Rattlesnake Bites & Scorpion Stings
Rattlesnake bites can be deadly but rarely are if treated within 4 hours of venomation. There is a HUGE difference between a scorpion bite and rattlesnake bite. A rattlesnake bite will ooze blood and venom, the bite marks are usually easy to see. A scorpion sting will be hard to detect where they were punctured, but you will notice a lot of swelling. Generally most labs don't need to go to the Vet for a scorpion bite. We've had a 6 week old pup get stung by a scorpion before and they were fully recovered by the next day. If you can see blood and or venom oozing, rush them to the Vet immediately! Try to take a picture of the snake that bit your dog as the Vet will want to know what type it is - pay attention to the dirt/sand where your dog was bit, does it look like a typical snake track or does it look like it could be a sidewinder? There is a deadly type of snake in Arizona, the Mojave, or "sidewinder", that is WAY more dangerous than a rattler, causing both hemotoxic & neurotoxic effects. Although less likely to happen comparatively, the chances for recovery / survival for dog or human is close to zero. Many times urgent care/emergency Vet places will try to make you agree to a treatment plan before assessing how the first treatment will work. This can be a costly decision, so make it carefully. As we previously mentioned, we have had several of our Labs, get bit by a rattlesnakes. The best thing to do is to call the emergency place as you are on your way, let them know that you want to start him/her on intravenous fluids right away to stabilize them. They will likely ask how many anti venom treatments you want, that's where the decision is tricky. Anti venom is super expensive. We have always gone with just 1 anti venom injection against the Vet's recommendations (based on our own research) and they all lived without suffering further adverse consequence.
One example is our "Y" suffered 2 bites one after the other, on her muzzle. However, initially the ER vet wanted to give her 2 anti venoms and keep her overnight, which would have cost us over $4,000. We left there with a $1,500 bill instead and she recovered just fine. There are many articles and websites you visit that are convincing that a larger breed doesn't need ANY anti venom at all. I think they may be on to something. Here is the link that turned me onto the concept of using a holistic approach after she came home. I beefed "Y" up on the vitamins to increase red cell production. I focused on increasing her Iron by feeding her cooked livers, gizzards, and chicken hearts, and giving her Vitamins: A & C, B: 6, 9, and 12, crushed up in fresh, organic, raw eggs from our own chickens.
Rattlesnake Vaccines in Arizona is a MUST if you select a pup with a 1 or 2 personality, but a good idea no matter which personality you bring home. Rattlesnake vaccines are designed to produce antibodies against the venom of the western diamondback rattlesnake. The vaccine may also be effective against other snakes with similar venom, such as the sidewinder, timber rattlesnake, and copperhead. The vaccine does not protect against the venom of water moccasins or coral snakes. The vaccine works by creating protective antibodies that help neutralize venom, so dogs experience less pain and swelling after a snake bite. Dogs that are bitten may also require less antivenin, which can be fairly costly and may produce side effects. Factors that can influence the effectiveness of the vaccine include the location of the bite, the type of snake, and the amount of venom injected. It's important to note that this is not a remedy for a rattlesnake bite. Always get your pet to urgent care if they are bitten, this vaccine is to help mitigate a potential bite. If you are interested, consult your vet. Usually this vaccine is good for 6 months at a time, you could get one in March when it starts to warm up, mating season begins, and that should last you through September, the general snake season in Arizona.
Rattlesnake Avoidance Training
This is a must if you select a 1 or 2 personality but highly recommended in Arizona for any personality if your lab will be an outdoor dog or in the wilderness frequently for hunting, camping, or hiking. Rattle snakes are particularly active in the early spring as they move around the desert in search of food. Rattlesnake avoidance training, also known as snake breaking, trains the dog to run away from a snake encounter. Snakes have a different movement and sound than other wildlife they encounter which arouses their natural curiosity. Rattlesnake Avoidance Trainers use a simple yet effective process. Snake breaking trains dogs to avoid snakes through visual and auditory association with danger. A good Rattlesnake trainer will typically utilize 2 snakes, 1 that rattles, and 1 that does not. Snake Training should only be done once the pup has reached 6 months or older.
