Westie Health Concerns
Even a healthy dog will occasionally exhibit some symptoms that cause concern. It is always advisable to call your veterinarian when your Westie is troubled by something new. Some minor problems are common to Westies and can be treated at home, once you have confirmed with your vet that the symptom has no serious cause.
Chocolate and Dogs
There are many formulations of chocolate with varying amounts of caffeine and theobromine. The lethal dose of sweet milk chocolate for a dog is 2 oz per kill gram of bodyweight. For a 5 kilogram dog this would be about 280 grams. A lethal dose of milk chocolate for a 25 kilogram would be about 1.4 kilograms. Dark chocolate is at least 10 times as lethal. A 25 kilograms dog could die from the methylxanthines in 5 ounces. Symptoms include vomiting, hyperactivity, restlessness, hypersensitivity to touch (a dog will jump when touched very rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing rate. A loss of control of leg muscles, muscle tremor seizures, general weakness, coma and finally death follow. IMO it would be a tragic mistake to encourage a dog to develop a taste for chocolate. A small dog left alone in a house with a box of chocolates might well follow his nose to the goodies and commit suicide by poisoning. Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.
If your dog has consumed chocolate, rush him to emergency care immediately.
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A severe case of diarrhea requires medication. The old formula of Biosol M worked immediately. Although slower-working, the new Biosol is also effective. Diamycin or amphoral are also effective. An infant dose of Kaopectate can also solve the problem.
In puppies, diarrhea can be very dangerous. If the pup seems dehydrated. give only pedialyte, or sugar water. Amforol is recommended Bloody Diarrhea, often caused by stress. It also helps the stomach cramps. Your vet can order if for you from Fort Dodge. A single order of 100 tabs will cost approximately $140 and has a 2 yr. exp. date.
Fleas and Ticks
Dogs who have the natural oils stripped from too frequent bathing or the wrong shampoo usually are more susceptible to infestation. Vegetable oil-based Murphy's Oil Soap, found in the cleaning section of any grocery store, contains the natural protectants, cedar oil and citronella. You can also clog the airways of the fleas with cornstarch by sprinkling on the dog and brushing out.
Battling fleas requires constant vigilance in many parts of the country. Their presence is not always obvious at first. It's a good idea to periodically go through the dog's coats looking for evidence of fleas. Normally flea "remains" are easy to spot and found in such areas as the base of the tail on the back.
In the Summer, checking for ticks every night is a good idea. Check top of head, ears, armpits and groin. You can recognize the tick by its round body and visible legs. If the tick has burrowed its head into the skin, be sure to remove the entire head to avoid infection. Remove the tick with tweezers and swab the irritated area with alcohol.
If you have more than one dog, finding flea evidence on one calls for treating the problem for all. Start with bathing and spraying each dog. Vacuum all rugs and discard the vacuum cleaner bag, away from the house. Wash all blankets and bedding. Release a fogger in every room of the house.
Use 20 Mule Team borax (laundry detergent section of store) on the carpets. Apply liberally; sweep in, then vacuum out in a few days. Borax dries out the protective shell of the flea causing it to crack open and die. As a preventative, you may want to fog twice a year, in the Spring and in the Fall after the first heavy frost.
If you treat the dog and not the house, the flea reproduction cycle that will never be broken. Either treat both or you will always see fleas. These little pests can have their eggs hatch weeks after you think they are gone!
Partial List of Flea-fighting Products Product
* Should not be used when dogs have the tendency towards yeast infection
If your dog begins to lose the black pigment in his nose, use glass or metal dishes, rather than plastic. Give the Westie more time outdoors in the sunlight. Try a multi-vitamin, such as Pet Tabs, daily. Pet Tabs can be purchased in pet supply shops. Homeopathic remedies include blue-green algae and colloidal silver
Noses will also lighten with age. In that case, the nose turns lighter brown, rather than pink. But, sometimes, no matter what you do, the nose will not regain its pigment.
Red Beard or Rusty Paws
Contributing Cause Solutions
Another is a mixture of 1 oz Dawn dishwashing liquid,
1/4 cup baking soda, and 1-quart peroxide. Leave on dog for 5 minutes
and rinse. Another remedy is Massengil. Shampoo dog, rinse and then pour
on straight Massengil.
Usually, the bile is a sign that the stomach is too empty. Extreme heat can also bring on this reaction. Feeding the dog more often is helpful. Make sure the dog doesn't go to bed with an empty stomach and give him or her a small amount of food first thing in the morning.
Rich food can also be the culprit. Make sure the dog food is a brand recommended for terriers and try eliminating dairy products. Westie owners have had good results with Nutro, California Natural, Beowulf and Solid Gold.
The bile leaves a nasty yellow/green stain if allowed to dry. The portable, hand-held "Little Green Machine" by Bissell is a handy tool for combating stains. The solution sold with the machine will eliminate the mark in a flash. Nature's Miracle cleaning solution will also cut through the stain with a fair amount of scrubbing,
Nature's Miracle can be found at most pet supply stores. It is useful for eliminating most biological stains, including urine and excrement, blood and vomit.