Dogs are absolutely wonderful – but they’re not convenient.
Don’t misunderstand – we think they’re worth every bit of the fuss.
If you leave your dog home, the amount of time you can spend away is limited.
If you take them along, it requires a bit of planning. We like to have a “go bag” – all the “stuff” we’re likely to need for an outing.
Aside from the obvious; collar: leash, poop bags, water bowl, water, treats; there are a few things we’ve found really handy to have around. A first aid kit for dogs stays in the car all the time. It has bandages, vet wrap, saline, Benadryl, tweezers, antibiotic wash, etc. It’s also a good idea to have a towel or two, and, especially if you have fuzzy dogs, some corn starch.
I (Hope) have been on vacation with Teddy and Torque for the last week. Right before I left, Torque’s paw was a bit red and swollen between his toes. It really wasn’t that big a deal, and there was no time to get to the veterinarian before we left, so I headed out.
After four days, the swelling and reddening was worse and included his other front paw. Even more distressing, it also seemed to be affecting the wrinkles under his eyes. Anyone with flat-faced dogs has dealt with “fold dermatitis” at some time. Since I’m careful about keeping my Frenchies clean, it was a bit of a surprise, but not awful.
I was at a loss. When his foot was first showing redness, I tried soaking it with Epsom salts. And it helped with the itching, but not for long, and it certainly didn’t help it go away. I knew that the opposite treatment was called for – trying to keep him dry, instead of soaking.
Apparently I had a brain freeze. I’ve known the usefulness of corn starch for dogs for years; ever since our friend Emily with her extremely-fuzzy Keeshonden explained how she kept a shaker of it in her car, along with a good brush, to take care of her Kees when things got a bit messy doing their business. It happens, and an easy solution is great to have.
Since my dogs aren’t fuzzy, that particular use is interesting, but not part of our kit. Until I went asking the pharmacist at the local drug store what he recommended for drying.
He was very nice, but explained that there’s really not a people equivalent. Talcum powder would be about the only choice. And then he mentioned corn starch! And the light bulb went on! Of course it was the perfect answer to keep Torque dry and comfortable until we can see his regular vet back home.
One stop at the grocery store, and Torque is clean, dry and happy instead of itchy, crusty, and unable to get comfortable.
Of course I will still be taking him to the vet when we get home. We need to find the cause of the problem and treat it. But as a temporary fix, simple, corn starch does the trick.