Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to cut toenails

  Not cutting your puppy's toenails can lead to problems-- later as an adult you can not control or hold your dog to cut it's toenails.  I begin cutting toenails at 3 days--and then I do them weekly until 10 weeks of age--then every 2 weeks.  My puppies/dogs learn to stand quietly as I trim their nails.  No wrestling, mouthing/biting, no screaming, and no bleeding nails.

You need to have the right tools--proper size toenail clippers, a Dremel tool, and some quick-stop powder (it can be bought at most pet supply locations or online stores).  Until your dog is fully trained, have an assistant to help hold the dog--it your dog begins to struggle and get up and away from you--you will have an issue each and every time you try to cut nails--because it has learned it can get away from you and this procedure--and mostly likely will choose to do s every  time.

As very young  puppies, I use nail clippers; for 4-8 month old puppies I use large toenail clippers.  For older puppies and  adults  I use a toenail grinder--a Dremel tool that can be bought at Home Depot or Lowe's.   Large breed dogs have thick nails which are very difficult to cut--often the gullition type toenail clipper twist the toenail as it cits--and that hurts.  So I Use a Dremel tool--easier and more comfortable for the dog-- I use the "sanding" belt and grind off the toenails.  I find grinding toenails less stressful to dogs--once they get use to the noise of the Dremel--it's a few quick strokes, round off the edges, grind off the underside ridges (and the nail will grow slower!!) and  no sharp edges ( your clothes and skin will love it!!).

Have carpet in your home?  Well, you need to cut toenails because their is no contact surface with the nails as the dog walks so they never wear down. Inside house dogs need their nails cut more frequently.

Have you ever let your toenails get too long, so that when you put on shoes your feet hurt?  Well, your dog walking around with long toenails feels the same--the long nails make his toes sore and sensitive--so when you do try and cut them--it hurts for you to touch his feet.   They can also get caught on fencing, rugs and other objects  getting twisted, broken off in to the quick, or pulled out--making for a very sore foot.  If you can hear toenails click on the floor when your dog walks--it's time to cut toenails!!

Walking with long toenails also will cause your dog's feet/toes to lengthen and your dog will  walk off the back of his feet not his toes, placing stress on his shoulder and hip joints-- it will also affect his gait and the way he will stand.  Long nails make it difficult for your dogs foot pads to make contact with the floor surface--so they make slip on some floor surfaces. Those beautiful strong arched toes and "tight" cat feet you see on those show dogs on TV come from routine nail care, exercise, and good diet.

So, keep those toenails trimmed!!  Good foot/nail care begins in puppy hood--start them young, train them to lay quietly while you examine their feet,  rub their toes, and massage their feet--get them accustomed to you handling their toes and feet--this will help desensitize them and make it easier to  trim their nails.  Get them into a routine and trimming nails will never be a "wrestle-mania" at your house. Anyone can have the feet of a champion!!

Catie C. Arney  KioKee Mastiffs  Hickory, NC

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ear Infections

Hot summer weather seems to contribute to ear problems in many canine breeds.  Dogs with long hanging ears seem to have the most problems.  Mastiffs can get chronic ear infections from mites (they start scratching and it gets infected), swimming in ponds, rivers, or lakes, or sometimes just old age.

First step--get them to a vet--a good exam is key for treatment.  If they have mites--treat them for Mites. In order for the ears to heal--you have to treat the underlying problem.  If they are infected, antibiotics is also a good start.

Get a good ear bulb syringe and mix up some warm soapy water and flush out the ears at least every other day. You need to get the old  debris out of the ear.   Peroxide will destroy new skin and healing tissue--so do not use per oxide. If they are badly infected, your dog may not be able to tolerate this step--if not, wait for the ears to heal some (usually about 2 days),  and then begin the flushing.

If the ears remain moist and "yeasty" smelling--they may need a drying agent to help them heal.  I use the "blue power ear wash"--a home remedy used by lots of dog breeders.  Other than the temporary blue discoloration ( and it will stain your clothes  and furniture--(so, keep your dog outside for a few minutes and crate him inside to keep him off the furniture!!) it will help heal  and resolve the worst of ear infections in most dogs.

 Mix it up and keep some on hand--use it as soon as you notice any ear infection  problems.  The recipe is very simple--all the ingredients can be bought at any drug store.

Blue Power Ear Wash


16 Oz. Isopropyl Alcohol 
4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder 
16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1% 

Mix together in alcohol bottle and shake well. 

Please shake this solution every time you use it to mix the Boric Acid Powder. Either a baby ear syringe or a plastic squirt bottle work well for putting the solution in the ear. 


Evaluate condition of ears before treating and if the are inflamed and sore do not attempt to pull hair or clean out ear at all. Just flush and then wait until inflammation is gone, which will be about two days. Warm the solution and shake the bottle each time before using. The dogs will accept the treatment much better if you warm it up for them. 

Flood the ear with solution (gently squirt bottle). 

Massage gently, wipe with 100% cotton pad. 

On first treatment: flood the ear twice, wipe with a pad, and leave alone without massage. 

The dog will shake out the excess, which can be wiped with a tissue. (Note: the Gentian Violet does stain fabrics so you're best to do this outdoors.) 

Treat 2x per day for the first week to two weeks, depending upon severity of ears. 

After the 2nd or 3rd day you can clean out the ear with a tissue or cotton pad. 

Treat 1x per day for the next 1-2 weeks. 
Treat 1x per month (or even less frequently, depending on the dog).

I gave this "recipe" to my vet who uses it in office, and dispenses it to his clients.  It also works well to use as a "after swimming treatment" when your dogs go into the lake , river or pond--helps prevent  ear problems.

It's not very expensive, and is easy to mix, store and use. If you have a dog with a chronic ear problem--try it.

Catie C. Arney  KioKee  Mastiffs Hickory, NC

Gracie & Brian's Babies--9 weeks old--More Pictures!!

Purple (Lf--SOLD)   Blue (rt)

Green Collar Boy

My Keeper--Red Collar Boy--KioKee Morrigan's Turbo Max

Look at the size and bone to this 9 week old puppy!! Sorry, He belongs to Dawn Cox of Texas!!

Orange Colllar boy (Lf)  Green Collar boy (Rt)

All thre of these boys are still avalable--Lft to rt--Blue, Green Orange.

  These boys are now ready for their new homes--I do have 2 very nice show quality boys available.  Contact me at kiokeemastiffs@embarqmail.com for more information.

Catie Arney
KioKee Mastiffs
Hickory, NC