Ear infections in dogs are some of the most common problems we see here at National Spay Alliance Foundation.
If your dog has an ear infection, their ears will likely be itchy to some degree. Dogs will also have other signs you can look out for, including:
Bacteria, yeast and allergies are the most common culprits. If your dog is showing the signs of an ear infection, it is time to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. In order to appropriately treat the ear infection with the correct medication, your veterinarian will need to determine exactly what is causing the infection in the first place. In most cases, a dog’s ear infection will not go away on its own. What’s worse, if you wait too long to treat the ear infection, it can become much more difficult to get under control. An untreated ear infection can lead to chronic issues, hearing loss, and sometimes the need for expensive surgery.
Ear infections in dogs are common. They are caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast within your dog’s ear canal or allergies. Your vet will use testing to diagnose the cause of your dog’s ear infection to recommend proper treatment. Treatment typically requires medicated ear drops prescribed from your vet and ear cleaning solutions. Since allergies are a common underlying factor of ear infections in dogs, tracking your dog’s ear infections can be key in managing them.
National Spay Alliance is a low cost veterinary clinic. We have always tried to keep costs to owners as low as possible. Over the last few years we have seen the costs of medications, insurance and taxes sky rocket. These factors make it harder and harder to keep pricing low. Most of the pets we see have never seen a veterinarian before, and all too frequently we will see pets when they are so sick they need very expensive care. If pets could be better maintained health wise or could be seen at the onset of a problem costs and outcomes would be far more positive. Pet health insurance is an economical way to do just that.
Pet insurance, or veterinary health insurance, helps cover the cost of veterinary care to keep your pets healthy. Most importantly, the right insurance plan can buy you priceless peace of mind. Pet parents who have insurance can go to the vet in confidence and get their pets the treatment they need without having to worry as much about the costs.
Insurance plans can be tailored to your pet’s age, potential breed-specific health conditions, existing health issues, and many other needs. You can insure multiple pets. Each pet may need a separate plan, but providers often provide a discount for each additional pet you insure. Whether your pet is susceptible to allergies, developing chronic conditions, or suffering from accidents due to over-activity, plans can offset thousands of dollars in costs. You pay a monthly premium and there are deductibles, but those are tailored to you specific needs. The plans will not cover pre-existing conditions. So don't wait until your pet is diagnosed with something to think about coverage.
There are generally four types of plans; wellness plans, accident-only plans, accident-illness plans, and accident-illness plans with wellness coverage.
Unlike human health insurance plans, you can use any pet insurance policy at any licensed veterinary clinic in the U.S. There are no networks to worry about and there is no co-pay. Instead, most insurance carriers require that you pay upfront for treatment. You will then be reimbursed based on the funds you had to pay and the terms of your pet insurance policy.
Some carriers will pre-approve you for an upcoming procedure and offer to pay the veterinarian directly, alleviating your potential temporary financial burden. You may then submit an itemized receipt to your insurance company for reimbursement in a matter of days.
When searching for pet insurance be sure you understand the deductibles, what is covered and how they pay you when the time comes. Don't wait until your pet is older or becomes sick or injured, look into policies when your pet is younger and healthy this will save you money in the long run!
Here at National Spay Alliance Foundation we are asked questions every day about pets. We decided to post a few those questions with their answers.
From July of 2018 to June of 2019 the United States had over 38 inches of rainfall. This was more than 7 inches over the average. For the first time in over 100 years rainfall was greater than 36 inches in a 12 month period. That's a lot of water! Well it's late October in the Southeast and the rainy season is upon us. While wet weather has plenty of benefits, it leaves behind bacteria and parasite-riddled puddles that can make your dog or cat very sick. In the wake of wet weather, pets that spend time outdoors are more at risk of contracting bacteria like leptospirosis and parasites like giardia. Dirty standing water can also carry potentially toxic chemicals from runoff.
