Sunday, August 30, 2015

Is Your Dog Acting Senile? There’s Help for the Older Pet.

It’s heartbreaking to see our old dogs acting, well, old. You figure there’s nothing that can be done for a dog showing signs that resemble senility. This is just part of the aging process, right? Maybe not.
A remarkable medication, called Anipryl, was approved by the USDA in December of 1998 to treat age-related behavior changes (although it has been on veterinary shelves to treat canine Cushing’s disease, a hormonal imbalance). It may prove to be a lifesaver for countless senior dogs and could significantly improve the quality of their declining years and the pleasure you take in your dog. By enhancing dogs’ functioning, Anipryl can prevent or reduce many of the symptoms of old age that can disrupt a household.
Once a dog loses its housetraining, stops interacting with the family, begins to grow restless at night or to become lost even in its own home, many owners will decide that it’s time to put their beloved friend down. Those that don’t must face their dog’s progressive debility and the disruption and pain it can bring to the household. What they may not realize, however, is that sometimes these behaviors in old dogs that may look like senility or even Alzheimer’s in humans are now believed by many veterinarians to be part of an aging-associated brain disorder.
Some of these changes that are usually interpreted as the typical aging process could be due to potentially treatable medical conditions, such as tumors and infections, which are more common in older dogs; call your veterinarian for an appointment anytime your dog’s behavior changes suddenly.
A major source of behavior change in the aging dog, however, is very possibly the result of changes in the brain. This leads to the loss of cognitive abilities like thinking, memory, communication and problem solving. In some aspects it resembles Alzheimer’s disease in humans. This generalized medical condition has been designated Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome or CDS for older dogs exhibiting this group of problematic, age-related behaviors.
Anipryl (the trade name for L-deprenyl or selegiline) may help CDS. In the absence of any physical cause such as cancer, infection, or organ failure, CDS is present when a dog shows one or more of the following five signs. See if your dog has any of these symptoms.
  • Disorientation or confusion:
    Your dog may wander aimlessly, stare out into space, or stand with his head in a corner; your dog may appear lost or confused in the house or yard;
  • Decreased or altered responsiveness to family member:
    Your dog may fail to respond to your attention, and stop seeking out attention;
    he may be less enthusiastic in his greeting;
  • Disturbances of the sleep-wake cycle:
    Your dog may bark, whine or pace at night; he may persistently bark abnormally any time of the day; he may be sleeping more, or awake more at night;
  • Decreased activity level:
    Your dog may show less general interest in his usual activities;
  • Deterioration in housetraining:
    A normally housetrained dog is suddenly having “accidents”; your dog may signal less to go outside and may urinate or defecate indoors soon after being outside.
Given the possible benefits for CDS, Anipryl may well be worth trying when your dog is declining in ways that lead you to contemplate putting him or her down. If the normal course of aging and its difficulties are not disruptive for your household, you may not wish to consider medication. It’s a judgement call. But it’s nice to know that there’s help for your older pet and some of the often devastating signs of aging are not something we are forced to live with and accept anymore.
Senile Signs

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

One Reason Why To Never Leave Your Dog In A Hot Car

They'll die!
I know it can be incomprehensible for many out there when they read about a dog or a human left in a car during the summer when some one has to run an errand. But for many they still think it is okay to think that "I just have to run into Walgreens to pick something up and the dog will okay if I leave the windows cracked and some water." - unless you leave the car running with the air blasting, it is not okay. Life happens, you run into someone and pretty soon it's been twenties minutes since you've left your four legged family member inside the car. Let me repeat this because it should not cross your mind: it is not okay to leave an animal in a car during the summer months without running air conditioning.  The inside of a car can jump 20 degrees from the outside temperature within 10 minutes and the more the dog pants the faster it will heat up.

Here's a link I recommend watching - Dr. Ernie Ward takes us inside a car to show us what it's like for an animal to be locked inside a car when it's hot outside.

Keep your fur kids safe and Keep Wagging everybody!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I am my fathers daughter

I never really thought about why I love animals and why I'm passionate about them. It just seems natural that you would care about an animal that is a sentient being, right? Well, I was speaking with my father the other day and it hit me where I think I get this from. My father is a renaissance guy -he's a wonderful chef, a talented musician (12 string guitar), an awesome designer and a guy who can pretty much do whatever he sets his mind to.

He owns a 13 acre farm out on Long Island where he grows wonderful Hydrangea, Peonies, and other life forms. That should be your first hint - he gives life. But here's the one that had my laughing so hard I was crying. Deer and woodchucks routinely visit to eat his crops. He's had modest success keeping the deer away but the wood chucks are a tenacious lot. So he buys a whole slew of Have-a-hart traps and sets them out. He goes out each morning, gathers up the full traps and...does nothing. He can't release them because he would be fined if caught. So he stares at their little brown eyes and they stare back. And he does what any evolved human would do. He releases them so he can start the process again. He doesn't have the heart to harm them even though they whittle into his livelihood.

Sayings like "The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree" exist for a reason.

I love my father and my four legged kids. Happy fathers day dad.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dogs, stem cells and Hyper Baric chambers

Big Tuna sleeping on top of her brother Bishop
Today Big Tuna had a very eventful day. As I mentioned earlier, Tuna has a degenerative condition in both elbows, more pronounced in her left elbow. It has gotten to the point where she is lame most of the time, limping - in fact we noticed she was no longer going for longer walks with us because of the discomfort.

We met with Dr. Latimer of Jupiter Pet Emergency and Specialty Center. and discussed surgical options.You can watch the video below to get an idea of what we're in for!