As your pet grows older, he or she may develop a range of diseases and conditions associated with aging, such as obesity, diabetes, arthritis and kidney disease. Despite the health problems often ...View Article
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7 Hilariously Bad Ways to Collect a Poop Sample
Your dog’s annual exam is a very important one. Your veterinarian will want to check for anything likely to cause your dog problems in the future. So when your veterinarian asks you to bring a poop sample, it’s not because the practice is starting a collection, it’s because your veterinarian needs to check it. A poop sample allows your veterinarian to better understand what is happening inside of your dog. It may reveal intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia and giardia. Some, if not all the parasites shed ova or eggs once every 2-3 weeks. This is why it is essential to check more than one sample over an extended period. There is a new test that can be done to check for intestinal parasites by looking a specific protein that the intestinal worms release. The sample is sent out and examined and if no parasites are seen the this antigen test is done.
So how do you collect a poop sample the right way? Here are some tips:
Preventing obesity in pets.
Obesity is one of the most common preventable health problems in pets. It's estimated that 40 percent of all dogs and cats in America are overweight. Dr. C. A. Tony Buffington, professor of clinical nutrition in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University, gives easy to understand advice to pet owners on how to keep pets trim and healthy.
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Hill's® Prescription Diet® j/d® Testimonial -- Chandler the Dog
Kristen noticed her dog Chandler had no motivation to get up or play with the kids. Now she says Chandler is back in action and "acting like a pup" thanks to Hill's® Prescription Diet® j/d® dog food. Watch the video and see this beautiful dog's transformation for yourself. Learn more at http://www.hillspet.com/mobility/home...
How to Remove a Tick Safely form Your Dog
There are many ideas about how to remove a tick from your pet, but the truth is some of these may do more harm then good. Please watch this video for the proper method and precautions.
As your dog grows from puppyhood to old age, he'll pass through stages. There are six life stages, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. Your dog will need different types of care as he goes through these stages.
Here's what to expect:
Puppy to Dog: Your Pet's Life Stages
Puppies and How to Take Care of Them
Life Stage No. 1: Puppy. Your dog is a puppy from the time it's a newborn until it's able to reproduce.
This happens at different ages, depending on the breed of your dog. Small breeds tend to reach sexual maturity earlier than larger breeds.
Weaning. Puppies slowly switch from their mother's milk to eating other foods when they're 3 or 4 weeks old. They should be fully switched over from milk to food by the time they're 7 or 8 weeks old.
Feeding. The number of feedings per day changes as your puppy gets older:
After age 1, feed your dog once or twice a day.
House-training. You can introduce the idea of house-training as soon as your puppy is weaned. He's still developing, though, so don't expect him to learn quickly. By the time he's 4 to 6 months old, he can usually go without having accidents.
Spaying and neutering. You may want to have your puppy spayed (removing females' ovaries and uterus) or neutered (removing males' testicles). These operations keep dogs from reproducing and having more puppies. They are usually done when your puppy is around 6 months old.
Spaying and neutering while they are puppies rather than as adults can help prevent problems like breast cancer and testicular disease when they get older.
Vaccines. Dogs need several rounds of vaccinations or shots during their first year. Talk to your veterinarian about when to get them.
Adult Dogs and Their Care
In these three stages your dog is in the prime of his life.
Life Stage No. 2: Junior. Now your dog is kind of like a teenager. Although he can reproduce, he's still growing, so he's not quite an adult yet.
Life Stage No. 3: Adult. Your dog is officially an "adult" once he has finished growing. He looks and behaves like a grown dog.
Life Stage No. 4: Mature. Your dog has hit middle age! He's about halfway through his life expectancy. Breeds that are smaller -- as measured by weight, not height -- tend to live longer than bigger dogs.
While they're usually easier to care for than puppies, grown dogs still need your help with a few things so they can live their best:
Exercise. No matter his life stage, be sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. It will help keep him happy and at a healthy weight.
Vaccines and visits to the vet. Take your dog to the vet every year for a checkup and vaccines to protect him against disease.
Older Dogs and How to Take Care of Them
Life Stage No. 5: Senior. Your dog enters this stage once he's reached the last quarter of his life expectancy. A dog's lifespan varies according to size and breed.
