When a puppy mouth-breathes all over your face, the result is a special combo of adorable and unsettling. That adorable quality, however, quickly fades when your dog reaches a point (usually around the age of three) when bacteria, plaque, and tarter all combine to usher in the beginning of periodontal (gum) disease. The first sign of this condition is – you guessed it – dog breath. The good news? It’s entirely preventable!
Warning! Stinky Breath Alert
Off-putting dog breath is not just proof that dogs will be dogs. Ranging from slightly sweet to rank and sour, dog breath serves as a red flag that something is not right inside the mouth.
There’s irrefutable proof that humans have coexisted with cats for nearly 10,000 years, a solid amount of time to really get to know a species. However, anecdotal evidence collected over millennia and contemporary scientific research support what we intrinsically already knew: there’s still much to learn about the mysterious cat! We love them because they keep us guessing, but also because of the following feline facts we know to be true.
A grave in Cyprus revealed human and kitten remains, proving a relationship between our two species that possibly began 9,500 years ago. Cats were a non-native species to this Mediterranean island, so the humans that brought this cat (or his or her relative) did so purposely.
While a cat on a rudimentary boat or raft seems unbelievable, consider the feline fact that cats can drink seawater! Unlike humans, healthy feline kidneys can efficiently filter out the salt and not become dehydrated.
10 Feline Facts
With quirky characteristics and puzzling skills, we adore and admire cats for these feline facts (and so many more!):
Although cats are the most popular pets in the U.S. (they outnumber dogs by almost 15 million), cats visit the veterinarian far less frequently than their canine counterparts. While there are certainly a variety of factors at play in why pet owners take cats to the vet less often, one reason may be that the signs of illness in cats are often subtle and hard to recognize.
Too often, by the time a pet owner realizes his or her cat is ill, the cat is very, very ill. Medical problems are often best treated when they are caught early, making it critically important to learn how to tell if your cat is sick.
Figuring out if Your Cat Is Sick
Cats have evolved to hide signs of illness and injury, but an astute pet owner can determine if his or her cat should take a trip to the veterinarian by paying attention to the following:
When it comes to the love, joy, friendship, and laughter pets bring to our lives, age truly knows no bounds. Whether you’ve cared for your pet since he or she was a puppy or kitten, or opened your home to an older pet, senior pet care is a deeply rewarding experience.
Thanks to better home care, the availability of proper nutrition, and advances in veterinary science, our pets are living longer now than ever before. Because pets age much more quickly than humans (a pet is considered a senior at roughly 7 years of age), it’s important to understand and stay alert to their changing health needs.
Senior Pet Care 101
Since the risk of disease increases with age, regular veterinary care is essential for the intervention and treatment of age-related disease or other health issues. At Godspeed Animal Care, we recommend twice-yearly wellness exams and diagnostic lab workups for senior pets.
While you may be dreading human flu season, canine influenza (dog flu) has been steadily infecting thousands of dogs across the United States and does not seem to be slowing down. Keep reading to learn more about canine influenza and how to protect your beloved pet.
History and Symptoms
Although there has been more discussion around canine flu since the H3N2 virus emerged in 2015, the illness has been around for a while. In fact, what’s referred to as canine influenza virus A developed from an equine flu strain (H3N8) and was first diagnosed in Florida in 2004.
Like equine-borne H3N8, the strain H3N2 was present in another species (birds) before it mutated and infected dogs. Collectively, these strains are often referred to as Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). This includes multiple viruses and bacterial infections that share similar pathologies.
There are very few viruses as potent and deadly as rabies, yet this disease is often considered an illness of days gone by. In reality, rabies is still being spread among mammals, including an estimated 400-500 pets in the United States every year.
Understanding the relationship between rabies and pets can help you protect your fur friend and minimize the spread of this deadly disease.
The Basics of Rabies
Rabies is a viral infection that attacks the central nervous system, including the brain. Rabies can infect any mammal, but is most commonly found in skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, dogs, cats, and bats. Rabies is also a zoonotic illness, meaning it can be transferred between different species, including humans.
Rabies is spread through saliva or other bodily fluids, typically through a bite, wound, or scratch. Although there are vaccines to stop the disease from progressing in humans (when administered early), there is no cure for rabies among cats and dogs. When the symptoms take hold, rabies almost always results in death. Continue…
Kennel cough (tracheobronchitis) can be caused by several different bacteria and viruses and is typically associated with a honking, persistent cough. In most cases, the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica (commonly referred to as just Bordetella) is to blame. However, kennel cough can also be caused by distemper, adenovirus type 2, parainfluenza, and the herpes virus.
Unfortunately, there have been recent outbreaks in our region, particularly in kennels, shelters, and other areas where dogs are housed together. With this in mind, it’s important to understand how to recognize symptoms and prevent the spread of kennel cough.
How Kennel Cough is Transmitted
Like most contagious viruses, kennel cough is spread through contact between animals. While it is airborne, direct contact also increases the chances of infection. Continue…
Chickahominy, James, York…these rivers offer plenty of things to do, not to mention Mobjack Bay, Chesapeake Bay, and the endless Atlantic shoreline. Indeed, our community lends itself to outdoor fun, making pet water safety that much more important. Together, we can help you keep your pet safe on – and around – the water. Continue…
Summer has officially arrived, and for many, that means revving up the engine and hitting the road. There’s a lot to love about a good old-fashioned road trip, and bringing your best fur friend along should double the fun…right?
Alas, some pets are more prone to stress, anxiety, and motion sickness than others. Luckily, there are ways to prepare for and address these issues, making driving with your pet a breeze.
Before setting off into the sunset, it’s critical to microchip your pet and keep information updated. This will ensure a swift reunion if you become separated while traveling. Likewise, make sure your pet’s ID tags are in good shape and are safely secured to his or her collar. Continue…
From beachfront vacays to great outdoor adventures, summertime presents many opportunities to spend time with the family. If you plan on bringing your fur friend along for the fun, it’s important to discuss microchipping before leaving town.
How Does Microchipping Work?
A microchip (or radio-frequency identification transponder) is a very small electronic device that’s implanted beneath your pet’s skin. About the size of a grain of rice, this device contains a number that is unique to your pet. The number is then linked to owner information that is stored in a national microchip registry. In the event a pet becomes lost, most shelters and veterinary clinics (including Godspeed Animal Care) have a scanner to help reunite pets with their owners. Continue…