With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Fall season is in full bloom. That means temperatures are cooling, leaves are changing, feasts are cooking and pumpkin flavored everything is on the menu. It’s a beautiful time of year when friends and family, both two-legged and four, come together to enjoy all the festivities that the season has to offer. And, for all of us here in Florida, the season can come and go in the blink of an eye.Read more »
We all know that a strong leash or a secure fence is the safest choice for our furry sidekicks. Unfortunately, even the most well-behaved dogs can get away from us from time to time. What’s even worse, though, is when the adventuresome nature of our canine companions leads them to be hit by a car. Watching the event happen and comforting your pet through the aftermath is a terribly stressful experience, and while we hope that you and your pet never have to endure this, we hope to prepare you “just in case”.Read more »
Veterinarians have come to rely on a variety of diagnostic tools. Just like you’ve seen in human medicine, we use blood tests, urinalysis, radiographs, CT scans, MRI, and so much more. Ultrasound, specifically, has become very useful to us, because it’s a non-invasive way to get a very quick and accurate “peek” into our patients’ overall health. Tools like this make all the difference in veterinary medicine. After all, our patients can’t speak to us, and we should take advantage of every opportunity we have to gather information that will help us restore your pet’s health. Below are some of the most common uses for veterinary ultrasound.Read more »
Dog Daycare in Haines City, Florida
Has your best friend become bored or anxious when you leave for work? Have you considered trading in that loneliness for a bit of playtime with other pets during the day?
Daycare for dogs may be the solution you’ve been searching for.
It’s a fact that dogs are pack animals, and leaving them alone all day while you go to work can lead them to feel pretty down in the dumps. If you’re reading this, you’ve surely noticed something along those lines. A lonely dog often develops behavioral issues, poor eating habits, low energy, and more. They’re all the same signs you might notice in a human companion who feels lonely and depressed.
Your dog does not have to spend his days alone!
What to Expect From Your First Visit to Dog Daycare
Doggie daycare is fun! Your pup is likely to be very excitable on his or her first few visits, and that’s okay. We’ll carefully introduce both of you to your new, unfamiliar surroundings. Before you know it, our doggie daycare facilities will feel like your second home! A few steps to prepare for include:
- Allow some extra time in your schedule for your first time dropping off. It may take some time for your pup to become acclimated, and the staff may have some questions for you.
- You should also allow some extra time after you pick up your pet, in order for the staff to give you a report of how the day went. Also keep in mind that several pet parents will be picking up, so that may also lead to delays.
- Remember that when you use our daycare, your pets are being cared for by skilled and experienced veterinary staff members. They’re safe and sound at HOFAH!
If your pup is on any regular medications, has a particular health condition that you think we should know about, or has any other issues that you think may affect his experience at dog daycare, you can tell us all about it during intake. Our team will make every effort to make you feel comfortable before you go. We want you to know that your beloved sidekick is in good hands!
Are you ready to learn more about our Haines City dog daycare? Give us a call at 863-421-2338 to learn more!
With the warmer weather creeping in, it is important to keep yourself, as well as your pets as cool as possible. This is something that many pet owners have to consider when they have pets, especially those with heavy coats. Since we haven’t written on heat stroke in a while, we thought we’d offer a quick refresher. Remember – when in doubt, give us a call!
Signs to Watch For in Pets
Here are the top signs to watch for in pets when the hot weather rolls around. Keeping an eye on them when they’re outside or inside a hot house is the best way to go about knowing whether or not they have heat stroke or exhaustion.
- Excessive panting is one of the biggest signs of having an overheated pet.
- Discomfort is a common symptom that can be seen with pets. They may seem like they cannot get comfortable, with heavy breathing.
- Pale gums or gums that are excessively red. The tongue may be very red, as well.
- Vomiting or diarrhea or both can be noticed in a pet that is going through heat stroke.
- Coma or lethargy is a common symptom that is normally seen in animals that are suffering from heat stroke.
- Depression can be from anything, but when it is hot out and the above signs are noticed, this can be another sign that comes with them.
Tips for Cooling Pets Down in the Summer
It is also a good idea to have tips that help you cool your pets down in the summer months. This way, you can reduce the chance of having a pet that overheats because of the hot summer sun.
- Always provide fresh water to your pet throughout the day. Giving them unlimited access to the cool water can ensure that they have a way to hydrate and stay cool.
- Keep pets in the shade, air conditioning or central air part of the home.
- Don’t leave pets in a hot car!
- Give your pet a small pool to cool off in, spray them with a hose or do other water activities with them throughout the day.
- Try to refrain from excessive exercise and activity in the hot sun. Take walks or play fetch after the sun has gone down and it is a bit cooler out.
- Avoid places where the hot sun may seem hotter than it is, such as asphalt surfaces and other areas. These can actually make the dog feel hotter, and may even burn their paws.
If you suspect that your pet is overheating, it is crucial that you seek out immediate medical care for them. A pet can easily die from being too hot during the summer months if they’re not properly treated right away. Contact the nearest vet’s office and speak with them about the next steps to take. Never submerge your pet into ice cold water when they seem to overheat, as this can put them into shock.
