Bot Flies – Just Pesky, or Worse?

Horse Bot Fly

Some of this might sound a bit like high school biology, it’s not meant to be a science lesson. However, bot flies are rather interesting and negatively impact most horses.

3 Most Common Bot Flies in North America

cuterebra botfly There are nine species of horse bot flies (Gasterophilus is the scientific name). Here are the three most common in North America:

  • Gasterophilus Intestinalis (DeGeer) – internal parasite of the gastrointestinal tract, and the most common.
  • Gasterophilus Nasalis (Linnaeus) – nose bot fly.
  • Gasterophilus Haemorrhoidalis (Linnaeus) – throat bot fly.

Bot flies have a life cycle of four stages. The most significant damage is done to your horse when the larvae stage is active. The larvae can attach to your horse’s mouth, cardiac area, and stomach, causing multiple issues while they ‘host’ off your horse as a parasite.

The Bot Fly Life Cycle

botfly aka horsefly To protect your horse, it’s important to understand their life cycle as there are different ways to treat for or manage them in the different stages.

Adult (the actual fly)

The adult female lays her eggs on hosts (that would be your horse). And she can deposit up to 1000 eggs on one horse. One generation is produced per year.

Eggs

The yellow ‘things’ that are attached to the hair on legs and body of your horse. (Shown in the picture below) Bot flies typically lay their eggs in early summer months; however, that can vary in regions due to climate. As of September, in N. Carolina, my horse gets a swarm of eggs laid on his legs almost daily.

Larvae

botfly cuterebra larvae

Larvae are developed from the egg after about 7 to 10 days of being deposited by the female bot fly. These larvae are stimulated to ‘hatch’ (to go from egg to larvae) by the action of your horse who ingests them by licking or biting at them. Your horse’s licking/biting actions give them warmth and moisture so that they can develop. As they develop, they find a myriad of ways into your horse’s mouth where they burrow into the gums, tongue or lining of the mouth for an approximate 28 day stay. Then they molt and make their way to your horse’s stomach, or even to your horse’s cardiac regions. Inside your horse they ‘attach’ themselves again and continue to ‘host’ off your horse (host means, steal his nutrition and feed off his blood) and continue their damage. They remain in your horse for 9 or 12 months. Towards the end of this period, the larvae molt again and develop into pupae.

Pupae

The pupae may grow to be half to ¾ inch in length and eventually are shed from the horse’s system into his manure. They incubate in the manure for one to two months.

What Bot Flies Do To Horses and You

bot flies in horses stomach

First, the bot fly is very annoying when it is flying around your horse, then they lay their eggs. Those yellow looking eggs on your horse are a bit unsightly, well that is just the start of it! Eggs can detach and get into your horse’s eye, or a person’s eye (ocular invasion). When handling a horse with bot eggs, do not touch your face or rub your eyes until you have washed your hands! Then, when the larvae are in your horse, they attach to your horse’s insides, just like a tick, and feed off him. They consume nutrients from the tissues inside your horse.

Most Common Bot Fly Symptoms

Here are the most common signs that your horse may have bots:

  • Inflamed mouth
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Stomach irritation
  • Colic

How To Stop Bot Flies

To control / manage bot flies on your animals, follow these steps:

Grooming / Egg Removal Tips – Egg Stage

  • bot flies attached to horses leg Use a Bot knife to gently separate the eggs from your horse’s coat
  • Pick off by hand (not really recommended – per the eye invasion possibility)
  • Use a grill block to disconnect them from your horse’s skin
  • Heat vinegar and wipe on the areas where the bot eggs are (the eggs will then release from the hairs)
  • Apply a layer of Vaseline over the eggs. Later in the day wipe off the Vaseline with a paper towel and the eggs will come off with the Vaseline. Throw the paper towel in the trash.

*Always wash your hands after removing bot eggs and handling or grooming a horse that has bot eggs.

Deworming – Larvae Stage

Ivermectin and moxidectin seem to be the most effective for the larvae stage. Research suggests that moxidectin is a bit more effective for killing the larvae than ivermectin. Deworm for bots in the spring and in the fall. Be sure to check with your veterinarian regarding your horse and the area in case there are some differences to adjust for.

Pasture management – Pupae Stage

horse leg bot fly

Manure removal removes the pupae of the bot fly but removal is not entirely necessary. Breaking up the manure piles by dragging or knocking the piles of manure apart can destroy the pupae’s environment; therefore, destroying the pupae.

With egg removal and pasture management you have some opportunities to break up the cycle of bot flies, but do not forget the deworming. Fecal counts check for the shedding of parasites, and the timing of a fecal count with a bot infestation may not provide the right information at the right time. If you see bot flies and bot eggs on your horse, your best defense is to attack them through grooming, deworming and pasture management.

Sources

  • https://equimed.com/health-centers/general-care/articles/bot-fly-a-common-horse-pest

Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?

dog eating asparagus

dog licking lips over honey It’s natural to want to give a bite of whatever you’re eating to Fido.

He’s so cute, how could you not at least give him one little piece?

However, dogs’ bodies aren’t the same as human bodies. Once we give our pups a bite of human food, we have to pay close attention and watch out for any negative reactions.

Even when we give them something healthy like fruit and veggies, we still have to watch them closely.

So, what about asparagus?

Can Dogs Have Asparagus?

Yes, absolutely! Asparagus is not toxic to dogs and can even be served as a highly nutritious snack when prepared correctly!

Is Asparagus Good For Dogs?

asparagus for dogs Asparagus is packed full of essential nutrients that make it a delicious, healthy snack for humans and our four-legged friends!

For starters, asparagus is rich in fiber. Eating a diet rich in fiber is essential for your dog to cultivate and maintain a strong immune system.

Additionally, asparagus contains high concentrations of essential vitamins including Vitamins A, K, E, and B9. Having enough of these vitamins in your dog’s diet can support their vision, immune systems, reproductive health, blood-clotting mechanisms, and their amino acid metabolism.

