Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Curing Hot Spots in Dogs

Doing Battle with Hot Spots
Seven Helpful Tips 

Every Spring as the pollen starts to emerge, my dogs come down with a skin irritation known as the dreaded Hot Spot!

This is a week old spot on Daisy
I have tried about every medicine from my vet, as well as, many homeopathic remedies. All I can say is that experience is the best teacher and what may work for me may not work for you. But If you are like me then battling this monster especially in a multi-dog house can drive you to try anything!

Hot Spot First Aid Station!
Tip Number 1: Checkout your dog's coat at least once a week especially during high allergy seasons.  Look for wetmarks on the coat from licking. This is a tell tale sign that something might be brewing under the fur. If you can catch it early then that is often half the battle. Very Important! When Daisy got her first hot spot, I let one of my older dogs who must have thought he was a Dr. in a past life lick the wound.  I thought how sweet it was that  he was tending to her. Wrong! No Licking from any source is a must!  Think dry wound!!!

Tip Number 2: As soon as you detect it, cut away the fur so that you have at least a 1 inch margin around the area.  I know you might be reluctant to do this at first because it will be ugly and it will take time for the hair to grow back. But trust me in the long run, it will be worth it to have done it so you can quit worrying over this spot.  The alternative might be to become like the character in Macbeth shouting "OUT DAMN SPOT!"  I have tried that too ...no luck haha.
Blue scissors for Pets, Black scissors from Sally's
There are three ways that you can remove hair. You can use an electric razor that you have bought for this purpose. Get a good one designed for animals if you can.  I bought a human one at the drugstore and it did not work.  The hair is often crusty and gooey and it ruined it on the first attempt...colossal fail! B. Go and have your vet shave off the hair. C. Buy a pair of hair trimming grooming scissors for dogs.  My dogs are afraid of the razor sound, but the trimming scissors do a nice job if you take your time. You have to be very careful not to cut them and make matters worse, but that goes without saying.

Magic Powder 
Tip Number 3: Clean the wound.  I have tried all kinds of things from Betadine to Betadine scrub to Hydrogine Peroxide. You will probably need to do this more than once a day if your dog can reach it to lick it. I also use a first aide powder because it seems to dry things out.
Love the spray!
I also like a cream like Panalog if things seem to be going south quickly.

Tip 5: Call your vet if it seems to be growing in size or does not improve.  He or she will probably prescribe an  oral antibiotic and in some cases an oral steroid like Prednisone.

Tip 6: Keep at it everyday! You might be tempted to let a few days lapse an let nature try to heal it.  Maybe? but it has never worked for me.

Think "ANTI" in your approach to healing. The big 3 are: antibiotic, anti inflammatory, antiseptic. You can also throw in antiitch too.

Hot Spot almost healed!
In closing, keep it dry, but not itchy, control infection, and be patient and vigilant.  This too will pass and hopefully you will only have one.

In my next post, I will discuss some natural remedies that I like and have found effective.

Disclaimer:  Call your Vet first, I am not a Vet, nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn last night. This should not be used as a substitute for seeking medical attention for your pet.
Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ten and Counting!

The Prodigal Dog Returns!

Meet Duke

Duke was a puppy from our second litter.  His very unoriginal and ubiquitous name was Tiny Tim. He was the smallest in his litter of eight and like most runts, he was the most beloved and the last to go. The thought of keeping him briefly went through my mind; but as a family, we were exhausted after having two litters so close together. Not to mention, we already had four Goldens. In case you missed it, Daisy conceived after Moses had his vasectomy so these pups were definitely unplanned on both Daisy and my part.  She is scoffing right now as I bemoan how exhausted I was, but even though she did her part, I did still had a lot to do.
  Anyone who has ever had a litter of puppies knows that it involves a lot of odorous waste and buckets of bleach water.There are countless moments of anxiety over whether he or she is warm enough, cool enough, eating enough and whether or not the vet should be called. They will liken it unto having a newborn and they will be absolutely right. Suffice it to say that it is a lot of worry and work. 

The newborns
As I said earlier, Tiny Tim was the last to go to a great home with a lot of kids. They renamed him Duke and there he remained until recently. But alas, it is sometimes hard to juggle kid's activities and the caring and training
Duke thinking he is invisible
of  a big dog. So they  decided that perhaps Duke aka"Tiny" would be better served to come home and learn some manners and be with his old pack. It seems that Duke was not adjusting as well as he should and was struggling with some anxiety.  I think old Tiny sounds like me on a bad day except that his doggy xanax did not seem to do the trick.  Yes, they do have that medicine and Doggy Prozac too, I think.  We or should I say Duke has not had to go down that road yet...But Daisy and I may be taking that route sooner than later with FIVE Goldens in the pack.

From left to right, Champ, Daisy, Lola, Moses, and Duke.

We are now a  happy family of Ten!

 I could include, Lilly and Milly, our cats, but they are so irritated at this point that they are considering reloacating and I can't say I blame them.  Duke is struggling with them since he was not raised with felines.  One would think that he would learn after having his butt kicked by Lilly so many times that he would leave them alone. Some males are just harder headed than others. This conflict  will most assuredly resolve itself soon...hopefully before Duke loses an eye.

So it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the newest member of our family!

Duke !


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