Life Stage No. 6: Geriatric. Your dog has reached his life expectancy and is still going! Dogs stay in this final stage for the rest of their lives.
As he gets older, your dog may slow down and need a little more TLC.
Food. Older dogs may not need as much food as they did when they were younger. Ask your vet whether you should switch to food made for senior dogs and how much to feed him.
Checkups. You may need to begin taking your older dog to the vet for checkups every 6 months. That's because later in life, dogs are more likely to develop arthritis and other diseases. Routine blood tests can help detect problems early, such as kidney disease. Early diagnosis and therapy can help prolong his life.
Your dog may develop bad breath and dental problems as he gets older. Talk to your vet about how to care for your dog's teeth.
Temperature. Older dogs still need exercise. But they often can't handle extreme temperatures as well. So protect your senior dog from overheating.
Home. Later in life, dogs may have poorer vision and more trouble walking and thinking clearly. "Age-proof" your house to protect your dog by keeping the floor clear of electric cords and other objects.
This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff and is brought to you by Purina®.
9 Dog Myths and Facts
By Kara Mayer Robinson
Reviewed By Amy Flowers, DVM
Think you've got your pup all figured out? Not so fast, if you believe any of these nine common myths about dogs.
Myth No. 1: A warm, dry nose signals a fever.
The temperature and moistness of your dog's nose has nothing to do with his health, says Suzanne Hunter, DVM. She is a veterinarian at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston.
The only way to know if he has a fever is to take his temperature (usually with a rectal thermometer). It should be 100-102.5 degrees.
A better way to tell if your dog is sick is if he's not as hungry or active as usual.
Other signs of illness:
Myth No. 2: A dog's mouth is clean and sterile.
Not even close. Just think about where that mouth has been.
Most dogs "are willing to lick their own and other dogs' nether regions, steal cat feces from the litter box for a late night treat, and eat anything they can find on the ground," says veterinarian Julaine Hunter, DVM. She owns LazyPaw Animal Hospital in Frisco, Texas.
Myth No. 3: Raw meat is the best diet for dogs.
This may sound good in theory. But the reality is it's an unbalanced diet that can also be dangerous.
A raw-meat diet can leave dogs short on calcium and other nutrients, says Tina Wismer, DVM. She is medical director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Ill.
Raw meat is also risky because it can carry harmful bacteria, disease, and parasites.
Myth No. 4: Dogs can't digest grains.
"Contrary to popular belief, dogs' digestive systems are quite robust," says Hunter.
Corn, rice, and beets aren't just filler. They enhance a dog's diet with essential nutrients and protein when pre-cooked, which is typically the case with premium dog foods.
"Dogs are omnivores and grains are a healthy part of their diet," Wismer says.
Myth No. 5: You should feed your dog according to the label instructions.
The label is just a starting point.
"An extremely active dog or one with a high metabolism may require more. A less active dog would need less food to avoid becoming overweight," says Mary Jo Wagner, attending veterinarian at Argosy University in Eagan, Minn.
Ask your vet what's right for your dog.
Myth No. 6: An excited dog is happy to see you.
"It's very easy to come home to a dog that is jumping, running around, or spinning in circles, and interpret that as the dog being glad you're home. But that's not what's really happening," says Cesar Millan, dog behaviorist and star of the TV series Dog Whisperer.
It's a sign that your dog has more energy than he can handle in that moment.
Millan's advice: Ignore him when he's overexcited, then reward him with attention when he calms down.
Myth No. 7: A dog urinates on the rug because he's mad at you.
It's not about anger.
"Often there is an underlying medical problem, like urinary stones or an infection," says Roy Kraemer, DVM. He is a veterinarian and surgeon at the Grand Pet Care Veterinary Hospital in Santa Ana, Calif.
It could also be stress, anxiety, or a territorial issue. Whatever you do, don't respond with anger. That only makes things worse.
Myth No. 8: Female dogs should have one litter before being spayed.
If you're worried your dog will feel empty if she never becomes a mother, don't. That's a human emotion, Kraemer says. It's healthier for your pet not to wait before being spayed.
"Female dogs' chances of developing breast cancer and life-threatening uterine infections are greatly reduced by spaying prior to their first heat cycle," Hunter says.
Myth No. 9: Dog parks are totally safe and healthy.
