Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How to be a Cool Cat on a Dog Day



Summer is in full swing nationwide, and we’re seeing a lot of days with soaring temperatures. In order to help your cat beat the heat, CATalyst Council, a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working on behalf of cats, has the following suggestions for keeping your cat cool when temperatures rise:

1. Ensure your cat has access to fresh, cool water. “All animals need plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially when it is hot,” says Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of CATalyst Council “Dehydration can occur very quickly and can be dangerous, leading to other complications. You may want to put out additional water bowls for your cat so that it’s easy for them to access in various parts of the house.”

2. Proper grooming is important. Brushing your cat can help reduce matting, which traps heat near the body and keeps the cat warmer than it would be otherwise. Grooming is also calming for many cats. If you have long haired cats, you may want to consider getting them a new “summer do,” and having their coats clipped shorter to help keep them cool.

3. Think twice before leaving your cat in your car. A study from Stanford University found that 80 percent of temperature rise in cars occurs within the first 30 minutes of leaving the car, and that even in cooler temperatures cars can quickly become very hot. For instance, at a 72 degree outdoor temperature, the interior of the car could become as hot as 117 degrees. The study also found that cracking the windows did very little to slow the temperature increase within the car. So, if you need to bring your cat with you while you are out and about, think twice before you leave it unattended in your car for even a brief period of time.

4. Keep your cat indoors. While cats have been described as desert animals, they don’t require the heat of hot summer months. By staying inside, not only will your cat enjoy an extended nap on the sofa, it will also enjoy having a safe environment while still enjoying the sunbeams. Keeping cats indoors also keeps them safe from predators, cars, parasites --which tend to be worse during warmer months-- and other dangers. “If you suspect that your cat is suffering from a heat-related illness, take it to your veterinarian immediately,” adds Dr. Brunt. Signs your cat may be overheated include panting, confusion, glazed eyes, agitation, vomiting or drooling, or staggering. Any of these signs should be treated as an emergency situation, and you go to your veterinarian immediately.




Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Three Essential Summer Tips For Dogs


It's summertime and the living is easy, but summer fun also brings some inherent dangers to be aware of. Dog owners need to take extra responsibility to make sure their pup is safe when temperatures heat up and outdoor activity beckons. 

Everyone knows you should never leave a dog in a hot car, but it's also important to be aware that your pup can get heatstroke while they're outside.

Heat Hazards 
If your dog is outside on a hot day, make sure he has a shady spot to rest in. Doghouses are not good shelter during the summer as they can trap heat. You may want to fill a child's wading pool with fresh water for your dog to cool off in. Never leave your dog in a closed vehicle on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes. Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water. Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun's heat is less intense. Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand, which can burn your dog's paws. Dogs that are brachycephalic (short-faced), such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Japanese Chins, and Pekingese, have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs. Keep your brachycephalic dog inside with air-conditioning. Lisa and I just got back from visiting our friends in Wilmington, N.C. where we were lucky enough to spend a few glorious days boating and going to the beach. You would be amazed at how many boating dogs there were, it seemed everywhere I looked there was a dog on a boat. While on the beach an endless number of dogs were running, playing, and splashing around. So, next I thought it would be a good idea to go over some safety tips for those planning on taking Fido to the beach. 

Beach Tips 
Make sure your dog has a shady spot to rest in and plenty of fresh water. Dogs, especially those with short hair, white fur, and pink skin, can sunburn. Limit your dog's exposure during the day and apply sunblock to his ears and nose 30 minutes before going outside. Check with a lifeguard for daily water conditions. Dogs are easy targets for sea lice and jellyfish. Running on the sand is strenuous exercise. A dog that is out of shape can easily pull a tendon or ligament, so keep a check on your dog's activity. Do not let your dog drink seawater; the salt will make him sick. Salt and other minerals in ocean water can damage your dog's coat, so rinse him off at the end of the day. Not all beaches permit dogs; check local ordinances before heading out. Since we're talking about the beach this naturally leads us to our final tip, water safety. Remember, while you may enjoy swimming, your dog may not. For those that do, it's important they are not allowed to swim without supervision. It sounds obvious, but every year dogs drown due to owner negligence. 

