http://www.petmd.com/news/rss en New Database Allows Veterinarians and Pet Parents Alike to Search Clinical Studies http://www.petmd.com/news/cats/new-database-allows-veterinarians-and-pet-parents-alike-find-clinical-studies-34448









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New Database Allows Veterinarians and Pet Parents Alike to Search Clinical Studies


By Aly Semigran    July 22, 2016 at 09:22AM / (0) comments










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Whether you're a veterinarian or a pet parent (or both), being up-to-date on clinical studies can be an invaluable resource in ensuring the health and general well-being of animals in your care. 
 
The American Veterinary Medical Assocation (AVMA) recently launched the AVMA Animal Health Studies Database (AAHSD), which allows those in the veterinary field, as well as researches and/or pet parents, to use a free search tool to find the latest cutting-edge veterinary findings. 
 
According to an AVMA press release, "Veterinarians and animal owners may search AAHSD for studies that might be relevant to their patient or pet, either for a particular condition or even to provide health data or a sample from a normal animal. Owners interested in participating in such studies are encouraged to discuss their animal’s eligibility for any relevant study with their veterinarian. The site also has educational information regarding the conduct of clinical studies for both owners and investigators."
 
All of the clinical studies that are submitted for the database are read over by a panel of curators at the AVMA to ensure they are legitimate and in compliance with animal welfare laws and regulations. 
 
Dr. Ed Murphey, an assistant director in the AVMA Education and Research Division, tells petMD that before the AAHSD, the only other available database was limited to cancer studies, and predominantly limited to cats and dogs. This new database—which currently has 178 studies—is "all-encompassing in that most all fields of veterinary medicine are included, as well as all species of animals," Murphey explains.
 
Murphey also points out that this database can help the people who use it, as much as the animals it is for. "Many of the conditions that naturally occur in animals are very similar to the same conditions in people, so what the veterinary community learns in animal patients can inform the human medical community," he says.
 
All in all, learning more from veterinary clinical studies benefits animals and the humans who want to care for them, now and in the long run. 
 
"Clinical studies provide the best scientific evidence on which to base veterinary practice, so veterinary care improves over time as studies are completed," Murphey says. 
 
You can visit the AVMA Animal Health Studies Database here. 
 
Image via Shutterstock 





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Rescue Shelter Uses Pokémon GO To Promote Exercise and Adoption For Dogs http://www.petmd.com/news/adoption/rescue-shelter-uses-pokemon-go-save-more-dogs-34425









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Rescue Shelter Uses Pokémon GO To Promote Exercise and Adoption For Dogs


By Aly Semigran    July 18, 2016 at 01:35PM / (0) comments










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In response to the gaming phenomenon known as Pokémon GO, we asked veterinarians if it was safe to play the game while your dog is by your side for a walk. The general consensus was that pet parents could be distracted while they play, causing possible harm to themselves and their dogs. 
 
But not everyone in the pet health world thinks Pokémon GO is a bad thing. In fact, some shelters are using it for the greater good of adoptable pets. One shelter in particular, Positive Paws Rescue Transport in Albuquerque, N.M., is encouraging their volunteers to take the dogs to local parks while they search for Pokémon characters. While the pups get exercise, the walkers are encouraged to hand out information to anyone in the community who may be interested in giving the dogs a good, loving, forever home. 
 
The bright idea came from Positive Paws' own Haley Bowers. "I have been playing Pokémon GO a lot, and my dogs have been getting nice and tired from all the walks they have been going on," she tells petMD. "We always need volunteers to walk our dogs here at the shelter, and people were going to be outside and walking anyway, so I thought it would be a good way to promote our dog walking program."
 
The response has been overwhelming so far. Bowers says that people from all over the place have come by to walk the dogs while they are out hunting for their favorite Pokémon GO characters. "The community is going out of their way to help shelter dogs, and our shelter dogs are loving it!"
 
Bowers ensures that dogs are taken safely, in a car, to and from the park where they'll go to walk and play. In addition to that, there is a process to ensure that dog and walker alike are safe and happy. They assess the volunteer's dog walking skills, get their information, and, as Bowers explains, they sign a waiver in which "they agree that [the] dogs are more important than Pokémon GO" and agree to use good judgment when it comes to the dog's overall safety. 
 
Bowers and Positive Paws aren't the only ones who see the advantages of Pokémon GO, either. Dr. Cory Waxman of Metro Vet Center in Jersey City, N.J., thinks that the game is getting an unfair rap. "The game is encouraging people to go out for walks, naturally causing dogs to get walked more often," Waxman says. "Dog obesity is a huge problem in this country, and walking more frequently is one way to drop the pounds. It also allows dogs to expend their energy doing a healthy and stimulating activity, which has been shown to reduce anxiety and bad behavior." 
 
Like Bowers, Waxman encourages anyone out walking a dog to use common sense, be aware of their surroundings, and put the animal's safety and health first. "The amount of walks your dog can go on depends on the dog, but you can slowly increase the walks as your dog gets used to the exercise," he says. "If your dog is already tired, injured, or seems very hot, then bring him back inside and continue the walk by yourself." 
 
Whether or not the game remains the popular activity it is now for a long or short time, Waxman thinks that once game-playing owners notice their dogs' happier and healthier lifestyles, they'll keep on going for walks together. 
 
Image via Positive Paws Rescue Transport





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Hearing Dogs Can Benefit from Learning Sign Language, Too http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/hearing-dogs-can-benefit-learning-sign-language-too-34414









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Hearing Dogs Can Benefit from Learning Sign Language, Too


By Bernard Lima-Chavez    July 18, 2016 at 07:00AM / (0) comments










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There are many special things about the relationship between humans and dogs, but being by their side as they develop from puppy into senior dog is an especially meaningful one.
 
As puppies, they make us laugh as they clumsily learn to climb on the couch. As teenagers, they unapologetically turn our remote controls into chew toys. As adults, they settle into our rules, schedules, and moods.
 
Once they become senior dogs, we are blessed to have been given many years of wagging tails and unconditional love. This is also a time of more physical change;  for both them and us.
 
As dogs age, they experience many of the same physiological changes as humans, including hearing loss, vision impairment and osteoarthritis among others.
 
Because I share my life with two deaf dogs, I am especially aware that my hearing dogs may one day lose their hearing. I am preparing for this possibility now by teaching them hand signs while they can still hear and I encourage others to do the same.
 
Signs of Deafness in Dogs
 
Hearing loss in senior dogs is a gradual process and the signs often go unnoticed until the hearing deficit is significant. Signs of hearing loss will vary and may depend on the degree of hearing loss, but some warning signs to watch for include:
 

not responding to their name or other common sounds, such as food being poured in his bowl, squeaky toys, or jangling keys
sleeping deeper than usual and/or not waking up when called
becoming a “velcro” dog who is unwilling to leave your side
being unaware that you have left the room

 
Maggie Marton with Oh My Dog!, whose senior dog Emmett has begun to lose his hearing, says, “I started to notice it last summer, but I suspect it had started to decline well before then. I noticed him following our younger dog around more, which was unusual for him. He was always a clingy dog, but he became a piece of Velcro stuck to us, and it seemed like he got confused if he didn't see us leave a room.”
 
Suspecting Hearing Loss in Your Dog
 
If you suspect your dog is losing his hearing, there are ways to test his hearing at home. However, it is best to also consult with your veterinarian to rule out a medical reason that can be treated.
 
Christina Lee, of Deaf Dogs Rock, offers these tips to assess your dog’s hearing.
 
“A good at-home test to see if your dog is going deaf is to put a squeaky toy in your pocket. Wait until the dog is distracted, put your hand in your pocket and then squeak the toy. This way your hand and the toy can't be seen. If you don't see a reaction to the squeak, most likely your dog is going deaf. You can also wait for your pup to take a nap and jingle some keys to see if the pup wakes up.”
 
Why You Should Start Teaching Dog Hand Signs Now
 
It is much easier to teach hand signs while your dog can hear than if you wait until hearing loss occurs. If you start now, you have the benefit of being able to use a verbal cue your dog already knows while also giving a hand sign. This approach helps your dog assign meaning to the hand sign much faster.
 
How I Taught Hand Signs to My Hearing Dogs
 
With my hearing dogs, I began to use a hand sign at the same time as I used my voice.
 
As an example, to teach them the hand sign for hungry, I started using our sign for “food” when I asked them if they were hungry. I did this consistently before every meal. They quickly learned that the sign for “food” means the same thing as the word, “Hungry?”
 
I used the same training process for other signs, including water, cookie, sit, come, stay, yes, no, and potty. Every time I gave them a cookie, I said the word while using the sign for cookie. Every time I filled their water bowl, I gave them the sign for water. And so on.
 
After a few weeks of using both a hand sign and my voice, I stopped using my voice and relied solely on my hands to communicate. Because I was consistent, my hearing dogs now respond to hand signs alone, and I keep adding signs to their vocabulary.
 
If there comes a day when Darwin or Galileo cannot hear as well as they do today, they will already have the skills they need to carry on as if nothing has changed. This is the least I can do to say thank you for all the joy they’ve given me.
 





