Food Allergies vs. Seasonal Allergies in Dogs

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Food Allergies vs. Seasonal Allergies in Dogs

Article by Katherine Toldford | Found on PetMD

If you suspect that your dog’s daily roll in the grass is causing allergic reactions, such as excessive paw licking and rigorous belly scratching, you may be surprised to learn that he could actually have a food allergy.

While it’s common for dogs to suffer from seasonal allergies to things like the pollen they come in contact with while playing in the yard, there are several types of dog allergies that can manifest themselves in similar ways, said Dr. Sarah Nold, on-staff veterinarian for Trupanion, a Seattle-based insurance company.

Continue reading Food Allergies vs. Seasonal Allergies in Dogs

Can Pets Get Vertigo?

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Can Pets Get Vertigo?

By Helen Anne Travis | Found on PetMD

Like humans, pets can experience vertigo. The sensation of dizziness and imbalance is often caused by vestibular disease. The vestibular system governs an animal’s sense of balance and includes components in the inner ear and brain.

There are two types of vestibular disease, says Los Angeles veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney. Central vestibular disease refers to a problem occurring inside the skull, like a tumor or stroke, while peripheral vestibular disease is caused by something happening elsewhere in the body, like inflammation in the inner ear. Peripheral vestibular disease is more common and usually has a better outcome for the dog. Continue reading Can Pets Get Vertigo?

New Study Shows Link Between Ticks and Kidney Disease

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Article by Mellissa Beall, DVM, PhD | Found on PetHealthNetwork

Tick encounters are increasingly hard to avoid. These adaptable parasites are responsible for spreading a variety of diseasesthroughout the United States, and their range is increasing. Unfortunately, due to issues, such as mice and deer overpopulation (they serve as hosts for ticks), reforestation, suburban sprawl, and patterns in bird migration, among others, ticks and other bugs are taking root in new regions. Add climate change on top of our boundary-less society, and it’s clear that your dog—and your family—may be meeting more parasites. Continue reading New Study Shows Link Between Ticks and Kidney Disease

Does Your Cat Love You? 7 Signs to Look For

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Does Your Cat Love You? 7 Signs to Look For

Article by Kathy Blumstock | Found on PetMD

We want to believe that our cats love us as much as we love them, but how can we know for sure that they don’t just tolerate our presence? Cats are often unfairly dubbed as aloof or cold in comparison to dogs because dogs are more visibly loving while cats are usually more discreet about PDA. However, it might just be as simple as reading our cat’s behaviors more closely. Continue reading Does Your Cat Love You? 7 Signs to Look For

5 Ways Indoor Cats Can Get Fleas or Ticks

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5 Ways Indoor Cats Can Get Fleas or Ticks

Article by Cheryl Lock | Found on PetMD

Keeping your cat indoors can help prevent him from getting lost, from getting into altercations with other animals, and from a whole host of other harmful issues. However, if you avoid giving your feline friend flea and tick prevention because you think his indoor lifestyle will protect him from those parasites, you could run into troubles. Continue reading 5 Ways Indoor Cats Can Get Fleas or Ticks

Why Does My Dog Bring Up Food After Eating?

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Why Does My Dog Bring Up Food After Eating?

Article Found on DogHealth.com

Does this happen in your home: your dog eats his food, then a few minutes later, you see him taking an unmistakable posture. Sure enough, you rush over to find a pile of undigested kibble on your white rug.

Again.

Your dog simply walks off and lies down, looking perfectly happy and comfortable. Or, worse yet, he attempts to re-consume the mess. Continue reading Why Does My Dog Bring Up Food After Eating?

Why You Shouldn't Buy a Bunny For Easter

Why Buying Your Child a Rabbit for Easter Is a Bad Idea

Rabbits are prey animals. They don’t like being picked up and cuddled. The child wants to carry it around — but for a prey animal, such as a rabbit, it’s terrifying.

Is your household ready and willing to care for a new rabbit beyond the holiday?

Article by  Jillian Blume | Featured on Petful.com

If you’re thinking of buying your child a bunny for Easter, think again.

Rabbits and children are not a match made in heaven — and the evidence is the surge of bunnies dumped in parks or surrendered to shelters. The baby bunnies for sale at pet stores are typically taken from their mothers too young, and they aren’t healthy.

“They die within a week or 2 after being bought,” says Cindy Stutts, founding board member of Rabbit Rescue & Rehab in New York City. “And even if they manage to survive, children often lose interest, and the rabbits are either brought to a shelter or dumped outside.” And, as we all know, domesticated animals are not able to survive in the wild.

