National Animal Pain Awareness Month : Pets Feel Pain

Pets Feel Pain: Learn How To Manage It
By the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
Erin Forbes, DVM
Mountain View Animal Hospital

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. Pain comes in many forms: arthritis, cancer, post-surgery, acute injuries, and chronic injuries. Acute pain is obvious and distressing and hard to miss. Think a broken leg or an injury from falling down the stairs. Chronic pain can be subtle: some may just think their pet is getting old. However, while old age is not a
disease, pain is and can be treated. There are many options to treat the various causes of pain in animals including pain medications, physical rehabilitation, and integrative medicine options–acupuncture and chiropractic.

Common signs of pain can vary among animals. In dogs these include decreased social interaction, an anxious expression, whimpering, decreased appetite, self-mutilation, and changes in posture. In cats, we see reduced activity, loss of appetite, loss of curiosity, changes in urinary/defecation habits, hiding, excessive grooming (especially over joints), stiff gait, or matted fur. In horses, they might arch their back, shift their weight, stand abnormally, and be very stiff when moving. Continue reading

Lyme: A Serious, But Preventable, Disease in Dogs

shivaLyme: A Serious, But Preventable, Disease in Dogs

By M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM

Vermont Veterinary Medical Association

Lyme disease is a very serious concern for people and pets. It is carried by deer ticks which emerge in the spring, remain pretty active during the summer months, and then go through a burst of activity in the fall. While we think of dogs who spend time in the woods or playing in grasslands becoming exposed to deer ticks, they can be present in your backyard lawn, too. (Cats can become infected and form antibodies to Lyme, but clinical signs -if they occur at all -are extremely rare.) Continue reading

Surviving Summer in a Fur Coat : Heat Dangers for our Pets

irms2Surviving Summer in a Fur Coat : Heat Dangers for our Pets

By the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association

M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM

With temperatures on the rise, many people don’t realize that our pets can have trouble with heat too. If you think it’s hot outside, imagine wearing a fur coat in this heat! In addition, our pets have very limited ways of cooling themselves. Pets pant and that’s about it. Continue reading