Why You Never Want to See a Tick on Your Pet

We were lucky to have such a beautiful, mild winter this past year, but we’ll be paying for it throughout the summer. Without freezing temperatures, ticks were given a second chance to wreak havoc on our community, and experts are predicting that this year could be one of our state’s worst tick seasons.

Finding a tick on your pet is never fun, but with our go-to tips for prevention we hope you’ll never experience it.

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Helping Your Pet with Summer Noise Phobias

For us, summer is filled with lazy days, popsicles, and fun in the pool. Summer can be fun for our pets as well, but for those with fears related to noise, it can also be a scary time. Thunderstorms, fireworks, passing motorcycles, and other loud sounds can be an absolute nightmare for some animals.

Summer noise phobias are a common pet problem, but there is no need to give up on an enjoyable summer. There are lots of things that you can do, and with Animal Medical Hospital & 24-Hour Urgent Care Center on your side there is no need to fret. 

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Help! Why do My Pet’s Paws Smell Like Fritos?

As dog owners, we’re familiar with our best pal’s likes, dislikes, habits, routines, and, of course, their smell. Dog odors can range from pleasant (puppy breath) to downright disgusting (a roll in fresh manure). One smell that isn’t necessarily bad but is certainly perplexing is paw odor. Many dog owners recognize the scent as smelling like Fritos, popcorn, or freshly baked bread.

If you’re wondering why your dog’s paws smell like Fritos, we can help! At Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care, we regularly delve into topics like pet grooming, shedding, and dental care. This time, let’s turn our attention to your pet’s adorable yet strangely odiferous paws!

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What to Make of Lumps and Bumps on Your Pet’s Skin

When you find something abnormal on your beloved pet, it can be an anxiety-ridden moment. Is that a tick? A wart? Cancer? Or was it always there?

When it comes to lumps and bumps on your pet’s skin, Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care doesn’t expect you to have all the answers, that’s why we’re here!  

You can rely on us to help you know when to call us, when to relax, and what to do when it comes to pet lumps and bumps.

The Possibilities are Endless

There are many causes of lumps and bumps on the skin. We commonly see lesions caused by:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Parasites
  • Granuloma formation (reaction to foreign objects)
  • Abscesses
  • Benign tumors like warts and lipomas (fatty growths)
  • Cysts
  • Neoplasia

Even to the trained eye of our veterinary staff, it isn’t always possible to know which it might be just by looking.

When we see a pet with a new lump or bump, the affected area is assessed for location, size, shape, and physical characteristics. This helps to determine the most likely diagnosis and record the spot in the medical record.

Many times a test called a fine needle aspirate (FNA) will be recommended. In this procedure a small needle is introduced into the lump or bump to obtain a microscopic sample of cells in the area. This can help us to identify infection, inflammation, and may even reveal cancerous cells.

A FNA only yields a small, focal sample however, so it does not always give us an exact answer, nor can it rule out cancer entirely. A surgical biopsy (histopathology) is often recommended if a lump or bump is worrisome based on characteristics or FNA. Sometimes surgical excision and biopsy is warranted for seemingly benign growths as well due to excessive size or location in an irritating or cumbersome area.

Histopathology helps to give us more information about what the growth was, if it is likely to come back, if it was all successfully removed, and what other treatments might be needed. It can also help to give a more accurate prognosis.

Lumps and Bumps and When to Worry

It can be very hard to know which lumps and bumps are ominous and which are harmless, even to a trained eye. Of course, if you rushed your pet in for every tiny blemish, we would be seeing a lot of you. So when do you need to get your pet in and when can it wait?

We recommend examining your pet as soon as possible if:

  • The lesion is growing, changing, or spreading
  • The lump/bump is painful or firm
  • The skin is red or irritated
  • The bumps if bleeding or has discharge
  • Your pet has a history of cancer
  • Your pet is a high-risk breed (short coated breeds such as boxers, pugs, and pit bulls are prone to skin cancer)

It is never wrong for us to examine a new lump or bump. While they are not all an emergency, they all should be looked at in a timely fashion. Some seemingly innocuous growths can be serious, and when it comes to cancer time is essential.

Give us a call to make an appointment if you have any doubts at all about whether something should wait. No matter what the lump or bump turns out to be, acting quickly often helps us to deliver the best prognosis and get your pet back to normal as soon as possible.

An Invaluable Asset: Baseline Blood Work for Pets

When we suggest doing blood work on a healthy pet that has been brought to us for vaccinations and a wellness exam, we are often met with resistance from pet owners.

Animal Medical Hospital wants to assure you that our recommendations are always founded with your pet’s health and best interest at heart. We firmly believe that baseline blood work for pets, even healthy pets, is an important part of proactive pet care.

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Debunked! 5 Popular Dog Breed Myths Explained

Throughout history, humans have created myths and stories related to events or phenomena we don’t understand. Myths encompass almost every topic imaginable and range from believable to truly bizarre. Dogs have been sharing life with humans for roughly 14,000 years, so it makes sense that we’ve dreamed up plenty of stories about these lovable companions.

Just because it’s 2019 doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of dog breed myths out there to distract and confuse well-meaning pet owners. Let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions about dog breeds.

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Worst Day Ever: Helping Kids Cope with Pet Loss

Children have the capacity to feel things very deeply. When they’re joyful, it’s as if there’s a bottomless well of goodness. When they’re scared, their fear can be all-consuming. But when they’re heart-broken over the death of a pet, it can feel like the end of the world.

Without a doubt, kids form very strong attachments to family pets, and this is often their first experience with death. Understandably, they’ll require lots of help dealing with pet loss and moving through the stages of grief.

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How to Mix Kids and Pets Responsibly

The image of a small child and a devoted family dog is a powerful one. At Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care, we witness the magic of children and their pets almost daily. There are even scientific studies supporting improvements in emotional skills, reading and cognition, decreased risk of allergies, and improved immune system function in children who are exposed to animals.

Of course, there is a right and a wrong way to do things. While kids and pets make an amazing match, it is important to be sure that we are responsible and safe when putting them together.

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The Dangers of Lyme Disease In Pets

As you enjoy a leisurely walk in the woods or run through the field with your dog this summer, nearly invisible ticks are waiting in the grass to make your dog (or you) a meal.

Among the dangerous pathogens they may pass along to you and your pet in the process, Lyme disease is one of the best known but least understood. The CDC reports Lyme disease as one of the most common tick-borne diseases in the country, with an estimated 300,000 new human cases of infection per year, though many go undetected.  

Veterinary medicine is getting better at accurate screening tests that can detect Lyme disease in its early stages, benefitting both your dog and you. Animal Medical Hospital & Urgent Care 24/7 shares some facts about the dangers of Lyme disease in pets, and what you can do to protect your dog, and your family.

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Canine Mysteries: Weird Dog Behaviors Explained

If you own a dog, you know there’s a reason they’re referred to as “man’s best friend.” It seems like dogs are always happy to see us, and sometimes, it may feel as if your dog can actually read your mind!

Although the bond between humans and their canine companions is remarkable, there are plenty of times when our pets reminds us they are, in fact, a different species. Let’s take a moment to examine some weird dog behaviors and what may be causing them.

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