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Hypothyroidism in Dogs

Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects many dogs. The thyroid gland is located in the neck and creates a hormone called thyroxine. Thyroxine controls a dog’s metabolism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of the thyroxine hormone.

Hypothyroidism is a common disease found in dogs that affects all breeds of dogs and usually happens in middle age. While hypothyroidism is prevalent in dogs, it’s rarely found in cats. Instead, cats are more commonly diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism which occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroxine hormone.

Thankfully, Hypothyroidism is not life threatening and is easily treatable. However, it’s crucial to know the symptoms and have your dog examined by a veterinarian for a proper diagnoses. If the disease is not treated, it will affect your pet’s quality of life.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:
-Hair Loss
-Weight Gain
-Muscle Loss
-Decreased Heart Rate
-Reoccurring Ear infections

Your dog’s veterinarian will evaluate your dog as well as take blood samples to determine if Hypothyroidism is indeed the cause for your pal’s symptoms. A series of blood tests will be performed to rule out any other underlying factors that may be causing your pet’s symptoms.

If Hypothyroidism is confirmed, you will need to work closely with your pet’s veterinarian to treat and maintain the disease. The disease is easily treated and consists of putting your dog on a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone. The dosage and frequency of the medication will vary dog to dog depending on the severity of the disease in each animal. Routine check ups are important for your dog, as blood samples are needed to ensure he or she is adjusting to their dosage accordingly. Treatment for Hypothyroidism will be required for the rest of your dog’s life but the symptoms will dissipate after the first treatment.

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Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Urinary incontinence is a result of a house trained dog losing control of its bladder. Loss of control can include small occasional leaks of urine to large amounts of urine leaks. Whether you’re aware of your dog’s incontinence or your dog has suddenly begun having accidents, it can be very scary for both of you.

Not only is this frustrating for you and your dog, but it can possibly be very uncomfortable for your dog. Urine can irritate the skin causing redness and excessive licking. It’s important to take any incontinence issues with your dog very seriously. If left untreated, serious bladder and kidney infections can occur.

I Think My Dog Is Incontinent, What Should I Do?

Accidents happen and that’s expected in life. However, what should you do if your dog’s accidents are becoming common on a daily basis? The first step to take in getting your fur baby help is a visit with their veterinarian. A veterinarian can confirm your dog is experiencing incontinence and try to determine the cause of it. This will be done by collecting your dog’s health history, performing a physical exam, and collecting a urine sample for a urinalysis. Some veterinarians may also have a urine culture, blood work, or an ultrasound performed.

What Causes Urinary Incontinence:

-Urinary Tract Infection
-Urinary Stones
-Weak Bladder Sphincter
-Prostate Disorders
-Diabetes or Kidney Disease
-Medications

Depending on the underlying cause, treatment for your dog’s incontinence will vary. Each dog is unique, therefore a treatment that may work for one dog, may not work for another. Medications are an effective and common way to manage your dog’s condition and prevent accidents. More serious cases of incontinence may require surgery.

Your dog’s veterinarian will work closely with you to determine the best course of action for your dog. It’s crucial to follow your dog’s treatment plan and follow up with your dog’s veterinarian. Incontinence issues can be challenging for both you and your dog, but determine the cause and establishing a treatment plan with your dog’s veterinarian will greatly aide is lessening frustration. Don’t forget, lots of cuddles and kisses with your dog will greatly help the both of you as well!

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Diabetes in Dogs

Diabetes is a disease that effects dogs due to either a lack of the hormone insulin or due to an inadequate response to insulin. The lack of insulin is also referred to as Type 1, while the inadequate response to insulin is referred to as Type 2. If your dog suffers from Diabetes it’s vital to understand that with the proper treatment and care, the disease is manageable.

While the exact cause of Diabetes in dogs is unknown, obesity, genetics, medications and autoimmune disease may play a huge role in developing Diabetes. If you notice your dog beginning to demonstrate the symptoms of Diabetes, it’s important to keep track of them and seek treatment.

Symptoms of Diabetes:

-Excessive Thirst

-Weight Loss

-Increased Urination

-Lethargy

-Recurring Urinary Tract Infections

-Vomiting

-Blindness

-Chronic Skin Infections

If your dog shows signs of having diabetes it’s important to have your four legged pal evaluated by their veterinarian. Their veterinarian will properly diagnose the disease by performing a physical examination, blood work, and an urinalysis.


Depending on the severity of your dog’s Diabetes, treatment will vary. Each dog is unique and may not have the same treatment plan as another dog. What may work for one pup may not necessarily be the best course of action for yours. Severe cases may require hospital stays, while a less severe case will require oral medication(s) or a high-fiber diet that helps to normalize glucose levels in the blood. Most dogs require insulin injections in order to adequately regulate their blood glucose level.

