Top Ten Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

Top Ten Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

Article By Yahaira Cespedes | Featured on PetMD
Like many Americans, you may be planning to have a festive Fourth of July. Along with barbeques and day at the beach, no July holiday celebration would be complete without enjoying the fireworks that celebrate the birth of our nation.
Both the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and PAW have listed ways you can prevent your holiday celebration from turning into a tragedy. Here are 10 tips on how to keep your pet from panicking this Fourth of July weekend.
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Balcony Safety and Pets: How to Avoid High-Rise RisksBy Paula Fitzsimmons

Balcony Safety and Pets: How to Avoid High-Rise Risks

If your balcony is your go-to spot to enjoy fresh air and sunshine, it’s only fitting to want to let your cat or dog enjoy it with you. But is it a good idea?
Balconies can be dangerous places for cats and dogs; they run the risk of falling, getting burned by a hot grill or ingesting toxic house plants. However, this doesn’t mean that the balcony is off-limits to your best friend. By taking a few precautions and practicing due diligence, you can keep her safe while enjoying some time together outdoors.

Can Cats and Dogs Fall from Balconies?

Both cats and dogs are at risk of falling from balconies, although it’s more common with cats, says Dr. Sonja Olson, a senior clinician in emergency medicine for BluePearl Veterinary Partners. Cats and dogs can squeeze through balcony railings, but cats are more prone to jumping onto and over them, Olson adds.
Although cats have an innate reflex to right themselves and land on their feet, they aren’t immune from harming themselves, says Dr. Lori Bierbrier, medical director of community medicine at the ASPCA. In fact, she adds that balcony injuries are so common in cats that a term has been created for it: high rise syndrome.
In one report of 119 cats who had fallen from high rises during a four-year period, about 97 percent survived, but many sustained serious injuries, including 46 percent who presented with fractured limbs.
In addition, a balcony doesn’t have to be very tall for it to do damage. “Folks may not think that two stories is that high, but yes it is,” says Olson. Even a one-story fall can sometimes cause injuries, she says, “especially with dogs, who are not as graceful and ‘springy’ as cats.”

Balcony Risks and Dangers for Pets

Falling is the primary balcony hazard for pets, says Bierbrier, and can cause injuries including broken bones, skin abrasions and damage to internal organs. It can also be the cause of soft-tissue sprains and facial injuries like trauma to the nose and teeth, split palates and broken jaws, says Olson.
Even if your pet isn’t injured in a fall, she may run away and get lost (another good reason to get her microchipped), Olson adds.
“Your pet’s ability to escape from the balcony is [what makes a balcony] dangerous,” she says. “Once out of that space, you no longer have control over what they can come into contact with or what they could ingest, for example.”
Falling isn’t the only potential danger. Burns from heated grills, exposure to toxic plants, bees, wasps and other insects, and getting a head or limb caught in a railing are also risks to be wary of, says Bierbrier.

Can My Cat or Dog Go on the Balcony?

Provided you’re willing to take steps to prevent mishaps and watch her closely, your cat or dog can enjoy time on the balcony. Before you head outside, take a good look at your balcony setup.
The safest balconies are those with screened-in enclosures (like catios), says Olson. These enclosures won’t be effective, however, if she can escape from it, so inspect it carefully for tears or gaps. “Pets are ingenious escape artists,” she adds.
If you do opt for a screened-in enclosure, Olson recommends making sure your companion has an approved cat or dog door so they can get back inside the home. “Also, make sure they have food, water and shelter from the sun.”
Look carefully at any other items that may be potentially hazardous to animals, such as grills. Additionally, “Consider the ornamental plants that may be placed on the balcony and make sure they are not toxic plants,” Olson says.
You’ll also want to move furniture away from balcony edges to prevent animals from using it as a way to jump over the railing, Bierbrier says.
Finally, consider keeping your pet in a harness or on leash when they’re on your balcony, says Olson. “So if they suddenly pursue that bird flying by or the squirrel in the tree nearby, they do not fall off the balcony railing or go through the balcony slats.”
Regardless of any precautions you take, experts stress the importance of supervising your companion while on the balcony. It takes just one moment of not being vigilant for an animal to harm herself.
“Money spent on harnesses, leashes, or other supplies that make a balcony more secure can save a pet’s life, and save pet owners hundreds or thousands of dollars,” says Bierbrier.

