Kidney Disease in Cats: Battling a Formidable Foe

Tiger is an old but seemingly still very healthy cat. You might have noticed that the litter box has been more full over the last several months, and maybe you see him at the water bowl several times a day. He is still eating well, cuddling at night, and attacking his favorite toys, though, so you just overlook these new habits.

Then you decide to go on vacation. Tiger does fine during boarding (at a reputable location of course), but from almost the moment you bring him home, he is sick. He doesn’t want to eat, he’s vomiting, and he seems lethargic. Time for a trip to see us at Huntington Veterinary Hospital where the news is disheartening – it’s his kidneys.

Kidney disease in cats is an unfortunately common condition that all feline fanatics need to be educated regarding. After all, knowledge can be a powerful weapon.

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Feeling The Love: Avoiding Chocolate Toxicity in Pets

Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but we can bet you know how to show your pet love every day of the year (snuggles, walks, and belly rubs anyone?). But there’s one sweet treat that we all need to be aware of when it comes to our pets – chocolate.

The day of love is notorious for chocolate ingestion in pets, resulting in emergency room visits across the country. Although rarely fatal, chocolate can cause serious illness in pets. And since chocolate is around most days of the year – not just in chocolate heart form – Huntington Veterinary Hospital would like to take this opportunity to discuss chocolate toxicity in pets.

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Lost and Found: The Power of Pet Microchipping

Pet microchipping can help a lost pet become a found pet

As a pet owner, the only thing scarier than the thought of losing your pet is the fear that you’ll never find them. This fear is based in reality. Of the estimated 8 million pets who wind up in shelters each year, less than 30% of dogs and 5% of cats are ever reunited with their original families.

Fortunately, there is something you can do to improve the odds of a happy reunion: pet microchipping! Having your pet microchipped is the best insurance against a broken heart. The team at Huntington Veterinary Hospital is excited to share more about the benefits of this wonderful technology!

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Reflections from Huntington Veterinary Hospital: Our Top 5 Pet Care Blogs of 2018

fall pet safety tips

Most people view their pet as a bonafide member of the family and treat them accordingly. With increased awareness of what a pet needs to thrive, we’re seeing our community of responsible pet owners grow each year.

Routine wellness checks have lasting impacts on long-term health, and we’re continually struck by dedicated pet owners who go the distance to ensure the wellbeing of their best friend. In response to the questions we often receive at Huntington Veterinary Hospital, we publish pet care blogs each month. We hope the information and tips we provide are relevant and effective.

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Four-Legged Jet Setters: What to Know About the New Airline Restrictions for Pets

New Airline Restrictions for Pets can affect your plans for traveling with pets

Thinking of taking a trip with your pet? You aren’t alone. Each year, over 2 million animals are transported via airplane, and recent scandals have resulted in airlines tightening up their already strict rules when it comes to pet travel. Brushing up on the latest airline restrictions for pets can help you choose the best option that meets your needs, while ensuring your pet remains safe and comfortable.

New Airline Restrictions for Pets  

Lately, major airlines have come under fire as a result of a series of unfortunate incidents involving pets. There have been reports of animals being injured or killed during flights, along with various other complaints regarding animal passengers. The new airline restrictions for pets reflect the changes that all airlines are going through to make air travel safer for pets and human passengers.

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Pot and Pets: A Recipe for Disaster

pot and pets don't mix and can cause pet toxicity

California has always led the effort to legalize marijuana use, and so far, these efforts have proven successful. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize the use of medical marijuana, and has recently made history again with the passage of Proposition 64, which allows for the regulated sale and use of recreational marijuana.

As this trend continues to grow nationwide, veterinarians are seeing an increase in cases of marijuana toxicity in pets. In fact, a Colorado study in the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care showed that the number of pets treated for marijuana poisoning quadrupled from 2005 to 2010.

Simply put, pot and pets are a dangerous combination, and it’s critically important for owners to be aware of how dangerous marijuana can be to their pets.

Pot and Pets

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active ingredient in marijuana and is responsible for producing the desired effects. Because a pet’s body is so much smaller than a human’s, it doesn’t take much to result in a pet poisoning.

Pets are generally exposed to pot from inhalation (birds are extremely sensitive and can die from exposure to smoke), ingestion of dried or fresh plant material, or ingestion of edible marijuana products.

This last method of exposure is the most concerning, as many pets (particularly dogs) are extremely interested in people food and will overindulge if given the chance. Edible marijuana products also contain other substances that are toxic to pets, such as chocolate, nuts, or xylitol (a common sugar substitute).

Exposure Effects

Whether it’s through ingestion or inhalation of secondhand smoke, any amount of exposure to marijuana can be toxic to pets. Symptoms typically appear within a few hours and may include:

  • Stumbling, loss of coordination
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooling
  • Dribbling urine
  • Slowed respiratory rate
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Any type or amount of marijuana consumption should be considered a pet emergency. While there’s no specific antidote for pot exposure, supportive care is typically needed as the effects of the drug wear off.

