People living in Florida, especially along the coastal areas, usually have a list of things to do and protect during hurricane season. Most important is the contents of a hurricane kit, but equally important is to prepare early for protecting your pets.
“A good practice is to start with,” said Dr. Adney at Day and Evening Pet Hospital, “is by calling our veterinarian clinic to make sure that your dogs’ and cats’ vaccines are up to date. Also, in case of an evacuation order, having a plan for boarding pets that you cannot take with you is essential. We can recommend such a place, as most emergency shelters will not accept pets.”
If an evacuation is called for, never leave your pet at home or in a vehicle alone. Even thunderstorms can traumatize your pet, and the risks of flooding, wind damage, and flying debris can threaten your pets. Like humans, your pets need their own storm preparedness kits. This can include:
1 – A comfortable carrier that will allow your pet to stand up, turn around and lay down for extended periods of time. Mark the carrier with your pet’s name and your contact information. Make sure the carrier is large enough so that being confined to the carrier for a few days is not too uncomfortable for your pet.
2 – A blanket or bed for the bottom of the carrier that is not so thick that it restricts air flow through the vents in the carrier..
3 – Medical records, medicines and other emergency supplies. For more information on this see our article on Handling Pet Emergencies.
4 – Food and water to last several days or a couple of weeks, stored in airtight containers. And dishes for both the food and water. Plastic milkl jugs that have been washed well are perfect for carrying water for your pet, and are easy to mark with your pet’s name.
5 – Collars, leashes and harnesses tagged with your pet’s name and your contact information.
6 – A microchip locator on each pet. We do inexpensive and painless insertions of a microchip at our pet clinic in Palm Harbor, and we are offering a special price for this at our clinic for the next several weeks. Call us at 727-785-7200 for pricing and mention you saw this article on our website blog on the internet.
7 – A favorite toy or chew bone to make your pet feel more at home in their carrier.
8 – A list of hotels/motels that you have called ahead of time to see if they accept pets in carriers in the rooms with hotel guests. Many of the privately owned hotels may make allowances for storm evacuation emergencies if you have a carrier that can confine your pet while in the guest room.
We can’t stop Mother Nature, but we can prepare for her worst by getting ready ahead of time, so when a violent storm does occur we are prepared to handle it and keep ourselves and our pets out of harm’s way. Having your hurricane kit as well as one for each pet will help keep trauma to a minimum and better ensure everyone’s safety.
“Many pets suffer from ear problems”, said Dr. Al Paredes, Veterinarian at Day And Evening Pet Clinic. The most common problems include ear tissue infection, ear mites, and chronic ear infections from a lack of regular cleaning.
Signs of Pet Ear Diseases
“The signs of ear diseases are easy to spot,” said Dr. Paredes. “If your pet’s ears have a bad odor, if they are scratching or rubbing their ears, shaking their head or tilting it to one side, check the ears for signs of discharge, swelling or redness in the ear canal, or painful areas around their ears.”
The Causes of Pet Ear Problems
Parasites are a common problem, but ear mites are generally seen in cats who will scratch at their ears. Mites are not generally seen in dogs’ ears.
Both dogs and cats can have problems due to allergies from something they inhaled, ate or touched. Allergies create changes inside the ear and we often see secondary infections in the ear caused by the initial allergy.
Yeast and bacteria can also cause infection, and they are often seen along with allergies, hormonal changes, or moisture in the ears. Ear cleaning alone may not take care of these, so a good antibiotic is sometimes recommended.
General ear cleaning on a regular basis can keep ear problems at bay. Have your pet’s ears checked when they are at the vet clinic for an exam, and ask us about ear cleaning solutions for your dog or cat to keep their ear problems to a minimum.
“A cat spraying problem is not typically a litter box issue,” says veterinarian Dr. Al Paredes. “Rather, it is usually a marking behavior which is a dominant nonverbal communication among cats.” Spraying [urine marking] can signal several different things; commonly to attract a mate or mark territories and boundaries. A cat’s urine contains pheromones, a substance produced by animals that is used for communication and identifies the cat.
While neutered male cats might spray when aroused, intact males have the greatest motivation to mark because of their mating and territorial agendas.
Intact female cats that are in heat can spray to signal potential mates, but they urine-mark more commonly from the squatting position.
Cats do not spray or mark things to irritate their owners. Cat spraying is instinctive genetic behavior that has helped cats survive and reproduce in the wild, and it cannot be bred out of domestic cats.
Many times, adjustments can be made in the home that can solve the problem, especially if you can recognize the purpose that the cat is spraying for – attracting a mate, marking a territory. If your cat is frequently and consistently spraying, here are some things that you can do:
Get an Exam from your veterinarian to eliminate the possibility of a medical problem.
Spay and Neuter – Talk with your vet about the advantages to you and about the health advantages to your cat. Many time the operation will stop the spraying behavior.
