Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital

10855 South 48th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85048

(480)893-0533

www.ahwatukeeanimalcare.com


Immunization Awareness Month - 08/01/2019

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The discovery of vaccines fundamentally changed modern medicine. More than 16 vaccines have been developed for companion animal health.

A vaccine is a medical preparation that helps the body’s immune system prepare to fight disease-causing organisms. If the immune system has detected an unfamiliar microbe (virus or bacteria) as part of a vaccine, it is primed to produce antibodies if it is exposed to the same microbe again. Antibodies are what help the body fight infection and protect the body from getting the same illness again. Vaccinations are intended to reduce the severity of the illness, and/or prevent the illness or disease entirely, by creating immunity – and that is why they’re called immunizations.

Over the past 60 years, vaccines have improved the lives of cats and dogs and have played an important role in public safety. Although veterinary vaccination programs have not yet eliminated diseases, vaccines for rabies, distemper, parvovirus, feline leukemia and panleukopenia have greatly reduced the incidence of disease, improving animal welfare and reducing death.

The greatest achievement with the vaccination of companion animals is the reduction of canine distemper in area where vaccines are used. Canine distemper is a contagious, serious, and often fatal disease of dogs. Another terrific achievement is the elimination of dog-mediated rabies (rabies in people caused by dogs) in Canada, the United States, western Europe, Japan, and 28 of the 35 Latin American countries.

However, rabies is still widespread in more than 150 countries around the world. Although it is preventable, it kills about 59,000 people a year. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths are caused by dog bites and about 40% of the victims are children younger than 15 years of age living in Africa and Asia. United Against Rabies, a partnership between the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, has set a goal to eliminate dog-mediated rabies by the year 2030.

The vaccinations that are recommended for dogs and cats vary according to where the pets live and their lifestyle. Some vaccines are “core,” recommended for all dogs or cats, while others are recommended only in some circumstances.

Core Vaccines for dogs:

Canine distemper virus

Canine adenovirus-2 (canine hepatitis)

Canine parvovirus

Rabies virus

Non-core vaccines for dogs:

Bordetella bronchiseptica + canine parainfluenza virus (kennel cough)

Leptospira

Rattlesnake vaccine

Borrelia burgdorferi or Lyme disease

Canine influenza (H3N8 and H3N2)

Core vaccines for cats:

Feline panleukopenia virus (FPL) (also known as feline infectious enteritis or feline

distemper)

Feline viral rhinotrachetis (also known as herpes virus-1 or FHV-1)

Feline calicivirus

Rabies virus

Non-core vaccines for cats:

Chlamydophila felis

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) caused by FIP virus or feline coronavirus

Bordetella bronchiseptica

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)

Immunization is a very important part of preventive health care for pets. While some pet owners may be hesitant to vaccinate due to concerns about possible vaccine reactions or side-effects, the risks are very low (0.o2% to 0.5%) and far outweigh the risks associated with getting one of these preventable, and often deadly, diseases.

Thanks to research advancements and new technologies, the vaccination guidelines have been revised. Historically, many vaccines were administered annually; however, with what we now know about vaccine immunity (i.e. protection), the intervals between vaccinations are being extended. As more studies emerge and vaccines improve, the vaccination guidelines will continue to be revised accordingly. Your veterinarian will keep you up to date on the current standards.

Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about which vaccines your pet should receive and what schedule you should follow. This is immunization awareness month. Therefore, it’s a great time to check to make sure that your pet is up to date with all of her or his vaccinations.

 

 


4TH Of July Fireworks! - 06/28/2019

Fireworks

As we get ready to celebrate Independence Day, many of us are buying fireworks and/or planning which fireworks display to attend. While fireworks are entertaining for people, they can be quite the opposite for our pets. In fact, they can be a big source of fear for our furry friends.

When animals encounter a threatening situation or perceive a sound or situation as threatening, they experience anxiety and fear. Fear is nature’s way to protect them from harm. The fear response arises from the survival instinct. Fear triggers the “fight or flight” response. The “fight or flight” response prepares the animal to approach the threat and deal with it or flee from it.

The sounds and sights of fireworks can certainly frighten some animals. They can’t understand what the commotion, loud sounds and bright lights are all about. Some pets are so fearful it becomes a phobia.