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http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/hearing-dogs-can-benefit-learning-sign-language-too-34414#comments Care & Safety Mon, 18 Jul 2016 11:00:00 +0000 34414 at http://www.petmd.com
Pokémon GO and Your Pets: Is It Safe To Play With Your Dog? http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/pokemon-go-and-your-pets-it-safe-play-your-dog-34413









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Pokémon GO and Your Pets: Is It Safe To Play With Your Dog?


By Aly Semigran    July 15, 2016 at 02:18PM / (0) comments










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Unless you've been living under a rock with limited wi-fi, then you're probably fully aware that Pokémon GO is all the rage. The interactive game has millions of players taking to the streets to "catch" the Pokémon characters on their phones.
 
The phenomenon has been making headlines, and news stories have covered everything ranging from people stumbling upon disturbing discoveries instead of a Zubat, to making love connections while trying to catch a Squirtle.
 
While the safety of human players has certainly been at the forefront thanks to Pokémon GO-related accidents and possible crime wave ties, what impact could this possibly have on our pets? 
 
Dr. Nancy Chilla-Smith of PAWSitive Veterinary in Brooklyn, New York worries that playing the game—like any other cell-phone distractions—could be dangerous for dog owners and their pets.
 
"Owners are less likely to pay attention to many things," Chilla-Smith tells petMD. "They may not look before crossing the street and, oftentimes, dogs are leading their owners, so they are the first in the road. That is a big risk for getting hit by a car."
 
Other dangers that could befall pets whose parents are distracted by Pokémon GO are dog waste not being picked up (which could cause problems for other dogs or children) and a dog eating something potentially life-threatening—like chicken bones or roadkill—off the street, says Chilla-Smith.
 
The Brooklyn vet has already noticed a difference on the streets of her neighborhood. "I've seen owners distracted on their phones with their dogs tugging the leash into the road or at other dogs," she says. "It is a problem."
 
Dr. Mina Youssef, DVM, of the North Star Animal Hospital in San Antonio, Tex., and Jennifer Scruggs, MSW, of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, also point out that the game is hitting its stride in the summer months, a dangerous time for dogs. "Be mindful of the summer temperatures and time of day you go outside with your dog," Youssef and Scruggs remind gamers. "The padding of dog's paws are sensitive to being pricked and exposed to heat... asphalt temperatures rise quickly. When possible, walk your dog on grass or concrete and check their paws often." 
 
While most of the Pokémon GO news stories that are related to animals are positive so far (including some players saving abandoned animals they stumbled upon while playing), Chilla-Smith wonders if it will take a sad story to make pet parents more aware of the possible risks. "The downside is, even with education, warnings, and common sense, owners are still going to bring their phones on walks and play the game."
 
However, some think that Pokémon GO is no different from any of the other distractions that face pet parents. "People have been bringing a newspaper with them to read at the dog park (instead of watching their dog) for years before we had Pokémon GO or even cell phones," says Connie Griffin, the general manager of World of Animals in Philadelphia. "This fad is just the latest in a long list of distractions we deal with everyday." 
 
Those distractions—including Pokémon GO—present a real problem in the eyes of professionaldog trainer Victoria Schade, who says that time spent on cell phones can negatively impact the relationships people have with their dogs. 
 
"Connected, mindful leash walks are an important part of the bonding process, and pet parents should always be present when they're outside with their dogs," she says. "Staying focused on your dog means that you can praise him for things like elimination and polite leash manners, and it allows you to be aware of what's happening around you."
 
Simply put: "If you're immersed in the virtual world, you're less likely to notice potential real world hazards," says Schade.
 
Image via Shutterstock





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Animal Abuse Case: Dog Ingests Methamphetamine http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/animal-abuse-case-dog-ingests-methamphetamine-34410









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Animal Abuse Case: Dog Ingests Methamphetamine


By Aly Semigran    July 14, 2016 at 09:34AM / (0) comments










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A dog named Jack Sparrow is lucky to be alive after ingesting methamphetamine. According to a press release from the Fontana Police Department in Fontana, California, regarding this animal cruelty case, the Chihuahua was brought to the Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center in Upland, California, for "erratic behavior." 
 
The dog's owner, who has since been arrested, told authorities that his pet may have come in contact with methamphetamine. After being tested by veterinarians, the dog did test positive for the drug. 
 
Jack's life was in grave danger. He was experiencing the effects from methamphetamine, including convulsions and seizures, and was treated in emergency care. 
 
The dog—who is currently being rehabilitated until he can go into foster care—"is hyper sensitive to noise and sudden movement, but he is expected to recover in time," according to the press release.
 
Dr. Tina Wismer, DVM, and the medical director of the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center, explains to petMD that methamphetamine is a general neurologic and cardiovascular stimulant. The side effects of the drug in a dog include agitation, high heart rates, high blood pressure, tremors, seizures, and a rise in body temperature. There is also a great risk of death. 
 
While there's no evidence that dogs experience symptoms of withdrawal or cravings after ingesting the drug, Wismer says, it still presents a dangerous situation. "Our biggest concern is as their body temperature gets higher," says Wismer. "That could cause prolonged seizures and brain damage." Raised body temperature can also cause liver damage, strokes, or blindness in dogs. 
 
But it's not just illegal methamphetamines pet parents need to worry about. "There are a lot of drugs related to methamphetamine—for instance, ADHD medication," Wismer explains. That's why it's important for pet owners to keep all prescription drugs out of reach of pets at all times.
 
If a dog does ingest methamphetamine, Wismer urges that the pet must be taken in for immediate veterinary care. Emergency vets will likely give the dog medication to decrease agitation and blood pressure, says Wismer. 
 
Though cases of dogs ingesting methamphetamine are relatively low, it's still something that pet parents need to be very aware of. "It's a serious problem," says Wismer. 
 
Image via Shutterstock 





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How An Orlando Organization Helped People and Their Pets in a Time of Tragedy http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/how-orlando-organization-helped-people-and-their-pets-time-tragedy-3439









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How An Orlando Organization Helped People and Their Pets in a Time of Tragedy


By Aly Semigran    July 13, 2016 at 10:03AM / (0) comments










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On the morning of June 12, 2016, 49 people lost their lives in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in what turned out to be the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. While the city and nation was grieving, an organization stepped in to do its part and help those affected by the attack, as well as their pets. 
 
The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando—which provides shelter, adoption, education, and veterinary services for the community—offered care to any friends or family members whose loved one was involved in the tragedy and needed help with their pets. 
 
Stephen Bardy, the executive director of Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, tells petMD, "We were able to provide an array of needed services, including veterinary care, dental care, food and medical assistance, and temporary sheltering through our volunteer foster homes. Our staff groomer even provided some of the dogs with a fresh new look."
 
Since the organization already provides emergency services and care for victims of other violent situations, including domestic abuse, they were able to act quickly in a time when many people needed assistance. 
 
"The city of Orlando coordinated a Family Assistance Center that allowed families of victims one place to access various services," Bardy explains. "This coordinated effort took some of the stress from the families by connecting them with the many agencies that were offering assistance." 
 
While it was not an easy time for the people of Orlando, Bardy and Pet Alliance wanted to do whatever they could to help. "We knew from the beginning that Pet Alliance could meet the needs of families with pets. We believed we could be part of the healing of the families and our community."
 
Not only did they help the people affected, but they made a positive impact on the pets, too. "Animals can experience trauma in similar ways to humans," Bardy explains. "We know that some animals experience separation anxiety and depression when their owners are away. Our staff were more aware during this time. Simple things like consistent feeding times, walking a dog, play time with cats, or just sitting in a chair and comforting your pet can make them feel more safe and secure. "
 
It has been a harrowing few weeks for Orlando, but Bardy talks proudly about his love for the city and resilience of its people.
 
"We are Orlando united. Living not far from the site of the tragedy, it is a very emotional time for all of us. I love living in Orlando. It is a great city. My eyes tear up thinking about the shootings, but I am so proud of my fellow residents and how we reacted in the face of such a horrific terrorist act."
 
For anyone that was touched by what Pet Alliance and other organizations did during this terrible time, there are actions anyone can take in their own communities to get involved and be prepared. 
 
"People can work with their local humane society, SPCA, animal welfare group, and veterinarians to have procedures in place to support pets when there is an emergency," Bardy advises. "It can take some coordination, but that is what I call a 'minute fix.'" 
 
Bardy also recommends that any pet parent have a plan in place for the care of their pets in case anything tragic does happen. "It can be as simple as an identification card in their wallet or purse, or a more detailed legal document such as a will. It may be hard for any pet owner to think about how their pet would react if they never returned home, but knowing you have a plan for their care puts your heart at ease."
 
Image via Shutterstock
 





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Puppy Missing Two Front Legs Gets a Helpful 'Wheelie' Vest To Move Around http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/puppy-missing-two-front-legs-gets-helpful-wheelie-vest-move-around-3439-34392









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Puppy Missing Two Front Legs Gets a Helpful 'Wheelie' Vest To Move Around


By Aly Semigran    July 11, 2016 at 11:26AM / (0) comments










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When a tiny stray puppy was brought to the Aurora Animal Shelter in Aurora, Colo., she was immediately evaluated by the veterinary staff. The little dog (who was just roughly a month old and a little over a pound) was born without her two front legs. 
 
