By Dr. Eva Evans, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet health insurance agency for dogs and cats.
There is an old wives’ tale that a dog or cat’s health can be assessed by the state of their nose. Typically, cat and dog noses are wet and cold, but why? What does it mean if they are warm and dry?
Often times, pet owners think that if their pet’s nose is dry, then the pet must be sick. Conversely, many people think that if a pet’s nose is wet and cold, then the pet is healthy. The truth is that a wet, cold nose has no bearing on your pet’s health, and it is not a reliable way to gage if your pet is sick or healthy.
One reason that cat and dog noses are typically wet is because pets like to lick their noses often. This moistens the nose and keeps that wet feeling. Sometimes, dogs and cats can have a warm, dry nose naturally. However, it can sometimes be a sign of dehydration. Pets that are dehydrated may have dry noses, but a dry nose doesn’t always mean your pet is sick. The humidity and temperature of the air also contributes to how wet or dry your pet’s nose will be.
If you notice a wet, runny nose with clear or colored discharge, then your pet may have an infection or other nasal disease and should be seen by your veterinarian for proper treatment. Some pets will always have dry, cracked noses even when they are healthy otherwise. This is especially true of senior pets.
The best way to assess your pet’s health is to monitor for decreased appetite, lethargy or abnormal behavior.
Warmer weather and more time spent outside can mean dirty dogs. So Pets Best Insurance recently asked dog owners how often they give their dog a bath. Here are their surprisingly varied answers.
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Dr. Tony Poutous of Virginia was a 2012 quarterly winner in the My Vet’s the Best contest. Dr. Poutous received more than 3,000 votes in the contest by pet insurance provider Pets Best Insurance. Dr. Poutous was nominated by client Karen Calabro who said, “Dr. Poutous is the world’s greatest when it comes to compassion, knowledge, communication and genuine concern regarding all animals here on earth. This man is an absolute treasure.”
Dr. Poutous recently reached out to Pets Best Insurance with an update on what has been happening since he won the contest.
Dr. Poutous used the prize money to treat a severely abused dog. She was caught in the middle of a break-up. Dr. Poutous states, “The short story is that the girlfriend left the dog behind with the ex-boyfriend and he kept her locked in a crate for about 8 weeks with no food or water to ‘get back at the girlfriend.’ She was severely emaciated, dehydrated, covered in urine and had open wounds all over her. It was several days of hospitalization before she could even hold her head up on her own. It’s been about a month now and she is doing much better. She still has one wound which has not completely healed, but she’s in a new home with a new life. Thanks to Pets Best Insurance for their generous contribution to getting her better.”
Dr. Poutous has also changed hospitals. Dr. Poutous explained that out of sad circumstances, arose a silver lining. He explained that tragically last November a local veterinarian was killed in an auto accident. She was a solo practitioner and one of the few other veterinarians in the area that would see exotic animals. Dr. Poutous says, “I began volunteering my services there on my days off from Pet Care so that someone could see her patients (especially the exotics that the paid relief vets wouldn’t see). Then the previous owner’s widow approached me about purchasing the practice. I felt that this was an opportunity that I needed to a take, so with a bit of trepidation I left my Pet Care family. There is so much to do, but this will be new and exciting adventure.”
“Thanks again for all you do to help us help animals,” Dr. Poutous concluded.
Formerly, Dr. Poutous worked at the Pet Care Veterinary Hospital in Virginia Beach, VA. Dr. Poutous is now practicing at the Midway Veterinary Hospital, Chesapeake, VA.
Do you have the best veterinarian? The My Vet’s the Best contest from petinsurance provider, Pets Best, recognizes outstanding members of the veterinary community. Learn more about the veterinarian contest and how to nominate your vet.
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Naki’o, a rescue dog, has received four prosthetic limbs after losing his paws to frostbite.
According to orthopets.com, a stray pregnant dog had a litter of puppies in an abandoned Nebraska home. When rescuers found the litter, the mom had passed away and one of the pups, Naki’o, had his paws and part of his tail frozen in a puddle. Naki’o’s frostbite was severe and amputation was required.
Naki’o and his litter mates were taken in by a rescue group in Colorado. When the litter was ready to be adopted out, it seemed unlikely Naki’o would get adopted, given he had no feet and walking on his nubs was painful for the puppy. But Christie Pace, a veterinarian assistant from Colorado Springs, saw Naki’o and adopted him. Seeking a solution for Naki’o, Pace approached OrthoPets for help. Christie, her co-workers and friends paid for one prosthetic and OrthoPets covered the cost for the other three. According to medicaldaily.com, each of the prosthetics cost between $930 and $3,100.
Dr. Patsy of OrthoPets said in 21 years she’d never seen a case like this. Naki’o is believed to be the first dog with prosthetics on all four limbs.
Pace says Naki’o is now able to play and begin living a normal life again.
OrthoPets says Naki’o “…is truly happy and still a puppy at heart. His eyes tell the story that he surely knows all too well. I’m a lucky dog…many good humans helped me and now I’m handsome and very happy. Did ya’ see my shoes?”
Pace has also started nakiosunderdogrescue.org to help more disabled dogs and cats in need.
Do you have a dog or cat with a prosthetic limb? We’d love to hear about them. Tell us your pet’s story in the comments below.
Pets Best Insurance is a provider of pet insurance plans for dogs and cats, and has plans that can cover foot prosthetics. Learn more why pet insurance from Pets Best was the choice of these pet parents in these pet insurance reviews.
By Vicki Stephens, a certified trainer of therapy animals and operator of the pet therapy organization, Pets Helping People. Vicki guest blogs for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.
For the last 18 years I have been volunteering with my pet therapy animals. We visit nursing homes, reading programs at schools, assisted living centers and youth disability facilities. Currently I have three certified therapy dogs: Cooper, JP, and Tag (short for Tag A Long). As well as five certified therapy miniature horses: Malibu, Peek a Boo, Bell, Bo and Princess. All the horses are under 30 inches tall, except for Princess who stands at 31 ½ inches tall. And in case you are wondering, yes, they are all house broken!
One of my former therapy dogs was a Toy Fox Terrier named Spunky. Spunky and I probably logged in more than 200 hours visiting nursing homes. I remember one lady in particular during these visits. She was a sweet tiny little lady. Every time we walked into the nursing home she would call out, “There’s my Spunky!” I had been told she had dementia, so I was puzzled how she could remember Spunky’s name, yet not remember her own family member’s names when they visited her.