Photo's By Karen Thomason
There are 5 simple tests you can do on your Gordon Setter to help insure his good health, according to Dr. Marty Becker, DV, who made a TV appearance on the Dr. Oz Show, on Fox today. These are little things you can do as preventative measures.
- Flip the Lip - Flip up the lip to expose the teeth and gums. Look for red, swollen, or bleeding gums. Gum color should be bubblegum pink. Look for brown spots on teeth, or discolored areas of decay. Dogs can have bad tooth aches, just like us. Their teeth have enamel, and a nerve just like ours do. Not eating can also be a sign of mouth pain.
- Flip the Flap - Flip up the ear. Setter's in particular have crinkly, wrinkly ears, that can hold lots of dirt. Take notice as to if it feels very warm from within. This could be inflammation. Look for redness, pus, or wax. If you have a lot of wax, and you see little tiny "white specs" or bugs moving around, that is EAR MITES. It should be treated immediately. Call your Vet for advice. If you find nothing but dirt, clean it with a little alcohol and a cotton swab.
- Rub the Ribs - First, rub the ribs with both hands. You should be able to feel his rib bones. If you don't, your dog may be over weight. They should not be protruding either. Second, like the photo above, rub firmly, but gently, all the way down his spine, from his head to his tail. Not hard enough to make your Gordon want to sit or lie down. If he has a spinal problem or a sore spot, he'll probably wince or let you know in some way that it hurts. Be careful with older dogs who may have spinal or hip and joint problems.
- Fluff the Fur - Rub all over your Gordon's body and check for lumps, bumps, and ticks. Look for dry skin and limp fur.
- Take the Temperature - You can get thermometers that you use in the ear and they are fairly cheap. NORMAL temperature for your Gordon is 102 degrees. When a dog gets really excited, the temperature can be slightly elevated. The temperature you take at home may be more accurate, because he is at home and more relaxed. Also, a pregnant female's temperature, drops slightly when she begins her labor.
You can easily incorporate these procedures into every day petting and playing. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!