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To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Lay your hands on your dogs
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Ole Cuss    Posted 07-16-2001 at 12:09:37       [Reply]  [No Email]

If you have outside dogs, especially with heavy fur, for pete's sake look them over once in awhile and run your hands through their coats. In summertime, that thick coat holds heat close to the skin. This leads to irritation, inflammation, and creation of "hot spots" (itchy oozing sores). Flies get drawn to these spots and lay eggs, and before you know it, there's a maggoty mess.
I've already treated a Sheltie and mixed Husky this summer whose backs and rumps were nothing but a roiling mass of maggots amid corrupted dog flesh. In neither case did the owner suspect that there was a serious problem; each wanted the dog checked out because it seemed "blah" and wasn't acting right. I've seen cases left too long where the maggots bored through the muscle and into the spinal cord. I wish folks with longhaired dogs in hot weather would get the poor animals shaved in the spring to give them comfort and prevent these problems, and there's plenty of time to regrow the hair for winter.

Heather Hughes    Posted 08-11-2006 at 17:20:37       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have a SheltieX; who will be 10 years old on Hallowe'en. Every May I have Bandit clipped down for summer but he constantly bites at himself. The lady who clipped him was amazed that she didn't find one flea [we live in the Fraser Valley of BC and fleas are a real problem] but that he has skin irritations. We have tried changing his dog food but he is still driving us crazy not to say what he is doing to his body. Any suggestions for a specific shampoo to try or???. Our regular vet just retired [George was awesome] and we don't know where else to take him. Also we have a short haired Akita/Golden Lab [Shelby-ann]cross who sheds huge amounts of fur -- should we clip her too. And latsly, in our mild climate can we keep Bandit clipped year-round so he won't eat at his feet when they get muddy?

Katherine    Posted 09-30-2002 at 22:11:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have a dog that has maggots by his rectum. I am wondering how to get rid of them. Do I take the dog to the vet? or is there a home remedy? He has very thick hair and he is 12 yrs. old.

F14    Posted 07-17-2001 at 14:54:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Dang little chance of that with The Grumpasaurus. She gets throroughly petted roughly every hour on the hour, more if the grandkids are here. Spoiled mutt, but she knows I'm a sucker for a little affection ":^)

She does have a problem I can't find a cure for. Her external "girl parts" (language filter won't let me use the correct medical term) are "recessed" and when she pees, she pees on herself. This leads to what amounts to diaper rash, and she licks herself a lot, which doesn't help. She goes absolutely bonkers (neighbors think I'm beating her) if I try to put anything on it. My vet (who has served me well through three dogs) says reconstructive surgery is possible, but expensive, and quite frankly, I can't afford to go there. At the moment, we're just living with it and letting her lick.

Any harm in this?

And thanks very much for all the free tips, Ole Cuss. Dang generous of you, and I want you to know I appreciate it.

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-18-2001 at 02:18:38       [Reply]  [No Email]

Curious and unusual problem with your Grumpasaurus. As you've probably seen, the licking and urine scald will lead to some amount of skin irritation; that's why she goes nuclear when you touch it with any pressure as when applying ointments. I would suggest starting with a spray, like pinkeye spray (nitrofurazone). Stay away from Bactine or Lanacaine sprays that people use for sunburn; harmful to dogs when licked off. Or, eat your Wheaties and attempt to give her a "Sitzbath" by plopping just her little butt into a solution of warm water and Betadine (nonstinging antibacterial iodine like in teat dip); also, if she won't go for the dunk approach, spritz it on her affected part with a syringe. Once you get some of the local irritation relieved, she may be more willing to allow an ointment to be applied. By the way, I think we vets hear more euphemisms for embarrassing parts of the anatomy than even pediatricians: there should be a chapter in textbooks dealing with problems related to "cookies, things, down-theres, cooches, whatchamajiggies, holes, slits, pee-pees, Mr. Johnson" and my favorite, "the back door".

F14...Thanks, Doc    Posted 07-18-2001 at 03:33:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'll give that a try. I don't think there ARE enough Wheaties to fortify me sufficiently to attempt the sitz bath. She's never offered to nip while being "encouraged" to submit to medical indignities, but I suspect that might drive her over the edge.

I gotta pick up a batch of Panacur for the sheep, I'll get some spray from the vet when I do.

