Recognizing & Treating Canine Parvovirus

The parvo virus can be critical for your puppy if not treated early on.  The last thing you want is to put your new canine member in danger from the start. That tiny little creature is depending on you for its health and well-being.


Many pet parents have concerns about mandatory vaccinations for their dogs. What is necessary for the life and health of your pet? Vaccinations were not always available. One of the fatal diseases to consider is the parvovirus. This virus started appearing back around 1978, and since then, the cat feline distemper vaccine was developed. Further studies led to the creation of a vaccine for dogs as well. Puppies are very susceptible to the virus if not vaccinated at an early age after being weaned from their mother’s milk. Without treatment, 80% of affected puppies could die. With treatment, 85% of animals will survive.

Parvovirus is caused by a highly contagious virus through dog feces. The virus only contains DNA and RNA and is not capable of reproducing unless it invades a cell within the body where it continually multiplies. As it reproduces in abundance, the cell can burst, release new virus particles into the bloodstream and tissues. Other cells are then invaded. The only protection is the immune system. A microscope is necessary to view this little virus. As with many viral diseases of the intestinal tract, it can be passed on from dog to dog without any visible symptoms.

The incubation period for the virus is average between 4 to 14 days when you may notice clinical signs of vomiting and diarrhea. Diarrhea will be yellow to yellowish gray at first, becoming tinged with blood very quickly.

There is no direct anti-viral medication to treat Parvovirus. In treating the affected puppy, it is important to keep it hydrated, making sure the electrolytes are balanced. Intravenous fluids may be administered along with certain spectrum antibiotics and/or antiemetic drugs. Your veterinarian will know the proper treatment, medications, and hydration. Hospitalization may be required. If your puppy survives the first four days of treatment, it is very likely he/she will survive the parvovirus infection.

Prevention is the best treatment you can give your puppy. New puppies get the antibodies they need from the colostrum of their mother’s milk. Once they are weaned, they rely on you to protect them from all dangers. According to your doctors’ recommendations, a vaccination regimen will be prescribed for your puppy beginning around the age of six weeks old. Those treatments will include warding off the possible deadly disease of parvovirus. Don’t put your puppy in jeopardy. His/her life is now dependent upon you, your total love, dedication, and proper care. The rewards will be endless as you have saved the life of your loving little puppy and new family member.


Adopting a Senior Chihuahua Can Save a Life

If you are looking to adopt another Chihuahua, don’t forget such places as the Chihuahua rescue organizations. Many of those orphaned dogs are seniors who are very deserving of love and a home.  Many homeless pets in shelters are just hoping and waiting for the right family to come along. Of course, before you go to adopt a new pet, you have some major decisions to make. What age dog, what size, do you want a very laid back dog that is good with children, an active dog, or one that just lies aroundchichi_chihuahua-senior-dog-by-tazer and cuddles?

When it comes to age, most people opt for the adorable little puppies and young dogs. That is great as they sure do need a loving home and companionship. You, unfortunately, pass by the senior dogs. Most people feel the older dog is not “worth the money” because the animal’s lifespan is shorter. But there can be many benefits to a more mature dog. They deserve to find loving homes too, don’t you think? Don’t they deserve a high-quality life for their remaining years?

There can be many reasons an older dog(s) can end up in a shelter. Maybe there the previous owner has passed on, and there is no one else to take the dog which is sorrowful. The former family has lost their job, home or is moving to a new home not allowing a dog. Maybe there is an illness or a divorce in the household, and the dog is given up either because of the expense of caring for it or “it is in the way” and given up. There are many unfortunate situations where the family pet is given up which I am sure in most cases is tough.

Adopting a senior pet has its perks. The dog is already housebroken and in the majority of the cases a very loving companion with a predictable temperament. These dogs that were used to a family situation before getting displaced are perfect for a new family that wants a dog to love and be loved. A senior dog could be the perfect companion for a senior citizen. No need to go through housebreaking the new buddy and the exercise and activity levels of these dogs are lower than that of a younger dog.

