Getting to the Bottom of Allergies in Dogs

A dog with allergies scratches.

Anyone who has experienced having a dog with allergies can affirm that it can be challenging. While allergies can’t be permanently eliminated, they can be properly managed. Soothing your dog’s itchy skin is a great place to start, but getting to the bottom of what triggers them is an important step. Without a doubt, allergies in dogs can be confusing and frustrating. Timely intervention can prevent symptoms from taking over the household, and can offer great relief for all involved.

What Are Allergens?

Allergens are substances that trigger the immune system to overreact. Exposure to an allergen over time (from months to years) sensitizes the immune system, which ultimately creates a harmful response to the trigger. Histamines are produced by the body and cause intense itching, swelling, and redness in one specific part of the body, or all over. Sometimes, allergies in dogs can cause sneezing or wheezing, or create problems in the digestive system.

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Hairballs In Cats: Are They Normal?

A cat stares at his human cleaning up a hairball.

That dreaded hack is something most cat owners don’t want to hear from their furry friends, because they know the end result is almost always a mess. At one point or another, though, the majority of cats will experience this loud and yucky ritual. The hacking cough we are describing is most notably associated with gagging or vomiting up a wad of undigested fur, also known as a hairball. Some cats may suffer from these, dare we say, disgusting oddities more than others, especially if they have long hair.

Hairballs in cats are something we often get asked about here at Animal Family Veterinary Care Center. Cat owners who are new to the hairball want to know if they’re normal or a cause for concern. Don’t worry, we have you covered (and not in undigested hair). Let’s explore this phenomenon in cats and what you can do to prevent future hairballs:

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What You Should Know About Zoonotic Diseases in Pets

Cat at vet exam sniffing vial of medicine.

Over the past few centuries, we have had the pleasure of being the company of a wide range of animals, from farm animals like cows, pigs, and sheep to our domestic indoor friends, dogs, cats, and small and exotic animals. The time we have spent with furry, scaled, and feathered companions have given us fascination, love, and companionship

Unfortunately, as with any species, humans included, certain diseases and illnesses are present and can be shared between certain species. Since the onset of SARS, coronavirus, and other contagious diseases, you have probably heard the word, zoonotic. There are a few zoonotic diseases that our pets can come into contact with (and expose to their human family, too). Let’s take a closer look at some of these and their prevention.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Trendy: Fad Diets for Dogs

dog food diet fads

With food of all kinds readily available, and new fad diets and ideas about eating that emerge every year (all claiming to be the healthiest), it’s easy to spend a lot of time thinking about what we eat. It’s no surprise that many pet owners are also focused on best options for their furry friend’s diet – after all, pets deserve to live long and healthy lives, too!

From raw diets to grain-free, the choices can seem overwhelming. This is why the team at Animal Family Veterinary Care Center is here to sift through the choices and spotlight some of the fad diets for dogs, so you can make an informed decision.

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Are You Avoiding Giving Your Cat Exercise Opportunities?

It’s not that whacky to think that our pet cats actually disdain some of the things we do. We’re not talking about vacuuming the floor or using the (really loud) blender for smoothies. No, cats seemingly sneer at us when we lace up for a jog, or tune up our bikes for the trail. Do we avoid cat exercise because they appear to dislike it? 

Perhaps. 

But with feline obesity on the rise each year, we must all do our part to instill a love of feline fitness. Here we have 5 possible reasons to explain why you (and your cat) may be shirking the responsibility.

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Pee-yew! 6 Reasons Behind Stinky Pets 

Let’s face it, our pets don’t smell like roses. No matter how many baths we give our pets, they still seem to have that doggy or kitty smell because of the natural oils in their skin (along with the scents they get into outside). But if a pet is smelling particularly gross, there may be some health issues to blame. 

There are a few common causes of stinky pets, and your friends at Animal Family Veterinary Care want to help shed light on your pet’s health (and how they smell, too).

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This Is Why Your Cat Has Greasy Fur

The look and feel of a healthy cat’s fur coat is a thing of beauty. It should be soft, shiny, and smooth. After all, they work hard to get the best results, spending up to half of their waking life self-grooming. But if your cat has greasy fur, it could signal underlying problems that should be addressed right away.

Importance of Cat Grooming

Cats self-groom to keep themselves clean but the practice also maintains a healthy body temperature and supports good circulation. With their rough tongues and top-notch flexibility, cats keep their entire coats extremely tidy by evenly distributing the skin’s natural oils. Not only does grooming keep the coat free of mats, parasites, and allergens, but provides an outlet when they are stressed out or anxious.

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What to Expect When a Pet Goes Blind

A close-up of a blind brindle dog

Blindness is not uncommon in cats and especially in dogs. Blindness can occur rapidly, as with an injury, or over time when a pet develops macular degeneration. Since, like us, sight is a necessity for navigating the world, when a pet goes blind it can be frightening and can create several situations that will need to be changed in order for them to cope.

The team at Animal Family Veterinary Care wants to explain why some pets go blind, what you can do about it, and how to help a blind pet thrive despite their obstacles.

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5 Common Pet Health Issues and How to Cope with Them

A dog sniffs a flower

Quicked nail (cut too short)        

Are you afraid to cut your pet’s nails for fear of getting too close to the quick (the sensitive part of the nail containing the nerve and blood vessel)? Cutting into the quick does cause bleeding and pain, which no one wants to do.  However, if the worst happens, there are ways to deal with it at home.  Remember this is for close cuts only.  If your pet breaks or tears a nail, chances are that will need to addressed by your veterinarian

No commercial “Quick Stop”?  No problem.  Just use flour & water paste. This is easy, readily available and will generally stop the bleeding. It helps to keep Rover quiet for a little while afterward. As an added benefit, it’s completely non-toxic.

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