Dog Health Misc.

Why Your Dog Needs TruDog Dental Spray

Stinky dog breath is no fun! It is no joke either. Dental disease is common in dogs and can lead to other health problems.  Products like TruDog Dental Spray help cover the problem, but it’s always a good idea to bring your dog to the veterinarian for regular dental checkups. 

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Having regular dental cleanings done on your dog’s mouth is the ideal way to remove the plaque and tartar that cause bad breath. But dental cleanings are expensive!

Luckily, there are things you can do at home that will reduce the bacteria that cause gum disease and freshen your dog’s breath.

In this post, we will feature some dental care products made by a great company, TruDog. All of these products are completely holistic and all natural and they are inexpensive as well.

These easy to apply home care products include This is our favorite of the TruDog dental products, and it is so easy to use you will wonder why you ever waited!

How it Works

The spray is formulated specifically with all natural ingredients that prevent dental disease, reduce plaque accumulation and soften tartar. This both prevents the bacteria that causes bad breath and makes it easier for the tartar to be removed when your dog eats food and chews on treats.

The ingredients include:

Grape Seed Extract

This extract prevents dental plaque from forming, and reduces the bacteria that leads to gum disease.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

This extract has multiple benefits to your dog. Not only is it high in vitamins C and E, but it also acts as a detoxifier and immune system enhancer. In the mouth, grapefruit seed extract reduces inflammation of your dog’s gums.

Peppermint Oil

It is no surprise to find this oil in a dental product! Peppermint oil is a powerful antiseptic that kills oral bacteria and freshens the breath. It also contains vitamins A and C along with omega 3 fatty acids.

Rosemary Oil

Helps prevent plaque from sticking to the teeth, and contains enzymes that freshens the breath.

Neem Seed Oil

This is a powerhouse oil! Not only does it have antibacterial properties, it also helps prevent bacteria from adhering to the teeth. It can reduce and even in some cases reverse dental disease! It is a natural breath freshener as well.

Thyme Oil

This oil can reduce the bacteria that cause dental disease and gingivitis. Its natural antimicrobial properties will help prevent tooth decay and the eventual loss of teeth from dental disease.

How to use TruDog Dental Spray

All you have to do is spray it into your dog’s mouth once or twice a day. That’s it!

It is especially effective to use at bedtime, where it can work all night while your dog sleeps.

When used as directed, the TruDog Dental Spray works systematically with your dog’s saliva to coat the teeth and gums. There is no need to apply it directly to the teeth; your dog does all the work for you!

You should notice the breath freshening effects right away, and within 3-8 weeks you will see less tartar on your dog’s teeth.

Clean Me Dental Chews

TruDog makes dental chews in two sizes, small dog (5-25 pounds) and large dog (25 and up).

How It Works

Dental chews work in two ways.

First, they work by scraping plaque and tartar off your dog’s teeth as they chew on them. The chews are designed to maximize the amount of tooth surface they come into contact with, leading to more mechanical action. This is basically similar to brushing your dog’s teeth.

The chews also contain ingredients that freshen the breath and eliminate the volatile sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.

How to Use

Give 1 chew once a day to promote fresh breath.

Chews work best when used with other oral care products. While they freshen the breath and remove plaque and tartar, they do not destroy the bacteria that cause dental disease. Using with a product (like TruDog Dental Spray or Gel) that softens tartar and kills bacteria will make the chews more effective.

Gel Me Doggy Dental Gel

This oral gel is a great way to deliver a powerful and effective breath freshener and bacteria fighter right to the source of the problem- Your dog’s teeth and gums!

How it Works

Like the TruDog Dental Spray, this product controls plaque and tartar and helps reduce the bacteria that It naturally reduces plaque, softens tartar and freshens your dog’s mouth. No more stinky breath!

How to Use

This is a bit more work than the dental spray, but it isn’t hard to apply.

Simply put the correct dose of gel on your finger or on a piece of gauze. Rub the gel along the gum line of your dog’s teeth, upper and lower. You can use it once a day as a preventative, or twice a day if there is a lot of tartar build-up.

Why We Love TruDog!

While TruDog is an affiliate of ours, we work with them because we like and trust their products. We love the high quality of their ingredients and that they are holistic and 100% all natural!

TruDog has excellent customer service, so if you ever have a question you know you can reach out to them for help.

They get top reviews from users, and many holistic veterinarians recommend their products highly.

Their products are backed with a 60 day money back guarantee! So there is no danger in ordering from them. If you are not happy with your purchase, just contact them within 60 days for a full refund.

