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Posted by on Nov 29, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Three Ways To Help Your Pet Ease Into Its Senior Years

Is your pet getting older? If so, then you’ll probably start seeing signs of this in the next few years or so. Growing old can be rather painful for some pets, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few things that you can do to make your pet stay happy and healthy as it enters the geriatric period of its life, three of which are covered in-depth below:

Schedule Routine Vet Visits

As your pet gets older, it will need more and more visits to the doctor, just like people do. You should plan on scheduling a routine visit with your veterinarian like one from Millerstown Veterinary Associates PC once every few months so that he or she can monitor the animal’s progress and ensure that things are going as they should. This will also allow your vet more of an opportunity to detect problems that would normally go undetected for quite some time: things like hip dysplasia, hyperthyroidism, and more.

If the vet does detect these things early on, then there are ways that you can treat your senior pet without causing them pain. If any sicknesses already produce pain, the vet can put the animal on a pain management system to help your pet feel better as it gets older.

Get Softer Foods

While your pet may be accustomed to eating a particular kind of food, it may be time for you to get them a softer type. Crunchy foods are hard on the teeth as your pet gets older, and the last thing that you want is for your senior pet to break a tooth. If your pet will eat canned food without a problem, there are a few things you can do to make mealtime easier for them in their old age.

You can choose to get some wet food and mix it up with their current dry food to moisten it and make it easier to chew, or you can feed the pet straight wet food. Either way, your furry friend will still get all the nutrients it needs, but its teeth won’t be as susceptible to breakage.

Pamper Your Pet

Pets can get depression, just like people can. If you want to keep your pet happy, then you should pamper them as much as possible. For instance, you can pet your cat more than you normally do, or have it lay on your lap. Your dog may want to play fetch more, and you should encourage this behavior, as your animals still need exercise when they are old. Regular brushing and grooming of your pet will keep them in high spirits as well, because it will show them that you care and will in turn cause them to care about looking their best.

Do you want to help your pet enter its senior years gracefully? If so, then follow the tips outlined above. Doing so will ensure that your pet will stay happy and healthy and will feel loved until the very end of its life.

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Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Importance Of Knowing If The Animal Medical Center Is A Clinic Or A Hospital

You do not want to be faced with an emergency situation before knowing if the animal medical center you normally go to is a full service hospital or a clinic. While many clinics are associated with a hospital, the time it takes to be seen at the clinic and referred to the hospital could prove to be the difference between life and death for your pet. When you take your pet in for a wellness check or immunizations, ask the veterinarian if the clinic is a full-service hospital and if not, which one he or she uses when different services or equipment is needed.

Services Offered at a Veterinary Clinic

A veterinary clinic is the place you take your pet for annual checkups and immunizations. If your pet is acting ill, you would make an appointment at the clinic. Some clinics may have an X-ray machine, but not all of them do. Minor or common surgeries, such as neutering or spaying, can be done at a clinic. Blood can be drawn for any needed lab work, but will need to be sent out to be analyzed.

A veterinary clinic may also have an area set aside as a kennel where you can take your pet if you are going away on vacation and will be boarding the animal. Due to the possibility of germs and bacteria being transferred back and forth, it is seldom sick or injured pets are kept at a clinic during recovery.

Services Offered at a Veterinary Hospital

While you can take your pet to an animal hospital for regular visits, keep in mind that the increase in overhead for additional staff, space and equipment usually means an increase in the fees you will pay for the visit. However, if the situation warrants diagnostic testing, to include X-rays, ultrasound, immediate lab results, or major surgery, your only option is to go to a hospital.

A full-service veterinary hospital should be used any time there is a life or death situation. If you are not sure of how serious the condition is, call your regular veterinarian and ask if you should go to the clinic or if he or she will meet you at the hospital. It is important to note that the doctors at both clinics, such as Animal Medical Center, and hospitals are capable of caring for your pet in any way necessary, it is only the equipment and space that is different. 

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Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your Cat’s Invisible Parasite That Can Control Your Mind

It sounds crazy, or perhaps something straight out of a science fiction movie: According to the Center for Disease Control, over 60 million people in the United States may be infected with a dangerous parasite called toxoplasma gondii that can change their personality, increase recklessness, and even cause a higher risk of suicide. While this parasite can originate from many different places, cat owners may be at a heightened risk of contracting the infection. Continue reading to learn more about to avoid toxoplasma gondii, the invisible parasite that can control your mind:

Fatal Attraction Leads to Infection

As researchers continue to discover more about the parasite and the side effects those infected can suffer, they have uncovered a weird side effect for infected mice: they no longer show fear of cats. While most mice will run the other direction when sensing their feline predator, the parasite can control the mind of the mouse, causing them to do the exact opposite of what they would normally do. In fact, the mouse not only ignores its normal sense of danger but is attracted to the cat– leading, of course, to the mouse’s demise.

As the mouse is devoured, the parasite goes with the cat’s meal– finding a new host in the process. Now you own an infected cat, and you’re likely to be none the wiser. If you’re not careful, you could end up contracting the parasite yourself and suffering the symptoms.

The Human Symptoms of Toxoplasma Gondii

While you cannot contract the parasite simply by petting your cat or sitting where it has sat, it can be easily contracted through your cat’s feces. If you’re not careful after cleaning the litter box, for example, you could be at risk.

An infected human could be at as much risk as the infected rat, and the consequences could be just as deadly. Researcher Jaroslav Flegr was one of the first biologists to discover the parasite’s presence after being infected himself– and he found that the infection could cause jarring differences to an otherwise happy person, such as schizophrenia, depression (at times severe leading to suicide), and recklessness.

