Ear Problems in Pets and the Solutions

The ear of a long haired, floppy eared breed dogEar infections and problems are one of the top reported problems faced by many pet owners. Does your dog or cat shake their head and scratch their ears or rub their ears against the ground or furniture? Do you ever notice a foul smelling, discharge in their ears, black, yellowish or brown in color? Are their ears red and tender? These are all signs of an ear infection or problem in your pets.

A dog or car’s ear canal is L-shaped which causes dirt, moisture, parasites; mites, and wax to be trapped in the canal which can lead to ear infections. Dog which have long, floppy ears tend to be more prone to ear problems due to the lack of air circulation available to the canal. With long haired, floppy eared dogs, you can keep the hair trimmed on the inside of the ear to increase air circulation.

The conventional treatment for most infections is antibiotic and anti-fungal medications. The problem with these treatments is that they treat only the symptoms, not the underlying cause. To successfully conquer the problem, both must be treated. Medications will mask the problem and may actually make it worse in the long-run by creating a chemical imbalance in the ear resulting in long-term problems.

Approximately 80% of ear infections are actually caused by allergies, with the ear infections and problems actually being one of the symptoms. You need to treat the allergy; the underlying cause as well as the ear infection for a long-term cure.

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Counting Calories for your Dog

Your dog is fat. OK, possibly not.

But there’s a very good chance he or she is, and you don’t even know it.

Statistics vary, but veterinarians report that as many as 25 – 44% of all dogs are overweight, and that obesity is the number-one canine health disorder. Obesity is defined as weighing over 15% more than the standard accepted weight for the dog’s height.

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Is ‘Fluffy’ in our Pet Foods?

If you’ve been reading my ‘Dog Food 101’ series, you’re probably waking up to what’s really in the ‘commercial’ foods that are manufactured for our pets to eat and to be honest, the more research I do, the scarier it gets.

One thing that I mentioned in Part 2, in discussing proteins and meats that were used in pet foods, was the usage of 4-D animals; dead, diseased, disabled or dying. One aspect that I touched lightly on is the fact in the past, the use of rendered euthanized shelter animals was an ‘open secret’ in the pet food manufacturing industry. As for now, it is highly denied but since it’s not against the law, who knows? Some say that no source of protein, regardless of the source or quality goes unused.
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Let’s Talk Dog Food – ‘Dog Food 101’ – Part 3

In Part 2 of my ‘Dog Food 101,’ I discussed some meat/protein sources, now I’d like to go over some information on carbohydrates.

The first thing I would like to say is that dogs, being carnivores, do not require grains and cereals in their diets. Secondly, they are not well processed by their bodies which means nutritionally, they are of little value. If you recall, in Part 1, I said that dogs “have short digestive tracts and their bodies lack certain enzymes which make it difficult, if not impossible for their bodies to process grains and vegetables unless they are ‘predigested’ by processing; cooking, mincing, grinding, breakdown by enzymes, or fermentation through bacteria.”

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the carbs; cereals and grains, that are in our pet’s food.

One of the most prevalent is corn in a variety of forms. Most are ‘by-products’ left over after processing what can be used for human consumption and are usually to add bulk or fiber and are seldom of much if any nutritional value. They are basically just cheap fillers. Another thing to keep in mind is that corn is one of the highest reported food allergens in dogs.

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Scary – The Vaccine that doesn’t even WORK

Just got this information and it bothered me. We’re told that our pets need this vaccination and that vaccination but do you ever stop to wonder if they really need all the vaccinations that we’re told they do and if the vaccinations really work?

First, there is SO MUCH conflicting information on this issue..It really is difficult to know exactly WHAT to do.

Different experts are advising different things..

Some are BIG vaccine advocates, while others say to NOT give anything.

I am of the belief that you should give ONLY the vaccines that are necessary, as infrequently as possible.

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EWWW! Urine samples, Anal glands, and Dandruff: The truth about your dog’s dirty little secrets

When most people get a dog, they think of the fun times they will have with their new furry companion. But there are many things that aren’t so pleasant that we as dog owners must consider to keep our friends happy and healthy.

