Blog Posts by vetstreet.com

  • The Best Way to Remove a Tick from Your Pet

    By Carrie Sloan | vetstreet.com

    iStockPhoto -- How to properly remove ticks It's going to be summertime soon, when the living is easy - unless you have a pet who will be spending lots of time in the great outdoors. Spring and summer are the most popular (and prolific) seasons for ticks, and they're a problem you should be prepared for. "Ticks are dangerous," says Dr. Rick Alleman, DVM, Ph.D., a researcher on vector-borne diseases and a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Florida. "They transmit much more than Lyme disease." In fact, some can emit as many as four or five pathogens, and cause infections in humans and pets. If a large number of ticks infest a pet, they can suck so much blood that your pet can become anemic - a good reason to nip the prospect of ticks in the bud.

    See Also: Can All Dogs Swim? No, and This Popular Breed is Worst

    Fortunately, there's preventive medicine that can protect your pet from picking them up in the first place, as well as foolproof techniques to remove them. But

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  • Morris the Cat: America's First Famous Feline

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres | vetstreet.com

    Morris the Cat in 1978 CommercialSure, those felines made famous by YouTube are all the rage this week with their new documentary, Lil Bub & Friendz, in the spotlight at the Tribeca Film Festival. But before there was YouTube, Buzzfeed recently reminded us, there was Morris.

    Remember him? The big orange cat was made famous by his 9Lives commercials. What you might not know is that Morris was a rescue cat, who was "discovered" in an Illinois shelter in 1968.(Below is a classic from 1978.)



    As legend has it, Bob Mardwick, an animal trainer who worked for the Leo Burnett advertising agency, found Morris when he wandered into the Humane Society shelter in Hillsdale, Ill., according to Morris' 9Lives biography. Mardwick brought him in for a casting call for 9Lives.

    Morris "jumped on the table… and he walked right up to the art director, the big cheese, and bumped him in the head. And then Morris just sat back," Mardwick said. "The art director said, 'This is the

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  • Your Puppy: What to Expect at 4-6 Months

    vetstreet.comYour furry friend is growing up. In human years she would be between 6 and 10 years old, depending on her breed. And like her human counterparts, she's playful, curious and perhaps even a little willful. Here's what you can expect over the next few months.

    See Also: What to Expect at 7-9 Months With Your Puppy


    Physical and Mental Development

    By 5 months, your puppy's house training should be well established, and she should be able to wait longer between trips outside. She will average four to six trips daily and gradually decrease to three or four as she enters adulthood.

    During this period of physical development, your dog will mature sexually. By 5 months old, a male puppy can produce sperm; by 6 months, a female is able to have her first litter. If you don't plan to breed your dog, talk with your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your puppy as soon as possible. Spaying or neutering your pet will eliminate the risk of an unplanned pregnancy, reduce roaming

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  • Dogs Help Police at Boston Marathon Tragedy

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres | April 16, 2013

    A dog helps police in Boston with their investigation after two explosions went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.Bomb-sniffing dogs have been working tirelessly in Boston, where two explosions killed three people and injured more than 130 near the finish line of the 117 th running of the Boston Marathon. News reports and photos show that K9s assisted officers with providing security before the race and then in the hours after the tragic explosions, as calls about suspicious packages poured in from vigilant and frightened citizens and visitors who were in town for the race. Dogs also helped officers in other cities around the country as they tightened their security. Now, the Lutheran Church Charities in Chicago, which made headlines when their K9 Comfort Dogs helped in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shootings, is preparing to send a team of dogs to the Boston area "as soon as the situation allows." - Get the latest news on the situation at Boston.com and follow the K9 Comfort Dogs on Facebook

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    More on

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  • Why Does My Dog... Twitch While Sleeping?

    By Arden Moore

    Thinkstock -- Sleep puppy sleepYour snoozing dog suddenly starts moving his feet, but his eyes stay closed. His body starts to twitch and quiver, and he may vocalize a little. He looks like he is running on his side, possibly chasing something in his dreams. What's going on?

    See Also: Should Dogs & Cats Sleep in Your Bed?


    Why Your Dog Twitches in His Sleep

    Just like us, dogs dream. They go through three sleep stages: NREM, non-rapid eye movement; REM, rapid eye movement; and SWS, short-wave sleep. It is in the SWS stage that a dog breathes heavily while he is sleeping. Animal experts theorize that dogs dream during the REM stage and act on their dreams by twitching or moving all four paws as if they were chasing a rabbit.

    Dogs who sleep all curled up must keep their muscles tensed and are therefore less relaxed than dogs who stretch out when they sleep and are less likely to twitch in their sleep.

    For reasons yet to be explained, young puppies and senior dogs tend to move more

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  • My Pet is Sneezing and Snorting. What's Going On?