There are some steps you can take to help your pet until you can work on a long-term training plan to desensitize your pet:

~ Never take your pet with you to a fireworks display and do not have them in the yard if you are shooting off fireworks. He/she may get agitated and run away.

~ Keep your pet indoors during the fireworks. If possible, keep your pets confined in the most soundproof area of your home, such as an inner room without windows or the basement. Consider staying with your pet. Be sure that she/he is used to the room you’ve chosen, so that she/he doesn’t perceive the confinement as punishment.

~ Close all windows and exterior doors in your home and try to further muffle the sounds of the fireworks by playing music, turning on the television, a fan, or use a white noise machine.

~ If your pet enjoys his/her crate, move the crate to an interior room and cover it with a blanket to help muffle the sounds. Be sure there is still good air circulation.

~ Do not scold or punish your pet. Punishment confirms that there is something to be fearful of.

~ Do not pet or reassure your dog or cat when he/she is fightened. By “rewarding” the fearful behavior, the fear response may become more intense with each exposure to fireworks. Ignore the sounds and try playing ball or fetch or some other game with your pet.

~ Consider trying an anxiety wrap. Anxiety wraps apply gentle pressure, much like swaddling a baby, and may be a calming solution for dogs that have a fear of thunder, fireworks, and other loud noises.

~ Ask for help from your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may be able to recommend a training program so that your pet is better prepared to cope next year. Furthermore, your veterinarian may prescribe a medication or pheromones to help.


Do Cats Actually Use Their Whiskers To Measure Space? - 05/28/2019

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Some of you may have heard that cats use their whiskers to measure space. So, is that true? Yes it is!

Did you know that cats don’t just have whiskers on each side of their nose? They also have whiskers on their upper lip, above their eyes, on their jaw, and on the backs of their front legs.

Cat whiskers actually send information about your cat’s surroundings to her or his nervous system. While your cat’s whiskers don’t actually “feel” anything, they do sense changes in air flow or when an object brushes up against him or her.

The whiskers vibrate, which sends signals to the brain. By sensing these subtle changes, cat whiskers transmit information about the size, shape and speed of nearby objects. This helps your cat navigate his/her environment, especially in the dark.

You can think of cats’ whiskers as their radar system. Cat’s have a great sense of smell; however, their vision is not the greatest, especially when looking at nearby objects. The whiskers are constantly sending signals to the brain and help your cat “see” objects. For example, as your cat approaches her/his food dish, her/his movement causes the air to move. The stirred up air currents bounce off the food dish and other objects in the room and back to your cat’s whiskers. This allows your cat to sense where his/ her food dish is  and allows her/him to avoid walking into other objects.

Whiskers also help your cat avoid getting stuck in a tight place. As your cat approaches a narrow opening, the whiskers help her/him determine if he/she will fit through the space.

The whiskers on the backs of your cat’s front legs help when your cat is jumping on or off narrow places, climbing, and help to sense when he/she needs to quickly move out of harm’s way.

You can tell a lot about how your cat is feeling and what she/he is doing by the way he/she holds his/her whiskers. For example, when a cat is resting or content, the whiskers are still. When a cat is scared, his/her whiskers are bunched up and lay flat along his/her face. Further, when a cat is excited or startled, her/his whiskers are directly completely forward (toward the source of threat or excitement). Finally, when your cat is hunting or in play mode, her/his whiskers are pointing forward (toward the prey or toy).

Never, trim, pull, or pluck your cat’s whiskers. Not only will pulling or plucking hurt, but you will also be reducing your cat’s ability to gather information about her/his surroundings, which can cause confusion, disorientation, and fear. However, it is completely normal for cats to shed their whiskers. The whiskers will grow back.


April 25th is International Guide Dog Day - 04/25/2019

Heat-Exhaustion

April 25th is International Guide dog Day! You’ve likely noticed people in your community with guide dogs, leading them through crowded public places or across busy intersections. Also, you may have seen cute puppies wearing the colored vests identifying them as guide dogs-in-training.

International Guide dog day is a day to recognize and celebrate the wonderful, selfless work that these incredible guide dogs perform: devoting their lives to assisting people with vision impairment safely navigate the world. Guide dogs help people with vision loss to move confidently through their worlds and participate in the everyday activities that those with intact vision enjoy.

Guide dogs are higly skilled and trained canines that promote safety and independence for their owners. They help their owners negotiate obstacles, use public transportation, guide them through busy places, and complete many other specific daily tasks.

