Author Archives: admin

Eyes

For the moment, there’s nothing here. Used to be a story I wrote but I’m not happy with it so I moved it. Sorry for the confusion.

However, I do have an article on ‘conjunctivitis’ you MIGHT have actually been looking for. (Conjunctivitis)

Doc

Grapes

Grapes and Dogs, Is it a Big Deal?

Short answer: Yes.

But the “why” is interesting and grapes are no where near the epidemic they make it out to be on television.

Grapes are substantially and prevalently non toxic to dogs and most dogs don’t have a reaction to grapes, [similarly to dogs and their potential (0.5% odds) reaction to onions].  Recent research (probably ten years old now, but has not filtered down through television vets yet) is that there is / are (as-yet-unidentified) insecticides, fungicides or herbicides on grapes that ARE deadly when present or there is a rare, idiosyncratic ‘reaction’ to grapes.
Means: If the grape your dog ingested was/were dusted / sprayed with something toxic to dogs, you’ll see a kidney disaster.
Even then, it’s a thing with the size of the dog, how many grapes were consumed, and which chemical is present, and in what amount.
Alternatively: If the grape-reaction is an oxidative injury (0.5% odds) the result is the same.
If neither condition exists, your dog could eat grapes all day long and never have a problem.
The first time I heard there was a problem with grapes I was confused because I have a personal friend in Napa California who owns a family vineyard. And he would take off bunches of spoiled grapes and toss them to his Labrador. Who ate grapes sun up to sun down (inasmuch as a family vineyard can produce spoiled grapes heh heh) and he never had a problem. Jim never used any herbicides / fungicides nor insecticides.
(If you leave spoiled grapes in the vineyard it brings birds, so you dispose thoroughly and in his case, via dog.)
So, what about these grapes?  
The FDA / EPA has “Grapes” in the top twenty most chemically treated / hazardous imports to the US food market.  They checked forty-eight-thousand (48,000) imported foodstuffs. And grapes are in the top twenty. 
I eat grapes because they never hurt me. Yet. But I suppose we shouldn’t unless we know for a fact they were organically grown? Or at least not imported? Side bar.
If grapes (or their chemical burden) intends to hurt the dog, it’s not a delayed reaction. If kidney issues have not shown up in the bloodwork within 72 hours of ingestion, problems are intrinsically unlikely.
So, why do doctors and emergency clinics make such an enormous deal out of a grape ingestion?
Several reasons:
  1. If you’ve ever seen that dog with kidney shut down from a grape, you never want to see it again
  2. If you’re dismissive, and DO NOT make a big deal out of it, and that dog is the 1:100 reactor, you will be crucified in small claims court.
  3. People don’t bring their dogs to clinics just to have their concerns minimized or dismissed
  4. Owners and vets don’t want to take any risks, even half a percent
Do I give Ajax grapes? Yes.
Would I give him more than a few at a time, or a bunch? Absolutely not. I also can’t help buy into the media hype around grapes. It’s ingrained in my industry and the lay literature, even though it’s not anywhere near as bad (or as often) as they say.
“So, Dr Johnson, have you ever seen a grape-kidney-case in 32 years?”  Nope, never*.  But there’s always a first time.
*(I worked for a vet for ten years before I became one 22 years ago, so there’s 32 years behind a veterinary counter)
Doc Johnson

RandomSkin

So here’s the frustrating thing about skin cases.

Random Guesses After All Else Has Been Tried – Just Do Them ALL?   .pdf download or read it below.

All my refractory / resistant skin cases eventually go through some sort of ’empirical’ treatment and diagnostic process.
And figuring out skin problems has been mysterious sometimes and sometimes, people are frustrated by how long it takes to hit the Golden Note on the case.

So, here are some cases and their outcomes. This is to illustrate how screwed up some skin cases are.

Case 1: Dog, itchy, chronic ear infections, sores on the body, foot licking
We gave oral antibiotics for the skin infections and tried to manage the skin itching situation with anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines.
We managed prevailing skin health conditions with soothing, emollient shampoos and some disinfectant foot treatments and wipes.

Nothing was really making any difference, then the dog was switched to a diet based on Millet and Duck and was cured.

Case 2: Dog, itchy, chronic ear infections, sores on the body, foot licking
We gave oral antibiotics for the skin infections and tried to manage the skin itching situation with anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines.
We managed prevailing skin health conditions with soothing, emollient shampoos and some disinfectant foot treatments and wipes.

We could make some progress but the dog was never “right” but when we started adding *raw Honey* to the diet and the dog’s ears cleared up and all it had was some mild itchiness which responded to antihistamines.

