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.

Banixx For Dog Ear Infections

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 For Dogs

Learn why so many pet owners turn to Banixx for their pet care needs at https://banixx.com/for-dogs/

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.

Banixx Hot Spot Treatment For Dogs

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

Using coconut oil to treat dog hot spots

Can I Treat Dog Hot Spots With Coconut Oil?

using coconut oil to treat a dog hot spotA dog hot spot (AKA acute moist dermatitis) is an open sore that occurs when your dog sustains some kind of damage to the skin, whereupon bacteria proliferate, and the area becomes red, hot, itchy and swollen. Oftentimes the dog himself causes the hot spot when he obsessively scratches, licks, and chews on the skin. If not treated, the area becomes infected, grows in size, and forms pus on the damaged skin surface, creating a crust. Sometimes hair loss results. Hot spots can be very painful for your pet.

Many dog owners can recognize hot spots without having to take their pets to the vet – and they’re looking for something quick and effective they can buy over the counter. One potential agent that has gained some popularity is coconut oil. Let’s take a look at what coconut oil can (and can’t) do for your dog’s hot spot:

Coconut Oil For Canine Hot Spots

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has antibacterial properties. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory usefulness. That’s why some owners see it as a possible home remedy to reduce the itch and swelling of hot spots.

The typical treatment with coconut oil involves spreading the oil on the dog’s hot spot and reapplying as necessary. When it works, the hot spots will usually begin healing within a few days.

The downsides of coconut oil as a home remedy

  1. Elizabethan cone used to prevent hot spot lickingIt tastes good, so your dog will love licking it off. While small amounts of it are not toxic for your dog to ingest (large amounts CAN cause problems), it may require many re-applications and possibly the dreaded cone to prevent your dog from licking it off. Remember, licking the hot spot is one reason it became inflamed in the first place!
  2. It is a great moisturizer, used by many people (and dogs) to keep the skin moist and soft. However, the hot spot is already moist – and most vets contend that the area needs to dry up to heal.
  3. The lauric acid in coconut oil is great for many things – but it is a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent. It’s possible that it could eliminate the good bacteria that are fighting the bad bacteria that are causing the hot spot.
  4. It’s sticky and oily, so it can get all over your carpets, furniture and possibly into your bedding if your dog sleeps there…as many do!!
  5. In fact, not much research has been done on the effectiveness of coconut oil for pets, and there are no clinical studies that show coconut oil helps in the treatment of hot spots.

What is the best treatment for dog hot spots?

Banixx Anti-Fungal Anti-Bacterial SprayBanixx Pet Care is a popular and effective topical solution that is proven to help remedy dog hot spots, but there is more to a dog hot spot than meets the eye. Along with Banixx treatment, the underlying cause needs to be addressed in order to speed up the healing time and prevent a recurrence. Banixx can be purchased at most pet supply stores and online (here), and offers the following benefits to your suffering pooch:

  • Banixx antiseptic spray has a unique pH level that creates an acidic environment that completely nixes bacterial or fungal growth.
  • It is water-based, so there is no stickiness to get all over your carpet, furniture, etc. as with coconut oil.
  • It has been shown to be very effective at remedying the hot spot – bringing immediate relief.
  • It contains no alcohol or steroids, unlike other products, which are often iodine, alcohol, or tea-tree oil-based. This means it doesn’t sting or burn when being applied.
  • It has no added color or fragrance or taste – so it’s not attractive at all for your dog to lick.
  • It can be applied daily – and you don’t need to worry about over-dosing.
  • Banixx is completely safe for use around the eye (proven by independent clinical testing).

When it comes to dog hot spots, many different products, such as coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, Benadryl and hydrogen peroxide, claim to be great alternatives to veterinarian-provided medications. But only one, Banixx Pet Care, has been proven to work on hot spots gently, quickly, effectively, and without any negative side effects – making it the best treatment for dog hot spots.

Banixx Hot Spot Treatment For Dogs

Banixx is a well known treatment for dogs that have hotspots. Learn more on our hot spots page at https://banixx.com/hot-spots-dog-how-to-treat/

Banixx is the trusted solution for cuts and wounds on dogs

Can you use Neosporin on dogs?

