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It's A Dog's Life - YOUR Dog's! Newsletter, Issue #011 - Ear Mites
September 15, 2006
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Save your dog's life with dog first aid!

Whether you're new to dog ownership, or a long-time friend; have a puppy, or care for a senior dog; own a purebred, or a cross from the rescue center; regardless of your situation, your dog is precious to you.

You want only the best for your dog, just like you want the best for every member of your family. This newsletter has the information and resources you need to give your dog the best -- the best of health, the best of safety, the best of lifelong wellbeing.

With some prevention and some planning, you can keep your dog healthy and safe, for years to come.

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Dog First Aid 101

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Issue 11

Table of Contents



Coughing and Hacking

Properly Trimmed Claws

Ear Mites




4 Tips to help prevent your dog from coughing and hacking

If your dog has a cough then do not dismiss it as if you would a human cough. If your dog is coughing and it is something other than the occasional hairball, then take notice of how long your pet has the cough.

If it goes on for more than a day then you may have a serious problem on your hands and you should contact a vet immediately. However, for those short-term coughs that are caught in time and are not serious then we have some tips for you below to help soothe those dogs’ coughs.

1. Keep your dog well protected by the elements of nature. Pollen, dust, fumes, or any other similar type items will just as easily cause your dog to cough as it would yourself.

2. Keep the air in your house humid by increasing the humidity. Dry air will cause your dog to develop mucus in the throat and airways, which in turn signals the body to cough.

3. No more smoking! We all know that smoking is extremely bad for anyone or any animal breathing it in.

4. Try a cough suppressant. Vets recommend using a product containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan, such as Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough Syrup. But of course, always ask your vet which would be the right one for your dog.

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3 Easy tips to properly trimmed claws

Most dog owners have no idea just how long their dog's nails are at any given point and the necessity for a trim. Back in the old days when dogs were less domesticated, they wore their nails down naturally, as they ran, played, dug, and scratched their way through the outdoors.

To help you keep your dog's nail and toes in tiptop shape, we have listed several pieces of advice below, all of which were contributed by veterinarians.

1. Have your dog's claws trimmed as often as possible. They should be trimmed every six to eight weeks to avoid getting too long and causing problems, says M. Lynne Kesel, D.V.M., assistant professor of elective surgery in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Fort Collins.

2. Start trimming your dog's claws as early as possible when they are a puppy so they can get used to the procedure.

3. Do not cut too much of the claw off. This is a mistake many novice 'claw trimmers' make with their pets when trimming for the first time. If you go too deep you will cut into the pink part of the nail that contains nerves and blood vessels. Try to view trimming your dog's claws as “dulling” and not “shortening”.

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How to get rid of your dog's ear mites

Ear mites are an extremely annoying parasite that your dog may or may not have to experience. These tiny little creatures will send your dog into a frenzy of itching and scratching virtually non-stop. Ear mites are eight legged little bugs that reside by the thousands, inside the ear canals. If left untreated, your dog may scratch itself to the point of bleeding from being raw.

The following is advice recommended by vets.

1. The first step that you must take before applying any medication to kill of the ear mites is to clear the debris of crust inside of the ear. If you skip this step and just go for the medication, then the crust will provide shelter for a few survivors that can easily start laying more eggs and rebuild the entire force of ear mites.

2. Time for the medication. After you have cleaned out the dog's ears then you are going to have to use an over the counter solution to finish the job. Most vets recommend anything that contains pyrethrins which is an insecticide made from chrysanthemums.

Once you have chosen your medication, which can be found over the counter in most pet stores, simply drop a few drops into the dog's ear (be sure to follow the instructions as per your particular medication). Then, massage the base of the ear for 5 minutes or so to allow for the medication to saturate the area. That is it. It really is that simple!

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