Category Archives: useful things


I realized a couple weeks ago I realized that I have changed a few of the things I give Bailley and wanted to share these things with all of you as well as amend her medication page.

Cody brought a very mild case of Kennel cough home. He and Peyton were recently vaccinated. Peyton did not get it at all. Cody had a snotty stuffy nose. Phoebe (9) and Bailley (16) got it the worse. With Bailley being pretty bad. I had a couple days that Bailley did not want to eat. She had trouble standing and coughed so bad she could not sleep. Phoebe cough non stop. I am telling you this because these circumstances lead me to a couple new wonderful things.

To treat the kennel cough every one got nebulizer treatments twice a day for 10-20 min each. We have a human nebulizer with a mask that works well with the flat faced dogs. Ours is similar to the one below. I bought it on craigslist.

I used a saline solution which I keep on hand for different reasons. One for each treatment. The saline I buy is here

I have hydrocodone syrup on hand for Bailley when she has extreme attacks of coughing due to her heart. It was very nice to have but after a couple days I started to wish I could give them something else in the morning so they would not b groggy. A fellow breeder recommended this cough syrup. It worked with all the dogs and I have used it on the grand kids as well. The dogs got it twice a day. Morning and before bed. Bailley got Hydrocodone before bed as this helped her sleep for at least a few hours. You can give this syrup 1 cc every 6 hours.


Another breeder friend told me about a supplement she used to get rid of Kennel cough. Vibactra Plus. I did some research on this and found it could be very useful not only for the distressed situation Bailley was in at the moment but also all the time.  Vibactra Plus


It is around 30.00 a bottle. I got mine on ebay. About a week into using this I saw a marked difference in both Phoebe and Bailley. Phoebe was all but over it with a few coughs here and there and Bailley’s cough sounded more like it was a heart cough than a kennel cough


She was doing much better. As you can see in the video she started getting back to her old self. She was moving around like her body was not achy anymore. She started eating regular food (for her) again. We went through two rotisserie chickens over a two week period that is all she would eat. Since this video was taken she has shown more improvement.

After all seemed to be over with the Kennel cough, it seemed Bailley was left with a heart cough that was a little more often than before. Over the Christmas holiday her vet had to call in a new script for Lasix  (furosemide) For some reason the pill form was sent. She has always had the liquid. I noticed when she was sleeping there was a wheezing in her breathing. I suspected the Lasix was not doing its job. I had a little of the liquid left so the next day I gave her liquid just to test my theory. I was not sure if it was my imagination but she seemed better with the liquid. So I went to Walmart and had the liquid re filled. What did I have to lose? The script is around 11.00. It was worth it to me just to see if it would be better. There is definitely a difference in how her body responds to the liquid. She is almost back to her regular cough which is almost non existent. Only when she wakes from sleep or stress.

I thought it was important to tell the story about the Lasix because your vet is your dogs Dr but, you know your dog and your vet can be more effective with treatment if you are diligent at home with being observant.

So on top of all of this going on I realized Bailley was very gassy. I mean to the extent that every time she coughed walking down the drive outside to potty, she sounded like my husband when he gets gassy. For a little dog this was impressive but I felt like it might hurt her a bit. Not only that but it scared her. She would dart away from each one like someone was poking her in the bottom. Now she gets baby gas relief drops in the morning (if necessary) and after dinner. Her gas is much improved. I do believe the excessive gas is part of her health issues.

So one more thing I have to tell you about. Several months back I noticed she seemed to have chronic infection going on and it seemed to be bladder or urinary track related.  She has been on Ketoconozole for two years now as well as all the other medication she takes. Everything she is taking damages the kidneys and liver. I found a product called Renafood. She gets one every evening with her food. We hide it just like everything else. She has been taking it for almost three months and has not had infection since. Her bloodwork has never shown signs of kidney failure but I believe it is imminent with age and lots of meds.


To see the modifications in her meds and supplements check out her meds page.


9/2/2015 – TEAR STAINING

Tear staining is the topic of 50% of my emails. No one likes the look of that dark staining on their precious baby white face. Tear staining is not a subject that has a quick fix.

This is written as my opinion and should not be taken as gospel, it is not meant as a way to avoid going to a vet or seeking professional diagnoses.