Asparagus also contains a variety of minerals like potassium, copper, and iron that aid in nervous system function, cell maintenance, and connective tissue formation. Asparagus also contains ample sources of antioxidants that fight free radical damage in your dog’s body while also helping control inflammation.

So, if anyone asks you “Is asparagus bad for dogs?” now you know the answer 🙂

What Are the Downsides to Feeding Dogs Asparagus?

While not inherently toxic to dogs, eating asparagus can still pose a number of risks to your pooch if you’re not careful. (Besides his pee smelling funky).

First, asparagus stalks are really difficult to chew through – even for your pup’s tough chompers. To avoid the risk of your dog getting fed up with the stalk and just swallowing it whole, cut up any asparagus you feed him into small pieces.

Moreover, raw asparagus probably isn’t the best food to give your dog, anyway. Raw asparagus is tough to chew and it can cause havoc as it makes its way through your dog’s digestive system. In some cases, eating raw asparagus can lead to unpleasant symptoms like vomiting, gas, or diarrhea.

dogs and asparagus While cooking asparagus can make it easier to chew, remember to never use any butter or cooking oil. These additions can make your dog very sick. Additionally, while salt, pepper, garlic, and onions are delectable additions to asparagus, they’re all potential irritants to your pup’s stomach, so avoid those too!

Instead, just boil or steam plain asparagus before giving it to your dog. Keep in mind that cooking vegetables decreases their nutrient content. And, remind yourself that introducing any new food to your dog’s diet can lead to an upset stomach, especially when given in large quantities. So play it safely, introduce asparagus into your dog’s diet with small portions at the outset.

One last word of caution on asparagus is about the asparagus fern. It’s toxic to both humans and dogs!! And while it’s obviously inedible to us humans, dogs are not so keen on the subtleties between what is and isn’t food. Unfortunately, this means that they sometimes put the wrong thing into their big mouths and end up with a very upset stomach that makes an unpleasant mess in your house!

Luckily, asparagus ferns aren’t generally a problem unless you’re growing asparagus in your own garden. However, if you are, remember to fence off the asparagus to protect your dog from his own curiosity.
How Much Asparagus Should I Give My Dog?
Remember that dogs are carnivorous animals but they can still eat and digest plant matter. This is why it’s recommended that vegetables should make up no more than 10% of a dog’s daily intake of calories. As a general guideline this translates to:

  • 1 – 2 teaspoons, daily, for small dogs
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons, daily, for medium dogs
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons, daily, for big dogs

How Should I Prepare Asparagus for My Dog?

cutting asparagus As with most vegetables and fruits, the best way to prepare asparagus for your dog is pretty boring and mundane.

First, cut up the asparagus stalk into small, bite-sized pieces no bigger than one inch across.

Then, transfer your cut asparagus into either a vegetable steamer or into a pot of boiling water.

Lightly boil or steam the asparagus until it’s fully cooked through and becomes slightly soft when pressed.

Then, scoop out the asparagus and put it onto your pup’s bowl during dinner time.

Bon appetit!

Now, while we’ve mentioned that asparagus isn’t toxic to dogs, some dogs may be allergic to asparagus. Unfortunately, some pups don’t discover that until it’s too late and they begin developing skin infections or hot spots.

If you want to learn more about how to keep your dog happy and healthy, and how to deliver fast-acting, no-sting relief in the unfortunate event of either of those conditions, visit Banixx.com!

How Many Legs Do Horses Have?

horse legs

Horses have four legs.

Now, if you want to read a funny joke and learn about simple steps you can take to protect your horse from lameness, keep reading. 

So, how many legs do horses have?

Infinity. 

“How?” you may ask.

Horses have an even number of legs.

Behind they have two legs and in front they have forelegs.

This makes six legs, which is certainly an odd number of legs for a horse.

However, six is an even number.

The only number that is both odd and even is infinity.

Therefore, horses have an infinite number of legs.

Ha ha…. Very funny. 

Of course, horses only have four legs.

horse and dog running

It’s a simple fact, but have you ever stopped to consider the true complexity and importance of a horse’s legs?

The horse’s sturdy yet nimble legs are what allows it to complete so many different types of tasks of both equestrian and agrarian descent.

Unfortunately, over time a horse’s legs can break down and become less agile. As the horse continues his daily routine, this wear and tear eventually becomes painful. Horses can then start accommodating this new pain by limping, developing a subtle change in gait, or by refusing to perform.

This condition is called lameness. Accounting for hundreds of millions of dollars in losses every year for the equine industry, lameness affects horses of all breeds and ages.

But lameness is not a one-size-fits-all condition. Some horses will only develop subtle lameness resulting in a small reduction in performance while others may become debilitated and ultimately require euthanasia.

How Does Lameness Occur in Horses?

Lameness is usually the product of pain within a limb, but it may also come from mechanical issues that are inhibiting limb movement. It can result from pain coming from any part of a limb that contains nerve endings. Unfortunately, this means that many types of lameness cannot be detected by observing a horse’s gait.

With that said, the only surefire way to diagnose lameness in a horse is to have it formally inspected by a trained veterinarian. Having a lameness exam conducted is a multi-step process and usually consists of: a historical overview, a standing exam, a moving exam, a test of the horse’s flexion and hooves, diagnostic anesthesia, and imaging of the site of injury.

What Happens in a Lameness Exam?

A lameness exam will be conducted by your veterinarian.

sorrel horse running

First, the vet will want to know when the lameness was first noticed, how severe it is, how it occurred if known, and other important questions.

Then, a standing exam will be conducted from a distance to observe the horse’s conformation and appearance. After this a closer examination will take place, only this time the vet will look for specific evidence of swelling, heat, and pain.

An in-motion exam follows the stationary exam. The moving exam will mostly focus on the horse’s trot and may involve inclines, declines, or your horse being directed to move in certain patterns.

