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Dogs

Resources For Dog Training Ideas And Tips

Do you want to save a puppy at the pound? Or do you prefer to get a dog from a dog breeder? No matter what kind of dog you want, he can give you lots of love. However, you need to be prepared for the responsibilities involved in owning a dog, so use these ideas to get started.

Be careful with your dog around Christmas season, many dangers are lurking just under the festive ambiance. For instance, electrical chords are typically strewn about during the holidays, and dogs often chew them, creating an electrical hazard. Dogs may be tempted to eat the decorations on the tree. They may also be tempted by the tree water, which can be toxic.

If you are interested in providing your dog with the healthiest of diets and making positive contributions to the earth’s environment, make his food from scratch. You can buy locally grown organic ingredients and provide him all the proteins, carbs and fats he needs with no preservatives while reducing the waste from packaging as well.

If your dog is very rowdy or easily excitable, experts recommend that you don’t bring them along on vacation. Many times the thrill and confusion of a new area filled with strangers is too much for the hyper dog and unpleasant incidents may occur. Find a great kennel to care for your pooch instead.

If your dog does something the correct way, such as sitting before you put the leash on, make sure that you give it tons of affection and praise. This will show your dog that the behavior he is exhibiting is just what you are looking for. It teaches the dog that he gets praised when he does what you’d like him to do.

Your dog has to be leash trained. He should know the “heel” command, stay close to you and not veer far ahead or drag behind. Doing this will not only be easier on you, but it will also keep your dog safe. This command will be very useful if you walk your dog while keeping the leash very loose.

Not every dog is capable of going to the dog park. Some dogs will not do well around other dogs that they do not know. Get to know how your dog does around friends’ or neighbors’ dogs before you attempt to take him to the park. This way, you will know if he will be aggressive towards other dogs.

Should you have any kind of issues with regards to wherever in addition to how to utilize do cats Eat their own babies, you can contact us from our own web page. If your dog is a digger, make sure to protect him and your garden. Some plants are poisonous to dogs, not to mention the damage those paws can do to your prized flowers and produce. Put up an appropriately sized fence to keep him out or consider using an electric one.

If you are training your dog, make sure the treat you are giving him really is desirable. Pets have preferences too, and if your dog does not like the treat you are providing, there is not going to be much motivation to do the right thing. Try out a few different brands, and remember that soft, chewy treats are generally the most well-received.

If you are training your dog, make sure the treat you are giving him really is desirable. Pets have preferences too, and if your dog does not like the treat you are providing, there is not going to be much motivation to do the right thing. Try out a few different brands, and remember that soft, chewy treats are generally the most well-received.

Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your dog. You should congratulate your dog when it displays a good behavior, for instance by giving it a treat or petting it. Talk to your dog in a soft voice and make sure you praise it every time the good behavior is displayed.

If your dog seems to have a bad reaction from every shampoo you use on him, try a green product. Most commercial brands of dog shampoo contain a lot of things like phosphates and sulfates, which can irritate your dog’s skin. They are also harmful to the environment so you’ll be solving two problems at once.

Don’t bathe your dog after you have applied a flea or tick medication. Some medications tout that they are waterproo, but they only mean against rain or swimming. They will largely wash away with a dog shampoo, rendering the treatment ineffective. If you must bathe the dog after a treatment, use a soap free shampoo.

Be sure your dog wears identification so it can always get back home. Keep identification on your dog’s collar. The tag needs to have your name and phone number on it. The dog could also get a micro-chip implanted in it.

Control your voice to control your dog. When he is a good boy, speak in a high-pitched voice and shower him with praise. When he misbehaves, use a very low and gruff voice to indicate your displeasure. Being consistent with this will help him learn faster, making training him much easier on you and him.

Every dog needs to have a good amount of exercise in order to stay healthy and fit. It is a good idea for you to take your dog out for a walk at least once a day if you do not have a yard he can use to run around freely.

Never give your dog away for free, no matter how desperate you might feel to get rid of it quickly. Even if you can not care for the animal, it is still your responsibility to be sure that it will have a good life to come. Instead, take the time to investigate the person that you will give it to and charge a re-homing fee to ensure that they are serious about caring for the animal.

Keep your dog safe from dangerous chemicals. Similar to kids, cleaning chemicals and any car maintenance substances are harmful to them. These substances are poisonous, so if a dog gets any on them or ingests any, they could get burned, become very sick, or die. Store your hazardous chemicals in a place that your dog can’t get to, or keep them in a closed area using a child-proof lock.

You have the information you need to properly care for your new dog now, so get ready to show your dog its new home. Keep learning new ideas about caring for your dogs online. You can even find online discussion groups where other dog lovers meet. Don’t stop learning; you can learn forever!

Learn The Best Methods Of Caring For Your Dog

Having a dog is not really very easy. It is important to feed your dog properly, make sure it gets enough affection, plenty of exercise and proper medical care. How can you ever remember everything you need to do? Continue reading and learn more about being a responsible pet owner.

Look into subsidized health care for your dog if money is tight. Many local communities, in cooperation with groups like the SPCA offer discounted services that have proven invaluable to dog owners. Look into getting your dog spayed or neutered and vaccinated for a fraction of veterinary costs at a sponsored event probably close-by to you. Just contact the SPCA or an animal shelter in your town.

If you are in the market for a new puppy, make sure you will have enough time to devote to his training. On average, you need to take a young dog outside to do his business eight times a day and that can take a lot away from your schedule. Training takes more time and patience than most people realize.

Whenever you travel with your pet, don’t skimp on the packing. Of course you need to be well supplied with his food, water and any medications he may be on, but experts advise that you also bring his grooming supplies, vaccination paperwork, tags and an extra leash. Also, bring a flat sheet for when your dog will be on hotel furniture.

Giving your dog a bath is essential to his health. Depending on his size and activity level, toss him in the tub weekly or monthly and always use a shampoo that is made for dogs and is pH balanced. Pets have different pH levels than humans and a good dog shampoo will leave your canine clean with a beautiful shiny coat.

Take your grown dog to the vet at least once a year. The vet will check to see if the dog’s vaccines up to date. In addition, the vet will check the dog’s teeth and vital signs. If any major health or behavioral issues come up between annual checkups, you should see the vet earlier.

Brushing your dog’s teeth is important, but it is not easy. If your dog is resisting, once a day simply lift their lips and use your finger to rub their teeth lightly. Do it quickly at first, and then begin to draw out the time you spend performing this action. This will help them get use to the process. After that, you can begin using an actual brush and toothpaste.

Give your dog a great place to sleep. Every dog needs a bed to call his own that is temperature controlled and comfortable. If not, the dog may alternate sleeping locations between undesirable locations, such as your sofa when you’re not watching. A bed also gives him a great sense of security and belonging.

When training your dog, consistency is everything. You must be consistent at all times. If your dog is not allowed to jump on people as they walk in, don’t allow your dog to do it even if a person says they don’t mind being jumped on. You should also make sure that everyone that’s around your dog understands your rules and are consistent with them.

Send your dog to school! He will feel more comfortable knowing exactly what is expected of him and obedience school will help him learn that. It will also boost his self-confidence, and of course, make a more well-behaved pet of him. Call around locally and see if you can sign him up for a trial class and take it from there.

