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How to Find Your Lost Dog

By the time you are reading this article, most likely you have been looking for your lost pet for 24 hours or more. You have walked, then driven your neighborhood. You have been to the local animal shelter and registered your pet as missing. You have lost a lot of sleep.

You are reading because you feel the odds are strong that you will recover your pet. In the vast majority of instances, your instincts will prove true.

Let's try to help you. Let's briefly go over three things:
  • Why pets run away and where they often go
  • The logical steps to take in assisting recovery
  • Things you can tell your friends later if you are among the many who succeed in recovering your lost pet.

(1) Why and Where Do They Go?
(2) Steps to Recovering Your Pet
(3) How to Avoid Losing Your Pet

1. Why Pets Run Away and Where They Often Go

Normally, pets run away from acute boredom or loneliness, to answer sexual urges if they have not been neutered, in response to sudden and unexpected events that frighten them, out of curiosity if doors, windows or gates are left open, or if they are new to a home and are looking for their former surroundings.

How to Find a Responsible Dog Breeder

If you've checked shelters and rescue groups and still haven't found "the one," here's what to do

The Humane Society of the United States

So, you've decided to get a dog. You're prepared to feed, exercise, train, clean up after, work through problems with, and love a dog every day for the next 10 to 20 years.

You've evaluated your lifestyle and know exactly what sort of dog you're looking for (e.g., a high energy dog to go running with, or a more sedate dog to lounge on the couch with), and you know that you need to seek out your desired characteristics in an individual dog, not a breed, because a breed is no guarantee of temperament or likes and dislikes.

Start at a shelter or rescue group

Parvovirus in Dogs

What is parvovirus in dogs?

Also known as "parvo", parvovirus is a serious & often deadly disease caused by the highly infectious parvovirus. It was first described in the 1970's.

Parvovirus attacks rapidly dividing cells within the body, commonly involving the gastrointestinal tract, lymph nodes & bone marrow. A less common form of parvovirus affects the heart muscle.

It is spread via infected feces where high numbers of the virus are shed. Infection occurs via direct or indirect contact with infected feces. The virus can survive for months in the environment (bedding, kennels etc).

Unvaccinated puppies are most at risk of infection although adult dogs can also become infected. For reasons unknown, Dobermans, Rottweilers & Pit bulls are more susceptible to the disease than other breeds of dog.

Parvo Symptoms and Treatment

Is This a Death Sentence for Your Dog?
Unfortunately, it can be. But the rate at which parvovirus kills has been seriously diminished in recent years due to scientific understanding on how to replace the vital elements in your dogs body that are lost in the throes of this decimating virus.

If your dog has tested positive for parvovirus, you may want to save this page so that you can refer back to it for information, treatment, and comfort while you nurse your pup back to health.

If you think your dog may have parvo, please continue reading to learn what you can, must, and should do to help them through this devastating illness.

How Can My Dog Be Exposed to Parvo?

You May Be Surprised

Dogs do not have to be taken into to unfamiliar surroundings to be exposed, although doing so regular does increase the risk of contracting Parvo. In fact, even if your dog or dogs stay in an enclosed area such as your backyard, they may still be at risk for exposure to the Parvovirus. Some of the most common manners in which your dog can be exposed to Parvo include:
  • Vet/Clinic Visits
  • Dog Parks
  • If an Owner comes in contact with sick dogs (rescue, vet care, dog sitting etc.)
  • Contaminated Dogs visiting your home, or just your yard.

Although these certainly are not the only means in which your dog can come in contact with this deadly virus, but it is certainly a good idea of how easy, and how wide-reaching it can be.

Even if there is only an outbreak near your area, something as simple as a bird landing on parvo'd fecal matter and then perching on your dogs outside food or water dish could make it possible to have this illness.

Parvo Killed Dog: Warning Signs to Look For

Parvo Killed My Dog: What Warning Signs to Look For, in My Personal Experience

My Flea, my love, good-bye, my sweet, my baby, my friend, I miss you, good-bye...

Parvo killed my dog today. I'm an emotional wreck, I'm having a hard time even writing this down, so please bare with me. I wanted to share this now, and early, because Parvo kills fast with minor warnings, and it's this time of year when Parvo is most likely going to be spread to your dog.

Parvo attacks puppies and small dogs more than it does adult dogs, but don't think your pooch is safe from Parvo just because he is older. Parvo attacks lining in the dogs intestines, which causes diarrhea which can become bloody, depression, and vomiting. If not treated fast enough the dog will lose all of it's nutrients and electrolytes.

