Go Potty – Helping Your Abused Dog To Go Outside

Our Borgi Puppies, Adopted 2010

Our Borgi Puppies, Adopted 2010

There are tons of “how to housebreak your puppy” books and videos out there.  And I’m sure there are millions of products that claim will help, but these things are for the normal average dog.  Rescued dogs sometimes come with a little bit of baggage!  Usually, it’s the dog’s former owner who confused the dog, and now the dog is stuck.

This is the case with Buttons Sparkles, Boo BooShy Sharon, Baileys, and dozens of dogs I have rescued.

Many Dogs that Have Lived On Their Own Don’t Want to Go Outside

Recently, Marlo’s new Mom asked for advice – Marlo does not want to go outside.  I find this ironic, since Marlo has been “living off the land” for most of her life, and now she doesn’t want to go outside?  The same thing happened with Brittney’s Mystery.  Once Mystery felt the security of being indoors, she didn’t want to go out!

Dogs that Have Been Mistreated are Afraid to go Potty Outside

In most cases, dogs do not want to go outside because while they were being housebroken by the owners, they were simply abused.  Their owners caught them making a mess too late, they were scolded, grabbed, maybe  hit, and thrown outside.  Now, the dog is afraid of going through doorways, and I can’t blame them.

In the case of Shy Sharon, and Goldie Hawn, the crate sores on the top of their paws showed that they were pulled out of their crates, and because they put on the breaks, their feet got stuck.  Now you have a dog that’s terrified of leaving the crate because each time they did, they hurt themselves.  I put a Kuranda bed in their crates so the step down would ensure them it would never happen again.

Timing is Everything when Training Your Dog

There are many people who believe they should give their dog either a reward or a treat when the dog does its potty and comes back inside… but what that does is teaches the dog to hurry back in!  Those people will quickly learn that they dog will not do their business.  The run outside, and head right back for the door – they want their treat!

Boo Boo Afraid to Go Outside!

Boo Boo Afraid to Go Outside!

What I suggested for Marlo is that her new Mom rattles the treat bag, and let Marlo watch her put treats in her pocket.  Take Marlo to the door, and give her a treat (or praise), then open the door, and as soon as she goes through the doorway, give her another treat.  Enter the yard, and treat again.  Give Marlo constant praise as she spends time in the yard, but do NOT treat her for coming back into the house!  That will send the wrong message.  We want to praise Marlo for going outside, not coming inside!

Treat or No Treat, I’m not Going Outside!

I have rescued some dogs that will put on the breaks and act like they are walking to their death bed!  No treat in the world will convince them that it’s safe outside.  In those cases, I just tug at the leash, and go – ignoring their protest!  Each time it gets easier and easier.

More Tips for Getting Your Dog to Go Outside

If your dog loves toys, take some with you!

Crates Sores on her paws, she was forced out of her crate

Crates Sores on her paws, proves she was forced out of her crate

Always remain calm and relaxed.  If you are tense your dog will be tense.  Sing a song to yourself to get your mind off of it.

Each time you go outside with your dog, make the outing last a little bit longer.

Give a lot of verbal praise after you see your dog is finished doing its business!

If your dog loves the company of other dogs, borrow another dog!  Invite a family member, neighbor or co-worker’s dog for a few days to help ease your dog’s fears.

If your dog did its business outside, give your dog some cuddle time when you come back inside, if your dog didn’t do its business, try again in ten minutes!

Did you Just Adopt Your Dog?

If your yard is not fenced, and you just adopted a rescued dog, know that some dogs DO NOT like to “go” while on leash. This will take time.  Some dogs will not “go” while on a walk!  Be patient!

Make Your Home a Drama-Free Zone for Your Dog!

And Remember to Never EVER feel sorry for your dog!  Your dog wants to be a super star, not be part of a pity party.  Please read Let it Go.

 

Share your Tips with us!

If you’ve had an experience that worked, leave a comment  here and share it with our readers!

What’s Pissing them Off?

But it smells so good!

But it smells so good!

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of emails about dogs who wee wee on area rugs.  I’ve researched it, there’s no science to it, except Jute!  Expensive rugs may have a backing made of Jute… and Jute smells like grass!

All of my dogs were 100% housebroken.  Then, because of foster dogs and those terrorists we call puppies, I ripped the carpet out of my dining room.  Problem solved, right?  A friend gave me a gorgeous area rug to cover up the ugly cement floor (I can’t afford new floors).  Guess what?  The dogs loved it… all of them.  They just peed on that rug to their hearts’ content.  Why?

