My grandparents’ dog Foxy came in contact with all sorts of strange Louisiana country bugs during her daily exploration of their enormous backyard. These strange bugs often included ticks: parasites which can live in any wooded area. When Foxy ran through the tall grass, a waiting tick could attach to her skin and feed on her blood. Once it became attached to her, it could possibly stay there for days unless it was removed.
Because Foxy’s lifestyle made her prone to getting ticks, my grandparents made sure to check her skin each day. They closely inspected her body, face, and even …Read More
About a day after we picked Magic up from boarding, he began to sound more and more like a goose than a dog. He seemed like he felt like his normal self aside from the coughing and runny nose, but something was clearly not normal because he honked and hacked all night long. We had heard about how dogs in boarding can easily catch “kennel cough”, so we took him to the veterinarian to make sure.
Magic’s vet explained that “kennel cough” is the broad umbrella term used to describe illnesses which cause coughing symptoms after a dog has spent time …Read More
Daisy isn’t much bigger than the bunnies who eat dinner in the backyard every night, but her size doesn’t stop her from trying to chase them. One evening when Dad opened the back door to let her outside, she flew across the yard toward the tiny fuzzy athlete who could’ve heard her coming from a mile away. The bunny paused in the middle of his grass meal and lazily trotted toward the other side of the yard. Daisy lagged behind him despite her desperation to keep up, her little legs almost spinning in circles like a cartoon character. During the …Read More
My cat Midnight has always kept her shiny black coat carefully groomed, without a single hair out of place. If someone strokes her fur in the wrong direction, she immediately sets to work making each hair look perfect again. But as she has climbed into her double-digits of age, she has an increasingly difficult time grooming her hard to reach areas. As her grooming has become less thorough and frequent, her shedding hairs and dirty fur easily become tangled and create stubborn little knots of fur called mats.
Not only do mats look odd, but they also can be painful and …Read More
On the 4th of July, my dog Magic spent all his energy trying to bark louder than the explosive booming and banging his sensitive hearing was forced to endure all night. Every year, he worked himself up into such a frenzy about what he surely believed to be the end of the world that he spent all of the 5th of July passed out in bed.
To make Independence Day less stressful, my family developed a yearly routine to help keep Magic safe. Once the sun began to go down, we moved his bed, food, and toys to Mom’s bedroom where …Read More
Dad filtered through the tall stack of mail sitting on the counter and passed me a postcard with Daisy’s name on it. “Looks like we need to schedule Daisy for a wellness visit” he observed aloud. “She’s due for her rabies vaccine”. We had recently heard an unsettling story about an aggressive dog biting our neighbor’s dog while they were at the dog park, so we promptly called the vet and scheduled Daisy’s appointment.
This type of freak accident can happen to any dog, even if their family does their best to keep them away from unknown dogs. To protect Daisy …Read More
The smellier the treat, the faster Magic came running. His favorites were shaped like miniature t-bone steaks and stunk up the whole kitchen. Every time he heard the bag crinkle, he suddenly appeared before me out of thin air, sitting on his hind legs like a bunny and staring me down with perseverance in his eyes. This ritual was all very cute and fun until one day I noticed the calorie count on the back of the bag. My jaw dropped in shock– there was no way there could possibly be that many calories in one little treat!
My family worked …Read More
After much yowling and hissing with nothing to show for it but a soggy pill and two angry yellow eyes glaring at me from under the bed, I felt both frustrated and guilty for becoming such a kitty bully. I was so scarred by this fiasco that I would have invented any way possible to avoid pill time with Midnight. I tried to hide it in a spoonful of tuna and squished it between two of her favorite treats— but each of these methods only worked for two days before she solved the mystery. Midnight developed a sixth sense for …Read More
My dog Magic loved carpet. With carpet, the possibilities were endless: it provided a convenient way to scratch an itch, a doormat to wipe his feet on after running through a mud puddle, his own giant napkin after dinner time, and the ideal terrain for scooting. Despite our attempts to train Magic and separate him from his carpet infatuation, eventually his black hair seemed to melt into every fiber of it no matter how many times we vacuumed. My family became so fed up with his unsanitary carpet habits that we ripped up all the carpet and replaced it with …Read More
Seventeen years of sharing my life with my cat Midnight has perfectly synced our schedules. Every day we wake up, eat, watch TV, and go to sleep together. If I hit “snooze” too many times, she perches at the foot of my bed and yowls until I wake up. When it’s time for her thyroid medication, she meets me next to the cabinet where her pills are kept. On days I return home later than she expects, I find her waiting under her potted tree with a glare that says I’ve been worried SICK.
