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Shelter vs. Home: What to Consider when Adopting a Shelter Pet

By | Pet Care | No Comments

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Getting a new pet is exciting. However, it’s important to remember that being ready to truly love an animal and making it part of your family may mean some extra work. It’s a misconception that adopting from a shelter means adopting a problem pet; but being left in a shelter can be painful for an animal, and they need some extra love and care.

Behavior

Pets are left at shelters for many reasons, the most common being:

  • Owners moved to an apartment that doesn’t allow pets.
  • Pet grew and the owner could no longer take care of it.
  • Owner discovers he or she has an allergy.
  • Divorce, breakups, and other personal problems.

Often, the pet’s behavior has nothing to do with being left. However, it is a huge adjustment to make, being left at a shelter, particularly for an older pet. Then, being adopted and adjusting to a new home and people is yet another big change. If you’re considering adoption, remember that it may take some time for your pet to grow accustomed to you and surroundings. She or he may show anxiety through bodily functions, chewing, howling and crying, or more. Your vet can help you figure out how to deal with this behavior, and let you know what to do if it doesn’t improve.

Costs

Many shelters have low adoptions fees. While it’s not the same as getting a free pet, you are paying for basic services that may cost you more if you paid a vet directly, and you know you are getting a pet that needs a good home. However, it’s important to remember that these fees may not cover everything, and you may need to take your pet in for a checkup immediately. Shelters cannot always provide all vaccines and procedures, so you may be in for some extra costs.

It is entirely worth it, though. You’ll still pay less than you would for a free pet, and many shelters work with local vets to offer you a special deal on checkups and any issues found at the first visit.

If you’re considering adopting a shelter pet, you’re on the right track for pet ownership. Though shelter pets sometimes take more adjustment time, and you may still need to shoulder some costs, your pet will help make your house a home in return. Let us at Pet Vet Hospitals help you and your pet get ready for a new life together.

It’s Getting Hot in Here: Pets and Heatstroke

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Things are heating up and summer will be here soon. While your pets have fur to protect them when it’s cold, the heat is a different story. Make sure that your pets don’t suffer in the summer sun.

bulldog lying down pantingHeatstroke can be the result of any circumstance in which a dog or cat is exposed to too much heat for too long. Leaving an animal in a hot car is always a risk. But, if your air conditioning is out, your dog has been playing outdoors in hot weather, or your cat has been out on the porch too long, heatstroke is a real possibility. The older your animals grow, the more susceptible they are to the issue.

Dogs and cats react to heat differently than people. Dogs deal with heat by panting and they sweat through their feet. Cats also sweat through their foot pads. If overheating is not dealt with quickly in either pet, the results can be dangerous, and even deadly. It’s important to know the signs.
Dogs usually show symptoms via excessive panting. They may breath erratically and collapse. Cats may be restless, desperate to find a cool place to relax; they may also pant and breathe erratically, and collapse.

If you recognize the possibility of heatstroke in your pet, you can perform one of the following actions:

  • Check their temperature immediately, and continually.
  • Place your pet in cool water, but make sure it is not too cold. You want to reduce their temperature gently. Briefly place something frozen on their belly and between their legs.
  • Try to get your pet to drink water.
  • If their symptoms do not slow or cease, see your vet immediately.

If your pet is too far gone, a vet can administer fluids intravenously. This will provide more than your pet will gain from drinking water. Your vet will also need to check for other problems, such as kidney failure, blood pressure, and neurological problems.

Always exercise caution; you can protect your pet from heatstroke. If your pet should  need help, however, we can help you at Pet Vet Hospitals.

Don’t Mess with Mosquitoes: Protect Your Dog

By | Dogs | No Comments

You and your dog will soon be ready for summertime fun. We’re all concerned about mosquitoes, particularly in reaction to the recent spread of the Zika virus. However, as you coat yourself with protection against pesky mosquitoes, don’t forget to protect your dog from them as well.

Summer means a high season for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, and they carry dangers for everyone, including your dog. The grass and foliage can sometimes make dog owners feel wary, even when they take precautions. But, it’s not good for your dog to stay indoors at all times, so here are some ways to help ease your mind.

