How to Care for Your French Bulldog’s Skin

Purebred dogs often have genetic predispositions for certain health problems. French bulldogs, unfortunately, are predisposed to experiencing problems with their skin.

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How to Care for Your French Bulldog's Skin

Purebred dogs often have genetic predispositions for certain health problems. French bulldogs, unfortunately, are predisposed to experiencing problems with their skin.

Signs of Skin Problems in French Bulldogs

If your Frenchie has a dermatological problem, you might notice some of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Excessive itching (pruritus)
  • Redness
  • Swelling/inflammation
  • Sores
  • Hot spots
  • Crustiness or scabbing on the skin
  • Dandruff (seborrhea)
  • Fur loss or bald spots
  • Dull or dry coatFrequent ear infections
  • Foul-smelling skin or ears
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5 Common Causes of Skin Problems in French Bulldogs

1. Allergies
Both food and environmental allergens are common causes of skin problems in Frenchies. While allergies can sometimes cause respiratory symptoms in dogs, as they do in humans, it’s more common for allergies to express themselves as dermatological problems in pets.

2. Parasites
Allergic reactions to flea saliva can also cause parasite-related skin problems in pets, in addition to the issues associated with the mites that cause sarcoptic mange.

3. Infections
Frenchies can develop fungal and/or bacterial infections on their skin. These tend not only to cause itchiness, redness, swelling, and sores but can also emit a bad odor.

4. Autoimmune Disorders
French bulldogs can develop autoimmune disorders with which the immune system attacks the dog’s skin tissues. These types of problems can sometimes be suppressed with steroid treatments.

5. Keratinization Abnormalities
These abnormalities present themselves as scaly, dry, or patchy-looking/feeling skin. Keratinization abnormalities have a variety of their own potential underlying causes which include allergies, autoimmune disorders, parasites, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, and more.

Treatments for Skin Problems in French Bulldogs

A variety of treatments exist for skin problems in dogs including medicated baths, topical ointments and creams, antibacterial or antifungal treatments, steroids, immunotherapy, other medications, and lifestyle adjustments.

Before providing any treatment for a dog’s skin problem, it is first necessary to determine the underlying cause of the issue in order to recommend the safest and most effective treatment. For example, if a dog is suffering from food allergies, then no amount of medicated baths will address the underlying problem.

Once we’ve worked with you to diagnose the underlying cause of your pet’s skin problem, we’ll provide you with a recommended treatment plan that will likely include treatments to soothe your pet’s symptoms, address the underlying problem, and, perhaps, recommendations for adjusting your pet’s lifestyle to improve their treatment outcome as well.

To learn more about skin problems in French bulldogs or to schedule a dermatology appointment for your pet, we welcome you to contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital today.

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What Causes Canine Cough?

Having a dog with a cough is a cause for concern. Coughing in dogs is typically a sign of an underlying condition that’s having some sort of effect on the respiratory system. These conditions can range from mild to severe and life-threatening, so it’s always good to have your veterinarian look into your dog’s symptoms if coughing occurs.

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Having a dog with a cough is a cause for concern. Coughing in dogs is typically a sign of an underlying condition that’s having some sort of effect on the respiratory system. These conditions can range from mild to severe and life-threatening, so it’s always good to have your veterinarian look into your dog’s symptoms if coughing occurs.

What Causes Canine Cough?

There are several underlying causes that can result in a dog developing a cough. These conditions can be broken down into four primary categories:

1. Infections

Bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections can all cause canine cough. Examples of some of these infectious diseases that can lead to canine cough include Bordetella, Canine Distemper Virus, Parainfluenza Virus, Canine Influenza Virus, lungworms, and heartworm disease.

2. Inflammatory and Auto-Immune Issues

Like people, dogs can suffer from inflammatory disorders like allergies and asthma, and both of these issues can lead to coughing.

Allergies in dogs most commonly cause dermatological problems that affect the skin and coat, but they can also cause a cough. A dog with asthma or other auto-immune diseases will typically experience worsening symptoms (coughing and wheezing) with exercise and other activity. 

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3. Degenerative and Age-Related Problems

Several age-related or degenerative diseases can cause a dog to develop a cough. These include cardiovascular disease, cancer, and laryngeal paralysis

4. Genetic Predisposition

Some dog breeds, called brachycephalic breeds (those with short or “pushed in” noses), are genetically prone to developing a condition called Brachycephalic Syndrome which can cause persistent coughing. 

