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Four Pet Ownership Costs Not To Overlook

Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Pet Ownership Costs Not To Overlook

Making the decision to adopt a pet isn’t just a life-changing situation for the pet, but also for you, as an owner. In order to provide your pet with the best possible experience, it’s important that you be prepared – even when it comes to your finances. If you are about to adopt a new furry family member, there are a number of important costs you should be factoring into your budget ahead of time. Here are just four you don’t want to overlook. Nutritional Food When it comes to the food you put in your body, you don’t simply look for the cheapest options. While price is important, you are more concerned with getting quality, nutritional food selections. Keep the same train of thought for your pet. Given the importance of nutritional food selections, you can expect to spend somewhere between $120 and $500 a year on quality pet food. The smaller your pet, the lower end of the spectrum your cost will be on and the opposite end for a larger dog. Chew-Toys You might not even think chew-toys would be considered a real expense, but depending on the breed you have, you could learn otherwise. Certain breeds, including the Labrador retriever and Shetland sheepdog, seem to be on a never ending quest to chew whatever they can. If you don’t have a stock of chew-toys on hand, they will seek out your shoes, furniture or whatever else they can find. Additionally, since they like to chew so much, they often go through chew-toys quickly, causing you to purchase these toys quite regularly. Rental Pet Deposit If you don’t own your home, don’t forget to factor in the rental pet deposit fee you might have to pay the property manager. This fee is generally designed to cover the cost of any upgrades or damages that need to be repaired once you move out, such as soiled carpet. Pet fees vary from a single, one-time deposit to a deposit and monthly fee. Your lease agreement can provide you with the details. Preventive Veterinary Care It’s not only important to take your pet to the veterinarian when they are sick, but also for preventive care, such as a yearly exam. The cost of this care can vary widely depending on the size and breed of your dog and the area that you live in. However, you can expect to spend somewhere between $45 and $200 with the first year and $20 to $100 each year thereafter for an annual exam, which doesn’t include the cost of any necessary treatments. The adoption fee, at a place like Pilot Knob Animal Hospital, is only the beginning when it comes to caring for your pet. Make sure you are financially prepared to provide your pet with the most comfortable and safe...

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4 Things Potbellied Pig Owners Need To Know About Rectal Prolapses

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things Potbellied Pig Owners Need To Know About Rectal Prolapses

Potbellied pigs can suffer from a number of serious health problems, including rectal prolapses. Rectal prolapses occur when the rectum—the last section of the large intestine—falls out of position and protrudes through the anus. Here are four things potbellied pig owners need to know about rectal prolapses. Why do potbellied pigs get rectal prolapses? Your potbellied pig can develop a rectal prolapse if they strain themselves while defecating. This can happen if they have severe diarrhea or if they are constipated. Essentially, they push so hard that they expel their own rectum. What are the signs of rectal prolapses? If your potbellied pig has a rectal prolapse, you’ll notice a red ring of tissue sticking out of their anus after they defecate. This tissue may slip back inside their anus, but it may remain outside of their body. If you notice this happening to your pig, take them to a vet right away. What complications can they cause? Rectal prolapses can cause multiple complications. Your pig may develop bladder retroversion, meaning that their bladder gets trapped within the prolapsed tissue. Eventration of the small intestine can also occur. This means that the small intestine bulges out of place. Finally, they can develop rectal stricture. Stricture is a medical term that means narrowing, so in simple terms, a rectal stricture is a narrowed anal opening. All of these complications can cause serious pain and distress for your pet, so seek treatment for rectal prolapses right away. How do vets treat rectal prolapses? Your vet may be able to treat your pig’s condition by injecting iodine into the lip of their bowel. Multiple injections will be given in this region. Iodine is a caustic substance, so when it’s injected into the bowel tissue, it forces the body to create scar tissue. This creates a ring of scar tissue around the lip of the bowel and holds the tissue in place. Rectal prolapses can also be treated surgically. Your pig will first be sedated to help it relax, then your vet will give it gas anesthesia to make it sleep through the procedure. While your pig is sleeping, your vet will pull your pig’s rectum back into place and then secure it with stitches. This is a routine procedure, so as long as you choose an experienced vet, you have nothing to worry about. After the surgery, your pig will be sent home to recover. Painkillers or antibiotics may be given to ensure that their recovery goes smoothly. Your vet may also prescribe a stool softener to keep your pig from needing to strain their bowels while they heal. If you think your potbellied pig is experiencing a rectal prolapse, take them to a vet, like those at the Edinburgh Animal Hospital,...

