Monthly Archives: April 2016

Indoor Cats, Outdoor Issues

By | Cats | No Comments

Most of our cats are indoor cats because we feel that’s safest for them. It’s important to remember, however, that even indoor cats need a little extra protection from problems commonly associated with the outdoors.

Parasites: Parasites are common enough problems, even for indoor cats. Parasites come in many forms, including fleas and various worms. Indoor cats can still get fleas rather easily, and thus tapeworms become a potential problem, too. If a mosquito makes its way into your home, your cat could also contract heartworms. It’s important to keep your cat updated on all prevention medications, even if she is lone, indoor cat.

cat-649164_1920Plants: Sometimes we bring plants into the home, and usually, when we think of the issues involved with cats and plants, we think of how to keep cats from tearing them apart or knocking them over. However, even somewhat common houseplants can pose a risk: poison. There are hundreds of different plants that can be toxic to pets, including types of lilies, heartleaf philodendron, certain ferns, and more. So, be sure to consider your cat before you add greenery to your home.

Other Cats: Other cats pose a risk outdoors; feral cats are at much higher risk for disease and can be vicious, and even outdoor cats with a caring owner can carry these problems. However, that doesn’t mean that two indoor cats who live together and appear to get along are completely safe. Together, they can get into all sorts of trouble, including fights that result in injuries, passing fleas and illness between one another, and more. Two can be better than one, but it does mean a little extra work to keep them healthy and happy.

Many people argue in favor of keeping cats as purely indoor pets for many reasons; it’s estimated that they’ll be safer and live much longer. Just remember to be prepared for outdoor problems that may make their way indoors, too.  Contact Pet Vet Animal Hospitals today to find out how we can help.

Playtime Safety for Your Dog

By | Dogs | No Comments

Regular walks and social time outdoors are healthy for your dog. As you prepare to enjoy the weather with your friend, there are some things of which you should be aware before heading outdoors. Whatever your plans, here are some things to remember as you get ready to play.

The Open Road: On the way to play, a dog with its head out the window, or in the bed of a truck, tongue and ears waving in the breeze, and nose sniffing the air seems like a normal, happy picture. However, even if your dog is buckled in, this can be rather dangerous. Sudden stops and starts can throw your dog around, or out of the vehicle. The dog may also hit her or his head on something outside, or suffer heatstroke from the sun. Buckle your canine in, safe and comfy, and completely inside the car.

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Keep Watch: Whether your dog is on the leash, or off it at the dog park, keep a weather eye open for trouble. Dogs are adept at chewing, but they can still choke on things, so be aware of what yours picks up. Plants can also be a poisonous problem if your dog eats the wrong one. Even the best of dogs can find trouble on their own, or with other dogs. Do what you can to watch and avoid a trip to the emergency vet.

Keep a Firm Hold: Your dog’s collar, harness, and leash are essential accessories, especially if you live in the city. Make sure your dog’s accouterments are in good shape and holding. A broken leash or collar at the wrong moment could result in many unpleasant circumstances on which we prefer not to think. Don’t make things too tight, however. You don’t want your dog to be in pain or develop skin irritation. Also, make sure that your pet has an ID, is micro-chipped, and have its rabies vaccine tag on the collar, or at the ready.

Safety is necessary, but it doesn’t have to spoil the fun. Just make safety a habit and enjoy the healthy, outdoor fun with your furry friend. For help keeping your dog healthy, contact us at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals.

Seasonal Allergies, Part II: Cats in Spring

By | Cats | No Comments

Like any of us, human or animal, cats can be affected by seasons that bring new allergens to the air, and everywhere else. Seasonal allergies can be as miserable for your cat as they are for you, messing with her skin, causing respiratory problems, and more. Sure, indoor cats may be somewhat protected from spring allergens, but it’s not foolproof, and you may still need to watch out for symptoms.

Pollens and more cause allergies in your cat just as they do in you. They make their way from the outdoors into your home and can make an allergy-related mess of your cat. She may have itchy eyes, watery eyes, a runny nose, and she may sneeze. Her respiratory symptoms will be similar to yours with sneezing, coughing, and wheezing.

She may also have intestinal problems. Vomiting and diarrhea can be signs of allergic reactions. However, skin irritation is a more common symptom. Watch for excessive scratching and chewing, or more severe symptoms like hair loss and clearly irritated skin.

Sphynx cat, 1 year old, itching in front of white backgroundPreventing seasonal allergies isn’t easy. You can try by keeping windows closed and keeping your cat indoors at all times. That may help if pollens are the problem, though they may still make their way inside. Sometimes, introducing the allergen gradually into the cat may help her immune system grow less sensitive to it. Your vet can give you medications, or recommend some over-the-counter medications that may work if the allergies are not severe.

You will need your vet’s help in figuring out the causes. Sometimes symptoms of other problems are similar to those of an allergy. The vet may have to run several tests to diagnose the allergy, including skin scraping and blood exams.

If you’re concerned that your cat may be suffering from allergies, give your vet a call so your cat can get back to enjoying the spring view from the open window. Call us at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals for more information.

 

 

Seasonal Allergies, Part I: Spring and Your Dog

By | Caring for your dog | No Comments

Are you struggling with itchy, watery eyes and sneezing? You aren’t the only one; just as humans struggle with Spring allergies, so do dogs, and yours may need some extra attention, too.

Your dog’s allergies will come in different forms. Like you, dogs can have respiratory problems. They may sneeze, have watery noses and eyes, a cough, and develop infections just like people. Dogs can be negatively affected by pollens and other outdoor allergens, particularly since they often have their noses in almost everything. They may also show increased redness in their eyes and on their skin.

More often, dogs suffer from skin-related allergies, or allergic dermatitis. They’re skin will be inflamed and irritated, and they’ll scratch noticeably more than normal. They may scratch with their feet, their teeth, or they may start rubbing on the carpet and other things excessively, desperate to put an end to the itchiness. If the itch is left untreated, it could result in worse symptoms, such as bald patches, sores, tender skin, and more.

Ear itchiness is another common allergy-related problem for dogs. If your dog is focusing a lot of scratches on the ears, shaking her or his head, or appears to be losing hair in the area, she or he may have ear allergies. The ear canals become inflamed as a response to allergens and can get infected, which leads to discharge and other unpleasant symptoms.

It’s important to watch your dog carefully for these signs and treat them as quickly as you would if they were yours. Seasonal allergies can turn into long-term problems if left untreated, so it is important to see your vet as soon as possible. While medication is important, your vet may also want to try and find the primary cause of the allergy and provide treatment that prevents issues from reoccurring.

If your dog is clearly as miserable as you this spring, visit the drugstore for yourself, and the vet for your dog. Contact us at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals today for help with your dog’s seasonal allergies.