We all know that preventing disease or catching it in its early stages is far better than treating it once it has had time to progress to a more severe stage. Preventive health care on a regular basis will help you do just that, and save you and your pet from needless suffering and a larger financial burden. This article explains what preventive measures you can take to keep your cat healthy.
ANNUAL PHYSICAL EXAM
Just as annual physical exams are recommended for humans, they are recommended for our pets as well. If your cat is older or has medical problems, he may need even more frequent examinations. A year is a long time in a cat’s life. Assuming our cats will live to their early or middle teens, receiving a yearly exam means they will only have about thirteen exams in a lifetime. That is not very many when you think about it.
Important health concerns to discuss with your veterinarian:
- Vaccination status and potential for exposure to disease (i.e., indoor or outdoor cat)
- Parasite control for intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, mites, and heartworms
- Dental health – care you give at home; any mouth odors, pain, or other signs of disease you may have observed
- Nutrition – including what your cat eats, how often, what supplements and treats are given, and changes in water consumption, weight or appetite
- Exercise – how much exercise your cat receives including how often and what kind; and any changes in your cat’s ability to exercise
- Ears and Eyes – any discharge, redness, or itching
- Stomach and intestines – any vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gas, belching, or abnormal stools
- Breathing – any coughing, shortness of breath, sneezing, or nasal discharge
- Behavior – any behavior problems such as inappropriate elimination, aggression, or changes in temperament
- Feet and legs – any limping, weakness, toenail problems
- Coat and skin – any hair loss, pigment changes, lumps, itchy spots, shedding, mats, or anal sac problems
- Urogenital – any discharges, heats, changes in mammary glands, urination difficulties or changes, neutering if it has not already been performed
- Blood tests – especially for geriatric cats, those with medical problems, and those who are receiving medications
Consult with your veterinarian to determine which vaccinations your cat should receive, and how often.
You may have heard about the current controversies regarding vaccinating cats. Some researchers believe we do not need to vaccinate annually for most diseases. But how often we should vaccinate for each specific disease in adult animals has not yet been determined. We do not know how long the protection from a vaccine lasts. It may be 5 years for one disease and 3 years for another, and less than 2 years for another.
Almost all researchers agree that for kittens we need to continue to give at least three combination vaccinations and repeat these at one year of age. They also agree that rabies vaccinations must continue to be given according to local ordinances.
Against what diseases?
Experts generally agree on what vaccines are ‘core’ vaccines, i.e., what vaccines should be given to every cat, and what vaccines are given only to certain cats (noncore). Whether to vaccinate with noncore vaccines depends upon a number of things including the age, breed, and health status of the cat, the potential exposure of the cat to an animal that has the disease, the type of vaccine, and how common the disease is in the geographical area where the cat lives or may visit.
In cats, the suggested core vaccines are feline panleukopenia (distemper), feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calici virus, and rabies.
If you have any questions about vaccinating your cat, the annual exam is a good time to ask your veterinarian.
When and how often pets should be tested for heartworm infection is also a matter of debate. In making a decision on when to test, we must consider how common heartworm disease is where the pet lives, what heartworm preventive the pet is receiving, and how long the mosquito season lasts.
Cats should be tested before they are started on a heartworm preventive. Experts do not agree on how often a cat that is taking a preventive should be tested, however, it would be based on risk of exposure and consistency of administering preventives. Consult with your veterinarian to determine what is best for your cat.
CONTROL OF INTESTINAL PARASITES
As with vaccinations and heartworm testing, you will find different opinions on when or if fecal examinations should be performed and when or if cats should receive regular “dewormings.” Decisions on testing and worming should be based on circumstances such as:
- The age of your cat
- The likelihood your cat is exposed to feces from other animals
- Whether your cat has fleas
- Whether your cat hunts
- Whether your cat is on a heartworm preventive that also controls intestinal parasites
- If your cat has been previously infected
- If you plan to breed your female cat
- If there are children who play with the cat
Regular deworming is recommended by the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC).
Kittens* – Because prenatal infections do not occur in kittens, initiate treatment at 3 weeks; repeat at 5, 7, and 9 weeks of age, and then put on a monthly heartworm preventive that also controls intestinal parasites. Using a year-round heartworm preventive/intestinal parasite combination product decreases the risk of parasites.
Nursing Dams- Treat at the same time as kittens.
Adult Cats- If on a year-round heartworm preventive/intestinal parasite combination product, have a fecal test performed 1-2 times per year and treat appropriately. If not on a year-round heartworm preventive/intestinal parasite combination product, have a fecal test performed 2-4 times per year and treat appropriately. Also monitor and eliminate parasites in pet’s environment.
Newly Acquired Animals
Worm immediately, after 2 weeks, and then follow above recommendations.
Roundworms and hookworms of cats can cause serious disease in people, especially children who may not have good hygiene habits. Treating your cat for worms is important for your pet’s health as well as your own.
Many veterinarians would agree that at a minimum, animals should have an annual fecal examination performed. Fecal examinations are advantageous. By having a fecal examination performed, you will know if your cat has intestinal parasites. If she does, you may need to change her environment and access to other animals. You will also know what type of parasites she has so the proper medication will be selected to kill all of them.
GERIATRIC OR ‘SENIOR’ SCREENING
Many veterinarians are starting to recommend screening tests for our older pets. Just as we have our cholesterol and blood pressure checked more often as we grow older, it is suggested our older pets need some routine checks too. Diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, and some hormonal diseases occur much more frequently in older animals. To test for these conditions and identify them before severe and/or irreversible damage is done, blood tests and sometimes radiographs are helpful. An abnormal result means we can diagnose and treat the condition early. Normal results are helpful in giving us a baseline with which we can compare future results.
Many of our older animals are also on medications and may require tests to evaluate the medication level and/or potential harmful effects on various organs.
Oral health is also extremely important in our older pets, so they may require more frequent dental check-ups.
If you have an older cat, discuss these options with your veterinarian.
In summary, annual exams along with recommended blood screening, vaccinations, heartworm testing, and parasite control will help your cat live a happier and longer life.
References and Further ReadingAmerican Heartworm Society: www.heartwormsociety.org Ford, R.B. Feline Vaccination Guidelines. In Bonagura, JD; Twedt, JD (eds.) Current Veterinary Therapy XIV. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 2008; 1275-1278. Greene, CE; Schultz, RD. Immunoprophylaxis. In Greene, CE (eds.) Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat, ed 3. W.B. Saunders Co. St. Louis, 2006; 1069. Klingborg, DJ; Hustead, DR; Curry-Galvin, EA; Gumley, NR; Henry, SC; Bain, FT; et al. AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents’ report on cat and dog vaccines. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. November 15, 2002 (Volume 221, No. 10); 1401-1407. Levy, J; Crawford, C; Hartmann, K; Hofman-Lehmann, R; Little, S; Sundahl, E; Thayer, V. 2008 American Association of Feline Practitioners’ feline retrovirus management guidelines. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. 2008; 10:300-316. Richards, JR et al. The 2006 American Association of Feline Practitioners Feline Advisory Panel Report, Journal of the American Veterinary Associaiton, 2006; 229(9):1405. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The demand for retail-style healthcare has EZ Vet Station thinking “inside the box”. The current focus on innovative solutions and concepts to deliver affordable, convenient and quality medical care has never been greater, and that extends to the pet care industry as well. Answering this growing demand is EZ Vet Station, LLC which has opened another location for their “mini-clinic” style veterinary pet care stations. Their newest location inside the Pet Supplies Plus store in Clearwater, Florida offers evening and weekend hours and walk-in appointments. The emergence of “retail healthcare”, offering medical care services inside a retail environment, is a concept that is quickly expanding in the human health care arena. EZ Vet plans to extend this convenient and affordable health care model into the pet industry.
