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Morris Foundation for Animals Golden Retriever Research
University Animal Hospital Nominated for Small Business of the Year in Tempe!
Tempe Chamber of Commerce Finalist Award University Animal Hospital
University Animal Hospital Celebrating 50 Years of Accreditation 

Halloween Precautions for Pet Owners

Orange Plastic BucketHalloween is all about tricks and treats, but when it comes to your pets, you should leave the tricks out of it. Halloween candy is great for you and your family but can pose a real danger to pets if they get a hold of it. Follow our tips to keep your pets safe during this spooky holiday.

Keep Pets Indoors

When pet owners think of Halloween precautions to take for their pets, the obvious usually come to mind: no chocolate. The security shouldn’t stop there, though. Halloween night is likely one of the busiest times of the year in your otherwise quiet neighborhood. Between families out enjoying the holiday together and children going house to house for treats, there is about to be a lot of extra foot traffic in your area. If your dog usually spends time outdoors, this can be stressful for them, and even potentially dangerous. Halloween is known for pranks, and unfortunately, they can be targeted toward defenseless animals. Before festivities begin, bring your cat or dog indoors to prevent strangers from handing out harmful treats to your animals. To keep them away from the treats you’re handing out to neighborhood children, try to seclude your pets to a bedroom for the night.

Candy Isn’t The Only Danger

Food danger includes more than candy. For instance, the most popular home decoration this fall are pumpkins. While pumpkin is healthy for pups in moderation, a carved pumpkin can be hazardous to them for a few reasons. After sitting in the Arizona sun, a raw pumpkin will start to rot. If your dog consumes a decaying pumpkin it can cause troublesome digestive issues. Other fall decor that dogs can eat include things like hay and corn. Take precaution while decorating your home this season and ensure none of these edible decorations are in your dog’s space.

Trick-or-Treat Candy

The best part of Halloween is the most dangerous to our pets, and that’s the goodies the kids get while out trick-or-treating. A bag of sweet candy is completely irresistible to us, as well as our treat-hungry pets. Remember the following after candy is brought home at the end of the night:

  • Immediately transfer the candy into a sealed container that cannot be tampered with, either by paws or teeth.
  • Store the container in a high, hard to reach place. This will also help your dog resist temptation if they don’t know where the candy is.
  • Put the candy back every time you get it out to ensure it isn’t left out on accident.

Remember, in addition to chocolate, there are a few food dangers that can cause your dog harm. Raisins are toxic to dogs and should be kept away at all times. Also, make sure all wrappers or sucker sticks are promptly thrown away to avoid choking hazards.

This Halloween, keep your pets safe and out of harm’s way by following our tips on candy and food safety. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s safety, reach out to our vets today!

Boarder of the Month: Goofy

Owner’s Testimonial:

“One day, out of no where, my mom found a little dog hiding inside an empty flower pot in front of her house. I advised her to take her inside, give her a little food and water and keep her until I got home. After a long day of work, I was excited to see this little dog but I could not believe what I was seeing. This poor little dog was skin and bones, malnourished, timid and scared of people. In fact, she was so scared, she barely ate any food my mom had offered her even though she was starving. However, as soon as I met her, she became a completely different dog… her tail started wagging, she gave me lots of kisses and she finally started eating and drinking water. We immediately connected and formed a special bond!

I’m not sure what Goofy’s life was like before she came to us but I imagine it was not a good one. She is very skittish, is scared of noises, big or small, and is aggressive towards men and other animals. Knowing this about her, it used to be very stressful for us anytime we went out of town and had to kennel her. We always made sure that a note was placed on her file so that the techs were aware to be cautious around her, especially men. We always felt guilty about leaving her in a kennel and pictured her being sad, lonely and depressed. However, we quickly realized that we have nothing to worry about.

Every time we drop Goofy off, the office always recognizes her. We always walk to the kennel with her and have seen her approach and greet each tech she walks by (it’s so cute to see her do this!). When we pick her up, the techs always tell us how they enjoyed taking care of, playing and spending time with her. Best of all, the techs have indicated that they have never had a problem with her, in fact, Jamie (one of the male techs) is one of her favorites.

