Oh! My Achy Paws
Paw and Pad Care
Fighting Fleas the Right Way
7 Tips for a Happy Howl-o-ween
Meet our Vet Techs
Paw and Pad Care
The other day a client and I were talking at the local
grocery store. She asked if she could
pose a question to be answered in my articles published in the paper. I love it when people give me topics, or ask
questions that can become the topic of writing. I know I am addressing what concerns you ? local pet owners who care
about your pet.
So the question ? ?What can I put on my dog?s pads to help
decrease cracking and dryness that would be safe if he licks at it??
This is an excellent question not only about paw care but it
also points out the acknowledgement that pets will lick off medications and
that may lead to problems. Licking the
paws or other parts of the body is a normal grooming behavior of dogs, cats and
others animals. When a salve is put on
the body, this may prompt the pet to lick more because they sense that
something is there. Salves and creams
can be useful for treatment yet we have to be mindful of all that is in these
products to avoid problems when they are licked.
If your dog or cat has very dry, cracked or even bleeding
around the pads have a checkup. This is
not normal, and even in aging pets may indicate that their protein levels are
low or they lack essential fatty acids in the skin. The reasons for that often lie deeper in how
they are digesting their food, how the liver or kidneys are working or even
perhaps early diabetes.
If the pads are just mildly dry, you can try these
suggestions. Fast absorbing heavily penetrating type emollient moisturizing
creams can be helpful when massaged into the pads. Vaseline petroleum jelly is very safe and
when well massaged into the pads will also stand up to licking and wear. One has to use this perhaps 2-3 times a week
for a few weeks to see if there is improvement.
Olive oil would be helpful also if the dog or cat does not walk on
concrete much. Some Vitamin supplements
such as fish oil or flax seed can also help but consult your veterinarian
before starting to use these for proper dosage.
Do not use any cortisone cream, tea tree oil, or other herbal products
especially in cats!!!!! Herbal does not
mean totally safe. When eaten the body
absorbs much more of the herbal product which can over load the liver or other
organs to detoxify them. Veterinarians
are here to help, and you may cause problems which will harm your pet and cost
a lot more money that a checkup and good advice.
Many pets resist handling the feet so you need to make
massaging the paws nice for them with every step of handling the feet.
Get their favorite treat that they will only
get for feet handling. Break that treat
into the size of half of a cheerio and feed them tidbits as you touch
pick the paw up and rub the top. Stop
there. Give this reward based training a
couple of days to help the dog or cat learn paw handling means yummies.
As the pet is not struggling then apply a
small amount to the pad and massage. Only treat a pad or 2 at a time. It
is better to break up the treatment into a couple of times an avoid
struggles than to fight at all with your pet. You possibly be doing this
regularly so it has to be calm and nice for
I hope this helps answer one common pet care question. I welcome any that you may have. Please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, mail them into my office at 140 W. Sale Street
Tuscola, IL 61953 or call us at
217-253-3221. I love to hear from you!
Fighting Fleas the Right Way
Late August, September and October are the most intense
months for fleas. You may bring them in
from the outdoors even if your pet does not go out. There is a huge array of flea products to
choose from. What is best? Ask your veterinary office first. Some of the pet store products can be toxic
to cats or some dogs. There are
combination products as well that also protect from heartworm and these are
only available with prescription.
Treating the pet is
easy now with liquids you just put on the neck or a pill to give. The household actually holds many more fleas
than the pet. If you see any flea or
flea dirt - the black peppery looking debris in the fur - treat the house. Fleas jump on and off your pet laying eggs,
feeding the young with that flea dirt. One flea can lay up to 100 eggs a day. Then those eggs hatch into larvae , then pupae, then finally the
adult. Each shift in the life cycle
takes about 10-14 days. So the eggs laid
in July is hatching into a flea about 3 weeks later. This is why we see the rise late in the
So treating the pet is just one step. Treating the home is really important but
often overlooked. There is also a
difference in flea products for the home. Home treatment sprays or bombs must contain a growth inhibitor - IGR-
and say so on the label for any effective flea control. Precor is the trademarked name of the most
effective growth inhibitor that will kill the eggs and larvae. Most veterinary clinics carry the house
treatment spray with the IGR but few hardware stores have this level of home
treatment. Don't be cheap. Vet Kem is one leading brand available at
most veterinary clinics. Nothing will
kill the pupae stage which so you must retreat in 2 weeks. Do not skip this part!!! When you do, you will see adults come back
biting your pet.
Pets can also be allergic to the saliva of the flea. For these pets, even one bite can set their
skin on fire. Flea control on the pet
and in the home is essential for cats and dog with skin conditions. No, you may not see the fleas because are
small and the pet is grooming them off of themselves.
Lastly, fleas carry tapeworms. Again you may not see the worms because they
do not pass every day and the segments crawl off the stool after it is
passed. If your dog or cat has had
fleas, bring them into the veterinarian for deworming. Tape worms can be passed to humans and the
wormers are safe.
For more flea and tick information visit our flea page.
*Image of a flea from www.capcvet.org
7 Tips for a Happy Howl-o-ween
- Keep candles out of your pet's reach. Your pet may be
burned by the candle. Dogs and cats can also knock over the candle and
may start a fire.
- Keep fake cobwebs out of your
pet's reach. Dogs and cats may eat the webbing. The webbing can cause a
blockage or cut off blood to part of your pet's intestines.
