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Question Corner


Why does my pet need an annual physical exam?

A physical exam is a thorough evaluation of your pet's overall health performed by a veterinarian. It determines if he or she is healthy enough to get any needed vaccines and alerts us to any potential health problems. Many health problems if caught early, can be prevented or treated with the least discomfort to your pet. Just think each year of a dog or cat's life is equal to four human years. If your pet misses just one annual physical exam it would be as if you waited eight years to see your physician!

 

Is there anything I can do to help my older dog be more comfortable?

Thanks to improvements in medical care, dogs, like people, are living longer. A substantial number of elderly dogs are at risk for developing age-related medical and behavior disorders.

Age-related deterioration of cognitive abilities is known as Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (or unofficially as doggie Alzheimer's). Your pet could show one or several of these behaviors:

  • Does our dog get lost, confused or disoriented?
  • Does he or she wander aimlessly or pace?
  • Is he or she less interested in toys or bones?
  • Has his or her interaction with the family decreased?
  • Has his or her ability to recognize family members decreased?
  • Is he or she urinating or defecating in the house?
  • Has he or she lost interest in other family pets or other dogs?
  • Has his or her ability to respond to well-known commands decreased?
  • Does her or she have a fear of noise?

Is the answer yes to one or more of these questions? If so your dog would benefit by having a geriatric physical exam and consultation with one of our doctors. Let us help make your dog's "golden years" safe and comfortable.

 

My pet wears an ID Tag in case he is lost, is there any other form of identification I can get for him?

Yes! While tags are highly recommended, sometimes they can be pulled off. Microchipping is permanent and can be easily performed by your veterinarian.

Microchipping is a pet retrieval system which involves injecting a small microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) under the skin between the shoulder blades of a dog or cat, in much the same way a vaccine is administered. Each chip has a unique 10 digit code that is registered with a recovery program.

When a lost pet arrives at the shelter, a special, harmless, hand-held scanner (similar to those used in stores) is passed over the pet's shoulder blades and reads the identification code of the microchip below the skin surface. The shelter will contact the recovery program who in turn contacts you.

The microchip contains an unalterable ID code and will last for the life of the pet. Collars can fall off and ID tags can become unreadable. Help your pet find the way back home, call us today for more information on microchip system.

 

Thinking about adding a new member to your family?

It is hard to resist the puppies and kittens in the store window, but there is alot to think about before bringing them home. We can help you to determine which pet will be best for your family.

How much time can you dedicate daily to training and caring for your pet? Do you live in an apartment or do you have a big yard? Are there young children or elderly people in your family? The answers to these questions will make a big difference as to what age and type of pet you may choose... and these are just the beginning! Call us today for Pet Selection Counseling.

Once you find your perfect match, call us to discuss what preventative health care, behavior counseling and training will be needed for your new pet.

 

What can I do about protecting my pet from ticks?

With furry coats, proximity to the ground, and their love of exploration, our pets are 50 to 100 times more likely than humans to come in contact with disease-carrying ticks.

Traditionally there are two peaks to the tick season, spring and fall. However, ticks may remain a problem year round depending on their environment and weather patterns.

Protect your pet from ticks by applying Frontline Plus or Revolution on a monthly basis. A Preventic collar for dogs is very effective for tick control. For removing ticks, use the incredible Tick Twister; your hands never have to touch the tick!

For more information on protecting your pet from ticks or to purchase the above products, call us today!

 

How can I de-skunk my dog?

Has your dog ever been sprayed by a skunk? Even if not, knowing how to handle it before it happens will make your life simpler. You may have heard of skunk odor remedies like tomato juice or vinegar, but they really just cover up the odor. You can remove the odor from your dog using household items. It's all thanks to chemist Paul Krebaum, who developed the recipe in 1993. Skunk spray is very oily and contains sulfur (hence the stench). This recipe causes a chemical reaction that breaks up the oils and neutralizes the odor.

Time is of the essence here - the longer you wait to begin the process, the harder it will be to remove the smell. Once you realize your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, put on a pair of gloves and check for any bites or scratches. Also check the eyes for redness or discharge. If any injuries are found or you think your dog has been fighting with the skunk and not just sprayed, contact us before proceeding. Skunks can carry rabies and rabies is transmitted usually through bite wounds, so you should not handle your dog if there are any injuries found.

In the plastic container, combine 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid soap (like Dawn, do not use antibacterial formulas). For larger dogs you may need to double/triple the recipe) Mix ingredients well. The solution will fizz, as a chemical reaction is occurring. Use immediately - do not store.

Do not soak your dog with water prior to bathing. Promptly begin cleansing the affected areas thoroughly, massaging the solution deep into your dog's coat. You may wish to use a sponge or washcloth. Avoid getting the solution in the eyes, ears or mouth. Allow the solution to remain on your dog for at least five minutes (longer if strong odor persists). Rinse your dog well with lukewarm water. Repeat steps 3-5 as necessary until odor is gone.

Tips:

  • NEVER place the solution in a closed container or spray bottle, as the pressure will build up and the container could burst. This could cause serious injury to you and your dog.

  • DO NOT use higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide or substitute baking soda with "similar" products. The altered chemical reaction could cause severe injury to you and your dog.

  • Be certain you use fresh hydrogen peroxide, as it becomes less concentrated over time. If you are unsure how old your hydrogen peroxide is (or if it is expired) get fresh bottles just in case. The solution can be used to remove skunk odor from clothing and other fabrics. However, it can have a mild bleaching effect on some materials. In addition, your dog's coat may become slightly lighter as a result of the solution. If this happens, it should resolve over time.