EZ Vet Pet Care Stations are non- emergency compact “kiosk-style” veterinary clinics staffed with licensed Veterinarians and vet assistants that can diagnose and treat a wide variety of pet medical conditions related to teeth, ears, skin, eyes, weight, digestion, diet and parasites, in addition to offering routine services such as vaccines and microchipping. EZ Vet Stations offer a wide range of diagnostic and preventive pet care services designed to keep pets healthy. Consistent with the “mini-clinic” concept they do not offer surgery or emergency care. The EZ Vet Station in Clearwater is the second station in Florida, the first located in the Pet Supplies Plus store in Pinellas Park, Florida.
A recent survey indicates a real need for more convenient and affordable pet health care. 57% of those surveyed expressed they postponed pet care due to the high cost of care, and 60% surveyed indicated they wait anywhere from 3 days to more than 4 weeks for a veterinary appointment. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) emphasizes that a key element to a healthy pet is preventative medical care and early detection of illnesses through routine examinations with a veterinarian. The EZ Vet Station provides an innovative solution to delivering quality routine pet exams, preventive pet care, valuable diagnostic services, and beneficial pet prescriptions, products and services- all in the convenience of a local pet store. Veterinarian and founder of EZ Vet Station, LLC, Barry Goldberg, DVM, stated,” I believe that this will increase access to affordable and quality healthcare for thousands of pets in the local community. Helping pets live longer and healthier lives is what it’s all about.”
EZ Vet Station’s tag line is Save time! Save Money! They support this motto by offering affordable vaccinations, examinations and diagnostic fees inside the neighborhood pet store. They offer Wellness packages that include annual pet vaccinations, heart worm test, intestinal parasite test and preventive (round/hook worm) at reduced prices. Save time with walk-in visits and online appointment scheduling options. EZ Vet Station’s successful launch has clients begging for more prompting a recent announcement of plans to expand into other communities across the nation.
If your canine companion is more family member than pet, you may be in the habit of sharing the foods your family loves with him. Maybe even (accidentally or intentionally) your Halloween candy. Although some people foods are fine in moderation, this is definitely not the case with chocolate! Chocolate can sicken and even kill dogs, and it is one of the most common causes of canine poisoning.
While the occasional chocolate chip within one cookie may not be an issue, we worry about certain types of chocolate – the less sweet and the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to your pet. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. Other sources include chewable, flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. The chemical toxicity is due to a methylxanthine (like theobromine), and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, inflammation of the pancreas (i.e., pancreatitis), an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and rarely, even death. With Halloween right around the corner, make sure your kids know to hide the stash from your dogs. (Dogs make up 95% of all our chocolate calls, as cats are usually too discriminating to eat chocolate!) In smaller dogs, even the wrappers from candy can result in a secondary obstruction in the stomach or intestines.
Threat to pets
It’s the dose that makes the poison! Pets that ingest a few M&Ms or 1-2 bites of a chocolate chip cookie are unlikely to develop chocolate poisoning.
- For milk chocolate, any ingestion of more than 0.5 ounces per pound of body weight may put dogs at risk for chocolate poisoning.
- Ingestions of more than 0.13 ounces per pound of dark or semi-sweet chocolate may cause poisoning.
- Almost all ingestions of baker’s chocolate can result in poisoning and are considered emergencies.
- Very young, geriatric and animals with underlying disease must be treated more conservatively as they are more at risk for poisoning than healthy adult animals.
- Due to the large amount of fat in chocolate, some pets may develop pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) after eating chocolate or baked goods containing chocolate (see fatty foods).
Signs of chocolate poisoning
Ingestions of small amounts of chocolate may cause mild vomiting and diarrhea. Larger ingestions can cause severe agitation, tachycardia (elevated heart rate), abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures and collapse.
Induce vomiting and give multiple doses activated charcoal to decontaminate. Aggressive IV fluids to help with excretion, sedatives to calm the pet, specific heart medications to reduce the heart rate and blood pressure, anti-convulsants for seizures, antacids (such as Pepcid) for stomach discomfort and diarrhea. Theobromine may be reabsorbed across the bladder wall so a urinary catheter or frequent walks are needed to keep the bladder empty.
If your pet accidentally eats chocolate please contact your veterinarian immediately.
Or you can contact the Pet Poison Helpline for assistance:
Pet Poison Helpline: 1-800-213-6680
24/7 Animal Poison Control Center
This Pet Tip is brought to you by:
EZ Vet Clinic
12035 South Dixie Hwy. Pinecrest, FL 33156
Come join us October 26th for a HOWL-O-ween event!
Free treats for all from EZ Vet Clinic!
4th Annual Howl-O-Ween at Pinecrest Gardens
$5 Admission (Under 2 Years Old Free) Paid to Pinecrest Gardens (Includes Splash Zone)
- Dogs Welcome
- Doggie Fun Zone(TM) What’s this? Click here.
- Vendors Who’s gonna be there? Click here.
- Food & Drinks
- Beer & Wine Bar
- Arts & Crafts
- Story Telling
- Howl-O-Ween Portraits
- Costume Contests & Parades
- Live Entertainment
- Celebrity Costume Judges Dan Le Batard, Gonzalo Le Batard, and LEBO
- Adoptable Dogs from Paws 4 You Rescue
- Proceeds from Sponsors, Concessions, and Activities Benefit Homeless Pets
Sunday, October 26, 2014
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
11000 Red Road
Pinecrest, FL 33156
Is your pet getting a thorough examination?
The best way to evaluate the health of a pet is to capture their vital results. This includes blood pressure, pulse oximetry, temperature, weight, heart rate and rhythm, and examine inside the ears, mouth and eyes. This should be done at least twice a year in order to prevent and treat any medical issues.
We know how important veterinarians are to the health of our pets, but not as many know about “Veterinary Technicians” and the important role that they perform.
October 12-18 is National Veterinary Technician Week – a week set aside by the veterinary profession to recognize and celebrate these important team members.
Pet Care Video: Preventing Pet Ear Infections
Keeping pets’ ears clean contribute to their health and wellness by preventing irritation and infection that can be painful and potentially lead to hearing loss. Ear disease is one of the most common conditions in pets. The medical name for inflammation or infection of the outer ear canal is otitis externa. Otitis externa is estimated to affect 20% of dogs and 7% of cats in the United States. In 2007, Veterinary Pet Insurance reported that treatment for ear infections ranked as the number one medical claim made for dogs and number eight for cats.
Pets are prone to otitis externa due to the long length and L-shape of their ear canals. Debris and bacteria love to collect at the corner of the L and with the naturally warm and sometimes moist environment of the ears, it becomes the perfect environment for infection.
Dogs that are most prone to ear infection include floppy or long-eared breeds (Cocker Spaniels, retrievers, basset hounds, etc) because the long ears hang over the ear canal entrance and prevent the canals from drying out. Dogs that swim and get water into their ears and pets with over-production of wax or hair growth deep in their ear canals are also at increased risk. Ear infection can also result from underlying conditions such as skin allergies and hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism.
Other conditions that can affect pets’ ears and mimic infection include ear mites, foreign bodies (especially plant material) and ear tumors.
What are signs that your pet may have an ear infection?
