Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blue Power Ear Treatment - It Works!

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One of my golden retrievers, Danny, had a stubborn ear infection for a couple weeks that I just could not get rid of. I cleaned his ears with ear cleaner, treated the infection with Otomax, and also tried an antibiotic ear powder I got at the vet a while back. Still, his ear sounded like it had fluid in it and smelled like it was full of infection. I didn't want to have to take him to the vet, so I started digging around on the internet about possible home treatments for ear infections.

During the course of my research, I found site after site that talked about a home remedy for ear infections called "Blue Power Ear Treatment". It was simple to make, simple to use, and every site I went to was full of comments from people who gave it a glowing report. I decided to give it a try. I bought the ingredients and started treating Danny. It has now been a week and a half, and his ear appears to be free of infection. No squishy sound and no infection smell. I will treat for another week as recommended, but I believe I can add my own glowing report for this remedy.

The ingredients are simple, inexpensive, and are available at most pharmacies without prescription. Want to know more, keep reading..... (more)

You should always check with your vet prior to starting any treatment on your own to ensure that the health issues your dog is having are not more serious, such as a ruptured eardrum or foreign object trapped in the ear channel. Treating dogs with these conditions could permanently damage their ear.

Blue Power Ear Treatment

16 Oz. Isopropyl Alcohol
4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder
16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%

Mix together in alcohol bottle and shake well. If you can only find 2% gentian violet, use 8 drops. You will also need to shake solution every time you use it to disperse the Boric Acid Powder. To use, purchase the "Clairol" type plastic bottle to dispense solution to affected ears. You can also use an ear syringe, which should be available at your pharmacy. When I went to buy the ingredients, the boric acid powder and gentian violet were not out on the shelf, but when I asked the pharmacist he had both of them in stock in the back. If they don't have gentian violet, they should be able to order it for you.


Evaluate condition of ears before treating and if very inflamed and sore do not attempt to pull hair or clean out ear at all. Wait until inflammation has subsided which will be about 2 days. Simply flush out the ear with the solution until then.

Shake the bottle each time before using. Flood the ear with solution (gently squirt bottle), massage gently to the count of 60, wipe with a tissue. Flood again on first treatment, wipe with a tissue, and leave alone without massage. The dog will shake out the excess which can be wiped with a tissue, the Gentian Violet does stain fabrics (and practically everything else, as I found out).


Treat 2x per day for the first week to two weeks depending upon severity of ears
Treat 1x per day for the next 1-2 weeks
Treat 1x per month (or even less frequently, depending on the dog)

All of these ingredients should be available at a pharmacy. The Boric Acid Powder soothes the ear. The Gentian Violet Solution is an anti-infection agent. The solution appears to work well on any and all ear problems from mites to wax to canker. After the second or third you can clean out the ear with a Q-tip or cotton balls. Their success rate for this treatment is 95-99%. Those who do not succeed have usually not done the treatment long enough or have not been regular about it.

Dogs on the verge of ear canal surgery have been returned to normal with only the regular follow-up treatment to keep the ear healthy. If an infection seems to be remaining in the treated ear after the above course of treatment, you may also have some Pseudomonas bacteria in the site. This can be eradicated by using a gentle flush of raw apple cider vinegar and water (warm). Use 2 Tablespoons of vinegar to one cup of water, 2x per week.

They have found the Blue Power Solution to be effective for treating fungus-type infections on the feet and elsewhere on the dog, for cuts on dogs or people, and for hot spots. You may find other uses for this simple anti-infective agent. Remember it is for external use only and be careful not to get into the eyes.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When Heroes Are The Pits

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Weela, Ken-L Ration's Dog Hero of the Year (1993)

Bully breeds get so much negative press, and it breaks my heart that these wonderful dogs have earned such a horrible reputation through no fault of their own. Irresponsible owners, poor breeding, mistreatment and neglect have led many to believe that ALL pit bulls are bad and should be destroyed or banned. I thought I would share an example of what the breed is supposed to be.

This story is from the Ultimate American Pit Bull Terrier by Jacqueline O'Neil. Weela was also featured in the October, 1996 Outside magazine as an example of the kind of dog one would like to have in a life-threatening situation.

