Choosing A New Pet

3 Ways That Acupuncture Can Help Your Dog

Posted by on Dec 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways That Acupuncture Can Help Your Dog

Alternative medicine is not just for people; alternative medicine can also be a useful way to treat and help your dog. Acupuncture is one alternative therapy that is not just used on people; it can also effectively be used to help your dog with medical conditions that they are facing. It is a great, natural way to treat your dog as it does not come with many side effects and can save your dog from having to undergo more invasive treatments or take more invasive medication. Here are three different ways that acupuncture can be used to treat your dog and help them heal.

#1 Pain Management

One of the primary ways that acupuncture is used on dogs is for pain management. It is often used as part of a large plan to manage pain that your dog is experiencing. For example, if your dog is experiencing arthritis, your vet may give you ointment to rub on your dog’s joints, supplements for your dog to take to reduce inflammation, and acupuncture treatment as well. Or, if your dog is undergoing chemotherapy, acupuncture can be used to manage the side effects of your dog’s treatment. Acupuncture can be used in many different ways to help manage pain that your dog is experiencing

#2 Skin Treatment

Dogs can suffer from a variety of different skin issues, such as granulomas, allergic dermatitis, or even hot spots. Acupuncture can be used to help ease and treat your dog’s skin issues via increased circulation due to treatment. Increased circulation in your dog’s skin can help improve the healing properties of your dog’s skin. These types of skin conditions can also be very annoying and painful, and acupuncture can help your dog manage those side effects as well.

#3 Respiratory Problems

Acupuncture can also be used as part of the treatment plan if your dog suffers from respiratory issues. Going through acupuncture can help reduce inflammation in your dog that contributes towards its respiratory issues. It can also help increase your dog’s immune system by helping to calm your dog and promote healing. For example, acupuncture can be used together with a comprehensive treatment plan to treat your dog’s allergies and asthma.

Acupuncture can be a great part of your dog’s treatment plan if they suffer from pain, skin issues, or respiratory issues. It can also be used to treat other conditions as well. Talk to a vet at a clinic like Oakton Animal Hospital and see if acupuncture should be part of your dog’s treatment plan moving forward. 

Prepare Your Home For A New Dog This Holiday Season

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Prepare Your Home For A New Dog This Holiday Season

Puppies are often on top of the list of gifts during the holiday season. If you’re thinking about this option, a pet isn’t just a great way to make your little one happy, but it’s also a way to add more love within your family and teach your children responsibility. To ensure the best transition for your family, make certain you’re prepared.

Responsibility

Each time your child reminds you that they want a pet for the holidays, use this as an opportunity to have a conversation about pet responsibility.

Topics to discuss include the importance of taking the dog out for regular exercise, not giving the pet anything to eat other than their food, and ensuring they pick up their toys so that the pet doesn’t accidentally get something stuck in their throat. If you keep the conversation going, your children will already have a good idea about caring for the animal once they arrive.

Safety

Establishing a safe environment for the animal should not be an afterthought. This should be something you start thinking about and planning once you have decided to bring an animal into the home. For instance, is there a hole in the bottom of the fence that you’ve been ignoring for years?

If the answer is yes – now is the time to repair the problem. Don’t wait until you’ve brought the dog home. Even a small space is enough for a tiny dog to get stuck and injured or even escape. Keep this train of thought as you go throughout your home so that you can make sure your home is safe for the dog from day one.

Finances

Dogs are cute and cuddly, but they are also a responsibility when it comes to finances. To limit your stress load and ensure the best care for the pet, sit down and prepare a budget first to see if you need to make any changes to your existing family budget.

On average, a new pet costs around $700 and $2,000 to care for in the first year for things like food, routine grooming and health care, microchipping, and spaying and neutering. The better you know what type of additional expenses to expect, the better you can prepare.

Always keep in mind the safety and health of your pet. Make sure you are making a conscious effort to create a wonderful home environment for the animal before they even arrive. For more information, contact local professionals like Bar R Kennels.

Boarding Your Barn Cat During Renovations Or New Construction

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Boarding Your Barn Cat During Renovations Or New Construction

If you own a barn, there’s a good chance that you also own one or two barn cats. But when you are planning major renovations or new construction around your barn, you may be concerned about how your resident mouse-hunters will respond. Rather than subjecting your barn cats to the noise, hazards, and strangers that come with having their home put under construction, it may be wiser to board them for the duration of the project. 