Contact a member of the HOFAH team for more information about your pets and this summer. You want to make sure that you have the best possible advice, so that everyone can stay cool and comfortable.
Featured image courtesy of Pixabay under Creative Commons license 0.
Many people that own dogs have probably heard of the disease known as Parvo. However, not many people know what it is or why it is so dangerous. If you’re a new dog owner, then you’re probably wondering the same thing. It is important to know the facts regarding Parvo and why it is dangerous. Not only is this a highly contagious K9 disease, but it is also highly life-threatening to those dogs that do get it.
What is Parvo?
Parvo is an infection and viral illness. One type of Parvovirus attacks the intestinal tract of the dog, while another attacks the heart. The most common being the intestinal. The virus attacks the separating cells in the body, as well as the white blood cells. The majority of the cases seen are in puppies 6 weeks to 6 months of age. Vaccination at a young age in puppies has drastically reduced the amount of puppies that catch the virus.
Symptoms of Parvovirus
Paying attention to these warning signs and symptoms can help reduce the chances of having your pup fall victim to this deadly disease.
- Severe diarrhea that is bloody
- Lack of appetite
- Severe weight loss
Many dogs may cry out in pain due to the illness. They may whimper, not want to take water and eventually will succumb to the symptoms.
It is important to speak with a veterinarian as soon as any of these symptoms are noticed. The sooner your pet receives help, the better chances they have of survival. Those that do survive will have a weakened immune system for some time. However, they will have an immunity against the virus though, it is not a guarantee that the dog will not get the virus again.
Treatment and Prevention
Treatment doesn’t involve a cure. The only way that the Parvovirus can be treated is through treatment of the symptoms. Keeping a dog hydrated, nourished and reducing the chances of secondary infections are a must. However, keep in mind that is common for puppies to die of this disease due to having a weakened immune system. Prognosis for patients with Parvo are generally never good.
Prevention is key for keeping Parvo away. As soon as a puppy reaches 6 weeks, then again at 9 and 12 weeks, they should receive the vaccine against it. This will highly reduce the chances of the puppy catching the virus. Skipping doses or not getting the vaccinations can leave puppies and dogs susceptible to the disease.
Testing is done through a blood test and stool sample. Both of these can detect the virus and show lower levels of white blood cells in the body. Once confirmed, the vet may want to run additional tests or treat the specific symptoms the puppy is having.
Speaking with your veterinarian regarding the Parvovirus vaccination, or if you suspect your puppy has gotten the disease is recommended. They can provide you with more information on the topic, as well as a treatment plan. Early findings of the disease have better outcomes than waiting.
Image courtesy of Pexels under Creative Commons license
It’s always warm in Florida, but this year, there have been record-setting heat waves across the state. While for most people this may be an irritant, for pet owners in the sunshine state, it’s even more grim. Thanks to the crazy heat, those record setting hot days are causing bugs to breed like crazy and thrive. More bugs, more fleas and more potential issues for pet owners trying to keep them at bay and protect their cats and dogs.
Obviously, one of the best ways to protect your home and family from the crazy insect infestation is to keep up maintenance: caulking holes in your home or any areas where your family and pets congregate will at least minimize the chances of these bugs getting in, and eliminate any standing water around your house to minimize the risk of the little bloodsuckers breeding. Also, keep in mind that something as small as the holes in a screen door can let fleas inside to feast on your pets. While the weather may feel great for you, Fido may not have the same opinion as fleas flock to him and use him as a snack pack.
Still, sometimes despite preventative efforts, fleas are inevitable in warmer climates. With the increase in bugs, you may have to take extra measures to keep your pet flea-free and happy. If you notice an influx in fleas in your home or on your pet, first consider a flea bath or a flea dip. Shampoos are effective for a day or so and leave little chemical residue on your pet, but if you need a longer-term solution, flea dips last a week or two and also treat mites and ticks. Talk to your veterinarian before taking this measure; flea dips leave a lot of chemical residue on your pet, so it may not be for everyone!
Flea collars are a typical defense against fleas, but they are limited in their protection. Most flea collars are only effective in the area of the head and neck. They can, however, be utilized in your household cleaning to kill fleas. Try using a flea collar in your vacuum cleaner bags to kill any fleas vacuumed up to help control the increase of these pests.
Also, one of the most effective preventative measures for fleas any time of the year is using a topical or oral flea medication as recommended by your veterinarian. Popular brand names include Advantage, Frontline, and Sentinel – all medications that can be used in conjunction with alternative flea treatments to keep your little, furry family members happy, healthy and flea-free during this time. If you have any questions or think your pet may be suffering from a flea allergy, consult your veterinarian.
In Florida’s humid, subtropical climate, there are a number of issues to be on the lookout for when it comes to your pet’s well being. One you may not consider as much as others – Allergies. Yes, pets get them too, and yes, it can become a problem if you’re not on the lookout for symptoms to keep your little guys healthy and happy. Unlike states that get more variety in their seasons, Florida pet owners should constantly be on the lookout for signs of a more serious issue, especially when potential symptoms can’t be chalked up to being seasonal inhalant allergies. But how do you know it isn’t just a case of the sniffles?