Signs of ear problems include:
- Scratching or rubbing of the ears and/or head
- Head shaking or tilting the head to one side
- Pain around the ears—your pet may shy away from you petting his or her head
- Odor or discharge from the ears
- Redness or swelling of the ear flap or the ear canal
- Changes in behavior—ear infections are painful and many pets will become snappy or irritable
If you witness any of these signs in your pet, visit EZ Vet Pet Health Care Center for a thorough ear examination to determine the cause of the problem. If infections are left untreated, they can lead to hearing loss or extend into the inner ear and become life threatening.
Watch the video below on how to properly clean your pet ears and help prevent any possible ear infections with your pet.
How to clean your pets ears by EZ Vet Pet Health Care Center
Pet Education: Bladder Stones
Signs and diagnosis of bladder stones in dogs: Dogs with bladder stones may have blood in their urine and may urinate frequently, passing only small quantities each time. Often, they will strain while urinating, holding their body in the urinating posture for much longer than normal. They may lick their genital area more than normal. Some dogs with bladder stones may show no signs at all, and the stones are discovered while palpating the abdomen during a routine physical exam. In other cases, the diagnosis of bladder stones in dogs is made or confirmed with abdominal x-rays. Most stones are radiopaque, meaning they show up on the radiographic film as obvious white circles or shapes just as bones do. A few are radiolucent, where the x-ray beams pass right through and therefore, they do not show up on the finished film. To confirm the presence of these types of stones, a special dye is passed into the bladder and it outlines the stones in the x-ray. With this method, we see a white area (the dye) with a black hole in the center (the stone) What causes bladder stones in dogs? The process by which bladder stones develop is really quite simple, but what causes it to occur only in certain dogs, cats, or humans? Factors that influence the development of stones include genetic predisposition, the concentration of the stone constituents in the urine, urine pH, and the presence of bacterial infections.
Pictured is an actual dog bladder stone case- surgery performed by Dr. Velez from EZ Vet Pet Health Care Center 12035 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33156 (305) 255-7838 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________enter.com
Concierge Service Has Spread to Pet Health Care
It’s hard enough with our overbooked schedules to fit in personal medical exams and checkups, but what about for your pets? Pets require the same type of routine exams in addition to one-off medical attention. First you need to remember when it’s time for Fido’s appointment. Then you need to schedule an appointment for a day when it can “kind-of” fit into your already crammed scheduled. Then, you have to wait to be seen by your veterinarian. According to a recent study, the #1 reason that pet owners postpone or cancel veterinary exams is due to their own scheduling and time constraints. And a top 3 reason for pet owners delaying a visit to the vet is the inconvenience of clinic hours. Recently one South Florida veterinarian has come up with a convenient solution for getting pets in for their important veterinary appointments that won’t disrupt your schedule or even require you to leave your seat.
Dr. Barry Goldberg, owner of EZ Vet Pet Health Care Center in Pinecrest (Miami) FL has been a veterinarian and successful entrepreneur for over 40 years. He knows that the key to success is giving your customers what they want and he says topping the list is convenience. Having enjoyed the convenience of concierge medical services personally, Dr. Goldberg decided why not apply the same concept for our beloved four-legged family members too! Concierge medical service, once regarded as only for the rich and famous, is now considered a necessity for busy working professionals and families.
What is pet concierge service?
EZ Vet Pet Health Care Center offers a concierge service package that includes convenient features such as pet pick-up and drop-off to and from the EZ Vet Clinic, pet food and medication delivery and a personal after-hours veterinary hotline amongst other wellness and premiere pet services. “We don’t want clients to view their pet’s health care and veterinary exams as an inconvenience, but as a vital, and now easy way, to keep their pets healthy and happy for a very long time,” states Dr. Barry Goldberg.
EZ Vet’s pet concierge service is designed to not only be convenient, but cost effective too. For a fixed monthly fee the pet owner can receive the complete door-to door services with unlimited vet exams, and save approximately 50% off of the cost compared to individual veterinary services. The monthly fees are based on the type and age of the pet. The EZ Vet pet concierge program includes unlimited vet exams, home pick-up or drop-off for pets and medication/food deliveries, unlimited nail trims (pedicure), unlimited deworming treatments, unlimited intestinal parasite check, required vaccines, heartworm test, Feline leukemia and FIV test, unlimited anal gland expression, unlimited interstate health certificates, dental cleanings, lab work including complete blood cell count and internal organ function screen and urinalysis, and a personal veterinary hotline for any after-hours pet concerns.
EZ Vet’s concierge pet services offer convenience for pet owners and strive to make pet care easy.
EZ Vet Pet Health Care Center- Animal Hospital
12035 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33156
Bi-Annual Exams Make A Difference
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) emphasizes the benefits of routine care through their national publicity campaign, “Twice A Year For Life.” The AVMA advises that two annual wellness exams are the best way to ensure that any potentially life-threatening condition is caught early. Dr. Maria Diaz, the Medical Director of Miami Veterinary Hospital- EZ Vet Pet Health Care Center in Pinecrest, states,”Prevention is key to a healthy and long life for your pet. And because pets age much quicker than humans, I strongly recommend pets have at least 2 check-ups per year.”
Responsible pet owners agree that routine care impacts the health, quality of life and longevity of their pets. The demand for convenient and affordable routine care continues to increase. The EZ Vet Pet Health Care Station was developed out of this growing need and delivers just that.
Find out more about the EZ Vet Pet Health Care Station
We all know that preventing disease or catching it in its early stages is far better than treating it once it has had time to progress to a more severe stage. Preventive health care on a regular basis will help you do just that- prevent and save you and your pet from needless suffering and a larger financial burden. Here are some preventive measures you can take to keep your pet healthy.
Routine Pet Exams
Just as annual physical exams are recommended for humans, they are recommended for our pets as well. If your dog is older or has medical problems, he may need even more frequent examinations. A year is a long time in a dog’s life. Assuming our pets will live to their early teens, receiving a yearly exam means they will only have about thirteen exams in a lifetime. That is not very many when you think about it.
- Vaccination status
- Parasite control for intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, mites, and heartworms
- Dental health – care you give at home; any mouth odors, pain, or other signs of disease you may have observed
- Nutrition – including what your dog eats, how often, what supplements and treats are given, and changes in water consumption, weight, or appetite
- Exercise – how much exercise your dog receives including how often and what kind; and any changes in your dog’s ability to exercise
- Ears and Eyes – any discharge, redness, or itching
- Stomach and intestines – any vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gas, belching, or abnormal stools
- Breathing – any coughing, shortness of breath, sneezing, or nasal discharge
- Behavior – any behavior problems such as barking, ‘accidents,’ or changes in temperament
- Feet and legs – any limping, weakness, toenail problems
- Coat and skin – any hair loss, pigment changes, lumps, itchy spots, shedding, mats, oranal sac problems
- Urogenital – any discharges, heats, changes in mammary glands, urination difficulties or changes, neutering if it has not already been performed
- Blood tests – especially for geriatric dogs, those with medical problems, and those who are receiving medications
Routine Pet Exams Just Got EASY!
EZ Vet Health Care Station
Through the EZ Vet Pet Health Care Station, a pet will be able to receive a thorough diagnostic examination by a certified Veterinarian. Utilizing cutting edge diagnostic technology, the Veterinarian will be able to identify and treat many pet health concerns such as dental, dermatologic, ear, eye, and weight, gastrointestinal and neurological conditions. Pet retail locations can now offer an onsite and accessible veterinarian that is able to recommend and prescribe anti-parasitic medications, specialty/ prescription pet foods, flea and tick preventatives, joint and skin supplements, antibiotics, and much more.
