent. Let's find out who exactly these parasites are, what are the risks incurred by the dog victims of Augustats, and if it is possible to protect his little companion by preventive means.

What is an augur?

The larva of a mite (Trombicula autumnalis) that belongs to the Trombiculidae family is called an augur. This tiny bug is red in color like the silky Trombidium (Trombidium holosericeum) which is nicknamed red spider and which swarms on low walls heated by the sun during the summer. But be careful, they should not be confused. The Trombicula auumnalis is much smaller.

The auumnalis lives mainly in Europe, Australia and America. It is mainly found in slightly humid and well exposed to light herbaceous areas. Consequently, this mite is more frequently found in the countryside than in urban areas.

The larvae mainly feed on the tissue fluids of animals and humans. It injects enzymes into the skin of its victim to predigest the cells it feeds on by sucking them up.

In our country, depending on the region, the augur is nicknamed puron, vendangeon or rouget.

Attack of augustats: what are the risks for the dog?

It is especially in August that the "attacks" of august mites occur, as they do not take long to colonize their host.

When the mite settles on a dog for example, it pierces its skin with its hooks - called chelicerae - to feed. With each impact, virulent itching appears. The dog scratches intensely and bites itself to soothe them. This leads to superinfection.

Dogs suffering from autism: a consultation is necessary

It is important to consult a veterinarian when the dog keeps scratching or biting itself. It is essential to limit the risk of superinfection. An inspection of the dog's dermis does not always allow the owner to visualize the parasites, on the one hand because a larva does not exceed 0.2 mm in length, and on the other hand because once they have eaten, the parasites leave the body of their host. It is therefore better to entrust this visual examination to a veterinarian.

In addition, the practitioner will probably have to prescribe a treatment if the dog shows an inflammatory reaction. This can be done with a lotion, an ointment or even a drug treatment with antihistamines, antibiotics or corticosteroids.

The dog heals within a week if there is no allergy, otherwise the treatment must be prolonged.

It is also essential to consult a doctor if you think your dog has fallen victim to Augustats, as these mites can transmit certain diseases such as myxomatosis and ehrlichiosis.

How can I protect my dog against Augustas?

It is impossible to prevent 100 % of the attacks of Augustats, especially if the dog is used to running in the fields or playing in the lawn. However, it is possible to limit the attacks of these parasites with a flea repellent or a preventive treatment against ticks.

If possible, you should avoid letting your dog run around in the high grass in the middle of summer and you should make sure that the lawn is mowed frequently.

The short-haired collie, a dog with a hyper-athletic body

With its hyper-athetical body, lively expression and great intelligence, the Shorthaired Collie amazes dog lovers with its physique and character. A dog for the handicapped, it also excels as a guard dog and as a companion dog. Learn more about this "so british" breed.

Characteristics of the Shorthaired Collie

The Shorthaired Collie shines for its balanced, harmonious and proportionate physique. This dog is distinguished by its beauty and its haughty attitudes. They are medium-sized, measuring between 51 and 56 cm at the withers and weighing between 18 and 29.5 kg depending on age and sex. This animal reveals a rather atypical head in the shape of a wedge which is clearly truncated. The skull is flat and the stop is very light. In addition to a black nose, the dog has powerful jaws. Another of its particularities lies in its eyes, which must have that much sought-after expression of softness. They are medium sized, set at an angle and are dark brown in color. The Shorthaired Collie expresses a look full of intelligence and vivacity. Its medium-sized ears are also carried backwards under normal circumstances and forward when the dog is alert. As the name suggests, the coat is short and has a relatively hard texture. The coat can be blue merle, tricolor (tan and black dominate) or bicolor (white and sable).

History of the Shorthaired Collie breed

Like the Longhaired Collie, the Shorthaired Collie also originated in Iceland, Scotland. This is an ancient breed, as it is believed to have been around for 4000 years. The Collie has known a dazzling success in England thanks to Queen Victoria who appreciated them very specially. She also contributed to the creation of the Colley Club around the 19th century. The short-haired Collie did not arouse as much enthusiasm as its long-haired counterpart. Therefore, the breed has remained confidential even up to the present day.

Living requirements and behavior of the Shorthaired Collie

The Shorthaired Collie is the perfect pet. It needs a constant human presence and is only happy if it lives near its family. It is a pleasant, friendly and always cheerful dog. It does not express any form of aggressiveness or fear and reveals a lot of intelligence and vivacity. Loyal and faithful, it is also attentive, courageous and sociable. On the other hand, it is necessary to be patient during its education, because this dog is a little stubborn. The training must be done with softness and firmness and allied play and obedience to be effective.

Diet and health problems of the Shorthaired Collie

The Shorthaired Collie must have an important follow-up on its health, because it can be subject to several diseases: skin disease, lupus erythematosus, persistent ductus arteriosus, abnormality of the eyes of the Collie, retinal atrophy, entropion, epilepsy, etc. As he is very active, he needs food rich in energy without being too fatty or sweet.

