Top 10 Signs of Cancer in Pets

Original Article By Petmd

Cancer is the #1 Disease-Related Killer of Pets

Many people do not realize that cancer is not just a human condition; it affects Continue reading Top 10 Signs of Cancer in Pets

8 Surprising Facts About Puppy and Kitten Nutrition

Original Article By PetMD

Think you know all there is to know about puppy and kitten nutrition? Are you aware that puppies and kittens are more sensitive to nutritional imbalances than adults, for example? Or that excess calcium intake can cause a puppy to develop orthopedic disease?

Go past Puppy and Kitten Nutrition 101 to learn lesser-known facts about their dietary needs. Then use this knowledge to provide your newest family member with the proper start in life she needs to thrive for years to come.

1. A Balanced Diet Is Even More Important for Growing Animals Than for Adults

All animals, regardless of age, need a balanced diet to thrive, but puppies and kittens are especially sensitive to nutritional imbalances, says Dr. Jonathan Stockman, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. “The requirements and the sensitivities to excess in nutrients are generally highest.”

One example is calcium, an essential dietary mineral that plays a critical role in bone development. In excess, calcium can cause a puppy to develop severe bone changes and orthopedic disease, he says. “Large and giant breed puppies are particularly sensitive to this, whereas adult dogs are able to regulate calcium absorption when the diet is high in calcium.”

 

2. Puppies Should Not Be Fed Adult Formula Food

Because they are sensitive to nutritional imbalances and their energy needs are greater, puppies should only be fed a growth formula diet, vets say.

Growth places the highest energy and nutrient demands than any other life stage on a dog or cat, apart from lactation, says Dr. Jessica Harris, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at Carolina Ranch Animal Hospital in Garner, North Carolina. “The energy needs of a puppy are two-fold: 1) support the tissues already developed and 2) provide the energy required to form new tissues.”

Puppies use about 50 percent of their consumed energy for maintenance and 50 percent for new tissue development in the early growth phase, Harris says. “As the puppy gets older, the energy needed to support growth diminishes and proportionately shifts to support maintenance. Energy is provided by protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Thus, growth diets often provide a greater percentage of protein and fat to support growth than do adult maintenance diets.” Growth diets also provide optimal amounts of calcium, phosphorus, copper, and essential fatty acids, “which have an important role in bone formation and maturation, cartilage maturation, hair color, red blood cell development, and trainability.”

3. Unchecked Growth Can Be Harmful to a Dog’s Bones

Feeding a puppy to maintain her ideal body condition versus allowing maximum growth promotes the optimal rate of bone development, says Harris, who is also a clinical nutrition instructor at the Topeka, Kansas-based Mark Morris Institute.

“The adult weight and size of the animal is not impacted by whether the growth rate is rapid or slow, however, the risk of skeletal deformities increases with the rapidity of growth.”

Determining a puppy’s body condition score (BCS) is a reliable way to determine normal growth rate. Body scoring helps you gauge if your dog is maintaining a healthy muscle mass and body fat index. It’s something you can practice at home, using your hands and visual observation.

4. Young Animals Need Multiple Feeding Times to Thrive

Animals rely on reserves for energy in between meals, says Harris. “These energy reservoirs are stored glycogen in the liver or fat depots throughout the body. Ketones produced by the breakdown of lipid or amino acids can also provide energy.  As young animals often have limited reserves and are at risk for the development of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), multiple meals offered throughout the day best averts the onset of lethargy, trembling, weakness, lack of coordination, and seizures.”

Puppies should eat at least three meals per day, and kittens younger than 6 months should be fed more often, “For example, four to six times a day,” says Dr. Donna Raditic, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist with Nutrition and Integrative Medicine Consultants based in Athens, Georgia.

This should be accompanied by close monitoring—with your veterinarian—of body weight, muscle condition score (MCS), and BCS, Raditic adds. She encourages pet parents to use a food gram scale to weigh food and monitor daily caloric intake.

Just like human weight loss programs will use food gram scales to educate us about portion size and caloric intake, weighing your puppy/kitten’s diet right from the start will help you to be sure you are feeding the correct amount,” she says. “Adjusting intake in grams is much more accurate than going from one-eighth cup to one-fourth cup.”

5. Nutritional Needs Differ by Breed Size

There are a few key differences in the nutrient needs of large breed puppies as compared to small- to medium sized breeds, says Harris. Most of these focus on reducing the risk of developing orthopedic disease.