The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly holds true when it comes to pet health.
The cost of prevention is often a fraction of the cost of treating a disease or problem once it has become more advanced, and early diagnosis and treatment of developing problems or diseases can increase the likelihood of successful outcomes.
Preventive healthcare involves a multi-faceted approach that includes veterinary evaluation of your pet’s overall health and risks of disease or other health problems. Based on the findings, your veterinarian will provide you with recommendations for your pet’s nutrition, dental care, vaccinations and heartworm/flea/tick prevention, as well as recommendations specifically tailored to your pet’s health status and risk factors.
Want to learn more? Contact email@example.com for convenient preventive pet care options.
Pet Health Questions:
Are certain pets more likely to be obese?
Several factors make obesity more likely in pets. E.g. for dogs:
- Breed - certain breeds have a higher risk.
- Age – the risk increases with age.
- Neuter status – neutered dogs are more at risk.
- Sex – apart from older dogs, obesity is reported to be more common in females.
- Owner – obese owners may be more likely to have obese dogs, perhaps because they are less likely to exercise their dog, or less able to recognise obesity.
*Similar factors may also be associated with other animals.
National Wear Red Day- Pets are helping everyday!
Listen up, you furry-friend lovers. Having a pet might lower your risk of heart disease, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement published in Circulation.
“Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with a decreased risk of heart disease” says Glenn N. Levine, M.D., professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and chair of the committee that wrote the statement after reviewing previous studies of the influence of pets.
Research Shows the Positive Effects of Pets
- Pet ownership is probably associated with a reduction in heart disease risk factorsand increased survival among patients. But the studies aren’t definitive and do not necessarily prove that owning a pet directly causes a reduction in heart disease risk. “It may be simply that healthier people are the ones that have pets, not that having a pet actually leads to or causes reduction in cardiovascular risk,” Levine says.
- Dog ownership in particular may help reduce cardiovascular risk. People with dogs may engage in morephysical activity because they walk them. In a study of more than 5,200 adults, dog owners engaged in more walking and physical activity than non-dog owners, and were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity.
- Owning pets may be associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and a lower incidence of obesity.
- Pets can have a positive effect on the body’s reactions to stress.
The Health Risks of Obesity
Obesity can cause serious health and welfare problems, and make existing problems worse. This can reduce the length and quality of a pet’s life.
Some serious medical conditions associated with obesity are:
- heart disease
- respiratory distress
- high blood pressure
- joint and mobility issues
Obesity is also likely to affect a pet’s ability to perform natural behaviors (e.g. exercise normally).
Include Your Pets in Healthy Weight Resolutions this Year
Unleashed by Petco creates awareness for healthy pets with their in-store weigh-in challenge
- Before starting a weight loss program, visit a veterinarian to find out a pet’s ideal weight. Major weight fluctuations could indicate there may be an underlying health issue.
- Pet parents are usually unaware that their pets’ food portion sizes are too large so portion control is key. When feeding pets, create markings on the cup or scoop, especially if children are feeding pets so everyone knows the correct serving size.
- Break down meals into two to four small portions throughout the day to trick pets into feeling like they’re eating more.
- Serve high protein and low fat food to keep pets full, and remember treats should be no more than 10 percent of caloric intake.
- Pets should exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Although walks can be good for both pet and pet parents, home exercise techniques are great for days when lengthy walks outdoors are not an option. Coaching dogs to do doggy push-ups by asking them to “sit”, “lay down” and “sit” again can keep them just as active. Inviting another pet parent and their pet for some play time in the backyard is another great option for keeping pets active.
- Keep an eye on pets’ behavior when on a weight loss program. If they feel hungry, it can result in abnormal eating habits, such as digging in trashcans or eating backyard plants. Behavior awareness will help pet parents evaluate the program and make necessary changes.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reminds pet owners that if you’re planning to make a New Year’s resolution for 2014 to lose weight that you should include your pet in your plans for a healthier life.
It’s estimated that between 25 and 40 percent of dogs and cats and 31 percent of people in this country are overweight. Studies have found that other domesticated animals, including horses, are also prone to obesity.
“Taking a dog for a walk is healthy for both the dog and the dog’s owner. The companionship of a pet provides us with an extra incentive, and inspiration, to get out and work out,” says Dr. Clark K. Fobian, president of the AVMA. “Just like humans, overweight dogs and cats are more likely to get a number of diseases and health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, skin conditions, liver disease, and joint problems. So putting yourself and your pet on a diet and exercise regimen will result in improved health for 2014 and perhaps a longer life for both you and your pet. On a personal note, that will be my New Year’s resolution for 2014 as well.”
AVMA’s pet weight-loss tips:
- A visit to your veterinarian is the best way to determine if your pet is overweight, but there are things to look for to determine if you should make an immediate appointment for a puppy or kitty weigh in. A dog should have a discernible waist without fat deposits, and ribs should be easy to feel while stroking a dog. In cats, if there is any rounding of the abdomen or bulging in the back, limbs, neck or face, you’ve got a fat cat.
- Feed your pets at least twice a day, and keep track of how much they eat (your veterinarian may ask). If the pet hasn’t finished their food after about 20 minutes, take the bowl away to discourage overeating.
- Monitor the number and size of the treats you give. A large dog treat can be over 100 calories, while a small treat has as little as 10 calories. If you can’t help but repeatedly treat your beloved pet (because they’re so incredibly good), break the snacks in half or even thirds to cut the calories.
- Talk to your veterinarian about the best weight reduction plan for your overweight pet.
- To exercise a cat, engage them with a feather, string or laser pointer, and try to get them running after a toy as they swat at it. To exercise a dog, consider agility training, play time with other dogs, and chasing a ball or Frisbee. There is no better exercise for dogs, horses and humans than a brisk walk.
- Hypothyroidism is a risk factor for obesity in humans, dogs and cats, but it’s much easier to diagnose in humans. If your dog or cat is obese without a clear cause, make a veterinary appointment.
- Finally, if your pet is a little on the pudgy side, and you think it might benefit from an increased exercise regimen, see a veterinarian first. No exercise program should begin without a veterinary checkup.
Visit an EZ Vet pet weight kiosk to evaluate and monitor your pet’s weight.
It’s time to make those New Year’s resolutions as we get ready to ring in 2014 in style!
Typical world-wide celebrations include lots of glamorous, festive parties along with loud and colorful fireworks. The sparkling lights, whistles, bangs and popping sounds might be fun for humans, but it can make many pets agitated and scared. Without proper care, pets can get lost during the festivities. Here are a few helpful tips to keep your furry friend safe this New Year’s Eve:
- Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification tags with current information. Cats should wear break away / safety collars. Microchipping your pet is always advised.
- Keep your pet indoors in a quiet area that is familiar to him / her with plenty of fresh water and give dogs several safchew toys. Dogs who are crate trained may feel safest in their kennels. Cats will do best in a bathroom or utility room with food, water and their litter box.
- Frightened outdoor dogs have been known to jump high fences and dig holes to escape the sound of fireworks. Indoor animals should be kept away from large glass windows or doors because when scared they are capable of crashing right through.
- Make sure to keep all alcohol, festive foods / chocolates, floral arrangements and party decorations away from your pets.
Remember to keep a watchful eye on your pet and put the name and number of your veterinarian and local animal emergency clinic in a designated area.
And have a happy, healthy and safe New Year!
Pet Health: The statistics are staggering. A 2012 veterinary survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention revealed 52.5 percent of pet dogs and 58.3 percent of cats are overweight. That equates to 80 million pets at risk for weight-related disorders including diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, several cancers and a shortened life.
