Archive for the ‘Pet Health’ Category

With daily high temperatures in the 80s and 90s,
it’s time for a reminder on how to prevent deadly heat stroke in pets.

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

For long-time readers of this blog, this post on heat stroke looks familiar. Why? Because I’ve been posting it nearly every year since 2010. Every year, pets suffer heat stroke, but it doesn’t have to be that way. So I’ll keep repeating this column until heat stroke in pets is a thing of the past.

Heat Stroke in Pets

Do you know how to protect your pets from heat stroke during the muggy days of summer? This goes beyond the usual caveat of “never leave your pet in a car while you go shopping, babysit, attend a sporting event, spy on your ex, etc. Here are some tips to keep your pet safe in the yard or out and about:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible, especially if they are sluggish or panting soon after going outdoors.
  • Limit exercise to brief walks in the coolest parts of the day. Keep in mind that hot pavement and sand can burn pets’ paws.
  • Provide plenty of cool water. Check water throughout the day, as it can become hot if left outdoors. 
  • Kennels and pens should have good ventilation and air circulation and should be kept in shaded areas.

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke or Heat Stress

Your pet may need emergency assistance if it exhibits any of the following signs:

  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Balance problems
  • Lethargy
  • Staring or anxious expression
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Failure to respond to commands
  • High fever
  • Collapse

What To Do

Lower your pet’s body temperature by easing him into a cool (not freezing) bath. Water from the outdoor hose may be hot, so that may not be your best option.  

Bring your pet indoors and place him in a tub, taking care to keep his mouth and nose above water [we use stacks of towels to accomplish this.] 

Apply ice packs to his head and neck. 

Call your veterinarian for further instructions. In most cases, your pet will be hospitalized for treatment and observation. By necessity, this sort of care may take place at a veterinary emergency hospital.

Who Is At Risk of Heat Stroke?

Any pet can have heat stroke, but some are more susceptible than others. All pets need to be protected on hot days. However, these pets are more likely than others to have a problem:

  • Very young and older pets
  • Short-nosed/pug-nosed breeds
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders
  • Pets with a previous history of heat stress

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency. If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, we recommend taking him to the nearest veterinary emergency hospital for comprehensive care.

[Information borrowed from “Summer Pet Tips” by Ralston Purina Company and “Summer Safety Tips” by Firstline magazine.]

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This article was originally published on July 28, 2010.

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How to Build a Safe and Stylish Catio

Posted on April 14, 2017 under Cat Articles at PetsBest.com 

By Julie Sheer, Houzz.

It’s the dilemma of every cat owner: how to let Kitty enjoy the outdoors without risk of the Great Escape. The outside world can be a dangerous place for a roaming cat, with the threat of predators, cars, poison and diseases. Not to mention the danger to wild birds, which outdoor cats kill in monumental numbers. Catios — or cat patios — are safely enclosed playhouses for felines that provide fresh air, mental stimulation and exercise.

Cats confined indoors are at higher risk for stress-related diseases, says Dr. Martine van Boeijen, a cat veterinarian in Perth, Australia. “An enclosed catio, which safely confines your cat to your property, allows your cat to have the best of both worlds.” Here is a basic guide on custom, kit and DIY options for adding a catio to your home.

Catios can be as elaborate as a custom-designed feline jungle gym or as simple as enclosing a patio with screening. Here, Rasputin enjoys one of the perches in a custom catio built in Arcadia, California.

Suggested Features
It’s important to make sure catios are escape-proof and include basic feline comforts:

  • Entry door or window, or walkway or tunnel from the house
  • Perches, ramps, steps, bridges, catwalks
  • Post or tree for scratching and climbing
  • Hiding places
  • Beds, pillows or hammocks for resting

Finish reading this article at PetsBest.com


Bonus Links 

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Little Creek Veterinary Clinic has added two new products to its line-up of natural remedies for anxiety:

Calming Extra comes in a soft chew and is recommended for dogs and cats.

 

 

HomeoPet Anxiety Relief is a liquid and is also recommended for dogs and cats.

 

Pets may experience anxiety related to: 

  • car rides
  • veterinary or grooming visits
  • thunderstorms and fireworks
  • separation from the owner (including boarding)
  • changes in the household or pet’s routine

Natural, plant-based products such as Calming Extra and Anxiety Relief can help your pet relax, without sedative side-effects, and are easy to administer.

Contact Us to learn more about these and other anxiety relief products.

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Today’s guest post is by Dr. Heather Brookshire, a veterinary ophthalmologist at Animal Vision Center of Virginia.

Helping Hard-working Service and Therapy Animals See Clearly
By Dr. Heather Brookshire

While dogs don’t wear glasses, they do need to have their eyes checked regularly, especially if they are a registered service or therapy animal.

May is National Service Dog Eye Examination Month, and many board-certified diplomats of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (like Dr. Heather Brookshire) will offer free screenings for these hard-working and caring creatures throughout the month.

We know how important it is for these animals to have healthy eyes.

