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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18817
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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I am desperate and need some advice/help. I don't have money

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Hello, I am desperate and need some advice/help. I don't have money and I am concerned about my dog. She's my baby and we are so attached to each other. She's literally attatched to me at the hip. Where I go she's goes, she sleeps with me too.
My dogs breath smells horrible, I felt like before it had a reason to smell because she use to eat cat poop. But I've since then scoop it every time.
I feel as if she may have an infection in her mouth, and she does have a broken tooth/teeth? and a lot of yellow. Some seem like they might even be loose. She's 6 years old pug who's always had a weight problem. I walk her 8am,11am, 2:30,5:30 and at 8pm...(I work from home) She's a very picky eater, she will eat one kind of food for awhile and then not want that's been difficult...
I also noticed about a week ago that the inside of her ear was read so I've been cleaning out her ears everyday with dogs ear cleaning solution with aloe, it seems to be helping. But in the beginning when I noticed the ear I noticed that she was becoming itchy having hot spots and shedding. So I bought some tea tree oil shampoo and have been bathing her in that and it seems to be helping the hot spots but no so much the shedding. I've also been doing ACV after the bath and leaving it on without rinsing. And I'm not sure if her weight is causing her to have problems with her hips, some times she seems as if she's limping? Other times she walks fine...I love her so much and this gives me so much anxiety...šŸ˜¢šŸ™ˆ
I don't know what to do because like I said I don't have the money for a vet but I want to help my dog, I don't want anything to happen to her.
Do you have any suggestions/ what I can do to help her...please

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Did you change her food in the last 6 months or so?

Do you give her new treats?

Is she on flea preventative?

Have you ever found a tick on her?

What part of the country do you live in?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
She has been eating the same food but there were times when she wouldn't eat it so I tried slowly adding in a wet food. She would eat it then not... it's been a cycle...
I use frontline plus for fleas, and no I haven't found a flea on her.
I'm wondering like I mentioned if it's her teeth and if that's what's causing her immune system to what's the word I'm looking for... not be as strong? Causing the ear problem (yeasty) and leading to her hot spots and shedding....her ear is better and her hot spots but the shedding isn't better...even with the tea tree shampoo, I've tried coconut oil on her fur/skin as well...I'm in the US... Mass.

Let me tell you what my thoughts are. Dogs like people can have or develop allergies to things. It can be foods with beef, wheat and soy being common allergens. It can be treats, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, pretty much anything. However, odds are your dog came into contact with the allergen right before she started having ear issues and skin issues.

Allergies often cause a dog to scratch the ears and skin. The skin's immune system becomes compromised and this allows the staph and yeast on the skin normally start to multiply unchecked by the immune system. In turn these yeast and skin dermatitis can lead to hot spots, rashes, darkened skin, excessive shedding, ear infections and even an upset stomach. An upset stomach can cause bad breath.

Worse is that even though the allergen can be removed form the situation, it might take up to 6 weeks for improvement to be seen and any kind dermatitis has to be cleared up as well. So basically most of the problems could be explained by an allergy condition. Also even if the allergen was removed if the skin dermatitis wasn't treated with antibiotics or anti-fungal medications, the cycle of scratching, ear infections and skin issues would continue. Staph usually occurs on the lower regions of your pet and tends to have small pimple type bumps. Shampoo containing Chlorhexiderm and/or Oatmeal can help with this condition though it does not cure the allergy. Yeast typically shows as a greasy area that has a sweet musty odor. Sometimes the skin can become inflamed, darker and thickened due to itching. Yeast likes areas such as between toes, armpits and ears. Selsun Blue Shampoo can help with Yeast dermatitis. When shampooing, lather and leave on 15 minutes before rinsing. These shampoos are not meant to be a cure, just a relief until your pet can see a Vet.

here is some information on allergies.

You can read about allergies here:

Here is a site that goes over itching in dogs.

A food trial might help to identify the allergen. I'd also get a probiotic to help with her gastrointestinal tract and perhaps help if she has any nausea. You can pick some up at a local pet store. Benadryl might also help control symptoms and her itchiness. There are other causes for itchiness such as mites but a vet would need to do a skin scraping to check for those.

The condition of her teeth do concern me. Bad teeth can lead to bad breath but also can affect the organs serious impact their function. So she really does need to see a vet. Perhaps an antibiotic would at least put off the need for a full dental until financial arrangements could be made. There are programs available to help people with vet bills. A lot of people apply to them so apply to as many as you can.

Veterinary Bill Assistance Programs:
1. The Big Hearts Fund:
2. Cats in Crisis:
3. Diabetic Cats In Need:
4. The Dog And Cat Cancer Fund:
5. Frankie's Friends:
6. Handicapped Pets Foundation:
9. The Mosby Foundation:
10. The Onyx and Breezy Foundation:
11. Paws 4 A Cure:
12. The Pet Fund:
13. Pets-DC:
14. Shakespeare Animal Fund:

This site may have additional resources as well.

These vets may offer a free initial visit though you may have to pay for extra procedures and medications. See the next one for the coupons.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Are there places in Massachusetts that help with funding?

Click on this link to find the hospitals that offer a free first visit.

Many of the groups help regardless of your location. Local organizations change often. Your local humane society is the most likely organization that could point you to a vet who had a fund to help with vet bills for people on a fixed income or other organizations that can help.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Hi, I made an appointment online with Banfield hospital here locally. Just waiting on them to confirm the appointment. The first visit is free(exam) which is a big help financially.
I was talking to a friend and she was very reassuring about my concerns with my dog. Apparently my anxiety had got the best of me when I was talking to you.