The vet would then proceed with a flexion exam by deliberately putting specific joints or regions of the limb under stress. Then, the horse’s lameness would be assessed again after the pressure has been applied.

Hooves are also be tested in a similar matter by applying a pincer-like tool to put pressure on specific regions of the foot to search for a pain response to determine the cause of the lameness.

If the source is still undetermined, the vet may utilize nerve blocking. This process involves the vet administering drugs to block the pain response in a particular area. For example, if the Vet surmises that the problem is in the hoof, he will inject pain blocking drugs into the hoof/fetlock area and then observe the horse trotting. If the horse trots sound or much improved, then indeed the source of the pain/infection IS in the hoof area because the drugs have blocked the the nerves in this area and hence deadened nerve and subsequently the pain. If not, then the “deadening” process is repeated until the lameness is visibly lessened which will lead to diagnosis of the area afflicted by pain

Finally, the vet will likely use some combination of x-rays, ultrasound, CT, MRI, or thermal imaging to view the structures in the area and gather additional information about the injury.

How Do You Treat Lameness in Horses?

The most appropriate treatment for a horse suffering from lameness is largely dependent on the exact diagnosis they receive. Examples of treatments used to address multiple types of lameness diagnoses include:

Joint injections of steroids to reduce inflammation and pain

Oral or injectable anti-inflammatories and pain relievers to manage multiple pain sources, treat chronic pain, or as a supplement

Surgery, usually arthroscopic surgery, to repair the joint surface through tiny incisions

Cutting-edge therapies including pulsed extra-corporeal shockwave, stem cell injections, plasma injection, IRAP, and others.

How Do You Prevent Lameness in Horses?

The frequency with which a horse develops lameness and its severity can both greatly be reduced by just following a few easy-to-remember rules.

The first is to remember to put brushing or splint boots on your horse if they’re going to participate in any high-intensity exercise. Padded boots can also offer your horse’s leg’s muscles and tendons some much-needed support.

Try to limit your horse from walking excessively on hard ground.. Walking on hard ground causes concussion in your horse’s legs which can cause arthritis or, at the very least, tension and tightness throughout their legs.

Remember to also check your horse’s legs daily. Run your hand up and down their legs for lumps, bumps, cavities, injuries, or other abnormalities that may warrant follow-up. Make sure you’re also scheduling your farrier to trim or shoe your horse every 4-6 weeks. If your horse does have lameness issues, a quality farrier should be able to craft special, therapeutic shoes that will assist with extra support for your horse. And listen to farriers—read reputable horse magazines or follow reputable websites to educate yourself regarding best practices for your horse and the best way to maintain him/her. Always be an advocate for your horse.

You can also consult with your vet about giving your horse supplements like glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, or hyaluronic acid to help keep your horse healthy, agile and strong. If your horse is a stall-kept horse, make sure that he/she gets exercise and/or turnout every single day.

For more information on how to keep your horse happy and healthy, visit banixx.com

Can Dogs Eat Honey?

dog love honey

honey eating dog There’s more than one reason that so many people use the word “honey” as a pet name.

Honey is so sweet, delicious, fragrant, and soothing. Of course we want to associate our beloved with it. It’s like nature’s candy!

Now, we all know that dogs can’t have regular candy.

But What About Honey?

Can’t our pups just have one little lick? Or are we better off putting our honey dipper away and trying to distract them with a good-ole Milk-Bone?

Can Dogs Have Honey?

Yes, most dogs can eat honey with no real issues! However, like with all treats, honey should not be given to a dog too often or in too big a portion.

What Are the Health Benefits for Dogs of Eating Honey?

dog eat honey While there has been limited research conducted on this specific topic, there is a plethora of anecdotal evidence touting the beneficial qualities of honey for dogs.

For starters, some people administer a small, weekly dose of raw, local honey to dogs to manage pollen allergies. The idea is simple: by giving your dog repeated exposure to the variety of nearby pollen found within local honey, his immune system may learn to tolerate the pollen over time. If this sounds like the same logic people use when treating hay fever with honey, that’s not a coincidence!

Additionally, honey has been used for centuries to dress skin injuries due to the presence of inhibits, or antimicrobial substances, that mitigate the birth and spread of infections. As a result, pet owners will sometimes smear thin layers of honey over skin wounds and hot spots and cover them with tissue to ward off infections. To be most effective, the honey needs to be raw honey since processing removes many of honey’s benefits.

However, if your dog comes bounding up to the door with a blistering red hot spot, skip the honey. Instead, use Banixx on the spot so your dog can enjoy fast-acting, no-odor, sting-free relief. You can then rest assured that your carpet and furniture don’t end up covered in honey as your dog rolls around to get relief.

Hotspots aside, honey also contains trace amounts of essential micronutrients including iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, copper, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B-Complex, C, D, E, and K – all of which aid in processes that are crucial to maintaining optimal health!

What Are the Risks of Feeding Your Dog Honey?

dog licking lips over honey First thing’s first: honey is mostly sugar, and sugar in most quantities is bad news for dogs. Eating lots of sugar can pose a variety of health problems for your fuzzy friend down the line, including tooth decay and weight gain.

If left unchecked, both of these issues can pose serious health risks to your pup including oral infections and obesity. Don’t be mistaken on the first point: if you do not brush your dog’s teeth regularly, give them something else to snack on besides honey. Similarly, if your dog doesn’t have a penchant for exercise, don’t give them honey.

Additionally, elderly dogs, puppies, and dogs with a compromised immune system should not eat raw honey due to the presence of bacterial spores. While these same spores can offer some health benefits to healthy dogs, they can make dogs with underdeveloped or weak immune systems very sick.

Dogs who are diabetic should not consume honey. Due to its high sugar content, honey is high on the glycemic index and can raise your dog’s blood sugar to unhealthy levels. On the flip side, honey can also be used as a safe and effective tool to raise your dog’s blood sugar if you’re ever in a pinch.

