Online Vet Help

It can be pretty tough for a pet owner who has a sick dog. They may feel useless wishing they could do something but be at a complete loss. There’s nothing worse than having to see sad sick puppy eyes desperately looking up at you.

After visiting your vet, the best thing a pet owner can do when dealing with your sick dog is exercising patience. Often, you simply have to wait for the therapy plan to work its magic. The next best thing to do is to make your pet as comfortable as possible. These 5 tips will guide you through the best way to care for your sick dog.

Caring For A Sick Dog Tip 1 – Feed Them Bland Food

Don’t give your pet foods that can disturb their digestive system or be difficult to digest. Stick to a bland diet of rice and unseasoned boiled chicken. At all costs avoid fatty meats, especially beef. Beef is the most common protein in pet food and therefore is often seen as a food allergen in dogs If you know your pet has issues with that protein do not feed it to them while they are sick.

Caring For A Sick Dog Tip 2 -Keep Them Hydrated

It’s really important that your dog drinks plenty of liquids. Depending on the illness they are battling, they may be losing a lot fluids, so you’ll need to be sure they are drinking to replace it. Place a water bowl near them encouraging them to drink as often as they can. If they have a favorite drink, give it to them as much as possible. Clear pedialyte is a great one! Another fun addition to the water bowl is ice cubes – this attracts attention to the bowl and helps to encourage drinking.

Caring For A Sick Dog Tip 3 -Track Symptoms

Keep a log book of any strange behavior exhibited by your pet. Of course, your dog can’t speak to you so it’s your job to understand his symptoms. Be perceptive of any changes in their behavior and habits towards food in particular. Trust your instincts – seldom is a detail too small to matter!!

Caring For A Sick Dog Tip 4 -Don’t Forget Their Medication

During your busy day, it can be easy to forget when you need to get your pup his medication. Try setting alarms on your phone to remind for reminders. You also may want to stick a checklist to your fridge that tracks every dosage you’ve given them and when you started a particular medicine. If your dog is being difficult and refusing to take their medicine, try pill pockets! They turn the pets perception of getting medication into getting a treat. If you are still having an issue, call a vet who will visit your home for more help. It may be beneficial to ask for a compounded form of the medication prescribed, this can sometimes hide bad flavors and change a pill into a liquid!

Caring For A Sick Dog Tip 5 – Give Attention

When your dog is sick they will obviously seem and act miserable. Give them more attention than normal. Make them feel comfortable with blankets, treats and calling out to them often. If you’re going out, ask someone else to check in on them frequently.

 

 

Like humans, cats don’t sneeze continuously without a reason. Most of the time it isn’t anything to worry about but if it persists, there might be an underlying health condition. Contact your veterinarian if symptoms are prolonged or worsening. For now, we are here to give you some online vet help.

There are five major reasons why your cat might be sneezing.

Online Vet Help Reason #1 – Infection

Upper respiratory infections can be behind your cat’s sneezing. Known also as ‘feline colds’, they are caused by viruses and are transmitted from other infected cats. They are especially common among young cats that are in animal shelters which haven’t been fully vaccinated yet. Viral respiratory infections cannot be treated directly with antibiotics, unless it’s from a secondary bacterial infection.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lists two common viral infections that can induce cat sneezing: Feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus.  90% of adult cats have been exposed to these viruses at some point in their life and can often carry the virus with them for life. You may see symptoms resolved and reappear during stressful parts of your cat’s life (adoption, moving, new pets or visiting company) Bacterial infections include Bordetella, Mycoplasma and Chlamydophila – all of which can also cause an eye infection (conjunctivitis). Fatal diseases like feline leukemia are also known to be linked to cat sneezing because it lowers their ability to fight off other diseases.  Rarely, fungal infections can even be a reason for upper respiratory signs.  Severe dental disease can also be the cause of the bacterial infections in the sinus cavity.

Online Vet Help Reason #2 – Allergies

Contrary to popular thought, cats don’t always sneeze when exposed to allergens. Allergies in cats are more likely to cause skin reactions or itchy watery eyes. Although less likely, respiratory troubles will not be entirely ruled out.

