Dog Paws on the Snowy Streets | University Animal Hospital NYC

So I might be jumping the gun here just a little bit. I accept that the current rainy and humid mess that has become New York City is not yet the chilling winter nightmare that is just around the corner. Having said that, the chilling mess is just around the corner and that means a whole mess of issues fuzzy child’s feet. Dog paws run a great risk of falling victim to the elements when snow and ice are factored into their daily walk schedule.

 

What comes with chilling weather? Streets and sidewalks covered in snow and ice which inevitably leads to salt and de-icers all over the sidewalks.

This is potentially harmful for your pooch when going on even brief relief walks during these days. The salt and de-icers have chemicals in them that can be very harsh on dog paws (or specifically, the pads) causing dryness and cracking. The impulse to lick their paws after walking on the streets can lead to unintentional ingestion of said chemicals.

Fortunately, there are solutions to help during these harsh New York City cold months.

 

1. Consider picking up booties for your dog. There are a number of options here. There are ones with rubber on the bottom that can help with traction so your furry child doesn’t slip and slide — struggling to keep his footing. There are little ones that look like balloons that are very easy to get on and off their paws and can help with traction as well. Many of them are also waterproof to help in the rain. There are ones that velcro or slip on and off. The market for these has actually expanded quite a bit in recent years. Most pet stores carry these and finding ones that best meet your needs isn’t as difficult as it once may have been.

“But wait! My dog HATES wearing his booties! I have the hardest time getting them on and when they ARE on he/she does everything in his/her power to get them off!”

Try rewarding your pup with a treat immediately after getting the booties on. This works as both a positive reinforcement and also as a distraction. Immediately after the treat hurry them out on the walk. This distraction will also keep them focused on the new activity (the walk) versus the old activity (“put your shoes on!”)

2. Musher’s Secret. This is a gel that you rub onto your dog’s pads just prior to going out. It acts as a protective layer against the salt and ice while also allowing your dog traction. This is obviously not waterproof so your dog can still get wet feet if stepping in puddles or thick snow. The other downside is you need to wash it off immediately after getting home to ensure your pet does not lick the gel off.

Having said that, it’s a fantastic product for people who have issues getting booties on and off of their dog. I’ve also heard that petroleum jelly can be used in the same way. Obviously, the same rule for cleaning off the pads should be applied here. You don’t want your pet eating a lot of petroleum jelly. I can’t imagine that would be good.

“Oh hai! We has the same coat…”

3. Raincoats and Jackets. It’s probably helpful for most dogs to have some kind of jacket or coat in the cold weather but special consideration should be given for puppies, older dog, small-breed and short-haired dogs as well. These fuzzy friends all require more protection from the elements and even short periods outside without a coat can be difficult for them to handle.

Next time you’re coming in to see one of our fantastic doctors at University Animal Hospital ask them about options for protecting your furry child in the cold weather. They’ll have plenty of suggestions that pertain specifically to your pet.

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…

Puppy Care: What to Expect at First Visit to the Veterinarian

Puppy Care: What to Expect at the Veterinarian

Congratulations! You have a brand new adorable little puppy. There is a lot to providing proper puppy care;  including health wellness check-ups, training, house training, and numerous other things will need to be done to make your new puppy feel at home. The first and most important thing you need to do is call your veterinarian and schedule a vaccination and wellness check-up. Your puppy’s first visit to the animal hospital will set the groundwork for a lifetime of excellent health.

When to Take Your New Puppy for Their First Wellness Check-Up

The first and most important thing you need to do is call your veterinarian and schedule a wellness check-up. Your puppy’s first visit to the animal hospital will set the groundwork for a lifetime of excellent health. Most puppies are removed from their mother’s care between six and eight weeks old. This is the ideal time to take your puppy for their first check-up.

If your puppy is a purebred or had a previous owner be sure, you bring all their medical records to the pet hospital with you. The veterinarian will need to see if your puppy has had any of their vaccinations or any health problems.

Your Puppy’s First Visit to the Vet

Your puppy will most likely be nervous because he/she may be surrounded by domestic household pets. It is normal for your new puppy to be nervous. To help calm their nerves, you can place a favorite toy in the carrier with them and even bring a lightweight blanket (such as a baby’s receiving blanket) and place it over the top of the carrier if your puppy gets to nervous. In addition, you can hold the carrier on your lap or place it on the floor facing a way from the other animals and talk to your new puppy. The sound of your voice can be very comforting to your puppy.
After you fill out all the paperwork, you and your puppy will be called into an exam room. A vet technician may weigh and measure your puppy before the vet comes in the room.

