Preventing and Treated Ear Infections in Dogs

Dog EarsNew dog owners often wonder why their adorable new puppy or dog can’t stop scratching at his ears. Could it be fleas or ticks? Yes, it could be all of the above! But more often than not, incessant itching and scratching in the ear area is caused by an infection.  In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Veterinary Pet Insurance, ear problems are the second most common reason dog owners bring their pets to the vet.

Causes of Ear Infections in Dogs

There are many reasons dogs get ear infections, which is what makes them so difficult to diagnose.  In most cases, yeast or bacteria are to blame. But infections can also be precipitated by mites, trapped water, hair growth and even tumors in the ear canal.

Activities that put dogs at an elevated risk of this painful disorder include frequent bathing, swimming, and improper cleaning routines that can lead to ear infections. Pet lovers must always remember that a dog’s ear is not like ours! The canine’s plunges downward from the opening and then goes horizontally, which is why water and debris can easily get lodged in there.

Symptoms of Ear Infections in Dogs

In addition to scratching and itching, a dog with an ear infection may also shake his head, as if he is trying to get water out of it. In some advanced cases, there may be an unpleasant odor that can be detected even from a distance. But those are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The following is a brief list of common symptoms for canine ear infections:

  • Redness (due to scratching)
  • Swelling
  • Yellow, brown, or bloody discharge
  • Hair loss around the ear (also do to scratching)
  • Scabby skin near the ear flap
  • Bad balance while walking
  • Diminished hearing
  • Disorientation

At-risk breeds for Ear Infections

Although any dog can get an ear infection at anytime, certain breeds are more susceptible to the ailment than others. A short list of breeds that are prone to ear infections includes: Springer Spaniel, Shar Pei, Basset Hound, Beagle, Labrador, and Cocker Spaniel, just to name a few. The reason these pouches have more ear problems than other dog breeds is often attributed to sensitive skin on the inside of their ears and ear canals.

Prevention of Ear Infections in Dogs

If you own a water dog, one that swims like an Olympian and loves the water, make sure you dry their ears after each and every swimming session. Using cotton balls, simply wipe the opening gently, which should be enough to remove surface moisture and prevent infection. You may also be able to use a drying solution, if your veterinarian says it’s okay. A drop or two of white vinegar can also help prevent “swimmer’s ear” in our canine friends. But once again, make sure you speak with your dog’s doctor before you administer anything.

For dogs that don’t swim but are merely bathed on a regular basis, you can keep water out of their sensitive ears by inserting cotton balls into both ear canals. Just be gentle and don’t push too hard. All you have to do is cover the opening and your dog should be okay during an ordinary bathing session.

Treatment of Ear Infections in Dogs

There are many inexpensive and effective treatments for canine ear infection on the market today. One of our favorites is Tri-otic Ointment for Dogs. A safe and readily available generic form of Otomax, this medication provides quick and soothing relief to red, swollen, itchy ears.  It does this by attacking the bacteria and yeast that caused the infection, thereby reducing inflammation and itching. How does it work?

Tri-otic Ointment combines three powerful antimicrobials into a single solution that treats ear infections. These ingredients work together to stop the yeast and bacteria from spreading and quickly eliminate any sign of the infection in no time.

As with any prescription medication, always follow dosing directions to the letter.  Even when a dose is missed, never double up or administer more than is directed, unless your veterinarian approves it. Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Have a great Halloween,


October is National Pet Wellness Month

Halloween is right around the corner, meaning little ghosts, zombies, and vampires will be out and about. You know what’s really scary? Skipping an annual wellness exam with your pet’s veterinarian! Getting an annual wellness exam for your pet is important for the same reason that regular checkups are essential for humans – they help to find problems before they start. They can also help to identify conditions and illnesses early on, when chances for treatment and cure are often times dramatically better.

To stress the significance of health care for pets, VetRxDirect joined the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and other prominent veterinary groups in promoting National Pet Wellness Month in October. But the importance of wellness exams doesn’t end with the month.

Pet Wellness Month
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends pet owners schedule examinations twice a year as well as regular wellness screenings including urinalysis, blood count, blood chemistry, thyroid hormone testing, and parasite and heartworm checks. If it’s been more than six months since your pet’s last checkup, schedule a wellness visit with your pet’s veterinarian today.