The staff at Animal Vision Center of Virginia is happy to provide free exams for qualified service animals not only in May, but every month of the year. It helps us detect signs of ocular disease early, allowing the animals to keep up their important work without missing a beat.

To qualify for the exam, service animals must be active working animals certified by a formal training program or organization, or are currently enrolled in a formal training program. If you would like to schedule a free screening, call Animal Vision Center of Virginia today at 757-749-4838.

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Reprinted with permission.
Animal Vision Center of Virginia is not associated
with Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.
To apply for the free service dog eye examination,
contact Animal Vision Center of Virginia directly.


Your pet’s eyes are delicate organs.
If you have a concern about your pet’s eyes,

Contact Us or a veterinary ophthalmologist
to schedule an appointment.

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If your dog or cat is 4 months or older, it should have a current Rabies vaccination, which will be issued along with a Rabies tag. When placed on your pet’s collar, the tag provides valuable information to help people return your pet if he or she runs away.

Tags
But did you know there is another tag your pet should be wearing?
It’s the city pet license tag. 

All dogs are required to be licensed by the city in which they live.  Most local cities, such as Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, issue cat licenses, as well.  Pet licenses must be renewed each year and are granted to pets that have a current Rabies vaccination.

There is a small cost involved, and pet owners typically receive a discount on licensing fees for each spayed or neutered pet.  Senior citizens may receive an additional discount on fees for spayed or neutered pets.

     Click on your city’s name for information on license fees, due dates, and issuing agencies.

The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all dogs and cats over four months old to be vaccinated against Rabies. 

Virginia has also instituted a law requiring veterinarians to forward Rabies vaccination information to local city treasurers.  The treasurer compares information received from the veterinarians with its roster of licensed animals.  If an owner has not purchased a license, the treasurer will mail a notice to the owner requesting compliance.

Veterinarians are not required to report unlicensed animals to city agencies.  Our concern is the public health aspect of ensuring that pets and their owners are protected against Rabies, since Rabies is present in Hampton Roads.  Pet owners are responsible for complying with pet license rules in their city of residence.

A final note: a microchip ID is not a substitute for a Rabies or city license tag, nor are the tags a substitute for a microchip ID. Each form of identification has its own merits. To protect your pet with permanent identification that will not wear off, get lost, or be removed by a stranger, ask us for the HomeAgain microchip on your pet’s next visit.

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This article originally appeared January 22, 2015.

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Bones, Muscles and Joints

Keep your pet moving and grooving this Spring — 
Schedule their yearly checkup today!

Musculoskeletal diseases (conditions that involve bones, muscles and joints) can affect pets of all ages. They can have aches and pains like we do. But sometimes these diseases are hard to spot. Think about your furry friend for a moment…

Have they stopped jumping on you when they greet you at the door?

Have they stopped perching on the window sill?

Is your pet acting “old?”

These changes in activity may be due to weather, age or good training. However, to guarantee your pet is at their best, we have to rule out they don’t have a hidden musculoskeletal problem. Infections, hormonal imbalances, nutrition, blood disorders and arthritis can all affect your pet’s activity—the way they play, move, eat and cuddle!

The good news is we have ways to prevent, cure or manage these conditions, so your pet can continue to have a good quality of life. We are committed to the well-being of your pet for their lifetime. The best way to do this is to book your pet’s yearly checkup today.

Contact Us for an appointment at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic and together, we’ll keep your pet’s bones, muscles and joints (and the rest of your furry friend) in good working order!

Bonus reading:

Dasuquin Joint Health supplement

J/D Prescription Diet for joint health

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Admit it: your cat has an awesome life. And now that you’ve added food puzzles and the perfect scratching post, your cat’s life is darn near perfect.

But is it possible to improve upon perfection? Your cat says, “Yes!”

Here are 4 more ways you can improve your cat’s life today:

  1. Multiple litterboxes. This is especially important when living with several cats or other pets in the house. Cats often won’t cross a “barrier” created by another cat or pet blocking the litterbox. Having extra litterboxes in different areas of the house (including on each floor of a multi-level home) gives your cats choices and helps prevent accidents.
  2. A safe space. Cats like to hide out and nap in private spots, without worry of being harassed by pets or people. Popular hiding spots include an empty box, dark closet, beneath furniture, and high up on cabinets. If your cat doesn’t have a hiding spot, try to provide one, such as a covered cat bed.
  3. Play time. Cats are natural hunters, so look for toys they can “chase.” Pick up some cat-safe toys that require your involvement, and get silly with your cat.  Bonus: Play time helps your cat bond with you and burn calories.
  4. Calming pheromones. Cats can feel more relaxed and less territorial when they are exposed to pheromones (chemical signals) just like the ones they secrete from glands in their face (which they love to rub on you and everything in their environment.) Try Feliway plug-ins to send a chemical message to your cat that says, “Relax.”

It’s your cat’s home — you’re just living in it!

Tips for this blog post are based on advice by feline care expert Dr. Ilona Rodan, via dvm360 Magazine.

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