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21/Oct/2018

It’s important to make sure that you get the right recovery set-up for your cat at home. It’s hard for your cat, too, you know? If you’re a cat owner, then you don’t have a lot to worry about. Most felines would probably only need neutering and spaying for their surgery. But, sometimes, you get unlucky, and your pets need surgery for health complications. In fact, the most common surgeries that are being done on felines other than the spaying and neutering are removal of skin mass and various lumps.

Regardless of what kind of surgery your cat gets, it’s important to prepare a post-op environment for her fast recovery. In this article, we will explore some of the ways that you can take care of your pet after surgery. We will list down some of the ways that you can restrict the movement of your cat for better recovery. We will list down some of the ways that coping with a recovering pet would be less stressful on your part.

  1. Talk to your vet

You should make sure that you understand all the instructions from your doctor. Any pre-surgical requirements from your doctor should be followed. Some of these requirements include restriction on food and taking them away from the felines before surgery. You should also ask your doctor for what the recovery would be like. Setting your expectations straight would lessen your stress.

You should also ask your doctor if you need to put your pet in the vet hospital first. Most of the doctors today send the felines home, but some of them would ask that the cats stay for the night first. You should also not forget to ask your vet about how to give the medication to the cats. Let the vet indicate the date, the times and other important information on how to give the antibiotics to your cat. You should put that list on a piece of paper for easier recall. You should remind yourself of that when you get home. Don’t ever forget that.

  1. Financial Plan

Never underestimate the costs of your vet. They could be a lot. You could get a sticker shock for the amount you’re about to pay for the post-surgery needs. Arrange a good plan with your vet, so you don’t get surprised of the bill. Before you get surgery, you can also ask your vet about the entire total cost. It’s advantageous if you have an insurance for your pet.

  1. Quiet Place

Provide a safe and quiet place for your cat. Your cat may still be a bit nauseated after the surgery. Putting your feline in a room that won’t wake it up will be healthy and increase its recovery rate. Don’t give the entire house for her to enjoy. She may hit its stitches and ruin it. It would also help to put a blanket over your pet. Putting the cat litter near to where she sleeps would also be a help.

  1. Keeping an eye on stitches

You should be able to watch over your feline all the time. Make sure that you don’t let her touch the incision. Find a way that your cat won’t chew out the stitches. Although licking is a good way to heal naturally, you should call the cat out if the scratching proves to be too much. If you think that the scratching is too abrasive for the stitches, you may need to put an Elizabethan collar, which is also known as the Dunce Cone.

Summary and Conclusion

With this article, you learned some of the easy ways that you could promote faster healing for your pet after surgery. We hope you found great value in the article! Should you have any questions, just call us at UVC – 203 957-3375.


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21/Oct/2018

Are you worried that your dog won’t be able to recover that well? Are you hesitant to get your dog into surgery because your dog might not be able to recover? You’re not alone. Many dog owners face the same dread. They fear the first day of the operation, and they dread the days that will follow for complete recovery. In this article, we will attempt to list down some of the tips and ways to help your dog recover after a long operation. Let’s start.

  1. Consider the basics

The first set of recovery tips you should learn would involve following the instructions the vet told you. Help the dog follow them. You should watch out for ways when they deviate from it. The list that your vet will tell you might be long. Make sure you remember all of them. You should watch out for your puppy’s attempt to play and ruin the surgery. If you see your dog chewing wallpaper and it’s not allowed, make sure you call the dog out.

  1. Put the puppy in a crate

Isolating your dog from constant movement from the other dogs would help. Building a crate for your dog could help them recover quickly.

  1. Do Obedience Commands

Try to make sure you master the basic commands. When you say “Sit” and “Look” to your dog, that means they’re less likely to tear the stitches in their surgery.

  1. Dog-safe areas

Build areas that are safe for dogs to run to. An excellent way to protect the dogs from ruining their stitches is by creating a dog pen. Building stair gates could also help.

  1. Poop on Leash

You should also learn how to teach your pup how to poop on a leash. That’s one right way to secure the surgery stitches. Remember that all the time. This is important mainly if your dog’s surgery was orthopedic.

  1. Schedule it right

When your dog’s surgery is before a party, you’re in trouble. Your dog won’t be able to enjoy it. You won’t be able to enjoy the party! What you need is a peaceful, quiet place when your dog is recuperating. Put the dog in a silent place during recovery, and having a party after surgery would just make it worse.

  1. Painkillers

    If you’re worried that your dog feels too much pain, ask the doctor for painkillers. It would be of great help for the dogs. Just remember that your pup would be feeling miserable after the painkiller’s effect fades. Expect for a sudden behavior change.

  2. You should also consider getting intradermal sutures.

    The good thing about this type of stitches is because it’s under the surface. If you do it like this, you’d have no sutures that could get your dog to unstitch. No more worries about sutures being chewed.

  3. Consider the Elizabethan Collar

    Your dog’s teeth could be filled with dirt and germs. Getting them away from the stitches would be a great way to recuperate. When you put the Elizabethan Collar on your dog, you protect it from further infection on your stitches.

  4. Neck Braces.

    You can also improve the recovery of your pup if you use neck braces. It will also be an excellent alternative to use an inflatable neck brace if you don’t like to see your dog walking around with a giant collar. It’s also best to use this inflatable braces to prevent the dog from licking their sutures.