If you are looking for easy to apply dental products for dogs, check out TruDogs website!

We are big fans of the TruDog Dental Spray, but their Dental Chews and Doggy Dental Gel are also great products that will help your dog‘s oral health. These products are inexpensive and will save you money. 

Before you go!

There’s a lot of information here to digest, so while you’re doing that why not take a minute to Tweet?  I hope you come back soon. You’re not going to want to miss all of the great things I have planned and the informative posts still to come.

Comments or questions?  Feel free to fill in the form below.  You can always email me directly at:  latheriault@hugspetproducts.com

AUTHOR BIO:

Jen Clifford has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College. She was a field biologist for several years and then spent 10 years working in veterinary medicine as a receptionist and technician.  Jen is currently a freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her tribe of pets. She is a passionate animal lover who is dedicated to helping people find solutions to their pet-related challenges. You can find more of her work on her website https://MyWickedTribe.com.

Why is my Dog’s Stomach Making Noises?

Let’s talk tummies! One question that we get a lot is “why is my dog’s stomach making noises?” There can be a lot of reasons for a noisy belly, and the great news is that most of the time, the noises are normal!

That said, sometimes belly sounds can be the first sign that there is a bigger problem brewing.

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In this post, we will talk about these sounds, and when you should be concerned.

Dog’s Stomach Making Noises

Most of the time, a rumble coming from your dog’s stomach is a normal part of the digestion process.

Basic Digestion

The act of digestion is pretty straightforward. Food gets swallowed, and enters the stomach.

The stomach acids and enzymes break down the food chemically while the stomach contracts, mixing the food around until it is a slurry of digested material and fluids.

From there, this mixture is moved into the small intestine. That is where the dog’s body is able to absorb the energy from the food and move it into the bloodstream.

What’s left of this slurry then heads for the large intestine, where as much water as possible is reclaimed. The remaining material is compacted into a solid and then stored until it is pooped out.

Digestion takes 6 hours to 2 Days

It can take anywhere from 6 hours up to a couple of days for a meal to be digested, from eating to pooping. 10 hours is about average for most dogs. This range is dependent on a few things.

Older dogs digest their food slower, as the intestinal tract starts to slow down. Puppies, on the other hand, seem to do nothing but eat and poop!

Different kinds of food will be digested at different rates. Wet foods may be digested in as little as 5 or 6 hours, while dry foods may take up to 10 hours. Raw meats and vegetables may take even longer.

Normal Digestion Noises

Digestion is a noisy process. There are a lot of different muscles involved in moving the food through the digestive tract. The stomach itself is a giant muscle that both mixes the food and pushes it into the top of the small intestine.


Often, you hear sounds when your dog is hungry, or because they have just eaten their meal.

Typical Causes of Stomach Noise 

When your dog is hungry, their body anticipates the upcoming meal, just like our bodies do when we are hungry.

The stomach starts to make the digestive juices and begins to contract in preparation. This makes those gurgling sounds so familiar to hungry folks everywhere!

After your dog has eaten, you are hearing the result of this digestive muscle activity.

The sounds are made by the liquid slurry of food and digestive juices being squeezed from the stomach into the intestines, or the sound being made as this slurry is moved through the intestines.

Flatulence

Another reason for a dog’s stomach making noise is flatulence. In this case, the noise is actually originating in the small intestine.

There are many foods that ferment naturally in the small intestine, producing gas that also passes down the digestive tract. A few hours after a meal, you may hear the sounds of this gas as it moves through the small and large intestines.

If you dog has problems with excessive gas production (they fart a lot), you should examine the ingredient list of their diet.

Beet pulp, beans, peas and soy products are all associated with fermentation in the small intestine. If your dog is very gassy, these ingredients could be adding to the problem.

When to Worry About Stomach Noises

Honestly, if the only thing concerning you is the noises you are hearing, then you can probably relax. As long as your dog is resting comfortably and has no other symptoms, the noises are probably caused by normal digestion.

Even if you don’t usually hear your dog’s stomach making noise, we wouldn’t worry unless there were other signs of a problem as well.

Sometimes a dog just eats faster than usual, or drinks a bunch of water after a meal. Maybe they ate a new treat, or snacked on some grass in the yard. These can alter the sounds your dog’s stomach makes while it digests the food.

Signs of an Upset Stomach

Sometimes your dog’s noisy stomach is accompanied by other symptoms. Keep on eye on things if you notice these signs that your dog’s stomach is upset.

Dog’s Stomach is Painful

This can be a subtle symptom, and some dogs hide their pain really well. Signs that a dog has a painful tummy include pacing, panting, arching their back, and laying their belly flat on a cool surface (like a kitchen floor).

