Have you ever wondered why dogs always greet other dogs by smelling their rear ends? It’s because they have anal sacs that excrete odors that are unique to each dog. Each time dogs have a bowel movement, the anal sacs are emptied. Occasionally, the anal sacs can become clogged—which can cause the sacs to fill with fluid. When that happens, your dog can experience a feeling of fullness or discomfort. Small dogs are prone to anal sac clogs. If your dog is scooting around the yard on its bottom, it may have clogged anal sacs. Here are some easy-to-follow instructions that will help you drain the sacs. Head for the Tub The fluid inside the anal sacs can be quite pungent. You’re going to want to wash your dog as soon as you’re done draining the fluid. Therefore, the bathtub is the best place to drain your dogs’ anal sacs. If your dog refuses to get inside the tub, take your pet outside and place a bucket filled with warm, sudsy water near you. Wear the Appropriate Attire Draining the anal sacs can get messy. You’ll need to wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty or throwing away afterwards. You’ll also need to wear a pair of rubber surgical gloves, which you can purchase at any drug store. Assume the Position Have your dog stand up. Kneel down at your dog’s side. Holding a cloth or paper towel, place one hand in front of your dog’s anus. The cloth will allow you catch the fluid as it is excreted from the sacs. Don’t kneel in back of your dog, or you may get covered in secretions. Drain the Sacs Carefully place your thumb and index finger on opposite sides of your dogs’ anal opening. You should feel two sacs about the size of peas. Press down on those sacs and move your finger and thumb upward towards the anus. You should see a mucus-type discharge flow from your dogs’ anus. Continue pressing until there is no more discharge. Call the Vet If you can’t get any secretions from the anal sacs or they don’t empty completely, you should contact a veterinarian. In some cases, anal sacs can become infected, which may require surgical assistance. Anal sacs usually empty on their own. Occasionally, they can become clogged by hair or body oils. If your dog is exhibiting signs of discomfort—such as increased scooting or licking—it may need to have its anal sacs emptied. Contact a facility like the Northwest Animal Hospital for further information or to set up an appointment for your...

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If you’re getting ready to move into your first apartment, you might be considering the benefits of having a dog to keep you company. Whether you’ve got your eye on those pitbulls for sale down the road or you’re thinking about adoption, there are a few things you need to consider. Here are some tips to ease your pup’s transition into a new home. Don’t Limit Yourself to Small Breeds Unless you’re renting an apartment with a weight limit for pets, don’t limit your search to just small breeds. You might think that little dogs are best for apartment spaces, but they aren’t always the best choice. In fact, some small dog breeds are ill-suited for apartments because they can be too vocal. Also, some small breeds are very high-energy or suffer from anxiety, which can make apartment living a challenge. Some of the medium to large breeds can actually be a better fit than you’d think in an apartment. Sometimes, larger breeds are more relaxed than smaller dogs, making them a calmer household member. If you’re interested in a larger dog that’s more likely to relax all day than run around, he or she may be a better fit than a smaller breed that’s going to have too much energy from being cooped up. Make Your Apartment a Dog-Friendly Environment Consider how a dog is most likely to maneuver in your apartment when you’re choosing your furniture. Decorate in a way that leaves plenty of floor space for your pup so that he or she can move around at will. You might even want to consider a bench seat in front of a window so your dog can curl up and watch people passing by on the street. Don’t Underestimate the Value of a Trainer If you want to stay on good terms with the landlord while still having a dog to keep you company, consider investing in a dog trainer. The trainer can help your dog acclimate to apartment living, and may be able to help you deal with specific problem behaviors, such as excessive barking. Getting your first pet is an exciting opportunity. If you want the relationship to be a happy one, though, you need to be sure you get the right dog for your needs. With the tips presented here, you can find the right dog for your apartment and even help him or her to be more comfortable in the new...

