Home | Dogs (page 10)

Category Archives: Dogs

Feed Subscription

A Lump in the Night – Should You See the Vet?

Bear has a bum paw

The bandaged foot, kept clean and dry.

Barret had spent the evening on my lap, as usual, but I noticed after a bit that he was chewing on one of his paws. I got up to examine it and was shocked to find a red, raw, inflamed toe. Just one toe, and it had to be twice the size of the rest of his toes. It looked painful!

I examined his paw for the source of the discomfort, a cut or scratch, maybe a burr or stone, even a bug bite, but could not find anything. He didn’t seem like he was in pain and was perfectly content to lick on his Lickety Stick while I soaked his foot in warm soapy water and bandaged it up. In every other way he seemed completely normal. I made the decision to keep an eye on it and treat it at home.

ouchie!

Bear’s offending paw. Looks painful!

The next night, he was relaxing on his back while I gave a well-deserved belly rub when I noticed a large lump had formed in his armpit (on the same leg as the swollen toe). Why is it that we find these things after regular vet hours? I hopped on the internet and did some searching. There wasn’t much to go on but I had myself convinced it was a lymph node swollen because of the infection in his toe. The next morning I made an appointment with my regular vet and was fully convinced that I’d leave with a course of antibiotics and instructions to keep the toe clean.

I’m very glad I consulted with my vet, because on further examination my assumption was wrong. The toe was infected, though it was a more severe infection that I had originally thought. It required 2 full courses of antibiotics before it cleared up. The lump on his armpit is another matter entirely. The doc’s conclusion was that it is a cyst with a clearly defined blood supply, but should cause him no problems and doesn’t need to be removed unless it starts to get in his way. Phew!

The moral of the story is that you should always consult your veterinarian rather than making guesses at home. Your kids’ health is at stake! If I hadn’t sought care for Barret’s foot, the infection could have spread and required IV antibiotics or more drastic measures.

Glad to be back from the vet

Back from the vet with a clean bill of health

Dogs often have lumps and growths all over their bodies and as pet parent’s it is our duty to examine and find these anomalies early, before they get out of hand.  Many lumps and bumps, like Bear’s cyst, are benign and nothing to worry about, but a similar lump might actually be cancerous and require treatment. The earlier you find and treat a problem, the easier it is to manage.

Watch for a future article where I’ll go over a step by step home physical so that we can track the changes in our pets bodies and know when to schedule an appointment with the vet. In the meantime, please share your stories of lumps or bumps that turned out to be nothing or turned out to be problematic. We can learn from each other’s experiences.

-Heather

Porcupine Problems – How to Handle a Pet that has been Quilled

PorcupineDogs love to run, play and explore. Their rambunctious ramblings and curiousity may well be some of your favorite attributes about your pet. Personally, I love to watch my dogs off-leash in the countryside where they can run free, roll around and really live life to it’s fullest, even if it’s only for a few hours each week. While we love to let them roam and investigate new places and things, there is always the possibilty that they may run into something unfamiliar or even dangerous in the wild frontier.  A single encounter with today’s creature of topic can result in a face full of painful pricks. not to mention anguish (yours and your dogs) and the potential for a hefty vet bill.  Let’s talk a little about the prickly porcupine. Read More »

Canine Influenza: What You Need to Know

YorkieHave you heard of Canine Influenza? Like the flu that can cause us misery any time of year, this virus is a highly contagious, airborne illness that can affect the respiratory system of your dog if he is exposed.  Recently, a number of cases have been reported and confirmed in Lancaster County, triggering the temporary closure of several local kennels and boarding facilities.  This virus is easily spread with a cough or a sneeze from an affected pet, and it can be transferred or contaminate any surface, potentially infecting any other dog that walks through the area. While the virus can make your pet quite ill, the bright side is that it is rarely fatal. Here are some other quick facts about Canine Influenza you should know. Read More »

Pet Compatibility – Helping to Ensure Successful Cohabitation Between Pets and People

Boxer & CatBringing a new pet into the family or combining households each coming with their own pets can pose some interesting problems. It’s important to consider the logistics of forming relationships between pets and between people and pets before rushing them into a situation that may be strenuous for all involved. There are some easy ways to minimize or even eliminate problems during these transitions if you are willing to take take the steps necessary.

