Saturday, February 3, 2018

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Teething Puppies, Vaccines, Earwax, and more ...

How to Survive Your Teething Puppy

Dt. Anna Coffin/Guthrie Pet Hospital

Photo Pixabay

Puppies are the most adorable things on the planet. Except for their sharp, busy little teeth. We used to meet a guy with a labrador puppy whose hands and arms looked like he got into a fight with a hundred cats. Jasmine's mouth was pretty busy too, and at first, I had little marks all over my hands also. Of course, giving the puppy something appropriate to chew on and encourage them doing that is the way to solve the problem. But what if you don't have something like that handy?

With Jasmine, I solved the problem by having tied a rope around my waist. It was always there as needed for Jasmine to sink her teeth into. Worked like a charm. She got what she needed, and my and other people's hands were safe.

The principle of giving your puppy something appropriate stands. The rope was just to ensure there was always something appropriate on hand.

Dr. Anna has further helpful suggestions; check them out in her article.


Vaccines and Dogs – Which Ones Do They Really Need?

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM


Vaccines. One of the top controversial topics today. Are vaccines saving lives or killing our dogs? Or is there anything in-between?

Like with most extremes, there is always a middle ground which is usually the place to be. Yes, vaccines do save lives. And yes, too much vaccination is detrimental. When in doubt, or having an argument with your veterinarian, refer to the American Animal Hospital Association's (AAHA) guidelines. There are reasonable and firmly rooted in what you'd consider the middle ground.

To summarize, every dog should get the core vaccines. These are parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, and rabies. These are viral diseases that have no cure and can kill dogs who lack immunity. Once immunity is acquired, rabies remains legislated but the other three you can check immunity instead of giving a booster.

There is a wide range of non-core vaccines. These are vaccines, of various degree of efficacy, your dog may or may not need, based on their health and lifestyle. AAHA website even includes lifestyle-based vaccine calculator if you wanted to use it.

Read Dr. Byers' thoughts on the subject.

Related articles: Problems with Canine Over-Vaccination


What is Normal Earwax for Pets?

Dr. Sarah Wooten/petMD

Earwax is excreted by the body to maintain the ears. Its function is to collect and remove dirt, debris, dead cells and microbes. Some earwax is needed and normal. Trying to remove it by cleaning is messing with the way the ear is trying to stay healthy. If your dog's ears are healthy, don't mess with them.

Some breeds are predisposed to generate too much earwax, and an inflamed ear will produce more in the attempt to protect itself and clear out what's irritating it. If there is an earwax buildup together with a bad odor, redness, swelling, head shaking, or pain, you are likely looking at an infected ear.

If you're not sure whether your dog's ear needs care, have it checked. Some dogs need ear care from you, and some don't. Don't go fixing what isn't broken but don't let a potential ear infection fester either.

Dr. Wooten's article is very smart and reasonable; check it out.


4 Things You Need to Know About Miniature Schnauzers 

Dr. Andy Roark/Cone of Shame



I always enjoy Dr. Roark's spirited videos. This one focuses on Miniature Schnauzers. For the purpose of my blog, I'd just like to recap health issues you should be aware this breed is prone to, which include:

  • pancreatitis
  • bladder stones
  • liver shunts
  • allergies
  • epilepsy
  • diabetes

30 comments

  1. Mr. N has had all his core vaccines but we're trying to figure out if we need to update one or titer. Going to check out that calculator.

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    Replies
    1. Three years post vaccination is a good time to titer.

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  2. What a great idea to tie a rope around your waist to keep the puppy from chewing on you. I've known a few "ankle biters" who would've appreciated that.

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    1. Yeah, it worked like a charm since it was always available.

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  3. We often can easily find ways to fix improper behavior like you did with the rope around your waist. Our Link started chewing the table and we realized right away he had lost his chew toy! We found it and the table eating stopped!

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    Replies
    1. Great detective work. Often problems have simple and easy solutions.

