Whether your pet has insurance or not, no one hopes for a vet visit. On North's last trip, we met a poor Rottweiler that was so upset to see his owner go that he actually jumped off the second floor balcony, breaking both front legs and needing to be carried in because the cast covered most of his front half. I'd imagine that treatment would be pricey and fairly common with those fearless pets.
I was shocked to learn, in a recent report released by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the country's largest provider of pet health insurance, that falling short of the top 10 most commonly claimed conditions for dogs and cats are broken bones, poisonings, trauma from car accidents, or animal attacks. Turns out nearly a third of the most common conditions were related to diet – quality food is as important as we knew after all – and vet-approved changes can make all the difference in those gastrointestinal problems.
Another heartwarming tale to come out of England as a pup once paralyzed and in pain received a new lease on life! Enzo the German Shepherd had two herniated discs in his spine and doctors advised owner Chris Evans to give up hope that his doggy would survive or walk again. As a dedicated pet owner, Evans wouldn't take no for an answer and found his pooch a revolutionary operation costing £5,000 (almost twice that in US dollars); the 9-year-old dog had two bolts inserted in the middle of his spine to fuse two vertebrae.
Although the pup still can't support himself on his back legs on land, he's now able to use them during hydrotherapy in the pool. The advanced procedure relieved pressure on the spinal cord and sciatic nerve and, as long as the damage to the cord isn't permanent, vets are optimistic that the pooch will one day get a new leash on life and walk again.
Samson's not the only pooch who thinks poo is a delicacy, North had this very problem when he was a pup. I remember my hushed voice admission of his coprophagia on the first vet visit, thinking I just had an unfortunately dirty dog. The doc just laughed it off and gave me sample packets of this product S.E.P. Stop Eating Poop ($10) is a holistic remedy of Glutamic Acid powder to sprinkle on your pup's (real) food. I'm told it's tasteless to the pooches when it's on their dinner but, when mixed with stomach acids, it gives their waste a distinctly bitter taste. Yeah, I'll take her word for it.
Even though North loves his vet – and I make sure to take him to necessary evaluations – he also spends time around other pups both at daycare or Pet Camp while I'm away. Several boarding facilities require Bordetella vaccinations performed every six months . . . which is more often than he needs to go in for a checkup. Now, North doesn't get that much QT with a vet, and many docs also charge an exam fee per visit (in addition to this shot). When my pooch needs his Bordetella updates, I often take him to a mobile service that will just administer it on a per-shot basis. Do you ever use services like this to get your pets vaccinated?
Ever wonder why it seems nearly impossible (for me, anyway) to get off a long plane ride and not come down with a sniffle the following week? I've heard that it's in part because of the close quarters, shared air, and low cabin humidity that makes germ transmission all too easy. But what does this have to do with pets, you may wonder? Turns out, like the common cold, the same factors can come into play with the canine cough, too.
Sometimes called "kennel cough," this is a complex of infections usually consisting of the bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica and two viruses called Parainfluenza virus and Adenovirus and even an organism called Mycoplasma.. And, like the human version of the common cold, the organisms that cause canine cough are airborne and can spread quickly and easily in any closed environment. If you board your dog, you'll see Bordetella on the list of required vaccinations, but not all vets will standardly suggest this shot. Learn more about it when you read more
Choosing a veterinarian can be a big task for a first timer, or if you just relocated to a new city. Just like when you choose your own doctor, you want your pet's to be the best you can find . . . to make office visits as stress-free as possible. It's always nice if you find someone great that makes both you and your furry friend feel comfortable.
When I first moved to San Francisco, I took my time selecting North's vet – even though I had a fab reference from my friend's mom who had a pup with many health problems. In addition to considering her advice, I asked other pals where they took their pets and checked around at the day care and the dog park before settling on one that I thought would be the right fit for both of us. Even though some owners choose solely on location, others may assume that the most expensive means they are the best. How did you choose your vet? Did you utilize online review forums like Yelp or did you stick with friendly recommendations? Tell me your story in the comments below!
When I spotted this piece on Dolittler about canine vasectomy, I was a bit stumped. I mean I had certainly never heard of this process for a pet, and, I admit, found the concept a bit fascinating. The client mentioned wanted this procedure done to her show dog so he'd be "safe" around her other dogs, but wanted to keep his energy and testosterone for maximum ring performance at competitions. The vet writes:
Though it’s an easy surgery (far less painful than a routine castration, with fewer complications, to boot), it’s clear that we vets have serious power over what procedures become accepted as the norm.
What's your take? If you knew this was an option, would you seek it out?
I don't know about you, but I definitely give consideration to what color toy, harness, and bed I choose for my pet. Now, it's not because I truly believe he prefers a turquoise harness, indigo ball, or lime-green pinstripes on his chocolate-brown bed, I would just rather the stuff match my apartment (neurotic, I know). I can't tell what colors North's eyes see, but there's much research (and many misconceptions) about which colors, if any, are visible to doggies. Veterinary ophthalmologists have determined that dogs are similar to people with red/green color blindness — pups can see bluish and greenish shades but not many ones closer to red.
To learn about conclusions from experiments performed by University of Wisconsin researchers, read more