Sunday, July 26, 2015

Airedales - Grooming the dogs

This pup is pretty sure this is not good

Built a grooming bench to make it easier to care for the farm dogs.    Brush them down and remove burrs and matted hair, inspect for ticks and fleas, check them for various wounds, cuts, bruises or any other injuries.

I own 9 airedales at this point; they spend most of their time investigating things; the injuries come when they dive into blackberry bushes when chasing a rat; which may be a real rat or an imaginary one.  Either way they think it should be chased.

If the dogs are particularly dirty I'll bring a hose over and soap them up and get the worst of the dirt off.   I use a systemic flea medicine, which is probably why I haven't seen any ticks on them this year.  I do see some fleas from time to time -- figure they get transferred to the dogs from rats that they kill and eat.

I was paying for individual licenses for each dog, but finally figured out that the county I live in provides you a bulk-dog discount in the form of a commercial kennel license.  for $250 you can own up to 20 dogs; the zoning that I'm in (Agriculture-10) allows commercial kennels, and it also prevents complaints about barking dogs if any were to come up.

I do my own vaccinations for the dogs; it's a lot cheaper to buy the shot at the feed store and administer it, but I cannot legally buy the rabies shot; so once a year I pack them all into the truck and off to the vet we go.   The rabies shots are important for farm dogs because they have nearly-constant contact with wildlife, mostly rats.


Unknown said...

Bruce, what do you use for your flea medicine? Thanks

Unknown said...

Bruce, what do you use from your flea medicine?

Bruce King said...

This year has been particularly hard for fleas - we had a warm winter, and we've had higher than normal temperatures, and we've got a bumper crop of fleas.

I use frontline, a systemic flea medicine, and then supplement that by buying pyretherin concentrate and mixing up batches which we put in one of those pump-up sprayers, like you'd use for herbicide, to apply it to the dogs and kennel/sleeping areas.

the concentrate we use is similar to this:

you mix it 99-1 or so with water, and spray the mix on the dogs. the exact ratio is on the label for each product, as some are 5% pyretherin and some are 3% or less. Pyretherin is an effective anti-flea, and causes them to stop moving, and kills most of them directly, but I apply and then give the dogs a bath if the infestation is heavy -- the bath removes the stunned fleas and washes them down the drain.

If the dogs have "hot spots" on them where they've rubbed or chewed their fur off, I apply a thin coat of motor oil (yes, car oil). this seems to help the itching and maybe tastes bad. the result is the dog stops chewing the fur off and it regrows. We change the oil in the tractors regularly, so there's always a bucket of used motor oil around.

** I know, I know, it sounds bad **
But a guy who I knew saw my dogs one day, and spotted one with a hot spot, and applied some used motor oil to the dog. I came back to find my dogs butt black. I wasn't h appy about it, but it was there, so I just watched, and sure enough, the hair grew back and no ill effects on the dog. And it's cheap.

I wouldn't want to do this with an indoor dog; but for farm dogs it's been an effective remedy.