Best Friends Forever: The Ins And Outs Of Choosing A Pet

choosing a petAdopting a new pet is not only one of the most exciting and meaningful times in life, it’s also an important decision with lasting effects. With the holidays on the horizon, many families are inevitably considering a new, four-legged addition to the family, and your friends at MountainView Veterinary Hospital want to help you in any way we can when it comes to choosing a pet.

Family Life

The number of people in your family, their ages, and your family’s schedule should be a major factor in choosing a pet.

All pets require daily care, but some need much more attention than others (for example, dogs need daily walks and training, whereas cats are more independent). Make sure you understand the various requirements of the different species and breeds before you make your choice.

Perhaps a smaller critter might be a good starter-pet for young kids or even adults! Domesticated rats, mice, guinea pigs, bearded dragons can all make great pets as long as they are handled, cared for and housed properly. Research all pet options before making any impulse adoptions or purchases!

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An Abundance of Fall Pet Safety Tips and Tricks

There’s a noticeable crisp in the air these days. Acorns are falling and animals everywhere are preparing for the long frost. The sights, smells, and temperatures of autumn have not escaped the scrutiny of your observant pet. In fact, he or she may be busily anticipating all that fall has to offer. Romps in leaf piles, squirrel chases, or bird watching are prime autumnal activities, but catastrophes can occur when fall pet safety takes the backburner.

Dim to Dark

The earlier twilight hours close in on extended walks in the evening. Plan ahead to accommodate your dog’s needs by getting out earlier. Be sure to gear up with reflective vests, blinking lights, and even booties to protect the paws from cold or wet asphalt.

Aches and Pains

Speaking of cold, wet weather, provide soft, cushy bedding for your senior or arthritic pet. Be sure to eradicate chilling drafts, install ramps, and provide access to insulating blankets.

Are We There Yet?

Dogs and cats used to company throughout the day may feel a bit lonely now that school and afternoon activities are in full swing. Schedule a dog walker or pet sitter to play with your pet or make sure they have enough things to play with. Food puzzles are always a win!

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The Booty-Scoot Boogie: Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Pet Anal Sacs

anal sacsMost pet owners are aware their pets have anal sacs, but how many of us know what their function actually is? It may not be a topic we want to think about, but understanding your pet’s anatomy and how to care for anal sacs are crucial components of pet ownership.

Anal Sacs 101

Pet anal sacs, also sometimes referred to as “anal glands,” are two small, bag-like structures located just inside the rectum. The sacs contain numerous glands that produce a strongly scented fluid, which is expressed when the animal has a bowel movement.

The purpose of the fluid is to transfer your pet’s “personal odors” onto his or her stool as a method of communicating with other animals. It may also serve to lubricate the stool.

Identifying a Problem

Because the openings that allow the anal gland fluid to seep out into the rectum are so tiny, it’s easy for problems to develop. The gland may become clogged or impacted, which can lead to infection if left untreated. Tumors may also develop in rare cases.

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Blast from the Past: All About Feline Retroviruses

While there are many retro trends that are cool, fun, and nostalgic, not everything retro is welcome. When it comes to our cat patients, feline retroviruses are a group of infectious diseases the feline fanatics dread. These bugs, otherwise known as feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia, are far from quirky friends; they are rather serious diseases that cat owners need to know about.

All About Feline Retroviruses

There are many types of retroviruses (the most notorious in people is HIV), but the two that are of concern for cat lovers are feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia (FeLV).

Feline leukemia is one of the leading causes of feline deaths each year and is contracted when cats are exposed to the saliva or blood of an infected cat, or during gestation from an infected mother.

When a cat is exposed to FeLV, the body may be able to fight it off. In some unlucky cats, though, the virus makes it into the bone marrow and other tissues in the body where it stays hidden for some time. Within a few years, it begins to cause problems that can include changes in the bone marrow or lymphoma (cancer) within the other body tissues.

