Pet Tips

Health/Maintenance Suggestions
FCDF takes the position that the welfare of your cat or dog is in your hands as “the pet owner.” Your veterinarian is an essential ally in making you a responsible pet owner. Your veterinarian will, of course, be the person you turn to in a crisis situation, but his most valuable contribution to your pet’s overall quality of life will be his or her guidance in providing preventative care. Inoculations, elimination of parasites and proper nutrition are the three main areas that promote good health in animals.

Cats

Combo Test A blood test which detects the presence of Feline Leukemia (FeLV) or Feline Immune Deficiency Virus (FIV).
Elimination of all pararsites.
FVRCP inoculations.
Vaccination against Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Chlamydia and Panleukopenia– also known as cat distemper. FELV inoculations which build immunity to Feline Leukemia. Rabies.
Proper Nutrition.
Spay/Neuter at 6 months.
Cats thrive best if kept as indoor pets 100% of the time.

Dogs

Elimination of all parasites.
DHLP-P-C Inoculations against Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza – Parvo / Corona Virus.
Heartworm tests and year-round preventative.
Rabies.
Proper nutrition.
Spay /Neuter at 6 months.
Dogs should bear securely anchored owner identification at all times.

Dental Hygiene

Studies have shown that 60-80% of all pets over 3 years of age need immediate dental care. Without professional cleaning and frequent homecare, a good number of these pets stand to lose some or all of their teeth. The overall health of these pets can also be affected by neglected oral health. It is known that the same bacteria found in a periodontally diseased mouth can be traced to the liver, the kidneys and the heart resulting in premature wearing of these vital organs.

One reason for the high percentage of pets having periodontal disease is that many people do not understand that their pets need dental health checkups and cleanings just as we do. Too many owners think that a dental treatment for their pets sounds absurd, so nothing is done until the periodontal disease process is so far advanced that the saving of the teeth becomes difficult, and finally the owner becomes aware of how important dental checkups and cleanings are. The increased quality of preventative and theraputic Veterinary Medicine has resulted in an increased life expectancy for our pets; however, over 75% of the geriatric pet disease may be directly related to poor oral hygiene. Such diseases include:     * Bacterial Endocarditis leading to heart failure.

* Bacterial Glomerulonephritis leading to kidney failure.

* Focal Hepatic Necrosis leading to liver disease.

If the earlier plaque and tartar formation is arrested and prevented, and if proper prophylactic teeth cleaning and homecare is maintained, your pet can enjoy a healthier and happier life.

General Pet Tips

Please remind all pet owners to bring their pets indoors. Dogs & cats become hypothermic at temps below freezing. Frostbite is also possible.

Don’t leave your pets outside when the temperature falls below freezing. FCDF reminds you that cold weather brings a whole host of problems for animals:

HYPOTHERMIA – It doesn’t take long in frigid weather, (anything 32 Farenheit or below) for dogs and cats of ALL breeds to succumb to hypothermia. By definition, hypothermia is a lower-than-normal body temperature. The most common cause of hypothermia is prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. If left untreated, affected animals may develop signs of frostbite or can even die.

Preventing hypothermia is key. Do not leave your cat outside in freezing temperature for any length of time without access to shelter and warmth. For more information on hypothermia and cold weather first aid, see http://www.dog.com/vet/firstaid/03.html http://www.bayareapugs.com/BAPS/Medical/Hypothermia.htm http://petplace.netscape.com/articles/artShow.asp?artID=1117

DEHYDRATION – Frozen water dishes are easy to overlook so remember to check your pet’s outdoor water dish. Also, consider using outdoor water and food dishes made of something other than steel.

INDOOR DOGS NEED TO GET OUT REGULARY – Regular exercise and answering nature’s call dictate that your indoor dog get out regularly. Remember to use a leash if you don’t have a fenced yard for your dog to use. Also, try to avoid walking your dog through water, slush or snow, if possible. Booties are good if cold precipitaion can’t be avoided.

WARM CAR ENGINES CAN BE DANGEROUS – Ferral cats or cats allowed to live outdoors are often attracted to the shelter of an automobile’s engine compartment, especially if it’s still warm. Banging on the hood or tapping the horn BEFORE starting your engine is a good idea, particularly if you know that there are free-roaming cats in the area.

ANTIFREEZE POISONING – The sweet taste of antifreeze makes it an unintended poison for both animals and children. Click here to see our article on antifreeze precautions for more information.

SALT AND OTHER DE-ICING CHEMICALS – Although not very common in our area, de-icing chemicals used on roads and sidewalks can be irritating AND toxic if licked off the feet. After walks, wipe all four paws with a towel or damp cloth.

How to save your carpet from pet accidents–fast!

When your pet makes a liquid accident on the carpet, you have to move fast. Pet urine (dog or cat) can damage fibers and change the color of the carpet. Permanent damage may take time to deveop, but it can also happen in minutes, so don’t delay. No need to make a time-wasting trip to the store for special cleansers. Use what is immediately available in your kitchen.

1: Blot the spot right away with plain white paper towels. Press hard to soak up as much liquid as possible. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of dishwasing liquid to a cup of lukewarm water. (Don’t use the detergent that you use in your dishwasher or any that contains bleach or lanolin).

2; Apply the soapy water with a paper towel. Wet the area well. Then blot the carpet dry with paper towels to soak up the water. Repeat at least once or twice. Lightly wet the carpet with warm water & dry it again. You might have to repeat this step to thoroughly rinse out the detergent.

3: Repeat the we and blot process once more–this time use one part white vinegar mixed with two parts of water. Cover the damp area with about 20 layers of paper towels and a heavy stack of books. Change the towels again and again until they no longer absorb moisture.