Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pet Food Nutrition

February 12th, 2014

Part 3

online vet, pet food nutritionPet Food Topics

Organic - At least this one has a legal definition. According to the USDA – the term “USDA Organic” may only be applied to pet food labels that follow USDA rules. Look for the seal, but there is much blur even on the definition of organic. Read more on organic here.

Holistic - There is not even a legal definition of this term under laws devoted to pet foods. Any manufacturer can make claims of “holistic” in literature and brochures regardless of ingredients chosen. SIGH.If you want to waste your money on this veterinary marketing ploy, go ahead; it is meaningless and unregulated.

Human Grade- Claims that a product contains or is made from ingredients that are “human grade”, “human quality”, “people foods”, “ingredients you (the purchaser) would eat”, are false and misleading.  It is illegal for companies to use this wording unless the food is made start to finish in a human plant but that doesn’t stop them from doing so.

Natural - According to AAFCO, the term “natural” requires a pet food to consist of only natural ingredients without chemical alterations.

NTA Tick Surveillance Program

August 16th, 2013

by Dr. Tom Khun

TickHave you heard about the National Tick Assessment program?  That is what I think we should be doing when we find a tick on ourselves or our pets.  Remove the tick with tweezers, place it in a zip-lock bag and take it to your veterinary office for identification.  Knowing the species of tick will help your physician or veterinarian zero in on the tick-borne disease the tick may carry.  Certain ticks carry certain diseases and not others.  For example:  A Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum) carries Tularemia disease, Ehrlichiosis, Tick Paralysis and on cats can transmit Cytauxzoonosis.  Whereas, the American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis) transmits Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, babesiosis, Tularemia and Tick Paralysis but not Erhlichiosis. There are at least six common species of ticks and at least eight common diseases.  When you or your pet becomes ill, the doctor will know the likely diseases to test for and treat.

Certain areas of the country are hot-beds for certain species of ticks.  The Brown Dog Tick (Ripicephalus sanquineus), which can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Erhlichiosis, and Babesiosis, is found throughout the U.S. and even worldwide, but the American Dog Tick doesn’t inhabit the Rocky Mountain area of the country.  If you go on vacation with your pet and pick up a hitch-hiker you hadn’t counted on, take the tick to your veterinary office, have it identified and you and your pet will have additional information to help you both stay safe and healthy.

Have questions about ticks?  Vets are standing by.

In his daily clinical practice Dr. Kuhn has a special interest and advanced training in ultrasonography, knee surgery, dentistry, and pain management. Dr. Tom Khun  is owner of two animal hospitals in Asheville, NC.

Gainesville, FL Veterinarian on exercising with your dog; safety first

August 9th, 2013

Dogs make great running companions. They get us off the couch, provide a sense of safety, and are just fun to be with. Running is also a good way to burn off extra energy that might otherwise go into chewing and barking. Before you set out, bring your dog in for a physical exam to be sure your dog’s heart and joints are healthy. Here are some safety tips:

  • Most young dogs (5-12 months) have enough energy to keep up with a person jogging, but not the brains to know when to stop. Excess impact can permanently damage developing bones. Wait until small/medium breed dogs are 6 to 9 months and large breed dogs are 12 months of age to introduce a running program. Until then, take long walks and short easy jogs on softer grass or trails.
  • Choose a light and sturdy 4 to 6 foot leash which will be comfortable to hold while running. A head collar is a great option for dogs that tend to pull.
  • Be extra cautious in hot weather, which can occur year round in sunny Florida. Watch carefully for signs of fatigue or heat illness (panting, slowing down, foaming at the mouth, weakness, seeking shade, agitation, glazed eyes).  Also remember to exercise early in the morning or late in the evening when it is cooler.
  • When you start running with your dog, begin slowly to gradually condition him/her. Many dogs will keep going past what they can reasonably tolerate. Watch for signs of fatigue, as listed above, during your run. Also look for stiffness and raw, tender foot pads the next day. These would all be signs you went too far too soon.

