cat sneezing

Why Is My Cat Sneezing A Lot?

Everyone sneezes from time to time, including your cat and other pets. It’s the body’s explosive (and usually effective) response to ridding itself of things that are irritating your pet’s nasal passage.

But if you’ve noticed that your cat is sneezing a LOT – back-to-back sneezing fits, throughout the day, every day. Is this something to worry about?

Sneezing and Nasal Discharge

If your cat is sneezing and/or has a discharge from her nose, it could be due to many reasons:

  • a tickle in the nose
  • a respiratory infection
  • an allergy or a tumor (see below).

The discharge from your cat’s nose may look clear, cloudy or yellow/green, and could even be a little bloody. Blood in the nasal discharge is to be taken seriously since it could indicate a sign of an infection, an injury, or even a bleeding disorder or tumor.

Sometimes these sneezing episodes and/or nasal discharge are accompanied by other symptoms that indicate a more serious nasal or sinus disease. Look for the following in your kitty:

  • sneezing catRubs or paws at her face
  • Swallows often
  • Runs a fever
  • Gags
  • Bleeds from the nose
  • Has a nasty smell coming from her nose or mouth
  • Breathes loudly, wheezes or coughs
  • Is lethargic
  • Has loss of appetite
  • Has signs of diarrhea

If you think any of these symptoms seem severe or happen frequently on a recurring basis, take your cat to the vet because it may be a condition that requires professional treatment.  Take the time to notate any problems that you have observed including frequency, timing etc so that you can provide your vet with as much information as possible.  Cats are stoic creatures hence your cat may be quite sick before you realize it;  a quick trip to consult with your vet is always a good idea in order to stay ahead of any potential problems.

Reasons Why Your Cat Might Be Sneezing

Nasal Passage Problems

Something is blocking and/or tickling your cat’s nasal passage. It could be a blade of grass or a hair, or something more substantial. Like all animals, cats will reflexively sneeze to try to dislodge the blockage.

Respiratory Infections

Your cat has picked up a respiratory infection. It’s most often a viral infection (feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus are the most common), aka a “cat cold.” In addition to sneezing, your feline friend may also cough or have some tears from his eyes – these symptoms are similar to those that we humans feel and exhibit. Sometimes it’s a fungal infection that causes inflammation in the nasal passage. These infections are more common in young cats, especially in those coming from animal shelters where crowded conditions create problems, just as they do with humans who live under crowded circumstances. Many of these infections can be prevented with early and complete vaccinations (but see # 5 below).

Irritants and Allergies

Your cat has inhaled an irritant or something that he’s allergic to. If the only symptom you notice is that your cat is sneezing, it may be an allergy that’s irritating the nasal passages (note that allergies also often result in itchy skin). Here are some things that might be causing the sneezing:

  • cat on bed peeingCigarette smoke
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Perfume
  • Cat litter
  • Cleaning agents (see our blog on household cleaners here)
  • Pest sprays
  • Candles
  • Mold

If you think your cat may be sneezing due to allergies, use the sneezing episodes to help pinpoint the allergen. For example, does she sneeze more after she uses the litter box or after you smoke a cigarette? Is she atchoo-ing more after you’ve cleaned the house or lit the romantic candles or applied perfume? Since cat noses are only a few inches off the ground/floor, consider that anything that you apply to the floor, carpet etc…will be in close contact with your cat’s nose and hence affect her respiratory system. Carefully observing her behavior may give you excellent clues.

Teeth Issues

Your cat may be having trouble with her teeth. Sometimes cats (especially older kitties) may suffer from dental disease (especially root infections), resulting in inflammation and drainage into the sinuses. This may cause sneezing and dental issues are not uncommon to cats. This is a case for the vet, as it won’t cure itself. Your cat’s breath may be a clue here since dental decay is always accompanied by an unpleasant odor.  Try to watch your cat while she is eating, does her eating function appear normal or does she exhibit pain in eating her food or approach her bowl with trepidation and hesitation?

Vaccine Reaction

Your cat may be reacting to a vaccine.  If your cat has received a vaccine to prevent respiratory infections, she may sneeze a lot for a few days afterward. This should only last for a few days and goes away without treatment. Again, if problems persist, do not hesitate to return to your vet to get it checked out.

Other Potential Issues

Miscellaneous other causes of excessive sneezing can include mucus irritation, excess nasal secretion, nasal polyps or tumors, pneumonia, gastrointestinal disease, and mites found in the nasal cavities. This is a tougher scenario and will take some dedication and time to diagnose and treat.

When To Go To The Veterinarian

cat veterinarianIt’s always a good idea to call the vet if:

  • Your cat sneezes often or continuously
  • The sneezing seems to be chronic
  • You see blood in the nasal discharge
  • You see any additional symptoms such as the ones listed above

The vet will do the tests and get the right diagnosis for the cause of your kitty’s sneezing fits. Depending on the diagnosis, the vet will be able to prescribe antibiotics, nasal decongestants and antihistamines, fluids or steroids if needed, as well as make great suggestions on how to help your cat feel more comfortable, provide nutritional support, and enhance her immune system to prevent recurrences in the future.

Sources

  • https://pets.webmd.com/cats/why-cats-sneeze#1
  • https://www.petmd.com/cat/emergency/common-emergencies/e_ct_excessive_sneezing_nasal_discharge
  • https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2014/06/25/cat-sneezing-nasal-discharge.aspx
  • https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/respiratory/c_ct_sneezing
  • http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-diseases-conditions-a-z/7-causes-cat-sneezing
hunting dog

Is A Hunting Dog Right For You?

If you enjoy hunting, of course, you’ll want a hunting dog to help make your trips more successful. If you’re not a hunter, you may still be considering a hunting dog for a companion – either a purebred or possibly a mixed breed. Here are a few things to know about hunting dogs’ personalities and how to properly care for them:

Hunting dogs have been bred over the centuries to help humans find and follow potential prey. From hunting for food and sport, to being used by police, military and search-and-rescue groups, they are intelligent, courageous, determined and high energy. So carefully consider your lifestyle and consider whether this is the sort of dog that you would like to own or is a couch potato or a less independent type of dog more your cup of tea. A dog is generally a 15-year commitment give or take a few years for size, breed, etc. so this is a serious decision.

