Watch for Weight Changes in Your Pet

It is not unusual for one of my clients to be utterly surprised when they discover that their dog or cat’s weight has topped the scale either up or down. Why didn’t they notice the change? It’s because it often happens slowly and gradually, day by day, right before their eyes.

A rise in weight may be as a result obvious. Just too many treats in but not adequate physical exercise. Although you may believe that you are practicing good portion control, over eating may easily occur. A cup of food to one person just isn’t adequate for the next. So they really offer a tad bit more. You merely give `a’ treat, while the next overly generous family member gives two or three. Additional calories add up very quickly. Are you aware that a one pound weight gain for a Chihuahua is just like a one hundred and twenty five pound woman gaining thirty one pounds?

There are also many fewer evident explanations for an expansion in your pet’s waist-line. Hormonal problems for instance an underactive thyroid,( hypothyroidism) or an overactive adrenal gland causing hyperadrenocorticisim,( Cushing’s disease), can impact metabolic rate. Neutering likewise has metabolic repercussions. Studies have revealed that when a pet undergoes a castration or an ovariohysterectomy (spay), the rate at which they expend energy is decreased by nearly a third A neutered pet still incurs much more beneficial effects than the unfavorable so I remain a solid proponent of these procedures.

Advancing age can also be responsible for your four-legged friend packing on the pounds. As we age many of us start to drop lean body mass. Muscle demands significant amounts of energy levels in order to work properly. Less muscle usually means less requirement for calories. Don’t be misled into feeding your pet the same quantity you did when it was younger and toted the same weight. Its energy needs have scaled downwards.

An increase in weight can create significant health threats to your pet. An pet might have breathing difficulties, a compromised immune system, be at elevated danger with regard to anesthesia, grapple with skin disorders, and experience with pain from overburdened joints or spinal disc disease. Research has demonstrated that fat pets age faster and have a reduced quality of life.

Weight reduction can be equally as significant. You might believe that your cat has discovered the fountain of youth. It is consuming more, running around like a kitten and is losing weight. Actually, your feline might be a victim of an overactive thyroid. If left without treatment ,, high blood pressure, sudden blindness and cardiac problems may manifest.

Problems such as diabetes mellitus, digestive problems, liver malfunction, cancer and even dental disease may cause a pet to suddenly lose weight and condition.

How could you tell if your furry friend is fit? While your pet is standing, you ought to notice an indentation after it’s ribcage. Position your hand on the side of its chest and with light pressure, you should be able to feel the ribcage. If you are pinching an inch, your pal is obese. In the event the ribs are very overly notable, your pet may be under weight. Which diet and just how much is correct for your pet’s phase of life? Your veterinarian is best proficient expert to help with making these kinds of determinations with your assistance. However requirements can change. Make a twice yearly wellness assessment for your pet. This very simple deed can improve the probabilities that your dog or cat will grow older successfully.

Spaying your Dog

Spaying your dogSpaying, or ovariohysterectomy, is a surgical sterilization procedure that can provide major health benefits for dogs. Here are some important facts you should know before getting your dog spayed.

The Spay Surgery
The ovariohysterectomy is an abdominal surgery that is performed under general anesthesia. Your dogs belly will be shaved and cleansed, and an incision will be made a few inches below her belly-button. The veterinarian will remove both ovaries as well as the uterus. Several layers of stitches will close the incision internally. Your veterinarian may also close the skin with stitches, or may use a surgical adhesive. Following spay surgery, your dog will no longer go through heat cycles and will be unable to get pregnant.

Although the spay surgery is very routine, it is still a major abdominal operation. It carries the risks normally associated with general anesthesia and surgery. Your veterinarian takes numerous measures to keep your dog safe, such as checking her heart and lungs before administering anesthesia and monitoring her constantly while she is asleep. You can ask whether your veterinarian recommends any additional safety precautions, such as pre-anesthetic blood tests or administration of IV fluids during the procedure.

Benefits
Unspayed female dogs usually go through two heat periods each year. During her heat period, your female dog may drip blood. She will also make every effort to sneak out to find a mate. As a result, she is at high risk for being hit by a car.

Unspayed female dogs suffer from a high incidence of mammary tumors, false pregnancies, uterine infections, and reproductive cancers. Breast tumors are the most common type of cancer in dogs. One out of every four unspayed dogs will get breast cancer, and half of the tumors are malignant. Unspayed dogs are also prone to pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus. Spaying removes the possibility of diseases of the ovaries and uterus, and comes close to eliminating the chance of mammary tumors.

