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Every dog (regardless of breed) is unique. This is not an all-inclusive list, as there are several hundred breeds worldwide, but rather a glimpse at some of the more popular and unique breeds (AKC recognized or not) that we have compiled for this issue.

Akbash Dog, Alaskan Klee Kai, Affenpinscher, Afghan Hound, Airedale Terrier, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs, American Bulldog, American English Coonhound, American Eskimo Dog, American Foxhound, American Hairless Terrier, American Leopard Hound, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Water Spaniel, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Appenzeller Sennenhund, Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Kelpie, Australian Shepherd, Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, Australian Terrier, Azawakh

New Breed: The Alaskan Klee Kai is a miniature version of the Alaskan Husky who was bred to pull light loads over long distances. Linda Spurlin created the breed in the early ‘70s by mixing Alaskan Huskies, Siberian Huskies, Schipperkes and American Eskimos. Klee Kai come in four colors—solid white, black and white, gray and white or red and white—and three sizes (standard, miniature and toy). Standing as tall as 17 inches at the shoulder or as short as 13 inches, they weigh between 9 and 23 pounds. “Don’t kid yourself this breed sheds year-round,” says Kimberly Mix who owns two Klee Kai named Tikanni and Nymeria. “Double coats mean strict grooming during seasonal shedding. I adhere to the strict grooming practice of baths biannually.”

Klee Kai are intelligent, curious, energetic and quick. While loving and loyal toward family members, they’re shy around strangers. They can also be escape artists or runners. “Klee Kai have a personality where if you aren’t their person, or you don’t have treats for them, they have no use for you,” Mix says. “Patience is a must. They’re characters and will rule your roost if you allow them. Socialize. Let them experience as much as possible. You’ll end up with a much more rounded, confident Klee Kai for your efforts.”

Barbet, Basenji, Basset Fauve de Bretagne, Basset Hound, Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound, Beagle, Bearded Collie, Beauceron, Bedlington Terrier, Belgian Laekenois, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Bergamasco Sheepdog, Berger Picard, Bernese Mountain Dog, Bichon Frise, Biewer Terrier, Black and Tan Coonhound, Black Mouth Cur, Black Russian Terrier, Bloodhound, Bluetick Coonhound, Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog), Blue Lacy, Boerboel, Bohemian Shepherd, Bolognese, Border Collie, Border Terrier, Borzoi, Boston Terrier, Bouvier des Flandres, Boxer, Boykin Spaniel, Bracco Italiano, Braque du Bourbonnais, Braque Francais Pyrenean, Brazilian Dogo, Brazilian Mastiff, Briard, Brittany, Broholmer, Brussels Griffon, Bull Terrier, Bulldog, Bullmastiff

Boxers were developed in Germany during the late 19th century when Bullenbeissers were crossed with English Bulldogs. They were used to hunt bears, deer, bison and wild boar. By the late 1800s, they became butcher’s dogs, controlling cattle in slaughterhouses. The Boxer was called boxl, meaning ‘short trousers’ which may be the root of its name. Boxers are also known for sparring with their front paws while standing on their hind legs. They come in fawn, brindle or white. They stand 21 to 25 inches tall and weigh between 50 and 80 pounds.

When the Boxer is excited, it twists into a semicircle similar to the shape of a kidney bean, and turns in circles. Boxers also make a special soundcalled a “woo-woo” when they want attention. Because of their clownish sense of humor and boundless energy, the Boxer is sometimes called the “Peter Pan” of Dogdom. “Floyd makes me laugh every day. I tell people that he loves life. He wants to be with my five kids or two Frenchies whenever they’re playing,” says owner Margie Shaw. Male boxers are more social, affectionate and playful. “They have a mind of their own,” she says. “My females were more introverted and very protective of me.”

Cairn Terrier, Canaan Dog, Canadian Eskimo Dog, Cane Corso, Canary Dog, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Carpathian Sheepdog, Carolina Dog, Catahoula Leopard Dog, Catalan Sheepdog, Caucasian Shepherd Dog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Central Asian Shepherd Dog, Cesky Terrier, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chihuahua, Chinese Crested, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chinook, Chow Chow, Cirneco dell’Etna, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Collie, Coton de Tulear, Croatian Sheepdog, Curly-coated Retriever, Czechoslovakian Vlcak

The Chihuahua is the oldest breed in North America and the smallest breed in the world. Named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua, the breed descended from the Techichi, a small, mute dog that lived with the Mayans and Toltecs as far back as 9 A.D. Chihuahuas, can have long, short, wavy or flat coats. They can be solid, marked or splashed and come in two different head shapes—apple and deer. Apple head Chihuahuas have broad, round foreheads with protruding eyes and short muzzles. Deer head Chihuahuas have the face shape of a baby fawn with a longer muzzle and larger ears. They’re six to nine inches tall at the shoulder and weigh three to six pounds.

