- Family and health
Working with your pet to obey commands might help your dog become a design canine citizen. Your dog that understands what's expected of him will be happier and has a far more enjoyable relationship along with his people. Here are a few basic commands methods to teach your canine what you expect.
It is very important make sure your pet's safety all the time. Outside of your house, you can find local laws that want that pets to be restrained appropriately. It is also very important to your dog (and sometimes for the belongings) he be contained in your own home and your property. Here are a few ideas on how best to keep your dog safe.
Your dog's puppyhood could be really fun and really challenging. It is necessary that you introduce him to different animals and people and train him what behavior you anticipate. Here are some ideas to help your puppy grow right into a model canine citizen!
What YOUR PET Is Telling You
Dogs cannot speak English however they still everyday talk to us! Check out both of these great posters and discover what your dog says!
Probably the most frustrating points for a human would be to wake up and part of a yellow puddle (or even worse). Below are a few tips to assist you train your companion where you can go!
Dogs need workout and stimulation to greatly help them end up being both and mentally healthy physically. Here are a few ideas for secure and fun exercise for the dog.
Most pet owners share similar issues with their pets, when they are new to a home especially. Here are a few ideas of how exactly to focus on common behavior issues.
Is that aggression?
The overall belief is that when your dog barks and growls, he could be angry. While this is true, it's often an indicator of various other behavior. Maybe such case your dog needs pet behavioral evaluations?
Multiple animal households
Having multiple pets will be a lot of fun and a good way for the animals to socialize. However, it could be difficult and exhausting aswell. You can find different needs and issues that dogs have when they remain other pets. Here are a few ideas on how best to introduce your dog to new buddies in a safe method.
How often do you consider that common household products could be potentially hazardous to your pet’s health? While it might not be something you think about on a regular basis, taking the time to familiarize yourself with the potential hazards in your home could mean the difference between life and death for your pet.
According to Pet Poison Helpline, the top 10 toxins for dogs include:
For cats, the list includes:
We recently spoke with AAHA’s incoming president and owner and medical director of Macungie Animal Hospital, Nancy Soares, VMD, about common household toxins and how to...
Veterinary professionals don’t need a study to tell them that pets are good for your health. But now, there is quantitative data to prove it.
On Dec. 14, the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) released a new economic study that quantifies the healthcare cost savings associated with pet ownership. The economic analysis, conducted by researchers at George Mason University, calculated an $11.7 billion savings in U.S. healthcare costs as a result of pet ownership.
“There was abundant research to show that pets have a positive effect on our health, but this is the first time that anyone has looked at the impact on the U.S. healthcare system,” said study co-author Terry L. Clower, PhD, Northern Virginia Chair and Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University’s School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs and Director of its Center on Regional Analysis. “Our analysis shows that pet ownership produces meaningful savings for total health care costs in the United States.”
The cost savings breakdown is in two areas:
By threatening to hurt or kill the family pet, an abusive partner manipulates, intimidates, and terrorizes his or her victims.
Fearing for the safety of their pets—who are often one of the few sources of comfort and emotional support victims have left—but with nowhere to take them, many battered partners and children end up staying in abusive situations.
Fortunately, communities are becoming aware of this ugly reality and have begun creating safe havens for the pets of domestic violence victims. Help can be found through several groups and online directories.
Safe Havens Mapping Project
Created eight 8 years ago by the Animal Welfare Institute, the Safe Havens Mapping Project is a comprehensive list of sheltering services in the U.S. The directory, which can be searched by ZIP code, includes more than 1,400 refuges across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
These places of safety may be foster homes or spaces provided by local animal shelters, veterinary hospitals, or refuges for dogs, cats, small animals, birds, and even horses and cows. Even better, there also are shelters where pets—typically dogs and cats—can stay with their humans.
“It’s a very slow change in the...
The word "mange" doesn’t exactly conjure up soothing images of your beloved pup. Instead, when we think of mange, most of us think of sad-looking dogs with large patches of missing fur.
