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Treating Your Pet Like A Family Member

Can Acupuncture Help Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety?

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can Acupuncture Help Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety?

Many dog owners are proud of their bond with their pets, but what can you do when your dog’s healthy affection turns into destructive neediness? Separation anxiety is a common condition in dogs, particularly those who are already prone to anxiety, and it can lead to ruined furniture, accidents in the house and safety hazards for your dog. Short of sedating your dog every time you leave, there is not much that traditional veterinary medicine can do for anxious canines, but more natural remedies may have an answer. As with humans, the ancient practice of acupuncture is often touted as a solution for dogs suffering from separation anxiety, but does it actually work?  Understanding the Causes of Separation Anxiety Although their humans often lead interesting and busy lives, most dogs rely on their owners for most of their entertainment, stimulation and affection throughout the day. Dogs are pack animals that instinctively form attachments to their housemates, so when you leave for a typical day at work, it may not be surprising that your dog feels abandoned. This anxiety builds over time as your dog comes to associate you leaving with escalating panic attacks, causing it to lash out at objects like furniture and forget basic house training. Eventually, this behavior becomes entrenched and can be nearly impossible to break.  Stimulating the Immune System and Reducing Anxiety So, what can acupuncture offer against stubborn anxiety? The traditional teachings of acupuncture focus on the flow of energy throughout the body, seeking to clear blockages through the insertion of slender needles into specific points on the body. Establishing a scientific consensus regarding why acupuncture works has been more difficult, but it appears that the inflammatory response incited by acupuncture can boost the immune system and minimize anxiety for days or even weeks after treatment.  Breaking the Cycle of Anxiety When you first begin acupuncture sessions with your dog, you may not see an immediate halt to your pet’s separation anxiety. This is normal and expected. Instead, the goal is to gradually improve your dog’s anxiety levels until it no longer associates you leaving with an immediate panic attack. By keeping up with regular acupuncture sessions, you may be able to slowly wean your dog off of its dependence on you and end up with a healthier, more well-adjusted pet in the bargain. If you think that your dog would be a good candidate for pet acupuncture, consult with your veterinarian or a local practitioner for a professional opinion and to begin breaking down the separation anxiety that torments your furry friend once and for all.  Click for more information on pet...

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Working On A Home Remodel? Avoid A Vet Visit For Your Cat By Following A Few Helpful Tips

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Working On A Home Remodel? Avoid A Vet Visit For Your Cat By Following A Few Helpful Tips

If you have decided to work side by side with remodeling professionals to improve your home, your cat is likely to experience some stress. This is especially true when your family lives there throughout the remodel. Cats do not understand the concept that remodeling leads to excessive, but needed noise. Not to mention, your cat could find themselves in the way of a professional working and get hurt that way. If you want to avoid taking your cat to a local animal hospital, you must prepare them for the remodel. Board Before Painting It is common to paint your home or at least remodeled room after you finish working. But, before you get started with painting or having a professional do the job, you should board your cat for a while. Standard paints release a variety of toxic chemicals into the air that can cause harm to anyone. Cats are especially susceptible because they are so small compared to full-grown adults. It takes a few days for the emissions to dispel, so it is a good idea to play it safe and keep them for four to five days after painting. Room Restriction Your cat might normally have free roam of the house, but this is not a good idea during a remodel. Front and back doors may be held open for bringing in tools or appliances. The interior structure of the house could be exposed and your cat could wiggle their way into an area where you cannot find them. It is best to keep them in the room that is farthest away from where the work is happening. Then, as you progress through the remodel, you should change which room they stay in to keep the noise level down. Preemptive Stress Relief Some people might be lucky and have an extra relaxed cat who does not mind the noise and vibrations. But, it is perfectly understandable for your cat to be stressed as soon as the remodel begins. It is best to take preemptive measures by getting pheromones that you can plug into a nearby electrical socket. Keeping music on at a fairly quiet level can also block out some of the noise that may occur in the home. Another method is to introduce catnip in the form of pure catnip, toys, and treats. This can help relax your cat, and while it may only be temporary, you should rely on a combination of stress relief methods. It is not uncommon for cats to get a prescription from the vet for stress relief. Or, their behavior could change drastically and you could end up taking them in for that reason. Preparing your cat for the start of home remodeling will give you the best chance of maintaining a happy cat and avoiding a vet trip. Contact an animal hospital for more information....

