Can I Give My Dog? Answers for Dog Owners Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:58:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Can I Get My Dog Apoquel? Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:49:53 +0000

Can I Give My Dog Apoquel?Providing Apoquel to an itchy dog seems very promising if you can get some! It’s a very new product and can often be difficult to obtain.

Nevertheless, unlike most human drugs that we cover, this FDA-approved medication was developed specifically for canines which is great. People are hearing good things about Apoquel, but there are always questions and little known details which we’ll be covering here.

If your dog is prone to itchiness, the type linked to allergies, your vet may recommend its use without hesitation. Once you’ve managed to get a Apoquel prescription, make an effort to read up on it for your pet’s sake.

Can I Give My Dog Apoquel ? Answer: Yes, by prescription

It’s generally better than Prednisone and usually comes with less side effects.

The medical term for itchiness is pruritus which is quite common in four-legged friends. It’s estimated that 10% of dogs suffer from some form of atopic dermatitis. Apoquel, which is administered orally, can be highly effective for treating itchy skin and inflammation problems as they relate to canine allergies.

This new drug begins working within 24 hours, as it starts to block your dog’s strong urges to scratch. Tablets are usually given twice daily, for a couple of weeks, before a reduction to once every day. Of course, your vet will instruct you on how to most effectively use Apoquel. Never deviate from that type of professional guidance.

Allergies & Quality of Life

Canine itchiness is usually the result of dermatitis-type allergies which can greatly affect the skin, resulting in a poor and declining quality of life. It’s a vicious cycle because when a dog scratches, it gradually worsens the condition. The absolute best thing to do is find the underlying reason for your dog’s allergies, if possible.

Apoquel, also known as Oclacitinib, cannot cure allergies. It only treats the resulting symptoms, keeping them under control.

Precautions & Bad Reactions

You’ll be happy to know that one of the biggest benefits of Apoquel is that it works concomitantly, meaning it interacts safely with many other treatments. However, you should never provide it to a dog that’s under 1 year of age or those breeding, pregnant or lactating. Further, Apoquel isn’t meant for dogs with serious infections because it can actually worsen them.

Once Apoquel has been administered you’ll need to closely observe your dog for symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite and lethargy. Although such problems typically resolve themselves, they do need to be looked after just in case symptoms significantly worsen.

Dosage and Other Info

Zoetis, the drug’s manufacturer, has had trouble keeping up with Apoquel’s high demand. Shortages are expected to continue well into 2015. This may be a good indication of this Janus kinase Inhibitor’s effectiveness but it also shows how common pruritus is among pet dogs.

As always, follow your veterinarian’s dosage recommendation. If you wish to cross-check, know that proper dosage is primarily based on your dog’s weight. Check out this handy Apoquel dosing chart for reference.

Prescription Problem

Apoquel cannot be purchased over-the-counter and the supply is tightly controlled. It’s only available through a veterinary prescription and if you’re lucky. One drawback to this situation is that once your dog goes on Apoquel, they may have to come off of it due to a supply shortages. Many dog owners have been frustrated, to say the least, regarding Zoetis’s handling of this sought-after product’s availability.

Conclusion on Apoquel

If you can obtain an ongoing prescription for Apoquel, from your local veterinarian, then it may be the itch solution you and your dog have been looking for. Just be sure to discuss some of the precautions mentioned here with your vet in case they overlook something. Be sure to ask them if their supply is enough for your dog to take it consistently.

While we recommend Apoquel, assuming your vet thinks it’s appropriate, do make an effort eliminate the source of your dog’s skin allergies before turning to medications. Often you’ll see results after changing their diet or avoiding certain elements found indoors and outdoors. Once you track down the culprit, you can really make a difference for your dog!

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Can I Give My Dog Lasix? Fri, 09 Jan 2015 07:41:34 +0000

Can I Give My Dog Lasix?If your vet has prescribed Lasix then you may have several questions and concerns. This popular diuretic brand may also be called Salix or Disal but the actual drug, or the generic name, is known as Furosemide. You’ll be happy to know that, according to the FDA, it’s generally safe if precautions are taken.

A veterinary prescription of this medicine should come with detailed information and directions for proper use. We’ll cover the basics here just in case. Even though it’s routinely used for dogs, when necessary, it is important to familiarize yourself with all aspects of this medication for your best friend’s sake because they may end up taking it long term.