“Although the development of musculoskeletal disorders is multi-factorial and a complicated disease process, it has been correlated nutritionally with calcium, phosphorus, the calcium-phosphorus ratio, vitamin D, and energy intake,” she explains. “Large breed growth diets contain a little less than 1 percent calcium and more than adequately meet the growing large breed puppies’ calcium requirement. Small- to medium-sized breeds are less sensitive to slightly overfeeding or underfeeding calcium, and as a result, the level of calcium in foods for these puppies have a broader margin of safety.”

6. A Gruel Formula Can Help Ease the Weaning Process

Providing your companion with porridge-like formula during weaning—which starts when an animal is about 3 to 4 weeks old and is marked by the eruption of baby teeth and an interest in solid food—can help ease the process, Harris says.

“It has been largely successful to introduce a gruel made by blending a canned growth food with a canine/feline liquid milk replacer in a 1:1 ratio,” she says. “Alternatively, one part dry commercial food can be ground in a food processor and mixed with three parts of canine/feline liquid milk replacer.”

She says the young animal should always have access to the formula, and that it should be replaced three to four times a day. It will spoil and promote bacterial growth if left out at room temperature for prolonged periods.

It’s during playtime that a young animal typically encounters the gruel, then will progressively consume small amounts. “As the young animal’s interest increases, the liquid portion of the mixture can be gradually reduced until they are consuming only the canned or dry commercial growth diet, usually between 6 and 9 weeks of age,” Harris says. “This transition is a delicate balance between the mother, the young, and the owners and requires close monitoring and patience.”

Not all brands of milk replacer are equal, however. “Care should be taken when selecting the milk replacer, as not all brands meet the minimum nutrient requirements for growth per American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for all labeled species.”

7. Feeding Methods are Not One-Size-Fits-All

Pet parents have three options for feeding growing puppies and kittens: Free choice, which makes the food available 24/7 (like an all-day buffet); time-limited, where food is out for a set period of time; and amount-limited, where portions are pre-determined.

“Each have their own benefits and drawbacks and what is right for one animal may not be the best option for another,” Harris says. “Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the [owner] have a discussion with their veterinarian about the best feeding option for their growing pet.”

Size and breed are factors that can impact that decision. For example, “free-feeding puppies can be problematic for the large, giant breeds,” says Raditic, who also co-founded the Companion Animal Nutrition & Wellness Institute.

“If rapid growth is induced, this may drive the genetics of these breeds at risk for developmental orthopedic disease (for example, hip or elbow dysplasia),”she says. “For small and medium breeds, it can be problematic increasing body fat—for these breeds are at risk for obesity and to be overweight.”

8. Working with Your Companion’s Natural Behavior Can Provide Additional Health Benefits

Working with an animal’s instincts can promote health and well-being. “Simulating normal feeding behavior will increase activity, reduce boredom, help with weight management and prevent obesity, and strengthen the bond between cat and owner,” says Dr. Amy Learn, a veterinarian at Cary Street Veterinary Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.

Cats are innate hunters, so work to add enrichment to their feeding regimen. “For example, using feeding toys or embracing a cat’s three-dimensional world,” Raditic says.

Dogs evolved as hunters, as well as scavengers. “These activities were a substantial part of their daily time budget and are not currently utilized when we hand them a bowl of food,” Raditic says. You can still honor a dog’s natural behavior, however, by allowing her to work for her food “with puzzle toys or programs like ‘learn to earn,’ which have been shown to provide mental stimulation,” explains Learn.

The more we understand about a young puppy or kitten’s dietary needs, the better care we’re able to provide. Early nutrition deeply impacts puppies and kittens and sets the stage for longevity and quality of life, Raditic says. “Every pet parent needs to understand and own this preventative care for their furry companion.”


Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Address
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.

Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: info@ovshosp.com

How to Select a Kitten That's Right for You

Original Article By Vetstreet.com

Adopting a new kitten can seem like a daunting responsibility, especially if it’s your first. This guide will help you determine exactly which kitty will be a good match for your lifestyle. Continue reading How to Select a Kitten That’s Right for You

Your Smartphone Is Making Your Dog Depressed, Study Says

Original Article By PetMD

A UK-based study found that dogs may be become anxious or depressed when their owners use their smartphones excessively. Unsurprisingly, the study also found Continue reading Your Smartphone Is Making Your Dog Depressed, Study Says

Here’s How to Train a Cat to Do 5 Life-Changing Things

Original Article By Damon Beres

Yes! You can train a cat to come on command, use a toilet, and more—and it’s all much easier than you thought.

