Know When Your Pet Is in Pain

Even though our pets live comfortably domesticated lives, dogs and cats still instinctively mask signs of pain and illness that could make them more vulnerable to predators in the wild. As a result, signs of pain in pets can be subtle and difficult to recognize. Knowing when your pet is in pain, however, is not impossible.

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Know When Your Pet Is in Pain

Even though our pets live comfortably domesticated lives, dogs and cats still instinctively mask signs of pain and illness that could make them more vulnerable to predators in the wild. As a result, signs of pain in pets can be subtle and difficult to recognize. Knowing when your pet is in pain, however, is not impossible.

In honor of National Pet Pain Awareness Month, our team at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital is spreading awareness about pet pain so you can know when your pet is in pain and get them the veterinary treatment they need.

10 Signs of Pain in Pets

1. Behavior Changes

Unexplained changes to your pet’s normal behavior, such as unusual aggression, restlessness, hiding or sleeping more than usual, could all indicate pain.

2. Accidents in the House

If your pet is normally very well house trained and suddenly starts having trouble making it outside or to the litter box in time, this could be a sign of pain or other illness.

3. Posture or Facial Expression Changes

A pet in pain might stand, sit, rise, walk, or rest in a slightly different position than usual. They may also stare, have a fixed gaze or dilated pupils, and can squint their eyes more than usual.

4. Limping or Limb Favoring

Your pet might favor one limb or hold it off the ground when walking or even at rest.

5. Excessive Panting, Purring, or Vocalization

Panting at rest, purring constantly, whimpering, yowling, hissing, growling, or howling can indicate pain.

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6. Reluctance to Move or Play

Pets in pain might avoid activity or find it difficult to stand up or lay down. Many pets in pain will refuse to jump up onto or down from furniture that they would have normally had no problems with in the past.

7. Isolation and Not Wanting to Be Touched

A pet in pain might withdraw from the family, become disinterested in interaction, and not want to be touched.

8. Trembling

In pain, a pet might tremble, shiver, or shake.

9. Reduced Appetite

Pets might become less interested in their food and treats and can start to skip meals.

10. Excessive Grooming

In pain, a cat might groom excessively or a dog might persistently bite, lick, or chew on a particularly painful spot on their body.

You can watch this video from the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management for more information on recognizing all of these signs in your pet.

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Acute and Chronic Pet Pain Management in Sleepy Hollow

Any changes – even subtle ones – to your pet’s behavior, appetite, appearance, energy level, or routine could be an indication of pain or illness. If you notice anything unusual about your pet, we encourage you to schedule a sick pet appointment at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital.

Utilizing The American Hospital Association’s Guidelines for Pain Management as our guide, we can provide immediate and ongoing relief of your pet’s pain by examining your pet, determining a diagnosis and providing safe and effective treatment to address the underlying cause of your dog or cat’s pain.

To learn more about pet pain management, visit our Pain Management Page or contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital today.

Why Do Dogs Get Ear Infections

Find out why dogs get ear infections, what to do about them, and how to prevent them in this month’s blog!

Why Do Dogs Get Ear Infections

Many underlying factors can make dogs prone to ear infections such as:

  • The shape of the ear canal
  • The shape of the ear flap (pinna) and whether it is droopy or upright
  • Breed – Some dogs produce more wax (or sebum)
  • Age – Young dogs are more prone to ear mites
  • Underlying medical disorders such as low thyroid hormone levels and other – hormonal diseases
  • Exposure to moisture from swimming or baths
  • Allergies – This is the #1 cause of ear infections in dogs
  • The lifestyle your dog leads. Activities such as running in the brush and woods can lead to foreign material getting stuck in the ear

How Will I Know if My Dog Has an Ear Infection

Signs and symptoms of ear infections in dogs include:

  • Head shaking
  • Tilting of the head
  • Rubbing their head or face against objects
  • Pawing at or scratching the ear
  • Redness or swelling in or around the ears
  • Bloody, yellow, or brown-colored discharge from the ears
  • Foul-smelling ears
  • Scabbing or crusting in or just outside of the ears

If you notice any signs or symptoms of an ear infection in your dog, seeking veterinary care as soon as possible will help prevent more serious issues from developing. Left unaddressed, ear infections in dogs can be painful and in serious cases can even lead to coordination and balance problems, hearing loss, and facial paralysis.

