I feel like a bad dog owner

Some of you may know I have a German Shepherd Dog named Shadow. She is only 3. I have been a great dog owner. I have been diligent when it comes to her care. Shots and checkups are done the same time each year. Her monthly flea and heart worm treatments on the 18th of every month since we bought her. For the last 3 years we have used Frontline Plus to treat her. When she saw the vet this last time we decided to try K9 Advantix on his recommendation. We got it through her vet. We didn’t use it right away because we still had some Frontline Plus left over. I wanted to finish that up first. I gave Shadow her heart worm meds and treated her with the new K9 Advantix on the 18th. By Friday she was going nuts, scratching her shoulders and biting at her lower back and hips. Almost constantly! There is one spot where her fur is even thinned out from the biting.

My thinking was this … with the approaching fall weather she’s shedding more than usual. I had noticed clumps of hair here and there on the floor. I took her out back yesterday and got the rake and shedding blades and brushed another whole dog’s worth of hair from her. And that’s when I noticed the rash. All along her spine where I placed the flea treatment was this awful looking rash! No wonder she was going nuts. I looked all through the house and could not any of the anti-itch creams/lotions/sprays we have. Darn those kids! My in-laws just happened to call from Wal-Mart asking if we needed anything. Yes! Aveeno max strength anti-itch cream please! They picked that up and even bought her an anti-itch spray from the pet aisle. I rubbed the cream in everywhere I could find the rash and waited. By bed time she wasn’t digging and scratching. I sprayed the areas with the dog anti-itch spray, combed it in and put her up for the night and went to bed.

This morning I checked her and the rash was just about gone but it was still bothering her. I rubbed in more cream and let that sit. And then waited til the vet got in. I called their office and they confirmed my rash theory and said I was doing everything correctly to treat her symptoms. Switching from one product to the other can cause problems. As well as the fact she could just be allergic to the Advantix. I was told that I can even giver her liquid Benadryl to help with the itching but that is last resort for me/Shadow. They told me to bring back the unused Advantix and they would trade it for the Frontline Plus. The allergic reaction could last up to a week. I was told to watch and make sure she doesn’t create any sores with the scratching and biting.

So why do I feel like a bad dog owner? Because something I did to her is causing her this discomfort. Yeah I know .. she’s just a dog. But I have to tell you, she’s my best friend next to my wife. I Feel like I’ve let her down. How would you feel if you gave someone, a loved one or a friend, who has a peanut allergy, a Snickers Bar and they ate it and got sick? Or, I think this is closer .. you gave your kid penicillin and they had an allergic reaction? How would you feel?

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “I feel like a bad dog owner

  1. That’s a bad deal, but, hey, she doesn’t blame you. Probably doesn’t even have any lasting psychological scars. Take her on an extra long walk to assuage your feelings of guilt.

  2. I know her well enough to agree with you. I just feel bad. It wasn’t intentional and the pampering she’s getting now more than makes up for it. πŸ™‚ We’ll be taking a run later this evening when it cools off.

  3. Janet

    Out of love and wishing to do the right thing, I too took my pets in for routine shots, worming, and gave them regular flea treatments and purchased them “premium” packaged foods. The result? Seizures, organ failure, cancer and fleas every summer. Look into what you are doing to your pets! Most vets will not tell or warn you of the dangers. The bulk of a vet’s income is through annual vaccinations and the regular sale of parasite products. Since chemical medicine is what they are taught in vet school, even vets who honestly want the best for the animals they treat may not fully understand the harm they are doing. Annual vaccinations are unnecessary, ALL topical parasite treatments are poison absorbed into your pet’s blood. All my pets and rescues are now on an organic raw food diet and do not receive any vaccinations or topical parasite treatments. The outdoor cats would get fleas every summer. A few got mites… one got such a serious infestation she pulled/scratched out her fur and it took us months of chemicals to rid. Since being on the raw food diet, NO flea or mite infestations. Animals that were skittish around company are now friendly and relaxed. This must sound like an ad. I am not the “mystical” type. When my co-worker insists we check horoscopes to see what tomorrow has in store, or talks about using wooden flutes and mirrors to increase energy in our office, I can barely keep from rolling my eyes! I NEVER would have believed the changes were possible had I not seen them for myself. I wish I would have changed my approach to pet care while it still could have helped the pets that are no longer with me. Two really good books to start with are Dr. Pitcairn’s “Natural Health for Dogs & Cats” and Martin Goldstein’s “The Nature of Animal Healing”. I hope you choose to at least look into a healthier, more natural approach to caretaking. Either way, I wish the best for you and your pup!