Your dog’s treatment will need to be maintained and evaluated throughout their life. It’s not unusual for treatment to be adjusted in order to meet the dog’s individual needs. Keeping your dog’s weight managed is beneficial in maintaining your pet’s health overall as well as managing their diabetes.

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It’s that time of year again! Kids are soaking up the last days of summer before heading back to school. Extra-curricular activities will soon begin, and new morning and evening routines will be put into place. All of these changes have the potential to be very stressful on cats and dogs, especially newly adopted pets that are still adjusting to their environment.

Pets, like small children, are creatures of habit. Routines are important to their sense of security, so make any changes in routine gradually over several weeks time. This will help them adjust to your family’s back to school routine after a long summer off. Pets that have had plenty of companionship all day long during the summer months may experience anxiety or depression once classes resume. 

Here Are Some Tips for Helping Your Four Legged Pals Ease into the Back to School Routine:

1) As soon as you adopt a new pet, or at least several weeks before school starts, consider your current and future schedule and choose feeding, walking, and play times that you can maintain year-round. As long as the primary events in your pet’s schedule remain the same, your pet should be able to adapt to any smaller changes.

2) Introduce major changes one at a time. This allows your pet to become comfortable with the new routine before more changes occur. Overall, this will aide in your pets overall adjustment to your home as well as your family’s daily routines and schedule.

3) Buy a special pet toy or two, or pull one out of rotation that your pet currently plays with and loves. Offer this special toy to your pet for fun and comfort while your children are at school. When your children return home for the day, put the toy away. This gives your pet something to look forward to during the day they will associate you leaving with something positive.

4) Be sure your family spends some quality time with your dog when you get home. Whether it’s a play session, a walk, or cuddling up on the couch, dogs are always happier and healthier when they’re getting plenty of love and attention. Consider going for a morning or afternoon walk. Dogs are less likely to be anxious during the day if they’ve gotten some morning activity. A little exercise can go a long way toward keeping your pup happy.

5) Schedule a block of family time every week that involves your pet. When extra-curricular activities and homework kick into high gear, pets often become neglected and lonely. Spend a few hours on the weekend with your pet at the lake, dog park, or simply playing catch in the backyard. It will reduce your pet’s stress and improve your relationship.

6) If your new pet acts out when the house is empty, howls or whines when you are getting ready in the morning, or seems depressed or otherwise unwell, consult your veterinarian. Such symptoms may indicate separation anxiety, a condition that is treatable with the right help and tools.

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Seasonal Allergies

Have you ever noticed your cat or dog suddenly seems very itchy when they never were before? You may have noticed your fur baby sneezing more often or rubbing against furniture more to relieve that nagging itch. It can be scary and frustrating when our pets appear like their normal sweet, calm self one day, but become miserable the next. As pet lovers this makes us feel helpless and scared. We want more than anything to make our fur child’s discomfort go away, but first we must pinpoint what’s causing it!

It’s more than likely season allergies. Just like their humans, cats and dogs may develop seasonal allergies. This occurs when their immune system becomes sensitive to substances they are exposed to in their environment. This can be due to seasonal changes in weather or products within the household they come into contact with. If your pet has never had these issues before it’s important to keep an eye on the frequency of their symptoms and determine the cause of their allergies.

Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Include:

Sneezing

Coughing

Itchy nose, eyes, or skin causing increased scratching, licking or rubbing

Watery nose or eyes

Red eyes

Increased snoring

Ear pain demonstrated by head shaking

Chewing or biting their paws or other areas of their body resulting in sores

Hair loss

These symptoms are a sure sign an allergy is what’s bothering your pet. If your pet is demonstrating these symptoms try to determine if it’s due to a household product you recently started using. Symptoms can be caused by irritation due to a new perfume you began wearing or detergents used to wash bedding your pet sleeps on. If your pet continues to suffer from symptoms, this indicates that your pet may in fact be experiencing those symptoms due to the change in season.

Seasonal Allergies Can Be Caused By:

Grasses

Ragweed

Pollens

Trees

Molds

What should you do if any of these symptoms describe your cat or dog’s recent behavior? Make an appointment for them to be evaluated by their vet. Your vet will be able to assess your pet’s situation and determine the best course of action. It’s critical to follow your vet’s recommendations. Your cat or dog may be prescribed allergy fighting medications or treatments. 

If your pet is suffering from seasonal allergies, it’s important to remember that while some treatments work wonderfully for one pet, the same treatment may not alleviate another pet of their allergy. No two dogs or cats are made alike, just like their humans, they are unique and special individuals. Don’t get discouraged if you need to determine a different treatment plan with your vet, or try a few remedies to find the perfect solution for your pet.

