|Posted on June 2, 2016 at 11:35 AM||comments (1)|
It's been a while I know.
I wanted to share with you a veterinarian's prospective on shaving your pets during the summer. So I asked my friend, Rita, to write something up for me.
TO SHAVE OR NOT TO SHAVE!
t’s summertime again, and with the warmer weather many dog and cat owners wonder whether a “summer shave down” would help their pets in the hot months ahead. In almost all cases the answer is NO! Dogs and cats do not maintain their body temperatures during the summer by sweating like people do. They do not have sweat glands at all except for the tip of their noses and pads of their feet.
When people sweat the moisture on the skin evaporates causing a cooling effect. If human beings wear coats during the summer, we lose this ability to cool down. Since dogs and cats use panting to dispel excess heat and don’t sweat, their hair coats keep the warm air off their skin and their body temperatures don’t fluctuate as much as ours. Think of their hair coats as insulation - it keeps them cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter (keeping the cold air of their skin!).
Cases in which shaving down a dog or cat may be beneficial are indoor pets with a controlled environmental temperature, or pets with skin conditions that need medicated baths. Flea control does not require shorter hair especially with it now being available in a pill form given orally.
So hold off shaving your pets’ hair for the summer months. Let Mother Nature’s insulation keep them cool naturally!
|Posted on March 13, 2016 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
Petey is a special dog.
When I say special please understand that this covers a lot. Petey is special for many reasons. For one, he is really cute. I mean REALLY cute. And he knows it. He is also special because he and I have been competing in Obedience and Rally for about 7 years, and he has 5 AKC titles. He is most special because he is my "heart" dog. It's a bit difficult to explain, but anyone out there that has had a heart dog knows what I mean.
Petey is also special because he is a survior. Aside from being really cute, he has several health issues that, to look at him, you would never know. He has had skin allergies since he was 2 years old. For these, he has had numerous rounds of steroids and antibiotics, as well as a medication that was supposed to stop his itching, but caused him to develop hypergingiplasia around his bottom teeth. He has survived lung cancer surgery where he had 2 out of 6 lung lobes removed. He survived surgery to repair a pneumothorax when scar tissue tore away and caused his lungs to collapse. During that surgery it was discovered that he was actually missing another lung lobe. Apparently he had been born without it. He survived the infection he developed after the second surgery that nearly killed him. On top of that, Petey has canine emphysema! Do you know how hard it is to get your dog to quit smoking? They don't make a patch for that.
So now my dog is down to only 3 lung lobes - that's it. He cannot survive with any less, Petey also had to have a 3rd surgery to remove the metal wire that was used to help his sternum heal from the 2nd surgery. An infection around the wires began to form, so out they came! Another issue since the 2nd surgery has been a chronic ear infection in the right ear. At least it was until it decided to jump to the other ear toward the end of last year. I think this mystery soup of an ear infection was brought on by one of the many high-powered antibiotics Petey was on after the 2nd and 3rd surgeries.
And despite all this Petey will be turning 11 on his birthday on April13th, 2016.
Let me tell you about these ear infections. Long-eared dogs are going to be prone to ear infections. That is just a fact of life. You can be religious about cleaning your dog's ears, but eventually your dog will develop an ear infection. And ear infections can be very icky. Pus can build up in their ears, a nasty black, brown or golden wax-like substance can form and ooze out of the ear. And the smell? The smell is just disgusting. Bless Petey's little heart (oh, yeah, forgot about his heart murmur) you could smell him coming in the house. For him, an ear infections meant endless scratching to the point where he would cry out because of the pain. If not scratching, then he would rub his ears across the rug. Round after round of antibiotics and ear drops would be endured and the infection would back off a bit. But it was always there, lurking around the corner and waiting to strike Petey's wonderfulyy beautiful long ears.
(To be continued. . .)