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Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Dog Allergy Tips You Need To Know To Protect Your Pup’s Health

No one is immune to the risks of food allergies – not even your pets. Many people are surprised to find out that even dogs can be susceptible to food sensitivities and allergies. In some cases, a reaction is caused by an allergy to certain ingredients in the food. In others, it’s a sign of an intolerance to a specific ingredient. If you own a pet, it’s in your best interest to know the warning signs of a food intolerance or allergy so that you know when you might need a veterinarian’s intervention.

What are the Signs of a Food Allergy in a Dog?

It isn’t always easy to diagnose a food allergy in a dog. The two primary symptoms of food reactions include digestive upset and skin irritation. You might notice sudden bald patches on your dog’s fur or a sudden increase in vomiting after mealtimes. Additionally, you may start to notice that your dog has an increased difficulty with flatulence, which is another sign of digestive issues from food.

Is it Something New in my Dog’s Diet?

This is one of the things that makes a food sensitivity so hard to diagnose. Your dog can develop an allergy to a food even after years of having it without problems. But, once your pet has developed a problem with a specific food, it isn’t going to go away. Some of the most common allergens for dogs include wheat, beef and even dairy.

How Do I Treat my Dog’s Food Allergies?

Once your dog has developed a sensitivity or allergy to a particular food, you’re going to have to avoid that ingredient for the rest of your pup’s life. This often means completely altering meals to create something your dog can safely eat. Sometimes, you’ll have to transition your dog away from commercial pet foods and feed him or her a natural food diet of rice, meat and certain vitamins.

If you aren’t sure what your pet’s allergen is, you can work with a veterinarian to run an allergy panel. This series of tests will assess your pet’s reaction to specific ingredients until the allergen is identified. He or she will also provide you with some recommendations for a dietary elimination plan that allows your pet to eat a healthy, balanced diet without the problem ingredient.

Now that you know the signs of a food allergy in dogs and how to address it, you are better prepared to keep your dog safe in the event of a serious food reaction. Seeking veterinary help immediately is a key to protecting your dog, particularly if the symptoms are due to an allergy. Talk to your vet today about the best emergency treatment plan in case your dog develops a food allergy. Facilities like Northwest Animal Hospital can help you with food allergy emergencies and allergy questions.

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

Is Your Dog Allergic To Bees? How To Spot Anaphylactic Shock In Dogs

Dogs can have a sudden, deadly reaction, called anaphylaxis, shortly after being stung by a bee or coming into contact with a substance they’re allergic to. They can have this intense allergic reaction to just about anything, including bee stings, medications and vaccines, but they have to be exposed to them first before, meaning that your dog will not suffer a deadly allergic reaction on the first sting, but may on the second. Once you spot any signs of sensitivity, such as swelling and hives, you always have to be on the lookout. Here’s how you can spot anaphylactic shock in dogs. 

Sudden Onset of Unexplained Symptoms

While anaphylaxis is relatively easy to spot in humans, it is more difficult to diagnose in dogs. Not only is it difficult to notice signs of swelling, redness and hives because they are often hidden by the coat, dogs don’t usually have difficulty breathing. However, they can experience a wide range of symptoms that seemingly have nothing to do with a bee sting. These symptoms are often difficult to recognize as classic signs of shock. Following are some unexplained symptoms that a dog in anaphylactic shock may experience after a bee sting. 

  • Hives
  • Swelling around mouth 
  • Swelling at sting site
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pale Gums
  • Seizures
  • Blue tongue
  • Cold limbs
  • Fast heart rate
  • Weak pulse
  • Coma

It is important to realize that not all dogs experience all of these symptoms. If your dog goes into shock, it may simply have a seizure, fall over and lose control of its bladder. It may not show any signs of swelling or difficulty breathing at all. Similarly, your dog may lose consciousness for seemingly no reason at all. Therefore, it’s vital that you take your dog to the hospital for any sudden onset of any of these symptoms. 

Subsequent Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

Even after treatment, your dog may go back into shock. For this reason, it’s very important that you monitor your dog closely in the hours and days following an allergic reaction. Additionally, allergic reactions usually get worse with each subsequent sting. Once your dog has proven allergic, you will have to keep a close eye on them and keep epinephrine on hand. 

Anaphylactic shock can cause quick death in dogs. If you want to prevent death, you have to pay attention to your dog and look for signs of shock, especially if they have had a reaction previously. If you need to take your dog to an animal hospital, visit http://www.amctallahassee.com.

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Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Create A Safe Haven For Your Cat Outdoors

Many cats love spending time outdoors, basking in the sun and watching birds, but it may not be an option due to the area that you live in or the age of your cat. Whatever your reasons may be for keeping your cat indoors, it’s a good idea to look into how you can create a safe space for your cat to play outside.

With the following tips, you’ll be able to set up a safe enclosed space for your cat to enjoy during the warmer months of the year.

Make Shade a Priority

When the sun is beating down, your cat may enjoy laying out in the direct sunlight, but they can quickly become overheated if you’re not careful. To ensure that your cat doesn’t overheat or even become sunburned, it’s a good idea to ensure that plenty of shade is provided. Whether in the form of an awning or a tin roof, you’ll need to make sure that the enclosed space has the shade that is important to you.

Install a Perch with a View

Most cats love to get a good view of what’s going on around them, making a tall perch a good idea for the enclosure. Whether in the form of a simple perch or a full cat tree, your cat will enjoy having a space to climb and look over the area beneath them.

Provide Plenty of Toys

From feather dancers to batting mice, the tremendous selection of cat toys make it easy to find toys that will stand out for your cat to play with. While your cat may be busy with simply the view from their enclosure at first, it’s still a good idea to include plenty of toys to keep your cat stimulated.

Include Non-Toxic Potted Plants

Along with toys, you’ll want to include treats in the form of safe plants for them to munch on. While catnip may be the first plant to spring to mind, there are an enormous selection of plants that are safe to use in an enclosed space for your cat to enjoy. From bamboo to Irish moss, your numerous options for plants allow you to liven up the enclosure without any danger to your cat.

Designing an enclosure for your cat with safety in mind can ensure that your cat will enjoy their new play area without any danger to them. Carefully choosing a location for the enclosure and making additions for the enjoyment of your cat can help create a great space for them to enjoy the outdoors safely. A company like Groves Veterinary Clinic can offer more advice on keeping your pet safe and healthy while outside.

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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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