Dog Allergies in Texas. Atopic dermatitis. Allergic skin disease. Atopy. They all mean the same thing. Your pet is allergic to something, and it’s usually something outside. While our allergies involve itchy eyes and watery noses, our pet’s allergies typically result in itchy skin which can get pretty uncomfortable considering the skin is the largest organ in the body. The most common places our pets are going to scratch will be their ears, abdomen, and feet – potentially because all three are easily accessible with the mouth to chew or the feet to scratch.
Diagnosing and managing allergies can be extremely …Read More
We all love our cats – their friendly greeting when you arrive home at the end of the day, their sweet meow during feeding time, kneading and massaging your face in the middle of the night…oh, is that just me? But do you know what to do if your cat’s meow ever changes or gets lost?
A cat’s meow comes from their voicebox, or larynx (prounounced lair-inx). It’s a small structure that sits in the very back of their mouth and opens to their trachea, or windpipe. If you gently run your hand along the underside of your cat’s neck, you …Read More
Anyone who’s ever known a Newfoundland Dog knows they are incredible sweet, gentle and big-hearted dogs. Breeders and breed enthusiasts alike also know that these gentle giants are sometimes afflicted by cardiac disease. One form, subvalvular aortic stenosis, has been shown to have a heritable component for which there is now a genetic test!
Subvalvular aortic stenosis is the most common heart disease with which dogs are born, and Newfies are over-represented. An abnormal ridge of tissue below the aortic valve which adversely affects the normal flow of blood out from the heart and into the aorta can produce an array …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
Cats may come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments, but they are all equals when it comes to risk for heart disease. Heart diseases are difficult to detect in cats, one of many reasons an annual vet clinic checkup is a must for every pet. If these visits are skipped, by the time an animal shows signs of distress, heart disease could have advanced to an irreversible stage.
The top signs of heart disease include labored breathing and shortness of breath, withdrawn or depressed behavior, a sudden loss of appetite without obvious cause, weight loss or weight gain, a bloated abdomen, …Read More
If people are in pain, most of them are more than glad to let you know. Even babies may not be able to talk yet, but they can cry to let us know something’s up. Cats may retreat to corners, and dogs may whine, but it’s difficult to tell when a horse is in pain.
Veterinarians, owners, and trainers who spend plenty of time with horses can develop a special talent for spotting signs of discomfort, but equine body language can be hard to read, and horse facial expressions are even more inscrutable. Difficulty measuring pain in horses leads to many …Read More
It takes a special heart to love older creatures in the geriatric stage of life and learn how to care for them. Even people who could barely keep a plant alive before they found their pet find that, whatever they thought they were capable of before, they suddenly have the strength to care for an animal who is aging. To us, that’s part of the miracle of having a pet.
Watching someone you care for go through something difficult is never easy, but it’s even harder when the one you love can’t express their pain in words or tell you where …Read More
Lots of people have been asking about the right diet for their pet recently at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals, specifically when it comes to grains and gluten.
Diets free of gluten and carbs are all the rage for humans, but are foods without gluten and grain okay for your pet? Many people are on the gluten-free bandwagon because they hope it will help them lose weight or feel better, yet only about one to two percent of people actually have celiac disease.
When it comes to nutrition for people and pets, needs are often very different. Before buying into any nutritional or …Read More
With so many types of pet products on the market, sometimes choosing a food for your dog or cat can feel as complicated as shopping for a gourmet meal at the supermarket without a list or recipe.
When trying to decide on the optimal food for your pet in a store crowded with options ranging from bargain to supposedly-holistic, these tips will help narrow down the options. As always, when in doubt, talk to LazyPaw Animal Hospitals or your local vet clinic for specific suggestions for Fido or Fluffy.
Avoid generic ingredients
Many foods list “animal fat” as an ingredient, but that’s a …Read More
According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent more than $21 billion on pet food in 2013. The organization anticipates more than $22 billion will be spent on pet food this year!
