Archive for the ‘Seasonal’ Category

How To Keep Dogs Safe From Summer Heat

August 8th, 2012

This summer has been unusually hot. Dogs can’t sweat through their fur like we sweat through shirts, so it’s up to you to help your dog survive the heat wave.

Can’t Dogs Handle The Outdoors?

Dogs only have two ways to release heat: by panting and by releasing heat from their paws. That’s it. As summer wears on, it’s critical that you keep your dog cool. If they get too hot and can’t release heat fast enough, heat stroke strikes.

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What to get your vet for the holidays? An online vet review!

December 19th, 2011

online vet reviews, ask a vet, what to give your vet for christmasPerhaps it has never crossed your mind to get your vet something for the holidays, but there are a number of pet parents that do shower our clinics with tokens of appreciation. (Thanks guys!  You are in the minority and are appreciated!)

It is almost always in the form of desserts. Cookies, brownies, homemade candy…our lunch room overfloweth with endless calories that most of us really don’t need.

Instead, this year if you would like to share the holiday spirit with your vet and their staff, I would encourage you to give something of lasting value that also happens to be free—a positive online vet review.

It’s no secret that angry people are far more likely to go the trouble of ranting online with negative reviews than satisfied customers.  It is no different in the veterinary world.

As a veterinarian, I have received many handwritten cards, letters, and thank you notes from clients over the years; I cherrish and keep every single one. They warm my heart and remind me of why I am in the veterinary profession, which all the thankless irresponsible pet parents our there do a pretty damn good job of sometimes making me forget.

But I am the only one who sees them! Read the rest of this entry »

Beat the heat with vet tips for a safe summer

July 9th, 2011

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July is here, and along with it the official dog days of summer. Keep your pets safe during this heated season with these easy tips.

Outdoor smarts.

Dogs and cats can become dehydrated quickly, so give your pets plenty of water when they are outdoors, even if they are only out for a short period. Shady places are important so Fido can escape the sun when the temperature rises. In addition, don’t let your pet linger on hot asphalt. Lying on a hot surface cause your pet’s temp to quickly soar, and may even burn them. Of course our readers know to never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle, but be sure to keep an eye out for careless dumb dumbs that do. Don’t forget–heatstroke can be fatal.

heatstroke in dogs, signs of overheated cat, overheated dog

Heatstroke is NOT this obvious.

Know how to tell if your pet is overheated.

The signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, seizures, and an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees, and even blue or bright red gums. Don’t forget—short-faced or stub-nosed breeds like pugs are more susceptible to overheating as they can’t pant as effectively. Also at risk are overweight pets, or those with concurrent illnesses, espeically heart or lung in origin.

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Overheating in Dogs

May 28th, 2011

heat stroke in dogs, online vet reviewsAs the weather warms up, it is important to brush up on your knowledge of heat stroke in pets.

Signs that your dog is overheated

Panting is one of the most early and common signs, followed by the dog appearing dull or disoriented. Breathing is usually fast and noisy. They may even collapse or convulse. Their gums may either be bright red or blue. Vomiting, diarrhea, and internal bleeding (manifesting as red/purple spots on the gums, skin, urine, or feces) may occur. Sudden death from cardiac arrhythmias is even a possibility.

If your dog is just panting and you aren’t sure if they are in danger for overheating, you can attempt to take their temperature. Heat stroke usually occurs at a temperature of 104 F and over . Keep in mind, rectal temperatures are the most accurate way to take your dog’s temperature, however, if they have stool in their rectum, it will be artificially lowered.

What should you do if you suspect your dog is overheated?

Grab your dog, wet him or her with cool tap water, and head to the veterinarian ASAP! Wrap your dog in a wet towel on the way to the hospital, as lowering the temperature (slowly, not rapidly) is of crucial and timely importance. Cool tap water, not ice, should be used. If you dog shows interest in drinking water, allow them by all means. If you dog is unconscious, make sure no water can get up their nose or mouth. Call your vet en route, so they can have a team prepared to act quickly! Read the rest of this entry »

FIDO Friendly Review & Giveaway!

January 17th, 2011
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Photo by Spot Gershon

Ah, with the weekend full of snow, and the inside fire so warm and cozy, I had the opportunity to read the latest FIDOFriendly magazine and what a treat it was!  Keep reading because there is a treat in store for one lucky reader!

In case you’ve been living under a rock or aren’t much of a dog person, FIDOFriendly is a bimonthly travel and lifestyle magazine for dog lovers.  There motto is “Leave No Dog Behind,” and the magazine is full of pawesome ways to make that happen.

A couple of articles in this issue really hit home with me. Carol Bryant’s article “You’ve come a long way, Sparky!” made me smile. It reviewed the changes we as pet owners have embraced over the decades: home-cooked dog food, traveling with pets, pets as family members, and considering our furbabies as family members in general. As veterinarians, I cannot imagine practicing in a time when owners did not believe their dogs could feel pain, or let ailments go untreated. And as the world’s first online veterinary hospital, of course we encourage positive change for the world of canines!

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Photo by Nutloaf via Flickr

I got a kick out of the “Designer Digs” piece which discusses how dogs influence the type of furniture we fill our homes with. In particular it made me laugh because we have a new couch about to be delivered, and yes, we chose for our pets–heavily distressed leather is slobber, hair, and even grosser bodily fluids friendly! Out with the stained cloth fabric, our pets really do work their way into our hearts and changing our lifestyles (happily, of course).

