The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog


September 28, 2016
by Lynn Merton

How to Treat Your Dog For Chigger Bites?

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You can’t really see them, but, they sure can cause havoc for your dog. Yes! We’re talking about chiggers. They can cause intense itching and leave your dog scratching endlessly. In fact, they can cause serious problems if left untreated. For example, the vigorous scratching, which is a consequence of the itch caused by chiggers, can cause your dog’s skin to break. The broken skin can get infected and lead to various other complications. So, get your dog treated right away if he/she has chiggers.

Here are a few treatment suggestions, but, before we go there, let’s get a basic idea about chiggers.

What are Chiggers?

Chiggers are basically mites that attach themselves to a host (your dog) and cause intense itching. They generally tend to inhabit dark, wooded areas, but, as larvae, they are pretty much okay with any location. In fact, the larvae stage is when they are likely to end up on your dog. Chiggers tend to affect dogs mostly during the fall and spring. They look very similar to fleas, ticks, and scabies. However, chigger marks are hardly noticeable like ticks or flea marks. You would likely need a microscope to even know your dog has chiggers. So, if your dog is scratching and you can’t find the source of the itch right away, it’s likely to be chiggers.

Treatment options

There are allopathic and natural treatment options for chiggers. Your vet’s treatment suggestion will most likely involve the use of either an anti-parasite topical application or 2 pyrethrin based dips. The pyrethrin based dips are applied on a localized area, with each dip being applied two weeks apart. Injectable or topical steroids are also a treatment option. They are very useful in alleviating any itchiness.

As for natural treatment options, green tea is known to offer anti-inflammatory benefits. That’s exactly why they are used to treat chigger bites. All you have to do is brew some green tea according to your dog’s size. Then, dilute the green tea with water. Use the diluted green tea to rinse your dog. This will take care of the itch. You can repeat if necessary.

Bathe your dog immediately if you suspect he/she has been affected by chiggers. After you bathe him/her, apply hydrocortisone over the areas that are itchy. As an alternative, you can even use calamine lotion or topical steroid. They are sure to help with the inflammation.

If none of the above treatment suggestions work, please visit your vet immediately. Ideally, itching should stop within a few days, while the bumps should go away in a couple of weeks.
As a preventive measure, keep your dog away from areas that are known to host bugs or have very heavy vegetation.


September 27, 2016
by Lynn Merton

Vet-Approved Camping Tips

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Camping with your dog is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and let yourself get unstrung in the great outdoors. It is also a great way to strengthen the bond you have with your dog. But you need to plan ahead for it. Removing your dog from the confines of your yard makes him vulnerable to a variety of unexpected dangers. Depending on the time of the year, the location, proximity to wildlife, the degree of flea/tick infestation and the general health of your dog, camping can either be great fun or a significant health challenge.

  • Safe transportation – Most of the pet owners transport pets in their own trucks, cars or Winnebago. If you are also planning to do that, make sure that you use a good quality travel harness. The harness must attach easily to the seat-belt and securely restrain your dog to his seat. Before you get the harness, make sure that it is crash-tested.
  • Temperature safety – Most people tend to go camping during the summer months, but some of them brave the colder climates to go for outdoor excursions. Cold weather can induce hypothermia in your dog. On the other hand, extreme heat can mess around with the thermo-regulating mechanisms of your dog. Remember that, unlike humans, dogs can’t clear the heat in their body through their skin. They lose heat through their respiratory tract, which is why they pant a lot whenever they are exposed to a warmer climate. Short faced dog breeds are more prone to heat related illnesses as they cannot move air through their respiratory tracts as well as some of the longer faced dogs.
  • Camping site safety – Make sure the camp site is free of insects that feed on your dog’s blood and spread life threatening parasitic, bacterial or viral infections. Ticks spread pathogens like Ehrhlichia and Lyme disease. Mosquitoes can carry parasites, like the heartworm. Take your pet to the vet before you go camping. He/she will prescribe preventative medication that should deter the ticks, fleas and mosquitoes. Your pet can also become prey for the predators in your camping spot. Make sure you keep your trash and food supply in secure containers or inside your vehicle to prevent the wildlife in the area from scavenging. Hawks, coyotes, wolves and bears could snatch, track or kill your dog. Possum, raccoons and other small animals could end up fighting with your pet, cause serious bite wounds and spread fatal diseases. Make sure you walk your dog on a flat, short lead when you are going out for a bathroom break. Never leave your dog unattended at the campsite.

Schedule a physical exam with the vet before you take your pet camping. He/she will prescribe anti-parasite protocols and tell you whether your pet is healthy enough to go camping.


September 26, 2016
by Lynn Merton

Teaching Your Dog to Swim

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There are few things that can compare to cooling off in your own swimmer cooling hole with your canine companion. If you live near a lake that is dog friendly, or if you have a pool of your own in your backyard, you should definitely encourage your dog to swim. Not only would it be a great exercise for him, it would also help him cool off to beat the summer heat. However, you want to teach Fido some basic swimming lessons, especially if he has never ventured out into the water before.
Safety tips

Do not assume that all dogs are natural swimmers. Some of the breeds, like the bulldog, can’t swim and will sink right to the floor of the pool if you toss them in without a floatation device to hold them above the surface of the water. Dogs that have short legs or are lightweight must be fitted with their own jacket or life vest. Bear in mind that too much activity and noise can be distracting. Start practicing in an area that is relatively quiet and make sure that your dog is leashed at all times. You should not take off the leash until your dog is able to swim without any assistance. Never make the mistake of leaving your dog unattended when he is in the water.

Start out slow

When your dog is just starting out, it is best if you begin in a shallow area where you can walk beside him as he learns to swim. Put on the floatation vest, attach the leash and let him get used to having wet feet.

