Avoid A Fright On Halloween Night

By Dr. Jenkins

Halloween is just around the corner, and although it can be a fun and exciting time of the year for your family, it can pose great risks for your pets! We at Animal Medical Hospital have compiled tips to help everyone have a safe and happy Halloween together.

  • Beware the Candy

Those goodies filling the trick-or-treat baskets may contain substances that can harm your pets.  Chocolate, raisins, and xylitol (a sugar free sweetener) are all hazardous to animal health. Even candy wrappers can be harmful if your pet swallows them. If your furry friend does get into the contents of a trick-or-treat pail, please call us or a pet poison-control hotline to determine the appropriate steps to take.

If you want to be safe rather than sorry, bake Spot a festive Halloween treat such as the Pumpkin and Peanut Butter treats featured in the link below so that he can enjoy the occasion. Just make sure your peanut butter is xylitol-free!

http://www.dogtipper.com/recipes/2010/10/peanut-butter-and-pumpkin-dog-treat-recipe.html

  • Let Sleeping Dogs—or Cats!—Lie

We understand that it’s tempting to take your four-legged friends along for the neighborhood trick-or-treating rounds, but it is truly best to leave them at home. All the commotion of Halloween can be too much for the most well-adjusted and well-socialized animals. If your pet does choose to join the trek, make sure to outfit him or her with a reflective vest and proper identification (see below).

  • Whoooo’s There?

Whether your pet stays at home or joins the raiding party (i.e., trick-or-treating), the most important thing you can do for him on Halloween is equip him or her with proper identification. Even if Lucy stays home, she can easily become spooked by the ghoul at your door and slip outside into the great unknown. Collars and tags are wonderful, and all pets should sport them on Halloween (and throughout the year); but they can easily become lost.

Consider a more permanent option for pet identification, such as a microchip. Registered microchips can help reunite lost pets and their loving families. Another option is to equip your pet with a GPS tracker such as one of those mentioned in the Consumer Reports review below.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/04/how-to-track-a-lost-animal/index.htm

  • The Purr-fect Outfit

Halloween

Costumes are great for kids, but they can be scary for pets. If your pet enjoys playing dress-up, make sure that the costume fits well and does not impede movement. Then supervise your costumed pet at all times. Costumes that are too large can easily get caught on objects and trap your pet. Costumes with small parts (buttons, bows, etc.) can be dangerous if your pet thinks that the small parts are treats to be nibbled.

If your pet does have a safe and well-fitting costume that he loves to show off, be sure to enter him in our Spooktacular Day Camp Costume Contest on Wednesday, October 28th!

  • Watch Out for Boooo-By Traps

 

Decorations can pose a considerable threat to your pet. Lighted jack-o-lanterns are quite festive, but they can easily be knocked over by your pet—and this could start a fire. Dry ice can set an eerie mood, but can turn the mood chilly if your pet gets frostbite and it can be fatal if swallowed or inhaled! Frayed or broken electric cords and wires for all the lights on your porch can shock your furry friends.

If you do choose to set up a Halloween display, please make sure it is puppy-proof!

Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween—from our family to yours!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why spay or neuter?

Neutering is a sterile surgical procedure that involves removing both testicles from a male pet. Spaying refers to the operation where the ovaries and uterine horns are surgically removed from a female pet. It is recommended to spay and neuter your pets between 5 and 8 months of age, before they reach sexual maturity. This is for both medical and behavioral reasons. The only reason not to spay or neuter is if you are going to breed or show your pet.

For male pets, there are several medical reasons for neutering. The first is to eliminate the risk for testicular cancer, which is the 2nd most common cancer in unneutered male dogs. If the testicles are removed, they can’t get cancer there. Neutering reduces the risk for prostate cancer and prostatitis, and reduces the risks of diseases associated with hormones such as testosterone. As for behavior- there will be a decrease in the need for roaming as your dog will not have the urge to reproduce, as well as decreased aggression. It also decreases the urge to “mark” their territory, so inappropriate urination is less likely to be an issue.

There are medical and behavioral advantages to spaying your female pets as well. Medical reasons include the eliminating the possibility of false pregnancy, uterine infections known as pyometras, decreasing the risk of breast cancer and eliminating the chances of uterine and ovarian cancer. As with males, behavioral benefits include reduced aggression and other undesirable behaviors such as inappropriate elimination.