Can You Use Neosporin On Dogs?

neosporin as a dog wound care productHas your dog ever come back from a walk with a terrible scratch on its leg or stomach? Or has he ran across a textured rug and landed on his belly leading to carpet burn? What about skidding across a hard concrete floor and coming back with painful scrapes on his legs? When this happens, most dog owner’s first thoughts are to use the same antibiotic ointment they use on themselves: Neosporin.

Is Neosporin Safe For Dogs?

To truly determine just how safe Neosporin is for your dog, we need to evaluate each of the main ingredients in Neosporin. Luckily, there have been numerous research studies that have been done on the subject that make the determination clear.

What’s In Neosporin?

Is Neosporin safe for dogs?Neosporin is a triple-antibiotic ointment, which contains Polymyxin B, Neomycin, and Bacitracin. These antibiotics are all designed to kill any bacteria present on the skin’s surface, which makes them perfect for treating minor scrapes and cuts.

In addition to being able to prevent infections in minor wounds, most Neosporin products contain Pramoxine, which is a type of topical painkiller. Pramoxine works by slightly numbing the area where it is applied, which assists in mild pain relief.

All of this may sound fantastic, but Neosporin was specifically designed for humans – NOT DOGS. So next, we need to evaluate how each of the ingredients in Neosporin affects our canine friends.

Bacitracin And Dogs

do not put neospsorin on your dogTo date, there have been several studies conducted on how effective Bacitracin is when used on dogs. One of the first studies was conducted in 1989 and involved observing dogs that had undergone recent bone surgery.

The study compared the canines who were treated using Bacitracin post-surgery to the dogs that had not undergone any treatment or the dogs who have only received irrigation using a type of saline solution.

It was discovered that the dogs that received the Bacitracin treatment had far lower infections along with a lot fewer bacteria cultures that tested positive. This concluded that this antibiotic was working well to prevent infections after surgery.

One of the other studies conducted examined the effects associated with oral Bacitracin. It was discovered that when administered orally, this antibiotic drastically lowered specific bacteria colonies present inside the intestines. In addition, there were no side-effects regarded as major even in the instances of overdose.

All good news for our pups, but as you’ll find out below, there are some serious caveats to these findings.

Neomycin And Dogs

veteranarian neosporin alternativeThe studies associated with Neomycin happen to be more complex, and they are also not close to being as promising. Neomycin works by suppressing bacteria growth. This results in the death of the bacteria, which usually occurs within a short time frame.

Unlike Bacitracin, this medication is not absorbed in the intestines. This makes this antibiotic a preferable choice for the treatment of infections present in areas such as the digestive tract.

While these findings indicate that Neomycin is a very powerful antibiotic, there are some very SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS for canines. Several reports conducted recently have shown that an incorrect dosage of Neomycin can adversely affect the health of our beloved pets. This makes this medication dangerous for use unless under the supervision or guidance of a qualified veterinarian.

In one of the studies, it was discovered that canines that were intravenously dosed with Neomycin underwent hearing changes. These changes in hearing ranged from muffling to COMPLETE DEAFNESS. However, in each case, none of these changes proved to be permanent.

Polymyxin B And Dogs

The third main ingredient in Neosporin is Polymyxin B, which is an antibiotic that was derived from the bacterium known as Bacillus polymyxa. This medication is often used when a previous antibiotic treatment has failed. More often than not, this occurs from methicillin-resistant bacteria, which usually doesn’t respond to standard antibiotics.

However, in most cases, this type of bacteria responds to Polymyxin B, which makes this one of the preferred back-up medications. In some cases, it will even be prescribed in combination with another antibiotic, as added security should the other medicine fail to be effective. This is its actual use when it comes to Neosporin.

And while there are only a few NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS of this drug, it is important to highlight the most prominent one, which is Pemphigus Vulgaris. This is an autoimmune disease that can cause PAINFUL BLISTERING on your dog’s skin and mucous membranes.

Can You Put Neosporin on a Dog?

Dog Wound Neosporin

The short answer to this question is yes, you can put Neosporin on a dog, but knowing the potential DANGEROUS SIDE EFFECTS, would you really want to?

Once dog owners learn that the ingredients in Neosporin have been known to cause deafness and painful blistering in dogs, they realize that they should really seek out a safer treatment for their pup.

