Issue #011, May 2009
Stay on top of the latest dog care research and trends for knowledge that will help to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Each month's edition of OPD's Dog Care Monthly will include:
Dog Care News You Can Use - including research, trends, real-life stories, veterinarian advice and any information that we know you'll want to hear to help you take better care of your dog.
Organic Pet Digest Web Site Updates - important additions and updates that shouldn't be missed. We sift through all of our advice and tools and bring to your attention to the best of the best of what's new.
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In This Issue
Dog Care News You Can Use:
Organic Pet Digest Web Site Updates:
- Do You Have a Dog First Aid Kit on Hand?
Organic, Natural and Holistic Dog Care
News You Can Use
Essential Eye Care Tips
Just last week we took a family trip to the beach for a weekend of camping, swimming and sun bathing. This was the first time our dog had set paws on the unfamiliar sandy beach, and it was a true joy to watch her frolic back and forth, stopping only to sniff a washed up crab or giant clump of seaweed.
But before we even had a chance to think, she had decided to tunnel her face directly into the dry sand and removed it to reveal two big brown eyes full of the dirty debris! Of course we panicked and proceeded immediately to try to remove the harsh particles from that extremely sensitive area.
Luckily we had some eye cleaner in her first aid kit and were able to clear out the majority of the sand, but it was a very scary experience, and one that we thought we should share and advise on.
Dogs can manage to get all sorts of things in their eyes from grass to bark to dirt or sand, and the removal of those particles is very important. If things are done wrong it could lead to infection or even blindness.
Following is the right way. This cleaning process can also be used if your dog has contracted some type of eye infection such as pink eye. Also, regular eye cleaning is a good part of dog eye health, so feel free to use these methods regularly as a preventive routine.
- First, it’s important to keep an eyewash on hand or in the medicine cabinet in case of emergency. As soon as you recognize redness or discomfort in the eye of your dog, try bathing the eyes with one of the following:
- Calendula tea
- Chamomile tea
- Eyebright tea
- Rosemary tea
- A product called Eye-Heal contains several natural ingredients known to contribute to eye health, including rosemary, burdock and meadowsweet. If you can plan ahead and have this blend on hand (we keep it in our dog first aid kit), it is better than using one of the teas above by themselves.
- If you're in a bind and have none of the above available, you can get by with...
- Artificial tears (regular saline solution eye drops can be purchased at the drug store). Do NOT use eye drops such as Visine or Clear Eyes as they could be harmful to your dog's eyes. They may "get the red out" temporarily, but could have negative long-term effects.
- Salt water: 1 tsp in 1 cup of water
To use the Eye-Heal properly, dilute 5 drops in approximately 20 ml of purified water. Soak a clean cotton swab in the solution and gently wipe eyes from inner to outer corners. Use new swab for each eye. Repeat 3 times daily when necessary.
If your dog’s eye appears to have been punctured or is extremely red, please do not attempt to simply clean it with an eyedropper. It would be best to bring your dog into a veterinarian to have the situation assessed by a professional.
Here are a few things you can do to help prevent any type of foreign materials from getting into your dogs’ eyes…
- Keep your dog inside while cutting the grass or trimming the hedges. Debris flies out of the lawnmower at a very fast pace and can badly injure your dog’s eyes.
- Don’t allow your dog to put its head out the window while driving… I realize this is a really hard one because most dog’s live for this activity, but it’s actually very dangerous – especially at higher speeds. Many dogs suffer from eye injury and infection due to this favorite pastime.
- Lastly, as we were reminded of last weekend, be careful when you go to the beach with your dog. Sand can be quite hazardous when it gets in the eye. Make sure to keep a close eye on your dog at all times and try to keep them from rolling or wiping their face directly in the sand.
Though it’s impossible to prevent your dog from obtaining any type of eye injury, it’s important do your best to keep them away from specific situations that are known to cause problems. Also, being prepared with the right cleaning solution and cleaning method will help you to do the right thing in case of an emergency.
Click here for more about common dog eye problems.
And speaking of dog care emergencies…
Organic Pet Digest Web Site Updates
Do You Have a Dog First Aid Kit on Hand in Case of Emergency?
At a minimum, your dog’s emergency kit should contain the following:
- Animal emergency care booklet
- Tweezers and sterile needles
- Metal scissors
- Gauze sponges
- Roll gauze and adhesive tape
- Custom splints
- Rectal thermometer
- Zip-lock bags
- Latex gloves
- Your dog’s paperwork
- Antibiotic ointment or cream
- Iodine swabs
- Generic Benadryl tablets
- Styptic powder or pencil
- Ear syringe
- Eye wash or saline solution
- Small flashlight
Click here to check out our recently created page about why each of these items is important along with where to find the best pre-made dog first aid kit.
Comments? Ideas? Feedback? We'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell us what you think!