Monday, May 27, 2013

Dealing With Red Bacteria On Mouth, Paws and more...

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!

When Should I Get My Dog Groomed?

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!

Good resources for show grooming

Dog On Top

Learn to groom your maltese for show:


Similarly for a Yorkshire Terrier: