Is Your Pet In Pain?

“He’s not whining or anything. So he’s not in pain.” Owners often say this about their pets, but it never gets easier to hear. At first, the logic seems sound. We all know that dog and cats can vocalize when in extreme pain. In these situations, the pain is obvious. But most animals in pain do not whine or cry out. Instead, they suffer in silence. The Wild Instinct Imagine being a dog or a cat. You are wilder than a human being and you have strong survival instincts. A stranger might make you hide in the corner and a thunderstorm could send you into a panic. Animals do these things to protect themselves from possible threats. If an animal is in pain, then they are weaker, and more likely to

Duck, Duck...Chicken? Most Dog Foods Aren’t As Advertised

A study in Veterinary Dermatology recently found that 9 out of 10 over-the-counter diets include more ingredients than are listed on the bag. This spells trouble for dogs with food allergies, because they are often sensitive to a specific meat, like beef, chicken, or fish. Elimination Diets Must Be Prescription Diets Since over-the-counter diets are unreliable with their actual ingredients, a prescription diet must be used during a food trial when food allergies are suspected, and may be needed long-term. Having accurate ingredients is critical for any dog in this situation, not only to make a diagnosis, but also to choose a long-term diet. Unlike over-the-counter diets, prescription diets a

Why Grapes (Sometimes) Kill Dogs

When I was a kid, I used to feed grapes to my black Lab and best buddy, George. Grape tossing was a trick, actually. I’d get George to sit, and I’d toss him a grape, which he’d catch in his mouth. Then I’d take a step back, and toss him another grape. Until I was twenty feet away, throwing grapes across the kitchen into his snapping mouth. (My mom wasn’t a big fan.) You can imagine my shock when I got older and found out that grapes have been known to kill dogs. Was George invincible? Maybe a little bit. He got hit by a painter’s van one time and was none worse for the wear. But it would be more accurate to say that George was just a very, very lucky dog. In one case, 4 or 5 grapes proved fa

Considering Adoption? For Pets Sake Adopt Responsibly!

The idea of owning a cute little puppy or kitten crosses just about everyone’s mind at one time or another. Those adorable faces, playful demeanors and little barks and meows can melt anyone’s heart. The bond between humans and animals is very real as pets are often referred to as family members. Unfortunately, lots of people don’t do the research to fully understand the financial and emotional commitment that comes along with adopting a pet. You may be welcoming a new pet into your home, but unbeknownst to pets, the quality of their lives rests solely in your hands. Receiving the proper preventative care or medical attention needed, and ultimately their life span, all depends on the pet own

Vaccines For Dogs: Not Just A Shot In The Dark

Perhaps the hardest thing about vaccinations is recognizing their value, because if they are effective, then there isn’t much to see. In order to understand what we are vaccinating for, here is a quick breakdown of the vaccines for dogs. Rabies Vaccine Probably the best known disease that we vaccinate against is rabies. This is a deadly virus that is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Any mammal can be infected with rabies, including dogs, cats, humans, and wild animals like bats, coyotes, and raccoons. Rabies: When good dogs go bad. Real bad. Rabies virus travels up nerves until it reaches the brain, where it wreaks havoc. Animals behave abnormally and often aggressively, until

Kennel Cough: Protecting Your Pooch

“Hack! Hack! Ah-choo!” Oh no, those dreaded sounds. Your dog is coughing, sneezing, and snot is running from his nose. He doesn’t want to play ball and he just lays in bed. Could this be kennel cough? In short, yes. “Kennel cough” is our everyday description of any upper respiratory infection in the dog, but there are many possible bacteria or viruses that can be the actual culprit. Sometimes, kennel cough is a combination of multiple different infections at the same time. Transmission As the common cold is caught from other humans, kennel cough is caught from other dogs. This can be through direct, nose-to-nose contact or through the air by sneezing and coughing. Also, if you have been in t

Pet Dentistry: X-Rays Are Essential

What would you say to a barber that only cut one side of your hair? Or to a mechanic who washed your car but never opened the hood? Even if they worked for cheap, I’d guess that you’d be dissatisfied with either of these services. Happy with half a hair cut? Sadly, a similar situation occurs in veterinary dentistry. I frequently hear about pets getting their teeth cleaned, but never having their teeth x-rayed. “It’s cheaper,” I hear owners say. But of course it is! Because you’re basically getting half a haircut. Pain Is A Priority The goal of veterinary dentistry is eliminating pain, and pain comes from nerves in the roots of teeth, which are below the gums and invisible to the naked eye. T

Allergies Cause Infections: It’s Time To Get Off The Merry-Go-Round

Sometimes taking care of a pet with skin and ear infections feels like a merry-go-round -- but way, way less fun. You see the scratching, feel the crusty skin, or smell the stinky ears, and so you go to the vet. Then you give antibiotics for two weeks and the issue goes away. Great! Glad that’s done. But a month later, or a year down the line, it’s the same thing all over again. This frustrating cycle is all too common, but the good news is, if you also treat the underlying cause, you can bring this awful merry-go-round to a stop. Allergies Cause Infections Allergies cause infections. Allergies cause infections. ALLERGIES CAUSE INFECTIONS! This should be announced with a red flashing light i

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