Animal Health Feedback
by Ron Kurtus
Readers have sent in a total of 364 comments and questions on Animal Health issues. They are listed according to date.
You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.
What is the life expectancy for most dogs?
September 4, 2009
What is the life expectancy for most dogs. We have a Dalmation and he is starting to have a lot of health problems. He is 13 dog yrs old.
He is a wonderful dog and we love him so much.
cheryl - USA (18255)
See "Comparison of Animal Ages" at
It will show you age versus weight of your dog. Heavy or large dogs don't live as long as smaller dogs.
I would guess your 13-year old Dalmatian is equivalent to a human in his mid 70s.
Dog fell out of truck and broke her teeth
August 24, 2009
So went camping and our 100lbs. 3year old dog fell out of a truck and busted out her bottom front teeth and it looks like she chipped two of her top teeth and nerve is showing where her teeth should be is all swollen and likes like there could be a fragment of one still in there what will the vet have to do? and what can we do for her?
keisha - USA (18194)
I am sorry to hear about your dog's accident. Definitely bring her to the vet. You don't want her to get an infection or have other problems with her broken teeth.
You could give her aspirin with her food to ease the pain and reduce the swelling.
Best wishes on getting her teeth fixed up.
Dog had a stroke and has been taking aspirin
August 24, 2009
Our Keeshond had a stroke and a couple of seizures about 3 years ago. She was put on phenobarbitol (is also on levothyroxine) and a baby aspirin per day. Now the vet says recent info suggests the baby aspirin may not be necessary. The baby aspirin never seemed to upset her stomach or cause any problems. We don't know whether to continue to give her the aspirin. The vet did not give any definitive answer.
Alice - USA (18197)
Aspirin is often recommended for humans to prevent heart attacks or strokes, so the vet probably prescribed it for your dog for the same reason. But after three years, the state of your dog's health seems much better, so it may not be necessary to continue the aspirin.
On the other hand, if you fee comfortable with continuing the aspirin and there seem to be no problems, you probably could do that. Let your vet know, if that is the route you wish to take.
Best wishes on your Keeshond's good health.
Decided to go to a vet for pain relief for my dog
August 19, 2009
After reading you advice about giving aspirin and looking at several other sites I have decided not to take a chance with my dog's future and will be going to my vet for a prescribed dose of anti-inflam drugs and pain killers. At least for the first time.
marion - France (18165)
Your vet should be able to diagnose the source of your dog's pain and prescribe the best medicine. If your dog requires long-term medication, be sure to ask about side effects. Some pain killers are hard on a dog's kidneys. Aspirin is acceptable for a short-term use until you can see a vet.
If your dog is older and suffering from arthritis, mild exercise on a regular basis can help, even though it may be tough for the dog to get started.
Best wishes on good health for your dog.
Thinks dog was bitten by a snake
July 19, 2009
HI, I think that my dog was bit by a rattle snake-or some kind of snake within the last 24 hours. I'm not sure when it happened. I saw him around 10am yesterday morning and was looking for him all night. I didn't see him until this morning around 11 am. I tried to take him to the vet but no one would help and the next vet would be 3 hours away. I gave him 2 iv bag right behind his head in the neck. He seems to be doing better after that. But he still looks like his in pain. I have to carry him outside so he can pee. He weighs around 75lbs. He seems weak still. I've gotten him to eat a little. I was just worried about dehydration. Can you please help me? I think he will be OK if I can just get him something for the pain. If you have any information on this subject PLEASE help!! The bite is located on his arm-shin.
Kendra - USA (18038)
He could have been bitten by a snake or something that has made him sick. But you should be able to see the area where he was bitten. Another possibility is that he ate something poisonous that is making him sick and in pain. A third possibility is that he was in some sort of accident. He could have been grazed by a car and injured internally.
In any case, look him over carefully for signs of swelling and sensitive areas on his body. Try to give him cooked chicken (not fried) mixed with rice. That is mild to digest and should give him strength. Also, encourage him to drink water. That will help flush out possible toxins.
In a serious case like this, it probably is not a good idea to give him aspirin to relieve his pain. It is better to keep him comfortable and give him mild food and water. Then try to get him to a vet as soon as possible.
Concerning a possible snake bite, check out the following websites:
In general, the prognosis is good if he was just bitten on the leg. Note that certain insect bites can be poisonous to a dog.
Best wishes for him, and I hope everything will be OK and that he will recover his health soon.
Vet can't explain whether aspirin is better than rimadyl
June 25, 2009
My dog has been diagnosed with back and hip arthritis. My vet has prescribed rimadyl for him. I do not understand with all the side effects with this drug and blood tests that must be accompanied from the use of them, why this would be any safer than asprin? I am unable to get a reasonable answer as to why I cannot use asprin as opposed to rimadyl. Can you tell me if this is safer than asprin and why? Buffered asprin is certainly cheaper and from what I have read is really not anymore dangerous than rimadyl if given with food. Can you help me with an explanation?
Joann - USA (17947)
Rimadyl is known to be hard on the kidneys, so test are often made to assure the dog can tolerate the medicine. It can also be toxic to some dogs, thus the necessity of tests. On the other hand, rimadyl seems to serve well for pain relief.