Flea died in 24 hours, thats how deadly it was. She was brought to the vet the day before and the bastards told us she was fine. The next day we brought her in again due to her being lethargic. A few hours later she died. I'd like to formally thank that the piss holes over at 24 hour emergency vet for telling us she was fine the day before, while she suffered for the next 24 and died. Thank you. You suck.

Treating Your Dog's Diarrhea

Question: Help! my dog has diarrhea—is there anything in my medicine cabinet or on my kitchen shelf that could be used to save both of us a visit to the vet?


As a veterinarian, this author sees many patients with minor problems (such as the dog in this story) who could be treated at home safely and effectively. At the same time, there are dogs whose problems, if not addressed early enough by a veterinary professional, suffer more than they need to.

Probably the most common complaint received by veterinarians is that of diarrhea. It’s such an easy condition to identify: The smell is unmistakable, as is its chocolate-pudding appearance. Most of the time, diarrhea is caused by a dietary indiscretion or stressful circumstances, and is self-limiting. Diarrhea is not a disease; rather, it is a symptom of a dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). When associated with bad food or food-borne pathogens, diarrhea serves to rapidly remove pathogens from the GIT before they have a chance to be absorbed and cause more damage.

Diarrhea in Dogs: Causes and Treatment

Diarrhea is the passage of loose, unformed stools. In most cases there is a large volume of stool and an increased number of bowel movements. The two most common causes of diarrhea in dogs are dietary indiscretion and intestinal parasites. Many canine infectious diseases are also associated with acute diarrhea.

Food takes about eight hours to pass through the small intestines. During that time, the bulk of the food and 80 percent of the water is absorbed. The colon concentrates the remainder. At the end, a well-formed stool is evacuated. A normal stool contains no mucus, blood, or undigested food.

With rapid transit through the bowel, food arrives at the rectum in a liquid state, resulting in a loose, unformed bowel movement. This type of rapid transit accounts for the majority of temporary diarrhea in dogs.

Dietary indiscretion is a common cause of rapid transit. Dogs are natural scavengers and tend to eat many indigestible substances, including garbage and decayed food, dead animals, grass, wild and ornamental plants, and pieces of plastic, wood, paper, and other foreign materials. Many of these are irritating to the stomach as well as to the bowel, and are partially eliminated through vomiting....

Alternative Treatments for Dogs

Modern veterinary medicine has made many advances. New vaccinations, medications, diagnostic aids, and surgical techniques that were once undreamed of are realities, helping pets live longer, healthier lives. But some veterinarians are looking to the past to find successful treatments that rely on natural substances like herbs or homeopathic remedies, or physical manipulations like massage, chiropractic, or acupuncture. Alternative therapies for dogs have been used to treat skin problems, digestive upsets, and other conditions. Of course, an accurate diagnosis must be made before you begin any type of treatment, but many dogs can benefit from a skilled and sensible combination of traditional and alternative therapies.

Some veterinarians incorporate alternative medicine for dogs into traditional practices, while others specialize in treatments like acupuncture or homeopathy. A veterinary degree is not required to practice some alternative therapies, although many states require that these therapies be administered to animals with veterinary supervision. With the proper training, however, both veterinarians and nonveterinarians can perform acupressure or massage on a pet. Here are some alternative therapies and their uses.

Acupuncture. The use of acupuncture and acupressure is thousands of years old. These therapies were developed in ancient China and are based on the theory of energy flowing through a system of channels (called meridians) that flow through the body and are linked to certain internal organs. Disease is seen in large part as disharmony in this internal energy flow, and the purpose of acupuncture is to restore the balance. Acupuncturists may do this by using needles, finger pressure, heat sources, or other methods to manipulate certain specific points (or acupoints) along the meridians. Western scientific research is still at a loss to explain why acupuncture works. Some theories suggest that inserting the needles increases the body's production of endorphins (substances that make you feel better and more comfortable) and blocks the transmission of pain signals from the spinal cord to the brain.

Dog Illness Warning Signs

Dog Illness Warning Signs

A dog who's under the weather works hard to convince you she's just fine. That comes from thousands of years of instincts. In the wild, an obviously sick or weak animal (even a predator) is as good as dead. Even though she doesn't have to worry about that too much anymore, your dog's instincts still tell her to hide any signs of illness. You'll need a sharp eye and good observation skills to catch some of the more subtle clues. Of course, the better you know your dog, the easier it will be.

