Your pet is a part of your family and you naturally want to include her in the holiday festivities, including giving her a new toy as a gift. At McCulloch County Veterinary Hospital, we urge you to consider the following factors when choosing a present for your pet:
• Your pet’s size is a big consideration when it comes to giving him chewable toys. A small rubber ball may be fine for a poodle, but a large breed dog might choke on it.
• Stiches, plastic eyes, ribbons, and ties attached to toys can quickly become a choking hazard if your dog or cat is able to get the item loose. Be sure to remove these items before giving your pet the toy to ensure her safety.
• Your pet should understand the difference between his toys and items that belong to other people in the household. One way to teach him what is safe to play with is to give him plenty of positive reinforcement when he reaches for his own toy. Pet-proof your home as much as possible so he doesn’t have access to children’s toys, TV remotes, office supplies, and other things that could hurt him if ingested. Be sure to take away items that aren’t his immediately if he does get into them.
• If you choose to give a stuffed toy, make certain that you know what is inside of it. Stuffing material and beads could both present a choking hazard if your pet rips the toy apart. It’s best to supervise your pet with any new toy until you know how she will interact with it.
Shop at Our Online Store to Guarantee Toy Safety
McCulloch County Veterinary Hospital makes it easy for you to complete your holiday shopping for your pet by ordering your gifts from My Vet Store Online. Our Internet store offers several categories of products, including treats and toys. At this busy time of year, it’s one less trip you have to make to a crowded pet store or mall.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs and cats, particularly when the animal is over age 10. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 50 percent of senior dogs and 33 percent of senior cats die of some type of cancer. No matter what the age of the pet, a cancer diagnosis often comes as a complete shock to his owner. That is because dogs and cats are good at hiding their symptoms and don't have the ability to verbalize that something is wrong.
As a concerned pet owner, it's up to you to know the signs of cancer so you can seek immediate treatment if your pet displays any of them. While having some of these symptoms doesn't necessarily mean your pet has a tumor, it's always best to have them checked out at McCulloch County Veterinary Hospital.
• Abnormal swelling on any part of the body
• Labored breathing
• Difficulty eliminating as usual
• Loss of appetite and/or weight loss
• Inability to chew or swallow food
• Unusual body odors
• Non-healing sores
• Bleeding from any bodily opening
• Walking with a stiff gait
• Not as active as usual and tires easily
While dogs get cancer more often, the disease tends to be more aggressive in cats. Early diagnosis and treatment affords your pet the best chance at sending the cancer into remission.
The Top Five Locations for Cancer in Pets
Skin, mammary gland, head and neck, lymphoma, and testicular cancer are the top five types diagnosed in dogs and cats. With mammary gland cancer, 85 percent of tumors are diagnosed as malignant. However, getting your pet spayed before age one greatly reduces the chances of her developing it. The same is true of testicular cancer, which is common in dogs but rare in cats.
Preventive Care Catches Tumors Early
Your pet doesn't always display symptoms when she has developed cancer. This is one reason that regular veterinary check-ups are so important. We encourage you to visit Dr. Pace at least once per year for a wellness exam in addition to scheduling an immediate appointment if you notice any of the above symptoms.
October is National Pet Wellness Month. This purpose of this awareness campaign is to help pet owners understand the importance of preventive care. Visiting McCulloch County Veterinary Hospital once a year when your pet is not sick or injured gives Dr. Pace the opportunity to check for unknown health issues, follow-up on previous treatment plans, and monitor her weight, growth, and behavior. We recommend bi-annual preventive care exams for senior pets due to their changing health needs. If you have a puppy or kitten, Dr. Pace will discuss the preferred vaccine and exam schedule at her first appointment.
How You Can Promote Wellness at Home
Here are several things you can do to promote health and longevity in your pet in addition to regular veterinary care:
• Feed him nutritious food specific to his species and avoid sharing food meant for humans. Train him not to beg for food and don't give in when he gives you sad eyes. Treats are fine as long as you give them in moderation. Manage your pet's weight by making sure that he gets daily exercise and feeding him a set amount at certain times during the day.
• Care for her oral health needs by brushing her teeth regularly and scheduling a dental cleaning and exam as part of her annual check-up.
• Spay or neuter your pet by six months of age. Not only does this prevent unwanted litters of puppies or kittens, altering a pet helps to decrease uterine and prostate cancer as well as aggressive mating behavior.
We Look Forward to Your Visit
Dr. Pace and the entire staff of McCulloch County Veterinary Hospital look forward to seeing you and your pet at her next annual preventive care exam. Together, we can ensure that your pet remains your faithful companion for years to come.