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Tips for Exercising with Dogs and Cats

Terriers playing fetch / Bala on Flickr Creative Commons

Spring is here and time to get moving. It is easy to overdo it though, especially when encouraged by exuberant pets. Here are tips for exercising dogs and cats safely.

Spring Time Hazards
Veterinary Medicine Spotlight10

Danger Zone: Pets Left in Hot Cars

Wednesday April 23, 2014

Dog in Car by Maxim Kazantsev on Flickr

Every year dogs (cats and children, too) die in parked cars, usually left there "for just a few minutes" or in some cases, accidentally forgotten in the car. In this news story, a dog repeatedly honked the horn to save himself. I wish it was that simple. Even working police dogs have died in parked cars in summer heat. These dogs die a horrible death from heatstroke.

Heatstroke is when the body overheats (>104F in animals) and is very common in dogs. Dogs with short noses, those who are overweight, or have heart and lung problems are at even greater risk. Read More...

National Pet ID Week: April 20-26th, 2014

Monday April 21, 2014

Scanning a dog for a microchip Scanning a dog for a microchip  Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM

Does Your Pet Carry ID?

Wearing a collar with identification tags is the first step. One thing never planned for is if that collar slips off (or is removed by someone along the way). Other potential problems are individual tags falling off or becoming so worn over time that they are difficult to read.

Microchips are a valuable 'back up' to wearing a collar. Many shelters microchip animals prior to adoption, and veterinarians also "chip" pets. While a scanner (see photo) is necessary to access the chip number and subsequently, the pet owner information, microchips are responsible for thousands of pets being reunited with their families.

Microchips must be registered - there are several companies that do this, varying costs - so that the chip number can be traced to you should your pet become lost.

Important reminder: microchips (and tags) are only as useful as the information they carry. Be sure to check tags and your microchip registrar to ensure that your contact information, including cell phone numbers, is up to date.

Related:

Photo: Scanning a dog for a microchip Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM


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All Ears - Questions About Common Ear Problems

Friday April 18, 2014

Nero the Boston Terrier / BL4d3RuNr on FlickrItchy ears, scratching, shaking, and swollen ears are a common problem for dogs. Cats too, suffer from various ear problems. Some ear conditions are primary (mites), and some problems are secondary -- hematomas, bacterial infections from scratching, etc.

Whatever the cause, most ear problems require assistance to clear up, since the frequent scratching, rubbing, and shaking of the ears only add to the problem.

Learn more about: Ear infections, ear mites and aural (ear flap) hematomas in dogs and cats.

Related Reading:

Photo: Nero the Boston Terrier / BL4d3RuNr on Flickr


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Lily Toxicity in Cats

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Easter Lily Dreamstime / Fedor KondratenkoAt this time of year, Easter Lilies are everywhere. These lilies, and their botanical relatives, including Stargazer lily, Day lily, Asian lily and Tiger lily, are popular choices for holiday bouquets and are the favorites of many gardeners.

What makes lilies poisonous is still unknown, but it is known that lilies are very toxic to cats and the toxin is soluble in water. Read More...

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