What You Need to Know About How To Clean Dog Ears

Ears of a dog
Look at those ears! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dogs are prone to dirt and wax build up which is only natural when they have their heads so low to ground all the time. For many dogs it means that their owner has to take on the responsibility of cleaning the ears for them, but then how to clean dogs’ ears so it’s a pleasant experience becomes the challenge.

Our dogs depending on which breed they are may have long or short ears, those that hang to the ground, or stand straight up. Then of course there is the long hair or short hair to deal with. All of these contribute to what kind of potential dog ear problems they could end up with. They key to being able to stop many ear problems before they can start is getting your dog used to you working on him in this area.

A dog that is suffering from discomfort and irritation is not near as likely to cooperate. There is always the danger in a situation like this that you could damage the inner ear which would lead to serious problems

When you first bring your dog into your home as a new addition to your family the first thing you need to do is some obedience training. During this time your dog learns to get used to your commands and your touch. This is the ideal time to train the dog to allow you to handle his ears and gently clean them using the proper dog ear cleaning procedures.

Some dogs just don’t like having some parts of their body touched like their paws or mouth and yes, even their ears. By first starting to rub your dog’s ears then getting him to allow you to turn the ear flaps back so you can inspect them is the first step. You want to proceed from here by getting him to let you put items near them like your grooming tools. Getting used to the dog brush and comb teaches him to adjust to foreign items in this area. This will go a long way in his accepting the ear cleaning solution when the time comes.

At first, even though this dog ear handling exercise is not a discomforting experience your canine friend may put up a bit of a fight. He may pull away from you or start dancing around. You need to be persistent with your training sessions in this area until he learns to sit absolutely still while you go through this handling procedure.

Even though you will eventually get the dog to the point where he is obedient during ear handling and has progressed onto letting you clean his ears as a preventative, you could run into difficulty when you have to clean these when they have become itchy or irritated. The whole focus at this time has to be on not creating a painful experience. The big culprit for doing this is by using dog ear cleaners that sting or burn when used.

Routine inspection and cleaning of the ears is important, and more so if you are beginning to notice signs that something is not right with the dog. Shaking his head, rubbing it along the carpets are two good indicators something is wrong. Often it is the dirt and wax build up that is causing this. Although a relatively minor problem to correct with the right dog ear cleaner, it can turn to an ear infection if left unattended to.

The best medicine for your dog’s ear of course is the preventative type. Using a product that is gentle and safe but works well is a great problem solver, and is even better when you can continue to use it to prevent the dirt and wax build up.

About the Author

By Useful Resources. Finding the right dog ear cleaner is really important not only for getting the results of clean healthy ears for your dog, but to do so pain free. A gentle cleaner provides a more pleasant experience for your dog, and makes your job a whole lot easier.

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Canine Hot Spots (Moist Dermatitis/Eczema)

English: Hot Spot in an English buldog Deutsch...
Hot spot in an English Bulldog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Also known as Acute Moist Dermatitis or Moist Eczema, Hot Spots can seemingly appear spontaneously anywhere on a dogs body and the area involved can rapidly spread. This raw, unsightly skin disorder has a variety of causes but the most consistent factor is a bacterial infection. There are a number of kinds of bacteria that can be cultured from a hot spot and fortunately most respond to oral and topical antibiotics. Anything that irritates or breaks the skin can create the right environment for bacterial contamination if the skin surface is wet. The bodys response is either to itch or become inflamed. The itching then causes the dog to lick or chew the area, which further damages the skin, and creates a cycle of itching, scratching and chewing. If left to develop the infection goes into the deep layers of the skin.

Hot spots tend to occur most often in the summer months, and dogs with matted, dirty coats are at greater risk of developing them. Some owners keep their long haired dogs shaved in the summer, which helps prevent the thick coat from covering any dampness on the surface of the skin. Regular grooming enables swift intervention if a hot spot is developing; often they will simply get worse and worse until treated so veterinary help is advisable. A hot spot that is left untreated may turn into a lick granuloma, which can be difficult to get rid of.

Typical locations for “hot spots” are the side of the face and the flank areas. Golden retrievers and young dogs seem to be predisposed, while they are seldom, if ever, found in cats.

What to look out for:

– Scratching or biting at one area incessantly
– A patch of hair loss with reddened moist skin, often with a film of pus
– Scabs and crusts
– Surrounding hair wet from saliva

Diagnosis is usually obvious from the clinical signs, but your veterinarian may be inclined to search for any contributing factors by doing allergy testing, or take a bacteriology swab so that antibiotic selection is targeted specifically at the bacterium responsible. If the hot spot is on the dogs back leg it is worth checking the anal glands are not the source of the discomfort by emptying them.

