HEALTH

Guide to Dog Health Problems

Written by Bunga

Once upon a time, I used to call my friends from payphones like this. Now I’m afraid I’ll get swine flu if I touch it…
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Image by Ed Yourdon
The streets were wet when I got up a few days ago, and the weather forecast called for rain throughout the day. Consequently, I decided to spend my half-hour of daily "photography time," during my lunch-break, down in the subway station, where I knew I could stay dry. Since I had a mid-afternoon appointment on 72nd Street, I decided that instead of photographing at my own local subway stop, I would take the train downtown and hunker down in a quiet corner to see what came my way. I found a quiet bench on the downtown side of the 72nd Street IRT line, and sat patiently to see what would happen across the tracks, on the uptown side… Later in the afternoon, when it was time to head back home, I spent half an hour sitting on the uptown side of the tracks, waiting to see how people were behaving across the way…

As is often the case, I got a consistent sense of solitude, isolation, wistfulness and even loneliness on the part of the subway riders I was observing; maybe the gloomy weather up above made them all pensive, or maybe that’s the way they always are, when alone in the subway. Whatever the reason, there were only one or two cases where I saw people laughing, smiling, or chatting cheerfully with one another.

As with the last subway group that I shot at ISO 6400, there’s a little bit of noise/graininess in these images — but I decided to leave them that way. I did adjust the "hot spots" (areas over-exposed from the fluorescent lighting in the subway station) and "cold spots" (shadows and dark areas), and punched up the color a little bit. But aside from that, this is yet another view of the typical daytime scene on a typical NYC subway line…

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Note: this woman certainly doesn’t look pregnant; nevertheless, this photo was published as an illustration in an undated (Nov 2009) Squidoo blog titled "SWINE FLU AND PREGNANT WOMEN." It was also published as an illustration in an undated (Nov 2009) blog titled "Women and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome."

Note: this photo was pubished as #380 on Flickr’s "Explore" page on Nov 1, 2009.

Moving into 2010, it was published as an illustration in an undated (Jan 2010) Squidoo blog titled "Difficulty in ovulation." I don’t know why anyone would look at this photo and have any thoughts whatsoever about ovulation … but who am I to say? It was also published in an undated (Jan 2010) The Pregnancy Health blog with the same title as the citation that I used on this Flickr page. And it was published in a Mar 10, 2010 Payphone Org UK blog, with the same title as the caption I used on this Flickr page. It was also published in a Mar 27, 2010 Disease Report blog, with the same title as the citation that I used on this Flickr page. And it was published as an illustration in a May 12, 2010 Symptoms of Pregnancy blog, with the same title as the caption that I used on this Flickr page. It was also published as an illustration in an undated (May 2010) Squidoo blog titled "Why I Cannot Get Pregnant." It was also published in an Oct 25, 2010 blog titled "How Early Can You Get Pregnancy Symptom: Listen To Your Bodys Signals." And it was published in a Nov 7, 2010 Welcome All Mothers and Mothers-to-be blog, with the same title and detailed notes as what I had written on this Flickr page. It was also published in a Dec 13, 2010 blog titled "How To Get Pregnant If You Are Over 40," as well as a Dec 13, 2010 blog titled "Very Early Pregnancy Symptoms That Could Help Confirm Your Suspicion of Early Pregnancy."

Moving into 2011, the photo was published in a Jan 15, 2011 "Nice Music 2010 photos blog and a Jan 21, 2011 PlanMyBabyReview blog, with the same title and detailed notes as what I had written on this Flickr page. It was also published in a Feb 6, 2011 blog titled "Pregnancy Spotting – The Top 6 Most Common Causes Of This Scary Condition!" And it was published in a Mar 13, 2011 blog titled "What You Need to Know About Early Pregnancy Stages," as well as a Mar 17, 2011 blog titled "Top Tips On How To Get Pregnant Fast For parenthood – Best Tips for Getting Pregnant Fast." It was also published in a Mar 21, 2011 Health Tips blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page. And it was published in an Apr 26, 2011 Mommy Guide blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page.

Moving into 2012, the photo was published in a Jan 14, 2012 blog titled "Q&A: Ear infection, 6 month old when should I call her pediatrician?"

Moving into 2013, the photo was published in an undated (early Jan 2013) blog with a badly garbled version of the caption that I had originally chosen, i.e., "When on a time, I utilized to call my neighbors from payphones like this. Then I’m scared I’ll receive swine flu when I touch it…," and with the same detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page. It was also published in a Jan 11, 2013 Affordable Medical Care blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page. It was also published in a Mar 12, 2013 blog titled "Bloomberg Announces ReinventPayphones Contest Winners," as well as an undated (late-May 2013) posting on a Swine Flu Information blog with a garbled version of the same caption that I used on this Flickr page.

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Over the years, I’ve seen various photos of the NYC subway "scene," usually in black-and-white format. But during a recent class on street photography at the NYC International Center of Photography (ICP), I saw lots and lots of terrific subway shots taken by my fellow classmates … so I was inspired to start taking a few myself.

So far, I’m taking photos in color; I don’t feel any need to make the scene look darker and grimier than it already is. To avoid disruption, and to avoid drawing attention to myself, I’m not using flash shots; but because of the relatively low level of lighting, I’m generally using an ISO setting of 800 or 1600 — except for my most recent photos with my new Nikon D700, which are all shot at ISO 6400.