Pet food companies invest plenty in marketing products to American pet owners, and with good reason–68 percent of U.S. households include pets, which means about 82.5 million families are interested in giving their animal friends the very best.
LazyPaw Animal Hospitals is interested in doing the most we can for every patient, which means we’re more focused on the actual ingredients in dog food than the adorable advertisements and …Read More
Whenever someone close to you is going through a hard time, it’s not easy to know just the right thing to say. When you’re at a loss for words and your friend is sad, these phrases can help you figure out what not to say.
Sometimes people, even at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals, feel unsure of how to console someone when a pet is ill or passes away. Even when people mean well, they may unintentionally say something that only makes it worse. If you’re not sure whether a comment might be rude, consider swapping out the animal’s name for the person’s …Read More
Last time on the LazyPaw Animal Hospitals blog, we laid down the law on some nightmarish phrases no one should ever say to a friend who recently lost a pet. For anyone who stuck on finding the right thing to say to someone whose pet recently died, these simple phrases can get you through.
Remember that it’s not exactly what you say that matters, only that you show you care. Don’t ignore the loss when a friend’s animal dies. Act as if the pet was part of the family—because for your friend, they were.
I’m sorry for your loss.
Avoid comments like “Buster’s …Read More
Have you ever had to listen to a comment about your pet that left you speechless? Then chances are you’ve heard one of these commonplace blurts that can temporarily (if accidentally) mutate any stranger, family member, or friend into a creature with a rude attitude.
On the other hand, if you’ve ever said any of these things by accident, you’re not alone. The good news is that there is a cure for these blooper comments. It’s easy, painless, and you can start as soon as today. My prescription for becoming a more sensitive person is to start reading this blog, then …Read More
Everyone has dealt with a nightmare driver, teacher, neighbor, or irritating person in the grocery line. However, sometimes even the best of us can slip and make comments that turn us—yes, us!—into a nightmare for someone else.
At LazyPaw Animal Hospitals, we unfortunately can’t help but overhear waiting room conversations from time to time. These three are some of our favorites! Please read on and think more carefully before blurting to avoid treading on an animal lover’s feelings.
The dreaded over-share.
It’s natural to seek camaraderie, and many people want to chat in the waiting room at the vet’s office. It makes sense, …Read More
Working at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals is always fun and interesting, but not just because of how much we love animals. Every once in awhile also get to hear and see some wild behavior from the people who belong to our patients!
We’ve covered “petiquette” before, from how to politely introduce yourself to animals to the best ways to do Emily Post proud at the public park or dog park. Today, we’re bringing petiquette into our very own waiting area to address common conversations our staff can’t help but overhear from time to time.
Is he gonna die?
First rule of thumb: If you …Read More
When a child has a fever or is in pain, a few children’s Tylenol or Advil can help them feel better fast. However, though animals are also small, they should never have over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication.
OTC pain meds may be fine for humans, but they can be deadly to animals. This includes anti-inflammatory NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), Aleve (naproxen), and aspirin. More mild pain relievers including acetaminophens such as Tylenol are equally harmful to both dogs and cats.
If OTC meds are dangerous for animals, why did my vet prescribe them?
Some of these medications can be given to animals, but only …Read More
Second and third hand smoke is a danger to people who breathe it, but the fumes are equally toxic for pets.
Second hand smoke is air that is exhaled or escapes from the end of cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Third hand smoke is residue that stays on skin, fur, clothing, and furniture after the air has cleared. Both second and third hand smoke are under the umbrella of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), which are linked to pet allergies, cancers, eye and skin diseases and respiratory problems.
If smoking is harmful to humans and ETS can cause illness and cancers in non-smokers, it …Read More
Sometimes, dogs and cats just don’t care about the difference between “interesting” and “delicious.” From plastic toys and water bottle caps to washcloths, coins, corn cobs, and socks, from time to time Fido and Fluffy can’t help but help themselves to a serving of non-food contraband. The same goes for ferrets, birds, and any other animal you thought was domesticated enough to be left alone with a bar of soap for three minutes.
