Does your dog seem to suddenly have small bald patches around his face, forelegs or eyes? He may be suffering from demodectic mange, which is caused by a tiny mite called Demodex canis. The naked eye is unable to see this tiny mite, so a trip to your veterinarian would be in order to properly diagnose the presence of the Demodex canis.
Every dog naturally has this type of mite on their skin, but in order to be diagnosed as mange, lesions must accompany the other symptoms. Puppies can get this mite from their mother, but the Demodex mite is not contagious between other dogs. This type of mange can affect puppies from three months up to twelve months of age. In the pores of the puppies' skin, the mite resides, but doesn't cause symptoms until some (unknown) point, they activate.
A puppy's immune system is not yet developed, so the demodex mites produce a substance that allows them to multiply once the puppies' resistance to their presence has decreased. As a dog matures, and his immune system is functioning properly, he is less likely to contract demodex mites and mange. The mite will usually disappear on its own for puppies, even without medication from the veterinarian.
Older dogs can also be affected, as their immune systems have sometimes already been compromised by other health issues. The prognosis for an older dog is taken a bit more seriously, but can be diagnosed and treated effectively.
If you see evidence of this mite on your dog, it is best to take him to the vet to confirm the presence of the Demodex mite. The veterinarian will determine if the dog indeed has the condition by scraping the skin or taking an biopsy.
The Demodex mite can cause localized areas, such as the head or legs, and sometimes over the dog's entire body, a lost of hair. These areas could appear red, scaly and crusty. You'll actually be able to see bare areas of skin. Surprisingly, this condition doesn't cause itchiness for the dog. Other times, Demodectic mange can begin as a localized infection and develop into something more serious. If your dog's skin is sore, crusty and oozing, the hair follicles are probably clogged with debris and the mites themselves. This level of mange requires specific treatment, which your vet can outline for you. It may include using an ointment around the eyes, giving him a bath with medicated shampoo, and giving him an oral medication as well. If your dog is experiencing lesions on his feet (in extreme cases, this is possible), your vet may recommend a specific topical medication to treat those areas.
Depending on the time a puppy contracts this mite, he could have it recur, even after successful treatment, up until the time his immune system is up and running at full tilt. The key is to catch the symptoms early and get treatment for your dog as soon as possible.
Dogs and cats are said to be enemies but this is not true. A survey in 2002 said that over fifteen percent of every household in the United States had one dog or one cat at the very least. The survey also stated that almost fifty percent of each home that included a dog or cat actually had both a cat and a dog. That meant that half of all the dogs and cats in the world shared a home with the other species.
Behavior Issues Do Exist
Just because many families have a cat and a dog does not mean that there are no behavioral problems. Some family pets have fights that the owners have to break up and some even take their issues to a behavior consultant for assistance with these issues.
It is very rare that a dog will be scared of a cat because of its size compared to the cat, but many people allow their dog to bully their cat. There are some cases where the dog is smaller than the cat. In these cases the smaller pet may spend most of its time in fear. Often these pets spend the day hiding in the basement or under a bed. This can cause chronic illnesses and anxiety.
You should provide a safe, friendly introduction for the two species to keep their relationship friendly and healthy. If you have existing pets that are in fear of one another you should try to reintroduce them, if you are adding a new pet to your home you should start the relationship out on the right foot.
Things to Consider when Providing an Introduction
You need to decide which of the two pets are considered to be the main pet in your home. You then need to ask your self these kind of questions. What kind of past does this animal have with the other species? Have they ever been with the other species? How did they react when they were around the other species? This will help you to pick the right cat for your dog or the other way around.
The dog or cat you are thinking about bringing home, is it a friendly animal towards different types of animals? It is best to be on the cautious side when it comes to your cat. It's better to think your dog would injure the cat rather than the cat injuring the dog. You should take caution even if the new dog is said to be friendly with other cats. They are going to get a little bit territorial and we don't want anyone to get hurt.
When you introduce the animals to each other you need to have enough man power to keep both pets safe. You should keep your dog on a leash for the first introduction, and keep your cat under your control as well. Allow the pets to sniff each other, allow them to be near each other, but do not allow them to try to take over the situation. You need to make sure BOTH species knows you are the boss and they are guests in this situation. Do not allow either to be hurt. Let them know they are both there by choice but the choice is yours, not theirs. In the end spending some time with the two pets letting them get to know each other shouldn't take long and will save your family a lot of problems.
Ear infections in dogs ears can be very painful and serious, and should be treated immediately by a veterinarian, not ourselves.
How do we know if our dog has an ear infection?
By doing a regular inspection of our dogs ears will be the first step. Be familiar with his ears; know the typical smell, as that may be the first sign of something wrong. If there is an infection or ear mites, the smell may change, a foul odor is very typical of mites or infection. And if you see a dark, waxy type discharge, then this is another symptom of mites or infection. Either way, your dog needs to be checked and treated.
Even if you suspect, it may be something as simple as allergies, it would be better to be safe than sorry and let your loving dog suffer. They depend on you for their care and they have total trust in you. So when you think of it that way, you want to do everything in your power to make sure they stay healthy and happy.
The breeds with the longer floppy ears are going to be more prone to ear infections to those that have the upright ears. I have a black lab and a Chihuahua, ears of each kind. And I always watch for their behavior when it comes to their ears. When they are healthy, they leave them alone, but if there is pain, or discharge, they will paw at them or try to scratch. Dogs will also shake their head back and forth as if trying to shake something out of their ears.
How can you prevent ear infections?
Between normal checkups check your dogs ears on a regular basis. When you are playing with him or her, just casually look in the ears; it doesn't need to be a form of trauma for them. Another good time is when you are bathing your dog. Never, ever stick anything in your dog's ear. It is always a better idea to see your vet when it comes to anything to do with this very fragile part of your pet's body. Their ears are not like ours, they are very sensitive and have parts that can easily be touched and damaged.
There is one method that a vet will recommend for the owner to do. If you sense a foul smell, or something has changed, you may want to flush your dog's ear with warm water. There are ear washes for dogs that contain Tea Tree Oil; this is very gentle and very effective in cleaning the ears. It is a natural antiseptic, antibacterial and fungicidal, which will help to keep your dog's ears clear and infection free.
Make your dogs ears a part of your routine, whether bathing or when sitting quietly with him. Give your dog the care that he or she needs and can't do for him or herself. They can't tell when something is wrong; it is our job to make sure they are well and carefree.
Just as a dogs life should be!