Category Archives: Feline Health

How to Recognize and Treat a Cat Urinary Tract Infection

posted on February 27, 2020 by Heritage Animal Hospital
Cat-Urinary-Tract-Infection

Cats rule the world, or maybe it just feels that way to their owners. Our feline companions can be the light of our lives. Pets can turn any bad day into paw-somely purr-fect one. However, when your furry friend isn’t feeling their best, it can cause stress both for the cat and you as a pet parent.

Because February is National Cat Health Month, we would like to highlight a common feline issue: urinary tract infection (UTI). This time of year, we see more cases of UTIs, especially in males.

Recognizing a Cat Urinary Tract Infection

If you have been a lifelong cat owner, you can probably recite the signs of a UTI in your sleep. Here’s a list for any new pet parents or anyone who might be unfamiliar with how a urinary tract infection can present in cats.

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection in a cat:

  • Excessive grooming or licking of the genital or abdominal areas
  • Frequent attempts to urinate, including multiple trips to the litter box
  • Urinating in unusual places outside of the litter box, especially on a cool surface like tile or the bathtub
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Abnormal smelling urine
  • Absence of large clumps in the litter box
  • Straining to urinate or crying out while urinating
  • Discolored urine or blood in urine

The most common symptom is when the cat is no longer going to the bathroom in their litter box. Do not assume this is a behavior issue. Take your feline companion to the vet to rule out a urinary tract infection or other serious problem.

Treatment

At Heritage Animal Hospital, we try to resolve any issue as quickly as possible and with minimal discomfort for the pet. When a patient arrives with a suspected urinary tract infection, we start with a physical exam and collect urine samples. Depending on symptoms and severity, we may also recommend blood work or x-rays.

Although some urinary tract infections can heal on their own, if needed, we will prescribe antibiotics. Following all the instructions a vet gives you is the best way to ensure that a relapse or reinfection does not occur. Reinfection could point to an underlying or more serious issue. We like to follow up with our patients with a retest after they’ve finished the antibiotic treatment.

Early diagnosis of a UTI will help minimize the discomfort and dangers for your cat. An untreated UTI can result in considerably more harmful conditions, including kidney infections or, in rare cases, acute kidney failure. So please see a vet as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Reducing stress for your pet

Reducing stress for your pet can help prevent urinary tract infections from coming back or developing into a more serious condition.

Try these tips for reducing stress for your cat:

  • Spend more time together.
  • Give your feline friend access to windows or more toys.
  • Regularly clean litter boxes or increase the number of available litter boxes.

Catching a urinary tract infection early can help ease the stress and discomfort for both you and your cat. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, please contact us.

Posted in: Feline Health

Deciding when it’s time-the quality of life discussion

posted on July 02, 2019 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

One of the worst part of owning pets is that they don’t live as long as we do, so at some point it will be time to say goodbye.  However, we do have the ability to end a pet’s life with dignity and to relieve suffering.  But many people aren’t sure when it’s time.  We here at Heritage Animal Hospital have recently had to make these decisions for both our clinic dog and cat, so we understand what you’re going through.

First of all, if you are unsure, you can always make an appointment or call us to discuss.  As veterinarians, we are trained to look for signs of suffering, pain, and diminishing quality of life in our pets, so we are often a more objective source to help make the decision.  Second of all, if you feel it is time for whatever reason, we will not second guess or judge you for this.  You know your pet the best.

Things we often recommend looking at include is the pet eating/drinking, is the pet able to move on it’s own, and is the pet still interacting with you.  Does it enjoy the things it used to?  (Note-a 15 year old dog is the equivalent of a 90 year old person, so it may not enjoy frisbee anymore, but might still get enjoyment from being outside or going for a walk).  Is the pet having accidents, and is it able to move out of them or is it covered in it’s own feces and/or urine?  Is the pet in pain, and if so, are we adequately controlling it with medications, supplements, etc.

Pick a couple things that make your pet special.  Are they still doing those things?  A pet that always greats you at the door and suddenly won’t get up when you come home, or a pet that follows you from room to room suddenly stays in it’s bed alone in a room are signs that it may be time.

Because this decision is very difficult, it can be hard to balance emotions with reality.  Using things like penny jars for good or bad days/events, marking a calendar, or using scales like the one below can help give you a visual, concrete representation of how your pet is doing.

