Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Outer Banks, NC
Some health questions re: ears, teeth, and whining after exercise
I have a few questions but considering they are all "health" related I decided to lump them together into one thread.
1. It appears that Kaiser has worn down his bottom two canines. I haven't checked the upper two, however the bottoms no longer come to a "point". Instead, they have a "flat" edge and you can see what I only know to describe as a "circle" within the center (looking down from the top of the tooth toward the gumline). He doesn't show any pain while chewing or otherwise, but I'm worried that I'm giving him too many things to chew on during the day. Right now I give him a random combination of a deer antler, bone (real), and/or a nylabone dental toy (its a dinosaur with little spikes on it for teeth cleaning...not that he needs the cleaning, but he LOVES the toy itself). He really isn't super interested in stuffed Kongs (he doesn't like frozen things, so anything I stuff is eaten fairly quickly) but I do also give him one of those plastic jugs with the knot in it and I put his breakfast in there for him to work on when I leave in the morning. I don't leave him unattended with bully sticks, but he does get one every 3 or 4 weeks. At any rate, should I be concerned? Anything I should do differently? I hate the thought of taking his antlers etc away from him, but he would go crazy without something to do during the day in his pen.
2. How often are you cleaning your dog's ears? I swear I'm cleaning Kaisers 1-2 times a week. He gets uncomfortable, scratches his ears, and whines because it hurts. He's had problems with yeast since a puppy, but we are on a new food now since the fire at the Acana plant. He's not AS itchy overall (its the Innova Prime beef/lamb forumula) so maybe this will help his ears too. I'm not even sure what he has going on lately is yeast or just "gunk". Either way, a cleaning usually helps for a few days.
3. What are your limits on exercise and what is "normal" behavior for a pup who has maybe overdone it a bit? I could never walk/jog/run enough to wear Kaiser out, so on the days that I have the time, I take him to the dog park. I think we spent 4 hours there Saturday and another 4 on Sunday. Now pleeeease don't think I'm forcing him to exercise. He takes breaks, lays down, or just generally turns down his activity level until he is ready to play again all on his own. We usually end up leaving when I start getting tired or hungry, or if he is doing more resting than playing. He LOVES being out and about (being near the mountains, albeit temporarily, we have done some 3-5 hour hikes which he has absolutely loved as well). When I get back home in a couple weeks, his exercise will be either running around our sorry excuse for a dog park (there are rarely any dogs there and all it is is a small fenced in plot of sand) or running on the beach (much easier now that its the off season). This is of course in addition to any regular walks. I'm sure many smaller bouts of exercise are better than a few large ones, but my weekends are the only time I really have to give to the dogs 100%, so I try to get them out doing things they enjoy as much as I can. During the week, our excercise is limited to an hour here or an hour there (before/after work).
Now the point of my concern was this morning Kaiser whined pretty much any time he moved. I didn't see him limping when I took him out to potty, but I'm sure he's sore from playing yesterday. He's never whined like this before, so of course I'm a little concerned. I'll check him again when I get home from work, but aside from rest (and assuming I dont need to take him to a vet), is there anything I can do for his discomfort? Can dogs take medicines akin to what us humans would take for sore joints/muscles?
Kaiser ~ Jan 25, 2012 (GSD)
Dakota ~ Oct 2005 (GSD/Collie)
Mya ~ Dec 2013 (GSD)
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