The Bearded Collie, a dog with a beautiful long coat

The experts speak of "a fabulous breed". It must be said that in addition to its magnificent long coat, the Bearded Collie also called Bearded Collie or Beardie shows an exemplary character which makes it very endearing. Sociable, intelligent, clever, this 100% British breed is the perfect family companion.

Characteristics of the Bearded Collie

In addition to its muscular silhouette and inscribable in a rectangle, the Bearded Collie is a balanced, active and robust dog without heaviness. It is of medium size and measures between 53 and 56 cm for the males with a weight of 25 to 30 kg and from 51 to 53 cm for the females with a weight of 22 to 27 kg. The Beardie develops a head proportional to the body with a square, flat and wide skull, a strong muzzle, a slightly marked stop and a large black nose. It reveals beautiful eyes with an expression of softness and affection that have a color in harmony with the coat. They are also large and well spaced between them. The ears are medium-sized and hanging, but they are raised slightly when the dog is alert. The Bearded Collie owes its beauty to its long, smooth, rough coat, which can be of different colors: black, reddish fawn, gray, sandy, brown, with the possibility of markings on the head, feet, tail, chest or belly.

History of the Bearded Collie breed

The Beardie originated in the north of England and Scotland. There is still some uncertainty about the crossbreeding that took place to create the breed and when it first appeared. It is likely that the dog is a descendant of the Collie and the Bobtail. In any case, we speak of him since the 16th century. Its introduction would have been carried out during the Middle Ages during the trade with the Poles. This dog was essentially used to guard livestock. It was asked to watch and protect the herds, a task in which it excelled. Around the 20th century, the extinction of the breed was imminent without the intervention of Mrs. Willison, a passionate Englishwoman who revived the breed in the 1950s.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Bearded Collie

Protective, intelligent, sociable and open, the Beardie has many qualities. He is the ideal companion for children, whom he will watch over and protect as he would for a herd. It is a clever, playful, dynamic dog and very pleasant to live with. He also needs to spend time being a great sportsman. This is why he prefers to live in a house with a garden. As for education, even if he is a little stubborn, the Beardie learns quickly thanks to his intelligence.

Diet and health problems of the Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie is predisposed to certain diseases such as pemphigus, which affects the skin, and Addison's disease, which is manifested by a cortisone deficiency. This dog can also suffer from hip dysplasia and cataracts when it gets old. In addition, certain autoimmune diseases are to be monitored.

To ensure the longevity of the dog, a rich and balanced diet is required. It can be homemade or industrial, the dog is not difficult at this level.

Understanding lactation in female dogs

As soon as her puppies are born, the female dog is able to provide for their needs, first with colostrum and then with her milk. But how is milk produced and how does a feeding work?

Secretion and ejection of milk in the female dog: principle

During gestation, when the progesterone level drops, the pituitary gland, an endocrine gland, starts to produce more prolactin. This is an anteropituitary hormone that plays a fundamental role in lactation. In fact, the neuroendocrine system controls milk secretion and the flow of milk from the udder at feeding time. During each feeding, the puppies - by kneading and sucking - perform a mechanical action that triggers a reflex. The hypothalamus then comes into play by stimulating the contraction of cells that allow the milk to be ejected.

Nursing puppies by their mothers also causes the production of hormones such as prolactin to keep their levels high. However, during the post-weaning period, prolactin levels drop to baseline levels and lactation is stopped.

Duration of lactation in the female dog

After whelping, lactation starts between 1 and 3 days, then increases over the days to reach its maximum from the 3rd to the 5th week. It then decreases to dry up completely when the puppies are ready to be weaned. When she has less milk, the female dog will accompany her puppies to weaning.

A female dog can produce - depending on her breed and the number of puppies she has given birth to - up to 2 liters of milk daily, which can correspond to 70 or 80 liters over the entire nursing period. This is sometimes equivalent to 3 times her weight. You can imagine the energy requirements that this imposes on the body. They are 4 times more important than the rest of the time. The nursing female dog must therefore be particularly well fed, thanks to a food adapted to this particular period.

Why is colostrum so important for puppies?

When her puppies are born, the mother - like all female mammals - produces colostrum. This is the very first milk, a liquid that is particularly precious for the puppies' survival. A sort of miracle of nature, colostrum contains elements that are essential to the newborn puppies, such as
  • Lactoferrin for the immune system,
  • Glyconutrients that allow the cells to develop,
  • Proline, an amino acid,
  • antibodies,
  • Nutrients for their growth...
It is fundamental that each puppy can drink this colostrum within 2 days maximum after its birth so that it can benefit from its high protection.

What to do when a female dog lacks milk?

