Put the Pen to the Paper

:Physical therapy for dogs prone to luxating patellas
March 11, 2008, 12:21 pm
Filed under: :Anatomy, :Veterinary Care

Special care for the dog with knee problems:  All puppies’ knees are evaluated prior to placement, including a grading of each patella. Your Gompa Lhasa Apso may be prone to luxating patellas. A great deal of increased strength and comfort can be obtained through appropriate exercise.   Marty Peace, Physical Therapist with Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado (Englewood, Colorado), makes the following recommendations for dogs with luxating patellas (knee problems):·         Regular daily walks of 10-15 minutes, or more than that if the dog can tolerate greater length.  Two short walks may be better than one long one if the dog gets sore; if your dog limps, you’ve overdone it.  A steady, maintained walk on the leash (rather than run and stop, run and stop) is excellent therapy because the dog makes use of all four legs symmetrically.·         Going up steps strengthens the quadriceps. Walking uphill and walking on uneven terrain (off the sidewalk) are also good strengtheners.·         Standing on the back feet and “dancing” 5-10 steps for 10-30 seconds, two times a day, helps considerably.·         Going over small obstacles and walking in figure eights or through cones or weave poles will help build strength and flexibility.·         Swimming in a deep tub or Jacuzzi (moderate the temperature to mid-80s) strengthens the muscles without the strain of bearing weight; start with 5 minutes with a goal of 30 minutes.·         Massaging the front of the thigh or holding above the knee and stretching a leg back can help relieve discomfort. How do you know if your dog has a knee problem?  A veterinarian can make the diagnosis, but you may see signs on your own, such as an odd “skip” in the dog’s gait, or “bunny-hopping” to protect the loose knee joint.  The dog may be carrying up to 90% of its weight on the front legs instead of an appropriate 60-70% of its weight on the back legs. In severe cases where the dog is in continual pain, surgery may be warranted. Take care if you know or suspect your dog has knee problems, but if your dog is asymptomatic, don’t limit activity, since exercise is good at warding off problems.  Keeping your dog on the lean side is a good idea, since excess body weight stresses the joints, and it’s also a good idea to give your dog glucosamine supplements to support joint health.

March 8, 2008, 8:54 pm
Filed under: :Anatomy

During growth of a male fetus, the testicles develop in the abdominal cavity, pass through an opening in the body wall called the inguinal canal, and descend into the scrotum. Normally both testicles have descended into the scrotum at or shortly after birth. Occasionally descent is not complete until 5-6 months of age.

In some individuals, however, one or both testicles fail to descent into the scrotum. Dogs with both testicles undescended are usually sterile while those with only 1 testicle undescended are fertile. Undescended testicles are most common in small or toy breeds.

Structure of the Eye
March 1, 2008, 7:34 pm
Filed under: :Anatomy, :Veterinary Care

Structure of the Eye

Understanding Front Assembly by Julie Timbers
February 15, 2008, 12:57 pm
Filed under: :Anatomy
Debby asked if I would put into words what I, as a judge look for in the “front assembly” of a Lhasa, especially for Faye who is evaluating her puppies.
The front of the Lhasa for me is way easier to understand than the rear.  The Lhasa has normal “dog” structure, which in one word means EQUAL.
Equal length of bone, equal height , equal angulation.  Bone length: the length of the shoulder blade should be the same length as the upper arm (measured from point of withers to point of shoulder & point of shoulder to point of elbow).  The height from point of withers to point of elbow should be  equal to point of elbow to the floor.   Where should the withers lie?  In the perfect dog, it would be about at a 40 degree angle from point of shoulder, but Lhasa’s “layback” is far from perfect!!  I don’t want the withers in the neck!  That may sound funny but many Lhasas withers start in the neck rather than forming the start of the topline.  Now picture this, draw an imaginary line down from the withers, the point of elbow on the Lhasa should fall directly into that line.  If a dog with withers “set high” the upper arm has to be short, so it fall s in line from the point of withers. You will not get correct movement. A dog with a short upper arm will “pound” the floor in movement.  What I see a lot of is “high ” set withers with equal length of all bones, but this places the point of elbow far behind the “line down from the withers”  This also is incorrect dog structure which may give the illusion of good gait in a puppy, but as an adult what you will see is the front legs cannot “reach”.  These are the Lhasas you see in the ring who are straight coming at you but in side gait the front feet have a hard time breaking through the chest hair, no way is it possible  for it reach past the nose which a dog with correct structure should.  This is a simplified explanation,  there is a lot more that goes into making “movement and structure”  So Faye measure-equal bone length, equal height, and equal angles. Also, the width between the shoulder blades ideally should be close, far set shoulder blades end up with what I term “a loaded front” a wide chest usually will accompany this, giving the mature adult Lhasa a bulldoggy muscle bound front.  I don’t want a chest that is much wider than 3 of my fingers.  If you can put the whole palm of your hand between the puppies front legs-it’s chest is to wide. Also make sure you have  depth of chest and nice tight elbow.

Canine Lameness Learning Module
February 3, 2008, 7:53 pm
Filed under: :Anatomy, :Exhibiting, :Standards, :Veterinary Care, :Websites

 Canine Lameness Learning Module