specialty, vet hospital, portland

Why is My Dog Drinking So Much Water?

By Caitlin Ultimo | Featured on PetMD
While it’s normal for dogs to take water breaks throughout the day, you may be a bit concerned if you notice your pet drinking excessively. Can a dog drink too much water? And, could it be a sign of something larger? “An owner should be concerned if their dog drinks the entire bowl at once and continues to drink every time water is offered,” shares Dr. Elizabeth Appleman, staff veterinarian at NYC’s Animal Medical Center. Further, if you find yourself constantly refilling the water bowl, if your dog suddenly starts drinking water from the toilet, or if you happen to notice that your dog is urinating more than normal, it could be a sign of a potential disease or condition. It’s a good idea to get a feel for how much your dog typically drinks when he’s healthy. If you notice a significant change, alarm bells should go off.

Why is My Dog Drinking So Much?

Drinking more water is medically referred to as polydipsia, and it is one of the most common problems seen in veterinary medicine, according to Appleman. Polydipsia has a wide range of underlying causes, “Certainly dogs can become polydipsic during warm weather, particularly right at the start of the change of seasons and before they have time to adjust to the hotter temperature,” says Appleman. Dogs will also drink more if their bodies are losing water through watery diarrhea, excessive panting or blood loss. “This represents the body’s attempt to rehydrate and restore normal blood volume,” she says.

Can Excessive Water Drinking Be a Sign of an Underlying Disease?

If your dog is drinking more than usual—some dogs even drink so much and so quickly, that they will regurgitate it right back up—it could be a sign of a medical issue. “It can be a long diagnostic process to figure out why a dog is drinking and urinating larger volumes, and sometimes it is difficult to ultimately find an answer,” says Appleman. Polydipsia, along with increased volume of urination (polyuria), can be caused by the following, amongst other things:
• Kidney insufficiency
• Diabetes mellitus
• Diabetes insipidus
• Adrenal hormone disease (such as excess cortisol production, called Cushing’s disease; or cortisol deficiency, called Addison’s disease)
• Liver disease
• Infection
• Abnormal electrolytes (high calcium, low potassium)
• Treatment with certain drugs (corticosteroids, diuretics, etc.)
• Psychogenic polydipsia

Is it Ever Normal for My Dog to Drink Excessively?

While excessive water drinking that is out of character for your dog may signal an issue, some dogs may simply drink a lot of water. “Some dogs are naturally excessive water drinkers,” says Appleman. “These tend to be large-breed, playful dogs that like to amuse themselves by drinking water, or are very active and need to replenish water loss from panting.” The most important aspect in deciding if there is a problem is identifying a change in baseline of water consumption. Try to be aware of how much your dog drinks on a regular basis, take note and consult your vet if the amount suddenly increases or decreases.

What Should I Do If My Dog is Drinking Too Much?

While most of the diseases that correlate with excessive water drinking have successful treatment options, “The difficulty is determining the correct diagnosis,” says Appleman. “Once the diagnosis is made, your veterinarian can almost always reduce (though maybe not fully resolve) water consumption and ameliorate the constant thirst and urination the dog is experiencing.” Many of the conditions that can cause dogs to drink a lot of water are quite serious. If you have any concerns about your dog’s water consumption, make an appointment with your veterinarian as quickly as possible.


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]

specialty vet care, beaverton

CT Scans in Pets: Everything You Need to Know

Article By John Gilpatrick | Found on Pet MD
When a veterinarian wants a closer look at an animal’s particular organ, muscle, bone, or other internal body part, he or she may order a CT scan.
While it’s similar to a traditional X-ray, a computed tomography scan obtains images of slices of a patient, meaning they can go very small and later reconstruct the slices into three-dimensional models of the affected area, according to Dr. Wilfried Mai, an associate professor of veterinary radiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
“This provides excellent detail of the internal anatomy and much more information than a simple radiograph,” Mai says. Read more

Respiratory Distress

  • Respiratory distress refers to abnormal effort, rate, or rhythm when a pet tries to breathe.
  • Most types of respiratory distress are considered medical emergencies, so if you notice any changes in your pet’s breathing, contact your veterinarian right away.
  • A variety of conditions can cause respiratory distress, and many of them are treatable or manageable. The best way to improve your pet’s chances of surviving an episode of respiratory distress is to seek immediate veterinary care if you notice any breathing abnormalities.

What Is Respiratory Distress?