Dr. Jennifer Wallace is a Gainesville, FL Veterinarian who is an avid writer and pet parent.

A case for close quarters with our pets

April 15th, 2013

While there are some disease risks that rise when we share our home and germs with our pets, with proper hygiene and just as important thorough preventative care for your pets, sharing your home with pets and relishing in as many furry snuggles as possible does have its wealth of benefits, including psychological support, friendship, and even promoting good health. Here are a few of my favorites.

Elderly and petsPets are a natural mood elevator! In fact, playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine.
Infants are less likely to develop allergies if they share their home with a family dog. They also are less likely to develop eczema.

Having pets tends to lead to better heath for the elderly, particularly less anxious outbursts for those with Alzheimer’s. At least one insurance company (Midland Life Insurance Company) even asks elderly applicants if they have a pet as part of their screening.

Sharing your life with a dog or cat has cardiovascular benefits as well. It appears to lower blood pressure and heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without pets.

While extra cautions should be taken with the young, elderly, or immune-compromised, the studies shows there is a low risk of zoonotic disease transmission from sharing your home with a healthy pet. Any area licked by a pet, especially for those at increased health risk or an open wound, should be immediately washed with soap and water. Pets should be kept free of all ectoparasites, routinely dewormed for protection against internal parasites, maintained on heartworm prevention medication year round, and regularly examined by a veterinarian. Use common sense and wash your hands after handling feces or even gardening. Keeping your fur kids healthy is crucial to keeping your human family healthy.

Pleasant Plains Animal Hospital contributed to this article. They are a Staten Island Veterinary Hospital.

Ask a vet for advice on choosing a pet

May 18th, 2012
online vetPart 2, by Online Vet Dr. Laci

Trying to answer the question, “What breed is best for my home and family?”

Okay, you’ve decided if you are going to go dog or cat, but the the next decision is a bit more difficult. Whether it is important to you to go with a purebred or a mixed breed is something you should spend a lot of time deciding. By selecting a mixed breed from a pound or a purebred from a breed-specific rescue agency, an abandoned animal will be re-homed so this is really something to consider. You will be changing the world for this pet! Also, with a mixed breed, some of the genetic problems associated with inbreeding can be avoided and the initial cost to acquire the pet will be considerably lower by sticking with a mixed breed.

If you are set upon a certain breed, the best way to predict the attitude and physical attributes of an adult pet is to do your research about their parentage–and don’t cut corners. Unless you know the parents, it is merely a guessing game trying to predict the size, health, or behaviors the pet will develop as they grow up. It sort of defeats the point of getting a purebred in the first place and you might as well adopt or rescue. In contrast, selecting an adult, something that often not considered, whether rescue or purebreed, allows you to actually see their physical characteristics, health and behavior of the animal. You also skip many frustrating steps of puppyhood when you adopt an adult. Read the rest of this entry »

Online vet advice to keep your pet safe at Easter

April 6th, 2012

online vet advice, ask a vetEaster is a very fun time of your for children and adults alike, but there are some dangers that the pastel holiday poses to our pets. Ask a vet and they are certain to agree that the following items are off limits.

Chocolate is toxic for dogs and cats as well.

Foods containing the artificial sweetener xylitol (think candy, gum, many baked goods and even toothpaste) which can cause a fatal drop in blood pressure and death.

Easter basket grass can cause intestinal obstruction in cats and smaller dogs and may lead to emergency surgery.

easter food toxic for dogsEaster lilies are highly toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure and even death.

Also posing a risk are candy wrappers, sticks and plastic eggs.

If your Easter dinner contains any atypical holiday foods, here are some friendly reminders for foods that are toxic to dogs and cats: Read the rest of this entry »

Just for fun – Online Vet Dr. Laci

April 4th, 2012

Bird dog

online vet

This breeder really crossed the line--or several

Happy Wednesday!