Hunting Dog Breeds

  • Spaniels
  • Pointers
  • Retrievers
  • Setters
  • Hounds
  • Terriers

hunting dog duckSome hunting dogs track by scent (such as beagles and bloodhounds). These hounds typically have long ears, large noses and moist loose lips to help them focus on the scent, and they can continue tracking the prey long after it is out of sight. Those with high drive (high hunting drive) may hunt for hours and hours, and even days. Not usually a suitable dog for a city dweller.

Some hunt by sight (for example, greyhounds and Irish wolfhounds). They are usually tall, have large, sharp eyes, and long legs to run after their prey to keep it in sight and run it to ground. They tend to see something and go in that direction, quickly, and not necessarily paying attention to where they are or where they are going or, where you are.

Terriers were bred to find, track and trail quarry, especially underground. Some dogs are bred to point to the quarry to help flush it out (setters and pointers); others retrieve the hunted quarry, like Labrador or Golden retrievers. Terriers may dig for possible quarry, even when they are at ‘rest’ or play. Pointers are known to point at any potential quarry, even stopping to do so when they were ‘in the middle’ of something else. Retrievers are known for being a bit obsessive in-regards to retrieving and often can play ball for hours.

These dogs may make great pets without actually being used for hunting – they are active, alert, like-able and intelligent. They generally need lots of exercise and enjoy spending time outdoors. Some love the water and have water-repellent coats. Others cannot pass by a fire hydrant or tree without sniffing extremely thoroughly, as they put their tremendous noses to work.

dog huntingIf you’re considering a hunting dog as a pet, keep in mind that the very characteristics that make each breed successful could also require some special handling and training on your part. Hunting dogs are generally high-energy animals and need to be kept busy or they might get into trouble. Hence, if you work a 9 to 5 job, this may not be a good match. Terriers can tunnel under backyard fences and be gone; greyhounds can bolt if they see something moving like a bike, car or leaf falling; hounds can go after a deer or fox and may not come back for hours (or get lost). Obedience training is highly recommended, as are plenty of exercise and play. Each individual breed also has its typical characteristics. As one example, terriers were bred to work alone and can often be feisty with other dogs while being loyal and affectionate with you.

If you actually hunt with your hunting dog, here are some tips for keeping him safe and healthy:

Top 10 Hunting Dog Tips

  1. Before the hunt, start your dog’s day with a high calorie meal to help him weather the weather and other difficult conditions.
  2. hunting dogsWhen you’re out in the forest or field, dogs can easily be mistaken for game. Put a blaze orange vest on your dog to make him easier to see and identify as a dog.
  3. This jacket also is highly recommended to help protect from frost and cold winds/water.
  4. If your dog is hunting water fowl, watch out for hypothermia during cold weather. Standing in ice-cold water for an extended period of time puts your dog in danger. The dogs natural hunting instincts/drive will not necessarily override the dangers of cold. If you see him acting sluggish or disoriented, get him out of the water immediately and take steps to dry and warm him up (wrap him in warm towels, put a hot water bottle on his stomach, etc.).
  5. Make sure he is dried thoroughly at the end of the day. Because many retrievers have double coats, they need to be checked, dried and groomed thoroughly to ensure they don’t pick up parasites and fungal infections in wet, matted fur. Also, check for burrs, splinters, foxtails and other foreign debris that can get tangled in the fur and/or in the skin.
  6. Dogs can get overheated on hot days. They don’t perspire the way we do, so they have to pant to get rid of the excess heat. If it’s hot outside, don’t overwork your dog but hunt in brief spurts. Always carry lots of water and give it to your dog generously. Panting is how a dog cools his system, but they need hydration and ventilation for their internal cooling system to work properly. Resting in the shade with a breeze/air flow is optimal.
  7. Assume there will be ticks where you’re hunting. Comb through her fur to find those pesky parasites as soon as possible after the hunt to ensure they don’t attach to the skin. Mosquitoes are also an issue for dogs as in the southern regions they harbor the larvae which matures into a parasite that cause heart worm.
  8. Thorns and briars also pose a threat of injury to your dog. Watch your dog to see if he’s favoring a paw or leg, and check his paw pads often.
  9. banixx spray remedyOnce the hunt is over, make sure you get your dog warm and dry, or cool, depending upon the season, as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you get home to take care of him – every minute counts when it comes to your dog’s health and safety.
  10. Use Banixx Pet Care products whenever you need help with ear care, parasites, fungal or bacterial infections, wounds, scratches and other problems associated with strenuous outdoor activities. Find Banixx near you.

Sources

  • https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/sporting/
  • https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/breeds/top-5-hunting-dog-breeds
  • https://siccaro.co.uk/dog-tips/hunting-dogs/
  • https://www.realtree.com/waterfowl-hunting/articles/hunting-dog-care-in-the-field
  • https://www.cuteness.com/blog/content/history-and-characteristics-of-hunting-dogs
scared horse

How To Calm A Spooked Horse

Does your horse spook easily? Should you worry about it? What can you do to help? Below we’ll be explaining why horses get spooked and what you can do to help them calm down and relax in these situations.

Horses are flight instinct animals – ok, we all know that. But spooking does not always make sense – the horse may pass that same space daily, the object has always been there, but, today, your horse gets spooked.

Types of spooks:

  • New experience
  • Flash, quick something or a loud noise
  • Eye issues/problems (vision loss, uveitis, moon blindness, etc.)
  • Pain

horse spookedRiding a spooking horse can be disruptive, exasperating and, at times. Downright scary. Take note though, it’s always a good idea to work with your veterinarian to rule out health issues (pain, eyesight). It may take more than one exam, and it can be helpful if your veterinarian can observe the horse in situations where he might spook. Another set of eyes can reveal something that you may miss.

Sometimes, with a spook, your horse just needs a moment to ‘absorb’ the experience and can continue. Yet other times the spook is disruptive, and your riding time is affected.

When you last dealt with a spook – How did you react? (Some self-reflection here)

  • What were the circumstances?
  • Did you, also, look around to see what the horse spooked at? …thereby abandoning your horse as the wheels are falling off?
  • Did you get after the horse? …in an attempt to punish him.

