Archive for January, 2016

Proper Pet Intros to Avoid a Trip to the Animal Hospital

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Emergency Vet for Dogs

Although dogs are pack animals by design, there is no guarantee that two dogs will like each other at first meet. An improper first introduction between dogs could end up in a trip to the emergency vet for one or both parties. Luckily, there are steps you as an owner can take to make sure that your dog is properly introduced to a potential new friend, whether that friend is a temporary acquaintance or a new family member.

Know Your Dog

This may seem like a simple concept, but it is by far the most important. Unfortunately, this isn’t always a clear-cut ideal, but it is a good place to start. If you have had your dog for a while, you should have some idea as to your dog’s temperament. If you know that your dog is very dog-aggressive, introductions to new dogs should probably be avoided or very carefully maintained. There is little that can not be trained out of a dog, but training in such cases should be in carefully monitored, muzzled situations with a dog trainer near.

Stay on Leash

When first introducing two dogs to each other, keep each dog on a leash. This gives you, as the owner, control over the situation if things escalate. It also helps to prevent one dog from getting over excited and moving too quickly over the other dog’s personal boundaries. While you have your dog on the leash, make sure to keep a secure hold so that you can slowly allow your dog more space to move towards the other dog. This will allow the dogs to slowly get used to each other. And of course, this gives you the ability to quickly pull your dog away if a fight occurs.

Use Barriers

For example, put up a baby gate and keep one dog on each side of the gate. This allows them some access to each other but prevents any damage if things quickly escalate. This is especially good to use in situations where the leash greet has gone well, but you don’t trust the dogs alone together just yet. This may also be a quick fix in situations where a leash greet isn’t possible.

Keep it Low-Key

If you are introducing your dog to another pack (more than one other dog), then keep in mind that it is best to introduce each separately. Keep the other dogs locked up or, if possible, out of sight while introductions are happening. Allow your dog to get used to the first dog, then switch out with another, and continue rotating until your dog is used to each other dog.

Please note that this process can go quickly, or it can take some time. Once you are ready to start merging them together, continue to go slowly. Add one other dog, allow them to adjust, and then add a third and so forth. Just because two dogs are fine together doesn’t mean that the situation won’t rapidly change when the dogs are together in a pack. As with every step of the process, it’s good to move slowly and really observe the dogs together. Only move forward once you can be sure that the dogs get along fine.

Keep At It

Don’t be discouraged if the meet and greet isn’t going well at first. Allow the dogs some time apart (in different homes if possible and necessary) and then try again. For some dogs, this process can be quick and easy. Sometimes, however, it’s not so simple. With time, patience, and maybe some obedience training, most dogs can eventually live harmoniously together.

For more tips on animal care, safety, or for veterinarian advice, please contact us.

Make Preparations to Take Your Cat to an Emergency Vet Before You Need to Go

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

cat-emergencies

Although in an ideal situation, you would not have to worry about taking your cat to an emergency vet, you should still be prepared for this kind of situation to ensure your cat sees a vet as soon as possible. One of the necessities is finding a place to take your cat, and a 24-hour animal hospital is your best option. Following some of the preparation tips below will ensure that you are ready for any cat-related emergency.

Get a Carrier that Opens from the Top

While you will find plenty of carriers that open from the front, you should not underestimate the importance of getting a carrier that opens from the top as well. If your cat is severely injured, you will find it much easier to gently place them into the carrier when you are able to put them inside from the top opening.

Put a Blanket Inside with Their Scent

If you have an excess of blankets in your home, you should take the time to put one inside the carrier beforehand. It should still have their scent on the blanket as it will help them feel comfortable throughout the trip.

Get Them Used to Driving

When your cat does not enjoy going for drives, you should invest time into to getting them comfortable with driving. It might take a few trips to finally get them used to being in a carrier and in a moving vehicle, but devoting time and effort to this process will pay off if you need to take them to an emergency vet at any time.

Have Cat Treats Set Aside

While it really depends on your cat’s condition in an emergency, you should set aside some cat treats to give to your cat throughout the experience. It is quite possible that they may not be interested in eating them, but if they are willing, you can help them stay calm by rewarding them with treats on the drive.

If you have any questions about cat care, feel free to contact us.

Call the Emergency Vet if Your Dog Displays Symptoms of GDV

Friday, January 1st, 2016

emergency-vet-for-dogs

Although GDV is not often a household term, large breed dog owners may want to familiarize themselves with the signs and symptoms of this severe canine illness.  GDV or Gastric Dilation Volvulus is a very serious, generally life-threatening illness seen primarily in large and giant dog breeds.  In essence, GDV occurs when the canine stomach fills with either gas or food and rotates on itself, trapping the gas and other contents in the stomach and preventing blood supply from reaching the stomach and spleen.  As a result, the stomach tissue can become necrotic or the bloat (another term used for GDV) can cause the stomach to rupture.  In addition, the significant expansion of the stomach often places pressure on the dog’s heart and lungs, which may lead to difficulty breathing or possibly an abnormal heart rhythm.

Common symptoms of GDV include a significantly distended stomach, belching, retching and unproductive vomiting, lethargy, panting, excessive salivation, severe abdominal pain, pale gums, and restlessness. If a dog has GDV, no amount of belching or attempted vomiting will provide relief.  Due to the twisting of the stomach, its contents are trapped both at the intake and the output.  GDV is an emergency and your dog’s life is in danger within a matter of hours, sometimes even less.  Contact an emergency vet immediately if you suspect your dog is suffering from GDV.

GDV is a frightening illness that requires professional intervention.  If you have questions regarding GDV or your canine friend experiences symptoms similar to those listed above, contact us as soon as possible.  Time is of the essence in treating this life-threatening illness.