To celebrate and help raise awareness of the importance of pet wellness, we’re offering a limited time 15% OFF coupon with the code WELLNESS for use at our online store.* Hurry! This coupon expires Halloween at Midnight.

Does My Dog have Canine Bronchitis?

Believe it or not, asthma is not a condition reserved for humans alone. Often referred to as dyspnea or allergic bronchitis, one percent of dogs are reported to have this ailment, but the actual amount of sufferers is estimated to be much higher as this condition often goes overlooked by owners and medical professionals alike. After all, it is hard to diagnose (the patient can’t elaborate on the details after all), and is frequently mistaken for other issues like heartworm disease.

As a concerned pet owner, what should you look for? The symptoms your dog experiences is not too unlike what you, yourself would experience. He will cough and wheeze, and may even experience shortness of breath. During extreme bouts, your canine friend may have spasms and constrictions in his upper airways, at which you should seek immediately medical attention. What causes such symptoms? The surrounding environment may be the guilty culprit. Allergens like plants, pesticides and pollution may irritate your dog’s inhalation outside and, when inside, common causes are cigarette smoke, carpet deodorizers and different cleaning products. Yes, eliminating specific factors may help, but pinpointing the exact cause can be extremely difficult and protecting your companion with relieving measures is a must. After all, there is no cure or permanent removal for allergic canine bronchitis.

While dogs of all ages and sizes can experience this condition, most animals develop this disorder in their youth or middle-age. Smaller breeds have an increased likelihood of being sensitive to allergens, partly due to their elevated heart rate and rapid breaths. Who among us hasn’t seen a toy dog gasping with its mouth open as it excitedly wheezes for breath?

There are numerous products to help provide your pooch with health and comfort. It is important to seek the consultation of a veterinarian, who will most likely recommend medications designed to open the air passages to increase the flow of oxygen and lessen the severity of an allergic attack. Commonly, Flovent (fluticasone) needs to be breathed in with the assistance of an aerosol chamber like the Aerodawg.

If you suspect your dog may be experiencing allergic bronchitis, a trip to the veterinarian should happen at once. If it goes untreated for too long, the consequences can be severe if not fatal. After all, oxygen helps your beloved friend’s organs continue to function. So give your canine the easy breathing he deserves and yourself some peace of mind and, if you have your uncertainties, have your dog checked out for this often overlooked ailment.

Have you used Flovent or the AeroDawg with your pet? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.

Breathe Easy,



Recent E-mailed Receipt Changes

Our customer service pharmacy technicians reported some confusing language in our e-mailed receipt we send out to customers after orders are placed. The main area needing clarification was the designation of products as prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) and how our pharmacy handles each type of pet med.

To back up a moment, we want to share how to tell if a specific product on our website is a prescription drug. This is an easy one. Simply look for the orange Rx symbol next to the product name on any of our product pages. See the example below:


You will also know you’ve ordered a prescription pet med for your pet when you are asked for your pet and veterinarian’s information during checkout.

Back to our e-mailed receipt, we have separated our e-mail into two distinctive messages. One for OTC only orders and one for any order including a prescription drug. Both of the new receipts include information regarding items on your order as well as shipping information. That’s about it for the OTC version, while the prescription version includes information how VetRxDirect obtains prescription authorization from your pet’s veterinarian.

Here is a recap on some important facts to consider when VetRxDirect needs to obtain prescription authorization:

  • We must obtain authorization before shipping prescription pet meds
  • We do everything quickly at VetRxDirect. As soon as we have authorization on file, we’ll ship your order
  • If we have trouble obtaining an authorization, we’ll e-mail you right away.
  • If your order combines Rx and OTC items, we wait until we have authorization for the Rx item and ship the entire order.
  • If we have valid refills on file, we’ll ship your order right away.
  • Prescriptions do expire requiring us to obtain new authorizations.
  • If you have a written prescription from your pet’s veterinarian, you’ll probably end up needing to send us the original by mail. That’s why we all prefer faxed authorizations.
  • Sorry, but pharmacies are unable to accept faxed prescriptions from customers.
  • Faxed authorizations from veterinarians are the most common, reliable, and secure method of getting your pet’s prescription authorization on file. This is were we’ll start unless we get other information from you.

We apologize for all the rules, but your pet’s safety and health is our first concern. Our second concern is getting you your pet’s medications as quickly as possible.

