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What to Know If You Want to Give Your Dog CBD

Is CBD a cure-all, snake oil, or something in between?

If you have spent any time researching cannabis for dogs, and specifically cannabidiol (CBD), you have probably found yourself wondering whether these products are safe, and even if they will offer any real benefits for your pained, anxious, or elderly dog.

The simple story about CBD is that there is no simple story about CBD. Though CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical derived from cannabis or hemp that won’t get people or animals high like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it still falls into both a medical and bureaucratic black hole where it can be nearly impossible to extract definitive information.

But we have done our best to stare into the CBD abyss and pull out as much as possible to help you decide whether it might be good for your dog. As you’ll soon see, vets are placed in a difficult position when talking about these products, but you will hopefully walk away from this article with enough information to help you make a more-informed decision.

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Topics: Dog Health, Dog, Anxiety in Dogs, Dog Behavior, Arthritis in dogs, Marijuana toxicity, marijuana, Dogs and CBD

How to Figure Out Which Dog is Having Diarrhea or Pooping in Your House

Whose poop is this anyway...

If you've got more than one dog (or cat) at home, odds are good that you've been faced with the "whose poop is this?" question at some point. Right? Whether you're needing to know because someone is having diarrhea, or because one of them is pooping on your carpets, figuring out which pet is having "bowel problems" is always the first step to figuring out why.

Fortunately there's a quick and easy trick to help you figure out whose is whose, and it involves something that you likely have in your home right now (or can very easily, and inexpensively, grab at the store)... crayons!

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Topics: Dog Health, Dog, Blog, Crayon Shavings, Arthritis in dogs, Diarrhea, Multi-dog household, Bowel issues

How to Help An Older Dog with Arthritis and Other Mobility Problems

Arthritis and Dogs: A Common and Treatable Problem

Our dogs are living longer these days, which is unequivocally great! With advancing years though it’s common to see a host of medical and cognitive problems develop in aging dogs. One of the big ones, and one which can often be the easiest (yes, that’s right, I said “easiest”) to deal with is when dogs start to have problems getting up and getting around.

Fortunately, helping your aging, arthritic dog with such mobility issues doesn’t mean you have to remodel your house or move to a single-story rancher. Helping them and improving their quality of life also needn’t be backbreaking (or bank-breaking) for you, and it isn’t even all about medications! There's lots of simple, inexpensive, and effective things you can get and do to improve your aging, arthritic dog's mobility.

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Topics: Dog Health, Dogs, medication, Pain, Arthritis in dogs, Dog-friendly products, Mobility, Aging

Sarah Palin versus Ellen DeGeneres – Misses the Point Entirely

Children Standing on Dogs

The internet and social media are (understandably) all aflutter these days over the image that Sarah Palin recently posted of her son, Trig, standing on the back of their family dog. And subsequently, of a similar image posted by the Ellen DeGeneres Show this past July. Regardless of your politics or which daytime talk show you prefer, there truly is no arguing that both images depict a potentially dangerous and likely uncomfortable (if not outright painful) situation that could easily end in disaster — for the dog, for the child, for the family, and for dogs and children everywhere, even.

Teaching Moments

What’s important here is not who posted the photo, but rather the acknowledgement and recognition that both of these photos should serve as “teaching moments” on an important topic. The issue of pet and child safety, as well as teaching children how to safely and humanely interact with animals, should be one that transcends both politics and celebrity. And now, because of this situation, it can be an issue that actually benefits from politics and celebrity! Hopefully helping to prevent some of the approximately 2 million+ dog bites to children that occur each year.

Why Are These Dangerous Situations?

Many people have commented on both pictures that neither dog seems particularly bothered by what is happening, and that they would move or bite if they were. Not only is such a statement predicated on dangerous assumptions, but such a statement also misses a very important point… the precedent that such actions and photos are setting — both for the children involved and for the parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who have viewed and cooed at the pictures.

What those children, and the viewing adults, are learning is that it’s okay to stand on the back of a dog that you know, a dog that has been well-trained, a dog that is a family pet. Even if it were the case under those specific circumstances (which, for many reasons, it was not), there is absolutely no guarantee that it will still be the case the next time either of those children goes to climb on that same dog’s back. And they will do it again.

Imagine how differently these situations will turn out when the dogs develop back or neck pain from a compressed disc or arthritis between their vertebrae (the bones that surround and protect the spinal column). Or when the dog is suffering from inflammation and pain of their pancreas (pancreatitis) and/or their stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis). These are all conditions that commonly occur in dogs, and conditions can arise suddenly with only minimal outward signs. There are actually many types of pain that dogs can develop — both in the short term and the long — any of which could lead to an otherwise docile and compliant dog biting, even inflicting a bite to a person whom they love and normally protect. (There are many documented cases of dogs in pain biting their owner — say, after having been hit by a car.)

And even if their own current dog were to never bite under such circumstances, there’s no guarantee that another dog — either one that the family gets in the future or one belonging to a friend or stranger — wouldn’t. Furthermore, when these children grow up and see the “cute” pictures of themselves standing on the back of a dog, they’ll likely then believe that it’s acceptable for their own children or grandchildren to stand on the back of a dog… which it will not be.

As you can see, this isn’t just dangerous in the short-term, it’s also a situation that begets a dangerous cycle and future pattern. It’s the precedent and the perpetuation of dangerous (and false) assumptions that it sets. And that’s all putting aside the (legitimate and important) concerns about the comfort, health, and safety of the dogs involved in such scenarios.

So let’s all return to civility and remove the politics of this situation and acknowledge the important teaching moment this poses for us all. Furthermore, let’s all respectfully ask both Mrs. Palin and Ms. DeGeneres to recognize these dangers and the important roles they can both play in dog bite prevention in light of these pictures. Only then can something good come out of this whole kerfuffle.

For more information on keeping children and pets safe around each other, please see the following articles and resources:
    •     5 Lessons All Children Should Be Taught and Shown About Living With Dogs
    •     5 Lessons All Children Should Be Taught and Shown About Living With Cats
    •     Pets and Pacifiers: When Children and Pets Don’t Mix
    •     Family Paws Parent Education
    •     Dr. Sophia Yin’s “How To Avoid Dog Bites”
    •     “Dog Bite Prevention in Children” website from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety, Dog Bite Prevention, Child Pet safety, Children and dogs, Dog, Pancreatitis, Blog, Arthritis in dogs, Gastroenteritis, Back Pain

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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