Another startling discovery was that 45 percent of owners were stunned when a veterinarian said their pet was overweight. They simply don’t see it.
Too much food, along with tasty tidbits from human meals compromises any pet’s health. The same can be said for humans. In fact, overweight owners, in my unscientific observation, are more likely to over feed their pets.
Certain breeds showed greater risk for excess weight. Of the nearly 1,500 dogs in the survey, 58.9 percent of Labrador retrievers and a whopping 62.7 percent of golden retrievers were classified as overweight or obese.
It has been reported that veterinarians continue to see an escalation in the number of overweight cats and an explosion in Type 2 diabetes cases.
He further says he sees a clear connection between pet and childhood obesity rates. “The causes are largely the same: too many high-calorie foods and snacks combined with too little physical activity. Share crunchy vegetables (such as carrots) with your dog instead of sugary, fatty treats.”
“Obesity is rampant, setting up more and more pets for joint problems during their lives, costing hundreds of millions of dollars in veterinary bills and countless surgical procedures for weight-related conditions.”
Claims filed with Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., the nation’s largest pet health insurance provider, has seen pet obesity-related claims soar. In 2012, policyholders filed more than $34 million in claims for conditions and diseases that can be caused by excess weight.
Based on its database of 485,000 insured pets, the company determined the top 5 dog and cat obesity-related conditions are:
2.Bladder/urinary tract disease
4.Low thyroid hormone
1.Bladder/urinary tract disease
2.Chronic kidney disease
Taking your pet to the veterinarian for regular wellness visits is the most effective way to monitor their weight. Daily exercise, a regulated diet and watching for signs of weight gain are important steps toward avoiding obesity and related health issues.
As mentioned, these statistics are no laughing matter. Most pet owners don’t think twice about feeding their pet table scraps and fatty foods, but doing so increases the risk of unnecessary health problems and shortens their life expectancy.
Overfeeding a commercial diet can lead to the same issues. If I fed my Newfoundlands what the kibble bag recommends (based on weight), they’d blow up like balloons. They get approximately half, if not less, than the recommended serving size, split into two meals a day.
EZ Vet is your companion to a healthy pet!
Visit an EZ Vet kiosk regularly to monitor your pet’s weight and health.
Most dog owners spend a significant amount of time worrying about ways to prevent their dogs from gaining weight. The opposite problem is rarely the case. When a dog does appear to be losing weight inexplicably, it is always cause for concern.
The first step toward a resolution is to go over your dog’s eating and exercise schedule. Question all members of the family about their responsibilities related to the dog’s care and feeding. Go as far as making a chart that quantifies amounts of food offered and actually consumed, and duration of and exertion during the various walks the dog is taken on. Not until the logic of this part of your dog’s daily routine has been established should you move on to further investigation.
What to Look For
Weight loss is weight loss. When it represents a threat to your dog’s health, however, it is much more of a concern. Of course, any time significant weight loss is mentioned, a thorough physical exam is called for.
For your current purposes, though, let’s focus on your dog’s immediate issues. Start evaluating your dog as a whole. Analyze his levels of energy and enthusiasm. Check his fur to see if it is sparse, coarse, or dull. Look for any loss of muscle mass. If you observe such a loss, see if it occurred in a symmetric fashion or if it is limited to certain parts of his anatomy. Check for evidence of protruding bones, especially the ridges of his skull, his shoulder blades, spinal vertebrae, ribs, and hips.
What to Do
Now go through the following questions to figure out what to do next:
- Has your dog been ill recently? Chronic illness, especially organ system failure of the pancreas, kidney, or liver can result in long term nausea and vomiting, often leading to dramatic weight loss. If any of these conditions affect your dog, weight loss is to be expected, but not irreversible if the prognosis for the disease is optimistic.
- Is your dog’s coat sparse, coarse, or dull? If so, it could be due to the same cause as the weight loss. If your dog’s appetite has remained healthy throughout the weight loss, intestinal parasites may be the problem. Warn your family members to practice strict personal hygiene and submit a fecal sample from your dog to your veterinarian.
- Is your dog currently taking any medication? Either the illness your dog is being treated for or the medication he is taking for it could be a factor in his weight loss. If your veterinarian approves, try reducing or even eliminating your dog’s chronic medication to see if that helps him regain his appetite and the weight he has lost.
- Has your dog recently suffered from any form of head trauma? If so, there is the possibility of a concussion, as well as the dizziness and nausea that go with it. These symptoms could very well result in noticeable weight loss over a relatively short period of time. Seek your vet’s help for a neurology consult.
In many parts of the U.S. temperatures are climbing above 90 degrees, with heat indexes projected into the triple digits, there are no signs of letting up any time soon.
You may think it’s hot, but for your furry friends it could be very dangerous!
For pets, the heat can stress their ability to control their body temperature. In extreme cases, pets can suffer brain damage, fatal heat stroke or suffocate. Yet, there are some ways owners can reduce heat stress.
TIPS TO KEEP PET SAFE
- Avoid activity during the heat of the day
- Avoid asphalt – Ensure pets have access to plenty of water
- Spray down pets that are struggling with heat
- Never leave pets unattended in a parked car for any period of time
On warm days, temperatures inside a vehicle can easily exceed 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even when the windows are partially open.
Some animals suffer under the summer sun itself, though. Pet owners should look out for the following symptoms of heat stress:
- Dark red gums
EZ Vet is your companion to a healthy pet!
The following tips will help ensure that your pet travels safely, whether it be by train, ship, or airplane.
Traveling by ship
With the exception of assistance dogs, only a few cruise lines accept pets -and usually on ocean crossings only. Some lines permit pets in private cabins, but mostly they are confined to kennels. Contact cruise lines in advance to find out their policies and which of their ships have kennel facilities. If you must use the ship’s kennel, make sure it is protected from the elements.
Traveling by train
Amtrak currently does not accept pets unless they are assistance dogs.
(There may be smaller U.S. railroad companies that permit animals on board.) Many trains in European countries allow pets. Generally, it is the passengers’ responsibility to feed and exercise their pets at station stops.
To ensure a smooth trip for you and your pet, follow the guidelines suggested below for traveling by airplane.
Traveling by airplane
The HSUS recommends that you do not transport your pet by air unless absolutely necessary. If your pet must travel in the cargo hold, you can increase the chances of a safe flight for your pet by following these tips.
Hope you find these tips helplful.
EZ Vet is your companion to a healthy pet!
When’s the last time you weighed your pet? Like humans, it’s not unusual for your pet to sneak on a few extra pounds over the years. This extra weight can have serious implications for a pet’s overall health. That’s why it’s important to identify what your pet’s ideal weight is. This is the basis behind a new invention by Miami veterinarian, Dr. Barry Goldberg. EZ Vet is the original pet scale kiosk that allows pet parents to evaluate if their pet is at a healthy weight, and will educate on ways to prevent pet obesity and offer solutions to correct the problem if needed.
Pet obesity is a serious issue in the United States, and growing. Pet obesity rates continued to increase in 2012, and with the number of overweight cats reaching an all-time high. The sixth annual National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found that 52.5% of dogs and 58.3% of cats to be overweight or obese by their veterinarian. That equals approximately 80 million U.S. dogs and cats at increased risk for weight-related disorders such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, hypertension and many cancers. EZ Vet offers a convenient way to help monitor a pet’s weight to make sure they do not fall into this growing trend.
