Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dr. Debbie's Top Holiday Pet Gifts

As Americans, we love our pets and include them on all household fun, including holiday gift giving. In fact over 50% of American pet owners will be shopping for their favorite dog, cat, ferret or other critter this holiday season. Wondering what to give the pet that special pet? Here are some cool gift ideas for that pet that deserves spoiling to the max.
As a veterinarian, I suggest pet gifts that provide more than short term enjoyment and which prove useful in the prevention or treatment of a health or behavioral issue. Think beyond food or treat gifts this year and consider a pet gift with a purpose. You’ll keep your furry friend happy and healthy in the coming years.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Don't Stuff Your Pet With Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving is all about enjoying time together- family, friends, and great food. In many households the family pet may also sample a taste from the holiday table; a morsel of turkey breast for Tabby or a side of fixings for Fido. Tuned in to those enticing smells, our pets know how to manipulate us with a flutter of sad puppy dog eyes or incessant meowing.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pet Halloween Costumes: Spook-tastic or Just Crazy?

The Boss
Will Fluffy or Benji be dressed up for Halloween this year? Pets are increasingly recognized as family members and often included in the holiday costume craze. But are pet costumes just for human folly, or do pets actually LIKE sporting the costumes, hats and accessories?

Admittedly, I fall among those that do indulge in this practice, but my pets enjoy wearing Halloween costumes. Years of positive reinforcement with treat rewards, and my dogs will happily wear anything in the off chance of a tasty morsel. The mere sight of a costume starts my Labrador prancing and bouncing as if on a trampoline.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Veterinary Technicians Behind The Scenes

With a soothing pat on the head, her calming words are the first thing your dog tunes in to upon recovery from surgery at the veterinarian's office. Quickly and painlessly he collects necessary blood samples and rewards his patient with an affectionate ear scratch or tasty treat. Celebrating your pet's successful recovery from illness, it's the veterinary technicians that are with your pet every step of the way- ensuring your pet is exercised, receives timely medications, and lavishes in ample TLC making the veterinary hospital experience a positive for your pet.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Are There Mosquitoes in Las Vegas? You Can Bet On It

Heartworm Disease Still on Vet's Radar

Wagging her stubby Jack Russell tail, Freckles arrives for her veterinary exam with owner Julie in tow. After relocating to Las Vegas from California a few years ago, Julie discontinued Freckles’ heartworm preventative when neighbors told her she didn’t need it here.  The duo makes the occasional RV trip to California on weekends, but Julie never got around to resuming heartworm prevention.  Her vet’s suggestion for heartworm preventive was initially dismissed with the reply “Oh there aren’t any mosquitoes in Las Vegas. And besides, Freckles stays in the RV most of the time and isn’t exposed to mosquitoes.”

Just like an engorged biting mosquito, these common heartworm misconceptions need to be squashed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Black Widow Spiders Poisonous to Pets

Pet Threats Come in All Sizes

Our doggie family ambled along on our typical morning walk along the community trail, enjoying the cool break in Vegas’ oppressive summer heat. With a family of two Labradors and a Yorkie mix, my crew is always up for fun and they investigate anything and everything.

Sometimes it’s a crunchy cockroach snack or the fortunate edible remnant in a discarded candy wrapper. My dogs enjoy the “date game” where they snatch up shriveled fruit fallen from date palms, crunching away before the mom and dad notice. And sometimes it’s a half-hearted game of chase with an unsuspecting rabbit. A more gut wrenching episode once involved my Labrador ingesting a rat with tail slipping down his gullet like a piece of spaghetti. My furry kids are professional trouble finders so I try to keep a watchful eye for things that make them go “Oooh”, and make me go “Ugh!”

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Doggie Back To School Blues

You’ve scurried around gathering last minute school supplies and whisked the kids off to start another school session. But when you return home, the family dog greets you at the door, nervously slinking about. A glance behind his wagging form tells it all- the carpet is decorated with feces and the broken remains from this morning’s breakfast dishes are scattered on the floor, licked clean of every crumb. Welcome to new school year and the doggie back-to-school blues.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Second Hand Smoke Sickens Pets

Looking to save money on veterinary care or wondering how to keep your pet in peak health? If you are a smoker and have pets, there are some very compelling reasons to quit- second hand smoking’s link to causing cancer and illness in pets. If threats from your spouse haven’t gotten you to stop smoking yet, maybe looking at that furry friend on the couch next to you will. The life you save may be his.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Extreme Heat Tips: Keeping Your Dog Safe When the Temperature Soars

Extreme Heat Tips: Keeping Your Dog Safe When the Temperature Soars

“Oh, but it’s a dry heat.” We’ve all heard that comment, used to describe the desert Southwest climate, one which becomes especially taxing on Southwest U.S. residents during July and August. The desert may lack the added humidity concerns that much of the country knows, but when temperatures escalate above 100 degrees, you can’t dismiss the dangers of that infamous dry heat.