Here are some tips for the next spook:

  • Calmly keep the feet moving, particularly the hind feet, but they need to move in a rhythmic beat, not a frantic scramble. Consider a leg yield or a turn on the forehand or other exercise that requires the hind feet to move. The feet are connected to the brain. When the feet are moving in rhythm, the brain quiets and is receptive to input.
  • As best you can in the circumstances – do NOT pull on the reins.
  • Consider any other exercises to capture the attention of his brain – side passing, shoulder-in, half pass, etc. Do anything that you can to re-direct his attention to YOU!

spooked horseYour efforts may not be effective close to the scary object, so move away from it – but, with an exercise! Quietly work on the exercise and soften when your horse responds correctly. Try not to pull on the reins. You may not be able to work around the scary place today, or tomorrow, but, stick with the plan in a quiet fashion to build trust and confidence. Recognize that improvements come slowly, and, there is NO quick fix!

Have a friend video tape your ride as that may be very revealing as to how you react and how your horse responds in a situation. For example, you may be applying rein pressure before you are applying leg pressure, but you are not feeling that – yet you see it in the video.

The speed of your success depends upon history, personalities, effectiveness of your exercises and patience. Be open to change if past exercises did not work. We expect our horses to change, but WE need to be willing to change too. We sometimes forget that part.

After it is all said and done, do you now have a better partnership with your horse? Building a good partnership with your horse will help you, as a team, overcome many challenges, and increase enjoyment.

Happy Riding!

dog peeing on bed

Why Does My Dog Pee On My Bed?

It is understandably distressing to have your dog urinate or pee on your bed, either by accident or on purpose. She may do it in her sleep – or she may do it while you’re watching. It is not a great situation either way. Assuming your dog is not a puppy (puppies are an entirely different chapter!) and has been house-trained, here are the possible reasons she may be peeing on your bed:

8 Reasons Your Dog Might Pee On Your Be

  1. There’s a Medical Issue

    veteranarian neosporin alternativeIf your dog has suddenly started urinating in your bed or other area inside your house, it’s a good idea to get her checked out by a vet. The cause may be a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, diabetes, kidney disease, or other medical disorder that needs a vet’s expertise to diagnose and treat.

  2. Your Dog Gets Over-excited

    If your dog tends to jump, wiggle and run around excitedly, he may accidentally pee inside the house – including in your bed. Find ways to calm your dog, especially when it’s time to hit the hay and turn out the lights. Work on getting her attention on YOU, via some disciplinary exercise with a treat at the end. One that has worked well for us is as follows……..”Rosie…SIT….good girl”….(put your finger to your nose and there is a small treat in that same hand)….”Rosie…look at me! (hold her attention as you count 1-2-3) then softly offer her the treat. You just “changed the conversation” where she is focused on you, not herself. It’s worth a try; worked great for us!

  3. Your Dog Can’t Control His Bladder

    How to clean a dogs eyesSometimes dogs become incontinent – they have trouble controlling their bladders and find themselves with sudden urges to go, or leak involuntarily (often while they’re asleep). Elderly dogs and larger dog breeds tend to have this issue, and it can be a sign of diseases like urinary tract infections or diabetes. Some of the other causes of incontinence include:

    • Obesity
    • Lesions on the spinal cord or brain
    • Overactive bladder
    • Urinary tract infections
    • Chronic inflammatory disease or arthritis
    • Kidney disease
    • Neutering (not commonly a problem)Again, be sure to make a quick visit to your veterinarian who can diagnose and treat your dog to help him gain control over his bladder.
  4. He Wasn’t Properly House Trained

    If you have a rescue dog, it’s quite possible he wasn’t given formal house training, or that he’s forgotten whatever he did learn. You may need to start over and make sure he understands that any place within the house is not his toilet. The exercise in item #2 of this write-up may help. Also, it house training is an issue, it’s a good idea to keep your dog in a relatively confined area since dogs generally do not pee in “their own space”. As he responds, you can experiment with enlarging his area.

  5. She Is Excessively Submissive

    Erect dog earsIf your dog displays submissive behavior, it may be a sign of fear or anxiety. Typical actions include rolling onto her back and exposing her stomach, flattening her ears, cringing, not meeting your eyes – and pee’ing constantly on the floor or bed. Submissive behavior can also be the culprit when your dog is over-anxious to please you. As with separation anxiety, visit the vet and/or dog behaviorist for help. Also, consider experimenting with the training method “with finger on the nose” (outlined in section # 2 of this article) along with a treat as a reward. Observe your dog’s behavior to see what circumstances trigger this submissive behavior and try to find opportunities to desensitize your dog to those triggers. Be patient. Change may happen slowly but will be so rewarding as you see those changes!

  6. He’s Marking Territory and Establishing Himself as the Alpha

    On the opposite side of submissive behavior is a dog’s need to be dominant. When a dog marks inside the house, it’s possible the marking can be aimed at other animals in your house. This may not be because your pup feels intimidated, he may be marking areas of the house to tell other pets to stay away.

    We, personally, had an example of this. We adopted a thin dog from Animal Control. She was estimated to be 10 months old. She was unruly and clearly had NO training. Four months later, she was a different dog. She had put on weight but her manners still needed work. Then, she began peeing in the house! Our Vet established that there was no physical problem and recommended a dog trainer.

    Over the phone, the dog trainer nailed it! He said – she is now well established in your home and she thinks that she is the alpha of the house. She demonstrates this peeing whenever and wherever she feels like it. We immediately limited her to the mudroom unless she was right under our noses and took a much more strict approach to her — without being cruel.

    The peeing stopped immediately. She would not pee in the mudroom because that was her “space” and dogs generally don’t pee in their space. We worked on her obedience with the dog trainer. We have never looked back! Kind but firm discipline is still an everyday activity. She’s still a pup– that’s life! Moreover, because she is a big dog and we have 13 acres, we invested in an e-collar which our dog trainer demonstrated for us. Life is Good!