Continue reading Here’s How to Train a Cat to Do 5 Life-Changing Things

Dogs Love Rolling in Stinky Stuff

Dogs Love Rolling in Stinky Stuff

Original Article By HowStuffWorks

My setter-mix, McBeal, had a particular fetish. When she was still with me, my property was covered in trees. Every fall, as trees are wont to do, the leaves fell to the ground. Mix in some rain and various organic matter, such as Continue reading Dogs Love Rolling in Stinky Stuff

10 Great Reasons to Adopt a Cat from a Shelter

Original Article By Pet Health Network


If you’re considering bringing a feline companion into your home, and wondering where to look, an animal shelter is a great option. There are so many reasons to adopt from a shelter, but here are 10 of my favorites.

Continue reading 10 Great Reasons to Adopt a Cat from a Shelter

10 Tips for Bringing Dogs and Cats Together

10 Tips for Bringing Dogs and Cats Together

Original Article By Animal Planet

The war between cats and dogs is a topic of debate from Hollywood to hometowns. Multiple-pet owners have examples of cats that buddy up to their canine companions, of dogs chasing cats off their turf, or of the two species respectfully ignoring each other. The two don’t have to automatically “fight like cats and dogs.” Their ability to get along is shaped by their individual experiences with the other specie accumulated before they are paired. Their communication styles differ too which can lead to confusion: A dog wags his tail to show happiness and eagerness to play; a cat lashes her tail to indicate displeasure or anger. You can help them to share a home by keeping each pet’s best interests and instincts in mind. Here are 10 tips.

1. Promote puppy love and kitten closeness

Because puppies and kittens have had no (bad) experiences with each other, they will get along more quickly than older pets. So it makes sense, if you are thinking of having one of each, to get them as youngsters. Growing up together, they will form a bond. However, a puppy’s play may still be a bit rough for a fragile kitten that will always be tinier than her canine mate. Always supervise their interactions, even if they are friendly: A kitten may signal that she’s finished playing but the energetic puppy could still be eager to go, and his activity may confuse her. Teach the puppy to play by chasing a toy, never his smaller feline buddy; this will ensure he grows up respecting, not pursuing, smaller animals.

2. Make the match

A cat who is curious about but not fearful of dogs, and a dog who has at least a nodding acquaintance with felines are the ideal pairing. Whichever pet you’re adopting, a rescue organization or animal shelter will gladly work with you to help select the best candidate, based on the history and personality of the animal you’re choosing and the one at home.

A stray or feral cat that needs to be socialized and acclimated to indoor living can be a hazard to a resident dog, because she is accustomed to seeing dogs as the enemy, animals to be fought rather than befriended. And some dog breeds, such as terriers, hounds and herding dogs, shouldn’t live with cats. Their instincts, which drive them to catch, shake and kill prey, will endanger felines which they see as something to chase.

3. Slow that intro

Cats are both territorial and not fond of change, so a supervised, gradual awareness of another pet is the best method for keeping the peace. Patience is a must, because the introduction phase could take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, or longer in some cases. Stick to the animals’ preferred pace, and don’t force them to be together. Speak in soft, conversational tones to both animals, and spend quality time with each in their separate spaces, not neglecting the resident pet to give the new one extra attention. Letting each animal see the other for brief periods in a neutral room and gradually increasing the exposure, will assure them that there’s room for more than one pet.

4. Meet your restrained roomie

Keep your dog’s leash on during early meetings with your cat, so that if he becomes aggressive, even in play, you can limit his movements and calmly but firmly discipline him. If he’s trained, command him to take the “down-stay” position. Keep the cat out of the dog’s biting range, and allow her to escape the dog’s attention if she wants to (but not flee throughout your home!) You can also have the animals meet from opposite sides of a pet gate at first, but don’t allow them to touch noses or otherwise get too close until each is more accustomed to the sight of the other. Some pet owners place the cat or small dog in a carrier or crate, and let the other pet sniff and circle the confined animal. This depends largely on the disposition of the confined pet. He or she may be just fine with a stranger hovering outside, or feel trapped as the other pet investigates his or her arrival.

5. Offer a safe haven

The cat, whether a new arrival or current resident, should have a separate refuge of her own for at least a few days or a week, preferably in a room with a door or behind a pet gate. This area should be off-limits to the dog. Place a litter box, food and water, scratching post, toys and bed in this room. Your cat will feel more secure knowing she can get away from the unfamiliar experience of getting to know a dog. Don’t allow your canine to linger outside the room, as his presence will stress the cat and defeat the purpose of the separate space.

