Can Dogs Get Lyme Disease?

Dogs in the Northeast are especially prone to Lyme Disease.Dr. Fiona is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best Insurance. 

April is Lyme disease prevention in dogs month. Lyme disease has likely been around for centuries, but we have only started to understand more about the disease in the past 30 years.

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is an infection caused by a species of bacteria called Borrelia. The bacteria is transmitted by ticks when they bite.

Lyme Disease in Humans vs. Dogs

It is important to understand that dog Lyme disease and human Lyme disease are very different.

Human Lyme Disease

Most people will develop the classic ‘target’ shaped skin rash at the bite, then develop flu-like symptoms. Human Lyme disease can cause serious long term illness with arthritis, potential heart problems, and neurological problems.

Dog Lyme DiseaseRead More…

Pet Memorial Ceremonies: Cherokee Part 2

pet memorial ceremonies are a great way to help heal after losing a dog.

Coleen Ellis, from the Two Hearts Pet Loss Center, is a Guest Blogger for dog insurance provider, Pets Best.

Getting to the celebration of life service, guests walked by a table that held all of those items that were important to Cherokee and her family. The table had her scrapbooks, favorite toys, leash, collar,…. As well as her urn, paw print and fur clipping. Yes, it truly was all about Cherokee.

Playing on the computer was a photo montage of Cherokee and the life that she shared with her family. From her baby photo as a “tiny” St. Bernard to her big girl photos – dressed in Halloween costumes, taking part in the Paws to Read program at the schools with the children, walking the neighborhood, and memory after memory. The mood in the house was somber yet very reflective as everyone held close their own particular memories of Cherokee and what she meant to them; the somber moments being interrupted quite often with laughter as someone relayed yet another story of something that Cherokee had done!

The guests visited and told stories. At one point in the evening, I was honored to deliver the eulogy for the family. Interestingly enough, I was also asked to speak about the importance of having a celebration of life service like what was happening. Read More…

Why Does My Lab Itch and Scratch? Is it Dog Allergies?

Dr. Fiona Caldwell is a veterinarian guest blogger for Pets Best Insurance, a provider of dog insurance and cat insurance.

Hi. I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell; I’m a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. I’m answering some questions from Pet’s Best’s Facebook page today. This question comes from Rebecca, who asks: Why does my Lab always have a skin problem; itch, scratch?

This is a great question, and obviously, very, very common. There’s several different reasons that can cause a pet to be itching and scratching. Probably the biggest ones to consider, external parasites are a big one; making sure your pet doesn’t have fleas or mites that kind of thing. The other large thing that can cause an itchy dog are allergies. There’s really 2 big components to allergies, one is your food allergies and other are environmental allergies.

Working with a veterinarian is really important because allergies are really frustrating. There isn’t a magic pill; Read More…

Pets Best March Madness

March madness Pets Best.Sports fan or not, you’ve probably noticed March Madness is in full swing! At Pets Best Insurance, we wanted to get in on the action, so we’re hosting a little March Madness of our own.

We’ve matched up the 8 most popular dog and cat breeds for a nose-to-tail showdown. Will the #1 most popular dog and cat in America be the Pets Best Facebook favorites as well?

Vote by commenting every time you see a match-up appear on Facebook, and we’ll reveal the winner on April 1st!

First Rounds

Monday, March 25th – Thursday March 28th

Semi-FinalsRead More…

Pet Poison: Chocolate

chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats.Dr. Marc is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best. 

Signs and Symptoms

Though there is an extensive list of possible symptoms after chocolate ingestion, the most common are as follows: Vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity (such as excitation, restlessness, or panting), tremors and convulsions, seizures, racing heart rate, arrhythmia (when the heart cannot beat properly in a normal rhythm), and in severe cases death.

After chocolate ingestion, it takes nearly four days for it to work out of an animal’s system. Because of this, symptoms can progress and last for the entire 4 days that it takes an animals body to clear the toxin.

Why and How is Chocolate Toxic

Chocolate is processed by grinding hulled cacao beans. The product that results from this grinding is called chocolate liquor. Within the chocolate liquor is a chemical called theobromine. This chemical is the reason that chocolate is toxic to pets (both cats and dogs). The more chocolate liquor found in a product, the more toxic it is to a pet, meaning less of it needs to be eaten for more serious symptoms to occur.

Chocolate Types: From Most Toxic to Least Toxic

  • The highest theobromine content is found in baking chocolate
  • Followed by semisweet/dark chocolate
  • Then milk chocolate
  • Lastly, white chocolate (it contains an insignificant amount of theobromine).

How Much Chocolate Will Poison My Dog or Cat?

Toxic doses of theobromine are 9 milligrams per pound. Meaning that a 20-pound animal would need to eat 8.2 ounces of milk chocolate, or just 0.9 ounces of baking chocolate to achieve a toxic dose.

What to Do if Your Dog or Cat Eats ChocolateRead More…

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