  7. She’s Suffering From Separation Anxiety

    If your dog pees on the bed, it can be a sign of separation anxiety. Because he’s formed such a strong attachment to you, he may be upset whenever you leave the house. Typical behaviors associated with separation anxiety are barking excessively, pacing, chewing or destroying things in the house, and even pooping or pee’ing indoors. Talk with a vet, who may be able to recommend some medical solutions for this condition. S/he may also suggest seeing a dog behaviorist to help reduce anxiety levels.

  8. The Bed Smells Like Urine

    dogs keep cats off bedsThe more an object (like a fire hydrant) smells like urine, the more your dog perceives it as a place to pee. So once your dog has urinated on your bed, it may become an acceptable place to go to the bathroom.

    Your dog’s hyper-sensitive nose will smell that urine even after you feel the odor has dissipated, so wash your bedding thoroughly and use an enzymatic cleaner to ensure it’s gone. (Don’t use ammonia, as that smells like urine and will make matters worse!). We tend to prefer apple cider vinegar—it’s non-toxic and is certainly strong, in a good way, to your dog’s nose!

How To Get Your Dog to Stop Peeing on the Bed

  • Don’t even let Fido up on the bed and be firm with this. That’ll stop him from peeing there – but, of course, he might start urinating somewhere else inside the house, so you’ll still need to find the root of the problem.
  • If you see that your dog is getting ready to pee on your bed (he’s starting to sniff and circle), immediately interrupt the process and take him outside to do his business, accompanied by lots of praise for doing it right.
  • Keep him confined in a designated area unless you are able to watch him very closely.
  • apple cider vinegarYou can try a dog spray that contains chemicals or natural solutions (like cayenne pepper, citronella or apple cider vinegar) that will repel your dog. Of course, the smell may repel you, too! Personally we have had good luck with apple cider vinegar.
  • If you’re gone all day at work or for longer periods of time, hire a dog walker or sitter come over and give your pooch a nice walk and a potty break. Having human interaction halfway through the day may help reduce any anxiety the dog is experiencing.
  • Whatever you do, don’t yell at or punish her when she pees the bed. That just creates more anxiety, which makes the problem worse and increases the chances she’ll do it again.

Sources

  • https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/urinary/c_multi_incontinence_urinary
  • https://www.thedogclinic.com/pee-on-bed
  • https://dogsbarn.com/how-to-stop-your-dog-peeing-in-the-house/
  • https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/care/reasons-for-dog-peeing-in-house
  • https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/urine-marking-in-dogs#2
  • https://www.petcarrierverdict.com/dog-peeing-on-bed/
  • https://gardenseason.com/best-homemade-dog-repellent/

Why Do Horses Yawn?

When your horse yawns, what does he really mean? Horses yawn for a variety of reasons.

Studies reveal there are several possible reasons:

  • State of drowsiness – perhaps relaxed/relaxation in your horse; but not the same as in humans (drops in blood oxygen levels)
  • Environmental stress or anticipation – herd dominance, social queues, anticipation
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort such as equine ulcers
  • Tempo-mandibular tension and/or pain (TMJ) – stretching or pain reaction
  • Liver distress – usually associated with other signs of liver disease (jaundice tissue, loss of condition, diarrhea, discolored urine, and abdominal pain)

Quite a bit of tension can be ‘carried’ in a horse’s jaw (TMJ) and yawning is a means for stretching or reacting to the pain or tension. When we are training our horses, we should pay attention to such behavior. There could be an issue with the teeth, or the bridle/bit may be ill-fitting.

Look in the horse’s mouth when the bridle is on to verify that the bit is not hitting teeth or is not too wide/too narrow, etc. This is a fairly common error with bridle fitting – take a look for yourself and establish exactly WHERE his teeth are. Some horses have really small mouths – this makes bit fitting a challenge.

Herd dominance issues may necessitate a living arrangement adjustment if the yawing is a queue to that type of stress.

Yawning in anticipation of meals or activity would be a reason to be the least concerned about the behavior. However, most other causes of yawning should be addressed as quickly as possible to decrease the stress that manifests into gastrointestinal discomfort – equine ULCERS. And, a horse may have no other signs, but still have ulcers. Working with your veterinarian to conduct a gastroscopy procedure to view in the horse’s stomach is the most effective means to determine if the horse has stomach ulcers or not. Hind gut ulcers are much more difficult to verify/detect.

Bentley YawningApparently, males yawn more often than females—very interesting! Are we boring you? So, yawning something that mares don’t get the ‘bad rap’ on!

Is your horse yawning because he is in pain, to relieve stress, or as a calming queue? (Calming queues such as licking & chewing, stretching down, etc.). If stress induced, what can you do to relieve his stressors? If Gastrointestinal, liver or pain is suspected, contact your veterinarian.

Bentley, in the picture attached, yawns in anticipation of meals… FEED ME!!!!

Next time your horse yawns, look around – what is going on in the environment when he yawns? Does your horse seem calm or stressed?

Share your observations with us – Gender? What is going on? Does it seem to be stress or calming or perhaps communication of some sort?

using apple cider vinegar for cat ear infections

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cure My Cat’s Ear Infection?

Proponents of home remedies say that apple cider vinegar is a practically a miracle cure-all, with the ability to mitigate or cure everything from fleas to urinary tract infections (taken internally).

But just like with many home remedies, there haven’t been many scientific studies that prove the claims are true.

So when it comes to ear infections in cats, let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s of apple cider vinegar.

What Does The Science Show?

veterinarian looking at cat ear infectionAccording to Medical News Today, at this time there isn’t any research on whether apple cider vinegar can help specifically with ear infections. But there have been studies (on humans) that indicate apple cider vinegar has anti-microbial properties – i.e., its application slows or stops the growth of bacteria. Researchers have found that this may be due to its acetic acid content.

And bacteria or yeast (fungus) is the most common cause of ear infections in cats.

What Is A Cat Ear Infection?

Ear infections are often caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast in the cat’s outer, middle or inner ears (otitis externa, otitis media and otitis interna). You can suspect an ear infection is bothering your cat if you see:

  • Your cat shaking her head or pawing/scratching her ears, face and neck
  • Black or yellowish discharge in the ears
  • There’s a bad odor coming from the ears
  • Hair loss or scabs around the face, ears and neck
  • Redness or swelling of the ear flap or ear canal
  • Waxy buildup on or near the ear canal
  • Your cat doesn’t hear as well
  • Your cat tilts her head, loses her balance or is disoriented

However, other things like ear mites or allergies can also cause similar symptoms – so visit the vet to be sure you have the right diagnosis and get the proper treatment.