Foreign objects in the gastrointestinal areas can cause plenty of problems in a hurry, from vomiting and diarrhea to scrapes and tears in the intestines, abdominal blockages, infections, …Read More
If you’ve ever had to care for a child with an ear infection, you know it’s seriously no fun for anyone. And if you’ve ever had to care for a dog or cat with an ear infection, you know what it’s like to care for a really fast child with claws.
Ear infections are actually one of the most common feline and canine health issues we treat at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals, partially because they are so difficult to treat. Owners often want the fastest, cheapest way to deal with animal ear infections, but don’t take the time to understand the root …Read More
Last time we talked about the many benefits of scheduling your pet’s annual wellness visit with the veterinarian, including crucial tests that could save their lives, plus finding preventative measures that will save both your animal and your wallet from a lot of pain later on. Today, I want to offer a few tips for how to get the most out of your pet’s annual checkup.
Bring past records if you are trying a new vet.
If you recently moved to town or are just trying a new veterinarian, bring a copy of your animal’s health and immunization records from your previous animal …Read More
Your pet seems healthy and fit as a fiddle. So why spend time and energy (plus money) bothering to bring them to the vet clinic for an annual visit? I mean, didn’t you do that last year (or a few years ago)?
Annual wellness checkups may seem like a waste of time when your pet doesn’t seem sick, but physicians view regular checkups as a gateway to better, longer living. Why? These visits help your veterinarian recommend preventative care that will save your pet-and your wallet-huge strain in the future.
Animals are in special need of annual wellness checkups because they are …Read More
Does your pet have itchy, watery eyes? Is she coughing and sneezing for no apparent reason? Is your indoor only cat scratching and biting or obsessively licking himself? This year we are experiencing record pollen counts in the DFW Metroplex and these airborne antigens are affecting not only humans but also our canine and feline companions.
Just as we have not yet found a cure for the common cold, most Texas residents with allergies recognize that late summer and early fall is the time to stock up on their favorite and most effective antihistamine. Unfortunately, just like in us, sometimes daily …Read More
We’ve had fun on this month on the LazyPaw Animal Hospitals blog counting down from A to Z in our veterinary terms glossary. Today, we’re officially ready for the start of school as we march from U to Z and round out the series!
This word stems from Old English uder, Dutch uier, and German euter. Udders are mammary glands in female cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and other mammals. Once a female gives birth for the first time, she can produce milk. Here’s an udderly interesting tidbit: A cow’s heart pumps about 400 pints of blood through the udder to produce …Read More
How did you do on the last blog post pop quiz of veterinary glossary words? Whether you aced the quiz or are hungry for more knowledge, today’s LazyPaw Animal Hospitals blog might keep you guessing. Chew on these brainteasers to help your noggin get in shape for the upcoming school year!
It may sound like the world’s newest super hero, but the plastron is the ventral part of a turtle’s shell. The nearly flat belly is made of nine bones. Some species have a hinge between the plastron and curved part of the shell, allowing the turtle to completely enclose itself …Read More
The new school year will be kicking off soon, and LazyPaw Animal Hospitals is putting together a veterinary glossary with some interesting medical terms to start teasing brains after a long summer break. If these words were on a pop quiz, how high would you score? Pencils down!
Most people will immediately think of their summer reading list when they hear “Kindle,” but in veterinary medicine, a kindle is both a verb that means to bear young or produce offspring and a noun that describes the actual litter of new critters. Kindles usually refer to rabbits, but the word may also …Read More
The new school year is just around the corner, and LazyPaw Animal Hospitals is celebrating the start of a fresh season of scholastic achievement with a series on the ABCs of veterinary medicine. Last time we covered abrasions through ectothermic animals, and today we’re getting into everything from the intestines to toxins in cottonseeds. It’s a creepy crawly, warm and fuzzy take on the ABC’s!
