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Summer Safety Reminders

Beat the Heat – The most obvious (and the most harmful) aspect about the summer is the significant increase in temperature that we experience. While it means swimming pools, iced teas, and beach days for us, for our pets it means a struggle to stay hydrated and avoid heat exhaustion. Luckily, there are many things you can do to prevent your pet from falling victim to a heatstroke or any such heat-related illness. Ensuring you keep your pet has access to water throughout the day, keeping your pet out of the heat, and not overexerting them makes a great deal of difference.

Beware of Bug Bites and Stings – In addition to the usual flea, ticks, and mites that your pet needs protection from, there are a host of other creepy crawlies that scurry around, ready to sting or bite your pet. Studies show that pets are twice as likely to be a victim of a bug bite or sting in the summer months, and about 1/4 of these “attacks” are perpetrated by bees! While stings and bites are usually just uncomfortable and relatively harmless, sometimes they can be poisonous and/or venomous, requiring an emergency trip to the vet in order to receive treatment. Even if the sting/bite isn’t inherently toxic, it could spark an allergic reaction in your pet which could possibly result in them going into anaphylactic shock, which could be fatal if not treated right away. Symptoms to look out for are nausea, difficulty breathing, disorientation, lethargy, and any other kind of unusual behavior. To avoid these kinds of dangers, make sure that you don’t take your pet into an area that is heavily populated with harmful bugs, and try to watch your pet as much as possible when it is alone in your backyard. Another thing to look out for is dead bees that are on the ground as they can still sting your pet if they step on it!

Skin Safety Is Crucial – Especially if your pet already has sensitive skin, and/or is prone to skin infections, you must make sure to keep an eye on your pets’ skin in case they are having a reaction of some kind. Around spring time, many pets begin having skin issues related to the allergens, bugs, and plants that the warmer seasons tend to bring. For many pets, the change in air pressure, temperature, and moisture also cause their skin to become inflamed, dry, itchy, and greasy. In the summer, pets are 16% more likely to have a skin-related illness, so it’s important to stay cognizant of the symptoms that accompany skin infection or issues. Look out for any abnormal scratching, biting, chewing, and/or licking of your pet’s paws, backside, stomach, or any other part of their body. If you notice an area that is irritated, or if you see that your pet’s fur is missing in a couple spots, it probably has some kind of skin issue.

Get the Grapes  and Corn Cobs Out of Sight – Grapes and their wrinkly counterparts are extremely toxic to dogs and cats. Making it vital to keep them hidden and out of reach to your fur children. If a dog or cat ingests corn cob material, it can cause serious health problems. If the piece of corn cob gets lodged in the intestine, stomach, or colon there could be a bowel obstruction that needs to be treated by a vet. Not to mention, if the cob is lodged in the pet’s esophagus, then it could possibly choke to death. Corn cobs are extremely dangerous because they are completely indigestible (kind of like the corn that comes off of them) and they are also very rough in texture.

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Summer Travel Safety For Pets

Summer is here and many pet owners are preparing for vacation. Although some pets do better with a pet sitter or at a boarding facility, others are included in their family’s travel plans. If you choose to bring your four-legged companion along on your Summer adventures, be sure to read these travel safety tips for pets:

Traveling by Car

Plan ahead: Make sure your pet is equipped with a collar and updated ID tag before hitting the open road. Bring any necessary pet supplies including a leash, your pet’s regular food and treats, water, and a water dish.

Keep pets properly restrained: Cats should always ride in a carrier. Dogs should either ride in a carrier or restrained with a properly fitting canine seatbelt. To avoid airbag injuries, keep pets out of the front seat. Under no circumstances should pets be allowed to ride in the bed of a truck.

Plan for plenty of rest breaks: Most animals aren’t accustomed to long road trips. Give your pet plenty of opportunities for potty breaks and to get some exercise.

Never leave your pet in the car alone: The temperature inside a parked car can get dangerously hot or cold very quickly. Many parts of the country are still relatively warm this time of year, and even on a mild 72 degree day, the temperature can spike above 100 degrees. This is a matter of life or death!

Traveling by Plane

Consider other options: Traveling in the cargo hold can be dangerous for some animals, especially brachycephalic dog breeds (bulldogs, pugs, etc.). If travel by plane is the only option, opt for the cabin if possible. Some airlines will allow cats and small dogs in the cabin for an additional fee.