Should Apple Cider Vinegar Be Part Of The Treatment?

apple cider vinegarBecause of its antimicrobial properties, many home remedy proponents say apple cider vinegar is okay to use to help treat bacterial or fungal ear infections in your cat. This is an external treatment (not ingested). They recommend adding it to homemade ear drops and/or combining it with rubbing alcohol and applying it with a cotton ball to your cat’s ears.

But there are some risks associated with apple cider vinegar that you need to consider:

  • Apple cider vinegar is very acidic, and strong concentrations of it can hurt the sensitive skin of your cat’s ear. Consequently, you have to dilute it – and even then, it can still burn tissue or damage your cat’s hair cells and follicles.
  • Rubbing the skin while you’re applying it to your cat’s ears can cause additional irritation and damage – possibly leading to a secondary infection, which leads to more scratching and perpetuates the cycle.
  • Even those who believe it’s a good solution say you should talk to your vet first and use it sparingly.

Is There A Better Solution?

Banixx Anti-Fungal Anti-Bacterial SprayYes! Banixx Pet Care spray is an over-the-counter (OTC) solution that’s perfect for helping your cat get rid of an ear infection:

  • Its anti-microbial properties create an environment which makes it impossible for bacteria and fungus to survive or grow.
  • It can be used in conjunction with any medications or treatments your vet has prescribed.
  • It’s non-toxic, so you can use it regularly and frequently with no side effects.
  • It is safe for use around the eye (which is important, as few cats sit still when their ears are being handled)
  • Unlike apple cider vinegar, it has no smell and doesn’t burn on application, so your cat will tolerate it much more easily.

One additional (and huge) benefit: No matter what the cause of your cat’s ear problem (infection, mites, allergies, etc.), Banixx will help relieve the itch, irritation, wounds and scabs caused by scratching the ear.

Just spray Banixx onto a cotton ball until moist, and gently apply it to the affected ear(s). The inside of the ear must be well moistened with Banixx to work. Massage Banixx gently into your cats’ ear. You should see positive results within 48 hours.

Sources

  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326855.php
  • https://www.felineliving.net/apple-cider-vinegar-cats/
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/apple-cider-vinegar-ear-infection#vinegar-treatment
  • https://medlicker.com/1235-apple-cider-vinegar-for-mycosis
dog belly rash

What Should I Do About A Rash On My Dog’s Belly?

You’re on the couch gently scratching your pooch when suddenly you realize she has a rash, bumps or acne-type lesions on her belly. Uh-oh – what does this mean? And how can you help her get rid of them?

Causes of Dog Belly Rashes

The four most typical causes of a belly rash are:

  • Allergic or contact dermatitis
  • Bacterial or fungal infection
  • Parasites like fleas or mites
  • Heat rash

Allergic or Contact Dermatitis

dog scratching and biting himself

Your dog may have eaten or inhaled something like mold, or pollen, or come in contact with poison ivy, fertilizer, road salt, hay, or other irritant. The rash is often itchy, so your dog will try to relieve the sensation with excessive scratching, biting or licking. And because it’s an allergic reaction, multiple other symptoms can shortly plague your dog, including watery eyes, sneezing, paw-licking or biting, diarrhea and vomiting, and hair loss.

It appears that certain dog breeds have a higher risk of suffering from allergies, including terriers, German Shepherds, Standard poodles, golden retrievers, and breeds with flat faces like the Pug, Bull-Dog and Boston Terrier.

Clearly the best way to avoid getting a rash as a result of these allergies is to avoid the allergen as much as possible. As a preventative, vacuum frequently, bathe your dog with hypoallergenic shampoo, change her diet, etc. Moreover, If you feel the rash is the result of an external source such as poison ivy or other plants, avoid those areas where those plants may be growing.

If the rash persists, consult with your veterinarian. She may be able to pinpoint more clearly what the allergen is – or might even diagnose another condition altogether (see below).

For more on treating dog skin allergies, click here.

Bacterial or fungal infections

veteranarian neosporin alternativeSometimes the cause of a rash is a bacterial, fungal or yeast infection, which gets started as the result of a cut or scrape, too much moisture, or other trauma to the skin. These infections usually cause lesions that look like pimples, and can also show up as crusty, scaly, flaky skin – all of which may be itchy or painful. Your dog could also suffer hair loss and inflammation – and be entirely miserable.

Ringworm is a type of fungus infection that shows up as circular lesions that are scabby and red. Be careful – this particular type of infection is contagious and can be passed on to your other pets – and YOU!

A visit to your Vet may result in her taking skin samples or skin scrapings to see if the infection is fungal or bacterial, and then prescribe antibiotics and/or anti-fungal medications if appropriate.

One type of bacterial infection that can look like small, pus-filled bumps on your dog’s belly is impetigo. This usually affects puppies rather than older dogs. The bacteria staphylococcus causes patches of infection to appear in hairless sections of the stomach. The lesion is filled with pus that oozes and then crusts over. It can be very painful. It is also contagious, so keep an eye on the health of the skin of your other animals. To cure it, you’ll need to use chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide, or benzoyl peroxide two times per day. But, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian to make sure you’re on the right track and using the right products.

For more on bacterial or fungal infections, see our page here.

Fleas, Mites and Ticks

dog ear mites and fleasYour dog’s belly rash may be the result of bites from fleas, mites, ticks and other insects. Flea saliva is an especially potent cause of allergic reaction in dogs – leading to everything from itchy red bumps to hot spots and hair loss.

Controlling those pesky fleas is your number one priority if you want to prevent misery in your dog. If your dog is left untreated for fleas, they will take up residence in your home and even eventually bite you! There is a wide variety of flea shampoos and topical or systemic treatments that are available from your veterinarian. Also, be sure to wash your dog’s bedding with a mild bleach solution (and clear water rinse). And remember, it’s not just in the summertime – flea control is something you may need to do year-round.