Also, many dogs try to eat grass when their bellies are painful. It is better to prevent them from doing this, as the grass can just make them feel worse.

This kind of pain usually passes within a few hours. If it is accompanied by other symptoms, you may want to make an appointment with your vet.

Vomiting

It is no fun, but dog vomit happens. Most of the time, we have no idea what caused them to vomit. Vomiting can be both a benign process and a sign of a bigger problem.

A single episode of vomiting isn’t usually a big deal. Multiple episodes of vomiting, however, point to a bigger problem. Even then, it just depends.

Examine the vomit, and make a note of what you see in it. Common things to see in dog vomit include partially digested food, grass and other natural materials like twigs, and bile (when they vomit on an empty stomach).

More concerning things you may find in dog vomit include parts of dog toys, remains of treats like rawhide, pig’s ears and cow hooves, or foreign objects like rocks.

Go to the vet or emergency hospital immediately if your dog:

  • Is vomiting blood or a substance that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Is vomiting food and water immediately after eating/drinking (not holding either down).
  • Is retching but is not able to vomit, or is not producing any vomit. This could be a sign of bloat. Emergency care is needed ASAP!

Diarrhea

This is one of the more common signs of an upset stomach. Diarrhea can range from a semi-solid stool to a soft stool all the way to a complete liquid. Sometimes a dog will have a normal stool, and then have diarrhea shortly thereafter.

Many folks try and treat diarrhea at home by feeding a bland or homemade diet. Some folks use probiotics as well, or add pumpkin to their dog’s diet.

This problem will usually resolve itself within a few days.

When to Seek a Veterinarian for Diarrhea

Head to the vet if your dog has had diarrhea for more than a few days without any improvement. Also, if they have vomiting and diarrhea together, a vet visit is a good idea.

Take pictures of the vomit and diarrhea to show the vet.

Bring a fresh stool sample with you! The vet might want to test it for parasites or signs of a foodborne pathogen.

It is not uncommon to notice fresh blood in the stool when a dog has a bout of diarrhea. If your dog is producing a stool that looks black and tar-like, seek veterinary care urgently.

Medications that Upset the Stomach

Many medications can cause an upset stomach in dogs.

Oral flea and tick products like Bravecto, Comfortis, Trifexis and NexGard are all associated with vomiting and sometimes diarrhea in dogs.

The most usual side effect of these products is vomiting. Bravecto and Trifexis in particular cause some dogs to vomit. This is usually only problem the first or second time they take the medication. Talk to your vet if your dog always gets an upset stomach after taking these kinds of preventatives.

You can lessen the chances of your dog vomiting by feeding the medication with a small meal.

As long as your pet holds the medication down for an hour, you do not need to redose them! The active ingredient that prevent parasites is already absorbed by then. If they vomit sooner than one hour after, call your vet for advice.

Noisy Can Be Normal!

As you can see, it is pretty normal for your dog’s stomach to make noises. Unless you are seeing other signs that your dog is not feeling well, the noises themselves should not cause you any worry.

As always, if you have concerns about your dog’s stomach noises, flatulence or belching, consult your vet. They are a great source of information, and they can reassure you that all is well!

Author Bio

Jen Clifford has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College. She was a field biologist for several years, and then spent 10 years working in veterinary medicine as a receptionist and technician.  Jen is currently a freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her tribe of pets. She is a passionate animal lover who is dedicated to helping people find solutions to their pet-related challenges. You can find more of her work at her website https://MyWickedTribe.com.

17 Hawaiian Spirulina Benefits for Dogs

Hawaiian spirulina is getting a lot of attention lately. In fact, pet nutrition in 2018 is a HUGE business.

Both dog and cat owners are paying more attention to what they feed their pets.  People are looking into alternative diets and supplements to maximize their pet’s health and wellness.

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Trendy SuperFood

While spirulina is grown all over the world, the safest and highest quality product is produced in man-made reservoirs on the island of Kona.

In this post, we outline 17 Hawaiian spirulina benefits for dogs.  Whether you have a specific health concern in mind or are just looking for a high-quality nutritional supplement, Hawaiian spirulina has something to benefit your dog’s health.

Hawaiian Spirulina 

Hawaiian spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) is the domesticated form of the common blue-green algae trademarked under the name Spirulina Pacifica.

Spirulina is actually a type of bacteria that gets its energy from the sun. Just like a plant, spirulina uses photosynthesis to turn sunlight into energy the cells can use for food.