What is mange?
Mange is a condition caused by mites that invade the hair follicle. While some mites are harmless, others infest the pet and cause hair loss. Two types of mange typically affect dogs: sarcoptic and demodectic, which is the most common. Mange is extremely rare in cats.
There are three common types of demodectic mange:
Localized: Localized mange causes hair loss in a single area, such as the dog’s face. This results in bald patches that resemble polka dots. Localized mange is very common in puppies and many cases clear up on their own.
Generalized: Generalized mange is more severe and can affect a much larger portion of the dog’s body. In addition to hair loss, secondary infections can cause the skin to become quite itchy and develop a bad odor.
Pododermatitis: Pododermatitis refers to mite infestation of the feet. This type of mange, which is often accompanied by bacterial infection, is the most resistant to treatment.
“Make sure your veterinarian investigates any hair loss,” says...
When it comes to your pet, you would do anything to keep him safe, happy, and healthy. Working with an AAHA-accredited veterinarian can help you do just that. Preventive veterinary care will help to ensure that your pet is healthy, and can save you from the potential financial hardship that occurs when medical problems are not addressed with proper care.
In case of an emergency, it is important to seek veterinary help immediately—but there are steps you can take to ensure your pet’s comfort until you can get to the veterinary hospital. Always use caution, however. When pets are scared, in pain, or experiencing shock, it is not uncommon for them to bite even their owners.
Sarah Kubacki, a veterinary technician at Brekke Veterinary Clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado, provided the following tips for aiding your pet until you can get professional help.
Help! My pet is bleeding!
First, clean the wound with a mild antibacterial soap. Rinse with water and dry well.
Apply pressure directly to the bleeding site with a clean cloth or towel for a minimum of three minutes. This is important, as it takes time for the blood to clot. If you remove the cloth or towel too soon, you may remove the...
One of the most surprising things about working from home has been the number of dogs who drop by—without their owners.
I’ll be typing away at my computer when my Lab mix, Rio, will start frantically barking and squealing with delight. Sure enough, a dog will be outside the gate, hoping to play. Sometimes it’s a dog we’ve never met; other times, it’s a repeat offender. Occasionally, we’ll even wind up hosting several dogs from different homes on the same day.
Luckily, the canine escape artists usually have ID tags on their collars so I can call their families. The owners are typically grateful to know their dog is safe and come get them, apologizing with, “My son must have left the door open,” or “Ugh, I guess Jake is digging under the fence again.”
What makes dogs roam, and is there anything owners can do to prevent it? I love meeting new dogs, but clearly the safest place for them is at home instead of wandering nearby (or far away) streets and properties, where they might be hit by a car, chase after a frightened child, or simply become lost.
Ellen Lindell, VMD, DACVB, and owner of Veterinary Behavior Consultations in Bethel, Connecticut, says while no dog obeys 100 percent...
If your cat is urinating or defecating anywhere other than his litter box, you probably find yourself at your wits’ end. Though house soiling can seem like a deal breaker, it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to remedy the situation so the cat can stay and the behavior goes.
Save your cat
According to the National Council on Pet Population, 72 percent of cats surrendered to animal shelters in the U.S. are euthanized, and research journals in the fields of animal behavior and companionship cite house soiling as the primary reason they are relinquished in the first place.
“One factor that may be underlying this is that 66 percent of owners think that cats act out of spite,” says Ilona Rodan, DVM, DABVP (F), medical director and founder of AAHA-accredited Cat Care Clinic in Madison, Wisconsin. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Instead, she says, it’s because the cat’s physical, social, or medical needs are not being met.
See your veterinarian
The first step in resolving a house soiling problem is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you notice a problem.
Rodan, who primarily evaluates cats for behavioral issues, says she often diagnoses medical...
If you’re reading this, chances are, you love your pets—and you know that panicked feeling when you think something might be wrong. Why is he whining? Why is she limping? Is he in pain? Is this something serious? What should I do?
