02-05-17_dogs

BUILD YOUR OWN DOG

Animal Lover, Animals, Best pet for you, Big Dogs, Dog breed, Dog Breeds, Dog food, dog park, DOGS, DR. GOOGLE, DrJohnEmerson, FAIRNESS TO PET OWNERS, Favorite pet, Love for animals, Pain Control, Pet education, PET EMERGENCY, Pet illness, Pet issues, PET LOVERS, PET SAFETY, PET TIPS, PETCARE, PETS, Small Business Owners, Uncategorized, VETERINARIAN, Wellness, what dog breed should I get

Dear Fellow Pet Lovers,

Have you ever really thought about how long dog and man have worked together as partners?

Thousands of years, no doubt.

And did you ever wonder why dogs, maybe more than most other species, vary so widely in size and shape even when considering “normal” animals? It is true, a “normal” toy breed dog could naturally weigh 3 lbs, while a “normal” giant breed one may be upwards of 250. (The Spanish Mastiff is the largest breed of dog at about 225 lbs on average.)

And why are some dogs thin and svelte while others are thick and stocky?

The answer to all of this is because we as man have bred dogs to have traits that we consider desirable for whatever mission the dog is to have with us. For example, if you wanted the fastest dog, you would want one thin and with strong leg muscles (the Greyhound,) if you wanted one to guard your sheep, you would need a strong, smart, loyal type (the Collie,) and if you wanted one to sit on your lap and maybe not shed, you might breed dogs that begin to look like a Poodle.

This is all fine at least at first, but then people begin to go for certain types that have the “cool” factor but that may not exactly suit that dog’s mission. It is here where we may see a Great Dane in an apartment or a toy Maltese running free outside.

Some other examples of popular dogs that are maybe not so practical include many Bulldog breeds. Goofy, happy, and friendly, bulldogs are a joy. But many bulldogs also are cursed with severe difficulty breathing and overall poor health.

So, considering that I do not have a dog in this hunt, and in no way being “catty,” here are my tips for tis week….

-Look hard at the type of breed you will get and try to select rationally based on practical matters as much as you can.

-Select a breed that is a size that works for you and that is as healthy as possible.

-Ask lots of people, mentally place the dog into your life, and see if it will work out before you get the pet.

-If you just must have a higher-maintenance breed, consider getting pet health insurance or self insure by setting money aside every month towards health care.

-Team up with your DVM for best data on feeding, care, and overall health.

-And come the Pet Emergency Clinic anytime your pet has even a small problem out of hours.

Happy Dogging!!!!

See? Something CAN be done about preventing pet illness.

That is all.

Dr. John Emerson, Pet Emergency Clinic

01-22-17_myolddog_blog

AGING PETS

Animal Lover, Animals, Best pet for you, Big Dogs, CATS, Dog breed, Dog Breeds, DOGS, DR. GOOGLE, DrJohnEmerson, Love for animals, Pain Control, Pet education, PET EMERGENCY, Pet illness, Pet issues, Pet Laws, PET LOVERS, Pet owner, PET SAFETY, PET TIPS, PETCARE, PETS, Small Business Owners, Uncategorized, VETERINARIAN, Wellness

Dear Fellow Pet Lovers,

Our pets age. Just as we do.

Though older pets show some signs that could be attributed to aging, in many cases, problems are present that could be fully corrected but are not. Because we think it is just age.

So look at your older pet. Is she eating, drinking, glad to see you? Is anything different?

It may not be just age. Or it may be a problem that can be solved.

So what to do if your aging pet is showing symptoms that you are not sure are a problem?

Get your own veterinarian to take a look. There are likely some tests such as blood and x rays that will help you find out.

In many cases, something will be found that can be corrected.

And you and your pet can have an even better life together.

See? Something CAN be done about preventing pet illness.

That is all.

Dr. John Emerson, Pet Emergency Clinic

01-15-17_blog

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

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Dear Fellow Pet Lovers,

In this world of instant communication and 24 hour  news, isn’t it interesting to realize that the “Snake Oil” once sold off the back of horse-drawn wagons at county fairs in the early 1900’s is till being offered?

I sometimes listen to talk radio while driving, and I marvel at the items being sold. There is a vitamin supplement for dogs that almost instantly cures all skin problems, there is a color-named dog food that makes all other brands obsolete, there are anti-depressant drugs that are used on top of other anti-depressant drugs, and there is every possible physical ailment being promoted, that you or your children may have.

