As additional information is
added, I'll integrate it and post it on my web site.
So far, the existing
information is compiled by:
November 08, 2010, Jerry, Golden Retriever.
November 9, 2010, Miller,
Golden Retriever mix
I'll start an accumulation of notes. The suggestion is
for other people to add notes and modify this document. This document as of
November 08, 2010 is a compilation of notes and is not well formatted.
Pretend it is Wikipedia and make it better. When you add notes or make
changes be sure to include your name and date. You can email your
information to Jerry at email@example.com.
For now this information will be posted on the web site so you will have it
in digital format for editing. You may also email me for a copy of this
My reference is based on Koko and Brandy. They are
children of Buster Lee Roy Bankston and Lady of the Valley IX. My data will
be primarily based on this breeding line although other Golden Retrievers
could be included regarding common breed problems. Problems common to all
dogs would also be welcome. An example would be large breed dogs with hip
problems. For your reference Koko's certification is SR33748701.
Causes of Problems
I believe the main cause of dog allergies and digestive
problems is due to improper feeding.
Hip joint problems is due to improper breeding. The
effort to closely duplicate the predisposed look of the Golden Retriever has
led to excessive inbreeding. I believe the ancestral tree does not take
enough into consideration. The mother and father should have complementary
genetic code. Breeding is the only thing I know of to cure the problem but
the need for similarity and profits by the breeders are not pointed in the
right direction. Koko and Brandy have exceptional genetics. X-rays reveal
the best hip structure of any large dog. Allergy problems are unlikely and
the few occurrences are due to some improper foods. I give this information
about Koko and Brandy to other existing breeders and they are not interested
in my breeding suggestions. They prefer to get their dogs from breeders with
better publicity and better promotional information.
A new product.
I am not here to promote a product. My purpose is to
keep the dogs healthy. Douxo Calm Micro-emulsion spray by Sogeval is a
miracle medicine in my opinion. I'll explain its use as we continue. It is
an over the counter medication and can be purchased on the Internet.
An older product.
Zymox Otic 1.0% Enzymatic Solution with 1.0%
Hydrocortisone is helpful to ear allergies but it must be used strictly
according to directions. Improper use may just reduce the ability to fight
allergies. This is a prescription item from your veterinarian.
Along came Frontline flea medication and that put an
end to fleas. In Austin Texas I apply it to the dogs about 3 times per year
even though some veterinarians recommend it every month. Oops. correction
here. Once per month is best. Prior to Frontline,
there was the use of many chemicals that made people and dogs sick and did
nothing to get rid of the flea problem. Now, if a flea is seen, we add a
dose of Frontline and end of story. Another reason I only use it a few times
per year is I keep a very close eye on the dog. The dogs live in the house
with us. It is obvious when a dog gets bit by a flea. Medication is applied
the next day if the dog has not had a bath in 4 days. Then the dog cannot
have a bath for 4 days while the medication does its job.
Allergies Outside the Ear
First, the hot spots were caused by
canned dog food. We went to Natural Balance dry dog food and all problems
went away. While still on canned dog food, Koko got allergies in the form of hot spots on his tail
and the rear side of his upper rear leg. Douxo Calm Micro-emulsion spray by
Sogeval solved the problem. The hot spot was about the size of a dime. I
cleaned the area and then applied a very thin coat of Douxo Calm
Micro-emulsion spray. The hot spot was dead the next day. It totally dried
up and disappeared in 3 to 4 days. Koko also got a dime sized hot spot on
the inside of his left ear flap. I simply cleaned a little and wiped a small
amount of Douxo Calm Micro-emulsion spray on the area. The allergy infection
was dead the next day. His ear was without blemish in 5 days. I believe a
mild or diluted quantity of Douxo Calm Micro-emulsion spray by Sogeval could
be put inside the dogs ear and let the dog shake it out. I would consult a
veterinarian first regarding your particular dog. My veterinarian said it
was OK for my Koko. The veterinarian used the word "heat" with regards to
heavy foods that caused excessive metabolism. It caused the dog to produce
more heat and this had an adverse affect on the ears.
So, no canned dog food.