Guide dogs generally are trained to escort their owners in a straight line while avoiding obstacles, and will stop at curbs, doors, stairs and more. They are not intended to “lead” their owner. Rather, they are trained to take instruction on where their owner wants to go, and ensure they reach their destination safely. It’s up to the owner to use his or her other senses (i.e. hearing, etc) to determine when it is safe to proceed, give the guide dog the appropriate command, and have the dog proceed if it is safe to do so.

During their training, guide dogs are taught to reason and respond to unsafe commands with “intelligent disobedience”; wherein if it is unsafe to proceed, the guide dog will refuse to obey the command.The owner in turn must learn to trust his or her guide dog and have faith that if their dog refuses to obey a command, it is because there is some element of risk involved that the dog has identified and is reacting to.

In addition to keeping their owners safe, guide dogs provide companionship, enable activities and encourage social inclusion for their owners. They provide a very special human-animal bond which is an important source of acceptance and unconditional love. By enabling their owner to safely and confidently navigate public spaces, a guide dog promotes the owner’s  self-confidence and self esteem and promotes the owner’s increased desire to engage with others. This can lead to establishing relationships that, without the assistance of a guide dog, the owner may not have been willing or able to create or participate in.

Dogs that are well-suited to guide dog work usually have a calm and quiet disposition, a high level of intelligence, good concentration, and a strong drive to work. Breeds that are commonly used as guide dogs are Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds. Guide dogs receive about two years of training and socialization to learn various tasks, obedience, and public access manners required to be a successful guide.

Guide dogs devote their lives to keeping their owners safe and elevating their quality of life. It is important to recognize the role they play in our society and the impact of the service they provide. For more information on getting involved with guide dog programs, or obtaining a guide dog for yourself, contact your local guide dog organization or speak with your veterinarian.


April is National Heartworm Awareness Month - 04/04/2019

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April is National Heartworm Awareness Month. Dogs are probably the first pets that come to your mind when you hear heartworm disease. Although dogs are the pet most commonly affected by heartworm, cats can be affected, too. recent studies have shown that the incidence of heartworm disease in cats is much greater than previously thought. Compared to dogs, cats are not a natural host for heartworms and are relatively more resistant; however, we still see an infection rate of 5 to 20% of the rate of dogs within the same geographic area.

Cats become infected by heartworms the same way dogs do; through the bite of an infected mosquito. Many pet owners are surprised to learn that about a third of heartworm-infected cats are indoor cats. Think of how easily a mosquito can enter your home -through a tear in a screen, or through an open door as you enter or depart.

Heartworm disease can’t be transmitted from one pet to another, cats must be bitten directly by a heartworm infected mosquito to get the disease. When the mosquito bites a cat, the mosquito inserts its sharp mouthpiece into the cat’s body. The mosquito then deposits microscopic heartworm larvae into the cat’s bloodstream as it feasts on the cat’s blood. The larvae mature for several months, then migrate towards the heart and lungs through the bloodstream. They end up on the right side of the heart and in the pulmonary artery (the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs), where they mature into adult heartworms. About six months after initially entering the cat, the heartworms are mature enough to reproduce.

Cats can be particularly difficult to diagnose with heartworm. There are no specific clinical signs in cats, although they may show non-specific signs such as lethargy, lack of appetite or weight loss. The most common sign is the sudden onset of cough and difficulty breathing, which can often be mistaken for and/or misdiagnosed as asthma. Sometimes, an apparently healthy cat may be found dead or may develop sudden respiratory failure leading to death, in which case heartworm disease may be diagnosed post-mortem.

Unfortunately, unlike treatment for dogs, there is no medication to kill heartworms that is approved for treating cats. Treatments are usually supportive, focused on managing symptoms of the disease and preventing the reproduction of new heartworms. Surgical removal of the worms is possible, but is often reserved for cats with poor prognosis without surgery. However, because cats are not natural hosts for heartworms, the worms are often unable to complete their life cycle and die without reproducing. This means heartworm infections may be short-lived in some cats and may resolve on their own.

The best way to prevent heartworm in your cat is to give your cat heartworm preventive. In warmer climates like Arizona where mosquitos can be active year-round, cats should receive a preventive year-round. There are many forms of preventive, usually given monthly; they may be given orally or applied topically. Your veterinarian can suggest products that best fit your cat’s needs. Talk to your veterinarian about how to best protect your cat.