How to keep Scorpions out of your house
Hands down, lavendar works! We buy the Starwest botanicals Lavendar Dryer bags. They last us for several seasons. In between seasons (during the winter/cooler months Nov - Feb) we store them in re-closeable baggies and use them again. They retain their scent well and continue to work. We tape one to the baseboard by each door starting in spring April 1st, taking them down Nov 1st. We haven't had a scorpion since (in our house)! It's lavendar month in August, and they usually offer an extra 10% off if you wait to buy till then. Lavendar plants and flowers are generally considered non toxic, (concentrated oil may damage tissues, dilute oil (as in massage oil) may cause mild GI upset). Lavendar flowers & plants have been used in the kitchen since the middle ages. Many people use lavendar to make lavendar tea for their children, guests, and pets. Lavendar has a calming effecting. So, if your pup gets their little mouth on a lavendar dryer bag and they consume some flowers, don't fret. The worst that should happen is mild GI upset. (Disclaimer: We are not a Vet, when in doubt ask your vet).
Fleas in Arizona
Fleas can sometimes be found in washes where the sand is moist and warm or in lawns with grass and sprinkler systems. Unless your dog is outdoors a lot you probably won't need to worry about fleas. If your dog itches, it doesn't mean they have fleas, your dog's skin might be dry. Brushing them regularly will keep dry skin at bay. Over-bathing your pet may result in dry skin, more shedding, and dander. Using a poor shampoo will also result in dry skin. (For a good shampoo, please see the shampoo/bathing section on this page) If your dog does have fleas, you can typically spot them behind your dog's ears and around their neck, and on top of the ridge of their back (where they can't reach to itch them off). Fleas will lay eggs in clumps of poop that they paste to your dog's hair, it will look like small clumps of black. If you suspect your dog has fleas, you could try buying a flea collar from Wal-Mart for $5 and see if that gets rid of the problem. However, our experience is that these flea collars often cause skin irritation and are filled with nasty chemicals..so if you don't have to, don't do it. Another great option to get rid of fleas is Bravecto - it lasts for 3 months and gets rid of ~90% of fleas in the first 4 hours. You will need to order through your Vet as a prescription is required.
Fleas continued + Insect repellent for dogs
A great way to keep insects at bay (especially mosquitos) is to use cedar oil. It smells wonderful and it repels all kinds of insects, including fleas and mosquitos, naturally. It's nontoxic. There are many cedar oil sprays you can buy, but usually, they only contain 10% cedar oil. The product we use is 90% cedar oil. We pour the contents into a spray bottle and cut it with equal parts of water. Before using - shake it up well so it's easier to spray out. Spray it directly on or spray into your palm, rub your palms together and apply around their neck and behind their ears. If you already have a flea infestation, beware this will not solve your problem, this is a repellent only. Another great idea is to spray your dogs inside of their collar with this cedar oil for a nice lasting scent. Reapply when the scent is lost. If your dog has fleas...where there is 1, there are many. The 1st thing to do is bathe them. Use a lot of shampoos and keep them in a lather for at least 5 minutes, if you can, leave it on for 10 minutes. It will drown/suffocate any existing fleas (but may not kill all the eggs). Rinse, and repeat one more time. It's possible that the fleas may have laid eggs attached to your dog's fur, so you'll want to continue bathing them every day for at least a week, and make sure to either use a flea collar (chemicals may harm/cause skin irritation), the cedar oil, or better yet, get the Bravecto and be done. Does my dog have worms? If you find rice-like worms in your dog's poop, ask yourself if the poop left outside for a day or longer? If so, your dog probably doesn't have worms. Female flies lay their eggs in poop. Those eggs turn into worms rather quickly and grow and grow, growing to almost a centimeter or more in size until they blossom into flies. So before you rush out to get a de-wormer, check your dog's fresh poop. The chances are for most dogs that are mostly indoors, that your dog doesn't have worms, the poop was just set outside too long and the flies laid their eggs in it. If your dog's fresh poop has worms, there are many good and effective OTC de-wormers you can buy at places like Petco, PetSmart, and Wal Mart too.