There are other benefits to adopting an older dog beside the housebreaking issues such as no problems with teething; older dogs are more focused and mellow. They comprehend what “no” really means, they can quickly settle into their new environment, loaded with lots of love as your new adoptee is so grateful for the second chance you have given it.  As a senior pet, they do not make as many demands on you as a puppy would.  They are accustomed to personal schedules and sleep well at night. The senior dog makes an excellent companion.

If you are looking to add a new member to your family, give great consideration to saving the life of a senior aging dog. Your love and companionship will be so greatly appreciated and returned unconditionally.


Tips to Remember in Caring for your dog

399px-cavalier-king-charlesAs a dog owner, there is always much more to learn about caring properly for your pet. For most, a dog is a member of the family and spoiled rotten; and so they should be.  At least, spoil your pup within reason; no individual settings at the dinner table or anything that could cause harm.

These are just some friendly reminders for the avid responsible dog owner; questions or concerns you may have.  First off, water is a number one necessity for dogs.  All dogs should drink between 20 and 40 ml of water per pound of dog weight each day.  In layman’s terms, that is 3 to 4 cups of water for a 20-pound dog.  Dogs fed a canned food may require less than those strictly on dry food since the canned varieties contain a high percentage of water. So, the next question may be – can a dog drink too much water?  The response here is that, if your dog regularly drinks a lot, it is no problem.  If your dog suddenly starts drinking much more than usual, it may be a sign of illness such as diabetes or kidney disease.

Another concern of most pet parents is dog obesity.  As many as 25 to 40 percents of household pets are obese, which is extremely unhealthy for your pet.  Among many other problems, obesity on a dog causes a lot of strain on that tiny little heart. If your dog’s abdomen protrudes from the sides or has fatty areas on the sides of the tail or hips, your pup may need to shed some pounds. Obese dogs seem to waddle when they walk as well.  Your dog may appear to be a happy dog, but he or she does not know what is best.  Besides heart difficulties, obesity can lead to depression, joint pain, and other complications.

Obesity occurs from too much food and not enough exercise for your pet. Consult your doctor or pet store staff member for low-calorie dog food choices comprised of natural ingredients.  Along with a diet change and decrease in food, it is necessary to increase the exercise regimen according to the breed of dog and its age.  Training can include play time such as tossing around a ball, Frisbee or favorite toy for a game of fetch along with daily walks.

Even while providing a healthy diet for your dog, it does not mean you cannot spoil him or her with an occasional treat. There are healthy alternatives for treating your dog such as fresh baby carrots, tiny piece of fresh fruits or other vegetables along with providing low-fat dog snacks. Treating your dog has nothing to do with quantity so half a treat will bring a lot of joy to your pet. It is all in the thought and quality time together.

Responsible pet owners want to do the best for their pets, and that means you.  Spoil your dog and provide all its necessities as long as you have its health and best interest at heart.

Taking Precautions At Thanksgiving for the Safety of Your Dog

2997140030_08ced27296Where would you be without the unconditional love, loyalty and devotion of your dog. When it comes to the holidays, celebration would not be complete without showing your pet how much you appreciate every wag of the tail and sloppy wet kiss of affection. In showing your pet your appreciation at this special time of year, it is important to consider the pros and cons of the holiday when it comes to your dog’s safety.

Thanksgiving is such a busy, hectic holiday, with lots of foods, drinks and goodies. Your dog may love all the extra company and attention, but it may soon become too stressful for your pet. Most animals survive on a regular routine, and Thanksgiving is anything but routine. Along with the hectic schedule, there is a lot of tempting food sitting around, very appealing to the pooch sniffer. Showing your love to your dog does not mean you set a place at the table; on the contrary, that can cause your pet more harm than good. Also take precautions by not allowing any foods, including the infamous turkey from being accessible to an inquisitive, hungry pooch.

