Dover Veterinary Hospital Newsletter

The Dover, NH veterinarians and staff at the Dover Veterinary Hospital are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis. Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on Dover Veterinary Hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine. Please enjoy the newsletter.

Current Newsletter Topics

Holiday Pet Tip: No Sweets For Your Sweet Pet

For many people, overindulging in holiday goodies may result in a few extra pounds; however, the consequences for our animal companions are much greater if they accidentally ingest cookies, candy or baked goods containing chocolate. In any form ranging from one-ounce baking squares to brownies, chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which can cause stimulation of the central nervous system, an increase in heart rate and tremors. Clinical symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity and increased thirst. Urination and heart rate can be seen with the ingestion of as little as 1/4 ounce of baking chocolate by a 10-pound dog.

Veterinary poison and emergency center across the country seem to receive more calls involving chocolate toxicosis during Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter. During one Thanksgiving holiday, an 18-pound cocker spaniel consumed an 18-ounce box of milk chocolate truffles. By the time the owners brought the dog to the veterinary emergency center, she had already vomited several times and was drinking large amounts of water. The emergency clinician worked in conjunction with the dog's veterinarian to provide emergency treatment, which included activated charcoal, intravenous fluids and medication for her elevated heart rate. She'd recovered by the next morning, but spent the day in doggie day care to make sure she didn't have further problems.

Although chocolate toxicosis is more common in dogs who have been known to eat candy and trays of brownies and fudge accidentally left out, it can be a potential problem with any species. Take care this holiday season and keep candy out of your pets' reach - and don't let them in the kitchen unsupervised when you're baking. If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate, call your veterinarian immediately.

Keeping Your Dog Anxiety Free On New Year's Eve

Celebrating the new year is an exciting time for many people. Unfortunately, your dog might not share the same enthusiasm you do. There are numerous ways your dog might be put on edge this December 31. Whether it's loud neighbors celebrating loudly or fireworks exploding overhead, as a dog owner you must be conscious of your dog's fears.

Fortunately, there are ways to make your dog feel more safe as we move into the new year. Here are just a few pointers to keep your dog happy and healthy into the new year and beyond.

Give your dog plenty of exercise before the celebrations begin. Take him or her to the dog park, go on a long walk or jog, play fetch until your dog's tongue is down to the floor. The point is that the more you tire them out during the day, the likelier they are to sleep through a noisy night.
Create a relaxing environment for them. Lavender oil (Lavendula augustifolia or Lavendula officinalis) can be used either on the skin or by letting your dog smell it, and has been found to reduce anxiety. It's also a good idea to play calming music, like classical or light jazz, that's turned up just high enough to wash out external noise.
Ask your veterinarian about medications that may help. Your veterinarian may be able to prescribe your dog anti-anxiety medication that will help calm them throughout the night. These same types of medications can be used for other anxiety-producing scenarios like thunderstorms or car rides.

Above all, remember to have a fun and safe New Year's Eve for both yourself and your dog!

Picture Perfect Tips for Pet Photos

Wish you had a lens ready for those cute moments when Whiskers snuggles up against Spot on the couch? Or when Fido gives you that adorable look? More often than not, we are simply not picture-ready for those picture-perfect moments of our pets. And by the time we finally reach for our cameras, the moment has already passed. If this sounds familiar, here are a few tips to help your pet get the spotlight he deserves:

Can I have your attention?

• Timing is everything- With animals, time is always of the essence. Your pet is constantly moving, so having a camera that’s both accessible and easy-to-shoot may be key to capturing those fleeting moments. Where movement presents an issue, photographers also recommend shooting in “burst mode” whenever possible.

• Get low- You may need to do some gymnastics in order to accomplish the shots you want. Shooting from a comfortable angle probably won’t allow those cute puppy eyes to shine through. Getting down to your pet’s level will instantly improve your shots.

• Shoot like a video camera- Instead of waiting for your pet to do something cute before reaching for your camera, try reversing your steps. Grab your camera and wait for your pet to entertain you. Usually we’re just a few seconds too late. But if you already have your camera ready, you’re sure to catch Fido in the act.

• Keep shooting- Especially in the age of digital photography, there’s no reason you can’t rapid fire until you find that one shot that perfectly captures the moment. After 20 shots, you’re bound to get one image that fits the bill.

• Use natural lighting- It’s best to use natural lighting when photographing your pets. If you have to use a flash, avoid taking the photo from straight on, otherwise you’ll get a red-eye effect. Photographers typically recommend soft morning light or early evening light that comes through trees or windows.

• Get their attention- Though the best shots are usually candid, it often helps to get your pet’s attention using treats, toys, or simply calling their name. Remember, dogs will often respond to multiple calls, but chose your battles wisely with Whiskers – she may only fall for that trick once.

• Experiment- Play around with your camera’s various modes and shutter speeds to see what best suits your animal’s movements and personality. Each picture tells a story, so don’t be afraid to play around with your camera until you’ve created the story you want to tell.

Pets can be the most fun – albeit complicated – subjects to photograph. With some time, patience and a lot of experimenting, you too can get the shots of Fido you’ve always wanted. So go ahead, snap away!

Winter Tips for Pets

It won't be long until the temperature drops off, the sky turns grey and the snow starts to fall. Winter can be a fun time for pets to explore, but as a pet owner, you should keep in mind a few things to make sure they stay healthy and safe during this time of year.

Don't Overestimate the Warmth of Fur

Pets with thicker coats can handle colder temperatures better than shorter-haired animals. But don't think that just because a pet's hair is long that they're completely insulated from the cold. If a pet's coat gets wet, the fur loses its insulating ability. Keep a towel handy to dry off your pet after a romp in the snow, and make sure that they have access to a dry and draft-free shelter on the cold days.

Dressing Your Pet with a Jacket Can Help…to a Degree

Dogs can be very cute dressed in their vest or jacket during the winter months. These fashionable items look great and can help keep your dog warm, but don’t consider them to be the equivalent of a parka. Keep a close eye on your dog and never assume because they have on a jacket, they're invincible to the frigid temperatures.

As for your cat: it's hard enough to get them in their travel carrier. Even if you are able to get a jacket or vest on them, it's very likely they're going to spend all their energy trying to get it off. You can probably skip this step.

Protecting your Puppy or Senior Pet Means keeping Them Indoors

As much as your new pet might want to go outside and run around on colder days, it's best to limit their time in the snow or cold. They don't have the fat, metabolism or full coat to handle frigid temperatures as adult pets do.

Your senior pet may have spent winters in the past enjoying the brisk temperatures and playing as the snow falls. But as they age, recognize that they aren't as strong as they once were. This doesn’t mean they can't be outside and play, just be conscientious of time and make sure they have plenty of warm blankets and treats when they come indoors.

Pet Obesity Can Cost You A Fortune

Studies reveal that half of the dogs and cats found in American homes are overweight or obese, translating to over 85 million. Pet obesity has become a major health concern across the nation, forcing us to rethink what we throw into Fido’s bowl or pass under the table.

Yet, what we often don’t think about are the costs associated with this soaring trend. Not only are there diseases and conditions caused by obesity, but also many others that are greatly exacerbated by the extra pounds. And the increase in costs can be alarming. In fact, treating pets with diabetes, heart disease or ligament tears that are caused by weakened joints can cost you thousands in veterinary fees. According to Petplan, pet insurance claims in 2011 for heart disease increased by 32 percent, diabetes by 253 percent and arthritis by a whopping 348 percent.

But just as people need to be safe about their dieting, the same holds true for animals. If you have questions about your pet’s eating habits or changing dietary needs, consult your local veterinarian for help.

Fat Cat

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