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3 Reasons Kennels Have Vaccination Requirements For Dogs

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons Kennels Have Vaccination Requirements For Dogs

If you have never boarded your dog before and are about to, you might be surprised to find out that the kennel owner will not agree to board your dog unless it has received all its vaccinations. You may wonder why this is such a strict policy with kennels, but there is a reason for this. Here are several things you should know about this policy. It is done to protect the animals that stay there Kennels have dogs coming and going all the time, and this could be a recipe for disaster if the animals were not vaccinated, and this is one of the main reasons kennels have these requirements. They do not want animals getting sick and contracting illnesses while they are there, and they certainly do not want to send dogs home with their owners with any types of problems. Your dog will be better protected if you follow these guidelines, and this will be fewer worries for you. It is enforced to protect the owner of the kennel Kennels also have these requirements for their own protection. If a dog contracted an illness while it was at a kennel, the owner could end up getting sued. While the verdict of the case could go either way, it is easier for a kennel owner to protect itself than have to fight a case in court. It is for your dog’s own good and for other pets you have If every dog in a kennel is vaccinated, the chances of any dog getting sick are very low. If you want to make sure your dog is fully protected, get a list of required vaccinations from the kennel and make sure you visit a vet’s office to have them completed. This can include all the normal types of vaccinations, and those include vaccines for rabies, parvovirus, and distemper, but they also might include the following two vaccines: Bordetella – This vaccine is better known as “kennel cough” and is designed to stop the spread of the common cold among dogs. Kennel cough is not typically a fatal condition, but it can leave a dog feeling very sick. Influenza – Some kennels are also requiring vaccines for influenza, or the flu. These are similar to annual flu shots people may choose to get, and they can help decrease the symptoms of certain strains of dog flus. If your dog will be staying at a kennel and is not current on its vaccinations, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian clinic today. To learn more about dog vaccinations, contact a company like Basking Ridge Animal...

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How Two Cats Can Benefit From Bunking Up Together In A Boarding Situation

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Two Cats Can Benefit From Bunking Up Together In A Boarding Situation

If you are going out of town, boarding your cats together can make the experience less stressful for them. Sometimes boarding can provide a safe space for multiple cats, especially if you have older cats or cats with medical needs. Your cats have each other and can benefit from other perks in round-the-clock boarding situation. Here are three reasons boarding your two cats might be beneficial for your cat’s safety and your peace of mind. 1. Bigger Space for Same Cost If you have two cats that will be sharing an enclosed space, there is a chance that your cats will be given a larger shared space than if they were alone. This might be a private room or two adjoining spaces with a common shared area for food and litter. This can give your cats more than double the square footage they would have gotten on their own. Be sure to ask about accommodations for multiple cats to see if this might be an upgrade for your pets. 2. Activities on Offer Might be More Fun Many times, boarding facilities that are geared towards cats have indoor, secured play areas that cats can take advantage of for period of the day. This can be great for cats that might be shy around people, but can have fun with one another. Rooms with access to sunlight, climbing, and toys can get bonded cats to enjoy additional perks in a boarding environment. They can build up each other’s confidence and enjoy themselves while you are away. 3. If One Cat is Shyer than the Other All cats have different personalities, and you might have a ringleader as well as a shy guy. If your cats can go into a boarding situation together, your cat that usually takes the lead can help your more skittish cat get used to their surroundings. If you are worried that your overly anxious cat won’t be able to adjust, make sure they are with their buddy that has confidence for the both of them. This will hopefully put your more anxious cat at ease in a boarding situation. The most important part of your cats’ boarding experience is to ensure that they are safe and healthy. Beyond that, if your cats can enjoy the experience, why not? Your cats can board together and have each other for companionship. They will be excited to come home, but you can rest easy they will be calmer and have a better time in a boarding situation if they have one another. For pet boarding services, contact an organization such as Marcum Road Animal...

