The Stratford Day festival was quite the occasion for Oronoque Animal Hospital's first appearance in the community! With excited smiles and a bunch of work, the staff were ready to put a face to the name and greet the neighborhood!
As the festivities began, it didn't take long for families to step up to meet us and find out all about Oronoque Animal Hospital. We even had some current clients who were happy to greet us with a show of support!
We were excited to see so many pets at the festival, it made for some great meet and greets with new friends and families!
With the help of Dr. Kissel and Dr. Yessenow, we even helped to answer some great questions from many of the festival goers as well! It felt great to be a voice as well as a face in the community and was certainly the perfect way to start as well!
Before we knew it, the day had come and gone and we could not have been more satisfied with the outcome! We can't wait for the next opportunity to share who we are to other families in the area!
We would like to thank all of our clients who stopped by to say hello and be a supportive presence for our first outing!
We typically get fewer questions from our cat clients about their kitty’s teeth and mouth than inquiries from dog guardians. We do have a few theories on this phenomenon:
1. We think in general cat guardians have less direct interaction with their cat’s mouths (i.e. not as much kissing or licking. Cats are far too dignified for that.).
2. Cat guardians have less direct contact with their pet’s mouth through chew toys and bouts of tug-of-war (as if a cat could be bothered).
3. The fact that poking around a cat’s mouth often results in deep puncture wounds (well…duh).
But when they do ask questions, they’re some of the best, most challenging and interesting inquiries you’ll encounter. Read on; you just may learn something or get a chuckle or two.
1. How many teeth do cats have? I only see two – the fangs.
Cats have 30 adult teeth and 26 baby teeth. That’s far fewer than dogs (42 and 28) and less than humans (32 and 20). Those “fangs” or upper canine teeth often protrude saber-tooth tiger style and lend some cats an intimidating smile.
2. When do cats get their baby and adult teeth?
Observing the eruption or emergence of teeth is a great method for estimating a kitten’s age. This is particularly helpful when faced with a stray kitten. The first teeth to erupt are the tiny front teeth or incisors and the long, pointy canines (some people still refer to them as “fangs.” Blame it on Twilight.). The primary (or “baby”) incisors and canines become visible around three to four weeks of age. The teeth immediately behind the canines, the premolars, quickly follow the front teeth. This typically occurs when the kittens are around five to six weeks old. The permanent teeth erupt around 11 to 16 weeks of age, beginning with the incisors followed by the canines at 12 to 20 weeks. The premolars are in place by 16 to 20 weeks of age. The difficult-to-see, way-in-the-back molars emerge around 20 to 24 weeks.
3. Do cats get cavities?
Dental caries, or “cavities” for the rest of us not calling ourselves “Dentist,” are rare in cats and dogs. This is due in part to a cat’s relatively low-sugar diet, differences in oral bacteria, and the shape of the teeth. When cavities occur, they can be painful and require similar repair procedures as humans with cavities, or, dental caries.
4. Why are cat bites so bad and likely to get infected?
Anyone who’s worked with and handled enough cats knows that when you’re bitten (note we said “when”) by a cat, not only does it hurt like you-know-what but those deep puncture wounds are likely to become infected or abscessed. The first answer lies within the unique anatomy of one of a cat’s main weapons – those long, sharp, pointy canines. Designed similar to hypodermic needles, these teeth excel at penetrating flesh intensely, damaging underlying structures such as arteries and veins. In addition, like that needle, they carry pathogenic bacteria deep inside the body. As the tooth is withdrawn, the narrow puncture wound closes onto itself, trapping behind infection that later becomes an abscess. Making matters worse, a cat’s mouth contains several species of highly pathogenic microorganisms. Don’t take a chance if you’re bitten. Flush the wound thoroughly and seek medical attention.
5. Can cats re-grow their teeth? Do their teeth keep growing their entire lives?
No and no. Sharks are probably the animal you’re thinking of. After a cat gets all 30 permanent teeth in place, that’s it. No more. Lose one and your cat is forever down to 29. Unlike rodents, a cat’s teeth don’t keep on growing.