Some female dogs do not produce enough milk to feed all their offspring. It is therefore necessary to supplement the puppies' food either by giving them specialized milk through a bottle, or by subjecting them to another female dog who is also breastfeeding but has few puppies to feed. This second solution does not always work. It is also necessary that the substitute nurse is willing to accept to feed puppies that are not hers. This is not a foregone conclusion because not many female dogs are willing to nurse the puppies of another. If you notice that your female dog doesn't have enough milk to feed her puppies, don't hesitate to talk to your veterinarian.

How do I know if my dog is bored?

It is very important to know how to detect all the signs that a dog is bored. If your dog is bored, the owner needs to spend a little more time with him. A bored dog should not be left alone for too long. Instead, he should be stimulated to get him moving again and out of his slumber. Let's take a look at the signs of boredom in dogs and what can be done about it.

Boredom in dogs: the signs that don't deceive

Not all dogs react the same way to boredom. The attitudes that can put the flea in the ear of an attentive master are for example :
  • Peeing in the house, even though the dog has been clean for a long time,
  • Crying and barking all day long and sometimes even howling to death that can be heard in the whole neighborhood,
  • Stealing food,
  • Damage in the house or garden due to untimely scratching or biting (cushions or slippers torn off with the teeth),
  • Accumulation of all kinds of mischief,
  • The challenge of the authority of the master.
The bored dog can also :
  • Scratching incessantly or licking compulsively,
  • Stifle his bowl or on the contrary become bulimic,
  • Show less affection to his master (at least temporarily),
  • Being unhappy.
Often, the animal tries to attract the attention of his master by all means. The calmest doggie becomes a real destroyer, while a perfectly balanced and cheerful dog suddenly feels very unhappy and seems sad, totally detached from family life.

Get your dog out of boredom by playing

Loneliness is often the cause of boredom in dogs. To get him out of this state, he must be kept busy. The animal must be stimulated by its owner. Initially, you can opt for interactive play, a moment that the animal shares with its owner, breeder or a member of its foster family, which intensifies the human/dog relationship. Then, once the dog has recovered, it will be happy to play on its own again.

It is very important to set aside time for your dog on a daily basis. This is the time to perfect his education if he is still young or if it is necessary. He must be able to jump, run, look for a toy or a treat and find pleasure in it. The dog should have its own toys and have free access to them in the absence of its owner so that it does not remain inactive when it is alone. This prevents him from focusing on the food. It is known that a dog that is bored because it does not occupy itself during the day is at high risk of becoming obese.

If you have the possibility, you can install a small Agility course in the garden. Another good idea is to welcome another pet, not necessarily another canine. A cat, a parrot, a pony... If the dog gets along very well with all animals, it can only help him to get out of boredom.

Take your dog out very often if he is bored

As soon as you notice that your dog is depressed, it is essential to take him out. Each walk with his owner is an asset and can help him over time to regain his liveliness. It is important for your dog to get back in touch with the outside world. He will smell all sorts of odors that will revive his attraction for walks. We vary the pace so that he can also run. You should also change the place where you take your dog for a walk every day to avoid weariness and so that the animal discovers a new route and new smells. In the country or in a public park, we take a ball with us so that he can play and get tired. He will be better off on his return because he will be much less bored.

Finally, boredom in dogs can be treated in the same way as in humans, by physical activity and intellectual stimulation, but also by breaking the solitude. This is why multiplying and sharing games and outings are crucial actions to obtain a good result in the medium term.

Finally, there is another important point when you decide to take in a dog, and that is to choose a breed that can easily get used to the absence of its owners. Some dogs are so independent that they tolerate well, even really appreciate solitude. This is for example the case of the Akita, the Shar pei, the Chow-Chow, the Lhasa apso or the Pekingese.

Lyme disease or borreliosis in dogs: symptoms, causes, treatments and prevention

Lyme disease is transmitted to a dog by a tick when it carries the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. This is why the disease is called borreliosis. The risk of being bitten by ticks is highest when the dog is roaming through the woods and forests, but these mites are also present in fields and ditches. They are particularly virulent in spring and fall. Let's find out the most common symptoms, treatments and ways to prevent Lyme disease.

Lyme disease: a tick-borne bacterium is involved

Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato is a bacterium that infects the wood tick (Ixodes ricinus). Once on the dog's body, the tick - which is a mite - bites its host to feed on its blood. In less than 72 hours, the dog is contaminated once the tick has inoculated it with the bacteria it carries. This is how Lyme disease is transmitted to animals but also to humans.

Lyme disease in dogs: symptoms

The incubation period for Lyme disease can last from 8 weeks to 5 months. In many cases, it is asymptomatic. This means that a dog infected by a tick does not show any particular symptoms.

