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Back-to-School: Pets and Separation Anxiety

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Summer has been fun, and now it’s time to go back to school. Students and teachers alike, of all ages, have begun classes. This also means that many pets have been left at home while their owners are away, and some may take this change rather hard because they’ve become accustomed to having a family member around.

Separation anxiety can come in many forms. And, even if you pet has never shown signs before, any significant change may stir some anxiety.

labrador-380800_1920Your dog, for instance, might:

  • Bark and howl.
  • Pace and run.
  • Tear and chew at furniture, and other things.
  • Dig into trash and other places.
  • Urinate and defecate in the house.

Cats may do the same or similar when they’re upset by an owner’s absence, in addition to:

  • Scratching at furniture and other things.
  • Urinating to mark territory.
  • Climbing and knocking items off of shelves, and counters.

The best thing to do is prepare your pet well before the semester begins. Let your pet grow accustomed to your absence by leaving for brief periods of time. Over time, work toward the schedule you will have once classes start.

If your pet is already showing signs of separation anxiety, try some natural remedies. Go for long walks to exhaust your dog and play with your cat for a while every day. Make some extra time in general to spend with your pets to make them feel safe and loved. Leave plenty of distractions for them in the form of safe toys and treats.

If these don’t work, look into day care or professional training. It takes patience, but if significant time passes with no results, it may be time to seek the help of your vet to make certain there are no medical issues causing the separation anxiety, and to find out if there are any other options.

If you’re concerned about your pet’s reactions to your going back to school, call us at Pet Vet Hospitals and let us help.

Microchipping: The Details

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Dogs and Cats Hanging Over White BannerMicrochipping has become more common recently and it’s a very good thing; millions of pets go missing every year and the use of microchipping makes those disappearances much less likely. In fact, many shelters and rescue groups have made it mandatory and include it in adoption fees.

The Process

In this quick and easy, and not terribly painful process, the veterinarian uses a needle to insert a tiny microchip under your pet’s skin, most often between the shoulder blades, the same place where you put his topical flea treatment. This little microchip has a number and a scanner can pick up that number should your pet go missing. This procedure can be done to most pets that have the potential to be lost.

The Cost

As high-tech as this little chip is, it is not very costly. If you adopt your pet, there may be a discount, or the procedure may be included in your normal adoption fees. Some vets offer it at a discounted rate if you have it done in addition to other procedures. In some other countries, microchipping is mandatory as part of a pet’s registration, and there are even some places in the U.S. in which the law requires it.

The price is particularly reasonable considering the peace of mind that comes with it. If your pet runs away, or is taken, and even if he does not have his collar off, you’ll be able to find him. All you have to do is register the number and call, and find your lost loved one. It’s that simple, and that safe.

We offer microchipping at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals, and we highly recommend it. Bring your pet in, whether he is a new or longtime companion, and let us help keep your furry family member safe.

Save Pets: Adopt a Pet from a Rescue

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dogs people connection adoptionIf you’re a pet owner, or animal lover, you have heard people say that it’s better to adopt a homeless pet than to purchase one. While it is important to note that pets in stores and from expensive breeders need homes, too, and that it’s not their fault that they are the result of a problematic system, there are some very good, specific reasons why it is a better idea to adopt from your local shelters and rescue groups.

Value for Your Money

Money may not be a primary concern for you; you just want a happy, healthy friend. But, for many of us, cost is still a concern, and you will pay far less for a shelter pet than for one from a pet store or breeder. Some rescues and foster pets have higher costs, but that is because they go to great lengths to keep the animals in comfort while they wait for their forever homes, and they may still cost significantly less than a breeder.

But, what about value? There is no certainty that your purebred, or petstore animal will be any better or healthier than an adopted pet. In fact, some purebred pets are at greater risks for illness and birth defects because of overbreeding. Animals are put up for adoption for many reasons, and illness or defect are only a small percentage.

The Need

Rescue and shelter pets have, generally, been abandoned. Perhaps their owners moved and could not take them, could not take care of them for monetary reasons, the pet became too large, or maybe the animal was abandoned somewhere with no one around to explain why. Many, many pets sit in shelters never to be adopted. This results in overflow, lack of funding for proper care, and it is the reason why kill shelters still exist. If you adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue, you are giving a pet a second chance at life, and possibly saving its life.

Veterinarians offer common health services at reduced prices, sometimes volunteering time to keep homeless pets healthy at reasonable costs, or for free. At Pet Vet Hospitals, we encourage rescuing and adopting homeless pets. Check out our list of local shelters and non-profit organizations from which you may adopt. As soon as you adopt a pet, bring your new family member in for a check-up.

The Dangers of Hot Cars for Pets

By | Pet Care | No Comments

We all know that we shouldn’t leave our pets in cars, particularly when it’s hot. We hear it all the time, see local news reports on it. There are plenty of excuses for doing it, but they are not truly good ones. We know that it can harm them, but how much do you know about why it’s harmful?