The concern with aspirin is that it can cause stomach problems and bleeding if not administered with food. some vets say that these problems can occur, even when given with food. But it also can do a good job to relieve pain.
So, you have a problem with either one, especially if giving it on a regular basis and long term.
My feeling is that unless your dog is crying because of its pain, giving either rimadyl or aspirin should not be necessary. Being stiff and sore is part of getting old--in dogs as well as in humans. Taking your dog on slow walks to allow his joints to warm up can often do wonders. But on a cold, damp day, it might be necessary to give some pain relief medicine.
Thus, I believe in using it sparingly.
Check this with your vet to see if that would be a good course of action. Note that if you vet does not answer your questions or give possible alternatives, you might consider a different vet.
I hope this helps. Best wishes with the health of your dog.
Old English Sheepdog needs help walking
June 22, 2009
i have an Old English Sheepdog, female, 15 yrs, 7+ mos. old. she can not get up , on her own and needs assistance walking. she was dx'd with neuropathy on the backside. most recently, she is starting to have a problem with the front legs too. what happens is that when i am lifting her back end, she starts to splat out with the front legs, making it very hard to get her on her feet! meanwhile, she has extreme difficutly turning. she can no longer just turn around and head in the opposite direction; she must do a big circle! i keep hearing lots about aspirin therapy and need to know if it will be safe for her. she eats well, not as much as 5 yrs ago but still ok. she had to have a cancerous tumor removed about 6 mos. ago. she has food allergies that manifest in ear infections. years ago, she had surgery for her ear probs. she was spayed at about 8 due to female infections and the vet said we should. she had never had puppies although i always entertained the idea and still would love nothing more than to breed dogs. what a dream! anyway, considering her age, i would say she is healthy. a little hard of hearing for a couple yrs now. still, mind is completely clear and she is the boss of my 10 yr old female pit bull and 2 yr old male cairn terrier. please advise if aspirin therapy should be tried. thanks in advance.
maureen - USA (17935)
The average life expectancy of an Old English Sheepdog is only 10 to 12 years, so you are lucky to have such an old girl. But with being that age, she will be having more and more problems as body parts wear out. But I am sure you still want to keep her healthy and happy for as long as possible.
Having problems with the muscles and joints in the legs is not uncommon in older, large dogs. The legs just seem to give out at times, especially when turning.
Aspirin can be used for pain relief and to reduce inflammation, but it will not solve the existing problem. Some say that acupuncture can help, but I can't vouch for that.
I have seen slings to assist an old or injured dog in walking.
The best thing is to consult with your vet as to ways to keep her quality of life as good as possible.
Best wishes on enjoying your dog and helping her get around.
Dog won't step down on back leg
June 19, 2009
My dog won't step down on his back leg as if it was hurting her. Nothing seems to be in his pad but you can tell that between the toes it is bothersome to him, range of motion doesn't irritate him.
B - USA (17927)
Something could have irritated the pad or in between his toes. But also, he could have sprained his leg a little.
It doesn't seem serious, so the best thing is to let it go and he should be back to normal in a day or two. But if it doesn't get better in several days, you might have to have him checked by a vet.
I hope he'll be back to normal soon.
Dog cries when he moves around his head
June 14, 2009
My dog got hurt last night wrestling with his playmate in the yard. I heard him cry at the time and is currently crying whenever he picks up and moves around his head. His legs exhibit full range of motion and based on his gait and posture and have concluded it is something limited to his shoulders/neck area. I'm giving him asprin in the recommended dosage for his weight, but is this something that I should wait for recovery at home? He'd torn his ligaments when he was a puppy and never cried out, hearing him whimper when he starts to move has me concerned that it may be something more serious that could be exaserbated by my wait and see approach.
Any advice would be appreciated
Jenn - USA (17908)
If he hasn't recovered in a few days, it may be a good idea to bring him to the vet for an exam. Although the aspirin can reduce inflammation, it may be better not to give him more aspirin, so that he will more aware of the injury and not aggravate it.
I hope it is not serious and everything is OK with your dog and that he will have a speedy recovery.
Dog broke his tail
May 19, 2009
hello my name is alicia and my dogs name is chico i dont have the money to take my dog to the vet right now and i was wondering what you think i should do because i think chico has a dislocated tail or it may be broken...do you think it will heal at home and what can i do to help him be comfortable as possible at home i know i can give him buffered asprin which im going to get some shortly but i was wondering if i should splint it. thank you school for champions...chico will appreciate any answer you give me to help him..
thank you ,
alicia and chico
alicia - USA (17767)
I'm sorry to hear that Chico hurt his tail. If he really yelps when you touch the tail, then it is probably broken or dislocated. But if it is just painful, it may be a minor injury. Can he wag his tail? That would be a good sign.
It is a good idea not to let him run around, because he could aggravate his injury. A splint might help, but also it might cause more problems.
The injured tail will probably heal itself, as long as he doesn't get excited and re-injure it. Even if it is broken and heals crooked, it doesn't affect Chico's life too much.
Only use aspirin if he is crying and in pain. And always give it with food.