Dr. Cathlin Craver of the Aurora Animal Shelter tells petMD that, despite her rare birth defect, the Chihuahua-mix puppy "was not in any pain and, otherwise, appeared completely healthy."
 
Still, Craver and the Aurora staff wanted to give the canine the chance to move around like other dogs, and with that, they took her measurements and made a fiberglass mold of her body so that she could be fitted for a wheelchair vest. 
 
The vest, which was created by Orthopets and took approximately two weeks to make, is now allowing the pup to thrive in her foster care setting. The little dog was named Roo by her foster mom Jeanne Morris, who tells us the pup (who hopped like, who guessed it, a kangaroo) is doing very well and is quite happy. 
 
While it took Roo a little while to get used to wearing the vest, Morris tells petMD that in almost no time Roo was walking, and even running around, with ease. She even figured out how to turn the cart. "The main thing we had to work on with her was to walk bi-pedally instead of jumping her back legs together like she normally does." 
 
Morris notes that Roo can do all the things other dogs do, including getting up and down flights of steps—she just tackles the task in her own unique way. Roo also gets along with people and other pets, and she still gets to participate in all the usual puppy activities, from cuddling to teething. 
 
"Roo is a happy puppy," Morris explains. "As soon as anyone approaches, she wags her tail and her little shoulder blades start wiggling and her ears go back and she is so excited to meet them." 
 
Craver says that Roo may need a larger vest in the future as she gets bigger, and her future owner will have to continue the regimen of regular exercise, good nutrition, and preventive veterinary care, Her adoptive family will also have to make sure she stays at a healthy weight to minimize the extra stress on her back legs, says Craver. 
 
"Animals like Roo can make amazing pets, bringing joy and inspiration to everyone they meet," Craver says. "However, adopters must understand that pets with disabilities will require additional time and care, adaptations to home environments, and more financial responsibility than an otherwise healthy pet." 
 
Image via AuroraGov.org
 





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Shocking Case: Pet Parent Nearly Dies From Dog Licks http://www.petmd.com/news/dog/shocking-case-dogs-lick-almost-took-life-its-owner-34386









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Shocking Case: Pet Parent Nearly Dies From Dog Licks


By Aly Semigran    July 05, 2016 at 02:47PM / (0) comments










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While we want to smother our pets with affection (and vice versa), sometimes this love can come with a dangerous health risk. 
 
In a shocking case that came out of England, a 70-year-old woman was diagnosed with sepsis and multiorgan dysfunction. The cause? Her dog licked her. 
 
According to the medical journal BMJ Case Reports, this instance—fittingly titled the "Lick of Death" by study authors—discovered that while the woman was not scratched or bitten by her pet Italian greyhound, she did pet him and get dog kisses from him. 
 
After running blood tests, doctors discovered that "a bacterium frequently isolated in the oral cavities of dogs and cats"—called C. canimorsus sepsis—was present in the woman's system.
 
Luckily, the pet parent made a full recovery after two weeks and "no underlying immune dysfunction was found." 
 
Dr. James Wilson, one of the authors of this case, tells petMD that instances of infection from C. canimorsus sepsis are extremely rare and are more likely to happen from bites. And while infection is uncommon, he says, the bacteria is present in the saliva of most dogs. 
 
People at the highest risk of contracting the bacteria from dog "kisses" are the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, says Wilson. "People who have problems with their immune system—people without spleens, or people who suffer from cirrhosis of the liver, or undergoing chemotherapy—should be aware of the risks," he states. 
 
However, most pet parents who have healthy immunue sytems will not have to stop their doggy kisses and licks, since the risk of infection is incredibly low.
 
"In the U.K., three cases of severe infectin from this particular strain of bacteria have been reported since 1990," Wilson says, "equating to a rough incidence of 1 case per 150 million people per year."
 
Since the biggest risk associated with C. canimorsus sepsis is from a dog's bite, it's essential that precautions are taken around children, especially. 
 
"All bites should be immediately irrigated with clean water (tap water will do) and assessed by a health professional; often a 5-7 day course of antibiotics will be recommended," Wilson advises. "Severe injuries with deep bites and bleeding will require more urgent attention." 
 
Image via Shutterstock 
 





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Changing Your Mind About Cancer Treatment for Your Pet http://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/changing-your-mind-about-cancer-treatment-your-pet-34358









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Changing Your Mind About Cancer Treatment for Your Pet


By Joanne Intile    July 04, 2016 at 07:00AM / (2) comments










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During nearly every consultation, there comes a time where pet owners must make the decision whether to pursue chemotherapy or not. While a small number of people arrive assured that they will treat their pets, more frequently owners arrive with an open mind to the available options, searching for all possible choices before moving forward.
 
On rare occasions, at the onset of an appointment, an owner will inform me they have no intention of ever pursuing chemotherapy. I’m marginally astonished when faced with such assuredness, given I’m a veterinary oncologist and treating cancer is what I do for a living. With time, I’ve come to appreciate such an owner’s motivation for simply seeking my advice without intention to follow it.
 
Somewhere in the middle lie owners who initially decline therapy, but later change their minds and elect treatment.
 
Personal Experience Influences Decision
 
Most animals with cancer are diagnosed at relatively asymptomatic stages of disease. Owners are typically shocked if I tell them their otherwise happy and healthy dog or cat might only be expected to live a few weeks or months following a diagnosis of an aggressive cancer such as lymphoma or high-grade mast cell disease. Convincing that owner to pursue treatment is a challenge, until the pet’s health declines and the owner feels urgency to move forward out of desperation.
 
More often, owners digest the information I present to them and reverse their initial decision to not treat after learning the facts about chemotherapy. Their prior misconceptions may stem from personal experience with chemotherapy, or from observations of close friends or family members. Even an owner’s primary veterinarian can discourage meeting with an oncologist by perpetuating myths about cancer care in animals.

Of all the misunderstandings related to chemotherapy preventing owners from pursuing treatment, the biggest hurdle I face is communication with owners who are certain chemotherapy is guaranteed to make their pet sick.
 
Chemotherapy Side Effects and Quality of Life
 
The goal of veterinary oncology is to preserve quality of life for as long as possible while minimizing potential deleterious effects. Approximately 25% of all animals receiving chemotherapy will experience self-limiting side effects from chemotherapy. This generally entails mild gastrointestinal upset and/or lethargy that occurs during the first several days following treatment, and they only last for a day or so. 
 
Adverse signs can usually be controlled using over the counter or prescription medications. Roughly 5% of chemotherapy patients will have severe side effects that require hospitalization. With appropriate management, the risk of these side effects causing the death is less than 1%.
 
If a patient experiences serious side effects, the prescribing oncologist will reduce future doses of chemotherapy to avoid similar complications in the future. Additionally, to help reduce the risk of complications in sick pets, every precaution is made to ensure they are strong enough to undergo treatment prior to instituting therapy. 
 
The quality of life for animals receiving chemotherapy is excellent.  Multiple studies indicate that the majority of owners are happy with their choice to pursue treatment for their companions and their outcomes and would elect to pursue treatment again if necessary.
 
Placing Your Trust in Medicine
 
For those owners who initially decline treatment, but then move ahead, experience tells me they would feel no different from those owners committed from the onset of diagnosis.
 
If you’re facing a diagnosis of cancer in your pet, you do not need to be absolutely positive you want to pursue treatment prior to speaking with an oncologist about your options. If you’re concerned chemotherapy will be “torture” for your animal, I can assure you this is untrue. No veterinary oncologist endures the rigors associated with their training and credentialing with the goal of imparting pain and suffering on their patients.
 
Veterinary oncologists are here to make your pet feel better from their disease and to know the appropriate and least impacting treatment for their situation. We’re not here to convince you to treat with chemotherapy. We’re here to provide the facts and allow you to consider what is most appropriate for your companion.
 
Even if it takes a little time for you to reach your decision, your oncologist will be there for you and your pet during your time of need.





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DiAnPe CANCER IN PETS 07/14/2016 09:21am A couple of years ago, I got the devastating news that one of my cats had cancer. I may be over the top, but I love my pets like children. She had a tumor in her intestines. The vet told me that if she removed the tumor, she would have to have chemo. Gina, my cat, was only 10 so I decided to do what I could to give her more time. The tumor was removed and she went through chemo. I was told that this most likely was not going to cure her and that the cancer would get her in the end. I just wanted her to have more time. The chemo never made her sick and she continued to eat and play and do all the things she normally did. However, it was not a cure. She had a little over a year more to enjoy her life. I don't regret my choice. I have been criticized, but I gave her more time and it was quality time--at least until the end. If she had been an old cat, I probably would not have made the same choice. The vet and I decided before the therapy that if it made her sick the chemo would stop. Everyone has their own opinion, but for Gina, I think we made the right choice. She was such a sweetheart and I still love her and miss her every single day. Reply to this comment Report abuse 5 Applegator 07/14/2016 01:38pm We too treated our beloved 4 yr old Rottie with chemotherapy for lymphoma. Unfortunately he was misdiagnosed twice and was not correctly diagnosed until some of his tumors were huge. The Vet is right though, chemo did not make him sick, the cancer did. Once on chemo his tumors disappeared and he regained the weight he had lost and was as playful as a puppy. Unfortunately, after he finished the full weekly 5 months of chemo the lymphoma returned with a vengence and we had to euthanize him. Because of this I will never opt for chemo for a pet with cancer again. Reply to this comment Report abuse 2


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Do Cats Actually Get 'Brain Freeze' When They Eat Cold Treats? http://www.petmd.com/news/cat/do-cats-get-brain-freezes-when-they-eat-cold-treats-34364
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Radagast Pet Food, Inc. Recalls Four Lots Of Frozen Rad Cat Raw Diet http://www.petmd.com/news/alerts-recalls/radagast-pet-food-inc-recalls-four-lots-frozen-rad-cat-raw-diet-34363









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Radagast Pet Food, Inc. Recalls Four Lots Of Frozen Rad Cat Raw Diet


By Wendy Toth    June 27, 2016 at 03:48PM / (2) comments










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Radagast Pet Food, Inc., based in Portland, Oregon, is voluntarily recalling four lots of frozen Rad Cat Raw Diet products, sold in 8oz., 16oz., and 24oz. tubs, and free 1oz sample cups, due to the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes.
 
