5 Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

The holidays are filled with joy, laughter and time spent with family and friends. In the bustle of the season, however, it’s easy to forget these festivities aren’t always pet friendly.

Purina veterinarian Dr. Zara Boland explains which holiday foods, décor and more pose a risk to pets. She also offers expert holiday pet safety tips to ensure a fun-filled season for the whole family, including the four-legged family members.

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How to Tell If Your Dog Has Worms

Article Featured on PetHelpful

Worms are one of the most common health problems for a dog. Fortunately, most cases are also very treatable. Since your dog can’t speak English, you need to be vigilant and watch for any unusual behavior.

Unfortunately some types of worms do not cause noticeable symptoms until they dog’s health is at risk. But the most common types are fairly obvious.

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FOOD MEASURING MATH: LEARN HOW MUCH TO FEED A DOG


By Jennifer Coates, DVM | Featured on PetMD
Feeding dogs seems so simple. You just offer an appropriate dry dog food or wet dog food and never anticipate a problem.
Except, it’s really not that simple.
As pet parents, we care about our dogs’ well-being and health. We monitor how they’re feeling; we take them to the veterinarian; we give them all the attention in the world. But if we’re not paying attention to their diet—not just what we’re feeding them, but how much we’re feeding them—we could be doing our dogs harm.
The question, “How much should I be feeding my dog?” needs to be answered, but the answer doesn’t come easily. How can you accurately determine your dog’s caloric requirements? How clear are the instructions on your dog’s food? Why is your dog gaining weight when you feed what’s recommended on the bag?
If you’re ready to learn a few easy tricks to ensure that your pup is getting the right amount of dog food, then you’re in the right place.
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How to Make Sure Your Homemade Dog Food Delivers the Right Nutrients

By Jennifer Coates, DVM | Article Featured on PetMD
Homemade dog food is an increasingly popular option for dedicated pet parents. However, you need to supply many different nutrients in just the right amounts if your dog’s homemade food is to meet all of his dietary needs. Read on to learn the benefits of making your pup’s meals as well as how to make your own dog food safely and properly.
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5 Subtle Yet Visible Signs that Your Cat is Aging

5 Subtle Yet Visible Signs that Your Cat is Aging

By Jessica Vogelsang, DVM | Featured on PetMD
“Cats are the great pretenders.” So goes one of the common tropes of feline ownership, and in many cases it’s true. Cats are subtle creatures, not ones for making a big scene whenever they feel under the weather. But subtle or not, cats are susceptible to just as many symptoms of aging as the rest of us, particularly as they approach their senior years. The good news is astute pet owners looking for small changes can spot many signs of aging as long as they know what to look for.
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Original Article By Petmd

Cancer is the #1 Disease-Related Killer of Pets

Many people do not realize that cancer is not just a human condition; it affects Read more


Original Article By PetMD
Think you know all there is to know about puppy and kitten nutrition? Are you aware that puppies and kittens are more sensitive to nutritional imbalances than adults, for example? Or that excess calcium intake can cause a puppy to develop orthopedic disease?
Go past Puppy and Kitten Nutrition 101 to learn lesser-known facts about their dietary needs. Then use this knowledge to provide your newest family member with the proper start in life she needs to thrive for years to come.

1. A Balanced Diet Is Even More Important for Growing Animals Than for Adults

All animals, regardless of age, need a balanced diet to thrive, but puppies and kittens are especially sensitive to nutritional imbalances, says Dr. Jonathan Stockman, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. “The requirements and the sensitivities to excess in nutrients are generally highest.”
One example is calcium, an essential dietary mineral that plays a critical role in bone development. In excess, calcium can cause a puppy to develop severe bone changes and orthopedic disease, he says. “Large and giant breed puppies are particularly sensitive to this, whereas adult dogs are able to regulate calcium absorption when the diet is high in calcium.”
 

