Choosing a Harness and Collar for a Pomeranian

via Best Harness and Collars for a Pomeranian

1) The anatomy of a Pomeranian’s neck makes him vulnerable to injury. It is important to understand the anatomy of the neck area. Because, after all, that is where a collar sits.

A dog’s trachea (also known as windpipe) is the tube through which air passes in and out, and this is surrounded by rings of cartilage. 
Surrounding that are muscles. Small toy breeds like the Pomeranian do not have a lot of muscle built up around the neck and shoulders. 
In addition, the Pomeranian breed is prone to degenerative weakness of the tracheal rings.
These factors can result in a particular neck injury known as collapsed trachea. 
Collapsed trachea is a condition in which the tracheal rings collapsed inward. 
2) A collar increases the risk of injury. While collapsed trachea is mainly considered to be a genetic issue, and can happen regardless of whether you use a collar or harness, the use of a collar can increase the risk of this. 
This is because it may be triggered by an event such as a jerk to the neck area, or long-term pressure can cause a wearing down. 
Whether or not there is a genetic weakness, the rings surrounding the windpipe are prone to injury.
3) This injury can be devastating. When one or more of the rings breaks inward, this obstructs breathing and can cause a dog to endure dog quite a bit of pain. It can cause massive coughing fits that trigger additional damage to the area. There is often a characteristic honking cough, and internal swelling. 
Typically heavy doses of a variety of medications including anti-histamines, anti-inflammatory meds, and antibiotics are given to help control this. Part of the treatment is to immediately stop wearing a collar, and to switch to a harness. For severe cases, surgery will be needed to stabilize the windpipe. 
4) Even ‘innocent’ walking on leash and collar can cause issues. You may assume that if your Pom walks nicely beside you that there won’t be any problems. However, can you guarantee that there will never be any pressure on his neck with the use of a collar? 
Both acute events (lunging off to the side, the leash is stepped on and causes a quick jerk to the neck, etc.) and long-term events (years of pressure, strain, and tension on the neck due to pushing ahead while on leash, or for some tiny Poms, just the weight of the leash on the neck) are both areas of concern. 

Circle of Trust T Shirt


Basics of Alopecia X

While there are various types of alopecia, each having various causes, alopecia X differs in several ways from the other types of the hair cycle abnormalities which have been found and treated in the canine body.  Alopecia X is known by a number of other names or terms but all of them describe a “hair cycle arrest” for which the exact cause has escaped scientific identification. Alopecia X is a term given by many veterinary dermatology professionals to describe a “hair cycle abnormality” which is known to affect predominantly Nordic breeds, Pomeranians, Toy and Miniature Poodles.

As noted above, there are a variety of types of alopecia in dogs and the symptoms are similar in that there is hair loss for various reasons in various regions of the canine body.  Here are some symptoms which may be noted if the animal is afflicted with alopecia X:
Gradual or spontaneous symmetrical hair loss generally over trunk and rear thighs
Hair loss is generally followed by a “wooly” growth of coat (dull and dry in appearance)  Sometimes skin may become hyperpigmented

While there are no systemic signs for this particular canine condition, there are also no specific causes found for it.  If your canine family member is not eating and drinking, or is doing so excessively (out of his ordinary pattern), appears depressed or is showing increases in liver and kidney testing values, it is likely that there is a systemic underlying cause for the hair loss and your vet will likely need to do additional testing to ascertain that underlying cause.  Here are some of those underlying systemic causes for the hair loss which will need to be eliminated to get a more firm diagnosis:
Cushing’s Syndrome
Cyclic flank alopecia
Pattern baldness
Post-clipping alopecia
Telogen defluxion

These diseases and conditions can, since they are systemic in nature, affect your canine in ways beyond just the skin condition.  If any of them are found to be the cause of the hair loss afflicting your pet, your vet will treat accordingly.