Some of the things to look for are basic: the way your dog looks, acts, eats, and drinks. For instance, she might look like she's gained weight, even though her appetite hasn't changed much, or like she's losing weight, even though she's eating more. A ten percent change in weight (which could be as little as a pound in a small dog) is something to bring to your vet's attention.


Usually, we know our dog is feeling good when she chows down on her food. It's not unheard of, though, for her to skip a meal or two, especially if it's hot outside. Any more than that is something to be concerned about. If your dog turns up her nose at food for more than two days, call your vet right away. Some diseases and medications cause dogs to develop eating habits that are downright out of the ordinary for them. A dog who has never been a food thief and suddenly starts raiding the garbage can or stealing food off the dinner table is telling you she needs a checkup or an adjustment of her medication.


A dog who starts drinking water like a fish could be developing diabetes or kidney disease. You may not be able to notice the dog's extra water consumption easily, but you should be able to pick up her increased intake by paying careful attention to what comes out the other end. She'll be producing much larger amounts of urine and have to go outside more often. She may also start having accidents in the house.

Basic Dog Diseases

Today we have vaccines to help prevent many of the killer dog diseases -- and antibiotics to treat some diseases when they do strike. With the proper series of preventative vaccinations, your dog will most likely never suffer any of the diseases listed in this section, but we've described them just in case.

The Not-So-Magnificent Seven

There are seven common and potentially fatal canine diseases you should protect your dog against with regular vaccinations: canine cough (also known as kennel cough), coronavirus, distemper, canine infectious hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus (or "parvo" for short), and -- the most dreaded of all -- rabies.

Canine cough. This is a respiratory infection common to any situation where many dogs are kept together, such as kennels (giving rise to the name "kennel cough"), animal shelters, and pet stores. The infection causes the trachea, larynx (voice box), and bronchi (the little branching tubes in the lungs) to become inflamed. Succumbing to the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica, an infected dog will develop a mild to severe cough, sometimes with a runny nose, five to ten days after exposure. It can be treated with antibiotics and plenty of rest, which is very important. As with all the Not-So-Magnificent Seven, prevention is the most sensible and humane choice. If you plan to board your dog or will be exposing her to many other dogs, be sure she's protected against Bordetella. The "double whammy" is often a good strategy: a liquid vaccine administered through the dog's nose combined with an injection for canine parainfluenza virus.

Coronavirus. A usually mild disease, coronavirus is spread when a dog comes in contact with the stool or other excretions of infected dogs. Although it rarely kills dogs, coronavirus can be especially hard on puppies or dogs who are stressed or not in the best of health. Suspect coronavirus if your dog is depressed, doesn't want to eat, vomits -- especially if it's bloody -- and has a bad case of diarrhea. Exceptionally strong-smelling stools, particularly if bloody or with a strange yellow-orange color, are also signs. If coronavirus is diagnosed, the veterinarian will give your dog plenty of fluids to replace those lost from the vomiting and diarrhea, as well as medication to help keep the vomiting and diarrhea to a minimum. A coronavirus vaccination is usually recommended if your dog will be meeting lots of other dogs -- or their excrement -- at parks, dog shows, kennels, and other boarding facilities.

Distemper. Around the world, more dogs die from distemper than any other infectious disease. This highly contagious virus is spread by direct contact or through the air. A hale and hearty dog can survive distemper, usually with relatively mild symptoms. On the other hand, if your dog's immune system doesn't come out fighting, her whole body can be overwhelmed by the virus, as well as bacteria that jump in to cause secondary infections.

Distemper usually happens in two stages. Three to fifteen days after exposure to the virus, the dog develops a fever, doesn't want to eat, has no energy, and her eyes and nose become runny. As time passes, the discharge from her eyes and nose starts to get thick, yellow, and gooey -- the classic sign of distemper. If you haven't taken your dog to the vet before this symptom appears, you should take her now. Other first-stage signs of distemper are a dry cough, diarrhea, and pus blisters on the stomach. The second stage of distemper is even more serious, because the disease can begin to affect the brain and even the spinal cord. A dog in this stage might slobber frequently, shake her head, or act as if she has a bad taste in her mouth. Sometimes she has seizures, causing her to circle, fall down, and kick her feet in the air. Afterward, she seems confused, wandering around and shying away from people.

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