February is Dental Health month. While the cost of taking care of your pet's dental health can sometimes seem costly for a somewhat cosmetic procedure, much like your own dental health, your pet’s dental health can have an impact on your pet’s overall wellness.
Here are six signs that your pet is in need of a dental exam and dental care.
While these signs may signify that your pet may have an immediate dental need that needs to be addressed, it is important that your pet receives regular dental checkups and cleanings.
When animals eat things they shouldn't -
Animals are curious by nature. Young animals just like young humans are especially curious. Eating things that are not meant to be eaten is especially common in young animals, but it can occur in animals of any age. This can lead to some problems that range from annoying to life threatening.
Animals can ingest just about anything. In 20 + years in the veterinary and sheltering business I have seen some items ingested that are just mind boggling. I have seen a Standard Poodle eat and entire t-shirt. I cat that had eaten $1.32 in change. An English Bull dog eat 3 sewing machine needles. That is to name just a few.
Ingestion can also occur when the pet it playing with a toy that he or she is has been given. Frequently, while playing and chewing on toy items, the animal may unintentionally ingest some or all of the material. Foreign objects can perforate, irritate, or block a portion of your animal's digestive tract. If the foreign object gets stuck in the stomach or beginning of the small intestine, intermittent vomiting is the most consistent clinical sign. If the object gets stuck lower down in the digestive tract, signs aren’t as consistent and may include vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite or generalized poor condition.
If you suspect that your pet may have ingested something that may not pass through his intestinal tract, contact your veterinarian. Waiting until your pet starts to vomit will make removal of the foreign material more difficult and costly.
Foreign bodies need to be removed. Your veterinarian will locate the object through a
physical examination, X rays, or an ultrasound examination surgery is usually necessary
unless the foreign object can be retrieved with forceps or the veterinarian feels it can pass on its own (only a veterinarian can determine the latter). After an invasive surgery, such as a gastronomy (surgery into the stomach), your pet will be on a restricted diet for a few days until it can tolerate a normal diet.
The best way to prevent your pet from ingesting foreign bodies is to prevent access to objects that could be swallowed. Keep dangerous objects away from your pets and allow them to chew only on toys that cannot be swallowed. Never let them play with string or clothing.
Cold Weather Tips for Pets:
The bitter cold weather is upon us. When dogs and cats lived in the wild, cold weather was rarely a problem because they evolved to suit the climates in which they found themselves.
Domesticated animals are just that domesticated. For instance, a husky who is an indoor/outdoor dog should not be left outside for long periods of time in the cold and snow. They are not acclimated to the cold.
Dogs and cats aren't made for frigid conditions. They get just as cold in icy weather as people do. And because they go barefoot all the time, their paws are vulnerable to ice, packed snow, and road salt. In extreme conditions, they can get frostbite.
• During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.
• Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm—dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags or better yet micro chipped.
• Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.
• Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
• Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
• Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.
• Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him—and his fur—in tip-top shape.
• Coolant and antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.
• Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
If you follow these tips and take care to ensure warm dry housing for both you and your pet, the winter will be better for all.
Each year, there are a number of senior cats and dogs that are brought into shelters for a variety of reasons, maybe they have failed to adapt to a younger pet, their owners have moved, or maybe their owner became sick. For whatever reason, there are a large number of senior pets that sit unadopted, and unfortunately for a lot of these sweet souls adoption is their last chance.
November is designated as adopt a senior pet month, with a focus on finding these great pets forever homes.
Benefits of Owning a Senior Pet
Caring for You Senior Pet
With all the benefits of getting a senior pet, we hope that you will consider giving one of the wonderful pets a forever home. Before adopting a senior pet, we think that it is important to talk about how to care for your new family member in the coming years.
Depending on their breed, and their expected lifespan, pets can reach the senior years as early as six years of age, although most are considered seniors by the time they are eight years old.
For senior pets health concerns are often similar to what we as humans experience, achy joints, failing eyesight, and dental issues. Regular visits to your veterinarian are critical to address any of these issues in your older pet may have and whenever possible prevent issues from becoming costly emergencies.
The American Animal Hospital Association recommends that healthy senior dogs and cats visit the veterinarian every six months for a complete exam and laboratory testing. Keep in mind that every year for a dog or cat is equivalent to 5–7 human years. To stay current with your senior pet’s health care, twice-a-year exams are strongly advised.
Laboratory testing for senior pets will typically include the following:
In honor of Adopt a Senior Pet Month National Spay Allliance is offering month long specials for all owners of senior pets*. If you have adopted a senior pet in the last 30 days, come in for a free wellness check (you will need to bring your adoption papers to the appointment) . If you are a current owner of a senior pet we are offering wellness checks. We can run a comprehensive blood screen at the discounted price of $50. For more information stop in or give us a call at 706-370-7594. This offer is valid through December 31, 2016.
*This promotion applies to pets age 8 and older.