Sunday, February 16, 2020

Dogs, Cats and Household Cleaners

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that household chemicals are the 6th leading cause of poisoning (toxicosis) in pets. These chemicals include many traditional household cleaning products that you most likely have in your home.

So, whether you like your house to be spotless (good luck with that when you have cats, dogs or other indoor pets!), or if you only do a good cleaning once a month, you need to be aware that there are risks associated with your household cleaners.

Poisoning is one potential result from household cleaners. Another important factor is allergies. Dogs and cats, as well as other pets, can have allergic reactions to environmental factors – and their lives can be made miserable until you find what those specific factors are.

How to tell if your dog or cat has been poisoned

Many household cleaners are corrosive or caustic if they spill on or otherwise come in contact with a dog or cat’s fur or skin – and also internally, if those chemicals are ingested. These are some signs to look for:

  • Dog Wound NeosporinRaw, red skin
  • Rash or blistering of the skin
  • Pawing at the mouth or eyes
  • Tearing of the eyes, nasal discharge
  • Pain
  • Sneezing, coughing
  • Itching
  • Severe drooling
  • Breathing problems for asthmatic animals from strong fumes
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite, lethargy
  • Seizures, vomiting, diarrhea

Of course, many of these symptoms can also arise from other causes, so a vet visit will be in order no matter what. But if you KNOW that your pet has come in contact with a household cleaner, call the ASPCA hotline (see below) or your local small animal emergency clinic (if there is one) for advice, and then get to the vet as soon as possible before the toxins can have a permanent (or even fatal) impact.

Which cleaners to watch out for

While most cleaning products can be used safely in your home as long as you follow the label recommendations, the best rule of thumb is: If it can adversely affect your family members, it can also affect your pets, so take the same precautions to protect them.

All traditional cleaning products contain chemicals like bleach, ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, phenol and isopropyl alcohol. These can ALL be harmful to your cats and dogs.

Beware of these products

  • Floor cleaners (dogs may lick the floor, especially if there’s a treat lying there or food drops; cats may lie on the floor and then groom themselves thereby ingesting some of the floor cleaner, dogs definitely lie on the floor so they will inadvertently pick up toxic particles, etc.).
  • Laundry detergents leave a residue behind on clothes and bedding (even if you do an “extra rinse.”)
  • toilet bowl dogToilet bowl cleaners and fresheners (does your dog drink out of the toilet?). Watch out for cleaners and freshners that clip to the edge of the toilet or are put in the back of the tank. Definitely a risk to your dog or cat with this one.
  • Counter cleaners and all-purpose cleaners for use in the kitchen, bathroom and other places can be harmful, especially if your cat or dog likes to “counter surf.”
  • Carpet fresheners may not be as harmful as other cleaners, but if your cat or dog gets the cleaner on his paws (before you vacuum it up), clean it off immediately. You don’t want them licking it off, or developing a skin irritation on their paws.
  • Air fresheners aren’t really cleaning products, but they add to the clean smell in your home. Sprays, candles and plug-ins can cause problems for animals with allergies.
  • Bleach can affect your pets in many ways – via ingestion, touching the skin, even breathing the fumes.
  • Other cleaners include oven cleaners, furniture polish, window cleaners, drain uncloggers, etc. Any of these, when sprayed, licked, spilled or otherwise coming in contact with your dog or cat, can have toxic and serious effects.

Safe cleaning alternatives

Most cleaning products can be used in your home as long as you follow the directions on the package and keep them out of reach of your animals. But if you’re looking for more pet-friendly alternatives (or if you must switch to greener solutions because of allergies), you can try:

  • vinegarMany people use apple cider vinegar to clean their homes, using a 1 cup to 1 gallon ratio of vinegar to water. There are also a number of commercially-produced, environmentally-safe cleaners that use vinegar as their base.
  • For windows and mirrors, try a mixture of lemon juice and water, plus a lint-free cloth.
  • Baking soda can be mixed with water and is good for areas where you need to scrub, like the kitchen sink or the toilet.
  • Plant-based products don’t leave the toxic residue that can be found in traditional cleaners.
  • Enzymatic cleaners can be non-toxic but still effective in removing pet stains.
  • If you have a clogged sink or tub, try pouring a half cup of baking soda in the drain, followed by two cups of boiling water. If you still need more cleaning power, follow the baking soda with a half cup of vinegar, and close or cover the drain while the mixture works on the clog. Flush with a gallon of boiling water.