It is a huge relief to know that Goofy is having a great time while she is at University Animal Hospital. We no longer have to worry about her or feel guilty when we go out of town, in fact, we no longer tell her she is going to the kennel, instead, we tell her she is going to the spa!

Thank you University Animal Hospital for taking such great care of Goofy!”

Staff comments:

“Goofy is such a sweetheart! She loves to give hugs! She loves to play and had a blast playing in the pool. She’s always so happy and I love her smile J”

“Goofy is one of my favorite boarders! She is such a sweet girl and loves cuddling during her TLC’s. I always get excited when I see that she will be coming in when I’m working.”

“I remember first meeting Goofy and she was very shy and cautious. She is now a whole new dog when she gets here and she has learned to trust us and is so affectionate. She knows she is safe, loved and spoiled here. I love to see her on her bed with her stuffed animals because she actually cuddles with them! I just have to crawl into her kennel and give her some extra love and cuddles because its just too cute! J”

“Goofy is such a great girl when she is here, very quiet and calm in her kennel but then full of energy on her walks and TLCs. I love her kisses!”

“This little girl is just adorable! She is the perfect mix of calm, sweet and cuddly but then also silly, rambunctious and well…Goofy once you take her into the yard. She always warms my heart because she is so happy to see you when you come to say hi to her and just wants to be around you as much as she can. I’ve loved getting to know Goofy and watching her personality blossom over the years.”

“Goofy is definitely unforgettable! She’s always quiet and curled up with her blanket and stuffed animal, but when she gets excited to see you she will jump up and give you the biggest hug! It’s so great seeing her come out of her shell with us and be a part of our family here!”

“I love cuddling with Goofy! She gets so excited to see us and it makes me so happy to see her wagging her tail so hard!”

“My favorite thing about Goofy was watching her play in the pool. I was thinking it was going to scare her and that she would hate it but it was quite the opposite! She was a little curious and slow at first and then once she realized what it was, she jumped right in. She was splashing around and being silly it actually made me laugh out loud. This precious dog is quite the gem! I’m so glad she came to us so we could build bonds with her.”

National Deaf Dog Awareness Week

This week is National Deaf Dog Awareness Week (Sept 24-30) and we wanted to take this time to honor all dogs who are suffering or who have suffered with hearing loss of any kind. Dogs have an incredible sense of hearing which they rely on to navigate through life. Humans can hear 20,000 vibrations a second while cats hear up to 25,000. But dogs can pick up sounds at up to 35,000 vibrations per second!

Sharing a home with a canine that is hard of hearing can be difficult. Though few dogs are born deaf, many lose their hearing from ear injuries, as a genetic defect or in old age. We wanted to shine some light on some facts about deaf dogs to assure you that they are no less intelligent than any other dog. They are just as smart, funny and charming!

  • Deaf dogs can bark. They may not use barking as a standard form of communication like other dogs do but they act through instinct. If they want to bark, they will bark!
  • The most common breed of dogs to be deaf are Australian shepherds, Boston terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Dalmatians, German shepherds, Boxers, Jack Russell terriers, Malteses, toy and miniature poodles, and West Highland white terriers.
  • Many deaf dogs are white. Dogs born without pigment are also missing “hearing cells”. These “hearing” cells start from the same stem cells as pigment-producing cells. If a dog has no pigment in its body, it’s likely that it will also be deficient in the specialised “hearing” cells which cause deafness
  • Deaf dogs ARE trainable. Just like other dogs, deaf dogs learn hand commands and tricks. While they will never have the same recall skills as a hearing dog, they are just as trainable and obedient.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the below tips will help owners care for a deaf pet:

  • Train your pet to recognize hand signals instead of vocal commands.
  • Use a heavy stomp of the foot when you need to get your dog’s attention- they can often feel the vibration in the floor.
  • Try to gently tap or pet your dog to announce your presence or your exit.
  • Avoid letting your deaf dog wander outside alone, unless you have a fenced yard. There are obvious dangers with letting your dog anywhere near traffic and other hazards that he or she won’t be able to hear approaching.
  • Consider attaching a bell to your dog’s collar. This makes it easier to locate your dog quickly in the house or in the event of an escape.
  • Be sure that all of your collars bear an alert that your dog is deaf.