6. Mix scents with sensibility

Animals get to know one another through scent, not face-to-face meetings. Even before they see each other, you can help both pets become familiar with each other’s scent. Gently rub a T-shirt, sock, towel or washcloth over the dog, and place it near the cat’s food dish or bed. After a few days, rub the item with the dog’s scent over the cat, mingling their scents. Reverse the procedure for your dog. By offering both access to each other’s scents, you’ll make their initial meeting less stressful, as each pet will know that this other critter is not a total stranger.

7. Provide litter privacy please

Your cat’s litter box should always be in a spot where the dog cannot get at it. Invasion of her litter box will stress her out. If the dog interferes with the cat while she is doing her business, she may abandon the box and soil elsewhere in your home, where she feels less threatened.

Dogs have a disgusting habit of — ewww alert here — snacking on the contents of a cat’s litter box which they actually find very tasty (a very good reason never to kiss your dog or let him lick your face). The simplest solution to stopping this is to place the litter box where the cat can access it but the dog can’t, such as inside a space too small for the dog to enter. Or consider a covered litter box that gives the cat privacy but prevents the dog from getting in. Because cats can navigate in darkness while dogs can’t, placing the litter box in a darkened room may also work.

8. Keep cat claws in trim

If the cat feels threatened or stressed, she may react and injure the dog with her primary weapon: her claws. Therefore, those claws should be trimmed to ensure that a casual swipe of the paw — an instinctive, harmless move if her claws are sheathed — won’t be disastrous for your dog, especially during their early meetings.

Declawing your cat is not a good idea. She will feel, and be, defenseless around a dog, not to mention this is a painful procedure. If you feel that even trimmed claws are not safe enough, consider nail caps, which coat the cat’s claws with blunt endings, but keep the claws intact. These vinyl coverings, attached with a nontoxic adhesive, last about four to six weeks, while the cat’s claws grow out, and do not interfere with her usual extension and retraction of her claws.

9. Offer separate dining spots

Each pet should be able to eat undisturbed by the other, so set up individual feeding stations. You may want to serve the cat’s meals on an elevated surface such as a counter-top or windowsill to prevent the dog from wolfing down her food as well as his own. In addition to allowing each pet to dine in peace, “separate tables” ensure that each will eat his or her own food. Cat and dog food are not nutritionally interchangeable. While most cats have zero interest in Fido’s menu, dogs find the higher protein and fat content of cat food very appetizing. Regular cat food consumption can result in a nutritional imbalance and weight gain for dogs.

10. Hope for bffs but settle for nodding acquaintances

You may wish for the movie version of inseparable pals, but doggy devotion and kitty cordiality cannot be pushed — and animals won’t fake affection. Each brings his or her own quirks, habits and likes to the relationship. But by ensuring that your dog is well-trained in obedience, and giving the cat a high-up perch, such as a cat tree, you can create an atmosphere where friendship can blossom. The two may eventually accept one another, with minimal interaction but no animosity, or they may develop a genuine fondness for each other. If they’re both snuggling and shedding together on your bedspread, you’ll know they’ve teamed up to rule your home and heart.

 


Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Address
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.

Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: info@ovshosp.com

Why would a cat stop using the litter box?

Original Article from Animal Planet

When a cat stops using the litter box, there’s always a reason. Your first impulse may be to shout at the cat, but that will just frighten and confuse him. Cats are not vengeful, and he is not going outside his box to get back at you for pushing him off the sofa. Instead, look at what may have triggered this change, which you yourself may have inadvertently caused.

Because cats are habitually clean, Frisky may be upset by a litter box that isn’t changed often enough to suit him, even if you think every other day is OK. Would you use a bathroom with an unflushed toilet? Changes in household routine may also be cause to forgo the box. If you’ve added a new cat, the resident feline may dislike using the same litter box as the newcomer. He may also not appreciate that you’ve replaced his regular litter with a new-fangled one. Cats are keenly aware of the scent and feel of their litter, so if you’ve changed brands or types to take advantage of a sale, your cat may not approve of the savings the way you do. A move to a new home or a student back from college for the summer can also upset him.

Using the carpet rather than the box may also be a sign of disease. Cats suffering from urinary tract infections may associate painful attempts at urination with the litter box, and avoid it. A cat who’s thirstier due to kidney, liver or thyroid conditions needs to urinate more frequently, and may not get to his box on time. Similarly, feline diarrhea or constipation may find him desperate to go without caring where.

Has your cat been “going” outside of the box as of late?

Observe the cat and notice if he is straining to go and/or crying out. He may claw out a space in a potted plant, choosing clean dirt over a soiled litter box. Or he may squat on your carpet or floor because he associates the sensation of digging in litter with uncomfortable elimination. If you confine him to a closed room with a clean litter box and he ignores it, he may have no control over his actions. This signals that illness, not behavior, is the culprit. The cat is in pain, and your vet needs to determine why.