If you aren’t sure whether your pet has a cold or is suffering from more serious and persistent allergies, look out for some of the most common signs; excessive scratching, chewing or licking can be an indicator of fleas (side note: a flea allergy is also something to be on the lookout for, so be aware), but if it’s combined with any other symptoms, talk to your veterinarian. Other symptoms include the obvious, such as coughing, wheezing and sneezing, but can also include everything from hair loss, raw or inflamed skin areas, foot licking and chewing, and pawing at their ears (recurring ear infections are a common sign as well, so take them in for frequent checkups!).
So, you’ve identified your pet’s allergy problem. Now what? You should immediately schedule an appointment and allergy evaluation. Treatment depends on the type of allergy, and with pets, there are a few different categories these can fall into:
Aside from symptoms like skin problems or ear infections, animals suffering from food allergies may have diarrhea; it’s not pretty, but is one of the best indicators that they are sensitive or allergic to the protein in their food. Simply changing up your cat or dog’s pet food brand may not be enough to stop the allergy, however, but there is an easy solution to these types of allergies. A visit to the vet and a period of observation under a specially prescribed diet will usually do the trick.
Just as some people are allergic to latex, animals can be allergic to certain surface substances. Something as small as the fibers in their favorite dog blanket or the plastic in the cat’s drinking bowl can cause irritation. Contact allergies are some of the easiest to treat, as the irritant in question just needs to be removed, but identifying the irritant can take a lot of time and observation.
Fleas are a constant problem in a warmer environments, so a flea allergy is something to constantly be on the lookout for. Flea saliva is incredibly allergenic and animals with any type of allergies are 75-90% more likely to be affected by these flea allergens. A major indicator of a flea allergy: look where your pet is scratching. If they are itching mostly over the back half of their body (like their tail and hindquarters), look into upping your flea control game and consult your local vet.
Pets in Florida aren’t typically subjected to what we call seasonal allergies (it’s more year-round in this climate), but they can become prone to allergies from pollen, dust mites, mold and mildew. Next to flea allergies, inhalant allergies are the most commonly diagnosed and are usually exhibited with skin and ear itching as well as coughing and sneezing. To identify inhalant allergies, your pet will need to undergo skin or blood tests, but treatment is generally easy to apply once correctly identified.
We’ve covered some of the basics when it comes to pet boarding, but what about those who choose to travel with their furry friends? You’re in luck: Florida is full of pet-friendly resorts. If you can’t bear to part with your pets for that trip to the beach or even for that overnight business trip, we’ve rounded up some of the best and most pet friendly places to stay for some of Florida’s top destinations:
Destination Key West:
This hotel, unlike other options, accepts not just dogs, but cats, birds, and most other pets with prior hotel approval. With reasonable fees (it’s only $20 additional a night per pet) and a guaranteed room with a pool view, you and your pet can lounge by the water, frolic on the beach and sightsee together. Not to mention it still has great amenities for humans, like WiFi and free breakfast!
Destination Sanibel Island:
For pet owners looking to bring pets that are a little bigger to play in the sun and sand, there’s the Tropical Winds Beachfront Motel and Cottages. Tropical Winds allows guests to bring two pets, as well, but with a higher weight limit: as long as your furry friend is under 60 lbs, it’s only an additional $20 per pet, per night. Bonus: the beachfront motel offers screened in porch options, so if you want to keep a closer eye on your pet as they take in the ocean air, you can rest easy knowing they can’t wander far without you!
Orlando is one of the top destinations in Florida, partially because of theme parks like Disney and Universal Studios, so finding a pet friendly place to stay can be a challenge. Luckily, there are options like La Quinta Inn, which is only a half mile from Universal Studios. Besides the convenience of being right by Universal Studios (not to mention the free shuttle rides between the theme park and La Quinta Inn), this hotel allows guests to bring up to two pets, under 50 lbs, for no additional fee. For the value, you really can’t beat it, especially if you want to bring the entire family on your family vacation!
Destination Daytona Beach:
Daytona Beach is a popular Florida location to spend some time in the surf, but for those who enjoy retiring for the night in a more relaxing environment where their pet is welcome, The Shores Resort & Spa is a great alternative. The resort accommodates up to two pets, under 50 lbs, for an additional pet fee of $64 a room. This resort is a bit more cost effective per pet than those charging a per-pet rental fee. With a gorgeous view of the beach, it’s hard to resist those types of perks with your pet.
Destination Saint Augustine:
Perhaps no resort in Saint Augustine offers the kind of pet-friendly environment that you’ll find at the Saint Augustine Beach House. The Beach House allows guests to bring up to three pets of any size for an additional $25 per pet, and goes above and beyond by offering water bowls, pet treats, waste bag stations and even a pet bed if you like! Located beachfront, all pets on a leash are welcome to join you in the sand, and the views are breathtaking. Consider it next time you plan a visit!