Thanksgiving consists of lots of fatty greasy items that disagrees with your dog’s system, especially the scrumptious turkey skin. Eating such foods can cause pancreatitis, vomiting and diarrhea. The last thing you want is to end up at the veterinarian’s office, while all your guests are living it up at home with the festivities.

When it comes to the holiday, try to keep your pet on its normal routine as much as possible. Try a little fun time such as a walk, jog or tossing a ball around before the festivities and at day’s end to work off some of the extra foods enjoyed at the Thanksgiving table. Avoid giving treats of the holidays to your dog and also inform your guest to do the same. A teeny bit of lean turkey added to your dog’s dinner will not hurt but keep it to a minimum. If you have a dog that gets easily stressed, preparing a dog-safe room with bed, blankets, toys and water away from the festivities, hustle and bustle may be an option for the pet’s safety.

As a little reminder, ensure that your trash is completely sealed off so that your pet cannot access it and rummage for “goodies.” There are a lot of dangers that lurk within that garbage, including turkey bones, butter, fat, string for tying up the turkey and more. It all takes a little effort to ward off the dangers of the holidays when it comes to showing your appreciation for all the family, together with your canine. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Save the Animals from Abuse and Cruelty

Please feed me and love me!!!!!!!!!

Please feed me and love me!!!!!!!!!

I am looking for help in support from all my animal lovers as I work as an advocate for the welfare of animals.  As a contributor on, I generate petitions to higher officials in order to bring awareness and hopefully make changes that can help these poor defenseless animals and I beg you to please join me in these efforts.  It cost nothing but a loving heart and desire to help.  You don’t even have to allow your name to be known by clicking appropriate box – sign and share the petition to everyone you can through your social networks, emails, etc.  Those without a voice are totally grateful for your complete help and support in protecting them.  My current petitions are –





Thank you so much for all you do to help the sweet loving creatures of our world.





Dogs Fear Fireworks which Also Carry Risks

Dogs do not appreciate the beauty and noise of fireworks

Dogs do not appreciate the beauty and noise of fireworks

Fireworks are a beautiful and festive display in celebration of a holiday or special event. Humans can love and appreciate what they represent, the lights and colors, but to dogs the noise is more than they can bear. If your pet is unbearably fearful of fireworks or becomes in contact with them, it could be a real concern requiring medical attention.

As the fireworks fill the skies with brilliance, it is easy to forget about your dog as it trembles and looks for a safe hiding place. Such loud noises and brightness can easily frighten the most calm and reserved pet. If the pet is near where the fireworks are lit, he/she can get hurt with burns and other injury from the remnants of hot ash. The dog’s feet and nose can be hurt as a result. The pets become curious about the ash and sometimes used fireworks, not only getting burned but ingesting them, especially when it comes to sparklers.

Fireworks can be lethal for your animal because they contain such agents as potassium nitrate and metals like mercury, antimony, copper, barium, strontium and phosphorus. Ingestion of these components can result in severe illness. In addition to ingestion of dangerous toxins in the fireworks, sometimes the object can fly to inappropriate areas, subjecting the dog to being hit, causing burns and trauma.

If your pet is exposed to fireworks physically or through ingestion, get immediate medical attention. Your vet will have to perform a physical exam along with a medical history to determine what may have occurred. In the event of possible ingestion, a blood work up would be performed to know for sure what organs may be affected and how to treat. Symptoms of illness from fireworks may be vomiting, difficulty breathing, burns in the mouth or on the skin, abdominal pain and any soft tissue injury.

Burns are treated by cleaning the area and use of antibiotics. Ingestion is more aggressive in treatment, sometimes requiring IV fluids and hospitalization. Medications such as sucralfate, famotidine orcimetidine are administered to protect the gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes an anti-vomiting treatment is necessary. Prognosis is usually good unless your pet ate a huge amount of fireworks.

When going to a fireworks display, have your pet securely leashed; or better yet, leave your pet at home away from the festivities. If you must bring him/her, provide a quiet safe haven away from the immediate display area. Dogs that are fearful of fireworks should not be subjected to them if at all possible.