Gary Watkins, eleven years old, was absorbed in chasing lizards when Weela, the family Pit Bull, plowed into him with a body slam that sent him sprawling. Gary's mother, Lori, saw the whole incident and remembers being surprised at first, because Weela always played kindly with children. But her surprise quickly turned to horror when she saw a rattlesnake sink its fangs into Weela's face. Somehow Weela had sensed the snake's presence from across the yard and rushed to push Gary out of strinking range.

Luckily for thirty people, twenty-nine dogs, thirteen horses and a cat, Weela recovered from the snake's venom. Luckily, because that's how many lives she saved a few years later. For her heroism, Weela was named Ken-L Ration's Dog Hero of the Year in 1993. The press release read in part:

In January 1993, heavy rains caused a dam to break miles upstream on the Tijuana River, normally a narrow, three-foot wide river. Weela's rescue efforts began at a ranch that belonged to a friend of her owners, Lori and Daniel Watkins. Weela and the Watkinses worked for six hours battling heavy rains, strong currents and floating debris to reach the ranch and rescue their friend's twelve dogs.

From that experience, the Watkinses recognized Weela's extraordinary ability to sense quicksand, dangerous drop-offs and mud bogs. "She was constantly willing to put herself in dangerous situations," says Lori Watkins. "She always took the lead except to circle back if someone needed help." (more....)

Periodically, over a month's time, sixty-five pound Weela crossed the flooded river to bring food to seventeen dogs and puppies and one cat, all stranded on an island. Each trip she pulled thirty to fifty pounds of dog food that had been loaded into a harnessed backpack. The animals were finally evacuated on Valentine's Day.

On another occasion, Weela led a rescue team to thirteen horses stranded on a large manure pile completely surrounded by floodwaters. The rescue team successfully brought the horses to safe ground.

Finally, during one of Weela's trips back from delivering food to stranded animals, she came upon a group of thirty people who were attempting to cross the floodwaters. Weela, by barking and running back and forth, refused to allow them to cross at that point where the waters ran deep and fast. She then led the group to a shallower crossing upstream, where they safely crossed to the other side.

Stong, gentle intelligent and brave, Weela,CGC,TT, is the ultimate American Pit Bull terrier, epitomizing the best that the breed has to offer. But her story also highlights an important yet often misunderstood fact about the breed. The Pit Bull is a dog that loves to please its owner and tries to become whatever kind of dog its owner desires. Weela has had two owners.

The first owner dumped her in an alley to die when she was less than four weeks old. Her present owner, Lori Watkins, found five starving Pit Bull puppies whimpering in an alley, took them home and raised them. later, the Watkins family placed four of the puppies in loving homes and kept the little female they named Weela. They believed Weela was special, and she proved them right. Most Pit Bull puppies grow up to become a reflection of both their owners' personality and the care and training they receive. One can only imagine what a different dog Weela would have become if her original owner had raised her, and she had done her best to please him.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

To Feed or Not To Feed - The By-Product Debate

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There seems to be a great deal of debate on "by-products" in pet foods. Are they nutritious, protein-rich foods, or are they just junk? I must admit I was a militant "no by-product" person until fairly recently. I have been doing a good deal of research on this subject and my feelings on the issue have changed. Let's examine the facts.

First of all, just what are "by-products"?

Meat by-products in dog food by law do not include hair, horn, teeth or hooves, feathers or manure. It does include organs, including the lungs, spleen, intestines, blood, brains, kidneys and liver, and in the case of chicken byproducts will include the head and feet, backs and necks. About 50 percent of a slaughtered cow will not go for human use, most of this leftover goes into the pet food industry, not because it's unhealthy. How many of us rush out to the grocery store to eat a daily meal with tripe (stomach), chitlins (intestines), and scrambled brains? Ugh. Doesn't sound very appealing, does it? But what about your dog. What would your dog eat if given a choice? (...more...)

