Sabal Chase Animal Clinic

Sabal Chase Animal Clinic
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Shaving Pets For The Summer





As we continue to slog through the dog days of summer, many pet owners have their pets shaved as a means of keeping them cool. It stands to reason that since humans require fewer layers of clothing, pets would be happier with less fur. Yet many pet parents are surprised to
learn that veterinarians do not generally recommend that summer shave.  


While it seems counterintuitive, your pet’s coat not only keeps him warm during the winter, but also cool during the summer. His coat is part of the body’s entire process of thermolregulation, and removing large quantities of hair interferes with said process. Additionally, shaving exposes the skin to allergens. Normally these might cling to the hair without causing discomfort for your pet. Without the protection of his coat, however, your pet may begin suffering from allergic dermatitis. Excess sun exposure can become a problem as well. A pet’s bare skin can burn quickly and severely in the absence of the protection that’s usually afforded by his fur. If your pet has an especially thick coat, ask your veterinarian what is best for your individual pet. Even if you get a green light for a shave, be sure to leave at least an inch of hair to keep sunburn and allergies at bay.


Hairballs Happen



Hairballs Happen
By Dr. Ian Kupkee

Mankind has been fascinated for thousands of years by the regal and dignified nature of domestic cats. Yet in spite of their mystique, many of our feline friends are plagued by the rather inelegant problem of hairballs. Hairballs happen when cats ingest too much hair during the self-grooming process. Allergies, skin diseases, stress, and external parasites are just a few reasons why cats may shed enough hair to present a problem. If your cat is losing weight, refusing food, or vomiting hair more than once a week, it’s time to see your veterinarian for a checkup.

Most of the time, however, hairballs can be controlled by making a few simple changes at home.  Daily brushing can greatly reduce the amount of hair your cat ingests. Adding omega-3 fatty acids to their diets can mitigate shedding, but supplements must be specifically labelled for use in cats. Products intended for humans often contain artificial sweeteners that are toxic to pets. Additionally, your kitty may respond to a diet that is higher in fiber, or one containing fewer potential allergens. Ask your veterinary healthcare team to recommend a suitable diet for your individual cat. Since hairballs can occasionally lead to life-threatening blockages which require a surgical fix, it’s best to intervene sooner rather than later.  Minor adjustments at the first sign of trouble are often the key to preventing a hairball horror.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Meet Gato, Our August Pet of the Month




World, meet Gato, our August Pet of the Month!

Like so many of South Florida's fabulous felines, Gato was a rescue with an uncertain future. For a long time, chronic skin problems and a malformed front paw stood between this sweet boy and a loving forever home. But that changed when his awesome cat daddy looked past his exceptionalities and saw a grateful heart and a new best friend.

These days, Gato spends his time watching the world go by from the comfort of a sunny window sill. And when that gets boring, he hangs out in the wall-mounted kitty condo his dad made especially for him!

Congratulations, Gato, and share with all your friends - not only did you hit the adoption jackpot, you're our Pet of the Month!

Just enjoying the view...

Chillaxin' on the top floor of the kitty condo loft!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Preventing Pet Theft



South Florida residents are forever being warned about the prevalence of property theft. Generally speaking, our local miscreants are looking for cash, electronics, jewelry, and cars. Whilst victims of burglary often report feeling angry and vulnerable, many are quick to add that their possessions are merely "things".  And things can be replaced. Sadly, however, more and more families are arriving home to find that their irreplaceable pets have been stolen as well.

Small, purebred dogs are common targets for pet thieves. Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas and Malteses are especially vulnerable. French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers are hot commodities, and the popularity of Labradors and Labradoodles has caused a coinciding spike in thefts of these breeds as well. Finally, dog-nappers single out breeds with reputations for guarding and fighting. This puts German Shepherds, Pit bull type dogs, Rottweilers and Dobermans squarely in the sights of dog thieves.

The best way to protect your pets from theft is to keep them under your supervision at all times.  Keep them indoors when you are not at home, and secure your home to the best of your ability.  Unless your large breed dogs have been trained to protect your home, do not leave them outdoors unattended. Dog thieves are not easily intimidated, are many are very good at making friends with so-called "guard dogs." Finally, even if the air conditioner is running, do not leave a dog unattended in a car. Cars can be stolen in the time it takes us to blink, and a canine passenger is an added bonus to a car thief. Make sure your pets are micro-chipped, as this tiny device can provide proof of legal ownership if your pet is recovered and claimed by another party.

Sadly, we live in a time and space where too many humans fail to see animals as anything other than commodities. If we apply the same principles of vigilance towards our pets as we do to our inanimate possessions, we can offer our companion animals a measure of protection from the unthinkable.




Thursday, July 6, 2017

Meet Misty Mae, Our July Pet Of The Month!



This month, our featured pet is Misty Mae! Misty Mae is a seven-year-old Maltese who's got her humans wrapped around her proverbial little finger. When she's not melting hearts with those  big brown eyes, Misty can be found trailing her human brother in the hopes he might drop something interesting - like a pacifier!

Don't be fooled by the posh purebred routine - there's never a dull moment when this gal is in the house. She's the perfect balance of sweetness and spunk. And Dr. Kupkee has been caught fawning over her on more than one occasion!

Congratulations, Misty Mae, and share with all your friends - you're our Pet Of The Month!


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fighting Felines: Why Can't We All Just Get Along?





One of the most common problems cat owners face is that of cats who share the same space, but can’t seem to get along. When a new cat is brought into a home with an established, resident cat, the transition does not always go smoothly. New cats should always be introduced gradually. Start by limiting the newcomer’s range to certain rooms in your home. The established cat will know there is a new cat in the house, but neither will have to be in the other’s space at first. Let the established cat smell anything with which the new cat has had contact, and leave the item in a communal area. This will let the established cat know that eventually, this will be a shared space. Face to face meetings should be brief at first, and must always end on a good note. Reward both cats for their good behavior with treats, play activities, and praise.

If one of the cats is bullying the other, you may need to seek help from a trainer or behaviorist. Many Certified Professional Dog Trainers are also great with cats, so don’t give up if a Google search for cat behaviorists is fruitless. As a short term solution, make sure the cat who is being bullied has access to a high shelf, cat tree, or kitty condo. Height provides cats with feelings of both confidence and safety, and a cat who is not feeling stressed is less likely to develop health and behavioral problems. Additionally, the bully cat should wear a collar with a bell attached. The sound of the bell will alert the other cat to the movements of the bully. This prevents the target from being ambushed or stalked, and gives him plenty of time to escape to higher ground. Make sure the collar is labelled for cats, and will safely break apart if it gets caught. This trick alone tends to even the field, and should help keep the peace until a the behaviorist arrives.


Friday, June 2, 2017

Meet Chiquita, our June Pet of the Month!



World, meet Chiquita, our June Pet of the Month! Chiquita is a 12-year-old Miniature Pinscher who loves sunbathing and being spoiled. And who can resist spoiling that face? Despite the adulation, Chiquita's sweet and laid back temperament made her an instant hit with our team. Even when she's waiting for Santa with her four-legged companions, she still keeps her cool.

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