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         I have been singing the praises of melatonin since I found it nearly eight years ago. At that time I rescued a 3 legged, 1 eyed mini pin named Weazer who suffered from epilepsy. We never knew if the epilepsy was from her car accident or if she had it before. It is common among mini pins.The medicines available to control the seizures have some serious side effects...kidney and liver damage after prolonged use. Dogs on these medicines need to be tested every 6 months to monitor this.

It didn't seem like a good answer to me. I started looking around for other ideas. I came across research done on dogs(Goldens and Labs mostly) using melatonin. The results seemed promising and I decided to give it a try. The research I reviewed (9 years of reports and studies)said there was 0% negative side effects and prolonged use was not a problem.I decided to try it and my vet agreed to help me with this.

That was back in February, 2002. Since then Weazer and another dog I acquired later ,Skittles,have been seizure free. The article went on to say that for dogs who were put on Melatonin at the same time or after starting their conventional epilopsy medication...were gradually able to be weaned off of the medicine. Or it could be given at a lower dosage. If you are considering this, please take the time to "google it" and talk it over with your vet. I was very lucky. I downloaded every thing I could find on it and give it to my vet to read. My vet now uses it often...for epilepsy, separation anxiety and noise phobias.

If you find this or any of my ideas of interest, please go online and check it out for yourself. I offer my opinion, information I have gathered from my own personal experiences and reading everything I can get my hands on, for you to consider. I would never want to think you followed my suggestions without first checking it out on the internet. Google Melatonin for dogs (and I recently heard..for cats, too) should take you to some of the same reports I found in my research.

The Runs

This is definitely not anyone's favorite subjects. But as pet owners, it is something that we will have to deal with from time to time. We all have been told by our "baby doctors" that we should take solid food away from our children for 6 hours to 12 hours. Give lots of liquids and then slowly add mild foods( bananas, toast, rice and green beans) back into their diet. This usually helps calm their stomach. The same common sense that we use on our children will work on our dogs.

I have found giving a tablespoon or 2 of canned pumpkin can help. Not the pumpkin pie filling mix...just the straight canned pumpkin. It will stop the runs.

               If your pet has been on antibotics in the past, you should consider adding a spoonful of yogurt(the kind with the live culture in it..will say on the label) to his diet every few days. Antibotics kill off the bad bacteria but it also kills off the good bacteria that is normally found in your pet's digestive system. The good bacteria helps your pet digest food, keep the runs in check, to help with gas and bad breath. One of these reasons might make sense to you. A small amount of yogurt will go a long way to making your dog more socially acceptable.

             If your grass is getting those brown burn spots every place your female dog relieves herself, add tomato juice to her diet. About 1/2 to a cup a day. The acid in the juice changes the chemistry of her urine, no more brown spots. I usually just add it over her dry food. Just be careful to cut down on her food to make up for the added calories in the juice.

You can buy capsules that do the same thing but I always try to stick with as many natural things as possible.

