monistat for dogs

How To Treat Yeast Infection in Dog’s Ear With Monistat

dog ear mites vs yeast infectionWhen a dog continues to scratch at its ears for extended periods, it is quite possibly because your pet has an ear infection. Different infections can occur inside the ears, causing discomfort for dogs. Some of these infections are caused by ear mites, while others are caused by bacteria or fungus. Dogs with large, floppy ears have a diminished airflow as compared with their short-eared counterparts that can lead to excess moisture in their ears. If there is a lot of moisture present, fungus may begin growing and, this may lead to an ear yeast infection.

If your dog does have a yeast infection in its ears, you could take your pet to the veterinarian to get a prescription cream.  Alternatively, or you could use Banixx, which is readily available at most local feed stores.  If you cannot find Banixx locally, it is readily available via online retailers such as Chewy, Amazon, Jeffers Pet or Valley Vet. While we feel these types of treatments are the best solution, there are a lot of people online that wonder if you can also use Monistat for treating the yeast infection in your dog’s ears. Monistat is a product that is commonly used by women with yeast infections, but is it a product that you can safely use on your dog?

What You Need to Know About Dog Ear Yeast Infections

Dogs can get yeast infections in their ears as well as other parts of their bodies, including their paws and toes. Yeast can develop here because these spots on a dog’s body provide the perfect amount of warmth and moisture. Some yeast infections in dogs are more evident than others. Your dog’s skin could start to look slightly pinkish. Your dog might even have an odor that resembles the smell of a tortilla chip. If the yeast is present inside the ears, you will usually notice your dog scratching at the ears and rubbing the ears against objects inside your home to obtain relief. Although it is uncomfortable for your dog, a yeast infection is generally pretty easy to treat in the early stages.

Using Monistat as a Dog Ear Yeast Infection Treatment

dog ear yeast infection treatment monistatMonistat is an over the counter (OTC) product that you can easily find at most drugstores. The product is known for being a yeast infection cream that you can purchase without a prescription. It effectively eliminates yeast infections because of its active ingredient, miconazole. Women can buy this product when they have a yeast infection to clear it up in several days. Although it is commonly used by women, the active ingredient in Monistat is also safe for dogs. When used correctly, you can often clear the yeast infection from your dog’s ears by using this topical cream.

Before using Monistat, contact your veterinarian to ask questions about using this product to treat the yeast infection. If you decide that you are unable to visit the veterinarian for treatment, you can follow these simple directions to treat your dog with the Monistat cream safely. Make sure you are mixing the cream with hydrocortisone cream. You should use the same amount of both creams. The reason you want to add hydrocortisone cream to the Monistat cream is that it will help relieve your dog’s excessive itchiness.

miconazole for dogs earsAfter combining the two creams, you will notice it has a thick consistency. Add several drops of water to the blend of these two creams to make it slightly thinner, add it to a dropper, and then carefully squirt the mixture into your dog’s ears. Use this home remedy treatment for a week to get rid of the yeast infection for good. If the problem does not subside despite the constant use of both the Monistat and hydrocortisone cream, you will need to bring your dog to the veterinarian’s office.

Make sure you are using Monistat when selecting an over-the-counter cream to treat your dog’s yeast infection. Do not mistake this product for another product on the market, such as Vagisil. While Vagisil can relieve itching, it is not formulated to eliminate fungus (yeast is a fungus), so it’s not useful for your dog’s yeast infection.

Is There Anything Better Than Monistat For a Dog Ear Yeast Infection?

Banixx Anti-Fungal Anti-Bacterial SprayIf you are trying to avoid a visit to your veterinarian, there is an over-the-counter treatment that we highly recommend.  It may be time for you to give Banixx Pet Care a try. Banixx is available from most local pet stores or on-line and can be used to treat much more than ear infections. Banixx is an effective treatment for dog ear infections, hotspots, ringworm, yeast infections, wounds, itchy skin, and more because it’s not only anti-fungal (think..Yeast) but also anti-bacterial. 

Banixx is a topical solution that works by controlling the pH level of the infection; its presence creates an environment that is totally hostile to the growth of bacteria or fungus. Unlike other medicinal products available, Banixx has absolutely no smell.  Your dog will significantly appreciate this factor, considering their nose is 1,000 times more sensitive than our own.

Banixx also doesn’t burn or sting your dog when you apply it, so they don’t fear the application. This is so important when one considers that a dog will do anything they can to avoid a medicine that stings and burns when you put it on him.

Find a store near you that carries Banixx by visiting our Where To Buy Banixx page.

treatment for dog ear infections

horse trailer safety tips

Horse Trailer Safety Checklist

  • You should always assess your horse for its health and fitness prior to trailering.
  • Only trailer a fully healthy horse, unless it’s going to a vet hospital to get treatment.
  • Be sure your trailer is of proper size for the horse in question in terms of both height and width.
  • Learn how to haul the trailers safely prior to loading your horse. Also, inspect the whole trailer prior to each trip.
  • Avoid traveling alone anytime that you can do so.
  • If you’re hauling somebody else’s horse inside your trailer, then make arrangements in advance to determine who is going to be held responsible should the trailer get damaged or the horse injured.
  • Train the horse to both load and unload safely and calmly ahead of time.
  • Use a helmet, boots, and gloves whenever you load or unload horses.
  • Be sure that there aren’t any hazards near your horse trailer, such as ditches, fencing, or farm machinery, whenever you load or unload horses.
  • Apply both a head bumper and leg wraps prior to the horse getting into the trailer.
  • Never put your horse into an unhitched trailer. Also avoid unhitching a trailer that still has a horse remaining inside it.
  • Should the trailer be dark inside, first open the doors and then turn lights on in order to increase the visibility.
  • Never start loading a horse into a trailer if you’re missing an easy potential escape route.
  • Anytime you are loading a single horse, do so on the left side. Alternatively, tie on the trailer’s left side for slant loads, since roads get ‘crowned’ in the middle.
  • If you are unloading multiple horses from your trailer, be sure that least one of the horses is in sight of the last horse until they are all unloaded safely.
  • Never open the trailer door or get into the trailer when the horse is spooked or panicked. You should get assistance instead.
  • Be sure that you are carrying all the right certificates and you have all the current inoculations.
  • Include a comprehensive emergency first aid kit, one that works for both humans and horses. Also, know how to use it.
  • Be sure your trailer has snug-fitting and proper mats, as well as good ventilation.
  • Verify that all trailer doors have been locked and secured before you set out. Also, check them again after every stop.
  • Make sure that your trailer has sufficient reflective tape on the sides, top, and bottom.
  • Always drive defensively. Leave at least twice the normal braking distance, and always travel at slower than normal speeds.

horse trailer

Safe Trailering Checklist

You should do a good walk around of your trailer prior to any trip to ensure everything is in proper working order.

Your horse trailer should have the following:

  • Two flashlights. One should be a portable spotlight or large Maglite. The other one should be a headband flashlight.
  • Two spare tires.
  • Disposal bags, broom, and shovel.
  • Sponges and buckets.
  • Electrical and duct tape.
  • Emergency flares or triangles.
  • First aid kit for both human and equine needs.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • A hydraulic jack capable of jacking the whole trailer when loaded.
  • Knife.
  • Lug wrench.
  • Portable fencing, or just a roll of construction fencing.
  • Spare bulbs for any of your lights.
  • Spare lead ropes and halters.
  • Water.
  • WD-40.
  • Wheel chocks, which are wedges to keep accidental movements from happening.