    Bless YouSneezing and snorting seem like obvious enough actions to define, yet it's not always easy to tell the difference between the two in pets. Indeed, these two symptoms can sometimes look so similar so that many people use the terms interchangeably.

    Sneezing is generally defined as a sudden, involuntary outflow of air from the lungs through the nose and mouth. It's usually caused in response to some irritant of the upper airway, most often to the delicate mucous membranes that line the nasal passages.

    See Also: What's the Deal With Reverse Sneezes


    Snorting, by contrast, looks like and is defined almost identically as a sneeze. The difference is that a sneeze is involuntary, while a snort is a voluntary effort on the part of the snorter.

    Dogs and cats sneeze and snort for all sorts of reasons related to the workings of the upper respiratory tract. Though many of them are normal and benign responses to simple irritation, some can signal infections, upper airway

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  • Hands-Down Best Solution for a Skunked Dog (and It's Not Tomato Juice)

    By Gina Spadafori

    iStockPhoto -- Watch out Fido!Over the years, the universal skunk remedy has been widely accepted as the canned red stuff in your pantry. However, as reported in the Chicago Tribune several years ago, a chemist by the name of Paul Krebaum discovered what turns out to be the hands-down best solution for eliminating odor on dogs who have been skunked. You can still find the ingredients in your cupboards. And yes, it really works!

    See Also: 4 Best Household Items to Clean Pet-Stained Carpets


    Here's the odor-blasting formula: Take 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid hand soap. Mix and immediately apply to the stinky pet. Then rinse thoroughly with tap water. For a big dog, such as a Labrador, you may need to double the recipe to improve coverage. Common sense dictates keeping the mix out of sensitive areas like the eyes and ears. Also, don't allow your dog to ingest the mixture, because hydrogen peroxide can cause vomiting.

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  • Cat Litter: How was it Invented?

    By Linda Lombardi | vetstreet.com

    Alamy Cats have been living with humans for thousands of years. For most of that time, they came and went as they pleased, finding their own food and taking care of business out of sight - and smell - of their human companions. Nowadays the life of our cats is quite different. That means we have to deal with sanitation. So there's one man who probably deserves more credit than anyone else for making the modern feline lifestyle possible: the inventor of cat litter.

    See Also: 10 Ways to Ace Litterbox Maintenance and Keep Your Cat Happy

    What's That Smell?

    Before the mid-1940s, indoor cat boxes were filled with dirt, sand, sawdust, paper, and even ashes and cinders, which were common in a world where people still burned wood and coal at home. All of these materials would attract a cat to bury waste, but they didn't do anything about the especially unpleasant smell of feline urine.

    This was probably less of an issue in the 19th and early 20th

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  • How to Recognize and Resolve Cat Conflict

    By Dr. Tony Buffington DVM, MS, PhD, DACVN | vetstreet.com

    Thinkstock - Are your cats fighting?The average cat-owning household has at least two cats, some many more. And while most cats seem to get along fine, they can react quickly when they feel threatened. A more assertive cat might chase another cat from or silently block access to a food bowl or litter pan; a less assertive cat might spend hours hiding or even become sick. In fact, conflict is a more common reason for health problems in multiple-indoor-cat households than some cat owners might realize. In cases of extreme conflict, the chronic stress of threat might cause a cat to vomit hair or food, avoid the litter pan or start missing meals.

    See Also: Looking for a Sweet, Gentle Lap Cat? Then This Breed Is NOT for You

    Cats: Solitary by Nature

    Our domestic pet cats evolved as solitary hunters of small prey, competing with other cats for food in common hunting grounds. The social behaviors among cats that emerged in this environment include reducing conflict

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  • Why Does My Dog... Kiss Other Dogs?

    By Arden Moore | vetstreet.com

    Thinkstock -- Why dogs lick other dogs' muzzlesWhat could be cuter than your puppy giving his doggy pal a smooch on the nose? Nothing, really. But is your dog actually planting a kiss on his buddy? Yes, but that's only one reason your dog may lick another dog's muzzle.

    What Your Dog Wants

    During an introduction, a timid and lower-ranking dog will lower his head, avoid direct eye contact and gently extend his tongue to lick the muzzle of a more dominant, confident and higher-ranking dog. The first dog licks the muzzle of the second dog to simply reconfirm that he comes in peace. Think of this as the doggy equivalent of social kissing.

    See Also: Why Does My Neutered Dog Still Hump Things?

    Dogs who are already friends will also trade smooches. Two strongly bonded canine pals will lick and groom each other. They give each other "dog kisses" in displays of affection and friendship. In this scenario, the dogs' social hierarchy is not an issue. These dogs know and trust each other. They

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