How Much Honey Should I Give My Dog?

spoonful of honey One of the most common questions asked on the subject is how much honey can I give my dog? Remember: we’re talking about honey. It’s (almost) 100% sugar. A single teaspoon has nearly 100 calories and 17 grams of sugar. Too much of this stuff can get your dog really sick (and chubby!). Limit your dog’s intake of honey to a teaspoon or less per day.

A good guideline to follow to make sure your dog doesn’t eat too much honey is below:

  • <10 lbs – ¼ teaspoon daily
  • 10 – 20 lbs – ½ teaspoon daily
  • 20 – 50 lbs – ¾ teaspoon daily
  • 50+ lbs – 1 teaspoon daily

And, as with all new foods, introduce them to your dog’s diet in very small amounts. Literally add just one drop or two onto his food and see if he likes how it smells and tastes. If he seems to enjoy it (and his bowel movements don’t change too much), you can likely rest easy that his tummy is okay. However, always keep a watchful eye to catch any sudden changes in behavior, bathroom or otherwise!

Can Dogs Eat Honey Nut Cheerios and Other Foods From The Beehive?

can dogs eat honey YES! Similarly to how there has been little formal research done on the health benefits of honey ingestion for dogs, there has also been little research done for nailing down the exact health benefits of other food products from the beehive. That being said, anecdotal evidence (there we go again) tells us that some pet owners have seen success in giving their dog other beehive products for supplemental purposes.

While we’ve already mentioned how some owners give their dogs honey to fight pollen allergies, we haven’t yet discussed what else pollen is good for: rooting out free radicals. Free radicals are damaged cells that seek out the electrons in other, healthy cells, to make themselves whole again. And, in the process, they end up damaging other healthy cells, proteins, and DNA in your dog’s body. Some owners give their dogs small amounts of bee pollen to fend off these dangerous little suckers.

Moreover, some pet parents give their dogs small amounts of propolis (a compound produced by bees made of the resin that comes from the buds of poplar trees) due to its naturally antibiotic qualities. Some owners even feed their pooches royal jelly, a secretion used to feed bee larvae and turn workers into queens. We know, it sounds wild. But some pet parents swear by its ability to help boost their pup’s stamina and help with depression and anxiety. As always, do your own research and if you experiment in these areas of nutrition or wellness, keep a vigilant eye on your pup for changes.

To learn more about how to keep your pup feeling his best and how to help him find sting-free, odor-free, fast-acting relief for ear infections, skin yeast infections, hot spots, and more, visit Banixx.com

Does Honey Give Dogs Diarrhea?

Honey is well known for soothing a dog’s GI tract, but feeding him too much can result in vomiting or diarrhea.

Can You Give a Dog Honey for a Cough?

Giving your dog honey for a cough, such as kennel cough, can be beneficial as honey contains lots of antioxidants, enzymes and flavonoids. In fact, some people swear by Manuka honey for providing their dogs with relief from their cough.

Does Honey Make Dogs Vomit?

Honey is very high in sugar, which can cause your dog’s blood sugar to rise a lot, which could result in him vomiting. Best to stick with the recommended doses listed above.

Does Honey Kill Dogs?

When given in appropriate dosages, honey is not deadly to dogs.

Is Honey Good For Dogs Upset Stomach?

Honey can be helpful for dogs with an upset stomach upset, such as from eating too much grass or a treat that just didn’t agree with their belly. Keep in mind though, if your dog’s upset stomach persists, you should stop feeding him honey and seek medical treatment.

Can Dogs Eat Manuka Honey?

Yep! They sure can. Manuka honey has been proven to be beneficial to dogs with upset stomachs. Just use the recommended dosage listed above.

Sources

  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/expert-answers/honey-for-allergies/faq-20057927
  • https://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/2015/04/03/honey-for-dogs/

Einstein Horse – The Smallest Horse In The World!

einstein horse

When we hear the name Einstein, a distinct image pops into our head: frizzy white hair, the equation E = mc², and maybe a tongue out, too.

But, in the equine world, the name Einstein carries a much different connotation.

A much…smaller one!

Who is Einstein the Miniature Horse?

Einstein is the world’s smallest stallion. When he was born on April 22, 2010, he weighed six pounds and stood fourteen inches off the ground. That’s a heck of a lot lighter than the weight of the average 150 pounds to 200 pounds that most newborn thoroughbred horses weigh!

Einstein was born the parent of two other champion miniature horses. His mother stood a grand 32-inches tall while dad measured 30-inches in height.

When he was born, his co-owner Rachel Wagner was amazed at the lack of dysmorphic features that seem to plague other really tiny horses. “This little guy is like all horses — he’s almost all legs. He is a very perfect looking little boy and not dwarfy looking at all,” Wagner added.

Upon his birth, the world was taken aback at his tiny and, frankly, adorable stature. People from all over the world flocked to his hometown of Barnstead, New Hampshire to get up-close-and-personal with this bite-sized stallion.

Is Einstein the Mini Horse Healthy?

Although horses with dwarfism are often plagued by health issues, Einstein has remained relatively healthy throughout the course of his life.

The only major medical event of Einstein’s life occurred when he suffered a spinal cord injury at just two months old. Einstein set another world-record on the date of his surgery for being the only horse to ever be operated on by a canine neurosurgeon. Due to Einstein’s size, the equine surgeon originally tapped for the job couldn’t perform the operation.

After eight long hours of surgery, Einstein’s spine was held together by just five screws and seven pins. He was standing by the next day and prancing across stage at the Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago two months later. Years later, you probably couldn’t tell he underwent major spinal surgery if you saw him running.

Where is Einstein the Mini Horse Today?

Shortly after his birth, Einstein moved from New Hampshire to Bellingham, Washington to live with his owners, Charlie Cantrell and Dr. Rachel Wagner, MD.

What’s the Difference Between a Mini Horse and a Pony?

miniature horse Although Einstein is small like a pony, it’s important to note both that he is not a pony and that ponies and miniature horses are different types of animals.