But I’m also getting emails about dogs who want to relieve themselves on a chair, or yes… the dreaded bed!  I’m wondering if all of these 100% natural products (not synthetic) have a scent that is attracting dogs to whiz away on your furniture.  Maybe!

Before you concoct a behavioral problem with your naughty pooch, ask yourself…. 

Does your dog pee on every rug?  Does your dog doo doo on every bed, or does your dog have one favorite?

Years ago, we adopted a wonderful female Border Collie who was relieving herself on the owner’s area rug.  The owner was ready to return the dog.  Instead, I suggested that after the rug is cleaned, put the dog’s crate right on top of the area rug.  Guess what?  It worked!

If your dog has this naughty behavior, check into what products are used to making that favorite chair, rug or bed.  It might surprise you!  Synthetic materials are not “cool” today, but if you’re a dog owner, you might want to stop spending tons of money of “all natural” materials and fibers… because your dog just loves them!

Canine Reboot for Debbie’s Pack

I received an email from Debbie on October 20th, 2012.  She originally asked for my help to re-home her dogs after she found Canine Connect.  Her email stated:

 

“My husband and I are experiencing a lot of stress regarding my two little dogs, which I love!
 
They have been together for over 5 years, and they love each other.  I am the one that loves my dogs, my husband just cares for them, feeding and walking, etc.   Since I am the one who is not in the home, the pets have been relieving themselves on the tile floor, all throughout the house.  They are paper trained so this is not normal.  
 
I am telling you this because I love my dogs, but this is probably too stressful for them.   Would it be best to give them up for someone who can give them stability?  I know I will miss them later but I don’t want to be selfish.
 
Daisy is a 8 pound yorkie/maltese female.  She is sweet and loving and gentle.  Sophie is a mix of several dogs, I took her in 5 years ago.  She is very afraid of strangers and if I am not around she will not go near people.  She growls at them, but has never bitten them.  She is just scared to death.  However, after she trusts you, it took about a week, she is the most loyal, loving, wonderful gentle dog ever.  She is about 5 pounds.
 
They have both been neutered, and are up to date on their shots.  I have not taken very good care of their teeth, which I regret.  Other than that they are perfectly healthy.  I am afraid that someone will take them, keep Daisy and get rid of Sophie.  They have to stay together!  
 
Please give me some advice if you can.  I am so confused!  I love them but they aren’t getting the love and care that they need.  “
 
Sincerely,
 
Debbie

 

I contacted Debbie and offered her assistance to re-home her two dogs.  However, I offered her help, and asked if she could keep her dogs, would she.  Her answer was yes, but how!

I interviewed her for over an hour, and she answered my questions.  Then we dissected the dogs’ problems one at a time.  I knew that I was going to tell her what she didn’t want to hear.  She was babying her dogs, and her husband’s idea to create “rules, boundaries, and limitations” for the dogs would create instant results.

I offered her a plan, and she put my plan into practice immediately.  Here are her updates:

 

October 23, 2012:

“I am in shock!  You have changed our lives!  The dogs on the leash, excellent.   It only took a few times putting them off the couch and they have not gotten on it again.  They used to bark like crazy when the garage door went up, they started, I told them to stop and they did.  
 
In the crate, together, not a peep out of them all night!  They are so much happier.  I didn’t get home til Monday at 8:00, that is when we started it, and as I said, I am in shock!
 
Just a question… My little dominate one, that urinates over the other dog every single time, she didn’t do it this morning.  Does that mean anything or just a coincidence?
 
THANK YOU!!!!”

Debbie

 

I reminded her not to get her hopes to high, she still had much work to do, and that the dogs just may test her!  Here’s her reply:

 

“I do have my hopes up!  I am different, so they are different, thanks to you!  I’m not backing down.  If I can’t do this then I have to give them up.  I can see that they need things totally different than what I thought.
 
I cooked for them.  I altered a recipe to things I had.  They loved it!  Chicken livers, rice, green beans, carrots.  I made enough for a few days in the freezer.  It is fun.  You were right, they went potty when I took them out 30 minutes later.  
 
Hubby is really helping me a lot.  He feels better that the boundaries he wanted to set in the beginning are being set!  

Daisy now walks a little behind me when we go for walks’. I’m the new pack leader lol!  They laid peaceful at my feet last night and only tried to get on the couch twice.  After a half an hour I invited them up.  Quiet as mice in their crate!  No more potty on the floor either!
 
I am so thankful!!!”

