Porky and Buddy Pet Health – Brush Cats’ Teeth … With Caution

Dear Porky and Buddy,
I love your column and read it every week!  I have four cats and recently took one of them to the vet. She said his back teeth looked very dirty and need to be cleaned. I have scheduled his surgery (yes, it is considered surgery because he needs to be anesthetized), and I know that his teeth would have been in much better shape if I had just brushed them.

While I brush my dogs’ teeth regularly, I am sort of reluctant to brush my cats’ teeth. Two of my cats are somewhat feral and are scared of any kind of medicating and nail clipping, so I know that brushing their teeth will be a challenge, at best.

Do you have any ideas on the best way to go about brushing a cat’s teeth?
Laura

Dear Laura,
Last week, we talked in general about the importance of paying attention to your pets’ dental health, but, as you have discovered, sometimes there is a difference between perfection and reality.

Please, don’t try to assuage your guilt about your cats’ teeth by sticking your hand in a food processor (which is exactly what a cat’s mouth is, if you think about it.) Fiddling with cats’ mouths is tricky business, as cats really hate mouth invasion.

The bottom line is, be cautious in attempting any tooth brushing in cats. Taking baby steps and always backing off before the cat gets upset is the only sensible approach.

Start with just encouraging the cat to accept mouth handling (like pairing mouth touching with smearing some of their favorite treat food). If successful, then try a veterinary toothpaste.

You don’t need to actually brush their teeth as you probably can with your dogs. If you can just get some into their mouths and on their gums, it will help.

But again, not at the expense of losing the use of your hand.

There are other possible options.

For instance, there are some water additives sold that are purported to help with tartar buildup on pets’ teeth, but you should ask your vet whether she thinks they are effective.

There is also evidence that dry hard diets help control the buildup of tartar in dogs, (but, of course, many dogs are fools that will eat anything).

Cats are not so easily tricked, but you could try.

There are also prescription diets for dogs and cats that help control tartar. Once again, ask your vet.

Some, but not all, vets recommend annual teeth cleaning for cats, but that requires anesthesia, which as you know, despite all the advances, has its risks.

You have chosen that option for one of your cats, based on the state of her teeth, but keep up the conversation with your vet as to whether that is necessary for the others.

We hope you enjoy a long happy time with all your pets, as guilt free as “humanly” possible.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office has relocated to 110 W. Second St., Oswego, NY.

Phone: (315) 207-1070.

Email: ochscontact@hotmail.com

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other!

Porky and Buddy Pet Health – How To Add A Stray To Your ‘Family’

Dear Porky and Buddy,
There is a stray cat who has been hanging around my house for the past several weeks, well OK, I’ve been feeding her, but I can’t really help myself. I have asked all my neighbors, put up flyers in the usual places, checked the lost and found listings to try to find her owners, but no luck with that. So I am thinking I will get her to a vet and let her move in.  She is a really nice cat. I call her Tilly. The only problem with that plan is that I don’t let my cats outside, as I think it is much safer for them and I am not sure how she will adjust to that. Do you have any ideas about how to help her adjust to such a drastic change?
Ed

Dear Ed,
Let’s put this in perspective.

The “drastic change” you are worried about is a warm house, regular meals, your affection, and safety.

We suspect that Tilly will think she has suddenly won the stray cat lottery!

Sure she may want to go out again because she is accustomed to that, but only for something to do.

So give her something to do!

It sounds like you have other cats.

That’s something to do.

We have lots of tips for introducing her to your resident cats, but that’s another column.

You probably already have a plethora of cat toys that are just as much fun as mice, and they last longer.

That’s something to do.

We assume you have windows that she can look out.

That’s something to do.

And we suspect you have already bought her a nice comfy new cat bed.

You know as well as we do that cats do more napping than almost anything else.

In short, once Tilly gets used to the pleasures of having a home again, why would she want to leave?

We would suggest that when you bring her in for the first time, you give her a room of her own to start out in.

Keep her there with her own food, bed,and litter pan so she has some time to adjust to being in the house with you.

As she begins to get comfortable with you, then you can gradually introduce her to other parts and residents of the house.

We think she will do just fine, and kudos to you for your kindness!

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Located at 110 W. Second St., Oswego, NY.

Phone: (315) 207-1070.

Email: ochscontact@hotmail.com

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other!

Porky and Buddy Pet Health – Do Inside Pets Need Heartworm Meds?

Dear Porky and Buddy,
My vet told me I need to give my dog, Spot, heartworm prevention medication, but it is so expensive and Spot hardly ever goes outside. Is it really necessary?
Jack

Dear Jack,
Oh please, if you think heartworm medication is expensive, wait until you have to give Spot heartworm treatment.