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

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

Why Buying Your Child a Rabbit for Easter Is a Bad Idea

Rabbits are prey animals. They don’t like being picked up and cuddled. The child wants to carry it around — but for a prey animal, such as a rabbit, it’s terrifying.

Is your household ready and willing to care for a new rabbit beyond the holiday?

Article by  Jillian Blume | Featured on
If you’re thinking of buying your child a bunny for Easter, think again.
Rabbits and children are not a match made in heaven — and the evidence is the surge of bunnies dumped in parks or surrendered to shelters. The baby bunnies for sale at pet stores are typically taken from their mothers too young, and they aren’t healthy.
“They die within a week or 2 after being bought,” says Cindy Stutts, founding board member of Rabbit Rescue & Rehab in New York City. “And even if they manage to survive, children often lose interest, and the rabbits are either brought to a shelter or dumped outside.” And, as we all know, domesticated animals are not able to survive in the wild.

The Facts

Collectively, Rabbit Rescue & Rehab and Animal Care & Control take in around 600 rabbits a year, says Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.
That makes rabbits the 3rd largest animal shelter population after cats and dogs. “Rabbits have come into AC&C with broken backs or legs because people don’t know how to handle them,” says Hoffman. “There’s a whole host of issues.”
Why Buying Your Child a Rabbit for Easter Is a Bad Idea

Bunnies Are Not Stuffed Animals

“Rabbits are prey animals. They don’t like being picked up and cuddled. And that’s the one thing a child wants to do,” says Stutts. “Children think a live bunny is like an animated stuffed toy. The child wants to carry it around — but for a prey animal, such as a rabbit, it’s terrifying.”
What happens next isn’t pretty: Your sweet bunny starts biting, kicking and scratching.
For example, a rabbit brought back to the pet store and currently in the shelter growls and boxes, says Stutts. “She doesn’t want anyone putting a hand into her cage. So she’s going to a foster home that will be able to understand her and help her learn to trust again.”

Medical Complications

As prey animals, rabbits are built for speed, so they have lightweight skeletons. That means their bones break easily. “A frightened rabbit that kicks out can break its own back. The lucky ones get dumped at the shelter,” says Stutts.
Some lucky rabbits have undergone physical rehabilitation, as was the case of Rabbit Rescue & Rehab bunny Ariel, a rabbit found abandoned in a Queens garden. “Her back was broken,” says Stutts. “But she had a will to live.”
The Animal Medical Center donated funds from its AMC TO THE RESCUE fund for her rehabilitation. “She finally got adopted to a fabulous home, and she’s a bunny in a wheelchair now,” says Stutts.
There are other issues to consider as a parent if you’re still thinking of getting your child a rabbit — such as the emotional consequences for children if they either accidentally kill or severely injure their bunny.
This sobering video gives several reasons to not buy a bunny for Easter:

Breeding Like Bunnies

Rabbits bought from pet shops or online typically haven’t been spayed or neutered.
“It’s very difficult to identify the gender of a young rabbit,” says Hoffman. “You may think you’re getting a pair of brothers or sisters, but you may be buying mom and pop who will then give birth to a litter.”
This is not to say that bunnies aren’t great pets — as long as you know how to care for them. “In the right circumstances, they’re wonderful if you’re in an apartment,” says Stutts.
And adopting from a shelter means not only that you’re saving a life, but also you’re also getting a rabbit who’s been spayed or neutered. It’s not easy to find a veterinarian trained in neutering and spaying rabbits. “It’s a much more delicate operation,” says Hoffman.
The bottom line? If you’re ready to take care of a bunny, adopt from a shelter. But if you really want to get a bunny for your child, give a stuffed rabbit instead. Or even a chocolate rabbit.

