July 4th Pet Safety
Horn Lake area pet owners – Fourth of July traditions like fireworks and picnics can be scary and hazardous for pets. Take simple precautions to keep your pets safe before, during and after July 4th festivities. More pets go missing on July 4th in Mississippi and Tennessee than any other time of year – don’t let it happen to your family!
July 4th Pet Safety Tips – Before Celebrations:
• Make sure pets have ID tags with up-to-date information securely attached.
• If your pets aren’t microchipped, schedule appointment for microchip insertion. This simple procedure greatly improves your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost.
• If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact info is up-to-date. Contact your microchip registration agency anytime your address or phone changes.
• Take a current photo of your pets.
• Stress-relieving products such as Feliway, Adaptil and Zylkene and prescription medications can modify behaviors and calm pets.
• Make sure your home and yard are secure. Choose the safest area for your animals and make improvements if needed to make the area more secure.
Pet Safety During July 4th Celebrations:
• Leave pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can be frightening and risk them from becoming spooked and running away.
• Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
• If you’re hosting guests – Place notes on doors and gates to keep closed.
• Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.
• Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from pets and don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.
• Avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps. Be careful to keep them away from these common foods that are toxic to pets.
• Remember that too much sun, humidity and heat can be dangerous to pets in Horn Lake. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot/humid; make sure they have access to shady spots and water and know the signs that a pet may be overheating.
• Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.
After July 4th Celebrations:
• Check your yard for fireworks debris. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious pets may pick it up to play with or eat. If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.
Early Disease Detection: Simple Tests – So Many Results
Your pet can’t say how they’re feeling—it’s usually how they look or act that tells you something is wrong. You play a key role in helping your pet combat illness and stay as healthy as possible.
Annual (and bi-annual as the pet ages) exams and blood tests are the best ways to ensure that your pet lives a long, healthy and happy life.
Diabetes, kidney, heart & liver disease may not show symptoms at onset. Identifying possible diseases and complications early allows us a better chance to develop a treatment plan for your pet.
Our Early Disease Detection blood tests can provide information about your pet’s liver, kidneys & pancreas, blood sugar levels, white & red blood cell and platelet count and can identify infection, inflammation and anemia.
Why do we recommend annual preventative care blood tests on healthy pets?
- Over 1 in 3 cats and 1 in 10 dogs will develop kidney disease
- Over 50% of cats over age 15 are afflicted with kidney disease
- Liver disease is 5th leading cause of death in dogs
- 1 in 200 dogs will develop diabetes
- Overweight cats have higher chance of developing diabetes
Every pet is unique – annual testing allows us to determine what a normal baseline is for your pet. Trending these results over time allows us to diagnose problems early as we notice changes in your pet earlier. More advanced disease is associated with more complications and it can make treatment harder and more expensive.
Depending on your pet’s age, we offer different blood & lab tests to allow us to best help you help your pet live a longer, healthier, happier life.
Does your cat or dog itch constantly? Do they obsessively scratch certain areas or lick paws? Notice a foul odor on their skin or ears, balding spots or discoloration?
Occasional pet itching is common – especially in dogs. Constant itching may be a sign of skin disease or allergies and can cause hair loss or skin damage. Additionally, it can be an annoyance to you, even keeping you up at night. If not addressed at onset, your pets may have a harder time battling this issue and it can be harder to treat and control.
Common Types of Pet Allergies and Pet Skin Diseases:
- Flea allergy
- Food allergy
- Contact allergy or contact dermatitis
- Atopic dermatitis (a chronic itchy skin disease associated with environmental allergens)
Our veterinarians will examine your pet to make a skin diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
Flea bite hypersensitivity causes severe pet itching. One or two flea bites can cause pruritis (itchy skin) with the hind end affected most often. Fleas and flea feces that contain your pet’s blood are not always visible to your eye. We recommend year-round flea prevention and, if needed, medicated flea baths to limit fleas on your pet and stop their itch.
A food trial will be recommended in about 10% of cases to determine if your pet has food allergies. Pets will be fed a diet with one protein and one carbohydrate for 10 weeks. No other foods or treats are allowed. If symptoms disappear, food allergies are likely to blame.
Allergic contact dermatitis is rare but occurs when a pet’s skin overreacts to molecules in the environment such as nickel, rubber, wool, dyes and chemicals.
A common diagnosis is atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disorder brought on by environmental allergens such as grass, mold, pollen or cigarette smoke.
Talk to your veterinarian about skin and blood tests for dermatitis. A referral to a veterinary dermatologist might be recommended. In a skin test, a small level of allergens is injected under your pet’s skin to test for reactions. In a blood test, your pet’s blood will be analyzed for which allergens specific to your pet’s environment could be causing the reaction.
Pet Allergy & Itch Treatment
Once the pet allergens have been identified, we can develop a program to eliminate the source of the allergy in your pet’s environment and treat the skin.
Some options for pet allergies and itch relief include:
- Anti-itch shampoo and conditioners
- Anti-fungal shampoo such as Malaseb
- Cyclosporine therapy
- Essential fatty acids (such as Omega 3)
- Hypoallergenic diets
- Injections such as Cytopoint
- Oral steroids in low doses to treat sporadic outbreaks
- Prescriptions such as Apoquel
- Topical steroid sprays
Want to take a quick 6-question quiz to learn more about your dog’s itching AND help military, police and service dogs?
Each time the quiz is taken, Zoetis will make a donation to K-9 Courage™ Program. K-9 Courage provides healthcare assistance to retired military and active police dogs as well as active service dogs that assist veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. Once admitted into the program, each dog receives a $300 credit every year for the rest of its life to help cover veterinary expenses like wellness and emergency visits, vaccines, prescription medications, food and treats.