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Kitten & Puppy

Fall/Winter Health Issues in Pets

Chronic conditions become dominant in the fall and can linger into winter. These “chronic” issues are not easily treated, so it's better to take preventative steps rather than waiting for issues to arise and using chemical drug therapy to treat.


Most of us have this issue – itchy eyes, bronchitis, scratchy skin, and excessive fall shedding all result from fall pollen allergies. The key is to get the allergen off the skin. Use a hypoallergenic shampoo once a week at first and then a spray like VET BASICS® ChlorConazole on the tummy between baths. NaturVet® Aller-911 Soft Chews are a great all-natural supplement that gives support during the long allergy season.


Shedding is natural, but excessive shedding is the result of allergy irritations, causing the pet to shed his summer coat quickly. Managing the shedding is best done before bath time by stripping the coat twice weekly with a stripping comb, like Millers Forge Deluxe Medium Tooth Comb or Dematting Comb. This is even more necessary for medium and long-haired dogs. After stripping the coat, you should wash the hair with a hypoallergenic shampoo. The allergies and the hair coat will also respond to Doc Roy's® Tri Omega 3 once a day. Omega 3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, plus they encourage soft winter coat growth to replace the summer one.


Fall eyes are itchy and are rubbed excessively. The result is thick tears to soothe the irritation. This results in eye junk accumulating on the eyelids. Some dogs rub excessively and hair that already wants to shed is removed around the eyes. This is unsightly and an indication you will need to help with eye irritation. Using Vetericyn® Ophthalmic Gel or Artificial Tear Ointment daily will stop the itch and quiet the rubbing. Once under control, eyes should be treated before baths to prevent issues. Daily treatment can resume if rubbing and itching resumes.


Ears are an extension of the skin, so all the scratching and shedding often results in ear infections – usually yeast! VET BASICS® Ear Cleanser or Zymox® Otic with Hydrocortiosone before baths and daily when they start shaking will usually stop it. The ear cleanser acidifies the ear canal, which bacteria and yeast hate. Cleaning takes care of minor issues, but do not hesitate to use VET BASICS® Medicated Ear Flush if you need treatment. Ear cleaners should never hurt – if the one you have does, stop using it. VET BASICS® Ear Cleanser is commonly used on puppies and will not hurt!


Cool nights and warm days bring on arthritis and cold is harder on joints, especially on our old and active friends. Our goal is to keep them active and comfortable. It is time to start on Doc Roy's® Aches Away Stage II to increase the lube of the joint. This process works well, but takes 30 days to get the full effect and relief. If your pet is already limping, start them on Doc Roy's® Tri Omega 3 for 30 days to help the soreness. Keep them active with a short walk, and use a jacket for your dog if you live in the colder environments. Going for walks keeps them active and keeps their weight under control. When it's time to rest, give them a warm place to lay down, like the Lectro-Kennel Heated Pad. It will help ease the pain of sore joints.


Foot problems often result from limping, which causes dogs to walk on the sides of their pads. This either causes the pads to tear off or exposes raw tissues under the pad. Both are very painful. We have learned from sled dogs that Doc Roy's® Aches Away and Doc Roy's® Tri Omega 3 at double doses for 2 weeks will cure this issue in the winter. You can also use a spray like VET BASICS® ChlorConazole to help with healing and Doc Roy's® Rescue Derm to promote healing and eliminate the need to wrap their feet or put socks on again!


Dogs get bored, especially after all the activities of the summer. Winter is when you need to be sure that dogs have chew bones and toys to break up the routine. We often use treats before a walk to get them excited about going outside for exercise.

Winter is a great time of year for a dog if you are ready for it!

If you need help, call us at 1-800-786-4751.

-Dr. B
Don Bramlage, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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