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3 Things Chinchilla Owners Need To Know About Tibial Fractures

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things Chinchilla Owners Need To Know About Tibial Fractures

The tibia is the bone of the lower leg, and in chinchillas, it’s very fragile and can be easily broken. Here are three things chinchilla owners need to know about tibial fractures. How do chinchillas get tibial fractures? Your pet may break their tibia if they catch their leg in the cage bars while they’re climbing. Accidentally picking up your chinchilla by the back leg can also lead to this fracture. Accidents like falls can also result in a broken tibia. How do vets repair these fractures? These bones need a lot of stability to heal properly, so padded bandages and lateral splints aren’t usually enough. Surgical stabilization is recommended, though these procedures are difficult and often lead to complications.  Either external fixation or intramedullary pins can be used to surgically stabilize your chinchilla’s bone. External fixation involves drilling holes in the bone adjacent to the fracture and inserting bolts into the holes. A rod is then used to connect the bolts and hold the bone in place. Since the rod is on the outside of the skin, your chinchilla may try to chew it. Intramedullary pins are inserted within the bone to hold it in position. These pins won’t be visible from the exterior. If necessary, your vet will use a combination of these two methods to stabilize the bone. If surgery fails, your vet may need to amputate your pet’s limb. Fortunately, chinchillas aren’t typically bothered by this and adapt well to losing a limb, according to the Merck Vet Manual. How can you help your chinchilla heal? Chinchillas are very active creatures, but when they’re recovering from a fractured tibia, it’s important that they don’t try to run, jump, or climb. To discourage these activities, move your chinchilla to a small cage that doesn’t allow for these movements. The house, water bowl, food bowl, and hay rack should be placed close together to minimize the need for movement around the cage. You’ll also need to ensure that their cage is kept very clean. This is important because their surgical site could become infected if their cage is allowed to get dirty. Until your chinchilla heals, you’ll need to monitor them to make sure they’re not harming their surgical site. Since chinchillas love to chew, they may chew their external fixation apparatus, and in some cases, may even mutilate their leg. Elizabethan collars can be used to help prevent these problems. If you think your chinchilla has a fractured tibia, take them to a vet like one from North Lexington Veterinary Clinic right...

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Alternatives To Cat Declawing

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Alternatives To Cat Declawing

Sharp claws and problem scratching can lead to the temptation to declaw your cat, but this can lead to problems. This includes behavioral issues along with health issues like shattered paw bones and infections. Fortunately, there are alternatives to the procedure, as the following will illustrate. Option # 1: Trimming Cats primarily claw to sharpen their nails. You can minimize the damage by keeping their nails well trimmed. You will need cat nail clippers and a few extra minutes to do this. Simply press each paw pad so the claw extends, and then clip off the sharp tip. Do not cut off more than the tip, since this can cause pain and bleeding. Your vet can show you how to trim properly if you need further help. Option #2: Claw Covers Claw covers are plastic caps that are installed over the claw, making it impossible for scratching to cause damage. Your vet glues the covers over each claw. Your will need to get them replaced every few months, since they will be lost when your cat naturally sheds their claws. In some cases, cats don’t like the feeling of trying to scratch with the covers, so they actually break your cat of the scratching habit. Option #3: Provide Alternatives Providing alternatives may be sufficient to discouraging problem scratching. Make sure your cat has appropriate places to scratch and sharpen their claws. Carpeted cat trees are a common option, but you may need to provide several types of scratchers to find the type your cat prefers. Some cats prefer cardboard scratchers, while others prefer sisal rope or carpet. There are varieties that attach to a wall, hang from a door knob, or that lie flat on the floor. Some experimentation will likely find the best type for your cat or cats. Option #4: Behavior Modification Behavior modification is best used in conjunction with the other methods listed above. Start by making favorite but off limit scratching spots unattractive. For example, lay tin foil over the area. Cats generally don’t like the feeling of the foil so they will avoid it. Once they have begun scratching in the appropriate place, you can remove the foil from the location. Citrus sprays are another option. Many cats dislike the odor, so spritzing the spray on off-limits items will keep your cat from scratching the area. These sprays are usually available at pet supply stores. Your vet can also advise you on other methods to encourage proper scratching that may work well with your cat’s personality and habits. For a veterinary clinic, contact an office such as Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination...

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To Spay Or Not To Spay? Is It Really Even A Question? Top 3 Best Reasons To Spay Your Furry Friend

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on To Spay Or Not To Spay? Is It Really Even A Question? Top 3 Best Reasons To Spay Your Furry Friend

