Dr Samantha Sherrington is K9 Swims in-house Osteopath.
Sam has been a registered Osteopath treating all members of the family, after graduating with a Master of Osteopathy in 2003, following her Osteopathic studies up with another two years of Post-Graduate studies in Animal Chiropractic in 2009/10.
Having spent just under 8 years practicing in Ireland from 2010 on wards, Sam has been back in her home grounds of the Hawkesbury since September 2017, building a mixed practice of horses, their humans and dogs of all shapes and sizes. Continuing education is something Sam feels strongly about and constantly strives to improve her practice so as to bring the best care to her clients.
Life can be tough on the body, even for the best loved and pampered pooch, and by the time they reach their ‘Golden Years’ they can be really starting to show their age in many different ways. Their metabolism slows down, often increasing weight and lowering their ability to regulate their body heat. This extra weight adds strain to already worn joints, which in turn make it harder to get your dog out for some gentle exercise to help manage the weight gain. Older dogs often also experience changes in their temperament, becoming grumpy or aggressive towards family members, especially other pets and children. This is frequently due to undiagnosed or under-treated pain, and goes hand in hand with depression, a reduced social capacity and loss of function in their normal daily activities. Pain management often becomes a big problem when the elderly dog shows the commonly seen increasing signs of side-effects and reactions to medication, and an increased reliance on them to manage simple daily tasks. I frequently hear owners feeling powerless to break this cycle - a feeling having very few satisfactory answers to helping their dog manage as their age creeps up.
Osteopathic care is a gentle approach to helping any animal function the best they can taking into account the conditions they are experiencing. Osteopaths are university trained professionals who are able to recognise where the body can function more efficiently, helping the animal move closer to ‘homeostasis’ – the body’s sense of optimal balance, ease and functioning. Osteopaths use primarily manual therapy techniques, as well as adjunctive techniques such as laser, kinesiology taping and exercise prescription.
Human studies focusing on Osteopathic Treatment in the elderly have shown improvements in respiratory function, functional ability, balance and wellbeing. There has also been noted reduction in pain levels, medication reliance and assistance with some side effects of medications such as constipation commonly seen with some pain medications. These studies, while conducted on humans, have great relevance for guiding the kind of allied care we can offer for elderly dogs, in conjunction with care provided by your Veterinarian.
Osteopathy helps to restore an animals range of motion of all joints and soft tissues of the body, creating an ability to move more comfortably through activities of daily living. In conjunction with Hydrotherapy, we can then add numerous tailored exercises and activities for the dog and owner to complete at home to help build added strength and function. In the elderly, it always amazes me how many of the co-morbidities (additional conditions such as failing organs, sight, hearing etc.) can become less bothersome when the dog is up and moving more efficiently. Movement really is the most amazing medicine for all bodies.
For more information or to discuss how Dr Sam can help your Golden Oldie live their very best life, please give her a call on 0452 472 959 or message her on Facebook @centaurusosteo
Senior Dog Programs at K9 Swim
Our fantastic 6 week Senior Swim Program is still taking applications!
Start Date: Saturday 21st March 2020
Duration: 6 weeks
Times: 1:00pm - 2:00pm
This program is for pooches aged 10 years and older and is a great opportunity to spend some quality time together as well as receiving weekly handouts on caring for a senior dog.
We will also be running a Care for the Senior Dog course, details are as follows:
When: Sunday 26th April
Times: 10am - 3pm
Where: K9 Swim Training Room, 853 Kurmond Road North Richmond
To secure a spot, call us on 1300 787 064
The Australian bush fires have been devastating and this crisis continues as fires are still ablaze around our country. Hazardous thick smoke has blanketed many areas of Australia and this can have disastrous effects on us as well as our pets.
Older pets, young pets and any pet with a cardiovascular, respiratory condition or other medical issues are at high risk from smoke inhalation from the pollution in the air. It can affect their airways and breathing ability and may cause many health complications from the toxic haze that pollutes the air. The healthiest of dogs too may suffer badly from the smoke irritation.
Pets should be monitored closely and if your dog is a brachycephalic breed such as pugs or bulldogs, they should be closely watched as they will be more compromised with restricted airways.
Signs of Smoke Irritation are:
How to Protect your Pet from Smoke:
Along with the bush fires and smoke comes heat and we have to also be mindful on heat stroke with our dogs.
Remember to keep your dog out of the heat and smoke and keep them cool.
Here are a few ways how:
You can read all about heat stress and preparing for bush fires with your pets in these past blogs:
AVOID Heat Stress In Dogs
Bush Fires and Your Pets
Due to the smoke and heat we are not able to exercise our dogs like we would normally. Why not bring your dog in for a fun swim to cool off and burn off some of the excess energy they have built up from being indoors a lot of the time. Our pool is indoors and is at a lovely temperature for hot months.
To book call us on 1300 787 064
Just like us, dogs need rehabilitation too after surgery or an injury. Rehabilitation can speed up recovery and achieve strength, balance, cognition and can increase function and mobility of joints and muscles. It can reduce pain and inflammation and enhances a better quality of life for your pooch. Rehabilitation therapies are also great for degenerative diseases, age related conditions and obesity.
Canine rehabilitation can be traced back to the early 1980’s in Europe and the United States, where Equine Rehabilitation was introduced back in the 1960’s. Australia is slowly starting to catch up with the USA and Europe on all the fabulous rehabilitation therapies and modalities that are now on offer to help our four legged friends achieve optimum mobility.
Rehabilitation therapy should be a standard feature of the complete care plan for post surgery, injured, disabled or otherwise debilitated dogs as the benefits will make the world of difference to their health and well being.
Detecting that your dog may have an issue may sometimes be hard, but you may start to notice some of the following:
Common Problems Associated With Musculoskeletal Issues
Common Conditions Treated
Why is Rehabilitation Important
Quality of life is the focus for the patient and optimising movement. Low impact cardiovascular training is used for rehabilitation to ensure pain relief and management. Canine rehabilitation can return a dog’s range of motion and strengthen injured or weakened areas.
Forms of Rehabilitation
Hydrotherapy treatment is used to effectively rehabilitate animals after injury or surgery, as well as used for fitness and performance enhancement, weight loss and to maximise functional movement in the older arthritic dog.
Tego, a Doberman, having a hydrotherapy lesson
Non-weight bearing conditions are treated with swimming, as the flotation supports the entire body weight and the limbs move freely without the “jarring” effect of exercising on hard ground.
Under Water Treadmil
UWT achieves 60-70% weightless exercise without changing normal movement patterns.
Controlled speed and water levels improves benefit to your dog, supporting them and shortening recovery time.
Proprioceptive and balance exercise teaches the body to control the position of a compromised or an injured joint.
Therapeutic exercise can provide a wide range of benefits for rehabilitation patients.
Proprioception and balance exercise is becoming one of the most valuable modalities used in animal rehabilitation for recovery and strengthening, increased pain free range of motion, flexibility, building muscle strength and muscle mass, endurance and preventing further injury. Therapeutic exercises can help animals recover faster from surgical procedures or injuries and will help with the animal to return to its best functional independence as possible.
The main emphasis in strengthening is mainly resistance training. In a recovering patient strengthening needs to start slowly and gradually build up as the patient progresses. Core strengthening assists in preventing injuries.
There are many rehabilitation/mobility devices out in the market ranging from wheel chairs, harnesses to toe grips that are wonderfully helpful for both dogs and their humans.
