Orthopedic Problems in Dogs – Arthritis

Dogs and Arthritis pic

Dogs and Arthritis
Image: springbrookanimalcarecenter.com

A veterinarian with a special interest in orthopedic care, Dr. Todd L. Prince treats a variety of small animals as a staff member with Springbrook Animal Care Center and several other Illinois practices. Dr. Todd Prince is one of the few veterinarians in Illinois to attain diplomate status with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.

Like humans, dogs are susceptible to many orthopedic problems, especially as they enter their senior years. One particularly common issue in both humans and their canine friends is arthritis, a disease defined by inflammation and degeneration of joint tissues.

The larger the dog, the more pressure it places on its joints when running or playing. Over time, that pressure causes wear and tear, raising the risk of arthritis. Signs of the disease in dogs include motion problems like difficulties using stairs or reluctance to walk on one or more legs.

Dog owners can reduce the risk of arthritis in their animal companions by ensuring they maintain healthy weights and are getting the right balance of nutrients and omega-3 fats. With the aid of veterinarians like Todd Prince, DVM, owners of dogs with arthritis can also help their pets get relief through drug therapies and even surgical care.

Springbrook Animal Care Center Treats Canine Flu and More

 

Springbrook Animal Care Center pic

Springbrook Animal Care Center
Image: springbrookanimalcarecenter.com

A graduate of the University of Illinois, Dr. Todd L. Prince maintains board certification in small animal practice. Drawing on his training and experience, Todd Prince, DVM, treats outbreaks of canine flu and educates pet owners on general care at a range of clinics, including Springbrook Animal Care Center in Naperville, Illinois.

Springbrook Animal Care Center provides a variety of care options, including onsite surgical services and even boarding and pet daycare opportunities. To set it apart from other veterinary facilities, the center offers non-appointment services for pet owners who need to bring pets in during hospital hours to see the next available veterinarian.

In April 2016, the center announced a canine flu outbreak from the H3N2 strain in the Chicago area. Unvaccinated dogs have an 80 percent chance of becoming ill when exposed to the canine influenza virus (CIV). The particular strain involved originated from an avian strain of flu that first appeared in Chicago in 2015. Symptoms of the H3N2 strain are similar to human flu symptoms, and canines suffer from fatigue and loss of appetite. Senior dogs and those with pre-existing health conditions can develop pneumonia. To combat the disease, Springbrook urges dog owners to vaccinate their pets against this strain.

Peripheral Neuropathies in Dogs

Peripheral Neuropathies pic

Peripheral Neuropathies
Image: petmd.com

Todd Prince, DVM, a board-certified small animal veterinarian, serves on the staff of several veterinary practices in and around Naperville, Illinois. Dr. Todd L. Prince draws on extensive experience in the treatment of canine neurological disorders, such as peripheral neuropathies.

As its name indicates, a peripheral neuropathy affects the nerves outside of the central nervous system. These nerves are responsible for a variety of functions, including coordinated movement as well as automatic physical function. Interruption of these functions may occur if there is a degeneration of the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve or if the nerve fibers themselves begin to disintegrate.

Because the peripheral nerves serve so many purposes, their degeneration causes a wide variety of symptom sets and stems from a range of disorders. Common causes include breed-specific congenital conditions, parasitic infections, and environmental toxins. Symptoms range from weakness in the limbs to spatial disorientation and typically develop gradually, which in turn means that owners often do not notice a problem until it is significantly advanced.

Veterinary medicine currently has no available cure for peripheral neuropathy. The disease causes continued degeneration once identified, though palliative treatments targeted at specific symptoms can increase a dog’s quality of life and mitigate discomfort.

Pets’ Readiness for a Dog Park Environment

Dr. Todd Prince has practiced as a veterinarian for 25 years. In his practice, Dr. Todd Prince has worked with dog owners to address a variety of issues, including training and exercise.

Dogs enjoy regular exercise and typically enjoy interaction with other animals. One of the best places for many dogs to burn off energy and socialize is at a dog park. However, not all dogs are prepared for a dog park environment. Before taking a dog to the park and letting it off the leash, an owner should first make sure that the dog is properly trained and is able to get along with other dogs.

Training should involve teaching the dog to follow basic commands. If the dog is unable to do this, getting control over the dog in a dog park environment will be difficult. The dog also should get used to being around other animals in more controlled conditions than a dog park.

Further, the owner should look for behavioral issues, such as aggressiveness. In many cases, training can help alleviate potential problems. Once the dog has received the necessary training, it will likely be ready for the dog park. Of course, the owner should keep a close watch on the dog and remove the dog immediately should problems arise.

Tips for Keeping Dogs’ Teeth Clean

Board-certified veterinarian Dr. Todd Prince cares for small animals at several veterinary care centers in and around Naperville, Illinois. Dr. Todd Prince focuses much of his attention on preventative care and promoting overall pet wellness, which includes proper care of the teeth.

Approximately 78 percent of dogs over 3 years old suffer from dental disease, while 85 percent of dogs above age 4 have a form of periodontal disease. These conditions can cause discomfort and ultimate tooth loss, as well as systemic medical issues when the infection enters the blood stream. Fortunately, dog owners can help to prevent these conditions through the simple practice of good canine dental hygiene.

Veterinarians often recommend that owners begin this practice with a visit to the veterinarian, who can perform a comprehensive diagnostic examination and remove existing tartar. This brings the dog to a healthy baseline and makes it more comfortable for the owner to begin a brushing regimen. Experts suggest that owners begin with a lip massage of up to one minute, either daily or twice daily for a few weeks. Once the dog is used to this kind of contact, the owner can try massaging the teeth and gums.

Canine toothbrushes and toothpastes are available commercially. Brushes are smaller and softer than human toothbrushes and may fit over the finger, though the owner may choose to use a piece of clean gauze instead. Similarly, a baking soda and water concoction can safely take the place of canine toothpaste. Dental-friendly treats, identifiable with the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal, can also help to keep dogs’ teeth clean between brushings.

Microchipping a Pet

Dr. Todd Prince has practiced as a veterinarian for 25 years. During that time, Dr. Todd Prince has advised pet owners on a number of important pet-health topics, including the decision to microchip a pet.

Many pet owners worry about what might happen if a pet escapes an enclosure or slips out the door of the house. For instance, the pet could get injured, or the owner might not be able to find the pet again. However, getting a pet microchipped can help prevent this problem, as people can locate the pet through the use of the microchip and its associated database.

In addition to helping reunite pet owners with their pets, microchips are easy to implant. A veterinarian can do the procedure in the office, and the pet can be awake during the procedure. It feels about the same to a pet as getting a shot, so there’s no need for general anesthesia.

The person implanting the chip will use a syringe device and needle to place the chip under the pet’s skin, often in the area of the neck or shoulder blades. Once inserted, the chip will remain in place and serve as an important locating tool, giving the pet owner additional peace of mind.