Caring for a Variety of Pets

Flies Attacking Your Dog? 4 Steps To Care For The Wounds

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Flies Attacking Your Dog? 4 Steps To Care For The Wounds

Summer is here. If your dog spends time outdoors, chances are good that it’s going to get bit by flies at least once. This is particularly true if your dog has upright ears – such as Dobermans or German Shepherds. Flies like to climb inside ears to seek shelter from the heat. While inside your dog’s ears, the flies will feast on the tender flesh around the tips and inner ear canal. If you see flies around your dog’s ears, do a quick inspection to look for bites. If you see any, you should clean them out to prevent infection. Here are four steps you can take to care for your dog’s fly bites.

Soften the Scabs

Before you can properly care for the wound, you’ll need to remove the scabs. You’ll need to do this so that you can remove any infection that might be forming. Soak a washcloth in warm water. Place the wet cloth on the scab and hold it in place for several minutes. After a few minutes, remove the cloth to see if the scab has softened. If it hasn’t, get the cloth warm again and repeat for another minute or two. Once the scab is softened, you’ll be ready to wash the wound.

Wash the Wound

Fill your wash basin with fresh, warm water. Place a few drops of antiseptic soap in the water. Dip a soft cloth in the water. Gently wash the wound to remove dirt and gunk that might be present. Be sure to wash the entire area. Once you’ve washed the wound, rinse it well with clear water and pat dry with a clean cloth.

Apply Ointment

Once the fly bites have been cleaned, you’ll need to apply antibiotic ointment to the affected skin. Fly bites can cause redness, itching and inflammation. The antibiotic ointment will relieve the symptoms and prevent infections. Reapply the ointment several times a day until the bites are completely healed.

See the Vet

If your dog scratches a lot, the wounds can become infected. While the bites are healing, you should inspect the area at least twice a day. If you see signs of infection, you should contact your veterinarian at a local emergency vet clinic. Some of the signs you should look for include the following:

  • Yellowish discharge from the affected area
  • Foul odors
  • Bleeding

If your dog is going to be spending time outside this summer, pay close attention to flies. If your dog does get bit, use the methods described above to keep the area clean and promote healing of the affected area. 

Ways To Help You Cat Deal With Their Arthritis

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ways To Help You Cat Deal With Their Arthritis

When you are a cat owner, your cat becomes an integral member of your family and almost like another child. As such, when they get older and begin to develop health conditions such as arthritis, you may wonder what you can and should do to help them deal with and cope with their arthritis stiffness and overall discomfort. There are many veterinary treatment options available for your arthritic cat. All you need to do is get to know some of those treatment options and work with your veterinarian to get your cat the care that they need.

Prescription Pain Medications

One of the ways that your veterinarian may recommend you treat your cat’s arthritis is to give them pain medications. These medications are available through a pet pharmacy and are designed to help reduce the inflammation in your cat’s joints as well as their overall pain.

Some of these medications can be crushed up and mixed into some wet cat food while others will need to be administered directly into your cat’s mouth. If you have a particularly stubborn cat, the process of administering these medications may be extremely difficult and could possibly be more traumatic to your cat than the pain their arthritis causes. However, if you have had success giving your cat oral medications before, they can make a big difference in their pain levels and help them to act and feel more like themselves again.

Pet Laser Treatments

Laser treatments for pets, also often referred to as cold laser therapy, is a non-invasive treatment that can help your cat with their arthritis symptoms. This is a non-surgical treatment, meaning that the laser in question is not hot enough to cut through the skin (as it is in laser surgery) which is why it is called a cold laser.

The concentrated light energy of the laser is instead harnessed to stimulate the cells in and around your cat’s arthritic joints. This will have multiple effects inside your cat’s body including increased blood flow. When the blood flow increases, the cells in the area will get the nutrients from the blood that they need to fight against the inflammation and irritation in the joints.

Simultaneously, the laser will affect the nerve cells, blocking pain receptors and reducing pain signals. And, of course, laser treatments in cats can also trigger their bodies to release hormones known as endorphins which also reduce pain. These laser treatments are completely painless for your cat and can greatly increase their activity levels and overall well-being that are greatly affected by arthritis.

Now that you know a few of the treatment options available to your cat for their arthritis, you can be sure to talk to your vet and get your cat the care that they need to improve their quality of life and reduce their pain and discomfort.  

