Posts from November, 2014

Pet 911? When do you need a pet emergency clinic?

pet emergency clinic

Knowing when to go to a pet emergency clinic and when to wait can save you a lot of time and money.   Dr. Anna Coffin will outline what pet symptoms need immediate care. [Tweet “Knowing when to go to a pet emergency clinic and when to wait can save you a lot of time and money. “]

Dr. Anna Coffin recommends establishing a relationship with your veterinarian prior to any emergency.  Ask your veterinarian about their after-hour emergency policy and what pet emergency clinic they recommend, just in case you can’t get ahold of your regular vet.  Having a relationship with a veterinarian prior to a pet emergency is helpful because the veterinarian is familiar with your pet.  They know what medications and medical conditions your pet already has.

If you aren’t sure if  it’s a pet emergency, then call your veterinarian and explain your pet’s symptoms.  Many things can be deciphered over the phone and if you have a pet first aid kit, your veterinarian can advise you what to do. 

The following symptoms are things that constitute an emergency:

  • Seizure, fainting or collapse. 
  • Eye injury – no matter how mild. 
  • Vomiting or diarrhea – anything more than two to three times within an hour.
  • Allergic reactions such as swelling around the face or hives (most easily seen on the belly). 
  • Any suspected poisoning including antifreeze, rodent or snail bait or human medication. Cats are especially sensitive to insecticides (such as flea-control medication for dogs) or any petroleum-based product. 
  • Snake or venomous spider bites. 
  • Thermal stress – from being either too cold or too hot – even if the pet seems to have recovered (the internal story could be quite different). 
  • Any wound or laceration that’s open and bleeding or any animal bite.  Lacerations that are 2 inches long will need sutures.
  • Trauma, such as being hit by a car, even if the pet seems fine (again, the situation could be quite different on the inside). 
  • Any respiratory problem – chronic coughing, trouble breathing or near drowning.
  • Straining to urinate or defecate.

Signs of pain include panting, labored breathing, increased body temperature, lethargy, restlessness, crying out, aggression or loss of appetite.

There are several pet emergency clinics in the state of Oklahoma that are fully staffed at all times and are sometimes better equipped to handle certain emergencies. Many times Dr. Anna Coffin will stabilize the patient and then send them to the pet emergency clinic for ongoing care and observation.

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comment section. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.

How to make a pet first aid kit

pet first aid kit

It’s important to be prepared for any type of pet health emergency.  Having a plan for you and your pet during any type of natural disaster is also important.  In order to be prepared you need a pet first aid kit.  Dr. Anna Coffin has provided an extensive list of what you need in a pet first aid/disaster kit. Continue…

15 tips to potty training a puppy

potty training a puppy

Potty training a puppy isn’t as complicated as you might think.  The key is understanding a puppy’s metabolism and bladder size.  Dr. Anna Coffin will share some specific instructions that will help you with potty training a puppy.

Puppies have a high metabolism.  This means that that can make a lot of urine very quickly.  They also have small bladders, which is why they can’t hold their urine for long.  A general rule of thumb to follow:  Puppies can hold their urine how ever many months old they are plus one in hours, so a 2 month old puppy can hold its urine for 3 hours.  Most puppies will need to poop 30-45 minutes after eating.

