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Old September 21st, 2013, 03:09 PM
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BabyJessy BabyJessy is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Quebec
Posts: 60
Dear Jasmine,

First and foremost, if you don't already have a Yahoo email I would suggest that you sign up for one and join the support group for canine Cushings disease at: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/C...mmuneCare/info . These people all have dogs with Cushings and they have been through the medications, the problems - everything. They will be able to help you with Kizzy much better than I ever could.

That being said, I am so sorry to hear about your problems with Kizzy; she is lucky to have you. I know what it's like to have to clean up a fluffy Pom after every pee and poop - especially when Jessy first dislocated her hip and couldn't stand very well she would get messy all over herself. The problem is that the more we wash them in water, the more there is humidity and with this humidity comes skin problems so make sure she is quite dry if you wash or rinse her skin (I sometimes use the blowdryer on the cool, low setting but she hates it). I found that to clean up after a pee, it's better to use either white vinegar with water (half and half) that I keep in a spray bottle or a jar and just put some on a paper towel to dab the fur along her legs where the urine has leaked. The vinegar gets rid of the urine smell in the fur, too. As for the vulva, the same mix is good but I go to Costco and buy those cotton pads for cheap and by the box! These are the cotton pads that women use to remove eye make-up, etc. They're gentle on her "lady parts". Just make sure you dilute the vinegar with water, 50/50, because otherwise it could pinch. This can also sometimes be enough to get rid of any sores.

And for the messy bum, I think I'd bring her to a good groomer (or do this yourself): have them just cut or shave a little off her behind - a nice even trim so that the fur is easier to clean. They once did a special "sanitary trim" around her anus so there was also less soiling of her fur - it worked great and you can't see the shorter hair under those fluffy Pom tails anyway. If you have a groomer do this, I would suggest you stay with the dog because she will need you to support her under her belly as they trim. I am also afraid of leaving my dog with groomers - we read of bad things happening sometimes so it's better to be careful.

But if there is still some mess happening after "Number 2", I'd try to just get it off the fur and not go down to the skin with the vinegar/water or some gentle soap/water (unless you have to). Like I said before, the more humidity that hits the skin, the more potential there is for sores...that's how it is with Jessy anyway. Her skin doesn't like too much water and especially soap. I use Buddy Boo Buddy Wash by Cloud Star when I have to, I rinse really well, and I finish with a vinegar and water rinse (no need to rinse off the vinegar/water). The company also makes a nice "spritz" that smells like lavender and sometimes I spray it on a paper towel with some water and use it to freshen up her fur around her bum and lady parts, too.

I have another possible solution for you - you can make a sling from a piece of towel or other fabric (like a long, wide belt) and have it under her belly when she does her duties and this way you can hold her up and there will be less mess on her fur. But not all dogs will do their duties with a sling under their belly - maybe Kizzy will? It's worth a try and could solve your problems.

For her ears - does she have an ear infection or is it really yeast? Jessy never had yeast or fungus in the ears (thank goodness - ONE THING she never had) but once she had an infection and the vet prescribed Surolan drops that cleared it up in no time. These are anti-yeast but you'd have to see the vet for that. They also had us rinsing her ear with a vinegar/water solution, letting it dry out, and then we put in the Surolan drops. These drops are also great for little sores on the skin but they do contain cortisone so you don't want to use too much or for too long (just a few days usually gets rid of the problem). I prefer natural meds but these drops have often been a lifesaver !

If your dog has yeast issues, you could try a good refrigerated probiotic (1/3 capsule maybe 2 or 3 times a day - so it ends up being almost a whole capsule per day), and order the Ox-E drops from Nzymes for her water (or you could put a few drops of apple cider vinegar in Kizzy's water bowl), and the Nzymes Antioxidant Treats are good too - they are vitamins A, C, and E (I think) plus a little selenium for the thyroid. A nice oil for dogs called Ascenta (or they may be other brands in the USA) is also really good - just follow directions on the bottle. These simple things made a big difference for Jessy. And make sure you don't give tap water - I bought a Brita to filter the water for us and for the dog.

Jessy has always been a "hot" dog, so sometimes there is panting and she has always preferred cool places to sleep but her water consumption is normal, no pot belly, but she does have the excess fat between the shoulders even though she's now at a healthy weight. I am not in a rush to get the special blood test done for Cushings because even if she has it, it's not a big deal with her or we've been dealing with some light symptoms all these years. I won't be giving her medication she doesn't need. We have seen a few vets lately and the one we trust the most has said that if Jessy does have Cushings, it's not "full blown" so we can just treat little problems as they come up. She is very smart and very reasonable so we are going with her advice.

How did we have her lose weight (30%) in one year? Well, we took that good vet's advice and started slowly diminshing her dried food portion because that's where the calories are, and we started giving her the same brand's canned food to compensate - the canned food has a lot of water so they feel full but there are less calories. We also gave her a little bit of steamed vegetables, mashed up, like broccoli and green beans and some carrots because there aren't many calories but they make the dog feel full (I didn't want Jessy to starve!). We actually counted the kibble to make sure she wasn't getting too much because sometimes our eyes are not very reliable! We also cut out a lot of treats - we were giving her good stuff like the dried chicken or duck breast pieces as snacks, but maybe too often. We now only give her maybe 3 tiny pieces a day because the dog doesn't really see the size - it's the thought that counts! And just with the food changes she lost the weight. She started off at almost 18 pounds and she's now a healthy 12.5 (she not a tiny Pom). The vets are all very happy....

Food quality is very important and there are some recommended foods on the Nzymes website that are good for dogs with yeast problems. You might want to go see if any of the names are brands you know or already use. If you change, you have to go slowly (you probably know that, but just in case...).

As for problems with heat, we got air conditioning for the dog 3 years ago !!! Ok, it was for us too - the summers here in Canada are getting extremely humid - but the dog is much happier and often doesn't even want to venture outside away from her a/c when it's really hot and humid. Her skin is better since we got the unit installed.

And how did Jessy dislocate a hip? Well, she has hip dysplasia (like many dogs) and she saw a wasp, did a little twisty jump, and she dislocated the hip....it can happen quite suddenly in dogs with hip dysplasia.

I hope I answered all your questions and I really hope you join that Cushings forum where I know you will get good advice for Kizzy.

Take care and bless you for all you are doing for your little dog!
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