For more information, contact Cherokee Hospital for Animals or a similar location.

4 Things To Expect After Your Puppy Is Spayed

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things To Expect After Your Puppy Is Spayed

Spaying is a surgical procedure for female dogs that involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries. This surgery helps prevent unwanted litters of puppies and undesirable behaviors during heat cycles, and may also protect a female dog from a variety of reproductive diseases. Veterinarians typically recommend to have a female dog spayed while she is still a puppy; spaying is known to be a safe procedure, but it is a major abdominal surgery done anesthesia. Continue reading to learn more about what you can expect when you bring your puppy home after surgery:

Disorientation

When you pick up your puppy after surgery, she should be conscious but will likely still be experiencing the effects of general anesthesia. Your puppy may have problems with balance and walking properly, so be prepared to assist or carry her to the car and into your home. As the anesthesia continues to wear off, your puppy may seem groggy, so don’t be alarmed that your rambunctious puppy isn’t acting like herself. 

Lethargic

Following spaying, most puppies will be quite lethargic and want to sleep. Avoid trying to wake your puppy up or engage her in activity– sleep is the best thing to help her recover from surgery and allow her body to metabolize the anesthesia. The best thing you can do is set up a comfortable sleeping spot, preferably in a safe, enclosed space like a kennel.

Lack of Appetite

It is not uncommon for puppies to experience a lack of appetite after being spayed, usually because they may feel nauseous from the anesthesia. Appetite usually begins to increase as the anesthesia wears off. When your dog shows signs of being hungry, slowly introduce small amounts of food– if vomiting occurs avoid giving any more food.

Incision Care

A vet will examine your puppy’s incision site before she is released to ensure that it is in good condition. Examine the incision when leaving the vet’s office so you know what it is supposed to look like. If you notice swelling, discharge, excessive redness, or blood around the incision site in the days following surgery, immediately call your puppy’s vet as her incision may be infected and need prompt veterinary care.

It is important that your puppy does not lick, scratch, or try to bite the incision site, as this can lead to a serious infection or cause the incision to open up. A cone shaped collar for small animal surgery recovery can prevent your puppy from being able to reach the incision site; if a collar is not provided by your puppy’s vet, you can purchase one at most pet stores. 

Summer Grooming Tips To Keep Your Dog Healthy

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Summer Grooming Tips To Keep Your Dog Healthy

The summer months can cause a lot of health maladies for your dog that can be painful, irritating, or even lead to a trip to the vet. Dog grooming and trimming your dog to prepare them for summer can help keep certain health conditions at bay, such as heat rash, ear infections, and more. Here are some grooming and trimming tips you can use to keep your pets healthy during the summer so you can better avoid going to the vet for summer-related conditions.

Ears and feet

If your dog has long hair between its toes or in its ears, you will want to trim the hairs that are exposed. This helps prevent stickers and grass from lodging in these areas. Trimmed hair in these areas also allows you to be able to see any stickers before they get lodged, and makes cleaning cuts between the toes from walks much easier. You will also want to comb the ear hair regularly to prevent matting, especially if your dog likes to swim in the summer months. As you comb through the hair around the ears, check for soft, rubbery masses that could indicate a tick in your dog’s skin.

Neck

Your dog’s neck is a main heat source on their body, and can lead to chafing and heat rash, especially if they wear a collar regularly. Signs of a heat rash on your dog’s neck or throat area include:

  • wetness or odor
  • excess heat and stickiness to the touch
  • scabbing, bald spots, or open sores from scratching

You can prevent heat rashes on your dog by always drying out their collar if they get it wet from bathing or swimming and keeping the area brushed regularly. Matted hair absorbs moisture and can irritate the skin, especially around the neck and chest areas on your dog. If you do notice a heat rash on your dog, cut away the fur from the wounded area and take your dog to the vet for possible treatment to prevent infection.

Hindquarters

Your dog’s hindquarters are a prime location for fleas and ticks to nest in the summer months due to the moisture and hard-to-reach location. You can prevent these pests from attacking your dog by regularly brushing their hind-end and trimming excess fur between their legs and around their private areas. Talk to your vet about a year-round or seasonal flea and tick prevention prescription that can further help your dog keep these parasites at bay.