I hope Chico's injury isn't serious and that his tail will heal soon. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Are there benefits in giving dog Triple Flex?
April 1, 2009
My dog is a yellow lab. He's approx. 12yrs. old.He has noticable problems with his hips and legs; I assume it is arthritis or displacement due to age. He weighs approx.65-70lbs. Along with one aspirin every 12 hours is there any benefit to giving him Triple Flex? It contains Glucosamine 1500mg*; Methylsulfonylmethane(MSM)750mg*; Lubravite Proprietary blend 500mg containing Willow bark extract(Salix alba)* and Gingerroot extract(Zingiber officinale*
*Daily value not established.
Addult dose is 2 per day.
What would be the safest dose for him. I usually administer one tablet per day. I havent tried aspirin yet.
Melissa - USA (17540)
You should only give your dog aspirin at times when he is in extra discomfort, like on a cold damp day. Aspirin shouldn't be given on a regular basis, since it can cause stomach problems. Rymadyl is better if your dog needs pain relief every day.
Glucosamine and chondroitin can help some dogs, while it does nothing for others. It might be worth a try. You can get it from a pet food store, with the proper amount for a dog.
For good information on the supplements see:
Syn-Flex is a popular product that can be bought online:
Best wishes on your dog's health and comfort.
14-year-old dog knocked down and injured
March 30, 2009
Have a 14 year old Akita Shepard mix. Has had some arthritis in hips. Some difficulty standing or sitting. Was knocked down by other dogs on tile floor 2 days ago. Was whining in the middle of the night, does not want to move around today. Gave her a 320 mg aspirin this morning. Laying around this afternoon. Just gave her 2 320mg aspirins at 5pm. Should we continue with 2 aspirins? She weights about 75 lbs. She's pretty tough. No medical issues.
Harold and Debi - USA (17531)
A 14-year old Akita is like a human in her late 80s. Getting knocked down like that may have just bruised a muscle, but it also could have caused a more serious problem with her hip or other bone.
The aspirin should give her temporary relief. Be sure you give them with food. If she is still crying after a few days, it would be good to bring her to a vet and have an x-ray.
I hope it is something minor, and she will recover soon.
Dog diagnosed with Glaucoma
February 20, 2009
About 10 days ago we brought our dog, a seven year old mixed German Sheppard to the vet. The vet diagnosed our dog with an eye infection, prescribed an antibiotic cream to put in her right eye twice a day. We really take of our dog and the minute something is wrong with her off to the vet we go.
After about five days we noticed the eye had no improvement at all. I called the vet talked to a tech and the vet never called back. We took our dog to another vet, and immediately they diagnosed her with glaucoma, they gave her an I.V. and brought the pressure down from about fifty to nineteen. They gave us about five prescriptions. About two days later my son neglected to make sure that she consumed one of her pills, and she ended up back at the vet for another I.V., this time the pressure in her right eye was in the low 70's. We then took her to an eye specialist he looked at her briefly told us she was blind in one eye, gave us an estimate for $2600.00 to remove the eye and told us we need to remove the eye immediately.
I decided to exhaust every effort to try to save the eye, and told the vet surgery would be the last alternative. We monitor the dog very closely her attitude has not changed (still very playful, and we have gone as far as covering the left eye with a patch to see if she is completely blind, she got around fine in our house and a friends house that she has never been in. My question who is the best doctor in this country that will give her a fair shake and try everything to save what sight is left, along with her eye. I do not care about the cost as she is family.
Larry - USA (12345)
Thanks for sharing your story about your pet. It is heartbreaking to have such a problem, but it is good that you have a positive attitude about it.
Best wishes on your dog's health and happiness.
13 year old cockapoo having trouble jumping onto sofa
February 17, 2009
I have a 13 year old cockapoo that is having trouble jumping onto the sofa or bed as he used to. He is also slow to get up after being down for a while; then walks stiffly. I have 81 mg and 325 mg aspirin. How much should I give him and how often?
Pat - USA (17288)
A 13-year-old dog is like a human in his 70s. They both slow down and have aches and pains. (See: http://www.school-for-champions.com/animalhealth/animal_ages.htm)
Unless your dog has a sharp pain, such that he cries when he moves, it is best not to give him aspirin, which should only be used for temporary relief. If he is 16-20 pounds, you can give him the 81 mg aspirin with food. But it is better to give less with a smaller dog, just to make sure you don't give too much.
The best thing is to treat him like you would your grandfather. Help him get onto the sofa. Take him for slow walks to help him limber up. A couple of relaxing walks each day can do wonders for an older dog that is getting stiff joints.
Is 81mg aspiring ok to give my 15lb. dog?
February 11, 2009
Is 81mg ok to give my 15lb. dog once every 12hrs., or should I get baby asprin?
Carolyn - USA (17252)
81 mg would be safe for a 15 lb dog, given with food. But you would probably be better off starting with half of that to see if it is sufficient to give your dog relief. You have to be careful with smaller dogs.
Consider if it is really necessary to give your dog aspirin. It should only be given for temporary relief. For long-term pain control, it is good to see your vet.
Best wishes for the health of your dog.
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