There are several conditions which may warrant careful use of this diuretic. The primary benefit of Lasix’s application is to treat what’s known as edema, or water retention, which is often a complication as a result of a kidney disorder, liver disease or congestive heart failure. It may very well help to keep your dog alive!

Can I Give My Dog Lasix ? Answer: Yes, with vet approval

This loop diuretic can work effectively for dogs that are retaining water but dehydration is a real concern.

Be sure to monitor your dog closely while they are on this medication just to be on the safe side. It’s quite often used for dogs but, nevertheless, it wasn’t designed for them. Also, speak with your vet regarding long term use of Lasix because it has the potential to affect your dog’s vitamin and electrolyte balance. They may require a prescription diet or vitamin supplementation, perhaps added potassium.

How Lasix Works

Usually taken orally but also injectable, this medicine works by restricting absorption of water as well as certain nutrients in a dogs’ kidneys. By changing kidney function, it effectively eliminates excess fluids. You’ll likely notice that your buddy has to urinate more often which is totally normal.

Only your veterinarian can properly dose your dog for the safe and effective use of Lasix.

Possible Side Effects

Canine dehydration is the most common concern while taking Lasix or any other form of Furosemide. Since this is powerful diuretic, it would be easy for your dog to become dehydrated unless you see to it that this doesn’t happen.

There is a long list of other possible side effects which include a loss of appetite, lethargy, increased heart rate, jaundice, blurred vision, restlessness, stomachaches, muscle pain, diarrhea or vomiting and even seizures. Some of these are quite scary but, thankfully, such symptoms are not common. In any case, they may require immediate attention and a return to the vet.

There are also certain drugs that cannot be taken with Lasix. Furthermore, if your canine suffers from diabetes or certain liver or kidney diseases it should be taken into consideration before using this drug. Allergic reactions are also possible and can affect the mouth area including the ability to breath. These are all reasons why dogs should only be given this medication under the guidance of a qualified professional.

Be sure to limit your dog’s sun exposure while they are on this medication.

For Serious Conditions

If your dog has been put on Lasix, you are probably quite concerned for their well-being. This is certainly understandable since water retention of this kind is often associated with some serious medical problems. In fact, there are a number of conditions linked to the need for Lasix. They include a false pregnancy, high blood pressure, too much calcium or potassium in the blood, kidney failure, congestive heart failure and edema.

Conclusion on Lasix

Lasix can play an important role in prolonging your dog’s life if they are suffering from certain health conditions. It should, however, only be administered to a dog following a vet’s prescription including detailed dosing instructions. When it’s used properly, it’s highly effective for treating water retention and harmful side effects tend to be rare.

It’s a good idea, to discuss with your vet, the possible need for a special canine diet when long term use of this excellent diuretic is required. As always, monitor your beloved dog closely for signs of a bad reactions while they are on any medication. In this case, be especially vigilant for indications of dehydration by proving plenty of water since Lasix is a potent diuretic.

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Can I Give My Dog Unisom? Thu, 25 Dec 2014 09:17:14 +0000

Can I Give My Dog Unisom?Unisom is a popular sleep aid and people have been known to give it to their dogs. Since this drug was developed for humans, you are right to feel reluctant about using it on your pet. Most over-the-counter medications are not so safe for canines.

Of course, it is better to address the underlying reasons for your dog’s sleep problems rather than medicating them. But if you do decide to administer Unisom, it’s important to understand that this product comes in several different variations which could have important implications for your four-legged friend.

When dogs have trouble sleeping, there are many alternatives for addressing it. While Unisom may actually work, there are probably better options available to you. We’ll cover all the aspects of this particular product as well as more natural approaches. Fido will be sleeping better in no time!

Can I Give My Dog Unisom? Answer: Some types of Unisom but there are better options

It can work but it must be dosed properly and it’s not a great solution to use on a long term basis.

As is the case with many OTC products, there are different formulas which creates confusion. You really must study the variations of Unisom because certain ingredients can be more harmful than others. Depending on the type of Unisom used, you will be introducing Diphenhydramine, Acetaminophen, Doxylamine Succinate or a combination of these into your dog’s system.

Different Types of Unisom

Most versions of this sleep-aid are very similar to Benadryl. This is because the antihistamine found in both is called Diphenhydramine which has strong sedative properties. Assuming its use is appropriate and that you provide a proper dose, your dog should be okay taking these products on occasion.

