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18 August 2021

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Just how do you actually feel in relation to Pets?

Best Advice for Dogs with Skin Issues

I still need to publish a real post about Mr. Stix's full backstory, but this feels more pressing. For nearly 18 months, Mr. Stix's permanent nakey spot (from unknown injuries before he was rescued, including 15 fractures and this big patch of coat missing) has featured several inflamed, peeling areas. Initially I tried to fix it myself at home with things like aloe vera, vaseline, a veterinary ointment called animax that the shelter had give us while we fostered him most of 2019, etc. It's sort of a combination of steroids, antibacterial, and antifungal stuff. I took him to see our main veterinarian in spring 2020, when there was a 2-month wait to get into see a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. It has been quite a journey since then, and it's nowhere near over. Here's my best advice for dogs with skin issues.

Before I tell the ongoing saga with Mr. Stix's skin. Here is my best advice for dogs with skin problems.

See a board-certified veterinary dermatologist as soon as you can. Yes, your main veterinarian can probably help, but it's honestly best to go right to the top experts.

Agree to whatever skin scrapings / cytology the veterinary dermatologist recommends. This provides information about what types of secondary infections currently grow on your dog's damaged skin.

Do NOT assume every skin issue is allergies. It often is some sort of allergic process, but NOT always and assuming so (and acting accordingly may only delay real solutions and subject your dog to all kinds of quack advice and home remedies).

Buy the best quality fish oil and Vitamin E supplements you can afford, if it's recommended for your particular case of a dog with skin issues.

When necessary, agree to the skin biopsies (yes, like minor surgery) and have them reviewed by a veterinary pathologist that specializes in dogs with skin issues. The one we used is at Texas A&M.

Follow your veterinary dermatologist's advice and plans, and keep the faith. These dogs with skin problems often don't improve quickly. (I need to take my own advise. See below.)

Mr. Stix's Story as a Dog with Skin Problems

This is what Mr. Stix's nakey spot looks like when it's normal. Photo from May 2019 soon after his hip surgery. The bald patch is permanent. That's not the issue.

This is how bad the red / peeling areas got in mid-2020 when we saw our main veterinarian, who added a low-dose of oral Vitamin E and some topical too and told me to keep using the animax.

This is how it looked when Mr. Stix first saw the board-certified veterinary dermatologist in early August 2020, but the specialist had me STOP the animax and instead use a prescription anti-bacterial ointment (mupirocin) ... as well as add a better quality oral fish oil and continue both topical and oral Vitamin E (but at a higher dose twice a day). We knew from the skin scrapings / cytology they did onsite that Mr. Stix had a bacterial infection.

But, without the daily topical steroids (which long term are a bad idea), Mr. Stix's skin got much, much worse -- even breaking open and scabbing over.

Our veterinary dermatologist had recommended doing the skin biopsies right away in August 2020, and I *almost agreed to it then, but I was VERY worried about the cuts resulting in skin that would NOT heal. And, I figured it was at least worth a try to use the prescription antibiotic ointment and other supplements and stuff.

But, by around Thanksgiving, it was clear we had to do the biopsy. That photo is kind of gruesome, so you can see it here, if you want. I wish I had done the biopsy sooner. I feel like I wasted time from August through November.

Post-Biopsy Diagnosis

As I expected, despite all the know-it-alls trying to tell me it was an allergic issue, it turns out that Mr. Stix instead has an autoimmune condition called erythema multiforme. They believe it was triggered by the trauma of his earlier injuries. They don't think it is life-threatening. They don't think it will spread to other areas of his skin. Just the already damaged, permanent nakey spot.

With that information in hand, we updated the treatment plan to include a topical, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ointment (tacrolimus -- often pricey, but we used a Good RX coupon at Costco to get the cost down). They use a version of this medication orally for people who have had various kinds of transplants. It's the smallest / safest option for treatment, and that's where we started.

I was so hopeful it would work at the once-daily application, but the skin still didn't heal completely.

So, in early 2021, we started applying it twice daily on the advice of our veterinary dermatologist.

