ANIMAL PRINT BLOG
1 in 3 pets goes missing during its lifetime, and without proper ID, 90% never return home. Dogs may get loose and run away from home. Pets can also escape during a car trip to the park, vet's office, or groomers. Occasionally a dog or cat might be stolen, or they get lost during moving to a new house. A microchip for dogs & cats gives the best protection with permanent ID that can never be removed or become impossible to read.
Microchipping is a simple procedure. We simply inject a chip , about the size of a grain of rice (12mm), beneath the surface of your pets skin between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a routine vaccination and takes only a few seconds. Most pets do not react at all! Some will feel a quick pinch. No anesthetic is required. A microchip implantation takes just seconds in our clinic, and then your pet has permanent ID that will last its entire lifetime!
You will see new reminder items when our records show your pet is due for some diagnostic laboratory blood tests. These tests fall into 4 categories:
1.Your pet's previous lab work (such as a pre-anesthetic profile associated with an routine surgical procedure, or bloodwork associated with an illness your pet endured), revealed a POSSIBLE problem. You are being sent this reminder to alert you that it's time to recheck your pet's lab work, to verify that there IS or IS NOT a concern with your pet's internal health. Abnormalities in lab work that commonly show up that need to be double-checked include elevated kidney values, elevated liver values, elevated white blood cell counts, depressed platelet counts, etc. Rechecking your pet's lab work will indicate whether the abnormality has resolved, or will need to be managed in future.
2.Your pet has been diagnosed with a chronic medical ailment, such as diabetes or compromised kidney function, and the values need a routine recheck. Blood tests are critical to proper management of your pet's chronic health problem. We want to insure your pet's comfort and longevity.
3.Your pet is on long-term anticonvulsant medications, such as phenobarbital or potassium bromide, or is on hormonal supplementation for hypo/hyperthyroidism, or is on a long-term Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drug for chronic pain. Serum anticonvulsant medication levels MUST be checked biannually, as well as a Complete Blood Count and a General Chemistry Panel. If the levels get too low, and therefore may be ineffective, your pet may start seizing again. If the levels get too high, the anticonvulsant drug can become toxic and may induce the very seizures it is designed to prevent. The only way to know if the dose of anticonvulsant is correct is to check the serum levels. The only way to make sure the anticonvulsant isn't causing problems with your pet's internal organ function is to do blood work. Pets on thyroid or other hormone supplements must also be checked periodically-if the dose is too low, your pet will receive no benefit and you will waste your time and money; if the dose is too high, your pet's health could be seriously harmed. Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (known as NSAIDs) do a very good job of relieving pain and inflammation but they ALL can cause digestive upset, liver, kidney and blood count changes. Therefore, pets on long-term NSAIDs MUST have blood work done at least every 6 months.
4.Your pet is 7 years of age or older, and needs routine blood screens to verify normal internal organ health. All senior pets (7 years +), and, especially geriatric pets (10 years +), should have their internal health assessed via blood work at least annually. The earlier a developing problem is detected, the easier and less expensive it is to manage (Just like in people)!
Nassau Animal Hospital has in-house laboratory testing capabilities; we are able to process most of our patients' lab testing needs right here at our hospital. This means fast turn-around, and accurate results for you, our client!
Please call or email us today, to discuss your pet's lab work needs, and get an appointment scheduled.
Periodontal Disease in Pets
Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats – by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken. Early detection and treatment are critical, because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet. Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth. Other health problems found in association with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes. It starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gumline can often easily be seen and removed, but plaque and tartar below the gumline is damaging and sets the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and the tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone.
What can I do at home for my pet’s oral health?
Prevention of the most common oral disease in pets consists of frequent removal of the dental plaque and tartar that forms on teeth that are not kept clean. Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective thing you can do to keep their teeth healthy between dental cleanings, and may reduce the frequency or even eliminate the need for periodic dental cleaning. Daily brushing is best, but it’s not always possible and brushing several times a week can be effective. Most dogs accept brushing, but cats can be a bit more resistant
– patience and training are important.
Oral health in dogs and cats
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. Some pets become irritable when they have dental problems, and any changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit. Always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth, because a painful animal may bite. For more information, call or visit us in the office.
You’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather also poses serious threats to your pets’ health?
Here are some tips to keep your pets safe during cold weather:
Winter wellness: Has your pet had his/her preventive care exam (wellness exam) yet? Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis. Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year, and it’s as good a time as any to get him/her checked out to make sure (s)he is ready and as healthy as possible for cold weather.
Know the limits: Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You will probably need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks. Arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling. Long-haired or thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, but are still at risk in cold weather. Short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection, and short-legged pets may become cold faster because their bellies and bodies are more likely to come into contact with snow-covered ground. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes. The same goes for very young and very old pets. If you need help determining your pet’s temperature limits, consult your veterinarian.
Stay at Home or Take With You
While you may want your pet with you on overnight trips, many pets don't enjoy being away from home. How do you know what's best for your pet? Ask yourself these questions:
- Has she been on an airplane or long car ride before?
- Does she enjoy traveling or does she get stressed or scared?
- Will she enjoy the destination?
- Will you be able to give her the time and the attention she needs while you're there?
- Is she healthy enough to travel?
If the answer to any of the above is no, consider a trusted pet sitter or a boarding hotel.
Arriving with your pet
Wherever you're traveling to, it's a good idea to be sure your destination is pet-friendly, pet-proof and safe before letting your pet explore the exciting new location. Holiday plants like poinsettias, mistletoe and holly can be toxic to your pet. Holiday trees, ornaments, tinsel, electrical cords and ribbons can also be dangerous. Keepyour pet away from foods containing chocolate, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions or garlic. Also keep alcohol or caffeinated beverages out of reach. Make sure all household chemicals, such as antifreeze, are safely put out of reach should your pet be spending time in the garage.