Hawaiian spirulina is cultivated in freshwater ponds and then harvested and dried to a powder. This powder can be taken in capsules, or mixed into other foods for consumption.

It is an especially nutrient-rich supplement that is eco-friendly. It is also gluten-free and is certified vegan, kosher, halal and non-GMO!

Spirulina has been used as a source of nutrition for humans and livestock for thousands of years.  NASA even sends spirulina energy bars into space for our astronauts! Check out the nutritional profile for spirulina below:

17 Benefits of Hawaiian Spirulina for Dogs

One Tablespoon (7 grams) of Spirulina Contains:

1. Protein

Spirulina is about 60% protein and contains 18 different amino acids. It has all 10 of the essential amino aids dogs require from their diets.

Unlike other plant-based protein sources, such as soy, the proteins in spirulina are highly digestible without further processing.

The other amino acids in spirulina can also be beneficial to your dog. Aspartic Acid, Glutamic Acid, and Glycine are all neurotransmitters that help keep the brain and nervous system working properly.

Tyrosine assists in melanin production, and Cystine is necessary for taurine synthesis within your dog’s body.

2. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Thiamine is a vitamin that is essential to canine health. It promotes organ function (including the brain) and can help your dog maintain a healthy nervous system. Thiamine is also necessary for their bodies to metabolize carbohydrates.

Unstable When Exposed to Heat

While thiamine is added to all commercial pet foods, the challenge is that it is unstable when exposed to heat, air or moisture.

Since commercial foods are cooked and stored for lengthy periods of time, you have no idea whether these foods contain the amount of thiamine that is labeled on the bag.

There have been multiple pet food recalls in the last several years due to a thiamine insufficiency. Adding Hawaiian spirulina to your dog’s diet can ensure they are not missing out on this essential vitamin!

3. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

If there is one vitamin you really want to be sure your dog is getting enough of, it is riboflavin! This vitamin works with other enzymes in your dog’s body.  Riboflavin regulates their metabolism.

Riboflavin also plays a role in the production of red blood cells, and in the function of the immune system.

Riboflavin is found in many animal and plant sources, including Hawaiian spirulina. Interestingly, riboflavin is required for the uptake of many minerals which are found in Hawaiian spirulina as well!

This one’s for you! Check out the smoothie recipe below:

4. Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Niacin is another essential B vitamin for dogs found in spirulina. This vitamin is required for the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Niacin helps maintain your dog’s skin and coat and supports their gastrointestinal health.

Niacin, like thiamine, is sensitive to heat and moisture. Commercially prepared foods may not actually contain the amount of niacin that is stated on the label.

Niacin is found naturally in animal meats, eggs, and legumes. While cereal crops like wheat and corn contain niacin, our dog’s bodies can not extract the vitamin from these sources. Spirulina, on the other hand, contains a bioavailable form of niacin!

Read about Mast Cell Tumor Dog Life Expectancy 

5. Copper

You may think of the pretty metal when you see the word copper, but it is also a trace mineral that dogs require in their diet. Copper assists with the development of collagen, bone and connective tissue. It also helps with the absorption of iron and plays a role in the formation of red blood cells.

Spirulina is a good source of copper, especially since it contains iron (see below) and does not contain a lot of vitamin C (which prevents copper from being absorbed).

Some dogs have a genetic condition that disrupts their body’s ability to process and store copper. If your dog has liver disease related to copper, check with your veterinarian before starting him/her on spirulina supplementation.

6. Iron

Along with copper, iron is a major component of hemoglobin, the primary protein found in red blood cells. Iron works in tandem with other enzymes in your dog’s body as well. Insufficient iron in the diet can cause anemia, or a lack of red blood cells. Dogs should receive iron in their diet every day, especially puppies and growing dogs.

Spirulina is a rich source of iron and, as mentioned above, it also contains copper to ensure the iron is absorbed.

7. Magnesium

Another trace mineral that dogs require, magnesium is essential for the nervous system to function properly. It is involved with the transfer of energy throughout your dog’s body. Along with sodium and potassium (see below), magnesium is necessary for your dog to walk, run and jump. Pretty much all movement requires magnesium.

Dogs with insufficient magnesium appear weak and lethargic. Their muscles may twitch, and they often have difficulty walking.

Here’s a little slo-mo picture for you! This little dog seems to love his spirulina treats.

Magnesium deficiency can cause their heart to beat erratically and is considered very dangerous if left untreated. Dogs with kidney disease, diabetes and IBD may benefit from the magnesium in spirulina.