Herbal Medicine and Supplements
Herbs and supplements can be added to the diet to assist in joint issues, mobility, immune problems and muscle atrophy.
Photonic Therapy is a scientifically advanced form of acupuncture using light, instead of needles, to stimulate recognised acupuncture points. It offers a safe, painless & effective method treatment, which promotes healing and largely eliminates the need to suffer pain.
The energy of light (photons) is transformed into electrical energy by the connective tissue under the skin. This electrical energy is transmitted to the brain by the nerves.
Acupuncture points are known to be areas in the skin of increased electrical conductivity, the stimulation of which can change a body function. By stimulating these certain skin areas, we can change the perception or messages the brain is receiving. This causes the brain to release certain chemicals, painkillers and anti-inflammatories, which activate the body's healing processes.
In Summary: Each dog will be individual so their rehabilitation program will vary on each particular patient. Rehabilitation allows better quality of life, restores strength, mobility and speeds up recovery as well as assisting in pain management and pain relief.
K9 Swim is a state-of-the-art rehabilitation centre and the only one of its kind in Australasia which offers many of these therapies under the one roof.
We have our Hydrotherapy indoor heated pool and Under water treadmill,
Photonic Therapy, Massage, Herbal remedies as well as the latest supplements, rehabilitation aids for many conditions and our inhouse Osteopath Dr Samantha Sherrington and our alternative Vet Dr Rob Willis.
A Vet referral form will be necessary for your dog to come to us for rehabilitation and we do offer rehab packages
Our next “Learn to Massage your own Dog” course will be run on Sunday 23rd February
Date: Sunday 23rd February 2020
Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Address: K9 Swim Training Room, 853 Kurmond Road North Richmond
Total cost: $150.00
Learn with your own dog.
Upon completion you will be awarded with a Statement of Attendance.
With Summer brings heat, bush fires, ticks, snakes, spiders, parties, fireworks and electrical storms, to name a few. Do you know how to administer first aid to your dog should he/she have an accident or is bitten? It is essential to know the basics of first aid for pets should an emergency occur.
Here are a few common situations that you might find your fur baby in:
Heat can affect dogs in fatal ways and with our summers soaring into 40 degree heat we must ensure that our dogs are safe from hot conditions. Dogs do not perspire like we do, they only sweat through their paws. Dogs pant to control their body temperature but if they are panting in hot humid conditions they are not receiving cool air, and this can be extremely dangerous for them.
Snake bites can be deadly, and care is to be taken for yourself as well as your dog if you come across a snake. Acting quickly can save your dog’s life. Snakes will normally only strike as a last resort and will try and avoid your dog if possible.
The paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus) can be found in bushy coastal areas along the eastern coast of Australia and it's also one of the most dangerous threats to your dog’s health. They are most prevalent from Spring to Autumn however can occur at any time of year.
Paralysis ticks are external parasites that suck the blood from the host animal and it's the ticks salivary glands that produce the toxin that affects the nervous system of the dog. Once paralysis occurs the dog can die in a number of hours unless quickly treated by your vet with anti-tick serum. After initial treatment it can still take 48 hours for the toxin to be removed so your dog can continue to deteriorate during this time.
We at K9 Swim run first aid courses regularly in our training room for pet owners to learn about all the fundamentals of first aid for their beloved pets including how to do a tick search and how to apply a pressure bandage along with recognising emergencies, nail care, bites, stings and allergies, poisoning and lots more.
Call us on 1300 787 064 to put your name down for the next course which will be in February 2020. A must for all pet owners.
What is Photonic Therapy?
Photonic Therapy is a scientifically advanced form of acupuncture using light, instead of needles, to stimulate recognised acupuncture points. It offers a safe, painless & effective treatment method, which promotes healing and largely eliminates the need to suffer pain. It is very effective for humans, horses, dogs and cats.
The energy of light (photons) is transformed into electrical energy by the connective tissue under the skin. This electrical energy is transmitted to the brain by the nerves. Acupuncture points are known to be areas in the skin of increased electrical conductivity, the stimulation of which can change a body function. By stimulating these certain skin areas, we can change the perception or messages the brain is receiving. This causes the brain to release certain chemicals, pain killers and anti-inflammatories, which activate the body's healing processes.
Photonic is applied to any form of imbalance or stress in the body and when applied correctly can help attain optimal health and general well-being. It can treat illnesses, injuries and is wonderful for post-surgery as it increases the speed of healing, reduces pain and can prevent arthritis from forming.
Photonic can have an effect on a number of conditions within the body. It can help maintain normal body processes and cellular turnover to stay healthy with regular use. Using Photonic can help calm nerves and decrease pain and inflammation by increasing blood flow to the nerves so they can heal.
By using Photonic this will increase blood flow to any given area of injury or imbalance and the body can heal itself.
Not many dogs enjoy needles. Photonic Therapy is an advanced form of traditional complementary medicine using red light to stimulate recognised acupuncture points along the body. Rather than stimulating acupuncture points with needles, a special red light is used. The dogs appear to be quite relaxed as its non-invasive, non-painful and is totally safe to use. Photonic provides relief from pain and promotes healing.
How Does Photonic Therapy Work?
The safe, low frequency red light (not laser) is applied to the skin at very specific points to stimulate the autonomic nervous system as well as the spinal nerve transmission which supports the healing of conditions and injuries in animals. The light stimulates the skin and cells to trigger a chemical (ATP) which signals the brain to release endorphins, anti-inflammatories and serotonin and by doing this will assist in eliminating toxins and improving cellular uptake of nutrients. This then will reduce pain, swelling, inflammation and increases circulation and relaxation.
Healing with light dates back to ancient Egypt where people journeyed to various temples devoted to the healing power of sunlight.
In this modern day, many advancements in technology have allowed leading scientists and physicians to use photonic red light therapy in many practical health applications including animals. It is widely used now on humans, cats, dogs, horses, birds, livestock and wildlife with outstanding results.
An interesting fact is that NASA uses red light therapy in zero gravity to expedite the wound healing process for their astronauts.
Conditions That Photonic Therapy Can Help With
Photonic Therapy is used to treat a number of conditions in dogs such as:
Other Benefits to Photonic Therapy
Photonic Therapy compliments other Natural Therapies including Hydrotherapy. A combination of therapies designed for dog’s individual needs and circumstances can see the dog gain maximum health benefits.
We offer Photonic Therapy at K9 Swim, a session costs $40 and bookings are essential. We will discount your photonic session by $10 if its booked with a Swim or Water Treadmill session.
We can also put a package together for you. Call us today for more information
It is not uncommon for dogs at some stage of their life to digest, inhale or absorb some kind of toxin. Toxins come in all forms such as food, human drugs, rat and snail bait, household substances and chemicals. What we feel are safe for us such as food and medications may be another story for our beloved pets.
Safety around your home is paramount to keep you pet safe from being exposed to toxins that may be fatal to their health.
If you feel your dog has been exposed or taken a form of poisoning don’t panic but get to the vet as fast as you can. Being aware of the symptoms may very well save your pets life. If it is safe take with you the packet, labelling or substance of the suspected poison so your vet can identify the toxins. If your dog has vomited a sample of that would be good too.
Signs of Poisoning and Toxicity
Common Ingested Poisons
Acids are found in many household products like cleaners, pool chemicals and car battery fluid. Exposure of toxic chemicals can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin or eyes.
Dogs can be inquisitive and may chew through a bottle or lick /drink substances and these substances may be lethal to your pet.