Adult Versus Senior Pets - 03/07/2019

If you watch television, you’ve probably been seeing an increasing number of commercials on TV and in print about lifestyle nutrition, including an emphasis on different diets for different ages of pets. While it is relatively easy to determine when a cat or dog becomes an adult versus a kitten or puppy, the shift from adult to senior is less obvious, particularly when it comes to dogs.

Smaller breeds of dogs tend to age at a slower rate than large and giant breeds. Nevertheless, the changes that signal the onset of aging generally begin to occur at around 6 -8 years of age in dogs and around 9 years of age in cats. Most veterinarians agree that dogs are considered to be senior at 7 years of age, while cats that are more than 10 years of age are considered senior. Furthermore, in the past few decades we have seen a rise in the average age of dogs and cats, with more and more pets over the age of 10.

Often, an early sign of aging in our pets is a change in the coat or hair, such as the presence of gray in the coat, particularly around the chin or face, a change in the texture of hair, or thinning of the coat. Skin becomes less elastic and more fragile, and may become either drier or greasier, depending on the pet.

It’s common for the pet’s claws to become drier and more brittle with age, and nails may break off more easily or become thicker and somewhat misshapen. You may need to trim your pet’s nails more frequently because of these changes, and your pet may require more frequent bathing.

Changes in your pet’s digestive system may lead to decreased ability to digest nutrients from their food, leading to problems such as weight loss or loss of muscle mass. Some pets become obese in old age, while others become thin and bony. In both of these cases, diet changes are necessary.

Older animals are at risk for developing diseases such as thyroid disorders, liver problems, kidney problems, high blood pressure, heart disease, muscle and/or joint problems such as arthritis, etc. Many of our pets hide the signs of sore or aching joints from us, and the only subtle sign of problems may be decreased activity as shown by reluctance to play, climb stairs or jump up or down onto or off of furniture.

Since many of these age-related problems can be difficult to spot by the average pet owner until they are advanced, senior pets should visit the veterinarian more often. Annual check-ups are considered to be the normal for adult cats and dogs, but once a pet becomes senior, twice a year checkups are advisable so that your veterinarian can look for subtle signs of problems before they become serious.

Since dogs and cats age at a much faster rate than humans, visiting the veterinarian every six months would be the equivalent of visiting your doctor for a physical examination every 3 or 4 years! A senior examination for your pet will always include a complete physical examination and periodic evaluations of blood, urine and fecal samples as well as other tests, depending on the individual patient.

Over the past several decades, research into optimal nutrition has resulted in the formulation of nutritional recommendations that provide the right blend of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins to slow the signs of aging and help deal with problems that accompany aging. Seniors need a different diet than adult cats and dogs. On your next visit to the veterinarian with your senior pet, be sure to discuss these recent advances in clinical nutrition, so that you can make an informed decision about what is best for your furry friends and how you can help prolong their lives.


February Is Dental Month - 02/04/2019

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Most of us don’t think twice about brushing our teeth every day or about going to the dentist for a check-up and cleaning every six months to a year. Some of us try to brush your pet’s teeth every day or so, but do we take our pets to the veterinarian at least once a year for a regular check-up or cleaning? Plaque and tartar can build up just as easily on your pet’s teeth if your pet doesn’t have regular dental care. Serious dental disease can result and impact more than just your pet’s teeth and gums.

You’re not just combatting bad breath when your pet has a check-up and cleaning. Dental disease, or periodontal disease, is a serious health condition. Periodontal disease is the result of plaque and tartar build-up under the gums. Because plaque contains millions of bacteria, plaque and tartar build-up cause inflammation and infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth. It can cause eroded gums, broken teeth, severe pain, and even bone loss to the jaw.

Bacteria under the gum line can affect other areas of your pet’s body, too. Bacteria from the mouth can travel throughout the body and put your pet at greater risk of developing heart, kidney, and liver disease, and complications from diabetes.

You can help prevent periodontal disease by using dental products recommended by your veterinarian (products that have the Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Acceptance). These products have been proven to slow the development of plaque and/or tartar in pets and include special diets, chews, edible treats, water additives, wipes, oral sprays, and toothpastes. Be cautious of products that make claims of whitening teeth if there is no Veterinary Oral Heal Council Seal of Acceptance.

Avoid giving your dog or cat products that are too hard – hard bones can chip or break teeth – dental treats and bones should bend.