According to a company release, the recall was initiated after an FDA third party contracted lab found two lots of Grass-Fed Beef tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, one lot of Free-range Chicken tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, and one lot of Free-range Turkey tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.
 
As a precautionary measure, the company is voluntarily recalling three products produced in these four lots.
 
All affected lot codes 62384, 62361, 62416, and 62372 and Best By dates are located on the lid of all products packaged in tubs, and on the bottom of the sample cups.
 
The following recalled products were distributed in western Canada and all U.S. States except in Hawaii and Mississippi.
 

 
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.
 
Common symptoms associated with Listeria infection include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Additionally, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
 
Pets with Salmonella or Listeria monocytogenes infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.
 
If you or your pet had contact with the recalled product, you are advised to watch for symptoms that may develop. If you, your pet, or a family member is experiencing these symptoms, you are urged to contact a medical professional.
 
Please do not return any of these recalled products to the retailer and dispose in a secure garbage receptacle.
 
For refund claims, fill out all sections of the consumer claims form provided by the manufacturer, found on www.RadFood.com and return this form only to the retailer where you purchased the product for a refund. Consumers may call Radagast Pet Food, Inc. at 503-736-4649 for assistance.

Source: FDA



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shareItwindow Is it safe. 07/01/2016 02:49am This comment has been flagged as inappropriate. Reply to this comment Report abuse 18 shareItwindow 07/01/2016 02:51am This comment has been flagged as inappropriate. Reply to this comment Report abuse 19


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Why Your Vet Visit Costs So Much http://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/why-your-vet-visit-costs-so-much-34299









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Why Your Vet Visit Costs So Much


By Jennifer Coates    June 27, 2016 at 07:00AM / (23) comments










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It’s a never-ending refrain, “Why does veterinary care cost so much?”
 
I get it. I’m not just a veterinarian but also an animal owner. Sure, I can take care of some of my own pets’ needs, but not all of them. Did I flinch at the $2,000 bill for treating my cat’s hyperthyroidism with radioactive iodine? You bet I did, but I didn’t complain because I recognize what a bargain veterinary care usually is.
 
The best way to avoid sticker shock is being prepared, so let’s take a look at what’s involved in a veterinary visit and the typical costs that you should expect.
 
The first thing to understand is that geography plays a big role. Imagine the cost of running a veterinary practice in New York City versus West Podunk. Rent, salaries, property taxes, property insurance, etc. would all be much higher in NYC, and those costs simply have to be passed on to clients if a veterinary practice is to remain a going concern. The best we can do here is look at averages and acknowledge that a lot of variability exists.
 
A veterinary visit should always start with a complete health history, physical exam, and the acquisition of some basic data, like body weight, body temperature, pulse rate, and respiratory rate. The cost of all of this should be included in the office visit/physical exam charges. This is the absolute minimum you need to be willing to pay to see a veterinarian.
 
At this point, the doctor can provide you with an estimate for recommended diagnostic testing and/or treatment. This is when you can start talking about options. Very often, there are several ways to approach veterinary care. When appropriate, the doctor should be able to give you an idea of the risks, benefits, and costs associated with gold standard, moderate, and minimalist care.
 
The American Kennel Club reports these estimates for routine veterinary care during a puppy’s first year of life.
 
Annual Physical Exam    $58
Vaccinations    $268
Heartworm Test and Prevention    $127
Flea and Tick Prevention    $190
Fecal Exam    $60
Dental Cleaning    $125
Spay or Neuter    $175
 
Some of these expenses will recur approximately annually (e.g., physical exam, parasite testing/prevention, possibly a dental cleaning), others less frequently (some vaccinations). The costs associated with routine veterinary care for a cat would be similar if the cat goes outside and perhaps slightly lower for an indoor-only individual.
 
Remember, talk to your veterinarian if finances are tight. Depending on your pet’s circumstances, it might be possible to avoid certain expenses, at least for a while. For example, I live in a part of the country where heartworm disease is infrequently diagnosed. Although it is not ideal, if an owner had kept their dog on heartworm prevention per my recommendations over the past year and needed to cut somewhere, I’d be willing to postpone a heartworm test.
 
To ensure that you can always provide your pets with the veterinary care they need, either routinely set aside money in a special pet care savings account or purchase a reputable pet health insurance policy. 





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DiAnPe VET COSTS 07/08/2016 08:08am We have 8 rescued cats and a rescued dog. The vet bills add up quickly. I'm not made of money, but I readily hand over my credit card to make sure my pets have what they need. I pay what I can when I can. There is a company that offers another choice. There are brochures about it in my vet's office. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the company, but they allow you to borrow the money to pay your bill. Then you make interest free payments to the company to pay it back. You have 6 months to pay it back. After that you do have to pay interest. You can also use it for medical bills for yourself. The name may be Care Credit, but I'm not sure. I hope this can help anyone out there that wants the best for their pet, has difficulty with the cost. Reply to this comment Report abuse 8 barbbat This is all BS 07/08/2016 08:31am After owning many animals throughout my life and dealing with many vets throughout my life, I understand the cost of caring for your pets and it is totally insane!

All vets want to give dogs and cats often unnecessary vaccinations, for example, a distempter shot for older dogs. Most of the vaccinations (with the exception of rabies) are not necessary. Titers can be done to ascertain the level of antibodies before any vaccinations. What costs a vet $4 to administer, you get charged $55. There's even a fee for throwing away the syringe!! (a 'waste' fee).

Once I had a very old sick cat that I had to have euthanized. Calling the vet before showing up, I was told $125. Afterwards, standing at the front desk, the clerk presented me with a bill for over $300!!!! Of course, I had a fit and a 'loud' fit at that! One shot and the cat was gone and the tech administered the shot. The only time I SAW a vet was when she came in to check to see if the cat was dead - walked in, listened for a heartbeat and left. The bill listed that 'in and out' at a price of $55.

Additionally, with vets literally gouging people to care for their pets, do the vets have any idea how they are hurting many more animals by charging so much, that the majority of people cannot afford care? It's so bad, in fact, that there are several sites on the web where people can apply for 'grant monies' to help with vet bills. Even human doctors do better!! Vets are in a money-making business and they know it. There are no legal limitations on what they can charge and they take total advantage of an owner's love for their pets, while making it nearly impossible for lots of people to care for their pets. Do they understand how heartbreaking that is for someone who loves their pet but can't afford thousands of dollars for it's care or even $300 for that matter?

Personally, I have no respect nor liking for vets. I put them in the same class as plumbers and dentists, This group of "professionals" have become total parasites. I see no 'free or low-cost' clinics being made available for the old, the poor. Once in awhile, you hear of a vet doing it but mostly it's for publicity, not for caring. Just like plumbers and dentists, it's a money-making business with very little caring for either the owner or the animals. Imagine -- charging $45-$50 for a 'shot' that costs the vet's business about a couple of bucks. Reply to this comment Report abuse 20 dinapoli03 07/09/2016 08:49am I agree 100%...Walmart and Publix sells some of the same antibiotics that my vet wanted to charge me 42.00 for and I got it at publix supermarket for free.... Reply to this comment Report abuse 2 barbbat 07/09/2016 09:45am Arthritis medicine is another vet 'rip off.' You can buy the same stuff as supplements for less than half the price. And, how about flea medicine? Ever see the price of that at the vet's? But, to be fair, places like 'Pet Co' and other pet stores have taken their lead from vets and raised the cost of flea medicine to the point it's now stored behind glass doors than need to be unlocked by a clerk, like cigarettes. It's Flea stuff, for God's sake!! Hmmm, I wonder where the pet stores got the idea to hike up the prices?? Reply to this comment Report abuse 1 angienkenny11 07/09/2016 02:41pm If they charged you 300 to euthanize an animal, you got ripped off. We just had to have our dog put down due to a massive stroke, she weighed 17 lbs, it cost a total of 94.00 which included community cremation and burial. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1 barbbat 07/09/2016 02:18pm No, I raised hell at the front desk when they attempted to charge me $300. I had called ahead because the animal was dying and they quoted $125. After it was over, was when they attempted to charge the $300 at the front desk. There were other people in the large waiting room, so I don't think they wanted a commotion. Still, I had to pay $125. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1 katjoeus Understanding cost 07/08/2016 09:48am $125 for a dental cleaning?? Are you kidding? Treble that! The pre-dental blood work alone is going to set you back going on $100. And why would a puppy need a dental cleaning in his first year of life, anyway?
Worth pointing out that a lot of the cost is not determined by the vet hospital - I work at one and I can tell you that a) we don't just pay $4 for a vaccine and b) we don't charge $55. There is a mark-up - obviously! - but it's nowhere near as much as that! We also have to pass on the lab costs etc.
Honestly, I know there are some bad apples, but most vets are NOT out to get you and nickle-and-dime you. My boss is in his mid-70ies, still works, does not drive a fancy car and does not go on any luxurious trips, despite having worked hard all his life! You don't go into veterinary medicine to make the big bucks, believe me! Reply to this comment Report abuse 4 barbbat 07/08/2016 09:34am Well, that may be the situation where you are but in the larger cities, there are no 'old time' country vets -- there are only 'big business vets.' $125 for a dental cleaning -- when I checked how much for a dental cleaning for my older dog several years ago, the price tag was $400+ -- blood work, anesthesia testing, this 'shot', that 'shot', this x-ray, etc., etc.