You can help your dog have a happier summer by keeping their fur trimmed and groomed. If your dog experiences any rashes or other skin conditions, talk to your vet to see what they can do to help your dog’s condition.

Your Dog’s Arthritis: Alternative Treatments You Can Try

Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your Dog’s Arthritis: Alternative Treatments You Can Try

As your dog ages, you may notice that they have a harder time getting up from a sleeping position, or that they walk with a stiff gait in their front or hind legs. After a thorough examination from your vet, it can be determined that your dog has arthritis. This common joint condition affects dogs the same way as it affects people; cartilage starts to wear thin or whole cells begin to die, leaving your dog with stiff and painful joints. If you want your dog to live a more comfortable life but you don’t want to give them traditional medicine, there are many alternative therapies in your area you can try to ease their pain.

Water therapy

Your vet may recommend placing your dog in a water therapy program. Water renders the body nearly weightless, allowing your dog to exercise and move their joints freely without pain. An underwater treadmill is used in many water therapy programs, and your dog is placed in a sturdy, comfortable harness to allow them to walk underwater without losing balance or focus. This may be a recommendation your veterinarian offers to you and your dog if your pet is overweight in addition to suffering from arthritis and traditional exercise is painful.

Hydrotherapy is another type of water therapy your vet may recommend you try for your dog. With hydrotherapy, your dog lies in a pool of jetted water with specific areas of water pressure to stimulate blood flow and provide a relaxing, beneficial massage. You can combine both types of water therapy to increase your dog’s comfort, especially if they love water or are comfortable with either regimen.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is the use of diluted herbs and natural oils to reduce pain and other ailments. Your vet may suggest homeopathic medicines that you can apply to your dog’s skin or place in their food or water dishes to help give them greater energy and lubricate their joints from within. Common homeopathic herbs that can be diluted for pet therapy include:

  • lavender
  • bryonia
  • dandelion root
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • black licorice root

Always consult with your veterinarian before applying any herbal treatments to your dog. Some herbs can cause damage to your dog’s sensitive organs even if they are safe for human use.

When your dog suffers from arthritis, you want to find ways to bring them relief quickly. Working with your veterinarian, you can quickly find alternative treatments that can bring your pet a lot of relief.

How To Keep Your Cat Safe While Traveling To And From The Vet

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Keep Your Cat Safe While Traveling To And From The Vet

Cats hate change, so going to the vet might seem like one of their least favorite events of the year. There are plenty of things that can go wrong transporting your cat to and from the vet’s office if you aren’t careful. Here are four ways that you can ensure your cat’s safety on the way to and from the vet.

1. Check the Cat Carrier Ahead of Time

If your cat only uses the cat carrier for their yearly trip to the vet’s office, it is a good idea to inspect this before your next vet visit. Ensure that the door latches properly so that your cat will be secured. If you are using a hard carrier that comes apart, check all of the interlocking parts to make sure your cat will be safe and won’t have a chance to get loose.

2. Don’t Let Your Cat Loose in the Car

Keep your cat in the carrier on the way to the vet, no matter how much they let you know they would like out. While you might feel bad for your cat in their small carrier, this will keep your cat from escaping or getting hurt if you get into a car accident. This goes for the ride home as well, especially if your cat has undergone a procedure and might be woozy from medications.

3. Be Attentive of the Waiting Room Situation

Call ahead of time or check out the waiting room at your vet’s office before you bring in your cat. Some offices will have separate entrances for dogs and cats which can be great, but others might be a free-for-all. If you are worried that your cat will react adversely to waiting room commotion, ask if you can wait in your car or enter through the side of the building.

4. Have Your Cat Microchipped

If going to and from the vet is one of the few times that your cat will leave the house, this might be their one chance at a great escape. If the worst-case scenario occurs and your cat gets loose, you will have much better luck tracking them down at a vet’s office or shelter if they are microchipped. Be sure that your phone number, email address, and vet info associated with their chip is correct and current. This can be updated online and is just another layer of safety you can provide for your cat.

If going to the vet is the one time your cat is brought into a new environment, this can be tough for them. While you might not have the happiest kitty on your hands, you can at least ensure that they are safe and as comfortable as possible during their trip. Contact a business, such as Northside Emergency Pet Clinic, for more information. 