It is also important to remember that Neosporin is not a medication made for dogs. It is a human medication, which is why it is safe to say it should not really be used on canines at all.

It is also important to avoid trying to self-treat a dog using drugs, even for things that are minor such as scratches. Neosporin is created and dosed for use in adults, who are usually much larger and have a different biological make-up when compared to dogs.

This could result in issues, particularly in dogs that are smaller, yet even the larger breed of dogs can also experience negative side effects when treated without the supervision of a vet.

What Treatment Is Better Than Neosporin For Dogs?

Banixx Anti-Fungal Anti-Bacterial SprayIf your dog does experience a minor injury and you are seriously considering using Neosporin, we highly recommend you use Banixx instead.

The science behind sound wound healing clearly gives Banixx the edge over other infection care treatments via its unique pH formulation. As far as Banixx spray product ingredients, Banixx has one active ingredient, stabilized hydronium 2.5%. The inactive ingredient is purified water. The unique pH and high oxygen levels create an acidic environment which reduces toxicity levels of bacteria while increasing antimicrobial activity. The elevated levels of oxygen complement the acidic environment by further energizing antibacterial activity. The end result enhances epithelization and angiogenesis or, advanced wound healing, and infection control.

Banixx is available online and at local pet stores. Click here to find a pet store that carries Banixx near you.

Seek The Advice Of Your Vet

And above all else, if you are still not sure about the right treatment for your dog’s wounds, be sure to call your vet and ask for his opinion on which would be the best treatment for your pup.

Furthermore, if your canine starts to display any signs that they have an infection, you should take him to a vet immediately. Your vet has the experience to treat your pet safely and more effectively than you can from home.

Is Neosporin Safe For Dogs To Lick?

dog licking neosporin off his pawIf you have already applied Neosporin to a wound on your dog and they have licked it off, there is usually not much to be concerned about. Ingesting this medication may result in side-effects that are minor, such as an upset stomach. However, in most cases, any side effects will usually not be serious.

With this in mind, this is another reason why Neosporin is not effective for managing a wound as your dog can simply lick the medication off immediately. For this reason, you may need to test out a few methods to prevent the dog from licking their wound. Excessive licking of the wound will usually interfere with how quickly the dog heals from the wound.

You may want to try a cone over the dogs head, or a t-shirt or sock, which will obviously depend on where the wound is located. If the wound is located on the trunk of the dog, you could think of buying an outfit for your dog.

If your dog is small, you could consider a baby outfit that doesn’t feature any buttons. My in-laws use these baby onesies for a dog that they own. Their dog is old and has developed a condition on the skin, which means they often have to use topical antibiotics to keep the situation under control. To stop the dog from removing the medication, they dress her in a baby onesie without doing up the buttons.

Is Neosporin a Good Hot Spot Treatment?

dog hot spotAs we mentioned above, if your dog gets a minor injury or a hotspot, and you are seriously considering using Neosporin, we highly recommend you use Banixx instead. You can find Banixx in most online retailers and pet stores across the country.

 

Use Banixx For Your Dog’s Minor Scrapes and Scratches

Now that you know the potential side effects of using Neosporin on your dog, we hope you make the wise decision of using Banixx instead.  Click here to find a store near you that carries Banixx.

Banixx is the trusted solution for cuts and wounds on dogs

Why Is My Dog Biting and Chewing His Nails?

There he goes again with that annoying biting and chewing on his nails!  While such behavior is commonly thought of as an annoyingly bad habit in humans, our furry best friends can be voracious nail biters too!  But why? And should you be concerned?

As with other stressful situations that affect our dogs, this one may also have a simple solution, or it may be more concerning and harder to cure.  Here are some common causes for dogs that excessively bite and chew their nails, most of which can be safely and quickly dealt with at home. But don’t let your guard down too soon, some of the potential causes may require a trip to your vet for medication and/or a more complicated course of treatment or behavior modification.  Let’s look at the possibilities.