6. Do cats need braces?
You jest but some cats do, in fact, need braces to correct some very severe oral malformations. The most common reasons for feline brace-face include lance or saber-like canine projections of the upper canines in Persian cats. “Wry bite” is another problem that results when an uneven bite occurs, causing one or both canines to protrude at odd angles, preventing normal eating and drinking. Braces for cats aren’t for cosmetic but literally life-saving conditions.
7. My vet said my cat had some painful tooth problem that may require extraction of several teeth. Is this legit?
I’m guessing your cat may be one of the millions of cats affected by an unusual, exceptionally common and extremely painful condition known most often as feline ondoclastic resorptive lesions, or FORLs. Most cats with FORLs are over five years old. The most common clinical signs associated with FORLs include excessive salivation, bleeding from the gum line or teeth, and difficulty eating. Many of our patients will suddenly become “picky” and refuse to eat dry kibble. There are many treatments available, but extraction is still the most commonly performed procedure to relieve this excruciating condition. The exact cause of FORLs has yet to be determined, although researchers are actively pursuing several theories.
8. Can cats get mouth cancer?
Sadly, yes. Oral tumors in cats are very serious and require immediate and aggressive treatment. Squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) are the most common malignant oral tumor in cats, although many other forms of cancer occur. If you observe any lumps, swelling, or discolored areas in your cats’ mouth, have it seen as soon as possible.
9. My cat has swollen gums and his entire mouth seems inflamed. What’s going on?
Our biggest concern is your cat has a condition called stomatitis (more correctly referred to as lymphocytic plasmacytic gingivitis pharangitis syndrome). This condition is also very painful and most cats have problems eating and swallowing, weight loss, and excessive salivation. Treatments vary widely and cats respond differently to an assortment of options. The exact cause is unknown although an underlying immune-mediated disorder is strongly suspected.
10. I can’t brush my cat’s teeth! Am I a bad pet parent?
If not brushing your cat’s teeth is your worst offense, we are not going to say you’re a bad kitty momma. Besides, I’ll let you in on a secret; many owners don’t brush their cats’ teeth, either. Instead, they will have their teeth regularly cleaned (typically at least once a year) under anesthesia by one of our skilled veterinary technicians. We also give them chew treats approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) to help reduce tartar in cats. Some cats will tolerate oral antimicrobial rinses so they get their “mouth wash” a few times each week. Finally, we ask owners to make it a habit to (carefully) lift the lips of their cats and examine their teeth and gums each week to make sure everything looks healthy. So don’t fret; take your cats to your veterinarian at least once a year, have the teeth cleaned by a professional when needed, conduct routine home mouth checks, and use products proven to help keep your kitty’s mouth healthy!
(Information provided by pethealthnetwork.com)
Dogs are remarkable creatures. From the tip of their cold noses to the ends of their wagging tails, canine anatomy is as beautiful and graceful as it is unique and fascinating. The mouth, teeth and skull of dogs are incredibly well adapted to meet the needs of one of nature’s most perfectly designed scavengers. The oral cavity of the dog is also the source of many myths and misunderstandings that lead to some potentially serious problems. Here are some of the most common, interesting and important dental questions we hear all the time!
1. How many teeth do dogs have?
The average adult dog has about a third more teeth than his human counterpart. Adult dogs have 42 permanent teeth compared to a measly 32 average human teeth (not counting any wisdom teeth. Those are “bonus.”). Puppies possess 28 baby teeth while human babies will have 20 deciduous or “baby” teeth.
2. When do dogs begin to lose their baby teeth?
Puppies begin losing baby teeth around 12 to 16 weeks of age. By four months of age, almost all of a pup’s deciduous teeth have been shed and many of the permanent teeth have already erupted and are in place.