We all want answers fast, so it’s tempting to look for clues online. In fact, AAHA receives many, many private messages through Facebook (and sometimes in the comments section of PetsMatter articles) requesting medical advice for a pet. But the response is always: “Ask your veterinarian.” Why?
It isn’t a cop out. Seeing your veterinarian about an issue your pet is having is the best way to care for your dog or cat, says Heather Loenser, DVM, AAHA’s Veterinary Advisor for Professional and Public Affairs. Loenser practices in several specialty, emergency, and general practices in the New York metro area, and lives with a number of rescued dogs, cats, turtles and five pampered hens (Peep Peep, Frofro, Cookie, Arabelle, and Golden, who were named by a 4-year-old girl).
“Without examining a pet and carefully questioning an owner, the advice given over the Internet could be inaccurate and potentially life threatening,” Loenser said. “Although many pet...
I can always find my beloved pets in my heart, but having their cremains on a shelf in the living room makes me feel like they are still here with me.
The boxes and urns have become the physical presence of the companions I loved and lost. Stopping to look at each one may make the tears fall, but it more often stirs good memories.
The first pet I had cremated was my wonderful Booker, a German shepherd I adopted as a puppy from a shelter. When he was about 10 years old, he was diagnosed with cancer and stopped eating. I agonized about the euthanasia process, but it ended up going calmly and quickly.
Then I was asked what I planned to do with his body. I hadn’t even thought about that.
I learned that I could take his body home to bury in my yard since I lived in a rural area, but if I had lived in a municipality, I’d have to check local codes. I also could have him cremated. The choices were a private cremation, in which he alone would be cremated and his cremains returned to me; individual cremation, in which several pets are cremated together, but kept separate in the chamber, and his cremains returned to me; or group cremation, in which he would be cremated with other pets and...
“Never say never” is the expression. However, in this instance, I will say it: I would never take my pets to a nonaccredited veterinary practice.
I’ve been around the veterinary industry for over 20 years, writing and broadcasting about companion animals. I’ve presented at all the major U.S. veterinary conferences on numerous occasions, and have spoken at veterinary conferences and shelter events around the world. I’m also a certified animal behavior consultant. Still, I’m not a veterinarian. At the end of the day, I am just another pet owner, albeit an educated one.
The truth is, not all veterinary practices are equal. If you want the very best for your pet, there’s truly only one way to know your veterinary hospital is a cut above the rest: AAHA accreditation.
Even the savviest pet owners can’t possibly know which anesthetic cocktail is being delivered or the type of continuing education the credentialed veterinary technicians at a particular practice receive, how efficiently vaccines are being stored or whether appropriate pain management based on AAHA’s guidelines is offered behind the scenes.
AAHA accreditation—a designation earned by only 15 percent of veterinary...
If you are a devoted cat lover, you probably enjoy learning about their likes, dislikes, and what makes them so purrfectly perplexing. We’ve got some good “mews!” We rounded up five facts to help you discover a bit more about them.
It’s in the DNA
Throughout their lives, our cat companions face a number of serious health concerns, such as kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. Now, 99 Lives, a genome sequencing research collaboration, is developing genetic tools for cutting-edge feline healthcare.
According to Leslie Lyons, PhD, professor of comparative medicine at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, the project is expected to not only prevent problems for future generations, but help to cure cats who are sick now. In doing so, researchers also hope to translate any gene and drug therapies they find for cats for use in humans and other species.
The analysis is expected to be completed this fall, but the project’s early success with trios—a duo of two siblings, two distantly related cats of the same breed with the same disease, and a single cat with a rare recessive trait—is proving the project’s dataset is becoming useful for a “precision medicine” approach...
Those of us who have experienced an injury or surgery know just how beneficial physical therapy can be. Rehabilitation exercises lessen pain, strengthen muscles, and speed up the recovery process, helping the body to get back into shape after a traumatic event.