REASONS FOR TEAR STAINING – genetics, bacterial infection in eyes or ears, clogged tear duct, drinking from a bowl, yeast infection, allergies, poor hygiene, health issues, and over tear production.

Genetics – Some lines have habitual staining and I tend to steer clear of these lines. Pay attention to the line of dog you buy. If the parents faces are stained and your new puppy has a white face, chances are your puppy will be stained in no time.

Bacterial infection – If your dog has severe staining and it just never seems to get better. Your dog might have gooey stuff coming from his eyes. Your vet is the only one who can tell you if your dog has a bacterial infection. A course of antibiotics may be needed.

Clogged tear duct – Eyes are a very serious matter so if you think your dog has something going on with the eyes see a vet ASAP.  If your dog has a history of the tear duct getting clogged you should was his eyes every day with a face wipe for dogs or a warm cloth, gently massaging the area under the eye where the tear duct is.

Over tear production can be caused by many things. In young dogs it is most likely caused by teething. It can also be caused by lashes laying on the eye. Some breeds like SHih Tzu are very hairy and hairs getting in the eyeball are not uncommon. You can pull the hairs out of the corner of their eye and just luck them out with your fingers. There is a laser surgery for this but they will grow back. Maybe a little slower but your fingers are much cheaper and if you make it a part of regular grooming, your dog will tank you. Sometimes if the top lashes get to long they will continually drag in the dogs eyes. Another common grooming habit is to cut the lashes off. Some dogs are worse than others.

ALLERGIES – oh the dreaded word with Shih Tzu. Honestly most Shih tzu suffer from seasonal allergies just like we do. (Im not talking about allergies where they chew their skin and itch until they bleed) At times when pollen is high and you are feeling a bit stuffy and teary eyed, your dog is most likely experiencing the same thing. They cannot tell us and they don’t complain so many times it goes unnoticed. This is when you notice staining at the corners of the mouth as well.

DRINKING FROM A BOWL – When your dog drinks from a bowl the water sits on the face furnishings.  As with anything when water sits weird funky things start growing in it. One this is red yeast. Red yeast will stain the face.

POOR HYGENE – If hair is allowed to grow on the dog without trims it will lay on the eye and cause over tear production and discomfort to your dog, eventually causing an ulcer and many other issues with the eye.  If you cannot groom your dog, make sure you get him or her to a groomer every six weeks to maintain the face hairs.

HEALTH ISSUES – The only time in Bailley’s life she was stained was in the throws of her Cushings not being under control. Persistent face staining can be a sign that something is seriously wrong with your dogs immune system.  Her face staining concerned me terribly and I was on the verge of telling myself, that is what happens when dogs get old. NO, its not! An older dog can and should have just as white a face as they did when they were young.



As I said before, there is no quick cure once your dogs face is stained. Bottled water, boric acid and cornstarch, adding buttermilk to the bottle, adding vinegar, none of these thing prevent tear staining. I have been showing and breeding Shih Tzu for 15 years and I have tried it all. Every dog in my home has a white face. I think I may have figured it out. Here are my suggestions.

Buy a dog from a line that does not present heavy tear staining. I do believe with every part of my being that some lines are predisposed to this. Some breeders do not seem to understand this and they keep breeding off the same lines thinking its a fact of life and they need to be more diligent in their treatments. The being said, environmental factors lay a big role as well.

If you visit your vet on a regular basis and have a CBC blood panel done every year, normally you can rule out health issues. If you notice staining and blood has not be done within a year, I suggest having it done just to be certain there are no underlying causes. If there is an issue your vet will treat the underlying cause. Sometimes a course of antibiotic will do the trick.

Get a water bottle and train your dog to use it. Use peanut butter or cream cheese to lure your dog to the water. Some dogs are harder than others but most adapt within a day or two.

If allergies are present that can sometimes cause a small infection in ears, clogged tear duct, sinus infection, etc. just like in humans. Sometimes I will use a product called Tylan. It comes in a powder and can usually only be bought is large quantities.  Tylan is the main ingredient in Angel Eyes, which most people have heard of. Tylan is a low grade antibiotic used in farm animals.  I will only use this product for about two weeks and normally that is enough time to get rid of the funk. I put the powder in their water.  I add what I would equate to about 1/16 a tsp.  There are measuring spoons sold in pinch, dash and smidge. I put a pinch in a 32 – 44 oz bottle and a smidge in anything smaller.