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  4. I have never had a puppy as I always rescue older dogs. As for the vaccines I took Layla for her flu booster shot we needed to do as there is canine flu in San Francisco and she does go to the dog parks BUT while there I discussed doing the titer test for Layla for Distemper and Kennel Cough and he agreed to do it but rabies she has to get. So that is on the list when we go for her annual check up.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, unfortunately, rabies titer isn't accepted. I'm hoping that the Rabies Challenge might bring about some results ... eventually.

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  5. Vaccines is definitely an iffy subject with me. I think getting everything a vet may offer is way too much. I only get what is absolutely necessary. Upon my last vet visit when getting a second opinion for my cat's illness, the vet even recommended no vaccines since my cat (at the time) was indoor only and already had her initial vaccines. I guess every case is different, but overall for me, less is more. I like your idea about the rope trick...never would have thought of that. Very clever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, less is more. I think veterinarians are starting to see the light but, sadly, not all of them.

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  6. What a creative way to avoid puppy biting you by tying a rope around the waste. I know someone who will love this idea!

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    Replies
    1. Great; I hope that works for them too. It was certainly very effective as it was always available.

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  7. The timing of vaccines is a vexed issue. Pets who are insured need to adhere to the requirements of the insurers policies, even of maybe they disagree with the frequency.

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    Replies
    1. Even at that, nobody should force anything beyond the AAHA recommendations ... do they?

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  8. Hi would you mind stating which blog platform you're using? I'm planning to start my own blog in the near future but I'm having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!home business

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I use blogger but WordPress is way better. I stayed here because I don't have the time and expertise to move the blog over.

      Delete
  9. Oh puppy teething! I walked around with toys on hand at all times while Roxie and Boomer were puppies. Then when we were outside, we had a big pile of sticks ready for them. We stick to core vaccines, only when absolutely needed. I'm so glad that more places are letting you titer your dogs now instead of pushing vaccines more frequently than they are actually needed. I hope they do the same with rabies soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The beauty of the rope idea was that it was hands-free. Not really much of a fashion statement but very practical.

      Yes, I'm glad to see that more practices are on board with titering now.

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  10. I need to ask my vet about titering. I think that is a much better way to go.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is. It's definitely better than over-vaccinating and it is better than taking chances on the assumption of immunity.

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  11. Puppy teeth and kitten teeth are both far sharper than they look! When I adopted Dexter as a kitten almost 2 years ago, I was surprised at how much his playful bites could hurt. I had forgotten how vicious those little kitten teeth are! The rope idea is a great one for puppies.

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  12. Unfortunately we are all too familiar with allergies and pancreatitis! Thanks for the great health tips, especially the vaccines. I can't believe it when I hear that some don't get their dog's rabies shots. Too dangerous when we find rabid bats here every year. Sandra and Dolly

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    Replies
    1. Yes, not giving rabies vaccine is too dangerous. Not giving ANY parvo or distemper is dangerous and potentially deadly too. Every dog should get initial core vaccines at least until status quo changes in some way.

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  13. Vaccines are always something I wonder about. My last Vet was so vaccine happy, it really annoyed me when he overdid it with rabies. My dogs had gotten a 3 year rabies from my prior Vet but he still insisted on an annual vaccine while the 3 year was still in effect! Hes5no longer my Vet. Thanks for this info.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  14. Kilo still needs to chew so toys and chews are essential in our house. My friend with a big Portuguese Water dog puppy could have used your rope- those little teeth were so sharp. I have to check Kilo's vaccines and immunity- good reminder (he hates going to the vet though).

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  15. Our girls get the necessary vaccine and unfortunately, it's the law in SC that they get the rabies vaccine every year. We do take it seriously because we do have cases of rabid wild animals in SC and I wouldn't want to take a chance.

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    Replies
    1. Hopefully all places eventually get on board at least with the 3-year rabies vaccinating.

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