Okaw Veterinary Clinic

140 W. Sale
Tuscola, IL 61953

(217)253-3221

okawvetclinic.com

New Year Resolutions

 

Contents:

Everyone have a Happy Holiday (and Pets too!)
New Years Resolutions for You and Your Pet
People Food Treats
My Pet has Ringworm!
Pet Memorial Tree

  

Everyone have a Happy Holiday (and Pets too)!

Holiday gatherings are a big part of the celebrations of the season.  In some way or another, pets are involved in this. We buy presents for our pets, include them in family pictures and videos, and often they are part of the party whether they like it or not. It is very important to provide enjoyable holiday gatherings for humans and animals.

First truly consider the age, health and temperament of your pet when guests are expected. Older pet that are arthritic, blind or hard of hearing may have difficulty getting out of the way of people at a holiday party.  A dog may be lying comfortably in their own bed, but they are usually on the lookout for what is going to happen next.  This may have them a little tense and apprehensive about the whole gathering,  which may result in more pain the next day from just holding their body tense, or having to move around more with more people present. Young pets may be very excited jumping and barking or hiding from guests. Both dogs and cats really like their routines. If the pets are not relaxed enough to eat or sleep on their regular schedule, they will be out of sorts the next day.

Toddlers are especially at risk of possibly being bitten by even the friendliest dog. Toddlers are right up in the face of a dog, they do not follow verbal instructions from adults very well, and it seems the more adults there are fewer eyes are on the children (which adult is responsible for watching the kids?). Toddlers have high pitched voices and are not predictable to the dog. An older dog with pain problems is likely to be tense around really active little humans. If a cat feels cornered by a toddler, the cat may strike. If the owners have not made a quiet place for the dog or cat to go, there is a big risk of a bite. 

So, to keep your pet and everyone happy plan ahead. Dogs and cats do not have to know everyone. If your relatives just come over once a year, then make a comfy place for your dog or cat to spend the day. 

This area should be away from all the action. Put your pet in a spare bedroom, basement that is nice with a comfy bed, water available and perhaps the radio playing to muffle out all the unknown human sounds. If someone wants to visit your pet, you decide if it is ok.   Younger well socialized pets may do fine with many people over but after a few hours they have usually had enough and are seeking a quiet area. Make that area away from the party scene and go ahead and put your pet there if you notice your pet avoiding people. Constantly going from room to room, is a way of an animal trying to find a place to get away. If the guest humans won't leave your pet alone, perhaps board your pet for the day. Most of the pet problems at parties are really humans not listening to each other or the animals.

For guest pets, be sure to provide separate (in separate rooms or areas) food and water dishes, lots of individual play and attention and the guest pet needs to be invited. The guest pet may be a challenge to the "host" pet in ways that are hard for us to see. Tensions may be escalating unnoticed until a scuffle over food commonly occurs. Often veterinary emergency clinic have to treat the case of the guest dog or cat fight. Take up all food bowls after meals. Even if the pets are getting along great, provide them with their own areas to get a break from each other. 

For more information on Holiday pet safety and keeping pets happy together go to our website. Or visit us on facebook.


 

New Years Resolutions for You and your Pet
  1. Get more exercise. Walk your pet twice a day. Walking keeps your pet's joints and muscles healthy. Walking also keeps your pet's mind sharp.
  2. Start on a healthier diet. Give your pet a few treats a day. You can break the treats in half to make them last longer. You can also give your pet some fruits and vegetables. Read the next article for fruits and veggies you can give to your pet.
  3. Play more with your pet. Your pet enjoys playing with you. You can play fetch, hide and seek and other games are fun for you and your pet.
  4. Train your pet. Even old dogs can learn new tricks. Teach your pet to sit, lay down, roll over and other tricks. Learning helps keep your pet's mind sharp.

 

People Food Treats

Can you give your pet people food? Yes, some small amounts of people food is ok to give your dog or cat.

If your pet is diabetic, has bladder stones, is prone to pancreatitis, or has any other health problems, please contact your veterinarian to make sure people food will not make your pet sick.

Small amounts of the following are okay for your pet to eat. Use these people foods instead of your pet's normal treats. People food for dogs and cats:
  • fresh vegetables: green beans, carrots, sweet potato slices, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, sliced bell pepper
  • fresh fruits: apples, watermelon, banana slices, lemon slices, orange slices
  • peanut butter
  • ground flax seed
  • canned pumpkin
Never give your pet:
  • grapes
  • raisins
  • onions
  • garlic
  • meats
  • bones
  • raw meats
  • raw eggs
  • butter
  • cheese


 

My Pet has Ringworm!

What is Ringworm? Ringworm infections are not caused by a worm, as the name suggests. Ringworm infections are actually a fungal infection. The two types of fungi that can cause Ringworm are Microsporum and Trichophyton. The fungus grows in a circular pattern and often causes hair loss in that area. Sometimes, especially in cats, the fungus does not cause any change in the skin or hair.
 
How do I know if my pet has Ringworm? Bring your pet in for an exam. We will use a Wood's light to check for the fungus. About half of the infections will glow under this blue light. We look at your pet's skin and take a sample of the hair and skin in an area that looks infected. The hair and skin is put on a microscope slide and we look at it under a microscope. We are looking for Ringworm spores, the young Ringworm.
 
How did my pet get Ringworm? Your pet may have come into contact with soil contaminated with Ringworm spores. Your pet may have been around an animal or person who had Ringworm. For example a stray dog who has Ringworm has been hanging around in a local park for several weeks. He has been sleeping in a sand box. As he sleeps in the sand, some of the Ringworm spores fall off the dog and and land in the sand. Your dog Lucy loves to go to the same park. She runs around and plays in the same sand box that the stray dog likes to sleep in. As she plays in the sand, some of the Ringworm spores get stuck in her hair. The spores start to grow into adult Ringworm. The adult Ringworm continue to reproduce and grow. Lucy starts to have spots with missing hair and scaly skin.

Can I get Ringworm? Yes. People can get Ringworm infections. People can get Ringworm from another person or an animal. 
  

If you have any circular areas of scaly skin, please contact your doctor.

 

How do you treat Ringworm? We may give your pet a medication, such as ketaconazole, to kill the fungus. We may also send you with a medicated shampoo to bathe your pet in. We would recommend washing your pet's bed, blanket and toys. If your pet sleeps with you, wash your bedding and have your pet sleep in a crate until the Ringworm infection is gone.

If you have any circular areas of scaly skin, please contact your doctor. Tell your doctor your pet has been diagnosed with Ringworm.
 
For more information about Ringworm in pets visit the CDC's website. For more information about Ringworms in people visit National Institute of Health's website.

 

How do I prevent my pet from getting Ringworm? Keep your pet away from other pets or people who have been diagnosed with Ringworm. Keep your pet away from any animal that has hair missing or is acting sick.


 

Pet Memorial Tree

We will have a Pet Memorial Tree at our office again this year. The tree will be decorated with photo ornaments of pets who have passed away. We will have a Memorial Service as well. Anyone who lost a pet is welcome to attend the service. You may speak at the service, if you wish. The service will be on Monday Jan 3 at 7 pm.

If you would like your pet to be featured on the tree, please send or bring a COPY of a photo of your pet. The photo WILL BE CUT to make the ornament. You will be able to pick up the ornament in January. There is no cost to have your pet's photo on the tree. Your pet does not have to have passed away this year to be featured on the tree.

Photos can be dropped off during our normal business hours. Photos can be mailed to us at 140 W. Sale, Tuscola, IL  61953. Photos can be emailed at okawvetstaff@mchsi.com.