If you don’t know how to brush your pet’s teeth, ask your veterinary health care team for help. They can advise you on how best to hold your pet and position the toothbrush. They can also provide tips for a successful stress-free session.

Daily brushing, treats, and water additives can help keep periodontal disease at bay. However, a yearly exam by your veterinarian is extremely important. Your veterinarian will assess your pet’s gums and teeth, look for signs of inflammation and infection, and may recommend a professional cleaning or tooth extraction if periodontal disease is present.

Your veterinarian will review with you what procedures are likely required prior to the professional dental cleaning. Your veterinarian may perform preanesthetic blood tests to ensure kidney and liver function are satisfactory for anesthesia, as well as an evaluation of the heart and abdomen, if needed. Anesthesia is important to allow tooth-by-tooth examination including dental x-rays.

A dental cleaning visit will include a thorough dental examination, teeth cleaning, and polishing to remove the tartar and periodontal disease-causing plaque. Both hand and ultrasonic scalers are used to remove plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. After scaling, the teeth are polished to remove microscopic scratches and decrease the rate of subsequent plaque build-up.This is done while your pet is under general anesthesia. Once anesthetized, your veterinarian and veterinary assistants will thoroughly examine the mouth, noting abnormalities in the medical record. A dental probe will be used to evaluate gum bleeding and periodontal pockets where food can accumulate and decay, if not properly cared for.

When periodontal disease is advanced, it may not be possible to save the badly affected teeth, which may need to be extracted either during the procedure or at a later time.

The treatment your pet may require will be discussed with you after the cleaning, once each tooth and the gums have been checked. Since it can be difficult to predict the extent of dental disease in advance of the procedure, your veterinarian may contact you during the procedure to discuss any additional treatment that may be necessary.

Never use human toothpaste with your pets. Human toothpastes contain ingredients that are not intended to be swallowed and could cause problems for your pets. Also, avoid using baking soda to clean your pet’s teeth. Baking soda has a high alkaline content and, if swallowed, it can upset the acid balance in the stomach and digestive tract.

Pet toothpastes are non-foaming and safe to be swallowed. They are available in flavors appealing to pets. Additionally, many of these toothpastes contain enzymes that are designed to help break down plaque chemically, which reduces the time you need to actually spend brushing your pet’s teeth.

Regular wellness checks with your veterinarian and daily brushing will help your pet live a longer, healthier, and pain-free life!

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Fitness Trackers for Pets - 01/15/2019

49548084_2169131106441614_7526956737727823872_nFitness trackers have become very popular over the past ten years. Fitbits, smart phones, and smart watch trackers allow us to monitor our daily health data: number of steps taken, calories burned, and total distance traveled, etc. Some track our sleep patterns and will remind us to stand up if we’ve been sitting for a while.

As wearable technology evolves for humans, it’s also evolving for pets. Collar systems and attachable sensors allow us to track our pets’ activity, location, and even health parameters such as heart rate, respiration rate, and temperature.

Not all wearable technology for pets is built equivalently. Some activity trackers operate using simple two or three axis accelerometers (think step counters), while others combine more complex accelerometers with GPS, increasing the accuracy of movements and providing pinpoint location. Others have biosensors allowing you and your veterinarian to monitor health conditions.

You need to consider your objectives when you select a fitness tracker for your pet. Your veterinarian can help you determine which fitness tracker might best benefit the health  of your pet.

The following are a few of the fitness trackers available:

FitBark. FitBark is a sensor that attaches to your pet’s collar and uses an accelerometer to track your pet’s activity. The sensor can track rest, active, and play times as well as distance traveled and calories burned. Because each pet is unique, and exercise needs vary between breeds and age, FitBark provides you with data on dogs of similar weight, age, and breeds around the globe. This allows you to compare your dog’s activity to that of dogs similar to your pet to help ensure an activity level goal that makes sense for your dog. You can track your dog’s progress by viewing historical data. FitBark identifies how long a dog spends resting, moving about, or changing positions at night. Changes in sleep habits can indicate illness or pain and can alert you that your pet may need veterinary care. Early diagnosis and treatment are important for many conditions, including injuries and arthritis.

PetPace. PetPace is a collar system that not only tracks your pet’s activity, but also tracks pulse, temperature, heart rate variations, respiration rate, and calories consumed and burned. PetPace has an integrated health monitoring service that analyzes data collected from the collar and sends alerts to both you and your veterinarian if problems are detected. Three levels of monitoring are available to you, depending on your pet’s needs.

