1) Separation anxiety in our pets is often discussed as a diagnosis when a pet misbehaves in the absence of their owners. Pet owners need to help the veterinarians distinguish this behavior from a pet misbehaving out of boredom.
2) Although no specific reason for separation anxiety has been proven, a dog’s strong pack mentality and need for social contact may contribute to this disorder. When the social connection is withdrawn, the dog’s anxiety boils over.
3) There is also some correlation that dogs with noise phobias are prone to separation anxiety.
4) Triggers for separation anxiety include anything from a change in the owner’s schedule, a return from a boarding situation to even the death of a companion pet. It is believed that some shelter pets and dogs that have been “re-homed” multiple times are at higher risk.
5) Separation anxiety is almost unknown in cats.
6) Separation anxiety can be characterized by a variety of signs. Symptoms could be mild (loss of appetite, drooling and pacing) or more severe (destruction of household items, house-soiling and extreme vocalization).
7) These behaviors happen only when the owner is gone. They will not manifest when the owner is present with the pet. This defines a general category of behavior issues in dogs called “owner absent” behavior problems.
8) Many pets with separation anxiety will often follow their owners from room to room or desire constant physical contact. Many describe these dogs as “needy” (“Velcro dogs”) as they lack self-confidence in being alone.
9) Since these behaviors can also indicate boredom or the protection instinct for passing animals and people, it is important to speak with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist if you think your dog might have separation anxiety.
10) Although it may be hard to get, a video showing the pet’s behavior as the owner leaves and during the time the owner is gone can be helpful in diagnosing separation anxiety and the severity of the condition.
11) There is no quick fix for actual separation anxiety. Owners must be committed to helping their pet cope with the severe stress in their absence. Treatment for the pet might consist of anti-anxiety medications and some smart and consistent behavioral modification techniques.
12) The use of any medication without a concurrent program of counter-conditioning or behavioral modification is likely doomed to fail. There are no shortcuts to helping dogs with this problem!
13) One real key in management is easing the distress when an owner leaves the home. Owners can leave special treats or even a long-lasting food toy that take time to consume and rewards the pet with treats as he/she chews. One example is a stuffed Kong toy.
14) Above all, owners should never punish their pet when they arrive home to a disaster area. Dogs simply cannot equate the punishment with the behavior that probably happened hours ago. This creates another, perhaps even more serious anxiety, when owners punish the pet upon their return. This could lead to fear upon your return or even fear of the owner!
15) Crating (using kennel confinement for training), although often recommended for most pets, can be counter-productive and even injurious to pets with separation anxiety. If the pet has never been crated before, confinement can actually worsen the situation.
16) However, crating may be necessary to prevent immediate damage or even relinquishment of the pet. Crating can be used in conjunction with urgent work/medications on behavior modification, environmental changes and the owners understanding of this serious and complex issue.
17) If you think your pet exhibits separation anxiety, don’t wait to get help as these problems can get worse with time. Talk to your veterinarian about medications for immediate relief and perhaps a behavior consultation to help in the long term changes that need to happen for these dogs to live normally.
The Surgi Snuggly may be helpful to your pet with their anxiety issues. The calming compression this garment give has worked wonders for many issues including storm anxiety, noise anxiety, motion anxiety and seperation anxiety!
For questions or concerns regarding your pet and the Surgi Snuggly just give us a call and we will assist you in any way possible.
Did You know
Cow Appreciation Day®
Join us July 13, 2012 at your favorite Chick-fil-A Restaurant!
For one day only, black and white spots, cow bells and furry ears will be appropriate attire at Chick-fil-A restaurants all across the nation. In celebration of July 13, Cow Appreciation Day (an unofficial yet nationally recognized holiday), Chick-fil-A will award a FREE Meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) to any customer who comes to one of our 1,600+ restaurants fully dressed as a cow.
