EYES, EARS, FEET AND NAILS
We strive to provide informative information to our viewers. Below you will find more information regarding your puppies eyes, ears, feet, and nails. We also discuss some diseases like Conjunctivitis and infections. If you have any questions please contact us.
Early Signs of Conjunctivitis
Removing Objects From Eyes
The most common eye problem is conjunctivitis, which is conjunctival sac inflammation at the inner eye corners. This problem is caused when foreign materials find their way into the eyes of the dog. Conjunctivitis occurs in dogs who are fond of getting their heads out of the window while the car is moving or when carried on the back of an open pick-up bed. The speed of the vehicle plus the dirt, dust, bugs or tiny plant materials floating in the air finds their way into the dog’s eyes with ease.
When in the eyes, if they don’t get stuck there, they can move to the inner corners of the eyes where they irritate the conjunctival sac. This region of the eye may be swollen, reddened and seem bloodshot. Frequent running of excretions from the eyes can cause them to close. This experience can be itchy and painful. If the condition is unattended to, it will open a path for bacterial infection. Lack of proper treatment can eventually cause blindness. Flushing of eyes usually treats this condition with a mild solution plus application of antibiotics or sulfur and antiseptics. Rubbing should be avoided as it only worsens the injury. To prevent the dog from scratching their eyes with the claws, a dewclaw should be taped to their leg. Alternatively, an “Elizabeth collar” can be applied.
Bigger as well as small dogs collect airborne materials. However, small dogs are much affected by their hair or from others, dust, and lint from the house. Checking the eyes of your small dogs is, therefore, necessary each day.
Most of such materials that collect at the corner of the eyes can be removed easily through folding toilet tissue paper to create a sharp pointed roll.
With self-made “eye cleaner” held about an inch from the eye corner (have someone else hold his/her head), contact the dog’s “eye booger” gently while making contact with the eyes on the side that is closest to the pupil. Gently move the roll towards the nose bridge while doing a lifting movement with the “booger” clung to the tissue. If this doesn’t work with the first attempt, make another sharp pointed roll. This procedure is very safe. The folded toilet tissue is very soft, and on contact with dampness, it becomes much softer, thus no risk of hurting your canine buddy. This is what we use at our grooming shop daily with no flaws. After that, it’s ready for eye booger cleaning.
See the Photos below on how we fold the tissue for cleaning.
High Tall Standing Ears
Dogs portraying high standing ear pinnae with less hair inside will encounter the least of ear problems. This type of ear allows free air and light circulation thus reducing moisture accumulation plus other conditions that suit infections and mites. Dogs with such ears are better at trapping things such as “fox tails” or any seeds floating in the air.
If your dog shows any head holding or rubbing signs apart from foul odor, hotness or grime showing on his ears, you should have their ears checked for any strange materials in their ear canal. When fox-tails find their way into the ear canal, they can result to puncturing of the eardrum, pain, infection and loss of hearing capability.
Flopped Over Ears
For dogs with ears flopped over or with more hair growth inside is more prone to ear problems. If attacked by ear mites (often difficult to see with naked eyes), your dog can contract infections that might lead to loss of hearing if not treated properly.
These types of ears present a suitable moist and dark surrounding that favors the growth of ear mites. These little distractive creatures can dig into ear tissues creating voids that suit bacterial and fungal activity. If your dog gets to this status without your notice, the infections can grow into more serious and costly problems to overcome. We’ve come across a dog owner who has spent up to $300.00 to treat an ear infection at a vet shop.
Treatment of this problem is by deep cleaning, application of antibiotics and topical treatment of mites. We use a product known as “Revolution” made by Pfizer. The product is placed between the shoulder blades on the skin every month to protect the dog against heartworms, fleas, ticks and the ear mites. For the purpose of tick and heartworm protection, it’s only used during seasons that mosquito and tick prevalence are high. But if applied all year round, your dog shall never encounter heartworm, tick and flea problem. At our ranch, we use Revolution every month for an entire year, and we’ve done for years. The cost of this product in an entire year is half of what you can use for single treatment of an ear infection due to ear mites. It is a prescription given by your vet doctor.
