Behavior Changes in Aging Cats

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Article Found on WebMD

As they age, cats often suffer a decline in functioning, including their cognitive functioning. It’s estimated that cognitive decline-referred to as feline cognitive dysfunction, or FCD-affects more than 55% of cats aged 11 to 15 years and more than 80% of cats aged 16 to 20 years. Memory, ability to learn, awareness, and sight and hearing perception can all deteriorate in cats affected with FCD. This deterioration can cause disturbances in sleeping patterns, disorientation or reduced activity. It can make cats forget previously learned habits they once knew well, such as the location of the litter box or their food bowls. It can increase their anxiety and tendency to react aggressively. It can also change their social relationships with you and with other pets in your home. Understanding the changes your cat is undergoing can help you compassionately and effectively deal with behavior problems that may arise in her senior years. Continue reading Behavior Changes in Aging Cats

3 Top Cat and Dog Health Issues

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By JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM

Taking care of our pets, especially their health, is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Understanding the basics of some common problems affecting dog health and cat health can help you take even better care of your pets, helping them lead happy and healthy lives. Here are the top pet health issues seen by veterinarians. Continue reading 3 Top Cat and Dog Health Issues

Is Dry Nose a Sign of Illness in Dogs?

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By Sarah Wooten, DVM | Found on PetMD

How Dogs Use Their Nose

Dog noses are fascinating little structures. Not only do dogs use their noses for breathing, dog noses also drain excessive tears from the eyes through tear ducts. In addition, they have sweat glands, which help to cool the body through sweating.

Dog noses are also involved in collecting information about the environment. They do this through sniffing, but not all of the “information” is carried through the nasal passage. When a dog licks her nose, she transfers all sorts of scents to specialized scent detection olfactory glands located on the roof the mouth. This allows the dog to process her environment. Continue reading Is Dry Nose a Sign of Illness in Dogs?

Dogs Prefer to Eat Fat, and Cats Surprisingly Tend Toward Carbs

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Article Found on ScienceDaily

Dogs gravitate toward high-fat food, but cats pounce on carbohydrates with even greater enthusiasm, according to research into the dietary habits of America’s two most popular pets.

The study sheds new light on optimal nutrition for the animals and refutes a common notion that cats want and need a protein-heavy regimen.

Findings were published this month in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

“The numbers were much different than what traditional thinking would have expected,” said the study’s corresponding author, Jean Hall, a professor in the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University. “Some experts have thought cats need diets that are 40 or 50 percent protein. Our findings are quite different than the numbers used in marketing and are going to really challenge the pet food industry.” Continue reading Dogs Prefer to Eat Fat, and Cats Surprisingly Tend Toward Carbs

Summer Animal Safety Tips for Beating the Heat

Summer Animal Safety Tips for Beating the Heat

By Dr. Hanie Elfenbein, DVM | Article Featured on PetMD

When summer temperatures start rising, it is important to keep animal safety on your mind. Higher temperatures pose all sorts of risks to your pets, so it is important to find ways to keep them cool.

Some dogs are more heat tolerant than others due to age, weight, breed and other health factors, so you should consider these factors when deciding how to ensure your pet’s safety in hot weather.

In-Home Animal Safety

As the heat intensifies, even indoor temperatures can rise to uncomfortable levels. The first important step of summertime animal safety is giving your pets access to plenty of clean, fresh water. Air temperature is the next consideration.

Some homes are well-insulated and don’t get much hotter as the day warms up. However, most require active cooling. Healthy dogs and cats can tolerate temperatures slightly warmer than most people find comfortable. But you may notice that they find the coldest spot in the house to nap—dogs often like to lie in front of the refrigerator, and cats might sleep under the bed or in a closet.

If your pet is home all day, your air conditioner should be set no higher than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Or, if you don’t have air conditioning, blinds should be shut and fans left on during the day.

Ceiling fans are the safest option, because curious pets can get themselves into trouble with fan blades. Kittens and puppies especially should not be left alone with floor fans. They can be kept safely inside a crate with a floor fan on the outside where they can’t reach it, but can still benefit from its cooling effect. In that case, do not aim the fan directly at the crate, but instead create airflow throughout the room.

Dog Cooling Vests and Mats

Dog-specific cooling products have also become available. Some require adding water or keeping the product in the refrigerator before making it available to your dog. The best ones, though, are the ones that require the least planning so that you are always ready to keep your dog cool.

Dog cooling vests work through evaporative cooling. Sweating is a natural type of evaporative cooling, but on their own, dogs can only stay cool by “sweating” through their paws and by panting. That’s where dog cooling vests come in. Some, like the TechNiche cooling coat, work by dunking the vest in water, wringing it out and putting it on. They release water through evaporation to help keep your pup cool throughout the day. Others, like the Ultra Paws Cool Coat, use dehydrated ice packs tucked into side pockets to provide relief from the heat.

Dog cooling vests are not substitutes for drinking water and providing shade and breaks from activity, but they may help your dog stay comfortable for longer. As with any dog clothing, getting the proper fit is important to ensure adequate contact and reduced friction that can lead to sores.

