Hyperthermia can be defined as the elevation of the body temperature to levels above the normal range. Heat stroke on the other hand can be defined as a non-fever hyperthermia which usually occurs when the heat dissipating mechanisms within the body are not able to accommodate the excess external heat. Even though the two terms are often used interchangeably they actually refer to two different things. Dog fur is effective in protecting them during the cold weather but in the hot days, it works against them. Unlike humans who eliminate heat by sweating, dogs eliminate heat by panting. When panting is not enough to cool down their body, their temperature rises and could lead to multiple organ failure that can sometimes be fatal.
Signs and symptoms to look out for
The immediate environment of a dog is his biggest risk for heatstroke. If the dog is left in a confined space that lacks fresh air or in a very humid environment, he is at risk of overheating. Dogs with long hair, short nose or flat face are at a higher risk of overheating since their nasal passages are small and they find it difficult to circulate enough air to cool off their body.
A dog that is experiencing a heat stroke will have the following signs:
• Excessive drooling
• Increased body temperature – above 104 F
• Moist body tissue and reddened gums
• Rapid heart rate
• Irregular heart beat
• Thick sticky saliva
• Vomiting – sometimes bloody
What should you do if your dog is over heated?
If you notice your dog displaying any of the above signs, you should take immediate action. Before taking him to the vet you should give him some first aid. First, remove him from the hot environment to a cooler area, shade will work but most preferably an air conditioned room. Check if he is conscious and he is panting. If he is conscious, give him small amounts of water. You should restrain from offering him large amounts since they could cause him to vomit which increases his chances of dehydration. Also refrain from giving him very cold water since it is counterproductive. A quick drop in body temperature can cause other medical conditions that could be life threatening.
If your dog seems unresponsive or is having seizures you should start by checking his heartbeat and breathing. Before beginning any first aid, ensure you call the hospital to tell them you are taking your dog immediately so they start preparing for your arrival. After that, start cooling procedures immediately. Place a soaked, cool towel on her neck, head and underneath his legs. Make sure not to use cold water. You can use a fan to speed up the cooling process.
Even if your dog seems to be fully recovered, you should still take them to the vet. Heatstroke can cause several unseen problems such as swelling of the brain. It is therefore essential to take him to the vet.
During the summer, there are several things that you can do to keep your dog safe:
• Give him access to clean fresh water at all times
• If he will be outside, ensure he has access to complete shade
• Walk your dog during the cooler times of the day, in the morning and as the sun goes down
• Do not overdo exercise sessions or play sessions during the hot days
Dogs are part of many families. It is therefore essential that they be kept safe at all times to avoid health complications.
Ticks and fleas are more than just a nuisance to your pets. They not only cause extreme discomfort to pets, but also pose great health risks to them and even to your family. Knowing these health risks and how to prevent them is vital in ensuring your family’s safety as well as guaranteeing a long and happy life for your pet.
These are wingless, jumping, and bloodthirsty parasites that really terrorize pets by leaving them with intense itchy bites. The pets start scratching to relieve the itchiness but it only gets worse. They may end up having irritated patches on their skin that make them easily susceptible to allergic reactions and secondary infections. Plus, if too many fleas feed on your kitten or puppy, they could actually draw enough blood from them to cause anemia.
As parasites, fleas are efficient carriers of diseases such as cat scratch fever, typhus and plague. They also act as hosts to the flea tapeworm. In case a dog or cat ingests a host flea while licking their wounds, they also become hosts to the tapeworm. Fleas are also dangerous because before they begin to feed, they can survive without blood for over 100 days and their populations grow really fast.
Ticks are more difficult to detect because of their smaller household populations. They also qualify as notorious bloodsuckers and just as with fleas, pets may also experience itching problems from tick bites although itchy bites are the least of their threats. Since there are more than 800 known species of ticks, these parasites are capable of transmitting so many different types of diseases.
The most common diseases they are associated with are Tick Fever, Lyme disease and anaplasmosis. In North America, they are also known of transmitting Rocky Mountain Fever, Ehrlichiosis and Tularemia. Ticks are also responsible for some paralysis that commonly affects dogs known as Tick Paralysis. The paralysis is caused by some certain species of ticks whose saliva has neurotoxins. Days after being bitten, pets often show signs of troubled breathing, feeding, swallowing and weakened hind legs.
Top 2 tips on how to prevent fleas and ticks infestation
1. Troubleshoot your yard
The first and best way to keep ticks and fleas away from your pets is by setting a strong line of defense in your home. If you have a yard, keep your yard clean, grass mowed, and shrubs trimmed to make it completely unfriendly for the parasites to shelter in. Also discourage undomesticated pets and wildlife from getting into your yard and bringing their parasites with them.