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Treating Your Dog's Ear Infection

Treatment for a dog’s ear infection is two-fold. We want to treat the infection and we also want to treat the underlying cause. The treatment for the infection depends on the type of infection (bacteria or yeast) and the severity of the infection. The treatment for the underlying cause will also need to be considered and possibly investigated more thoroughly with testing.

One of the mainstays of treatment for the infection is to clean out all the debris that is present in your dog’s ears and then apply topical treatments. We might also prescribe oral antibiotics and/or antifungals, anti-inflammatory medications or itch-relieving oral medications for ongoing treatment.

Additionally, depending on the underlying cause, we’ll talk with you about ways to prevent your dog from developing ear infections in the future.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Getting an Ear Infection

Since dogs are prone to ear infections, it’s important to take steps to protect your dog from developing them in the first place.

  • Keep your pet’s ears clean with regular cleanings or groomings
  • Do not pluck hairs from your dog’s ears (Leave this to the professionals who only do it when needed)
  • Make sure your dog’s ears are thoroughly dry after swimming and bathing. – – Ask one of our veterinarians for a drying solution if needed
  • Do not let your dog stick his or her head out the window when driving
  • Be on the lookout for any other signs of allergies such as paw-licking, red skin, crusting or generalized itchiness.

If these symptoms are occuring in your dog, it is best to make an appointment to discuss this with one of our veterinarians.

To learn more about preventing ear infections in dogs or to schedule an appointment for your pet, we welcome you to contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital today.

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Why We Immunize Our Pets

With so much talk in the news and on social media about the safety of vaccines intended for people, many pet owners have been left wondering about the vaccinations we give our pets.

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Why We Immunize Our Pets

With so much talk in the news and on social media about the safety of vaccines intended for people, many pet owners have been left wondering about the vaccinations we give our pets. Are they safe and why do we vaccinate our pets?

The short answer is that yes, pet vaccinations are safe and every pet should receive a veterinarian-recommended schedule to safeguard their health and yours from highly contagious and dangerous diseases.

Top 5 Reasons Why We Vaccinate Our Pets

1. It’s the Law
New York State Law requires all dog and cat owners to vaccinate their pets against Rabies to prevent both the pet and their human family members from contracting this deadly disease.

2. Safe and Effective
Most people have never heard of the diseases that we commonly vaccinate pets for simply because the vaccinations that we use are so effective. Many of these diseases are severe, lack effective treatments, and can be fatal and prior to the development of these vaccines, many pets became ill and/or died from these diseases.

With every vaccination, there is a small risk of an adverse reaction. However, the benefit of vaccination far outweighs this small risk because vaccines, when administered on the appropriate schedule, are incredibly effective at protecting your pet.

3. Protects Your Human Family Members
Additionally, vaccines protect pets from contracting zoonotic diseases (i.e. those that can be transmitted between animals and people). So, vaccinating your pet for Rabies and, if appropriate, Leptospirosis also protects the people in your family from being exposed to these dangerous illnesses.

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4. Reduces Disease in Your Home and Community
When everyone vaccinates their pets, it reduces the prevalence of contagious diseases in the community. As a result, fewer wild animals, pets, and people have the potential to be exposed.

5. Required for Boarding, Grooming, and Other Pet-Related Facilities
Vaccination is generally required for the safety of your pet and others at places of business that cater to your pet’s needs.

If you want to take your pet for a professional bath, haircut, or nail trim; enroll your pet in training; or schedule a stay for your pet at a daycare or boarding facility, your pet will likely need to meet a list of health requirements, including having current vaccinations.

6. Required for Travel
Whether you are traveling domestically or internationally, if you are bringing your pet along for the ride, your destination will have vaccine requirements that you will need to follow.

If you will be traveling, it is best to plan ahead by visiting our website’s health certificate page.

Update Your Pet's Vaccinations at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital

Whether you’ve just adopted a new pet, are new to the area, plan to travel with your pet, or simply haven’t been to the veterinary office for more than a year, we welcome you to schedule an appointment for a checkup and vaccinations for your dog or cat.

To learn more about vaccinations and additional treatments designed to promote your pet’s ongoing wellness, we welcome you to visit our website’s vaccination page or contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital today.

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Why Do Cats Go Crazy for Catnip?

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a common herb that belongs to the mint plant family, and cats go crazy for it…or rather, from it.

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Why Do Cats Go Crazy for Catnip?

If you’ve ever gone to a friend’s house and seen their cats rolling and lounging around in bliss, you may have thought, “I’ll have what they’re having!” These lucky cats are actually experiencing a reaction to catnip.

