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September is National Disaster

                          Preparedness Month

PET EMERGENCY AND FIRST AID

From the AVMA

IF YOUR PET IS NOT BREATHING

• Open your pet’s airway by gently grasping its tongue and pulling it forward (out of the mouth) until it is flat. Check the throat to see if there are any foreign objects blocking the airway.

• Perform rescue breathing by holding your pet’s mouth closed with your hand and breathing directly into its nose until you see the chest expand. Once the chest expands, continue administering one rescue breath every 4-5 seconds.

IF YOUR PET HAS NO HEARTBEAT

Do not begin chest compressions until you’ve secured an airway and started rescue breathing.

• Gently lay your pet on its right side on a firm surface. The heart is located on the left side in the lower half of the chest, just behind the elbow of the front left leg. Place one hand underneath the pet’s chest for support and the other hand over the heart.

• For dogs, press down with quick, firm pressure to depress the chest one inch for medium-sized dogs. Use more force for larger animals and less force for smaller animals.

• For cats and other small pets, cradle your hand around the animal’s chest so your thumb is on the left side of the chest and your fingers are on the right side of the chest, and compress the chest by squeezing it between your thumb and fingers.

• Press down 80-120 times per minute for larger animals and 100-150 times per minute for smaller ones (less than 25 lbs).

• Alternate the chest compressions with the rescue breaths: perform chest compressions for 4-5 seconds and stop long enough to give one rescue breath.

• Continue until you can hear a heartbeat and your pet is breathing regularly, or you have arrived at the veterinary clinic and they can take over the resuscitation attempts. Please remember that your pet’s likelihood of surviving with resuscitation is very low. However, in an emergency it may give your pet his/her only chance.

FOR YOUR SAFETY If your pet is injured, he/she is likely in pain, scared, and confused. Be careful to avoid getting hurt, bitten or scratched.

• Perform any examination slowly and gently. Stop if your pet becomes more agitated.

• Drive carefully to the veterinary clinic. Panicked or out-of-control driving puts you and your pet at risk.

IF YOUR PET IS CHOKING: Choking pets have difficulty breathing, paw excessively at their mouths, make choking sounds when breathing or coughing, and may have blue-tinged lips or tongue.

• If your pet can still breathe, keep him/her calm and seek immediate veterinary care.

• Look into your pet’s mouth to see if a foreign object is visible. If you see an object, gently try to remove it with pliers or tweezers, but be careful not to push the object further down the throat. If it’s not easy to reach—don’t delay; get your pet to a veterinarian immediately.

• If you can’t remove the object or your pet collapses, place both hands on the side of your pet’s rib cage and apply firm quick pressure, or lay your pet on his/her side and strike the rib cage firmly with the palm of your hand 3-4 times to sharply push air out of their lungs and push the object out from behind. Repeat this until the object is dislodged or until you arrive at the veterinarian’s office.

IF YOUR PET IS POISONED

• If you know or suspect your pet has consumed something that may be harmful, call your veterinarian, 801-776-4372, emergency veterinary clinic801-776-8118 or the Animal Poison Control Center (888.426.4435 – available 365 days/year, 24 hours/day; a consultation fee applies) immediately.

• If possible, have the following information available: - Species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved - Symptoms - Name/description of the substance that is in question; the amount the animal was exposed to; and how long it’s been since your pet ate it or was exposed to it. - The product container/packaging available for reference.

• Collect any material your pet may have vomited or chewed, and place it in a plastic sealable bag to take with you when you bring your animal in for veterinary treatment.

• If possible, have the following information available: - Species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved - Symptoms - Name/description of the substance that is in question; the amount the animal was exposed to; and how long it’s been since your pet ate it or was exposed to it. - The product container/packaging available for reference.

• Clear the area of other pets, furniture, and any other objects that may cause injury. Do not try to restrain your pet or startle him/her out of the seizure.

Do not try to restrain your pet or startle him/her out of the seizure.

IF YOUR PET IS INJURED

• If possible and safe, try to stabilize injuries before moving an injured animal by splinting or bandaging them. Keep in mind, however, that a poorly applied bandage or splint can do more harm than good; if in doubt, leave the bandaging/splinting to professionals.

• If there is a foreign body in the wound, do not remove it. If necessary, carefully cut it short without moving it to leave 3-6 inches sticking out before transporting your pet to the veterinarian.

• While transporting your injured pet, keep him/her confined.

BASIC PET FIRST AID KIT CHECKLIST

Keep a kit of basic first aid supplies for the pets in your household. Many of the items in a family first aid kit can be used for pets, too.

  • IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS (veterinarian, emergency clinic, poison control, animal control, non-emergency police) 

  • A copy of your PET’S MEDICAL RECORD

  • DIGITAL FEVER THERMOMETER to take your pet’s temperature

  • MUZZLE to prevent bites (DO NOT muzzle your pet if he/she is vomiting)

  • SPARE LEASH AND COLLAR

  • GAUZE ROLL for wrapping wounds or muzzling an injured animal

  • CLEAN TOWELS for restraining cats, cleaning or padding

  • NONSTICK BANDAGES OR STRIPS OF CLEAN CLOTH to control bleeding or protect wounds

  • SELF-ADHERING, NONSTICK TAPE for bandages

  • ADHESIVE TAPE for securing bandages

  • EYE DROPPER (or large syringe without needle) to give oral treatments or flush wounds

  • K-Y JELLY (or generic version) to protect wounds, eyes

  • 3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE to induce vomiting (Always contact your veterinarian or poison control center before inducing vomiting; do not use hydrogen peroxide on wounds.)

  • SALINE SOLUTION for cleansing wounds (Saline sold for use with contact lenses works well for most purposes.)

  • LOCATION OF PET CARRIER (for cats and small dogs)

  • Leash to transport your pet (if your pet is capable of walking without further injury).

  • Stretcher (in an emergency a door, board, blanket or floor mat may be used)To stabilize the injured animal and prevent further injury during transport
     

    You can print out a copy of this checklist to use as a shopping list, and keep a copy on your refrigerator or next to your pet first aid kit for quick reference in emergencies.

Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet's life until it receives veterinary treatment.

September is Pet Senior Wellness Month

Senior Pets

Still Have a Question?

Read the Senior Pets FAQ.

Thanks to better care, pets are living longer now than they ever have before – but as pets get older, they need extra care and attention. Regular veterinary examinations can detect problems in older pets before they become advanced or life-threatening, and improve the chances of a longer and healthier life for your pet.

When does a pet become “old”?

Dogs and cats ages in human yearsIt varies, but cats and small dogs are generally considered “senior” at seven years of age. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans compared to smaller breeds and are often considered senior when they are 5 to 6 years of age. Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not age at a rate of 7 human years for each year in dog years.

Age is not a disease. Although senior pets may develop age-related problems, good care allows them to live happy, healthy and active lives in their senior years.

What problems are more common in senior pets?

While it’s easy to spot the outward signs of aging such as graying haircoat and slower pace, it’s important to remember a pet’s organ systems are also changing. An older pet is more likely to develop diseases such as heart, kidney and liver disease, cancer or arthritis. Cancer accounts for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age. Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, while cats have a somewhat lower rate.

Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not age at a rate of 7 human years for each year in dog years.

It is normal for pets to lose some of their sight and hearing as they age, similar to humans. Older pets may develop cataracts and they may not respond as well to voice commands. If you teach your pet hand signals at a younger age, it may be easier for you to communicate with your pet as his/her hearing worsens with age. Simple gestures such as “come” or “stop” can allow you to safely retain control of your pet without the use of words. Pets with poor sight or even blindness can get around well in familiar environments. If your pet’s eyesight is failing, avoid rearranging or adding furniture or other items that could become obstacles.

Changes in activity

If your pet is starting to avoid active playing or running or if he/she has trouble with daily activities such as jumping up on a favorite chair or into the family car, he/she may have arthritis. A pet with arthritis may also show irritation when touched or petted (especially over the arthritic areas), and may seem more depressed or grouchy. There may be other reasons for these changes; have your pet examined by your veterinarian to determine the cause of the problems. Veterinarians have access to many therapies to help manage your pet’s arthritis, and simple changes in your home such as orthopedic pet beds, raised feeding platforms, stairs and ramps may also help your older pet deal with arthritis.

Changes in behavior

Behavior changes in your pet can serve as the first indicators of aging. These changes might be due to discomfort or pain (arthritis, etc.) or worsening sight or hearing, but they may also be due to the normal aging process. Some behavior changes in older pets may be due to cognitive dysfunction, which is similar to senility in people.

Senior pet, Rugby

Common behavior changes in older pets that may be signs of cognitive dysfunction:

  • easily disturbed by loud sounds
  • unusually aggressive behavior
  • increased barking/meowing
  • anxiety or nervousness
  • confused or disoriented behavior
  • increased wandering
  • house soiling (“accidents”)
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • less interest in playing
  • repeating the same
  • not responding to voice commands
  • more grouchy or irritable than usual

How does weight affect senior pets?

Weight can have a tremendous effect on an older pet’s health. Obesity in older pets increases the risk of arthritis, difficulty breathing, insulin resistance or diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, skin problems, cancer and other conditions. An overweight pet may not show any early warning signs of health problems, so regular visits to your veterinarian are recommended. Once your veterinarian evaluates your pet’s condition, he or she can recommend a proper diet and suggest other steps to help your pet maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Weight can have a tremendous effect on an older pet’s health.

Sudden weight loss in an older pet is also a source for concern, especially in cats. Hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), diabetes and kidney disease are common causes of weight loss in senior cats. If you notice any sudden changes in your older pet’s weight, contact your veterinarian.

Should new pets be introduced into the home as older pets age?

It may be tempting to introduce a new pet into the home as your pet gets older, but you should consult with your veterinarian before adding a puppy or kitten. Ideally, a new pet should be introduced when your older pet is still active and can move away from the younger animal if he/she needs a “time-out.” Senior pets need to know they have a quiet, secure place where they can walk away and rest, undisturbed, in comfort.

Senior Wellness 

Frequently Asked Questions about caring for an older pet. 

Excerpts from the AVMA  article
 https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Caring-for-an-Older-Pet-FAQs.aspx

 
Due to improved veterinary care and dietary habits, pets are living longer now than they ever have before. One consequence of this is that pets, along with their owners and veterinarians, are faced with a whole new set of age-related conditions. In recent years there has been extensive research on the problems facing older pets and how their owners and veterinarians can best handle their special needs.

Q: When does a pet become "old"?
A:  It varies, but cats and small dogs are generally considered geriatric at the age of 7. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans and are considered geriatric when they are approximately 6 years of age. Owners tend to want to think of their pet's age in human terms. While it is not as simple as "1 human year = X cat/dog years", there are calculations that can help put a pet's age in human terms:

Q: What kinds of health problems can affect older pets?
A: Geriatric pets can develop many of the same problems seen in older people, such as

  1.     Cancer
  2.     Heart disease
  3.     Kidney / urinary tract disease
  4.     Liver disease
  5.     Diabetes
  6.     Joint or bone disease
  7.     Senility
  8.     Weakness

Q: My pet seems to be in pain, and isn't as active as they should be. What should I do?
A: First, talk to your veterinarian and have them examine your pet. Your pet might have arthritis. Older pets, especially large dogs, are vulnerable to arthritis and other joint diseases, and the signs you see can vary. This chart provides the basic signs you might see if your pet has arthritis; you might see one or more of these signs in your pet.


 
Q: When should we euthanize a pet? How will we know it's the right time?
A: This can be an incredibly difficult question for both the owner and the veterinarian, and is often a very tough decision to make. Sometimes, euthanasia is obviously the best thing to do for your pet. At other times, however, it can be less clear. An open discussion with your veterinarian, including an honest evaluation of your pet's quality of life, should help you make the decision.One way to determine if your aging pet is still enjoying life and can remain with us a little longer is by using a "Quality of Life" scale to determine if the animal's basic needs are being met. This scale can be very helpful for the veterinarian and pet owner when deciding what is best for your pet. In this scale, pets are scored on a scale of 1 through 10 in each category, with 10 being the highest score for quality of life. Again, only an honest evaluation of each category will help with the decision.

The AVMA offers several additional resources for pet owners, including brochures that are available Online

September 28th is World Rabies Day!

FROM THE AVMA AND GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR RABIES CONTROL (Background Rabies and World Rabies Day)

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a virus that can infect both humans and animals.  The virus is spread mainly through bites and sometimes scratches.   Rabies is is found in the SALIVA of infected animals.

How do I know if I have Rabies?

Most of the time you don't know until it is too late!

The first symptoms of rabies are similar to those of the flu. As the disease progresses, the person can experience delirium, abnormal behavior and hallucinations, as well as the famed hydrophobia and foaming at the mouth, related to the paralysis of swallowing muscles.

The World Health Organization considers rabies one of 17 Neglected Tropical Diseases. 
It kills approximately 70,000 people and 32,500 cattle every year.

What if I am bitten by a possible rabid animal?

Once symptoms are evident rabies is all but 100% fatal with only a handful of recorded 
survivals in its 4000 year history. 

IF after exposure to a rabid animal and you immediately (before symptoms start) get preventative rabies vaccines, the disease can be prevented.

McKay Dee Hospital, in Ogden, is our closest hospital that has these vaccines

Where is Rabies found?

Rabies is found on every continent on Earth, except Antarctica.

In the middle of the 20th Century, measures were adopted to control the disease and it is now well controlled in most developed countries – although it is still present in wildlife. It has been known to 
decimate numbers of endangered species, for example the Ethiopian Wolf. 

Hawaii is the only state, of the 50 United States, that is rabies free.

Prevention is the key!  

Here's how to reduce the risk of exposure to rabies from wildlife.

1.  Don’t feed or water your pets outside. Even empty bowls will attract wild and stray animals.

2. Keep your garbage securely covered. Open garbage will attract wild or stray animals.

3.  Wild animals should not be kept as pets.

4.  Enjoy all wild animals from a distance and teach children never to handle unfamiliar 
     animals – even if they appear friendly.
5.  If you see a wild or stray animal acting strangely, report it to veterinary or animal 
     control officials.
6.  Bat-proof your home in the fall and winter, if you live in a country where bat rabies 
     is an issue. 
 