8. Potassium

Potassium is a trace mineral that plays an important role in fluid and electrolyte balance in dogs. As mentioned above, all muscle activity requires potassium (and the other electrolytes), and a deficiency can lead to muscle weakness, heart arrhythmias and other serious health problems.

Most dogs can get sufficient potassium through their normal diet and treats. However, dogs with diabetes, kidney disease or IBD may become deficient in potassium.

Even an otherwise healthy dog who refuses to eat, or has diarrhea for a few days, might develop problems with low potassium. Using Spirulina may help keep your dog’s potassium levels in the proper range, although you should check with your veterinarian first if your dog has any major health problems.

9. Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids

You have probably read a lot about omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and their benefit to our dog’s health. These polyunsaturated fatty acids are an essential part of our dog’s diets, since their bodies can not produce them.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids support a healthy coat and immune system, and when the ratio is balanced correctly can also have anti-inflammatory effects.

While spirulina is only about 8% fat, the balance of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids is usually right around the target of 1:1.

Your dog’s overall diet will have a much greater impact on their Omega intake than a supplement like spirulina. Still, the omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in spirulina can help maintain the health of your dog.

Read

The Benefits of Hawaiian Spirulina

Now that we have covered 9 health benefits of Hawaiian spirulina for your dog’s health, let’s look at the bigger picture.

What superpowers does spirulina bring to the table?

10. Antioxidant

Spirulina contains several antioxidants, such as phocyanin and beta-carotene. In fact, spirulina has more beta-carotene by proportion than a carrot!

These antioxidants help protect cells and the cellular DNA from being damaged, which can lead to inflammation and even cancer.

Eating foods high in antioxidants is associated with a reduction in cancer rates, and while the research is still in progress, there are good reasons to think that spirulina antioxidants provide some protections when consumed every day.

11. Anti-Inflammatory

The antioxidants in spirulina can have an anti-inflammatory effect in your dog’s body. This can help prevent heart disease, reduce the pain associated with arthritis and even improve your dog’s intestinal function!

Chronic inflammation is associated with several diseases common to dogs, and spirulina may help prevent your dog from developing them.

12. Lower LDL

Low-density lipoproteins, or LDL’s, are the “bad fat” associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Several animal studies show that consuming spirulina lowers the amount of LDL’s in the blood, and some recent studies have indicated that spirulina may also have this effect in humans.

While specific research on dogs still needs to be done, there is good reason to believe that this will hold true to them as well.

13. Lower Triglycerides

High triglycerides are also associated with the development of heart disease. Human studies have shown that consumption of spirulina can lower triglycerides in the blood by 10-28%!

Several animal studies have also shown this result, although not all of them have. While we still need to wait for this research to be done in dogs, it is likely that spirulina will have some positive impact on the total number of triglycerides in your dog’s blood.

14. Raises HDL

High-density lipoproteins, or HDL, are the “good fats” in your body. They are associated with healthy hearts and arteries.

Taken as a whole, you want low numbers of LDL’s and triglycerides, and higher numbers of HDLs. Studies on spirulina in both animals and humans consistently shows that its consumption increases HDL’s even as it lowers LDL’s and triglycerides.

Overall, there is good evidence that spirulina supports cardiac health in many mammals, and will probably have this effect in dogs too.

15. Anti-Cancer

Spirulina may have anti-cancer effects in dogs. There is some evidence to show that animals given spirulina are less likely to develop cancer.

Since we know that spirulina is an antioxidant and that it has anti-inflammatory properties, it follows that it might also protect against some forms of cancer. Several studies have shown that it is particularly useful in protecting against oral cancers in humans.

Since spirulina is especially beneficial to the immune system and digestive tract, it may be that it also helps protect against cancer in these locations. More research is needed, especially in dogs, but the preliminary reports show promise!

16. Reduces Allergy Symptoms

Taking Hawaiian spirulina can relieve the effects of seasonal allergies. As mentioned above, it can reduce inflammation and support a healthy immune system.

One of the ways Hawaiian spirulina does this is by reducing the amount of histamine in the body.

These histamines are one of the things that trigger your immune system to react, or overreact in the case of “hay fever.”

If your dog suffers from “hay fever” or other seasonal allergy symptoms, try adding spirulina to their diet! Not only will their coat be bright and shining, their skin shouldn’t itch as much.

17. Anemia

Since spirulina contains copper, iron and B2 vitamins, it is an excellent supplement to prevent anemia! Puppies and senior dogs are especially at risk of anemia, and may benefit from spirulina supplementation.

There are several studies in humans that show seniors and immunosuppressed people have higher levels of red blood cells when given spirulina every day.

