Kennel Cough in Dogs: What Is it and How Do Dogs Get It?

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If your dog enjoys playing with other dogs or spends time at the dog park, in boarding facilities, in group training classes, or any place that other dogs frequent, then he is at risk of contracting kennel cough. Read on to learn everything you should know about kennel cough, like how it spreads and how to protect your dog.

What Is Kennel Cough and How Do Dogs Get It?

Kennel cough (also referred to as canine infectious tracheobronchitis or bordetella) is a type of respiratory infection that affects dogs. Kennel cough causes inflammation in an infected dog’s throat and lungs.
A wide range of viruses and bacteria can lead to kennel cough, but most commonly the bordetella bacterium is responsible. This highly contagious disease easily spreads through respiratory droplets in the air, direct contact between dogs, and via contaminated services like shared water and food bowls or toys.
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Signs and Symptoms of Kennel Cough

The most common sign of kennel cough is, as you might have suspected, a cough. The cough associated with this disease has particular characteristics. It sounds a little like honking. It might sound as if your dog is trying to hack up something that’s caught in his throat.
In addition, your dog might have the following signs and symptoms:

Is Kennel Cough Dangerous for Dogs?

While kennel cough can be quite serious for puppies and dogs with other health conditions, it’s fairly easy to treat in adult dogs. The coughing and early signs of kennel cough, however, can also indicate more serious diseases such as canine influenza or canine distemper. These should be treated as soon as possible. For this reason, it’s essential to schedule a veterinary appointment and get an accurate diagnosis right away if your dog has a cough.
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Kennel Cough Treatment and Prevention with Our Woodland Park Veterinarian

As prevention is always the best medicine, we strongly encourage dog owners to vaccinate their puppies and dogs against the Bordetella bacterium to prevent the most common causes of kennel cough – especially if the pet will be spending time in public places, around other dogs, or in boarding facilities. However, our Woodland Park veterinarian at Compassion Animal Hospital is fully equipped with in-house diagnostics and a range of treatments and therapies to help our canine patients stay strong while fighting and recovering from kennel cough.

Could Your Pet Be in Pain?

Animal Pain

Learn to Recognize the Signs During Animal Pain Awareness Month

During September, Compassion Animal Hospital recognizes Animal Pain Awareness Month by teaching pet parents how to recognize signs of pain in cats and dogs. Recognizing when a pet is in pain can be extremely difficult. In the wild, predators choose to target animals that appear sick or weak. Our pets evolved to instinctively mask signs of illness and injury, including pain. Although it’s difficult to spot, you can learn to detect subtle signs.

Learn to Recognize Pain in Your Pet

Signs of Pain in Cats & Dogs

Pain in Your Pet
Pain Unique to Cats

Signs of Pain Unique to Cats

Signs of Pain Unique to Dogs

Pain Unique to Dogs
Health Screening for Your Woodland Park Pet

Schedule a Preventative Care Appointment and Health Screening for Your Woodland Park Pet

The best way to deal with pain in pets is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. With a strong focus on wellness and preventative care, our veterinarian at Compassion Animal Hospital recommends scheduling pets for regular checkups. This will help us detect signs of illness, age-related disease, or other health problems and begin treatment before they progress far enough to cause your pet any pain. If your pet already has an acute or chronic condition, we’ll work with you to establish a safe and effective pain management plan. To learn more, contact our Woodland Park veterinarian today.

Why Does My Dog Scoot?

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Why Does My Dog Scoot?

You might think it’s funny, cute, or even gross that dogs sometimes scoot their behinds along the carpet or grass. This is called scooting, and it’s a dog’s attempt at getting relief from a more serious health problem.

What Causes Dogs to Scoot Their Bums?

Sometimes, a dog might have an itch, and scooting will resolve it right away. As a result, they stop the behavior. If the scooting continues, however, your dog might be experiencing one of the following health problems.

Irritated or Infected Anal Sac Glands

Anal glands give your dog a unique scent, but they can be problematic to their health and comfort, and scooting might indicate a gland issue. Even though expression of the anal glands was recommended for some time, it can lead to irritation, inflammation, and infection. These glands should only be expressed by a veterinarian when there is a good reason to do so.