Protecting Your Cat From Construction

Barn cats may be friendly and comfortable with humans, but many are shy and focused on surviving outdoors. When monstrous construction machines and new people enter their territory, most barn cats will flee to safety. Those that choose to hide somewhere in the barn may be inadvertently harmed during construction, while those that hide in the woods may never return. With so many hazards and the potential of losing your barn cat permanently, it’s easy to see why boarding may be both the safest and least stressful option. 

Collecting the Cat

With any luck, your barn cat will be happy to be approached and placed into a carrier. Otherwise, you may need to set up humane traps baited with food to collect it safely. Your barn cat may not appreciate being trapped and taken for a car ride, but it should still be preferable to living in a construction site. If your cat is out of date on vaccinations or other mandatory medical procedures for boarding, now may also be the best time to get them taken care of. 

Communicating With Your Boarding Facility

Whenever you are boarding your barn cat, be upfront with the cat boarding facility about the animal’s level of socialization and personality. Your barn cat may take to boarding like a duck to water, or the “vacation” may prove to be stressful and difficult. Working with the boarding staff can help ensure that your cat is placed in a quiet and secluded area and that handling is kept to a minimum, leading to a more relaxing stay. 

Reintroducing Your Cat to the Barn

Once your barn project is complete and the construction equipment is gone, you can bring your barn cat home safely. Leave your cat in its carrier in a familiar spot for a few hours before releasing it, making sure it has access to shade, food, and water. This will allow it to get its bearings, recognize home and realize that everything is safe. If all goes well, your cat should resume its normal life upon release, completely unaware of the changes that occurred in its absence and no worse for the wear. Call a cat boarding facility in your region to begin making plans for your barn cat to keep it both safe and happy during your own renovation project. 

Three Tips To Help You Be Prepared To Find A Lost Pet

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips To Help You Be Prepared To Find A Lost Pet

Going through the misfortune of having your pet get lost can be a stressful and frightening experience for any pet owner to have to go through. Unfortunately, this can be a problem that many pet owners will overlook until it happens, and this may make it far more difficult to locate your pet. To help you be prepared for your pet getting lost, you may want to consider the following few tips.

Have A Microchip Placed In Your Pet

Technology can greatly increase your chances of recovering your pet because it is possible to have a microchip placed just under the skin of your pet. This microchip will contain your contact information as well as information about any serious health problems the animal has. If someone were to find your lost pet, a veterinarian or animal rescue group could scan the microchip to learn how to contact you. While these chips can be highly effective, it is important for you to update this chip whenever your contact information changes.

Stay Informed on Local Animal Organizations

It can be common for individuals to contact animal rescue groups when they find stray or lost animals. Often, these groups will have a listing on their website that lists local strays and lost animals that have been brought to the organization. If your pet ever gets lost, you may be able to find them in these listings. When the organization does not provide this type of information, you may be able to call them to find out whether an animal matching the description of your pet has been brought to them.

Research The Local Lost Pet Listings

Another option to help you locate your pet is to use local lost pest listings. These listings are often websites or publications that allow you to post a description of your missing animal. When preparing your posting, you will want to be as accurate as possible in describing your animal and the location where your pet was last seen.

When your pet is missing, it is critical for you to act quickly in order to give yourself the best chance of finding your animal. However, some individuals are not prepared for this eventuality, which can make it exceedingly difficult for them to find their missing animal. By appreciating the benefits of having a microchip placed in your pet, staying informed about the local animal rescue groups and any local lost pet listings, you will be able to give yourself the best chance of finding your beloved pet. For more information, contact Animal Lost and Found.

Summertime Heat: Protecting Your Pet

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Summertime Heat: Protecting Your Pet

Your dog needs exercise all year round in addition to quick trips outside so that they can do their business. Walking your pet in extremely hot temperatures requires care and planning in order to keep them safe. Also, simply having your dog outside requires caution in the hot months. When the temperature soars, follow a few commonsense steps.

Exercise

In the blazing heat, you need to consider the comfort of your pet in the same way you think about your own. Exercise your dog in the early morning hours or evening hours once the temperature cools off. Remember that asphalt or concrete can burn your pet’s paws. If you wouldn’t walk on a surface barefooted, do not expect your pet to do so with unprotected paws. Walk them on the grass or invest in some paw protective coverings.

