News From Our Farmington, Missouri Veterinary Practice

The veterinarians and staff at the Veterinary Clinic of the Mineral Area are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

 

A History of Your Pet's Nature - Animal Origins
 
Animals have always been relevant to humans, even before they became pets. They were counted on to provide food, transportation, and clothing. Even though these purposes still exist today, the role of most animals has changed. Let’s look at how this relationship has evolved.
 
Prehistoric Times
The relationship between animals and man was mainly a hunter and prey combination. People only viewed animals for their clothing and food.
 
The first animal to be seen outside of these purposes was the wolf. Humans found that the young cubs would listen to humans when trained. They were used for herding, guarding and hunting.
 
Ancient Civilizations
As humans shifted from being hunters to farmers, working dogs were valued more. This is also the time when cats started to play a role in the equation. They were used to protect the grain stores, barns, and houses from mice. Pet ownership was common among the noble and ruling classes. Murals depict the wealthy with animals. Slowly, these animals became companions instead of workers.
 
The Middle Ages
During these years, lap dogs became popular among noble women. The male nobles spent more of their attention on the useful animals like falcons and hunting hounds.
 
At the time, the Christian church didn’t believe in keeping pets. They thought that they were to be used for food to feed the poor. It’s possible that this stemmed from the fear of pagan worship and the use of animals. This continued until animals started to be seen as good fortune.
 
Pet Keeping
Keeping pets wasn’t accepted on a larger scale in Europe until the late 1600s. It almost a hundred years later before the middle class started having pets.
 
Today, pets have multiple roles in society. They are companions, helpers and an indication of status. They also aid people in activities they can’t do for themselves, such as seeing-eye dogs. Whatever your purpose for having a pet, it’s important that you value the bond and relationship that has taken so many years to cultivate.
Fun in the Fall – Activities in Autumn With Your Pet
As the leaves begin to change colors and the weather turns cooler, there are lots of activities to enjoy with your pet. Don’t go alone – bring your best friend with you.
 
Go to an Apple Orchard
Apples are ready to be picked, so you’ll find an abundance of apple orchards to visit. Most of them allow dogs and it’s a great way to enjoy the weather together. Apples are a great treat for you to share with your pet as they clean your dog’s teeth and make their breath fresh. Just be careful with the core and seeds because they are a choking concern and toxic.
 
Go Trick-Or-Treating
Halloween isn’t just for kids – your pet looks adorable dressed up. Head out with the kids and your pets to do some trick-or-treating. Carry some extra treats with you for other animals along the way.
 
 
Pumpkin Picking
Just like apple orchards, most pumpkin patches don’t mind dogs. Who knows – your dog might just have an eye for the best pumpkin in the patch. When you are ready to sit down to some homemade pumpkin pie, don’t forget your dog. They can have a small amount of pumpkin puree in their food. It’s great for their digestive system and offers lots of fiber.
 
Tailgating
With football season getting into full swing, you are sure to be invited to a tailgating party. Of course, your pet will be the hit of the get-together, so be sure to bring them along. Don’t forget their favorite toys and food as well.
 
Take a Hike
Exercise is great for you and your dog, so why not do it together? While your dog won’t see all the colors, they will recognize the different smells and activity. Look for some local events that you and your dog can walk in together as well.
 
Final Thoughts
Whatever you do this fall, make sure you include your pets. They deserve to enjoy the magic of the season change with you. Get outside and enjoy the fresh, crisp weather while you can.

 

Clipping Your Pet's Nails
Pet owners vary in their level of comfort in clipping the nails of their dog, cat, rabbit or bird. But it is necessary to regularly clip nails to help maintain health and comfort. Nails which are uncared for can break or tear, and can affect the animal's ability to move about comfortably or cause the animal to injure itself when scratching. If you are uncomfortable clipping the animal's nails yourself, your vet or groomer can do this for you.
 
 
If you decide to do it yourself, here are a few tips:
 
• Remember, the nail is living tissue. Do not clip too close to the quick. If this occurs, the animal will experience pain and the nail will bleed.
 
• There are two types of nail clippers available: the scissor type (which resembles traditional scissors) or the guillotine type (which surrounds the whole nail). Both are effective. Choose the one that is most comfortable for you and your pet.
 
• Many animals resist nail clipping. One way to get them accustomed to it is to handle their paws or feet from a very early age.
 
