The Labrador Coat Care Mystery

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Pets

Finding A Great Dog For Your Family

No two dogs are alike, not only in looks, but in personality. While my dog may be lazy and loving, your dog may be excitable and temperamental. Regardless, there are a few basic tenets of ownership you absolutely need to know. The following article provides a great deal of advice from dog owners who have experienced it all.

Just like people need regular yearly physicals, dogs need the same thing. Even the best dog owner will find it difficult or impossible to detect the first signs of health troubles, like a tooth infection or arthritic joints. A checkup once a year will help diagnose any problems.

Never allow your dog to ride in a car unsecured. Sitting on your lap or in the front seat is dangerous both to him and your ability to drive. Always place him in an appropriately sized pet carrier or invest in a pet seat belt that will keep him snug and safe in the middle of the back seat.

Avoid insisting that your dog socialize nicely with every other passing dog. Experts recommend that your dog be able to tolerate introductions through sniffing and eying with another animal, but say forcing the issue can create problems. Accept your dog’s lead when meeting and greeting other animals and allow for natural interaction.

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.

If training has become routine and boring with your dog, consider introducing agility exercises into the mix. These will still teach your dog to obey and be challenging, but they tend to be a lot more fun than the regular commands. Get the whole family involved by making an obstacle course and working the dog through it frequently.

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.

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.

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!

Have a rotating schedule for dog-related responsibilities in your home. It’s not fair for one person to always be taking care of him, and he’ll feel more like a family pet if everyone pitches in. Kids often lose interest in a pet and leave the work to parents, but it’s important that you teach them to keep up the commitment!

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.

If training your dog is more than you can handle, you should consider sending it to obedience school. Do some research to find out more about the different obedience schools in your area and talk to other dog owners to find the best school possible. It is best to send your dog to obedience school while it is still a young pup.

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.

If you’re considering introducing trick commands to your dog, make sure that you have first covered all of the basic commands, such as sit, lay down, stay, and come. Although trick commands are fun and entertaining, having a well mannered dog is more beneficial. Having a dog “stay” when asked will be more fulfilling than having a dog “play dead.”

When you bring a new dog home, the first thing you should do is make sure they’ll always be able to get back to you. Invest in a safe collar and a tag that contains both your name and phone number. Most lost dogs don’t make it home, but with a good tag, you can be sure yours will.

Make sure that your dog always has fresh water. Water that sits for too long can end up developing bacteria, and this can make your dog sick. Make sure that you change the water daily. You can also invest in a drinking fountain for your dog, which will provide a steady stream of clean water all the time.

Brush your dog’s teeth every week. Use a child’s toothbrush that is soft, some nylon pantyhose over your finger, or a gauze pad. Don’t use regular toothpaste. Instead, try using a baking soda and water paste or toothpaste made for dogs. Clean their teeth one to two times a week.

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.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes make for amazing pets, and a great owner takes the time to learn all about their care. You have done just that, so use the tips you have read here to get down to business. A few simple changes or lessons can really make your dog the happiest he can be.

Prepare Yourself For Taking Care Of A Dog

Are you thinking about adopting a dog from the pound? Are you interesting in getting a pure bred dog? No matter what type of dog you want, your dog is going to bring you plenty of love and happiness. It also comes with responsibility and you can learn about that in the following article.

Never lose your temper or punish your dog if you find that they did something wrong. Negative reinforcement will simply make your dog scared, which will make it difficult for you to train them. Use positive reinforcement at all times to get your dog to cooperate when teaching him new things.

When you take your dog on vacation with you, get a snapshot of them for your phone. You’ll be prepared to take effective action in case your pet gets lost. You can use your recent photo to illustrate just what your dog looks like as well as to print up flyers, if necessary.

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.

Never lose your temper or punish your dog if you find that they did something wrong. Negative reinforcement will simply make your dog scared, which will make it difficult for you to train them. Use positive reinforcement at all times to get your dog to cooperate when teaching him new things.

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he needs a dog house. Adverse weather conditions can be detrimental to your pooch, causing illnesses, anxiety and poor behaviors. Give your dog a shelter that is spacious and dry, and your dog will be protected from the hard winds and dampness.

If training has become routine and boring with your dog, consider introducing agility exercises into the mix. These will still teach your dog to obey and be challenging, but they tend to be a lot more fun than the regular commands. Get the whole family involved by making an obstacle course and working the dog through it frequently.

Keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy with regular brushing. Most canines don’t mind you brushing their teeth, provided you introduce them to the process slowly and gently. Use a specially designed dog brush, along with other products made just for him. Remember to provide him with toys and biscuits that will also clean and protect his teeth.

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 you are in the market for a pedigree pup, you just may find him at the pound. Some owners leave their dogs, which gives you an opportunity to give them a better life. Contact your pound and ask them what breeds are currently there. You can save the life of a dog this way.

Never leave your dog home alone for more than a few hours each day. For example, if you are planning on being away from home for a few days, you should find a place to house them where they can get regular care. Dogs can become anxious when left alone for extended times, so consider their feelings and provide them with the care that they need.

Before you head out for a day of fun in the sun with your dog, dab a little sunblock on him! Dogs can get very serious burns on their noses and the inside of their ears, so include him in your sun-protection regimen. Just make sure there’s no zinc or PABA in the product you use.

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.

Be thoughtful about breeding your dog. Repeated breeding of a female can evetually lead to severe health problems for both the dog and the puppies that is born from her. If you plan to breed be sure to do your research first so that you can be sure that you are doing the right thing for your animals.

Positive reinforcement is the best tool for dog training. Offer the dog plenty of praise and treats when they do well, as they will learn much faster than if you were more stern with them. Using humane training tactics will be healthier for the dog and will be much more effective. Be kind to your dog and you’ll see some great results.

If you’re considering introducing trick commands to your dog, make sure that you have first covered all of the basic commands, such as sit, lay down, stay, and come. Although trick commands are fun and entertaining, having a well mannered dog is more beneficial. Having a dog “stay” when asked will be more fulfilling than having a dog “play dead.”

Your dog should always have access to fresh water. You should always keep a bowl full of water where your dog can access it or purchase a small drinking fountain for your dog. If you have to leave your dog alone for long hours, so not leave more water than your dog needs.

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.

This expert advice is something that you will remember so that you may use it with your dog every day. Although there’s plenty more for you to learn, the basic principles you’ve already picked up should serve you well. Put these tips into practice, and you and your dog will be better off.

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. When you adored this short article and also you would want to get details regarding Labrador Retriever Coat Type i implore you to stop by our own site. 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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