The following are needed for your tow vehicle:

  • Trailer and vehicle registration.
  • Roadside assistance membership and proof of insurance.
  • Gloves.
  • Jumper cables.
  • Spare tire, tire iron, and jack.
  • Tool kit which includes spare hoses, belts, fuses, and wiring.
  • Tow chain.
  • Map book or GPS device.

horse trailer walkaround

Doing A Horse Trailer Walkaround

  • Be sure you’re within your gross vehicle rated capacity.
  • Your tires are in great shape.
    • This includes wheel bearings serviced in the last 12 months.
    • You lug nuts are good and tight.
  • Verify the tire pressure of all of your tires, which includes the inside ones.
  • Be sure that your trailer hitch has been secured to the vehicle frame, rather than the bumper.
  • Be sure your ball size is proper and that the ball has been secured tightly to the ball mount.
  • Make sure your hitch is lubricated and in sound condition without showing any obvious signs of wear and tear.
  • Verify the hitch has been properly seated onto the ball and also locked. You should be able to feel the clamp that’s around the ball bottom if the coupler is properly connected.
  • Confirm that any safety chains are connected appropriately underneath the hitch.
  • Your trailer jack should be fully removed or retracted.
  • The electrical connection is both the correct one and connected properly.
  • Make sure that the emergency breakaway system has also been connected right.
  • Verify that the breakaway battery has been charged.
  • Be sure that all the trailer rights are functional, including turn signals, running lights, brake lights, and perimeter lights.
  • Your interior lights should have safety cages around them to give them protection from the heads of the horses.
  • Be sure your brake controller is functional.
  • Your trailer should be sitting level.
  • Make sure you have tight-fitting mats on the floor and that they’re in good condition.
  • Check out the trailer for hazards like rough edges, loose wiring, butt bars/chains which don’t close right, door locks that won’t lock or are hard to open, or chains which don’t open properly.
  • Every horse gets a head bumper and leg wraps.

Treating scratches with Banixx

dog ear mites vs yeast infection

6 Dog Ear Infection Home Remedy Tips

If you go on the internet and search for home remedies to take care of your dog’s ear infection, you’ll find all kinds of advice and recommendations – some good and some bad. We have seen everything from hydrogen peroxide, and apple cider vinegar to lemon juice and oatmeal proposed. Some suggestions can be beneficial – but you need to go slow before trying any of these remedies.

The following are our Top 6 Tips for determining if you should try a home remedy or not:

  1. Not all websites are alike. Many people who are proponents of homeopathic medicine are not really qualified to talk about the medical benefits of a remedy – they’re just enthusiastic “believers.” Go with websites like Pet MD, Banixx or Vet Info, who have the expertise and/or clinical backgrounds or contributors. Beware of websites whose main purpose is to sell homeopathic remedies for your pets.
  2. Benadryl For DogsWhile many products found in the home are benign, some may actually cause harm. For instance, did you know that the Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve you give your dog for pain can cause kidney or liver failure in your dog? (see here). Or that hydrogen peroxide is caustic and destroys the very cells (fibroblasts) that are needed to heal a wound (find out more here)? Make sure you do your research to find out about side effects in case of overdose or improper application.
  3. Don’t try it just because it’s “cheaper.” It’s natural to want to use something that’s already in your kitchen or medicine cabinet – but if it doesn’t work or it hurts your dog, you’ll be spending money on veterinary bills eventually. If you can’t afford a vet, here are some tips that should help.
  4. Many home remedies don’t work as well as proven drugs or pet products. There are very few clinical studies on homeopathic solutions in pets, and little scientific evidence of their efficacy. If you have a friend who tried something, and it worked for their dog’s ear infection, it might or might not work for your dog. Our recommendation is to temper your expectations.
  5. Using coconut oil to treat dog hot spotsHow messy do you want to get? Your dog might hate the smell/sting of a home remedy application (like vinegar or hydrogen peroxide); or she might LIKE it too much – like coconut oil, and lick it off immediately. With some remedies, the application might include drenching your pet in the stuff, enduring a shower as your dog shakes it off, or dealing with greasy ointments that collect dirt and rub off on furniture.
  6. ALWAYS be prepared to take your dog to the vet if the home remedy doesn’t work. And don’t wait too long to see if it works – if it hasn’t had a positive impact in a couple of days, it’s not working.

In other words, be CAUTIOUS and SMART when trying a home remedy on your dog’s ear infection.

We’ve done a little of the work for you in researching certain home remedies for ear infections, hot spots, pain, and more. Visit our blog to learn more about the following home remedies for dog ear infections:

Best Home Remedy For a Dog Ear Infection

And if you haven’t tried Banixx yet, we highly recommend you give it a go. You can buy it online or in local pet stores and use it at home whenever you need it. There are lots of uses for Banixx, but we feel its hands down the best dog ear infection treatment on the market.

treatment for dog ear infections

Feeding Horse Grass Clippings

Can I Feed My Horse Lawn Mower Grass Clippings?

The short answer is: NO!

If you mow your pasture and leave behind grass clippings that dry in small, airy amounts, generally speaking, that is probably not a problem for your horse. But, gathering the clippings into piles, and feeding them to your horse in larger amounts will cause problems. And here’s why:

  • horse foragingAs we explained in a previous blog post on horse colic, your horse’s digestive system is sensitive. His stomach is relatively small, so he needs to eat small amounts over an extended period of time in order to digest properly. Your horse doesn’t know this, of course, so if he’s presented with a tempting pile of grass clippings, he will dig in and eat them quickly – clogging up his system and possibly resulting in a dangerous case of colic.
  • Also stated in our blog on colic, adding grass clippings to your horse’s diet can upset the delicate balance of microbes in your horse’s gut. Again, colic might rear its ugly head.
  • If you stick your hand in a pile of lawn clippings, you’ll notice how warm they are. That’s because they’re fermenting! Because the lawnmower has already chopped them up, your horse doesn’t need to chew them before swallowing them. This by-passes the important step where saliva gets mixed in with food. Saliva helps dilute acids created by the fermenting process. When a horse eats grass clippings, the grass arrives in the stomach already fermenting, and the gases that are given off can expand to the point where they result in a bad case of colic, or, even rupture the stomach.
  • Grass ClippingsA pile of mounded grass clippings can encourage mold to form – this is not good for your horse, it can lead to colic, and/or diarrhea.
    Horses are very sensitive to poisonous plants. When they are eating in a pasture situation, they naturally avoid the plants and any garden waste that are toxic. But lawn mowers have no such instincts – all the clippings get mixed in together. So your horse, in his haste to eat something that has already been chopped for him, is not able to discern whether there are any toxic weeds mixed in. Since horses do not have a mechanism for vomiting contents from their stomachs, he has no way to remove the toxins once they have been ingested. This can end up as a huge vet bill for you and/or the possible loss of your horse
  • In addition to all facts previously mentioned, there’s little air inside the warm piles of grass clippings; this potentially leads to botulism forming– and THAT can be deadly for your horse. Botulism is difficult to treat, and it can cost in excess of $3,000 per horse. This particular antitoxin is really most beneficial if you use it when your animals first start showing symptoms. The clinical signs of botulism are similar to other causes of central nervous infections (loss of coordination, tremors, inability to eat). Accordingly, the diagnosis is not clear-cut. With the right amount of care, a horse can recover from this but, if they happen to get exposed to a large amount of this toxin, there is a good chance that most will die despite treatment.
  • Lawn grass is not the same as pasture grass. It generally receives more chemical treatments such as fertilizers and weed killers. And, if you have other pets, there may be urine and feces intermingled. None of this is beneficial to your horse.
  • A horse that’s presented with a “treat” of grass clippings may gulp it down too quickly – and it may stick in his throat, causing “choke,” a condition that will require veterinarian care.

Are those enough reasons to persuade you from feeding grass and lawn clippings to your horse? Better safe (with a treat of carrot or apple) than sorry!