Or better yet, wait until he dies from heartworm.

We’re sorry to be cranky about this, but heartworm is a difficult-to-treat and potentially fatal disease in dogs.

A dog can get heartworm disease only through a mosquito bite.

But have you never had a mosquito in your house?

If the mosquito is carrying the heartworm larvae when it bites a pet, the disease is likely to be transmitted to the pet.

The larvae enter the bite wound and move through the pet’s body. The adult worms live in the heart, lungs, and nearby blood vessels, where they can grow up to 12 inches long.

They are really icky and destructive.

Most dogs with heartworm infection do not show any symptoms until the disease becomes severe.

At that stage, symptoms may include difficulty breathing, coughing, tiredness, reduced appetite and weight loss, and eventually lung, liver, kidney, or heart failure, leading to death.

Treatment for dogs is very expensive and potentially toxic, requiring multiple visits to the veterinarian, blood work and x-rays, and a series of injections.

Dogs need to be closely monitored during treatment and for up to 24 hours after treatment.

Following heartworm treatment, dogs should have restricted exercise for up to six weeks, because active dogs are at risk for death from a clot in the lungs.

Prevention is much easier than treatment because most heartworm preventive products are given to pets only once a month.

A variety of products are available by prescription only and they change from year to year, so you need to talk to your vet about what is best.

Some heartworm preventives are combined with other ingredients to kill fleas and some types of ticks and intestinal parasites.

Because pets that have heartworms may not show symptoms right away, your veterinarian will probably want to test Spot before prescribing heartworm preventive to make sure he is not infected.

Dogs are tested for heartworm using a simple blood test.

Talk to your veterinarian about testing and the best heartworm preventive program for you and Spot.

Heartworms have been found in all 50 states, but they are more commonly found in some areas of the country than others.

They are rampant in Oswego County and many untreated dogs suffer horribly from these infections.

Don’t let Spot be one of them.

Most local veterinarians recommend that you start the preventative medications in May and continue them through November, so you need to do this soon.

Did we mention that untreated dogs suffer horribly from these infections?

Are you feeling guilty? Good.

And for crying out loud, why does Spot not go outside?  Take him for a walk!

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office has relocated to 110 W. Second St., Oswego, NY.

Phone: (315) 207-1070.

Email: ochscontact@hotmail.com

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other!

NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine Open House

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Porky and Buddy Pet Health – What To Do If Your Dog’s Skunked

Dear Porky and Buddy,
Help!  I can tell that spring is right around the corner because my dog, Rudy, came home smelling of skunk. I wasn’t expecting that so soon and didn’t have any of the commercial stuff available so I tried the tomato juice trick that I had heard about and then he just smelled like skunk mixed with tomato juice.

I ended up with an emergency trip to the groomer. But, isn’t there a home remedy that actually could work in a pinch?
Tom

Dear Tom,
We are not even being ironic when we say, “Yes, spring is almost here! Let’s have some of those problems instead.”

As a matter of fact, we just came across such a solution that is reputed to work even better than most commercial products.

First, remember that the important thing is to deal with the odor as fast as you can as it only gets worse with time.

You mix four cups of hydrogen peroxide with one-third cup baking soda and a small squirt of dish detergent to make a spray-bottle solution.

Mix them together well. They will fizz up some as there is a chemical reaction going on, but those ingredients won’t hurt Rudy when sprayed on his fur.

Don’t get Rudy wet before applying the solution for the first time.  Just begin cleansing the affected areas thoroughly right away, massaging the solution deep into his coat.

You can use a sponge or washcloth to really rub it in.

But, be careful to avoid getting the solution in his eyes, ears or mouth.

Let the solution remain on his coat for at least five minutes (or longer if a strong odor persists). Rinse him well with lukewarm water. Take a good sniff.

You may have to repeat applications of the solution until the odor is completely gone, but it’s still better than skunk with tomato juice. Right?

Dry him off well and give him a treat!

If you have stinky towels, washcloths, collars etc. in the aftermath you can use the same solution to launder them.

But don’t try to store any leftover solution. Make it up fresh every time, and there will be more times to use it, because spring really is coming. Thank goodness.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office has relocated to 110 W. Second St., Oswego, NY.

Phone: (315) 207-1070.

Email: ochscontact@hotmail.com

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other!

Deltona hosts pet health fest Saturday

The Wags ‘n’ Whiskers Pet Fest will also feature city pet licenses for sale, the dog sport flyball and Volusia County sheriff’s K-9 demonstrations.

The event will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the Keysville Dog Park, 2461 Keysville Ave.

