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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Happy Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day!

There’s a popular dog meme that goes something like this: “We were once warriors, and then we discovered sofas.” This is the perfect description for a bulldog.

Descended from fighting mastiffs that originated in ancient Mesopotamia, these animals were brought to the British Isles by the Romans in order to use them in a bloody sport call bullbaiting. Today, there are many types of bulldogs in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, however, people are most familiar with the classic wrinkly-faced, stocky bodied, slightly-slobbery British Bulldog.

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Today’s bulldog is definitely a lover, not a fighter, and is more likely to prefer a good snooze on the sofa to exercise (something we can all relate to at some point). They will tend to overeat whenever the opportunity arises, so their food intake must be strictly monitored.

Generally, bulldogs can’t tolerate heat and humidity very well, and they are quite sensitive to cold weather. They must also receive regular exercise to avoid weight problems, which will require some steady encouragement and dedication from you.

Overall, bulldogs tend to be friendly and they make good pets, but their snub-nosed characteristics also make them susceptible to all sorts of health problems, including respiratory problems like wheezing, snoring and sleep apnea. Happily potential health issues can be handled by regular veterinary check ups, and proper feeding and exercise – so they stay healthier and happier for longer.

We’d love to see pics of your bulldog buddy – post them on our Facebook page! AZ Pet Vet – Facebook

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

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For most people, the very idea of animal cruelty is heartbreakingly incomprehensible, but it happens every day. According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) an animal is abused or beaten every ten seconds. However, animal cruelty is not always about physical abuse.

Learn to recognize the signs of animal cruelty:

Lack of adequate shelter: an animal that’s regularly left outside can quickly perish in the Arizona heat. Access to clean, fresh water and shelter from the sun is important, especially during the summer months. Better yet, the animal should be kept indoors where it’s cooler.

Untreated medical or skin conditions: if an animal is losing hair or has open sores, they need medical treatment. Withholding treatment for common ailments or disease like diabetes or thyroid issues is also a form of animal cruelty.

An animal that is kept crated all the time: this is a form of animal cruelty. Pets need regular exercise, attention and socialization, not to mention potty breaks. If these can’t or won’t be provided by the pet owner, they shouldn’t own a pet.

Negligent cruelty: Leaving an animal (or a child) alone in a locked car during summer months! Never, ever do this – not even for “just a few minutes”. Temperatures will quickly soar to life-threatening levels.

What to do if you suspect animal cruelty:

Remember, we need to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. If you suspect or witness an act of animal cruelty, pick up the phone and call the local police, the Humane Society or other animal welfare organization. You can make a complaint (anonymously, if necessary) that can help ensure that animals in jeopardy are rescued and receive the care they need. If you’re concerned about the immediate health or safety of the animal, be sure to tell the officer.

Keep a record of the incident/s, the date of your complaint, the organization you contacted and the name of the person you talked with as well as their response to the situation you’ve described. It may be helpful if authorities decide to prosecute the suspected abuser.

Great Tips for Pet First Aid Awareness Month

shutterstock_284194535Knowing how to identify a potential emergency and what to do in an actual emergency situation can help you stay calmer and provide help to your pet until you can reach a veterinary hospital.
The American Red Cross offers some common emergency tips:

To determine if your cat or dog is dehydrated: pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. It should spring right back; if it stays tented this is a sign of dehydration.

Signs of pet poisoning: these include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental state or behavior.

If your pet has a seizure: make sure it is in a safe place, but do not restrain the animal. Keep your hands away from its mouth as your pet may not know who you are during a seizure and could bite you.

Signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion: these include collapse; body temperature of 104 degrees F or above; bloody diarrhea or vomiting; wobbliness; excessive panting or difficulty breathing; increase heart rate; mucous membranes very red; and increased salivation.

Your pet has been bitten by another animal: Seek vet attention to prevent the wound (even if minor) from becoming infected and to check for internal wounds. Never try to break up a dogfight yourself because you could be bitten.

If your pet is bleeding: apply direct pressure using gauze over the bleeding site. If blood soaks through, apply more gauze (do not removed soaked gauze) until you can reach a veterinary hospital.

Get the app! The American Red Cross offers a free Pet First Aid app for smartphones. Owners have access to step-by-step instructions, videos and images for more than 25 common first aid emergencies. In the interest of being prepared, it might be a good idea to download the one for people, too! Text “GETPET” to 90999.

Source: RedCross.org

First Aid for Pets Awareness Month

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April is National First Aid for Pets Awareness Month. First aid skills are important not only for helping humans who may be in having a health emergency, but also for pets. Would you know what to do in case of an emergency with your pet?

1. Have a list of emergency numbers posted near your home phone as well as listed in your cell phone – include your regular veterinarian, the poison control center, plus the nearest 24-hour emergency vet clinic (handy for after hours). If your pet is microchipped (and it should be) be sure to record the number as well.

National Animal Poison Control Center: 888.426.4435
Pet Poison Helpline: 800.213.6680

Note: A call to a Poison Control Center may incur a fee, however, it could save your pet’s life in case of accidental or deliberate poisoning.

2. Put together a Pet First Aid Kit. Every home should have a First Aid Kit, and that includes one for pets. Basic kits are available online and through some veterinary offices, but with a little guidance from your vet, you can easily put together your own. Since emergencies are not always health related, it’s smart to also include vital phone numbers, pertinent health records, plus any pet-specific information like a current photo, feeding instructions and copies of your pet’s registration and microchip numbers.

3. Get the app! The American Red Cross offers a free Pet First Aid app for smartphones. Owners have access to step-by-step instructions, videos and images for more than 25 common first aid emergencies. In the interest of being prepared, it might be a good idea to download the one for people, too! Text “GETPET” to 90999.

Visit the Apple App store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pet-first-aid-by-american/id780415389?mt=8) Or Google Play Store (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cube.arc.pfa).

4. Take a class! Artificial Respiration and Pet CPR are two vital first aid skills every pet parent should have. YouTube has a wealth of video training, and The American Red Cross and many other organizations offer training and certification classes for Pet CPR. Simply search for “Pet CPR classes” plus your city to find a range of resources, online and off.

5. Know when to seek emergency veterinary treatment for your pet.
The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) emergency list:

  • Severe bleeding or bleeding that doesn’t stop within 5 minutes
  • Choking, difficulty breathing or nonstop coughing and gagging
  • Bleeding from nose, mouth, rectum, coughing up blood, or blood in urine
  • Inability to urinate or pass feces (stool), or obvious pain associated with urinating or passing stool
  • Injuries to your pet’s eye(s)
  • You suspect or know your pet has eaten something poisonous (such as antifreeze, xylitol, chocolate, rodent poison, etc.)
  • Seizures and/or staggering
  • Fractured bones, severe lameness or inability to move leg(s)
  • Obvious signs of pain or extreme anxiety=
  • Heat stress or heatstroke
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea – more than 2 episodes in a 24-hour period, or either of these combined with obvious illness or any of the other problems listed here
  • Refusal to drink for 24 hours or more
  • Unconsciousness