Adopting a New Friend

Whether you may be looking into adopting your first pet or bringing a new one into the family, it’s important to meet lots of candidates before deciding on the one who will fit best in your family. While you may be attracted to a specific breed or look, it is ultimately a pet’s personality that will make integration a success.

Doggie kissIf you already have a dog or cat or have previous experience in living with one (or more), you probably already have an idea what you’re looking for in your next companion. You probably already know what works for you as far as pet behavior and personality and what animals may be the best fit for your situation. First time pet people may have more difficulty in making the right choice and getting past the first impression they may have from a photo or first glance. Pet seekers may think that they know what they want, but may fail to understand the tendancies and potential issues that may come along with specific types of pets, and it may be hard to muster patience and understanding to get through if you’re a first-timer. As a result return rates to shelters can be as high as 20 percent, failed connections and sad endings that may have been avoided with a little more time or planning.

The ASPCA has developed a simple and effective method for helping those ready for their next friend to find a good fit. Their Meet Your Match program begins with a personality assessment of each pet they bring in to determine each individual’s dominant traits and characteristics including friendliness, playfulness, energy level, ect. The animals are then categorized into one of nine color-coded personality types including laid-back “Couch Potatoes,” or “Go-Getter” types.  The personalities are not assigned on preconceived breed notions, but on the individual.  These classifications help you as a potential adopter, to meet cats or dogs with personalities who might suit you best. While you are not restricted to choose pets in your category, representatives encourage you to meet and interact with these pets first in hopes of creating a forever situation.

Be sure to consider how any current pets may feel or adapt to a new pet in the house as well.

Pulling Pets Together

Cats GroomingPerhaps you are adopting a second pet or maybe you’ve reached a point in your life where you will be combining households, whether through a new marriage, relationship or some other situation. Now both sides have to consider how your pet(s) will adjust to new surroundings or new entities that haven’t been in a shared space before. Some pets venture through these transitions with ease, while others can become stressed or exhibit undesireable “acting-out” behaviors you may not expect or appreciate. Take steps to ensure a smooth move and adjustment, but stay prepared for issues that may arise that could require extra attention, patience, time from the humans in the house.

One of the most important first steps is to let potential housemates meet and interact in a neutral location. This helps to seed relationships without as many complications with territoriality and/or possessiveness.  Dogs may be a little easier to socialize than other pets. Take the pups and the whole family to the dog park or a similar locale to meet and play, and do it several times so everybody gets to know each other. If you’re adopting, ask the shelter if you can bring your current pet(s) to meet the potential adoptee–many shelters will ask that you do othis anyway, and they often have dog runs or contained areas where the animals can interact before you bring the new pet home. Keep open communication about your pets, making sure (specifically with children) that you all know what pets like and don’t like. If your dog doesn’t like his ears touched, for example, be sure the new crew knows it to prevent any misunderstanding.

Once things seem kosher on neutral ground, give the new home a visit. It may help to remove familiar items like toys, bowls and treats from the area which may bring out some territoriality in established animals. Be watchful during these initial visits to deal with any problem behaviors. Dogs are pretty good at communicating and setting up a natural order.  After a few visits the pecking order should be established and the permanent move should be pretty smooth. Be consistant in training and attention to all pets involved so the natural order isn’t upset by jealousy or competition.

Cats and other pets may not be quite as easy. Try slow introductions and be sure to give them some space to avoid each other if they want to. Remember, even if you take all the precursory steps, matches aren’t always ensured and sometimes a relationsip may never form between pets (or pets and people for that matter). Just be prepared to accommodate if they choose not to like each other, possibly even dedicating seperate spaces where they can avoid each other.

 

Cats Grooming image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Jessica Deily
Doggie Kiss image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Mike Baird

Pedicures for Pups – The Importance of Paw Maintenance

Paw PartsLike the human foot, your dog’s paws are designed by nature to function to protect leg bones and joints from the impact of walking, running, and jumping.  The specialized calloused tissue of the pads form a protective barrier against hot and cold and help your dog to grip terrain as they explore. We’re fortunate to have a plethora of shoe styles to protect our feet, and the luxury of going for periodic foot pampering sessions and exams to ensure that our feet can do their job effectively. Did you know that there are lots of easy things you can do at home for your pet to keep his paws in prime condition too? Take a look below to learn some simple ways to keep your pet’s peds happy and healthy year round. Read More »

Choosing the Best Collar, Lead, or Harness for Your Dog

So you got a new puppy or adopted a new forever friend and now you’re in a mad dash to find the perfect accessories for your new pet. It seems like it should be an easy thing to do, but your choice may not be so cut-and-dry once you’re faced with a row of products to pick from. Lets talk a little about some of the popular products and maybe the decision making process will be a little easier for you.

