Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

Whether you’re like Bubba from Forrest Gump and can recite every way to cook them, or the only way you’ve ever seen them is with a side of cocktail sauce on New Year’s Eve, it’s hard to deny just how appetizing shrimp can be. 

If you have dogs, you also know that enjoying any food can mean having to listen to them whine and beg for a bite of what you’ve got on your plate. But deciding to haphazardly give them a piece of what you’re eating can be dangerous. You’ve got to be sure they can stomach it. 

So, can dogs eat shrimp? Or are they something you should avoid giving them at all costs?

Shrimp is Safe for Dogs to Eat

Unless your dog is allergic to seafood, there is no need to worry! Dogs can eat shrimp in moderation with minimal risk. According to Dr. Danielle Bernal, a veterinarian with Wellness Natural Pet Food, eating shrimp actually provides multiple beneficial nutrients to dogs.

What Benefits Does Eating Shrimp Have for Dogs?

dog licking his lipsNot only are these crustaceans insanely delicious, but they’re also rich in nutrients that dogs need. Shrimp’s high vitamin B12 content helps maintain your dog’s gastrointestinal health by aiding in metabolic processes. Shrimp also contains high concentrations of vitamin B3 which assists in energy production, fat production, blood circulation, chemical signals, and more. Additionally, shrimp is rich in antioxidants and phosphorus which promotes bone health and reduces brain aging.

Besides its undeniable nutrient density, shrimp is a low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb food, making it an excellent source of protein for dogs on a diet. However, dogs should only eat shrimp in moderation as a means to control their weight; there are plenty of other foods, such as green beans, that are dense and fibrous (resulting in your dog feeling full) that make up part of a grand plan for weight loss for your dog

Can Dogs Eat Raw Shrimp?

Unfortunately, dogs should not be fed raw shrimp. This is because raw and undercooked shellfish can contain a wide variety of harmful bacteria including salmonella and listeria and this may lead to a very sick pup!

How to Prepare Shrimp for Dogs

shrimp for dogsIf you’re going to give your dog shrimp, you must take some precautions in how you prepare it. First, remove the shrimp shell. You need to do this because shrimp shells are tough and hard for your dog to digest.

After de-shelling the shrimp, remove its tail. Like its shell, shrimp tails are notoriously tough and can even perforate your dog’s intestinal system. Then, devein the shrimp. In the same manner in which you don’t want to accidentally ingest the grime and feces from a shrimp’s digestive system (by not deveining the shrimp), neither does your pooch!

After taking these precautions, you’re ready to cook! Remember to cook shrimp all the way through if you’re serving it to dogs – that way you eliminate any harmful bacteria that remains.

It’s advised that you steam shrimp so your dog isn’t consuming unnecessary calories that come from other methods that involve using oil or breading.

Lastly, remember to serve shrimp plain – that means no garlic, onions, or other seasonings that may upset their tummy!

If Your Dog Is Allergic To Shrimp

If your dog ends up snagging a bite of shellfish and is allergic, watch out for the development of certain complications such as hot spots or yeast infections.

If your dog presents with the symptoms of either of these complications, visit Banixx.com to learn more about our non-toxic, no-odor, fast-acting treatment options!

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Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers?

 

Adding cucumber to salad, lemonade, or even a poolside cocktail can add a delectable freshness that’s hard to beat on a hot summer day.

cucumbers skinHowever, the refreshing nature of cucumbers isn’t the reason you’re likely to hear your dog whimpering and begging for a slice.

Dogs’ omnivorous nature means they actually enjoy the taste of most fruits and vegetables!

So, next time you’re cutting slices of cucumber and see your four-legged friend licking his chops, should you give him a slice?

Are Cucumbers Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Yes, absolutely!

Not only are cucumbers non-toxic for your furry friend to eat, but eating them can actually provide a number of health benefits!

Benefits of Cucumbers for Dogs

Due to them being 96% water, feeding your dog cucumbers is a way to keep them hydrated while out on walks.

dog hot spots

Additionally, cucumbers only contain eight calories per one-half cup of slices – only 20% of the calories of a single Milk Bone biscuit.

This makes them both an excellent diet food and a great, low-calorie food to use as a reward while training!

Cucumbers also contain trace amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium, all of which are essential for a healthy canine diet.

However, you should remember that cucumbers are not necessarily packed with these nutrients, so be sure to supplement them with other nutrient-dense foods.

Besides containing helpful nutrients, cucumbers also contain certain phytochemicals and phytonutrients which work to eliminate odorous bacteria from your pooch’s mouth. 

In a way, cucumbers can act like a natural breath mint for your pup! Of course, cucumbers aren’t a substitute for brushing your dog’s teeth.

Cucumbers also contain trace amounts of the mineral Silica, which has been known to help strengthen joints and connective tissue in dogs. For older dogs suffering from the symptoms of arthritis, adding a few cucumber slices to their diet can be a great supplement to help offer some relief.

What Risks Are There to Feeding Dogs Cucumbers?

cucumbersThere are two risks you should be aware of when deciding to feed your dog cucumbers: choking and overeating.

Feeding your dog too many cucumbers carries the risk of upsetting their gastrointestinal tract, which leads to a very unhappy pooch. 

When trying to decide how much cucumber is appropriate to feed your dog, use the ten percent rule.

This rule, recommended by veterinarians, states that treats should account for no more than 10% of a dog’s daily diet. This means the amount of cucumber you feed your pup should be proportional to their dietary needs based on their size.

Additionally, you should also be sure to cut the cucumbers you’re serving into small, bite-size pieces, especially for small dogs or for dogs that scarf down their food.

Visit Banixx.com for more information on how to keep your dog happy and healthy.

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Hot Spots on Dogs: 10 Things You MUST Know

If you’ve got a dog with hot spots, these are the 10 most important things you must know before doing anything else.

What Are Dog Hot Spots?

A dog hot spot (also called acute moist dermatitis) is an area of inflamed or infected skin. It starts out as a small irritation and quickly grows into a bacterial infection that can become very painful for your dog. Oftentimes the dog himself causes the hot spot to grow when he obsessively scratches, licks and chews on the skin. It’s this manic behavior that usually alerts you about the hot spot that needs to be treated.

What Do Dog Hot Spots Look Like?

do not put neospsorin on your dogA dog hot spot starts out as a small, red, wet-looking area. Sometimes it’s as small as the size of an insect bite. But it can grow to an area of 6-7 inches wide in just a few hours because it’s an irritation that your dog just can’t stop licking and biting. Depending on the severity, it can look red, swollen and inflamed, and sometimes oozes pus or blood. Many times, the affected area will lose hair and develop a crust.

When your dog goes after the hot spot, incessantly licking and biting the area, she inadvertently makes the situation worse, generating a secondary bacterial infection.

What Causes Hot Spots on Dogs?

When your dog seemingly spontaneously develops a dog hot spot, you may ask, “Why did this happen? Where did this come from?”

There are several causes:

  • Most hot spots develop as a result of allergies to food or environmental factors (like pollen, grass and pesticides).
  • Any kind of skin infection can develop into a hot spot.
  • Flea allergy dermatitis or other parasitical infections (like scabies and mites) may lead to hot spots.
  • Seasonal changes with their related coat changes may contribute, since a thick, matted area of coat that needs to be shed may develop moisture build-up and clogged pores – a perfect hot spot environment.
  • Older dogs with weakened immune systems are targets for hot spots.
  • Boredom, loneliness or stress can be the culprits. Large dogs, in particular, may “entertain” themselves by obsessively chewing, biting or licking at little spots on their bodies such as minor insect bites, and the hot spot cycle begins.

Where Do Dog Hot Spots Form?

Dog Wound Neosporin

Hot spots can appear anywhere on a dog’s body, including the back, belly, legs, feet, and face/ears. Even though they can be located in different places, they always look similar – a red, raw wet-looking area that’s inflamed and itchy.

How To Treat Hot Spots on Dogs

If you think your dog has a hot spot, take her to the veterinarian for diagnosis. Don’t wait – delaying treatment will only make it worse and harder to get rid of. And don’t try to diagnose it yourself – as you read above, there are many underlying causes for dog hot spots, and treating a hot spot effectively requires that you know what caused it.

What a Veterinarian Will Do

Elizabethan cone used to prevent hot spot lickingThe veterinarian will conduct a complete physical exam on your dog and may do a skin scrape to see if the issue is parasites. Then the vet will clip the hot spot to prevent matting, clean the area with an antiseptic solution, and if there’s a severe secondary bacterial infection, prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic. In some cases, the vet will also prescribe a topical or oral steroid to soothe the itch and inflammation. And, of course, the Elizabethan collar (or “cone of shame”) will keep your dog from getting at the area while healing.

In addition, if your veterinarian diagnoses the cause of hot spots to be allergies, he/she will help you devise a strategy to help your dog avoid the allergens.

How To Clean Dog Hot Spots

bleeding dog pawFirst, if you feel confident that you can do it without accidentally injuring your dog, trim the area around the hot spot. For small areas scissors will likely work; however, if you use scissors, do not use regular scissors, use grooming scissors that have blunt ends. If the area is large, you may shave it. This will expose it to the air and help dry it out.