Too many pets still die from heat exhaustion in cars because people still don’t take the warnings seriously. They may think, “It’s all exaggerated,” or, “I have the windows down and I won’t be gone long.” The risks, however, are too great to convince yourself it’s okay.

dog-237187_1280The temperature in your car rises incredibly fast. It can go from 80 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees in a matter of ten minutes, and upward from there. And, don’t be fooled by the fact that your pet is shaded by the car; the temperature can reach a level well above that outside the car, and rolling down the windows helps little, to not at all. This means that even if the temperature outside seems reasonable, the car could still become too much for your pet. This puts your pet at risk not only of heatstroke, but heart attack and dehydration, as well. Additionally, your pet could suffocate in a hot, closed car.

Even if you are merely running into a store for one single item, finding the item, a long checkout line, and other things could prevent you from returning in time. Your dog may panic and make the situation even worse. Plenty of incidents could happen to exacerbate the circumstances.

We want only the best for your pets at Pet Vet Animal Hospital. Always do what you know is right for them, and if they need care, call us and let us help you and your furry family member.

Hot Cats: Cool Them Off in Summer

By | Cats | No Comments

cat-649164_1920The summer heat can be stifling for everyone, your cat included. Your poor cat is covered in fur and has few options to keep cool—just shade, a cool floor, and water. You can help your cat stay cool this summer, and prevent potentially dangerous, heat-related problems.

Water, Water, Everywhere

Make sure your cat has plenty of water, and offer chilled water sometimes, or place some ice in the bowl. Staying hydrated is very important and the cold water will add some heat relief to that hydration. Refresh the water regularly. You can even offer your cat frozen treats.

Lounge in the Shade

Your cat probably has favorite spots. Make those spots a little better in terms of temperature by shading it, especially if it is outside. Add a fan to the room, or point it at the area. Your cat will seek hard, cold floors when he’s feeling warm, so make sure those areas are kept cool. You can even buy cat cooling beds and pads to help; these are particularly useful if your air conditioner or electricity fails and you are out of options.

Lazy Days

Avoid the outdoors. If your cat is purely an indoor cat, this may not be an issue. However, if your cat is accustomed to an open window as “cat TV,” it is best to close the window and avoid the incoming heat. An indoor/outdoor cat should stay indoors as much as possible. If your cat is crying to get out, try to distract him with a toy or treat, and lift the window shades instead.

There are plenty of ways to prevent heatstroke and other related problems this summer. You and your cat can enjoy the summer together and stay cool. If your cat is showing signs of heat-related distress, call us at Pet Vet Hospitals and let us help.

Home and Hospice

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cat, cats, petsMost of us have to wait anxiously at some point while our beloved pet goes through surgery. It may be merely a routine spaying or neutering, or something more serious. It feels great to know everything went well and that your pet is healing. Then, it’s your turn to make certain the healing continues. Your vet will let you know what to do in order to take care of your recuperating cat, dog, or other pet. Whatever needs to be done, your vet and technicians can help.

Your pet may need to spend more time recuperating at the clinic. Once home, if your pet was under anesthesia, she may still be drowsy. Try to keep your pet calm in a quiet, comfortable place. Avoid strenuous play time, and settle for comforting down time. Your vet may want you to be more strict about this and place your pet in a carrier, or some other container to prevent movement. You can make this comfortable for her, though she may resist at first. Make sure there is proper food, water, and a way for your pet to relieve herself.

Your dog or cat may need to urinate or defecate more often as a result of fluids, or medications. If you need to restrict activity, only let them out when necessary. There may be food restrictions, as well. Follow your vet’s feeding advice carefully. It may mean less food, more water, or a special type of food. Also follow the medication administration to the letter.

Keep a watchful eye on stitches and wounds. Noticeable heat, discharge, or odors are potential problems and should be reported to your vet. Ask your vet if you may keep the area clean with a gentle swab of disinfectant from time to time. If a chew collar was given to you, make sure it stays on, as some pets will try their hardest to remove it.

It’s always a little stressful when your pet undergoes surgery and is healing. At Pet Vet Hospitals, we do everything we can to make sure your pet gets back up and playing as soon as possible.

Healthy Heart: Heartworms and Your Pet

By | Pet Care | No Comments

bulldog lying down pantingWe all know that heartworms are a possibility for our pets. How much do we know, however, about what we’re trying to prevent in our pets?

Heartworms are caused by Dirofilaria immitis, a type of roundworm. These worms are spread via mosquitoes carrying the larvae. Humid, tropical areas and any outdoor time may put dogs and other pets at risk. These worms make their way through the body to the heart and lungs. The process can take time, and so symptoms may not appear until long after infection. Infections can be mild or severe, and are more likely in some states in comparison to others. This rather common problem is preventable and treatable.

There are levels of infestation. Class I is very mild and may present no symptoms, or little more than a cough, while Class II pets will cough and be sluggish. Severe cases present with sluggishness, anemia, fainting, and heart failure. If your vet thinks that heartworms might be present in your dog or pet, she will look for heart problems with an electrocardiograph. She may also test urine, perform X-rays, and more.

