Senior Dog Blog

Happy Tails February by Dog Quality

27 February, 2015

February's Happy Tails come to us from all over the globe. Read about Tayla (Australia), Cinder (United States), Wynken (Canada), Lilly, Holly & Stitch (United Kingdom) and Pepper (India). Senior dogs from different corners of the world makes us feel like we are really reaching dogs in need everywhere.

Tayla (Australia)

Grippers dog socksclick to zoom

The "Grippers" have made a great difference to Tayla's ability to get around on our timber floors and we are delighted with our purchase and with your service. We cannot thank you enough for all your help and we look forward to an on-going relationship with your company.

Cinder (United States)

Washable Wonders Dog Diapersclick to zoom

Thank you so much. Cinder is very comfortable in her washable wonders.

Wynken (Canada)

Washable Wonders Dog Belly Bandclick to zoom

With your wonderful product Wynken (15 yrs) can go into which ever room he wants just as he has always been able to in the past, not to mention our cuddle time on the bed or on the couch. Sure makes me happy!

Lilly (United Kingdom)

Washable Wonders Dog Nappyclick to zoom

Top notch quality product that stays on too. Very soft, comfortable, size good, pads lovely. We can visit our friends now as with a leaking dog you cannot really take them into other people's homes. Thank you again for a product that actually works.

Holly (United Kingdom)

Grippers Dog Traction Socksclick to zoom

Holly wearing her lovely new socks. Our daughter's dog who we treated due to her bilateral surgery for cruciate ligament, socks are so good on laminate flooring!!

Stitch (United Kingdom)

Grippers Dog Traction Socksclick to zoom

These socks are making such a difference to my pug Stitch's quality of life. He has been so happy this afternoon, with his new socks on he seems to have more confidence walking around. His back legs have had a substantial amount of pinning and he has been really struggling to walk. I cant believe the difference this has made to his life. Thank you so much!!

Pepper (India)

Grippers Dog Traction Socksclick to zoom

The socks have given my dog Pepper a new life. Earlier she was not able to get up since her legs would keep slipping and were losing strength. It took almost half an hour to make her stand up. She was very miserable. We were also wondering how long she could carry on like this. Now with the gripper socks she is up on her feet within seconds and she is able to move around a lot. Her confidence seems to have come back and she feels happy. And we are also relieved and happy.

Massaging your Senior Dog to Better Health by Ann-Marie Fleming

25 February, 2015

Massaging your dog can be an amazing experience for human and dog alike. Not only is it quality time together, but it is also very therapeutic, especially for senior dogs. There is very long list of benefits that can come from canine massage, but here are some that stand out to me as a senior dog parent:

  • Increase flexibility and reduces pain for aging joints
  • Improves circulation
  • Supports the immune system
  • Improves oxygen flow to the brain
  • Flushes waste products from the body
  • Helps to detect medical issues such as swelling, tender areas, lumps, skin conditions etc.
dog massageI am a big fan of massage as an alternative therapy for senior dogs and you will reap the biggest rewards through a canine massage professional, but there are some simple and effective massage techniques that you can use on your older dog at home. These include:

Effleurage: This technique involves long continuous gliding type strokes along your dog's body which can help to induce relaxation. You probably already do this with your dog without realizing it is a massage technique.

Petrissage: With this technique you are lifting and kneading the skin almost like you are kneading dough. It helps to increase blood circulation and elasticity in the tissue. Watch your dog melt in your hands especially as you work the neck area.

Compression: The stationary laying of your hands or fingers with a slight pushing down onto the tissue repeated in different areas across the body. Pressure should come from your body not just your hands and wrists. This technique helps to move fluids in and out of the tissue and lengthens muscle fibers.

Friction: Helps to loosen up joints, tendons and muscles as well as increasing circulation. Applied with your thumb and finger tips or the palm of your hand, usually in a circular motion. 

For senior dogs who often suffer from conditions such as arthritis, massage can help to relieve some of the pain, loosen up their tight muscles and help to slow down the degenerative process.

