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  • Many liquid potpourri products and essential oils, including oil of cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang, are poisonous to dogs. Both ingestion and skin exposure can be toxic.

  • To be classified as a fever of unknown origin (FUO), the body temperature must be above 103.5°F (39.7°C) for longer than a few days in duration, with no obvious underlying cause based on history and physical examination. A fever is beneficial to the body, but if a fever remains above 106°F (41.1°C) for more than a few days several consequences occur within the body and can be life threatening. If your pet has a fever, your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination, perform diagnostic blood tests, urine culture, and possibly other diagnostic tests including imaging, cytology, blood cultures, and fecal cultures. The diagnostic work-up for FUO may be quite involved. Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat any underlying bacterial infection or to prevent bacterial infections from occurring as a secondary problem. Cats that have persistent fever or a fever that waxes and wanes must undergo a thorough work-up so that the cause of fever can be discovered and treated before irreversible damage occurs.

  • Genetic (DNA) testing is readily available, whether you are using it for fun to find out what breeds your pet is made up of or if you are looking into possible medical conditions. DNA samples can be collected either from a cheek swab or a blood draw. Knowing which breeds your pet is made up of can help you and your veterinarian prevent or prepare for health issues in the future.

  • Giardiasis is an intestinal infection of man and animals cased by a microscopic protozoan parasite Giardia duodenalis. Giardia is a simple one-celled parasitic species; it is not a "worm", bacteria, or virus. Giardiasis can be an important cause of diarrhea in animals and humans. However, many cats are infected without developing clinical signs or the diarrhea is treated as 'non-specific'.

  • While a favorite and healthy snack for people, grapes, raisins and currants can cause kidney failure in dogs. Raisins can commonly be found in combination with other foods, potentially increasing the risk of exposure as compared with grapes and currants.  The toxicity concern is the same. 

  • Dogs, in general, are amazing creatures. But service dogs like guide dogs, are true stand outs. In addition to traditional canine companionship, they play an integral role in the lives of the visually impaired.

  • There are many potential hazards that pets face especially during the holidays. With commonsense and planning exposure to these hazards can be avoided preventing or illness. Hazards include tinsel, electrical cords, string from meat, ribbons, Christmas tree water, holiday plants such as mistletoe, holly, and lilies, and foods such as chocolate and other human foods including bread dough. Some dogs will do better if given a safe space to stay away from company and may require calming remedies to help minimize anxiety and stress during the holidays.

  • Purebred dogs from a breeder have a documented family history and known background. For families who have opted for this way to add a dog to their family (if a shelter or rescue dog isn't in the cards), make sure you and the breeder take time to get to know each other to make sure that the family and dog are the right fit together. 

  • Dogs can suffer from hearing loss due to increasing age, chronic ear infections, or may be born with a defect. Deafness in dogs can present some challenges but overall, they can have a fairly healthy, normal life. Training is still possible by making some modifications and incorporating hand signals into the training regime. It is important to take their deafness into account when considering their safety and ensure that they are never off leash on or near a street.

  • Grief is the normal and natural response to the loss of someone or something. When grieving, one is said to be in a state of bereavement. The loss of a pet can cause intense grief and sorrow. Given that so many people consider their pets as members of the family, this grief is normal and understandable. Each person experiences grief in a different way. Contrary to popular belief, grief does not unfold in clean, linear stages, nor does it have a timeline. Grief is a full body experience that includes physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual responses. A healthy grief journey comes from taking the time to work through feelings rather than trying to push them away, moving toward the experience of loss to learn to live with it. There are many ways to manage grief, including receiving support from others, finding comfort in routines and play, keeping active, taking breaks from the sadness, remembering your pet, memorializing your pet, searching for meaning, and eventually, possibly bringing a new pet into your life. Grieving takes time. Usually it gradually lessens in intensity over time, but if it doesn’t, then professional counseling may help.

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