4 Signs Your Dog Needs to See a Vet
New Dog “parents” is a rewarding experience and a big moment in our lives. Being a pet owner also comes with multiple responsibilities. Just like us, dogs can get sick and your furry family member will rely on you for medical care. We recommend your dog goes to a veterinarian for a regular checkups, however there are a few signs of illness you should be aware of.
1. Low Activity
Dogs are energetic from being a puppy to throughout their lifetime. If your dog suddenly seems to have lost its energy, or seems to be unsteady on its feet, it could indicate health problems. This could be due to anything from upset stomach to major illnesses. If the problem persists, it’s important to get your dog to a vet.
2. Scratching and Chewing
Frequent scratching, licking, or chewing at the same area suggests a skin problem. Dogs are subject to allergies and skin infections, while dogs who spend time outdoors may encounter fleas or other biting insects. Ticks spread Lyme disease, which can be fatal. Dogs with long floppy ears also tend to develop ear infections and rub at their ears. If your dog shows these behaviors, bring it to a veterinarian for treatment.
3. Digestive Problems
Dogs may eat things that would shock you. Vomiting or diarrhea isn’t unusual, but if it becomes constant there’s a problem. Dogs are vulnerable to viruses, parasites, or blockage of the intestines. If your dog is sick for more than a couple of days, won’t eat, or you find blood in your pet’s vomit or stool, get them to a vet.
4. Coughing or Sneezing
If you got your dog from a kennel or shelter, or it’s spending time with other dogs, it could catch an upper respiratory infection. Many common forms of canine URI can be serious, such as kennel cough. If your dog is constantly coughing or sneezing, or otherwise has trouble breathing, see your veterinarian.
At Waterhouse Animal Hospital, we are committed to providing the finest care for your pet. Visit us at Waterhouse Animal Hospital or give us a call at (559) 434-4000 to set up your appointment.
July 4th Pet Safety Tips
Did you know more pets get lost on Independence Day than any other holiday? The loud noise and celebration can all frighten and disturb your pet and even affect your calmest pet. For our beloved pets the sights, sounds and even the smells of fireworks are terrifying. They are out of the ordinary and are so infrequent that our pets don’t have an opportunity to become accustomed to them and therefore relieve their fear.
Here are some tips to keep your pets safe on July 4:
- Keep your dogs indoors during the fireworks. Even a calm dog could become frightened and bolt off into the darkness. The ASPCA notes that July 4 is one of the busiest times for found dogs being brought to the shelter.
- Make certain your dogs and cats are wearing collars with your contact information on them or make sure they are microchipped.
- Make a “safe space” in your home for your pets. If they are accustomed to being in a crate, put them in there. Offer them a special treat or their favorite toy, dim the lights and turn on a television or radio to drown out the outside noises.
- If you’re having a party at your home to watch the fireworks, make sure your pets are in a room in which they cannot make a break for a door and run off into the night. They should not greet guests at the door nor should they be wandering the house unfettered as they could become frightened and run out before you can grab them.
- Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets.
- Even after the fireworks displays have ended, your pet may still be stressed and anxious. Keep a careful eye on him or her and don’t let them out without a leash and without their collar and tags with your contact information. Their high anxiety level may have them acting differently than you’d imagined they would and you don’t want your beloved pet to run off into the dark of the night.
Is Your Pet Cool for the Summer?
Temperatures are certainly rising in the next few weeks, here in the Central Valley. As the temperature rise, it is important to remember to keep our pets cool and safe during the summer months!
Waterhouse Animal Hospital Supports our Heroes
Waterhouse Animal Hospital is taking part in the country wide support for our American heroes this month!
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fun is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing critically-needed medical facilities for treating United States military personnel suffering the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health issues.
About Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund:
- “The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) is helping military personnel suffering the effects of traumatic brain injury and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) by building a series of facilities, called “Intrepid Spirit Centers” in which these injuries can be diagnosed and treated.”
- The mission of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is to support our military community, now specifically those who are suffering from traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions.
- 100% of the proceeds donated, go directly to helping service members by building Intrepid Spirit Centers.
How can you join us in supporting Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund?
Because we are a check-in 4 charity member, you can show support for service members by checking-in on Facebook at our office. Each time you check-in, you participate in our donation to The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund in May.
Learn more about the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund by visiting their website and social media at https://www.fallenheroesfund.org/
For Your Canine: Low Stress Tips
At Waterhouse Animal Hospital we are doing everything we can to make you and your dog’s visit to the veterinarian less stressful. We understand that it can be very scary for a pet to come to their doctor with all the strange smells, sounds, sights, and not to mention strangers!
