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The DIY Cat Bed

By | Cats | No Comments

cat, cats, petsCat beds and towers are great for creating a space that is all about your kitty. They can be expensive, however. And, more of than not it seems as though your cat always prefers the box in which it came. So, what are you to do?

Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on cat beds and towers. Go the DIY route and make something yourself.

First assess what your cat wants.

Well, assess as best you can. Pay attention to where your cat likes to relax. Does he or she hang out in high places? Does he lounge on the cool, hard floor? Does she just love those cardboard boxes that seem too small? These things will help you decide what sort of DIY cat bed your kitty might like best.

Go in search of a plan.

There are simply too many DIY cat projects to count. That’s good for you, however, because that means that you have options. Just do some searching. If you know that you need to use something very soft, then you know to search for plush DIY cat beds. If your cat likes some height, then a raised bed is best, or perhaps even a cat tree made of beds.

Gather the materials.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on materials. DIY projects are made of easy-to-find-and-afford things for a reason. In most cases, you can find what you need cheaply at a nearby store. In other cases, you might even have what you need lying around your home, or a friend may be willing to give you some materials.

The possibilities for your cat’s new favorite sleeping spot are endless. Build something you love from the internet, or get creative and put together your own, unique version. Or, if you are a long-time DIY person, make your own project and put it up online for others.

When you go to this effort to build something for your cat, it’s an extra step that shows how much you care. We care for your pet, too, at Pet Vet Hospitals. Come to us for help with your cat’s health.

The DIY Doghouse

By | Dogs | No Comments

Dog in doghouseSo, you want a doghouse, but the one you want is too expensive, or it’s ugly, or it doesn’t come with the features you want. Fortunately, the DIY lifestyle is gaining traction, and plenty of pet owners have discovered ways to make that perfect doghouse yourself with very little fuss.

The Parts and Labor

Whatever materials you want to use, they can be found. If you want to make a classic house out of wood, that is easily found at your local craft or home improvement store. You can’t cut the wood to the size that suits your needs? You can have that done there, too. Or, you may be able to find the pieces already in the right sizes. If you want something more tent-like, PVC pipe, some waterproof fabric, and some sewing is all you need. If you have the imagination, or some help from the world of DIY instructions, there’s nothing stopping you from making your doghouse.

The Projects

Take a look at this project, here. This plan is a simple one and you don’t have to do the woodcutting yourself, but it still offers your dog plenty of attractive protection. You can exchange some of the materials for something you like better, or something cheaper, if you want. And, of course, you can do it in various colors, too. And, most importantly, it won’t cost you a bundle.

Do you like the idea of a tent structure that you can break down and take with you? There’s a DIY project for that, too. All you need is the right pipe and waterproof fabric, like tarp. The pipes can be glued together, or, if you want something you can break down, you can add some non-slip grip at the ends to prevent it coming apart without some effort.

DIY projects are not for everyone, it’s true. However, many say they’re good for the mind and the hands. Find some help on the internet and build the doghouse of your pet’s dreams. For help with your pet’s health, come to Pet Vet Hospitals.

A Pet’s Never-Ending Ear Infection

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Do you have a pet that is prone to ear infections (like a basset hound or cocker spaniel)? Ear infections are some of the most common ailments that veterinarians see. Chronic ear infections (chronic otitis) are also common, and many a pet owner has spent years battling them for the sake of his or her friend. Sometimes, it just seems as though it is just your pet’s never-ending ear infection.

What can you do? The first thing is obvious: see your vet. Your vet understands ear infections and will find out what type of infection your pet is experiencing. Sometimes, you may be surprised, and the infection can be cleared up with a thorough round or two of treatment.

Other times, it’s not quite so simple. Many pet owners, particularly dog owners, have complained that rounds of antibiotics in combination with other treatments simply haven’t eliminated the problem. Some say their pet’s problem always returns in a matter of weeks, or even days.

So, what’s to be done?

