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Weight Management after Spay/Neuter

Hey guys, this is Nikki, lead veterinary technician with Posh Dog Knee Braces.  Today, lets discuss weight management in our spayed and neutered pups.  It is well known that spaying and neutering, after a certain safe age, is recommended by almost every veterinarian.  It is very important in the prevention of overpopulation, and other health concerns, however, it also predisposes our pups to obesity.  Unfortunately, many vets are so quick to schedule your dog for surgery, and there is simply no information given to the owners as far as where to go now.

So, now we have this relatively healthy dog, young and probably more active, and we just took away the hormones that helped keep their weight in check.  Post spay and neuter, their metabolic energy decreases significantly.  This means that we need to also be cutting back the calories, by at least 25%.  The other issue, especially with females, is that the hormone estrogen helps to keep their appetite at bay.  Taking this hormone away can give your dog an increase in appetite, which is bad in a patient that needs to decrease the calories taken in per day. 

So, now you go back in for your annual checkup, to find your baby has gained weight.  The veterinarian possibly tells you that your dog needs to go on a weight loss diet, or be given less food per day.  So, now you have a dog that just went through major hormonal changes, and has increased food cravings, yet you are feeding them barely any food.  Sound familiar?  This equals out to an unhappy dog, and in return and unhappy owner.  So, what is the solution, because it is also essential that we spay and neuter to be good pet parents, and do our part to prevent overpopulation.

This is where it is time to get proactive.  Feel free to include your veterinarian in your plan, as you will need a way to weigh your dog every 2-4 weeks to check their weight.  The good news is this is free😊  Now, it is time to implement the proper spay and neuter diet.  For those that feed a raw diet already, you should not need to make any real changes.  The key is to increase protein and fiber, but keep in mind it needs to be healthy fiber.  There are a few expensive brand foods marketed to spayed and neutered pets that the first ingredient is chicken by product.  Double yuck!  Just keep in mind that carbs will not help with weight loss.  Foods with lots of rice for example are not meant for weight loss.  It may be bland, but it will cause weight gain. 

Try discussing with your veterinarian before you plan to spay or neuter, ask them to help you develop a proper diet to keep your dog healthy for years to come!  This also will help prevent issues with joints potentially in the future. 

Please let me know if you have any questions, poshdogkneebrace.com, or email me at poshintake1@gmail.com.


Signs a dog is in Pain

Hey guys, this is Nikki, lead veterinary technician with Posh Dog Knee Braces, and today let’s talk about pain in our dogs.  I hear so often owners say they don’t feel their dog is in pain, or that they don’t know what to look for.  Today I would like to cover things to look for, and how to see those subtle hints your dog is giving you.

First, does your dog show any signs of panting, licking a certain area or paw/leg, pacing, trouble laying down or standing, chewing an area, legs shaking/body shaking, trouble standing from a laying position, holding a leg up, low whimpering/whining, growling or biting out of character, flinching when touched in an area?  If you can answer yes to any of these symptoms, there is a good chance your dog is experiencing pain.  Dogs are extremely stoic, which means it is against their nature to show pain outwardly like we would.  A child is easy, they will hold the sore area, cry, and tell us what happened or that it hurts them.  With our dogs, it can be a bit of a challenge to identify if they are in pain, and when to give the appropriate pain relief.

One of the most painful injuries to a dog is a CCL injury.  This is significant pain, and your dog needs proper pain relief to get them through the first few weeks.  There will be a lot of swelling present, and they may be cranky and sore during this time.  The first 2-3 weeks it is important to keep them on some form of anti-inflammatory.  I hear a lot of people learn about nsaids, and immediately take their dog off of them within the first 1-2 weeks of an injury, stating their dog doesn’t look in pain any longer.  I understand not wanting nsaids, however, I guarantee your dog is still in pain within the first 3 weeks of this injury.  There are other alternatives to nsaids, which I go over in another blog, but that does not mean to withdraw all pain relief.

If suddenly taken off of pain relief, dogs (like people), will experience something called withdrawal.  This means that their body is shocked with sudden pain, that has not been effectively treated, and it will be very difficult to get them feeling better without a strong pain med like a narcotic, something to calm and partially sedate them until pain management is achieved.  So, please do not suddenly remove pain relief without having something else to start.  If stopping an nsaid, you need to wait at least 24 hours before starting something like willow bark, to make sure the tummy does not get upset, and sometimes waiting for severe pain to stop before doing so might be best.

I always suggest resting 2-3 weeks, even if we are fast and you receive the brace in the first couple weeks of the acute injury, still wait a bit to begin walks.  Give your pup time to get through the painful parts, then we can start bracing and PT.  They will get better, and feel better, but it is our job as their owner to keep them comfortable.  It will make all of our jobs much easier as we begin recovery.