But, it still hasn't healed completely. It often improves a lot and then comes roaring back, so we had another appointment to see the specialist last week. We had to try something new.

Enter the Big Immune-Suppressing Drug

Despite my concerns and form of veterinary PTSD about major immune suppression drugs (after our experiences with Lilly), I agreed last week to add oral cyclosporine, which is also a drug that people get after various transplants. Mr. Stix would need to take it daily for life.

It smells like it's made from skunk butts, so each gel-cap pill is individually packaged, and you keep them in the freezer because that can help with nausea it can cause (since it's recommended you give on an empty stomach).

I found some good info on this med, and our veterinary dermatologist assured me that it has been safely used in veterinary medicine for like 20+ years, etc.

The med only comes in doses of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg, and at his size Mr. Stix's ideal dose is around 88 mg once a day. So we went with 75 mg (25+50) to err on the lower side.

It takes like 3-7 days for the med to build up in the blood to therapeutic levels, but it takes more like 4-6 weeks to know if it's going to help the skin (or not).

We made it to day 4, then the barfing started.

Anxiety

I wish I could say that this is all going to be fine, but I just don't know. I feel like I just have to accept that the skin will never fully heal, even though seeing his raw spots up close while applying the topical med twice a day and topical Vitamin E once a day causes me so much angst and anxiety.

I supposed to check in with our veterinary dermatology team next week to confirm that Mr. Stix's weirdness and apparent suffering has improved.

It took a lot of convincing to get Mr. Champion of My Heart to agree to try the cyclosporine, so even if the specialist comes back and recommends maybe a lower dose, I doubt we'll want to risk it ... because Mr. Stix sure seemed to be having some neurologist issues to me, and after the Lilly situation, I just cannot do that again.

He is only 3 years old. I don't want to make anything worse. It honestly felt like I'd poisoned him.

The good news is that most of the time his skin doesn't seem to hurt or itch or anything -- though I do have pain meds, if he needs them. It mostly just looks bad, and he has to wear a no-lick collar for about 20 minutes after I apply his meds so that he doesn't lick it off.

His nakey spot is prone to sunburn anyway, and the topical tacrolimus increases the risk of burning, so I used his earlier sun-reflecting coat (which started to look ragged) as a pattern and sewed him a new / light sun protection coat. He looks very cute in it.

https://championofmyheart.com/2021/08/05/dogs-with-skin-issues/

Pet Care Tips Specifically For Dog Owners.

There is no such thing as a perfect dog owner. You may look back regretfully on mistakes you've made, but the truth is that you're not alone. Learning from your mistakes is key, and this article should show you the right way to care for your dog as it is chock full of advice from other owners like you.

When you have a dog, make sure that you give him enough water. Water should be made available to your dog at all times of the day, particularly in the summertime. Put his water bowl somewhere where no one will trip over it, otherwise you'll be cleaning your floors all day!

Groom your dog regularly. A dog requires constant grooming to keep his coat in tip top condition. Make sure that your dog is completely relaxed before you start the grooming session; this is especially important if he is excitable. Keep the session quite short (5 to 10 minutes at most) until he is comfortable with the idea of being groomed. Most importantly - be sure to praise him and offer a treat after a successful grooming session!

Take care to keep your dog cool while traveling during the summer by car. Even with your air-conditioning on, the dog may become over-heated in his pet carrier. A simple and low-cost countermeasure is freezing a few gallon jugs of water and placing them near him where he can curl up and cool off.

Avoid issues of jealously if you have more than one animal. Particularly if you bring a young dog into the home of an older dog, problems can arise. Be considerate of the patience and energy levels of your senior dog and make sure his feelings aren't hurt by giving the new guy all the attention.

Rather than merely using verbal commands, it is wise to utilize hand signals when training your dog. These signals will help you keep your dog under control in a noisy environment. Look at both options and see if one particular way works best.

