Animal Teeth Cleaning is an Important Part of Health

Promoting Healthy Teeth Daily

 

There are several ways to keep your dog or cat’s teeth healthy between visits to your pet dentist for animal teeth cleaning.

Feed your pet kibble instead of semi-solid or wet food. The dry kibble cleans his teeth when it breaks into small particles as it is chewed to scrub teeth and gums.

Provide your dog or cat with chew toys. The act of chewing on something, especially long periods at a time, scrapes plaque and dirt away from his teeth and gums to promote a healthy mouth.

Look for dental chews for your pet with the “VOHC-approved” stamp on them. These products meet the teeth cleaning standards of the Veterinary Oral Health Council and are helpful in removing unwanted buildup of food or plaque from teeth and gums.

 

Daily Tooth Brushing

 

Cats and dogs should ideally have their teeth brushed daily to obtain good oral hygiene. You should start when your pet is very young, so they accept this as part of a daily routine. If you can’t brush their teeth daily, try for at least several times a week. Purchase toothpaste formulated for your dog or cat at a pet store. They are made with chicken or beef flavoring to be palatable to pets. Choose a pet toothbrush and place a small bead of the pet toothpaste on it. Let your pet lick it off and enjoy the flavor. Start by brushing the front teeth with gentle circular motions and move to the rear as your pet allows you. It can take some patience and time to get your pet acclimated to this new idea.

 

Pet Mouth Examination

 

A close examination of your pet’s mouth, teeth and gums can alert you to a problem requiring a visit to your pet hospital for dental issues. The first sign of tooth decay is when your pet has a gum condition, such as gingivitis is his breath. If your pet’s mouth has a very strong or foul odor, he needs to see your veterinarian. Lifting your pet’s lips gently allows examining his gums. The gums should be pink and firm. Abnormal gums are white, red or swollen. The teeth should not have brown tartar on them and teeth should not be loose or broken.

 

These signs are an indication that your pet needs to see his dentist:

 

Difficulty chewing food

Drooling excessively

Pawing at his mouth

Red, swollen gums

White Ulcers on his tongue or gums

Loose teeth

Pus anywhere in the mouth

A dark red line along the gum line

 

At the first sign of swelling, take your pet to your veterinarian to treat gum disease so he can retain his teeth, be able to eat kibble and live a happy and healthy lifestyle.

 

Fun Dog Names | University Animal Hospital NYC

Last night I watched Mike White’s hilarious and bizarrely somber 2007 comedy “Year of the Dog” and besides finding myself loving the character Molly Shannon perfected in “Peggy” I also found myself really digging the names of the various dogs (“Pencil” and “Valentine,” to name two) that she interacted with throughout the film. In recent years dog names have trended more towards cutesy names people would otherwise give their kids.

Working in the dog-care field I’ve met thousands of dogs and cats and I can say I rarely hear a name that’s incredibly original. Sure Ella, Stella and Bella are cute names but they’ve become so common in the pet world that nothing stands out. I recall meeting a dog several years back named “Iggy Von Bacon Bits III” and to this day I remember him quite well. I recall a time when people used to pick a name that fit the personality of their pet or fit his or her look.

According to some of my internet research these are

the most popular dog names of 2015

Female: Bella, Lucy, Daisy, Molly, Lola, Sophie, Sadie, Maggie, Chloe, Bailey

Male: Max, Buddy, Charlie, Jack, Cooper, Rocky, Toby, Tucker, Jake, Bear

Those names are all adorable and I can think of several dogs and cats (past pets of my own included) that had names from those lists.

Still I can’t help but wonder how much more fun everything would be if people gave their pets names that were a little more exciting or absurd. Imagine strolling along the streets of the Upper East Side of Manhattan and hearing someone call out “Oompa Loompa! Stop licking the pavement!”

