April showers bring May flowers – and with those flowers comes one thing, pollen. Humans are not the only ones affected by pollen and the seasonal allergies it can cause. Animals, including our beloved dogs and cats, suffer from hay fever and allergies just like we do. And, unfortunately, their suffering is just as miserable as ours. (more…)
Naperville Animal Hospital Blog
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We all want to include our pets in the festivities of the season. For many, this includes dressing them in the many cute costumes that are marketed for dogs and cats. Unfortunately, sometimes the concern for safety gets lost in these good intentions.
Some pets just do not tolerate wearing costumes. If your pet seems distressed, anxious, or upset when wearing his/her costume, it may be best to find an alternative. Festive collars, cute bandanas, or even holiday-themed bows can be just as fun. Also, be sure your pet’s costume allows your pet to move, sit, and breathe freely. Never leave your pet unattended in a costume and be sure all pieces of the costume are non-toxic and do not have any choking hazards. Find other ways to include your pets in the holiday celebrations that don’t include costume-wearing and make this Halloween as enjoyable for your them as it is for you!
Food allergies are one of the top three allergies in dogs and cats. Pets can be allergic to any type of food, but the most common offenders include proteins or carbohydrates such as beef, chicken, fish, corn, wheat, or soy. Minor ingredients such as preservatives or dyes are also potential allergens. Despite common misconception, pets can develop food allergies even if they have “eaten the same food their entire life”. If your pet exhibits any of the following signs, he/she may have a food allergy that should be discussed with your veterinarian.
- Allergy symptoms (usually itching) that persist all year round.
- Chronic ear infections
- Repeated problems with the anal sacs.
- Allergy symptoms starting later in life (after the age of 5)
- Allergy symptoms which are only minimally responsive to steroids.
Food allergies are most often diagnosed by conducting a food trial during which the animal is fed only a hypoallergenic diet. This diet is carried out for 10-14 weeks. If symptoms resolve the pet is challenged with the old diet to see if symptoms return. Most food allergies are manageable simply by avoiding the offending food.
If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms, bring him in to see us and we can discuss it.
Ah, the dreaded butt-drag. Every pet owner has experienced it. But what does it mean? Don’t ignore it! If your dog is carpet surfing, there is a reason. Here are the most common causes:
- Anal sacs - All dogs and cat have little sacs right inside the rectum that contain a stinky fluid. Normally this fluid is expressed when your pet has a bowel movement. Sometimes the glands can become clogged or infected, however, resulting in a very irritating pressure that can be painful. You can help avoid this by bringing your pet in for grooming, which can include anal gland expression.
- Parasites – Intestinal parasites such as tapeworms can cause irritation around the rectum, resulting in scooting.
- Allergies - Allergies, in particular food allergies, can cause an itchy behind. Give us a call if you suspect this may be the case for your pet.
- Irritation - Anything irritating such as debris stuck in the hair around the rectum or inflammation secondary to diarrhea can result in your pet dragging or licking at its bottom excessively.
- Fleas - Fleas love to hang out around the back half of the animal, which can sometimes result in scooting. Fleas can also carry tapeworms, another culprit!
So next time you catch your pet dragging its rear end on your white rug, don’t yell at him or her- Make an appointment to get it checked out! Your dog or cat is trying to tell you something!
As the heat waves roll in this summer, use the following tips to keep your pets cool and well hydrated:
- Make sure your pet has access to shade and fresh, cool water at all times. Be aware that older or arthritic pets may not be able to easily move into the shade.
- Consider purchasing a children’s wading pool for you and your dog to beat the heat! Keep the water fresh to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and bacteria from flourishing.
- Keep your dog wet- dogs don’t really sweat, so providing a wet coat and a cool breeze from a fan can offer some relief.
- Don’t leave home without water for your pet- dogs lose a lot of water via panting and will need to drink frequently to keep hydrated.
- Never leave your pet in the car, even for a short period of time. Dogs and cats can become rapidly overheated in this situation, resulting in serious illness or even death.