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Early Warning Signs Of Kidney Failure In Your Dog

Posted by on Jan 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When your dog is having kidney issues, the best way you can help preserve their health is to get them veterinary attention quickly. Here are some early warning signs of kidney failure that you may notice in your dog. If you do, get them medical help right away. Dogs that are at higher risk of kidney disease If your dog is older, they are at a higher risk of kidney disease than their younger counterparts. Make sure to begin feeding them a dog food that is lower in protein so their kidneys don’t have to work as hard to flush toxins out of the body. Some breeds of dog are also predisposed to kidney issues, including German Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels, and Bull Terriers. Talk to your veterinarian about special care or diets that you can give your pooch if they are at risk of getting kidney disease due to their breed or age. Your veterinarian can prescribe special dog food that is low in protein, and also prescribe them special electrolyte formulas that you can put in your dog’s water to help their kidneys function well. Early warning signs of kidney failure in your dog Perhaps the earliest warning sign that your dog is suffering from kidney failure is their urine output. If you notice dark orange or yellow urine in your dog, especially if they have increased their water intake (another sign of kidney disease), then their kidneys may not be filtering as they should. Lethargy and a lack of appetite are also signs of kidney failure, as this disease can be very painful and may make your dog not want to eat or be as active as they normally are. As kidney failure progresses, you may notice your dog’s coat becoming dry and brittle, their gums becoming a whitish or grayish color (as opposed to healthy pink or dark pink), or even that they are experiencing hair loss. All these are signs that you need to get your dog to the vet immediately. What you can do Your veterinarian can run a blood test on your dog to see what level their kidneys are functioning at, and prescribe a health regimen based on their diagnosis. For-early onset kidney disease, a simple diet change can make a difference in your dog. For larger kidney failure issues, your vet may want to monitor your dog’s health by having them come in for weekly blood work, in addition to giving them a proper kidney-sensitive diet and electrolytes to keep them hydrated. If your dog is showing any odd health signs, you should get them to a veterinarian immediately. Doing so can help preserve your dog’s health and allow you to enjoy your furry companion for many more years. If you notice any of these signs of early kidney failure, get them to a veterinarian as soon as you can so you can have a more hopeful recovery for your...

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Why Annual Pet Wellness Visits Are Important

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Many people visit their vet clinic when their pet needs vaccines, is ill or has had an accident. It is important that pets receive annual wellness visits even outside of these instances. Even if your pet is feeling fine and is not due for vaccinations, an annual checkup is a good idea. Here’s why. 1. Discussion When you take your pet to the vet for a wellness visit, you and the doctor will talk about your pet’s health since its last visit. This can alert your veterinarian to anything that warrants further investigation. You and the doctor can determine a vaccination protocol that is based upon your pet’s age, health and unique risk factors. Your veterinarian can also make the proper recommendations for flea, tick and heartworm prevention. 2. Signs of Illness Your veterinarian is trained to spot signs of developing illness. A pet who has difficulty walking up and down stairs may be displaying early signs of arthritis. A pet who has gained or lost weight without changes in food intake may be showing sign of diabetes or a thyroid condition. A senior pet who has started to ignore its owner’s commands may be showing signs of dementia. A veterinarian can tell you if any of the behaviors or symptoms your pet is displaying could be symptoms of a developing illness. 3. Diagnostics Pets age more rapidly than humans. Your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic testing based upon your pet’s age. For example, your vet may recommend that your senior pet has a comprehensive blood test, a urinalysis, or even x-rays. These tests can help detect and diagnose health-related issues common to senior pets that cannot be seen with the naked eye. 4. Monitoring Yearly or more frequent wellness examinations are especially important for pets that have diagnosed medical conditions. Kidney, liver, heart, and thyroid conditions need to be monitored closely so that they are managed properly. If your pet has been diagnosed with an illness, your veterinarian will recommend the best schedule for pet’s examinations. Being proactive with your pet’s health is the first step in protecting it from illness. Do not avoid the veterinarian because your pet is not due for vaccinations. Annual wellness examinations can help you and your veterinarian ensure the overall health of your animal companion. Detecting and treating a disease in its early stages can help your animal live a longer life. For more information, contact a vet clinic in your...