What Is Catnip?

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a common herb that belongs to the mint plant family, and cats go crazy for it…or rather, from it.

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Why Do Cats Go Crazy for Catnip?

All cats have a special gland located on the roofs of their mouths called the vomeronasal gland. This gland allows cats to smell from inside their mouths, and when this gland picks up a scent, it transports it directly to the cat’s nervous system.

Catnip contains an oil compound called nepetalactone that causes a reaction in cats’ brains. When a cat sniffs or ingests catnip, the vomeronasal gland picks up the nepetalactone compound and transports it to the cat’s brain where it triggers a release of endorphins into the bloodstream. These hormones are responsible for the zany behavior that cats exhibit when they’re around catnip: licking, sniffing, increased appetite, scratching and rolling.

Some cats become increasingly energetic, playful, and even aggressive, while other cats become increasingly lovable, snuggly, and relaxed.

Although most cats react to catnip, the reaction is actually an inherited trait and (sadly for them) not all cats are born with a sensitivity to catnip that will produce a behavioral response to the herb. Additionally, kittens don’t usually develop any reaction to catnip until they reach about six months of age.

Is Catnip Safe for Cats?

Catnip is safe for cats to eat. In fact, it can help promote a healthy digestive system. That being said, ingesting too much catnip can cause a cat to experience gastrointestinal upset.

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From Catnip to Cat Naps – Learn All About Caring for Your Cat

At Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital, we offer comprehensive veterinary care for both dogs and cats. Whether you’ve just adopted a new kitten, are new to the area, or are looking to establish care with a different veterinarian, we welcome you to contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital. With nutrition and lifestyle counseling in addition to our wellness and preventative care services, our veterinarians can help you provide your pet a healthy and happy life.

How to Address Your Pet’s Seasonal Allergy Flare-Ups

Although their symptoms usually look a little different from ours, pets can suffer from seasonal allergies, too!

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How to Address Your Pet's Seasonal Allergy Flare-Ups

Seasonal allergies can make some human immune systems go haywire, resulting in the miserable sneezing, coughing, congestion, and itchy, burning eyes that we call seasonal allergies. Although their symptoms usually look a little different from ours, pets can suffer from seasonal allergies, too!

Symptoms of Allergies in Pets

Your pet might be suffering from seasonal allergies, if they exhibit any of the following signs or symptoms as the pollen counts increase this spring and summer:

  • Excessive itching and scratching
  • Head shaking
  • Biting or licking at their skin
  • Skin redness
  • Foul-smelling ears or skin
  • Hair loss or bald spots
  • Red or swollen paws
  • Runny or red eyes
  • Sneezing

It’s more common for allergies to express themselves in dermatological problems than in respiratory issues, but these symptoms can all indicate seasonal allergies.

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Strategies for Managing Your Pet's Seasonal Allergies

Change Your Walking Schedule

Pollen counts are highest in the mornings and late afternoons. It’s best to avoid these times and grassy places with lots of pollen-laden plants. Consider visiting an indoor dog park during allergy season or be sure to wipe your dog down thoroughly after running around outdoors, especially focusing on their feet.

Keep the Indoor Environment Clean

Install an air purifier and change the filters in your HVAC system regularly to keep allergens out of your indoor air. It’s also important to wash your pet’s bedding and toys in hot water frequently to eliminate allergens from accumulating on them.

Go for a Medicated Bath

A medicated bath will soothe itchy skin. Look for unscented, hypoallergenic, anti-itch shampoos with aloe, oatmeal, or moisturizing ingredients.

Provide Dietary Supplements

Talk with our veterinarian about giving your dog a dietary supplement like omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids to help relieve itchy skin.

Allergy Treatments With a Veterinarian

There are plenty of allergy treatments our veterinarian can provide to your pet as well. This includes over-the-counter antihistamines (in doses appropriate for pets), prescription itch-suppressants, and even immunotherapy/allergy shots. A veterinarian can help you determine the best treatments for your pet’s allergy concerns.

Schedule an Allergy Appointment for Your Pet at Sleepy Hollow

If you notice signs of allergies in your cat or dog, we encourage you to schedule an allergy appointment for your pet with our veterinarians at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital. We’ll perform a thorough physical examination and work with you to determine the best course of treatment to help your pet get relief from their allergy symptoms.

