Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. If your dog is a Northern breed mix (husky or malamute), a zinc deficiency may cause hair loss. Rule out other causes such as parasites, infection or endocrine imbalances. Discuss a safe dose of a zinc supplement withy your veterinarian. Consider adding an essential fatty acid supplement (usually a fish oil) to the diet to promote healthy skin. Search www.pet360.com for fish oil supplements.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Phenobarbital for dogs is most often used to treat seizure disorders such as those caused by poisoning, brain tumors, infectious diseases, and epilepsy. Phenobarbital administered at home is to help control seizures. It is important to note that this drug is prescribed with great consideration only.
Steroids (prednisone) are often used to decrease surrounding tumoral inflammation and edema. Anti-convulsants such as Phenobarbital and potassium bromide are required in some dogs to control seizures. Depending on the individual patient, these drugs may be discontinued following definitive treatment.
The prognosis for canine meningioma treated with steroid and seizure medication is thought to be very poor with most dogs surviving only about 3 months. This time can be extended to about 6 months with the addition of a relatively safe and very well tolerated chemotherapy called hydroxyurea.
This tumor causes excessive production of cortisol from the adrenal cortex which leads to the classic signs of alopecia (hair loss), polyuria (excessive urination), polydipsia (excessive water drinking), and a pot-bellied appearance of the abdomen due to muscle break down. See picture here.
Steroids may be used to decrease fluid buildup, or to slow the growth of a brain tumor. Some dogs with brain tumors will have dramatic improvement in clinical signs for weeks or months with steroid treatment. In addition, medications to control seizures may be prescribed.
Since treatment with phenobarbital is generally life-long, monitoring blood tests are periodically recommended. Phenobarbital is generally effective regardless of the underlying cause of the seizure disorder which means that is can be used for epilepsy, brain tumors, infectious diseases, or poisonings.
For a primary brain tumor, survival may be between three to six months with only palliative care, or 5 to 28 months with radiation and/or surgery. Unfortunately, dogs with secondary brain tumors usually do not survive for more than a month.
This is because short-term use of prednisone has fewer side effects than long-term use. The longer your dog is given prednisone, the higher the chances of developing adverse side effects. Long-term prescriptions last about three to four months. In critical conditions, the treatment period may increase.
Treatment Options for Brain Tumors in Dogs. The first step of action is pain management. Depending on the stage of cancer, your pet may be in a lot of pain. It will likely be prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids to relieve pain throughout treatment.
The prognosis for brain tumours in dogs is poor, with a median (average) survival time of around two months with supportive care alone. However, with treatment, the vast majority of dogs can be significantly helped. Knowledge on the prognosis is limited.
Hair loss, or alopecia, is known to damage a patient`s self-identity and body image. It`s a possible side effect for all parts of the body being treated for cancer, but is more common and often more severe when treating the brain.
Radiotherapy to the brain can cause hair loss or thinning. If you are having treatment to a particular part of the head, your hair usually falls out in that area. You might also have some hair loss on the opposite side of the head, where the radiotherapy beams pass through. This area is called the exit site.
Foods of interest in dogs with cancer include high quality protein such as dairy products made from goat or sheep, egg, low-mercury fish, organ and muscle meat preferable natural raised. Healthy, low glycemic (GI) carbohydrates such as sweet potato, broccoli, quinoa and gluten free oats.
Choosing the correct diet can slow down cancer growth. There is at least one commercial diet, which is low in carbs and high in protein; it is made to “starve” cancer cells. A board-certified veterinary nutritionist together with an oncologist can help you select the appropriate diet for your dog.
This medication will take effect quickly, in about 1 to 2 hours, and improvement in clinical signs should follow.
Phenobarbital for dogs is very effective in preventing seizures. Phenobarbital has been used as either a stand-alone or adjunct anticonvulsant in dogs for long-term seizure management or emergency seizure management, depending on the situation and the individual animal.
Some dogs on phenobarbital become hyperactive and aggressive. Other adverse effects include diarrhea, vomiting, poor appetite, and itching. During prolonged use, phenobarbital in dogs can damage the liver. Your veterinarian will test liver function with blood tests at regular intervals to guard against this risk.
The steroid most commonly used with brain tumours is dexamethasone. They are fast-acting drugs, so the effects caused by the tumour can reduce quite quickly. They may need to be taken at set times of day.
Steroids can help with cancer treatment in a variety of ways. They can: kill cancer cells and shrink tumors as part of chemotherapy. decrease swelling.
Other signs suggestive of a brain tumor include abnormal behavior (e.g., increased aggression), altered consciousness, hypersensitivity to pain or touch in the neck area, vision problems, propulsive circling motions, uncoordinated movement, and a “drunken,” unsteady gait.
Although the average life expectancy after diagnosis is 14 to 16 months, approximately 1% of patients survive at least 10 years. Currently, the longest anyone has survived a glioblastoma is more than 20 years and counting.
Long-term use or high doses may lead to more serious issues. Prednisone can impact the gastrointestinal tract, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and GI ulceration or bleeding. Dogs may develop a pot-bellied appearance as well as poor haircoat or loss of hair, all signs of Cushing`s syndrome.
IS IT SAFE FOR DOGS? Yes, Prednisone is safe for dogs, but like any medication, there are risks involved. Don`t use it for dogs who are allergic to it or dogs with viral infections, ulcers, tuberculosis, Cushing`s disease, or systemic fungal infections (unless it`s being used to treat Addison`s disease).
The most serious prednisone side effects usually include allergic reactions, infections, gastrointestinal issues and elevated blood sugar. These may occur when people take larger doses or take the medication for long-term treatment.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. What can I do to stop my dog from barking at people and front doors?
ANSWER : A. Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. This means don’t give him any attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to him, don’t touch him, and don’t even look at him. When he finally quiets down, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. If he barks for an hour and you finally get so frustrated that you yell at him to be quiet, the next time he’ll probably bark for an hour and a half. Dogs learns that if they bark long enough you’ll give them attention.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. It may sound nonsensical, but the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

