What You Should Know About Feline Asthma

Feline asthma is characterized by the chronic inflammation of the small passageways inside a cat’s lungs. Although asthma can not be cured, it can be managed effectively with medication and environmental adjustments. Please call us at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital today so we can assist in the treatment of your cats asthma!

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What You Should Know About Feline Asthma

Feline asthma is characterized by chronic inflammation of the small airways inside a cat’s lungs. Although there is no cure for feline asthma, the chronic condition can usually be managed effectively with medication and environmental adjustments. After being diagnosed with asthma, most cats can continue leading normal, happy lives.

What Causes Feline Asthma

Feline asthma is a condition that is caused by a cat’s immune system responding to inhaled allergens in an inappropriate way. Allergens are particles that, although normally harmless, can trigger an immune response in the body.

Common feline allergens include:

  • Pollen
  • Grass
  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Perfume
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Cat litter dust
  • Household cleaning products
  • Certain foods

When these allergens are breathed in, most cats have no response. An asthmatic cat, however, will experience an allergic reaction that results in inflammation of its airways.

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Signs and Symptoms of Feline Asthma

Signs and symptoms of asthma in cats include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid breathing or a high respiratory rate
  • Open-mouthed breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing or hacking
  • Vomiting

In addition to these signs and symptoms, cats sometimes also exhibit a particular posture when suffering an asthma attack. In this posture, the cat will hunch or crouch so that its body is close to the ground. It will then extend its neck, stretching its head forward. Many people will often confuse this with a cat “trying to cough up a hairball”. These symptoms can range in severity from mild to extreme.

Diagnosing Feline Asthma

There is no single definitive test available for determining whether or not a cat has asthma. Instead, a veterinarian will consider a variety of tests based on your cat’s medical history. If it is suspected that a cat might have asthma, radiographs (X-rays) of the patient’s lungs are usually taken. Additional imaging such as a bronchoscopy (a camera that can be inserted down into the lungs) or CT scan might be considered.

Testing of the material in your cat’s airways using cytology, cultures and/or allergy testing might also be recommended to rule out other underlying causes of your cat’s symptoms such as infections, parasites in the lungs, or other inflammatory respiratory diseases.

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Feline Asthma Treatment in Sleepy Hollow, New York

Treatments for feline asthma usually include a combination of approaches such as medications designed to limit your cat’s immune response and the resulting inflammation, as well as environmental adjustments designed to limit your cat’s exposure to allergens.

Many cats with asthma will eventually be trialed on inhaler medications, just like a human asthma patient would use. Our veterinarians recommend using the Aerokat chamber for patients with asthma since it is easy to use and by using inhaled medications, we can limit the side effects commonly seen with use of oral medical options.

To learn more about feline asthma or to schedule an appointment for your cat, we welcome you to contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital today.

How to Keep a Golden Retriever’s Joints Healthy

Many dog breeds have genetic predispositions to a variety of different health problems. Golden Retrievers happen to be prone to a variety of joint problems including hip and elbow dysplasia as well as osteoarthritis.

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Many dog breeds have genetic predispositions to a variety of different health problems. Golden Retrievers happen to be prone to a variety of joint problems including hip and elbow dysplasia as well as osteoarthritis. Dysplasia issues are developmental in origin whereas arthritis develops with age, but there are some similar steps you can take to help support the health of your Golden Retriever’s joints throughout their life.

4 Strategies for Maintaining Your Golden Retriever's Joint Health

1. Weight Management
Extra pounds on overweight or obese dogs puts excessive pressure on their joints which can result in cartilage breakdown and decreased joint fluid production. Maintaining your pet at a healthy weight is one of the best ways to prevent arthritis, as well as a variety of other health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

2. Regular Activity
Keeping your pet in good physical shape with regular activity can help keep the joint fluid healthy and productive, which helps to prevent their joints from stiffening up as they age. Additionally, keeping pets in good physical condition will help to promote strong muscles that better support their joints, improve balance, and reduce the risk of injury.

3. Joint-Friendly Exercise
While it’s important for your dog to get plenty of exercise, it’s best to choose appropriate activities that won’t put excessive stress on their joints. For example, running a puppy too hard or taking an older dog for a long walk on hard pavement is not recommended. Instead, try playing fetch in the grass, walking on a soft track (if you have one in your neighborhood), or taking your dog for a swim.

