Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Smartphone Apps for Pet Lovers

If you have an iPad, iPhone or other smartphone, there are lots of apps you can download to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.
If you don't have a pet, you can use the Petfinder app to find the perfect adoptable pet for you.
Petcentric, and Local Doggy will both help you find pet friendly places, and Eukanuba's Unleashed will help you find an off leash dog park.
Animal Age will use the size and age of your pet to calculate his age in human years.
Pet Acoustics has music that is designed for the hearing sensitivities of animals.  This soothing music uses species specific frequencies, volume, and rhythm to calm your pet. This app is available for cats, dogs, and horses.
If you bring your dog to Camp Bow Wow, you can download an app that will let you watch your dog playing with her friends, and DogiDuty will help your pet sitter or dog walker keep in touch with you.
There is also an app that will remind you when your dog's heartworm medication is due.

In the unfortunate event that something goes wrong with your pet, there are lots of apps to help.
Cat Symptoms and Dog Symptoms cover thousands of pet health topics and Veterinary Terms will help you understand some of the medical terms your vet might use.
ICE for Pets keeps all the important information about your pet in one place so you don't have to worry about finding paperwork or directions to the vet's office during an emergency.Pet First Aid and PetTech Pet Saver are both full of information on how to care for your pet during a medical emergency.
Pet Poison Help has information about hundreds of household products that may be toxic to your pet, as well as what you should do if your pet is exposed to a toxic substance.
The Small Animal Diagnostic Imaging Atlas is useful when you need some help understanding your pet's diagnosis.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Heartworm Prevention

For many of us, remembering to give our dogs their monthly heartworm pill can be a challenge.  There are stickers for the calendar to help us remember when the dose is due, but with so many other things going on in such a busy life, by the end of the day it is easy to forget what you did in the morning.
There is also an app for your phone that will remind you when it is time for your dog's heartworm prevention dose.

Now there is another option that guarantees your dog will have six full months of heartworm protection after only one visit to the veterinarian. ProHeart 6 is now available at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod. This injection, given by a veterinarian, slowly releases medication over a six month period. This medication prevents heartworm infection as well as hookworm infection and is comparable in cost to the monthly chewable preventative.

If you need heartworm pills, or are interested in ProHeart 6, come see us here at VACC or call us at(508) 394-3566.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vitamin Supplements for Senior Dogs

As a general rule, a dog that is 7 years old or older is considered to be senior.  At this stage of life, it is usually recommended to start feeding a food that is formulated for older dogs. If you have an older dog in your family is also a good idea to discuss dietary supplements with your veterinarian. As dogs age they tend to absorb fewer vitamins.  Some animals also tend to eat less when they get older.  Whether this is caused by dental disease or just a general decrease in appetite, the result is lower nutrient intake. Feeding the dog more is generally not a good idea, as weight gain can be a problem for dogs later in life. A dietary supplement will provide the dog with the vitamins and minerals he needs to help him combat the aging process, without the extra calories.
Even if you don't notice anything different about your older dog, that doesn't mean that there aren't changes taking place. It is best to prevent any problems before they happen, and one way to do this is to provide a nutritional supplement. Ask about our Golden Years supplement for dogs during your next visit to VACC. If your dog has a blood clotting disorder, diabetes, or a history or urinary stones it is important to speak with your veterinarian before starting any supplements.
Unfortuantely we all have to get older, but we can make it easier on our pets by providing the proper care.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Post Surgical Care

Recently a client came to pick up her puppy after the dog's laparoscopic spay.  Both the client and her dog were so excited to be together again.  As we were discussing post surgical care, it was clear that she was distracted.  She had spent the day worrying about her baby, and she just wanted to take her home.  It is common for people to be so eager to get their pet home after a surgical procedure, that they forget everything they talked about during the discharge. If your pet had a procedure here at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod, we would send home printed instructions on post surgical care. If you misplace this sheet, or have any questions at all, feel free to give us a call at (508) 394-3566.

Here are some basic things to remember when caring for a pet after surgery (laparoscopic or otherwise):
  • Check the incision daily for swelling, pain, odor, or discharge.
  • Make sure your pet doesn't drink too much water when you get home.  They can be fed their normal diet the same evening, but don't be alarmed if they don't want to eat right away.  Call the hospital if your pet doesn't eat for 2 days in a row.
  • If your pet starts to lick or chew at the incision, put an e-collar on them as soon as possible.
  • Restrict activities like running, jumping (this includes jumping into the car), playing roughly with other animals, and climbing stairs for 7-10 days.
  • No bathing or swimming for 10 days.
  • If your pet's incision has internal sutures they will eventually dissolve on their own, but this could take several months.  Don't worry if you can feel the sutures under the skin.  If your pet received external sutures, you will need to come back to the hospital to have them removed  in 2 weeks. 
  • Make sure to start any medications as directed by your veterinarian.  These are prescribed to help speed up your pet's healing process.
  • Call the hospital if you notice any of the following:
    • Loss of appetite for more than 2 days
    • Refusal to drink water for more than 1 day
    • Weakness or depression
    • Vomiting of diarrhea after the first 24 hours
Post surgical complications are rare, but unfortunately they do sometimes occur.  If you are unsure about any aspect of your pet's care after a surgery, call your veterinarian.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Things to do with your dog on Cape Cod

If you, like many of us, think of your pets as family members, consider including your dog the next time you plan a vacation or day trip.  Remember to keep your pet's individual personality in mind.  Some pets would rather stay at home with a pet sitter, but some love to go to new places.
Many Cape Cod hotels and campgrounds allow dogs, although some do require an extra fee for pets.  Click here for a list of  pet friendly lodging on Cape Cod.
Most Cape Cod beaches allow dogs during the off season, but during the summer months the rules change.  Leashed dogs are allowed on some beaches during the summer, including the Cape Cod National Seashore, and the town beaches of Provincetown.  From 6 am to 9 am during the summer in Provincetown, you can let your dog run off leash.  Provincetown is also home to an off leash dog park, the Pilgrim Bark Park.
If you think your dog might enjoy a boat ride, consider a whale watch, or a Cape Cod Canal cruise.  If shopping is your thing, the Black Dog General Stores in Chatham, Falmouth, and Provincetown, and Hot Diggity in Mashpee and Osterville allow well-mannered, leashed dogs. 
Cape Cod is also home to several outdoor restaurants including Cobie's Outdoor restaurant in Brewster, and P.J.'s Family Restaurant in Wellfleet.
Remember to check with your destinations beforehand to make sure your dog is welcome, and be a responsible pet parent.  Always have control of your dog, and clean up after them.
Have a great summer from everyone at VACC!