You may have also been asked to bring in a fecal sample. This is to check for worms. A lot of puppies are born with roundworms and medication may be administered as part of their check-up or they may have you take home the medication and administer it there. During the exam, the vet will also check your puppy for fleas and ticks, then explain how important it is to protect him/her from them and discuss preventive medications.

The vet will do a complete exam including checking your puppy’s – level of alertness, hearing, vision, coat, skin, body, eyes, ears and mouth. The vet will also check you puppy’s teeth to see if he/she needs to see the pet dentist or have an animal teeth cleaning done. Keeping your puppy’s teeth in good condition is a high priority. Your puppy will also begin their round of vaccinations, which include hepatitis, distemper, rabies, and Parvovirus. There are more vaccinations that are safe and beneficial for your new puppy’s health, ask the vet for more information about the other vaccines and about the intervals for the vaccinations and booster shots.

The vet will also inform you about the advantages of microchips, pet grooming, (dog grooming/cat grooming) and pet boarding. To setup a first visit to the vet for your puppy call University Animal Hospital at (212) 288-8884 today!

Kennel Cough, Winter, and Rene Russo | University Animal Hospital NYC

Kennel Cough

by Myles Tomczak, Client Services

This winter will never end. I’m calling it now. The cold has come and it isn’t going to leave. HBO’s “Winter is Coming” ad campaign for Game of Thrones wasn’t being facetious. It was a warning we should have taken very seriously (four years ago).

This situation is either some kind of “The Day After Tomorrow” shift in permanence or we’re stuck in some February 2nd time-loop that’ll have us all waking up to “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher every 6am for the next thousand years.

 

Every week I hear the same comments from my fellow New York residents: “It’s supposed to be in the 50s next week!” “They say this is the last snowfall.” My personal favorite was “It can’t last much longer. This is the first day of Spring!” As if our changing climate cares about the dates humans (or Hoo-Mons as dogs call us) chose a long time ago for seasonal transitions.

The reality is that every week this cold has not ended it has gifted us with elevators, streets and trains packed with commuters seemingly incapable of coughing into their sleeves or managing to avoid the impulse to grip the handrails after wiping the discharge from their faces with the palms of their hands. After ten years in this city I’m starting to understand the people I sometimes see wearing face-masks walking down the block toward me.

Seriously, the sales of facial tissue and cough medicine during these months must have executives at Nyquil and Kleenex doing back-flips at the thought of their Quarter 1 2015 numbers.

For the rest of us, however, this mess of dripping noses and sore throats isn’t just a gross visual. It’s the potential for a dreaded infection. The Common Cold, The Flu or The Upper Respiratory Infection all share one thing — they’re awful.

Nobody wants to be sick. Nobody wants to have to miss work or to spend weeks on end “kicking this bug I caught…” looking like Rene Russo in “Outbreak.”

I dodge out of the way of coughing pedestrians passing me on the street like they’re extras from “The Walking Dead,” to avoid a potential illness because missing work is a luxury I can’t afford.

“Get to the point, man! What does this have to do with our canine friends!?”

 

Thing is, they’re not just cute stuffed animals. They’re alive. Just like us they are capable of getting sick. The scary “Upper Respiratory Infection” is just one of the potential dangers. Unfortunately, like with us “Hoo-Mons,” this virus can spread through the air. That makes it an issue for any dog that has even the smallest of interactions with other dogs.

I hear all the reasons from our clients as to why their dog doesn’t need to receive the Kennel Cough vaccine. I’m waiting for someone to suggest it could cause Autism in their dog but nobody has said that — yet.

The excuses range from “my dog doesn’t go to day-care,” to “our groomer comes to the house,”or the most frustrating “we don’t kennel our dog so he doesn’t need the ‘Kennel Cough’ vaccine.” This one is the most maddening because I can’t blame people for being confused. The terminology leads one to believe this is an infection only dangerous for dogs being kenneled but this isn’t the case.

The truth is that even the most minor interaction with another pooch can transmit this infection to your fuzzy child. Even a brief encounter on the city street during a relief walk or a short time in an elevator with an infected dog can lead to transmission.

Kennel Cough (Tracheobronchitis, Bordetellosis, or Bordetella) is basically a highly contagious bacterial infection that often results in a dry hacking cough/retching. Sometimes there’s a watery nasal discharge. When it’s more severe you’ll notice lethargic behavior, lack of appetite and fever. In very severe cases (usually with unvaccinated puppies) even death is possible. Contact us immediately if your pet is exhibiting these symptoms. Treatment is often very effective and most pet owners (myself included – love you, Bebe) have or will experience this at some point in time.