Ingesting acids will cause ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract with abdominal pain and vomiting. Your dog may paw at its mouth, become distressed and vocal.
Inhaling acids will bring on labored breathing and distress where absorbing acids on the skin will cause irritation and burning and in the eyes, will bring on squinting, pawing at the eye or the eye swelling shut.
Do NOT make your dog vomit as you may cause irreparable damage by the acid burning as its coming back up, but take to your Vet immediately.
Rat and Snail/Slug Bait Poisoning
Rat bait appears to be at the top of the list for the most common poisoning. Rat bait is an anticoagulant which prevents the blood from normally clotting which kills the rat by internal bleeding. Unfortunately, if our dogs eat this they too will suffer the same fate.
If unaware that your dog has eaten rat bait you may not see any obvious signs straight away however your dog could be bleeding internally and it may be several days before you notice any signs which could then be too late.
If you have noticed a box of rat bait disturbed or open and feel your dog may have ingested some seek medical advice immediately.
If you actually see your dog eat it then try and make him/her vomit immediately and get to your vet as soon as possible.
To prevent your dog from this deadly poison, remove baits from your home and surrounds or place in areas where your dog can’t possibly get to. Bait stations are the best as your dog can’t get into these, but still place in a safe place out of reach of your pooch.
Common Inhaled Poisons
Common Absorbed Poisons Through Skin, Eyes and Paws
How to Avoid and Prevent Your Dog From Being Poisoned
If your pet has had an experience of poisoning/toxicity then it’s worth detoxifying your dog with some great herbs to cleanse the blood, liver and body.
Our Wellness Centre can help you with a detoxing mix to add to your dog’s food daily for a month so cleanse the body and get your fur baby back on track.
Give us a call to make a booking for a consultation with our Naturopath.
Its Spring time!!! This means that now the days are getting longer, we can walk our dogs more, be outside and play for longer. Warmer weather and flowers blossoming can bring some seasonal issues for our pets such as pests and allergies so here are a few ideas on getting them all ready for the Spring months ahead.
Warmer months brings on shedding which you will find in the house, car and everywhere else your pooch is! Bathing and brushing regularly will help rid the loose excess hair and keep your house cleaner and your fur baby happier. Take your dog to a Groomer for the works or get a mobile groomer come to your home and give your dog a spring clean!
Spring grass, flowering plants and trees can all cause allergies in your pet just like it can with us. Symptoms of allergies could be scratching, licking, chewing, hair loss, rashes, weepy eyes, red paws, swellings and even smelly skin.
Pay special attention to what’s in your garden and areas where you take your dog for walks. Some gardens can harbour plants that can cause irritation or even be poisonous to our pets. These plants may only flower or berry once a year but it might be those parts of the plant that can cause allergies to your dog. Identify what plants you have in your garden and check if they are dangerous to your dog.
Buzzing insects can attract your dog’s attention and if bitten may cause a nasty allergic reaction. If you notice unusual swelling on your dog or have seen your pooch stung seek Veterinarian advice as the severity can differ from dog to dog and you want to avoid any further complications.
Tick, Fleas and Worms
These pests love the warmer weather so make sure that your pet is up to date with preventative control and if in tick areas, do regular tick searches as these parasites can be harmful. Warm months also bring out mosquitos and their bite on your dog can spread heart worm so make sure that they are covered for this along with your other worming routine for roundworm, hookworm and tapeworms. Talk to your Vet about prevention of these nasties.
Lawn and Garden Care
Spring is when we love getting back out into the garden and getting our lawn and plants healthy and rejuvenated after the cold winter. We must be very careful of the chemicals that we use on our grass and plants as they can be toxic to our pets. Herbicides, fertilisers and insecticides are generally poisonous to our pets so please make sure you read the instructions carefully and take note of the recommended waiting time before allowing your pets back outside on the grass and in the garden.
Spring Cleaning in the House
The warmer weather and longer days gets us inspired to spring clean the house but think about what harsh chemicals you may be using which could be dangerous to your fur babies. Make sure that your pets are out of the way when you are cleaning and to air the house after using chemicals so when your pets enter the home again all fumes and chemical smells have gone.
Don’t forget that we have a Doggy Day Care now at K9 Swim so if you want to spray your lawn or spring clean your house why not drop your fur baby off to us for the day so you can do your spring jobs safely and your pooch gets a fun day out at the same time!
It may sound overwhelming and radical to you when your vet talks about amputation but dogs mostly cope with losing a limb, whether it be from a disease such as cancer or an accident. They don’t seem to experience the same mental sense of loss as humans do and most dogs adjust to life on 3 legs, they get along with their day as they are busy being a dog!
Amputation involves a major surgery and your vet will only recommend this procedure if they feel it will give your dog a better quality of life and release them of pain and suffering.
Initially after surgery it may not be easy for your dog to move about like he/she used to although if they didn’t use the leg before surgery they may just adapt very quickly. There will be an adjustment period of your dog getting used to balancing and walking about on 3 limbs but in time they will compensate and distribute weight to find a comfortable way of mobility.
After surgery your dog will be sent home on pain relief and possibly a course of antibiotics. Your vet may place a cone around your dog’s head to prevent licking or chewing at the surgery site. Your dog will probably be quiet for a few days and you will need to assist toilet breaks by supporting your dog to walk with a towel slung under their belly or a harness. Check for any swelling, inflammation, discharge, infection or blood and contact your vet if you are concerned. There will be a follow up check-up a few days after surgery then stitches will come out from 10 – 14 days’ post-surgery.
Amputation is a very difficult decision for you so discussing in detail with your vet about the process, the post-surgery, recovery and prognosis will help you come to your decision. Large and heavier dogs may not adapt as well as a smaller lighter dog and dogs that are having an amputation for cancer still may not be cured but by removing the limb you may be extending your dog’s life and making life more pain free.
Ways To Help Post-Surgery
There are many ways of assisting your dog in the recovery and rehabilitation of amputation and the following points will speed on recovery, keep your dog’s mind stimulated and promote health and happiness in your mate.
Trista gets about just fine on 3 legs and swims like a fish.
How K9 Swim Can Help
K9 Swim can help you with the recovery and rehabilitation of your dog after amputation.
Our Hydrotherapy Centre has an indoor heated pool with easy access for dogs that have mobility issues. Hydrotherapy is a wonderful therapy for muscle development, calming down inflammation, easing aches and pains in sore bodies and limbs and exceptional for mental stimulation and burning of energy. It is safe and controlled and we are experienced in handling post-surgery patients.
Our Wellness Centre has our Osteopath Dr Samantha Sherrington that can speed on recovery and release connective tissue and tightness. We can offer herbal and natural remedies for phantom pain, anxiety or depression and we also have our Post-Operative Day care for those owners that can’t be at home every day with their recovering dog. We can care for your dog in a secure and safe place, toilet them regularly and give them lots of kisses and cuddles!
Call us on 1300 787 064 to discuss your needs.
You may also be interested in reading:
Caring For Your Dog Post-Surgery
It is becoming more common to see hip dysplasia in many dogs of all breeds, predominately larger breeds. As a dog owner, you may feel absolutely devastated when the vet gives you the news but with advances in Veterinary treatment and safe management options, hip dysplasia can be controlled and managed well.