DO NOT GIVE TYLAN TO PUPPIES. Tylan will effect new teeth emerging. It is very tempting at this age to use a quick fix , it is not uncommon for puppies to stain while they are teething. This is when you use other methods. Which brings us to clogged tear ducts. This can happen in adults as well as puppies but puppies do tend to have more issues with it. You can massage the area under the eye where the ducts are twice a day to prevent as well as treat this issue.

I use #1 All Systems White Lightening shampoo on EVERY dog I have in my possession, every time I bath.  This includes dogs I groom, dogs who have lived with me for 15+ years, show dogs and boarders. I have been doing this for about 10 years and I have never noticed breakage or dry over processed hair due to the use of this product.

Feed a high quality food. Normally a fish based food is best for dogs who have issues with staining.

Keep your dog groomed. Make sure there is no hair laying in or on the eye. When you groom you can gently rub your finger under or at the corner of the eye and bring any hairs off the eye ball. You can pluck these hairs with your fingers and it will help. Shih Tzu are hairy dogs and hair is a constant issue.  There is not a Shih Tzu on the planet who has not had hair grow in their eyes at some point or another. It is part of the breed and if you own one diligence will help prevent problems.

If allergies are a problem I will use a 25mg Zyrtec



I thought since July is National Pet Hydration awareness month I would talk about how much our pets drink. How much is enough? Too much?


Water consumption can give signs about our pets health. Keeping an eye on your pet’s water consumption is important because too little can result in dehydration, urinary tract issues like kidney stones, and organ failure.

Too little water can be signs of  pancreatitis, parvovirus, or leptospirosis

Too much water can be a sign of Cushings or diabetes.

Dogs can drink to much water and get water intoxication. Symptoms include staggering/loss of coordination, lethargy, nausea, bloating, vomiting, dilated pupils, glazed eyes, light gum color, and excessive salivation. In severe cases, there can also be difficulty breathing, collapse, loss of consciousness, seizures, coma, and death.

Hydration test – Lift the skin at the back of your dogs neck and then let it go. If your dog is well hydrated, the skin will fall quickly back into place. The skin of a dehydrated dog will fall more slowly and form sort of a tent.

Click on this link for a handy calculator that gives you a general idea of what your dog should be drinking.


Over consumption of water is most often seen in dogs who like to stay in the lake or pool all day lapping or bite at the water continuously while playing or dogs that swallow water unintentionally while diving for a ball. An over amount of water in the body results in inadequate sodium content in the bloodstream. Make sure to monitor your pet for symptoms of water intoxication and take frequent breaks form the water.

Of you notice your dog is drinking to much water on his own from the bottle or bowl, a trip to the vet is in order for evaluation by a professional. Be sure to make note of other weird things going on with your pet like urinating on the floor, for a dog that is previously house trained. Bloating, not eating, over eating?


Be sure to praise your pet when he or she drinks from the bottle or the bowl. Make water easily accessible by placing water in the areas your pet is most often. Add sodium free broth to your pets food or just to a bowl to make drinking more appealing. Make sure your feeding a balanced diet and not just dry kibble. Try adding canned food to your pets diet with water like a gravy. Try some of my recipes and cook for your pet adding water as you go.

Water is the most important thing you can do for your pet. Be conscience of how much they are drinking.

6/23/2015 – POOP PATROL


There is a special skill that is learned when you breed, rescue or live with multiple dogs. Its a skill that is acquired over many years of “getting to know” the four legged beings you live with. Its Poop identification. I always say I have sunk to an all time low because I spend half of my day wondering around asking… “Who did this?”  I fool myself into believing my sweet little devils are house trained. Honestly, they do make a good show. We begin our morning going outside so everyone can have that, OMG Im finally out of bed, beginning of the day potty. For the most part they are good, running straight out to the grass and getting down to business.  Its usually a quick potty time because there is such haste as we rush out the door at the break of dawn. Im really glad because their needs come before my own.

Unfortunately getting off to a great start goes down hill as the morning ticks on. It seems one of my precious angels prefers my rug in the morning opposed to depositing her solid waste in the fresh out door air.  It usually starts about 8:30…”Who did this?” I don’t know why I bother. They all scatter about as if none of them did it and whoever I see first is going to get it. If I dont get everyone out at least every hour and a half, someone ends up having an accident. Well, I say accident. I am convinced its a conspiracy.

