How Zoonotic Diseases Can Affect Your Pet and You

Dog under blanketThere’s no question that pets bring joy, laughter, and a depth of feeling to our lives that is hard to find anywhere else. Unfortunately, they can occasionally bring illness in the form of zoonotic diseases, as well.

A zoonotic disease is one that can be passed from animals to people, or vice versa. Dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds, cattle, pigs, rodents and wild animals can all potentially spread disease to humans. Fortunately, even though there are over one hundred known zoonotic diseases in the world at large, most are not found in the United States, thanks to good hygiene and modern veterinary care.

Even though your chances of catching a disease from your pet are low, it’s important to understand the risks associated with zoonotic diseases and how you can protect yourself and your family.

Continue…

Baby It’s Cold Outside: Winter Pet Safety

Playing with the snowWinter isn’t here just yet, but many of us have already begun thinking about our cold weather preparations. You may have started digging out your coats and sweaters, beginning the process of winterizing your home, yard, and car, and perhaps even entering the planning stages for holiday and winter celebrations and get-togethers.

This slow transition to cold weather is the perfect time to consider winter pet safety. Keeping pets protected during the icy months is vital to their safety, comfort, and overall health. Continue…

My Pet Ate What? GI Obstruction in Pets

Sad Basset Hound waiting at the DoorEvery pet owner knows how much pets enjoy food. Unfortunately, sometimes this love of chewing and swallowing can get our pets into trouble, particularly when they ingest something inedible causing a GI obstruction.

In many cases, something a dog or cat ate will pass through the digestive tract with little to no trouble, but this is not always true. Any object can become lodged in a pet’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract (esophagus, stomach, or intestine), creating problems at any point along the way, including, the destruction of the area of the intestines where the foreign material is lodged. Continue…

Rabies and Pets: Know the Enemy

French BulldogMost people know that wild animals can carry rabies, but many of us don’t think it’s something that can affect our pets or us. Unfortunately, the reality of rabies is closer to home than many of us realize. The disease is present in every state (except Hawaii) and kills hundreds of pets, as well as a few humans, each year.

Understanding the link between rabies and pets is key in protecting your family, both two-legged and four, from this devastating illness. Continue…

Tummy in Knots? Recognizing and Preventing Bloat in Dogs

mixed dog sleeping on bed at homeFew conditions can kill a dog as quickly as bloat. Although many pet owners are unaware of it, bloat in dogs is one of the most serious, and potentially deadly, pet emergencies. Understanding the signs of bloat, as well as your emergency options, are crucial in protecting your dog from this dangerous affliction.

Understanding Bloat in Dogs

Bloat, also known as gastric dilation volvulus (GDV), occurs when gas and fluid cause the stomach to distend. In some dogs, this distention can cause the stomach to twist along its axis (also called torsion), cutting itself off from the esophagus and duodenum. Continue…

Plants And Pets: What You Need To Know

Poison IvyPet owners know how curious their pets are and how much they love to sniff, lick, and nibble on just about everything they come across. Unfortunately, plants fall into this category and many pets will go to great lengths to take a bite of greenery whenever they can get away with it. This curiosity can, however, lead to big trouble, as many of the plants commonly found in and around our homes are toxic to our pets.

Because plants and pets often don’t mix, it’s important for pet owners to be educated on which plants pose a danger and how to protect their pets from falling victim to an accidental poisoning.   Continue…

Plague In Pets: What You Need To Know

English Setter puppy playing with a tennis ball, NorwayIt’s not likely that contracting the plague is high on your list of concerns. When most of us think of plague, we think of the disease that spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, killing one-third of the population; not an illness that we may actually have the potential of contracting in this day and age.

Although it is rare, animals and people can and do still contract plague. According to the CDC, most human cases in the United States occur within locations in Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, California, Oregon, and Nevada. About eight cases of plague in humans are reported each year. Continue…

Do You Hear What I Hear? Rattlesnake Safety For Pets

Rattle snake poisedRattlesnakes are a fact of life around these parts. Most of us are aware of the dangers these reptiles pose to us as we hike and camp, or even while we putter around in our own backyards. Rattlesnakes and pets are a particularly disastrous combination, thanks to our pets’ curious nature and unpredictability.

Do you know what to do if you and your pet happen across a rattlesnake? Learning about rattlesnake safety for pets is key to protecting your furry loved one.

Rattlesnakes And Pets

A rattlesnake bite poses a serious risk to your pet. Once the venom is injected, it begins to act immediately. The blood vessels near the region of the bite are compromised, and an immune response causes severe swelling and pain. Because the venom also affects the blood’s ability to clot, large amounts of blood may be lost. The effects of the venom will lead to shock, and eventually death, if left untreated. Continue…

Fireworks, Thunder, And Lightning, Oh My! : Helping Your Pet Cope With Noise Related Anxiety This Summer

American Pride - Dog with FlagThere’s nothing like summer in Colorado. Observing the distant flashes of lightning, the rumble of thunder, and the smell of rain in the air as a summer storm rolls in is a true delight. And of course summer wouldn’t be the same without a good fireworks display (or two, or three) come early July.

While we humans may enjoy these noisy aspects of summer, our pets most likely, do not. Thanks to their highly sensitive hearing and their instinct to flee from danger, extremely loud noises such as those created by thunderstorms and fireworks can throw an animal into a panic. Many pet owners struggle with their pets’ noise related anxiety every summer. Continue…

Pet Microchipping: Using Technology To Bring Your Pet Home

iStock_000082874653_LargeBecoming separated from a beloved pet is a scary thought for responsible pet owners everywhere. Most of us do whatever we can to prevent our pets from becoming lost; leashed walks, fenced-in yards, keeping pets indoors, the list goes on. But despite our best efforts, accidents can and do happen, and even the best behaved pet can wind up missing.

Having your pet microchopped may be the best way to increase the odds of being reunited with your pet, should he or she become lost. Continue…