Pet Care Resources
Today, finding out the latest information about animal issues is typically just a few clicks and an Internet search away. But to ensure you are getting the best and most accurate information, we have provided you with the following pet-care resources to help guide your research and always encourage you to contact our Coastal Georgia Veterinary Care office with any questions you may have.
American Animal Hospital Association
May 21, 2013
Coastal Georgia Veterinary Care is proud to announce that it has received accreditation from the American Animal Hospital Association. One of only four veterinary clinics in the Savannah area and the only one in Richmond Hill to be accredited, the accreditation comes after a comprehensive evaluation, which includes a quality assessment review of the hospital’s facility, medical equipment, practice methods and pet health care management.
Only 15 percent of all small animal veterinary practices in the U.S. have achieved accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association. In order to maintain accredited status, Coastal Georgia Veterinary Care must continue to be evaluated regularly by the association’s consultants.
“Coastal Georgia Veterinary Care belongs to a select group of practices that are committed to meeting the standard of veterinary excellence,” says Gregg Takashima, DVM, AAHA president. “AAHA hospitals pass a stringent evaluation of over 900 standards covering patient care, client service and medical protocols. By attaining accreditation, Coastal Georgia Veterinary Care is demonstrating its dedication to offering the best care to its patients and clients.”
Established in 1933, the American Animal Hospital Association is the only organization that accredits veterinary practices throughout the U.S. and Canada for dedication to high standards of veterinary care.
Approximately 3,200 AAHA-accredited practices pass regular reviews of AAHA’s stringent accreditation standards that cover patient care, client service and medical protocols. For pet care information or referral to an AAHA-accredited practice, visit www.healthypet.com.
May 21, 2013
With every New Year come resolutions, and for many of us, those resolutions (often times year after year after year) include getting into shape and losing weight and you shouldn’t forget to include Fluffy and Rover in these efforts!
Vanity and narcissism simply do not exist in the rest of the Animal Kingdom—but obesity does, especially in our furry family members. Obesity in pets is as serious an epidemic as obesity in the rest of the American population, and it can have just as dire consequences.
The old adage about a “fat and happy” senior pet does not hold true. Just like in humans, overweight and obese dogs and cats are at a higher risk for heart and respiratory disease, arthritis, diabetes, skin disease, and other serious and life-threatening conditions.
As humans, love and food often go hand-in-hand. Just watch Anthony Bordain or Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel, and you will see that food is a major part of any culture around the world. It is a common need among living beings, and we often use it as a means of collegiality and understanding others who don’t speak our same language.
We do it for our dogs and cats, too—and we do it all too often. It is easy to think that love equals dog treats. Just look at how happy and excited your pet gets when you open the pantry door! But just like sharing a meal with other humans, the experience of giving treats (or, ahem, feeding from the table) transcends the food itself. Don’t get me wrong—Fluffy and Rover like the tasty morsels, but they like the interaction with you just as much. When you give a treat, you are giving your special pet even more individualized attention, and for social animals (especially dogs), this interaction can be just as “addictive” as the treats themselves.
So here are some tips to help you and your furry family members meet your New Years’ resolutions:
Get out and exercise—and in the words of Emeril Lagasse, “Kick it up a notch!” For those of you sedentary types, start out with walking twice a day. If you already walk twice a day but Rover still looks rotund, walk further and faster. Don’t forget about how easy it is to play fetch and frisbee in your backyard, too.
Gradually decrease those calorie-laden treats—and no human food! Give fruits and vegetables instead. Baby carrots work great! The only items Rover and Fluffy CAN’T have are grapes and raisins (they cause kidney failure) and onions and garlic (which cause rupture of their red blood cells).
See your veterinarian for a nutritional consult. In some cases, he or she may need to prescribe a special food to help in Rover’s weight loss efforts. A prescription weight loss diet is different from those over-the-counter “light” and “weight control” diets, which are designed only to maintain a healthy weight in those prone to obesity—they are not designed to achieve safe and healthy weight loss. And restricting Fluffy’s regular food can also restrict much-needed nutrients, leaving her feeling hungry and irritable and susceptible to illness.
Remember: Their lives are already relatively short—why make them shorter?
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Holiday Danger for Pets
May 21, 2013
Remember what happened to Aunt Bethany’s cat in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? Think Rover’s never thought about taking down that Christmas tree? Often times during the holidays, we, that is humans, tend to not think about the specific threats that the holidays can pose on our furry family friends.
Electrical cords are not to be taken lightly (no pun intended). When pets chew on electrical cords, risks include ingestion (wires do not digest well and copper is toxic), electrical burns or electrical shock leading to heart and lungs abnormalities and even death. Make sure that pets are not allowed access to these items.
While it’s fun to watch Rover rip open gifts and Fluffy play with ribbon and ornaments there are many components of gifts and decorations that could lead to serious illness if ingested. But despite rumors to the contrary, Poinsettias are not poisonous and the occasional leaf munching will not kill your pet.
Also, holidays always involve food, but pets should not partake. In general, anything other than the usual dog and cat food can lead to an upset stomach. Always play it safe—if your pet experiences signs of loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, and/or diarrhea these are signs of illness and you should see your vet right away. In the meantime, keep these things out of pets’ reach!
You’re not the only one who gets stressed by having the in-laws visit. Our pets have personalities and visitors can be scary and disrupt routines. Moreover, if Uncle Lewis is allergic to cats or cousin Eddie is afraid of Chihuahuas, pets are often confined or relegated to the backyard. Such stress can be detrimental to pets’ wellbeing and manifest as depression, loss of appetite and development of unwanted behaviors. Find out ahead of time how houseguests feel about pets and try to stick to routines. But if worst comes to worst, encourage your out-of-town guests to stay in a hotel—blame me.
If you take your pets on your holiday vacation, check with your veterinarian to make sure that they are up-to-date on their vaccines and carry copies of medical records. Pets who travel by air are required to have a health certificate which requires an exam by your veterinarian within 10 days of travel. Traveling internationally may be subject to more stringent requirements so do your research ahead of time. If you are traveling by car, take along travel items —toys, food, water, litter box, leashes and plan on stopping every two to three hours.
If boarding your pet over the holidays, make reservations well in advance and ask about vaccine requirements. For adult dogs and cats, it takes 10-14 days for a vaccine to elicit an adequate immune response, so plan ahead. Also, just like in humans, the vaccines that we give pets do not protect against everything. Sending the pets own food and a few toys and an article of your clothing can make him feel less homesick while you’re gone.
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