Start by not giving up on your vet. Your vet understands your frustration. Together, you can discuss alternate treatments, or find out if there is a surgical option. If not, your vet will help you develop a long-term treatment plan. This methodical plan may include regular ear flushing to prevent buildup, drops that are safe to use in the long-term, and regular vet visits to make sure that the never-ending problem isn’t causing serious damage. Your vet can prescribe special flushes and medications that you cannot get over the counter; these will likely work far better than what you get at your local pet store.

It’s important to take this route because, though chronic infections can be managed, even when they start to seem “normal,” that doesn’t mean they won’t hurt your pet’s hearing and health in the long-term. Don’t try to tackle your pet’s never-ending ear infection on your own. Talk to a vet. Come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals.

Pets and Lyme Disease: The Basics

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

cat-71494_1280You have probably heard of it in humans, but may not realize it happens to pets, too. That is unfortunate, because Lyme Disease is one of the most common illnesses for pets—particularly dogs—and it’s transmitted by ticks. Why don’t you know more about it? Hopefully, it’s because you take the necessary precautions and see your vet frequently enough to avoid it. However, the fact is that it’s a real problem and it’s easy to miss because many pets don’t show symptoms.

This disease is caused by bacteria (borrelia burgdorferi) that deer ticks spread. Typically, the infection happens when a tick is allowed to feed for a few days; that’s when the bacteria is transferred. This leads to infections, the signs of which may not be obvious. Symptoms usually include:

Joint Inflammation

Lameness and Stiffness

Breathing Problems

Appetite Loss

Lethargy

Kidney Problems or Failure (Severe Cases)

Heart Disease (Rare)

If left untreated, things can turn deadly for your pet. First, it has to be diagnosed. To do this, your vet will have to thoroughly examine the animal. Search for ticks and signs that they’ve been feeding. If symptoms have appeared, the vet will have to go over your pet’s history, including when and where ticks might have been present. There will likely be blood tests, urinalyses, fecal tests, possibly X-rays, and more.

Because joint problems are the most common symptoms, your vet will need to make sure that it’s not arthritis, rather than Lyme Disease. Treatment includes antibiotics, or stronger treatments if your pet has a more severe case. Lyme Disease can be tough to cure, so it’s important to remain aware of the possibility, particularly if you have an outdoor dog.

Pets and Lyme Disease is a serious concern. Come to us at Pet Vet Hospitals and let us help you prevent this all-too-common problem.

On the Road with Your Pet

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Whether you travel on vacation, you move to a new home, or get on the road for any other reason, you may find yourself taking your pet on the road. It’s less common to take cats on vacation because they don’t often travel well, but many people take their dogs wherever they go. No matter what pet you take, traveling with a pet can be both fun and trying.

Keeping Calm

An important part of traveling with a pet is keeping it cadog-237187_1280lm. Some pets get situated easily and can be distracted with treats and toys. Others need some help. It may require some hands-on soothing. Or, some natural soothers found at your local pet store may help. You can certainly talk to your vet about sedation if you feel it necessary. However, never try to sedate your pet without talking to your vet.

Safety

Keeping your pet safe in the car is also paramount. Restrain your dog with appropriate accouterments. There are devices made specifically for this that you can purchase. Keep your dog’s head out of the window at all times. For cats, it’s best to keep them confined to their carriers. Make sure they have enough room to move, turn, and be comfortable.

Taking Breaks

Your pets need breaks from the car. They need to stretch their legs, get some air, and relieve themselves, just like you. So, plan to take a few extra breaks on your way. Find a good rest stop with some open space. Keep your pet on a leash when you take him or her out. Show your cat the litter box and give him or her a chance to use it. Offer your pets water, too; travel can sometimes bring on dehydration, particularly if your pet gets motion sickness.

If you need more advice for going on the road with your pet, come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals.

Pet Boarding

By | Pet Care | No Comments

dogs people connection adoptionAs much as we would like it, sometimes it’s just not feasible to take our pets with us. They may not travel well, they may not be welcome at the destination, etc. So, finding suitable pet boarding is something that every pet owner should do in order to be prepared for those times when pets cannot go on the trip.