Ultimately you know your pet best, but we are here to help you make these tough decisions, and can help by telling you when we think it may be time when you can’t make this decision on your own.  Please let us know if we can help.

In Loving Memory of Jack and Harry

CBD-the conversation we aren’t having

posted on March 01, 2019 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

We are having more and more clients asking about products containing CBD oil, so I thought I’d address this via blog.

At this time, all CBD products are still illegal to sell in Minnesota and other states across the US.  Yes, that’s right, illegal.  Therefore, we cannot recommend these products at this time.

However, the DEA is unlikely to go after every pet owner giving CBD oil products to their pets, and I know some clients are using them, so here is more of what we do know about them.  Please, if you are giving them, tell us when we ask what medications and supplements your pet is on so we can make the best possible recommendations for your pet.

CBD oil is supposed to contain less that 0.1 % THC (the active agent in marijuana). However, since the products are illegal, they are not being regulated.  This means the product could contain varying amounts of THC-from none all the way up to toxic levels.  The FDA usually closely monitors and requires rigorous testing to label a drug for sale including monitoring active ingredient levels and label claims for diseases they are used to treat.  There is none of this currently in the industry for pets.  The ASPCA Poison Control Center has been seeing cases where pets are exhibiting the same signs of marijuana toxicosis when they ingest CBD products.

CBD manufacturers widely claim their product helps with a variety of illnesses and ailments, from GI issues, seizures, osteoarthritis, to helping anxious pets.  Unfortunately, very little research has been done to confirm any of this.  It is possible that it may be beneficial in some of these cases, but we have very limited data and cannot safely recommend it at this time.  We also have no data on how CBD oil interacts with other medications or organ functions.  For instance, a pet with seizures is often put on phenobarbital.  Phenobarbital is a barbiturate class medication, meaning it can cause nervous system depression.  THC is also a nervous system depressant.  At this time we do not know if these medications can be used in conjunction safely in our pets.  Opioid pain medications are also used for some conditions, and may cause a similar issue with nervous system depression.  Pets who have arthritis tend to be older pets, who may have other health issues such as kidney disease or heart disease for instance.  We again do not know if CBD products are safe to use with these conditions.

Overall, until CBD becomes legal and we get some research and regulation, we are not recommending these products at this time.  If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Tagged :

Cold weather and cabin fever

posted on January 31, 2019 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

With the polar vortex swirling freezing air around, there are a few safety and sanity tips we’d like to share with you!

Keep pets inside!  This may seem obvious to some, but it bears repeating.  While some dogs have thicker/double coats and are adapted to colder temperatures, these negative temperatures are too cold for all pets.  Frost bite is possible on sensitive skin such as paw pads.  Limit exposure to short bathroom breaks, and use protective wear such as booties, paw balms, and/or sweaters and coats.

If you have pets that cannot be kept inside, make sure they have access to shelter and unfrozen water.  Consider offering shelter in your garage or shed, or providing “nest boxes” for neighborhood strays.  Leaving pets outside in extreme cold temperatures, especially without adequate shelter, can be construed as animal cruelty and may be cause for legal action.  If you see a pet outside and are concerned, you can contact your local police for guidance.

Wipe feet after walks outside-sidewalk salt can be irritating and may even be toxic.  Use a warm, damp rag to wipe feet after walks outside to prevent your pet from licking these.  Or invest in the aforementioned booties.  Use pet safe salt on your own driveways and sidewalks if you are able.

Stay off ice-even with the extreme cold we’ve been having, it is possible to get injured, loose control of your pet when there is no traction, or in the worst case scenario, fall through ice.

Monitor for signs of hypothermia.  Shivering, lethargy, progressing to slowed heart rate and respiratory rate (breathing), coma, and even death can occur.  Warm pets slowly, and avoid heating pads and other hot items when rewarming.  Call a veterinarian if you are concerned your pet may be suffering from hypothermia.

Make noise when starting vehicles-stray cats and other critters are drawn to the warmth of a recently run engine.  Tap on hood, honk horn, and check for animals before starting your vehicle.

If you are using antifreeze, make sure to keep pets out of the area and clean up any spills immediately.  Antifreeze is sweet and draws your pets’ attention, and is extremely toxic.  Call a veterinarian immediately if your pet gets into antifreeze.