Banixx For Horses

Learn more about Banixx and how it can be used to treat rain rot in horses.

horses

Caring For Your Horse: 9 Tips For Preventing Colic

Your beloved horse may be big, strong, and proud – but her digestive system is sensitive and requires tender loving care. A case of equine colic – or severe abdominal discomfort – could be just around the corner, as every horse is susceptible. Its effects range from merely passing gas to experiencing extreme pain and threatening her life. In fact…

Horse Colic Is the Number One Horse Killer

Horse ColicEquine colic takes many forms, but generally, you can tell if your horse might be on the road to colic if you observe any of these symptoms:

  • Frequently looking at, and/or biting or kicking her flank or belly
  • Pawing at the ground
  • Rolling or wanting to lie down continuously
  • Little or no evidence of manure having passed
  • Excessive sweating
  • Manure appears dry or mucous-covered
  • Lack of appetite
  • Change in drinking behavior
  • Frequent attempts to urinate
  • High pulse rate (over 50 beats per minute)
  • Off-color mucous membranes (evidenced by examining gum tissue)

If you suspect your horse has colic, get immediate help from a veterinarian. This is not something you want to fool around with – even if the signs are vague, call in the expert for diagnosis and treatment. Too many times, an owner decides to wait for more concrete proof of colic and loses valuable time. Your chances of saving your horse from death increase exponentially the quicker you are able to get a vet on site to treat her.

Prevention Is The Best Answer

Not all colic can be prevented – but you can take steps to decrease the chance your horse will have to suffer from it. Here are nine proven tips for keeping your horse healthy:

1. Let Him Forage

horse foragingThe stomach of the horse is small in relation to his size; it only takes up 10% of the capacity of the digestive system. Because of this relatively small stomach, a horse naturally eats small amounts of roughage – continuously. Just watch your horse out in the field – he seems to eat without stopping, but if you watch long enough, he will take breaks where he stands like a statue. Domestication has changed this for many horses, particularly if they are stall-kept.  

Your horse is designed to eat grass and hay as part of a high-fiber, low-starch diet. Try to make this type of natural roughage the bulk of his diet, limiting the grains and energy-dense supplements that can upset the gut’s delicate bacterial balance. For every pound of grain or corn, the colic risk increases by 70%. Think about that one! 

Of course, some horses are expected to eat large amounts of grain and are fed once or twice a day to suit our lifestyle along with some hay. This can cause “traffic jams” in his digestive system due to the lower roughage content that may lead to upset and then, potentially, colic. If you do need to enhance his diet with concentrates, feed them to him in small amounts and more frequently. This allows slow and steady digestive action and helps prevent overloading your horse’s digestive system.

Foraging behavior is also important for the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract. The chewing process itself produces large amounts of saliva that help to buffer the acid that is produced in the horse’s stomach. Excess stomach acid can lead to stomach ulcers that produce pain and discomfort. This discomfort/pain may lead to a sub-standard performance on his part and/or a hostile attitude from him to his owner.

2. Don’t change your feeding program frequently or quickly

As we noted, your horse’s stomach is sensitive. Not all horses are affected equally, but a sudden change in what you feed him could upset the microbes in his intestine – and result in colic. If a change is needed, convert him gradually to a different diet over 7-10 days. For example, if he is exposed to a new type of hay, try to mix it in gradually, over several days, with the hay he is used to eating. A consistent feeding program is very beneficial in avoiding equine colic.

3. Make sure your horse has access to fresh, clean water

two horses drinking waterHorses that don’t have access to water for 1-2 hours increase their risk of colic. In winter, horses naturally drink less (they don’t like ice cold water, or the water in the trough is frozen) – so we recommend that you make sure automatic waterers and other water sources have free flowing water. If possible, in colder climates, install heaters especially designed for horse water tanks/troughs, so that your horse has access to tepid temperature water. This will help to ensure he drinks adequately. 

4. In areas with sandy soil, avoid putting hay on the ground

barn fire orevention hayIn geographic areas where the soil is very sandy, it’s easy for horses to ingest sand along with hay. This can cause a problem since it does not move easily through the digestive tract and may end up ”sitting” in the horse’s large intestine. Large amounts of sand can cause impaction or blockage and lead to colic. 

If putting hay on sandy soil is unavoidable, institute a good sand-elimination program. Discuss this with your vet and do your own research. It’s not difficult or expensive to administer, but the alternative – a trip to an equine hospital for sand colic surgery – is certainly expensive. Although many horses recover well, there are no guarantees with surgery and no guarantees that your horse will return to his active life for quite a while after surgery.

5. Make sure your horse gets exercise every day

treating horse colicMoving around helps stimulate the digestive system; it’s how nature has designed the horse. Horses that stand in stalls run a higher risk of colic due to inactivity. It doesn’t have to be a lot of exercise – just a regular turn out for her out into the pasture, for as long as you are able, is often enough to keep things going in the digestive area. In addition, a longer warm up and cool down before and after work are beneficial. If your horse is stall-kept, try to get her out for some sort of exercise every day.

6. Control parasites

Horses that are on a regular de-worming program are less likely to colic. Worms attach themselves into the lining of your horse’s stomach or intestines and wreak havoc with your horse’s health. They may “steal” the food that your horse needs (for their own survival) and even attach to your horse’s blood flow, disturbing it and robbing your horse of essential nutrients that are carried by the blood system. 

Consult your vet with help in this area; there are many factors that may put your horse at even more risk. Many owners maintain a program of removing manure from fields several times a week, as horses graze near the piles and may ingest worms in the process. This is particularly important in restricted grazing areas. In general, horses are thought not to graze in heavy manure areas, but there are exceptions, and in small paddocks it’s impossible to avoid.

7. Provide routine dental care

Your horse should have regular dental check-ups and have his teeth “floated” (filing down any sharp points) to ensure he can grind his food properly along with making sure that he has no bad or infected teeth that may require removal. A horse with sharp points on his teeth (and this happens to every horse at one time or another!) will not forage or eat well due to the associated pain. Be sure to obtain the services of a highly recommended professional. Some horses need higher maintenance than others; some can be seen successfully just once a year. As your horse ages, the dental maintenance becomes particularly important, because if your horse has lost weight due to her inability to eat or chew well, it’s difficult to get the weight back on. 

8. Reduce your horse’s stress

If your horse has to deal with changes to her environment or workload, it can cause intestinal disturbances. This really comes into play if a lot of traveling is involved, as is the case with race or show horses. Stress varies from horse to horse or breed to breed. Keep your horse’s forage level high and check with your veterinarian regarding either supplements and/or medication that help with a high stress routine or life change.

9. Monitor your horse yourself as much as possible

Schedules and situations don’t always allow it – but the more you’re around your horse, the more you’ll be able to ensure these preventive tips are being followed. Let’s be honest: No one knows your horse like you do, and no one has a vested interest as deep as you do, so the better you know your horse, the quicker you’ll be able to recognize subtle differences in behavior and signs of impending colic. 

And now there’s one additional tip:

10. No matter how well you follow Tips 1-9, your horse may still get colic – every horse owner’s nightmare!

horse outsideIt is the experience and opinion of many veterinarians and horse professionals (who have all been there!): Get Help NOW!

The longer you wait, the less likely it is your horse will have a good outcome. Veterinary medicine has come a long way in treating colic, but once your horse has passed a certain point, it doesn’t matter if you have the best vet in the world – there just may be no good answer for you or your horse.

So if you see any symptoms or the thought “colic” crosses your mind when you observe your horse – bring in the vet immediately. 

Banixx For Horses

Learn more about Banixx and how it can be used in treating pigeon fever in horses.

two horses drinking water

How Long Can A Horse Go Without Water?

Dehydration is the result of excessive loss of water in your horse’s body. It is one of the most common challenges a horse will face in its lifetime, so it is essential to be able to recognize and treat the symptoms of dehydration quickly – your horse’s life may depend on it!

