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Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your Puppy, Vaccinations, And The Law

If you are just beginning your journey of owning a dog for the first time, you likely are full of questions. While you’re likely already knowledgeable about how to feed and bathe your canine and complete other general necessary tasks, many individuals are uncertain about vaccinations. Are vaccinations actually vital to the health of your dog, or is that overplayed by veterinarians looking to make an extra dollar? Are vaccinations voluntary, or are there any vaccines that are legally required by law? Are there any risks involved with giving a dog a vaccination, and if so, what are they? If you have asked yourself some of these questions, you are not alone. Continue reading to learn more about nature’s form of vaccination, how the law comes into play, and just how important certain vaccines can be:

The Natural Vaccine of “Passive Immunity”

When dogs are in the early stages of their lives as puppies, they receive necessary sustenance to survive from the milk of their mother. A puppy will normally continue this way (and will not eat any other form of solid food) until at least four weeks of age, but nature has instilled this need in a puppy for a more important reason than simple digestion issues.

Contained within the milk of puppy’s mother is a natural vaccine—an overabundance of antibodies and white blood cells that greatly enhance the dog’s health. Since young puppies do not have completely developed immune systems at birth, this passive immunity (the important antibodies passed on through the milk) is vital to the developing health of your dog.

Medical Vaccines and the Law

Although some vaccines are voluntary, the rabies vaccine is required by law. Since rabies is a dangerous disease that can spread between animals and even affect humans, American states have placed great importance on vaccinating your dog against the virus. Each state has different laws that govern how often the rabies vaccine must be administered, so be sure to become familiar with your state’s regulations to be as prepared as possible.

The Importance of Vaccines

While many pet owners worry about the potential side effects that a vaccine may have on their pet, the majority of side effects a pet receives (if any) are very mild. In addition to slight discomfort near the skin where the shot was administered, your dog may experience a low fever or decreased appetite for up to two days.

If you suspect that your dog may be having an allergic reaction to an administered vaccine (signified by symptoms like swelling, coughing, or ongoing vomiting), contact your veterinarian, such as at Basking Ridge Animal Hospital, for assistance.

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Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Safe And Unsafe Human Human Medications For Dogs

It can be agonizing to watch your dog suffer. If used properly, some medicines used by humans can help ease symptoms in dogs. If you’re a pet owner, here are some of the most common safe and unsafe types of medications for dogs.

Common Safe Drugs

  • Antihistamines—These medications are commonly used for treating problems, such as vaccine reactions, skin allergies, motion sickness and insect bites and stings.
  • Anti-nausea drugs—Use these medications for vomiting or upset stomachs. Although many of them are suitable for dogs, they shouldn’t be given to cats.
  • Motion sickness drugs—Used to prevent motion sickness, these medications work best when administered 30 to 60 minutes before your pet travels. However, they should not be used on pregnant dogs.
  • Antibiotic gels—These medications  can be used for minor cuts, but for no longer than two days. Before applying them, thoroughly cleanse your dog’s skin and only use a thin coat. Avoid gels with strong scents as dogs tend to lick their wounds.

Unsafe Medications

It’s critical that you avoid some medications that can be dangerous or cause death. Some of the most common unsafe drugs for dogs include

  • Beta-blockers—Theses medications are used to correct high blood pressure in humans. They can cause severe problems in dogs, such as skyrocketing heart rate and low blood pressure. In some cases, beta-blockers can even cause death. 
  • NSAIDs—Giving your dog NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflamatories) can result in severe problems, including kidney failure, besides kidney or stomach ulcers. 
  • Antidepressants—Although occasionally vets use antidepressants in dogs, an overdose can lead to several problems, including tremors, seizures and other issues.
  • Muscle relaxants—Common symptoms of poisoning from muscle relaxants can start as quickly as 30 minutes after they’ve been ingested. These signs include fatigue, shaking, slow heart rate, coma, and seizures.

Considerations and Warnings

  • Always consult an animal clinic before buying any type of antihistamine product. This is because some antihistamines contain ingredients, such as pseudoephedrine or acetaminophen, that are unsafe for dogs. Also, some medications have alcohol, artificial flavorings and sweeteners that are dangerous. 
  • Have separate locations for storing your human and pet medications. You don’t want to mistakenly snatch the wrong bottle. 
  • Birth control pills are typically packaged in wrappings that are attractive to dogs, so keep them out or reach. Consuming large amounts of estrogen and estradiol can result in suppressing bone marrow. 
  • Sometimes antihistamines include decongestants that can be fatal to dogs.

Again, you should always first check with your veterinarian, one like Georgetown Veterinary Hospital Inc, before administering any medication. Besides ensuring a drug is safe, you also want to be sure you’re giving your pet the correct dosage.  

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Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

6 Essential Elements Of A Reputable Dog Boarder

For most dog owners, their dog is more than just a pet. It’s part of the family. Unfortunately, there are times when you will need to go out of town and cannot take your dog with you. That’s why it is so important to make sure you think of all of these things when choosing a boarder.

Vaccinations

Just about every boarder will require proof that your pet is up to date on his or her vaccinations. This ensures that harmful illnesses are not passed between animals while boarding. While each boarding facility may differ, most require your pet to be vaccinated against rabies, bordella, and distemper. Many also require your dog to be on flea treatments to prevent an infestation at the kennel.

Medicine

If your dog requires medication, make sure your boarder is skilled in administering it. Some boarders are more of a doggie daycare, and may not have experience in administering medications such as injections.

Familiar items

The American Kennel Club suggests you bring your dog’s favorite toy or blanket. The familiar item will smell like home and help keep your dog calm and comforted while you are away.

Outdoor Play time

Your dog will no doubt get bored if he is stuck in a small cage for most of the day. Outdoor playtime not only helps combat boredom and frustration, but helps keep your dog healthy. Look for facilities with large areas for the dogs to run and play. The outdoor runs should be clean and well kept.

Individual attention

Many boarders offer the option of scheduled cuddle time with your pet. This can be especially important if you are going to be gone for an extended amount of time. Even dogs that are not normally very affectionate will benefit from individual play or attention while you are gone. This helps reduce anxiety and loneliness.

Bathing and grooming

Happy, active dogs get dirty. Make sure that your boarder will also bathe and groom your dog when necessary. Some facilities offer to groom your dog before pick-up, but dogs still need frequent brushing and regular bathing. Many full service boarders offer this as part of your dog’s stay, while others as an add-on service.

While it is possible to learn much of this information by calling the boarder or from their website, nothing beats seeing a facility like Animal House Veterinary Hospital in person. The best way to get an accurate idea of how your dog will be treated is to visit the facility unannounced. A reputable boarder shouldn’t have any problem with giving you a quick tour of the facilities so you can get a good feel for the place. By viewing the other pets and facilities, you will be able to get a good idea of how your dog will be treated while you are gone.

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