One of the ickiest, but most important, parts of a dog's annual checkup is the stool sample. Usually we scoop poop several times a day, but it goes straight into the trash without a second thought. However, most vets require and request this very deposit to check for worms and other diseases. For first time visitors, the logistics (How much? How fresh?) can be baffling. Here's a simple how-to for this doodoo must do:
- Mark a freezer-style resealable plastic bag with your pet's name, your name and collection date.
- Turn this bag inside out being careful to have the sealing part safely covered.
- After your dog's most recent meal before the doc's visit, bring this bag along with your normal scooper of choice.
- Collect a small deposit (like one poop) – they actually don't test much more than a tablespoon – and seal up the bag taking care not to smush it.
It's as easy as that! Labeling helps make certain your pup's sample is correctly matched – remember, less is more, and fresh is best.
North views the doctor's office as a big adventure! Other dogs in the waiting room . . . and at least a couple new people to kiss! I remember the biggest problem on our first visit was getting him to stand still enough on the scale! Is my pooch alone in his vet love, or do your pets enjoy their doc QT, too?
Wow, there were so many great suggestions for that kitty who just wouldn't drink! We can all agree that it's an important problem that should be addressed pronto, and I'd like to give a special thank you to TsuKata for offering this tip from the vet who shared it with her after she had a cat that refused water. She writes:
Grab at the kitty's loose skin a little, not a pinch, just a gentle grasp that moves the skin up. It should be almost like you're scruffing her but not so much that you're lifting the kitty and not necessarily at the scruff. See if the skin has elasticity and goes back to the body immediately when you release. If it does not, your cat is dehydrated and should be taken to a vet to be given fluids immediately. If it does go back quickly, even though the kitty hasn't theoretically had water two weeks, your cat is likely drinking from a sink, toilet, or other source . . . and you just need to find that source.
You may be wondering why I've been going a tad tick crazy on the site during the Dog Days of Summer. Well, there's a reason. Last week when chatting with a pal in NYC, she shared a scary story about her rescued Rottie mix, Jack.
While he's seen here in sleepier times, my friend woke up one morning a couple weeks ago to find him not only resting, but totally unable to get up. Obviously, she freaked out and called a friend with a car to help carry the dog to his doctor. The vet did some tests but initially asked if her pooch had spent anytime in the country. Countryside? Does Brooklyn count? To learn where and when he contracted the disease, and what's happening now read more
I hope I didn't scare you with those tips on tweezing ticks! Keep in mind that the insects don't actually cause the disease, they merely harbor and transmit the bacteria that cause the disease. Unless you're an expert, or a super savvy ex-science major, the distinction may mean nothing to you. But since I took the time to understand the path from bug to infection, I knew I had to share my shocking finds with you. First off, the disease begins with a miniscule deer tick. This bug passes a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi into the bloodstream of a pet. However, in order for the deer tick to infect a dog with this bacterium, the tick must remain attached to the dog for about 48 hours. So spotting and quickly removing those pests can save a pet's life!
To learn my most surprising discovery, read more
Ummm, yuck! Turns out there's a word for what I'm feeling when I look at this bug – entonophobia, or fear of ticks! And, trust me, your pets should be scared, too. If you see one of these creepy crawlers on your furry friends, I've got tips for tweezing ticks.The common external parasite can transmit fatal illnesses like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease, and you should do daily checks for the dangerous ticks, especially if you live in woody, grassy, or brushy areas.
Ticks look like this creature – they're tiny black, brown, or reddish eight-legged insect about the size of a pinhead. However, when they attach themselves to your pet, they can swell up several times their original size! See my removal tips when you read more