Chihuahuas are alert, intelligent, charming, graceful and sassy. Cori Bliesner ended up with her 9-year-old Chihuahua named Nacho because he ran out in front of her car. “I pulled over to try to get a hold of him because he was really tiny and scrawny,” she says. “I spent an hour trying to coax him out from behind the fence at the Miller Brewery.” Chihuahuas have been known to exclude family members and remain faithful to only one person. They have a high pitched, mono-tone bark. “Nacho likes to make his thoughts known and thinks he’s a lot bigger than he actually is,” Bliesner says. Chihuahuas certainly have their faults, but at the end of the day, they’re proof that good things come in small packages.

Dachshund, Dalmatian, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Danish-Swedish Farmdog, Deutscher Wachtelhund, Doberman Pinscher, Dogo Argentino, Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff), Drentsche Patrijshond, Drever, Dutch Shepherd

While some believe Dalmatians originated more than 400 years ago in Dalmatia, a region in modern-day Croatia, they’ve appeared in Egyptian hieroglyphs, Greek frescos and medieval letters. They also traveled with gypsies which may explain their elusive heritage. By the 1600s, Dalmatians worked as English carriage dogs. In the 19th century, they became fire-fighting carriage escorts and firehouse mascots. Dalmatians would bark to let bystanders know that they should get out of the way and comfort the horses as they pulled the wagon toward a fire.They also made sure that no one stole the firefighters’ equipment or the horses.

Dalmatians are between 19 to 23 inches tall and weigh between 45 and 60 pounds. Their spots usually appear 10 days after birth and continue to develop until they’re around 18 months old. Dalmatians come in black or liver spots that range from light tan to dark chocolate. They’re smart, athletic, empathetic, inquisitive and loyal. “Pierce rode on a firetruck at 8 weeks old and ended up calming a child at a fire scene. Halligan is deaf in one ear, but he can hear a cookie drop across the house,” says owner Lori Holz. “Pierce loves water and will play in the sprinkler or swim in a river or lake. They both fly three feet off the ground to grab balls in midair.”

Egyptian Baladi, English Bulldog, English Cocker Spaniel, English Foxhound, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, English Toy Spaniel, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Estrela Mountain Dog, Eurasier

The English Bulldog was created in England during the 1200s for the sport of bullbaiting, where a staked bull brawled with a pack of dogs while spectators bet on the outcome. When blood sports were outlawed in 1835, the Bulldog was exported to Germany and the Southern U.S. It was used to herd cattle where the terrain was too rough to allow for fences. By 1886, Bulldog breeders on both sides of the Atlantic had created a thick-set, low-slung, well-muscled bruiser with a sour mug. The Bulldog weighs up to 55 pounds but is between 12 and 15 inches tall. Its short, smooth, glossy coat comes in brindle, piebald, red, fawn or white.

Emily Brendel found her Bulldog named Pork on Facebook in December 2016. Pork is cheerful, comical, friendly and headstrong. “He will do what I want only after I tell him a few times. I have to physically pick him up off the bed or push him out the door. He likes to sleep on the couch or floor most of the day,” she says. “Pork has tear stains on his face wrinkles that are very difficult to get rid of. He also has a deep tail pocket that I clean with Desitin cream and baby wipes. He loves to get his tail pocket cleaned. He’ll run over to me as soon as he sees me grab some paper towels.”

Field Spaniel, Fila Brasileiro, Finnish Lapphund, Finnish Spitz, Flat-Coated Retriever, French Bulldog, French Mastiff, French Spaniel

In the late 1700s, the French Bulldog found favor with Nottingham lacemakers who worked long hours in unsafe mills. When the Industrial Revolution threatened their cottage industry, they immigrated to Northern France—where they crossed the toy-size Bulldog with Terriers and Pugs. With their snub noses and large bat ears, Frenchies became one of the world’s most popular small dog breeds. Tatiana Romanov, the second daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, had a Frenchie named Ortipo. He met the same tragic fate as the rest of the Russian royal family. Virginia’s Senator Robert Daniel also had a champion Frenchie named Gamin de Pycombe. He bought him for 150 British pounds ($15,000 in today’s U.S. dollars). They traveled on the Titanic. Daniel survived and lived until 1940. Gamin de Pycombe was last seen futilely swimming for his life in the sub-zero water.

Frenchies are 11 to 12 inches tall and weigh 16 to 28 pounds. They come in brindle and white, piebald, white, fawn, brindle and tan. Frenchies are easygoing, affectionate, attentive, smart and sociable. They don’t bark a lot, but their alertness makes them excellent watchdogs. Hillery Boyden bought her 4-year-old Frenchie named Beau from a breeder in Pennsylvania. “Be prepared for a lot of snorting and farting. They have smushed faces, so they tend to be a little bit noisier,” she says. “French Bulldogs can also have bursts of intense energy, but they always want to be with you.”