Answers To Dog Dental Care Questions

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answers To Dog Dental Care Questions

Proper dental care is vital to the health of your dog. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from cavities, gum infections, and other oral complaints. Unfortunately, it isn’t likely that you can train your dog to brush their own teeth! The following guide will help you navigate your pup’s dental needs so you can keep them healthy and happy.

Do “dental bones” and other teeth cleaning treats work?

Everything from dry food to specific chews and treats is marketed as a tooth cleaner for dogs. While dry food does lead to less buildup on teeth compared to wet, simply because it contains less moisture so it doesn’t stick to teeth as well, it isn’t capable of cleaning the teeth. Chew toys made of rawhide or rubber do help scrape plaque buildup off of your dog’s teeth, but even these aren’t perfect. Some nooks and crannies of your dog’s bite will still be left unscraped during the chewing of the treat. So a good chew treat is a good part of dental hygiene, but it isn’t sufficient on its own.

How do you accustom a dog to brushing?

It’s best to begin training them as puppies, but even older dogs can become accustomed to the procedure. Start by getting your pup into a sit or lie down position, and then begin petting and rubbing around the muzzle. Then, gently lift their lips and rub the gums and teeth with your finger. Make sure you have plenty of treats ready to reward good behavior. Move slowly and stop if your dog gets upset. Pick up where you left off later when your dog is calm. Once your dog is no longer nervous about you touching their gums, you can begin brushing their teeth. The length of time it takes to accustom your dog to having their teeth brushed depends on your dog’s temperament, so practice patience.

Are there special tools needed?

A dog tooth brush and canine toothpaste are the only necessary tools, along with a treat or two as a reward afterward. Dog tooth brushes come in a variety of styles and sizes, from those with handles to those that slip over a finger tip. Make sure the size fits the size of your dog’s mouth. If your dog tends to nip, stick to one on a handle instead of a fingertip model.

How does one brush and how often?

Place a small amount of paste on the brush and gently rub the teeth and gums with a circular motion. Try to get all sides of the teeth to ensure as much plaque as possible is removed. Frequency varies. You may want to do it twice weekly after a regular bath or grooming session or more frequently if your dog is prone to dental problems. Speak with your dog’s vet or dentist to determine the best schedule for your pet. If you don’t know a vet, check out an animal hospital like Kenmore Veterinary Hospital to find one.

Ear Infections And Your Dog

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ear Infections And Your Dog

If you notice that your dog is whimpering a bit more than usual and for a prolonged period of time, or if your dog seems to be scratching his ear with great frequency, these issues could be a sign of an ear infection. This brief article will give you some idea of what to look for and what to expect if your dog is suffering from an ear infection. If the problem persists, it is highly recommended that you call on the services of an emergency veterinarian. 

The Causes Of Infection

Bacteria that has been trapped inside of the ear is the number one cause of ear infection in dogs. The presence of bacteria can be caused by any combination of factors, including foreign agents, excessive water, ear mites, tumors, and ingrown hair. If you notice that your dog’s ear has any of these agents in their ear, it is within your best interest to contact the services of a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Symptoms

Whimpering and overly itchy ear, as mentioned, are both symptoms to look for in your dog. However, numerous other symptoms can manifest themselves if an ear infection is present. Be on the lookout if your dog is exhibiting a consistent shaking of the head, especially when they hear an odd noise or something that attract their interest. If you notice redness, swelling, or the ear itself is releasing an odd odor coupled with an oozing discharge, then call on the services of an emergency vet. An ear infection can severely impede your dog’s balance and disorient him or her. Signs of this include walking lopsided, walking in constant circles, or rapid and unusual eye movement.

How Can A Vet Help You?

Although there are at home remedies that you can employ to ameliorate the problems associated with an ear infection in your dog, it is highly recommended that you bring them to a trusted vet. A veterinarian can discover the cause of the problem itself and will know how to remedy it. Numerous medications can be prescribed by your vet that will both numb him or her from the pain and serve to clear up the infection. Topical creams, for example, are often employed in the treatment of an ear infection in your dog.

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from an ear infection, make haste and contact a veterinarian (such as one from http://www.1stPetVet.com) as soon as possible.

How To Tell If Your Cat Needs Urgent Dental Help

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Tell If Your Cat Needs Urgent Dental Help

If you’ve never brushed your cat’s teeth, it’s a good time to start. However, there comes a time where if dental disease is allowed to progress far enough, at-home care can’t reverse the damage. If your cat is exhibiting one or more of these oral health warning signs, you should get to a veterinarian right away.