Experts urge you to be especially careful with short-nosed breeds who are known for having breathing difficulties and white-eared pets who are more susceptible to skin cancer. Also, remember that dogs are negatively affected by humidity as well. They may be unable to “pant” away enough excess moisture when the humidity soars. If you can’t take the heat, chances are that your dog will struggle as well.

Cool Down

If your dog seems overheated, you can cool them down with either a hose or a cool, wet rag. You may think that spraying your dog from the top down is the most effective method, but it is not. Dogs actually cool down from the bottom, so spray their legs and their stomach first. That’s why a kid’s swimming pool placed in the shade is an excellent idea for your dog.

Although your first instinct may be to stop your dog from digging, allowing them to create a shallow hole actually helps keep them cool. If possible, find a spot under a tree or some shrubbery where the hole will not be that noticeable and let your dog go crazy. The cool earth is their friend in the summer heat.

The end of summer often brings some of the hottest “dog” days. You need to take precautions so that neither you nor your dog gets overheated. Walk when the temperatures are best for you both. When you hose down your dog, you can also rinse off. Although you may not be sold on lying in the dirt, let your dog settle in. Staying cool is vital to your dog’s health as well as your own. 

For more information, contact local professionals like 1st Pet Veterinary Centers.

3 Tips For Keeping Skunks Away When They Have Been Removed By Professionals

Posted by on Aug 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Keeping Skunks Away When They Have Been Removed By Professionals

When a skunk claimed part of your home as their new residence, it was obviously important to get rid of the unwanted pests and the possibility of their unwanted scent as soon as possible. However, after professionals help you to rid your home of skunks, it is a good idea to apply the following advice to encourage them to not return.

#1-Make Sure To Clean Your Pet’s Food Bowls After They Eat And Protect Your Garbage Cans 

If your dog or cat is in the habit of snacking on their food throughout the day, this would be an opportune time to break them of that habit. Often, you will find that skunks enjoy the same food that your pet does. By removing an easy food source, you may be able to encourage them to move in elsewhere.

The same principle will apply for your garbage cans, as its contents can be similarly enticing to skunks. Therefore, by enclosing the securely covered trash cans in a secure environment, like a locked shed, you will be able to make your home even less inviting to these odorous animals.

#2-Create An Area That Is Not Appealing To The Skunks By Understanding Their Nocturnal Nature

Another surprising facts about skunks is that they are nocturnal. Since they sleep through the day and typically wake up as the sun starts to set, they will frequently look for warm, quiet spots to nap the day away. If you fear the return of skunks in your garage, basement or other part of your home, make sure to create some light and sound each day between dusk and full nightfall. It could be the motivation skunks need to stay away.

#3-Make Your Home Difficult For Skunks To Access

You may be surprised to discover that skunks are terrible climbers and great diggers. Unfortunately, that means that you could build up a 20 foot fence, but if there is a tiny hole where the fence connects to the ground, skunks may still get in.

As a result, it will often be helpful to secure your fence into shallow concrete. Since the skunk cannot dig through concrete and will rarely make an effort to dig at all unless there is an easily accessibly hole on the other side, they could be an unfortunate and smelly memory for you and your family. In addition, you should also make sure that each area of your home is no longer penetrable by skunks, with the use of mesh wiring on holes and filling holes in concrete.

In conclusion, few people have any desire to live for long with a skunk, especially soon after getting rid of one. If you would like to make sure that you never again have to share quarters with a skunk, it is a good idea to apply the tips listed above.

Contact professionals like Animal Control Specialists Inc for more help.

Why You Should NEVER Declaw Your Cat & How To Get It To Stop Scratching

Posted by on Aug 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Should NEVER Declaw Your Cat & How To Get It To Stop Scratching

Declawing cats used to be a standard practice, but it’s not done as often these days. Cat owners are becoming more wary about declawing and feeling conflicted about whether they should do it or not. If you are trying to decide whether declawing your indoor cat is a good idea, here are some reasons why you should never declaw your cats, and some alternative ideas to stop them from scratching.

No Defense

Your cat’s claws are their first line of defense. Even if you have an indoor cat, you never know when someone might leave a door open or it decides to run under your feet to explore outside. If you cat does accidentally get outside, he or she won’t have any way of defending itself if it’s attacked.

Form of Amputation

Declawing a cat is a form of amputation. Think of it as not only removing your fingernails, but removing the entire tip of all your fingers. When the claws are removed, a piece of bone is removed behind them. If the bone isn’t removed, then the claws will grow back. Some vets can use a laser to help remove the bone with a lower chance of hemorrhaging, but it is still a painful, invasive surgery.