As a result, SleepGels, QuickMelts and Unisom Liquid are the safer types of this readily available brand. The other versions, known as SleepTabs and PM Pain are much more dangerous because they contain Doxylamine Succinate and Acetaminophen, respectively.

Never allow your dog to have any medicines containing either Doxylamine Succinate or Acetaminophen!

The Dosage Guidelines

We don’t like to recommend OTC dosage because there are many factors that can go into dosing your particular pet dog. Generally, 1mg of Unisom per pound of body weight is sufficient for most dogs. Liquid Unisom may be the easiest to administer.

Speak with your vet before you do anything because the above is just a general guideline. It doesn’t take into account many other factors that only your veterinarian can accurately adjust for.

Some Unisom Alternatives

When applicable, a lifestyle change could be very helpful for canine sleep problems before turning to meds for help. If your dog is just lazy or especially inactive, maybe they need to get outside more and move around. Dogs should be routinely running, jumping and playing in order to exhaust themselves. This, in turn, promotes better sleep as well as sleeping habits. A poor diet can also affect their sleep.

It could be that your dog has other health issues which prevents them from sleeping properly. Arthritis or other aches and pains can contribute to poor sleep which is most unfortunate. But before using something like Unisom, why not try giving your beloved dog some Melatonin. It’s generally a healthier alternative mostly because it’s natural!

Conclusion on Unisom

Unisom may be used to help your dog sleep although there are certainly better medicines for treating sleep disorders. Keep in mind that over-the-counter meds aren’t designed as a long term solution for people or dogs.

Different versions of Unisom can be very dangerous because they contain certain harmful chemicals. For this reason, never provide your beloved dog with PM Pain or SleepTabs which are also marketed as Unisom. The only acceptable versions are the kind that have only Diphenhydramine as the active ingredient. Confirm this information as well as a safe dose with your vet prior to use.

Finally, please try to treat the cause of your pup’s sleeping issues rather than reacting to the symptoms. Most dog’s sleep fairly well unless they are regularly experiencing chronic pain, in which case they should be treated by a qualified veterinarian.

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Can I Give My Dog Milk Thistle? Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:14:36 +0000

Can I Give My Dog Milk Thistle?Milk thistle can be highly beneficial for canine health. Also known as Silybum marianum, this flowery plant is something of a herbal miracle in the way that it can cleanse your dog’s body of toxins. Some people think it can help in many other ways, as a natural supplement, which we’ll also discuss.

While milk thistle is sometimes used in foods, it’s best known as a holistic health remedy. It can be great for assisting in your dog’s recovery as well as for an alternative treatment in some cases. But it’s most commonly used for detoxifying the liver. If your dog has liver problems, this plant may be what you’re looking for. It is even said to reduce the growth of cancer cells!

While research on this herbal remedy isn’t totally conclusive, nevertheless, use of this ancient colorful flower seems to be very promising. It is indeed safe for use in dogs, in reasonable amounts, so we put it on the list of recommended plants for pet health.

Can I Give My Dog Milk Thistle? Answer: Yes

It’s a natural detox, among other things, which may be useful and effective for people and dogs, alike.

Since milk thistle has become rather well known, it now comes in powder, liquid and capsule forms. Therefore, it can be easily administered to your dog. The Chinese have been using this amazing herb for a long time.

Basically, this flower contains a flavonoid called Silymarin which helps to release toxins which congregate in the liver. It also assists by allowing the regeneration of cells. When the need arises, your dog may have their immune system strengthen as a result of taking milk thistle.

Heartworms & Milk Thistle

Heart worm disease is unfortunately a reality for some dogs, especially when infected mosquitoes are around. It can do serious damage to the organs including the liver. But the medicines used to treat it can also be very harmful.

Supplementing your dog’s heartworm treatment with milk thistle can be highly beneficial for them. It may be the best natural liver detox and is certainly preferable to using a chemically-laced tick or flea prevention product during such a difficult time in a dog’s life.

In Cases of Poisoning

Since milk thistle helps to cleanse the body of toxins, it can be a life saver in certain situations. If your dog ingested poisonous mushrooms, providing this herb may greatly detoxify their system. It’s also known to treat things like lead poisoning and likely many other cases of toxicosis.

Of course, you should always reach out to your vet in any case of poisoning. Your dog’s life is valuable and therefore stronger or more proven detoxifying methods may be required.

