Pancreatitis and Holiday Food Safety For Pets

The holidays are upon us, and this fact has many of us jumping for joy. The turkey, stuffing, casseroles and desserts are enough, but add in all the other holiday indulgences and it’s easy to see why so many of us overdo it, and pay for it later. 

For our pets, though, such overindulgence in fatty and rich holiday foods can spell disaster. Every holiday season, pets are seen like clockwork in the animal emergency clinic for pancreatitis, a painful and life threatening condition often caused by the consumption of such foods. 

Avoid a pet emergency this holiday season by learning about pancreatitis in pets and holiday food safety. 

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The Microscopic Menace: Salmonella in Reptiles and Exotics

There are many wonderful things about owning a reptile or other exotic species as a pet, and Shiloh Veterinary Hospital knows this more than any other. Caring for these special animals does come some extra responsibility, however. From having an intricate understanding of their dietary needs to supplying the right amount of environmental stimulation, exotic pet ownership doesn’t come lightly.

Understanding the risk of Salmonella in reptiles and exotics is also an essential part of enjoying your pet. No one wants to get sick, and Salmonella is a very real problem

Scary Salmonella

Salmonella is a family of bacteria that is common in our world. You can find Salmonella in the intestines of many species of animals, including humans. 

Most types of Salmonella are not dangerous. Some, however, can result in an infection called salmonellosis. People affected by salmonellosis can have a fever, stomach cramping, and serious diarrhea. 

Most people with a Salmonella infection recover in about a week without serious issues. Some, however, can become seriously ill. Very young people, older people, and immunocompromised people are at higher risk of very dangerous illness. 

Many animals carry Salmonella and may shed it in large numbers in the feces. This occurs in particular when they are stressed or affected by other illnesses. Humans often become exposed to the bacteria while handling their pets or items that the pets utilize. 

The Risk of Salmonella in Reptiles and Exotics

Salmonella is often part of the normal flora in healthy reptiles and amphibians such as turtles, snakes, lizards, frogs, and salamanders. Many carry and shed this organism all the time without issue. Even though it isn’t a problem for them, it can mean big trouble for us. 

When it comes to Salmonella in reptiles and exotics:

  • Consider a different pet if you have children under five or immunocompromised individuals in your home.
  • Wash your hands each time you handle your pet or touch any part of their equipment or habitat.
  • Supervise small children around your pet.
  • Do not keep your pet or their items in areas that food is prepared.
  • Do not keep reptiles or amphibians in children’s rooms. 
  • Reptiles and amphibians should not have free range of your home. 
  • Clean your pet’s habitat, bowls, and other items outside of your home using dedicated equipment and away from gardens or drinking water. Consider using gloves. 
  • As tempting as it may be, avoid snuggling with and kissing your scaly pal.
  • Do not keep turtles with shell lengths of less than four inches as they have a higher incidence of carrying Salmonella.
  • Let us examine your exotic pet regularly to be sure it is healthy and so that we can help you provide the best care. 

Salmonella is no reason to not enjoy your reptile or exotic pet. Taking a few extra precautions will help to keep you and your family safe, though. As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet and its care. 

More Halloween! Common Sense Pet Costumes and Decor

With Halloween right around the corner, time is growing short to plan for the festivities on this popular holiday. We may be planning a Halloween bash, the best neighborhood trick-or-treating route to take, how to set up the perfect scary scene in our house or front yard, or working on the perfect pet costume for our furry companion.

Along with all this preparation, pets safety should be top priority. Keep reading for common sense ideas for pet costumes and decor from Shiloh Veterinary Hospital.

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Avoid A Cauldron Of Hot Water: How To Practice Halloween Pet Safety

Fright Night is almost here, and many of us are preparing our costumes, planning a spooktacular Halloween bash, or looking forward to the neighborhood trick-or-treat jaunt. Many of us like to include our pets on this day, but is that what’s best for them? 

Many pets can greet trick-or-treaters all night or wear their costume with relish. But unfortunately, there are also several pet emergencies that are common on and around Halloween. Keep reading to find out how to keep your pet safe this Halloween.

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A Whole New World: Safe Toys for Birds and Exotics

Can you imagine living out your entire life in one room? It sounds crazy, but this is often what we ask of our birds and exotic pets. Environmental enrichment is so important for every species. Without it, behavior and health problems often arise.

Shiloh Veterinary Hospital is all about keeping our pet patients happy and healthy. While environmental enrichment is vital to this goal, it is also important to do it safely. Keep reading for ideas for safe toys for birds and exotics that are sure to keep them engaged.

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Danger at Home: Household Bird Toxins to Know About

What better way to keep our feathered friends safe than keeping them inside our secure, climate-controlled houses? Bird lovers can sometimes forget that there are dangers for our avian friends indoors, too. 

Keeping our pets safe and healthy requires research, effort, and a little forethought. Shiloh Veterinary Hospital reminds you that we are here to help you do this and wants to bring your attention to those household bird toxins that you may not have thought about before.

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Pot-Bellied Pigs as Pets

It is more and more common for us at Shiloh Veterinary Hospital to see people with pets other than dogs and cats. No matter the species, we think that your animal family members deserve the best in veterinary care.