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4. Complete and Balanced Nutrition
Like all parts of your pet’s health, joint health is directly related to nutrition. Feeding a diet that meets AAFCO’s complete and balanced standards and is appropriate for their size and age will promote optimal bone and joint health. This is especially important for puppies while their bones are actively developing. Once they have matured (usually around 12 months), switching to an adult food is also important to help maintain a healthy weight as they advance into their adolescence and later years.

5. Joint Supplements
Conditions such as arthritis can be prevented, managed, or even slowed with proven joint supplements. Dogs who are at high risk for joint problems are working dogs, agility dogs or dog’s with underlying musculoskeletal conditions and can benefit the most from starting joint supplements early in life. Older dogs could also benefit from supplements, even if they are not pounding the pavement every day, as it is estimated that 20% of dogs will experience arthritis in their lifetime. Talk with one of our veterinarians about adding a joint health supplement to your Golden Retriever’s diet.

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Heartworm Screening and Prevention With Our Veterinarians in Sleepy Hollow

At Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital, we are proud to provide our patients with highly personalized care. We tailor our veterinary care to the specific needs of each individual animal based on their age, species, breed, medical history, and current condition, ensuring we provide them with everything they need to have their best chance at living a full, healthy, and happy life.

To learn more about the comprehensive, personalized care available for pets at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital or to schedule your pet’s next checkup with us, we welcome you to contact our office today.

5 Facts Pet Owners Should Know About Heartworms

A key component to every pet’s wellness and preventative care routine should always be parasite prevention. It’s important to protect your pets from all sorts of parasites and the diseases they can transmit and, in the case of heartworms, the disease they can cause: Heartworm Disease.

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5 Facts Pet Owners Should Know About Heartworms

A key component to every pet’s wellness and preventative care routine should always be parasite prevention. It’s important to protect your pets from all sorts of parasites and the diseases they can transmit and, in the case of heartworms, the disease they can cause: Heartworm Disease.

5 Things You Should Know About Heartworms

1. Heartworms Cause Permanent Damage to the Heart and Lungs
Pets get infested with heartworms when they are bitten by infected mosquitos that are carrying immature worms called heartworm larvae. Once injected into your pet’s bloodstream, the worms travel through the blood until they mature and get big enough to get lodged in the blood vessels of the lungs. After this happens, the worms continue to grow into full-sized adults and eventually start to reproduce. When enough heartworms get lodged in the lungs, they start to damage the heart and lungs and cause respiratory symptoms. This is called Heartworm Disease and if not treated can be fatal.

2. Prevention is Key
Heartworm infestation is easily preventable with monthly heartworm preventative medications. Since a heartworm infestation is so serious for pets, the American Heartworm Society recommends protecting pets year-round and not just during mosquito season. Continuous protection is the only way to ensure your pet is never exposed to the risk of getting heartworms. These preventatives are 99% effective when used appropriately.

3. Treating Heartworm Disease
Prevention is best, but if your dog tests positive for heartworms, the treatment and outcome will depend on how severe their symptoms are (if they have any at all). For dogs who do not have any symptoms of Heartworm Disease or who have minimal symptoms, treatment outcomes are usually good. The treatment involves a multi-month’s long plan of oral and injectable medications that need to be given according to very strict guidelines. For dogs who are symptomatic, the damage to the heart and lungs may be too advanced and treatment may not be effective.

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4. Heartworm Preventatives Require a Prescription
Administering a preventative heartworm medication to an animal that has already been infested with heartworms can be detrimental in some cases. For this reason, heartworm preventatives are only available with a prescription from your veterinarian. If you have missed more than 2 months of preventative administration, it is best to call and speak to one of our veterinarians before restarting the preventatives.

5. Dogs Should Be Screened Annually
Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital recommends screening dogs annually for heartworm infestation, even if they don’t have symptoms of Heartworm Disease, because treatment outcomes are much more favorable if treatment is started before symptoms occur.
This screening involves a simple blood test that looks for evidence of the parasites in your dog’s blood. Doing this every year ensures that if your dog was infested with heartworms, it is found early so that treatment can be instituted immediately.