Generally, the term respiratory distress describes abnormalities in effort, rate, or rhythm when a pet tries to breathe. It can range from a very obvious inability to breathe (as with an airway blockage) to very subtle alterations in breathing rate or effort. If you notice any changes in your pet’s breathing, contact your veterinarian right away. Most types of respiratory distress are considered medical emergencies, so getting your pet to a veterinarian can literally mean the difference between life and death.

What Causes Respiratory Distress?

The respiratory tract includes the nostrils and nasal passages, the cartilages and other structures at the back of the throat, the trachea (the main airway leading to the lungs), the bronchi (which branch from the trachea and enter the lungs), and smaller structures within the lungs that participate in respiration. Conditions affecting any of these structures can cause abnormal breathing. Examples include airway obstructions, tumors, infection or inflammation, congenital deformities, parasitic infections (like heartworm disease), trauma, smoke inhalation, and exposure to certain toxins. Specific respiratory conditions, such as laryngeal paralysis, collapsing trachea, and feline asthma are frequently associated with respiratory difficulty.
Additionally, diseases outside the respiratory tract can affect your pet’s breathing. For example, a large abdominal tumor may affect movement of the diaphragm or cause increased pressure in the abdomen that contributes to breathing difficulty. Pets that are in pain may pant or exhibit other respiratory changes. Pets with heart disease may cough or experience breathing difficulty. Some neurologic disorders can affect breathing ability, and some metabolic disorders (such as Cushing’s disease, a condition affecting the adrenal gland) can cause excessive panting or other respiratory changes.

What Are the Clinical Signs?

The clinical signs of respiratory distress can be very subtle (like a pet that struggles to complete a normal daily walk) or extremely pronounced. They include the following:

  • Reluctance or inability to exercise
  • Unusual noises during breathing (including wheezing or rattling)
  • Open-mouth breathing
  • Rapid or shallow breathing
  • Exaggerated chest or abdominal movements while inhaling or exhaling
  • Excessive panting
  • Discolored tongue and/or gums (pale or blue-tinged)
  • Extending the neck to breathe
  • Holding the elbows out to the side while standing, sitting, or walking

If clinical signs of respiratory distress are subtle and/or chronic, it can be harder to tell if your pet is actually in trouble. For example, a cat with asthma may have clinical signs that start slowly and worsen over a period of weeks. In these cases, it is important to be aware of your pet’s demeanor on a daily basis, since mild changes may be difficult to notice. Don’t forget to also pay attention to things like changes in appetite, attitude, or activity level and report any suspicious changes to your veterinarian.

How Is Respiratory Distress Diagnosed and Treated?

Most cases of respiratory distress are medical emergencies. If your pet is in severe distress, emergency treatment may be required while the pet is being examined and diagnostic tests are being performed. Examples of emergency care may include oxygen administration or medications to open airways and improve breathing.  Some pets panic when they can’t breathe, so mild sedation may be necessary to help calm the pet. If the pet’s condition is critical, full physical examination and diagnostic testing may need to be postponed until the pet can be stabilized enough to undergo these procedures.
Diagnostic evaluation begins with a medical history and physical examination. Your veterinarian can assess breathing effort, the color of your pet’s gums and tongue, and other variables to help determine how serious the condition is. He or she will also use a stethoscope to listen to your pet’s heart, lungs, and airways.
Basic diagnostic testing may include x-rays, blood work (such as a chemistry panel and complete blood cell count or CBC), and ultrasound examination of the heart and other structures in the chest. Testing for specific conditions, like heartworm disease, may also be recommended.
Definitive treatment depends largely on the underlying reason for the respiratory distress, the overall condition of the pet, and the pet’s response to initial emergency treatment.
The prognosis (expected outcome) for pets with respiratory distress also depends on the underlying cause and response to treatment. Many causes (such as foreign body obstruction) are treatable; others (such as feline asthma or collapsing trachea) may be manageable but not necessarily curable.
The best way to improve your pet’s chances of surviving an episode of respiratory distress is to seek immediate veterinary care if you notice any breathing abnormalities.
https://www.vetlearn.com/reference-desk/care-guide/respiratory-distress

We wanted to share a few tips for from The Humane Society on helping out the wild animals in the neighborhood as many of you may be in your yards enjoying the beautiful spring weather in the next day or so.

Spring Forward — For Wildlife

Squirrel

The first two baby squirrels of the season arrive at the Cape Wildlife Center. These two were brought in after someone found them and disturbed their nest and was not able to reunite them with their mom. See a slideshow of the spring animals at the animal care centers here.

