5 Online Features To Look For In Your Animal Hospital

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Uncategorized Comments Off on 5 Online Features To Look For In Your Animal Hospital

If you are looking for a new veterinary practice for your pet’s regular check ups or are trying to find an emergency pet clinic to have on call in case of an emergency, there are several features that you should look for. For example, it is important to find a veterinarian whom you trust and works well with your pets but is also located reasonably close to your home. Among all of the services that you should look for, you should also consider the online services that your potential animal hospital offers. If you have constant access to the internet through your smartphone or at home, it may be easier to handle many of your veterinary issues online. Below are five services you should ask potential animal hospitals if they offer.  Online Appointment Booking  Online appointment booking can vary from simply allowing you to request an appointment via email and sending you a return email once your appointment has been made, to instant booking through a special program that allows you to see all appointment slots that are currently available. Some booking systems will allow you to book appointments with a certain veterinarian while others will only allow you to book a time. Additionally, some systems will allow you to write more information about your appointment while others only accept your contact information.  Before committing to a veterinarian or animal hospital, you should try to use their online booking service. You should make sure that it is easy to use and that you get a confirmation of your appointment soon after you book it.  Updated Schedules For Each Veterinarian It is common for pet owners to want their pets to be seen by the same veterinarian every time they take them in for an appointment. However, many animal hospitals do not schedule pets to see specific veterinarians. If there is more than one veterinarian working at the hospital, you should make sure that there is an online schedule that lets you know the hours each veterinarian is scheduled to work. This way, you are more likely to schedule your appointment when your preferred veterinarian is working.  An Easy Way to Download Forms, Information, and Checklists  Downloading forms and filling them out before you arrive at the animal hospital can save you time in the waiting room. Downloading information and checklists helps ensure that you are educated about the best way to care for your pet, especially after common veterinarian procedures. You should look for a download area on your animal hospital’s website. Alternatively, you should ask if documents and forms can be emailed to you when you make an appointment.  Chat Assistance  In case of emergency, you should call your veterinarian’s emergency number or take your pet to the nearest animal hospital. However, sometimes your pet is not ill enough to warrant emergency care but you are still concerned about their condition. Many offices offer online chat systems that allow you to chat with a vet assistant that can inform you of whether you should bring your pet in for an immediate examination or schedule an appointment for your pet. They can also give you advice on how to transport and care for an injured pet.  A Mobile App  If you will frequently make appointments with your smartphone, it...

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3 Facts About Rabies Dog Owners Need to Know

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Uncategorized Comments Off on 3 Facts About Rabies Dog Owners Need to Know

In some parenting circles, a trend of declining children’s vaccines has sprung up. The reasons for avoiding vaccines range from fear of side-effects to questions about the efficacy of the vaccines. This trend has led to a resurgence of diseases like measles in some areas. Now, some veterinarians are concerned that the anti-vaccination movement is spreading to pet owners as well. There are only a few vaccinations that are required for dogs, including those for distemper, parvovirus, and rabies. The consequences of avoiding these vaccines can be disastrous. If you’re on the fence about vaccinating your dog, take a look at a few facts about rabies to understand why vaccinations are so important. There is No Cure The first thing that you need to know about rabies is that there is no cure for the disease. If your unvaccinated dog is bitten by a wild animal, the CDC recommends that it be euthanized immediately. If you don’t want to do that, your only other option is to place your animal in isolation, at your own expense, for up to six months, and vaccinate them a month before they’re released, assuming no rabies symptoms develop in the meantime. This protocol is similar to what will happen if your unvaccinated pet bites a person. If your pet is put into quarantine after a bite or other rabies exposure and it develops symptoms of rabies, then your pet will be euthanized. There are no tests for rabies and no cure for a pet that’s started showing symptoms. By contrast, if your vaccinated pet is bitten by a wild animal, it will need a booster shot and may need to be temporarily quarantined, but it will most likely survive. The rabies vaccine is thus a lifesaver for your pet. Rabies Is Dangerous to Humans Too The possibility of a rabies infection is also dangerous for human owners. Humans can be treated for a bite from a possible carrier of rabies with a prophylactic treatment administered before symptoms start showing. However, even for humans, once symptoms are evident, the chances of survival are slim. A controversial treatment known as the Milwaukee Protocol, which involves putting the patient into a chemically-induced coma, has saved a handful of human patients over the years, but more patients have not survived the treatment than those who have. Getting your dog vaccinated for rabies is not only a lifesaving act for your pet. It may be a lifesaving act for you and any other humans your dog comes in contact with as well. There Is Help for Adverse Reactions While most veterinarians agree that the benefits of a rabies vaccination outweighs any risk of adverse reactions, it’s still understandable that as a loving dog owner, you might worry about possible adverse reactions to a vaccine. Possible adverse reactions include fever, diarrhea or vomiting, pain, redness, or swelling around the infections site, and difficulty breathing. These can definitely be scary symptoms for you and your dog. However, there are things that you can do to avoid adverse reactions. Make sure that you’re present when vaccines are being administered. You know your dog best, and you may be able to recognize signs that something is wrong faster than a veterinarian or vet tech, so that any reaction can be addressed immediately...

