How to avoid getting bitten by a dog

Believe it or not, dog bites do occur.  It  is easier than you think.  They are not necessarily from dogs that are vicious,  but rather can be from dogs that are approached when the dog is least expecting it. If your dog is frightened, not feeling well , or even in a strange situation it is possible for your dog to bite.    How can we prevent being bitten by a familiar dog?  Believe it or not the most frequent times a dog will bite is if the dogs is left with an  unattended infants or kids are playing with a dog without an adult supervision.  Both of those scenarios are easily avoided.  However, what do you do if you see a dog that you are not familiar with on the street.  Just because the dog “seems cute” do not immediately  go over and pet the dog.  The best advice is to WAIT.     WAIT is an acronym that can be used to teach children and others on how to approach a dog (from the American Academy of Pediatrics)  that is on a leash with their owner.    The W in wait stands for wait, A is for ask if you can pet dog, I is allow the  dog to sniff you.  T is for touch.  It is now OK to touch the dog.  These are great steps to teach your children to learn how to approach a dog.  It is not a good idea to assume that the dog is friendly and wants to be touched.  You need to WAIT first.  Getting bitten is easier than you think   If you see a strange dog, not on a leash do not go over to pet it.  Being cautious is prudent and safe.  The following if from the American Veterinary Medical Society brochure on dog bite prevention.

• If your own dog bit you, confine it immediately and call our veterinarian to check your dog’s vaccination records. Consult with your veterinarian about your dog’s aggressive action. Your veterinarian can examine your dog to make sure it is healthy, and can help you with information or training that may prevent more bites.

• If someone else’s dog bit you, first seek medical treatment for your wound. Next, contact authorities and tell them everything you can about the dog: the owner’s name, if you know it; the color and size of the dog; where you encountered the dog; and if, where, and when you’ve seen it before. These details may help animal-control officers locate the dog. In addition, consider asking your physician if post-exposure rabies prophylaxis is necessary.

Dogs are wonderful companions. By acting responsibly, owners not only reduce dog bite injuries, but also enhance the relationship they have with their dog.”

Steps to Prevent Dog Bites

Traveling with your pet

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go…….Traveling with your pet seems like a great idea but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.  Are you traveling by car or plane?  If by car does your pet get car sick?    Are you concerned that it might be too long a trip or perhaps the temperature might be too hot.  You should be concerned.  Good call.  This is the time to leave your pet home in a boarding facility, either at our office, Steinway Court Vet or someplace else that you feel comfortable with, knowing  your  pet will be safe.

Are you thinking that perhaps you can just sedate your pet?   Sedating your pet to travel is not ideal.  It may be appropriate some of the times, however only you and your veterinarian, Dr. Glasser can make that decision after careful thought and discussion based on your individual circumstances. 

Perhaps you are traveling by air within the continental  United States.  Some airlines required a health certificate for your pet to travel.  Every airlines is different.  YOU MUST CHECK.  Unfortunately, we cannot keep up with all the rules and regulations for every airline.  We recommend that you check with the airlines approximately 30 days before travel..  That should  give you enough time to prepare .  If you are planning on traveling over a holiday period, the earlier you begin to gather information the better. 

Traveling internationally?. Thirty days may not be enough.  Certain countries for example require your pets’ rabies titer to be done and sent to a very specific lab.( FAVN -a rabies blood serum test for pet travel to a rabies free country).  Awaiting these results can take up to six weeks.  You must beginning planning at least six months prior, maybe more.  When in doubt of the rules, please check with the consulate to the country that you will be traveling with your pet as well as the airlines that you will be using.  Each one is a bit different .  The last thing you want is for your pet to arrive at the destination,  only to be put into quarantine because something was not done as per your destinations request.  The Steinway Court Vet will help you in any way we can, however it is up to you, the traveler to ascertain what paperwork is necessary.   Our veterinary doctor  is  accredited by the USDA and can complete the required APHIS(APHIS-animal plant and health inspection service)  form.

Please check with the United States State Department as well.

We can not stress enough.  Please check, check and double check!

If traveling for a short period of time perhaps it would be best to leave your pet home with a family member, friend or trusted boarding facility.

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Kidney Disease

Have you noticed your cat drinking more than usual?

Chronic kidney disease in cats is the most common disease process of middle age and elderly cats.  Did you know that kidney disease can be genetic?  This disease runs in certain lines or families of cats and as such has a strong genetic predisposition.   Although there is no cure per se , if diagnosed early, we can help slow the progression of the disease .  Cats compensate for this disease very well. They will typically not show significant signs of illness in the early stages.   Wondering how you can tell if your kitty has the beginning of kidney disease?   You are the one that can help make a difference.   Some of the signs to look for are:

  • Increase in water consumption
  • Increase in urination
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Lethargy
  • vomiting

Early detection is the best defense.  As your pets owner it is critical role determining if your pets behavior has changed.  The daily interaction that you have allows you to notice the subtle sign before they turn into a larger problem.  If you notice any of the above it is a good idea to have your pet screened  by the veterinarian.   We recommended: a complete blood count (CBC), a serum biochemical profile, and a urinalysis.

Unfortunately, once we see a rise in waste products in the blood there is an indication that the filtering mechanism of the kidney has been damaged.   In the urinalysis we test for pH, specific gravity, the presence of blood, protein, glucose, bilirubin, and ketones, and microscopically look for cells, bacteria, crystals, and casts.  These give us an understanding what is happening within the body.

There are multiple treatment options that we can use to delay the further damage to the kidneys.  The mainstay for therapy has been renal (kidney) diets. These diets are modified protein diets. If you pet has excessive protein consumption that can increase  nitrogenous waste in the body, which in turn, increases the burden on the kidney to remove it.

The best plan of action would be to be alert in changes that your pet may be exhibiting.  This will allow us to help you give you more quality time with your loved one.