We recently had a client visit the hospital with their senior pet. Their dog was having a lot of accidents in the house and they weren’t sure why or what to do about it. The doctor did a thorough physical examination, and took urine and fecal samples to rule out any sort of bladder or intestinal infection. Finding nothing medically wrong with the dog, the doctor and family discussed what else might be going on. There was nothing new in the dog’s life that would cause him to want to mark his territory, so being as he is an older dog, the most likely answer was age. Just like humans, as our pets age it can become harder to control their bladder and bowl movements. One of the easiest ways to help keep your senior pet from having accidents in the house is to use a diaper.
It may sound a bit silly, and you might be visualizing tiny, over dressed Chihuahuas, but it’s true. A diaper is a great alternative to finding accidents around the house.
Benefits to using a diaper with your senior pet:
- Ease of use. There are diapers made especially for pets. They are built to properly fit pets, taking into account their tails and the positioning of their legs.
- Disposable or non-disposable. Similar to human diapers, you have the option to go with disposable or non-disposable, and both kinds are easily found at pet supply stores.
- Reduce or eliminate the number of accidents your pet has in your house or while out in public.
- No mess, no stress. Using a diaper assures you that you won’t find “presents” left by your pet. This means you can spend more time loving on your pet and less time cleaning the carpets. You pet may also be feeling anxiety over going potty inside, as they know they are not supposed to.
When not to use a diaper:
- Diapers are a great option for senior pets, but they are not a cure all for pets that have accidents inside. We caution people against using them with potty training as they can end up acting as a crutch and undo the training you and your pet have worked on.
- Diapers should not be used as a way to leave your pet alone for extended periods of time. Just like human babies, pets will naturally need to go to the bathroom throughout the course of the day. Be sure you are home to let them outside so they can go potty, regardless of if you choose to use diapers or not.
- Always have your pet checked by a veterinarian if they are having accidents. Even with senior pets accidents may be a sign of a health issue that needs to be addressed by a doctor.
If you think your senior pet may be having difficulty holding their bladder or controlling their bowl movements, be sure to call us to schedule an appointment. We also provide medical boarding if you are going on vacation and don’t want to leave your special senior with just anyone. Our trained staff are happy to make sure they receive the TLC they deserve!
If you happen to get your news from credible sources like Facebook and BuzzFeed, you may have recently read about the man who went to Bali and came home with a spider living under his skin. Thankfully, we’ve never seen that in any of the pets we’ve treated over the years, but we have seen some pretty crazy parasites in our day. One such parasite, that can look about as scary as a spider under your skin, is Demodectic mange caused by the Demodex mite.
These creepy, crawly little devils are often seen on Facebook posts and shelter websites, as they are quite common in puppies and sick dogs who have found their way to helping hands.
What is Demodectic Mange:
Demodectic mange is actually a mite found on almost all dogs, as it passes from mother to pup after birth. In healthy dogs Demodex is generally not an issue, but becomes one when the mites begin to breed out of control. The mites rely on a weak immune system which allows them to multiply, so they most commonly cause disease on puppies and sick adult dogs.
The mange can either be localized, usually on the face, or may be considered generalized if it appears on several areas of the body all at once. You may have seen localized mange before, but just in case the common signs are:
- Thinning hair around the eyes, mouth and lips
- Dry or scaly looking skin where the hair has thinned
- Over time, redness, small sores, and infection may also set in on the bald and scaly areas
The generalized form of Demodectic mange is more serious and the patchy loss of hair and subsequent symptoms will occur on the face, as well as the neck, legs, and body of the pet.
How Do You Treat Mange:
Fortunately, and unfortunately, the appearance of Demodectic mange does not necessarily mean an unclean pet. Nor will giving your pet regular baths mean they can’t develop mange. Mange is a matter of comprised or lowered immune system functioning, so any dog could technically develop mange.
If your pet is experiencing hair loss, contact your veterinarian immediately. Although Demodectic mange does not generally transfer from dog to human, other forms of mange can and have a similar presentation to Demodex. It is best to have a doctor confirm the reason your pet is experiencing hair loss or other symptoms.
If it is Demodectic mange the doctor will prescribe a topical ointment or an oral medication to help treat the mites, but a recheck will be necessary to confirm that the mites have not progressed into new areas on your pup and that the treatment has slowed down the mites enough for your pet’s immune system to get back in control.
Mites can also return even after a round of medication because some dogs are more prone to mange than others. Unfortunately your veterinarian cannot kill off all the mange mites from your pup as they occur naturally on dogs.
If you think your pet may have mange, and you are in the North San Diego County area, be sure to give us a call!
The first time someone tours our facility (yes, you too can go on a tour) one of the first things they notice is that in almost every room there is music playing. That’s right, while working, playing, and loving on your pets we also like to listen to music. Something that is not widely known is that pets enjoy music also.
There has been lots of research supporting the idea that pets do in fact enjoy music. The important thing to remember is in the same way your human-kids enjoy the group Magic or singer Ariana Grande, while you prefer the Grateful Dead or Sam Smith, your pet has their own unique taste for tunes.
What kind of music do pets enjoy?
- For the most part, human-centered music isn’t the favorite choice of all pets. Although this depends on the species and breed, most human music is outside of the enjoyable pitch ranges and beats pets enjoy.
- Pick pet-specific music. Pet-specific music will use tempos, tones, and ranges that fall within those that your pets will enjoy. The music may be a remix of songs you know or music that is uniquely created for their ears.
- Pet-music can be breed and species specific. If you are looking for tunes for your pets, be sure to look for “beagle music” or “cat music” as composers have worked to break down the styles as far as possible. Although from what we can tell, the variation is pretty minimal, so searching “cat music” or “dog music” works too.
How to choose music for your pet:
Like everything these days, you have the option to pay or play for free. Here are a few suggestions for both pay-to-purchase and free pet music.
Music for Cats has some great tunes for your kitties! (Pay-to-Play)
For a free option, try searching on Youtube. User, Relaxmycat, has made several hour-long mixes just for the kitties in your life, such as this one.
Dogs: For pups, check out Youtube, such as this classical-puppy-remix!
If you happen to be in the PAH neighborhood, be sure to come by and ask for a tour and jam out with us for a bit!