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The 411 on Canine Separation Anxiety

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in Uncategorized Comments Off on The 411 on Canine Separation Anxiety

A dog can bring joy, love, and excitement to your household, but your new family member will require a great deal of time and energy. From feeding and grooming to training and providing your dog with medical care, these tasks are essential for your dog’s health and wellness. Unfortunately, certain conditions may arise even when you properly care for your dog. Considering that separation anxiety affects an estimated 20 percent of the 80 million dogs in the nation, understanding this condition is key to helping your own dog. Using this guide, you will understand separation anxiety and learn the best options for treating your dog’s condition. Separation Anxiety in Dogs While surprising for many dog owners to learn, separation anxiety is an actual disorder that not only affects your dog’s well-being, but potentially your home and belongings. You will most likely realize your dog has separation anxiety after leaving home for a period of time. The separation may cause your dog to feel lonely and act out on this emotion. When you return home, you may notice the following: Damaged belongings—Your dog may chew on furniture, pillows, toys, clothing, shoes, and even plants. You may also notice scratches, chew marks, dings, and dents on windows, walls, and doors. Bathroom accidents—Many dogs with separation anxiety are unable to control their bowels or bladder, so bathroom accidents are common. Your dog may urinate or defecate all over the house while you are away. Dogs with separation anxiety will act abnormally while you are away, but you will not be able to see this behavior. However, understanding what your dog goes through while suffering with this form of anxiety is helpful. Your dog will constantly pace around the home, moving back and forth until they see you again. They may also bark, whine, and howl while you are away. If you confine your dog in a crate, room, or section of a room while they are away, their anxiety may increase their desire to escape these spaces. Treating your Dog’s Separation Anxiety If your dog is showing signs of separation anxiety, schedule a veterinary consultation. After documenting your dog’s behavior while you’re away and completing a full physical exam to rule out medical problems, the veterinarian will most likely use desensitization to treat the anxiety. Desensitization is the most common treatment for canine separation anxiety, but this method of training will take some time and effort. To get started, make your dog accustomed to hearing your car and house keys jingle. Pick the keys up and shake them periodically to test their behavior. Dogs with separation anxiety will begin to pace, bark, or whine when hearing these keys jingle. Jingle the keys repeatedly through the day, over a couple of weeks. Each time you jingle the keys, your dog should feel less anxiety and show less erratic behavior. Once your dog feels at ease while you’re shaking your keys, begin walking to the door and turning the doorknob. This is an additional element to desensitizing your dog. Repeat the motion repeated over a few weeks, allowing them time to feel less stress when completing this act. An estimated 3 million dogs are on currently on anti-anxiety medications in the United States, so you may choose this option for your own dog’s separation...

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