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The Top Ten Pet Owner Mistakes to consider for New Year’s Resolutions

January 1st, 2011

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10. Purchasing a pet out of spontaneity. Think the puppy in the window is adorable and irresistible? How much work can they really be? Think again. Learn where your puppy came from, and be educate yourself about what you are committing to when you bring your pet into your home.

9. Skimping on obedience training. I am a veterinarian and not a trainer and am not about to begin recommending a training program for you, but it is absolutely crucial that your pet is trained. Think the biting puppy is cute and harmless now? Wait until the 65 lb dog bites your child or a stranger in the face.

dog mass, bump on dog, find a vet, good veterinarian8. Not getting a second vet opinion. Your vet wants to watch that mass on your dog’s belly or listen as the persistent cough progresses into pneumonia? All vets aren’t created equally, and some just plain don’t listen. Find one that does. Read signs that you have a good veterinarian and things not to do at the vet.

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2010 Animal News in Review

December 31st, 2010

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11.  More than 200 million gallons of oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico.  The unwitting victims were the thousands of animals living in the region, including wildlife, fish, and even pets.

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10. Sea world trainer dies in killer whale attack

9. More money is given to animal charities than child charities in the USA. ???

8.  Mia is euthanized and returns to life. On the positive side of this horrific and inexcusable incident, lazy vets get a beat down. Read the rest of this entry »

The Dog who ate a glass ornament

December 24th, 2010
ask a vet, at home pet remedy, vet 24/7I love “eves.” I like birthday eves, anniversary eves, New Years Eve, and my favorite is Christmas Even. In honor of Christmas Eve, I want to share a cute pet story to remind everyone to keep their pets safe so we can all enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.

It was several years ago and it was Christmas Eve. I was working at the hospital when a frantic pet owner brought in Charlie, her rather portly golden retriever.

Luckily, his pet parent had given us a call on her way into the hospital, and in doing so, had given me some time to do a bit of veterinary research for something I had never seen (it was my first Christmas as a veterinarian after all).

Charlie had eaten a glass tree ornament.

There are many times the diagnostic tests that a vet recommends are so confusing that the pet owner needs a background in medicine to understand it’s purpose.  This was not one of those times.

The solution?

The super-fancy and medical treatment for having eaten a broken Christmas ornament?

ask a vet, dog health problems, 24/7 vetCotton balls covered in peanut butter.

Feeding Charlie lots of cotton balls covered in peanut butter. As many as he would willingly eat. His nonselective palate this time was both a blessing and a curse, as Charlie would eat most anything, from cotton balls to glass ornaments. Read the rest of this entry »

Do you know how to winterize your pets?

December 16th, 2010

How to Keep your Pet Safe & Healthy this Cool Season of the Year

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1. Proper shelter and bedding. For the outdoor pets, make sure that they have adequate shelter, such as a dog house with appropriate bedding to shield the cold. Proper bedding is help support pets with arthritis. For the indoor pooches, while many dogs enjoy sleeping on cool tile in the summer, make sure your pet has a comfortable place to sleep this winter—if they aren’t taking up half your bed, that is.

2. If you decide to bring your pets into the garage, make sure they don’t have access to dangerous substances. Anti-freeze and rodenticide poisonings all increase during the winter as pet owners allow their pets into garages without realizing the dangers their pets are exposed to.

cat health issues, what is toxic to dogs, how to winterize your pets3. Bang the car hood! Cats are known to climb into car engines to stay warm. I have unfortunately lost more than one feline patient brought in to the ER after the car engine was started. Please bang on the hood, honk the horn, AND locate your feline before you crank the ignition.

4. On a lighter note, be sure to make sure your petite and less furry pets are appropriately clothed. While certain breeds of dogs are fully equipped with their coats to blaze a winter blizzard, our petite chihuahuas are certainly not.

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Suited for the cold vs. suited for a cozy dog bed by the fire

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Pet Presents: Giving in it’s many different forms

December 15th, 2010
online veterinary advice, dog health problems, pet vet

Dogs in Diamonds: What's wrong with this picture?

As the holidays are right upon us, I have been nothing short of shocked at the ritzy and expensive gifts that are on the market for our four-legged family members.

Louis Vuitton pet carriers for $2100, doggy diamond collars for $378,000 and home pet spas for over $1200?

Actually this last one may have some hydrotherapy benefits depending on it’s features that could potentially save owners of dogs with limb injuries some money over the course of a lifetime.

I am honestly surprised a market for these extravagant gifts exists, but then again, I don’t have jewelry or Louis Vuitton on my Christmas wish list.

I guess the point of giving your pooch $3000 cologne is your pet will honestly love it. Of course, they would honestly love a new boomerang squeaky toy just as much, but it is without doubt that pets are much more gracious and appreciative at receiving gifts than we are as people.

dog health problems, sick dog symptoms

With pets, there is no baggage, no ulterior motives, and no fear of misinterpretation. Which is why we love our pets so much!

Unconditional love.

While we did spend some money on our pets this Christmas, I think their real joy will be some extra lap time and love, or for the dogs, a trip to the park off leash when we get our first big snow.

If you haven’t purchased a gift for your pets, consider giving something else entirely. Read the rest of this entry »