These breeds include:

  • American and French Bulldogs
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Japanese Chin
  • Pekingese
  • Pugs and Puggles

Respiratory issues in brachycephalic dogs typically start at a young age. Additionally, weight gain and obesity in these breeds can exacerbate respiratory problems and increase the risk of breathing problems

Another type of genetic disease that can cause dogs to cough is Tracheal Collapse wherein the cartilage of the trachea (or “windpipe”) is softer than it should be, causing the airway to narrow and inducing a cough.  

Breeds prone to this condition include:

  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Lhasa apso
  • Miniature and Toy poodles
  • Pomeranian
  • Shih tzu

What You Should Do If Your Dog Is Coughing

Since the underlying causes of coughs in dogs can range from mild to life-threatening, it is always best to err on the side of caution. If your dog develops a cough, we strongly encourage you to schedule a veterinary appointment right away. 

Our veterinarians will examine your dog and run any necessary diagnostic tests to determine what’s causing your pet to cough. Once we’ve reached a diagnosis, we can provide you with a variety of treatment options and recommendations to ease your pet’s symptoms while addressing the underlying problem. 

To learn more or schedule an exam for your dog, we welcome you to contact us.

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Tips and Tricks for Getting Pets to Take Their Medicine

If you’ve ever attempted to administer medication to a cat with picky eating habits or a dog with a very skilled nose, then you know that they can be experts at spitting out pills and frustrating their worried owners.

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Tips and Tricks for Getting Pets to Take Their Medicine

If you’ve ever attempted to administer medication to a cat with picky eating habits or a dog with a very skilled nose, then you know that they can be experts at spitting out pills and frustrating their worried owners. The next time your pet’s medication is due, try the following tips and tricks to help the medicine go down – no spoonful of sugar required.

6 Tips and Tricks for Getting Your Pets to Take Their Medicine

1. Give the medicine when they are hungry
Pets are smart, so it is best to try to get them to eat their medicine when they are hungry. They will more willingly eat food or treats (with the medicine hidden in it) right before their normal meal time when they have an increased hunger drive. Just be sure that your other pets don’t eat the food with the medicine in it.

2. Use high-value food items
This can be a very useful trick, as long as you choose the right kind of food to disguise your pet’s medicine. Go for a strong-smelling, high-value food that can easily conceal your pet’s pill like wet canned pet food, peanut butter, cheese, or a piece of meat.

3. Use Special Treats
There are several brands of treats available to purchase that are made with a soft formulation and a pill-sized pocket inside. With these, you can simply squish a treat around your pet’s pill for easy administration.

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4. Get Your Pet to Compete
If you have more than one pet, giving them all a treat at the same time will create a competitive environment, distracting your pet from the medication that is hidden in their treat. Just be sure you remember which treat is which so you do not accidentally medicate the wrong pet!

5. Create a little confusion
Hide a pill in one treat, toss several non-pill containing treats, then toss the pill-containing one. You can make this even more interesting by making your pet chase the treat down like the prey that it is! This can work for cats and dogs.

6. Try a Compounding Pet Pharmacy
If your pet’s an expert at detecting pills they do not want to swallow, then we strongly recommend having your pet’s medication compounded into a tastier, more appealing form such as flavored liquid or even treats with the medication mixed right into it.

We know that giving medications can be tough, so we hope these tricks are helpful. If you need more guidance, or even just some encouragement, please call to speak with one of our technicians and they can help guide you through the process and even direct you to some instructional videos.

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Why Is My Dog Eating Grass?

It happens to all dog owners because all dogs do it. You take your dog outside for a potty break or a walk only to find yourself constantly telling him not to eat the grass.

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Why Is My Dog Eating Grass?

It happens to all dog owners because all dogs do it. You take your dog outside for a potty break or a walk only to find yourself constantly telling him not to eat the grass. While no one knows for certain why dogs tend to chow down on these natural greens, there are a few reasons that could be behind your dog’s behavior.

4 Possible Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass

1. Instincts

Responsible pet owners provide their dogs with a balanced diet containing all the nutrients their pets need, but dogs didn’t always have their meals served to them in silver bowls. Some think that dogs’ tendency to eat grass is an instinct left over from when they had to fend for themselves and find their own meals, fiber, and well-rounded nutrition.