“You’d be amazed how many pet parents have no idea that their pet is overweight. They may guess their 9 pound Chihuahua is 2-3 pounds overweight and not think it’s a big deal. But those 3 little extra pounds is approximately 33% of their body weight. Can you image carrying around 33% extra weight? Many pet parents simply don’t know what the healthy weight range is for their pet’s breed, gender and age or understand why it is so important,” says Dr. Goldberg. EZ Vet utilizes interactive touch-pad technology to easily gather specifics about the pet and then generates the healthy weight range.
- Just like humans, extra weight and obesity similarly affect pets. Untreated, obesity in pets can make them vulnerable to a variety of health issues such as joint problems, heart and respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, skin problems and heat intolerance. With the Florida summer heat fast approaching, now is the perfect time to evaluate your pets weight and help them shed any extra weight needed. EZ Vet is conveniently located in retail stores so there is never a need for an appointment or a trip to the veterinarian’s office to have a mini-checkup on your pet.
If you are like many dog owners, you may find tableside begging one of the hardest habits to break in your pet. Who can resist those big puppy dog eyes pleading for just a nibble from your plate? You should know, however, that some foods should never be shared with your dog. Some foods contain ingredients and compounds that can do more than cause a minor upset stomach; they can actually be deadly for your dog. Here are the worst culprits you will want to avoid sharing with your furry friend:
Grapes and Raisins Although the exact toxin is unknown, grapes and raisins have been associated with kidney failure in dogs. Symptoms of grape or raisin exposure include vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea within 12 hours of ingestion. Dogs become increasingly lethargic and dehydrated, and death can occur within three to four days, so extreme care must be taken to ensure your dog never has access to grapes or raisins.
Xylitol Found in some candies and chewing gum, xylitol is a sweetener that can be deadly for your dog. When ingested, xylitol stimulates the release of insulin which can lead to hypoglycemia. Vomiting, lethargy and trouble with coordination are warning signs that should not be ignored; if left untreated, xylitol toxicity can be fatal.
Alcohol Alcoholic beverages can have the same effect on a dog as a human, but most dog breeds are smaller than the average human, making the effects much more acute. Vomiting, liver damage and brain damage can result from even a small amount of alcohol, so use care when consuming alcohol around your pet and dispose of cans and bottles safely.
Apple Core/Apricot Pits The core and pits of these fruits contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can cause cyanide poisoning in dogs. Signs of toxicity include excess salivation, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, dizziness, collapse, coma, seizures and shock.
Avocado Avocados are toxic to a number of animals, and that includes the family dog. The toxicity comes from a compound called persin, which is found inside the avocado as well as in its skin. There are reports of damage to the heart of some dogs that have ingested sufficient quantities of avocado. The best advice is to avoid feeding your dog avocado altogether.
Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine These foods all contain methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. As a general rule, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to pets, with powdered cocoa and dark baking chocolate being the most deadly.
Dairy Products Milk and other dairy products, though not dangerously toxic, cannot be properly digested by adult dogs because they lack the enzyme to break down lactose, the sugar found in dairy. This can lead to excess gas and diarrhea.
Macadamia Nuts Consuming even just a small handful of macadamia nuts can cause extreme distress to your dog, resulting in weakness, muscle tremors and joint pain. The toxicity can quickly become fatal, so do your best to prevent your dog from having access to them.
Onions, Garlic, Chives Onions, garlic and chives can cause gastrointestinal irritation and can lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are even more susceptible, dogs can also be affected if exposed to concentrated forms of onion or garlic, such as dehydrated onions, onion powder or onion soup mix.
If you suspect your dog may have eaten something dangerous, do not wait to seek veterinary care. The sooner your four-legged family member can be properly treated, the better the outcome will be.
Cats have a reputation as low-maintenance pets, that need very little care and do not require routine medical check-ups. Any veterinarian would disagree and would urge cat parents to take a closer look at their cat’s health- and remember, that preventative care is the best care.
What’s largely happening is not that our cats are fending for themselves — as so many people assume — but rather that because they’re so good at hiding signs of illness, we don’t realize how sick they are until they’re very sick indeed. The most common “obvious” cat aliments are abscesses, a limp or a chronic cough, but it is important to have routine physicals to identify and prevent other life-threatening issues the cats’ owners hadn’t even noticed.
“Chronic” Doesn’t Mean “Untreatable”
Ongoing problems with your cat’s health sometimes start slowly and get worse over time. In other words, these issues can creep up on you, so you may not pay much attention to them, or the issue may be overlooked entirely. That’s why you need to step back and look at your cat. Are you ignoring chronic health issues that are making your cat miserable? Are you sure you aren’t?
If your cat hasn’t seen a veterinarian in a while, it’s time to schedule that comprehensive exam. And take heart: For every one of these often chronic conditions there are things that can be done to stop, treat or even reverse the damage. All you need to do is recognize the problem and work with your veterinarian for your cat’s better health.
54% of cats in the U.S. are obese or overweight according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
Check if you pet is at a healthy weight with the EZ Vet weight kiosk.
AKC List of Popular Pooches
The American Kennel Club, a non-profit organization that maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world, has announced which dog breeds were most popular in 2012. Results are tabulated based on the organization’s annual registration statistics.
The list of 175 dog breeds was narrowed down to the top 10 four-legged companions that Americans preferred to take home.
Dachshunds also have a wide color variety, including: black, red, chocolate, tan or fawn, cream and blue-gray. Bi-color dachshunds may be black and tan, black and cream, chocolate and tan, chocolate and cream, blue and tan, or blue and cream. Brindled dachshunds (stripes covering the entire body) may be seen in any of the colors mentioned.
According to the American Kennel Club, the Rottweiler is basically a calm, confident and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness, responding quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in its environment. It has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog with a strong willingness to work, making them especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog.
Poodles—who are born with one of a variety of solid colors, including white, black, apricot and gray–require extensive grooming. Their fur is also hypoallergenic, which may reduce allergic reactions and be helpful to pet owners who suffer from allergies.
And what about his name? It is said that his moniker is a testament to his playful and curious side. You’ll notice that your boxer dog uses his front paws for just about everything. He’s likely to paw at his toys and food in a cat-like way. He also likes to jump up and motion with his front paws, making him look like he’s actually boxing, and hence the name.
Known for their ultra long, fine, silky coat that parts along the spine and falls straight down on either side, Yorkies are colored a combination of steal blue and tan. As you might expect, regular grooming is needed and Yorkie owners commonly pull back their dogs’ hair on their head in a topknot. Depite the long hair, however, Yorkies shed very little.
Considered to be very affectionate and dependable dogs, bulldogs are gentle with children and known for their courage and their excellent guarding abilities. Bullheaded and determined, this breed can be very persistent and dominating. Strong leadership and attention are recommended.
One other thing for which bulldogs are well known? Loud snoring and a tendency to drool and slobber. What’s not to love?
These droopy eared hounds are spunky, loyal and make great friendly pets for families with children. Beagles also tend to have lots of energy to burn. They can be mischievous and are often lead to trouble (garbage cans, shoes, dirty laundry) by their extraordinary hunting noses. Their natural curiosity often means they are a little tricky to train and require owners who are willing to be firm yet patient. Beagles are also known for their tremendous whining, sharp bark and thoroughly loud from-the-belly howls.
The golden retriever is classified by the American Kennel Club as a sporting dog, popular with hunters for its soft mouth and eagerness to retrieve in water.
True to its name the golden retriever loves to fetch. It’s not uncommon to be greeted by a golden with a favorite toy stuffed in its mouth. Known for its intelligent mind, the breed can learn more than 200 commands with training and encouragement.