If your pet is allergic

If you’re trying to eliminate toxins from your home because your dog or cat is suffering from environmental allergies, one key is to limit her exposure to all environmental pollutants in your home. It seems like a huge and daunting task, but here are a few tips to make it manageable:

  • Where does your dog or cat spend most of her time? Focus first on eliminating toxins in those areas.
  • Use green, non-toxic cleaners on bedding (and no fabric softeners, which contain detergents that can cause reactions).
  • If your pets spend a lot of time on the floor (and which pets don’t?), change to a non-toxic floor cleaner.
  • To find out which product(s) trigger your cat or dog’s allergies, change out your household cleaners one at a time.

What to do if you think your pet has been exposed to poisonous substances

dog poison controlIf you suspect your pet has been exposed to any poisonous substances, contact your veterinarian or call the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) hotline at (888) 426-4435 immediately. These experts are available 24/7/365 and will give you the advice you need in your emergency situation.

To prevent accidental poisoning, do these two things:

  1. When you’re in the process of cleaning, keep your pets away from the area just as you would keep small children out of the area.
  2. ALWAYS lock your dangerous cleaning chemicals away in a place where your pets (and your children) cannot get into them.



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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Why Is My Cat Sneezing A Lot?

Everyone sneezes from time to time, including your cat and other pets. It’s the body’s explosive (and usually effective) response to ridding itself of things that are irritating your pet’s nasal passage.

But if you’ve noticed that your cat is sneezing a LOT – back-to-back sneezing fits, throughout the day, every day. Is this something to worry about?

Sneezing and Nasal Discharge

If your cat is sneezing and/or has a discharge from her nose, it could be due to many reasons:

  • a tickle in the nose
  • a respiratory infection
  • an allergy or a tumor (see below).

The discharge from your cat’s nose may look clear, cloudy or yellow/green, and could even be a little bloody. Blood in the nasal discharge is to be taken seriously since it could indicate a sign of an infection, an injury, or even a bleeding disorder or tumor.

Sometimes these sneezing episodes and/or nasal discharge are accompanied by other symptoms that indicate a more serious nasal or sinus disease. Look for the following in your kitty:

  • sneezing catRubs or paws at her face
  • Swallows often
  • Runs a fever
  • Gags
  • Bleeds from the nose
  • Has a nasty smell coming from her nose or mouth
  • Breathes loudly, wheezes or coughs
  • Is lethargic
  • Has loss of appetite
  • Has signs of diarrhea

If you think any of these symptoms seem severe or happen frequently on a recurring basis, take your cat to the vet because it may be a condition that requires professional treatment.  Take the time to notate any problems that you have observed including frequency, timing etc so that you can provide your vet with as much information as possible.  Cats are stoic creatures hence your cat may be quite sick before you realize it;  a quick trip to consult with your vet is always a good idea in order to stay ahead of any potential problems.

