Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Doggy First Aid Kit

Here is a list of some things that you might want to include in your dog's first aid kit.
It's nice to have one on hand at your house.
You never know when it might come in handy:

Buffered aspirin - 5 mg per lb. every 12 hrs. (DO NOT USE TYLENOL)
Benadryl - up to 2 mg. per lb. every 8 hrs.
Dramamine - up to 50 mg. every 8 hrs.
Hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) - 10 ml. by mouth every 15 minutes to induce vomiting (after accidental ingestion of poison). Be sure to check poison label to see if vomiting is advised.
Real cotton balls (not synthetic) - can be fed to dog if dog has ingested glass or other sharp objects.
Charcoal capsules for those times when regurgitation is "NOT" the way to go
Styptic pencil, forceps, tweezers, large size gauze pads
Non-steroidal eye ointment, antibiotic cream, anti-itch spray, Vaseline
Sterile eye wash
Elastic bandage wrap, Q-tips
Terry cloth towel to use as a pressure pack on any open wound
Thermometer (buy one of the newer ones that can be used in the ear - they are great!)
Small muzzle or fabric to make one
First aid manual for pets
All emergency telephone numbers for vet, emergency clinic, poison control, etc.
Roll of tape to keep pressure pack on tight
Cloth to make a tourniquet
Fresh bottle of water
Cold packet, the one that you twist and it becomes cold
Mylar emergency blanket
Pill popper to give tablets if the dog cannot help easily
A pair of blunt-edged scissors

Friday, September 17, 2010

Things To Come . . .

Stay tuned for some other interesting topics to come in the next few weeks.

1. Dr. Becker's Emergency Kit. A list of "homeopathic" items that should be included in your dog's first aid kit, written by the good Dr. Karen Shaw Becker!

2. Halloween Safety Tips for Pets. It's almost that time of the year (AGAIN!) and we want our pets to have a happy and safe Halloween, too!

Both are coming soon to The Pawmacy, so please check back soon.
Till then, remember, Dogs are not lawn ornaments and they are not disposable, they are our faithful companions!!

Monthly Home Exams

Just a few things to be aware of with your canine companion on a monthly basis:

1. Skin Irritation: Brush your dog's fur in the opposite direction of growth to check their skin for redness or any irritation. Black, crusty residue could be a sign of fleas.
2. Lymph-Node Pain: Using gentle pressure, feel around the base of the jaw, in front of the shoulder blades, behind the "elbows" of the front and back legs, and where the thighs meet the abdomen, noting anything that is prominent or seems painful to your companion.
3. Lumps, Bumps, or Growths: Report anything new to your vet.
4. Weight Changes: Ideally, your dog's weight should remain somewhat stable from month-to-month, with very little variances. Any immediate weight changes should be noted by your vet.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dr. Becker's Wellness Bites (with Resveratrol)

I am SO excited to announce the release of PetsVeratrol ©.

Resveratrol, the powerful, natural antioxidant has been blended with premium beef liver, free-range bison liver and heart to produce a uniquely healthy treat with extraordinary benefits.

The discovery of resveratrol and its benefits are truly exciting. Resveratrol is a natural, superior antioxidant with numerous studies showing a variety of health benefits including:

* Reducing inflammatory issues

* Superior protection for the heart

* Reduced risk of cancer

* Weight loss

* Protection from free-radical cellular damage

* Improved kidney health

* Brain function

* Reducing liver disease

* Increased level of energy

* Better muscle health

* Anti-aging

All of these benefits are now available for our pets. With the proprietary blend of Dr. Becker's Wellness Bites with Resveratrol, PetsVeratrol © is another step towards Dr. Becker's commitment to producing the ultimate pet treat.

These wonderful Wellness Bites with resveratrol are available exclusively at www.drbeckersbites.com along with Dr. Becker's other three "Becker's Bites" .... beef, bison and veggie varieties!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dogs Live Here

If you don't want to be greeted with paws and wiggly rears,
Don't come inside, because DOGS LIVE HERE.

If you don't like the feel of a cold nose or wet tongue,
Don't come inside, because DOGS LIVE HERE.

If you don't want to step over scattered bones and toys,
Don't come inside, because DOGS LIVE HERE.

If you think a home ought to smell like perfume,
Don't come inside, because DOGS LIVE HERE.

But if you don't mind all this,
you'll instantly be loved when you do come inside,

Don't tell Gizmo, Sumo, Missy Linn or Kupid (or Furby) that I referred to them as "DOGS".
There is no such thing as 'just a dog at our house!