If your dog has been playing outside, take the time to inspect its ears and neck for ticks. These parasites are very common and could make your dog sick if you do not take action right away. Take your dog to the vet if you do not know how to remove the ticks yourself.

If you breed your dog, do so responsibly. The AKC advises all owners of pure-bred dogs to make an effort to advance the breed and discard all other motivations, such as money or experimentation. Consider the repercussions of your actions before allowing your dog to mate and create a litter of puppies.

If you have younger children in the home, make sure that you try to teach them what behavior is appropriate with your dog. Let them know the rules and what they are allowed to do. Some dogs are more tolerant of being jumped on, pulled on, and played with than other dogs.

Don’t bathe your dog after you have applied a flea or tick medication. Some medications tout that they are waterproo, but they only mean against rain or swimming. They will largely wash away with a dog shampoo, rendering the treatment ineffective. If you must bathe the dog after a treatment, use a soap free shampoo.

Make sure that you carry small bags and gloves with you while you are out walking your dog. If he uses the bathroom outside, it is your responsibility to clean up the mess. It is unsanitary for you to leave it there, and it some places you may receive heavy fines for that.

Check you dog for parasites and take preventative measure. Flea and tick collars are important. Keep in mind certain collar work better in different seasons and geographic areas. In addition, check your dog’s ears. Ear mites are common. Also, check the dog’s stool to ensure he hasn’t picked up worms in his digestive system.

Every dog needs to have a good amount of exercise in order to stay healthy and fit. It is a good idea for you to take your dog out for a walk at least once a day if you do not have a yard he can use to run around freely.

It is natural to want to get your dog trained as quickly as possible. However, remember that there is a limit as to how fast this process is going to go. If you are not realistic, you are much more likely to get frustrated with your pet, which could damage your relationship. Your pet will learn over time, but it may not happen as fast as you would like.

Now you should know what goes into caring for your pet as best you can so now you should be able to bring a new pet home! There will always be things you don’t know, so don’t stop learning. A great place to discuss your dog with other dog lovers would be an online forum. Never stop learning.

Dogs

Making A Zip Line For Your Dog

Keeping our dog safe, and abiding by the rules of many of the places we visit, means that Myles spend a lot of time on-leash. Though we’re always exploring new places, life at the end of a six foot tether doesn’t provide him with much freedom. So, to give Myles more room to wander while we’re camping, we made an inexpensive zip line for our dog!

Zip Line vs. Tie-Out

The zip line has a lot of advantages over cable tie-outs, which people often use to keep dogs from wandering off.

First, jumping up every two minutes to untangle your dog doesn’t happen with a zip line. If you have a dog who’s constantly wrapping his tie-out around the picnic table, tent stake, trees, and your chair, you know how impossible it is to relax with those shenanigans going on!

Second, you’ll never again feel the dread of watching your dog bolt to the end of their unforgiving cable tie-out. The zip line has more give and protects pets from injury.

Third, the zip-line won’t trip you when you’re stumbling around the campfire in the dark!

Materials and Assembly

All you’ll need to make a zip line for your dog is some nylon rope and two spring clasps. Any hardware store will have these materials, or you can order them online for about fifteen dollars.

We chose a rope with a smooth cover, which makes it comfortable to handle when we’re putting it up and taking it down. It also has a bit of stretch for some shock absorbency to protect Myles from a sudden stop.

Rod used his Eagle Scout skills to handle the knot tying. He made quick work of the two bowline knots, attaching the spring clasps to the ends of rope.

Melting the fibers by passing the raw ends of the rope though a flame keeps them from unraveling. And – SHAZAM – the zip line is ready for action!

Deciding On Length

The most difficult part of making your zip line will be deciding how long it should be.

We decided on a 50 foot line, which gives Myles plenty of room to explore. And because having too much is better than not enough.

That length also gives us more flexibility if we’re at a campsite with few anchor points. If we don’t have trees, we can attach one end to the ladder on the back of our motorhome and the other to a picnic table or post.

Setting Up The Zip Line

Before setting up your dog’s zip line at a park or campground, check the rules to verify that they allow the rope to be wrapped around the trees. Also, placing a 1 to 2 inch webbing between the tree and the rope will help protect trees with soft bark. Nails and screws should not be attached to the tree when putting up your zip line.

It takes about five minutes to set up our zip line. In the photo below, we’ve wrapped one end of the rope around a tree and clipped the spring clasp on to the rope. Then, keeping the rope taught, we ran the rope to another tree, going around the tree as many times as necessary to take up the slack before clipping the spring clasp back to the rope.

The rope is placed high enough to just give Myles the ability to lie down comfortably. Giving him just enough leeway keeps him from building up too much velocity and jerking at the end of his leash if he decides to chase a gofer or give a squirrel a run for his money.

We also use the dog zip line when our campsites have a ramada. It’s easy to wrap the line around two posts and snap the ends back on the rope.

One Zip Line For Two Dogs

When we still had Ty and Buster, we made separate runs for each dog on the zip line.

We’d wrap the rope around the first tree and clip the spring clasp back to the rope. Then we’d make a complete pass around a second tree, creating the first section of zip line where Ty’s attached in the photo below. Then we’d wrap the rope around a third tree and clip the spring clasp back to the rope. That created the second run of zip line where Buster is attached in the photo below. Giving the boys their own space kept them from getting tangled around each other!

Connecting Dogs A Zip Line

Pets should never be attached to a zip line by their collar, because it could choke them if they became tangled. When he’s on the zip line, Myles wears his harness, which has a loop on the back to connect the leash. The final step is to slip a heavy-weight carabiner through the leash handle and snap it on the line.

What’s “heavy-duty” enough for your carabiners? It depends on your dog! Mass times velocity = force. So, if you have a 50-pound dog and he can accelerate to 5 mph on the zip line, a caribiner rated for 250 pounds should be sufficient. Again, it’s best to err on the side of safety.

Place your pup’s water bowl within easy reach and you’re done! Just remember never to leave your pal unattended on the zip line.

Have you tried a zip line with your pets? Please share your experience in the comments below!

https://www.gopetfriendly.com/blog/making-a-zip-line-for-your-dog/

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Top 7 Lessons About Why Do Mother Cats Eat Their Kittens To Learn Before You Hit 30

Every person has got their personal opinion when it comes to Pets.

Dogs

Dog Tips And Tricks You Need Today

Dogs make absolutely wonderful pets. They are faithful, loyal and provide unconditional love. They are also a ton of fun to play with. As a responsible dog owner, it is important that you educate yourself on proper dog care. Utilize the dog care tips outlined in this article to keep your pooch healthy and happy for many years.

It costs a lot of money to own a dog. When you add up the medical care, food and supplies in general, your costs could run from $700-$1000 annually. A sick dog could cost you tens of thousands! Look into doggie health insurance!

When training your puppy or dog, keep the sessions short! Experts say that a dog has the attention span of a small child, sometimes less, and that longer sessions will actually cause him to forget everything you’ve learned together. Use positive reinforcement and limit your training sessions to no more than 15 minutes.