German shepherds prefer to be close to their families and therefore have a very strong protective instinct. Generally good with other pets and excellent with children in the family, it is recommended to train and socialize German shepherds from an early age with a firm and loving hand.
The breed’s ability to rapidly learn has contributed to its wide use as a sheepdog, guard dog, in police work, as a guide for the blind, in search and rescue service, and in the military. The German shepherd also excels in many other dog activities including agility, flyball, and ring sport. But most of all, the German shepherd is favored as a loving family companion.
For the 22nd consecutive year, this loveable breed continues to be the most popular breed in the U.S., according to AKC registration statistics. The family-friendly Labrador retriever has won over the hearts of families across the country—millions of households count a Lab among their family members, and it’s easy to see why. Labs display a well-mannered temperament and are eager to please their owners.
The Labrador retriever originated in Newfoundland, where it aided fisherman with their catch. After being crossed with setters, spaniels and other retrievers, the Lab sharpened its skills as a true retriever. But what makes Labs even more popular is their kind, outgoing nature.
This people-friendly quality also makes Labs great dogs for children. The Lab thrives in an active household, where he can have lots of interaction. Kids will also love the Lab’s easy nature and trainability . In turn, Labrador retrievers tend to be very patient with kids. Be prepared to harness that energy: plenty of exercise and fetching games will keep your Lab happy and healthy.
Monitor your pet’s weight and health with EZ Vet kiosks
Simple Steps Ensure a Long Life for Your Pet
As a responsible pet owner, you can take a few simple steps that will go a long way toward keeping your pet healthy and happy. The American Animal Hospital Association suggests these practical tips that can ensure your pet’s health and happiness.
Make your home a safe environment
Unfortunately, making your home pet safe often is a job that is overlooked. Pet proofing your home can lower the risk of a serious pet accident occurring. A pet owner needs to be aware of several potential dangers. Poisons in the home that can kill or seriously injure your pet include some kinds of house plants (dieffenbachia, philodendron, hyacinth, and mistletoe), pesticides, and medications. Low electrical cords are extremely hazardous when chewed. Keep harmful objects out of your pet’s reach. A little prevention may be just enough to avoid a pet tragedy from happening in your home.
Make sure your pet receives a complete check-up
“A regular physical is the most overlooked pet health need today,” says Dr. Bill Swartz, an AAHA veterinarian. “Most people only take their pet to a veterinarian when a health problem already exists or for routine vaccinations. Preventive vaccinations and early detection of diseases are the keys to successfully treating your pet,” he added. Your veterinarian can conduct a comprehensive exam that includes a lab analysis, heart check, and dental exam.
Design a diet and exercise plan to meet your pet’s specific needs
Obesity leads to serious dog and cat health problems such as heart disease. Exercise is important, but a pet will only exercise if there is an incentive to do so. Your veterinarian will consider what stage of life your pet is in, the amount of activity your pet enjoys, and the time of year before outlining a specific plan. The right kind of food and physical activity can add to the quality of your pet’s life. Check out an EZ Vet kiosk to monitor your pets weight. Locations
Following are ten general pet care tips:
- Mmm… all that chocolate! None for your pets, please! Chocolate contains a toxic substance, theobromine, which is harmful to pets. So, just say NO!
- Is it an emergency? A pet exposed to bitter cold that becomes lethargic, depressed, and weak, could be hypothermic. Call your veterinarian immediately.
- Did you know that by shivering, a pet that is cold or recovering from anesthesia is trying to warm its body back to normal temperature?
- The sweet, lovely green pool of antifreeze on the driveway is an often deadly drink for dogs and cats. Even a small lick by a small pet is enough to poison it. Clean up those spills fast!
- Did you know that some caged birds are afraid of the dark? Try a night light or leaving the front of the cage uncovered.
- Before traveling with your pets, make sure they have all required vaccinations and health papers. If they are on medications, have enough to last through the trip.
- When traveling by air, be aware of airline restrictions regarding outside temperature and number of animals allowed per flight. Someone may have already booked a pet and there are no more allowed. Check with the airline reservationist or travel agent.
- Remember that even the most gentle and trusting pet may bite when in pain. If you must muzzle, use a soft towel or cloth strips and remove it as soon as possible so the pet can breathe more easily.
- If you must transport an injured or ill animal, a blanket, vinyl mat, and even a door make excellent stretchers. The trick is to immobilize the animal to avoid further stress.
- Moving from a cold climate to a warmer one? Don’t forget to have your dog tested for heartworm disease BEFORE beginning preventive medicine. Ask your veterinarian for more information about heartworm disease.
The American Animal Hospital Association asks you to provide a safe environment, quality diet, exercise, and adequate veterinary care for your pet. Consult your veterinarian if you have any questions regarding your pet’s health care.
PET NEWS: Heaviest Dog? Obese Duchshund Undergoes Tummy Tuck After Losing 40 Pounds; Vets Remove Two Pounds Of Skin
Obie has just received a tummy tuck. The once obese dachshund has recently undergone surgery to remove over two pounds of lose skin after going on a serious diet. Already on recovery, owner says the dog must lose 5 pounds more.
The pet–originally named AJ–previously weighed 77 pounds after being spoiled with food by its aging owners. Now, at 7 years old, Obie had to undergo a serious process of shedding weight. Adopted by Certified Veterinary Technician Nora Vanetta and renamed Obie, the dog went through an eight-month process of serious dieting. The progression which had the pet lose 40 pounds, was well-documented online via a Facebook page, Biggest Loser Doxie Edition.
On April 30, Obie underwent a canine tummy tuck at the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin, removing his excess skin after the weight loss. The skin weighed 2 ½ pounds, leaving the dog at 35 pounds–he weighed 37 pounds before the surgery.
“Obie had a great night and all is well. He is back to a pretty normal routine minus walks and play time,” Vanatta posted on Facebook two days after the surgery. “We haven’t weighed him since the surgery, but he lost 2-1/2 pounds of skin, so he should be around 35 pounds now,” read another post.
“I figure his healthy weight is between 28 and 30 pounds,” Vanatta noted.
As part of the dachshund’s extreme weight loss process, he was fed a special high-protein diet of Purina OM Overweight Management Canine Formula. After losing five more pounds, doctors will be evaluating Obie’s health and state.
“My hope is that he can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight,” Veterinary Vanatta posted on Obie’s Facebook Page. “It is so important to introduce pups and kids to a healthy lifestyle and food choices as early as possible. Prevention is the key!”
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When people lose weight and exercise with their pet cat or dog, they lose weight and keep it off. Did you know that 25 per cent of all pets in the US are overweight or obese – as well as 60 per cent of the human population? A team at Northwestern University has come up with the idea of having people and pets work at diet and exercise together.
In a comparison, the pets and people group lost more weight – and kept it off – than pets alone or people alone. Exercising with a pet – walking your dog, for instance – is a powerful motivator, it seems. People love their companion animals and want them to stay fit and healthy and at the same time feel motivated to lose weight themselves. The People and Pets Exercising together program, which the Northwestern group has put together allowed people to lose an average of five per cent of their body weight – an amount which is definitely beneficial to health. And the dogs in the program lost an average of 15.6 per cent of their body weight!
Check your pet’s weight with the EZ vet pet kiosk.
The rate of overweight and obese pets has reached epidemic levels in the United States, affecting approximately 1 in 4 dogs and cats.
While some may consider pets to be cuter or happier when they are overweight, the truth is, that extra weight is linked to other serious conditions such as arthritis, heart, respiratory problems and diabetes.
