Asthma in Pets: A Dangerous Dilemma 

The ways in which pets and humans are alike never ceases to amaze us here at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center. Like us, dogs and cats have complex social structures, nuanced personalities, strong likes and dislikes, and the need to connect with their family members (regardless of species)! There are also other similarities between pets and people, and one of those is a respiratory condition known as asthma.

As it is with people, asthma in pets is the restriction of the airways caused by an allergic reaction to an airborne irritant or pollutant. Any age or breed of pet can develop asthma, but cats (Siamese in particular) and middle-aged or older pets are more prone to it.

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Seizures in Pets: What You Need to Know 

If you’ve ever witnessed a seizure in a pet, you know how scary it can be. Panic may set in as you wonder what is wrong with your furry companion and what you should or shouldn’t be doing.

Seizures in pets are one of the most commonly diagnosed neurological disorders, but that doesn’t make it any less frightening. Getting to the bottom of why your pet has had a seizure is the key to treating and preventing future episodes.

What is a Seizure?

Seizures are caused by abnormal bursts of electricity in the brain function, which causes involuntary muscle activity.

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Help! Why Does My Dog Have Stinky Fur? 

Do you have an adorable, furry, four-legged stinker on your hands? While some level of ‘doggy smell’ is to be expected from our canine companions, truly stinky fur may be cause for concern.

Our team at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center doesn’t shy away from malodorous topics and can help you get to the bottom of your pup’s smelly situation!

Common Causes of Stinky Fur

Regular bathing and brushing will go a long way toward cutting down on normal doggy odors. Check with your veterinarian to see how often your dog should be bathed (we carry hypoallergenic pet shampoos for home bathing in our lobby retail store).

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Kitten Care Basics: What Every Cat Owner Needs to Know 

So you’ve taken the plunge and adopted a new kitten – congratulations! Get ready to be entertained, delighted, and perhaps a little frustrated… at times. Most of all, if you haven’t already, be prepared to fall head over heels for your adorable new friend!

These early days and weeks with your new little furball are fleeting and at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, we want to help you get a great start by sharing some of our favorite kitten care tips. After all, making sure your kitten is a happy, healthy, and a well-adjusted member of your family is a top priority!

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The Ins and Outs of Anal Sacs

Does your dog regularly scoot its cute backside across the living room floor?

Do you occasionally notice an unpleasant, musky odor in the air or spot a brown streak on the carpet?

Have you noticed your pet obsessively licking its rear end?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, your pet’s anal sacs may be to blame.

While not the most exciting topic, knowing what the anal sacs are and how to properly care for them is an important component of your pet’s care.

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Understanding Old Dog Vestibular Disease 

Anyone who’s ever suffered from vertigo or an inner ear problem understands the unsettling dizziness, loss of coordination and nausea that can accompany these types of conditions. Dogs can experience a similar condition known as canine vestibular disease.  

There are several types of canine vestibular disease. Some may be due to serious causes, such as a brain tumor, neurological infection or other neurological disorder. However, there is a benign self-limiting type that affects mostly older dogs. Because of this, it is commonly referred to as ‘old dog vestibular disease’, which is the focus of this discussion.   

The symptoms of old dog vestibular disease can be quite bewildering for any pet owner. At Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, we see this problem in many of our older patients, so we’d like to shed some light on this mostly benign form of canine vestibular disease.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Dog House Training

Bringing home a new puppy is one of life’s great joys, but the prospect of potty training your newest family member can be daunting. Even adult dogs can experience some setbacks when it comes to proper elimination, whether they are recently adopted or you’ve raised them from puppyhood. 

At Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, we’ve seen a lot when it comes to the challenges of house training our dogs. So, with the help of our on-staff professional dog trainer, we’ve put together a few tried and true tips to help you navigate a smooth and stress-free transition with your special companion.

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How to Keep Your Pet Fit During the Holidays

It probably comes as no surprise that “get healthier” is the most popular New Year’s resolution among Americans. Holiday meals and parties, cookies at the office and at Grandma’s house, and extra treats from friends and neighbors can add up over time, causing a run on gym memberships and diet cookbooks come January 2nd. 

Pets, too, can suffer the ill effects of overindulgence, including the health and mobility consequences that go along with extra weight. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult to keep your furry friend fit and trim during the holidays.