Then, to clean the hot spot, use a mild, water-based astringent or antiseptic spray – something like Banixx Pet Spray, Betadine or Chlorhexidine – to wipe off any discharge, blood or pus. We recommend that you don’t use anything that contains alcohol or vinegar – the acid will burn and hurt. And we also don’t recommend anything with moisturizer, like coconut oil – the last thing a hot spot needs is more moisture.

Just dip some gauze into the solution, clean the hot spot gently, and pat it dry. These solutions will not sting your dog and add to his distress. If you continue to see an oozing discharge, repeat the cleaning every few hours or several times a day.

How to Treat Using Banixx Pet Care Spray

banixx pet care sprayMany veterinarians recommend using the Banixx Pet Care spray for disinfection and treatment of dog hot spots. It has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, so no matter what the cause of the hot spot, it is effective. In addition, unlike so many of other home remedies and human over-the-counter medications on the market, it is not toxic if ingested, doesn’t sting or burn upon application, can be used around the eyes, and can be used frequently without worrying about overdosing.

To apply: Using the spray (or if your dog doesn’t like a spray, you can soak a gauze pad), saturate the entire affected area, including the surrounding immediate skin, since the hot spot is probably bigger than it first appears. Treat the area 2-3 times a day for a few days; oozing may continue for a couple days as part of the healing process. The hot spot will start to dry up and scab over. Make no attempt to remove the scabs, as they are Mother Nature’s band-aids, so removing them will not only be painful for your dog but may lead to a re-infection.

If your dog is inclined to lick Banixx, distract him or her with a walk or play time. You don’t need to worry about toxicity of your dog ingesting Banixx but if the Banixx isn’t in contact with the hot spot, it can’t work properly. Owners have had good luck applying peanut butter to the roof of the pup’s mouth as a distraction. Another method is to apply peanut butter to the inside of a Kong® or similar toy that keeps your dog amused for a while. Alternatively, take your dog for a supervised walk or play ball with her. Vets may recommend an E-collar, or you can also try tying a light wrap over the affected area. Some people also improvise by having their pets put on tee shirts to prevent them from accessing the wounds on their body.

Other Home and Natural Remedies

Many dog lovers want to treat their dogs with natural or home remedies rather than antibiotics and other medications, and indeed, there are many topical sprays, shampoos and herbal remedies on the market. Sometimes people think, “Well, it works for humans – will it work on my dog?” Ask your vet before using human products on your pet – they may be toxic if licked off and taken into their system; we recommend strongly that you always use a product that is pet-approved/pet safe.
Following is a list of common remedies that people think about using on their pets:

Essential Oils

essential oils for ear infectionsEssential oils are compounds that are extracted from plants through distillation or cold pressing. They’re mostly used for aromatherapy, where a “patient” inhales the scent to gain its beneficial properties. Essential oils are not meant to be ingested.

Some are also touted for their anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, and which encourages home remedy proponents to use essential oils on their pups for wounds and infections like hot spots. The main thing to remember about essential oils is you have to be careful where you buy them – make sure you’re educated about purity, strength and directions for use – and there is very little research that proves its efficacy.

Some of the essential oils often cited as being possibly useful for healing dog hot spots are lavender, oregano oil, chamomile and tea tree oil. Essential oils must almost always be diluted with water or other “carrier” oils, as they are toxic and only meant for external use.

For instance, tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It contains chemicals called terpenes that make it effective against bacteria and fungi – but they are also highly toxic to animals. Whether taken orally or through the skin, terpenes are rapidly absorbed by your pet – and the toxic effects can be quite serious. We do not recommend the use of tea tree oil to treat dog ear infections, for example.

Coconut Oil

Using coconut oil to treat dog hot spotsCoconut oil has soothing properties and contains lauric acid, which has antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. 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, reapplying, as necessary. When it works, the hot spots will usually begin healing within a few days.

However, it tastes good, so your dog will love licking it off. Small amounts are not toxic for your dog, but large amounts can cause problems. And if it’s licked off, it may require many re-applications. Licking the area was part of the problem in the first place…

And coconut oil is a great moisturizer, as many people will attest. But the last thing a dog hot spot needs is more moisture – you are trying to dry it up.

Finally, lauric acid is not a broad-spectrum anti-bacterial agent, so it could eliminate good bacteria that are fighting the bad bacteria causing the hot spot. There is however not much research on the effectiveness of coconut oil in treating dog hot spots.

Shampoo

Banixx ShampooYour dog’s skin is delicate – it’s actually not as thick as human skin and very sensitive to bacteria, fungus and insect bites. If you want to bathe your dog every month with a shampoo that’s got anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, it may help heal and prevent hot spots.

There are many medicated shampoos on the market designed to treat dry, itchy skin, as well as bacterial and yeast infections. One key thing to remember is what you DON’T want the shampoo to contain: namely, detergents (which will leave your dog’s skin completely dried out and stripped of all-natural skin oils). You also don’t want it to contain parabens, sulfates, alcohol or steroids. We recommend Banixx Medicated Shampoo, which has the soothing, healing properties without the unwanted agents.

Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegarLike any vinegar, apple cider vinegar is an acid and contains antimicrobial properties – it naturally kills organisms like bacteria and fungi. This is one of the reasons it has become known as a great home remedy for a variety of physical ailments – and as a household cleaner and disinfectant.

You can try apple cider vinegar on a hot spot if it’s in the very early stages – but as soon as there is any broken skin, it is NOT recommended. The burn and sting it causes when it hits the hot spot will alarm and hurt your pup. Needless to say, it’s too caustic to be used around the eyes. Another thing to know: its antimicrobial properties don’t necessarily work with all different types of bacteria – so it’s possible it will not be effective on the kind of bacteria or yeast affecting your dog.

Benadryl

Benadryl Dog Hot SpotsBenadryl is a human medication known to help reduce itching. But here’s a case where it’s important to talk with your vet before giving your dog a human medication. If it’s given in the wrong amount or in combination with other drugs, there are adverse, even toxic side effects.

Please note that liquid Benadryl is too concentrated to use with your dog – you’ll need to use a capsule or pill. That makes it hard to know how much to give your dog – the vet would recommend the best dosage for your dog’s size and weight. Benadryl should not be given to pets who have glaucoma, cardiovascular disease or hyperthyroidism.

Neosporin

Is Neosporin safe for dogs?Humans use Neosporin on wounds, cuts and scrapes to prevent and eliminate bacterial infections. It contains three antibiotics: Polymyxin B, Neomycin, and Bacitracin. While there are only a few negative side effects when used on dogs, the most prominent one is Pemphigus Vulgaris. This is an autoimmune disease that can cause painful blistering on your dog’s skin and mucous membranes. Other ingredients have been linked to deafness. In addition, if a dog licks at a hot spot that has been treated with Neosporin, it can result in vomiting and diarrhea. In other words, there are safer treatments for your dog than Neosporin.

Pepto Bismol

pepto bismolWe have heard of people who dab Pepto Bismol, the over-the-counter medicine containing the active ingredient bismuth subsalicylatn, on dog hot spots to help reduce the itchiness. We do not recommend this treatment – Pepto Bismol is considered safe for your dog to ingest if he has a problem with indigestion or diarrhea, but there is a danger of overdosing, with some concerning side effects. If you put it on an open wound, the dog may lick it off…and who knows how much he’s ingested? There are many other, better alternatives to Pepto Bismol.

Vicks VapoRub

Vicks VapoRub is used by humans for many reasons – from helping clear up congestion to moisturizing, repelling insects, getting rid of acne and more.

vicks vapor rub

It is also used to heal minor scratches and scrapes. It has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. The thick, waxy, antiseptic formula creates a barrier over the wound and helps ward off infection. Some people put a bit of Vicks VapoRub near the dog hot spot to keep your dog from licking, as it has a strong menthol odor.

However, it is for external use only and shouldn’t be used anywhere near your dog’s eyes. It should not be eaten or applied to cut skin. Again, there are other, safer alternatives.

Gold Bond Medicated Powder

desenex gold bond medicated powderSome people have reported success in treating hot spots in dogs with Gold Bond Medicated Powder, which may help with the itching. It works to soothe skin and absorb moisture. However, the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated its effectiveness for use on dogs – and it’s important to prevent your dog from licking the affected areas and swallowing the powder. This is exceedingly difficult to do if your dog has been obsessively licking the hot spot to begin with.

Desenex

The active ingredient is Miconazole, which is used to treat yeast/fungal infections. There are some dog owners who use Desenex ointment on a hot spot and have found it helps heal the inflamed area. Once again, however, the problem is that a dog may lick it off, and it’s certainly not meant to be ingested.