Reasons Why Your Cat Might Be Sneezing

  1. Something is blocking and/or tickling your cat’s nasal passage. It could be a blade of grass or a hair, or something more substantial. Like all animals, cats will reflexively sneeze to try to dislodge the blockage.
  2. Your cat has picked up a respiratory infection. It’s most often a viral infection (feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus are the most common), aka a “cat cold.” In addition to sneezing, your feline friend may also cough or have some tears from his eyes – these symptoms are similar to those that we humans feel and exhibit. Sometimes it’s a fungal infection that causes inflammation in the nasal passage. These infections are more common in young cats, especially in those coming from animal shelters where crowded conditions create problems, just as they do with humans who live under crowded circumstances. Many of these infections can be prevented with early and complete vaccinations (but see # 5 below).
  3. Your cat has inhaled an irritant or something that he’s allergic to. If the only symptom you notice is that your cat is sneezing, it may be an allergy that’s irritating the nasal passages (note that allergies also often result in itchy skin). Here are some things that might be causing the sneezing:
    • cat on bed peeingCigarette smoke
    • Dust
    • Mold
    • Pollen
    • Perfume
    • Cat litter
    • Cleaning agents (see our blog on household cleaners here)
    • Pest sprays
    • Candles
    • Mold
    • If you think your cat may be sneezing due to allergies, use the sneezing episodes to help pinpoint the allergen. For example, does she sneeze more after she uses the litter box or after you smoke a cigarette? Is she atchoo-ing more after you’ve cleaned the house or lit the romantic candles or applied perfume? Since cat noses are only a few inches off the ground/floor, consider that anything that you apply to the floor, carpet etc…will be in close contact with your cat’s nose and hence affect her respiratory system. Carefully observing her behavior may give you excellent clues.
  4. Your cat may be having trouble with her teeth. Sometimes cats (especially older kitties) may suffer from dental disease (especially root infections), resulting in inflammation and drainage into the sinuses. This may cause sneezing and dental issues are not uncommon to cats. This is a case for the vet, as it won’t cure itself. Your cat’s breath may be a clue here since dental decay is always accompanied by an unpleasant odor.  Try to watch your cat while she is eating, does her eating function appear normal or does she exhibit pain in eating her food or approach her bowl with trepidation and hesitation?
  5. Your cat may be reacting to a vaccine.  If your cat has received a vaccine to prevent respiratory infections, she may sneeze a lot for a few days afterward. This should only last for a few days and goes away without treatment. Again, if problems persist, do not hesitate to return to your vet to get it checked out.
  6. Miscellaneous other causes of excessive sneezing can include mucus irritation, excess nasal secretion, nasal polyps or tumors, pneumonia, gastrointestinal disease, and mites found in the nasal cavities. This is a tougher scenario and will take some dedication and time to diagnose and treat

When To Go To The Veterinarian

cat veterinarianIt’s always a good idea to call the vet if:

  • Your cat sneezes often or continuously
  • The sneezing seems to be chronic
  • You see blood in the nasal discharge
  • You see any additional symptoms such as the ones listed above

The vet will do the tests and get the right diagnosis for the cause of your kitty’s sneezing fits. Depending on the diagnosis, the vet will be able to prescribe antibiotics, nasal decongestants and antihistamines, fluids or steroids if needed, as well as make great suggestions on how to help your cat feel more comfortable, provide nutritional support, and enhance her immune system to prevent recurrences in the future.



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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Is A Hunting Dog Right For You?

If you enjoy hunting, of course, you’ll want a hunting dog to help make your trips more successful. If you’re not a hunter, you may still be considering a hunting dog for a companion – either a purebred or possibly a mixed breed. Here are a few things to know about hunting dogs’ personalities and how to properly care for them:

Hunting dogs have been bred over the centuries to help humans find and follow potential prey. From hunting for food and sport, to being used by police, military and search-and-rescue groups, they are intelligent, courageous, determined and high energy. So carefully consider your lifestyle and consider whether this is the sort of dog that you would like to own or is a couch potato or a less independent type of dog more your cup of tea. A dog is generally a 15-year commitment give or take a few years for size, breed, etc. so this is a serious decision.

Hunting Dog Breeds

  • Spaniels
  • Pointers
  • Retrievers
  • Setters
  • Hounds
  • Terriers

hunting dog duckSome hunting dogs track by scent (such as beagles and bloodhounds). These hounds typically have long ears, large noses and moist loose lips to help them focus on the scent, and they can continue tracking the prey long after it is out of sight. Those with high drive (high hunting drive) may hunt for hours and hours, and even days. Not usually a suitable dog for a city dweller.

