Eight Tips for Protecting Your Pet »
From household hazards to insurance, here is a roundup of our best tips for ensuring your pet's safety.
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From household hazards to insurance, here is a roundup of our best tips for ensuring your pet's safety.
From vacation ideas to gardening preparation, check out our September checklist to enjoy the rest of summer and get ready for fall.
Just like the planning that went into your vacation, there is planning needed before boarding your pet. Here are some dos and don'ts to help make the process a little easier.
I began taking my German shepherd, Kirra, to Dr. Fowler in Dec 2012 when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, hemangiosarcoma. Dr. Fowler was highly recommended by a friend who had taken her dog who has cancer as well. Dr. Fowler began with an assessment with all Kirra's current records, xrays, lab reports, etc from conventional vets. She began with creating a diet based around her cancer known as the "cancer diet". It was made of foods that would aid her condition and I that I could make easily at home. Next, she put my dog on certain Chinese herbs that were based around her cancer and what she was lacking (she had become anemic). Kirra was a fussy eater and could sniff out any medicine but Dr. Fowler always had a solution for this! She was always on hand for any questions (and trust me I had MANY). Along with the diet and herbs we did acupuncture and B12 shots on Kirra. Her office was warm and welcoming. The acupuncture treatments would take 30 minutes to an hour and as Kirra would lie there relaxed, Dr. Fowler and I would chat and she would calm me and reassure me with Kirra's treatment, condition and overall health. Kirra was given weeks to months by Auburn Veterinary Hospital. I feel that with Dr. Fowler's diet, herbs, and acupuncture Kirra had a happy and lively 3 months. She was given a grime diagnosis by conventional vets and treated with chemotherapy. Dr Fowler helped treat Kirra's side effects from chemo with acupuncture and it worked, instantly. Kirra once walked in to her office and she had not eaten in 2 days. Dr Fowler tried giving her treats. No go. After hitting appetite stimulant points on Kirra with acupuncture, right after she ate up all the treats and her appetite came back. Unfortunately with all the treatment with conventional and holistic medicine, the inevitable happened and Kirra began to hemorrhage. All I wanted was for my baby to be comfortable and home when the time came. Dr. Fowler drove an hour and a half to my house and ended my baby's suffering. She made it as peaceful as it could have been. I held her the whole time. Dr. Fowler then made all the arrangements for me and I had to do nothing which was so helpful at such a devastating time. I can not say enough good things about Dr. Fowler. I HIGHLY recommend her and her wonderful services. Since I had started seeing her for Kirra I have recommended her to all my friends and coworkers who have loved animals from cats to horses. She has the BEST bedside manner and truly wants the best for you and your beloved pet. She will be honest with you and that is sometimes hard to hear but it is in the best interest of your beloved pet. Thank you Dr Fowler for making a devastating event peaceful, calm and comforting. She was able to end my baby's suffering so compassionately. Words can not express my gratitude and I am forever grateful. Kirra fell asleep peaceful in my arms at our home where she was most comfortable. I felt her last breath and was able to tell her how much I loved her the whole time. That is all I could ever wish for at that time and Dr. Fowler made that possible.
I have been taking my dachshund to Dr. Fowler for about two years. She was having difficulty walking and just seemed like she was in pain and very uncomfortable. My regular vet took x-rays and found an extreme case of arthritis in her neck and moderate in her back. I was referred to Dr. Fowler. After the second treatment, she was holding her head up and able to walk with much less effort..it was amazing. We went from 2 times a month, to once a month and now are on every 2-3 months...I am a believer in her work and care! Three months ago, my pup was basically paralyzed. She apparently jumped or hurt her back somehow and the disc was damaged, almost ruptured. This was the week of January 1st and I called Dr. Fowler in a panic and told her what happened. She told me to bring her in right away. We were so close to having to have surgery, but with her care with accupuncture and herbal treatment AND keeping her as still as we could, she has made an almost 100% recovery. Again, I continue to be amazed with her work and what she has done for us. I have referred her to many of my friends and will continue to do so. The results speak for themselves!
Dr. Fowler is an excellent vet. She saved my dog, Star, after he got a spinal shock competing in dock diving. He could not feel his rear feet, and was in a lot of pain. The injury also made him unable to continue competing in either agility or in flyball (relay races for dogs). I tried chiropractic and cold laser treatments for Star. They helped a little with the pain, but he still could not feel his rear feet. Dr. Fowler did acupuncture on him 3 times and he was back to normal. She helped him regenerate the injured nerves. I had two other vets tell me that Star would never recover from this injury, as injury to spinal nerves is usually not reversible. Star went back to competing in AKC agility and completed his Excellent level titles. He also resumed competing in flyball and got his NAFA flyball &quot;championship&quot;, the ONYX. I totally credit Dr. Fowlers care for the fact that Star is feeling good and that he is fully recovered. My pomeranian recently injured a hamstring doing flyball - I'm going to take him to Dr. Fowler also.