Dog Biting Nails Prevention

Stick to a regular grooming schedule to prevent your dog’s nails from growing too long or falling into disrepair.  Fido’s nails grow relatively fast and can start to curve inward towards his paws. Excessively long nails are uncomfortable and even painful for your pooch, especially when they are running or walking.  They may also unintentionally scratch you or one of the kids during playtime, which no one wants, especially Fido. Being smart and eager to please, you may see your dog trying to remedy the situation himself by instinctively biting at the nails to shorten them.  Or, he may also start to paw aggressively at the ground to grind or wear the nails down.

corn starch nail trimmingMany owners are comfortable trimming their dog’s nails themselves; although I always found this to be a little daunting!  According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a dog’s nail consists of a hard, outer surface called the shell and the living, pink inner material called the “quick.”  The quick supplies blood to the nail and, if cut, can result in bleeding and pain to your pooch. If you decide to trim your dog’s nails, it’s essential to be prepared with a supply of Styptic powder or a styptic pencil.  These are made and sold for dogs and are available at any pet food store. Alternatively, have something as simple as corn starch on hand. If you trim too far, you will draw blood. If this happens, to stop the dog nail bleeding,  immediately apply a pinch of Styptic powder or corn starch to your dog’s bleeding nail. Continue to treat this way until the blood flow slows considerably, or stops. Or, if you use the styptic pencil, merely press it against the bleeding cut area to stop the bleeding. Whichever you use, it generally works very quickly. A normally healthy dog will not bleed to death when that vein inside their nails is cut or broken. It can be quite intense when the blood does start to flow, but a normal, healthy animal will have the proper coagulation that will stop the flow in due course.  

keep dog from chewing on nailsInterestingly, regular nail trimming will result in the “quick” receding from the end, making nail trimming a much easier job and a much happier pup.  But be careful, too many cuts into the “quick” will make Fido fear the nail trimming process and become tough to handle. Since nail trimming is a life-long routine for many dogs, it’s a great idea to make it and keep it a pleasant experience. 

The other alternative is to use the expertise of a professional groomer to trim your dog’s nails.  While some groomers may still prefer to cut the nails, many have switched to grinding the nails down.  The grinding process slowly sands down the nail, while at the same time cauterizing the end. Either way, you should be assured that your pooch is in the capable hands of an experienced professional.

Broken Nails – Occasional or Frequent?  It Could Be Important

dogs will bite and pull their nails if they are not trimmed properlyBroken nails are no less irritating to dogs than humans.  While we might just clip away jagged remnants of our broken nails, our furry friends will attempt to bite away their broken nails.  Not only may this condition cause significant pain to your dog, but, the bacteria in your dog’s mouth can lead to an ugly infection or a hot spot.  If you can see that your dog is compulsive chewing on a broken nail, and if you feel comfortable doing so, use clippers to remove the broken portion of the nail.  Another option is a trip to your vet or to your groomer. This may be an excellent time to start the topical application of an antibacterial/anti-fungal solution such as Banixx Pet Care.  This will help to soothe the irritation and stop the infection in its tracks.

Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy

If you notice that your dog seems to be suffering from broken nails on a more regular basis, he may have a condition known as Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy (SLO).  SLO is an autoimmune condition that causes their bodies to attack the nails.  This condition can drive Fido crazy, and he will undoubtedly respond by obsessively biting and pulling at his nails.  If this occurs, waste no time in taking your pup to a trusted veterinarian. He/she will be able to quickly diagnose the problem and start an effective medication regiment to get the condition under control.

Dog Chewing Nails Due To Itchy Skin/Allergies

Just like their humans, dogs can also experience allergies to many things, including food, parasites, flea bites, outdoor allergens, etc.  If your dog is neurotically biting or chewing at his nails, it could mean that he has been in contact with some sort of outdoor allergen. Examples are grass, pollen, or chemical lawn treatments that have subsequently attached to your dog’s nails. An allergy to flea bites or other parasites may also be the culprits to Fido’s torture.  To free himself from this acute irritation, your dog may appear to be fixedly chewing at his nails, but, in actual fact, he’s aiming at the itchy skin in between his toes and his paws. Dogs can chew so much that they break open the skin, which can, in turn, lead to infection or a raging hot spot.

Solutions to your dog’s allergies may be time-consuming and complicated to find.  Discovering the root cause may mean a trip to your vet for parasites or allergy testing.  Temporarily soothing your dog’s itchy toes/skin may be your only immediate option while you explore all avenues for the cause. Two excellent product choices that may relieve your dog’s itchiness, while searching for the origin of his allergies, are Banixx Pet Care Spray and Banixx Medicated Shampoo.