Whistle 3. Whistle 3 is a sensor that attaches to your pet’s collar and uses an accelerometer and satellite systems (GPS and GLONASS) to track your pet’s activity and location. Whistle3 will also send you alerts if your pet escapes from his or her “safe place” – a “geo-fenced” area that you can set up to keep track of your pet wherever your pet may be. Whistle 3 also tracks your pet’s rest and will send you alerts of her or his sleep or activity patterns change.

Vetrax. Vetrax is a sensor that attaches to your pet’s collar and is only available through your veterinarian. Vetrax uses an accelerometer with sophisticated algorithms to detect specific behaviors such as shaking, scratching, walking, running, resting, and sleeping. Your veterinarian can use this information to detect changes in your pet’s behavior that are related to certain conditions, such as injuries, arthritis, and skin problems. It also allows your veterinarian to better supervise a weight management program in overweight pets.

This wearable technology allows us to “check-in” and monitor our pets even when we can’t be with them. This technology helps us detect subtle changes in behavior early on and that way we can get treatment started much sooner than would normally be the case.

Not all pet trackers are available in all areas. Also, some have monthly or annual subscription plans. So, do your research about which ones are available in your area and which tracker best suits your needs.


Cannabis, CBD, and Your Pets - 11/19/2018

Cannabis

With the legalization of marijuana (cannabis) in Canada and in several states in the United States, accidental consumption by pets is a growing concern. Furthermore, the use of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of health conditions is on the rise, both in humans and pets. Although results of several studies have shown positive effects of CBD in dogs, its safety and effectiveness as well as long-term ramifications are not fully known or understood.

Currently veterinarians in Canada and the United States can’t legally prescribe CBD for pets. Clinical trials have begun on the use of cannabis-based products in pets for the treatment of anxiety, osteoarthritis, and epilepsy. If the results of studies prove to be positive, it’s possible that Health Canada and the FDA will approve the use of CBD in pets in the future.

In some countries, CBD products containing no more than 0.3% THC are legal to sell. This has led to a market of pet products containing CBD, including treats, sprays, balms, oils, and other CBD products. Many of the products haven’t been fully researched. Many of the positive effects are based on preliminary results and anecdotal reports only. Therefore, it is best to use other options your veterinarian can legally prescribe until the research is more definitive.

It’s important to understand the differences between CBD and the other components of cannabis. There are several strains (sub-species) of the Cannabis plant, including “hemp” and “marijuana” or “cannabis”.

All Cannabis plants contain over 100 cannabinoids (i.e. active chemical compounds of cannabis). Each cannabinoid has different effects in the body. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component of cannabis, binds to receptors in the central nervous system causing a euphoric “high” feeling. On the other hand, CBD has no psychoactive effects. It binds to different receptors throughout the body and doesn’t cause euphoria.

Hemp has very low concentrations of THC ( approximately 0.3%), while cannabis contains between 5 – 20%. Hemp (and other specially bred strains of Cannabis) contain high levels of CBD. These high CBD, low THC strains are preferred for extracting CBD for medicinal use.

CBD is used to treat a variety of health conditions in human patients, including seizures, stress, anxiety, nausea, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, and back pain.

Cannabis flowers are smoked in joints or bongs. To avoid the smoke, they are also vaped. Cannabis can be mixed in foods such as cookies, brownies, and candies. It can also be brewed as a tea.

Pets that consume cannabis, whether from eating the dried leaves and flowers, or by eating the edibles, or by inhaling second-hand smoke, may become high. Depending on how much cannabis a pet inhales or ingests, certain neurological effects will become evident. The signs include disorientation, incoordination, leaking urine, excessive drooling, vocalization, hyperactivity, and a wide-eyed appearance due to dilation of the pupils. In some cases, seizures and coma can result.

Treatment may include administration of activated charcoal, IV fluids, anti-anxiety medications, and a quiet environment until the effects of the drug wear off.

If you decide to forge out on your own and treat your pet’s health condition with CBD, it is important to buy CBD products from a reputable, trusted brand. At minimum, check to see if there is a certificate of analysis for the product your are considering. This certificate tells you how much THC is in the product; it should never exceed 0.3%. Be sure to let your veterinarian know that you are giving your pet CBD. Blindly giving your pet CBD without taking precautions is a recipe for problems.