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Freedom From Summer Pet Anxiety

summer pet anxietyWhile most people revel in all the great things summer has to offer, there are pet owners out there who absolutely dread the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day – and for good reason. Thunderstorms, fireworks, and crowds all contribute to a heightened sense of summer pet anxiety, but there are ways to avoid the panic. By reducing triggers, you’ll not only keep an anxious, fearful pet safe this summer, you can also minimize potential damage to overall health. Who could argue with that?

Honing In

Obvious triggers will be storms and fireworks, but sometimes, a pet can experience a reaction to something we cannot see, hear, smell, or otherwise detect. For instance, the subtlest drops in barometric pressure can be felt by a sensitive animal and result in full-blown summer pet anxiety.

Don’t Let it Happen to You

The best approach to summer pet anxiety is multi-fold. First, if you know your pet doesn’t like fireworks, parades, or crowds, simply stay with him or her at home. The second part of your defense involves your pet’s microchip. If your pet doesn’t have a chip or if you need to update contact information, we’re happy to assist.

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It’s About Time…For Summer Pet Safety!

summertime pet safeyThe classic musical Carousel focuses on an ill-fated love story between a carnival barker and a local Maine woman that catches his eye. Full of big chorus numbers, it’s hard to forget one of the most popular songs “June is bustin’ out all over.” While we may not have winters as long as they do up north, we can finally do a little “June” dance now that the cold days are over.

We hope that you allow for some fun this season, but if your plans involve a four-legged friend, be sure to check out this primer on summer pet safety.

Sizzle, Fry, and Burn?

While New Jersey has relatively mild summer temperatures, we’re famous for our hair-wilting humidity. People certainly tend to complain about the mugginess, but how does this weather affect your pet?
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The Poop on Intestinal Parasites in Pets

Intestinal Parasites In PetsWhile poop is certainly not the most pleasant part of pet ownership, it comes with the territory. Whether it’s scooping the litter box, cleaning up your backyard, or toting home the “bag of shame” on your daily walk, you are going to get to know your pet’s poop.

Most pet owners aren’t so thrilled with this aspect of caring for their pets, and many probably wonder why we are so focused on checking a pet’s feces periodically. Your friends at Mountainview Veterinary Hospital really do need to look at your pet’s poop in order to be sure he or she is healthy. Intestinal parasites in pets are a common occurrence, and one we want to be certain that we have under control.

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The Sticky, Icky Truth About Ticks and Your Pet

Depending on which science fiction films you’ve seen, a single tick viewed through a microscope bears a strong resemblance to an alien species. A map showing the latest tick populations might support the assumption they’re not unlike like visitors from a distant galaxy, bent on world domination.

Ticks have conquered the entire northeast, making it difficult to avoid them – and the diseases they carry. Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are the biggest threats when it comes to ticks and your pet.

Deer Ticks

The deer tick is responsible for spreading Lyme disease to people and animals. When feasting on a blood meal from an infected animal, a deer tick picks up microscopic bacteria that is deposited into the bloodstream of future prey.

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My Pet Has Cancer. Now What?

The longer our pets live, the more sloppy kisses, morning snuggles, and long walks we get to enjoy with them. Nothing is without a tradeoff, though. As pets live longer their risk of being affected by cancer increases as well. In fact, one in four pets who reaches his or her senior years will be diagnosed with this unfortunate condition.

When a four-legged family member is diagnosed, many pet owners don’t know where to turn. If your pet has cancer, Mountainview Veterinary Hospital is here for you.

Defining Cancer

Cancer is a commonly used word, but it can remain vague. If your pet has cancer, it can mean a lot of things because cancer can affect any part of the body. Where the cancer is and how it is affecting the body’s normal structure and function can vary greatly.
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Itchy and Scratchy: What You Can Do for Pet Allergies

Itchy Ear DogAllergies – in one form or another – affect us all. From gluten to nuts, pollen to mold, latex to insect venom, allergies have the potential to ruin a really good day, week, or month. Animals can also have allergies, but sometimes, they’re difficult to pinpoint, diagnose, and treat. That’s why we offer the following tips and tricks for how to handle pet allergies.

The Real Struggle

Many pet allergies go unnoticed or undiagnosed, and symptoms can go on ad infinitum as a pet suffers needlessly. Once you know what to look for, you can help your pet get back on the road to wellness.
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