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Protecting Your Pet During Heartworm Awareness Month

April is Heartworm Awareness Month, and our veterinarians at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital want to use the opportunity to educate pet parents about the dangers of heartworm disease while helping you better understand how you can protect your pets

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Protecting Your Pet During Heartworm Awareness Month

April is Heartworm Awareness Month, and our veterinarians at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital want to use the opportunity to educate pet parents about the dangers of heartworm disease while helping you better understand how you can protect your pets.

Mosquitos are more than just pesky insects, they can also carry diseases and parasites, like heartworms, that can make your pets ill with a single bite.

What Are Heartworms?

Heartworms are a type of parasite that can affect both dogs and cats, but dogs more commonly and severely.
Infected mosquitos carry heartworm larvae and transfer the parasites to other animals through their bites. When a dog or cat is bitten by a mosquito, heartworm larvae enter the animal’s bloodstream where they travel through the body, finally settling in the heart and lungs.
In dogs, heartworms will mature into adult worms which can reach up to one foot in length and start to reproduce in the pet’s blood vessels. Cats are considered atypical heartworm hosts, and as a result, heartworms usually do not reach maturity in a feline host.

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What's the Danger of Heartworms?

Pets infected with heartworms experience respiratory problems and issues with their circulatory systems because heartworms take up residence in a pet’s heart and lungs. Heartworm disease refers to these symptoms and effects caused by heartworm parasites. Left unaddressed, heartworm disease not only significantly damages a pet’s health, but it can also be fatal.
Heartworm disease is considered a serious problem for pets because, once a pet is infected, treatment is difficult. There is no approved treatment for cats, and the treatment for dogs is lengthy and can cause significant side effects.

How to Protect Your Pets From Heartworm Disease

Prevention is the most important step in protecting your pets from heartworm disease. Preventatives are available in the form of oral tablets given monthly. Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital recommends dogs be given heartworm prevention year-round because it only takes one warm spell for mosquitos to become active. When given monthly and continuously, the preventatives will kill the larvae before they are able to mature into problematic adult worms.
Administering a heartworm preventative to a pet that has already been infected, however, can be dangerous. So, it’s essential that our veterinarian screen your pet for heartworms before administering a preventative.
You can also take steps to minimize the mosquito population in your pet’s immediate environment by keeping your yard cleaned up, free from debris, and eliminating any standing water (flower pot trays, birdbaths, pools, and puddles).

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Schedule a Heartworm Prevention Appointment

Don’t wait; protect your pet today. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital.

Protecting Your Pet – Common Medications that are Toxic

Keeping your pet safe and far away from toxic substances is an incredibly important task for any pet owner. While there are many household items that are known to be harmful, medications are ones that can heal humans but hurt their furry companions.

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Protecting Your Pet - Common Medications that are Toxic

March is Pet Poison Prevention Month, and while there are many things around our homes (foods, cleaners, pesticides, and plants) that are toxic to cats and dogs, this article is going to focus on some of the most common human medications that are toxic to pets.

5+ Human Medications That Are Highly Toxic to Pets

Pets can become poisoned if they accidentally ingest over-the-counter medications or prescription medications that are intended for humans. These are some of the most common, accidentally ingested human medications that are toxic to pets.

1. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
OTC medications that contain ibuprofen and/or naproxen such as Advil, Motrin, and Aleve are dangerous for pets. Prescription versions like Mobic, Celebrex and Feldene as well as some topical ointments like Diclofenac are also highly toxic. Even just a small amount can cause serious harm like serious ulcers and kidney failure.

2. Acetaminophen
Very small amounts of acetaminophen, the drug found in Tylenol can damage a cat’s red blood cells, leading to severe anemia. In dogs, it can cause liver failure in addition to damaging red blood cells. Acetaminophen ingestion is often fatal in pets

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3. Antidepressants
Select serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other antidepressants are prescribed for humans and are sometimes prescribed for pets, but overdoses of these medications can cause severe neurological damage resulting in seizures, collapse, and death. Other antidepressants have a stimulating effect that can lead to high blood pressure and increased heart rate. Just one pill can lead to an overdose.

4. Sleep Aids and Benzodiazepines
These medications are also sometimes prescribed for pets, but inappropriate use or overdosage can have strange effects on pets, leading to agitation, severe lethargy, slowed breathing, and even liver failure.

5. ADD/ADHD Medications
Be very cautious with these types of medications. Even minimal ingestion of medications like Adderall and Ritalin can be fatal for pets.
In addition, birth control, ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, thyroid hormones, cholesterol meds, and certain dietary supplements are toxic to pets.