Debbie
 

On October 24th,  Debbie shared with me that while she and her husband were eating dinner on the couch, the pups went into their crates, and took a nap…  No more begging for food!

I continue to check on Debbie, but I think this was a great Shelter Prevention Story!

 

Canine Reboot

Nutella, labeled a fear-biter

I’ve done this dozens of times… talked to owners who are frustrated with their dogs.  Wanting their dogs to be balanced, and happy.  Sometimes it’s the wife that hates the dog, sometimes it’s the husband.  Sometimes the dog doesn’t like the kids, or the grandparents.  Dog fights, cat fights… you name it.

One of the questions I HAVE TO ask when someone is trying to surrender their dog to me is, “if I can fix your dog, can you… would you… could you… keep your dog?”  sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it’s no.

With the launch of Canine Connect, a service that I can offer to dog owners who truly care about the dogs, truly want the best for the dogs, but can no longer keep them, I’m asking that question more often.  “What if I can fix it?”

Over the past few weeks, the dogs I’ve fostered have really amazed me.  WiiGo transformed into the best little dog I’ve ever known.

McDreamy & McSteamy

McSteamy and McDreamy, terrified of everything, quickly became accustomed to home life and family living.  No longer afraid to walk through doorways, or put their paws on ceramic tile floors.  With their heads hung low all of the time, they were unsure, slow to trust, and not sure if I was friend of foe.  Just a few days later, I introduced them to the pack, one at a time.  Once they got to meet Lady Di… everything changed.  It was as if a light switch had been turned on, and they felt “safe”.  They exchanged play bows, and the heads were held high, tails were relaxed, and the playing began!  After that day they walked with pride, there was a bounce in their step, they greeted me with affection, and their adjustment period was about 48 hours.    Dogs do live in the moment.

Little Grace, being a happy dog!

And recently, Little Grace.  She was adopted yesterday, but before she left I had the pleasure of snapping a photo of her playing with the pack… and loving it!  It may not seem like a big deal to you, but it sure was a big deal to me!  It’s called joy!  If a dog can relax enough, be happy enough, have enough self-esteem, and know that it’s not going to be hurt, there’s absolutely no danger whatsoever, and it’s welcomed… they can play!  Way to go Little Grace… you made my day!

So if what if we could simply Reboot our dogs?  If I gave you a list of questions about your dog, would you know how to answer?

  • Is your dog shy, fearful, nervous, or anxious?
  • Is your dog aggressive, dominant or alpha?
  • Is your dog guarding you or protecting you?
  • Do you know why your dog acts like he wants to attack other dogs?
  • Does your dog have separation anxiety, or is he insecure?  Do you think the two are one in the same?
  • Do you think your dog is neurotic or bored?

Snapple, an Owner-Surrender

Snapple, Adopted

What would you think the main reason why people surrender or give away their dogs?

The Dog Liberator has rescued dogs that will otherwise be euthanized, OR at risk of being surrendered to a shelter or pound.

The Dog Liberator will help you rehome your dog through Canine Connect, thus preventing the dog from being adopted to the wrong family, which may ultimately lead to euthanasia.

Remember, owner-surrendered dogs are not protected under stray-hold policy.

Owner-surrendered dogs can and are sometimes put to sleep before their owners have left the parking lot.  

 

Chaos learns High Five

While I have spent over three years inviting strange new dogs into my home I:

  • introduced them to my family, friends, and neighbors
  • introduce them to new experiences like visiting the vet
  • going on walks
  • teaching them not to be afraid of the crate
  • teaching them to be quiet
  • starting them on housebreaking
  • show them how to properly greet strangers
  • teaching them not to bolt out of doorways
  • correcting them when they try to climb a fence.

My personal dogs have also spent three years inviting strange new dogs into their home, and they:

  • have showed them how to share a space
  • showed them that being rewarded has benefits
  • showed them how to interact with humans
  • showed them how to play properly
  • showed them how to come when called
  • but more importantly, my pack have taught dogs, how to be a good dog.

Deaf China takes Baby GaGa under her care

Dogs can teach another dog what a person can’t:

  • I can not teach a dog that greeting face to face is rude
  • I can not explain to a dog that sniffing the rear is polite
  • I can not approach a dog and correct their attempt to dominate… that’s Lady Di’s job
  • I can not initiate play with a dog who doesn’t know how to play… that’s China’s job
  • I can not show a dog that another dog is not a threat, that is Ozzie’s job

My home is what I used to call Border Collie Boot Camp.  Every fostered dog has had to find their way to survive and cohabitate here, eat side by side, enjoy bones without being growled at, and play ball without being attacked.  The result is probably the best gift I receive in rescue.  Watching a pack of dogs run together, play together, wrestle gently, and have a blast!