We are stepping up our efforts to make the visit to our hospital a more comfortable experience. While we are making some changes in the hospital, we encourage you to consider the following things prior to your visit:
# 1. Pet carriers – If your pet is traveling in a carrier, keep it out at home where your dog can investigate it. You can help get your pet used to it by placing some of their food or favorite treats into it. Don’t forget to put a comfortable blanket in it. When carrying the carrier, make sure you don’t allow it to swing and place it in an area of the car where it will be upright and will not rock.
#2. Fun visits to the hospital – You may practice fun visits at our clinic any time! Just bring your dog to the front door or into the lobby for some low stress interaction and treats. This will allow your pet to become accustomed to the clinic and that visit to the doctor won’t be as big of a deal when your pet needs vaccines or is not feeling well. Don’t forget to bring your own treats if your pet is on a special diet.
#3. Treats – During appointments we will try to use more treats to make your pet more comfortable and their visit more fun. Bringing your pet in a little hungry will make them more excited about the savory morsels. You may feed them ½ of their breakfast, or even skip breakfast if you have a morning appointment. We will have treats in the clinic, but will make sure with you that it is OK to give them. If your pet is on a special diet (i.e. prescription diet), please bring their own treats or food.
#4. Use Adaptil – Adaptil is a pheromone spray that is scentless for humans, but can help calm your dog. It has been shown to reduce anxiety in stressful situations. You can purchase Adaptil wipes and spray. It is also available in a collar (great for travel) and a diffuser you can use at home. If using a carrier to transport your dog, wipe down or spray the carrier when it is sitting out (don’t do it right before you put the dog in it as it can be a bit overpowering until it dries).
#5. Relax – Your dog is very good at reading your body language. If you are nervous or anxious about the visit, your dog will know. Don’t be embarrassed if your dog is not perfectly obedient. We understand that sometimes the behavior they demonstrate in our hospital is not the behavior they demonstrate at home. Sometimes dogs that are well house trained may have an accident while they are here. Don’t worry, we are prepared and will clean it up promptly.
If you have additional questions about how you can help make your dog’s trip to the hospital less stressful, feel free to ask us. We want your dog’s visit to the veterinarian to be as low stress as you do!
April’s Check-In for Charity – Autism Speaks
Waterhouse Animal Hospital is taking part in the worldwide support for Autism this month!
What is Autism Speaks?
Autism Speaks is a charity with the goal to increase the public understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder. Aside from the amazing outcome of this charity, they are famous for their “Light It Up Blue” campaign.
Facts about autism according to Autism Speaks:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
- An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year.
- Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
- Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
- Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.
How can you join us in supporting Autism Speaks?
Because we are a check-in 4 charity member, you can show support for Autism speaks by checking-in on Facebook at our office. Each time you check-in participate in our donation to Autism Speaks in April.
Calculate Your Pet’s Calorie Needs
Pets energy (calorie) needs to maintain a healthy weight for their life stage depends upon several factors like the energy to perform essential body functions like digestion, respiration, heart functions, brain functions, etc.
At your next appointment, check-out our Digital Calorie Counter and see how many calories your pet should intake each day. Choose your species…slide the scale to the current weight of your pet….select his or her lifestyle…and you will see the recommended number of daily calories recommended.
In humans, dogs, and cats, allergens such as pollens from grasses, trees and weeds, house dust mites, and mold spores have been recognized as common factors that can cause allergic dermatitis. It is not possible to totally avoid these allergens, but one of the first steps in the management of allergic dermatitis is to try to reduce exposure to these allergens.
Avoiding Outdoor Allergens The pollen and outdoor molds most important in allergy are generally light and wind borne and can travel for long distances, at least 15 miles, on wind currents and are impossible to totally avoid. Dry, warm conditions with brisk winds favor pollen transfer. Reducing outdoor exposure when offending pollen and molds are present in high amounts should reduce allergen contact, and therefore reduce symptoms.
1. Keep pet indoors, especially on windy days.
2. Take dogs on evening walks, not in the morning.
3. Use foot baths after walks to remove allergens from the feet or clean the feet with baby wipes.
4. Bathe your pet often during this time.
Check Out This Month’s Check-In for Charity
The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.
Together, in partnership with foundations, governments, businesses, communities, individuals and our more than six million members, we can conserve many of the world’s most ecologically important regions. Join us during the month of March in supporting this organization.
What is the Right Pet Breed for You?
If you have been into the hospital lately you will have noticed our interactive display boards in the Exam Rooms and in the Reception Area. We are often asked “What breed of dog or cat would be best for our family?” Now you can conduct your own research and find out most everything that you want to know on Dog and Cat breeds. Temperament, AKC Ranking, Longevity of he breed and common problems and diseases associated with each breed can all be accessed on our Montage Boards. And our Doctors will be more than happy to discuss the details of each.