2. Nutritional Deficiency

Pets and people can experience a condition called pica which is characterized by the instinct to look for nutrients in strange places. Pica often occurs when a pet or person has a nutritional deficiency, and it makes them crave odd things. Some people believe that a dog’s drive to eat grass is actually pica and could indicate a lack of fiber or other nutrients in the dog’s diet.

3. Emotional Issues

Dogs experiencing stress, anxiety, boredom, or separation anxiety tend to eat grass more frequently than calm, entertained, and happy dogs.

4. They Like It

Another possible reason why your dog might be chowing down on grass is simply that he likes the way it tastes or feels in his mouth.

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Is It Safe for Your Dog to Eat Grass?

In itself, grass isn’t toxic or harmful to dogs like other plants can be. However, many lawns are sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers that can be toxic. Additionally, eating grass outside can definitely expose your dog to intestinal parasites that have been left behind by other animals in the soil.

In short, you should try to keep your dog from eating grass with training and by providing more rewarding treats as a distraction during your walks.

If your dog simply can’t fight the compulsion, try planting a patch of organically grown grass specially for your pup that you know will be safe for him to eat. Always make sure to do this in moderation though as too much can cause your dog to vomit.

When to Contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital

If your dog is eating grass and also experiencing persistent symptoms of gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite or weight loss, this is not normal and could be a sign that your dog is sick or has another health problem going on and should see a veterinarian right away.

If any of these above symptoms are occurring, we recommend you call to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians today for a comprehensive examination and discussion about what might be going on with your pet.

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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.

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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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Is My Pet Overweight? Signs Your Pet Needs to Lose Weight

With their fluffy, round physiques, chubby pets have taken over the internet with cute pictures and their own social media accounts. “Chonky” pets, however, aren’t as cute as the internet would like you to believe. We love all animals and, of course, we think they’re all cute, but obesity is a serious health problem for cats and dogs.

Is My Pet Fluffy or Chubby?

According to a 2018 survey from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 56% of dogs and 60% of cats in the United States were either overweight or obese.

To determine if your pet needs to lose weight, there are a lot of signs that you might be able to see if you know what you are looking for. The Animal Hospital Association of America (AAHA) has created a chart that can help you determine the healthy weight of your pet, but these general tips can help you determine if your pet needs to lose weight:

1. Shape from above
When viewed from above or the side, both cats and dogs should have an obvious waist. The chest should be the widest part of the body, which should narrow in front of the hind legs. A sausage or rounded shape is a telltale sign of extra weight.

2. Hidden Ribs
You should be able to feel your pet’s ribs. As you run your fingers along their ribcage, there should be a very faint layer of fat overlying the ribs. If there is a thick layer of fat or you can’t feel the ribs at all, then your pet is carrying around too much weight.

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3. Abdominal Tuck
When viewing your pet from the side, there should be an abdominal tuck present.. If there is a flat or bulging shape to the abdomen, then your pet should shed a few pounds.

4.Tailbase Fat
The bones at the base of the tail are easily felt in a healthy-weight pet. If these bones are hard to feel or unable to be felt, then this indicates excessive fat in this area and hence a need for overall weight loss.

5. Disinterest in Physical Activities
Cats and dogs – even seniors – should show some interest in active play. If yours doesn’t or tires quickly, this could indicate that they’re carrying around extra weight. Lethargy can also be a sign of other health problems. If your pet seems unusually tired or inactive, schedule a checkup.

How Obesity Affects Your Pet's Health

A few extra pounds on pets can do major damage to their health. Overweight pets are more likely to suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, joint disease, liver disease, and other avoidable health problems. They also tend to live much shorter lifespans. Thankfully, your pet’s weight can be easily managed with a balanced diet and regular exercise. If you are interested in finding more information about the importance of a healthy lifestyle for you and your pet, One Health produced a terrific editorial that explores the health correlations between pets and their owners.

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Weight Management and Nutritional Counseling for Overweight Pets in Sleepy Hollow

At Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital, our veterinarians assess weight, body condition score, and fitness during every exam to help our clients keep their pets at a healthy weight. If your pet is overweight or suffering from obesity, we will work with you to develop a nutrition and exercise plan to help your cat or dog shed pounds and get back into shape. If you’re concerned about your pet’s weight or dietary needs, we welcome you to schedule a weight management appointment today.

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.