886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

Phone: (715) 463-2536

1(800) 924-0588

140 Evergreen Square SW

Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

Keep Your Hunting Dog Safe This Season

9/19/2016
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According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, several short hunting seasons started on September 1 with many more beginning in October and November. Although state regulations prevent hunters from bringing a dog along with them when hunting certain prey, most seasons are open to hunting dogs. Whether you’re planning to hunt deer, turkey, small game, or another type of animal, it’s important to review safety tips for your hunting dog before you head to the woods. 
 

Keep Your Dog Safe Out There 

Your dog needs a blaze orange vest while hunting just like you do. It allows other hunters to see him in addition to protecting his vital organs in case of an accidental shot or getting caught under a barbed wire fence. Here are some other tips from the Pet Poison Helpline based on the type of calls the organization receives during each hunting season: 

 
Your dog may get very excited while hunting with you and dart off to catch prey before you can stop her. If you don’t use an electric shock collar while hunting, make sure she has a microchip as well as identification tags securely attached to the collar. This prevents the tags from getting caught on a fence. 
 
Even though we’re headed into fall, heat stroke is still a big concern early in the hunting season. Be certain to pack a canine first aid kit that contains a thermometer so you can assess your dog’s body temperature. Additionally, stop for frequent water breaks if you notice him panting often. 
 
Well in advance of your trip, program the phone number to a local veterinarian, emergency veterinarian, and the Pet Poison Helpline. The latter can be reached at 1-855-764-7661. 
 
Provide fresh drinking water for your dog rather than allowing her to drink from a pond. Hundreds of hunting dogs each year die as the result of drinking from bodies of water contaminated with blue-green algae. Your dog will become sick immediately with vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, jaundiced skin, and weakness. Sadly, death can happen in a matter of minutes. 
 
Do not allow your dog to chew on clay pigeons. They contain heavy metals such as copper, lead, nickel, and zinc as well as coal tar that can be toxic if ingested. Poisoning from the materials found in clay pigeons can result in damage to your dog’s liver, kidneys, and brain. 
 
Be on the lookout for mushrooms that your dog may try to eat. Although some are perfectly harmless, others can cause abdominal pain, depression, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. Some dogs even develop long-term liver or kidney damage from eating toxic mushrooms. 

Needless to say, you need to seek immediate emergency care if your dog is shot or grazed by a bullet. Fragments left in the body can elevate blood levels and cause chronic lead poisoning. We also encourage you to schedule a preventive care exam for your dog before you head out hunting this year. 
 

Photo Credit: Mint Images / Getty Images

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Obesity May Cut Your Pet's Life Short

8/25/2016

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According to a 2014 study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats are overweight or obese in the United States. This is truly staggering when you look at these percentages in actual numbers, which is 44 million dogs and 55 million cats. A pudgy pet may look adorable, but the reality is that even a few extra pounds on an animal could have serious health consequences. The most common weight-related medical conditions in dogs and cats include:


• Cancer
• Heart Disease
• High Blood Pressure
• Insulin Resistance
• Kidney Disease
• Ligament Injury
• Osteoarthritis
• Respiratory Disease
• Type II Diabetes
 
Additionally, being overweight or obese can shorten the lifespan of pets by up to 2.5 years. That is a lot of time to lose when most pets don't make it out of their teens in the best of circumstances.
 
So Why Are Pets Getting Bigger?
With two-thirds of Americans having a body weight that falls into the overweight or obese category, it's not too surprising that their pets are putting on weight as well. Part of the problem is that people don't recognize when their dog or cat weighs too much. When a pet owner leads a sedentary lifestyle, their pet isn't likely to get the exercise and stimulation he needs to remain at a healthy body weight. Long hours at the office leaves little time for physical activity, even when both owner and pet desperately need it.
 
Another problem is that dog and cat owners overestimate the amount of food their pet actually needs in a day. They leave full bowls of food out for pets to eat whenever they want and immediately fill the bowl when it gets empty. Some animals naturally overeat when given the opportunity.
 
The caloric needs for pets is much lower than it is for people. A cat or dog weighing 10 pounds gets all the nutrition she needs from 200 calories a day. A 50-pound dog only needs up to 900 calories daily to stay trim and healthy. This chart http://www.petobesityprevention.org/ideal-weight-ranges/ showing ideal weights for different breeds of dogs and cats helps to put things in perspective.
 
How to Help an Overweight Pet
The first thing to do is take control of the food dish. Use a measuring cup to give your pet only the amount of food he needs and don't refill the dish until it's time for the next meal. If you normally give your pet treats for every good behavior, start cutting back and offering him praise and attention instead.
 
Exercise is vitally important as well. Dogs need to walk or play vigorously for at least 30 minutes every day to burn off their excess energy. It also helps to curb destructive behavior and boost immunity. Cats sleep up to two-thirds of the day, so be sure to take advantage of awake time to play with your cat using string, laser pointer, or anything that gets her up and chasing something.
 
Check with Us Before Changing Your Pet's Diet 
If you're concerned about your pet's weight and want to put him on a diet, please schedule an appointment at Grantsburg Animal Hospital first. Dr. Palmquist will determine if you should switch foods or just cut back on the one your pet already receives. This is important because many pets are sensitive to food ingredients and may not tolerate a sudden change very well. Dr. Palmquist can also give you additional tips for weight loss. 

Photo Credit: Ruchos / Getty Images

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