June 2011 Pet Health News                                                                                   Can't Read This? Go Here
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Hello,

With the arrival of summer, many of us will be spending more time outside with our pets.For our pets that usually means longer walks in the humid afternoons. Keep hydrated and be sure to soak up the sun while it lasts!

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Vet vs. Internet

sick puppy

Nowadays, you can find just about anything on the internet. Whether you need to find a job or a recipe; you can search it on the internet. What about when it comes to looking for help with your pet's health? Many pet owners are beginning to look for help on the internet to save them a costly trip to the vet. Self-medicating your pet can actually lead to serious health problems for your pet. You wouldn’t let your child be self medicated for a long time without result so why let your dog suffer?

Many people put off taking their pets to the vet until it's too late. It is definitely not in your pet's interest to suffer unnecessary pain. Many methods may help your pet's condition; however, receiving help right away is essential. One example would include the case of a dog who had suffered itchy feet for 6 years before receiving proper care. The owners thought it had been allergies so they had given him anti-itch medication but when it wasn't working they finally took him to the vet. It turns out the dog had a carpet of yeast and staph on his feet and within 48 hours of being prescribed proper pet medication, his condition improved. Asking another pet owner who had/has the same health issue with their pet is common but this should not be your only attempt to help cure your pet.

Although the internet can expand our knowledge of pet health and other issues, it should not be your only source of information when it comes to your pet’s health. If your pet is taking any medication, such as over-the-counter meds or herbal medications, it should be supervised or recommended by your veterinarian. Accidental pet poisoning from medications has become a common issue. Self medicating pets can cause problems from damage to blood cells to liver problems. If costly medication is what you are worried about, talk to your veterinarian about generic medication for pets or get pet medication online. There is always a way to save money but when it comes to your pet; their health should be the first thing in mind.

Don't be afraid to call your veterinarian when your pet isn't acting normal. Ask the: who, what where, when, why, and how questions. When you are prescribed medication for your pet, it is good to ask about reactions, dosages, check-ups, interactions with other meds, and anything else that might come up. When your dogs health is at risk, don't wait till the last minute to get them help!

The Great Outdoors

cute puppies

When heading outside on a sunny day most of us remember to protect ourselves against the sun. While ten minutes of unprotected sunlight is recommended for all of us, we know the risks of prolonged unprotected sun exposure. Sunburns, sun spots, and even skin cancer are just some of the potential consequences of unprotected exposure. What most people don’t know is that our pets can also suffer from being in the sun for too long.

Pets are prone to sunburns, especially if they have short and/or light coloured fur. Moreover, areas most susceptible to sun burn include places where fur is sparser such as the tips of the nose, ears, groin and the underbelly. It is common for pets to enjoy the sunlight by lying on their backs, exposing their bellies to the sun. Although enjoyable and endearing, this practice also increases the risk of a sun burn occurring on the abdomen. A sun burn is not the only consequence of sun exposure. Pets can also become afflicted with skin cancer, and autoimmune skin conditions. Sunlight can also cause the immune system to promote hair loss. If your pet has experienced hair loss due to pet skin allergies or hormone problems, he or she is more likely to have sunburns.

What to do to keep your pets safe? There are a number of tips you can follow to keep your pets safe:

Sunscreen: Finding a non-toxic sunscreen for your pet can be tough. Some ingredients to watch out for include zinc oxide for dogs, and octyl salicylate, homosalate, and ethylnexl salicylate for cats. These ingredients found in most sunscreens can be toxic to pets. The only FDA approved sunscreen for dogs is the Epi-Sun Protector. It is not recommended for cats as one of the ingredients breaks down to aspirin, which is highly toxic to felines. Some experts recommend using baby sunscreens on pets as these lotions contain less harmful ingredients. It is important to be aware of the ingredients in the sunscreens you apply on your pets as pets often lick themselves thus ingesting the sunscreen. Before you use sunscreen on your pets, it is strongly advised you talk to your veterinarian first to prevent any adverse effects. Be sure to apply sunscreen liberally on the nose, tips of the ears, abdomen, groin, and any other area where there is less fur.

Clothing: If your pet received a trim for the summer, you can also let your pet wear a t-shirt when playing outside. Clothing plays the same role against sun damage in pets as in humans. You can also invest in sun protective clothing which is specially designed for pets.

Staying Indoors: Humans and pets are recommended to remain indoors when the sun is at its peak; usually around 10 am to 3 pm. Try planning outdoor activities earlier in the morning or later in the evening.

Shade: If your pet spends most of his or her time outside, be sure to supply shade and water. These measures will help prevent heatstroke in dogs and cats.