3. Can you tell how old a dog is by looking at his teeth?
The answer is, it depends. When dogs are young, you can estimate their age by observing which teeth have erupted. For example, a puppy’s deciduous incisors typically erupt between 4 to 6 weeks of age and the permanent incisors are in place by 12 to 16 weeks. The canines or “fang teeth” emerge at 3 to 5 weeks and the permanent canines by 12 to 16 weeks. By the time the permanent molars are present, the dog is 4 to 6 months old. In general, once a dog reaches six months of age, all or least most of his permanent teeth are visible.
4. Can dogs regrow adult teeth if they lose them?
This is a common myth we are asked about by many dog owners. Unlike species such as sharks, dogs can’t regrow lost or damaged teeth. If they lose an adult tooth, they lose it forever, just as in humans. This is why it’s so important to take good care of your pets' teeth. They’ve got to last a lifetime. Conversely, we see absolutely no reason for a shark to have its teeth brushed. At least not by us!
5. Do dogs get cavities?
Dental caries or “cavities” as they’re more commonly known, are rare in dogs. This is due to many factors including a relatively low-sugar diet, differences in mouth bacteria, and the shape of the teeth. In severe cases involving tooth root exposure, endodontic procedures will be performed such as root canal and capping. Extraction of the affected tooth is required in certain cases. Another good reason to provide dental care for your dog.
6. Do small or large dogs have more problems with their teeth?
Dogs both large and small can develop serious oral and periodontal problems. In small dogs with short snouts and cramped jaws, we tend to see more issues with plaque, tartar, and dental calculus buildup. This leads to gum and periodontal disease and eventually painful loose teeth. Small dogs may chip and break tiny teeth if permitted to gnaw on hard toys. Larger breeds tend to experience more traumatic injuries to teeth and gums such as fractured tooth tips, broken jaws, and worn tooth surfaces. If the tooth root becomes exposed, this results in severe pain and death of the tooth. Larger dogs can also develop the same plaque and tartar buildup as well as the gum and periodontal disease of their smaller siblings.
7. How can I tell if my dog has gum disease?
Start by lifting your dog’s lips. If you see dirty or discolored teeth, typically an ugly brownish-greenish color, schedule an appointment as soon as possible. This is likely tartar or plaque and is an early sign of imminent gum or periodontal disease. Next examine the gums for any swelling or redness. If you brush your fingertip along the gum line and observe the tissues become angry and inflamed or even bleed, this indicates more serious gum infection and disease. Finally, take a whiff. If your dog’s breath is fetid and foul, this is usually associated with bacterial infection. “Doggie breath” shouldn’t be a reason to avoid your dog. Remember that sweet smelling “puppy breath?” A dog with a healthy mouth should have pleasant or at least neutral odor. If your dog exhibits any of these signs, see us so we can help!
8. What’s that really big tooth in the middle of my dog’s upper jaw?
The largest tooth in a dog’s mouth is the upper fourth premolar also known as the carnassial tooth. Its special shape and tooth surface is designed to help shear, crush and hold. This is why you see dogs grasp chew toys with the side of their mouth, chomping feverishly. This is also why you have to replace so many chew toys. Next time blame the carnassial teeth instead of your dog.
9. I heard that dogs could get mouth cancer. Is that true?
Unfortunately oral tumors are diagnosed in many dogs. Malignant oral tumors in dogs can be very aggressive and quickly spread throughout the body if untreated. If you observe any swelling, lumps, or dark and unusual colored tissue in your dog’s mouth, have it examined immediately. If diagnosed early, many oral cancers have a relatively good prognosis.
10. I’ve tried many times to brush my dog’s teeth with no success. She seems to hate it. Is there anything else I can do to take better care of my dog’s teeth?
