22.11.2016
Animal Health Center
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Thanksgiving week is here!  This means travel, family gatherings, football, turkey, stuffing, and all the rest.  With all of this excitement it is easy to forget our pets in the shuffle.  There are a number of important things to remember around this holiday to keep them happy and safe. Rich Thanksgiving food is very difficult on our pets’ stomachs and digestive system.  If you feel the need to let you pet indulge in a treat from the table, please stick to a small amount of white meat turkey breast.  Raisins, grapes, onions, and garlic are all popular additives to our turkey day sides.  These are all extremely toxic and should be kept away from our pets.  If your pet has eaten something that you are unsure of and we cannot be reached the ASPCA’s website is an excellent resource.  http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control If you are hosting a family gathering it is often easy to forget your pet’s routine.  Try and keep walks, feedings, and playtime consistent as much as you can to maintain their normal schedule. If your guests are bringing pets of their own your pet may be cautious.  Slow monitored introductions are important to avoid any confrontations. With guests arriving and leaving at different times, it is also easy for our pets to escape through doors or patio screens left open.  Please remind your guests to be mindful of any escape artist pets.  There are so many wonderful reasons to be thankful this year and having our pets with us to enjoy the holidays is one of them.  If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call us here at the Animal Health Center.  We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day but will reopen Friday morning. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours! -The Doctors and Staff of the Animal Health Center  
05.10.2016
Animal Health Center
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With Florida in the middle of hurricane season and hurricane Mathew currently spinning off the southern coast it is important to remember the impact these storms have on our pets. Almost every Floridian has grown accustomed to the classic Florida afternoon thunderstorm. It comes rolling in often without any notice and is often intense but over before you know it. While most of us have become used to this, our furry friends may not be. Thunder, lightning, and barometric pressure changes can often startle our pets and cause anxiety. Symptoms of this anxiety include pacing, vocalizing, trembling, and the need for close contact. If the anxiety is extreme it also can cause destructive behavior. It is important to recognize these symptoms in our pets to be able to keep them safe and happy. Some common ways to soothe the anxiety include turning on ambient noise such as a TV or radio, creating a safe environment with bedding and toys as well as leaving a light on to prevent flashes of lightning from being alarming. If these environmental changes do not work there are other natural approaches and products that you can use at home. There are also natural pheromone products that come in both collars as well as wall plug in units that emit a constant scent of pheromones to calm our patients. There are also a variety of calming tightly fitting jackets to simulate constant contact. Despite best efforts sometimes the Florida thunderstorms are too much for our pets and they need medical intervention which is best discussed with your family veterinarian. Your Veterinarian can discuss other natural options as well as prescription medication to alleviate any anxiety and stress your pet may be feeling. Florida is a beautiful state and its thunderstorms are part of its natural beauty. Hopefully these tips can make these afternoon events a little less stressful for our furry friends. Dr. Morgan Watkins Animal Health Center  (This article originally appeared in Pet Pages 2016 edition.)

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