This will be a lengthy topic and you need to be
diligent about following instructions. It is the missed applications that do
an enormous amount of damage as immunity is lost by more powerful bugs that
manage to survive. Please excuse my lack of proper medical terminology.
Once again, canned dog food is
the culprit for ear problems in my opinion.
Koko had an ear allergy. Dark, thick substance was in
his left ear. Seven day use of Zymox Otic 1.0% solution did not help. This
is because I did not apply the medication properly. After an additional week
I started the application of the medication again with instructions from a
more informative veterinarian.
I started the Zymox Otic 1.0% solution again but this
time I really worked it into the dogs ears for a long time. Then I spent
time and massaged the dogís backbone area from front to rear. This was done
for 7 consecutive days without any deviation. At the same time we also
reduced the dogs diet slightly. We also removed chicken, turkey and beef
from the diet. In 3 days the problem seems to have gone away. In 7 days the
ears were perfectly clean. I now administer the Zymox on a weekly basis.
Everything is under control. I clean the ears if necessary prior to
application of the Zymox. Sometimes, cleaning is not needed. I always
inspect each ear with a good flashlight so I can see down deep in the ear.
If cleaning is needed I use Vet's Best Natural Formula Ear Relief wash with
chamomile and yucca. I buy it at Petco. This product also is supplied with
Ear Relief Dry. The veterinarian told me not to use the drying solution. The
ear should not be totally dry. I'm sure other cleaning solutions would work.
First I trim the hair on the inside of the ear with
blunt scissors. The idea is to get the ear canal open so medicine can be
dropped in and so any spinning of the cotton ball on hemostats does not
catch hairs. Naturally a little hair on the inside of the ear will prevent
debris from entering the ear. Clip the hair just enough to get the job done.
Keep in mind that excessive hair on the inside or outside of the ear causes
heat and thus problems. The hair on the outside, lower, rear area of the ear
tends to get very thick and will knot up.
When cleaning the ear, it may be wise to suggest we
will not remove the natural oils from the dog's skin. We are going to simply
clean just enough to remove dirt and then apply a very thin coat of
medication. We do not want to get rough with the sensitive and delicate skin
inside the ear.
Tear a cotton ball in half and put it securely on the
grips of locking hemostats or forceps. Next, the cotton is lightly saturated
with the cleaning solution. Then carefully clean the ear doing so very
gently. Twisting of the hemostats should be limited to 180 degrees and be
careful it does not grab. In and out motion would probably be best with
gentle movement. The small indented areas of the ear can be cleaned with
cotton sticks. Be gentle. You can also use a full size cotton ball held by
your index finger and thumb to clean inside the ear flap area using the
cleaning solution. After the ear is clean you add 4 to 5 drops of Zymox Otic
1.0% in each ear. Then the most difficult job occurs. You must massage both
ears for a very long period of time so the solution is totally coated on the
inside of the ear. This means the solution should work its way down and
inside the "L" shaped ear canal. It takes gentle massaging and squeezing in
the ear canal area to get the solution in there completely. The ear should
not be flooded with medication. You only want a light coat completely
distributed to all areas inside the ear. Once you are finished you should
reward the dog with a good massage of the backbone from front to rear. I
have actually heard of a veterinarian who uses this massage method to get
rid of the allergy. I have my doubts but Koko tends to think it is a good
idea. When I get out the ear medication, the dogs compete for who goes
When finished I use a cotton ball and wipe a very thin
coat of Douxo Calm Micro-emulsion spray by Sogeval on the inside of the ear
flap which also tends to provide a little extra cleaning. I am not certain
but you might consider a few drops of the Douxo Calm Micro-emulsion spray
inside the ear and then immediately let the dog shake it out. Remember, the
Douxo Calm Micro-emulsion spray is very concentrated and effective. It only
takes a very light coating of this stuff to work. I personally would dilute
it with 4 parts distilled water and one part Douxo Calm Micro-emulsion
The Douxo Calm Micro-emulsion spray comes in the form
of a spray and soap. I only use the spray. The Douxo soap would work well
after the dog has already been washed. It would then be used as a second
soap application on problem areas. So far, I find the Douxo soap unnecessary
since the spray is properly used.