  1. Take your puppy outside every one to two hours.  It’s important to go outside with your puppy to make sure it is eliminating and not playing.
  2. Take your puppy to the same spot outside to eliminate.  Sniffing is part of the elimination sequence in dogs, so smelling urine and poop can help stimulate the puppy to perform its duties.
  3. Don’t allow your puppy to plow or pull ahead.  Walk it back and forth as this also stimulates normal dog elimination behavior.
  4. Keep your puppy on a short leash and provide a small treat as soon as it squats to urinate or defecate.
  5. Take your puppy outside 30 to 45 minutes after eating.  This is the amount of time that it takes to stimulate the intestines to move feces.
  6. Monitor your puppy for pacing, whining, circling or suddenly stopping of another behavior, as these are behaviors that your dog may need to go potty.
  7. Placing a cloth under your puppy’s genitals while it is urinating in an inappropriate spot will help the dog to associate inhibition of elimination with those muscle groups.
  8. Take your puppy out immediately after playing, after naps or when it wakes up during the night.
  9. Puppies don’t like to eliminate where they sleep, so crate training can teach your puppy to hold his urine and stretch its bladder.
  10. Keep track of where your puppy is at all times.  Place a bell on your dog’s collar so that you can monitor its movement.  Use baby gates or tether your dog to a piece of furniture to restrict its activity.
  11. Dogs learn extremely well by observing, so take your older house-trained dog out with you when you take your puppy.  This can speed up the process of potty training a puppy.
  12. Take a urine-soaked sponge or rag and a piece of poop to the area you would prefer training bells(2)your puppy to use.  Smelling these odors will stimulate your puppy to potty in this area.
  13. Take your puppy out the same door every time to eliminate.  Place a bell at nose level and ring the bell every time you go out the door.  If your puppy is sitting by the door or rings the bell, let it out immediately.
  14. Clean up areas where your puppy has urinated or defecated in the house with a product that says it neutralized dog urine and fecal odor.
  15. Be a responsible pet owner and pick up your pet’s poop outside as this helps to reduce transmission of parasites and other deadly diseases. [Tweet “Take a urine-soaked sponge or rag and a piece of poop to the area you would prefer your puppy to use.”]

Now you have the knowledge you need for potty training a puppy.  Set a specific feeding, exercise and play schedule and stick to it.  Follow the 15 tips above and your puppy will be trained in no time!

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comment section. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.

Ebola Virus & Dogs: Are they at risk and can they transmit it to humans?

Ebola

The increase of Ebola cases here in the United States has raised much concern about dog’s role in Ebola virus transmission and the risks dogs may pose to humans.  Dr. Anna Coffin will cover the basics of Ebola virus and what little information is known about dogs and the Ebola virus.

People infected with the Ebola virus usually show fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea, followed by bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain.  There is currently no cure for this virus, only supportive care such as fluid therapy for dehydration.  Unfortunately, 90 percent of people who test positive for Ebola virus will die.  Recovery can occur but it is very rare.  Here are some Facts about Ebola Virus:

  • Ebola virus is NOT spread through:  casual contact, air, water, food grown or legally purchased in the United States.
  • How do you get Ebola Virus:  direct contact with body fluids (blood, vomit, urine, feces, sweat, spit) from a person infected with the virus, objects, such as needles and medical equipment, contaminate with the virus, direct contact with infected animals (fruit bat or primates)
  • Ebola can only be spread after symptoms begin.  Symptoms can appear from 2-21 days after exposure.  After 21 days, if an exposed person does not develop symptoms, they will not become sick with Ebola.

Most of the information we know about Ebola virus in dogs comes from a large outbreak in Gabon Africa in 2001 where over 400 dogs became exposed to the virus.  This is what we know:

  • 27% of these healthy dogs had serum antibodies against the virus – which means they did contract the Ebola virus.
  • None of the dogs had detectable Ebola virus circulating in their blood stream.
  • There is no evidence that they developed symptoms of the disease.
  • There is no evidence that an infected dog can shed or transmit the Ebola virus.[Tweet “There is no evidence that an infected dog can shed or transmit the Ebola virus.”]

In the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said there are “no reports of pets becoming sick” or “playing a role in transmission of Ebola to humans”.

Because of the lack of information about Ebola virus in dogs, concerns about dogs and Ebola virus cannot be dismissed.  As is common with emerging diseases, there are many gaps in our knowledge – and these gaps can create fear.  The decision to euthanize the dog in Spain that was owned by a Spanish nursing assistant infected with Ebola was made out of hysteria and caused outrage around the world.  Reasonable recommendations must be developed in the event that more pet dogs become exposed to Ebola.

Dr. Rod Hall the Oklahoma State Veterinarian has stated:   “In the event a person in Oklahoma becomes infected with Ebola and that person has a pet,  we will assess the degree of exposure and likely quarantine the pet for 21 days.  The quarantine would be under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, the pet would be monitored during the quarantine, and it would be tested for the virus before being released from the quarantine.  We have identified potential quarantine sites.  We have no plans to euthanize pets that are exposed to the virus.”

It is important to understand everything is being done to monitor populations of people and all animals for unusual signs.  If your pet is sick or shows any symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea you should see your veterinarian immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comment section. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.

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