2. Puppies Should Not Be Fed Adult Formula Food

Because they are sensitive to nutritional imbalances and their energy needs are greater, puppies should only be fed a growth formula diet, vets say.
Growth places the highest energy and nutrient demands than any other life stage on a dog or cat, apart from lactation, says Dr. Jessica Harris, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at Carolina Ranch Animal Hospital in Garner, North Carolina. “The energy needs of a puppy are two-fold: 1) support the tissues already developed and 2) provide the energy required to form new tissues.”
Puppies use about 50 percent of their consumed energy for maintenance and 50 percent for new tissue development in the early growth phase, Harris says. “As the puppy gets older, the energy needed to support growth diminishes and proportionately shifts to support maintenance. Energy is provided by protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Thus, growth diets often provide a greater percentage of protein and fat to support growth than do adult maintenance diets.” Growth diets also provide optimal amounts of calcium, phosphorus, copper, and essential fatty acids, “which have an important role in bone formation and maturation, cartilage maturation, hair color, red blood cell development, and trainability.”

3. Unchecked Growth Can Be Harmful to a Dog’s Bones

Feeding a puppy to maintain her ideal body condition versus allowing maximum growth promotes the optimal rate of bone development, says Harris, who is also a clinical nutrition instructor at the Topeka, Kansas-based Mark Morris Institute.
“The adult weight and size of the animal is not impacted by whether the growth rate is rapid or slow, however, the risk of skeletal deformities increases with the rapidity of growth.”
Determining a puppy’s body condition score (BCS) is a reliable way to determine normal growth rate. Body scoring helps you gauge if your dog is maintaining a healthy muscle mass and body fat index. It’s something you can practice at home, using your hands and visual observation.

4. Young Animals Need Multiple Feeding Times to Thrive

Animals rely on reserves for energy in between meals, says Harris. “These energy reservoirs are stored glycogen in the liver or fat depots throughout the body. Ketones produced by the breakdown of lipid or amino acids can also provide energy.  As young animals often have limited reserves and are at risk for the development of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), multiple meals offered throughout the day best averts the onset of lethargy, trembling, weakness, lack of coordination, and seizures.”
Puppies should eat at least three meals per day, and kittens younger than 6 months should be fed more often, “For example, four to six times a day,” says Dr. Donna Raditic, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist with Nutrition and Integrative Medicine Consultants based in Athens, Georgia.
This should be accompanied by close monitoring—with your veterinarian—of body weight, muscle condition score (MCS), and BCS, Raditic adds. She encourages pet parents to use a food gram scale to weigh food and monitor daily caloric intake.
Just like human weight loss programs will use food gram scales to educate us about portion size and caloric intake, weighing your puppy/kitten’s diet right from the start will help you to be sure you are feeding the correct amount,” she says. “Adjusting intake in grams is much more accurate than going from one-eighth cup to one-fourth cup.”

5. Nutritional Needs Differ by Breed Size

There are a few key differences in the nutrient needs of large breed puppies as compared to small- to medium sized breeds, says Harris. Most of these focus on reducing the risk of developing orthopedic disease.
“Although the development of musculoskeletal disorders is multi-factorial and a complicated disease process, it has been correlated nutritionally with calcium, phosphorus, the calcium-phosphorus ratio, vitamin D, and energy intake,” she explains. “Large breed growth diets contain a little less than 1 percent calcium and more than adequately meet the growing large breed puppies’ calcium requirement. Small- to medium-sized breeds are less sensitive to slightly overfeeding or underfeeding calcium, and as a result, the level of calcium in foods for these puppies have a broader margin of safety.”

6. A Gruel Formula Can Help Ease the Weaning Process

Providing your companion with porridge-like formula during weaning—which starts when an animal is about 3 to 4 weeks old and is marked by the eruption of baby teeth and an interest in solid food—can help ease the process, Harris says.
“It has been largely successful to introduce a gruel made by blending a canned growth food with a canine/feline liquid milk replacer in a 1:1 ratio,” she says. “Alternatively, one part dry commercial food can be ground in a food processor and mixed with three parts of canine/feline liquid milk replacer.”
She says the young animal should always have access to the formula, and that it should be replaced three to four times a day. It will spoil and promote bacterial growth if left out at room temperature for prolonged periods.
It’s during playtime that a young animal typically encounters the gruel, then will progressively consume small amounts. “As the young animal’s interest increases, the liquid portion of the mixture can be gradually reduced until they are consuming only the canned or dry commercial growth diet, usually between 6 and 9 weeks of age,” Harris says. “This transition is a delicate balance between the mother, the young, and the owners and requires close monitoring and patience.”
Not all brands of milk replacer are equal, however. “Care should be taken when selecting the milk replacer, as not all brands meet the minimum nutrient requirements for growth per American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for all labeled species.”