A To F, By CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER

Georgian Shepherd, German Longhaired Pointer, German Pinscher, German Shepherd Dog, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Spitz, German Wirehaired Pointer, Giant Schnauzer, Glen of Imaal Terrier, Goldendoodle, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Greenland Dog, Greyhound

“Great Danes are like having a toddler in a dog suit,” says Jennifer Klika, president of the Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue in Eagan, Minn. “There are days I’d need a pitchfork to push my 9-year-old out of bed. Then he gets the zoomies and runs like a maniac for 15 minutes and looks like a camel whose legs are falling off.” With a lanky body and a head that doesn’t quite match, Danes pout when they want attention, slump when they’re disappointed and bounce when they’re happy.

Danes were originally bred to hunt boars. Assyrians, a major power in the ancient Middle East, traded them with the Greeks and Romans. They mixed them with Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Greyhounds and the ancestors of English Mastiffs.

By the 1500s, German nobility used Danes to protect their homes and loved ones. They considered the breed to be the biggest and most handsome of dogs, calling them Kammerhundes (Chamber Dogs). They were given gilded collars trimmed with fringe and padded with velvet.

In the 1700s, French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon discovered a slimmer German Boarhound. He said the Danish climate caused it to become a Grand Danois (Big Danish). He didn’t develop the breed. But the name stuck.

Danes live an average of 7 to 10 years. They’re prone to bone cancer, heart disease, hypothyroidism, ear infections and hip dislocation.

According to the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), 42 percent of Great Danes also develop bloat during their lifetimes. Treatment consists of a gastropexy (or “pexy”), in which the dog’s stomach is sutured to the body wall, preventing it from twisting. “This procedure is recommended at the time of spay or neuter, as opposed to a second anesthetic event,” says Dr. Morgan McCoy from Magnolia Springs Veterinary Center in Sturtevant, Wis.

By CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER, SPRING 2020 COVER DOG

Hamiltonstovare, Hanover Hound, Hanoverian Scenthound, Harrier, Havana Silk Dog, Havanese, Hokkaido, Hovawart, Himalayan Sheepdog

Ibizan Hound, Icelandic Sheepdog, Irish Red and White Setter, Irish Setter, Irish Terrier, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Wolfhound, Italian Greyhound, Italian Spinone

As is the case for many of our dog breeds, the origins of the Italian Greyhound are sketchy, but we do know that they were not developed in Italy. It is widely believed that the breed came out of Turkey and Greece about 2000 years ago, where images of small Greyhound-like dogs have been found on ancient artifacts. From there, the Italian Greyhound spread throughout the Mediterranean and by the Middle Ages could be found throughout Southern Europe.

Bred for companionship and as a hunter of small game, the little dogs quickly became the darlings of the aristocracy. Royal owners included Charles I, Catherine the Great and later, Queen Victoria during whose reign the popularity of IGs peaked in England. Frederick II of Prussia especially liked the breed and owned more than 50 of the little dogs! IGs can be seen being held by their highborn owners in Renaissance art and portraits. They were especially beloved by wealthy Italians and soon became known as Italian Greyhounds. In the United States, the Italian Greyhound was recognized by the AKC in 1886 and this year was ranked 73rd out of 193 in popularity.

IGs were bred down from the Greyhound and as such have all of the larger dogs hunting and speed capabilities. They are energetic and playful runners and jumpers, but because of their strong prey drive, cannot be relied upon to stay in place off-leash. They are sometimes referred to as Velcro dogs because they like to stick close to their humans and will follow them everywhere, even under bedcovers. IGs are affectionate and don’t like to be left alone for too long. They love attention, although they are not fond of roughhouse play. They are good with children who can respectfully and carefully interact with them.

Because they are generally adaptable to any environment that contains the humans they love, Italian Greyhounds can live almost anywhere. They make excellent apartment dogs but do need regular exercise. They love to run and can go as fast as 25mph! Again, they will take off if they spy something interesting to chase, so they can never be off-leash or outside a secure, fenced-in area. Like all of their Sighthound cousins, they are born thieves! And of course, they love being held!

Italian Greyhounds are generally healthy but can be prone to some health issues. These include epilepsy, thyroid problems, cataracts, periodontal disease and hip dysplasia. They are also sensitive to pesticides.

The Italian Greyhound is a Sighthound/Toy combination. An IG combines the qualities of a cuddly, loving lap dog with the impressive speed and prey drive of a Sighthound. I’d say this is the best of two worlds found together in one beautiful, portable package!

