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With snow on the ground pet owners get a chance to see something that is mostly unobserved: The color of their pet's urine. One of the most obvious things about dog urine is, of course, its color. Generally speaking, there are three categories of dog urine colors:

  • Clear to light yellow
  • Bright or dark yellow
  • Brown, orange, or reddish-pink

The color you want your dog’s urine to be is clear to light yellow. This means your pet is well-hydrated. You do want to see some yellow, because urine that looks consistently like water with no yellow at all may be a sign that your dog is drinking too much water or is unable to concentrate urine.

If your dog’s urine is a bright or dark yellow, he/she may be dehydrated or having another medical problem. This can occur from lack of an adequate supply of drinking water, or because your pet is sick.

Brown or orange urine can indicate the presence of hemolytic anemia, muscle wasting, liver disease, etc.. If your dog’s urine takes on a pink or red color, it may indicate a bleeding problem or infection.

It is important to check your pet’s urine – check both color and volume so you can tell what is normal for your pet and will be able to notice if a change occurs. If your dog’s urine is any color other than clear or yellow, you should seek help immediately from your veterinarian.

Heart disease in cats is a life-threatening medical condition. Tragically, in some cats it can be a silent killer.  Unlike most dogs with heart disease, many cats with heart disease show no symptoms: no cough, no lethargy and no decline in appetite. Some may show subtle signs of increased respiratory rate (greater than 30 breathes per minute at rest) or greater abdominal effort with each breathe but these changes frequently go unnoticed by even the most observant cat owner. In the midst of a cardiac crisis, these pets will have labored breathing, pale mucous membranes, profound weakness, severe pain, and /or may experience numbness in their limbs.

Who is at risk for developing heart disease?
Any aged cat and breed is at risk for developing heart disease. Some cats are born with congenital heart disease so all kittens should be checked before they reach 6 months of age. Adult cats should receive and exam at least once a year to check their heart health.

How does one diagnose heart disease in cats BEFORE they have a crisis?
There are a number of tests that can be performed. One is  using a stethoscope, your veterinarian may detect a heart murmur (an audible turbulence of blood flow in the heart) or an irregular rhythm of heartbeats. Regrettably, the absence of a heart murmur does NOT mean heart disease DOES NOT exist.

Although we cannot cure heart disease in cats today, it can be medically managed to extend your pet’s quality of life. Please don’t forget to schedule your pet’s annual physical examination appointment so your cat can live its’ best life.

Now that you have your little bundle of joy with you at home, how will
you take care of this precious addition to your family? What do you do
when the “new baby” is a puppy or a kitten?

Schedule a visit with us soon after you acquire your new little pet for
an examination to make sure your new pet is healthy. It’s not unusual
for a young animal to have some diarrhea, or a mild runny nose. We can
help to handle these conditions.

The doctor will do a careful physical examination to make sure there are
no congenital (birth) defects you should be concerned about. Weight and
temperature will be noted. He or she will look for evidence of any
external parasites, such as ear mites or fleas. You should try to bring
a stool sample so that it can be examined microscopically for internal
parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms and other organisms.

Young animals have special needs, just like babies. Sometimes it takes a
little time to find just the right food that your little one digests
well and that is nutritionally complete and balanced. In New Jersey,
heartworm prevention is important, and we can help you to decide what
means of prevention is best for your pet. Kittens need to be tested for
feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses. These diseases
often show no signs for a few years, but are usually fatal. A simple
blood test can reassure you that your kitten is fine.

Our veterinarians will also discuss spaying or neutering your pet. These
procedures not only prevent unwanted puppies and kittens but contribute
to the health of your individual pet.

When a pet is poisoned, quick and appropriate action is vital to your pet’s outcome.
If you feel your pet may have been exposed to poison,

Step 1: Call your veterinarian and/or the Pet Poison Hotline (855-213-6680) immediately.

Step 2: Identify what toxin your pet was exposed to or ingested if possible. Find the bag or container with the label of active ingredients, or get the phone number of the lawn service that may have applied the product.
Remove any additional toxin that may be in the area.  Even if your pet is acting normally now, toxin exposure may still have occurred.

Step 3: Do NOT give anything unless instructed to: Many people will think they are helping their pet by giving home remedies they may have heard of before, such as milk, salt, aspirin, etc. Adverse reactions to these home remedies can sometimes be more significant than the toxicity itself.