Horse Dehydration Prevention

Did you know that your horse’s bones are made up of about 30% water, his muscles about 75%, and his brain a whopping 85%? Water makes up about 60% of your horse! Water is an essential nutrient that is needed for almost every bodily function. It’s little wonder that dehydration and loss of vital electrolytes (salts) will not only negatively affect a horse’s performance, but it can lead to systemic (internal) and neuromuscular imbalances that can lead to severe and even life-threatening health issues for your horse, if left unchecked.

Electrolytes are responsible for the transfer of water through the cell membranes, which keeps the horse’s system balanced and working correctly. The loss of too much water and essential electrolytes will cause the horse’s body to become stressed. This can quickly lead to a variety of physiological problems, including fatigue, kidney impairment or failure, muscle spasms and reduced muscle function, inadequate respiratory responses, gastrointestinal stasis, and heart arrhythmias to name just a few.

Horses sweat in much the same manner as humans do to rid their bodies of excess heat. But dehydration from excessive activity, coupled with sweating, can cause the loss of essential fluid reserves and electrolytes needed, not only for continued activity but for the continuation of life. For example, just to fulfill their basic physiological needs, most adult horses that weigh around 1,000 pounds (which is NOT a big horse!) require at least 10 to 12 gallons of water each day! Under moderate conditions, a trotting horse will lose slightly over 3 gallons of sweat per hour, so it’s easy to see how quickly your horse may become dehydrated to the point of irreparable harm. And equine sweat contains more salts than body fluid (hypertonic), which means that a sweating horse loses more electrolytes than water.

Common Causes of Horse Dehydration

  • horse exercising and getting dehydratedVigorous exercise, long rides, or racing, especially on hot, humid days
  • Increased respiration rate
  • Endurance/trail riding
  • Athletic events
  • Long bouts of diarrhea
  • Fever or abnormally high body temperature (hyperthermia)
  • Anaphylactic shock (triggered by an allergic reaction)
  • Severe burns
  • Colitis-X (a disease which causes watery diarrhea and hypovolemic shock)

Dehydration can also be a problem during cold, winter weather, as well. In cold weather, a horse’s thirst may be significantly reduced. Instead of losing excessive amounts of water through sweating, as they do in hot weather, horses lose water even on the coldest days through such functions such as the saliva they use to soften their food, through urine and feces, and also the moisture in their breath. With a diminished thirst trigger, dehydration is a danger – even in the dead of winter. And remember – snow is NOT an acceptable substitute for plenty of good, clean water for your horses. Just as humans often enjoy hot beverages during winter months, warming the drinking water for horses (to a temperature of around 90 degrees), during the winter, will result in the horse consuming more water.

How Can I Tell If My Horse Is Hydrated?

Remember – It’s essential to act quickly to intervene in cases of dehydration, and the way to do that is to be able to recognize the symptoms before severe damage is done.  The most reliable way to diagnose dehydration is to take a blood sample to determine the level of proteins in the plasma, along with the proportion of red blood cells in the blood compared with the plasma. Your veterinarian may also order a urine test. However, there are other means by which you may be able to detect the effects of dehydration in your horse. Although these not as specific as blood or urine tests, they are generally reliable as diagnostic indicators that your horse may be in a state of dehydration and imminent need of intervention.

The Pinch Test

Probably the most straightforward test to check for signs of dehydration in your horse, is the pinch test.  As with humans, a horse’s skin loses its elasticity when it’s in a state of dehydration. S0 pinch up a fold of skin anywhere along the horse’s back, or, near the base of the horse’s neck, or on his lower chest. Hold it for 2 seconds, then release it. If the skin is NOT dehydrated, it should immediately spring back to normal. If the horse is dehydrated, the skin will stay up in a ridge, and the longer the ridge remains is an indicator of the severity of the dehydration. If the skin remains in a ridge for 10 to 15 seconds, seek veterinary assistance immediately, as your horse may be dangerously dehydrated.

Respiration Rate

barn fire orevention hayThis is an excellent quick check for your horse’s health. A typical breathing rate for an average horse is between 8 and 12 breaths per minute. If a horse is dehydrated, he will take more frequent, shallow breaths, as his body tries to move its vital resources from one system to another to maintain a sense of normalcy. 

Heart Rate

A horse’s resting heart averages about 36 – 42 beats per minute. For best results, try to count his pulse for 60 seconds. A resting heart rate higher than 60 beats per minute may be an indication of dehydration. (Avoid 10 seconds of pulse multiplied by 6, if possible – the results may be inaccurate.)

Check Eyes and Gums

The mucous membranes should appear moist and shiny. Excessively red gums and/or dry-appearing eyes may indicate that your horse is moving fluid from those regions to more core body functions to compensate for dehydration. Another easy test is to press gently on the gum near your horse’s upper teeth, with your fingertips, and release. As you press, the skin will turn white, or pink. When you release, the color should return quickly. This will determine how long it takes the capillaries to refill. More prolonged refill means a higher chance of dehydration. Anything longer than 2 seconds, for the color to return to his gums, may indicate dehydration.

Urine

A horse that produces dark urine or has not passed urine for an extended time may be dehydrated.

Other Symptoms of Horse Dehydration

  • Lethargy/sluggish activity/fatigue/depression
  • Loss of glossy coat/dry skin
  • Signs of pain/Muscle spasms
  • Thick and sticky saliva
  • Decreased feed intake due to lack of saliva
  • Constipation/impaction colic
  • Cardiac arrhythmias

What Can I Do If My Horse Is Dehydrated?

horses get dehydratedFirst and foremost, the administration of fluids and electrolyte solutions is vital in the treatment of dehydration for horses. Contact your veterinarian, as the dosages are essential and require medical expertise. One easy remedy while you are waiting for the vet to give advice or to arrive, is to give your horse a nice bath – this depends of course on the time of year etc….you don’t want to bath your horse in the middle of winter…depending on where you live!! It is possible that excess rehydration can lead to a condition called water intoxication. In this condition, excessive water intake can cause stress on the kidneys and dilute the electrolytes in the horse’s body, which hampers their ability to regulate body temperature. Research has shown, however, that healthy horses generally do not drink beyond their body’s normal capacity based on body weight or weather conditions. Be aware that there are medical conditions and even diet imbalances (such as high levels of fiber/hay, salt, potassium, and protein in the diet) that may cause your horse to over-hydrate, in this case; you should seek the advice of your veterinarian as soon as possible.

For less severe dehydration, be aware that offering water alone does not always sufficiently rehydrate a dehydrated horse. The water may simply dilute the body fluids surrounding the tissues – effectively turning off the thirst mechanism. Some effective rehydration therapies that may stimulate drinking include the administration of electrolyte preparations in feed or water, which are commercially available in rations specifically formulated toward activity levels. Increased hydration can also be stimulated by adding extra water to your horse’s mash and letting it sit for 10 minutes to allow for expansion of the grain, as well as increasing your horse’s salt intake – keeping in mind that the recommended daily intake of salt for a 1,000 pound horse should be about two ounces.  

How To Prevent Horse Dehydration

Unlike many conditions over which horse owners have no control, dehydration is often totally and easily preventable. GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO DRINK AND THE AVAILABILITY OF FRESH, CLEAN WATER, MOST HORSES WILL NOT SUFFER FROM DEHYDRATION!

Here are some simple steps that owners can easily practice to prevent horses from suffering the effects of dehydration, especially during stressful or strenuous events. 