We hope this clarifies issues interpreting our communications with you, our loyal customers. If you have any questions or you think we need to include more information, please leave us a comment below.

Have a great day,



Like VetRxDirect on Facebook and Receive a Gift

Do you like VetRxDirect? Have you ‘Liked’ us yet on Facebook?

If you haven’t, now is the perfect time! Head over to our Facebook page and click ‘Like’ at the top right-hand corner of the page. After liking us, a coupon button will appear, leading you to our website and automatically giving you a 15% off coupon in your shopping cart! Add products to the cart, checkout, and be on your way. You must be signed in to your Facebook account for the code to be activated.

Those of you already fans of ours on Facebook, thank you and have no fear. You can click on the blue and orange “15% OFF Get it Now!” button under the “liked” badge. Just visit our Facebook page to get started.

Instant coupon is a one time use only discount for online orders and only valid after you like us on Facebook.

Happy Holidays and a bright New Year to all, from VetRxDirect.

Check out VetRxDirect’s Holiday Hours.

What is Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Located in the throat bellow the larynx, the function of the thyroid is to produce hormones that regulate the metabolism. When the endocrine organ fails to deliver the necessary hormones to the body, whether because of old age or atrophy, the patient will most likely suffer a series of unpleasant symptoms. The condition is quite common in man’s best friend, the humble canine.

The chronic disease is most frequently seen in large, middle-aged dogs of any breed. However, a few of the larger breeds, such as Sheepdogs, Golden Retrievers, and Irish Setters are disproportunately affected by it. Let us take a moment to review the most common symptoms of the disorder.

Most dogs that are diagnosed with hypothyroidism suffer from one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy and listlessness
  • Mental dullness
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Excessive shedding
  • Dandruff
  • Oily skin
  • Frequent ear infections
  •  Extreme sensitivity to the cold
  • Pimples or acne

In some cases the dog’s gastrointestinal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular systems may be compromised, which increases the risk of the following symptoms:

  • Constipation
  • Anemia
  • Infertility
  • Poor coordination
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)

Risk Factors of Hypothyroidism in Dogs

As we mentioned, hypothyroidism occurs most often in middle-aged, larger dogs, but it may also strike canines that are of medium size. It can and often does result in behavioral changes and a decline in physical activity. There is no known cure for the chronic condition, which means it will affect a pooch for his entire life. If you observe any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is imperative that you take him to see his veterinarian.

Diagnosis of Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Because there are so many symptoms that are common to other diseases, it can be difficult for even an experienced veterinarian to diagnose the disease. The most effective way to make the correct diagnosis is with blood screening and a full physical. All dogs that suffer from hypothyroidism have depressed hormone levels. That said, a low-normal level does not necessarily mean that your dog has the disease, which means he should not be treated for it.  Overtreatment and improper diagnoses are not at all uncommon.

Treatment of Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Although it is a permanent condition, hypothyroidism can be managed effectively with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Most dogs respond well to the treatment and are able to lead healthy, happy and full lives, as long their owners provide daily medications and closely monitor their pet’s appearance and behavior.

Medications for Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Soloxine® Tablets

soloxine, levothyroxine for hypothyroidism in dogs

Soloxine is available at VetRxDirect.

A popular prescription medication prescribed specially for hypothyroidism in dogs is Soloxine. Sold in tablet form, levothyroxine directly treats the problem of the disease, i.e., low thyroid levels.  Dog owners must remember to always read the label carefully and to administer Levothyroxine as directed by their veterinarian.

Canine Thyroid Chewables

Because most dogs like to chew on things, Levothyroxine is also available in chewable tablets. Safe for dogs of all ages and breeds, the medication must be administered at least once a day, or as prescribed by your dog’s doctor. If possible, try to give him his medication at around the same time each day. And never give him more than directed and double the dose if you happen to miss a day.

generic Levothyroxine tablets

Often the most inexpensive option, generic tablets are no different from those sold in fancy packages by major drug makers, which makes them a popular alternative. After all, hypothyroidism is permanent and when prescription levothyroxine must be administered for several years, the costs can really add up.

Where to Find Levothyroxine for Dogs?

Since it is such a common disorder, most veterinarians keep Levothyroxine on hand.  But veterinarian’s don’t normally offer deep discounts or have sales.

