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Corneal Abrasions in Dogs

The cornea is the outer layer that is transparent at the front of the eye. Due to the delicate nature of the cornea, any material in the eye or trauma to the eye can easily result in a corneal abrasion. Many dogs go their whole life never suffering from this type of injury, while certain breeds may commonly experience this injury due to their large eyes.

 Common Causes for Corneal Abrasions Include:

  • Running through heavy vegetation
  • Deformity in the structure of the eye
  • Fights or playful swatting with other animals
  • Foreign bodies in the eye

If you’re not familiar with corneal abrasions but you notice your dog exhibiting any of the following symptoms, you should take them to the Veterinarian for treatment:

Symptoms:

  • Blinking Rapidly
  • Swelling
  • Pawing or scratching the eye
  • Redness

If your dog’s veterinarian determines there is a foreign body in the eye causing your dog’s abrasion, the foreign body will be removed and your dog’s eye will be examined for further injury. Treatment will depend on how severe the injury is along with what part of the eye was injured. Typically your dog will need to wear a cone until the abrasion heals to prevent scratching. In addition, atropine or antibiotic eye solutions may be prescribed to aide in your dog’s healing.

Most corneal abrasions are treatable with medications, but there are instances when abrasions are wide or deep and require suturing.

Prevention:

To avoid corneal abrasions consider the following suggestions:

  • Take care when introducing your dog to other pets that may paw at their face
  • Discourage your dog from running through dense vegetation
  • Discourage your dog from rough housing with other animals, even if it’s playful
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Update Your Pet’s Identification Tag

This is a friendly reminder to update your pet’s identification tags and remember to keep them on your pet at all times. Sadly, accidents happen, pet’s get spooked or curious and every day pets go missing. Whether your pet is an inside or outside pet, it’s very important to keep a collar with their identification tag on them at all times. In the event your pet goes missing, their identification tag will aide in their safe return.

If your pet is microchipped it’s an added bonus. However, if your dog is microchipped but has no identification tag and becomes lost, any individual who may try to find the owner will need to take your pet to the nearest vet or shelter. While many individuals would go out of their way to help a pet who appears to be lost, sadly some individuals may not. However, keeping an identification tag on your dog allows any individual who finds your pet to easily contact you.

An identification tag greatly increases the chances of your lost pet coming back home to you. It’s important to keep your pet’s tag on them at all times and ensure the correct and updated information is on the tag.

Information included on your pet’s identification tag should include:

  • Your pet’s name
  • Your first and last name
  • Your address
  • Your Phone number

 

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Is Your Cat Suffering From a Hot Spot?

Have you ever noticed a patch of fur missing on your cat’s body? It could be bald or it can resemble a lesion with fluids oozing. Does your pet seem to be constantly bothered by the spot and lick it? Your cat may be suffering from a hot spot. A hot spot is an area of infected, inflamed skin located on a cat’s thigh, tail, neck, or head.

What Causes a Hot Spot?

Allergies- You cat may suffer from a type of allergy. For example, your cat may allergic to a type of food, a household cleaner or the brand of kitty litter they are exposed to.

Age- The older the cat, the more susceptible they are to hot spots.

Diet- Your cat’s food should be high quality. If it contains too much carbohydrates or starch it can result in allergies. Too many carbohydrates or starch causes your cat to over produce yeast, ultimately resulting in irritation.

How Is a Hot Spot Treated?

If you suspect your cat is suffering from a hot spot make an appointment for her to be seen by her veterinarian. Treatment may be as simple as changing your cat’s food or determining what household product is causing your cat’s allergic reaction. In other cases, your cat may require a cortisone shot to help clear up any hot spots. It’s not uncommon for your cat to require multiple cortisone shots before the hot spot is completely gone. The veterinarian may suggest an anti-itch spray that will help relieve any itchiness while the hot spot heals. Since cats are known to lick their hot spots, preventing them from healing, a pet cone is a great tool for helping your cat heal by not allowing her to lick the hot spot.

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Preparing Your Pet For Severe Weather

In many parts of the country storm season has officially arrived. Wind, hail, thunderstorms, tornados, and flash floods are all bound to occur. If you haven’t already, It’s important to establish a safety plan with your family in the event of severe weather. Where will you all meet if a natural disaster is imminent? If you’re not home or in your safe shelter, how will you check in with all your family to ensure you’re all okay? It’s crucial to include your pets in your family’s safety plan. A family member should be designated to ensure all pet’s are collared, leashed and accounted for in the event of severe weather. It’s incredibly important to consider that your pet may be anxious during a storm.