How To Prevent Dog Hot Spots

The best way to prevent dog hot spots is to diagnose and address the underlying causes that he’s getting them. Here are 6 tips you can use to help your dog avoid these maddening and painful wounds:

Get Rid of Fleas and Parasites

picture of dog ear miteFleas and ticks can sometimes be the cause of dog hot spots. A flea or tick bites your dog, he starts to scratch it, and the area gets inflamed and grows into a hot spot. Preventing flea and tick bites is an important way to prevent itching infections, so make sure you maintain a parasite control regimen. If you’ve already got a flea problem, you must also treat your dog’s environment, including your house, the dog’s bedding, and other animals in the home. Generally, the only fleas you will see are the adult fleas that represent about 5% of a flea infestation – the remaining 95% is made up of flea eggs, larvae and pupae. To eliminate these, wash your dog’s bedding in a bleach solution and apply apple cider vinegar to your dog’s environment.

Get To The Bottom of Food Allergies

Dog Food Allergies Hot SpotsDid you know that while dog (or cat) food allergies may cause gastrointestinal problems, it’s typically their skin that is most often affected? Around 50% of dog hot spots are attributable to food allergies. If your vet has diagnosed food sensitivities as the reason your dog gets recurring hot spots, try changing your dog’s diet. Dogs are by nature meat eaters. Many dog food “fillers,” such as corn or soy, can lead to a dietary imbalance resulting in skin irritations. Making the switch to a grain-free diet can often go a long way toward resolving hot spot issues. Your vet can also recommend an elimination diet to find the culprit that is affecting your dog. But remember: Because a change in diet affects the dog’s internal system, success may take several weeks, so be patient.

Help Your Dog Avoid Environmental Allergies

dogs eat grassMolds, pollens, grasses and ragweed are all common allergens. Other environmental factors could be cigarette smoke, certain household cleaners, and perfumes. If you’re trying to eliminate toxins from your home because your dog is suffering from environmental allergies, one key is to limit her exposure to all environmental pollutants in your home. Many dogs have allergies to grass or pollens; if your dog is in this category, limit time outside during the appropriate months. If the problem is household cleaners, use green, non-toxic cleaners on bedding, floors, and other areas your dog comes in contact with (and no fabric softeners, which contain detergents that can cause reactions). For more suggestions, go here.

Be Aware of Summer Sores and Seasonal Changes

dog licking neosporin off his pawDog hot spots seem like they get more common in the summer. In fact, excess moisture underneath a dog’s coat is one cause. Any dog whose hair is long, thick, matted or dirty will have a greater chance of suffering from hot spots. In addition, as seasons change, many dogs shed or grow heavier coats. Some will not shed well, particularly older dogs. These changes of the coat may lead to some matting that creates a warm moist area on your dog’s skin.

So, keep your dog well groomed. If fur accumulates too much moisture, the wet skin underneath creates the perfect conditions for bacterial infections and hot spots. If your dog is a breed that sheds, then be sure to brush him frequently. Dogs that shed are not necessarily candidates for shaving their bodies as that can mess up their natural ‘air conditioning’ system; only clip these types of dogs when absolutely necessary. If your dog is a breed that does not shed, consider shaving him closely in the summer and clipping the thick fur around the ears.

Relieve Stress and Anxiety

How to clean a dogs eyesSometimes hot spots can be caused by underlying emotional or mental issues in your dog, such as separation anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. These emotional factors can lead to behaviors like incessant licking or biting that creates a hot spot. A great help for stress is regular exercise. This is particularly useful for high-energy dogs, who need to stretch their muscles in order to be healthy. Just like 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.

Another help for stress that some people recommend are calming herbs, such as chamomile, St. John’s Wort, skullcap or oat – just make it into a cup of tea, let it cool down, and add some of it to your dog’s food. Other coping mechanisms can include turning on a radio or TV, limiting your dog’s time alone, finding the dog a “friend,” sending her to doggie day-care, or providing a series of toys and bones to capture attention. It may be a combination of all of the above.

Boredom

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

  • Give her regular exercise (see above for stressed-out dogs). Note: This is good for YOU, too!
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 on how to do this safely). It’s fun to watch her eat it and takes a while for her to finish!
  • If you have to 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.
  • Be 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 fur. Go for a walk. Take him outside and throw a ball or Frisbee. Shower her with love and affection. Treat him to a massage.

Dog hot spots have the potential to make life miserable for your pet and for you, especially when they keep recurring. To keep your loving companion happy and healthy, know how to treat dog hot spots while working to prevent future ones.

For more information about dog hot spots and effective solutions, visit http://www.banixx.com.

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Dog Ear Infections: What Causes Them & How To Treat Them

What Are Dog Ear Infections?

A dog ear infection is basically an inflammation in the dog’s ear. It’s a common problem that can usually be taken care of fairly easily with the proper treatment. But it’s not something you want to ignore – in fact, your dog won’t let you, because he or she will be in pain and/or discomfort, and the jangling from his collar as he scratches incessantly will keep you awake at night!

The longer you go without treating the ear infection, the more likely your dog will develop a chronic ear infection. It will increasingly be harder to get rid of and the symptoms may likely grow worse and more serious (even resulting in deafness). If that doesn’t get your attention, then consider that you will need to take your dog to the vet more and more often – not an inexpensive proposition!

Dog Ear Infection Symptoms

dog ear yeast infectionThe most common signs that of a dog ear infection is:

  • Your dog scratches or paws at his ears incessantly
  • She shakes her head a lot
  • The ears smell really bad and/or have a dark discharge
  • The ears are hot to the touch
  • Your dog tilts his head
  • Your dog doesn’t want to open her mouth or chew
  • Loss of balance
  • Unusual eye movements

If the ear infection is severe, your dog could suffer from a continuing cycle of inflammation, infection and thickening of the tissues lining the ear canal. The end result is the build-up of scar tissue inside the ear, which prevents medications from reaching the areas they need to in order to clear up the infection. All of this sounds bad, and it is – but the worst part is: It’s very painful for your pooch!

What Do Ear Infections in Dogs Look Like?

dog ear infectionYou can’t always tell that your dog has an ear infection, but these signs will definitely tip you off to the possibility:

  • The ear is hot, inflamed or red-looking when you peak inside
  • You see crusts or scabs in the ears
  • You see dark discharge inside the ear
  • There’s hair loss around the ear

And, of course, keep an eye out for any of the scratching/shaking/whining symptoms previously mentioned that show your dog is feeling discomfort or pain in the ear.

What Causes Dog Ear Infections?

There are a variety of causes for dog ear infections: bacteria, fungus/yeast, ear mites, allergies, tumors or polyps, foreign objects in the ear, and more. The most common are caused by either bacteria/yeast or ear mites.

folded ears on a dogSome additional points of interest:

  • Long, floppy ears. The canine ear canal is more vertical than that of a human, and it forms an L-shape that tends to hold in fluid. This makes dogs more prone to ear infections, as the ears don’t allow for good airflow, creating a greater likelihood of warm, moist conditions that lend themselves to fungal/bacterial growth. Dogs like Cocker Spaniels, Beagles and Basset Hounds that have long, floppy ears have increased chances for ear infections.
  • Moisture in the ear. If your dog takes a lot of baths or loves to swim, run or otherwise be out in the hot sun, the water and sweat that gather in the ears may create those conditions that foster yeast/fungus.
  • Allergies. If your dog has skin or food allergies (see below), she may be more susceptible. Foods or treats that are high in sugar content are thought to contribute to yeast growth.
  • Immune system upsets. Dog ear infections are sometimes the result of an imbalance in your dog’s immune system – it could be medicines she’s taking, her diet or other illnesses.
  • Thyroid issues. Low thyroid function has been linked to chronic ear infections in some dogs. This condition is not curable but is easily treatable once it’s diagnosed.

Types of Dog Ear Infections

There are three main types of dog ear infections:

  • Outer ear (otitis externa)
  • Middle ear (otitis media)
  • Inner ear (otitis interna)

Most dog ear infections start in the outer ear; the infection can spread into the middle and inner ears, getting increasingly serious as it does so, resulting in issues like deafness, facial paralysis and difficulty walking.

Are Dog Ear Infections Contagious?

best dog ear cleaner solution from Banixx being used on a puppyThey can be. Many dog ear infections are caused by an overgrowth of yeast, which can cause an infection. Though yeast infections aren’t contagious, they can develop into bacterial infections (which can be contagious). They can also make your dog susceptible to other fungal infections, like the dreaded ringworm, which is definitely highly contagious not just to other pets but to humans, too.

In addition, a large number of dog ear infections are caused by ear mites, which are tiny parasites that feed off the wax in your dog’s ear. If you see dark brown or black stuff in your dog’s ears that looks like coffee grounds, he most likely has ear mites. While ear mites don’t usually transmit to humans (thank goodness for small favors!), they are highly contagious for your other pets.

So, if one of your dogs has ear mites, you’ll need to treat ALL of your pets. And you’ll need to clean your pets’ environment by washing pet bedding in hot water with a little bleach and drying it in a hot dryer; vacuuming all common areas thoroughly, etc. This type of thorough cleaning is also needed if your dog ends up with ringworm.

Do Dog Allergies Cause Ear Infections?