Cold Weather and Our Furry Friends

Leaving Pets Outdoors:

* If you know anyone who keeps pets outdoors, persuade them to bring them inside. Low temperatures, winds and precipitation can lead to illness and death. In addition, water bowls freeze in cold weather.

* Please keep cats inside. Felines who spend time outside can freeze, or get lost or injured.

* Dog houses and the law: Local laws typically require that if dogs are kept outdoors, the owner must supply the dog with "proper" shelter from the weather, which includes a dog house big enough to stand up in and to permit posture positions that allow the dog to stretch out and stand up, but must not be oversized, since the dog needs to retain body heat; a wind flap on the dog house door; nonporous bedding such as straw; and, access to fresh, unfrozen water. Remember, dogs are domesticated animals who should live indoors with their people. Living outside in a dog house is a sad life, especially in cold, hot and wet weather.

* For free information to use to educate pet owners and others who keep animals in cold or neglectful conditions, see the Related Links below.

Related Links:

First Aid Techniques and First Aid Kit Supplies:

If you know of a companion animal kept outdoors or in other inhumane conditions:

Backyard Dog, Outdoor Dog: Facts, Guidance, Solutions

Robin's Dog Tips:
For more dog tips and pet tips, see http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/dog_tips.html

Note: Some tips courtesy of Brenda Beck, President of Pets and Animals in Distress in Fort Lauderdale; The Healthy Animal Update newsletter; and other sources.

This is the final post dealing with cold weather and our pets. I hope you learned something from these posts - I know I did! Stay warm ....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cold Weather and Our Furry Friends - Part 3


* To avoid injuries, hypothermia and drowning, don't let dogs (or kids) venture onto frozen ponds.

* If your dog falls through ice into water, heed this guidance about drowning from Dr. Stefanie Schwartz, Dog Fancy writer and author of First Aid for Dogs:

If the dog is limp, unconscious or unresponsive, wrap him in a towel. Keep the neck and back immobilized to avoid aggravation of possible spinal injury. Place the dog on a flat board for transporting.

If the dog is not breathing, lay her on flat on his right side. Make several quick compressions to his chest to expel water, then feel for a heartbeat just behind the left elbow. If there's a heartbeat, but the dog is still not breathing, check the back of his throat for obstructions. If you feel no obstruction, close the dog's muzzle by firmly encircling it with your hand. Put the dog's tongue in his mouth first so he doesn't bite it. Then, blow into his nose. Adjust the force of your breath to the size of dog. Watch for rise of his chest, and keep checking for a heartbeat.

If you can't feel a heartbeat, make one or two quick firm compressions on the chest wall with both of your palms flat on top of each other, and begin artificial respiration. Blow about 15 breaths followed by a chest compression. Continue until the dog regains consciousness, respiration and heartbeat return, or until emergency assistance takes over.

* Keep Rescue Remedy on hand. It's a Bach flower essence available in most health food stores. This gentle, natural stress reducing liquid can help people and animals recover from injury, fright, illness, travel fatigue and irritation. Put a drop into their drinking water. To help prevent travel sickness, a common dosage is four drops in the mouth about ten hours before the trip, repeating every four hours as needed. For stressed or injured animals, rub a drop on their ear or put a drop on the towel in their crate or carrier.

* If you see an animal in distress, please call your local humane society right away. It doesn't take long for companion animals to suffer and fall victim to severe winter weather. Frostbite occurs when the fluids in tissues freeze, frequently on the tips of the ears, paws or pads, flanks and belly. Hypothermia, which can lead to death, occurs when the animal's body temperature drops significantly below normal, causing the bodily systems to shut down. Furthermore, pets left outside are deprived of water, since water freezes at 32 degrees.

Watch for Part 4 in the series dealing with cold weather and our pets:
4. Leaving your pet outdoors

Cold Weather and Our Furry Friends - Parts 2 & 3

Safety Measures:

* Do not leave antifreeze, coolant or windshield wiper fluid within reach. And do not let pets drink from puddles. These products taste appealing to pets but most are lethal to animals when ingested. So thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle. Also, keep your pets on leash outdoors and steer them far away from any suspect puddles. Consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Some companies offer non-toxic antifreeze products, such as Sierra. Be sure to have your radiator flushed before you fill it with Sierra and do not mix Sierra with traditional antifreeze.

* Keep a winter survival kit in your car. Include blankets, towels, water, bowl, first aid kit, and a sign that dog is in the car.

* Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. The animal can freeze to death. Of course, do not leave animals, or children, in cars during very warm weather either.

* Cats left outdoors and wild animals sometimes climb onto car engines or beneath cars to seek warmth. Please bang on the hood of your care honk the horn before starting the engine to warn cats away.

