Pets and Antifreeze: A Dangerous CombinationFebruary 22, 2018
Everyone has heard about antifreeze and how dangerous it can be to animals, but do you really know how easily they can get into it? Antifreeze poisoning is the most common form of poisoning for small animals because it generally drips off car radiators and the pet licks it off the ground. They can also get into it when it’s added to toilets to keep the pipes from freezing.
The actual toxin is called ethylene glycol that makes the antifreeze toxic. Less than 3 ounces of antifreeze is sufficient enough to poison a medium-sized dog. Antifreeze poisoning affects the brain, liver, and kidneys. Antifreeze is bright in color and has a sweet taste to it and that’s why pets are drawn to it. It does have a bitter aftertaste but generally, the pet has already consumed too much by the time they taste that.
If you think your pet got into some antifreeze this is some of the signs and symptoms that you might notice
1. Drunken Behavior
2. Wobbly/uncoordinated movements
4. Excessive urination
6. Rapid heart rate
If you are afraid that your pet may have consumed some antifreeze, call your vet right away or even can call poison control at 888-426-4435. They will direct you on what to do next for your pet. It might not always be fatal, but many pets will develop kidney disease.
Yes, this sounds scary, but there are some tips to help prevent your pet from falling victim to antifreeze poisoning.
1. Keep antifreeze closed tightly and stored out of reach of pets
2. Try not to spill and if it does clean it up thoroughly and quickly.
3. Dispose of used containers properly
4. Check radiator regularly and repair leaks
5. Do not allow your pet to wander unattended where this is access (driveways, roads, gutters, and garages)
6. Propylene glycol is safe and is now primarily used for antifreeze – look for this kind instead
February is National Pet Dental Health Month!February 2, 2018
Does your pet’s breath smell really bad? Are they not interested in playing with their toys anymore? This could be signs that your pet’s teeth are hurting them and they could use a dental. Having your pet seen annually by your vet will help catch some of these problems early. Dental disease can become very painful for your pets.
Some signs and symptoms of your pet needing a dental are: bad breath, eating difficulties, problem gums, stained teeth, loose/broken teeth, lethargy, weight loss, excessive salivation and swelling on the face.
Almost all animals will suffer from dental disease at some point. The main breeds that have issues are Pugs, Yorkies, Shelties, Chihuahuas, Cavalier King Charles, Greyhounds, Dachshunds, Maltese, Chinese Cresteds, and Poodles. A lot of cats have dental problems as well due to the smaller mouths and having a primarily wet food diet. About 70% of cats and 80% of dogs 3 years and older have oral diseases. If you do not treat the problem it can lead to pain, emaciation, tooth loss, sinus infections, sepsis and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can contribute to or increase the risk of infection of heart/lungs/kidneys, heart failure, cancer, arthritis and spinal disease.
Some good preventatives are to brush your pet’s teeth every day, have regular oral exams/cleanings, feel a quality pet food, and offer safe toys/treats for daily chewing. If you happen to notice any of the above symptoms in your pet, it’s a good idea to call your vet and set up an appointment. Having good dental care for your pet will increase your pets lifespan and quality of life.
Why Adopt a Senior Dog? Let Me Count the Reasons!November 20, 2017
1: Senior dogs need homes too! They are super loyal and loving.
2: Adopting older dogs will save a life. Sadly most shelters are overcrowded and what’s even sadder is generally the older dogs are the pets that are euthanized first.
3: Older dogs don’t mean more problems. A lot of older dogs are given to shelters for the same reason as other dogs. The family moved, sometimes the owner passed away, a new baby, and so on and so on.
4: Older dogs come trained. Don’t worry about trying to potty train or even simple commands because generally they come with all the knowledge already.
5: Older dogs are calmer. They are less destructive because they aren’t going through the puppy ‘chew on everything’ stage. They also tend to do better with children.
6: They are instant companions. They will go on walks with you, are leash-trained already, great work out buddies, and or course, are snuggle bugs!
7: Sadly senior pets are more likely to never get a new home again.
8: You know what you are going to get. What’s great with older dogs is you already know their temperament. You know how big they are going to get and you know what is going on with their health already.
