Fall River Hospital Blog
Here is a fact we hope you’ll sink your teeth into: preventing periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). By protecting your pet’s dental health, you can extend their life by three years! Along with obesity, dental disease is a leading (and preventable) illness that takes the lives of far too many pets far too early. To make matters even more pressing, over 80% of dogs and 50% of cats over the age of three will develop periodontal disease.
Here’s a tail-wagger for you: 2021 is finally here. We are happy to welcome the new year with smiles and a rejuvenated sense of optimism. As a team, we remain committed to providing pets with the best lives they can experience. We’ve resolved to help pet parents find more ways to keep their pets healthy, happy, and ready to take on this year and beyond. To help you keep better track of your pet’s health and maintenance needs, here is a 12-month plan:
As you’re shopping for the holiday season, you may ask yourself, “What’s the best gift I can give my pet?” While pet sweaters are cute and can make for adorable holiday cards, we believe the best present a pet parent can gift their pet is a healthy, happy life. When you invest in your pet’s wellbeing, you’re giving the most heartfelt gift a pet could ask for (if they knew how to speak). As a pet parent, you are your pet’s advocate for a better life. You’re like Santa but better--you have the opportunity to make your pet merrier every day of the year.
Despite all that has happened in 2020, this year has its hidden gems. From having more time to snuggle with the cat to greeting neighbors working from home on walks with the dog, there is still so much to be thankful for as we approach Thanksgiving.
2020 has been scary enough, so there’s no need for any extra worries this year. To help keep your pets safe this October, we’re offering you our top tricks to keeping the treat in this sweet month.
Pain and your pet: two things you never want to think about together. When our pets hurt, our hearts break. We do everything we can to help our beloved companions avoid the irritation and anguish of physical discomfort. Yet it can be challenging to recognize how your pet experiences pain and exhibits distress. It would be so much easier if our furry family members spoke human!
We’re proud to be part of this diverse and caring community. We are equally honored to be a local business that makes an impact on the happiness and health of your furry family members.
The dog days of summer are here. For many, this season comes with endless possibilities for having fun with your pets, like picnics, nature walks, and swimming pools. After being stuck at home for so long due to COVID-19, we bet you’re looking to break up the boredom with some outdoor adventures.
Does your dog or cat run and hide when there’s a thunderstorm? What about the Fourth of July? Between unpredictable weather and fireworks, your pet may be dreading summer.
While COVID-19 quarantines continue across the country, you may be spinning your wheels to stay busy, productive, and positive. Luckily, our pets provide a great deal of comfort and companionship despite the isolation and stress caused by the Novel Coronavirus. As dogs and cats get used to having you at home, you may need to add some new activities to your repertoire to help keep them busy and make the most of your time together.
Are you ready to hop into spring? We sure are. In spite of the uncertainties of this unprecedented time, we are happy to see so many people (distantly) uniting and finding creative ways to be the community we’re proud to serve. From treasure-hunt style Easter egg hunts to the resurgence of “Victory Gardens,” it’s heartwarming to see folks looking out for each other while staying safe and healthy.
March is Pet Poison Prevention Month. Many pet parents are surprised by the number of seemingly harmless items around the house that can cause serious injury or death for cats and dogs. To help you march through this spring and into the rest of the year with a safer home for your animal companions, here are the most common and dangerous household poisons to keep away from your pets.
Did you know that February is National Pet Dental Health Month? We love that this month is devoted to your canine’s canines, your kitty’s chompers, and your pet’s pearly whites. While your companion’s mouth may be a source of kisses and smiles, pet parents may overlook how much their pet’s dental health affects their overall well-being.
Are you ready to ring in the New Year with some new tricks to teach your dog or cat? Yes--cats can learn tricks, and they’re rather good at it! January is “Train Your Pet Month”. You can celebrate with your best friend by teaching them a few new moves to impress the neighbors. It’s also a great time to make an appointment with our clinic to work on breaking some bad habits if you’re concerned about new or recurring behaviors that are getting in the way of the bond you share.
As the holidays approach, you’ve probably switched into Santa-mode and started making a gift list and checking it twice. And like most pet parents, you probably buy your pets something extra special to thank your best friends for being oh-so-amazing! If you’re still deciding on the perfect present for your pets this year, we have some unbeatable ideas that your pets are sure to appreciate!
When you see the holiday through your pet’s eyes, the big guy in the red suit may seem kind of frightening. And that’s not all - the home filled with scents of tasty but possibly unhealthy and dangerous foods, the noise of the door opening and closing as guests arrive makes their hearts race, strangers scares them, and ornaments look an awful lot like toys. Plus there’s the tree - which looks like an indoor bathroom to your dog.
Don’t let your pet “fall” into some of the most common safety hazards we see this time of year. Fall may be the most beautiful season to some, but there are unique risk factors you can prepare for. If you’re anything like most people, you breathe easier this time of year.
