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Posted on 03-27-2015

Pets often have mild symptoms flare up from time to time effecting their skin & stools.  If your pet is still feeling good & only has mild symptoms, then some simple products can often resolve your problem. Here are 3 COMMON PET PROBLEMS and some simple & safe ways to improve them.

  1. DRY SKIN- Mild dander & dryness are not uncommon in pets, especially in cold dry weather.  Often times bathing with a pet specific moisturizing shampoo, like HyLite, can improve your pet's skin & coat and make them much more comfortable.  If the dander is severe, or your pet is very itchy then it's best to make an appointment.  Also remember fleas LOVE getting inside & on your pet so make sure you are using Vectra or Revolution to ensure that fleas are not causing the problem.  Giving a fish oil supplement like Snip Tips is also a wonderful way to naturally improve skin health.
  2. SOFT STOOL- We regularly get calls about pets with soft stools.  Unfortunately our pets often eat things they should not & we can't watch them all the time to know exactly what they may have come in contract with.  If your pet is still active, eating, and feeling good then some simple changes to the diet for a few days are often all it takes to get things back on track.  Hamburger & rice or chicken & rice are great homemade diets for GI upset, similar to chicken noodle soup for us.  It has increased moisture to help lessen dehydration & is very bland & digestible to reduce any further irritation to the GI tract.  Cats can be finicky so purchasing feline canned sensitive GI formulas are more appealing to them.  Another at home treatment that can be very beneficial our probiotics.  This can be a tablet or powder you apply to the food like Proviable DC or Propectalin.  Yogurt has been widely recommended for soft stool issues but recent research shows that most yogurts do NOT have appropriate levels of live culture to be helpful and that the type of bacteria in the yogurt, although helpful to people, does not live in cat or dog digestive tracts. Lastly, many yogurts include artificial sweeteners, like xylitol, that are toxic and dangerous to pets.  If your pet's stools are liquid, have blood, or your pet is not feeling well it's important to have them examined right away, as waiting can make things worse.
  3. TEAR STAINING- Many owners inquire & worry about the rust colored staining that happens when tears overflow from the corner of the eye and adhere to the skin & hair.  This is a common issue for many breeds but can also occur due to diseases of the eye.  If your pet is squinting, pawing at the eyes/face, or has red bloodshot eyes then it's important to see a vet right away.  In general, excessive tearing causes staining that can be managed with probiotics, wiping the area to maintain clean dry skin & fur, and a high quality diet.  Using filtered water instead of tap also appears to dramatically reduce minerals that contribute to tear staining.  Remember that the rust color you see is staining!  It cannot be wiped away with soaps or other topical products, most of which can be damaging to the eye and should NOT be used.

These recommendations are the help you with simple problems at home while your pet is NOT acting sick or painful.  If your pet's symptoms are more severe in nature or your pet is acting lethargic, weak, painful, or generally ill you should NOT attempt to treat your pet yourself.  Also remember that human products are formulated for humans, NOT ANIMALS.  Many of these products can actually be dangerous or damaging to your pet.  If there is any question make an appointment to have your pet evaluated and you can ALWAYS call the clinic to get more information.

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