The Mighty Anal Sac & Your Pet’s Good Health

 

Your dog or cat has a body part that you don’t have. It’s nothing to envy, but more of a pain in the rear than it is worth. Literally!

Dogs and cats have a pair of anal sacs, located just inside the anus. These little beauties hold a thick, stinky secretion that you may have had the pleasure of smelling from time to time. Many wild animals can empty these voluntarily to mark their scent or in self-defense, however our dogs and cats don’t have this ability—thank goodness! In most animals, these sacs empty during defecation, however some animals will have a problem doing this, resulting in uncomfortable, impacted, and even infected anal sacs. Continue…

The Problem with Online Pet Pharmacies

 

You may be asking yourself, “Why shouldn’t I order my pet’s prescription online?  Good prices, direct shipping, what’s to lose?”  Be aware that it may not be as good as it sounds though. Take the following into account before choosing where to purchase your next veterinary prescription:

  • When your veterinarian prescribes a medication, he or she can dispense it in a safe manner, ensuring your pet has had any recommended screening performed, looking out for drug interactions, and keeping the product in an appropriate manner.  This does not always happen with online pharmacies.
  • The FDA says, “buyer beware” about online pharmacies.  There has been much concern about the quality and authenticity of drugs that can be obtained online.
  • If you have a problem or question, your veterinarian is able to address it directly.  Not all veterinary pharmacies can claim the same.
  • Websites that sell prescription veterinary products without the need for a prescription are breaking the law, plain and simple.  If they are ignoring the law in this respect, where else are they cutting corners?
  • Many drug company warranties such as those for heartworm prevention are invalidated when the product is purchased through such venues.

 

Talk to us or to your veterinarian.  He or she truly has your pet’s best interest at heart. And you may be able to walk out the door with your pet’s medication for little more than ordering online.

Our on-site pharmacy is well stocked and able to fill prescriptions before you leave. We are also a compounding pharmacy which means that we can tailor your pet’s medication to their unique needs. This gives us the ability to adjust the dose and method of delivery or to offer solutions for pets that are difficult to medicate, such as adding flavors or ordering transdermal medications.

Talk to us or to your veterinarian about the options they offer. Sometimes convenience is not worth the risk, and your pet’s medications fall into that category.

Holiday Plant Primer

 

Around the holidays our homes are filled with all sorts of objects that aren’t there the rest of the year.  Many times this includes festive plants of all kinds.  These plants often end up in the mouths of curious pets, especially puppies and kittens.  Some may not cause any problems at all, but many cause side effects ranging from mild to severe.  Here is the low-down on a few of the more common holiday house guests:

Poinsettia

While the poinsettia plant is perhaps the most infamous holiday plant, its reputation is not entirely deserved.  Its extreme toxicity is largely an urban legend.  The plant is mildly toxic and irritating to the mucous membranes.  While it is unlikely to cause severe illness, it is probably best to keep this plant out of reach.

Mistletoe

The level of toxicity of mistletoe largely depends on the variety, but the berries of both the American and European variety cause stomach irritation at small doses. At larger doses, it can trigger much more serious problems (including low blood pressure, seizures, and disorientation).

Holly

Eating holly can result in severe stomach upset in dogs and cats.  Signs that your pet has eaten holly include smacking of lips, drooling, head shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Lilies

Lilies are very popular around the holidays, but they are deadly for cats.  Ingestion causes severe stomach upset, heart arrhythmias, kidney failure, and death.

Christmas tree

Don’t discount the tree!  The oils and sap can be irritating to the mouth and stomach, which can lead to drooling and vomiting.

Grooming at Elmhurst Animal Care Center – Bow Wow Wow!!!

How to know who to trust with your pet’s grooming

Choosing somewhere to have your pet groomed can be difficult.  A plethora of grooming salons have popped up in recent years, and sometimes it can be almost impossible to tell which ones are good and not-so-good until you find out first hand.  Of course, we will tell you that our groomers are the best in the area, but we would rather you come to that conclusion on your own!  Here are some factors to consider when choosing a groomer for your pet:

  • Does the groomer personalize services?

For instance, certain pets may require special shampoos for itchy skin, have trouble with their ears, or need their coat trimmed a certain way.  Our groomers are willing to groom to your pet’s needs, not a one-size-fits-all template.

  • Does the groomer require proof of vaccination?

Requiring vaccinations protects your pet.  Be wary of any establishment that does not ask for this information.  We require all vaccines to be documented and current at the time of your appointment.

  • Does the groomer know you and your pet?

Many groomers turn and burn through many pets a day and don’t have time to get to know each client.  After a grooming session or two, your pet should be greeted by name!

  • Does your pet get treated like the prince/princess s/he is?

Likewise, when a groomer has many pets to groom in a day s/he is unable to take the time to pamper your pet.  Our groomers take pride in treating each individual pet to a spa day, taking time to allow even nervous pets to relax and enjoy themselves!

  • What kinds of hours do they keep?

Do you have to work around the groomer’s schedule or do they work with yours?  We are happy to work around your day care or boarding schedules.

  • Can they accommodate special requests?  Do they have a working knowledge of your needs?

If you have a show or performance pet, it may need to be groomed in a certain manner.  Does your groomer have an in-depth knowledge of your needs?  Thinking of changing up Fluffy’s look and going with a pink coat?  Can your groomer accomplish that?  Be sure to ask!

