Short Takes November 2022


Bladder Cancer: Much More Serious In Dogs

n Any type of malignant tumor is serious, of course, but the good news for people is that if we develop bladder cancer, it’s generally a low-grade, superficial tumor that does not spread beyond the bladder. That’s not the case for dogs. They most often develop higher-grade bladder tumors. They can grow significantly more quickly and spread throughout the body.

Unfortunately, missing a bladder cancer diagnosis up front is not an uncommon scenario. It is frequently mistaken for a recurring urinary tract infection (UTI) and treated — and then retreated — with antibiotics. If your dog has been treated for two or three UTIs that seem to keep coming back, with her urinating considerably more frequently and straining to “go,” you may want to discuss with the vet the possibility of a malignancy.

A dog of any breed may get bladder cancer, but it more commonly affects Scottish terriers, Shetland sheepdogs, Airedale terriers, beagles, West  Highland white terriers, and wire-haired fox terriers.

Doggie Daycare Not for All Dogs

© Moose Henderson | Bigstock
Some dogs love doggie daycare. Others would rather never go.

For people who are out of the house all day, sending their pet to doggie daycare may seem just the thing. They lovingly assume their pet would prefer to have company and activity in their absence. The sentiment is commendable, but the solution is not always the right one.

Some dogs do not like being around other dogs, especially for long periods of time. 

You can’t desensitize such dogs by throwing them in with others and expecting their anxiety to go away. In fact, such a tactic will only serve to sensitize them even more.

You can try hiring a caring dog walker to break up your dog’s day (and who will walk your pet without other dogs). If that doesn’t work, just let things be. Leave toys and food puzzles around for your dog to occupy herself in your absence.

Have You Tried a Bridging Stimulus for Stopping Undesirable Behavior?

n You know that one way to stop behavior you don’t want is to completely ignore it (rather than punish your dog). But sometimes it doesn’t work — like when your pet keeps jumping on you, yet ignoring him doesn’t make him give up. Sometimes a bridging stimulus can help move the training along.

It’s an auditory signal that you’re about to withdraw all attention. Some people use a duck call; others, a tuning fork. When their pet starts jumping (or doing whatever they’re not supposed to do), their human makes the noise as an unmistakable signal that all interaction is now going to immediately cease. It’s like an exclamation point to help your dog learn the ropes a bit faster.


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