So you go to the veterinarian, and your doctor asks you to bring along a urine sample from your dog. Your first question is probably, how do I do this? The easiest way to accomplish this is to tape a Tupperware container to the end of a yard stick. While your dog is out doing his business, get the container underneath his urine stream. This is easier to do with male dogs than female dogs but you can usually get a sample with one or two tries. Your veterinarian will want as fresh a sample if possible. If you will not be taking the sample to the vet right away, keep it refrigerated until you bring it in. Your veterinarian will be checking the sample for a variety of things like bacteria and crystals. If bacteria is found, this might mean that your dog has a urinary tract infection, and most likely your vet will put your dog on a course of antibiotics. Crystals form in the urine whenever minerals bind together. There are several different kinds of crystals and these are most often treated with prescription diets.

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Is Secondhand Smoke Killing Our Pets?

To be quite honest, that’s a really stupid question! If it’s killing us, how can it not be harming and killing our dogs and cats?

So from Science Daily, here’s some more info on the harm we’re causing by continuing to puff away around our furbabies.

It has been in the news for years about how secondhand smoke is a health threat to nonsmokers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that secondhand smoke is attributed with killing thousands of adult nonsmokers annually.

If smoking is that harmful to human beings, it would make sense that secondhand smoke would have an adverse effect on pets that live in the homes of smokers, said Dr. Carolynn MacAllister, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service veterinarian.

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Let’s Talk Dog Food – ‘Dog Food 101? – Part 2

The pet food industry is a 15 billion dollar year money maker for the manufacturers. Their commercials and tag lines tell you you’re getting products made with such wonderful ingredients as plump chicken, fresh beef, whole grains, and vegetables. But what are you really getting? And what are you really feeding your dog?

If you look at the ingredient list on your average bag or can of dog food, you’ll find of list that include things that may sound like they might be good and you’ll also find quite a number of incomprehensible ingredients that you have no clue what they are or what they’re for.

Let’s take a few minutes to break some of these down so you know what you’re really feeding your beloved canine companion.

First let’s take a look at some meat/protein sources. If you read Part 1 of this, you’ll remember that protein “is essential because it is utilized as the building blocks for tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, etc. and a body cannot manufacture the necessary amino acids without protein.” Protein, specifically digestible protein, should be one of the primary basis of your dog’s diet.

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Diarrhea in Pets

Diarrhea is probably something that we have all dealt with if we’ve had pets for any time and no it’s not pleasant to even think about but it is a reality and for a small animal, dog or cat, diarrhea left untreated if it has been going on for a period of time can be very dangerous, resulting in severe dehydration.

Diarrhea can be caused by any number of things, dietary upset, worms or parasites, food allergies, infection; Salmonella, inflamed bowel problems, pancreatic problems, etc. The most common cause would probably be dietary upset, maybe your dog or cat ate something that they shouldn’t have.

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Ever Heard of CMO – Craniomandibular Osteopathy?

This caught my attention and I thought I would pass it along.  From For the Love of the Dog an interesting article on a medical condition that is possibly not too well known.

I certainly hadn’t, not that I am in the medical field or claim to be much of a ‘know-it-all’ when it come to much of anything beyond the basics. I read and research and try to learn but this was a new one and when I read this story it about broke my heart. Read the story and learn a little bit about CMO!

The comes from The Nation Leisure out of Thailand

A Dog Locked in Suffering

Through an owner’s ignorance, a golden retriever has spent more than a year in needless suffering.

Champ was only a puppy when his owner purchased him, along with two other goldens. A beautiful dog, he was as generous as any golden can be, a charming boy who lived only to please his owner.

By the time Champ was eight or nine months old, however, his owner noticed that the dog wasn’t eating. “He’s too fussy about his food,” the owner thought, and put the dog in a cage along with the dog food.

Instead of giving in, Champ gradually ate less and less. His once lovely coat turned dull and dry. His body lost muscle. He was depressed and inactive. His owner lost interest in him, simply leaving him in the cage.

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