Behavior related problems are the leading cause of pets losing homes or in the worst case scenario losing their lives. Many of these problems can be avoided with some simple behavior modification. This blog will offer basic advice and answer readers' questions about your pet's "issues" - we all have one or two of those.
Here at Baker House we want to make sure you and your puppy get off on the right paw. From the day your precious bundle of fur enters your household, you are in a race to house train, to introduce your puppy to other pets and strange dogs, to train your puppy to be friendly with people, to teach your puppy about chew toys, and to make sure your puppy knows the strength of his or her jaw. This all must be done before fourteen weeks, or the task becomes very difficult to impossible. Training is fun with a puppy; it is hard work with an adolescent dog. For information on puppy training we recommend the following free online resources:
Until recently it was not believed that H1N1 would cross species to our domestic pets, but in October there has been reports of confirmed cases of H1N1 in two ferrets and in one indoor cat. There have been no reports of H1N1 in the domestic dog at this time. H1N1 is quite rare in domestic pets. Common sense precautions can help prevent cross transmission. If you are sick with flu like symptoms, wash your hands prior to handling your pet and try not to cough on your pet. It is probably best to not cuddle with you cat or ferret if you are ill with the flu. If your pet is sick, the same precautions apply to you. As always it is important to wash your hands. At this time there is no vaccination for H1N1 in domestic pets
By M. Lucinda Craig DVM
First let me tell you that my own dog is an idiopathic epileptic, and I know personally how difficult, frightening, and frustrating it can be to own a dog with seizures. Misha had his first seizure at eighteen months and had clustered seized (multiple seizures in a short period) before he was two years old. Even medicated, he seizes on a monthly bases.
In young puppies, congenital defects or low blood sugar are the most common cause of seizures. Toy breed puppies develop low blood sugar if they don’t eat frequently, at four to six hour intervals. A small amount of corn syrup or pancake syrup placed on the tongue can raise the blood sugar. Hypoglycemia is an emergency. Your puppy should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. A porto-systemic shunt is a blood vessel anomaly in which the blood from stomach shunts around the liver rather than through it. This will cause seizing following eating, especially if fed high protein food. Puppies with this disorder are frequently smaller and weaker than their litter mates.
At Baker House Animal Hospital, we use the Ellman radiosurgical device for many of our procedures requiring fine detail and cosmetic results. The Surgitron is a high frequency radiosurgical device that allows for precise surgery with limited bleeding and faster healing. We use radiosurgery for mass removal, declaws, surgery of the eyelids, and oral surgery. With the radiosurgery unit, your pet has faster healing and less pain.
Why Radio Surgery over Laser?
The scientific literature clearly shows that Laser Surgery causes a thermal injury to the tissue which slows healing. The surgeons at Baker House are trained in both Laser and Radio Surgery, and it is their opinion that Radio Surgery is the superior tool for most procedures being advertised for the Laser. One simple example is the feline declaw procedure - the radio surgery device is not only less traumatic but much faster. Laser Surgery has its place in veterinary medicine but it is limited.
Our four handed friend are out hunting chocolate bunnies again click here to see if they ate enough to worry about.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
It costs $16.85 to vaccinate your dog for PARVO(we will throw in the Distemper, Hepatitis and Parainfuenza) at the NO EXAM vaccine fee vaccine clinic every Saturday.
It costs over $1000.00 dollars to treat your dog for PARVO at Baker House.
VACCINATE TODAY - Do not want for that nail!
Canine influenza is a new and developing disease of dogs. It is believed to have developed from an equine version of influenza. In general the disease does not cause life threatening illness but symptoms similar to kennel cough. Most dogs have no natural immunity and if exposed will develop the flu. For this reason, we at Baker House Animal Hospital are recommending vaccination for dogs who frequent doggy day care, boarding kennels, training facilities, grooming parlors, and other places dogs congregate. It is especially important for dogs who winter in Florida as the disease is more prevalent in that state.
- Spin - A spin is an easy move to teach. If your dog already knows how to touch a target or your hand, have him/her follow it in a small circle. After your dog is doing this successfully, put it on cue. For a dog who doesn’t know about targeting, this is a behavior that can be lured. Targeting is preferred and provides a more solid training base.
- Weave - In this move the dog weaves through your legs. Start at a stand still and lure or target your dog from your left side to the front and through your spread legs. Reward. Continue to practice until your dog goes comfortably through your legs. Some tall dogs are never comfortable with this trick. The next step is to teach your dog to go around your right leg and back to the front before proceeding back through your legs and back to the original position. Once your dog can perform this trick at a stand still, start to do it at a slow walk. For a very fancy heeling pattern, start with your dog heeling on the left, send him/her through your legs several times, and finish with your dog heeling on the right.
- Heeling on the Right and Left - For dance work, you dog should be comfortable on both sides. Having skills on both sides is also needed for agility. Right heeling is taught in the same way as left heeling. Make sure to use a different cue, and if competitive obedience is in your pet’s future, use different body language.
- Switch Sides - Once your dog can heel on both sides, you need to teach him/her to move to the other side. The easiest side switch is for the handler to turn into the dog as the dog turns into the handler. This can be taught with a target or a lure.