In-home Health and Safety:

* Provide your companion animal with a warm place to sleep, away from drafts and off the floor. Dog and cat beds with a warm blanket or pillow are especially cozy.

* The dryness in our homes can make animals more susceptible to problems such as dry noses, upper respiratory infections, dandruff, itchy skin, hair texture changes, dry throats and more. Use a humidifier. Consider a model that humidies and purifies the air.

* Add skin conditioners to the diet. Get them from internet and other merchants who sell quality health products.

* Spray or wipe the pet's coat with water with a few drops of Rescue Remedy or Green Hope Farms Healthy Coat before beginning grooming.

* Portable heaters and fireplaces can be deadly hazards for animals and children. Screen fireplaces and put portable heaters out of their reach. Do not run portable heaters when you are not there to monitor them; each year, a number of house fires start this way.

Watch for Parts 3 and 4 for dealing with cold weather and our pets:
3. Cold weather emergencies
4. Leaving your pet outdoors

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cold Weather and Our Furry Friends

The following is the first in a series of five timely tips to protect our furry friends in cold weather.

Before, during and after walks and outdoor exercise:

* Coats and booties can help your dog stay warm. In particular, short-haired or elderly dogs benefit from wearing a coat or sweater. Look for coats or sweaters with high collars or a turtleneck that covers the dog from the base of the tail on top to the belly underneath.

* Remember to be very careful with sick or older dogs, since they are more sensitive to cold weather. Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter.

* Clip the fur between toe pads to reduce the amount of snow that collects between toes. To help protect dry, sensitive paws, try coating them with a bit of cooking oil spray (i.e. "Pam") before walks in very cold weather.

* During deep snows, shovel out a potty spot for your dog.

* Upon returning home, wipe snow and ice off your dog's feet, legs and belly. Little ice cubes can form in the sensitive spaces between the toes and toe-pads. Remove the ice carefully with your fingers since it may cling to the hairs between the paws. Wiping off your dog will remove any salt, antifreeze or other harmful chemicals that she could ingest them when licking her paws.

* Consider keeping a container of warm water and cloths by the door for use after walks. It is good to rinse the paws before you wipe them dry, because lime rock salt and calcium chloride salt can irritate the foot pads and cause vomiting and diarrhea when licked. Dunking in the water will also dissolve ice and remove mud.

* Many de-icing and ice-melting products are toxic. Read the labels of any projects you use, and store these products in tight containers.

* Even brief exposure to sub-zero temperatures can lead to frostbite of the feet, nose or ears. Frost-bitten skin appears red, gray or whitish and may peel off. Prevent frostbite by removing ice and snow from paws and fur right away. If you suspect frostbite, take your pet to a warm place and thaw out frostbitten areas slowly by applying warm, moist towels. Change them frequently. Continue until the affected areas become flushed. Then contact a veterinarian for further care.

* Do not be tempted to let dogs off leash in snow or ice. Canines often lose their scent in cold weather and can become lost. Dogs also can panic in snow storms and run away. The decreased daylight does not help either. More dogs are reported lost during the winter than any other season, so always keep dogs on leash when outside a fully fenced yard and make sure yours always wears proper identification.

* Brush your dog vigorously and regularly. The air in most houses becomes dry during the colder months, which depletes moisture from dog skin and fur. Brushing improves skin, coat and circulation.

* A thick-coated dog typically needs grooming in cold weather. The fur can get wet and matted, making it an irritant. Clean fur lofts and holds air in a manner similar to layering clothes, thus helping the animal stay warm.

* Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter. Leave the coat longer for more warmth. When you bathe your dog, completely dry him before taking him out for a walk.

* Use fatty acid supplements during the winter, ideally starting several weeks before cold weather sets in, to help skin and coat.

* If your dog engages in a lot of outdoor activities, increase his food supply to help keep his coat thick and healthy.

Watch for my next articles for dealing with the cold weather and our pets titled:
1. Safety measures
2. In-home health and safety
3. Cold weather emergencies
4. Leaving your pet outdoors

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Our Favorite Websites

The best holistic vet ever!

DentaTreat information
My daughter-in-law's blog (Not dog related, but you will love this one!)
Get rid of red eye in your photos
The BEST in belly bands for your fur-babies who go OOPS in the house!
Tracy carries all the very best in pet nutrition, goodies and whatever else you need.