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When Your Dog Is Growing Older: What You Need To Know

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As your beloved pet gets up in years, you may wonder what the normal characteristics of aging for dogs are, and what might be cause for concern. This is a brief guide of what to expect, and what to be aware of. Normal or Fairly Harmless Changes There are plenty of things that are common to pets as they age, just like with us. Hearing loss is one thing that can occur, and there really isn’t much that can be done about it. This will be evident if a dog seems extra jumpy or aggressive at a person’s approach, because he/she didn’t hear someone coming. If you clap your hands or stomp on the floor the dog will still be able to sense it, and will know you want its attention, or you can use a light as a signal. Sometimes a dog can develop cloudiness in its eyes, but this is not necessarily caused by cataracts. There is a condition called nuclear sclerosis that may occur to give this appearance, and it does not affect the dog’s vision. Your pet will naturally slow down some, but if he/she is still active and at a healthy weight, a change to senior dog food (or in the amount given) is probably not necessary – and may actually be harmful. Your veterinarian may recommend calorie reduction or other dietary changes if the dog is becoming obese or has other health issues. Occasionally dogs need fatty acid supplements if their coats get dull, or they are losing a lot of hair.  You may notice some graying of your pet’s fur, especially in the face and around the muzzle. Some dogs develop fatty tumors and they may not be too pretty to look at, but most often the ones that are freely moveable when you touch them are benign.  Other changes include: Dry skin; the fatty acid supplement mentioned earlier may help with this too Brittle nails, which need to be trimmed more often due to lack of activity Calluses that develop around the joints. Lounging on hard surfaces can cause this, so encourage your dog to lay on a softer surface or bedding. Vitamin E can be applied to soften the skin, but if the area becomes infected, your dog may need a trip to the vet. Lung capacity decreases, which can cause your dog to tire more easily. Decreased immune system effectiveness, and this means you should keep up with a dog’s shots, since infections affect older dogs more Conditions You Shouldn’t Ignore Your dog may start displaying certain signs and symptoms that you should not ignore, because these can may indicate your dog needs medical treatment. Arrange for a visit to your veterinarian if your dog is experiencing, or has: Noticeable Lethargy – this could be because your dog is suffering from arthritis, or another ailment. Significant weight loss – this could be from a number of causes, but a frequent one is diabetes. Significant weight gain – this could be a glandular problem. Persistent vomiting or diarrhea – this could be due to a worm infestation or disease. Vision problems – this could be due to cataracts or glaucoma. Urination problems – this could be due to a urinary tract infection or bladder stones. Disorientation – your dog could be developing Alzheimer’s disease or another neurological problem. Smelly breath – this is probably periodontal disease, but it could also be indicative of other conditions. Wounds that won’t heal – this may be due...

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Introducing A Dog Into A House With Cats: Tips And Advice

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you have a cat (or multiple cats) at your home and are thinking about adding a dog to the mix, it’s important to be realistic. That is, you shouldn’t expect dogs and cats to be best friends right away. By nature, they’ll likely take some time to get acclimated to each other. Still, there are a few tips you can follow to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Make Sure the Cats Have a Safe Zone First of all, start with a slow introduction. When you bring the dog into the house for the first time, don’t just let it run rampant; after all, you don’t know for sure how it will react to the cats just yet. Instead, keep it on a leash and introduce it to the cats as slowly as possible. If the cats run away initially, that’s okay. Don’t force them to be near each other. In fact, you should always make sure your cats have a safe zone that they can use to escape from the dog when they want to be alone. This can be a separate room of the house that’s only accessible by a gate (with a built-in kitty door) or even a large cat tree that the dog can’t reach. Invest in a Dog Crate As your dog and cats slowly begin to get used to each other, you’ll still want to be careful. Specifically, you shouldn’t leave them home alone and unsupervised until you’re absolutely sure of their behavior around each other. Instead, you’ll want to invest in a dog crate that you can leave your dog in while you’re not home. This is a great way not only to keep your dog and cats safely separated, but to crate train your dog—which is an important aspect of teaching a dog to be housebroken. Ideally, your dog’s crate should be just large enough for it to comfortably stand and turn around in, but not much bigger than that; any bigger and you’ll run the risk of  your dog going potty in the crate. Beware of Animal Instincts Finally, even once it seems your dog and cats are getting along just fine, you always need to keep a watchful eye out for them as much as possible; this is especially true with larger dogs. All dogs have a natural hunting instinct that can be triggered at any time, even if it starts with seemingly harmless play. To prevent accidents, train your dog and cats not to chase each other around the house. And if you let them both outdoors, make sure you do so at different times. Ask an animal expert, such as Grove Center Veterinary Hospital, for more...