There are pet owners that neglect to spay their female pets, thinking that opting out of the procedure will help their furry child in the long run. However, spaying your female pet before she even hits her first menstrual cycle is both a responsible and smart decision to make. Spaying your female pet will prevent many things, not just pregnancy. Being on the fence about spaying your pet is completely natural. You want to gather all of the information you can before making a major decision like this. To help you with your decision, below is a list of the most common benefits that are available to your pet when choosing to get them spayed. Longer Life Expectancy You can help prevent certain pet diseases when you choose to spay your little furry friend. Female dogs that aren’t spayed are more susceptible to diseases like uterine infections and breast cancer. In fact, about fifty percent of all deaths among dogs is caused by cancer. Another scary fact is that fifty percent of breast tumors that are found in female dogs are malignant. When you have your female pet spayed before she starts her first menstrual cycle, you significantly reduce her chances of getting breast cancer. A Better Behaved Pup A female pet usually goes into heat starting at about six months. If your pet is not spayed, generally this cycle will last two to three weeks and will reoccur twice a year. During this delicate time in your pet’s life, she will start exhibiting some pretty bad behavior, like peeing over your house to prove her dominance, howling at anything and everything and nipping more often than usual. Spaying your pet before she goes into heat will stop these problems before they even happen. It will also circumvent any unneutered males from smelling her heat and trying to mark his territory over her. Better Community, Overall Once you have your pet spayed, it means that there is no longer a chance that she can get pregnant and have litters of unwanted or hard to place pets. When your female pet is spayed, there will be lesser unwanted animals being euthanized and less crowding in already overcrowded animal shelters. There will also be less stray animals walking the streets, which will help prevent animal involved car accidents. Stray pets have the tendency to nip or bite and strangers. So spaying your pets will make your community safer for everyone. There is really no reason to be on the fence about spaying your female pet. It is a decision that will not only effect you, but also everyone around you. Spaying your pet is a responsible and smart decision and it will make your entire community a safer place to be. To learn more, contact a spay clinic like Akaal Pet...

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Doggy Gotta Go! 4 Tips To Help Your Canine Overcome A UTI

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Doggy Gotta Go! 4 Tips To Help Your Canine Overcome A UTI

Your dog used to be able to hold its urine all day long. Now it seems like it’s constantly waiting to go outside. If you’ve noticed that your dog is urinating more frequently, it may have a urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infections make it difficult for the bladder to empty properly, which is why your dog needs to go outside more often. If you suspect that your dog has a urinary tract infection, you should take it to the veterinarian at a place like Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital as soon as possible. In addition to the care your veterinarian will provide, here are some simple steps that will help relieve some of the discomfort your dog may be experiencing. Increase the Potty Breaks When urine remains in the bladder for too long, the bacteria levels can build up. When that happens, your dog may experience more pain and discomfort. You can help your dog release the urine by increasing the potty breaks. Don’t wait for your dog to go to the door. Instead take your dog outside at least once every hour. This will help your dog empty its bladder and relieve the pressure. Once the infection is cleared up, you can prevent a recurrence by continuing with the increased potty breaks. Juice Things Up The same juice that helps relieve the symptoms of human UTIs can also be used on your dogs. Cranberry juice is an excellent way to help reduce the discomfort of a canine urinary tract infection. Simply add cranberry juice to a bowl of fresh water and allow your dog to drink it throughout the day.  Get Them Moving If your dog leads a sedentary life, meaning that it spends most of its time indoors, you might want to increase its physical activity. Getting your dog moving at least once a day will help prevent urine retention. Watch for Warning Signs Most urinary tract infections will clear up in a few days. However, in some cases, complications can arise from the infection. If your dog is still experiencing discomfort after a few days, or exhibits any of the following signs, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. The warning signs to look for include these: Lack of urination Blood in urine Loss of appetite Urinary tract infections aren’t just a human thing. If your dog is having difficultly urinating, or is urinating more frequently, it may have a UTI. The tips provided above will help your pet recover from the...

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Eye Issues That May Affect Your Dog

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Eye Issues That May Affect Your Dog