If the bites are caused by mites, you may be looking at a case of mange, which can cause a rash on your dog’s skin, including the belly and groin. You will need to go to the vet to get an anti-parasitic medication to kill the mites. Mites may be contagious so act quickly to determine what type of mite is involved. Treatment is very simple and quickly achieved for your dog. Again, it’s a good idea to wash your dog’s bedding with a bleach solution followed by a clear water rinse.

Heat Rash

dog heat rashJust like with impetigo (see Bacterial Infections above), heat rash is also caused by the staphylococcus bacteria. It looks like a red rash on your dog’s belly, and can also appear on the back, folds of skin, under the tail and neck and near her ears. Hot, humid weather conditions can make it flare up.

Heat rash starts off as a skin irritation that causes your dog to scratch a lot. Then it progresses from a rash to boils, pimples, scabs and a nasty smell. If your dog is scratching constantly, this can also develop into a secondary infection, so treat the heat rash as quickly as possible to prevent it from morphing into something more serious. Your vet should be involved to make sure the diagnosis is correct. If it is heat rash, cool your dog off by applying cold compresses or ice packs (ice cubes wrapped in a wash cloth) to the area for about 10 minutes. Try to do this several times a day until the condition eases.

How To Treat Your Dog’s Belly

Whether the rash is due to allergies, parasites, infections or heat rash, there is one sure-fire way to help heal the damage and soothe the irritation: Banixx Pet Care, which works on contact and usually relieves the itch within a day or two (results might vary from case to case).

rash on dog bellyBanixx not only eases the itching, it also helps resolve the infection, as its anti-fungal/antibacterial formula eliminates the environment in which bacteria or fungus can grow.

Simply apply Banixx 2-3 times daily to your dog’s rash, being sure to saturate your dog’s skin, even massaging it into your dog’s skin. It is non-toxic, so if your dog licks it off after application, it will not harm him, though you will need to reapply so Banixx has a good opportunity to work.

Banixx Pet Care is:

  • Odor-free
  • Painless
  • Steroid and antibiotic-free
  • Not sticky or oily
  • Gentle on the skin, rash, eruptions
  • Proven effective

You may decide to follow this up with Banixx Wound Care cream that is not only anti-bacterial and anti-fungal but, contains moisturizing, rejuvenating, soothing marine collagen that smoothes onto the skin as an effective medicated band-aid.

Sources

  • https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dog-rash-on-belly/
  • https://dogshealthproblems.com/rash-on-a-dogs-belly/
  • http://www.dogscatspets.org/dogs/dog-rash-on-belly/dog-rash-belly-causes-pictures-treatment-rash-dogs-belly/
  • https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/skin/c_multi_contact_dermatitis
  • https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dog-rash-on-belly/
  • http://www.dogscatspets.org/dogs/heat-rash/heat-rash-dogs-symptoms-home-remedies-prevention/
cat ear infection

How To Tell If Your Cat Has An Ear Infection

Cats are lucky – they don’t get nearly as many ear infections as dogs. But when they do get an infection, you need to act on it with quick – and correct – treatment. The reason for this is that cats, generally, are more stoic, so the ear infection may be quite advanced before you become aware of it. This means that you possibly have a much shorter window for a successful outcome, as compared with that for dog ear infections.

cat ears with infectionIt’s not really possible to tell just by observing your cat, if she has an ear infection or another issue with her ears. But there are certain symptoms that indicate a trip to the vet is required to get a proper diagnosis:

  • Shakes head or paws/scratches ears, face and neck
  • Black or yellowish discharge in the ears (discharge that looks like coffee grounds is usually a sign of ear mites)
  • Nasty odor
  • Hair loss or scabs around the face, ears and neck
  • Redness or swelling of the ear flap or ear canal
  • Waxy buildup on or near the ear canal
  • Loss of hearing
  • Tilting of the head
  • Loss of balance or disorientation
  • Irritability or odd behavior (e.g., hiding for long periods of time when that’s not her usual behavior)

Possible Causes of Your Cat’s Ear Infection

Ear infections in cats are usually the result of other infectious conditions affecting your furry friend. Some examples are:

  • Ear mites, which are especially a problem for kittens and are highly contagious for all of your pets. [For more on telling the difference between ear mites and ear infections, see this article] link to appropriate article on Banixx.com
  • Overgrowth of yeast, the most common cause of fungal ear infections in cats.
  • Allergies, usually stemming from food or pollen/environmental issues.
  • cat ear infection home remediesBacterial infections that could develop as the result of a wound or scratch.
  • Growths in the ear canal, including thick hair, tumors/polyps, etc.
  • Ruptured ear drum.
  • Foreign bodies in the ear canal, such as burrs or grass.
  • Immune suppressing diseases like FIV or feline leukemia virus. Cats with diabetes, allergies, or weak immune systems are more susceptible to ear infections.
  • Improper ear cleaning.

Until you identify the cause of your cat’s ear infection, you may be risking more serious conditions like deafness and facial paralysis, as well as chronic recurrences. As soon as you notice signs of ear discomfort, take the cat to a veterinarian, who can prescribe antibiotics, anti-parasitics, anti-fungals or other medications, depending on the results of the examination.

Cat Ear Infection Home Remedy Options

  • cat ear infection home remedyBe vigilant in checking your cat’s ear to make sure the inside of the earflap is pink. Make sure that there’s very little brown waxy build-up, that the canal is clear, and there is no odor. Any changes to this healthy condition may indicate an infection is getting started – and you can nip it in the bud before it gets too far.
  • Keep your cats ears clean. Your vet can show you the proper way to clean them and NEVER put anything such as a cotton swab or Q-tip inside your cat’s ears.
  • Use Banixx Pet Care spray to:
    • Help clear up any fungal or bacterial infection
    • Gently heal damaged tissue (caused by scratching, cuts, wounds, etc.)
    • Keep your kitty’s ears clean

Banixx Pet Care spray is an over-the-counter (OTC) solution that’s perfect for cleaning, treating and nurturing your cat’s ears.  Cats are not fans of sprays so it’s best to wet a small cotton ball with Banixx solution and clean your cat’s ears this way. Always make sure that the Banixx is room temperature; cats don’t like cold liquid in their ears…but then, who does? To be sure, simply run hot water over the Banixx bottle for a few minutes to warm it. It’s non-toxic, has no smell and doesn’t burn.