If you are not sure of how much to feed your dog each day, talk to your vet about it. If you cherished this post and you would like to obtain far more info about Why do Cat eat their own kittens kindly visit the web site. Many people look at the guidelines on the dog food bag; the problem with this is that some of the recommendations may be inaccurate and could cause your dog to gain weight. Talk to your vet about what is acceptable and what your dog’s particular needs are.

Dogs need a great deal of attention on a daily basis. If you have a hard time making time for your dog you will soon notice that there are behavioral problems that were not there before. In the least, you should try to set aside an hour each day just to love your dog.

When you get a new dog, set up an appointment for him at the vet. As soon as you bring your new dog home, make an appointment with your vet. Your vet will provide a full check up and establish vaccination dates. Remember that there is a tremendous dog overpopulation problem, so you should have your dog spayed/neutered.

Pet-proof your home before bringing a dog into it, just as you would for a crawling toddler. You need to move anything toxic to a higher shelf and consider the danger that plants may pose if nibbled by your dog. Remember that anti-freeze is deadly and that leaving things like pennies or crayons on floors can pose a choking hazard to curious pups.

Know any canine laws that might affect your ownership. Be on the lookout for changes in local laws and ordinances that may restrict and regulate a dog owner’s rights. Frequently, this sort of thing is just a knee-jerk reaction based on an isolated incident. Speak up for the rights of responsible dog owners everywhere by contacting local officials.

Although the sound may be cute, your dog’s nails shouldn’t click along the floor when it walks. That’s a sign that the nails are too long. The nails should actually just barely touch the ground. Seek the advice of a professional on what tools are the best for giving your dog a pedicure.

No matter what kind of dog you may have, hang up a few “Beware of Dog” signs on your property. They are known deterrents to would-be burglars and can help protect you and your family. Just the sign alone indicates probable failure of any robbery attempt and a single bark will have them running away!

Don’t forget about your dog when writing your will. Many pets end up being fought over or neglected completely because specific instructions were not left regarding their care. Include a clause that clearly directs your loved ones on what to do with your dog so that he’s well taken care of.

Your dog needs both physical and mental exercise. Train him to fetch the newspaper and help with other household chore. Doing this will help your pet to feel like a loved and needed family member, and teaching your dog these skills will give it some much needed mental exercise.

Send your dog to school! He will feel more comfortable knowing exactly what is expected of him and obedience school will help him learn that. It will also boost his self-confidence, and of course, make a more well-behaved pet of him. Call around locally and see if you can sign him up for a trial class and take it from there.

Invest in a separate tub if your dog gets frequent baths. Buy a large metal basin where you will have plenty of room to scrub, but won’t risk clogging the pipes in your bathroom. Giving him a bath outside and away from the slipperiness of a porcelain tub is also safer for you

When taking your senior dog to the vet for an annual visit, make sure to request senior blood work. A blood panel can help your vet to identify any kidney, heart or vascular concerns. If caught early, treatment is often minimally invasive and less costly. This is a great way to keep your pet healthy for years to come.

If you are looking for a new dog, bring your current pup to check him out. Dogs are usually social creatures, but sometimes they just won’t get along. Having dogs that get along with each other makes your life that much easier.

When training your dog, always make sure that you enter a room before allowing the dog to. This is important because it is an obvious form of dominance that your dog will understand. Establishing dominance will help with your ability to train your dog and with its overall behavior patterns.

You should check your dog regularly to make sure that he does not have any ticks or fleas on him. There are combs you can purchase that can be used to help you locate them. To prevent fleas and ticks, you can purchase special collars from the pet supply store.

When you are enjoying your dog’s companionship, you will be so happy you read this article and began to use the advice you read. Protecting and loving your dog begins with taking the time to learn all you can, and ends with putting that knowledge to use. Start today, for your dog’s sake!

Keep Your Pooch Happy With These Dog Care Tips.

Dogs are unlike any other animals you can own as a pet. They love you unconditionally, cheer you up when you are down, and want you to love them as much as they do you. This article will tell you how to make your dog’s life as amazing as it deserves it to be.

Keep on top of fleas. Not only can fleas cause infection in your dog, if one is swallowed, your pet can get tapeworms as well. Speak to your veterinarian about the best prevention method, but remember that this is not a one shot deal. You will have to continue your efforts over the life of your pet.

Your dog needs to be secured when in a car. Not only will it make the journey safer, as it will lead to fewer distractions for the person driving the car, but in the event of an accident, it could also save your dog’s life. Look for a seat belt harness, often sold at pet stores, that you can put in your car for your pet.

If you are interested in providing your dog with the healthiest of diets and making positive contributions to the earth’s environment, make his food from scratch. You can buy locally grown organic ingredients and provide him all the proteins, carbs and fats he needs with no preservatives while reducing the waste from packaging as well.

When you have a dog, make sure that you give him enough water. Water should be made available to your dog at all times of the day, particularly in the summertime. Put his water bowl somewhere where no one will trip over it, otherwise you’ll be cleaning your floors all day!

If you are struggling to get your pet to behave during a grooming session, apply positive reinforcement. With your words and your tone, praise your dog for anything little thing that he or she does well during the time you are working with him. Give him a treat when you are finished, so he begins to associate grooming with something good. You should turn your dog’s behavior around in no time!

Dogs need a great deal of attention on a daily basis. If you have a hard time making time for your dog you will soon notice that there are behavioral problems that were not there before. In the least, you should try to set aside an hour each day just to love your dog.

Check to make sure your dog’s collar is adjusted properly by fitting two of your fingers comfortably underneath it and pulling gently. There should be just enough room to do this and no more, otherwise he may be able to wiggle out of it. Always keep it on, except during crate transport, as the collar can get snagged and injure.

If your female dog is in heat, be very careful with her around other dogs or she may become pregnant. A male dog is able to smell her from up to five miles away. This may cause a fight or impregnation if a male dog spots her.

Your dog needs to exercise regularly. Like humans, dogs must exercise to burn calories, remain healthy, and help their minds stay sharp. Exercising also helps them avoid boredom that can cause destructive behaviors. Keeping your dog active can curb chewing, biting, digging, and chasing urges. It can even help them avoid depression.

If your dog is undergoing a course of treatment with medication or therapy, make sure you follow your veterinarian’s instructions precisely. He may not like wearing a cone over his head, but it’s prescribed for a reason! The vet doesn’t give advice for no reason, and it can be dangerous to now do what is advised.

Let your dog know that you care about him. As it usually happens, many times owners focus more on bad behavior rather than good ones. Your dog will develop more behavioral problems if you adopt this attitude. You should ensure you give your dog positive reinforcement. Your dog will do its best to please you.

If you leave your dog with a boarder, there are certain things you need to tell them. First, make sure the boarder has a number to reach you in case of an emergency. Also, tell them of any behavioral issues you dog has. If the dog needs special foods or medication, let the boarder know this as well.

Choosing a dog food needs to be done with great consideration. Since there are so many, you should find one that is made for your particular dog. Giving your dog leftovers may be cheap, but it may not give them a lot of health benefits.

Make sure that you carry small bags and gloves with you while you are out walking your dog. If he uses the bathroom outside, it is your responsibility to clean up the mess. It is unsanitary for you to leave it there, and it some places you may receive heavy fines for that.