  • horse hydration is importantMake sure that your horse has plenty of fresh, clean, palatable water to drink and access to salt at all times. If you’re feeling thirsty or dehydrated, the chances are that your horse is feeling the same.
  • Be sure to frequently check water troughs and buckets, scrubbing and refilling as necessary.  
  • Pay attention to each horse’s unique level of activity and weather conditions.
  • Make sure that electrolytes and fluids are balanced and at appropriate levels for the activity level of the horse and the weather.
  • Never ride or exercise a horse to the point of exhaustion. One way to practically guarantee dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in your horse is to force him/her to be active during hot, humid weather.
  • Do not restrict your horse’s access to water at competitions.
  • Check for signs of dehydration regularly.
  • Don’t wait until a horse looks dehydrated to administer electrolytes. If your horse doesn’t seem to like the taste of water when you travel, bring some from home. You can also add a masking flavor such as apple juice, mint, or a commercial product designed to help horses drink.
  • Consider the higher moisture content of well-soaked beet pulp for a horse that isn’t drinking well. It will provide the horse with water and fiber, reducing the risk of colic.  
  • On a hot day, cool your horse off thoroughly, as soon as possible after exercising. Try to keep your horse in the shade whenever and wherever possible, especially at competitions. And remember to administer electrolytes to help replace the salts in the body lost through sweat.
  • When traveling with your horses, consider stopping every two to three hours to offer your horse water. This will keep him hydrated and better able to tolerate traveling over long periods. Also, consider giving them some well-soaked beet pulp the day before and if possible the day of the journey.
  • Finally, if there is any doubt as to the severity of the situation, seek expert veterinarian care immediately!

Banixx For Horses

Learn more about Banixx and its many uses for horses, such as treating scratches.

how to prevent a barn fire

Barn Fire Prevention – How To Prevent Stable and Barn Fires

The following steps have been designed to help you reduce the chances of a possible tragedy.

hay is flammable in barn firesOn a warm summer night, several years ago, an old barn located near my home lit up the evening sky in flames. Two horses inside the barn managed to escape, while a third perished in the fire. Although I was a child, at the time, I can still vividly remember the sights and sounds of that night including the poignant sadness that permeated our entire community. I never learned the cause of the fire, but I did learn an important lesson, which is that all your dreams can be reduced to a pile of ashes, and lost forever, within a matter of minutes.

It’s a sad but true fact that even if you are close by when a fire breaks out in a barn, it may already be too late to save any of the animals that are inside the barn. A barn fire can reduce the entire building and its contents to ashes in less than fifteen minutes, but asphyxiation from smoke and toxic fumes will likely kill any occupants, within the barn, before the flames reach them. That’s why it is essential to PREVENT barn fires! While many of us understand the basics of fire safety, now is the time to inspect your barn for any potential fire hazards and eliminate them.

Fire Basics

The first thing to remember is that fire is an event rather than an object. Fire doesn’t just exist. It needs three main elements (ingredients) to ignite and then continue to burn.

  • Heat – is needed to ignite a fire. It is also needed to maintain the fire and enables the fire to spread.
  • Fuel – is any combustible material such as bedding, feed, hay, etc. Heat “feeds” the fire.
  • Oxygen – Without oxygen, you can’t have a fire. It’s essential for the chemical processes that occurs during any type of fire. The oxygen reacts with the burning “fuel” in the surrounding air that, in turn, generates combustion products such as gases, smoke, embers, etc. Air contains about 21% oxygen, but most fires require only about 16% oxygen in order to burn.

So, while a well-provisioned, well-ventilated barn is a positive environment for your animals, it can also be the perfect recipe for an unstoppable fire, providing enough amounts of fuel and airflow to develop into a raging, deadly inferno within minutes.

Your primary goal is to PREVENT a fire from starting by eliminating the risks associated with ignition and combustion. But if a fire should happen to start, your goal is to stop it from spreading and quickly get it extinguished. The actions you take today can provide you with the potential to not only save property, but lives as well.

Eliminate Potential Barn Fire Ignition Sources

smoking cigarettes can cause barn firesA single ember from a cigarette is enough to ignite a tiny piece of hay or straw, which is all that is needed to start a fire. Barns and other out-buildings should have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to smoking anywhere in or around them – and that pertains to family, friends, and workers. NO EXCEPTIONS! For added safety, prominently post no smoking signs in and around all areas of your property to be covered. This applies to any sources of open flames such as candles, lanterns, etc.

Remember that “fuel” can take on many forms.

cobwebs can cause barn firesCommon contents in any barn such as hay, dust on the floor, and cobwebs climbing up the walls can create pathways that allow fire to travel quickly throughout the barn. While it is neither essential nor practical to have a spotless barn, the cleaner your barn is, the safer it will be. Remove cobwebs and sweep out dust on a regular basis. When you think of dust, think of it as a combustible fuel that will allow fire to quickly spread. Finally, pay special attention when dusting to fluorescent light bulbs, electrical outlets, and incandescent bulbs. Electrical outlets made for outdoor use with covers are a good option you may want to consider in helping to keep dirt and dust out of your outlets.

gas on fire in barnFlammable liquids such as gasoline, motor oil, and propane should never be stored in a barn, even on a temporary basis. Also remember that some alcohol-based medications and hoof paints may become flammable in certain situations. Take the time to investigate the products that are in your barn, read all labels, and be sure you follow specific manufacturer instructions before storing. In addition, you may want to examine the expiration dates on each item and dispose of anything that has expired. Something as simple as an ointment that has been laying around for a few years has the ability for its chemicals to change and become much more dangerous. When dealing with chemicals, remember that anything can become a hazardous material.

Clutter is another form of “fuel” for a barn fire. Worn out blankets, broken equipment, and random pieces of junk can all create the opportunity for a perfect firestorm. If your barn is full of clutter, it is time to reorganize or trash. Equipment and items that are good, but no longer in use, can be donated to local rescue shelters. If you don’t use it, and no one else needs it, or wants it – trash it. And consider using a different building in which to store miscellaneous household goods or tools, especially anything flammable.

oily rags can cause barn firesPiles of towels or rags that have been soaked in oil-based liquids and tossed in a pile, can easily self-ignite if the temperature is high enough. Linseed oil, which is commonly used as a leather conditioner or varnish, is one of the main culprits found in barns, but not the only culprit. If you use a rag with a flammable liquid near your barn, it’s a good idea to first hang it out to dry. Once dry, place the rag into a sealed metal container, and remove it to the outside, far away from any structures.

Hay kept far from barn and stableHay should be stored away from the main barn. When hay is not properly dried before it is baled and stored, there is a good chance for spontaneous combustion to occur. The reaction occurs in the center of the bale, where heat and moisture are under constant pressure. Once the temperature in the center of the hay bale exceeds 130°F, chemical reactions will occur in which gases are produced that become flammable upon contact with the air. Predictably, the risk is much greater during hot, humid weather and generally occurs within one or two months after the hay has been harvested.

Spontaneous combustion is not as rare as you might think, leading some to justify building a separate structure adequately away from your main barn where horses or other livestock are kept. Condensation on the ceiling, walls and/or windows, as well as a musty odor may be signs that the hay is overheating.

But what should you do if you suspect your hay is overheating? REMEMBER that oxygen is one of the three key elements that fire needs to ignite and grow. The sudden introduction of air could trigger the ignition of any hot gases that may exist deep inside the hay. Therefore, don’t attempt to remove any bales of hay at this point in time. Likewise, we don’t recommend you attempt to walk on the top of the hay, which may unintentionally disrupt any spots that may already be smoldering. While it is possible to determine the temperature of the hay with the use of a proper temperature probe, or other “home-made” methods, if you suspect that your hay may be overheating, contact a professional for advice who is independent of your hay source, such as a trusted veterinarian, or your fire department.