Blood is essential for life, and vets need to look for signs of health or illness that are often hiding in the blood. Frank blood is blood that’s visually obvious—aka, in vomit, excrement, or on …Read More
This summer, we created a series about veterinary careers on the LazyPaw Animal Hospitals blog. We talked about vets who specialize in pets, zoo animals, horses, livestock, and research, plus explained a little about their day-to-day work and how much effort went into their education.
However, just because you have an interest in something doesn’t mean it’s an ideal career choice. That’s why to celebrate the upcoming start of the fall school season, we’re launching a series about the ABCs of VETs, which will deliver some interesting glossary terms from veterinary medicine. Some are simple and some are scientific, but all …Read More
If you’re considering a career in veterinary medicine, you’re in good company. Employment in the field is expected to increase faster than other jobs, with lots of great positions on the horizon as pet adoptions increase. However, just because you sincerely love animals doesn’t mean life as a veterinarian is necessarily right for you.
Have you ever worked with animals?
Veterinary schools look for a specific type of candidate, and since seats are limited, schools are picky about who they admit. The strongest applicants not only prove their excellent science skills throughout their undergraduate years, but also through volunteer experience with animal …Read More
Lots of kids dream of growing up to become vets who work with dogs and cats. However, running a veterinary practice is much more complex than petting fuzzy kitties and floppy-eared dogs all day long (although, yes, I do that a lot too!). If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to own a veterinary practice, these primary skills are a must.
Great vets know how to talk to pet parents so they can understand exactly what an animal needs. They also have to clearly explain different diagnoses and outline various treatment options, especially when it comes to cost and home …Read More
This week, LazyPaw Animal Hospital is kicking off a series all about veterinarians. Lots of people assume vets are just about cats and dogs, but did you know veterinarians actually have a huge scope of potential jobs that utilize their skills and training?
What do you mean, “more than just dogs and cats”?
Veterinarians are animal doctors. Just as doctors for humans diagnose and treat people but can also have a huge scope of possible jobs, veterinarians are the same for animals. Vets care for animal health and also diagnose and treat diseases and dysfunctions in animals. That includes pets, horses, livestock, …Read More
Last time on the LazyPaw Animal Hospitals blog, we took a turn into the more macabre world of animal care when we explored the types and symptoms of worms in cats. This week, Halloween comes early again as we detail the dangers of worms in dogs.
Worms are first classified by shape. Round worms (nematodes) such as roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms live in the intestines. Flat worms (cestodes) such as tapeworms live in other organs such as the liver or heart. Dogs commonly get hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, heartworms, and tapeworms.
Dogs are often born with worms they contract from the mother during …Read More
Looking at a purring feline, it might be impossible to believe the kitty could be suffering from dangerous worms living inside them as parasites. Though the topic isn’t appetizing to anyone but those parasites, it’s still important—plenty of both indoor and outdoor cats contract and suffer from worms each year. If not prevented or quickly treated, these worms can cause major havoc for kitty.
Roundworms are the most common in cats. They look like spaghetti and can be three to four inches long. Nursing kittens can get them from an infected mother’s milk, and adults can get them by eating an …Read More
Feline AIDS is an increasing problem in the cat community. The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Feline Health Center reports that up to three percent of cats in the United States are infected with FIV, or feline immunodeficiency virus. FIV is a scary illness that affects cats everywhere, but there are lots of ways to prevent its spread. If your pet has or contracts FIV, there are still plenty of methods to keep your feline healthy.
What is FIV?
FIV is a lentivirus, or “slow virus,” that may go undetected in cats for years. However, eventually the virus leads …Read More
Julaine Hunter, DVM
Kitty acne is an extremely common skin disease which typically first affects the chin area. In mild cases clinical signs of skin irritation and blackhead formation should resolve in two to three weeks’ time with topical therapy. Various causes of this condition have been postulated: over production of sebum from local sebaceous glands, bacterial overload, poor grooming, contact sensitivity/dermatitis, immunosuppression or a combination of one or more of these conditions.