If you have tried everything to get your dog to stop digging your garden to no avail, head to your kitchen. Mix up a batch of cayenne pepper (five tablespoons), hot sauce (also five tablespoons) and a quart of water in a spray bottle and spray it where he digs. It should discourage him quickly.

Puppies are cute and cuddly, but remember that puppies eventually grow into dogs, and rather quickly. Make sure that you put a lot of thought in your decision to get a dog. Taking a dog into your home is a long-term commitment and comes with certain costs and responsibilities, but is ultimately rewarding.

It is natural to want to get your dog trained as quickly as possible. However, remember that there is a limit as to how fast this process is going to go. If you are not realistic, you are much more likely to get frustrated with your pet, which could damage your relationship. Your pet will learn over time, but it may not happen as fast as you would like.

If you do your best to care for your dog’s health and happiness, you can enjoy your dog friend for years to come. Take the tips in this article, and use them in your life. You will discover that you can take care of your dog well and be happy in the process.

Pets

Best Advice for Dogs with Skin Issues

I still need to publish a real post about Mr. Stix’s full backstory, but this feels more pressing. For nearly 18 months, Mr. Stix’s permanent nakey spot (from unknown injuries before he was rescued, including 15 fractures and this big patch of coat missing) has featured several inflamed, peeling areas. Initially I tried to fix it myself at home with things like aloe vera, vaseline, a veterinary ointment called animax that the shelter had give us while we fostered him most of 2019, etc. It’s sort of a combination of steroids, antibacterial, and antifungal stuff. I took him to see our main veterinarian in spring 2020, when there was a 2-month wait to get into see a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. It has been quite a journey since then, and it’s nowhere near over. Here’s my best advice for dogs with skin issues.

Before I tell the ongoing saga with Mr. Stix’s skin. Here is my best advice for dogs with skin problems.

See a board-certified veterinary dermatologist as soon as you can. Yes, your main veterinarian can probably help, but it’s honestly best to go right to the top experts.

Agree to whatever skin scrapings / cytology the veterinary dermatologist recommends. This provides information about what types of secondary infections currently grow on your dog’s damaged skin.

Do NOT assume every skin issue is allergies. It often is some sort of allergic process, but NOT always and assuming so (and acting accordingly may only delay real solutions and subject your dog to all kinds of quack advice and home remedies).

Buy the best quality fish oil and Vitamin E supplements you can afford, if it’s recommended for your particular case of a dog with skin issues.

When necessary, agree to the skin biopsies (yes, like minor surgery) and have them reviewed by a veterinary pathologist that specializes in dogs with skin issues. The one we used is at Texas A&M.

Follow your veterinary dermatologist’s advice and plans, and keep the faith. These dogs with skin problems often don’t improve quickly. (I need to take my own advise. See below.)

Mr. Stix’s Story as a Dog with Skin Problems

This is what Mr. Stix’s nakey spot looks like when it’s normal. Photo from May 2019 soon after his hip surgery. The bald patch is permanent. That’s not the issue.

This is how bad the red / peeling areas got in mid-2020 when we saw our main veterinarian, who added a low-dose of oral Vitamin E and some topical too and told me to keep using the animax.

This is how it looked when Mr. Stix first saw the board-certified veterinary dermatologist in early August 2020, but the specialist had me STOP the animax and instead use a prescription anti-bacterial ointment (mupirocin) … as well as add a better quality oral fish oil and continue both topical and oral Vitamin E (but at a higher dose twice a day). We knew from the skin scrapings / cytology they did onsite that Mr. Stix had a bacterial infection.

But, without the daily topical steroids (which long term are a bad idea), Mr. Stix’s skin got much, much worse — even breaking open and scabbing over.

Our veterinary dermatologist had recommended doing the skin biopsies right away in August 2020, and I *almost agreed to it then, but I was VERY worried about the cuts resulting in skin that would NOT heal. And, I figured it was at least worth a try to use the prescription antibiotic ointment and other supplements and stuff.

But, by around Thanksgiving, it was clear we had to do the biopsy. That photo is kind of gruesome, so you can see it here, if you want. I wish I had done the biopsy sooner. I feel like I wasted time from August through November.

Post-Biopsy Diagnosis

As I expected, despite all the know-it-alls trying to tell me it was an allergic issue, it turns out that Mr. Stix instead has an autoimmune condition called erythema multiforme. They believe it was triggered by the trauma of his earlier injuries. They don’t think it is life-threatening. They don’t think it will spread to other areas of his skin. Just the already damaged, permanent nakey spot.

With that information in hand, we updated the treatment plan to include a topical, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ointment (tacrolimus — often pricey, but we used a Good RX coupon at Costco to get the cost down). They use a version of this medication orally for people who have had various kinds of transplants. It’s the smallest / safest option for treatment, and that’s where we started.

I was so hopeful it would work at the once-daily application, but the skin still didn’t heal completely.

So, in early 2021, we started applying it twice daily on the advice of our veterinary dermatologist.

But, it still hasn’t healed completely. It often improves a lot and then comes roaring back, so we had another appointment to see the specialist last week. We had to try something new.

Enter the Big Immune-Suppressing Drug

Despite my concerns and form of veterinary PTSD about major immune suppression drugs (after our experiences with Lilly), I agreed last week to add oral cyclosporine, which is also a drug that people get after various transplants. Mr. Stix would need to take it daily for life.

It smells like it’s made from skunk butts, so each gel-cap pill is individually packaged, and you keep them in the freezer because that can help with nausea it can cause (since it’s recommended you give on an empty stomach).

I found some good info on this med, and our veterinary dermatologist assured me that it has been safely used in veterinary medicine for like 20+ years, etc.

The med only comes in doses of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg, and at his size Mr. Stix’s ideal dose is around 88 mg once a day. So we went with 75 mg (25+50) to err on the lower side.

It takes like 3-7 days for the med to build up in the blood to therapeutic levels, but it takes more like 4-6 weeks to know if it’s going to help the skin (or not).

We made it to day 4, then the barfing started.

Anxiety

I wish I could say that this is all going to be fine, but I just don’t know. I feel like I just have to accept that the skin will never fully heal, even though seeing his raw spots up close while applying the topical med twice a day and topical Vitamin E once a day causes me so much angst and anxiety.

I supposed to check in with our veterinary dermatology team next week to confirm that Mr. Stix’s weirdness and apparent suffering has improved.

It took a lot of convincing to get Mr. Champion of My Heart to agree to try the cyclosporine, so even if the specialist comes back and recommends maybe a lower dose, I doubt we’ll want to risk it … because Mr. Stix sure seemed to be having some neurologist issues to me, and after the Lilly situation, I just cannot do that again.

He is only 3 years old. I don’t want to make anything worse. It honestly felt like I’d poisoned him.

The good news is that most of the time his skin doesn’t seem to hurt or itch or anything — though I do have pain meds, if he needs them. It mostly just looks bad, and he has to wear a no-lick collar for about 20 minutes after I apply his meds so that he doesn’t lick it off.