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

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

Pets and Newborns: Myths You Shouldn’t Believe
By John Plichter | Article Featured on PetMD
When you’re a new parent, it can seem like everyone has advice. From how to feed your baby to how to put her to sleep, there are plenty of opinions out there—and many of them sound a little suspect.
One area that’s especially confusing? Newborns and pets. Although you’ll likely hear them from well-meaning friends and family, these common myths about pets and babies simply aren’t true.
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specialty, vet clinic, beaverton, oregon

Pet Exposure May Reduce Allergies and Obesity in Children

Article Found on Science Daily

If you need a reason to become a dog lover, how about their ability to help protect kids from allergies and obesity?

A new University of Alberta study showed that babies from families with pets — 70 per cent of which were dogs — showed higher levels of two types of microbes associated with lower risks of allergic disease and obesity.
But don’t rush out to adopt a furry friend just yet. Read more

oregon, specialty vet clinic, beaverton

How Dogs Help People Get Along Better

Article by Jill Suttie | Found on Animal Health Foundation

A new study suggests that when dogs are around, groups are closer, more cooperative, and more trusting.
My dog, Casey, is one of my favorite beings on the planet. Not only is he extremely cute, his presence calms me, makes me happy, and helps me to meet new people…especially when I take a walk with him.
My husband and I often joke that if everyone had a dog like Casey, there simply wouldn’t be any wars—the assumption being that everyone would just get along if he were around. Now, a new study suggests that we might be onto something.

Researchers at Central Michigan University gave small groups tasks to do with or without a companion dog in the room. Read more

Mapping the Feline Brain: How Smart Is Your Cat?

By Dr. Lorie Huston, DVM | Found on PetMD
Have you ever wondered, when your cat looks at you or seems to be trying to communicate with you, exactly how smart your cat is? Have you seen your cat perform some behavior or task that seems like it should be beyond his capabilities?
Most people believe the brain is the center of intelligence. In terms of size, the brain of the cat accounts for approximately 0.9 percent of its body mass, compared to about 2 percent in an average human and about 1.2 percent in an average dog. Though the brain of a cat is comparatively smaller than that of other species, relative brain size isn’t always the best indicator of intelligence. And the cat brain shares some amazing similarities with our own brains. Read more

Surviving Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: One Dog’s Story

By Geoff Williams | Article Featured on PetMD
Before they married, Angelo and Diana Scala knew they would get a dog and that it would be a Boxer. Sure enough, almost right after their wedding they picked their Boxer Louie from a breeder’s litter. When they brought the eight-week old puppy to their home in Downers Grove, Ill., in the waning days of 2010, strangers and neighbors never failed to comment on what a beautiful dog they had. “Louie was very good looking,” Angelo said.
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Hunting Dog Makes Full Recovery After Ingesting Wooden Skewer
Article Featured on PetMD
Curious canines have unintentionally swallowed everything from Gorilla Glue to coat hangers, and in the case of a 9-year-old hunting canine named Cash, it was a wooden skewer from a Caprese salad bowl.
When Cash’s owner Aaron Johnson realized the dog was out of sorts (lethargic, hurting on the left side of his belly), he took him to the veterinarian to see just what was wrong.
Cash was brought to the VCA Chanhassen Animal Hospital in Chanhassen, Minn. where, according to a Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners press release, the dog’s “left kidney was enlarged and had fluid build-up.” The release explains that those symptoms can be a signal of a kidney blockage or tumor.
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Preparing for Pet Adoption

Prepare Yourself for the Evolving Challenge of Dog Ownership

by Dr. Patrick Mahaney | Featured on PetMD
Bringing a canine companion into your life is an adventure in caregiving that will likely last for many years. Whether you are currently dog-less, or keep multiple pets, daily compromises to your current lifestyle must be made for a new pooch to positively transition into your home.
The following are my top planning points to perform before, during, and after a dog’s adoption.

Days to Weeks Before the Adoption

Dog Proof Your Home
Akin to a child entering the family fold, responsible pup parents must ensure their new canine kid’s safety in both indoor and outdoor environments.
If portions of your home are designated dog-free, partition off these areas with a gate or other suitable obstructive apparatus. Place all trash baskets in cabinets, or purchase tip-proof bins with canine proof lids.
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