I remember an old country vet several miles away from where I live now and he used to be as you describe but he has retired. And please, don't tell me that vets don't get in this to make money -- they certainly do. And, furthermore, I HAVE had the experience of paying $45 for a vaccination and then looking up the cost of both the syringe and one dose and the total was $4 plus shipping which, of course, I couldn't do because it was by prescription only.

Yes, vet medicine IS 'big business.' There are no small single practice vets nowadays -- their all 'corporations.' LLPs and still 'gouging' people who love their animals. There may be the exception (as you note), but that would definitely be an exception, not the rule.

BTW, my post stated that I was quoted $125 to euthanize an old cat -- not to have a puppy's teeth cleaned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reply to this comment Report abuse 3 katjoeus 07/08/2016 10:23am Barbat - The $125 I was referring to was what it said in the original post, not yours! I was saying that I felt the price given in the original post for a dental cleaning was way too low, that's why I said "treble that".
My vet is not a country vet, we are in a rather large metropolitan area (between BAltimore and DC). And with respect, I think I probably know a little more about vet hospitals than you do, having worked in four different ones, none of which was a corporate place - they were all privately owned. I wouldn't want to work at one of those corporate places where there is a lot of pressure on the doctors to reach certain quotas as I don't consider that Best Practice!
You have obviously had some very bad experiences and I am very sorry about that - and I can totally understand that you are disillusioned, esp. since you are obviously very committed and I do think it's a shame that there aren't a lot more places that give people like you, who are involved in rescue, a much better deal!! And of course you should have never been charged so much more for the euthanasia than you had been quoted - the only thing I can imagine is that a) they hadn't told you about an exam fee (when a pet is brought in for euthanasia and has never been seen before or not for a long time, there is inevitably going to be an exam fee at most places!) and that maybe they did a private cremation?? Otherwise, I can think of no explanation as to why they would have charged you $300!! As for vaccines, you can actually buy a lot of them at feed stores - rabies is the only one that needs to be administered by a veterinarian by law. Not sure how easily obtainable cat vaccines are at feed stores, but I know quite a few people who get their dogs' shots at feed stores because yes, of course it is much cheaper, and if someone is comfortable administering shots to their pets, by all means do it! Even though of course we think it's always a good thing for our pets to get regular check-ups, which a lot of the time doesn't happen, esp. for cats - we often get cat patients that haven't been seen by a vet for years and years because there is nothing obviously wrong with them - or so the owner thinks....that can be a problem because as you probably know, cats are very good at hiding things and a lot of the time, there is something wrong which should have been addresses much earlier!!
And once again, let me tell you - I have several very good friends who are vets, and NONE of them are in it to make the big bucks - because you don't! One of my best friends is an ER vet who works crazy hours day and night; her husband, who is a contractor for the government, makes more than her - despite not having gone to university for so many years and having a cushy office job!!!
Please don't think that all vets are greedy and heartless because they're NOT. The majority of them are very decent, hard-working, caring people!! Reply to this comment Report abuse 7 barbbat 07/09/2016 09:58am You are correct, undoubtedly, in many things. As I mentioned, I once-upon-a-time knew a vet like you speak of, but he's long retired and gone. I live in a major metro area of upstate NY and all the vet practices I know of are in it for the money. Now, that's not to say they do not have dedicated people who love animals working there, but the bottom line is 'profit.' I've had too many bad experiences, I will agree. However, when a vet charges $65 to come in a check for a heartbeat after the tech has euthanized the animal, well, that's a 'rip off' -- just the same as a doctor could do by sticking his head in the door and asking how you are and then charging you for a visit. Spaying and neutering is another problem. In my area, it was the conglomerate of vet hospitals and associations who 'drummed out' the low-cost spaying and neutering clinics because it cut into their 'bread-and-butter,' as I was aggressively reminded. I have had the unfortunate experience of working with vets to get hospitals established, promising low-cost access to animal care only to have that practice 'devolve' into a strictly high-cost, selective, money-making operation. In this major metro area, there is only ONE vet practice that will work with a local rescue agency -- all the rest refused because it wasn't "profitable." As I said before, I put vets in the same category as plumbers and dentists who also 'profiteer' and overcharge for their services because they know people NEED their services. However, in a vet's case, they prey upon people's love for their pets. Too many times I have seen people who love their animals and want to give them good care be unable to do so because of the exorbitant costs, so they wait until the animal is very sick and then euthanize them -- for them, there is no other choice. But to see an organization of vet hospitals deliberately 'stamp out' any attempt at providing affordable care to pets, was the last straw for me! And, incidentally, the same holds for human medicine. Affordable care is needed for people as well. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1 pelaqita Agree, with exception 07/08/2016 10:20am As a long-time pet owner of cats, dogs, chickens, horses, mini-donkeys, and more, I know the cost of good veterinary care. However, I do take exception to the "mark-up" on medications. Many veterinarians mark up the medications that your pet needs (i.e., vaccinations, heartworm, flea and tick treatments as well as medications for sickness or disease) as much as 50%! I feel that is ridiculous. Sorry, but that is my opinion. I am very fortunate that I have a veterinarian that will either write me prescriptions for common medications and preventatives. Those prescriptions are filled by VIPPS pharmacies. Even though I get many of my medications this way, I still pay the vet's office thousands of dollars each year for well-care for my pets. Reply to this comment Report abuse 2 lerose55 Teeth Cleaning 07/08/2016 05:09pm When I lived in NJ the vet wanted 350.00 for my dogs teeth cleaning, so of course I could not afford to do that. That was about 7 yrs ago.
I live in TN the vet charges 100.00 dollars so that I can handle.