What to Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned

If you suspect that your pet has ingested a toxic substance, seek emergency veterinary care right away. You can also contact the ASPCA’s [Animal Poison Control] for immediate instruction and information.

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Prescription Safety At Home

Always be sure to store medications and other toxic substances safely out of your pet’s reach and make sure that everybody in the household is aware of the dangers to your pet. The best protection is prevention, but if your pet does accidentally ingest a medication not prescribed for them, every member of the household should know to contact our office right away.

Remember that even if you think a medication intended for a human is non-toxic for pets, you should never give your pet a medication that wasn’t prescribed specifically for your cat or dog. For more information about medications and supplements that are safe for cats and dogs, we welcome you to talk with our veterinarians at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital.

Why is Lab Work so Important for Pets?

Lab work is necessary for comprehensive care even when humans are able to consciously describe how they’re feeling. Our pets can’t tell us when they feel unwell or different, and for this reason, regular laboratory work is even more essential to monitoring and maintaining a pet’s ongoing health.

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Why Is Lab Work So Important for Pets?

When you visit the doctor, it’s not uncommon to have a lab test — whether you’re feeling sick or are simply visiting for an annual well-check. Lab work is necessary for comprehensive care even when humans are able to consciously describe how they’re feeling.

Our pets can’t tell us when they feel unwell or different, and for this reason, regular laboratory work is even more essential to monitoring and maintaining a pet’s ongoing health.

How Do Veterinarians Use Lab Tests?

Lab tests, like complete blood cell counts, blood chemistry profiles, urine analysis, stool sample screens and heartworm testing, are incredibly useful for assessing a pet’s overall health and identifying specific markers that indicate disease. We use laboratory tests to establish a baseline of a pet’s health during wellness exams, to diagnose illness, and to safely prescribe medications.

Lab tests help us detect the earliest signs of disease. With routine lab work, we’re often able to diagnose and begin treating a pet’s illness before they even begin to experience symptoms or pain. As a rule of thumb, both chronic and acute illnesses are most successfully treated the sooner they’re diagnosed and addressed.

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Why Does My Pet Need Lab Work?

We recommend running diagnostic tests on pets for a variety of reasons.

A pet’s first lab test usually occurs around the time they will be neutered or spayed. This helps us determine if it is safe to anesthetize a patient, identify any congenital conditions a patient might have and helps us establish a baseline for your pet’s health, which can be highly useful in detecting health changes in the future.

In young pets, lab work will often only be done if they are sick, prior to anesthesia or sedation and before starting certain medications.
Since very different illnesses often cause very similar symptoms in cats and dogs, lab work is incredibly useful for determining the underlying cause of the illness. Depending on your pet’s symptoms, we might recommend diagnostic imaging in addition to lab work.

We recommend running lab tests before administering certain medications and prior to any procedures requiring anesthesia so that we can ensure your pet’s organs are functioning optimally to administer these medications safely.
Once pets reach a certain age, lab work is recommended at least twice a year since age increases the risk of many diseases. The earliest signs of these diseases will often show up in the lab work before the pet experiences any symptoms and catching it early can improve the long term prognosis. The age at which this lab work will be recommended depends on factors such as species, weight and breed.

Complete Care with Veterinary Diagnostics

At Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital, we’re proud to provide our patients the highest standard of veterinary care with both in-house and reference laboratory diagnostics. Our lab and diagnostic imaging services are available for routine wellness care and when a sick pet needs a quick diagnosis.

To learn more about lab tests for pets or to talk with a veterinarian about your pet’s test results, we welcome you to contact us today.

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Celebrate Pet Dental Health Month with a February Pet Dental Appointment

The best way to prevent periodontal disease and safeguard your pet’s health and wellbeing is with regular at-home and professional dental care.

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Celebrate Pet Dental Health Month with a February Pet Dental Appointment

When was the last time you brushed your pet’s teeth?

If you answered, “never,” you’re not alone. Many pet parents simply aren’t aware that their cats and dogs need at-home dental care and regular dental checkups just like people. In fact, pets suffer from some of the same dental ailments and diseases as us. Just like us, they can lose teeth, get cavities, develop abscesses, break or crack their teeth, and develop gum disease without proper care.

Leading up to Pet Dental Health Month in February, our veterinarians at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital like to spread awareness about pet dental health and encourage pet parents to schedule dental exams and cleanings for their pets.

What's the Big Deal About Gum Disease?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, most dogs and cats suffer from some form of dental disease by the time they’re three years old. This means most dogs and cats are facing some pretty serious general health concerns.