Avoid issues of jealously if you have more than one animal. Particularly if you bring a young dog into the home of an older dog, problems can arise. Be considerate of the patience and energy levels of your senior dog and make sure his feelings aren't hurt by giving the new guy all the attention.

If you are planning on getting a new puppy, plan on investing in some training classes. These classes offer a great opportunity for your puppy to socialize with other dogs and learn basic commands. These classes will provide your new puppy with a great foundation for future training and will help them get a great start in life.

If you live with other people, make sure they are aware of your training "rules." It is important that everyone redirects the dog off of the furniture, for example, and that they use the same language when doing so. If everyone's rules are different, your dog is just going to get confused, which will make the training process much longer and more difficult.

Your dog needs healthy teeth and you should brush them regularly. This helps to prevent dental problems and gum disease, but also prevents other illnesses. Infections in the mouth can spread to other areas of the dog's body, like the kidneys and the heart. Pet stores sell special toothpaste for dogs.

Shop carefully for a dog before you get a new one. Make sure that you have taken the time to research the breed and know how much exercise and grooming a new dog will need. If you take the time to choose carefully, you'll find that you are naturally a better match to the dog and both of you are happier.

When taking care of your dog's grooming needs, do not neglect their feet. Obviously, dog's do not wear shoes so their feet are exposed to the elements and could hurt their feet in debris outside. Look for any cuts or abrasions on their feet and if you find something serious, bring him or her to their vet.

Owning a new puppy is very similar to having a new baby. Puppies need a lot of attention and have to be taken care of constantly. They are not ready to be left alone for long periods of time and need to have a fair amount of attention devoted to them.

When training your dog, always make sure that you enter a room before allowing the dog to. This is important because it is an obvious form of dominance that your dog will understand. Establishing dominance will help with your ability to train your dog and with its overall behavior patterns.

Even if your dog does not spend the majority of his time outside, it is still important that you bring him or her to the vet for their yearly shots. Your dog could come in contact with other dogs at the dog park or at your home. If the other dog is sick, it could pass on to your dog. This is why it is important that they are vaccinated every year.

Make sure that you're feeding your dog a good quality food. Most dog foods available at your grocery store are mainly made up of grains or corn. Instead of this, you should try to find a dog food that is mostly made of meat. Foods that are high quality can provide you with many benefits, such as having a healthy pup, less vet visits, and your dog's coat will shine more.

Many dogs enjoy things like fruits and vegetables, rice, eggs and cottage cheese. There is nothing wrong with letting them have these things, but they should not make up the bulk of their diets. You should feed them dog food, and implement these items around 10 percent of the time.

dog breeds starting with v will need veterinarian check ups twice a year when they become old. Dogs can age quickly over the course of a year, and older dogs will need more vet examinations in order to catch any changes their bodies may be going through. Additional tests, such as blood, urine, and ultrasound may be needed.

Now that you know more about some great advice for taking care of your dog, you can make sure your loving addition to the family is pleased and satisfied. Your dog is going to do everything he can for you, so you need to make sure you return the favor. Use the information you have read to help you.

Super Secrets For Repairing Your Dog-related Issues

Dogs are known for their loyalty and trusty companionship, making them an ideal pet. But a great pet doesn't necessarily come naturally. It's up to you to teach them manners and take proper care of them. The below article will inform you on how to raise a dog properly.

When you have medications of any sort, keep them where your dog cannot get to it. Swallowing even one pill can end very badly, with a sick or dying dog. If you notice that your dog has consumed any of your medication, you need to immediately contact your vet.

Start training your dog as soon as you bring them home. Create a vocabulary list that all your family members will use to command the dog and stick to it. Dogs can become confused if the same words are not used to give them directions. The dog will see "get over here"u009d and "come"u009d as two different commands.

Take your grown dog to the vet at least once a year. The vet will check to see if the dog's vaccines up to date. In addition, the vet will check the dog's teeth and vital signs. If any major health or behavioral issues come up between annual checkups, you should see the vet earlier.

