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Questions about Trefexis, Nail Trimming, and Bathing
(Tampa, FL, USA)
I just got a 3mo old female Aussie and named her Zappa. Overall, she's absolutely wonderful. But I have some questions.
First, Zappa was purchased by another family from a breeder who had an unplanned litter. They're working situation changed, which is why I acquired her. She had been taken twice to Banfield Animal Hospital inside a Petsmart. I'm very aware that Banfield is most likely not the best veterinarian to go to, and will be taking her to her first vet visit at a standalone vet who has excellent Angie's List reviews (all A's after several years).
Zappa was prescribed Trefexis from Banfield for heartworm and other flea and tick control. My dog trainer said that she is aware of this drug and it is used often. My cousin who has three westies was telling me about how this drug has been problematic for some dogs, even causing death, and gave me a variety of links about the drug. Does anyone have experience with this drug? Are there better alternatives? I absolutely want heartworm, flea, tick, etc control as I know very well that Aussies need lots of outside time, and I have no problems with giving her that, but I also need to be sure she's safe.
I'm not an anti-vaxer type and tend to steer clear of conspiracies, but overall, I just want what's best for Zappa. I've wanted a dog all my life and the last thing I want is for the wonderful dog that I've worked hard to have a great home and time and money to take care of her to be harmed by a drug.
Even at 3mos, Zappa's nails are rather sharp, but not long. I recall hearing about the PediPaws, but I'm really not seeing lots of great reviews about this product, and many are saying that the Dremel is just as good. I was very used to cutting my own guinea pig's nails (owned guinea pigs for over 20 years), but working with a guinea pig is a little easier than an aussie, then again I don't have that type of experience.
What is the best way to trim/reduce the sharpness of Zappa's nails?
Banfield also told the original owners that Zappa had itchy skin and suggested an Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner (separate products). Because I do expect to bathe her once a week because of all her outside time, is this shampoo the right thing to use?
The original owners gave me two bags of Purina. Without a second thought I knew that I needed better food, and I plan on switching her to a 5-star brand that's on Dog Food Advisor. Is it possible that this Purina food might be causing her itching from above?
Lastly, I work from home and have the opportunity to spend lots of time with Zappa. However, there are times that Zappa just HAS to spend time with me, clawing me for attention. Sometimes I don't mind as I can afford to put work down for 15 minutes and play with her. But, there are also times where I do have to work. I do have a small playpen (not a crate) that I've put her in when absolutely need to work. I put several toys in there too. She can see me and hear me. Since I've started doing this, she's whimpers less and less, and usually starts napping within 10 minutes or so. Is this a healthy thing to do for her? Or am I not being fair to her?
Sorry for all the questions, I just want what's best for my little girl. I appreciate any help.
Questions About Your Aussie? Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care