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Did You Know That Dogs Can Get Tapeworms from Fleas, Mice and Other Rodents?

Did you know these facts about tapeworms and your dog?

  • Dogs may not have symptoms from tapeworms other than worm segments on their rear end or in their feces
  • People rarely are affected by dog tapeworms
  • Flea control is an essential step in protection
  • Dogs can get heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms

 Symptoms

Some dogs will not show obvious symptoms while carrying tapeworm. Here are some of the signs that your dog may have tapeworm:

  • Scooting hind end along floor due to itching
  • Constantly licking or biting the anal area
  • Tapeworm may pass in the feces and be visibly seen
  • Dried yellowish segments of the tapeworm in the feces or around the tail
  • Live segments seen moving around in the same area
  • Vomit up an entire tapeworm
  • Bouts of gas
  • Malaise and irritability
  • Dull fur
  • Restless
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain

Appearance

Tapeworms are flat long worms that attach themselves to your dog’s intestines. A tapeworm consists of multiple parts, or segments, each with its reproductive organs.

Infections

If your dog has a tapeworm infection, you will see small white worms that resemble grains of rice. These are called segments and show up on your dog’s rear end or in their feces. They can also be visible where your dog sleeps.

There are several species of tapeworms. Each species has an in-between host which infects your dog.  Dogs get tapeworms by ingesting the immediate host containing larvae. One species is called Dipylidium caninum that uses fleas as its intermediate host. Two other species, Taenia and Echinococcus, use small rodents (mice, rats, squirrels), rabbits, or large animals (such as deer or sheep) as their intermediate hosts.

Diagnosis 

A fecal, or stool sample can be used to review for the presence of tapeworms. Most test results are conclusive.

Prevention

For prevention, it is vital to keep your dog from coming in contact with intermediate hosts that contain tapeworm larvae. For the most common kind of tapeworm, fleas are the intermediate host. That is why effective flea control is an essential prevention measure.

Your vet can give you a safe, effective monthly heartworm preventive that contains a drug specific for tapeworm infections.

Can humans be harmed by tapeworms?

Echinococcus species of tapeworm found in in dogs or cats may cause serious disease in humans. These tapeworms are uncommon in the United States and are readily treated by prescriptions available from your veterinarian.

If your dog has symptoms or you think your dog is infected with tapeworms, call your veterinarian for an appointment to get an accurate diagnosis and safe, effective treatment options.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

World Turtle Day is May 23rd

 

There is one special day of the year devoted to turtles around the world. It is on Thursday, May 23rd this year. This day is focused on the protection of all species of tortoises and turtles. This year's theme is "Adopt, Don't Shop." There is one special day of the year devoted to turtles around the world. It is on Thursday, May 23rd this year. This day is focused on the protection of all species of tortoises and turtles. This year's theme is "Adopt, Don't Shop." 

What is World Turtle Day?

The nonprofit organization of American Tortoise Rescue “ATR” was established in 1990 for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle. ATR is sponsoring its 17th annual World Turtle Day® on May 23. To help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world, ATR created this day as an annual observance. The founders of ATR, Marshall Thompson and Susan Tellem, advocate humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles. ATR has placed about 4,000 tortoises and turtles in caring homes since 1990. When undersize or endangered turtles are confiscated ATR assists law enforcement and provides helpful information and referrals to persons with sick, neglected or abandoned turtles. 

ATR created and launched World Turtle Day to increase respect for and knowledge of one of the world’s oldest creatures. Now observed around the globe, turtle and tortoise lovers are taking “shellfies” and holding shellebrations in the U.S., Canada, Pakistan, Borneo, India, Australia, the UK, Greece, and many other countries. These gentle animals are rapidly disappearing as a result of smuggling, the exotic food industry, habitat destruction, climate change, and the cruel pet trade. The survived 200 million years before that. Biologists and other experts predict the disappearance of turtles and tortoises in the wild within the next 50 years. 

American Tortoise Rescue

ATR has rescued more than 4,000 since inception. Foundlings that cannot be adopted because of ill health remain in the care of ATR for the remainder of their lives. American Tortoise Rescue acts as a clearinghouse for information about turtle care. They work to abolish “live market” slaughter of turtles in the US, the sale of reptiles on sites like craigslist.com and the cruel importation and exploitation of a variety of species. 