A Safe Space

If you suspect your pet may have come into contact with marijuana, please let us know right away. At Huntington Veterinary Hospital, the health and safety of your pet is our top priority. We aren’t here to judge or get you into trouble. Being honest is your pet’s best chance at a full recovery.

Keeping pot and pets separate is the surest way to protect your furry family member. Store marijuana and marijuana products out of your pet’s reach, and always supervise your pet in other people’s homes.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Huntington Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns about pot and pets.

Peace of Mind: The Benefits of Pet Insurance

Pet insurance can help you afford veterinary careWe all love our pets and want to do the very best we can to take care of them. Most of us know this means annual veterinary preventive care and feeding them a high-quality diet. But what about unexpected costs?

With the annual cost of veterinary care topping $1,800 annually, it’s no wonder that a pet injury or illness could put a significant financial strain on many families. That’s where pet insurance comes in. Designed to bridge the gap between cost and care, a pet insurance policy means you never have to choose between your pet and your wallet. Continue…

Best of Both Worlds: Puppy Training and Grooming at Huntington Veterinary Hospital

Puppy training and dog grooming can help your dog thriveBringing a new puppy into your family is arguably one of the most delightful experiences life has to offer. Along with all the fun and cuteness, however, comes a big dose of responsibility. Puppies require regular wellness care, vaccinations, proper nutrition, daily exercise, and much more.

Puppy training and grooming are two important factors that go into the health and happiness of your pet. Fortunately, Huntington Veterinary Hospital is here to help with both!

More than Just a Pretty Face

No one can deny the pleasure that comes from snuggling a freshly bathed pup, but grooming has benefits beyond simple cleanliness. Regular bathing and brushing keeps the fur free of tangles and mats, removes excess dirt and hair, and stimulates blood flow to the skin. Nail trims are important for the health of your pet’s paws, and ear cleanings keep the ears free of buildup that could lead to infection or discomfort.

Making pet grooming a priority also gives you or your groomer the chance to inspect your dog’s skin for lumps, bumps, wounds, or external parasites on a regular basis.

The Importance of Puppy Training and Socialization

We’ve all met dogs who haven’t been properly trained or socialized; perhaps they jump up on guests, bolt out the door as soon as it’s opened, or display aggressive or fearful tendencies. Puppy training and socialization is absolutely vital to the future happiness of your new pet. A well-behaved, properly socialized dog is more confident, happier, and poses less of a risk to themselves and others.

Ideally, a puppy’s socialization process begins at home between 3-9 weeks of age. This is the time for lots of gentle handling, exposure to new people and places, and redirection away from undesirable behaviors such as chewing, play biting, or house soiling. As soon as your pup is fully vaccinated, introduce a formal training and socialization class, as well as increase exposure to other people and pets.

What We Offer

At Huntington Veterinary Hospital, we strongly believe in treating the whole pet, which is why we offer grooming and training services, in addition to high-quality medical care.

  • Puppy grooming – A clean puppy is a happy puppy! Bring your little cutie in for a bath, nail trim, ear cleaning, haircut, anal gland expression, and parasite examination with our professional groomer. You can also combine additional veterinary services with your puppy’s grooming appointment.
  • Puppy training and socialization – Give your new pet the opportunity to socialize with other puppies in a supervised group setting. They’ll learn basic obedience skills and practice good manners in our puppy training and socialization classes.
  • Rally and trick training – Rally and trick training classes take your dog’s skills to the next level. This also gives you a chance to work and learn together in a high-energy environment.

For further questions about our puppy training or other classes or to schedule an appointment for your pet, please don’t hesitate to contact the staff at Huntington Veterinary Hospital.

Preventive Care for Cats

Preventive care for cats involves regular and timely veterinary visits for your petWhether you’re a past, present, or future cat owner, we can all agree that cats are special creatures. Their wild and wonderful personalities never fail to warm our hearts and make us laugh. However, behind their mysterious nature is a little known fact: cats don’t always warn us when something is wrong with their health.

Huntington Veterinary Hospital wants your cat to be the healthiest pet possible. That’s why we’re sharing some reasons why preventive care for cats is so important. Continue…

What to Do When It Comes to Expired Veterinary Drugs

expired veterinary drugs could threaten pet health and cause a pet emergencyAn ear infection here, a cut paw pad there, and a routine surgery later, many times as a pet owner you may find yourself with some leftover medications for your furry friend. If you are like most of us, you probably find yourself stashing extras in a leftover cabinet, in hopes that you can use it a little later.

Not all drugs keep, and most medications do have an expiration date. Knowing whether to keep or toss isn’t always easy. Luckily, your friends at Huntington Veterinary Hospital know just what to do when it comes to expired veterinary drugs.

Veterinary Drug Safety

Using leftover medications in your pet’s medical supplies isn’t always as benign as it sounds. Over time, drugs may undergo chemical changes that can render them less effective, or, in less frequent cases, harmful. Continue…