ANIMAL PRINT BLOG
The approach to a health problem is based on training, experience and probability. Some health problems are common, others are rare. Some problems occur more
commonly in young animals, other problems are more common in aged pets or certain breeds. Some problems are common in one part of the country but rarely occur in
other locations. After getting a history of your pet's problem and examining your pet, your veterinarian will go through a mental or written process of listing all the problems
from the history and physical examination. The veterinarian then decides which organ(s) and disease(s) may be causing the problems and narrows down the lists based on the age, breed, sex and travel history of your pet. The veterinarian may recommend tests to determine which organ(s) and disease(s) may be responsible for your pet's problem(s). Tests are often recommended in stages, beginning with screening tests that are relatively inexpensive and have little potential for causing harm to the animal. Based on the results of the
screening tests more sophisticated tests, which often cost more and may have some risks, may be recommended. Although your veterinarian cannot predict what will be found on a specific test, usually the veterinarian will provide some possible outcomes for each of the tests so that you can decide whether the costs and risks are worth the information that may be gained. This is referred to as cost-benefit ratio.
- While some of us gulp down grass only if we have eaten something that doesn't agree with and we are trying to regurgitate it others of us just love to munch the lawn. So let us graze!
- You say I'm great with kids, but if I'm licking, pulling my ears back, turning my head away, or yawning (all signs of anxiety) while they play with me, I'm probably just barely tolerating them.
- I love to fetch and would like to learn to catch a flying disc, but those hard plastic ones can hurt my teeth and gums. Instead look for a soft one at a pet store.
- If I stiffen every time you run a hand down my back, take the hint. A 2013 study in Physiology and Behavior found that cats who did not like the sensation but allowed their owners to stroke them anyway were more stressed out than those who avoided touch.
- Just because I am purring doesn't mean I'm happy and content. I also purr when I am in pain or mortally afraid because it is a self soothing mechanism.
- Say “No” in a firm and calm voice. Then gently pick your kitty up and put him in a room for a 10-minute time out. This will teach your pet that this type of behavior will lead to a temporary loss of freedom.
- Toss him a treat or a favorite toy as you pass by. This will distract him from his ‘plans’.
- Be quick to reward your kitty when he stops pouncing or swatting you as you pass by.
- Sometimes, a cat that engages in this undesirable behavior may lack physical and mental stimulation. Give your pet plenty of opportunities to exercise each day.
Keep your pet healthy and active by bringing him regularly to Nassau Animal Hospital.
Our dogs and cats are generally considered senior when they reach seven to nine years. But the rate at which they actually age varies, depending on breed and other factors besides how old they are. At what age is your dog or cat considered a senior? There is no simple answer for every individual, but those that have reached seven to nine years old are generally accepted to have entered the “golden years” of their lives. Larger breed dogs reach "old age" sooner , perhaps 6 years old for a St. Bernard, than toy breeds which may not show senior signs until they are 10 or more.
just like people, some animals exhibit physical signs of aging sooner than others, regardless of their age. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, including faulty genetics, poor nutrition, environmental factors, trauma or other illnesses. Meanwhile, many other dogs and cats gracefully progress from adulthood into their golden years without obvious decline, thanks to good genes, a healthy diet, lack of stress and trauma, and few other existing ailments
A common condition associated with adult and geriatric life stages, and one that affects a dog’s quality of life in a manner often visible to people, is osteoarthritis (OA). Arthritis is joint inflammation, but OA occurs with the development of degenerative changes in joint surfaces, causing pain, compromised mobility, and other clinical signs.
Though often associated with aging, periodontal disease is afflicting a growing number of much younger animals, often because of poor quality diets. Small dogs and cats are more commonly affected by this condition, in which the teeth and their associated structures (gums, ligaments and the bone that supports the teeth, etc.) are damaged due to bacterial infection and inflammation (gingivitis). Dental disease is a serious health risk which can affect the heart and liver thereby shortening lives.
CATS: OBESITY IS A MAJOR FACTOR
Cats have a more uniform body size when compared to the canine family with its wide variety of breeds, sizes and conformations. While a cat’s size and weight can vary somewhat depending on his breed or mix of breeds, his diet and level of activity have a bigger influence in how quickly he develops age-related issues. Cats living an indoor existence are often more sedentary than their outdoor counterparts. Reduced activity and 24/7 access to commercially available processed foods tend to pack on the pounds and cause cats to become overweight or obese, leading to many health problems often connected with old age: arthritis, heart and lung problems, diabetes mellitus, digestive problems, cancer, and other ailments.
HOW CAN I SLOW AGING?
In order to help ensure your dog or cat stays healthy into his senior years, it’s crucial that you collaborate with your veterinarian to create a senior-wellness strategy aiming to prevent or resolve elements before they become severe. Along with feeding a high quality species-appropriate diet and minimizing stress. We recommend wellness exams for all animals, but juvenile, geriatric, and sick dogs and cats should be examined every six months, or as frequently as recommended by your veterinarian. Diagnostic testing (blood, urine and fecal tests, x-rays, ultrasound, etc.) to monitor organ system functions for any deviation from normal is a key aspect of promoting ideal health.
Most cats do not like having their claws trimmed. Start trimming claws in young animals so that they get used to the process. Some cats will happily sit in your lap or on a table while you trim their claws but many require some form of restraint. Ask your vet to demonstrate the technique if you are unsure of the procedure. It may take 2 people at home to do this!
To restrain a cat in your lap, use your forearms draped over the cat's neck and hind-end to keep the cat in your lap. The clipper is held in the right hand.
There are several styles of nail trimmers, including a guillotine type, a scissors cut, and a standard human fingernail clipper. Either the guillotine type or a human fingernail clipper are easiest to use in cats.