In the state of Utah bats, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and foxes are the most likely carriers.

What if my pet bites another animal?  

After contacting animal control...         

  •     A dog or cat that bites a person/animal needs to be examined by a veterinarian immediately. 

  •     Your pet may require monitoring at home or at a veterinary clinic for 10 days.

  •     Report any illness or unusual behavior by your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

What if my pet is bit by another animal?

  • Consult your veterinarian immediately and have your veterinarian examine your pet and assess your pet’s vaccination needs.

  • Contact local animal control if the bite was from a stray or wild animal.

  • Monitor your pet at home or in a veterinary clinic for a specified time period by state  law.  A pet needs not be watched for at least 14 days.  It is possible that signs may not occur for 1-2 months after exposure.

What if my pet bites someone?  

Make sure that the person contacts there personal physician, then...

  • A dog or cat that bites a person needs to be examined by a veterinarian immediately.  Ask if you pet is current on his/her rabies vaccine.

  • Your pet may require monitoring at home or at a veterinary clinic for 10 days.

  •  Report any illness or unusual behavior by your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

  • If an unvaccinated animal bites your pet, you need to monitor them at home or in a veterinary clinic for at least 45 days, (depending on state/local law ordinances).

Bats and Rabies
Bats may transmit rabies.

  • Bats have small teeth which may leave marks that are not easily seen. 

Although many people know if they have been bitten by a bat, there are certain circumstances when a person might not be aware or unable to tell you about it.

These circumstances include:

o If a sleeping person awakes to find a bat in the room
o If you find a bat in a room with an unattended child 
o If you see a bat near a person with disabilities
o If you see a bat near a person who is intoxicated 

I may have been exposed to Rabies, NOW WHAT!?

Following exposure to rabies, time is of the essence. 
1. The wound needs to be washed thoroughly with soap and running water for at 
     least 15 minutes. 
2. The victim then needs to seek urgent medical care and exposure assessment.  McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden is the closest hospital for rabies prevention treatments.

Prompt and appropriate treatment after being bitten and before the disease develops 
can stop rabies infection and prevent the disease.

However, once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is fatal in 99.9% of the cases, 
and typically only palliative measures can be taken.

The World Rabies Day logo is known worldwide, and is available online
(http://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day/logos/) in over 40 languages for anyone to 
download and use with their events.

There are also many awareness resources
(http://rabiesalliance.org/resources/) available online for different audiences and 
languages, which people can use at their events and for other activities around rabies.

For Fun tips and and games for Kids visit  http://www.cdc.gov/rabiesandkids/

Most of this information came form http://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day/

More information about Rabies  is available, these is just a few highlights.  If you have questions, please call us.

HEARTWORMS  (Ask us about PROHEART)

Heartworm, Dirofilaria immitus, is a nematode (roundworm) that lives in major pulmonary blood vessels and in the right side of the heart. This worm is found mainly in dogs, (including wolves, coyotes, foxes etc.), cats and ferrets. Unless immunosuppressed, (i.e. have AIDS, on chemotherapy etc.) humans and other animals do not seem to be affected by heartworms.Heartworm is transferred by…

Mosquitoes!!! In this area one of the main mosquito species that transfers heartworm is called the Treehole mosquito. True to its name this mosquito lives in the holes of trees and can come out to bite when temperatures rise above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that even in the winter dogs can become infected by heartworms!

Heartworms in the continental US Numbers are lower than otherwise would be or have been because of the number of animals that are on preventative

Life cycle
A mosquito bites an infected dog, sucks up some of the microfilaria (baby heartworms). While in the mosquito the worms mature from L2-L3 larvae. The L3 larvae are then injected back into a dog, cat or ferret and start the migration to the heart. The adult can live in the heart for several years without the animal showing any signs of infection. The diagrams below, (Courtesy of the American Heartworm Society), explain the life cycle in more detail. Heartworms can be fatal!

Prevention is the Key
There are several very good preventative medications that can be given once a month to prevent heartworms. Here at the clinic we carry Heartgard Plus, Interceptor and Revolution. Please feel free to talk with us about which preventative is best for your pet. If your pet is on a preventative year round then we recommend testing every 3 years. If not then a blood test is recommended before starting a preventative.

Diagnosis
How do you know if your pet has heartworm? For dogs it is easy, just a simple, in house blood test that takes 10 minutes to run. Cats can be harder to diagnose. A good blood test is being developed and tested for use in cats. Ideally the dog should be tested, put on preventative for 6 months then tested again. If that test is negative then the dog does not need to be tested in our clinic for 3 years, (as long as the dog is on a monthly preventative).

What if my dog has heartworm?
There is a treatment! It consists of 2-3 injections of an arsenic derivative called immiticide, one month later oral ivermectin is given and then a month after that the dog is tested again for heartworms. The dog must be kept in strict confinement during the whole treatment. This treatment is serious, costly and not to be taken lightly. Most dogs do very well during the treatment process.

During the month of August we have a special on heartworm testing and Heartgard. Plea


call or visit for more details.

For more information about Heartworms visit:

http://www.heartwormsociety.org/  
http://www.capcvet.org/recommendations/heartwormcat.html Interesting articles from Veterinary Partner.com:
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=615  (the parasite)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=609   (diagnosing heartworms)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=488  (preventative options)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=593  (heartworm in cats)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=591  (heartworm disease)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=610  (heartworm treatment)

VISIT The Website For Fun Activities and Information:

HTTP://WWW.PETWEEK.ORG   FOR FUN ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION.

Check out the video:

https://youtu.be/4kohCpoh9xc

VISIT The Website For Fun Activities and Information:

HTTP://WWW.PETWEEK.ORG   FOR FUN ACTIVITIES AND INFORMATION.

Check out the video:

https://youtu.be/4kohCpoh9xc

Dog bites by the numbers infographic

Dog bite prevention: top ten scenarios to avoid


 

We love to pet dogs, and most dogs love to be petted. But there also are times when we shouldn’t pet a dog. Here’s a list of when you should avoid petting a dog, whether the dog is yours or someone else’s.

  • If the dog is not with its owner.

  • If the dog is with its owner but the owner does not give permission to pet the dog. 

  • If the dog is on the other side of a fence, don’t reach through or over a fence to pet the dog.

  • If a dog is sleeping or eating.

  • If a dog is sick or injured.

  • If a dog is resting with her puppies or seems very protective of her puppies and anxious about your presence.

  • If a dog is playing with a toy.

  • If the dog is a service dog. Service dogs are working animals and shouldn’t be distracted while they are doing their jobs.

  • If the dog is growling or barking.

  • If the dog appears to be hiding or seeking time alone in its special place.

 Teaching Children How to Prevent Dog Bites

Jimmy the Dog Videos for children

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMszZOQAqfuVriBrbJxQdGzeoIq0d_G22


 

When you're teaching children about dog bite prevention and how to be safe around dogs, keep it simple. Discuss animals, how we relate to them, and the role of animals in your family, not just how to avoid being bitten. If you have younger children, always supervise them around dogs and be mindful of how the child interacts with the dog so they learn to be gentle from the beginning. 