Causes Aggression

While some cats can recover from their declawing just as friendly as they were beforehand, other cats develop serious aggressive behavior. This is because they become insecure about not having any defense and they have to develop another means of protection. You might think that declawing your cat will keep your children safe, but it could lead to the cat biting instead.

Serious Complications

Every surgery comes with complications, which is why surgery should be avoided whenever possible. You cat could wind up with immediate complications, such as:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Need for entire leg to be amputated

Even if the recovery goes well, complications could arise later on. These include:

  • Some claws grow back misshapen
  • Shattered bones in paws
  • Life-threatening infections

Alternative Options

Instead of rushing out to declaw your cat, first try some tactics to get your cat to stop scratching people and furniture. One thing you can do is use a spray bottle to stop bad behavior. Most cats don’t like water, so if you lightly spray a cat with water from a spray bottle when it is scratching, it will learn that the behavior leads to getting sprayed by water. Set up a scratching post in your house so there is a place for your cat to scratch. If you have a large home, you might need to set up a couple throughout the house.

Cats need their claws, even if they live indoors. Avoid these negative outcomes and try some of the alternatives to get your cat to stop scratching. Contact a company like Southwest Animal Hospital to learn more about this.

Troublesome Trachea: What You Should Know About Tracheal Collapse In Toy Breeds

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Troublesome Trachea: What You Should Know About Tracheal Collapse In Toy Breeds

If you already know that the trachea is also called the windpipe and is the tube through which air travels en route to your dog’s lungs during the inhalation stage of respiration, the term collapsing trachea sounds like a frightening occurrence. By understanding how tracheal collapse happens and what you can do about it, you and your veterinarian can work together to improve your furry friend’s vital respiratory airflow.

Tracheal Anatomy

Your dog’s trachea is a tube that runs from the back of your dog’s throat to where it branches off into the bronchial tubes. When your dog inhales, air enters the trachea, travels along to the bronchial tubes and ultimately enters the lungs. The trachea is flexible, but rings of cartilage hold its rounded shape in a similar manner as the rings on a vacuum hose. However, the rings do not encircle the entire circumference of the trachea. The rings are C-shaped, with the rounded portion located along the underside of the trachea. The open portion of the C-shape is connected by a thin membrane and located on the topside of the trachea. A trachea can collapse, or flatten, when the unsupported topside stretches out the rounded topside if the rings are weak.

Who Suffers From Tracheal Collapse?

If you are considering a toy breed to welcome as a new member of your family, you need to be aware that tracheal collapse can be an inherited condition that is prevalent in toy breeds. Some breeds that are known for tracheal collapse include the following:

  • Yorkshire terrier
  • Pomeranian
  • Toy poodle
  • Chihuahua
  • Maltese
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pug

Not all cases of tracheal collapse are hereditary. Tracheal collapse can be an acquired condition as a result of the following causes:

  • Being obese
  • Frequent exposure to airborne irritants, such as tobacco smoke
  • Having certain medical conditions, such as Cushing’s disease or heart disease

Tracheal collapse can afflict a dog of any age, but it typically presents in middle-aged dogs.

How is Tracheal Collapse Diagnosed and Treated?

The classic early sign of a collapsing trachea is the sudden bout of a dry, hacking cough that owners often equate to a goose honk. Since other medical conditions can present with coughing as a symptom, including heartworm disease, heart problems and kennel cough, it is important to pursue a diagnosis from your veterinarian so that effective treatment can be implemented. Diagnostic imaging tests, such as radiographs and endoscopy, will enable your veterinarian to make a definitive diagnosis. The following types of medications may be prescribed for the treatment of your dog’s tracheal collapse:

  • Bronchodilators to aid in widening the airway opening
  • Cough suppressants to control coughing spells

Things that you can do at home to reduce your dog’s symptoms include the following:

  • Use a harness instead of a collar when hooking your dog to a leash to avoid applying pressure on his throat.
  • Feed your dog accordingly to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Do not allow anyone to smoke in your home.
  • While a little light daily exercise will help to maintain your dog’s healthy weight and joint health, do not encourage overexertion that will lead him to pant heavily and begin wheezing and coughing.

If your dog launches into a coughing spell that results in cyanosis, or a bluish color to his gums and tongue, be sure to bring him to an emergency veterinary facility immediately.