  • What happens if the pet needs medical attention?

Injuries and accidents can happen, particularly if you choose a groomer where care and experience are lacking.  In the unlikely event of a problem, Elmhurst Animal Care Center has veterinarians on staff that can immediately attend to your pet.  It is also convenient to have a veterinarian around so that any minor medical issues can be addressed during your pet’s grooming appointment.

Elmhurst Animal Care Center is proud to have an experienced, caring grooming staff to attend to your pets.  We hope that you trust us with your grooming needs.  Because a picture is worth a thousand words, here are just a few to help you see what a great job we do!

Elmhurst ACC - Before Grooming

Lucy Before Grooming

 

Elmhurst ACC - After Grooming

Lucy After Grooming – Bow Wow Wow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elmhurst ACC - Before Grooming

Elmhurst ACC - After Grooming

Ernie & Daisy After Grooming – Woof!!

 

 

 

The Holiday Foods Naughty List

Happy holiday season to all of our friends, furry and otherwise!  We hope that this is a happy, healthy time of year for you all.  While we love to see all of you, we don’t want your pet to visit us unexpectedly during the holidays, so we are providing you with a list of the top five holiday foods that will land your pet in the hospital.

Top Five Holiday Foods That Can Land Your Pet in the Hospital

  •  Chocolate

It’s the main ingredient in many seasonal treats, and your pets may want to indulge as much as you do.  It is best, however, for our four-legged friends to avoid chocolate in all of its forms.  The offending ingredient is theobromine which is found in the highest concentrations in baking and dark chocolate.  Toxicity is dose dependent, which means that the smaller your critter, the less theobromine it will take to cause problems.  At lower doses, pets will experience jitteriness and vomiting/diarrhea. At higher doses, much more serious effects can occur including increased or irregular heart rate, seizures, or even death.

  • Raisins/grapes

Before you throw a piece of Aunt Louise’s fruitcake to Fido, think twice.  Raisins and grapes can cause irreversible kidney damage in pets.  Some animals seem to be more sensitive than others, and there is no way to know how sensitive yours is until it is too late.

  • Alcohol

Most people would never intentionally give their pet alcohol, however that glass of eggnog on the end table may prove to be too tempting for Rover to avoid.  Alcohol ingestion can lead to low heart rate, hypoglycemia, seizures, even respiratory failure.  Also beware of desserts containing alcohol and raw yeast-containing dough that can produce alcohol as it ferments.

  • Artificial sweeteners

If you have candies or sweets around that contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, know that even small amounts can cause a life-threatening decrease in blood sugar and liver failure in dogs.

  • Table scraps

Ingestion of people food, particularly fatty, rich foods can lead to mild to severe digestive upset, sometimes requiring hospitalization.  Some animals may even experience pancreatitis, a sometimes serious inflammation of the pancreas.

Enjoy the holiday with your pets. Just be sure that the only holiday treats they get are pet safe!

Catnip and Your Cat

 

It is an enjoyable (and often hilarious) experience to give your kitty some catnip and watch what happens.  But what is catnip?  Is it safe?  And what is it about it that makes some cats downright batty?

Catnip is an herb (Nepeta cataria) that originated in the Mediterranean but is now found throughout the U.S. and Canada.  The ingredient in catnip that exerts its power over our feline friends is called nepetalactone.  This chemical mimics natural kitty pheromones and can trigger a wide range of behaviors including sniffing, licking, head-shaking, head rubbing, and body rubbing.  The effects last about 5-15 minutes.

All cats respond differently to catnip, with about 30% not seeming to care at all.  While some cats may exhibit extreme behaviors, catnip is non-toxic and there is no reason to worry about your cat being exposed.

 

Crate Training Basics

When done properly, crate training is a very valuable tool that can help you and your dog enjoy each other even more.  Here are some helpful tips:

DON’T use your crate as a punishment device.  Even crate trained dogs need exercise, interaction, and training.  

DO put your crate in an area where your family spends a lot of time.  Dogs are pack animals and want to be included in the action.

DON’T leave your pet’s harness or collar on while it is in the crate.

DO praise your dog for going into the crate.  Feed him/her meals inside and provide safe toys.

DO start by asking your dog to stay in the crate for only short periods of time while you are home.

DON’T leave your dog crated for too long.  For puppies under 7 months of age, a good rule of thumb is no more than the number of hours equaling the dog’s age plus one.  (So a 4 month old puppy can be crated up to 5 hours).

If you have any questions, please contact us.

 

Cataracts and Your Pet

Cataracts are, unfortunately, one of the most common eye problems in pets.  They are opacities in the lens of the eye and can affect any age, species, or breed.  Most cataracts are inherited, but pets with diabetes, trauma to the eye, or other ocular inflammatory diseases can also develop them.

Some cataracts can result in complete blindness.  Many pets do well without any type of treatment, however others develop problems such as glaucoma secondary to the cataracts.  Others may suffer decreased quality of life related to blindness.

There is no way to reverse cataracts, however a surgical procedure can be performed by a veterinary ophthalmologist in which the affected lens is removed.  This procedure, which is quite delicate, involves extensive aftercare.  In the carefully selected patient, however, it can almost completely restore vision.  Consultation with an ophthalmologist can help determine whether your pet might be a good candidate for surgery.