Heat Stroke in Dogs

There are many reason dogs can become dangerously overheated.  Dogs have sweat glands only on the pads of their feet and cool themselves primarily by panting.  When the air is hot and humid, they cannot rid themselves of excess heat efficiently.

Common Causes of Heat Stroke

  1. Being left in a car in hot weather-even if it is only 70 degrees outside, the inside of a car can quickly rise to well over 100 degrees!
  2. Physical exertion during the heat of the day-this can include going for a run with the owner, playing outside, running along the backyard fence, etc.  Heat stroke can even occur inside if the house is warm and a dog becomes excited, especially in a predisposed breed.
  3. Being outdoors in hot weather without access to cool water and shade.  Dogs that are tied outside can sometimes get trapped out of reach of shade or water.
  4. Being a certain breed whose physical conformation makes them unable to cool themselves effectively.  For example, Bulldogs, Boxers, and Pugs have short noses, small airways, and excess tissue in the back of their throat that can make if difficult to get rid of excess heat.
  5. Confinement to a poorly ventilated cage or crate, especially under a cage dryer such as when a dog is groomed.
  6. A dog being overweight.
  7. Having medical ailments such as heart or airway disease, or any condition that impairs breathing.
  8. Being very old or very young

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

  1. Heavy panting-rapid or labored breathing
  2. Bright or brick red mucous membranes-the gums just above the teeth are a good place to check color. The gums may also be dry to the touch.
  3. Weakness or collapse
  4. Elevated rectal temperature-seek immediate veterinary care if over 105 degrees.
  5. Vomiting
  6. Bloody diarrhea
  7. Dark urine
  8. Bruising on skin
  9. Bleeding from mouth
  10. Seizures or coma
  11. Death-can occur within 20 minutes, or in a couple of days from delayed complication such as kidney failure.

Emergency First Aid for Heat Stroke

  1. Immediately move the dog indoors or to a cool area. If in an enclosed crate, remove the dog immediately.
  2. Wet the dog down with cool water-do not use ice water as that will make internal cooling more difficult by constricting blood vessels.
  3. Take the rectal temperature-if over 105 degrees, transport immediately for veterinary care. Know where the nearest emergency clinic is located.  Call en route to let them know you are coming.
  4. Do not cover your dog during transport, even with a wet towel, as that can prevent heat from escaping.
  5. Offer water to drink during transport, though not to a vomiting patient. Only offer small amounts of water.
  6. Transport dog in an air-conditioned car or lower the windows so circulating air can help with evaporative cooling.
  7. If you are monitoring your dog’s rectal temperature during transport, stop cooling measures when it reaches 103 degrees.
  8. Even if your pet seems to respond to treatment, it is still best to have them evaluated by a veterinarian to check for internal problems. Complications from heat stroke can develop several hours later due to organ damage caused by high internal temperatures.


  1. Do not leave your dog in the car when outdoor temperatures are over 70 degrees.
  2. Restrict activity during the heat of the day
  3. Provide access to shade and cool water when dogs are outside.
  4. Keep breeds at risk, very old or young dogs, or dogs with health conditions indoors.
  5. Ideally, keep all dogs inside when a heat advisory is issued.
  6. Use misters, fans or wading pools to provide extra cooling measures for outdoor dogs.

Pyoderma — Skin Infections in Pets

What is pyoderma?

Pyoderma is a bacterial infection of the skin & is usually caused by a bacterium called Staphylococcus pseudintermedius. The bacterium is normally present in most dogs but typically doesn’t cause disease in healthy skin. When the immune system & normal barrier function are compromised due to an underlying condition, the skin becomes susceptible to infection. Common underlying causes of pyoderma include allergic diseases (food allergy, atopy, flea allergy), parasites (mange), and hormonal imbalances.

It is important to diagnose and begin treatment of the underlying problem in order to help prevent reoccurrence. Treatment of the pyoderma may involve oral antibiotics and/or antibacterial ointments, shampoos, sprays or lotions.

Key Points in Treating Pyoderma:

  •  Do not stop your pet’s antibiotics before they are finished without consulting your pet’s veterinarian – no matter how good the skin looks – because this may lead to antibacterial resistance.
  •  Topical treatment, such as a strict bathing regiment or application of leave-in products such as spray or lotion, is essential to resolving current infections and preventing futures ones, especially in cases of antibiotic resistance.
  •  A recheck examination (usually at the end of the antibiotic course) is necessary to evaluate your pet’s skin and determine if further treatment is warranted.
  •  The diagnosis & management of the primary problem is the key to preventing recurrences of a skin infection.

Bathing Tips: Remember that bathing is a therapeutic tool, not just a grooming tool.