We can’t emphasize enough the role that our better understanding the overall needs of our companion animals to help them live better plays today. Advances in veterinary care, better education with pet owners in understanding what makes for a healthy pet and even strides in understanding animal behavior have had a hand in that.
But what it really comes down to, according to a recent study, is the human factor.
The State of Pet Health 2013 Report fleshed out some interesting findings, including how far both dogs and cats have come in recent years in terms if their longevity, how advances and availability of specific kinds of preventative care have influenced the change — even whittling down which geographic regions where they have a higher quality of health and life.
The most compelling conclusion is that spaying and neutering pets plays a huge role in extending their healthy years.
Spaying and neutering have benefits besides helping to address the overpopulation problem.
For both unneutered male dogs and cats, they are more likely to be hit by a car or bitten by another animal. Intact dogs also have a higher rate testicular cancer. Females that are spayed benefit from the reduced risk of life-threatening diseases like mammary cancer (especially cats) and pyrometra.
Vaccinations, parasite control and dental care are three main areas of preventative care that have made an impact. The latter has had more emphasis in recent years, and isn’t important only to promote a healthy mouth — bacteria from inflamed gums and the pockets that that result can enter the bloodstream and affect major organs, like the liver, kidneys, heart, and lungs.
The report notes that factors like dogs living indoors and in a geographic region where disease rates (like Lyme disease and heart worm) may be lower risk, seem to contribute to longer lives. States in the south have high rates of heart worm because of heat and mosquitoes. In the northeast, Lyme disease is more prevalent because of disease-carrying ticks.
Here are other highlights from the 2013 State of Health Pet report:
Average Life Span
• 11.0 years for dogs nationwide.
• 12.1 years for U.S. cats.
• Dogs in Mississippi and Alabama lived 10.1 and 10.2 years, respectively–the lowest of any states.
• Cats had the shortest life spans in Delaware and Ohio, at 10.7 and 10.9 years, respectively.
• Dogs lived the longest in Montana and South Dakota (12.4 years).
• Feline longevity was highest in Montana (14.3 years).
• Most common canine diagnoses: dental tartar, ear infections, excess weight, skin infections and flea infestations.
• Top-five feline diagnoses: dental calculus, excess weight, flea infestations, gingivitis and ear infections.
• Almost one in four dogs and cats was overweight or obese.
• Arthritis diagnoses came at an average age of 9 for dogs and 12 for cats.
• Kidney disease was almost seven times more common in cats than dogs.
• Dental disease afflicted 91 percent of dogs and 85 percent of cats over age 3.
• The prevalence of diabetes in dogs doubled over the last five years.
Where They Live
While the medical diagnoses were remarkably uniform across the United States, a few geographic anomalies jumped out:
• Southern states such as Alabama, South Carolina and Arkansas recorded the highest prevalence of fleas on dogs.
• Fleas on cats were most common in Oregon, South Carolina and Florida.
• Dogs in Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Hampshire were most likely to have ticks.
• Cats in Eastern states such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Virginia were more prone to ticks.
• Heartworms were most common in dogs living in the Southeast.
• Dogs and cats in Alabama and Mississippi had the most trouble with tapeworms.
Visit an EZ Vet kiosk to monitor your pet’s health! EZ Vet- Innovative Pet Care
Pets don’t just make lives fuller. They may help make them longer, says an official statement from the American Heart Association.
Owning a pet – especially a dog – seems to have heart health benefits, the group says in the statement published Thursday in the medical journal Circulation.
“The data is most robust for people who own a dog,” says Glenn Levine, a cardiologist with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. But he says there’s reason to believe cats and other pets are helpful, too.
Levine led a scientific committee that reviewed the research on pets and heart health. The group says the studies are not definitive but do suggest:
• Dogs may keep owners active (with all those walks). In one study, dog owners were 54% more likely than other adults to get recommended levels of exercise.
• Interacting with a pet can lower stress responses in the body.
• Pet ownership is associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and less obesity.
In one of the best-designed studies, Levine says, researchers compared people with borderline high blood pressure who adopted dogs with others who also wanted dogs but were randomly assigned to delay the adoptions for purposes of the study. Those who brought home their dogs saw declines in blood pressure and were less likely to see their blood pressure and heart rates rise in response to stress. A study with cats and dogs produced similar results in people with high blood pressure and high-stress occupations, he says.
Most other studies involved comparing pet owners with those who did not have pets, meaning researchers could not rule out the possibility that people who had pets were just healthier to start with.
In any case, the experts don’t recommend that people with heart health problems adopt, rescue or buy pets just for the potential heart health boost.
The main reason to get a pet should be “to give the pet a loving home” and enjoy the relationship, Levine says.
Monitor your pet’s health and weight with the EZ Vet weight kiosk.
Two locations- Allpets Emporium in Pembroke Pines and Coral Springs.
“We also not do not want someone to go out and buy a dog and then be content to sit on the couch and smoke.”
Diet affects every aspect of your dog’s physical and mental well-being. When your dog eats low-quality food and treats, he’s not just consuming empty calories, which packs on pounds; his body is being robbed of the building blocks necessary to maintain good health, energy and an upbeat attitude. Feeding good quality food and treats helps keep Fido’s waistline in check and increase his quality and quantity of life.
Your dog can’t read labels or ask questions; he’s relying on you to make intelligent choices for him. Once you learn to decipher labels, you may be surprised or shocked at what you see.
For instance, the length of the ingredient list doesn’t always indicate the quality of the food. A protein from a specified animal should be the first ingredient. Avoid generic proteins such as “meat” or “poultry.” Although dogs like to eat some of the animal parts we don’t, proteins from a specified animal are better than byproducts. Likewise, byproducts are better than rendered meals.
Always buy the best food you can afford. When a manufacturer uses cheap ingredients, it has to bulk up the food with fillers to meet the government’s minimum nutritional requirements. As a result, the portion size for cheap food is typically larger than for more-expensive food with higher-quality, more-digestible ingredients.
In the end, you’ll be buying more of the cheaper food, which usually works out to be more expensive than buying the higher-quality food in the first place. Just as with humans, obesity is a growing problem for dogs. Limit table scraps; they’re fattening, and some human food, such as chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, bones and Xylitol, is dangerous for dogs.
It’s important to realize that five pounds in a large breed dog could be the equivalent to 10 pounds in a human. Five pounds in a small breed dog could be equal to 20 pounds in a human adult. APOP calculates that a 12 pound Yorkie is the same as an average female weighing 218 pounds, and a 14 pound cat is equivalent to a 237 pound man. Did you consider that a 90 pound female Labrador retriever is equal to a 186 pound 5’ 4” female or 217 pound 5’ 9” male, or a fluffy feline that weighs 15 pounds (DSH) is equal to a 218 pound 5’ 4” female or 254 pound 5’ 9” male? What you consider just a few pounds can really be weighing on your pet!
Similar to people, the main causes are a poor diet and overeating. Unlike human adults, dogs are not responsible for their obesity, their people are. If I left out a five pound food for my dogs, I’m quite certain that they would eat all the food in front of them, even after they were full. Give your pet enough high quality food for them to be satisfied, feed twice a day (as free feeding is another cause of obesity), and keep their amounts consistent. If you use treats for training, make sure the amount of treats they receive during training are deducted from their mealtime kibble.
Ez Vet kiosk is a convenient way to monitor your pet’s weight and make sure they are not gaining too much weight. It’s free, convenient and reliable.
Primary Risks of Excess Weight in Pets
- Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart and Respiratory Disease
- Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
- Kidney Disease
- Many Forms of Cancer
- Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)