Thank you to guest blogger, Scott Van Winkle, Vice President of Sales & Marketing – Animal Health with Innovacyn, Inc.

The fall colors are fast approaching which means bird-hunting season is right around the corner. For those discerning hunters that chase their tail-wagging companions around, it is important to recognize the environmental elements these dogs face afield and the precautionary measures that can be taken to help alleviate risk in a trip to the vet office.

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Eyes, ears, and footpads are three areas that see the most abuse and can lead to irritations and infections that prove quite troublesome. In my years of guiding wingshooting trips and training pointing & flushing breeds alike, here are some tips to keep your hunting partner running the whole season:

Eye Care: Weeds, grass, and brush are elements at “eye-level” to our sporting dogs and can scratch their cornea or engulf debris into the Lacrimal caruncle (inside corner of the eye)—causing redness, irritation, leading to infection. Take the time after the hunt to inspect your dogs’ eyes for any debris or irritations. In many cases, seeds will work their way into the corners of the eyes, causing serious issues. An excellent flushing agent to keep eyes health is Vetericyn Plus Eye Wash. This solution does not sting and is the optimal solution for daily eye cleansing and moisturizing. Eye irritations can be stopped in their tracks with proper cleansing and flushing after a day in the field.

Ear Care: Ears can go months without proper cleaning and irritations can become troublesome quickly. As with eye maintenance, our dogs ear health is just as important and should be done daily after any hunting activity—whether it be in the field, duck blind, or from underwater exposure. Chronic irritation or severe pain should be addressed with a veterinarian; however daily flushing of ears is the first step to keep ears healthy. The Vetericyn line also includes the Ear Rinse product. Based on hypochlorous technology like the complementary eye wash, this is a completely non-invasive ear cleanser since it does not harm healthy tissue and can mechanically work loose dirt and debris found in the ear.

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Torn Pads & Cuts on Feet: Very painful to the dog, this condition is equally painful for the owner to watch. Running the pads off of your dog or extensive hunting over abrasive terrain can happen at any time. Most commonly this happens early in the season when pads are not properly conditioned and your dogs energy and enthusiasm parallel the excitement you remember from owning your first shotgun. Depending on the severity of the pads, offloading or taking weight off the lower extremities is very important for quicker recovery. In any case, soak gauze in Vetericyn’s sprayable Hydrogel solution and wrap pads to retain moisture—providing optimal healing conditions.

Good luck this fall hunting season and be sure to keep a bottle of Vetericyn liquid and hydrogel in your bird vest as you first line of defense for eye and ear cleansing and managing those tough wounds and cuts from the field.

Scott Van Winkle has been a professional wingshooting guide for over 15 years and has experience training a versatile array of hunting breeds. A strong passion for animal wellness, he now works for Innovacyn, the leading manufacturer of innovative wound and skin care solutions for animal healthcare markets.

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