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3 Ways Your Pet’s Health Problems Can Transfer To You

Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways Your Pet’s Health Problems Can Transfer To You

As you already know, there are many benefits of owning a pet, but you also know that pets can have health issues that can affect you as well. Most of these problems are manageable, but some can potentially cause serious health issues to you or your pet if they’re not caught early. Here are three ways that your pet’s health problems can transfer to you. Parasites: As a pet owner, you’re well aware that your pet can get parasites such as fleas and ticks, but there is a myriad of other, more dangerous parasites that can affect your pets. Roundworm, ringworm and giardia are three of the more common parasites that can be transmitted from pets to humans. All of these can cause serious health issues including vision and organ damage with roundworm and intestinal and skin problems with ringworm and giardia. The symptoms are the same for pets and humans. Most cases are contracted through the handling of pet feces and are easy to prevent with good hygiene and proper waste disposal. Bacteria: Your pet can transfer bacteria without showing symptoms of being infected themselves. One of these types of transferable bacteria is salmonella. Though most people associate salmonella with birds and eggs, mammals and reptiles can also carry the bacteria. Another commonly known bacteria that affects humans is the Bartonela henselae bacteria which causes “cat scratch fever.” Like the name suggests, this bacterial infection is transferred by cat scratches. Leptospirosis is another common bacteria in the environment that can be transferred from pet to humans and cause rash and intestinal issues. Viruses: The type of viruses you can catch from an animal vary from species to species. Influenza can sometimes jump from poultry and pigs to humans, for example. The most serious virus that humans can catch from their pets is the easily preventable rabies. A recent study has shown that dogs are capable of contracting the highly contagious norovirus, or stomach flu, but the study didn’t go as far to say that they are able to spread it to their owners. In general, most of the common viruses that pets get will not make humans sick. Fortunately, most of these health issues are preventable through good hygiene, vaccinations and pest control. Take precautions when handling pet waste and bodily fluids. Have your pet examined at your veterinary hospital regularly and get treatment if your pet gets ill and both your pet and you should have many healthy years to...

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Tips For Hiking With Your Dog

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Hiking With Your Dog

Your pooch may be your best friend, and even double as your closest companion when you hit the trail for a hike. Whether you are going on a short day trip or a multi-day backpacking trip, your pet’s health should be one of your top priorities. The following tip can help you keep your dog both safe and happy on the trail. Tip #1: Avoid Dehydration The addition of a simple collapsible water bowl is a must, even for short hikes. Don’t allow your dog to drink from puddles, ponds, or streams unless you have first processed the water through a backpacking purifier. The same contaminants that upset a human stomach can also upset your dog’s. Bring enough water for both of you, which following the common eight glass of water a day rule, means at least 2 liters of water for each. Stop every half hour or so for a drink. If you feel thirsty, your dog likely to be thirsty too. Heavy panting can also be a sign of impending dehydration. Tip #2: Paw Protection After dehydration, injury to the paws are the next biggest concern. Your dog’s feet may not be toughened up to the trail, especially if they are used to walking n clean, paved roads. Dog booties protect their feet from injury. If there is wet or snow, it can also protect their feet from frostbite. Practice walking around the house with the dog booties on. Some dogs need to adjust to them or they will simply try to pull them off. Tip #3: Pest Concerns Fleas and ticks can be a major problem in the woods. Especially ticks, which can transmit diseases like Lyme. Your vet may recommend the use of a flea or tick collar if the pests are especially bad in your area. Whether you use a collar or not, though, it is important to still give your dog (and yourself) a thorough inspection with a flea comb after a hike. Keep a tick removal tool on hand so you can quickly get rid of any of the blood suckers you come across. Your vet may also recommend a Lyme vaccine, depending on the risk in your area. Tip #4: Be Prepared Finally, be prepared. Get a trail book on pet first aid and carry a first aid kit for dogs. Read through the book before you hike to ensure you know how to deal with the most common trail injuries, like removing bee stings, dressing minor wounds, or wrapping sprains. It’s also a good idea to talk with your veterinarian before you go. They can show you the proper responses for some common trail incidents and give you advice that specifically pertains to your dog and their unique health and fitness condition. For additional info, contact a veterinarian. ...

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The One Tool All Pet Owners Should Have For Emergency Injuries

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The One Tool All Pet Owners Should Have For Emergency Injuries

If your pet were to get cut or suffered an injury that left them bleeding, what would you do? You might first think to reach for bandages or gauze, which are both good ideas. However, there’s one product you may have never even heard of that can potentially save a pet’s life if they’re bleeding. Read on to learn more about this item and how you can use it. Styptic Powder Styptic powder is an antihemorrhagic, or literally a product that stops bleeding. When applied to a bleeding wound, styptic powder makes the surrounding tissues slightly swell, helping to seal the wound shut. This achieves a similar effect to holding pressure down on a wound, but it can perform the same action without you needing to keep a hand on your pet. Since a pet with an open wound may be anxious or frantic, styptic powder is something you can use to quickly slow or stop the bleeding without upsetting them further. It’s also great to have so you can apply it before you drive to an animal hospital to have your pet tended to by a veterinarian. Where To Get It Styptic powder comes in a few different forms, but it’s generally sold at most major pet stores and at veterinarian offices. You can buy it as a loose powder, in the form of a stick, as a gel, or even on pre-soaked pads that you can apply directly to your pet’s wound. How To Use It Before you apply styptic powder, you should try and cleanse the wound as much as you can. Remove any loose debris and wash any obvious dirt away from the area. If your pet’s fur is in the way, either brush it back or clip it with scissors so it doesn’t get in the way of the wound. After that, all you need to do is to apply the styptic powder directly to the wound. The package it comes in will have specific directions that explain how much you need, depending on which type of styptic powder, gel, or liquid you purchase. After you’ve applied the styptic powder, feel free to continue applying pressure to the wound with a bandage or gauze, especially if it’s a deep cut. Once you’ve applied the styptic powder, make sure to get to an animal hospital immediately. Bleeding wounds can fester and become infected, or your pet can potentially become anemic from bleeding too much. Styptic powder isn’t a replacement for proper veterinary care, but it can help to reduce the pain and suffering your pet experiences while you get them to the animal...

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Volunteer Work Available At Veterinary Hospitals

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Volunteer Work Available At Veterinary Hospitals

If you like animals and are an organized person, you should consider volunteering at a veterinary hospital like Stewartstown Vet Services or others. Depending on the season, many veterinary hospitals and shelters have much more work than the staff can easily handle. The personnel at these facilities will train you to learn the tasks that they need to have completed. Once they are familiar with your talents, capabilities, and available schedule they may even save tasks for you to complete. Here are some of the tasks and assignments that may be available at a veterinary hospital or animal shelter: Dog Walker – Walking and exercising the dogs that are boarded at veterinary hospitals and shelters is a fun and very worthwhile activity. As a volunteer, you are allowed to interface directly with the dogs and get to know each of their individual personalities. While giving these dogs some much-needed exercise, you will have an opportunity to teach them quick commands and involve them in very important obedience training. This task is an important part of keeping an animal socialized and well prepared to be adopted.  Office Clerical Work – There is always plenty of clerical work that a volunteer can do. You many be asked to help send out bills and correspondence, or make phone calls to confirm upcoming appointments and request payments for services rendered. You can also work in the reception area greeting incoming dogs and their owners and helping them fill out forms for available services. Taking care of these tasks allows the hospital staff to concentrate on other tasks such as advertising, website updates, and publications.  Organizing the Medical and Other Supply Areas – A volunteer may be asked to take inventory of the medical supplies, paper goods, food, and medications that are stored in the hospital and to order more supplies as needed. Keeping these areas well-stocked and organized, is of great help to the veterinary doctors and other staff members. Dog Grooming – Dogs who are boarded or healing from veterinary procedures need to be kept clean. Dogs are bathed in deep stainless steel sinks with warm running water. Dogs are usually tied by a tether to an overhead structure so that they can keep their heads up while being bathed, dried and brushed. As a volunteer, you may be asked to assist the veterinarian by holding a dog’s tether while he has his toenails clipped or teeth descaled of tartar.  Birds – Veterinarians that care for birds may have cage cleaning tasks that a volunteer can do. This usually involves changing a paper lining on the bottom of the cage, cleaning bird perches, and filling food and water cups. Birds are very intelligent so you may be asked to talk to them to keep them calm while you clean their cages.  These ongoing tasks must be tackled daily, weekly, or monthly in veterinary hospitals and animal shelters. If you are good at organization, you may be asked to come by for a few hours each week to volunteer your services. Your help will be greatly appreciated by the veterinarians and staff members who work at these facilities. While there is no monetary reward for volunteering at a veterinary hospital or animal shelter, the satisfaction that you get from helping is priceless....