In an article I read by Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt, an author and licensed massage therapist titled How to Massage an Arthritic Dog he suggests the following routine for aiding senior dogs with arthritis: 

"Start by lightly stroking the area you are about to massage. Follow with several effleurages – light strokes with very little pressure – to get the circulation going.

Next, use a very light kneading motion (petrissage) over the tight muscles, as well as some very light hand friction to loosen the muscle fibers and stimulate deeper circulation. Intersperse with effleurages regularly – about every 10 seconds – to assist drainage. Do not work directly over the joints afflicted with arthritis, but rather, around them to stimulate circulation."

No more than 10-15 minutes is needed per session.

If you are like me then visuals go a long way. I found this video by the Northwest School of Animal Massage very helpful: 

I hope you will give some of these techniques a try with your senior dog. It will be beneficial on a physical and emotional level to both you and your dog. I for one am going to include massage time as part of my quality time with all my seniors :)

Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs.

 

Coping with the Loss of your Dog by Ann-Marie Fleming

23 February, 2015

Grief is something every pet parent goes through. It is the only real downside of sharing our lives with our four-legged family members. I recently had to say goodbye to my sweet girl Paige who lost her battle with Cancer less than 2 weeks ago and I am heart broken. She was her crazy self one minute and then overnight became very ill. After a week in ICU and chemo she rebounded and I was able to bring her home which meant the world to us both. She was doing quite well for a couple weeks, but then her body started to fail and she went downhill very quickly. I am grateful for the extra time we had and that she was able to come home even if it was only for a little while so she could be in the home she loved with the family she adored. I am still trying to get my head around the fact that she's gone and I will be honest it has devastated me. 
Coping with the loss of your dog

I am writing this post to share how I am trying to cope with this heart breaking loss in hopes that maybe it will help others going through something similar. Grief, whether for humans or pets, is a very difficult journey. Experts will tell you that there are 5 stages of grief: 1) Denial 2) Anger 3) Bargaining 4) Depression and 5) Acceptance. Personally I feel like I am going through the first 4 all at once - such a crazy mix of emotions. How could this happen? Why didn't she have any symptoms until it was too late? How can we be happy again?

Even with knowing that there is a process to work through when coping with loss, it doesn't give me a way to move forward so I am trying different things/activities to help me to put one foot in front of the other while I wait for the "time heals all" to kick in.

Here are some of the things I have been trying which seem to be helping me during this difficult time:

  1. Surrounding myself with like-minded people: There is a profound difference between dog-people and non-dog-people and it is never clearer than when you are coping with the loss of your dog because if you have never experienced the deep bond that we often have with our dogs then how can you understand the heart break when they leave us? Being around people that "get it" goes a long way in your recovery. I am fortunate to have an amazing family that knows exactly what I am going through, but I also have an amazing support group on Facebook of dog lovers, many of which have suffered loss themselves. While Paige was sick the encouragement for her flooded in and when she passed away, the words of support were moving. I am very grateful for all the love we have been shown. It has meant to world to me.

  2. Exercise: Do not underestimate the value of being active during this time. Whether it's walking, running or some other form of exercise, there is something comforting that comes from exerting (or exhausting) yourself.

  3. The Art of Distraction: Pouring yourself into something like work or even a hobby to help take your mind off things for a short while can do wonders. I work a lot, but I am fortunate that my work is my own business, Dog Quality. My challenge is that my dogs are such a part of Dog Quality. They help me develop, test and market products. They are my inspiration which makes it especially difficult to find the motivation when they are gone. It is the positive feedback from our customers who let us know how much we are helping to improve the lives of their dogs that keeps me going during these times.

