Therapy measures and products for dogs

A dog is an animal that loves to run, play with companions, spend hours on a nature trail or have fun on an agility course. With a lot of activity and numerous jumps as well as abrupt movements, the risk of injury can increase. The dog’s musculoskeletal system has to endure a lot and can be severely over-strained. What are the most common illnesses a dog can have? And what can it?s owner do to keep the four-legged friend enjoying exercise?

Jumping dog with toy in the mouth

What are the most common illnesses in a dog?

While the musculoskeletal system is often the first to be affected in horses, the immune system or vital internal organs are usually the first to be attacked in dogs. The most common diseases of a dog include:

  • Cataracts (age related)
  • Abscesses
  • Osteoarthritis (due to rapid growth, injuries to the limbs that have not healed, misalignment, incorrect loading, excess weight)
  • Fever, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Lyme disease (due to tick infestation)
  • Ear infections with floppy ears
  • Tumors (1 in 4 dogs will develop a tumor, but these are usually non life-threatening fatty ulcers)

The skin can also be affected as a result of an already weakened immune system, which becomes noticeable with hair loss and flaky skin. The health of the skin as the largest organ is influenced by nutrition, various hormones or injuries. However, parasites such as mites, ticks, fleas and lice etc. can also affect the health of the skin. It is therefore advisable to check the dog regularly, especially after walks, for skin lesions and to rid the dog of any unwanted passengers.

If you notice a change in the behaviour or skin condition of your four-legged friend, you should always consult a vet. Initially minor injuries or behavioural problems can have serious consequences if left untreated. It is therefore advisable to have your dog examined by a vet.

How do I recognise musculoskeletal injuries?

If your dog abruptly starts limping or only walks on three legs, there may be some form of injury. The skin does not necessarily have to be visibly wounded, as damage to the underlying tissues can be enough to cause pain. Acute trauma to the deeper tissues of the limb can be recognised by swelling and tenderness of the injured area. Running is painful – the dog may even howl in pain. As a result, the dog loses its joy of running and displays restricted movement.

So if your dog suddenly doesn’t feel like continuing the walk, take his body language seriously and check his limbs for injuries, swelling and warm pain points.

Acute injuries with lameness, strains, sprains or even dislocated joints happen relatively often in an active dog’s life. If these injuries do not heal thoroughly, they can lead to subsequent osteoarthritis or even back problems. Even slipped discs are unfortunately not uncommon in dogs.

Dog jumps over two agility hurdles

How can I give first aid to my dog?

First aid for dogs

If your dog does not want to move at all, howls in pain and / or only hops on three legs, you should visit a veterinarian immediately. This is the first point of contact for every complaint. For first aid, the limb must be stabilized in order to avoid further injuries, broken bones and complicated healing processes. The first step is to keep the dog calm and prevent stress on the affected limb.

In the case of minor injuries, bruises and strains, it helps to cool the affected area. The cold lowers the temperature in the vessels and and helps to numb them, which will aid pain relief. It also prevents the spread of inflammation.

After a visit to the vet, further therapeutic measures can be taken. Massages, active mobilisation and apparatus therapy, for example in the form of an underwater treadmill, can be helpful in the rehabilitation process.

In addition, you should always keep an eye on your dog’s weight. Excess weight has a detrimental effect on the joints, which are essentially designed for an agile dog’s body. Too much fat on the joints causes excessive strain on the bones and cartilage, leading to avoidable deterioration and the development of osteoarthritis. With a healthy diet tailored to the amount of exercise your four-legged friend gets, you can help prevent the dog’s obesity.

If your dog is involved in sports, you should be sure that the exercises are carried out correctly. This is because long-term exposure to improper strain can also lead to injuries and premature wear and tear of the musculoskeletal system.

Some dog breeds, especially smaller ones, find it difficult to climb high stairs or to manage high jumps. Therefore, adjust the amount and type of exercise your dog does to fit to its size and age, in order to avoid sprains and strains.

How can I support my dog’s health?

Once you have done everything to keep your dog healthy and agile, there are still a few supplements that can significantly increase the well-being of your four-legged friend. Especially for older dogs, warmth is important for their general well-being. A warm environment can counteract aches and pains here and there. Therefore, warming dog coats are available that can be used according to the individual circumstances:

  • In cold weather: especially small, older or sick dogs get shivery quickly. With a dog coat, even a wet and cold winter walk can be fun.
  • Puppy protection: Puppies and young dogs lack a fully developed coat that is water-resistant and warming. A coat provides them protection from cold weather conditions.
  • Training breaks: Dogs engaged in sports should not be exposed to cold temperatures between training sessions.
  • Imported dogs: Dogs that are imported from warmer regions where winters are also mild. To make it easier to get used to the temperatures here, dog coats can support the dog’s immune system.

Hot summer days can also cause big problems for your dog. Since dogs are unable to sweat much, panting is especially important to avoid overheating. You can additionally protect your dog from heat stroke by putting a breathable dog coat with integrated cooling function on them. To do this, simply pour water over the dog coat and thereby activate it.

Magnetic field mats are ideal for use at home or during long breaks, and can even be used for long-term therapy. They are reliable aids for sleep disorders, anxiety and stress in dogs, which can often be the cause of muscle tension, consequently back problems and the ever-dreaded slipped discs.

Ceramic fibre dog coats

To enhance the warming effect of a dog coat, some models incorporate ceramic fibres that help reflect the infrared radiation of body heat. The material is also breathable so that heat does not accumulate during an active walk.

The thermal properties of the dog coats with incorporated ceramic fibres are particularly beneficial for dogs with problems in the joints and muscles. After a period of adjustment, the dog coat with ceramic fibre can also be worn day and night, if this is necessary for them.

Our tip: With the Felix Bühler Dog Coat Ceramic Rehab, your weather-sensitive dog not only has a waterproof and windproof 3-in-1 rain coat. The removable undercoat made of ceramic fleece reflects the dog’s body heat and keeps him pleasantly warm. The fleece coat can also be worn separately, for example in dry weather or indoors. So you have a dog coat that your four-legged friend can wear around the clock.