“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.
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
Pets can contract and carry parasites during any time of the year, and those parasites can infect your entire family.
There are two types of parasites: Internal parasites, such as worms, live inside your pet year round; External parasites, such as fleas and ticks, can survive the winter months by living inside your home.
You and your veterinarian can prevent the spread of parasites with some simple remedies:
1 – Practice good personal hygiene
2 – Dispose of pet feces on a regular basis
3 – Minimize exposure to high pet traffic areas
4 – Avoid contact between pets and wildlife, and
5 – Visit your veterinarian on a regular basis, and use preventative treatments available at the pet clinic.
Pets are a prime target for parasites because they are the perfect living environment. Your pets’ blood, sweat, and tears are lunch for parasites. Warm furry bodies can serve as a protective home for parasites and can act as a transfer point to another host.
Internal Pet Parasites – Tapeworms, Hookworms, Whipworms, and Roundworms
Almost all kittens and puppies have some type of internal parasite that can affect their ability to absorb nutrients. Unless they are treated promptly, the parasites may damage the lining of the intestinal tract. Tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms are the most common internal parasites.
Tapeworms can get transferred onto your pet through fleas or by eating infected rodents. If you notice your pet constantly licking their anal area, then visually inspect the area and your pet’s stool for bits of tapeworm, which look like rice.
Whipworms live in the large intestine and cause dark diarrhea. If you notice blood in your pet’s stool, collect a sample to take into your veterinarian, because the worms and eggs are only visible by microscope.
Hookworms attach themselves to your pet’s intestinal lining, causing bloody or dark diarrhea.
Roundworms live in the small intestine and can cause vomiting and elements that resemble strands of spaghetti in your pet’s stool. They are easily transmitted to humans, especially children, and can cause serious human health problems, including blindness. Be aware that you or your children may be gardening or playing in an area where a pet with roundworms has chosen as its litter box, making you susceptible to getting roundworms.
It’s a good practice to collect a stool sample each year from your pets and to take your pet to your veterinarian to make sure that he is worm free. Most heartworm medicines available from your vet contain a preventative for whipworm, roundworm, and hookworm, so be sure to follow the recommended dosages.
External Pet Parasites – Fleas, Ticks and Mites
The most common parasites having a celebration party, compliments of your pet, are fleas, ticks and mites. These parasites either live on or burrow into your pets’ skin.
Fleas are really troublesome. They can not only infest your pet, but they can invade and take over your home. Fleas are pretty easy to spot in your pets’ fur and you can easily notice your pets’ scratching as a sign of their discomfort.
If your dog or cat’s skin becomes red and inflames, it could be a sign that your pet is allergic to fleas’ saliva. Cats can become infected very easily because they swallow about half of the fleas on their coats when they groom themselves.
Have you ever thought about trying an old fashioned flea dip? Don’t do it! Those dips can be highly toxic and can cause some severe side effects like seizures, coma, fever, vomiting, and possibly death. Instead, you can easily apply a small amount of a prevention product to your pet’s skin that will kill fleas and keep the adults from laying eggs. Ask us to suggest safe, effective products for your pets, and ask about any specials we have on those products when you visit.
Ticks are another common parasite, especially during the summer. Ticks can be found in almost any climate and they are always looking for a free ride on your pets. They are likely to be around in grassy, damp or wooded areas just waiting to attach themselves to your pets. Tick bites can cause a variety of reactions in your pet including irritation, skin damage, hypersensitivity and even anemia.
Tick bites can also transfer diseases to your pet: the common ones are Lyme disease, tick-borne fever, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If left untreated, these diseases can cause severe health problems and can also prove to be fatal. Ask us about the common symptoms of these diseases and if your pet is exhibiting any of them, bring them in right away.
The best tick prevention is to check your pet’s skin and fur after spending time outdoors in areas that ticks prefer. Did you know that removing a tick the wrong way can hurt your furry friend. Don’t try to burn it off; you could set your pets’ fur on fire. Instead try loosening the tick’s grip by soaking a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and rubbing around the tick. Then use tweezers to grab the tick as close to the head as possible and slowly pull it out. Don’t flush live ticks down the toilet; they can crawl back out. Kill the ticks first before flushing them. The easiest way to kill a tick is to place it in a sealed jar containing alcohol.