2. Get some vet-recommended tick and flea prevention prescription
This is one of the easiest ways to prevent and kill fleas and ticks. Visit your vet for prescription preventatives and use it as advised.
Just like the weather and seasons can affect humans, your pets can feel the changes as well. It is important to remember your pets as the seasons change, even if the change is not as drastic in your home as it is in other places. Here are our three biggest tips to keep your pets happy this Fall.
Allergies can be a big problem for pets. Usually a simple bath will help sooth the itchiness or irritation that comes from allergies, but it may not be enough. If your pet still seems uncomfortable and is sneezing or scratching a lot, medication may be the next option. Check with your vet to know the best dose of Benadryl or other medication to give your pet.
It is important to keep your pet groomed. This not only cuts down on discomfort for the animal, but for the owner as well. Daily brushing, weekly baths and trips to the groomer will all help keep your pet happy and healthy! But remember, don’t cut off too much hair as your little furry friend might get cold as the weather changes. And if you do have to heavily groom your pet, make sure they have a comfy, warm place to hangout, like a new bed or blanket.
Fall usually means lots of sweets and savory foods, but we have to remember that these are not always the best for our pets. As Halloween and Thanksgiving approach, it is important to be mindful of where your pets are and what they could be getting into to avoid stomach issues. Fall is such a fun season and so much can be done, but it is important to remember to take care of our pets just as we would take care of ourselves. If you ever have questions about your pet’s health, please make an appointment by calling (480) 968-9275 or visiting us online.
College mascots can be the pride and joy for college students and sports team fans. We love them even more when they represent our friends, dogs and cats. A lot of these mascots are even represented by real animals that are surely treasured and well kept! What a life it would be to be a mascot.
When it comes to dog mascots, the bulldog is definitely the fan favorite. Besides a few lower division colleges, the bulldog is the only dog that gets the honor of representing a school. Some of the most notable bulldogs are from the University of Gonzaga in Washington, Yale University in Connecticut and University of Georgia in Georgia. Do you have a favorite bulldog mascot?
Yale- “Handsome Dan”
*fun fact, all of the bulldogs to represent UofG since 1956 have been from the same line of English Bulldogs owned by Sonny Seiler*
Now onto the cats. Although domestic cats are not typically used as mascots, their close relatives. Oftentimes these mascots are also in live form and are taken very good care of by their schools.
Louisiana State University- Mike VII
*Mike VII was recently introduced to campus and has a large enclosure in which he stays. He was donated to the university by a rescue, as were a few of the previous Mikes.
University of Arizona- “Wilbur & Wilma”
*although being so close to Arizona State University, we can’t say we are partial to these guys*
Washington State University- “Butch T. Cougar”
*Named after Herbert “Butch” Meeker who was a star football player for WSU*
Maybe we mentioned one of your favorite teams! If we didn’t let us know what mascot is your favorite? And as always if your REAL dog or cat ever needs any veterinary assistance, please give us a call at (480) 968-9275 or visit our website.
National Dog Day is Saturday, August 26th. Dog Day is all about celebrating your four legged family friends, whether that’s sharing pictures on social media, or planning a special day just for them.
Hiking & Camping
For cooler climate, pack the car up and head north with the dog. One of the most popular destinations in Arizona is Flagstaff. There’s plenty of hiking, not to mention dog-friendly spots. Take a walk through downtown, stop for coffee or maybe a drink. Higher Grounds Coffee and Mother Road Brewing Company are a few of the businesses that pride themselves on being dog-friendly. Some of our favorite hiking spots in Flagstaff include Coconino Forest and Slide Rock Park.
Shop til You Drop!
Treat the pup to something they can pick out on their own. Let them lead the way in the pet store, letting them find a toy they really love or try new treats. If you do extra prep, you can hide these around your house for a scavenger hunt!
Extra Play Time – Go that extra distance, play catch for 30 more minutes than usual. It’s Dog Day, you have an excuse to spend the entire day with your dog, make the most of it.
New Tricks – You can stimulate their mind by working on a new tricks. Start with a new command, or really work on mastering one that your dog already knows.
Find A New Park – If you find yourself going to the same dog park every day, try finding one out of your neighborhood that will change things up in the routine.
Remember, not all dogs have someone to spend Dog Day with. Contact your local shelter to find out how you can help this weekend, as there are dogs, and cats in need all over the valley. Whether you’re donating your time, or supplies, it can make a world of difference. If you have any questions on your Dog Day celebrations, call us at 480-968-9275.
