Archive for August, 2012

Not only can cats and dogs be friends, in my house… they are part of one family!

August 30, 2012

The answer, of course, is a resounding “yes”! In fact, in my house, one of our beloved cats and our lovablepet love lab are the best of buddies.  People have often stopped in front of our home to take a quick photo of these two snuggled up on the front porch watching the world go by! As pet owners; however, we have a great deal of influence and control in helping our pets develop a harmonious life at home. Here are some tips to fostering a great relationship among and between the canine and feline species:

When introducing cats and dogs to each other do it slowly and make sure that you are in control. Introductions must be supervised, and they must be handled with planning, care and patience. Never leave your pets without supervision while they are learning to get along with each other. Feeding your cat and dog in separate places, and at separate times is probably best until they are used to one another.

Under no circumstances should cat-dog introductions be handled by throwing the animals together and letting them work out things on their own. That method is far too stressful even in the best of circumstances. It’s also important to keep in mind that introductions can be dangerous, usually for the cat. Some dogs see cats as prey, and even those dogs who are generally easygoing may react instinctively to a cat on the run, attacking the smaller animal. Getting a dog and cat to accept one another can be difficult, though, as anyone who’s tried to introduce them well knows.

So can cats and dogs live together as friends? Yes, they can but it may take patience and perseverance on your part, but the result will be worth it.  Millions of cats and dogs live in harmony, and millions of people feel no family would be complete without at least one of each pet.

If you are experiencing any problems with establishing a happy relationship among the dogs and cats in your house, please give us a call.  Not only might we have some helpful suggestions but our in-house trainer is equipped to offer additional assistance!

Protecting your pet against common medical problems…what can you do as a pet owner?

August 28, 2012

We want to help our clients take better care of their pets, preventing illness and injury whenever possible.  petsWe love to see our patients happy and healthy! Well patient visits are our favorite appointments.  Unfortunately, we see sick and injured pets too frequently so we thought that we could share some ways to protect your pet from certain conditions. Some of those conditions are preventable and some are not, but every little bit of precaution helps.  Below are tips on how to avoid some of these conditions and a few ways to prevent them.

Ear Infections – A condition characterized by inflammation of the external ear canal. It affects up to 20 percent of dogs, especially those with floppy ears. You can prevent ear infections by gently drying your dog’s ears after bathing or swimming. It’s a good idea to take a look into their ears at least once a week – problems are MUCH easier to treat if they’re detected early. If you notice any odor, redness or discharge from your dog’s ears, please call us immediately.

Skin Allergies/Dermatitis – Most skin allergies are either from fleas (the most common cause) or substances in the environment (such as pollen and mold). There is not much you can do to prevent airborne allergens but you can prevent flea problems by putting your dog on a good year-round flea preventative. And yes, year-round prevention is important, as fleas can survive indoors through the winter months. Frequent vacuuming and the changing of air filters can cut down on the amount of allergens your dog might inhale.

Diarrhea – Almost all dog owners are familiar with this condition characterized by loose, watery stool. The most common causes are the ingestion of table scraps and spoiled food, excess plant material, and a sudden change in food.

Vomiting – At one time or another, your pet may have a bout of vomiting. Usually your pet will have eaten something disagreeable, eaten too much or too fast, exercised too soon after eating or is suffering from any number of non-serious conditions. To prevent vomiting… don’t give your pet table food, change their food gradually, and monitor your pet to prevent them from eating things they can’t digest.

Pyoderma – This common condition is a bacterial infection of the skin. There are several causes and some are more easily prevented than others. The best ways to curb pyoderma are to prevent fleas and ticks and bathe your dog periodically. Problems are easier to treat if they are detected early so if you see redness, swelling or discharge, please call us.

Urinary Tract Infection – Inflammation of the urinary bladder is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Offer plenty of fresh clean water and give your pet many opportunities to urinate. Reducing the need to “hold it” can help prevent infections.

Conjunctivitis – Yet another issue is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the tissue coating the eye and lining the eyelids. There isn’t much you can do to prevent conjunctivitis. However, you can reduce the likelihood of your pet’s eyes becoming irritated by preventing things from blowing into them. If you use spray cleaners, paints or other aerosols that may irritate the sensitive eye tissue, remove your pet from the area until they are out of the air.

Mass – Skin growths or masses are lumps of tissue that are within or can be felt under the skin. There is nothing you can do to prevent skin masses but early treatment and surgical removal are much more affordable than more complex procedures.

Giardia – This condition is easier to prevent! Giardia is a parasite found all over the world, which frequently causes diarrhea. It is common in animals under close confinement, such as those in kennels, animal shelters, and pet stores. Giardia is common in contaminated water. Prevent your dog from drinking out of old water puddles, especially in dog parks.

