Sabal Chase Animal Clinic

Sabal Chase Animal Clinic
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dogs And Kids: Don't Punish The Growl

Don't Punish The Growl

Every year, roughly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs. Nearly half of the victims of said bites are children between the ages of five and nine.  Throughout my career, I have seen these statistics manifested in the form of traumatized children and surrendered pets. Veterinary professionals are forever telling parents to closely watch interactions between dogs and children. Yet we often fall short when it comes to telling them what they should be watching for.

Perhaps the most telling sign of impending trouble between dogs and kids is the growl. When asked by researchers how they would react if they caught their dog growling at their child, the response of most parents was that they would punish the dog - severely. After all, they would want to be sure it never happened again. Dogs, however, are cause-and-effect thinkers. To a dog, a growl is a warning. She is saying, “Back off, or I will bite you.” When this behavior is punished, she learns that giving a warning leads to unpleasant consequences. The result is a dog who skips the warning, and goes straight to the bite. Should you catch your dog growling at your child, calmly separate the pair, and seek immediate assistance from a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. These caring professionals can help both dogs and families to safely  enjoy the human-animal bond.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Meet Agatha, our May Pet of the Month!

Introducing Agatha, our May Pet of the Month! While the two-year-old tabby may look innocent and sweet, this feisty feline wears the Cone of Shame like a boss. She bravely did battle with a string of twine measuring five feet, four inches in length. And it wasn't enough to simply defeat the twine - she ate it!

All of it.

Thanks to her mom's quick thinking, Agatha is now recovering from a 90-minute surgical procedure in which Dr. Kupkee removed the twine from her intestines and stomach.

All of it.

She ate what?!

While she continues to flaunt her Cone of Shame, we've no doubt she'll be back to her spirited self as soon as her stitches are removed. In the meantime, she continues to heal like a champ - and what remains of the twine has been safely stashed out of her reach.

Congratulations, Agatha, and share with all of your friends - you're not only the Slayer of Twine, you're our Pet of the Month!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Leptospirosis and Pets

Leptospirosis and Pets
By Dr. Ian Kupkee

As South Florida temperatures begin to rise, the veterinary community is likely to see an uptick in cases of Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria which is spread through the urine of wild mammals. Although rats are the most common carriers, it is also spread by opossums, mice, skunks, squirrels, and raccoons. While cats are capable of contracting Leptospirosis, feline cases of the disease are extremely rare. Dogs, on the other hand, are always keen to explore the scents associated with wild animals. This common practice of “checking pee-mail” is often how our pets come into contact with this potentially deadly pathogen.

While Leptospirosis is found all over the United States, the bacteria thrives in warm, subtropical climates. It can survive for long periods of time in standing water, including pet bowls that are left outdoors. Humans are also at risk; Florida reported four human cases of Leptospirosis in 2015, one of which was here in Miami-Dade County. Left untreated, Leptospirosis attacks the liver, kidneys, and lungs. It is nearly always fatal. Thankfully, there is a canine vaccine to protect our pets from this nasty bug. It is often included in the Distemper combination vaccine, and has a one-year duration of immunity. If you are unsure as to whether or not your dog is protected, call your vet and find out if their vaccines are up to date. Your veterinary team can advise you on how to best defend your pet from this increasingly common, and deadly infectious disease.
Raccoons are some of the most common carriers of Leptospirosis

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Meet Weezer, our April Pet of the Month!

This April, our Pet of the Month is Weezer! Weezer is a two-year-old dachshund mix who was adopted from Miami Dade Animal Services. He may be small, but this guy fought a battle with Canine Distemper and won! He was also recently featured on CBS 4, during a segment on the current rabies alert in East Kendall. He was due for his rabies vaccine, and once again, he was very brave! Click here to check out the segment.

Despite his celebrity status, Weezer still loves hanging out at Wood Tavern in trendy Wynwood with his dad. While he was perfectly happy to stop by for a photo shoot, he had no time to sign "paw"-tographs. After all, it's Happy Hour somewhere!

Congratulations, Weezer, and share with all your friends - you're our Pet of the Month!

"Can we speed this up? My fans are waiting at Wynwood!"

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Community Cats

Community Cats

Many South Floridians share their lives with so-called community cats. Such cats are not members of any one particular household, but roam outdoors, sticking to familiar neighborhoods and feeding stations. They vary in temperament from truly feral cats who live like wild animals, to friendly strays who were likely abandoned by their owners. While many of us do not mind providing food and water for these special souls, there are a few essentials to keep in mind.

Cats can begin reproducing as early as five months of age. They often become pregnant with their next litter while still nursing a current litter! It is therefore crucial to make sure all community cats are spayed or neutered. Miami-Dade Animal Services performs these procedures free of charge, so schedule the surgery before your visitor becomes a village!  If you share your home with indoor cats, place the community cat’s food and water bowls as far away from the house as possible. Your indoor kitty may perceive the newcomer as a threat, and resort to undesirable behaviors such as urinating outside the litter box to mark his or her territory. While community cats are happy to create their own outdoor restrooms, many will use a litter box. Not all of our neighbors appreciate community cats, especially if their yards are routinely fouled by our feline friends. This simple addition can go a long way towards keeping the peace, and ensuring community cats have as little negative impact as possible.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Free Images

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Meet Rex, Our March Pet Of The Month!

World, meet Rex, our March Pet Of The Month!

Rex is a Yellow Lab who will be six years old on the 28th.  When he's not swimming, cuddling, and playing with his two-legged big brother, Rex can be found sitting upright on the sofa. That's the cue for his household humans to stop what they are doing, and bring on the belly rubs! With his birthday coming up, chances are he'll be getting lots and lots of them.

Congratulations, Rex, and Happy Birthday in advance. Be sure to share with all your friends - you're our Pet Of The Month!

Was Rex the cutest puppy ever or what?!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February is Pet Dental Health Month!

February is Pet Dental Health Month!

Every so often, a client will express a degree of surprise when I recommend routine dental cleanings, and home dental care for their pets. Folks my age, give or take a decade, were taught from a young age that while “doggie breath” was unpleasant, it was normal. Many of us (including me!)  were even told “a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s.”  While much of the folklore with which we grew up has withstood the tests of both time and science, we now know that dental disease is a genuine threat to the overall health of our pets.  The good news, however, is that it’s easily preventable.

Like their human counterparts, dogs and cats should receive regular, professional dental cleanings. The frequency of these cleanings will vary depending the pet’s species, breed, diet, and certain genetic factors. Home dental care can reduce the buildup of tartar and dental plaque, and decrease the number of professional cleanings needed.  Untreated dental disease can lead to cardiac problems, kidney failure, and systemic infections.  Ask your veterinarian what his or her recommendations may be for for keeping Fluffy’s teeth healthy and strong. Like many other aspects of pet health care, an ounce of dental disease prevention is often worth a pound of cure.