Mini horses are the product of selective breeding certain, small horse breeds over time. Ponies, on the other hand, gained their short stature and bulky build as a product of evolution to thrive in locations with harsh climates.

To tell the difference between the two, remember that mini horses have a long neck, a small head, and a not-overly-thick mane, tail, and coat. In comparison, ponies are shorter, stockier, and furrier. They often have a thick, short neck and stubby, short legs.

Why Do People Breed Mini Horses?

This question is asked a lot online, and it makes sense: what do you do with a mini horse exactly?

The answer: a whole lot!

Since first being bred in the 1600s, miniature horses have been used for a variety of functions including competing in shows, assisting laborers, and offering companionship – all the things their larger brethren can do!

Today, miniature horses have found a new job in providing comfort, care, and assistance to children, the terminally ill, the elderly, the blind, and people living with mental health issues.

However, while they often work and interact indoors, miniature horses are still horses. They will have the best chance of living a healthy, happy life by being raised outside.

What are the Risks of Breeding Mini Horses?

smallest horse

Breeding miniature horses raises a variety of potential health and musculoskeletal issues that can arise without careful monitoring and care-taking by the horse’s owner.

For starters, dwarfism can be an unfortunate result of breeding even when neither parents are dwarves themselves. Even more unfortunate is that dwarfism tends to be more dramatic and life-altering in miniature horses. A dwarf mini can have any combination of limb, spine, and jaw deformities which can cause any degree of pain or discomfort.

However, while the best practices for keeping a miniature horse happy and healthy are largely the same as they are for large breeds, miniature horses are uniquely susceptible to certain health issues.

Miniature horses often struggle with obesity due to overfeeding and a lack of exercise. Ideally, miniature horses should consume approximately 1.5% of their body weight in hay daily. Vitamin and mineral requirements are also similar to large breeds on a per weight basis.

Miniature horses also tend to suffer from worse dental hygiene than large breed horses due to teeth overcrowding, overbites, and underbites. These frequent dental issues also lead to a reduction in miniature horses’ ability to properly chew and grind feed, making them also prone to developing colic.

To combat the cascading negative health consequences of unchecked poor dental hygiene, veterinarians at UC Davis recommend that newborn foals have their first oral exam shortly after birth to identify any dental abnormalities.

Finally, miniature horses are at a much greater risk than larger breeds for developing hyperlipidemia. This is a condition where a disorder in your mini horse’s lipid metabolism causes fat to be released from lipid stores and transported to the liver where it’s broken down and converted into fatty acids. These fatty acids are then taken up through the liver and converted in triglycerides before being sent into the bloodstream. The horse then develops “fatty” blood which eventually overwhelms the liver and other organs, leading to liver failure and then rupture.

Miniature horses affected with hyperlipidemia will display a stark decline in appetite coupled with lethargy and weakness before progressing to more serious symptoms like tremors, seizure, head pressing, and death. Hyperlipidemia should be suspected in any mini horse that has been off feed more than 24 hours.

Visit banixx.com to learn more about how to keep your horse happy and healthy!

Can Cats Eat Popcorn?

cats and popcorn

Imagine it’s movie night and your feline friend starts cuddling up next to you to keep you company.

Or, is she just trying to get a taste of that delicious popcorn in your lap?

But is popcorn even safe for cats?

Can Cats Have Popcorn?

They can, but they probably shouldn’t. Eating popcorn isn’t likely to pose any trouble to your cat. However, there are certain risks to take into consideration before letting your cat scoop up loose kernels off the floor.

Is Popcorn Safe for Cats?

popcorn cat Popcorn isn’t inherently toxic or harmful to cats of any age or breed. However, that doesn’t mean that you should frequently feed Mr. Whiskers kernels of popcorn. But, theoretically, popcorn that has been popped using an air fryer and that has had no flavorings or salt added is okay for cats to eat in moderation. But, let’s be honest, how many of us eat popcorn that way? Where’s the butter? The salt?

What Are Some Health Benefits of Popcorn?

For you and I, if unsalted and unflavored, popcorn can deliver a variety of health benefits to humans. Popcorn is so nutritious, in fact, that it has been designated as a whole grain food. This low-calorie snack is incredibly fibrous and is chock-full of essential nutrients and vitamins including B1, B3, B6 and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and potassium.

Additionally, due to their low water content, popcorn kernels are uniquely rich in polyphenol antioxidants which have been linked to improving circulation, helping digestive issues, and reducing the risk of prostate and breast cancer. But, a cat is not a human, so these benefits don’t necessarily follow!

What Are Some Risks of Feeding Popcorn to Cats?

coughing cat There are many reasons to be cautious about feeding your cat popcorn. The first has to do with your cat’s weight. While we may think of popcorn as a low-calorie snack, it’s a different story for cats. Cats need far fewer daily calories than we do, which means eating too much of this “low-calorie” snack can actually contribute to our whiskered pal gaining weight.

Cats aren’t even really supposed to eat carbs anyway – they’re obligate carnivores. That means they should try and eat as few carbohydrates and grains (like corn kernels) as possible in their daily diet. Cats who eat too many carbs may develop digestive issues such as diarrhea and vomiting.

Plus, like dogs, cats should avoid eating too much salt. Otherwise, they can develop a potentially life-threatening condition known as sodium poisoning, or salt poisoning. Popcorn can also contain hydrogenated oil which can cause a variety of symptoms, eventually leading to fatty liver.

Unfortunately, the prepackaged, microwavable varieties found in grocery stores also contain significant amounts of perfluorooctanoic acid, which has been linked to ADHD and thyroid problems in humans. The large quantity of artificial butter, while certainly delicious, also poses a potential issue. Artificial butter is flavored using the chemical compound named diacetyl which has been shown to cause lung disease in animals if they breathe it in.

Lastly, the kernels can pose a serious choking hazard, especially for kittens. If you’re going to feed your cat popcorn, make sure it’s a fully popped piece. If you notice your cat having trouble swallowing, grab a water dish and get your cat to take sips to dislodge any stuck pieces of kernel.