Mites are another parasite to keep an eye out for. As a pet owner you are probably familiar with ear mites. If you notice your pet scratching their ear intensely or biting themselves, or a brown or black crust on the outer ear, then your pet could have ear mites.
Another type of mite called scabies burrows into your pet’s skin and lays their eggs. Once the eggs hatch the larvae feed off your pet and behind a secretion that causes severe itching and is highly contagious. That means it is time for a trip to your friendly vet to get that handled fast before infection sets in. Mites are best treated by your veterinarian rather than trying an at-home remedy or an over-the-counter medicine that may not be effective.
Prevention and Treatment of Pet Parasites
Pay close attention to your pet and if you notice any unusual behaviors such as passing diarrhea, vomiting, scratching their ears, scraping their bottom on the carpet, not eating or just not being themselves, it is a sign that something is wrong that deserves a visit to the vet. If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, give Dr. Al Paredes a call at Day and Evening Pet Clinic 727-785-7200 to see if we can help. A few preventive measures against pet parasites can insure that your pet and family remain healthy and happy.
Hurricane season is right around the corner. Dr. Adney wants to know, “Are your pets microchipped?” Call us today at 727-785-7200 for more information on this quick and simple permanent form of identification for dogs and cats!
Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared.
Step 1 Get a Pets Rescue Alert Sticker
This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers, and that it includes 1) the types and number of pets in your household; 2) the name of your veterinarian; and 3) your veterinarian’s phone number. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers.
To get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home, please fill out the ASPCA online order form ; please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Your local pet supply store may also sell similar stickers.
Step 2 Arrange a Safe Haven
Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all Red Cross disaster shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:
- Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities.
- Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
- Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
- Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.
Step 3 Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits
Keep an Evac-Pack and supplies handy for your pets. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is. This kit should be clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your pack include:
- Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include, or visit the ASPCA Store to buy one online)
- 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
- Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
- Litter or paper toweling
- Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
- Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
- Pet feeding dishes
- Extra harness and leash (Note: harnesses are recommended for safety and security)
- Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless.)
- Bottled water, at least 7 days’ worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
- A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
- Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
- Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
- Especially for cats: Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter
- Especially for dogs: Long leash and yard stake, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner.
You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.
Step 4 Choose “Designated Caregivers”
This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be someone who is generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility.
When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet and have successfully cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet.
Step 5 Evacuation Preparation
If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. If you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:
- Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible.
- Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
- The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by scanner at most animal shelters.
- Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.
- Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of disaster.
Step 6 Geographic and Climatic Considerations
Do you live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods? If so, you should plan accordingly.
- Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens. These rooms should be clear of hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
- Choose easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms, and basements as safe zones.
- Access to a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crises.
- In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.
If emergency officials recommend that you stay in your home, it’s crucial that you keep your pets with you. Keep your Evac-Pack and supplies close at hand. Your pets may become stressed during the in-house confinement, so you may consider crating them for safety and comfort.
Special Considerations for Birds
- Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier.
- In cold weather, make certain you have a blanket over your pet’s cage. This may also help reduce the stress of traveling.
- In warm weather, carry a spray bottle to periodically moisten your bird’s feathers.
- Have recent photos available, and keep your bird’s leg bands on for identification.
- If the carrier does not have a perch, line it with paper towels that you can change frequently.
- Keep the carrier in as quiet an area as possible.
- It is particularly imperative that birds eat on a daily basis, so purchase a timed feeder. If you need to leave your bird unexpectedly, the feeder will ensure his daily feeding schedule.
- Items to keep on hand: Catch net, heavy towel, blanket or sheet to cover cage, cage liner.
Special Considerations for Reptiles
- A snake may be transported in a pillowcase, but you should have permanent and secure housing for him when you reach a safe place.
- Take a sturdy bowl that is large for your pet to soak in. It’s also a good idea to bring along a heating pad or other warming device, such as a hot water bottle.
- Lizards can be transported like birds (see above).
Special Considerations for Small Animals
- Small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice and guinea pigs, should be transported in secure carriers with bedding materials, food and food bowls.
- Items to keep on hand: Salt lick, extra water bottle, small hidebox or tube, a week’s worth of bedding.