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New Puppy In Training? 3 Steps To Cleaning Up The Messes

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your kids got a new puppy. If you don’t want puppy puddles and droppings all over the house, the first thing you should do is housebreak your new addition. There are many different training systems you can try, and it’s important that you find the one that works best for you and your new puppy. While you’re housebreaking your puppy, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of messes. How you clean them up is as important as the house breaking. Here’s a few quick tips for cleaning up the messes. Clean It Up Fast The worst thing you can do is leave the mess to sit in your home. When piles and puddles are left for too long, they can soak into the carpet fibers. Once they are embedded in the fibers, your new puppy will continue to return to those same spots. Be sure to pick up piles of feces and discard them as soon as you find them. Blot urine with paper towels and spray with a disinfectant spray. Don’t Use Ammonia For Clean Up You want to get rid of the urine and feces aroma quickly. Unfortunately, cleaning the messes up with an ammonia based cleaner will only give your pet more of a reason to return to the same location. Ammonia based cleaners smell like urine to a young puppy. This means that the cleaning solution you’re using may actually be inviting accidents. To remove pet odors, you can use a DIY cleaner. Supplies You’ll Need Spray bottle Water Vinegar Mild dish detergent Paper towels Directions Place 3 cups of water in a spray bottle. Add ¼ cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of dish detergent. Shake well. Spray solution on puppy spot. Be sure to thoroughly saturate the spot. Blot area with paper towels. Search For Old Stains If your new puppy isn’t the first puppy through your home, there may be stains that you’ve forgotten about. Before you set your puppy lose in the house, go on a mission to find old stains. Be sure to look behind couches and other pieces of furniture where other animals might have frequented. Puppies can bring a great deal of joy to your family. They can also bring a lot of messes. Keep the stains to a minimum by cleaning up accidents as soon as they happen. By cleaning up the piles and puddles as soon as they occur, you can reduce the number of accidents your puppy will have while it’s in training. If you need help with training your puppy, contact a local clinic, like Pet Medical Center.     ...

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Tips To Help Keep Your Pets Safe For The Holidays

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The holidays are a great time to get together with your family to celebrate. With all of the hullabaloo going on, you may overlook the smallest members of your family – your pets. You need to keep an eye on your pets to keep them safe during the holidays. Small pieces of food that can be toxic to your pet can fall to the floor and be ingested, causing injury. See below for other holiday pet dangers and how to keep your furry buddy safe. Decoration Danger Decorating your home for the holidays is fun, but you have to be careful and watch where you put them. See below for safety tips with your holiday decor. Holiday Lights. Lights can be dangerous to your dog or your cat. Be sure strands of lights are up high and out of reach of all of your pets. If your pet chews on the light cords, or on extension cords, it can cause an electric shock, which can cause burns to your pet’s mouth and esophagus, or possibly death. Tinsel And Ornaments. Keep these items out of your pet’s reach as well. Tinsel that is ingested can be dangerous to your dog or your cat. It can become lodged in your pet’s throat and can be deadly. It’s best to keep tinsel out of your home if you have pets. Breakable ornament shards can cause scratches and other damage to your pets mouths. Be sure to keep ornaments wired up high on your tree. Mistletoe, Evergreens And Other Plants. Keep your dog away from the water at the base of your tree. Ingesting this water can cause diarrhea, or even vomiting. The needles on the tree can also be dangerous to your pet’s digestive system. Also, be sure your tree is secure, so it doesn’t fall over on top of your pet. Using a fake tree is best if you have pets at home. Other holiday plants, like holly, lillies and poinsettias can be dangerous to your pets as well. Food Dangers There is a lot of different types of food being consumed during the holidays by your family members, but you don’t want leftovers being handed out to your pets. See below for dangerous foods to avoid giving your pets. Chocolate And Candy. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate and cocoa, can be deadly to your dog or cat. Keep chocolates, sugary candies and gum away from your pets. Keep them on a high counter, so they aren’t tempted. Turkey Bones. Turkey bones are hollow and can splinter easily. They can be very dangerous, be sure not to give these bones to your dog. Leftovers. Fatty or salty foods, like gravy, fatty meats and baked goods, should not be given to your pets at all. They can upset your pet’s digestive tract and cause health problems for your furry friend. Be sure to convey this to your holiday guests as well, so they aren’t feeding your pets under the table. Alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are dangerous for your pets to ingest. Be careful where you place your cocktails, and be sure they are out of your pet’s reach.  Keep your pets safe during the holidays, and if need be, give them some quiet space for themselves. Allow them to have a room to themselves, and away from the festivities and the noise. (for...