Be prepared-if the power goes out or a blizzard strikes, make sure you have enough food and medications for at least 5 days for your pets.  Keep an emergency kit for your pet in case you need to relocate due to the weather-include food, medications, grooming supplies, vaccine records, and your veterinarian’s information at a minimum.

Lastly, leave your pet at home.  You’re probably bringing extra clothing for yourself in these extreme cold temperatures in case the car gets stranded.  You cannot do the same for your pets.  It is too cold for them to sit in the car waiting for you while you run errands, so unless you need to specifically bring them somewhere, leave them home and warm.

Now, as for the cabin fever from being stuck in the house.  Play games of hide and seek-hide treats around the house and let your dog sniff them out.  Play chase with a toy with your cat or dog.  Dogs can play fetch in the house going up and down stairs or hallways.  Puzzle toys encourage your pet to interact to get a treat.  Find a recipe for homemade pet treats that you can bake for something for the whole family to do and your pet to enjoy.

 

Responsible Pet Ownership

posted on February 01, 2018 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

February is National Responsible Pet Owners Month.  Pets are a joy to own, but they are also a commitment.  Dogs and cats can live 10-20 years, and some pets such as birds can live even longer.  They depend upon us fully to care for them, but in return they give us unconditional love.

So what are some ways to be a responsible pet owner?

  •  Spay or neuter your pet.  Unfortunately in the U.S., there is an overpopulation of companion animals, with many dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, and other pets living in shelters and rescues.  Spaying and neutering helps prevent further overpopulation, and has some health benefits as well.
  • Get pets from reputable sources.  On a similar note, when looking to add to your family, consider rescues and shelters.  There are many pure bred rescues if you want a pure bred, and mixed breed animals often have the benefit of fewer health issues.
  • Go to the vet annually.  While your pet may not require yearly vaccinations, the physical examination is the most important part of your visit.  Pets are very good at hiding pain and problems, and going to the vet regularly may help catch issues earlier, when they are easier to prevent or treat.
  • Microchip or otherwise identify your pet.  Tags with phone numbers are important, and having a microchip with current information can help reunite with your pet should you get separated.  Make sure to keep microchip information current if you move or get a new phone number.
  • Go to training.  Training your dog helps strengthen your bond, and can help prevent or reduce behavior issues.  Things like agility can also give you both something active to do together.
  • Provide good nutrition.  Your pet needs a well balanced, nutritious diet to have a long, healthy life.  At the same time, don’t overfeed.  Obesity is a major issue affecting our pets and can cause multiple health issues.  Talk with your veterinarian about recommended foods and amounts.
  • Provide regular grooming.  Almost all dogs need their nails trimmed periodically, and most dogs need a bath every once in awhile.  Some pets require regular brushing to keeps tangles at bay, and some dogs need professional grooming to maintain a health coat and skin.
  • Hygiene is important as well.  Ears should be cleaned periodically.  Anal glands may need to be emptied on a regular basis.  Teeth should be brushed, ideally daily, with a pet tooth paste.  Regular veterinary dental care may be required as well.
  • Be prepared for emergencies.  Have a basic first aid kit handy; there are even some made specifically for pets.  Know that certain human medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve) are toxic to pets.  Have emergency veterinarian contact information handy.  Keep a file of copies of bloodwork and other important health information handy in case you need to see a veterinarian other than your regular vet.
  • Have pet insurance or a savings account for your pets’ health.  There are multiple options for pet health insurance that may be able to alleviate the cost burden and financial part of making decisions in an emergency.  Having a regular savings account for your pet’s yearly care, with a buffer for emergency situations is another way to handle this.
  • Provide mental and physical stimulation.  Exercise is important for our pets, helping control weight, as well as giving a release for pent up energy that could otherwise feed unwanted behavior.  Mental stimulation such as scent training, puzzle toys, and foraging for food/treats is also important for that same reason.
  • Travel safely.  Pets should be confined when in a vehicle for their own and your safety.  There are multiple seat belt and harnesses available, as well as carriers, confinement nets, or crates.
  • Pet proof your house.  Wires and cords make tempting play toys to puppies and kittens.  Plants may pose a toxic threat.  Yards may have unforeseen escape routes or dangers.  Imagine yourself at their level and educate yourself about potential toxins to keep out of their reach.
  • Clean up after your pets.  Dogs can spread disease to other pets and humans via their feces, so if they have a bowel movement in public, be sure to clean it up.  This is also just the nice, neighborly thing to do!
  • Teach children to respect animals.  Discuss with children how to ask before going up to strange animals.  Teach them to understand basic dog and cat body language cues, and teach them how to approach and pet animals appropriately.  Supervise children and pets when they are together.  Lead by example.