Treatment:

– Clip the hair around the hot spot. The hot spot may be more extensive than it originally appears. Clipping will expose the area to the air and accelerate healing (scabbing over)

– Topical medication: the area can be cleaned with an antiseptic solution such as chlorhexidine, and a topical antibiotic cream applied. There is little point of this if the dog will simply lick the cream off (i.e. use buster collar, or only use topical cream if hot spot on face)

– Break the scratch cycle. To allow the hot spot to heal, the dog must stop scratching at it. A one off steroid injection is usually very effective, but sometimes a short course of oral steroids is necessary. Your dog may be more hungry and thirsty while receiving corticosteroids, this is a common side effect. As a consequence, the dog may need to urinate more frequently than normal.

– Oral antibiotics. The best way to deal with a deep skin infection is to deliver antibiotics to the site of the hot spot via the blood stream. If a hot spot is quite advanced, at least a 10-14 day course of a broad spectrum antibiotic is required to prevent immediate recurrence.

– Elimination of predisposing factors: aggressive flea control, investigation to rule out food and pollen allergies etc.

About the Author

Dr Matthew Homfray is one of the experts at www.WhyDoesMyPet.com – Expert Answers for all your Pet Questions. Visit them today, you will be impressed by the quality of their pet experts and the speed with which your question is answered!

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Health Benefits of Habanero Chiles

This image shows a Habanero chile, which is th...
This image shows a Habanero chile, which is the most intensely spicy chile pepper of the Capsicum genus. Most habaneros rate 200,000–300,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), and the Red Savinas variety, at 580,000 SHU, holds the record for being the “World’s Hottest Spice”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many myths against the consumption of habanero chile. People ignore the numerous benefits they could cause to human being health. Here are some of them:

  • All chilli peppers contain phytochemicals substances called capsaicinoids that produce capsicum. The capsicum is the ingredient that gives heat intensity when habanero chili peppers are ingested or applied topically.
  • When habanero chile is consumed, it binds with the mouth and throat which are the pain receptors of the heat. Once it is transmitted to the brain, it responds to this burning sensation by increasing heart rate perspiration and releasing body’s natural endorphin.
  • Researches have shown that habanero chiles may have some beneficial properties as an anticoagulant. Small amounts of capsicum may help prevent heart attacks or strokes caused by blood clot.
  • In cases of cardiovascular diseases, some doctors recommend a bit of habanero chiles in dairy dishes because bad cholesterol could resist oxidation for a longer period of time and delay the development of a major risk.
  • Habanero chili peppers can provide symptomatic relief from rhinitis and possibly bronchitis by clearing mucus from stuffed noses or congested lungs.
  • Some studies in mice show that capsicum products in particular as could help people suffering from obesity to lose weight, even though this is not proved yet with human beings.
  • Capsicum peppers or Capsaicin in general are also a good substance for diabetes control by creating new cells that start producing insulin again.
  • In some countries, chilis are used in salves due to their slight anti-inflammatory and anesthetic effect. Some researches have proved in rats that capsicum products can block pain without causing temporary paralysis.
  • Habanero chiles consumption does not cause stomach aches or cancer even though people usually used to associate them. It has been proved there is not any relationship between them unless capsicum peppers have been adulterated with Sudan I, II, III, IV, para-Red and other illegal carcinogenic substances as aflatoxins and N-nitroso.
  • Several studies confirm that capsicum varieties could have an anti-ulcer protective effect on stomachs infected with H. pylori
  • Jalapeño and habanero chili peppers are a good source of vitamins as well as they are very high in potassium, magnesium and iron, which in turn, may be effective in protecting against cancer. They contain 357% more vitamin C than an orange: green habanero has twice as much as citrus fruit and red ones have three times more, plus an important amount of provitamin A. Moreover, they are a good source of most B vitamins in particular vitamin B6.
  • All kind of chili pepper powder and fresh >habanero chiles may help control food contamination in countries where there is a minimal or even no refrigeration.

About the Author

Eric Castro, chief editor of Posicionarte in Quito, Ecuador.

Image Upsizing: Best Methods Compared

I will begin by explaining various aspects about image resizing: how it works, what the important problems are, who would be interested in this. I’ll continue by comparing several existing methods. Finally I’ll conclude with the best method to use.

How does enlarging work?

Upsizing an image increases its resolution (size in pixels/points). To do this, information from the original image is used to create the enlarged version. Imagine a grid of pixels in a plane. In the original image they are all side by side. Enlarging the image means enlarging the grid. The more you stretch it, the more separated the pixels become. Those pixels in-between need to be filled-in. This is called interpolation. There can be other steps after interpolation.

Problems that need to be solved by upsizing

One of the problems that appear is that for small images pixels on the edges may be aliased. This becomes more apparent when enlarging. This is the jagged edges problem that many upsizing methods try to overcome. In one extreme you have edges that are sharp but jagged in another smooth but blurry. A compromise between smoothing an edge and keeping it sharp is searched for. Over-smoothing to maintain sharpness is not that hard to obtain but this creates an unrealistic look to images. Another problem is loss of detailed texture in the upsized image. The only method that even considers this is reshading.

When is upsizing an image useful?