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Kitties And Puppies And Worms, Oh My! Creepie Crawlies You Can Get From Your Pet

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Worms are not something you want to find in your pet’s poop, but even more disturbing is finding them wriggling around in your baby’s poop, or even your own. Worms can cause serious illness and can be passed from your pets to your family in a variety of ways. It’s important to learn to recognize the symptoms and know the treatments to keep your pets and your family worm free. Roundworm Also called nematodes, roundworms are the most common parasitic infection in humans. The infection usually is contracted when you get infected soil gets into your mouth. Ascariasis is the most common roundworm in humans, affecting up to a billion people worldwide. Symptoms of roundworm infection include: Presence of the worm in the stool or vomit. Pets often vomit up worms as a way of ridding themselves of the parasites. Coughing as the parasite larvae travel through your lungs Fatigue Shortness of breath Weight loss Abdominal pain Blood in the stool Nausea and diarrhea Hookworm Hookworm is another type of roundworm passed from pets to their people. Hookworms  live in your intestines and lungs and occasionally your skin. The most common way humans contract hookworm is when larvae found in contaminated soil enter through the bottom of your foot or some other area of skin. Symptoms of a hookworm infection include: Itchy rash Abdominal pain Appetite loss Colic in infants Blood in the stool Intestinal cramps Fever Nausea Roundworms are generally treated in animals and humans with either or both of the drugs ivermectin and albendazole. Tapeworms Tapeworm eggs are microscopic and are passed in feces to the soil, where rain and sprinklers can splash them up onto other surfaces. The eggs must be ingested, which makes children much more likely to be infected, since they are prone to put dirty hands in their mouths. The eggs cling to your pet’s fur and bottom, and are transferred to surfaces where they are allowed to sit, or from simply petting or kissing your pet.  Tapeworm symptoms include: Vitamin and mineral deficiencies Nausea Weight loss Weakness Fatigue Diarrhea Hunger or loss of appetite Diarrhea Abdominal pain Unfortunately, a parasite’s job is to stay hidden, so sometimes there are no symptoms of tapeworm infection except segments of the worms passed in the stool. Tapeworm infections are most commonly treated in animals and humans with the drug praziquantel. How Do You Prevent Parasite Infestations? The easiest and best way to prevent parasite infections from passing from your pets to your family is to wash your hands before you touch your mouth or eat. Avoid going barefoot in areas where your pet defecates. Wash all raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly before use, especially root vegetables, in a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Cook all of your food well. Don’t allow indoor/outdoor pets to sit on your furniture, as they can leave egg-laden dirt on the surface. Do not kiss your pets or allow them to lick your face. A regular parasite prevention protocol is essential to keep your pets from being infected. If you suspect that your pets have parasites, contact your veterinarian at a place like Vet Stop Animal Clinics for a diagnosis and treatment. If you or your family exhibit symptoms, see your physician, who will conduct tests and prescribe the...

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4 Tips For Turning Bathtime Into A Fun Activity For You And Your Dog

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Getting your dog to love baths can be a challenge if you recently adopted an older dog or a puppy that isn’t accustomed to grooming just yet. Luckily, you can make the experience of getting a bath much more enjoyable by following some expert tips. With a proper bath, you can have your dog relaxed and in a good mood while you scrub away grime so that your dog looks and smells fresh afterwards. Take Your Dog Outside to Exert Energy The easiest way to ensure that your dog stays calm while being bathed is through getting any energy released before bringing them into the bathroom. Taking into consideration what kind of physical activities your dog enjoys can help a lot in getting them worn out and relaxed for their bath. The following examples can all help your dog calm down enough for a stress-free bath. A long walk around the neighborhood A 15-minute long game of fetch Running around the yard together A trip to the local dog park Stay Positive and Use Verbal Praise Your dog’s first bath may seem scary to them, making it important that you speak to them calmly at all times. By keeping your voice sounding positive, you can get them relaxed enough to enjoy the bath and avoid any of the fear that they may be expecting. Prepare the Bath Ahead of Time Another way to reduce some of the stress associated with giving your dog a bath is by preparing the bath before you bring your dog into the room. Running lukewarm water and having a pet-safe shampoo nearby can ensure that you have everything that you need to bathe your dog without any trouble. With this method, you can bring your dog into the bath and won’t need to run the water or be fumbling for any products nearby. Hire a Groomer for Extra Help The easiest way to ensure that your dog gets a bath that will get them looking and smelling their best is by hiring a groomer. Even if you only use grooming services for the first or second time you bathe your dog, a professional can help give you pointers so that you’re doing the best job possible. Bathing your dog is essential due to all the messes they can get themselves into, but it can be difficult to know where to start for their first bath. The tips above will help guide you through the process so that your dog looks and smells the best. To learn more, contact a company like Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital to learn...

