All Dogs and Cats Need Routine Veterinary Care

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All Dogs and Cats Need Routine Veterinary Care

You should select a "family" veterinarian who is familiar with the species you have chosen. Your local veterinary associations, friends, and neighbors, or the yellow pages can help you find the right veterinarian for you and your animals. You may have to speak with several veterinarians before you find the right one for your circumstances. Staying with one veterinary group allows them to get to know you and your animal and provides continuity of care for your animals.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A VISIT TO THE VETERINARIAN

Physical examination

Animals do not always let us know when something is wrong until the disease is quite advanced. Many species provide only subtle signs of disease. Some of these problems can be detected early through annual examinations or more frequent examinations if any problems are seen by a caretaker. This visit is also your chance to ask any questions about your animal's health, nutrition, flea control, behavior, etc. One area often overlooked by caretakers is dental care of their animals. Dogs and cats benefit from having their teeth brushed and can develop severe dental disease before you are aware of the problem. Your veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning with polishing or a plan for home cleaning. Your veterinarian can also tell you if your animal is overweight. Each visit to the veterinarian provides a record of your pet’s weight that can be used to see if your pet seems to be gaining or losing weight. He/she can offer suggestions on optimal feeding or how to get your animal to lose weight.

Vaccinations

Periodic vaccinations are important for all dogs and cats to help prevent disease. Vaccinations are especially important in puppies and kittens that are not fully able to protect themselves from serious diseases, with the specific schedule generally starting at 6-8 weeks of age and continuing until the pet is 12-16 weeks of age. These diseases can be fatal but are infrequently seen because of the widespread use of effective vaccines. Just because you have never seen these diseases does not mean you do not need to vaccinate your dog or cat because some of them can survive in the environment for long periods, waiting to be picked up by an unprotected animal. Clinics are available to provide vaccinations without examination but annual examinations are still recommended even if you choose to obtain vaccinations elsewhere.
If your veterinarian feels that your dog or cat has a problem that would be best handled by a veterinarian who specializes in that field, he/she may refer you to a specialist in cardiology, behavior, surgery, internal medicine, etc.  In case of emergency, some veterinarian will take these calls or may refer you to an emergency clinic that can provide care during hours most clinics are not staffed. If you see anything out of the ordinary (such as changes in appetite, water intake, urination, or significant change in behavior) or any obvious injury or illness, call your veterinary hospital to see if they feel an examination is needed.

Routine home check-up

You should check your pets’ body daily for lumps, cuts, swelling, or any other changes. Your veterinarian may find abnormalities that you miss, but generally animals have their veterinary physicals only once a year.Animals can't describe their difficulties, so it is important to be alert and spot problems early, and seek veterinary attention when needed.
Important Reminder:  An annual examination is always needed for the general health and maintenance of your pet. Just because your pet does not seem ill does not mean you should skip his/her annual checkup. Your veterinarian can spot problems before it’s too late.  A thorough examination would include listening to the heart, checking the teeth, ears, eyes, stomach, kidneys, liver, etc.

Remember, they can’t tell you how they feel until it’s too late so it’s up to you to take care of them.

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Little Shelter Adoption Results in Healing for both Adopter and Adoptee

Written by Cathy Rogan

Pet-A-Palooza is an annual Little Shelter event that is great fun for pet lovers and a wonderful opportunity for our animals to find good homes.  Staff, volunteers and visitors alike look forward to taking part in the festivities each August.

As a staff member, I can tell you that the best part of the weekend is when our “old friends” return for a visit.  We like seeing their new families too!

Stacey Foley and her Little Shelter Rescue, Sapphire

Stacey Foley and her Little Shelter Rescue, Sapphire

Such was the case this Sunday when Sapphire, a gorgeous, blue-eyed Husky mix, and her new owner, Stacey Foley, stopped by for a visit.  Sapphire was rescued by Little Shelter earlier this year after being transported from an Alabama shelter as part of our Passage to Freedom Program, where we network with shelters in other parts of the country and rescue some of their animals. 