 

Summary and Conclusion

In this article, you learned some of the common diseases that dogs have. We hope that you can use this guide when you get your dog to a complete health check-up.


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21/Oct/2018

It is unfortunate when you lose your beloved pet dog or cat because it somehow got loose and ran away from home. It is not easy to print ads and paste them all over hoping for strangers to contact you in case they have seen your pet. It is also not easy to spend an entire day going around looking for your pet only to come home empty-handed. No, it is not easy for any pet lover at all.

The microchip is not only implanted in dogs or cats. They are also implanted in cattle and farm animals like horses, goats, sheep and even birds.

A study in animal shelters have shown that a lot of pets do get separated from their owners. Although dogs have the instinct on returning home with or without the microchip, there are some that still does not. For cats, there is a lesser chance of them returning home when they do not have chips.

There is a good thing about this century and age of technology. Many veterinary institutions have recently created a kind of microchip that would be helpful for the pet and its owner and have introduced them to animal shelters, animal control officers and veterinarians as well. These microchips are mini electronic gadgets that are implanted inside your pet’s skin. This invention would be a great aid for owners to be reunited with their beloved feline or canine friends.

Countries like the United States, Australia, Northern Ireland, and Israel require the use of microchips especially in dogs since these countries widely keep dogs.

I’m pretty sure us pet lovers do not want to lose our furry companion. So, why not use microchips to easy locate them when they do get loose?

What are Pet Microchips?

To understand microchips better, they are actually implanted inside your pet. It is about the size of a grain of rice. These chips carry data that would send out radiofrequencies when scanned over. This would then display back a special identification number. This special identification number would then be cross-referenced to a database and would link it to the owner.

The chip is usually implanted in such a way that it would not hurt your pet. It is implanted during the administration of vaccine or other relevant shots at the vet or at the shelter. It is usually embedded inside the loose skin of your pet between the shoulder blades. This ensures that the chip does not fall off, removed, and will last during your pet’s lifetime since it is lodged inside your pet’s body.

What are the issues encountered in microchips?

Unfortunately, there are chances that these microchips may not be a 100% effective. While many pet owners have been able to locate their pets, others may not be so lucky. For the chips to be effective, it should be detected by the scanner. The identification number must be linked to the owner’s details.

The standard microchips that were first introduced in the United States only transmitted frequencies using 125-kilohertz (kHz) to 128-kilohertz. As a result, some microchip companies cannot read info from a different company. Other problems would include losing your pet when you bring them to a different country. International companies may or may not have created these gadgets yet. Even if they did, the frequencies transmitted in the microchips in the respective country may not be able to read the chip once it is scanned. International countries chip frequencies use 134.2 kHz so this may pose a problem for pet owners as well.

Often, the microchips may be difficult to detect because of factors like them lodged near the metal collar around your pet’s neck, or that the scanner may be used. Matted hair and excess body fat can also be a factor that the chip may fail.

Another factor that the chip would render ineffective is that when the owner fails to follow the registration requirements, or incorrect information that are submitted by the owner. When the owner also fails to update their details, the microchip still be useless. As it only displays a number during scanning, the number should then match the owner’s details inside the database.

Microchips Today

The invention of these microchips is actually still a work in progress because of the several lawsuits that were filed due to negligence in the part of the chip company and the pet owner. Many veterinary institutions are still putting these microchips undergo experimentations. Recently, the standard of frequencies that are now used is the 134.2 kHz to comply with the International Standard Organization. Right now, many companies are complying with that standard.

Unfortunately, while companies are adapting that radiofrequency, there are animal shelters that have not adapted to the standard. As a result, one case in a shelter had to euthanize a dog because the scanner couldn’t find and read the chip lodged inside.

Solutions to Microchip Problems

Getting these microchips to work is actually very simple even with its resounding issues. The owner needs to be proactive. The owner needs to reach out to the company and verify if all the details are accurate and mdern. It is also necessary to check in with your vet to ensure that the chip is still working and up to date. Another factor to consider for pet owners is to be wary of the frequencies used in the microchip in their pets. In the event that the owner should travel out of the country and your pet has a 125-kHz or 128-kHz chip, make sure that owners bring their own portable scanner to avoid not being able to detect your lost pet.

It’s all just a matter of also being responsible pet owners to avoid unforeseen circumstances when it comes to your pets. Again, we don’t want to feel the burden of losing our pets and not know where it has gone in the long run.

If you need a microchip for your pet in CT, contact us at United Veterinary Center – 203 957-3375!


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21/Oct/2018

There are many issues that might cause a problem when you’re dealing with rabbits. In fact, there are diseases that you could get from a bunny. You can prevent these conditions by knowing the signs of an unwell animal. With a good guide, you’d be able to tell that the rabbit you’re dealing with is problematic. Of course, it’s nice to deal with domesticated rabbits as pets but never forget the issues.

Is Your Bunny Healthy?

You should not forget that these domesticated pets are close relatives to those rodents you see in the wild. That means they can be prone to various diseases. In this article, we will list down some of the ways and tips that you can do to check if your pet is healthy to play with. Let’s start.