Properly licensed and accredited online pet pharmacies in the U.S. can legally sell and ship medications to your door. All they need is a prescription from your veterinarian after you order your pet’s medication online.

Pets and Cancer – What you Should Know

Losing a beloved pet to cancer is an all-too-common occurrence. The disease is the leading cause of death in both cats and dogs — and therefore the leading cause of heartache for pet owners.

Cancer, which can be found in any part of the body, can be tricky to diagnose and treat in dogs and cats. Common types of cancer in pets include lymphosarcoma, mast cell tumors, neoplasia, and sarcoma.  There is hope. You can take preventative measures to protect your furry best friend. If your pet does get cancer, treatment is possible in some cases. Read on to learn more….

Can I prevent cancer in my pet?

It’s impossible to prevent all cancers, but there are steps you can take to reduce the incidence of some forms of the disease:

  •  Don’t expose your pet to cigarette smoke – they’re susceptible to the carcinogens in smoke just like humans
  •  Don’t expose your pet to recently chemically-treated lawns and yards. Some types of sprays and granules may pose an increased risk to cancer.
  •  Spay and neuter your pets early to reduce the chance of cancer in the reproductive organs
  •  Apply sunscreen to pets with fair and exposed skin to protect them from skin cancer

If your pet has a mass on her skin or is exhibiting any of the warning signs listed below, don’t wait to seek treatment, see your veterinarian right away.

What are the warning signs of cancer?

Some cancers can grow without any outward signs and others cause obvious symptoms. If your pet exhibits the following symptoms, see your veterinarian for a full exam. As with humans, early detection is key.

  •  Loss of weight
  •  Loss of appetite
  •  Persistent swelling or stiffness
  •  Difficulty with body functions: breathing, eating, urinating or defecating
  •  Wounds that won’t heal

Are there treatments for pets with cancer?

Yes! Pets benefit from the same types of cancer treatments humans do. The kind of treatment a pet needs depends on the form and stage of the cancer. The first step is to have your veterinarian evaluate your pet and develop a treatment plan and goals. Outcomes vary — some treatments can cure the disease, others just ease pain and discomfort and help prolong the life of your loved one.

The following treatments may be used alone or combined:

  •  Surgery — Removing a cancerous tumor is often the first line of defense for many cancer treatments
  •  Chemotherapy — Some cancers will respond to chemotherapy, which attacks cancer cells with powerful medicines. Pets often experience fewer side effects of chemotherapy than humans do.
  • Brand name Leukeran (chlorambucil) tablets are used to treat various types of tumors. Prednisone, a corticosteroid, is used to help reduce cancer pain and inhibit or prevent development of cancer cells.
  •  Radiation – A powerful beam of radiation can destroy cancer cells that cannot be removed by surgery.

You’ll also have to discuss your role in your pet’s treatment plan with your veterinarian. Cancer treatment requires many appointments, a lot of hands-on care, and considerable cost. You must weigh all of those factors as you decide what is best for your pet and your family.

Does your pet have cancer? What has been your experience? We value your thoughts, as do our other readers.




Pets Get Diabetes Too

Among the many diseases that we humans share with our pets one of the most common is diabetes mellitus, or just diabetes. Sadly, as with people, diabetes is in the rise in our pets too.

As you probably know, diabetes is a disorder in the way the body uses food for energy due to a lack of insulin, which is a hormone that helps your body break down glucose found in food. If your pet lacks enough insulin, produced by the pancreas, glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream and that results in diabetes.

What are the risk factors for diabetes in pets?

Just as some humans are more prone to diabetes, so are some pets.  But you can manage some of the risk factors, like obesity, for your pet. Other risk factors are simply genetic.

Risk factors for canine diabetes:

  •  Obesity
  •  Age – Older dogs are more likely to have canine diabetes
  •  Breed type – Some breeds are prone to the disease including: cocker spaniels, dachshunds, poodles, dobermann pinschers, schnauzers, golden retrievers, and terriers.

Risk factors for feline diabetes:

  •  Obesity
  •  Age – Older cats are more likely to have feline diabetes
  •  Genetics
  •  Other health conditions including hyperthyriodism and chronic pancreatitis

How do I know if my pet has diabetes?