A little bit of planning, a commitment to your pet’s well being, and the support of your Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center team will go a long way toward making sure your best pal feels and looks its best all year long.

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Adopting a Pet for the Holidays: Is it the Right Thing To Do?

Adopting a pet as a holiday gift can sound like a great idea. After all, the image of a fuzzy puppy or kitten popping out from under the Christmas tree is enough to melt the hearts of every Grinch and Scrooge out there. 

Unfortunately, this heartwarming scene doesn’t always have a happy ending. Adopting a pet is a huge responsibility that should involve significant thought and planning.  

Factors to Consider

Whether you are planning to surprise a loved one with a pet or adopting one for yourself, there are several important factors to consider:

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Does Your Dog Have What it Takes to Be a Therapy Dog?

Do people routinely tell you how wonderful your dog is? If you are used to hearing “You have the best dog in the world!”, and you’re interested in sharing your dog with others who may benefit from your dog’s sweetness, perhaps you should consider therapy dog training! After all, what better way to spread the happiness and comfort that your dog brings than taking your sweet pup into a hospital or to a senior center where there are people who would appreciate a visit from a special four-legged companion?

Anyone who owns a dog knows how much this special bond adds to their quality of life, and there’s science to back it up. Recently, therapy dogs have been recognized by the scientific community for the health and healing benefits that they offer. Studies show that simply petting a dog stimulates the release of “feel good” neurochemicals, and contributes to lowered blood pressure, less depression, and an overall reduction in stress. There are numerous ways that therapy dogs can provide support, companionship, hope, and other health benefits to help people heal from both physical and psychological ailments. 

What is a Therapy Dog?

Unlike a service dog, which is specifically trained to provide a set of services for an individual with specific needs, therapy dogs are trained to provide comfort and companionship for individuals who are in an institutionalized setting, such as a hospital or nursing home. Over the past several years, therapy dogs have become more common in other public places where people often need some cheering-up by a visit with a sweet and friendly canine.

Some examples of the amazing ways therapy dogs touch the lives of those they come into contact with include: 

  • Elevating the mood of patients in hospitals and nursing homes. 
  • Reducing anxious feelings in airports, schools, and other settings. 
  • Providing social and emotional support to individuals with a variety of ailments.
  • Reducing the stress and anxiety that often accompany physical and mental disorders.

Therapy Dog Credentials

A dog of any breed or age can become a therapy dog, provided they have the right personality traits, are well trained, and consistently and reliably demonstrate exemplary behavior. Therapy dogs should be:

  • Calm
  • Reliably friendly towards strangers
  • Well-socialized around children and adults
  • Highly responsive to basic obedience commands
  • Highly adaptable to new environments, noise, smells, and other novel stimuli

Most therapy dog organizations also require that dogs be in excellent health, fully vaccinated and undergo routine physical examinations with their veterinarian. They must also be clean and well-groomed at the time of their visits.

If you think your dog has what it takes to become a therapy dog, your team at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center has some suggestions on how to get started.

Team Training

Since there’s a lot more to becoming a therapy dog than just knowing that you have a great dog, it’s important to understand the requirements and steps involved. Now comes the serious preparation and team training, as it’s not just your dog entering into a hospital, nursing home, library, or school – you’ll be there, too – so you both need to be a well-functioning team.

  • The first step for most therapy dog training protocols is for the dog to have gone through a basic obedience training class and graduated with flying colors.
  • Next, comes taking and passing the AKC Good Citizen Program, and lots of practice to make sure your dog has mastered its obedience skills in a variety of public settings and other real-life situations. 
  • Step three involves either enrolling in a therapy dog training course or a dedicated home training program. A therapy dog should be extremely responsive to its handler, and be able to stay calm and happy despite loud noises, abrupt movement, medical or other equipment, the attention of strangers, and any other distraction that may occur.
  • In order to become an animal-assisted therapy team, you and your dog must successfully pass a final evaluation, be certified, and registered with a national therapy dog organization.

Finally, remember that our goal is to help your pet have a healthy and long life with you, so don’t forget the wellness examinations, vaccinations, and parasite prevention! As always, don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions and concerns regarding your pet’s well-being.