A thorough checkup will reveal whether Kitty has a urinary tract infection, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, arthritis, kidney, liver or thyroid malfunction or other illnesses that may affect his litter box habits. If illness, minor or serious, is the cause, medication or treatment should relieve his pain and distress.

Whatever has pushed your cat out of the box, getting him back on track will take patience. If anxiety created the problem, set up a quiet retreat for the cat to do his business in a room or area with minimal household traffic. Provide a large-enough litter box — or two — with the kind of litter your cat prefers, and change it frequently, even several times a day if necessary. You may decide to confine him for a few days to establish a new, calmer routine.

Inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, diarrhea or urinary tract infections will abate with medication or treatment, so if one of these caused your cat’s problem, he should return to using his litter box as his discomfort eases. Longer-term conditions, such as arthritis or kidney problems, may mean making adjustments: Be sure the cat’s box is low enough for him to get into comfortably, and offer more than one box to accommodate more frequent usage. Always keep the litter boxes clean by washing and disinfecting them weekly and quickly removing soiled litter.


Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Address
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.

Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: info@ovshosp.com

Human encouragement might influence how dogs solve problems

Original Article  from Science Daily

Human encouragement might influence how dogs solve problems, according to a new Oregon State University study.

The study, published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, sheds light on how people influence animal behavior, said study lead author Lauren Brubaker, a doctoral student in OSU’s Human-Animal Interaction Lab.

Brubaker evaluated the behavior of search and rescue dogs and pet dogs when presented with the same problem-solving task. Both sets of dogs persisted at the task for about the same proportion of time, but the search and rescue dogs were more successful at solving the task when encouraged by their owners.

However, the search and rescue dogs didn’t solve the task when they were alone. Further, pet dogs that solved the task with their owner present — but not encouraging them — also solved it when they were alone, Brubaker said.

“We thought that was unusual,” Brubaker said. “Because search and rescue dogs are trained to work independently, we expected that they would out-perform pet dogs on this independent task and that wasn’t the case. This suggests that the behavior of the owner, including their expectation of their dog and how they engage with their dog on a day-to-day basis, may influence the dog during a problem-solving task.

“This leads us to believe that communication between search and rescue dogs and their owner could be more effective than communication between pet dogs and their owners,” she said.

In the study, the dogs were given a solvable task with a person present: open a puzzle box containing a sausage within two minutes. They compared a group of 28 search and rescue dogs and a group of 31 pet dogs.

Search and rescue dogs were used as a comparison to pet dogs because they are traditionally trained to work independently from their owner. The search and rescue dogs were provided by Mountain Wave Search and rescue in Portland, Douglas County Search and Rescue in Roseburg, and Benton County Search and Rescue in Corvallis.

Pet dogs were recruited at random from the community through online advertisement and by way of word of mouth. Data from pet dogs from a 2015 study conducted by Udell were also used in the analysis. The dogs in both groups were from a variety of breeds.

The dogs were given the puzzle box under two conditions: alone in the room, and with their owner in the room standing neutrally. During the neutral phase, owners were instructed to stand in the room with their arms by their side and to avoid communicating with the dog. In the encouragement condition, the owner was instructed to encourage the dog however they saw appropriate, typically by using verbal praise or gestures, but without touching the dog or the container and without making contact with the dog or the container.

Before each condition the owner was instructed to “bait” the container by picking the container up, placing the food inside the container while the dog watched, and showing it to the dog to allow the dog to see that the container had food in it. Then they placed it on the ground in a designated location. In the neutral-human condition, the owner took three steps back and stood neutrally for two minutes. During the alone condition the owner left the room after placing the object on the ground.

In the human-neutral condition, three of the pet dogs and two of search and rescue dogs solved the task. Two pet dogs solved the task in the alone condition. In the encouragement condition, nine of the search and rescue dogs solved the task, while only two pet dogs did.

“When the owner’s social cues direct the dog towards the independent problem-solving task, then we see something interesting,” said Monique Udell, an animal scientist who directs the Human-Animal Interaction Lab in the College of Agricultural Sciences. “While most dogs increase the amount of time they spend attending to the puzzle when encouraged, pet dogs often end up treating the puzzle like a toy. Instead of engaging in goal directed behavior, they act as if their owner was encouraging them to play.”

Udell continued, “It’s possible that when directed by their owners, search and rescue dogs instead see opening the box as their job. Their owners may be more effective at communicating about the task at hand. Or maybe there is something inherently different about dogs that are selected for search and rescue that makes them more apt to solve the problem. More research is needed to know for sure.”