Where does this leave our New York City dogs?

Between growing day-care options, the dog runs and the occasional grooming/boarding appointment our tiny beasts of New York are in a very unique situation. This city is cramped unlike any city in the country and even pets who rarely leave the family home are at great risk for interaction with unfamiliar dogs.

New York City law actually requires any business operating grooming/boarding facilities (such as University Animal Hospital) to provide proof of vaccines for any dog in-house. Should the health department make a surprise inspection (I have been present for this. Twice. It happens.) the facility must prove vaccines are current or they run the risk of being shut down. In the case of Bordetella the vaccine must have been administered in the past six months. This is a good thing. It keeps the dogs from getting sick and it keeps them from spreading the virus to other dogs. That’s a Win/Win in my book.

Outside of New York city this vaccine is often given just once a year. If you’re bi-coastal or you have a vacation home outside of the city you might be surprised at the “Six Month Rule” because your out-of-state veterinarian had previously informed you the vaccine was an annual. It is relevant to note, however, that the actual vials of the vaccine have a “6 month” label attached.

The most effective way to handle Bordetella infection is to avoid having your pet contract it. It’s an oral vaccine (no needle, just drops in the mouth) that takes just a few days to begin protecting. It’s much easier and less expensive than having to treat kennel cough down the road with pricey antibiotics and additional doctor visits. Your furry child will appreciate you for it as well.

The Myth of Cats vs Dogs

by Myles Tomczak, Client Services

A widespread belief among us “humans” is that our canine and feline companions are always at odds with one another. It isn’t an absurd notion. We’ve all seen a dog go “Cujo” when a cat casually saunters by. You may have been present to see a seemingly mild-mannered cat barrel out from underneath the mattress to land a few solid wallops on the snout of an oblivious pooch. Whether it’s animated films, television commercials or even just our own experiences in life the general opinion is that cats and dogs do not get along. Mortal enemies. Destined to play out an age-old battle that would have Tolkien saying “Hey, that’s a little much, guys.” This legendary war has been the subject of at least two Warner Bros. films (unseen by me) as well as countless media depictions. You’d be hard-pressed to find a moment in popular culture in which a set of cats and dogs are cuddly and warm with each other or where their endless battle isn’t referenced. Cats vs dogs is just a widespread acceptance.

 

The cat and dog war has always surprised me. Growing up I saw plenty of households (my own included) in which cats and dogs coexisted in harmony and in the years I’ve spent behind the scenes of the pet-care industry I’ve seen more than my share of instances where this myth of the cat and dog war doesn’t hold much weight. Take, for instance the two fearless house-cats of University Animal Hospital…

corndog Critter_TummyTime

These gorgeous babes have grown up among thousands of dogs and often don’t bat an eyelash when they’re confronted by a Golden Retriever whose head is bigger than both of them (or bigger than Kornflake and half of Krispy Kreme.)

I’m no scientist but being that I have a Master’s Degree in dog/cat psychoanalysis from a University I can’t remember the name of I think this is clearly enough to prove that this belief is outdated and should probably be put to rest. Truthfully, cats and dogs can very easily get along if the right steps are taken to ensure they acclimate to one-another.

No expert would suggest tossing them into a room together to “see what happens” but many would likely advise a slow introduction that allows both to adjust to the change in the normal routine. The key factor to remember is that like “humans,” cats and dogs have their own eccentricities and traits. No two cats or dogs are exactly the same and any change in their regular lifestyle can cause stress or anxiety. Talk to your trainer or the next time you’re meeting with one of our amazing University Animal Hospital staff veterinarians ask how to best introduce any new addition to your household. They’re happy to provide any advice that pertains to your situation.

Despite popular culture’s attempts to sell us this ongoing battle of the beasts the truth is that cats and dogs can be friends if we’re willing to take the time to help them out a bit.

Check out this video that depicts a cat being reunited with his dog friend after a mere ten days apart and tell me that’s not love.

Watch on YouTube: Not Always Archenemies!

Dog Rescued After Falling Off 200-Foot Cliff

Michelle Simmons thought her dog had passed away after Gracie, a Labradoodle, fell off a cliff during a hiking trip. But during a memorial service for the dog held on the cliff, a hiker heard a familiar sound – a barking dog, coming from the bottom of the cliff.

The hikers called the Oregon Humane Society, who assembled a 10 person volunteer rescue team. After hiking to the cliff, a member was lowered down and found Gracie, scratched and bruised, but otherwise in good health.

Dr. Lawrence Zola and the staff at University Animal Hospital emphasize keeping your dog on a leash at all times. “Your dog’s leash can save your pet’s life.”

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