Educational Articles

Dogs + Care & Wellness

  • Cats and dogs can become intoxicated by cannabis in various ways, most commonly by eating edibles (e.g., baked goods, candies, chocolate bars, and chips containing cannabis), or by ingesting cannabis directly (in any form). Pets can also be exposed to second-hand smoke. A small amount may affect one pet more than another, so there is no official safe level of exposure. Many of the signs of intoxication are neurological, including disorientation, dilated pupils, and hyperactivity. In severe cases, tremors, seizures, and coma can result. Regardless of the method of exposure, accurate and complete information from the owner is imperative to treat the patient successfully.

  • Modern vaccines are extremely effective and safe. However, it is common for many pets to experience mild side effects following vaccination, similar to those that humans experience. Other less common but more serious side effects can occur within minutes to hours after vaccination. These reactions are considered medical emergencies, and you should seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect your pet is having a more serious reaction.

  • Sometimes, the location of your dog’s wound or the amount of skin lost can prevent surgical closure or bandaging. This handout describes general guidelines for proper care of your dog's open wound at home, though your veterinarian can provide you with specific instructions.

  • The general instructions for incision care are the same for all surgical incisions. There may be some differences, however, depending on the type of surgery and the material used to close the incision. This handout is a guide to caring for your cat's surgical incision(s) at home for optimal recovery.

  • Online shopping for convenience and great prices has quickly become the new normal in today's consumerism society. Although technology may help us be savvy shoppers, it's still good to be cautious about what you purchase online, especially when it comes to your pet's medications.

  • Chocolate is toxic to dogs. While rarely fatal, chocolate ingestion often results in significant illness. Chocolate is toxic because it contains the alkaloid theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and is used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a smooth muscle relaxant.

  • The general condition of your dog's skin and coat are good indicators of its health. A healthy coat should be shiny and smooth, not brittle or coarse, and healthy skin should be supple and clear, not greasy, flaky or bumpy. Selective breeding has led to the development of dogs with a myriad of different coat characteristics requiring varying grooming needs. In order to maintain the skin and hair in a healthy state, your dog also requires a properly balanced diet.

  • Constipation is infrequent or difficult passage of stool or feces and is typically a temporary condition. Though there are many causes of constipation in dogs, most cases are caused by ingestion of irritating or indigestible substances. Constipation is usually diagnosed through a physical examination and medical history. A rectal exam to rule out rectal strictures, tumors, foreign bodies, or other abnormalities may be done. Abdominal radiographs, blood tests, and urinalysis are valuable for a full diagnosis and development of a treatment plan. Biopsies may also be recommended if a rectal mass or stricture is suspected. Most cases of constipation are relatively easy to treat through the use of manual removal, enemas, and medications. The prognosis for constipation is determined by the exact cause.

  • Dogs who are overweight have an increased risk of many health conditions including diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer. Your veterinarian can recommend a weight loss plan include a specific weight loss diet and exercise. This article discusses many tips to discourage begging and help promote healthy weight loss in dogs.

  • Hospitals providing curbside care have restructured their practice to avoid the need for clients to enter the lobby and exam rooms. This is designed to promote physical (social) distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Curbside care offers a number of benefits for you and your pet. By eliminating the need for you to enter the hospital, potential COVID-19 outbreaks are reduced. The veterinary team is protected under a curbside care model, and in turn, so is your pet. Even in curbside care, you will have an opportunity to speak with your veterinarian in order to discuss findings and recommendations. To help the curbside appointment go smoothly, bring a written list of concerns or fill in any forms your practice has sent to you prior to the appointment. Curbside care truly is in the best interests of you and your pet.

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