The chronic form of Lyme disease can cause the following symptoms:

  • Mild lameness,
  • Diffuse pain,
  • Nervous :
    • Nervous,
    • renal,
    • respiratory disorders.
  • Muscle damage or myopathy.
Symptomatology is different in dogs suffering from the acute form of Lyme disease. The animal may present one or more of the following signs

  • Intermittent lameness that appears suddenly. It is associated with:
    • intense pain,
    • High body temperature,
    • swollen lymph nodes,
    • more or less important fatigue.
  • An arthritis that affects only one joint, either on a front foot (carpus) or on a back foot (tarsus).
  • Polyarthritis is the term used when several joints of the dog are affected.
  • Vomiting.
It is important to consult a veterinarian when you notice these symptoms in a female dog so that the exact cause can be identified as soon as possible.

How do you treat a dog with Lyme disease?

Diagnosing Lyme disease is not so easy for the veterinarian if he or she is limited to clinical signs. The veterinarian needs to know about the dog's lifestyle. This means that it is important to specify during the consultation whether the animal spends a lot of time outdoors or not, in what type of environment it goes for walks or, if it is a hunting dog, what type of game it usually pursues. Any precision is important because it can help the practitioner to make a diagnosis with certainty.

Of course, additional tests are essential to confirm that it is borreliosis. The veterinarian may wish to do :
  • A blood test to look for antibodies,
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR),
  • A joint puncture.
Once the diagnosis of Lyme disease is confirmed, the dog is treated. It should be noted, however, that the later the diagnosis, the less effective the treatments will be. Complications are therefore to be feared, especially since they can be serious.

The treatment of Lyme disease in dogs is based on the prescription of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs, the latter allowing to reduce the pain. It should be noted that several months after treatment, the dog still carries the bacteria involved in borreliosis.

Protecting your dog against Lyme disease

The only way to prevent Lyme disease is to protect your dog from tick bites. To do this, it is imperative to systematically check his coat and skin when he returns from a walk, and to remove any tick without delay, preferably using a tick remover.

In addition, it is recommended to use an external antiparasitic adapted to the dog, to its age, to its weight... This type of preventive solution against ticks can be bought on the advice of the veterinarian.

Finally, you can opt for a vaccine, especially if you have a herding dog that spends most of its time in the wild, or a hunting dog that is used to running in the forest.

The main digestive disorders in dogs

Some digestive system pathologies can make your dog's life difficult. It is important to consult a veterinarian at the slightest doubt. A few symptoms should raise the alarm, although they may also be due to an illness unrelated to the digestive system. Let's find out how to quickly identify digestive disorders in canines and what the risks are for the animal's health.

Digestive disorders in dogs: symptoms that should alert you

As a general rule, gastrointestinal disorders cause pain and discomfort of varying degrees for the animal. They can be due to a problem in the stomach or in the intestine. The main symptoms that can make you suspect a digestive disorder in dogs are for example
  • Regurgitation,
  • Vomiting,
  • A decrease in appetite,
  • Bad breath,
  • Bloating due to excess intestinal gas,
  • Intestinal transit problems such as diarrhea and constipation,
  • A state of general weakness.
These signs should not be overlooked because if the dog is not treated, if it suffers from a serious digestive disorder, it may fall victim to complications. The best attitude on the part of the owner is to seek a veterinary consultation without delay.

More generally, by digestive disorders we mean problems in the dog's mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines and other organs involved in digestion (pancreas, liver, bladder, spleen). Nothing should be neglected.

What are the main digestive disorders a dog can suffer from?

Digestive disorders can be harmless, others more serious. All of them require a diagnosis and treatment. Two signs should be taken seriously, especially since in some cases they are the only ones visible to the owner: constipation and diarrhea.
  • Constipation: if it is due to a diet that is too low in fiber, it is necessary to modify the pet's diet. He must consume more soluble fibers but also more water. But constipation can be due to causes unrelated to diet. This is for example the case:
    • The dog's old age,
    • An infection,
    • Certain traumas,
    • Malignant or benign tumors,
    • Nervous disorders,
    • Of a disease which touches more particularly the spinal cord,
    • A prostate problem,
    • An endocrine dysfunction,
    • A foreign body.
  • Diarrhea: stress can be the main cause, but it is not the only one. A female dog can suffer from bloody diarrhea or not in case of :
    • Colonization by internal parasites,
    • Viral or bacterial infection,
    • Unsuitable food,
    • Food poisoning,
    • Poisoning,
    • Organic dysfunction.
  • Gastroenteritis: as in humans, it is an inflammation of the intestines and/or stomach. It causes a significant weakening of the animal's general condition. It is manifested by abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. A radical change of diet can sometimes be the cause because the dog is a sensitive animal at the gastric level.
  • Colitis: it can be suspected when the dog emits mucus, soft and glutinous stools that may contain blood.
  • Intestinal obstruction: if in cats it is frequent because the animal ingurgitates a lot of hair while licking itself, intestinal obstruction in dogs can be caused by a foreign body. It is an emergency case.
  • Pancreatitis: This is an inflammation of the pancreas, an organ located at the back of the stomach. The diagnosis is difficult to establish, whether the dog suffers from the chronic or acute form. Additional examinations are therefore essential. Some forms of pancreatitis are favored by obesity, food intolerance or by certain drug treatments. Dehydration, weakening of the dog, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite are sometimes the only symptoms at the beginning of the disease. If left untreated, complications such as kidney failure or heart problems can occur.
  • A damage of the esophagus: it can be a narrowing or on the contrary an enlargement of the esophagus in case of ingestion of a foreign body or a tumor. The female dog can also suffer from a lesion of the esophagus, an inflammation or a localized cancer.
  • Torsion-dilation of the stomach: it is more frequent in certain dog breeds. Large and giant breeds. Boxer, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Leonberger are more often affected by torsion-dilatation of the stomach which remains much rarer in small dogs. It is an absolute emergency because it can lead to the death of the dog in only a few hours.
Any change in the intestinal transit that lasts more than 72 hours must imperatively be evaluated by a veterinarian. A complete cessation of stool output is to be considered seriously and warrants a consultation without delay.