Some hunt by sight (for example, greyhounds and Irish wolfhounds). They are usually tall, have large, sharp eyes, and long legs to run after their prey to keep it in sight and run it to ground. They tend to see something and go in that direction, quickly, and not necessarily paying attention to where they are or where they are going or, where you are.

Terriers were bred to find, track and trail quarry, especially underground. Some dogs are bred to point to the quarry to help flush it out (setters and pointers); others retrieve the hunted quarry, like Labrador or Golden retrievers. Terriers may dig for possible quarry, even when they are at ‘rest’ or play. Pointers are known to point at any potential quarry, even stopping to do so when they were ‘in the middle’ of something else. Retrievers are known for being a bit obsessive in-regards to retrieving and often can play ball for hours.

These dogs may make great pets without actually being used for hunting – they are active, alert, like-able and intelligent. They generally need lots of exercise and enjoy spending time outdoors. Some love the water and have water-repellent coats. Others cannot pass by a fire hydrant or tree without sniffing extremely thoroughly, as they put their tremendous noses to work.

dog huntingIf you’re considering a hunting dog as a pet, keep in mind that the very characteristics that make each breed successful could also require some special handling and training on your part. Hunting dogs are generally high-energy animals and need to be kept busy or they might get into trouble. Hence, if you work a 9 to 5 job, this may not be a good match. Terriers can tunnel under backyard fences and be gone; greyhounds can bolt if they see something moving like a bike, car or leaf falling; hounds can go after a deer or fox and may not come back for hours (or get lost). Obedience training is highly recommended, as are plenty of exercise and play. Each individual breed also has its typical characteristics. As one example, terriers were bred to work alone and can often be feisty with other dogs while being loyal and affectionate with you.

If you actually hunt with your hunting dog, here are some tips for keeping him safe and healthy:

Top 10 Hunting Dog Tips

  1. Before the hunt, start your dog’s day with a high calorie meal to help him weather the weather and other difficult conditions.
  2. hunting dogsWhen you’re out in the forest or field, dogs can easily be mistaken for game. Put a blaze orange vest on your dog to make him easier to see and identify as a dog.
  3. This jacket also is highly recommended to help protect from frost and cold winds/water.
  4. If your dog is hunting water fowl, watch out for hypothermia during cold weather. Standing in ice-cold water for an extended period of time puts your dog in danger. The dogs natural hunting instincts/drive will not necessarily override the dangers of cold. If you see him acting sluggish or disoriented, get him out of the water immediately and take steps to dry and warm him up (wrap him in warm towels, put a hot water bottle on his stomach, etc.).
  5. Make sure he is dried thoroughly at the end of the day. Because many retrievers have double coats, they need to be checked, dried and groomed thoroughly to ensure they don’t pick up parasites and fungal infections in wet, matted fur. Also, check for burrs, splinters, foxtails and other foreign debris that can get tangled in the fur and/or in the skin.
  6. Dogs can get overheated on hot days. They don’t perspire the way we do, so they have to pant to get rid of the excess heat. If it’s hot outside, don’t overwork your dog but hunt in brief spurts. Always carry lots of water and give it to your dog generously. Panting is how a dog cools his system, but they need hydration and ventilation for their internal cooling system to work properly. Resting in the shade with a breeze/air flow is optimal.
  7. Assume there will be ticks where you’re hunting. Comb through her fur to find those pesky parasites as soon as possible after the hunt to ensure they don’t attach to the skin. Mosquitoes are also an issue for dogs as in the southern regions they harbor the larvae which matures into a parasite that cause heart worm.
  8. Thorns and briars also pose a threat of injury to your dog. Watch your dog to see if he’s favoring a paw or leg, and check his paw pads often.
  9. banixx spray remedyOnce the hunt is over, make sure you get your dog warm and dry, or cool, depending upon the season, as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you get home to take care of him – every minute counts when it comes to your dog’s health and safety.
  10. Use Banixx Pet Care products whenever you need help with ear care, parasites, fungal or bacterial infections, wounds, scratches and other problems associated with strenuous outdoor activities. Find Banixx near you.



