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Pain Management for Dogs

There is nothing worse than seeing your dog in pain. One of the things I am most proud of in our profession is the advancement in treatment of pain in dogs. The American Animal Hospital Association released The Pain Management Guidelines during my presidency. These guidelines were created to not just treat pain but to classify it and help to recognize it. At our hospital we have a pain management program that was started well before the guidelines were released. Our staff is trained to recognize and classify pain in every patient. Whenever possible we will treat pain before it occurs.


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Is My Dog Too Heavy? Obesity in Dogs

The first step in any diet program is recognizing the need for weight loss. Our doctors and technicians do a body score our patients during their physical exam. This is a more accurate predictor of obesity than the weight alone. They will show you how to do it at home.

Weight control may also be a product of other illnesses such as hypothyroidism. We will discuss other things that affect the weight and will eliminate them prior to a weight loss program.

The following information will help you to understand issues related to the weight of your dog.


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My Dog's Eyes are Running

Runny eyes are a common problem in dogs. Unfortunately, there are many causes. Some are serious and some are pretty mild. If you notice excess staining below the eyes or they seem to be draining more than usual it is a good idea to have a doctor visit.

My dog Marley had excess staining in her right eye earlier this year. When she was anesthetized for her annual dental cleaning we found that her tear duct was obstructed on that side. While she was under we flushed out the duct and now her eyes are great.

What is epiphora?


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My Dog's Eyes Are Hazy

We are often asked by owners if their dog has cataracts. While we do see cataracts, more frequently the haziness the owner has noticed is a natural aging change called lenticular schlerosis.

Our doctors are trained to recognize the difference between lenticular schlerosis and cataracts.

What is lenticular sclerosis?


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My Dog is Squinting. Corneal Ulcers in Dogs.

If your dog is squinting an eye you should seek attention quickly. Although there may be a number of causes, the most common cause is an ulcer or a scratch on the cornea.

Corneal ulcers are always painful. If you know someone who has had a corneal ulcer they can vouch for that fact. Humans will often be in bed in a dark room to help relieve the pain.

Fortunately, our doctors are trained and have tools like fluorescein stain to diagnose the condition. Appropriate medication is essential as well as pain control and a hard E collar (cone) to prevent rubbing and the eye.


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My Dog Has Been Skunked!

Growing up in upstate New York, I had much exposure to skunks and dogs who made the mistake of getting to close to them. My own dog chased a skunk into our garage. Needless to say, the odor was present for a long time. If I knew what I know now, I would have saved my parents a bit of money on tomato juice. It just didn't work.

Outside of the obvious odor, dogs can get other problems when sprayed. The eyes are of specific concern. If your dog has been sprayed and there is redness of the eyes, lack of vision or squinting, we need to deal with it immediately.


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My Dog Has a Swollen Ear

If your dog has a large puffy swelling on the ear, it is likely an ear hematoma. It is most likely that you will have noticed excessive shaking of the head. Ear hematomas require treatment or the ear will become severely scarred and deformed.

It is also important to determine the underlying cause for the shaking of the head that led to the hematoma. Although in many cases the hematoma doesn't cause pain, very often the underlying cause will. Not only will our vets treat the hematoma, they will treat the underlying cause and the pain as well.


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The Most Common Medical Problems in Dogs.

Here in Orange County our dogs are an important part of our families. At Newport Harbor Animal Hospital they are as important to us as they are to you. Frequently our doctors and staff are asked what the most common medical problems we see in dogs at our hospital.

Continue reading to satisfy your curiosity and gain some helpful tips on the care of your dog.

10 Most Common Conditions from VPI Pet Insurance

1. Ear Infections

2. Skin Allergies

3. Skin Infection

4. Non-cancerous skin growths

5. Upset stomach


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