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Boarding Your Pet Parrot


Posted By on Sep 4, 2015

There may come a time when you will need someone to temporarily look after your parrot. If your bird is used to having your around or is used to lot of activity, then it may be hard to keep him happy at home alone. Many pet boarding facilities will take in birds and other exotic pets. Good candidates for boarding: The best candidates for boarding are parrots who are gregarious and like a lot of activity. They should like to be around people and other birds and don’t mind some handling. However, even birds that aren’t as social or are shy can sometimes be boarded depending on the facility. Candidates that are not ideal include birds that are aggressive, can’t be handled, frequently bite or are unusually destructive. Requirements for boarding: A recent check-up with a veterinarian that includes blood work and/or fecal testing is required. Birds should be free of all diseases and parasites. Some facilities will handle birds with certain illnesses and on medications, but not contagious birds. Your bird’s wings should be clipped to protect both him and the other birds. Also, your bird should be accustomed to being in a cage for at least part of the day. Cages are often provided at the facility, but some require you to bring your own cage and a toy. Services that boarders may provide: Services vary based on the type of facility. Most facilities will provide healthy food, cage cleaning and daily interaction. Some facilities may offer extras such as grooming and behavior modification. Though not all facilities have veterinary staff onsite full time, most have a doctor on call for emergencies. Questions to ask about boarding: Ask for a tour of the facility and observe how staff interacts with the birds. Ask about whether your bird will be allowed some time outside the cage. See if the bird will be interacting with other birds. Find out if people, other than the staff, will have access to your bird. Ask about handling shy birds or about keeping your bird away from other birds or excessive handling. A good boarding facility will try to work with your parrot’s personality and not subject him or her to excessive stress. Some parrots find boarding to be a fun, exciting experience and will adapt quickly. Boarding a gregarious parrot that is used to daily activity may be a good option if you need to go away for a while. Even if your parrot is not very social, he or she may still benefit from being boarded. Contact a company like Marquette Animal Hospital for more...

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Those sweet meows and scratchy tongue aren’t the only things that come from your cat’s mouth. Chances are, there’s bacteria that could lead to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. In fact, periodontal disease is the most common disease in cats over the age of 3.  85 percent of cats over the age of 6 are affected. Make sure your veterinarian is checking your kitty’s teeth at every visit — and make sure you’re scheduling regular checkups so that dental and other health problems don’t go undetected. How Do I Know If My Cat’s Teeth Are Okay? The truth is, you might not notice anything that suggests your cat is developing periodontal disease. That’s why it’s so important to take your feline friend to a veterinarian or cat dentist regularly. You may notice changes in appetite, particularly bad breath or face swelling as indicators that there’s something going on with kitty’s teeth and gums. Make an appointment to see your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs, or if your cat has any mouth wounds or bleeding from the mouth. What Can I Do at Home? The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to brush your cat’s teeth at home. It’s best to start this process when your cat is very young so that he or she gets used to it. If you’ve adopted an older cat, or you’re just starting teeth brushing as a part of your regular care routine, be prepared for some pushback. Be patient and just do the best you can. After all, some brushing is better than none at all. If your cat just won’t allow you near his or her mouth, consider using an oral gel or spray to help keep oral bacteria at bay. There are even water additives you can add to your pet’s bowl daily to help keep his or her gums clean and healthy.  Avoid using only soft, canned foods. Crunchy and chewy foods help keep your cat’s teeth strong. Ask your cat’s vet about dietary options to help prevent and control oral problems. There are special foods, and even treats, available both with and without a prescription that can help keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Talk to your cat’s veterinarian about other options as well, especially if your cat is showing signs of periodontal disease. He or she may suggest your cat undergo a professional cleaning or other treatments, such as tissue regeneration procedures to rebuild the gums or bone replacement procedures, if the disease is more advanced. ...

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When spring and summer come around, many people are ready to get out into the outdoors to enjoy the nice weather and their extra hours of daylight that they can enjoy whether they are on vacation or working. As such, the majority of dog owners like to take their dogs out to the dog park to enjoy that pleasant weather with them. However, most veterinarians will tell you to be cautious when you take your dogs to the dog park. Get to know some of the potential dog park dangers that you will want to consider before you head out to the dog park this year.  Parvovirus Parvovirus (also known as parvo) is a highly contagious and dangerous canine virus. This virus becomes very serious very quickly as it attacks the white blood cells in the body and does severe damage to the intestinal tract. Commonly, a dog that has been exposed to and contracted parvovirus will show symptoms like severe diarrhea that smells horrible and often contains blood, excessive vomiting, no appetite, and a lack of energy. With all of the diarrhea and vomiting, the dog will likely get extremely dehydrated which may be life-threatening if not addressed quickly.  Parvovirus is transmitted through the feces of infected dogs. Anything, including a person, that comes into contact with those infected feces can be a carrier, sometimes for months. So, if an infected dog goes to the dog park and defecates, any dog that comes into contact with even the grass they defecated on, may contract the virus. Be sure to check that your dog is up-to-date on their parvo vaccine before you even consider taking them to a dog park. And if you have a puppy under the age of between six and eight weeks, do not take them around other dogs or to the dog park as they are too young to be vaccinated. Fleas and Ticks Fleas affect many different animals, not just domestic pets. Rabbits, squirrels, and other animals that may enter a dog park (as well as other dogs) may carry fleas which can infest your dog at the dog park. Additionally, anytime you go outdoors in the summer, there is a chance that you and your dog will encounter ticks. In a dog park where there are tall plants, trees, and wild grasses, their presence is even more likely.  While fleas and ticks are annoying and may cause serious discomfort (especially fleas), they can also carry serious diseases. Dogs, as well as humans, can get Lyme disease from ticks. Fleas carry diseases such as the plague, tapeworms, and a red blood cell disease known...

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