San Diego Mobile Pet Grooming Blog
Detecting Problems in Your Fur-Baby’s EarsGet to know your feline’s ears. If her ears are healthy and normal, they will be dry, clean, and pain-free. Be on the look-out for things such as:
- Sores or scabs around or on her ear(s)
- She holds her head at an angle or shakes it often
- Swelling or redness in her ear(s)
- Your kitty’s experiencing pain or sensitivity around her ear(s)
- Inflammation in her ear canal(s)
- Excessive pawing, rubbing or scratching of her ear(s)
- A smell and/or discharge from her ear(s)
The above are sure signs to get her to your vet as soon as you can for she could have one of these issues:
- Ear mites
- Yeast infection
- An ear-tip fungal infection
- Bacterial infection
Make Everything Go Smoothly for Your Cat and YouThere are a few tips you should consider following before you dive in to inspect and possibly clean your kitty’s ears.
- The younger the better! If you have an 8-week-old kitten, that’s a “purrfect” time to begin a grooming routine that includes an ear examination once a week. Eventually, it’ll be a normal process for her and she won’t put up a fight when you have to check her ears.
- A happy cat means a relaxed cat. Never attempt to inspect or clean her ears if she’s under stress—for example, if you just trimmed her claws or had to give her a bath.
- It must be a positive ordeal. That's an oxymoron, right? But you can do it! Purchase some treats like Feline Greenies and keep them at your side; give one or two to her before, during and after you examine and clean her ears. She’ll learn to associate the ear cleaning with the treats and remember it as a positive event.
- If you have a feline that’s difficult to handle and she doesn’t like being swaddled (most cats don’t), have someone else hold her while you groom her ears; this way neither you nor your beloved fur-baby get hurt. But remember to also follow tip 3!
Cleaning Your Kitty’s Ears
Most of the time, your furry friend’s ears won’t need that much care. However, for those times you do need to clean them, it’s critical that you know the correct procedure so that you won’t injure her eardrum and impair her hearing.
- With your forefinger and thumb, grasp her ear tip and carefully pull it back allowing you to view the inside of her ear. If she struggles or tries to run, and you don’t have a helper, use your other three fingers to gently grasp her by the loose skin on the back of her neck.
- Search her ears for discharge or redness. If you see light brown wax, that’s normal. However, red, black or green/yellow pus isn’t, and warrants a call to your veterinarian for an appointment. Use Excel Ear Cleansing Pads or some other brand of ear cleansing pads for cats. Carefully wipe out inside of her ears. If you’re unsure, you can also ask your veterinarian which OTC brand is best to use. A simple cotton ball moistened with alcohol will work in a pinch, but better yet, use an ear cleaning solution, which will be optimally formulated.
- If you discover a bunch of dirt or wax in her ears, 5-10 drops of an ear cleaner, such as Nutri-Vet Ear Cleaning Solution, should be squeezed into each ear. Squirt each ear one at a time and immediately begin massaging the base of each ear for 15-20 seconds.
- Using a new cleansing pad or a cotton ball, wipe out her ears. Never use a Q-tip to wipe the ears! You could go too far in her ear canal and cause major damage to her hearing or eardrum.
- If you remove a big amount of dirt or wax, then steps 3 and 4 should be repeated. And then monitor the situation because if the icky stuff comes back in a few days, you definitely want to sign up for a trip to the vet to get that checked out.
Every year many dog owners fight the same battle: the fight against fleas. You groom and bathe him. But during your next dog grooming session, you use that flea comb and discover white and black specks; the white spots are their eggs and the black is, well, flea poop. Oh no, here we go again! Those pesky bloodsuckers still managed to take up residence in your dog’s fur—and they don’t even pay you rent! Instead they cause your dog to scratch and, in severe infestations, anemia; they could even give him a disease such as tapeworm or typhus.
So how do you rid your beloved canine of fleas? Well, you have to understand some flea basics first.
Flea FactsTo completely eliminate fleas, you must upset their productive cycle. A humid, moist environment is just what fleas love to live in—which explains why they aren’t much of a problem in the winter months.
If an adult flea doesn’t have a host to live in and feed on, it’ll be dead within a few days; yet once it calls a dog home, it’ll survive for 4 months! After a nice blood meal, the male will find a female and they’ll “get it on”. Once she gives birth, the eggs fall off and then hatch wherever they lay—on your sofa, underneath your bed covers, in your rugs, etc. Then one day, those baby fleas will go off and find their own place to live….that could be another of your pets or even you. Then the entire cycle begins again.
This is why it’s important to not only kill the adult fleas, but every last egg and larva as well.
