As we approach Independence Day, it's crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of our furry companions during the festivities. The Fourth of July brings excitement, but it can also pose potential hazards to our pets. In this blog post, we'll provide simple and actionable tips to ensure a safe and stress-free holiday for your beloved pets.
1. Create a Safe Retreat:
Fireworks can be frightening for pets due to the loud noises and bright lights. Set up a cozy and secure space within your home where your pet can seek refuge during the fireworks display. Prepare a quiet room with some background noise, like soft music or the television, and ensure that it is escape-proof, with no open windows or doors. This will provide your pet with a comfortable retreat to help minimize anxiety.
2. Keep Pets Indoors:
During Independence Day celebrations, it's best to keep your pets indoors, even during daytime activities. The sudden bursts of fireworks or noise from firecrackers can startle animals and cause them to become disoriented or run away. By keeping them inside, you reduce the risk of your pet getting lost or injured. Ensure all windows and doors are securely closed to prevent accidental escapes.
3. Identification and Microchipping:
Accidents can happen, no matter how careful we are. Make sure your pet has proper identification tags securely attached to their collar with up-to-date contact information. Additionally, consider microchipping your pet for a permanent form of identification. Microchips greatly increase the chances of a lost pet being reunited with their family. Contact us for more information on microchipping and to verify that your pet's information is current.
4. Avoid Hazards from Human Food:
During holiday gatherings, resist the temptation to share your favorite treats with your pets. Some common human foods can be toxic to animals. Steer clear of feeding your pets chocolate, alcohol, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, or any foods containing artificial sweeteners like xylitol. These substances can be harmful and potentially life-threatening. Instead, provide safe and pet-friendly treats or contact us for suitable options.
5. Firework Safety:
If you plan to set off fireworks at home, always prioritize the safety of your pets. Ensure they are safely indoors, away from the launching area. The loud noises and bright lights can cause extreme anxiety and stress in pets. Consider alternative options like visual displays or silent fireworks to minimize the impact on your furry companions. Contact us for more information on pet-friendly firework alternatives.
6. Calming Techniques:
If your pet experiences anxiety or fear during fireworks, there are calming techniques you can try. Contact us for more information on natural remedies such as anxiety wraps or pheromone diffusers that can provide a sense of security. Additionally, create a soothing environment with dimmed lights, comfortable bedding, and familiar toys to help your pet feel more at ease.
As you prepare to celebrate Independence Day, remember to keep your pets safe and secure. By following these simple tips, you can ensure a stress-free and enjoyable holiday for your furry friends. Contact us for more information about pet safety during this festive time. Let's make this Fourth of July a wonderful and pet-friendly celebration while safeguarding our beloved companions. Have a safe and joyful Independence Day!
Cats are intriguing and mysterious creatures. They possess a remarkable ability to conceal their illnesses, making it challenging for pet owners to detect when something is amiss. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons behind cats' secretive behavior, explore common feline diseases, and highlight crucial symptoms to be aware of.
Cats differ from dogs in how they handle illness due to their innate instinct to hide any signs of weakness or vulnerability. This behavior stems from their evolutionary background as solitary hunters, where displaying illness could make them an easy target for predators. Consequently, even when cats are unwell, they often feign normalcy, masking their discomfort and making it harder to identify their health issues.
Common Feline Diseases:
Although cats are good at hiding their illnesses, there are several health problems that frequently affect them. Learning about these common diseases can help you ensure your cat gets the care they need:
1. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD): This term covers various urinary system issues, like infections and bladder stones. Look for signs such as peeing often, struggling to pee, blood in the urine, and excessive grooming in that area.
2. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Older cats are prone to CKD, which means their kidneys gradually stop working well. Early signs include drinking more water, peeing more, losing weight, and reduced appetite.
3. Hyperthyroidism: Some cats have an overactive thyroid gland, causing increased metabolism. Weight loss despite a big appetite, restlessness, excessive thirst, and more peeing are common symptoms.
4. Diabetes Mellitus: Cats can also get diabetes, just like humans. Watch for obesity, increased thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, and a big appetite.
5. Dental Disease: Dental problems are common in cats, including gum disease, tooth decay, and swollen gums. Pay attention to bad breath, reluctance to eat, drooling, and pawing at the mouth.
Recognizing Signs of Illness:
Even though cats try to hide their ailments, there are clues that attentive owners can notice. Keep an eye out for these symptoms that might indicate a health problem:
1. Changes in appetite: If your cat suddenly eats more or less than usual, it could be a sign of trouble.
2. Litter box changes: Pay attention to frequent or difficult urination, or if your cat strains in the litter box, as it could mean a urinary issue.
3. Weight changes: Significant weight loss or gain shouldn't be ignored.
4. Grooming habits: Cats groom themselves, but excessive licking, hair loss, or tangled fur might indicate discomfort or pain.
5. Behavioral changes: Unusual aggression, hiding, being less active, or seeming tired all the time may be signs of an underlying problem.