Allergies are indeed a common cause of dog ear infections. Allergic reactions often lead to inflammation and irritation of the skin – and the skin in and around the ear is susceptible. If your dog has frequent or chronic ear infections, an allergy may be the cause.

dog eating watermelonSensitivity To Certain Foods

When it comes to food sensitivities and allergies, some dog foods contain too much corn, soy or other fillers. Dogs can also have reactions to chicken, beef or dairy products. And on very rare occasions even watermelon. Dogs who have food allergies generally show symptoms of skin irritations and itchiness, whereas humans might react with throat constriction or other more violent symptoms. And developing a food allergy takes time – your dog might have been eating these foods for a while before she develops a hypersensitivity to them. Or, it’s possible the dog food manufacturer changed the food formula – not an unusual occurrence in the dog food manufacturing world.

Environmental Allergens

It’s possible your dog may be allergic to dust, pollen, mold or grass. Other environmental possibilities include grooming products. If her itching and inflammation flare up during a particular season, the cause may be easier to locate. And be careful of lawn chemicals applied by lawn maintenance companies; these can be problematic for dogs. Along in the same vein, consider carpet treatments as a source of irritation. Your dog’s nose is never very far from the carpet surface.

How To Treat Dog Ear Infections

If you notice that your dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms of an ear infection listed above, be sure to get him to the veterinarian rather than trying to diagnose it yourself. The causes vary, and if you’re just guessing, your dog may end up with an ineffective treatment – and a lot more pain until you get it resolved. The vet will take a swab of the ear canal and diagnose the problem. Once the diagnosis is clear, your dog can get the proper treatment.

If The Cause Is Ear Mites

picture of dog ear miteThe vet may prescribe an easy-to-administer, anti-parasitic formulation to get rid of those little creepy crawlies swiftly. In addition, if you can maintain a low pH level in your dog’s ears, the mites are less likely to proliferate and cause problems. Banixx Pet Care creates such an environment and is useful for preventing a recurrence.

For A Fungal or Yeast Ear Infection

Your vet may prescribe a topical antifungal to eliminate the yeast that’s causing the problem. One effective treatment is to use Banixx Pet Care, a spray that’s easy on your dog’s ear tissue, quickly helping to repair any ear surface that has been irritated, inflamed or rubbed raw. Its anti-fungal properties help eliminate the yeast overgrowth, and it’s also an effective dog ear cleaning solution designed to prevent recurrences of yeast infections. Note: NEVER use Q-tips; use cotton balls or gauze and discard after use.

For a Bacterial Ear Infection

The vet may prescribe an antibiotic, usually only needed in severe cases. (Antibiotics are not effective for fungal infections.) Note: Many people wonder if their dogs can take Bactrim, a popular antibiotic for humans. The answer is that, while Bactrim may be effective in inhibiting the growth of harmful microorganisms, it must be prescribed by a vet, as it has certain bad side effects that can harm your dog if given in the wrong dosage.

Other Home and Natural Remedies

Essential oils
Many proponents of home remedies tout essential oils as having healing properties. Essential oils are compounds that are extracted from plants through distillation or cold pressing. They’re used for aromatherapy, in which they’re inhaled – and they are not meant to be swallowed. Some are also touted for their anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, and some folks interested in using natural therapies on their dogs believe in using essential oils for wounds and infections, like dog ear infections. The main thing to remember about essential oils is you have to be careful where you buy them – make sure you’re educated about purity, strength and directions for use – and there is very little research that proves its efficacy. Here are two examples:
Oregano essential oil is used by home-remedy proponents to treat dog ear infections, as it has natural anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. Oregano oil must always be diluted before you apply it. Coconut oil or sweet almond oil are recommended as “carrier oils” to dilute it. While it can be applied directly to the dog’s ears, left for a short time and flushed out, you shouldn’t try to do this at home – always consult with a veterinarian before putting essential oils in your dog’s ear.
Tea tree oil is also known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It contains chemicals called terpenes that make it effective against bacteria and fungi – but they are also highly toxic to animals. Whether taken orally or through the skin, terpenes are rapidly absorbed by your pet – and the toxic effects can be quite serious. So while tea tree oil can be effective in treating certain infections, the concentrations needed to be effective are higher than what you can actually find in tea tree products (.1% – 1%). We do not recommend the use of tea tree oil to treat dog ear infections.
Monistat 7
Monistat 7 is an over-the-counter product commonly used by women to get rid of vaginal yeast infections. It is easily found in drugstores and does not require a prescription. Its active ingredient is miconazole, which is effective in eliminating yeast infections. This active ingredient is also safe for dogs. When used correctly, this topical cream can often clear the yeast infection from your dog’s ears. (NOTE: Be sure you use Monistat, not other products like Vagisil, which are not formulated to eliminate fungus/yeast.)
If possible, talk to your vet first before using Monistat on your dog. If given the go-ahead, make sure to mix the Monistat with hydrocortisone cream (half and half) to help relieve any itchiness your dog is experiencing due to the yeast infection. The consistency of the blended mixture will be thick, so add several drop of water to thin it, and carefully squirt the mixture into your dog’s ears using an eye dropper. Use this home remedy for about a week. If the problem doesn’t subside, take your dog to a vet.
Hydrogen peroxide
Some people ask if hydrogen peroxide can help clear out ear mites that cause dog ear infections. They think that the bubbling cleaner will wash the ears, get rid of the mites and prevent or heal the ear infection. But hydrogen peroxide is basically water with an extra oxygen molecule. The oxidation when you use it is what makes it fizz and look like it’s “working.” And, in fact, it does help clean the area by attacking many types of bacteria and suppress the activities of parasites like ear mites– but:
It’s caustic and can damage the tender skin in and around your dog’s ear.
It doesn’t work on all bacteria – many types are resistant. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s preventing an infection when it might not be.
Most vets believe its toxicity to cells outweighs any benefits of its antibacterial properties.
You absolutely don’t want to get it in your dog’s eyes – so administering it to the ears must be done with extreme care.
Coconut oil
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, irritation and swelling caused by ear mites. But you’ll need to keep in mind that the lauric acid in coconut oil is great for many things – but it is not a broad-spectrum anti-bacterial agent. It’s possible that it could eliminate the good bacteria that are fighting the bad bacteria causing the ear infection in your dog. And In fact, not much research has been done on the effectiveness of coconut oil for pets.
Manuka honey
Honey is known to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. But to help your dog’s ear infection, you have to have the right type and grade of honey. The gooey stuff is classified according to how and where bees get the ingredients to make it.
Manuka honey is made from the nectar of a tea tree in New Zealand and the eastern part of Australia. The bees pollinate the native manuka bush, making it a “monofloral” type of honey (meaning the ingredients come from one type of plant).
Some studies have been conducted on manuka honey that showed that medical grade honey gel was effective in killing bacteria that causes ear infections in dogs. These studies received funding from the companies producing the gels – so more research needs to be conducted and the evidence of whether it really works is limited. In addition, medical-grade honey is sterilized and prepared like a dressing – so you shouldn’t apply manuka honey that you can buy at the grocery or health-food store to your dog’s ear.
Plus another downside – it’s sticky and messy to deal with. There are other products on the market that are easier to apply and require no clean-up.

Garlic oil
Garlic contains allicin, the main property that fights infections. It’s also believed to be effective in getting rid of ear mites. To use it, peel and grind six cloves of garlic in a food processor until it’s like a paste. Then add one tablespoon of olive oil and mix well. Over low heat, warm the mixture and then remove from heat. Cool it completely before using a dropper to put it, drop by drop, into your dog’s ear.
White vinegar
Vinegar has many great properties and has been used a home remedy for many medical problems for years. Many people like to use it to treat dog ear mites – its acidic properties create an environment in the ear where bacteria and fungus can’t live.
However, be very careful when using vinegar if your dog has scratched his ears and has sores or lesions inside (or outside) his ears. He will yelp with pain when that vinegar hits it! Just as you, the owner, would if you put vinegar onto a cut!
If you decide to try this, make a mixture of 2 tablespoons of water to one tablespoon of white vinegar. Pour half of it into the dog’s ear and massage gently. Then use a cotton bowl soaked in the mixture to wipe the inside of her ear. If you don’t see positive results in a week, better take her to the vet.
Apple cider vinegar
Like any vinegar, apple cider vinegar is an acid. It starts as apple juice; yeast and bacteria are added to turn the fruit sugar into alcohol, which ferments and turns into acetic acid.  It’s the acetic acid that gives the vinegar its strong smell and taste.
The fermentation process gives apple cider vinegar its antimicrobial properties – it naturally kills organisms like bacteria and fungi. This is one of the reasons it has become known as a great home remedy for a variety of physical ailments – and yes, an all-around household cleaner and disinfectant.
Just like with white vinegar, you can try apple cider vinegar in your dog’s ears UNLESS there is any broken skin. The burn and sting it causes when it hits a wound will make your pup yelp and scamper away. Needless to say, it’s too caustic to be used around the eyes.
Should you decide to try it, you can use it undiluted if there are no open wounds or lesions. And use organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar for more strength in fighting the infection.

Yogurt
Many ear infections in dogs are caused by the overgrowth of yeast. Dogs’ ears have yeast in them all the time, but when an overgrowth occurs, inflammation and irritation follow.