Moreover, Banixx can be used in conjunction with any medications or treatments your vet has prescribed – and there is no downside to using it frequently and regularly. When applying, make sure that the inside surface of the ear is well moistened so that Banixx makes good contact. Banixx works on contact. Massage Banixx gently into your cats’ ear. Results should be seen in a couple of days. But, do contemplate, Banixx is merely a topical solution. If your cat’s ear infection has already become severe, Veterinary intervention, via systemic antibiotics or similar, will surely be required for a good outcome.

Sources

  • https://pets.webmd.com/cats/ear-infections-in-cats-causes-treatment-and-prevention#1
  • https://www.thesprucepets.com/ear-infections-in-cats-3384627
  • https://www.vetinfo.com/inner-ear-infection-symptoms-cats.html
cat ear wax

Cat Ear Mites vs Ear Wax

Cats have an amazingly sharp sense of hearing. They can hear sounds about three times better than we humans can. Your little kitty purring in your lap has the instincts and capabilities of a wild cat – she can detect the minutest movements of a burrowing mole, know when a predator is approaching, or hear when a bird is cheeping across the street.

So of course you want your cat’s ears to be perfect and healthy. When you notice some brown, waxy buildup in her ears, you naturally ask: “Is this normal, or is it the sign of a problem?”

Ear wax is also called cerumen. Just like with your own ears, it’s natural for a little bit to build up over time. A normal inner ear and ear canal should be light pink in color. A small amount of light/medium brown ear wax is fine.

When Cat Ear Wax Is Not Normal

Check your cat’s ears regularly. If you notice any of the following, there may be a problem you need to address:

  • cat ear mitesExcess ear wax
  • Discharge that looks like coffee grounds
  • Red and/or swollen ears
  • Shaking the head
  • Scratching the ears, head and neck
  • Foul odor
  • Head tilting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Drooping on one side of the face
  • Squinting or abnormal eye movements
  • Difficulty walking
  • Trouble hearing

Ear Wax vs. Cat Ear Mites

Sometimes something that looks like a brown wax buildup in your cat’s ear can signal a bigger issue – ear mites, the most common cause of cat ear problems.

Ear mites are tiny parasites that usually require a microscope to see. They feed off the wax in your cat’s ear and actually stimulate the wax-producing glands inside the ear. They are more typically seen in kittens and puppies due to their weaker and developing immune systems. While the mites may be tiny, their presence can cause inflammation and irritation, and even lead to more severe ear infections (see below).

cat ear infection

The discharge looks like black, dry coffee grounds and consists of ear wax, blood and mites.

To be sure of your diagnosis of ear mites, take your cat to the vet for an examination. The vet may thoroughly clean your cat’s ears and prescribe medications that will eliminate the ear mites.

In addition to being disgusting, ear mites are also highly contagious for your other pets. So you’ll need to get all your animals checked and treated. Plus you’ll have to clean your cat’s environment, including washing pet bedding in hot water with bleach and drying it in a hot dryer, as well as vacuuming all common areas thoroughly and discarding the vacuum bags, etc.

When Excess Ear Wax Signals An Ear Infection

If you’re noticing surplus ear wax, it may be caused by a bacterial or fungal (yeast) infection. The most common infection is otitis externa, an infection of the outer ear canal, and is usually caused by the inflammation and irritation engendered by ear mites. If you don’t treat the otitis externa, the infection may move to the middle and inner ears – and then you can get into problems with damage to the ear drum, sometimes resulting in deafness.

cat ear infectionEar infections are highly irritating and even extremely painful for your cat. An infection due to a yeast build-up has a nasty smell, is especially itchy and often accompanied by a brownish/grey greasy discharge.

The symptoms of an ear infection can look very similar to the symptoms for ear mites. That’s why you should see a vet for the proper diagnosis and treatment, which might include antibiotics, topical medications and surgery.

Treating Your Cat’s Ear Problems

If your cat shows signs of an ear infection, ear mites, or just excess wax buildup, take him/her to a vet for a diagnosis, especially if you notice redness, swelling and a bad smell. The vet can take a swab of the ear canal, diagnose the problem and prescribe the proper treatment. For a bacterial ear infection, the vet may prescribe an antibiotic. Antibiotics are not effective for fungal infections. If she has ear mites, the vet may prescribe an easy-to-administer, anti-parasitic formulation to get rid of them swiftly.

cat ear problemsBanixx Pet Care is frequently used as a home remedy to soothe and heal the infection and irritation caused by the biting mites. If your cat has a yeast/fungal infection, Banixx is a powerful infection fighter that can be used to quickly combat the yeast/fungus infection and as a regular ear cleaner to prevent recurrence.

Banixx Pet Care spray can be used in conjunction with any formulation prescribed by your veterinarian.

Simply spray Banixx onto the cotton ball until moistened (not dripping), and gently apply 2-3 times daily to the affected ear(s). Banixx works on contact, but soak-time is important. The inside of the ear must be well moistened with Banixx for optimal results. Be sure to gently massage Banixx into your cat’s ear. Results should be seen in a couple of days. And never stick anything in the ears, like cotton swabs, to clean them!

Sources

  • https://pets.webmd.com/cats/ear-discharge-in-cats#1
  • https://www.petmd.com/cat/slideshows/8-common-ear-problems-cats
  • https://www.vetinfo.com/cat-ear-wax-removal.html#b
  • https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/feline-ear-disorders
dog playing in the snow

Is A Mixed Breed Dog The Right Dog For You?

Did you know that more than half of all dogs in the United States are mixed breed dogs? Yes, there are 38 million mutts making their owners happy throughout the nation – and many people believe they actually make better pets than purebred dogs.

You may or may not agree with this (purebreds are great, too!) – so let’s take a look at the arguments FOR mixed breed dogs. First, let’s talk about what is a dog breed.

dog breeds

What Is A Dog Breed?

Ever since the first prehistoric people befriended wolves and domesticated them, humans have been breeding dogs purposely to perform various tasks. Some were bred for hunting, others for herding, guarding, racing, bearing burdens and even for sitting in ladies’ laps.

