Tag Archives: vet tips

5 Ways to Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Clean

Your cat is great a keeping itself clean. It seems like it spends half of its waking hours licking each and every inch of its furry little body. Unfortunately, there is one place that it can’t clean: its teeth. Here are 10 tips you can follow to keep your cat’s teeth clean and healthy. Continue reading 5 Ways to Keep Your Cat’s Teeth Clean

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Most Common Food Allergies In Dogs

While it has become common to watch out for the signs of life-threatening food allergies in young children, it still comes as a surprise to some dog parents that their four-legged companions can also suffer from food allergies.

Just like in humans, a food allergy occurs when a dog’s immune system mistakenly believes a specific food is harmful. The dog’s immune system responds with antibodies, which triggers a series of dangerous symptoms.

Many seemingly random symptoms can be signs of a food allergy in a dog. These include:

  • Chronic ear inflammation
  • Itching
  • Paw biting
  • Poor coat quality
  • Obsessive licking

Other symptoms more closely mimic symptoms seen in humans with food allergies, such as:

  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Itchy rear end
  • Chronic gas
  • Vomiting
 If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it is extremely important to have them checked out by a vet to determine if the symptoms are indeed signs of a food allergy.

The more the dog is exposed to the allergen, the more severe the reaction will become. Even if your dog is only irritated by the symptoms initially, they could be life-threatening the next time they eat the problem food.

Kinds of foods to watch out for

Dogs can be allergic to nearly any specific food ingredient. However, there are certain meats and grains that are more likely to cause an allergic reaction in your dog. These include:

  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Lamb
  • Egg
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Dairy

If your dog is allergic to one ingredient, she’s likely allergic to other ingredients as well.

To isolate which foods your dog is reacting to, your vet will likely put your dog on an elimination diet, followed by a food challenge. This is done by solely feeding your dog one or two foods, such as ground turkey and sweet potatoes. Once you’ve established that your dog doesn’t have a reaction to these two foods, you can start the food challenges.

Gradually, more items are added in, until you notice that your dog has an allergic reaction. This will clearly identify which allergens your dog is reacting to, and you can then create a diet avoiding any triggers.

If you find that your dog is still suffering from an allergic response, no matter what combination of food you give, then it’s likely your dog is not allergic to a particular food but may suffer an allergy to something else present in the environment, such as pollen, dander, a specific fabric, or a medication.

While it may seem overwhelming to care for a dog with food allergies, it is much simpler today than it was in the past. Many more foods are available, offering a wide variety of protein and grains that your dog may not react to, such as kangaroo, venison, potatoes, or oatmeal. With a little care and education, you can keep your dog safe, happy, healthy, and well fed.

 

Source: Most Common Food Allergies In Dogs

My Sheltie Ate a Crayon

Dogs, both big and small, are notorious for checking out things with their mouth. They lick them, chew them, and sometimes eat them. Continue reading My Sheltie Ate a Crayon

What To Do If Your Dog Is Eating Dirt

Does your dog seem to find dirt a delicious delicacy? Eating dirt may be an indication of an underlying medical problem, and not just made out of curiosity. The most common problem associated with eating dirt in dogs is anemia or other types of rare mineral deficiencies.

Here are some steps to take if your dog is eating dirt:

  • Examine the color of your dog’s gums. If the gums appear too pale or jaundiced (yellowish tinge), an immediate visit to your veterinarian should be made as soon as possible.
  • Check your dog’s diet. What’s the quality of your pet’s food? If you are giving homemade pet food, consulting a veterinary  will help establish whether it lacks any essential vitamin or mineral.
  • When your dog’s appetite for dirt is accompanied by lethargy, decreased appetite, or unexplained weight loss, take your pet for blood work and other tests that may be recommended by your veterinarian.

Source: What To Do If Your Dog Is Eating Dirt

Is Bubblegum Harmful to Canines?

You’re likely to have bubblegum in your house, especially if you have kids at home. If you don’t have bubblegum, you probably at least have some chewing gum to keep your breath minty fresh. If your dog gets ahold of some gum, should you be worried?

Unfortunately, there is definitely cause for concern if your dog has eaten any kind of gum. That’s because it contains an ingredient called xylitol, which is extremely poisonous to dogs. It only takes 3 grams of the stuff to kill a 65 pound dog.

Because different manufacturers use different amounts of xylitol, it can be difficult to determine just how dangerous the situation is. If your dog vomits, is uncoordinated or lethargic after consuming any amount of gum, or if you have a particularly small breed, you should visit your vet.

Source: Is Bubblegum Harmful to Canines?

Common misconception: giving milk to a cat or hedgehog

Maybe you’re lucky to live in an area where there are hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are lovely and it is only natural if you want to help them a little. Their life is hard enough because of humans, such as cars and building roads everywhere, which can shred their area. And of course they also have a lot of trouble with all the poison we throw in our gardens. But I would like to write a different blogpost about making your garden (if you have one) hedgehog friendly.
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A lot of people give a hedgehog a platter with milk, when they see one. This is very saddening, because you try to help the hedgehog, which is a good thing. But by doing this, you’re making it worse. You should never give a hedgehog milk. They aren’t tolerant for the lactose in it and it will give them diarrhea and other indigestion problems. This is very dangerous and could lead to their death, for example due to dehydration.