Lieutenant Colonel Di, Lieutenant Ozzie, and Private China!

 

There is no reason for the dogs to be nervous, fearful or anxious.  My pack clearly shows them that I am the pack leader, they can relax, and enjoy being a dog!  The true challenge is teaching the dog owners that their dog truly wants to be… just a great dog!

Maybe all your dog needs is a Canine Reboot!  Email me if you would like information on how we can Reboot Your Dog! TheDogLiberator@gmail.com

 

Treating Canine Incontinence

Holding it!

Earlier this year, the following thread with suggestions for treating canine incontinence was posted on Facebook.

Bringing Your New Dog Home

So, you’re considering adopting a dog from The Dog Liberator.  If it is one of the puppies that I foster, we’re going to spend some time talking, and I’m going to share with you a lot of tidbits that I have learned over the years.  And then you’re going to get home with you puppy and not remember any of them!  And that’s okay; it is my expectation and my hope that my adopters will contact me with questions.  But just in case you are adopting a dog that isn’t one of my fosters, or you’re too embarrassed to call, here is a summary of some of my tidbits.

Cost: First and foremost, can you afford a dog?  Let alone a puppy?  They cost more than just the adoption fee and a bag of Old Roy dog food (more about that later).  Any dog will require both flea and heartworm preventive, each running around $50 every six months.  With a puppy, you’ll probably have to finish out the series of puppy shots plus a rabies shot at four months.   And then what happens if the dog gets sick?  It is very common for puppies, and even adult dogs, to become ill the first month in their new home due to all the stresses.  Indeed, coccidea (primary symptom sever diarrhea) most commonly appears in the first 21 days after a dog has changed owners or residence.  If you’re scraping together the money to pay for an adoption fee, you’re not ready for a dog.  Wait until you are in a more financially viable situation.  And consider pet medical insurance from a company such as ShelterCare.  It isn’t as expensive as you might think and can more than pay for itself.

Crate Training: Crates didn’t come in to common use until around 20 years ago.  They will make your life much easier.  First, you may see it as a cage, but your dog will see it as a den, its “safe” place.  Put the dog in the crate at night.  With my puppies, I go a step further and cover it with a sheet.  Don’t put the crate in your bedroom; every time you roll over, you’ll wake up the dog who will then wake up you!  While housetraining, put the puppy (or dog) in the crate when you are busy and don’t have “eyes on” it.  Crate the dog when you are gone for the first year.  You know that the dog is home forever, but the dog doesn’t.  When you leave, he doesn’t know you are coming back.  He may panic and destroy your great-grandmother’s chair.  Additionally,  puppies, like children, can go through fear stages; you don’t want to come home and find out that your 7-month-old dog had an anxiety attack and ate your couch.  Get a folding, wire crate, so you can easily take it with you when you are invited to your friends beach cottage for the long weekend; put the dog in it when you are at the beach all day so it doesn’t eat your friends couch and so mark the last time you are invited!  Most importantly, put your dog in a crate if a hurricane comes through.  You need to know it is safe (my friend who runs Used Dogs rescue in New Orleans still has Katrina dogs 5 years after the hurricane).  If your dog is used to its crate, its anxiety will go down.  If it hasn’t been in a crate in years, then its anxiety level will go up and you will spend a fortune in dog therapy for years!

Housetraining: Even housetrained adult dogs commonly have “accidents” the first few days in their new home.  Sometimes it is marking, but most commonly it is just stress.  If you focus in on housetraining for three days, you should be just about done.  It is a pain for three days, but is worth it.  Here’s what you do for a puppy; use a variation on the theme for an adult dog:  Day one, set the timer on your stove to go off every hour.  Every hour take the puppy outside through the same door and tell it, “hurry up.”  The next day set the timer for every 90 minutes.  The third day set it for every two hours.  Also, every time the puppy goes near that door, let it out.  By the third day, the puppy will know that if it has to go out, to go to that door.  It might only give you 10 seconds to notice, but you are well on your way!  Put a little towel or such at the door to catch accidents.  Don’t leave the water bowl down until the puppy is housetrained. Only give the puppy water when you are ready to go out for 30 minutes ~ puppies piddle 3 times within 30 minutes of drinking.  Don’t give water or food after 6pm, so the water has time to work its way through its system.  When you can’t pay attention to the puppy during the housetraining phase, crate the puppy ~ you don’t want it to find a secret spot behind the piano to piddle!  Remember, use the same door and the same command during this time.  You can give a small treat for proper performance, but you’ll learn quickly that your puppy will start to pretend to piddle just to get a treat!!!  Once the puppy is fully  housetrained, then you can give free access to the water bowl.

