My Pet Has Bad Breath. What's Happening to Cause It?

My Pet Has Bad Breath. What's Happening to Cause It?

Article Featured on Vetstreet.com

Simple chronic halitosis. Whether we’re talking humans or pets, bad breath is a big deal. It’s a stinky problem, but take heart. In most cases there’s a lot you can do to keep bad breath at bay.

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10 Signs That You Should Take Your Dog or Cat to the Veterinarian

Article Featured on Vetcoach.com | Written by DANA KOCH, VMD, MLAS

Recognizing when to take your dog or cat to the veterinary office, especially during the weekends or overnight, can be a challenging decision to make. Here are some crucial warning signs that should help conscientious pet owners decide to seek emergency veterinary care:

Difficulty Breathing

Difficulty breathing, also referred to as dyspnea, is a medical emergency. Your pet can display clinical signs such as wheezing, choking sounds or open mouthed breathing. The causes for dyspnea can be related to a foreign body lodged in the throat, a severe allergic reaction, a lung condition or heart disease. Evaluating your pet’s gums is an important way to access for adequate oxygenation. The gums should be pink and moist and when pressed should temporarily change white then within a second or two go back to pink – this is referred to as a capillary refill time. If your pet’s gums are pale, white, blue or grey this should indicate an emergency. It would be a good idea to check your pet’s gums before an emergency occurs in order to know what is normal for your pet.

Lack of Appetite

Inappetence or a lack of appetite over the course of 24 hours may not indicate a serious concern, but after the 24 hour period a pet owner should consider seeking veterinary care. A pet may indicate a debilitating illness or condition to their owner by refusing food. This can also lead to serious dehydration and lethargy. In cats, anorexia can lead to a life-threatening condition called hepatic lipidosis. A cat’s body functions differently during periods of starvation compared to a dog or human body in which fat stores are processed to be utilized as energy. In the cat body the fat stores are not converted in the same manner, but instead they are released to the liver and accumulate causing a fatty and low functioning liver. If this is left untreated it can result in a non-functioning liver and possible death.

Changes in Drinking and Urinating Habits

The inability to urinate is considered a medical emergency because it can indicate a urinary blockage exists. Pet owners may often observe increased drinking or urination in their pets. This can be caused by several conditions including a urinary tract infection, urinary stones or an endocrine disorder such as diabetes or hypo/hyperthyroidism. A urinary tract infection or urinary stones may not be life-threatening, but if left untreated can result in serious complications. It is best to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

Vomiting

If you pet has intermittent or occasional vomiting, this is not considered a medical emergency. Your pet may have eaten something that upset his or her gastrointestinal tract. However, if the vomiting begins to occur more frequently or multiple times in a row then immediate veterinary attention is recommended. If blood is observed in the vomit this is also a serious medical condition that requires emergency care. Vomiting can indicate a foreign body blockage, trauma to the lungs or heart, reactions to a toxin or medications, or an irritation to the lining of the esophagus, stomach or gastrointestinal tract. Prolonged vomiting can lead to life-threatening dehydration.

Diarrhea

As with vomiting, intermittent diarrhea is not generally a medical emergency, but prolonged changes in your pet’s stool can be an indicator of any underlying medical issue. Changes in color or consistency can give a pet owner cause for alarm. Melena or blood in the stool of your pet can indicate an infection, an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract, gastric ulcers, or hemorrhage in the stomach or intestines, among other causes. Diarrhea can also be caused by changes in diet, dehydration or intestinal parasites.

Seizures

A single seizure is not likely to be life threatening, but with a sudden onset and the potential for clustering or multiple seizures to occur it is often best to seek medical attention in these cases. Seizures can be caused by several underlying issues including, electrolyte imbalance, metabolic conditions, toxin ingestion, a brain mass, or epilepsy. Seeking veterinary advice is important in order to stop the pet from seizing, to understand the underlying cause for the condition, and to potentially treat or provide further seizures from occurring in the future.

