Saturday, February 10, 2018

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Teeth Chattering, Valley Fever, and more ...

5 Senior Dog Diseases You Need to Know

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang

If age is not a disease, why it is essential to know age-related diseases? The point behind emphasizing that age is not a disease is specifically to raise awareness of ailments that often come with senior years. There is a big difference between dismissing signs because of age and understanding that age gives additional importance to such signs.

The problem with chalking up changes in your dog's behavior to age is that they get dismissed as expected and unavoidable. Your dog doesn't "slow down" because of getting older, they slow down because of hurting or being sick.

According to Dr. Vogelsang's list, the top diseases that are most likely to crop up with age are osteoarthritis, dental disease, obesity, hypothyroidism, and cancer. I could argue that there are problems listed here that can crop up much earlier on and some are missing. But the point isn't having a full list but understanding that if your senior dog changes their habits or behavior, you should be looking for a medical problem rather than chalking it up to aging.

How to Find Non-Toxic Dog Toys and Tell If a Toy is Safe


Dogs don't have thumbs and use their mouth to handle things. Most of their toys end up being chew-toys regardless whether it was their original purpose or not. That's why it is important to keep on guard when selecting toys for your dog. Believe it or not, a toy you just bought for your dog because it looks fun, might be laced with toxins. There is no regulation when it comes to dog toys safety. The toxins that might be present in dog chews and toys include anything starting with PVC, phthalates, BPA, lead, chromium, melamine, bromine, formaldehyde and even arsenic. Nice, huh?

So how can you find out to make sure the toy you're buying is going to be safe for your dog?

You can also try talking to the manufacturer but the chances you'll get much information out of them are slim.

I actually went to the HealthyStuff website to check on one of the toys we like to buy for our dogs, Chuckit! Flying Squirrel. The first good news is that it is listed on there. The second good news is that it tested negative for the toxins they included in the analysis.

Check out PreventiveVet's article to learn more about selecting safe toys for your dog.

Dogs and Teeth Chattering: What You Need to Know


Has your dog ever chattered their teeth? Actually, the only time I've seen a dog do that was when we took Jasmine to pick her new housemate. JD's father was very smitten by Jasmine and his teeth were chattering like nobody's business. The cause behind it was quite clear.

Emotional arousal, positive or negative, can result in teeth chattering. Naturally, similarly to people, a dog's teeth might chatter from being cold.

Here is something you would not expect, though - the most common cause of teeth chattering is oral pain. Believe it or not, those two things are so closely connected, that some dogs with painful mouths will chatter their teeth even under anesthesia.

To learn more about why dog's teeth might chatter, check out petMD's article.

Why Is Valley Fever So Common in Arizona?

Horizon Animal Hospital

What is Valley Fever? It is a fungal infection, also known as coccidioidomycosis. As you would expect, one of the common symptoms is a high fever, accompanied by a cough and pneumonia-like symptoms. That is a respiratory form.

A disseminated form refers to a situation in which the infection affects other parts of the body, resulting in lameness, swollen lymph nodes, and skin lesions.

Make no mistake, it is a nasty disease that is hard to treat.

The infecting fungus is found in the soil and thrives in hot conditions. That's why it is mostly diagnosed in places such as Arizona and California.


  1. Very well said about the difference between dismissing signs because of age and understanding that age gives additional importance to such signs. I have two seniors in the house and I am paying close attention to any signs either display. Also interested to learn about teeth chattering!

    1. Yeah, the teeth chattering actually surprised me as I only even saw that as a result of excitement.

  2. Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone! Pet Sitting West Palm Beach