Posts in Category: Pet Safety
While not all illnesses or injuries can be thwarted, many health concerns that affect pets are often preventable. This is a big part of why we pay close attention to dental health, weight gain, and exposure to various contagious diseases at your pet’s yearly or bi-annual wellness exam. Additionally, lifelong pet health is impacted by dangerous parasites that can live on or inside an otherwise health animal. With a proactive approach to parasite prevention, your pet’s overall longevity and vitality can be assured.
Have you ever considered what superpower you might choose if given the chance? Being able to fly, having superhuman strength, or zipping around at the speed of light might be incredible. As veterinarians, x-ray vision sounds pretty handy.
While your team at Animal Family Veterinary Care Center hasn’t quite figured out how to harness any ocular x-ray powers, we have settled for the next best thing this side of real life: veterinary ultrasound.
If you haven’t had enough pumpkin spice flavor in your life lately, you’re in luck. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, a fact that has most Americans jumping for joy. Between the turkey, gravy, casseroles, and desserts, we consume far more than we ought to – and pay for it later.
The endless indulgence does not set a great example for our pets either, who watch every move we make intently. It’s no wonder that pancreatitis in pets occurs like clockwork every holiday season. Fortunately, there are definite ways to counteract this dangerous medical condition.
Whether 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.
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.
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.
We begin each summer poised to have fun and maybe even get away for a bit. What’s not to love? However, sky-high temperatures, extreme humidity, and diminishing breezes can drain all of our collective can-do spirits. And we’re not alone. Our pets are right alongside us, enduring the ups and downs of the season. Luckily, there are many ways to keep a pet cool.
Avoid Heat Stroke
Dogs and cats pant and sweat through their paw pads in an attempt to regulate internal body temperature. While helpful, these methods aren’t entirely effective, and body temperature can quickly climb to dangerous degrees. Heatstroke is characterized by a temperature of 104 degrees or higher. With these ideas to keep a pet cool, you can protect against devastating consequences:
- Provide ample shade.
- Always have a fresh supply of cool, clean water inside and outside the home. Also be sure to bring water and a collapsible bowl along when out for a walk.
- Reduce exposure to the heat by enforcing dawn and dusk exercise times.
- Make ice packs that your pet can lick or lay down on.
- Encourage your pet to walk on the grass instead of hot asphalt or concrete.
- Install a shallow wading pool or sprinkler for your pet to test out throughout the day.
- Airflow is just as important as shade. If your pet prefers an enclosure or pet house, be sure that air can flow over him or her. Likewise, setting up fans on the porch and throughout the house will help.
A Word on Fur
Perhaps counterintuitively, your pet’s fur actually helps protect him or her from the sun’s harsh rays. However, you should definitely keep a pet cool by grooming regularly. This will reduce the buildup of loose fur without exposing the skin to dangerous UV rays.
We are always here to offer your pet a refreshingly light summer trim. Pet grooming is just one of our specialties, and we’re happy to help.
Keep a Pet Cool
A critical component of summer pet safety is knowing that pets should never be left in a parked vehicle. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, temperatures inside the car can rise to lethal temps. Keep a pet cool by leaving him or her at home while you run your errands.
Know the Signs
Another way to keep your pet cool and safe this summer is to simply recognize the signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Be on the outlook for dark red or dry gums, lethargy, depression, and odd behaviors.
Please give us a call if you suspect your pet needs immediate care or if you have additional questions about ways to keep a pet cool.
It’s fall. Besides the changing colors and cooler weather, Kennel Cough is another thing we expect to rear its ugly head every fall.
What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel Cough is the common name for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). It is seen in dogs in group situations such as kenneling, grooming, dog shows, dog parks etc. The symptoms include hacking, coughing, sneezing and retching.
So, what causes Kennel Cough then?
CIRDC can be caused by the following bugs:
Virus: Bocavirus, Canine Adenovirus Type 2, Canine Corona Virus, Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Herpes Virus, Canine Influenza Parainfluenza, Pneumovirus and Reovirus.
Bacteria: Bordetella Brochiseptica, Streptococcus Equi, Mycoplasma spp. and secondary bacterial infections.
Whether 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.
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.
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.