Other Milk Thistle Uses

While known as the liver herb, milk thistle can potentially help with inflammatory bowel disease, many other canine digestive problems, skin problems associated with liver disease, slowing the spread of some cancers, reducing inflammation of the pancreas and for bacterial infections such as Leptospirosis.

Some of these health problems are common in dogs which makes milk thistle an attractive alternative medicine. Since it’s also an antioxidant, it promotes overall health and can support your dog following vaccinations, drug therapies and recovery from infections.

The Recommended Dosage

If your dog is pregnant then milk thistle is definitely not recommended. Further, you should only provide it to your dog if you have a good reason to do so. With that said, sometimes a proper dose is difficult to calculate because extracts contains varying levels of strength.

10mg per pound of canine body weight, taken daily, is usually sufficient. If your dog is in serious condition higher dosages may be advisable but you really should talk with a veterinarian first, preferably one who believes in alternative approaches to wellness.

Conclusion on Milk Thistle

We cover many questionable medicines and foods here. Milk Thistle stands out in that it is harmless yet potentially highly beneficial for dogs. While it isn’t guaranteed to be effective for your pup, you may wish to at least try it while keeping an open mind. Depending on the situation, it’s worth a shot for your dog’s sake.

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Can I Give My Dog Holiday Leftovers? Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:06:44 +0000

Can I Give My Dog Thanksgiving LeftoversThanksgiving and Xmas is when most families end up with lots of holiday leftovers. While most people enjoy the tasty extra food, let’s face it, often folks are too full to finish it. The family dog is probably the most willing volunteer in such a holiday season scenario.

While it’s possible to safely feed your dog some holiday leftovers, there are a few things you must know. First off, these occasions offer so many types of wonderful foods but that complicates matters for canines. Dogs are at an increased risk of getting sick if they’re invited to such a feast. A condition called Bloat may be the most worrying which we’ll discuss.

Nobody likes to waste food, especially on special occasions, but you also don’t want to sicken your dog unnecessarily. We’ll try to separate what’s generally safe and what’s not when it comes to allowing your dog to help out with Thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers. Beyond that, you’ll need to use good judgement and moderation to ensure a good outcome.

Can I Give My Dog Holiday Leftovers? Answer: Very Selectively

If you know which foods to withhold, and you don’t overdo it, your dog can enjoy Thanksgiving as well.

We’ve previously covered a similar topic regarding table scraps. However, if you’re reading this article, there’s likely to be some very special holiday-specific foods sitting in your refrigerator right now.

It should be noted that many dog owners refuse to give their dogs table food of any kind, even during the holidays. We respect that and offer this information only for those wanting to do so.

Turkey Meat, Skin & Bones

Meat in itself, including turkey, is probably the best suited holiday food you could give your canine. After all, dogs are primarily carnivores. Since your family has prepared this choice meat, one could argue it’s actually better than their normal dog food. Who said Thanksgiving is only for people?

As for the skin, it should be withheld. Don’t allow Fido to eat turkey skin since it’s a recipe for developing pancreatitis. Large pieces of the skin may also present a choking hazard.

Even though your dog will love chewing on the leftover bones, please don’t allow it. Turkey bones splinter easily and aren’t right for your dog. If you want to provide a bone, there are much better options.

Green Beans, Stuffing, Carrots & More

Besides the main course, there’s a wide variety of other offerings. Careful with these side dishes though since some of these can be harmful for your dog. For example, stuffing is often prepared with onions as an ingredient which is dangerous for them.

A small amount of mashed potatoes should be fine, preferably without any cheese or sour cream mixed in. Gravy is usually okay, it depends how it’s made. Cranberry sauce tends to be too high in sugar for dogs. Pure green beans and carrots are mostly what we serve our four-legged friends besides the main course.

Of course, your family will have slightly different types of left over dishes after Thanksgiving and Christmas. The point is to be mindful of any ingredients used during preparation and be conservative, on the safe side when feeding your pup.

Never Allow Binge Eating

Your dog can only help so much with those Thanksgiving leftovers. Some dogs are prone to what’s called Bloat which can be quite serious, even life threatening. It’s thought to be caused by eating or drinking too much. Keep that in mind when you’re serving them leftovers on festive holidays. Sometimes you wish you had more pets!