Nothing hurts pet parents more than believing their pet is in pain. And we can’t blame them. It’s hard to know exactly how much pain or discomfort our lovable pets may be in since they can’t ask for aspirin or show us where it hurts.
August is here, bringing plenty of sunshine and joy. Do you know what else August provides pet parents? A chance to take a moment and meditate on your dog’s health. That’s right! August is National Immunization Awareness Month, or as we like to think of it: “National Protect Your Pets and Help Them Live a Long and Happy Life Month” - but that’s a bit of a mouthful!
Summer is here! Whether you have a hairless Sphynx or a hairy Husky, the heat this time of year can be dangerous for pets. Whatever the breed or size of your kitty or canine, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your pet safe and comfy as the mercury rises.
Here are some of the most common questions regarding the Fourth of July and pet dangers. We tried to answer some questions you may have and suggest ways you can help keep your pet safe this Independence Day!
Summer is the best season to be a dog! The sunshine and great weather lead to endless possibilities of fun outdoor activities. From doggie paddling on a beach summer vacation to leaping through the woods, summer is dog-gone fun!
Heartworm can have devastating consequences for your pet, including death. It is especially tragic when dogs and cats succumb to heartworm disease when it’s entirely preventable. Now that warm weather is finally here, your dog or cat has a much greater likelihood of acquiring heartworm just by being outside since the most common route of transmission is a bite from an infected mosquito.
It can be scary when your pet has ingested a potentially toxic substance, especially when you didn’t see what he licked or swallowed. To help raise awareness of the issue and prevent illness or fatality in pets, the American Veterinary Medical Association named the third week in March Pet Poison Prevention Week. Below are some hazards you should be especially aware of this time of year.
Consider all the joy and love your dog brings into your life. Now, imagine if you could take measures to help your dog live longer with a better quality of life. Wouldn’t you want to return the happiness your dog provides you for years to come?
Fortunately, with proper care over your dog’s lifetime, she can live happier, healthier, and statistically longer.
Now that the calendar has officially flipped over to 2019, you may be focusing on meeting some new resolutions for the upcoming year. Perhaps one of those is to be an even greater pet owner than you already are. This is an excellent resolution, and Fall River Animal Hospital wishes to offer some tips below to help you achieve it!
The thought of a cuddly puppy or kitten under the Christmas tree may be tempting, but think twice before giving a pet as a present. The months following the holidays are often the busiest time for shelters as new pet owners grow weary of their Christmas gifts and the unexpected demands they require. Some shelters estimate that 50 percent of pets given as gifts end up abandoned.
The hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving is a part of the tradition for many families. But in the commotion, it's important to keep safety in mind for our four-legged family members. Our Fall River Animal Hospital veterinary staff offers these Thanksgiving safety tips to help you all have a safe and special holiday!
Do you have plans for trick-or-treating this month? Parties? Visiting kiddos in creative costumes? As Halloween activities can often stretch through much of October, our Swansea Vet Center veterinary staff provides these tips to help keep this fun and spooky holiday safe for furry family members, too! You can help your pet enjoy the season by being mindful of “F.E.A.R.: food, environment, attire and recovery”
We hear about food safety for ourselves on a regular basis. Cook this food to this temperature, throw away that food after a certain period of time and so on. But what about our pet's food? September is National Food Safety Education Month, and Fall River Animal Hospital has several suggestions to keep in mind as you prepare your furry friend's daily meals.
Does your dog chew, scratch, whine or bark when left alone? Or does your cat urinate in your bed or meow loudly? While more common in dogs than cats, you may be tempted to conclude your pet has separation anxiety. It's important to properly evaluate the behavior to avoid a misdiagnosis and delay in proper training or treatment to correct the issue as many of the behaviors and cues associated with separation anxiety can also be attributed to other medical or behavioral concerns.
Pet owners believe that their lives are enriched by owning a pet, but did you know even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that having a pet is good for you? Pet ownership and companionship can prevent you from feeling lonely, give you more opportunities for socialization, and give you a sense of love and pride from taking such good care of your pet. In fact, just petting your dog or cat can immediately lower your stress level!
Pets have been proven to lower anxiety and depression, especially for people who are prone to these mental health conditions or who have suffered through a traumatic event. One reason for this is that the presence of a pet changes a person’s focus from his or her inward thoughts to taking care of a dependent animal.
Now that summer is finally here, you and your pet can spend more time outdoors enjoying all that the season has to offer. Like the other three seasons, summer presents unique safety challenges for our companion animals. The good news is that you can enjoy a wonderful summer with your pet by taking a few simple precautions recommended by our Fall River Animal Hospital veterinarians.
As a pet owner, you look forward to the warmer spring weather because it means you can finally spend more time outdoors with your furry friend. Unfortunately, it also means more exposure to environmental hazards for your dog or cat. This requires awareness of these dangers and active steps on your part to help your pet avoid them.