Ear Care & Ear Problems
It's a good idea to clean your dog's ears once a month or so. You can either use a soapy wash rag and a towel or we use Zymox ear cleanser because it has enzymes that prevent bacteria from growing. Just squirt some all over the inside of their ear (be careful, a dog's natural reaction is to shake their head - it really stings if it gets into your eyes, so maybe put protective eye wear on or just squint your eyes in case they try to shake it out). After applying the solution, place a cotton ball inside, flap their ear over the cotton ball, and gently massage - it will collect most of the dirt, repeat until clean. The most common vet visit is for ear problems. If your dog has "junk" coming out of his ear, he/she probably has an ear problem. If you allow your dog to dig holes, the fungus could start to grow inside their ears causing an ear infection. If your dog is in the water a lot, he/she might have extra water stuck inside their ear, causing ear irritation and possible infection. First, try soaking a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol, insert it into the ear canal, flap his ear over the cotton ball, and massage, causing the alcohol to drain into the ear, cleaning it at the same time. Repeat for a few days. If no improvement, Zymox enzymatic ear solution works really well for almost any time of ear problem. If your dog gets continuous ear infections/problems, instead of using the Zymox Otic without Hydrocortisone Dog Ear Care, it works really well to keep any reoccurring problems at bay. If after using this for a few weeks and no improvement or if the ear problem is accompanied by a fever, get to the Vet. (Normal dog temp is 101.5 - 102).
Taking Your Dog's Temperature
Normal resting dog temp is 101.5 - 102. Exercise might increase their temp so make sure you take it after they've been calm, never after exercise. Rectal temp is easiest: Put a little lube or petroleum jelly on the end of the thermometer. Insert approximately an inch deep into the rectum while they are laying down on their side. Another trick to determine a fever and potential infection are to push back their eyelid. A healthy pup/dog will have white eyeballs.
Discharge and/or Vaginal issues in Female Puppies
It is fairly common for female puppies to have a bit of discharge from their vulva (sometimes appearing as wet yellowish/greenish mucus, other times as crust). This occurs when the pup is chubby as their belly fat may overlap or cause the vulva to be pushed in and collects bacteria. Most female puppies will not experience this, but once in a while, it happens. As long as your pup isn't running a fever, this is usually a non-event and can be remedied with the following steps:
1. Gently wipe the vulva area with a wet wipe.
2. Using your index finger and thumb, spacing them apart about an inch, gently push around the vulva causing the vulva to push out and become fully exposed. Wet wipe it again.
3. Clean the area daily or as needed until your pup matures and loses its puppy fat.
4. Be sure to balance your pup's food intake and give them the appropriate amount of exercise to keep them at a healthy weight.
5. Anytime your pup gets dirty, be sure to clean her vulva.
6. If you have a pool, let her swim. The chlorine and water do a great job at naturally keeping her clean.
7. If the problem persists, add a 1/2 single-size container of yogurt to her food on a daily basis. The enzymes do a great job at building their immune systems to keep bacterial infections at bay.
8. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to her water. The cider does a great job at keeping bacteria from spreading to her urinary tract.
9. If the problem persists, give her a dog probiotic.
Generally, these steps have proven to be successful in remedying the problem. However, if your pup gets a fever (normal is 101.5 - 102 F - see "How to take your dog's temperature" on this page), be sure to take her to the Vet as there could be more serious problems that are related or unrelated.