You’re not alone. In fact, we personally struggle with this very basic procedure in our own pets! Firstly, It's important to know that having your pet's teeth professionally cleaned under anesthesia may seem worrisome or scary but our doctor's and skilled technicians are here to ease your fears and hesitations. We use the safest anesthetic protocols as well as pre-dental exams and bloodwork prior to the procedure so there are no surprises. This is perhaps the single most important thing a pet parent can do for their pet when they can’t brush their pet's teeth daily, which is why annual visits are also important! Next, we make sure to provide our client's pets with recommended chew treats approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) to help remove plaque and tartar. Many have special ingredients embedded in them that help reduce harmful mouth bacteria. There are antimicrobial rinses available which are designed to kill pathogenic bacteria that can cause gum infection as well as more natural supplements which break down plaque before it adheres to the teeth. This also helps to leave their breath highly kissable! Finally, at least once a week we recommend owners to take a peek inside their dogs’ mouths to make sure everything looks, and smells, healthy. See, taking care of your dog's mouth isn’t so hard after all!
(Information provided by pethealthnetwork.com)
The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Also, please be sure to steer pets clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.
-Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations:
9 Lessons I’ve Learned From Vet Techs!
Every year the veterinary profession honors its unsung heroes by celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week. Though we rely on them every day to do tons of our heavy lifting, we don’t often give them enough credit — not in public anyway. Appreciating them every third week in October is one of the many ways in which we express our gratitude for all they do.
In honor of their dedication and devotion here are 9 valuable lessons that one veterinarian learned from vet techs.
1. “Holding hands” (aka teaching). Despite the fact that we’re taught in school the best way to learn a procedure effectively is via mentorship (“watch one, do one, teach one”), once out in practice, we tend to think ourselves superior to the task and forget all about the importance of teaching.
Veterinary technicians never forget this. They know that a big part of their job involves training new staff members. We also know that the best techs are the best teachers. Given that reality, veterinarians should emulate our best and take on some of the teaching duties, too.
2. It’s OK to hug your clients. When first out of school, I felt it “unprofessional” to hug my clients. Expressing sympathy was best done with a few choice words. My techs, however, taught me that a well-timed hug is way better than words in certain instances. The hard part is getting the timing right.
3. It’s OK to cry. Nurses cry; doctors don’t. That fallacy has probably led to more pent-up stress than any other in medicine. Those who deal in life-and-death issues like we do should feel free to cry whenever they need to. Techs taught me that, too.
4. Never be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is a critical skill, not least because you can’t easily keep learning without it. Veterinarians, however, sometimes forget this as soon as they leave school behind.
5. To err is human; to admit to it is part of being a great pet nurse. No one likes to admit she's wrong, but people with fancy degrees (doctors, especially) seem especially loath to cop to it. Veterinary technicians, however, seem to have been taught to check their egos at the door.
6. Fashion should take a back seat to comfort. I’ve spent the better part of my career bucking the comfortable clothing thing. As I see it, clogs are for little Dutch girls and sneakers for running. Why should I wear either of the two? Twenty years later, I’m willing to wear scrubs and sneaks, but only because vet techs finally brought me around to it.
7. Never ever let anyone see you’re having a bad day. As a breed, technicians tend to keep it together in front of patients, pet owners and co-workers, regardless of whether they’re having a crappy day or not. We should all take a page out of this book.
8. All those pockets are good for something. Fill them! One tech I know carries bandage scissors, hemostats, pens, writing pads, thermometers and even syringes in her scrubs. It’s like a clown car in those pockets! Would that I could be so thoroughly organized!
9. Patients are No. 1. Always. This is the best thing about veterinary technicians. They will always push back whenever they believe that what’s being asked of them is not in their patients’ best interest. The hierarchy for them is plain: Patients always come first. None of us should ever lose sight of that.
Happy National Veterinary Technician Week! And a big thank you to all the techs who helped me throughout the years.
(Information provided by Dr. Patty Khuly VMD at www.vetstreet.com)
With October right around the corner, Oronoque Animal Hospital begins its Senior Pet Health month in which we offer great discounts for our senior pets! Read below to get some helpful information on how to care for our senior family members as they get older.
The term “senior” has been chosen to describe aging/older pets. The number of years it takes for your dog to be considered “senior” may vary, and one must keep in mind that organ system, species, and breed of dog has an effect; in general a dog’s senior years begin between 6 and 13 years of age. (Find your dog on the age chart.)