If you think your dog may be deaf, there are certain ways to see if you’re correct. One way is to wait until your dog is asleep, or not looking, and make a loud noise.  If the dog cannot see you, cannot feel any vibration and still doesn’t respond, there’s a good chance your dog is at least hard of hearing. For pet owners who want to know for sure, contact University Animal Hospital for further testing.

 

Top 5 Questions to Ask the Vet

Related imageHave you ever walked into a vet as a new pet owner and not known what to really ask them? Vet visits can be sometimes be stressful and not just for the animals. We want to do everything to ensure our furry friends are doing well, so we want to help you out and suggest a couple of questions that you could ask us during your appointments!

What should my pet be eating?
This is very important because what they eat can determine their overall health. Even before changing your food brand, consult with your vet first, as the transition can sometimes be difficult. Let your vet know you need help in picking or switching to new foods for your pet. We can help you find the best answer.

Why does my pet do this?
Sometimes, our animals can annoy us: excessive barking, whining, destroying items and peeing on our dining room carpets. Do not be upset or embarrassed! This behavior is common. We can help you figure out different tips and tricks to calm down your pet. It is better to fix the small issue before it turns into a big one.

Is my pet in good shape?
This goes along with a proper diet and good behavior. Tell your vet, truthfully, how much you take your animal outside or what types of activities your pet does for exercise. We are not here to judge, only to help. Try 15-20 minutes a day and see if there is a change!

Is there anything wrong with my pet in general?
Want the full body review? We can give that to you…. If you notice small bumps, moles, lumps in the body, or any kind of detail, please bring it to our attention! Make sure you warn us so we can record every small detail. Better to be safe than sorry!

Can there be issues I cannot see?
There could be many unknowns, that is why we encourage you to schedule appointments regularly with us. Everything from blood tests to urine tests. These can detect hidden diseases!

If you have anymore questions, schedule an appointment with us at www.universityvet.com. We look forward to seeing you!

Boarders of the Month: Rain, Sunny & Windy

Owner’s Testimonial:

I choose to board my pets here because I know they treat them like family which is the most important consideration for us. We always know they will be cared for just like they are at home which gives us peace of mind.

Staff comments:

“Rain is a goofball and Windy and Sunny are gentle, sweet, and loving. Windy can still have spurts of energetic spunk!”

“Sunny is so cute when he carries his blankets around. Windy loves her playtime in the yard. Rain is a lovable goofball.”

“Rain gives great hugs and kisses and has a sweet silly soul. Sunny is such a gentleman and loves being with his spunky friend Windy. They are two peas in a pod! Sunny loves carrying around his blanket so he can tuck himself in at night.”

“Sunny and Windy are such a happy pair. They both love to play! Sunny is a big lovable lap dog and Windy loves to give lots of kisses! Rain is such a sweet snuggle bug. He loves to play and then afterwards, loves to cuddle.”

“Rain is very sweet and loves to come out and play. He always has a big smile on his face along with Sunny and Windy. They are all very happy and sweet pups!”

“A great group of kids, love when they board with us. They are always happy to see you and give kisses. They love being out in the yard for their TLCs and I am always sad to see them go home!”

“This trio is quite the mix of different personalities, all great in their own way. It been so fun getting to know each of them and watching them get older. Rain is a spunky pup that likes to be independent but also won’t ever turn down some cuddle time. Windy is playful and will soak as much attention that you can give her. Sunny is best oversized lap dog, he just wants to be near you and he will be perfectly content. I can’t get enough of these 3 kiddos!”