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Friday, February 7, 2020

How To Calm A Spooked Horse

Does your horse spook easily? Should you worry about it? What can you do to help? Below we’ll be explaining why horses get spooked and what you can do to help them calm down and relax in these situations.

Horses are flight instinct animals – ok, we all know that. But spooking does not always make sense – the horse may pass that same space daily, the object has always been there, but, today, your horse gets spooked.

Types of spooks:

  • New experience
  • Flash, quick something or a loud noise
  • Eye issues/problems (vision loss, uveitis, moon blindness, etc.)
  • Pain

horse spookedRiding a spooking horse can be disruptive, exasperating and, at times. Downright scary. Take note though, it’s always a good idea to work with your veterinarian to rule out health issues (pain, eyesight). It may take more than one exam, and it can be helpful if your veterinarian can observe the horse in situations where he might spook. Another set of eyes can reveal something that you may miss.

Sometimes, with a spook, your horse just needs a moment to ‘absorb’ the experience and can continue. Yet other times the spook is disruptive, and your riding time is affected.

When you last dealt with a spook – How did you react? (Some self-reflection here)

  • What were the circumstances?
  • Did you, also, look around to see what the horse spooked at? …thereby abandoning your horse as the wheels are falling off?
  • Did you get after the horse? …in an attempt to punish him.

Here are some tips for the next spook:

  • Calmly keep the feet moving, particularly the hind feet, but they need to move in a rhythmic beat, not a frantic scramble. Consider a leg yield or a turn on the forehand or other exercise that requires the hind feet to move. The feet are connected to the brain. When the feet are moving in rhythm, the brain quiets and is receptive to input.
  • As best you can in the circumstances – do NOT pull on the reins.
  • Consider any other exercises to capture the attention of his brain – side passing, shoulder-in, half pass, etc. Do anything that you can to re-direct his attention to YOU!

spooked horseYour efforts may not be effective close to the scary object, so move away from it – but, with an exercise! Quietly work on the exercise and soften when your horse responds correctly. Try not to pull on the reins. You may not be able to work around the scary place today, or tomorrow, but, stick with the plan in a quiet fashion to build trust and confidence. Recognize that improvements come slowly, and, there is NO quick fix!

Have a friend video tape your ride as that may be very revealing as to how you react and how your horse responds in a situation. For example, you may be applying rein pressure before you are applying leg pressure, but you are not feeling that – yet you see it in the video.

The speed of your success depends upon history, personalities, effectiveness of your exercises and patience. Be open to change if past exercises did not work. We expect our horses to change, but WE need to be willing to change too. We sometimes forget that part.

After it is all said and done, do you now have a better partnership with your horse? Building a good partnership with your horse will help you, as a team, overcome many challenges, and increase enjoyment.

Happy Riding!

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Sunday, February 2, 2020

Why Does My Dog Pee On My Bed?

It is understandably distressing to have your dog urinate or pee on your bed, either by accident or on purpose. She may do it in her sleep – or she may do it while you’re watching. It is not a great situation either way. Assuming your dog is not a puppy (puppies are an entirely different chapter!) and has been house-trained, here are the possible reasons she may be peeing on your bed:

8 Reasons Your Dog Might Pee On Your Be

  1. There’s a Medical Issue

    veteranarian neosporin alternativeIf your dog has suddenly started urinating in your bed or other area inside your house, it’s a good idea to get her checked out by a vet. The cause may be a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, diabetes, kidney disease, or other medical disorder that needs a vet’s expertise to diagnose and treat.

