Question by Darren: How long for a skin infection to clear?
I had a small infection of the hair folicle several weeks ago that seemed to blow up into a bigger infection. I saw a doctor and he prescribed a 7-day oral antibiotic (Keflex) and said to use OTC antibiotic ointment (Polysporin) and a thick bandage. I’ve been doing this and it has been a week now. The infection looks better but there is still some minor leakage that can be seen when changing the bandage.
Does these infections normally take more than a week to clear? Or would this mean that the antibiotic isn’t working very well and need something stronger?
Answer by dave23857
A staph infection of the skin (which is most likely the organism) can take 7 to 14 days to clear, typically. But it depends on the severity of the infection, how big it is, and the type of staph being dealt with.
Since it seems to be responding to anti-biotics, it is probably working but it will just take another week or so. But you can ask the doctor to be sure. The oral antibiotic will most likely not clear the infection on its own. That is more as a precaution to prevent the infection from spreading deeper into the tissue. So he will probably tell you to continue the topical antibiotic for another week. If it still hasn’t cleared by then, he will probably need give you a stronger topical anti-biotic
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What is wrong with you people?
Sometimes it seems to me like this is the motto of the dog trainer. Whether it’s using shock collars, not using shock collars, using food, not using food, using clickers, not using clickers — whatever it is — there’s a reason to be angry. And of course that means there’s a reason to be sharply critical, maybe even abusive, toward other people. After all people should know better shouldn’t they?
When it comes to dogs we advocate compassion. We advocate the use of positive reinforcement to get the behavior that we want. We advocate the use of the most gentle possible method we can find in order to help dogs to choose the behavior we want and to stop displaying the behaviors we don’t.
Humans, it seems, don’t deserve this benefit of the doubt. If you have a bunch of "dog people" as friends on Facebook go take a look at your news feed. What do you see? People are stupid. People are animal abusers. People shouldn’t be allowed to have dogs. People deserve to be left at the pound. And of course that perennial favorite: "The more I see of people the more I like dogs."
Don’t get me wrong I’ve been guilty of this kind of negativity myself. Many people are aware of this blog only because I’ve been very very critical of Cesar Milan. But I’ve made an honest effort to turn over a new leaf and have always believed that if you are going to criticize one thing, offer an alternative.
This post is about my alternative.
Helping dogs and people live happily together is my passion. I started out with my goal being to help dogs, but over time I realized that I can’t do a good job if I am not willing to help humans too. I also, oddly enough, started to like people the more I helped them with their dogs. (People who have known me for a long time still find this change in my attitude a bit surprising.) Rescuers, walkers, shelter workers, and dog trainers, enter this field because of their love of dogs. But it’s my belief that the people that are truly successful and truly help dogs either start out wanting to work with humans too or over time learn to appreciate them and the importance of working with and respecting them in order to be successful.
One of the most fundamental tools in a so-called “positive trainers “toolbox is DRI. As I’ve explained in the space before, DRI is replacing an undesired behavior with a desirable one. Why on earth would somebody who fancies themselves a skillful trainer forgo an opportunity to help somebody learn something new by, well, teaching them something new?
One answer of course is that nothing brings people together and nothing fires up a crowd better than a common enemy. That common enemy might be a famous TV trainer, the trainer across town, or even just an unfortunate dog owner doesn’t really know what she’s doing. And when one surrounds oneself only with people that share your beliefs, whether they be colleagues or fans, it’s really easy to find enemies to single out. (That would be everyone else.)
I’m not the first person to say that dogs are easy and people are hard. It’s easy to assume that people should know better. After all, it’s what many people assume about dogs, right? It’s easy to say we’re supposed to be the smart species while we make fun of "clueless trainers" and "stupid dog owners." It’s hard to get them to do the right thing. That’s when our work becomes real work.
I am a dog trainer, but I’m not just responsible for dogs – I am responsible for both ends of the leash. If I can’t reach a person in order to change their behavior or even just to help them get along better with their dog, I have failed. Snarky blog posts and Facebook pontificating doesn’t fix it.
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It’s generally accepted that of all the controversial people food trends out there, the paleo/raw/low carb/low fat rules of ingestion, the one thing everyone seems to agree on is Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, which at its core is this: don’t eat so much processed food, and don’t eat so much food in general.
Agreed, and you can certainly extrapolate this to pets too. However, with over 50% of US pets overweight or obese- a condition with definite and real consequences- I’m more concerned with the latter than the former when it comes to pets. If you prepare your pet’s food, you’ll be bored with this post. If you don’t, and need a little help, read on.
I feed Brody commercial food, so I won’t judge you for doing the same.
Despite knowing home-prepared foods made from your own organic farmer’s market basket provides the most close-to-nature ingredients, it’s a struggle to do this consistently for our human kids, never mind the pets. So most of us* feed our pets out of a bag and beat ourselves up over it. And that’s where clever marketers get you in the feels: we go into the pet store with this vague and disquieting sense of guilt that oh god I’m feeding my pet processed kibble and I’m a bad dog owner therefore I will compensate by buying the absolute best processed kibble I can afford. (Which, by the way, is my own personal approach, so I’m not knocking it.)