Dog cooling mats are also available for dogs, and they are typically made of a material that stays cool and becomes cool under pressure without needing electricity. However, many reviews complain about durability and longevity, so it’s best to do your homework before picking the mat that is right for your dog.

Vests and dog cooling mats that use refrigerated inserts may initially offer more cooling, but can’t be dunked in the pool or a lake to refresh them in the afternoon. Be sure not to put these inserts directly on your dog.

Keeping Pets Cool in the Car

Pets can make great road trip companions, but you have to plan ahead.

Bring a water bowl so you can fill it at every pit stop along the way. Dog cooling mats can also be brought along in the car and may offer a little extra cooling. However, it is not recommended to leave cooling mats in the car in the sun.

Not all cars have good airflow to the back seat or seat wells where your pet might spend the drive. If vents can’t be redirected, there are hoses available to make sure your pet gets their share of the air conditioning.

Most importantly, plan ahead and always consider your dog’s comfort in the heat. Summer is a great time to bring your dog on your adventures, so get out there, and be safe!

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


5 Tips to Spot Heart Disease in Cats Sooner

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Article by Nancy Kay | Found on PetHealthNetwork

Heart disease in kitties is sneaky business. Without any warning symptoms, it can lay a cat low with life threatening, and sometime even life ending issues. Why is feline heart disease so difficult to detect in its early stages? In part, it has to do with the relatively sedentary lifestyle of cats. This makes it difficult to observe decreased stamina or tolerance for exercise. Unlike dogs, most cats don’t engage in a regular exercise routine that might include walks, fetching, or playing with their buddies at the dog park.  Continue reading 5 Tips to Spot Heart Disease in Cats Sooner

How to Handle Fleas on Dogs

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Article Found on PetMD

When pet owners are asked what they dread most about the summer months, the topic that invariably comes up most is fleas!

Fleas on dogs and cats! These small dark brown insects prefer temperatures of 65-80 degrees and humidity levels of 75-85 percent — so for some areas of the country they are more than just a “summer” problem.

Dogs and cats often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or contact with fleas in the environment. The strong back legs of this insect enable it to jump from host to host or from the environment onto the host. (Fleas do not have wings, so they cannot fly!) The flea’s bite can cause itching for the host but for a sensitive or flea-allergic animal, this itching can be quite severe and leads to hair-loss, inflammation and secondary skin infections. Some pets, hypersensitive to the flea’s saliva, will itch all over from the bite of even a single flea!

The flea information presented here will focus on how to treat fleas on dogs and how to prevent fleas in the first place, which, let’s face it, is just as important to the pet as it is to the pet’s caretakers! If your dog or cat is having problems with ticks, another similar parasite, check out our article on how to safely remove ticks from your pets.

How do you know if fleas are causing all that itching – formally known as pruritus? Generally, unlike the burrowing, microscopic Demodex or Scabies Mites, fleas can be seen scurrying along the surface of the skin. Dark copper colored and about the size of the head of a pin, fleas dislike light so looking for them within furry areas and on the pet’s belly and inner thighs will provide your best chances of spotting them.

Look for “flea dirt”, too. “Flea dirt” looks like dark specks of pepper scattered on the skin surface. If you see flea dirt, which is actually flea feces and is composed of digested blood, pick some off the pet and place on a wet paper towel. If after a few minutes the tiny specks spread out like a small blood stain, it’s definitely flea dirt and your pet has fleas!

Continue reading How to Handle Fleas on Dogs

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

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Article Found on PetMD

Dogs love to munch away on grass, and some even make it part of their daily routine. Fortunately, most experts believe it isn’t something you should worry about. So why exactly do they gobble up that green stuff in your yard? Continue reading Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

What Can I Give My Cat for Pain?

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By Jennifer Coates, DVM | Found on PetMD

Cat pain relief is notoriously difficult. Pain meds routinely given to people and dogs can be toxic to cats. Which begs the question, “What are the safest and most effective pain meds for cats?”

Pet parents wondering what they can give their cat for pain need to first be aware of the dangers associated with many of the pain meds, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), found around the typical home. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin and ibuprofen for people or carprofen, etodolac, and deracoxib for dogs. Cats are extremely sensitive to the side effects of NSAIDs, and this class of medication needs to be used with extreme caution (if at all) in cats and always under the close supervision of a veterinarian. Continue reading What Can I Give My Cat for Pain?

How To Tell If Your Dog Is Sick

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Article Found on

When you stare deeply into your beloved pet’s eyes, it may seem almost as if he or she could talk. Of course dogs can’t talk, but their body language can be very eloquent. The better you know your dog—his or her habits, appearance, and behavior—the more apparent these signs will be. Acting promptly at the first signs of illness can help prevent suffering, save money, and even save a life.

The following are common ways in which dogs tell us they’re sick. This list is not exhaustive, nor is it a substitute for professional veterinary advice. Please note that these symptoms are more worrisome in a very young, very old, or otherwise frail dog, since they have fewer defenses when illness strikes. If your dog’s behavior or appearance worries you, always consult your vet. Continue reading How To Tell If Your Dog Is Sick