Case 3: Dog, itchy, chronic ear infections, sores on the body, foot licking
We gave oral antibiotics for the skin infections and tried to manage the skin itching situation with anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines.
We managed prevailing skin health conditions with soothing, emollient shampoos and some disinfectant foot treatments and wipes.

The dog responded just about every time we intervened with antibiotics and the like, and we realized the dog was PERFECT *only* when it was getting JUST antibiotics and spent the next 11 years with ZERO itching, nor skin lesions, with no medicines of any kind for skin conditions, but ate ten million Cephalexin capsules over it’s lifetime.

Case 4: Dog, itchy, chronic ear infections, sores on the body, foot licking
We gave oral antibiotics for the skin infections and tried to manage the skin itching situation with anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines.
We managed prevailing skin health conditions with soothing, emollient shampoos and some disinfectant foot treatments and wipes.

Medications worked most of the time but was constantly relapsing, then we treated with antibiotics for 6 preposterous weeks and THAT long terms course of antibiotics finally fixed the skin, indelibly.

Case 5: Dog, itchy, chronic ear infections, sores on the body, foot licking
We gave oral antibiotics for the skin infections and tried to manage the skin itching situation with anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines.
We managed prevailing skin health conditions with soothing, emollient shampoos and some disinfectant foot treatments and wipes.

Nothing was really making any difference, in desperation we put the dog on Ivermectin and the case grew its hair back and cleared up. It never had mange but the treatment for mange exerted complete control.

Case 6: Dog, itchy, chronic ear infections, sores on the body, foot licking
We gave oral antibiotics for the skin infections and tried to manage the skin itching situation with anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines.
We managed prevailing skin health conditions with soothing, emollient shampoos and some disinfectant foot treatments and wipes.

Nothing was really making any difference, so I took a wild, desperate guess and put the dog on Diflucan (antifungal) despite the fact that it had no lesions consistent with ringworm, and it was “cured” and grew it’s hair back and was free of skin disease for years.

Case 7: Dog, itchy, chronic ear infections, sores on the body, foot licking
We gave oral antibiotics for the skin infections and tried to manage the skin itching situation with anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines.
We managed prevailing skin health conditions with soothing, emollient shampoos and some disinfectant foot treatments and wipes.

We didn’t like steroid side effects like constant drinking and peeing plus weight gain, and We gave a cytopoint injection and absolutely NOTHING happened and they owner had spent a bundle on it, and the shot might as well have been tap water.

Case 8: Dog, itchy, chronic ear infections, sores on the body, foot licking
We gave oral antibiotics for the skin infections and tried to manage the skin itching situation with anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines.
We managed prevailing skin health conditions with soothing, emollient shampoos and some disinfectant foot treatments and wipes.

We didn’t like steroid side effects like constant drinking and peeing plus weight gain, and we gave a cytopoint injection and the dog was ‘cured’ for weeks and has been getting Cytopoint monthly ever since.

Case 9: Dog, itchy, chronic ear infections, sores on the body, foot licking
We gave oral antibiotics for the skin infections and tried to manage the skin itching situation with anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines.
We managed prevailing skin health conditions with soothing, emollient shampoos and some disinfectant foot treatments and wipes.

Medications worked most of the time but was constantly relapsing, finally, after a couple YEARS of skin scrapes to “confirm” that “beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s not mange, running scrapes for free I was so sure that mange wasn’t involved, and YEARS into the case we found mange that had sprung up from all the cortisone use and fixing that, fixed the case. So when, along in there, did we fix the skin only to have a different problem sneak in?

Case 11: Dog, itchy, chronic ear infections, sores on the body, foot licking
We gave oral antibiotics for the skin infections and tried to manage the skin itching situation with anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines.
We managed prevailing skin health conditions with soothing, emollient shampoos and some disinfectant foot treatments and wipes.

Medications worked most of the time but was constantly relapsing. After almost a year of management in a very old dog, the dermatologist was suspicious that the dog might have “Cushing’s Disease” as a possible disorder the dog had, based on clinical signs and sent him back to me for diagnosis. I ran the obligatory tests and in fact the dog DID have Cushing’s. Fixing the Cushing’s also fixed the skin. A Cushing’s work up is about a thousand dollars the first month, diagnostically and may or may not even impact the skin. In this dog’s case, it WAS the whole case.

Case 12: Dog, itchy, chronic ear infections, sores on the body, foot licking
We gave oral antibiotics for the skin infections and tried to manage the skin itching situation with anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines.
We managed prevailing skin health conditions with soothing, emollient shampoos and some disinfectant foot treatments and wipes.

