Holiday Jewel Collar Charmsadds a festive sparkle to your pet’s look. The favorite holiday motifs glitters with a dazzling array of colored rhinestones. The losbster claw clasps makes the Holiday Jewel Collar Charms easy to attach to any collar or pet necklace.
Protect your pets picnic area or play area from the elements with the 10 x 10 foot Pup Tent. This free-standing cover is crafted from durable gray polyethylene tarp and features a 1.375-inch gray powder-coated steel pipe frame. For added coverage it also features UV protection. The cover fits over an existing 10 x 10 x 6 foot kennel and snaps together for easy no-tool installation. Measures 10L x 8.5W.King Canopy’s mission is to provide quality innovative outdoor items to meet your every need. This North Carolina-based company provides a wide array of products such as canopies cabanas and recreational covers. Their durably-built kennel accessories are perfect for use in any outdoor situation and are both safe and convenient for you and your pet.
Isn’t it fun when you find the perfect card? The new “Artlist Collection” greeting card sets offer a rich variety of dog breeds and a dazzling array of card-styles, so finding that perfect card will be a breeze. In every set there are 2 cards of 6 different styles. That’s a grand total of 12 cards and 12 envelopes. The sets are sold by breed, so they are perfect for the person who knows, “That’s my breed!” The images range from whimsical to portrait-style, and everything in between. Enjoy the artistic quality of the photography as much as the hyper-stylish design, and relish the fact that what you are buying the best. The cards are blank inside so they can be used for any occasion. The perfect gift!
For many people, dealing with their pet’s bad breath is just part of pet ownership. But, unfortunately, dogs with dental disease are at a higher risk for heart disease. How can you help to make sure your pet is not one of those destined to be on heart medication?
Most of us understand the importance of good oral health for ourselves and visit our dentist at least twice a year. But only a small percentage of people would do the same thing for their pets. Studies in human dentistry and medicine have shown that there appears to be an association between heart disease and dental disease. Is this true for our pets as well?
In a recent nationwide veterinary study, more than 45,000 cases of dogs with serious dental disease were reviewed. These dogs were compared with another 45,000 dogs of similar gender, age, and breed that did not have any dental disease. Their report shows that there appears to be a strong association between the health of your pet’s mouth and the incidence of other health issues, such as heart murmurs or even infection of the lining of the heart.
Dental care of dogs and cats is one of the most commonly overlooked areas of pet health care. A recent American Animal Hospital Association report on compliance within veterinary practices showed than less that 35% of pets who need a dental cleaning ever receive one. The reasons for this level of non-compliance are many, but often, pet owners will report that they just didn’t know their pets needed dental work or even that their pets suffered from periodontal disease.
Just as with people, periodontal disease in our pets starts the same way. It begins when food particles, saliva, and bacteria attached to the teeth produce a filmy matrix called “plaque”. If this matrix is not disrupted, “calculus” forms. More commonly known as tartar, the calculus makes the surface of the tooth rough and provides a better hold for more bacteria and helps to protect the bacteria from being dislodged. These bacteria will then infect the gums, causing a condition known as gingivitis. If not treated appropriately, gingivitis can progress into periodontal disease, destroying the bone that supports the tooth. It’s hard to believe, but there may even be an association between dirty teeth and other serious diseases. The same bacteria that cause dental disease have been found in the hearts of dogs with heart disease.
To help prevent dental problems from becoming a serious health issue, veterinarians recommend that oral health care start early. Your new puppy or kitten should become comfortable with you examining its mouth. Early training will help the pet to learn to tolerate brushing and other preventive measures and will help you recognize abnormalities. Simple awareness of the health of your pet’s mouth can help you to provide better health care for your pet. As your pet ages, a weekly check of the mouth may also help to find issues before they become dangerous. You should take time to look for plaque and tartar, especially on the large canine teeth in the front of the mouth and the big shearing teeth in the back of the mouth. Other potential areas of concern include fractured teeth, gum tissue that is overgrown or does not appear to be a healthy pink color, bleeding from the gums or any ulceration in the mouth. In addition to using your eyes, your nose can be an important tool as well. Pets are not supposed to have bad breath! If you can detect any foul odor, or if you see any problems in your pet’s mouth, your pet should be seen by your family veterinarian.