Some easy tips that you can use to help kids understand the importance of respecting dogs and avoiding bites:

  • Avoid unknown dogs. If you see a dog you don’t know and it’s wandering around loose and unsupervised, avoid the dog and consider leaving the area. Consider alerting animal control.

  • When the owner is with their dog, always ask the owner for permission to pet their dog. Don’t ever pet a dog without asking first -- even if it’s a dog you know, or a dog that’s seemed friendly toward you before.

  • Teach children to confidently, quietly walk away if they’re confronted by an aggressive dog. Instruct them to stand still if a dog goes after them, then take a defensive position. It often helps to tell them to “be a tree:” stand quietly, with their hands low and clasped in front of them, remain still and keep their head down as if looking at their feet. If they are knocked down, teach them to cover their head and neck with their arms and curl into a ball.

  • Teach children to avoid escalating the situation by yelling, running, hitting or making sudden movements toward the dog.

  • Teach children that if a dog goes to bed or to his/her crate, don’t bother them. Enforce the idea that the bed or crate is the dog’s space to be left alone. A dog needs a comfortable, safe place where the child never goes. If you’re using a crate, it should be covered with a blanket and be near a family area, such as in your living room or another area of your home where the family frequently spends time. Do not isolate your dog or his/her crate, or you may accidentally encourage bad behavior.

  • Educate children at a level they can understand. Don’t expect young children to be able to accurately read a dogs’ body language. Instead, focus on gentle behavior and that dogs have likes and dislikes and help them develop understanding of dog behavior as they grow older.

  • Teach children that the dog has to want to play with them and when the dog leaves, he leaves -- he’ll return for more play if he feels like it. This is a simple way to allow kids to be able to tell when a dog wants to play and when he doesn’t.

  • Teach kids never to tease dogs by taking their toys, food or treats, or by pretending to hit or kick.

  • Teach kids to never pull a dog’s ears or tail, climb on or try to ride dogs.

  • Keep dogs out of infants’ and young children’s rooms unless there is direct and constant supervision.

  • As a parent, report stray dogs or dogs that frequently get loose in your neighborhood.

  • Tell children to leave the dog alone when it’s asleep or eating.

  • Sometimes, especially with smaller dogs, some children might try to drag the dog around. Don’t let them do this. Also discourage them from trying to dress up the dog -- some dogs just don’t like to be dressed up.

  • Don’t give kids too much responsibility for pets too early -- they just may not be ready. Always supervise and check on pet care responsibilities given to children to ensure they are carried out

  • Remember: if you get your kids a pet, you’re getting yourself a pet, too.

September is Pet Senior Wellness Month

Senior Pets

Still Have a Question?

Read the Senior Pets FAQ.

Thanks to better care, pets are living longer now than they ever have before – but as pets get older, they need extra care and attention. Regular veterinary examinations can detect problems in older pets before they become advanced or life-threatening, and improve the chances of a longer and healthier life for your pet.

When does a pet become “old”?

Dogs and cats ages in human yearsIt varies, but cats and small dogs are generally considered “senior” at seven years of age. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans compared to smaller breeds and are often considered senior when they are 5 to 6 years of age. Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not age at a rate of 7 human years for each year in dog years.

Age is not a disease. Although senior pets may develop age-related problems, good care allows them to live happy, healthy and active lives in their senior years.

What problems are more common in senior pets?

While it’s easy to spot the outward signs of aging such as graying haircoat and slower pace, it’s important to remember a pet’s organ systems are also changing. An older pet is more likely to develop diseases such as heart, kidney and liver disease, cancer or arthritis. Cancer accounts for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age. Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, while cats have a somewhat lower rate.

Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not age at a rate of 7 human years for each year in dog years.

It is normal for pets to lose some of their sight and hearing as they age, similar to humans. Older pets may develop cataracts and they may not respond as well to voice commands. If you teach your pet hand signals at a younger age, it may be easier for you to communicate with your pet as his/her hearing worsens with age. Simple gestures such as “come” or “stop” can allow you to safely retain control of your pet without the use of words. Pets with poor sight or even blindness can get around well in familiar environments. If your pet’s eyesight is failing, avoid rearranging or adding furniture or other items that could become obstacles.

Changes in activity

If your pet is starting to avoid active playing or running or if he/she has trouble with daily activities such as jumping up on a favorite chair or into the family car, he/she may have arthritis. A pet with arthritis may also show irritation when touched or petted (especially over the arthritic areas), and may seem more depressed or grouchy. There may be other reasons for these changes; have your pet examined by your veterinarian to determine the cause of the problems. Veterinarians have access to many therapies to help manage your pet’s arthritis, and simple changes in your home such as orthopedic pet beds, raised feeding platforms, stairs and ramps may also help your older pet deal with arthritis.

Changes in behavior

Behavior changes in your pet can serve as the first indicators of aging. These changes might be due to discomfort or pain (arthritis, etc.) or worsening sight or hearing, but they may also be due to the normal aging process. Some behavior changes in older pets may be due to cognitive dysfunction, which is similar to senility in people.

Senior pet, Rugby

Common behavior changes in older pets that may be signs of cognitive dysfunction:

  • easily disturbed by loud sounds
  • unusually aggressive behavior
  • increased barking/meowing
  • anxiety or nervousness
  • confused or disoriented behavior
  • increased wandering
  • house soiling (“accidents”)
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • less interest in playing
  • repeating the same
  • not responding to voice commands
  • more grouchy or irritable than usual

How does weight affect senior pets?

Weight can have a tremendous effect on an older pet’s health. Obesity in older pets increases the risk of arthritis, difficulty breathing, insulin resistance or diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, skin problems, cancer and other conditions. An overweight pet may not show any early warning signs of health problems, so regular visits to your veterinarian are recommended. Once your veterinarian evaluates your pet’s condition, he or she can recommend a proper diet and suggest other steps to help your pet maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Weight can have a tremendous effect on an older pet’s health.

Sudden weight loss in an older pet is also a source for concern, especially in cats. Hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), diabetes and kidney disease are common causes of weight loss in senior cats. If you notice any sudden changes in your older pet’s weight, contact your veterinarian.

Should new pets be introduced into the home as older pets age?

It may be tempting to introduce a new pet into the home as your pet gets older, but you should consult with your veterinarian before adding a puppy or kitten. Ideally, a new pet should be introduced when your older pet is still active and can move away from the younger animal if he/she needs a “time-out.” Senior pets need to know they have a quiet, secure place where they can walk away and rest, undisturbed, in comfort.

Senior Wellness 

Frequently Asked Questions about caring for an older pet. 

Excerpts from the AVMA  article
 https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Caring-for-an-Older-Pet-FAQs.aspx

 
Due to improved veterinary care and dietary habits, pets are living longer now than they ever have before. One consequence of this is that pets, along with their owners and veterinarians, are faced with a whole new set of age-related conditions. In recent years there has been extensive research on the problems facing older pets and how their owners and veterinarians can best handle their special needs.

