Halloween has come and gone and inevitably our thoughts are beginning to turn to the winter holidays ahead – and their promises of feasts, family, and fun. Our four-legged family members surely sense the excitement in the air, but it’s easy to overlook the need for a little extra TLC where pets concerned. Before you start decking the halls and planning your menu, take a look at our holiday pet safety reminders.
Holiday Pet Safety In The Kitchen
High-calorie indulgences are an important part of the holidays, but keep in mind that many of our favorite goodies can be harmful to pets.
Never leave the following out for your pet to get their paws on:
Xylitol sweetened candies or baked goods
Fatty poultry skin or meat
If you know or suspect your pet has gotten into something they shouldn’t have, please give us a call or call the ASPCA Poison Helpline.
Traditional holiday decorations can be irresistible temptations for pets, and can cause plenty of trouble for them (and you) as well. Keep the following in mind when it comes to all of the holiday bells and whistles:
Tinsel, ribbon, wrapping paper, glass ornaments, and electrical string lights can land a curious pet in hot water
Trees are often sprayed with pesticides or chemical preservatives, which can leach into the water in the tree stand
Pine needles can cause significant gastrointestinal distress if eaten
Your pet may open holiday gifts before you do if you don’t keep them out of reach
Holiday plants such as mistletoe, amaryllis, poinsettia, christmas cactus, and lilies can be toxic to pets if eaten
The Wonderful World Of Pet Anxiety
Enjoying time with family and friends is a wonderful part of the holiday season, and for a social pet this influx of people is no biggie. Shy or anxious pets, however, may feel differently about new people in the home, and a change in the daily routine.
Strive to keep your pet’s feeding, walk, and playtime schedule as close to normal as possible during the holidays, and make sure they get plenty of exercise each day to help reduce stress and anxiety. A doggie daycare, pet sitter, or even a few hours in a quiet room of the house can do wonders for a pet that has trouble with visitors.
Pennsylvania weather is notoriously unpredictable during the winter, and storms and other inclement weather can come on fast. Make sure you have a plan in place for your family and pet in case of power outages or severe storms, and make sure pets stay safe during the winter months by keeping them indoors as much as possible or providing warm and dry shelter outdoors.
Your friends at Fairview Veterinary Hospital wish you, your family, and your pet a wonderful holiday season! As always, don’t hesitate to contact us with your concerns regarding holiday pet safety, or with any other questions you may have.
Knowing what constitutes a pet emergency is an important part of caring for your furry little friend. Yet, it can be difficult even for seasoned pet person to know whether that 3 a.m. vomiting incident is just a hairball or warrants a trip to the doctor.
Some emergencies, such as car accidents or broken bones, are obvious; however, many serious medical problems have subtle symptoms that are easy to miss. Learning to recognize the signs of a pet emergency could make all the difference when it comes to keeping your pet healthy and safe.
Know What’s “Normal”
As your pet’s primary caregiver, you know his or her normal patterns, routines, and behaviors better than anyone else. Trust your instincts; don’t hesitate to call us if you feel something is “off” with your pet or if you observe behaviors such as:
Lack of eating or drinking
Changes in urination or defecation (inability to do either warrants immediate medical attention)
Limping or other changes in movement
Hiding, loss of interest in family members, toys, etc.
What Constitutes a Pet Emergency?
Some situations require immediate medical attention, even if they don’t appear to be life threatening. Don’t hesitate to contact us in the following circumstances:
Seizure, fainting, or collapse
Automobile accident, falling from a great height, fight with another animal, other obvious trauma
Any type of eye injury, no matter how minor
Vomiting or diarrhea
Bloated, swollen, or painful abdomen
Breathing rapidly and/or coughing
Exposure to or potential ingestion of a toxic substance
Obvious signs of pain
If you’re concerned that your pet may need emergency care, please contact us.
Brushing up on your pet first aid skills and having a pet first aid kit in your home and car can help you feel more confident in an emergency situation. Download the American Red Cross “Pet First Aid” app for helpful instructions and videos.
Catching problems early is the key to having the best possible outcomes in a pet injury or illness situation. Please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Fairview Veterinary Hospital with any questions.
If we can prevent the need for urgent or emergency care, we do whatever is needed, right? Sure, accidental injury or sudden illness aren’t always predictable, but when it comes to overall pet wellness, many health conditions are preventable. Between vaccinations, regular dental care, and parasite prevention, pet owners can protect their pets from all sorts of problems, and Fairview Veterinary Hospital is here to help.
The Big Picture
Maintaining regular pet wellness exams is key to lifelong health. Adult pets should be seen once a year, but younger animals, seniors, and those with existing medical conditions should be seen twice or more annually.
Together, we can support your pet’s overall health by preventing diseases before they become too costly or too tough to treat. By stopping or slowing the effects of illness, we can focus on other elements of long-term pet wellness, such as nutrition, weight, dental care, and more.
Head to Tail
Every time we see your pet, we conduct a physical examination. Comparing new data with previous results gives us insight into any changes. Weight fluctuations, behavior concerns, and emerging issues can be addressed before they get out of hand. Diagnostics, such as x-rays or bloodwork, can be extremely helpful in diagnosing and treating health problems.
With our proactive approach to pet wellness, we hope to reduce the cost of emergency medical treatments. Preventing serious disease is much easier than treating or curing them. We’re always happy to discuss which vaccinations your pet should have based on his or her individual lifestyle.