Dog parks can be great fun, but there can be some risks. Parasites like fleas, ticks, and worms, and viruses like parvo and protozoa, can lurk in contaminated water and dog stool.
If your dog gets in a fight, that can also mean wounds and injuries. But, Kraemer says, most problems can be avoided by using common sense and paying attention to what's going on around you.
This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff and is brought to you by Purina®.
Dog Park Behavior and Etiquette Tips
Dog parks are becoming more popular all across the United States. They range in size and design but all share the same purpose: to provide a place where dogs can run freely off-leash and socialize with other dogs. Although they’re not for everyone, dog parks can benefit both people and their pets. Read on to find out if a trip to the dog park is right for you and your dog as well as what to do before you visit and once you’re there.
To Go or Not to Go
Many behavior problems in dogs are caused by a lack of physical and mental activity. Dogs were born to lead active lives. They’ve worked alongside people for thousands of years, hunting game, herding and protecting livestock, and controlling vermin. Dogs’ wild relatives lead busy lives, too. Their days are full of hunting, scavenging, avoiding predators and complex social interaction. Most pet dogs, on the other hand, spend the majority of their time alone at home, napping on couches and eating food from bowls-no hunting or scavenging required. Many become bored, lonely and overweight. They have excess energy and no way to expend it, so it’s not surprising that they often come up with activities on their own, like unstuffing couches, raiding trash cans and gnawing on shoes.
To keep your dog happy, healthy and out of trouble, you’ll need to find ways to exercise her brain and body. If she enjoys the company of her own kind, visits to your local dog park can greatly enrich her life. Benefits of going to the dog park include:
Dog Park Downsides
Despite the many benefits dog parks provide, it’s important to be aware of the risks before you decide to become a dog-park devotee:
Is the Dog Park Right for You and Your Dog?
Many people feel that the benefits of dog parks outweigh their risks. Others decide that they’re not comfortable going to dog parks. To make the best decision for you and your dog, consider the pros and cons above, read the guidelines below, and visit local dog parks without your dog just to watch and learn more.
Who Benefits Most?
Who’s Not an Ideal Candidate?
Before You Go
Choosing a Park
There are all kinds of dog parks. Some are situated in open areas, some include walking trails through the woods, and some are located at beaches or near lakes. Some are enclosed by fences and others aren’t. Some parks are formal-recognized by a city or county, with rules created and enforced by a board or committee. Others are just areas where people gather informally to let their dogs play.
Ideal Dog Park Features
Though they vary in design and terrain, the best dog parks should have a few ideal features:
Preview the Park and Prepare
Go Alone and Observe
It’s important to visit the dog park a few times without your dog, just to check it out in advance.
Prepare in Advance
When You Get There
Keep the following recommendations in mind to minimize your risks and maximize your fun:
Interpreting Dog Play and Interaction
While you’re at the dog park with your dog, it’s important to closely monitor interaction between playmates. But interpretation can be difficult sometimes. What do dogs look like when they’re friendly with each other? How about when they don’t feel so friendly? What constitutes polite play between dogs? How can you tell when playmates aren’t getting along, and how do you know when it’s time to intervene? The information below should help you interpret and evaluate dog play. For illustrations and more information about how dogs communicate, please see our article, Canine Body Language.
When You Get There continued...
What Good Play Looks Like
When dogs play, they often play-bow, paw at each other and bounce around like puppies. Their bodies look relaxed, rather than stiff, and they might make “play faces”-they hold their mouths open and look like they’re smiling. During play, the dogs might growl playfully and open their mouths wide, exposing their teeth and pretending to be ferocious. They might switch roles so that one dog’s sometimes on top when wrestling and sometimes on her back, sometimes chasing and sometimes being chased, sometimes pouncing and sometimes getting pounced on. The dogs might also frequently switch games, alternating between stalking and chasing each other, wrestling and rolling around on the ground, mouthing on each other, playing with toys, and taking breaks to drink water or sniff around. As the dogs run and wrestle, you might notice them pausing or freezing frequently for just a second or two before launching back into the game. These little pauses and breaks in play help ensure that play doesn’t get out of hand.