If a dog is infected, he will need hospitalization and treatment to kill the infection. You may also have to administer monthly treatments at home. If the worms have grown significantly, then surgery may be necessary to extract the worms.

When recovering, your pet should be inactive to prevent strain on the heart. A special diet may be necessary, too. He will need regular testing to make certain the problem is dissipating, and not recurring; re-infestation, or resistant infestation is a possibility, particularly for older dogs.

The first step to dealing with heartworms is to prevent them. Regular, monthly medication should be administered to prevent infestation from beginning. You can even purchase prevention medication that is also your regular flea prevention, all in one treatment. To find out what is best for your pet, contact us as Pet Vet Animal Hospitals today.

 

Safe this Summer with Your Pet

By | Pet Care | No Comments

 

Get your pet flee protection today.Summer fun is upon us. Pools are opening, children are out of school, and vacations have begun. Your pet wants to enjoy this time with you, too. So, as you play it safe with your family and friends this summer, do the same with your pet.

Keep it Cool

Heatstroke is a very real possibility. When you take your dog outside, make sure there is plenty of water nearby to help keep him cool. Don’t stay in the sun too long with him, either. If your dog has light fur and skin, some sunscreen may be a good idea, too. Talk to your vet about sunscreen for pets.

Never, ever leave your animal in a hot car, even with the windows down. Make sure your indoor pet has ways to keep cool, too. If you’re comfortable, you pet will mostly likely be, too, but watch for signs of overheating, just in case. If your pet is panting excessively, unstable, or drinking excessively, do what it takes to cool him down, or take him to the vet.

Protection

It’s important to maintain your pet’s vaccinations and medications all year ‘round, summer included. The hot months often mean time outdoors where the fleas and mosquitoes wait. These pests can make their way indoors, too. Protect all your pets from fleas, mosquitoes and heartworms, and any other prevention that your vet may recommend.

Keep your dog on a leash anywhere without fences, and with other dogs. Keep your eye on all your pets. Watch for potential predators or any accidents, such as those during swimming, that may occur.

At Pet Vet Hospitals, we want our clients happy and healthy so that they can enjoy every moment with you, their friend. Come see us and let us make certain that your pet is safe and ready for a fantastic summer with you.

Hurricane Pets

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dog-237187_1280Our hurricane season has begun. If you live near the coast, you are probably familiar with emergency planning for your home, neighborhood, and city. You, your house, and your escape plan aren’t the only things of which to think. Your pets should be part of your plans, as well. Though weather services track weather patterns that may result in hurricanes for some time, things can still happen quite suddenly.

Whatever you need to travel safely and comfortably with your pet, have it ready. Set the items (carrier, etc.) where you can get to them easily and quickly. Keep some extra food and emergency kit items ready for travel, just as you would for yourself, and know where pets fit into your vehicle with your other essentials so you can load fast.

Keep up with all vaccinations and healthcare, and microchip your pet. In emergency situations, you never know where you and your pet may end up. If you board your pet during an emergency, they will need the up-to-date information. If your pet is separated from you, you want anyone who finds him to know he’s vaccinated and safe to handle, and how to get in touch with you, and you want to be able to find him. It’s best to keep ID tags on regularly, but in case your pet does not wear a collar at all times, keep it and the tags ready.

Finally, one of the most important things you can do is be calm. Whether you stay in and ride out the storm, or you leave town, prepare for your pet as much as you prepare for yourself. At Pet Vet Hospitals, we’re accustomed to hurricane emergency planning, and we can help you make certain your pet is healthy, up-to-date on all vaccinations, and ready to be safe with you during hurricane season.

The Importance of Spaying and Neutering 

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cat-and-dog-775116_1920There simply aren’t enough homes in the world for all the pets; it’s a constant battle to prevent overcrowded shelters, kill shelters, puppy and kitten mills, and help the homeless pet population. One proven way to help, even slightly, is by spaying and neutering your pets.

Breeding pets may seem like a nice idea, particularly since people are willing to pay good money for a purebred animal. However, this only adds to an already-overflowing amount of pets who need homes, and runs the risk of adding to the homeless pet population. Even if you don’t plan to breed your pet, accidental pregnancy is still a possibility, leaving you with more animals for which to care than you planned.

A spayed female will never go into heat, and may live longer, too. Spaying even helps prevent cancer and tumors, and urinary infections. In males, neutering may prevent testicular and prostate issues, and even behavioral problem, like marking, mounting, and aggression.

Spaying and neutering are not as expensive as you might think, particularly considering the overall benefits. Dogs are usually spayed or neutered before they’ve reached a year in age, perhaps even at 6 months or younger. Kittens may have the procedures as young as a couple of months. In fact, if you adopt a pet you may find that the procedure has already been performed; many shelters and adoption agencies require that the procedure be performed prior to adoption, and include it in the adoption fees.

Your vet can determine at what age your pet should be spayed or neutered. At Pet Vet Hospitals, we offer low cost spaying and neutering as part of our commitment to the humane control of animal homelessness and overpopulation. We do our best to do an excellent job of the procedures at a cost that every owner can afford. We highly recommend doing this for your pet, so call us today.