Fire in Malibu destroyed turtle hospital

“We are more grateful than ever this year to shellebrate. We lost our home and the turtle hospital in the Woolsey fire in Malibu, one of the worst wildfires in history,” said Susan Tellem, RN, BSN, co-founder of ATR with her husband, Marshall Thompson. "We were able to evacuate with all 35 turtles and tortoises in our hospital, but those in the rescue itself were hibernating and hidden. Fortunately, the 15 pond turtles and more than 50 other rescues sheltered in place in fireproof housing that my husband built years ago." Tellem said the intense heat melted everything and destroyed plants and trees, but the hibernating turtles survived. “I think it was a miracle. We believe it was the St. Francis statue in the front yard that kept the animals safe. The statue was the only thing left on the home site.” To help rebuild the hospital and the rescue itself, visit https://www.gofundme.com/turtlestrong-malibu-fire-relief 

Adopt, Don’t Shop Theme

“Our theme this year is Adopt, Don’t Shop,” Tellem said. “There are rescues throughout the globe that help place turtles and tortoises into forever homes, most at no cost.” She added, “You can help by not purchasing a turtle from a pet store, online or at a swap meet. Sadly, most of these animals are taken illegally out of the wild or are victims of international smuggling.” Tellem also suggests reporting tiny turtles less than four inches sold at pet stores, by street vendors or used as prizes at carnivals and other events to government wildlife agencies. Their sale has been illegal since 1974. Most die after purchase years before they should.

Some of the highlights to help make your World Turtle Day special include:

  • Everyone can join the party at home, at a pub or work. There is a World Turtle Day Party Pack available created by ATR that can be accessed for free here http://bit.ly/1YwebJR 
  • Like the World Turtle Day page on Facebook and join thousands of fans who are enjoying shellfies, photo contests, and gifts in honor of World Turtle Day.
  • Follow @WorldTurtleDay on Twitter. Thousands of people tweet #worldturtleday to spread the good word about turtles.• Join www.instagram.com/worldturtleday
  • Follow and share videos at www.youtube.com/americantortrescue 

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Does a Dog Really Get Swimmer's Ear?

Most dogs love to go in the water – the pool, lake, ocean, river, pond, etc. With the warmer weather temperatures here, people are visiting places with water with their dogs. After a long day of swimming, both humans and dogs can experience swimmer's ear

What is swimmer’s ear?

Dogs can accumulate water within their ears after a swim. Their ear configuration is different from humans due to their L-shaped structure, which can make it difficult for water to escape. The moist environment created is a favorable environment for yeast and bacteria, which can then lead to the development of an ear infection, also known as otitis externa.

Does the type of ear shape make a difference?

Dogs with floppy ears, such as cocker spaniels and golden retrievers, may be more susceptible to ear infections than dogs with upright ears. When the floppy ears fold over the ear canal, it can retain moisture inside. Bacteria and yeast thrive in this environment and can cause ear infections.

Does the type of water make a difference?

Regardless of whether or not a dog goes swimming in the ocean, lake, river, or chlorinated swimming pool, water is still water and can create a favorable environment for microbes to grow in. All types of water can generate moisture which can make a dog more susceptible to an ear infection.

Symptoms

A common clinical sign of an ear infection is itchy ears. When bacteria and yeast overgrow within ears, there may be yellow or black debris visible from the ear canal.

The infection can often cause:

  • Inflammation or redness of the ear
  • Pain at touch
  • Itchiness
  • Burning
  • Head shaking
  • Pawing at head/ears
  • Rubbing ears on objects
  • Twitching of the ears
  • Scaly skin within the ear
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Whining
  • Restless

Prevention

Here are some ways to prevent this type of ear infection for your dog:

  • After a dog swims, allow them to shake out any excess water and dry their ears carefully.
  • Make sure you regularly clean a dog’s ears when it becomes dirty. Depending on the dog breed, the frequency of ear cleaning may vary, so ask your veterinarian. There are specially made ear cleansers for pets that are recommended.
  • Owners can clean their dog's ears at home by using an ear cleanser that is then wiped off with gauze or cotton. Care should be taken to NOT USE Q-tips due to the possibility of rupturing the tympanic membrane or eardrum.