As the air and soil warm, animals also get more active, bringing life with a new season. At our wildlife care centers, that means babies, and lots of them.  In March, April and May last year, our three affiliated wildlife care centers  (in California, Florida, and Massachusetts) took in more than 1,600 animals – from barn owls to turtles to foxes. To help animals at this time of year, there are some ways you can help, or some rules to pass on to neighbors and friends.
Ten Ways to Spring for Wildlife this Spring

  • Create a Humane Backyard. Perhaps the best way to help wildlife this spring is to create your own sanctuary for them in your own backyard, patio, or balcony.
  • Postpone your spring tree cutting. Squirrels and raccoons den in tree hollows with babies, and trees become nest sites for woodpeckers and all manner of songbirds. Your trees may be occupied, so before cutting, survey as best you can for active dens or nests. Learn more about humane spring cleaning here.
  • Scrap the trap. Spring and summer is when wild animals search out secluded dens and nest sites for raising young – and some of those sites may be in your attic, chimney, or under your deck. Whether you are having issues with prairie dogs, skunks, or pigeons, there are resources available to help you and them.
  • Re-nest baby birds. It’s a myth that if you touch a baby bird, the parents will abandon their baby. There are signs to look for to see if they need help here.
  • Don’t kidnap fawns. People don’t realize that it’s entirely normal for deer to “park” their fawns in yards or other “hiding” spots.  The doe will only visit and nurse her fawn a few times a day to avoid attracting predators to her scent.  Unless you know that the mother is dead, or if the fawn has been crying and wandering around all day, leave him or her alone.
  • Leave baby rabbits. If the nest is intact and the babies are not injured, leave them be. Mother rabbits only visit their young 2-3 times a day. If you’re concerned, you can put an “X” of sticks or yarn over the nest to assess if the mother is returning to nurse them. If the X stays perfectly in place for 12+ hours, they may be orphaned and need to go to a wildlife rehabilitator.
  • Put up your woodchuck fence. Set up protection for your vegetable garden now – see our tips for preventing conflicts with woodchucks here.
  • Contain your trash. Many wild animal “problems” are actually created by poor garbage disposal practices. Keep trash indoors until the morning of pick-up, use an outdoor storage container (available at home building stores), or use Animal Stopper garbage cans, which have built in bungee cords and are virtually raccoon proof.
  • Don’t rush to judgment about rabies . It’s false that seeing raccoons, foxes, or coyotes active during daylight means they have rabies.  Only if they are acting strangely — circling, dragging themselves, acting injured or unusually aggressive or tame, should you call an animal control officer for assistance.
  • Support your local wildlife rehabilitator and follow our animal care centers. In addition to volunteering or providing financial support, you can help by donating towels and blankets and other items to wildlife care centers. You can get other tips and learn of rescues and release stories by liking Humane Wildlife Services and our affiliated animal sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers on Facebook: South Florida Wildlife CenterThe Fund for Animals Wildlife CenterCape Wildlife CenterDuchess Sanctuary,Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch and Doris Day Equine Center.

The HSUS is our nation’s largest animal care provider, and much of that work involves protecting wildlife. Wildlife need our help, especially during the spring.
Original Link: https://hsus.typepad.com/wayne/2014/03/spring-forward-for-wildlife.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=humanenation

Congratulations to Dr. Franklin who is the topic of a great article in the spring 2014 edition of  Washington State magazine!

The article from  https://wsm.wsu.edu/s/index.php?id=1104 is below.

Robert Franklin ’75, ’76, ’79—A new leash on life

by Eric Apalategui | © Washington State UniversityVeterinarian Robert Franklin has helped change Oregon animal welfare laws. <em>Photo Bill Wagner</em>