I may eventually use a small "pocket" digital camera, but the initial photos have been taken with my somewhat large, bulky Nikon D700 DSLR. If I’m photographing people on the other side of the tracks in a subway station, there’s no problem holding up the camera, composing the shot, and taking it in full view of everyone — indeed, hardly anyone pays attention to what’s going on across the tracks, and most people are lost in their own little world, reading a book or listening to music. But if I’m taking photos inside a subway car, I normally set the camera lens to a wide angle (18mm) setting, point it in the general direction of the subject(s), and shoot without framing or composing.

So far it seems to be working … we’ll see how it goes…

Common Dog Illnesses

 

Dogs, just like people, are susceptible to a vast array of illnesses and potentially devastating health problems. Unlike people, however, dogs can’t tell us how they’re feeling or if they’re in pain, other than to whimper, howl or bark. So, it’s up to you and I, their trusted Alpha leaders, to ensure that we do everything possible to prevent problems from arising in the first place.

You don’t have to be caught off guard, or suffer the emotional and financial distress that often accompanies your dogs discomfort. By taking the time to research your chosen breed, BEFORE taking your cute bundle home from the pet store or breeder, you can avoid the majority of potential health crises. For instance, proper research will fore-warn you of the pre-disposition of Dachshunds to serious degenerative disc problems in their backs, or of an inherent tendency toward obesity of Golden Retrievers, Labradors and Basset Hounds. You need not be put off your chosen breed just because of your research, but by being aware of that breeds individual needs, you will be better equipped to make your choice.

 

Infections – again, just like people, dogs can suffer from various infections which can become more serious if left unattended. Rather than having to treat the symptoms as they arise, it is far better to take preventative measures wherever possible. As unpleasant as it might be for you to have to treat an ear mite infestation, imagine how miserable your dog will be while you wrestle him to squirt cold, wet, smelly stuff in his ears and then invade his sacred ear space with wads of cotton wool. Skin infections left to fester can become unbearably painful and even the application of topical cream can be unpleasant for your dog. Swollen, infected gums…. well, let me remind you of the last time you had a tooth or gum problem! Then there are the particularly serious varieties of eye infections! It’s a sad fact of life that many dog owners simply don’t make time to maintain their dogs good health – they just take it for granted. By regularly checking and cleaning your dogs eyes, teeth and gums, hair and skin, you can greatly reduce the build-up of bacteria, and the risk of infection to your dog.

 

Allergies – whether you’re dealing with the common flea allergy, or the less common food allergy, you really need to take immediate steps to treat your dog. Flea allergies can so easily be prevented with regular, readily-available treatments. Food allergies are not so easy to prevent… the first time around! However, if your dog is diagnosed by a vet with a particular food allergy, you can obviously take steps to minimise the risk of your dog coming into contact with that specific allergen.

 

Diabetes – this is not just a human disease. Diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent in the canine world as dog owners, oblivious to the dangers of feeding dogs on a human diet, are loading their dogs down with fatty, sugary foods, leading to a long list of problems including damage to the pancreas and eyes, to name just a couple. Resist the temptation (and your dogs longing looks) to feed them table scraps and keep them on a healthy, nutritionally balanced “dog” diet! You will add years to your dogs life and they will be far happier and healthier in the long run. If you need an incentive to feed your dog correctly, just close your eyes and imagine having to administer an injection to your dog each day for the rest of his life.

 

Obesity – this is simply another term for an unhealthy, over-weight condition in dogs. By making sure that your dog has a healthy, balanced diet and gets adequate exercise, you won’t usually need to worry much about this condition. However, if you allow your dog to eat too much and exercise too little, you will not only end up shortening your dogs life span, you will more than likely subject it to a life at risk of heart failure, liver disease, skin problems and tumors. This can so easily be avoided by committing to a sensible diet and exercise plan.

 

Dysplasia & Arthritis – it’s so heart-breaking to see a dog suffering from either of these conditions and it is true that some breeds are, in fact, more susceptible than others to these painful conditions. However, being fore-warned is being fore-armed. If you ensure that you stick to the aforementioned healthy diet and exercise regime, you can pat yourself on the back for doing a great job in helping your dog have the best quality of life possible. If your particular breed of dog is particularly prone to these conditions, then it really boils down to you, keeping a close eye on the daily condition, keeping an eye out for any tell-tale signs of pain, change in mood, energy levels or general condition, and taking the time to have your dog checked by a vet as often as necessary for any degeneration of the joints. Your dog will love you all the more for taking good care of him.

 

Accidents and First Aid – of course, there will always be a risk of accidental injury requiring immediate first aid and these can only be prepared for so much. By being consistent with your dog training, with the boundaries you set for your dog within the home and out on walks, you can greatly minimise the risk of accidental injury to your four-legged friend. Having the phone numbers and details of local 24 hour veterinary care nearby is definitely a must do when caring for your dog.

 

After all that, if you give your dog plenty of love, exercise, healthy food, grooming and an opportunity to mix with other dogs, you can be quite pleased with your efforts. But don’t forget that your dog will still need annual checkup (just like we do) to make sure there isn’t anything nasty in its early stages. Remember, if you catch it early, you will greatly improve your dogs chances of being treated successfully.

Are you worried that your dog may be suffering from one of many Dog Health Problems? Get more tips and advice here today. While you are there, you can pick up a free report on How to be the Alpha dog. This report will show you how to take control of your home, and become the master of your house.

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About the author

Bunga