Sit is one of the easiest exercises to teach your dog. Start with a hungry dog. Use small, tasty treats. With your fingers closed around the treat, slowly lift your hand. Most dogs will follow the motion and sit. Open your hand, and reward your dog. After your dog will offer sit rapidly and easily from the hand signal, add the voice cue.
For your dog’s safety, I recommend that all dogs be crate trained. This will allow you to safely travel with your dog and will also make your dog more relaxed if he/she needs to be kenneled or hospitalized. Many dogs will practically self crate train, but for some the crate produces anxiety and hysteria.
Crate training should be started by feeding your dog or puppy in the crate. Put the food in the crate and leave the door open, allowing the dog to leave at will. Once your dog is eating comfortably in the crate start to shut the door for a few minutes at a time. At first try to keep the time that the crate is shut short enough that your dog does not become agitated because you want to release the dog when he/she is calm and happy. If your dog is barking or whining, the instant he/she becomes quiet release him/her and practice with shorter times and more interesting food. A Kong filled with frozen canned dog food, peanut butter, or Cheez Whiz will occupy many dogs. The chewing also is pacifying and relaxing.
At Baker House Animal Hospital, we recommend all dogs have a flat collar for their tags and identification. For walking a wide variety of safe and humane choices are available. For a small or polite dog a flat collar is ample as long as your pet’s head is not more narrow than his neck. For dogs with large necks and small heads, a martingale collar is recommended. This collar is sometimes sold as a greyhound collar. It has a limited slip to prevent you from pulling it over your dog’s head if he suddenly backs up. It is not a correction collar and should only be adjusted tight enough to prevent your dog from slipping the collar.
For a boisterous of strong dog, you have several options that will make your walk more fun and enjoyable for both you and the dog. The Easy Walk Harness from Premier is a simple, no pull harness. The leash fastens in the front rather than on the back. This arrangement prevents pulling. Most dogs tolerate this harness well, and no training is necessary to accustom the dog to his new gear. At Baker House, we are happy to show you how to fit this harness.
Cats can both urinate outside of the box and spray or mark. These two problems need to be treated differently. Spaying is always a behavioral problem while inappropriate urination can be either a behavioral or a medical problem.
Signs Your Cat is Marking
- The urine is on a vertical surface, such as walls or bookcases.
- Your cat is an unneutered male.
- You’ve seen your cat spray.
- Free roaming cats are visible to your indoor cat.
If your cat is marking spay or neuter him/her immediately. While most marking is done by male cats, some females will mark. Eliminating the sexual hormones may completely eliminate the problem. If the problem continues behavioral modification will be necessary. Start by making sure no free roaming, outdoor cats are within visual range.
This can be accomplished with blinds, drapes, or motion detector sprinkler system to keep them away from the house. Cover all the marked areas with heavy plastic or aluminum foil. Use of the pheromone product Feliway may decrease the behavior. Some cats are significantly helped by being placed on buspirone.
Help My Cat’s Using the Rug.
If your cat stops using the litter box, the first step is to eliminate a possible medical condition before addressing it as a behavior problem. Sudden changes in litter box habits could be a sign of diabetes, idiopathic cystitis, urinary crystals, bladder stones, or renal disease. If your male is straining and producing little or no urine, it is a medical emergency.
To help the veterinarian diagnose a medical condition, please either collect urine or bring you cat to the office with a full bladder. To collect urine with a cat, first empty and clean the litter box. The litter box can then be left empty or filled with Nosorb, special litter crystals that do not absorb urine. The Nosorb crystals must be placed in an empty litter box, not on top of your cat’s ordinary litter. Confine the cat with the litter box in a small room with no absorbent surfaces. Please bring the urine into the office in a clean jar.
After any medical issues have been resolved, the behavioral side of the problem can be addressed. Make the litter box as inviting as possible. For most cats, this means a large litter box with low sides in an accessible area. If your cat is using only one inappropriate area, consider putting a litter box over that location. Try different kinds of litter until you find one that suits your cat’s fancy. Most cats prefer unscented and dust free litter. Some cats will show a preference for play sand, pelleted pine, or pelleted paper litter.
With a few simple steps, your cat can have a happy and fulfilling life as a totally indoor cat. Indoor cats need appropriate access to clean litter areas and mental and physical enrichment.
The Baker House Vets recommend one litter box for every cat in the household plus a spare. If you have a particularly large house, you might want to have a few more. The litter boxes should not be lined up in a single room or banished to a far corner of the basement. Instead, they should be in easily accessible locations but not in excessively high traffic areas. Downstairs a corner of the kitchen or laundry room usually works well. While upstairs, a bathroom or a corridor is usually appropriate. Remember to keep the doors open to allow the cats to enter. If the dog bothers the litter, try using a baby gate or a cat door.
Most cats prefer open style litter boxes with unscented litter. However every cat is an individual, your cat might prefer a closed box or perfumed litter. All cats prefer a clean litter box. We recommend that the box be scooped at least once a day and completely cleaned weekly.