Signs of Trouble
If possible, watch for warning signs and step in before a fight happens. Your first clue that things aren’t going well during play might be the absence of all the signs of polite play described above. Instead of those signs, you might notice the dogs’ bodies becoming stiffer and more tense. Their movements might seem faster and less bouncy. Play might become louder and build in intensity, without any breaks or pauses. If you see any of these signs, it’s time to separate the playmates. You should also interrupt play if you see a dog who’s pursuing and playing too roughly with a playmate who’s trying to get away, or who’s repeatedly knocking down or standing over another dog. Intervene immediately if a number of dogs start to chase a single dog-especially if that dog is small.
Damage Control: If There’s a Fight
Sometimes, despite your best efforts to monitor playtime, dogs get into fights. These scuffles often look and sound ferocious. The dogs might growl fiercely, snarl at each other, bark, snap and show their teeth. However, most dog fights don’t result in injury to either dog. They’re usually the equivalent of getting into a brief, heated argument with a friend or family member. Even so, if a fight lasts more than a few seconds, the dogs’ pet parents should separate them. Doing this can be dangerous. If you grab a dog who’s in the middle of fighting with another dog, she might startle and reflexively whip around to bite you. To reduce the likelihood of injury to all parties, follow these guidelines:
WebMD Veterinary Reference from ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist
The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behavior problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet's condition and put his life at risk. If you are concerned about the cost of veterinary care, please read our resources on finding financial help.
© 2009 ASPCA. All Rights Reserved.
Most commonly found in southeastern and south-central states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas, the lone star tick now can be found throughout the northeast and north-central region in places like Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“The lone star tick is a very aggressive tick, and it actively seeks out people and pets to feed on,” says Michael J. Yabsley, MS, PhD, associate professor at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, College of Veterinary Medicine at The University of Georgia. “It’s one of the most common ticks that people find on themselves and their dogs, so everyone should take precautions—especially in the new areas of invasion.”
For the latest recommendations on preventives and more information about ticks and tick-borne diseases, visit capcvet.org.
How to brush your pets teeth!
Dental month is February, but in our hospital dental month is every month. Dental Disease can start as early as 2 years of age and progress rapidly. Some breeds are predisposed more than others. Some examples are dog and cat that have short or pushed in noses, wide and uneven jaw are Pugs, Bull dogs, other prone are Poodles, Chihuahua to name a few. Cat breed would be any one that has what is called a pushed in face. Also the type of foods will increase the risk of dental disease, such as table scraps, canned pet diets. To help in the type of food would be a dental diet that scrapes the teeth when bit into by the pet or just firm or dry diets. Bad breath is the first signs of dental disease for the pet owner to notice. The smell starts later in the processes. Bacteria are already setting up an infection under the gum line where it starts to damage the tissue that protects the teeth and bone of your pet mouth. To help prevent this from happening we are offering a free technician dental exam. The technician will examine your pet’s teeth and gums, show you how to brush your pets teeth and give you some recommendations on how to keep your pets teeth and gums healthy. We also have a dental care kit for sale to help in preventing dental disease. If there is moderate to severe dental disease, one of our staff veterinarians will examine your pet at no charge, give the pet owner their recommendations and provide an estimate for the pet’s dental care. To schedule an appointment give us a call at 609-888-3400 or e-mail us at email@example.com
Tips for bring home a baby!
By Steve Dale, CABC
Lots of families expecting their first baby already consider their pet their baby. In fact, for more than 20 percent of families having a first baby, the dog or cat came first, according to the American Pet Products Association. Many obstetricians and pediatricians offer concerns—mostly unfounded—about pets being in a home with a newborn or an expectant mom. There are still doctors who tell pregnant women that the cat’s got to go for presumed fear of toxoplasmosis. Luckily, veterinarians can set others straight, based on science. One reality is that if pets don’t respond properly to the baby, there may be no second chance for the pet. It might land in shelter. The good news is that clients can avoid most issues between pets and newborns. You can help prepare families by either offering their own "bringing home baby to a pet" classes, or participating in programs offered at local colleges or hospitals. Creating or participating in a class about babies and pets will involve your veterinary practice in the community and even introduce you to new clients. This can result in a small revenue stream, and most of all, save pets’ lives. Here are some tips: Click here.
When it comes to the holidays, there are so many things to be careful of - not gaining 10 lbs. on cookies, not getting yourself into debt just to buy some presents - and of course keeping your pets healthy, happy and safe. Here are some helpful tips from your friends at Hill's Pet Nutrition on how you can do just that.