Adding Hawaiian spirulina to your dog’s diet will help protect them from anemia, and will support their overall health.

We hope you have enjoyed this post about the 17 Hawaiian spirulina benefits for dogs! While more research needs to be done, there are many reasons to believe this superfood has superpowers our dogs can benefit from!

As always, check with your veterinarian before starting spirulina supplementation. Some dogs may have upset stomachs when they first start taking it, and it can react negatively with some medications.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post!  You should have a pretty good understanding of the benefits of spirulina in your dog’s diet.  

I hope you’ll come back often.  There’s a lot to read and you’re not going to want to miss out on some of the #1 posts.

A Simple Look at Chiggers on Dogs

You go on a nice autumn walk with your dog across a freshly cut field thinking all is well, the last thing you’re thinking of are chiggers on dogs.  The next day, however, your dog is scratching up a storm. You don’t see any fleas or flea debris. But there are all these tiny red bumps on your dog’s stomach. The itching is driving your dog crazy. Could it be chiggers?

We are going to go over everything you need to know about chiggers on dogs, and how to treat and prevent these parasites from making your dog an itchy mess!

In this post, I’m going to talk about the life cycle of chiggers, what they look like, and how to get rid of them.

A Simple Look at Chiggers on Dogs

So how do you know if your dog has chiggers? Let’s take a quick look at what chiggers are and why they make our dogs (and us) so itchy.

Chigger Life Cycle- The Basics

Chiggers, also known as berry, storage or itch mites, are a common parasite found in many parts of the world. Scientifically, they belong to the same class as spiders and are related to other mites in the Trombiculidae family.

They are red in color and tend to prefer warm, humid environments.  They are most active in the spring and fall in North America, and are difficult to see with the naked eye unless they are in large groups.

Chiggers have 4 stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, nymph and adult.

It is during the larval phase where chiggers make themselves known to other animals by feeding on their skin cells. It is this activity that causes the welts and itchiness so associated with chigger bites. The nymphs and adults are not themselves parasitic. You can learn more about the biology of chiggers here.

Chigger Bites

The larval form of this parasite clings to your dog’s skin and makes a small tube, called stylostome, into the deeper part of the dermis. Then they use this tube to inject an enzyme into the skin that breaks up the skin cells, allowing them to “drink” the cells and mature to the nymph phase.

Contrary to the common myth, chiggers do not burrow into the skin or feed on blood. They stay on the surface, and drop off when done feeding.

It is this stylostome and the enzymes injected into theskin that cause the noticeable red, raised welts and associated itchiness. These welts can take up to a week to heal and stop itching.

Chiggers on Dogs

So how do you identify if there are chiggers on your dog? You could go to the veterinarian and have them do a skin scraping. This allows them to see the larva under a microscope and confirm the diagnosis. Most of the time, your vet will just skip that step and go straight to medicating the symptoms.

Chigger bites on dogs are most common in areas where there is little fur and are often found on the belly and inside of the legs, around the eyes and even occasionally in the ears (more common with cats). The bites look like a series of raised, red welts that are very itchy.

It is unlikely that you will be able to see the larval chiggers themselves unless there are a lot of them, such as in an ear canal. In that case, they may look like a cluster of red, moving dots, similar to paprika.

You have to look at this video! It’s a helpful way to identify and treat bites

Before you head to the vet, there are a few things you can do at home to identify and treat the symptoms.

How to Treat Chiggers on Dogs

The good news is that chiggers in North America do not carry any diseases, and your dog will not pass the chiggers on to you or other members of your household.

The first thing you should do if you suspect your dog has chiggers is giving him/her a bath with a good oatmeal shampoo. This will remove the chiggers from your dog, and hopefully soothe their skin.

Use lukewarm water and gently wash the areas where the welts are, being sure to rinse well to remove all of the shampoo. To clean around the eyes, you can carefully wipe with an unscented baby wipe or an approved veterinary skin wipe, if you have any handy.

Don’t use soap and water around your dog’s eyes or in their ears.

Once the mites are removed, it can take up to 7 days for the welts to heal. You can use oatmeal baths or a canine anti-itch spray on the welts for temporary relief. A topical hydrocortisone cream may also help, but be sure to only use small amounts and prevent your pet from licking the medication off. Don’t use sprays or creams around the eyes or in the ears, although you can use them on the ear flap itself.

