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Is it your imagination, or does your “brachy” dog have more problems than the Labradoodle next door? According to Nationwide Pet Insurance, you are not imagining it.

Let’s break it down:

A dog’s skull falls into one of three categories:
Dolichocephalic, mesaticephalic, or brachycephalic, as illustrated by the photo below.

Click to enlarge. Image can be found at http://www.onemedicine.tuskegee.edu

Brachycephalic (or “brachy”) dogs are those breeds with a flat, broad head. These breeds include —

  • Affenpinscher
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldog breeds
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff breeds
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
  • ShihTzu

Nationwide Pet Insurance compared data for brachycephalic dog breeds versus dogs with longer skull types (dolichocephalic and mesaticephalic) and discovered that the dog breeds known for their flat, broad skulls showed a higher prevalence of certain diseases.

That means that more brachy dogs suffered the following conditions — 

  • otitis externa (ear infection)
  • pyoderma (skin infection)
  • atopic/allergic dermatitis
  • conjunctivitis (eye infection)
  • canine cystitis (bladder infection)
  • anal gland impaction
  • fungal skin disease
  • malignant skin neoplasia (cancer)
  • pneumonia

Does this mean you should stay away from brachy breeds? Not necessarily, as they can be very lovable and faithful companions. But according to Norfolk veterinarian Donald Miele, VMD, it does mean that owners of those breeds should be aware of the greater likelihood of health problems, and that veterinary pet insurance is a worthy investment.

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This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, or suggest treatment for any disease.
Your pet’s veterinarian is the best source of information on your pet’s health.

 

 

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So, you’ve gotten a new pet and you’re looking for naming inspiration beyond the old stand-bys, like “Scooter,” “Muffin,” and “Shadow.” Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Check out Top Ten Tuesday’s Wackiest Pet Names of 2016, brought to you by Nationwide Pet Insurance.

Brea, Calif. (Aug. 17, 2016) – The votes have been tallied and the results are in – McLoven the Stud Muffin nosed out Kanye Westie in the dog division and Agent Jack Meower purred past Shakespurr in the cat category to be named the Wackiest Pet Names of 2016. Each year, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, recognizes the most clever, creative and quirky pet names across the nation. After a thorough selection process, the top 10 dog and 10 cat monikers were chosen from Nationwide’s database of more than 575,000 insured pets and put to a public vote where McLoven the Stud Muffin and Agent Jack Meower were crowned the wackiest. Following are the 10 Wackiest Dog and 10 Wackiest Cat Names of 2016:

Most Unusual Dog Names Most Unusual Cat Names
1. McLoven the Stud Muffin 1. Agent Jack Meower
2. Kanye Westie 2. Shakespurr
3. Angus Von Wigglebottom 3. Meowmadeus
4. SuperFunCoconutDog 4. Macaroni Bob
5. Optimus Prime Rib 5. Sir Pickles Pennybottom
6. Maximus Waffles 6. Princess Poopy Paws
7. ChaChi Big Foot 7. Butch Catsidy
8. Scrappin Scruffy Macdoogle of the Highland Macdoogles 8. Sharkbait Hoo Haa Haa
9. Lieutenant Colonel Be Back Soon 9. Ziggy Snowdust
10. Aggie Von Schwaggie 10. Enzo Asparagus Santa

“Our Wacky Pet Names competition is a great way to showcase the creativity of the pet lover’s community,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for Nationwide. “The unique monikers among our members’ pets come from a variety of different sources, some of which are based on joke filled puns, while others have a sentimental meaning. This year’s campaign saw strong references to pop culture topics.”

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Now it’s your turn: dream up the wackiest* pet name you can think of and share it with us in the comments section!
*Keep it clean, please.

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Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Offers Dog Park Safety Tips for the Canine Companion

As summer approaches, dog lovers begin their migration to local dog parks so their four-legged family members can play and socialize. With the increasing popularity off-leash dog parks, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, would like to remind dog owners about the importance of safety when visiting the dog park.

Last year, Nationwide members spent more than $10 million on medical conditions that are commonly associated with dog park fun. Nationwide recently sorted through its database of more than 575,000 insured pets to determine the most common dog park-related medical conditions of last year. Below are the results:

Most Common Dog Park-related Medical Conditions

 Injury  Cost
 Sprains & Soft Tissue Injuries  $225
 Lacerations or Bite Wounds  $361
 Kennel Cough or Upper Respiratory Infection $346
 Insect Bites $143
 Head Trauma $591
 Hyperthermia or Heat Stroke $579


 

 

 

 

 

Before visiting any dog park for the first time, dog owners should research the rules and regulations of the park. Below are a few simple, but important, tips for ensuring a fun and safe trip to the dog park:

    • Obey all posted rules and regulations.
    • Pay attention to your dog at all times and ensure that playtime remains friendly. If your dog or another dog is playing too rough, it’s best to remove your dog from the situation.
    • Many dog parks have designated areas for large and small dogs. No matter your dog’s stature, be sure to keep them in the area allocated for their size.
    • Don’t bring a puppy younger than four months old.
    • Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations.
    • Keep a collar on your dog with proper identification tags that include contact information (microchipping is also recommended).
    • On warm days, avoid the dog park during peak temperature hours.
    • Bring water and a bowl for your dog to drink out of.
    • Look for signs of overheating; including profuse and rapid panting, a bright red tongue, thick drooling saliva, glassy eyes and lack of coordination. If this occurs, take your dog to a veterinarian immediately.

About Nationwide Pet Insurance

With more than 575,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide, formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers. 

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers pet insurance from Nationwide as an employee benefit. 

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide Is On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2016 Nationwide. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

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financial-dog-meme

Concerned you can’t afford vet bills?