Until the research is clear and DBD is legal for use in pets, it is best to use other options that your veterinarian can legally prescribe to help your pet with any health issues and conditions he/she may have.


Cat Day is Coming! - 10/24/2018

October 29th is cat day! A great way to celebrate fantastic felines is to debunk some of the common myths about them.

Cats always land on their feet. It is often true that cats land on their feet; however, this isn’t always the case. Each spring and summer when the temperatures rise, the incidence of “high-rise syndrome” also rises. The term “high-rise syndrome” was coined in the 1980s when an animal treatment center in New York City treated over 100 cats that had fallen out of high-rise buildings during a five month period. Cats’ reflexes often allow them to turn right-side-up as they fall, depending on the height from which they fall. Cats falling from low heights don’t necessarily land on their feet because they don’t have time to right themselves. Even if a cat does land on her/his feet, she/he may sustain severe injuries to her/his back, pelvis, legs or head. Prevent falls by securing window screens and keep your cat off of rooftop decks and balconies.

Cats are low maintenance. No pet is truly “low maintenance”. Cats require fresh food and water every day, as well as litter box maintenance. They need love and attention. Playing with your cat and spending time grooming him/her should be a daily activity.

Cats can’t be trained. If your cat uses a litter box, your cat has been trained. You can train your cat to do other “tricks”, too. Cats can be trained to “come,” walk on a leash, scratch on a post rather than the furniture, get his/her nails trimmed, shake a paw, and even to sit, roll over, and shake a paw.

Cats are indifferent and aloof. Cats are just as loving as dogs. Cats can develop deep bonds with their family members and rely on their humans for companionship and care. Some cats develop separation anxiety if they are left alone for long periods of time.

Cats only purr when they are happy. Cats also purr when they are in pain. Purring may actually increase in a cat experiencing pain. If your cat is purring while showing signs of pain (i.e. changes in eating/drinking, litter box and grooming habits; and reluctance to be picked up or touched) seek veterinary care for your kitty.

Cats require milk. Cats do not need milk, unless you are thinking of newborn kittens who do need milk – their mother’s or a specially formulated kitten milk replacement- but not cow’s milk. If your cat has a well-balanced diet designed for your specific cat’s age , life stage, and health needs, he or she will get all of the nutrients required. Milk can cause stomach upset since most adult cats are lactose intolerant.

~  Rubbing butter on your cat’s paws will help him or her find his/her way home. When moving from one home to another, some people suggest rubbing butter on your cat’s paws. The idea behind this practice is that licking to remove the butter will also remove the scent of the previous home, as well as provide the cat the opportunity to survey the new home to become familiar with the scents, sights, and sounds. However, rubbing butter on your cat’s paws will only result in greasy paws and floors and will stress out your cat. To help your cat adjust to a new home, keep her/him indoors for at least two weeks. Don’t allow your cat out at night and accompany your cat the first several times he/she does go outdoors. Make sure your cat is microchipped so that, if he/she does get lost, there is a higher chance of being returned to your home.

Cats hate water. Most cats don’t like water, possibly because their coats don’t dry very quickly, leaving them soggy and cold. However, some cats do like water and will play and even swim in it.

Cats and dogs never get along. Dogs and cats often get along; however, it may take some time. If a new pet is being introduced into your home, take steps to make the introductions slowly. Keep the dog on his/her leash during initial introductions. Allow one pet to roam free while the other is confined. This allows each pet to become familiar with the other pet’s presence. Some dogs have a strong prey instinct and love to chase, pin or pick up other animals they perceive as fair game. This can include cats. Likewise, some cats may swat at, growl, or run and hide from dogs. Be aware, careful, and patient when you consider mixing dogs and cats in your home. Ask your veterinarian for help if you need it.

Cats are nocturnal. While it may seem like your cat is nocturnal, playing and performing crazy antics in the middle of the night, cats are actually crepuscular (most active during twilight -periods of dusk and dawn. This instinctive behavior comes from hunting when opportunities to capture prey are better and there is just enough light for them to see. If your cat is active at night you can train him/her to sleep at night be increasing his/her daytime activity level, feeding him/her the largest meal right before bedtime, and ignoring his/her nighttime antics. This may involve confining your cat to an area of the house where you can’t hear his/her requests to play.