Over more than three decades, veterinarian Dr. Robert Franklin has advocated for animal welfare—even when those animals never set a paw into his specialty practice in Beaverton, Oregon.
Franklin ’75 BS, ’76 BS, ’79 DVM is on the frontlines of animal wellbeing and companionship issues in the Pacific Northwest, whether he’s working behind the scenes to save a stray or squarely in the spotlight ensuring that famed orca Keiko was getting appropriate medical care.
“The animal welfare movement is waiting for veterinarians to lead it like we should,” says Franklin, who recently received Washington State University’s Distinguished Veterinary Alumnus Award. “We’ve got to look at what’s in the best interests of the animals we take care of.”
“I think he’s somewhat of a pioneer,” says David Frei, an admirer who is best known as the cohost of the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual dog show in New York City.
Frei says Franklin always seems to be out front with new ideas in the pet world, actively supporting endeavors such as hospice care for terminally ill animals and grief counseling for their human companions, setting up pet blood banks, and pairing at-risk children or prison inmates with shelter animals.
“He’s making it a better world for animals, and he’s making it a better world for people,” says Frei, who met Franklin when they both served on the board of what is now Pet Partners, a Bellevue-based nonprofit organization that promotes pet companionship, therapy, and service to improve people’s lives.
“The benefit of animals is far more a reality than I think the human medical community is willing to admit,” Franklin says.
When he served on the executive board of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), including a term as president in 1998, he helped convince state legislators to make animal abuse a Class C felony. He also helped change the state law for dogs who kill livestock, giving them a chance to avoid a death sentence if they could be resettled out of temptation’s way. Franklin later pushed for a law that required veterinarians to report suspected cases of animal abuse.
“We do know that there is a direct relationship between people who abuse animals and their tendency to be violent” to people, says Franklin.
“He’s always challenging the profession to reconsider our points of view on animal welfare,” says Glenn Kolb, executive director of the OVMA. In 2013 the association awarded Franklin its highest honor, a Meritorious Service Award. “Bob was really at the forefront of getting the organization to move in the right direction,” says Kolb.
Franklin was leading the state veterinary board when Keiko was at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, following his star turn in the movieFree Willy, recovering from living in poor conditions at a Mexican amusement park.
A rift over his medical care developed between the Newport aquarium’s vet and a California-based vet for the Free Willy-Keiko Foundation, which was planning to release him back into the North Atlantic Ocean in 2002, where he was captured as a youngster in 1979.
Franklin and the OVMA demanded that an independent veterinarian give Keiko a checkup. Even though that exam showed Keiko’s health had improved significantly in Oregon, Franklin disagreed with the plan to release an animal that had spent its entire adult life as an aquarium entertainer.
“This whale was like a pet. He was sitting off the coast of Norway, playing with kids” after his release, says Franklin, who believed Keiko was doomed well before the orca died in 2003, in part because the animal didn’t belong to a pack like his wild kin. “There was no way he was going to survive.”
Franklin shows the same passion for his patients at Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital, where he is a partner and specializes in internal medicine.
“This is a guy (who) will turn things upside-down to get to a proper diagnosis,” says Trish Clark, a psychologist who started out as a pet-owner and now teams with Franklin to help homeless cats in the Portland area. “He’s just unbelievably dedicated.”
Born on Long Island, New York, and raised for a time in Bellevue, Washington, Franklin has always kept pets and longed to be a veterinarian from his earliest memory. At WSU, he fell under the influence of Professor Leo K. Bustad ’49 DVM, a groundbreaking researcher of the human-animal bond and cofounder of the organization that would become Pet Partners.
“We think Leo would be looking down and be quite proud of Bob Franklin,” says Frei.

Laparoscopy Offers Diagnostic and Treatment Options for Dogs and Cats

By Dr. Alvaro Larin, DVM ACVS (original link https://vetmedicine.about.com/od/veterinaryqa/a/Laparoscopy-In-Veterinary-Medicine.htm)