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Heartworm Screening and Prevention With Our Veterinarians in Sleepy Hollow

At Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital, we take parasite prevention seriously and ensure it’s a part of every one of our patient’s preventative care plans. We can talk with you about protecting your pet from heartworms in addition to helping you select a safe and effective flea, tick, and intestinal parasite preventative. We welcome you to contact our office to schedule a parasite prevention appointment for your pet today.

Your Guide to Taking Care of Your Goldendoodle’s Ears

Goldendoodles make excellent pets, thanks to their temperament, obedience, and high intelligence. These dogs are loving and loyal, and they look incredible. As a mix of a golden retriever and a poodle, this breed comes in multiple sizes, and they’re great family dogs.

That said, each dog breed has its own health risks. For the Goldendoodle, the parts you should pay most attention to are the ears. As with other floppy-eared dogs, this breed can experience ear infections and other health problems.

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Your Guide to Taking Care of Your Goldendoodle's Ears

Goldendoodles make excellent pets, thanks to their temperament, obedience, and high intelligence. These dogs are loving and loyal, and they are extremely intelligent. As a mix of a Golden Retriever and Poodle, Goldendoodles come in multiple sizes, and they’re great family dogs.

That said, each dog breed has its own health risks. For the Goldendoodle, one of the things you should pay attention to are the ears. As with other floppy-eared dogs, this breed can experience ear problems. Fortunately, being proactive can ensure your dog is always in good spirits.

Why do I need to clean my Goldendoodle’s ears?

Floppy ears are a health risk because yeast and bacteria can grow and thrive in the warm, moist environment. For routine prevention of these infections Goldendoodle’s should have their ears cleaned once a month to remove any debris that may have accumulated. However, if you live in a humid climate, your dog goes into the water often, or has a history of multiple ear infections, you may need to clean the ears more often.

Conversely, cleaning too frequently can cause the ear canals to dry out which can also lead to pain and other problems. If you feel your dog needs more frequent cleaning, please speak to one of our team members for advice.

How to clean my Goldendoodle’s ears

To clean your Goldendoodle’s ears, you first need to find an effective cleaning solution. At Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital we carry several different ear cleaning solutions and depending on your pet’s needs, our veterinarians will recommend the most effective product. There are many DIY cleaners online, but some might do more harm than good. Always talk to your vet before putting anything in your dog’s ears.

Once you have the right ear cleaning solution, you will need to fill the canal with the liquid, then gently massage the base of the ear to loosen any material in the canal. Your pet may shake their head at this point which is ok and actually helpful for the next step.

Next, use cotton balls to absorb the liquid and any loose debris by wiping the inside of the ear canal. This should be done until the ear canal is dry and free of debris. Don’t use cotton swabs as you could damage your dog’s ear canal or ear drum.

Check for Signs of Infection

Despite your best efforts, your dog may get an ear infection. If an infection does take hold, more frequent, short-term cleaning may be recommended, but in order to effectively treat the infection, a veterinarian will need to examine your pet’s ears and likely prescribe medications. Here are some warning signs that an ear infection may have developed:

  • Scratching the ears more often than usual
  • Redness or swelling inside the ears
  • The ears are hotter than normal
  • Strong, pungent smell
  • Brown, yellow or tan debris in the ears
  • Matted hair within the ears
  • Whimpering when the ears are touched
  • Holding one ear lower than the other, or even tilting their head to one side

If an infection sets in, you must take your Goldendoodle to the vet right away. If you let the infection spread, it can worsen and lead to more significant pain and even cause permanent scarring of the ear canal.

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Treat Your Goldendoodle at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital

All pets require some form of routine care in order to keep them healthy, and Goldendoodles are no exception. By maintaining the health of the ear canals with regular maintenance cleaning, you can help prevent unwanted ear infections and the pain associated with these infections. If you need help with how to do the cleaning, our team would be happy to book an appointment with one of our technicians to go over the steps involved.

In addition, bringing your dog in for regular checkups with our veterinarian can help prevent ear infections and other health problems, and we can counsel you on what cleaning products would be best for ongoing care of your pet’s ears.

We’d love to see you and your furry friend, so call us to make an appointment today!