Parasites and More
Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and intestinal parasites present unique threats to overall pet wellness. Regular blood tests and fecal screenings can help us administer the right type of preventives to protect your pet and your family.
Short-Term and Long-Term
Spaying or neutering your pet not only solves the problem of unwanted litters, but this procedure can also reduce behaviors associated with mating (like roaming or marking). Also, spayed/neutered pets are less likely to develop reproductive cancers.
Pet Wellness for All Ages
Whether you’re new to pet ownership or you’re caring for a pet you’ve raised since infancy, we welcome your questions or concerns. Lifelong health starts with routine pet wellness exams, and our team is happy to help you get started. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.
While summer may be coming to an end, that does not mean that we’re spared from hot weather even in the fall! With last year setting records as the hottest year on Earth with plenty of steamy days well into October, it’s important to stay vigilant about warm weather safety!
Scorching temperatures, blazing sun, and thick humidity can create dangerous conditions for even the sturdiest among us. Our pets also need extra TLC during the hottest months of the year to ensure they remain healthy and comfortable. Take a moment to bone up on your end-of-summer pet safety knowledge with your friends at Fairview Veterinary Hospital!
Pet’s bodies simply aren’t as efficient as human’s when it comes to keeping cool, putting them at a high risk of overheating during the warmer months. Keep your fur friend safe from heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and other heat-related emergencies with the following tips:
Make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh, cool water at all times, both indoors and in the yard. Carry a collapsible bowl and a bottle of water with you on walks, visits to the park, or anywhere you go.
Before you head out for a walk, check the temperature of the sidewalk, sand, trail, or other surface by placing your palm on the ground. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws.
Limit walks and outdoor playtime to the early morning or evening hours when temperatures are cooler.
Keep pets indoors where there is air conditioning or fans during the hottest time of the day.
Heat stroke in pets is a serious condition, and can develop rapidly in hot weather. Be on the lookout for excessive panting, drooling, reddened or blue gums, and rapid heart rate. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, move him or her to a cool, indoor location and contact us for assistance.
Did you know that pets can get sunburns? If you know your pet will be in the sun, protect him or her by applying a pet-friendly sunscreen to the tips of the ears, snout, belly, and anywhere there is light-colored, white, or minimal fur.
Before taking your pet to the lake, river, beach, or anywhere outdoors, make sure there will be some type of shade available.
Kiddie pools, slip n’ slides, and sprinklers are all fun ways for pets to keep cool on hot days. You can also toss a few ice cubes into his or her water bowl to promote hydration and keep the water cool.
Never, ever leave your pet inside a parked car, even for a moment. Temperatures inside parked cars, even those parked in the shade with the windows cracked, can climb to dangerous levels in a matter of minutes. The safest place for your pet is at home.
A Helping Hand
Warm temperatures lead to especially dangerous times for stray dogs and cats, who may not have access to enough water or shelter. Protect any strays in your neighborhood, along with your own pets, by keeping bowls of water around the yard. Contact your local Humane Society if you notice an animal chained outdoors without adequate water or shelter.
This warning holds true for your vehicles as well! Just because September is coming and our temperatures should drop moving forward, it’s vital to realize that even a breezy, 70 degree day can make your car an oven for your pets. It’s best to just leave pets at home when running errands to avoid disaster. These days, folks will easily break your car windows if they feel an animal is in danger and, in many states, these actions are supported by local law enforcement. Don’t put your pet or yourself in danger – let your pets stay comfortable at home!
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Fairview Veterinary Hospital with your summer pet safety questions.
What happens when your pet wears down or fractures a tooth?
A pet’s tooth is made of three layers. The outer layer, called the enamel, is very thin but strong and is impervious to bacteria in the saliva: Enamel protects the two inner layers of a tooth from infection. The middle layer, called the dentin, is an organized collection of connective tissue plus blood capillaries and nerve fibers running within tubules: Dentin makes up the bulk structure of the tooth. The inner core, called the root canal, is a bundle of larger blood vessels and nerves that convey nutrients and sensory function to the dentin. Oftentimes we do not think of a tooth as being a live tissue but it truly is!
Pets use their mouths to grasp and chew food. They also use their mouths as a tool to explore their environment and to carry objects. Considering how strong a pet can clamp their teeth together it is no surprise that they can wear through the thin protective enamel, or even fracture through the enamel.
Saliva naturally contains bacteria. When a tooth wears slowly enough the body has a protective mechanism named “reparative dentin” that will seal dentin tubules from bacterial infection. But if a tooth wears too quickly for reparative dentin to form then the salivary bacteria can leak into the open dentinal tubules and infect the inside of the tooth. Another way that the inside of a tooth can become infected is if a pet’s tooth suddenly fractures. We see this very often from trauma such as pets fighting with one another, chewing on objects that are harder than a tooth, or being hit by a car.
Once salivary bacteria infects the inside of a tooth it nearly always causes the tooth to die. This leads to an ongoing tooth root infection know as an endodontic abscess. Dental infection can spread to vital organs including the heart, liver, kidney, and bladder.
Having your pet’s worn and/or fractured teeth cared for is one of the keys to keeping your pet healthy so that they can have the longest, healthiest, and happiest life possible.