  4. Janet, I’ve been reading up on BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods). The book I found to be most helpful so far is “Give Your Dog A Bone” by Dr. Ian Billinghurst. I’ve been looking at the problems people have with their pets and really wondered if commercial dog food is appropriate for my dog. How do wolves survive? What to they eat? And this book has confirmed my thinking. I’ll look into the other books as well.

    Out of curiosity do you use any of the BARF sites to order from or do you do your own BARF?

  5. Janet

    I am glad to hear that you are looking into a BARF diet! I really cannot say enough good things about it. To answer your question, I prepare my pet’s raw food diet at home. It’s a lot easier if you have a meat grinder. I was hesitant at first. Even after a lot of reading and research, it seemed like such a project to make sure the animals received the necessary nutrients. Having a cat with kidney failure pushed me into trying it. He wouldn’t eat anything else…not the prescription diets recommended by the vet, not ANY type of commercial food (and believe me, I tried them ALL, including the pricey organic whole food diets). The first day I made him up a batch of boiled chicken and mashed vegetables, he ate a whole plate, then another! It was amazing, I had been coaxing him to eat for weeks and he had dropped a few pounds. The vet said there was nothing I could do, and that almost all his kidney function was gone. That was 3 years ago.

    As I mentioned, I started off boiling the meat until I was comfortable with my food source and was convinced raw was safe. I’ve never had any problems. I loosely follow the recipes in Dr. Pitcairn’s book, alternating types of meat and vegetables each week when preparing the food to ensure a varied diet. Animals with organ or immune issues also get probiotics daily, other animals get them occasionally just for the heck of it.

  6. Maximus

    I would like to see a continuation of the topic

  7. How so Maximus? Do you have anything to add?

  8. R

    Darwins offers prepared raw. We prepare ourselves as it is less expensive, and can control what goes in, and give raw meaty bones vs. bonemeal. I too am victim of bad dog owner:( Gave first frontline a month ago, and after applying 2nd dose noticed a very bad rash from the first dose. I wish we applied it in the same exact spot which would have prevented the second dose. I was glad to read the tips about the aveno cream and will go out and get it. I feel like our companion rely’s on our knowledge, understanding, and sound decision making with everything for his health and happiness, and I too feel like I really dropped the ball on this one and let him down big time.

  9. R,
    You know what .. we do what we do to take care of our pets. And when something happens we blame ourselves. Kinda silly but that’s how pet owners are. Shadow forgave me completely. We are just being a lot harder on ourselves than our pets would ever be. It’s called unconditional love. πŸ™‚

    It’s funny how different treatments affect dogs differently. With Shadow it was the Advantix that set off the reaction. Since then she’s been back on Frontline Plus with not a single problem since.

    The Aveeno was great! And if the rash is really bad there is the option of using Benadryl to alleviate the symptoms.

  10. I am really sorry that you feel that way. But you shouldn’t really blame yourself. When i buy pet supplies I usually look at a lot of reviews, before making a decision. I go to petshoppingsites.com for honest reviews and I have always been stastified with my deicision. I hope the cream worked for the rash and everything gets better soon.

  11. Hey, don’t blame yourself, You are just owner of the dog and not the pet doctor, you have did what you know to get her out of the allergy problem and it was totally unintentional.

    So be cool and don’t think you are a bad dog owner…

    Thanks
    Oliver

  12. Aleta Trotochaud

    Good post, thanks a lot!

  13. Ray

    We have all done things intending to do good. Most of us have also done some outright silly things trying to do good.

    Be kind to yourself. You had good intentions.

  14. Christine

    I put advantage on my girl Sophie and she started itching, rolling in the dirt and barking, and rubbing her spine on the bed. Wondered if it was a bad lot. Never used it often, but she’d never had a reaction before. This has gone on for almost a year. Anyone hear of toxic lots of fleakiller?

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