Protect Yourself From Dog Park Bullies

BY JANE HARRELL of Petfinder.com

Dog parks can be a great place to let your dog socialize and burn off some excess energy.

But can you tell when play between dogs has gone from fun roughhousing to bullying? Check out these tips.

How to Spot a Dog-Park Bully

Protect Your Dog From Dog Park Bullies

Bullying means one dog is playing too rough for another (remember, the bully might be YOUR dog!), and when it happens, it’s time to leave. Here are signs that play has stopped being fun:

  • One dog repeatedly pins another down, with no reciprocation
  • One dog repeatedly chases another, with no reciprocation
  • A dog does not back off when the other dog gives a high-pitched yelp
  • A dog continues to pursue another who is trying to end the play session by, for example, hiding behind your legs or jumping on a bench
  • You see anything that makes you uncomfortable (you know your dog best, so trust your instincts!)

 

Signs Your Dog Is Uncomfortable
Your dog might not come to you when he’s feeling bullied or uncomfortable, so keep an eye out for these body-language cues:

  • A tail that is low or tucked under
  • Lip licking
  • Yawning
  • Barking while backing away from another dog
  • Avoiding eye contact and turning his head away when another dog approaches

 

What Does Good Play Look Like?
While it’s important to remove your dog from a bullying situation, it’s also good to know when play that looks rough to you is really fun for him. Here are signs your dog is having a great time:

play-bow-dog.jpg

Play bow
  • A tail wagging in wide sweeps or fast circles
  • A playful bark that’s slightly higher than his “alert” bark at home
  • Play bows (see photo)
  • Reciprocation: each dog taking turns doing the chasing, pinning, etc.

 

The fact is, any dog of any breed, size, sex, age or temperament can be a bully — or a victim of bullying — and many dogs can go from bully to bullied in different contexts.

If your dog doesn’t have a group of pals with whom he can play in a positive way at your local dog park, reach out to local pet parents, or check out Meetup.com, and organize playdates at a safe, fenced-in area. Your dog will thank you with a nice long nap afterwards!

Why is my cat suddenly peeing all over the house?

The cat either has an infection or a behavioral problem. Uncontrolled urination is a possible sign of a urinary tract or bladder infection. After a trip to the veterinarian, your cat should be cleared up with antibiotics or diagnosed with a behavioral problem.  A cat’s typical behavior is very clean. With this in mind, make sure that there is a separate litter box for each cat in your home. You can, also, try changing the type of litter or using a covered litter box. For extreme cases, move the litter box to where your cat prefers to urinate and then move it about an inch a day until it has been returned to its original location.

Source of the article: here

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So Why Is Vaccinating My New Pet So Important?

Bringing home a new puppy or kitten is an exciting endeavor, but it also comes with its fair share of responsibilities. Our pets rely on their owners to keep them happy and healthy.  After bringing home your new puppy or kitten, one of your first priorities should include a trip to the vet for a physical exam and vaccinations!

Shortly after puppies and kittens are born, they acquire passive immunity from their mother. Passive immunity comes in the form of maternal antibodies. These antibodies are given to the young animal through the placenta (while in the womb), and also through the mother’s milk for 12-24 hours after the mother gives birth. So, shortly after birth, a healthy puppy or kitten should have received enough passive immunity from its mother to protect it from a number of dangerous and potentially fatal pathogens.

However, maternal antibodies can’t protect young animals from certain infectious diseases forever. At some point, the maternal antibodies begin to wane, and the young animal starts becoming more susceptible to infectious diseases. On average, maternal antibodies have dropped to moderately low numbers around 6 weeks of age, and have reached significantly low numbers around 10-12 weeks of age. As a young animal’s passive immunity dissipates, vaccines are administered to trigger the immune system to start creating its own antibodies. Therefore, veterinarians give a series of vaccines to ensure each pet is fully protected when maternal antibodies diminish.

Vaccination Protocol

Puppies and kittens are born with an immature immune system that needs to be built up over time. Studies indicate that most healthy puppies and kittens should receive their first vaccine by 6-8 weeks of age, and they should receive a vaccine booster every 3-4 weeks. Elevated numbers of maternal antibodies prevent young animals from creating their own antibodies, thus inhibiting them from developing their individual immune response to vaccines. This is why veterinarians almost never administer vaccines before 6 weeks of age. On the other hand, if an animal never receives any vaccines after maternal antibodies wane, its likelihood of contracting a serious, and potentially fatal, infectious disease is substantially increased.

Which initial core vaccines are recommended for puppies and kittens?