Collapse or Lethargy

If your pet has an episode of collapse this is a major problem and requires immediate medical attention. The potential underlying causes for collapse can be related to internal bleeding, anaphylactic shock related to a toxin or allergic response, a serious heart condition, dehydration, hypoglycemia, or metabolic disturbances such as a condition cause Addison’s disease.
There are various levels of lethargy that may be represented by prolonged periods of sleeping, disinterest in playing with toys or interacting with owners, a lessened desire to go for walks, or hiding in unusual places. If these clinical signs last for more than 24-48 hours a veterinary visit is recommended.

Abdominal Distension or Pain

Another serious warning sign of a medical emergency is a distended abdomen. If your pet is displaying this clinical sign or appears to be painful/vocalizing when you feel his or her abdomen then seek a veterinary evaluation as soon as possible. Abdominal distension can sometimes indicate a serious condition called gastric dilation-volvulus, also known as bloat. In this condition the stomach actually twists over itself creating a complete obstruction. Other possible causes include internal bleeding (ruptured spleen) or fluid distension from heart disease.

Leg Paralysis

If you pet has sudden difficulty or is unable to use one or more of his or her legs this then this is generally a medical emergency. This can indicate a herniation in a portion of the spinal cord, which is often extremely painful. Diagnosing and treating this condition as soon as possible can greatly improve the prognosis and outcome. Often dogs with longer bodies, such as Dachshunds and Corgis are predisposed to this particular condition. Paralysis can also indicate a neurologic condition leading to changes in your pet’s mentation. It is important to observe for incoordination, lethargy, rapid eye movement (referred to as nystagmus), or a lack of alertness or response to sounds/verbal cues. If you sense a sudden change in your pet’s mental status seeking immediate veterinary attention is recommended.

Eye Emergencies

Eye problems should not be ignored because they escalate to have more serious consequences compared to other areas of the body. A small amount of ocular discharge is not alarming but when the eye appears extremely red, is bulging out of the socket, has excessive tearing or swelling then a veterinary visit is highly encouraged. A red eye can indicate a viral or bacterial infection, trauma, corneal hemorrhage or conditions such as hypertension and glaucoma. If left untreated a loss of vision can be a serious consequence.


Laurelwood Animal Hospital, located near Jesuit High School on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway offers a full range of companion animal services, including surgery, nutrition and behavior counseling, parasite control and preventative medicine. The hospital also offers advanced imaging through an all-digital spiral CT scanner, a comprehensive dental program and laser treatment.

If you’re looking for quality, compassionate veterinary care in Beaverton, Oregon, come visit us at Laurelwood Animal Hospital.

Laurelwood Animal Hospital

9315 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway
Beaverton, Oregon 97005

Phone: (971) 244-4230
Fax: (503) 292-6808

E-mail: info@laurelwoodvets.com

Does Your Pet Have a Fever? Here's How to Know — and What to Do About It If He Does

Does Your Pet Have a Fever? Here's How to Know — and What to Do About It If He Does

Article Featured on Vetstreet.com

Remember when you would feel sick and your mom would place her hand on your forehead to see if you had a fever? It’s not as easy to do that with pets, thanks to their fur coats. But knowing if your pet has a fever can help ensure that he gets needed veterinary care. A high temperature can be a sign of serious illness. Here’s what you should know about fevers in dogs and cats.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Giving Medicine to Your Dog

Step-by-Step Guide to Giving Medicine to Your Dog

Article by Laura Cross | Featured on Vetstreet.com

Administering medication: Many dog owners dread doing it as much as their canines dread being on the receiving end of it — and it’s even worse when the medicine comes in the form of a pill, tablet or capsule. If you’ve ever seen your pup spit out a pill or found a capsule you were certain had been swallowed laying on the floor, you understand the frustration. Thankfully, we have some expert strategies for getting your pup to take a pill successfully. All it takes is treats, praise and stealth. Yes, stealth! In fact, Milk-Bone ® Pill Pouches make hiding medication easy — your dog will just think he’s getting a yummy treat. See what we mean by checking out the advice below.
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7 Home “Fixer Upper” Hazards for Pets