What Immunizations Does My Pet Need?

 

Just like humans, pets also need to be kept up-to-date on their vaccines. August is National Immunization Awareness Month and we are talking all about the important ways you can help to keep your pet protected from many different illnesses.

Pet vaccinations are crucial in protecting your furry friends from the most common pet illnesses. Without proper vaccinations, pets are left vulnerable to preventable ailments that can devastate their respiratory, gastrointestinal and immune systems.

Here is the list of immunizations that we offer at University Animal Hospital:

K9

Core Vaccines

  • Rabies (required by county law)
  • Da2PP (Distemper, Adenovirus/Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus

Elective/Lifestyle Vaccines

  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Influenza (H3N2 and H3N8)

Feline

Core Vaccines

  • Rabies (not required by county law)
  • FVRCP

Elective

  • FeLV

The frequency with which you should update your pet’s immunizations depends on factors like lifestyle, species, age and medical history. Some vaccines should be administered on a yearly basis, whereas others are only needed every three years. To learn what is best for your dog or cat, contact University Animal Hospital at 480-968-9275.

Work Like A Dog

August 5 is National Work Like A Dog Day and we are so thankful for all the furry friends out there putting in the hard work. While we are working like dogs, so are they. Is your dog ready to start their career? Here are the top four jobs for your doggos!

Therapy Dogs

The sole purpose of a therapy dog is to make people feel better. You can find them in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, etc. They help calm the nerves of their owners by making contact and being there for them through treatment. This is a special job meant for pups who love to play in a calm manner and are good at cuddling.

Acting Dogs

A famous pup? Sign us up! Everyone LOVES movie dogs. Those animals go through a crazy amount of training and they sure win our hearts over in every production. They come in all shapes and sizes. If this is something your dog would be good at, consider getting them an agent! Yes I know… dogs have agents!

Search & Rescue Dogs

These dogs have an amazing sense of smell! You know this would be great for your dog if they can smell the bacon you are making from miles away. This job is quite serious since these dogs work in disaster situations on a daily basis, such as retrieving lost humans.

Guide Dogs

There is a school meant just for training guide dogs. They have an incredibly important job as they play the eyes for those who are blind or help walk those who are injured. They help save lives! There are currently over 10,000 pups who are employed as guide dogs.

If your dog isn’t cut out for any of these careers, don’t worry, because working like a dog can just mean they are a great pet to have around. With their unconditional love for you, what’s better than that!

How to Make Sure Your Pet is Ready for Safe Anesthesia

You may be understandably anxious if your vet tells you that your beloved pet needs a procedure for which anesthesia is required.

But although there is always an element of risk involved, safety precautions and monitoring have improved enormously in recent years. Provided your pet has been in good general health and is thoroughly checked out beforehand, you can look forward to the procedure with confidence of a good outcome.

Why is Anesthesia Recommended

Your vet will always avoid anesthesia when it is possible to do so, but there are some necessary procedures which can’t be performed without it.

These are interventions or examinations which will cause pain to the animal or which require it to be immobilised if the procedure is to be carried out safely and accurately.

Common examples include dental treatments, diagnostic scans and of course any kind of surgery. More rarely, there may be no alternative to anesthesia if an animal requires emergency treatment for an acute condition or an accidental injury of some kind.

The Risks of Anesthesia

Most animals which undergo anesthesia experience either very minor and temporary ill-effects, or none at all, but a small proportion may suffer adverse reactions of some kind.

These range from nausea and vomiting to much more serious and potentially life-threatening issues including heart attack and stroke.

Keeping Your Pet Safe

Preparation

The key to safe anesthesia is thorough preparation. Your vet will carefully examine your pet and take blood samples to check for any existing or developing condition which might affect their suitability for the procedure.

The vet will also review your pet’s medical history, particularly any previous experiences with anesthesia, and discuss with you any health or behavioral issues which may be relevant. If an animal’s general health is not felt to be good enough, anesthesia for non-urgent procedures may be postponed to allow corrective treatment to be given.

