Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

5 Common Diseases in Large Breed Dogs

A dog sits.

By Dr. Eva Evans, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best Pet Insurance, a pet health insurance agency for dogs and cats.

While most diseases in dogs are seen equally in all sizes and breeds, there are some diseases that are seen almost exclusively in larger breed dogs. The following list contains some of the most common illnesses that occur in large breed dogs. Keep an eye out for these potential diseases if your dog is a large breed.

1. Bone Cancer

Large breed dogs are by far the most common sized dogs to get bone cancer. Typically, this is a special type of cancer called Osteosarcoma. It is most often found in the limbs around the knee joint, the shoulder joint and the wrist joint. Typically, older dogs with this disease will develop firm swelling in the affected part of the limb and they will eventually limp from pain. The cancer eats away at the bone which means that these lesions can fracture or break easily. If you notice a swelling on any part of your dog’s limb or limping, it is best to have it checked out immediately. Radiographs (x-rays) are used to find the lesion and biopsies are often done to confirm cancer.

2. BloatRead More…

Cat Breed Guide: Havana Brown

A Havana Brown cat with pet insurance from Pets Best.

By Dr. Fiona, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Havana Brown

Weight:  Females 6-8 lb, Males 8-10 lb

Points of conformation: Long head with hourglass muzzle, which is a breed distinguishing feature.  Round forward tilting ears Lithe medium length body, long legs and a long tapered tail.

Coat: Medium short and closely lying.

Color: Rich shiny chocolate brown with no other markings.

Grooming needs: Minimal grooming needs, weekly brushing.

Origin: Great Britain.

Behavior Traits: Very intelligent and affectionate

Is a Havana Brown cat right for You?Read More…

Teach Your Dog to Weave Between Your Legs

A Pets Best Pet Insurance dog weaves between poles as part of his agility dog training.By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best Pet Insurance, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

Got a Velcro® dog? By that, I mean a dog who seems to shadow your every step in the house – perhaps even causing you to trip over him. Channel that need to cling too close to you by teaching him this crowd-pleasing trick that should also instill confidence in him.

To be successful, you need to strike a balance between having your dog being attentive, but not being too energetic because you need to work on your timing and balance. He needs to know “watch me” cue and happily following hand signals. This is a key trick used in the popular sport of agility with canine participants weaving in and out of stationary poles.

Here is your 11-step guide:

1. Stand with your legs apart.Read More…

Cats Landing on Their Feet – Are There Health Implications?

A Pets Best Pet Insurance protected kitten jumps through the air and lands on its feet.By Dr. Eva Evans, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best Pet Insurance, a pet health insurance agency for dogs and cats.

As the saying goes, cats always land on their feet! But is this always true?

Cats do typically land on their feet when they jump or fall. The vestibular system is responsible for telling the cat when it is not right-side-up, and this system triggers the cat to rotate in mid-air to make sure its feet land first. Cats are very agile and flexible which helps them rotate during their fall to avoid landing on their head or back.

When cats land on their feet, their joints absorb the shock associated with the landing. The softer the landing material (carpet for example), the less likely a cat is to injure itself. It is widely known that cats falling from greater heights often sustain fewer injuries that those falling from just a few feet up in the air. Read More…

Dog Breed Guide: Scottish Terrier

A Scottish Terrier with pet insurance from Pets Best.

Dr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Scottish Terrier

Height (to base of neck): 10″

Weight:  females 18 – 21lb, males 19-22lb

Color: Brindle, black and wheaten.

Origin: Scotland

Coat: Double coat with wavy, wiry, long outer coat.

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years

Energy level: Moderate

Exercise needs: Moderate

Breed Nicknames: Scottie

Is a Scottish Terrier the Right Dog Breed for You?Read More…

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