The AVMA says that as a result of improved veterinary care and dietary habits, pets are living longer now than they ever have before. That means that dogs can be ‘seniors’ for a significant portion of their lives, leaving their guardians and veterinarians facing a whole new set of age-related conditions. In turn, developing good health habits for seniors is becoming even more important.
There are a number of things we can do to introduce healthy lifestyle habits to our dogs, and it’s never too late to start taking these steps. Pet health organizations like AAHA and the AVMA have already developed some great healthy guidelines for senior dogs, and I have my own tips to offer.
This is one very basic healthy habit to develop for the benefit of your dog, and particularly for a senior dog. You can hardly pick up a magazine without seeing an article urging you to live a healthier lifestyle. Sadly, the risks of obesity are too often overlooked in our canine friends. Recent data, available from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, shows almost 53% of dogs as overweight or obese. Obesity decreases a dog's life span, increases his risk for various cancers and metabolic diseases (like diabetes), and causes orthopedic complications—just to name a few of the possible consequences. Feed your dog a balanced diet containing high quality ingredients in amounts appropriate to maintain a good weight.
The habit of regular exercise will help maintain your dog’s weight and general health. Be reasonable in your expectations for intensity and duration of activity and consult your veterinarian. He knows your pet’s health and limitations, can help you design a safe exercise program and can also recommend medications, if appropriate, to allow your senior dog to exercise more comfortably. Non steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can be a great help in reducing discomfort, and other drugs or nutraceuticals may improve flexibility and mobility. However, ONLY use products that are recommended by your veterinarian, and only as prescribed. Some medications are very dangerous when combined.It may take more time and some coaxing to keep older pets active, but it is well worth the effort.
One very important habit to develop is regular veterinary care. Only about 14% of senior animals undergo regular health screening, as recommended by their veterinarians1. AAHA recommends health exams every 6 months for senior dogs. Early detection of disease is crucial; routine testing is important to establish baseline levels and “insure that there are no clinically silent health abnormalities.” In addition, your veterinarian is trained to evaluate your dog’s health and well-being and to make individualized recommendations to keep your senior dog healthy and active.
Increased attention to dental/oral care is even more important as your dog ages. Your veterinarian can advise you not only about any indication for dental cleanings in the clinic, but can also point out possible problem areas and instruct you regarding appropriate at home cleaning and care. Make a habit of good, routine oral hygiene. [Learn more about dental care for dogs here.]
According to CAPC, all dogs, regardless of age, need to be protected against parasites (fleas, ticks, heartworms, etc.). However, as your dog becomes older, changes in activity and lifestyle may affect his need for routine vaccinations against infectious diseases. That doesn’t mean he won’t need any vaccines. It just means that you and your veterinarian will need to have periodic discussions to determine what vaccines are still necessary and at what intervals they should be administered. You may also want to view the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines.
Older dogs may have special grooming needs, particularly long haired dogs. Regular grooming is an excellent habit to get into. More idle time lying about and less activity can predispose seniors to more matting of hair and longer, unruly nails. Older, thinner skin can be more sensitive to irritation and more likely to be traumatized. Urinary incontinence can cause urine scalding. Excessive drooling can irritate facial folds. Increased grooming not only promotes healthier hair and skin, but it also creates an opportunity for visualizing and monitoring not only your dog’s skin but also overall body condition.
Undoubtedly the greatest need when caring for a senior dog is patience. As your dog ages, he may not see as well or hear as well. But old dogs are especially attuned to their masters - treasuring their presence and touch. Even when your old dog doesn’t respond physically to your touch, voice or presence, he needs your companionship and attention for mental health and emotional well-being. Without it, he will pine away.
In summary, be sensitive to any changes in your senior dog. Even subtle changes can be an indication of significant health issues. When in doubt, consult with your veterinarian and see your veterinarian at least every 6 months.
Call us today to schedule your senior's wellness checkup and to get our senior wellness discount during the month of October!