Veterinary care should be sought for proper treatment if your dog’s ear becomes infected. If in doubt about whether your dog has swimmer’s ear, contact your local veterinarian? Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Benefits of Dog Crate Training

Crate training can open up a big discussion with lots of strong opinions and feelings. Have you just adopted a new puppy or an adult dog? Are you thinking about bringing a new furry friend into your home? If the answer is yes, then you are also thinking about should I crate train my puppy or adult dog?

We can help you by describing the benefits of crate training for your new pet?

Benefits

There are many benefits of crate training for your dog. Here are a few:

  • Crate training enhances your dog's natural instincts as a den animal. The crate which is similar to a dog's den is where they can find comfort and solitude while you know they’re safe and secure.
  • A crate is a great tool to help house train and potty train a puppy.
  • During thunderstorms, holidays, parties, rampaging kids, and a host of other potentially stressful events that can happen in our homes, a crate provides a safe space for your dog to relax, and retreat during anxiety-inducing times.
  • Crates help to make transporting your dog in a car easier and safer.
  • A crate can help prevent injuries and poisonings for dogs when they’re left home alone to get into mischief while you run errands or go to work.
  • Crate training helps protect your home while you out (furniture, floors, doors, etc.).
  • If your dog has been properly crate trained, it will be more comfortable and relaxed when they need to be crated at the vet, boarding kennel, or groomer.
  • A crate can be very useful for the prevention of destructive behavior. Work with a dog trainer on tools to have a dog stop destroying things in your home.
  • If your dog needs any post-surgery convalescence, they'll be happier, safer, and less likely to have a surgical failure or other complications following any surgeries that require post-operative exercise restriction (e.g., spay, fracture repair, cruciate surgery).
  • Instead of leaving your animal outdoors for long periods where they can overheat, bark, dig, jump your fence or chew, they can be put in a crate while you are running errands or working indoors and can't supervise them.

If your dog has an anxiety problem such as fear of crates, a crate may not be a good plan? You’ll probably need help from a professional trainer on how to help your dog get comfortable with a crate.

If a dog is properly introduced to a crate as a young pup, he will view it as a safe refuge from the hustle and bustle of the house. It can become a place for peace and quiet and serious napping.

If in doubt about whether a crate is right for your new addition to the family, contact your local veterinarian? Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Unrestrained Dogs in Vehicles Can Cause Serious Injuries to Pet, Driver, and Passengers

We love our animals, and most of our furry pets enjoy a car ride with us. Unfortunately, dogs in the car can be a significant distraction for drivers. This fact is validated by a study put out by AAA that says that dogs in a vehicle can cause a distracted driver to be in danger and can lead to car crashes. 

AAA Poll

 The AAA poll states that:   • 52% of dog owners say they have pet their dog while driving • 17% have driven with their dog in their lap • 13% have given a dog treats, food or water while weaving through traffic • 4% have played with the pet while driving • Only 16% use a pet-restraint system   Just like all family members in a car, dogs also need a seat belt or some type of restraint while in a vehicle. If there is an accident or a sudden sharp stop, using a pet-restraint system will prevent the dog from being flung throughout the car. If the dog is not using a restraint, they can be injured or can cause serious injury to anyone else in the vehicle at the time.

A 10-pound dog can exert up to 500 pounds of pressure if the car crashes going 50 miles per hour which can cause serious injury.

Unrestrained dogs

People love to bring their dog on a car trip as supported by the poll - 84 percent of poll respondents stated that they have driven with their pets. Only 16 percent of pet owners are using any form of pet restraint system while driving with their dog.

The use of a seat belt or pet restraint system can reduce limiting distractions and protect your pet:

  • Using seat belts or other restraint systems will limit pet movement and reduce a pet’s ability to distract the driver.
  • It is best to restrain a pet in the back seat due to the airbags on the passenger side.
  • Padded harnesses with sturdy connectors and straps are available to connect to a vehicle’s seatbelt or LATCH system. Both soft- and hard-sided crates can be used in cars, but should be strapped down. With smaller dogs, pet car seats or basket-style holders can be used.

Restraint systems avoid distracting the driver AND protect your dog and other passengers in the car.

Airbag damage to pets

Starting in 1996, all new cars are required to have airbags. Sitting on the passenger side with an airbag, a pet can be seriously injured or possibly killed if the airbag deploys. For a smaller dog, even if the airbag does not deploy, your pet could get hurt by getting thrown into the dashboard or windshield.