How to Get Your Cat to Stop Eating Popcorn

cats eating popcorn Some cats feel enchanted by the rich smell of popcorn, others are just compelled to seek out any food that’s nearby. Regardless, sometimes we slip up and our cats get to a few kernels of popcorn here and there.

Two of the simplest solutions for you to adopt in order to stop your cat from eating popcorn are:

  1. Covering the snack when you leave the room, and
  2. Never giving in to your cat’s demands.

No matter how convincing they are or how loud they’re yowling, just remember: eating popcorn isn’t good for your cat and that you shouldn’t give it to them.

Okay…just one more bite.

For more information on how to keep your cat happy and healthy, visit banixx.com

Can Dogs Eat Cherries?

cherries

There’s not quite anything quite as scrumptious looking as a big bowl of freshly washed cherries on a hot summer day. Their sweet, succulent flesh has a natural allure to it that makes it almost irresistible to bite into. 

But what should you do if your pooch is waiting patiently for you to throw one his way? 

Should you give it to him?

Do Cherries Have Any Health Benefits for Dogs?

cherry dogs Yes!

Cherries are rich in nutrients that dogs need to maintain a healthy life including vitamins A and C. A heavy presence of fibers aids in digestion, while a high concentration of antioxidants help stimulate brain function and reduce the negative effects of aging. 

Additionally, cherries only deliver 77 calories per cup – only 60% of the calories provided by a large Milk Bone treat!

Are Cherries Safe for Dogs to Eat?

dog cherries

While cherries do provide some small health benefits, the short answer to the question “Are cherries safe for dogs?” is: Only if they’re prepared correctly, and even then… with caution!!

 While the flesh of cherries are undoubtedly both a delicious and low-calorie treat, their pits, stems and leaves all pose a serious problem for dogs..

Here is why—Cherry pits, stems and leaves contain trace amounts of amygdalin. When amygdalin is crushed or chewed, it is converted into a lethal neurotoxin known as cyanide. 

Besides being poisonous, cherry pits are notoriously tough to bite through – even for your pup’s tough canines. Even if your dog can bite through a cherry pit without damaging their teeth, chewed up cherry pits can perforate your dog’s esophagus or intestinal lining.

How Should You Serve Cherries to Dogs?

cherry doggies You should only serve cherries to dogs if they have had their pits removed along with the stems and leaves. This will ensure your dog does not accidentally choke or suffer from cherry poisoning. However, remember, cherry poisoning is only a concern if the pits, stems or leaves have been ingested.

When it comes to the actual fruit itself, the only concern is adding extra sugar to your dog’s diet. Extra sugar adds unwanted calories while also harming your dog’s oral health. Plus, too much sugar can cause gastrointestinal stress which can lead to diarrhea or vomiting.

What is Cherry Poisoning?

Cherry poisoning is a food-borne illness that arises from ingesting a large enough dose of cyanide found in cherry pits, stems and leaves. If the cherries in question had their pits, stems and leaves removed, cherry poisoning is not a major concern. Symptoms of cherry poisoning include:

  • Labored breathing
  • Hyperventilation
  • Abnormally fast heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Tremors
  • Collapsing
  • Bright red mucous membranes

What Do I Do if My Dog Ate Cherry Pits?

cherry The answer to this question depends on two things: the amount of unpitted cherries your dog consumed, and how big your dog is.

If your 80-pound Rottweiler ate one cherry with its pit, just keep an eye on them and watch for any changes in their behavior. But if your 15-pound Dachshund ate a dozen unpitted cherries that spilled on the floor? Scoop them up and head to the vet ASAP.

Regardless, if you suspect your dog has eaten more than just a few unpitted cherries, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Due to the fast-acting lethality that potential cyanide poisoning can pose, it’s important to act quickly and get to the veterinarian right away.

How to Diagnose Cherry Poisoning in Dogs?

Once you arrive at the vet’s office, they will ask you how many unpitted cherries your dog has consumed and how long it has been since they ate them. The vet will then decide whether to conduct a urinalysis, blood work, or a complete examination. Your vet will specifically check the level of cyanide in your dog’s blood. If the amount is above 3 mcg/mL, the vet will immediately begin cyanide poisoning treatment.

However, if your dog presents with the clinical symptoms of cyanide poisoning outlined above, the vet will quickly assess your dog’s situation and begin treatment. The vet will likely take test samples of tissue from the liver and stomach to determine the extent of the poisoning.

How Do You Treat Cherry Poisoning in Dogs?

pistachios toxic dogs The only way to properly treat cherry poisoning is to have a qualified veterinarian administer care to your dog. Once your vet diagnoses cherry poisoning, they may proceed with any of a number of treatment options.

These can include administering nitrate gas or the ingestion of either thiocyanate or rhodanese via IV fluids. Additionally, sodium thiosulfate pills can halt the production of cyanide within your dog and allow for its removal by way of urination.

After your dog has been given treatment, your veterinarian will give you more information on how to care for your recovering furball at home. Once home, keep a watchful eye on your dog and look out for any new symptoms that pop up. If they develop any symptoms, bring them back to the vet for a reevaluation.

Like people, dogs can suffer severe illness as a response to food-borne allergies. Click here to learn more about why you should avoid feeding your dog too much pistachios.

Go to Banixx.com to learn more about how to keep your dog happy and healthy!

Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?

dog pineapple

Pineapple’s tart and tangy flavors evoke scenes of beachside relaxation and breezy, seaside air.

Whether it’s served as a wedge in a Pina Colada or sliced onto some delicious roast pork, pineapple is an irresistible summer snack.

But what should you do next time you’re cutting pineapple and hear your four-legged friend start begging? 

Should you cut up a pineapple spear just for him? 

Or maybe try and distract him before feeding him an alternative treat?

Are Pineapples Healthy for Dogs?

dog size chunks of pineapple Yes! 

