To Spay or Not to Spay: The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet

What’s that saying? Something about how everyone has an opinion? Regardless of the exact wording, the underlying thought rings quite true, especially when it comes to spaying or neutering your pet.

Many believe spaying or neutering is a vital part of responsible pet ownership, while others question whether it’s truly the best option for our pets. At Mountainview Veterinary Hospital we believe the benefits of spaying and neutering far outweigh the risks for most of our pet patients. Let us share our reasoning with you.

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The Dog Owner’s Guide to Canine Influenza

By the time scientists at Cornell University and University of Wisconsin identified a virulent strain of canine influenza in 2015, it had sickened over 1,000 dogs in the Chicagoland area. Canine influenza continues to make an appearance each year, affecting pets in nearly every state.

Take a moment to learn more about canine influenza and how you can protect your furry loved ones.

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A Weighty Matter: Battling Pet Obesity

pet obesityImages of portly pups and chubby cats are practically everywhere we turn these days, and it’s hard to deny the cuteness of these sweet pets. The problem of overweight pets is no laughing matter, however. Overweight animals can succumb to many of the same health problems as overweight and obese humans, including heart disease, high blood pressure, joint pain, cancer, and diabetes.

With over 50% of U.S. pets falling into the overweight or obese categories, the time to act on this problem is now. Your team at Mountainview Veterinary Hospital is dedicated to helping pet owners learn more about the problem of pet obesity.

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A Year in Review: Mountainview Veterinary Hospital’s Top 10 Blogs of 2017

It’s that time of year when we bid farewell to the previous 12 months and collectively hum “Auld Lang Syne.” Written in the late 1700s by Robert Burns, this famous song succinctly asks the rhetorical question: should old times be forgotten?

As we look back at 2017, we are, in a word, gobsmacked. It continues to be our honor to serve the pets in our community and to help owners better care for their companions. With that in mind, we commit to writing and publishing a monthly blog. Sometimes, seasonal safety takes center stage; other months, we shake it up with disease prevention or behavioral issues. Either way, we hope you enjoy the Mountainview Veterinary Hospital pet care blog and look forward to learning more in 2018.

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A Gift From the Heart: Helping Animal Shelters for the Holidays

helping animal sheltersGenerosity, sharing, and appreciation for all that we have are hallmark themes of the holiday season. As we gather with our loved ones to give thanks for all that we have, it is only natural to want to extend our resources to those less fortunate, as well.

For some, that may mean filling up donation bins for area food banks or donating winter wear to those in need, but for animal lovers, your thoughts may be on lending a hand to shelter pets this winter, instead. Like so many other charities, animal shelters and rescue organizations are always in need of assistance. From monetary gifts to gifts of time, these nonprofits depend on us to keep their doors open and to continue helping our less-fortunate animal friends.

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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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