If in doubt which system to use, contact your local veterinarian for options that are best for your dog to use in your car? Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Get a Pet ID and Microchip During National Pet ID Week

Have you ever lost a pet? They got out of your front door, backyard or car and ran. Or, worse, someone stole your animal. The fear and panic we feel knowing our loved one is missing, cold, hungry, scared and that we may never find them. Don’t put yourself through that unnecessary experience.

According to the American Humane Association, in the U.S. every year over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year. During their life, one in three pets will become lost at some point.

National Pet I.D. Week – April 14th – 20th

During National Pet ID Week, take the time to update your pet’s information, put the information in a safe location and check out other methods to identify and keep track of your beloved pet. If your pet went missing, would someone be able to quickly identify your dog or cat and return them to you safe and sound? A big issue when a pet goes missing is that there is no easy way to identify that pet and return them to their owner.

Methods to identify pets

Personalized ID Tag

Your pet should always wear an identification tag. Microchips are another valuable resource in locating your animal, but the ID Tag can help someone instantly contact you just by seeing a phone number to call on the tag. I.D. tags are, by far, the most common and quickest ways to identify a pet. These super popular and handy accessories can be found at nearly any major retailers that carry pet goods or the pet store.

Microchip

Get a microchip for your pet. ID tags can be removed or fall off. A microchip is a tiny electronic device which is injected under the skin. So, if a shelter, veterinarian or animal-control officer locate your pet, they can wave a scanner over the chipped area and find the pet’s unique identification number. When they put the number into a database, you and your pet will be reunited.

Microchips are probably the most reliable way to make sure that your pet can be identified by a rescuer or veterinarian that comes in contact with them while they are lost. The actual process of microchipping your pet is relatively painless and, once installed, need to be registered with the microchip company.

Keep information current

Keep the microchip information up-to-date. If you move or if your phone number changes, make sure you update the microchip company.

State and Rabies Tags

In the State of Florida, it is required by law to it is required by law that each dog, cat and ferret over the age of 4 months receive a rabies vaccination, even if they are “indoor only” animals.

When you take your pet to the vet for a vaccine, they will give you a Rabies Tag. This tag includes the tag number and a certificate from the county/state. You can call that county that issued the tag and provide the tag number. The county/state should be able to find the pet in their records.

State License

These are a great, and sometimes mandatory, way to I.D. your pet. These forms of I.D. will generally have more information about your pet such as color, breed, and microchip number if available. State licenses are usually cheap and are sometimes required by state law to be registered. Please check with both your local and state governments to ensure that you are carrying the proper identification for your pet at all times.

Make sure you can locate your pet if they ever go missing. Contact your local veterinarian to get your animal a microchip and other items they need to be found. Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

 

Dogs and Cats Preventive Health Care

We consider our pets family, and just like our children, our dogs and cats need regular wellness exams and preventive health care. A Veterinary forming an evaluating your pet's overall health is vital to good long-term health. There are risks associated with disease or other health problems that a Veterinarian can catch before the issue becomes dire.

It is recommended that you consider your pet's nutrition, dental care, vaccinations and flea, tick and heart prevention. A Vet can access and offer recommendations specifically tailored to your furry loved one's health and risk factors.

Preventive health care

Imagine if you could put a stop to your pet’s health issues before they even started? You can by establishing a quality and routine preventive care program for your pet.

Part of a wellness visit or preventive health care plan is a health evaluation. The visit will include an inquiry about your pet's history, breed, age, lifestyle, behavior, and diet; a comprehensive physical exam; and necessary measurements like temperature, weight, pulse, and respiration rates. Collectively this information will help assess whether a pet might actually be sick rather than well.

Your Vet can provide a preventive care program that includes:

  • Comprehensive healthy pet checkups and physical exams every six months
  • Vaccinations
  • Spay / Neuter discussion
  • Routine dental care
  • Routine blood and urine testing
  • Intestinal parasite control
  • Flea, tick, and heartworm prevention
  • Nutritional and behavioral counseling
  • Weight management

Check-Ups

At a pet check-up, you should discuss these items with your Vet, especially if you have noticed a change or issue:

  • Diet,
  • Exercise,
  • Lifestyle
  • Behavior
  • Thirst,
  • Breathing,
  • Habits,
  • Bowel movements and urination, and
  • General health.