Yogurt contains alive bacteria, such as acidophilus, which helps maintain the right balance of the normal yeast in your dog’s system. If you want to apply it to the infection, dab a small bit of unflavored yogurt that has active strains of probiotic bacteria on the ear.
You can also try having your dog eat yogurt: Put two tablespoons of UNFLAVORED yogurt to your dog by adding it to his food or giving him yogurt-based treats. This can be done even when your dog doesn’t have an ear infection as a preventive measure. (Note: While your dog might like the taste of flavored yogurt better – who doesn’t? – the sugar in the yogurt can actually make the yeast proliferate and make the problem worse, so be sure to use unflavored yogurt).
Why does my dog keep getting ear infections?
Dog ear infections that keep recurring are usually caused by the overgrowth of yeast – and that can happen for a variety of reasons. See below for ways to prevent your dog’s ear infection recurrences.

How to prevent dog ear infections
Excess moisture is a common cause of ear infections in dogs – it’s easy for this to happen due to the shape of the dog’s ear and the vertical ear canal. So make sure you dry your dog’s ears thoroughly after he has gone swimming or you’ve given her a bath.

Clean your dog’s ears regularly. To avoid ear infections in dogs, veterinarians recommend that they have their ears cleaned no more than weekly but at least once a month. If your dog has floppy ears, swims regularly, has heavy fur around the ears, suffers from skin allergies or gets frequent ear infections, you should clean the ears more frequently. Consult with your veterinarian about how often is best for your dog. Use a good quality dog ear cleaner, such as Banixx. Do not use olive oil, vinegar, shampoo or any other substance in your pet’s ear.

Try to avoid the overuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics can destroy the beneficial bacteria in your dog’s gut, reducing his immunity and making it more likely he’ll get recurring ear infections.
Control allergies. Allergies to food are a very common cause of ear infections in dogs – in fact, 10% of all allergies in dogs are food-related. It’s usually caused by genetic factors, and it can be triggered by something the dog eats. Check your dog food to see if it is highly processed and contains ingredients like wheat, rice, spelt and soy, food additives and preservatives, the lectin found in unsprouted grains, sugar, genetically modified foods (GMOs) or pasteurized dairy products.

Dogs can sometimes develop allergies to foods they have eaten for years with no problems. A food elimination diet can help determine the source of the allergy. Sometimes changing to a less processed diet can help – rotate the protein sources your dog eats, and limit or eliminate grains.

Some dogs have environmental or seasonal allergies. Depending on the time of year, your dog may have a reaction to ragweed, grasses and pollens. Allergens can also be found indoors, such as mold, dust mites and cleaning chemicals. Ask your vet to help with diagnosis and treatment of these allergies.
Use Banixx to treat and/or prevent ear infections. You can avoid the mess, stink and dangers of other home remedies and medications by using Banixx Pet Care. It is formulated to create an environment in which it is impossible for fungus and bacteria to grow. It can be used up to three times a day to get rid of the yeast/bacteria, soothe the irritated skin, and prevent the infection from coming back. There are no side effects, will not harm the eyes if it should accidentally get in them, and is easy and safe to apply.

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Best Dog Ear Cleaner Guidance and Warnings

treating a dog ear infection with BanixxAlthough it’s important to clean your dogs’ ears, many owners neglect them until the dog starts showing signs that something is wrong and your dog has an ear infection. Unlike humans, dogs experience the world mainly through their noses and ears. A dog’s sense of hearing is second only to his sense of smell. He can hear four times better than we can, detecting frequencies much higher and lower than what humans can hear.

Your dog can hear sound with each ear independently. So he can listen to your voice with one ear but still hear the squirrel rustling in the tree with the other – and selectively pay attention to those sounds. No wonder he can snooze through bang-‘em-up TV shows but be instantly alert when you open the refrigerator door!

Before Using A Dog Ear Cleaner Solution

Before we embark on the discussion of which dog ear cleaner is best, it’s important to determine if your dog has an ear infection first. Below are the symptoms most dog’s show when an ear infection comes on.

dog ear yeast infectionDog Ear Infection Symptoms

  • Rubbing or pawing at head, face or ears
  • Shaking the head
  • Discharge from ears
  • Bad odor
  • Redness in the ear canal
  • Sensitivity or pain in the ears
  • Swollen, hot ear flaps
  • Tilting the head in an unusual way

Dogs have a very long ear canal – vertical toward the jaw, then taking a 45° turn horizontally toward the eardrum. Whatever goes in, such as, water, may have trouble getting out. The construction of the ear makes it harder to examine and makes dogs susceptible to a variety of ear ailments, including parasites and yeast infections.

Dog ear problems are extremely common and, if left untreated, can cause your dog not just pain and discomfort, but chronic illness or hearing loss.  A little prevention on your part can help your dog stay healthy, comfortable – and ready to leap into action when she hears that treat bag being opened.

How Often Should You Use a Dog Ear Cleaner

picture of a dirty dog who gets ear infectionsTo avoid an ear infection, veterinarians recommend that dogs have their ears cleaned no more than weekly but at least once a month. If your dog has floppy ears, swims regularly, has heavy fur around the ears, suffers from skin allergies or gets frequent ear infections, you should clean the ears more frequently.  As a dog ear cleaner, Banixx Pet care provides a gentle but powerful combination of anti-bacterial & anti-fungal properties for your dog’s ears, without harming healthy tissue, and with no burn or sting upon application.

It’s also important to know when NOT to clean your dog’s ears! If you notice a foul smell emanating from your dog’s ears, or if she has been scratching them repeatedly, do not remove any fluid drainage or thick waxy material that might have accumulated in the ear. Instead, take your dog to the vet so he/she can take swabs of the infection and put the gunk under a microscope; it may help determine the cause of the irritation and the optimal course of treatment.

How To Properly Use a Dog Ear Cleaner

Take a close look at your dog’s ears before beginning to clean. If all you see is dirt or normal earwax, you’re good to go with cleaning. But here are some other things to look for in your inspection:

Fluid Drainage

best dog ear pictureFluid drainage can be clear, or might be gray or brown), thick waxy material, scratches, scabs or wounds. If you see any of these, you may be able to clear it up with a solid dog ear cleaning solution such as Banixx but be prepared for a visit to the vet if the situation has progressed too far.

Parasites and Foreign Bodies

Parasites and foreign bodies like plant seeds, burrs, grasses, etc. do not belong in your dog’s ear. If you see these, try to remove the object gently or clean the ears to remove these things. If this doesn’t work, you will need to take your dog to your vet.

Mites, Ticks and Fleas

You can prevent and/or kill ticks and fleas by using various topical flea and tick prevention methods available from your veterinarian. However, you’ll need to have a veterinarian diagnose and treat ear mites. These tiny creatures live and feed off the earwax and oils in your dog’s ears.

Dogs with ear mites usually scratch their ears and shake their heads a lot and it will take a visit to the Vet to determine if mites are the issue.  Once determined, the treatment is not expensive, easy to administer and quick to act. The mites are contagious, so you may need to treat your other household pets too.

Mites, however, cause damage, in terms of open sores (caused by your dog’s scratching) that can become infected.  Treat these infected areas with Banixx Pet care to avoid escalation of the problem. Banixx is well tolerated since it has zero sting and comes along with no medicinal odor to put your dog on the defense.

best dog ear cleaner prescribed by veterinarians

Serious Conditions That Require A Dog Ear Cleaner Not Be Used

Also inspect your dog’s ears for these more serious conditions, which may require veterinarian assistance to clear:

Signs of an Ear Infection

Signs of an ear yeast infection, such as a bad smell or brownish discharge. Using a dog ear cleaning solution may cure it if you catch it early enough; severe cases may require veterinary intervention.

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infection in the outer part of the ear, which may need a veterinarian to diagnose and treat. Again, vigilance is the key.  Caught early with a dog ear cleaning solution such as Banixx Pet Care may be the answer; more severe cases may call for a visit to the Vet.

Tumors

Don’t be overly alarmed if you see something suspicious – tumors are rare. In most cases, lumps and bumps might be nothing but bug bites, skin cysts or reactions to trauma. Still, if they don’t go away, check them out with the vet.

The WORST Dog Ear Cleaner

this dog ear cleaner should NEVER be usedNEVER use a Q-tip in the canal, for the same reasons you don’t put a Q-tip in your own ear canal (do you?) – you could compact the earwax or even rupture the eardrum. There is just no other way to put it but to be brutally honest and tell the truth and that is that Q-tips and dog’s ears should never come together. The potential damage that you could do to your dog’s ears is just not worth the gamble. Instead, stick with a natural dog ear cleaner that is not as invasive as Q-tips are.

The Best Natural Dog Ear Cleaner

The main goal of cleaning your dog’s ears is to get rid of foreign objects and keep excess wax and discharge from creating an environment where bacteria and yeast love to grow – and to do it in a way that causes the least irritation to your dog. Here are some recommendations on how to clean your dog’s ears:

How To Choose The Best Ear Cleaner For Your Dog

best dog ear cleaner solution from Banixx being used on a puppyEvery dog’s ear cleaning needs are a little different, so we recommend you try out various ear cleaners to find the one that works best for your dog. You could use a good quality dog ear cleaner, such as the Banixx Pet Care solution, which is often considered a DIY dog ear cleaner, but the choice is up to you. However, we do not recommend you use olive oil, vinegar, shampoo or any other substance in your dog’s ear. Banixx is not only a powerful yet gentle anti-microbial solution, it’s not sticky or greasy and do will not get all over your carpet or furniture.