Often switching from plastic bowls, whose surfaces may retain greater levels of bacteria, to those made from metal or ceramics, and increasing the frequency of cleaning of bowls with …Read More
Rumors are churning in carpool lines and online that dogs can be carriers for strep throat. Dogs can easily catch kennel cough, which doesn’t spread to humans, but can they spread strep?
The short answer is… not really. However, a throat culture or round of antibiotics won’t hurt the animal if you need to be sure.
But my pediatrician said…
Pediatricians may say your dog could be the reason your kid has strep, but I think it’s unlikely. Before joining the ranks of animal surgeons, I was a scientist at the University of Minnesota working on gene therapies for childhood leukemia. As a …Read More
Canine parvovirus, which is most often referred to as Parvo, is one of the most common and life threatening conditions found in puppies and dogs. It is transmitted from dog to dog through contact with fecal material of infected dogs. However, the actual virus can live up to several months on furniture and other surfaces such as kennels and bedding. There is also evidence that the virus can be carried by mice or rats, which poses a risk if the feed becomes contaminated by these pests.
The most seriously affected and at risk dogs are those under the age of 12 …Read More
A Brief Guide To Common Dog Worms
Most dogs and puppies, unless they are routinely treated, are going to have some type of worms. Worms are often passed from dog to dog through contact with saliva, fecal material or even through contaminated soil. Dog parks, public areas and even out walking in the country can all lead to possible worm problems if the dog is not on a worming program.
For most otherwise healthy dogs small numbers of worms are not a serious issue and may not even cause any noticeable symptoms. Heavy infestations of worms can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue …Read More
Conditions Associated With Those Nasty Blood Sucking Ticks And Fleas
Besides just being a nuisance and an annoyance for your dog, fleas and ticks pose serious health risks for your dog. In fact, fleas and ticks can also cause serious health issues for people. Fleas often bite humans and some people are very allergic to their salvia, leading to welts and significant rashes. Children are usually most affected by the bite of a flea and with constant scratching secondary skin infections can occur.
Of course flea allergies are extremely common in dogs of all breeds. This leads to compulsive scratching, hot spots, …Read More
While it seems that many health conditions are worse in small and toy dogs, bloat is a very real and very serious issue in the large and giant breeds. It is most commonly seen in dogs with a deep chest that is also narrow in relation to the size of the dog. The breeds most associated with bloat include the Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Weimaraner, Boxer, Standard Poodle and Basset Hound. Males of these and other prone breeds are more likely to develop bloat than females. It is also much more common in dogs over the age of 7. Mixed …Read More
Help: My Dog Has Hot Spots
Hot spots are one of the most common types of skin conditions that a vet deals with on a regular basis. Often they are referred to as Moist Eczema, pyotraumatic dermatitis or Acral Lick Dermatitis and the root cause is usually a bacterial infection specifically from Staphylococcus intermedius. However, this condition only occurs after a dog has already begun to compulsively scratch one or more areas of the body. Often the cause of this type of scratching is a seasonal allergy, flea allergy, dietary deficiency, exposure to a topical irritant, fungal infection or any type …Read More
Pyometra is a potentially life threatening infection that occurs in older female dogs that have not been spayed. Originally it was believed the condition was only an infection in the uterus that was caused by bacteria. Now we know it is actually caused by a hormonal imbalance in which the female dog’s body produces too much progesterone or there is an abnormal sensitivity that occurs to normal levels of the hormone.
When this occurs the lining of the uterus becomes filled with cysts. These cysts can be very large and produce a lot of fluid that collects in the uterus and …Read More
Dogs vomit for a wide range of reasons. While it is not pleasant to have to deal with it is also not something that needs to be alarming if you are aware of what the dog was eating or doing right before the vomiting occurred. Often dogs that gulp water or food will vomit or regurgitate immediately, which may just mean the stomach can’t handle what the dog has ingested. Typically food that comes up before entering the stomach is considered to be regurgitated rather than vomited.