Your Vet will perform a physical examination on your dog or cat and knows your pet's prior history so they will know what recommendations to make. The vet will check your pet's teeth and gums, skin, eyes, ears, and bones thoroughly. Notify the Vet if your loved one has any lumps or bumps to examine as well.

How often?

An adult pet should be seen by a veterinarian at least annually (some cases semi-annually is better) for an assessment of their preventive care needs. Puppies and kittens will require more frequent visits, about every 3-4 weeks until they are about four months old. 

Benefits

The benefits of receiving preventive health care for your animal can: 

  • Prevent a pet from becoming sick.
  • Catch diseases early.
  • Prevent the transmission of diseases and parasites.
  • Keep pets comfortable by preventing flea and tick infestations.
  • Prevent possible painful periodontal disease and teeth extractions by making sure you implement dental care and routine professional dental cleanings.
  • Delay or prevent the onset of diseases.

 Keep your pet healthy and happy by contacting your local veterinarian and set up your pet’s wellness visit. Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Cat Breeds that are Hypoallergenic for Humans

A lot of humans are allergic to cats. You can hear the sneezing start up right after they have spent some time in a home with a cat or multiple cats. Their eyes start getting itchy, swollen and red. Some people even get hives and it closes up their throat and they can’t breathe so it is a pretty serious issue.

Does your family love cats and want one but your health can’t handle it? Have you considering looking into hypoallergenic breeds so everyone is happy and safe?

Hypoallergenic?

What does the term hypoallergenic mean?

According to PetMD, “some feline breeds are considered "hypoallergenic," which means they produce fewer allergens than others. Cats do produce pet dander, a common allergen, but the culprit for the estimated 10 percent of the population who are allergic to cats may be a protein, Fel d 1, that is present in cat saliva. Technically, there is no such thing as a 100 percent hypoallergenic domestic cat (or dog). If your allergy is not severe, these breeds should come pretty close”. The protein in a cat’s saliva called Fel D1 is what usually makes an allergic person take antihistamines, sneeze, have itchy eyes or even have an asthma attack.

10 hypoallergenic cat breeds

The following 10 cat breeds produce less of this protein than others, which makes them hypoallergenic. With this information, start looking at shelters, vet offices and the adoption process for your family. PetMD reports that these 10 breeds are hypoallergenic:

Devon Rex

Just independent enough to be an ideal cat for working families, the Devon Rex will shower its people with love and attention when they are around, and stay out of trouble when they are not. And, because it sheds very little, it does not shower the home in hair.

Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex is a strikingly unusual cat; small to medium in size with an egg-shaped head, long legs, and large ears. Affectionate and attention-seeking, the Cornish Rex is a high energy cat that bonds well with its human family. 

Javanese The Javanese possesses a high degree of intelligence and seems to understand when spoken to. It will look a person straight in the eye and answer with a meow. In fact, the cat is well-recognized for its excellent communication skills. Javanese are also loyal to a fault and can be easily trained.

Sphynx Cat

Though they appear to be hairless, many Sphynxes are actually covered with a fine gossamer down which can only barely be felt or seen. Because of its fineness, the skin of the Sphynx is often compared to warm suede. It is often heavily wrinkled around the shoulders, between the ears, and around the muzzle. A well-behaved, high energy cat, the Sphynx is a true extrovert who loves human attention and will show off to keep it. 

Balinese The coat on the Balinese is of a silky texture and single coated, with only minimal shedding. In fact, the Balinese is noted for its lack of shedding amongst long coated cats. Speaking and interacting with humans is what it is most fond of. This breed is ranked as one of the most intelligent of cat breeds, and is also remarkable for its good humor, good nature, and high energy. Getting along well with both animals and people is one of the strongest qualities the Balinese possesses.

Oriental Shorthair

The Oriental Shorthair is long and slender, with large ears and piercing almond-shaped eyes. It is a member of the Siamese family. However, unlike the Siamese, the Oriental Shorthair comes in over 300 colors and patterns. It is also less “talkative” than the Siamese, but is still fond of chatting and is never too tired to strike up a “conversation.” This is a cat that needs to be the center of attraction. Lavish an Oriental with love and it will return it in full measure. 