Get your pet flee protection today.Ask the Vet: Your vet will let you know what prevention is best for your dog. Vets know what brands protect better against mosquitoes, particularly the heartworms they can spread. Sure, you can sometimes find over-the-counter meds that claim to protect against mosquitoes, but that simply may not cover it. Also, do not use human repellents on dogs. There are flea and tick medications that double as heartworm prevention, which is the number one reason we protect dogs against mosquitoes.

Avoid Stagnant Water: Old, still waters attract mosquitoes; they’re a veritable playground. Try to avoid them, and definitely avoid allowing water to stagnate around your home. If you live in a moist climate, take preventative actions; do research on ways to help create a barrier around your home.

Defend Your Home: Mosquitoes are not often found in your home, but they can make their way there. Watch your doorways and windows. Repair tears and hold in screens, and patch up gaps to the outside world. These are also places to put outdoor prevention tools.

Don’t let the possibility of mosquitoes ruin your dog’s outdoor playtime. Just be as safe as you can, and then relax and enjoy all that summer has to offer. Come talk to us at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals for more information on how to protect your dog.

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.

Key Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

By | Dogs | No Comments

dogs, petsSeparation anxiety in dogs is often defined by the distressed behavior that the animals exhibit when they are away from their handler. Typically, signs of separation anxiety in pets starts within 30 minutes of the departure. However, this may vary depending on the animal. Here are some signs that your dog may be suffering from this condition.

Anxiousness Prior to Departure
Does it seem like your pet knows when you’re about to leave? It isn’t your imagination – dogs can pick up on these senses, and they can become anxious in the event that they recognize your looming departure.

Environment Destruction
If you come home to chewed, torn-up belongings, your pet may be suffering from separation anxiety. Household destruction is a key symptom of this condition.

Frequent Urination or Defecation
Your pet may relieve him or herself while you’re away, even if he or she is potty-trained and not accident-prone while you’re home.

In the event that you believe your dog may have separation anxiety, it’s critical to contact a veterinary professional. Pet Vet Animal Hospitals can connect you with an expert to learn more about your pet’s behavior and address it in a safe, healthy manner.

3 Ways to Tackle Your Pet’s Dandruff Problem

By | Dogs | No Comments

dogs, dog, petsNot every dog or cat has dandruff, but if you begin to notice those little white skin flakes, it may be cause for concern. In addition to contacting your veterinarian, here are a few ways you can manage the dandruff problem in your home over time.

  1. Talk to Your Vet about Your Pet’s Diet
    Dandruff can be the cause of a change in your pet’s diet. In some cases, it may be the result of a lack of nutrients. Your vet can help you find the right food to help you maintain your pet’s diet and reduce dandruff.
  2. Keep Up with Baths
    Your pet may not be a fan of water, but giving him or her a bath can help with dandruff. See if your vet can recommend a moisturizing shampoo to use on your pet to soothe skin and eliminate those flakes.
  3. Consider a Moisturizer
    Believe it or not, moisturizers exist for pets, too! Just like humans, pets can benefit from moisturizers that keep dandruff at bay and eliminate itchiness. Talk to your vet about which options are right for your furry friend.

Dandruff can be messy and downright uncomfortable for your pet. Contact Pet Vet Animal Hospitals today to schedule an appointment with one of our professionals who can address your pet’s skin problem.

Does My Cat Have a Cold?

By | Cats | No Comments

cat, cats, petsAs a pet owner, you have the responsibility of maintaining the well-being of your animal over time. That being said, it can be downright disheartening when your pet catches a nasty cold. If you happen to have a cat, there are a few signs you can look out for in terms of illness.

Sneezing
Yes, it’s true! Your cat may begin sneezing if he or she catches a cold. It’s an involuntary reflux that all cats have in the event that a foreign virus or bacteria has entered its nasal passage.

Eye and Nasal Discharge
If you aren’t sure if your cat is ill, take a look at his or her eyes and nose. In the event that your cat is sick, you may notice that his or her eyes or red. His or her nose may also begin to produce mucus.

Lethargy
Is your cat less active than normal? If he or she is usually bouncing around the house, but seems lethargic as of late, it could be a cold.

Of course, you should contact a veterinarian as soon as you suspect that anything is impacting your cat’s well-being. The veterinarians with Pet Vet Animal Hospitals can help you ensure that your cat is healthy and diagnose any issues, even if it’s just a seasonal cold.