Q: When does a pet become "old"?
A:  It varies, but cats and small dogs are generally considered geriatric at the age of 7. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans and are considered geriatric when they are approximately 6 years of age. Owners tend to want to think of their pet's age in human terms. While it is not as simple as "1 human year = X cat/dog years", there are calculations that can help put a pet's age in human terms:

Q: What kinds of health problems can affect older pets?
A: Geriatric pets can develop many of the same problems seen in older people, such as

  1.     Cancer
  2.     Heart disease
  3.     Kidney / urinary tract disease
  4.     Liver disease
  5.     Diabetes
  6.     Joint or bone disease
  7.     Senility
  8.     Weakness

Q: My pet seems to be in pain, and isn't as active as they should be. What should I do?
A: First, talk to your veterinarian and have them examine your pet. Your pet might have arthritis. Older pets, especially large dogs, are vulnerable to arthritis and other joint diseases, and the signs you see can vary. This chart provides the basic signs you might see if your pet has arthritis; you might see one or more of these signs in your pet.


 
Q: When should we euthanize a pet? How will we know it's the right time?
A: This can be an incredibly difficult question for both the owner and the veterinarian, and is often a very tough decision to make. Sometimes, euthanasia is obviously the best thing to do for your pet. At other times, however, it can be less clear. An open discussion with your veterinarian, including an honest evaluation of your pet's quality of life, should help you make the decision.One way to determine if your aging pet is still enjoying life and can remain with us a little longer is by using a "Quality of Life" scale to determine if the animal's basic needs are being met. This scale can be very helpful for the veterinarian and pet owner when deciding what is best for your pet. In this scale, pets are scored on a scale of 1 through 10 in each category, with 10 being the highest score for quality of life. Again, only an honest evaluation of each category will help with the decision.

The AVMA offers several additional resources for pet owners, including brochures that are available Online

September 28th is World Rabies Day!

FROM THE AVMA AND GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR RABIES CONTROL (Background Rabies and World Rabies Day)

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a virus that can infect both humans and animals.  The virus is spread mainly through bites and sometimes scratches.   Rabies is is found in the SALIVA of infected animals.

How do I know if I have Rabies?

Most of the time you don't know until it is too late!

The first symptoms of rabies are similar to those of the flu. As the disease progresses, the person can experience delirium, abnormal behavior and hallucinations, as well as the famed hydrophobia and foaming at the mouth, related to the paralysis of swallowing muscles.

The World Health Organization considers rabies one of 17 Neglected Tropical Diseases. 
It kills approximately 70,000 people and 32,500 cattle every year.

What if I am bitten by a possible rabid animal?

Once symptoms are evident rabies is all but 100% fatal with only a handful of recorded 
survivals in its 4000 year history. 

IF after exposure to a rabid animal and you immediately (before symptoms start) get preventative rabies vaccines, the disease can be prevented.

McKay Dee Hospital, in Ogden, is our closest hospital that has these vaccines

Where is Rabies found?

Rabies is found on every continent on Earth, except Antarctica.

In the middle of the 20th Century, measures were adopted to control the disease and it is now well controlled in most developed countries – although it is still present in wildlife. It has been known to 
decimate numbers of endangered species, for example the Ethiopian Wolf. 

Hawaii is the only state, of the 50 United States, that is rabies free.

Prevention is the key!  

Here's how to reduce the risk of exposure to rabies from wildlife.

1.  Don’t feed or water your pets outside. Even empty bowls will attract wild and stray animals.

2. Keep your garbage securely covered. Open garbage will attract wild or stray animals.

3.  Wild animals should not be kept as pets.

4.  Enjoy all wild animals from a distance and teach children never to handle unfamiliar 
     animals – even if they appear friendly.
5.  If you see a wild or stray animal acting strangely, report it to veterinary or animal 
     control officials.
6.  Bat-proof your home in the fall and winter, if you live in a country where bat rabies 
     is an issue. 
 

In the state of Utah bats, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and foxes are the most likely carriers.

What if my pet bites another animal?  

After contacting animal control...         

  •     A dog or cat that bites a person/animal needs to be examined by a veterinarian immediately. 

  •     Your pet may require monitoring at home or at a veterinary clinic for 10 days.

  •     Report any illness or unusual behavior by your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

What if my pet is bit by another animal?

  • Consult your veterinarian immediately and have your veterinarian examine your pet and assess your pet’s vaccination needs.

  • Contact local animal control if the bite was from a stray or wild animal.

  • Monitor your pet at home or in a veterinary clinic for a specified time period by state  law.  A pet needs not be watched for at least 14 days.  It is possible that signs may not occur for 1-2 months after exposure.

What if my pet bites someone?  

Make sure that the person contacts there personal physician, then...

  • A dog or cat that bites a person needs to be examined by a veterinarian immediately.  Ask if you pet is current on his/her rabies vaccine.

  • Your pet may require monitoring at home or at a veterinary clinic for 10 days.

  •  Report any illness or unusual behavior by your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

  • If an unvaccinated animal bites your pet, you need to monitor them at home or in a veterinary clinic for at least 45 days, (depending on state/local law ordinances).

Bats and Rabies
Bats may transmit rabies.

  • Bats have small teeth which may leave marks that are not easily seen. 

Although many people know if they have been bitten by a bat, there are certain circumstances when a person might not be aware or unable to tell you about it.

These circumstances include:

o If a sleeping person awakes to find a bat in the room
o If you find a bat in a room with an unattended child 
o If you see a bat near a person with disabilities
o If you see a bat near a person who is intoxicated 

I may have been exposed to Rabies, NOW WHAT!?

Following exposure to rabies, time is of the essence. 
1. The wound needs to be washed thoroughly with soap and running water for at 
     least 15 minutes. 
2. The victim then needs to seek urgent medical care and exposure assessment.  McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden is the closest hospital for rabies prevention treatments.

Prompt and appropriate treatment after being bitten and before the disease develops 
can stop rabies infection and prevent the disease.

However, once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is fatal in 99.9% of the cases, 
and typically only palliative measures can be taken.

The World Rabies Day logo is known worldwide, and is available online
(http://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day/logos/) in over 40 languages for anyone to 
download and use with their events.

There are also many awareness resources
(http://rabiesalliance.org/resources/) available online for different audiences and 
languages, which people can use at their events and for other activities around rabies.

For Fun tips and and games for Kids visit  http://www.cdc.gov/rabiesandkids/

Most of this information came form http://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day/

More information about Rabies  is available, these is just a few highlights.  If you have questions, please call us.

HEARTWORMS  (Ask us about PROHEART)

Heartworm, Dirofilaria immitus, is a nematode (roundworm) that lives in major pulmonary blood vessels and in the right side of the heart. This worm is found mainly in dogs, (including wolves, coyotes, foxes etc.), cats and ferrets. Unless immunosuppressed, (i.e. have AIDS, on chemotherapy etc.) humans and other animals do not seem to be affected by heartworms.Heartworm is transferred by…

Mosquitoes!!! In this area one of the main mosquito species that transfers heartworm is called the Treehole mosquito. True to its name this mosquito lives in the holes of trees and can come out to bite when temperatures rise above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that even in the winter dogs can become infected by heartworms!