Choosing the right vet for your pet can be tough. After all, your furry friend can't tell you how he or she feels about the doctor. Even though you're not the one treated by the vet, whoever your animal sees is obviously your decision. Since many veterinary diseases and injuries can turn into emergencies very quickly, it's important to have a go-to vet. This way, you can ensure you'll know whom to see when your animal needs care.
Speak to your friends and family about vets who've treated their pets. You can even talk to your groomer or an animal shelter worker for referrals. When you visit the clinics you've been referred to, check that the facility is clean, animals are separated and the staff is calm and courteous. Not all clinics are American Animal Hospital Association accredited. This accreditation isn't a legal necessity, though a clinic that's AAHA-accredited is guaranteed to offer high-quality medical care. To receive accreditation, the clinic has to meet the AAHA's standards in the areas of facility, equipment and quality care.
If you're looking for a specialist, you want to make sure he or she is board-certified to practice in that specific area of animal medicine. You'll want to make sure your vet is also convenient to visit, so there are factors to take into account.
The type of animal you own should play a part in which vet you choose as well. While your options are vast if you have a dog or cat, you may have to visit an avian clinic for your bird or an exotics clinic for your snake.
Just as there are many types of doctors, there are many types of vets. Some focus on livestock or house pets, while others may specialize in dentistry or surgery. They may work in a veterinary clinic or zoo, working specifically with the animals housed there, or travel to farms to work with livestock. Since horse racing and other equestrian activities are so popular, some vets are trained to work just with horses.
Diseases, like malaria and yellow fever are also transmitted through animals. Some vets have insight to diseases that affect both humans and animals. Vets have contributed to the treatment and cure of many diseases that plagued both humans and their furry friends.
Government agencies employ veterinarians as well. When an animal comes from a foreign land, these vets quarantine them and check for any diseases that may be present in an effort to control new diseases that can be brought into the country. Other Specific types of vets include:
A vet assistant works alongside the veterinarian and helps out around the clinic. In some cases, they may assist vets in surgery or restrain struggling animals during tests or lab work. The everyday duties of a veterinary assistant include; monitoring and caring for animals after surgery, keeping medical records, cleaning animals' teeth, feeding and bathing them, cleaning cages, sterilizing surgical equipment, giving animals medication, collecting samples for testing and performing laboratory tests, and offering grief counseling to pet owners.
It's a good idea to bring your pet to the vet regularly. This way, he or she becomes familiar and comfortable with the care providers, and you can stay on top of your pet's preventative care. If the animal is small enough, bring it to the office in a carrier. Just as you visit the doctor for a yearly check up, you should bring in your pet for regular check ups as well. During a routine veterinary visit, the vet will probably begin by asking you if there have been any changes in your pet's behavior or habits.
The vet will then take your pet's vitals, like weight, temperature, pulse and respiration rate, and perform a physical examination of the pet. During a physical exam, the vet checks the abdomen for swollen organs, and the legs, feet and joints for any potential problems. Depending on the age, breed or condition of your pet, your veterinarian may also check the eyes, ears and mouth.
When your vet conducts a full body examination, he or she will check out your pet's coat and skin, noting any hair loss, itchy spots or lumps. Keep note of your animal's shedding habits so you can let the vet know if anything seems abnormal. The vet will check for parasites, fleas, ticks, mites and heartworms as well.
Vaccinations are also important to your pet, especially if you have a cat or a dog, and your vet will suggest that you make sure they're current. Keeping up to date with vaccinations can prevent your furry friend from getting distemper, rabies, hepatitis and lyme disease. Some vaccinations last longer than others, so speak to your doctor about staying caught up with your animal's shots.
Just like your own health insurance, you want to make sure your animal is covered before he or she needs veterinary services. Some common animal surgeries can cost thousands of dollars, and you don't want to end up having to foot a surprise bill that costs more than your paycheck.
There's no set price for pet health insurance. Costs can depend on factors such as where you live, the age and breed of your pet, and how much coverage you want. Before you take out a pet insurance policy, you'll want to meet with your vet to go over what he or she thinks your animal should be covered for. Many vets believe that you should make sure cancer, chronic disease, hereditary and congenital disease, and common breed-related medical conditions are all addressed in your policy.
Some pet owners can't afford insurance for their pet, so there are other options to make paying for surprise pet visits as easy as possible. Some pet stores have wellness plans - which tend to be much cheaper than an insurance policy - that offer shots, check ups, screenings and discounts on various procedures your pet may need. A lot of veterinary offices offer payment plans for pricey procedures as well, as long as you have decent credit history. For a last-ditch option, there are even privately funded organizations that offer pet owners financial aid for their pet's treatments.