Denise    Posted 07-17-2001 at 06:05:14       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi Ole Cuss,
Yuk! That is terrible! I'm wondering if these flea control drops have something to do with this? We use frontline for both our dogs, always watch for a problem with that, but tend not to be cuddly and not pet down there backs after a treatment. Time to look into the pill form of flea and tick control?

Is there something you would recommend?

Denise and Lee

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-17-2001 at 14:47:30       [Reply]  [No Email]

If you're getting good flea & tick control with a spot-on alone, there's no reason to change. Rarely, some animals have adverse skin reactions to these topical products, but the only time I've seen one is a temporary loss of hair in a tiny spot on a Greyhound's neck after a product was applied: no rash or irritation. (Flea collars are notorious for making skin break out). The skin irritation I spoke about is caused by the accumulation of heat against the skin by heavy, thick fur in hot weather, often in breeds or mixes such as Huskies, Chows, Golden Retrievers, Shelties, and such.The resulting heat rash is itchy, so the dog rubs or scratches till a hot spot forms (the skin breaks open into oozing, red sores). Hot spots arise from a variety of causes, not just heat: anything that causes uncontrollable itching, such as fleas and skin allergies. Once the spot-on has dried on your dog, there is no reason not to be able to run your hands through the coat if you're worried about getting it on your skin. Checking for burrs, ticks, sores, briars, and odd lumps are all good reasons for giving your dog a "feel" on a regular basis. Call it a therapeutic massage. Sometimes you find the darndest things.

Sned.    Posted 07-17-2001 at 01:54:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We have a Spitz that's 11 years old now, talk about thick hair! I trim him every spring and it really seems to help him a lot. I realized this past Sunday he is going blind. It's really sad to see an old buddy go through such a thing. I am going to build him a nice long dog run this weekend for his retiring days.
Just thought I'd share......

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-17-2001 at 02:04:01       [Reply]  [No Email]

It is sad to see the infirmities of age creep up on our little buddies. Giving them a comfortable retirement as you are is the best way to pay them back for their loyal years. I once had a client ask me to put down a dog. I asked what was wrong with the dog, and he said "Nothing. It's because he's seven, and that's about old enough for a dog to get." Needless to say I refused, and I told him to find another vet for his future needs. He needs to read Hank's story about the gates of heaven and hell.

geo in MI    Posted 07-16-2001 at 19:59:28       [Reply]  [Send Email]

For tick removal, a nit comb(sold in headlice treatment packages) works pretty good. The extremely fine teeth on the comb allow you to gently remove the tick with a slow, steady pull.

LazyHorse    Posted 07-16-2001 at 18:42:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
I wish I had seen your post a year ago. We have a Great Pyreneese male that is about 10 years old. We have always had him clipped each year by the groomer at the vets. About 3 years ago they refused to do it anymore because of his extremely thick fur, and disposition with strangers. Anyway we started clipping him at home with hand operated sheep shears. Last year was extremely hot and dry, and before we got him clipped in[ early June we found him literally skinned one morning. He developed a hot spot as you mentioned and his hide rotted from about 6 inches in front of his tail to half way down his tail, including the genital area. Took him to the vet and they suggested putting him down, but I refused without attempting to cure him on my own, Took several weeks of treatments of hydrated lime, and blue lotion on the open sores. The old boy healed up well and produced his first batch of pups this winter. We got lucky and the maggots actually helped clean the wound, there was no permanent hair loss either. Thanks for warning everyone.

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-17-2001 at 02:13:54       [Reply]  [No Email]

Thanks for sticking by your old fella when he really needed you. "The needle" has its place in relief of suffering, but in my opinion is too often recommended as an easy out in cases like yours where a patient still has a good chance if only someone will commit time, energy, and ingenuity to treatment. That dog's hair yesterday "killed" my small animal clippers in five minutes; fortunately I'd also brought the electric livestock clippers for just such a contingency, and they motored through heroically. I still practically needed to clean them with a power washer afterwards.