             One of the requirements to come to CampCanine is to have your dogs nails clipped. There are all the regular reasons. Scratches the floor..people..etc...But there is another really important reason to keep their nails cut. If your toenails are too long, try to wear running shoes. Wearing them can really be painful and you would need to walk so it didn't hurt as much. That is what your dog does when his nails are too long. He redistributes his weight so his/her nails don't hit the floor and it doesn't hurt as much. When he does that, he puts more pressure and stress on his hips, knees and back. If he is a breed that suffers from hip/joint problems, he could be more likely to develop them. If you add being even slightly overweight and/or older into the picture, he stands an even better chance of suffering needlessly. This can be avoided simply by taking him into the groomers to get them cut.
Most pet shops, groomers, vets and even places like Makeman offer this service. You don't need to take them in for a complete grooming. These places have a price set for clipping nails only. Often you can get it done from 500 to 1,000 yen. Although I work with dogs all the time..I still prefer to get nails clipped professionally.
UPDATE: I have since discovered the Dremel. Some of you crafty people may be familiar with this. It is a small hand held drill. There is an attachment for it that looks like a barrel made out of sandpaper. It is "perfect" for doing dog nails. If your dog pulls away there is no harm done, unlike clippers.
Put your dog on the sofa, and you sit on the floor. That gives you a perfect view. You can sit and hold your dogs paw with one hand. Using the thumb and forefinger you can stablize the nail. (Otherwise it vibrates and doesn't file evenly). As you look down the nail (from the front towards the paw),you will see the nail forms half moon. File the nail down until the half moon turn into a circle. Use your fingernail to lightly touch that center. If it has a slight give that is where you stop filing. Just past that point is the vein and nerves.
A dremel costs about $30 at the exchange in the tool/electric drill section. You can even get a cordless one. If you pay $5~$10 to get your pets nails trimmed, it won't take long to pay for itself. Some of you say you take your dog to get his or her nails done every month. I have picked up dogs to stay at Camp Canine and mentioned to the owners that I would trim their nails as soon as we got home. The owners say..."I just got them groomed and their nails trimmed." I do not doubt that is true. Groomers need to work quickly and dogs that are fighting(not really fighting..but aren't cooperating) can make this a very difficult job. Groomers know if they get too close to the quick(the vein), it will hurt the dog and he will not let them trim their nails next time. So most groomers trim nails but keep them on the long side of trimmed. Using a dremel lets you get closer without hurting your dog and if you are doing it yourself, you can trim them more trips to the shop with Rover in tow. I do them weekly. Remember if you can hear their nails on the floor when they walk, they are too long.

What you might not know is if you keep the nails filed to this point(right before the vein on a regular basis, the center(which houses the vein) will slowly dry up and recede. The more you keep the nails filed short and closer the vein will recede. I file their nails weekly...just a little.
We all have heard that chocolate is bad for dogs. Some dogs can eat it but to some it can be fatal...and not in huge amounts. Yes, some dogs seem to be able to handle it but do you really want to play Russian Roulette with your dog's life. Of course not. None of us do.
But there are other foods that seem harmless but are every bit as dangerous. Some of these, I learned about recently and I consider myself rather knowledgeable about pets..Dogs especially.
Grapes and raisins
I know that doesn't sound bad. Let me tell you how I learned about onions. I had made arrangements to meet a gentleman to pick up his dog at Kadena Gate #1. He had taken his dog to get his kennel cough shot just before that. There was going to be an hour wait between the end of his vet appointment and the time we were going to meet. Because it was lunchtime, they(man and dog) drove through a local hamburger stand. As he ate his lunch, he offered his dog a couple of onion rings. The hour past and we met. On the way to my home, she was very quiet.
This was my first time watching his dog. I had no idea what was normal for her. Later that evening she stilled seemed very quiet. The next morning when I let her out, she peed red. I couldn't tell if it was blood but it was very dark red. I was terrified.
vet knew immediately. She said it had to be onions. I had no way of knowing but my vet was sure.The dog was put on IV's for 3 days. I didn't know if she was going to survive those 3 days. She recovered but it was something I will not soon forget. This reaction is very common, a lot of dogs don't get better and I had never heard of it before.
I have a 3 legged, one eyed minipin( I have mentioned before). Weazer is one of those dogs that is "food driven". (That question is on my reservation form.) She acts like she has NEVER had a good meal and nothing would keep her from anything ediable. Before I learned the "joys of kennel training", she would have free run of the house whenever I was out looking for food. She could put a bloodhound to shame. She could ferret out food, no matter where it was.
One day I found she had gotten a cereal box off the shelf and was eating the food inside. Her head got stuck in the inner plastic bag. (At one time, they used to be glued the inner bags into the boxes. I don't know when they stopped but to save money they did. ) She got stuck, tried to get out, the plastic bag pulled out of the box(still over her head)and she couldn't get it off. The plastic bag was airtight. The more she tried, the more she paniced. Luckily I returned or what she might not have survived. I have since taken all food in boxes off the lower shelves. Now there are only canned goods within she reach. Unless she starts carrying a can opener, I have probably out smarted her. UPDATE: She somehow seems to know there is food inside the cans. She has now taken to tearing the labels off.

