We both want healthy animals. Here are some tips to ensure your pet is healthy, happy and strong.
Posted on Friday, December 19 '14
Pet Pointer: For Bird Owners!
NEVER use corncob bedding, aspen or pine bedding, coconut shells or any other organic material to line your bird’s cage. These bedding types are notorious for growing dangerous fungi such as Aspergillus that can lead to life threatening pneumonias for your bird. Newspaper should be changed every 1-3 days to avoid buildup of ammonia from urates in the bird’s droppings and bacterial buildup on wasted food that falls to the bottom of the cage.
Posted on Wednesday, December 03 '14
Pet Pointer: What Is The Biggest Misconception About Pet Food Ingredients?
The biggest misconception about pet food ingredients is that it is inferior to what humans eat. Pet food diets may be better than what most of us are eating because of the balance of healthy ingredients. Plus, our pets are routinely fed the same diets with few trips to the fast-food drive-through.
Posted on Wednesday, October 15 '14
Pet Pointer: Is Your Cat Nervous?
Cats with overactive thyroid glands may appear "nervous". The disease (hyperthyroidism) most commonly affects older cats. Other symptoms include a healthy appetite (initially) with weight loss and increased activity. Owners can be fooled into thinking their older cat is doing great because he or she is more active and has lost weight when actually they are seeing early symptoms of hyperthyroidism. The nervousness, increased appetite and activity are due to the revved up metabolism that occurs from elevated thyroid hormones. Another health problem that may cause "nervousness" in cats is hypertension. Cats are well known for their ability to hide illnesses until the disease is well advanced. Watching for behavioral changes can be one of the best early indicators of disease in cats.
Posted on Wednesday, August 20 '14
Pet Pointer: Pets Apparently Influence Sleep
A recent Mayo Clinic study suggests that pets may have an influence on how well you sleep. Patients at the Mayo Clinic completed an extensive sleep questionnaire in 2013, answering questions about number and type of pets, where pets sleep, pet behavior traits, and whether their pets disturbed their sleep.
Of those surveyed, as many as 10% of pet owners felt that their pets disturbed them while they were sleeping. Although few felt that the sleep interruptions were not intolerable, a higher percentage experienced irritation.
Dogs, cats and birds were the most popular pets owned. Reported sleep disturbances included whimpering, whining, wandering, squawking, medical needs, letting pets out and even snoring.
Dr. Krahn, author of the Mayo Sleep study concludes, “When people have these kinds of sleep problems, sleep specialists should ask about companion animals and help patients think about ways to optimize their sleep.”
Posted on Monday, June 30 '14
Pet Pointer: Cats Can Have Arthritis Too
Just like people, cats can have osteoarthritis. Usually seen in older cats, the symptoms can be subtle and hard to detect. It's best to catch the signs of this painful disease early to get them back to their playful selves. If you notice any of these signs in your cat, be sure and take him or her in to your veterinarian to be checked out.
- Decreased grooming - Increased or decreased sleep - Avoiding human contact - Hiding - Doesn't want to be stroked or brushed - Urinating or soiling outside the litter box - Reluctance to jump - Not jumping as high as usual
Posted on Wednesday, February 26 '14
Pet Pointer: Broken or Chipped Teeth in Pets
Common objects that can cause broken teeth in dogs include bones, cow hooves, ice cubes, hard dental chews, hard rubber bones or nylon bones. It is important to do what you can to prevent broken or chipped teeth in your dog. Anything that is HARD and thicker than a pencil in diameter can cause a broken or cracked tooth. Broken teeth often become abscessed causing chronic pain and infections in your pet. Broken teeth should always be treated before they become infected. Because of advances in veterinary dentistry, composites and other treatments can be used to repair broken teeth- so that these fractured teeth rarely need to be extracted. Be sure that your doctor examines the teeth when doing your pet's examination (since your pet can't tell you when they hurt).
Posted on Thursday, February 13 '14
Pet Pointer: Artificial Sweetener (Xylitol) Toxicity in Dogs
Keep chewing gum and other products containing the artificial sweetner xylitol out of reach from your pets since eating these products can result in low blood sugar and potential liver damage. Sugar-free gum is the most common item, but xylitol can also be found in jam, syrups, candy, chocolate, mints and many dental products such as toothpaste (why you should not use human toothpaste on your dog). New products and medications with xylitol have been introduced to markets, including baking goods, ice cream products, Jell-O sugar-free pudding snacks, energy drinks mixes, chewable vitamins, antacids and some prescription drugs. One stick and a half of sugar free gum containing xylitol can poison a 10 lb dog. Seek emergency care immediately (remember to take the box or container with you).
Posted on Tuesday, October 08 '13
Pet Pointer: Yes, There Is A Vaccination For Rattlesnake Bites
Texas and rattlesnakes go hand in hand. We see dozens of rattlesnake and copperhead bites each year in our animal ER.
You can get your canine vaccinated to combat the effects rattlesnake venom. The vaccine helps to develop antibodies to neutralize rattlesnake venom (and copperhead venom). The vaccination allows for the dog to ward off and slow the effects of the venom, buying time. But, even when vaccinated, it's still imperative to take your dog to the vet immediately.
Posted on Thursday, May 30 '13
Pet Pointer: Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Don*t think that just because your pet won’t be outside for long, there isn’t a risk for heat stroke. With changing temperatures, cool one day, hot the next, dogs are even more prone to heat stroke. Surprisingly, because dogs are not acclimated to heat, even days that seem relatively mild can put your dog at risk.
Symptoms of heat stroke may include:
* Excessive panting or labored breathing * Extreme drooling * Reddened gums * Wobbly or drunken gait or movement * Weakness * Vomiting or diarrhea (often with blood) * Rectal temperature over 103
If you suspect your dog may have heat stroke, seek emergency care immediately! The sooner your dog is treated the greater chance your dog has for recovery.
Posted on Thursday, May 09 '13
Pet Pointer: The Truth About The Deadly Disease- Heartworm Infestation
There is only one drug that is approved for treatment of heartworm disease. The drug is expensive and only produced in limited quantities. The disease is life threatening and dogs in Texas not on heartworm prevention are at high risk of contracting the disease.
- Indoor pets are just as at risk as outdoor pets
- Pets may not show signs until late in the course of heartworm disease.
- Heartworms in dogs are easy to prevent, but difficult and costly to cure
- Dogs are infected only by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no other way dogs get heartworms.
- There is no way to tell if a mosquito is infected. Testing your dog annually is the only way to detect if your pet is infected with the deadly disease!
- Heartworm disease has been reported in all 50 states.
- The bite of just one mosquito infected with the heartworm larvae will give your dog heartworm disease.
- Pets that live in Texas should be on heartworm preventive Spring, Summer, Fall and WINTER- not just in the summer.
- For less than the cost of going to Starbucks for a weekly coffee, you can prevent heartworm disease in your dog.