By PAMELA STACE, FREELANCER, FALL 2019 COVER DOG

Jagdterrier, Japanese Akitainu, Japanese Chin, Japanese Spitz, Jindo

Kai Ken, Karelian Bear Dog, Keeshond, Kerry Blue Terrier, Kishu Ken, Komondor, Kromfohrlander, Kuvasz

Labrador Retriever, Laekenois, Lagotto Romagnolo, Lakeland Terrier, Lancashire Heeler, Lapponian Herder, Large Munsterlander, Leonberger, Lhaso Apso, Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog (Catahoula Cur), Löwchen

Katerina, or Kate, our model, shares her name with Shakespeare’s famous heroine Katerina from “The Taming of the Shrew.” It seems that both Kates share a number of qualities including stubbornness, intelligence, independence, loyalty and devotion.

Like Shakespeare’s Kate, Lakelands, “Lakies” or “Laplanders” do what they want to do and can be quite bold! Owner Nora Clark says that her girl is friendly and well-behaved but likes things her way! The “Little Tank,” as Nora calls her, loves to be out in the snow but refuses to wear a coat. She loves to play, but can get a bit rough.

The Lakeland terrier originated in Cumberland, England’s Lake District, sometime in the 19th Century. This makes it one of the oldest of the terrier breeds. As sturdy little dogs with a dense, wiry double coat, they were originally bred to work independently from humans, hunting vermin over rocky terrain. Farmers also used Lakies together with hounds to keep foxes away from their sheep during lambing season. These dogs were bred to be tough, athletic and ready to take on anything big or small that got in their way. Coming from lake country, they adore water. The Lakeland is related to the now-extinct Old English black and tan terrier, the Bedlington terrier, the Dandie Dinmont terrier and the border collie. The Lakeland terrier was recognized by the AKC in 1934 and in 2018 was ranked 138 among registered breeds.

Lakies can do well anywhere, but they do best with a thoughtful and understanding owner. Highly energetic, sneaky and with a mind that never stops, they not only enjoy having a daily job to do, but MUST have one. Because they are very headstrong, Lakies need early socialization and training in order to effectively channel their natural eagerness, curiosity and intelligence. They are perfectly capable of finding their own fun around the house and can get into trouble there. So it is best for their owners to find ways to keep them busy! They love people and make especially great lap dogs! Lakies can take a long time to housetrain, but with patience and persistence they will get there! They may be overly protective of their humans or aggressive around other dogs. They are very intuitive and can really tune into the health issues and moods of their owners. Lakies are good watchdogs, but it is important that they be discouraged from being too barky. They are considered non-shedding, and they are a good choice for people who are allergic to dogs.

By CHERESE COBB, FREELANCER, SPRING 2019 COVER DOG

Majestic Tree Hound, Maltese, Manchester Terrier (Standard and Toy), Mastiff, Miniature American Shepherd, Miniature Bull Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Miniature Schnauzer, Mountain Cur, Moscow Watchdog, Mudi

Native American Indian Dog, Neapolitan Mastiff, Nederlandse Kooikerhondje, Newfoundland, Norfolk Terrier, Norrbottenspets, Norwegian Buhund, Norwegian Elkhound, Norwegian Lundehund, Norwich Terrier, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Old Danish Pointer, Old English Sheepdog, Otterhound

Papillon,  Parson Russell Terrier, Pekingese, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Perro de Presa Canario, Peruvian Inca Orchid, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, Pharaoh Hound, Plott Hound, Pointer, Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Pomeranian, Poodle (Standard, Miniature, Toy), Porcelaine, Portuguese Podengo, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, Portuguese Pointer, Portuguese Sheepdog, Portuguese Water Dog, Pudelpointer, Pug, Puli, Pumi, Pyrenean Mastiff, Pyrenean Shepherd

Queensland Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog), Qimmiq (Canadian Eskimo Dog)

Rafeiro do Alentejo, Rat Terrier, Redbone Coonhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog, Rottweiler, Russell Terrier, Russian Toy, Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are true Renaissance hounds. They are good at a variety of things and have an exciting history. Dutch colonists in southern Africa used the native hunting dogs of tribes and combined them with the more popular European breeds: Greyhounds and Terriers. Thus creating an athletic, regal-looking dog that could hunt in packs and track down lions. They were able to successfully find and confront these predators and keep them trapped by howling at them or baying from a safe distance. Imagine a pack of dogs surrounding the king of beasts like the hyenas did in Disney’s “The Lion King.” Ridgebacks were effective companions for South African-born Cornelius van Rooyen—big game hunter and dog breeder—in the late 19th century. Never killing the lions, the Ridgebacks would howl (bay) at them so the hunter had adequate time to pull out and dispatch his rifle. Ridgies are the national dog of South Africa.

Most importantly, today they are devoted family dogs that are good with children—two-legged children of the human variety, that is. Ridgebacks have an extremely strong prey drive stemming from their days of trotting alongside hunters on horses and chasing down prides. Owner Dan Broege says his dog Reggie may have high energy, but he is still his couch potato at heart. “Reggie is super friendly, loves people and other dogs, but is very protective of the house.” Reggie will guard the house all day yet sleeps under the covers in the bed at night. Ridgebacks are typically very strong-willed dogs that are independent, loyal and domineering.