Not only is Midnight skilled at memorizing …Read More
On a cold autumn evening in 1999, my cat Midnight was born homeless under somebody’s front porch. As black-cat superstition foretells, the odds were stacked against her from day one—Midnight was also born the tiniest in her family. Fortunately for Midnight, her early struggles gave her a spicy attitude and a scrappy will to survive. Rather than sleeping under a porch, Midnight now claims all of the human beds in my house as her own.
When it became time for her spay surgery shortly after her adoption, my worrisome five-year-old self imagined dozens of worst-case scenarios. I harassed my parents with …Read More
Carey and Tana the malamute strolled along the shore and listened to the crashing waves. Tana relaxed as the cool breeze blew through his thick grey fur… But then he spotted a future friend prancing toward him. Before thinking twice, Tana sprinted toward his new playmate kicking clouds of sand behind him, completely unaware of his power against his leash.
In his eagerness to socialize, Tana ripped his retractable leash out of the handle Carey was white-knuckling. Carey watched in horror for a moment as the little leash flapped in the wind behind Tana. She dropped the useless hunk of plastic …Read More
“Coronavirus?” I took the thick red folder out of my Aunt Susan’s outstretched arm, her brand new kitten Paige on my heels, chasing the long string of yarn that Susan had tied to my belt loop. Susan had adopted Paige only the day before and the animal shelter had sent home a plethora of information about feline coronavirus.
“I’ve never heard of feline coronavirus before”, I remarked as I flipped through the stack of papers, full of words I couldn’t understand or pronounce. “I hadn’t either”. Susan agreed. “But before I signed the adoption papers, even though I had already decided …Read More
On the first hot day of the year, Daisy can always be found lounging on the backyard bench. She is so reluctant to leave the toasty cushions that somebody usually has to go out there and make her come inside before she gets overheated. When she finally does come in, she is always so itchy that she would probably gnaw her paw right off if we let her.
Just like all the human members of my family, Daisy has received the Stringer Curse of agonizing seasonal allergies. While grass seems to be Daisy’s worst trigger, dust and pollen are also common …Read More
Foxy spent her life visiting the horses next door, racing the neighbor’s dogs through the brush, and harassing squirrels who lived in the towering pine trees behind my grandparents’ house. After jumping through leaf piles my cousins and I worked so hard to rake, she would plop down to take a long nap in the sun. She seemed to belong more to Mother Nature than she did to my grandparents, but she always came home for supper.
Love for the outdoors increased Foxy’s risk of exposure to leptospirosis, so my grandparents always made sure she received the yearly vaccine. Without the …Read More
The butter had vanished. But it couldn’t have gone too far, Becca had only left the kitchen for a second. She searched among the assortment of ingredients she had set on the counter in preparation for baking cookies. As she checked under the table, she heard a smacking sound coming from the living room…
Hera the mastiff was laying on top of her massive ottoman in the perfect likeness of a queen who had just polished off an exquisite feast. Becca tried to interrupt her, but both sticks of butter were history. She immediately thought about pancreatitis, which occurs when the …Read More
Magic trotted along the sidewalk as far ahead of me as his leash would allow. He paused, sniffed the grass, and turned around in a little circle. I pulled the plastic clean-up bag out of my pocket in response to this ritual. Once I approached him, his obvious diarrhea told me something was very wrong with his digestion. But Magic didn’t seem too bothered by this gastrointestinal issue. He continued to hold his flag-like tail high as he pranced by the dogs barking at him from behind their fences for the rest of his walk.