9: You can teach them new tricks. It’s an old wives tale you can’t teach an old dog new tricks because that has been proven wrong time and time again.
10: You can almost custom order your dog. By getting an older dog you already know how big they are going to get, how long the hair is going to be, if they are good with other animals, and if they have any health issues like dental disease.
11: Senior dogs are good with senior people as well. They are very good at being relaxing and comforting.
12: You can adopt a pure bred if you want. The great thing about a senior pet is that you know what you are getting so if you want a certain breed you can make sure you get it.
13: Senior dogs are super relaxing. They will be great to hang out with and curl up and watch a movie with.
14: They are super grateful. There is nothing like adopting an older dog. They are so grateful and they show it. It’s amazing.
15: Who wouldn’t want an amazing dog to spend their time with?
Diabetes in Dogs: How it Develops, What to Watch For, and How to Treat It
Diabetes in dogs is becoming a very common disease. It’s not fully known yet what causes diabetes but there are some things that they have found that are connected such as genetics, obesity, chronic pancreatitis, certain medications, abnormal protein deposits in the pancreas, and some auto immune diseases.
Some dogs are at a greater risk of getting diabetes. Obese dogs are always more prone to getting it, just like people. Female dogs run a greater risk at developing diabetes later on in life when they are around 6-9 years old. Certain breeds are more prone such as Australian terriers, schnauzers, dachshunds, poodles, keeshounds and samoyeds. It’s also very important to get female dogs spayed because the hormones can affect blood sugar levels.
The top signs of diabetes in dogs are increased thirst, increased urination, increased hunger, sudden weight loss, obesity, weakness or fatigue, thinning or dull hair, cloudy eyes, depression, vomiting, and chronic skin infections. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your vet and get your dog checked out immediately. If you notice these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog has developed diabetes, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The treatment for diabetes varies per pet and how ill they are when they are diagnosed. Some dogs will need to be hospitalized for several days to get them stabilized. Most dogs will need insulin injections, but sometimes a high-fiber diet can also help normalize the glucose in their system.
Once stabilized, your vet will review how to check blood glucose levels at home and give insulin. Sometimes, if you would prefer, certain vets will have you bring your dog in check the blood glucose in the hospital. It’s good to always give insulin at the same time everyday and feed regular meals in conjunction with the medication. Try to avoid treats with any glucose in them and get regular blood glucose levels to make sure everything is going smoothly. It’s also good to check with your vet about exercise and proper nutrition to keep the weight in check.
There isn’t too much you can do to fully prevent diabetes in your dog, but generally proper diet and regular exercise will help with obesity and that can lessen the chances of developing diabetes. If you happen to notice any signs or symptoms or if your dog is already diabetic and not acting right, please contact your vet right away.
Pool SafetyJuly 25, 2017
Did you know that the 5th leading cause of accidental death for dogs is drowning? Dogs can drown even though many people think they can’t. Even the breeds that known swimmers and loving water. Accidents can happen so below are some tips and tricks to prevent that.
1. Teach your dog how to swim: you can enlist in a professional dog trainer for this or can even take some steps at home if you would like. Generally you want to start in a small baby pool at first to get your dog used to water.
2. Invest in a life vest: life vest are generally available and most pet stores and the employees there can help make sure you get the best fit for your dog.
3. Watch older dogs: older dogs generally can’t see or hear the best anymore so always watch them closely by the pool because they could easily slip right in. Also they sometimes have health conditions where you don’t want them in the heat for too long or over activity. If you have an older dog and are concerned contact your Veterinarian prior to get their advice.
4. Get a fence: by putting a fence around your pool you may not only save your own pets lives but many wild animals as well. Wild animals often fall into pools and then cannot seem to get themselves out.
5. Learn CPR: yes there is CPR for animals and there is classes you can take to make sure you doing it properly. If you own pets it’s never a bad idea to know how to do CPR.
6. ALWAYS stay with your pet: never leave a pet in or near a pool or any body of water by themselves. They can quickly fall in or go out too far and have a serious issue quickly.
7. Exits: make sure that your pet can get out of your pool and know where all the exits are.
8. Drinking: try not to let your pet drink the pool water because most pools have chlorine in them which isn’t good for them to drink a lot of. Always have fresh cold water available.
