It is important to get your husky use to his paws being handled, check the pads frequently for mats between the toes, gravel and sores. Lawn chemicals can cause burns on your huskys feet. Also look out for grass seeds which can become lodged in the fur on the underside of their paws and work their way into the skin causing infection. Any excessive licking of paws could be a sign of trouble.
Trim your huskys nails at least once every month. If you wait too long the nails and the quick will both overgrow, you will then have to trip a little bit off the nail each day to get the quick the gradually recede.
Make sure when you cut the nails you do not cut into the ‘quick’ the pink area of the nail, if you do cut into the quick by mistake it will begin to bleed – you can use stypic powder or even flour to stop the bleeding.
Overgrown tails can lead to serious foot problems. Dogs need their nails to gain traction on the ground. Nails of the correct length should not quite touch the floor when the dog is standing.
Dental care is a must, dogs have 42 teeth and cleaning them can be an impossible job. From the time your puppy comes home begin cleaning his teeth daily, you can buy a specially designed tooth brush from any vet which slips over your finger, you can also buy a dog toothpaste. Feeding your husky bones and other specially designed dental chews can help reduce tartar build up. Once plaque has set in on the tooth it is difficult to remove and must be taken to the vet for some dental work. Plaque build up can result in periodontal disease (the same as in humans) and should be addressed immediately. Bad breath can be a sign of dental trouble. So are receding or red gums. Normal gum colour is pink.
Clean any ocular discharge every day with a clean, damp cloth – special eye wipes can be purchased from most pet stores.
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane that lines the eyelid. The white of the eye looks red. It can be caused by a variety of things and needs to be diagnosed and treated by a vet.
Because Siberians have erect ears they are less prone to ear problems than lop eared dogs. Siberians should not have foul smelling or red ears, or discharge coming from the ear. Normal ear wax is clear or very pale yellow and is not to be worried about. Black or brown discharge probably means a yeast infestiation or ear mites. A yellow discharge indicates an infection and you should take your husky along to your vet.
If you ever notice your dog scooting along the ground it’s probably because his anal sacs are blocked. Most of the time the dog handles this himself by scooting along the ground. Sometime he may need some help to expel them, you will need to talk to your vet or groomer about how to do this.
If your dog has fleas he will probably do the obvious, scratch. The itch from a flea bit can last from 3-7 days. If you see your dog scratching investigate the area. Fleas stay very close to the skin so you will need to use a fine tooth comb. Fleas generally are worse around the head and neck – where it is difficult for the husky to try and remove them.
You will know your dog has fleas with you see black and white specks in his fur – these are flea feces. You can test if they are feces by putting a little bit on a white sheet of paper and dropping a bit of water on them – if they turn red they are flea feces.
Flea collars are ineffective in breeds like the Siberian due to their heavy coat. Flea treatments both natural and medical are available from any vet or pet store, it is advisable to talk to your vet or breeder about effective flea control for your husky.
Checking your huskys pulse and breathing rate
The best place to check your huskys pulse is on the inside of his thigh. Youll feel a groove at the right spot. A normal resting pulse rate is between 70 and 120 beats per minute. Normal breathing rate is 12 to 32 breaths a minute.
Viruses and vaccinations
- Parvovirus – affects the stomach and intestines of dogs and is transmitted by feces. It is resistant to most disinfectants other than bleach. Parvo causes diarrhea so severe that a dog can literally waste away from it. Not cure is available and puppies should be vaccinated against it early. Humans are immune.
- Distemper – the main killer of dogs worldwide – airborne and extremely contagious it affects the dogs nervous system. It starts with a dry cough, fever and yellow discharge from the eyes. 50% of unvaccinated adult dogs who contract the virus die from it. Puppies should be vaccinated early, humans are immune.
- Kennel cough – an acute respiratory disorder. In adult dogs it appears like a bad cold with no symptoms other than a runny nose and a bad cough. Sometimes there is a fever and/or lack of appetite. Puppies should be vaccinated early.