Please let me know if you have any questions, poshdogkneebrace.com, or email me at poshintake1@gmail.com


I just got a new puppy, how can I keep him from injuring my older injured dog?

This is about half of the people I speak with on a daily basis.  Puppies are wonderful, and really do bring our families and other dogs joy, but sometimes that comes with a cost.  Whether you bring home the puppy before an injury on your older dog, or after, we still need to be careful when they play.  Rough play, such as puppy jumping on their back or playing tug of war, can result in new injuries, or aggravating an older injury.  Puppies bring on a youthful playing with our older dogs, which is fun to watch, however, it can encourage injuries, so please be careful.

Choose a breed carefully.  If, for example, you have a small breed older dog, and bring home a large breed puppy, there is going to be some potential to be injured.  Puppies, as part of play, will try to jump on the other dog’s back.  This is their natural tendencies trying to establish dominance.  Well, if your poor older dog has hip or knee issues, you can imagine that this may not be the best case scenario.  Thus, it is important, to only let them have supervised play times, and not be left alone to rough play all the time. 

This is especially true if your other dog has a recovering knee injury.  Not only is it going to be tough to get that knee to recover with a puppy wanting to play, but the puppy will also be very curious about this really cool chew toy on their leg!  So, again, supervision at all times is going to be needed.  I’m not saying you can’t get a new puppy, but think the scenarios through before you adopt.  Or, perhaps look into adopting an older dog instead of a new puppy.

Puppies are going to be growing and teething for at least a year, if not more.  This means their energy will be high, and your injured dog’s tolerance for this may be low.  Make sure you have the means to keep them separated when you are not home or there to supervise, because that would not be otherwise fair to your older injured dog.

Get lots of fun distracting toys for the puppy to play with (and don’t forget your older pup!).  This really helps keep them distracted, and happy.  If your older dog has a posh brace on, to support a CCL injury, it is ok to have them play for a little while with the puppy, but only directly supervised.  The brace does act as a shock absorber, so a little play is ok, but no running or jumping while playing.  My puppy likes to stand up on her back legs to “box” with my other dog.  This would not go over well if my other dog had an injured leg.

Again, feel free to check us out at poshdogkneebrace.com, or email me at poshintake1@gmail.com.


How to desensitize a new puppy to allow toe nails/feet/legs touched

Hey guys, this is Nikki, Lead Veterinary technician with Posh Dog Knee Braces.  Today let’s talk about puppies!  Who doesn’t love puppies, right?  All those little sharp teeth chewing on everything😊  Well, this is the best time to get your new baby used to people and being handled. 

First, never force your puppy to do something, or yell and be cross.  The literally have a 30 second memory, so they just know mom or dad is yelling, and no idea what they did wrong.  Never every hit your puppy, especially in the first few months of growing.  Puppies have 3 very important learning times right around 8, 10, 15 weeks where they are the most sensitive and receptive to negative behavior from us.  This is when we need to be really gently, soothing voice, and friendly with them, even if they just chewed up your favorite pair of shoes!

Start with a treat, or a few treats, that your puppy likes.  Puppies want to please us, and are very food driven!  Even peanut butter smeared on the wall for them to lick is great.  Offer them a treat in one hand, and with the other hand gently touch their ears, massaging the tips, and work down to their toes.  Spend at least 5 minutes a day giving them treats in replacement of you touching them on toes/feet/legs/ and ears.  Especially if you have a floppy eared dog like I do, as they can be prone to ear infections.

This will really be helpful for you in the future.  They will trust you and others to touch them, or for the veterinarian to complete their exam.  I personally love puppy training classes, as they socialize your dog to other people, dogs, and get them even more bonded to your family in a safe environment.  Little dogs tend to be nervous as it is, and can be nippy with toe nail trims.  This can all be avoided if you take the time as a puppy to get them used to touch and other people. 

Once your puppy is used to you touching their feet without flinching them back, start bringing out the toe nail clippers.  Just let puppy sniff, and give them a treat.  Then maybe try to do one nail, and treat right away.  Do not force your dog to do all their toe nails at once, especially if they are afraid.  This is a great way to make a toe nail fear biter, and cost you a lot in grooming fees.

Desensitization can be helpful now, because if your puppy grows up and unfortunately gets a CCL tear someday, putting something on their leg like our brace will be no problem, because you have set them up to succeed!

Feel free to email me at poshintake1@gmail.com with any questions, or visit us at poshdogkneebrace.com


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