Popular ProductsMost of the older remedies were poisonous to your pooch; but the new products of today are less harmful and provide him with better protection against fleas. Each veterinarian has their own preference as to which treatment they like better. But usually there are three well-known selections: pills which you give to your mutt monthly, a spot-on that’s applied between his shoulders every month and sprays for your yard that work for about 3 months. While some of these choices are expensive, the good thing is that they work!
- Advantage II – Containing the active ingredient imidacloprid, this waterproof spot-on liquid will kill fleas in 12 hours that are presently on your dog. If your pup has lice, this topical kills them too.
- K9 Advantix II – This liquid medical treatment is waterproof and contains permethrin and imidacloprid. It kills fleas, ticks and mosquitoes in 12 hours.
- Program Flavor Tabs – These pills contain lufenuron and are to be given monthly.
- Frontline Plus – This waterproof topical has S-methoprene and fipronil. Within 24-48 hours, fleas in every life stage and ticks will be dead.
- Capstar – A pill consisting of nitenpyram is given daily to your pooch. It’ll start killing those fleas in just 30 minutes!
- Revolution – This spot-on waterproof liquid consists of selamectin. Kills not only fleas but heartworms and ticks too.
- Sentinel Flavor Tabs or Spectrum – This pill, given once a month, kills and prevents fleas; but also protects against heartworms, hookworms, roundworms and whipworms. Spectrum prevents and kills all of those plus tapeworms.
Even though we haven’t explored it here, there are some excellent natural flea control remedies for your pets as well as your home that you could try too. (Lily, find and link with our previous blog posts that talk about natural flea control)
Many dog owners—and those owned by cats—think that flea and tick collars will work; especially if they purchase those costly electronic flea collars. The truth is, none of these collars do a very good job. Why? Flea collars use only one active ingredient, permethrin, and fleas have built up a tolerance to it.
If you find that there isn’t any over-the-counter product that rids your dog of those troublesome fleas, speak with your veterinarian about a prescription for Comfortis. We find that product works the best for our Awesome pups, but it does require a veterinary prescription.
Help! The Flea Cleanup Didn't WorkYou've had a groomer out to clean up your dog for fleas, but now what? Well, there are three other things you need to do to complete the process of ridding your life (and your dog’s) of those horrible critters.
Provide treatment for all. If you have a multi-pet household, you can’t treat just your infected dog. In order to rid your home of fleas, you have to use that product on all of your fur babies.
Your home will need treatment. For controlling fleas inside, sprays and foggers are a good solution. Make sure you just buy non-toxic, safe for pets, indoor-use only insecticidal sprays and foggers. Also, a thorough vacuuming once a week is helpful—and don’t forget to vacuum underneath mattresses and cushions. That’s a popular flea hangout! Be sure to remove the bag from your vacuum cleaner, wrap in plastic, and dispose.
Your yard might need treatment too. If you have suspicions that fleas are coming from your yard, call a pest control company, or buy a spray that will kill fleas but isn’t harmful to people or animals.
There’s no doubt that fleas are irritating—to both you and your pup—but they could also damage your dog's health. If you use the newest product available and stick with a constant flea control method, your pooch can be safe and comfy from almost all flea issues. That will make your dog very happy—and you too!
The next step is to get your cherished dog on a regular bath and grooming schedule. That’s where we come in! Contact us today to make an appointment.
As a dog owner, you probably already know the importance of having your dog regularly groomed. Besides making your dog more attractive, dog grooming also promotes good health. However, you probably don’t think much at all about anal gland care until there’s a problem. If you have a dog, here’s what you need to know about your pet’s anal glands, along with some common symptoms for impacted glands.
What Are the Anal Glands?Your dog has two anal glands. To find them, look just below the anus of your pet. You’ll see one gland located at about “five o’clock” and the other one situated at approximately “seven o’clock.” Inside each small gland is a brown, smelly liquid.
It’s this fluid that plays a major part in your dog marking scents. Interestingly, this stinky liquid can also inform other canines about certain facts regarding your dog. For example, it can serve as a “calling card,” revealing a dog’s approximate age, gender and health status.
Under normal conditions, the gland only releases a small quantity of fluid when your dog poops. Problems occur when dogs can’t release this fluid naturally. As a result, the sacs that hold the fluid can cause your pet to suffer from painful bowel movements, infection and discomfort. In some rare cases, the sacs can even rupture.
Common Warnings Signs of Anal Gland ProblemsIt’s important to be aware of the symptoms suggesting your dog is struggling with impacted anal glands.
- The first clue is seeing your dog scoot on the floor or grass.
- Sometimes a dog with this problem chases its tail or has a hard time when standing or sitting.
- Another sign can be your dog constantly licking or chewing near its rectum area.