  • Saturate the pet’s coat & skin with water. Begin with affected areas, and then move to the remainder of the body.
  • Apply the shampoo to the palms and then spread onto the pet.
  •  Do not apply the shampoo directly to the pet in a stripe down the back.
  • Work the shampoo into the coat and ensure it contacts the skin.
  • Do not scrub against the growth pattern of the coat; this can worsen infection.
  • Allow 10 to 15 minutes of contact time with the skin & coat.
  • Pets can be fed or taken on walks during this time.
  • Rinse extremely well with tepid water. Begin with unaffected areas, and then move to areas with lesions.
  • Towel from head to tail, top to bottom with gentle pressure or with a hair dryer on cool setting.

It is very important to keep your pet’s recheck appointment. The oral medications and topical treatments may need to be modified based on your pet’s progress.

Tips for Removing Pet Stains & Odors

Dogs and cats often prefer to urinate and defecate on soft absorbent surfaces. Unfortunately, that may include carpets and bedding. After a pet finds a surface they prefer, they will continue to use the same area unless the behavior is interrupted. To keep the pet from going on these indoor surfaces you must thoroughly clean stains. What seems clean to you may not smell clean to the pet. Regular household cleaners will not remove proteins found in urine and feces. Follow these helpful tips to remove stains and odors from your house.
Find Old Stains
Before you can fix a house training problem or litter box issue, you must thoroughly clean all stains even if they are old and dry. Even if there is just one spot in the house, your pet will smell the scent and think it is an appropriate place to eliminate.  Carefully check for stains in the corners of the house and even on walls. Use a black light in a dark room to find hidden urine stains.   Look for any discoloration on carpet or tile.  Search for spots around the dog or cat’s bed or place they sleep. Do what your animal does. Get down on their level and use your nose to sniff it out.
Fixing the Problem
Before you begin cleaning, mark all areas the need to be cleaned with a Post-It note. You will lose track of stains once you start cleaning. Purchase a high quality enzymatic cleaner and some paper towels. Take the pet out of the room where you will be working. Do not put them in a room where they can have more accidents. Remove any objects or bedding that can go in the washing machine.
Clean Washable Items
Add a pound box of baking soda to your wash with normal detergent.
Air dry items if possible.
If stain is still present, add an enzymatic cleaner to the wash cycle. There are enzymatic detergents available at some pet stores and online catalogs.
Clean Carpets and Tile
For fresh stains, remove as much liquid and solid matter as possible. Do not rub liquids into the carpet, blot carefully with a dry towel or rag. Rubbing will put the stain into the padding.
On tile, remove all traces of liquid and dispose of paper towels or newspaper outdoors. If you are cleaning cat urine, you can place the paper towel or newspaper in the litter box.
Thoroughly soak the entire area with an enzymatic cleaner. Do not rinse or wipe off the cleaner. Allow cleaner to soak through to the pad and let it air dry. The smell will remain until the area is completely dry. If the animal keeps going back to the same area, cover the stain with aluminum foil and place a heavy dish on top of it. Animals should not be allowed in the room until the stain is completely dry and you have them tethered to you or can watch them closely.
For old or stubborn stains, rent a carpet-cleaning machine or wet-dry vac. Follow cleaning by saturating the affected area with an enzymatic cleaner, such as Nature’s Miracle.

Be patient during the housetraining process. Your anxiety will only make your pet more stressed. Consult a behaviorist if the problem continues or you need additional support.


Source: hssaz.org

Choosing a Healthy Kitten

Age and Socialization
The best time to get a kitten is after they are weaned and eating on their own, usually between 10 to 12 weeks old. Waiting until they reach this age also gives the kitten a better chance of being properly socialized, which will help them fit in better with other family members and pets.
Socialized kittens are easy to detect. They are:

  • Eager for your attention
  • Relax when picked up
  • Purr when stroked
  • Playful

A less socialized kitten will be observed as one that may:

  • Shy away from being picked up
  • Appear tense and withdrawn
  • Interacts poorly with littermates
  • Seem timid.

If you find yourself choosing between the two types of dispositions, a shy and timid kitten may not be the best fit for a household with children.

Physical Appearance
All healthy kittens have the same traits.

