Dealing with an itchy allergic dog can be a frustrating experience for pet owners and veterinarians alike! It is frustrating because there is no cure and there is no one magic pill that works for every dog. Even diagnosing pet allergies can be far from straightforward. In addition, it is fairly common. All that biting and scratching can take a strain on everyone in the household, but with some persistence and patience an allergy program can be formulated to provide a little relief for everyone.
Kinds of Allergies
-Environmental allergies: True allergies are clinically referred to as Atopic Dermatitis (AD). With this disease pets develops antibodies inappropriately to things in the environment, such as pollens of grasses, trees, and weeds, as well as mold spores, house dust, dust mites, fleas and even other animals, like your cat! Because pet allergies can be difficult to treat, I always recommend pet owners invest in pet insurance while their pets are still young. Enrolling pets while they’re still puppies and kittens may help cover costs for veterinary care throughout the pets’ lives without the worry of exclusion of preexisting conditions.
Happy Independence day! The fourth of July is a much anticipated time of fun, family and sun. Barbecues, parades and fireworks are sure to be included, encouraging the whole family to get out and celebrate. If you are like millions of Americans that consider your pets family, your four-legged best friend might be a part of the festivities. Here’s how to keep your pet’s health and safety in tact this July fourth.
1. Barbecue safety:
Who can resist those brown eyes as they plead for a bite of your steak? It can be tempting to feed your pet bits of your meal, but most veterinarians will agree that feeding meat and other rich ‘people foods’ to dogs and cats can be problematic.
Rich foods can cause pancreatitis, a dangerous condition causing inflammation of the pancreas that often requires hospitalization.
Bones, in general, should be avoided. Dogs can splinter off sharp shards that can cause intestinal irritation, or they can swallow the whole bone, which can cause a painful and dangerous obstruction. Occasionally this requires surgery to treat– which can be quite costly for pet owners without dog insurance.
Ah, summertime! If you are like millions of Americans, summertime is a time for outside activities, often in the backyard. Many strive to have a beautiful yard to accompany their homes, but some plants and gardening chemicals can be bad for pet health. Here are some common garden and outside dangers that you might be cautious of if you garden with your pet or spend time with them outside at all.
Many commercial insecticides contain organophosphates, which are poisonous to dogs. Symptoms include salivation, trembling, and sometimes urination or defecation. Occasionally low heart rate and seizures can be seen as well. Prognosis with treatment is generally good. Be sure to follow the label on the chemical very carefully and avoid exposure, especially in very small dogs that are close to the ground.
The Pets Best Insurance Facebook page is always open to your pet health comments and questions! Here are some recent questions from our Facebook friends regarding their pets:
Delores asks: What age can you have a puppy’s dew claws removed*?
A: While some pet owners will opt to have their puppy’s dewclaws removed, many others will not. This procedure, which is considered “cosmetic” by Pets Best Insurance, and is therefore not covered, is something that should be discussed with your veterinarian. Puppies can have their dewclaws removed between 3 and 5 days of age. When younger than this, the pups tend to be a bit fragile, and when older than this, the blood supply to that declaw is increased, and stopping blood flow can be more difficult.
If you missed the tiny 2 day window for appropriate dewclaw removal, some veterinarians will remove the dewclaws when the pet is older and is spayed or neutered. This is a full anesthetic procedure and the pet will likely have stitches and bandages. But dewclaws aren’t always a bad thing. In fact, some breeds, like Great Pyrenees, are bred for their multiple dewclaws! The most important thing is to keep them trimmed because they often don’t wear down normally and can curl.
By: Dr. Fiona Caldwell
Idaho Veterinary Hospital
For Pets Best Insurance
National Pet Appreciation Week is July 10th through the 16th! This week is meant to remind us to pause and be thankful for the unconditional love our pets provide for us daily, and to shed light on the epidemic of homeless pets that don’t have a person to love. Animals are unique in their ability to bring so much joy and ask for so little in return. Why not take some time to give back to the furry loved one in your life? Here are some ways that you can show how much you care, even if you don’t have a pet.
1. Consider pet health insurance
This is the ultimate way to show your pet you care. Pet insurance will allow you to give your beloved the treatment they need in a time of emergency. Veterinary medicine can be expensive and having dog or cat insurance may help alleviate the financial strain.