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Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Five Medical Problems That Could Make Your Dog Aggressive

It’s a scenario that every dog owner dreads; your lovable pet goes from adoring companion to snarling stranger with no warning, leaving you faced with the difficult choice of what to do next. But before you take any drastic actions, consider that your pet may be lashing out due to a medical condition instead of a vicious streak.

These five common health issues could be the source of your dog’s sudden aggression:

Hypothyroidism

Like humans, dogs rely on their thyroid to regulate hormone production in their bodies. When the thyroid fails to produce enough of these hormones, a condition known as hypothyroidism, the dog experiences symptoms such as weight gain, lethargy, hair loss and increased anxiety.

That anxiety can easily turn into aggression when the dog feels threatened. If your dog is exhibiting other symptoms of hypothyroidism, visit your veterinarian to conduct a blood test and begin treating this hormonal imbalance. 

Hip and Joint Pain

Up to half of all large-breed dogs are prone to painful joint problems such as hip dysplasia and arthritis as they grow older. This pain typically presents itself as a dull ache, but movement or contact with the sore areas can cause a sudden, sharp jolt and an instinctive need to bite the offender. Children are especially vulnerable to this form of aggression after being too rough with an elderly dog.

Providing medication and establishing firm rules with kids can help manage your dog’s pain-related aggression. 

Neurological Conditions

Sometimes, a dog’s brain becomes inflamed or less efficient with age, leading to a loss of its ability to process and respond to information. This can make your dog confused, frightened and eventually aggressive. The most famous of these neurological conditions is rabies, but other brain damage such as hydrocephalus or dementia are much more common.

Your veterinarian can test your dog’s neurological responses to determine if this is the problem behind the aggression. 

Loss of Sight and Hearing 

Older dogs are likely to experience at least some deterioration of their senses, most notably their sight and hearing. Your dog may not notice you or another person approaching it, particularly while asleep, and may lash out in fear when startled. Always approach an elderly dog slowly and with plenty of warning to give it time to notice you and avoid a potential aggressive episode. 

Medication Responses

If you have recently put your dog on medication for a different health issue, the side-effects could be causing the unusual behavior. Steroids in particular can induce aggression in otherwise healthy and friendly dogs. For short-term medications, the problem may resolve itself once the course of treatment is over. If the medicine is intended to be long-term, speak to your vet about possible alternatives.

To learn more, contact a company like TLC For Pets with any questions or concerns you have.

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Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

3 Common Misconceptions About Cat Teeth

If you’re an experienced parent of a cat, you probably know that cats can develop cavities, gum disease and even have teeth fall out if their dental health is neglected. You may also know that pet dentists recommend that you brush your cat’s teeth regularly to help prevent these problems. However, some misinformation is commonly spread on the internet and elsewhere. Here are three misconceptions about cat’s dental health.

If You Brush Their Teeth, You Don’t Have To Get Dental Checkups

You know that plaque accumulates on teeth after eating, and that plaque can become tartar, which causes gum disease and increases the risk of tooth decay. However, if you think that brushing your cat’s teeth regularly means that they won’t need dental checkups from the vet, you’re mistaken.

Cats with very little plaque or tartar buildup and no gum disease can still lose teeth. A dental disorder called tooth resorption can cause your cat’s body to start eating away at the tooth from the inside out until the pulp and root is completely destroyed. Once the root is gone, there’s no saving the tooth. Surprisingly, this disorder is fairly common and all the tooth brushing in the world won’t stop it. Seeing your vet for dental checkups regularly can catch this problem before it becomes severe and you may be able to save the tooth before it’s too late.

Feeding Your Cat Dry Food Prevents Dental Problems

For whatever reason, some people believe that feeding a cat a diet of nothing but dry food helps to keep the level of plaque down. The theory is that if dry cat kibble is scraping and scratching at your cat’s teeth while they eat, it’ll remove plaque and keep their teeth clean.