Many different health conditions are also associated with vomiting and require attention by a …Read More
Heartworms are found in all parts of the United States but the rate of heartworm infection is highest in states on the Atlantic and Gulf Coast as well as in areas that are adjacent to the Mississippi River. Texas, with year round warm weather and Gulf Coast location, provides the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes which carry the parasite. As such, heartworms are considered endemic in the state but they are also one of the most easily preventable conditions that pose a life and death risk for your dog.
Prevention from heartworm disease for your dog and cat varies based on …Read More
Since October is Dental Month at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals, I wanted to take a moment this week to talk about why dental care for pets is so important. Pet teeth cleaning is crucial to your animal’s well being in both the short and long term, and providing proper care to your pet will prevent painful long term problems.
Dry food does not clean your pet’s teeth.
Just because your animal eats only or mostly dry food does not mean their teeth are clean. Dry food still leaves a residue on teeth the same way eating a cracker leaves a residue on our …Read More
Dealing with Pet Anxiety
By Julaine Hunter, DVM
Pet anxiety is one of the most common behavioral complaints brought to us at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals. Pets experience anxiety just like people, except sometimes the cause can be harder to figure out. If not properly managed, pet anxiety can cause long term emotional and physical problems for both pets and their owners, so it’s important to get to the bottom of your pet’s nervousness to help them feel at ease.
Know the symptoms.
Anxiety doesn’t always manifest itself in obvious ways. Constantly barking, obsessively tail chasing, compulsively chewing, displaying signs of aggression toward people or …Read More
Preventing Ear Infections
If you have a dog that has floppy or hound-like ears then you need to be aware of the risk of ear infections. Any breed of dog can get an ear infection but when the ears hang down and don’t allow air circulation into the ear it creates the perfect condition for infections to get started. Combine this with a dog that loves to go in the water and you have a moist, warm and safe environment for all types of bacteria and yeast infections to get started and thrive. Infections can also be caused by allergies, …Read More
The Two Types of Mange Found In Dogs
As if our patients here in Texas don’t have enough to worry about with all the fleas, ticks and varieties of allergens present in the state there is also the risk of the dog developing mange. There are two types of mange that owners need to be aware of and they are sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange.
Demodectic mange is caused by the Demodex mite. When too many of the Demodex mites gather on the dog’s skin they attack the hair follicles and create skin lesions and overburdening of the dog’s immune system. …Read More
Gastrointestinal Foreign Bodies
Dr. J. Hunter, 2012-12-29
Ever wake feeling nauseated and having absolutely zero interest in eating or drinking? If you have, and a plausible reason isn’t forthcoming, you’ll likely have taken it easy for a day or two before seeking a physician’s advice. Toddlers showing similar clinical signs would result in a guaranteed trip to the nearest pediatrician’s or e-clinic doctor’s office.
Just like little kids, young cats and dogs have a penchant for exploring their environment with their mouths. Dogs and cats ages one to four, unlike human toddlers, typically receive decreased supervision as they become more trustworthy. Continued vigilance and “child-proofing” is …Read More
A urinary tract infection or UTI is one of the more common health issues in dogs and cats, particularly in adulthood but it can happen at any age. Typically owners will notice that their pet has some blood in the urine combined with increasing frequency of urination that tends to leave a strong odor. In many instances this becomes a problem since the dog urinates in the home even though they are fully housetrained, or the cat urinates outside of the litterbox and on the new bathroom rug. Other symptoms can include dribbling and lack of bladder control, cloudy …Read More
Is your dog a 4-legged Spartan
able to scale 8 foot obstacles unassisted? Can your cat escape with an inch of door or window clearance? If your pet is a four legged Houdini, read on about important information that could someday prove life-saving.
First, and this may seem overly simple, but the purpose of having a collar on your pet at all times is to ensure your pet gets home safely should she or he get lost So what should go on a collar to ensure this occurs?
(cell, home, work, veterinarian’s office) to ensure that no matter when or where my buddy’s found, …Read More