If you’ve followed the steps above and see no improvement, please bring your dog to a veterinarian. Things to watch for include:

  • Your pet is causing damage to their skin by scratching, biting and/or rubbing at the welts. He/she may need oral steroids to stop the itching, or antibiotics for a secondary skin infection.
  • The welts and itchiness do not subside in a couple of days.
  • You see clusters of moving, red dots in the ear canal. You will want the experts to do an ear cleaning and identify the culprits in this case.

How to Prevent Chiggers on Dogs

The easiest way to prevent chiggers from biting your dog is to use a flea control product that also works on mites. This will kill any chiggers on your dog before they have a chance to cause problems. Frontline Plus, Revolution and the Seresto Flea and Tick collars are all effective at preventing chigger bites.

I want to thank you for reading this post to learn more about helping your dog live a happy, healthy life.




9 Clever Ways to Afford Dog Tooth Extraction Costs!

Let’s face it, bringing your dog to a veterinarian is a hit to the wallet.  Dog tooth extraction costs can range anywhere from $400 and up.  Waaaaaay up.  Why do we pay that kind of money? Because we love our dogs. Unfortunately, a lot of us end up going into debt to pay veterinarian bills. 

In this post, I’m going to talk about the various costs of dog tooth extraction and the considerations that go into that final bill.  By the time you’re finished reading this post, you’ll have some solid tips on how to best afford dog tooth extraction costs.

 

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Preparing for Dog Tooth Extraction Costs

This one is easy to say, but hard to do. Ideally, you’ll want to budget ahead of time for the sudden veterinarian bills that are going to come up. Don’t roll your eyes! I get it.  If you’re anything like me, your best efforts of saving money go down the tubes the minutes an appliance breaks, or your college kid needs money. 

If you’re one of the smart ones, you can really avoid taking a hit to the credit card by having some money tucked aside.   Plus, if you can setup a bank account that pays a high interest, you’ll end up making a little money on top of what you’ve already saved.



1. Banking on Unexpected Dog Health Care Costs

Most banks offer an average of 0.19% interest, which isn’t a whole lot at the end of the day.  Rather than scour the Internet for every bank rate, I found this current article at www.cnbc.com that I think you’ll find helpful. In a nutshell, they’re suggesting that certain smaller online banks might prove to be your best option. For example, Dollar Savings Direct offer a higher interest rate. The downside is that you need $1000 minimum deposit.

 

2. Pet Insurance Will Help Pay a Portion of Your Dog’s Dental Care

Pet insurance companies are a great option if you sign on BEFORE your dog gets sick or needs a dental procedure.  Like any other medical insurance company, they’re not going to sign you up if there’s already a diagnosis on your file. It’s the same with pet insurance companies.  The best time to sign up for pet insurance is when you have a puppy.

I realize that if you’re reading this right now, and you don’t already have pet insurance, it’s probably not the best option for you. It’s always worth mentioning for other pets you may have! 

 

3. One Veterinarian Practice is Not Like the Other!

If you’re one of the lucky ones and have a long-time trusted veterinarian, there’s a good chance he/she is going to cut you some slack on the cost of dog tooth extraction costs.  Don’t be afraid to ask what the options are and get a break-down of the veterinarian’s typical costs.

Some clinics may charge anywhere from $250 and up BEFORE the extraction.  Here’s a sample breakdown of veterinarian costs.  Keep in mind that prices vary from place to place.

 

  • Pre-Surgical Health Screen 2
$80
  • Isoflorane Anesthesia
$60
  • Dental Scale & Polish
$80
  • Nail Trim
$15
  • Dental x-ray
$114
  • Cefazolin Injection Antibiotic
$20
  • Dental sutures
$17
  • Nerve Block
$32
  • Dental Extractions
$15
  • Oral Antibiotic
$15
TOTAL BILL$448

                                                                         

That’s a lot of money, and from what I understand…the price for dog tooth extraction costs can soar much higher.

 

9 clever ways to afford dog tooth extraction costs

Wait…WHAT? Nobody said anything about the dentist!

4. Voice Your Concerns BEFORE the Dental Procedure!

If you’re worried that you might not be able to afford the bill, talk to the veterinarian before the procedure.  In some cases, the veterinarian might tell you to wait until you can afford it. That’s not the best scenario. If that happened to me, I would start shopping around.

I recently spoke to a veterinarian technician who told me that much bigger problems are sometimes found once the procedure has already begun. The reason? Until the dog has been anesthetized and the teeth professionally cleaned, they often discover that more extractions are required than originally thought.

 

 

Be Honest About Your Budget

If the veterinarian knows what your dental budget is, the procedure will be stopped and re-booked for a later date, when you have the money.  Ideally, you should either agree to the cost up front or arrange a payment plan of some sort. Otherwise, you end up bringing your dog home with a sore mouth and a diet of mush until you can get back into the vet.