  4. New Experiences: With Paige ingrained in everything I did and everywhere I went, I find it helpful at this stage to try and do different things because being in familiar places reminds me of Paige at a point when these reminders are too painful. So I have been making an effort to take my dogs Milo, Lily and Winnie to new areas for our walks. Paige was super protective of me which made walking in public places very challenging, so we stuck to more private areas. Until I can go back to those places, we have been doing most of our walking closer to town to give us new experiences. I know how precious memories are and I know that I will come to love seeing Paige everywhere, but for now it makes me sad, so trying out new places is helping.

  5. Upbeat music and movies: I am avoiding all sad songs and sad movies trying to go out of my way to listen to upbeat music and watch happy or exciting movies - sci-fi is a great example. I am also trying to create new music playlists. We do a lot of dancing with dogs at my house (don't laugh since I know you do the same) and Paige never missed an opportunity to be silly, so I find that most of the music I have reminds me of these times. Again eventually this will make me smile, but for now it only brings tears, so I have been creating new playlists to get me through this time.

  6. Create a Tribute: The most therapeutic, yet the most difficult thing that I have done is to create a tribute to Paige filled with photos and videos of our incredible time together. I am always taking photos and videos of my dogs to ensure I am capturing special moments in our lives because I know that when they leave, these images become important reminders of the amazing life we had together. I never trust my brain to remember it all - I need these moments in time to keep them close. Creating a tribute is my highlight reel of my life with Paige and it is my way of showing others just how incredible she was and why it is so difficult to be without her. It is how I know she would like to be remembered. It makes me cry every time, but it also makes me smile, laugh and appreciate every second we had together. It becomes a reminder of why we go through the heart break. As empty as I feel right now, I would not trade a second of my life with her even if you told me what would happen. Here is the tribute I made for Paige:

  7. Lean on your other four-legged family: I am fortunate to still have 3 wonderful dogs in my life and they have been a huge part of my healing process. They give me purpose at a time when things don't make sense. I could tell that they were hurting as well and the steps I have been taking have helped them as much as they have helped me. I have also been bombarding them with hugs and kisses and they have responded in kind. I believe they will become closer with each other than ever before and our bond will grow even stronger. 

I am convinced that our dogs take a piece of us when they leave and we are never the same without them, but perhaps this is the point. To be forever changed because of our lives together. I refuse to be the type of person who says I will never have another dog - to do that would be to deny myself the amazing life each of my dogs has shown me. I hope that if you are reading this that you will always keep your heart open even at the risk of it breaking, because it is always worth it.

Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs.

Happy Tails - December by Dog Quality

23 December, 2014

December was another fantastic month for happy tails from our amazing customers. Words cannot express how much it means to us to know that our products are making such a difference in the lives of senior dogs and their families. Here is a look at December's stars! Athena's search for a diaper that fits finds success giving this old lady the comfort she deserves. Butterball, Fozzy and Buster are finally able to go on walks again while Annie, Penelope and Finnegan find the stability they need on those slippery floors.

Athena

Washable Wonders Dog Diapersclick to zoom

Wow!! We have just received the new diapers for my 11 y.o. Boxer Athena and they are amazing!! The other diapers, in order to fit her waist, were way too big around the back part and consequently drooped down between her legs and rubbed the skin... but because of the snaps that can shorted up the distance across the back, these fit her perfectly!!! Thank you so much.

Penelope

Grippers Dog Socksclick to zoom

Meet sweet Penelope (14 yrs). Her dad John Pollock from Black Mountain, North Carolina, tells us that she can now get up much more easily from the floor thanks to her Grippers dog socks and as a bonus, she is now as quiet as a ninja!

Annie

Grippers Dog Socksclick to zoom

Here's a big shout out to Dog Quality. Annie - our 13 year old hunting dog still works hard in the field, but she has a hard time standing on our hardwood floors. These booties work wonders for her. Thank you Dog Quality!

Finnegan

Grippers Dog Socks and Washable Dog Diapersclick to zoom

Finnegan proudly wearing his Grippers dog socks and Washable Wonders male diaper. Looking good!!

