Summer Sounds and Noise Anxiety in Pets

Many pet owners know the rumble of an approaching summer storm or the loud crack of a nearby fireworks display is all it takes to send a pet spiraling into fear and anxiety. The panting, pacing, and trembling begins, and, if you’re lucky, your pet merely runs and hides somewhere nearby. For the rest of us, there’s barking, howling, or frantic (and destructive) attempts to escape.

Noise anxiety in pets is more than just annoying – prolonged periods of anxiety or stress can take a toll on your pet’s mental and physical health. Your friends at Huntington Veterinary Hospital are here to help you develop a plan to support your pet during the summer and all year long.

Be Prepared

It’s not uncommon for a pet to find a way to escape their home during a noisy event. In fact, July 5th tends to be a busy day for shelters as they attempt to reunite pets who have gone missing during the chaos of July 4th celebrations.

The best thing you can do is to have your pet microchipped and ensure the chip is updated with your current contact information. A well-fitting collar with up-to-date ID tags (worn at all times) is another must-have, along with a current photo of your pet.

Managing Noise Anxiety in Pets

Unfortunately, we can’t explain to our pets that things like thunder and fireworks are loud but harmless. Instead, it’s up to pet owners to provide their pets with the reassurance they need in order to feel safe.

  • Security – If possible, don’t leave your pet home alone during a noisy event. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to stay and comfort your pet or arrange for doggie daycare or boarding services. It’s important that your pet is able to feel safe & secure inside WITH someone there to comfort and keep safe.
  • Distraction – A favorite game or fun new toy (try a puzzle feeder for a good challenge) may be distracting enough to take the edge off your pet’s anxiety. You could also use this time to groom your pet or to practice obedience commands. Close all windows and doors, and utilize background sounds, such as a fan, TV, or radio, to help muffle outside noise.
  • Safety – You know your pet the best, and you know where they feel most at home. Crate-trained pets may benefit from the comfort of their crate or carrier; some pets may prefer to sleep with or near you when they’re scared. If you know your pet will want to hide, a prearranged hiding spot can be outfitted with your pet’s bedding, toys, and water.

For pets with severe noise anxiety, a combination of behavioral techniques and medication can be helpful. For dogs, we recommend Sileo Gel for noise anxiety and we strongly advise that you get it in the weeks prior to the holiday/event to ensure availability. Remember to give it in advance of the impending firework displays as once they are already worked up it will not be as effective.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our staff for more information or to schedule an appointment for your pet.

Heartworm Disease in Dogs and Cats: Facts and Prevention

With the advent of spring comes wildflowers, longer days, and more time outside with our best friends. While all of these things are welcome, something else that comes with warm weather is not: mosquitos and their bites.

Over 30 species of mosquitoes can now transmit deadly and serious disease to our pets – dogs and cats alike. You may have heard of heartworm disease, and although this was once thought of as a problem only in southern states, the truth is that the incidence of heartworm disease is growing in all 50 states and in Canada. Once infected, your pet faces permanent organ damage and even death.

Learning the facts about heartworm disease and how you can prevent it is the first step towards keeping your furry loved ones safe.

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Welcome Home! Introducing a New Pet

When it comes to introducing a new pet to your existing pets, patience is a virtue. It can be tempting to try and make them a member of the family immediately, but you’ll avoid problems and stress all around by taking your time.

How to go about introducing a new pet? Take our tips for a successful meeting to heart, and you’ll all be well on your way to a home of happy pets (and pet parents!).

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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…