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Technician Newsletter May 2015

Blood Tests on my pet?! Why?

In the new age of pet medicine, veterinarians have begun recommending lab-work for our four-legged friends annually, rather than an as-needed diagnostic. But Why? Several factors come into play; things like breed disposition, age, and lifestyle are all important. In the first year of growth, dogs and cats are compared to a fifteen year old human, and are recommended to have baseline blood testing ran at that time. This article will briefly review why that lab work is necessary for your pet.

Basic blood testing ran on your pet is typically comprised of a complete blood count (CBC), which measures the number of red and white blood cells (giving us information about infection, hydration, etc.) platelet counts, and many other cell types. In addition, a blood chemistry is run; this test looks at the values of the kidneys, liver and pancreas. Very vital organs in the body, your doctor will confirm that these organs are functioning properly to rule out disease processes, congenital disorders, toxicity, and so much more. The kidney’s and liver are responsible for processing anesthesia, oral medications, like pain medications and antibiotics, which is why your veterinarian may recommend lab work prior to any anesthetic procedure or beginning any new medications.

Available to the veterinary world is a vast variety of lab tests to be ran, including testing for the thyroid, urinalysis, testing for metabolic disorders, and so much more! Choosing to do annual lab work for your pet allows your Veterinarian to earlier detect any health concerns, and help you rest at ease that he or she is in great health.

Give Thanks for Safe and Healthy Pets

Thanksgiving is a time to share with friends and family, of the two AND four-legged variety. While your pets may enjoy mingling with visitors, please bear in mind that the hustle and bustle of a holiday gathering can be a stressful time for some pets. Not to mention all the delectable goodies that could find themselves within reach of a hungry pooch. Review the following tips for enjoying your Thanksgiving with your pets!

Turkey A little bit of turkey never hurts to share with your dog or cat - but make sure it is cooked thoroughly and remove all bones. Salmonella poisoning could occur from feeding raw or undercooked poultry, and cooked bones could splinter and block the intestinal tract.

Sage Sage and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils. Keep your cooking accoutrements out of reach of curious paws and claws when not in use, and avoid giving your pets treats that contain these.

No Bread Dough According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal's body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.

Raw Eggs Keep cake batter and other items containing raw eggs out of reach - salmonella poisoning can occur from consuming raw eggs.

Too Much of a Good Thing A few nibbles of turkey or a pinch of cornbread would make your pet's day! But be careful and don't allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, we recommend keeping pets on their normal diets during the holidays. Sudden changes, festive as they may be, could do more harm than good.

Potty Training Your Pooch

Is Your Pooch's Potty Issues a Problem?

For Potty success follow these simple rules:

-Set a schedule and be consistent

-Keep dog's territory confined- sleeping/eating space is not for messes

-Realistic expectations- Puppy's age in months plus one = hours they can 'hold it' (3months=4hours)

-New home or new dog? -Start over in potty training

-Use Appropriate cleaners for accidents- Enzymatic is best- "regular" carpet cleaners won't work

-Super reward potty success outside -Lots of praise and treats! Be excited!

-Rule out medical issues- sudden changes in habits may have underlying causes

-Don't get upset when finding a mess- its already passed in the dog's mind- just clean up and move on

-Know the 'triggers' -Puppies often have to "go" after naps, meal times, and rough play times

-Keep Potty time "boring" walk outside and stand still- play or walk happens AFTER potty happens

-Factor in Anxiety- is outside scary? Accommodate to dog's comfort level

-Make sure household is on the same page

-When having issues- take steps back and reexamine

If issues persist, please schedule a consultation! I'd be more than happy to help work with the household to create a custom schedule setting everyone up for success or troubleshooting specific issues.

  • article by Lindsey Trousdale, Certified Dog Trainer, Karen Pryor Academy, CTP.

Aliso Viejo Position Available!

Searching for a Pet Care Specialist in Aliso Viejo!

Pooch’s Best Friend is searching for Pet Care Specialists to add to our team for our Aliso Viejo clients. Must reside in Aliso or in close proximity. If you are a true animal lover & would love to care for them, this may be a great opportunity for you. Job duties of this part-time position include:

Drive to clients’ residence to pet sit, dog walk, bathe, or taxi. Text client pictures & updates of their pet (a smart phone is strongly recommended) Available to work weekends and holidays Clients will reside in approximately an 8 mile radius from each Pet Care Specialists home. ALL OTHER SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. Please do not apply if you are reluctant to certain breeds of dogs, as we do not discriminate. However, we won’t accept a pet that is aggressive or may be a danger to the Pet Care Specialist.

Requirements: Must have experience in the pet care industry (i.e. vet technician, kennel attendant, trainer, etc) Must be certified in pet cpr/first aid (or willing to take the course) Clean driving record Reliable, insured transportation Background check will be conducted For consideration, please email your resume to: info@poochsbestfriend.com.

Introducing Your Pooch to Your New Baby

There are several new PBF parents in the last couple months! Congrats to the Rahyar & Seal families on the arrival of their babies. Bringing a little one into your family can be a huge change in your dog’s life. So that this transition may be easier for anyone wishing to expand their family, this article is for you!

Plan before baby arrives

Many of us treat our pets as our children. We tend to give them tons of attention, whenever they are in our presence. This step can thus be difficult, but limit the amount of sporadic time you spend with your pooch. Instead, opt for longer periods of time with him, such as a long walk, outing or activity. After the activity is done, do not pay as much attention to him. When baby arrives, it won’t be such a surprise that he isn’t constantly your #1 focus.

Accustom your pooch to baby items

Babies can be incredibly strange-looking to animals. They are small, move & sound a lot different than adults! Familiarize your pooch with children. This can be done by allowing him to walk past children (at a safe distance!), purchasing a baby-sound cd and using baby lotion & shampoo so they are already normal scents in your home. If the baby room will be off-limits, set up a doorway gate now, and remove pet toys.

Make the first introduction positive

Before entering your home with the baby, prepare your pooch. Have a friend assist with managing the introductions. That person can get a bag of treats ready. It may also be best to leash your dog before the first greeting. Allow your excited dog to greet everyone who enters the home first. When he is settled and calm, allow him to approach the baby. It is so important to make sure this is a positive experience so refrain from any harsh tones or yelling. If his body language is still relaxed, and you feel comfortable, let him sniff the baby. Praise him for good behavior and give a treat. I reiterate, do not scold, or yell at your pooch during this time. You want him to correlate the baby with positive experiences.

Baby time = fun time for pooch!

Allow your pooch to relate baby time with fun time. So that your pooch does not become jealous of the time he now has to share with the baby, give him a lot of attention in the presence of your baby. Allow walks to include both baby in a stroller or pack, and pooch on a leash. When baby eats, give him treats. He’ll soon learn that when baby is present, times are fun! Separating baby time from your pet’s time may be easier on you, but can be counterproductive on allowing him to create the bond with your baby.

For more information on this topic, please refer to the following articles:

Humane Society: “Introducing Your Pet and New Baby” (www.humansociety.org)

ASPCA: “Introducing Your Dog to Your New Baby” (www.aspca.org)

Victoria Stilwell: “How to Safely Introduce Your Dog To Your New Baby” (www.postively.com)