Butterball

Dogger strollerclick to zoom

I received my Dogger a few days ago and put it together in a snap all by myself! That PROVES it's crazy easy! The quality of the parts and wheels just makes me feel so satisfied with my purchase! Plus, it's so darn good-looking! But most importantly, I can now take my little furry guy out for his walks he so desperately wants and NEEDS! He LOVES it! Butterball (9 yrs) is comfy, happy, and secure. Thank you for making such an amazing product that benefits all of our furry friends who need a little help to get around.

Fozzy

Dogger strollerclick to zoom

This stroller is fantastic! It was a snap to assemble, easy to store and a very smooth ride. It is by far the sturdiest dog stroller on the market. The stroller is so handy for those long walks that I love to take around Vancouver, Fozzy still walks for a few kms but then gets tired and is happy to be taken for a ride. We certainly get a lot of attention when we go out and I rave about the stroller! Well done, we love all of your products!

Buster & Tate

Dogger strollerclick to zoom

This is Buster (my 11 year old who cannot use his hind legs and is incontinent and using your belly bands) and my new 7 month old Tate. Buster was so miserable when we would have to leave him behind during our walks with Tate, so we got the Dogger to be able to take him around with us. He is loving it! We are all very impressed with the quality of the Dogger and will be using it a lot to tote the old man around.

Coping with Sight and Hearing Loss in Your Senior Dog by Ann-Marie Fleming

19 December, 2014

Just like with humans, as our dogs get older their sense of sight and hearing often becomes impaired. I experienced this with my own seniors and while each dog ages differently, most will have some impairment to manage during their golden years. To help make this time of life as comfortable and happy as possible I find that it is important to be able to correctly identify the problem(s) in order to understand how best to cope with the challenges that accompany vision and hearing loss. Hearing and Vision Loss in Senior Dogs

Too often people assume that when a senior dog has medical issues that it must be due to their age so one of the first things I recommend if you are seeing signs that they are not seeing as well as they used to, or that they are having trouble hearing, is to visit your vet to rule out an underlying medical cause. Sometimes it is not age at all causing the problems so it's always best to get an expert opinion.

Signs of Hearing Loss: 

I find identifying hearing loss a bit difficult because if you have dogs like mine you are always wondering if it's a problem with their hearing or are they just ignoring me - both are definite possibilities! Right now I am going through this with Milo, my 11 1/2 y/o pug mix. Sometimes it seems obvious that he is not hearing me, but then moments later he will have me second guessing since he will respond immediately to a voice command. He has been to the vet and is very healthy, so I will continue to monitor him and look for signs such as:
  • Being startled when you touch them or when they are sleeping
  • Not reacting to sounds they used to respond to
  • Difficult to wake when sleeping
  • Being much more vocal in their demands
  • Ears that remain still instead of moving around to hear

Signs of Vision Loss:

I find vision loss a little easier to notice and like with hearing, the decline is usually gradual if it is age related. Look for:
  • Tripping or bumping into furniture or walls
  • Disorientation or nervousness especially in new environments
  • Not recognizing you from a distance
  • Not able to catch things the way they used to
  • Change in the look/colour of their eyes

To help make life easier for your vision or hearing impaired dog there are some simple tips that can make a huge difference in keeping them safe, comfortable and happy.

  • Use gates to block off stairs
  • Keep things as much the same as possible
  • Use hand signals (for hearing impaired)
  • Make sure food and water is easily accessible
  • Remove clutter where possible
  • If you do need to take them into new environments always bring something familiar like a toy or a companion
  • Encourage their reliance on other pets in the family

I have had dogs that became completely blind and completely deaf and while it sounds very scary you would be amazed at how well dogs adapt. We all know that dogs are amazing at taking any challenge life throws at them in stride, but aside from their can-do attitudes what should give you comfort is their reliance on their sense of smell. 

A dog's sense of smell is exponentially more important to them than sight or sound as a means of identifying and navigating their environments. It gives me great comfort, and hopefully it will for you as well, knowing that even in blindness and even without being able to hear, they can use their sense of smell to find their way happily through this stage of life.

Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs.

Happy Tails - November by Dog Quality

13 November, 2014

We love sharing our customer's happy tails :) Here is a look at November's stars! Read about Precious and her road to recovery. Wilbur shows us that even a diaper can look manly. See the brother and sister team of Lucy Lou and Boomer, rugged Oskar, and handsome Raider showing their new found confidence in their Grippers dog socks. Witness Sophie resting up and Tom defying the odds in their Dogger strollers.

Precious

Grippers Dog Socksclick to zoom

Precious in her Grippers dog socks. So happy she is on the road to recovery. Here is what her mom, Sylwia Krzywiecka from Mississauga, Ontario, told us: "Precious is 7 yrs old (Shih Tzu Yorkie mix) and she was hit by a car 6 weeks ago this coming Friday. She ran out after a squirrel and that is when she was hit. As a result, her eye was removed as it could not be saved & she had a broken pelvis so she has two screws on each side of her pelvis. Overall she is doing well so I'm really hoping she'll be back to normal soon. Thank you for designing this product. It really works.

Lucy Lou & Boomer

Grippers Dog Socksclick to zoom

Lucy Lou (12 yrs) and her brother Boomer (12 yrs) getting their grip again on those slippery floors thanks to their Grippers dog traction socks. Special thanks to their dad Steve Stein for sharing these photos with us.

Oskar

Grippers Dog Socksclick to zoom

Meet Oskar (11 yrs) putting his Grippers dog socks to great use. His mom Jennifer Ray from Lockport, New York tells us that he can finally drink without his feet sliding!

Tom

Dogger Strollerclick to zoom

Tom's mom, Gail McKillop, tells us: "Our gorgeous boy Tom is battling thyroid cancer and currently winning! The fabulous dogger has been an absolute God send he loves it and it means we can take him out with our long legged lurcher Ruby without him getting tired."

Sophie

Dogger Strollerclick to zoom

Sophie getting a ride home on her Dogger after a brisk 1.5 mile walk. Thank you Hollie Shaner-Mcrae from Burlington, Vermont for this great action shot.

Wilbur

Washable Wonders Male Dog Diapersclick to zoom

Wilbur sporting his new male diapers. Thank you Kate Davis from Irondale, Alabama for sending us this handsome photo.

Raider

Grippers Dog Socksclick to zoom

Raider gaining confidence on those hardwood floors one step at a time thanks to his Grippers dog socks. Special thanks to his mom Michelle Pepito from West Islip, New York for sending us this handsome photo!

November is Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month by Ann-Marie Fleming

13 November, 2014

November is officially adopt-a-senior-pet month and while senior adoptions should be encouraged throughout the year I love having a month dedicated to these sweet seniors helps to raise awareness.  Why do we need a month? Well unfortunately older dogs and cats are often the last to be adopted. Even more heart breaking is the fact that they are there in the first place. I have heard too many sad stories about seniors being dropped off at shelters because their families are not prepared to deal with them during this stage of life. I can't imagine what that must be like for those sweet dogs and cats to have their families abandon them at a time when they need them the most. But this is why it is so important that we help these wonderful pets by giving them a second chance at a happy life, especially when they are in their golden years.

There are many reasons why people shy away from adopting a senior, but the most common argument I hear is that people often feel they won’t get much time with a senior pet or they will have too many health issues leading to vet bills and eventual heart ache.Adopt a Senior Dog

Having senior dogs myself I can honestly tell you that some of my most special moments have been during their golden years. There is something very sweet and very special about an older pet. They know who they are and what they want. They are so appreciative of your love and give you everything they can to show this. Not to mention they also become quite the characters in their senior years, so I encourage you to open your homes and your hearts and I promise you will not regret it.

There are no guarantees in life at any age and my life with any one of my seniors would feel fulfilled whether we had 6 months or 6 years together. I wouldn’t trade a minute of my time with them so please consider saving a senior – your heart will thank you.

