One of my Fosters, Ricky, has been producing bloody diarrhea since Thursday. I took him to the vet today. It was complicated, but the simple version is he has Hookworms. He’s now on an antidiarrheal, antibiotics, and a wormer. And because hookworms are quite contagious, I’ll be worming ALL seven of the dogs for the next three days just to be safe. There are two standard medications for this: Panacur and Safe-guard.
Panacur comes as a liquid (suspension) or pills. A liter of Panacur liquid costs around $130.00 and is available only through vet supply outlets. I have also used Panacur paste for equines, but this is difficult to get the proper dose measured out for dogs. The dispenser is graduated in increments of 250 pounds up to 1000 pounds. Setting up the dispenser for an 80 pound dog is educated-guesswork. A 30 pound dog is hopeless.
The pills in boxes of three and in sizes for 10 pounds, 20 pounds, and 40 pounds. If your dog is bigger than 40 pounds, you combine boxes to get close to the right weight. Most places that sell pet medications have the pills and they run $7.00 to $15.00 per box. I figured I’d need 16 boxes to give seven dogs of various sizes three doses each.
Talking about your canine friends excrement may not be a glamorous topic, but there are some things that all dog owners should be aware of and watching for. Yes, that’s right: you need to be looking at your dog’s poop.
Why Examine Your Dog’s Poop
With dogs, as with people, what is excreted can give clues to problems that are building inside. Watching for signs of trouble as you clean up after your dog can give you warning well before severe symptoms set in. Here’s what to look for:
NOTE: To be as effective as possible I have included photos. To be as inoffensive as possible, I have made the on-page photos very small. Click the photos to view them full size — or skip that if you’re squeamish.
Heartworms are a serious threat to dogs. The heartworm larvae are carried and transmitted by mosquitoes: mosquitoes are everywhere, even in our home at times. Keeping your dog from being bitten by a mosquito is almost impossible, therefore heartworm prevention is important to keep the heartworm larvae from developing in your dog’s blood stream.
Heartworm prevention medications can be pricey since they need to be given every month, year round. One very popular brand is Heartguard: a chewable treat for your dog. It is reliable and well liked by veterinarians and dogs alike. Pet Armor is the same formula but is less expensive. If that is still too much for your budget, there is another option.
Dogs, like people, get ear wax build up. This alone can cause pain, decreased hearing, and dizziness. But add to that the increased risk of a yeast infection, bacterial infection and even parasites in the ear and you can see that inspecting and maintaining your dog’s ears is important to their overall health. This is especially important for dogs with floppy ears.
A dog’s ear canal is L shaped with a vertical canal that connects to a horizontal canal deeper withing the skull. Dirt, wax, and parasites such as ear mites can hide in the horizontal canal. We cannot access that canal, so we need to use regular flushing to remove debris that may cause a blockage. We also don’t want to risk damaging the tympanum by poking implements such as Q-tips down there.
Crate training a dog is an important part of housebreaking a dog. But a crate can become unhealthy if it is not cleaned out regularly and disinfected occasionally.
You will start by laundering the bedding regularly — how often depends on how clean your dog stays, whether he eats in his crate, and if he leaks urine when he gets excited. If he wets his bedding, wash it right away. If he’s a messy eater, every few days. If he’s a tidy boy and you just need to get the funky smell out, every 10 days to two weeks works well.
Be sure to launder plush toys too. Hard toys can be washed in a sink of soapy water, add just a dash of bleach for better disinfecting. Rinse thoroughly.
When it comes to the crate itself, here are some general purpose cleaners you can make up at home.
Rebel has not been eating since he arrived here almost a week ago. He was too skinny then, and worse now. I’ve tried several varieties of dry kibble, canned dog food, and various combinations of rice, premium canned dog food, chicken soup, and milk. Nothing tempted him … except one. A small tub of chicken in gravy cat food that I had on hand. That he he licked clean and wanted to eat the lid. But it came back up an hour later. And the vomit was bright yellow: that’s bile and indicates a stomach problem.
I’m taking Rebel to the vet in a few minutes so, of course, he decides to eat this morning. I tried him on one baby food hot dog (they’re labeled as “meat sticks”) and he scarfed it. I gave him the rest of the jar (minus the oil they were packed in) and he scarfed those. To make a proper meal would take 6 or 8 jars – which I didn’t have and wouldn’t do anyway. Better to stay with a small meal that stays down (and it did) than to stuff him and have it all come back up.
So, what changed? I’m afraid I did not hold to the scientific method at all here because I changed several things all at once.
I brought him inside the house yesterday afternoon and let him over-night in a crate. My thinking was that he may be feeling lonely outside by himself since I take his two outside companions in the shop and crate them at night. They don’t do well in the cold. It wasn’t cold last night, but they’re accustomed to going to bed at night. Rebel did well in his crate, waking me only once at 3:00 because he needed to go out and pee.
This was his first time on the baby food meat sticks. These were recommended to me by another rescue person, so I picked up a jar as part of an assortment of foods to try.
I have been using a stainless steel bowl for his food. I feed all of the foster dogs in stainless steel and wash each dish after every meal. I don’t remember whether Rebel’s bowl at “home” was ceramic or plastic, but it wasn’t stainless. So I got out a hard plastic bowl and tried that this morning.
Which of these –or maybe some combination — broke through his resolve I cannot say. But he ate a little bit this morning and I’m glad of that. We’ll see what Doc Sandra says and go from there.
We’ve taken in two new pack members this week, and are planning another facilities upgrade.
I picked up Low Rider on Tuesday. She went straight into a crate in the bunkhouse for several reasons.
She was infested with fleas. We work hard to keep fleas out of our facility, so that has to be dealt with before she can come anywhere near our other dogs.
She is fearful. She’s obviously been abused and is frightened of new people, insects, falling leaves, and the outdoors in general. But not dogs: she ran right up to Ugg and Lady and said howdy to each. She’s only comfortable in a crate and prefers a quiet environment to herself. The bunkhouse is perfect now that it’s not so hot every day. I can run my big turbo fan in front of a window and keep it tolerable in there.
She would not walk on a leash. If used with a collar, she’d drop and gator-roll trying to get away from it. A harness works better, but it has to be removed when she goes back into her crate or she’ll chew it up. We lost a $30 Walk-Rite harness learning that lesson. The next smallest harness I had was a poor fit, but it served the purpose while I ordered more harnesses.
Last week Cochise went to Cedarwood for his annual inspection — I mean examination, shots, blood tests, and a good, thorough poking all over. He had an unusual lump on his leg that raised some concerns.
In the end, what they found was described as “the most unusual thing we’ve ever seen.” – which is becoming a recurring theme with Cochise.
Almost three months ago this sweet, loving, senior Beagle was attacked by three large dogs and torn to shreds. The skilled hands at Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital stitched him back together, with little hope that he would survive. But survive he did!
The last of his injuries to heal up has been a triangular patch on his rump where the skin was torn away and lost.
Click the thumbnails to enlarge each picture
All of the time since he came out of surgery, he has been wearing an e-collar: Cedarwood used a cone, but we switched to an inflatable Kong collar when he came here for recovery care.
Our pal, Buddy Beagle went to Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital this morning for a follow-up appointment.
He’s had a hemispherical lump growing in the gash that HairyFace has been tending. The gash was healing nicely: skin closing over the exposed flesh, no infection (thanks to a honey of a new treatment). By this morning just a small crack was left and the lump standing proud. We all hoped the skin would climb up over the lump and the lump would eventually be reabsorbed into his body. But that wasn’t happening. In fact, the skin was digging in under the lump.