A veterinarian can see debris in the ear and guess with
99% accuracy what it is? This is mostly based on experience. Anyone can see
in a dogís ear fairly well using a small flashlight. Once a problem is
diagnosed, you can take a good look and identify it in the future. Your eye
will never be as good as a veterinarian but you can suffice if you catch a
problem early. If you clean your dog's ears weekly you can avoid the big
expense and the suffering the dog experiences with this type of problem.
If your dog goes swimming in any lake, river or creek
you should be ready to clean out the ears. If you won't drink the water then
it should not remain in a dog's ears. This is where I would use the 4:1
ratio of distilled water and Douxo Calm Micro-emulsion spray by Sogeval and
then let the dog shake it out.
From Miller: If you want to think about going the
allergy route, I have a bit of experience with my dog's skin
allergies. After trying everything except steroids, I finally found a vet
who practices homeopathy. Normally I don't find this often works, but he
put my dog on a monthly dose of what I believe was some type of sulpher, and
her allergies immediately got better for the first time in her life.
Eventually I completely quit giving her the remedy, and she's never had
problems again. In Austin I believe the only homeopathic vet is Dr.
Vandermause at Crystal Mountain Clinic on Bee Caves Rd.
Food is the primary source of most dog problems in my
opinion. Food caused Koko's allergy problems. It also caused digestive
problems. It seems at this point that beef, turkey and chicken are the main
culprits. I mix a little canned food in with dry food. The dogs like it.
That does not mean it is best for them. Most dog food is too much like human
food. It is too "hot" according my veterinarian. They are better off with
wild animalís products. Good foods would be fish, venison, duck and fish
with potatoes. I believe buffalo is OK. Lamb may be OK. Problem foods would
be chicken, turkey, beef. Lamb is questionable. Stick to dry foods like
Natural Balance. We add in an egg or slice of lunch meat. A good quality dog
cookie is OK occassionally.
An excessive variety of food can also cause a problem
with their digestive system since it changes too often. Loose stool is a
good sign of improper food or too much variation.
Many dogs with chronic or recurrent ear infections have
allergies or low thyroid function (hypothyroidism), but diet is usually the
From the best information I can gather it is best to
wash a dog once per month. Naturally if the dog is oily or dirty you can
wash more often in warmer weather. I would limit the heavy soap application
to once per month. Good soap would be oatmeal. I find the oatmeal soap at
Wal-Mart to be good and sufficiently concentrated. Excessive drying of the
skin can also cause hot spots, rashes and more allergic reactions.
A cotton ball can be put into each ear to prevent
excessive water from entering. One veterinarian said the 4:1 diluted Duoxo
soap or spray could be applied to each ear and let the dog shake it out. I
put the solution in a large syringe for application. I've only used it once.
The other methods of ear cleaning are sufficient for my dogs. You could
finish with a very light spray application on the inside flap of the dogs
war with the Douxo Calm Micro-emulsion spray by Sogeval.
According to my friend Miller, Paul Mitchell now has a
line of dog products available....all extremely pet-friendly. The Tea Tree
Shampoo is strongly recommended. While oatmeal is mild enough to not
irritate the dog's skin, tea tree oil actually soothes. It also provides a
much better sudsing action. It's marketed under the name of John Paul Pet,
and is less expensive than the oatmeal shampoos. You can find it at The
Beauty Store. The Central Market store at Lamar & 35th Street in Austin
Texas carried it.
We tried a few dog doors over the years. You pay for
what you get. We chose the pet door at
Moorepet-petdoors.com. It is expensive but the quality is very good.
Then the utility bills decreased substantially with less energy loss. The
large variety of sizes will accommodate the dog. Our golden retrievers are
tall and weigh about 100 pounds. They easily pass through the double flap
door we chose. We chose the MaxSeal Wall Mount dual flap - XL Grand (12 x
24) which is perfect for a grown golden retriever.
The most amazing thing about a dog door is the freedom
it gives the dog. With that comes a higher degree of civility. They become a
better family member and take on a greater role guarding the house.
Naturally, our fence and gate are very secure, so they cannot get to the
street. The people/dog relationship is priceless when you have a good dog
door. Yes, the house must be cleaned more often.
me your medical and care tips. Try to complement this article. Include a
picture to add here.