Conclusion on Holiday Leftovers

Your dog will appreciate not being left out on the leftover Thanksgiving eats! Just make sure you limit their holiday serving in not only quantity but which types of foods they get to chow down on. Turkey meat is fine, even some gravy but get rid of those bones.

As for the many other foods, you must be careful. We always give our dogs a bit of our Thanksgiving and Xmas dinners and they haven’t had any problems to date. Perhaps they are now accustomed to being included, and rightfully so, as part of the family on such joyous occasions.

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Can I Give My Dog Macadamia Nuts? Wed, 12 Nov 2014 12:52:53 +0000

Can I Give My Dog Macadamia Nuts?Macadamia nuts are luckily something most people don’t think to feed to their dogs. They are quite expensive but more importantly they’re not a snack you’ll want your dog ever getting their paws on. This type of nut is most definitely poisonous for canines.

You may already know that it can be dangerous but accidents happen. Most dogs will experience varying levels of symptoms related to macadamia consumption. We’ll cover this important topic in detail. Knowing all the facts in advance may prepare you for such an unfortunate situation involving your dog.

What is interesting is that nobody knows exactly why macadamia nuts are toxic for dogs. However, the effects of the toxicity are well documented. Likewise, there is no antidote available for such poisoning. Luckily, your dog will most likely recover if they get properly treated soon after they become ill.

Can I Give My Dog Macadamia Nuts? Answer: No

Macadamia nuts are 100% off limits for dogs as they are certainly poisonous.

While a very small amount of these nuts likely won’t harm your dog, it just isn’t worth it to risk it. Even though this nut offers a number of healthy benefits for people, just the very high levels of fat alone makes macadamias a bad food for dogs.

It’s certainly a good example of a people food that makes absolutely no sense to feed to a dog. Just don’t do it, seriously!

Macadamia Threshold

If your dog somehow got into your nut supply, you may wish to calculate the danger. Any amount over 1 gram per pound of dog could be worrisome. However, there is a large range of sensitivity in canines which means your dog may or may not be greatly affected by a small amount of macadamia nuts.

In any case, since you are unlikely to be able to gauge such small amounts, a visit to the vet may be in order regardless of how much was consumed. Do this to be on the safe side because macadamia poisoning for dogs can be quite serious if left untreated.

Symptoms to Watch For

There are many health effects that a dog may experience as a result of chowing down on some macadamias. Know that macadamia toxicosis symptoms aren’t usually noticed right away and occur up to 12 hours after ingestion. The effects seem to be much like an allergic reaction whereby the body is affected in a variety of ways, sometimes seriously.

Generally, you may witness your four-legged friend acting weak and their mood could become depressed. They could very well be vomiting with stomach pains and have a fever as well. Muscle weakness, joint pain, ataxia (loss of coordination) or tremors are not uncommon either.

Macadamia Poisoning Help

Treating a dog for this type of food poisoning also varies greatly depending on the severity of symptoms. Help can include simply putting your dog under close observation at home. An emergency visit to a veterinarian can be required in more serious cases.

Often activated charcoal is used to reduce a dogs’ absorption of the harmful elements via the bloodstream. The toxic aspect of macadamia is passed by either vomiting or, over time, through the normal digestive tract functions.

Assuming you’ve properly and timely responded to such an unfortunate scenario, your dog will likely be back to their normal self within 24 to 48 hours.

Other Dangerous Nuts!

We’ve covered the topic of nuts in general but since there are so many varieties it’s difficult to address all the dangers. Here is a rough list of nuts that are potentially dangerous for canines:

Kola, Pistacia, Pine Nuts, Pecans, Almonds, Walnuts, Earth Nuts, Heart, Queensland, Brazil Nut, Paradise, Mongongo, Juniper Berries, Colocynth, Pili, Mamoncillo, Chestnuts, Indian, Water Caltrops, Chufa, Gevuina Avellana, Butternut, Tiger Nuts, Hazelnut, Filberts, Para, Jesuit, Cucurbita Ficifolia, Beech, Pinyon, Oak Acorns, Kluwak, Cream Nuts, Chinkapins, Pistachios, Cashews, Indian Beech, Maya, Gingko Nuts, Cobnuts, Sapucia Nuts, Ogbono and Sapucaya.

Conclusion on Macadamias

There is no debate that these exotic nuts are toxic and harmful for dogs. The only good news is that macadamia poisoning doesn’t have to be fatal. Once you are aware of a problem, you can act to save your best friend.

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