The most common digestive disorders in dogs are for example :

There are many other pathologies related to the digestive system of the dog such as cirrhosis, liver failure or cancer of any organ.

Be careful because many of the symptoms described above can also be due to a pathology that has no relation with the digestive system of the animal. For this reason, it is really necessary to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible in case of vomiting or transit problems in the dog. The earlier a disease is diagnosed, the faster the dog is treated. He has a better chance of getting better.

Danger of processionary caterpillars in dogs: explanations

These large silky cocoons that can be seen in pine trees are evidence of the presence of processionary caterpillars. They also have a very specific way of moving, in long Indian lines or processions, hence their name. These caterpillars covered with stinging bristles represent a danger for humans and many animals. Let's find out who they are exactly, what risks the dog victim of their poison and how to react to relieve him.

Who is the processionary caterpillar?

This species of Lepidoptera called the Pine Processionary belongs to the Notodontidae family. These caterpillars feed on pine needles and can cause the death of trees because of the weakening they cause and which favors the attack of other pests specific to these conifers.

Processionary caterpillars are the larvae of a moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) with a wingspan of about 4 cm and a grayish color.

In the spring, all the caterpillars of a single cocoon leave their nest. They all move together, in a long procession to settle in the ground where they will transform into chrysalises and then metamorphose into butterflies in a few months. These then leave the ground to fly away, mate, weave a cocoon in a resinous tree, lay a few hundred eggs and die.

Why are processionary caterpillars dangerous for dogs?

In the spring, the processionary caterpillars come down from their pine trees to settle in the ground where they undergo their metamorphosis. During this time, they are in the open, but they have a very special defense system: their stinging bristles. These are erectile micro-hairs similar to microscopic stings, so fine that they are difficult to detect with the naked eye. But they are no less terrible because they contain a violent poison and can be dispersed in the atmosphere at the slightest breeze. At the slightest contact, these hairs release a protein secreted by a gland into the body of humans or pets. This toxin is thaumetopoein.

It is not necessary for the dog to be in direct contact with a processionary caterpillar to fall victim to its poison. The stinging hairs present in the environment can easily be deposited on the dog during a walk and the poison can then be diffused in the animal's body.

Infestation of the dog by the stinging hairs of processionary caterpillars: revealing symptoms

When the dog has been in contact with the hairs of these dangerous processionary caterpillars, symptoms soon appear. Due to severe irritation and itching, the dog will repeatedly lick and scratch itself.

The incessant scratching causes the stinging hairs to spread to other parts of the body, and each bristle that breaks off releases more toxin. As a result, the dog is more susceptible to the poison. The reactions in the victim become more severe. The dog suffers physically and presents very quickly:
  • Edema,
  • Burns,
  • Inflammations,
  • An important salivation,
  • An attack on the lips,
  • Severe necrosis of the tongue,
  • Breathing difficulties due to anaphylactic shock.
At the slightest observation of these manifestations, the animal's owner must avoid any physical contact with his dog because he risks being touched by one of the processionary caterpillar hairs still present on the dog's fur. However, the poison is just as virulent for humans. The only solution in this case is to consult a veterinarian urgently.

Dog victim of processionary caterpillars: emergency care

There is no antidote for the poison transmitted by the stinging bristles of processionary caterpillars. However, the veterinarian can prescribe a treatment to relieve the dog and limit the risks of complications. This treatment can be:
  • An antihistamine,
  • An antibiotic,
  • An anti-inflammatory,
  • Cortisone.
At the same time, the dog must be thoroughly cleaned. Fur, ears, oral cavity, eyes: nothing should be neglected. Shampoo, lotion, saline: products adapted to each body area are used according to the veterinarian's advice.

The evolution of the dog's overall health must then be checked by the professional who ensures that the wounds are healing properly.

In case of tongue necrosis, the dog must be monitored very closely. Let's not forget that the dog may not be able to eat properly for a certain period of time because the necrosis can be very disabling and painful.