I’m going to compile my own list of fun dog names I’d like to see given to animals soon. These names are gender neutral because gender roles are absurd. Imagine your male or female future pet with any of the following names and see the potential for fun and hilarity. I’ll refrain from explaining why these names are, in general, the best possible names for your dog or cat and leave it ambiguous. It’s just funnier that way.

Fun Dog Names

1. “Hilaryswank” (yes, one word)

 

 

2. “Cucumber”

 

3. “Sigourneyweaver” (again, one word) (also will accept “Zuul” or “Ripley” and since he’s pictured “billmurray”)

 

 

4. “USB”

 

5. “Garol”

6. “Stove”

 

7. “Hashtag” or “#”

 

8. “BobBarker”

 

9. “DoloresVanCartier” (will also accept “OdaMaeBrown,” each one word)

 

 

10. “Idon’tbelieveinfairies” (one word)

11. “Seinfeld”

 

12. “Cottonweary” (or “Galeweathers” — one word)

 

13. “Cat Stevens” (for a Dog only. For your cat = “Dog, The Bounty Hunter”)

 

14. “Selfie” (let’s be honest, this is a much better cat name)

15. “Wife,” “Husband” or “Life Partner” (cause let’s be honest… for some of us this is looking likely)

 

16. “2/2”

17. “Coffee_Bean” (with underscore)

18. “Pennsatucky”

 

19. “Walter White” or “Jesse Pinkman” or “Nancy Botwin” “Don Draper” “Tony Soprano” (really any modern TV anti-hero fits well in here)

 

20. “Dirty Martini” “Scotch” “Whiskey” (any drink of choice would make an excellent dog name)

The reality is you can name your pet just about anything you want. With a world of choices let’s expand this spectrum a bit more and encourage more creativity and try to think more outside the box. I’m naming my next pet “dotcom.com” (intentional use of double .com)

Stolen Dogs On the Rise | University Animal Hospital NYC

Did you ever think your dog would be stolen from you? It’s a frightening thought. Imagine you run out to the corner deli to grab some ice cream. You decide to bring your fuzzy child along with you for the walk. You tie your pooch up to the street sign directly outside the door to the deli. He seems happy enough to wait a few minutes while you grab some supplies. You emerge with a bag of goodies, in under five minutes, and you’re greeted with just an empty leash.
This scenario isn’t such a rarity, unfortunately. It isn’t just an amusing plot device in a Woody Harrelson movie, either.
It’s a pet-owner nightmare that is becoming more and more common with each passing year.
Animal theft is a growing concern among pet owners and New York City is no exception. According to the American Kennel Club there has been a rise in stolen dogs since 2008 each and every year. 2015 looks to be no different. In 2012 there were 444 reported crimes, nationally, which is up significantly from the 255 cases reported in 2010. It is worth noting that these are just the cases reported. Some estimates have the number of stolen dogs climbing as high as one million.
That terrifying experience at the deli is exactly what happened to a 7-year-old Pomeranian named Suki when he was left unattended outside of a city deli. Security cameras show a woman snatching little Suki and driving off with him in her car. In a surprising turn of events Suki was returned to his owners after the story blew up on social media. This is a lucky situation for Suki and his owners. It is certainly not the norm. In most situations the dogs are often never seen again by their owners.
In some cases the stolen dogs are listed for sale on craigslist or through the black market by people hoping to make a quick buck. Other times they’re held for ransom as the dog-nappers await a reward from the pet owner hoping to be reunited with his or her fuzzy child. They are sometimes given away as gifts to family or friends of the dog-napper.  In the worst situations the animals are harmed physically or are used as bait in dog-fighting rings (another issues plaguing the dog community). Pure bred dogs are particularly at risk as thieves often steal them intending to resell at a high price. Manhattan has quite a few pure-bred dogs so it makes this city a prime target for thieves.

HELP! WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MY DOG!

