Category Archives: Pet Health & Wellness

Managing Pain with Glucosamine for Pets

Glucosamine for Pets can help senior pet pain

Orthopedic problems are an incredibly common source of pain in pets, and managing these issues often requires a multi-pronged approach. One of the foundations in orthopedic pet pain management at West Park Animal Hospital often includes a joint support supplement. Glucosamine for pets can play a central role in helping our patients feel better.

What is Glucosamine?

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that results in degeneration of the joints over time. It is a common problem in our pets, with over 20% of the dog population being affected. The causes include:

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Heatstroke in Pets: Prevent, Recognize, and Intervene Immediately

Heatstroke in pets doesn't only happen on extremely hot days. The risks of heatstroke in pets are very real. Symptoms don’t always stem from over-exertion on a hot day. Instead, the prime culprit is usually plain and simple dehydration. Pets sweat a little bit through their noses and paw pads, but in an attempt to regulate internal body temperature, they pant. If access to shade and cool, clean water is restricted, organ dysfunction and even failure can occur on a hot and humid day. Prevention must remain a top priority, but being able to recognize the signs and know how to help are equally important.

The Basics

Heatstroke in pets, or hyperthermia, is characterized by an internal temperature greater than 103 degrees. Overexposure to environmental heat can lead to internal temperatures of 109 degrees, multiple organ failure, and even death. Continue reading

Food for Life: Why a Pet’s Life Stage is an Important Factor in Nutrition

Most of us would agree that good nutrition is the cornerstone of lifelong health, and the quality and quantity of the food we choose can make a significant impact on overall wellbeing and vitality. This is very true for our pets, whether we’re talking about an energetic puppy or kitten or a senior pet who has health issues that can be helped with a specific diet.

Your pet’s life stage is one of the most important factors in so many aspects of wellness, and choosing the right food based on this information is critical. Let’s take a closer look at why finding the proper diet is so important.

Life Stage-Centric Nutrition

Walk down any aisle with pet food and you’ll quickly notice whether an item is for an adult, a puppy/kitten, or a senior pet. There are even products for in-between stages and specifications based on activity level, breed, and so forth. Continue reading

The Short Way Home: Microchipping Your Pet

microchipping your petDo you have an escapee pet? You know the type – always hanging around the front door, waiting for the opportunity to push past our legs and run for freedom?

Unfortunately, the statistics regarding pet loss are staggering. One in three pets will be lost in their lifetime. Over 10 million are lost in the U.S. each year. Without any identification, 90% of pets will never find their way home.

We don’t want any owners to experience this heartbreaking situation, which is why the team at West Park Animal Hospital wants to discuss the importance of microchipping your pet.

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Why do Dogs Scoot Their Butts? Anal Glands.

anal glandsThere are so many odd canine behaviors. From crotch sniffing to humping inanimate objects, their weirdness can definitely be off-putting. Among them, butt-scooting always raises an eyebrow or two. What is this behavior all about? Why do they do this to our fine rugs? The answer isn’t pretty, but the reason is almost always related to their anal glands.

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The Year-Long Itch: Parasite Prevention That’s Year Round

parasite preventionSpring and summer are marvelous for many reasons. Not on the list of seasonal splendors? Parasites, of course. Yes, bugs are a natural consequence of warmer weather, but with a proactive approach to parasite prevention, they don’t have to bother your pet – or spread dangerous diseases!

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Pet Safety: Do the Benefits of Essential Oils Outweigh the Risks?

Pet SafetyAlthough they’ve been used for generations, essential oils have exploded onto the natural health and wellness scene. Touted for their positive effects on depression, insomnia, and even the common cold, essential oils aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. In fact, pet safety can be significantly compromised when the oils are breathed in or ingested. Before you install a diffuser in your home, we offer a quick guide to protect your cat or dog from a dangerous situation.

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Help! My Pet Broke a Tooth!

Dogs and cats explore the world with their mouths, and chewing, biting, gnawing, and chomping are parts of that exploration. It probably comes as no surprise that chipped and broken teeth are common occurrences among pets that many veterinarians see on a weekly basis.

Besides being unsightly, a broken tooth can spell big trouble for a pet. If the pulp (internal blood supply of the tooth) is exposed, bacteria can gain access to the root, leading to tooth and bone loss. Systemic infection throughout the body may result as the bacteria leak from the root into the bloodstream.

What would you do if your pet broke a tooth? Call your friendly team at West Park Animal Hospital, of course!

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Introducing the Catio and Other Awesome Activities for Cats

Winter is…well, it’s far from over yet, but one thing we know for sure is that spring is on the horizon. After a long, cold season indoors, you and your furry companion may be feeling a little stir-crazy and no doubt may be looking for some new activities to inspire exercise.

As the team at West Park Animal Hospital has mentioned in previous blogs, cats require a lot of enrichment to keep them mentally and physically healthy. Indoor cats especially are at risk of becoming overweight without some activities to keep them moving. You, too, may need some help in this department, which is why we’ve gathered some fun ideas of activities for cats and their owners.

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They Call it Puppy Love: Your Dog and Your New Partner

your dog and your new partnerWith Valentine’s Day on the horizon, love is in the air, and many of our readers may find themselves in a new relationship. For some pet owners, introducing your dog and your new partner may be dicey; for others, it goes surprisingly well (I mean, who wouldn’t love your dog?).

While your new partner may be a pet owner or an animal lover, introductions may need some finessing, especially in a new home. Even the most chill dog can get a little possessive or unruly when they’re introduced to another home with new sights, smells, and experiences.

The team at West Park Animal Hospital is happy to play Cupid by giving you some pointers on how to successfully take your pet to your new significant other’s home — without all the drama (we hope!).

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