What is hip dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is a deformity of the hip joint that occurs during a dogs growth period. Signs may be noticed as early as 4-6 weeks of age or not until they are in their senior years. The ball of the femur does not fit correctly into the hip socket which causes the hip to partially dislocate. Some dogs may show no signs of this condition where others will experience pain and difficulty moving around. Hip Dysplasia is mainly a genetic condition however diet and the environment can contribute to this condition, such as obesity or rapid weight gain which puts excessive strain on the joints and nutritional disorders.
Signs to look for:
A lack of co-ordination in the hind quarters can be a sign of hip dysplasia
How is hip dysplasia diagnosed?
Recognising symptoms early is important and your vet will do a physical examination by checking your dog’s movement of the hip joints and most probably taking x-rays to confirm the condition.
Normal Canine Hips Bilateral Hip Dysplasia
What treatments are available for hip dysplasia?
There are many options available today when it comes to treating hip dysplasia and managing it. A treatment plan depends on various factors such as age and the severity of the condition. Surgery is normally a last option after other treatments and management have not been effective or if the condition is severe.
These include a combination of a healthy diet, weight management, joint supplements, anti –inflammatories, non-weight bearing exercise like hydrotherapy, to build muscle and support the limbs, acupuncture, photonic therapy and Osteopathic treatments.
There are several surgical options and your Vet will recommend which one is best suited to your dog’s condition.
Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)
The normal hip is a ball and socket joint and this surgery removes the neck and head of the femur which is the ball part of the joint. This surgery is very good especially for smaller dogs as the muscles and connective tissue of the leg hold the femur in place and forms a functional “false joint” FHO can be used in larger dogs if arthritis is severe, if the hip dislocates or if the other procedure is too expensive for the owner. FHO surgery can provide most patients pain free mobility.
Total Hip Replacement (THR)
Total hip replacement surgery removes both the ball and socket which is replaced with an artificial ball and socket normally made of surgical stainless steel and plastic. This is generally performed in larger breeds of dogs but can still be used in smaller dogs. THR surgery can give many years of pain free mobility and is generally reserved for dogs that have severe and painful conditions and that have not responded to conventional management.
Double or Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (DPO/TPO)
The object of the DPO and TPO procedure is to “capture” the femoral head in the socket thereby reducing laxity present. The procedure in when the pelvis is cut in two or three places around the hip joint, rotating the acetabulum and stabilising the pelvis in the new position with metal bone plates and screws.
This should only be performed on young dogs only - usually less than 6 months of age that have no arthritic changes in the joint. Following this procedure dogs must be crated/confined for at least 6 weeks with short on leash walks only to ensure the bones heal in their new position correctly.
Caring for your dog with Hip Dysplasia
· If you suspect that your pet has hip dysplasia, see your Vet straight away to minimise the arthritic changes that will develop as the problem worsens.
· Monitor your dog's body weight and avoid obesity as weight puts a lot of pressure on the joints
· Avoid strenuous exercise but provide moderate low impact exercise such as hydrotherapy and controlled walks
Don’t over feed or over exercise growing pups. Researched evidence indicates that pups that grow too rapidly are more than likely to develop hip dysplasia and over exercising pups that may have any abnormalities in their hip structure will exaggerate the issue with excessive running, jumping and repetitively chasing objects. All of these can be detrimental to their growing joints.
K9 Swim can assist your dog in managing hip dysplasia with our state of the art Hydrotherapy and Wellness Centre. From our indoor heated pool and under water treadmill for low impact and non-weight bearing exercise to our in-house Osteopath, herbal remedies and natural therapies we can offer a range of treatments that will make a difference to the quality of life to your pet. If its managing hip dysplasia with non-surgical options or rehabilitation after surgery we can help your pooch get back on track to optimal health.
We now offer Post Op Day care so if your dog has recently had surgery and needs to be confined and you can’t be home every day with your fur baby then we can help.
Just give us a call to discuss on 1300 787 064
You may also be interested in reading:
Caring for your dog post-surgery
Winter is back and the harsh weather can bring a variety of health issues to our pooches. Biting winds and cold numbing wet days can cause your dog to be uncomfortable and unhappy. Whilst some people think that their dogs are okay with their fur coats and that they can tolerate the cold, this is not always the case. Our dogs are now domesticated and so many of them are now indoor dogs, so cold weather can be hard on them just like it can be for us. We can help our dogs be safe this winter by giving them a little extra care, especially our golden oldies that feel the cold a lot more than they ever used to.
Here are a few winter health risks to our dogs and some ideas on how to get them through these chilly months.
Winter Health Risks to our Dogs
Our dogs if left outside in extreme cold conditions can experience some severe issuess that can be life threatening.
Hypothermia can occur in dogs that are exposed to cold and freezing conditions for long periods of time, if they get wet in cold conditions, if they have bad circulation, old or are in poor health and are subjected to cold and windy weather. Hypothermia is an extreme lowering of the body temperature which causes the heart and respiration to slow down. Symptoms of mild cases would be shivering and their ears, feet and nose will feel cold. As it progresses your dog will start to be lethargic, depressed and weak. Their muscles can start to get stiff and their breathing and heart rate will get dangerously slow.
Frostbite can occur when your dog is out in very cold and freezing conditions. Their body gets exceptionally cold and the body pulls heat from their extremities like their ears, tail and paws to the centre of the body to try and stay warm. Ice crystals may form and the skin starts to become pale and a bluish gray in colour due to the lack of blood flow. The skin may feel icy cold, hard or brittle. This is very painful for the dog and in severe cases can turn black, blister or ulcerate.
Burns: Dogs can happily snuggle up in front of the fire or heater in cold weather but sometimes they may get a little too close. Don’t leave your fur baby alone in front of a fire place or heater even if you do have barriers up. Your pet can still get a bad burn by coming into contact with hot surfaces or spitting fires.
How can we prevent winter health risks?
Swimming at K9 Swim is a great way of exercising in the Winter months. The pool is indoors and heated and we offer a warm water rinse off and blow dry after. We also run a Senior Swim program for Golden Oldies 10 years and over.
For more information Enquire here
Temperature: Some breeds of dogs have big thick coats that can keep them warm but those dogs with thin coats need assistance with a warm jacket for the cold winter months. If your dog is an outside dog then a very good warm shelter and bed is essential to keep them safe from the elements. In freezing conditions a coat or a comfortable bed outside will not protect them from frostbite, to the extremities, or hypothermia if they are out for long periods so try and find a protected, dry, warm place for your dog during these conditions. If your dog is an inside dog then take them out regularly for walks and exercise but don’t leave them out in freezing conditions for a long period of time.
Exercise: Our fur babies still need to exercise in the winter months. The best time for their walks is mid-morning or mid-afternoon when the day is not at its coldest. When the sun is shining, spend time outside playing and get that great Vitamin D supplement. If you are showing or competing your dog in cold conditions then make sure you have a good warm jacket to keep them warm before and after their event.
Bedding: In cold months, its essential to have the right bedding so that your dog is nice and warm and comfortable. Do not let your dog sleep on a cold floor during winter months – get a trampoline bed so it’s off the ground and elevated. Heated beds are available and are great for old or arthritic dogs. Keep your dog away from drafts and provide warm blankets and a nice protected area.
Senior Dog Care: Winter months can certainly aggravate any existing medical conditions and arthritis that your dog may have. Senior dogs need to keep gently exercising especially through these cold months. When exercising, be aware of freezing ground, slippery surfaces, icy winds and freezing rain. Make sure your dog is rugged up when going for a walk and when they return from their outing they have a warm, supportive bed to rest in. You may like to give your golden oldie a mobility supplement to help with the aches and pains associated with age and arthritis.
