Watch the entire video to learn how you can prevent your sweet pup from ever getting parvo.
In this month’s episode of Pet Talk provided by Life's Abundance, Dr. Sarah reviews Parvovirus. Sadly, with spring comes a seasonal increase in this potentially lethal disease, so you and your pup need to be prepared. Life's Abundance staff veterinarian explains what the disease is, how it’s transmitted, tips about how to hinder its spread, symptoms to look out for, as well as what to do if your dog contracts this illness.
Watch the entire video to learn how you can prevent your sweet pup from ever getting parvo.
Skin problems rank high among the most common reasons that pets go to the veterinarian.
Chief complaints include unexplained lumps and bumps that develop on the surface of the skin, under the skin, or even inside the mouth. The good news is that most of the time these swellings are simply benign (non-cancerous) growths. However, it is imperative to have any suspicious growths examined by your vet since they could lead to a more serious condition that may require treatment.
There are a few things that you can do at home if you spot a ‘bumpy lumpy’ on your pet. You should immediately inspect your companion to see if there are multiple bumps or just one. Your pet could be acting fine, the lumps not sensitive to the touch but they can still be serious.
The size of a lump is not an indication of its severity. If your pet is acting normally, the lump does not appear painful, and it’s not accompanied by a bad odor, then you probably aren’t facing a dire emergency. Benign growths can include fluid-filled cysts, fatty tumors, warts, skin tags and histiocytomas. Don’t make yourself crazy by trying to diagnose the malady at home. Simply schedule a vet appointment and find out what’s going on.
On the other hand, if you do notice a change in your pet’s behavior then this should be an immediate red flag. Other red flags include fatigue, food avoidance, or inexplicable limping. Symptoms of an infected lump may include red swelling, foul odor coming from the lump, and obvious pain or tenderness associated with the area.
Bumps that appear overnight could be due to an abscess, an infection in a wound. Of course, the ‘worst case scenario’ for many is that a bump will prove to be a cancerous tumor. If left unchecked, malignant tumors can grow and spread to other parts of the body. It probably bears repeating … if there’s any question about what’s going on with your dog or cat, take them to the vet for testing.
When you bring your pet in to see your vet, he or she will ask you some questions regarding when you first noticed the lump or swelling, whether you’ve noticed any changes in its appearance, and more. These questions are necessary for your vet to start narrowing down the possible causes and treatments needed. Don’t be alarmed if your vet uses the terms mass, tumor, or growth when referring to any bumps. These are simply medical terms used to describe any swellings and does not automatically mean a cancerous diagnosis.
Additionally, your vet will likely perform a physical examination from head to tail. This exam is critical for the assessment of your pet’s health state, and to determine whether there are multiple lumps present (i.e., any that you might’ve missed in your home exam). The look and feel of a bump can give your vet a lot of insight towards what could be wrong. Further testing may be needed to successfully establish the source of the trouble.
After the physical exam, your vet will either offer some immediate treatment options if nothing serious is going on, or ask for permission to conduct further diagnostic testing. A simple test, known as cytology (Greek for ‘the study of cells’) of the lump, may be initially recommended. During this test, a needle is inserted into the bump or swelling, and cells are extracted. The sample will be studied under a microscope for further analysis. The only problem with cytology is that the results can provide only a limited amount of information. If this procedure does not provide a sufficient explanation for the problem, your vet may recommend a biopsy.
There are two types of biopsies: incisional and excisional. With an incisional biopsy, a small amount of the lump is sampled and sent out for analysis. An excisional biopsy requires the removal of the entire mass or swelling, also sent out for analysis. Your pet may need local anesthesia or general sedation before a biopsy is performed, dependent upon the size and location of the mass, as well as the behavioral temperament of your companion.
Ultimately, treatment options will depend on the results of the lump’s analysis. Your vet may determine that the lump or swelling is only cosmetic and poses no threat to your pet kid’s health. In this case, you will want to keep a close eye on the area and notify your vet of any changes. If the diagnosis is more serious, your veterinarian will discuss all available treatment options to address, and hopefully heal, whatever’s going on.
If you remember nothing else, the take-away here is that your greatest resource in diagnosing and treating any skin problem is your vet.
Dr Jane Bicks
from March 2013 Life's Abundance Blog Post
Protect your Dog and other Pets from Frigid Temps
Just when I was thinking the coldest temps have come and gone, I learned yesterday that some of the coldest temps of the season are hitting Montana the first week of February.
Here's a couple of tips that will help prepare your dogs (and cats) for the cold.
Bring Outside Pets In. If you absolutely can't find an indoor alternative, at the very least you should provide an enclosed shelter containing plenty of clean, dry bedding. And, if possible, a SAFE heating device, such as a heating pad, would be nice too. (Caution: Electric heaters may not be safe and could cause a fire so be sure you think first before you provide the heat source.)
Be on Arthritis Alert. Arthritis is even more problematic for pets in cold temperatures. If your best buddy appears stiff first thing in the morning, has trouble jumping, or navigating stairs, contact your vet and get help for the discomfort and pain.