Schedule regular veterinary visits. Regular veterinary exams are extremely important for your dog's overall health - as with humans, it is important to catch any health problems early on. The vet will make sure that your dog is up to date on his vaccinations, and check for any other issues such as weight and dental problems or parasites.

Although the sound may be cute, your dog's nails shouldn't click along the floor when it walks. That's a sign that the nails are too long. The nails should actually just barely touch the ground. Seek the advice of a professional on what tools are the best for giving your dog a pedicure.

If you are thinking about adopting a dog, try taking a couple of weeks off work so you can spend some time with your puppy and teach it a few good habits. Training your puppy and helping it get used to its new environment will be much easier if you are home.

If your vet gives you medication to take home and administer to your dog, be sure and ask for ideas on getting him to swallow it. Dogs differ in their tolerance of pills and badly-flavored liquids, so have a few tricks up your sleeve in case he resists. Getting a dog to take medicine is important, but often challenging.

When buying your dog's food, do not get the cheap stuff. When you look at the big picture, it is good for your dog to consume nutritious, good quality food. Although this could mean paying a higher price for a better brand, at least you know that your pet is getting the required amount of nutrients in their diet.

Determine your dog's specific exercise regimen. Dogs have different fitness needs based their sex, overall health, age, breed mix, or breed. Every dog should have a couple 10-minute walks a day around the block. Dogs between 6 and 18 months, active breed or mixed breeds, terriers, hounds, and herding dogs will most likely require more fitness than others types of dogs.

Be sure to schedule a check up for your new friend with a trusted veterinarian. Immediately after bringing home the new dog, schedule a checkup with your veterinarian. Your dog will get a vaccination schedule and a checkup. Ask your vet about neutering your dog. navigate here are filled with unwanted animals and not neutering your dog means you could be making this problem worse.

Dogs need regular check-ups, too. Your pet will need to go to the vet so it can get tested for heart worms, get a general check up, and to see if the shots are still up to date. Puppies need to go to the vet more often then adult dogs. If you see any signs of injury or illness, talk to your vet immediately.

Although some dogs do well on the recommended amount of food to be given each day, some dogs need more or less. Instead of just going by what your food says to feed your dog, try to keep an eye on your dog's body. If you notice that your dog is gaining a bit of weight, cut the food intake back a bit.

Schedule appointments with the vet regularly. Dogs need to go to the vet for a check-up, but also to check for heartworm and to ensure they have all their shots. With a puppy, you will need to visit your vet a little more often. You will also need to see a vet right away if your dog starts showing signs of illness or injury.

If you've just gotten a new dog, you must pick a place for it to sleep. If your dog is in a crate during the night, do not let your dog in your bed. If you do decide to allow your dog to enter your bedroom, make sure it's something you're okay with for the long term.

If your dog is always drinking out of the toilet, try changing how you provide him with water. Most prefer it cold and fresh, hence the attraction to the bathroom, so buy a fountain or thermally insulated dish to keep his water at a more appealing temperature. Also, add ice-cubes when it's hot out and he's panting

Always try to do your training in an area where the dog has some distractions around them. Rarely are you going to be in a situation where you need your dog to obey and it is completely quiet. It is best for you to practice your training with the television on, kids running wild and maybe some music playing.

Teach your dog a few basic commands. Simple commands like sit, stay and heel are important for keeping your dog safe and helping him to become friendly around other people. Dogs can easily learn these commands in very little time, and lessons are available if you need some extra assistance.

Puppies may be cute when biting on a slipper, but the cuteness fades when it turns into a dog who is ripping them apart. Stop these problems early. If he's doing something wrong, say "no" firmly. It is best to address this issue early.

Now that you're able to see what kind of work goes into working with dogs, you should have a better idea of how to care for yours. Even if you're just thinking of getting a dog you should now know what to do when you get one. Take great care of your canine friend and it will care for your family!

I ran across that piece about Pets when doing a lookup on the web. Sharing is nice. One never knows, you may be doing someone a favor. I enjoy reading our article about Dogs.

My Website: https://championofmyheart.com/2021/08/05/dogs-with-skin-issues/

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