Since your dog or cat can’t tell you how he or she is feeling and blood tests aren’t part of a pet owner’s normal routine, watch for these common symptoms of diabetes:

  •  Extreme thirst
  •  Increased urination
  •  Change in appetite
  •  Lack of energy or lethargy
  •  Thinning or dull fur

If your pet exhibits some or all of these symptoms, visit your veterinarian right away to get an exam for your dog or cat evaluated. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical in avoiding complications related to diabetes.

If my pet has diabetes, are there treatments that help?

The good news is that with the right treatment and care, many diabetic dogs and cats enjoy long lives and good quality of life too. If your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, your veterinarian will develop a treatment plan that may include:

  •  Dietary changes to manage weight and energy needs
  •  Daily insulin injections to manage insulin levels
  •  Regular exercise
ProZinc for Diabetic Cats

ProZinc is Available for Purchase at VetRxDirect

At VetRxDirect we stock a full range of medications and products for diabetic cats and dogs and we’re happy to work closely with you and your veterinarian to help you manage your pet’s disease.

Does your dog or cat have diabetes? Is there a particular medicine or product that  worked well for your diabetic pet? Please share your experience with us – we value your input.

In good health,


Welcome to Blog.VetRxDirect and Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from the VetRxDirect team!

Welcome to Blog.VetRxDirect, your source for news and information on new and exciting pet medicines and therapies. We’ve worked the last few months building a library of pet pharmacy posts we think will be informative to you and your pet’s veterinarian. At VetRxDirect, we strive to provide solutions to everyday pet health issues. We are also constantly on the lookout for new and novel products for difficult pet ailments.

Feel free to read through our posts, make comments, and sign up to receive notifications of new post sent directly to your e-mail inbox.

Thank you for reading. Please help us celebrate Halloween by taking advantage of savings at VetRxDirect. Place an online order today and SAVE 12% by using coupon code “HALLOWEEN12” during checkout. Hurry, this offer is good online today only and cannot be used with any other offer. Sorry, but we are unable to apply this coupon to any previous or future orders.

We know, you would have preferred a chocolate bar or sugary snack. You’ll have to ask the kids to share.




How to Treat Cat Constipation with Cisapride

They lick their fur. They can be finicky about food and don’t tend to drink much water. And they’re touchy about litter box conditions. It’s no wonder that cat constipation is a common problem in veterinary medicine.

How do you know if your cat is constipated? Look for these symptoms:

  •  Straining in the litter box
  •  No feces in the litter box or only hard, dry, small droppings
  •  Loss of appetite
  •  Sluggishness
  •  Vomiting

If your cat shows signs of constipation, talk to your veterinarian right away. She’ll examine your cat and can suggest dietary modifications to help in the long run.  Your veterinarian may also prescribe a medicine such as compounded Cisapride for felines to ease chronic constipation. Veterinary Cisapride works in the gastrointestinal system and accelerates gastric emptying, or the process that moves food through the stomach.

Here at VetRxDirect, we’re fully stocked up on Cisapride. To help pet owners make it easier to administer this effective medicine to their cats, our expert compounding pharmacists and technicians have carefully mixed Cisapride for cats into three different formulas.

Cisapride Transdermal GelCisapride transdermal gel is the easiest way to administer this medicine to your cat. Simply rub the prescribed dose of gel into your cat’s skin 15 minutes before a meal. This special formulation releases the medicine into the blood stream through the skin. Transdermal gels are popular because they’re easy to use and because pet owners can be confident their pet gets the right dose of medicine and doesn’t spit it out or throw it up.

Compounded Cisapride for Constipation in Cats Available at VetRxDirect

Compounded Cisapride for cats is available in three forms.

Cisapride Suspension – Another simple dosing option is Cisapride suspension, a liquid form of compouded Cisapride for veterinary use.  Mix the prescribed dose into a treat your cat really enjoys like tuna or wet cat food. Then give your cat a regular meal about 15-30 minutes later.

Cisapride Capsules – We also offer the standard form of Cisapride in pill form. The small capsule can be tucked into a pill pocket or a small treat to make it easy for your cat to swallow.

If you would like more information on compounded Cisapride, check out From Under the Bridge, A Houston Chronicle Blog’s write up on Cisapride.

Have you treated your cat with Cisapride? Or have you tried our Cisapride Suspension? Tell us what you think by sharing your experience in the comments section below.