Check your Vehicle's Engine. Cats like to cuddle up against your car's engine to keep warm. Before you start your car, lift the hood and check to see if there is an uninvited guest. This simple precaution can protect your cat from a serious injury. You can also pound loudly on the hood too, but if you know cats, they might just feel too comfy and will ignore the sound.
Think about Clothing. For instance, many dogs, especially smaller breeds, are more comfortable wearing extra layers in freezing conditions. (We live on a ranch and we even protect some of our vulnerable livestock with extra protection. When the wind chill drops to life threatening levels, we provide not only shelter but protection for some of our vulnerable livestock by securing a blanket around the animal with a bungie cord/s.)
Inspect Paws. You might not think about it but paws are exposed to salt (or other de-icers) on sidewalks and streets. Salts and de-icers can adhere to the fuzzy fur between the toes. It can create irritation and sores. Rinse off residue if needed.
Pay Attention to Antifreeze. Did you know that just a few licks of this stuff can cause death? It's sweet tasting and attractive to pets especially dogs. Remember all they need to do is walk in it and then lick it off their feet. Check under your car for leaks and make sure that your container is stored in a safe place.
Keep Water Bowls from Freezing and Icing Over. And, the best way to do that is to purchase a heated water bowl. We use a heated bucket that we purchased from our ranch supply store. If that doesn't work, pet supply stores also sell heated water dishes.
Protect your Pets around Lakes, Ponds, Creeks, etc. This is self-explanatory. Not only is falling through ice life-threatening for pets but it also dangerous for people involved in the rescue.
2014 is proving not to be an ordinary typical winter. When ‘polar vortex’ is the most popular weather phrase of the year, it's time for a bit of precaution and planning to keep your dog healthy and happy in frigid weather.
While the thought of being outside in frigid temps instills a sense of dread for most of us humans, your canine friend will likely be more than eager to explore the wintery landscape.
Dr. Sarah offers several useful tips to ensure that ‘outdoor fun time’ remains safe throughout the harsh winter season.
Seriously, this video is a MUST watch.
With brutal winters, fiery summers, more frequent tornadoes and a hurricane season that lasts for months, it's important to be prepared for Mother Nature's potential disasters.
This episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah offers valuable insights and helpful tips for how to avoid pandemonium in the wake of chaos and disaster.
(The Life's Abundance Dog Food that is included in her emergency pet kit can be purchased by using the above link.)
Would you be surprised to learn that 50% of the dogs and cats in America are overweight? Worse, these percentages, not to mention waist-sizes, are only going up.
The good news is that this serious health epidemic has more than one solution, and they are all easy to adopt. In this December 2013 episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah -- Life's Abundance Staff Veterinarian -- shares her veterinary tips for weight loss, including one which utilizes a simple tool in virtually every kitchen.
Employing a couple of Dr. Sarah’s easy-to-master tips, 2014 could be the healthiest year ever for dogs and cats!
In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah talks about Wholesome Heart treats. Both the treats and the Life's Abundance Weight Control Food can be purchased from the link above.
Thanks for watching!
Dr. Sarah from Life's Abundance teaches us how to brush a dog's teeth.
According to Dr. Sarah, brushing your dog’s teeth and providing them with dental snacks are two ways to help improve the health of teeth and gums, especially in reducing the build-up of plaque. Unfortunately, however, many pet parents find brushing frustrating, which can result in a stressful experience for pets.
If dental health is a priority for you, watch this short, how-to video about dental care, so you can help your pet fight dental disease and bad breath.
Say Goodbye to Pet Odors.
You are going to love this new product brought to you by Life's Abundance.
Probably one of the interesting properties of stainless steel is its ability to bind to pungent odors.
Life's Abundance has taken this unique science a step further by adding contoured nubs.
Now, you can provide your dog with a relaxing massage that instantly neutralizes stubborn smells.
This portable stainless steel bar is dishwasher safe and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand.
Another interesting benefit to humans is that it's supposed to be great for removing the odor of onions, garlic and fish from your hands, too.
This stainless bar can be purchased directly from Life's Abundance. Click Here Now to Purchase.
Superior Ingredients with a Purpose
Life's Abundance uses advanced formulas perfectly balanced to better build foundations for better health for your dog and cat. Listen to staff Veternarian Doctor Sarah explain about ingredients used in Life's Abundance Pet Food.
You Are What You Eat! More True for Dogs Than for Humans!
Believe it or not, even if you bought the same brand of pet food that you always buy, you may have changed your dog’s diet without realizing it.
Some of the larger commercial pet food manufacturers shop around for the cheapest ingredients whenever they make a new batch of food.
The overall nutritional analysis of the food may stay the same, but some of the ingredients may have changed.
We recommend that you choose a brand of dog food that is free of
chemical preservatives and colors, with consistent ingredients like Life’s Abundance Premium Foods for Dogs.
We live on a ranch in Montana and we love our pets.