Inspect Electrical Wiring

barn fires can be caused by faulty electrical wires

While having all new wiring installed inside your existing barn can be expensive, it is well worth it, as many building fires are due to faulty or frayed wiring, especially in older buildings.  Any new electrical wiring should be enclosed in corrosion-free, industrial conduits to protect from chewing rodents, and securely fastened to prevent livestock from tearing them loose.

If you’re unable to upgrade the wiring in your barn, be sure that it is inspected periodically, by a licensed electrician, for any signs of wear and tear or damage.  If you haven’t already done so, it is also a good idea to have a master switch fitted in your home or another building that allows for complete shutdown of all power to the barn in the case of an emergency.  And while you’re at it, make sure that there are protective cages fitted over all light bulbs. 

Unplug Unused Appliances

Don’t leave electrical appliances or devices unattended in your barn or out-buildings and unplug them when they are not in use. Likewise, extension cords should be rolled up and stored when not being used. Devices that are often left on for long periods such as heat lamps or portable heating units can quickly cause a fire. If you must use such devices, use them sparingly and keep an eye on them.

Clear Aisles and Doorways

Unencumbered movement/travel is essential for the evacuation of people and animals out of a burning barn, as well as providing access to the fire for firefighters and needed emergency personnel and equipment. Be sure that all buckets, tools, wheel barrels, and other items are not blocking aisles, doorways, or exits – EVER! Once a fire starts, you will NOT have time to clear a path for you or your animals. Regardless of the flames, choking smoke will fill a burning barn within minutes, making evacuation or entry to the barn impossible without breathing apparatus. Keep any unused tools and equipment in proper storage and park any vehicles well away from the barn doors to ensure that emergency vehicles have close and easy access to the fire.

Create a Ready Water Supply

fire hydrant to prevent barn fireOne of the most ideal solutions for firefighters is a fire hydrant that is linked to the municipal supply line. Unfortunately, responding fire trucks in many rural locations will need an alternative source of water since most rural homesteads will not be linked to city water lines.

If you have any natural body of water on the property, consider installing a dry hydrant-pipe. This will be a massive help to the fire department, allowing them to pull water directly from the water source through a connection installed nearer to your structures.

If there is not a natural water source on the farm property, make sure that you have at least two ordinary garden hoses installed along the barn – one on each side – in case one is unavailable due to the fire. If both are operable and able to hit the fire from both sides of the barn, the potential for knocking down the fire in time to really make a difference is greatly enhanced. This simple precaution may be your first line of defense in saving your horses and your barn. In some cases, it may be your only line of defense.

For the ultimate in fire protection, although not yet common in most barns, you might want to consider making an investment in the installation of an automatic sprinkler system. Unlike smoke detectors that only sound an alarm, a sprinkler system can activate an automatic spray of water at the first sign of a fire, perhaps extinguishing it well before any serious damage is done. It is definitely a long-term investment and there are currently no codes or laws requiring sprinkler systems in barns, but it could be an excellent “insurance policy” for your peace of mind, property, and livestock.

But fire protection isn’t limited to just the contents of your barn. Here are a few suggestions for making the exterior of your barn just as safe as its interior.

Installation of a Lightning Rod

lightening rods can help prevent barn firesLightning rods are metal structures placed on the top of your barn for the purpose of intercepting and diverting the electricity, from a lightning strike, away from your flammable barn; redirecting it into the ground through a system of cables and wires, where it will safely dissipate. Regardless of what you may have heard, lightning rods do not attract lightning, but they can be invaluable weapons in helping to prevent fires and structural damage caused by lightning strikes.

Use Fire Resistant or Retardant Paints and Varnishes

barn fire prevention paintThere is a wide variety of products available such as interior and exterior paints, varnishes, and other additives that may not prevent a fire from starting, but should retard or slow the spread of fire to provide additional escape time. These flame resistant/retardant products are generally available in a variety of colors and finishes for an eye-pleasing experience, but they will also do an incredible job at helping to slow down the spread of fire. But take your time and special care to choose the correct product for the surface (i.e. metal, wood, concrete, etc.) and always provide proper application.

The Use of Non-Flammable Materials While Building or Remodeling

If you are considering building a new barn or remodeling an existing structure, there are a wide variety of materials that can be used today that are considerably less flammable than wood and equally acceptable for any type of climate and budget. If you do build or remodel with wood, it is best to consider using lumber that has been treated with a fire retardant chemical. As a reminder, fire retardant materials will burn, but at a much slower rate than conventional, non-treated lumber. For some extra peace of mind, prior to any new build or remodeling project, consult with experts such as the National Fire Protection Association for a full listing of codes and guidelines for safe animal housing.

Fire Extinguishers

Handheld fire extinguishers are an excellent tool to prevent a small fire from becoming a large one, but it’s IMPORTANT to remember that even if you have more than enough of the best and most expensive extinguishers, on the market, in your barn – they won’t matter one bit if they are inoperable, for whatever reason, the second you need them.

When choosing a fire extinguisher:

  • Consider those that are rated type ABC, which can be used on liquid, wood, and electrical fires.
  • They should be mounted in the tack room, as well as next to each door.
  • All fire extinguishers should be checked at least once or twice a year to ensure that they are fully operable and have not expired.
  • Make sure that anyone in and around your barn, including workers, have been thoroughly trained in the use of each fire extinguisher.

Flame Resistant Landscaping

So far, we’ve been discussing fires that may originate in your barn or from lightning, but what about fire that is threatening your barn from an external source such as a wildfire or a nearby existing structure fire? There are additional measures that can be taken to help reduce the risk of fire reaching your barn from an external source other than keeping your grass short around the barn and keeping all shrubs and trees neatly pruned.

For instance, did you know that although there are no known plants that are 100 percent fireproof, there are flame-resistant varieties of plants and other vegetation? Begin by examining surrounding plants/vegetation and replacing any that are flammable with flame resistant varieties, such as succulents and many deciduous trees and shrubs that will not burn as quickly as others.

Fire resistant plants maintain a high quantity of water within the leaves, have watery, free-flowing sap, and typically do not accumulate dead branches, needles, or leaves. On the other hand, highly flammable plants tend to retain their foliage, needles, or dead twigs. They may also contain rather volatile oils within the bark or leaves and have sticky sap. With so many varieties of plants, shrubs, and trees from which to choose, it might be a good idea to first consult with local landscaping experts and/or your local fire safety agency for your best options in fire-resistant landscaping projects.

Another safety measure is to create three separate landscaping zones, each one about 30 to 50 feet wide, and each being kept well-watered and free of any dead leaves or debris.

  • Zone 1 (inner) – the ground immediately surrounding the barn should be covered with gravel or stone pavers and perhaps just a few ground-cover plants.
  • Zone 2 (middle) – might include rock walls or fire resistant plants that don’t grow very high and remain rather green throughout most of the four seasons.
  • Zone 3 (outer) – might include tall shrubs or small trees, making sure that lower limbs are trimmed in order to prevent any fire from crawling up the tree trunks.

But you’re not done yet. Once you’ve assessed your fire prevention status and made any and all necessary changes or updates, give your local fire department a call and ask them to inspect your barn and property. They should be able to identify any hazards that you may have overlooked, offer evacuation plans for humans and animals alike, or simply provide suggestions to further enhance your fire safety situation. Finally, fire personnel will be able to help you create a pre-fire plan that will offer details of the property and any structures on the property that will allow them to be better prepared in the event of an emergency.

Should you ever see a fire in your barn:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately!
  • Evacuate horses and other livestock, but ONLY if you can do so safely.
  • If it’s a small fire, and ONLY if you can do so safely, get some water on the fire, or attempt to otherwise contain or extinguish the fire.
  • Open all gates to the property.
  • Move any vehicles away from the barn to provide closer access for emergency personnel and vehicles.