Give your pet a chance to get used to his new surroundings. Keep a watchful eye on children and other pets that want to be friendly. Your pet still needs your attention, and reassurance that you won't leave him behind. Follow regular mealtimes and walks, provide lots of attention and make it a fun time for your pet, too. Having your best friend with you can make your holiday visit or vacation especially joyful.
Pain is universal and one of the most common feelings animals will convey. Obviously, most owners can detect a limp or a painful cry, but pain that’s chronic, or moderate enough to withstand, takes more scrutiny to recognize. Dogs and cats generally show a change in behavior or temperament when they’re uncomfortable. A normally happy and affectionate pet may become irritable and refuse to be held or petted. A normally rambunctious dog may prefer to sit or lie quietly and be left alone. Additionally, if a dog or cat can reach the painful area, such as a paw, they may lick, scratch, or bite it in an attempt to make it feel better. Unfortunately, they may inadvertently inflict self-injury by repeatedly rubbing or scratching the area. This is seen frequently in animals with ear infections that dig at the skin behind the sore ear with their rear claws.
Everyone has experienced pain and knows how debilitating it can be. Your pet’s no different, and they have a limited language to convey their discomfort. Overall, when it comes to detecting pain, you should look for a change, or abnormality in your pet’s behavior. You know them better than anyone else and if you suspect something is wrong, take them to your veterinarian.
Finally, don’t ever give a human pain medication to your pet unless your veterinarian has specifically recommended it. Common over the counter painkillers, such as acetaminophen, are very poisonous to certain pets.
- Plain turkey in small quantities may be ok for a pet. Most pets do not tolerate spicy seasonings very well or large quantity of food. So giving the dog a sampling of everything on the human menu should be avoided.
- Food high in fat such as gravy or the skin of the bird can cause inflammation in our dogs
- Make sure to dispose of turkey bones where the pet cannot get to it. These bones will splinter when chewed. Bones can get caught in a pet’s esophagus or intestinal track. Could be life threatening
- Rancid food is full of bacteria and can make a pet very sick, so make sure garbage is not accessible to the pet
- Turkey stuffing may contain onions, garlic or raisins all toxic to dogs. Included on the list, bread dough, grapes and chocolate, avocados
- Remind guests not to offer table scraps or appetizers to the dog
- Manage children and pets. The excitement of the holiday can get the best of anyone
- If the family pet is skittish around people, noises, sudden movement then containing the dog away from the stimulation is recommended
- If your pet guards any resources such as food, toys or you, be proactive to ensure everyone has a good thanksgiving. Otherwise a child or adult could get bitten
- An open door or open garage may be an invitation for your pet to bolt. Keep your pet contained while guests are coming or going.
Bringing home a new baby is a hectic and exciting time for everyone in your household. Before the baby is born you can help ease the transition for your cat by getting her used to the sounds and smells associated with babies. You may want to start using small amounts of baby lotion, baby oil and baby powder on your own skin so that the cat gets accustomed to the scent and associates it with you. Playing a tape recording of an infant's cry will help get your cat used to a soon to be familiar sound in your home. Have a friend with a baby visit so your cat will get used to the sight, smell and sound of a baby.
When preparing the nursery, allow plenty of time so that the cat can get used to it. Provide the cat with a refuge while you are working on the nursery. Leave a TV or radio on in the refuge. Let the cat explore the new room at her own pace and maintain her refuge so that she can return to a familiar place when she needs to.
Make the crib undesirable to the cat by placing empty soda cans in it. Cans are uncomfortable to lie down on and will rattle if the cat jumps in. The cat will associate the unpleasant noise with the crib, not you. Alternatively, a crib net may be placed over the crib to keep the cat out. Pull netting tight to keep the cat from using it as a hammock.
When the baby arrives, try to keep the cat's routine as normal as possible. Increase the amount of playtime or petting and grooming your cat receives from family members to reassure her. Your cat will be curious about the baby. Let her see and smell the baby while you supervise carefully. The cat may want to be near you when you hold or nurse the baby. Let the cat sit beside you or have someone offer her treats or playtime while you are busy with the baby. Allow yourself time daily to play with your cat.
Shower pets with gifts
Dogs and cats get as excited about new toys as human children (and some adults) do. A new toy can provide hours of tug-of-war, pawing and batting, or mental stimulation. The next time you feel like expressing love to your pets, consider visiting the pet supply store and picking out a toy you know your pet will love. And for fashion-conscious pets, you can spice up their wardrobe with a new collar or leash.
Do you have questions about spay and neutering animals? We can explain the process, including how safe it is. According to animal experts, pets that are spayed and neutered live longer than those that aren't. The medical conditions that can arise in intact pets later in life can be very expensive to treat and may require complicated dangerous surgeries.
There are many medical and behavioral benefits.
- Spaying a female dog before their second heat will eliminate the risk of ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer or uterine infections (Pyometra) which can be life threatening.
- Female cats that are not spayed come into heat constantly and vocalize loudly to everyone’s displeasure. They can also develop Pyometra at an older age which can be life threatening and require costly emergency surgery.
- Male cats that are not neutered will spray urine throughout the house to mark their territories. If outdoors, they will fight and mate with other cats contributing to the overpopulation problem and spread diseases like feline leukemia and feline aids.
- Male dogs that are neutered will not develop testicular cancer and have a tremendously reduced chance of getting prostate cancer. Intact male dogs have a great desire to roam (run away) and urine mark in and around the home.
- Spay or Neuter your pet at a young age to greatly reduce these health and behavioral problems. It is more affordable and safer to spay and neuter pets early in life.