Nearly three-quarters of dogs who are diagnosed with tracheal collapse respond to the aforementioned medications and lifestyle changes. For more serious cases that do not respond favorably to treatment, surgery may be the better option. Surgical correction of a collapsing trachea may involve either the placement of stents within the trachea or the placement of rigid artificial rings around the outside of the trachea. Talk to a vet, like Groves Veterinary Clinic, for more help.

Four Ways to Make an Arthritic Cat More Comfortable

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Ways to Make an Arthritic Cat More Comfortable

Humans are not the only ones who can develop arthritis. If your older cat has begun to appear a bit stiff and cannot jump up to high places as easily anymore, they are probably developing some arthritis, too. Take your cat to the vet to ensure there’s nothing more sinister to blame. Then, use one or more of these strategies to help keep your cat more comfortable.

Treat your cat with firocoxib.

Firocoxib is an anti-inflammatory medication for cats and dogs. It works similarly to how Aleve works in humans. Most arthritic cats experience far less pain and stiffness when on this drug. Your vet will need to prescribe it for your cat, and you should provide only the dose recommended by your vet. As firocoxib can cause kidney issues in some cats, your vet may recommend periodic urine-analysis tests to ensure your cat’s kidneys are functioning properly.

Feed your cat more omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their lubricating abilities in the body. Feed your cat more of them, and your cat’s joints may feel less sore and stiff. Look for a food made specifically for arthritic cats; most have omega-3 fatty acids added. You could also give your cat a small portion of salmon, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, a few times per week. As salmon does not contain everything your cat needs to remain healthy, make sure you’re feeding your cat the salmon alongside a well-balanced cat food from a reputable brand and are not providing salmon as your cat’s sole food source.

Provide a heating pad.

You may notice that your cat spends a lot of time sitting in front of the heating vent. This is because the heat makes their joints feel better. But sitting in front of the heating vent can dry out your cat’s skin and also irritate their respiratory tract. A better way to ease your cat’s pain with heat is to place an electric heating pad on a chair and cover it with a cozy blanket. Your cat can rest on it whenever they want to. 

Put all of your cat’s things on one floor.

It’s one thing if your cat feels like going up the stairs. It’s another to require that your cat go up and down stairs to reach the litter box or food. Constantly having to traverse the stairs may make their soreness worse. So, put all of your cat’s items on one floor, and consider carrying them up or down the stairs if they start down that path.

Contact a professional like Animal House Veterinary Hospital for more advice and tips.

Make Sure To Get Your Cat Vaccinated

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Make Sure To Get Your Cat Vaccinated

Just like your children, your pet also needs to get vaccinations. These vaccinations make sure that your cat is protected from a multitude of illnesses, including things like rabies and feline leukemia virus. Some vaccinations you only have to get once, while others, like the rabies shot, will have to be done regularly, generally annually. One important vaccine to make sure that your pet gets is the vaccine against feline viral rhinotracheitis, AKA feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus.

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and Feline Calicivirus

These are respiratory illnesses that cats can get. They are related to each other, and can be difficult to tell apart when it comes to diagnosing. These two things tend to be the cause behind most of the respiratory illnesses that cats get. Symptoms of these illnesses include sneezing, congested eyes, runny noses, and excessive salivation. The cat may also run a fever. The illness can be over in a few days if your cat is only mildly ill, and can take weeks to exit your cat’s system if they were really ill. It is contagious, so if you have multiple cats, it can run through all of your pets. 

FVRC

FVRC is the vaccine that helps to inoculate your cat against FRV and FC. It’s called a bivalent vaccine, which is just a fancy way of saying that it is one vaccine that covers two different diseases. There is also a variation that includes the vaccine for feline parvovirus, which would make it a trivalent vaccine. Since the FVRC and parvo vaccine tend to be given at around the same time, especially for kittens, your vet may choose to give the trivalent version, just to limit the amount of shots a kitten would get at one time. That can make things easier on everyone. Vets are good at giving shots to your cat, but they want it to go as quickly as your cat wants it to go. 

Vaccine Timing

For the FVRC, your vet will recommend that your kitten gets the shot at about 12 weeks. If you wait until much later than 12 weeks, then you will probably have to take your cat back in to see the vet in about a month or so in order to get a second shot. This is one of those vaccines that you will have to have administered regularly. Your vet will probably recommend that you get this one done every three years. 

Keeping your pet healthy is important. Getting your cat their vaccinations when they should is one easy way to keep them healthy. Click here for more info about cat vaccinations