Canine Arthritis

Arthritis which causes inflammation of the joints, is a common problem for dogs. Large breeds and senior dogs are especially prone to this painful condition. Arthritis can be the result of an injury, an infection, development defects, immune disorders, or quite simply chronic wear and tear of the joints.

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, or DJD for short, is the most common form of arthritis in dogs.

Arthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones breaks down over time. Normally, cartilage allows for smooth, frictionless motion in the joint. With arthritis, the cartilage gets rough and eventually wears away, exposing the sensitive bone underneath. This results in pain, inflammation, and stiffness of the joint. The joint loses its stability, and bone spurs develop. This results in more pain and stiffness of the joint.

Arthritis can happen in any joint in the dog's body including the hips, elbows, knees, shoulders and spine. It is a progressive disease, in that it gets worse over time. It is often associated with old age, but can occur in younger dogs as well.

Canine Juvenile Cellulitis

Canine Juvenile Cellulitis, also known as Puppy Strangles, is a nodular and pustular skin disorder that affects puppies. It would normally occur between the ages of three weeks and four months, and is rarely seen in adult dogs. The puppies face, pinnae (outer part of the ear), and salivary lymph nodes are the most common parts of the body to be affected. The cause of this condition is unknown, but there are certain breeds that have been shown to be predisposed to this condition, including golden retrievers and dachshunds.

Why Do Dogs Howl?

Howling as you probably know is part of the canine vocal repertoire, along with the more conventional bark, growl and whine. This haunting call is an evolutionary gift from wolves. The howl of the wolf has long evoked fear and superstition in people. The howling of your dog by contrast, prompts anything from curiosity to dismay. Why do they do it?

Why do dog's have a wet nose?

It's commonly believed that you can tell a dog is healthy if their nose is cold and wet, but this is not necessarily true. Not only does a cold and wet nose not always indicate good health, but a warm and dry nose does not necessarily mean that your dog is unwell.

Sensing emotions

The truth about dogs
 
The social systems of dogs and humans are very similar in structure. We both live in tight-knit families (or packs). We both have a complex language of facial expressions, body posture, and vocalizations that promote bonding. Dogs have learned over many centuries that the better they anticipated our thoughts and feelings, the more they were rewarded with food, shelter and affection.

Dogs have little to do all day other than sleep or observe our behaviour, so it's no wonder they know us so well.  “Is she happy?” your dog might wonder. “Is she mad? Should I run for cover?” With their fates so tied to our every whim, our dogs are wise to monitor our moods. A good mood might mean an extra cuddle or a game of fetch. A bad mood might mean scary loud noises and a day spent hiding under the bed. It makes sense that dogs would watch us so closely, as our changing moods give essential clues as to what is about to happen next.

Your dog is probably a far better observer than you are. We humans pay so much attention to language that it often interferes with our ability to see, smell, touch and hear what’s actually going on  around us.

Why Do Dogs Bury Bones?

Burying bones is another typical dog behaviour, like when dogs sniff or wag their tail. This behaviour is instinctive and goes back millions of years. It’s a food-saving technique and strategy,  that all dogs are born with. Before dogs were domesticated this was often a necessary behaviour to ensure that they’d have adequate nutrition during times of prey scarcity.

Do dogs sweat?

A dog's body temperature is controlled by their brain. When there are increases in outside temperatures, or a dog gets excited, stressed, or they have simply been exercising, their body gets a signal from their brain to lose the extra body heat. In humans, this usually results in sweating.

Dogs do have some sweat glands, but considerably fewer than in humans, and their skin is covered in fur which minimizes the amount of cooling that sweating can provide.

Most of a dog's sweat glands are located around their paw pads. You may have seen damp footprints from your dog when they have walked across a hard surface in the summertime.

Have you ever wondered why some dogs like to bring us gifts during greetings?

Gift giving does not happen with every domesticated canine, but for those dogs that do exhibit this behaviour, it’s just so endearing.  I mean, who doesn’t want to feel like their beloved pet missed them while they were away, so much so that they had to celebrate your return with a present?  Even if that present is an old smelly sock you left lying around.