The Facts

Collectively, Rabbit Rescue & Rehab and Animal Care & Control take in around 600 rabbits a year, says Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.

That makes rabbits the 3rd largest animal shelter population after cats and dogs. “Rabbits have come into AC&C with broken backs or legs because people don’t know how to handle them,” says Hoffman. “There’s a whole host of issues.”

Why Buying Your Child a Rabbit for Easter Is a Bad Idea

Bunnies Are Not Stuffed Animals

“Rabbits are prey animals. They don’t like being picked up and cuddled. And that’s the one thing a child wants to do,” says Stutts. “Children think a live bunny is like an animated stuffed toy. The child wants to carry it around — but for a prey animal, such as a rabbit, it’s terrifying.”

What happens next isn’t pretty: Your sweet bunny starts biting, kicking and scratching.

For example, a rabbit brought back to the pet store and currently in the shelter growls and boxes, says Stutts. “She doesn’t want anyone putting a hand into her cage. So she’s going to a foster home that will be able to understand her and help her learn to trust again.”

Medical Complications

As prey animals, rabbits are built for speed, so they have lightweight skeletons. That means their bones break easily. “A frightened rabbit that kicks out can break its own back. The lucky ones get dumped at the shelter,” says Stutts.

Some lucky rabbits have undergone physical rehabilitation, as was the case of Rabbit Rescue & Rehab bunny Ariel, a rabbit found abandoned in a Queens garden. “Her back was broken,” says Stutts. “But she had a will to live.”

The Animal Medical Center donated funds from its AMC TO THE RESCUE fund for her rehabilitation. “She finally got adopted to a fabulous home, and she’s a bunny in a wheelchair now,” says Stutts.

There are other issues to consider as a parent if you’re still thinking of getting your child a rabbit — such as the emotional consequences for children if they either accidentally kill or severely injure their bunny.

This sobering video gives several reasons to not buy a bunny for Easter:

Breeding Like Bunnies

Rabbits bought from pet shops or online typically haven’t been spayed or neutered.

“It’s very difficult to identify the gender of a young rabbit,” says Hoffman. “You may think you’re getting a pair of brothers or sisters, but you may be buying mom and pop who will then give birth to a litter.”

This is not to say that bunnies aren’t great pets — as long as you know how to care for them. “In the right circumstances, they’re wonderful if you’re in an apartment,” says Stutts.

And adopting from a shelter means not only that you’re saving a life, but also you’re also getting a rabbit who’s been spayed or neutered. It’s not easy to find a veterinarian trained in neutering and spaying rabbits. “It’s a much more delicate operation,” says Hoffman.

The bottom line? If you’re ready to take care of a bunny, adopt from a shelter. But if you really want to get a bunny for your child, give a stuffed rabbit instead. Or even a chocolate rabbit.


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

Cat Spraying: What You Can Do

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Cat Spraying: What You Can Do

Article by Michelle Blake | Found on PetHealthNetwork

One of the most unpleasant behavior problems to deal with in cats is spraying. According to the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, spraying is unfortunately a very common reason for cats being turned in to shelters. The good news is that with a dedicated guardian and veterinarian working together, spraying can be overcome. It just takes some detective work and a little behavioral modification.

What is cat spraying?
Spraying, also known as urine marking, is when a cat deposits urine on a wall, door or other upright (vertical) object. A cat will not squat to spray, as would happen with normal urination; instead, a cat that is spraying will be standing straight up. If you see your cat in the act, you may also notice an erect tail with some occasional twitching of either the tail or the whole body. You will also likely notice that the odor of the urine in the spray is much more pungent than urine deposited in the litterbox. The smell is due to additional items in the urine that facilitate communication, such as pheromones. Spraying is different from litterbox aversion, and there are a variety of reasons that your cat may be spraying.

Why do cats spray?
One common reason for spraying is that something is wrong. For this reason, your first step should always be a visit to the veterinarian. If you and your vet have ruled out a medical reason for spraying, then it’s time to investigate behavioral causes:

  • Within feline social groups, urine marking is used as a form of communication. By spraying in a specific area, a cat can let other cats know she has been there. Marking in an area also lets other cats know to stay away and establishes a cat’s territory.
  • Anyone who has cats knows they can be quite sensitive to changes in the environment. If you have moved to a new location, done major renovations, brought home a new family member, or lost one, you might discover your cat beginning to spray.  One recent review in Applied Animal Behaviour Science looked at how chemical cues and scent can help a cat to feel more comfortable in her environment and reduce stress.
  • Cats can leave “messages” about potential mating encounters by spraying. This is why so many cats that spray are unneuteredmales, although spraying can be found among fixed males and spayed and whole females too.
  • If you live in a home with more than one cat, spraying can occur if there is conflict between the cats. Even multiple cats who get along well may mark within the household, simply because of the presence of other cats.
  • We can also see urine marking in homes with only one cat, where there are cats roaming freely outside and the house cat is aware of the presence of the other cats.