It’s a common occurrence…pet owners expressing feelings of frustration, helplessness and even despair from a single symptom. Their pets itch and scratch, itch and scratch - and it is not a flea problem! Although this may not seem like a big deal, these owners suffer through sleepless nights as their pets scratch and chew and lick, all in an attempt to get some needed relief. If it’s not fleas…what can this common problem be?By: Dr. Jim Humphries, Veterinary News NetworkSeeing a beloved pet scratch often leads many owners think their pets have fleas. When trips to the veterinarian and doses of flea products fail to resolve the itchiness, it is time to think about environmental allergies, or ATOPY.Just like people, our pets can suffer from allergies and sensitivities to particles in the air. Many times, pollen, certain grasses and trees or even dust mites can trigger this reaction in pets. Unlike people though, our pets rarely sneeze and show signs similar to “hay fever”. Instead, our pets are itchy and they will do anything to relieve that sensation. Some pets scratch constantly, others lick and chew at certain spots, like their feet and still others might rub against carpets and furniture. This behavior, and the consistent noises and thumps produced, is often too much for many pet owners. Sadly, some pets are relinquished to shelters or rescues due to a condition that is actually manageable.Whenever your pet is itchy, it is important to remember that external parasites or even food allergies can cause very similar symptoms. Your veterinarian must help you distinguish between flea bite allergies, food allergies or atopy.According to Dr. Kimberly Coyner, a board certified veterinary dermatologist with the Dermatology Clinic for Animals in Las Vegas, about 10% of dogs suffer from atopy and some cats can develop this condition as well. Many pets will start showing signs as early as six months of age and most will occur before the animal is five years old.Beyond the itchiness (known medically as pruritus), pets might also show recurrent skin and ear infections or seem to be obsessed with licking their paws. These symptoms most commonly occur in warm weather for pets with pollen or dust allergies, but can also occur year round in some cases.Diagnostic tests for atopy try to gg what allergens are causing your pet’s problems. Blood tests are often convenient since they can be done by most veterinarians, but Dr. Coyner cautions that this method has drawbacks. Skin testing (similar to scratch testing in people) is the gold standard for determining what is causing your pets allergies and is more accurate than blood tests.While not simple, atopy can be managed with baths, medications, managing the environment and sometimes with immunotherapy. You’ll need good communication with your veterinarian and maybe a veterinary dermatologist!First, for pets that suffer seasonal allergies, being prepared ahead of time is key. Some mildly suffering pets can benefit from daily cool water rinses and a fragrance free shampoo one to two times weekly. Clipping longhaired pets decreases the allergen load and makes bathing easier.Pollen counts in the home can be reduced by asking family and visitors to remove their shoes at the door. Routine vacuuming of areas that the pets frequent and washing of pet bedding in mild, fragrance free detergents can also limit the allergen exposure inside.Some pet owners opt for antihistamines to help provide relief, but experts caution that they are only effective in 30-40% of dogs. Other owners insist that “steroid shots” or pills are the answer. However steroids simply decrease the symptoms and do not solve the problem - and they are not without secondary side effects.Ideally, all pets with atopy would undergo skin testing and then start an allergen specific immunotherapy, guided by a veterinary dermatologist. By slowly exposing the pet to increasing quantities of the allergen, this immunotherapy can actually “desensitize” the pet and, over time, help reduce the severity of the symptoms. Dr. Coyner says that 70-75% of allergic pets respond to this treatment and it takes several months to become effective, so it is not a certain cure or a “quick-fix”.
In both clinical use and consumer use the Surgi Snuggly has shown to relieve itching of dogs with allergies and itching from hotspots. The snug fit helps to relieve the pets overall anxiety, it keeps external allergens off of the pet as well as keeps their nails from tearing their skin. If your pet suffers from allergies have them tested and keep them itch free and content in a Surgi Snuggly!
Each year, veterinarians, pet groomers and pet lovers have debates about the pros and cons of shaving a thick coated or long-haired dog during the warm summer months.
We know that we cool ourselves by sweating and as more skin is exposed, the sweat evaporates more efficiently, cooling our bodies.