Most, if not all, rescues and shelters have a senior population, but there are also organizations that specifically focus on helping older dogs. Rescues like this include:

So please consider adopting a senior pet - your life will be forever changed for the better.

Cervical Disc Replacement in Dogs by Ann-Marie Fleming

12 November, 2014

Modern medicine can do amazing things for our dogs and it gives me so much hope when I see research and development go into creating solutions that give dogs access to treatment that has proven successful in the human world. Here's a recent example. There is a painful and debilitating condition called Disc Associated Wobbler Syndrome (DAWS) that affects the cervical vertebrae and inter-vertebral discs in certain dogs resulting in cervical canal narrowing and spinal cord compression. Dogs suffering from this condition often have a wobbly gate; hence the more common name Wobbler Syndrome. MRI of a dog with DAWs showing spinal cord compression

While the underlying cause of DAWS is not fully known, it appears to come from a combination of disc degeneration (when the cushion between the vertebrae break down and no longer provide cushion for the vertebrae bones) and cervical spine instability.

DAWS typically affects middle age to older dogs and while this condition can impact many different breeds, studies have shown it to be most prevalent with in Great Danes and Doberman Pinschers. Surgery, which is often required to treat this condition, can be extremely invasive accompanied by a long post-operative recovery. There is also a chance that this surgery would not permanently eliminate the problem since there has been a high incidence of recurrence after surgery in other locations along the spinal cord called “domino lesions”.  

Sounds terrible I know, but here is where it gets interesting; Dr. Filippo Adamo, DVM, Dipl. ECVN, Chief of Neurology/Neurosurgery with East Bay Veterinary Specialists has developed an Artificial Disc Implant called the Adamo Spinal Disc® specifically designed to cure DAWS through a procedure called Cervical Disc Replacement (CDA) or Cervical Disc Arthroplasty. CDA is currently the best available option for people with cervical disc disease, so it a major achievement that this procedure is now finally available for dogs.

Dr. Adamo explains, "The goal of CDA is to preserve intervertebral mobility while providing distraction, stability, and neural decompression. This technique has also the potential advantages of treating multiple adjacent and not adjacent disc spaces, avoiding iatrogenic spinal cord or vascular damage by use of self-retaining implant, and the titanium composition of the implant enables follow-up by MRI. While mainly used for Disc Associated Wobbler Syndrome, this procedure can be also used for the treatment of the more classic disc herniation, where the disc herniation is not combined with spinal instability. The prosthesis in this case acts as a space distractor to avoid disc space collapse, which when happens may cause compression and entrapment of the spinal nerves spinal and a source of cervical pain."

The key advantages of this procedure over common surgeries are that it is much less invasive, the recovery time is much shorter and there has been no evidence of recurrence. It can also be performed on an out-patient basis.

"After surgery the dogs are no worse than before surgery, this why the post-op hospitalization is minimal and the dogs can go home the same day after surgery. The post-operative care is also minimal, and there is no need for an external cervical brace. The implant is also self-retaining which includes less complications related to screws loosening, plate fracture or other. Six-eight weeks of post-operative activity restriction to allow bone/plate incorporation is all is needed," adds Adamo.

So far this procedure is already in place in 14 states across the US, in addition to the UK, Germany and Italy. More than 60 dogs have received the implant with a 91% success rate with no occurrence of domino lesions.

For more information on the Adamo Spinal Disc, please visit: wobblersyndrome.com

Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs.

Stroke vs Vestibular Disease in Older Dogs by Ann-Marie Fleming

06 November, 2014

In the last year of Mackenzie's life he suffered from what our veterinarian had diagnosed to be Vestibular Syndrome, also known as Old Dog Syndrome. I remember the feeling of relief that came over me when I heard this since it is common in senior dogs and most recover in a few weeks. The thing is Mackenzie never really recovered and it felt more like permanent damage from a stroke than anything temporary. Interestingly, if you ask most vets they will tell you that dogs don't have strokes, but since MRI's found their way into veterinarian medicine and more research has focused on this area, we now know that dogs do in fact have strokes and it's not uncommon.