9. Play: it’s always fun for both of you to play in the pool together but make sure to watch for how long especially in the heat.
10. Rinse: Always rinse your dog off after being in a pool or any body of water.
11. Heat: even though they are in the water they are still exercising. Make sure they have ample shade to get to and fresh water available at all time. If you notice that they are getting tire or seem to be panting more than normal make sure to get them out of the heat right away and monitor them. If they start to get worse or do not improve call your Veterinarian right away.
12. Pool Covers: yes they are extremely practical but try to use the ones that a tight against the pool if you use one. The flimsy ones can easily take the life of your pet or other animals. They can fall and tangled in the cover or can end up underneath the cover and not able to find their way out.
13. Have a plan: no one want to think of the worst case scenario but it’s always good idea to with the pets so that way you can be prepared. Try to have a plan in place including some sort of first aid kit or an emergency vet hospital phone number.
Fire Safety Tips with PetsJuly 13, 2017
The BEST way to protect your pet is to have a plan and a disaster kit ready. Always practice with your pet and make sure they know to come when called. Around 500,000 pets are affected by home fires and nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by homeowner’s pets.
Tips to help your pet from starting a fire:
- Extinguish open flames: do not leave any sort of open flames unattended especially candles.
- Remove/cover stove knobs: pets can jump up and accidently turn burners on with their feet or even their nose.
- Invest in flameless candles: animals gets very curious around flames and their little tails cans easily knock them over.
- Use caution with glass water bowls: Sometimes if a clear water bowl is placed outside on a wooden deck in the direct sunlight, the sunlight can actually warm up the wood below and cause a fire.
- Always secure pets: make sure to keeps pets in a cage or behind a baby gate when not being watched.
Tips to be prepared in case a fire would happen:
- Have an escape plan: make sure to include your pets in the plan
- Have a leash/carrier: make sure to have them in the planned escape routes and easily accessible to grab on the way.
- Know their hiding places: know where your pets generally go when they are scared to know where to look for them quickly if needed.
- Have fire drills: make sure to practice with your pets, go over basic commands like come and stay.
- Secure pet during danger: pets often aren’t fans of loud noise or a lot of people and most likely during an emergency there will be a lot of both so make sure to have a leash or carrier to keep them secure.
- Have an animal emergency kit: have food, dishes, water, meds anything that would help just in case and have it easily accessible in your escape plan.
- Place to stay: talk to family members or even neighbors that your pet could stay with in case of an emergency.
- Dog House: if you have a dog house outside try to make sure that it isn’t right next to your house and free of tress or other flammable objects. That way if your pet would hide in there they would be safe.
- Pets alone: try to leave pets in crates by the front door so that if a fire fighter comes in they can find them easily and quickly.
- Consider Monitor Smoke Detectors: pets can’t escape burning house on their own it may be a good idea to use a monitored smoke detector that are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders will be contacted even if you aren’t home.
- Affix Pet Alert: they are window clings that you can write the number of pets and what kind of pets that are in your house so that fire fighters know what they are looking for and are aware.
- First Aid Kit: it’s a good idea to have on hand especially in an emergency situation, you can purchase them at local pet stores or you can talk to your Veterinarian to check what they would recommend to have in them for your pets.
Spaying and NeuteringJune 16, 2017
Everyone always says “it’s good to spay and neuter your pets”, but why? There are many reasons why it’s a good idea. The main and most important is it lets you have your pet for a longer time. Who wouldn’t want that?
If you get your dog spayed prior to her first heat, it cuts down the mammary cancer to zero percent where as if you wait until after her first heat, the chance increases to 7%. After her third heat, it jumps to 25%. Female dogs can go into heat every 8 months after reaching maturity, which is generally between 5 and 12 months of age. Having your dog spayed also prevents uterine infections and ovarian cancer, both of which can be life threatening. If your dog does get a mammary mass, it tends to be malignant about 50% of the time. Female dogs can be in heat for 2-3 weeks at a time and during that time if you don’t want to have accidental puppies, you need to keep her away from all unaltered male dogs. It’s not even recommended to leave her outside in your own yard by herself, just in case she would happen to run off or a male dog would smell her and try to find her. Also, a dog’s heat can be rather messy so it’s a good idea to either get a diaper of some sort or be prepared and make sure she’s in an area that is okay to get a little messy.