Best Place To Clean Your Dog’s Ear

Cleaning your dog’s ears can be messy job, because Fido is going to want to shake his ears throughout the process – so try to find somewhere that’s easy to clean up, and wear appropriate clothes.

Make Ear Cleaning Enjoyable For Your Pup

Make sure you do what you can to make it an enjoyable experience for your dog, so that he/she doesn’t mind doing it again. Here are our recommended steps:

  • this happy dog is getting his ears cleanedStart and end with treats. Give your dog a treat to sit in front of you, if possible.
  • Use a cotton ball moistened with Banixx. Banixx is gentle yet potent and non-toxic so it can be used as a regular ear cleaning solution.
  • Coat the inside of the ear liberally with Banixx.
  • Surprisingly, some dogs are not fearful if you spray Banixx directly into their ears. If you adopt this method, “close” off the ear using the dog’s ear flap and massage it gently around in the ear to ensure a good coating throughout the inside of the ear and do be sure that the Banixx is room temperature or run the bottle under hot water to warm it slightly.  Just as you and I would not appreciate something cold being sprayed into our ears, neither does your pup!
  • Give your dog lots of praise and a treat as you clean the ears – and then repeat the process with the other ear.

Once your dog gets used to the process of ear cleaning, he/she may actually end up enjoying it. After all, you’re reaching a place where she can’t get to, and it may be very satisfying to finally reach and relieve that itch!

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Why Do Dogs Roll In Poop and Stinky Stuff?

Picture this: it’s a beautiful spring day.

The flowers outside are vibrant and fragrant. The sun is shining overhead. Birds are chirping. The bees are buzzing. With such lovely conditions, you (naturally) decide to make the most of your day by taking your furry best friend on a walk.

dog rolling around on top of a dead animal

As you both happily trot along, you feel the leash tighten, your fur ball disappears behind you, and when you turn around you recoil in disgust at what you see: your dog is rolling around on a dead animal.

You try in vain to get them to forget the carcass, but it’s too late.

The damage is done.

Your “beautiful spring day” has suddenly turned sour, as you realize you’ll now have to spend much of your afternoon scrubbing that horrendous stench out from your dog’s fur.

As you look down at your dog (who’s happy as a clam with his accomplishment), you wonder “Why do you do this all the time?!”

Well, animal researchers have several theories that might answer your question.

Dogs May Roll in Smelly Stuff to Hide Their Own Scent

Here’s a fact that everyone can agree on: if you offer any dog a slice of meat, there’s a 0% chance that they’ll turn their nose up at it. This carnivorous preference is one of the many biological characteristics that dogs inherited from their evolutionary ancestors: wolves.

wolf looking at a dogLike wolves, all modern dogs are born with an innate urge to hunt prey. However, being a successful hunter is about more than just brute force and speed.  Successful hunters in the wild are able to stalk their prey before pouncing.

But, if prey were able to pick up a wolf’s scent, they would immediately run for safety.

However, if a deer that was being stalked only detected the scent of another deer’s droppings nearby, they would be less likely to bolt.

The theory follows that wolves began rolling around in odorous substances to hide their scent so they could hunt more effectively.

As a result, dog psychologists like Stanley Coren have argued that domestic dogs have simply retained this behavior via evolution. However, this theory has also raised considerable objections.

Dr. Patricia B. McConnell, a zoology professor at the University of Madison at Wisconsin, has stated: “If a [prey] animal’s sensory ability is good enough to use scent as a primary sense for predator detection, surely they could still smell the scent of [a predator] through the coating of yuck.”

In 1986, a group of Canadian scientists observed a collection of 15 wolves to study the behavior of scent-rolling.

What they found is surprising: the wolves did not rub themselves in the feces or carcasses of herbivores at all. Instead, they most preferred to get down and dirty with artificial substances like perfume and motor oil.

Their second most favorite smell?

wolves like to roll in mountain lion poopThe droppings of other, often larger predators.

A similar study on scent rolling in grey foxes was conducted by ecologist Max Allen at the University of Madison at Wisconsin in 2016 and yielded similar results. The foxes were observed regularly visiting sites that male mountain lions had used for scent marking and rolled around in the strong-smelling urine.

Surely wolves (and, by extension, dogs) wouldn’t want to smell like an even more ferocious predator if they were trying to hunt better?

The findings of these research experiments lend credence to a reconfigured version of the Predatory Camouflage theory. This theory states that some smaller canids utilize the odorous scents of large predator animals to protect themselves from being hunted.

However, the iterations of the prey-predator theory are not the only ones being raised to answer the question of why dogs roll around in smelly stuff.

Dogs May Roll in Dead Animals to Communicate Information

Like wolves, dogs are pack animals. And, like wolves, dogs look for ways to help their pack and please the pack leader.

One easy way to do that? To make the pack privy to the location of food.

Wolves roll around on elk meatThat’s the conclusion that Pat Goodmann, a senior animal curator at Wolf Park in Indiana  arrived at after conducting an experiment that aimed to understand scent-rolling in wolves. After presenting the wolves with a side of elk, Goodmann and her team watched as the wolves intermittently rolled around on the slab of meat and then ate it.

This led her team to believe that the wolves were trying to communicate to other members of the pack that “there were more leftovers to scavenge, for wolves that wanted to backtrack to the source of the odor.”

Building on this theory, researcher Simon Gadbois at Dalhousie University has posited that scent-rolling is also a social function of the pack, having observed that the pack leader typically is the first to roll in a strong scent before others followed. He believes that scent-rolling could be a form of establishing a sort of group odor.

“Well, that’s great…” you may be saying to yourself. “but how do I get my dog to stop rolling around in smelly stuff?”

We understand. Cute as our fur babies may be, they’re undeniably much less cute when they stink. Luckily, getting your dog to stop rolling around in stinky stuff isn’t terribly difficult.

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Rolling Around in Stinky Stuff

There’s no other way around it. You’re simply going to have to teach your dog to “Leave it!”

dog rolling on top of stinky stuff

Don’t worry.

This isn’t an insanely complicated process.

Quite the contrary.

First, take a dry treat and present it to your dog at nose level with a clenched fist. Your dog will try to nose and nibble at your fist to get you to release it, but don’t react to anything they do.

As soon as they begin to back away, say “Leave it!” and then reward your dog with a DIFFERENT treat (the one in your hand is the contraband, the thing you want them to NOT get, so never reward them with it). You’ll have to repeat this process dozens of times for them to really understand what it means, but once it’s clear that the dog has figured the phrase, you need to up the ante.

Move the treat from being in a clenched fist to being on the floor. Once they’ve successfully left it a few times, up the ante again. Move the process outside and take them on a “walk” in your backyard. Make sure to litter the yard in contraband treats that they’ll leave behind at your command.

Once they can successfully leave contraband on the ground and keep walking without much hesitation, you’ll be much more likely to have them leave smelly stuff behind.

However, you also have to learn how to recognize when they’ve honed in on something smelly. Thankfully, most dogs exhibit fairly obvious signs before rolling around in stinky stuff, such as stopping, staring, posing, etc. Once you notice them doing this, you have to command them to leave it ASAP.

What Do I Do if My Dog Has Rolled in Something Smelly?

Even some of the most well-trained dogs still have their slip-ups and find themselves covered in putrid smelling grime.

hemangiosarcoma in dogsIf your dog has already rolled around in something stinky, the following steps should help get them back to smelling… well, not good, but like a normal dog.

Start with a thorough brushing tailored to your dog’s coat type.

Then, lather them in Banixx Medicated shampoo, and leave it in for up to 10 minutes.

As a further benefit you can add citrus peels to the bath water (it also breaks down the grease).

After the shampoo has been rubbed in and left on, rinse him down. Repeat this as many times as is needed. Banixx Medicated shampoo has zero soap to dry out your dog’s skin.  Instead, surfactants are in the shampoo formula that do a superior job of eliminating dirt, grim and grease.  Because it contains no soap to strip your dog’s hair of its natural oils, our shampoo can be used repeatedly with no downside. Moreover, it contains Marine Collagen that is an incredible moisturizer for your dog’s coat that will leave his hair shiny, soft and vibrant

Whatever the true reason that dogs have for rolling around in yucky stuff is, there’s only one explanation that appeals to common-sense and research alike: they seem to have a whole lot of fun doing it.

References

https://simon.gadbois.org/researchprogram.html
http://wolfpark.org/about/people/pat/
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10164-016-0492-6
https://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/10.1139/z86-084#.XrnVIxNKhQI
https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/why-do-dogs-roll-in-disgusting-stuff
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/canine-corner/200907/why-do-dogs-roll-in-garbage-manure-or-other-smelly-stuff

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Blood In Cat Stool – A Serious Problem

When you’re cleaning out the litter box and notice a bright red streak of blood in your cat’s stool, or a stool that’s black and “tarry” looking, it’s a shock. Questions pop into your head immediately: “What does this mean? Is my cat sick? Is it serious? Should I take him to the vet?”