Collars

There are lots of different collars on the market made of lots of different materials and designed to help you best handle your pet.  You can find collars constructed of nylon, rubber, vinyl, leather, recycled materials, natural fiber like hemp or bamboo, or metal; some are embellished with gems, ribbons or other decorations.  Typically, the material of the collar is choosen for durability and to appeal to you, the handler.  These materials are also used to provide the ultimate comfort to your pet. For the most part these materials are inert, but on rare occasions dogs with sensitive skin or skin allergies may develop skin irritations to some materials. If you notice frequent itching or irritation around your pet’s neck, you may need to consider a collar of a different style or material. A collar of any of these materials can have a long life…but your choice should be influenced by your dog’s personality and lifestyle. The most popular collars are basic, reliable woven (or leather) with either metal or plastic buckles. These collars are easy to adjust, easy to clean, and perfect for everyday wear. Rubber and rubber-coated “ultimate” collars share a similar design, but are resistant to water, odors and stains, great for swimmers or sporting dogs! Read More »

Holiday Gifts for Pets – Was Your Pet Naughty or Nice This Year?

90% of pet owners consider their pets part of the family (I can’t imagine it any other way) so it is safe to assume that many of your pets have Christmas gifts under the tree this year.  I thought it would be interesting to find out what the top gifts for pets were this holiday season.

First, a couple of fun pet facts from PetFinder:

Americans spend about $5 billion on holiday presents for their furry friends.

40% of dog owners and 37% of cat owners hang Christmas stockings for their pets.

About one quarter of both dog owners (27%) and cat owners (23%) sign their pet’s name on greeting cards or notes.

64% of surveyed pet owners said they include news about their pet, and 36% include a photograph. in their holiday cards.

About 27% of pet owners claim to have taken their pet to a professional photographer to have a picture taken with family, Santa, or the Easter Bunny.

Read More »

Take the That Pet Blog Challenge on Smarterer

Good Day That Pet Blog Readers!

I created a trivia test on Smarterer.com to test your dog knowledge. It’s free to take the test, but you will need to create an account with them or login with your Facebook information. Are you ready to take the That Pet Blog challenge?

Hint: Most of the answers are found in past blogs

Take the test, see how you score, then you can even add your own questions to the pool! And be sure to let us know how you scored in the comments!

Have fun!

-Heather


iPhone Apps are Going to the Dogs!

pet blogI spend a lot of time with my phone. Probably too much time, to be honest. I rely on it for everything from deciding what restaurant to try this weekend to communicating with clients. While I don’t always like being connected to my phone 24/7, it does have its advantages, especially when you’re on the run with dogs in tow! I thought it might be fun to open up my phone and share with you the apps that I use most for my pets. Read More »

Battling Bad Dog Breath

48/365 - Puppy Kisses!Most of us love getting lots of smooches from our pets, but sometimes their breath is so stinky it just isn’t enjoyable anymore. This is clearly a problem that many pet owners face as there are hundreds of products on the market today aimed at battling bad breath including toys, mints, gels, pastes and liquids. How do you decide what to try?

Gross! Dog Breath!Many parents of foul-breath pets don’t realize that the odor can be caused by more than just plaque and bacteria. Bad breath, or halitosis, can be a sign of a more serious malady. If you notice that your pet’s breath is fouler than usual, the best advice I can give you is to visit your veterinarian to rule out serious problems like digestive issues, oral disease or tooth decay, lung conditions, kidney or liver disease, and even diabetes. If your dog has serious oral problems or shows signs of tooth decay, you may want to set up an appointment at your vet’s office for a thorough cleaning.

Once serious disease and oral conditions have been ruled out or treated, it is time to start a regular oral hygiene regimen. You’ll be most successful if you start regularly cleaning your dog’s teeth when he’s a puppy so he becomes used to the sensations, but move slowly in introducing your pet to this new grooming procedure whether he is young or old. Read More »

Scroll To Top