If you personally suffer from seasonal allergies you know how important it is to find relief for your symptoms. Your allergy suffering pet will thank you with tons of kisses and cuddles for finding them relief too!

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5 Feline Superpowers

Okay, cats may not actually have superpowers, but they do have some pretty unique abilities.

Below are five feline talents that help them play, hunt, and explore:

1) Psychic Whiskers: A change in airflow can be enough for a cat’s whiskers to pick up on nearby movement. Cats also use their whiskers to check for signs of life in their prey and decide if a space is big enough for them to fit through.

2) Heightened Sense of Smell: Felines use their sense of smell to recognize enemies, seek out mates, and identify people and cats. What makes things more interesting is that cats have the ability to taste what they smell, due to a structure in their mouth called the vomeronasel organ.

3) Super Speed: Cats have natural predatory instincts and rely greatly on their speed. Some cat breeds can reach up to 30 mph for short distances.

4) Extraordinary Balance: Cats have a knack for climbing, walking along narrow surfaces, and perching themselves in precarious places. A cat’s tail helps her maintain balance during all of these activities.

5) Built-in Brakes and Shock Absorbers: The skin on a cat’s paw pads is much thicker than the rest of the body, which is good news because the pads serve as brakes when a cat is leaping forward and as cushions when a cat is landing.

It’s important to keep your cat healthy and in shape as excess weight in your cat can create health problems for her. Therefore, balancing a healthy diet and exercise is key to your cat’s health. The best way to keep your cat in shape is by playing with her. Playtime everyday with your cat will make a world of difference to her health by keeping her trim and fit. Many cats love to pounce on moving toys because they feel like they are hunting prey. Try dragging a toy on the ground to get your kitty moving and playing. Dragging a feather on the floor or dangling it near her will do the trick as well! Not only will you both enjoy playtime together, but you’ll be helping her stay healthy.

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The Explanation Behind Canine “Kisses”

Like it or not, there’s a good chance your dog isn’t shy about licking your face. Some people find this adorable, while others find these “kisses” a little gross. Either way, you’ve probably wondered why dogs display this behavior.

Below Are Four Reasons Why Dogs Choose to Use Their Slobbery Tongues:

1) As a Sensory Tool: Just like touch or smell, taste is another way to explore something. Dogs may lick someone they don’t know all that well to learn more about them.

2) To Get Attention: Dogs sometimes just want to remind their owners that they’re there and would love some attention. It’s like they’re saying “pet me, I’m cute!”

3) To Ask for Something They Want:Puppies lick their mothers prior to feeding, so some dogs might lick their humans to get something they want. These desires might include food, treats, or maybe even a walk.

4) It’s a Learned Behavior: Chances are, your dog loves you and is passing along a learned behavior from his or her canine mother. Their mom licked them and now they’re licking you. Plus, many dogs have realized that licking gets them a positive reaction, so they do it more often.

If your dog’s licking becomes excessive, this may be an obsessive-compulsive behavior. Discuss any questions or concerns with your dog’s veterinarian or an animal behaviorist.

Licking and Oral Health:

If your dog likes to lick you, certainly you’ll notice their breath. Bad breath as well as swollen or bleeding gums is an indicator of poor oral health in your dog. It’s important to remember that proper dental care for dogs is just as important as it is for humans. Your dog’s dental health is critical to their overall health. Dental issues can cause health problems in other parts of your dog’s body to occur, making it extremely important to have your dogs teeth and gums evaluated by their veterinarian at a minimum, once a year. Routine veterinarian visits evaluate your dog for early signs of health issues as well as maintain your dog’s dental hygiene.

One of the best practices you can implement for your dog’s dental health is preventative care. Brushing your dog’s teeth and providing dental chews will aide in keeping your pet healthy. While it can be challenging to do so, brushing your dog’s teeth is very effective in preventing any oral issues that may lead to greater health issues within your dog’s body. Many dogs don’t like to have their teeth brushed, yet starting this routine early on in your dog’s life will be a crucial way to avoid dental issues for your dog.

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Breed Spotlight: Siamese Cat

Well known for its big, gorgeous blue eyes, the Siamese cat is a well known domestic cat. They’re easily recognizable by their short glossy coat that may be a creamy fawn, chocolate, blue, or lilac point color. Their needs for grooming are not extreme which keeps maintenance fairly easy as their short coats require only an occasional brushing. It’s possible for this breed to live up to 15 years and as full grown adults, their weight may range between 8 to 12 pounds.

Siamese are an outgoing social breed that makes them a wonderful fit for families with children as well as other pets. They are vocal kitty cats who will tell you what they think or want by meowing. In addition, they love to be by their human’s side 24/7. It’s not uncommon for the Siamese to follow their human around the house during the day, sit on their lap, or to cuddle up with their human when it’s time for bed at night.