Many situations where a cat has blood in his stool can be quickly resolved once the cause is determined, not all situations are life threatening; however, your cat needs to be examined by a veterinarian. The veterinarian can determine the seriousness of the issue and how to best treat your cat.

What Symptoms Should You Look Out For?

cat not peeing in litter box

Take careful note of the color of the blood in your cat’s stool. If it’s bright red, that means the bleeding is most likely occurring in the rectum or lower intestines. If it looks dark or more like black tar, that means its older blood and comes from bleeding in the upper GI tract. Your vet will want to know this information.

In addition to the blood, you may see any of the following:

  • Difficulty or crying while pooping
  • Frequent urination or drinking
  • Vomiting (if vomiting blood – this is a medical emergency)
  • Constipation / straining to defecate
  • Anorexia and weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Anal lumps
  • Anus blocked by matted hair and fecal matter
  • Bloody diarrhea, or mucus in the diarrhea
  • Draining of pus from the anal area
  • Hard feces
  • Lethargy (combined with blood in the stool/rectal bleeding – this is a medical emergency)

Make good notes of all of the visible symptoms carefully so you can tell the vet when you visit. Your observations will be of tremendous help in the diagnosis since —your cat can’t talk! It’s also a really good idea to take a sample of the stool with you (a plastic bag works great to collect and transport the stool sample) to the veterinarian. The stool sample can assist in the diagnosis of your cat’s issue.

Try as best you can to differentiate between blood in the stool and blood in the urine. If your cat has blood in his urine, that’s a different set of issues.

What Causes Blood in Cat Stool?

diarrhea catBright red blood in your cat’s poop is called hematochezia. When your cat has a difficult or painful time defecating, it’s called dyschezia. Both of these are symptoms that your cat may have an underlying condition that causes inflammation or irritation of the rectum or anus.

Since cats are stoic characters, they are generally slow to complain or exhibit symptoms so it’s entirely possible that this condition is worse than you might at first think.

There are many reasons your cat could have developed hematochezia. Below are a few.

Reasons Cats Develop Hematochezia

  • Change in your cat’s diet / too much human food / too much food altogether
  • Trauma to the digestive system – from the nose to the anal region (bites from a cat fight, fractured pelvis, etc.)
  • Stress
  • Bowel disease that causes chronic irritation to your cat’s gastrointestinal tract
  • Inflammation of the colon (colitis)
  • Intestinal infection due to bacteria or parasites
  • Anal sac abscess (these can get itchy, causing your cat to rub her hind end on the ground)
  • Medications, especially NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or strong antibiotics
  • Tumors (both malignant and benign can cause bleeding)
  • Ingestion of mouse or rat poison (anti-coagulants that disable blood clotting – this would be a medical emergency)

How Will The Vet Treat The Problem?

veterinarian giving a cat a blood test due to blood in cat stoolCats who are diagnosed with hematochezia (blood in cat feces) are usually treated on an outpatient basis. If the underlying condition is severe enough, such as dehydration or internal bleeding, the vet will need to get those under control before releasing your cat back into your care.

Depending on the underlying cause that is diagnosed, your vet may prescribe antibiotics or other medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs and/or laxatives.

In many cases, where the problem was caused by changes or problems related to the cat’s food the vet may prescribe a change in diet (see below).

If the anal canal is restricted, the vet may do a balloon dilation to widen the canal gradually so that the blocked feces can be released.

Conditions like condyloma, fistulas, hemorrhoids and fissures are classified as anorectal diseases. Some anorectal diseases may require surgery to cure.

Tips For Changing Your Cat’s Diet

a cat licking her lipsIf the vet pinpoints your cat’s diet as a source of the blood in his stool, here are a few tips:

  • Don’t change your cat’s diet suddenly. Slowly phase out one food and replace it with the new food.
  • Your cat may have a food intolerance. An exclusion diet (eliminating certain ingredients to see if symptoms go away) may be the best way to find the food ingredients that are causing the irritation to his system. Your vet can recommend the best way to go about an exclusion diet.
  • Don’t make any changes without your vet’s approval. Cats can not only be “finicky”, but they can also be sensitive to changes in their food. You don’t want to make the situation worse.

So, the bottom line is: If you see blood in your cat’s stool, take him to vet right away. It might or might not be a serious illness – but it’s definitely a sign that something is wrong and your cat needs help to heal!

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Cuterebra in Cats and Dogs – AKA Warbles

If your dog or cat is outside and chasing or hunting for rodents such as mice, rats or rabbits, he or she may accidentally pick up a nasty passenger – a cuterebra or botfly.

Cuterebra is the scientific name of the North American rodent botfly. Also known as “warbles” (sounds so cute but it really isn’t!), there are 26 different species in the U.S. and Canada and, can also be found in Mexico and other neo-tropical regions.

How Does My Cat or Dog Get Warbles?

botfly cuterebra larvaeThe botfly’s eggs develop parasitically in rodents and rabbits. So, in order to be close to their preferred hosts, adult female cuterebra lay their eggs – approximately 5-15 per site – around entrances to rodent dens or nests, as well as along runways used by the rodents.

So, when Fido or Kitty hunt for those pesky mice and get close to their hide-outs, they may brush against the eggs and accidentally pick them up in their fur. Then the fun begins.

The Life of the Cuterebra

The cuterebra eggs in your pet’s fur are stimulated by her body heat and hatch. Then the maggot or “warble” crawls around until it finds an opening into the body (mouth, nose, open wounds, etc.).

botfly aka horsefly

Depending on the type of species of botfly, it will migrate to a specific location in the subcutaneous tissue (the tissue beneath the skin). It forms a breathing hole through the skin and starts to grow. The breathing hole creates swelling and infection that you can actually see.

It takes about 30 days for it to mature and leave your pet, after which it burrows into the soil to finish its development into an adult fly.

Note that the possibility for cuterebra infestation is seasonal. In the northern U.S. and Canada, most cases occur in the summer and early fall when the adult flies are active. In warmer climates, infestations can occur during longer periods of the year.

Which Animals Are More Prone To Get Cuterebra Warbles?

Warbles in CatsBecause cats and terriers tend to hunt rodents, they are more likely to get the warbles. Most cases of warbles occur around the head and neck, because your pet is sniffing or digging around the rodent’s contaminated nest.

But even if your cat or dog doesn’t hunt, it’s still possible for them to brush against grass blades where cuterebra eggs have been laid and pick up the infestation. And even newborn kittens can be infected if the mother brings home cuterebra larvae in her fur.

What Are The Symptoms?

The most obvious symptom is a lesion or raised opening in the skin that contains the warble maggot. It’s usually about 1 cm in diameter. As the warble matures, the hole gets bigger. Sometimes you won’t see anything until after the maggot has left your cat or dog and the empty place becomes infected or develops into an abscess.

Depending on where the maggots migrate within your pet’s tissues, symptoms may also include:

  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Depression or lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Circling
  • Paralysis
  • Lesions in the eye / blindness

How Is Cuterebra Diagnosed?

If your vet sees that lesion with the maggot in it, the diagnosis is easier – s/he will be able to quickly determine if it’s a warble.

cuterebra in dogs

If the warble hasn’t become obvious, however, it’s harder to diagnose, as the other symptoms listed above could also be indicators of several different health issues. That’s why it’s important to take your pet to the vet.

If the symptoms are respiratory, the vet will have to consider allergies, other possible parasites, and other causes. If the symptoms are more neurological, there are many other conditions that could cause them (such as distemper, heart worms, and rabies) and need to be ruled out.

And quite often, your cat or dog may develop secondary bacterial infections in the empty cysts left in the skin after the warble has dropped off. These infections can sometimes be worse than the actual warble.

How Does a Vet Get Rid of Warbles?

If the warble can be seen in a lesion under the skin, eyes or nose, the vet can remove it. No stitches are usually required, but if there’s a severe infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.

treatment for cuterebra

Your vet may prescribe an anti-parasitic medication to kill the maggots that are still in the migrating stage.
If the infestation has migrated to the lungs, it can be treated with corticosteroids.

If the maggot infestation has progressed to the point where it’s done irreversible neurological damage, the prognosis is poor.

Cat and Dog Cuterebra Prevention

There are a few things you can do:

  • Keep your cat or dog from hunting rodents.
  • If your area has numerous mice, rats, rabbits or other small mammals, inspect your pet frequently for any sign of warbles. The earlier you get it removed, the less like it is to cause serious or permanent damage.
  • Finally, here is the easiest way to prevent this type of infection. Keep up with your parasite prevention treatments – heartworms, flea control, and topical flea and tick treatments. These help prevent the maggots from developing and even kill them before they have a chance to crawl inside your cat or dog.