- Put your pet in a bedroom, kennel or other confined
area during Trick or Treating. Your pet won't be able to dart out the
door when you open it for Trick or Treaters. Your pet may get scared by
the funny and scary costumes children wear.
- Keep candy away from your pet. Chocolate and sugar
free candy containing Xylitol can make your pet very sick. Your pet can eat candy wrappers which can
cause vomiting and diarrhea.
- No nuts from the yard. Falling walnuts, hickory nuts,
buckeyes and other nuts may be fun to play with, but they can cause
your pet to become sick. The nuts and shells can scratch and get stuck
in your pet's intestine. Buckeyes are poisonous to dogs.
- Do not let your pet eat Asian beetles (orange lady bugs). The bugs secrete an irritating liquid that will make your pet sick.
- Be aware of rat and mouse poison. Neighbors may put
out poison to control these pests. If your pet eats the poison or a
mouse or rat that ate the poison, your pet will get sick.
Meet our Vet Techs!
13 - 19 is National Veterinary Technician Week. We are celebrating it
here by telling you a little bit about what a technician does and a
little bit about our technicians. To
become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), you must go through a
Vet Tech course at a college and then pass a certification test to be
licensed in your state. Parkland College has a Veterinary Technology course.
Most tech courses are two years of intense classes and an internship at
a veterinary clinic. After receiving the college degree, we study for
the state test. After passing the state test, we are now a CVT. We must
earn 15 hours of continuing education every two years to keep our license. To earn our continuing education, we attend
educational seminars and read articles. CVTs can do many tasks at a veterinary clinic including
drawing blood, administering and monitoring anesthesia, assisting during surgery,
performing dental cleanings, evaluating slides of urine, skin and other samples under
the microscope, giving injections and many other tasks.
We have three CVTs at our clinic. All three attended Parkland College and are licensed by the state. Get to know our techs:
9 years at Okaw Vet Clinic
I grew up in a small town and have
had pets my entire life. We have always had at least one dog and outdoor
cats. We live on a farm so I also grew up around horses, donkeys, cows,
pigs, chickens and a goat. I decided to work in an animal related field
when I was in high school. We had a sick cow on our farm. She was
pregnant and was having a difficult time walking. She had
fallen down. We were trying to help her stand up, but we couldn't get
her up. So I started massaging her legs to help stimulate blood to
flow to her muscles. My brother said I should be a
veterinarian. I laughed, but thought maybe I should go into the
veterinary field. I could help animals stay healthy and help them when
they are sick.
I started looking into the veterinary field and I
found out Veterinary Technicians. I did a bit of research and found the
Vet Tech program at Parkland College. I thought this would be a great
way to help animals. I applied and got into the program. It was a
tough - lots of studying and long hours of classes. But it was worth it.
I have enjoyed working with animals and helping keep them healthy.
I have one cat named Effie that lives with me in my
apartment. I also have two dogs, Keyser and Mac, who live at home with
my parents. Effie was found as a stray in Tuscola. Keyser and Mac were
found as strays where my parents live. In my spare time I like to take
photos and sketch and tat. I also spend time on Facebook.
8 years at Okaw Vet Clinic
From a very young age, I just knew that I was going to work with
animals. Back in 1988, I had the opportunity to work at an Animal
Emergency Clinic. Oh boy, was I hooked! I just knew that this was what I
was meant to do.
Upon arriving in Illinois (from my native Rhode
Island), I learned about Parkland College's Veterinary Technology
program. I jumped at the chance to learn more and get some more
training. It was great to know there was a program to gain more
knowledge and training for the field I had come to love.
Every day as a veterinary technician is a learning
experience. There are always new medicines, techniques, diagnostics out
constantly coming out to keep this field so fresh and exciting. (Not to
mention all the great animals and people I meet!)
In my spare time I spend time with Brad, my
husband of 4 years. Crafting with plastic canvas, learning
how to knit and reading are favorite things as well. Going to Craft Night at
Vintage Karma Wednesdays evenings are also a favorite thing to do. We
have 3 feline children that keep us busy as well as entertained.
The oldest is Hoppy, 14 years, whom I adopted thru
Prarieland-Anticruelty cat rescue. Lazarus was adopted at a very young
age by me.
Laz was 5 weeks old when I got him. He was a
C-section kitty that I assisted in, he had a heart beat, but was unable
to breathe on his own, it took me 30 minutes of CPR to get him to breathe on
his own. At the time his mom's owner said " If he
lives his name will be Lazarus and Debbie should be the only one to get
him as she brought him back from the dead"
Our little girl, Simone was adopted by Brad & I
together as our 1st wedding anniversary present to ourselves. We adopted
her at PetSmart through Prairie-Land Anticruetly cat rescue. Her grey
& white markings reminded us of Hoppy, but then she turned her head
showed us her "torti mask" we knew we had to have her.
I am blessed that I love my job and look forward to going to work to see what each day will bring.
3 1/2 years at Okaw Vet Clinic
I have wanted to work in the veterinary field for as
long as I can remember. I used to bring home stray animals. My mother
wasn't to happy, but I wanted to keep them. In second grade, I announced
that I wanted to be a vet. In fifth or sixth grade I decided that I
would like to work in a vet office, but not be a vet. I decided to look
into other jobs that would allow me to work in a vet office. I
found information about veterinary technology and decide to be a
I have a dog named Delilah, she graduated from the
Parkland Vet Tech program and came home with me. I also have a guinea
pig named Duck. She also graduated from the Parkland Vet Tech program
and came home with me. In my spare time I like to scrapbook and spend
time with my nieces and nephews.