|Posted on August 11, 2017 at 9:25 AM||comments (1)|
When a pet is overweight, it is not a question of if it will develop health issues, but how many and how soon. Your veterinarian can assess your pet's body condition, and help you determine the best approach to shedding any unnecessary pounds. Pet obesity has steadily risen, and now affects over 50% of dogs and cats.
Reasons to Maintain a Healthy Weight.
• Excess pounds put more stress on joints and ligaments, and lead to arthritis.
• Obese dogs and cats are at a higher risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes.
• Obesity and a high-fat diet can trigger pancreatitis in pets.
• High blood pressure can result from obesity, and can lead to further health issues such as kidney and eye diseases.
• Overweight pets have shorter life-spans than pets maintaining at a healthy weight.
Weight Loss Strategies.
• Diet- Your vet can work with you to find the best food (including recommendations on prescription diets formulated for your pet) and feeding schedule (amount and frequency) to help your pet lose weight without feeling hungry.
• Exercise- Play fetch or take your dog on a walk. Even short walks to increase exercise are helpful. Play games with laser pointers and toys to engage your cat in fun exercise.
• Low calorie treats- Cutting back on the amount of treats your pet receives significantly reduces calorie intake. Consider using diet treats instead of traditional treats when you do need to give your pet a special treat.
• Feeding strategies- If your busy schedule makes your pet's diet difficult to manage, consider using feeders with timers to help your pet stick to a portion-controlled schedule. If you are home, incorporate food puzzles and other toys during feeding time to burn calories during feeding time.
Help your pets live a long, happy, and healthy life by keeping them at a healthy weight. Work with your veterinarian to determine if your dog or cat is overweight, and develop a plan for weight loss that is tailored to your pet and lifestyle.
|Posted on August 7, 2017 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
Help us help your pet!
How can you help your dog have a low-stress visit?
Most dogs don't mind going to a vet clinic for the first time, but unfortunately, repeated experiences of being handled by strangers and vaccinated can cause your dog to develop a fear of going to the vet. Some people may even avoid needed veterinary care or nail trims due to their dog's anxiety. Here are some tips on what you can do to make your dog's vet visits as stress-free as possible:
1. Learn your dog's body language. Most people can probably guess that their dog is nervous when they hide behind them, pant, or have a crouched body posture, but there are a variety of more subtle signals that can be easily missed. Yawning, pacing, lip licking, avoiding eye contact, and sudden refusal to eat treats might be signs that your dog is nervous, and we need to respect those signals. Failure to do so can cause fear to escalate and even potentially turn into aggression.
2. Desensitize your dog to handling. Some dogs just don't like being touched on their ears, feet, mouth, or tail. Unfortunately, these are all part of a thorough physical exam, and most dogs need to have their nails trimmed regularly. Many dogs develop a sensitivity to having their feet touched because at some point their nails were cut too short, hitting the quick (blood supply to the nail). This is painful and if it happens enough times, your dog may begin to start pulling their feet away in anticipation. If you practice handling your dog at home in a relaxed environment and combine it with tasty treats, being handled by other people will become less stressful.
3. Bring your dog to the clinic hungry. We have a lot of treats at our clinic to help make the experience better, but dogs are less likely to eat treats in a high-stress environment if they just had breakfast. Feel free to bring your own treats as well, and make sure they are "high value"--bits of cut up hot dogs, turkey lunch meat, and ham work great for situational training.
4. Bring your dog's favorite toys. Any nervous energy that might be spent pacing or focusing on the sounds of strange dogs/ people can be redirected towards playing, which could change your dog's mood into one that is more relaxed. We also have some dog toys available in the exam rooms--just ask!
5. Bring your dog for "good" visits. A "good" visit means no vaccines, no handling by the staff--only treats and praise. You can stop by our clinic whenever we're open and hang out in the waiting area or practice weighing your dog on our scale. Again, we want high value treats. If your dog gets nervous in the parking lot, then you may need to have your "good" visits start out there until your dog is more comfortable.
6. Talk to your vet about behavior medications. Some dogs are completely confident and relaxed in every situation except at the vet clinic, and there are some short-term anti-anxiety medications that may help smooth over the stress of your dog's next visit.
7. Consider housecalls. We offer these on a limited basis through our clinic and can make a referral if we are not able to accomodate. Having pets treated at home for routine care is especially useful with multiple pet households. Many dogs are much more tolerant of handling and vaccines when they are in the familiar environment of the home.
8. Seek the help of a veterinary behaviorist when needed. These are veterinarians who have undergone years of additional training to become board-certified in behavior and are a great option for nervous dogs that might have more generalized anxiety. Referral by a veterinarian is required for an appointment.
|Posted on July 25, 2017 at 10:05 AM||comments (0)|
Keeping Your Pets Safe At Home
Your home and yard can be filled with seemingly harmless items that can be fatally poisonous to your pets. While some are more commonly known, you may be surprised by some of the dangerous items in your home.
Some of the more frequently encountered plants that are dangerous for pets include:
• Sago Palms
• Many fruit and nut trees
While the temptation to spoil our pets with “people food” may be strong, many foods that are safe for human consumption are not safe for our pets. Some commonly used dangerous foods are:
• Chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is)
• Caffeinated drinks such as coffee
• Citrus fruits
• Coconut and coconut oil
• Grapes and raisins
• Xylitol (a commonly used sweetener in food items such as peanut butter, gum, toothpaste, breath fresheners, and candy)
Items we use daily around our house can be potentially harmful to our pets, and must be stored properly and used with caution. While they may not all be fatally toxic, some of these items can cause severe medical issues requiring veterinary intervention. Common household products that can harm our pets can include:
• Dryer sheets
• Essential oils
• Concentrated household cleaners (most cleaners are safe when properly diluted and used according to the label)
• Rat and mouse poison
• Personal care items (items such as deodorant, colognes, talcum powder, lipsticks, and mascara present concerns for both toxicity and foreign body obstruction)
• Cigarettes and nicotine patches
• Mosquito repellents (these products should never be ingested or used topically)
While some human medications may be used safely in pets (such as Benadryl) when under veterinary supervision, many medications we take are hazardous to our pets. Some common toxic medications include:
• Adderall and other drugs containing amphetamines
• Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs
• Kaopectate and Pepto Bismol
• Pseudoephedrine and other decongestants
• Many topical creams/ointments
What are the most commonly seen cases for toxicity? The Pet Poison Helpline has put together a list of the top toxins for dogs and cats last year, in order of the most frequently seen.