Cyanobacteria, more commonly known as blue-green algae, are microscopic in size and located in ponds, streams, and freshwater lakes. They can be extremely toxic to dogs, cats, horses, birds, and cows. Diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, breathing difficulty, skin and mucous membrane discoloration, and disorientation are some of the most serious symptoms associated with blue-green algae. Severe poisoning can cause death, so it’s essential to contact your veterinary team at Fall River Animal Hospital immediately if you suspect that your pet has ingested this, or if your pet is exhibiting any symptoms.
It’s a new year, and you have vowed to get in shape and improve your health. Although you might have made this resolution before only to fall back into old habits before the end of January, you mean it this time. The good news is that having a pet gives you even more motivation to achieve better health. Not only does the love of your furry companion give you the incentive to take better care of yourself, but it encourages you to improve your pet’s health as well.
Looking For a Special Gift for Your Pet?
Your pet is a loved and valuable member of your family, so it only makes sense that you want to buy him a special holiday gift. If you decide on a toy, we at Fall River Animal Hospital would like to remind you of the following important safety considerations:
Your pet’s size: This is especially important when purchasing a chewable toy. A squeaky toy ball, for example, would be fine for a cat but not a large dog due to the potential choking hazard.
Stuffing material: Beads, foam, and other stuffing material could come loose from the toy if your pet bites it or tears it apart. If you choose a stuffed toy, be sure to supervise your pet until you know how she will react to it.
Attachments to toys: Items like ties, ribbons, plastic eyes, and even stitches can easily come loose and present a choking hazard to your dog or cat. You may want to consider removing these items first if your pet is especially rambunctious with toys.
Additionally, be sure to teach your pet which items belong to him as toys and which he should leave alone. You can reinforce the idea of safe toys by praising your pet every time he takes one of his own toys out to play with and redirect him when he tries to chew on or play with something belonging to another family member. It’s especially important to pet-proof during the holiday season so your dog or cat doesn’t get into office supplies, electronics, your children’s toys, or anything else he’s curious about but that could ultimately hurt him.
A baby’s first birthday is a bittersweet milestone for parents because it’s hard to believe how much their son or daughter changed in just a year. When compared with the lifespan of our pets, it’s important to note that our pets age more quickly than we do. Although our pets reach their “golden years” at varying times based on breed, size and species, at Fall River Animal Hospital we recommend bi-annual preventive care exams starting when your pet reaches his senior years. Because of pet’s accelerated aging, new health concerns can appear in very subtle ways, and early detection is the key to keeping your pet as healthy as possible.
Most Common Health Conditions of Older Pets
Dogs and cats experience many of the same age-related health conditions that people do. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the most prevalent ones include:
Cancer: Cancer is the number one killer of both dogs and cats over age 10, with mast cell tumors most common in dogs and leukemia in cats. Some signs that your older pet could have cancer include slow-healing wounds, behavior changes, weight loss, fatigue, and lack of appetite.
Kidney disease: Healthy kidneys are essential for proper waste elimination. When the kidneys become diseased, your pet’s urine and feces remain trapped inside her body. This can cause significant pain, vomiting, weight loss, incontinence, and greater thirst.
Diabetes: Pets are becoming just as inactive and obese as people are. In fact, more than half of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. This increases the risk of diabetes, but a pet doesn’t have to weigh too much to develop the disease. Some signs to look for include increased thirst, increased urination, irritability, fatigue, weight loss, and vision disturbances.
Arthritis: Your pet can develop arthritis when cartilage, which acts as a cushioning between bones, starts to wear down. This results in the bones rubbing together and causing pain. You may notice that your dog or cat uses some limbs at the exclusion of others, walks with a stiff gait, seems reluctant to jump, or vocalizes loudly when you pick him up.
Senility: Mild cognitive impairment is so common in the senior years that approximately half of all dogs and cats show some signs of it. You may notice a change in personality or a regression in previously learned skills. It’s important to remain patient and not punish your pet for something she can’t control.
Maximize Your Pet’s Health in the Senior Years
Unlike people who can voice their discomfort, animals have a natural tendency to hide when they feel sick or in pain. Regular preventive care is essential because it allows us to detect health issues you could easily miss. Between appointments, you can improve your pet’s quality of life with joint medication, supplements, toys to keep cognition sharp, and many other supplies from our online store. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 508-675-6374 with questions about senior pet care or to schedule an appointment.
Credit: jirousova/ iStock / Getty Images Plus
As much as you and your children might enjoy Halloween, this particular holidaycan be a stressful one for pets. They don’t understand why you have decorations and carved pumpkins with candles in them around the house and naturally feel curious enough to investigate. Your dog or cat may end up swallowing something inedible or even starting a fire by knocking over a candle. These are just two of several Halloween safety concerns to keep in mind. Fall River Animal Hospital wants to provide the following safety tips to help keep your pets safe and happy during the month of October.