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Pet Health
 
Prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure. Exams and vaccinations can prevent or minimize your petís risk of disease and illness.

On average, pets age seven times faster than their human owners. Because major changes in your petís health can occur in a short period of time, semi-annual veterinarian wellness exams are recommended.

Vaccinations have saved the lives of millions of dogs and cats who, before vaccinations were available, routinely died from distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and complications of upper respiratory infections.

Despite the well-known benefits of vaccination, the practice of annual vaccination of mature dogs is a matter of healthy debate. However, certainly routine vaccinations are essential for prevention of infectious diseases in puppies.

Talk with you veterinarian do determine a vaccination program the fits you pets routine.

Tips for Warm Weather and Cold Weather

Warm weather and sunshine creates a great outdoor environment. Keeping the following in mind may help your enjoy a happy and healthy season.

Heatstroke Signs are rapid panting, rapid heartbeat, hot skin, twitching muscles, a dazed look, high fever. Wrap pet in a towel soaked with cool, not cold, water. In severe cases, place them in the bathtub. Heatstroke can be fatal. See your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Parked car Never leave your pet alone, even if you crack the windows or park in the shade. A 70-degree day can generate temperatures of 150 degrees in minutes.

Fresh water Dogs only sweat through the pads of their feet and by panting. Evaporation from the wet surfaces of their mouth and nose helps lower body temperature.

External parasites Fleas, ticks and ear mites thrive in warm, humid environments. Talk with your veterinarian about preventative programs.

Internal parasites Have your dog tested early for heartworms and begin preventive heartworm medication.

Hot pavement Sensitive paws burn easily.

Cool spot For indoor pets, keep the air circulating with a childproof fan or air conditioner. Proved shade for outdoor pets. A gentle sprinkle from a hose is always appreciated.

Yard Be cautious of pesticides and herbicides. Read the precautions for lawn chemicals carefully and keep pets away from newly treated yards. If pets come in contact with chemicals, wash their feet, abdomen and chest thoroughly, then contact your veterinarian.

Allergy season People sneeze. Pets scratch. Common pet allergies include pollen, grass and weeds. If your pet scratches excessively or chews at its paws, your veterinarian for help in easing the symptoms.

Exercise and diet Donít encourage exercise during the hottest part of the day. Avoid over feeding, your pet can become overheated.

Sunburn Shorthaired pets and those with pink skin and white hair are especially susceptible. Rub a small amount of pet safe sunblock on unprotected areas like the tips of the ears, the skin around the lips, and the tip of the nose.

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Cold weather is a difficult time for pets. Outdoor animals require extra care to help them cope.

Hypothermia and dehydration These are the two most probable life-threatening conditions for animals in cold weather. Make sure your pet is indoors or has access to covered shelter with plenty of food and water. If you cannot bring your pet inside, check on him or her regularly.

Anti-freeze Although it has a sweet taste and is enticing to a dog or cat, anti-freeze is extremely toxic. One-half teaspoon per pound of dog body weight will produces clinical signs of poisoning. The nervous system and kidneys are attack first. Symptoms are depression, lack of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst and seizures and will appear within an hour of exposure. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

Cats and cold weather Cats should be kept inside during winter months. Felines can freeze. They will seek shelter and sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars and can be injured or killed when the motor is started.

Outdoor dog shelter Provide an elevated house just large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around but small enough to retain body heat. The house should have a door or heavy flap to protect the dog from wind and drafts. Use straw for bedding material.

Paw pads Check pad for small cuts and cracks. Keep hair trimmed around the pad area, snow and ice can quickly ball up. Consider dog boots for pets that react negatively to walking on ice and snow.

Snow or ice Keep your dog on a leash when snow or ice is on the ground. A pet can loose their scent and quickly become lost.

Thoroughly wipe your dog's legs and stomach to prevent ingestion of antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals when licking.

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