Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sport Dog Owners Intro to Prescription Medication!

Sport Dog Owners Intro to Prescription Medication

Sports dogs work as hard as their human counterparts. They compete in different events which test a dog’s speed, endurance, strength, and intelligence. Nevertheless just like human athletes, sports dogs are susceptible to injury. The most common forms are muscular trigger points, back and neck problems, and cruciate ligament injury.

Although prevention is always better, by maintaining the dog’s health and fitness, sometimes injuries are just unavoidable. And when they do happen, the injured dog must get the most appropriate treatment. These injuries affect a dog’s mobility and may contribute to the early development of dog arthritis.

To treat muscular trigger points, physical therapy and massage will suffice. Neck and back pain can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers. In some cases, surgery may be needed. However, a cruciate ligament injury will require surgery. There are many procedures available to remedy the injury such as extracapsular suture, tibial plateau leveling osteotomy, or tibial tuberosity advancement. It is important that dog owners discuss all available procedures carefully with their veterinarian as there is no one superior procedure; all have their advantages and their drawbacks.

Prescription Medication

For sport dogs, pain is almost an unavoidable hazard of the job. Prescription medicine is an important aspect in the treatment of injuries and in the rehabilitation process after surgery or injury. There are many anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers available. What is important is choosing the right drug. Efficacy must be balanced with safety. Therefore, a dog’s overall health should always be the top priority.

The following are prescription medications that are commonly used in veterinary medicine:
• NMDA antagonists or neuropathic pain medicines help reduce pain by “calming down” overactive neural pain pathways. Common NMDA antagonists include Gabapentin, Amantadine, Ketamine and Amitryptaline.
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are drugs which inhibit the pro-inflammatory action of COX-enzymes. Nonetheless, they have side effects such blood thinning, renal failure, and gastro-intestinal damage that can be fatal for some dogs.
• Opioids provide stronger pain relief than other prescription painkillers and have very few side effects. They work by decreasing the brain’s awareness of pain. Examples of opiods are Tramadol, Morphine, Fentanyl, Buprenorphine, and Codeine. Most states and countries consider opioids as restricted substances, which make the sale and purchasing of the drug tricky.
• Cortisone is a more potent anti-inflammatory than NSAIDs. It can help to settle “acute on chronic” pain. However, it should rarely be considered as a first option since it can exacerbate bone degeneration. Also, it should not be used for more than two to three times a year.

To learn more about prescription medication, you can download a free copy of my e-book, The Risks of Prescription Medicines in Dog Arthritis. Just click on the following link:
Risks of Prescription Medicines B « Dog Arthritis Plan
Prescription medicines on non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Rimadyl, Metacam, Previcox or Deramaxx

Article provided by Mr. Christopher Durin, Veterinarian and Author.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Forward Momentum!

Last weekends beside the skills of rear cross or back switch, we also did some forward motion or momentum training. This skill is good for new dogs and also the advance dogs. Passion, Toby, and Sky all go through this forward momentum training grip.

Forward momentum skills allow your animals to focus on what is ahead and drive towards it and not so handler focus. You are unable to release the velcro dogs if their keen attention is on you and only you. This is a good problem, but you will need to teach your velcro dogs that sometime you need to focus on what's ahead and keep driving at it. In Agility, some trainers teach the ability to teach your dogs to be both handler and obstacle focus.

Happy training and always stay positive!

Hershey unexpected retirement

Just a few weeks ago, both Deb and myself were dreaming of Hershey debut in our 9th USDAA Sanctioned Trials in late July. Deb have spent so much time training Hershey and she is good and ready for action. Now we have to prematurely retire hershey from Dog Agility.

3 weeks ago, she had raptured her ligament. Thanks to an inconsiderate neighbour, who let their dog out to roam close to my gate and resulted in Hershey charging on their dog one morning. After that she has been limping ever since. Deb brought her to a Vet and was diagnosed of raptured ligament and was recommended surgery. But after reading so much information on the internet, we decided to give hershey more time to recover than to subject her to surgery which might or might not guarantee recovery.

