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 DogHealth.com

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

The Truth About Catnip

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Catnip, catmint, catwort, field balm — it doesn’t matter what you call it. Lions, tigers, panthers, and your common domestic tabby just can’t seem to get enough of this fragrant herb.Originally from Europe and Asia, minty, lemony, potent catnip — Nepeta cataria — has long been associated with cats. Even its Latin-derived cataria means “of a cat.” And research shows that cats big and small adore this weedy, invasive member of the mint family. But why do they like catnip so much? Is it safe? And what does it mean if your cat doesn’t like it?

Continue reading The Truth About Catnip

How to Help a Puppy Who Isn’t Gaining Weight

What To Do If Your Puppy Doesn't Gain Weight

By Paula Fitzsimmons

You’re feeding your puppy a nutritionally-balanced diet and following the directions on the label with precision. You watch as your new best friend voraciously eats his dog food, and surmise his appetite isn’t the problem. Despite your best efforts, however, he’s not gaining weight as he should. Puppies grow at different rates, but if yours is below the average for his breed, there may be an issue. Anything from ineffective feeding methods to underlying diseases can cause slowed growth in puppies, says Dr. Dan Su, a clinical nutrition resident at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

You may unwittingly be feeding your puppy an insufficient number of calories or a diet that lacks essential nutrients for growth. However, “medical causes of slowed growth are more common and can include parasites, digestive issues (such as inflammatory bowel disease), a liver shunt, and diabetes, for example,” Su says.

Read on to gain insight into why some puppies are resistant to weight gain, as well as what you can do to tip the scale in their favor. Of course, run any changes you plan to make to your puppy’s diet past your veterinarian first.

Underlying Causes

For pampered pets, the inability to gain weight is rarely due to inadequate food intake, “especially if the puppy’s appetite seems good,” says Dr. Cailin Heinze, a veterinary nutritionist at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton, Massachusetts.

It’s best to play it safe and bring your puppy to the vet to rule out medical causes. There could be any number of reasons behind her inability to gain weight, but intestinal parasites—particularly roundworms and hookworms—are probably the most common, says Dr. Joe Bartges, professor of medicine and nutrition at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Inflammatory bowel disease, protein losing enteropathy (any condition of the GI tract resulting in loss of protein), and hypoglycemia are examples of diseases your vet may look for, says Dr. Susan Jeffrey, a veterinarian with Truesdell Animal Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. Or the problem may be dental-related. “Is there something painful? For example, the puppy’s teeth may not have erupted normally and may be coming into contact with the tongue.”

Additionally, certain foods can be too rich for some puppies and result in diarrhea. “This isn’t necessarily a food allergy, but I think some pups with developing gastrointestinal tracts can’t handle certain foods,” she explains.

Is Your Puppy Getting Sufficient Calories?

If your vet has ruled out an underlying condition, it’s possible your puppy is not getting the right number of calories. Jeffrey recommends discussing your dog’s diet with a vet, and calculating the recommended daily caloric intake for the puppy, a methodology based on breed, a dog’s activity level, and reproductive status. “Spayed or neutered animals may not need as many calories as intactanimals,” she says.

Feeding a higher calorie food may be beneficial if the puppy has a poor appetite and isn’t finishing the recommended portion of food, says Heinze, who is board-certified in veterinary nutrition. “But this should only be attempted after parasites have been checked for and treated and blood work and other diagnostics have been done to rule out health issues.”

Examine Your Puppy’s Diet

Diets devoid of an essential balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates may also be to blame, says Jeffrey, whose professional interests include preventative care.

“You should be feeding your puppy a diet that is AAFCO-approved (complete and balanced) for growth, as well as choosing a diet that is appropriate for the presumed adult size,” Jeffrey explains. “For example, large and giant breed puppies should eat a diet labeled for large breed puppies.”

Despite what you might think, diets formulated for growth aren’t always high quality. “Consider changing the diet to a more well-known diet from a larger pet food company or even feed a therapeutic diet,” advises Bartges, who is board-certified in veterinary internal medicine and veterinary nutrition.

A raw food diet isn’t a cure-all, either. “While I help people with raw food diets if that is what they want to feed, I discourage pet parents from feeding raw food diets to puppies,” he says.  “The margin of safety is narrow during growth and this can be an issue not only for nutrient imbalances but also infectious disease.”

What to Avoid

You may be tempted to add a nutritional supplement to puppy food to encourage growth, but using supplements without consulting a vet can harm your canine companion. For example, “excess calcium can increase the risk of developmental orthopedic diseases in large breed puppies; excess vitamin D can lead to toxicity,” Su says.

Another potential problem to avoid is obesity. “Many puppies that owners deem too thin are at a healthy weight and the owners are trying to make them fat because they don’t have a good understanding of what a healthy puppy looks like,” Heinze says. “Unless the puppy has a known health issue, being slightly ‘ribby’ is generally healthier than slightly overweight, especially for large and giant breed dogs.”

Vets recommend frequent weight checks to ensure your puppy doesn’t become overweight. “And if weight gain is faster than desired, calorie adjustments can be made before weight gain becomes excessive,” Su says.

In addition to ruling out underlying conditions and ensuring your dog’s diet is balanced and provides the appropriate number of calories, you may want to examine your feeding methods. “Some puppies need several small meals throughout the day instead of two large meals,” Jeffrey says. “Feeding small meals may help with weight gain.”

Also look for behavioral clues. “If the puppy is having to compete to eat with other dogs in the house, the puppy should be fed separately,” she says. “Not only will this help reduce stress, it will allow the owner to determine the exact amount of food the puppy is eating.”