Processionary caterpillars: how to protect your dog?

It is strongly recommended not to eliminate processionary caterpillars found on the ground, nor to dislodge their nests. The best thing to do if you notice their presence is to notify the town hall. Processionary caterpillar nests can only be dealt with by specialized professionals.

To avoid your dog falling victim to the stinging hairs of these pesky caterpillars, try to take him for a walk in areas where there are few pine trees, especially in the spring.

Hypothyroidism in dogs: symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention

Hypothyroidism can affect both male and female dogs. However, this endocrine disorder mainly affects dogs between the ages of 3 and 8, and some breeds of dogs are more prone to it than others. There are different forms of hypothyroidism: primary, secondary, tertiary, lymphocytic thyroiditis and idiopathic atrophy. Depending on its form, different symptoms can alert the dog's owner. It is essential to consult the veterinarian so that it can be diagnosed reliably and the animal can be treated appropriately. Let's take stock of this serious disease for which there is no way to prevent it.

What is hypothyroidism and what causes it?

The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands in the body, both in dogs and humans, as it regulates the metabolism. It is the pituitary gland that controls the thyroid gland. But the hypothalamus can also have an impact on the proper functioning of endocrine glands such as the pituitary and thyroid. The hypothalamus is located in the heart of the brain. It is involved in many vital functions that it regulates, such as sleep, hunger, thirst, and stimulates endocrine secretions.

Hypothyroidism is therefore an endocrine disease. It is manifested by a decrease in the thyroid hormone. The metabolism is slowed down, which also leads to a slowing down of all body functions.

There are different forms of hypothyroidism, namely:
  • Primary hypothyroidism: the thyroid gland no longer secretes hormone. This primary form is frequently due to a dysfunction of the immune system. It is asymptomatic, meaning that it does not cause any symptoms.
  • Secondary hypothyroidism: the pituitary gland no longer secretes sufficient Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH, so that the thyroid is no longer stimulated,
  • Tertiary hypothyroidism: the hypothalamus no longer secretes thyrotropin-releasing hormone (THR), which results in a disturbance of the pituitary gland and thus a deregulation of the thyroid.
Two other forms of thyroid dysfunction are more rarely observed. These are :

  • Lymphocytic thyroiditis, which occurs when the animal's body produces antibodies leading to the destruction of thyroid cells. The disease progresses over 12 to 36 months, and it is only when the gland is completely destroyed that the symptoms of hypothyroidism are revealed.
  • Idiopathic atrophy, the cause of which is still unknown at this time. In these rare cases, fat cells gradually replace the thyroid cells.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs

A dog with hypothyroidism may have some of the following symptoms:
  • A change in the appearance of the coat and hair loss,
  • A build-up of lipids in the cornea,
  • A change in voice,
  • Edema of the face,
  • Hyperpigmentation of the skin,
  • Breathing difficulties,
  • Scaling of the skin,
  • A slowing of the heart rate,
  • Unusual coldness,
  • Behavioral problems,
  • Weakness in the hind legs,
  • A great fatigue,
  • A weight gain that can go as far as obesity, while the dog's appetite remains the same as before, or even decreases.
We can see that a dysfunction of the thyroid gland can completely disrupt daily life. Of course, the dog may not have all these symptoms. In any case, the change in his condition warrants a quick visit to the veterinarian.

Canine Hypothyroidism: Treatments

To make a diagnosis, the veterinarian needs to do a blood test to check hormone levels, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In some cases, a CT scan, ultrasound or other imaging test is necessary.

If there is no doubt that the dog has hypothyroidism, then a treatment protocol is put in place to correct the hormonal deficiency with a synthetic hormone. This is essential to rebalance the dog's metabolism.

The treatment of hypothyroidism must be continued throughout the dog's life. Regular monitoring of the animal is necessary as well as a blood test so that the dosage can be revised up or down depending on its health and the results of the analyses. It is therefore a case-by-case treatment. Encouraging improvements are obtained as the clinical signs fade over time until they disappear. The treatment of the animal must always be considered in the long term, but the prognosis is very good.

Dog breeds most at risk for canine hypothyroidism

Some dog breeds are more prone to hypothyroidism than others. These include the Golden Retriever, Poodle, Beagle, Doberman, Dachshund, Irish Setter, Chow-Chow, Shetland Sheepdog, Airedale Terrier, Pomeranian, English Bulldog and Shar-Pei.

The owner of one of these dogs must therefore be vigilant and regularly take his little companion to the veterinarian to have a health check-up. This allows for the early detection of congenital hypothyroidism and the early management of the dog. In this way, it is sometimes possible to prevent certain irreversible damage to the central nervous system.

The Czech Bearded Dog, a dog with a disheveled appearance

Endowed with an atypical appearance with its long, slightly dishevelled coat, the Czech Bearded Dog either pleases or does not please. In any case, hunting enthusiasts swear by this breed that excels in this activity. It is also recognized as a great companion dog.

