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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/

In Hot Water About Your Dog? Climb Out With This Advice

The uniqueness of dogs is what makes them so special. Like you or I, each has its own personality, likes and dislikes, and temperament. That said, there is some basic advice which applies to dogs as a whole, and you need this knowledge to care for your dog properly. This article details what you need to know to get started.

If you are on any kind of medication, you should ensure your dog never gains access to it. Dogs can have very negative side effects from even small amounts of medications intended for humans. If your dog does ingest some of your medication, get in touch with your veterinarian immediately.

Be wary when it comes to flea treatments. Many have ingredients that are dangerous to kids. Discuss any concerns with your veterinarian, and see if he has more holistic treatment options that might help to keep your pet free from fleas and your family safe.

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.

Be sure to keep all medications out of the reach of children and pets. Even if the dog were to eat a couple of pills, it could have very life threatening effects. If your dog gets to your medication, you should call your veterinarian right away.

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.

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he or she may eventually come in contact with a skunk. If he gets sprayed, mix together one teaspoon of dish-washing detergent, a fourth a cup of baking soda and a quart of hydrogen peroxide solution (but make sure it is no more than three percent). Apply the mixture to your dog’s coat and allow it to sit for five minutes. Wash your dog off well afterward.

Regularly brushing your dog’s fur won’t just stop your pet from shedding on your furniture. Their coat will become shinier when they are brushed everyday. This is caused by the motions since brushing distributes oils that keep skin, soft, shiny and healthy.

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.

Take your new dog to a vet. Make a vet appointment right after the dog comes home. Your vet will provide a full check up and establish vaccination dates. Unwanted puppies are a tragedy, so make sure your dog gets spayed or neutered.

Feed your dog dry, premium-quality dog food. This kind of dog food helps to make sure your dog gets all of their vital nutrients. Making sure that they get proper nutrition helps them live a longer life and reduces their chances of obesity, malnutrition, skeletal problems, muscular problems, and many more conditions.

If your dog accidentally goes to the bathroom inside, remove every trace of it. Use a cleaner specifically made to clean up such messes. If you leave the scent of his excrement behind, the dog may repeatedly soil the same exact area.

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.

Do not make training your dog seem like a chore. In the event you cherished this short article along with you want to receive more information relating to how to clean dogs under eyes generously pay a visit to the web-page. Dogs pick up on this negative energy and will have a difficult time learning if you are not in the right mind frame. Make it fun and try to look at it as a bonding experience with your pet. When your dog is having fun, they will learn their training quicker.

Give your dog love, just as you would with a child. Dogs are intended to live in groups, and in those settings they tend to be affectionate with one another throughout each day. To give your dog what it needs you must show it love through petting and snuggling. This will only strenghthen the bond that you will have through the years.

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.

If you have a puppy, it’s a smart idea to socialize him with some more dogs soon. Visits to the dog park, neighborhood walks, and scheduled play dates are all excellent ways to socialize your dog with other animals.

Many dogs enjoy things like fruits and vegetables, rice, eggs and cottage cheese. There is nothing wrong with letting them have these things, but they should not make up the bulk of their diets. You should feed them dog food, and implement these items around 10 percent of the time.

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

Helpful Advice For Anyone Who Owns A Dog

A dog scratching at an empty dish may want you to feed it. When your dog needs to empty his bladder, he might scratch at the door. When you have a dog wanting attention, it could give you a certain look. Sadly, not everything he wants is to easily communicated, so read on to learn more about a dog’s needs.

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.

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.

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.

Before deciding on what type of dog to get for your family, consider space. Even though you may love the bigger dogs that you can really wrap your arms around, you may not have adequate space for a large breed. Take your home and yard size into consideration before bringing home a new pooch.

Before you have your dog fitted with a microchip, be sure and check the database of the company that will store his information. Not all of them are created equal and you want to know that you’ll get a fast response if your dog is lost. Look for a large database that connects to shelters and vets near you.

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.

Brush your dog often, even if he’s got short hair. It’s good for his coat and skin and can alert you of possible issues like fleas, tics and eczema. The dog will also enjoy the attention and brushing him regularly will keep more of his fur from flying around the house and landing on your furniture and carpets.

Do you have a hard time keeping your dog from barking? You might be encouraging this behavior without even realizing it. Your dog will keep barking if you acknowledge this behavior. It is best to ignore your dog until it stops barking, even if your dog wants to come inside.

Make sure your dog gets enough exercise. This is vital to the care of a happy dog. Many people don’t bother to exercise their dog, thinking that walks are enough. Dogs are active creatures and need to play. Talk to your veterinarian about how much activity your dog needs, and make sure he gets 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.

Lift your dog properly. If you have a little dog or puppy, place your one hand under their chest and use your other hand for supporting their rump and hind legs. If you’re lifting a big dog, lift them from their underside supporting their chest using your one arm and using your other arm to support their rear end. Never lift a dog by their back legs, tail, or the nape of their neck.

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.

If you are planning on getting a new puppy, plan on investing in some training classes. These classes offer a great opportunity for your puppy to socialize with other dogs and learn basic commands. These classes will provide your new puppy with a great foundation for future training and will help them get a great start in life.

If you’re going to be away from your dog for a short period of time, it might be a good idea to invest in a dog crate. A crate for your dog will provide it with a safe and secure area to go into when you aren’t able to watch it for a period of time.

Never leave your dog inside your vehicle. Remember that your dog needs supervision and that it could become dehydrated very quickly, especially during the hot summer months. It is best to leave your dog at home for a few hours if you have to go somewhere and cannot take your dog inside.

No matter what your schedule is, your dog needs to be walked every day. Your pet requires both exercise and the companionship that walking it provides. This will help your dog grow and mature.

Discipline is as important for puppies as it is for children. In fact, it can be more important because puppies quickly grow to full size and need to respect you before reaching full size. You should gently but firmly teach your puppy he is not allowed to bite or jump up on anyone.

Time, energy and knowledge will make the living arrangement with a dog more enjoyable for everyone. Use what you have just learned to help the household adapt to the addition. Dogs can be great friends and companions if you take the time to train, love and care for them properly.

Pets

As a serious reader about Pets, I assumed sharing that short article was really helpful. Be sure to set aside a second to promote this blog if you liked it. Thanks a bunch for your time. Kindly check up our site back soon.

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