Dogs, however, don’t sweat like we do. Their main cooling comes from panting. As the moisture evaporates off of the tongue of the panting dog, the blood is cooled and this cooled blood is circulated to keep the pet comfortable. My dog Hannah and I both wear dripping wet bandannas when we are out in the heat; it helps in cooling us both!
A well groomed, clean hair coat will actually insulate the dog from the heat and help to keep them cooler.
Another concern about shaving any dog is the potential for sunburn in lightly pigmented breeds.
However, many of the protective functions of a full coat can be lost if the coat is not keep clean and free from debris such as grass awns, etc that can cause mats and significant skin problems.
In some cases due to age or lack of mobility, your veterinarian may recommend shaving certain areas (like the perianal region) in long haired breeds to facilitate keeping the area clean.
Questions about shaving your dog should be directed to your veterinarian. They are best equipped with the knowledge of how shaving may affect your particular pet.
It’s hot outside and our pets count on us to protect them!
Do you know that each year, more than 1.7 million uncontrolled fires happen in the US resulting in more than 500,000 pet deaths. Smoke alarms have saved many countless human lives, but our pets are not so fortunate. First, the high-pitched shriek can scare pets into hiding, making rescue difficult and dangerous. Next, even smoke alarms in good working order won’t save pets whose owners are not home to let them out. Sadly, many pets die simply because they were trapped inside your home. The first steps start with you, the pet owner. Prevent potential problems by “pet-proofing” your home and looking for fire hazards. Consider confining younger puppies and kittens when you aren’t home as a means of preventing them from accidentally starting a fire. Always extinguish open flames before leaving home or leaving a pet unattended. Experts recommend that pets left at home should be kept in rooms on the lower level, near entrances, so that fire fighters can find them more quickly and easily. Window clings that alert fire fighters to the presence of pets are also a good idea. Newer clings can be taken down and edited as your pet family grows! Practice “fire drills” with your family and include the pets. Keep collars and leashes handy and know your escape routes. Pets left home alone can’t escape by themselves. The use of smoke detectors connected to monitoring centers can greatly increase their chances of survival in the event of a fire. Monitored smoke detectors can also protect cherished possessions in addition to saving your four legged friends. Responsible pet ownership includes planning for unexpected emergencies. A house fire is a prime example of how devastating and deadly these emergencies can be. Be aware and lessen your chances of something drastic happening to your pets at a most difficult time, a home fire.
Ok so our pets have maybe lost a tooth or two. Perhaps a little grouchy these days, maybe having issues with incontinence but do you love them any less? No of course not, we love our pets. Some times it's hard to be there when our pets need us most. The Surgi Snuggly just may be a great answer for you and your pet. THE BEST thing about the Surgi Snuggly when it comes to incontinence is THE DIAPERS AND PADS WON'T FALL OFF! The Surgi Snuggly is a unique 1 piece body suit that keeps everything comfortably in place. No need to embarrass your pet, no one will even know they are wearing a diaper...they can just stroll around looking cool!
Tick populations in many areas of the country will likely explode this year, according to several parasitologists.
“There has been an increase in tick populations over decades, but in the last 10 years, they have really exploded,” explained Susan E. Little, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVM, Regents professor and Krull-Ewing chair in veterinary parasitology at Oklahoma State University. “And it is not just more ticks, it is more ticks in more places.”
There are many reasons that ticks and the diseases they carry spread:
•Suburbanization, which brings together people, wildlife and ticks;
•An increase in white-tailed deer;
•Migratory birds that carry ticks to new areas;
•A movement toward the preservation of open space and the replanting of trees; and
•The use of fewer insecticides.
Winters in the United States have been milder than they were 20 or more years ago, when long periods of harsh weather used to kill off many ticks, explains Michael W. Dryden, DVM, Ph.D., university distinguished professor in veterinary parasitology at Kansas State University.
“Without the deep, hard, cold winters, we don't have the winter kill, and several ticks that were abundant in the South have moved North,” Dryden says. “It has to be really cold to kill a tick, at least 10 degrees F, and it has to stay that temperature for some time. All it takes is temperatures of around 40 degrees F for ticks to be active. If it just drops overnight and then warms back up, that doesn't help.”
