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
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.
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.
Obesity can be defined as an excess of body fat that is enough to impair health, welfare and quality of life. It can affect all types of pet, and the main cause is from eating too much or not exercising enough, although some diseases can cause obesity.
Obesity in people is generally 20% above ideal body weight. This is similar in pets; however, 20% in small cats and dogs can equal just a few extra pounds. 20% for a 10 pound Chihuahua is only 2 extra pounds.
We believe obesity is a serious welfare issue in pets because it:
- Can cause a lot of unnecessary suffering and can be extremely disabling.
- Can affect animals for long periods.
- Is a preventable and detectable problem!
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.
Pets, just like humans, have different tastes, allergies, and sensitivities to foods. With the growing obesity epidemic in the US, it’s important to pay close attention to what our pets are eating on a daily basis and it all starts at the pet food dish.
Here are a few tips for pet feeding:
- Choose a nutritionally balanced pet food. Be sure to check the ingredients on the label and try to avoid foods with fat listed within the first four ingredients. Speak with your veterinarian for suggestions of good foods.
- Moisten your cat’s food. According to a 2010 study at the Waltham Center in the UK, cats on moistened diets (even if it’s just adding water to their kibble) tended to be more active and weighed less.
- Check for allergies or intolerance. If you recently brought home a new pet or are switching your pet’s current food, it is important to monitor them on their new diet to make sure they don’t have any allergies or tummy aches caused by the food.
- Measure your pet’s meals. Free-pouring or “eyeing” the amount of food you feed your pet can make a big difference over time. Be sure to use measuring cups or a scoop with marked measurements so that you can be consistent and ensure that you’re not overfeeding.
- Determine whether you are feeding the correct amount of food. At your next veterinary check-up, ask your vet if your dog or cat is too thin or too fat to ensure that you are feeding the proper amount.
- Be consistent. Frequently changing the brand or type of pet food can upset your pet’s tummy so it’s important to generally stick to the same food, prepared the same, each day. If you decide to change foods, it should be done gradually by mixing in small amounts with your pet’s current food.
- Watch the treat intake. Pet treats can be high in calories and quickly add up. Be sure to moderate the amount of treats given to your pet each day.
- Take exercise into consideration. Did you recently start a new jogging routine with your dog? Are your kids spending more time playing with the cats? If your pet’s exercise habits have changed, it might also be time to adjust his food intake.
- Age is a factor. As your dog or cat gets older, his metabolism (and likely activity level) slow down. Be sure to take your pet’s age into consideration when choosing a food (is it time for a senior diet?) and the size of the scoop.
- All pets are different. Each pet has its own nutritional needs based on his individual age, breed, activity level, lifestyle, etc. so be sure to look at each pet as an individual when determining their food needs.
Featured Breed: American Foxhound
One of America’s native breeds, the American Foxhound is also one of our rarest. This tall hound sports a close, hard coat that can be any color. The Foxhound in this country is used for four purposes, thus calling for hounds of a different characteristics: competitive field trial hounds and “trail” hounds (speed is most important), fox hunting hounds (slow workers with good voices), and pack hounds (15 to 20 hounds or more, used by hunt clubs and farmers).
Healthy Weight for : American Foxhound
Adult (7 months- 8 years): Male: 40-65 lbs. Female: 40-65 lbs.
Puppy (1-6 months): Male: 30-48.75 lbs Female: 30-48.75 lbs
Geriatric (over 8 years): Male: 42-68.25 lbs Female: 42-68.25 lbs
by EZ Vet pet kiosk
EZ Vet is your companion to a healthy pet!
Visit an EZ Vet kiosk regularly to monitor your pet’s weight and health.
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.
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.
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!”
Read original article- Click Here
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.
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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.
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“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!