If you see a hedgehog, you can give him some water, this can really help them with their journey and life. If you want to give him some food, you could give some cat or dog food or some cooked eggs or scrambled eggs without milk. Neder give pieces of bread (again lactose) or herbs.
Hedgehogs like humid foods. Hedgehogs are omnivores and a big percentage of their diet exists of worms, snails, wood louses etc. This is one of the reasons why  having hedgehogs in your garden can be great. Giving them water regularly, can make them come back to your place.

Since we’re talking about milk being bad for a hedgehog, even though a lot of people don’t know this, I also want to connect this to a similar case: cats. You shouldn’t give cats milk either, again because of the lactose. Adult cats can’t digest it, so you shouldn’t give it to them, even though they often do like milk.
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You shouldn’t give kittens cowmilk either. They don’t contain the necessary nutrients. There is special catmilk, in case you have a kitten who can’t get milk from it’s mother. You can also find special powder to make it yourself at the vet.

In a lot of pet stores, you can find catmilk. This is a treat for your cat and you shouldn’t give it to them regularly, even though it’s specifically for cats. Catmilk contains a lot of calories and doesn’t contain necessary nutrients. It’s best to always give water.

Please remember that it’s best to give water. Water is necessary for them and it’s very helpful if you give it to them. It’s not ‘boring’ for them or ‘sad’ that they always drink water. Also keep in mind that these animals often do like milk, so they will still drink it, even though it’s bad for them. So that’s not a good indicator of whether it’s bad for them or not.

If you encounter a situation in which someone wants to give milk, please tell them they (the animals) can’t have it. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing it or being wrong, but it’s so much better for the animals if we inform each other.

Source: Common misconception: giving milk to a cat or hedgehog

Tips When Sharing People Food To Your Dog

Some pet owners love sharing some of their food with their dogs. However, table scraps or leftover food should never be a substitute to premium quality pet food. Giving all of your leftover food from your plate to your dog’s food bowl is not the healthiest way to give table scraps to your pooch. If your dog is used to eating dry pet food, he may end up with an upset stomach if you suddenly give considerable amounts of new foods. If you really want to give your pet a taste of your food, start giving food that is similar in composition to his pet food diet, i.e. chicken, beef, or plain noodles, and slowly introduce  new food to his diet.

Feeding small amounts of your food to your pooch will help you balance your pet’s caloric intake from meal to meal. It will also be easier for you to identify the potential cause if your pet suffers from an upset stomach. It is recommended to introduce one new type of food every couple of days to let your pet’s stomach adjust without any adverse reactions.

Source: Tips When Sharing People Food To Your Dog

Common Triggers Of Canine Asthma

Most cases of asthma in dogs are often viewed as an allergenic condition. Thus, there are periods of flare-ups and situations that are worse than others; a dog can also go without symptoms for months before he suffers from another bout of asthma attack.

Since asthma is commonly triggered by potential allergens in the dog’s environment, taking steps to identify these external triggers can help you prevent or reduce your pet’s exposure, as well as manage asthma attacks.

One important trigger of asthma attacks in dogs is dust mites. Dust mites are microscopic organisms that are almost always present to some degree even in houses that are regularly cleaned. In addition to regular cleaning and proper disposal of dirt and dust, the use of air filter, anti-static dusters and cloth wipes can help keep the level of dust mites to a minimum.

Source: Common Triggers Of Canine Asthma

Instances When Diarrhea May Actually Be Necessary In Pets

Cases of diarrhea in dogs should NOT ALWAYS be a cause for worry. Sometimes a dog suffers from diarrhea because something is wrong with the animal’s digestive system and his body is trying get rid of the problem.

There are instances when diarrhea is the natural method of the body to get rid of a problem. A dog that has ingested something that is toxic, or has consumed something that does not agree with his body may suffer from loose bowel movement, which in this case, is a symptom of the problem and also the cure.

When you choose to administer medicines to stop or curb diarrhea, you are interfering with the body’s process of getting rid of the substance that is causing the problem. This can actually conceal the problem, and even make it worse, leading to bouts of diarrhea that can be harder to diagnose and address later on.

Source: Instances When Diarrhea May Actually Be Necessary In Pets

Important Signs Your Cat May Be Suffering From A Urinary Tract Infection

Cats are known for being able to hide signs of pain as a result of illness or injury. But when pet owners spend regular time interacting and bonding with their furballs, they will be quick to spot signs when there is something wrong with their pet. A cat that is feeling under the weather may prefer to hide away in a place where it’s comfortable, warm, and quiet. In the wild, hiding when they are in pain protects them from any predators; this instinct is still very much strong in pet cats when they are sick.

One of the common problems that cats can suffer from is a urinary tract infection. The problem can become serious in cats and should be brought to your veterinarian’s attention as soon as possible. Some important signs to watch out for include straining when they urinate, unsuccessful attempts to urinate, and painful urination. The cat may also become noticeably irritable and often avoid using the litter box, preferring to do their business somewhere else.

Source: Important Signs Your Cat May Be Suffering From A Urinary Tract Infection