Now, as a human, imagine that someone told you that you wouldn’t have to brush your teeth ever again if all you ate was crunchy food, like nuts. It doesn’t sound believable, and it’s not true for cats, either.

Plaque builds up on teeth due to deposits of food being left behind combining with bacteria in the mouth. Dry food and wet food are both likely to leave a residue on your cat’s teeth, so plaque can still grow. 

A Cat’s Teeth Should Never Fall Out

It may seem like common sense that a cat’s teeth shouldn’t ever fall out, but there’s one thing you may not have thought of: kittens! Kittens, like human babies, are actually born with temporary teeth that need to fall out to make space for permanent teeth. 

Kittens will generally start teething at three weeks old, and finish teething around six weeks old. At this point, your kitten should have twenty-six teeth. Adult teeth start to move in and begin pushing primary teeth out at three months, with the process generally completing at around six months old. So if you find tiny baby teeth that have fallen out, don’t worry!

When it comes to your cat’s health, don’t make assumptions: always ask your vet for advice. They have the knowledge you need to make sure your kitty’s chompers are safe and healthy for years to come.

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Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Got a New Puppy? Invest in Professional Training to Make Sure Fido’s a Great Family Member

Your new furry family member may be cute and cuddly right now as a puppy, but as it grows up it can learn some pretty bad habits without proper training put into place. By focusing on training, you can curb jumping, nipping, and incessant barking before your pooch becomes too big and powerful. Proper training will also teach your pup how to sit, stay, and play nicely even when strange kids and other dogs are around. Here are a few more important reasons to consider investing in dog training services sooner rather than later:

Socialization Skills

One of the most important skills you can teach your dog is to properly socialize with other animals so they don’t become aggressive or protective later on in life. Proper socialization makes walks and playtime at the park safer for everyone involved, and minimizes the chance of dealing with dog fights in the neighborhood if Fido sneaks off of your property. You’ll find that it’s a lot easier to introduce new pets into the family when your dog already understands how to socialize well.

House Training

It can be tough to live with a dog that isn’t well housetrained. Urine tends to leave behind an odor that’s almost impossible to get out of carpeting, clothing, and bedding. And a dog that isn’t housetrained may very well tear up your precious belongings when you aren’t at home to supervise.

Your trainer should be able to teach your dog to treat your home and belongings well, and to hold their need to use the bathroom until they are able to get outside. Crate training is another aspect of housetraining, allowing you to contain your dog while you are away without any anxiety or stress buildup on your dog’s end.

Proper Care and Attention

Dog training services even give you an opportunity to hone your “pack leader” skills by learning the right way to train your dog at home, to handle him in public, and to use proper correction methods when your dog isn’t behaving properly so that your commands are not misinterpreted. You’ll also learn how to handle sticky situations if your dog does happen to get in a fight or seems not to be listening while you’re out and about.

With proper training and conditioning, your dog will make a great family pet as he ages, even with small children or other animals living in the household.  For more information, contact Crossroads Pet Resort

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Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How To Know If Your Pet Needs To Visit The Emergency Pet Hospital

As a pet owner, you have to make sure that you are doing your best to always provide the best medical care, especially in emergencies when time may not be your friend. Therefore, you want to understand when you should take your pet to the emergency pet hospital in order to receive the best possible care. To help you with this, you can check out the following signs that may indicate an emergency:

Uncontrollable Vomiting

Pets get sick and it is not always something that you have to worry about. Sometimes, they simply ate something bad and will vomit just to get it out of their system. While that might not be any cause for alarm, consistent and uncontrollable vomiting is.

If your pet does not seem to be able to keep any food or water down, you need to seek help from an emergency pet hospital. Your poor little pet could be dehydrated and suffering from a major illness that only a skilled vet will be able to diagnose and then treat.