    • Nose should be cool and damp
      • Watch for:
        • Any type of nasal discharge which could indicate a respiratory infection
    • Eyes should be bright and clear and look straight ahead
      • Watch for:
        • Any type of eye discharge which may point to a respiratory infection
        • If the third eyelid is visible, it may indicate an eye condition or poor health
        • Cross-eyed trait, which happens in Siamese breed
    • Ears should be clean and have a sweet smell
      • Watch for:
        • Dark brown, waxy discharge in its ear canal which may mean kitten has mites
          • Mites can be cleared up and should not be a disqualifier, but it does give an indication of how the kitten has been cared for
      • Stomach
        • Watch for:
          • Swollen stomach, which may indicate poor feeding or worms
          • Bulge at the navel, cause is likely an umbilical hernia
      • Anus and vulva skin should be clean and look healthy
        • Watch for:
          • Any redness, discharge or hair loss which could indicate worms, chronic diarrhea, various infections, poor feeding
      • Coat should look glossy, fluffy, and be free of matting
        • Watch for:
          • Moth-eaten or bare areas as they indicate ringworm and mange
      • Skin should look and smell clean
        • Watch for:
          • Oily or dirty feel which could indicate poor feeding or dirty environment
          • Dandruff-like flakes which indicate poor feeding
          • Small black bits of dirt which mean the kitten probably has fleas and tapeworm
      • Skeletal structure, when examined the kitten should have:
        • Legs that are straight and well-formed
        • Feet should be cupped and the toes arched
        • Try to observe the kitten at play, it should be able to jump, pounce, and run easily
        • Watch for:
          • Kittens with uncoordinated movements with their front paws
          • Kittens who limp, stumble, or sway when walking
      • Weight
        • At 10 weeks, a kitten should weigh about 2 pounds
          • Watch for:
            • Thin, bony, kittens who are underweight
            • Overly fat kittens.

Now that you know what to look for, and also what to look out for, you stand a much better chance of choosing a kitten that will be healthy, not just as a kitten, but possibly for all of its life.

Source: henryschein.com

Tips for Socializing Your Puppy

The days of keeping your puppy confined to the house until 16 weeks of age are over!  Many new puppy owners believe that their pup should be kept indoors and away from new places until they have completed the full series of vaccines.  While it is wise to use your best judgement when taking your pup out, if they are kept away from people and other pets until the age of 4 months old, they have missed out on the crucial socialization period.

During this time, puppies are like sponges.  They are absorbing our world and learning who is good, who is bad, what is frightening and what is okay.  They make up their minds based on the experiences they have.  If you want a well-adjusted, friendly, happy dog they should be well-socialized as a puppy.  This means exposing them to many different people, other dogs, cats, and new places on a regular basis to the point that they are comfortable in any situation.

Unfortunately, most puppies are not adequately socialized and become problem pets later on.  These pets do not tolerate being handled at the vet.  They are fearful and aggressive and this can make them very difficult patients to treat.  They are often very stressed if they have to stay hospitalized at the vet if they are ill.  Some even require 4 people to restrain them for something as simple as a toenail trim!  This is the not type of dog anyone hopes for when adopting a new puppy.  Genetics and initial personality aside, there is a lot the owner can do to help the puppy branch out and relax in new situations.

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (www.avsabonline.org), a well-respected group of veterinarians who share an interest in understanding behavior in animals, believe it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive socialization as early as 7-8 weeks of age after a minimum of one set of vaccines at least 7 days prior to the first class, with other healthy dogs in an environment that is clean, not in places such as dog parks or pet stores.  We recommend Dr. Vanya Moreno of Animal Magnetism for “puppy kindergarten” and “basic obedience” classes.  These classes provided the puppies with stimulation, play with other puppies, and most importantly starts work on their obedience training.  Visit her website here.

Socialization is the process by which pets develop a relationship with animals of their own species, other species, and humans. With adequate socialization starting as a young puppy, pets are often able to maintain these relationships for life, helping to prevent behavior problems. Although socialization should be continued throughout life, pets are more likely to be defensive, fearful, and possibly aggressive later in life if not properly socialized during their sensitive socialization period, between 5 weeks old and 5 months old.

Here is a checklist of some, but not all, experiences your puppy should have before 16 weeks of age. Always associate the experiences with high value rewards such as treats or a tennis ball. Every puppy is different so make sure to go slow if your puppy shows signs of fear or anxiety. If your puppy shows aggression or extreme fear contact your veterinarian immediately.

___ Veterinarian/ Veterinary technicians
___ Person wearing hat
___ Other animals (including non-dog)
___ You with vacuum
___ Person (child & adult) on bike & roller blades
___ Jogger
___ Stranger on street
___ You mowing grass
___ Person with umbrella, open and close umbrella
___ Toddler (supervised)
___ Person with coat, take coat on and off
___ Man with beard
___ Drive – thru window or toll booth
___ Children playing ball
___ Walk on different surfaces (soft, hard, unsteady)
___ Mailman
___ Person with wheelchair, walker, stroller
___ Rain
___ Person in uniform (police, etc)
___ You with hair dryer
___ Handle your puppy on a daily basis (ears, mouth, paws, belly, tail, etc)

Behaviorists maintain that puppies should meet 100 people by the time they are 6 months old.  This takes a lot of work on the part of the owner, but pays of ten-fold in a wonderful and sociable dog for life!

Remember: Avoid socializing your puppy in areas frequented by dogs of unknown vaccination status such as dog parks, pet stores, and dog groomers until they have completed their vaccine series.  Use your best judgement to choose places where your puppy can meet new people & healthy dogs safely without being exposed to disease!
We recommend: Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right by Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS

Buy it here — http://drsophiayin.com/perfectpuppy