Joint Problems and Arthritis

Gizmo is our first Chin, he is over ten years old now and in relatively good health (thanks to the good Dr. Becker!!!). Anyway, Gizmo has had problems with some degeneration in his joints, but because of the supplements Dr. Becker has him on and a good regimen of chiropractic care, Gizmo runs and plays like a young dog most of the time. The following is the link to an article Dr. Becker wrote concerning joint problems and arthritis which is very informative, so I thought I would share it with you.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

When I am old
I will wear soft gray sweatshirts...
and a bandana over my silver hair...
and I will spend my social security checks on wine and my dogs.
I will sit in my house on my well-worn chair and listen to my dogs' breathing.
I will sneak out in the middle of a warm summer night
and take my dog for an ice cream , if my old car will allow...
When people come to call,
I will smile and nod as I show them my dogs...
and talk of them and about them...
...The ones so beloved of the past
and the ones so loved today...
I will still work hard cleaning after them
and feeding them and whispering their names in a soft loving way.
I will wear the gleaming sweat on my brow, like a
jewel and I will be an embarrassment to all...
especially my family... who have not yet found the peace
in being free to have dogs as your best friends...
These friends who always wait, at any hour, for your footfall...
and eagerly jump to their feet out of a sound sleep,
to greet you as if you're a God,
With warm eyes full of adoring love and hope that you will always stay,
I'll hug their big strong necks...
I'll kiss their dear sweet heads...
I look in the mirror...
and see I am getting old...
this is the kind of person I am...
and always has been.
Loving dogs is easy, they are a part of me.
Please accept me for who I am.
My dogs appreciate and love my presence in their lives...
you will understand when you are old....
If you have dogs you love, too.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rules for THE DOG

Rules for "The Dog"

Dogs are never permitted in the house. The dog stays outside in a specially built wooden compartment named, for very good reason, the dog house.

Okay, the dog can enter the house, but only for short visits or if his own house is under renovation. Okay, the dog can stay in the house on a permanent basis, provided his dog house can be sold in a yard sale to a rookie dog owner.

Once inside the house, the dog is not allowed to run free and is confined to a comfortable but secure metal cage. Okay, the cage becomes part of a two-for-one deal along with the dog house in the yard sale, and the dog can go wherever he pleases.

The dog is never allowed on the furniture. Okay, the dog can get on the old furniture but not the new furniture. Okay, the dog can get up on the new furniture until it looks like the old furniture and then we'll sell the whole darn works and buy new furniture...upon which the dog will most definitely not be allowed.

The dog never sleeps on the bed. Period. Okay, the dog can sleep at the foot of the bed.
Okay, the dog can sleep alongside you, but he's not allowed under the covers. Okay, the dog can sleep under the covers but not with his head on the pillow. Okay, the dog can sleep alongside you under the covers with his head on the pillow, but if he snores he's got to leave the room. Okay, the dog can sleep and snore and have nightmares in bed, but he's not to come in and sleep on the couch in the TV room, where I'm now sleeping. That's just not fair.

The dog never gets listed on the census questionnaire as "primary resident" --- even if it's true (and it is SO true at our house)!

Dental Health

Oral Hygiene

Don't you just love to get those big, sloppy, doggy kisses? Well most of us do, most of the time! But, sometimes their breath is just downright nasty and not very pleasant. More importantly, the microorganisms that cause this bad breath (and periodontal disease in your pet) can actually shorten his/her life span, did you know that?

Once again, I have been called a bit obsessive, weird, the crazy dog lady, etc., but the fact of the matter is , I do whatever it takes to keep my dogs breath, gums and teeth their cleanest and healthiest. See Gizmo smiling? He is our first rescue, needs a bit of orthodontia, perhaps, but for over ten years old, his teeth are pretty good!!

This could trigger an enormous article on the importance of a good diet for your pet, but that's another time and place, puh-lease!!!! But, aside from a great diet, I have four Japanese Chins that all have relatively good teeth ... one at + 10 years old, two at just over 6 years old and one at 3 years old.

I have two products that I use regularly for their teeth that I certainly attribute 100% to their good dental health ... one is DentaTreat which is a powder (cheese-flavored) that I sprinkle over their food every day. We'll go over that product at another time.

But, today, I am getting ready to order another supply of one of my FAVORITE products — Oxyfresh. It has been ok'd by my vet and is so simple to use that it would be a shame NOT to use it!! So, I thought this would be a good time to share this special "find" with all of you!

Just a capful of Oxyfresh Pet Oral Hygiene Solution in your pet's water bowl each day, and your pet will have 'up close' fresh breath every day (I'm assuming that you are like I am and change your dog's water bowl at least once a day).

Oxyfresh is a clear, tasteless liquid that you use in their water and it keeps their teeth clean, their breath fresh and me happy (Oxyfresh uses a special trademarked solution called Oxygene ®) !!!

