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Music For Your Enjoyment

If you have dogs or ferrets, this is your lucky Friday. It has been a challenging week for me.  I have had a number of issues come up regarding dogs and ferrets.  I had to do some research and contact other rescues and shelters for help.  It’s amazing how animal people all stick together and help each other so animals can have a better life.  Thank you!!

One challenge I had were ferrets with fleas. I never had ferrets with fleas so I was not sure what to do about them.  I know they are delicate animals and it can be deadly if they are treated like dogs and cats for a flea problem. Here are some of the things I found out:

1. A flea condition is 100% fixable.  I spoke to rescues who told me that ferrets die from fleas. They are such small animals and it doesn’t take long for them to be sucked dry. The fleas are coming in from a source.  Once you find out what the source is, you can correct it.   Ferrets, being indoor animals, should not have fleas.

2. If you have dogs or cats that come in and out you can give them Capstar. You have to get it from a veterinarian.  This should not be given to ferrets, unless you just adopted them and need to get the fleas off this one time.  (Talk to your vet about dosage).

3. You can also get an 8oz. spray bottle.  Put about 2 tablespoons Skin-so-soft with 1 teaspoon alcohol (to cut the oil) and fill with water. You can spray that on the dogs and cats and rub it in.  This will kill fleas.  Again, be very careful not to use this too much with ferrets since they have very sensitive skin.

The one recommendation I got over and over again, get everyone and everything out of the house.  Fumigate the whole house and have the yard treated.  While you are gone, get all of the fleas off of all the animals.  When you return, you are starting new. Make sure all of the animals stay in the house.  If they must go outside, make sure they stay in your yard, if possible.  Give them Capstar before they go out to be sure they don’t get any fleas.  The ferrets should no longer have a flea problem, ever.

I also had people asking me about the proper food they should be feeding their dogs.  Since I have not had dogs in years, I was not sure what to tell them.  I have a friend, Greg Martinez, DVM who just wrote a book called, “Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet”.  That book has a wealth of information when it comes to feeding your dog. It gives you histories of different breeds, what different breeds eat, how different foods affect different dogs, etc.  Did you know dogs are not suppose to have any corn or beef?

Here are a few tidbits I got from the book that I thought were interesting and I wanted to pass along:

1. A Tablespoon of olive oil or canola oil on the food daily, or an egg yolk in the food three or four times a week, can have a wondrous effect on health.

2. Never give your dog chocolate.  That goes for ferrets too.  Ferrets should not have any sugars or fruit.

3. The closest ancestor to a dog, the wolf.   99.8% of a dog’s DNA matches the wolf. To feed dogs well on a diet that resembles the natural diet of a wolf, make sure the mix of ingredients and nutrients are similar.

4. Wild game provides the wolf with a high-water, low-carbohydrate diet that is also high in protein and fat.   With the exception of a few of the newer diet; canned dog foods most closely match the wolf’s natural diet.

5. Ounce for ounce, canned dog food has about a third the calories of dry food.

6. A healthier diet may actually prevent, decrease and often cure many of the common chronic problems in dogs.

These are the top 10 claims for Veterinary Pet Insurance:

A.Ear Infections

B. Skin Allerfies

C. Pyoderma (hotspots/ bacterial skin infections)

D. Gastritis/Vomiting (stomach upsets)

E.  Enteritis/Diarrhea

F.  Urinary Tract Infections Benign

G.  Skin Tumors

H.  Osteoarthritis

I.  Eye Inflammation

J.  Hypothyroidism

7. Allergies in dogs are caused by three common allergen groups:

A. Fleas

B.  Pollens, grasses and molds

C.  Allergenic food ingredients (most often wheat, beef and corn)

8.  Wolves keep their teeth clean by chewing on the bones of prey animals. In that tradition, you can give your dog raw or frozen chicken theighs, smoked pork bones or beef knucklebones, and they’ll gnaw the tartar away.  PLEASE, be careful what you give your dog. They should be able to chew NOT eat bones.  The book goes into detail about this.

To learn more about dogs and their diets click here for Dr. Greg’s Book.

Then I had questions about adopting dogs.  The best timing in the world because I had information sent to me from “The Camping Dog”.