It is profitable being a Vet, no one to regulate what they can charge. Its a shame it limits people to what they can do for the care of their animals. All because of expense. Reply to this comment Report abuse 2 donnar@sfu.ca 07/09/2016 12:15am You should see the fuss they make at my Vet's office when I ask to purchase worming pills rather than have them administer them. They don't like it one bit. Unfortunately, I'm a bit concerned about doing my own shots, otherwise I sure would. In Canada though, we can take our pets to the SPCA vet (there is one in each municipality). They charge far less than private vets but there's a much longer wait. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1 katjoeus 07/09/2016 08:31am Well of course they are trying to be profitable! They are businesses, and if they weren't profitable, there wouldn't be any vets around. Do you think your primary care physician works out of the goodness of her heart?? Do you work for free??
Frankly, this vet bashing is rather annoying - I feel bad for everyone who has had a bad experience, esp. when their pets weren't doing well - I know how very stressful that can be! But unless you live in the sticks, there are going to be several vet hospitals and if you're not happy with one, shop around, visit the hospitals, talk to the people at the desk - you should be able to find a place you trust. And yes, you can get at least the rabies shots at any Animal Control in the country, plus there are a lot of low cost vaccination places around for those who just want shots and no exam.
Did you all know, by the way, that going to vet school costs and arm and a leg and every single vet is going to be heavily indebted for years and years after they finish school? Reply to this comment Report abuse 4 barbbat Pet Care 07/09/2016 10:00am You are correct, undoubtedly, in many things. As I mentioned, I once-upon-a-time knew a vet like you speak of, but he's long retired and gone. I live in a major metro area of upstate NY and all the vet practices I know of are in it for the money. Now, that's not to say they do not have dedicated people who love animals working there, but the bottom line is 'profit.' I've had too many bad experiences, I will agree. However, when a vet charges $65 to come in a check for a heartbeat after the tech has euthanized the animal, well, that's a 'rip off' -- just the same as a doctor could do by sticking his head in the door and asking how you are and then charging you for a visit. Spaying and neutering is another problem. In my area, it was the conglomerate of vet hospitals and associations who 'drummed out' the low-cost spaying and neutering clinics because it cut into their 'bread-and-butter,' as I was aggressively reminded. I have had the unfortunate experience of working with vets to get hospitals established, promising low-cost access to animal care only to have that practice 'devolve' into a strictly high-cost, selective, money-making operation. In this major metro area, there is only ONE vet practice that will work with a local rescue agency -- all the rest refused because it wasn't "profitable." As I said before, I put vets in the same category as plumbers and dentists who also 'profiteer' and overcharge for their services because they know people NEED their services. However, in a vet's case, they prey upon people's love for their pets. Too many times I have seen people who love their animals and want to give them good care be unable to do so because of the exorbitant costs, so they wait until the animal is very sick and then euthanize them -- for them, there is no other choice. But to see an organization of vet hospitals deliberately 'stamp out' any attempt at providing affordable care to pets, was the last straw for me! And, incidentally, the same holds for human medicine. Affordable care is needed for people as well. Reply to this comment Report abuse barbbat 07/09/2016 10:14am And think about this, why do you think vets have in their offices, all those pamphlets about how to 'finance pet care?' Because it's affordable? Have you ever really, really investigated 'pet health care insurance?' Many of those companies are owned by vets --no surprise there! However, before anyone buys 'pet health insurance,' read the material carefully -- what they cover, what percentage of cost it will cover and, more importantly, what the insurance DOESN'T cover. Incidentally, 'shopping around' for vet care doesn't work. All the vets in my area have a 'meeting' once or twice a week, not only to discuss cases that either puzzle them or with which they need help, but also to set prices for standard care such as spaying and neutering, vaccinations, etc. There is no competition; there is only a conglomerate of vets fixing prices. What does that tell you? In rural areas and in some rare instances, it may be different, but in larger metropolitan areas, this is the way it is -- regardless of "of course vets need to make money" or "vet education costs an arm-and-a-leg." Yes, people go into business to earn a living but there is a line that is crossed in many businesses, and pet care is one of them. Noticed the increases in pet food lately? Everyone seems to be getting on the 'bandwagon' that was started by vets. Reply to this comment Report abuse katjoeus 07/09/2016 05:35pm Well you hit the nail on the head - pet health care seems outrageous to us because we see all the charges and have to pay for them out of pocket (unless we have pet insurance, which very few people have here!). If you didn't have health insurance for yourself, you would see how ridiculously expensive that is!! So, if you complain about the cost of pet health care, you also have to complain about the cost of human health care, and if veterinarians are greedy money fiends, then so are doctors for humans. OF COURSE it is a disgrace that so many people cannot afford the appropriate care for their pets but I also know a lot of people who cannot afford health care for themselves and don't get the treatment they need - that's why other countries do things differently, but that is being defamed as being "communist" in this country!! Reply to this comment Report abuse angienkenny11 Vet visits 07/09/2016 02:53pm You should Always find a vet that has their OWN lab in house, its much cheaper for labs to be done. EXAMPLE: Went to 1 vet my dog had a previous high liver enzyme and it needed to be checked again, well she wanted 280.00 for a liver panel. (which is outrageous) So I decided to go to another vet not even a 1/2 mile down the road, they have an in-house lab and it cost me a total of 129.00 for all my labs, liver, pancreas, heartworm, cbc...all of it (that included a IDEXX sdma) Plus the Vet always gives an estimate before they treat, and if I don't agree with something they want to do, then I just say no to it! Some vets will give antibiotics or pain meds, anti nausea meds for no reason. You have to be an advocate for your animal just as you are for your own health care needs.

Really the best thing to do is invest in VPI (pet insurance) Reply to this comment Report abuse angienkenny11 07/09/2016 03:14pm I do not give my dog or cats heartworm meds or flea and tick meds (well cats are indoor only) and my dog only goes out on a leash and to run around in the yard. I use apple cider vinegar for fleas, ticks and mosquitos. My dogs gets rabies vaccine and DAPP vaccine (3 yr booster now). And I am a firm believer of taking animals once a year and having blood drawn and a check up, to make sure they are ok, that way you know what's going on with your pets. Also feeding cats grain free canned food and my dog is on grain free limited ingredient diet (canned) due to food allergies. Reply to this comment Report abuse katjoeus 07/09/2016 05:28pm I agree with you on most things - I also don't believe in overvaccinating, and I do think antibiotics are given out a little too liberally; however, I am totally in favour of pain meds and anti-nausea meds; whatever makes them feel better! I also don't think all pets necessarily need flea & tick prevention, but I do give my cats heartworm prevention because they go into the yard and on the deck and patio, so there is real risk of them being stung by mosquitoes.
I disagree with in-house blood work being cheaper - I know that it sounds like that should be the case, but in all four vet hospitals I have worked at so far, the opposite was the case; it was/is always cheaper to send it out to the lab; plus, the lab testing is more accurate and a lot of tests are not available for in-house (for example, I am 99% certain that the SDMA is only available at the lab; when they first introduced it a little while ago, they were offering a deal where if we did in-house blood tests, they would do the SDMA for free - but at the lab) Reply to this comment Report abuse angienkenny11 07/09/2016 07:45pm Like I said It was WAY cheaper at the vet office with the in house lab. And as far as the IDEXX SDMA test it was drawn @ 430 pm on a Thursday and I got the results the next morning. I really do not care if it was sent out or the did it at their lab. Maybe its not like that in every vets office but it is here! And as far as anti nausea meds I was speaking of a vet I went to that wanted to give it to my dog and he only vomited once the day before and the price for it is outrageous so I didn't think he needed it. And if a dog is not acting like he is in distress or pain then why should you take the risk of giving the pain meds is my point. Reply to this comment Report abuse katjoeus 07/10/2016 12:16pm Why should you give pain or anti-nausea meds?? Because you don't know if your dog is in pain or nauseous, that's why...it's an even bigger issue with cats as they are extremely good at hiding pain Reply to this comment Report abuse angienkenny11 07/10/2016 10:42pm I was speaking about MY dog and experience with vets and meds. My dog vomited ONE time the day before and they wanted to give him an expensive shot of anti-nausea meds and I didn't agree with it, as he was not vomiting anymore and he had an appetite! We all know our pets and how they act, if my dog was acting like he was in distress then I would have given him the pain meds, but he was not. She wanted to give it to him "just in case". Reply to this comment Report abuse


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Company Crafts Cat Wine, But Is It Safe? http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/wine-cats-cheers-34337









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Company Crafts Cat Wine, But Is It Safe?


By Aly Semigran    June 21, 2016 at 12:00PM / (0) comments










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Cabernet, merlot, and chianti can now be cat-bernet, meow-lot, and kitty-anti. 
 
A Denver-based company called Apollo Peak has created a wine for cats to drink, made with fresh beet juice, organic catnip, and natural preservatives. According to the Apollo Peak website, the non-alcoholic beverage will have a "mellowed out" effect on a kitty because of the catnip. 
 
While the company boasts their product as safe and tasty for both pets and humans alike, some vets still have their concerns about the cat-nip wine. Dr. Nancy J. Dunkle, DVM, of Exclusively Cats Veterinary Hospital, says that the ingredients could still be problematic for your pet. 
 
Dunkle explains that while beet pulp is used in some dry foods as a natural probiotic ("It ferments into 'good bacteria' in the gut"), beet juice could have sugars, which is never reccomended for cats. Even fresh beet juice may contain high sugar content, which could be problematic to diabetic cats or a cat with gastrointestinal problems, says Dunkle. She also has concerns about the natural ingredients, which are not listed on the Apollo Peak website. "Some [natural ingredients] are not good for cats, while others are okay," she says.
 
Dr. Elizabeth Arguelles, DVM, of Just Cats Clinic, echoes the issue that the wine is not a healthy treat for cats. "While the listed ingredients aren't toxic for cats, they aren't beneficial for them either." Arguelles says that cats don't need any of the ingredients from the wine in their diets.
 
She also voices her concerns that the product hasn't been reviewed by the FDA or the AAFCO, "meaning its under no scrutiny or quality control testing." Arguelles reminds pet parents that just because something is marketed as "natural" doesn't necessarily mean that it is safe or has any health benefits. 
 
Although the company claims that the wine is not dangerous for felines, it is best to consult a veterinarian before introducing anything new into your cat's diet. Or, Dunkle says, you can offer up another safe catnip beverage that you can make at home. She suggests maybe trying a catnip tea for your pet. The recipe simply calls for organic catnip which is distilled in water—with no other ingredients to ensure it is safe and healthy.
 
Arguelles also suggests a tasty and safe alternative for kitty: freezing chicken broth in an ice cube tray, and then putting the cube in their water dish.  
 
The only positive thing that really comes from this is that it serves as a reminder that beverages that do contain alcohol (unlike this cat wine) should never be given to a pet, as it is "incredibly dangerous." Risks include vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, depression, difficulty breathing, seizures, coma, and in some cases, death. 
 
So when it comes to cat wine, as Arguelles aptly puts it, "The novelty is fun and cute, [but] it's not really the best choice for your furry feline." 
 
Image via Shutterstock 





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Why Dogs Lick and When to Worry http://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/why-dogs-lick-and-when-worry-34301









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Why Dogs Lick and When to Worry


By Katie Grzyb    June 20, 2016 at 07:00AM / (1) comments










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Dogs lick themselves, that’s a fact of life, but when does it get to be an issue? You may catch your pooch bathing daily to keep clean. This is an innate behavior in the animal kingdom. But there are times when licking can become excessive and can be a clinical sign of an underlying illness.
 