But physical therapy isn’t just for humans anymore. Rehabilitation is increasingly prescribed for our canine companions to address issues such as mobility, pain, and joint damage due to orthopedic surgery, musculoskeletal injury, arthritis, obesity, paralysis, neurological disease, and more.
If you’ve seen one of those cute videos of a dog trying to walk on an underwater treadmill or balance on a big exercise ball, you have seen a small part of canine physical therapy at work. Common conditions that benefit from physical therapy may include:
Canine noise aversion is defined as anxiety and fear based reaction to noise, which is also known as noise sensitivity, anxiety or phobia.1 The most common triggers of canine noise aversion are fireworks and thunderstorms.2 But other common, everyday sounds including construction noise, street sounds such as screaming sirens and honking horns, or the clamor of celebrations can also trigger noise aversion. It is important to recognize these other triggers of noise aversion because, regardless of the cause, noise aversion progresses when not properly treated. Progression of noise aversion includes one or more of the following:
The signs of noise aversion can be subtle such as lip licking, yawning or remaining still. More obvious signs include panting, pacing, vocalizing or hiding. In severe cases, dogs may try to run away, which can result in self-trauma as well as property damage. The suffering associated with self-inflicted trauma is readily recognized. However, the physiological and emotional distress that dogs with noise aversion experience...
Pet owners share some common misperceptions about the importance of monthly heartworm medications. So here’s a public service announcement that could save your pet’s life. Heartworm infections have been diagnosed in all 50 states of the United States. Dog-to-dog transmission has been documented in 49 (good job, Alaska). Heartworms are presumed to be rampant in […]
The post Heartworm: One Bite, One Infection, That’s Enough appeared first on Medical District Veterinary Clinic at Illinois.
We are excited to introduce you to our two monarch caterpillars on display, Logan and Pilsen! This fall, Veterinary Behavior at Illinois and Medical District Veterinary Clinic at Illinois are teaming up to promote the conservation of one of our favorite insects—the monarch butterfly. This captivating insect is not only a beautiful summer guest of […]
The post Resident Caterpillars Aid in Monarch Butterfly Conservation appeared first on Medical District Veterinary Clinic at Illinois.
K9 Officer Kiah and her handler, Officer Justin Bruzgul of the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department.
What comes to your mind when you think of a service dog? A German shepherd, a Labrador, or a Golden retriever, perhaps? These breeds make excellent and loyal service dogs of all kinds; however, given the right mix of personality, attention, and drive, many other breeds are capable of achieving service dog status as well.
In fact, several organizations specifically seek out rescue or shelter dogs for service training.
Animal Farm Foundation (AFF) is one such organization in Dutchess County, New York. Working with only shelter or rescued pit bulls, AFF has two programs in which dogs are trained for either assistance or police detection work.
“We have specialized dog trainers we work with to determine if a particular dog is a good fit for either of our special placement programs,” said AFF Executive Director, Stacy Coleman. “This means the dog needs to possess not only an ability to do the work needed to be successful as an assistance dog or a detection dog, but also that the dogs will enjoy doing the work.”
|Kiah is New York's first pit bull police dog.|
Detection dogs must...
Runny nose. Cough. Low-grade fever. Feeling dog-tired and just yucky. Most of us recognize the signs of the flu. For some, the illness gets worse—hospitalization or, with complications, even death.
Now, our dogs are facing similar health problems and risks with canine influenza viruses.
One CIV strain is H3N8. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that flu virus had been known to exist in horses for years. Then in 2004, an unknown respiratory illness cropped up among dogs in the U.S. Scientists believed that the horse virus had jumped species and adapted to become a dog-specific virus. In 2005, it was declared a newly emerging pathogen in the U.S. dog population.
The other CIV strain is H3N2. This strain is an avian flu virus that adapted to infect dogs. First detected in dogs in Asia in 2006 and 2007, it wasn’t detected in the U.S. until 2015. That year, there was a major outbreak in Chicago that spread to 23 states within five months.
