Friday, November 9, 2018

Ask The Groomer

Why is it important to have my dogs nails trimmed or filed?

There are several reasons why it is important to get your dog's nails trimmed or filed.  As the nails grow longer, they can curl and break as they get frail or become very sharp which can all lead to bigger issues. When the nerve known as the "quick" grows longer within the nails, it can cause pain, bleeding and a possible infection. In the long run, long nails can cause dogs to walk in an irregular way and in turn develop skeletal problems.

According to most veterinarians, it is ideal to get your pet's nails taken care of at least once a month.

As dogs nails grow longer, they can eventually start to curl around and push their toes sideways; the pressure felt on the toes can be compared to hammertoe syndrome in  humans. In addition, pain and soreness can radiate up the entire leg and cause Fido to not want to walk or stand up for long periods of time. Ingrown nails can also result when the nails become long enough to curl back into the paw pad.

Dogs with brittle nails can experience breakage when there is enough pressure. These broken nails can get jagged and sharp. In situations where the nails break and bleed, a styptic powder can be used to clot and stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, when a nail breaks very close to the toe and exposes the quick, it can it cause extreme nerve pain and may require a visit to your vet to get prescription medications that can treat the pain and prevent an infection.

Conveniently, dogs that often walk on concrete or pavement, file the sharp point of their nails down naturally as they walk. Conversely, dogs that spend more time walking on soft surfaces will end up with nails that have extremely sharp points.

Lastly, we all know it is not fun to find that your pets have shredded the upholstery of your couches or left permanent scratch markings on your hard wood floors when it can all be easily prevented.

If any of these things are happening to you or your precious pups, then it's time to visit your favorite groomer for a paw-dicure!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Taking care of our aging pets

Dogs over 7 years of age and cats over 10 years of age enter a new stage of life: their senior years. As your pet ages, it is important to be proactive to detect problems and pain before symptoms progress. Symptoms in senior patients can be difficult to recognize as they often occur gradually and may be subtle. 

Some changes you may notice include:

Behavior changesSlowing down on walksWeight loss
Hearing lossAccidents in the houseReluctance to go
up/down stairs
Vision lossVomitingBad breath
Difficulty risingDiarrheaSleeping more
Hiding (especially cats)Increase/decrease
in appetite
Waking in the night
RestlessnessExcessive pantingDevelopment of growths
Excessive water drinkingLoss of obedience trainingRepeated infections

Dogs and cats cannot speak to us and let us know when something is bothering them. We must rely on good detective skills to help improve the quality of life of our aging pets. Your pet may not be showing obvious symptoms of aging, but we are here to help you detect subtle changes. Coastal Veterinary is dedicated to helping you during your pet’s transition into the golden years. 

We have developed a senior wellness program to help identify health problems sooner:
  • Twice yearly examinations
  •   - Checking for arthritis
  •   - Oral examination
  •   - Evaluate for brain aging signs: confusion, wandering, sleep disturbances
  •   - Eye exam: cataracts, evidence of hypertension
  •   - Pain assessment
  • Annual blood and urine testing: evaluates how well your pet’s organs are functioning
  • Nutrition consultation to maintain ideal body weight
  • Regular fecal examinations
  • Heartworm/Tick-borne disease testing
  • Flea/tick/heartworm preventive
  • Immunizations
  • Blood pressure check
  • Consider chest X-rays and electrocardiogram
Based on your pet’s exam and the results of wellness testing, we will develop a treatment plan with you to provide the highest quality care for your aging pet.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Allergy season for pets

While the allergy season for pets may be similar to the allergy season for people, the symptoms your pet experiences are quite different. People with allergies often sneeze, have a runny nose and itchy eyes. Pets, on the other hand, commonly manifest their allergy symptoms through their skin. Common areas affected by allergies include: face, ears, axillae (arm pits) and abdomen. Symptoms associated with allergies include itching, redness, and hair loss.

These same symptoms can also be caused by:

External parasites: Fleas, mites (e.g.: scabies and Demodex) and lice
Ringworm (more common with cats)
Bacterial and yeast infections: while commonly associated with any cause of itching, these infections intensify the degree of itchiness

Fleas: Fleas are the most common cause of allergies. Flea control is imperative for all pets, but particularly in allergic pets
Food: Common culprits: beef, chicken, pork, dairy, fish (cats), corn, wheat and soy.
Atopy1: Atopy describes a heritable disorder caused by an over-reactive immune system responding to normal, nontoxic substances (e.g.: pollens) in your pet’s environment. Some breeds are predisposed: Golden Retrievers, Terriers, Dalmatians, Bull Dogs. Dogs with allergies should not be bred to prevent transmission of this frustrating disease. Testing for your pet’s specific allergies helps tailor a specific program for your pet and offers the best results. Options for testing include:

a. Blood allergy testing.
b. Intradermal skin testing: most specific test for your pet’s allergies.

While there is no cure for allergies, your pet’s symptoms can be relieved with a combination of therapies to treat for infections, parasites and itching. Patients that undergo allergy testing will begin "allergy shots" to help control symptoms. The goal of any allergy therapy is to control the itching and limit skin and ear infections. Your veterinarian will discuss with you the best strategy to offer relief for your pet’s allergies.

Monday, September 10, 2018

"Ask the Groomer" coming soon

We will be adding a new segment on our site called "Ask the Groomer"  (that is the tentative title).  Our groomer, Kristin has alot of wonderful knowledge she would like to share, like nail trimming techniques, to keeping your dog's eyes clean and why.  So stay tuned for that great info!