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Monthly Archives: February 2014

World Spay Day

Today, February 25, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of World Spay Day. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Humane Society International (HSI), both sponsors of this annual day of awareness, estimate that 6-8 million homeless dogs and cats enter U.S. shelters each year. In the Phoenix valley alone, shelters receive approximately 90,000 animals annually. Unfortunately, only half of those animals find homes.

“Nearly 90,000 dogs and cats came into Maricopa County shelters last year, the second highest county intake after LA in the United States.”

According to the Arizona Humane Society, one pair of unspayed/unneutered dogs can create 67,000 dogs within 6 years and one pair of cats can produce 420,000 cats in 7 years. Spaying and neutering cats, dogs, and even other pets like rabbits and ferrets, is the key to stopping animal overpopulation. In addition, spaying helps prevent uterine infections as well as uterine, ovarian, and breast cancer. Neutering has the same health benefits for male animals, inhibiting testicular cancer, reducing aggression, and decreasing the likelihood of male spraying behaviors.

Take care of your pets health and well-being, and get them spayed/neutered. Visit www.AZPetVet.com to find the location nearest you, and call to schedule your appointment today. We have low-cost spay/neuter packages, and offer payment plans too!

February is Dental Health Month

It’s Pet Dental Health month, the ideal time to focus on the important role that dental hygiene plays in your pet’s health. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, bacteria can enter your pet’s bloodstream from their teeth and mouth, leading to potential infections of your pet’s heart, lung, kidneys, liver, and nervous system.

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Schedule an Exam
Periodontal disease is one the most prevalent diseases in companion animals today. However, a 2011 National Pet Owners survey found that only 14% of dogs and 9% of cats receive dental care at the veterinarian’s office. Early treatment, regular dental examinations and cleanings, and a home care regimen are key to maintaining your pet’s health and longevity.

An annual dental examination is the best way to identify issues before they have a serious impact on your pet’s health. Your veterinarian will observe your pet’s face, their gums, cheeks, palate, and bite patterns to isolate dental health concerns and recommend cleaning and/or treatment.

Know the Signs
Between dental examinations and cleanings, the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) recommends that you watch for the following signs of oral and dental disease.
o Bad Breath
o Loose teeth
o Discolored or tartar-covered teeth
o Excessive drooling
o Dropping food from their mouth
o Bleeding from the mouth
o Loss of appetite or weight loss

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important that you seek veterinary care right away.

Brush Regularly
Regular brushing of your pet’s teeth is the most important thing you can do to care for your pet’s teeth at home. It’s important to start this routine early to help your pet adjust to this new habit. While daily brushing is ideal, the key is to set a regular schedule of brushing several times each week and stick to it.

To get your pet comfortable with having their teeth brushed, begin by spending a few minutes each day rubbing their mouth or gums with your finger. As they become used to that, introduce them to the taste of their toothpaste. Gently massage your pet’s gums using a piece of gauze, a finger brush, or a special pet toothbrush. Finally, as they become comfortable with having your fingers in their mouth, begin the brushing process with toothpaste, using a small circular motion to loosen tartar and eliminate food particles. If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions on how to brush your pet’s teeth, check out this video by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Steer clear of human toothpaste and toothbrushes. Human toothpastes have harmful detergents and abrasives that can be harmful if swallowed or inhaled by your dog or cat. There are a variety of specialty pet toothpastes to choose from with specialty flavors designed to appeal to their senses.

In honor of Pet Dental Health month, AZ Pet Vet is offering a $50.00 discount off your pet’s dental treatment visit throughout the month of February. With 17 Valley locations open seven days a week, it’s easy to find an appointment time that fits your busy schedule. Visit our website to find the office closest to you and to schedule your pet’s dental health exam.

National Bird Day

One of the lesser-known holidays is National Bird Day, a day set aside to raise awareness of the dangers faced by both common and rare birds. Established in 1894, Bird Day was started by Charles Almanzo Babcock, the superintendent of schools in Oil City, PA, and was often celebrated in conjunction with Arbor Day. As the first US holiday dedicated to celebrating birds, Bird Day promotes Babcock’s dedication to bird conservation throughout the country.

One of the best ways to honor Bird Day is to spend some time bird watching and observing birds in their natural habitat. Turning our eye to the birds around us, here are a few facts about our fine feathered friends as well as area events for bird enthusiasts.

cactus wren

• Arizona’s state bird is the Cactus Wren. Arizona was the last state to choose its bird; deciding on a wren species native to the southwestern United States. The cactus wren is the largest wren in the country and can survive without freestanding water.

Light brown with a pale breast spotted with dark brown and a white stripe above its eye, the wren makes its home in Sonoran desert, often residing in a Saguaro cactus. They build large, football shaped nests comprised of cholla and other cacti. Their chug-chug-chug song is synonymous with the desert, used quite often in movies to depict an isolated remote desert scene.

• Audubon Arizona hosts a Saturday Morning Bird Walk at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center. Join bird enthusiasts for a free guided bird walk and learn more about the birds in your backyard. Binoculars are available on loan.

For a walk on the wild side, you can learn about birds while enjoying Four Peaks brew on the 3rd Thursday of every month from 5:30-7:30 PM at Birds ‘n Beer. Held at the Nina Mason Pullium Rio Salado Audubon Center, you can RSVP at Audubon Arizona’s Facebook page.

• The 17th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free bird activity the whole family can enjoy. Spend at least 15 minutes counting birds in as many places and days as you can between February 14th through 17th. Then visit your list and location at www.birdsource.org. Last year over 100,000 people participated, counting birds in over 100 countries. Check out last year’s results here.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum offers naturalist-guided tours on Monday, Friday, and Sunday from January through April. Learn about the Northern Cardinals residing in the area or catch a glimpse of the 230 bird species that have been spotted in the arboretum. No RSVP necessary, just show up at 11 AM for the 2-3 hour walking tour (included free with your $10 admission).

• Who can resist learning about our nation’s great bird, the Bald Eagle? Kids and adults alike will enjoy the Willow Bend Environmental Center’s Bald Eagle event on February 15th hosted by Arizona Game and Fish of Flagstaff. To learn more about this and other family-friendly programs, visit the Willow Bend Center’s website.

• If you’re interested in learning more about Bird Day, you can download a free eBook by its founder, Charles Babcock. Covering everything from bird conservation to lesson plans and poems aimed to enlighten children on the beauty of birds to a detailed field guide describing the features of many common birds, the book captures the true spirit of Bird Day.

“Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings.” Victor Hugo.