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Care Animal Hospital
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Springtime Sniffles

Does your pet suffer from seasonal allergies?
With spring in full swing, many of us start to plan for our annual allergies. With pollination beginning and new plants sprouting up, we humans gear up for our daily Dogs regimen of allergy protection techniques. But, did you know that our pets can suffer from seasonal allergies as well? Just like humans, our furry friends can suffer from food, medicinal and environmental/ seasonal allergies. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of such allergies, because if left untreated, our pets can become very ill. Dogs tend to have more issues with allergies than our feline friends, but none-the-less it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your cats, too.

Signs to Look For:
Our pets can have the usual allergy symptoms of congestion, sneezing, coughing and runny noses and eyes. In addition, your pet may begin continuously scratching themselves, or rubbing against walls, furniture and the floor. Licking and biting at their skin is also a key sign of allergies. Sometimes, scratching and biting can be associated with a severe flea allergy.

Did you know that when your dog is licking or biting at their skin, the saliva will turn their fur a reddish color? Beyond red fur, your pets’ skin can also become red and inflamed. It is important to seek out your veterinarian when this occurs. The more irritated the skin is, the more likely that infection will take place. A scaly rash can be an indicator of infection. It is also important to watch for ear infections. You should be mindful of pets shaking their head, rubbing their ears, and/or a brownish discharge inside the ears. Ear infections can even be the first allergy indicator.

Seek Help:
Consult your veterinarian if you suspect that your pet has allergies. Many times they are very easy to control, but once they get out of hand it can be difficult and uncomfortable for your pet to treat. Your veterinarian can recommend the most effective method to prevent and manage your pet’s allergy symptoms.

Wishing you and your furry friends a wonderful (sniffle-free) springtime!
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Does My Senior Pet Need Bloodwork?
 
Here’s a quick explanation on why it’s good to get annual blood tests for your senior (7+ yrs) pet:

If done consistently, annual blood tests can help a veterinarian track and evaluate the overall condition of a pet’s vital organs and health.  In addition, blood tests can help a veterinarian detect early signs of many serious health conditions such as: kidney disease, diabetes, hypo- and hyperthyroidism, and liver disease.

Senior profiles are more comprehensive and will provide a more thorough evaluation of your pet’s current health.  These panels can also provide a good look into the body’s response to medications and anesthesia.  There are different types of blood tests that can be done, all performing different functions.  A CBC, complete blood cell count, looks for adequate red and white blood cell numbers and checks their present condition.  The chemistry profile looks at various organ enzymes, glucose, proteins, electrolytes, and cholesterol.  Finally, senior panels also look at thyroid function, making sure it is not over or under active.  In addition, your veterinarian may need to check your pet’s urine for signs of disease.

Routine blood work is useful in many applications: to establish a baseline on a healthy pet to compare to later, to help diagnose a pet that is “just not right”, and in geriatric pets.  Speak to your veterinarian today to see if a senior blood panel is right for your furry friend.
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Is Your Car Too Warm For Your Pet?
 
Leaving your pet in a car on a hot summer day can put your pet at risk of serious illness or death, even on a day that doesn’t seem that hot to you. Here are a few reasons why your pet should never be left unattended in a vehicle.
 
- Your car temperature can rise 40 degrees per hour, meaning a 72 degree day can feel like 112 in your car within 60 minutes.
- It’s been shown that rolling down the windows has little effect on the temperature inside your vehicle.
- On warmer days your car can reach temperatures of 120 degrees within minutes.
 
It’s important to leave your pet at home or in a cooler environment on hot days to avoid heatstroke symptoms including: excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, decreased appetite, rapid heartbeat, fever and vomiting. If your pet shows any signs of overheating, it is imperative to get them cooled off immediately and taken to a veterinarian for additional care.
 
Do you have any tips to keep your pet safe on hot summer days? Share with us below!
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Don’t Lose Your Pet This Summer

Summer is your pet’s favorite time of the year. The grass is green, the water is cool and there is more daylight to enjoy the outdoors. In rural areas it’s easy let your pet roam free without a care, but how do you ensure they always end up back in your arms? Here are a few good ways to help make sure you never lose your furry friend.

1. Pet Tags: The simplest way ensure your pet doesn’t stay lost for long is to add a small tag to their collar that includes the pet’s name and your phone number. If the constant jingling of a tag drives you or your pet crazy, simply have the contact information embroidered directly onto their collar.
2. Microchips: A more advanced solution to pet tags, a microchip about the size of a grain of rice can be embedded under the skin. Animal shelters that scan for these chips successfully deliver pets with microchips back to their families at a 75% rate.
3. GPS Tracking: The latest and greatest in pet reunification. Track your pet from an app on your mobile device to be ever-connected with your animal. As a bonus, you can even use the device as an activity monitor to learn how much exercise your pet is getting. These apps do however come with a monthly fee to maintain location service.

How do you keep your pet from getting lost? Let us know in the comments below.
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Do You Understand Your Pet’s Nutritional Needs?

Although your pet may love to eat just about anything you give to them, it’s important to understand that their nutritional needs are different from ours.

The average human needs to consume 2000-2500 calories per day. A small, low-activity dog or average sized cat needs only 200-350 calories per day, while a 70-90 pound dog should consume 1000-2000 calories per day.

Unfortunately, many of our pets eat much more than that on a daily basis. It’s no wonder over a quarter of all cats and dogs are overweight.

Next time you’re about to give your furry friend a handful of human food, consider these guidelines.

1. Dogs should consume a minimum of 18% of their daily calories from protein and 10-15% from fat. 
2. Cats need a minimum of 35-40% of their daily calories from protein and 30% from fat.
3. There is no minimum amount of calories your dog or cat must consume from carbohydrates.
4. Just like humans, dogs and cats are made up of 60-70% water, so it’s vital that they stay hydrated throughout the day. 
5. If you can’t feel your dog or cat's ribs without pressing, chances are they’re overweight. Make an effort to exercise with your pet this summer.

Do you have any additional nutrition tips for pet owners? Let us know in the comments below.
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