Massage: Who doesn’t like a massage! Our pooches really benefit from massage, especially in cold months. Massage puts blood and oxygen into the muscle groups, it detoxifies the body, reduces inflammation of arthritic joints and circulates the blood around the body to stay warm and maintain a general well-being.
Nutrition: Your dog doesn’t have to eat lots more because its cold. They are possibly doing less exercise so you may have to reduce the calorie intake according to their activity level. Provide good quality and nutritious meals for your best mate so they feel satisfied in the cold weather.
A great idea especially in the colder months is to make up a batch of bone broth which gives your dog wonderful vitamins and minerals to keep them going through Winter. Bone broth not only is nutritious and yummy to them, but it also helps with their coat which can dry out in the cold months. Bone broth also maintains a healthy gut and is great for dogs with digestive problems, it supports the immune system and assists in protecting joints due to its glucosamine and chondroitin properties.
Here is a recipe for delicious bone broth:
What you need.
How to cook.
The broth will be like jelly when you first spoon it out of the container and some pets love it like that but you can warm it up for 10 seconds in the microwave or leave for a few minutes at room temperature and it will reduce to a liquid form.
Add some freshly chopped parsley to the broth when serving for added vitamins.
A couple of spoons full of broth a day on its own or mixed with food is wonderful for your pet.
You may also be interested in reading:
Winter Herbs - The Perfect Winter Remedies for Dogs
Grooming Your Dog Doesn't Stop Over Winter
Dog trainers and veterinarians often tell you how important socialisation is for your pets. So what exactly is it? It’s essentially the method used to teach puppies how to cope with the world around them as they grow. The critical socialisation period is generally from 4 to 12 weeks of age. This is the time you’d introduce your puppy to various situations they would encounter in their life. The objective is to ensure that every experience they have is positive and that they don’t become distressed in any way.
When your puppy sees something new for the very first time, they are more likely to be startled than interested. The interest quotient comes in later, after which they decide how significant it is and whether they should pay more attention to it. The different things they would be trying to determine are whether it’s safe, can be eaten, played with or is it dangerous?
Important Facts About Canine Socialisation
Being able to discover all this vital information in a comfortable and safe way, with positive outcomes helps them become a more balanced adult dog. Here are some facts about socialisation for puppies:
Tips to Socialise for Success
Once your pup is 3 months old they can come to K9 SWiM’s Hydrotherapy centre for a swim in our state of the art canine heated pool. K9 SWiM also runs regular Puppy Splash classes that run for six weeks where puppies will learn to socialise and get confident in the water. It is a great bonding experience for you and your pup. You will both have lots of FUN!
Check out when the next Puppy Splash starts
You may also be interested in reading:
Making Your Garden Dog Friendly
How To Recognise Whether Your Dog is Anxious- Tips To Help Them Naturally
Essentials oils are becoming exceeding popular as a holistic way of managing our health, but can our pets benefit from them too?
Essential oils can be a wonderful addition to supporting our pets emotional and physical wellbeing when used correctly. They can support our pet’s skin, calm the emotions and give relief to our senior pet’s muscles and joints and so much more.
But what are essential oils exactly?
To put it simply they are naturally occurring aromatic compounds found in plants, seeds, bark, stems, roots and flowers. They are extremely potent so a little goes a long way and especially for our pets!
There are a few important things to consider when starting your journey of using essential oils for your pets.
First off, know your pet’s health and talk to your veterinarian if in doubt. It’s always good to know what you are dealing with first and some oils may not be advisable with certain conditions and medications.
There are many different oils brands on the market but not all oils are created equally. Choosing an oil that is certified pure grade is imperative. Many oils contain synthetics and we could end up doing our pet and ourselves more harm than good.
Knowledge is the key. Essential oils can play such a beneficial role in our pet’s well being and there are lots of wonderful resources and information out there. Take time to research the oil you are using for your pet, get advice or attend an essential oils workshop to learn more.
We love using essential oils for our beautiful dogs Sunny and Grommy and we are passionate about sharing our knowledge and helping others. If you want to learn more about using essential oils for your pets stay tuned for more workshops and seminars at K9 Swim in the coming months. You can contact us for more information by visiting us at www.facebook.com/twooilyems or call us on 0452 280 543.
With age in our dogs comes molecular and cellular level changes in the brain. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that cause aging and these can result in loss of brain function which is a natural part of aging.
Dogs can experience dementia or Alzheimer's like symptoms and this is called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). CDS can progress slowly. To further slow down this progression keeping the dog mentally stimulated and active is important. Antioxidants may help.
Our in house Veterinarian Dr Rob Willis has a great interest in our older dogs and has given us some signs and symptoms to look for and he has developed a treatment plan to assist in the aging process to help relieve some of these symptoms. Read on and Rob will be visiting us again in May so if you have concerns about your dog that may be showing some of these signs book in and see Rob.
Is your dog suffering from the effects of brain ageing (senility)?
By Dr Rob Willis
There are a number of signs of brain ageing in older dogs including:
These signs are most common in dogs that are in their teens as this is when most owners notice the sudden onset changes however the problems generally are there pre-teens and this is especially true for large and giant breeds.
Brain ageing in dogs
'Brain ageing' is thought to be caused by a number of processes with the main ones being:
The good news is there are things we can do for this condition, if you have a dog that is affected you don't have to resign yourself to the fact that they are just 'old'.
I have used a combination of treatments including acupuncture and veterinary prescriptions while those looking for a natural supplement perhaps Neurologinol would be worth a try for your dog. 'Neurologinol' is a purpose build veterinary naturopathic supplement to assist in the management of brain ageing in dogs.
For more information contact Dr Rob 0490 038 208 or email email@example.com
As pet owners it can be overwhelming when your dog has had surgery and it’s time for you to take them home from the vet and manage their post-surgery care. It is crucial you give your pet the best possible care during this time to accelerate their recovery and assist in prevention of any secondary issues arising.
Talk to your Veterinary Surgeon
Your Veterinary Surgeon has done their part by performing the surgery and they will also explain your post-surgery care and often give you discharge papers and printed instructions on your dog’s post-surgery care. There are no standard post-surgery specifics as these will always vary due to the type of surgery being done and you’re your dog’s age and condition. It’s important you talk to your vet and that you understand the instructions that you have been given. As this can be an emotional time it is a good idea to write down your questions and take notes on what you need such as bandages, stitches or medications to administer. This will avoid any confusion and ensure you don’t forget anything.
Be diligent about your dog’s post-surgery care.
It is imperative that you follow the instructions from your Vet and if they tell you that your pooch requires restricted rest and needs to be on a controlled lead, they mean it! The reason is that your dog’s body needs to heal properly, and additional movement can increase the risk of injury and result in another surgery or other complications.
Post-op checkups at the Vet clinic are very important after surgery as the Vet will make sure healing and recovery is going as planned. Don’t put off or miss any of these checkups.
Confining your dog for post-surgery recovery
Keeping your dog confined after surgery is common as it helps the cut tissue to heal. Your vet may request you to crate your dog and keep them leashed when taking them to the toilet.