According to Cat Channel, cat sneezing can be caused by environmental allergens like pollen that are carried in the air and inhaled. You can identify whether or not seasonal or environmental factors are responsible for your cat’s sneezing by changing your routine or even correlating signs with pollen counts.  If feasible, pay close attention different locations where your cat frequents and watch how h/she reacts. You may notice a difference in their sneezing patterns.

Online Vet Help Reason #3 – Irritants

Just like humans, cats sneeze if they inhale something that irritates their lungs, throat or nose. Contaminants in the air like cigarette smoke, perfume, pest sprays, cat litter, cleaning agents, candles, dust, pollen or mold can cause cat sneezing. It’s usually easy to identify when this occurs because it happens almost immediately. Many of these irritants can also be the starting cause of frustrating diseases like feline asthma so working to identify the irritant early in the process may keep you cat from having to deal with that!

Online Vet Help Reason #4 – Foreign Bodies

Cats much like dogs live with their nose to the ground.  This behavior put them at risk for sniffing something into their nose!  Grass awn (foxtails) and small goat heads are objects that can get stuck in the nasal passage of your kitty and cause profound sneezing fits!  Often, kitties will be able to clear it on their own but sometimes it requires a veterinarian going in and finding it!

Online Vet Help Reason #5 – Masses

Sneezing fits that seem to be progressively worse or especially accompanied by nasal discharge on one side should be taken very seriously.  Much like dogs & cats can develop tumors in the nose/sinus – both malignant and benign.  Sometimes, this can look just like a cold and often will need advanced imaging of the nose (CT or MRI) to be able to tell the difference.

 

One of the most common dilemmas faced by dog owners is dealing with ticks in dogs.

They are almost invisible to the naked eye and are pretty hard to avoid as they inhabit many different environments. Ticks can cause some pretty serious diseases to your pet, so it’s important to identify and get rid of them quickly.

Symptoms

Tick bites have no direct symptoms. It’s only when the disease they carry infects your dog, does it become apparent that they have ticks. Symptoms caused by ticks are not specific and may cover a wide spectrum of issues. These may range from a loss of appetite, weight loss, bleeding disorders and or vomiting.

Searching for ticks

You can comb your dog’s hair and look for ticks yourself with a magnifying glass, or take them to your veterinarian for a check-up. Ticks can get embedded into your pet’s skin making it itchy and red.

If you’ve spotted a tick, you’ll want to try and get it removed before it begins to become embedded deeply. Owners often confuse ticks with other skin conditions, so get a vet’s opinion before it becomes too late. Dogs do not pick up a disease from ticks instantly, but the chances of contracting one increases the more time a tick stays in contact with your pet.

Removing a tick

Removing a tick is complicated. You should consult with a veterinarian if you find ticks on your dog.

As we all know, dogs are a man’s best friend. But unfortunately, they don’t live as long humans and they age quicker. Just like humans, dogs change and have different needs as they grow older requiring greater care and attention from their owners. Here is what a senior dog diet should look like.

The food your give your pet needs to change as they grow. Because dogs’ physiology changes as they age, their immunity gets weaker. Senior dogs will become more susceptible to certain diseases. However, through a healthy diet, owners can prevent them from getting ill and help them have an active lifestyle.

Senior Dog’s Diet: Don’t overfeed your dog

As dogs grow older their metabolism slows down. Their decrease in energy is not because they are consuming less food but because their bodies ability to produce energy. Owners often misunderstand this and overfeed their pet leading to obesity and other diseases that are often caused by weight gain. Give them time to digest their food before feeding them their next meal or snack.

Senior Dog’s Diet: Protein is important

To prevent muscle loss, include protein in your dog’s diet. If they have been diagnosed with kidney diseases, then give them meat that is highly digestible. The recommended protein level for older dogs in wet food is over 8% and 24% or more in dry food.

Senior Dog’s Diet: Boost immunity with supplements

Old age decreases immunity in dogs. To prevent the weakening of their immune system, give your pet antioxidants. Good supplements include vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, L –carnitine and lipoic acid.

Senior Dog’s Diet: Consult a vet

Not all senior dogs have the same needs. It depends on their breed, age and activities. Depending on if your dog has any illnesses, that will be the basis of what their diet should look like. Make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss your dog’s nutritional needs. They will advise you on what’s best for your dog to eat and create a diet plan tailored to their needs.