While people are fairly open to spaying their female pets, that is not always the case when it comes to neutering their male pet. Whether it be the man in the house doesn’t like the idea, or it’s not “messy” so why worry? It’s true that it might not be the same kind of messy, but it definitely has health risks. If you get your dog neutered, it cuts down on prostate problems, testicular cancer, hernias, and perianal tumors. Unneutered males tend to roam a lot more, especially if there are females around. So when a dog gets hit by a car or runs away, 9 times out of 10 it’s an unneutered male. Also, getting them neutered can help with any sign of aggression and marking. However, if they are over a year old and showing signs of undesired behaviors, it might be too late as it can become permanent at that point. That’s why it’s a good idea to get them neutered prior to reaching maturity, which is around six months of age.
Felines need to be spayed or neutered too, especially if they go outside at all. The stray feline population continues to grow each year and it’s mainly because unaltered cats are outside together. Cats go into heat for 4-5 days about every 3 weeks during breeding season and although it’s not as messy as dogs, it definitely causes them to act differently. Female cats generally start going into heat from around 5-12 months old. Female cats generally start to “talk” when they are going into heat and they will walk all around your house or neighborhood yowling, acting very needy, and overly groom themselves. Male cats can even start spraying which can become a permanent behavior. Spaying or neutering your cat also bring with it the same health benefits as dogs. It prevents mammary cancer which is 90% malignant in female cats and it also prevents uterine and ovarian cancer, as well as prostate and testicular cancer in male cats.
Overall it’s in the best interest of your pet, whether male or female, dog or cat. Even if it seems expensive in the long run, it will save you money compared to an accidental litter or even treatment. Your pets will thank you in the end and when done safely at your vet’s office, they really don’t even know what happened. Who wouldn’t want to make sure they had their pets with them for as long as possible by taking the right steps for prevention from the beginning?
Lyme DiseaseMay 30, 2017
The ticks are coming back! It’s that season again and there’s no better time than the present to learn how to prevent Lyme disease and what symptoms to look for.
Before we can get into prevention we should probably know what Lyme disease is first and how your dog gets it. Lyme disease is an infectious tick-borne disease caused by the bacteria “Borrelia burgdorgeri.” It is carried most commonly by the deer tick aka black legged tick. Lyme disease is also carried by the brown tick, rocky mountain wood tick and American dog tick. Lyme disease is transmitted from the bacteria carrying tick to the animal from the saliva. Ticks must be attached for 48 hours to transmit the disease and it can only be transmitted from the tick vector not dog to dog or dog to human. The tick also needs to bite to infect the host.
Symptoms of Lyme disease can differ from pet to pet and sometimes it can take up to 5 months before symptoms even arise. Some general symptoms are fever, lameness (often shifting leg lameness), lethargy, lost of appetite, swelling in joints and lymph nodes. They do not get bull’s-eye rashes like in humans. Also, watch symptoms closely because Lyme disease can sometimes become deadly.
Diagnosing your pet is fairly easy at least, in case your pet had a tick on them or is showing some symptoms noted above. Generally, a blood test is taken by your veterinarian. However, if your pet tests positive that does not always mean your pet has Lyme disease. It can just mean that your pet was exposed to the bacteria that causes Lyme but did not actually contract it. Often the dog’s system can fight it naturally but your veterinarian will use blood work, medical history and symptoms to diagnose.
The best way to keep the ticks off your pet is prevention. Flea and tick prevention can stop the tick from being attached for 48 hours hence stopping the ability of transmitting the disease. It’s also good to keep your pet away from tall grass and wooded areas. Your veterinarian will have plenty of flea and tick prevention they can suggest that would be best for your pet as well. Sometimes even a Lyme vaccine is a good choice but again speak to with your veterinarian directly to see what they recommend.
Check your pet after being outside or even daily to see if you feel any sort of ticks on them. They can be anywhere on your pet but the most common spots are on or in the ears, on the feet and between the toes. If you happen to find one, it should be removed as soon as possible. You can remove them with a tick removing tweezers by grasping from the head where it is attached to your pet’s skin. Try to make sure you get the whole thing because if any of it is left attached it can cause infection. Also, never burn the tick or apply any sort of irritant to the tick to remove it because that can cause further problems.