Even areas that had a good deal of snow this year will not necessarily see a tick die-off, because the snow serves as a blanket.
“If they are under a snow blanket, it doesn't do much harm to them at all,” Dryden says.
Some ticks just aren't that bothered by cold weather, Little adds. “Ixodes scapularis, the black-legged tick, thrives in the winter months. The adult tick is out from October to February, although nymphs may not come out until May,” she says.
The serious drought that affected much of the country last year could put some negative pressures on some ticks.
Ticks are the major cause of vector-borne diseases in the United States, but two ticks are particularly troublesome: I. scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (the Lone Star tick).
They have spread across nearly half of the country, and in many states they overlap. Together, they have been implicated in the transmission of nearly a dozen human and animal infectious diseases, including anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease.
D. variabilis is also a “bad actor” transmitting Cytauxzoon felis, a deadly feline infection, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can be deadly for both people and dogs.
Because ticks are spreading to new areas, dogs especially can serve as the “canaries in the coal mine,” according to Needham. Veterinarians might see new ticks and diagnose emerging diseases in an area before medical doctors see them.
“Dogs are often the first indicator of a tick-borne disease in an area, because they are out in the habitat,” Needham says. “If they are not protected by anti-tick products, they will pick up ticks and get sick. Veterinarians must keep abreast of what diseases are prevalent in the area where they practice. That can be a challenge. Here in Ohio, we are seeing the emergence of the deer tick. Veterinarians are not used to seeing that tick here.”
Co-infection is another emerging problem, says Little. “Co-infections are becoming the rule in many areas.”
This makes both diagnosis and treatment more challenging because dogs might have two sets of signs.
“If the dog does not respond to the doxycycline [the antibiotic used to treat many tick-borne bacteria], I encourage veterinarians to continue looking because there can be other pathogens on board.”
“Owners do not take the risk seriously enough,” says Dryden.
There are data that suggest that pet owners apply spot-on tick prevention products an average of four months in a given 12-month period, Little says, so veterinarians need to remind people that they must be vigilant in applying the product.
Little and her group recently did an experiment in which they walked 10 healthy beagles in a tick-invested area every day for eight weeks.
Over the course of the study, each dog got an average of 100 ticks on it and every dog seroconverted to ehrlichia and rickettsia, she says, although the researchers did not allow them to become ill.
“That means the risk of a tick-borne infection is 100 percent,” she says.
These diseases are a nightmare for both people and their pets!
I've had lymes, my friends and their pets have had lymes. It is difficult to get a correct diagonisis and treatment. It is much easier to keep yourself and your pets properly protected.
T*his article is shared from the VPN network, thanks guys!
There has been recent discussions regarding animals being allowed or not allowed into human shelters during times of emergency. When discussing this question with Paul O Williams, Surgi Snuggly Veterinary Advisor and Co - Inventor the following was stated.“Should people evacuating with their animals be allowed to keep their animals with them”. The answer is yes, with some caveats.People evacuating with their service animal can stay together under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.The rest of us with our animals, we comprise 58.9% of American households, can find relief in the maturation of organized Emergency Management at the Federal, State and local levels.Part of the main mission of organized Emergency Management is to save human lives and reduce human suffering. Since hurricane Andrew in 1992 there has been a long and arduous road to where we are today. Today, public sector Emergency Management at the Federal, State and local levels are required to have an accommodation for people evacuating and seeking shelter with their animals. These accommodations can be found in Federal, State and local Emergency Operations Plans and the Federal Pets Evacuation Transportation Standards Act passed by Congress following hurricane Katrina.Allowing people to evacuate and seek shelter with their animals, indeed, reduces human suffering. The caveat; it reduces suffering of our animals as well. Side effects can be positive.Paul Williams, DVM Project Consultant Homeland Security Planning and Respo
nse Homeland Security DivSurgi Snuggly Veterinary Advisor and Co-Inventor