Dreamweaver    Posted 07-16-2001 at 16:33:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Just the other day I was at Wal-Mart and saw a mix breed in a hot car (90+ temp) with just the smallest crack in the window. This poor pooch was panting up a storm. I was so steamed that I went to the customer service desk and asked them to page the owner of the vehicle. Out pops a young couple and I gave them heck. They seemed embarassed, though I was braced for them to cuss me out. People like that should not own pets. Its a crying shame there are not more laws to protect that kind of abuse/neglect. I don't shave my pom, but she only goes outside for short periods of time at the end of my lesh to toilet. I let her in the fence when it is cool only, usually early morning and late evening for some exercise. I love that dog almost as much as my children. The great thing is if you love them and care for them properly, they will return that love 10-fold.

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-17-2001 at 02:21:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
Bless your heart for getting involved. I've seen one heatstroke death already this year, though not in a closed car. A physician had a 10-year old Golden Retriever with bad hips. He tied her out on a flagstone patio on a 90 degree humid day. She'd been there for 6 hours when I was called. Her temp was 108. She could not move to shade or grass because of her hips. The flagstones were too hot to touch with a bare hand: great for iguanas, bad for dogs. I actually got her through the crisis and told Dr. Dumbass to keep her inside the house with the AC on. Next day, he left for work after leaving her in a tiny fenced yard with yews for shade but no air circulation because of the location close to the house with dense foliage. He came home in th evening to find her suffering another heatstroke, but this time he didn't call me except to tell me when she died in a few hours. I asked why he at least didn't turn a garden hose on her and he said he didn't want to make a mud puddle. Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

billy joe    Posted 07-18-2001 at 18:29:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
you bother because you know that if you can make some poor animals life better it is worth it- thanks for caring and all the good advice- yes some of the stupidest and most inhumane people are the most educated

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-19-2001 at 12:27:01       [Reply]  [No Email]

Thanks, Billy Joe. I'm like one of my old beagles: a pat on the head goes a long way.

Dan G/Soganofla    Posted 07-16-2001 at 14:58:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
OC, I sit down late in the afternoon at the door of my shop and enjoy a cold, adult beverage, or 6. While I'm sitting, each of my 5 adopted mutts comes up in turn for his/her afternoon petting. I almost always find a tick or two, but I've never seen what you describe. I also watch them closely for ticks in the ear. If a dog has a tick in his ear, he will hold his head at an angle and look distressed, sometimes whining a little. It is usually an ordeal to remove them, and obviously painful. What is the best way to get them out? Also, 2 of them have hereditary mange. The wash that our Vet gave(pronounced "sold") us helps some, but never clears it up completely. I've heard that dousing them with used motor oil will clear it up. Is this true?? Thanks

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-17-2001 at 02:43:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm always glad to learn I'm not the only one suffering from Multiple Dog Syndrome. At last count I had 14 (only 4 in the house currently; have had as many as 7. That's a crowded bed). They're better than kids: don't need a college fund and never return the car with an empty gas tank. Tweezers are my preferred method of removing ticks; using warm matches or coating the tick with vaseline or fingernail polsh never worked for me. They really burrow, and sometimes you can't help but pull out a little flesh, in which case a dab of peroxide might prevent infection. (Doesn't sting like alcohol). If the spot swells up sore and red, applying an antibiotic like Neosporin helps; occasionally they fester, and the vet might need to be consulted for a systemic antibiotic. There are several varieties of hereditary mange and without knowing the specific type your dogs have, I can't say too much. Sometimes what gets called mange are actually skin allergies. The used motor oil nostrum has been kicked around since Homer was a pup. Yes, I know it has its many adherents who swear by it, but it's a dangerous treatment due to the chemical additives in oil (more so if it's used motor oil). Itchy dogs tend to lick and bite at themselves, thereby ingesting the chemical residues left by the old crankcase treatment---not good. Skin problems require treating the specific cause, and followups with medicated dips or shampoos may be helpful. Some doctors are better at chronic skin problems than others; some might as well p*ss out a window for all they know about skin. I've left my email above if you want to converse a little more specifically about your pooches.

Dan G/Soganofla    Posted 07-17-2001 at 12:28:22       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks for bringing up this subject and patiently answering all our questions, Ole Cuss. I wish you were close enough to be our Vet. Our guy is great with the horses, but dogs seem to take a back seat with him. Sadly, he's the only game in town.

I think the "mange" problem we have is really the skin allergy stuff. When we took in the puppy that the Mexicans dropped off in the road, the Vet's "office manager" came out to the truck, looked in at the dog, gave us a bottle of "stuff", then sent a bill for $65. Never even touched the dog!