Many of the diagnostic and treatment options available to humans are also available for animals. Guest Author Dr. Alvaro Larin, DVM ACVS, a veterinary surgeon in Miami, Florida, discusses the use of laparoscopy in veterinary medicine, for diagnosing and treating a variety of conditions.
What is Laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive way to view the organs in the abdomen. It is a safe technique that minimizes soft tissue trauma to the patient allowing for faster and less painful recovery. Anesthesia time can also be reduced which is important in geriatric and debilitated patients.
This technique was originally used as a diagnostic tool for viewing the internal contents of the abdomen and obtaining tissue samples but has progressed to allow for surgical procedures such as ovariectomy (removal of the ovaries), adrenalectomy (removal of the adrenal gland), cholecystectomy (removal of the gall bladder), cryptorchid surgery etc. Advanced laparoscopy procedures are opening the door to new treatment options for pets.
The laparoscopic procedure involves passing a small needle into the abdomen and inflating the abdomen with gas (carbon dioxide) in order to distend it and allow for visualization and working space. Approximately 34 portals are usually made which involves a skin incision that is 5-10mm. Specific surgical instruments are inserted into the abdomen through the portals. A scope is placed to view the abdomen and several other instruments such as electrocautery, laparoscopic surgical instruments and lasers can be placed via the other portals to perform the procedure.
The images from the scope are magnified on a monitor in the operating room which gives an excellent view of the internal organs. Once the procedure is performed the site can be closely monitored for complications such as excess bleeding. This can be dealt with immediately if needed.
Ideal candidates for laparoscopy are dogs that are lean and weigh at least 30 pounds. Obese dogs or dogs that are very small (<15 lbs) can make the procedure more difficult.
Laparoscopic diagnostic techniques that are most commonly performed are biopsies of organs or masses to rule out disease or cancer. The most commonly biopsied organs are the liver, pancreas, spleen and less frequently the kidney. Other organs such as the intestines and bladder can also be biopsied via laparoscopic assisted technique.
Laparoscopic surgical techniques such as ovariectomy and prophylactic gastropexy are gaining popularity.
Ovariectomy (spay) is a fast and simple technique. Unlike the “typical” spay (Ovariohysterectomy) where the ovaries and uterus are removed, in this procedure, only the ovaries are removed. The uterus remains inactive and poses no problem for the patient. This method of spaying has been performed in Europe for many years without problem. Ovariohysterectomy can also be performed via laparoscopy or laparoscopic-assisted method where the uterus can be exteriorized from the abdomen through a small incision and removed.
Gastric-Dilatation/Volvulus or “Bloat” is a life-threatening problem that occurs in large, deep-chested dogs such as the Great Dane. A prophylactic gastropexy is a procedure that can be performed via laparoscopy to prevent this disease from occurring.
prophylactic (preventative) gastropexy is a technique in which the stomach is tacked to the abdominal wall permanently, therefore, preventing the stomach from rotating abnormally (GDV). This procedure can be performed in dogs that are predisposed to GDV in order to prevent the disease from occurring.
Prophylactic gastropexy refers to performing the procedure before the dog has the problem. In a laparoscopic procedure, scopes and instruments are inserted into the abdomen. The stomach is grasped with forceps and pulled to the right side of the abdomen just behind the 13th rib where it is fixed to the abdominal wall using sutures .
In Conclusion
Laparoscopy offers another way to diagnose and treat certain diseases. Its minimal invasiveness as compared to an exploratory laparotomy has many advantages which include less pain, shorter recovery time and decreased infection rate.

How to Recognize Signs of Arthritis in Pets

By Ashley Gallagher, DVM
Article from https://www.petmd.com/dog/centers/nutrition/evr_multi_how-to-recognize-arthritis-signs-in-pets#.UscoGPRDuSo
dog arthritis
Arthritis is one of the most common ailments affecting middle aged to senior dogs and cats. It can be a source of chronic pain and negatively affect their quality of life. Also known as degenerative joint disease, arthritis occurs when a joint is unstable causing the bones to move abnormally within the joint. Cartilage lines the joints acting as a barrier between bones. Over time this abnormal movement erodes the cartilage and bone begins rubbing against bone creating chronic inflammation and pain.

 Recognizing Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

The most obvious sign of arthritis is a limping dog or cat. However, there are numerous other subtle signs that may indicate your pet is uncomfortable. Often what people notice is that their older pet seems to be “slowing down.” Perhaps your dog doesn’t charge up the stairs like he used to or takes a bit longer to recover after a long day of playing. If your dog used to follow you around the house and now he just stays in one place this could also be a sign of mobility issues.
Since cats aren’t usually as active as dogs, their signs of arthritis may be revealed differently. Cats with arthritis may start urinating or defecating out of the litter box because it is too painful for them to jump into it. You may also notice that your cat is grooming excessively in one area, which could indicate focal arthritis pain. These are just a few examples. Bottom line: if you notice any changes in your pet’s behavior, talk with your veterinarian immediately.

Is My Pet Prone to Arthritis?

Large and giant breed dogs like Labrador retrievers and German Shepherds can have a genetic predisposition to develop joint disease in their hips and elbows.  Start your puppy off right by feeding a large breed puppy food specifically designed to make sure your pet receives the correct nutritional balance so his bones and joints develop at an appropriate rate. If growth occurs too quickly then the joints may form abnormally resulting in joint disease.

