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The Most Common Knee Injury in Dogs

Most of us have heard of ACL knee injuries from the NFL as many professional football players fall victim to this type of knee injury at some point in their career. A Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) rupture in dogs is just like an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury in humans. In the veterinary orthopedic world, CCL repairs are like spays and neuters. They are considered elective operations and a single clinic veterinary orthopedic clinic may do 3-4 CCL surgeries a day. What causes the most common knee injury in dogs? Several factors leave a dog at risk for a CCL injury.   Breed: CCL disease can affect dogs of all sizes, breeds, and ages. However, certain breeds are known to have an increased chance of a CCL rupture. They are Labrador & Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Rottweilers, Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, Staffordshire Terriers, Mastiffs, and Akitas. Large breed dogs and mixes are more prone to CCL injuries than smaller breeds & mixes are. Ligament Aging: As a dog ages so does his or her body. Decreasing cell density and loss of collagen is a regular part of aging, and over time the ligament weakens leaving the dog susceptible to a CCL rupture. Obesity: Like many other diseases & ailments, Obesity is a common factor when a CCL ruptures. An excessive amount of weight place a strain on the body and can weaken the ligaments over time. Genetics: Labrador Retrievers and Newfoundlands are genetically predisposed to CCL ruptures. But breed genetics is not the only concern. Improper breeding from puppy mills and backyard breeders cause malformation in the stifle joint (knee), tibia, & femur. These malformations place a strain on the...

Pet Dental Health

  Your pet’s bad breath is not just unpleasant; it can be a dangerous health concern. Periodontal disease is severe and can lead to an abscessed tooth, gingivitis, heart disease, kidney disease, and more. Pet dental health is an important part of keeping your pet happy and healthy!     Brush Your Pet’s Teeth Daily Brushing your pet’s teeth once a day can help keep your pet’s mouth clean. Even pets have bacteria in their mouths. After eating, food mixes with saliva and bacteria and forms a film that covers the teeth called plaque. The plaque sits on your pet’s teeth and over time forms tartar. This traps bacteria under your pet’s gum line causing gum disease, inflammation, and infection. A daily teeth brushing removes the plaque keeping your pet’s breath fresh and their gums healthy. Daily brushing is essential! Only brushing their teeth every now and again allows the plaque to turn into tartar which can only be removed by dental scaling which requires anesthesia. Be sure to buy a toothpaste made explicitly for animals as human toothpaste contains fluoride, which can be poisonous to our furry friends. Dental Water Additives To Freshen Breath If brushing your pet’s teeth daily is not your thing, dental water additives are safe, convenient, and plentiful There are many water additives on the market. Placing an additive in your pet’s water kills bacteria and freshen breath in between dental cleanings. Dental water additives are easy to use, just follow the directions and add it to your pet’s water bowl each time your clean and refill. Checking the label on is essential! Artificial colors, flavors, alcohol,...

Pet Insurance Comparison

Pet insurance may seem unnecessary until your pet ends up at the vet for a broken leg or has been diagnosed with a chronic illness like kidney disease. Pet insurance reimburses you for part of the medical expenses accrued when your furry friend is sick or injured. Not all pet insurance is created equal. Some policies cover treatment only for emergencies such your pet getting hit by a car, accidental poisoning, or bowel obstruction, while other plans cover emergencies and chronic illness. Some companies also offer coverage for wellness visits, such as annual vaccinations, prescription diets, and treatment for chronic illnesses. Like human medical insurance, pet insurance plans often include copays, exclusions, payout limits and do have waiting periods before reimbursement is given. Here’s a pet insurance comparison for a few of the leading pet health insurance providers in the United States. Embrace Pet Insurance Offers both an accident-only plan and a comprehensive plan covering both accidents and illnesses. Offers “Wellness Rewards,” which works like a health savings account which can be added to over annual vaccinations, prescription diets, and flea/heartworm medication. Covers pets 14 years and younger. Covers breed-specific conditions, veterinary specialist care, and alternative therapies. Offers additional prescription medication coverage. Annual coverage limits of $5,000 to $15,000, choice of deductibles from $200 to $1,000, and reimbursement levels of 65%, 80% or 90%. Offers a “Healthy Pet Deductible” which drops $50 a year when you do NOT make a claim. Offers a free “ask-a-vet: service which has available online access to a veterinarian 24/7. Trupanion Offers one plan with no payout limits. Choose any deductible between $0 and...
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