If your pet is showing any symptoms of Lyme disease or if you think your pet may have had ticks on them, call your veterinarian right away and they will be able to point you in the right direction.
Pet Health Insurance Informational SessionFebruary 24, 2017
Pet Health Insurance 101
Join us for an afternoon of pet health insurance on Saturday, March 11th from 2pm – 4pm! Learn the ins and outs of pet health insurance and get your questions answered by company representatives.
Light refreshments will be served.
Reserve your ticket HERE! This is a free event but you MUST get a ticket as seating is limited!
Keeping Pets Entertained IndoorsJanuary 25, 2017
During the winter months it can be hard to figure out what to do with your pet to keep them happy, healthy, and sometimes most importantly, entertained. We came up with a list for both cats and dogs. Leave a comment if you think we left anything out!
Cats are generally easier to keep entertained when you are not home or even when you are home but here are some easy tips to help make them feel more comfortable.
- Get cat friendly plants: wheatgrass or catnip are good choices (watch out for toxic plants it’s always good to check or get from a pet stores) The plants will allow them to chew and enjoy what they would outside with the grass.
- Feeders: cat’s love to watch and see prey so getting bird and squirrel feeders are great to keep them entertained and watching things outside.
- Play hide and treat: cat’s love to “hunt” by placing treats around the house or even getting treat dispensing toys that will give them the illusion of hunting.
- Playtime: play when you are home, just a few times a day will keep them happy and healthy.
- Create “fun” zones: place cat trees or scratching post in a corner or by a window with some toys. If you want you can even screen in places right outside a window or even on a porch that the cat can go into to enjoy the outdoors without any danger.
- Get a buddy: cats are better in pairs, then they can create all kind of new games and stuff together and if one is bored they tend to always find a way to make their buddy play with them.
- Soothing sounds: generally cats like music just like people/babies, leaving soothing music on when gone generally helps, such as a soft piano or string instruments.
Dogs on the other hand are generally not as content on being indoors but hopefully the following tricks with help keep them entertained.
- Play “which hand game”: place a treat in one hand and close both fists and let your dog try to use their sense of smell to figure out which hand it is.
- “Three Cup game”: place a treat or something rewarding to your dog under one of the cups and move them all around and try to get your dog to pick the right cup.
- Teach new tricks: a dog is never too old for new tricks, you can always teach new things like “how to find my slippers”.
- Kongs: people will swear by them, fill them up with peanut butter, wet or dry food and you can give just like that or even frozen to keep them entertained for even longer.
- Master obedience: still trying to get your dog to sit or stay right away try working on that task while your stuck inside.
- Try something new: try teaching them clicker training, it’s a positive reinforcement way of training and it generally fun for you and your dog.
- Teach your dog how to clean up their toys: this one will even help you out, start one toy at a time until they understand.
- Puzzle toys: there are tons of puzzle toys at pet stores and even getting bully sticks or benebones to chew on for hours.
- Play fetch: obviously a nice indoor way of playing inside, with soft toys is generally a good idea.
- Master “doggie massage”: this will help out older pets, reduce anxiety, relieves stress, improves circulation and helps with bonding.
- Create obstacle courses: set towels and boxes or even treats all round and try to make your dog take certain paths to get to the reward.
- Blow bubbles: some dogs love this and will entertain them for hours they even make pet bubble making toys.
- New toys: or you can even rotate the toys you already have, if your dog hasn’t seen it for a while they love when it come back out.
- Tug-a-jug: a very good toy to keep pets entertained you can fill them with kibble or even small treats.
- Pupsicles: you can freeze chicken broth, peanut butter, baby carrots or treats and then give to your pet as your on your way out.
- Exercise: dogs need and love exercise, try taking them for a brisk walk before leaving or once get home.
Hopefully these tips and tricks will help keep your furry family members entertained but always make sure when ever giving your pet a new treat or toy to watch them when they first get them to make sure they won’t eat or destroy them. You don’t want to cause any sort of harm. Also if your pet is on any sort of dietary restrictions always check with your veterinarian first before giving any kind of treat.