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April Is National Frog Month

April is National Frog Month! We really don’t give frogs enough credit for how much they help us humans out. They deserve much more than a month to celebrate them. Frogs are vital to the food chain and help to keep insect populations under control. This is important because most of the insects they eat carry diseases that can be fatal to humans. Frogs also aide in eating insects that may destroy crops.

We Love Our Leaping Amphibian Friends and Thought You May Enjoy Learning These Fun Frog Facts:

  • Frogs inhabit every continent except for Antarctica.
  • 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. As humans, this is important to remember and aide in reducing pollution. Pollution in a frog’s environment can greatly hurt and easily kill a substantial amount of frogs.
  • 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.

Want to Celebrate National Frog Month but Not Sure How To? Here Are Some Fun Suggestions to Try:

  • Find out if your local zoo has a frog exhibit as well as any frog themed events to attend.
  • Remember being a young child and playing a game of leap frog with friends? Do it! Yes, it may be silly, but you’ll be surprised at how much fun you’ll have.
  • Do you love frogs or know someone who loves frogs? Consider getting a frog tattoo!
  • Explore for frogs in your neighborhood and do your part in reducing pollution to help ecosystems.
  • Share some fun frog jokes. Here’s one you can use:

Why did the frog go to the hospital?

  He needed a, “hopperation”!

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Does Your Dog Suffer From Ear Infections?

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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National Heartworm Awareness Month

April is National Heartworm Awareness Month. Heartworm disease is a disease that is very concerning and can possibly be fatal in pets. It can affect both cats and dogs. The disease itself involves foot long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of infected pets, that may cause heart failure and damage to other organs in your pet’s body.

The disease is primarily carried by wild species that live in suburban areas such as coyotes. However, the mosquito plays a huge role in the heartworm life cycle. Mature female heartworms living inside of an infected pet or wild animal, produce tiny babies called microfilaria that live in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites an infected animal or pet, it picks up these microfilaria which mature and become infective. When the infected mosquito then bites another animal, the infected microfilaria are deposited onto the animal’s skin and enter the animal through the mosquito’s bite wound. This cycle results in heartworm being difficult to control.

Heartworm Disease in Dogs

Dogs are common hosts for heartworms. Heartworms can live inside a dog long enough to mature and create their own offspring. This easily allows several hundred worms inside a dog’s body. If the disease is left untreated, the numbers of heart worms may increase inside a dog’s body creating damage to the heart, lungs, and arteries.

Symptoms of heartworm disease include a mild cough, fatigue, lessened appetite, and weight loss. As the disease evolves in a dog, a dog may experience heart failure.

Heartworm Disease in Cats

Heartworm disease in cats varies greatly from dogs. Cats are not typical hosts for heartworms, but the presence of heartworms may still exist causing great damage if left untreated. Most worms in cats do not survive as the cat matures. However, a few may remain causing a condition known as heartworm associate respiratory disease (HARD).

Symptoms of Heartworm Disease in cats includes coughing, attacks mimicking asthma attacks, vomiting, decreased appetite, or weight loss. Heartworms in cats can possibly migrate to other parts of the body such as the eyes or brain. The symptoms of heartworm disease in cats are much harder to detect than dogs. This means testing is crucial to not allow a cat to go untreated if affected by heartworms.

Testing and Treatment

The sooner the disease is detected and treated, the better the outcome. Heartworm testing administered annually by your veterinarian will determine whether your pet is infected or not. In addition, heartworm preventative medications are a must.

All dogs should be tested annually for heartworms during routine check-ups for preventative care. Dogs under 7 months old should start a heart worm preventative, but should be tested for heartworms after 6 months to ensure heartworms are not present. Dogs over 7 months old and not previously tested or on a preventative medication must be tested prior to starting heart worm prevention.

Even if your dog is currently on heartworm preventative medication it is crucial they are tested yearly for the disease in the event they have been infected. Missing a dose, or skipping a dose of heart worm preventative medication can leave your dog susceptible to the disease.

