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Clinic Blog

Back To School Pet Tips

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1. Transition Time

About a week before the kids return to school, begin getting your dog used to their absence. This is best accomplished by leaving your dog home for short trips. Ideally, leave them inside early in the morning to simulate school time. You only need to leave them for thirty minutes or so. The idea is to get them accustomed to the fact that long, lazy summer mornings are coming to an end. Also, start getting out the lunchboxes and other items your dog associates with leaving for school in the morning. The idea is to de-sensitize them to any anxiety-producing cues prior to school starting. Do this several times a day and your dog’s nervousness will begin to diminish.

2. Break Out the Crate

For indoor dogs that will be spending several hours alone, a dog crate may be your best bet. A crate is not a punishment device; it is a play pen. Placing your dog in a crate should be thought of as putting a toddler in a play pen or crib. The purpose is to prevent your dog from getting into accidents and injuring himself. In addition, the security of having one’s own space is comforting to many dogs. Be sure to leave food or a treat, fresh water, a blanket and favorite toy. Try to come home at lunch to take your dog out for a break. The ideal crate size should be just big enough for them to comfortably stand up, turn around and stretch out. Rotate the toys you leave and use those that you can stuff with vegetables or dog food to keep your dog engaged while you’re away. In many areas doggie daycare is an excellent alternative to “home alone” which we here at Cornerstone Animal Clinic provide for both large & small dogs, old & young….we can find the best daycare time for your furry family member. Contact us for more information on our Doggie DayCare!

3. Turn on Some Tunes

Whenever your dog is left alone, the sound of human voices or music can be soothing. I recommend leaving slow (50 to 60 beats per minute) and soothing music playing whenever your pet is left alone.

4. Pass on the Piddle Pads

Many people think that if they leave their dog indoors, they should leave out a piddle pad. I don’t recommend putting down newspaper, training pads or other substances for your dog to urinate on except in very special situations. While you may think you’re telling your dog to urinate on a piddle pad in an emergency, your dog interprets this as it’s okay to tinkle on your tile. The goal with house-training is that your dog doesn’t go to the bathroom in the house–period. This is another excellent reason for using a dog crate.

5. Avoid Anxiety

Changes in routine can also lead to anxiety in many dogs. Some dogs will experience separation anxiety or become frightened by loud noises or sudden thunderstorms. In addition to great pharmacologic treatments to help relax your pet during these stressful times, there are non-prescription remedies that may help. Rescue Remedy, valerian, melatonin, SAM-e, fish oil, dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP) and other natural products may also help some dogs and cats. Gradual desensitization using storm recordings work remarkably well for most pets. One of the most overlooked treatments is to increase the amount of exercise your dog receives. Several studies have shown increasing aerobic activity to as little as 30 minutes a day reduces the signs of separation anxiety in dogs.

Enriching the environment with a constantly rotating selection of interesting and interactive toys is also helpful in making your dog feel at home when he’s alone.

Speak with a veterinarian here at Cornerstone Animal Clinic about how to calm your best buddy with an anxiety problem. There’s no reason anyone should have to cower in a closet or destroy the furniture to get relief.

6. Quality Time Counts Most

With school back in session, your dog may not get as much time playing with your family as during the care-free days of summer. If this is the case at your house, be sure to make the most of the time you have with your pet. Long walks at the park, lounging around on the couch, whatever it takes to re-connect at the end of a busy week. Remember that even though your dog wasn’t at work or school all day, he still needs time to unwind. As the days grow shorter, be sure to find time to walk your dog daily and enjoy this unique relationship.

 

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Ear Infections

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Does your pet scratch his ears? Shake his head? Love to swim? If so, he might have an ear infection.