There are serious medical complications and behavioral issues that can arise from not spaying and neutering your pets, as outlined above. In addition to these, you will be preventing the risk of unplanned pregnancies. If you take away the urge to reproduce, they will be much more suitable as pets because they will no longer have to answer the “call of the wild.”

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February is National Pet Dental Health Month

 Studies have shown that a healthy mouth can actually add years to your pet’s life.  80% of dogs and 70% of cats will have some form of dental disease before they turn three.  Dental problems don’t just affect the mouth, either.  Dental disease can have adverse effects on the heart, kidneys, and other major organs.  By performing routine cleanings before there are significant problems, we help our pets stay a healthier longer. In recognition of National Pet Dental Health Month, we are offering a 10% discount on your pet’s dental cleaning if you schedule your pet’s dental during February.  Call us today to schedule your pet’s cleaning and help add more years to love!
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November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Cancer is the #1 disease related killer of pets.  Fortunately, with an increase in pet cancer awareness and newly available treatment options, more pets are surviving this life-threatening disease than ever before.

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month.  Be aware of these early pet cancer warning signs:

  • Abnormal swellings that persist and grow
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding or discharge from a body opening
  • Offensive odor
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating

Make sure to contact your veterinarian if your pet exhibits any of these symptoms. 

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Rabies: A Fatal Disease That Affects People Too

Rabies is a generally fatal viral disease that affects the central nervous system and can infect all warm-blooded animals, including humans.  The virus lives in the saliva, and animals can contract rabies from a bite from an infected animal.  In Europe, foxes are the main reservoir while in North America the skunk, fox, raccoon and bat are important sources of infection.  In Asia, Africa and Latin America the main reservoir is not wildlife but stray dogs, and in these areas human infection and fatalities are more common.  Rabies occurs in every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Most countries are affected with the exception of a few island countries such as Great Britain, Ireland, Japan and Hawaii. Norway, Sweden and the Iberian Peninsula are also free of rabies.

There is no treatment for an animal with rabies.  If rabies is suspected, the pet has to be kept in isolation and prevented from escaping or injuring someone. Your veterinarian is required by law to notify the local and state or provincial animal disease regulatory authorities.  These authorities will determine the steps necessary to properly protect the public.

All dogs, cats and ferrets should be vaccinated against this deadly disease.  THIS VACCINE IS REQUIRED BY LAW, and must be given by a licensed veterinarian.   Vaccination promotes the production of antibodies but is only effective if given before the virus enters the nervous system.  Rabies vaccines for dogs, cats, horses and ferrets are extremely safe and effective.

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Serving Charlotte’s Pets Since 1983: Animal Medical Hospital’s Roots

AMH Staff at work

Dr. Richard Coe and Dr. Susan Coe, both graduates of Auburn University, established Animal Medical Hospital in 1983. After moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, they bought a 50-year-old home on Monroe Road and refurbished it as Animal Medical Hospital. By 1992, the practice had outgrown the space and it was replaced with a brand new facility at the same site. When the hospital moved into the new facility, it was awarded “Hospital of the Year” by Veterinary Economics magazine.

The current setting comprises 16,000 square feet spread over two floors. A large treatment area provides space for care and treatment for outpatient services. Also included are an in-house laboratory and pharmacy. We have 6 examination rooms, an isolation ward, radiology room, and separate surgery and dental suites. Our spacious reception area includes a retail area where we offer veterinarian-recommended products.

In 2009, a dedicated Intensive Care Unit was built adjacent to the hospital, which houses patients for 24-hour care, including hospitalized patients and special-needs boarding pets.

Our boarding facility, Camp AMH, provides a home away from home for your pets. Camp AMH includes a separate room for our feline guests and a completely fenced-in outdoor walking court for our canine guests. Camp AMH is temperature controlled with a heating and air conditioning unit, ensuring that your pets stay at a comfortable temperature despite the weather outside.

Our fully comprehensive hospital offers care for your pet every day of the year, 24 hours a day, even on holidays. We look forward to meeting you and your pet!

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