As the owner of an animal, it’s also important that you help the vet as much as possible in preparing your pet for anesthesia.

You should make sure that your vet has all relevant information including any over the counter medications or supplements you may be giving your pet, and follow any advice your vet gives you about these.

It’s also important to maintain your pet at a stable and healthy weight and to make sure your pet eats and drinks in accordance with your vet’s guidance in the days preceding the procedure.

During the procedure

Once anesthetized, your pet will be carefully monitored at all times. The vital signs to be checked will include respiration, heart function (by ECG monitor), body temperature and blood oxygenation and pressure.

Equipment, fluids and medication will be immediately at hand to support the animal’s breathing and circulation as necessary.

After your vet has completed the procedure your pet will continue to be closely monitored and kept warm and comfortable while they wake naturally from the anesthetic.

Find Out More

No competent vet will lightly undertake a procedure requiring general anesthesia and will only do so in cases where the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.

In the common instance of a simple but necessary treatment, eg dental work, for a generally healthy animal, this is normally a simple calculation. But the decision may be much more difficult in the case of older animals or those whose general health is giving cause for concern.

In either case you should be confident before authorizing any procedure that you fully understand the need for anesthesia and are comfortable with the preparations and arrangements in place to monitor your pet’s health.

At the University Animal Hospital we pride ourselves on treating your pet as we treat our own and we will be very happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about anesthesia or any other heath issue.

If you want to know more you can call us today on (480) 968-9275 or contact us online.

Valley Fever: Know the Symptoms and Treatment for your Pets

New residents moving from other parts of the United States to the Southwestern United States may have never heard of Valley Fever. But quite a large number of dogs and other animals will contract Valley Fever every year. It’s important to learn how your pet contracts Valley Fever and how to recognize the symptoms.

What Is Valley Fever?

Valley Fever is caused by a fungus found primarily in low Southwestern U.S. desert regions. Animals inhale the spores of the fungus from the air or by digging, in construction areas where the soil has been disturbed or when high winds carry spores.

When the animal inhales the spores (either a few or a lot of them), the spores continue to grow inside the lungs until they rupture, discharging hundreds of new spores. The infection continues to grow until the animal’s immune systems respond and kill the infection. But animals with weakened immune systems may not be able to stave off the ever-multiplying spores.

Where Is Valley Fever Found?

In the United States, Valley Fever is found in Southwestern U.S. low desert regions. It is common in Arizona, interior deserts of California, New Mexico and southwestern Texas.

What Animals Get Infected?

Dogs are the most common animal to develop Valley Fever. Other animals who may get Valley Fever are apes, cats, cattle, horses, llama, monkeys, native wildlife (like cougars or skunks) and zoo animals.

How Is It Spread?

Valley Fever is not contagious. It can only be contracted by an animal inhaling the spores. Even pets living in the same household can’t spread the disease. But if both of your dogs exercise in an outdoor area where the spores are found, both dogs may inhale the airborne spores.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms in dogs include:

  • Coughing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fever
  • Low energy level/lassitude
  • Weight loss

Their cough can be a hacking cough or a honking (like a goose) cough caused by swollen lymph nodes pressing up against their windpipe.

If the infection spreads, known as a disseminated disease, Valley Fever often spreads to the bones causing limping or paralysis. They might also have seizures, swollen lymph nodes that you might feel, swollen testicles or heart failure might strike a younger dog.

Cats with Valley Fever usually have a non-healing skin lesion. It might look like an abscess and drain pus. Valley Fever is much less common in cats – for every 50 dogs diagnosed, only 1 cat will present with Valley Fever.

How Is Valley Fever Diagnosed?

If your pet has symptoms suggestive of Valley Fever and has been in low desert areas recently, be sure to mention their travel history. Your veterinarian is likely to utilize the following tests:

  • Valley Fever blood test, also known as the cocci test
  • Bone or joint X-rays, if your pet is limping or lame
  • Chest X-ray if your pet has a severe cough
  • Complete blood count

The Valley Fever blood test might have to be repeated in 3-4 weeks to confirm the diagnosis. If tested early in the course of the disease, the test might come back negative.

