Yellow Dog is a special creature. He’s got attitude and personality. He’s also got some twisted little feet. It’s probably a result of his mixed breed; we guess he’s a Dachshund-Jack Russell-Beagle mix.

“Yellow has chondrodystrophic legs, which just means the cartilage model his bones are made from didn’t form quite right,” Dr. Brandy Vickers of Avenues Pet Hospital says. “It’s normal for several breeds, including dachshunds and bassett hounds.”

Check out how his paws roll over:

dog bow legs

dachshund crooked legs

When Yellow walks, his nails grind directly on the pavement with every step. We never have to cut his front nails and in fact, we need to protect them and allow them to grow, otherwise he hits the quick when he walks.

Every year, you visit the vet and get a round of shots for your dog, along with an expensive bill. We all want to protect our pets, so we comply with whatever our vet or clinic recommends. But there is some debate over which vaccines are necessary and how often they should be given.

yellow dog getting shots
Yellow Dog is being a brave boy while he gets his rabies and bordetella shots.

Yellow Dog and Sundown were recently due for their shots, so we at YDB decided to get the low-down on vaccines. We consulted our vet expert, Dr. Brandy Vickers of Avenues Pet Hospital in San Francisco, to find out what’s best for each individual pet owner.

Just about everyone on the planet knows chocolate is toxic to dogs. But there are many other food items that are dangerous for your dog to consume.

Grapes/Raisins

Before we were aware of this one, we noticed Yellow was reluctant to eat grapes that fell on the floor. Good thing, too! dog avoids eating grapesGrapes have a toxin that can cause severe kidney or liver damage, even in small amounts. Also be wary of giving your dog human cookies that may contain raisins.

We chronicled the warning signs and dangers of dental disease in the first part of this series on oral health. Now it’s time to explore a teeth-cleaning procedure done right. It’s very important to ask the right questions and make sure your dog is taken care of during his teeth cleaning, as he will be put under general anesthesia and may need to have teeth removed. More on that to come. First, let’s walk through the teeth-cleaning procedure.

Step one: Anesthesia

sundownanesthesiaSundown has his IV in place and is ready for his injection of propofol to induce anesthesia. A vet should perform a check on your dog before inducing anesthesia to make sure he’s healthy enough for it. Blood work may need to be done. Sundown checked out fine; he is young and quite healthy so he was green-lighted for this procedure. You should ask what precautions your vet takes against anesthetic complications.

sundownteethbefore
Sundown has a red line between the tooth and the gum as well as layers of brown tartar build-up, classic signs of stage-one gingivitis.

Dental disease in dogs is unfortunately quite common. In fact, a vast majority (upwards of 85 percent) of dogs will develop dental disease in their lifetime, and most by the time they are three-years-old.

We have been aware of this sobering fact since Yellow Dog was a wee-one of five months. We constantly check Yellow’s teeth and offer bully sticks often to keep his teeth healthy. This vigilance has worked for Yellow but sometimes genetics play a role; this has been the case for Yellow’s brother, Sundown, who currently has stage-one gingivitis, which is characterized by tartar build-up on the upper-rear teeth and minor inflammation at the gum line.