Overall, there are many things that play a role into being a responsible pet owner.  These are just a few examples of things that contribute to having a healthy, happy pet for many years!

Pain in our pets

posted on January 02, 2018 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

Since pets aren’t able to speak, it can be difficult to determine if they are in pain.  Pets tend to be extremely stoic, and may eat despite rotting teeth, may walk despite broken bones, and may wag their tail despite having just had surgery.  So how do you tell if something is amiss?

Some pets will vocalize when in pain, whether a whine, whimper, howl, or growl.  However, not all pets will, so this is not always a good indicator.  Sometimes there are physical signs of pain that are visible-limping, trembling, dilated pupils (unless the eye is what is painful, then may see squinting, and dilated or constricted pupils), increased heart rate and increased respiratory rate, changes in gait, posture, tail and/or ear position, mobility, or even changes in the way they sit or lay (leg cocked out, prayer position, curled up or stretched out differently).  Overgrooming an area or barbering the hair can indicate pain, as can a complete lack of grooming.  Changes in eating, drinking, urination, defecation, and sleep habits may all indicate pain also.

More often, pets will have subtle changes in their personality.  They may act more anxious-whining, pacing, licking, panting, seeming unable to get comfortable/or unable to relax.  They may also be agitated, and may even become aggressive.  Some pets may become less social, actively hiding or avoiding interactions with other pets and/or humans.

Since many of these signs can be a bit subjective, it is always best to seek veterinary advice to determine if your pet is in pain and what may be the cause so appropriate treatment can be pursued.  Always finish all pain medications prescribed unless otherwise directed by a veterinarian.  Lastly, many human pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol) and even aspirin can be toxic to our pets, so please do not administer these to your pet.  Veterinarians have pet safe medications they can dispense when appropriate.  If you think your pet is painful, please call today!

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month!

posted on November 02, 2017 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

Senior pets in shelters are the least likely to find homes, sometimes making them most likely to be euthanized in crowding situations.  Many people think that if an older pet is at the shelter, it means that they were problematic.  This is not the case however.  Many older pets belonged to households that had changes in them such as children, new jobs, moving, or an elderly person who is no longer able to care for them.  This month we take a look at why adopting a senior pet is such a great thing!

Adult dogs tend to have had some training.  Most have been through obedience classes, may already have been taught simple commands and tricks, and have had time to become socialized and acclimated to living with humans.  This often means most dogs are already house trained, meaning you don’t have to wake up every two hours all night like you would with a puppy!  It also means that these pets tend to be less destructive, and are less likely to chew your favorite pair of shoes.

That being said, you can teach an old dog new tricks.  In fact, older dogs tend to be more able to focus than young puppies, meaning they may actually pick up on new tricks easier.  They tend to be eager to please, and are grateful to be given a second chance.

You know what you are getting when you adopt an older pet.  There is no guessing what the hair color will be or how big the pet will get when they are already full grown.  It is possible to get pure bred senior pets as well-most breeds have their own specific rescue organizations if you are looking for a purebred pet.

Senior pets tend to be a little more relaxed than the energetic puppy or kitty.  They make good companions for elderly people or families that have a more sedentary lifestyle.  However, many still have plenty of spunk left to go for a walk or play ball!

Lastly, adopting a senior pet will fill your life with love and will make you a hero in your pets’ eyes.  They often seem to know that you gave them a second chance and spend the rest of their life showing you how thankful they are.  You can take pride in opening your house and heart for an otherwise less likely to find it’s forever home pet.  So the next time you are looking to add to your fur family, give those senior pets a second look!

