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Do you know much about your dog’s risk of getting a snake bite? We generally think of poisonous snakes in the jungles of Africa or South America, but poisonous are common in North America, especially in the southeast and southwest United States. Although the northeast has less poisonous snakes to deal with in the area they are still here and a concern for pet owners. Coral snakes have short fangs and tend to “chew” venom into the wound. Vipers have longer fangs that they use to inject venom deeply into the underlying tissues. In general, poisonous snakes can be identified by their pointy, triangular- or arrow-shaped head.
Dogs are especially at risk of snake bites because of their curious nature and because of the relatively small size of some breeds compared with the amount of venom injected. In fact, fatal snake bites are more common in dogs than in any other domestic animal.
Timely diagnosis is usually based on an owner having witnessed the bite. A snake bite is a true emergency that requires immediate treatment by a veterinarian. The first 2 hours are key, with most deaths occurring during this time. Animals need to be hospitalized for supportive care, antibiotics, and possible treatment with antivenin, an antidote for the snake venom. Pets that are doing well after 24 hours usually survive, so long as secondary infection can be effectively controlled. However, even with long-term antibiotic therapy, widespread tissue damage and scarring can remain at the site of infection. Tissue damage can sometimes be so severe as to claim an entire leg.
What should I do if I see my pet bitten by a snake? A snake bite is a true emergency, so take your pet immediately to your veterinarian or a veterinary emergency center. Emergency treatment involves supportive therapy for shock and administration of antivenin.
What is the prognosis after a snake bite? Treatment within the first 2 hours is an important part of successful therapy, and dogs that do well after 24 hours usually survive. However, long-term therapy with antibiotics is often needed to prevent life-threatening secondary infection. Snake bites are often slow to heal and produce scarring.
Please be aware of aware of what your pets are doing especially when outdoors! Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns. (301) 874-8880. http://www.fallsroadvet.com
Not even for a minute. Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, contact the nearest animal shelter or police.
It’s important to remember that it’s not just the ambient temperature but also the humidity that can affect your pet. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly. Taking a dog’s temperature will quickly tell you if there is a serious problem. Dogs’ temperatures should not be allowed to get over 104 degrees. If your dog’s temperature does, contact your veterinarian immediately!
Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.
Any time your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.
Extreme temperatures can cause heat stroke. Some signs of heat stroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.
Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. Some breeds of dogs—like boxers, pugs, shih tzus, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles—will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat.
Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over her. Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take your pet directly to a veterinarian.
Before a summer storm takes out the power in your home, create a disaster plan to keep your pets safe from heat stroke and other temperature-related trouble.
Please feel free to contact here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns. (301) 983-8400. http://www.greenbriarpets.com
Summertime is here, the heat is upon us and you may be planning vacations, weekend getaways or just some fun hikes with your dogs. You may be able to recognize the dangers of heat exhaustion or heat stroke in humans (i.e.: headache, dizziness, fatigue, disorientation, hot Dry skin, rapid heartbeat) but how do you recognize it in dogs? How is heatstroke in dogs prevented? How is it treated? Help your dog this summer by educating yourself and becoming aware of your dog’s surroundings and by using preventative measures to ensure your dog’s safety. I would recommend that you learn what are your dog’s normal resting heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature before starting out your vacation or daily hikes in the sun.
Dogs cool off by panting, exchanging warmer air from the body for the cooler air outside. They do not sweat to cool off the way humans do, although they can release some moisture through the pads of their feet. The average body temperature for a dog is between 100- 103 degrees and when the outside temperatures reach 85 – 90 degrees or more, cooling off becomes more difficult for the dog. Exercising during the heat, even just a walk, increases panting and loss of body fluid begins. Short nosed breeds such as pugs, bulldogs, boxers, and the Pekinese can overheat more quickly because they can not exchange air as efficiently. Recognizing this will help you to help your dog in the hot summer months. Most of us have heard that leaving a dog in a car, even with the windows rolled down while you pop into a store for something can be fatal. The inside car temperature can jump quickly on warm days as well as overcast days due to the concentration of UV rays penetrating the car’s windows. If you choose to leave your dog outside at home, make sure that the dog has plenty of cool fresh water to drink and plenty of shade. Dog runs and tie downs for dogs can be a hazard when the sun changes position and the shade moves or disappears completely. You may have to provide a shade umbrella, small wading pool, or extra bins of water.