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Don’t Let Your Dog’s Barking Annoy Your Neighbors

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your dog is probably your best friend. However, if your dog has a number of annoying behaviors, your neighbors probably see your dog as anything, but friendly. Whether you live in an apartment or a house, you don’t want your dog to be a nuisance. Learn how to curb your dog’s unruly behaviors and prevent your pet from being a pest. Barking It’s okay for your dog to bark when excited, during play or when trying to get your attention; however, barking non-stop is a nuisance. If you live in a close-knit community like an apartment complex, the barking can literally disturb your entire apartment building. In addition to noise complaints from your rental office, you risk your dog being picked up by animal control or you being asked to vacate the property. There are a couple of options to help you with this issue. Barking On Command Consider teaching your dog how to bark on command. This is a skill that basically teaches your dog to only bark when there is a threat present. Instead of barking at every sound, the dog will only bark at activity perceived to be aggressive or threatening. This training also teaches the dog to stop barking on your command. The dog is trained on a command word, such as quiet that will make the dog stop barking. While this training can help keep your dog from disturbing your neighbors, it’s also helpful when it comes to the security of your home. Teaching this skill to your dog will require that you take the dog to a professional trainer. Barking Collars Don’t have the time or money for professional training? You can still keep your dog’s barking from becoming a disturbance. Consider a bark collar. Bark collars interrupt your dog’s ability to bark by blasting air, emitting a noise or sending an electric stimulant around the collar that numbs the area whenever the dog barks. None of these options will harm your dog. Your decision on which type of collar to use should be based on your dog. Some dogs react better to the blast of air, while some dogs react to the electric stimulant. Take your dog along with you when you purchase the collar so that you can get expert advice as to which option would be best suited for your dog. Don’t let your dog’s annoying behaviors disturb your neighbors. Take action to ensure your dog isn’t being a nuisance. You can even ask a company like All Wildlife Animal Eviction what you can do to prevent your dog from becoming a nuisance in your...

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Using Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medications On Your Pet

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Many pet medications are formulated specially for cats, dogs or other domestic pets. Some are derived from the same ingredients found in medications for people. When you can’t get to your veterinarian right away, here are some OTC medications that you can use to treat your pet. Before using any of these, contact your vet or a complete pet hospital to get the correct dosage for your dog or cat: Gastrointestinal Distress Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB – These drugs reduce the amount of stomach acid produced when your pet has eaten something disagreeable with them. They will also reduce the gastric juice production and salivary response that your pet may have. Imodium AD – This will relieve diarrhea in your dog. This medication is not safe for cats. Mineral Oil – This can be used on a dog or cat to eliminate constipation. Respiratory Distress Robitussin DM – This can be used on your dog only to reduce coughing and sinus drainage. Pain Relief Aspirin – This can be given to dogs to relieve and pain and swelling but never to cats. This should be used as a short-term pain relief until you can get your dog to your vet. Do not give aspirin in addition to any NSAIDs for pain and inflammation. Your vet will have better pain-relieving medications that are less irritating on the dog’s stomach. Never give your pets ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Eye Irritations Artificial Tears – These eye drops will soothe a scratched or dry eye. If the eye becomes swollen, has a discharge, or your pet keeps the eye closed and scratches at it, get them into the vet immediately. There may be an infection that started with a minor scratch. Allergic Reactions Benadryl, Clariton, Zyrtec – These three antihistamines can be used on dogs and cats to relieve itching from coming into contact with mold, mildew or other allergens. They have minimal side effects except for the potential for sedation. Some pets are more susceptible to drowsiness that others. Cuts and Scrapes Neosporin – This and other antibiotic creams and gels can be used on your dog or cat to treat minor scrapes and abrasions. Use a basic antibiotic gel that contains few additional medications. Your pet will lick their wound and consume the gel, so it’s best that fewer drugs enter their system. While these medications are generally safe for pets, always check with your vet about the proper use with your pet. The dosage depends on the weight of your pet and on any other medications they are taking. To learn more, contact a company like Northwest Animal Hospital And Pet Care Center PC for...

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