Because they are the stereotypical strong-willed four-legged children, Ridgies need a firm trainer from youth on. The ideal candidate is someone who can positively steer them in the right direction, keeping them on a tight leash but with lots of exercise. They need training classes and early socialization in order to become well-mannered and well-adjusted companions, according to the American Kennel Club. Though this dog is extremely loyal to his or her family, this is a dog that lives indoors and needs to be fenced-in when outside and off leash due to a heavy prey drive. Broege says his Ridgeback is a freak of an athlete yet possesses some unique quirks. Reggie is a whiner and a kisser but only kisses strangers! Weird. Not the typical behavior for a Ridgie. Usually, Rhodesians are quite affectionate with their owners and more reserved with strangers. Broege also mentions that Reggie loves to watch TV and will only chew on bones that Broege holds for him. Talk about your atypical royal Ridgie.

As for appearance, this beautiful breed should look muscular, symmetrical and balanced in outline, according to the AKC. They have a signature ridge of hair down their back and range in size. Their grooming needs are small as they only require the basics: nail trimming, brushing and bathing as upkeep.

By NASTASSIA PUTZ, PUBLISHER, SUMMER 2020 COVER DOG

Saint Bernard, Saluki, Samoyed, Schapendoes, Schipperke, Scottish Deerhound, Scottish Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Segugio Italiano, Shetland Sheepdog, Shiba Inu, Shih Tzu, Shikoku, Siberian Husky, Silky Terrier, Skye Terrier, Sloughi, Slovakian Wirehaired Pointer, Slovensky Cuvac, Slovensky Kopov, Small Munsterlander, Smooth Fox Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Spanish Mastiff, Spanish Water Dog, Spinone Italiano, Stabyhoun, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Standard Schnauzer, Sussex Spaniel, Swedish Lapphund, Swedish Vallhund

The Japanese use three words to describe the Shiba Inu or Shiba—a national monument in Japan—and their most popular dog breed.

FIRST WORD: “Kan-i”—refers to the Shiba’s spirited confidence, alertness and bravery.

SECOND WORD: “Ryosei”—means good natured and loyal.

THIRD WORD: “Soboku”—describes easy, natural good looks.

Indeed, Shiba Inus exhibit all of these magnificent qualities as well as a couple interesting behaviors unique to them. But more about that later.

The Shiba Inu is the smallest of six original dog breeds native to Japan, the largest being the Akita. Shiba means “brushwood” in Japanese, and Inu means dog. It is unclear whether brushwood became part of the dog’s name because Shibas hunted in dense underbrush or because its red coat was like the autumn color of Japanese brushwood. During World War II, between bombing raids and outbreaks of distemper, Shibas almost became extinct. In order to save the Shiba, the Japanese began a breeding program that incorporated the last three remaining Shiba bloodlines. The Japanese Kennel Club was established in 1948.

Shiba Inus are relatively new to the U.S. The first Shiba arrived here in 1954, but the breed really didn’t become popular until the 1990s. The AKC officially recognized the Shiba in the Non-Sporting group in 1992, and today Shibas are the AKC’s 44th most-registered breed.

By PAMELA STACE, FREELANCER, FALL 2017 COVER DOG

Taiwan Dog, Teddy Roosevelt Terrier, Thai Ridgeback, Tibetan Mastiff, Tibetan Spaniel, Tibetan Terrier, Tornjak, Tosa, Toy Fox Terrier, Transylvanian Hound, Treeing Tennessee Brindle, Treeing Walker Coonhound

Ultimate Mastiff, Utonagan

Vizsla

Weimaraner, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Welsh Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Wetterhoun, Whippet, Wire Fox Terrier, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Wirehaired Vizsla, Working Kelpie

Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog)

Yakutian Laika, Yorkipoo, Yorkshire Terrier

Zuchon

 

BY KERRI WIEDMEYER, DVM, WVRC

Kennel cough is characterized by an infection of typically more than one of the following infectious agents: Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine adenovirus type 2, canine distemper virus, canine herpesvirus, canine influenza, canine parainfluenza, canine pneumovirus, canine reovirus, canine respiratory coronavirus, Mycoplasma spp, and Streptococcus spp.

Kennel cough causes a persistent hacking cough that is typically self-limiting in mild cases and may not require any treatment. These infectious agents can be transmitted through the air, direct contact with an infected dog and through fomites. Thus when dogs are in a crowded or enclosed area such as kennels, boarding facilities and dog parks, these infectious agents have an opportunity to spread like wild fire.

Clinical signs:
Dogs can have a variety of signs associated with kennel cough, but the most common is a dry, hacking cough. It is not uncommon for dogs to hack and have a terminal retch with the aggressive coughing that can occur. Dogs with kennel cough may have bouts of coughing when excited and pulling on their leash. Some of the infectious agents causing kennel cough can lead to pneumonia, fever, lethargy and nasal discharge/congestion. These clinical signs are more commonly found in dogs that are either very young, very old or immunocompromised.