In the event your dog is diagnosed with heartworm disease it’s important your dog’s disease is stabilized and treated by their veterinarian.

It’s vital to understand that the medication used to treat heart worm in dogs cannot be used in cats. There is no approved heartworm treatment for cats, therefore early detection in crucial. Having your cat tested yearly for heart worm will make a great difference as well as preventative heartworm medication.

To learn more about heartworm disease, click here.

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Comforting Your Dog During Stormy Weather

Thunder, heavy rain, wind, and hail can produce terrifying noises. These loud noises can cause dogs to become anxious and scared. As humans, we understand what these noises are and why they’re happening, but dogs do not. 

Dogs are sensitive to barometric pressure, which allows them to sense a storm is coming. While some dogs may not be bothered by stormy weather, other dogs become panicked. Every dog’s reaction is unique and depends on the dog itself.

You may notice your dog acting anxious, pacing, trying to run away, or hide before a storm arrives and throughout the duration of the storm. Some dogs become destructive due to the loud, frightening sounds. They may chew furniture, try to escape through open windows, or dig their way out of the yard to run away. Unfortunately, many animal shelters see a rise in dog intakes after a thunderstorm due to panicked dogs running away. 

If your dog displays anxious or fearful behaviors due to storms, it’s important to take steps to comfort him.

Keep Calm

If you’re home during a storm, acting calm will help your dog significantly. Dog’s can sense when their human’s feel anxious. If your dog is visibly scared, your first reaction may be to cuddle and hold him. However, this isn’t always the best idea. This may cause his anxiety to increase, especially if you’re nervous too. While your intentions mean well, he may feel overwhelmed. 

Try distracting your dog by playing with him and going about your normal routine. It will make the both of you much calmer and reassure your dog he is safe inside with you. 

Provide a Safe Spot

Whether you’re home or not, your dog should always have a safe area in a room of the house designated for him to comfort himself. If you aren’t home to comfort your dog, this safe spot will be your dog’s safety net. This room should be secured so your dog cannot escape to run away and become lost. It should include a cozy blanket and his favorite toys. Most importantly, this area should have no objects he could swallow or destructively chew on.

If your dog is crate trained make sure their crate is readily available to them at all times in this room. Most crate trained dogs find their crate to be a safe place. If a storm hits you may notice your dog prefers to be in his crate. In the event you’re not home, it’s more than likely your dog will go inside to comfort himself. Make sure to keep a blanket and chew toy inside for him to gnaw on.

Play Calming Sounds

Keeping the TV on or playing soothing music at a gentle sound level, to dull out the sound of the storm is beneficial. Blaring the TV or music will only add to your dog’s anxiety and fear of the loud noises going on around him.

Consider a Thundershirt

 The Thundershirt is worn around your dog, providing a constant, but gentle pressure to your dog’s body. Its purpose is to alleviate your dog’s anxiety and prevent any fearful or destructive behavior. It’s compared to swaddling a newborn. You can purchase one by clicking here.

 

If you’ve tried numerous ways to calm your dog during a storm with no success, try to not be discouraged. Consider speaking with your veterinarian as they may be able to provide advice catered specifically to your dog’s needs. In some cases calming aides may be suggested by your veterinarian.

If you have any suggestions that have worked for your dog, please share them in the comment section.

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5 Amazing Cat Facts

Cats are undoubtedly amazing creatures. If you’re a cat lover, or have spent time around your friend’s or family’s cats, you know how unique each cat’s personality is. At VetDepot we love our feline friends and have picked 5 of our favorite amazing cat facts to share with you! We hope you enjoy our top 5 Amazing Cat Facts:

1) Cats Have an Amazing Sense of Smell

Ever notice your cat is quite the sniffer? Their nose is highly sensitive to scents. There are an estimated 200 million nerve cells inside their nostrils that detect odor. To put this into perspective, humans only have 5 million.

Cats also have scent glands on their head and paws that release chemicals known as pheromones. These pheromones are unique to each cat. Anytime a cat rubs against any object, their pheromones are left behind for other kitty cats as a means of marking their territory.