Siamese cats prefer not to be left alone much because they are so sociable. They don’t like to be lonely. Therefore, if you travel quite frequently or are gone most of the day, this may not be the best breed for you.

The Siamese cat has an incredible passion for its human(s). It’s important to remember this if you are interested in this breed as a pet. He or she will be interested in what its human(s) are doing day and night, which may be overwhelming for some pet owners. Being alone for long amounts of time will make this breed sad and lonely. Some Siamese cats are known to let their boredom and curiosity if left alone get the best of them. Their owners may come home to a messy house, opened cabinets, and countless other surprises due to a combination of the cat’s loneliness, boredom, and curiosity.

They are highly intelligent cats that are easily trained and love any toys their human may shower them with. In fact, many Siamese cat owners successfully train their kitties to walk on a leash! Their genuine curiosity about their environment keeps them busy throughout the day. They are talented jumpers that absolutely love heights. Having a perch or cat tree is a necessity if you own a Siamese as they will spend a good chunk of their day up high.

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Ear Infections in Cats

Just like dogs, cats are susceptible to ear infections. While your cat may experience many similar symptoms that dogs do, the cause and treatment may differ. Cats primarily get ear infections due to ear mites. What are ear mites you ask?

Ear mites are itty bitty parasites that live inside your cat’s ear canal. These tiny pests feed on skin debris and cause quite a deal of irritation and itchiness for cats. If not treated, these types of ear infections may lead to secondary ear infections. This is due to the mites leaving eggs in your cats ear that take approximately 3 weeks to hatch. Once these mites’ eggs hatch they mature and reproduce. Therefore, it’s crucial to get this type of infection treated correctly and to follow up with your veterinarian to ensure the infection is cleared and mites are gone.

If You Notice Your Cat Has Any of These Symptoms It’s Possible They May Be Suffering from an Ear Infection:

-Odor coming from their ear

-Hair loss near their ear

-Loss of balance

-Scabs on outside or inside of the ear

-Hearing loss

-Dark and waxy ear discharge

-Head shaking

-Scratching or rubbing at their ear

What Should You Do if Your Cat is Demonstrating Any of Those Symptoms?

The first step is to take him see his veterinarian. They will examine your cat’s ear canal and ear drum. A sample of your cat’s ear discharge may be taken to determine whether bacteria, yeast, or parasites such as ear mites are present. 

If your cat’s veterinarian diagnoses your cat with an ear infection they will clean your cat’s ear thoroughly. While this may temporarily cause your kitty cat some discomfort, it is vital to clearing the infection up. Your cat’s treatment plan may include various types of medication or treatment products. It’s crucial to ensure your cat receives the treatment suggested by their veterinarian to clear up any infection. 

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Does Your Dog Have an Ear Infection?

Many dogs have ear infections that go undetected. A dog’s ear canal is vertical which allows moisture as well as debris to easily become backed up in the ear canal. Extra hair, moisture, wax, allergies, ear mites, or yeast can cause a dog to have an ear infection. Ear infections can become very painful to dogs, just like they can become to humans.

How Do You Know if Your Dog is Suffering From an Ear Infection?

If you notice your dog have any of these symptoms it’s possible they may be suffering from an ear infection:

-Odor coming from their ear

-Hair loss near their ear

-Loss of balance

-Scabs on outside or inside of the ear

-Hearing loss

-Walking in circles

-Swelling

-Head shaking

-Scratching or rubbing at their ear

What Should You Do if Your Dog is Demonstrating Any of Those Symptoms?

The first step is to take him see his veterinarian. They will examine your dog’s ear canal and ear drum. Sometimes a sample of your dog’s ear discharge may be taken to determine whether bacteria, yeast, or parasites are present.

If your dog’s veterinarian diagnoses your dog with an ear infection they will clean your dog’s ear thoroughly. While this may temporarily cause your dog some discomfort, it is vital to clearing the infection up. In addition, your dog’s veterinarian will prescribe your dog a topical or oral medicine. It’s crucial to ensure your dog receives the treatment suggested by their veterinarian to clear up any infection.

How Can You Prevent Your Dog From Having Ear Infections in the Future?

Many times the cause for an ear infection is due to the ear canal becoming moist after swimming, bathing, or grooming. The moisture remaining in your dog’s ear fuels the growth of bacteria. Ensuring your dog is dried off properly can make quite a difference. However, some dogs easily get ear infections due to allergies. Determining whether your dog is getting ear infections due to moisture or allergies will help greatly in lessening the chances of your dog obtaining an ear infection.

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