Loud storm noises cause pets to become anxious and scared. As humans, we understand what these noises are and why they’re happening, but pets do not.

Dogs specifically can sense a storm approaching because they are sensitive to barometric pressure. This may cause some dogs to become panicked while other dog’s may not be anxious at all. 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 you’re home and your dog is frightened take these steps:

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.

 

Put Your Dog’s Thundershirt On- 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.

 

Keep Calm– Acting calm will help your dog significantly. Dogs 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.

Always 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.

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Pets Suffer From Allergies Too

Do you suffer from allergies? As the weather changes it sure causes allergy sufferers to struggle. Just like humans, pets can suffer from allergies. You may find this surprising and have never noticed your pet act differently or exhibit signs of allergies. Or maybe you have noticed your pet show signs of being uncomfortable or agitated but it left you unsure of what was wrong.

If Your Pet Does Suffer from Allergies, Look for These Symptoms:

  • Increased snoring
  • Hair loss
  • Red eyes
  • Watery eyes or nose
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Head shaking
  • Constant licking or chewing on their paws or other areas of their body causing sores

These symptoms are a 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 Are Caused By:

  • Trees
  • Molds
  • Pollens
  • Grasses
  • Ragweed

If any of the symptoms mentioned describe your pet’s behavior, make an appointment for them to be seen by their veterinarian. If the veterinarian determines your pet is suffering from allergies, follow his or her directions to get a handle on your pet’s suffering. The veterinarian may prescribe allergy fighting medications such as Diphenhydramine or Atopica. Frequent baths or soaks in prescription grade shampoos like PhytoVet C 4% may be recommended to help alleviate your pet’s symptoms as well. It may take some time to find the right medications or treatments for your pet. Evaluate your pet closely and try your best not to get discouraged if you have to try a few different methods of treatment. Your pet will appreciate your help to alleviate their aggravating allergies.

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Spring Break Travel Safety

Planning on taking a trip for Spring break? Many of us will travel this season and it’s not uncommon to include your pets in your travel plans. They are part of the family after all! Consider the following tips to ensure you and your pet travel safely:

If You’re Traveling by Plane:

  • Check with the airline prior to booking your ticket to see what their rules and restrictions are for traveling with pets. Some airlines only allow pets to travel in the cargo. This can be extremely dangerous 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.

 

  • Purchase a direct flight and avoid lay overs. 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.

 

  • Prepare ahead of time and avoid feeding your pet for 4-6 hours before traveling. A pet with a full stomach is more likely to experience gastrointestinal upset. However, a small amount of water is okay and should be provided.

 

  • Pet Identification is very important. Your pet should wear a collar with an ID tag. In addition, label your pet’s crate or carrier with their name, your name, your address, your phone number, and your destination.

If You’re Traveling by Car:

  • Ensure your pet has proper, updated identification and all their necessary supplies. This includes their leash, harness, food, treats, water, and water dish.

 

  • Keep your pet restrained during the car ride. 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 accordingly and remember you will need to make plenty of rest stops. Most animals aren’t accustomed to long road trips. Give your pet plenty of opportunities to potty and to get some exercise.

 

  • Never leave your pet unattended in the car. 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.
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Homemade Dog Treat Recipes

Do you ever feel like spoiling your dog? You could take him on a special walk or a ride in the car, but if your dog is like mine, he loves treats. He usually loves Greenies treats but it’s obvious he sometimes gets bored of the same treats time after time. Homemade treats are very easy to make and my dog loves them. Not only are they healthy for him, but it’s a bonding experience for us as he sits at my feet anxiously awaiting his special treats while I make them. If you want to do something extra special for your dog and you have 30 minutes to spare, consider making your four legged pal some homemade treats!

Whether you’re an experienced baker or not the following treats are an easy and quick way to show your pooch some extra love:

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • 1 Tblspn. Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Tspn. Tumeric
  • 1/2 Tspn. Cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Wash and peel sweet potato. Cut into long skinny french fry like pieces evenly sized.
  • Toss sweet potato pieces with coconut oil and spices.
  • Evenly distribute sweet potato pieces on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Flip sweet potato pieces over and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Cool and enjoy!

Frozen Apple Treats

Ingredients:

  • 2 Apples
  • 1 Cup Greek Nonfat Plain Yogurt
  • Water

Instructions:

  • Slice apples into small pieces removing the seeds and core.
  • Mix the apple pieces with yogurt and a splash of water. Blend in a food processor or blender until ingredients form a liquid consistency.
  • Pour mixture into ice cube trays and freeze for 3 hours or until hard.
  • Enjoy and keep frozen!