There is a great advancement you should know about. After you have done your weekly exam, you can further help to protect your pet by using a barrier sealant called OraVetTM. This product has helped to revolutionize at home dental care for pets. In less than one minute per week, your pet’s teeth can be protected and the effects of plaque and calculus can be minimized. By adhering to the surface of the teeth, OraVetTM gel actually helps to repel plaque causing bacteria. Without plaque formation, dental disease is much less likely to begin or get worse. For optimal results, see your veterinarian to have your pet’s teeth cleaned, followed by an initial application of OraVetTM applied after the dentistry. You then simply continue weekly applications with a home care kit.
You are an important part of the fight against dental disease. Working with your veterinarian, you can learn to identify potential problems earlier and help your pet lead a, healthier life. For more information on veterinary dentistry, visit www.oravet.com.
We trust that medications for our families and our pets are made with the highest regard for purity and safety. But, several recent high profile cases have unnerved many people and created a negative spotlight for compounding pharmacies. So, can you trust the medications your veterinarian orders for your pet?
From the very first time our ancient ancestors mixed certain tree barks with water to create a pain-deadening tea, the art and science of pharmacology have flourished. Through great civilizations like Rome, into the Middle Ages and straight through to modern times, the pharmacist (or “chemist”) has been an integral part of patient care in both human and veterinary practices.
Most people do not realize there are two types of pharmacies. Compounding pharmacies are those that actually make, mix or “compound” therapeutic medications “in-house” as compared to those that simply count and dispense prepared medications.
This concept is not new…in fact, for most of this profession’s history, pharmacists used their knowledge of chemicals and base ingredients to create the appropriate drug ordered by the doctor. It has only been within the last 50 years that pharmacists have moved from being compounders of medicines to dispensers of pre-made drugs.
But even the modernization and convenience of prepared pharmaceutical drugs did not remove the need for many special or out of production drugs to be made on site. Some patients have allergies to ingredients in the medications. Others, especially children and veterinary patients, require unique flavorings to help disguise bitter drugs and improve compliance. And, as the age old joke describes, giving a pill to a cat can be a hair-raising experience!
In fact, compounding pharmacies account for approximately 30 million prescriptions a year across the United States. From bio-identical hormones for human patients to tuna-flavored antibiotics for pets, compounding is an important part of the medical community.
Many veterinarians rely on compounding pharmacies to formulate patient friendly medications. A very common example is the use of a transdermal gel to deliver the drug, Tapazole® to cats with hyperthyroidism. Cats with this disease have a propensity for vomiting and diarrhea, so allowing the drug to be absorbed through the skin instead of fighting with a pill, lessens stress on the cat and on the owner!
Beyond flavoring and transforming the medicine into a new form, some pharmacies can actually combine two medications into one single injection. This is helpful for patients, like our dogs and cats, who might be difficult to handle for multiple injections during a hospital stay.
What compounding pharmacies can’t do is avoid the drug approval process for a new drug or create a product similar to one already on the market. Some people feel the pharmacy in Florida that accidentally created the lethal injection for a team of polo horses broke the law by compounding a product not approved for use in the US. However, with a veterinarian’s prescription, this is perfectly legal.
Critics of these businesses maintain that the FDA doesn’t properly regulate compounded products or that these pharmacists are over-stepping their authority.
Despite media stories to the contrary, compounding pharmacies don’t operate outside the law. Rod Shafer, Executive Vice President of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP), says that compounding pharmacies are regulated just like your neighborhood drug store. First, state boards of pharmacy inspect the businesses and even test random batches of compounded drugs for problems. Many of these pharmacies will send samples to independent labs for verification. In addition to the states, the FDA oversees and regulates this industry insuring that no one is circumventing normal drug approval channels or providing unsafe, cheaper drug alternatives to the public.
“Also, the IACP has implemented a Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) so that patients can trust and feel comfortable with the high quality standards that are in place,” says Shafer. Since its inception in 2004, about 50 of the more than 3500 individual compounding pharmacies have met the standards and 110 more have applied for accreditation. The PCAB is a voluntary process and pharmacies are not required to join.
Millions of household pets, horses and other animals owe their better quality of life to these pharmacists continuing to uphold a long-standing tradition. If you are concerned about your pet’s medication or a reaction to a drug, please communicate this to your veterinarian. To keep up to date on animal health news or to get more information about your pet’s health needs, visit www.MyVNN.com or www.PetDocsOnCall.com
Debra Garrison, DVM
Shedding is a natural process for dogs and is normally linked to the amount of sun the dog is exposed to during the day. Outside dogs shed their coats in the fall and then in the spring. Shepherds, Huskies and other long haired dogs can shed their undercoats all at once, commonly called “blowing their coats”. Inside only dogs will shed on a daily basis because the lights are on in the house from early in the morning till late at night and this has “tricked” the dog’s natural biology to think it is summer every day.