At K9 SWiM with so many post-surgery dogs coming here for rehabilitation and speaking to the pet owners I often hear people say, “It’s too hard to keep my dog crated and leashed to go to the toilet” Yes, it can be frustrating to keep your dog crated, confined and quiet during their recovery period from surgery or an injury. But when I hear dog owners tell me that they had just let their dog outside to go to the toilet and have a sniff around off the leash - that’s when their dog has hurt themselves and then their dog is back to square 1.
Here are a few tips to assist you in making confined rest and restricted exercise a little easier and more stimulating for your dog during this time.
Crate train your dog.
It is a good idea to crate train all dogs. So if they do injure themselves in the future and have to be crated for rest, then they will be OK with it. If you know your dog is going to have to have surgery get them crate trained before surgery. Dogs that have never been crate trained may find it stressful when placed in a crate post-surgery and could injure themselves further by trying to get out.
Canine Hydrotherapy for post-surgery rehabilitation
There any many types of surgeries where canine hydrotherapy can assist and accelerate recovery.
Hydrotherapy is non-weight bearing and will rebuild muscle quickly and will add no stress to the limbs. Muscle atrophy will be prominent in pre-and post-surgery cases and by building muscle again will assist in the stability of the limb and the mobility of your dog.
Surgeries such as spinal, cruciate repair and hip replacements, hydrotherapy is fabulous anywhere from 2-6 weeks’ post-surgery. With any rehabilitation program at K9 SWiM our Vet Referral (Link form) form must be completed and signed by your vet. This confirms that your vet has given the OK to start Hydrotherapy. Your vet should always approve any additional treatment or rehabilitation your pet is receiving for an injury they are treating. If you have any concerns during rehabilitation we are happy to liaise with your vet on your dog is progressing.
Other post-surgery rehabilitation options for your dog.
K9 SWiM Hydrotherapy and Wellness Centre specializes in post-surgery rehabilitation with an indoor heated pool, an underwater treadmill. We take a holistic approach to rehabilitation offering services such as massage, acupuncture, photonic therapy and strengthening exercises which are great for recovery and rehabilitation. Our retail shop stocks a variety of aids to assist in recovery like harnesses, braces, toe grips and orthopedic memory foam beds. Herbal mixes and supplements are also available for purchase.
Osteopath – Dr Samantha Sherrington and Alternative Vet – Dr Rob Willis are also available for appointments at K9 SWiM Wellness Centre.
So when you are talking to your Vet, discuss these options and ask when your dog will be ready to start these therapies.
You are welcome to come in and have a look around or call us on 1300 787 064 to make an appointment for your dog’s recovery.
Aries Dog (March 21 – April 20)
Taurus Dog (April 21 – May 20)
Gemini Dog (May 21 – June 20)
Cancer Dog (June 21 – July 20)
Leo Dog (July 21 – August 20)
Virgo Dog (August 21 – September 22)
Libra Dog (September 23 – October 22)
Scorpio Dog (October 23 – November 22)
Sagittarius Dog (November 23 – December 22)
Capricorn Dog (December 23 – January 22)
Aquarius Dog (January 23 – February 18)
Pisces Dog (February 19 – March 20)
Most people love the holiday season and there is so much to love about them. There is cheer in the air and everyone seems to have a smile. While the holiday season may be a happy time for us, it isn’t always so for our pets. As a matter of fact, it can be quite stressful and sometimes potentially dangerous too. So how can you ensure that your pet is able to make it through the holiday season in a stress and anxiety-free manner? Here are some of our tips that can help for different situations:
Leaving your pet when you are heading out of town?
For many, the holidays also mean travel. But it may not always be possible to take your pet with you every time you head out of town. This means you will either rely on a pet-sitter or kennel to house your pooch. This may cause stress and anxiety to your pet. You can help reduce this anxiety by doing at least a couple of runs with a pet-sitter or boarding facility before you go out on vacation. This will help him become more familiar with strange surroundings or a new person. It’s also a good idea to ensure they have a favourite toy or blanket for comfort even a piece of your clothing with your familiar smell.
Going on a long car drive with your dog?
If you plan to take your dog along with you on a road trip, it will go far more smoothly for everyone if you ensure he uses up some of his energy before loading up. Depending on the age of your pet, playing with a toy/ball or even taking them on a long walk can help expend some of the nervous energy. Also, don’t feed your dog breakfast just before you hop in the car. Feed them a relatively light meal 3 to 4 hours before you hit the road. There’s nothing worse than a gassy passenger in the car.
Entertaining at Home?
If you are planning to spend time at home during the holidays and are going to be entertaining a lot, the constant stream of guests can be quite upsetting to your pooch. If your pooch tends to get very nervous around strangers, its best to create a safe space for them in any room of the house. This will give them the quiet time they need while the festivities are on. Don’t compel your pet to be where all the noise and people are if they prefer to be in a quiet room or they want to sleep in their own bed. Allow your pet to decide exactly how much socialising they are comfortable with. Also spend some quality time with your pet around this time so their routine doesn’t feel to out of place.
Putting up Christmas Decorations?
While you may like to decorate your house and your Christmas tree with twinkling lights, decorations such as these may send your pooch into a frenzy. If you notice your pet becoming anxious or nervous when they see the blinking lights, simply use some other décor. After all, your pet is a family member and you want her to enjoy the holidays as much as everyone else, don’t you?
When choosing holiday décor, consider whether it can pose a threat to your pooch if they swallow a decoration. Sometimes a simple thing like securing your Christmas tree so it can’t be knocked down will prevent an injury to your pet.
Any firework displays close by?
Dogs are exposed to a variety of loud noises throughout the holidays. The hustle and bustle of everyone cleaning the house and decorating it, clanging of pots and pans from all the holiday cooking, Christmas carolling and more. Fireworks are the added noise factor that can upset your dog immensely.
Fireworks often causes stress and anxiety in our pets. It goes without saying that you need to keep your pet away from any common areas where people are lighting fireworks. Place your pet in a quiet room when firecrackers are being lit; this can help keepthem calm and safe.
Try to maintain regularity in your pet’s routine and don’t change their diet either. While the holiday season can be an exciting time for you and your family, following these tips can also help ensure your pet is safe and happy as well.
You may also want to read:
• Tips to Keep your Dog Calm and De-Stressed This Holiday Season
• Top 7 Tips To Keep Your Dog Happy This Christmas
Hydrotherapy is a form of non-weight bearing, low-impact exercise that is extremely effective in the rehabilitation of painful, weak and sore joints. The non-weight bearing conditions are first treated with controlled swimming movements. The entire body gets proper support from the floatation. The limbs are able to move very freely and there is no jarring like that which occurs while exercising on any hard surfaces.
Swimming is proven to be one of the best forms of exercise because almost all the muscles that are used in movement are also involved in this activity. You don’t have to worry about any stresses that come from running on concrete or any other hard surfaces.
The Impact of Walking on Hard Surfaces
Why Canine Hydrotherapy is a Great Option
It isn’t uncommon for the terms swimming and hydrotherapy to be used interchangeably. But the fact is that these are essentially different in terms of the effects and benefits they offer. When a dog is swimming it means they are completely buoyant in the water and this is very different from hydrotherapy.
The latter is an aquatic exercise that is carried out in a much more controlled manner, which means the pet’s body isn’t overburdened in any way. Hydrotherapy is water healing and its value lies in the buoyancy, warmth and pressure that it provides. Some of the primary benefits of this form of exercise include:
Dogs that require improvement with core strength,cardiovascular strengthening, flexion, proprioception, extension, gait improvement, muscle building, will surely benefit from hydrotherapy.
