Veterinary Disaster Response: A Crucial Function
Animal Airwaves
by Kimberley Smith
22h ago
In the aftermath of a disaster, veterinary colleges are often called upon to respond, whether by sending teams into the field to provide direct medical assistance to injured or displaced animals, offering support to animal shelters, or in other ways. Dr. Larry Garcia, medical director of the UF Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service, discusses some of the aspects of managing a field hospital in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, why disaster response training is an important part of veterinary medical education and why having a disaster plan is important for all pet owners ..read more
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How A Dog Sees: Facts and Myths about Canine Vision
Animal Airwaves
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
2d ago
Have you always assumed that because dogs can hear better than humans, they probably don’t need to see very well? Have you even wondered what colors they can see, or if they can see only in black and white? Do dogs really watch the TV? Do some dogs need glasses to correct near-sightedness or far-sightedness? While dogs definitely see the world differently than people do, you might be surprised at some of their visual capabilities, and the differences in visual perception between human and canines. On this show, Dr. Bret Moore, a veterinary ophthalmology specialist, will discuss what pet owners ..read more
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Helping your senior dog cope with hearing loss
Animal Airwaves
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
2d ago
As our dogs age, it’s common for their hearing to fail. But there are ways you can help your pooch to cope. Dogs compensate so well that it’s tough to detect hearing loss until it’s severe. Your dog may stop noticing sounds that used to elicit a response or may startle when touched. Deeper than normal sleeping and excessive barking —sometimes a sign of anxiety — can be tell-tale signs too. Dogs that are hard of hearing can be trained to respond to touch or flashing lights instead of spoken cues. Another option involves using a vibration collar, which produces a slight shaking when you press a ..read more
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What causes heart murmurs and what do they mean for your pet?
Animal Airwaves
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
1w ago
It can be really unsettling to hear that your pet has a heart murmur. But before you panic, let’s take a look at what causes murmurs and what they mean for your pet’s health. Simply put, murmurs are vibrations caused by abnormal blood flow through the heart or large blood vessels. Murmurs have lots of potential causes. For example, heart structures can be defective at birth, causing rerouting of the normal blood flow. Heart valves or walls can also become misshapen as dogs age. Even thin blood from anemia can cause a murmur. Once your veterinarian detects a murmur, they’ll look for other signs ..read more
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The One Health problem of leptospirosis
Animal Airwaves
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
2w ago
Involving the environment, animals and people, leptospirosis is a classic One Health disease — and one that public health experts and veterinarians have in their sights. The spread of leptospirosis relies on three things: the ability of its disease-causing bacteria to thrive in the environment; the presence of host animals — usually rodents — where the bacteria can reproduce and be passed; and interactions between animals, people and the environment. Each year, leptospirosis affects 1 million people worldwide, and it can also cause serious disease in dogs, horses, livestock and wildlife. Once ..read more
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The Role of the Primary Care Veterinarian
Animal Airwaves
by Kimberley Smith
2w ago
Primary care, or general practice, veterinarians do a little bit of everything. Your local veterinarian is likely to be a generalist who treats both healthy and sick animals and is someone who can follow your pet throughout its lifetime and work with you to obtain additional specialty care if needed. Because of this, establishing a relationship with a primary care veterinarian when your pet is healthy is key. On this show, Dr. Wendy Mandese, a primary care and dentistry veterinarian, will discuss why routine wellness examinations are necessary in order to properly manage a pet’s health as it a ..read more
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Introducing a new kitten to your senior cat
Animal Airwaves
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
2w ago
When bringing a new kitten home to your older cat, plan for a gradual introduction. First, let your kitten explore her previously appointed private space while your older cat gets used to the new smells. After a few days, it’s the kitten’s turn to check out the house while your senior cat retreats to his own space. Then, let the cats see each other through a screen or gate. Once they start sniffing noses or rubbing against the surface, let them meet face to face. As they become more comfortable, you can increase their supervised time together. Some hissing or swatting is normal as your residen ..read more
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A plan to help cats battle the bulge
Animal Airwaves
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
2w ago
Obesity is a major health problem for cats, but fortunately, there are lots of ways to tackle it — including a plan developed by two feline behavioral specialists in the UK. The central concept of the Five-A-Day Felix Plan involves mimicking how cats behave in the wild by eating frequent small meals. To that end, a cat’s daily ration is divided into at least 5 portions that are fed during a 24-hour period — that means overnight, too. Ideally, the location of the food is often switched up so that cats can search it out. Puzzle feeders are also encouraged so that cats can work at retrieving thei ..read more
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Do wild animals a favor and don’t offer them your food
Animal Airwaves
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
2w ago
You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t feed wildlife. But do you know why it’s a bad idea? Offering our snacks is especially harmful to wild animals. The addictive taste and easy access allow them to fill up on empty calories and bypass the nutritious foods they need. If it becomes a habit, they may slack off hunting and foraging, becoming more dependent on food that might disappear at any time. So, feeding wild animals can throw off an entire ecosystem whose populations are intertwined. Food conditioning — which is what this is called — also makes animals aggressive, as they lose their fear ..read more
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How training fosters problem-solving
Animal Airwaves
by Kimberley Smith, UF Health
3w ago
It turns out that training may not just teach our dogs specific behaviors. It might help them solve problems that come along in the future. In people, testing has shown that learning how to solve one problem makes it easier to solve the next one — even if it’s completely unrelated. It may all come down to persistence, or continued motivation. In dogs, positive reinforcement — or receiving rewards — is a key part of training. But what about highly trained animals — like search-and-rescue or agility dogs — that perform a linked chain of behaviors without getting rewarded for each one? That is, h ..read more
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