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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19828
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...😢🙈
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 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months 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 12 months ago.
Okay, I ll keep you posted, ��

Great. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Jane Lefler and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months 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.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Bella was seen yesterday by Bansfield. I signed up for one of their pets insurances. They gave her rabies shot, kennel cough, parvo and distemper.
They did a fecal sample and also gave her a treatment for worms. They checked her ears and they said it was yeasty so they prescribed her medicated ear drops and also said to give her Benadryl 25mg to help the allergies and itching. She will be going back on Nov 4th for a teeth cleaning and that's when I ll find out if there's an infection and if she needs any teeth pulled.

I'll look forward to hearing from you on the 4th. It is a start at least.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Sorry it took me time to get back to you. Well apparently Bella has bladder stones. The biggest one being close to the size of a golf ball. They said if she was to have them removed when she has her teeth cleaned it would cost 647.00 that's with tax or what not. I signed up for a wellness plan which covers the teeth cleaning but it doesn't cover the stone removal. If it was to be done separate it would be 1200.00 because they'd have to put her under again.
Bella didn't have her teeth cleaned on the fourth because I brought her in on the 3rd cause she kept coughing and gaggin so they did a whole physical and that's what they found. (Bladder stones)
I rescheduled the teeth cleaning in hopes of coming up with the money for the stone removal. I had to set up a gofundme account "Bella's bladder stone removal"... I don't know how that's gonna go. But I do know that I do not have the money for that. So it was my only option to try, in order to help my dog.
They did blood work on her and said it looked good except one thing. I don't remember what she said it was but she did said it's probably a little elevated because of the teeth or the stones.
That's the update on little miss Bella

Well bladder stones do not cause itching but pain will put her off her food. Check some of those sites I sent you and see if any of them can help you with the bladder stone removal.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The itching the vet said was allergies to what idk, Benadryl 25mg she takes for that.
I ll have to see if some place would help me cover the bill for the removal. I don't have the funds nor do I want the stones to block her. That would be a nightmare and a half.
They have a prescription for food also but Bella does not like it at all and won't touch it. This is the second prescription food she doesn't like. But will eat her normal food which isn't gonna help the problem with her stones what so ever. So I'm trying to find a food that'll help with weight control(2lose) and to help prevent stones that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. One that Bella would actually eat.
Surgery is scheduled for the 14th but I doubt I ll have the money by then. And if I don't I still need to get her teeth done that day but then the stone removal price won't. 647.00 it'll be 1200.00

If nothing else, try carecredit. It is like a credit card and often they will let you finance when no one else will. They helped my daughter about 6 years ago when pain medications caused her dog to go into liver failure and he needed hospitalization for almost a week. So they frequently will work with you.

Here is a site that talks about stones that you may find helpful.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** check it out.

Anytime. I'll help get you information any time.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi, so today I noticed that Bella was sneezing ALOT, runny nose, eye boogies, gagging beyond gagging, and drinking a lot.
Tonight I put her harness on and it seemed as if it was tighter around her chest/belly area more than it was earlier in the day and in the morning. She looks fatter for some reason. Any idea on what would be causing all of this?
Would it be an infection from her teeth?
I don't know if she has one but just saying if she did. Would it cause all of that?
Plus she has bladder stones so I dont know what to think
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Oh and I was wondering don't they have some type of medicine that helps dissolve bladder stones? Instead of paying an arm and a leg for surgery and putting my dog through all of that?

I don't know of any medication that is used for this purpose. They do use diet to dissolve stones and it is a long process that can take months but it is most effective with a specific type of stone, Struvite bladder stones. Surgery is the only option that I know of for Calcium Oxalate stones. You can talk to your vet and find out which type of stones they are so you can make an informed decision.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The vet told me that when they were to do the surgery for the stones that's when they would find out what kind of stone it is to figure out what to feed her. I believe that's what she said.
My dogs eyes are very gookie, the right one seems as if it's bothering her.
If she had an infection in her teeth can't it go up her nose in mess with her eyes?

Right from the page I sent you, it states "Medical therapy can be used by itself or in conjunction with the surgery. After the diagnosis and x-rays, pretreatment laboratory work entails culturing the urine for bacteria and a performing a urinalysis to determine what type of crystals are present along with the pH of the urine. After we determine what crystals are present in the urine, we know what type of stone is probably present and we try to modify the environment in the dog's bladder to prevent further formation of stones. This may be done through a combination of antibiotic therapy, use of special foods, increasing water consumption, and inhibiting the activity of urease in cases involving struvite stones." So if they did the test they should have an idea of what type of stone is likely to be the cause.

Sorry I missed the eyes We know she likely has allergies, so if she isn't on a allergy med, give the benadryl 1-2mg per pound every 8 hours and it may help with eye discharge. If there is a lot of redness, you might try the Terramycin Ophthalmic Ointment which is often used for conjunctivitis. Feed stores like tractor supply often carry this over the counter.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
She had a Benadryl... and it looks a little pink when I open it a little...
I will have to look for that ointment, thank you

You are very welcome.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi, I wanted to let you know that Bella had surgery. Her bladder stones were removed on the 16th along with 4 teeth. The teeth were extremely loose that the vet just "plucked" them out without any additional charges. She seems to be doing okay so far, a little concerned that she hasn't pooped in two days... her diet has changed to Urine SO? Something like that...
Then again on the 16th she ate very little at the end of the night after coming home, the on the 17th she didn't eat in the morning she wasn't wanting it, same thing in the afternoon. By the night she wanted to eat and did... no poop today even though she ate two times... hoping tomorrow...
They couldn't give me a direct answer as to why she's been coughing and gagging, prior to the surgery.
They said they listened to her lungs and didn't hear anything. But did mention collapse of the trachea but didn't confirm anything so Idk....
But that's the update with Miss Bella��

It is not unusual for dogs and even humans to not not defecate for a couple of days after surgery. As you mentioned, food is withheld before surgery and usually they don't eat for a short time after surgery, so the first day there really isn't anything in the system and it takes a little time for the food to move through the system. I suspect tomorrow you will see at least some fecal matter. As long as she is eating well, that is great.

If her coughing is due to trachea collapse that isn't so bad. In most cases a dog lives a normal life span with that condition. You just have to monitor he. I do want to thank you for the update. I do love to hear from my clients on how their dogs are doing.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Is this thing still gonna charge me $28.00 a month? I do not want to be charged every month for this. You have been very helpful and I thank you.
But if this is gonna charge 28.00 I need to cancel
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Especially now that Bella's food is 4.00 per can and dry food smallest bag is 30.00...

If you signed up for a subscription they might. I'll contact them and tell them you do not wish to continue as a subscription customer.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Honestly I don't know what I signed up for. I had thought it was like a one time deal thing. Idk