Watch a nature program with wild dogs and wolves and you'll see them eating these parts of the animal. Those organs are always the first to be eaten by wild canids, wild felines, and pretty much any other. They don't go for the 'meaty haunch', they go for the gut and pull out all that gooey stuff and eat it. They crunch the raw bones to get the yummy marrow, not to mention the calcium and natural glucosamine from the bone and cartilage. Believe it or not, while organ meats are gross to think of eating to humans, they are also extremely high in natural vitamins and minerals.

Go to any website the promotes a raw food diet for pets and read some of the things they recommend as great things to feed. Or shop the many frozen raw foods that are available to purchase, and read the ingredients of those. You will see that chicken necks are one of the favored items! Organ meats are rich and fed less often, but hearts are full of taurine which is very beneficial to dogs. Livers, kidneys, brains....all those other "yucky" things are full of protein and other nutritional goodies. You can buy canned, green tripe. Tripe is considered by many experts to be one of the most complete foods for carnivores. It is actually the stomachs of the cow complete with partially digested grass, etc. It contains a plethora of enzymes and beneficial bacteria. Freeze dried lungs are a popular treat for dogs, as is dried liver. What about ears? What dog doesn't love a pig ear? Moo tubes, another popular chew treat, are dried trachea. And I won't even begin to touch on the whole "bull pizzle" thing....

The protein quality of by-products sometimes is better than that from muscle meat.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to by-products in dog food. Some say that because a dog in the wild would eat the entire animal when killing prey, including skin, organs and bones, some amount of by-products in dog food is just fine. What you don't want, say reviews, is unidentified by-products, often listed as "meat by-products." Experts say this could include zoo animals, road kill and '4-D' livestock (dead, diseased, disabled, dying). Most shockingly, "meat by-products" can even include euthanized dogs and cats. In 1990 the American Veterinary Medical Association and the FDA confirmed that some pet food companies were using the bodies of euthanized pets as by-products in their foods. It turns out that this practice was limited to small rural rendering plants and a few other assorted links in the pet food manufacturing chain. For these reasons, reviews that do approve of some by-products in pet food say that dog owners should look for specific origin, such as "chicken by-product" or "lamb by-product."

The other school of thought is that by-products should be avoided entirely, and that a dog's diet should contain meat, vegetables and absorbable grains. These critics say that it's simply too hard to know what exactly is included in by-products, and some say that these unwanted animal parts may contain bacteria or even parts from cancerous animals.

Where does all that leave us? In my personal opinion, by-products are okay IF certain criteria are met. Make sure the by-product meal was specific such as chicken or lamb by-product meal and not just listed as "poultry", "meat" or "animal" by-product meal. . If a label says "chicken by-product," all the parts must come from chicken; the same goes for lamb, beef, etc. Avoid at all cost the generic "meat by-products" or unidentified "poultry by-products". Heaven only knows what could be in those.

All that being said, do your own research. You will find opinions on the extreme of both sides of the issue. As I said earlier, my own opinion has changed after a good deal of reading and research. And basically, it comes down to this. Feed what you are comfortable with, and what your dog seems to do best on, but don't rule out a food entirely because it contains by-products without reading a little further. Remember, just because it's disgusting to us doesn't mean it's not great for your pet.

Food for thought.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Just what IS in my dog's food, part 9: Dyes

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Dyes are another unnecessary ingredient in dog food, since dogs do not care about the color of their food. This is strictly aimed at making products look more appealing to humans, for example by hiding the grey color of poor quality rendered products or visible variations in ingredients, or attempting to make a food look like it contains more meat by adding red dye.

While natural substances like caramel coloring are harmless, they are still unnecessary and generally only serve to make a food look more appealing and uniform to the human eye.

Science also tells us that food dyes are linked to serious disease. The Public Citizen Health Research Group has tried, unsuccessfully, to force the FDA to ban dyes linked to disease. They report that in 2005, over 6 ½ million pounds of Red #40, over 4 million pounds of Yellow #5, and over 600 thousand pounds of Blue #2 were used in pet foods and other products. Red #40 is linked to lymphomas, Yellow #5 is linked to allergies, thyroid tumors, and lymphocytic lymphomas, and Blue #2 is linked to brain tumors.

What to avoid:
►Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, other "numbered" dyes

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