It’s National Deaf Dog Awareness Week

The last full week of September has been designated as Deaf Dog Awareness Week.

This is a great time to remember all the special needs dogs and cats that are awaiting adoption at your local animal shelter or rescue group.

Thinking about adopting a deaf dog?  The Deaf Dog Education Action Fund is a great resource for anyone who’s considering opening their heart and home to a deaf companion animal.

 

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Alternatives to Pilling a Cat

Many pets require daily medication—often in the form of pills—for chronic health problems.  While it’s easy for most pet owners to sneak a pill into a dog’s food and treats, pilling a cat can be more of a challenge.

There are some interesting alternatives to pills if you need to medicate your cat on a daily basis.  Of course, you should always talk to your veterinarian about the pros and cons of pill alternatives before deciding.

Many compounding pharmacies make veterinary medications for pets in a variety of forms.  The two most common are in the form of flavored treats and transdermal medicine that gets absorbed through the skin.

Treat meds are usually soft and chewy and come in a variety of flavors such as fish, chicken, beef, and even butter.  Most pharmacies will recommend that you store them in their original sealed packaging in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.

Transdermal meds are compounded into a gel form that you can rub into the inner part of a cat’s ear where there is little hair.  Vets call this area the pinna.

Be careful to use rubber gloves or finger cots if you apply the medication by hand.  You can also get it in the form of a pen that twists to dispense the drug onto a sponge tip that you apply to the ear.  Most vets will recommend that you alternate ears if you medicate your cat every day.

Here’s a YouTube video that shows how to apply transdermal medication to a cat’s ear:

 

The Hidden Dangers in Your Pet’s Water Bowl

Veterinarians recommend that we provide our pets with plenty of water to drink.  For most of us, that means leaving a water bowl out in the kitchen so that our dogs and cats can drink freely throughout the day.

But studies have shown that pet water bowls can be among the most germy items in a home (4th runner up after kitchen sponges, kitchen sinks, and toothbrush holders).

A recent microbiological assessment of dog water bowls examined the bacterial content of water bowls made of plastic, ceramic, and stainless steel.

Researchers found that the plastic bowls maintained the highest bacterial count overall.  However, when it came to two dangerous bacteria—MRSA and Salmonella—the researchers discovered that they were mostly found on the ceramic bowls.

While pet health experts often recommend avoiding plastic food and water bowls, this dog water bowl study suggests that ceramic bowls might be a greater risk than originally thought.  The researchers speculate that harmful bacteria might be better able to form biofilms on ceramic material.

Concerned pet owners may want to consider replacing bowls made from both plastic and ceramic with those made from stainless steel.

Of course, no matter what material your pet bowls are made of, it’s always important to keep them as clean as possible.  You should wash bowls by hand with antibacterial soap or run them through the dishwasher (heat cycle on) every day.

Clean food and water bowls are an important component of pet (and human) health!

 

UK Bans Use of Shock Collars for Pets

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs announced new legislation banning the use of electronic training collars for dogs and cats.

These devices, commonly called shock collars or e-collars, send an electronic pulse to your pet, with the idea of correcting unwanted behaviors.  Animal welfare experts note that the devices cause unnecessary harm and suffering and may even worsen a pet’s aggression or anxiety problems.

The Department reports that the ban on e-collars will not extend to invisible fencing systems, because they believe these are useful in keeping dogs and cats away from roads and traffic.

Secretary of State Michael Grove says of the ban, “We are a nation of animal lovers and the use of punitive shock collars cause harm and suffering to our pets. This ban will improve the welfare of animals and I urge pet owners to instead use positive reward training methods.”

The Department notes that members of the public are evenly divided over the use of invisible fencing, with 50% still in favor of the fences.  They also report that many citizens have expressed concern over people’s lack of knowledge and training when it comes to the proper use of electronic devices.

 

Meet FACE Success Story Sammy!

10-year-old Sammy was in urgent need of surgery when his bladder ruptured. Sammy’s “mom” is on a fixed income and had no way of paying for the necessary procedure to save her best friend. Our friends at Mohnacky Animal Hospitals of Carlsbad contacted us to help save this sweet boy!

FACE’s network of hospital partners connects us with so many pets and their families that otherwise would not know about FACE and our mission to save pets from economic euthanasia.

Sammy received his emergency surgery and after extensive care at the hospital, was able to return home to fully recover with his mom!