The Positive Impacts of Hydrotherapy
Here are some facts about hydrotherapy and why it is the best form of exercise for our canine friends:
Hydrotherapy for Arthritic Joints
If your pet has arthritis, that can lead to painful & swollen joints. These conditions can make it very difficult for them to exercise or even walk comfortably. In fact, your dog may find it challenging to get up if they have been lying down for a very long period of time.
The inactivity ultimately takes its toll on your pet’s body and they may start to gain weight as well. This impacts their health even further and adds more pressure on the joints. All of these problems can be addressed very effectively with hydrotherapy.
Swimming your pet in a special indoor heated pool is one of the best ways to speed up recovery post-surgery as well. It helps improve general fitness, stamina and muscle tone and conditions and strengthens the body. Your dog will also learn how to swim and will begin to shed those extra kilos if they are overweight. A five-minute swim is equivalent to a 5 kilometre walk.
Other Conditions That Can Be Helped by Hydrotherapy:
Hydrotherapy typically begins 4 to 6 weeks after their operation. Consult your vet about when the best time is to start hydrotherapy for your pet, post and pre-surgery. Your vet would need to fill in a Vet Referral form . You’d have to give this to the Hydro-therapist before starting on any treatment. This will help ensure your Hydro-therapist designs the perfect treatment plan for your pet. This treatment is extremely effective and can reduce your pet’s recovery time by at least 50%.
Some Additional Facts
Many pet parents wonder whether swimming their dogs in rivers, oceans or dams has the same benefits. If your pet has a condition, swimming in these settings has a number of disadvantages. While it’s true that a dog can swim very freely in these waters, the temperature of the water is cold and some of the points you need to consider include:
Hydrotherapy for Fun and General Exercise
Swimming is a great form of exercise for pets young and old. Hydrotherapy isn’t only for pets that have become injured, are recovering from surgery or are overweight. These sessions can be a source of entertainment and fun for your healthy pet as well. It helps them burn energy, stimulates their mind and canines have a ton of fun retrieving a Frisbee or ball in the water. K9 SWiM has also hosted dog parties where clients have booked the pool for their dog’s birthday and invited some of their pooch friends along.
Enquire at K9 Swim for hiring the pool for your club or party. Conditions Apply.
Hydrotherapy at K9 Swim
The low-impact therapeutic effects of hydrotherapy make it the perfect form of exercise for pets that are suffering from arthritis, aching and inflamed joints. It helps your canine friends gain muscle tone and fitness and also offers a safe and fun way to get a full body work out.
At our centre you can rest assured that your pet will be treated with the utmost care and safety. We are very passionate about what we do and your pets can enjoy some time in the warm water of our indoor pool. Our centre is unique and the modern complex has been purposefully designed and built for dogs’ fitness, fun and rehabilitation. In fact, we are one of a kind in all of NSW.
Different Hydrotherapy Programs
The indoor heated pool and underwater treadmill is great not just for rehabilitation and fun but for conditioning swims as well. While it’s a great place for older dogs, we also run classes for puppies as well. Based on the specific needs of your pets, you can choose from:
When it comes to maintain the long-term wellbeing of your dog, ensuring they are in peak physical condition is what matters the most. The positive muscle toning, strengthening effects and overall fitness benefits that hydrotherapy provides is a whole lot of fun and a great way to get your pet to expend his energy in a healthy and consistent manner. When you choose to bring your dog to K9 SWIM you know that they are getting the best attention from certified and professional Hydro-therapists. No matter what age or size your dog is, we have a program for them.
Focus on Canine Holistic Health at our K9 SWiM Hydrotherapy and Wellness Centre
The Hydrotherapy Centre has an indoor heated pool along with an underwater treadmill and provides services from fun or conditioning swims to rehabilitation. Courses and seminars will be run in the training room within the centre in the near future.
The Wellness Centre is all about Holistic health with the following practitioners practicing out of the centre:
For more information, feel free to browse our website.
Or why not drop by and check out the new centre for yourself.
A dog is considered to be a senior when they reach the age of seven to 10 years old. Smaller breeds tend to become seniors much later than larger breeds. For example, Great Danes are considered to be seniors by the time they are approximately 5 to 6 years of age,
whereas a Chihuahua would only be considered middle age by that time. However, aspects such as the environment, nutrition as well as genetics have a significant role to play in how fast a dog will age.
Some Changes That Come With Age
With age, there are many different changes that can take place in your dog such as:
Helping Your Dog Manage Their Ageing Process
While most of these changes can be very gradual, aging is something that cannot be reversed. However, it is possible to slow this process by following a good health management plan. Some things that can prove to be beneficial include:
How to Improve Balance and Muscle Tone in Senior Dogs
When a dog ages it becomes less active. They begin to lose their ability to balance themselves well. This typically occurs due to muscle loss which in turn leads to further inactivity. When a dog is inactive it causes the body to slow down, age faster, making them more prone to injury. There are certain therapies as well as anti-aging activities that can help your dog remain more active in their senior years such as:
Common Conditions that Senior Dogs Suffer From
As dog’s age there is deterioration in the joint function and arthritis becomes a very common problem. It is important to control your dog’s weight and have an exercise plan that will help alleviate the symptoms. Maintain consistency in daily exercise because sporadic, strenuous activity can stress and strain your dog’s joints.
It’s far better to exercise him multiple times during the day, but for shorter spans of time. Do not take your dog out on days when he/she is lame or stiff. It’s crucial that you provide your dog very good bedding. Orthopedic bedding is also available for senior dogs in many pet stores. Ramps are very useful over steps and to help your dog get into the car comfortably.
Treatments such as hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, and massage will surely help.
2. Dental Disease
This is another common condition in aging dogs. This makes it important that dogs be taken to the vet for regular checkups. Canine toothbrushes, treats and chew toys will also help maintain dental health in senior dogs.
Is more commonly seen in elderly female dogs but can also been seen in male dogs. Incontinence can be caused by infection, neurological issues, spinal problems, hormonal imbalance or senility as well. Older dogs tend to forget all their toilet training and are likely to wet the area they are lying in. In most cases, a certain amount of medication would have to be given on a daily basis to treat incontinence.
4. CDS (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome)
Many dogs experience Alzheimer’s or dementia symptoms. This condition is referred to as CDS and the common signs of it include:
The progression of CDS can be snail-paced. Keeping your dog active and mentally stimulated is one of the best ways to slow down the progress of this condition. In some cases, antioxidants can help the condition.
While these are quite common in older dogs, it’s important to make sure that your dog actually has cataracts. It’s likely that he is suffering from a condition called lenticular sclerosis, which tends to be more common in senior dogs. This condition causes the eye tissue to become rigid over a period of time and the eyes develop a grayish-blue tint. Lenticular sclerosis doesn’t compromise the dog’s eyesight seriously and no treatment is necessary.
If the dog has a cataract, it can result in cloudiness or opacity in the eyes and the condition can impact their vision eventually. Most owners don’t notice the cataract in their dog’s eyes until it has covered almost 60 percent of the eye. Cataracts are often accompanied by illnesses such as hypothyroidism and diabetes. It is possible to remove cataracts via surgery.
The Benefits of Herbal Treatments in Senior Dogs
Older dogs can benefit significantly from herbal treatments that may be used externally as well as internally. Herbs are packed with minerals and vitamins and provide good support to the natural healing mechanisms in your dog’s body. There are a number of different herbs that can maintain your pet’s overall well-being and keep them healthier in their old age. Herbs can prove to be very effective when used in conjunction with the right amount of exercise, a balanced and nutritious diet, and sufficient sunlight.