Pineapples are rich in essential nutrients including Vitamins B6 and C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. Additionally, pineapples contain a high concentration of nutrient-dense minerals including manganese, copper, potassium, magnesium, iron and trace amounts of calcium, phosphorus and zinc.

Should You Give Your Dog Pineapple?

A few slices of pineapple can be a great, healthy treat for your dog! However, like with most foods, pineapple should only be served in moderation. Additionally, you should only serve your dog fresh pineapple. Canned pineapple is loaded with sugar. Not only will this add unnecessary calories to your pooch’s diet, but it can also upset their stomach and cause vomiting or diarrhea.

Are There Risks to Feeding Your Dog Pineapple?

One potential risk of feeding your dog pineapples is their potent acidity. Pineapples are rich in bromelain which dissolves the protective mucous in our tongues and mouths. If too much pineapple is ingested, this can lead to an unpleasant stinging sensation which can irritate your dog. 

The acid from pineapples can also disrupt your dog’s gastrointestinal system, resulting in an upset stomach and unwanted side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Additionally, pineapples contain a tough outer skin, pointy leaves and a rock-solid core. If ingested, any of these components can cause an obstruction and will be exceedingly difficult for your pup to ingest.

Pineapples are also a very fibrous fruit, so be sure to pair them with plenty of water when you feed them to your dog. Otherwise, they may have trouble digesting them.

How to Prepare Pineapple for Your Dog

pineapple and dogs It’s easy to properly prepare delicious pineapple slices for your furry friend.

Just follow these simple steps:

  • Lay the pineapple on its side
  • Cut off where the pineapple tapers, near its leaves and bottom
  • Stand the pineapple up
  • Cut off the pineapple’s tough skin, making sure to not cut more than a half-inch deep
  • Lay the pineapple on its side (last time, we promise)
  • Cut the pineapple into one-inch chunks
  • Remove the bits of core from each slice
  • Cut the remaining pineapple into one-inch chunks

After you’re done cutting up the pineapple, you may be looking at a big pile of trimmings and begin wondering “What parts of a pineapple can my dog eat?”

The answer is simple: only feed your dog the actual fruit of the pineapple. Pineapple cores are notoriously difficult for your dog to digest. Pineapple skin, with its spiky surface, is both hard to swallow and may actually tear up your dog’s esophagus on its way down.

How Much Pineapple Should Your Dog Eat?

Your dog should only eat pineapple in moderation. There is a rule that is touted by veterinarians that your dog should only get 20% of their calories from fruits and vegetables, and only 10% from treats. 

To provide a more practical example, let’s say your dog weighs sixty pounds.

They require around 1,000 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight.

Using the rule above, your dog should only consume 200 calories of fruits and vegetables per day and 100 calories of treats per day. One cup of fresh pineapple is roughly equal to 82.5 calories, but, as in any food consumption, moderation is the key. It would not be a good idea to suddenly feed your dog 2 cups of fresh pineapple out of the blue; it would be too much acid for her system and probably cause a tummy upset although not being wrong… in strict theory.

When Should You Feed your Dog Pineapple?

pineapple You should only feed your dog pineapple in sensible amounts, preferably as a treat. Reward your dog for good behavior or for progressing in training by throwing them a nice chunk of pineapple, appropriate to their size. This both provides them with a delicious treat and reinforces positive behavior.

Learn more about how to keep your dog happy and healthy on our blog!

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?

popcorn

It’s movie night.

As you mindlessly reach for another handful of buttery, crunchy popcorn you spot a shadowy, four-legged figure approaching quickly from the corner of your eye.

dogs and popcorn

Before you even have time to scream in terror, light from the TV reveals the frightful figure’s furry coat.

It’s just your dog trying to get a bite of that delicious popcorn!

Relief washes over you.

As you reach into the bowl to grab a few pieces you have the thought “Huh…can dogs even eat popcorn?”

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn?

Yes, if prepared right!

 As long as the popcorn is fully popped and contains no additional salt, butter, or seasoning, plain popcorn can be a decent treat for your pup when given in moderation.

Is Popcorn Good for Dogs?

dog popcorn So long as Fido only eats unsalted, unbuttered, and unseasoned popcorn, he may actually be getting several vital minerals for proper canine nutrition including magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, or zinc.

Additionally, he may discover that digestion feels a tiny bit easier on account of popcorn’s fiber content.

However, while plain popcorn can provide small boosts to nutrition, your dog will likely get all of these essential nutritional components from their regular diet of dog food.

Are There Any Risks to Feeding Popcorn to Dogs?

Feeding fully popped, unbuttered, unsalted, and unseasoned popcorn should pose no serious health risks to your furry friend.

However, there are some things to remember when deciding to feed your dog popcorn.

can dogs eat popcorn First, you should watch out for kernels in your dog’s teeth.

Us humans can just pick those suckers out with a toothpick.

And, if we don’t, we can just floss them out later.

Dogs don’t have this luxury. It’s up to the owner to remove bits of kernel stuck in their teeth.

Leaving them in your dog’s mouth isn’t a wise idea, either. Corn kernel pieces can cause tooth decay and gum disease if not fully removed. Kernels can also pose a digestive problem for your pup. Their tough shell is hard for your dog’s gut to break down.

Additionally, things like salt, butter, oil, and other flavorings that make popcorn so scrumptious to eat can cause problems. Butter and oil add unwanted calories to your dog’s diet, while flavorings can cause tummy troubles including vomiting or diarrhea.

“Hey, wait a second” you might be thinking as you reach for the familiar white shaker, “Why is salt included? My dog already gets some salt in his diet! Surely one or two little shakes couldn’t hurt…” 

Unfortunately, adding salt to popcorn is not advised, even if it does make things delicious.

Not only can eating too much salt result in extreme thirst for your dog, but too much salt can even lead to a life-threatening case of sodium ion poisoning.