His nakey spot is prone to sunburn anyway, and the topical tacrolimus increases the risk of burning, so I used his earlier sun-reflecting coat (which started to look ragged) as a pattern and sewed him a new / light sun protection coat. He looks very cute in it.

https://championofmyheart.com/2021/08/05/dogs-with-skin-issues/

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Pets

Tips To Better Understand Man’s Best Friend

A dog is a man’s best friend, but how do you know that you are properly taking care of your dog if your dog doesn’t speak the same language? Learning how to take care of your pet is very important. You need to consider the following helpful advice for taking care of your dog.

Much like people in the United States, many dogs are overweight. Having a few extra pounds on their frame can lead to a number of health problems, like cancer or diabetes. Many owners simply overfeed their pets. Talk to your veterinarian about how many calories your dog needs each day so you can adjust their meals accordingly.

Hugs are great, but avoid kisses. Dog kisses are adorable, but your dog’s mouth is really dirty. Keep in mind that dogs drink from toilet bowls and eat whatever is on the ground. Many people say that dogs have cleaner mouths than people. This is not true, at all!

Know the basics of pet first-aid if you have a dog in your family. Being able to react quickly in an emergency, such as your pooch being bitten by a snake, can mean the difference between life and death. Read a good book on the subject or ask your vet to brief you on the basics.

Try to always be aware of how your dog is feeling. If your dog seems to be nervous, fearful, or scared of certain things, you should take note of this and try to avoid putting your dog in a stressful situation. When a dog is stressed or afraid, you could traumatize your dog if you insist that it stays in the stressful situation.

When training your puppy or dog, keep the sessions short! Experts say that a dog has the attention span of a small child, sometimes less, and that longer sessions will actually cause him to forget everything you’ve learned together. Use positive reinforcement and limit your training sessions to no more than 15 minutes.

Get your new pet a veterinary exam. As soon as you bring your new dog home, make an appointment with your vet. Your vet will provide a full check up and establish vaccination dates. Also see about getting your dog fixed because there are tons of animals in shelters and adding to that problem isn’t good.

Don’t be upset if your dog does not want to get dressed up. It’s becoming more popular to dress your dog in dog clothes, but some dogs just don’t like the feeling of having clothes on. If your dog does not relax after the clothing is on, you should remove the clothing to avoid your dog trying to remove it by itself.

When selecting a brand of dog food for your pet, read the labels carefully and avoid the cheapest brands. It is best to invest in quality dog food. Though better brands cost more, it is worth it to know your dog is receiving the nutrients it needs.

Ease your dog into knowing a new baby that comes into your home. Dogs can be very jealous and you need to continue to show him plenty of love an affection, even though you’ve got a brand new bundle of joy in your life. Talk to the dog as you handle the baby and keep him in the loop.

If your welcome a new dog into your family, immediately schedule a check up for him. Do this as soon as your dog arrives at your doorstep. Your vet can make health recommendations, make sure that vaccinations are up to date and help with maintenance items like flea care and proper diet. Also talk to your vet about getting the dog spayed or neutered – there are already way too many dogs in shelters, and you really don’t want to add to this problem.

If your dog has been playing outside, take the time to inspect its ears and neck for ticks. These parasites are very common and could make your dog sick if you do not take action right away. Take your dog to the vet if you do not know how to remove the ticks yourself.

Make sure that you’re feeding your dog a good quality food. Most dog foods available at your grocery store are mainly made up of grains or corn. Instead of this, you should try to find a dog food that is mostly made of meat. Foods that are high quality can provide you with many benefits, such as having a healthy pup, less vet visits, and your dog’s coat will shine more.

You must learn how to introduce your dog to other dogs. Keep him on his leash during introductions so you have better control. Start with a walk by while keeping his attention on you. Then, on the next walk by, allow the dogs to sniff each other a bit. This will allow them to get to know each other without the dangers of attacks.

It is wise to check your area to find out what the local leash laws are. Many areas require a dog to be leashed at all times if it is not on your property. keeping your dog on a leash is a good idea anyway, as it can be dangerous to let your pet run unattended, where he could be hit by a car, or fight with other dogs.

If you are going to bring a new dog into your home you should do a lot of the preparation ahead of time. You should have a nice place for it to sleep, food, grooming products and toys all on hand before they arrive. This will make the transition easier for everyone involved.

When choosing a vet for your dog, make sure that it is a good experience for both you and your dog. You want your dog to feel comfortable so that the visit will go smoothly. It’s also important to find a vet that helps you fully with any concerns that you may have.

Keep your dog safe from dangerous chemicals. Similar to kids, cleaning chemicals and any car maintenance substances are harmful to them. These substances are poisonous, so if a dog gets any on them or ingests any, they could get burned, become very sick, or die. Store your hazardous chemicals in a place that your dog can’t get to, or keep them in a closed area using a child-proof lock.

Finally, dogs unconditionally love their owners in a way that is not easily found elsewhere. To get as much as possible out of the canine experience, you need to have the right knowledge. The above article gave you advice to help with improving your dog knowledge. These tips can help improve your abilities as a dog owner.

The Very Basics Of Caring For A Dog

Do you think owning a dog is the best job in the world? Dogs are the number one pet in America; there is a reason for this. They are affectionate, active and love to have a good time. Dogs are wonderful companions. You must become a good companion to them by making sure they’re cared for properly. These tips will assist in your troubles.

Never hit your dog. There are better ways to train a dog without having to resort to violence. The best way to train a dog is to reinforce positive behaviors with treats and attention. Negative behavior should be handled with a stern and disapproving voice as opposed to striking the animal.

Take your dog to the vet regularly. This may seem like an added expense that you don’t need, but when you take your dog to the veterinarian, he can screen your dog for diseases and make sure he is in the best of health. This of course prevents problems down the road.

When you are trying to teach your dog new tricks, you should always be patient. Different dogs will learn things differently. If your dog isn’t picking up a new trick right away, give him time. You could also try changing your teaching method. Your dog may respond better to a different approach.

Get your new pet a veterinary exam. In fact, do it the same day as you bring the pet home so you don’t forget. Your vet will provide a full check up and establish vaccination dates. Talk with a vet about your dog being spayed or neutered. There are lots of homeless dogs and you don’t want to make the problem worse.

You should never give table scraps to your dog. If you feed from the table, he’ll become a beggar and stop eating his own food. Scraps from the table obesity, digestive problems, or other health issues in dogs. You can keep your dog healthy and avoid any temptation to feed it from the table by teaching it to spend dinnertime well away from your family.

Brushing your dog’s teeth is important, but it is not easy. If your dog is resisting, once a day simply lift their lips and use your finger to rub their teeth lightly. Do it quickly at first, and then begin to draw out the time you spend performing this action. This will help them get use to the process. After that, you can begin using an actual brush and toothpaste.

Check to make sure your dog’s collar is adjusted properly by fitting two of your fingers comfortably underneath it and pulling gently. There should be just enough room to do this and no more, otherwise he may be able to wiggle out of it. Always keep it on, except during crate transport, as the collar can get snagged and injure.

Certain health issues plague particular dog breeds, and you need to know what those conditions are for the type of dog you own. You might be able to prevent some conditions from developing by taking a little extra care of him from the beginning. Talk to the vet to find out what you are able to do to assist your dog in beating the prognoses of his breed.

