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Lameness in Puppies and Younger Dogs?

My vet sent me this article today and asked me to include it in my blog.  It is a bit of a longer read, but it is very important, especially if you have a puppy or a younger dog.  I hope this is useful to many readers:

 

Young puppies are expected to be full of life and energy.  They are enthusiastic about playtime, walks and exercise.  Puppies will often follow you wherever you go, can disrupt your nap or quiet time in their excitement to show you something new, and be always ready for playtime and fun.  When puppies and young dogs are lethargic and demonstrate pain and lameness in their legs, a visit must be made to your veterinarian promptly.

“A puppy that becomes acutely down and out with no specific signs causes extra concern because our expectation is that they are young, vibrant animals. There are two diseases that are only seen in puppies and young dogs that cause pain and lameness in multiple limbs and lethargy. They often have a fever and decreased appetite,” advises veterinarian Christie Long.

Hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD) usually affects puppies between 2 and 8 months old.  It is a developmental disease of the bone that occurs when blood supply to the bone’s growth plates is disturbed.  This disturbance can impede production of bone, cause weakening and microscopic fractures.

Panosteitis is another condition that could be present in puppies and young does, suggests Dr. Long.  It typically occurs in large and medium-breed dogs that are younger than two.  “Hypertrophic osteodystropy produces similar signs in even younger dogs, but the pain is localized in the region at the end of those bones and the joint itself. These animals often have joints that are very warm to the touch and swollen,” she indicates.  Dr. Long further shares that both diseases have been extensively studied.  Doctors are still looking for a specific cause and suspect that not feeding foods formulated specifically for large-breed dogs can be a contributing factor in patients with HOD.

Household breeds commonly affected by hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD) include:  Saint Bernards, Doberman pinschers, German shepards, Weimaraners, Great Danes and Irish wolfhounds.  Hazel Gregory’s Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy or a Blood Infection shares her experiences with the challenges of identifying HOD while eliminating blood infection in her Great Danes.

Pain and lethargy in your young dog or puppy should be taken seriously and treated promptly by a veterinarian.  Dehydration and serious complications can occur if treatment is delayed.  Be sure to visit your family veterinarian speedily.  During the visit with your family veterinarian, you’ll be asked questions about your pet’s current habits.  Your vet will ask about appetite and eating habits.  Other questions will include weight loss, fatigue, or lack of energy that you’ve noticed in your puppy.  Your vet will examine your puppy or young dog for fever, swelling and check for pain in the legs.  The doctor will determine if the discomfort or pain is severe and will pinpoint the location of pain in your dog’s bones.  During your visit, your veterinarian will talk with you about treatment recommendations for your puppy or young dog.

Housetraining a PUPPY

So you decided to add a puppy to your forever family?  Great!  Is he/she potty trained/housebroken?  No?  Well now is the time to teach them proper potty methods.

First and foremost, you will need to be CONSISTENT and PATIENT.  Puppy’s do their business wherever because that is what they do, it’s not something that they know that there is a place to do their business until YOU teach them where you want their business done.

Never ever slap, hit, or rub the puppy’s nose in his business if he goes inside.  There will be mistakes, as it is a huge learning process for any puppy.  In using physical punishment, you are teaching your puppy to be fearful of doing their business in front of you or doing their business at all.  That is not what you are trying to accomplish.

First make sure to choose a spot outside that you want your puppy to use, kind of like having their own toilet.

Have a command word ready when you want them to finish up, something like “Go Potty” or “Hurry up”.

Know that a puppy should be taken outside about six times a day to do their business.  They should be taken outside about 15 minutes after they finish eating.  Puppies do not need to be free fed, they need to have a schedule and you need to be consistent with that schedule.  Talk to your vet about a good feeding schedule and how much to feed.

Always praise profusely when your puppy goes outside.  Also, a puppy cannot physically hold its waste until morning, so you will have to take your puppy outside at least once a night so that they can eliminate.

If you are unable to commit to a schedule like this, perhaps a puppy is not the first choice of a pet.

Dogs are able to handle a different schedule and do not require being let out as often.

There is a great article here about how to successfully train a puppy and then how to teach them to ring a bell every time they need to go out to do their business.

Good luck, be patient and soon you will have a fully housebroken pup!