Note:  I have never played tug-of-war with any of my dogs, adult or puppy.  It’s just not a good game to start playing.

Baths:  If your dog has recently been spayed or neutered, you should not give your dog a bath until the stitches have been removed and your vet indicates that you can.  Usually you can bathe your dog 10-14 days after surgery.

Worms: Puppies have worms.  Period.  Because of the life cycle of a worm, they are dewormed and then dewormed again three weeks later.  But expect them to test positive for worms every time you take them to the vet.  Don’t panic ~ it’s just standard in puppies.  Watch for the signs of worms.  If you see what look like pieces of rice on the outside of their poop, that is tapeworms.  The worm itself is very long (12” or more), but is segmented, like pieces of rice lined up.  What you see in the poop is segments that have broken off.  Dogs get them by ingesting fleas.   If you see a long solid worm in the poop that forms a kinked circle when you pick it up (yuck) this is a roundworm, called round because they tend to form circles with their bodies.  Hookworms and whipworms are too small to be seen, but bloody diarrhea is an indication.  Again, your vet will probably do a fecal test each time you take your puppy in just to be safe.  Adult dogs are less inclined to worms, perhaps because heartworm preventives treat them as well.  The exception to this is tapeworms.   I treat tapeworms with a dewormer I buy in the pet section of Publix grocery store, saving me  a vet visit.

Heartworm Preventive: All dogs need to be on a monthly heartworm preventive, obtained from your vet.  Heartworms are  passed through a mosquito bite, therefore a severe problem in the south.  Puppies younger than 6 months are not tested for heartworms because the heartworm must be 6 months old to show up positive.  I recommend Heartgard for the first 6 months since the active ingredient, Ivermectin, not only prevents heartworms but kills them as well, therefore it will kill any juvenile heartworms that a puppy might have.  That being said, if you adopt a collie, use it with caution: about 45% of collies lack the gene that prevents Ivermectin from passing into the brain.  This can cause a reaction varying from mild to seizure, coma or even death.  Watch your dog for a reaction (your vet can test for the gene as well).  If necessary, switch to an Ivermectin-fee alternative such as Revolution, Sentinal or Interceptor.  Be aware that Ivermectin is also the common treatment for “puppy mange”, generally  brought on by stress.   You may need to use an alternative treatment such as as sulpher dip.  If you have multiple dogs and they do not have an ivermectin sensitivity, you may want to save money by buying Ivermectin in the liquid form from a feed store.  A bottle costing less than $50 can last years.  Generally, the recommended dosage is 0.1cc per 10 pounds of dog, but be sure to discuss this alternative with your vet.

Food: I estimate that at least 10% of dogs have food allergies.  I suspect that it is much higher.  The better quality food you get, the less likely you will have to deal with this.  Get a food that doesn’t have additives, fillers or grains.  Watch for food allergy symptoms: loose bowels, lack of appetite, itching, hair loss, coughing, mange, ….  Trust me, it is more than worth it to invest in a quality food!  Oh, and when you first get home, expect the dog to not have much of an appetite the first day or so, a normal reaction to change in environment, especially if this is the first time away from littermates. If, on the other hand, the dog gobbles its food, you may want to help slow it down by scatter feeding (scattering the kibble on your deck for him to hunt up) or wetting it, packing it into a Kong, freezing it, and then giving it to him.   If you already have a dog, be prepared for some food guarding at first too.  If such is the case, you may want to feed the new dog in its crate until everyone understands that they won’t go hungry, then slowly move the food bowls into the same room. One more thought: always keep a can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) on your shelf.  If your dog develops diarrhea or constipation due to stress or something it ate, mix the pumpkin into its regular food.  There is something about canned pumpkin that helps stabilize their systems.