(Information provided by pethealthnetwork.com)
Jacks Galore received an email from a supporter, who had a friend in Connecticut begging her to seek help for a dog. A little Jack Russell mix who appeared to have been terribly injured, lay in pain and limbo at a vet’s office in Connecticut, where the decision had to be made to help heal or to let go. Reaching out to us and asking us for help to please save the life of his dog, we immediately contacted Dr. Sheldon Yessenow of the Oronoque Animal Hospital. This little girl was lucky to have been taken to this amazing vet clinic, and we got in touch to see if we could assist and possibly help save this dog’s life.
A man committed to his veterinary oath, Dr. Yessenow promised to work with us to do the best he could to make this little girl whole; he told us she was well worth the effort. At about four months of age, this small JRT mix was shown the worst side of people by most likely being slammed into something hard in order to kill her. But she survived; was found by the side of the road by two good Samaritans who immediately swooped her up and took her to the vet’s office. With a right rear leg broken in a very unfortunate way, and all her toes broken on every foot, this was not something that any vet or experienced surgeon wants to see.
In consultation the decision was made to go ahead and try to save the leg and to “fix” the toes. Dr. Yessenow consulted with several surgeons, and decided upon doing the surgery himself as timing was of the essence and healing needed to begin. Waking up in splints and a cast, this little jack girl continued to show nothing but sweetness and stoicism. From the minute she was in their care, and even though her pain must’ve been great, she always found a way to lick a human or to wag her tail. How could you give up on that? A short time passed and she was already walking with her splints and cast, and managing to find a way to run to anyone who called her to them. Then shortly thereafter splints and cast were removed and this little girl once again found the ability and desire to walk, albeit a wee bit unsteady, but still able to head towards anyone showing her some affection and encouragement.
Thrilled at the outcome, Jacks Galore is looking forward to her joining the rescue in order to find her that forever loving and secure home. We promised her that she will not be let down by humans again. She will have to endure one more surgery for spaying and then will be ready to come join us in Massachusetts. For now she seems to be walking amazingly well, and Jacks Galore plans on scheduling physical therapy for her, most likely in the pool, where she will be able to build strength. Our hope is that she will learn to walk as close to normal as possible. We do not know what her activity level will become as she heals, or what she will require in the future, but we will make sure that whatever it is she gets the benefit of enjoying her life that was given back to her by the remarkable Dr. Yessenow.
We tell you the story not only to let you know that rescue involves a lot more than taking dogs in from individuals who no longer can keep them, or shelters who call and ask to take a dog that they are unable to place, but it is also about saving lives, and attending to their veterinary needs if it means the dog is able to be rehomed and enjoy a quality life. When we posted this jack mix on Facebook, we did not yet have a name for her and many people sent in some delightful suggestions, all which we took into consideration. But then an adopter/foster of ours suggested it might be so nice to name this girl after the vet who put all the effort into saving her life. So we decided to name her Shelley.
Thank you Dr. Sheldon Yessenow for not only saving a life, but for your desire to work with us and being part of our rescue efforts. I can assure you that everyone is very grateful for what you have done, especially all of us here at Jacks Galore, but I’m sure none more so then Shelley herself. Please join us in our matching fundraiser campaign in order to help us pay for exactly this type of unexpected expense, and for allowing us to save more lives like Shelly’s.
(Information provided by http://www.jacksgalore.org/)
Summer is one of the best times of year for people and dogs, but if you’re not careful, it can also be a dangerous time for your pup. To make sure everyone has a fun and safe summer, I wanted to remind everyone about some of these common summer dangers.
1. Provide shade to lessen risk of heat exhaustion
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy beautiful parks, beaches, and back country trails with your dog. Just make sure you protect them from the potentially dangerous summer heat. Unlike people, dogs and cats can’t perspire as efficiently as we do. In order to cool off, they dispel heat by panting and perspire only minimally thru their pads. Unfortunately, this method is less efficient than sweating and your dogs can overheat quickly on a warm day leading to heat exhaustion, commonly known as heat stroke.
