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Pet Obesity

Did you know that obesity is not just an epidemic in humans but also in pets? According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), over 57% of dogs and 52% of cats are obese and these numbers are on the rise. Much like humans, obesity in pets can lead to diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, joint problems, and ultimately a shortened life expectancy. Based on a survey created by APOP, a surprising 93% of dog owners and 88% of cat owners thought their pet was in the normal weight range. This disparity is known as the “fat gap” and is thought to be one of the primary factors in the growing rate of pet obesity. To tell if your pet is a healthy weight, use this scoring system. Your pet should rank at about a 3 if he or she is a healthy weight. To keep your pet at a healthy weight, take care in providing him or her with a healthy diet and ensuring the proper amount of exercise. Pet foods have become more calorically dense and people are feeding their pets more. If your pet is already overweight or obese, talk to your veterinarian about the best course of action. Your vet will probably recommend a controlled diet and specific type of food. It can be hard to know what the proper caloric intake and weight should be for your pet so APOP has provided a few useful tables to help. This information does not replace the advice of your veterinarian and should only be used as a starting point. Pet Caloric Needs – http://www.petobesityprevention.org/pet-caloric-needs/ Ideal Weight Ranges – http://www.petobesityprevention.org/ideal-weight-ranges/

Safety Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach

Besides the ocean, there are many other dangers that your dog can encounter at the beach. Being alert and attentive and following some of these rules will make your beach getaway proceed without problems! First, make sure to adhere to the beach’s specific rules as these are actually laws and you can be given a citation or fine. Some common laws include cleaning up after your dog, requiring your dog to wear a collar and ID tags and be up-to-date on vaccinations, be on a leash, and so on. Make sure to check prior to leaving to see if your beach destination is pet friendly! Just like people, dogs can only handle so much sun. Sunscreen that is safe for your dog is available at pet stores or online. Do not use a sunscreen unless it is specifically labeled safe for animal use. Make sure there is a shady spot for your dog to retreat to like an umbrella, picnic table, or tree and bring plenty of fresh, cool water and a dog bowl. Offer water refills often, making sure that the water does not get hot in the sun. Watch for signs of overheating, which can include: excessive panting or drooling, vomiting or diarrhea, collapse, and loss of consciousness. If you start to see any of these signs immediately move your dog to a cooler environment. While staying calm and speaking in a soothing voice, wrap the dog in cool, wet towels. A fan can be used to help blow air over the animal to speed up the cooling and applying isopropyl alcohol to the paw pads will facilitate cooling and should be repeated as the alcohol dries. It is important to never fully immerse your overheated pet in water as it may increase their anxiety. Hot sand is also a very real concern. Foot pad burns can occur when the sand is too hot. If a person cannot walk barefoot, their dog cannot either. While on the sand, lead the way for your dog to make sure they won’t step on anything sharp. Broken glass and shells are only two of many things that can hurt your pet’s paws. If your dog’s paw gets cut, apply pressure to the wound to ease the bleeding. If it’s severe, seek veterinary attention immediately. Once in the water, jellyfish and rocks start to potentially pose problems. If your dog gets stung by a jellyfish, douse the affected area in vinegar to ease the pain and kill off the stinging barbs before trying to remove the tentacles. If your dog does not come to you every time you call them, keep them on a leash. You can buy a long-reaching leash (20-30 feet) which will still allow you and your dog to play with a ball or Frisbee without worrying about the possibility of them running away. Pay close attention to your dog’s swimming habits. Fitness level, experience, and even breed of dog can influence how well your dog can swim. Poor swimmers and brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Boxers should probably not spend much time on the beach. When in doubt, put a life vest on your dog and keep an eye out. If your pet does go in the water, make sure to remove them if they start to drink the water. Instead offer fresh, clean water since salt water is bad for dogs and can cause gastrointestinal problems. Salt water may also cause some irritation to their skin and paws. Rinsing your dog off with fresh water before you leave or shortly after getting home will help him or her stay comfortable and happy. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, have fun!