Balanced Nutrition Matters
Since older dogs have low activity levels their metabolism is slower. This means, their body requires fewer calories. However, it is important to ensure that your senior dog gets the right amount of easy-to-digest, high-quality protein content in her food. Typically a balanced diet for your senior dog would include:
Low-fat, high-quality, concentrated protein.
Carbohydrates that are easier to digest- these will provide her energy.
Various minerals to support arthritic or stiff joints.
In addition to the protein content in the diet, vitamins can help effectively fight infections that are brought on due to a decline in the immune system.
While it’s a good idea to feed your dog at least a couple of times a day, you may find that they prefer to eat smaller portions, multiple times a day. This is a very normal eating pattern in senior dogs, as their system is able to digest smaller quantities of food much better than larger portions.
K9 SWiM Hydrotherapy and Wellness Centre for all dogs young and old
Even if your dog is aging, you will find that they will crave some level of socialisation and will enjoy an outing. At our centre, we offer herbal, photonic treatments and massages that help with mobility and overall wellbeing. K9 SWiM has a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy centre, where we offer gentle hydrotherapy sessions for senior dogs.
Contact us today to find out how we can help your golden oldie and give them a good quality of life in their senior years.
Watch out for our Senior Happy Hour Classes coming up in the warmer months!
Cruciate ligament ruptures or tears are one of the most common cause of lameness or injury in dogs. Most commonly seen in large breeds but can be seen in any size dog of any age.
What is the canine cruciate ligament?
The cruciate ligament connects the back of the femur (the bone above the knee) with the front of the tibia (the bone below the knee). This ligament is responsible for keeping the tibia in place beneath the femur and stabilising the knee joint.
Canine cruciate injuries.
Cruciate injuries can happen to the fittest of dogs. It is the twisting injury to the knee joint which affects the anterior or cranial cruciate ligament making the joint unstable and causing pain and discomfort. It could just happen from landing the wrong way when jumping, running or playing.
Overweight dogs are more susceptible to this type of injury as their joints have been weakened? by having to carry their extra weight. In some cases, it is just unfortunate that some dogs are predisposed to this condition.
What are the signs of a cruciate injury?
Treatment of cruciate injuries.
A lot of owners are unsure if their dog needs to have surgery or not.
K9 Swim’s Osteopath Sam Sherrington says:
“Traditionally surgery has been the main go to treatment, especially for larger breeds, however there’s plenty of research suggesting outcomes for managing these injuries ‘conservatively’ may be just as good, especially in the longer term.
Conservative management involves weight management, controlled activity and rest and anti inflammatories to manage inflammation and pain. “
Osteopathy and Hydrotherapy rehabilitation.
Sam goes onto say that “Osteopathy and Hydrotherapy are two powerful additions to this protocol, in the acute phase and in the longer rehabilitation phase, both with or without surgical intervention. Rehabilitation is a time where many techniques are available to help ensure the tissues can settle with the best strength and function possible.
Hydrotherapy is a fantastic option for adding healthy stress to the healing tissues, encouraging stronger, symmetrical movement while minimising strain more than is possible with typical land based movement. Dogs appear less likely to reinforce their old dysfunctional movement patterns when they are in water, which means a greater chance of overriding old muscle memory and creating newer healthier movement patterns for the future. This is particularly useful as a preventative for dogs involved in high impact athletic endeavors such as agility, jumping, dock dogs, flyball etc.”
In the conservative approach the muscles are built up around the joint offering stability and support with the tissue around the knee thickening and helping the cruciate ligament to function. The aim is to decrease pain, improve weight bearing on the injured leg and treat the rest of the body as it has been compromised with the dog not bearing weight evenly.
Surgery and post-operative treatment.
For full tears, especially in the larger breed dog, surgery may be suggested by your vet.
Post-operative rehabilitation is exceptionally important with these cases and your dog will need to have very limited activity for 6-8 weeks which includes cage rest and controlled short on the lead walks daily. It may take up to 3 months for a dog to gain good function of that limb and this is where osteopathic care and hydrotherapy is the key to a good speedy recovery.
Cruciate injuries can also lead to more damage.
The unstable joint can also lead to meniscus damage. The meniscus is a C shaped shock absorbing piece of cartilage which is inside the knee joint.
Arthritis will most likely develop in the joint if your dog has suffered an injury as such. This can be controlled as the dog ages and a good maintenance program will assist in reducing arthritic degeneration within the joint.
Avoiding cruciate injuries.
Key points to assist in avoiding cruciate injuries or help repair cruciate injuries and arthritic changes are:
K9 Swim Hydrotherapy and Wellness Centre stock a large range of supplements that can assist in prevention and recovery of cruciate ligament damage as well as knee braces that add stability to the injured limb. We also offer programs for overweight dogs, conditioning and rehabilitation.
For further information on how Osteopathy and Hydrotherapy may help your dog avoid or recover from CCL injuries contact Sam on 0452 472 959 or K9 SWiM on 1300 787 064.
Like humans, dogs too have 5 essential senses. Understanding these is one of the best ways to understand your pet better. Let’s take a detailed look at these senses- sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.
Dogs also have limited visual capacity when it comes to seeing colours and can see everything around them in shades of grey, yellow and blue. This explains why your dog can’t easily see the ball that’s lying on the lawn, within plain sight. Choose your pet’s toys with care- look for ones that move, light up or glow or even ones that make some noise or have a distinctive smell.
That’s really amazing, isn’t it? Little wonder then that some dog breeds like German Shepherds, Bloodhounds, and Belgian Malinois, are specifically trained to be sniffer dogs and help law enforcement detect the presence of drugs or explosives. Species like the American Pit Bull Terrier, Border Collies, and Beagles are perfect search & rescue dogs. Pet parents should keep this aspect of their dog’s sense in mind and can use fun scent games while training them.
Try driving another car of the same make and model as yours into your driveway, and your dog will know it isn’t your vehicle. The unique structure and shape of their ears are what gives them their acute sense of hearing.
Dogs don’t always eat food for its taste, they will happily chew & swallow things that look even remotely edible. This makes it very important to carefully monitor what your pet puts into his mouths as some things they attempt to swallow can prove to be toxic and fatal too. So, it’s up to us to make sure we don’t feed them these toxic foods such as chocolate, grapes, onions etc
With your dog’s taste senses, herbs are great as they can be added to your dog’s meals giving them many great health benefits and even though the taste is appealing to us humans our dogs are happy to gobble it up. K9 SWiM have herbal products along with natural supplements that you can purchase, and you can contact Sharon who is a qualified Animal Herbalist and Naturopath to discuss what will be best for your dog.
Brushing their fur is another way of showing your affection for your pet.
Learning to massage your dog will not only bond you and your fur baby but will provide great benefits such as general well being, better movement and a healthier and happy dog. Massage improves circulation which improves and supports all systems of the dog’s body and by doing this you will give your dog a better quality of life and longevity. Sharon runs Canine massage workshops. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to find out when they are running.
You can use this information to build a stronger bond with your dog and understand him better.
At K9 SWiM we are very conscious of all your dog’s senses to give them the best care.
Call Us 1300 787 064
Hi I'm Sharon Osmond the owner and founder of K9 Swim. The Splash Blog is where I share tips and information on dog's health and safety and some fun facts and stories.