Excessive shedding can be caused by parasites, (fleas, mites, lice and ticks), poor nutrition, allergies, hormonal imbalances and some genetic conditions. If your dog is scratching incessantly, or if the skin is red, crusty or has sores on it, then the hair loss is more than just simple shedding and warrants a visit to your veterinarian.
As far as controlling the normal shedding on the dog, frequent brushing and combing is necessary. Brushing your dog on a daily basis will at least control where the hair lands and also allows you to check for matts, parasites,lumps and sores on your dog.
The furminator has also been a great tool to get the loose hair off the dog easier. The furminator uses a clipper blade that can cut the hair. You must go in the direction of hair growth and only stroke one area one or two times. Excessive use or going against the grain may leave your dog bald.
Regular grooming of your pet will reduce the shedding of hair throughout your house.
We humans can cool off during the “dog days” of summer with a visit to the swimming pool, the local creek, or a quick dip in the ocean. But our canine companions may not have the same luxury, so how can we help them keep cool?
Every summer, veterinarians, especially in the southern states, see this same scene many times. Snickers, a Cairn Terrier, was playing in the backyard. Now he is listless, panting hard and having a difficult time breathing. Frantically, Snickers’ owner rushed him to the veterinary clinic.
Once there, the veterinary technician took Snickers’ temperature and discovered it to be soaring over 106 degrees! Snickers was suffering from heat stroke. Luckily for Snickers, and with the help of the veterinary team and the actions of a quick acting owner, Snickers recovered fully from his near death experience.
Why did Snickers get so hot so quick? Dogs do not sweat like people do. Their only cooling mechanism is by panting. The moisture from their tongue evaporates and this helps lower their temperature. Anything that disrupts this natural cooling system, such as intense heat, exercise, or squirrel chasing, can lead to very high temperatures and heat stroke. Many dogs are left alone at home during the day, and may find themselves without shade or cool water to drink. Even just a few minutes in a car can find the inside temperature soaring over 120 degrees and can again lead to heat stroke in the dog.
Normally, a dog’s temperature ranges from 100 to 102.5 degrees. In cases of heat stroke, temperatures over 106 degrees are considered to be an emergency situation – temperatures over 110 degrees can be fatal in a matter of minutes.
This level of hyperthermia (higher than normal body temperature) can affect every major body system, including the kidney and heart, therefore it is imperative you get your pet to a veterinarian as soon as you safely can.
Dogs who develop heat stroke may show the following symptoms:
• Vigorous or excessive panting
• Inability to stand, or weakness while standing
• Thick, ropey saliva, copiously frothing from the mouth
• Bright red mucous membranes (gums), although some dogs may show pale or even muddy gums.
Heat stroke can affect any dog, but the brachy-cephalic dogs with short faces, such as Boston, Pugs, and Bulldogs may be at higher risk due their inability to effectively pant and cool themselves. Older dogs sometimes have more trouble with temperature regulation as well as young puppies.
Many people believe that their pet will be fine outdoors. However, inadequate shade and/or water can affect even the most seasoned outdoor dog. Water left outside in the sun can heat up to hot for them to drink. Outdoor water fountains for dogs can help provide fresh cool water and dog houses can help with the shade.
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If you like to take your dog for a walk, but the concrete is too hot, or he is a small dog and walks just plain tire him out, you may try one of the dog strollers.
Surprisingly, heat stroke in cats is very rare. Most animal experts believe that cats are extremely good at finding the coolest spots to lay and also avoid the excessive, exertions that many dogs seem to thrive on.
If you find your dog panting excessively on a warm summer day, immediately move your dog into a cooler place. Getting the pet into a shady area with a fan running on him or just bring him indoors. Rinse your dog with cool, not cold, tap water over his legs and body to help effectively lower the body temperature. Rubbing alcohol placed on the skin of the stomach, will help cool him also. Do not use ice or extremely cold water. Although it seems logical, extreme cold will cause surface blood vessels to contract, forming an insulating area that traps heat in the body, delaying the cooling of the vital organs. At the veterinary hospital, fluids are administered intravenously to help cool the core temperature and keep the kidneys from shutting down.
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Attempting to force your pet to drink is also not recommended. If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, immediately load your pet carefully into a car and go to the veterinarian. Under no circumstances should you leave your pet alone in the vehicle.
Without these life saving steps, many dogs might lose their lives to the “dog-days” of summer. But, as Snickers will testify, quick thinking owners and veterinary professionals can help get them back on their feet in no time.