LOOKING AFTER YOUR ALASKAN MALAMUTE
THEY NEED YOU ...
 
HEALTH CARE

Your alaskan malamute puppy cannot tell you in human words that it is sick or in pain . You will have to learn to be very observant and know your dogs normal behaviour and general appearance. In other words you have to be Dr. Doolittle and learn to talk and walk with the animals.
Dogs are creatures of habit and generally behave in predictable ways most days. Any significant changes that last more than a few days may need a visit to your vet. If you do not have a vet yet please my article on "how to Choose a vet" .
You cannot use your dogs nose as a barometer for health and wellness . A dogs nose being dry may not indicate sickness and a wet nose may not be a sign of health. A sick animal can have a wet or dry nose . A good reliable way is to pay attention to your malamutess general behaviour. Is your alaskan malamute puppy/dog restless or irritable?Is she/he listelss and lethargic ? Does your malamute seem depressed or tired and not want to go on his regular walks. When your malamutes name is he/she responsive in his normal way . His/she eating or drinking or snubbing his/her favorite treat. If your dog is ill he/she may snap or growl at you if you try to move him or touch him/her in an area that may be painful .If this occurs wear a pair of gloves or gently muzzle your malamute while you try and lift him or walk him/her to the car to see a vet . You can make a muzzle out of a torn sheet or t-shirt if you don't have the real thing. The muzzle will protect you from getting injured. Some animals will bite when in severe pain ,not because they want to hurt you in a mean way but because their pain is so great that they want to protect themselves and warn you at the same time.

CHECK LIST

If your alaskan malamalute shows any of the following symptoms you should promptly bring him/her to the vet.

1. Eating very little for more than 72 hours and looks unwell
2. Extreme thirst
3. If their is bleeding from the nose mouth or anus or genitals
4. Straining when passing urine
5. Lameness , difficult time in moving, sensitive to touch areas
6. Noticeable weightloss
7. Un controllable weight gain
8. Lethargy,dull appearance
9. Any change in normal behaviour that may indicate illness
10. Ecessive whining ,scratching biting at a particular spot

Observe ,observe obeserve. Get to know your alaskan malamutes ways!! We live on a large dairy farm here and have many cattle horses cats and dogs and a few resident oddballs like a rabbit . It is very important to get to know the tell tale signals that animals give when they are unhappy or when they have illness lurking. By paying close attention to your dogs normal behaviour you will more easily pick up on hus/her times of distress even if they are subtle. We have many years of experience and many animals to practice on but with practice you can learn to to be more aware of your dog's body language and how he /she communicates to you his needs .

FIRST AID LIST

Some minor injuries can obviously be treated at home by their owners . If you have any doubt at all consult your vetrinarian and give him an account of the situation over the phone . The vet or if he has experienced staff will tell you wether they think it is wiser to take your dog in or not for a more thorough examination. Keep a first aid kit handy. Your first aid kit should include...

1. themometer
2. blunt scissors
3. some steril gauze
4. stretchable self adhesing wrap bandage
5. good tweezers
6. cotton balls or pads
7. antiseptic
8. muzzle
9. blanket and towel

TAKING A TEMPATURE

Your alaskan malamute puppy or dog's normal tempature is 38 to to 39 celcius {100 to 102 farenheight} . You can use a digital themometer with the end greased with vegetable oil or you can use a snub nosed glass themometer I prefer the digital myself ,this lessens potential injury should the glass themometer break at the insertion point. If using a glas themometer don't forget to shake the mercury !!
Now lift the tail up and insert the themometer slowly for about 2.5 cm which is about 1 inch into the dogs resctum . If the themometer is digiatl take it out at the beep. If it's a glass model leave in for about a minute ,take it out lean it and then read it

NURSING A SICK MALAMUTE

The area where your pet is recovering or resting if he is ill should be in a quiet draft free area. A warm water bottle is handy if he or she is not prone to chewing. You Can place layers of newspapers covered with old towels or blankets which can be changed when dirty or soiled.
If your dog is not eating ,try to tempt it with smaller size pieces of his favorite treat or food. Make it enticing . I find adding canned food to a dry food is very helpful . You could also try cottage cheese , liver ,hamburger, cooked fish . Watch out for dehydration ,if your dog won't drink his water , try adding some milk into the water , that too can lead him to drink . Clean his/her eyes if discharge is present. Bedding should be changed often also. If the dog can walk ,take it out on short walks to the bathroom . If he/she is not very mobile make sure you have lots of bedding and newsprint especially so that you can change their soiled area as they urinate or deficate. If medication is to be given and the dog is able and willing to eat and it's in pill form ,the easiest is to push it into a small piece of weiner or sausage . The pill will easily go down the hatch with the food!! If they are unwilling to eat pulverize the pill into powder and mix it with a little water and syringe it in . You can also ,if your dog allows it gently open his mouth and push the pill to the back of his toungue ,close his mouth and rub his neck to make him swallow. If it is in liquid form gently place the syringe between the teeth and sqeeze . If they are willing open their mouth and place syringe to the back of tongue ,not too far so they don't choke and then release the syringe contents.
Don't forget to give lot's of love !!! That's very important medicine indeed. If he howls howls , howl with him !!

CHOOSING A VET

You can choose a vet by asking people in your neighbourhood who have pets who they recommend in the area . Also call up local breeders they too would have a wealth of information in helping you choose a breeder. When you have loacted several options , find out if the vets you are considering have 24 hour emergency services or other services that are important to you . Maybe a vet who does house calls is important to you or one that takes a more holistic approach by providing services such as message or accupunture. Choose a vet that you feel comfortable with , not just with his/her personality but also with their skill. Some vetrinary practices run on a clinic basis where you will find many specialist in one building . This may appeal to you if you like the one stop approach . Others prefer the more personal touch of a private practice and are willing to go elsewhere for more detailed test if recommended buy their main vet caretaker. Once you have found a vet it is recommended that you stay with that vet if you like his or her practice. In the event that you may move out of the area and may need a new vet for your dog it is wise to take along your pets medical records. You can simply ask the vetrinarian you have now to transfer the files once you are established and have found a new clinic or vet . This rule would apply to anytime you change a vet for whatever reason wether it being because you are moving or have found a vet more suitable to your needs.

When you take your dog to the vet it is important to make note of any symtoms he/she may be displaying. When giving the vet a reeort be precise!!! Note and tell of any changes in drinking and feeding habits ,behaviour and body condition. Maybe the smell of the urine has changed or the colour . Anything that is not usual for your malamute to exibit.Any change in his stoool should be noted and reported. The more the vet knows the more accurate his diagnoses will be and the test that will be performed.

 

BACK