Here are some tips for dog owners hoping to avoid this nightmare:
1. Do not leave your dog unattended in your car or yard. Never tie them up outside of a restaurant or shop. This is just asking for trouble. If you know you need to stop in somewhere just leave your dog at home. It isn’t worth the risk.
2. Do not tell people how much your dog cost. This is just flashing to potential thieves how much your dog is worth.
3. License and microchip your dog. This can increase the likelihood that your lost or stolen pet might someday be returned to you. I recently read a story about a woman who responded to a craigslist posting from someone trying to sell a dog that looked suspiciously like her stolen pooch. She showed up armed with a microchip scanner and confirmed that the dog was hers.
4. File a police report. Besides alerting to the authorities to your stolen dog this can help with any criminal charges filed if the situation escalates to a court hearing. If the police are apprehensive about making a report remind that pets are legally considered “property” and their theft is either a felony or misdemeanor under all state laws. Do not let them talk you out of it because they might not want to mess with some additional paperwork.
5. When posting signs avoid mentioning “stolen” as the potential dog-nappers or good-Samaritans might avoid coming forward out of fear of criminal charges.

The best thing you can do is be aware. Keep an eye on your pets and don’t create a situation for something bad to happen. Most property theft is opportunity based. Don’t give someone that opportunity and you can do your best to keep your pet safe. Next time you’re meeting with Dr. Zola or one of our amazing veterinarians ask about getting your pet micro-chipped if you haven’t already.

 

International Health Certificate | University Animal Hospital NYC

So you have plans to travel to another country with your pet. You looked up the information but it seems confusing and complicated. Depending on where you plan to travel there are specific requirements and they’re all time-sensitive and overly specific. You’re feeling anxious because it seems like there are too many steps and you aren’t sure if you’ve completed them all.

At this moment you’re probably thinking “Great! He’s going to tell us exactly what we need to do! We should buy him a present!”

You can lower your enthusiasm a tiny bit because this entry is not going to give you a breakdown of the exact protocol and procedure for traveling out of the country with your pet. You can feel free to still get me a present, though. I like presents.

“Why!? Why wouldn’t you want to tell us this information and just be done with it? Our tickets are booked and we just need some answers! Fluffy wants to see the Eiffel Tower! There’s no way you’re getting a gift now! We’d sooner toss it in the trash!”

Okay, that seems a little excessive. I like gifts. I’d love nothing more than to help you with this situation but the reason I can’t give you a simple list is because such a thing doesn’t really exist. Unfortunately pet travel is not simple.

The fact of the matter is that pet travel (out of the country, at least) is complicated. In order to fly outside of the country with your pet you aren’t so much following protocol from the USA — you’re following the protocol of the country you’re flying into. This means that different countries have different requirements. In some cases your pet might need to have seen a vet within ten days of arrival at your destination. In some cases it’s three days.

Some countries require proof of de-worming at a certain point before travel. Other countries require your pet have a microchip implanted within a specific time-frame prior to your trip. There’s no easy answer for exactly what you’ll need but when you come in for an appointment to get your certificate the doctors will make sure everything you need to travel is in order. What I can guarantee is that in almost every situation you will require an international health certificate. That much I do know. So haul that present out of the garbage and send it on over.

The USDA maintains an online database for each country which breaks down specific requirements and provides the exact paperwork for that nation. Even these documents and requirements can change from time to time as individual countries update their standards, etc. The paperwork is essentially a legal document stating that a USDA accredited veterinarian examined your pet on a specific day and has deemed them fit for travel. All of our staff veterinarians are USDA accredited and are highly experienced filling out these forms. They know how to make the process as simple and stress free as possible for you.