Eye issues are just as dangerous for dogs as they are for humans. While there are many relatively benign conditions, such as seasonal allergies, that will clear up on their own with no lasting damage, there are also eye problems that can result in blindness or provide symptoms of internal illnesses. Blepharitis in dogs This is an infection that affects the eyelids and surrounding tissues rather than the eyes themselves. Symptoms of blepharitis include: Swollen, itchy eyelids Watery or mucus-filled discharge Crusted flaky skin around the eyes, which may cause eyelids to be stuck together Causes of blepharitis  Genetic abnormalities, especially in breeds with excessive facial skin folds and other exaggerated features. Eyelashes that grow inward, in an errant fashion, or through the eyelid. These conditions are also genetic and more likely to affect specific breeds. Allergic reactions to insect bites, flea infestation, and medications. Autoimmune disorders Staph or strep bacterial infections  Viral infections Diagnosis and treatment of blepharitis in dogs Diagnosis will require a trip to a vet hospital, where samples of infectious material will be taken to be analyzed to determine the cause. Bacterial infections will be treated with antibiotics, while congenital deformities may require surgery to alleviate persistent occurrences. Conjunctivitis in dogs This is the same type of conjunctivitis, known as pink eye, that affects humans. It is an infection of the conjunctiva, the tissue that covers the eye. Symptoms of conjunctivitis include: Red eyes Swollen or stuck-together eyelids Watering eyes Intense itching that causes constant pawing at eyes Causes of conjunctivitis: Allergic reactions to mold, pollen, and other common allergens. Seasonal and not contagious. Upper respiratory or other types of viral infections. Highly contagious. Staph or strep bacterial infections. Also highly contagious. Diagnosis and treatment Although conjunctivitis is usually not serious, some of the symptoms are similar to more dangerous conditions, so a trip to the veterinarian would be advisable. Cold compresses are good for relief of symptoms and to remove excessive buildup of discharge from the eyelids. Antibiotics will be prescribed for bacterial infections and antihistamines for allergic reactions. Glaucoma This is a very serious condition, caused by the buildup of pressure inside the eye. If it is not diagnosed and treated soon upon onset, damage to the optic nerve and blindness will result. Symptoms of glaucoma include: Cloudy eyes Dilated or unresponsive pupils Eyes that begin to recede inside the eye socket Obvious loss of vision Causes of glaucoma While glaucoma can be caused by injury or infection, it is usually genetic in origin and occurring with greater incidence in specific breeds. Treatment While many cases of glaucoma don’t respond to treatment and result in eventual blindness or removal of affected eyes, veterinary care through a company like Grove Center Veterinary Hospital can save eyesight in some cases with aggressive treatment, including medication to relieve pressure in the affected eyes. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential in preserving sight for affected dogs, so if your dog exhibits any symptoms of glaucoma, they should be taken to an animal hospital as soon as possible for an...

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Are Black Spots On Your Cat’s Gums A Problem?

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are Black Spots On Your Cat’s Gums A Problem?

If you’ve noticed that your cat’s gums have black spots on them, you may understandably be concerned. Any kind of blemishes, marks, or lesions on the skin of any animal are something that deserve attention. This guide will explain what the black spots on your cat’s gums might be, and what you can do about them. Lentigo One of the most common causes of black spots on cat’s gums is a skin condition called lentigo. Lentigo is a non-harmful skin disorder in which the body produces abnormal amounts of melanin over portions of a cat’s skin and gums. Melanin is what turns skin dark and protects against sun damage, but sometimes a cat’s body may distribute melanin abnormally, resulting in isolated black spots. Lentigo is not a dangerous disorder and shouldn’t cause any harm to your cat. However, you can expect your cat to develop more black spots as they age. Periodontal Disease You might be surprised to learn that 85% of cats may develop dental disease once they’re past the age of three. Unfortunately, unlike lentigo, black spots on the gums that signify periodontal disease are a serious sign that your cat’s health is at risk. Black spots on the gums in association with periodontal disease generally indicate that the teeth, roots of the teeth, or even the gums themselves are decaying. Once a cat has developed periodontitis, it cannot be reversed through tooth brushing at home. Determining Cause There are a few easy ways to tell the difference between periodontitis and lentigo. Lentigo has no additional symptoms, since it’s just a build-up of melanin. However, periodontitis may have many other symptoms, including: Sensitivity – Cats with poor oral health may avoid being petted on the face, or lash out if you touch them near their mouth. Smell – Oral disease is often accompanied by a very bad smell. If your cat’s breath smells particularly bad, they may have periodontitis. Bleeding – If the gums are sick enough to be changing colors, chances are your cat’s mouth is bleeding. If you don’t see blood in their water after they drink, try gently poking their gumline and see if it bleeds. If your cat has none of these additional symptoms, it’s probably lentigo. However, if your cat does have any of these signs, you should get them to a veterinarian for a checkup and dental cleaning immediately. Prevention of Periodontal Disease Whether your cat has periodontal disease or not, it’s important to protect them from it. Make sure to brush your cat’s teeth regularly, and take them to see a vet for professional cleanings. Through the information in this guide, you can determine whether your cat has lentigo or periodontal disease. If you have further concerns, don’t hesitate to see a veterinarian to get a professional assessment. To find out more, speak with a business like Gwynedd Veterinary...

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