Canine DHPP Vaccine

  • Distemper Virus – This is a highly contagious viral disease that affects a number of organ systems in puppies (and older, unvaccinated dogs), including the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, urogenital system, and nervous system. Clinical signs include fever, lethargy, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, ocular and nasal discharge, seizures, and potentially death. The disease is often complicated by secondary bacterial infections, making it more challenging for puppies to overcome. Distemper is carried by a variety of wild species, including raccoons, wolves, foxes, skunks, and ferrets, thus increasing the likelihood of exposure in the environment. Even if a puppy survives infection, it will have life-long complications as a result of having Distemper.
  • Hepatitis (Adenovirus-2) – Adenovirus-2 causes upper respiratory tract infections, which are typically characterized by a cough (with phlegm production), difficulty breathing, lethargy, and anorexia. In some cases, upper respiratory infections can progress to pneumonia and possibly death, especially when appropriate and timely treatment is not initiated. This vaccine also cross-protects against Adenovirus-1, which causes a severe, potentially fatal form of hepatitis.
  • Parvovirus – This is a highly contagious disease that is typically characterized by profuse vomiting, (bloody) diarrhea, and anorexia. Treatment involves hospitalization and intense supportive care to help the puppy overcome the virus. If treatment is successful, recovery can take from several days to a week.  Without treatment, this is usually a fatal disease.
  • Parainfluenza – This virus causes upper respiratory infections in puppies, resulting in coughing, lethargy, and anorexia. Untreated cases may develop into pneumonia, which can lead to death.

Rabies Vaccine

  • Rabies is a severe, progressive, neurologic disease that always results in death (once the animal starts expressing symptoms of Rabies). The Rabies virus is transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Once bitten, the virus can take weeks to months to reach the brain of another animal (during this time, the animal exhibits no signs of the disease). Once the virus reaches the hypoglossal nerve (large nerve in the tongue), the animal becomes contagious and starts exhibiting neurologic symptoms. Once an animal reaches the contagious stage, the animal will succumb to the disease within 10 days. The Rabies vaccine is required by law, in order to reduce the chance of exposure to people. Dogs and cats MUST be current on their Rabies vaccination at all times.

* After the initial vaccine series is complete, we recommend a DHPP booster at 6 months of age, followed by annual DHPP vaccinations. The first Rabies vaccine is given between 14-16 weeks of age; it is boosted at 1 year of age, then given every 1 or 3 years, depending on the vaccine administered.

** We offer additional non-core vaccines, such as Bordetella, Influenza, Leptospirosis, and Rattlesnake vaccines. Your veterinarian may recommend one or more of these vaccines depending on your dog’s lifestyle.

Feline RCP Vaccine

  • Rhinotracheitis Virus (Herpes Virus) and Calicivirus – Feline Herpes virus and Calicivirus are highly contagious, and are responsible for 80-90% of infectious upper respiratory tract infections in cats. The vast majority of cats are exposed to one or both of these viruses at some point in their lives. Cats can retain these viruses life-long, and may have intermittent “flare-ups,” causing reoccurring upper respiratory tract infections. Calicivirus is differentiated from Herpes virus in that it may also cause painful oral ulcerations.
  • Panleukopenia Virus – This virus is highly contagious, very resilient in the environment, and causes life-threatening illness in cats. Before this vaccine existed, Panleukopenia was the most serious infectious disease of cats, claiming thousands of lives each year. However, the highly effective vaccines that are now available have made Panleukopenia an uncommon disease. Symptoms may include fever, vomiting, (bloody) diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, anemia, weight loss, dehydration, and possibly neurologic signs. Treatment must be started promptly, and involves intense supportive care to save the life of the cat.

* After the initial vaccine series is complete, we recommend annual vaccinations with RCP and Rabies. We use a non-adjuvanted Rabies vaccine for cats, which means the vaccine is less likely to cause vaccine-associated sarcomas. However, since it is non-adjuvanted, it does not create as much long-lasting immunity and needs to be boosted annually.

** We offer additional non-core vaccines, including Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS vaccines. Your veterinarian may recommend these vaccines based on your cat’s lifestyle.

Who should give my pet vaccines?

Most veterinarians feel that vaccines are most effective when administered at (or through) a veterinary clinic. This is because we are able to ensure the efficacy of each vaccine. That is, we know (and trust) the manufacturer of the vaccine, we keep the vaccines stored at appropriate temperatures prior to administration, we know how to properly administer each vaccine, we can determine when vaccinations might pose a risk to an animal’s health, and we know how to provide emergency treatment to an animal that develops a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine (this is a very rare occurrence, but if not treated immediately, can lead to death). In other words, we are able to ensure the efficacy of each vaccine we administer to your pet, determine if the health status of your pet could interfere with vaccine effectiveness (or vice versa), and provide emergency treatment, should a vaccine reaction occur. When the veterinarian is removed from the equation, the above become variables that can negatively affect vaccine efficacy and the health of your pet.

Erika Neeley, DVM

Cedar Bark Festival

The City of Cedar Park Parks & Recreation Dept. present the the Cedar Bark Festival.  Bring the pets out to Veteran’s Memorial Park on Saturday April 19, 2014 between 10 am and 2 pm.

Come by our booth and meet Dr. Hill and help support the the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter.

Cedar Park Animal Clinic Copyright 2012. Produced by Hot Dog Marketing