7 Home “Fixer Upper” Hazards for Pets

By DR. TINA WISMER DVM, DABVT, DABT | Article Featured on Vetstreet

Spring is in the air and so are the scent of paint fumes and the buzz of power tools. Warmer weather encourages many home and apartment dwellers to spruce up their abodes with a little project or two. While you are measuring, taping and scraping, however, don’t forget to protect your pets. Home repair is stressful enough without your pets “helping!”

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7 Benefits of Playing With Your Dog

7 Benefits of Playing With Your Dog

Article Featured on Puppy Leaks

Everyone knows that playing games with your dog is fun, but what we don’t often consider is that the benefits of play go well beyond just having fun. Adding in a little more playtime to your dog’s routine is one of the easiest ways to enrich your dog’s life. Here’s 7 benefits of playing with your dog.

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Dog Limping – How to Get Your Dog Back on His Feet

Dog Limping - How to Get Your Dog Back on His Feet

Article Featured on Vetsreet.com

A number of things –– infections, injuries, or arthritis –– can sideline your dog, leaving him with a limp. Here’s how to figure out what’s wrong and get him the help he needs.

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What Dog Breeds Are Good For Apartments?

What Dog Breeds Are Good For Apartments?

By Tiffany White | Featured on Barkpost

What dog breeds are the best for apartments?

The majority of dog breeds can adapt to any environment as long as they’re getting properly exercised. But when you’re living in an apartment, an overactive dog can make the space seems SUPER small. Sometimes it would be nice to come home and not be immediately greeted by an overactive pup that jumps all over you and just wants to PLAY PLAY PLAY. Fortunately, there are some breeds whose size and energy levels make them perfect for apartment dwellers.

***Note: Regardless of size or energy levels, ALL breeds require daily walks & daily play.***

1. English Bulldog

Weight: 45 – 55 lbs
Grooming: Low
Why they’re perfect: These short, compact breeds might look like they mean business, but inside they’re just big, sappy babies who want to curl up with you on the couch. These dogs get hot and tired easily and prefer the indoors. They’re also just stocky and intimidating enough to ward off would-be thieves. With a short-haired coat that makes grooming practically unneeded, the Bulldog is the best roommate you’ll ever have.

2. Shih Tzu

Weight: 9 – 16 pounds
Grooming: High
Why they’re perfect: Don’t be fooled by the Shih Tzu’s, dare we say, “yappy dog” reputation. The Shih Tzu is actually a friendly and alert dog that can be the perfect pet with proper training. Small and not very fond of the outdoors, these dogs are perfectly content with following you around the apartment all day as their daily exercise. However, their long hair means they shed a lot and will require daily brushing. But hey, it takes effort to look this cute.

3. Chow Chow

Weight: 45 – 70 pounds
Grooming: High
Why they’re perfect: This dog, best known for its unique blue/black tongue, will spend more time on your couch than your unemployed roommate. Notoriously lower energy and sensitive to heat, the Chow Chow prefers lying around in the cool indoors to running around and playing. However, their aloof nature means they might come across as too cat-like for some dog owners. But if your apartment is bigger than a closet studio, it can probably handle this dog’s 70 pound stature. Also: Chow Chows are great cuddle buddies.

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Weight: 10 – 18 pounds
Grooming: Medium
Why they’re perfect: These happy, intelligent dogs get along with everyone, even your annoying neighbors. Unlike other small breeds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is naturally quiet and is only prone to yapping if not properly trained. Its energy level only requires brief playful romps around the living room before collapsing into your lap to take a long nap.