7. Feeding Methods are Not One-Size-Fits-All

Pet parents have three options for feeding growing puppies and kittens: Free choice, which makes the food available 24/7 (like an all-day buffet); time-limited, where food is out for a set period of time; and amount-limited, where portions are pre-determined.
“Each have their own benefits and drawbacks and what is right for one animal may not be the best option for another,” Harris says. “Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the [owner] have a discussion with their veterinarian about the best feeding option for their growing pet.”
Size and breed are factors that can impact that decision. For example, “free-feeding puppies can be problematic for the large, giant breeds,” says Raditic, who also co-founded the Companion Animal Nutrition & Wellness Institute.
“If rapid growth is induced, this may drive the genetics of these breeds at risk for developmental orthopedic disease (for example, hip or elbow dysplasia),”she says. “For small and medium breeds, it can be problematic increasing body fat—for these breeds are at risk for obesity and to be overweight.”

8. Working with Your Companion’s Natural Behavior Can Provide Additional Health Benefits

Working with an animal’s instincts can promote health and well-being. “Simulating normal feeding behavior will increase activity, reduce boredom, help with weight management and prevent obesity, and strengthen the bond between cat and owner,” says Dr. Amy Learn, a veterinarian at Cary Street Veterinary Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.
Cats are innate hunters, so work to add enrichment to their feeding regimen. “For example, using feeding toys or embracing a cat’s three-dimensional world,” Raditic says.
Dogs evolved as hunters, as well as scavengers. “These activities were a substantial part of their daily time budget and are not currently utilized when we hand them a bowl of food,” Raditic says. You can still honor a dog’s natural behavior, however, by allowing her to work for her food “with puzzle toys or programs like ‘learn to earn,’ which have been shown to provide mental stimulation,” explains Learn.
The more we understand about a young puppy or kitten’s dietary needs, the better care we’re able to provide. Early nutrition deeply impacts puppies and kittens and sets the stage for longevity and quality of life, Raditic says. “Every pet parent needs to understand and own this preventative care for their furry companion.”


Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Address
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.
Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: [email protected]


Original Article from Animal Planet
When a cat stops using the litter box, there’s always a reason. Your first impulse may be to shout at the cat, but that will just frighten and confuse him. Cats are not vengeful, and he is not going outside his box to get back at you for pushing him off the sofa. Instead, look at what may have triggered this change, which you yourself may have inadvertently caused.
Because cats are habitually clean, Frisky may be upset by a litter box that isn’t changed often enough to suit him, even if you think every other day is OK. Would you use a bathroom with an unflushed toilet? Changes in household routine may also be cause to forgo the box. If you’ve added a new cat, the resident feline may dislike using the same litter box as the newcomer. He may also not appreciate that you’ve replaced his regular litter with a new-fangled one. Cats are keenly aware of the scent and feel of their litter, so if you’ve changed brands or types to take advantage of a sale, your cat may not approve of the savings the way you do. A move to a new home or a student back from college for the summer can also upset him.
Using the carpet rather than the box may also be a sign of disease. Cats suffering from urinary tract infections may associate painful attempts at urination with the litter box, and avoid it. A cat who’s thirstier due to kidney, liver or thyroid conditions needs to urinate more frequently, and may not get to his box on time. Similarly, feline diarrhea or constipation may find him desperate to go without caring where.

Has your cat been “going” outside of the box as of late?

