Spring and Summer Fun!

It is officially spring and almost SUMMER!  With the rising temps, we get all this glorious rebirth! Sunshine and outdoor fun go hand in hand. We, as well as our pets, will start to feel the revitalization that comes with the warmer weather. However, as with any change in season, there are things to keep in mind that might affect our furry friends this spring.

The arrival of warm weather also means the arrival of those pesky fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. If you have not kept up on your pets’ preventative through the winter, be sure to get it started a.s.a.p.!  Heartworm, caused by mosquitoes, is one of the most prevalent diseases in the spring. For more information on ticks and fleas, please reference our previous blog articles. Also, we are running our annual Spring is in the Air contest and you could win a three month supply of preventative! Check out our FB page for details or give us a call.

With the balmy breezes and comfy temps, many people get that urge to do their annual cleaning. As you clean, be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pet’s reach. Also, be sure to allow surfaces to completely dry before you let your pets walk on them. You want to avoid the cleaner getting on their fur and causing irritation or having them groom themselves and accidentally ingesting some. Be sure to read all labels on your cleaning products, and when at all possible, use those that are pet friendly.

We all love the warm breezes that flutter through our homes in the springtime, and so do our pets. However, be sure that if you have an open window, it is properly screened. Also, be sure to check your screens for any tearing or other weakness that could allow your pets to fall through.

As the grasses, flowers and trees bloom this spring, so do seasonal allergies. Many people are unaware that your pets can suffer from allergies just as humans do.  Allergic reactions in your pets can range from sniffling, sneezing and scratching to life threatening anaphylactic shock. The most common symptoms are runny nose and eyes and scratching. If you suspect your pets have allergies, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Moving from the indoors to the outdoors, spring is time of working on our yards and in our gardens. However, be sure that if you are using any fertilizer, insecticides or herbicides, your pet does not have access to these areas. They may make your lawn beautiful, but most contain ingredients that are toxic to your four legged friends. Be sure to check the label on any product you are using to see if it may harm your pets. Also, be aware of what plants you are planting in your yard. Lilies, rhododendron and azaleas are all highly toxic to pets and can easily prove fatal if eaten.

Finally, now that the weather is cooperating, people and pets love to get out and walk, run, hike and play. Though these are all fantastic activities that can help your pet (and let’s face it, us too) shed those winter pounds, they do provide more chances for your pet to wander off or get lost. It is wise to keep your pet leashed if you are out of your yard. Also, be sure to have tags with your pet’s name and all of your pertinent information on their collar. Finally, we highly recommend that you have your pets microchipped (please see our previous blog article on the importance of microchipping).

Keeping all of these things in mind, we hope that you, and your pets, get out there and enjoy the arrival of spring!

By on May 7th, 2019 in Pet Care

Common Signs of Arthritis

All pet owners know, it is hard to think about our beloved furry friends getting older. However, it is inevitable that they do age. As they get older, there are many things we, as pet owners, need to look for. One of the most common ailments that we see in older pet is arthritis. Depending on the circumstances, we even see younger pets that have the start of early arthritis. Arthritis affects your pet’s joints and causes pain and discomfort. Here are five common signs that your pet may be suffering from arthritis.

Difficulty with movement: One of the most common signs that your pet may have arthritis is that they have problems with their movement. You may notice your pets have stopped doing activities that previously were no problem for them. For example, your dog may not be able to climb stairs as easily, run and play or get in and out of your vehicle. For your cats, you may notice that they are no longer able to jump onto counters, furniture, perches or other high places that they previously liked to go. You may also see some limping or favoring of paws. Or you may notice that it takes your pet a little longer to get going in the morning or after a nap. Sometimes they need to walk around a bit to loosen up their limbs. They may also appear very stiff and uncomfortable to you.

Fatigue: You may notice that your pets are simply slowing down as they get older. Long walks and runs may be tough for them and tire them out. You may see them napping more often and for longer periods of time.

Irritability: You may see a change in your pet’s demeanor if they are suffering from arthritis. Since they are probably in a fair amount of discomfort or pain, they may growl or whimper if they are touched in a way that causes them more distress. In extreme cases, you might even have a normally mild mannered pet who will snap or bite if they are hurting too much.

Excessive grooming or licking: Sometimes an animal will lick, bite or even chew at a particularly painful area. This can cause hair loss and irritation at the site. When suffering from arthritis, pets will often over groom the area, trying to make it feel better and possibly causing more problems.

Muscle and spinal issues: One of the most serious problems associated with arthritis is when it infiltrates the joints to the point where it affects the muscles or spine. Because your pet may reduce their activities, you might notice them losing weight and muscle in their legs. Or you might notice that they have adopted a hunched position to their body due to their spine being affected. At times you may even see a loss of control over their hindquarters.

Though all of these symptoms can be very scary and difficult for you and your pets, there is also good news. When your pet is diagnosed correctly, there are treatments that can help with arthritis. In our next article, we will discuss what things you can do to help your pet when they have arthritis. If you have concerns that your pet may be in a lot of pain, please contact your veterinarian at once.

By on February 20th, 2014 in Pet Care