During each cleaning procedure, the groomer removes about 75 percent of the hair in the ears as well as cleaning them thoroughly during each grooming appointment. Removal of hairs that can be reached easily isn’t enough. Mosquito Hemostats of 6-inch size should be used to reach the inner parts of the ear, but with caution when reaching the lower sections. If not removed, the hair growth will continue and compact the ear thus harboring more problems.
Some of the signs to watch out for when your dog needs ear cleaning include:
- Scratching of ears with hind foot often.
- Running of ears on the ground, carpet, grass or chair.
- Violent shaking of the head.
- Holding the problematic ear facing downwards (at 30-45 degree tilt) when seated or walking.
Signs of Infection
An infection is very painful even when still mild, but can be extremely painful once it matures. Therefore, you should watch out for these signs.Swollen or reddened inner part of the ear.
- Swollen or reddened inner part of the ear.
- Reddish brown accumulation with foul smell in the ears.
- The ear is feeling hot than normal.
Mild infection cases as a result of light wax or dirt accumulation can be solved at home or by taking your dog to your groomer.
If you choose to do it at home:
- Dampen a gauze square or stretched out the cotton ball with witch hazel, a 50% diluted rubbing alcohol or 1-2% of diluted iodine solutions.
- Remove debris from the dog’s ear as much as possible.
- Take caution not to go too deep into the ear canal.
If unsure about it, you can possibly puncture the dog’s ear drum causing him severe pain and loss of hearing. Instead contact your vet. If the ear is nasty with bad smell and hot feeling, call your vet immediately.
Big dogs who spend much of their time outdoors can have extremely tough feet pads that can stand virtually anything. On the other hand, small dogs or those that are housed tend to have much softer feet pads. If residing in a region that experienced a lot of snowfall or extremely cold conditions, you should always remember your small dog’s feet if you allow them to go outside.
Their soft feet pads provide very little insulation from extreme cold, snow or ice on the ground. Even after the cold season is over, you may decide to take them out for a walk. You should consider their feet protection as well. This is because the time spent indoors during the winter allowed their feet pads to grow softer.
Therefore, you shouldn’t take your dog out for a walk for very long. But doing it often with time, you’ll realize that the pads are beginning to toughen again. You can now increase the walks accordingly. You should never allow your dog to walk on chemical surfaces. If it does happen, wash their feet thoroughly with shampoo and rinse with clean water as soon as you get home.
Even though their pads might be tough, the skin that lies between his toes and the pads is often very tender. This can absorb anything that comes in contact with it. Some of the things to be cautious about when your dog walks on include the:
- Salt and any deicing chemicals.
- All types of garden fertilizers.
- Home cleaning solutions.
- Wet cement.
- Horse or cow urine.
- Oil spills or gas leaks.
Hair Between Toes and Pads
Many dogs will have some hair growths on their feet, between the toes and pads. This is not much of an issue. But when the hair grows past the pads, they should be trimmed. During winter, such long hairs may result in formation of ice balls which can impair walking. Even after the dog gets to his shelter with the hair growth wet for a considerable amount of time, it forms a conducive environment for the growth of fungi. As a result, irritation may be felt, and the dog may start licking the affected regions. This licking will increase dampness which further facilitates fungal growth.
A cycle that needs immediate attention shall have been formed. It can be treated with an anti-fungi ointment.
When trimming the hair, closely check the deeper part between the toes and pads. Trim any hair if there is a sign of unusual conditions between the pads. But it would be wiser to arrange an appointment with your dog groomer to resolve the condition. If not attended to, the condition can worsen to create sores and further infections.
Apart from what we have discussed here, most dogs experience fewer problems on their feet.