Pet Travel 8

Our vets can handle all of this

I realize it’s a daunting task reading up on all the requirements and it can seem overwhelming. That is why our vets are here. Let them do all the work. These papers seem complicated and overly specific but our vets are used to filling them out and know what is required for wherever you are traveling to. We will find the necessary paperwork and handle everything we can

Distemper and Parvovirus | University Animal Hospital NYC

DISTEMPER AND PARVOVIRUS

(the puppy vaccines) ARE IMPORTANT

So you’ve got a new puppy. Besides the cuddly new furry being you now have sharing your home and demanding 98% of your attention you have an assortment of information flooding your brain, from various sources, on how to properly care for your critter. Tips on feeding, leash training, potty training and vaccine information is becoming overwhelming you and you can’t be sure what is important.

Why does your fuzzy child require vaccinations? Isn’t your new pet just a cute and cuddly little stuffed animal?

Not exactly.

Your fuzzy friend is alive. This means he or she is susceptible to all of the health complications we deal with as humans. They can have allergies. They can get diseases and they can become sick just like we do. One of the easiest and most effective ways to avoid the most common illnesses is to have your pet routinely vaccinated.

If you purchased your dog from a pet store or a breeder you may be overwhelmed by the amount of vet visits and puppy vaccinations you’re told you must go through with your new puppy. It seems like you’re back at the vet almost every month. Fear not. After the first round of puppy shots are done you only have to do it once a year going forward. These initial shots, however, need to be given every 3-4 weeks (usually starting with week 8) in puppies to build up their immunity. Expect around three visits for these vaccines alone.

The canine distemper vaccine is usually a combination of vaccines in a single injection that protects against an assortment of serious and potentially lethal diseases.
Have you ever read “Canine Distemper,” DHPP, DA2PP, DHPPV or DA2PPV on your pet’s paperwork and wondered what exactly all those random letters meant? I’ll do my best to break it down for you.
D = Canine Distemper Virus. A highly contagious disease with a high (nearly 50%) mortality rate in untreated dogs and puppies (80%). This virus targets the digestive, respiratory, brain and nervous system of your pup.
H and A2 = Hepatitis. Often referred to as A2 (it protects against canine adenovirus-1 and adenovirus-2) Adenovirus-1 protects against hepatitis which affects the liver. Adenovirus-2 protects against respiratory disease.
P = Parvovirus. Highly contagious (with a mortality rate near 90% in untreated dogs) – attacks the digestive and immune system in unvaccinated dogs.
P = Parainfluenza. Protects against respiratory disease in dogs.

So why are these so important to protect against?

Besides the already mentioned high mortality rates in pets that contract these contagious diseases it’s important to note that many of these diseases have no effective treatment beyond supportive care. Vaccinating is the most effective and healthy way to protect your pet.

How Might My Dog Contract Parvovirus / Distemper?

Direct contact with the Parvovirus is the most common way it is spread. It’s usually shed in the stool of an infected dog. The virus can survive in grass and on other surfaces for multiple years. Distemper is an airborne virus and just being around other dogs can spread it. It can also spread through infected urine and feces. Even during the recovery period dogs can still shed the virus despite showing no symptoms.

If you have questions or concerns the best course of action is to consult with one of our staff veterinarians and discuss with them how to best proceed with your furry child.

The Tick Problem | University Animal Hospital NYC

Everyone has a tick story. Several years ago I was on a cleaning frenzy tackling the nightmare that had become my apartment. Okay, nightmare might be a bit of an overstatement. It wasn’t like my place had become an un-filmed episode of Hoarders (though the bathroom did slightly resemble a set from the SAW franchise…)

I mean, there weren’t piles of newspapers from the 1950s littering the floors nor did I have a collection of old coffee cans making towers to the ceilings. I had limited my collection of doll heads to just three shoe-boxes and I’d thrown out all nine of my old tire swings. There was, however, a fine layer of dust on nearly every item that wasn’t my coffee maker. It was time to vacuum, mop and possibly even clean under the stove and refrigerator — activities I had read about and was curious to try. I set about getting to work and soon found myself on a chair wiping down the walls because if I’m going to do a total clean then I’m going to do it right.

