Posts Tagged ‘pet anxiety’

By Dr. Marc for Pets Best Pet Health Insurance
(Shared by permission)

Dr. Marc is a veterinarian guest blogger for Pets Best Insurance, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

First let’s start with clarifying what shivering (or trembling) is versus what a seizure is.
A seizure is when the dog suddenly loses all body control, paddling their legs, jerking or convulsing. It can last for a number of minutes. To learn more, visit Dr. Fiona’s blog post on dog seizures.
Shivering is when a dog can make eye contact with you and respond to you, but its body is shaking. Shivering can vary from minimally, to a lot, but the dog still has control of its body.

6 Reasons Your Dog May Shiver

1) The most common reason a dog shivers is due to being cold. A normal dog’s temperature may be as high as 102.5 F. Since a dog’s body is warmer than a persons, just touching your dog won’t accurately let you know if they’re cold or not. So be careful during the winter months with dogs being outside, especially little dogs.

2) Dogs shiver due to anxiety or fear. Thunderstorms, fireworks, travel, or any type of environmental change can cause dogs anxiety or fear. If your dog has severe shivering and anxiety in these situations, they may benefit from an anti-anxiety medication during the stressful periods. Your veterinarian can help you evaluate your therapeutic options.

[Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, recommends natural supplements to help with storm stress. Already a client? Contact Us to learn more.]

3) Dogs shiver with excitement. For example there may be a squirrel outside they really want to go chase. Or before being fed, they see the food going in the bowl and they start shivering with anticipation.

4) Dogs shiver because it’s a learned behavior. This occurs when a dog shivers and it results in a desired response. For example, every time Fluffy shivers, mom says, “poor Fluffy.” Fluffy then gets picked up, wrapped in a blanket and showered with attention. Fluffy quickly learns that just by shivering she gets the attention she wants.

5) Shivering can result from medical and physiologic problems. The pain or illness can cause dogs to shiver. It’s important to find the underlying problem so that it can be addressed. In addition to shivering from the pain, the pain itself can induce anxiety in the dog, resulting in more shivering.

6) There are also some toxins that can cause a convulsive response in the animal. This convulsive like behavior could be misconstrued as shivering, when in reality it may be a much more serious issue.
If your dog’s shivering seems out of the ordinary, or like it’s resulting from a serious issue, you need to visit your veterinarian. They can help if there is a medical issue or possibly prescribe medication to help.

Pet insurance makes necessary veterinary care more affordable; Pets Best Insurance reimburses you off your veterinary bill, from 70% to 100%! Considering Pets Best? Read pet insurance reviews here.

This article originally appeared on the Pets Best blog here.

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From anxiety issues to urinary tract infections, we’ve got natural nutritional supplements for pets that can reduce reliance on pharmaceuticals and help your pet feel better.

At Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, our line-up of nutritional supplements supports dog and cat health in these areas: liver, gastrointestinal tract, joints, urinary tract, skin, and emotional health.

Our favorite nutritional supplements for pets include Cranberry Plus, Dasuquin, Denamarin (not shown), Free Form Snip Tips, Solliquin, Vetri DMG, and Vetri Mega Probiotic.

Nutritional supplements often are used alongside traditional medications and other supportive treatment. At Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, we use supplements to promote good health and reduce symptoms and lessen the chance of recurrence of certain medical problems.

Always consult your pet’s veterinarian before starting your pet on a nutritional supplement. Unless directed otherwise, stick to supplements specially formulated for pets (skip the human products).

Nutritional supplements can enhance your pet’s health, but often are not sufficient to treat or cure a particular disease or disorder. Be sure to partner with your pet’s veterinarian to determine if a nutritional supplement can help your dog or cat.

Contact Us to schedule an appointment at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic to discuss your pet’s health today.

This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder and is not a substitute for veterinary care or a client-doctor-patient relationship.

Always check with your pet’s doctor before adding any supplement to your pet’s diet.

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Take the time to properly introduce your pet to its new housemate. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Take the time to properly introduce your pet to its new housemate. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.    

     Will you be introducing a new pet into your household this year?  If you have a pet already, you’ll want the transition to go well.  Our pets can be territorial and possessive of us; competition for affection, as well as sleeping space and food, is not always welcome.

     Here are some steps you can take to ease the introduction of a new pet:

  1. Choose a neutral space (like a park) to let the pets meet each other.
  2. Place the new pet in a pet carrier, if it is small enough.  This allows the pets to see and smell each other, but prevents one from doing harm to the other.  Also, you can separate pets in the home with gates that allow the pets to see, hear, and smell each other, but not allow full access.
  3. Rub your pets’ coats with a clean, scent-free towel, and alternate between them.  This is a safe way to introduce the pets to each other’s scent, so it becomes familiar to them.
  4. Feed them at separate times or even in separate rooms, since dogs can be aggressive at mealtime.  This may also be the best way to keep an adult pet from eating puppy or kitten food, which would not be healthy.
  5. Supervise their interaction until you are certain they get along, if you do not trust one or both pets.
  6. Ignore them until they calm down, if your pets aggressively seek your attention.  Dogs, especially, should be trained to understand they will receive your affection equally, but only when they behave.
  7. Re-home one of the pets if aggression is unresolvable. Pets may try to assert dominance; even newcomers will do this.  Some “wrestling” is normal, but pets injuring each other is not acceptable.*  In cases where pets do not adjust to each other, a behaviorist may need to intervene.  In more serious cases, the owner may need to make the difficult decision to give up one of the pets.

     *Pet owners are at risk of being bitten or scratched when attempting to break up a fight between pets.  Try yelling “No!” in a loud voice.

     Some sources recommend distracting the animals by throwing a large blanket over one of them and then picking him up, but the owner still risks injury when attempting to remove an animal using this technique.  Using a loud noise to distract the pets may be safest. 

Original image can be found here on Wikimedia Commons.

This article was originally posted on May 6, 2011.

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