Pet Microchipping: Why Should I Microchip My Pet?

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What Is Pet Microchipping  and How Does it Work?

A microchip can save your pet’s life. This tiny little device is about the size of a grain of rice and sends out radio waves that contain a unique identification number.  Similar to receiving a vaccine, the microchip is usually inserted under the skin’s surface between the shoulder blades of your pet using a needle.

When microchipped, if your dog or cat (or pig or goat or bear) were to stray from your peaceful abode, a veterinary clinic or shelter would scan your pet and you would be contacted to be reunited.  A microchip does not have the capability to tell you where your animal is located (wouldn’t that be great!), and the microchip cannot be used to collect information sensitive information that can be tracked or measured by third parties or governments.   Continue…

What You Need to Know About Allergies in Pets

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allergies in petsWatching a pet suffer from allergies can be tough. The endless scratching, repeated ear infections, and anal gland issues are just a few of the symptoms that can make pets miserable. Not only are allergies in pets uncomfortable, they can also put them at risk for secondary infections and other health problems if left untreated.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help your pet. By learning what is causing your pet’s allergies and taking charge of the symptoms, you can make life a whole lot better for your pet, and yourself!

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Fleas – Understanding and Knowing How to Control Them

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fleas
Although fleas and other pests are a year round problem, they are especially prevalent beginning in the spring when temperatures begin to rise. After first finding fleas on your pet or in your home, a shocked response typically follows. Knowing the correct steps to take is crucial for getting fleas off your pet, and out of your home, as quickly as possible.

Controlling Fleas

There are two main elements when it comes to flea control:

  1. Eliminating fleas from your pet
  2. Controlling fleas in your environment

First, it is important that all pets in your home are on a flea preventative. Today, treating your pet for fleas has never been easier. The advances in flea products make them effective and cost efficient when compared to successive flea dipping from the past. With the many choices we have today, your veterinarian can determine the product that will be safest and most effective for the type of pet you have. Continue…

Rattlesnakes and Pets: A Dangerous Combo

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The warm sun and longer days are wonderful for most of us, including our cold-blooded reptile friends who become more active during spring. It also stands to reason that we spend more time outdoors with our furry friends this time of year.

Because we live with rattlesnakes, understanding their behaviors, habitat, and other qualities can help prevent negative encounters – especially when you’re out on the trail with Spot.

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The Dangers of Chocolate for Pets

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With Easter just around the corner, and with endless other reasons to buy chocolate throughout the year, it is important to remember that dogs and other pets can react differently to this tasty treat than we do!

While rarely fatal, chocolate ingestion can still often result in significant illness for dogs. Chocolate is toxic because it contains an alkaloid called ‘Theobromine.’ Theobromine is similar in nature to caffeine and is often used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and smooth muscle relaxant. Theobromine can be poisonous when ingested in large amounts. Continue…

A Primer on Heartworm Prevention for Safety’s Sake

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Our coastal climate is just one reason to love the Houston area, but it also gives rise to the prevalence of awful flying, buzzing pests. Beyond their irritating bites, mosquitoes are responsible for the spread of some serious diseases. Zika, malaria, and West Nile Virus (to name a few) are terrible for humans, but it’s heartworm prevention that we’re most concerned with for our pets.

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Pet Dental Care – The Importance of Oral Hygiene

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Angela Ellini, CVA II, Oak Forest Veterinary Hospital

Why should we worry about pet dental care?

The truth is a healthy mouth is a healthy body! Studies show 85% of adult pets have some stage of dental disease. The bacteria found in dental plaque and tartar can also have harmful effects on the heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver. Being proactive with your pet’s oral care can make a difference in their health.

Knowing When to Take Action

It is important to be able to recognize the signs of dental disease before progression into larger, more severe problems. Pets can experience tooth and bone loss, gum inflammation, and infection which may go unnoticed because they cannot verbally tell us when something is wrong. Due to their instinct for survival, a pet will often mask their pain. Continue…

Prevent a Pet Emergency on Valentine’s Day

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Valentines chocolate_iStock_000000406874_MediumEveryone knows that the top destination on Valentine’s Day is a pet emergency clinic. It’s just so romantic and cozy; you’ll want to freeze time…or NOT!

While we love seeing you and your pet, we would prefer it not be in an emergency situation! With this in mind, we offer some Valentine’s Day safety tips so you (and Cupid) can remain on track.

The Elephant in the Room

We hate to call out chocolate, but it really is the most common cause of pet poisonings on Valentine’s Day (not to mention Easter, Halloween, and Christmas!). Sure, nothing says “I love you” like decadent chocolates in a red, heart-shaped box. However, your pet is better off without these sweet treats.

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Ringing in a New Year with Our Top Five Pet Blogs of 2016

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OakForest_iStock_000089139143_LargeAnother year has passed and with it, we often reflect upon ways we can improve our health, get back into exercise, and just be more present and available – especially with those we love. One of the reasons why we choose to focus on pet health blogs is to encourage you to improve your pet’s quality of life and expand your knowledge as a responsible, loving pet owner. (And we know you do!)

Whether we place our focus on puppy and kitten care or the importance of weight management and good nutrition, we hope we help you better understand and make the changes that lead to optimal pet health.

If you want to make this the most pawsitive year yet for your fur friend, we are here to give you a leg up with our five most popular pet blogs of 2016.

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How to Determine if a Gift is Safe for Your Pet

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Puppy wrapped up in Christmas lightsPets adore gifts just as much as us (even if your cat ends up loving the box the gift came in much more), but not all gifts are appropriate for pets. In fact, some may present hidden dangers for a chow hound or a curious kitty.

If finding the perfect present (or ten!) for your best fur friend is on your shopping list this holiday season, be sure to prioritize safety as well. To help you decide if a gift is safe for your pet, Oak Forest Veterinary Hospital has compiled a few important tips.

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