• Maintain your pet's nail clippers so that they're sharp. A dull blade and crush and fracture the nail, which is painful for your pet.
Summer Exacerbates Your Pet’s Breathing Problems

 

With summer in the air, it’s getting particularly hard for some animals to breath. This is especially the case for short-nosed – or flat-faced dogs such as the Pekingese, pug, bulldog, boxer, Shih Tzu, and Chihuahua. However, these airway problems, which are typically due to narrow nostrils, a long soft palate or collapsed voice box, can also affect our feline friends, such as Himalayans and exotic shorthairs. This condition (known as the Brachycephalic airway syndrome) is largely due to the dog or cat’s unique head shape, so there isn’t much you can do to entirely avoid it.
 
However, there are certain factors that can increase the risk and further complicate their breathing condition. These include:
 
Allergies
Obesity
Over-excitement
Exercise: Panting may also naturally increase in the summer months as the weather gets hotter and more humid.
 
Treatment options largely depend on the symptoms exhibited by your dog or cat. In some cases, surgical procedures may be your pet’s best option. So don’t let the summer heat waves stop your pet from getting a breath of fresh air. For more information about symptoms and treatments, talk to your local veterinarian.
Deadly Toxins: How To Keep Your Pet Safe
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has compiled a list of toxins commonly ingested by pets and for the first time ever, over-the-counter-medications proves the most problematic. Help keep your pet happy and healthy be keeping these dangerous items away from your pet.
 
 
Common potential pet toxins include:
 
Over-the-counter medications for humans - Acetaminophen, ibuprofen and herbal supplements were some of the most frequently ingested by pets
 
Prescription medications for humans - Heart medications, antidepressants, and painkillers were the most frequently ingested
 
Insecticides - Pet owners are encouraged to read the label of insecticides used in the yard and the home before possibly exposing pets to them
 
Food for humans - Garlic, onions, grapes, alcohol, and xylitol are just a few of the many human foods that can be poisonous for dogs and other pets.
 
Household products - These include cleaning supplies, paint and fire logs
 
Veterinary medications - Pet owners should be cautious with veterinary medication, especially any chewable medication which is appealing to pets.
 
Chocolate - Chocolate, especially dark and baking chocolate, is extremely dangerous to pets if ingested.
 
Plants - Keeping some greenery inside helps with maintaining fresh air within your house, but they can also be toxic to pet, especially cats. Before adding plants to your household, check to see if they could be toxic to your pet.
 
Rodenticides - Using rodent poisons to rid your house of mice or rats is a common enough practice but those poisons also pose a potential hazard to your pets. Make sure to keep them out of reach so your pet doesn't accidentally ingest those poisons.
 
Lawn and Garden Products - While maintaining your yard, be aware of herbicides and fungicides and your pets. They can be dangerous and potentially lethal if ingested. 
 
If your pet ingests something it shouldn’t, contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
Celebrity Pets: Chances Are They’re Wealthier Than You
Feel like Grumpy Cat is everywhere these days? It’s not just you.
 
The famously dour feline has had a big few years since her owner posted her on Reddit in 2012. With multiple books, licensed product lines, pet food endorsement deals and even a starring role in a made-for-TV-movie, Grumpy Cat has transformed from the star of a popular YouTube video to a full-fledged brand. From TV to the big stage, Grumpy Cat even had a Broadway debut in Cats in October 2016 for a one night only appearance.
 
Grumpy Cat’s owner won’t say how much the cat has made, but one tabloid pegged the figure at $100 million (a figure the owner denies). And yet, it’s still not enough to make Grumpy Cat smile.
 
 
Grumpy Cat isn’t the only living meme raking in dough. Boo, the Pomeranian dog, has signed off on licensing deals with companies like Crocs, published three books and secured a spokesdog gig with Virgin America Airlines. Of course, fame has a dark side: like many celebrities before him, he was the subject of a death hoax. Not to worry – Boo is alive and well.
 
Other rich pets include Chris P. Bacon, a pig who was born without the use of his hind legs who has learned to get around on wheel legs built out of toys by his owner; Lil’ Bub, a cat whose underdeveloped jaw gives him a permanent slack-jawed expression; and Tuna, a Chihuahua with an overbite that gives the pup a permanent expression somewhere between a grin and grimace. All three have millions of social media followers, book deals, product lines and endorsement deals that keep them raking in cash hand over paw.
 