Be sure your dogs always have access to shade and water. Be extra careful with brachycephalic or short nose breeds like Pugs, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and my favorite, Boxers, as they are even more heat-intolerant than other dogs.
2. Know the signs of heat stroke and what to do
Heatstroke can quickly damage vital internal organs. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heatstroke, try to cool them down by wetting them with cool water and immediately take them to your veterinarian for additional treatment. Without prompt treatment, heatstroke can be fatal.
How do you know if your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion? The signs of heat stroke are non-specific. Look for the following:
3. Beware of walking across hot surfaces
As we all know, pets aim to please and never complain. While this is a noble quality, it can also get them in trouble. Pets will try their best to keep up with you even if they are exhausted. This can be a problem if you take your dog running during the hot summer months. Dogs, like people, can become overheated if they run in the hot midday sun, especially if they are not accustomed to running in those conditions.
Running on concrete, asphalt or sand can also be a problem since these surfaces get very hot and can burn a dog’s pads. I recommend exercising with your pet in the morning or evening to avoid the possibility of overheating or pad burns. If you have to take your pet out during the day, make sure the ground isn't too hot.
4. Hot cars can be deadly
Most people know they should not leave their pets unattended in a parked car when the weather is hot. What many do not realize is how quickly a park car becomes dangerously hot. Even if the temperature is only 85 degrees and you leave your car windows down, your car can heat up to 102 degrees within 10 minutes.
To be safe, never leave your pet in a parked car for any period of time when the weather is warm. Why risk your faithful companion’s life? Leave them safely at home if you are going somewhere that doesn’t allow pets.
During these hot summer months, protect your pet from heat exhaustion by insuring they have access to shade and water at all times. Never leave them in a parked car or tied outside in the direct sun. Remember, pets are more vulnerable to heat exhaustion than us.
Hopefully these safety tips will help keep your pets safe so you both can have a wonderful and fun summer.
(Information provided by www.pethealthnetwork.com)
Each spring during “kitten season,” thousands of newborn kittens join the millions of cats already in shelters across the country. That means your local shelter has tons of cute, cuddly newborns, in addition to all the mellow, older cats and everything in between. And the shelter staff are ready to help you adopt your very first cat — or to bring home a friend for another beloved cat!
Thinking of adopting a cat? First, check out these helpful tips, gathered by American Humane Association.
TOP TEN CHECKLIST FOR ADOPTING A CAT:
1. If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two. Cats require exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. Two cats can provide this for each other. Plus they’ll provide more benefits to you. Cats’ purring has been shown to soothe humans as well as themselves – and they have an uncanny ability to just make you smile. A great place to start your search is online. Sites like petfinder.com let you search numerous shelters in your area simultaneously to help narrow your search and more quickly find the match that’s right for you and your new feline friend.
2. Find a cat whose personality meshes with yours. Just as we each have our own personality, so do cats. In general, cats with long hair and round heads and bodies are more easygoing than lean cats with narrow heads and short hair, who are typically more active. Adoption counselors can offer advice to help you match the cat’s personality with your own.
3. Pick out a veterinarian ahead of time and schedule a visit within the first few days following the adoption. You’ll want to take any medical records you received from the adoption center on your first visit. Kittens in particular should accompany you to make the appointment – even before the exam itself – so staff can pet the cat and tell you that you’ve chosen the most beautiful one ever.
4. Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat before it comes home.Visiting the shelter or animal control facility should be a family affair. When adopting a new cat with existing pets at home, discuss with the adoption facility how to make a proper introduction.
5. Budget for the short- and long-term costs of a cat. Understand any pet is a responsibility and there’s a cost associated with that. A cat adopted from a shelter is a bargain; many facilities will have already provided spaying or neutering, initial vaccines, and a microchip for permanent identification.
6. Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives. Be prepared so your new cat can start feeling at home right away. Your cat will need a litter box, cat litter, food and water bowls, food, scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a cushy bed, a brush for grooming, a toothbrush and nail clippers.