  1. The first thing to do to make sure that your pet bunny is healthy is to get it vaccinated. There are free vaccinations you can get today from your state’s pet centers. Volunteer groups are also everywhere that can help you in this. Just look around. Getting the bunny vaccinated could also help you avoid future problems. Diseases may complicate. When you vaccinate, you get the preventable ones out of the way.
  2. Some of the common issues that can be seen in rabbits include uterine infections, snuffles, abnormal teeth structure and hairballs. If you’re worried about overgrown teeth, you should know that they’re not a cause of worry as people would like you to believe. They’re just aesthetics. They’re not harmful to you, but could be painful to the rodents. The best way to prevent this is to improve their diet. Make sure you let your bunny eat a lot of fiber. Also, add a lot of leafy greens into their diet. Limiting the pellet food they eat and other hard treats may also improve the condition.
    If your pet is already suffering from overgrown teeth,  don’t fret. There is a general anesthesia that could fix it. In fact, it’s the only available treatment right now that can help remedy the rabbit’s issue.
  3. Snuffles or what is technically called Pasteurellosis is characterized by a bacteria that affects the eyes and nose, which gets the rabbit to emit a specific abnormal discharge. You should get this issue addressed immediately because it can transfer to other rabbits quickly. Uterine infections could also worsen with this issue at hand.You should also remember that even after treatment, there remains a strain of the disease in the rodent’s nasal tract. This usually happens when there are sudden changes in the diet of the bunny, or it is under severe stress. One good way to prevent your pet rom experiencing this is to make sure that they’re not overcrowded in a cage. Doing so adds a level of stress to them that worsens the condition. You may also like to consider putting the rabbit into quarantine. Letting them rest and recover in a quiet environment is a great booster. The pet recovers faster.
  4. Hairballs are another common rabbit disease that is usually occurring in the rabbit’s stomach. This usually happens after the bunnies self-groom. Because they cannot do a vomiting reflex to get rid of the hair, all the balls are accumulated in their stomach. What happens is that there will be an obstruction in the stomach and causes various complications. These hairballs are so ubiquitous among rabbits that every owner should concern themselves with it. When a pet is not eating well and is not moving about, the condition is even worse.To prevent hairballs, it’s good to address the issue of the gastrointestinal condition. That’s where it all starts. You can’t be simpler than that. When a rabbit is not getting enough fiber-rich food in their system, they won’t be able to get rid of the hairballs smoothly. If the hairballs are too much, the only way to get rid of it would only be through surgery. The hairballs could affect the natural mechanism of the rabbit’s stomach and create blocks in the gut. Another alternative is to use a medication to get the gut normally working again.

Take a look at our guide: how to take care of your pet rabbit throughout their life.

Though bunnies are pretty easy to care of, you will still need to visit a veterinarian from time to time. Consider consulting our exotic animals vet in United Veterinay Center. Call to schedule a visit – 203 957-3375.


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21/Oct/2018

There are many issues that a cat owner or a cat parent face. Most of them are negligible. Many of them are nothing to worry about. However, there’re a few of them that could pose a lot of stress, worry, and concern for a cat parent. In this article, we will explore some of the common cats’ diseases that cause fear to their owners. We will examine here some of the symptoms and signs to verify if the cat has the disease stated. We would also tell you some of the ways that you can cope with these conditions so that you can address them quickly. For more detailed explanations, visit a cat vet near to you.

Cancer

This is the first disease that worries cat owners today. Cancer for cats is referred to as a class of the many life-threatening diseases that should be identified the soonest time possible. It’s that dangerous.

When cancer happens to cats, there’s an abnormal and increased growth of cells around the tissue of the cats. These cells spread around the body, and can also be confined to a selected area of the cat. You should also learn that there’s no single identified cause for cancer in cats. The term used for this is “multifactorial”. The cancer disease in cats may come from the environment, or they can be caused by hereditary factors.

Some of the varieties of cancer that cats can experience include squamous cell carcinoma, which can be found in the ear or nose, and lymphosarcoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is a skin cancer that’s caused by constant sun exposure. If you observe the following symptoms in your cats, you may want to get them checked by your vet:

  • Lumps
  • Swelling
  • Bad Breath
  • Skin Infections
  • Lack of Energy
  • Abnormal Defecation
  • Sores that are hard to heal
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Skin Patches
  • Behaviour Changes

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases

Commonly called as FLUTD, these diseases affect about 3% of the cats being checked in America by all vets. You should know that this health condition is not gender-centric. It can affect both male and female cats. This usually happens to overweight cats that don’t move about often. Their sedentary lifestyle could also worsen their problem. Felines who don’t eat healthily and don’t vary their food are also prone to experience FLUTD. There are also various triggers to getting FLUTD. Some of them include stress and having a lot of people in the household. Some of the symptoms you should check for FLUTD include:

  • Urinating in uncommon places
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Urine contains blood
  • Cat licks the area near its urinary tract, mainly caused by intense pain.

Fleas

Another common illness that felines usually experience is fleas. They’re not a disease, but they’re still a worrisome issue that cat owners deal with regularly.  Of course, there are easy treatment options for cats with fleas. If these signs and symptoms are found in your cats, then you should get her checked with a vet:

  • Flea dirt found on their skin. This dirt would look like little black dots.
  • Hair loss
  • Skin infection
  • Licking that happens way too frequently.

What you should remember about fleas is that they can last for about a year.  They can also worsen if you’re not careful. To make sure that you get rid of the fleas from the cats, treat it immediately. Treating it the first time you detect it will also prevent further infestations.