Check and double check your fenced in yard for spots your dog could escape through before letting him roam. The most secure method of keeping your dog outside is on a long run with a strong collar, but if you are comfortable that your fence can hold him, he’ll enjoy that even more. Just make sure there’s no room for error!

Be clear with your pet during training. The word “no” does not explain anything to your dog, other than that you are unhappy with something. Instead, explain which behavior you do want to see. For example, if your dog jumps on the furniture, tell him to get down instead of just saying the word no.

Consider getting your dog from a shelter. Many of the dogs that are brought there are well behaved, yet the owners could not handle the responsibility that came with raising them. For the best results, visit the shelter a few times so that you can find the dog that is right for you and your lifestyle.

Attention exercises must be practiced daily. These exercises will help you gain your dog’s attention when they are barking or being disruptive or destructive. Once you can gain your dog’s attention, you will have less to worry about when you have him out of the house or when there is company over.

Use different reward systems to find out what your dog prefers. Do what you can to learn what motivates your dog. Dogs that are driven by food may respond to small bits of hot dog used as rewards. Maybe your dog will respond better to a game of tug-of-war with a favorite toy. Some dogs will consider petting as a reward.

It is important to train your dog as soon as you get him or her. Behavior that might seem cute as a puppy, can develop into bad habits as your dog matures. It is essential that your dog understands and obeys simple commands. Not only for your safety, but the safety of your dog as well.

When training your dog, always make sure that you enter a room before allowing the dog to. This is important because it is an obvious form of dominance that your dog will understand. Establishing dominance will help with your ability to train your dog and with its overall behavior patterns.

If your dog usually gets sick during car rides, you should invest in a quality crate. Secure the crate on a seat or the floor of your car and make sure it will not shake when you drive. Place some toys and blankets inside the crate to keep your dog busy and comfortable.

When choosing a vet for your dog, make sure that it is a good experience for both you and your dog. You want your dog to feel comfortable so that the visit will go smoothly. It’s also important to find a vet that helps you fully with any concerns that you may have.

You should now have a better understanding of what is necessary for the proper care of your furry friend. Keep these tips in mind as you live your day to day life. Soon, you will not have problems of any kind and will have a healthy companion to enjoy and love.

Pets

Making A Zip Line For Your Dog

Keeping our dog safe, and abiding by the rules of many of the places we visit, means that Myles spend a lot of time on-leash. Though we’re always exploring new places, life at the end of a six foot tether doesn’t provide him with much freedom. So, to give Myles more room to wander while we’re camping, we made an inexpensive zip line for our dog!

Zip Line vs. Tie-Out

The zip line has a lot of advantages over cable tie-outs, which people often use to keep dogs from wandering off.

First, jumping up every two minutes to untangle your dog doesn’t happen with a zip line. If you have a dog who’s constantly wrapping his tie-out around the picnic table, tent stake, trees, and your chair, you know how impossible it is to relax with those shenanigans going on!

Second, you’ll never again feel the dread of watching your dog bolt to the end of their unforgiving cable tie-out. The zip line has more give and protects pets from injury.

Third, the zip-line won’t trip you when you’re stumbling around the campfire in the dark!

Materials and Assembly

All you’ll need to make a zip line for your dog is some nylon rope and two spring clasps. Any hardware store will have these materials, or you can order them online for about fifteen dollars.

We chose a rope with a smooth cover, which makes it comfortable to handle when we’re putting it up and taking it down. It also has a bit of stretch for some shock absorbency to protect Myles from a sudden stop.

Rod used his Eagle Scout skills to handle the knot tying. He made quick work of the two bowline knots, attaching the spring clasps to the ends of rope.

Melting the fibers by passing the raw ends of the rope though a flame keeps them from unraveling. And – SHAZAM – the zip line is ready for action!

Deciding On Length

The most difficult part of making your zip line will be deciding how long it should be.

We decided on a 50 foot line, which gives Myles plenty of room to explore. And because having too much is better than not enough.

That length also gives us more flexibility if we’re at a campsite with few anchor points. If we don’t have trees, we can attach one end to the ladder on the back of our motorhome and the other to a picnic table or post.

Setting Up The Zip Line

Before setting up your dog’s zip line at a park or campground, check the rules to verify that they allow the rope to be wrapped around the trees. Also, placing a 1 to 2 inch webbing between the tree and the rope will help protect trees with soft bark. Nails and screws should not be attached to the tree when putting up your zip line.

It takes about five minutes to set up our zip line. In the photo below, we’ve wrapped one end of the rope around a tree and clipped the spring clasp on to the rope. Then, keeping the rope taught, we ran the rope to another tree, going around the tree as many times as necessary to take up the slack before clipping the spring clasp back to the rope.

The rope is placed high enough to just give Myles the ability to lie down comfortably. Giving him just enough leeway keeps him from building up too much velocity and jerking at the end of his leash if he decides to chase a gofer or give a squirrel a run for his money.

We also use the dog zip line when our campsites have a ramada. It’s easy to wrap the line around two posts and snap the ends back on the rope.

One Zip Line For Two Dogs

When we still had Ty and Buster, we made separate runs for each dog on the zip line.

We’d wrap the rope around the first tree and clip the spring clasp back to the rope. If you liked this posting and you would like to acquire much more details pertaining to why Do cats Eat their baby kindly visit the web-site. Then we’d make a complete pass around a second tree, creating the first section of zip line where Ty’s attached in the photo below. Then we’d wrap the rope around a third tree and clip the spring clasp back to the rope. That created the second run of zip line where Buster is attached in the photo below. Giving the boys their own space kept them from getting tangled around each other!

Connecting Dogs A Zip Line

Pets should never be attached to a zip line by their collar, because it could choke them if they became tangled. When he’s on the zip line, Myles wears his harness, which has a loop on the back to connect the leash. The final step is to slip a heavy-weight carabiner through the leash handle and snap it on the line.

What’s “heavy-duty” enough for your carabiners? It depends on your dog! Mass times velocity = force. So, if you have a 50-pound dog and he can accelerate to 5 mph on the zip line, a caribiner rated for 250 pounds should be sufficient. Again, it’s best to err on the side of safety.

Place your pup’s water bowl within easy reach and you’re done! Just remember never to leave your pal unattended on the zip line.

Have you tried a zip line with your pets? Please share your experience in the comments below!

https://www.gopetfriendly.com/blog/making-a-zip-line-for-your-dog/

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Dogs

Excellent Advice About Dogs That You Will Want To Read

Are you considering the idea of adopting a dog? Do you already have a dog? If the answer to these questions is yes, the following tips are great for you. You’ll discover some terrific suggestions that will help you to care for your pet.

If you are looking for a great family pet, but are on a budget, consider rescuing an animal.You can get one at a local shelter for minimal costs and the dog will come with a clean bill of health and all his shots. If you are interested in a specific breed, contact a rescue group specializing in only those pooches.

If your dog is still getting used to the grooming process, only work with him or her in short bursts. Groom for about five minutes and then stop and move on to another activity. Eventually, start adding on two or three minutes to your total grooming time until your pet is able to handle a full session.

It is important for you to take your dog in to see the vet on a fairly regular basis. Just like humans, dogs can develop health problems like toothaches, arthritis and weight gain. Do not wait until you think your dog is sick before taking him in to be seen.