Minor gastrointestinal issues were not newsworthy …Read More
The morning forecast had predicted a high of 103 degrees and I could almost see the steam coming off the parking lot from my lunch table by the window. The sun reflected off my Jeep’s windshield which was probably already reaching an oven-like temperature. I thought about my middle school classmate’s science project when he baked cookies on the dashboard of his mom’s car on a summer day like this one.
In the middle of my meal, I noticed a black car parked on the opposite side of the window with a little terrier sitting in the front seat. The 12:00 …Read More
When the time for Midnight’s annual wellness visit rolls around, she treats the entire day like a living nightmare. Once I take the cat crate out of the closet, she immediately darts under the bed and hisses her declaration of war. After I fish her out and attempt to lower her into the crate, she grips all four sides as if her life depends on it. The moment she is placed on the scale, she screeches until the whole city feels her fury. Throughout the drive home, her angry eyes glare at me from behind her own personal prison with …Read More
Finn, a fourteen-year-old cat with chronic renal disease, began subcutaneous fluid treatment to help his body deal with toxins that his kidneys were no longer able to process normally. Subcutaneous, also called subQ for short, means just beneath the skin. SubQ fluid is received through a needle connected to a fluid line (a long, flexible tube) and fluid bag.
In the beginning, Finn’s family were reluctant to begin the treatment and Finn was also understandably stressed by this unusual activity. When it was time for him to receive his fluids, he hid in the very back corner of his mom’s closet …Read More
I stared at the YouTube video on my phone of a cute pig eating a cookie, attempting to distract myself from the heavy dread I felt. I tuned out the irritated meows coming from Midnight’s carrier and tried to believe her blood work results were going to be fine. Even after two years of surprisingly well maintained kidney levels, I knew chronic renal disease is irreversible and worried our days of great blood work could be over.
Once Dr. Bilhartz returned to our exam room with the results, he told me Midnight’s blood work indicated that it was time to consider …Read More
Midnight is only five years younger than I am, so her veterinarian had already warned me about the prevalence of chronic renal disease among senior cats. But while Midnight’s diagnosis was not shocking, that didn’t make the news any easier to hear. Because she had not yet shown any of the symptoms I was watching out for, I hadn’t expected her to develop a kidney problem yet.
Chronic renal disease occurs when a cat’s kidneys become unable to function normally over time. Like Midnight, cats who are in the early stages sometimes don’t show obvious symptoms and the signs only appear …Read More
As my cousin Karen filled out the stack of adoption forms, her new kitten Rose fussed and pushed the sides of the cardboard take-home box so hard Karen feared she would escape. Karen remembered the shelter volunteer’s straightforward warning: “This one’s a terror”. But when they first met, Rose’s baby meow and big adorable eyes made her look like a perfect angel— until she was placed in the box for the trip home. But Karen still insisted on making her part of the family, so the volunteer explained that she should prepare herself to patiently work through some undesirable behaviors. …Read More
My best friend Liz and her Shepherd mix Luna have been a package deal since the day Liz found her at a local rescue. Where Liz goes, Luna enthusiastically follows. But nobody ever minds, because watching Luna hop from person to person and squeeze all one-hundred pounds of herself onto someone’s crushed lap makes every party, movie night, and dinner a hilarious event. While Luna is a charismatic personality to have around, she also knows to do what she is told— for the most part. Every once in a while, Luna falls victim to her guilty pleasure of thievery. If …Read More
Our newly adopted stray Mella was obviously not a member of the feral cat colony which occupied our neighborhood. The feral cats would do anything to avoid humans as much as possible, even if that meant using storm drains as a travel system and only venturing out for food late at night. But Mella purposefully sought human contact— shortly after we found her we learned that most of our neighbors already knew her and had fed her dinner on several occasions. But even though she loved to be near people, she was still more like a bobcat than she was …Read More
Focus on the textbook I reminded myself for the hundredth time. But before I was able to delve back into my study guide, I heard it again: cling cling cling cling cling— the jingling sound Magic’s collar made while he desperately scratched an intense itch. Once he repeated this very loud and exhausting routine, I slammed my book shut in frustration and abandoned my homework pile to find him.