Chewing: Puppies chew.  Adult dogs chew.  And they always seem to chew your favorite things.  First, don’t let them chew on your hand, ankle, etc.  Correct them and put something allowable in their mouth instead (“no” is not enough; you have to give them a substitute).   My number one recommendation to help with chewing is that you go to the butcher section of your store and get a packet of marrow bones.  Freeze the extras for later and give the dog the raw bone.  He’ll eat the marrow right out of it in no time flat.  Dogs have an enzyme that allows them to eat raw meat, and the marrow is very good for them.  Then allow them to keep chewing on the bone.  Don’t throw them away.  Wolves don’t lose their teeth because they chew on raw bones.  My back yard looks like a dinosaur burial ground, and my house looks like a scene from a horror flick, but my furniture isn’t chewed!  Dogs seem to prefer marrow bones over anything that the pet store wants to sell you.  The first time you are gone for an extended time, put the dog in its crate with a new marrow bone (still frozen is fine).  It’ll keep him busy and happy.  Very rarely dogs get their lower jaw stuck inside the circle of the marrow bone.  To avoid this, you might want to pick bones that are either too big or too small, or have the butcher cut them into semi-circles.

Bordetella :I have found that about 20% of puppies develop a mild case of kennel cough after getting their bordetella shot, just as people often get the flu after receiving a flu shot.  If your puppy starts to cough, keep an eye on it.  If it develops other symptoms such as a colored nasal discharge or fever, go to the vet and get an antibiotic like doxycycline.  Most vets do not recommend antibiotics for the cough alone since they will wipe out the effectiveness of the bordetella shot.

Antibiotics: If you live near a Publix, get a copy of the antibiotics that they provide for free with a prescription.  They will honor a ‘script for a pet, so if your dog needs an antibiotic, ask the vet if one of the ones on the list will do the trick.  Why spend money you don’t have to?

Veterinarians: If you do not yet have a vet, please don’t pick one based on convenience of location.  If I have learned one thing, it is that all vets are not created equally, and price is no indication of quality.  Ask friends for their recommendations, but also call the office and ask for pricing.  For comparison purposes, ask for the cost of an office visit, spay, neuter, rabies, annual shots, x-ray, fecal exam and heartworm preventive.  You won’t need all these things, but it will help you gauge what the vet charges.  And you will be shocked at the range that you will get.  Resist allowing a vet to guilt you into an expensive procedure on the spot.  Go home and research  it.  I’ve known way too many people guilted into paying for everything from the repair of an umbilical hernia (which almost always heals itself) to fast-kill heartworm treatment (slow kill is a viable and less expensive alternative).

If you feel like your vet is strong-arming you into an expensive procedure, stop.  Many vets panic when they hear the word “rescued” or “adopted”, and assume there must be something terribly wrong with the dog, not knowing we have already spent a fortune in vetting.  Stress diarrhea is common.  A fecal check, metronidazole and canned pumpkin is all you need.

If your puppy has just received its parvo and distemper shot, he will test positive, not because he is, because he was given the live virus.  If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation while at your vet, do not panic, just call us!

Training: I strongly recommend that you provide some kind of training for your dog.  It isn’t so much a matter of teaching the dog to sit, as it is assuring the dog that you are in charge.  If a dog knows that its people can be trusted to lead, then it will relax.  If it perceives its family as being weak, it will believe that the protection of the home is on its shoulders and will become more high strung and nervous.  Training is about you, not your dog.

Life: Expose your dog to as much of life as you can.  Take it to Petsmart, to the beach, to Lowes, everywhere that you can.  Introduce it to adults, kids, dogs, cats.  The more new experiences that it has and “survives” , the less fear and anxiety it will have, the more well rounded it will be, and the better it will be able to cope with the changes that you and it will go through in life.

 

WHAT IS GIARDIA?

Giardiasis (GEE-are-DYE-uh-sis) is a diarrheal illness caused by a microscopic parasite, Giardia intestinalis (also known as Giardia lamblia or Giardia duodenalis). Once a person or animal has been infected with Giardia, the parasite lives in the intestine and is passed in feces. Giardia infects older dogs but more frequently infects puppies. Because the parasite is protected by an outer shell, it can survive outside the body and in the environment for long periods of time (i.e., months).

Can humans be harmed by Giardia?

Giardia is a common cause  of diarrhea in people, but dog Giardia is not generally considered to spread from animals to humans. While human Giardia may infect dogs and then be passed on to humans, the majority of human cases are of human origin.

How can I prevent a Giardia infection?

Practice good hygiene. Wash hands thoroughly after handling animals or their toys, leashes or feces. (Be sure to avoid contact with the feces by using gloves, a bag over your hand, or a scooping device.)

Make sure that your dog has safe, clean drinking water. It is important not to allow dogs to drink water from areas where other animals have left their feces.

How is Giardia treated and is it expensive?

Metronidazole is an antibiotic that has been widely used to treat Giardia in dogs as well as in people. This drug has reasonable efficiency against Giardia and has the added advantage of being effective against other parasite protozoa and some bacteria that may also have contributed to the diarrhea. It is also very inexpensive. Recent studies show that pyrantel is also effective against Giardia.