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Managing Canine Diabetes: It’s A Matter Of Teamwork

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Managing Canine Diabetes: It’s A Matter Of Teamwork

Your dog has just been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus (Type 1). Your veterinarian says that with insulin, your furry friend can live a long, nearly normal life. So you’re thinking you just have to give a shot every day—no problem. Wrong. Diabetes is a constantly changing puzzle for which you continually need to adjust your strategy. However, you’re not alone. You have an invaluable resource in your veterinarian. Working as a team, and with a firm commitment from all parties, your pup truly can live a long, fulfilling life.  Education Is Key The key to proper diabetes management is understanding the disease. Your veterinarian will explain the basics of glucose metabolism and its importance for growth and energy. He or she will also explain the role of insulin in getting the glucose into the body’s cells. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. The glucose-insulin relationship is a complex system with many variables that are never static. When some condition causes your dog’s pancreas to produce too little insulin, the cells cannot draw in the glucose available in the bloodstream. The buildup of glucose in the blood causes increased urination, and therefore increased thirst. When the cells do not get enough energy from glucose, the body starts to break down fats and proteins leading to wasting away of muscle mass. If left unmanaged, diabetes can lead to liver and kidney damage, extreme weight loss, circulatory problems, vision impairment, secondary infections, coma, and eventually death. Proper Management Because the insulin-glucose cycle is complex and dynamic, you will have to monitor your dog’s blood sugar levels and adjust the amount of insulin you administer. It’s a balancing act. When your vet takes a thorough medical history, performs tests to measure blood glucose and diagnoses diabetes, he or she will prescribe an appropriate regimen of insulin. Now it’s your turn. You will need to monitor both physical improvement as well as blood glucose levels. According to K9Diabetes, the “ideal regulation of a diabetic dog is blood sugar that never drops below 100 or exceeds 150 mg/dL.”  If the blood glucose level is lower than that, you need to cut back on the amount of insulin. If it is more than the high end of that range, you will need to increase the dose. When first trying to regulate the insulin dose, it’s important to test blood glucose every few weeks and stay in touch with your veterinarian. Somogyi Effect There is a condition called the Somogyi effect, also called rebound hyperglycemia, that can complicate glucose regulation. It occurs when you administer a high dose of insulin, causing the blood glucose to fall well below the desired level. The body has a defense mechanism that tries to compensate and forces the glucose to increase, often to an abnormally high level. This becomes a circular cycle and makes it extremely difficult to determine what’s occurring and how to determine an optimal insulin dose. To determine the presence of the Somogyi effect, you or your vet will use a blood glucose curve. This entails taking glucose measurements at various times of the day, particularly after eating and after an insulin injection. After administering the insulin, the blood glucose will first drop sharply, then rebound to an abnormally high level. Your vet will work...

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4 Tips For Taking Care Of Your New Puppy’s Teeth

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips For Taking Care Of Your New Puppy’s Teeth

Getting a new puppy is a huge responsibility. You have to house train it, take care of its vet appointments and shots, feed it the best food for a growing young dog, and generally do what you can to give your puppy the best start in life. One thing you definitely shouldn’t overlook is your puppy’s dental care. Taking great care of your dog’s teeth now will help prevent issues down the road.  Here are four tips for taking care of your new puppy’s teeth: Get Appropriate Chew Toys Young puppies need a healthy outlet for their urge to chew on things. You can easily redirect their chewing from shoes and furniture by providing them with chew toys. Be very enthusiastic and encouraging when they begin to chew on their toys, so they know they’re doing what you want them to. Young dog teeth are somewhat fragile, so opt for soft, flexible rubber chew toys rather than hard bone or plastic ones.  Feed Your Puppy the Right Food It’s best to buy your young dog food that’s formulated specifically for puppies. This will ensure they get the nutrients they need most. Puppy food is also smaller and easier to chew than food made for adult dogs. Most vets agree that dry dog food is better for dog’s teeth than wet food, which can contribute to tooth decay and other dental issues. Get Your Puppy Comfortable with Mouth Handling It’s a good idea to get your dog used to having its mouth handled when it’s still young and before it has a chance to develop a fear of this sort of handling. This will make it much less stressful for both you and your dog to brush your dog’s teeth and have its teeth examined and cleaned by the vet. Brush Your Puppy’s Teeth Many people don’t realize they’re supposed to brush their dogs’ teeth. Luckily, special toothbrushes and toothpaste made just for dogs make this task easier. Some dog toothbrushes look a lot like human toothbrushes, while others fit right over your finger. Since dog toothpaste is usually flavored like chicken, beef, or peanut butter to best appeal to dogs, your puppy will most likely be glad to let you brush their teeth. By following these steps you will help ensure that your puppy has healthy teeth for a long time to come. If your puppy experiences any dental issues, be sure to make an appointment with a dental vet (click here for more...