Now that you have taken some measures to prevent heat stroke at home, let’s look at what you’ll need to be aware of when you are out and about with your dog. Hiking, long walks or even just a long day at your child’s baseball games, can be hard on your dog too. Make sure you bring plenty of water, a shade umbrella or tent and maybe even some ice and a towel to help cool off the dog’s undersides if he starts showing signs of heat exhaustion. Plan on taking water breaks in the shade every 15 minutes for at least 5 minutes on hot days when you are hiking. When you are walking on hot sand or asphalt, your dog’s feet can burn. Watch out for metal manhole covers on sidewalks. Be aware of your dog’s behavior and know what is abnormal for your dog. Learn to recognize the following symptoms and act quickly to cool your dog down
Heatstroke symptoms include:
What to do:
Some signs to recognize as your dog is starting to become overheated include, whining, fidgeting, and as they pant the tongue extends much further than normal and may be scooped at the end like a big spoon with slimy drool at the tip. If you can cool them off at this point, you can avoid the harsher condition of heat stroke which is very serious and can be fatal.
We recommend having your vet’s contact information in your phone just in case you need it in a hurry when you are out and about and you may even want to make a list of the animal emergency clinics that are close to your home as well. Prevention, knowledge of your dog’s normal behavior and being prepared will help you to enjoy the outdoors with your dog safely in all types of weather.
Please contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions. (301) 983-8400. http://www.fallsroadvet.com
Bassets are very heavy-boned dogs with a large body on fairly short legs. Because they are bulky, bassets are slow maturing dogs, often not reaching full size until two years old. Bassets are immediately recognizable by their short, crooked legs, their long hanging ears and their large heads with hanging lips, sad expressive eyes, and wrinkled foreheads. The tail curves up and is carried somewhat gaily. The body is long and with the short legs gives bassets a rectangular appearance. The basset has a nice short, tight coat, with no long hair on legs or tail. Colors most commonly seen are tricolor or red and white but any hound color is acceptable.
The basset hound is a friendly, easygoing dog. Originally hunting in packs, they tend to be good with other dogs and other pets in general. Bassets are people oriented and get along well with children. Fairly smart dogs, bassets are not easy to train as they are somewhat stubborn. A firm, patient hand with plenty of creativity is required to bring out the best in them. Bassets can be serious barkers and with their sturdy feet and nails they tend to be diggers. The hunting urge is still quite strong and if not safely confined they will go off hunting on their own.
Basset hounds need a firm person in charge of their feeding as they have a definite tendency to become obese, which can cause serious problems with their long backs. Bassets are not high-powered athletes who need to run every day, but they should have a good long walk at least once daily to keep them fit. Most bassets live to 12 or 13 years.
Having developed as pack animals, basset hounds do feel a need for company and are happiest when they have their families around. They are not great watchdogs. Although they may bark, but they then greet strangers happily. The loose lips lead to a fair amount of drooling and many owners keep towels strategically placed around the house for cleanup. Bassets left alone to their own devices can easily become nuisance barkers or diggers. Bassets are fairly intelligent dogs, but they are not the easiest to train. Start training right off with puppies and do plenty of positive training to keep them interested. They enjoy tracking and hunting, even if only as a casual pastime. Grooming is fairly quick and easy and involves just a swipe with a brush once or twice a week. In between groomings, the basset may track a great deal of mud or dirt into the house because of their low stature and big feet.
The basset hound comes from as far back as the 1500s when the pre-revolutionary French were using low slung, heavy-bodied hounds to trail rabbits. The word “bas” is French for “low” befitting the basset hound’s stature. A number of the short, bowlegged French hunting dogs and the basset hound we recognize today were fine-tuned in England in the 1800s. With the exception of height and leg conformation, they are similar to the St. Hubert’s hound.
Bassets were selected not only for their outstanding scenting skills, but also because hunters could keep up with the slow-paced dogs. They not only hunted rabbits and hares, but were also sometimes used to track larger wounded game.
In the United States, the Basset quickly moved on from hunting dog to family pet. Familiarized to the public by cartoons, such as “Fred the Basset,” and in commercials, such as Hush Puppies™ shoes, the basset hound is now primarily a companion dog.
Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions. (301) 983-8400. http://www.fallsroadvet.com
Your home is where your heart is. Home is the place where your family can come and feel safe, protected and loved. But are you sure your home is safe for your pets? What you can do to make sure your pets stay free from harm?
Fix Your Fences
Your dog is in the most danger when he’s not in your backyard, so make sure he stays put by checking to see if your yard is securely fenced in. Make sure he can’t jump over or squeeze through any part and that all your gates are closed.
Prepare Your Pool
Many dogs are attracted to swimming pools. To make sure your dog doesn’t go for an unexpected dip, surround your pool with pet fencing. If that’s not an option make sure your dog has the ability to get out of the pool if he happens to go in. Also, remember to store all pool chemicals safely out of his reach and that your electrical leads can’t be found by a chewing puppy.
Beat the Heat
Help prevent your pet from getting dehydrated and being susceptible to heat exhaustion in the warmer months by making sure he always has plenty of fresh drinking water. Also, see that he has a cool, shaded area to rest in. Patios and driveways can become scorching during the hottest time of the day and could burn your pet. A good rule of thumb is if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for him.
Curb Your Chemicals
Your dog probably enjoys all the interesting bugs in your backyard, but if you feel the need to spray for them, make sure you keep him out of the yard for at least 24 hours. Check the plants in your yard as well. Some popular plants, like the yew, azalea, and oleander can be fatal if ingested by your dog. Also, if you have a four-legged friend who likes to eat random things, try to stay away from compost, peat and red mulch. Each can be toxic if eaten in large amounts.
It may seem like making your yard safe for your dog is just as hard as making your yard safe for a child … but in a lot of ways, it’s the same thing. Your dog is a family member you love and don’t want to see hurt, so take the time to make your yard safe for everyone!
Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns. (301) 983-8400. http://www.fallsroadvet.com
All three varieties of dachshunds — the smooth-, wire- and long-coated — are found in two sizes called standard and miniature.
Miniatures are not a separate AKC classification but compete in a class division for “11 pounds and under at 12 months of age and older.” Weight of the standard size is usually between 16 and 32 pounds. There is no height standard for the dachshund but they are usually under nine inches in height.
All three types are known for their long backs and short muscular legs, which explains the unflattering nicknames “sausage hound” or “hot dog.” They also have a long muzzle, long and droopy ears, and a tail carried in line with the back.
The dachshund’s coat may be shades of red, black, chocolate, white or gray. Some have tan markings or are spotted or dappled. Dachshunds live about 12 to 15 years.
Despite their size, dachshunds are known for their courageous nature and will take on animals much larger than themselves. Some may be aggressive toward strangers and other dogs.
As family dogs, dachshunds are loyal companions and good watchdogs. They are good with children if treated well. They can be slightly difficult to train.
Some dachshund fanciers say there are personality differences among the different varieties of the breed. For instance, the long-coat dachshund is reportedly calmer than the smooth-coat variety, and the wire-coat dachshund is more outgoing and clown-like.
Dachshunds were bred as hunters so it is no surprise that many of them like to dig. Some are also barkers, and, in one survey, dachshunds ranked high for destructiveness.
Dachshunds are prone to disk problems because they have a long back, so this dog is not a good choice for anyone with a lot of steps in their home. To further protect the dachshund’s back, the dog should not be allowed to jump on and off furniture, and his weight should be kept in check.
The smooth-coat dachshund requires little coat care other than an occasional rubdown or brushing. For the long-coat variety, daily brushing and combing is advised; the wire-coat dachshund requires stripping at least twice a year. The breed is considered an average shedder.
The dachshund was bred in Germany hundreds of years ago to hunt badgers. “Dach” means badger and “hund” means dog. The three varieties of dachshund, smooth-, wire-,and long-coated, originated at different times. The smooth was the first and arose from a mixture of a miniature French pointer and a pinscher. The breed also comes in two sizes: standard and miniature, with the standard the original size.
The dachshund has short, strong legs that enable the dog to dig out prey and go inside burrows. Larger versions of the breed were used to chase deer or fox. Smaller dachshunds were bred for hunting hares and ferrets.
The breed is still used for hunting, primarily in Europe, but in North America this dog is usually a family pet. In fact, it is one of the most popular AKC breeds.
Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns. (301) 983-8400. firstname.lastname@example.org