Dr. Laci

online vet

Ask a vet for advice on choosing a pet

March 30th, 2012
By Online Vet Dr. Laci

ask a vet, online vet, online vet reviewsWhen I asked once on our Facebook page how pet parents chose their pets, the overwhelming majority say that their pet chose them. While it certainly is important to have that “chemistry” and initial exciting spark about a pet that you are considering sharing your life with (potentially for close to 20 years for some pets), it is also wise to follow some guidelines in selecting a pet.

Seeking guidance before obtaining a new pet can prevent countless behavior and health problems in pets. There are so many things to consider! You must not only decide how to select the best pet for your household, but also prepare in advance for the new arrival. Ask a vet or pet expert and they will tell you topics to consider include the species, breed, age, and sex of the pet, where to obtain the pet (rescue or breeder, just not a puppy mill or pet store please!) and how the kennel, breeder, and pets can best be assessed. As for the “homework” you must do before Fido or Fluffy arrives, you should decide where the pet will be housed, what type of bedding, feeding, training, exercise, scheduling, veterinary care, and if pet insurance is something you are interested in.

The lifespan of pets:

    Pet Average Lifespan
    Cats 14 years or more
    Dogs 10 years or more
    Goldfish 2 years or more
    Birds 7 to 80 years
    Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Mice 2 to 10 years
    Reptiles 2 to 20 years

What pet might be best for my family?
The primary reason that pet owners might one day need to relinquish their pets is because of the unrealistic expectations that they had when they first entered into pet ownership—too much time, too many accidents, restricting your spontaneous schedule, Read the rest of this entry »

Ask a Vet | Aggressive Cat Behavior

March 20th, 2012
By Online Vet, Dr. Laci

It is a problem that I had heard clients complain about before but had never had the stress of dealing with myself. Cats A and B are best friends and do everything together. Cat A goes to the vet and Cat B stays home. Cat A returns to receive anything but a warm welcome from Cat B, who hisses, attacks and seems determined to destroy Cat A. Cat B is convinced Cat A is an enemy and a threat. A previously wonderful cat relationship seems destroyed, and the household is a tense environment for all humans and furkids involved. “Will this ever improve…” you may ask a vet? Read about my own experiences.

ask a vet, online vetWe travel with our pets, like many people across the world do nowadays. Usually this works out okay, but our calico cat Mackenzie did become ill on a recent trip and we soon found ourselves in the vet emergency room at 1am. While Mackenzie suffered no long-term ill effects from the cup of espresso she managed to lap up while I was in the other room, the vacation condo was anything but relaxing when I returned home the next morning with Mackenzie in her carrier.

Rigby, our Siamese did not greet us with a welcome, to say the least. There was hissing, fur flying, growling, screaming, and full on attacks. Initially, I (and Mackenzie) was frozen and shocked, and then as soon as I could compose myself, I realized that Rigby was experiencing what is called non-recognition feline aggression. She didn’t know that Mackenzie was her beloved sister, as Mackenzie smelled like a stinky vet hospital and it is believed that cats recognize each other off their scents, not visual clues.

Non-recognition aggression in cats is an bizarre phenomenon that does not seem to occur in dogs—thank goodness. What it is about these mysterious felines’ personalities or sensory perception that leads to these events remains largely hypothetical, but it does happen and the bad news is there is no easy fix.

What finally worked for us was bathing both the cats in addition to feeding them in the same room. The bath really seemed to help speed things up in our household, but that isn’t always the case.

If you find yourself in this situation, you must separate the cats for as long it takes for the aggresion to end. This may be a few hours or you may be unlikely like we were and it make take upwards of two weeks. You can try to counter condition the aggresor cat by offering food only when the other cat is in sight; even if they are on opposite sides of the room. Make sure the aggressor is on a harness for the safety of all involved. You gradually decrease the space between the cats. Whenever one shows any aggression, distact him/her by making a loud noise, for instance. Read the rest of this entry »

Funny Twist on Why to Neuter Your Pets!

December 1st, 2011

Here’s a funny video to carry you through the rest of your week!

Ask a vet your pet health questions 24/7. Your online vets are standing by.