Russian Blue The Russian Blue was named for its coat, which is lavender at the base (root), darkening along the shaft up to the tips of the guard hairs, which are tipped in shimmering silver. One of the more curious and amusing features of the Russian Blue is its “smile.” It has a slightly upturned mouth, which is frequently compared to the enigmatic Mona Lisa smile. The Russian Blue can spend hours amusing itself and does not mind an awful lot if it is left at home alone for the day, but it will be very happy to see you when you do arrive. Elegant, and reserved, this cat is also very playful, and loves to chase after toys and sunbeams. 

Bengal Though it is not a lap cat, the Bengal does enjoy human company and will often stay close to its family members. The Bengal particularly enjoys the company of children, since its energetic nature makes it very fond of playing games.

Colorpoint Shorthair The Colorpoint Shorthair is a first-cousin of the Siamese, and like its cousin it is a born extrovert, making friends easily, chattering persistently, and showering its owner with love. The Colorpoint is also remarkably sensitive to moods. If someone is moved to tears while watching a tragic movie, this cat will try to bring them comfort.

Siberian

The Siberian does not blend easily into the background. It is a large cat, with a lush double coat. This may seem counter intuitive at first, but remember that it is not the hair that makes a cat allergenic. The Siberian is notable for having a low level of the Fel d 1 protein in its saliva, so people with relatively mild allergies will often be able to tolerate living with this affectionate breed.

Which one is your favorite? If you have any questions about which pet is best for you, talk with your local veterinarian? Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

My Dog Eats Grass. Is that Okay?

When I take my dog out for a walk, he ends up eating grass and then vomits. Does this sound familiar? You are not alone in your concern.

“Dogs love to munch away on grass, and some even make it part of their daily routine. Fortunately, most experts believe it isn't something you should worry about. So why exactly do they gobble up that green stuff in your yard?

Dogs, unlike their catty counterparts, are not carnivores. But they're not like your garden-variety omnivores, either. For tens of thousands of years, these opportunistic scavengers have devoured anything and everything, as long as it fulfilled their basic dietary requirements.

The modern dog, partly because of evolution and domestication, is no longer like its ancestors, which frequently ate their prey entirely, including the stomach contents of plant-eating animals. Instead, dogs today seek out plants as an alternative food source. Most commonly the plant is grass -- since that is what is closest at hand -- but wild canines are known to eat fruits, berries, and other vegetable matter, too,” according to PetMD.

There are several reasons why your dog might be eating grass:

Boredom

They are bored. If this is the case, giving them more exercise with help with that.

Nutritional deficiency

“Pica is the technical term for the disorder characterized by eating things that aren’t food. Sometimes pica indicates that your dog has some type of nutritional deficiency, though it is often simply a sign of boredom, especially when practiced by puppies and younger dogs.

Dogs eating grass is actually quite common (it has been observed in wild dogs, too, and may be completely natural) and this form of pica does not usually cause too many problems. In fact, most veterinarians consider it a normal dog behavior. One small-scale study of 49 dog owners whose dogs had regular access to grass and other plants found that 79% of the dogs had eaten plants at some time. Another survey about plant-eating dogs found that grass was the most commonly eaten plant. On the chance that your dog’s pica behavior is caused by a nutritional deficiency, switching to a better dog food, especially a high-fiber variety, could help alleviate the problem”, states Pets.WebMD.com.

Don’t feel well

There is a school of thought that dogs turn to eating grass when they don’t feel well as a way to make themselves vomit, which in turn makes them feel better.

Improving digestion

Your dog might be eating grass to improve digestion, treating intestinal worms, or fulfilling some unmet nutritional need, including the need for fiber.

Typically grazing itself isn’t harmful for animals. Consider that certain herbicides and pesticides used on lawns can be quite toxic, especially if your dog ingests the grass with the toxins on it.

Time to get concernedThe American Kennel Club reports that “if your dog's vomiting can be described as any of the following, then it is time to start getting concerned:

  • Continuous vomiting
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Vomiting a lot at one time
  • Vomiting with other symptoms, like fever, weight loss, lethargy, anemia, etc.
  • Vomiting blood
  • Vomiting with nothing coming up
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Suspected foreign body ingestion
  • Seizures

It never hurts to play it safe when it comes to dog health. The best way to find out if your dog’s vomiting is normal or not is to call your vet”.