Foul-Smelling Breath

Cat food isn’t one of the most pleasant-smelling things on the planet, but there’s a difference between cat food breath and simply bad breath. If your cat has extremely strong, foul-smelling breath even when they haven’t eaten recently, they may have severe dental disease. Unfortunately, one of the leading causes for this kind of problem is that the teeth or gums are either experiencing an extreme infection, or are even beginning to die.

While mild gingivitis can be reversed with proper at-home dental care, severe gum disease and cavities can’t. If your cat has this symptom, you should get them to a veterinarian right away. These types of infections and decay can potentially spread to other parts of the body, including the heart, so it’s not something you should put off.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding is a common symptom that comes from gum disease, and it means that your cat’s gums are in trouble. Mild gingivitis rarely causes bleeding, but more severe forms of gum disease like periodontitis do. Periodontitis can only be treated by a veterinarian or pet dentist, as it requires an intensive cleaning, scaling of the teeth, and possibly even lancing and draining the gums. In addition, depending on whether the disease has become an infection or not, antibiotics may be necessary.

Recessed Gums

Another sign that your cat is experiencing gum disease is that their gums may pull farther up the tooth. This can expose the bony portion of the tooth that isn’t protected by enamel, or even the roots of the tooth, making for a very painful experience for your cat. Regularly brushing their teeth can help to prevent this disorder, but once it’s this extreme, it’s time to see a vet.

Regularly brushing your cat’s teeth can help to keep their overall oral health in good shape, but it’s also necessary to see a vet for regular check-ups. Vets can perform more thorough cleanings while a cat is under general sedation, which means they can remove the tartar and reverse gum disease that at-home brushing just can’t.

For a vet in your area, contact a company such as River View Veterinary Service LLC.

Myths Dispelled: The Truth About Cat Vaccinations

Posted by on Dec 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Myths Dispelled: The Truth About Cat Vaccinations

Cats are one of the most misunderstood creatures on earth. Cats need more care and affection than they let on, and even healthy feline companions should see a veterinarian regularly for check-ups. It’s also important to get your cat on a vaccination schedule when they are still young. Some cat owners may hesitate due to myths about cat vaccinations, but a lot of rumors about vaccinations in cats are totally false. Here’s the truth behind the most popular and enduringcat vaccine myths.

Myth: All vaccinations are necessary for your cat.

Fact: Well, many vaccinations are recommended, but there are two separate categories of vacations according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Only the core vaccinations should be considered absolutely necessary, while whether cats should receive non-core vaccinations should be a joint decision between you and your veterinarian based on the health needs of your particular cat.

Core vaccinations for your cat include the following:

  • Panleukopenia Virus (FPV) and Feline Calicivirus (FHV-1FCV) Vaccine
  • Rabies Vaccine

Non-Core vaccinations for your cat include the following:

  • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) Vaccination
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Vaccination
  • Chlamydophila felis Vaccination
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica Vaccination

Myth: As long as my cat is kept in his cat carrier or in my hotel, I don’t have to worry about vaccinations.

Truth: This one is totally wrong, and you will soon discover this if you try to get on an international flight with a cat. The exact vaccination requirements for your cat will vary depending on your destination, so you want to discuss your options with your vet as soon as you finalize your travel plans. You will need paperwork from your veterinarian in order to get cleared for travel with your canine companion, and your cat must be up-to-date on all required cat vaccinations in your destination cities.

Myth: You need to wait until your kitten has grown before giving him a vaccine.

Truth: Six-week-old kittens are ready for some vaccinations. After all, a kitten needs its mother’s milk to help develop maternally derived antibodies. Unfortunately, not all kittens are able to get enough of them, and kittens are vulnerable when they don’t. Many kittens need to be vaccinated until they are 16 weeks of age on a schedule that your veterinarian can help you decide based on your kitten’s needs.

Finally, talk to your veterinarian about any concerns you have about vaccinating your cat. Always reveal any special conditions your cat may have before vaccinations are given. Then give yourself a pat on the back for taking such great care of your feline companion. You will get to enjoy much more time with your cat thanks to a healthy vaccination schedule that can ensure your pet never gets certain diseases.