  2. Your Dog Gets Over-excited

    If your dog tends to jump, wiggle and run around excitedly, he may accidentally pee inside the house – including in your bed. Find ways to calm your dog, especially when it’s time to hit the hay and turn out the lights. Work on getting her attention on YOU, via some disciplinary exercise with a treat at the end. One that has worked well for us is as follows……..”Rosie…SIT….good girl”….(put your finger to your nose and there is a small treat in that same hand)….”Rosie…look at me! (hold her attention as you count 1-2-3) then softly offer her the treat. You just “changed the conversation” where she is focused on you, not herself. It’s worth a try; worked great for us!

  3. Your Dog Can’t Control His Bladder

    How to clean a dogs eyesSometimes dogs become incontinent – they have trouble controlling their bladders and find themselves with sudden urges to go, or leak involuntarily (often while they’re asleep). Elderly dogs and larger dog breeds tend to have this issue, and it can be a sign of diseases like urinary tract infections or diabetes. Some of the other causes of incontinence include:

    • Obesity
    • Lesions on the spinal cord or brain
    • Overactive bladder
    • Urinary tract infections
    • Chronic inflammatory disease or arthritis
    • Kidney disease
    • Neutering (not commonly a problem)Again, be sure to make a quick visit to your veterinarian who can diagnose and treat your dog to help him gain control over his bladder.
  4. He Wasn’t Properly House Trained

    If you have a rescue dog, it’s quite possible he wasn’t given formal house training, or that he’s forgotten whatever he did learn. You may need to start over and make sure he understands that any place within the house is not his toilet. The exercise in item #2 of this write-up may help. Also, it house training is an issue, it’s a good idea to keep your dog in a relatively confined area since dogs generally do not pee in “their own space”. As he responds, you can experiment with enlarging his area.

  5. She Is Excessively Submissive

    Erect dog earsIf your dog displays submissive behavior, it may be a sign of fear or anxiety. Typical actions include rolling onto her back and exposing her stomach, flattening her ears, cringing, not meeting your eyes – and pee’ing constantly on the floor or bed. Submissive behavior can also be the culprit when your dog is over-anxious to please you. As with separation anxiety, visit the vet and/or dog behaviorist for help. Also, consider experimenting with the training method “with finger on the nose” (outlined in section # 2 of this article) along with a treat as a reward. Observe your dog’s behavior to see what circumstances trigger this submissive behavior and try to find opportunities to desensitize your dog to those triggers. Be patient. Change may happen slowly but will be so rewarding as you see those changes!

  6. He’s Marking Territory and Establishing Himself as the Alpha

    On the opposite side of submissive behavior is a dog’s need to be dominant. When a dog marks inside the house, it’s possible the marking can be aimed at other animals in your house. This may not be because your pup feels intimidated, he may be marking areas of the house to tell other pets to stay away.

    We, personally, had an example of this. We adopted a thin dog from Animal Control. She was estimated to be 10 months old. She was unruly and clearly had NO training. Four months later, she was a different dog. She had put on weight but her manners still needed work. Then, she began peeing in the house! Our Vet established that there was no physical problem and recommended a dog trainer.

    Over the phone, the dog trainer nailed it! He said – she is now well established in your home and she thinks that she is the alpha of the house. She demonstrates this peeing whenever and wherever she feels like it. We immediately limited her to the mudroom unless she was right under our noses and took a much more strict approach to her — without being cruel.

    The peeing stopped immediately. She would not pee in the mudroom because that was her “space” and dogs generally don’t pee in their space. We worked on her obedience with the dog trainer. We have never looked back! Kind but firm discipline is still an everyday activity. She’s still a pup– that’s life! Moreover, because she is a big dog and we have 13 acres, we invested in an e-collar which our dog trainer demonstrated for us. Life is Good!

  7. She’s Suffering From Separation Anxiety

    If your dog pees on the bed, it can be a sign of separation anxiety. Because he’s formed such a strong attachment to you, he may be upset whenever you leave the house. Typical behaviors associated with separation anxiety are barking excessively, pacing, chewing or destroying things in the house, and even pooping or pee’ing indoors. Talk with a vet, who may be able to recommend some medical solutions for this condition. S/he may also suggest seeing a dog behaviorist to help reduce anxiety levels.