If in doubt whether there is an issue or not, make sure you talk with your local veterinarian? Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Wildlife Crossings are Saving Lives

If you are an animal lover, you will be interested in knowing about what has been happening in several states around the country with wildlife conservation? Not only is it saving wildlife but it is reducing car accidents and saving people too!

Wildlife Crossings

“Underpasses and overpasses and crossing structures are dotted all over the West, particularly where there’s a migration pattern of antelope or deer or elk,” Kehne said. “So it’s not a new technology, but it’s very effective. These types of wildlife undercrossings have proven to work well in places such as Banff, CanadaPinedale, Wyoming; and Bend, Oregon. Conservationists say it’s important to get these fixes in places now — before suburban sprawl reaches into wilder areas and makes it even harder for wildlife to get around,” explains MyModernMet.

Here is an update by some of the states that are moving forward with constructing underpasses, overpasses and crossing structures.

Oregon

“Oregon has also seen a substantial reduction in wildlife collisions near Bend, after two underpasses were built to help connect important mule deer habitat. The highway cuts off summer ranges in the Cascades from winter ranges in the desert.

“There isn’t really the option to try to keep the deer on one side of the highway or the other. They have this biological imperative that drives them from one side of the highway to the other, twice a year,” said ODFW’s Simon Wray in a video produced by the state.

After the underpasses were completed, collisions were reduced by up to 90 percent on that section U.S. Highway 97. Trail cameras have shown lots of deer using the fenced-in route — they’ve also captured a bear, coyotes, elk and small animals like badgers.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has plans in the works for two more wildlife underpasses along the highway. Construction on one is scheduled to start next year,” reports OPB News.

Utah

KSL.com announced that “the state’s newest overpass created solely for wildlife to cross officially opened in December 2018. A moose was even spotted for the official ribbon cutting. The overpass was designed to help animals cross safely and reduce the number of traffic accidents in Parleys Canyon. Complete with boulders and logs, the snow-covered path stretches across six lanes of Interstate 80. While saving the lives of animals is a bonus, the overpass was built to increase the safety of drivers along the freeway.

Big game often cross the roads between Mountain Dell and Jeremy Ranch. In the past two years, drivers have reported more than 100 wildlife-vehicle crashes in the area, and it’s estimated the number of unreported collisions is four times as many. Construction for the $5 million state-funded project has been going on since spring.

“From the Division of Wildlife Resources standpoint, the No. 1 benefit is public safety,” said Scott Root, DWR’s conservation outreach manager.

Root said considering how many collisions with wildlife the overpass can prevent, it would pay for itself down the road in 10, 20 years, we’re hoping.”

Washington

“We’re standing in the middle of the Cascades, where there’s a bottleneck of habitat. We’re standing on top of six lanes of freeway that carry 28,000 vehicles a day. Wildlife have got to cross this freeway,” Watkins said, looking out over the cars zooming by below.

The crossing is taller than your average bridge. Once it’s completed, it will have 8-foot fences that will funnel wildlife to where they should cross. The bridge will be covered in rocks and native plants. That way wildlife won’t even realize they’ve left the safety of the forest.

Even without all that camouflage, workers saw deer using the bridge almost immediately — while construction crews were still pushing equipment around. As wildlife undercrossings were completed as a first part of the project in 2014, more than 13,000 deer and hundreds of coyotes have safely reached the other side of the road, said Meagan Lott, with the Washington Department of Transportation. She said culverts in the undercrossings have helped salmon and bull trout reach stretches of river cut off to them for decades.

Watkins expects the new bridge will eventually be used by more than 60,000 species. “From frogs and salamanders, who are going to take quite a while to cross, to mountain lions and bears and wolverines. We’re rebuilding a forest over the interstate,” Watkins said.

Conservationists say it’s important to get these fixes in places now — before suburban sprawl reaches into wilder areas and makes it even harder for wildlife to get around. It could also help with wolf recovery. To meet recovery goals, wolves need a way to get across the Cascades. Chase Gunnell, with Conservation Northwest, said this bridge could help.

“Wildlife can’t persist in large numbers and in perpetuity in islands of habitat. It’s really knitting together smaller habits, reconnecting landscapes, to allow animals to move in and utilize smaller areas of habitat,” reports OPB News. Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment

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