Ways to Prevent (and Treat) Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent arthritis from developing as well as to treat it once it has set in. The absolute best way to prevent arthritis in dogs and cats is to keep your pet at a healthy weight. This will reduce the stress that the body places on joints and help keep things moving like they should. If you notice that your dog or cat has some “extra padding” around the ribs or belly then you should speak with your veterinarian immediately to see if your pet is overweight. They will also be able to help you with a weight loss plan.
Therapeutic diets, found at your favorite pet food retailer, are another great option for pets with mobility issues. These diets can be specifically formulated to address many health issues, including arthritis. For example, therapeutic pet foods with Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids balanced in a specific ratio can help your pet by reducing inflammation and target pain pathways. When used properly under the supervision of a veterinarian, therapeutic diets given to arthritic pets may have them running, walking, and jumping in as little as a few weeks. Your veterinarian may also recommend a therapeutic diet with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, two commonly used nutritional supplements which support joint health by maintaining the cartilage and repairing any defects that might be present.
You may be tempted to supplement your pet’s current diet with fatty acids, glucosamine or chondroitin on your own, but be aware that it is difficult to get the proper balance with the diet. It will also add in unwanted calories which is undesirable when you are trying to keep your pet slim. The great thing about therapeutic diets specially formulated for arthritis is they have a lower overall calorie count and the additional calories from adding in the fatty acids have already been factored in. Therefore you have a much lower risk of overloading your pet with calories, which can lead to weight gain.
If the above methods don’t do the trick, then it may be time to discuss starting pain medication with your veterinarian. Joint disease should be addressed on multiple fronts in order to make your pet as comfortable as possible. But as the saying goes prevention is always the best medicine. Keep your pet slim and if you do notice some stiffness, limping or slowing down in your dog or cat, talk to a veterinarian right away about therapeutic diets and other arthritic treatments available for your pet.
Image: PhotographyByMK / via Shutterstock
 

New Year’s Resolutions for Pets & Their People

As we approach the end of 2013, many of us our coming up with ways to make 2014 even better. Don’t forget about your beloved pets when coming up with your resolutions. We found a few suggestions for you to consider below. May you and your pet have a safe and healthy New Year!
Article found at https://vetmedicine.about.com/od/pethealthinsurance/a/NewYearRes_2.htm

It is the start of a new year, and people’s thoughts often turn to diet and exercise, making up for holiday indulgences. Pets also suffer from overeating and lack of exercise, as discussed in the Is My Pet Overweight? articles. (Please click here for tips on how to tell if your pet is overweight. But there are more things to consider than diet and exercise when it comes to being a good example for our pets. Here, in no particular order, are 10 tips to a healthier lifestyle for our pets and animals in need.
1) Exercise
Regular exercise has the obvious health benefits, but it also is a great time to bond with our pets. A simple daily walk helps a dog learn proper manners, provides some good quality time, and does wonders for the human counterpart, too! Keeping pets at the proper body weight reduces the risk of heart and joint problems, diabetes, and a host of other poor health conditions.
2) Health Check Up
A regular visit to your veterinarian is the best way to stay ahead of potential problems. Annual examinations of teeth, heart/lungs, and body condition overall will be less costly than waiting for a problem to develop and your pet suffering needlessly from complications of preventable problems. Having a good “baseline” of information about your pet also gives the veterinarian something to compare against and determine exactly what is wrong when something isn’t quite right with your pet.
3) Good Nutrition
Like humans, pets who eat poor quality food just don’t have the health reserves than those that a good balanced diet. Poor skin, hair coat, muscle tone, and obesity problems can be a result of a poor diet. Also, pets are not humans — a diet rich in table scraps is not a healthy one, and can lead to problems such as obesity and pancreatitis.
4) Good Grooming
No one wants to be around a stinky pet. Regular grooming — bathing, toe nail clips, brushing teeth and hair coat, parasite control — not only make the pet more pleasing to be around, it is much healthier for the pet! For skin and coat problems that don’t resolve with regular grooming, please see your veterinarian — there may be an underlying medical condition affecting the skin, coat, or toenails.
5) Safety
Keeping pets safe is something most pet owners take for granted. However, take a moment to assess the toxic chemicals used in your house and yard. Are they necessary? Are all safety precautions followed? Where are household chemicals stored? Can your pet access these items? If toxins such as rodent poisons are used, can your pet access the rodents? Think too about enclosures for pets — is the fencing secure? Can your pet get caught or hooked up on the fence, a tree, etc. and choke or be stuck out in the weather when you are away?
6) Information
Being informed is the best way to keep track of our pet’s health and well being. If possible, keep a medical log of your pet’s vet visits, medications, special needs, etc. to help keep track of your pet’s medical history. Knowing what is normal and not normal for your particular pet will assist your vet figure out what is wrong in the case of illness.
The Internet is a wealth of information, but caution is advised when seeking out a diagnosis or medical assistance via the web. Just as in real life, there is good information and bad information out there. The only way to get an answer/diagnosis is through a thorough physical examination, review of medical history, and possible lab work performed by your veterinarian.
Veterinary Q & A: Why Do Vets Do That?
7) Love and Attention
This is probably obvious, but too many pets are left outside in all kinds of weather, with very little human contact. Same goes for inside pets — those who are largely ignored for lack of time and busy human schedules. Take the time to focus on your pets and create/nourish that human-animal bond!
The Human-Animal Bond – how pets help us
8) Volunteer
There are thousands upon thousands of animals in need of help each day. This concept can be overwhelming for many people. Every little bit helps, though. Financial donations, donations of supplies or your time to a local shelter or rescue group is always appreciated, and real live animals are being helped by your generosity.
Online resources – adoption,fostering and volunteering ideas
9) Maintenance
This refers to the more “unpleasant” aspects of pet care — the litter box scooping, yard clean up, cage cleaning, and fish tank maintenance. A clean environment for our pets is a healthy one! Poor sanitation can lead to behavior problems (i.e. litter box avoidance) and health problems such as skin infections and the spread of communicable diseases.
10) Be a Voice
Speak up when you notice neglected or abused pets in your neighborhood. This isn’t pleasant, but if you can help even one animal escape a painful life, it is worth it. Shelters and rescue groups will thank you and most will accept an anonymous tip to help animals in need.
 