 

Diabetes

This is also a surprising disease that’s also common to cats. You should watch out for the following symptoms so you can detect diabetes from a cat early on:

  • Appetite changes
  • Thirst that’s excessive
  • Urinating in areas outside the litter box
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Weight Loss
  • Lethargy
  • Sweet-smelling breathing that’s unusual
  • Hair coat that’s usually unkempt

There’s no known cause yet of diabetes, but some of the more likely factors that contribute to the issue are genetics and abnormal levels of protein deposits in the pancreas. Obesity and medications could also be a contributing factor in diabetes. For your doctor to check if your cat has diabetes, s/he will conduct urinalysis and other clinical exam on your cat to gather information about its blood.

Conclusion

In this article, you learned some of the common diseases that felines face. We hope that this enlightened you the next time you’re checking your cat’s health. Get a Cat Care Plan to Ensure a Long and Healthy Life!


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21/Oct/2018

There are many dogs’ diseases today that face dog owners. Most of these diseases could be life-threatening, and some of these may heal on their own. In this article, we will explore some of the most common dog’s diseases, its signs and symptoms and the ways you can help address the issue. Let’s continue.

  1. Ear Infections

Although these are not entirely life-threatening, ear infections could be very unpleasant to the dog. Bacteria in your dogs’ ears could also escalate and affect the well-being of your dog. Some of the symptoms that can be seen from a dog with ear infections include:

  • Ear Odor
  • Scratching that looks more frequent than usual
  • Lack of proper balance
  • Abnormal Gain
  • Eye movements that may appear unusual, usually in a back-and-forth motion
  • Swollen ear canal
  • Bloody and sometimes brown-yellow discharge

 

The critical thing to do when you suspect that your dog has an ear infection is to get it to a vet for a general check-up. The vet would usually just clear the ear infection and medicate the dog’s ear canal. This will usually remedy the ear infection and make the situation better.

There might be a surgery needed though if the dog’s infection gets worse. If there’s too much movement on the part of the dog, there could be a rupture of the vessel, which requires the surgery.

 

  1. Worms

Another common disease or ailment that dogs can easily get are worms. There are many types of them. Some of the more popular are whipworms and roundworms. Although some of these tapeworms can go way on their own, you should look out for hookworms in puppies. These worms could prove fatal and would be difficult to address if they worsen. Some of the common symptoms that you should look out for in your dogs include:

  • Weight loss
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Appetite changes that have no reason
  • Bottom-scooting
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Dry and rough coat
  • Dishevelled appearance

 

Always go to your veterinarian if you see a problem worsening. Tapeworms could be treated, most especially if you detect them early. Medications for these diseases are made orally. But, you may return to the doctor once in a while to complete the treatment.

 

  1. Hot Spots

The hot spots that you find in your dog are commonly referred to as acute moist dermatitis. They’re a skin infection that’s bacteria-based. Don’t underestimate the fact that it’s just a skin infection. It could get worse. It may even be a sign of a deeper problem. Check your doctor immediately to know the real score. If you don’t address this, it could get worse after a dog scratches the area. It could even get worse when they eat something that could make them want to scratch more. The hot spots could also grow larger if you leave them untreated.

For a better diagnosis from your vet, the vet can check the location of the hot spots to know its cause. The vet can also find out if the fleas of the dogs have anything to do with the hot spots of the dog. If the hot spots are located in the ear, that should also be an indication that there are ear problems in the dog.

 

  1. Vomiting

One common health issue that may not be given attention is vomiting. When there’s an excessive amount of vomiting in the dog, that’s a sign of a deeper health problem. It could be a sign of infection. It’s a sign of parasites. There are numerous causes for such disease, and so it’s good to check with the vet to know what it is.

Vomiting can come from a variety of roots. They include intestinal worms, infections of the kidney and even pancreatitis. You could also observe vomiting from a dog if they suffer from food poisoning or even heatstroke. The usual symptoms of vomiting include drooling and unusual heaving. You could also observe blood in the stool if your dog has diarrhea. If these symptoms occur, immediately contact the vet to avoid life-threatening consequences.

 

Conclusion

In this article, you learned the common symptoms of dog’s diseases. We hope you can use this guide the next time you check your dog’s health condition. Check this lifetime canine care plan – it will help you to take good care of your furry friend and control everything.


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21/Oct/2018

If you notice your pooch constantly scratching at his ears, whining and shaking his head on a frequent basis, that his ears are red and swollen or that pus is emanating from one or both of them, he may have an ear infection. Ear infections are extremely common in canines and just as they are when we experience them, they are uncomfortable. Unfortunately, if your pooch is prone to infections, he is likely to get them all the time and from just about any sort of trigger, including bacteria, yeast and mites. Fortunately, treating an infection in a dog is relatively straightforward, and there are ways to prevent future occurrences. At the United Veterinary Center, our doctors want to help you get your pet’s infections under control. While we do this partially through careful diagnosis and treatment, we also educate dog owners so that they can plan an active part in their pet’s health too.

If your canine is susceptible to infections, this post is designed to tell you everything you need to know about dog ear infections, including the different types of infections, symptoms to look out for, possible causes and treatment.

Common Types of Ear Infections in Dogs

Dogs can develop three types of conditions of the ears: otitis externa, media and internal. Each of these is fairly common in all canines but are especially common in dogs with floppy ears such as Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels. However, 20 percent of all dogs, across all breeds, are plagued by infections.