A licensed veterinarian will be on hand to provide $6 rabies shots; $15 kennel cough/bordatella shots and feline leukemia shots; $9 cat/dog vaccines; and $5 deworming.

St. Patrick’s Day Pet Names and Dog Breeds Revealed

Irish setter

Brea, California (PRWEB) March 11, 2015

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, analyzed its database of more than 525,000 insured pets to find the five most common Irish dog breeds, Irish beer-inspired pet names, and St. Patrick’s Day monikers. Below are the results (total number of pets enrolled/sharing name in parenthesis):

Irish Dog Breeds        

1. Wheaten terrier (1,048)

2. Irish setter (366)          

3. Irish wolfhound (257)     

4. Irish terrier (152)         

5. Irish water spaniel (25)    

St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Pet Names

1. Lucky (1,571)

2. Seamus (228)

3. Clover (134)

4. Patrick (98)

5. Shamrock (52)

Irish Beer Inspired Pet Names

1. Murphy (1,443)

2. Guinness (96)

3. Harp (4)

4. Smithwick (3)

5. O’Hara (2)

“The Irish heritage is widely celebrated in the U.S., and the pet loving community is no exception,” said Curtis Steinhoff, Director of Corporate Communications at VPI. “While we may not have our own pet parade for St. Patrick’s day, we continue to see a trend of Irish-themed pet monikers year over year.”

The Irish wolfhound didn’t stray far from its Emerald Isle roots with the most common name amongst the breed being the traditional Irish surname, “Finnegan.” Other popular Irish themed monikers included 123 companions named “Jameson,” a world famous Irish whiskey, and 118 pets named “Dublin,” the capital and largest city of Ireland.

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 525,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI), a Nationwide company, is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

VPI plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Wellness coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Veterinary Pet Insurance, VPI and the cat/dog logo are service marks of Veterinary Pet Insurance Company. ©2015 Veterinary Pet Insurance Company and Nationwide. Pet owners can find VPI on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.


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Goodnewsforpets Announces Contest Series for 15th Anniversary Celebration

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Nine winners will be selected this time to celebrate the selection of the French Bulldog as New York City’s #1 Breed.

New York, NY (PRWEB) March 05, 2015

Goodnewsforpets.com (GNFP) today announced the launch of the first of its 15th anniversary contests at Global Pet Expo under the Contests section of the goodnewsforpets website. The first contest consists of three prizes each for nine winners, a giveaway of a versatile sterling silver Heart-Paw charm, designed by Elena Kriegner exclusively for GNFP, a copy of ACVB’s Decoding Your Dog book, and a donation. To register for this contest, visit the Contest page on goodnewsforpets; or to learn about becoming a contest partner, you can contact Lea-Ann Germinder directly.

Lea-Ann Germinder, Publisher and Founder of Goodnewsforpets, says, “Nine winners will be selected this time to celebrate the selection of the French Bulldog as New York City’s #1 Breed. We will have many more interesting contests to come. Since its launch in 2000, the award-winning site and digital platform has been recognized for its great content and great partners. We look forward to collaborating and celebrating with many more.”

All of the GNFP anniversary contests will include donations to the local shelter or rescue group of choice for winners, reflecting the goodnewsforpets dedication for giving back to organizations that support pets in their community. Each contest will be cross-promoted on GNFP social media channels, as well as posted on newswires and sent to pet trade editors and bloggers to extend the contest reach.

Launched in 2000, goodnewsforpets (GNFP) is a leading nationally recognized platform, curating news of interest for pet parents, and the pet industry and veterinary profession. Starting with the contest launch at Global Pet Expo, the industry’s largest trade show for the pet industry, contests will be rolled out over nine months. A total of fifteen contests will be executed to celebrate each year the website has been sharing good information about pets. Germinder and Associates Inc., an agency specializing in informing the public, press and related industries on pet healthcare products, news and publications, launched goodnewsforpets.com as an outlet for gathering and sharing news, as well as providing essential healthcare information that is concerned with the overall wellbeing and education of pets and their parents.

About Germinder Associates Goodnewsforpets.com

Germinder Associates, Inc. was founded in 1998 by Lea-Ann Germinder, APR PRSA. The agency provides strategic counsel, digital publishing content, and national campaigns for niche markets including animal health and pet products. The newly redesigned website Goodnewsforpets.com and associated social media channels forms a digital platform that curates news of interest and importance to informed pet parents inclusive of the veterinary profession and pet industry. For editorial information, advertising and sponsorship opportunities, contact Lea-Ann Germinder at Lgerminder(at)germinder(dot)com. For information about Germinder Associates, visit http://www.germinder.com.

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