Have you ever come home after petting the neighbor’s cat to discover your own cat almost immediately begins to sniff you? Panic sets in as you begin to think, “Oh no! My sweet kitty knows I pet another kitty!” You begin to feel guilty and apologize profusely to your kitty, begging for forgiveness, promising him or her it will never happen again! Don’t worry, your kitty will forgive you, but he or she definitely knows you were around another cat because of the scent/pheromones the neighbor’s cat left on you.

Ever seen a cat’s reaction to catnip? They go bonkers! Catnip is a perennial herb, which is closely related to mint. The chemical compound within the plant that attracts and makes cats act excited is called nepetalactone. When nepetalactone is sniffed by a cat it’s believed to produce a euphoric feeling, lasting approximately 10 minutes. Nepetalactone is thought to mimic feline pheromones, which is the reason your kitty becomes so excited. Most cats will sniff the catnip excitedly or roll in it. Some cats may begin to scratch which may present a problem. You can prevent any potential catnip excitement scratching damage by purchasing a scratching post similar to this one

In addition to their impressive sniffing abilities, a cat’s nose is comparable to a human fingerprint. If you look closely at your cat’s nose you will see ridges and tiny bumps. These little details on a kitty’s nose are exclusive each cat. No two cats will have identical details, just like human fingerprints.

2) Groups of Cats Have Specific Names

While kittens are typically referred to as a litter, the word kindle is used to describe a group of kittens as well. Pretty cute!

Once out of the kitten stage, a group of cats is known as a clowder. Not to be confused with delicious chowder soup, a clowder is a group of 2 or more cats. Think of it like having your own posse of cat friends. Only instead of calling them your cat group, you refer to them as your clowder. 

3) A Single Litter of Kittens May Have Multiple Father Cats

Weird? Yes, a bit so. Is this why a litter of kittens may have different color fur or eyes from one another? Yes and no. That’s partly due to genetics, but it can also be due to each kitten having the same mama cat but a different papa cat.

This is known as superfecundation. Superfecundation is the fertilization of two or more ova from the same cycle by sperm from more than one act of sexual intercourse. Huh?! In simpler terms, a female is in heat 1-4 days and during those days she will potentially mate several times with different males. Females release several eggs per ovulation and are “induced ovulators”, meaning the act of mating causes them to ovulate.  Therefore, each time a female mates, she ovulates and releases another egg, which can be fertilized by a different male. Does this make your brain hurt too?

4) Hissing is Reaction Due to Fear, Not Anger

If you ever heard a cat’s hiss or been hissed at, the noise may jolt you a bit. It can be a scary noise. Typically it’s believed cats hiss because they’re angry and may attack. However, this is the opposite. Hissing is a defensive expression that arises due to uncomfortably, stress or fear. In cat language hissing serves as a warning to stay away. Have you ever seen two cats fighting? If you notice only one is hissing, it’s because the hissing cat is more vulnerable.

5) Cats Roll Over to Show Their Belly as an Indication of Trust

Initially you may think your cat is asking for a belly rub, and in all fairness some cats do want belly rubs when displaying this behavior. Although, laying down and rolling to expose their belly is a sign that they are are relaxed and trusting. This means your kitty is trusting of you and comfortable with you. If you were a cat instead of a human, your kitty would probably invite you to be part of its clowder!

If you have any amazing cat facts to share with us, please feel free to comment below! We would love to hear from you!

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Does Your Cat or Dog Have 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 pet may be prescribed allergy fighting medications like Atopica or Diphenhydramine. Treatments including frequent baths or soaks with prescribed shampoos such as PhytoVet C 4% are common as well.