Take time and correct bad behavior when you first see it. If you ignore it, it will be hard to contain it later. You need to make sure your dog is happy to keep them in control and so he does not hurt anyone.

When choosing a dog for your home, don’t forget to estimate the size it will be as a full grown adult. This is especially true if you have small children at home. Although a small puppy will be cute, it may grow into a large, one hundred pound dog. Do some research on the average adult size of the breeds you are considering.

Make your own dog biscuits to provide your beloved canine with the healthiest treats. Most commercial products are over-loaded with chemicals that aren’t good for dogs, despite adding flavor and aroma. Use quality ingredients and tell your dog what you’re doing in the kitchen! Get him all excited and let him taste-test as soon as they’re cool.

Unless you’re okay with your dog playing with your shoes and other things around your home, buy him some toys. He will enjoy having things of his own, particularly if they are interactive like pull-toys you can use together. Also buy him things he can use to occupy himself and stay out of trouble!

Take your new dog to a vet. Schedule a visit with the vet right away. The vet will give him a complete health check and set up a vaccination schedule. You also want to check with the vet about fixing your dog if you will not be breeding him.

Try to provide your dog with plenty of opportunities to socialize. Take him on walks to the park or beach where he will be around people and other dogs. Encourage his interactions with others and praise him for good manners. He’ll be much more comfortable in any setting and generally happier too.

Some people think it is cute to give their dog alcohol, but it is dangerous. In high doses, alcohol is toxic to humans and even more so for animals. In addition, it affects co-ordination, causing accidents, and can decrease a dog’s respiratory rate. Even small amounts of alcohol can kill a dog.

If you are training your dog, make sure the treat you are giving him really is desirable. Pets have preferences too, and if your dog does not like the treat you are providing, there is not going to be much motivation to do the right thing. Try out a few different brands, and remember that soft, chewy treats are generally the most well-received.

Dogs love the outdoors. For the most part, dogs really enjoy being outside and being able to stretch their legs. Remember this when choosing the right dog for your family. If you live in an apartment, it is not really fair go look at a dog that needs lots of exercise, unless you are planning on jogging with your dog twice a day.

You should talk to your veterinarian about microchip IDs. Your contact information can easily be stored inside a microchip and most veterinarians or shelters own a scanner they can use to scan the microchip. This will greatly increase your chances of getting your dog back in case it gets lost.

No matter what kind or length of fur your dog has, it is important that they are brushed regularly. Without regular brushing, your dog’s fur may become matted. Matted fur can cause inflammation on your dog’s skin and is very difficult to remove. Also, brushing their fur regularly gets rid of dead hair and helps distribute oils.

Consider spaying or neutering your dog. This simple operations increases the lifespan of your dog and will help you avoid many behavioral issues, including running away or aggressiveness. If you do not want to have your dog neutered, be responsible and do not let your dog go outside without supervision.

Dogs love the outdoors. For the most part, dogs really enjoy being outside and being able to stretch their legs. Remember this when choosing the right dog for your family. If you live in an apartment, it is not really fair go look at a dog that needs lots of exercise, unless you are planning on jogging with your dog twice a day.

Take your vet’s advice about which food is best for your dog. Your dog may need a special diet if it has a medical condition, such as diabetes. If you have a dog that has health problems, you need to feed them the correct kinds of food. Therefore, seek a vet’s advice as to what would work best for your dog.

Hold on, take some deep breathes and tomorrow will be better than today. Use the advice you have read here and allow it to give you ideas of your own. There is nothing like loving a dog, and while the job of caring for them is hard, it is worth every second.

The Surefire Way To Find Dog Ownership Success

Owning a dog is a serious matter. You need to have a happy, healthy dog. However, you can’t take good care of your dog if you don’t know what you’re doing. In this article, you’ll find some important tips.

Make your home safe for your dog. Create a safe area to bring a new puppy into the home. Make sure all of the medicine is put away and the cleaning supplies are up and safe. Many common household plants are poisonous, so keep them away from your dog or get rid of them.

If your puppy or dog is constantly chewing up your furniture, invest in some chew-toys. Scatter them around the floor, especially around the legs of the sofa and end-tables. Be enthusiastic about your offers to play with the chewies with your dog to encourage frequent use. This should eventually deter him from chomping your furniture.

Keep on top of fleas. Not only can fleas cause infection in your dog, if one is swallowed, your pet can get tapeworms as well. Speak to your veterinarian about the best prevention method, but remember that this is not a one shot deal. You will have to continue your efforts over the life of your pet.

Your dog needs a stimulating environment if it is going to live a long and healthy life. Providing him or her with one is not really that hard. Simply make sure you take your dog for walks each day, and purchase a few toys that you and your pet can play with together.

Know the basics of pet first-aid if you have a dog in your family. Being able to react quickly in an emergency, such as your pooch being bitten by a snake, can mean the difference between life and death. Read a good book on the subject or ask your vet to brief you on the basics.

If you do not have any ear cleaner solution on hand, you can use a baby wipe instead. Simply wrap it around the tip of your finger and wipe the inside of the ear’s surface. Only go as far as your finger can easily fit. Do not use Q-tips as they can injure the ear.

Check to make sure your dog’s collar is adjusted properly by fitting two of your fingers comfortably underneath it and pulling gently. There should be just enough room to do this and no more, otherwise he may be able to wiggle out of it. Always keep it on, except during crate transport, as the collar can get snagged and injure.

Some breads are prone to illness, and you need to know if yours is one of them. You might be able to prevent some conditions from developing by taking a little extra care of him from the beginning. Your vet will be able to tell you how you can help your pet prevent illness that it is prone to getting.

A dog should not be left outside all day. Yes, people do this too often, but dogs require interactions with people and other dogs for their well-being. When your dog is the only one you have, leaving him alone will make him sad. Keeping them out for too long also exposes them to the elements, so its best that you bring them inside so they don’t get sick being outside in really bad weather.

Keep your dog mentally active along with providing him plenty of opportunity to get physical exercise. Make sure he can get the paper and help you around the house. Your dog will feel like a useful member of the family, and the reinforcement will keep his training sharp.

When you own a dog, you typically understand the general costs of ownership, such as food, vet visits, and grooming. A generally overlooked cost is emergency situations. Although it may not happen frequently, you should have a bit of money set aside for any emergency that may arise. It’s better to be prepared for an emergency vet visit than to wonder how you are going to pay for it.

You should be giving your dog clean water regularly. Even if your dog does not drink too much water, you should still change his bowl twice a day. Also, if the tap water in your area isn’t great, give him or her bottled water. When it comes to drinking water, your dog should have the same quality as you have.

Don’t bathe your dog after you have applied a flea or tick medication. Some medications tout that they are waterproo, but they only mean against rain or swimming. They will largely wash away with a dog shampoo, rendering the treatment ineffective. If you must bathe the dog after a treatment, use a soap free shampoo.

Make sure that you carry small bags and gloves with you while you are out walking your dog. If he uses the bathroom outside, it is your responsibility to clean up the mess. It is unsanitary for you to leave it there, and it some places you may receive heavy fines for that.

