Ask Dr. Anna

Three Dog Dental Care Tips

dog dental careCan you imagine what your teeth would look like if you didn’t brush them?  We prevent dental disease by brushing our teeth.  It’s no different for our dogs, without some type of daily dental care your pet will develop dental disease.  Dr. Anna Coffin reveals dog dental care tips to help keep your pet’s teeth pearly white. Continue…

Kidney Disease In Cats Can Be Detected Earlier

kidney disease in catsKidney disease in cats is a common disorder, especially in cats that are over ten years of age.  In fact, one out of three cats will develop kidney disease and it is the leading cause of death in cats.

Did you know that 75% of your cat’s kidney function is gone before you see signs of serious illness?  That means, the only way to tell how your cat’s kidneys are functioning is blood work and a urine test.  Dr. Anna Coffin will discuss kidney disease in cats and the latest test for early detection.

Kidney Disease in Cats:

The kidneys help remove toxins from your pet’s blood stream and remove them by urination.  Kidney disease in cats occurs once the kidneys are unable to filter these toxins effectively.  When toxins get too high in the bloodstream, cats begin to show symptoms of kidney disease.  Dr. Anna Coffin says that it is impossible to repair the damage once it has occurred so early detection and slowing down the progression of the disease is important.

In an attempt to remove the excessive toxins, the kidneys kick in to overdrive and start to produce more urine.  Early signs of kidney disease are drinking and urinating more than normal.  Dr. Anna Coffin says it’s important to do bloodwork as soon, if not before, these signs appear.  End stage kidney disease in cats causes anorexia, vomiting and weight loss.

A revolutionary new test, developed by IDEXX, is now available that helps detect kidney disease in cats and dogs months to years early than traditional blood work.  Symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) is a protein that is produced by every living cell and released into the circulation.  Since SDMA is excreted exclusively by the kidneys, a rise in SDMA is now being used to determine kidney function.

Dr. Anna Coffin recommends a prescription diet specifically designed to protect the kidneys from further damange to help slow the progression of kidney disease in cats.  There are multiple companies that make these special kidney diets, which are low in protein and high in fat.  Fluid therapy under the skin may also be necessary to help your cat stay normally hydrated.

The best way to keep your pet’s kidneys healthy is through preventative medicine.  Call Guthrie Pet Hospital to schedule your pet’s yearly checkup today.

Free Exam For Dental Disease At Guthrie Pet Hospital This February

dental diseaseDental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats, affecting 78% of dogs and 68% of cats over the age of three. Although most dogs and cats will develop some sort of dental disease, small dog breeds, such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Dachshunds and Toy Poodles, are more prone to developing periodontal disease than larger breeds. Continue…

CGC Test Stages 9 & 10: Have Confidence, O Canine!

CGC testThese last two stages of the CGC test are all about your dog’s confidence level when put in a strange situation. It’s about how your dog recovers from “distraction” (anything from a person in a wheelchair to a basketball being dribbled to a dude doing a happy dance in the middle of the street) and how your dog behaves when you hand his leash to a stranger and walk out of his sight and hearing (which seems cruel, but could be necessary in case you need to run into the store for a gallon of milk and lose your mind enough to leave your dog with a stranger… or in case you take your dog to the vet, and he needs to stay for some diagnostic work). Continue…

Two Top Tips When You Train Your Dog

train your dogNational Train Your Dog Month Is Here!

By Stefani Fortney, ABCDT

January 2016 is “National Train Your Dog Month”. Taking the time to train your dog is the most important thing you can do to build a stronger relationship with your canine companion. A foundation of basic obedience cues can build confidence, minimize frustration, and increase your enjoyment of your dog. While it can be amusing to watch a naughty dog from time to time, sharing a home with a wild child beast is exhausting.

When you train your dog, there are two things that are absolutely necessary to remember:

Consistency is key

Have you ever been in a relationship with a person who seems to expect something different from you every day? Every time you think you’ve figured out what they want from you, they change the rules. It’s frustrating, to say the least. When you train your dog, it’s important to be consistent in what you expect from him and how you communicate that expectation to him. If you allow him to jump up to greet you, he’ll assume it’s also okay to jump up to greet your toddler and your elderly mother. If you reward him for good behavior by feeding him treats, then slip him table scraps when he begs, he’ll assume that begging is a good behavior. Consistency. It’s really important.

Patience makes perfect

When you train your dog, it’s similar to teaching English as a second language. You can say the words over and over again, as slowly as you like, but the person won’t understand. You have to give physical examples. Maybe you have to play charades. It takes patience. Our dogs don’t have a spoken language. To expect them to understand us immediately is unfair to them. We have to maintain our cool, take the time to show them what we expect, and reward them every time they get it right. There are times that our dogs make us want to send them to boarding school. It’s okay to get frustrated. Take a breath. Take a break. Take it from the top.

Take these tips, take some treats, and take some time to train your dog!

Foster Dogs—Helping Animals Find Forever Homes

foster dogsFostering a homeless pet is one of the most fulfilling experiences Stefani Fortney has had. Here in Guthrie, we are always in need of more foster homes who are willing to help care for animals who are transitioning from homelessness to finding a permanent home.  Foster dogs are in need of your help right now. Continue…

Canine Good Citizen Stages 7 & 8: Coming When Called and Reaction To Another Dog

Canine Good CitizenWe’re getting close to the end of our series on the Canine Good Citizen test. This week, Stefani Fortney takes you through stages 7 and 8 of the test. These test two behaviors that can keep your dog, the public, and you safe in situations where your dog may see something s/he wants very much. Having a strong recall (Come) and being able to exist around other dogs without acting like a heathen are skills that show a willingness for your dog to focus on you, his handler, rather than the more interesting world around you. Continue…

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