Don’t leave the important decisions to the dog.

Get pet insurance and get help paying for your pet’s medical care.

Other resources:

Trupanion

Nationwide

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Nationwide Releases Most Popular Pet Names of 2015

Bella and Max Reign Supreme; Millennial Pets Reveal New Trends

Brea, Calif.  -For the first time this decade, “Bella” and “Max” were the most popular pet names in America for both dogs and cats, according to Nationwide the nation’s first and largest pet insurer, , the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance. This year also featured a shift in popularity for pet birds with owners choosing the name “Charlie” more than any other. To determine the most popular pet names of 2015, Nationwide searched through its database of more than 550,000 insured pets. Following are the top 10 most common monikers for dogs, cats and birds:

Dogs Cats Birds
1. Bella 1. Bella 1. Charlie
2. Max 2. Max 2. Kiwi
3. Bailey 3. Oliver 3. Baby
4. Lucy 4. Chloe 4. Coco
5. Charlie 5. Lucy 5. Mango
6. Molly 6. Lily 6. Buddy
7. Daisy 7. Charlie 7. Sammy
8. Buddy 8. Sophie 8. Sunny
9. Maggy 9. Tiger 9. Ruby
10. Sophie 10. Shadow 10. Cosmo

Although the top 10 dog and cat names remained similar to last year, there was an emergence of new trends when comparing the names of pets born in 2015 with pets born a decade ago. In dogs, the name “Cooper” is more than three times more common among millennial puppies, and the name “Sadie” doubled in popularity. The canine moniker with the biggest decrease in popularity was “Buddy,” which dropped nearly 20 spots among newborn puppies. For cats, the name “Bella” was only the fifth most common name among kittens. The name “Leo” showed the largest growth and is nearly ten times more common among millennial kittens.

“’Bella’ has been the most popular name since the release of the Twilight franchise 10 years ago, but that title may be coming to an end,” said Curtis Steinhoff, Director of Pet Insurance Communications for Nationwide. “Our data shows that the next generation of pet owners is using different methods and references to determine their favorite moniker for their furry family members. The most popular pet names may begin to shift over the next few years.”

Despite these monikers being the most popular, many pet lovers choose less conventional names for their companions such as “Baron Von Furry Pants” and “Leonardo DiCATprio.” To view some of the more creative monikers selected for Nationwide’s Top 10 Most Unusual Pet Names of 2015, visit www.wackypetnames.com

About Nationwide Pet Insurance

With more than 550,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide, formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers. 

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide Is On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2015 Nationwide. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on  Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

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Can cats and dogs develop diabetes?

The answer is – YES. Cats and dogs can develop diabetes. Luckily, treatment is available.

Diabetes 010

What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough insulin (Type I) or is unable to effectively use the insulin it does produce (Type II). In either case, serious health disturbances result.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, necessary for processing blood sugar (glucose). Without insulin, blood sugar passes into the urine, rather than being used by body tissues.

When body tissues are starved for sugar, they begin to break down and no longer function normally, resulting in:

  • cataracts
  • skin sores and infections
  • urinary and respiratory infections
  • pancreatitis
  • neuropathy
  • vomiting and dehydration
  • coma and death

The kidneys, liver, heart, and nervous system can also suffer as a result of diabetes.

Type I diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and is often seen in older, overweight female dogs and in cats.

Type II diabetes, also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) is often seen in cats, but is rare in dogs.

What signs should I look for in my pet?

  • excessive thirst and urination
  • weight loss
  • poor appetite
  • weakness, inactivity
  • vomiting
  • dandruff and unkempt appearance (scruffy coat)
  • muscle wasting
  • plantigrade stance in cats (see photo)
Click to enlarge. Photo by Jennifer Miele.

Click to enlarge. Photo by Jennifer Miele.

What causes diabetes?

  • genetic predisposition
  • viral infection
  • pancreatitis and other diseases
  • hormone-type drugs
  • obesity

Is there a cure?
No, diabetes is not curable, but it can be controlled.

What kind of treatment is available?
Insulin injections and a specialized diet are indicated for Type I diabetes. You will learn how to give your pet its insulin injections at home. You may also need to monitor its blood sugar and urine sugar levels.

Type II diabetic patients may require a specialized diet and feeding schedule, along with blood sugar monitoring.

Nearly all diabetic patients require some amount of exercise, and female patients should be spayed to prevent hormone fluctuations from disturbing blood sugar levels.

As for diet, low carbohydrate, low fat, high fiber, high protein diets work best. Your pet’s veterinarian or vet specialist will recommend a suitable diet to manage glucose levels and weight. Hill’s Pet Nutrition has formulated m/d, r/d, and w/d to address various issues concerning diabetic dogs and cats.

Will pet insurance help me manage the cost of treatment?
Yes.*  In fact Veterinary Pet Insurance reported in 2010 that its fifth most common health claim for cats was diabetes. In 2011, diabetes dropped to number six on the list, but still represented a large number of claims.
*Important: if your pet is diagnosed with diabetes before you sign up for pet insurance, it is considered a pre-existing condition and may not be covered. Pet health insurance is best started when your pet is young and healthy.

Note: The information above is a partial explanation of diabetes, its symptoms, and treatment. There are other types of diabetes that are not mentioned here.
This article is not a substitute for medical care. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition. If you believe your pet has an illness, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian today.

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Resources:
Hill’s Pet Nutrition publication
Instructions for Veterinary Clients
Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary
Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice
The 5 Minute Veterinary Consult

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This post originally appeared on October 10, 2012.

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Halloween-Fun-and-Foe-Infographic_NW

Click the poster, then click again, to enlarge it.
Infographic by Nationwide Pet Insurance.

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