Ask Dr. Anna

Dog Training “Back-to-School” Special: Save 10% When You Sign Up In August!

dog trainingby Stefani Fortney, ABCDT  August is here, and it’s time to learn! Did you know that Guthrie Pet Hospital offers dog training for obedience and behavior modification? For the month of August, if you sign up for obedience group classes or private instruction, you’ll get a10% discount! All classes and lessons are taught by me—Stefani Fortney—using positive reinforcement techniques. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it… training your puppy or dog is a great way to bond and build a stronger relationship with your canine companion. It keeps dogs in their homes and out of shelters. It contributes to happier owners and happier pets.  Continue…

Microchip 101

microchipDid you know that pets with microchips are twenty times more likely to be reunited with their owners?  However, but there are many other reasons why microchipping is recommended by veterinarians and animal shelters around the world.  If your pet is already microchipped, you need to know how to keep your information up to date.  Did you lose your paperwork and pet’s microchip number?  No worries, Dr. Coffin is here to help. Continue…

Parvo: Easy To Prevent, Difficult To Treat

parvoNothing makes veterinary staff sadder than seeing pets die from preventable diseases.  At Guthrie Pet Hospital, Parvo is one of the most common preventable diseases that we treat.  Many puppies die a horrible death because they were not properly vaccinated.  Continue…

Obedience Basics: Building a Foundation of Focus

obedienceStefani Fortney, ABCDT  If you’re anything like me, bringing a new dog or puppy into your life and home awakens childhood fantasies of having a bond with your pet that is both magical and transcendent. You imagine Rover saving you from bandits, alerting you to the presence of a major goldmine on your property, then winning the Iditarod—and that’s just during your first week together. Taking dog obedience classes or lessons together never crosses your mind. It seems like the bond you share should be enough. Continue…

Adult Dog Socialization: Two Tips for Safety and Success

dog behavior trainingBy Stefani Fortney ABCDT   Adult dog socialization can be a very tricky process. In an ideal world, every dog would be properly socialized as a puppy—taking each pups personality into account and working to provide positive associations with a variety of people, places, and situations. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, dogs come into our lives as a poorly-socialized adult. Sometimes, we as owners don’t implement proper puppy socialization methods, and then have to deal with an adult dog who needs extra socialization work. Sometimes, we have an adult dog who needs additional socialization because of a timid personality or fearful nature.  Continue…

Poisonous Snakes And Pets

Dog and cats are curious creatures and often get themselves into trouble by sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.  As the weather begins to warm up, it is important to be aware of the poisonous snakes in your area and the effects they can have on your pet.

Common poisonous snakes in North America:

  • Rattlesnake: Account for the most venomous and fatal bites.
  • Copperhead
  • Cottonmouth
  • Coral snakes: Account for less than one percent of all bites.

Signs of poisonous snake bites vary depending on the type of snake.  In general, all poisonous snake bites cause extensive swelling of the tissue around the bite wound.  The venom of North American pit vipers contains toxic proteins that cause damage to local tissues and can cause problems throughout the animal’s body.  The effects of this venom can include local tissue damage, local bleeding, internal bleeding due to clotting problems, shock, and low blood pressure.

It is important to remember that snakes can bite and often do not inject any venom.  In fact, dry bites occur in twenty to thirty percent of pit viper bites and fifty percent in coral snakes.

For information on treatment of snake bites, please read Dr. Anna Coffin’s blog post Snake Bite Treatment For Pets, 5 Things You Need To Know.

Will your pet survive a poisonous snake bite?  This answer depends on several vital questions.

  • What was the size and species of the snake? Pets bitten by copperheads, cottonmouths, and coral snakes have a better prognosis than those bitten by rattlesnakes.
  • Where did your pet get bitten? Bites to the head and body tend to be more severe than bites to the legs and feet.  Bites around the face can cause local swelling that can obstruct the airway and lead to breathing difficulties.
  • What is the age, size, and health of your pet?
  • How much time has passed before treatment is started?

snake vaccine is available for dogs.  This vaccine works by neutralizing the snake venom and decreasing your dog’s symptoms.  Your dog will initially need a series of two vaccines spaced one month apart before it is considered protected.  The vaccine provides good protection for six months.  Dr. Anna Coffin recommends giving the vaccine in the spring, and your dog will be protected through snake season in most areas of the United States.  Guthrie Pet Hospital can give your pet the snake vaccine.  Call for an appointment today.

No Pull Leash Might Be The Answer

no pull leashWho cares if your dog can heal on a leash?  Most people just want their dog to not pull on the leash like a crazy maniac!  There are many tools available to help you train your dog not to pull on the leash.  Dr. Anna Coffin has found a no pull leash that works well with all her dogs. Continue…

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