Observe the cat and notice if he is straining to go and/or crying out. He may claw out a space in a potted plant, choosing clean dirt over a soiled litter box. Or he may squat on your carpet or floor because he associates the sensation of digging in litter with uncomfortable elimination. If you confine him to a closed room with a clean litter box and he ignores it, he may have no control over his actions. This signals that illness, not behavior, is the culprit. The cat is in pain, and your vet needs to determine why.
A thorough checkup will reveal whether Kitty has a urinary tract infection, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, arthritis, kidney, liver or thyroid malfunction or other illnesses that may affect his litter box habits. If illness, minor or serious, is the cause, medication or treatment should relieve his pain and distress.
Whatever has pushed your cat out of the box, getting him back on track will take patience. If anxiety created the problem, set up a quiet retreat for the cat to do his business in a room or area with minimal household traffic. Provide a large-enough litter box — or two — with the kind of litter your cat prefers, and change it frequently, even several times a day if necessary. You may decide to confine him for a few days to establish a new, calmer routine.
Inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, diarrhea or urinary tract infections will abate with medication or treatment, so if one of these caused your cat’s problem, he should return to using his litter box as his discomfort eases. Longer-term conditions, such as arthritis or kidney problems, may mean making adjustments: Be sure the cat’s box is low enough for him to get into comfortably, and offer more than one box to accommodate more frequent usage. Always keep the litter boxes clean by washing and disinfecting them weekly and quickly removing soiled litter.


Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Address
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.
Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: [email protected]

Important Things You Should Know Before Bringing a Cat Home

Article Source:  PetMD
Cats make great companions. Not only do they look good, they also keep mice away and have built-in motors. That’s pretty cool.
But there’s more to owning a cat than having a cute, soft, purring companion. Before you get one, there are a few things you should think about, and a few things that are just plain good to know.
10 tips for cat owners:
1. Cats are indeed independent by nature, but they’re not quite able to take care of themselves. Before you adopt, make sure that your lifestyle can make room for a feline. How busy you are and the amount of time you spend at home will dictate the kind of cat you should get — very busy people may find it difficult to find the time for a cat that needs a lot of grooming and attention, especially the highly intelligent and active cats. But, there are cats that are ideal for the working lifestyle. Do your research.
2. What if your circumstances change after the adoption? Or if you work long hours and still want a friendly face to greet you at the door at the end of the day? Adopting a buddy for the cat to play with can be an excellent solution.
3. Do you have any allergies? If you do suffer from severe allergic reactions, consider testing yourself for feline allergies before bringing a cat home. Then again, some people with allergies might adapt to their own pet, but still be allergic to other cats. A safe bet is to choose a cat with low allergens. Consult your vet, books, or animal shelter employees for suggestions.
4. Before you bring your cat home, take it for a checkup and immunizations. Also, schedule it in to be neutered as soon as age permits. This can mean the difference between a healthy and happy cat, and a miserable cat trying to claw its way through the windows or spraying your furniture.
5. Get a good litter box and quality cat litter. An enclosed litter box can allow you and your cat more privacy, and clumping litter is easier to maintain. Keep the box clean, for the comfort of your cat and your nose. Also, make sure you buy well-balanced, age-appropriate food for your cat. Ask your vet, the representatives at your local pet store, or take a look at “Smart Shopping for Cat Food” for some advice.
6. Cats love to play. Toy mice, string, feathers, and even empty boxes make for great amusement. Playthings needn’t be expensive (they can even be homemade), just make sure there’s enough to keep your cat happy, active, and mentally occupied.
7. If you don’t want your sofa shredded, or your new Louis Vuitton bag ruined, invest in a scratching post.
8. Catnip, and those little freeze-dried cat treats are excellent tools for cat bribery and training.
9. Get pet insurance. We hope you won’t need it, but like they always say, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
10. If it’s a kitten you’re bringing home, make sure you start a grooming routine early. Bathing, brushing, and trimming claws will be an event to look forward to, rather than something to dread.
And there you have it. These are just a few of the things to keep in mind when you get yourself a new companion. Another important consideration: Cats often live for around 20 years, so you and your furry feline friend will be together for a long time.


Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Address
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.
Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: [email protected]

Summer heat can be dangerous for your pets!