- Red skin around your dog’s anus can suggest something is wrong. You may even notice pus or blood draining from the anus, which can signify infection.
- Mushy, soft stools can be a red light.
- Detecting a fishy or foul odor, coming from the rear of your pet, is a common indication of this issue.
- While normal gland fluid has a tan or yellowish color and is thin and watery, fluid from an impacted gland looks gray, brown and thick.
Considerations and Warnings
- Although anal gland issues can affect all sizes of dogs, small and medium-sized breeds tend to be more at risk.
- Overweight and obese dogs are more susceptible to impacted anal glands because they have too much fat tissue in their anal area. This condition hinders their glands from being emptied correctly.
- Often, dogs that have spent a lot of time in animal shelters have more problems with their anal glands.
- Feeding your pet a diet that lacks sufficient fiber can lead to impacted anal glands. Additionally, don’t feed your dog table scraps as this can cause soft stools.
- Your dog’s anal glands should be able to work naturally under regular circumstances. It’s actually better to not routinely have its glands expressed if you don’t note any problems.
- In severe cases, a dog’s anal glands may need to be removed by a procedure known as an anal sacculectomy.
- Ignoring the problem of impacted anal glands not only causes discomfort in your dog. It can also lead to anal glands rupturing.
- Don’t try to express your dog’s anal glands on your own.
- Consult your vet for internal anal gland expression.
Using a Professional Pet Groomer
For external anal gland expression, you can use a professional pet groomer. If external expression methods don't get the job done, then it's a good idea to take your pet to the vet. Vets can perform a more invasive procedure that puts greater pressure on the glands, and are also equipped to deal with the medical consequences if an impacted gland should rupture.
At Awesome Doggies, we only perform the external method of gland expression. And we don't recommend expressing the glands at all unless you know your dog needs some help in this area. After all, it's not comfortable for the doggies to have the glands expressed manually, so why should they have to go through that if Mother Nature is taking care of things just fine all by herself?
At Awesome Doggies we serve busy pet owners in the greater San Diego area by bringing our mobile grooming salon to their homes. Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about our wide range of mobile grooming services.
These upsides are brought to you by Angie's List and Enlighten Me.
4 Advantages to Mobile Dog Grooming
Advantage #1: ConvenienceChances are you already guessed this one, but it's also one of the most popular reasons that people seek out a mobile dog grooming service. Instead of loading up your four-footed companion and driving to the groomer, the groomer comes straight to your door. Rain, shine, or other, mobile groomers save you time, effort, and energy, which is why so many people rely on them to keep their dogs looking great.
Advantage #2: A Familiar EnvironmentDogs often get stressed when they're far away from familiar settings, and going to the groomer is no exception to this. However, a mobile groomer comes straight to your door, so your dog knows exactly where they are. There's no long car trip, no walking through a store, and best of all, you're probably right there nearby. It cuts a lot of the unwanted tension out of getting groomed, and can make life a lot easier on your hound. And, best of all, once they're done, you can give them a cookie and let them lie down in their favorite spot to relax.
Advantage #3: No Other DogsInteraction with other dogs can sometimes be dicey. Even if your pooch is always interested in meeting other canine acquaintances, the same can't always be said for the other dogs who've come to get a groom. Maybe they'd be all right if you were at a park, or in familiar settings, but the stress and strain that comes with going to get a groom can make other dogs less than friendly. With a mobile groomer, there's no need to worry about any of that. The groomer comes to your house, gets the groom done quickly and simply, and then heads off again. The added benefit of this arrangement is that if there's a dog with a cold, then your dog won't be exposed to it, since groomers clean and disinfect their work area after every job.
Advantage #4: Individual AttentionWhen you take your dog to a regular groomer, there's no knowing how many other dogs are also there waiting to get a trim. Groomers often have to handle multiple clients, making sure baths are done, nails are trimmed, etc. That can get difficult, and the more dogs there are, the bigger an issue it becomes. Mobile groomers, though, have no distractions. They can give their full attention to every stop, which can be a big advantage for you, and for your dog.
These four reasons to use a mobile dog grooming service are just the start. Mobile groomers are growing, and it's because they're more convenient, and they eliminate a lot of the pressures and worries that come with more traditional groomers. If you'd like to know more about the advantages mobile dog groomers offer you and your four-legged companion, then all you have to do is contact us today!
You know that here at Awesome Doggies Mobile Pet Grooming, we think all dogs are cape-wearing superheros, but today we'd like to give a howl out to some extra special crusading canines—canine blood donors. Dogs suffer from trauma and diseases such as cancer or anemia just like their human family. Just like in human medicine, there are many treatments available to save or improve their quality of life but without blood products, those treatments are impossible or too risky undergo. In many cases, the availability of life saving treatment depends not just on the skill of the veterinarian, but also on the help of incredible canine blood donors.