Diagnosis:
Kennel cough is often diagnosed based on physical exam findings and the dog’s recent history. A veterinarian will often palpate the trachea, which can elicit a coughing fit in dogs with kennel cough. Recent history of being boarded or at the dog park can help tie together a presumptive diagnosis. Thoracic radiographs should be normal unless pneumonia is present. PCR testing or amplification of pathogen DNA, can be done for a number of the infectious agents listed above. This type of testing is typically reserved for severe cases that are not self-limiting or responding to treatment.

Treatment:
In the majority of cases, kennel cough is self limiting, and no treatment is required. Dogs will often have a cough for 1-2 weeks. Cough suppressants can be prescribed if a dog is unable to get comfortable or sleep due to the bouts of coughing. Cough suppressants should be avoided if a dog has pneumonia. It is not uncommon for antibiotics to be prescribed if a bacterial infection is thought to be part of the cause. Dogs that progress to pneumonia may require hospitalization, intravenous fluids, injectable antibiotics and oxygen supplementation.

Prevention:
Preventing the spread of kennel cough can be challenging as there are many infectious agents that cause it. There are vaccines available for a number of the infectious agents that can help decrease spread. Bordetella bronchiseptica has a vaccine available in both injectable and intranasal forms. This vaccine has to be given every year. For canine parainfluenza virus, canine influenza virus, canine distemper and canine adenovirus type 2, there is a vaccine series that puppies receive and then subsequent boosters. Environmental changes or precautions should be considered as well. Dogs going to dog parks or boarding should be fully vaccinated. Stressful situations, smoke and poor ventilation can also play into the spread and severity of kennel cough.

Overall, the prognosis for dogs that get kennel cough can be very good. That being said, it can be pretty annoying when both you and your poor dog cannot get any sleep because of the loud coughing.

BY MEGAN TREMELLING, DVM, LVS

Acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome is a combination of vomiting and bloody diarrhea that can seem to come on in a matter of minutes. The resulting fluid shifts rapidly cause dehydration. The most serious cases can be fatal. Fortunately, most dogs do very well with hospitalization and appropriate care.

Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) is a polite way of saying “Bulldogs can’t breathe.” Brachycephalic dogs are the ones that are bred to have extremely short muzzles and flat faces like Pugs and Bulldogs. They frequently come with a set of anomalies including narrow nostrils; soft palates that are long enough to choke on and larynxes that are under so much pressure that they collapse. Lots of brachycephalic dogs have surgery to open up their airways so that they can breathe more easily. Do you own and love a smushy-faced dog? Ask your veterinarian whether BOAS surgery would improve your pet’s quality of life. See also Heat Stroke.

Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture is an extremely common injury that destabilizes a dog’s knee. In most cases, the ligament has worn out as much as it has been torn. Some dogs manage to hobble around on a CCL injury, but arthritis is almost inevitable. Just to make matters worse, it is quite common for dogs to rupture the ligament in both knees. Luckily, a surgical repair can restore function and reduce the development of arthritis.

Dystocia is difficulty giving birth. While many bitches whelp their puppies without drama, there are others who cannot get the job done on their own. Causes include calcium deficiency, malpositioned fetuses and several other problems, but the most common cause is that the bitch has been purposefully bred to have a tiny body. This causes difficulty accommodating the passage of a puppy especially in breeds with disproportionately big heads. A C-section then becomes a necessity.

Endocrine disease is a whole group of diseases and disorders including diabetes, hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease. A dog’s endocrine system, like a human’s, uses chemical messengers to coordinate body functions. When the system breaks down, the results can be catastrophic. Many endocrine diseases can be diagnosed with bloodwork, and many can be successfully managed though most cannot be cured. Is your dog suddenly drinking and urinating far more than usual? Ask your veterinarian to make sure the endocrine system is on point.

Fleas are tiny, wingless insects that spend most of their lives hiding in an animal’s haircoat feeding on blood. Fleas are tough little critters. They have survived for 60 million years. They transmit diseases and parasites, trigger allergies, make animals miserably itchy and in some cases literally bleed them to death. Fleas are not the least bit impressed by old-fashioned flea collars or home remedies like cedar oil, garlic and brewer’s yeast. It is difficult to even squish them because they have such hard exoskeletons. Sometimes you can’t even see them hiding in your dog’s coat. If you do see fleas, or if your dog seems itchy for any reason, job one is ensuring that fleas are under control. Ask your veterinarian which modern flea control product is best for your pet.

Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) is sometimes called “the mother of all emergencies.” For reasons that are not always clear, a dog’s stomach sometimes fills with gas and twists on its axis, not only preventing the vomiting that would relieve the pressure but also preventing normal blood flow. It is most common in large, narrow-chested dogs like Great Danes and Standard Poodles. Classic signs of GDV include tense, painful abdominal swelling and unproductive retching that sounds like the dog is trying to vomit but can’t. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy to see. If you suspect GDV, the dog should be assessed by a veterinarian immediately. Minutes count!

Heat stroke can occur whenever a dog can’t pant enough to cool themselves down. This may be when the weather is hot or humid, when the dog is exercising, when the dog has some kind of respiratory problem or—the worst—any combination of the above. Dogs are not as good at cooling themselves as humans are, and they are not at all good about knowing their limits. If you think your dog may have become overheated, wet down their coat, get in the car to the emergency clinic and turn the air conditioning on full blast!

Intervertebral disk disease or IVDD occurs when the cartilage pads that separate the bones of the spine become worn out, swollen or slip out of place. The main reason this is a problem is that the spinal cord and nerve roots can be pinched or crushed, causing anything from pain to paralysis. Dachshunds are the poster children for this disorder, but any dog can get it.

Jaundice technically is not a disease, but a symptom and is known also by the professional term “icterus.” It refers to the yellow color that develops in animals whose bilirubin level is too high. You can see it in the whites of their eyes, in their gums and anywhere the skin is bare and thin. There are two main causes: liver disease and red blood cell destruction. If your dog is looking sallow, it needs to be seen by a veterinarian right away.

Kennel cough is a catch-all term for acute infectious respiratory disease in dogs and commonly consists of laryngitis, tracheitis and bronchitis. It may be caused by any one, or a combination, of viruses and bacteria such as canine parainfluenza virus, canine adenoviruses types 1 and 2, canine herpesvirus and Bordetella bronchiseptica. Affected dogs usually have a harsh cough. Particularly in puppies, more severe illness sometimes occurs. Treatment depends on the details of each case.

Laryngeal paralysis occurs mostly in older dogs. What it means is that the vocal folds which are supposed to open wide with every inward breath don’t do so any more. You might notice that your dog’s bark is harsher or softer. You might notice a wheezing, snoring sound when he exercises. Sometimes owners notice nothing at all until the dog gets overheated or excited and tries to pant to cool down. The harder the dog tries to pant, the more the vocal folds get in his way. This is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention. Luckily, a surgical procedure can improve the situation. See also Heat Stroke.

Mitral valve disease is probably the most common form of heart disease seen in dogs. It usually happens when, over time, one of the valves in the heart starts to get a bit leaky. Many, many dogs, especially small ones, develop a heart murmur in their senior years as a result of mitral valve disease. For some of them, but not all, it becomes a life-threatening problem. If your dog has a new heart murmur or a chronic cough, ask your veterinarian whether a chest x-ray is warranted.

Neoplasia, better known as cancer, is not one disease but a whole category of diseases characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. It is the main cause of death in well-cared-for older dogs, partly because most types can’t be prevented and because it usually doesn’t respond as well to treatment as some other diseases. Exceptions do exist, though, and veterinary oncologists (cancer specialists) work every day to help canine cancer patients live the longest, happiest lives possible.

Osteoarthritis is, unfortunately, extremely common in older dogs, especially large ones. Your veterinarian may call it DJD or degenerative joint disease. You might notice that your pet is stiff and slow to get up after a nap, especially after hard exercise but seems better after they move around a bit. Osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, but your veterinarian can help your dog to stay functional and pain-free as long as possible.

Pyometra is an infection of the uterus. In dogs, it has an unfortunate tendency to turn into a catastrophe very quickly, so by the time an owner realizes the dog is sick, her life is in danger and she needs emergency surgery. Pyometra is unfortunately very common, so all owners of unspayed females need to be on the lookout for the slightest signs of illness, and be prepared to deal with the emergency. In most cases, the best prevention is a routine spay.

Quadriceps contracture can happen as a complication of a fracture of the femur (thighbone). The quadriceps femoris is a group of muscles that extends the stifle (knee) joint, so it is necessary for normal standing and walking. When the thigh is injured, sometimes the quadriceps heals by turning into rigid scar tissue, resulting in a stifle that cannot flex and a leg that cannot be used. Contracture can occur in any circumstance, but it is more common when the fracture is not treated properly. Surgical repair of the fracture not only allows the bone to heal correctly but also allows for critical rehabilitation exercises that keep the joints flexible and the muscles moving.

Rabies remains a serious health concern for dogs and for humans, even though a robust canine vaccination program can protect both populations. In countries where canine vaccinations are prohibitively expensive, rabies kills dogs and humans, horribly and indiscriminately. Fortunately, rabies vaccinations are within the means of most dog owners in the United States, to say nothing of being required by law.