Think your pet has what it takes to be the next A-list meme? Only one way to find out – break out the camera and get something cute on YouTube or post on Reddit. The good news for you is that it doesn’t look like the Internet’s love of animals is going away any time soon.
Emergency Kit For Your Pet
Of course, the best way to handle emergency situations is to avoid them by keeping your pet safe and healthy. However, in spite of your best efforts, accidents can happen. Here are some tips to consider before you need to use them.
 
 
Always keep within reach the phone numbers for your veterinarian, emergency clinic, poison control center, etc. Keep a copy of your pet's health records where you can easily find them. You may also want to invest in a book that covers first aid procedures. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations. For example, the ASPCA's Complete Dog Care Manual and Complete Cat Care Manual have excellent information on first aid principles, as well as what to do in case of traffic injury. The book also contains useful information on how to perform artificial respiration and what steps to follow in case of poisoning, burns, insect bites, etc.
 
Have a pet carrier so you can safely transport your pet to an emergency clinic or veterinary hospital. Remember: An injured or ill pet may not act like its normal, sweet-tempered self. Handle the pet with care so you don't get bitten or scratched and need emergency treatment yourself!
 
Keep an emergency kit on hand with such items as:
 
• Bandages
• Adhesive tape
• Cotton
• Antiseptic cream
• Sterile dressings
• Gauze
• Thermometer
• Tweezers
• Scissors
• Blanket
How Do Cats Really Feel About Their Human Friends?

Cats are some of the most wondrous housemates we have. They are clearly more independent than about any other animal you can own and tend to do things their own way. Where dogs are our loyal companions, cats are more like a roommate that does their own thing most of the time. This brings many owners to wonder what their cats really think and feel towards them. Some people even argue that cats may not see humans as anything more than a resource. Others argue that our cats are trying to take care of us because they don’t believe we can properly hunt. So, what’s the truth behind our pets’ actions?


A Different Language

All animals speak a widely different language than we do. Instead of using words a lot of the animal kingdom makes their communication known through posture and body movements. For example, one of the most common signs of affection by a cat is a slow blink. As humans, we would never blink at someone to say “I like you.” To understand an animal and what they are thinking you really must take a look into their psychology. A lot of scientists have done this by observing cats in social settings to come to conclusions about the meaning behind their actions.

A big chunk of figuring out how our cat feels about us is to observe how they act with us in comparison to other cats. If you have ever seen a bonded pair of cats you may notice that they often sleep together or play together. When cats don’t like each other, they make it insanely apparent. Cats will do all types of things when they don’t like you such as try to claim territory by marking it or verbally threats such as hissing or spitting. These signs are clear to most people that you should pack off and give your cat some space. Other than these signs those most owners can be rather clueless to the positive signs a cat tries to put off as these may be subtler or misunderstood than actions that clearly represent hostility.


How Do I Tell If They Like Me?

A cat that has affection for you will show quite a few signs. Cats, as it turns out really, don’t see us differently like dogs do. Most dogs recognize that we are a separate species and treat us differently than they would other dogs. Cats, on the other hand, treat us no different than other cats. This means that cats either can’t identify us as anything but big felines or they view humans as being on the exact same level as them. Either way, this means that they don’t change their behavior between you and another cat that they like.

Cats treat us much like they treat their mom or their own kittens. A cat the fancies us will sleep with us and takes the time to try and groom us. That means that annoying part of the day where you feel your cat's sandy tongue on your hand is a big sign of affection. Cats that like you will also knead on you often or rub against your legs when you're standing up. This is all behavior that relates back to what they learned from kitten hood in some way. In comparison, it's like a hug to show affection.


What is All This Meowing Then?

Cats in the wild don’t meow to communicate with each other much, if at all, meaning that these sounds and signals are reserved specifically for humans. As it turns out cats have sort of figured out how to best make us respond based on the sounds they make. This is why so many owners can tell what their cats want by the type of meow they are putting out. A cat learns how to get the reaction that they want out of their actions and keeps rolling with it. In a way, they are kind of training us to come and help them out. It’s an interesting dynamic that we don’t see with any other pets. If a cat does an action and you don’t react, however, they will probably switch to another tactic until they find out what makes you tick.

