Gear Up For Fun With Our Pet Travel Tips

A man drives with his dog in a convertible

Summer is almost over, but have you taken a vacation yet? Whether you’re planning a long road trip or a quick weekend getaway, leaving your pet at home simply isn’t an option for many pet owners. But is your furry pal up for the challenges of travel?

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Pot and Pets: A Scary Combination

As more and more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana use, North Carolina seems set to join them. Bills that would legalize medical marijuana and small amounts for personal use are making their way through the House and Senate, meaning that residents may soon have easier access to the substance. 

The legalization of marijuana has some pet owners wondering about its potential benefits for their pets – but the truth is that pot and pets is not a good mix.

Veterinarians across the country have seen an increase in cases of marijuana toxicity in pets. Understanding the dangers associated with pot and pets is critical when it comes to protecting your furry loved ones.

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posted in:  Pet Safety  |  Pet Toxins  |  You & Your Pet

When It Comes to Pet Dehydration, Prevention Is Key

Perhaps your pup’s practice is to gulp down a few swallows of water after a walk or playtime – no more, no less. Sure, they might sneak a drink when you’re not around, but really, how much are they drinking in a day?

The best way to gauge pet hydration is to measure how much water you put in the bowl every morning vs. how much is left at night (if any). Of course, you’ll have to subtract a few ounces for sloppy drinkers, those that love to splash, and evaporation. Only then can you know exactly how much they’re drinking, and whether or not it’s enough.

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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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