5. Basset Hound

Weight: 45 – 65 pounds
Grooming: Low
Why they’re perfect: Unlike other breeds on this list, the gentle and laid-back Basset Hound is only lazy when he’s inside. Once outside, this breed can easily run and sniff for hours. After all, this breed was bred to hunt, and it wouldn’t be fair if they weren’t allowed to fulfill their primal instinct. However, as long as they get that daily walk, they’ll remain quiet and calm while inside. They also get along well with other animals.

6. Pug

Weight: 13 – 20 pounds
Grooming: Low
Why they’re perfect: Playful and always hilarious, the Pug doesn’t need much activity to have fun. Sensitive to extreme temperatures and prone to breathing problems, the Pug is happiest when frolicking around indoors. But beware — this breed is sometimes prone to overeating, and getting an overweight Pug to lose weight can be as hard as getting your landlord to fix that leaky faucet.

7. Miniature Pinscher

Weight: 8 – 10 pounds
Grooming: Low
Why they’re perfect: Although not quite as low energy as other dogs on this list, the Miniature Pinscher’s small size is perfect for apartments. After zipping around the living room a few times, this dog is ready to curl up in a corner and take their eight-hour nap. Relatively healthy and easy to groom, it’s no surprise why the Miniature Pinscher is so popular with apartment dwellers.


8. Boston Terrier

Weight: 10 – 25 pounds
Grooming: Low
Why they’re perfect: Similar to the Bulldog, the Boston Terrier is a short, compact dog who’s friendly and easy to train. Indoors they stay pretty inactive, releasing all their energy outside during their short daily walks. Their small size also makes them perfect for tiny studio apartments.


9. Bull Mastiff

Weight: 100 – 130 pounds
Grooming: Low
Why they’re perfect: Contrary to popular belief, these massive dogs are massively laid-back. Naturally quiet, calm, and yes, lower energy, this dog doesn’t require much activity indoors. As long as they have a place to nap, they’ll be happy. Plus, their huge size makes them the perfect guard dog. The only downside? Convincing your landlord to accept a 100+ pound dog.


10. Tibetan Spaniel

Weight: 9 – 15 pounds
Grooming: Medium
Why they’re perfect: Although not lazy per se, these dogs are alert and curious but don’t require tons of activity. Naturally born lap dogs, this ancient breed is happiest when in cool, indoor spaces or while napping at your feet. Additionally, their small size means they can feel comfortable in just about any living environment.


Laurelwood Animal Hospital, located near Jesuit High School on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway offers a full range of companion animal services, including surgery, nutrition and behavior counseling, parasite control and preventative medicine. The hospital also offers advanced imaging through an all-digital spiral CT scanner, a comprehensive dental program and laser treatment.

If you’re looking for quality, compassionate veterinary care in Beaverton, Oregon, come visit us at Laurelwood Animal Hospital.

Laurelwood Animal Hospital

9315 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway
Beaverton, Oregon 97005

Phone: (971) 244-4230
Fax: (503) 292-6808

E-mail: info@laurelwoodvets.com

What Do I Do If My Dog Can’t Poop?

What Do I Do If My Dog Can’t Poop

Article Featured on Barkpost.com

If constipation is, knowing that your dog is uncomfortable makes for a bummer of a day. So, what can you do if your best friend is struggling or unable to go to the bathroom? While there’s no magic cure to make your pup poop, here are a few tips to (hopefully) get them back on a regular potty track.

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What Vaccines Does My Outdoor Cat Need?

What Vaccines Does My Outdoor Cat Need?

The dreaded postcard just showed up in the mail—you know, the one from your veterinarian with all of the abbreviations of shots that your cat is due for.

It’s telling you that it’s time to load your cat up in the carrier, listen to 20 minutes of meowing in the car, endure waiting in the lobby with a large, panting German Shepard, and finally, be asked by the receptionist which vaccines your cat is here for today!

Veterinary visits don’t have to be that hard. There isn’t much I can do to help you with the meowing in the car, but I can demystify the abbreviations on the postcard and let you know which vaccines your outdoor kitty should be getting.

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