Sapphire was in a bad way when she got here.  She was very sick for several months and was in foster care until she was ready for adoption.  On Sunday, April 6th, 2014, Sapphire was finally healthy and ready to find home.  Our doors opened to the public at 12:00 Noon.  At 12:15, Sapphire’s life changed forever.  Stacey walked through our kennel, took one look at Sapphire and a connection was made.  Sapphire was adopted shortly thereafter. 

Sapphire has settled in nicely to her new home.  She is showered with love and affection, and has been known to enjoy some homemade chicken soup, macaroni and an occasional hot dog too.  Sapphire has a very good life.

Sapphire’s story doesn’t end here.  Stacey revealed to us that Sapphire is now a therapy dog!  Stacey, who suffers from anxiety attacks, has registered Sapphire as an emotional support dog.  This allows Sapphire to accompany Stacey wherever she goes, to lend emotional support and companionship.  So, the circle is complete.  Little Shelter comes to the aid of animals that need our help, and in turn their owners benefit too! 

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FIV Myths Debunked

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FIV Myths Debunked

The Truth About FIV

It is important to realize that a positive test for FIV is not a mandatory death sentence. With a high protein diet and aggressive treatment of secondary infections, an FIV-positive cat can lead a reasonably normal life span. Dr. Mike Richards says, "Feline immundeficiency virus infection does not lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in cats as often as human immunodeficiency virus leads to AIDS in people." The largest threat to FIV-positive cats is secondary infections, such as bladder, skin, and upper respiratory infections. Kidney failure is also frequently seen in cats with FIV. These secondary infections should be treated promptly and aggressively in any cat, but especially with an FIV cat.

Myth #1: The FIV test is reliable
Fact: 20 % of positive results are just test errors. The error rate for kittens is even higher. Thousands of cats are killed daily because of test errors!

Myth #2: The FIV test shows the existence of the FIV virus.
Fact: It measures nothing but antibodies which are microscopic organisms that fight the virus.

Myth #3: Kittens that test positive for FIV will always test positive for FIV.
Fact: Infected mothers rarely, if ever, pass the infection to their kittens. Kittens born to FIV positive mothers are at a low risk for the infection even though they may test positive at first because of the presence of the maternal antibodies.

Myth #4: Cats who have the virus will eventually develop the disease and die from it.
Fact: 90% of cats who actually have the actual FIV virus will lead completely normal lives.

Myth #5: FIV + cats will lead short, miserable lives.
Fact: FIV+ cats can and DO live long, healthy lives, if given a chance. Most live as long as their indoor counterparts and much longer than outdoor cats. Many live well into old age without ever having symptoms.

Myth #6: The FIV virus is a serious threat to other animals because it can be transmitted by casual contact.
Fact: Modern medical research has show that transmission requires serious physical interaction. Deep bite wounds seem to be the primary mode of the virus transmission.

The virus can only live a few seconds outside the body, so sharing food and water bowls is not an issue. Studies show that FIV+ cats living in a multi cat home do not appear to spread the disease as long as all the cats in the household have a stable social structure where housemates do not fight.

If your cat has been diagnosed as FIV-positive, you'll want to work very closely with your veterinarian in designing a management program. For cats with no other symptoms, and otherwise generally good health, this might simply be a matter of ensuring he gets a sound diet, possibly with added vitamins, anti-oxidants, and Omega 3/ Omega 6 fatty acids, as well as prompt, aggressive treatment of infections and other conditions as they crop up. Even flea control is important, as fleas transmit a number of other parasites such as Bartonella. Also, flea bites themselves can become infected, which would be a cause for concern.

Consider opening your heart and home to an FIV positive cat.

 

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First Aid & CPR For Pets

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First Aid & CPR For Pets

According to the American Animal Hospital Association 1 out of 4 animals in need of medical attention would probably have survived if pet owners knew the proper first aid procedure to use in the event of an emergency. Think about all the possible problems your pet could suddenly suffer from.

  • Administering medications (Cats & Dogs)
  • Animal Bites or Insect Stings
  • Broken bones and Sprains
  • Burns or Severe Cold injuries
  • Choking
  • CPR
  • Cuts and bleeding
  • Drowning
  • Poisoning and more

Be Prepared

  • Keep a first aid kit for pets easily available at all times. You can either purchase a kit or make your own.

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