Top 10 Toxins of 2016 For Cats:
3. Household cleaners
4. Human antidepressant medications
6. Rat and mouse poisons
7. ADD/ADHD medications
10. Ingestion of plants in the Allium species (such as onions, chives, and shallots)
Top 10 Toxins of 2016 For Dogs:
2. Rat and mouse poison
6. Grapes, raisins, currants, and sultanas
7. Household cleaners
8. Personal care and cosmetic products
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE A COMPLETE LIST OF POSSIBLE TOXINS OR A SUBSTITUTE FOR VETERINARY ADVICE. IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR PET HAS INGESTED ANY PLANT, FOOD, MEDICATION OR HOUSEHOLD ITEM PLEASE CONTACT YOUR VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY.
|Posted on June 27, 2017 at 3:35 PM||comments (0)|
FIREWORKS SAFETY FOR YOUR PETS
As a thunderstorm approaches, many animals become frightened and anxious, and their first instinct is to try to escape from the noise. Dogs that respond in this way suffer from noise phobias and anxieties. Fireworks create the same type of fear response, which is why so many dogs end up lost, injured, or even dead during this time of the year. When the need to flee from the noise takes over, dogs have been known to:
- Chew through wooden doors
- Break through screen doors or windows
- Run through glass patio doors or windows
- Chew through pipes in a bathroom
- Break through kennel, fencing, or dog crate
- Chew through rope or leash tethers
- Dig under fences
- Hide in small, enclosed spaces
The following tips will provide help to clients who need to control a pet suffering from noise phobia:
- Remember that the behavior is caused because the animal is scared and in a panic, it is not behaving out of disobedience
Steps to help a pet maintain control:
- Distract the dog to take their mind off of the noise, for instance:
- Play a game
- Start a training session and use treats to reward
- Provide a calm environment
- Drape a blanket on the outside of their crate
- Find an alternate environment if animal is in an outside kennel, especially one with a metal roof
- Apply continuous pressure to their body by placing an arm around or by leaning against the dog
Veterinary treatment options available:
- Anti-anxiety devices
- Behavioral treatments and training
If you enjoy taking your pets everywhere with you, we want to remind you that your pet’s hearing may be harmed by loud fireworks. Once the noise level reaches 85 decibels, hearing can be damaged. Fireworks are capable of exceeding 140 decibels. Without a way to offer protection against hearing loss, pets may be more comfortable when left at home.
Fireworks don’t have to be lit to pose a hazardous threat to animals. Many are made with substances that contain ingredients that are toxic when ingested, for example:
- Potassium nitrate
- Heavy metals, such as:
The types of health problems caused from eating fireworks depends upon the type and the amount consumed. Animals commonly develop symptoms, such as:
- Abdomen pain
- Bloody diarrhea
- When large amounts of fireworks are consumed, dogs may suffer from:
- Shallow breathing
- Acute kidney failure
- Changes to the bone marrow
If a pet likes the smell and taste, they will even find spent fireworks to eat. Following firework displays, we recommend that you monitor the areas where they walk and exercise as a means to limit their chance of exposure. Keeping the dog on a leash will help to steer them away from any trash left after fireworks have been set off.
One of the best steps you can take to ensure the safety of your pet is to provide a means of identification. Microchipping animals is as essential as providing properly affixed identification tags.
While firework displays are amazing to watch, dogs may find them frightening and something to run from. Please call us with any questions & have a wonderful Fourth of July!
|Posted on June 15, 2017 at 11:00 AM||comments (0)|
Did you know June is National Pet Microchipping Month? A simple microchip can prevent your beloved pet from being lost forever. About 10 million pets get lost or are stolen each year. With so many pets going missing each year, we're happy to promote this annual campaign by offering $30 microchips during the month of June!
Unlike collars and tags, a microchip will not break, fall off, wear down, or be removed. Microchips are a permanent form of identification for your pet. Microchips also serve as proof of ownership should your pet ever be stolen.
Is it painful? Many pet owners needlessly worry about the microchip implant procedure. However, the microchip is very small (about 12mm or the size of a grain of rice), and virtually painless to insert. The microchip is inserted under the loose skin between the shoulder blades, and feels similar to a vaccination injection to your pet. The process takes under a minute, and does not require sedation.
How does it work? The chip is a passive device with no battery or power source inside it (so it never wears out or needs replacing), that operates using Radio Frequency Identification. Each chip has its own unique identification number. When scanned by a handheld device carried by shelters and veterinary clinics, the identification number can be located and entered into the online database. Then the owner's information can be found and reunited with their pet.
In order for your pet's microchip to work, you must activate the chip by registering the number with a registry. We are able to register your pet's chip for you upon implantation to save you the time with Home Again! Be sure to keep your contact information up to date with your pet's microchip registry if you move or change phone numbers.
Approximately 1 in 3 pets goes missing. However, a microchip increases your pets chances of returning home! Don't let your pet go without. Call us today to get your pet protected.