Non-toxic and safe, Oxyfresh with Oxygene® not only controls the bacteria that cause bad breath, but regular use can actually help your pet live a longer, healthier life by slowing the progression of periodontal disease (Periodontal disease has been called the 'silent killer of pets', and proper oral health care may actually extend the life of your pet by 2 to 5 years. It's estimated that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of 3 suffer from periodontal disease, a serious deterioration of the gums and supporting bones of the teeth. Left unchecked, resulting bacteria can enter your pet's bloodstream, causing infection or damage to vital organs such as kidneys, lungs, heart, or liver).

Oxyfresh is:

• Tasteless and odorless
• Easily added to water
• Promotes healthy gums and fights dangerous periodontal disease

Oxyfresh recommends adding one teaspoonful per quart of pet drinking water (or you can mist directly into the pet's mouth twice daily). Personally, I find it easier to just add it to their drinking water.

Oxyfresh Ingredients are:

Deionized Water (Aqua) - Oxygene® (Stabilized Chlorine Dioxide) - Zinc Acetate - Sodium Citrate - Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex - Sodium Benzoate - Sodium Hydroxide - Citric Acid

If you watch their website ( http://www.oxyfresh.com/pet/petoralhygiene.asp ) you can catch it on sale occasionally. Ordinarily, the prices are as follows:

4 oz....$6.00
16 oz....$14.00
1 Gallon...$71.25

My last purchase of Oxyfresh was two 16-oz. bottles and they have lasted me just about all year — that is for four dogs of my own (often I have my daughter's or son's dog here as well), and I do change their water at least once every day, sometimes more often, especially in warmer weather.

Oxyfresh is one of those products that I use and believe has helped maintain good dental health for all my Chins — keeps them kissable all the time !!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Things I Love

Have you ever had or used something that you absolutely loved? Well, I have, so I decided to start a weekly post dedicated to just that subject . . . " MY FAVORITES". And, I hope to hear from some of you about the things that you consider YOUR FAVORITES, too.

This week, I'm going to start out with the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Hand Vacuum. I have four SHEDDING dogs and I mean badly shedding dogs. I love them to death, but my house has fur balls everywhere. My sofa and cushions use to have an aura of dog hair around them constantly. This little Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Hand Vacuum is lightweight and compact, has a 16' cord, a HEPA filter and works like a magnet, pulling pet hair out of your upholstery and stairs. It's great to use for quick pick ups before company comes over (instead of pulling out your whole vacuum cleaner). I love mine and use it all the time. The average price is around $45, but I got mine at our local Home Depot for $35 and I'm sure you could find one even cheaper on eBay or somewhere - mine has been worth every penny I paid!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Last week a friend of my daughter's had to have their dog put to sleep due to a disease called Blastomycosis. The following is a run down of this dreaded disease. It seems it is not indigenous to the Midwest, however, that is where this dog lived. Therefore, I am sending this warning out to all of my dog loving friends. Read this article (I know it's a little on the long-ish side) and just be aware of the symptoms...one never knows...better to be safe than sorry!

Blastomycosis is a serious systemic fungal disease that primarily infects dogs and people. It can create a variety of respiratory, eye, and skin lesions. Blastomycosis can be rapidly fatal if not diagnosed and treated promptly. Even with proper treatment, many dogs do not recover from the infection. Along with proper medications, good supportive care is very important. Relapses can occur.

It is a fungal organism that lives in sandy, acidic soil in close proximity to water. Blastomycosis is often found in small pockets instead of being widespread. The proximity to water appears to be very important (usually within 400 yards of a body of water).

Blastomycosis has a well-defined endemic area where it is found. The area includes the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio River valleys, the Mid-Atlantic States and parts of Quebec, Manitoba, and Ontario. It is believed that the range of blastomycosis continues to grow.

While humans often become infected, dogs are still 10 times more likely to develop the disease than people are. A big factor in determining which dogs or people get infected is directly related to their lifestyle and where they live. People that spend time in the woods, as well as their dogs are much more likely to become infected. If they travel in swamps or near water they are at an even greater risk. Hunting dogs and hounds are therefore infected much more frequently than house pets in a given geographic area. Younger dogs are more commonly infected with the highest prevalence seen in 2-year-old dogs and male dogs seem to be at a higher risk than females of developing blastomycosis. (NOTE: My daughter's friend's dog had recently been outside drinking standing water from a puddle while on a walk and they suspect this may have been the cause, but may never know).

Infection occurs from the dog inhaling the spores that are found in the soil. The spores then travel down into the airways of the lungs and an infection develops. It has been suggested that some infections could occur through a wound in the skin, but this source of infection is thought to be very rare. Once Blastomycosis establishes itself in the lungs, it then spreads throughout the body to different locations. The most common sites for infections after the lungs include the skin, eyes, bones, lymph nodes, subcutaneous tissue, brain, and testes.