Step 4: Follow the direction of the professional you called.

Cats are the most popular pet in the country, but many miss out on regular veterinary visits because the trip can be taxing for human and feline alike.

While keeping cats indoors can help them lead a long and healthy life, regular preventive veterinary checkups are essential for the well-being of cats (or any pet), especially as they age and become more prone to muscle loss, diabetes, arthritis, thyroid issues and dental disease. Here are some tips to make health-care visits less taxing for everyone involved.

1. Get your cat used to their carrier
Well before the day of the vet visit, try leaving the carrier out with the door open and a tasty treat inside. Make sure the carrier is large enough for your cat to move around comfortably. Let them rest inside the carrier and then leave when they want to. Positive experiences with the carrier beforehand can help avert the notorious mad dash for a hiding spot whenever the carrier appears. Consider using a calming spray, such as Feliway®, in the carrier at least 30 minutes before your trip to the vet.


2. Praise your cat for a job well done
Verbal praise, treats in the carrier and gentle stroking will help to reassure your cat that they are loved and safe—and will survive this important and necessary trip.


3. Arrive at the veterinarian's office prepared and informed
Before you leave for the vet, write down any questions or concerns that you may have about your cat's health or behavior so you are ready make the most of your visit.

  • We can make house calls when bringing your cat in is impossible!!

Worried about the cost of cat care?
Did you know that preventive care and diagnosing a health problem early on can actually save you money? Yearly (or twice-yearly) vet visits and other kinds of health care are key to helping you and your cat enjoy a long, healthy life together.


Are you looking for companionship in a pet or perhaps an animal that you can train to compete in agility competitions? Consider these factors when picking the best pet for your lifestyle.

How much time will you have to exercise a new pet? Dogs should have at least three 15-minute walks a day- health and weather permitting.

Are there young children in your household? Family suited dog breeds or cats may be a good choice for a family with small children.

Does anyone in your family have allergies to pet hair or dander? Consider all family members who may spend time with a pet before getting one.

Also consider  how much of each day will your pet be alone? Dogs generally should not be alone more than eight hours a day.

How much grooming and shedding can you deal with? This is also an important consideration.

Do you have room for training crates or litter boxes? Adequate accommodations make for happier pets!

Have you considered how adding a new pet to your household will affect your current pet? We are happy to discuss these and other issues with you any time!


We are pleased to announce the acquisition of a state of the art ultrasonic cleaning and polishing dental station. Its advance features will enable us to deliver the best care for your pets dental needs! Appointments being taken for August. Call us now to schedule yours!

Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least once a year for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.

Have your pet’s teeth checked sooner if you observe any of the following problems:

  • bad breath
  • broken or loose teeth
  • extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
  • reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • pain in or around the mouth
  • bleeding from the mouth
  • swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth


There is a theory making the rounds that Neanderthals were ousted by Homo sapiens (our ancestors) because Neanderthals preferred to sit at home, while our
ancestors, being hunter-gatherers, were always on the move. Apparently, the mental stimulation that resulted from being on the move made Homo sapiens smarter and, thus, better able to cope.

Your dog may not be in danger of extinction, but animal behaviorists (and most veterinarians) have no doubt that dog mental stimulation is a close cousin of physical exercise in keeping your pet in great shape.

Here are some of the proven ways of providing mental exercise to your dog.

  1. Change the Walks - It is known phenomenon that regular (human) runners cling to a small set of routes. This doesn’t work for Fido. Your dog will be much more excited if his routes are unexpected. The park, the forest, down the river, the walking trail just mix it up!
  2. Exercise — Variety is the Spice of Life. Variety in his physical exercise is another great way to mentally stimulate your dog. A simple method of incorporating this is to involve additional members of the household into his daily walk; since each tends to have different predilections, it mixes things up for your pet. If you are alone, throw in jogging or a bike ride once in a while.
  3. Obedience Training The mental exercise of obedience training may be just what the doctor ordered for a number of breeds meant to be working dogs. Highly intelligent dogs — like the Border Collie or the bigger Poodle Mixes  — tend to do very well within this structure.
  4. Agility Training Agility training also provides an excellent combination of physical and mental stimulation. This is ideal for dogs that are intelligent, strong and energetic — like the German Shepherd, the German Short-haired Pointer and the like.
  5. Visiting Taking along your dog when visiting friends can be a great way of providing him with mental stimulation. Not only is the ride interesting, but friends at the other end — both human and animal — will be sure to boost your dog’s spirits. Obviously, a certain amount of judgment has to be used; not all your friends may welcome your pet.
  6. Change Toys We all need to change our “devices” every once in a while; corporations know that, and exploit it mercilessly. Unsurprisingly, your dog can also tire of toys. Set up your electronic calendar to send you a reminder to switch his toys around on a regular basis; he will be happier for it.
  7. Games Many dog breeds the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever to name a couple will derive great vicarious pleasure from playing a game of fetch. Retriever Dog fetches stick in water. That’s what many of them were bred to do. It’s a guaranteed way of mentally and physically stimulating your dog.