How to stop cat spraying
As mentioned before, your absolute first step is a trip to your veterinarian to rule out medical causes of the behavior. Any steps you take to correct this behavior won’t work if your cat is sick. If it is behavioral, step one is identifying the cause. These are the questions I would ask myself:

1. Which cat is marking? If you have multiple cats, first, figure out which cat is doing the marking. One method is to confine the cats and allow one out to roam at a time. If that doesn’t work, you can contact your veterinarian to see if you can get a prescription for fluorescein. This non-toxic dye can be placed in your cat’s food and will appear blue under a UV flashlight. The dye can be washed off your wall as well.

2. Is my cat neutered or spayed? If not, doing so can help, particularly if other cats are around.

3. Is my cat being taunted by the neighbors? If neighborhood cats are the problem, keep window shades closed, as well as doors. You can block screens, and access to any perches or places to relax and look out the windows. You don’t need to do this for every window, but focus on the ones where your cat is viewing other cats.

4. How can I give my own cats more space? If you do have multiple indoor cats, increase the amount of litter box options. A rule of thumb to follow is one box per cat plus one. Make sure boxes are not crammed into corners where a cat might feel “trapped” if another cat comes by.

Give cats more places to sit up high (cat trees, shelves, and window perches). Place multiple food and water bowls around the house, and toys. The more there is of everything, the more likely it is that conflict will decrease.

Cleaning can reduce cat spraying
Regardless of the issue causing the marking, you need to make sure that you clean any feline spraying in your home properly. It’s not enough to just use soap and water to remove the smell. It may not smell to you, but if not cleaned properly, your cat can definitely sense it. Use special enzymatic cleaners that are made specifically to break down pet urine. Don’t use any type of cleaner with an ammonia base, as this odor can stimulate more spraying since there is ammonia in urine.

How can your veterinarian help you reduce cat spraying?
If you continue to struggle with cat spraying, discuss it with your veterinarian. Some cats may be placed on medication for anxiety to help alleviate the spraying.

If your vet recommends a behavior professional to assist you, visit the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, the Animal Behavior Society, and the IAABC to find a professional near you who specializes in feline behavior.


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

5 Signs of Gum Disease in Dogs

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5 Signs of Gum Disease in Dogs

By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell | Found on PetMD

Bacteria are everywhere on human and canine bodies, but when they get under your dog’s gums in the form of plaque, they can lead to gum disease, the most common dental condition that occurs in adult dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

“Most of what many people think they know about gum disease in dogs is wrong,” says Brook Niemiec, a veterinarian at Veterinary Dental Specialties and Oral Surgery in San Diego. While many pet parents believe that tartar, a brown-colored coating on the teeth, causes gum disease, it actually does not, by itself. “People will lift up [a dog’s] lip and look for tartar, [but] it is actually bacterial plaque that causes gum disease,” he says. Tartar, which is just calcified, hardened plaque, does provide more “hiding places” for bacteria to thrive, however.

Learn more about the most common signs of gum disease and how to prevent this condition in your dog, below. Continue reading 5 Signs of Gum Disease in Dogs

5 Tips for Treating Acne in Cats and Dogs

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5 Tips for Treating Acne in Cats and Dogs

Article by Becca Difabbio | Found on PetMD

Cats and dogs can have acne just like humans. You might notice swelling and a bumpy appearance on your pet’s chin, but acne can crop up on other parts of the body, too. These bumps look similar to the blackheads and whiteheads humans get, and may even ooze with pus or blood in extreme cases. If a cat or dog licks or chews at the affected area, a more serious bacterial infection can develop from irritation.

Pet acne is a symptom of an unrelated reaction, according to Dr. Ken Tudor, owner of The Well Dog Place in Claremont, California. “We’re always looking for a reason for this dermatological manifestation,” he says. It can be caused by flea allergies, environmental allergies, pollen, and fungal spores. Additionally, skin infections from a poorly groomed coat can also lead to acne. Unlike humans, it is unlikely that cats and dogs will develop acne from oily skin. Continue reading 5 Tips for Treating Acne in Cats and Dogs