If you pay much attention to this material, you may be tempted to believe that, though the world is coming to an end, you at least do not have to be depressed, and your dog can have firm stools, a white smile, a great complexion.

So, how do we handle all of this?

At least as regards pets, just use a little common sense. If I am listening to an ad, I always try to ask just why the “vets do not want me to know about it,” or why it is suddenly so necessary in my life, or why they want to make me such a “killer deal” right this second only?

Here are some of my better pet health general tips:

1- If you see a hyped product for your pet , ask your DVM about it. Believe me, there is no pet-helpful product that he/she “doesn’t want you to know about.”

2- Generally, when considering diet for your pets, avoid blindly trusting a pet store clerk or slick advertising. Again, ask your DVM. As an aside, though your DVM may carry a line of food that he/she considers good for your pet, he is happy to recommend other good products. Pet food is not a large veterinary profit center.

3- On anything regarding your pet, or anything else for that matter, practice simple common sense. Provide shelter, warmth, food, and water to your pet and your pet has a good chance to do well. (Nicotine harms a body in numerous ways, so be sure your pet is a non-smoker too!)

4- Avoid placing your pet into high risk situations. For example, allowing your 9 pound Chihuahua with the “little man” syndrome to sniff noses with a much larger “friendly” Rottweiler, just does not make sense.

5- If medical problems do occur, get help right away, even if it does not seem so bad, so that it will stay “not so bad.”

6- Get a Care Credit account for your pet. You will have an interest-free medical line of credit available so that, when the times comes that your pet needs expensive care, the stress of money can be taken away.

See? Something CAN be done about preventing pet illness.

That is all.

Dr. John Emerson, Pet Emergency Clinic

01-08-17_blog

Drugs For Cheap?

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Dear Fellow Pet Lovers,

As you probably have experienced, the price of drugs, including veterinary drugs, can be very high. The “explanation” of these prices is that the companies spend billions of dollars on research and must recoup those costs and make a profit. This all seems reasonable, but in many cases, prices of 20 year old and older drugs are artificially inflated, making the above argument seem less valid.

The bottom line to all this is that everyone would like to find a less expensive source of needed prescription drugs, including animal drugs.

Up to just a few years ago, most veterinary drugs were dispensed from a veterinary clinic at a moderate markup. In the past several years, internet pharmacies began selling these same drugs, heavily advertised at a discount but often at similar costs to those from local retailers. Many of these internet pharmacies were and are legitimate, registered pharmacies who (mostly) followed the prescription rules and who sold legitimate, valid product to the public, even if the advertised savings were over-blown. These pharmacies were subject to regulation from state boards of pharmacy and thus, could be somewhat policed.

Even more recently, internet predator companies that are not valid pharmacies have begun illegally selling some prescription drugs outside the law. In many cases, these products were not even valid product and caused harm rather than the expected good. The latest is a company called “Vaccination Services” that illegally sold various veterinary drugs to unsuspecting pet owners. The owner of this company, is currently under indictment and may be going to prison.

So, what is my point in all this?

1- Drugs prescribed by your DVM are probably very important to your pet, and should definitely be exactly what was prescribed.
2- Avoid buying these drugs from anyone other than a valid, licensed pharmacy or from your DVM.
3- Research cost yourself, including shipping costs. You may find that your local clinic can compete on price. And your money stays local.
4- If the cost of a product that your pet uses long-term is getting high, ask your DVM about alternatives as regards where to get it or even whether another similar product may be usable.
5- Avoid buying any veterinary or other medicine product from anything other than a known certified pharmacy that requires a valid prescription. Because no matter how much you “save,” you have wasted money if you did not get the actual product you thought you were getting.

And that is my advice on veterinary drugs. (It really is a brave new world!)

See? Something CAN be done about preventing pet illness.

That is all.

Dr. John Emerson, Pet Emergency Clinic

dog-behind-fence

Pet’s Day Out

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Dear Fellow Pet Lovers,

A recent weekend at the ER involved several pets who escaped confinement, wandered into neighbors’ yards, and were severely injured or killed.

The tragedy and heartache that accompany such incidents is severe, both for you, the pet owner, and for the ER people who help your pet.