At this moment, our prime concern is her quality of life. She must have the ability to walk, run and jump at a later stage. If by the 8th weeks, she is not making effort to use her injured paw, we will have no choice but to subject her to surgery.

Now, she has progressed from using her injured paw to walk, run, stand, and putting weight on her injured paw. This is very encouraging and we will start brining her to therapy, swimming in heated water to help in her recovery process.

We won't be rushing her back to active activity or training, we will observe thoroughly and see if external helps is require.

Let's pray for hershey full recovery, thanks.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rear Cross or Back Switch!

This week it is the exciting week in WAO (World Agility Open) Championship in England. Our friend Toshi-san and Queen Bee from Japan and Gina O'keefe and borrowed dog from down under will be competing. We will be following very closely on their results.

We are very lucky, even though the weather is hot, at least the haze is not very visible. Our focus this weekends is Rear-Cross or Back Switch. These Rear-Cross exercises allow the dog and handler focus on following objectives;

1. Rear-cross over two jumps,
2. Rear-cross over tire jump,
3. Rear-cross through tunnels,
4. Rear cross to weavepoles,
5. Rear cross to broad jumps.

All the above mentioned objective allow the dog and handler, manage the skill of rear cross and allowing handler to better handle their dog over the designated agility course designs.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Haze is back!

The terrible haze is back. Yesterday morning on my drive to work, the haze has blocked my beautiful views of Singapore. Singapore Flyers, Marina Sands, Marina Barrage, Singapore River and Sky line of Singapore Business district all disappeared into the think cloud of haze.

Last night, even with the heavy downpour, the weather was hot, humid and misty. And you can smell the air of the burning haze. I heard from some of friends in KL, the haze is bad and they are experiencing more hazy problem than us in Singapore.

We will need to take special attention during training this weekends. Poor air quality will affect both the health of our dogs and owners.

Have fun and stay positive!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Searing heat is here :(

It's part of the year where searing heat has set in since last Saturday. Incidentally last Saturday was Singapore 2011 General Election. The heat and the GE 2011 have heighten the weekends and rise the temperature beyond average tolerance.

In this heated season, we need to pay special attention during training. Especially if you have full black or black and white dog. Below are what we should take special attention to;

1. Avoid training during hottest period 11am to 3pm,
2. Avoid training more than 5 - 10 mins per session,
3. Allow your dogs to rest twice the training session,
4. Allow plenty of water available for your dog,
5. If possible wet your dog to cool them down,
6. Allow your dog H2O or thirst quenching drink,
7. Allow longer warming up and warming down session.

If you notice your dog is showing signs of exhaustion, excessive panting, restlessness, please immediately stop training and let your dog rest. Please take care, PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!

Last but not least, have fun in your training and always stay positive!

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's been a long time .....

It’s been a long time since I have time to train Jade. This afternoon training was a beautiful experience. Jade now can move into heel position on my left and on my right. She now automatically move into heel position to get her rewards on motion.

At the same time I worked Jade on Agility as well. The Pause Table was my plan. Now she can jump onto the table and adopt a sit position. Of course, my ultimate aim is to get her to take a down position on the table. Jade don’t seems to like to down position, I will have to work on her separately. Open Tunnel was next. Working with Jade to go into the tunnel on her own. Jade did it brilliantly. Now she dashes out with great intensity.

She is such a darling :0

02 May 2011 - Continuation of Agility Training

Passion & Melvin Jumping Grid Ex.

Passion & Melvin Weavepoles Ex.

Last weekends training was superb! Passion & Melvin is getting on brilliantly. See their videos on Jumping Grid and Weavepoles Exercises, this team is a team to watch in the future.

I continue with my jumping grid exercises with Millie, and we nail it! I am getting more confident handling Millie and I'm sure she now reads me better and we should be doing more great runs in the future.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Our Shy Girl - Jade!

Jade has shown great progress thanks to all our Saturday's Agility Students and our visiting friends and kids. Now Jade can warm up with the visitors and eventually allow them to walk her.

USDAAsg, Agility Dogs for Any Flavour!

USDAAsg, Agility Dogs for Any Flavour!
USDAA Singapore