 

THE MONSTER ARRIVES
So there I was balancing on a chair and using a washcloth on my walls when my eyes focused on a tiny monster crawling slowly down from the ceiling toward the floor. At first I thought it was a spider but a closer glance revealed the creature to be something far worse = A TICK!

How could this be? I was living in Queens (Elmhurst, to be exact) and there wasn’t much in the way of grass or trees around. Where had this little monster come from and why was he in my apartment? I asked him but he kept silent for fear of further incriminating himself. I already had him on home invasion and attempted blood-suckery. There he was, slowly moving down the white wall on a path for the hardwood floor and I knew his destination was likely the flesh of my adorable cocker spaniel, Emeril.

The first thing I did was “take care of” this invader but fearing he had accomplices I immediately inspected my dog and, thankfully, found him to be free of any other parasites. I was still nervous though. There are over a dozen diseases that can be transmitted by ticks to our fuzzy kids. The big one: Lyme disease and many more (Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, ehrlichiosis, ect.) so I was obviously concerned.

I’m often asked by clients at University Animal Hospital if it’s important for their pet to be on Nexgard or Frontline. The common belief is that because their pet resides in Manhattan and they don’t travel to Connecticut or upstate their pet is not at risk for flea and tick exposure. These pests, however, can easily be found in Upper East Side dwellings as easily as any other neighborhood or borough surrounding Manhattan. They can live up to a year without feeding and like to hang out on the tops of blades of grass waiting to grab onto unsuspecting warm-blooded beings. You don’t need to leave the city to encounter these creepers.

Your fuzzy child should be on flea/tick preventative year round. Fleas and ticks might not be able to survive in cold weather but there are plenty of warm places around this city they can survive in during the winter months so that doesn’t really matter much. It was February when I found that tick crawling down my wall.
There are two fantastic options for flea/tick preventative available at University Animal Hospital.

Frontline Plus

Topical options are effective.

1. Frontline. Chances are you’ve tried this before or have at least heard of it. It’s a topical that is placed on the skin of your pet (between the shoulder blades) once every month. This is a highly effective treatment. If purchased from University Animal Hospital you can get 8 months for the price of 6.

Nexgard

Chewables are growing in popularity.

2. Nexgard. This is a once-a-month chewable from the makers of Frontline that is just as effective — if not more.

Nexgard - Chew

It’ s a chewable treat and thus there is no chance the medication will rub off on your hands or come off if your pet gets wet. It’s also beef flavored so dogs tend to love them. If purchased from University Animal Hospital you can get 7 months for the price of 6.

3. Braveco. Like Nexgard this is a chewable but it only needs to be given every three months. That’s just four doses a year.

Group_Packs-22_RGB-medium_tcm102-154707
These items are also available for purchase through the University Animal Hospital Online Store. There’s really no reason you shouldn’t take measures to protect your dog or cat from these creatures. The cost of the medications is minor and the peace-of-mind they provide should be more than worth it. Trust me when I say you don’t want to have to treat your pet for Lyme disease if you can avoid it. Not to mention dealing with fleas is a burden I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy (okay, maybe I would but only because I have firsthand knowledge of how terrible it is). You’ll get that story next week…

Tune in next time for Part II: The Fleas of Bushwick…

Holidays Foods: Keeping Your Pet Out of the Pet Hospital

As the holidays draw near, your home will be filled with sights and smells of holiday decor, songs, and treats. Although many of your foods may be delicious, you need to exercise caution when feeding your pets.  Dogs and cats have sensitive digestive systems, and some holiday foods can be detrimental to your pet’s health. Concentrated sugars and certain foods can be a ticket to the pet hospital. Avoid feeding your pet foods that contain these holiday favorites, explains the  ASPCA.

Chocolate Will Result in Admission to a Pet Hospital

Chocolate can result toxicosis due to caffeine and theobromine content. These compounds may result in minor paralysis, abdominal discomfort, restlessness, vomiting, irregular heart rhythms, and even death.