Increasing the size by 200% means transforming a 3 megapixel (MP) image into a 12 MP one. If something like this can be created without losing quality then using an average camera and upsizing it would be almost the same as using a professional camera. Also, cropping and enlarging a portion of an image would be equivalent to having a better zoom lens on your camera. Of course, taking the photo with a professional camera and upsizing it would make very large prints easy.

Well known methods for enlarging an image

I’ll present a few widely known approaches. Some are commercially available: Photoshop, Genuine fractals, Photo zoom and others are free: Reshade.

Photoshop

Although everybody considers Photoshop as The tool of choice for any image manipulation, its features cover only some basic needs in this field. It is mainly designed to be a framework for image processing by allowing the inclusion of plug-ins that can easily interoperate. Because of this, even experienced Photoshop users have a hard time when upsizing images. The default algorithms for this purpose are made to be fast but not very powerful.

Best methods for upsizing images

This image shows a "Nikon Nikkor 18-70 AF...
Camera lens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These methods go further in their search for better quality upsizing. They are designed to allow greater enlargement factors without serious degradation in image quality.

Reshade

This is the newest method from the ones I mentioned. It permits enlargements of up to 200% without losing any quality. This means that even an experienced photographer would have a hard time picking an enlarged version from an original photo. Beyond this zoom factor, the images look a little over-processed. Even at higher zoom ratios reshade seams to work better on most images than any of the other techniques. From my point of view it’s the best choice. I wouldn’t need greater zooming anyway because the degradation becomes visible with any possible technique beyond 200% enlargement.

Genuine fractals

This method tries not to overdo the edge sharpening and de-blurring like Photo zoom and maintains the quality of the image pretty good (for zoom factors of about 500%). For smaller zooms the image quality is very similar to what you can get in Photoshop. That means a lot of blurry edges remain after upsizing.

Photo zoom

Although the clarity of the edges is better than for Genuine fractals (at large zoom factors, 400%), there is an obvious smoothing effect that creates the impression that the image has been over-painted. This might be ok if it’s what you’re looking for but for photography, it adds an unrealistic look to the resized images. Although small details when enlarged remain smooth, reshading does a better job at this, also keeping them small.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I do not suggest using enlarging for every photo you take. The original can always look better even if an enlarged version has insignificant quality loss. But, it often happens that you want to crop only a part of a picture and it becomes too small to print or use as desktop wallpaper. Or maybe you don’t have your best camera nearby and use a lower megapixel one. In these situations enlarging becomes the best option available. I recommend reshading your pictures for best quality. It’s also freely available online at: reshade.com.

About the Author

By Subpic. I am a researcher in image processing at reshade.com.

Natural Way To Achieve Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Relief

English: A hand affected by rheumatoid arthritis
Hand affected by rheumatoid arthritis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you up late at night from the pain, stiffness, and swelling of your arthritis? Does your life revolve around your pain?

Here’s some tips on stopping RA pain using natural treatments. These treatments are popular today as people seek to control their health and healing.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), there is a wide range of natural treatments for rheumatoid arthritis – heat pads, magnets, acupuncture, natural supplements and many more.

Hot Peppers

Capsaicin is an ingredient in hot peppers. It’s put in creams to rub on painful joints. Studies show that capsaicin stimulates the release of a substance that’s involved in communicating pain between nerves and parts of the body. At first, capsaicin may increase the sensation of pain, but then it usually decreases the intensity of pain. In studies, people with RA who used topical capsaicin reported less pain.

Turmeric

Add turmeric to more of your dishes to add flavor and natural anti-inflammatory qualities. According to Science Daily, turmeric, a yellow spice often used in curries and Indian cooking, contains an extract called curcumin, which has been found to decrease inflammation in the body. It has also been found to reduce several of the symptoms associated with arthritis, such as pain, especially in people who have rheumatoid arthritis. You can buy turmeric in the spice aisle of any grocery store and add it to soups, stews, chicken, eggs, tofu and even noodle dishes. Get as creative as you like with ways to add turmeric into your diet, because using the spice consistently over time will have the best benefit in treating arthritis.

Heat & Cold

Cold compresses reduce joint swelling and inflammation. You can apply a cool compress or ice pack to the affected joint during an RA flare-up to help ease inflammation and pain. You don’t want to overdo cold treatments. Apply the cold compress for 15 minutes at a time with at least a 30-minute break in between treatments.

Heat compresses relax your muscles and stimulate blood flow. To use heat therapy, you can try a moist heating pad or a warm, damp towel. Many people like using microwavable hot packs. Don’t go too hot. Your skin should not burn.You can also use heat therapy by standing in the shower. Letting the warm water hit the painful area on your body may help ease pain.

You could use these natural treatment options to care for your body. These natural pain relief measures, when used along with your rheumatoid arthritis medications, can help you manage your signs and symptoms.

About the Author

By Brian Wilson. RAPossible.com founded in 2011 with the intention of sharing the success story of an RA patient and the hope that it will be a useful guide to everyone suffering from arthritis pain. RAPossible offers safe & effective all natural home remedy for people suffering from arthritis pain without the harmful side-effects of medications. For more tips on how to stop arthritis pain.