Most dogs get infections in their ears because of allergies to environmental irritants – and it’s the allergic reaction that makes their ears so irritated. You may also notice an abnormal odor from the ear or see redness & swelling. Once a dog starts scratching because of water in the ear or any other number of irritants, the ear canal lining gets damaged & yeast and bacteria take over.

blog4bHere are some of the contributing causes and perpetuating factors for external ear infections (called otitis externa) and middle ear infections (called otitis media):

  • An overgrowth of yeast or bacteria, or often, both
  • Wax buildup in the ear canal
  • Thick hair in the ear canal
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Tumors within the ear canal
  • Ruptured eardrum
  • Improper ear cleaning
  • Foreign bodies such as bristle from grass
  • Environmental irritants
  • Diabetes mellitus

Bring your pet into our veterinary clinic for diagnosis and treatment of an ear infection.

Infections of the middle ear are usually the result of an infection that has spread there from the outer ear canal.

Prevention depends on identifying the underlying cause of the ear infection. In some cases the ear canal becomes moist from bathing, grooming or swimming. This moisture fosters the growth of microorganisms in the ear canal. Prevention in these cases can be as simple as cleaning the ear as previously described to remove the moisture and prevent the infection. However, in many cases an underlying cause may not be so easily identified.

blog4cDogs that suffer from allergies, either environmental, such as pollens (grasses, trees and weeds), dust mites, molds or food (beef, chicken, fish, soy, etc.) are predisposed to ear infections. This is due to the microscopic inflammation that allergies cause in the skin allowing overgrowth of bacterial and yeast organisms that normally inhabit the skin.

Cats don’t often get ear infections, but when they do, the cause can be complex. If your vet has ruled out ear mites — the culprit in about half of all feline ear infections — they’ll have to do some sleuthing to figure out what’s causing your cat’s outer or middle ear infection. It could be secondary to allergies, a mass, or possibly something lodged in the ear canal.

If you have any questions regarding treatment or prevention of ear infections for your fluffy family member, call our veterinary clinic at 972-385-3555 so we can help your fur baby feel their best!

Sincerely,

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

There’s No Place Like Home!

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blog5bYour family’s world could change in an instant. An open gate or door can allow your pet to escape in a flash. 1 in 3 pets will get lost during their lifetime. Over 10 million pets are lost every year. Without identification, 90% of lost pets will NEVER return home. Thankfully there is a solution to help reunite beloved lost pets with their families…microchips! Every month over 10,000 pets are reunited with their families thanks to microchips!

Dog and cat microchipping is a simple procedure. A veterinarian simply injects a microchip for pets, about the size of a grain of rice (12mm), beneath the surface of your pets skin between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a routine shot, takes only a few seconds, and your pet will not react any more than he would to a vaccination. No anesthetic is required.

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A HomeAgain microchip is permanent pet ID. The microchip itself has no internal energy source, so it will last the life of your pet. It is read by passing a microchip scanner over the pets shoulder blades. The scanner emits a low radio frequency that provides the power necessary to transmit the microchips unique cat or dog ID code and positively identify the pet.

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We use HomeAgain brand microchips at Cornerstone Animal Clinic. HomeAgain is the only dog & cat microchipping product on the market today that has the Bio-Bond patented anti-migration feature to help ensure that the microchip will stay in place so that it may be easily located and scanned. If your pet gets lost and is taken to an animal shelter or veterinarian, they will scan the microchip to read its unique dog or cat ID code. This is the number used by HomeAgain to identify the pet and retrieve your contact information, which is used to contact you and reunite you with your pet.

blog5eA microchip saves the day for one of our dog clinic’s guests.

Today one of our clients brought in a scared little french bulldog that she found running down her street. Fallon immediately took her back to our treatment area to scan her for a microchip. Everyone anxiously waited until the scanner beeped, showing that she had one! We wrote down her unique microchip identification number and called HomeAgain to see if it was registered. (Over 50% of microchipped pets are unfortunately never registered, which defeats the purpose of implanting one. This is why we make sure to register every pet we microchip so that our client’s don’t have to worry about forgetting to do so.) Thankfully, her registration information was current and we were able to contact her owner within minutes of her arriving to our veterinary clinic to let her know that “Zoey” had been found! Her owner had been distraught and was missing her terribly. She had slipped out of her collar last night and ran away after something startled her. Zoey was reunited with her very grateful owner and is back at home, safe and sound!