Don’t even think outside the box!

posted on August 03, 2017 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

One of the main behavior complaints we see for cats is inappropriate elimination (urinating and/or defecating outside of the litter box).  We recommend an examination to make sure there is not a medical problem first.  Things such as arthritis can make it hard to get into the litter box, losing vision can cause pets to have a hard time going down stairs to get to the box, and cognitive issues can cause changes in behavior.  Urinary tract infections, urinary crystals, bladder stones, bladder polyps and tumors, feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), anal gland issues, kidney disease, diabetes, other metabolic issues, neurologic issues, and gastrointestinal issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, lymphoma, parasites, or bacterial imbalances can all also present as inappropriate elimination.  Often a thorough examination, urinalysis, stool analysis, anal gland expression, bloodwork, and/or radiographs may be recommended.  If these results rule out a medical cause for the issue, behavior is then addressed.

There are a number of things we recommend for litter box issues:

1)  Increase the number of litter boxes.  The rule of thumb is one plus the number of cats in the household, so for example, if you have 2 cats you should have a minimum of 3 litter boxes.  Make sure they are in different locations-two boxes right next to one another are considered one box with a divider to pets.  Make sure they are on all levels of the house and are readily available.

2)  Clean (scoop) litterboxes daily, and once  a week completely dump all litter and wash the box with soap and water.  Yearly litter boxes should be disposed of, and new replacements purchased.  Plastic tends to absorb odors that we may not smell, but pets can smell about 10,000 times better than we can.

3)  Pick up clothes, sheets, blankets, pillows, etc.  Make beds so no bedding is on the floor, pick up laundry and place in a covered hamper or a hamper that is in a closet, etc.  Do not leave towels on bathroom floor.

4)  Limit access to rooms where urination seems to be a problem.  Doors, baby gates, and crates can all be used to limit access.  Moving a litter box to that room is also an option, with the hope that slowly over time the box can be moved back to a more agreeable location for everyone.

5)  Try different products, there are a number of options available.  There are litters made from paper, wheat, or pine.  There are clumping vs. non clumping, or scented vs. unscented options.  The hope is to determine their preference, which can change over time.  We recommend that you only change one box at a time.  Other options include products such as cat attract, covered vs. uncovered litter boxes, larger boxes, or boxes with low entrances may also be helpful.

6)  Clean areas where the pet has urinated/defecated with an enzymatic cleaner to remove all remnants of smell (even if we can’t smell it they often can).  Black lights can show cat urine in a dark room if you are having trouble finding it.

7)  Assess litter box locations-make sure they aren’t next to the scary water heater that kicks on and makes noise, or that another pet in the house is not guarding the only entrance to the box.

8)  We have products meant to help with stress and behavioral issues such as feliway diffusers or behavioral medications.  We also have some urinary and GI tract diets that may help with the situation.

Hopefully we can help you get to the bottom of your cat’s bathroom behavior! Give us a call today.

Posted in: Feline Health

May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness month

posted on May 02, 2017 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

One of the most common issues we see in our pets is allergy issues, and the month of May is dedicated to allergy and asthma awareness.  In our pets, 90% of allergies are environmental, versus only about 10% which are due to food.

If your pet is experiencing symptoms such as eye discharge, sneezing, chewing on feet, anal gland issues (scooting or licking anal area), thickened skin, recurrent ear infections, skin infections, or overall itching, it may be allergies.  An examination by your veterinarian should be performed to determine if it is indeed allergies and then appropriate treatment can be implemented.  Cats with allergies can develop wheezing and respiratory issues (allergic bronchitis and asthma).  However, breathing issues can also be due to many other illnesses and can be an emergency.  Please seek immediate medical attention for your pet if it is having difficulty breathing.

Allergies are the immune system over-reacting to things it does not or should not need to.  The goal of treatment is to try to decrease the immune response, either by suppressing the immune system and it’s activity, or to decrease the body’s response to the items it is over-reacting to.  There are a number of ways we can try to do this.