Characteristics of the Czech Bearded Dog

With an average build, the Czech Bearded Dog measures between 58 and 66 cm with a weight of 22 to 34 kg. With a lot of power, this dog stands out especially by its endurance. It has a narrow, dry and long head with a brusque and long muzzle. Slightly rounded and domed, the skull is less broad in females than in males. The tapering muzzle is complemented by a broad, dark brown nose. The Czech Bearded Cat reveals a look full of kindness and vivacity through its almond-shaped eyes of dark amber to brown color. If it was baptized as such, it is certainly because of its head covered with hairs and its long lips without forgetting its thick eyebrows. As far as the ears are concerned, they are set high with slightly rounded tips and pressed against the head. The Czech Bearded Dog has three types of hair: the undercoat, the long topcoat and the even longer bristles that are present on the back line, the chest, the shoulders and the groin.

History of the Czech Bearded Dog breed

Originating from the Czech Republic, the Czech Bearded Dog has existed since the Middle Ages. To say that it is a really old race. It was especially prized by the Czech aristocracy who made it their preserve in a way before the First World War, so that the breed almost became extinct. After the war, the Czech Bearded Pointer began to spread throughout the country and narrowly avoided extinction. This breed will be used in particular as a pointing dog. On May 21, 1963, the official recognition by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) will be effective.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Czech Bearded Dog

The Czech Bearded Dog being a hunting dog, it needs a maximum of physical activities. He will find his happiness with sporty owners rather than sedentary people. It is not made to remain in a narrow apartment and must enjoy a life in the open air and a freedom of movement. It is an animal endowed with a strong temperament which is in particular specialized in the tracking of the harmful ones. It likes especially for its affectionate character and its softness. It is very close to children towards whom it shows patience. In addition, it is a sociable dog that gets along well with its fellow dogs and other animals.

Food and main health problems of the Czech Barbet

The Czech Barbet has a life expectancy of between 11 and 13 years. It is an animal with an iron health, for the biggest happiness of its owners. It is only recommended to be careful with ear infections and therefore, to clean its ears often enough. Its food as for it has nothing specific. Good quality kibbles will do the trick.

Can I bring my dog to the office or workplace?

Working with your dog is the dream of many owners who suffer from having to leave their dog at home. Although there is no formal prohibition, apart from certain exceptions, few people bring their dog to work. However, some professional fields are more suitable for this. The greatest tolerance in this respect is granted by private companies. It remains to be seen what exactly the collective agreement says and whether bringing your dog to the office is to the liking of all your colleagues. Let's find out.

Bringing your dog to the office: what does the law say?

Contrary to what nearly 8 out of 10 people think, French law only prohibits the presence of a dog (or other pet) in the workplace in very specific cases. In fact, the sectors where this is prohibited are the following:
  • Health establishments, except for therapy dogs that must be authorized by the HAS (High Authority for Health),
  • Companies in the food sector,
  • Public administrations.
In these areas, dogs are prohibited for reasons of hygiene but also for safety, and the law concerns both staff animals and those of customers and users.

Apart from these particular cases, the law does not prohibit the use of dogs in the office or in the workplace, with the exception of 1st category attack dogs, since their presence is prohibited "in premises open to the public and in public places".

Dogs in the workplace: ask your employer for authorization

Before coming to the office with your dog, you should check that the internal regulations do not oppose it. This opposition must be clearly stipulated. Otherwise, the employer cannot refuse to allow the dog to be brought into the office. However, it is preferable to ask for a written authorization. This way, things are clear.

At the same time, if the company has a Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committee, the question of the dog in the workplace must be submitted by the employer to all the members of this CHSCT. The person concerned will only have to follow this advice. In addition, the employer is obliged to ask the owners of the premises for permission if he is only the tenant.

It is in the employer's interest to draw up a charter of good practices and have it signed by all employees. In this way, the employer will have the possibility of calling to order if certain rules are not respected. This charter can for example specify
  • The authorized days in the form of a schedule, for example, when several employees wish to bring their dogs to the workplace,
  • The areas that are accessible to dogs and those that are forbidden to them,
  • The obligation of owners to pick up after their dogs so that the area around the workplace remains clean,
  • The obligation, for all the personnel, to introduce within the company only clean, sociable, educated dogs, treated against parasites and up to date of their vaccinations.

Bringing your dog to work: respecting the opinion of your colleagues

Even if the employer authorizes the presence of a dog in the workplace, it is important to check with your colleagues beforehand. It is above all a question of respect because you cannot impose the presence of your dog on people who are allergic to it, who are afraid of it (cynophobia), or who are simply bothered by these animals. If you do not want the atmosphere in the office to deteriorate, it is better to show courtesy to your colleagues.