Think identification: In addition to your pet wearing a collar and an ID tag, label your pet’s crate with your pet name, your address, your phone number, and your destination. Also, it’s a good idea to bring a recent picture of your pet.

Opt for a direct flight: To reduce the amount of time your pet may be feeling uncomfortable or anxious on a plane, choose the shortest possible flight to your destination.

Do not feed your pet for 4-6 hours before travel: A pet with a full stomach is more likely to experience gastrointestinal upset. However, a small amount of water is okay. Try placing ice cubes in a small water dish attached to the inside of your pet’s crate.

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Dog Cushing Disease

Cushing Disease (also known as Hyperadrenocorticism) in Dogs is a disorder resulting in excess cortisone levels in the bloodstream. To sum it up, the endocrine system is combined of organs that control hormones in a dog’s body. One particular hormone is cortisone. Cortisone is responsible for protein and carbohydrate metabolism in dog’s bodies.

What Does This Mean?

Excess cortisone levels interfere with the metabolic process leading to many possible disturbances in a dog’s body. Some possible disturbances include hypertension and gastrointestinal disorders.

Causes and Symptoms

Dog Cushing Disease is one of the most common endocrine disorders that affect dogs. It’s most commonly caused due to a benign pituitary tumor.

-Symptoms include:
-Increase in panting, hunger, thirst, and/or urination
-Obesity
-Muscle weakness
-Loss of hair
-Lethargy
-Insomnia

If you suspect your dog may be exhibiting signs of Cushing Disease your veterinarian will need to complete an examination. This will include a blood count, urinalysis, and cortisol test.

If your veterinarian confirms your dog does have this disease, further tests will be required to determine the cause. This is a key, essential factor in properly treating your dog and ensuring they receive the best treatment for their needs.

Treatment plans most commonly include medication such as Vetoryl. In some cases, surgery is needed.

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Why American Bulldogs Are an Amazing Breed

The American Bulldog’s primary job was to work as hog and cattle catching dogs for hunting and as guard dogs for personal property. They are a very active breed with a need for daily exercise and lots of fresh air.

The breed is agile enough to catch or prey livestock despite their small stature. Don’t let their vertically challenged frames fool you, they are quite robust, sturdy and determined!

They are heavy shedders despite being a short haired breed. Their hair can easily come off on clothing or furniture. This is no big issue considering all the deshedding tools available to owners.

Commonly seen in movies, advertisements and tv. Bulldogs were the 5th most popular pet dog in 2013. Their sweet natured and loving personalities make them a great companion and family dog.

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5 Cool Frog Facts

 

Frogs don’t drink water, they absorb it into their body through their skin. Specifically through a frog’s belly and underside of its legs. A frog’s skin is permeable which allows water and gases to be easily absorbed.A frog breathes through its nostrils as well as its skin by absorbing extra oxygen in the water.
Frogs have an incredibly sticky tongue. This allows them to catch and swallow their food. A frog’s tongue is not attached to the back of its mouth like a human’s tongue. Instead, the tongue is attached to the front which allows frogs to stick their tongues out farther.

A frog’s skin sheds once a week. This is known as molting. Once its skin has shed, the frog typically eats it. It may sound gross, but the purpose is for a frog to absorb the much needed protein found in its skin.

A group of frogs is called an army.

Male frogs croak to attract females. In fact, each species of frog has a unique croak which is can to be heard a mile away. Until recently, it was believed that female frogs do not croak, only the males croak. However, in the last few decades scientists have discovered some species of female frogs who croak.

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Dog Breed Spotlight: Beagle

Beagles are joyful, easy going companions. They are incredibly loving and do well with other pets as well as children. They are friendly to strangers which is a plus if you tend to have frequent visitors. These qualities are a few of the many reasons the Beagle is a desired breed of dog.

Beagles respond well to training, and are considered a small sized breed of dog making them wonderful companions for families. While they may not be the largest breed of dog, they sure have big personalities. They are known for their playfulness, sweet demeanor and strong sense of smell.