When it comes to cats, it is usually best not to take them with you on a trip unless you’re forced to because you’re moving, or some other necessary reason. In fact, it’s also better not to board a cat; if you can leave your cat at home and have someone come to visit every day, that is best. Cats often do not react well to being removed from their comfortable, familiar environment for a lengthy period of time.

Dogs are better travelers. Many people take dogs on trips, even long ones. However, when it’s simply not possible, a good boarding system is a must. Your dog should receive the best care—exercise and playtime, regular potty breaks, a comfortable, clean space, food, water, etc. The same can be said for cat boarding. If you must board your cat, you want to make sure he or she is getting the very best attention.

Veterinary clinics often offer more than medical services. Sometimes, they also offer pet grooming, daycare, and boarding. So, if you have a vet whom you trust, start there. Ask about potential boarding services. If your vet does not offer them, then the next best thing to do would be to ask your vet’s opinion on other options. She or he probably knows of good boarding in your area.

It’s also great to ask other pet owners whom you know and trust. Online searches and reviews are an essential part of searching for businesses, now. Ultimately, you’re looking for a place that will not only board your pet, but that is trustworthy and will give more than basic care for your animal. It’s hard to leave a pet behind, sometimes. You want it to get the same care you give and it can be worrisome, wondering if they’re okay.

When you need vet care, call us at Pet Vet Hospitals. We can provide and recommend the best.

Choosing Your Vet

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Vet using technologyVets are important parts of pet owner’s lives. When they’re great, they save pets’ lives, and keep the family together. So, it makes sense that pet parents search hard and choose wisely when they seek out a vet. If you’re in the market for a vet, don’t put the search off; get a good vet before you need one.

Start by asking around.

People whom you trust are the best sources of information, as are those who own pets. “Old-school” talking is still one of the best ways to get what you need. So, ask friends about the vets to whom they go. Ask questions such as:

Are they kind?

Are they thorough?

Are they more concerned with pet health than with money?

You can learn a lot by going directly to people like you.

Google still works well.

Most businesses, including veterinarians, now run on positive online reviews. So, Google, Google, Google, or use whatever search engine you prefer. Read reviews carefully and watch for clearly-padded positive reviews, negative reviews that don’t really seem to be fair, etc.

Take your time without taking too long.

You want to be thorough so that you find the right person. However, you don’t want to take too much time; the longer you wait, the longer your pet will go without good care.

Try a test visit.

If it’s not too expensive for you, you might narrow down your list of potential vets to just a very few, and then pay them a visit. Start by calling and asking some fundamental questions. Then, if you’re still not sure, make an appointment. Some vets will offer a first-time reduced fee for new patients, so it is worth asking if that’s the case.

At Pet Vet Hospitals, we are proud of our service records. Call us and ask us anything about our services. We’re happy to prove ourselves to be your best option for veterinary services.

The Big C: Watching for Signs of Cancer in Your Pet

By | Pet Care | No Comments

labrador-380800_1920Cancer is a terrible, all-too-common thing. People all over the world fight it every day, and so do our pets. Give your pet a fighting chance; know and watch for the signs of cancer in your pet. The earlier you catch it, the better the chances that you and your pet will continue to live happily together.

Check for Lumps

Some dogs are just “lumpy.” Many times, the lumps are just cysts that will go away on their own, or that need to be perforated and heal. However, it’s important to keep an eye on them, even if your pet has a history of them. Check them often and watch for changes in consistency, color, and size. Have your vet evaluate them, tell you what to expect and how to check them, and see your vet anytime you suspect changes have occurred. When it comes to concerns about cancer, you cannot be too careful.

Wounds that Won’t Heal

A wound that won’t heal could be a sign of infection. Or, it could be a cancerous area. Always have persistent wounds checked ASAP. Generally, it’s good to have a vet check any wound on your pet to make sure that it heals properly.