Eliminate the Cause If It Is Stress – If your pet is in a situation that puts it in conflict with other cats, or causes separation anxiety, attempt to identify and eliminate the cause of the stress to control the spraying behavior.
Clean up the spray marks – There are specially designed products available that neutralize the odor of the animals urine and clean off the stains. Avoid using household products that contain or smell like ammonia as the smell of ammonia simulates the smell of urine and can cause the cat to remark that same spot.
Use Pheromonal Sprays: They contain substances which discourage spraying behavior when it is applied to the areas the pet has sprayed.
Litter Boxes – Have an adequate number of litter boxes around the home and keep them clean
Restrict the view of other cats outside: It is natural response is to mark its territory when your cat sees another cat. If you can cover up the view of the outdoor area where other cats frequently can be seen by covering windows with blinds or shades and moving furniture away from the window to deny easy access to the view it can help cut down on the spraying behavior.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Cats can suffer from medical conditions that make them urinate outside the litter box. These medical conditions can be life threatening, so if you encounter this problem, call us at 727-785-7200 and bring your cat Day And Evening Pet Clinic right away to get an exam. Better to know for sure that it is just a typical cat spraying problem, especially when your beloved cat’s health is at stake.
Pet health care tip. The holidays are here, and festive Christmas tinsel, ribbons and strings of lights are up, or going up, in homes across the city. What do these items have in common?
“To your dogs and cats, these things are toys, and your pets don’t know that they are dangerous,” said Dr. Al Paredes, veterinarian at Day and Evening Pet Clinic in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Ingesting tinsel and ribbon can cause choking, and a string of lights that is plugged in can cause electrocution if your pet chews on them, and is a choking hazard as well with small plastic holders and light bulbs on the wires.
Likewise, ornaments of glass, metal, plastic, or paper with glitter or paint can be toxic, even deadly, if chewed and swallowed, and choking can occur on small sharp edged pieces.
Don’t tie ribbons around dog or cat treats and leave them under the tree. They will be found easily by your pet, and the ribbon and packaging can cause choking. Also, don’t hang Christmas stockings within reach of your pets. The things inside those stockings, like chocolate or candies containing Xylitol artificial sweeteners can be toxic to your pets, and the small gifts inside the stocking can be a choking or poison hazard to both dogs and cats.
Take precautions to watch your pet when they are around areas where decorations and gifts tied with ribbon can be easily reached. We want your holiday, and your pet’s holiday to be joyous and happy. Keep them in an area where they cannot get to the decorations and gifts when you are away from home or not able to watch out for them when you are busy.
If you suspect that your dog or cat has ingested something that can harm it, call us at Day And Evening Pet Clinic at 727-785-7200 and bring your pet in right away for an examination. We are here to help you when you need us.
Happy Holidays to you all,
Dr. Al Paredes & Staff
Your pet can suffer from eye problems just like humans do. At the first sign of a problem it is important to have a veterinarian check your pet’s eyes right away. This can prevent more serious complications.
Common problems include red eye, cataracts, glaucoma, eye tumors, inflammation, defects of the eyelids, discharge, retinal degeneration and other problems.
Red Eye – Both cats and dogs can get red eye. This is when the blood vessels of the conjunctiva (the pink lining of the eyeball and eyelids), sclera (white covering of the eye), or cornea (clear surface of the eye) become enlarged or more numerous. It may also happen when the structures inside the eye become inflamed, with glaucoma (high pressure within the eye) or with other diseases of the eye socket. Irritation from allergies or infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi can also cause red eyes in pets.. Either one or both eyes can become red, depending upon what is causing the problem. It is important to keep your pets eyes clean, and to eliminate the cause with appropriate medication.
Cherry Eye – Unlike people, dogs and cats have a ‘third eyelid’ that contains a tear gland and is located in the corner of each eye. Normally this gland is not visible and it helps in the production of tears. This gland can “prolapse” or come out of its normal position and get swollen creating the condition. Cherry eye is not a common occurrence with cats.
Dry Eyes – This term is used describe a condition of decreased tear production. The term technically means “inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva from drying.” When the watery part of the tears is not produced in adequate amounts, the eye becomes inflamed, leading scarring and pigmentation of the cornea and can lead to decreased vision.
Ocular (Eye) Discharge – Ocular discharge is a common symptom of eye disease. Discharge may develop suddenly or gradually. The discharge may appear to be watery, mucus-like, or bloody. The amount of discharge is a good indication of how serious the disease is.
If you notice anything irregular occurring with your pets’ eyes you should call us right away at 727-785-7200 and plan to bring them in to the clinic and get it checked out immediately. Your pet is a s dependent on their vision as we humans are, and they are dependent on you to notice something is wrong. There are scientifically formulated products to keep you pets’ eyes clean