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a bacterial infection of the gums that occurs when plaque and tartar are allowed to build up along the gum line. This buildup creates pockets between the teeth and the gums where bacteria thrive. Gum disease can cause oral pain and discomfort in addition to persistent bad breath, red/swollen/bleeding gums, tooth and jaw bone decay, and tooth loss.

Beyond the mouth, the bacteria associated with gum disease can enter the bloodstream leading to systemic problems and infections. Left unaddressed, bacteria from periodontal disease can damage your pet’s internal organs, ultimately shortening their lifespan.

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How to Prevent Periodontal Disease in Pets

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The best way to prevent periodontal disease and safeguard your pet’s health and wellbeing is with regular at-home and professional dental care.

At home, you can care for your pet’s teeth by brushing regularly with a specially designed pet toothbrush and toothpaste formulated specifically for cats or dogs. You can also provide your pet with dental-friendly treats, chew toys and other preventative products recommended by veterinary dentists.

We also recommend calling for an appointment if your pet is due for their annual wellness or geriatric exam OR if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms at home:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Difficulty chewing or favoring one side of the mouth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Pawing at the mouth

During your appointment, our veterinarian will closely examine your pet’s teeth and gums. We will then discuss any abnormal findings and if your pet could benefit from a professional dental cleaning appointment which includes scaling and polishing the teeth, removing plaque and tartar buildup and taking dental X-rays to screen for problems that could be occurring inside the teeth or below the gum line.

To learn more about caring for your pet’s teeth or to schedule a pet dental appointment at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital, we welcome you to contact our office today.

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5 Essential Tips for Traveling with Pets This Season

Everyone loves including furry family members in holiday travel plans, but it’s important to take a few steps to ensure they’ll be safe on the road and have a happy holiday, too!

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5 Essential Tips for Traveling with Pets This Season

‘Tis the season of holiday travel. For many families, this includes traveling with pets. Everyone loves including furry family members in holiday travel plans, but it’s important to take a few steps to ensure they’ll be safe on the road and have a happy holiday, too!

Pet Travel Checklist

1. Pack for Your Pet
Remember to pack all your pet’s essential items. Your list should include:

  • Food, medications, and supplements (pack more than you’ll need for the intended length of your vacation)
  • Water for the road
  • Collapsible bowls
  • Collar, leash and harness
  • Favorite toys, blankets, or bed for comfort
  • Doggy bags or your kitty’s litter box

2. Bring Documents
If you’re crossing state lines in a car or taking public transportation, your pet will need papers to travel legally. This typically includes vaccination records, your pet’s local registration, and/or a pet health certificate.

If you are traveling internationally, your pet will need an international health certificate specific to that country. These requirements are listed on the USDA Pet Travel Website and you will need an appointment with Dr. Romano to obtain the health certificate for your destination. He is a USDA Accredited Veterinarian and is able to perform these exams for pet travel.

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3. Research Veterinarians
You never know when an emergency will happen. Before you leave, research emergency veterinary hospitals located along your travel route and at your destination. This way, if your pet falls ill, gets injured, or ingests something toxic, you’ll be able to get them help right away – without wasting time locating a nearby veterinarian. Be sure to bring your pet’s medications with you to any veterinary appointment so that the veterinarian can prescribe any new medication safely.

4. Security and Identification
When your pet is in an unfamiliar place with new surroundings and landmarks, it’s much easier for them to become disoriented and lost. Make sure that dog’s leash or harness fits securely. For cats, be sure to use a high-quality carrier that will keep them securely inside and do not open the carrier in an unfamiliar and/or insecure location as the cat can escape.

Make sure your pet’s ID tags are up to date and include a phone number that you’ll be able to answer while you’re away. Also, be sure that your current contact information has been registered with your pet’s microchip number. If your pet has not yet been microchipped, we strongly recommended getting a microchip for your pet before you leave.

5. Schedule Extra Time
When you travel with pets, you’ll definitely need to stop more often. Look up safe, convenient locations for pet-friendly pit stops before you leave. Plus, plan to schedule extra time for travel to allow for plenty of breaks to get out of the car, stretch your legs, and walk your leashed dog or cat around.

Schedule a Pre-Travel Appointment at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital

Depending on where and how you plan to travel, your dog or cat might require vaccination prior to your departure. Schedule a pre-travel appointment with a Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital veterinarian to make sure your pet can travel safely this holiday season.

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