Another evening I was watching TV. I heard a strange noise but couldn't figure it out. I waited till the commercial to check it out. She had some how fallen into the large plastic bin I used to store dog food. The lid had closed on top of her. She had decided to try to eat her way out of the container. She looked like a football, she was soooo full. She had the "right after Thanksgiving dinner" look. She didn't move for nearly an hour. Then I went into the kitchen to get a drink of water. She managed to waddle to the sink. You would have thought I had said "anyone for pumpkin?". THAT is "food driven"!

I love the internet. Shopping there is wonderful. Ebay is one of my favorite sites.
I saw a new product for doggy behavior problems. It was a little on the pricey side...but one day in a "I want to spend money on something I don't need" mood.
I had seem ads for something calming to solve or at least decrease all sorts of doggy problems. It was called Comfort Zone for dogs. It is either a diffuser or a spay. It says it helps control stress related behaviors ...chewing, excessive barking, having accidents in time of stress and hyperactivity. Too good to be true..but I said I was in the mood to shop and it certainly wasn't anything I needed.
The day it arrived was a nice sunny day the dogs and I worked outside in the yard most of the morning. About lunch time it started to rain and we all went inside. The dogs to relax and I was going to check for emails. Like a mother who just realized the "kids" are too quiet, I jumped up and ran into the living room. My dog had figured how to pull it out of the electric plug and placed it in the middle of one of those huge doggy pillows. Four dogs were laying on the pillow and all the rest had fallen to the floor like flies. They stayed in that super relaxed state for the rest of the day and part of the next. I decided it was one of the few things for dogs that I would never be without of again.
They, also, sell a spray bottle. I keep one in my car all the time. I use it to pick up customers. When they are getting use to a new place or getting ready to PCS(see services).
I was talking to someone earlier this week. They live on Kadena. She said on 3 separate occassions (over a year period), while enjoying the sun from their back porch, a Japanese male(possible a construction worker) walked up the hill to the tree they had tied their dog up to. The national could not see them on the porch. He started to take the leash off their dog and tried to "dognap" him. On one occassion the husband pursued the theft ..but he escaped in his car.
I only mention this to let you know that there is someone out there trying to "rescue" dogs from their happy homes. I think this man probably thought he could take this dog and breed her. He would have been unhappy to find out she was spayed..but she would be away from home by then. Pure breed dogs are expensive off base. Just as we are suppose to watch our children when they are outside, we now need to add watching our pets to the same to do list.
I personally do not like wee wee pads. I love dogs but once you have trained your dog to use them..they will continue to use them....even if you stop buying them. The average dog (not matter how smart) will have trouble telling the difference between a wee wee pad, the clothes you threw on the floor last night after you came back from the gym and that new bath mat you just bought. But at Camp Canine I take care of a lot of dogs that use them. I find they flip over and dogs pee on the plastic side. Dogs scratch them, make wet confetti, send it the all over the floor and they are expensive.
One of my customers turned me on to the best pads out there. They are washable. They are the same material as that waterproof cloth strip that they put on the center of hospital beds. They are thick, don't flip over easily, stay in one piece and stay where you put them. They come in 3 or 4 different sizes. The larger ones 30" X 30" say they hold 8 cups of liquid. I poured 8 cups of water on them and I could pick it up and take it to the sink without spilling. They come 6 to a package...all one size or assorted sizes. I think they would be perfect to put in the bottom of a carrier when you are going to PCS back to states. The shipping to a PSC address is free and they cost about the price of 3 packages of disposable pads. I have 2 that I have been using since June '08, washing and drying them daily. They show no signs of wearing out...just a bit faded. These are certainly as good and in the long run much cheaper way to go. I bought mine on ebay. There are a few different sellers. The quality of pads are very different from one to another. I use personallypaws . She offers free shipping to USA addresses(FPO included). She sells in bulk. If you want to try them but don't want the number or size she has listed, I have extra ones here. Just give me a call at 090 7586 4001.