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Why Cats Sleep In Their Litter Boxes

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Cats Sleep In Their Litter Boxes

Do you have a cat that likes to sleep in its litter box? Sometimes this behavior can be benign, but in many cases it’s the symptom of a deeper problem. By knowing your cat’s behaviors, you will be able to ensure your cat is happy and avoid potentially dangerous health issues.      Guarding Behavior And Stress If you have more than one cat and one of them is sleeping in the cat box on a consistent basis you have trouble on your hands. Cats can exhibit this behavior when they’re guarding their litter box from other felines. If this is going on you may notice your other cats eliminating inappropriately elsewhere. So what’s the solution to this problem? Go out and buy one cat box for each cat you have plus an additional one. Placing these boxes in different areas of the home will ensure all of your cats have the opportunity to use the litter box without invading another cat’s territory. If your cat is stressed, they may show similar behaviors to a cat that is guarding the litter box. However, this could happen even if your cat is an only cat. If your cat begins sleeping in the litter box or eliminating inappropriately, stress could be the culprit. Cats can become stressed if anything new happens in the household. This can mean anything from a new puppy, to installing a new dryer that is slightly louder than the last one. You can help minimize stress for your cat by gradually moving their litter box to a quieter place, or by using a hormone spray. Hormone sprays work by marking an area with a feline hormone that induces calm feelings in cats. Health Issues One of the more common reasons for cats to sleep in the litter box is if they’re having problems urinating properly. Urinary tract infections are common in cats and can cause them to have to urinate frequently. Due to the urge to frequently urinate your cat will sleep in the litter box so it doesn’t eliminate inappropriately. When To See Your Vet Urinary issues can become life threatening in cats if not treated properly. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your cat, get it to a vet (such as one from Phoenixville Animal Hospital – R B Wolstenholme DVM​) immediately: Breathing open mouthed Straining to urinate or defecate Blood in your cat’s urine Little or no urine or fecal matter after straining Exposed third eyelid These symptoms indicate your cat is in a life threatening situation and needs to be seen by your vet as soon as...

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Essential Tips For Hiking With Your Dog

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Essential Tips For Hiking With Your Dog

If your dog loves exercise and you enjoy the great outdoors, why not combine these two passions and take your dog on a hike? Here are some tips for taking your dog hiking and making it a safe and enjoyable experience. Bring the Right Items Before you go hiking with your dog, make sure you are bringing the right items. Being prepared is essential any time you go hiking but especially if you bring your furry friend along. Your dog should have a loose dog leash and not a retractable one. Their dog collar should be sturdy and have proper identification. It is also a good idea to put a bandanna or jacket on your dog with bright colors. Bring along extra bottled water and a small bowl for your dog to drink it out of. Also bring some snacks for you and your dog to munch on. Also have some bags for picking up dog waste, as well as first aid supplies. Protect Your Dog When you are planning on hiking with your dog, you are putting it at risk for ticks, fleas, and other parasites. Ticks are a big risk with hiking trails, so make sure you have a good flea and tick treatment on the dog, or use a repellent. It is a good idea to ring bug repellent that is safe to use on dogs. Also make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations to protect them against the many dangers they could come across. Follow the Rules and Regulations Every hiking trail has rules in regard to what you can and can’t do, and that includes dog-friendly trails. First of all, dogs are not allowed in all areas, so make sure you read the signs and know what trails you can bring your dog on. Next, be sure your dog is always on a leash. Even if your dog does great without one, this is often a park rule, and even if it is not, it will keep them safe. Don’t use a leash that is too long, since it can snag on trees and bushes. You want a nice sturdy leash that you can easily control. Also keep a close eye on your dog and its behavior. Clean up after your dog when it goes potty and be careful to avoid other people and dogs that you pass on the trail. General Hiking Tips When you start your hike, keep a close eye out for oak, sumac, and poison ivy, as these can all cause illness and discomfort for your dog. Look out for small critters like snakes, rabbits, and porcupines. They don’t all attack dogs, but your dogs might lose control when it sees one. Also look for larger animals, such as coyotes and bears. Give your dog a lot of walking breaks, stopping in the shade for water and the occasional snack if you are on a longer hike. If you aren’t sure whether or not your dog can physically handle a hike, get it examined by a vet from a clinic like Babylon Animal Hospital before you go. Also visit your vet if your dog is showing suspicious behavior or habits following the...

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