Otitis externa means that the inflammation lies on the outside, in the lining of the external portion of the canal. When you, your child or your pet experiences pain in the ear, it is most likely due to otitis externa. Most problems start out as otitis externa but if not treated, it can travel to the inner and middle portions of the canal, causing otitis media and interna. If allowed to progress this far, it could result in deafness, facial paralysis or vestibular disease. To prevent any of these conditions befalling your precious pooch, it is imperative that you have him examined and treated at the first signs of otitis externa.

Signs Your Dog Has an Infection

Signs of an ear infection are relatively obvious and hard to miss. They can include:

  • Scratching on or around the ear
  • Redness or swelling
  • Crusts or scabs as a result of aggressive and continuous scratching
  • Hair loss around the area
  • Rubbing his head on the carpet, your leg or pieces of furniture
  • A bad smell
  • Pus or discharge
  • Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
  • Constant head shaking or drastic head tilt
  • Loss of balance
  • Weird eye movements (disorientation)
  • Walking in circles
  • Hearing loss

Hopefully you’re able to informally diagnose an ear condition by the first few signs, such as scratching, scabbing and pus, but if you do not, your pet will continue to demonstrate signs that gradually worsen as the infection does.

Possible Causes of Ear Infections

There are usually triggers for infections, as most don’t just arise out of nowhere. Some possible and common causes for your dog’s condition could be any one of the following, or even a combination of a few of these:

Lifestyle

How you raise your dog, what you allow him to do and what you feed him all play a role in his overall health. For instance, if you let your dog go swimming or splash around in the tub, he could have water trapped in his canal on a constant basis, which could result in the canine equivalent of “swimmer’s ear.” If you feed your dog human foods and neglect a more natural diet of raw meats and vegetables, he may not be receiving the nutrients he needs to fight off infections, thereby making him more susceptible to certain problems and conditions. If you let your pup trollop through the woods after you while you’re on a walk or go foraging through brush, he could get foxtails in there that you may not notice until they have already wreaked havoc.

Diet

Diet goes hand in hand with lifestyle but we feel it deserves its own point. Canines need a diet full of protein and natural veggies, and one that is limited in carbohydrates. If the food you feed your furry friend contains a lot of carbs, it could contribute to yeast infections or trigger a food allergy you’re unaware of.

Allergies

If you have hay fever, you likely know all about the tingling sensation you get in your ears right before your allergies come on full force. Dogs react in much the same way when they’re struck by an allergy attack. However, in order to resolve your dog’s problems if allergies are the cause, you will need to get to the root of his allergies first.

Anatomic

Your dog’s ears themselves may be the very source of his problems. If your pooch has floppy ears, it is up to you to clean them regularly to eliminate buildup, discharge or yeast growth.

Excessive Cleaning

On the other hand, if you clean your dog’s ears too much you may accidentally prevent the growth of good bacteria. Wax is meant to protect your dog, and a little goes along ways towards keeping out the bad stuff. Additionally, overusing cleaning substances, no matter how natural, can result in irritation and actually aggregate an existing condition. As with most things in life, moderation is key.

Foreign Bodies

Mites are a common parasite infection and type of mange that normally attacks dogs. Like louse, mites are extremely contagious and commonly affect the young. They itch terribly, causing young canines to scratch excessively at their heads until they bleed. You can usually rule out (or diagnose) mites by simply inspecting your dog’s ears. If he has mites, you’ll notice little black bumps in the ear and along the outer edges.

Other Causes

Other chronic conditions such as hypothyroidism or auto-immune disease can result in ear infections in dogs as well. If this is the case with your pooch, be prepared to deal with a lifelong battle, as it’s difficult to eradicate entirely problems that stem from chronic disorders.

Your pet may also have a hematoma, which is a pool of blood between the cartilage of the ear flap and the skin.

Diagnosing Canine Ear Infections

A veterinarian can usually tell right away if a dog suffers from an infection, and via a quick examination of their canal and drum. In fact, you are probably familiar with the procedure and tools required of it, as vets use the same magnifying cone on dogs as doctors do on humans. However, whereas you’re likely to sit still while your doctor probes your ear, your pooch is not. The vet may request to have your dog sedated so she can get a thorough look at your dog’s canal and drum. If necessary, they will take a sample of the discharge to determine whether bacteria, yeast or parasites is the cause of your pet’s pain. Most vets have to send their samples out to a lab but because we have a lab here at the United Veterinary Center, we can run it over and have the results back on the same day.

Treating a Dog’s Infection

Depending on the cause of your dog’s condition, treatment may vary. Your vet may prescribe a topical ointment if she determines that the infection is still outside the ear and caused by something external, like mites or foxtails. However, if the cause has to do with allergies, diet, lifestyle or some other chronic condition, your vet may recommend systematic antibiotics to kill the source of the infection for good. As with people antibiotics, it is imperative that your dog receives the recommended dose each day in order for his antibiotics to do their job.

There are natural remedies you can try out on your pooch such as cleaning your pup’s ear with apple cider vinegar and then squirting a mixture of the vinegar with water into your dog’s canal. Mullein is a plant with antibacterial properties that supposedly works great for infections, as is oregano oil, calendula and coconut oil. However, there is no scientific backing behind any of these home remedies, just hearsay. If you want to swiftly and effectively resolve your pet’s issues, it is best to seek the medical help of a trained veterinarian.