Water Safety 
Most dogs enjoy swimming, but some cannot swim, and others may hate the water. Be conscious of your dog's preferences and skills before trying to make him swim. If you're swimming for the first time with your dog, start in shallow water and coax him in by calling his name. Encourage him with toys or treats. Or, let him follow another experienced dog he is friendly with. Never throw your dog into the water. If your dog begins to paddle with his front legs, lift his hind legs and help him float. He should quickly catch on and keep his back end up. Don't let your dog overdo it; swimming is very hard work and he may tire quickly. If swimming at the ocean, be careful of strong tides. If you have your own pool, make sure your dog knows where the stairs or ladder are located. Be sure that pool covers are firmly in place; dogs have been known to slip in under openings in the covers and drown. Never leave your dog unattended in water. 

Summer is the time when ticks and fleas are out in full force, it's important that your pets be treated. If you're not sure about what to use contact your veterinarian for advice. Dogs can also have more allergies in the summer so you need to be aware of the signs so you can seek proper treatment. Lastly, with more outdoor activities comes more accidents. Knowing how to care for your dog in case of an emergency can potentially save his or her life. 



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Caring for pets during emergencies


Nothing says it better than the horror story from Hurricane Floyd: A man was leaving his flooded home when he noticed a neighbor’s dogs swimming in circles around the yard. Wondering why the dogs didn’t simply swim to safety, the man swam over to investigate. To his horror, he found that the dogs had been left chained to a stake in the yard and were swimming frantically just to stay alive. He was able to rescue the dogs, but stories such as this pointedly demonstrate the need for to you to have a good action plan in place in case a natural disaster strikes your home. In this case, the dogs’ owner most likely had been told to leave everything behind and flee as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, his dogs nearly lost their lives as a result.
In the event of an emergency, your life and your family’s lives are the first you should be concerned with. You should only look to save your animals once you are sure you and your family will be safe. But once you are safe, you most likely will want to ensure the safety of your pets. Are you prepared?

Consider your location

First things first. You can only be prepared with a plan of action if you know what you’re planning for, so take some time to think about the area you live in. Some areas are naturally prone to certain disasters California’s earthquakes, for example. Find out what types of disasters have previously struck your area hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, etc. Contacting your local emergency management office or Red Cross will help you to identify what could affect your particular neighborhood. You should also plan for non-natural disasters fires, gas leaks, chemical spills, etc. If, for example, there’s a big chemical processing plant in your area, then you need to be aware of the possible dangers so that you can react if need be. No matter where you live, you’ve got your own special brand of disaster just around the corner, and it may strike at any time.

If You Leave, They Leave

In the event that you have to leave your home, take your pets with you. If it isn’t safe for you to be there, it isn’t safe for them either. Too often people rationalize that their pets’ instincts will kick in, and they’ll be okay. Even if your cat, who has spent the last six years of his life hunting only the fake mice you pull around on a string for him, does have the instincts to survive, it doesn’t mean that the conditions are survivable. No drinkable water for you means no drinkable water for him too. Of course, you have to have somewhere to take your four-legged friends--Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets. Make a list of all the places with in a 100-mile radius of your home where you might be able to take your pet if the need arises, include boarding facilities, veterinarians with boarding capabilities, hotels that will accept pets (ask if they’ll allow pets during a disaster situation), and animal shelters. (Use animal shelters only as a last resort, as they will be overburdened with other animals whose owners did not plan for them). Also, you need to gather your critters inside the house as soon as you are aware that you may have to leave, so that you can easily get them when it’s time to go. Then, when you do leave, make sure you have your little friends under firm control--even the best behaved dog can become scared during an emergency, making his behavior less than predictable.