  8. The Bed Smells Like Urine

    dogs keep cats off bedsThe more an object (like a fire hydrant) smells like urine, the more your dog perceives it as a place to pee. So once your dog has urinated on your bed, it may become an acceptable place to go to the bathroom.

    Your dog’s hyper-sensitive nose will smell that urine even after you feel the odor has dissipated, so wash your bedding thoroughly and use an enzymatic cleaner to ensure it’s gone. (Don’t use ammonia, as that smells like urine and will make matters worse!). We tend to prefer apple cider vinegar—it’s non-toxic and is certainly strong, in a good way, to your dog’s nose!

How To Get Your Dog to Stop Peeing on the Bed

  • Don’t even let Fido up on the bed and be firm with this. That’ll stop him from peeing there – but, of course, he might start urinating somewhere else inside the house, so you’ll still need to find the root of the problem.
  • If you see that your dog is getting ready to pee on your bed (he’s starting to sniff and circle), immediately interrupt the process and take him outside to do his business, accompanied by lots of praise for doing it right.
  • Keep him confined in a designated area unless you are able to watch him very closely.
  • apple cider vinegarYou can try a dog spray that contains chemicals or natural solutions (like cayenne pepper, citronella or apple cider vinegar) that will repel your dog. Of course, the smell may repel you, too! Personally we have had good luck with apple cider vinegar.
  • If you’re gone all day at work or for longer periods of time, hire a dog walker or sitter come over and give your pooch a nice walk and a potty break. Having human interaction halfway through the day may help reduce any anxiety the dog is experiencing.
  • Whatever you do, don’t yell at or punish her when she pees the bed. That just creates more anxiety, which makes the problem worse and increases the chances she’ll do it again.



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Why Do Horse Yawn?

When your horse yawns, what does he really mean? Horses yawn for a variety of reasons.

Studies reveal there are several possible reasons:

  • State of drowsiness – perhaps relaxed/relaxation in your horse; but not the same as in humans (drops in blood oxygen levels)
  • Environmental stress or anticipation – herd dominance, social queues, anticipation
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort such as equine ulcers
  • Tempo-mandibular tension and/or pain (TMJ) – stretching or pain reaction
  • Liver distress – usually associated with other signs of liver disease (jaundice tissue, loss of condition, diarrhea, discolored urine, and abdominal pain)

horse ywanQuite a bit of tension can be ‘carried’ in a horse’s jaw (TMJ) and yawning is a means for stretching or reacting to the pain or tension. When we are training our horses, we should pay attention to such behavior. There could be an issue with the teeth, or the bridle/bit may be ill-fitting.

Look in the horse’s mouth when the bridle is on to verify that the bit is not hitting teeth or is not too wide/too narrow, etc. This is a fairly common error with bridle fitting – take a look for yourself and establish exactly WHERE his teeth are. Some horses have really small mouths – this makes bit fitting a challenge.

Herd dominance issues may necessitate a living arrangement adjustment if the yawing is a queue to that type of stress.

Yawning in anticipation of meals or activity would be a reason to be the least concerned about the behavior. However, most other causes of yawning should be addressed as quickly as possible to decrease the stress that manifests into gastrointestinal discomfort – equine ULCERS. And, a horse may have no other signs, but still have ulcers. Working with your veterinarian to conduct a gastroscopy procedure to view in the horse’s stomach is the most effective means to determine if the horse has stomach ulcers or not. Hind gut ulcers are much more difficult to verify/detect.

Bentley YawningApparently, males yawn more often than females—very interesting! Are we boring you? So, yawning something that mares don’t get the ‘bad rap’ on!

Is your horse yawning because he is in pain, to relieve stress, or as a calming queue? (Calming queues such as licking & chewing, stretching down, etc.). If stress induced, what can you do to relieve his stressors? If Gastrointestinal, liver or pain is suspected, contact your veterinarian.