Digestive issues / Gas / Bloating / Bad breath / Skinny dog eating eating a lot of food / Diarrhea
If your pup/dog has diarrhea with blood, get them to the Vet right away. If your pup gets diarrhea (poops liquid), first ask yourself if you gave them anything different like a treat or new food. If they ate a new food or treat, or got into something they shouldn't have and their poop was normal the day before, it is probably just an upset stomach. If this is the case, don't feed or water them for 24 hours. Give them 1/2 of an Immodium tablet (whole tablet for pup over 5 months). If they poop diarrhea a 2nd time, give them another 1/2 Immodium tablet (whole for a pup over 5 months). For each additional diarrhea, poop give them 1/2 Immodium tablet not to exceed 4 doses in 24 hours. After 24 hours, proceed with normal food & water routine. If the diarrhea is still there, give them another 1/2 tablet. Typically it takes a couple of days for a pup to get back to fully normal after an upset stomach. Generally, if your dog has any of the issues mentioned in the title and you haven't fed them anything new, the next thing you should consider is getting a fecal exam to check for worms and parasites. Your vet will be able to prescribe an antibiotic or de-wormer to take care of any issues. If your dog doesn't have any parasites/worms, consider giving them a dog probiotic. Many times a dog with these types of issues (after parasites/worms have been ruled out), is usually having problems digesting its food. Probiotics usually solve the problem. However, if the problem persists, you should consider switching dog foods. Always choose high-quality dog food with protein (turkey meal, chicken meal, beef meal, etc, as the 1st ingredient). If the problem persists, consult your veterinarian.
NOT ENOUGH FIBER?
Sometimes dogs will get loose stool (like soft-serve ice cream) because they aren't getting enough fiber. Buy a can of pumpkin (not the kind for making pies, just plain cooked pumpkin) or sweet potatoes and dish out about 2 tablespoons per meal, this will make a big difference if it's not parasites. Soft Poop, any kind of sickness that isn't an emergency Always try raw egg and apple cider vinegar first. I can't tell you how many vet visits this trick has saved me and my clients over the years. Raw eggs contain enzymes that boost the immune system significantly. Same with apple cider vinegar. If your pup/dog is having softer than normal poop, is wheezing from allergies, or just isn't feeling really well, crack a raw egg and add in a teaspoon (puppies under 4 months) or a tablespoon (pups over 4 months) over their food for a few days in a row and see if that solves the problem first.
Puppy with Pee Accidents
Pee accidents after they are pooping outside and pretty well house trained, may be a UTI or a behavioral issue. If you suspect it's a UTI, see below. If you think it's more behavioral and you have a male, try using a belly wrap. Essentially when they go pee, they go in their belly wrap and they don't like it because then the pee sits against their fur around their pee-pee and belly, if it's behavioral, it will usually nick that in the bud within days. If it's a female and she is pooping outside but having frequent accidents inside, it's likely a UTI. If you need other ideas, email me! Urinary Tract Infections If your pup starts having pee accidents it may be a sign of a UTI. Although it's most common in females, they do occur in males too. Other symptoms include Inability to urinate or only passing a small amount of urine, bloody or cloudy urine, fever, loss of bladder control, dribbling urine, increased amount and/or frequency of urination, straining and/or crying out in pain when trying to pass urine, soiling in inappropriate places, constant licking of urinary opening, and a strong odor to the urine. If your pup has a fever, it's probably best to take them to the vet. If they don't have a fever, then you can try a few home remedies that really work well. 1st, keep the area clean. Use a wet wipe, or give her a warm bath. Next, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog's dry food. Not only will the apple cider vinegar make your dog's urinary tract an inhospitable place for bacteria, it can also alleviate allergies, balance out their pH, and even helps with arthritis. It's a routine you can keep forever if you like, it will only help them.