Prognosis:

Giardia is a very treatable condition. Most dogs recover quickly and do not have additional problems. However, if proper preventive steps are not taken, it is common for dogs with a previous history of Giardia to become re-infected.

  • Giardia in dogs can cause diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, poor condition, or death. However, many infected dogs show no symptoms.
  • People can get giardia, causing diarrhea or other problems, but rarely from dogs.
  • Dogs get giardia from water that has been soiled with feces.
  • The incubation period is usually 1 to 25 days. Some cases can exceed 25 days.

Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC)

Division of Parasite Diseases (DPD)

 

WHAT IS PARVO?

Parvovirus or Parvo, is life threatening virus that affects dogs. It is the most common viral disease in dogs. It primarily affects puppies. The most common age for infection is between 2-6 months of age, but infection can occur at any age. All breeds are susceptible to this virus. Some breeds such as Dobermans, rottweilers, and Labradors are more susceptible to Parvo than others. It is not known why this is.

Parvo is spread through the feces of dogs infected with the virus. The dog does not actually have to come in contact with another sick dog. While Parvo cannot be spread to or from humans or other pets, the virus can be carried in to the dog’s environment on someone’s shoes, or by birds or other animals who have come in contact with infected feces. Parvo can survive in an environment for as long as 9 months. The only disinfectant known to kill Parvo is chlorine bleach. A 1:30 ratio of chlorine bleach in water has been known to be effective for sanitizing contaminated area. Any area known to be contaminated should be thoroughly sanitized.

The disease usually enters the dog’s system by oral ingestion. It attacks the digestive system, inhibiting them from absorbing nutrients. It also causes severe diarrhea and often vomiting, dehydration is common. It also suppresses white blood cells and may attack the heart as well.

Symptoms of Parvo include high fever, loss of appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. There is not cure for Parvo. Veterinarians can help infected dogs by treating the symptoms and dehydration. Most dogs die if they do not receive veterinary attention. With veterinary attention, a dog has a reasonably good chance of survival. Early detection is important. Some vets have been trying antioxins and antiparvo serum with some success.

In some cases, dogs can have Parvo without showing any symptoms. They will not be affected by the disease, but they are capable of spreading it and their feces will be contaminated with the virus.

A vaccine is available for Parvo. The vaccine is usually given with several other vaccines, including distemper. Vaccination usually begins at 8 weeks of age, and repeated every 3-4 weeks until the puppy is sixteen weeks old, and then given annually. There is some controversy as to whether vaccinating too often may actually weaken a dog’s immunity to Parvo. Research is currently being done in this area. Until then, your vet will help you decide what is right for your dog.

Veterinarians can run a titre to determine the strength of a particular dog’s immunity to Parvo. Dogs should be tested for immunity to Parvo before being brought into an area where a previously infected dog has been.

 

WHAT IS THE INFLUENZA (H3N8) VIRUS

 

*This is only treatable with Doxycycline*

 

The Influenza (H3N8) virus causes symptoms that mimic traditional “kennel cough”

 

If a pet puppy/dog exhibits coughing, nasal discharge or fever, the puppy/dog should be put on doxycycline by a veterinarian immediately.

 

  • The H3N8 influenza virus has jumped from horses to puppies/dogs
  • This H3N8 virus causes “dog flu”
  • Initial findings of H3N8 infected puppies/dogs were at a Florida grey hound racing track
  • “Kennel cough” is typically caused by bordetella bronchispetica bacterium
  • Other symptoms of H3N8 infection are nasal discharge and fever
  • Both H3N8 and bordetella are contagious between dogs
  • Approximately 80% of H3N8 infections will be mild
  • A small minority of infected dogs may experience complications such a pneumonia
  • A small minority of infected dogs will also be asymptomatic and will not show any signs of the infection. However, it is believed that asymptomatic dogs are infectious
  • The H3N8 virus has never infected humans
  • H3N8 causes a mortality rate of 5 to 8% in infected dogs
  • There have been verified occurrences of H3N8 in dogs in South Florida shelter, boarding facilities and veterinary clinics

If a pet puppy/dog exhibits coughing, nasal discharge or fever, the puppy/dog MUST be put on doxycycline by a veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.

Doxycycline will also treat “Kennel Cough.”