Banixx For Horses

We hope you have enjoyed this article on how to prevent barn fires. If you would like to learn more about Banixx and it’s many uses for horses, please click here.

veterinarian care for dog ear infections

What To Do If You Can’t Afford a Vet For Your Dog’s Ear Infection

Your dog lets you know when he has an ear infection. The two most obvious giveaways are constant head shaking or pawing at the ear or face, and a bad smell coming from the ear.

dog shaking head due to ear infection

You can also watch out for any dark discharge from your dog’s ear, redness in the ear canal, swollen/hot ear flaps and sensitivity or pain in the ears.

But just because you see some signs that indicate an ear infection, it doesn’t mean you should immediately make assumptions about the diagnosis. There are many types of ear infections, and it’s important to know the cause of your dog’s infection in order to treat it and cure it.

What A Veterinarian Does For Ear Infections

dog ear infectionEar infections are one of the top reasons people take their dogs to the vet. If you suspect your dog has one, a visit to the vet will result in your vet taking a swab of your dog’s middle ear fluid and looking at it under the microscope.

In some cases, he/she will send a sample to the lab to be cultured for bacteria. Only then can he/she tell if it’s due to yeast, fungus or wax, whether it’s a bacteria that’s sensitive to penicillin, or, if the ear infection is caused by allergies…well, you get the picture!

What If You Can’t Afford a Vet?

dog can't afford veterinarianBecause it’s always wise to take your sick dog to the vet, it’s really worth making the effort even if you think you can’t afford the visit. If you’re short of funds, call your vet and explain the situation. Some veterinary practices have an emergency fund for animals that need immediate help or are willing to work out a payment plan. Some vets may even be able to give you some free telephone advice.

Alternatively, you can try these ideas:

  • Contact your local humane society or animal shelter. While some states don’t allow these agencies to provide private care, in other states, they may be able to offer lower veterinary costs to help you out.
  • Check out animal aid organizations like the ones listed here, who offer help to those who need emergency help with vet bills.
  • Check out the local veterinary school; if there is one, they may have ideas or resources.
  • Your vet may also have ideas on local resources you can tap for a short-term loan.

What Can You Do To Help Your Dog?

Banixx Anti-Fungal Anti-Bacterial SprayIf your dog does indeed have an ear infection caused by bacteria or fungus, one way to treat it at home is to use Banixx Pet Care, a soothing spray that gently and painlessly remedies the infection. It’s commonly referred to as an effective dog ear infection home remedy as its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties create an environment in the ear that makes it impossible for the infection to continue.

Banixx can be bought at most pet stores and online, and it is not expensive.

To apply it, all you need to do is moisten a cotton ball with Banixx 2-3 times a day, and then coat the inside of the ear liberally with the remedy. Some dogs are okay with you spraying Banixx directly into their ear but just make certain that the Banixx is room temperature or warmer. Dogs tolerate Banixx really well, but just imagine how you would feel if some-one unexpectedly doused your ears with cold water!

And note, it can safely be used around your dog’s eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, and, the great part….you cannot overdose.

Most dog owners report that Banixx provides immediate topical relief and helps to get rid of the infection within a couple of days. For more information about Banixx and its efficacy in treating dog ear infections, check this out.

Prevention Is The Best Option

The cheapest vet is the one you don’t have to visit! We recommend that you check your dog’s ears frequently (especially if she’s prone to ear infections), and make it a habit to clean them regularly. Many veterinarians recommend that your dog have his or her ears cleaned no more than once a week, but also at least once every month. If your pup happens to have floppy ears, or swims regularly, or has really heavy fur around his or her ears, or suffers from pesky skin allergies or just gets frequent ear infections, you ought to clean his or her ears more often.

Again, Banixx can be used regularly as a dog ear cleaner and is easy on ear tissue (and, on the wallet) but potent against infection. And the good news is, with regular ear cleaning and staying vigilant, you may be able to avoid vet visits for ear infections in the future!

Banixx is the trusted solution for cuts and wounds on dogs

don't let your dog eat grapes

My Dog Ate A Grape – What Should I Do?

The toxicity of grapes and raisins (which are dried grapes) to dogs is well documented. However, even though it is unclear the substance(s) that makes grapes toxic to dogs, one thing is clear Dogs Should Not Eat Grapes or Raisin. You should know that even small amounts can be fatal for dogs.

My Dog Ate Grapes But Seems Fine

grapes are poisonous to dogsThere isn’t any dog (either breed, gender, or age) that is not affected by grapes. In a nutshell, grapes or raisins are a NO! NO! for dogs, because aside from being toxic, they cause serious kidney damage, which often leads to dire kidney failure and a lack of urine production. However, kidney failure is not experienced in all dogs that have ingested raisins or grapes; which is why experts are still studying why some dogs are affected severely, while others are not.

The Symptoms and Types

It is important to note that raisin and grape poisoning affect all dogs. For this reason, they will develop a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weakness, exhaustion, and unusual quietnessDiarrhea or/and vomiting – This will mainly occur a few hours after ingestion. Fecal and vomit may contain pieces of raisin and grapes
  • Dehydration
  • Foul breath
  • Anuria
  • Oliguria
  • Oral ulcers
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Tremors

Causes

dog next to some grapes

As mentioned earlier, even small amounts of grapes or raisins can be toxic to dogs; although there are some that can withstand small amounts without developing any obvious symptoms. The sad truth is that the toxic agent in the fruit has not yet been identified, but it is assumed that it is associated with the fruit’s flesh. It is believed that seedless and peeled grapes are still toxic.

Treatment

Unlike with hot spots in dogs, the moment you find out that your dog has ingested grapes or raisins, no matter how small, seek immediate medical attention. In other words, it is an emergency, and the dog needs immediate attention. If you are sure that your dog ingested raisins or grapes within the last 2 hours, you will have to induce vomiting immediately, before all toxins are absorbed.

You should not induce vomiting if your dog is:

  • Showing signs of severe shock or distress
  • Having problems breathing
  • Unconscious
  • Or when not sure what it ate

On the other hand, if you have already induced vomiting, do not force more vomiting. The next step is calling a veterinarian to seek consultation. If they recommend inducing vomit at home, then you should follow the following steps.

  • Step 1: If your dog has not eaten anything within the last 2 hours, offer it a small meal. Doing this increases the chances of it vomiting, but do not force the dog to eat if it is not interested in the food, because it is not necessary.
  • Step 2: Using 3% hydrogen peroxide, measure 1 ml (milliliter) per pound of the dog’s actual weight. You can either use a syringe (remember, no-needle) or a teaspoon and squirt the solution into the back of the dog’s mouth. Note: the maximum amount of the solution (hydrogen peroxide) to be given to a dog at one sitting is 45 ml, even when the dog is over 45 pounds.
  • Step 3: If the dog does not vomit within 15 minutes of the first administration, you can try again using the same amounts. However, you should know that this method should not be used more than 2 times, especially if they are spaced within 15 minutes.

don't let your puppy eat grapesNOTE: If the dog does not vomit after the second hydrogen peroxide administration, do not use it again. Also, you should not use anything stronger than the solution mentioned without seeking consultation from a veterinarian.

It does not matter if your dog has vomited or not; you must treat the situation as an emergency. Therefore, you should rush the dog to a veterinarian immediately. From there, the veterinarian will take over.

Dog Grapes Diagnosis

Diagnosis takes place only because the owner suspects or knows that the dog has eaten grapes or raisins. Even though there are times when partially digested raisins and grapes will be seen in a dog’s vomit, the doctor will perform routine laboratory tests. These tests include biochemistry profile, blood count, and urinalysis. These tests diagnose most kidney failure, no matter the cause.