Preventing Dog Ear Infections

In order to prevent canine ear aches you need to know what is causing them. Sometimes prevention is as simple as wiping down your dog’s ears after he gets a bath or goes swimming, while in other cases it’s a bit more complicated, such as identifying food allergies and eliminating those foods from his diets. A trained vet can help you identify the cause of your dog’s chronic infections and devise a way to get rid of them once and for all.

If your pooch suffers from chronic ear aches, know that he is not alone. However, just because dogs are susceptible to infections doesn’t mean your pooch should have to live with them. If you notice any of the signs of a problem—scratching, redness, swelling, pus or any of the others—schedule an appointment with the United Veterinary Center to get to the root of your dog’s issues and to get him on the path to optimal health today.


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21/Oct/2018

Cats are notorious self-bathers and are able to clean their fur thoroughly with their tongue in a matter of minutes. However, while cats are particularly skilled in this regard, there is one area of their body to which they are unable to give adequate attention: their ears. Your feline’s ears will stay pretty clean most of her life, but every once in a while, you will need to give her a helping hand.

Before you approach your pet’s ear with a Q-Tip and some saline solution, however, know that there is a right way and there is a wrong way to clean a cat’s ears. From understanding their ear structure to knowing what tools to use, this post will help you clean your pet’s ears in as safe and effective way as possible.

Is it Necessary to Clean My Cat’s Ears?

First and foremost, you probably want to know if it’s even necessary to clean a feline’s ears. After all, they are self-bathers, as mentioned above, and wild cats managed to survive and evolve for thousands of years without our help, right? While each of those statements may be true, it is still necessary to lend your pet a helping hand every once in a while. That said, you should only clean them if you feel comfortable doing so.

If your pet is just a kitten, you can likely begin cleaning her ears now without a problem. If you make it a point to do so once a month or even more frequently, she will become used to it and sit nicely for you until you are done. However, if you adopt an adult cat, it may be more difficult for you to get in there. Adult cats who have never had their ears cleaned are generally skittish of anything coming near them. It would do them more harm than good if you were to try to wrestle a cotton swab in their ear than if you were to just leave them be. If you suspect that your cat’s ears need a good inspecting and cleaning, take her to your local feline vet, where she can be sedated and properly taken care of.

The Anatomy of a Cat’s Ears

cat ear close upIf you feel comfortable with the process, study up on the anatomy of a cat’s ears. A feline’s canals are intricate and vastly different from those of a human’s, and if you attempt to stick anything in their ears without knowing how their canal is constructed, you could end up hurting them. Fortunately, harm can be avoided with a brief anatomy lesson.

A feline’s ear is composed of three basic sections: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear.

The outer ear consists of two parts: the canal and the pinna (or what you likely think of as the “ear”). The ear canal is the gateway to the middle ear, which is much more complex than the outer ear.

The middle ear is composed of the eardrum, three miniscule bones and a tube that brings oxygen from the nose to the ears. The middle ear is highly sensitive, and if you proceed with the cleaning process in the wrong way, you may end up puncturing an eardrum or breaking one of those small bones, two problems that would result in hearing loss.

The inner ear is the most complex part of the ear, and also the most sensitive. Believe it or not, but the inner ear is what is responsible for your pet’s ability to maintain her exceptional balance, and is the reason for her ability to land on her feet no matter from how high she jumps or what acrobatic tricks she pulls. If the inner ear becomes injured, so does your pet’s personality.

Now that you’re familiar with your cat’s ears and why each section is important, let’s move on to the process of cleaning.

Examine the Outer Ear First

Before you begin cleaning, thoroughly examine your cat’s outer ear for any signs that something is wrong. Begin by looking for any abrasions, missing patches of fur or swelling. Smell her ears for any foul odors, and check for discharge. Any of these things could be the signs of an infection, in which case you may want to put off cleaning your pet’s ears and schedule an appointment with the vet.

Some other signs to look for include:

  • Bald spots
  • A bad odor
  • Excessive yawning, shaking of her head or ear scratching
  • Head tilting
  • Dry, scaly or dark colored debris in the ears (not dirt)
  • Earwax buildup
  • Visible discomfort when you touch your cat’s ears

If you notice any of these signs, cease the inspection and call your vet.

Get the Right Tools

If your inspection revealed nothing amiss, you may proceed, but continue to do so with caution, and only after you make sure that you have the proper tools on hand. Those include:

  • A cotton ball or soft rag (put down that Q-Tip!); and
  • Warm water;
  • Olive oil;
  • Hydrogen peroxide; OR
  • Any liquid solution recommended to you by your veterinarian.

Do not use rubbing alcohol or any product that contains alcohol on your cat’s or any other pet’s ears, as alcohol will sting and irritate the sensitive skin of your pet’s ears.

It’s Cleaning Time!

Once you determine that you have the necessary tools on hand, you can begin. Find a nice, quite place without a lot of distractions so that your pet doesn’t feel a need to get up and go check something out every few seconds. Hold your kitten securely in your arms and stroke her fur to let her know that she’s safe. Dip your cotton ball into your preferred cleaning solution; make sure that it is moist but not sopping wet.

Fold back your cat’s outer ear and wipe the cotton ball along the lobe, removing any excess ear wax or debris. Throw the used cotton ball away and get a clean one. Do the same with the other ear.

Never reach further inside the ear than your first finger joint can reach. Going any further than that can result in an internal ear injury. And never, ever just pour cleaning solution into your cat’s ears in the hopes of cleaning them further, as this will most likely result in infection.