Heartworms in the continental US Numbers are lower than otherwise would be or have been because of the number of animals that are on preventative

Life cycle
A mosquito bites an infected dog, sucks up some of the microfilaria (baby heartworms). While in the mosquito the worms mature from L2-L3 larvae. The L3 larvae are then injected back into a dog, cat or ferret and start the migration to the heart. The adult can live in the heart for several years without the animal showing any signs of infection. The diagrams below, (Courtesy of the American Heartworm Society), explain the life cycle in more detail. Heartworms can be fatal!

Prevention is the Key
There are several very good preventative medications that can be given once a month to prevent heartworms. Here at the clinic we carry Heartgard Plus, Interceptor and Revolution. Please feel free to talk with us about which preventative is best for your pet. If your pet is on a preventative year round then we recommend testing every 3 years. If not then a blood test is recommended before starting a preventative.

Diagnosis
How do you know if your pet has heartworm? For dogs it is easy, just a simple, in house blood test that takes 10 minutes to run. Cats can be harder to diagnose. A good blood test is being developed and tested for use in cats. Ideally the dog should be tested, put on preventative for 6 months then tested again. If that test is negative then the dog does not need to be tested in our clinic for 3 years, (as long as the dog is on a monthly preventative).

What if my dog has heartworm?
There is a treatment! It consists of 2-3 injections of an arsenic derivative called immiticide, one month later oral ivermectin is given and then a month after that the dog is tested again for heartworms. The dog must be kept in strict confinement during the whole treatment. This treatment is serious, costly and not to be taken lightly. Most dogs do very well during the treatment process.

During the month of August we have a special on heartworm testing and Heartgard. Plea


call or visit for more details.

For more information about Heartworms visit:

http://www.heartwormsociety.org/  
http://www.capcvet.org/recommendations/heartwormcat.html Interesting articles from Veterinary Partner.com:
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=615  (the parasite)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=609   (diagnosing heartworms)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=488  (preventative options)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=593  (heartworm in cats)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=591  (heartworm disease)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=610  (heartworm treatment)

From http://www.AVMA.org

Senior Wellness 

Frequently Asked Questions about caring for an older pet. 

Excerpts from the AVMA  article
 https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Caring-for-an-Older-Pet-FAQs.aspx

 
Due to improved veterinary care and dietary habits, pets are living longer now than they ever have before. One consequence of this is that pets, along with their owners and veterinarians, are faced with a whole new set of age-related conditions. In recent years there has been extensive research on the problems facing older pets and how their owners and veterinarians can best handle their special needs.

Q: When does a pet become "old"?
A:  It varies, but cats and small dogs are generally considered geriatric at the age of 7. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans and are considered geriatric when they are approximately 6 years of age. Owners tend to want to think of their pet's age in human terms. While it is not as simple as "1 human year = X cat/dog years", there are calculations that can help put a pet's age in human terms:

Q: What kinds of health problems can affect older pets?
A: Geriatric pets can develop many of the same problems seen in older people, such as

  1.     Cancer
  2.     Heart disease
  3.     Kidney / urinary tract disease
  4.     Liver disease
  5.     Diabetes
  6.     Joint or bone disease
  7.     Senility
  8.     Weakness

Q: My pet seems to be in pain, and isn't as active as they should be. What should I do?
A: First, talk to your veterinarian and have them examine your pet. Your pet might have arthritis. Older pets, especially large dogs, are vulnerable to arthritis and other joint diseases, and the signs you see can vary. This chart provides the basic signs you might see if your pet has arthritis; you might see one or more of these signs in your pet.


 
Q: When should we euthanize a pet? How will we know it's the right time?
A: This can be an incredibly difficult question for both the owner and the veterinarian, and is often a very tough decision to make. Sometimes, euthanasia is obviously the best thing to do for your pet. At other times, however, it can be less clear. An open discussion with your veterinarian, including an honest evaluation of your pet's quality of life, should help you make the decision.One way to determine if your aging pet is still enjoying life and can remain with us a little longer is by using a "Quality of Life" scale to determine if the animal's basic needs are being met. This scale can be very helpful for the veterinarian and pet owner when deciding what is best for your pet. In this scale, pets are scored on a scale of 1 through 10 in each category, with 10 being the highest score for quality of life. Again, only an honest evaluation of each category will help with the decision.

The AVMA offers several additional resources for pet owners, including brochures that are available Online


HEARTWORMS  (Ask us about PROHEART)

Heartworm, Dirofilaria immitus, is a nematode (roundworm) that lives in major pulmonary blood vessels and in the right side of the heart. This worm is found mainly in dogs, (including wolves, coyotes, foxes etc.), cats and ferrets. Unless immunosuppressed, (i.e. have AIDS, on chemotherapy etc.) humans and other animals do not seem to be affected by heartworms.Heartworm is transferred by…

Mosquitoes!!! In this area one of the main mosquito species that transfers heartworm is called the Treehole mosquito. True to its name this mosquito lives in the holes of trees and can come out to bite when temperatures rise above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that even in the winter dogs can become infected by heartworms!

Heartworms in the continental US Numbers are lower than otherwise would be or have been because of the number of animals that are on preventative

Life cycle
A mosquito bites an infected dog, sucks up some of the microfilaria (baby heartworms). While in the mosquito the worms mature from L2-L3 larvae. The L3 larvae are then injected back into a dog, cat or ferret and start the migration to the heart. The adult can live in the heart for several years without the animal showing any signs of infection. The diagrams below, (Courtesy of the American Heartworm Society), explain the life cycle in more detail. Heartworms can be fatal!

Prevention is the Key
There are several very good preventative medications that can be given once a month to prevent heartworms. Here at the clinic we carry Heartgard Plus, Interceptor and Revolution. Please feel free to talk with us about which preventative is best for your pet. If your pet is on a preventative year round then we recommend testing every 3 years. If not then a blood test is recommended before starting a preventative.

Diagnosis
How do you know if your pet has heartworm? For dogs it is easy, just a simple, in house blood test that takes 10 minutes to run. Cats can be harder to diagnose. A good blood test is being developed and tested for use in cats. Ideally the dog should be tested, put on preventative for 6 months then tested again. If that test is negative then the dog does not need to be tested in our clinic for 3 years, (as long as the dog is on a monthly preventative).

What if my dog has heartworm?
There is a treatment! It consists of 2-3 injections of an arsenic derivative called immiticide, one month later oral ivermectin is given and then a month after that the dog is tested again for heartworms. The dog must be kept in strict confinement during the whole treatment. This treatment is serious, costly and not to be taken lightly. Most dogs do very well during the treatment process.

During the month of August we have a special on heartworm testing and Heartgard. Plea


call or visit for more details.

For more information about Heartworms visit:

http://www.heartwormsociety.org/  
http://www.capcvet.org/recommendations/heartwormcat.html Interesting articles from Veterinary Partner.com:
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=615  (the parasite)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=609   (diagnosing heartworms)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=488  (preventative options)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=593  (heartworm in cats)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=591  (heartworm disease)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=610  (heartworm treatment)

HEARTWORMS  (Ask us about PROHEART)

Heartworm, Dirofilaria immitus, is a nematode (roundworm) that lives in major pulmonary blood vessels and in the right side of the heart. This worm is found mainly in dogs, (including wolves, coyotes, foxes etc.), cats and ferrets. Unless immunosuppressed, (i.e. have AIDS, on chemotherapy etc.) humans and other animals do not seem to be affected by heartworms.Heartworm is transferred by…

Mosquitoes!!! In this area one of the main mosquito species that transfers heartworm is called the Treehole mosquito. True to its name this mosquito lives in the holes of trees and can come out to bite when temperatures rise above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that even in the winter dogs can become infected by heartworms!