Dogs and Heat Stroke

Enjoy your time outside this summer with your dog! Make sure that they drink often and be aware of heat stroke symptoms. If you notice any of the symptoms below, please help your dog drink and contact us ASAP. Signs of heat stroke:
  • Sluggish
  • Unresponsive
  • Disoriented
  • Gums and conjunctiva of eyes bright red
  • Panting hard
  • Vomiting
  • Collapsing
  • Seizures

Pets, Cars & Heat

Pets, Cars & Heat Brutus, Duke, Coco, Lola and Jake…sure, they’re fairly common pet names, but they’re also the names of just a few of the pets that died last year because they were left in cars on warm (and not necessarily hot) days while their owners were shopping, visiting friends or family, or running errands. What’s so tragic is that these beloved pets were simply the victims of bad judgment.Want numbers? An independent study showed that the interior temperature of vehicles parked in outside temperatures ranging from 72 to 96° F rose steadily as time increased. (And cracking the windows doesn’t help). To learn more, go to: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Hot-Cars-and-Loose-Pets.aspx

National Pet Identification Week

It’s National Pet Identification Week — the perfect time to make sure you’ve taken every precaution to be reunited with your pet if he or she becomes lost. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recently found that only 33 percent of pet parents admitted to always having ID tags on their dogs and cats.In addition to that crucial step, pet owners should also have their furry friend microchipped. Collars with pet identification are accessible to anyone who finds your lost pet. But, tags can become hard to read, and collars can be broken or removed. Microchipping your pet is a method of permanent identification. Microchips cannot be easily misread, and the permanent identification number is tamperproof. The information about the pet and owner is usually readily retrievable.A microchip is a very tiny transponder that is encoded with a unique identification number. Before insertion, the sterile microchip is scanned in the package to confirm that the identification code of the transponder matches that shown on the label of the bar code on the package.
Credit: Web Vet

CAUTION: Lilies can be highly dangerous to cats!

CAUTION: Lilies can be highly dangerous to cats! Easter is this weekend and we want to remind you about lilies being VERY dangerous to cats. To be safe we recommend that all cat owners avoid lilies altogether, both inside and out. The potentially fatal lilies are true lilies, including Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese Show lilies. These are all highly toxic to cats. Even small ingestions (such as chewing on the pollen, petals or leaves) can result in kidney failure and death. Some other varieties of lilies are a little more benign: Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies contain oxalate crystals that cause minor signs of illness, such as tissue irritation in the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus, which, in turn, causes minor drooling. Much the same as the more commonly recognized danger of poinsettias. Cats that consume any part of a lily require immediate medical care to effectively treat the poisoning. If you see your cat eating, or even chewing on a lily, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Swift treatment and decontamination is imperative in the early toxic stage. Additionally, aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, kidney-function monitoring tests, and supportive care can greatly improve prognoses. Please share this important information with all of your cat loving friends.

EPA Message about Fleas and Ticks

EPA Message about Fleas and Ticks

How to Protect Against Fleas and Ticks
  • Consult your veterinarian about the best way to protect your pets from fleas and ticks and whether pesticides are even needed.
  • Use a flea comb to suppress adult fleas. It will allow hair to pass through the comb's teeth but not the fleas, removing fleas and "flea dirt." 
    • Focus on combing those parts of the pet where most fleas gather, often the neck or tail area.
    • Put any fleas in soapy water to kill them.
For more information, go to: http://www2.epa.gov/pets/controlling-fleas-and-ticks-your-pet

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.
To learn more, go to: www.cdc.gov/lyme/

Presidents & Pets

Did you know that President Teddy Roosevelt was the president with the most pets? See his list of pets with their great names below: predidential pets • Guinea pigs: Admiral Dewey, Bishop Doane, Dr. Johnson, Father O’Grady, Fighting Bob Evans • Ponies: Algonquin & Fidelity • Hen: Baron Spreckle • Lizard: Bill – lizard • Manchester Terrier: Blackjack • Blue macaw: Eli Yale • Garter snake: Emily Spinach • Dogs (mixed breeds): Gem and Susan • Terriers: Jack and Peter • Bear: Jonathan Edwards • Piebald rat: Jonathan • Badger: Josiah • Pekingese: Manchu • Pig: Maude • Rabbit: Peter • Bull Terrier: Pete • Saint Bernard: Rollo • Rat Terrier: Skip • Chesapeake Bay Retriever: Sailor Boy • Cats: Tom Quartz and Slippers • Unknown names: A hyena, a barn owl & a one-legged rooster!