Feb 24, 2015

As a larger & larger proportion of our population lead more sedentary lifestyles, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of OBESE cats & dogs. This has become the most common cause of reduced quality of life and longevity in pets in the USA. About 70% of the pets seen in our hospitals are overweight with about 10% of them being morbidly obese. Problems associated with obesity include heart disease, breathing problems, back problems as well as arthritis, pancreatitis & diabetes. This can be a very difficult topic to discuss as in many cases the pet owners struggle with the same problem. The really good news is that, in almost every situation, wright control in pets with a willing pet owner can be very successful. Prevention is best. Preventing obesity when cats & dogs are young and healthy is much easier than attempting to have an older, obese pet lose weight. Routine exercise & feeding the appropriate amounts of a good quality ,meat based food is ideal. Controlling weight in the dog is very similar as it is for their owners. In order to lose weight we need to take in fewer calories than we burn off. For dogs the type of food is not as important as the amount of food. It is a simple equation of lowering the amount of calories ingested, increasing the amount of exercise to use up calories or hopefully a combo of the two.  Using a light or higher fiber food can help, but rarely controls weight by switching foods. There are many ways to get your pets more active. Almost all dogs love to go for a brisk walk. Cats are a completely different story. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means the majority of their calories must come from meat. Most grocery store or discount stores dry food is too high in carbs for cats which can lead to urinary tract problems, obesity & diabetes. In recent years it has been discovered that by feeding canned foods or high quality ,high protein low or no grain dry foods the above problems can be prevented or reversed. For decades treating a cat with diabetes was very...

Toxic Foods & Your Dog!

If you think your dog has been exposed to a toxic substance ,it is important that you act quickly. First, identify the poison. Was it eaten, inhaled or absorbed through the skin? Was it a plant or harmful food? What is a chemical? Try to determine how much of the toxin he ate, inhaled or came in contact with. Obtain the original packaging of the toxin. Call your vet for medical advice. You should not wait for your dog to show signs of illness, as it may be too late. POISON CONTROL #’S:                                                                                ASPCA POISON CONTROL(888) 426-4435—                                        Pet Poison Hotline (800) 213-6680 Have hydrogen peroxide & dawn dish liquid on hand in case of a poisoning emergency   GRAPES & RAISINS: * Grapes & Raisins can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys possibly resulting in death * Ingesting as few as 4-5 grapes or raisins can be poisonous to a 20 lb. dog, sensitivity depends on the particular dog * Signs of toxicity include vomiting,loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal pain, decreased urine production, weakness & drunken gait * Onset of signs typically occur within 24 hrs ONIONS: * Onions can cause a form of hemolytic anemia called “Heinz body anemia, a condition that causes the destruction of red blood cells. Kidney damage may follow * Toxicity may occur from similar foods such as garlic & chives * It is not clear what quantity of onions is poisonous, but the effects can be cumulative. Poisoning can result from raw, cooked & dehydrated forms. Avoid feeding table scraps & any foods cooked with onions * Signs are  secondary to anemia, such as pale gums, rapid heart rate. weakness & lethargy. Other signs include vomiting, diarrhea & bloody urine * Treatment: blood transfusions & or oxygen may be necessary, followed by specific fluid therapy CHOCOLATE: * Chocolate & cocoa contain a chemical called theo-bromide that can adversely affect the heart, lungs, kidney & central nervous system. * Pure baking chocolate is most toxic, while milk chocolate requires a higher quantity to cause harm. A 20 lb. dog can be poisoned after consuming about 2 oz of baking chocolate, but it would take nearly 20 oz of milk...

10 Canine Commandments