Heartworms in the continental US Numbers are lower than otherwise would be or have been because of the number of animals that are on preventative

Life cycle
A mosquito bites an infected dog, sucks up some of the microfilaria (baby heartworms). While in the mosquito the worms mature from L2-L3 larvae. The L3 larvae are then injected back into a dog, cat or ferret and start the migration to the heart. The adult can live in the heart for several years without the animal showing any signs of infection. The diagrams below, (Courtesy of the American Heartworm Society), explain the life cycle in more detail. Heartworms can be fatal!

Prevention is the Key
There are several very good preventative medications that can be given once a month to prevent heartworms. Here at the clinic we carry Heartgard Plus, Interceptor and Revolution. Please feel free to talk with us about which preventative is best for your pet. If your pet is on a preventative year round then we recommend testing every 3 years. If not then a blood test is recommended before starting a preventative.

Diagnosis
How do you know if your pet has heartworm? For dogs it is easy, just a simple, in house blood test that takes 10 minutes to run. Cats can be harder to diagnose. A good blood test is being developed and tested for use in cats. Ideally the dog should be tested, put on preventative for 6 months then tested again. If that test is negative then the dog does not need to be tested in our clinic for 3 years, (as long as the dog is on a monthly preventative).

What if my dog has heartworm?
There is a treatment! It consists of 2-3 injections of an arsenic derivative called immiticide, one month later oral ivermectin is given and then a month after that the dog is tested again for heartworms. The dog must be kept in strict confinement during the whole treatment. This treatment is serious, costly and not to be taken lightly. Most dogs do very well during the treatment process.

During the month of August we have a special on heartworm testing and Heartgard. Plea


call or visit for more details.

For more information about Heartworms visit:

http://www.heartwormsociety.org/  
http://www.capcvet.org/recommendations/heartwormcat.html Interesting articles from Veterinary Partner.com:
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=615  (the parasite)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=609   (diagnosing heartworms)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=488  (preventative options)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=593  (heartworm in cats)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=591  (heartworm disease)
http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=610  (heartworm treatment)

September 28th is World Rabies Day!

FROM THE AVMA AND GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR RABIES CONTROL (Background Rabies and World Rabies Day)

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a virus that can infect both humans and animals.  The virus is spread mainly through bites and sometimes scratches.   Rabies is is found in the SALIVA of infected animals.

How do I know if I have Rabies?

Most of the time you don't know until it is too late!

The first symptoms of rabies are similar to those of the flu. As the disease progresses, the person can experience delirium, abnormal behavior and hallucinations, as well as the famed hydrophobia and foaming at the mouth, related to the paralysis of swallowing muscles.

The World Health Organization considers rabies one of 17 Neglected Tropical Diseases. 
It kills approximately 70,000 people and 32,500 cattle every year.

What if I am bitten by a possible rabid animal?

Once symptoms are evident rabies is all but 100% fatal with only a handful of recorded 
survivals in its 4000 year history. 

IF after exposure to a rabid animal and you immediately (before symptoms start) get preventative rabies vaccines, the disease can be prevented.

McKay Dee Hospital, in Ogden, is our closest hospital that has these vaccines

Where is Rabies found?

Rabies is found on every continent on Earth, except Antarctica.

In the middle of the 20th Century, measures were adopted to control the disease and it is now well controlled in most developed countries – although it is still present in wildlife. It has been known to 
decimate numbers of endangered species, for example the Ethiopian Wolf. 

Hawaii is the only state, of the 50 United States, that is rabies free.

Prevention is the key!  

Here's how to reduce the risk of exposure to rabies from wildlife.

1.  Don’t feed or water your pets outside. Even empty bowls will attract wild and stray animals.

2. Keep your garbage securely covered. Open garbage will attract wild or stray animals.

3.  Wild animals should not be kept as pets.

4.  Enjoy all wild animals from a distance and teach children never to handle unfamiliar 
     animals – even if they appear friendly.
5.  If you see a wild or stray animal acting strangely, report it to veterinary or animal 
     control officials.
6.  Bat-proof your home in the fall and winter, if you live in a country where bat rabies 
     is an issue. 
 

In the state of Utah bats, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and foxes are the most likely carriers.

What if my pet bites another animal?  

After contacting animal control...         

  •     A dog or cat that bites a person/animal needs to be examined by a veterinarian immediately. 

  •     Your pet may require monitoring at home or at a veterinary clinic for 10 days.

  •     Report any illness or unusual behavior by your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

What if my pet is bit by another animal?

  • Consult your veterinarian immediately and have your veterinarian examine your pet and assess your pet’s vaccination needs.

  • Contact local animal control if the bite was from a stray or wild animal.

  • Monitor your pet at home or in a veterinary clinic for a specified time period by state  law.  A pet needs not be watched for at least 14 days.  It is possible that signs may not occur for 1-2 months after exposure.

What if my pet bites someone?  

Make sure that the person contacts there personal physician, then...

  • A dog or cat that bites a person needs to be examined by a veterinarian immediately.  Ask if you pet is current on his/her rabies vaccine.

  • Your pet may require monitoring at home or at a veterinary clinic for 10 days.

  •  Report any illness or unusual behavior by your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

  • If an unvaccinated animal bites your pet, you need to monitor them at home or in a veterinary clinic for at least 45 days, (depending on state/local law ordinances).

Bats and Rabies
Bats may transmit rabies.

  • Bats have small teeth which may leave marks that are not easily seen. 

Although many people know if they have been bitten by a bat, there are certain circumstances when a person might not be aware or unable to tell you about it.

These circumstances include:

o If a sleeping person awakes to find a bat in the room
o If you find a bat in a room with an unattended child 
o If you see a bat near a person with disabilities
o If you see a bat near a person who is intoxicated 

I may have been exposed to Rabies, NOW WHAT!?

Following exposure to rabies, time is of the essence. 
1. The wound needs to be washed thoroughly with soap and running water for at 
     least 15 minutes. 
2. The victim then needs to seek urgent medical care and exposure assessment.  McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden is the closest hospital for rabies prevention treatments.

Prompt and appropriate treatment after being bitten and before the disease develops 
can stop rabies infection and prevent the disease.

However, once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is fatal in 99.9% of the cases, 
and typically only palliative measures can be taken.

The World Rabies Day logo is known worldwide, and is available online
(http://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day/logos/) in over 40 languages for anyone to 
download and use with their events.

There are also many awareness resources
(http://rabiesalliance.org/resources/) available online for different audiences and 
languages, which people can use at their events and for other activities around rabies.

For Fun tips and and games for Kids visit  http://www.cdc.gov/rabiesandkids/

Most of this information came form http://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day/

More information about Rabies  is available, these is just a few highlights.  If you have questions, please call us.

September is Pet Senior Wellness Month

Senior Pets

Still Have a Question?

Read the Senior Pets FAQ.

