Canine anal gland problems

Anal glands are small and oval in shape, and  they sit just inside your dog’s rectum on either side of the anus. They reside in the muscle of the anal sphincter and are not very visible. The glands produce a smelly, oily substance that collects within tiny ducts. This fluid probably serves as a territorial marker, relaying biochemical information to other dogs that might be in the area.

When nature calls and your dog poops, if the stool is of a normal consistency, the fluid-filled ducts in the anal glands will empty as a result of the pressure imposed by the faeces as it passes through the rectum and anus. This is how nature intended things to work, but dog's these days often have loose stools or irregular bowel movements that don’t press against the anal glands during a poop.

The three main causes of anal gland problems are diet, trauma to the glands, and the position of the glands. However, other contributing factors can include obesity where there is insufficient muscle tone and excess fatty tissue, also certain skin disorders and infections.

Dog behaviour: Play bowing


Dogs and humans have lived together  for thousands of years. Even so, there is still some canine body language that is often misunderstood by humans. One such instance is when a dog drops their belly to the ground when another dog approaches.


Alabama Rot

What is Alabama rot?

Alabama rot is a disease that damages blood vessels within a dog’s skin and kidneys. It causes blood to clot, which damages the kidneys lining and tissues.

This leads to ulcers on the skin and sadly causes kidney failure, which can be fatal.

Alabama rot’s full scientific name is cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), and was first identified in America during the 1980’s.

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.