Caring For Your Dog Canine Medication And First Aid

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Caring For Your Dog Canine Medication And First Aid

by Rebecca Prescott

Many people see their pet dog as an important member of the family, and as with any family member, they want to do everything possible to keep them healthy and happy. There is a huge variety of preventative canine medication available today, to ensure that your dog is at a lower risk from some of the most common illnesses in the canine world.

Dogs are particularly susceptible to a number of internal parasites collectively known as worms. Worm larvae can be ingested, can pass through the skin, or can be passed from mother to puppy during pregnancy or lactation. Common types of worm are heartworm, which occupy the right chamber of the heart and can be fatal, roundworms which cause diarrhea and sickness and can be passed to humans, and hookworms which cause intestinal problems and anemia.

Canine medication for regular 'worming' is recommended to prevent these parasites becoming established. A monthly dose can combine treatment for various types of worm, as well as flea control. Although many of these conditions can be treated after they have become serious, the treatment can be unpleasant or even dangerous for the dog. Regular preventative worming will greatly reduce the risks these parasites pose.

Another common canine condition that can be prevented or lessened by preventative medicine is arthritis. This disease, which causes painful swelling of the joints, can prevent your dog from running, walking and generally enjoying life. It can totally alter a dog's character, making them shy and withdrawn, or sometimes even aggressive.

Regular supplements of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids are one of several ways of preventing the onset of arthritis. Once established, arthritis can be treated with drugs containing glucosamine, which aids the development of healthy cartilage, tendons and ligaments.

When you are considering getting a dog, you should familiarize yourself with the basics of canine first aid. The American Red Cross recommends you keep a basic first aid kit that contains the following: gauze pads to stop bleeding, bandages and cloth to strap fractured limbs, a thermometer, tweezers, antibiotic ointment to dress wounds, a cold pack to reduce swelling or apply to burns, and a rubber tourniquet to stop severe bleeding.

One basic first aid rule is that you should always muzzle your dog and keep them on a comfortable leash if they are in distress. Even the friendliest dog can be a danger to themselves or others when they are in pain or are suffering.

You need to be aware that a dog's normal temperature is between 100 and 102.5 degrees, and check regularly if you think your dog is outside these parameters. You should know that you can warm a hypothermic dog with warm blankets and a hairdryer, and lower the temperature of a dog with heatstroke using cool water.

You should know that baking soda and water, or calamine lotion, relieve the itching of a bite or sting. Above all you should know when the situation is serious enough to call your veterinarian, and you should have their number handy at all times.

There are a lot of medical considerations to take into account when you are looking after a dog. However, the wide range of canine medication available ensures that it is possible for your pet to have a long healthy life, with just a little care and attention.

If you'd like to learn more about first aid for dogs, and other canine health questions, click here.

Rebecca Prescott - EzineArticles Expert Author

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