The symptoms of blastomycosis in dogs include lack of appetite, fever, depression, weight loss, coughing, eye problems, lameness, or skin problems. Signs are usually present for a few days to a few weeks. The disease can wax and wane with the severity of the symptoms improving slightly and then worsening again. Up to 85% of dogs with blastomycosis have lung lesions and accompanying dry, harsh lung sounds. Forty percent of dogs with blastomycosis have eye lesions including uveitis, retinal detachment, and hemorrhaging into the eye. Skin lesions are found in 20 to 40% of the infected dogs and are often ulcerated and draining. Bone involvement and resulting lameness is present in about 30% of infected dogs.

Blastomycosis is diagnosed based on history, symptoms, and then identification of the organism under a microscope or through an antigen blood test. Smears from skin lesions or from aspirates of enlarged lymph nodes will contain identifiable blastomycosis organisms about half of the time. Collection of samples from the bronchi will also contain organisms in some instances. In cases where the disease is suspected but the organisms cannot be found microscopically or diagnostic resources are limited, an antigen blood test can be performed. The blood test detects blastomycosis antigen in body fluids including urine, blood, bronchial aspirates, and cerebrospinal fluid.

Treatment is usually necessary for all dogs that become infected with blastomycosis. Unlike some other fungal infections in which many animals are exposed and then recover from the infections on their own, with blastomycosis relatively few animals are exposed and infected, but those that are require treatment. There are several treatment options. The most common treatment is the oral administration of the antifungal drug Itraconazole. This drug usually needs to be given daily for 60 to 90 days. It is a human drug and can be very expensive, particularly for a large dog, but it is currently the safest and most effective way to treat blastomycosis.

For dogs that can not tolerate or do not respond to Itraconazole, the injectable drug Amphotericin B can also be used. This drug is given intravenously several times a week. Because it is more toxic than Itraconazole, it is administered under close veterinary observation. Ketoconazole (Nizoral) is occasionally used in milder cases where cost is a strong consideration. It is not as efficacious and is slightly more toxic than Itraconazole, and therefore, is not usually the first choice in treatments. Most animals will have severe appetite loss and must be encouraged to eat or be force fed the first 7-14 days.

There is currently no vaccine available to protect against blastomycosis. The disease cannot be transmitted from an infected animal to a healthy animal or from an animal to a person, it can only be acquired from inhaling the spores in the soil. Limiting the amount of time a dog spends in the woods, particularly near water sources may reduce the incidence. Knowing if blastomycosis occurs in your area, recognizing the symptoms, and seeking prompt veterinary attention are the best ways to deal with this disease.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article and caring for your pet...they love you for it!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Your Dog's Ears

This is another in the series posted by the good Dr. Becker. This is a rather long video (10 minutes maybe?), but if any of you have problems with recurring ear problems with your dog, this video is well worth listening to, trust me. Dr. Becker covers just about everything here, from infections to how to properly clean your dog's ears. Listen and learn, dog lovers!


Monday, July 6, 2009

The Top Ten Reasons Your Dog's Hair Cut Costs More than Yours

The Top Ten Reasons Your Dog's Hair Cut Costs More than Yours:

10. Your hairdresser doesn't wash and clean your rear end.

9. You don't go for eight weeks without washing or brushing your hair.

8. Your hairdresser doesn't have to give you a sanitary trim.

7. Your hairdresser doesn't have to clean your ears.

6. Your hairdresser doesn't have to clean boogies from your eyes.

5. You sit still for your hairdresser.

4. Your haircut doesn't include a manicure or pedicure.

3. Your hairdresser only washes and cuts the hair on your head.

2. You don't bite or scratch your hairdresser (I hope not anyway).

And the Number 1 reason your dog's haircut costs more than yours....

1. The likelihood of you pooping or peeing while your hair is being cut is extremely slim!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Food Allergies

If any of you have dogs that are suffering from allergies, this is a MUST view video. It is only five minutes long, but it is filled with so much information, you really HAVE to see it.

Go to: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2009/07/02/does-your-pet-have-allergies-what-you-need-to-know-and-do.aspx

This is the first in a two-part series. This first one covers food allergies. The next one will cover environmental allergies.

