Stinky Dog? The 411 on Your Dog’s Bad Breath

Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 in Uncategorized Comments Off on Stinky Dog? The 411 on Your Dog’s Bad Breath

A dog is a wonderful addition to a family, but having a dog does require a good amount of love, patience, and responsibility. From potty training and feeding to ensuring your new puppy is healthy and happy, it is easy to see the challenges of having this new family member. While this is surprising for many to learn, a dog’s breath plays a key role in their underlying health and wellness. With this guide and the help of veterinarian, you will understand what is affecting your dog’s breath and learn the best options for treating canine halitosis. The 411 on Your Dog’s Halitosis Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, affects many humans, but it can also be an issue for your dog. Unfortunately, your dog’s halitosis could be caused by a variety of factors, so a veterinarian should examine your dog to determine the root cause. In most cases, your dog’s bad breath will stem from gum disease. Most dogs will develop some signs of periodontal disease by the age of three, but foul breath is the main symptom of this condition. Dogs with severe periodontal disease may have dark discoloration on their teeth and red, swollen gums. Other medical conditions can cause your dog to develop halitosis. Metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, increase toxins in your dog’s body. These toxins can cause your dog to have bad breath. Kidney disease is also a common metabolic disease. Kidney disease prevents your dog’s kidneys from filtering toxins, leading to serious levels of toxins in the body. If your dog tends to have sour-smelling breath, they may have a form of kidney disease. Respiratory and sinus issues are also linked to chronic bad breath. If your dog’s nose or nasal passages are blocked or inflamed, your dog may develop bad breath due to the possible bacteria growth. Gastrointestinal issues, such as acid reflux or even stomach cancer, can enlarge and irritate the esophagus, leading to foul breath. If your dog has bad breath, and you are noticing changes in their appetite, consult your veterinarian immediately. Treatment for Your Dog’s Halitosis Improving your dog’s bad breath is possible, but you will first need to treat the underlying cause of their halitosis. To treat periodontal disease, your dog’s veterinarian will perform an involved cleaning of their teeth. Special instruments are used to clean and polish the teeth, removing any plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums. Teeth that have more than 50 percent loss of bone and gum tissue will need to be extracted. Most people do not place importance on their dog’s dental health, but proper brushing can reduce the risk of periodontal disease. Use the following steps to brush your dog’s teeth each day at home. Moisten a pet-specific toothbrush with water. If you do not have a toothbrush for your dog, use a child’s soft-bristled toothbrush. Apply a pea-sized amount of pet-specific toothpaste to the brush. Ask a friend or family member to help you keep your dog calm and happy during the process. Petting and lightly scratching your dog will help them remain relaxed. Lift your dog’s lip on one side, exposing their teeth and gums. Begin brushing the teeth and gums with gentle, circular motions. Lift your dog’s lip on the other side to brush the rest of...

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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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