And don’t forget that Banixx Pet Care is ideal for preventing secondary bacterial infections caused by warbles. Its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial formula is easy on tissue and helps aid in the recovery of any infection. It does not sting or burn, and its soothing properties go to work immediately. Just apply it 2-3 times daily to the affected site, for a period of 2-3 days or, as needed

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Will A Cat Ear Hematoma Go Away On Its Own?

If your cat has been shaking her head repeatedly, there’s a good chance she will develop an ear hematoma or swelling of the ear flap. This situation happens because a blood vessel in the earflap ruptures, due to the violent shaking, then blood accumulates in the ear flap, and the flap feels thick and spongy.

Ear hematomas are also known as auricular or aural hematomas. They can be very sensitive and painful and involve the whole ear flap or just part of it. Your cat will be miserable, so it’s something you’ll want to address as quickly as possible.

What Causes Cat Ear Hematomas?

can you get ringworm from a catExcessive head shaking is a leading cause of cat ear hematomas. But what typically causes a cat to shake her head so much and so hard?

The most common cause of head shaking is an ear mite infection. These pesky little parasites cause your cat’s ear to itch, which can make your cat shake her head and/or scratch her ear incessantly. That’s when one or more blood vessels rupture, and the hematoma develops.

Other causes include different types of ear infections, such as those caused by allergies, immune disorders or blood clotting deficits.

Will A Cat Ear Hematoma Go Away On Its Own?

The answer is: It could. The hematoma could be slowly reabsorbed (assuming the cause of the head shaking is being treated and cured). However, that could take several months, and the inflammation that goes with the hematoma could leave your cat with a permanent disfigurement (an ear that’s shriveled up, scarred – and possibly painful).

How Is An Ear Hematoma Treated?

quarantine cat with ringwormFirst, it should be treated by a veterinarian. We do NOT recommend that you try to drain the fluid within the hematoma yourself. If you try this in most cases, the hematoma returns within a couple of days – and then you risk infection and more inflammation.

Veterinary treatment depends on how long the hematoma has been bothering your cat, how big it is, and your vet’s preferences. If the hematoma is small or old, the vet may do a needle aspiration, this is where the fluid is removed by your vet using a syringe.

If however your vet decides that drainage is needed, he will probably perform surgery under anesthesia and place a drain in the ear to keep more blood from accumulating. Stitches may also be used to stitch the ear skin to the ear cartilage. You’ll need to take your cat back to the vet a few times to change drainage tubes and remove sutures.

Alternately your vet may decide to avoid surgery and treat the hematoma with oral steroids like prednisone, which reduces the swelling. This treatment works best if you have taken your cat in for treatment early in the hematoma-producing process. Even if the hematoma has gone untreated, the steroids can still work, but your cat is likely to end up with scarring and disfigurement.

How To Avoid Cat Ear Hematomas

cat hematomaSince ear hematomas are caused by your cat shaking and scratching to relieve the itching in her ears, the key to prevention is to treat the cause quickly and effectively.

Take your cat to the vet as soon as you see these signs for an accurate diagnosis. For a bacterial ear infection, the vet may prescribe an anti-biotic and this is generally an easy and effective fix for the infection.

Antibiotics, however, are not effective for fungal infections that are most often caused simply by an overgrowth of yeast in your cat’s ear. This will be simply treated by the administration of an antifungal medicine to your cat’s ear. If she has ear mites, the vet may prescribe an easy-to-administer, anti-parasitic formulation to get rid of them.

Either way, follow up by using Banixx Pet care at home:

  • Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties make it a potent spray that aids in the recovery of damaged/inflamed tissue while eliminating the environment in which infections and ear mites thrive. Cats, however, are not fond of sprays so read on to learn how to simply use Banixx on your cat’s ear.
  • It’s easy to use. Moisten a cotton ball with Banixx and coat the inside of the ear 2-3 times each day. It begins working immediately upon contact, and you’ll see positive results in a couple of days.
  • Thankfully, Banixx Pet care has no clinical odor, actually, no odor at all which your cat will greatly appreciate since foreign smelling treatments only make your cat afraid.
  • Moreover, Banixx has no burn or sting–another winner for your cat and finally, it’s completely safe around the eye so that you can use it with total confidence on your cat.

Sources

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Hemangiosarcoma In Dogs

Canine cancer is one of the most common causes of deaths in dogs, particularly in older dogs. It’s estimated that half of the dogs over 10 years of age will develop some form of cancer. This is thought to be the result of better care for dogs that prolongs their lives so that they are more susceptible to cancer because … they live longer. Dogs simply used to die at a much younger age.

What is Hemangiosarcoma?

Most people know that the word “sarcoma” is scary because it’s a diagnosis for cancer. Add the prefix “hemangio” in front of it, and what do you have? Hemangiosarcoma (or HSA) is an aggressive form of cancer that is a malignant cancer of the blood vessels. And if your dog has hemangiosarcoma, you will need to treat it quickly and aggressively.

It spontaneously arises in tissue where there are blood vessels. The tumors most often grow in the spleen, liver or heart, as well as other parts of the body, including the skin (cutaneous hemangiosarcomas). Dogs are more affected by HSAs than any other species of animal.

canine acne pictureThe exact cause of hemangiosarcoma is hard to determine but there are opinions that it’s tied to genetics and/or environmental factors.

In humans, certain chemicals such as vinyl chloride have been associated with the development of certain cancers. Hemangiosarcoma is rare in humans, consequently there isn’t much research about it or its causes.

How serious is hemangiosarcoma in dogs? Well, it depends on where they are found. If they’re on the surface of the skin (cutaneous), they’re considered to be curable and not so serious. Cutaneous HSAs are caused by repeated exposure to the sun, and dogs with short white fur are more susceptible to getting them. (Note, though, that cutaneous HSAs can spread to other areas if they’re not removed and HSA tumors metastasize quickly and can spread to the brain, other organs, skeletal muscle and bone.)

If the HSAs are found in the spleen, heart, liver or other internal organs, it is considered a very serious disease and a life-threatening situation. By the time the symptoms are apparent, they have already spread within the body, traveling across the blood vessels to other organs and body parts. Most often this condition is accompanied by disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC); in English that’s blood clotting that occurs imperfectly inside the blood vessels.

Types of Hemangiosarcomas

  • Subcutaneous (hypedermal) Hemangiosarcoma – Dark red blood growth below the skin.
  • Visceral Hemangiosarcoma – spleen – Growth on/in the spleen.
  • Visceral Hemangiosarcoma – heart – Growth inside the pericardium (sac that encloses the heart).

Dogs That Are More Susceptible to Hemangiosarcomas

The following factors and breeds tend to be more prone to getting hemangiosarcoma:

  • Dogs that are 6 – 13 years of age (though it has been seen in dogs less than one year old).
  • Mid-to-large size breeds, especially German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, Dobermans, and English Setters.
  • For cutaneous HSAs, dogs like Pit Bulls, Greyhounds, Dalmatians, and Italian Greyhounds, that have short white hair and are exposed repeatedly to the sun.

What Causes Hemangiosarcoma?

Cutaneous HSAs in dogs are thought to be associated with exposure to the sun. But, for the HSAs that attack the liver, heart, spleen and other organs, some vets believe they might be linked to exposure to certain chemicals, or perhaps there is a genetic component as certain breeds seem to get them more often.

Hemangiosarcoma In Dogs Symptoms

cure for dog diarrheaUnfortunately, if your dog has a hemangiosarcoma, most often you won’t know it until the afflicted dog collapses. This is because the tumors are fed by blood vessels, filled with blood, and can rupture and hemorrhage suddenly. Here is a list of typical symptoms:

  • If the HSA is located on the skin, muscles or bone, you may see a swelling beneath the skin.
  • Signs of circulatory shock (pale or white gums, marked weakness or lethargy, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Anemia
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Partial paralysis
  • Sudden collapse
  • Profuse bleeding — internal or external
  • Crying/whining from pain

Treatment of Hemangiosarcoma In Dogs

veteranarian neosporin alternativeYour vet will give your dog a complete physical and conduct laboratory tests. S/he may also biopsy the mass via exploratory surgery to diagnose HSA.
Obviously, the right treatment protocol will depend on where the tumor is, what stage it is in, and how your dog is doing.

Most vets recommend complete surgical removals of the tumor(s) when the HSAs are on the skin. Surgery can also be effective if the tumors are located in one region of the body and haven’t metastasized. And chemotherapy will also be needed.

But if the hemangiosarcoma is found in the dog’s internal organs, he’ll have to undergo aggressive and extensive treatment. If he is been bleeding internally, he’ll need a blood transfusion to replace the lost blood.

If the HSA is in the spleen (the most common location), the organ can be removed to stop the bleeding. But there’s not a lot of good news – this type of HSA is not often cured, since even if you remove the tumor, the HSAs metastasize quickly and spread to other parts of the body. But it may be possible to delay the return of the tumors. And again, chemotherapy will likely be part of the treatment.

Many people whose dogs are diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma decide that the poor prognosis and difficult treatment protocol are too much to put their pets through, and they choose to euthanize as the most humane alternative.

If you notice masses under your dog’s skin and/or any of the above conditions are noted in your dog, get him/her to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. The earlier hemangiosarcomas are detected the better prognosis for your dog.

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