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

The Best Ways to Treat Kennel Cough in Dogs

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By Mindy Cohan, VMD | Found on PetMD

Kennel cough, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, is one of the most common respiratory diseases seen in dogs. The disease is highly contagious and typically affects dogs in close contact such as boarding kennels, daycare, dog parks and competitive events. The disease is caused by both bacteria and viruses. Affected dogs typically develop a harsh and dry hacking cough. Additionally, severe coughing episodes can produce phlegm.

Here are some of the most common and effective ways to treat kennel cough in dogs: Continue reading The Best Ways to Treat Kennel Cough in Dogs

The Newest Exhibit at the Oregon Zoo Includes a Catio With Adoptable Cats

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Article Found on PetMD | By Kendall Curley

The Oregon Zoo has opened a new exhibit that’s unlike anything most zoo-goers have seen before. It highlights some really amazing felines, but not the big cats most people are expecting.

Their newest exhibit is called the “Family Farm Catio.” It will feature adoptable cats of the domestic variety so that visitors have a chance to meet some of the more cuddly zoo occupants.

The Oregon Zoo catio news release explains, “The catio is part of an ongoing partnership between Banfield and the zoo that includes camps, an enrichment guide for big and little cats, and Big Cat Care, the zoo’s lion keeper talk and enrichment demonstration.”

The catio includes comfortable chairs and cushions for kitty naps and mostly resembles your typical front porch. The habitat is enclosed using mesh screen so that the cats are safely secured inside, but they also get the outdoor experience.

The Oregon Zoo is hoping to teach visitors about cats as well as how to create a fun catio environment, and even hoping that it might inspire a few patrons to adopt a cat of their own.

Currently, “Catio residents Betty and Buddy came to the zoo from the Pixie Project, a Portland animal adoption and rescue center. Buddy, a loveable orange tabby, is the resident catio ambassador and will help socialize adoptable foster cats from the Pixie Project shelter. Betty will be available to a loving home through the Pixie Project’s foster and adopt program after spending a little time settling in,” explains the Oregon Zoo.

According to an Oregon Zoo story, Brianne Zanella, a keeper at the zoo’s Family Farm, says, “The catio represents a couple things that are really at the heart of the Oregon Zoo’s mission, as well as our work with Banfield and the Pixie Project. One is animal welfare, and the other is education.”

What a great way to engage audiences of all ages!


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

5 Reasons to Test Your Dog for Diabetes

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Article by Dr. Justine A. Lee | Found on PetHealthNetwork

Did you know that some authorities feel that 1 out of every 100 dogs that reaches 12 years of age develops diabetes mellitus1?

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a hormonal problem where the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, the hormone that helps push sugar (“glucose”) into the body’s cells. Without the insulin, the body’s cells are starving for sugar; unfortunately, this then stimulates the body to produce more and more sugar (in an attempt to feed the cells). That’s why your dog’s blood sugar is so high (what we call a “hyperglycemia”) with diabetes mellitus.

Without insulin, the sugar can’t get into the cells; hence, why you need to give insulin to your dog with a tiny syringe twice a day. In dogs, this is a disease that can be costly to treat and requires twice-a-day insulin along with frequent veterinary visits for the rest of your dog’s life.

So how do you know if your dog has diabetes? Clinical signs of diabetes mellitus in dogs include:

As your dog gets older, it’s worth talking to your veterinarian about doing routine blood work to make sure your dog is healthy. This blood work will help rule out kidney and liver problems, anemia, infections, electrolyte problems and diabetes mellitus. The sooner you recognize the clinical signs, the sooner your dog can be treated with insulin and the less complications we see as a result.

So, if you notice any of the signs above, get to a veterinarian right away. Now, continue on for 5 important reasons to test your dog for diabetes:

1. Your dog will live longer
Diabetes mellitus can shorten the lifespan of your dog, as secondary complications and infections can occur. With diabetes, the body is immunosuppressed and more likely to develop diabetic complications which cause long term harm to your dog.
2. Your dog will be able to see

Did you know that the majority of dogs with diabetes eventually go blind from cataracts? Even in well-controlled diabetic dogs, the excess sugar in the body can have secondary effects on the lens of the eye; it causes more water to influx into the lens, which disrupts the clearness of the lens. As a result, cataract formation occurs, resulting in eventual blindness and secondary inflammation in both eyes. While cataract surgery can (and ideally, should) be performed, it can be costly.

3. You’ll save a lot of money
Treatment for diabetes mellitus includes twice-a-day insulin treatment, insulin syringes, prescription diets, and frequent veterinary trips for blood tests. Also, as diabetic dogs can’t go without their insulin, it may mean hiring house sitters or pet sitters to treat your pet while you are on vacation.
4. You’ll have less urinary accidents in the house

One of the biggest signs of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus is excessive drinking, urination and having urinary accidents in the house. Because of the hyperglycemia, dogs are also at increased risk for urinary tract infections, wrecking havoc on your carpet. The sooner you can treat your dog with insulin and get the diabetes controlled or regulated, the less your dog will drink and urinate, making your dog more comfortable too!

5. You’ll have more peace knowing that your dog is healthy

As a veterinarian and dog owner, I want to make sure my dog is as healthy as possible. You might already be talking with your veterinarian about vaccines each year in a dog that is older than 7 years of age; next, talk to your veterinarian about doing an annual exam and routine blood work too. It’ll pick up on medical problems sooner, so you can rest assured that your dog is going to live a longer, happier, healthier life!

Having a diabetic pet is also a big commitment, as it requires dedicated pet parents who can give twice-a-day injections of insulin. Caring for a diabetic dog does require frequent trips to the veterinarian to regulate the blood sugar. That said, dogs can live with diabetes for years with appropriate care and treatment. When in doubt, make sure to monitor your dog carefully for the signs of diabetes, and seek veterinary attention sooner rather than later to help test for this ever-growing problem!


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