If your dog is one of those that always have "sleep" in their eyes...always need their eyes wiped off, consider using artifical tears. I use the people kind. You can buy at the PX (BX brand)for only a few dollars. I use them twice a day. It helps clean out their eyes and make cleaning the junk that settles in the corners of their eyes much easier to clean off. Please note that it must say artifical tears. Eye drops have chemicals added...artifical tears is saline. Perfectly safe.
Breeders of Maltese(white faced dogs) say that if you use distilled water for your pets drinking water that the brownish tears that discolor your pets fur under the eyes(called rust stains) will slowly disappear or get much lighter.
Some dogs not only have the teary eyes stains, but, also, staining around the mouth. (Some staining around the mouth is from food staining the fur. This is NOT about that kind of stain. ) It has been suggested by a vet that this is occassionally from a sort of "acid flex". If you give your dog a Tums every day for 2 weeks it will stop the staining. Of course, this is not going to clear up the the fur that is already stained, but will stop any additional staining from occuring as long as you continue to use Tums. There are products that help clean the fur around the eyes. It will also help around the mouth. A half a Tums for small dogs and a whole Tums for big dogs.
WARNING:this came from a greyhound rescue site
This is about a man who had to put his German Shepard down due to liver failure. The dog was completely healthy until a few weeks before. They had a necropsy(pet atopsy) done to see what had caused his death. The liver levels were unbelievable and pointed to poisoning. The dog was kept inside and only outside with its owner so poisoning seems difficult to believe.
The neighbor started going though everything in the house. We all have so many different chemicals in our house. When he got to the Swifter Wetjet, it said in small print "it may be harmful to children and small pets". Since this happened they have changed it to read "maybe harmful to children". To avoid any legal problems..small pets were removed. But the formula is still the same. the man called the company to ask what the contents of the cleaning agent are and was astounded to find that one of the ingredients is only one molecule away from antifreeze.
A dog walking across the clean floor and then lick his feet . He could injest enough to destroy his liver. This is only one of many stories about this product. If you do not want to stop using this at least you should know what you are using.
I usually read these and wonder if they are all true. I feel this one is. I was given one of these floor cleaning mops couple of weeks ago. I had noticed one of my dogs licking the floor. I just thought something was spilled on the floor. But I continued to notice her. Finally I got worried and washed the floor down with some "green" cleaner and mopped it again with water. The licking stopped. About a week after this happened, I came across this article. It all made sense. If you read the label it says it cuts grease. I have since gone though my kitchen and gotten rid of everything that isn't natural/green. It will make cleaning a little harder...but the dogs are worth it.
I went to pick up a very active Jack Russel from the owner. The family had gone on vacation earlier and dad was going to follow. Being a very good pet owner he gave his dog a bath and applied Frontline 3 days before he was to bring him to Camp Canine.. The dog had used this product for about a year. The frontline was number 3 of a package of 6 to let you know it wasn't a "bad package".
When I went to pet him, I noticed something on his neck. It seemed like something was stuck there. I washed the dog that evening and it was a scab. I didn't take it off. Over the next 4 days it got bigger(all the way down the back), harder and then it just came off...scab, hair and skin. I rushed him to the vet and it was a the worse case of an allergic reaction my vet had seem. I continued to take him to the vet daily for the next 3 weeks. Although the skin did to come back there were places where the hair NEVER came back. That was nearly 3 years ago.
I am not saying anything about the product. I think Frontline is a good product...but if you have a dog with skin problems, allergies. please pay attention. This was something this dog used for over a year with no problems. Some frontline is can't get in there and wash it away if you see it is causing trouble. There are many similiar products on the market and each one of them has a different "main ingredent". If you are worried look around. There are even a few "green" products. They are out there. I presonally use This site sells most items at wholesale and not just in bulk. It is worth lookiing at. Compare. I use it as a good general pet supply sight.    

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