Treating Pet Bacterial Infections Tips

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How should I tend to an animal's wound?

Even Our Pets Get Boo-Boos!

We all get boo-boos, even our furry friends. And, just as you would clean and treat a child's wound or laceration, you should also tend to your pet's.

If you notice a wound on your animal, clean it immediately with mild soap and water. Then, sterilize the area with hydrogen peroxide. Apply a triple antibiotic ointment to the area twice daily until it heals completely.

If your dog has a deep laceration, is bleeding profusely, or has a smaller wound that won't heal, see a veterinarian immediately. It may be necessary that your dog receive veterinary antibiotics in order to recover.

   
How should I handle a constipated dog?

Constipation in Dogs May Require More Attention

A healthy dog should have a bowel movement every day—every other day at the least. If your pet appears to be constipated, there could be a bigger problem. Monitor him and search for signs of discomfort (biting at the anal area or scooting). Then, bring your animal to the vet and explain what you've seen. Your observations can assist the veterinarian in pinpointing the problem.

Perhaps the most common reason for constipation in dogs is abscessed or blocked anal sacs. These sacs can be emptied through squeezing (a procedure performed by a vet). Discuss treatment options with your vet.

   
How is kennel cough treated?

Kennel Cough

Respiratory illness in dogs can be nasty and are often a threat to other pets. Often referred to as "kennel cough," canine infectious tracheobronchitis is highly contagious and affects the trachea as well as the large air passages of the lungs.

A dry hacking cough followed by gagging and sometimes, coughing up mucus are sure-fire signs of Kennel cough. Kennel cough can be viral, bacterial or even a combination of both. A veterinarian will need to examine the animal to diagnose tracheobronchitis.

There is no specific test that will confirm the existence of the illness but the vet will be able to rule out other, more serious possibilities.

   
How can I treat my dog's dermatitis?

Treating Dermatitis

Moist dermatitis is self-inflicted, and usually caused by a dog scratching or chewing himself, especially in the area of the hind quarters. Certain types of dogs are more prone to this condition, namely Golden Retrievers.

To treat the area trim the hair over and around the area. Next, clean with a gentle soap and water mixture followed with hydrogen peroxide. It is extremely helpful to apply an over-the-counter cream, cortisone, at least twice a day. If the condition worsens, bring your pet to the vet immediately. If the infection is severe enough, your dog will need a cortisone injection or antibiotics in order to recover completely.

   
Can my dog get the flu?

Canine Influenza

It's flu season again and we're all at risk—even Fido. That's right, canine influenza can catch up with your pooch. Currently, there is no vaccine but fortunately, this disease is usually not fatal.

The majority of dogs that suffer from canine influenza will only experience a mild form of it. The symptoms are similar to the human-version of the flu.

The disease can last up to 3 weeks, but it can be effectively treated with antibiotics. Dogs that come down with a more severe case of canine influenza may experience a fever, chills, or increased respiratory rates. Treatment for this disease (antibiotics) has a 95% success rate.

   
How can I break up a catfight?

Catfight!!

If your cat becomes engaged in a fight with a stray cat outdoors, break it up immediately. To break up a catfight, toss a glass of water on the animals or place a bunch of coins in a can and shake it near the cats. Once the fight has ended, collect your animal and search him for wounds.

If your cat has a wound as a result of a fight, wash the wound immediately with mild soap and water (and a drop of lavender oil if available). This should kill the bacteria and quicken the healing process. If the wound does not heal or if it becomes inflamed, see a vet immediately—it is likely that your cat needs antibiotics.

   
How can I treat and prevent tear stains on my dog?

Stop Staining!

Is your once pristine-looking Shih tzu looking a little grimy? Tear staining is a condition that dogs with a lot of hair suffer. The condition has many causes so discuss them with your vet. There are antibiotics available that can help the situation. In addition, here are some tips you can use to remove and eliminate tear stains on your pooch:

• Use only distilled or filtered water.
• Put an air purifier in the room with the animal.
• Make sure there is proper ventilation (open windows, exhaust fans, ceiling fans, etc.)
• Make sure your dog has adequate sun exposure.
• Have your dog groomed regularly and keep the hair away from his eyes.
• Keep his environment clean.
• Change the filters in your air conditioning and heating systems regularly.

   
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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.