So, now is a very good time to check your fencing, check the security of any leashes you use, get a good leash if there was no leash to check the security of, and to consider having your pet microchipped. (If lost, at least, your chipped pet will have a better chance to be found. If you are concerned about privacy, your pet probably doesn’t care, and your own cell phone tracks you far better than any passive pet chip)

This is a time of year during which you must remain doubly alert. Drivers are distracted and so are pet owners. Keep your alertness around your pet and your car in in in.

And enjoy a very Merry Christmas season!!!!

See? Something CAN be done about preventing pet illness.

That is all.

Dr. John Emerson, Pet Emergency Clinic

blog

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

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Dear Fellow Pet Lovers,

This song, by the group “Poison,” is both true and a good lead-in to this week’s update.

This time of year at Pet ER, we see lots of cases that involve poisoning.

One dictionary defines poison as “any substance that causes injury or death of a living organism.” This seems like a nice, simple definition. And, when you think about it, ANY substance can become a poison if taken in the wrong quantities or even just at the wrong time.

Common things such as water, salt, Play-dough, Gorilla Glue, and other things deemed “non-toxic,’ can in fact become poisons in certain conditions.
We define poisoning as anytime a pet gets something that he should not have gotten and it is causing a problem. It is not just that nasty bag of dust that has been in the shop for the past 30 years.

Also keep in mind that your pet can be poisoned by a “normal dose” of that human medicine he grabbed off the counter, since your pet’s body weight is often so much less than yours.

So, what to do?

1- Take a look at all classical poisons around your house every so often. Clean out the ones you are not planning to use.
2- Keep any meds you have well away from your curious pet. Sometimes they want that ADHD drug since they saw you take it.
3- Keep all foods, especially candies and chocolate, secured, and not just on the countertop. Some of the most un-athletic dogs become high jumpers when it comes to getting such food. And illness ensues.
4- Do not ever give your dog any human drug, unless you know for a fact, from a veterinarian, that the drug and the dose are totally ok. Example. A client gives a pet asprin (a drug that may be used on dogs), and then the DVM is very limited on what HE may use in the same class of drug, since mixing causes problems.
5- The ASPCA has an Animal Poison Control Unit that you may use yourself. If you do, and we see your pet at the ER, we will be allowed to consult the service based on your case number. (There is a fee from ASPCA to have this done, but it is reasonable at under $80.00)

So, there you have it. A toxic little update so that you may avoid toxins

See? Something CAN be done about preventing pet illness.

That is all.

Dr. John Emerson, Pet Emergency Clinic

11-26-16_pot-dog

Pot and Pets

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Dear Fellow Pet Lovers,

Lately, I have been hearing about the use of marijuana for pets will painful illnesses and in some cases for pets WITHOUT painful illnesses.

As you know, there are several states that allow medical use of marijuana in humans. In fact, Louisiana will soon be joining this list. And there are also several states that allow this drug to be used recreationally. So, the question is, would pot be helpful for painful illness in pets? Would it be ok just for fun?

I do not necessarily know the answer to the first question. Though pot seems to help people in pain, we do not really know whether it is good for pets. It has not been properly studied and there would be plentiful roadblocks to doing those studies. You should not let your dog be the guinea pig.

Regarding question 2, is it ok to give pets pot, I can tell you from experience that we have seen numerous pets who had been given or who had “scored” pot on their own, that were extremely ill and we were concerned may not survive. I think that this probably has to do with the dose per pound body weight. An amount that is small for a 200lb human may be huge for a 10 pound dog.

So, here are my thoughts on pot and pets:
1- I would in general avoid giving pot to any pet for any reason, since it is possibly very dangerous and it is also illegal.
2- If you enjoy the odd joint for yourself, be very careful to ensure that your pet absolutely cannot get to it.
3- One of the things that happen when we see pets who have ingested pot or other drugs is that the owner is reluctant to tell us that this has occurred. Then, because of vague symptoms, we run a large number of tests in an attempt to get a diagnosis. So, if your pet gets some of your “stash” for some reason, please let us know so we may treat your pet correctly.
4- Remember that, even if you had a legitimate medical “reason” for your pet to be given state-legal medical pot, the drug is still considered illegal according to Federal law. Thus, you could still be at risk for prosecution despite being  State-legal.

When I was in college, I knew a lot of people who smoked marijuana, and it was almost mainstream. For many years, it was far less popular. But not, it is again becoming a favored drug.

So, until it is a proven and legal therapy, avoid it and seek other pain control measures.

See? Something CAN be done about preventing pet illness.

That is all.

Dr. John Emerson, Pet Emergency Clinic