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-17-2001 at 14:59:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Tales like that make me cringe; it's where vets get a bad reputation as money grubbers. When I first got out of vet school, I worked for a another vet who turned out to be a real crook. I was there when a dog was rushed in, just hit by a car and in awful shape. It was certainly fatally injured. This guy hurried the dog out of the owner's sight and into the rear treatment room and laid it on a table, where it drew its last breath almost immediately. This guy sat down, drank a Coke, perused the Wall Street Journal, scratched his ass, and twenty minutes later went up front to where the dog owner was anxiously waiting. He described all the "heroic measures" he'd taken to try to save the dog and was sorry but it had died, even despite his efforts at CPR at the end. He presented them with a huge bill for exams, tests, X-rays, injections, and IV fluids that existed only in his dramatic imagination, and they happily paid it for his "heroic efforts". Sad to say this was only one instance of many where he abused the trust of his clients, and if you spoke to his clients they'd tell you what a great doctor he is! If only they knew. I'm not the best doctor in the world but dammit I know how to tell the truth.

NilsDK    Posted 07-16-2001 at 13:41:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi Ole. About a week ago, I found a tick at the neck of my dog. I turned it around with a match for a while and then pulled it away, but not sure I got the head off. Not sure if it's the right way to do it, but we were in a hurry on our way for vacation. Any advice will be apreceated.

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-17-2001 at 02:54:13       [Reply]  [No Email]

Howdy Nils. I remove ticks with tweezers, pulling evenly and carefully to give the head a chance to disengage. Still, there's sometimes when you'll leave the head no matter how carefully you do it. Tiny little deer ticks, which only mature to the size of a pinhead, burrow viciously and always seem to leave the head no matter what. I dab peroxide on the tick bite area (doesn't sting like alcohol) and apply an antibiotic ointment like NeoSporin if it looks sore and inflamed. If you're like me, you occasionally have to remove ticks by hand because nobody carries tweezers all the time: just remember to wash your hands promptly afterwards to avoid picking up one of the tickborne disease like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (I've had it twice and it sucks). Lyme Disease gets all the press, but in my experience Rocky Mt. Fever is more common. Most dogs and people bitten by ticks carrying Lyme Disease do not get sick; their body reacts and develops antibodies, but no overt symptoms occur. In my opinion (and concurred with by the Lyme Institute in Connecticut), Lyme disease is vastly overdiagnosed and misdiagnosed. Still, be careful.

Nathan(GA)    Posted 07-16-2001 at 12:28:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ole Cuss, I see pets mistreated all the time. People get 'em with good intentions and are too lazy to be responsible for them.

I see alot of dogs around here chained up. Or they are in a small pen out in the hot sun with a metal barrel for a house. Most are never let out. Some about once a week. Why don't they just put 'em out of their missery? Or someone put the owners out of the pets missery?

vaishali    Posted 02-17-2002 at 03:45:18       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I want to know about the treatment and care and prevention of maggots

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-17-2001 at 02:59:05       [Reply]  [No Email]

Yeah, I see good, the bad, and the ugly of animal ownership all the time. You don't have to keep a dog in the house on a satin pillow. I have dogs on the farm who live outside or in the barn all the time, and they're plenty happy. But some people don't understand that a dog needs more than just food and water shoved at him. They're social animals who have social needs; even the roughest old hound likes a head pat and a kind word. They give us affection and companionship and we are obliged to return it.

VKG    Posted 07-19-2001 at 07:13:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Some of the stories I've read here are very sad indeed. Getting a pet deserves a life long commitment, and people get tired or loose interest after the puppy turns into a dog. How would you like to be caged up all day in a small dog run with nothing to do but lay and lay and lay some more. I have 3 dogs that have the run of the farm. People are amazed that my dogs never leave the property unless they are on a leash. I cross the street to talk to the neighbor and the dogs all stop at the 3 rail wooden fence and watch and wait untill I return. It took time and training to get them to understand, but they are happy to Have the run of the yard unchained and free.

Ole Cuss    Posted 07-19-2001 at 12:25:26       [Reply]  [No Email]

I think your dogs are better trained than most kids nowadays. Thanks for being a good owner/parent.

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