Allergies are the number one cause of excessive licking in dogs. Owners may note that their dog licks in between the toes (sometimes leading to staining of the fur due to enzymes in the saliva), they may lick and chew at their hind end and their inner thighs.
 
Environmental allergies are caused by dusts, danders, pollens, and other airborne particles which lead to build-up on the skin and fur of the dog and in turn cause itching. Allergies to flea bites and certain proteins in pet food can cause similar signs.
 
Cleaning your dog’s paws with doggie wipes or a warm washcloth after walks outside can help to decrease environmental allergens. Owners should seek veterinary attention for their dogs if the skin is changing color, if there are wounds, pimples, or crusts noted on the skin, if there is excessive scratching associated with the licking, and/or if fleas are seen.
 
Licking can also be a sign of nausea in some dogs. If your dog is licking abnormal places, such as the floors or the walls, or if your dog is licking his/her lips frequently, these can be a signs of gastrointestinal upset. Some dogs will also smack their lips or drool excessively when they feel nauseous.
 
If your dog is showing these signs and they last more than 24 hours, or if they are at all associated with vomiting, diarrhea, or lack of appetite, it is important to contact your veterinarian.
 
Addressing quality of life is the first step. There are shampoos that can help calm the itching as well as veterinary prescribed anti-histamines to keep your dog comfortable.
 
Your vet may also recommend some diagnostic tests, such as a fecal panel, blood testing, and/or x-rays, to rule out causes of belly upset. Your veterinarian can often prescribe or administer medications to help control and sometimes eliminate the nausea for your pet.
 
Dogs can also have behavioral causes of excessive licking, such as anxiety or a type of obsessive disorder where they over-groom themselves. Some studies have shown that the act of licking increases endorphins in the brain which calms the dog while it is licking. Loud noises, separation anxiety and/or change in environment can lead to this behavior.
 
It is important to intervene to lessen or stop this behavior before the dog licks off all of its fur (usually confined to one site on the body, such as a leg or the abdomen), which can lead to skin infection (hot spots) and acral lick granulomas (which are masses that occur secondary to chronic abrasion with the tongue and inflammation to the area). These infections and granulomas can be painful to the dog.
 
If there is trauma to the skin, your veterinarian will treat the skin infections and/or granulomas caused by the excessive licking and then determine if the licking is a medical disorder or something that can be alleviated with behavior training.
 
Diversion techniques can be instituted if your pet is over grooming. This entails close monitoring and side-tracking your dog when he starts to obsessively groom. Give him/her a favorite toy or treat to focus on, go for a walk, or even spend some quality time brushing your dog. This can help get his/her mind off of the compulsions.
 
If your veterinarian determines after examination (and possible diagnostic testing) that your dog is licking due to compulsive behavior or anxiety, there are some natural calming products that can be instituted. These include calming drops for the water, calming treats, pheromone collars, and thunder shirts. Very dilute apple cider vinegar can also be sprayed on the skin to deter licking but should be discussed with a veterinarian first to be sure it will not irritate the skin further. These natural products tend to have little to no side effects and are safest when starting a treatment plan.
 
Keeping a low stress environment for anxious dogs can be very helpful also; quiet, low lighting, and slow movements. Still, sometimes natural products are not enough to calm your dog and stop excessive licking. This is when a thorough discussion should be had with your veterinarian about behavior modification drugs such as Fluoxetine and Clomipramine. However, these medications can have side effects and are usually only given for chronic conditions. It is important to discuss all of the pros and cons with your veterinarian prior to starting your dog on these medications.
 
Quality of life is the most important thing when it comes to our pets. Excessive licking can cause that quality to decrease over time. If you think your dog is excessively licking, it is pertinent to discuss these signs with your veterinarian. Together you can determine if the signs are something to be concerned about, or if your pet is simply taking his/her daily bath. 
 





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dgolins Not posting properly 07/02/2016 12:53am Your articles aren't posting properly to Facebook. The photo gets cut off by your "We'll be back" message. Can't share as a result. Reply to this comment Report abuse 2


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Dog Ingests Gorilla Glue and Undergoes Emergency Surgery http://www.petmd.com/news/dog/dog-ingests-gorilla-glue-undergoes-surgery-which-perfect-mold-was-extracted-vet-34325









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Dog Ingests Gorilla Glue and Undergoes Emergency Surgery


By Aly Semigran    June 16, 2016 at 01:46PM / (0) comments










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Let this serve as a warning to any pet parent (or parent in general, really) that has Gorilla Glue in their households: keep it far away from anyone or anything that could get to it. 
 
Case in point: A 6-month-old puppy named Lake ingested the extra-strength glue and started vomiting. Lake's owner called her veterinarian, Dr. Leonardo Baez, DVM, of Midtown Vets in Oklahoma City, Okla., who told them emergency surgery would have to be performed. 
 
"Gorilla Glue is a polyurethane," Baez explains, "so as soon as it makes contact with anything that is liquid, it begins expanding." In the case of Lake, the glue was expanding inside of her stomach at a rapid volume. 
 
The vets performed the surgery (which took roughly 45 minutes) and removed the glue, which had formed into a perfect mold of Lake's stomach. Lake, who was given antibiotics and IV fluids, is now recovering well after the health scare. Baez shares that the dog is already up and running and eating again. 
 

 
While Lake was lucky, Baez notes that it could have been worse if the glue had gotten stuck in the dog's esophagus, which could have been fatal. The continually-expanding glue could tear vital tissues if not removed in time. That's why if a dog does ingest Gorilla Glue, it's vital that a pet parent takes them in for emergency care. As Baez simply puts it, "Gorilla Glue equals surgery." 
 
Baez says that dogs eating Gorilla Glue is, unfortunately, not an uncommon occurence and notes that it has a sweet taste that seems to appeal to curious pups. He hopes that the Gorilla Glue company will put a stronger word of warning about the possible risks that the product provides for pets and children alike. 
 
Images via Dr. Leonardo Biaz and Midtown Vets 
 





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Behind the Amazing Photo of the Injured Owl Hugging Her Rescuer http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/amazing-photo-injured-owl-hugs-her-rescuer-34323









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Behind the Amazing Photo of the Injured Owl Hugging Her Rescuer


By Aly Semigran    June 15, 2016 at 08:34AM / (0) comments










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Hoo wants a hug? For GiGi the owl, that answer was simple: she wanted to show her gratitude to one of the workers at Wild at Heart Rescue, Inc. in Vancleave, Miss. 
 
Last month, the great horned owl was brought into Wild at Heart after suffering head trauma. After being treated successfully by the staff, a one-of-a-kind moment was caught on camera by the organization's founder and president Missy Dubuisson. GiGi showed her appreciation to Wild at Heart's co-president Doug Pojeky by embracing him with an owl's version of a hug. 
 
"Was it truly an owl hug? We would like to think so," Dubuisson tells petMD. "All I did was capture a moment in time. And what a beautiful moment it was." In her line of work Dubuisson says she'd never seen anything quite like this before. 
 
GiGi the owl has since recovered from her injuries and, as Dubuisson explains, she "was released back to the exact GPS location in which she was rescued" and was even reunited with her mate. 
 
While GiGi was very thankful for the human help, Dubuisson urges anyone who finds sick or injured wildlife to stay clear and call a professional. "Call a licensed wildlife rehabilitation and await further instructions."
 
The photo, which has since gone viral, has humbled the staff of Wild at Heart. "With all the tragedies going on in the world, an owl hug made everybody feel better for a minute," says Dubuisson.
 
Image via Wild at Heart, Inc. Facebook 
 





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Extremely Rare Snake Species is Discovered in the Bahamas http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/rare-snake-species-discovered-bahamas-34306









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Extremely Rare Snake Species is Discovered in the Bahamas


By Aly Semigran    June 14, 2016 at 10:47AM / (0) comments










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For most of us the idea of a perfect trip to the Bahamas means sipping drinks and sitting by a pool, but for biologist R. Graham Reynolds, Ph.D. and his team of fellow researchers, it's discovering a rare breed of boa. 
 
While exploring a remote island in the southern Bahamas, Reynolds noticed a snake crawling on a silver palm tree at dusk. Its unique coloring and head shape was one that Reynolds, an assistant professor of vertebrate biology at the University of North Carolina Asheville, and his team had never seen before. DNA analysis would confirm that this was, in fact, a new snake species. 
 
"We named the species the Silver Boa (Chilabothrus argentum) because of its silvery color and because the first one was in a silver palm tree," Reynolds tells petMD.    
 
Reynolds and his team have made three expeditions to this particular island and have concluded that the animals occur in a very small area. "Our early results from mark/recapture surveys suggest that there are fewer than 1,000 animals left, making this a critically endangered species." 
 
Not only is it a critically endangered species, but it faces threats on the island, including by feral cats. As Reynolds explains, "Feral cats are devastating to Caribbean boa populations; the cats eat the boas and can easily cause a population crash." 
 
Non-venomous snakes like the Silver Boa are vital to our ecosystem, as they are terrestrial predators. "As we know from countless other studies, the loss of top predators can cause top-down ecological collapse." 
 