Time Heals Everything

The positive side to this otherwise horrifying parasite is that the Center for Disease Control claims that the infection (and therefore the symptoms) will disappear on their own within a few weeks. The problem is navigating that space in between, the time when you are suffering the ill effects of the infection.

Since severe depression is a side effect, be sure to talk to your physician immediately if you suspect that you may have contracted the parasite. To guard yourself against any future infection as a cat owner, simply be sure to wash your hands with warm water any time you clean the litter box. Do the same when you’re working outside in the garden, as outdoor cats may have dug into the soil– causing the parasite to be present there as well. If you suspect that your cat may have contracted the parasite, be sure to take your pet to a clinic like Montgomery Animal Hospital.

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Have A Happy Holiday With Your Cats By Keeping These Harmful Foods Away From Them

Many people enjoy the holidays because of the variety of foods they get to enjoy. In a house with cats, where begging for food is the norm, it’s tempting to give your cats a little taste of whatever it is that you’re cooking. A number of foods that you enjoy are harmful to your cats. Learn which foods to never give your cats. But keep the number of your animal hospital handy in the case of an accidental food theft off of your kitchen counter.

Raw Bread Dough

You left a tray of homemade rolls on the counter to rise and notice that one is missing from the tray. Look at your cat to see if they are having trouble breathing or are staggering across the floor as they walk. Bread dough is dangerous for your cat for two reasons:

  • The yeasty dough will continue to rise in the warm, moist environment of the cat’s stomach. As it rises, it puts pressure on the stomach walls, which then push against the lungs. The cat will struggle to breath as they gulp for air.
  • The yeast in the dough changes the sugar into alcohol. The cat’s stomach absorbs the alcohol and they become intoxicated. Signs of drunkenness from your cat may prove that they were the roll thief.

A trip to the animal hospital is called for in this case. They may decompress the stomach so the cat can breath easier and monitor them as they sober up.

Garlic and Onions

Some of your favorite dishes to prepare for entertaining during the holidays may contain these two seasonings. While exposure to raw onions and garlic will do little to your cat, concentrated forms, such as dehydrated onions and garlic powder, can be dangerous. These foods contain a toxin that, in high amounts, damage the red blood cells of your cat. The toxin is not destroyed during cooking.

The damage to your cat is that the red blood cells will not develop correctly. They lose their ability to carry oxygen to the cat’s body. Anemia is the result and your cat may begin to seem weak and inactive. Their gums may become pale and their urine could become colored orange or dark red. The symptoms don’t appear until a few days after the cat eats the food with onion or garlic. If you spot these symptoms, take your cat to the vet immediately. Your cat may need a blood transfusion if the damage to the red blood cells is extensive.


A favorite item in candy and baked goods found during the holidays, chocolate can be deadly to your cat. The harmful toxins to your cat in chocolate are caffeine and theobromine. Dark chocolate has more of these chemicals than light, and white chocolate has very little. These substances affect the cat’s heart and nervous system.

Symptoms may appear in a few hours and can include irregular heart rhythm, vomiting, restlessness, muscle tremors, increased temperature, seizures and even death. If you suspect that your cat has eaten chocolate, contact your veterinarian immediately. Depending on the age and weight of your cat, they may have you bring them in for observation. Your vet may try to get your cat to evacuate its stomach, give your cat activated charcoal to prevent the cat from absorbing more of the toxins, and monitor its heart.

Watch your cat during the holidays and keep them away from any food meant for people. They will continue to beg for a taste, but you’ll have a more pleasant, drama-free holiday if you resist the temptation to share your food with them.

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How To Deal With The Pet Peeves Of Owning A Dog

Owning a dog is exciting and can certainly lead to many rewarding moments, but for many pet owners, there is a risk of getting stressed (and angry) when problems arise that they’re unsure of how to deal with. While medical issues may be easy to take away with a simple pill prescribed from the veterinarian, other behavioral problems or training issues may not be as easily resolved. Additionally, keeping your dog safe from potential risks both inside and outside of your home is a high priority, but can be a huge task if your canine has tendencies to dart into the road or chew electrical wires when you’re not looking. Continue reading to learn more about how to deal with the pet peeves of owning a dog:

Avoiding the Shocking Results of Chewing Power Cords

Unfortunately, it seems that many puppies and young dogs gravitate towards electrical power cords, their chomping jaws eager for an object to chew on while not realizing they are putting themselves in peril in the process. Since the dog won’t realize what’s wrong with chewing the cord until it’s too late and you end up with emergency veterinarian services, it’s important to solve this issue before it even begins.

Some manufacturers have offered a solution to the problem by creating sprays with a bitter taste that can be applied directly to the cords. When your dog opens his mouth to start chewing, he’ll immediately taste the bitterness of the spray you’ve left there– and he’ll move on to better (and less shocking) things to fill his time.

Running into the Danger of a Busy Road

When taking your dog outside, one of the biggest risks to the health of your dog may lie not on your property, but on the nearby road. If your dog likes to chase cars, you may find yourself with an immediate safety problem as soon as you set foot outside. Since chasing after cars on a busy road can easily become a bad (and deadly) habit for a dog, train your dog as soon as possible to avoid the danger of the road.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests several ways to redirect your dog’s attention to keep them away from traffic:

  • Redirect your dog toward something more interesting than what is happening on the road. You know your dog better than anyone else, so if your dog’s first inclination is to dart right for the road, this probably isn’t the best option.
  • While you might want to allow your dog to run free throughout your property, the risk isn’t worth the chance for a dog who has already developed a habit of chasing cars. Keep your dog on a leash (a running leash that still allows navigation of the yard works great) until he is able to prove he can be safe outdoors. If the problem persists, consider talking to a pet behavioral specialist.

If your dog gets injured and requires medical attention, contact Armory Dog & Cat Hospital or a similar location.

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