Posture & Pain:

“Since dogs can’t talk, how do you know when they have mild pain or discomfort?

Sometimes the signs of something brewing are much more subtle and knowing what to look for is part of keeping them living long, active, and healthy lives. Even your dog’s stance reveals potential problem areas and discomfort.  How they carry their head, the placement of their feet under their body and the position of the tail all give signs of their physical wellbeing.  

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Canine Back Pain & “Spondylosis”

Lola


Please welcome Lola to the Upward Dog Pack! This 16yo cutie has had some difficulty with coordination and weakness in her hind end as a result of a condition called spondylosis in her thoracic spine (mid spine where ribs attach). What is spondylosis? One might call it “age related changes” in your dog’s spine caused by everyday wear and tear and/or past trauma. Below is a little information on what the condition is, how it might look and what to do. Please note that this is general information and that it’s still important to seek out medical assistance. Continue reading “Canine Back Pain & “Spondylosis””

Can CCL tears be managed conservatively…. it depends!

This is a question I get a lot form pet parents/owners. There is no easy answer and it is a controversial subject. It depends on the size, age, breed, health, activity level, function, finances, and degree of tear, just to name a few factors. In many, but not all cases, surgery is often encouraged.


If your dog has been diagnosed with a cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tear, regardless of whether or not you surgically or conservatively help your dog — *EARLY INTERVENTION IS KEY FOR RECOVERY! A partially torn CCL is painful and the pain causes disuse. Disuse can lead to further changes in joint health, muscle atrophy (weakness) and nobody wants their dog to be in pain. In addition, research shows your dog is at a higher risk (about 50%) to injure the other knee. Talk with your vet, Orthopedic surgeon, and canine rehab therapist; and make some decisions on how you are going to help your dog and do it as soon as you can. While some dogs can definitely be managed conservatively, and surgery is not appropriate for every CCL tear, I do need to say the unthinkable, if you choose to manage conservatively, there is still a RISK that down the road YOUR DOG MAY FULLY BLOW THEIR CCL and still REQUIRE SURGERY. Continue reading “Can CCL tears be managed conservatively…. it depends!”

Is your dog deadly hot?!?

Heatstroke can result in lose of consciousness, fever, organ failure and even death!

TOO HOT!

I’m not sure where you may be reading this from, but here in Nova Scotia, Canada, we have had a wet spring. Finally, things are starting to heat up! The following months should be filled with lazy summer afternoons, beach days, and sunny dogs walks. You may be tempted to take your pooch out with you for a run in the sun or to hang on the beach but do you know that your dog is actually more heat sensitive than you putting them at risk of heat exhaustion? Continue reading “Is your dog deadly hot?!?”

Tips for the enhancing the home environment for senior dogs

Just like us, as your four legged friend ages, they may have aches, pangs, and balance issues that affect their mobility. It’s important to help maintain their mobility as they are susceptible to the philosophy of “use-it; or lose-it”. We know from our own experience that if we decrease out activity, we get stiff and and once easy movements becomes difficult, heavier, and that sometimes we feel weaker and have pain/discomfort with once easy movements. The bottom-line is movement is medicine, regardless of how many legs you have. Proper exercise and nutrition help to prevent mobility loss, AND there are ways simple changes you can make to the home environment that encourage mobility thereby helping your senior dog maintain his/her quality of life.

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