Doggie Meatcakes

Recently, I received a recipe from a member of JCCARE (Japanese Chin Care and Rescue Effort www.japanesechinrescue.org ). Yesterday, I made the Chinnies their very own Doggie meatcakes. These meatcakes were fantastically easy to make (it took me 15 minutes or less to mix up). And they were a HIT for dinner last night, to say the least!! I froze the rest for dinner at a later time. Here is the recipe:

6 lbs. ground beef
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1 cup brown rice
4 medium carrots, grated
2 medium potatoes, grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
Dash of salt
1 calcium tablet, crushed - I added 700-800 mg. of calcium (crush Caltrate tablet or add crushed eggshells)

While rice is cooking, mix all other ingredients in large bowl, add rice and mix well. Shape meat into balls resembling medium cupcakes. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

This is the original recipe, however, here are some variations:

You can substitute 2-3 lbs. of ground chicken for the ground beef

I did not want to use the potatoes because of all the other "starchy" stuff, so I omitted the potatoes and used small pieces of a sweet potato, a parsnip, celery, and a whole tomato. I just threw them all in my Cuisinart and chopped them up. Use whatever veggies your dog likes.

This makes approximately 48 meatcakes, depending upon the size that you make.

You can also bake them, freeze them, thaw in fridge, then re-heat in microwave for about 15 seconds to take the chill off before feeding.
Or you can do as I did and make the meatcakes and freeze them in an "uncooked" state. We have five dogs in the house at mealtime, so I froze five meatcakes per package. At dinnertime, I put the meatcakes on a microwave safe place and cook for several minutes (up to two minutes or until they look done) before feeding (make sure you cool them before you serve them, they will be hot when they come out of the microwave).

However you choose to do yours, I guarantee, they will be a hit at dinnertime and SO EASY TO PREPARE !!! Another yummy dinner that is good for your doggy !!! Bone Apetit !!!

Fireworks, Storms & Stress

Today is July 2, 2009. Most of us are getting ready for a big celebration on July 4. But, what about our furry friends? Are they approaching the day with the same anticipation or are they filled with fright?

When we first rescued our Gizmo, many years ago, he was terrified of the fireworks (and thunderstorms). But, because he was a rescue, we didn't know that. His first Fourth of July (three months after we adopted Gizmo) was spent with him hiding in any corner he could find. It was awful - his vomiting and his runny poops lasted for days afterwards - the poor little guy.

Therefore, I became very well-acquainted with a product called Calms Forte tablets made by Hyland's. You can get them at most any health food store. And the best thing is, that since they are homeopathic in nature, if they help, they help, but if they don't, they don't do any harm, either. You know the old saying, "No harm, no foul!" I started out by giving Gizmo a Calms Forte tablet early in the day on the Fourth and kept him calm all day. By the evening, he was fairly relaxed. We have a finished basement, so my husband and I rented several movies to watch (at a little higher than normal volume) and popped some popcorn, retired to the basement with doggy treats and Gizmo never knew there were fireworks going on (of course we shared a little of our popcorn with him, too). It worked when I knew a thunderstorm was blowing in to calm him down, too.

There is also a product called an "Anxiety Wrap" that is suppose to calm them down (www.anxietywrap.com ) . I asked Dr. Becker, (our vet) about that one and her thoughts were that it does help, but the Anxiety Wrap is a bit pricey. Her suggestion was to use an Ace bandage elastic wrap (the sports wrap thing-ey). I did try it, wrapping the Ace bandage from just behind Gizmo's front legs to just in front of his back legs (i.e., covering his torso), snug enough to be comfortable. Kind of like swaddling a newborn. It did help and Gizmo didn't seem to mind it a bit.

Another "trick" that I SWEAR by is a series of CD's called "Through a Dog's Ear" (okay, don't laugh!!!). My husband about committed me to the local mental institution when I bought this series of three CD's (and the book that went along with it). I noticed a HUGE difference in the relaxation in my Chins whenever I put these CD's in to play. Therefore, if I know it is going to storm or when it is time for the fireworks, I pop in of these CD's (even if it is just playing in the background somewhere), and they are much more calm. You'd need to read some of the book to understand the reason why it works. It's pretty amazing, but once you read the theory behind it, you say to yourself, "Of course!" Check out their website, www.throughadogsear.com - it's pretty amazing stuff!

Anyway, these are just of few of the tricks I've used over the years to keep my Chinnies calm during stressful times. You may find that one or a combination of these helps your furry friend(s) this weekend.

Have a safe and happy Fourth, my friends (furry or otherwise)!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fleas & Ticks & Critters, Oh My!

Those of you that know me, know what a fanatic I am about flea and tick control.

My Chins are very lucky to be under the care of a wonderful holistic veterinarian for their "holistic" care (Dr. Karen Shaw Becker).