When your dog starts barking, ask him to do something that’s incompatible with barking. Teach your dog to react to barking stimuli with something that inhibits him from barking, such as lying down in his bed.

Make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of fetch and playing with interactive toys.

Q. Dog takes predisoine and phenobarbatal for brain tumor losing hair is zinc good for him and what miligrams dog is 18lbs thank you
ANSWER : A. If your dog is a Northern breed mix (husky or malamute), a zinc deficiency may cause hair loss. Rule out other causes such as parasites, infection or endocrine imbalances. Discuss a safe dose of a zinc supplement withy your veterinarian. Consider adding an essential fatty acid supplement (usually a fish oil) to the diet to promote healthy skin. Search www.pet360.com for fish oil supplements.

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Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Want a pet cat companion for my dog Lucky, who is 5. The problem is that I’m somewhat alergic to cats. So, not sure what to do!
ANSWER : A. Dogs can make friends with lots of species, including cats! If you are heart-set on a cat, allergenic breeds are available such as hairless or lesser haired Sphinx and Devon-Rexes. However these breeds can be rare and hard to find at times. A short-haired cat that is brushed regularly may also cause less allergies. Many people with allergies are also able to take medications such as a daily allergy medication or spray like Nasocrom which can make living with a cat much easier.

If your dog is very friendly with other dogs, then getting him a dog friend may be an option! That would keep you from needing to get a cat and having an allergic reaction. Looking at your local animal shelter may help you to find a dog for adoption that is similar in personality and play style to your current dog. Many shelters will also let you introduce your dog to the one you are interested in adopting to see if they will be a good fit! If you can’t get another pet at this time, taking your dog to a local dog park or dog meetup can help him to get more social interaction and get out extra energy without the need for caring for another pet.

Q. Husband shamed dog for having an accident inside, and now she won’t poop when he takes her out. Can we fix this? He realizes he erred
ANSWER : A. Good on your husband for realizing that scolding is not the way to potty train! Hopefully these tips can help both him and your pup get back on the right track and make pottying outside successful.

If your dog is still a puppy, that is good news as you may be able to more easily time your potty outings with your dog’s schedule. Even if your dog is older, this schedule may help. Dogs generally have to go potty about 15 minutes after eating, drinking, waking up or playing. Knowing this, get your husband to start taking out your puppy at these key times, so puppy gets used to going out with him, and the urge to potty may be higher than any fear to go. If the potty is successful, have your husband reward the dog with a favorite treat! For bowel movements, dogs may take a little more time, and you may have to stand outside for a while (sometimes even 10 minutes) to give your dog a chance to go. If she doesn’t go, take her back inside and play some, then try again in about 15 minutes. Again, a success equals a treat which most dogs will like right away!

For any indoor potty accidents that occurred, an enzymatic cleaner is great for cleaning up urine and stool. Not only does it remove the stain and smell, but it breaks down the enzymes in the urine and stool your dog can smell, which may deter her from going potty there again.

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. My Beagle listens to me, but cries & whines when I’m gone & doesn’t listen to my parents. I adopted him just a couple days ago. Any tips for my folks?
ANSWER : A. I really highly doubt that your Beagle listens to you and has formed a connection with you in just a couple of days. It takes months to build up any kind of serious connection with your dog. You need to work on communication with your dog through training them to understand different cues. For instance the Leave-It cue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

You have to work on bonding with your dog through mental stimulation. Training is very important. Luring each new behavior from scratch, and training using treats is how you form a strong bond with your new dog. No scolding is ever necessary… work on being calm, and positive, all the time.

If your dog is crying/whining when you leave, this may be separation anxiety. You’re going to have to separation train this dog from scratch. This dog needs to learn that separation can be a good thing! Tell your “folks” to NOT scold the dog when he is crying/whining after you leave, because that will make your dog MORE anxious when you leave next time. Your dog will be dwelling on the negative if your parents fuel your dogs negative feelings towards you leaving. FUN things should happen when you leave. Your parents should pull out the treats and start doing some basic obedience training with your dog. Your parents should stuff a Kong filled with awesome treats (peanut butter) and give it to him so he feels happy when you leave.

I have some excellent separation anxiety exercises you can work on. If you’d like, you can purchase a consultation with me, and I will go over how to separation train from scratch. It will make your dog comfortable being alone, guaranteed.

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