Here are a list of hazards and how you can keep your pets safe:
As the hot weather has set in I notice how incredibly hot it is when I walk outside. Especially when I go from say my car into a store, how the heat just radiates off the pavement. Humans wear shoes so our feet are protected. Dog and cats do not. They have pads on their feet that are also sensitive to heat and cold. As an owner you must be aware of hot the pavement can get. Please take the time to watch the informative video, and for your pet please take the time to perform these tips:
If you live in Northwest Georgia chances are you have seen cats "free roaming" either around your house or around shopping centers. These cats are commonly fed and watered by someone in the community. What is the difference between feral, stray or pet cats? Well they are all members of the same species; they are all domestic cats. But stray cats and feral cats are also different from each other in a very important way—in their relationship to and interactions with people. Pet and stray cats are socialized to people. Feral cats are not socialized to people. While they are socialized to their colony members and bonded to each other, they do not have that same relationship with people. Because they display unsociable traits, they deter possible owners and are unadoptable if taken to a shelter. Kittens of community cats can be adopted into homes if they are socialized at an early age. Community cats are un-owned cats that live outdoors in the community. They may be feral or friendly, may have been born into the wild, or may be lost or abandoned pets. Community cats live and thrive in urban and rural settings. They choose their residence in locations where there is shelter and a food source. Many community cats are just as healthy as those that are kept as pets. These cats often have an equally low rate of disease and have life spans that are comparable to those kept as pets.
Our staff commonly speaks to clients who do not mind feeding these cats, but do not want them breeding and having more kittens. Trap-Neuter-Return is the humane and effective approach for reducing the number of stray and feral cats. Removing these cats from the community doesn't eliminate the nuisances they create and actually encourages cat populations to steadily grow. When you return cats that have been sterilized, they continue to use resources but are unable to reproduce, decreasing the free-roaming cat population over time. Sterilization also reduces problematic behaviors like fighting and spraying. The cat's physical health improves and they are rabies vaccinated. Once the population stabilizes and there are no new kittens born, the numbers in time will actually begin to decrease.
In 2017 NSAF became a Target Zero fellow. This program states: A required area of focus to reach a 90+% shelter save rate is to reduce the number of cats entering the shelter. In most communities, at least half of the shelter intake is made up of cats and, on average, less than 30% leave alive, while most community cats are typically euthanized. We are committed to stopping the euthanasia of healthy cats.
This year 2019 NSAF has begun a TNR program in Whitfield County. Through two grants (Community Foundation, GA Dept. Of Agriculture) and donations from our clients and supporters we have begun the process of identifying organizations who have colonies that need sterilization. We have approved our first recipient: Dalton State College. (Please read the article attached). We are excited to begin and sustain this live saving program in Whitfield County.
The program is as follows: Feral Grant TNR Program. This program will help feral cat colony caretakers. The grant will include the Spay/Neuter at no cost to the caretaker, and the Rabies vaccinations. All additional fees are covered under this grant as well.
Please send a introduction email to: email@example.com
We will send you a TNR Grant Form for you to complete (just some basic questions). If you meet our requirements we will give you a call, and finally after that, we will be meeting on site to survey the colony.
We are proud to be able to offer such a live saving program. You can help by donating to us. You can help the community cats by having them spayed/neutered. Please feel free to reach out to us with questions or comments.
The summer months can be uncomfortable—even dangerous—for pets and people. It's difficult enough simply to cope with rising temperatures, let alone thick humidity. Overheating in dogs is not something to take lightly. As the weather heats up, it's important to remain aware of how the heat affects your pup. Heat exhaustion in dogs can lead to serious and potentially fatal conditions such as heat stroke and cardiac arrest.
To help keep your dog safe and cool during the summer, here is the lowdown on signs that he's overheating and how to prevent it: hint, if it's too hot for you to sit outside it's too hot from them. Water and shade are as important for dogs as it is for us.
NEVER leave your pets in a parked car. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.
Humidity will affect your dog as much as temperature. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly.
Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing.
Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws, if it's to hot for you to walk on it's too hot for them to walk on, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.
Any time your pet is outside, make sure they have protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don't obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.
Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke. Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.
Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. Some breeds of dogs—like boxers, pugs, shih tzus, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles—will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat.
At the first sign of overheating, immediately take action to cool down your dog. Utilize the following steps to treat heat exhaustion in dogs:
We've all seen the dog is that is absolutely scared to death when a thunder storms rolls in. There is a world of information out for the reasons. They range from it's merely the loud booming noise to the static electricity caused by lightning. Dogs that are affected seem to know the storm is coming even before it's visible to us humans. Some dogs can be so panicked by these storms they can injure themselves or family members trying to get away from it. Storm phobia is an incredibly common problem for dogs, especially among herding breeds. Without any treatment, storm phobia in dogs worsens over time.
With a little trial and error, you can find a treatment (or combination of treatments) to help your dog feel safe and secure during a storm or when fireworks are being used.
How common is dental disease in dogs?
Dental disease is one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians. Over 80% of dogs over the age of three have active dental disease. Few dogs show obvious signs of dental disease, so it is up to the dog’s family and veterinarian to uncover this hidden and often painful condition. The most common dental problems seen in dogs are periodontal disease and fractured teeth. It's important to have your pet seen yearly for an oral health care exam.
Please watch this video by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
A puppy under the Christmas tree. A cute little bunny at Easter. Or maybe you just want to give an animal friend to someone you think needs one. People who give animals as gifts mean well, but their good intensions often misfire. Giving a pet as a gift is usually an ill-advised decision that can end tragically for the pet.
Adding a pet to a family is a serious, long-term commitment. It's a decision that needs input from everyone who would be involved in caring for the animal.
There are many questions that need to be considered thoughtfully:
It is extremely important that the primary pet caregiver-whether it's you, a friend or loved one-is 100% involved in the adoption process. People who receive a pet as a gift don't pay, but the gift is hardly free. It means a long-term commitment of time, money and energy that may exceed their abilities.
Reality is more often heart-wrenching for most of these living, breathing "gifts", not to mention the families who end up giving up the pets once they grow and require more time, attention, training and expenses than the families can or choose to give.
Shelters too often bear the brunt of these unexpected gift decisions. When the recipient decides the pet is not that cute anymore, or too much work, or they just weren't ready for the responsibility, it is often the local shelter that takes in these animals. And because so many shelters are already filled to capacity, unless other animals are adopted out to make room for the new ones, euthanasia is a possible ending to an already sad tale.
As Nancy Peterson, a companion animal issues specialist for The HSUS, says, "It's important to remember that animal shelters, and their innocent charges, will suffer the effects of impulse purchases of pets as gifts. Deciding whether one has the time and resources to add a pet to the family needs to be made after careful thought. We need to remember that pets can't simply be returned or discarded like a broken toy."
If you're thinking about becoming a pet owner you must also consider the place from which you will obtain your pet. Many pet stores purchase their animals from "puppy mills," mass-breeding operations so bent on making a profit that they often disregard the physical, social, and emotional well-being of the animals in their facilities. Puppy mill-raised animals can suffer from severe physical and emotional ailments, and some may even die. The only way to put these facilities out of business is to hit them where it hurts: in the wallet. Don't purchase an animal from a pet store.
Instead, head to your local animal shelter and breed rescue group, which are wonderful places to find a new pet. Nationwide, one out of every four shelter dogs is a purebred, and there are millions of healthy mixed breed animals currently awaiting good homes, too. Most of these shelter animals have already been spayed or neutered, and have received all their vaccinations and up-to-date veterinary checkups. Shelters also screen animals for adoption so they can be sure of a perfect family match.
Adoption is the best way to add a new pet to any family. Just wait until after the gifts have been opened and the New Year's corks have been popped. Your decision to wait may be the best gift you give your family this holiday season.