New Year’s Resolutions for Pets & Their People

As we approach the end of 2013, many of us our coming up with ways to make 2014 even better. Don’t forget about your beloved pets when coming up with your resolutions. We found a few suggestions for you to consider below. May you and your pet have a safe and healthy New Year!
Article found at https://vetmedicine.about.com/od/pethealthinsurance/a/NewYearRes_2.htm

It is the start of a new year, and people’s thoughts often turn to diet and exercise, making up for holiday indulgences. Pets also suffer from overeating and lack of exercise, as discussed in the Is My Pet Overweight? articles. (Please click here for tips on how to tell if your pet is overweight. But there are more things to consider than diet and exercise when it comes to being a good example for our pets. Here, in no particular order, are 10 tips to a healthier lifestyle for our pets and animals in need.
1) Exercise
Regular exercise has the obvious health benefits, but it also is a great time to bond with our pets. A simple daily walk helps a dog learn proper manners, provides some good quality time, and does wonders for the human counterpart, too! Keeping pets at the proper body weight reduces the risk of heart and joint problems, diabetes, and a host of other poor health conditions.
2) Health Check Up
A regular visit to your veterinarian is the best way to stay ahead of potential problems. Annual examinations of teeth, heart/lungs, and body condition overall will be less costly than waiting for a problem to develop and your pet suffering needlessly from complications of preventable problems. Having a good “baseline” of information about your pet also gives the veterinarian something to compare against and determine exactly what is wrong when something isn’t quite right with your pet.
3) Good Nutrition
Like humans, pets who eat poor quality food just don’t have the health reserves than those that a good balanced diet. Poor skin, hair coat, muscle tone, and obesity problems can be a result of a poor diet. Also, pets are not humans — a diet rich in table scraps is not a healthy one, and can lead to problems such as obesity and pancreatitis.
4) Good Grooming
No one wants to be around a stinky pet. Regular grooming — bathing, toe nail clips, brushing teeth and hair coat, parasite control — not only make the pet more pleasing to be around, it is much healthier for the pet! For skin and coat problems that don’t resolve with regular grooming, please see your veterinarian — there may be an underlying medical condition affecting the skin, coat, or toenails.
5) Safety
Keeping pets safe is something most pet owners take for granted. However, take a moment to assess the toxic chemicals used in your house and yard. Are they necessary? Are all safety precautions followed? Where are household chemicals stored? Can your pet access these items? If toxins such as rodent poisons are used, can your pet access the rodents? Think too about enclosures for pets — is the fencing secure? Can your pet get caught or hooked up on the fence, a tree, etc. and choke or be stuck out in the weather when you are away?
6) Information
Being informed is the best way to keep track of our pet’s health and well being. If possible, keep a medical log of your pet’s vet visits, medications, special needs, etc. to help keep track of your pet’s medical history. Knowing what is normal and not normal for your particular pet will assist your vet figure out what is wrong in the case of illness.
The Internet is a wealth of information, but caution is advised when seeking out a diagnosis or medical assistance via the web. Just as in real life, there is good information and bad information out there. The only way to get an answer/diagnosis is through a thorough physical examination, review of medical history, and possible lab work performed by your veterinarian.
Veterinary Q & A: Why Do Vets Do That?
7) Love and Attention
This is probably obvious, but too many pets are left outside in all kinds of weather, with very little human contact. Same goes for inside pets — those who are largely ignored for lack of time and busy human schedules. Take the time to focus on your pets and create/nourish that human-animal bond!
The Human-Animal Bond – how pets help us
8) Volunteer
There are thousands upon thousands of animals in need of help each day. This concept can be overwhelming for many people. Every little bit helps, though. Financial donations, donations of supplies or your time to a local shelter or rescue group is always appreciated, and real live animals are being helped by your generosity.
Online resources – adoption,fostering and volunteering ideas
9) Maintenance
This refers to the more “unpleasant” aspects of pet care — the litter box scooping, yard clean up, cage cleaning, and fish tank maintenance. A clean environment for our pets is a healthy one! Poor sanitation can lead to behavior problems (i.e. litter box avoidance) and health problems such as skin infections and the spread of communicable diseases.
10) Be a Voice
Speak up when you notice neglected or abused pets in your neighborhood. This isn’t pleasant, but if you can help even one animal escape a painful life, it is worth it. Shelters and rescue groups will thank you and most will accept an anonymous tip to help animals in need.
 