Turkey Should Be Cooked.

Turkey may contain harmful levels of salmonella, especially when undercooked. Avoid feeding your pets raw turkey or turkey-containing products. If you notice any signs of food poisoning in your pets, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or severe lethargy, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Bread Dough Can Be Deadly.

Bread dough contains yeast, and when ingested, bread dough will expand within your pet’s stomach. This may result in abdominal distention, severe pain, and additional complications. Make sure your pets do not eat any unbaked breads, and even baked breads should be avoided.

Artificial Sweeteners Cause Blood Sugar to Drop

Although little research exists to show dangers for saccharin and other artificial sweeteners, xylitol has been shown to be deadly for dogs. Avoid giving your pets any foods that contain artificial sweeteners. Even in small doses, xylitol will cause rapid drops in your dog’s blood sugar. As a result, your dog could enter a diabetic-coma. Beware of store-purchased sweets that may contain xylitol as a sweetener, which may include some dog treats.

Dairy Products Cause Digestive Problems.

Depending on your pet, dairy products may cause excessive flatulence, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Avoid giving dairy products to your pets unless advised by your veterinarian. Furthermore, cow’s milk can cause blood sugar problems in high quantities.

The holidays are meant to be a time of good food, spending time with your family, and enjoying the indoors. However, holiday foods can be dangerous to your pets. Take a little extra time to make sure you do not end up spending your holidays at the pet hospital by avoiding these foods.

World’s Oldest Penguin Returns To Colorado Zoo After Successful Radiation Therapy

A 40-year old African penguin is returning home a southern Colorado zoo after undergoing treatment for skin cancer. Tess, who resides at the Pueblo Zoo, is the oldest penguin of her kind, according to officials at the zoo. She was treated for sarcoma at the Colorado State University veterinary hospital in early December. After two weeks of isolation, she was welcomed home to the zoo, where she was reunited with her mate, Mongo, and the rest of her friends in the habitat.

 

African penguins rarely live past 20 years, and experts at the Pueblo Zoo say that the breed has declined 90 percent in the last 100 years. Some people would ask, “why are you putting all of these resources into an individual animal?” But, if this individual animal can tell a story that helps globally with the African penguin, then it’s all worth it, said Dr. Matthew Johnston, a veterinarian at Colorado State University. “If we can make people aware of these endangered species, with awareness comes action, and with action comes change. And, ultimately, we help.”

More Apartments Charging Extra Rent For Pets

It’s not always easy finding pet-friendly apartments, and the Associated Press says it’s getting harder as many apartment managers are now charging tenants extra rent. While extra security deposits for pets have been commonplace in many apartment complexes, the AP says that monthly rental payments anywhere from $10 to $50 are becoming increasingly common.

According to Apartments.com, 78% of renters surveyed paid a pet deposit this year. Of those, 29% also paid additional pet rent. Some apartment managers use the extra rent to pay for expenses related to the animals, but some simply charge more because they can. In an interview with the AP, apartment manager Stacy Leighty said she added the fee after her financial adviser recommended it.

Oregon Supreme Court Rules That Animals Can Be Treated As Victims

The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled the animals can be treated as victims in legal cases, effectively affording animals the same protections humans have in abuse cases. The ruling stems from a 2009 court case in which the defendant was convicted of starving 20 horses and goats on his property. The defendant argued that because the law defines animals as property, he should not have been charged with separate counts of neglect for each animal. The judge disagreed, arguing that each animal was a separate victim.

The ruling is expected to result in longer sentences for those convicted of animal abuse. According to Lora Dunn, staff attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund in Portland, the ruling may also change how law enforcement responds to animal abuse calls, as it may eliminate the need for law enforcement to obtain a warrant in certain circumstances to investigate claims of neglect or abuse. “To acknowledge that animals are victims of crime, that’s really common sense to us,” said Dunn.

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