Bloat in Dogs: Understanding a Serious and Deadly Condition

It seems like dogs are always getting into something, whether it’s the litter box, yesterday’s garbage, or that unidentifiable, dirt-covered lump they found in the backyard. Because of their, er, outside interests, tummy troubles in dogs are not all that uncommon, and most resolve on their own.

One type of gastrointestinal issue that is unlikely to “just go away” is bloat. Bloat is the second most common cause of death in dogs, and one that every dog owner should be aware of.

 The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital want to walk you through the signs of bloat in dogs, what you can do to help prevent it, and what your emergency and treatment options are.

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For a Disease With No Cure, Vaccinating Pets Against Rabies Is Essential

A white dog looking curiously at the camera, sitting in front of a light blue background.

When we discuss important vaccinations for cats and dogs, there are typically questions about the less familiar diseases, such as distemper or Bordetella.

But almost every pet owner unanimously agrees with the mandate to protect pets from rabies. This is easily explained by the fact that prevalent suburban wildlife are known harbingers of this disease. Perhaps most significantly, vaccinating pets against rabies protects the entire family. Now that’s something the Pet Experts can really get on board with!

It’s the Law

Illinois law stipulates that every dog 4 months of age or more be inoculated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. Furthermore, a second rabies vaccination should be administered within one year of the first. 

A certificate of immunization is issued to each dog, cat, and ferret alongside their microchip number, resident county, and name of veterinarian. 

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Help! We’ve Been Skunked!

If you’ve ever let your unsuspecting dog outside at dawn or dusk, only to have them come running hell bent back to the front door, chances are your dog has been skunked.

Although your first instinct may be to let your dog inside to wash him off, don’t! Skunk spray oil lingers in the air until his coat is clean. What’s more, the oil can get all over your couch, carpet, and worse, you – so keeping your dog outside while you help him get cleaned up is imperative. 

Here are our best tips for what to do if your dog encounters a skunk.

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A Spoonful of Sugar: Pill Pockets and Beyond

dog taking medicine

Almost every pet owner dreads the task of giving a pill to their pet. Some pets seem like professional pill avoiders – the dog that finds the tiny pill stuffed into the big piece of bologna you gave them, or the cat who conveniently goes missing every day right around medication time. Not only is it frustrating, it can be dangerous for pets that rely on their daily dose.

Pill pockets are a popular method for tricking a pet into swallowing their pills, but some pets have learned to get around them. The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital have put together a list of ideas to help the medicine go down.

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Recognizing Signs of Illness in Exotic Pets

A small tortoise walks in the bark of his habitat

The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital love all pets – and birds, reptiles, and small mammals are no exception! Learning how to properly care for these special creatures involves providing them with the right habitat, diet, and opportunities for exercise and interaction each day. 

Regular veterinary care is a core component of responsible exotic pet ownership. Annual wellness examinations, along with an understanding of the signs of illness in exotic pets, are essential when it comes to keeping your little pal healthy and happy.

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Thirsty? The Importance of Pet Hydration

We may have had a cool spring, but July is one of the hottest months of the year in the Midwest – so it’s no coincidence that it’s also National Pet Hydration Month. 

Keeping your pet hydrated is simple, but it’s something that can easily be an afterthought during the hustle and bustle of summer. The Pet Experts want to make sure our readers have all the information they need to keep pet hydration on the radar all summer long.

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Summer Sizzle: Dangerously Hot Temperatures and Summer Paw Safety

Paw pads are comprised of fat, connective tissue and thick skin, but that doesn’t mean dogs can’t feel the ground they walk on.

Sure, their specialized anatomy allows them to hike on rocky trails or run on scratchy pavement, and their paw pads stand up to a lot of action over time. However, summer paw safety is critical to avoid injuries associated with walking on sizzling surfaces.

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Heads or Tails: What Your Cat’s Tail is Telling You

Although we tend to think of cats as independent and even aloof, they’re actually great communicators. Feline communication includes many different facets, such as body language, vocalizations, facial expressions, and scent markers.

However, the position of your cat’s tail may be one of the best indicators of their mood. Once you understand some of the basics, it’s easy to determine your cat’s likes, loves, and fears. And, let’s be honest, what cat owner wouldn’t love gaining a little more insight into how their cat is feeling?

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Exotic Pets for Kids: Yay or Nay?

It’s a rare child who doesn’t beg their parents for a pet at some point. Even if the family already has a dog or cat, kids may feel the need to have their “own” pet.

If you’ve decided to let your child adopt a small pet, you’ll want to choose one that’s easy to care for, relatively low-maintenance, and one that can tolerate the noise and rambunctious play that often goes along with having children in the home.

Fortunately, The Pet Experts are here to help with some ideas for suitable exotic pets for kids.

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Are You Comfortable Performing Pet CPR?

If you’re like most pet owners, you shudder to think about a life-threatening pet emergency. However, the odds of a happy ending are greatly increased when you have the right knowledge and resources to help your pet.

Knowing how to perform pet CPR is an incredible asset to any responsible owner, and The Pet Experts are here to help you get started!

It Can Happen Anywhere

Pet emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime. The most important thing to remember is that your pet needs help immediately. Whether this means bringing them in to our hospital or performing pet CPR yourself, acting quickly and calmly makes a big difference.

Pet CPR 101

Pet CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is pretty much the same regardless of the animal, but certain biological differences will determine the specifics. Basically, the goal is to manually circulate oxygenated blood from the heart to the brain and back again.

To facilitate pet CPR, we recommend adhering to the following protocol:

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