Tips for Dealing with Holiday Stress – for You and Your Pet

Article found at https://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_multi_dealing_with_holiday_stress#.UrjbpfRDuSp
The holidays have arrived, and if you are one of the fortunate ones with friends and family that you like to spend time with, the holidays mean parties, dinners, gift exchanges and get-togethers. Whether you will be the host of one of these fetes, or whether you’ll be packing up the family and pet for a cross-town trip to visit family and/or friends, know before you go how you are going to keep everyone calm and comfortable, so that everyone has a good time.

Visiting … Visitors

If you are the “visitee,” you will want to do a little preparation before the guests arrive. Many of us consider our pets to be members of the family, and we enjoy having them with us in as we celebrate good times. But, when our pets are not used to have more than a few people around, they can get overly excited, and things can stop being fun. The jumping, the grabbing food from hands and tables, the barking … all of these things can lead to some embarrassing situations, and can even frighten some guests who are not accustomed to having animals around. In the weeks before the event, take some time to work on your pet’s manners and reinforce obedience training. You might try some small gatherings with some pet friendly people who can help you to reinforce your pet’s manners, so that when the bigger party night comes, your pet will already be prepared.
If, on the other hand, you know that your pet will not be able to hold back his exuberance, set aside a safe room where he can stay for the duration of the event. Make the space comfortable with a bed or rug, water, toys, and maybe some treats. Close this area off to the guests so that you can be sure that your pet, and your guests, are safe. Remember to either tell your guests that your pet should be left alone, tape a sign to the door saying “do not open,” or place a hook and eye lock on the door so that people know that it is not to be opened. The last thing you want is for a very excited pet to dash through the house, and possibly out the door to the outside of the house.

Traveling With Your Pet

Leaving the familiarity of home can provoke anxiety in people and animals. If you are traveling by car, be sure to bring along some of your pet’s favorite toys, a blanket or pillow bed, and his regular food. If your pet is used to sleeping in a crate, bring it along so he can sleep in his familiar space.
We advise keeping pets in a travel safe crate so that the animal is not able to move freely though the car. This covers a few bases. Keeping animals in travel crates prevents them from getting underfoot or on your lap while you are driving — an obvious hazard — it prevents them from being thrown from the car should an accident occur, and it prevents them from getting free/running away during rest stops or after minor accidents have occurred. We can tell you that these unhappy events do occur and are reported in the news frequently enough to make them worth noting. If you cannot fit a crate into your car, you can use a pet approved safety belt/harness to keep your pet in her seat, where she belongs.
On that note, make sure your pet is wearing identification at all times, and pack an emergency first aid kit for pets in case of an emergency. And don’t forget to take frequent breaks to allow for rest and relief.

If You Leave Your Pet Behind — Boarding

Before choosing a boarding facility for your pet, take a quick tour of the facility to check out the accommodations. You will want to be sure that it is clean and well kept, and that there is ample space given for the animals to exercise daily.
Have your questions ready before you go. Things you may want to know are: how many animals are kept together in one space; can you bring your pet’s food so that his digestive system will not be upset by an abrupt change in food; will you be able to bring along toys and other familiar comfort objects from home?
If you do not feel comfortable with a boarding facility, whether for your pet’s emotional comfort or because of health concerns, and you do not have the option of taking your pet along with you, give yourself plenty of time to ask around the neighborhood for someone to pet-sit in your home or theirs, or do some research into local pet-sitters that will come to your home to check in and care for your pet, or will take your pet into their home. The better prepared you are, the less stress there will be for you and your pet, and the better your holiday celebrations will be.

Keep to a Routine

One of the best things you can do throughout it all is to stay to a familiar schedule. This means taking walks at the same time that you always do, and feeding at the same time as usual. It might help to create an alarm system on your mobile phone to remind you of your pet’s daily routine. Also, don’t forget to take time to play and show affection, so that your pet does not feel thrown off balance by all of the activity and distractions.