Posts in Category: Pet Healthcare

Lumps And Bumps On Dogs: When Should I Be Concerned

pet cancer diagnosisDogs of all ages can develop lumps and bumps.  It is important to know when these should be examined by a veterinarian.  According to Nationwide Pet Insurance, lumps and bumps on dogs were the third most common medical reason why pets visited their veterinarian in 2016.

If your pet has a lump or bump that is larger than the size of a pea and has been present for longer than one month, then you need an appointment with your veterinarian.  It is impossible to determine the cause of lumps and bumps on dogs without taking a sample from the mass.  Looking and feeling the mass can help in the diagnosis but a definitive diagnosis can only be made by taking an aspirate of the mass.

Aspiration of the mass is a simple procedure that is no more painful than receiving an injection.  This test can be performed in the examination room without anesthesia.  The procedure involves sticking a needle in the mass and aspirating it onto a microscope slide.  The slide is then prepared and stained.  Determination of the lumps and bumps on dogs can then be determined by looking under the microscope.  Certain types of skin cancer are easier to diagnose than others so your veterinarian may recommend sending the slide for a pathologist to review.

As dog’s age, they tend to develop more lumps and bumps so make sure to have them examined.  If detected early, skin cancer can be completely resolved by surgical removal of the mass.  Larger masses are more difficult to remove and leaving them can allow them to spread to other parts of the body.

Common lumps and bumps on dogs:

Benign:

  • Skin tags
  • Warts
  • Moles
  • Lipoma (fatty tumor)
  • Sebaceous cyst
  • Histiocytoma (button cell tumor)

Malignant:

  • Mast cell tumor
  • Squamous cell tumor
  • Cutaneous hemangiosarcoma
  • Malignant melanoma

If you see something, do something about those lumps and bumps on dogs.  Why wait?  If your pet has a skin mass contact Guthrie Pet Hospital for a mass aspirate.

My Dog Has Heartworms, Now What?

heartworm | prevent heartworms | heartworm medication

 

 

Heartworms are twelve-inch long worms that live in the heart of dogs.  They are transmitted from one infected dog to another by mosquitoes.  It is fifteen times more expensive to treat for heartworms than it is to prevent them, and missing one single dose of prevention can put your dog at risk to this deadly parasite.

Continue…

Life on the Outside: The Dangers of Having Outside Cats

cat vaccination“It’s cruel to keep kitty trapped inside. They need to go out and hunt!”

 

“My cat goes crazy if I try and keep him inside. He totally destroys the house!”

 

“My cat stays in my yard.” “My cat has his claws; he can defend himself.”

 

These are just a few of the reasons we hear every day as to why people let their cats go or live outside. But the fact of the matter is, by letting your cat out you are in effect shortening its lifespan. On average, cats that go or live outside have shorter lives than inside cats by as much as ten years. Cats that are allowed to roam often don’t live to see their fifth birthday. Cats that are kept inside average a lifespan of around 15 years.

There are many reasons the outside cats don’t fair as well. Indoor cats are less likely to be exposed to diseases, such as distemper or the nearly always fatal bobcat fever. Outside cats come in contact with more bacteria and infectious fungi. Parasites such as fleas and ticks are far more likely to be found on outdoor cats. And of course, there is the danger of predators. Outside cats may encounter hawks, snakes, skunks, opossum, dogs, or other cats. If the cat is not spayed or neutered the females will almost always become pregnant, and the males will father countless litters of kittens.

So, it is obvious that kitty is safer inside, but can they be content? Of course, they can. First, get your cat spayed or neutered, as it will deter the wanderlust and drive to get outside and find a mate. The vast majority of behavior problems can be addressed simply by having your cat fixed.

Second, give your inside kitty something to do. You’d go stir crazy too if you had nothing to do all day. Cats need interaction. They need to feel the satisfaction of a successful hunt. You can give them this through various methods of play. Toy mice are great for them to bat and toss, while balls in round tracks stimulate response to movement. Dragging a toy on a string gives them something real to chase. Treat dispensing toys can be filled with your cat’s dry food and used as a means for them to “hunt” for their dinner.