Upon entering the living room where Magic’s favorite bed was kept, I found he had tied himself into a dog pretzel, vigorously gnawing a spot above his tail. I parted his fur …Read More
Lilies were once one of my favorite flowers, but I have now banned them from my house after learning they place my cat Midnight’s health at risk. Midnight and I are very lucky that she never nibbled the cut lilies I used to keep on the coffee table, because even a small snack could have threatened her life.
While it is still unknown what exactly causes lilies to be so toxic to cats, it is certain that eating any part of the plant such as the leaves, flowers, pollen, or vase water will cause kidney failure and death if untreated. Fortunately …Read More
My dog Magic’s nails dug into my leg as he hopped up and down to get a better look at the smiling Golden Retriever hanging her head out the car window in the left lane. “Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop!” I chanted while I desperately clutched the wheel with two fingers and nudged him toward the passenger seat. But he was already back in my lap and perched on his hind legs— for some reason beyond human understanding the view from the other window was unsatisfactory. “I’m still not rolling the window down,” I reminded him. “You don’t want to get …Read More
It only took Magic a couple days after his adoption to prove that he got along great with humans. He was gentle with children who wanted to pet him, automatically trusted anyone with a house key, and loved to swing in the hammock with my friends. Trying to predict how he would behave around my cat Midnight was a different story. But as a small scruffy mutt who was already missing most of his teeth, he certainly didn’t look like a cat killer.
My family kept Magic and Midnight separated at first by confining them to different areas of the house. …Read More
At 1:00 in the morning, the movie I had been watching was suddenly interrupted by a very loud baby crying outside my window. Upon hurriedly opening my front door, I realized the sound was not not made by a baby, but by the emaciated, desperate, stray cat springing out of the bushes and screaming for dinner.
I first locked Midnight, my own cat, safely away in my bedroom to protect her from this unknown cat’s possible sickness or aggression. I then brought my new acquaintance into the kitchen for some food and water. While my first thought was to give her …Read More
As Mom and I looked inside each kennel at our local animal shelter, the decision before us became increasingly difficult— every dog needed love just as much as the last one. In the small dog area, we spotted a little scruffy mutt. His hair was so long and matted he looked like a black and white mop, but beneath his rat’s nest his bright blue eye and deep brown eye sparkled when he saw us. We sat with him in a little room with a bench, and he sprung onto my lap so everyone could have the opportunity to pet …Read More
As my dog Magic aged, he became less like the carefree spirit we had adopted and instead grew quite irritable. In his younger years he was cheerful rather than crotchety, but as his fur began to gray and his fuse shortened, he seemed more like an old man character one would see in a movie shouting, “You kids get off my property!” His short fuse also applied to his occasional minor health problems as he easily became consumed by small discomforts.
One morning after a walk I found Magic laying in his bed and licking his paw so intensely he hardly …Read More
Around my house, the exclamation “Magic stinks!” was not uncommon. Every dog has an unpleasant habit or two, but Magic’s most beloved hobbies were really gross. In his eyes, the cat’s litter box was an all you can eat buffet, a rotten dead squirrel was a rare treasure, and a smelly running shoe was the perfect air freshener. Anytime he disappeared somewhere in the house or backyard for a suspiciously long time, he always returned with a big smile and an unbearable stench.
But one day, this stench was different– but it definitely still made my nose burn. And not only …Read More
The sound of a vacuum is a source of modern comfort to humans—to us, it signals a quick route to a clean floor. To your dog or cat, the same noise signals unexplained chaos.