Bringing your dog to work: check your civil liability insurance policy

No one is safe from a hazard, and the dog can very well cause damage in the workplace or, even worse, be the cause of an employee's fall. It can also bite a colleague. In order not to get into trouble, it is best to check with your insurance company before deciding to bring your dog into the workplace, even if your employer has no objection. In this case, the owner of the animal remains solely responsible for any damage caused by his dog. It is better to be well insured so that the slightest damage can be covered.

How to manage your dog in the workplace?

The big day has arrived: employer, CHSCT, colleagues and insurer have agreed that employees' dogs can be brought into the workplace. However, this does not mean that there will be any trouble. Each owner must be able to manage things as well as possible so that the presence of a pet in the office does not pose any problem and does not encroach on working time. To do this, it is necessary to:
  • Make sure the dog is very social with everyone,
  • To be sure that he will not be unruly,
  • To bring the basket and the toys of the dog so that it can occupy itself alone and not solicit its Master at all times,
  • To be able to give him food on the work place, which implies to bring his food, his bowl as well as his water bowl,
  • To educate the animal so that it is not constantly asking for attention and caresses from all the staff (or even from its owner),
  • To teach him to go out only at the time of the poses authorized by the Management and thus to be able to wait to go to make its needs,
  • To teach his dog not to bark,
  • To always have bags in his desk drawer to collect his waste,
  • To be in possession of his collar and leash.
Integrating your dog in your professional environment implies a real know-how. This is a common practice across the Atlantic, known as Pet at Work, and it is only just beginning to take hold in France, albeit rather timidly. The company that is the least shy about this phenomenon is the start-up.

The Pet at Work is known for the advantages it brings in the professional field. Going to work with your pet could reduce stress, strengthen contact between colleagues, and promote concentration. These advantages are only observed in people who accept the presence of a dog in their workplace. Those who are not comfortable with the presence of a dog in the workplace - and this must be respected - are on the contrary victims of stress and tend to isolate themselves. It is therefore essential to get everyone's agreement before bringing a dog into the office.

Is the dog sensitive to music?

Music has a real power over some animals, especially dogs, who are much more music lovers than we think. Let's take a look at the musical styles preferred by canines, and find out what benefits music has on these pets, which have a much greater auditory sensitivity than their owners.

Dogs and music: classical music is popular!

Of all the musical styles, classical music is by far the most popular with our dogs. Although there is no doubt about it, the artistic quality is not the main reason, but it is rather a question of frequency and tempo. Although there are some dogs that are not interested in this, most canines are particularly fond of piano and slow classical music that soothes them.

On the whole, variety leaves dogs unmoved, heavy metal seems to stress them out and especially makes small canine breeds howl at death. In fact, the slower the heartbeat of a dog, as in the case of large dogs, the closer their musical tastes are to those of their owners.

Dogs and music: a question of the ear

The frequency ranges of dogs and humans are closer than those of cats and humans. Thus, the sound waves perceived by our dog friends are of the order of 50,000 vibrations per second (30,000 for humans), which is expressed in hertz (Hz), which is none other than the unit of measurement for frequency. Thanks to this particularity, the dog can perceive ultrasounds which is not the case for the human ear. These animals also have the ability to hear sounds at a longer distance than we do because of their great auditory acuity, and they are gifted with an auditory sensitivity much higher than ours. This is the reason why dogs do not confuse different sounds and can also differentiate between them even if they follow each other very quickly.

Dogs' ears are therefore particularly well designed to allow these pets to appreciate music... and whether they have floppy ears or not, all dogs have the same hearing acuity.

Dogs like music at moderate levels

While there is no doubt that dogs are sensitive to music, there are nuances to it. The sound level must be well adapted to the auditory sensitivity of these animals, because if the power of the sound is excessive, the most music-loving dog of all may want to run away on all fours. So there is no point in hoping to please or serve your dog by allowing him to attend Berlioz' Requiem in the heart of a cathedral, performed by a symphony orchestra and a few hundred choristers! We just risk to attend a fiasco and to be at the origin of a cultural disaster!

Therapeutic virtues of music in dogs

It has been proven that classical music with its sweet sounds has beneficial effects on dogs. The violin is said to be more popular than the tuba or even the flute, as the sound of the latter tends to annoy small dogs. In most cases, Mozart's concertante works for strings and Bach's Preludes can be relied upon without fear if one wishes to :
  • Reduce anxiety in a distressed dog,
  • Calm a hyperactive dog,
  • Bring joy to a depressed dog,
  • Soothe the daily life of a very sick or momentarily suffering dog,
  • To allow the dog to better support loneliness, for example when it is alone at home because all the members of its foster family are at work or at school,
  • To facilitate the education of dogs with behavioral problems.
These are just a few examples of the benefits of listening to music, but anyone can test their dog to see which style of music has the best effect on them. It is safe to say that classical music (to which cats are totally insensitive) makes everyday life more pleasant for most canines. Like a natural tranquilizer, music soothes dogs and makes them feel calm and happy, as long as the music is well-chosen and the volume remains moderate.