Beagles are an active breed, requiring daily exercise. If Beagles are not regularly exercised they may become obese and unhealthy. The breed sheds seasonly which doesn’t require too much grooming. Overall, the Beagle is a wonderful breed that any human would be lucky to have as a companion in life.

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Cool Facts About Maine Coon Cats

  • The only United States bred show cat is Maine Coon. Maine Coon cats are the only show cat breed that originates from the United States. Not much is known about this breed’s origin. They are believed to be a result of breeding amongst longhair and shorthair cats that came to America on European settlers’ ships.

 

  •  They are very sociable. Maine Coon cats are known for their social human interaction. They are incredibly friendly, cuddly, and playful. They get along well with other household hold pets and children.

 

  • Not all have brown coats. Typically when you think of a Main Coon they’re thought to strictly have brown coats. However, they actually have various patterns and colors in their coat. For example, cream, tortoiseshell, and cream.

 

  • Early breeds had six toes. While this sounds a bit strange, it’s pretty unique. Early breads were commonly born with extra appendages on their paws due to a genetic mutation.
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Summer Safety Reminder

Summer is in full swing! The beautiful sunshine and long warm days are a perfect excuse to get outside with your dog. However, it’s important to remember dogs can easily become exhausted and possibly ill due to the heat. Keep the following tips in mind to ensure you and your dog have a safe Summer:

Never leave your dog unattended in a car. While this is clearly common sense, every year there are too many reports of dog’s dying due to their owner’s negligence.

Shade is key. If you’re going to be outside with your dog, it’s best to limit the amount of time he is in direct sunlight. Keeping him in shaded areas and giving him rest breaks will help avoid over exhausting your dog.

Keep your dog hydrated. He should have access to water at all times. If you take him outdoors for an adventure make sure you bring water and a bowl with you.

Keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion. If you notice your dog panting heavily, excessively drooling, vomiting, or showing signs of lethargy, take caution! Take immediate action to cool your dog down. Place them inside with the air conditioning on and a fan pointed towards them. A cool bath may help also, but adding ice may worsen things. Call your dog’s vet. It’s always better to air on the side of caution. The vet may suggest you come in, if so take this advice seriously.

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Ear Infections Impact Cats and Dogs

Many pets have ear infections that go undetected. Dogs and cats have vertical ear canals 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 your pet to have an ear infection. Ear infections can become very painful to pets, just like they can become to humans.

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

If you notice your pet 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 Pet is Demonstrating Any of Those Symptoms?

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

If your pet’s veterinarian diagnoses your pet with an ear infection they will clean your pet’s ear thoroughly. While this may temporarily cause your pet some discomfort, it is vital to clearing the infection up. In addition, your pet’s veterinarian will prescribe your pet a topical or oral medicine. It’s crucial to ensure your pet receives the treatment suggested by their veterinarian to clear up any infection. Incorporating a routine of cleansing your pet’s ears is incredibly beneficial as well. Cleansers for cats and dogs will make a big difference in your pets overall health.

How Can You Prevent Your Pet 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 pet’s ear fuels the growth of bacteria. Ensuring your pet is dried off properly can make quite a difference. However, some pets easily get ear infections due to allergies. Determining whether your pet is getting ear infections due to moisture or allergies will help greatly in lessening the chances of your pet obtaining an ear infection.

 

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Dog Dental Care

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. This makes it extremely important to have your dogs teeth and gums evaluated by their veterinarian at a minimum, once a year. Routine veterinarian visits allow veterinarians to evaluate your dog for early signs of health issues and well as maintain your dog’s dental hygiene.

If you notice your dog having dental issues before their yearly check up, it’s strongly suggested to contact your vet for a visit. Signs to look for include:

-Bad breath
-Broken or loose teeth
-Loss of appetite
-Bleeding from the mouth
-Swelling in or around the mouth

Your dog’s veterinarian may suggest a variety of treatment plans if your dog is having any type of issue. One of the best things you can do for your dog’s dental health is preventative care. Brushing your dog’s teeth and providing dental chews can make a world of a difference.

While it can be challenging to do so, brushing your dog’s teeth is very effective in preventing any dental issues. Many dogs don’t like to have their owners brush their teeth, but starting this routine early on in your dog’s life will be greatly effective in avoiding dental issues for your dog.

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