This will be the first of an on-going series of how to own a dog - or several dogs - without having to shell out a fortune in keeping them healthy and taking care of them properly. It will also include an entry on whether you are "fit" to be a dog owner, what kind of dog you should consider getting and how much training you will need to get your dog into "obedience" mode versus going hog-wild crazy mode.
Now, to the subject. Antibiotics. From time to time, your dog may need antibiotics. I have 4 dogs, 2 of them are Great Danes and they are brothers. They used to fight each other endlessly when I first got them, took a while to get that bad habit removed from them, and even now I still occasionally have a problem with it. When a dog is bitten by another dog - you can pretty much expect that bite wound is going to get infected.
Clean it out as well as you can, remove the fur from around the wound, clean clean clean it - it's still 90% guaranteed to get infected. Well, I was having this problem with my dogs and taking one of them to the vet was $50 just to walk through the door. The vet looks at the dog, tells you he needs antibiotics, information you already knew before you went in there, gives you a prescrpition, walaah, you have just shelled out at least $100.
I started an intense online search. That first visit cost me $125 and I wasn't about to have to pay out that much again if I could help it. I kept looking for dog antibiotics in the search field of a Google search, I kept seeing references to Fish Flex and Fish Mox. What is that? It's antibiotics for your fish tank. You can buy those antibiotics legally without a prescription.
What I didn't understand was why I was getting to all these sites for this fish flex business and what does that have to do with my dog? More searching revealed the answer. This fish flex antibiotics comes in capsules in varying amount of milligrams per capsule. 250 and 500 milligrams being the norm. I found out through some other websites that this stuff was being packaged for aquariums, but the intended use was for your dog. NOTHING on the label or packaging can say that, if it does, then kablaam, you have to have a prescription - and pay a lot more money to get it.
I ended up buying 300 capsules of Fish Flex and Fish Mox. If you don't buy them in advance of a problem, then there IS no usefulness to having this option. Obviously, your dog can't wait for a week or however long any specific company is going to take to get them to you while your dog has this huge and growing infection on his neck or wherever. Vets don't want you to know, but the packaging tells it like it is: It lasts up to TWO years in storage. I keep them in my refrigerator to ensure they stay cool and for optimum storage life.
I just went through a round of one of my dogs with an open wound that was infected. That stuff knocked it out in a couple of days. I do, however, give them the stuff for 7 days minimum, because that's what the experts say to do. You can do it however you like and as a disclaimer, the views expressed on this blog are my opinion and my opinion only. I do not claim to be a vet or have any educational background in dog medicine. What I do claim is that I want to be able to afford to have dogs - and to do that, I have had to search out a lot of stuff online to figure out how to get things done without paying a fortune for it.
You can also buy rabies vaccinations online - at a GREATLY reduced price over going to a vet, and all the other vaccinations that your dog/s need to stay healthy. The last round of antibiotics I bought was from Revival Animal Health, you can Google that and you will find a whole line of "fish" antibiotics and drugs available at a pretty good buy, and no, I don't work for them or get anything out of it, I am just trying to help people get the stuff they need for their dogs without having to - get rid of them. There are already enough dogs being turned into shelters because of the terrible economy and people not being able to afford them and tragically, many of those animals have to be put down due to lack of sufficient people adopting pets.
BTW, for those that have trouble giving dogs pills, here is the easiest, albeit the grossest, method to do it:
Grab the dog by the snout with one hand and pull up - it will open up his jaw. Take the pill that is already in your other hand on the tips of your fingers and yes, with dogs like mine with mouths as big as they are, I have to stick my entire hand inside their mouth. Shove that pill to the very back of his throat. It must go in far enough that he can't reject it with his tongue, cause' if he can, rest-assured that pill is going to end up on the floor. Close his mouth, keep his head lifted up and massage his neck, he has no choice but to swallow it. It takes 2 seconds to do this method compared to people attempting to hide the medicine in doggie treats or whatever other nonsense that goes on out there. I know it's gross, but it can get very annoying trying to lure a dog to eat a pill as opposed to just shoving it down his throat, and no, it doesn't hurt the animal in any way and it isn't considered abusive.