Skin Infections

Bacterial and fungal infections in and around a dog’s anus can cause irritation that leads to scooting. These infections can be resolved with antibiotics and/or topical treatments.

Allergies

Food, flea, and seasonal allergies can cause rashes, itchiness, and skin irritation. Sometimes allergy-related skin problems express around a dog’s hind-quarters.
Dogs To Scoot Their Bums

Fecal Contamination

If a dog has long fur or has had a recent bout of diarrhea, then he’s especially susceptible to bacterial contamination and irritation in the perianal area. Keeping the fur in the area trimmed shorter and washing the area with gentle soap and warm water can resolve the problem.

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites such as tapeworms also cause irritation that leads to scooting. A veterinarian can sometimes diagnose intestinal parasites just by examining your dog’s behind. Other times, a fecal sample might be necessary. Intestinal parasites can be eliminated with a variety of treatments.

Rectal Prolapse

This condition occurs when a part of a dog’s lower intestine protrudes beyond the anus. This causes significant discomfort but can be fixed with a surgical procedure.
Dog with Scooting Problem

Have a Scooting Problem in Your Household? Schedule a Veterinary Checkup

While a little scooting might not indicate a problem, scooting that doesn’t resolve on its own, persistent licking, or visible signs of irritation are all cause for a veterinary checkup. At Compassion Animal Hospital, our Woodland Park veterinarian will perform an examination of your pet and order any necessary diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of your dog’s behind-dragging problem. We’ll then recommend the most appropriate treatment to resolve the underlying issue. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your dog.

Why Your Pet Needs a Bikini Body Now (Pet Obesity Awareness)

Cat with Obesity

Why Your Pet Needs a Bikini Body Now (Pet Obesity Awareness)

Whether your pet wears a bikini, one-piece, or just his natural fur for swimming, it’s important that cats and dogs stay in shape and maintain a healthy weight. All beach-body jokes aside, pet obesity is a very real and very serious health problem for our pets. More than half of dogs and cats in the United States are classified as either overweight or obese.

What Causes Obesity in Pets and Why Are So Many Pets Overweight?

Similar to humans, pets most often become overweight and obese due to eating an improper diet and not getting enough exercise. Occasionally, additional factors (endocrine disorders or medications) can also contribute to weight gain.
Dietary choices for pets are confusing. Which foods are best, how much food pets should eat, how often pets should be fed, and whether or not pets should have table scraps is unclear to many pet owners.
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Why Chubby Pets Aren't Cute

Okay, we’ll admit that all pets are cute, but pet chubbiness shouldn’t be encouraged the way it is with funny pictures and jokes circulating the internet. Overweight and obese pets face a plethora of health risks such as:

Is My Pet Overweight? How to Recognize a Fat Pet

Your cat or dog should have a visible narrowing at the waist (in front of the hind legs). A sagging belly, a sausage-shaped physique, or a broad/flat back are all signs of too much weight. If you’re unsure, you can always ask your veterinarian to determine a healthy weight range for your pet based on species, breed, age, and size.
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Weight Loss and Managing a Pet's Weight

If your pet needs to lose a few pounds, we highly recommend scheduling a veterinary appointment. Dr. Cooper at Compassion Animal Hospital can help you set a healthy weight goal for your pet and provide you with a weight loss and weight management plan to achieve it!
First, our veterinarian will examine your pet and screen for any health conditions that could be contributing to the excess weight. Once underlying conditions have either been ruled out or treated, we’ll help you and your pet begin working toward their weight loss goal. In addition to setting your pet up with a daily exercise routine, we’ll help you make appropriate dietary choices for your pet. The right food, scheduled meals, proper proportions, and limited treats will ensure your cat or dog receives ample nutrition and calories while enabling them to reach a healthy weight.

10 Signs Your Pet Has an Ear Infection and What You Can Do to Help

Dog with Ear Infection

10 Signs Your Pet Has an Ear Infection and What You Can Do to Help

Warm weather has arrived. Along with the sunshine comes seasonal activities and allergies that can exacerbate ear problems for both cats and dogs. While our pets love to play outside in the pleasant weather, it’s important to keep an eye on their ears to make sure they stay healthy and free from bacterial and fungal infections – especially if they enjoy swimming and rolling around in the grass.