Importance of Veterinary Care
Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are crucial to keep your cat healthy and catch any issues early. Since cats are experts at hiding illness, professional expertise is essential for diagnosing and treating diseases before they become severe or life-threatening.Regular check-ups are important to keep your cat healthy and catch problems early. Cats are good at hiding illness, so it's crucial to have a professional check their health. During a check-up, your vet will carefully examine your cat from head to tail. They will listen to their heart and lungs, check their eyes, ears, and mouth, feel their abdomen, and look at their skin and coat. This helps us find any hidden issues or signs of illness that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Sometimes, the vet may suggest additional tests to learn more about your cat's health. Bloodwork can show how the organs are working and detect infections or other problems. It helps find conditions like kidney disease, liver issues, diabetes, and thyroid imbalances. Urinalysis is another important test that can find urinary tract infections, kidney problems, and other urinary disorders.
By combining physical exam findings with tests like bloodwork and urinalysis, we can better understand your cat's health. This helps us make accurate diagnoses and create treatment plans just for your cat. Finding problems early means better chances of success, less suffering for your cat, and often - less expensive and less invasive treatments.
Cats are remarkable creatures with a unique ability to hide illness, making their care more complex than dogs. As responsible pet owners, it's our duty to remain vigilant and attentive, noticing subtle changes in behavior, appetite, and grooming. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for early detection of potential issues. Veterinarians, with their specialized knowledge, can uncover hidden illnesses that cats may try to conceal.
Contact us at Allegheny North Veterinary Hospital today to book your cat's check-up. Our experienced team is here to provide the expert care your feline companion deserves. You can call or text our office at 412-364-5511, or conveniently request an appointment online or through the Pet Health Network app. Act now and give your cat the best care possible!
Spring is a beautiful season in Pittsburgh with longer days, warmer weather, and blooming flowers. However, it also brings some hazards for your furry friends. As a responsible pet owner, it's essential to know what these hazards are and how to prevent them.
Here are some of the most common springtime pet hazards:
By being aware of these hazards and taking preventive measures, you can help your pets enjoy a safe and happy spring season. If you have any concerns about your pet's health or behavior, don't hesitate to contact us — we're here to help!
*CLOSED WEDNESDAY 1/11/2023 for STAFF TRAINING*
To best serve you (and do our part to be eco-friendly), we're transitioning to 100% electronic medical records! We'll be closed on Wednesday for staff training to get this rolling. Please bear with us in the coming weeks as we incorporate this new system and our team gets into the groove with these new working processes.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
• Be sure that we have an up-to-date email address on file for you
• Download the Pet Health Network app (on iOS/Android)
• Send digital files to us directly to alleghenynorthvet (at) GMail . com
Why "Other" Online Pharmacies are UNSAFE:
IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING ONLINE PRESCRIPTION REQUESTS
As of April 1, 2023, we will be working exclusively with our partnered online pharmacy. Details available here.
ATTENTION CLIENTS: Please read regarding prescription refills!
Please submit refill requests 7 days in advance. Your pet's veterinarian must approve Rx refills - if he or she is not in the office for a day or two, your request will be delayed. Also, we do our best to keep medications in stock - but if something needs to be ordered, we need time to get it in.
IMPORTANT: Please make your refill request only once, using EITHER our pharmacy phone line OR via text/app. Multiple requests may be addressed by two different staff members, causing confusion, double work, and a delay of your request.
Note that the above also applies to prescription food.
We thank you for your cooperation so that we can best serve you and your furry family!
Our mobile app is called Pet Health Network and is available on iOS and Android. You can use it to request an appointment, view your pet’s vaccination history and prescription details, request prescription refills, and access information about our practice. To start using the app, download Pet Health Network from the iPhone App Store or the Android Google Play store.
Whether you have the mobile app or not, you can text us for non-urgent requests anytime at 412-218-3067. NOTE: This service is NOT for after-hours emergencies; we will not see your message or be able to respond until the next business day!
Monday 9/5: LABOR DAY - Office is closed. Please click here for an updated list of emergency veterinarians in the Pittsburgh area.
Friday 9/2: Open as usual (previously announced that we would have no veterinarian on site in the A.M. - but now Dr. Gaiser will be here!)
Tuesday 9/13: Closing at 4:00PM due to staffing issues.
August is Itchy Pet Awareness Month! (Yes, that's a thing ) The “Awareness” part is very important, though — itchy dogs and cats might be telling you something about their health! Many pet owners don’t know that itchiness can often be a symptom of a problem that actually requires treatment...
Causes for chronic itching can range from food and/or environmental allergies to parasites or nutritional needs. Because of the constant scratching, secondary bacterial or fungal infections are frequently found during dermatologic exams, too.
These tend to take some time to develop, so the good news is that early intervention into the cause of the itch can prevent raw or infected skin.
The constant scratching is probably driving you nuts, but it doesn't compare to how aggravated your pet feels when they can't stop the itch. Call us so we can fix it!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.