Traditional medications like Cefa drops, Amoxicillin, and Clavamox WILL NOT help/treat INFLUENZA. If your puppy/dog begins to show signs of “Kennel Cough” or INFLUENZA  and is not put on DOXYCYCLINE  within 1-3 days, the puppy/dog will continue to get worse and will develop pneumonia and/or die.

 

Puppy Worming Schedule

Initiate treatment from your vet at 2 weeks; repeat at 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 weeks of age and then monthly until the puppy is 6 months old. Thereafter, use a heartworm preventive medication that is also effective against hookworms and roundworms.

How Your Puppy Gets Hookworms

Hookworms are tiny, threadlike parasites that affect puppies and adult dogs. They are a particular problem in areas with warm, moist, sandy soil. They cycle begins when hookworm eggs are passed in dog’s stool to the soil. Your dog can swallow the young hookworms or they can penetrate its skin, usually through the foot. Hookworms are also passed from females to their young. Hookworms present a slight risk to humans if larvae (young hookworms) in the soil contact skin. Painful skin sores can result.

Signs of Hookworm Infection

Hookworms feed on blood and tissue by piercing your pet’s intestinal lining with tooth-like hooks. As a result, hookworms can cause severe blood loss. As few as 100 hookworms can kill a puppy. Dogs with heavy infections often have bloody diarrhea. Other signs include anemia, dehydration and apparent weakness. Some dogs show no outward signs of infection. This is why it is important to de-worm your puppy at an early age and to have the stool examined when recommended by your veterinarian. The veterinarian will examine the dog’s stool under a microscope and look for eggs. If your veterinarian can catch the eggs before the symptoms appear then your prêt doesn’t have to suffer the symptoms.

How Pets Get Roundworms

Nearly all puppies and kittens have roundworms. In many areas of the country, up to 70% of adult dogs are also infected. Infection usually begins when your pet accidentally swallows roundworm eggs in soil. These eggs hatch into tiny worms that move from your pet’s intestine to its liver and lungs, and then back to the intestine where they mature. The adult roundworm lays eggs that are passed in your pet’s stool to the soil. Roundworms can lay up to 200,000 eggs per day! Female pets can also pass roundworms to their unborn young or through nursing.

Signs of Roundworm Infection

Left untreated, roundworms can cause a potbelly and diarrhea, vomiting, a rough coat and poor growth are other signs. Heavy infections damage your pet’s liver, lungs and brain.  Death is possible.

 

Tapeworms

 

There are four types of tapeworms in dogs. Tapeworms hook onto a dog’s small intestine with its mouth. Tapeworms can be as long as 8 inches to 2 feet long. One unique characteristic of these worms is that they are made up of 1/8 inch segments that break off over time and end up in your dog’s stool. The pieces that break off contain eggs that are released as the broken off segment dries. Pieces look like dried pieces of rice or cucumber seeds. The four type of tapeworms are:

  • Dipylidium Caninum—Most common. Contracted by eating fleas.
  • Taenia Taeniaformis—Contracted by rural dogs show are around farm animals such as sheep, rats and mice.
  • Echinococcus Granulosum—Found in mice and humans.

 

What Causes Tapeworms in Dogs

Tapeworms are most commonly spread when a dog swallows a flea that contains the tapeworm eggs. It usually happens when the flea is biting the dog. Since dogs try and remove the fleas with their mouth, they may swallow some of them. This is how they get dog fleas worms. There is another kind of tapeworm called Echinococcus that is found in small rodents. If a dog bites into or eats an infected annual, they can get tapeworms. Hunting dogs can contract up to 12 varieties of tapeworms.

Dog Medicine Tape Worms

All types of tapeworms in dogs can be treated with tapeworm tabs for dogs (Droncit Canine Cestocide Tablets and Tapeworm Tabs for Dogs and Puppies) cause the worms in the intestines to dissolve. Treatments are very effective and include praziquantel and epsiprantel. Although single doses are usually sufficient, an additional dose may be needed. Since fleas spread the worms, a flea collar is helpful in preventing the problem. Note that pinworms are often confused with tapeworms. While humans can get pinworms, dogs do not.

Human and Dog Tapeworms

Children can get tapeworms if they swallow fleas while playing with a dog or if they come in contact with partially digested fleas in a dog’s mouth. A child may have no symptoms or suffer from diarrhea and itching around the anus. Tapeworm is not passed between adults or children. It must come from an infected flea such as in a sandbox. Treatment is effective using the drug niclosamide.

 

Bringing Your New Dog or Puppy Home

Bringing your new dog home

Click here to read “Starting out Right” .  This page contains everything there is know about bringing one of our rescued puppies or dogs to your new home!

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