When cats present with an abscess or draining lesion, the Valley Fever blood test will also be utilized along with a biopsy of the lesion. Chest x-rays detect lung lesions, even if the cat is not coughing.

What Are the Treatment and Prognosis?

The outlook is good for dogs whose infection is limited to their lungs. Dogs who have disseminated disease may need a yearlong course of medication. Most return to normal health. Extensive disease throughout the body is associated with a poorer prognosis.

Follow-up is recommended after treatment has ended, particularly in animals with disseminated disease. Relapses may occur.

Symptoms and Treatments for Feline Viral Infectious Disease

Your cat will come into contact with bacteria and parasites on a regular basis. And when it comes to feline viral infections, once it enters a cat’s body – it takes command of the cat’s own cells to begin reproducing and spreading the virus throughout the body. Sometimes, the host cells are killed off and the assault will result in various forms of viral infection – at other times, the virus can remain dormant or as a mild infection in your cat for many years without any outward or physical signs.

Some feline viruses are very resilient and don’t respond well to treatment, while others such as cat flu can be treated and destroyed easily. Preventing feline viral infections with regular vaccinations is the most effective way to combat the many forms of this group of feline disease. Since antifungals and antibiotics will have no effect on viruses, your veterinarian will need to diagnose the specific virus infection and provide clinical treatment with antiviral drugs, if possible.

Common Feline Viral Infectious Diseases

FELINE HERPES (FVR)

Feline herpes is the leading cause of upper respiratory infections in cats and is also know as FVR or feline viral rhinopneumonitis. FVR will affect most cats at some point in their lives. Common symptoms include watery eyes, nasal discharge, sneezing, fever, and fatigue. This virus is often spread among cats that share the same food, water, or litter box.

The virus is usually transferred to a cat from the body secretions of an infected cat, or passed to new born kittens from the mother. The virus can be spread by any discharge from the mouth, nose, or eyes of an infected cat. Since this virus is incurable, treatment will focus on managing the disease and any accompanying symptoms. Your vet may prescribe antiviral or antibiotic medicines to limit the progression of FVR and other medications to manage discomfort and discharge symptoms.

FELINE CALICIVIRUS (FCV)

Often, upper respiratory, oral, or eye infections in cats are caused by Feline Calicivirus (FCV). There are over 40 strains of this virus, with the severity of each being the main difference. If your cat has nasal congestion, sneezing, or eye and nose discharge, along with lip, tongue, or nose ulcers, FCV may be the underlying cause.

FCV is very contagious and is spread between cats by secretions from the body. As with FVR, the secondary infections and other symptoms are treated, as there is no cure for FCV. Your veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications along with antibiotics to reduce fevers and symptoms. Increasing your cat’s water intake is important to avoid dehydration.

FELINE IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (FIV)

When a cat’s immune system has been weakened, the culprit may be Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV. The seriousness of this virus is when your cat’s natural defense system is so compromised that the pet is left exposed to other potentially fatal viral infections. If your cat is experiencing weight loss, fatigue, fever, and multiple infections, FIV may be the underlying cause.

Open wounds are commonly the point of initial infection, as FIV is spread via blood or saliva from one cat to another. This incurable virus is managed with routine visits aimed at strengthening your cat’s immune system. Dietary changes, antiviral medications, and specific supplements are used to manage symptoms and prevent other infections from arising.

If your cat is displaying the symptoms of a viral infection, contact your University Animal Hospital for a complete diagnosis and custom treatment plan for your pet. We offer a full range of specialty services from dentistry to laser surgery, and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, including endoscopy, digital x-rays, ultrasounds and EKGs. Inquire about pet grooming, preventative pet care, and boarding services. For medical emergencies, call 480-968-9275 or bring your pet directly to the hospital.