Thanks to better care, pets are living longer now than they ever have before – but as pets get older, they need extra care and attention. Regular veterinary examinations can detect problems in older pets before they become advanced or life-threatening, and improve the chances of a longer and healthier life for your pet.

When does a pet become “old”?

Dogs and cats ages in human yearsIt varies, but cats and small dogs are generally considered “senior” at seven years of age. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans compared to smaller breeds and are often considered senior when they are 5 to 6 years of age. Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not age at a rate of 7 human years for each year in dog years.

Age is not a disease. Although senior pets may develop age-related problems, good care allows them to live happy, healthy and active lives in their senior years.

What problems are more common in senior pets?

While it’s easy to spot the outward signs of aging such as graying haircoat and slower pace, it’s important to remember a pet’s organ systems are also changing. An older pet is more likely to develop diseases such as heart, kidney and liver disease, cancer or arthritis. Cancer accounts for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age. Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, while cats have a somewhat lower rate.

Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not age at a rate of 7 human years for each year in dog years.

It is normal for pets to lose some of their sight and hearing as they age, similar to humans. Older pets may develop cataracts and they may not respond as well to voice commands. If you teach your pet hand signals at a younger age, it may be easier for you to communicate with your pet as his/her hearing worsens with age. Simple gestures such as “come” or “stop” can allow you to safely retain control of your pet without the use of words. Pets with poor sight or even blindness can get around well in familiar environments. If your pet’s eyesight is failing, avoid rearranging or adding furniture or other items that could become obstacles.

Changes in activity

If your pet is starting to avoid active playing or running or if he/she has trouble with daily activities such as jumping up on a favorite chair or into the family car, he/she may have arthritis. A pet with arthritis may also show irritation when touched or petted (especially over the arthritic areas), and may seem more depressed or grouchy. There may be other reasons for these changes; have your pet examined by your veterinarian to determine the cause of the problems. Veterinarians have access to many therapies to help manage your pet’s arthritis, and simple changes in your home such as orthopedic pet beds, raised feeding platforms, stairs and ramps may also help your older pet deal with arthritis.

Changes in behavior

Behavior changes in your pet can serve as the first indicators of aging. These changes might be due to discomfort or pain (arthritis, etc.) or worsening sight or hearing, but they may also be due to the normal aging process. Some behavior changes in older pets may be due to cognitive dysfunction, which is similar to senility in people.

Senior pet, Rugby

Common behavior changes in older pets that may be signs of cognitive dysfunction:

  • easily disturbed by loud sounds
  • unusually aggressive behavior
  • increased barking/meowing
  • anxiety or nervousness
  • confused or disoriented behavior
  • increased wandering
  • house soiling (“accidents”)
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • less interest in playing
  • repeating the same
  • not responding to voice commands
  • more grouchy or irritable than usual

How does weight affect senior pets?

Weight can have a tremendous effect on an older pet’s health. Obesity in older pets increases the risk of arthritis, difficulty breathing, insulin resistance or diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, skin problems, cancer and other conditions. An overweight pet may not show any early warning signs of health problems, so regular visits to your veterinarian are recommended. Once your veterinarian evaluates your pet’s condition, he or she can recommend a proper diet and suggest other steps to help your pet maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Weight can have a tremendous effect on an older pet’s health.

Sudden weight loss in an older pet is also a source for concern, especially in cats. Hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), diabetes and kidney disease are common causes of weight loss in senior cats. If you notice any sudden changes in your older pet’s weight, contact your veterinarian.

Should new pets be introduced into the home as older pets age?

It may be tempting to introduce a new pet into the home as your pet gets older, but you should consult with your veterinarian before adding a puppy or kitten. Ideally, a new pet should be introduced when your older pet is still active and can move away from the younger animal if he/she needs a “time-out.” Senior pets need to know they have a quiet, secure place where they can walk away and rest, undisturbed, in comfort.

Senior Wellness 

Frequently Asked Questions about caring for an older pet. 

Excerpts from the AVMA  article
 https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Caring-for-an-Older-Pet-FAQs.aspx

 
Due to improved veterinary care and dietary habits, pets are living longer now than they ever have before. One consequence of this is that pets, along with their owners and veterinarians, are faced with a whole new set of age-related conditions. In recent years there has been extensive research on the problems facing older pets and how their owners and veterinarians can best handle their special needs.

Q: When does a pet become "old"?
A:  It varies, but cats and small dogs are generally considered geriatric at the age of 7. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans and are considered geriatric when they are approximately 6 years of age. Owners tend to want to think of their pet's age in human terms. While it is not as simple as "1 human year = X cat/dog years", there are calculations that can help put a pet's age in human terms:

Q: What kinds of health problems can affect older pets?
A: Geriatric pets can develop many of the same problems seen in older people, such as

  1.     Cancer
  2.     Heart disease
  3.     Kidney / urinary tract disease
  4.     Liver disease
  5.     Diabetes
  6.     Joint or bone disease
  7.     Senility
  8.     Weakness

Q: My pet seems to be in pain, and isn't as active as they should be. What should I do?
A: First, talk to your veterinarian and have them examine your pet. Your pet might have arthritis. Older pets, especially large dogs, are vulnerable to arthritis and other joint diseases, and the signs you see can vary. This chart provides the basic signs you might see if your pet has arthritis; you might see one or more of these signs in your pet.


 
Q: When should we euthanize a pet? How will we know it's the right time?
A: This can be an incredibly difficult question for both the owner and the veterinarian, and is often a very tough decision to make. Sometimes, euthanasia is obviously the best thing to do for your pet. At other times, however, it can be less clear. An open discussion with your veterinarian, including an honest evaluation of your pet's quality of life, should help you make the decision.One way to determine if your aging pet is still enjoying life and can remain with us a little longer is by using a "Quality of Life" scale to determine if the animal's basic needs are being met. This scale can be very helpful for the veterinarian and pet owner when deciding what is best for your pet. In this scale, pets are scored on a scale of 1 through 10 in each category, with 10 being the highest score for quality of life. Again, only an honest evaluation of each category will help with the decision.

The AVMA offers several additional resources for pet owners, including brochures that are available Online

IT'S SUMMER!

HELPFUL HINTS TO KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE

1. NEVER leave your pet in the car. According to the journal of Pediatrics the temperature of a car can raise at least 40 degrees in as little as 15 minutes. Cracking windows doesn't help and parking in shade doesn't make a significant difference.



 


2. AVOID THE HEAT! Do not take pets for a walk during the day. Especially short nosed dogs,such as bull dogs, pugs, shih-tzus, do not handle the heat and can not cool off as quickly. Provide plenty of fresh, cool water and shade. When possible keep the dogs in the air conditioned house.

Pets can also be badly sunburned. Certain sun screens can help.



 

3Do not share your barbecue with your pet. Food that is safe, and yummy for us can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, etc. This may result in a costly visit to our office.


 

4. If you take your pet swimming, or have a swimming pool, provide escape routes, (i.e. ramps etc). Certain breeds of dogs will sink, and any dog can drown. Make sure your pet is watched at all times. Also swimming pool, lake or pond water may make your pet ill if they drink it.


Here's to a Fun Filled Summer! Be Safe and Enjoy!

Remember Cats and other pets too!


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