Bentley, in the picture attached, yawns in anticipation of meals… FEED ME!!!!

Next time your horse yawns, look around – what is going on in the environment when he yawns? Does your horse seem calm or stressed?

Share your observations with us – Gender? What is going on? Does it seem to be stress or calming or perhaps communication of some sort?

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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cure My Cat’s Ear Infection?

Proponents of home remedies say that apple cider vinegar is a practically a miracle cure-all, with the ability to mitigate or cure everything from fleas to urinary tract infections (taken internally).

But just like with many home remedies, there haven’t been many scientific studies that prove the claims are true.

So when it comes to ear infections in cats, let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s of apple cider vinegar.

What Does The Science Show?

veterinarian looking at cat ear infectionAccording to Medical News Today, at this time there isn’t any research on whether apple cider vinegar can help specifically with ear infections. But there have been studies (on humans) that indicate apple cider vinegar has anti-microbial properties – i.e., its application slows or stops the growth of bacteria. Researchers have found that this may be due to its acetic acid content.

And bacteria or yeast (fungus) is the most common cause of ear infections in cats.

What Is A Cat Ear Infection?

Ear infections are often caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast in the cat’s outer, middle or inner ears (otitis externa, otitis media and otitis interna). You can suspect an ear infection is bothering your cat if you see:

  • Your cat shaking her head or pawing/scratching her ears, face and neck
  • Black or yellowish discharge in the ears
  • There’s a bad odor coming from the ears
  • Hair loss or scabs around the face, ears and neck
  • Redness or swelling of the ear flap or ear canal
  • Waxy buildup on or near the ear canal
  • Your cat doesn’t hear as well
  • Your cat tilts her head, loses her balance or is disoriented

However, other things like ear mites or allergies can also cause similar symptoms – so visit the vet to be sure you have the right diagnosis and get the proper treatment.

Should Apple Cider Vinegar Be Part Of The Treatment?

apple cider vinegarBecause of its antimicrobial properties, many home remedy proponents say apple cider vinegar is okay to use to help treat bacterial or fungal ear infections in your cat. This is an external treatment (not ingested). They recommend adding it to homemade ear drops and/or combining it with rubbing alcohol and applying it with a cotton ball to your cat’s ears.

But there are some risks associated with apple cider vinegar that you need to consider:

  • Apple cider vinegar is very acidic, and strong concentrations of it can hurt the sensitive skin of your cat’s ear. Consequently, you have to dilute it – and even then, it can still burn tissue or damage your cat’s hair cells and follicles.
  • Rubbing the skin while you’re applying it to your cat’s ears can cause additional irritation and damage – possibly leading to a secondary infection, which leads to more scratching and perpetuates the cycle.
  • Even those who believe it’s a good solution say you should talk to your vet first and use it sparingly.

Is There A Better Solution?

Banixx Anti-Fungal Anti-Bacterial SprayYes! Banixx Pet Care spray is an over-the-counter (OTC) solution that’s perfect for helping your cat get rid of an ear infection:

  • Its anti-microbial properties create an environment which makes it impossible for bacteria and fungus to survive or grow.
  • It can be used in conjunction with any medications or treatments your vet has prescribed.
  • It’s non-toxic, so you can use it regularly and frequently with no side effects.
  • It is safe for use around the eye (which is important, as few cats sit still when their ears are being handled)
  • Unlike apple cider vinegar, it has no smell and doesn’t burn on application, so your cat will tolerate it much more easily.

One additional (and huge) benefit: No matter what the cause of your cat’s ear problem (infection, mites, allergies, etc.), Banixx will help relieve the itch, irritation, wounds and scabs caused by scratching the ear.

Just spray Banixx onto a cotton ball until moist, and gently apply it to the affected ear(s). The inside of the ear must be well moistened with Banixx to work. Massage Banixx gently into your cats’ ear. You should see positive results within 48 hours.



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