Archive for exotic animal health

Client Education Websites and links

Client Education Website

American Veterinary Medical Association
avma.org/public/Pages/default.aspx

Canine Inherited Disorders Database, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada
ic.upei.ca/cidd

Indoor Pet Initiative, The Ohio State University
indoorpet.osu.edu

Partners in Animal health, Cornell University
partnersah.vet.cornell.edu

Pet Health Library, American Animal Hospital Association
aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/default.aspx

Pet Health Network, IDEXX
pethealthnetwork.com

Pet Poison Helpline
petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners

Works and Germs Blog by Scott Weese, DVM, DVSc, DAVCIM
wormsandgermsblog.com

Posted in: Bird, Bird Health, Blog, Dog Health, exotic animal health, Exotic Pet Health, News, Pet Health

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July 4th Safety

July 4th Safety

Fireworks, picnics and other Fourth of July traditions can be great fun for people; but all of the festivities can be frightening and even dangerous for animals. Noisy fireworks and other celebrations can startle animals and cause them to run away; holiday foods can be unhealthy; summer heat and travel can be dangerous; and potentially dangerous debris can end up lying on the ground where pets can eat or play with it.Whether or not you’re planning your own Independence Day celebration, it’s important to take precautions to keep your pets safe both during and after the July 4th festivities.

Preparing in advance:

  • Make sure your pets – cats and dogs alike – have identification tags with up-to-date information. If you have horses, you might consider marking a safety (breakaway) halter with your contact information and leaving it on your horse during this stressful time.
  • If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost.
  • If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date.
  • Take a current photo of all of your cats, dogs and horses – just in case.
  • If your pet has historically been anxious on this holiday, or if you have reason to expect potentially harmful reactions, consider behavioral therapy to desensitize your pet and reduce the risk of problems. Some pets may need medication. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.
  • Make sure the environment is safe and secure. If your neighbors set off fireworks at an unexpected time, is your yard secure enough to keep your pet contained? Are pasture fences secure enough to keep horses or other livestock confined? Evaluate your options, and choose the safest area for your animals; and make improvements if needed to make the area more secure.

Safety during July 4th celebrations:

  • Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
  • Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
  • Keep horses and livestock in safely fenced areas and as far from the excitement and noise as possible.
  • If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.
  • Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.
  • Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewersaway from curious pets.
  • Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.
  • Avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps or other foods intended for people. Be especially careful to keep them away from these common foods that are actually toxic.
  • Remember that too much sun and heat (and humidity!) can be dangerous to pets. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot/humid; make sure they have access to shady spots and plenty of water when outdoors; don’t leave them outside for extended periods in hot weather; and know the signs that a pet may be overheating.
  • Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.
  • If you’re travelling out of town for the holiday, consider leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter or boarding them in a kennel. If you need to bring them with you, be sure you know how to keep them safe.
  • Follow safe food handling and hygiene practices to protect your family and guests.

After the celebrations:

  • Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
  • Check your pastures and remove debris to protect horses and livestock.
  • If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.

Related resources:

Podcast: Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

Posted in: Dog Health, exotic animal health, Exotic Pet Health, News, Pet Health, Westminster Veterinary Group

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How to tell if your turtle is ill

by Lisa Mori

Both terrestrial and aquatic turtles are commonly kept as pets. Providing proper nutrition and appropriate housing for your shelled friend is important to maintaining their health. However, despite your best efforts, your pet may become ill. While there are a variety of conditions that can affect turtles, here are a few common diseases and clinical signs you may see.

Vitamin A deficiency (hypovitaminosis A) is a disease commonly seen as result of an inadequate diet (iceberg lettuce, poor quality commercial diet). A lack of vitamin A causes changes in the epidermis (outer layer of skin) with signs including puffy eyelids with eyes swollen shut, nasal discharge, or tympanic (ear) abscesses.

Shell fractures are common and are frequently due to trauma. Traumatic fractures can occur from dog attack, being run over by a car, stepped on, or dropped. Additionally, fractures or shell deformities can also occur due to an underlying nutritional deficiency.

Egg binding occurs when a female is unable to pass eggs and needs intervention to clear the obstruction. This can occur due to malnutrition, underlying disease, or large egg size. Signs include straining, restlessness, or a profound decrease in energy.

Respiratory tract disease is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection, but also occurs with vitamin A deficiency. Signs include clear to milky white nasal discharge, increased oral secretions (bubbles in mouth), stretching the neck, noisy breathing, and decreased energy or appetite. Since turtles use limb movement to aid in respiration, you may see increased “pumping” movements with each breath. An aquatic turtle may float off-balanced as buoyancy will be affected.

Remember, you don’t have to wait until your turtle becomes sick to see your veterinarian. Just like cats and dogs, yearly wellness exams for turtles can help address husbandry or other issues before they become serious problems!

 

Posted in: Blog, exotic animal health, Exotic Pet Health, Pet Health, turtle, Westminster Veterinary Group

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