When at home, you can protect your pet the best by keeping it indoors, turning on other noises such as radio, TV, air conditioner or fan and always give access to a comfortable hiding place. In severe cases of anxiety, you may need vet assistance for anti-anxiety medications and a behaviorist to learn some counter-conditioning exercises or forms of desensitization.

If your dog is a little freaked out by the noise, don’t try to reassure it by petting and soothing words and attention. This only reinforces the fearful behavior. Try to ignore the circumstances and show no reaction to the noise. Dogs feed off the moods and emotions of their humans; you respond to the fear, the dog is scared; you act calm, your dog will eventually respond accordingly. You can help a little by talking to your pet in a light, happy tone of voice that sends a message that the fireworks are no big deal.

The many “firsts” of a new puppy

Rosie in one of her FIRST baths

Rosie in one of her FIRST baths

Rosie at her first vet visit

Rosie at her first vet visit

How exciting it is when you get a new puppy.  Along with the excitement comes great responsibility in caring for that new life; your new canine family member.  Whenever you add a new member to your home, it is necessary to know the care needed which includes great medical care at a Rockford-area veterinarian as listed below or another vet closest to your home.

Just as it is with a new bay, there is also many “firsts” in the lives of a puppy.  These little guys grow up so fast, giving you such little time to enjoy all their antics, fun and the joy they provide.  As they develop, you can also experience the joys of their first experience such as their first teeth.  A puppy seems to come out teething on anything and everything it can get a hold of.  To get your pup through the teething process, provide it with appropriate chew toys.  When it nibbles on something inappropriate, gradually introduce something more suitable to meet the teething needs.  In many cases, freezing toys or providing ice is a satisfying chew toy to numb the puppy’s gums that provides temporary relief from pain while satisfying its teething needs.

If the puppy continues to bite on your fingers, toes or other body parts discourage the behavior by yelping loudly to let it know the biting hurt you and is not permitted.  Stop playing and ignore your puppy for several minutes.  The puppy will realize that playtime should not include hurtful biting or there will be no playing and puppy certainly does not want that. Then replace the biting with a permissible chew toy to play with.

An impressive first for your puppy is learning its first command.  Puppies have short attention spans and learning a command is a great accomplishment.  Some of the most important behaviors to teach besides sit and down include come and stay; important first for the safety of any puppy.  If puppy gets away from you, you need to know it will return when you command it to come.  Puppies are very intelligent and eager to learn but require a lot of patience on your part.  So why not first teach your puppy the commands necessary for its safety.

To give your puppy a good start in life, you want to be sure to choose the best first food.  Most often, it is best to provide the same food it was fed prior to coming into your life.  If you want to choose a better, healthier food such as Eukanuba puppy or any other all-natural puppy foods for your baby, do so gradually.  You don’t want to put your puppy’s system in shock.

Puppies add a lot of joy to your life and you should cherish every moment and every first. All you do will help your baby to grow up strong, healthy, loving and happy.


Getting to Know Rosie


Rosie just prior to coming home

Rosie just prior to coming home

We recently added a new member to our little Chihuahua family and it has been quite the transition.  First, she was not a welcome guest to a couple of family members although most were very supportive and happy for us.  Being two older adults with an “empty nest” our little dogs are now our whole lives.  However, the decision to add Rosie to our little nest has become more than we bargained for.  As most of us know, puppies require a lot of time and patience which we lose in due time  as we “mature” in age.

Rosie is a little long-haired Chihuahua that we brought into the home at seven weeks of age.  She was born on March 24th and she tries so much to fit in, but her older brother and sister are not always accepting of her.  After all, she is a flighty, very active puppy that does not always go over well with them.  Her activity level is more than they can stand at times.  Although they all get along at times, on their terms of course, fights do break out when they feel they have had enough!