After years of living with the same dogs, I dont even have to ask. I normally I know by the size, shape, and location of the disgusting deposit.  As new dogs come into the house I reason by deduction of the old sizes, shapes and places that it must be the new guy. I have yet to know of any home that has multiple four legged angels who does not suffer from a random act of “Who did this?”  They all say, my dogs are house trained. All I can do is identify and agree.


6/15/2015 – WARNING

Saturday morning my husband sprayed a small spot in our yard with a fungus spray.  Saturday evening I came home from the show and we let all the dogs out to potty. Peyton felt a need to run to the very spot he sprayed, and leave her business. She was in the grass for maybe 5 minutes.  The only warning on the bottle is keep children and pets off until dry. We are very careful with our dogs and always heed warnings on anything we use.  At least six hours had passed before Peyton was on it. Peyton came inside and within five minutes she started heavy panting proceeded by throwing up numerous times over the next hour.  I kept a close eye on her monitoring her, checking her gums, looking for signs she may pass out. Her gums did get a little light at one point but started to return to normal color after about 15 minutes. She curled up in one of her beds and rested without anymore throwing up. She did not feel well the rest of the night. Sunday morning she was back to her old self. Needless to say we will not be using this product again. I wanted to pass the information on. Here is a photo of the product used.



Most people who have had a dog have heard those dreaded words, your pet has skin allergies. If you live in Florida it is inevitable that at some point you will struggle with this. Even if you buy from a reputable breeder.  Skin problems in dogs can come from a variety of causes. Food, bugs, allergens in the air, face staying wet, etc

The best defense is to catch an issue when it very first appears. Your first line of defense in any allergy situation is home treatment. Allergy prescription medication is not the best thing for your dogs health.The only way to be in tune with what is going on is to CHECK your dogs skin every week when he/ she gets a bath or hair cut. Go over their skin. Make note of any funky goings on. If you notice your dog itching a lot, check is out. Get down on the floor and go through the hair to find suspects.  The more in tune you are with you dog, the better you will be at catching things early and treating before a vet visit is in order. Inflamed skin that has been irritated for months can require antibiotics and prednisone shots. You want to avoid this if at all possible.  I have never had to take a single one of my dogs to the vet for skin problems. If I notice something going on I address it at the very onset and within a couple days, victory is ours.

My prescription for skin issues (I am not a vet this is just my opinion)

My first line of defense is Colodial SIlver spray.

file_259535_0_37x141 You can use the Peace and Kindness pictured or go to your local health food store and buy liquid colodial silver. Put in a spray bottle and BAM! ANy time I see a bug bite, any kind of rash looking thing, beginnings of a hot spot, or one of the dogs gets a bit of clipper burn, I spray the area with colodial silver and the next day its gone.

If I have a dog that gets yeast started for whatever reason I bath once a week until gone in Selsun Blue shampoo (red label) If it seems like a possible seasonal thing, I will give one pink tablet of benedryl once a day in the evening until symptoms subside. I also advise people to use benedryl if their dog has a flair up of itchy flea allergy. It helps get the inside under control while you are doing things on the outside to calm it down. Acidophilus is a good thing to use if your dog is prone to skin issues. Given daily it will help keep things at bay. You can buy the human kind at any drug store for people.

A great shampoo I keep on hand is DermaBenSS shampoo215Advkjq3L

When I notice any kind of funky color (yellow or rust color) between the eyes I use this shampoo between their eyes to prevent any kind of spreading. Shih tzu have a lot of moisture between their eyes because of the stop as well as their large eyes. I take a small amount on my finger and rub slightly between the eyes, being careful not to get in the eyes. I let it sit while I bath the rest of the dog and rinse last. One wash usually takes care of it (if I catch it right away)

I am a firm believer that what we put in our dogs will come out. If we put bad things in, bad things some out of their skin and bottom. Bad food creates more waste. Bad food creates skin allergies. I will get into food and ingredients another time but I will say, home made food is best, a holistic, grain free food is second best. Nothing else will do.

Below are two photos I found on the net of issues to look for. You can put colodial silver in the ear if its just the beginning of a yeasty ear.

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