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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National Poison Prevention Week

Spring has officially arrived! This means warmer weather, sunny days, and more play time outside with your pets. Some of you may even be in the mood for some Spring cleaning. Although, if that does not sound like an appealing spring activity to you, you may want to reconsider for the health of your pet. Doing some cleaning and organizing can help prevent your pet from getting into anything dangerous. It’s never a bad idea to evaluate what items are around your house that may cause your pet to become ill. In fact, this week is National Poison Prevention Week. National Poison Prevention Week was established in 1961 and dedicates the third week of March to spread awareness to prevent poisoning. This week serves as a great reminder for all pet owners to ensure their furry friends are safe from harm. The team at VetDepot has accumulated a few tips we want to share to keep your pet safe in and around your home:

1.Be Aware of the Type of Plants You Have in Your Home and Yard

Plants such as Oleander, Daffodils,Tulips, and Lilies are very poisonous for pets and can possibly be fatal. The smallest ingestion of petals,leaves, or even the water from a vase one of these plants are in can result in vomiting, decreased heart rate, kidney failure, and possibly death. It is best to keep these plants out of reach of your pet.

2.Make Sure all Household Cleaning Products are out Reach and Properly Stored Away From Curious Paws

Window cleaner, bleach, laundry detergent, and all purpose cleaners are very dangerous. If ingested, some cleaning products may cause upset stomach as well as severe burns to your pets mouth or tongue.

Dogs and cats both seem to be attracted to dryer sheets and moth balls.You may be surprised to learn that laundry dryer sheets and mothballs are extremely poisonous to pets. This is because they contain concentrated levels of toxic chemicals in addition to being a choking hazard. Ingestion may cause allergic reactions, neurological trauma,or intestinal blockage. All of which are very dangerous and may even cause death. Make sure to never store dryer sheets and mothballs where a pet may reach them.

3. Don’t Forget to Keep Trashcans out of Reach Too

Putting a trashcan behind a closed pantry door, a gate like this one, or in a cabinet can make a huge difference in preventing curious or mischievous pets from accidental poisoning as well as choking. We throw many dangerous items into our trashcans on a daily basis that can cause so much harm. Items such as batteries, medication, dental floss, and leftover foods that may contain bones or mold can be very harmful. In addition, coffee grounds are incredibly poisonous. Dogs and cats are highly sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Therefore, moderate ingestion of coffee grounds may cause vomiting, tremors, seizures, or death.

4. What To Do if You Suspect Your Pet Ingested Something Poisonous

If you suspect your pet may have come into contact with something poisonous, it is crucial to monitor your pet’s symptoms and get them to the vet for evaluation. Another useful resource is The ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center. The center is available by telephone 365 days a year, 24 hours a day at (888) 426-4435.

There’s nothing like the love and companionship of a pet. We would do anything to keep them safe so sharing these types of safety tips is so important. We hope you find our tips useful and informative. If you have any suggestions you’d like to share we would love for you to let us know by leaving a comment.

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Blog.VetDepot is on hiatus

In the meantime use coupon code blog15 to save 15% at our main site www.vetdepot.com!

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How To Have a Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving3Thanksgiving is a great holiday for families to come together, put aside their drama, and enjoy delicious food. Whether you are hosting the Thanksgiving get-together or will be attending it elsewhere, you probably want to include your furry family member(s) in the festivities as well. With all of the traveling, people, and food around, it could potentially be a chaotic environment that may stress out your pet(s). To ensure that no accidents or mishaps occur due to the hectic nature of the holiday, just follow these simple guidelines: [click to continue…]

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VetDepot Halloween Costume Contest Entries!


The #VetDepotHalloween costume contest was a huge success this year, and we thank all who participated! We have never received so many submissions before, and we were so excited to receive so many photos of adorable animals wearing impressively cute costumes. As with any contest, not everyone can – because then it wouldn’t be a contest. In our case, we could only pick ONE first place out of the many who entered, and that winner took home a $100 gift card to VetDepot.com! The winner of this year’s #VetDepotHalloween costume contest was…
barkingbad

This pair of senior Boxers named Sprocket Rocket and Ratchet Junker! These two cuties dressed up as Jesse and Walter White (Heisenberg) from the iconic television show, Breaking Bad. Or should I say…Barking Bad? Extra creativity points for the pun, by the way (take note for next year). Jenn really took this costume contest seriously and elevated it to the next level! [click to continue…]

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