Unable To Stand Up

If your pet has suddenly lost the ability to stand up without assistance, you will want immediate help from an emergency pet hospital. After all, an animal that is unable to stand is unable to reach food and water, or able to get outside to relieve itself. There could be a neurological problem, a fractured leg, or simply a splinter in the foot that is causing your pet to overreact a little. Either way, you need to know what the problem is so that it can be taken care of as quickly as possible.

Hit By A Vehicle

Even if your pet appears to be just fine and is walking around the house as if nothing happened, you need to seek out the care of an emergency pet hospital. Your pet could be experiencing internal bleeding that could soon take its life. Therefore, there is no time to wait for an appointment with your regular vet.

As you can see, there are many things to keep in mind or to look for when it comes to figuring out if your pet needs to visit an emergency pet hospital. Also, when in doubt, go anyways. It is much better to be on the safe side than to wait and end up regretting it. Just make sure that you are locating the best quality emergency pet hospital for your area.

To learn more, contact a company like Northwest Animal Hospital And Pet Care Center PC with any questions or concerns you have.

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Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

These 6 Diseases Can Shorten Your Cat’s 9 Lives

Your cat won’t tell you when it’s sick. Instinct tells them to never show signs of weakness in case predators are around. You have to be on the lookout for symptoms that it’s not feeling well. The signs can be subtle, even with some of the more serious diseases. Here are six of the most common cat illnesses to watch for.

Cardiomyopathy

Problems with your cat’s heart are often genetic. They may have existed since your cat was born but may not show symptoms until the cat is much older. It can show up as an enlarged heart, increased heart rate and blood pressure, or a slower rate and pressure. A periodic cat exam by your veterinarian will normally uncover these heart problems. If symptoms show up between vet visits, though, you may see:

  • agitation in your cat
  • rapid breathing and panting
  • lethargy

Medication is available to treat most of the heart conditions so your cat can live a long and healthy life.

Hyperthyroidism

This is the overproduction of the hormone thyroxine in your cat by their thyroid gland. The cause can be genetic or it can be due to a tumor in the gland that is stimulating the secretion of thyroxine. This hormone increases your cat’s metabolism and you will see the following symptoms:

  • increased eating and drinking
  • weight loss
  • frequent urination
  • agitation
  • mood changes
  • decreased grooming
  • dull matted fur

Your vet will do a blood test to determine the level of thyroxine. Medication is available to reduce the thyroid’s hormone production to bring the cat’s metabolism back to normal. If a tumor is involved, radiation treatment is available to kill the tumor cells.

Kidney disease

This is a common occurrence in older cats and can be the result of genetics, serious illness or the ingestion of a toxic substance, such as antifreeze for your car. The small filters in the kidney stop working and allow waste materials to build up in your cat’s blood. Signs of this include:

  • increased drinking
  • frequent urination
  • weight loss
  • lethargy

Your vet will do blood tests to determine how extensive the kidney damage is. A change in cat food, medication and fluid therapy can help your cat live many years after being diagnosed with kidney damage.

Urine crystals

Substances in your cat’s urine can cause a build-up of tiny crystals which irritate the bladder and kidneys. They are painful to expel from the body and if large enough, the crystals can block the urethra so your cat can’t urinate. The typical signs of this include:

  • urinating outside of the litter box
  • pain while urinating
  • excess vocalization when urinating

A urine test will show the presence of crystals. If the cat has had the condition for long, bladder stones may develop and can be detected with x-rays and ultrasound. The treatment includes changing the cat food to reduce the production of crystals, and medication to break up the crystals in the urine.

Diabetes

As in humans, this disease can slowly develop in your cat over several years until they begin to show symptoms. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • increased appetite
  • increased drinking
  • frequent urination
  • weight loss

A blood test will show that your cat’s pancreas is no longer producing enough insulin to process starch and sugars. A change in diet will often control mild diabetes. Medication may be needed for more advanced cases.

The symptoms for many of these diseases are similar, so at the first sign, get your cat into a clinic like Cat Care Clinic for a checkup. In each of these cases, early diagnosis and treatment will let your cat live for many healthy years.

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