It specifically talked about adopting a shelter dog. They say one of the best gifts you can give yourself is adopting a shelter dog.  Are shelter dogs right for everyone?  Absolutely not.  You never really know what you’ve got until you get your new friend home.  And odds are even that your dog will need specialized attention and care for health or behavior issues for some period of time.  Unless you’re willing to be patient and work with your pup, you have no business having a dog at all – and especially not a shelter dog who may well have had traumatic experiences.

There is nothing more rewarding than watching a dog blossom into their true personalities. Seeing a dog learn how to play for the first time is a delight.  And watching them grow as they learn new behaviors and have new experiences is so much fun!  And they do thank you for it in so many ways!

If you would like to know the questions to ask yourself if you are thinking about adopting a dog click here.

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10 Responses to “Pay-It-Forward Friday 6/4/2010”

  • Pat Armstron says:

    Another completely non toxic way to deal with fleas is to order nematodes in the early spring. You put them throughout your yard and they destroy the fleas and flea eggs. This helps prevent fleas from entering your home or rescue especially if you have dogs that go outside.

  • Paige says:

    I also hear if you bathe your animals in DAWN, like they are doing with the wildlife on the Gulf, that will KILL FLEAS! Please keep your animals safe and healthy. They depend on us.

  • Areecia says:

    Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for putting my precious Stewart’s photo up with dear Candy. I can’t tell you how it thrilled us all (ferret, greyhounds, iguana, kitties and ratties)! Thank you again. I did read what you sent about ferrets and actually would like to bring Stewart to see the vet in Florida. I can’t begin to tell you how I love her.

  • Ann Scott says:

    I have never had a ferret so I did not know they could die from fleas. That is so sad because it is very preventable. There does seem to be a big flea problem everywhere. Luckily we do not have them in our house but I already have the Borax on hand to combat ants. I might do the sprinkle the carpet routine just as a preventative. Now if I could prove it kills ticks I would announce it from the top of the tallest tree for every pet owner to hear.

  • Tad, DVM says:

    There are many opinions about canine nutrition, but in my experience raw bones of any kind should be avoided (yes, I know there are proponents of completely raw diets for dogs, but I’m not one of them – salmonella, etc.). Chicken thighs are dangerous because the bone is easy to fracture and the pieces can be sharp and get lodged between teeth or cause problems if gulped. I realize you state, “PLEASE, be careful what you give your dog. They should be able to chew NOT eat bones.” But I suggest a stronger warning. It is not uncommon for chewed chicken bones to form an impaction in the GI tract.

  • Dianna says:

    There is one way to rid a home of fleas, but is physically intense, but does not use any chemicals. You must first wash all linen in hot water and you will need to do that daily. Next, each morning sprinkle Borax powder (Borateen) all over all carpeted areas and upholstered furniture. That evening, vacuum is all up and sprinkle again. In the morning, that’s right vacuum again and resprinkle. You’ll need to do with for 7 – 10 days. I know lots of work but nothing toxic involved. The Borax causes the eggs to dry up and they will not hatch. Another problem to watch for is tape worms. Many fleas contain tape worms and if the pet swallows the flea, then you battle tapeworm. This treatment is a physical challenge, but a safe one for all your fur babies. Make sure to dump the vacuum cleaner bag or container after each use and don’t keep that waste in the house. I always kept my tied up in a plastic bag in the garage. Good Luck All!!

  • Joanne says:

    What a wonderful picture of the greyhound and ferret. This is an excellent article on fleas. You hit it on the nose when you mentioned you must identify the source of the fleas! It is possible to vacuum up the fleas, but you must be sure to either replace the bag or empty and wash out the cup of dirt.

  • Sam says:

    That is an amazing picture. The Greyhound and the ferret. I did not think most Greyhounds would allow a ferret that close without trying to eat it.

  • Jim says:

    This is great information. I agree with Amanda. There is no reason to have animals covered with fleas. I know this is a bad year for fleas, but ferrets are indoor animals. They should not have these issues. People need to be more responsible. Unfortunately, many children are not being treated much better these days either. I also went to the site about adopting dogs. I think the questions are really good. Thanks again.

  • Amanda says:

    I have a ferret rescue and have seen ferrets die from fleas. I have no idea how people can live in a place infested with fleas, but if they live like that, why would they subject these poor animals to this kind of environment? People only give their animals up when they are so sick, from being drained of blood, and no longer want to care for them. It is called SELFISH. I am so glad you said it is 100% fixable, because it is. There is no reason to live in a house with fleas. Who controls the house the animals or the people?????

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