Understanding Your Cats Urinary Health: What You Should Know About FLUTD

FLUTD stands for feline lower urinary tract disease. It is not a specific disease, but rather an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of diseases and conditions that can affect a cat’s lower urinary tract which includes the bladder and urethra.

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FLUTD stands for feline lower urinary tract disease. It is not a specific disease, but rather an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of diseases and conditions that can affect a cat’s lower urinary tract which includes the bladder and urethra. Depending on the underlying cause of FLUTD, the problem can sometimes affect a cat for life and require ongoing treatment and disease management.

Signs and Symptoms of FLUTD

FLUTD can be painful and irritating, so it is important to know what signs your cat may exhibit when they are experiencing pain in their lower urinary tract. If you see any of the following, it could mean your cat is struggling with FLUTD:

  • Posturing to urinate for an extended amount of time
  • Frequent visits to the litter box
  • Tail wagging while attempting to urinate
  • Non-productive litter box visits
  • Excessive vocalization when urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Accidents outside of the litter box
  • Multiple, small amounts of urine production
  • Excessive grooming of the penis/vulva
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What Causes FLUTD?

Many underlying conditions can lead to problems with a cat’s urinary tract. Some of these include:

While all of these conditions cause inflammation and pain in the lower urinary tract, it is worth noting that Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) is by far the most common cause of FLUTD symptoms.

Testing for and Diagnosing FLUTD

The first step in diagnosing why your cat might be having urinary symptoms is to schedule an examination. Based on the history and examination findings, our veterinarians may recommend some of the following tests:

  • Urinalysis
  • Urine culture
  • Bloodwork
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound
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Urinary Tract Treatments for Cats

There are several treatments and therapies available for cats that struggle with FLUTD. The treatment or treatments that are right for your cat will, of course, depend on the specific underlying condition that is diagnosed.

Treatments might include:

  • Pain medications
  • Anti-spasm medications
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Antibiotics
  • Hospitalization or Surgery
  • Prescription pet food for urinary health
  • Environmental adjustments to reduce stress and increase enrichment

Feline Urinary Health and Personalized Veterinary Care in Sleepy Hollow

At Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital, we strive to provide our feline patients with the highest level of veterinary care possible. With this in mind, we personalize each cat’s treatment plan based on their breed, gender, age, lifestyle, medical history and test results in order to provide them with the exact care they need.

Our veterinarians have a variety of treatment strategies available for cats that struggle with urinary health issues. After a thorough examination and the necessary diagnostic testing, we can recommend treatment and ongoing wellness and preventative care plans designed to keep your cat healthy and happy for life.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital, we welcome you to contact our office today.

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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.

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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 dermatologic 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 coat
  • Frequent 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
Reactions to parasites such as fleas and mites usually manifest as itchiness, sometimes with marked intensity, as well as redness and scabbing.  In addition, the mites that cause sarcoptic mange can cause hair loss, especially around the face and ears as well as on the legs.  Other parasites such as lice, ticks, fly bots and even hookworms can cause skin lesions as well.

3. Infections
Frenchies can develop fungal and/or bacterial infections on their skin. These tend to cause itchiness, redness, swelling, and sores but can also emit a bad odor. These infections are typically the result of itching from other causes. When the dog scratches, they damage the skin allowing the bacteria or fungus on the surface to get into the deeper layer of the skin where they grow and proliferate.

4. Autoimmune Disorders
French bulldogs can develop autoimmune disorders wherein the immune system attacks the dog’s otherwise healthy skin tissues. These types of problems may start as small or seemingly insignificant lesions but can progress over time. Treatment usually involves immunosuppressive medication.

5. Hormonal Imbalances
These abnormalities usually present themselves later in a Frenchie’s life and often manifest as scaly, dry, or patchy-looking/feeling skin.  Thyroid or adrenal gland issues are the most common, but other hormonal diseases can occur as well.

Treatments for Skin Problems in French Bulldogs

A variety of treatments exist for skin problems in dogs including medicated baths, topical ointments, creams, antibacterial or antifungal treatments, immunosuppressive medications, anti-itch medications, immunotherapy (ie: allergy serum shots) as well as prescription hypoallergenic diets.

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.