Dogs that develop CIV infection may suffer many of the same uncomfortable symptoms humans do, including:
Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, our pets are living longer. While this is fantastic news, the growing population of older cats and dogs also means that veterinarians are seeing more patients with cancer. That’s why AAHA recently commissioned a task force of veterinary oncology experts to develop a set of guidelines that will help veterinary teams work with pet owners to tailor treatment plans to maximize not just quantity but quality of life for pets with cancer.
“We’re trying to give our patients and their families as much good, quality time as we possibly can,” said Barbara Biller, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Oncology), associate professor of oncology at Colorado State University’s Flint Animal Cancer Center and a member of the oncology task force.
To that end, the 2016 AAHA Oncology Guidelines for Dogs and Cats detail tips for veterinarians for diagnosing various tumor types; determining the stage of cancer; evaluating treatment options such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and adjunctive medications; follow-up care; safety protocols; and other considerations for determining the approach best suited to each individual patient.
The guidelines also emphasize the...
|Lillian Aronson, VMD, BS, CACVS, performed Oki’s kidney transplant in May 2015, removing a kidney from a donor cat named Cherry.|
As too many cat lovers know, kidney disease is very common in felines, particularly as they age. The kidneys are responsible for many key bodily functions, from regulating blood pressure to removing toxins from the bloodstream. Unlike acute kidney failure, which occurs when a cat ingests something toxic, like antifreeze, lilies, or human anti-inflammatory medication, chronic kidney failure is irreversible—functioning kidney tissue is replaced by scar tissue, resulting in a loss of kidney function over time.
Treatment options can be daunting, particularly if the disease is advanced. Your veterinarian may recommend dialysis or other methods of keeping your cat comfortable. But there’s another alternative to consider: kidney transplantation.
Success rates have been high for the few dedicated veterinary surgeons who perform feline renal transplants in the U.S. While most cats live an average of three years post-transplant, Lillian Aronson, VMD, BS, CACVS, founder and coordinator of the Feline Renal Transplant Program at the University of Pennsylvania...
I love my dog, Chloe. Sadly, she loves poop. In fact, she eats it—goose poop, cow poop, her own, and that of other dogs. It's gotten so bad I can no longer take her to the dog park—and don't even get me started on owners who don't pick up after their pets. It's all a bit disgusting.
Coprophagia, the scientific name for this vile habit, is surprisingly common and harmless to dogs eating their own poop. Ingestion of the stool of other animals, on the other hand, puts a dog at higher risk for intestinal parasites, viruses, or toxins.
In a presentation at the 2012 ACVB/AVSAB Veterinary Behavior Symposium, veterinary behaviorist and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, Benjamin Hart, DVM, PhD, DACVB, revealed the results of a pet owner survey in which he and his team learned that:
Researchers disagree on why dogs eat...
Pet owners are no strangers to loss—many have shared a bond with a special animal who has since passed. While you hold those memories close, maybe you’ve felt a need to honor that relationship beyond the photos or other reminders you keep. But how?
If you’re like me, you regularly get appeals from animal welfare organizations in your inbox or by U.S. mail. So many pleas and each one seems to tug at the heartstrings. What can you do?
Offer your personal assistance. Volunteers are often needed at fundraising or awareness activities, to help clean cages or to feed homeless pets, or to socialize animals so they, too, can find their forever homes.
Gather friends who also have lost a pet over the years. Have T-shirts made featuring photos of those pets and create a team to participate in annual charity fundraising walks.
Another gift given in memory of a pet that is always appreciated is money. Donations of $5, $10, or $25 add up when many contribute or contribute often. But to which group, which plea? Here are some ideas to help you narrow the field:
Check to see where the money goes.
With a little online research, you can learn more about your intended charity to ensure your...
In recent weeks, there has been an increased surge of coughing dogs coming into our clinic. We had been free of suspected flu cases for a number of months, here, at Medical District Veterinary Clinic, but three weeks ago, we had one confirmed case followed immediately by multiple other subsequent cases that were highly suspicious of […]
The post August 2016 Update on Canine Influenza appeared first on Medical District Veterinary Clinic at Illinois.