Seizures, or convulsions, can occur in dogs from a variety of causes. The most common cause is epilepsy which in dogs is partly genetic in origin and manifests in young adult dogs, ranging from brief focal seizures to longer, full-body convulsions. Other causes include brain diseases, poisons and metabolic disorders. Unless your dog has a known and well-managed seizure disorder, any kind of seizure activity should warrant prompt veterinary attention.

Tracheal collapse is just what it sounds like. The trachea, or windpipe, is supposed to be round like a pipe for good airflow, but if it becomes soft, it can collapse on itself making it hard for the dog to breathe. And, just like a straw when you suck on it too hard, the harder you try to move air, the more stubbornly it stays collapsed. Unfortunately, tracheal collapse is very common in small dogs and in brachycephalic breeds. If your dog tends to cough or wheeze when he gets excited, ask your veterinarian to take an x-ray to look for signs of collapsing trachea. You can’t make it go away, but there are strategies to reduce its effect on the dog. See also Heat stroke.

Urinary tract disease in dogs often appears as blood in the urine, straining to urinate or marked increase in frequency of urination. The causes may include bacterial infections, bladder stones, anatomic anomalies or any combination of the above. It’s tempting to just ask your veterinarian for an antibiotic, but tests will be needed to pin down a diagnosis and keep problems from progressing.

Vestibular disease refers to any problem that affects the vestibular system meaning that part of the brain and inner ear that controls balance. When humans experience vestibular disease, we often describe it as vertigo. Dogs can develop vestibular disease from serious problems like tumors or strokes but also from ear infections and a benign problem called Idiopathic Vestibular Disease. Owners often assume that a dog that is suddenly too dizzy to stand up has suffered a serious stroke and must be euthanized, but this is not always the case.

Worms are internal parasites that find a way into your pet’s intestines, lungs or, worst of all, heart and blood vessels. Most can be identified through blood or fecal testing, and most can be treated. However, many worm infestations go unnoticed meaning that pets who appear healthy can go around shedding microsopic worms and eggs to infect other hapless dogs… and, sometimes, their humans too! Do your neighbors a solid and ask your veterinarian to review your pet’s worm control plan, especially if you and your pet are regular dog park visitors.

Xylitol toxicity is just an example of the environmental hazards that can poison your pet. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is apparently harmless to humans but can cause serious harm to dogs including seizures and liver damage. No sugar-free gum for Max and Bella, please!

Yeast infections in dogs most commonly occur in the ears and skin. Usually the yeast is the kind that lives in small numbers on all dogs’ skin, but in some dogs, at some times, the population grows like gremlins in a rainstorm. There is often an underlying problem such as an allergy. Your veterinarian can identify a yeast infection and provide the proper treatment to relieve your dog of this itchy, stinky misery.

Zoonotic disease is defined by medical doctors as a disease of humans that is transmitted to them by animals. Veterinarians, however, define it as a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans or vice versa. Unfortunately, we can be as much of an infection hazard to animals as they can be to us. For example, some influenza viruses can hop species, and while we know that some types of avian and swine influenza can cause serious illness in humans, we should also be aware that some animal species, like cats and ferrets, can catch some forms of influenza from us. Luckily for our pets, it is uncommon for humans to transmit serious infections to animals.

Dear FETCH Friends,

Sadly, winter is upon us. This means dark, cold days followed by even darker and colder nights. And now, with a novel virus still at large, more time in solitary. I have very little desire to remain in my home for the next 3 months praying for a vaccine, checking my kids for fevers, talking to family members on the phone or via the Internet, but what is the alternative? Finding peace in what makes you happy and giving thanks will undoubtedly get you through what may be a very dark time in your life. Unite with your neighbors, find joy at home with your kids and/or your animals, keep trying to be a good person and help those you can.

Death is all around us. This year has revealed to us the delicacy of life that we often try to forget about. If you have lost someone this year, there is nothing that can help ease the pain you feel. It’s time to make peace with what you can and focus on what you wish to change in 2021. Dog is God spelled backwards for a reason. If you feel a calling to help animals, maybe 2021 is the year to make a move. Unlike the crosses we bear as part of humanity, these innocent creatures can only thrive (or wither) with help from us.

Checklist for 2020-2021:
Start a rescue.
Volunteer for a rescue.
Bring an animal that needs you into your home.
Donate some of your resources to a rescue.
Train your dog to be a dog ambassador.
Don’t breed your dog. Spay/neuter your dog.
Don’t leave children unattended with the dog or allow them to treat the dog as a toy.
Teach children how to love and respect dogs.
Give gifts that support humane treatment and unity.
Don’t give gifts at all; instead give your time to an animal in need.
Be a good pet parent.
Don’t leave your dog in a cold car or unsafe situation.
Make sure your dog doesn’t have access to something that may poison them.
Stock up on food and medicines for your dog in case of an emergency.
Create art that supports a humane mission. Write a book, invent something…the sky is the limit.

Here’s to a humane end to 2020
and to a victorious 2021,

N. Putz