Your dog may at some time pick up some type of parasite. Whenever you
take your dog to the vet, bring along a stool sample. Never put a stool sample
in a paper towel, this may destroy certain types of eggs. Just slip it into a
plastic bag and store in the refrigerator if you are not going directly to the
of internal parasites you may see and their symptoms:
Body segments of the tapeworm are passed in the stool. They are about a quarter
inch long. You may see them adhering to the fur under the tail. When dried they
resemble grains of rice. Tapes are spread when the dog eats an infected flea.
They are not serious but are expensive to treat. To control, fleas must be
These are seen primarily in young puppies but may be seen in an older dog that
has just whelped (had a litter), or who has been under severe stress. They
resemble white earthworms or moving strands of spaghetti. Roundworm infestation
can be serious in puppies, who may have a potbellied, unthrifty appearance. They
may also vomit or have diarrhea. Roundworms may be treated with over the counter
preparations such as Strongid T or Nemex II.
Hooks attach themselves to the intestinal wall where they feed on the dog’s
blood. A severe hookworm infestation will make the dog anemic. You should
suspect hooks if the dog has very pale gums, or bloody, black or tarry stool.
Whips are 2 - 3 inches long and threadlike. Even a light infestation can cause
problems and they are frequently undetected in a single stool sample. Symptoms
include weight loss and diarrhea. If whips contaminate the soil, there is
nothing that will remove them. This is why it is important to clean up
immediately after your dogs!!
Giardia is not a parasite but rather a protozoa but is fairly common in dogs,
especially those who have been drinking from open streams. The principle sign is
diarrhea, possibly mixed with mucus or blood. Giardiasis is contagious to
HEALTH PROBLEMS SEEN IN DOGS:
This list is intended as a quick reference. Do not hesitate to seek
veterinary care for your dog in an emergency.
Many Goldens suffer from ear infections or ear mites. Symptoms you may see are;
scratching or digging at the ear, shaking the head, or you may notice an odor
coming from the ear (a healthy ear shouldn't smell). The vet will prescribe
medication and can show you how to administer it. Dogs should have their ears
cleaned as part of the grooming process. Preparations for this purpose are
available in specialty stores or through your vet. A homemade ear wash can be
prepared by mixing 5 parts water, one part apple cider vinegar and one part
rubbing alcohol. If the ear is very raw, the alcohol can be eliminated. Many
dogs with chronic ear infections benefit from a hypoallergenic diet.
Another common problem with Goldens is skin problems. It is beyond the scope of
this booklet to describe all the possible causes of skin problems. Most commonly
you may see a dog scratching himself raw, or the skin may have a scaly or
scabbed appearance. This may be caused by allergies, thyroid dysfunction or
other problems. A medicated shampoo and a hypoallergenic diet may be all that
are needed, but an exam by the vet will rule out any underlying medical
problems. For itchy dogs, a final rinse of dilute vinegar and water will help
correct the pH and sooth the skin. After washing the dog in a mild shampoo, pour
the vinegar solution over the dog and allow to sit on the skin for 5 minutes,
then lightly rinse.
Unfortunately, this continues to be a common problem with Goldens. Signs you may
see are; difficulty getting up, a limp or a "bunny hop" gait or a very
swayed gait. H.D. is not the only cause of these problems, but it is one of the
most common. Buffered aspirin may be given for acute pain (one 5 grain tablet
per 30 lbs., every 6 hours), but should not be used long term. We have seen
great improvement with some supplements such as glucosamine, glycoflex or
A dog that is clinically hypothyroid will usually be very overweight. He will
probably have a very poor coat with a soft or "peach fuzz" appearance.
He may also have other skin problems and be constipated. Behavioral problems
such as hyper excitability or aggression may also be seen. Your vet will test a
dog that appears classically hypothyroid. These dogs, once started on thyroid
replacement therapy, respond quickly and have an excellent prognosis.
COUGH OR BORDATELLA:
Kennel cough is a highly contagious viral disease characterized by a harsh, dry
cough (many people mistakenly believe the dog is choking). In most dogs it will
run its course in a matter of weeks but may become complicated by a secondary
bacterial infection, which requires antibiotics. Treatment includes humidifying
the air and giving cough suppressants at night if needed to help the dog sleep.
Give a large dog an adult dose of a cough suppressant (not just an expectorant),
such as Robitussin DM every 6 hours as needed. You will need to monitor the
dog’s temperature, as a fever indicates a secondary infection that needs
medical attention. (See basic first aid section for normal temps).