Some of our patients at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals were raised inside the home from day one, so they’re more used to sounds such as the coffee maker and television. Others may not be as adjusted to the racket of living in a home in 2014, or they are naturally more timid around loud noises the blender makes. For these pets, at least until a white-noise-whisper blender hits …Read More
Storms can be fun to watch, but not if you’re a cat. Plenty of our feline patients at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals have major reactions to the weather, especially thunderstorms and sometimes even rain. Whenever it rains, and sometimes even before it rains, a few of our feline friends get the shakes, meow like crazy, and take cover anywhere they can—under beds, blankets, couches, or in cabinets.
Some humans who get migraines or have joint pain can closely connect their aches with storms on the horizon. Doctors believe this is thanks to heightened sensitivity to atmospheric pressure, and the same is likely …Read More
Leashes being yanked out of hands, waiting room accidents, constant whining, meowing, and barking… Loving animals through their anxiety is all in a day’s work for the front of office staff at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals. Though it’s unlikely that most pet patients will ever learn to jump for joy at the prospect of a vet clinic visit, there are some tricks to teaching animals there is no reason to fear.
If your pet gets anxious in the car because they are only used to driving to the pet clinic, try taking them for short car rides somewhere they’re guaranteed to love. …Read More
The decision to find a new home for a pet is never an easy one, but sometimes circumstances make it impossible to take care of your animal. There are lots of reasons people have to make the heartbreaking decision to give a pet up. Financial hardship, major health struggles, animal behavior issues, and other lifestyle or compatibility problems can all tempt people to consider other living arrangements for their pet.
LazyPaw Animal Hospitals believes in helping every animal find an ideal home. Before making a big decision, we urge pet owners to consider all the options. Depending on your situation, your …Read More
Pet owners are aware of common dangers for their animal friends such as accidental poisoning, getting lost, and everyday scrapes. However, most pet lovers don’t think about potential kidnapping by pet thieves, especially in LazyPaw Animal Hospitals’ home community of lovely Frisco.
There’s no need to hide Fluffy away under lock and key for fear of thievery, but pet owners should be aware of possible dangers and take basic precautions to keep cats and dogs safe from those who might wish to profit from stealing animals.
Why would anyone steal an animal?
Pure breed pets are the most common victims of animal theft. …Read More
LazyPaw Animal Hospitals is all about toys lately, and though we’ve pointed out some amazing (and amazingly expensive) possible additions to your pet’s collection, we wanted to share the secrets of some of our favorite homemade toys that ring in at a total cost ranging between zero and just a few dollars. Bonus: They don’t take much time to make, and you probably already have everything you need around the house.
Remember, always supervise your pets during play and check the condition of toys regularly for potential choking hazards.
Give your pal Scrappy a scrappy toy.
Everyone has an old t-shirt that’s begging …Read More
LazyPaw Animal Hospitals love toys! Er, I mean, we love giving toys to our favorite animal patient friends. There are plenty of expensive pet toys on the market, but just as the child who opens a new zillion-dollar gadget will often play with the box instead, most pets are glad to play with anything that’s interesting regardless of how much you spent.
Keeping Fido and Fluffy up to their ears in entertainment doesn’t have to cost a lot. Just use common sense and always keep an eye on animals when playing. As with any toy, check the condition of homemade toys …Read More
We’ve hunted down some interesting toys and gear for the world’s most adventurous pets as well as those suffering from a streak of total boredom. But today LazyPaw Animal Hospitals is profiling the holy grail of pet product categories—the chicest, and sometimes most ridiculous, toys and more for pets who know how to redefine what it means to be spoiled.
Bling doesn’t begin to cover it.
Dog and cat lovers with cash to burn can spring for the real diamond deal when it comes to showing off Fido and Fluffy’s style. If your credit limit is sky high, you too can spend …Read More
LazyPaw Animal Hospitals is on an imaginary shopping spree for our favorite cats and canines, and though these high-tech, high-fashion, and high-octane toys may be out of a reasonable price range, they are still fun (and funny) to marvel at.
Umbrellas designed just for small pets.