Be prepared

Like a Boy Scout, you should always be prepared. This means having a disaster kit in your home as well as a smaller version in the trunk of your car if your pet routinely rides with you. Make sure that your pet’s kit is contained in something that is easy to pick up quickly and take out the door with you. You should replace this food and water every six months and rethink your pet’s needs for the kit once a year to make sure that the supplies meet your current needs the same collar that fits your new kitten is not likely to fit him a year later.
The kit should include a week’s supply of food and water in nonbreakable, airtight containers to ensure safety and freshness. If you pack canned food you’ll want to make sure you have a hand-held can opener too. And don’t forget a plastic dish that can double as a food and water dish. An extra collar and leash are also important things to have in your kit. You should also have a portable kennel for each of your critters handy. The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that the official Red Cross policy is that there are no animals allowed in emergency shelters, but they have been known to make exceptions if the animal is securely confined. Pets such as birds will obviously have to have a carrier of some sort as they cannot be leashed. You will want to make certain that you have a well-stocked first-aid kit for your pet that includes tweezers, gauze bandages, first aid cream, antiseptic spray, and hydrogen peroxide. Ask your veterinarian about storing any medications that your pet may need to take regularly.

All the right papers

Many people have their home telephone numbers on their pets’ ID tags. You may want to have an extra set of tags made that list the number of a friend or family member outside the area so that if your phone lines are down, or you’ve been evacuated, your pets can still make it back to you. Another option is to simply include an out-of-area number on your pets’ everyday tag, which can be useful if you’re away on vacation too. And many people don’t have tags for their cats at all, even though they should. According to the 1996 National Council on Pet Population Study, out of one million dogs and 580,000 cats that were taken in as strays, only 17 percent of the dogs and two percent of the cats made it back to their owners. The American Humane Association strongly believes that tags are your pets’ ticket home. You may also want to consider having your pet microchipped or tattooed. And finally, don’t forget the paperwork. Have a copy of your pet’s recent vaccination records in your kit--some boarding facilities may require them before they will take your pet in. A recent picture of your pet may also come in handy if you should become separated and need to make "Lost" posters. Hopefully you won’t ever have to put them up, and hopefully you’ll never have to use your disaster plan. But if you do ever need it, you’ll be very thankful that you were prepared; it could make a trying time a bit easier for you and your faithful companion.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

When to Call the Veterinarian


Even the most attentive pet owners may find it challenging to identify signs of sickness in a dog or cat. Because sick pets are not able to verbalize their pain, we have the responsibility to watch for signs of illness in our four-legged friends. Paying close attention to your pet's normal behavior will help you better identify signs of illness when they occur. Sometimes, even the smallest changes in attitude or appetite may be caused by an underlying health problem.

Deciding when to schedule a visit the veterinarian can be also be a challenge. For example, vomiting is one of the most common symptoms of illness in pets, however, dogs and cats may vomit on occasion without actually being sick. So what symptoms warrant a trip to the veterinary clinic? When your pet displays lethargy or is not eating concurrent with vomiting or diarrhea or has reoccurring or bloody vomiting or diarrhea this is a sign that your pet needs veterinary care. Lethargy is also a sign of illness. If your pet has decreased energy or a lack of enthusiasm you should schedule an exam with the veterinarian. It is important to note if your pet tires more easily than usual or has unexplainable weakness. Pet owners should also contact the veterinary clinic if they notice poor appetite, lameness, frequent or abnormal urination, excessive scratching or licking, nasal discharge, constipation, an unusual bump or excessive thirst. 


It is an animal's instinct to hide symptoms of sickness because in the wild, sick animals appear weak to predators or may be shunned by their own kind. Domesticated dogs and cats have this same wild instinct which makes identifying illness especially difficult. Maple Knoll Veterinary Clinic encourages proactive and preventative health care rather than waiting until your pet displays symptoms of illness. If you are unsure whether an appointment with the veterinarian is necessary, please call Maple Knoll Veterinary Clinic to discuss your questions with our staff.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Welcome Lorraine!

If you have been in to Maple Knoll in that last couple of weeks, you may have seen a new friendly face helping out with appointments. 

This is Lorraine! 