Our local veterinarian is Dr. Lori Civello who is a magnificent lady, as well. Dr. Civello understands my need for holistic care and is willing to work with me.

Anyway, through my holistic approach to fleas and tick control, I decided that I was NOT going to use anything that was not good for my Chins. The usual approach is to grab the box of Advantix, Frontline, etc. Do you all realize that these things are pesticides? Fleas and ticks are, indeed "pests", but please, please do not put pesticides on your pet! These are absorbed into your pet and they are poisons.

There are alternatives that do work.

First of all, we take a proactive approach and treat for fleas and ticks all year long, by using a product called, "Bug Off" garlic powder. Fleas and Ticks do not like the smell of garlic. You can order a 1 lb. container at http://www.springtimeinc.com/ ( look for Bug Off Garlic for Dogs). It is very reasonably priced. I sprinkle a small amount on their food every day all year long . . . it has a cumulative effect.

Secondly, when spring comes, I buy a bag of Diatomaceous Earth at your local garden shop or nursery. Sprinkle some around your yard and it will keep fleas and ticks from infesting your yard. It can be sprinkled under your pet's bed in the house or under your sofa cushions, etc. to ward off the pesky little critters (the fleas, not your dogs!). It also controls lots of other bugs, too, as well as being good for the soil (it controls slugs if you have them, too).

And the very best NATURAL flea control is one that I purchase locally (or you can by online) at Natural Pet Market from Tracey Werner (the owner - you will hear me mention her name a lot on my blog . . . http://www.naturalpetmarket.com/ ). I bought a spray made by Quantum. It's called, simply - 100% Natural Flea & Tick Repellent. After their bath, I sprayed some of this on them, not terribly generously. I went against their coat, so as to get it onto their skin a bit. I paid attention to their tummies, I sprayed their legs and tails. Made sure I did not get it in their faces. The only caveat is that if you bathe them again, or they get wet (as in a sprinkler or a pool), you need to reapply it. I have had one bottle and use it on five dogs (my four plus my daughter's dog) and have used it for two years now and I still had 1/4 of the bottle left (in fact, I gave that to a friend of mine to try). It does not take much, trust me. And we have not had a flea or tick since I have been using this spray. It is a super effective concentrated spray that quickly eliminates fleas, repels ticks and at the same time nourishes dry itchy skin, enhances the coat, and heals hot spots. It is magnetically infused with Yellow frequency to repel parasites and Turquoise frequency to nourish the skin and coat.

Dr. Martin Goldstein, D.V.M. author of The Nature of Animal Healing states, "One spray I keep around my own home is Quantum's 100% Natural Flea & Tick Repellent." "I order it by the caseload."

So, there you have it, my friends ... I told you I am fanatical about NOT using pesticides on our pets .... it's like spraying them down with Raid !!! Please don't do it, it isn't necessary.

Chicken Stew for the Chinnies

Chicken Stew for My Chinnie Chickadees
This was truly the easiest meal I have ever prepared for my Chins and they loved me for it and love their dinner even more! All you need is a whole chicken and your imagination.
I used a chicken and whatever vegetables I know my doggies love ... pictured here is some zucchini, rutabaga, carrots, lima beans and some parsley.
I washed the chicken and all the veggies, threw everything into my crockpot in the morning, added some water (enough to cover all of it). I sprinkled some "Bug Off" garlic powder over the top (I'll cover that elsewhere in my blog) and tossed in a tablespoon of olive oil. . . covered it. . . and waited.
As the day progressed, I watched each one of my Chins wander by the crockpot sniffing. By dinnertime, I had a beautiful chicken stew that I had to fight to keep my husband from eating it!! And, it was so easy and so good for them . . . but, remember to give it sufficient time to cool. The broth takes a long time to cool down. Try it and watch them snarf it down !

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We want to wish one of our furry friends a very special Happy Birthday . . .

Kody Gutshall will turn nine years old on Wednesday, June 9.

It is my understanding that he has been having his share of cookies recently on a regular basis, so it will be interesting to see just how Kody celebrates his big #9!!

However you spend your big day, Kody, enjoy and know that you are loved by many!!

Happy Birthday, Kody!!
Gizmo, Sumo, Missy Linn and Kupid (oh, and Furby, too)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Birthday Bones

Let's Cook Up Something Yummy For Your Fur-Baby:

Here is a recipe that is easy to make and your doggy will love you for them.

Birthday Bones

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Temperature: 375 F

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup skim milk

Cooking Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk.
Add wet mixture to dry, and mix well.
Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll out to 1/4-inch thick and cut out shapes.
Place on a greased baking sheet and bake 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool on a rack then store in an airtight container.

Makes 30 large bones