I don't normally write an article condemning a product but I found one that seems to have a defect. It is a soy based collar called New Earth from a company called Coastal Pet Products. I picked up the New Earth soy collar at Care A Lots thinking I was buying a safe product but to my dismay we ended up with a catastrophe.
I had a bad experience with one of my puppies getting her mouth cut in a severe way. The collar appeared to have stretched out overnight the second night she wore it while getting slightly damp then getting caught in the pups mouth and not only almost strangling the dog but also cut the dog at least one inch on each side of her mouth. We had to make an emergency visit to the emergency clinic and treat her for pain and infection immediately. I believe the collar became thinner when damp and turned into a sort of cutting rope which injured my dog in a severe way. Each side of the puppies mouth sustained a 1 inch cut back toward the jaw and also caused infection, swelling and pain.
Be careful to wait until the soy collars are safer as I think they are still not 100% safe. I have heard of peoples dog's getting caught on them, problems happening and I had my own horrific experience to make it even worse.
I have contacted the manufacturer to let them know I do not think the product is safe. They say they are testing the collar for defects and trying to re-create the problem so they can improve any defect. I just want to prevent other dogs from getting hurt which is my intent in sharing this story.
For now just wait a year or two to see if anymore mishaps happen with the new collars. They have a great idea but I think some fibers need to be combined with non-stretch fibers to make it stronger. I would definitely check the reviews on any collar you intend to buy as I have read some reviews that were not favorable on some collars and had to do with safety issues and choking hazards.
I will say at least the manufacturer Coastal Pet is very serious about accepting the information about the injury and told me they were testing it to see if they could reproduce the defect. My feeling is that Coast Pet seems to be on the up and up and are very interested in making the product as safe as possible but when will they be safe, it's anyone's guess, I will be sure to contact them again in the future to see what is going on. I will post more as I hear back from the manufacturer. So far they have been very courteous and helpful but will the collar improve?
Let's hope they are as interested in getting rid of the defects as much as they are making a eco-friendly product.
This is an unfortunate recent collar injury to this sweet little pup which we reported to the manufacturer.
The brand new collar of 2 days got damp overnight and stretched out.
When I woke up in the morning, the collar was stuck in the puppies mouth as it had stretched
and upon removing it I realized how bad the injury was.
The puppy sustained incision like injuries about 1" on each side of her mouth. She also had a lot of
swelling so that the mouth could not open. We iced her jaws immediately to help reduce swelling while we called the vet and ran her in to the animal ER right away.
The vet put her on antibiotics and pain medicine right away and then we continued with
cleaning the injury with Iodine several times a day. Luckily the mouth did heal up rapidly as many mouth injuries do. Had we not found the collar until later we might not have had a pup at all anymore! What a horrific injury to our beautiful puppy but luckily she escaped a bad fate.
With an immediate response, antibiotics and daily cleaning we were fortunate that she did not end up needing surgery. Thank goodness!
We decided to keep this girl as our pet as she is an amazing dog!
As you can see the collar stretched out somehow. We showed it to the manufacturer and they are working to improve the product.
It is a well known fact that Maltese with their gorgeous white coats can easily get a nasty bacteria in their mouth and eye fur, around the paws and sometimes other places they may lick themselves. Don't get upset, it is a very common problem with smaller dogs and white dogs.
Some people attibute this coloring to the color in dog food and snacks. Well we here at Stevens Maltese Puppies think it is attributed to bacteria.
Before you know it, the red stuff is out of control and what can you do?
There are many options but there is something you can do to be preventative first:
Use "filtered water" or change water regularly, especially when water is outside or sits for a long time.
Some people recommend a teaspoon of white vinegar in the dog water bowl to kill the bacteria. But yuck, that may taste just awful for your canine friend.
I just used filtered water and no longer have the problem.
What To Use:
Filtered Water Changed Regularly in a clean bowl.
Tylosin or Tylan powder. Call your veterinarian they can usually get you a small amount very cheaply. You sprinkle it on their food and after a week or so the infection is dead however, you still have to wash and trim out the red.
Many use Angel Eyes in place of the Tylan powder and supplement with Eye Wipes. Angel Eyes works great but the powder is more pricey than even the Tylan/Tylosin from the vet.
Limit the use to a small sprinkle like you would sprinkle salt or pepper on food for only about a week. LIke maybe a quarter of a teaspoon.
Other cleaning methods using lemon juice, baking soda, etc. around the eyes are not that effective and do not work that well. They can also irritate the dogs eyes and they are also very harsh on the dog. Just go to the vet, usually they do not require a visit to get you a small baggie of the powder or you can stop at the store for some Angel Eyes!
We recommend you get a good full groom at least every 3 months but there is benefit to doing a full groom every month if you can afford it. With Maltese you might find it is easiest to keep them in a nice puppy cut most of the year long. Maltese are especially prone to matting and gunk in the eyes that comes from allergies, dust and irritation. Eyes should be cleaned regularly and when you notice excessive gunk in the corners of the eyes. Not all Maltese gets the goobers in the corners but some do. I usually try to collect any larger goobers in a tissue or paper towel and then trim out anything that is excessively dry and gunky but I am very careful not to aim scissors at the eyes. I am careful to angle safety or round tipped grooming scissors up to an angle where they cannot even poke an eyeball and I hold the muzzle very still while angling the scissors away from the eyes and trimming out any bad hair and gunk. If your dog is struggling it is best to trust this step to a experienced groomer.
We do shave ours down often in warm weather, perhaps in spring and then during the summer and they look amazing! We allow them to grow a bit more hair during the winter when it is cold and often use dog sweaters or t-shirts during the fall and winter season. I have found it is best to allow an experienced pet salon take full care of the dog including trimming nails and expressing anal glands.
If you plan to show your dog, do not cut their hair, brush daily and seek professional grooming advice from a seasoned show groomer. Dogs who are show dogs usually keep their long hair in braids, pony tails or various paper wraps. I have heard once you cut their hair you may not be able to show them.
Grooming your dog should be done as often as possible!