Frisco vet patients may not see quite enough rain to justify the purchase of their very own umbrella, but if your small pooch is truly pampered, “The Dogbrella” is an inverted umbrella on a stable pole that forms a moisture barrier between your low-riding dog and wet weather. The clear umbrella canopy gives walkers full view …Read More
LazyPaw Animal Hospitals loves entertaining our pet patients, especially because watching them have fun is so entertaining to us! There is no one toy that will interest every animal, but this list of handpicked oddball toys is devoted to our furry friends who may be suffering from a spell of ennui. From puzzling to downright bubbling, even the most un-impressible pet could be doggone delighted by these wacky playtime ideas.
A tether that actually encourages movement?
Tethers that keep dogs roped to one place are old news. The Tether Tug is a combination of tether pole and tug toy that keeps dogs …Read More
There are lots of rumors circling the Internet about hawks honing in on small dogs for tasty prey. Since LazyPaw Animal Hospitals is in the heart of Frisco, Texas, we are used to seeing plenty of hawks gliding through the sunny skies. But are they really dangerous to our pets?
Of the 9300 species of birds in the world, Texas is home to 600, including predatory hawks, falcons, owls, and eagles. These flying hunters make their homes in trees, cliffs, chimneys, and other natural and manmade nooks.
Despite online horror stories of little dogs being snapped up by vicious birds, majestic birds …Read More
It’s date night, and you’re getting ready to go. As you put on a dress shirt, your dog Buster starts to whine. When you put on your best shoes, he tries hiding under the couch. As you close and lock the front door, you can hear him barking and howling. You feel terrible because he clearly hates it when you’re gone, but what are you supposed to do—stay home forever?
When you come home relaxed after a great meal, you find a hole chewed in the couch, urine on the carpet, and poop in your second best shoes. Buster clearly had …Read More
People who have lived with more than one cat know it’s normal for them to play-fight from time to time, as evidenced in this “pattycake” video where two dubbed patty-cats have collected more than 20 million views on YouTube. Cats naturally want to be on top of the food chain, so whenever more than one cat is in company, fights are bound to break out. The question is, how do you stop a hissing, yowling, claws-out cat tiff without getting hurt?
The staff of LazyPaw Animal Hospitals has broken up our share of cat altercations, and these top tips have helped …Read More
A wonderful cat lover with several star patients at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals recently asked a great question about feral cats. Namely, could she try to adopt one?
To answer, it’s important to define what a feral cat is. Feral cats are born and raised in the wild, or perhaps have been lost or abandoned and become more wild to survive. Some “free” feral cats can handle a small dose of human contact, but most are too fearful to be handled. They often live in groups (aka colonies) near places they can reliably find food, such as garbage dumps or alleys with …Read More
This week alone we have fielded several emergency calls for pet ingestion of undesirable substances: chocolate, garlic, decorations and Tylenol. Unfortunately not all veterinary clinics are open 24 hours a day to answer questions or to assist with home triage. In the North Dallas Metroplex we are fortunate to have several round the clock, referral level practices available to our clients; however, what happens when traveling with your pet, or you want to do your own independent research before making a call?
For a quick look up, two free applications which can readily be downloaded to your mobile devices are ASPCA’s …Read More
Pet Care For Kids By a Kid
3 Animal Scenarios and How To Help Them
What do you do when you happen upon an animal that someone has abandoned or took from its natural home? Here are three scenarios that might occur in your neighborhood, and how YOU and your family can help them safely.
SCENARIO 1: Abandoned Kittens
“Hey! What are you doing? Mommy! Get your hands off me! Ouch! This bag is dark! HEYYYY! My brothers and sisters are in here too! BUT where is Mommy???! Where are you taking us?!”
You and your husband have just woken up to the …Read More
When your pet gets sick, you suffer some symptoms as well—a feeling of panic, that sinking feeling in your stomach and those tears in your eyes. Having a sick pet can be a nerve-racking, gut-wrenching experience. While we all want to race to our computers and find the solution to our pet’s illness, hopping on Google might not always be the right answer. We’re often told not to refer to WebMD the minute you have a headache or stomachache, because it will retrieve more intense results than an everyday cold. The same principle applies to our furry companions. Before jumping …Read More