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If not a general condition such as conjunctivitis, entropion etc. then a topical injury, grass seed, thorns or a toxin may be present. These may scratch the eye causing the cornea to ulcerate so the most important thing is to stop the dog from rubbing the eye. Flush the eye out with a solution of ‘Optrex’ or lukewarm water. If the problem persists or there is bleeding then take to a veterinary surgeon as soon as possible. If the offending object is removed without damage then bathing with extract of cucumber or tea will help irritation.
Vomiting and Diarrhoea
This is usually a sign that the dog’s natural mechanisms have become activated in order to expel something disagreeable from the gut. Starve the dog for 12 hours; ensure there is plenty of clean water or ‘Dioralyte’ to drink. If the problem persists for more than 3 days or there is lethargy, cramping, blood in the stools or the dog is not drinking then a check up at the veterinary surgery is required.
Heatstroke, Sunburn, Scalds and Burns
Longhaired dogs or dogs with restricted breathing passages such as Boxers can easily over heat on hot days when running around or it can happen when any dog is left in a car or an enclosed kennel.
The early symptoms are excessive panting and breathing difficulties, which can progress to collapse and/or seizure. The dog should be removed from the sun or calmed down, wrapped in cold towels or bathed in cool water, fanned and given plenty of clean water to drink. Exposed areas such as the nose, ear tips or where the fur is thin can have an application of a high factor, anti allergic sun cream or sun block to prevent sunburn. If the area is burnt, ensure the dog has plenty to drink, put an ice pack to the burnt area and apply a soothing lotion such as calamine. If blistering occurs, then lightly bandage and check for infection regularly.
Dogs will eat anything at least once. If the taking in of a toxic substance is suspected then the dog needs to vomit very quickly: unless it is a liquid such as bleach, which will require a veterinary surgeon, as bringing it back up will cause more damage. Most poisons will take 2 hours to have an effect but the less that gets into the system the better. My father always used suspeneded charcoal but i prefer baking soda placed on the back of the tongue until swallowed or retching commences – mustard powder is prefered by many or mustard paste – right at the back of the gullet. Salt water can be used but is not as quick and 2 or 3 cupfuls may be required. If no side effects are apparent after 2 hours, make sure the dog has plenty to drink and the natural defence mechanism will do the rest. Do not feed for 12 hours and then add immune boosters to the diet in the form of natural enzymes, garlic, Selenium and Vitamin E.