I'm glad you got the appointment. Be sure to let me know how things go at the exam. Be sure to ask them about the underlying cause of any skin/ear infections she may have so they take that into consideration as well as clearing up the skin dermatitis and ear infections that might be present. I hope you did find my answers helpful.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
I found what you said to be helpful.
Bella's ear is actually healing up nicely. It was red and a bit swollen but I've been cleaning it every day and now it's back to her normal skin color with just a little bit of pink, not much.
Her skin doesn't have any more sores but she seems to be shedding a lot. My friend said it could be her getting her winter coat? Not sure...
I think my main concern is her teeth and getting those fixed or distracted. Praying that it hasn't affected anything else. She is still wanting to play and running around, going for her walks as she normally does. I think my dog has a bit of's like she always wants to be with me which I don't mind of coarse. But when I'm having to do something and can't actually be near her per say she wines. Or if she is brought to new surroundings/environment it's as if she starts to hyperventilate and having to calm her is a process. So I'm going to be talking to the vet also about that.I also want to to talk to the vet about nutrition/food/portions etc...
I researched and found that pugs are known to be over weight and have hip problems, bladder problems. I'm hoping that hasn't happened to my pup.
At one point she was 30 pounds but since had lost 6 pounds (24) and I've been putting a lot of time in with her and going for walks and trying to figure out the best portion/ amount of food to give her.Would you happen to know how much food/calories a pug needs a day to get down to the proper weight? And if I was to try to get her off the brand of food she's on what would you recommend and how would I do that?
A soft food because of her teeth (right now) and I'm sure they will have to be pulled. So what would be a healthy food that's mushy that my dog could eat and how many calories a day would you suggest to get her down to a weight that a pug is suppose to be?

If you want to switch her to a different brand of food regardless of her tooth issue, what you do is add a little of the new food to the old and gradually over a few days, increase the amount of new food and reduce the amount of old until it is all new food.

If you are switching just because of her teeth, you don't have to. What you can do is add warm water to her dry food about 2o-30 minutes before feeding time and let it sit. The dry food will absorb the water and puff up becoming a mushy food for her. Be aware that mushy food often sticks to teeth and promotes poor dental health. Hard food helps scrape the teeth clean when they are eating. If she has tooth pain though, soft foods can keep them eating until they are seen.

As for calories, each dog food is different. On the package of food it should state how much of that particular food should be given DAILY to a dog according to their ideal weight. You then take that amount and break it into the number of feedings that you give your dog. If you only feed the recommended amount each day, your dog will naturally lose weight until they are down to their ideal weight. Your vet will also help you determine based on her size what weight she should be. Most pugs should weigh between 14-18 pounds. Many sites state 30 calories per pound which would work out to be about 450 for a 15 pound ideal weight.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Ok so I go by ideal weight? Like ok say she's suppose to be 18 pounds I just give her that portion and not the portion for say 24 pounds... I'm sorry I'm kinda a dummy when it comes to this lol
Oh and I didn't know about the mushy soft foods sticking to the teeth oh gosh, ok so just add water to "hard" food and give her I can start doing that and I'm the beginning just add it into her regular food for a few days until she transitions to the new one...
Is Beneful hard food good/healthy to give her?
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Oh and also, I just looked to see when the last time I put frontline on her for fleas which was 9/17 so she's a few days late. Should I wait to put that on her until she sees the vet or is it ok to put it on her? I believe I read some where that it goes into the skin and I don't want it to cause problems if there's something going on with her that I don't know about? What would you suggest me to do?

Do not apologize at all. It can get confusing. You do want to feed according to ideal weight. While most pugs are between 15-18, some dogs are larger then the ideal size for their breed. You can start by assuming 18 pounds is an ideal weight and then talk to your vet about that in case she is taller than most pugs.

A good dog food is a touchy subject. A lot of dog food companies think their foods are the best and some not so good foods claim to be the best. This site goes over dog foods and which ones truly are the best and also give star ratings. Since many top dog foods are very expensive, they list dog food by the number of stars. Beneful seems to be a 2 star food.

I'd use her flea preventative. You don't want fleas contributing to her problem.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
2 stars hmm...I want my dog to have the healthiest food, only problem is I can not afford like the 5 star foods... I wish I could☹️
If I was to give her the beneful it's not going to harm her right?As for the frontline I will go put that on her, I was just asking to make sure it was ok.

No it is not going to hurt her and it seems from their description that it does contain meat as the first ingredient which is good. I'll warn you, the vet may suggest a prescription food for allergies. They are usually very expensive. If they do ask if you can use a less expensive limited ingredient food. There are many on the market now and not all are real expensive. You might hold off switching foods if she is going to be see relatively soon.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Okay, I ll keep you posted, ��

Great. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Jane Lefler and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 day ago.
I tried taking Bella into Petsmart today to see if they could see her. But they had no available time because they said the Dr was doing surgeries all day.
They did say that if there was a cancelation tomorrow that they would call me. Which they did so she will be seen at 9am tomorrow morning.Unfortunately they said that their wellness plans do not cover any extractions only cleanings.
One step at a time, I ll have to see what they say tomorrow.

I'm sorry it took a while to get back to you. I was locked out of the question temporarily and had to get customer service to help. Too bad they don't cover extractions but at least they can verify that the teeth are the problem or if it is an allergy situation. They can also prescribe antibiotics.

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