Natural disasters, while frightening to think about, do happen and sometimes without warning. Being prepared and ready for any catastrophic events (flooding, snow or “The Big One”) is the best thing you can do to help you and your extended pet family avoid unfortunate incidents. If you follow the tips below, you can be a step ahead should any emergency arise.
The festive winter holidays make for a spectacularly fun season for us humans. But our decorations, jovial parties and colorful plants put our pets at risk! Here are some tips for keeping your pets safe this holiday season.
While it’s great that pet owners are putting so much thought into their pets’ diets, the truth is that grain-free pet foods and those with exotic protein sources may not be the healthiest choice for your pet.
It can be tough to resist the puppy-dog eyes and persuasive purrs, but all the rich food, decorations and upcoming celebrations can cause problems for our animal companions. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe this Thanksgiving: Don’t leave wine glasses at snout or tail level. Alcohol is a real problem for pets, and overactive tails can knock over glasses. Keep cut flowers and centerpieces out of paw’s reach. Many of the most beautiful plants are poisonous to pets. Ribbons, strings, and sticks are a danger as cats love to play with them and if ingested, they can become caught in the intestinal tract. Potpourri also contains herbs and oils that can be toxic. Careful with the turkey & trimmings! Turkey skin, gravy, and drippings are all high in fat and can cause pancreatitis in pets. Bones are a choking hazard, as is the tasty twine you used to secure your bird. If your stuffing contains raisins, onion, garlic, nutmeg, nuts, butter, or mushrooms, it’s a no-no for fido – and felines, too. If you need more info or have questions about keeping your pet safe and healthy during the holiday, please feel free to contact us at (503) 360-9695.
You’ve probably heard about marijuana-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products as a cure or aid for many conditions in both humans and pets, and we get lots of questions about them at our hospital. However, it’s important to know that as of right now, there has been only limited testing behind how these products can affect animals, and the oils and edibles made for humans should be used with extreme caution. We are watching for evidence-based efficacy and safety results in current testing and will keep you updated as this new field develops. While CBD itself contains none of the intoxicating properties of the more famous chemical THC, many CBD-advertised edibles still contain THC, which is highly toxic to pets. We’ve seen cases of marijuana toxicity at the hospital and symptoms vary, but may include lethargy, stumbling, incontinence, abnormal heart rate and even seizures. To prevent marijuana poisoning in your pets, keep all marijuana products locked away so your pets cannot access them. It is especially important to keep pets away from edibles, like brownies, as these can cause chocolate poisoning as well. Before using any of these cannabis-derived products on animals, we strongly suggest consulting Dr. Davis about what is best for your pet. You can schedule an appointment online or call us at (503) 360-9695.
…and with good reason! Regular blood tests and screenings are essential for helping your pet live the longest, healthiest life possible. These screenings tell us so much about your pet’s health, including how the organs and immune system are functioning. Blood tests also reveal electrolyte levels, which are associated with several health issues. At RVH, we recommend blood screenings for pets before undergoing anesthetic procedures and at least annual testing for senior pets. Because dogs and cats age faster than people, diseases and illnesses develop faster as well. The sooner we catch any abnormalities, the better the chances of a positive outcome for your pet. So, when was your pet’s last exam and blood screening? If it was terrifyingly long ago, schedule an appointment online or call us at 503-360-9695.
Halloween can be a fun and tasty holiday for people—but not so much for our pets. Constantly opening the door for trick-or-treaters, unusual costumes and noises can often put animals on edge. Here are some ideas for keeping your cat or dog safe and serene on Halloween. When expecting trick -or-treaters or party guests, put your dog or cat in a quiet place away from the door. This will help prevent them from getting worked up. Keep bowls and bags of candy far out of reach. Chocolate and the sweetener xylitol—often found in gum and candied peanut butter—can be very toxic to dogs and cats. Kids should also be reminded not to feed candy to pets. If you’re putting your pet in costume, make sure they feel comfortable in it before taking them out. If the costume has bells, noisemakers or strings they can scare your pet or pose a choking hazard. Keep your pet indoors on Halloween night! This is especially important for black cats, who can be targeted during the holiday. Also, make sure your pets are microchipped or have a collar with current identification in case they get scared and run off. If you’d like to schedule an appointment to get your pet microchipped or have further questions about Halloween safety, give us a call at 503-360-9695.
Indoor or outdoor, cats need regular wellness exams—but statistics show that after their initial kitten vaccinations, pet owners tend to take cats to the vet about half as often as dogs. One of the main reasons pet owners cite for not taking their cats to the vet is that their cats hate it—often they’re so fearful they can be very hard to handle. But there are things you can do to cut down on the stress and anxiety for you and your cat. • Help your feline friend become comfortable with the carrier before scheduled vet visits. Leave the carrier out in a room where your cat spends lots of time and put soft, familiar bedding as well as catnip or toys inside. • Don’t chase your cat when trying to get him or her in the carrier. Try to encourage the cat to go in on their own with treats or consider a top-loading carrier. • Try spritzing a cat-friendly pheromone spray inside the carrier 30 minutes before departure. FeliwayTM or even a drop or two of lavender essential oil can be calming. • Put a light blanket or towel over the carrier in the car, making sure to allow for ventilation. The less unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells, the better. The cat should remain in the carrier in the vet’s waiting room as well. • Talk to your cat in a low, soothing voice while he or she is being examined. For more help wrangling a reluctant feline or to make an appointment for your pet, call us at (503) 360-9695.
The wildfires in our area have eroded air quality significantly, and that doesn’t just hurt humans. Animals can suffer health problems as well from breathing smoky air over time, especially those who already have some respiratory or cardiac issues. Watch your pet for signs of smoke irritation like coughing, gagging, nasal discharge, fatigue, and reduced appetite. If the air quality where you live is being affected by smoke from wildfires or any source, here are some tips to keep your pet breathing easy: Pets and birds should be kept indoors with windows shut Avoid long or intense outdoor exercise during times when air quality is low Watch pets with cardiovascular or respiratory issues closely for signs of distress Include pets in evacuation planning if you live close to a wildfire-prone area If you suspect your pet is having problems with the smoke, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Well-loved pets are often too-well-fed pets: two recent surveys found that in the past 10 years, the number of overweight dogs has increased 158%. For overweight cats, the percentage is even higher at 169%. One in every three pets is overweight, and that problem causes a 17% rise in vet care costs for dog owners and a 36% increase for cat owners. Just like with humans, carrying extra weight can cause or exacerbate health problems. The most common obesity-related diseases in canines include osteoarthritis, urinary tract disease, hepatitis, diabetes, and congestive heart failure. For cats, you can add asthma, chronic renal disease, hypertension and gallbladder disease to the list. There are a few things you can do to adjust your pet’s lifestyle and get him or her on the road to a healthier weight, including: • Measuring your pet’s food to make sure you’re not overfeeding • Placing food into toys that require interaction with your dog or cat to receive a food reward (food puzzle) • Hiding kibble around the house so that your cat must hunt for food, or put it high on a kitty tree • Spreading meals out throughout the day (but make sure the total amount fed for the day is the correct amount) • Play with your cat or dog using love and attention, not treats If you’re concerned about your pet’s weight or have questions about feeding and exercise, don’t hesitate to schedule an exam online or call us at 971-252-3154.