BONES AND YOUR DOG ARE AN ABSOLUTE NO-NO

Dog chewing bone NO

Myth: Dogs need to chew on bones to clean their teeth.

Not true.  Allowing your dog to chew on bones is subjecting them to fractures and even broken teeth.  Bones are stronger than the enamel of your dog’s teeth.  If you are giving them bones to help keep their teeth clean.  Don’t.  Brush your dog’s teeth daily with enzymatic toothpaste.  Have the teeth professionally cleaned yearly as needed.  But do not allow your dogs to chew on bones.  Chewing on bones causes damage/pain to your dogs teeth.

Myth: Dogs are able to eat bones because that is what they did in the wild.

Wrong.  By allowing your dogs to eat bones- accidently or intentionally you are leaving your dog open for potentially life threatening intestinal/digestive problems.

While walking your dog if somehow they grab a bone, immediately seize the bone as soon as possible.  Perhaps you had chicken for dinner for example, or a dinner that has bones left over.  Please discard them safely.  Somehow with bones in the trash your dog will find a way to open the trash can and feast on the bones.  This is very dangerous.  It just takes one bone to splinter causing a very sharp edge that can cause damage to the intestinal tract.  It may need to be repaired surgically.

My dog ate some bones and is now very constipated.  That should be a signal to you to bring your pet into the doctor immediately.  Believe it or not the ingested bones can obstruct the digestive tract.  They cannot pass them.  Your pet perhaps will need to be disimpacted and have enemas to try and remove the digested bones.  If that is not possible depending on your pet’s condition and age surgical intervention may be needed as well.

This all can be avoided by not giving bones and disposing of them properly.

Bones are unsafe for your dog. In this podcast, Dr. Larry Kornegay, president of the AVMA, talks about why it’s a bad idea to give your dog a bone.  Take a minute and give a listen.

Download: MP3

Have we seen your cat lately?

Tabby kittenCats are masters at hiding illness.  If you see any subtle signs of sickness in your cat, it is time for a visit. i.e., inappropriate elimination, changes in food/water consumption, weight gain/loss, changes in grooming habits or vocalization as well as bad breath.  Please do not wait, come on in!

Cats need regular veterinary care, including wellness exams at least once a year. Cats age faster than you do, so an annual exam for them is similar to you visiting your doctor or dentist every four to five years. Prevention is always safer and less expensive than treatment, and why your cat needs to be seen at least once a year by your veterinarian.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners and America Animal Hospital Association recommends a minimum of one annual wellness exam for cats, with more frequent exams for senior and geriatric patients, or those cats with medical or behavioral conditions.

During the health risk assessment, Dr. Glasser will conduct a thorough exam of your cat. Here’s what to expect during the health risk assessment exam:

  • A review of your cat’s previous health records
  • Discuss medications your cat is currently taking, including flea prevention products
  • Note weight and age changes since the last exam
  • Ask about any lifestyle changes in your cat
  • Perform a physical exam including: teeth, mouth, eyes, ears, skin, coat, and paws
  • Ask about any unusual behavior in your cat, such as drinking more water, eating less or more, sleeping less or more,
    or a change in activity level
  • Treat any current condition, such as ear infection or ear mites
  • Recommend dental cleaning, if needed
  • Look for early disease signs and if suspected, recommend further tests
  • Recommend appropriate vaccinations your cat needs to prevent disease

Let us help you keep your cat healthy and live a long, happy life!

Keeping your pet safe for the holidays

holiday-400Getting ready for the holidays is always exciting.  But please keep in mind that the holidays can also be dangerous as well.  It is our job to protect our pets against unforeseen dangers.  When decorating your home please keep glass, or plastic ornaments out of paws reach.  Shards of breakable ornaments can be very sharp and get into the paw.  Tinsel may be very enticing due to its shimmer,  especially to cats, however is extremely dangerous to your pets.  If ingested it can obstruct the digestive tract, cause vomiting, dehydration and even emergency surgery.

When entertaining it may seem hard to resist, but please do not give people food to your pets.  What is yummy to you may lead to GI distress or can be toxic to your pet. Giving your pet fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis.   Treats, especially those containing chocolate, Xylitol, grapes/raisins, onions are a few that need immediate medical attention.  Treating a potential problem early is the key to a successful outcome.

With regards to plants;  poinsettia, holly and mistletoe can be dangerous and cause gastrointestinal upset or, in rare cases with mistletoe, cardiovascular problems.  Perhaps you should consider leaving the tinsel off the tree, especially if you have a cat in your home.   We also suggest if possible that you secure your Christmas tree to keep it from falling if your dog bumps it or your cat decides to climb it.

Unattended candles or the Chanukah menorah can pose a danger to pets as well.  Your cat or dog may wander too close to the flame perhaps either burning themselves or worse yet, starting a fire.  Please don’t leave the candles unattended with your pet around.

Please have a safe place for your pet to go when they need to get away from all the excitement whether in another room or in their crate.  Have fun, keep everyone safe.

These are just a few things to keep in mind this upcoming holiday season.

Constipation

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Have you ever wondered why you cat may be constipated?  Cats are commonly afflicted with constipation for numerous reasons.

  • One most common incriminating factor is a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Another factor believe it or not stems from obesity.  The abdominal musculature weakens with obesity making it more difficult to defecate.
  • In addition, significant numbers of cats with constipation are chronically, although mildly, dehydrated.   An all dry diet is a common culprit.

Wondering how you can decrease the chance of your kitting being constipated?

  • Maintaining a normal body weight is imperative.
  • Increasing exercise by encouraging foraging behavior.  I.e. perhaps place the food/water bowl in a location that causes your kitty to have to “work” to get to it.
  • Purchase a kitty laser light and see if you kitty will try and chase it around or perhaps even a toy to bat around.  Anything to get him/her moving.
  • Some cats end up drinking more water when a kitty water fountain is used.  They love the moving water.
  • If still not increasing water consumption, perhaps you can by flavoring the water bowls with a small amount of tuna or clam juice will help.

Making certain your indoor cat is active and at a desirable weight, eating some wet food and drinking sufficiently is the best way to prevent this problem.

However, a small percentage of cats have mega colon. This is a disease where lack of nerve innervation from the spine to the colon causes a lack of normal peristalsis (stimulation of the intestine). These cases are more difficult to manage and will need laxatives, stool softeners and high fiber diets. Those that cannot be managed medically may need colectomy (surgery) to remove the affected portion of the bowel that is lacking nerve impulses.  If you cat is constipated.  Do not wait to give us a call.  The situation may not resolve itself without intervention.