DIAGNOSIS OF ALOPECIA X IN DOGS Diagnosis of the cause for the hair loss or alopecia in your doggy family member will be a process of elimination as there is no specific testing process known at this time to confirm an alopecia X diagnosis as there are for other diseases and conditions in the canine species.  Your veterinary professional will need a complete history from you which will likely need to include many areas of your pet’s lifestyle, like dietary regimen, elimination habits, unusual behaviors noted, the duration of those unusual behaviors, and was hair loss gradual or spontaneous.  Your vet will do a physical examination and will likely order at least a comprehensive blood chemistry panel (CBC) to see if any normal blood component values are out of line.  If he suspects an endocrine issue, there will likely be additional testing needed to clarify or eliminate diabetes, thyroid issues and Cushing’s Syndrome.  He may collect samples of scrapings from the affected areas for microscopic evaluation or even collect other fluid and excrement samples (urine and feces) for laboratory evaluation.  Once he has collected the results of the testing he has ordered, he will likely have been able to eliminate some of the endocrine-related maladies and he will have a better idea for treatment options.

TREATMENT OF ALOPECIA X IN DOGS Treatment of alopecia X in your canine family member will be dependent upon what the vet feels is the primary cause or contributing factor(s) of the initial hair loss.  The treatment options listed below may evolve into a process of trial and error in an effort to treat your pet:

Castration-responsive alopecia (if true to its name) will likely require a period of time to allow the hair to regrow following the neutering of males or spaying of females – this may take several months – additional treatment may follow if regrowth doesn’t occur
Growth hormones administration if that is suspected cause Oral melatonin (over the counter) – don’t begin this on your own unless advised by your vet Drugs which change the adrenal gland production of cortisol and sex hormones These treatments, as you can see, may not necessarily be a “cure all” for alopecia X nor they are a “one size fits” all treatment for all dogs suffering from alopecia.  These treatments may allow the hair cycle to start again but, for alopecia X sufferers, the cycle will resume for one cycle only.  This means that your pet will lose his hair again and it can happen as quickly as one month later or as long as 3 to 5 years later.

RECOVERY OF ALOPECIA X IN DOGS If your veterinary professional cannot find a specific cause or contributing factor for the alopecia in your pet, for example, endocrine disorder, bacterial or fungal infections, and immune disorders, then it is likely that this condition will continue to repeat its cycle throughout the remainder of your canine family member’s life.  It might be a good idea to get used to the idea that extra precautions are needed when your pet is outside. Make use of doggy t-shirts and sweaters. With the hair loss, the skin of your doggy family member is exposed to the elements and will need some protection when outside.  If your pet is otherwise healthy, the prognosis is good for your pet who is afflicted with alopecia X.


Paws for a Cause

We have been accepted to the Paws for a Cause program at Dr. Fosters

Donate to this organization through Drs. Foster and Smith
Dog Supplies Cat Supplies Pet Blog

Donate to this organization through Drs. Foster and Smith
Drs. Foster and Smith: Dog SuppliesCat SuppliesPet Blog

Princess Poison

Happy Valentine’s Day


3 Things All Pomeranian Owners Should Know

via 3 Things All Pomeranian Owners Should Know –

#1 – That Coat Needs Grooming

The Pom coat is high maintenance. Frequent brushing is required to prevent mats. Owners also need to watch for skin issues that hide under all that fur, such as hot spots or dry skin. Pomeranians are prone to flaky skin, so it’s something that needs to be monitored. They should not be shaved except for medical reasons, as the Pomeranian coat is designed to regulate body temperature.

#2 – Fragile Bodies

While many Poms act like they are Great Danes, their tiny bodies are actually quite fragile. They are prone to issues such as luxating patellas and their tracheas are easily damaged. Jumping from the couch can cause broken limbs; jumping from your arms can be fatal. Harnesses are safer when walking than a collar. Owning a Pomeranian means taking extra care that he doesn’t get hurt.

#3 – They Need Socializing

Often described as having a Napoleon complex, Pomeranians can be very territorial. If they have not had training and proper socialization, your Pom will be a nuisance barker that feels it’s his duty to protect your home from anything that comes by, including the garbage man, friends, family or the neighbor’s cat.

Written by Kristina Lotz