Their is much potential for this little girl because she is very intelligent.  What puppy at seven to eight weeks old would continually use her potty box or ring the bell to go outside to do her business.  Yes, she has had an accident here and there but for the most part has the capability to be trained as a respectable member of our family.  Anyhow who meets her compliment her on her beauty, love her personality and appreciate how smart she is – our little Rosie.  There is still a long road ahead for this little girl.  We have high hopes for more harmony among her and her siblings as she grows out of that constant playful, puppy stage that seems to irritate their regular routine of naps and toys!

Teena and Rosie at playtime

Teena and Rosie at playtime

 Rosie trying to convince Georgie it is time to play

Rosie trying to convince Georgie it is time to play

Easter bunnies and dog hazards

Waiting for my Easter treats, please!!

Waiting for my Easter treats, please!!

Warmer weather and all signs of spring are fast approaching with the onset of the glorious Easter season. Thoughts soon sway to spring cleaning, home improvements and Easter celebrations, which can become hazardous for your furry canine.  As you get wrapped up in your Easter egg hunts and baskets of goodies, remember to take precautions for a pet-safe holiday.  The friendly staff at your local Rockford-area Petsmart or Petco as listed below or one closest to your home can help you provide some fun and pet-safe Easter gift ideas for your dog or cat.


Having a fun and safe holiday is just a matter of being mindful about the hazards that can affect your dog or any other pet in the home.  Some of the most common things to consider are –


  • Easter Lilies and other flowers that are beautiful and can symbolize spring, purity, hope and life, a symbol of the season.  They can also be very aromatic as well.  Unfortunately, inquisitive pets may find these plants inviting as they nibble on the toxic leaves and flowers.  Such curiosity may cause illness while it can be fatal for some pets.  It is best to place these plants away from the bored dog or curious cat.
  • Be extremely cautious when it comes to a child’s Easter basket.  Not only does it contain goodies like candy, especially chocolate that is very toxic to pets, the grass, plastics, foils and other materials in that basket can lure a pet to examine and possibly consume these items.  Chocolate candy can be fatal to pets as well as small hard candies that could lead to choking, not to mention causing illness in your pet.  Such things like the Easter grass, if ingested, could actually cause a blockage or perforation within the intestines and require surgical intervention.  During the celebration, it is best to monitor the kids with their baskets while preventing your pets from accessing anything therein that could put a real damper on your holidays along with pain or worse for your pet.

Holidays should be fun and festive for all.  It is Okay to put bunny ears on your pets, take pictures, buy the dog or cat their own “Easter” gifts and treats but be sure to prevent any exposure to the kids goodies, and other items that bring you pleasure.  Decorate the home with bunnies and flowers, enjoy the holiday meal and plan the egg-hunt as long as you keep your pet’s safety in mind.  Your dog is a member of the family and should be included in all festivities as long as the environment is pet-proofed and fun for all concerned.

Be grateful for your pet by avoiding those pleading eyes

There is always something special about the holidays and makes most people feel very giving and grateful for those in their lives.  As you gather around the festive holiday table, its all about sharing your love, conversation and appreciation of one another.  When it comes to your pets, though, less is more.

You may feel that you are leaving your pet out by not offering a piece of the turkey but in reality, you are protecting your precious pet.  You must remember that people foods are not a treat for your dog or cat.  Many of the foods we enjoy can be harmful for your pet.  If you want to include your four-legged family member in the festivities, keep special healthy pet treats nearby so that your dog or cat can be satisfied with a hand-out.  He doesn’t know that it is not what you are eating – he just knows he is included and is satisfied not to be ignored.

The last thing you need is to have the holidays disrupted because the pup or kitty ate something that caused grave illness.  Keep all inappropriate foods out of reach and be sure all guests understand they are not to slip a treat to the pet – unless it is the pet-approved treats.

The holidays are a time to reflect on the good things in life with your family, friends and pets.  Appreciate, love and bond with all those who mean the most to you.  Have a happy, healthy and prosperous holiday season.

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