The discovery of the Silver Boa is an important one. "[It] shows us how important protected areas are to biodiversity conservation," says Reynolds. "The species was found on an island that is a National Park. If the island had not been protected as a park, these snakes would almost certainly have gone extinct before we knew they existed." 
 
Image via R. Graham Reynolds, Ph.D. 
 





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Puppy Rescued By Buddhist Monks Is Up and Moving Thanks to Their Care and a Donated Wheelchair http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/puppy-rescued-monks-and-moving-thanks-donated-wheelchair-34302









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Puppy Rescued By Buddhist Monks Is Up and Moving Thanks to Their Care and a Donated Wheelchair


By Aly Semigran    June 13, 2016 at 01:53PM / (0) comments










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During a time when the world seems like a scary place, the story of Tashi the dog serves as a reminder that there is love, compassion, and generosity of spirit all over the world. 
 
Back an April a pup named Tashi was rescued by exiled Tibetan monks at the Sera monastery in Bylakuppe, India. The poor, months-old dog had become paralyzed after stray dogs attacked her. The monks took the injured animal in and cared for her. 
 
One of the Buddhist nuns at the monastery reached out to Handicapped Pets, an organization that provides products and services to help elderly, injured, or disabled pets. When Handicapped Pets heard the amazing story of Tashi they donated a Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair so that the pup could walk around comfortably in her new home. (Since Tashi no longer has use of her hind legs, they now rest in the stirrups of the wheelchair.) 
 
Lisa Murray of Handicapped Pets tells petMD that their friends at the monastery informed them that Tashi "is really enjoying her new way of walking." 
 
Murray says that the story of Tashi and the monks who rescued her resonated with them and served as a reminder of the love that all creatures deserve. 
 
"We were inspired by Tashi’s story because this world has so much very painful violence and unnecessary suffering in it, and the exiled Tibetan monks devote their lives to promoting a spirit of peace and compassion," she says. "Some people might have ignored the tiny, helpless little life that had become so physically damaged, but the monks saved her. She seemed to me to be a powerful representation of what is possible. How we treat animals paves the way for how we treat each other."
 
The feeling of gratitude and love was reciprocated, as the monks sent a thank you letter and a ribbon blessed by the Dalai Lama to the people at Handicapped Pets. 
 
"It makes us feel great," Murray says, adding, "Sometimes the ripples of those efforts can have more of an impact than is immediately apparent."
 
You can read more of Tashi's story here: Compassion, Dalai Lama Style, and First Steps of Freedom.
 
Image via Handicapped Pets
 





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Wildfire Safety and Preparedness for Your Pet http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/wildfire-safety-and-preparedness-your-pet-34300









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Wildfire Safety and Preparedness for Your Pet


By Dr. Patrick Mahaney    June 13, 2016 at 07:00AM / (0) comments










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Living in southern California, there are many natural disasters we Golden State dwellers face on a seemingly year-round basis, including wildfires, mudslides, and earthquakes. Events where nature one-ups man can occur randomly or may have a seasonal pattern to their destructive tendencies.
 
Fortunately, the seasonal nature of some disasters presents pet owners with the opportunity to prepare ahead so that our canine and feline friends face little or no hardships or health problems.
 
In California, the high heat and dry climate associated with summertime ramps up the concern for wildfires that can strike at any moment.
 
Wildfires, whether started by man-made causes (cigarette butts, campfires, etc.) or natural events (lightning, high-temperature combustion of environmental materials, etc.), commonly cause cataclysmic damage to affected communities.
 
Health Dangers Associated with Wildfires
 
The charred air plaguing wildfire-affected areas harbors irritants that can negatively impact animal and human health. Airborne particulate material irritates pets’ eyes, respiratory tracts, skin, and other body systems. Additionally, inhalation of toxic chemicals from burning fuels, metal, plastics, and even plant material (alkaloids) can cause mild to severe toxic effects to internal organs.
 
The clinical signs your pet may show post-exposure to irritants released by wildfires can vary from mild to severe, pending the degree of exposure, including:

Bletharospasm - squinting of the eyelids
Scleral injection and conjunctivitis - redness to the whites of the eyes (sclera) or tissue lining the eyelids (conjunctiva)
Pawing at the eyes or rubbing the eyes/face on environmental surfaces
Eye discharge
Coughing, wheezing, and other breathing difficulties
Sneezing and nasal discharge
Licking, chewing, or scratching at affected skin
Lethargy
Other

 
Direct exposure to heat will burn both external and internal body parts, including the skin, coat, eyes, mouth, and respiratory tract. Damaged trachea (windpipe) and lungs can’t properly function to permit air flow and oxygen delivery and will lead to hypoxia (oxygen deprivation). Deficient blood oxygen levels causes lethargy, increased respiratory rate and effort, weakness, ataxia (stumbling), syncope (fainting), or even death.
 
To help, owners must prioritize pet welfare during wildfires and other natural disasters. I’ve complied my top safety tips.
 
1. Be aware of the wildfire risks in your area.
Greater Los Angeles is frequently affected by wildfires, so the Los Angeles Times features a continuously updated Fire Map to keep residents informed of potential dangers. Check online to see what resources are available in your area.
 
We can help protect our human and animal family members by taking steps to reduce the likelihood our homes and yards will be affected by wildfire, including removing flammable shrubbery, cleaning gutters, and ensuring that no tree limbs hover over our roofs. See the full set of tips via the Los Angeles Fire Department’s helpful Ready, Set, Go page.
 
2. Know your pet’s location.
The urgency of natural disasters can motivate cats and small dogs to hide under beds, in closets, or to find other hidden spots to escape potential harm. The presence of medium and large-sized canines are generally more-obviously known, but they too may flee from their usual spots in the house, unbeknownst to their owners.
 
Always be aware of your pets’ location in your house, yard, or public place, and be familiar with their day-to-day habits, including preferred places for hiding and napping. Knowing your pets’ habits can facilitate their discovery should a wildfire prompt a sudden departure.
 
3. Properly identify your pet.
Pets that escape from our homes during a disaster like a wildfire are more likely to safely return if they are wearing up-to-date identification. Dogs and cats should wear a cervical (neck) collar or harness embroidered with their information or have an attached tag featuring their name and your phone number or other pertinent information.
 
Tags and collars can fall off or be removed and therefore won’t always guarantee you’ll be reunited with your pet. Having your veterinarian implant a microchip and keeping your personal information up-to-date with the microchip’s manufacturer increases the likelihood your pet will come home in a safe and timely fashion.
 
A 2009 AVMA study evaluating “more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time.”
 
Since microchip identification requires a scanner, and because collars, harnesses, and tags may go missing, using multiple means of pet identification is my recommendation.
 
4. Provide pet-safe transportation.
If wildfires force you to flee, use a pet carrier to provide safe transport. Cats and small dogs should travel in a rigid or soft carrier. Vital information about your pet, including its name, species (dog, cat, etc.), color, breed or mix of breeds, weight, vaccination history, and your contact information should be readily seen on the outside of the carrier.
 
Medium and large-breed dogs aren’t easily transported in a carrier, so use a cervical (neck) collar or chest harness and leash to maintain control of their movements and to facilitate a safe escape.
 
5. Keep a sufficient supply of food, medications, and supplies.
Your pet’s health maintenance plan can be interrupted by wildfires and other disasters, so keep an ample stock of food, medications, and other supplies in readily accessible and transportable containers. Some pets require special diets and consistent dosing with medications and supplements to manage chronic conditions, and ailments can emerge or worsen if proper preparations aren’t taken.
 
Cardiff is in remission for cancer and has a history of Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) and requires consistent medications, supplements, and herbs, so I keep them organized for use at home and while traveling in a “Monday through Sunday AM/PM” pill dispenser. I suggest having at least seven days of your pet’s food and 30 days of medication and supplements prepared should disaster strike.
 
One of the many reasons I recommend my patients eat Honest Kitchen foods and work with the company as a veterinary consultant is that Honest Kitchen diets are whole-food, human-grade, dehydrated, easy to transport, and most only require hydration before serving. This makes Honest Kitchen’s canine and feline meals ideal options for your pet to eat anytime, and especially during a disaster.
 
6. Immediately seek veterinary care.
Wildfires can expose your pet to smoke, fire, or other noxious substances, causing life-threatening damage to vital organs (brain, heart, lungs, etc.). Additionally, tissue damage from trauma or exposure to heat, smoke, or chemicals may not be apparent to pet owners but will be more obvious to the trained eye of veterinarians.
 
If you have concerns that your pet has incurred wildfire-associated trauma or toxicity, urgent care should be sought at an emergency veterinary practice. Besides a physical examination, radiographs (x-rays), blood and urine testing, and other diagnostics are commonly needed to establish a diagnosis and determine the best treatment plan.
 
*
 
For the sake of the well-being of your animal and human family, I hope you and your pets never face the life-changing chaos that occurs during wildfires.
 
All pet owners should have a disaster-preparedness strategy, including the above recommendations, if an event like a wildfire occurs.
 





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Paralyzed Kitten is Off and Running Thanks to Tiny Wheelchair http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/paralyzed-kitten-and-running-thanks-tiny-wheelchair-34292
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