I’ve never seen such a look of betrayal as was in Tomkin’s eyes when he came home from the veterinary hospital. Traumatized by the poking, prodding, bright lights, and sharp tools, he cowered in his corner, refusing even his favorite treats. It took days before he finally showed his sparkly new grin, and I knew I could never subject him to a nonanesthetic dental cleaning again.
The 2013 AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats clearly state “cleaning a companion animal’s teeth without general anesthesia is considered unacceptable and below the standard of care.” This means the pain and stress a pet faces during a nonanesthetic dental cleaning are so great that to subject your pet to this type of procedure when safer, more comfortable methods are available is considered cruel. Thankfully, the use of anesthesia and a personalized pain control plan can mitigate many of the risks associated with nonanesthetic procedures.
Pets rely on their owners to provide for their needs. When dogs and cats undergo a nonanesthetic dental cleaning, they can often be overwhelmed by the bright lights, loud equipment, and strange people restraining them. This can place your pet under significant...
We’ve all heard the saying, “Prevention is the best medicine.” This is so important to remember when protecting our pets from freeloading parasites like fleas and ticks. These parasites transmit many serious diseases that can infect our pets and ourselves – and can even be fatal. In fact, the Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends that all dogs and cats be treated year-round with flea and tick control products throughout their lives.
There can be a misconception that pets don’t need flea and tick medication during winter months, but every pet deserves to be protected every month – you never want a lapse in efficacy. After all, many pet owners travel with their pets throughout the year and the weather is always changing.
Plus, the alternative to prevention – infestation – is grim. Take fleas, the most common parasite for dogs and cats in North America1 (there are over 2,000 species of fleas worldwide!), for example. According to MyPet, the flea life cycle lasts approximately three months and consists of the following stages:
Veterinarians are entrusted with the health of our four-legged family members. The work they do to keep our pets well deserves to be recognized—that’s why hospitals that provide excellent care are being celebrated with their own special day on July 22.
AAHA-Accredited Hospital Day (AAHA Day) was created to recognize veterinary hospitals that have been awarded the American Animal Hospital Association’s top honor, AAHA accreditation. If your hospital is accredited, it means your pet is being cared for by one of the top 12–15 percent of animal hospitals in the United States and Canada. Not sure if your hospital is accredited? Use the AAHA-Accredited Hospital Locator tool to find out.
The first annual AAHA Day will take place July 22, 2016. If your veterinary hospital is AAHA-accredited, this is a perfect opportunity to thank them for all they do for your pet. Unlike human hospitals, animal hospitals are not required to be accredited. In fact, nearly 60 percent of pet owners think their pet’s veterinary hospital is accredited when it is not.
AAHA is the only national organization that accredits veterinary practices. We believe it is important to have strict predetermined standards...
Fifty-three percent of dogs in North America are overweight or obese. We know how harmful excessive weight can be to a dog’s overall health, yet over half of all dogs are above their ideal body weight. Carrying extra weight puts your dog at risk for many health conditions that can occur simultaneously with obesity, such as degenerative joint diseases, respiratory diseases, and heart diseases, and makes them susceptible to much more serious conditions.
For a pet owner, it can be hard to know what an ideal body weight is for your dog. However, there are experts you can go to if you are worried about your dog’s weight—like your veterinarian, who can advise you on a healthy goal weight for your dog, and provide a plan and guidance to help your dog achieve those goals.
One pet owner who did just that was Paris P., who has a 6-year-old Dalmatian named TJ. Paris was concerned about TJ’s weight gain after a leg injury. TJ weighed 91 pounds when he was referred to Caroline Goulard, DVM, at Paws on the Go in Laguna Woods, California. Together, Goulard and Paris set a goal for TJ to reach 77 pounds within six months by creating a treatment plan incorporating a set diet and daily activity...