Of the Labs in my house, Murphy is the only one who has, over the years, had reoccurring ear infections.
Last spring it was obvious it was happening again. He was scratching his ears and shaking his head a lot, obviously in discomfort. When I took a peek inside, his ears were more red than pink and he had a good amount of waxy buildup. A quick sniff confirmed the yeasty ears were back.
Murphy runs like the wind from ear washes and ear drops. The whole process has always stressed him out. So I decided to go looking for an alternative treatment. I've learned to appreciate essential oils, so that's where I started. And here's what I found:Purificationby Young Living. I combine several drops of Purification with olive oil (you can research this - there are a number of carrier oils that work well), put some on a cotton pad, and clean Murphy's ears. It's worked really well throughout the summer. Check out the "how-to" video here.
MAGIC IN A LITTLE GREEN CAN
If you have a dog, you should have a tin of Bag Balm. The stuff is magic for small wounds. Here's how I first learned of its effectiveness.
Years ago, two of our female Labs had a bit of a disagreement. Teeth were involved and one of them ended up with a cut on her ear. That's when I learned how much dog's ears bleed. The Lab with the cut on her ear started shaking her head and blood was flying everywhere. I ran into the house, grabbed the Bag Balm and slathered the cut with it. The bleeding ceased immediately and the Bag Balm (with a consistency denser than petroleum jelly) kept the wound clean. There was no need for a vet visit. The wound never got dirty or infected and it healed quickly. Four paws way up for Bag Balm!
Is your dog getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals in his diet? Since we feed a combination of fresh food (we cook for our dogs) and commercial dog food, we were concerned about that very thing. The vet recommended we give each of the furkids a daily multi-vitamin. Which one? Centrum Silver. Yup, the people version - available anywhere, including in generic form. And it's reasonably priced.
CHEAPER PRESCRIPTION DRUGS?
My roommate's 13-year-old Lab has chronic pain from bad hips. Prescription pain meds are all that keep her going. As it turns out, some medications for dogs are the same as those for humans. One of those is Novox. Instead of buying Novox from the vet or online, she has the prescription called into Walmart's pharmacy, saving a significant amount of money. If your dog is on long-term prescription meds, check into it. Can they be had at your local pharmacy? Are they cheaper there than through other sources?
RED CROSS PET FIRST AID APP
If your dog is sick or injured, this 99 cent app might help you save his life.
And finally ... this number could save your dog's life if he eats something toxic. It's the ASPCA's poison control hotline. Help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Put this number in your cell phone, along with your vet's phone number and your local 24/7 emergency vet.