The scissors-type is used if a toe nail is so long that it is curling in a circle. Long claws can grow into the toepad.
Cats have retractile claws so you need to gently squeeze the toe between thumb and forefinger to expose the claw.
Most cats have light colored claws, making it easy to see the blood vessels and nerves that supply the claw as a pink stripe at the base of the nail, which is called a quick. You want to cut the claw to within approximately 2 millimeters of the quick. If you cut into the quick, the claw will bleed and the cat will experience pain.
If the claw is cut too short, you can use a styptic pencil containing silver nitrate to stop blood flow, although many animal object to this the styptic pencil as much, or more, than claw cutting. The black end of the stick is held to the bleeding nail and gently rotated. Even without any treatment the nail should stop bleeding in about 5 minutes or less.
Who doesn’t love the Fourth of July? It’s a weekend for block parties, barbeques, and parades—all best when enjoyed with friends and family, and even better when you have the day off to celebrate with your pets. During firework season planning ahead can help your pet cope with the firework displays.
Dogs and Cats
- Always keep dogs and cats inside when fireworks are being let off.
- Make sure your dog is walked earlier in the day before the fireworks start.
- Close all windows and doors, and block off cat-flaps to stop pets escaping and to keep noise to a minimum. Draw the curtains, and if the animals are used to the sounds of TV or radio, switch them on (but not too loudly) in order to block out some of the noise of the fireworks.
- Ensure dogs are wearing some form of easily readable identification (ID) – even in the house. They should have at least a collar and tag.
- Think about fitting pets with a microchip, so that if they do run away they have a better chance of being quickly reunited with you.
- Prepare a ‘den’ for your pet where it can feel safe and comfortable – perhaps under a bed with some of your old clothes. It may like to hide there when the fireworks start.
- Let your pet pace around, whine, meow and hide in a corner if it wants to. Do not try to coax it out – it’s just trying to find safety, and should not be disturbed.
- Try not to cuddle and comfort distressed pets as they will think you are worried too, and this may make the problem worse. Instead stay relaxed, act normally and praise calm behavior.
- Avoid leaving your pet alone during such potentially upsetting events. If you do have to leave the house, don’t get angry with your pet if you find it has been destructive after being left on its own. Shouting at a frightened pet will only make it more stressed.
- Don’t tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off, ie outside a shop while you pop inside, or leave it in the garden or in your car.
- Never take your dog to a fireworks display. Even if it doesn’t bark or whimper at the noise, it doesn’t mean it is happy. Excessive panting and yawning can sometimes indicate that your dog is stressed.
- If you feel your pet is stressed to the point where it's health is adversely impacted, ask your vet if a tranquilizer would help!
Summer may be your favorite time of year, but for your cat, this season can mean a host of health troubles. Here’s what you need to know to tackle cat health threats:
No. 1: Fleas
Fleas thrive in summer heat and humidity. Your pets bring them in from outside and they will live in your home! Although over-the-counter flea products may help, topical prescription medications, or the new SERESTO collar offer the best protection. Call us for specific recommendations!
No. 2: Allergies
Excessive scratching, biting at the base of the tail and red, inflamed skin are allergy symptoms. The most likely triggers? Fleas and pollen. For allergies related to the latter, cut your cat's exposure to pollen by regularly changing air conditioning filters and washing your cat's bedding, dusting, vacuuming and keeping your cat inside at all times. Discuss with us options for prescription medication or allergy shots to treat pollen-related health problems in your cat.
No. 3: Hairballs
Although spring is the main shedding season for cats, indoor cats also shed when it's hot, ingesting more hair and spitting up hairballs. Frequently brushing your cat helps. You can also investigate some of the hairball prevention products on the market, including flavored lubricants, treats and fiber tablets.
No. 4: Heat-related Illnesses
Dehydration and heat stroke can plague pets. Although they are less likely than dogs to be in situations where heat is an issue, cats can still get sick from heat. Traveling or having to leave your cat outside for extended periods -- such as while you're having your house worked on -- could put your pet at risk. Always make sure your cat has water and a cool place to rest. If you have air-conditioning, keep it running during heat waves. If you don't have air-conditioning, keep the window shades lowered and turn on an indoor fan while you are home.
No. 5: Fireworks
The din of these celebrations can make cats anxious and skittish, forcing them into hiding. Close your doors, windows and curtains during firework displays. Also turn on soothing music or the TV to help drown out the noise, especially if you're going to be gone when the fireworks are scheduled to go off.
Overall, keeping your cat indoors is the best prevention for many health concerns. If you still want to provide your cat with the fresh air and sunshine of summer, consider installing a screened-in enclosure to give your cat a taste of the outdoors and still offer protection.
A checkup every 6-12 months is the best way to keep your pet as healthy as possible because it’s much easier to prevent disease than to treat it, just like in human medicine! With regular checkups we can spot problems at their earliest stages, when issues can often be addressed simply and cost effectively. So whether your dog frolics at the park with all the neighborhood pups, or the closest your cat gets to the great outdoors is a sunny windowsill, every pet needs a wellness check – at least once a year!
Remember: Pets age faster than we do, so missing even one yearly checkup can be like us not visiting a doctor for over five years!
You may think leaving your pet in a car for a few minutes is no big deal, but it can quickly lead to heat stroke in dogs and cats. In bright sunshine, your car acts like an oven, becoming much hotter inside than the outside air even. In fact, on a sunny 70 degree day, your car can heat up to over 100 degrees within minutes. So, either take your pet with you or leave him or her at home during shopping trips.
MAKE SURE ALL DOGS NAD CATS HAVE 24/7 ACCESS TO FRESH WATER!!!!