As you all know, dissecting thorny nutritional questions could fill a whole book, so this post is limited to current marketing trends. There are plenty of buzzwords out there designed to convince you that this or that new food is the healthiest one, the most wolf-like, light years ahead of all the other ones. But do these trends really mean anything? Based on what I’ve seen hitting the shelves this past year, here are my own personal Food Rules I keep in mind when shopping.
Food Rules for Dogs**
1. The term “natural” doesn’t tell you much.
In AAFCO terms, natural pet foods only means nothing chemically synthesized (except vitamins.) The word natural does not imply better (cyanide is natural!), or even minimal processing. Natural pet food can still be processed and rendered and full of chicken feet from China. Don’t buy a food just based on that word without actually reading the label.
2. Dogs aren’t wolves, they’re dogs.
The venerable journal Nature recently published a study comparing the wolf’s ability to digest starch with a dog’s ability to do the same, which Dr. Huston sums up nicely here. To sum up the summary: dogs evolved to hang around and scrounge off of us, and in doing so changed both their anatomy and their digestive enzymes to better digest carbs like the omnivores they follow around. Which leads me to my next point:
3. Most dogs don’t need a low carb diet.
The general consensus amongst those who know a ton about these things, like DVM/PhD nutritionists who run Iditarods with performance dogs such as Dr. Arleigh Reynolds (he spoke at a great BlogPaws session), is this: performance dogs may benefit from the additional protein and/or fats in low carb foods. For the average dog, the extra calories just tend to make them fatter.
4. Most dogs don’t need a grain free diet either.
If you want to go grain free for your dog, it won’t hurt them. But ask yourself: why? People usually assume grain free diets are better for dogs based on one of a few ideas: grains are covered in glutens and glutens are bad; or grains are carbs and carbs are bad.
Gluten free diets are all over the place these days because of the incidence of celiac disease, a real and devastating condition in people. But with the exception of one subset of Irish setters, it doesn’t occur in dogs.
Is grain free = low carb? Not necessarily. Potatoes, a common grain free source of carbs, have a higher glycemic index than brown rice and are all over the place in grain free dog diets. Besides, dogs are fine with carbs (see 3.)
Or do you think your dog is allergic to grain?
5. Most dogs aren’t allergic to grains.
Of all cases of allergies in dogs, food allergies only comprise 10% of them. And of those food allergic dogs, the 5 most commonly diagnosed allergies are: beef, dairy, chicken, lamb, and fish. Are grain allergies possible? Yes. Likely? No. If you’re feeding a grain free beef formula because you think your dog is allergic to wheat, consider a food trial to confirm your suspicions.
6. There is no one ideal food for your dog.
Anyone who says ‘this and only this brand/line is all that will ever be appropriate’ is lying. There are always options (even prescription diets are usually available from multiple manufacturers), and unless your dog has a specific medical condition you’re treating with diet I encourage people to try different foods and see what works best. As I’ve said before, I rotate foods all the time. If you try the most pricey food in the store and your dog gains 15 pounds, starts flaking off greasy dandruff, or starts pooping 6 times a day, who cares what the bag or the guy in the apron stocking shelves said? Do what works for you.
7. If your dog’s overweight, get that sorted out before worrying about corn and byproduct meal.
I’m not certain exactly what so many people think corn is going to do to their dog, but they are certain it’s going to do something bad so prescription weight loss food is out of the question for their 115 pound Akita who can barely walk. Then they put the dog down when both knees go out. This is a true story from my clinic, which happened after 6 months of begging the owner to put the dog on a diet, any diet, corn or no.
Don’t focus so much on what might happen that you miss the real danger happening right in front of you.
I talk more about how to decipher food names, ingredients, and what I tell people when they ask me to make a food recommendation in prior posts linked here.
Got your own pet rules? And should I do a cat one?*If you’re one of those uncommon home cooking owners, awesome for you. That is not said sarcastically. I know it takes a lot of work. And if you’re a raw feeder, I accept that you have researched it and know what you’re doing and disagree with feeding kibble. Go forward and BARF and peace be with you. ** See *. I’m talking to the rest of the crowd.
FOR TODAY Outside my window… It’s quiet….it’s night….there had been sporadic rain showers throughout the day, and it was needed rain, for the plants…for the garden. I think I’m more of a rainy day person, but then again….I wonder if people who feel that way, change their mind if it was raining more than usual?…
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Question by Mystie: What is the most effective way to prevent ticks on my dogs?
I have two outside dogs and we live in west texas. I spray them with the tick and flea killer yet they seem to get overrun with ticks. I never noticed them before the other day when my collie broke his chain and I had to put him in the bathroom. He shook himself and ticks flew out everywhere, literally hundreds of them. They are extremely small ticks that look kind of lavenderish. If anyone knows what kind of tick or how to prevent them please help. I just applied the monthly otc tick and flea killer by Hartz.
Answer by Adam B
Try out different flea and tick medicines, like Frontline. First talk to your vet, though.
What do you think? Answer below!
Does your dog have the prettiest eyes you’ve ever seen? Enter him or her in American Dog Magazine’s 2nd Annual Beautiful Eyes contest. Just “LIKE” their Facebook page for details on how to enter your dog. And send us a copy of your picture, while you’re at it. Good luck!