Cats are fascinating creatures that provide love, laughs and snuggles to any size family. It is important to always be mindful of how pets are responding to your actions, tone of voice and more. If you are interested in adopting a cat, visit a local shelter and find a cat whose personality goes along perfectly with yours!

National Pet Memorial Day

 

How to participate in National Pet Memorial Day



On the second Sunday of September each year, we celebrate National Pet Memorial Day. It’s a time to look back with love at our dog and cat companions whose paws have walked the Earth. September 10, 2017, is the day this year when pet lovers can honor their lost friends and remember the love and joy they shared with their pets. Pets are cherished family members, and often our best friends. We love our fur babies and value their importance just as much as any family member. National Pet Memorial Day is a day of remembrance dedicated specifically to those beloved pets and the role they played in your life.

Honoring your pet is a beautiful way to pay tribute to the life that you shared. You don’t have to plan something elaborate; the point is to dedicate the time to sit down and think about the impact this wonderful animal had in your life.
Volunteer in a Pet’s Honor

Contribute or volunteer with an animal protection group or charity in honor of your pet. Choose an organization that focuses on your animal's breed.

Volunteers are always needed at animal shelters, rescue groups, and humane societies. Consider a donation drive to provide a pet-friendly organization blankets, food, and collars. Any gesture you make will be appreciated. Helping animals in need will lighten your sorrow.

Create a Living Memorial

Many people like to have a memorial they can visit, so a popular tradition is to plant a tree or shrub. One popular tradition is to plant a tree as a living memorial. The Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree in honor of your pet and issue you a personalized certificate identifying where the tree was planted. As the tree grows, you’ll have the satisfaction of helping the environment and seeing your pet grow with it.

Visit your Pet

Visit the burial site and make a tribute by decorating it with your pet’s favorite thing. Bring a blanket or toy, tell a story, relive a favorite playtime memory, light a candle or read a special poem or book. You could even play a video while you visit to remind you of good days.

Share Memories

Post a favorite memory on social media and share it with others by tagging it with #NationalPetMemorialDay. The International Association of Pet Cemeteries hosts a site where you can share an online memorial for your pet if you choose. If you lost your pet suddenly, try to keep your thoughts positive for others who might be grieving on that special day. National Pet Memorial Day doesn’t have to be a lonely affair; send sympathy cards to your friends who suffered the loss of a pet.

Reflect

Photographs capture the wonderful times you shared with your pet. Refresh your memories by browsing through a collection, or make a scrapbook of special times. As time goes by it will help to turn sadness into smiles as you take a walk down memory lane. Another way is to keep a favorite toy in a special place to revisit playtimes. These items were very important to your pet and will hold fond memories that they often provide some emotional relief.

Write a Story

We were all struck by the love in the story of Marley and Me. Create a personal tribute for your pet by writing short stories about how your pet enriched your life. Add in some pictures and a favorite toy to capture details of the story. Bind it all together as a tribute to the life you shared.

Artistic Tribute

Create or ask someone make a custom piece of art for you. You could get a tattoo of their birthdate or nickname, choose jewelry with paw prints, or frame a picture. There are so many ways to express your love for a pet that has passed away.

National Pet Memorial Day is a day for you to remember how much impact your pet had on your life. Take the time to grieve if you haven’t yet had the chance. Online support groups can be very helpful if you need an understanding shoulder to process your loss.
 

Dogs and Cats Can Donate Blood

You may have donated blood, but did you know that dogs and cats can donate blood too? During surgeries, illness or injury, veterinarians need the blood of other pets to potentially save a cat or dog who is in the hospital. According to a recent Huffington Post article, there are a few requirements for a cat or dog to be able to donate blood.

Your dog or cat may be eligible to donate blood if they meet the following requirements:

• Be between the ages of one and nine
• Dogs must be 50 lbs. or more
• Cats must be 10 lbs. or more
• Cats must be solely indoor pets
• Never had a transfusion
• Not used for breeding
• Not on any long-term medication

Some of these requirements may vary depending on the state and blood bank, so it is important to check every hospital or donation center in your area individually. During every donation, a dog will donate approximately two cups, or one pint at each donation. A cat will donate approximately two ounces. When a dog donates blood just one time, it can help save the lives of up to four dogs! Pets get rewarded for their good deed with food, treats, toys and of course, belly rubs. Learn more with the video and article below.
 

Huffington Post (Dogs Can Donate Blood, Too)

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