Being the Ears for Your Deaf Pet

deaf petWhether you have an animal who was born deaf or one who becomes deaf during the course of his or her life, coping with hearing loss takes effort. Owning a deaf pet can be a challenge, but with the help and support of the team at Animal Family Veterinary Care, it’s a role you can successfully take on.

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Worst Case Scenario: Protect Your Friend With a Pet Fire Safety Plan

Statistics alone make a pet fire safety plan an important priority. Pets are responsible for hundreds of house fires each year, but more than 50,000 pets annually are threatened by an inferno at home. It’s urgent that we all spend a little extra time this summer acknowledging fire risks, designing a pet fire safety plan, and understanding the in’s and out’s of evacuating your home.

Disaster Prep

Request a safety pack from the ASPCA. Rescue workers know to look for these on doors and windows and can quickly get to work looking for your pet. There are other pointers on the website for ASPCA Disaster Preparedness.

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What Pet Owners Should Know About Rabies in Pets

Pipistrelle BatWhether you envision a mad dog roaming the streets or a run-in with a wild animal, the word “rabies” strikes fear into the hearts of most of us. Despite great efforts to minimize the threat of pets and people coming into contact with this deadly disease, there is still some risk when it comes to rabies in pets.

But, what is rabies and how is it transmitted? Understanding this zoonotic virus and how it spreads between mammals is important to keeping you, your family, and your pet safe. Continue…

Make Surgery More Safe and Less Scary

Maine Coon kitten

Oh wow! Anesthesia can be so scary! How do you know your pet is going to be ok? Will they wake up? How does a pet owner make certain their pet is receiving the safest surgical care possible?

What you should look for:

  • Take a tour of the facility. Check out the surgical suites. Do they have up to date anesthetic machines, monitoring and warming equipment?
  • Do they stress the importance of pre-surgical bloodwork? Pre-anesthetic testing is what determines if your pet has health problems that would make anesthesia unsafe or if they require special anesthetic drug protocols.
  • What type of anesthesia is used? There is a huge difference between cheap injectable first generation anesthetics and the newer generation of drugs and inhalants that can be specifically tailored to an individual animal’s needs.
  • What kind of staff do they employ? Are the surgical staff highly trained Veterinary Technicians or poorly paid lay persons who learn their trade on the job and with your pet? The best equipment in the world is no good if there is no one who understands what the readings mean.
  • Do they have complete monitoring systems in place? This should include heart rate, blood pressure, carbon dioxide levels, oxygen levels, respiration, body temperature.
  • Do they employ intravenous catheters, IV fluids and endotracheal tubes needed to control blood pressure, oxygen and anesthetic delivery? Or do they use an injectable anesthetic and hope for the best?
  • Do they keep their staff up to date through continuing education? Technology is improving and changing all the time. Make sure the clinic you use keeps their staff current and well trained.
  • Is it clean? Does the clinic smell clean? Believe it or not there are clinics that will use the same surgical pack on more than one animal. Are all the instruments, including those used in dentistry sterilized after each procedure?
  • Is there a good pain management protocol in place? Or will your pet lay in a kennel with no relief once surgery is complete.

What you can do to make anesthesia safer for your pet:

  • Make certain that your veterinarian is aware of all medications, supplements and over the counter drugs your pet is receiving. Then follow their instructions about how and what to administer before anesthesia.
  • Don’t feed your pet if your veterinarian tells you not to. Ignoring this can cause vomiting and aspiration pneumonia. Conversely, if you have an exotic pet, feed them if you are instructed to do so. They have different requirements than dogs and cats.
  • Tell your veterinarian if your pet has ever had any reaction to any type of medication. If your pet has a seizure disorder or is diabetic, please make sure to share this information. This is especially important if you are new to the practice.
  • Don’t let your pet become overweight. It makes anesthesia much less safe.
  • Make sure your pet stays healthy by staying up to date on all routine health care.
  • Don’t wait too long to spay or neuter. Large, overweight females that have been through several heat cycles are every veterinarians least favorite surgical patient. Everything is bigger, with more surrounding fat, more friable, harder to ligate and more prone to bleeding.
  • If you’re not sure, ask questions. We don’t mind.

Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot: Summer Pet Safety 101

Summer pet safety should involve giving your dog skate boarding lessons.

The dog days of summer are in full swing. For some of us, the summer heat brings on the urge to spend as much time outdoors as possible, swimming, grilling, or just goofing around in the yard, while others prefer to spend the hottest days inside with the air conditioner at full blast.

Whether you spend your summer out and about, indoors, or a little of both, it’s important to remember to consider your pet’s health and summer pet safety as temperatures rise. Continue…

Storms, Fireworks, and Other Causes of Noise Anxiety in Pets

Maine Coon kittenFrom the sudden rumble of thunder to the hiss-pop-and-bang of local fireworks, noise anxiety in pets is a common concern for many pet owners.

During the spring and summer months, noise from thunderstorms and those celebratory post-ballgame and Fourth of July fireworks can present more of a problem for noise-sensitive pets.

Although most pets can be frightened by noise, in some it becomes a chronic condition or phobia that can create health issues and an increased risk of escape.

Since it is impossible to shelter a pet from all noises, the question is what can be done to help your fur friend better cope with the ensuing clamor. Continue…

On Thin Ice: How to Approach Winter Pet Safety

AnimalFamily_iStock_000002559311_LargeThe residents of Davenport and the communities around the Quad cities have years of experience dealing with high humidity and flood warnings during warmer months. However, the record lows between November and March are possibly even more dangerous. The colder temps bring snow, ice, and wind that can place your pet at risk. Review our winter pet safety tips to keep both of you happy until the first crocuses pop up this spring. Continue…