Happy New Year to all pet-loving readers. This month I am passing on some information that all pet owners should know.
- It seems anytime we or our pet gets get a cut or scrape, the first thing we grab is the hydrogen peroxide. It sure looks effective as the H2O2 bubbles and foams when mixed with blood. In reality you are doing much more harm to the tissue than you are helping. Hydrogen peroxide does the same thing to living cells that it does to your hair when applied. Instead of peroxide, use liberal amounts of soap and water to cleanse and dilute the wound contamination. Of course, if there is significant bleeding, applying direct pressure and calling for an immediate vet appointment is indicated. If home care seems possible to you, apply Polysporin or Bacitracin, not Neosporin, and cover with a light wrap. Any wound with pulsing bleeding needs to be seen immediately by a professional, as that means an artery has been cut.
- The normal body temperature for a dog or cat is higher than the normal human temp of 98.6 degrees. That is one reason why hugging your dog or cat feels so good. For both species, normal temperature is 101 degrees plus/minus one degree.
- Excitement, ambient temperature and exercise can raise a pet body temperature several degrees. If a pet is not feeling well and its temperature is over 103-104 degrees, call and schedule a same-day appointment. Of course, never leave your pet in a locked car during the day, even on a sunny winter day, as hyperthermia can come on very fast.
- Brown spots on the lawn are a real problem for some dog owners. Urine is composed of urea molecules which is also used as a fertilizer. Therefore, brown spots are actually a fertilizer burn which damages the grass. Soil pH and the type of grass also play a role in the problem. The pH of the urine plays no role in the cause or prevention of the brown spots. Products are sold that claim to prevent urine damage but may actually predispose your dog to urinary infections or bladder stones. Dilution is the solution to brown spots on the lawn. Increase your dog’s water consumption so it voids more diluted urine. Dump a bucket of water on its pee spot or turn on the sprinklers. A pee place with mulch or stone can be created so that the lawn remains clean and green.
- There was some controversy concerning the vaccine for canine influenza virus until late last year when NW Ohio experienced a severe outbreak. One simple statement: get your dog vaccinated against the canine flu. It is a severe disease that must be prevented, just like Parvo, and other infectious diseases. Only frequent locations with your pet that require all dogs to be protected.
- Fear-free moment: Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats is a safe and inexpensive way to reduce anxiety in your pet. Buy some and use it regularly in times of stress.
Dr. Bob Esplin is the owner of SylvaniaVET, the Sylvania Veterinary Hospital, which he founded in 1974. 4801 N. Holland-Sylvania Rd., 419-885-4421. sylvaniavet.com