When training your dog, always make sure that you enter a room before allowing the dog to. This is important because it is an obvious form of dominance that your dog will understand. Establishing dominance will help with your ability to train your dog and with its overall behavior patterns.

If your dog seems to be struggling with learning commands, consider getting a clicker. A clicker is a tool that is useful when training as it teaches your pup that when he does something correctly, a click will happen which is immediately followed by a reward. Clicker training can be helpful for teaching commands, tricks, and walking manners.

If your dog makes messes in the house or chews when you are away, consider crate training. Crate training involves providing your pet with an appropriate sized crate to,stay in while you’re out of the house. It can keep your pet and belongings safe. Just make sure to never leave him in the crate for a very lengthly period of time.

The knowledge you have gained from this article will ensure that your dog is as happy and healthy as can be. That is what you are striving for, right? As long as you put in the effort to use this knowledge, you will benefit from it every single day. Love your dog and enjoy them!

Best Advice for Dogs with Skin Issues

I still need to publish a real post about Mr. Stix’s full backstory, but this feels more pressing. For nearly 18 months, Mr. Stix’s permanent nakey spot (from unknown injuries before he was rescued, including 15 fractures and this big patch of coat missing) has featured several inflamed, peeling areas. Initially I tried to fix it myself at home with things like aloe vera, vaseline, a veterinary ointment called animax that the shelter had give us while we fostered him most of 2019, etc. It’s sort of a combination of steroids, antibacterial, and antifungal stuff. I took him to see our main veterinarian in spring 2020, when there was a 2-month wait to get into see a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. It has been quite a journey since then, and it’s nowhere near over. Here’s my best advice for dogs with skin issues.

Before I tell the ongoing saga with Mr. Stix’s skin. Here is my best advice for dogs with skin problems.

See a board-certified veterinary dermatologist as soon as you can. Yes, your main veterinarian can probably help, but it’s honestly best to go right to the top experts.

Agree to whatever skin scrapings / cytology the veterinary dermatologist recommends. This provides information about what types of secondary infections currently grow on your dog’s damaged skin.

Do NOT assume every skin issue is allergies. It often is some sort of allergic process, but NOT always and assuming so (and acting accordingly may only delay real solutions and subject your dog to all kinds of quack advice and home remedies).

Buy the best quality fish oil and Vitamin E supplements you can afford, if it’s recommended for your particular case of a dog with skin issues.

When necessary, agree to the skin biopsies (yes, like minor surgery) and have them reviewed by a veterinary pathologist that specializes in dogs with skin issues. The one we used is at Texas A&M.

Follow your veterinary dermatologist’s advice and plans, and keep the faith. These dogs with skin problems often don’t improve quickly. (I need to take my own advise. See below.)

Mr. Stix’s Story as a Dog with Skin Problems

This is what Mr. Stix’s nakey spot looks like when it’s normal. Photo from May 2019 soon after his hip surgery. The bald patch is permanent. That’s not the issue.

This is how bad the red / peeling areas got in mid-2020 when we saw our main veterinarian, who added a low-dose of oral Vitamin E and some topical too and told me to keep using the animax.

This is how it looked when Mr. Stix first saw the board-certified veterinary dermatologist in early August 2020, but the specialist had me STOP the animax and instead use a prescription anti-bacterial ointment (mupirocin) … as well as add a better quality oral fish oil and continue both topical and oral Vitamin E (but at a higher dose twice a day). We knew from the skin scrapings / cytology they did onsite that Mr. Stix had a bacterial infection.

But, without the daily topical steroids (which long term are a bad idea), Mr. Stix’s skin got much, much worse — even breaking open and scabbing over.

Our veterinary dermatologist had recommended doing the skin biopsies right away in August 2020, and I *almost agreed to it then, but I was VERY worried about the cuts resulting in skin that would NOT heal. And, I figured it was at least worth a try to use the prescription antibiotic ointment and other supplements and stuff.

But, by around Thanksgiving, it was clear we had to do the biopsy. That photo is kind of gruesome, so you can see it here, if you want. I wish I had done the biopsy sooner. I feel like I wasted time from August through November.

Post-Biopsy Diagnosis

As I expected, despite all the know-it-alls trying to tell me it was an allergic issue, it turns out that Mr. Stix instead has an autoimmune condition called erythema multiforme. They believe it was triggered by the trauma of his earlier injuries. They don’t think it is life-threatening. They don’t think it will spread to other areas of his skin. Just the already damaged, permanent nakey spot.

With that information in hand, we updated the treatment plan to include a topical, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ointment (tacrolimus — often pricey, but we used a Good RX coupon at Costco to get the cost down). They use a version of this medication orally for people who have had various kinds of transplants. It’s the smallest / safest option for treatment, and that’s where we started.

I was so hopeful it would work at the once-daily application, but the skin still didn’t heal completely.

So, in early 2021, we started applying it twice daily on the advice of our veterinary dermatologist.

But, it still hasn’t healed completely. It often improves a lot and then comes roaring back, so we had another appointment to see the specialist last week. We had to try something new.

Enter the Big Immune-Suppressing Drug

Despite my concerns and form of veterinary PTSD about major immune suppression drugs (after our experiences with Lilly), I agreed last week to add oral cyclosporine, which is also a drug that people get after various transplants. Mr. Stix would need to take it daily for life.

It smells like it’s made from skunk butts, so each gel-cap pill is individually packaged, and you keep them in the freezer because that can help with nausea it can cause (since it’s recommended you give on an empty stomach).

I found some good info on this med, and our veterinary dermatologist assured me that it has been safely used in veterinary medicine for like 20+ years, etc.

The med only comes in doses of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg, and at his size Mr. Stix’s ideal dose is around 88 mg once a day. So we went with 75 mg (25+50) to err on the lower side.

It takes like 3-7 days for the med to build up in the blood to therapeutic levels, but it takes more like 4-6 weeks to know if it’s going to help the skin (or not).

We made it to day 4, then the barfing started.

Anxiety

I wish I could say that this is all going to be fine, but I just don’t know. I feel like I just have to accept that the skin will never fully heal, even though seeing his raw spots up close while applying the topical med twice a day and topical Vitamin E once a day causes me so much angst and anxiety.

I supposed to check in with our veterinary dermatology team next week to confirm that Mr. Stix’s weirdness and apparent suffering has improved.

It took a lot of convincing to get Mr. Champion of My Heart to agree to try the cyclosporine, so even if the specialist comes back and recommends maybe a lower dose, I doubt we’ll want to risk it … because Mr. Stix sure seemed to be having some neurologist issues to me, and after the Lilly situation, I just cannot do that again.

He is only 3 years old. I don’t want to make anything worse. It honestly felt like I’d poisoned him.

The good news is that most of the time his skin doesn’t seem to hurt or itch or anything — though I do have pain meds, if he needs them. It mostly just looks bad, and he has to wear a no-lick collar for about 20 minutes after I apply his meds so that he doesn’t lick it off.

His nakey spot is prone to sunburn anyway, and the topical tacrolimus increases the risk of burning, so I used his earlier sun-reflecting coat (which started to look ragged) as a pattern and sewed him a new / light sun protection coat. He looks very cute in it.

https://championofmyheart.com/2021/08/05/dogs-with-skin-issues/

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