Make your home a cat-friendly environment. Give them window perches with bird feeders outside. Give them high shelves from which to watch the household activities. Consider getting them another cat to keep them company. While it is true that cats are more solitary by nature than dogs they still benefit from companionship. Kittens do better in pairs if for no other reason than they wear each other out while you are at work. A single kitten will just sleep until you get home and then want you to stay up all night and play!

While we all feel guilty when we see our cat looking longingly out the window, we have to weigh the consequences of letting them go outside. There are tremendous risks every single time we open that door, both from nature and from humans. If you have a cat that just refuses to be pacified with anything you try to make them happy indoors consider these options:

Making outside cats, happy inside:

  1. Build a “catio.” An enclosure on a patio or in your yard can be a great way to give your cat a safe outdoor playtime. Make sure it is large enough to include different height perches and plenty of scratching surfaces. Always provide fresh water for the outdoor recess, as well as shade as needed.
  2. Harness train your cat. This sounds slightly insane, but it is possible, especially if you start young! A harness on a cable slide will give your cat a sense of freedom, but make sure your feline harness is well-fitted.
  3. Teach your cat to walk on a leash. Again, some people will think this is impossible, but many cats have done quite well learning to explore at the end of a leash.
  4. Designate specific, controlled outdoor playtime for your cat. This means kitty wears a harness, you have control of a long lead, and you control the play activity for the time outside. As a general rule, STAY AWAY FROM TREES!

Having cats is a lot like having kids. They don’t always know or want what is best for them, and it is up to us to make the responsible choices. With a little imagination and work, you can keep your cat inside, safe, engaged, and around for many more years.

By Stacey Frazier

4 Health Problems Fleas Cause In Cats

fleasSpring is just around the corner and with warmer weather arriving, fleas will start to reappear.  Fleas are very prolific parasites, in fact, one flea can produce 50-100 eggs/day.  Guthrie Pet Hospital recommends preventative measures to prevent infestations.  This week Dr. Coffin will discuss health issues in cats caused by fleas. Continue…

Cat Toys: The Good, The Bad, and the Dangerous

cat toysBy Stacey Frazier  Let me start by saying that ANY HUMAN BODY PART is a BAD IDEA for a cat toy! Wiggling your fingers or toes for kitty may start out cute but can end horribly, mostly for you. Not only is there the immediate concern of getting scratched or bitten but it tells the kitten it is ok to attack their humans or any humans. The best cat toys are the ones that engage the cat without putting the animal, their human, or their household in danger. Continue…

Dental Care For Dogs: Keeping Teeth Pearly White

dental care for dogsFebruary is Dental Health Month and for a good reason.  Dental disease is the most commonly diagnosed disease in veterinary medicine.  Therefore, daily dental care for dogs is an important part of keeping your pet’s teeth clean.

 

 

If your pet has bad breath, it is likely that your pet has dental disease.  If left untreated, dental disease will progress to pain, tooth loss and even organ problems. Continue…

Dogs With Allergies: Scratching The Surface

dogs with allergiesBy Stefani Fortney  Hello, human people! I am Mani the Perfect Pittie. I’ve stolen Mom’s laptop again so I can write this article. There are lots of things that she knows, but this subject is one that I’ve had to deal with my whole life: dogs with allergies. As an American Pit Bull Terrier, I’m genetically predisposed to allergy problems. On top of that, my beautiful fur is a color called “blue.” For a while, people bred my ancestors especially for this color—but that led to even more genetic issues. Mom understood when she brought me home that, due to irresponsible breeding, I could have allergies, as well as other health problems.

Here’s some stuff that I wish everyone knew about dogs with allergies.

  1. Allergies make me itch.

When human people have allergies, it shows up as nose and eye problem most of the time. When dogs have allergies, it usually shows up by making us super-itchy. When I have an allergy flare-up, my feet itch so badly. I lick them to try to make it better, but the itch doesn’t stop. Allergies make everything itch. I would keep Mom awake all night, scratching and shaking my ears. I’d scratch so much and so hard, I’d lose my hair and make my skin bleed.