Story by: Trisha Gedon Original Link
Summer is in full swing, and with it comes many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Pet owners often like spending time outside with family, friends and pets.
A lot of animals like spending time outside, and therefore, pet owners need to take precautions to ensure their animals stay safe in the summer heat, said Dr. Laura Nafe, assistant professor of small animal internal medicine at the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.
“Just as you hydrate yourself and take precautions such as applying sunscreen and staying cool in the heat, it’s vital to keep a close eye on your pet when spending time outdoors, especially on a hot, sunny day,” Nafe said.
Dogs do not sweat like humans. Instead, they cool themselves primarily by panting. Excessive panting indicates your pet is overheated. Dogs also will seek shade to help cool themselves in the heat of the summer, and they enjoy a nice, cool breeze just like the rest of us.
“If you’re out for a walk or playing in the yard and your dog stops to sit or lie down, he is telling you that he is unable to keep cool enough for the activity,” she said. “A dog’s gums can be a good indicator of being overheated. Gums often appear more red early on when an animal is overheated, and become more pale if the dog is excessively overheated. In addition, a dog’s gums may be dry or sticky if the animal is not staying adequately hydrated.”
If you are spending time at a pond or lake with your dog, do not assume your pet will drink water from that source. Always bring water and a bowl with you and try to keep the water cool if possible. Your dog is likely accustomed to and prefers city water.
Dogs often love to travel in the car with you. Unfortunately, one of the most life-threatening mistakes people can make is to leave a pet in a vehicle in hot weather.
“Never, ever leave your dog in the car, even with the windows open. Cars heat up very quickly. As an example, on an 80-degree day, a car can heat up to 110 degrees in approximately 15 minutes,” Nafe said. “We’re well beyond the 80 degree days at this point in the summer, so extra precaution is necessary.”
Because dogs pant to keep themselves cool, taking in the hot air inside a vehicle has little cooling effect, and the animal will quickly overheat. Your pet may overheat and develop signs of heatstroke even after a few minutes spent in a sweltering car. As much as you enjoy your pet’s company, and as much as the pet enjoys a ride in the car, it is better to leave your pet at home on hot days.
Pet owners who enjoy going for a walk or run with their dog must remember asphalt gets very hot during the summer—hot enough to burn the pads on a dog’s foot. Before taking your dog for a walk, check the ground for hotness with one of your hands or bare feet. If you cannot keep your hand or foot on the ground for more than three seconds, it is certainly too hot for an animal. During the hot summer months, consider going on short walks early in the morning or later in the evening when the temperature is more bearable.
“Dogs who are older, overweight, have a thick coat, or have a pushed-in nose, such as bulldogs and pugs, are at increased risk of overheating,” she said. “It’s always a good idea to bring water for both you and your pet.”
Keeping your dog hydrated is essential to good health and is especially important during the summer months. If your dog is inside during the day, make sure it has fresh, cool water that remains in a shaded spot throughout the day, since sun coming through a window can heat a bowl of water. Most dogs will not drink hot water no matter how thirsty they are.
If your dog stays outside during the day, make sure the water bowl is in a place where it cannot be tipped over. Water bowls can be tipped over by dogs trying to make a cool spot to lie down. If possible, give your dog fresh, clean water several times throughout the day.
“Freeze containers of water to put in your pet’s outdoor water bowl,” Nafe said. “This will help ensure your furry friend’s water stays cooler for a longer period of time.”
Also, make sure to provide your pup with a shady area to get out of the sun. A small kiddie pool is a great way to provide a fun cooling-off spot where your dog can play.
“Despite all your precautions, your dog may still show signs of heat stress or heat stroke. Signs of heat stroke include heavy panting that does not resolve as the pet rests, increasing distress, a tongue color that is dark red to almost purple, weakness or collapse, hyper-salivation, vomiting and labored breathing,” Nafe said. “If you suspect a dog or cat is suffering from heat stroke, move him to a cooler environment immediately and apply cool water to the abdomen, ears and foot pads.”
Do not pour ice water over the whole animal, submerge your pet in a tub of cold water, or cover it in a cold, wet blanket, as these all may result in cooling your animal too quickly and decreasing blood flow to important areas. Once stable, get him to a veterinarian as quickly as possible, even if he seems to be cooling down and his temperature seems normal. Heat can cause internal damage to organs that is not obvious from the outside.
Keeping your dog well-groomed is another way to reduce the risk of heat stress and help keep the animal more comfortable in the summer heat. A natural coat that has been groomed offers protection from sunburn and acts as cooling insulation. Shaving your dog’s coat will take away that protection.
“Remember, your pet can’t tell you in words when something is wrong. As responsible pet owners, it’s your job to protect and provide for your pet,” she said. “If you’re feeling uncomfortably warm, it’s a sure bet your dog is, too.”


Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Address
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.
Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: [email protected]