Scheduling Your Cat’s Ear Cleanings

If you are going to clean your cat’s ears, you should have a set schedule for doing so. Try to inspect her ears at least once a week, and if possible, clean them after inspection as well. If you give your cat weekly baths, clean her ears then. Like with all things with your pet, habits are key. Make ear cleaning a habit for both you and her and the process will never feel like a chore.

Though helping your feline clean her ears is not a necessity, it is an extra measure you can take to protect her health. If you are uncomfortable cleaning your cat’s ears yourself, don’t feel bad—not many people are! Just be sure that your pet gets into see the vet every six months or so and request to have her ears cleaned then. To schedule your kitten’s first appointment with the skilled team at the United Veterinary Center, call now – 203 957-3375 !


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21/Oct/2018

For some people, a glass of milk is a glass of milk, but for others, it’s hours of agonizing pain and diarrhea. For some, eggs are eggs, wheat is wheat, and peanuts are peanuts, but for countless others, those products are something much more sinister. Every person reacts differently to foods, but those differences don’t just stop at us bipeds. Animals experience food allergies too, and just like a person who is allergic to peanuts can swell up when the nut is near, so can your pooch or your kitten or even your horse.

Just recently, The Messerli Research Institute released a paper that highlights the similarities in human and animal allergy symptoms and triggers of adverse food reactions. The paper condenses all the information ever recorded about animal allergies into one, easy(ier) to digest paper.

According to the study, animals that are allergic to milk may experience the same upset stomach that we humans do; pets that eat something that doesn’t agree with their system may suffer from an itchy palate, swelling of the face or even a severe asthma attack; and those with more severe intolerances, such as peanut allergies, may go into anaphylactic shock if they are even near the substance. For these reasons, it is so important that we as pet owners and caretakers understand how animals are affected by certain foods and what we can do to eliminate triggers from their diets entirely. That is what this article aims to do: educate you on pet food allergies, triggers, symptoms, treatment and prevention and prevention.

 

Does Your Pet Have an Allergy or an Intolerance?

First and foremost, it is important that you understand the differences between an allergy and intolerance. Let’s use lactose intolerance as an example… Most people who are lactose intolerant will exhibit signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, gas or painful bowels after drinking milk, eating cheese or consuming dairy of any kind. However, people who are allergic to dairy will suffer from a different type of reaction such as itching, skin problems or even difficulty breathing. Allergies can be life threatening, while intolerances are merely uncomfortable. That is why it is so important that you understand the differences between the two, as if your pet has an allergy, you need to know to what so that you can prevent their consumption of it and have the necessary tools on hand to help him if he does consume a trigger food.

 

Common Food Triggers

Just like there are known trigger foods in the human diet, there are known trigger foods in a pet’s diet too. Some of the more common products to cause allergies include dairy products, beef, chicken, lamb, fish, eggs, corn, soy and wheat. If this list sounds eerily similar to the ingredients in your dog’s food, that is because it is. Unfortunately, many reactions are triggered by the most basic of foods, which is what makes food allergies so scary and difficult to control. Additionally, while some proteins are slightly more antigenic than others, the prevalence in animal meals—and therefore, the rate of exposure—is likely linked to the rate of incidences.

 

Symptoms to Look Out For

Again, many of the symptoms that your pet will experience when they consume a snack they’re allergic to are similar to the symptoms that you may exhibit. The most common symptom of a food allergy is the less severe itching. Your dog or cat may paw intensely at their face or scratch at their feet, ears, forelegs, armpits and the area around their anus. In larger animals that cannot scratch themselves, or even in your cat or dog, look for chronic and recurrent symptoms such as hair loss, hot spots, skin infections and ear infections. Dairy allergies especially present themselves in recurrent ear infections.

There is some evidence that suggests that dogs with food allergies have particularly active bowels. Whereas it’s normal for a dog to relieve his bowels one to two times a day, dogs with food allergies average around three or more bowel movements a day.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to discern a food allergy from a topical allergies or atopy based on the aforementioned symptoms alone. This is why it is so important that if you do notice any of the above signs, you look for additional symptoms, such as wheezing, ear infections or yeast infections. Normally, an animal that is allergic to a particular meal will demonstrate more than one sign.

Diagnosing a Food Allergy in Pets

Diagnosing a food allergy in pets is fairly straightforward; however, because many other health issues present themselves in similar symptoms, it can be easy to confuse a food allergy with something else. For this reason, it is important to eliminate all other possibilities before giving an official diagnosis. For instance, if your pet has multiple fleabites, we would treat those before declaring he’s allergic to beef. If your cat has symptoms of an intestinal parasite, we would screen for that before determining that she is allergic to milk. The last thing we want to do is make a misdiagnosis, as that could lead to additional complications down the road. Only once all other probable causes have been ruled out will we begin to run allergy tests.

 

Food Trial Basics

A food trial consists of feeding your dog, cat or other pet a very restricted diet for 12 weeks and observing them carefully. Typically, a veterinarian would recommend a diet that consists of protein and carbohydrates that your pet has never eaten before, such as venison, potatoes, bison or rabbit. The proteins and carbs are broken down into such molecular sized pieces that even if your pet were allergic, he or she would not demonstrate an allergic reaction. These diets are often called “limited antigen” or “hydrolyzed protein” diets. If you want to ensure that your pet does not get anything beyond the novel proteins and carbs, you can always make their food at home. It’s important to keep in mind that while your pet is on this restricted diet, he or she does not consume anything else—no treats, no flavored medication, no bully sticks or chicken treats. They can only have the special meals and water and that is it. Studies suggest that your pet will respond to their new diet within 21 days at a minimum and 12 weeks on the very outside. If your pet shows a marked improvement on this new diet, your vet will recommend switching him back to his original diet. If his symptoms flare back up, a food allergy is confirmed. If your pet doesn’t show an improvement on the new diet after 12 weeks but a food allergy is still suspected, your vet will recommend a second trial using a new protein source.