If your pet is not microchipped and you would like to have this done, just give us a call at 972-385-3555 and we will schedule an appointment for you!

Have a pawsome day!

Sincerely,

Fallon Henry

Fallon Henry

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Nutrition Is The Foundation For Your Pet’s Health

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A well-maintained nutritional program is the best thing you can do for your pet. At Cornerstone Animal Clinic, we offer three different brands of veterinary-exclusive prescription diets so that we can help you provide the best nutrition for your beloved furry family member.

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Royal Canin was founded by veterinarian Jean Cathary in France in 1968. They pride themselves on science-based nutrition. Each of their canine and feline diets are made up of over 50 nutrients that must be included to supply the most effective nutrition for cats and dogs of all ages and lifestyles.

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Hill’s Prescription Diet has been leading America’s pet nutrition since 1939. Their nutritional philosophy is to specially formulate their diets to include 100% of what pets need and 0% of what they don’t.

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For over 20 years, Purina Veterinary Diets have been formulated as nutritional aids in the dietary management of dogs and cats with certain health issues. As the pace of change in pet care accelerates, their challenge is to lead with fresh, innovative approaches to making the lives of dogs and cats better.
Our veterinarians and staff are here to educate you on the best nutrition plan for your pet.

As the leaders to your healthier pet, our staff at Cornerstone Animal Clinic is continuing their education by taking comprehensive nutritional courses offered by each of these companies to give us more knowledge and insight into how to provide the best foundational nutrition for your fur-kid.

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Every month, our veterinary clinic offers a different educational display for our clients. This month’s topic is nutrition. Stop by today to learn how you can provide the best nutrition for your pet!

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Have a great day!

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Certified Pet-Nutrition Consultant, Purina

Graduate of the Royal Canin Academy

The Danger of Toxic Plants

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This summer should be spent out by the pool, working in our gardens or grilling out with our family and friends making great memories! When you’re out and about, make sure to keep your eyes on your fluffy family member at all times so that there are no temptations to chew or eat any plants that might be toxic to them.

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blog7cThis adorable young wheaton terrier, Olivia unfortunately found out first hand the consequences of eating the toxic sago palm. Luckily her mom saw the chewed up plant and brought Olivia in to see Dr. Morse at our veterinary clinic just in time! Within 15 minutes of ingestion you might notice drooling, decreased appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea. Central nervous system signs such as weakness, seizures, tremors or severe liver failure can be seen within 2-3 days after ingestion. Olivia had a comprehensive blood panel run in our in-house laboratory, was given oral activated charcoal to help absorb any of the toxins, and was sent home on several medications to help prevent any further problems. She is expected to make a full recovery after her scary adventure.

Beware of the following plants that can be toxic to your pet:

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(CLICK HERE for a complete list of toxic and non-toxic plants.)

If you have a pet that is DETERMINED to chew, eat, or even just play with your plants, here are a few non-toxic alternatives:

  • catnip/catmint
  • african violet
  • bamboo
  • gerber daisy
  • spider plant
  • boston fern
  • orchid

We hope you and your furry family members have a safe and fun summer! Don’t forget, if you have any questions, our animal doctors are just a phone call away!
Sincerely,

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Maya Alexander, Receptionist

Welcome to the Cornerstone Animal Clinic Blog

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Hello everyone!

Welcome to our new blog! We want to be able to connect with you…our valued clients outside of the clinic, so we have started this blog. We look forward to getting to share funny stories, helpful information, interesting cases, and more! If there is a specific topic that you would like for us to cover, please let us know!

Thank you all so much for entrusting us with the care of your 4-legged family members. We are so grateful to have such wonderful clients!
Sincerely,

Mandy Hall, Practice Manager

Mandy Hall,
Practice Manager