Pot-bellied pigs as pets are an increasingly popular choice and they can make absolutely amazing additions to the crew. They aren’t for everyone, though. Before considering a pot-bellied pig as your next pet, it is important to do your research.

Learning the Basics

Before committing to a new porky addition, there are a few basic requirements that you  need to be sure that you meet. Find out the following: 

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Is Pet Dental Care Really Necessary? The Answer May Surprise You

Imagine not brushing your own teeth. Within a day, your mouth would probably feel pretty gross. For most pets, never having their teeth brushed or professionally scaled is a fact of life. 

While it can seem frivolous or indulgent to care for a pet’s teeth, the fact is that a large majority of cats and dogs suffer from the effects of periodontal (gum) disease by the time they reach age 3. Caused by poor pet dental care, this irreversible disease is 100% preventable.

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Senior Pet Health for Dogs, Cats, and Exotics

As a pet ages, certain conditions and diseases may become a problem if they are predisposed, either through lifestyle or genetics. This is not to say that aging is a prescription for illness. Not by a long shot. By making sure you follow a good wellness program for your best friend, it can benefit them down the road and help to ward off disease. 

How do you do this? This is where the team at Shiloh Mobile Veterinary Hospital come in! We’re here to explain the merits of senior pet wellness and what it entails, so that you can keep your furry, scaled, finned, or feathered friend in great shape for years to come.

Pet Health for Senior Dogs

If your pooch is past 7 years of age, they may be considered senior. Maybe you have noticed that your dog has slowed down a bit, or perhaps has had to deal with certain conditions that come with maturity. Or, you may not have noticed any changes to your pet’s health (great news) and want to know more about maintaining that good state of being.

There are several components to senior care for dogs. One of the fundamental elements of senior care is how you provide this in your daily routine. Nutrition plays a crucial role in senior dog care, and it may be wise to switch your pup to a diet formulated for their stage of life. Other areas of importance are maintaining a healthy weight and providing professional and at home dental care, which includes toothbrushing.

Senior pet health focuses on:

  • Regular check-ups (once annually) with diagnostic testing (blood work, urinalysis)
  • Exercise including daily walks of 20 minutes or more, or other exercises as recommended by your vet
  • Dental exam and periodic cleaning, which is often necessary since most dogs over 3 have developed periodontal disease
  • Increased brushing and grooming, as many pets begin to lose some of the oil and moisture on their skin and can develop skin problems and dryness without care
  • Mobility support, should your pet have arthritis or other orthopedic issues
  • Supplements as needed for encouraged health 

These are only a few things your pet needs as they age, but most importantly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle at home with good nutrition and exercise will be a foundation for their future well rounded health.

Senior Wellness for Cats

Much like with canines, one of the first things to be addressed is diet. Finding the right diet suitable for your cat’s age is a great start to senior wellbeing. Your friend’s at Shiloh can help you out with this. Also, cats are prone to obesity as they get older. Add some interactive exercise for your furry one with a Cat Dancer, laser pointer, or other things that will elicit running, pouncing, and playing. 

An indoor life needs to be met with mental enrichment like toys, but also window perches, cat trees, and scratching posts so your pet can exhibit their instinctual behaviors. Other forms of senior cat wellness include:

  • Annual check-up and diagnostic testing (this may become twice annually, since cats often hide their signs of pain and disease)
  • Dental care (learning to brush your cat’s teeth can help discourage dental disease)
  • Kidney care (your cat may be switch to a prescription diet to help with kidney function)
  • Nutrition formulated for senior wellness
  • Exercise that includes interaction

Cats will need help getting the right exercise each day, based on their overall condition, and avoiding boredom and obesity. This is all within the power of a knowledgeable cat owner (like you). 

Senior Care for Exotics

Caring for exotics requires the same level of wellness care, but there can be more complexity in the aging process. Many exotic, with the exception of tortoises and certain avian species, live shorter lives. So their development occurs more rapidly and changes can come on fast. Make note of any changes you notice, such as limping, weakness, lethargy, and weight loss and call us.

Some elements of exceptional senior care for exotics are:

  • More frequent examinations (2-3 times a year) and diagnostics
  • Older pets may require more warmth, particularly if they have arthritis, so climate control is very important
  • Individualized nutritional support
  • Keep your senior pet’s items, like a bed and bowls, easy to get to and at the right height for them

If you would like more information on providing senior pet health care for excellent quality and quantity of life, please call us! Our mobile clinic is here for you and your sweet companion.

Unique Babies: Exotic Pet Care and Veterinary Wellness Examinations

The tiniest members of our families may not always be cats or dogs. In fact, the number of pet owners that are bringing unusual and wonderful exotic pets into their families seems to be increasing! Small mammals like guinea pigs, hamsters, and ferrets, birds of all varieties, reptiles and amphibians, and other exotic pets are a popular choice for those who seek the unique. 

Exotic pets make excellent pets, but their care is different from other domestic animals. The Shiloh Veterinary Hospital team is here to put a spotlight on exotic pet care and veterinary examinations for the best health and wellbeing of your pet.

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