Remember, allergies are systemic (internal) and generally develop over time, so will require significant time and effort in to resolve. While this discovery is in process, daily applications of Banixx can help provide an immediate and calming respite for your dog until the real culprit can be determined.

dog allergies can cause them to bite their nails

Bacterial or Fungal Infections

An infection may be another reason that your dog keeps gnawing at his nails.  Infections can begin from a variety of causes such as a fungal infection in your dog’s nail bed, a bacterial infection caused by an exposed, untreated wound from a broken/torn nail, or some other type of paw injury.  Such infections may develop into itchy skin that your dog will continuously chew, lick, bite, or scratch to relieve. This, in turn, may damage the skin even further. Infections can also lead to raging hot spots, so it’s crucial to determine the underlying cause, as soon as possible.  As soon as you notice Fido fixating and chewing at his nails and/or paws, check the area for signs of matted hair/fur, as well as any red, swollen, oozing sores. Caught in the early stages, Banixx may be all that is needed but watch! these infections can run rampant in short order and may need antibiotics, which means a trip to your vet. 

Anxiety and/or Boredom

When you think of an anxious dog, think of stress.  Humans often chew their nails when they become overly stressed.  The same is often the case for our furry friends. For example, thunderstorms, fireworks, and separation anxiety – some dogs become too stressed when left home alone.  These are just a few everyday situations that may trigger stress-induced anxiety in our dogs. Any anxiety can result in stress-induced nail-biting behavior in your dog.  If you think that your dog suffers from anxiety, especially separation anxiety, a trip to your vet, or an animal behaviorist/trainer, may help to get answers.

distract your dog to keep them from chewing their nails and furnitureBoredom, on the other hand, is an issue of a lack of stimulation rather than one of stress.  Does your dog turn into Houdini or a kleptomaniac when left home alone? Destructive behavior is often indicative of a bored dog.  And although one sign of boredom in your dog when he is left alone may be nail-biting, there are many other undesirable, destructive behaviors.  Examples are, stealing articles of their human’s clothing, trying to escape the house or yard, and the ever-annoying habit of chewing of your favorite purses, shoes, furniture, pillows, or rugs.

One little word that will do wonders with boredom issues – DISTRACT, DISTRACT, DISTRACT.  Make sure your dog has plenty of toys, ropes, or safe chews to re-direct his nervous energy while you’re gone.  Try taking him on a nice walk or run around the yard before you leave. The goal is to tire him sufficiently so that he will snooze during your absence rather than learning the nasty habits such as chewing his nails.

In Conclusion

So, to answer the question “why does my dog bite his nails?”, it’s safe to say that there are many reasons why your furry companion is obsessively biting or chewing at his nails.  Some are relatively benign, and some may lead to severe medical or behavioral conditions that will require professional intervention. 

Through it all, however, for immediate topical relief of Fido’s symptoms, consider a strong infection fighter like Banixx Pet Care.  Although Banixx is not a dog medicine, its powerful combination of low acidity and high oxygen levels are ideal for faster wound healing.  It merely creates an environment that is totally inhospitable to bacteria and fungi. Thus, the immune system can spend more time healing the injured tissue rather than expending excessive energy fighting infections.

Banixx is the trusted solution for cuts and wounds on dogs

What Can I Give My Dog For Pain Relief?

Help! My dog is in pain!… What can you give a dog for pain relief? 

Is It Safe To Give Benadryl, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve or Tylenol For Pain Relief?

BenadrylNO! There’s nothing worse than knowing your dog is in pain. The question is, if your dog has a hotspot, ear infection or any other painful condition, what can you do to alleviate his or her suffering?

First and most apparent is a trip to the veterinarian to determine why your dog is in pain. Your vet will perform an exam to diagnose any illness and provide treatment that may be a medication.

Of course, you may already have a good idea of what is bothering your dog and want to help with products you can buy “over the counter.” Let’s talk about the options and risk factors of administering these OTC drugs to your pet:

Pain Relief For Dog Injuries or Chronic Conditions

If your dog has been injured, has a disease, or suffers from arthritis or other chronic pain-inducing illnesses, you may be tempted to give him an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). But, NSAIDs are intended only for human use.