  1. Untreated/Unmanaged Allergies Can Cause Infections

Before Mom figured out how to control my allergies, I used to get skin infections and ear infections all the time. I’d get these sore little bumps on my skin, my hair would fall out, and my ears would get stinky and sore. Then, I’d have to take antibiotics and get medicine goo squirted in my ears. It was no fun. Plus, it seemed like every time I got better, the allergies would just get bad again. It was what Mom called a “cycle.”

  1. There are Medications To Control Allergies

When I first started having my allergy problems, Mom tried giving me over-the-counter medicine like Benadryl and Zyrtec to help. She said that those things work for some dogs. For me, they didn’t. I would have to take steroids. Even though they worked, Mom didn’t want me to take them all the time, because the side effects can be bad. Finally, the medication people made a special prescription medicine called Apoquel. It’s especially for dogs with allergies. Mom said it was worth a try.

Since I started taking it, I haven’t had any skin infections at all! It’s so great—I feel like a normal dog. No bad itching, no losing my beautiful fur, no keeping Mom up at night! I’ve been on it for a year, now. I’m so much happier!

If you have a dog with allergies, call Dr. Coffin today to make an appointment—your dog will love you for it!

Fire Hydrant-side Chat: New Year’s Resolutions for Dogs

dogsThis post was written by Mani the Perfect Pittie for all the dogs out there! Please read this aloud for illiterate pups, or allow educated Rovers to read for themselves.

Hey there, fellow pups! Did you know it’s almost time for a new year to start? I’m sure you’ve heard about how rotten 2016 has been. Maybe you’ve had a not-so-great year, too. My Mom got stressed out because of something called “elections,” then she stopped giving me ice cream because the doggie doctor said I was chubby. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this year to go bye-bye. I watch TV all day while Mom is at work and I’ve heard a bunch of people talking about New Year’s resolutions. I decided I should make some for myself so I can be an even better dog next year. (It has been documented that I’m already at “good dog” status.)

Mani’s New Year Resolutions For Dogs:

Resolution #1: Be less chubby.

Doggie doctor says I need to lose a little weight. I don’t understand why this might be important, but it makes Mom worried. So, in 2017, we’re going to walk more, eat carrots instead of cookies, and always use a measuring cup to make sure I’m only getting as much food as I’m supposed to, according to the guidelines on the food bag. I think this will be no fun, but I love my Mom, and I want to make her happy. She said we could play more fun games, too. I like that.

Resolution #2: Lower Stress Levels

Mom got anxious a lot this year, and that stressed me out, too. To reduce the stress in our house, I’ve decided to tell Mom to play with me and pet me more. By getting off her phone and away from the TV, we’ll both be happier and healthier. Did you know that science says that petting a dog is a good way to feel calmer and better? I think going for more walks and playing outside with me will help Mom get stressed less, too.

Resolution #3: Learn Stuff

I’m smart. I know all about food and digging and barking at stuff. This year, I want to learn more about the stuff Mom thinks is important… like not begging for table scraps, not barking at invisible stuff, being “obedient,” and keeping my teeth off of the couch. I think I might even ask Mom about doing some training at home. I know she teaches other dogs and their people when she’s at work, so I bet she could help me learn, too.

So—those are my New Year’s Resolutions. What are yours? My mom wants to help other dogs reach their New Year resolutions by offering 10% off obedience training at Guthrie Pet Hospital during the month of January.  Maybe I will see you there.

5 Ways To Help Your Dog With Arthritis

arthritis pet pain managementTwenty percent of all dogs are affected by arthritis.  Arthritis is a progressive disease that worsens over time, so it is important to keep your pet as comfortable as possible and minimize pain so that they can function as normally as possible.  Dr. Anna Coffin will discuss ways to help your dog with arthritis. Continue…

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