San Francisco Serendipity!!

What a small world- last Sunday, two California Bichon littermates serendipitously found each other out at a Puppy Social in San Francisco after having only been apart for a few weeks!  It was so fun getting texts from both Brent and Marcus.  This video of CoCo and Binky chasing each other around made me laugh!!  I’m glad they are continuing in their rascally ways:) Thanks for sharing, Marcus!!



Home-Brew Heartguard!

Heartworm prevention is very important in some geographic regions.  Perhaps the most well known brand of heartworm prevention is Heartguard, which is available by prescription only and requires a negative heartworm test annually prior to dispensing.  For anyone interested, the two active ingredients for Heartguard are Ivermectin (for heartworm) and Pyrantel Pamoate (for other parasites.)  Both of these ingredients are actually available online without a prescription.  You can get them from Amazon:

Ivermectin- $30:  Click HERE 

Pyrantel Pamoate- $22:   Click HERE

Syringes for measuring- $8:   Click HERE

Directions for using 0.08% sheep drench- 1 ml/20 lbs. once a month

Ivermectin sheep drench solution contains a lower concentration than other ivermectin products, so it can be used without diluting it first. Ivemectin is given orally (never use pour-on solutions for heartworm prevention).

Dosage using Ivermectin 0.08% solution for heartworm prevention is 1 ml/20 lbs.  So your typical Bichon will get between 1/2 and 1 ml per month.

Ivermectin solution is given orally. It’s best to squirt it into the mouth, rather than adding to food, to be sure your dog gets it all.

I use a small syringe to draw it up and squirt it into their mouth.  They act like it tastes nasty!!  The sheep drench doesn’t appear to have an expiration date.  One container will last you FOREVER!

Directions for using Pyrantel Pamoate- 

The dosage for Pyrantel is 1 ml/10 lbs. of body weight.  So I give my Bichons about 1.5 mls using the 3 ml size syringe.  I squirt it into their mouth- they don’t mind the taste of this one!  Pyrantel usually has about a 1 1/2 year expiration date from the time of purchase.  Probably keeping it in the fridge would preserve it longer.  The 16 oz. bottle goes a LONG way!


Tip: You may want to mark with a sharpie on your syringe the dose for your dog so you don’t have to remember it.  Or you can write it on the bottles.  Basically it is 1 ml/20 lbs. for the Ivermectin and 1 ml/10 lbs. for the Pyrantel.

*Please note that this information is not meant as a substitute for veterinary care.  Collies may be sensitive to Ivermectin.

Bichon Ear Care- Blue Power!!

Bichons can be prone to yeast, fungal, or bacterial type ear infections because they have floppy ears and hair that grows in their ears. This creates to a dark, moist climate perfect for infections.  Minor ear infections can cause discomfort and lead to more serious infections.  I have also noticed that tear staining can accompany ear infections, so clearing up and preventing ear infections can help reduce tear staining.

A great formula for treating and preventing ear issues in Bichons is homemade Blue Power Solution.  A quick google search will provide pages and pages of testimonials as to its effectiveness- suffice it to say, it works!  It can be used a lot and can be used on puppies.

The only drawback is that it will stain- hair, clothes, furniture- so you have to be careful.  I use it regularly on my Bichons and haven’t had a problem by following the instructions below.  I treat their ears once a month when I give them their heartworm medicine.  It does give the inside of the ears a bluish tint, which fades within a few days.  The blue staining is caused by the gentian violet, which is a key ingredient for its anti-yeast, anti-bacterial, and anti-infective properties.  (Gentian violet used to be used to treat thrush in infants’ mouths.  This practice was probably discontinued because it colored the mouth blue!)  The isopropyl alcohol base helps dry the ear canal and prevent infection.  The boric acid powder helps soothe the ears.  (Acid soothes?? Yeah, I know it sounds weird.)

The solution works well on any and all ear problems, including infections, mites, wax, and cankers.  People report a success rate of over 95%.  For those that are unsuccessful, they are likely not treating often or long enough.

Many have found Blue Power Solution effective in treating fungus-type infections on the feet and elsewhere on the dog, for cuts on dogs or people, and for hot spots.  You may find other uses for this simple anti-infective agent.  I use the solution along with prescription drops when my kids get Swimmers Ear.  Be careful not to get the solution into the eyes and it is for external use only.

*Please do not use my advice in place of proper veterinary care.  If you have been given prescription drops from your vet, I encourage you to follow the instructions.  I do recommend that you use the Blue Power solution in addition to using the prescription drops. 

Here is the RECIPE and links for Amazon for ordering.  This makes 16 oz. which can probably treat one Bichon for several years.  After that you’ll only need to order more alcohol.

16 oz. Isopropyl Alcohol

4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder

16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%

Mix well and shake before each use!!  The Boric Acid tends to sink to the bottom.    (Alcohol)   (Gentian Violet)—Roach-Boric-Acid/dp/B0016J1MZG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469647186&sr=8-1&keywords=boric+acid   (Boric Acid)  (16 oz. Squirt Bottle)

The SCHEDULE of treatment is as follows: Treat 2x per day for the first week to two weeks depending upon severity of ears… Treat 1x per day for the next 1-2 weeks …Treat 1x per month (or even less frequently, depending on the dog) as a preventative.