PAIN MEDICATION WARNING!

pain medications for dogsDo not give pain products like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve) to your dog! These drugs have side effects that could harm your dog – and – even be fatal.  Read on, and we’ll explain.  It’s because of the way that these drugs work.  They work by suppressing an enzyme that enhances inflammation, fever, and pain. They also have the unfortunate side effect of reducing blood flow to the kidneys, curbing protection of the gastrointestinal tract and disrupting normal blood clotting. (Note: These problems have also been noted in humans who take too many NSAIDs!).

Some dogs who are sensitive to NSAIDs will end up with diarrhea, vomiting, bleeding disorders, labored or rapid breathing, and problems with their kidneys or liver. These drugs are especially toxic for dogs that already have kidney or liver disease, blood disorders, or heart failure. And they should be completed avoided if your dog is pregnant.

Risk Factor: High

Added note: Baby aspirin may have a lower dosage than regular aspirin – but is generally regarded as unsafe for your dog.

What About Tylenol? (aka acetaminophen)

Tylenol creates many problems for dogs. Too much acetaminophen will have a toxic effect on the liver and kidneys and prevents hemoglobin from carrying oxygen to the blood. It can cause widespread tissue and organ damage leading to death in a very short amount of time.

Risk factor: High

What CAN I give my dog for pain?

The good news is that your vet can prescribe specially formulated NSAID products designed for handling your dog’s pain. These are much better options for mitigating any discomfort your dog may be experiencing. Some of the brand names include:

    Carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl)

    Deracoxib (Deramaxx)

    Firocoxib (Previcox)

    Meloxicam (Metacam)

The best course of action is to get the right prescription from your vet – and don’t try to take a shortcut by dispensing human products to your dog for his/her pain relief.

Risk Factor: Low or None

Pain Associated with Skin or Ear Infections:

Banixx Spray RemedyIf your dog is suffering from pain associated with topical ailments such as hot spots (inflammation, soreness), wounds, ear infections, mange or other skin infections due to bacterial or fungal issues, we recommend that you treat the area with Banixx Pet Care. It’s a gentle but effective topical solution that tackles the underlying infection and eliminates it. With the elimination or reduced infection, pain often subsides.  However, depending on the severity of the case, you may also need veterinary intervention if the case does not quickly resolve.

Risk Factor: Zero

You cannot overdose using Banixx, it is non-toxic, easy to apply, and effective, providing immediate relief for your dog. For your dog, it is soothing relief with no medicinal odor to cause angst and no burn or sting upon application.

Banixx For Dog Ear Infections

For more information on how Banixx works for this type of pain, click here.

Foods Toxic To Dogs

Xylitol Poisoning in Dogs – Symptoms and Treatments

Xylitol Is Poison For DogsXylitol is a natural sweetener.  It’s a sugar alcohol with a sweetness comparable to sugar. When dogs eat a food that contains Xylitol, it is more quickly absorbed into their bloodstream than in yours, causing a release of pancreatic insulin up to 7 times more than in humans.  Within 10 to 60 minutes of eating just a small amount of Xylitol, dogs can experience dangerous insulin levels and a profound drop in blood sugar. Here is the problem…

Xylitol Can Be LETHAL For Your Dog!

Xylitol Gum Is Toxic For Dogs

Xylitol is used in many of the products that we share with our dogs — the most common being peanut butter, nut butter, gum and toothpaste. 

Symptoms of Xylitol poisoning in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Decreased activity & Weakness
  • Staggering & Incoordination
  • Collapse & Seizures

Left untreated or unseen, the situation may deteriorate rapidly resulting in an immediate trip to your vet or an emergency animal hospital…or worse….

But..woof!..the good news is that Xylitol poisoning is 100% preventable.  Be vigilant, check the  ingredients for all peanut/nut butters before giving your dog a treat and use only toothpaste made for dogs.  Keep candy, baked goods and chocolate products out of your dog’s reach (they may contain Xylitol).  Lists of peanut/nut butters, toothpaste and other products that contain Xylitol are readily available online.

NOTE: Xylitol is not harmful to humans. 

For more information visit  https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/xylitol-and-your-dog-danger-paws