The final benefit of spaying is that its the best way you can help end pet overpopulation. Every year, 3-4 million cats and dogs are euthanized in U.S. animal shelters. None of us wants to contribute to that sad statistic, but we may do so unwittingly. Puppies adopted to apparently good homes may be given away or lost. In six years, one female dog and her offspring can produce as many as 67, 000 dogs!

Considerations Before Surgery
Consult with your veterinarian about when to schedule your dogs spay surgery. Traditionally, pets are spayed at around six months of age. However, some veterinarians advocate performing the procedure earlier. If possible, schedule your dogs surgery when she is not in heat.

The night before your dogs surgery, remove her food and water before you go to bed. She should not eat or drink anything during the night or the morning of her surgery.

Considerations After Surgery
Your dog may go home the day of her surgery, or may stay in the hospital overnight. If she goes home the same day, expect her to feel a little groggy. Keep her indoors, in a warm, safe, quiet room away from other pets. During the first week after surgery, try to restrict her activity level. Leash walks are OK, but avoid excessive running, jumping, and roughhousing. Be sure to check her incision daily. Mild swelling and soreness are common, but let your veterinarian know if you see any discharge or if the swelling is excessive.

If your dog was in heat when she was spayed, she will continue to attract males during this time. Keep her away from male dogs during her recovery so that she isnt accidentally injured. Stitches, if present, will need to be removed in about 10 14 days. If you have any concerns about your dog following her surgery, do not hesitate to call your veterinarian.

Debra Garrison, DVM

Spaying your Cat

spaying your cat

Spaying or ovariohysterectomy (OHE)  is a major surgical sterilization procedure that can provide health benefits for cats. Here are some key facts you should know before you get your cat spayed.

The Spay Surgery
The ovariohysterectomy is an abdominal surgery performed under general anesthesia. Your cats belly is shaved and cleaned, and an incision will be made a couple of inches below her belly button. Your veterinary surgeon will remove both ovaries and uterus. Multiple layers of sutures closes the incision internally. Your veterinarian can also close the skin with stitches or may use a surgical glue. After sterilization surgery, your cat will not go through heat cycles and be unable to become pregnant.

Although the sterilization surgery is very routine, it’s still a major abdominal surgery. It carries the risk normally associated with general anesthesia and surgery. Your veterinarian takes many steps to ensure  your cat’s safe surgery, including monitoring of her heart and lungs to administer anesthesia and monitor her constantly while she sleeps. Additional safety measures such as pre-anesthetic blood tests and administration of IV fluids during the procedure is recommended.

Benefits
Unspayed female cats tend to go through many heat periods every year. In their heat period, your queen will vocalize, roll and act very strange. She will also make every effort to sneak out to find a partner. As a result, she is at high risk of being hit by a car or contracting a disease from the outdoor cats.

Unspayed female also have a higher incidence of mammary tumors, false pregnancies, uterine infections and cancer of the reproductive organs. Sterilization of your cat greatly reduces the risks of these cancers. It has been said that it may be helpful to allow your cat to have a litter of kittens before she is spayed, but this is not necessary. Most veterinarians now recommend your cat to be spayed before her first heat (around 6 months of age).

The final benefit of spaying is that the best way to help end pet overpopulation. Every year is 3-4 million cats and dogs are killed in  animal shelters. None of us want to contribute to this sad statistic, but we can do it without knowing. By allowing your cat to have kittens and you find homes for them, there were that many kittens in the shelter that couldn’t find a home


Considerations prior to  surgery

Consult with your veterinarian about when to plan your cats spay surgery. Your vet will recommend when to have your cat spayed and you may also want your cat declawed at the same time, if she is to be an inside only cat. Shelters will often spay the kitten before it leaves the shelter.

The night before the cats surgery, your vet may want you to take away her food and water before going to bed. She should not eat or drink anything during the night or in the morning of her surgery.

Considerations After Surgery
Your cat can go home the same day of surgery her, or stay in hospital overnight. If she is declawed, they will stay in the hospital overnight to have her paw bandages removed in the morning. If she goes home the same day, your cat may  feel a little groggy. Keep her inside in a warm, safe, quiet room away from other pets. Offer small amounts of food and water. If she eats or drinks too much at one time, she may get nauseated and vomit. During the first week after surgery, try to limit their activity level. Slight swelling and pain are common, but let your vet know if you see any discharge or if the swelling is excessive. This is very important to keep the litter box very clean for your cat after surgery.

If the cat was in heat when she was spayed, she will continue to attract males during this time. Keep her away from males during her recovery so she isn’t injured by an aggressive male. Sutures, if present, will need to be removed in about 10-14 days. If you have any questions about your cat after her surgery, please do not hesitate to call your veterinarian