Lorraine is Veterinary Technician in training at Madison Area Technical College (MATC) and she is spending her part of her summer gaining valuable experiences interning at Maple Knoll. Lorraine can be seen around the clinic helping out with things like 4dx tests, holding pets during their physical exams, observing surgeries, preparing and reading lab samples, and much more. Lorraine currently has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Edgewood College and will be graduating from MATC as a Certified Veterinary Technician in May 2015. Lorraine and her fiancĂ© have two kitties that she lovingly refers to as “My boys.” In order to get to know Lorraine a little better, we sat her down for a fun and quirky interview.
Q. If you could be on any T.V. show, what would it be and why?
A. “Switched at Birth because I have always wanted to learn how to do sign language.”

Q. Where is your ultimate vacation spot?
A. “Australia”

Q. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
A. “Super Strength because I am not very strong”

Q. If you were immortal for a day, what would you do?
A. “Skydiving… and bungee jumping”

Q. If you were reincarnated, what animal would you come back as?
A. “Dolphin”

Q. At which store are you most likely to max-out a credit card?
 A. “Best Buy”

In her free time, this fun-loving 24 year old woman enjoys reading romance novels and relaxing with her purrrfect little family. She is looking forward to the 4th of July holiday when her parents will be at her house to visit. The staff at Maple Knoll Veterinary Clinic has enjoyed teaching Lorraine the tricks of the trade and we wish her luck and happiness with her future schooling and career.  


  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Top 10 Tips for Safe Car Travel With Your Pet

Planning a road trip? Traveling with a pet involves more than just loading the animal in the back seat and motoring off—especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time. The ASPCA offers the following tips to help you prepare for a safe and smooth car trip:


1. Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. There are a variety of wire mesh, hard plastic and soft-sided carriers available. Whatever you choose, make sure it's large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. And P.S., it's smart to get your pet used to the carrier in the comfort of your home before your trip.

 2. Get your pet geared up for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car. And please be sure to always secure the crate so it won't slide or shift in the event of a quick stop.

 3. Your pet's travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure. Don't feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle—even if it is a long drive.

 4. Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.

 5. What in your pet's traveling kit? In addition to travel papers, food, bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit, pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.

 6. Make sure your pet has a microchip for identification and wears a collar with a tag imprinted with your home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number and any other relevant contact information. Canines should wear flat (never choke!) collars, please.

 7. Don't allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. He could be injured by flying objects. And please keep him in the back seat in his crate or with a harness attached to a seat buckle.

 8. Traveling across state lines? Bring along your pet's rabies vaccination record, as some states requires this proof at certain interstate crossings. While this generally isn't a problem, it's always smart to be on the safe side.

 9. When it comes to H2O, we say BYO. Opt for bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an area he's not used to could result in tummy upset for your pet.

 10. If you travel frequently with your pet, you may want to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers, available at auto product retailers.

 SOURCE: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/car-travel-tips

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Maple Knoll Welcomes Dr. Kressin-Veterinary Dentist

On May 15th 2014, the staff at Maple Knoll Veterinary Clinic was pleased to welcome Dr. Dale Kressin, board certified veterinary dentist and owner of Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists, LLC. for an afternoon of continuing education with a focus on dental radiography.




 Dr. Kressin has dedicated his career to learning and practicing cutting edge veterinary dentistry as well as providing support and education to other veterinary professionals. All four of our veterinary technicians as well as Dr. Julie Johnson worked with Dr. Kressin in a hands on lab, taking dental radiographs with the goal of improving our skills. Maple Knoll Veterinary Clinic has included dental radiography as part of our Oral Asessment and Treatment Plan since February 2011 and it has proven to be an invaluable tool that provides necessary information used to diagnose and treat dental disease. The staff at Maple Knoll Veterinary Clinic is always excited to sharpen our skills and learn ways to improve the quality of service we provide to you and your pets. We are looking forward to using the additional knowledge and tools provided by Dr. Kressin to help keep your pet’s smile healthy!