Aug 6- 12 is International Assistance Dog Week, and we want to show our appreciation for all those pups out there who help their humans every day. If you have a service or therapy dog, you know how important they are. It is also important to know how to treat these types of dogs out in public if you do not own one yourself. Keep reading to find out more about these outstanding animals.
What is the difference between a service dog and a therapy dog?
The main difference between a service dog and a therapy dog is where they are allowed to go. A service dog has special training and certifications that allow them to go inside any and all buildings in order to help their owner see, hear or walk. These dogs must go through extensive training and are technically not considered “pets”. Service dogs are also often chosen by breed, where a therapy dog can be any breed. Usually breeds like labs and retrievers are used as service dogs due to their temperament, intelligence level, size and versatility.
So what is considered a therapy dog?
Therapy dogs also need to gain AKC Therapy Dog certification, but do not have the same rights. Therapy dogs are more to bring comfort and joy rather than help perform duties. You often see therapy dogs volunteering in schools, hospitals or nursing homes.
Can I pet a service dog?
Oftentimes when we see a dog out in public, our immediate reaction is to pet the dog. While all dogs are adorable, a service dog in a harness is on duty and should not be distracted. You should ALWAYS ask the owner if you can approach/ interact with the dog and keep your time limited because like we mentioned before, the dog is working. Always give a service or guide dog and their owner the right of way.
How does my dog become certified?
To find out more about how to certify your dog as a therapy dog, visit the AKC website.
To find out more about how to certify your dog as a service dog in Arizona, visit the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council website.
As always, we love to hear from our patients and to meet new ones! If you have any questions or want to book an appointment visit us online or call us at (480) 968-9275.
National Mutt Day is on July 31st, and it’s all about celebrating our mixed breed dogs. So many of us chose to adopt dogs from shelters, where most of the animals there are mixed breeds. Those of us with mutts will tell you that they’ve got a ton of personality and so much love. Maybe we’re just a little biased.
What is National Mutt Day?
National Mutt Day is all about educating people about the many mixed breed dogs that are living in shelters across the country, waiting for their forever homes. Nearly 80% of the dogs in shelters are mutts. Pure breeds that end up in shelters are rescued quicker because people are looking for a less expensive option, or pure breed rescues pick them up.
Mixed breeds, the ultimate family dog
For a long time, mutt’s have been given a bad rep, but we know they have so much potential. Mutts are known to be more loving and loyal, making them the perfect family pet. Unfortunately, a lot of people go into shelters looking for aesthetically appealing pups, not realizing that mutts can be healthier and live longer than pure breeds. When getting a dog from a shelter, focus on your chemistry with them, instead of how they look.
If you and your family have been talking about adding a pet to the family, consider celebrating National Mutt Day. Spend some quality time at the shelter with the family, and find the right dog for you. If you can’t adopt, consider volunteering your time at the shelter, and educating others on the wonderful pets that the shelter has to offer. If you have any questions on National Mutt Day, you can call us at 480-968-9275.
Arizona has a lot of unique desert plants throughout the landscape, and it is important to be aware of which are most dangerous to your pets. Dr. Ware breaks it down in this video so make sure to watch!
When emergency strikes, you want to be prepared. Especially when it comes to your pets. One of the most common pet related emergencies is an injured pet. The correct procedure on handling an injured pet is important as to not further injure them.
Pet First Aid Kit
One of the first things you can do is start your pet with their own first aid kit. A lot of what goes into it, you’ll find in your family’s first aid kit. However, there are differences you want to pay attention to. For instance, you want to avoid, such adhesives, like band-aid brand bandages, and ointments such as neosporin. Find a complete checklist on the AVMA website.
Keep Yourself Safe
Our first instinct is to comfort our pets, but even the most tame pets can bite, scratch, or become aggressive when in pain. Trying to hug, or getting too close could scare them. Make sure the area is safe and slowly approach the animal, keeping movements slow and gentle. Stop if the animal becomes agitated.
Prepare for Transportation
After assessing any injuries, you’ll want to stabilize, or stop bleeding if it’s present. Injured pets need to be kept in small spaces to avoid any further injury. Pet carriers work perfectly for transportation to the vet’s office. Provide soft pillows, or towels to pad the injured area to prevent any movement.
You will want to notify your vet of your arrival if you have time to do so, or find the nearest emergency clinic. If using a portable first aid kit, keep a copy of your dog’s medical records so treatment can happen as quick as possible.
Emergencies aren’t common, but when they strike, you want to be ready to assist your pet the best you can. Follow these steps, and review them with your family. You can call us at any time at 480-968-9275 if you have any questions on handling injured pets, or emergency preparedness.