If Fido is reluctant, get his favorite toy or training treats to coax him further. Make sure that the tone of voice you use is positive and you offer him a lot of verbal praise when he starts out. Gradually introduce him into deeper waters till he gets used to paddling to stay afloat. If he needs extra support, you can place an arm under his belly. This will give him the incentive to paddle his rear legs along with his front legs.

Your dog must learn to use both pairs of legs to swim, or else he will tire easily. Keep supporting him till he’s completely comfortable and uses all of his four limbs. If he seems to be panicking at any point, back him up into shallow waters and let him calm down before he tries again.

Once the lesson is over, it is time for you to get your dog out of the boat or pool. Take your time to show him the safe and proper way to exit the pool or boat so that he can find his own way out the next time. Make sure he gets a final rinse with fresh water to get rid of the algae and residual chemicals that might be clinging to his hair-coat.


September 23, 2016
by Lynn Merton

The Best Dog Pain Medication in the Market

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As a pet owner, you obviously want your dog to lead a happy and healthy life. However, that isn’t going to be completely possible. There are bound to be issues in a dog’s lifetime. He or she is going to get ill or injured and the only thing you can do is help the little one out.

Speaking of helping out, pain is obviously one of those things that you can’t see your dog in. But, like we said earlier, your dog is going to experience it at some point in time, especially as he/she gets older. Fortunately, there are solutions to help your dog deal with pain.

In fact, most of the pain medications available today for dogs are far more effective than they used to be.

Here are the various types of pain medication you can currently get your hands on.


NSAID refers to Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflamatory Drug. These are the most common type of pain medications for dogs. NSAIDs work by inhibiting the production of enzymes responsible for tissue swelling. Currently available NSAIDs are far safer than what they used to be. With these medications, helping your dog through the pain is a much easier task now. Plus, there are no major side effects.

Typical examples of NSAIDS are Rimadyl, Novox, Metacam and Previcox etc.


Nutraceuticals include nutrients such as MSM, Omega-3 Fatty acids, and Glucosamine. These are basically supplements used along with the prescribed pain medications. They help your dog deal with chronic pain, especially in the case of arthritis.


Opiates function by inhibiting the dog’s ability to sense pain. These medications are actually classified as narcotics and can be very strong, which is why they are prescribed only for severe pain.

Most veterinarians will choose NSAIDs over opiates any day, but, their use is still warranted in extreme cases. Opiates are also regulated by the D.E.A.

There is also the problem of side effects such as your dog developing a tolerance for this kind of pain medication.

Opiate examples include Morphine, Codeine, and Buprenorphine.

Alternative Treatments

Alternative treatment here refers to the use of herbal medication or altering the dog’s environment to ease the sensation of pain.

For example, a lot of pet owners prefer to avoid medications altogether. In this case, they may choose “non-medication” strategies such as massaging the arthritic joints, creating a low stress environment by filtering out disturbances such as noise, and generally leaving the dog at peace to help the healing process.

Apart from altering the environment, herbal or natural treatments may be provided. For example, traditional Chinese veterinary medicine or acupuncture may be used. A lot of pet owners have reported positive results with such treatment.

However, do discuss with your vet about what pain treatment or medication may be suitable for your dog.



September 22, 2016
by Lynn Merton

The Different Classes of Steroids Administered to Dogs


There are 7 types of steroids that are given to dogs. Most commonly given as medications, they perform different functions in the body Although they perform important functions in the body, steroids are the source of many side effects. To better understand the effects of steroids, you have to know how each type functions and what it’s used for. Let’s take a look at 3 of the main types of steroids.

Commonly used for dogs with Addison’s disease, their body lacks Mineralocorticoids which is used to balance out the water and electrolytes in the body Addison’s diseases also leads to a lack of glucocorticoids which dictates how your dog responds to stressful situations. To treat dogs with this disease, steroids are injected or orally ingested. Desoxycorticosterone and fludrocortisone are popular Mineralocorticoids that are administered. The only side effect observed for this medication is increased urination and thirst. Serious side effects are only observed if medication is suddenly stopped or if an overdose is given.

This is one of the most commonly used kind of steroids. Fludrocortisone, hydrocortisone, triamcinolone, betamethasone, and other popular medications are glucocorticoids. They are used to reduce inflammation and are used to treat allergies, Addison’s disease, immune-mediated diseases and some forms of cancer. These medications can be administered through injections, orally and topically. If this class of steroids are provided at high doses at high frequencies, side effects include abnormal behaviors, muscular weakness, and Cushing’s disease. Serious side effects are more common if the drug is injected rather than orally or topically administered.

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a synthetic form of a naturally occuring hormone, Estrogen. It is used to treat female dogs with urinary incontinence. Ideally, a safer drug known as phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is given but if it is not producing the desired results then stronger drugs are given. The drugs are also used to induce female dogs to go into heat. These kind of steroids have serious side effects like fatal uterine infections, blood disorders and sometimes even increase the likelihood of cancer.

Similarly to estrogens, androgens are naturally occuring hormones in male dogs. This class of steroid includes testosterone, mibolerone, and danazol. They are used to treat urinary incontinence in male dogs and alleviate fake pregnancies in female dogs. Some of them are also used to suppress the heat cycles of male dogs. Potential serious side effects include liver problems, and some types of cancer.

There are 3 more classes of steroids – Anabolic Steroids, Adrenal Cortical Steroids and Progestins. While steroids are a must for some dogs, they do have high incidences of side effects, especially when high doses are administered. It is recommended to give the lowest possible dose for the shortest time periods to avoid side effects. Always consult a vet before administering any steroid or medication.