What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs and Cats?

An excessive amount of bacteria or fungus (like yeast) growing in a pet’s ears causes infection. There is a long list of reasons why cats and dogs can develop ear infections. Two of the most common, however, are allergies to pollen or foods and excessive moisture in the ears. Ear mites are another prevalent cause of ear infections.
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10 Common Signs of Ear Infections in Dogs and Cats

1. Head Shaking

Pets often shake their heads when trying to find relief from irritated ear canals.

2. Excessively Scratching or Pawing at the Ears

Pets with an infection might experience pain and itchiness, leading them to scratch.

3. Odor

Fungal and bacterial infections emit an unpleasant odor.

4. Discharge

You might notice a brown-colored discharge in and around the ears.

5. Disorientation

Pets with ear infections can become off-balance and disoriented due to pressure changes in the inner-ear.

6. Swelling

Ears and the surrounding areas of your pet’s face and head might become swollen.

7. Redness

An ear infection can cause redness inside and around the ears.

8. Scabs or Crust

You might notice scabbing or crustiness in and around the ears.

9. Head Shyness

Pets with painful ears often avoid having their ears handled or their head patted.

10. Whimpering

In pain, pets often try to mask their symptoms, but you might notice your pet whimpering or whining.
Pet with Ear Infection

What to Do If You Think Your Pet Has an Ear Infection

If you notice ear infection symptoms in your pet, schedule a veterinary appointment right away. Dr. Cooper will examine your pet’s ears and perform diagnostic tests to determine the specific cause of your pet’s infection – be it allergies, mites, bacteria, or fungus. We will then clean up your pet’s ears and prescribe an appropriate treatment to clear the infection. We might also provide you with instructions for at-home care and prevention, such as gentle ear cleanings of your own.
To learn more about ear infections, allergies, and your pets, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cooper at Compassion Animal Hospital in Woodland Park.

Celebrate National Microchipping Month In May:

Microchip Your Pet

Celebrate National Microchipping Month in May with 5 Reasons to Microchip Your Pet

There’s almost nothing more stressful than losing a pet. No one intends to have their cat or dog go missing, but unfortunately it happens all the time. In the event your pet escapes the yard or breaks off his leash, you’ll want him to have a microchip.

What Is a Pet Microchip?

A pet microchip is an encapsulated computer chip (about the size of a grain of rice) that holds an identifying number. This identifying number is registered in a secure database along with the pet owner’s contact information. When a missing pet’s chip is scanned, the number is read, searched in the database, and the owner is contacted.
Pet Microchipping

5 Reasons Why We Recommend Microchips for All Cats and Dogs

1. Tags Are Unreliable

ID tags with owner contact information attached to your pet’s collar simply aren’t reliable. They fall off and wear out, becoming unreadable, all the time.

2. Indisputable Proof of Ownership

Microchips provide unquestionable proof of ownership. If your pet is stolen, she can’t speak for herself to tell authorities who her true family is, but a microchip can.

3. Increase the Chance of Reuniting with a Lost Pet

According to a study cited by the AVMA:
According to another study, dogs with microchips are 2.5 times more likely to be reunited with their owners, and cats with microchips are 20 times more likely to return home.

4. Safe and Simple to Use

Microchips are completely safe for pets. Having one inserted is a quick and almost painless procedure that’s similar to getting a vaccination.

5. Permanent Solution to Identification

Microchips provide a permanent, life-long solution to identifying your pet. One microchip will last a lifetime. To make sure it’s effective, you’ll need to be sure to keep your current contact information registered in the national database.
Microchipping Appointment for Your Woodland Park Pet

Schedule a Microchipping Appointment for Your Woodland Park Pet

If you’re still relying on outdated collar ID tags for your pet’s safety, we strongly recommend getting a microchip for your pet. We all cherish our pets and do everything we can to keep them safe, but they can still get lost or stolen. To improve the odds that your pet will be safely returned, schedule a microchipping appointment with Compassion Animal Hospital. We’ll microchip your pet and provide you with instructions to register your contact information in the national microchipping database.