 

5. Care Credit for Dog Dental Care

Although not every clinic offer this, Care Credit is a great option for people who cannot afford the upfront costs of teeth extractions.  There’s a minimum charge you must have, but that’s not going to be a problem for you.  Once you’ve signed up, you will have a 6 month no interest financing option that you’re going to want to take.   The people I’ve talked to rave about the plan. It gives you plenty of time to pay it back long before you incur the high interest rate of 26.99%

 

6. Wellness Plans are Great if You Can Get ‘Em

Not all veterinarian clinics offer a Wellness Plan but those who do have great things to offer.  Banfield Pet Hospital offers an amazing plan with three tiers of coverage to choose from.  There’s the Essential Wellness plan, which offers 2 comprehensive physical exams per year, vaccinations, diagnostic tests, 2 fecal exams per year, and deworming. To get into the meaty stuff, you’re going to want to chose the Active Prevention plan (which offers dental cleaning) or Special Care, which includes the kind of tests you might want for a senior dog, like tests for glaucoma and heart issues.

Checkout this link to get an idea of pricing options and where you can find a Banfield Pet Hospital near you.



 

If your dog is showing signs of pain when he’s eating, he may need a tooth extraction! pic.twitter.com/znnqqZTwYk

— Wags Animal Hospital (@WagsAnimalH) July 25, 2018

 

7. The Fine Art of Bargaining

I know some people who religiously brush their dogs’ teeth every day. I’m not one of those people. There, I said it. Yes, I have gotten in there with a soft toothbrush and a glob of doggy toothpaste (Note:  You probably already know this, but don’t use regular people toothpaste for dogs), but for the most part, I don’t get all up in their mouths that much. Probably should. My two dogs are getting older and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before one of them needs something major…like a root canal.  If it comes to that, I have a few tips on knowing where you can bargain on price. 

 

  • IV Catheter

Some clinics will not perform a dental procedure without an IV catheter in place.  Others will.  If you’re not sure what your veterinarian’s policy is, go ahead and ask.  By leaving the catheter out you could save about $100!  

 

  • Pre-Operative Blood Work

Some veterinarians will do the dental work required without preliminary blood work, provided the dog is in good overall health.  If there’s any suspicion that underlying conditions might adversely affect the use of anesthesia in your dog, the veterinarian might insist on the blood work. Otherwise, if you can have the doctor eliminate it from the procedure, you’ll be saving anywhere from $75 to $350!

 

  • Dental X-Rays

Here’s the thing with x-rays…they’re great if the veterinarian is able to spot any problems before the procedure.  If that happens, you have the benefit of getting a realistic estimate for the surgery.  On the other hand, not all x-rays get to the root of the problem (pun intended). In that case, you pay for the x-rays PLUS you’re hit with a higher bill.  

You might want to ask about this one. If you can get away without having the x-rays done, you’ll be saving somewhere around $150.

 

8. One of These Teeth is Not Like the Other

Teeth all serve the same purpose, but they’re certainly not all priced the same.  If your dog needs to have a molar removed, you’re looking at roughly $135 per tooth. Smaller (easier) teeth might cost you around $75.  Obviously you can’t determine the tooth that needs to come out, but it is worth keeping in mind when you’re setting your budget.

9. Luxury Dental Extractions vs a No-Frills Practice

I’m the kind of person who tends to think that more expensive equals “better”.  When it comes to dental practices, however, keep in mind that all veterinarians are obligated to provide the best possible care for your dog. A licensed veterinarian won’t take any chances with your dog. What I’m saying is, a less expensive clinic doesn’t mean your dog’s teeth will be extracted in a van behind Walmart. You might not get the feel-good warm-and-fuzzies from a no-frills clinic, but your dog will get good health care. 

That said, some people prefer a more upscale practice. I totally get that. In that case, however, be prepared to spend more money up front.  There’s no bargaining here. Your dog will get the full work-up before and after the dental extraction. And that costs $$$

 

To Summarize…

You should have a pretty solid idea of how to save on dog tooth extraction costs now. If you suspect your dog is having problems with his teeth, it’s always better to face it right away than wait until the problem gets worse.  Rotting teeth can turn into abscesses (bacterial infections). They can wear down bone in the jaw, create more pain than your dog needs, and will end up costing you even more in the long-term. 

I hope you can use some of the tips I’ve left you. Give your dog a big kiss for me, and make sure to come back for more helpful posts like this! 

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