What is Sodium Ion Poisoning?

pistachio shells dogs Sodium ion poisoning occurs when an animal has ingested too much salt. Too much salt can starve the body of water and lead to the disruption and damage of vital organs. In some cases, this may be fatal.

Symptoms often occur within just a few hours of a dog eating too much salt. The first symptoms typically include extreme thirst and vomiting. These can progress to include diarrhea and lethargy.

If severe enough, salt poisoning can result in tremors, shortness of breath, disorientation, seizures, and death. If you suspect that your dog has ingested enough salt to induce sodium ion poisoning, call your vet immediately and prepare to take your dog in for treatment.

So, here’s the deal with sodium (salt). You won’t need to worry about sodium ion poisoning if you remember and diligently abide by this simple rule: your dog should get between .25 grams and 1.5 grams of salt per day for each pound that they weigh. But, how much is a gram of salt? It’s about 1/6 of a teaspoon, that’s really a tiny amount, so when it comes to adding any salt to your dog’s diet (via popcorn or any other human food), extreme caution is advised.

How Much Salt Should I Give My Dog?

dogs eating popcorn According to the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, dogs typically have a recommended daily allowance of no more than 200mg of sodium. However, the recommended daily allowance can increase slightly with your dog’s weight.

However, finding that your dog has only eaten a little more than the recommended amount should not make you fear sodium ion poisoning. A dog needs to eat significant amounts of salt, typically over 1.5 grams of salt per pound of body weight, in order to succumb to sodium ion poisoning. That being said, remember to keep treats to 10 percent or less of your dog’s daily caloric intake.

If you want more information on how to keep your dog happy and healthy, go to Banixx.com to begin pouring through our extensive list of resources on proper pet care!

Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?

pistachios and dogs

dog ate pistachio shells

Pistachios are one of life’s little treats. Their shells are as fun to crack open as the meat inside is tasty. But imagine one afternoon, after you finish cracking the shells of a whole mound of pistachios, you accidentally spill the whole pile onto the floor.

Your four-legged friend, familiar with the sound of goodies falling on the floor, begins bounding over to scoop some of those “treats” off the floor. 

What should you do?

Let him lap them up and gulp them down? Or quickly replace the fallen pile with a milk bone?

Should You Feed Pistachios to Dogs?

Maybe, but maybe not.

Pistachios are not the best treat to give to dogs and should only be fed to them in moderation. While not inherently harmful, feeding pistachios to your dog can carry a number of risks.

Are Pistachios Dangerous for Dogs?

dog eat pistachio

Pistachios can be a risky food to give to your dog.

One risk is the increase in fat that pistachios contain a high fat content – 205.6 grams per cup. That’s sixteen times the recommended daily amount for a 33-pound dog! This increase in fat can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs while putting them at higher risk for chronic diseases later in life.

Additionally, most store-bought pistachios are processed with large quantities of salt which may lead to dehydration. Excessive salt intake can also negatively affect your dog’s ability to retain water which increases the likelihood of developing kidney complications.

Most commercially available pistachios are also sold with their shells on. After getting chewed up, pieces of these shells can act like little shards and cut the inside of your dog’s throat or digestive tract. Which is obviously a concern for people searching online for “dog ate pistachio shells” and “my dog ate a pistachio shell”.

pistachios toxic dogs Pistachios also contain a pair of potentially damaging natural chemicals called phosphorus and urushiol. Phosphorus is thought to be a cause of bladder stones in dogs when ingested in large quantities. Urushiol is the same chemical that causes allergic reactions to poison ivy, and can cause the same reaction on dogs’ faces and around their mouths when ingested.

Perhaps the biggest risk of feeding your dog pistachios is that some pistachios can cause pistachio poisoning.

What is Pistachio Poisoning?

Like cashews, pistachios can suffer from an outbreak of Aspergillus mold if they are grown in hot, arid conditions. This mold produces a toxic compound (mycotoxin) known as aflatoxin. Aflatoxins are among the most poisonous forms of mycotoxins.

pistachio shells dogs If enough pistachios are eaten that are infected with Aspergillus mold, the aflatoxins present can cause acute poisoning (aflatoxicosis). Pistachio poisoning can cause a litany of miserable and potentially life-threatening symptoms, including:

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Jaundice
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Orange-colored urine
  • Liver failure
  • Pancreatitis

How to Treat Pistachio Poisoning in Dogs

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from pistachio poisoning, take them to the vet right away. Once there, your vet will likely perform a physical examination, chemical profile, and a complete blood count to check for underlying diseases or toxins such as aflatoxin.

Banixx for Veterinarians

Additionally, x-ray or ultrasound imaging may be taken of your dog’s abdomen to determine whether or not there has been an enlargement of the pancreas or heart.

Once a diagnosis of pistachio poisoning has been made, your vet may focus on providing immediate relief from symptoms first. This can include providing IV fluids for dehydration, prescribing medications for pain and nausea, and Vitamin K supplementation for potential liver damage.

If your dog was presenting with intense vomiting before diagnosis, your vet may recommend you withhold feeding by mouth in order to aid in the healing of the pancreas. Supplementation of pancreatic enzymes may also be prescribed to relieve abdominal pain.

Dogs who develop pancreatitis from pistachio poisoning will likely be recommended to follow a low-fat, high-fiber diet for the rest of their lives.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Pistachios

First thing’s first: you need to assess the amount of pistachios your dog ate relative to their size. If your pup is of toy size and just ate an entire bowl of pistachios, you should probably get them to a vet. But if your dog is a full-grown Rottweiler and ate two of the nuts, you should just wait and see how they feel over the day.

pistachio dog

Regardless of their size, if your dog has eaten a pistachio that still had its shell on, you’ll want to closely monitor them. You want to make sure they don’t present signs of a throat or bowel obstruction.

If your dog develops complications associated with gastrointestinal distress caused by eating pistachios, be sure to visit Banixx.com to learn more about our non-toxic, no-odor, fast-acting treatment options!