7. Cat-proof your home. A new cat will quickly teach you not to leave things lying out. Food left on the kitchen counter will serve to teach your new friend to jump on counters for a possible lunch. Get rid of loose items your cat might chew on, watch to ensure the kitten isn’t chewing on electric cords, and pick up random items like paper clips (which kittens may swallow).
8. Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family. It can take several weeks for a cat to relax in a new environment. It’s a great idea to keep the new addition secluded to a single room (with a litter box, food and water, toys, and the cat carrier left out and open with bedding inside) until the cat is used to the new surroundings; this is particularly important if you have other pets. If you’ve adopted a kitten, socialization is very important. But remember – take it slow.
9. Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan. You probably have a plan in place for getting your family to safety in case of an emergency. Adjust this plan to include your pets. Add phone numbers for your veterinarian and closest 24-hour animal hospital to your “in-case-of-emergency” call list.
10. If you’re considering giving a cat as a gift, make sure the recipient is an active participant in the adoption process. Though well-meaning, the surprise kitty gift doesn’t allow for a “get-to know-one-another” period. Remember, adopting a cat isn’t like purchasing a household appliance or a piece of jewelry – this is a real living, breathing, and emotional being.
(Information provided by: http://www.americanhumane.org/)
Lifetime of Love -- The Basics: Seven days to a happier, healthier pet
-Everyone loves their pets but not everyone is aware of what their pet needs from them to keep them happy and healthy long into their pet's senior years. Leading veterinary experts in animal health, welfare, and behavior invite you to take each of the essential actions highlighted during National Pet Week® that are vital to achieving a Lifetime of Love.
-Select the pet that's right for your family's lifestyle, and make a commitment to that pet for its life. Even if you have already welcomed a pet into your home, your veterinarian can help you better understand the social and healthcare needs of your individual pet.
-Learn about how to appropriately prepare your pet to enjoy a variety of interactions with other animals, people, places and activities. Everyone will be more comfortable!
-With an estimated 52.7% of dogs and 57.9% cats in the United States considered overweight or obese, and humans plagued by this issue as well, the AVMA encourages pets and their owners to get regular exercise—together! This not only improves cardiovascular health, maintains a healthy weight, and supports good mental health for both owner and pet, but it strengthens the human-animal bond. For tips on walking, running, or starting another exercise program with your pet, visit avma.org/Walking.
-Step it Up! is Surgeon General Vivek Murthy's new initiative to promote walking. The program encourages brisk walking to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes in people. Dog owners know there is no better motivator for a walk than their canine companion. Recent scientific studies show that dog owners may get more exercise and are less likely to be obese than those who didn't own or walk a dog. Owners that walk their dog also had greater mobility within their homes. Other studies have shown that all pets, not just dogs, have been shown to lower heart rates and blood pressure as well as promote quicker recovery times from stressful events.
-Everybody love's their pet, yet 53.9 percent of cat owners and 48.6 percent of dog owners do not take their pet to the veterinarian unless it is visibly sick or injured. Pets often hide signs of illness. Regular check-ups are vital to catching health problems early. Not only can early treatment mean better health for your pet, it can also save money.
-Do your part to prevent pet overpopulation. Talk to your veterinarian about when you should have your pet spayed or neutered. Avoid unplanned breeding through spay/neuter, containment or managed breeding. To learn more, visit the AVMA webpage on spaying and neutering your pet.
-Include your pets in your family’s emergency plan. The AVMA offers a step-by-step guide to assembling emergency kits and plans for a variety of pets and animals.
-Thanks to better care, pets are living longer now than they ever have before – but as pets get older, they need extra care and attention. Regular veterinary examinations can detect problems in older pets before they become advanced or life-threatening, and improve the chances of a longer and healthier life for your pet. Visit the AVMA's special page for senior pets to find out what is 'normal' and what may signal a reason for concern about an aging pet. Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not age at a rate of seven human years for each year in dog years. Download the AVMA PetsAgeFaster chart to check how your pet's real age compares with yours.
(Information provided by AVMA.org)