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Top 10 Pet complaints | questions

ZIKA

Can Zika infect my pet?aedes mosquito
Recent coverage of the Zika virus and its effects on people and unborn babies has raised concerns among pet owners. The Zika virus was first identified in Africa in the 1940’s in a monkey. It is spread to people primarily through Aedes mosquito bites, and usually causes no or only mild symptoms in people. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (pink eye.) The symptoms generally last several days to a week. Since the symptoms are mild people don’t seek medical treatment and are unaware that they have the virus. However, infection with Zika virus in pregnant women has been linked to microcephaly, a condition in which infants are born with abnormally small heads and incomplete brain development.


We know very little about the possible effects of Zika in pets or livestock.

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Why Does My Dog Lick His Feet

Licking and Chewing Feetpaw

One of the most common complaints or questions I hear is "Why does my dog lick his or her feet all the time?" Should you be concerned? 

The answer is "Yes." Some dogs are gentle but constantly licking can cause problems, and generally indicates there is a problem. Some dogs will go so far as to chew their toes off. I recommend that you bring your friend in for an exam, so that we can identify the cause and develop a treatment plan. I am going to look for redness, swelling, odor, a splinter or sticker, ticks, tumors, bleeding, limping, cuts, punctures, burns, and broken nails.

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Why Do Cats Meow?

Why Do Cats Meow?meow
The reasons change as they grow from kittens into cats. Kittens meow to their mothers when they're hungry, cold, or scared. But once cats get older, they use other vocalizations -- such as yowling, hissing, and growling -- to communicate with each other. Meowing is reserved for their communications with people.
Of course, the amount of meowing varies by breed and even cat. Oriental breeds, especially Siamese cats, are known as great "talkers," so anyone who doesn't like meowing probably should steer clear of these breeds.
And some cats just seem to like to hear their own voices, while others seem to want to carry on a conversation with their owners. If your cat is talking a little more than you'd like, try to figure out the cause first. Once you know the reason, you can then work to get your cat to meow less.

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How to introduce dogs to a new baby

MaddieDogs are keen observers and will pick up on any tension or anxiety you are feeling during the introduction. First off never leave them unsupervised, and go slow. Stay calm and pay attention to body language. How does your dog act when you get near his food bowl, chew toys and resting area? Pay attention to any sensitivity your dog shows when being approached by people, especially children. How does your dog act when he is handled in uncomfortable ways, including tail tugs and grabbing his feet, mouth and ears. If you have concerns get a professional trainer.

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How do you stop dogs from digging?

DiggingFirst most dogs will dig because it's fun and a way to explore. Never punish your dog after the fact, or stake your dog out next to the hole they've dug. Additionally never fill the hole with water and force them into it. These things will only make the problem worse especially if it was fear or anxiety motivated. If your yard is beginning to look like a minefield with craters everywhere; the first thing to realize is that your dog isn't doing this for spite or to destroy your yard.

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Why are dogs' noses wet?

wetnoseDogs do not sweat like people, and so a wet nose acts as a way for dogs to cool their bodies. Dogs only have sweat glands in their pads of their feet and their noses. Additionally the thin layer of mucous helps dogs smell by absorbing scent chemicals. When they lick their nose they have more special glands in the roof of their mouths which help them smell as well. However an excessive clear discharge can occur with allergies, viral upper respiratory tract infections and extreme temperature changes. Discolored discharges can indicate a bacterial infection, a tumor, a foreign body like a grass seed or even a bleeding disorder. I recommend getting your dog evaluated as soon as possible in this situation. ~ Dr. Cowden

How to clean dogs' ears

Ear-CleaningI recommend cleaning your dogs' ears weekly with a cleaning solution. We sell one here at A Pet's Place animal hospital with my own label that has a sweet pea and vanilla scent. In doing this regularly you will help prevent ear infections because the cleaner dries the ear and leaves an acidic balance in the ear to minimize infection. First you will grasp the ear and elevate it gently. This helps straighten out the transition from vertical and horizontal canals. Then place a small amount of cleaner in the canal.

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Why do dogs chase their tails?

TailchaseTail chasing is a classic fun behavior for many dogs. Being confined to a small cage where movement is restricted and boredom, especially in older dogs; is the most common reason for this behavior. I recall one patient whose tail was injured and we had to remove part of it. This injury caused a neuritis commonly known as phantom pains, and he chased his tail. Grooming has also been known to cause tail chasing and it's theorized that the dog just doesn't recognize it.

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Why do dogs have whiskers?

 

Whiskers

With people the sense of touch is a sense most often associated with the fingers. The dog however, touches the world not just through his paws but also with his whiskers. Whiskers, or vibrissae, are long, coarse hairs on a dog's muzzle, sides of face and above its eyes. The follicles of these hairs are so packed with nerves that they send sensory messages the brain.

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Why do dogs howl?

howling

Generally it is thought that howling is like trying to place a long distance call. Remember in 101 Dalmatians, when the dogs were passing along the signal that the puppies were stolen. Wolves howl to alert of an approaching enemy, or to get a lost member home. Some dogs howl with noises like the ambulance siren. Sometimes they howl because they are stressed and they feel they cannot escape. Sometimes it is a territorial or bonding, and an enforcement of position within the pack. Finally I imagine some dogs do it just because it is fun.

Do dogs dream?

DreamingI feel you know the answer to this one, especially if you've seen them moving their legs and making small vocalizations like they are chasing something. Dreaming begins about 20 minutes after they fall asleep, just like in people. Young puppies and senior dogs tend to be more relaxed and move more in their sleep and thus to dream more than adults. Some dogs can have a nightmare or be touchy and reactive while sleeping. For your safety, honor that adage to "let sleeping dogs lie."

Why do dogs eat grass?

eating grassMost veterinarians would agree that dogs eat grass because of some gastrointestinal symptom. It could be that eating grass will improve their digestion because the increased fiber changes the motility of the food and improves the absorption. It could be that their stomach hurts because they have intestinal parasites, a bacterial infection or are just a little stopped up. It could be to fulfill some unmet micronutritional need, even though they are being fed a balanced diet. It is not always just because they want to throw up -- less than 25% of dogs that eat grass vomit regularly after grazing.

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