Instructions for administering is as follows:  Shake well! Put about 10 drops in each ear. Place a cotton ball or tissue at the ear opening and gently massage the ear for 60 seconds to distribute.  The excess solution should be absorbed by the cotton ball, preventing unnecessary staining.

I have used Blue Power on an irritated paw or skin.  I have had a 100% success rate at clearing up hot spots or irritations with this solution.  The only problem then is the bluish hair, which I then bleach back to white with a mild bleaching recipe which I will post next!




The Wozniaks!!

What a pleasure it was to visit with the Wozniaks a couple weeks ago!  Based on my interactions with Janet (biologist) and Steve (co-founder of Apple) they are examples of brilliant, successful people that are kind, conscientious, and generous.  They shared their formula for life with my family, which is H=S-F (Happiness equals Smiles minus Frowns.) I was surprised by how very affectionate and playful Woz was with the puppies- laying down to wrestle with them and letting them lick his beard and run all over him!  He has perhaps more experience with Bichons than I do, since he has had several sets of Bichons over the past few decades. These lucky pups, Zelda and Ziggy, are now living large and enjoying princely treatment, reaffirming that some puppies I place dine on more filet mignon in a week than I do in a year!!  I wish Janet and Steve and the “Z’s” many happy, smiling years together!!

Cozette in the Spotlight!!

Congratulations to Cozette- our little Fountain Grove celebrity.  She was featured in last month’s Fountain Grove Life Magazine and had her picture on the cover!  Here is the cover page and a link to the magazine PDF including the lovely write up about Cozette.  Thanks so much for sharing this, Sheri and Phil!!

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Way to go, Cozette!!  Keep making people smile!!


Christmas Cheer!!!

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas!!  We love everything about Christmas- cheerful carols and caroling, brilliant lights, shimmering Christmas trees, thoughtful presents (except the mess!), yummy stockings, and the spirit of goodwill.  We especially love remembering the “Reason for the Season” which is the humble birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  We wish you joy and peace this coming New Year!!

Dr. B’s Annual Christmas Letter

Christmas Spirit is Best Learned from Your Dog!

It has been said that the only people who can change the world are the ones that want to! Our dogs, with little effort, change the world for the better every day. Creating a world of more smiles and kindness – all for an occasional pat on the head or a treat! There was a study done that showed kids raised with pets were gentler and kinder than kids without. It’s an interesting conclusion but not all that surprising to me! Dogs do not tolerate mean behavior and will nip or simply walk away if you’re too rough with them. The child loses their playmate and soon learns to be gentle or stop playing!

We have talked about life lessons dogs teach us. Our dogs are always glad to see friends, get excited about the little things like a car ride or running a squirrel up the tree, and treat every day like it is the “Best Day Ever”! As I’m sure you already know, lessons in kindness and gentleness come from our pets, too; here are a few stories that prove this to be true.

A five year old who just lost his beloved family dog said to his dad and the attending veterinarian that he knew why dogs did not live as long as people: “People have to learn to get along, be kind, and not to hurt each other. Dogs already know that when they are born, so they don’t have to live so long!” That brought a tear to my eye and reminded me that children often have insights beyond their years and our understanding.

My dogs are excited to greet my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson even though they have not seen each other for some time. This past visit, Casey and Manny, my treasured Shar-Peis, loved all over eight-year-old Beau, and he relished their wet kisses! Tails wagged, smiles filled the air, and the universal language was grunts, growls and giggles. I watched Beau with my two dogs and smiled. At nine and thirteen, my dogs are older than my grandson, who grew up with them. Beau looked up and said, “Grandpa, they think I’m one of their puppies that sometimes comes back to visit!” I think he is right! Dogs are glad to see you, and witnessing their simple joy is another gift they give us!

On a recent trip, I was waiting in an airport when I saw a service dog with a child. I quietly walked up, introduced myself, and asked if he could tell me about his dog. “I’m Branden, and Max is my help-to-stand,” the little boy replied, “He stays strong when I am not, and he lets me lean on him when we walk. He also helps me get up because my legs are weak, but I am getting better with Max’s help!” The optimism of a child is another of God’s gifts from our dogs!

Branden then showed me how Max works, and I noticed how gentle Max was in starting out so Branden could get his legs moving in one direction. Before long, kids of all ages crowded around, watching and talking as Branden showed Max off. Everyone could see that this dog was a wonderful friend to Branden. With a smile to his parents, I thanked Branden and Max and left, with Branden explaining to everyone how Max even goes to school. Max was without a doubt Branden’s best friend, but Branden was making his next friend everywhere he went with Max’s help.

People talk about the Christmas spirit as if it is seasonal, but the Christmas spirit lives in our pets every day! Dogs make every day their best day ever and don’t waste a minute feeling sorry for themselves! When you greet friends this Christmas with smiles and well wishes, remember to extend that kindness through all of 2016! After all, your dog already taught you to be kind, gentle, honest, and loyal. We should aspire to be the people our dogs think we are – for the Christmas season and beyond!

Merry Christmas, and don’t forget to get a gift for your family member with fur! I know I will.

– Dr. B

In-house veterinarian for Revival Animal Health