 

What About Blood Tests?

While many people swear by blood tests, there is no evidence suggesting that they actually work for the diagnosis of food allergies. While skin testing and blood testing works for atopy, the only true way to diagnose a food allergy is via a food trial. For some pets, it could take several trials before the vet comes to an accurate diagnosis. While this can be frustrating for both you and your pet, it is necessary if you hope to eliminate the cause of your pet’s discomfort and put them on a diet to which they’ll respond positively.

 

Treating Pet Food Allergies

Like with human allergies, the only real way to treat a food allergy in animals is to help them avoid consuming the trigger food. While short-term relief may be gained through the use of antihistamines and steroids, relying on those as a long-term solution is unrealistic and ineffective. Not only is it unfair to your pet to have to consume medication in order to eat, relying on drugs long-term can reduce the effectiveness of those drugs as your pet’s system becomes used to, and therefore immune to, them. If your pet needed steroids for a more serious health condition later on down the road, the steroids would be unable to help them because of over and unnecessary use.

The best thing you can do for your pet is to make sure he or she does not consume the trigger food. This may mean making meals yourself, especially if the trigger food is found in nearly every cat/dog/horse snack on the market. However, if you do plan on making your pet’s meals, keep in mind that you still need to include an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. The diet you do plan to feed your pet should be approved by a veterinary nutritionist.

Gene therapy can be another way for allergy treatment taken into consideration.

 

Consult the Caring Veterinary Team at the United Veterinary Center

If you suspect that you pet is allergic to a particular food, don’t wait until their reactions become severe and reach out to our trained veterinary team at the United Veterinary Center today for an official diagnosis. Though it may take time, patience and effort on yours and your pet’s parts to come to a final diagnosis, it will be well worth it when your pet is able to eat comfortably without suffering from any painful or dangerous side effects.


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21/Oct/2018

Are you a pet parent that treats their furry loved one more like a child than an actual pet? Do you want nothing but the best possible healthcare for your dog, cat, horse or exotic animal? Have you been in the market for a new veterinary team—one that utilizes the most advanced equipment – offers compassionate and knowledgeable care – and provides all if the necessary services animals need to maintain good health, including lab services and emergency care—but aren’t sure where to find it?

The team at United Veterinary Center is the team you’ve been looking for!

If you have been hesitant about changing up vets or about giving our team a call, we’re currently offering a full exam for as little as $25 to all first-time visitors. Our goal is to help the animals of Connecticut live long, healthy and happy lives. If your goal is to provide that for your pet too, then we might just be a great fit for you.

 

All the Healthcare Services Your Pet Could Possibly Need in One Location

Our services are top of the line, and include everything from laboratory services to diagnostic testing, and from allergy testing to diagnostic imaging. We provide stem cell therapy, perform surgery and perform routine vaccinations. In addition to all that, we offer routine wellness checks to ensure our patients are experiencing optimal health all year long.

 

We Work With Dogs, Cats and Exotics Too

If you’re the proud owner of a rabbit, a chinchilla, a fennec fox, salamander or any other exotic species, you probably have a hard time finding your pet the care they need to live an optimal life. At the United Veterinary Center, we are specially trained in the preventative care, diagnosis and treatment of exotic creatures. While veterinary school does a great job in teaching students the basics of feline and canine care, those who wish to help an array of animals must go through additional schooling as well as study under the apprenticeship of an already established exotic pets vet.

Moreover, our staff has been trained in the handling of small animals and in how to use the special equipment necessary to provide treatment in a safe and comfortable manner. For all these reasons and more, if you own an exotic pet, you should entrust them to our care, as our entire team possesses the knowledge necessary to help your exotic pet live a long and healthy life.

 

What Our Customers Are Saying

While we can talk ourselves up all we want, the proof is in the reviews.

  • Truly great people who genuinely care about both the pet and the owner.” – Mike F.
  • Am lucky enough to have the pleasure of taking my little Houdini over to UVC. I trust them explicitly with his care. Dr. Pete is knowledgeable, kind, and gentle. He makes sure my pet leaves happy and healthy. Megan and Jodi are amazing and welcoming. I love UVC.” – Amanda F.
  • Amazing place fabulous workers and hospitality.” – Lessard S.
  • Amazing veterinarian hospital and of course one of the best places that I’ve ever seen and been to. Plus the staff is amazing!!” – Megan C.
  • Had such an amazing experience, they truly are compassionate and loving to my animal. It is clear that integrity and client education is important to them! The staff always seem like they are having a great time as well!” – Morgan S.
  • New animal hospital in the area, all brand new facility with an amazing staff.” – Mike R.

 

Check us out on Facebook or visit us online to learn more about our vet center. Or you can always stop in and see for yourself why all of our patients love us! Don’t forget: you get a full exam for your pet for $25 only if you do! Call 203 957-3375.

We’ll see you soon!


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