  1. Decrease exposure:  Most allergens are through contact in pets, so decreasing contact is important.  Things such as weekly bathing, soaking the feet in Epsom salts nightly, washing all bedding, and using HEPA filters in vacuums and air filters can help decrease exposure.  If the allergy is food related, finding diets without the offending ingredients can also help.  If allergy testing is pursued, it can further help point us in the correct direction for decreasing expsoure.
  2. Control histamines:  Histamines are released by white blood cells in response to allergens, and they are responsible for many of the symptoms we see such as itching, running eyes and nose, and sneezing.  Antihistamines are a relatively inexpensive, well tolerated, and safe way of controlling these.  Often anti-histamines alone are not enough to completely stop allergies, but they can be of great help.  We can help direct you with the correct dosing of antihistamines for your pet.
  3. Suppress the immune system:  Steroids are the most common medication used to do this.  Steroids work very well to suppress the immune system, but they have side effects.  Short term, they can cause increased thirst and urination, which may lead to house soiling.  They can also cause an increased appetite, which can lead to weight gain.  Long term use can cause weakening of ligaments and muscle loss, along with elevations in liver enzymes and even potentially damage to the liver.  Steroids can also make your pet more prone to infections.  Because of these reasons, we often try to use bathing and antihistamines first, and add in steroids as a later treatment for cases that don’t respond as we would like.

Veterinary dermatologists such as Dr. McKeever or Dr. Eisenschenk have immunosuppressive medications that cause less side effects than steroids.  We now also have a medication like this, called Apoquel.  These medications are more expensive, and may still require monitoring of liver and kidney enzymes or white blood cell counts as they suppress the immune system.  However, these medications are more specific to what part of the immune system they target, reportedly have fewer side effects, and may work better for some pets.

  1. Re-training the immune system:  Lastly, allergy testing can be performed to determine what the pet is specifically allergic to.  Using this information, the environment or diet can be modified to avoid triggers.  Also, an allergy extract can be made.  This extract is injected in very small amounts and slowly increased to try to teach the immune system that the allergens in it are not to be reacted to.  Allergy testing and allergy extract injections can be costly and require a lot of follow up, but may provide your pet with very specific relief and much fewer side effects than some of the other medications available.

Allergies are frustrating for all of us because they are not easily fixed, often require life-long therapy, and flare ups are common.  However, we will try to implement many of the above therapies in the best approach for you and your pet to help alleviate their symptoms.

 

Danger, dandruff ahead!

posted on February 02, 2017 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

Does your pet’s skin mimic the weather outside this time of year with white flakes?  Winter causes many issues for pets and people alike.  One of the more common issues we see in pets during this time of year is dandruff, or dry, flaky, and sometimes itchy skin.

The dry air outside combined with the dry air of heat systems in most houses leads to dandruff, cracking, chapped, and flaking skin.  Harsh chemical ice melt and salt along with extreme temperatures can cause paw pads to develop sores and crack as well.  There are things we can do to help however.

First of all, it should be noted that not all dry, flaky skin issues are caused by “dry skin”.  Ringworm, mites, fleas, allergies, and other skin infections can all cause similar symptoms.  Low thyroid levels, Cushing’s disease, and other autoimmune diseases can also cause changes in haircoat and skin.  A visit to the veterinarian to rule out these things should be considered before implementing any of the below suggestions.  Please call us if you have concerns with your pet’s skin.

One of the first things that can help with dry skin is an omega fatty acid or fish oil supplement.  Omega fatty acids help decrease inflammation in the body, and can decrease the itch from allergies.  They also decrease dryness of skin and dander.  Lastly, they help boost immune function, including that of the skin.

There are some foods that have an increased amount of fatty acids, and they are usually fish based, or have claims of skin and hair benefits on the label.  These foods may also have increased amounts of vitamins A and E, and/or zinc, which are all important antioxidants and skin and immune system factors.

Having a humidifier in the house can sometimes benefit you and your pet as well, but be careful if the humidity is too high as this can cause other health issues.

Bathing may seem like a good thing, but bathing too frequently can actually worsen the issues.  Using an oatmeal shampoo and/or a leave in conditioner can help keep skin moisturized.  Avoid using human shampoos however as the pH is not appropriate for pet’s skin.  If a medicated shampoo has be dispensed for another issue, please discuss with your vet how frequently that should be done and if you can use an oatmeal shampoo or conditioner in conjunction with or instead of the prescribed shampoo.

Wipe feet after walks outside to help remove the salt and other debris.  Booties or a paw protectant cream such as udder balm/bag balm or musher’s secret can be used if cracks develop.

Hopefully together we can keep your pet’s skin healthy this winter season!

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