Coccidia is a protozoa that causes diarrhea, mostly in puppies. It can be
associated with stress and lowered resistance. However, many breeders acquire
coccidia over time and need to treat each litter. If properly treated, coccidia
is not serious. The puppy may carry the organism without symptoms, but become
symptomatic when under stress. Treatment consist of antibiotics, such as Albon
is a quick overview, when in doubt seek veterinary attention!
A DOGS TEMPERATURE:
Using a rectal thermometer lubricated with Vaseline or other lubricant, have
someone hold the dog in a standing position, lift its tail and insert the
thermometer 1 to 3 inches, depending on the size of the dog. Leave in place 3
minutes, remove and read. (Do not allow the dog to sit down while you are taking
his temp! If the thermometer is lost or broken while in the dog's rectum,
immediately call the vet for further instructions!) Normal temps vary but
average for adult dogs is 100 to 102
RATE AND CIRCULATION:
To take a dog's pulse you can place your hand directly over the heart on the
left side of the chest or you can palpate (feel) the femoral artery on the
inside of the dog's leg, close to where it meets the groin. Count the number of
beats in 15 seconds and multiply by four. Pulse rate varies from 70 to 120 beats
per minute at rest, higher during or immediately after exercise. Circulation can
be assessed by looking at the dog's gums. Pink gums mean healthy circulation. If
gums are white or if you press on them and they stay white for more than an
instant, the dog needs to be evaluated by a professional.
If a dog has stopped breathing and there is no pulse you
should call for help and begin CPR. Lay the dog on its right side on a hard
surface. Give mouth to nose respiration - hold mouth together and blow gently
into nostrils. Watch for the rise and fall of the chest. To perform chest
compressions, place heel of hand on the left chest, just behind the elbow (use
two hands if dog weighs more than 40 lbs.) Rapidly compress chest 6 times,
allowing 1-2 seconds between each compression. Give 3 breaths, repeat cycle.
Check for return of respiration and pulse every few minutes.
TO QUICKLY MUZZLE A DOG:
For a quick muzzle if a dogs is hurt and may snap, tie a leash or a piece of
gauze around the muzzle with the knot under the chin and then tie again around
the back of the head (see photos). NEVER
muzzle a dog that is overheated or struggling to breath!
TO GIVE MEDICINE:
Pills are best disguised in food, cheese or bread work well. Liquid medicine
should be squirted slowly into the pouch made by pulling the side of the dog's
mouth out and down.
POISONING AND INDUCING VOMITING: If you suspect a dog has been poisoned, contact your vet immediately or call the National Pet Poison Hotline at 1-900-680-0000. If you are told to induce vomiting, give syrup of ipecac (1t. per 10-lbs. body weight) or hydrogen peroxide (1-3t. every 10 minutes).
Apply pressure with a clean cloth to the wound. Keep steady pressure on for
several minutes. DO NOT lift cloth to check on wound. This will restart the
bleeding. If bleeding stops, remove cloth and bandage wound with sterile
dressing. If blood is spurting or cannot be stopped in 30 minutes, seek
immediate help. Do not use peroxide on a wound that has stopped bleeding, it
will interfere with clotting.
If your dog vomits, note the amount, contents, and frequency. A single episode
of vomiting is usually not a cause for alarm unless it contains large amounts of
blood. Frequent episodes require the stomach be rested by withholding food and
water for 24 hours. Feeding can be resumed with a bland diet of boiled chicken
or hamburger and rice. If the vomiting continues, seek veterinary attention.
Simple cases of diarrhea may be explained by changes in diet or dietary
indiscretions. Simple diarrhea is seen in a dog that continues to eat, remains
bright and alert and is not vomiting. In this case, remove food for 24 hours.
When reintroduced, food should be bland. For anything more severe consult your
Your vet can recommend how frequently you should clean your dog's ears,
certainly with every bath. To clean, use a vinegar and alcohol preparation or a
commercial product, such as oti-clens.
Squirt a small amount into ear, wait a few seconds and wipe out using your
finger wrapped in gauze or a cotton ball. Never stick anything into the ear
farther than a finger can reach!
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS TO WATCH FOR:
These may signal a problem: extreme thirst
or frequent urination
limping, or a weakness in the extremities
gain or loss
red or pale gums
change in personality or temperament
under the skin or swellings
loss not due to seasonal shedding
shaking of the head