Banana Almond Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 Cup Unsalted Almond Butter
  • 1/3 Cup smashed banana
  • 1 Tspn. Ground Cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix all ingredients until well blended.
  • Drop small nickel sized spoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, rotate pan and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Allow treats to cool and enjoy!
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What You Need to Know Before Adopting a Turtle

Turtles make wonderful pets. Despite not being cuddly like a dog or a kitten, Turtles are fun to watch and care for and make a great addition to any family.

If you are considering adopting a Turtle it’s important to understand that Turtles and Tortoises are not the same. Turtles mostly swim in water and have webbed feet. Their diets consist of both plants and animals making them omnivores. Tortoises have defined toes and live on land. Their diets consist of primarily plants making them vegetarians.

Like any other pet adoption, it’s important to understand what your Turtle will need and ensure you can commit to taking care of them. Here are some quick Turtle facts you may or may not already know that can help you decide if a pet Turtle is right for you:

There Are 270 Types of Turtles- Before bringing a Turtle home it’s best to do research on the type of Turtle you’re considering adopting. They may require a particular diet as well as a certain temperature in their environment. Not all Turtles are the same, so this can vary greatly.

All Turtles Carry Salmonella- Salmonella is a type of bacteria that many reptiles carry in their intestinal tracts. While Turtles are not harmed by this, they shed Salmonella in their waste and if other pets or humans are exposed to it, it can make cause terrible gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting. Anyone who handles a Turtle or cleans it’s tank must wash their hands thoroughly afterwards to avoid Salmonella.

Turtles Need Their Space- While a Turtle may look like a small creature to you, they require ample amount of space. Their tank needs to be five times the length of an adult Turtle as well as contain two and a half times as deep of water that the Turtle is long. In addition, it’s important to have a filter in the Turtle’s tank to keep the water clean.

Turtles Need Dry Land- Turtles spend most of their time swimming but still need to dry off sometimes. Therefore, your Turtle’s tank should have a large rock they can bask in when they need to be dry.

Turtles Have Long Life Spans- When Turtles are taken care of properly they can live for decades. This is a critical factor to remember if you’re considering adopting a Turtle as a pet. You will need to ensure you can commit to caring for a pet for many years.

Turtles Require Veterinary Care- It’s important to be on the look out for any physical changes in your Turtle. If you notice your Turtle is avoiding eating, has swollen eyes, or their shell is discolored, they will need to be evaluated by their veterinarian who specializes in Reptile care.

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April Is Heartworm Awareness Month

The month of April is dedicated as 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 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.

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.

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 for dogs and cats 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 is 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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Easter Safety Tips

Easter is a few days away and we hope everyone enjoys the day with their friends, families, and fur babies. Whether you celebrate at home, at a park, or a friend’s house, we thought this would be a great time to remind our readers of some key tips for keeping their pets safe this Easter.

Easter Lilies Are Poisonous

The Easter Lilly, is an Easter staple. While it’s gorgeous, it can be potentially life threatening, especially to cats. Exposure to its pollen, leaves, or even the water the flower is kept in, can cause vomiting, frequent urination, and possible kidney failure. If these symptoms go left untreated, death can occur fairly quickly. Dogs may experience gastrointestinal distress if exposed, but nothing life threatening like cats do. It’s best to keep Easter Lilies away and out of reach from all pets.

Table Scraps Can Be Deadly

We know how cute our fur babies can be begging for leftover food, but giving them even small amounts can potentially be fatal. The ingredients used, spices for flavoring, and fat contents can make your pets incredibly ill with nausea and diarrhea, to the point hospitalization is needed. For example, the high salt content in ham can cause pancreatitis in dogs. This makes dogs incredibly sick and can be life threatening. It’s best to avoid giving your pets table scraps all together, no matter how cute they look asking for them.

Keep All Easter Candy up and Away from Pets Reach

Chocolate is bad for pets to ingest and in doing so it can cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Many candies these days are made with an artificial sweetener called xylitol. Small amounts of xylitol can be fatal to pets. It doesn’t take much exposure to cause tremendous harm. This makes it so important to keep all easter candies up and out of reach of pets.

Easter Grass and Confetti Are Dangerous to Pets

If you plan on decorating with confetti, or Easter grass you may want to think twice. Confetti and Easter grass is not easily digested by pets. These items can be easily be mistaken as normal grass prompting your pets to ingest these items. Ingestion may cause a great amount of damage. Damage can involve the confetti or grass becoming lodged or blocked in the intestines or stomach, extreme discomfort, and possibly internal punctures which may require surgery or result in death.

VetDepot wishes you and your family a happy and safe Easter!

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