"Hiya Buddy! How's my pup?" you say, As if you expect an answer like: Well my two legged leader and pal; not to bad except I have an earache that makes me want to cry and bite someone who touches it; my joints are a bit stiff making me quite irritable and inclined to do things you might not like to alleviate the anxiety, along with some diarrhea, and these squiggly things that make me scoot on my butt. But my tooth is really making me crazy, along with my skin feeling like it is crawling so all I want to do is itch, and see how I am shedding, gnawing, and how dull my coat is? But you'll understand if the carpet is stained and I'm grumpy, withdrawn, or aggressive right? Oh not a training session now! don't be angry, don't hurt me. Lemme go outside I really gotta pee also!
Too bad they can't tell us when they hurt or need medical attention. Well since it is highly unlikely you will ever hear a response from your pet like that; (if you do; you certainly need a different kind of help than we can give you!) so it would be a good idea to learn how to read your dog and be a bit intuitive.
One definition of wisdom is to know what you know, and be aware of what you don't know. Our area of expertise is canine behavior modification, dog psychology, and training. We do not profess to be Veterinarians and have their education and expertise in pathology, diagnosis, anatomy, and the bevy of knowledge they possess in their numerous areas of study. Luckily for us, some of our colleagues in the Veterinary profession also realize that the amount of education they received in school pertaining to nutrition perhaps, and training techniques was not very in depth. This is why we enjoy and appreciate working with your Veterinarian on behalf of the best interests of your "canine kid", and our student. Also this is why we consider it to be a prerequisite in our puppy program to get a thorough Veterinary examination.
That being said it should also be understood, if not already obvious, that if your dog has health problems, they could well be related to the dog's behavior, and receptivity to training. In the opening paragraph what the dog might hypothetically say, relates to some of the most common health issues to discern, detect, treat and prevent.
Firstly: "You are what you eat", so it is important to consider diet as one of the main preventative measures and ways of maintaining and even treating some health problems. (see nutrition section).
Secondly: In general any change in the behavioral pattern, i.e.. activity level, desire for social interaction, excessive sleeping, vomiting, diarrhea, whining, loss of appetite, excessive weight gain or loss, dullness of coat and or eyes, increased aggression, suspicion, shyness, are all indicators that something minor or heaven forbid, major is wrong with the dog. Particularly in the case of loss of appetite and diarrhea the dog should be watched closely as this could be indicative of parvo or other potentially lethal viruses.
The resultant dehydration that could require veterinary attention very quickly to avert the worst. It is not entirely uncommon for a dog to go off feed one day occasionally and to eat grass to vomit but beyond that be aware and be cautious! Some things can be treated by home remedies and diet and herbs, (a book in it), while acute conditions I believe require a more clinical approach.
Article submitted by: © JoAnn Bluth