Bumps on chin/muzzle are likely Puppy Acne
Puppy acne will appear as bumps usually on or around their chin. Puppy acne will usually go away on its own unless the pup starts pawing at it, causing it to get red, rip open, and potentially getting bacteria in it. If it becomes bloody, red, and your puppy/dog develops a fever, go to your Vet. The Vet will likely prescribe some antibiotics. If they aren't running a fever, chances are you can treat it at home. Generally, if you see puppy acne, wash it, keep the area clean, but leave it alone. If it starts to become irritated, put an antibacterial ointment on it to ward off a bacterial infection. When in doubt, consult a vet! ;) Dark / yellowing on the hair around mouth/chin/muzzle Is usually just from dirty water or stain from dog food. Try to keep this hair short and keep it clean by wiping it down once a day. Another great solution is corn starch and 1% hydrogen peroxide. Take a bit of both, form into a paste, let it dry for 2 hours, then brush out. If the yellowing/staining persists, it might be excessive yeast and can be effectively treated with anti-yeast shampoo.
Puppies use their mouths like we use our hands. Mouthing/biting during the puppy stage is very common. How to address it/deter it. In summary, a very loud yelp should help him realize that he hurt you. I have had several clients do this successfully and the pup learns not to mouth or to mouth in an inhibited manner. A 2nd method is to grab your pup's mouth and squeeze it shut so it hurts him a bit and says "no" in a deep voice. Usually, after a few times, they associate mouthing with the unpleasant mouth squeeze. A third option is when they mouth you, stop, open his mouth and shove several fingers down his throat to gag him. After a few times, he will associate mouthing with gagging. Another effective option is vinegar! Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and every time your pup mouths, spray his mouth with vinegar. He will associate mouthing with that bad taste and stop it - it might take a few times, but this should nick it in the bud.
Small Children - Special Considerations
If you have small children - supervise! Although it rarely happens, the few times clients have had "problems" with mouthing, usually involve small children. If you have small children NEVER leave your pup unsupervised - the pup's teeth are razor sharp and can easily draw blood. The difficulty with small children is they don't know what to do and if the rough mouthing goes uncorrected, the pup can easily develop a dominant position with your small children if you aren't there to immediately respond. Although it rarely happens, when it does, it is very upsetting for parents. I highly recommend buying a muzzle and placing it on your puppy if your pup is to be around your small children when you cannot directly supervise. DIY Muzzle in a pinch! (also good to stop a dog from barking in a pinch).
Older Clients - Special Considerations If you are older, retirement age, or beyond, this is also an area where we experience mouthing issues. It seems that older people don't have the fortitude to correct a pup with increasing firmness of corrections when it comes to a mouthy pup. If you are using a muzzle and physically correcting the pup as described in the paragraph above (small children), we recommend using a shock collar. It is very humane but very very effective. The shock collar enables you to correct the pup with increasing firmness of corrections without having to physically do it yourself, with just a touch of a button. Place the shock collar on the pup, when he bites/mouths, shock the pup. On future offenses, you must increase the level of shock. Eventually, you will see that the pup will get the clear message and you will have reached his level of thresh hold necessary for him to get the message. We recommend this shock collar for a mini/medium or standard pup or this shock collar for a toy/mini. You will not have to use this shock collar forever, just until they get the message.
DIY Muzzle in a pinch! (also good to stop a dog from barking in a pinch!)
If you have a mouthy pup, have a heart, your pup should naturally outgrow this stage. However, it is imperative that you begin training right away. Start with basic commands so that they understand that you are the master. You must be the leader for your puppy. If you have a persistently mouthy pup, aside from the gagging/yelping tips aforementioned, I recommend sticking something in their mouth that they can chew on. If you have small children, get a muzzle for when you can't supervise - it's amazing how much a muzzle can change behavior. In conclusion, expect that your pup will mouth/bite, the severity of it will completely vary and depend on your pup, your leadership, and your ability to implement the tips to deter it. Based on our experience, we estimate that 98% of pups will have easily corrected mouthing while the other 2% might take more effort. If you need tips, reach out to us immediately. If you have small children you must always supervise until the pup is at least 4-5 months in age - this is when they are usually past this stage.
Yellow & White Low Shedding English & American Labrador Retriever Puppies for Sale in Scottsdale, AZ