A Final Word

Studies show that all living organisms are healthier when mentally stimulated dogs are no exception. Highly intelligent breeds tend to need more mental stimulation than others. Dogs that have less access to the outdoors if you live in an apartment, for example will particularly benefit from a structured program of mental stimulation. If you find your dog succumbing regularly to bad habits like chewing, chasing his tail or other obsessive compulsive disorders, one of the best ways to counter those tendencies is to increase his mental stimulation. It does require a concerted effort and a commitment of time, but you may well find that after a while you get used to the new routine enough so that it’s not a turn-off  for you at all. Your dog, certainly, will be much happier and  better behaved.

Pet owners know that dogs and cats often have a penchant for eating strange things. Cats often gravitate toward plastic or wool, and many a dog will chew on whatever it can get its chops around. And then there are plants.

In order to prevent poisoning by cut flowers or house plants, avoid placing toxic ones in your home where pets may be able to access them. Or better yet, avoid buying flowers and plants that are known to be toxic. Outside is trickier, especially if your dog or cat has a wide range to roam.

The only other thing to do is to watch your dog’s behavior when outside, and try to prevent them from munching on vegetation unless you know it is harmless. When you see symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, difficult breathing, abnormal urine, salivation, weakness, and any other abnormal condition, take your pet to the veterinarian because he may be poisoned

You can use this list, which has been compiled using information provided by and

Aloe vera

 Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, anorexia, tremors, change in urine color.


 Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia, tremors.


 Symptoms:  Acute digestive upset, excessive drooling, loss of appetite, frequent bowel movements/diarrhea, colic, depression, weakness, loss of coordination, stupor, leg paralysis, weak heart rate and recumbency for 2 or more days; at this point, improvement may be seen or the animal may become comatose and die.

Baby’s Breath

 Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea.


 Symptoms: Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing.


 Symptoms:  Mild gastrointestinal signs, mild dermatitis.

Castor Bean

 Symptoms:  abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases of poisoning can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma and death.


 Symptoms:  Vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, dermatitis.


 Symptoms:  gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.


 Symptoms:  Vomiting, salvation, diarrhea; large ingestions cause convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors and cardiac arrhythmias.


 Symptoms:  Salivation, vomiting, drooling, lethargy, diarrhea.


 Symptoms:  Vomiting, diarrhea, depression.

Ivy (California Ivy, Branching Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy, English Ivy)

 Symptoms:  Vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, diarrhea.


 Symptoms:  Kidney failure.


 Symptoms:  Vomiting, profound depression, weakness, anorexia, and diarrhea are common; may be followed by seizures, difficulty breathing, rapid, weak pulse, dilated pupils, kidney or liver failure, coma, respiratory paralysis and death.

Morning Glory

 Symptoms:  Gastrointestinal upset, agitation, tremors, disorientation, ataxia, anorexia, hallucinations.


 Symptoms:  Colic, diarrhea (possibly bloody), sweating, incoordination, shallow/difficult breathing, muscle tremors, recumbency, and possibly death from cardiac failure.


 Symptoms:  Irritating to the mouth and stomach, sometimes causing mild vomiting.


 Symptoms:  Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing.

Sago Palm

 They are apparently very tasty to animals, and unfortunately highly toxic–all parts are poisonous, but especially the seeds.

 Symptoms:  Vomiting, melena, icterus, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising, coagulopathy, liver damage, liver failure, death.

Tomato Plant

 Symptoms:  Hypersalivation, inappetence, severe gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, drowsiness, CNS depression, confusion, behavioral change, weakness, dilated pupils, slow heart rate.


 Symptoms:  Intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.


 Symptoms:  Central nervous system effects such as trembling, incoordination, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, which can result in death.