Practical Home Remedies for Minor Medical Problems

I’ve started updating my Home remedies…Here’s a few ailments I can help you treat!

Practical Home Remedies for Minor Medical Problems

It’s unnerving enough…just finding out that your dog or cat is swollen somewhere that it shouldn’t be, shaking and scratching at its painful ears, sneezing blood, holding up a sore leg, yelping in pain when you pick it up or move its head, acting listless, puking, scratching itchy skin until it’s raw, straining, suffering from runny diarrhea with spots of blood in it…and well, bleeding from anywhere. The only thing worse is when you realize it is after clinic hours and you may have to seek emergency care. You may think it’s time to panic. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.

I’m Dr. Greg Martinez, author of Dog Dish Diet: Sensible Nutrition for Your Dog’s Health. I’ve seen thousands of medical problems and emergencies and know people rush to the emergency vet when their pet has any problem. I’ve listed some common minor medical problems and over-the-counter drugs that you can use to help your pet out…until you can get in to see your regular vet.

First, let me stress that if your pet seems to be very sick, in pain, or bleeding profusely there is no decision to make. Call and seek help immediately.

If it’s after hours, however, prepare yourself for a much more expensive veterinary visit. Emergency clinics are staffed nights, holidays and weekends with veterinarians that specialize in trauma and critical care, along with a full staff of technicians and veterinary assistants, all of whom provide treatment and monitoring all night or weekend long. That’s good news when your sick or injured pet needs immediate attention.

The bad news is, it will cost you anywhere from a minimum of $ 200 to several $ 1000—even if what you thought was a serious problem….isn’t.

If the symptoms are not obviously life threatening, here are two options you may consider:

If you are unsure of the severity of the condition, you may get an exam at the emergency clinic and delay expensive treatment until your vet opens the next day (when the same treatment may be less costly).

If you are reasonably sure that the condition is mild, not too uncomfortable for your pet, and treatment could wait a few hours or even a day, you could administer some over the counter first aid. This guide while not a diagnostic tool—lists some safe medications you can administer for temporary relief for mild pain or medical conditions

 WARNING: While some over-the-counter medication can provide your pet with temporary relief, you need to be very careful not to give your dog or cat medicines that could be toxic to animals.

Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be used for temporary relief in pain IN DOGS in low doses!!!(without liver problems) but it is toxic to cats’ red blood cells. Similarly dogs can have aspirin, but cats are very sensitive to it and need really low doses. Pain relievers for cats are best purchased from your vet. Ibuprofen can also be very toxic to dogs and cats.

Here are some first-aid home remedies:

A dog or cat that is suffering from signs of mild indigestion: drooling, nauseous or vomiting often responds to a Pepcid tablet. (famotidine is the generic name) tablet. If your dog or cat looks pretty normal but has vomited once or twice in a short time (or is eating lots of grass), Pepcid may help them feel better. Remember severe vomiting in a young pup or adult dog or cat could signal a parvovirus infection or other severe medical or surgical problems. If you feel that your pet is really sick, do not delay seeking treatment.

 Recommended dosage of Pepcid: 1/2 tab to 2 tabs once to twice daily (½ tab per 10 pounds up to 2 tabs)

Diarrhea can be caused by infections like parvovirus, food poisoning, and parasitic bugs like intestinal worms, Giardia and Coccidia, as well as from eating something dead, garbage, wood, plastic, foil, and shoes…almost anything. Seek help if your dog acts sick or the diarrhea is severe.

It is best not to feed your dog for 24 hours to rest that angry bowel and help decrease the diarrhea. You can try Imodium (loperamide is the generic form) to see if it helps prevent so many messes! If your dog acts starved, then offer small amounts of cooked rice (1/4 -1/2 cup) mixed with chicken broth or a half jar of chicken or ham baby food every 4-6 hours. A tsp of probiotic or yogurt daily may help restore the normal bacteria in an upset bowel.

 Recommended dosage: Imodium AD 2mg caplet ½ tablet for small dogs and 1 whole table for medium to large dogs, administered 3 times a day. Not Cats!!

If the condition worsens, it’s best to seek professional help. Cats with diarrhea generally require changing food or treatment for intestinal parasites.  Don’t use Imodium in cats. Fasting, immunity, probiotics, and over-the-counter drugs may solve the problem in a few days.

In many cases of diarrhea with small specks of red blood is a symptom of colitis. This is often caused by a reaction to allergens or preservatives in some commercial treats and chews. Check with the family to see if feeding leftovers, new dog food, and new biscuits, chews, or treats coincided with the development of diarrhea. New ingredients can also lead to vomiting, nausea, and eating grass as well. Check out for help with food allergies in dogs.

 Bee Stings, Hives, Insect Bites, Food Allergies:

All these things can cause swelling of the face, but the most common is a bee or wasp sting. Many dogs that like to chase and eat bees and wasps can get rewarded with a nice sting and ugly swelling on their lips and faces that can make a doxie look like a Shar Pei. This same syndrome can occur from allergic reactions to a new food or treat. While the swelling looks ugly, it rarely causes problems breathing. If the swelling is severe, causes breathing problems, or is in any way scary, proceed to the closest emergency clinic. Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Claritin (loratidine), and Zyrtec (cetirizine) will slow the swelling. The face usually returns to normal within 12-24 hours. Make sure the antihistamine does not contain pseudoephedrine because this decongestant causes problems in small dogs. (Benadryl-D and Claritin-D. Allegra-D)

 Recommended dosage: Benadryl (diphenhydramine:25 mg), give 1 pill per 30 pounds up to 2 pills 2 or 3 times daily. Claritin (loraditine :10 mg) or Zyrtec (cetirizine: 10 mg), give ½ to 1 pill to a small dog (under 10 pounds), 1-2 pills to a medium dog (10 to 40 pounds), and 2 pills to a large dog once (Claritin) or twice (Zyrtec) daily. Allegra (fexofenadine 12 hour: 60 mg Some clients have better luck with one or the other depending on their individual dog.



Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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