So with all this breeding of dogs into specific types, what makes a dog “purebred”? According to the American Kennel Club, “The simplest way to define a breed is to say it always ‘breeds true.’” By this the AKC means that when you breed a beagle with a beagle, the resulting puppies will always look like their beagle parents.

Did you know that there are more than 340 dog breeds, of which 193 are recognized by the AKC? Each breed has ideal physical traits and temperaments. Purebred dogs have registration papers that show that both parents were registered and of the same breed. When you buy a purebred dog, you have an idea of what its qualities and personality will be like.

What Is A Mixed Breed Dog?

mixed breed dog

A mixed breed dog – aka a “mutt” or (less lovingly) a “mongrel” – is a dog that has more than one recognized breed in his/her gene pool and is often not the result of intentional breeding. Most mixed breed dogs have ancestry that, at least at some point, has more to do with natural selection than human intervention – accidental mating, in other words.

Because of this mixed heritage, these types of dogs all look different, with a huge variety of sizes, coat types, shapes, and colors. One mutt may have characteristics that look more like, say, a shepherd than any other breed, but because of the other breeds in the mix, the dog may not act like a shepherd.

What Is A Designer Dog?

The difference between a mixed breed dog and a designer dog is that the designer dog (also sometimes referred to as a “hybrid” dog) has more than one recognized breed, but the breeding is deliberate. This intentional breeding is done to combine existing breeds and form new ones.

schnoodle dog

Schnoodle

One example of a designer dog is the Goldendoodle, which was created to blend the Golden retriever’s wonderful temperament with a poodle’s low-shedding qualities. Designer breeds tend to have cute names like “Schnoodle” (poodle/miniature schnauzer), “Puggle” (pug/beagle) or “Chorkie” (chihuaha/Yorkshire terrier).

Breeders who specialize in these hybrid dogs are interested in establishing their particular variety as true breeds. To do this, they need to create a predictable type, where one individual dog of a “breed” has similar physical and personality traits as another individual dog.

One unfortunate outcome of the designer dog craze is that puppy mills have taken advantage of the popularity of these dogs to sell them at exorbitantly high prices. These dogs are marketed by both puppy mills and breeders as healthy, cute, intelligent, trainable – or whatever the particular traits might be that will appeal to buyers. These claims may or may not be true. Moreover puppy mills are notorious for in-breeding (for example, mating a mother dog with her son). This can, in many cases, create disastrous consequences that the new “owner” has to contend with in terms of poor physical attributes, greater propensity toward seizures and much more.

Why Should I Get A Mixed Breed Dog?

You may be saving a life! The ASPCA reports that around 75% of all dogs in shelters are mutts. That’s the most frequent place that people find their mixed breed dogs (other places include friends, neighbors and relatives). If you don’t rescue that mixed breed fella, there’s a good chance he may be euthanized, so it’s good to know that approximately 1.6 million dogs are adopted each year.

Mutts tend to be healthier than purebreds. It hasn’t been proven, but the theory is that more gene diversity in mixed breed dogs makes it less likely that they’ll develop hereditary diseases and disorders. What has been proven is that purebred dogs are more likely to develop different genetic disorders. For instance, one common disorder, hip dysplasia, affects German shepherds, Rottweilers, bulldogs, Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Neapolitan mastiffs and Retrievers. And urinary bladder infections tend to plague Dalmations, Newfoundlands, the Bichon Frise and miniature Schnauzers.

mixed breed dogs

Many shelter dogs have built-in advantages. If you get your mixed breed dog at a shelter, it’s highly likely to already be house-trained (since she belonged to someone else before ending up at the shelter). Alternatively, because the shelter dog is generally not a puppy, house-training is easier because the dog is more mature and so does not need to go to “the bathroom” many times in one day Also, most dogs at shelters are past the exhaustive puppy stage (which may or may not be an advantage in your eyes, depending on how much you like dealing with puppy training). Furthermore, It’s much less expensive to get a dog from the shelter, rather than a breeder. And a dog from a shelter is likely spayed or neutered (or, it’s included in the adoption fee) and up-to-date on all her vaccinations – another cost saving.

Mixed breed dogs may be more intelligent. Studies have shown that, compared to purebreds, mixed breed dogs perform better on intelligence and problem-solving tests. This may in part be due to the lack of the genetic factor of in-breeding – but more likely, it depends on the breeds that are part of the “mix.” According to Stanley Coren, author of “The Intelligence of Dogs,” the Top 7 smartest dog breeds are border collies, poodles, German shepherds, golden retrievers, Doberman pinschers, and Labrador retrievers. If your dog’s genetics include genes from any of these highly intelligent breeds, he’s likely to be one smart pooch.

And, the expression, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” simply does NOT hold true. The author has adopted many dogs ranging from 2 to 6 and all that is required to end up with a nicely trained dog, at any age, is regular, consistent training. And this training is not just when the dog trainer, if you use one, is on site but, just as with a two year old child, it’s attention and discipline, applied to every interaction between you and your dog.

What Is Your Dog’s Mix?

dog dna testMost people are content to take a good guess at the various breeds that make up their dog’s genetics, or to forget about it altogether and just love the dog for who he is. But some people would like to know what breeds comprise the “mix.”

The good news is that, just like with human ancestry DNA tests, you can get a pretty good idea of where your dog comes from through dog DNA tests that only require a sample of your dog’s saliva. The test will give you information on the potential breeds that make him who he is.

It may be fun to know what breeds contributed to your mutt’s unique personality – but in the end, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that your dog is your best friend who is happy to see you when you come home and always there for you in every situation of your life. And this is true whether you have a mutt or a purebred!

How Banixx Helps Dogs

Banixx is both effective and extremely safe – it can be used without worry on wounds or fungus infections around the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, and has proven to be particularly effective at eliminating dog ear infections, dog hot spots, and dog or cat ringworm. Use it with confidence to successfully treat wounds, fungus, horse scratches, rain rot, ringworm, abscesses, thrush, white line disease, bacterial infections, fungal infections, fly bites or just some itchy skin on your animals. 

Find a store near you that carries Banixx.

Banixx is the trusted solution for cuts and wounds on dogs