Strange Smells

New smells can indicate a lot of things. For example, your dog’s ears may have an odor if they have an infection. Always have new smells checked by your veterinarian. They may turn out to be nothing terrible, but even if they’re just an infection, you can get whatever it is treated before it gets worse. The same goes for unusual discharge. Any new smells or leaks should be evaluated immediately.

Talk to your vet about the signs of cancer in your pet. Know what to watch for, particularly if your pet is older. Come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals; we’re here to keep your pet healthy.

Your Pet’s Cuts and Scrapes

By | Pet Care | No Comments

bulldog lying down pantingNo matter how much you protect your pets, you cannot stop everything. They will find ways to get into things they shouldn’t, or have accidents. A pet with a cut or scrape is common. This doesn’t necessarily warrant a trip to the vet, however. There are some tips to treating your pet’s cuts and scrapes at home, and know when it’s time to see the vet.

Examine the wound.

Start by being calm and speaking gently and soothingly to your pet. If necessary, ask someone to help you hold her. Inspect the wound carefully. It’s best if you use some gloves for this and it may help to have a cotton ball, or cloth to dab at blood so that you can see better. How deep is the wound? Is there anything inside it? If it is very deep and might need stitches, it’s best to see the vet. If there is something inside it, you might be able to extract it yourself gently with tweezers. If you’re very uncomfortable with that, there’s always the vet to help.

Wash and dry the area.

Clean debris and blood away gently with warm water and an antiseptic solution. Chlorhexidine is a common, easy-to-find solution that works well. Once you’ve rinsed the area clean, pat it dry.

Apply an ointment.

To help a wound heal, apply an antimicrobial ointment, just as you would on yourself. Something with neomycin is usually safe. If you’re unsure of what to use, ask your vet.

Dress it carefully.

Animals are known to chew at wounds. So, it’s important to make sure they’re covered. This can get a little difficult if the wound is in a hard-to-wrap place. If your pet is persistent about the licking and chewing, try a cone to prevent them from doing so. Leave the dressing on for a long while. You should change it at least once a day. Give the wound a chance to air out for a little while between changing bandages if you can.

Is it large and bleeding heavily?

If the wound is sizeable and bleeding significantly, don’t wait. Bandage it quickly—and safely—and head straight for the vet’s office. Whether your pet needs treatment for an injury, or need to know how to treat one at home, we’re here for you at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals.

When Bathing Your Pet

By | Pet Care | No Comments

wellness spa wash sponge dogThe internet is full of videos of pets relaxing in the bath. The truth is, however, that many a pet hates taking a bath. They fight and cry, and make the task a hated one for you, too. However, it is a necessary chore and there are better ways to get it done.

First, it’s important not to bathe too often. Your animal’s coat and skin have natural oils to keep them healthy. If you wash too much, you remove those healthy oils and your pet’s skin may become dry and itchy. Talk to your vet about precisely how often you should give your pet a bath.

When you choose a soap, select something gentle. If you’ve never really had trouble with your pet’s skin and fur—she’s never shown signs of allergies—then selecting a safe, natural wash should be easy. If your pet has a history of itchy skin, you may want to look into soaps formulated for pets with allergies. You can also talk to your vet about what you should use.

When it comes to the bath itself, try these tips:

  • Come bath time, start with a good brushing. This will reduce the amount of fur that comes off in the water.
  • Warm water—not hot or cold—is best.
  • Avoid getting your pet’s ears wet. Wet inner ears can get infected.
  • Stay calm if your pet resists. If you react to your pet’s fighting, it will only make the stress of the situation worse. Speak softly and soothingly, and be gentle. Sometimes holding him gently by the scruff will help still him.
  • Use a towel for dripping moisture, and then let them dry naturally. A hair dryer is often too hot and can cause excessively dry skin.

Hopefully, over time your pet will adjust to the process. If you have any questions about bathing your pet, or any other type of care, contact us at Pet Vet Hospitals.