Treatment For Dogs That Ate Grapes

dogs can't eat grapesThe treatment process is long, and the first thing the veterinarian will do first is; inducing vomiting. If the dog ingested it not-long than 2 hours ago and the dog has not vomited; the veterinarian will perform gastric lavage (which simply means washing out the stomach). After this, they will then use activated charcoal to absorb any remaining toxins.

After this, the doctor will start intravenous fluid treatment to remove toxins from the dog’s bloodstream. This form of treatment encourages the kidney to maintain urine production. If the doctor sees fit, they will give the dog any necessary medication to reduce vomiting as well as maintain kidney function. The veterinarian will insist on remaining with the dog so that he/she can monitor its kidney functions and conduct regular blood work.

If the dog’s kidneys have totally failed to a point where they are no-longer producing urine, treatment becomes serious. Hemodialysis may be applied to support the life of the dog until the kidneys recover (if it can recover). Kidney transplant is another option in the worst-case scenario (when they have totally shut down).

How to Prevent Dogs From Eating Grapes

The only way to prevent this problem is to keep your grapes and raisins out of dog’s reach. Remember, dogs eat almost anything, and prevention is better than cure. Ensure that all family members know how toxic grapes and raisins are to dogs.

Other foods that are known to be poisonous to dogs include chocolate, garlic, onion, and others. Knowing what your dog has eaten gives it a better chance for survival.

Banixx is the trusted solution for cuts and wounds on dogs

Dog's can get a hot spot after a trip to the beach.

How To Stop Your Dog From Licking A Hot Spot

Here at Banixx, we often hear our customers ask “Why is my dog scratching, licking, or chewing on a hot spot?” and of course “What causes hot spots on dogs?”. There are several reasons your pup may be focusing on one area of skin and creating a hot spot. Here are the most common causes of hot spots in dogs.

Top 8 Causes of Hot Spots on Dogs

  • Dog Licking Paw Hot SpotFood allergies
  • Skin infections
  • Age-related weak Immune system
  • Fleas, ticks or parasite Infestation (such as scabies and mites)
  • Contact irritants/seasonal (such as grass and pesticides)
  • Genetic predisposition to compulsive behavior
  • A thick coat can easily become matted, it’s a perfect recipe for a hot spot
  • Boredom

How Can I Keep A Dog From Licking A Hot Spot?

You don’t immediately have to resort to “The Cone of Shame” (aka Elizabethan collar) to keep your dog from licking (though that does work!). While there’s nothing wrong with The Cone and it’s not cruel or inhumane to make your pup wear it, there are other ingenious alternatives that may keep your dog happier.

If Itchiness Is A Result of Food Allergies, Try Changing Your Dog’s Diet

Dog Food Allergies Hot SpotsAround 50% or more of dog hot spots are attributable to food allergies, though you may need to ask a vet, or do your research, to determine precisely what foods bother your dog. As we highlight on our Treating and Preventing Hot Spots on Dogs page, many pooches are allergic to ingredients like soy, wheat, and corn – ingredients that are present in many commercial dog foods. Try a higher protein food diet that avoids grains; if you need help with this, your favorite dog food store will be able to help. When researching on the internet, make sure to get your information from a reliable, independent source. Not everything that you read on the internet is accurate, reliable, or well researched!

If The Hot Spot Is The Result Of An Itchy Skin Infection

Hot Spots From Itchy SkinThe origin of the problem may be a fungal (yeast) condition that leads to the irritation and itchiness and subsequent inflammation. Sometimes the itchy infection also has a foul smell to it. Sometimes, again, changing your dog’s diet may be the answer. You may need to consult with a vet, or do your own research, to determine exactly what foods bother your dog since a topic of discussion, lately, has been that dog foods that are higher in sugar may be the culprit. And, don’t expect to find “sugar” on the label, sugar goes under many names such as corn syrup, molasses, caramel, dextrose, barley malt, to name a few, and, the product may contain more than one of these ingredients! (These can sound pretty healthy, huh? I mean, they list the – barley!) Moreover, as already mentioned, many dogs are allergic to ingredients like soy, wheat, and corn – ingredients that are present in many commercial dog foods. Try feeding a higher protein diet that avoids grains and sugars – your pet food store should be able to help you with this if you are not sure.

Check Your Dog’s Flea or Mite Protection Program

dog biting fleas causing hot spot

If you don’t currently have one, your vet can make recommendations and perform a simple test to see if fleas/mites are the issues, and, if this is the case, he/she can recommend a product to eliminate them. Even if your dog is on a good flea/tick prevention program, one late treatment or one missed treatment can leave your pooch susceptible to an “attack” by either one of the pesky wily critters! It’s easy to get back on track with treatments if this is the case and while the treatment is taking effect, the use of Banixx Pet Care spray is proven to provide relief from any associated infection but note: Banixx is not an insecticide, so whereas it may give relief, it will NOT kill the mites or fleas.

Is Your Dog Stressed Out or Anxious?

anxious dog looking out the windowIf your dog is stressed or anxious, it can lead to obsessive behaviors such as licking or biting, that creates a hot spot. Some people recommend calming herbs, such as chamomile, St. John’s Wort, skullcap or oat – make it into a cup of tea, let it cool down, and add some of it to your dog’s food.

Another help for stress is regular exercise. This is particularly useful for high-energy dogs that need to stretch their muscles and run in order to remain healthy. Of course, exercise for your dog brings about a bonus for the owner as he or she gets extra exercise! And just as with humans, exercise stimulates the brain, releases endorphins and generates feelings of happiness. Let that energy out to avoid your dog feeling frustrated and turning to self-mutilation for relief. For some dogs, adding a toy to his exercise regimes such as a ball or a Frisbee can get him moving and burning off some excess energy.

Is Your Dog Bored?

If your dog is bored, he may start licking to entertain himself. Your dog needs stimulation to keep him from destructive behaviors. You can play a significant role in relieving your dog’s boredom. Here are some ideas:

  • dog running to burn off energyGive her regular exercise (see above for stressed-out dogs). Note: This is good for YOU, too! The companionship of a dog has been shown to lower blood pressure in the dog’s owner!
  • Distract her with a small amount of peanut butter (but make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol, which is lethal for your pet – see this blog for more information on how to do this safely). It’s fun to watch her eat it and takes a while for her to finish, particularly if you are able to paste a little to the roof of your canine friend’s mouth!
  • If you must leave your dog most of the day (which many people with full-time jobs have to do), leave some toys or bones that he can chew on while you’re gone. You can leave a Kong® stuffed with peanut butter or cheese, for instance. A twist on this is to put a lump of peanut butter into a Kong the night before and put it into the freezer. Next day, it takes your dog quite a while to clear the peanut butter out that Kong. For me, because I work, my two dogs get a frozen peanut butter Kong just before I leave the house, so they know…” Ok, Mom is leaving….settle down and eat the treats and snooze until she returns”. (Frozen Peanut Butter Kong…merely put the usual amount of peanut butter in the Kong, but, put it in the freezer the night before. This will keep your dog busy for quite a bit longer with no downsides)
  • dog catching frisbee to keep hot spots at bayBe creative about distraction techniques to keep your dog from feeling the need to lick and chew.
  • Hide or scatter dog biscuits for your dog to find while you’re gone.
  • Teach him to do tricks.
  • Brush her coat.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Take him outside and throw a ball or Frisbee.
  • Shower her with love and affection.
  • Treat him to a massage.

Your dog is an important member of your family, and you naturally want him to be healthy, happy, and free of obsessions. Do everything you can to eliminate the causes of hot spots, both physical and psychological.

And remember that, whatever the reason your dog has a hot spot, Banixx Pet Care can help relieve the itch, and help eliminate the infection from the hot spot in a couple of days as part of an integrated program to combat this pesky condition. Find out more here.

Banixx is the trusted solution for cuts and wounds on dogs