Veterinary Medicine is Becoming Increasingly Sophisticated
Just like in human medicine, each year veterinary medicine offers new and exciting lifesaving treatments to improve and prolong the life of our best friends. Veterinary medicine includes a wide range of advanced options in emergency and internal medicine, oncology, critical care, and soft tissue surgeries. Just like in human medical care, all of these advancements increase the demand for canine blood products.
The Need is Always UrgentUnfortunately, while the demand is high the availability of canine blood product is actually low, sometimes even non-existent in emergency situations. Also adding to the complications is that smaller practices may not have a place to store blood products which are only good for 30 days. When veterinarians get blood from a blood bank, they usually get a universal blood type (similar to the human “O-”) which can be used once on most canines without adverse reactions. When a dog needs multiple transfusions, the risk of reaction increases with each one. Many animal doctors have faced the problem of a pup having a life threatening sickness or injury but be limited in treatment for a shortage of blood product.
Where Do Veterinarians Generally Get Blood Products?Until very recently with the advent of canine blood banks, veterinarians had to rely on their own dogs, or those of staff or clients who volunteer their dogs as donors to get the blood critical to many treatments. Today, there are several national canine blood banks as well as a growing number of regional blood banks and blood donor programs to help meet the need. Veterinarians also depend on a pool of local donors whom they can call when the need arises.
How Can Our Best Friends Be Superheros?If your amazing pup wants to be a lifesaving hero, the best place to start is with your own veterinarian. Some pet hospitals have a donor program in place but can always help direct you to where you can go to donate. Your pup will go through a screening and must meet certain health, age, and weight requirements before participation. Dogs must be in good health and current on their vaccinations. Some programs ask that you participate a certain number of times a year. All it takes is a trip to the donation site and about 45 minutes, and your pup is elevated to a true lifesaver.
Are There Disadvantages?Canine blood donation is fast, easy, and causes no harm to the blood donor. The process also offers a benefit to the donor in the form of regular check-ups, blood typing, and sometimes chemistry profile, and testing for common diseases.
Here at Awesome Doggies Mobile Pet Grooming we have the pleasure of grooming many dogs in the San Diego area who answer the call to donate blood. We are so proud of these heroes and privileged to be a part of a great community of San Diegans.
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Could it be they are bored, sick, hungry, or deficient in some vitamin? Maybe. No matter the actual reason dogs are inclined to gobble up grass on occasion, there are plenty of reasons not to let it cause you to panic, and here is why. It is either completely normal or a sign to look closer at the dog’s health or activity levels, and what pet parent doesn’t appreciate a little insight into their fur baby’s health?
Some Possible Reasons Dogs Eat GrassIf you Google “why do dogs eat grass” (and we did) you will find nearly 3,000 results and nearly as many theories. Of all the reasons posed by veterinarians and animal behaviorists, we’d like to mention a few of the most common.
Upset StomachGrazing on grass to induce vomiting is one of the most commonly accepted theories why dogs are compelled to nibble on the green stuff. While this could be one reason, there is evidence to suggest that most dogs do not seem unwell before eating grass and doing so actually causes less than 25% to vomit.
HungerHunger is another possibility proposed by animal experts to explain the seemingly strange behavior. While most dogs today have access to plenty of food which is provided to them, some believe that the practice fills a need carried over from their ancestry of hunters who often consumed grass while eating prey.
Nutritional DeficiencySome propose that grass might satisfy some nutritional deficiency. While there may be some nutritional component, dogs actually lack the enzymes needed to break down grass and are unable to digest it. This makes it near impossible for them to gain any nutritional benefit from eating grass.
BoredomJust like humans, dogs can become bored quite easily. If they do not have variety in activity, scenery, and foods they may seek that variety by entertaining themselves eating grass. It may seem like an odd way to keep busy but the process of ripping and tugging at the grass may be very satisfying.
Don’t Freak OutIf your dog is eating grass or eating grass and vomiting, don’t panic. Use it as an opportunity to tune in and see if there is some need you can meet more effectively. Pay attention to other signs of illness, such as lethargy. If your faithful companion seems ill, a visit to the veterinarian may be in order. Talk to the vet about the best food type and amount for your dog’s breed to ensure that they are receiving the proper amount of vitamins. If your dog is spending too much time alone or sedentary, or if they seem to need some variety at meal time, try adding new elements such as raw carrots for snacks. Varying the types and textures of foods can keep things interesting for them.
The fact that after much study and debate experts still do not know why dogs are compelled to eat grass tells us that whatever the reason, there is little reason to become overly alarmed. Ultimately, the reason could be something as simple as that they enjoy the taste of it!