Vestibular Syndrome is the sudden loss of balance accompanied by disorientation, rapid eye movements and a head tilt, making walking difficult, if not impossible. Most dogs fully recover in 2-3 weeks, with some dogs showing residual symptoms, such as a head tilt, for life. The most severe clinical signs tend to occur within the first 24 - 48 hours.

Stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is the most common clinical manifestation of cerebrovascular disease, and can be broadly divided into ischemic stroke (sudden lack of blood supply to the brain) and hemorrhagic stroke (burst blood vessel). Signs of a stroke can also include loss of balance, head tilt and difficulty in walking. Performing an MRI is often used to diagnose a stroke and to differentiate the clinical signs from other brain diseases that require more specific treatments. Ischemic Infarct in dogsHemorrhagic Infarct in dogs

Just as with human beings, our senior dogs tend to be more at risk due to the higher prevalence of underlying conditions that may lead to a vascular event (ischemic stroke or hemorrhagic stroke).

While the symptoms of Vestibular Syndrome are always the same, the underlying cause may be different. Underlying causes can include a stroke, infectious diseases, inflammatory diseases etc. If the stroke affects the brainstem or the cerebellum it may cause Vestibular Syndrome. However, strokes may also affect the forebrain, in this event the clinical signs are not associated with Vestibular Syndrome.

While there is little that can be done to prevent a stroke or vestibular disease, the underlying cause may be treatable thus reducing the overall risk of a vascular event.

Once a stroke or vestibular disease is diagnosed, most treatment protocols include supportive care and time. Medication to help with the dizziness may be prescribed and it is very important that your dog has supervision at all times to ensure they do not hurt themselves during this time of disorientation. There are many dogs that do recover to live long, full lives; it really depends on the underlying condition, age and overall health of your dog.

I still remember how I had to carry Mackenzie everywhere because he could barely stand. I often kept him in his Dogger stroller when indoors so he had a great view of everyone and everything, while staying out of harms way. I tried using a walking sling, but he was so unbalanced that even a sling did not help so I stuck with using my hands. I'd hold him to eat, to drink, to take care of his 'business' outside and I would have done it for a lifetime if needed. 

My only wish was that I better understood what happened to him and the more I read on the subject, the more I see the need for greater research. We have come such a  long way with humans, but have only started to scratch the surface when it comes to strokes in dogs - at least we now acknowledge that strokes in dogs do in fact happen and isn't admitting we have a problem the first step in recovery?

*MRI Images courtesy of Dr. Filippo Adamo,  DVM, Dipl. ECVN,  East Bay Veterinary Specialists, Walnut, CA

Ann-Marie Fleming is the Founder & CEO of Dog Quality, a provider of products focused on improving the quality of life for older dogs.

Jogging with your Dogger - Exercise has Never Been this Fun by Ann-Marie Fleming

21 August, 2014

One of the great things to do with your dog is to spend time exercising together. Running and walking your dog are the most obvious ways to stay active and enjoy quality time together. However, as our dogs get older, often times running or walking for long periods of time is not a viable option, but that doesn't mean the fun has to stop. This is why I love the Dogger so much because it allows you to continue to exercise with your dog, allowing them to walk or run when able and rest when needed. At the same time it means you as the parent still get the exercise you need.

One of the questions I get asked quite often is "Can I jog with the Dogger?" and the answer is YES! In fact that is where the name comes from Dog + Jogger = Dogger. And if you think walking your Dogger is a good workout then try running with it - you and your dog will have a blast. Exercising with a stroller has the potential to increase the intensity of your workout up to 25%, so when you jog with it, you are definitely getting a great workout and your dog will absolutely love it.

In this video Milo, my senior pug-mix and I, show you what it's like to jog with your Dogger across multiple terrains...well I'm running and Milo is enjoying the ride :) 

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