Provide solitude. Keep your dog's favorite place free from the holiday hubbub so he can relax.
Reduce stress. Keep your dog's exercise schedule as normal as possible to prevent anxiety and misbehavior.
Keep poisonous and dangerous plants away. Plants like mistletoe and poinsettia are poisonous, and ingested pine needles can cause digestive tract blockage. Keep your pet away from these plants and you just might save yourself a trip to the emergency vet.
Decorate safely. There are a variety of decorations that can cause problems for your dog. Ribbons and tinsel are frequently implicated in veterinary emergency rooms. Light cords, when chewed or frayed, can cause severe burns or electrocution. Prevent these disasters by keeping decorations out of reach or locked in an inaccessible room.
Make holiday trips safe and prepare for them well in advance. Take special precautions when traveling with your pet no matter how you choose to travel. Several days before departing, consult with your veterinarian about how to properly prepare for a trip.
Table scraps aren't pet snacks. Many holiday foods are loaded with fat and sodium and can cause stomach upset. Chicken bones can easily get stuck in the digestive tract and other foods like chocolate or onions can be poisonous. In short, people food is meant for people, not pets.
Because chocolate can cause illness and even death in dogs, it should be avoided completely. Chocolate contains theobromine, a potent cardiovascular and central nervous system stimulant that is eliminated very slowly in dogs.
Give your pet a tasty holiday treat without sacrificing precise nutrition. Available in many healthy varieties, Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Dog Treats are the perfect way to share some holiday cheer with your special dog.
If your dog suffers from occasional stomach upset, try the advanced digestive nutrition of Science Diet® Sensitive Stomach adult dog food or an all-natural product like Hill's® Ideal Balance™ dog food.
We all appreciate the joy and companionship that a well behaved dog brings to our lives. What we don't always appreciate is that there are many different factors that can determine whether a puppy grows into that wonderful lifelong companion.
Join Dr. Christopher Pachel as he explains the ins and outs of puppy socialization.
Lipomas in Dogs:
Lipomas are benign (noncancerous), freely movable, relatively slow-growing, fat-filled tumors that are quite common in dogs, especially older ones. They are soft, easily manipulated, and located just under your dog’s skin. While they can develop anywhere, they are most commonly found on your dog’s undercarriage, in the chest or abdomen. These tumors, while ugly, generally do not pose any health threat to your furry friend. They are the most common type of benign tumor in older dogs—almost every senior dog has at least one.
The exact cause of these nonthreatening but ugly lumps is unknown; they are part of the natural aging process for many dogs.
Lumps and bumps are the most common signs of a lipoma. They are usually round or oval in shape, form under the skin, and are freely movable and well-defined.
Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your dog and may recommend diagnostic tests to confirm that the lump is a lipoma. These tests may include:
While lipomas don’t usually pose any serious health threat, removal is sometimes recommended if they limit your dog’s mobility appreciably, or they grow too large, making your dog scratch or bite at them.
If your veterinarian recommends surgery, he or she will most likely perform presurgical blood tests to ensure your pet is healthy and can handle the anesthesia and surgical procedure. These tests may include:
If your veterinarian recommends leaving the lipoma alone, it will be important to monitor it for any changes. In some cases, a lipoma can grow too large and become uncomfortable. If you spot any abnormal lump or bump on your pooch, you should contact your veterinarian.
While lipomas are not life-threatening, other causes of bumps can have more serious side effects.
There is nothing you can do to prevent your pet from getting lipomas; they are a natural part of the aging process for many dogs. If you have questions, please contact your veterinarian—your key resource for information about the health and well-being of your best friend.
How to Enhance Your Pet's Environment: By Dr Joel D. Ray DVM
Our pets sometimes exhibit "normal" behaviors that we find objectionable. For example, cats may scratch furniture or eat plants because there is nothing else to scratch or eat. In these cases, providing a scratching post/mat
or cat grass/nip may do the trick. However, not all behavior issues are straightforward and easily resolved. Many
behavioral problems, such as canine separation anxiety (that may manifest as destructive behavior when owners are
away), can be complex and require comprehensive treatment plans, including medication. Any behavioral issue
should be thoroughly discussed with and diagnosed by your veterinarian—especially aggressive behavior—before
implementing the following suggestions. Click on title to open link.