Pain Assessment in Dogs and Cats

Pain We all recognize pain when we feel it, but pain can be difficult to define because it is complex and subjective.  Sometimes pain is sharp, and at other times it is a dull ache.  For this reason, and because animals are experts at hiding their pain, pain can be…

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FUNctional Fitness: Figure Eight

Benefits of figure eights include weight shifting, proprioception, core strength, balance, and coordination.  I prescribe this exercise often because it is useful for the injured dog that is in the process of recovery, as well as the healthy dog to strengthen the core and prevent injury.  Also, figure eights are…

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Exercise Guidelines for Puppies

Puppies tend to fill their days with activity and play in between times of rest and sleep.  Because of this, many owners think that you can’t exercise them too much and that it is OK to exercise a puppy to the point that he tires out and no longer wants…

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Functional Exercise for Dogs: An Intro

This is the first in a series of posts about functional exercise. I am inspired by The Martial Arfs blog series about conditioning principles. When I evaluate an exercise, I tend to think about it from a functional standpoint and answer these three questions: what is the muscle’s action? what…

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Treatment Options for Dogs with Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common conditions affecting dogs.  An estimated 20% of dogs over one year of age are arthritic, and that number rises as your dog ages.  The most common causes are either joint instability or wear-and-tear on the joints as they age.  There are several…

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Bracing for Carpal Injury in Dogs

The carpus, the joint on the front limb that is the equivalent to the wrist, is a complex joint that is susceptible to ligament injury, or sprain.  These injuries often cause instability in the joint.  Management of injury often includes rest and sometimes bandaging.  If the dog does not respond…

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Senior Dog Wellness

September is Senior Dog Wellness month! Older dogs tend to be affected by chronic conditions, such as arthritis, decreased mobility, and sometimes memory loss.  There are a lot of things you can do to help improve the quality of life of your older dog.   We all need to keep…

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Dogs With DM May Help People With ALS

Lately, we’ve all been seeing the ice bucket challenge on social media to raise awareness about ALS in people.  I thought I would use this blog post as a way to raise awareness about a similar condition in dogs: Degenerative Myelopathy (DM).  And no, I’m not going to dump a…

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Dog Gaits: Trot vs. Pace

Take a few steps and swing your arms as you would naturally.  This is what your dog does when trotting. Now change your arm swing so that your left arm comes forward when your left leg comes forward, and your right arm comes forward when your right leg comes forward.…

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