Foreign Body Ingestion – This condition is caused by an indigestible objects being caught in your pet’s stomach or intestines. To prevent problems, keep all items that your pet might ingest but shouldn’t out of reach. Observe your pet’s behavior when playing with toys to be certain that your pet is playing with the toy rather than trying to “eat” the toy.  Check toys regularly to make sure they are not getting too worn out.

If you feel that your pet is suffering from any of these conditions and your efforts to treat or help them are not proving successful, please call us at (614)888-4050.  In most cases, the sooner you contact us, the greater probability for successful treatment and lower expense.

Until the end of Aug., take 10% off a shaving treatment for your Labrador Retriever!

August 23, 2012

Labrador RetrieverA Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds, both nationally and among our patients in the practice. The Labrador Retriever has double coats of short hair and is a medium but constant shedder. You can shave your Labrador during the shedding phase to minimize the amount of dog hair in your home. Did you know? … The amount of shedding depends on the color of your dog. Yellow Labs shed throughout the year but at a slow pace. A black Labrador, on the other hand, may shed its entire coat in the spring and during the fall.  Recently, Dr. Eaton brought her own yellow Labrador Retriever into the Animal Hospital of Polaris for a day of pampering (and a shave) in the spa!  She is such a happier dog now!  If you have any questions about shaving your Labrador Retriever, call Dr. Eaton @ (614) 888-4050 to discuss the benefits.  Enjoy a 10% discount now through the end of August on a shaving treatment for your Labrador Retriever.  Call us today at (614)888-4050 to schedule an appointment!

After watching this video, I’ll NEVER miss a dose of Flea prevention medication again!

August 21, 2012

 

Did you know?  …
The cat flea is actually the most common flea in North America, although the dog, human, and sticktight fleas are also extremely common. Fleas commonly attach themselves to dogs, cats, humans, chickens, rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice and other domesticated or wild animals.

The female flea lays her eggs on the surface hair of the host. Eggs then drop from the host and can infest carpets, bedding and furniture, hatching into larvae within 14 days. Flea larvae avoid light and feed on organic matter found within cracks and crevices. Usually within 18 days, larvae enter the pupal stage by constructing small, cocoon-like structures around themselves. Approximately two weeks later, adult fleas emerge and begin to search for food sources. Fleas establish large populations where pets and other animals, such as livestock, are present.  Multiple treatment methods are often employed to eradicate a flea population. Check this out…  For more information on the lifecycle of a Flea, click on the following link:  http://vettv.net/video/7497Image

Pets suffering from flea bites scratch themselves incessantly. Fleas also feed on humans and some people exhibit flea allergies. Fleas may also carry human diseases such as typhus and tularemia.  After watching this video and learning more about fleas… I’ll never miss providing my pets (and my family) with preventive medication and protection again!

 

Summer Pet Grooming Tips

August 16, 2012

 

Summer pet groomingAccording to the American Kennel Club, grooming is an important part of keeping your dog healthy all year round, but the summer season can require some extra care. From protecting your dog from the hot sun to caring for his coat properly, here are some important tips for grooming your dog during the warmest months. Among them:

• Don’t shave down your dog because you think he looks hot. Dogs have their coats for a reason. It keeps them warm in the winter and provides insulation from the heat in the summer. Your dog’s coat protects him from sunburn, high temperatures, and even skin cancer.
• Do give your dog a good, thorough brushing regularly. This will help keep him cool and comfortable by helping him shed that winter coat. It also keeps the tangles and mats under control that result from all the rough-and-tumble activities your dog will be doing.
• Don’t forget about the skin. Like ours, your dog’s skin is at risk for sunburn. If your dog is hairless, has a short, light coat, or exposed ears or nose, make sure to put sunscreen on him when he is going to be outdoors.
• Do bathe your dog regularly. Whether he is rolling around outside, swimming in a pool or ocean, or simply relaxing at home, a clean coat offers better protection than a dirty one.

Don’t forget that our self-bathing station is always available to help you give your pet a thorough bath without all of the fuss of clean up!  Just bring in your pet, we’ll provide the shampoo, towel and encouragement! All for just $5 (please print out this message and provide at time of service). If your pet is in need of a more professional haircut, we can do that too…just give us a call at (614)888-4050 to make an appointment at the Animal Hospital of Polaris Spa!

We also wanted to include some information (and a short video) that discusses your pet’s anal glands…one of the critical components to your pet’s internal health and external, aesthetic appearance.  For more information, click on the following link:  http://vettv.net/video/6797