Nothing was really making any difference, and honestly, the dog was better off dead than struggling with its skin all wrecked and bald. So we took our chances with this dog, (and four others which were similarly miserable and nonresponsive) to put them on Apoquel, known to cause cancer in some dogs. Within a few months we buried Bella with Lymphoma. The other four dogs remain well-managed with Apoquel and we have our fingers crossed.

How much pumpkin should I give my dog?

Pumpkin

Pumpkin for Pets

If you wanted to give the same amounts of fiber to your pet that is found in one high-fiber therapeutic diet, you’d need to feed more than 2 ½ cups of pumpkin per day to a cat and nearly 12 cups per day to a medium-sized dog.

I hear from owners—and vets—all the time that they’ve added pumpkin to a dog or cat’s diet to increase the fiber. Dog and cats don’t require any fiber in their diets. But it can help with issues such as diarrhea, constipation, diabetes, and high fat levels in the blood, as well as to help overweight pets feel full while on a weight-loss diet.

Typically, I see people giving anywhere from ¼ teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of pumpkin at meals to increase a pet’s fiber intake. Unfortunately, this may not help and, in some cases, may cause problems. That’s because if you wanted to give the same amounts of fiber to your pet that is found in one high-fiber therapeutic diet, you’d need to feed more than 2 ½ cups of pumpkin per day to a cat and nearly 12 cups per day to a medium-sized dog!

The minuscule amount and type of fiber in pumpkin usually limit its effectiveness as a fiber source. But pumpkin also can contain ingredients that undermine a pet’s health. While canned pumpkin is only 83 calories per cup, canned pumpkin-pie mix is up to 281 calories per cup due to added sugar, which can pack on the pounds. Too many calories from pumpkin (anything more than 10 percent of total calorie intake) can unbalance your pet’s diet. And canned pumpkin without salt contains only 12 milligrams of sodium per cup, but some canned pumpkin brands with salt contain nearly 600 milligrams of sodium per cup—way too much sodium for a dog or cat with heart or kidney disease.

Finally, by adding a lot of fiber from pumpkin you may accidentally decrease how much protein and other nutrients your pet can absorb from their food, putting them at risk for deficiencies.

So, what’s a better way to add fiber to your dog or cat’s diet? Talk to your veterinarian, who can recommend an appropriate fiber supplement or prescribe a therapeutic diet that contains increased amounts of the specific types of types of fiber—which each have different effects in the gastrointestinal tract and throughout the body—needed to address your pet’s individual needs.

Full credit: Lisa Freeman, J86, V91, N96, head of the veterinary nutrition service at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center
https://now.tufts.edu/articles/people-giving-pets-pumpkin-it-good-them

Caption: If you wanted to give the same amounts of fiber to your pet that is found in one high-fiber therapeutic diet, you’d need to feed more than 2 ½ cups of pumpkin per day to a cat and nearly 12 cups per day to a medium-sized dog.

Coaltar

Coal Tar Soap 

I recommend this as a mild keratolytic with the following properties

  • Economy over liquid soap
  • Dissolves small dandruff particles
  • Anti fungal properties
  • Anti bacterial properties
  • Soothes broken / infected / oily skin

How to use it: 

  • Use it frequently (every third day?) until skin is better
  • Apply to wet dog and lather into the coat
  • Let your fingers rub the flakiest areas to try and dislodge the flakes / crusts
  • Let stay on coat for a few (5-7) minutes after lathered.
  • Rinse well. Blot dry.

Dentex

Dental Exercise in Dogs

So, I tried everything I preach at the office. Ajax (my main man) 3/5 black Lab and 1/4 Pit – gets a “treat” every time he comes in from his morning and evening “constitutional”

He’s always loved his Knucklebone.

You need to know that dental exercise has components of tooth scraping, gums toughening, germ killing, slime-stopping, and more. And sadly, NO SINGLE DENTAL EXERCISE MEETS ALL REQUIREMENTS., And some suck worse than others.

But I tried all that other jazz out there – for a month I did Oravet Chews. And another month I did CET chews. I used Greenies in Trudy for MANY years and I have had my dogs on Oxyfresh for a very long time as well.

So I did a chart of what works the BEST. (For my various dogs.)

Dental Exercise In One Page

Pantene

Pantene Conditioner Spray is a Home Made Moisturizing Spray for short coated dogs.

So, you can mix some Pantene Conditioner into a bottle of warm water, and shake it REALLY, REALLY well.. The Pantene doesn’t “mix” with the water, it almost “dissolves” and it takes a minute. Once mixed, it’s easy to “re-mix” and should be, before you spray it on the dog.

There’s a “strength” and a way to use it.

Download the one pager on this, here.

Pantene conditioner spray home made moisturizing spray for short coated dogs.