Many times a pet seems normal until a serious injury occurs or surgery is performed, and then severe bleeding can result. Many older dogs have arthritis , and bigger dogs tend to have more pain and disability than smaller dogs. Bernese Mountain Dogs are particularly prone to developing arthritis, for which we need to use many treatments. The earlier we begin treatment, the better the results. Good nutrition and proper exercise are also very important to help reduce bone and joint problems as your pet gets older.
Do not let him become overweight; this puts a huge strain on the joints.
The cranial cruciate ligament is one of the four tough bands of tissue that hold each knee together. A torn cranial cruciate ligament is a common injury in active dogs, which includes your Berner. Usually surgical correction is done to stabilize the knee and help prevent crippling arthritis. Physical therapy and multimodal pain management are necessary to get the best outcome.
Keeping him at the right weight, feeding a high-quality diet, and avoiding too much twisting of the knees like playing Frisbee are key in avoiding this painful injury.
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In humans, an allergy to pollen, mold, or dust makes people sneeze and their eyes itch. In dogs, rather than sneeze, allergies make their skin itchy. Commonly, the feet, belly, folds of the skin, and ears are most affected. Symptoms typically start between the ages of one and three and can get worse every year. Licking the paws, rubbing the face, and frequent ear infections are the most common signs.
The good news is that there are many treatment options available for this condition. There are three types of seizures in dogs: Secondary seizures are the result of a brain tumor, stroke, or trauma. If no other cause can be found, the disease is called primary, or idiopathic epilepsy.
This problem is often an inherited condition, with Bernese Mountain Dogs commonly afflicted. If your friend is prone to seizures, they will usually begin between six months and three years of age. An initial diagnostic workup may help find the cause. Lifelong medication is usually necessary to help keep seizures under control, with periodic blood testing required to monitor side effects and effectiveness.
If your dog has a seizure: Note the length of the seizure, and call us or an emergency hospital.
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Left untreated, hypoadrenocorticism can be fatal, and symptoms often mimic many other diseases. Fortunately, we can run a specialized timed blood test to check for this condition. Though any dog can acquire this disease, Berneses seem to get it more frequently. Abnormal lymphocytes, as seen under the microscope, confirming a diagnosis of lymphoma. Lymphoma or lymphosarcoma is a type of cancer that afflicts Bernese Mountain Dogs more than other breeds. This disease makes the body form abnormal lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell.
Because white blood cells can be found throughout the body, this cancer can show up almost anywhere. Lymphoma is a very treatable form of cancer, with an excellent success rate in dogs receiving chemotherapy. Treatment can be costly, however, and is a lifelong commitment. Luckily, lymphoma is one of the few types of cancer that can often be found with a blood test, so we may recommend a complete blood count twice yearly.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Hemangiosarcoma is a type of bleeding tumor that affects Bernese Mountain Dogs at greater than average incidence. These tumors commonly form in the spleen, but can form in other organs as well. Unbeknownst to a pet owner, the tumor breaks open and internal bleeding occurs. Some tumors can be volleyball-sized or larger before signs of sickness show. We often find clues that one of these tumors is present during senior wellness testing, so have his blood tested and an ultrasound performed at least yearly.
It affects Berneses more frequently than other breeds. If your dog has this disease, he will become increasingly weak and disabled in the hind legs and will eventually suffer from paralysis in his hindquarters, along with incontinence. Rehabilitation, exercise, acupuncture, and dietary supplements can be helpful, but there is no cure.
A genetic test is available to determine whether your dog is at risk for this heritable disease. Notice how the lower lid curls in towards the surface of the eye to cause irritation. Entropion is a condition where the eyelid rolls inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the cornea surface of the eyeball. This is an extremely irritating and painful condition that can ultimately lead to blindness. Where is the compassion in killing a huntsman?
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