In the event of an emergency, knowing pet first aid basics could help save or stablize your pet until professional veterinary care is provided. If you and your dog enjoy visiting the dog park, strolling through town, or hiking together along the trails, it’s a good idea to have a basic pet first aid kit as well as important information and numbers available in case of an emergency.
Whether it’s in your wallet or on your smartphone, be sure to have this information readily available:
Online access to your veterinary practice with login to a pet portal for your pet’s health information
It’s easy to assemble your own pet first aid kit with items readily available at your local pharmacy, grocery store or superstore retailer. Fill a tote bag, plastic container or pet carrier with the following items for convenient transportation between home and car:
Absorbent gauze pads, gauze roll and cotton balls
Antiseptic wipes or spray
Small blanket, towel and/or pillowcase (to confine a cat for treatment)
You may also consider having a gallon of water, soft/inflatable e-collar, extra collar and leash, and Benadryl on hand.
Handling Common Emergencies
Understanding pet first aid basics for common emergency situations is a good idea.
Bites and Cuts: Wash the wound and apply absorbent gauze with light pressure to stop the bleeding. Cover and wrap lightly with gauze roll. Call your veterinarian if the bleeding doesn’t stop or the wound is deeper than a surface scrape to determine of further treatment is necessary. For severe bleeding, apply a tourniquet and pressure to the wound and seek medical attention immediately.
Bee Sting: Remove the stinger with the edge of a plastic card or tweezer and apply an instant cold pack. Call the veterinarian if there’s increased swelling or an adverse reaction like difficulty breathing or vomiting.
Accidental Poisoning: Call pet poison control or your emergency veterinary hospital immediately. If you know what the animal ingested, keep the item/container/label on hand so you can provide the veterinary professional with as much information as possible.
Burns: Flush the area with a lot of water and, if available, apply an ice water compress to the burn. Seek immediate veterinary care.
Heatstroke: Remove the pet from the situation to a cooler, shaded area. Never leave your pet in a vehicle on warm days—even with the windows cracked open—or confined to a space located in direct sunlight with no access to water or shade. The temperature inside the vehicle can rise quickly. Place cold, wet towels on the body or rinse with cool water to help lower the body temperature. Do not cover the animal’s face/nose. Seek immediate medical attention.
Keeping pets active during the winter months or wet spring season provides essential exercise and play throughout the year. Staying active keeps your pet’s mind sharp and the body fit. The benefits of being active include:
Being limber and agile
Keeping your pets active can also benefit your wallet. Prevention of diseases through proper exercise and nutrition could result in savings over the lifetime veterinary care of your pet.
Providing your dog or cat with appropriate levels of exercise and play doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Spending just a few active moments together every day is beneficial.
Daily (leash) walks around the neighborhood or the park—even a quick walk is good!
Pull toys work the muscles
Fetch or chase added after a potty break is rewarding and fun
Hide-N-Seek makes your dog work for treats
Practice basic obedience skills
Social play with other dogs at a daycare program or dog park on a nice day provides free play
Participation in advanced training, agility or lure coursing, and competitive sports keeps the mind and body active.
Enrichment toys and activities are designed to challenge dogs to think, problem solve and stay active through brain games, challenging sensory work, and structured athletics and play. Many of these toys and activities can be done inside during inclement weather. Enrichment toys and activities include:
Solving food puzzles with toys like KONG®, the Tricky Treat Ball, or the Twist ‘n Treat encourage problem-solving skills and patience
Hunting for dinner includes dividing up a serving of dry kibble and hiding small amounts around the house. This is a great activity to promote a healthy weight and slow down a fast eater.
Cat toys and a tree with a scratching post keep kitty jumping and running, and even a box or window perch will encourage your cat to explore and provide enrichment
There’s no reason your pet’s fun and exercise should stop while you’re on a winter vacation or spring break. Research from the pet industry has clearly demonstrated that the more activity and human interaction pets receive, the happier and healthier they are when away from home. Making sure your pet is active while staying with a pet sitter or lodging at a pet resort will ensure your pet has a positive experience.
Next door at Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center, activities for dogs and cats provide exercise, socialization, one-on-one time with the staff, pampering in the spa, and quality rest. Activities for dogs and cats include:
Playtime – ball throwing, rope tugging, Frisbee chasing, and other fun activities in our daycare program, a supervised small group setting, or one-on-one play
Nature Walk – brisk walk exploring 50 acres of woods, streams, and fields
Business Walk – leisurely pace for a potty break on the grass
Feline guests enjoy their own activities including exploring on the cat tree, laser tag, feather wands, and organic cat nip toys.
Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center wants every pet to have a positive experience. Customizable discounted activity packages make it easy for you to choose the right amount of activities and attention for your pet. Call 215-345-6960 for a tour of the luxury resort and to speak with a reservation specialist about which activity package is right for your pet.
Pets can experience many of the same diseases that affect humans, including diabetes. Diabetes mellitus affects middle-aged to older cats and is more common in males. It’s also common in older dogs. Obesity is a factor in developing diabetes so one way to avoid this disease—and manage the disease—is through weight management which includes proper nutrition and exercise or enrichment starting in the first year and continuing through the adult years.
Symptoms of pet diabetes include:
Increased thirst and urination
Weight loss and increased appetite
For cats that spend a lot of time outside, symptoms may go unnoticed—and cats instinctually hide disease to protect themselves from predators—which is why annual wellness visits with the veterinarian can uncover a medical condition before it reaches an advanced stage.
Diagnosis is confirmed with blood and urine samples that will show a high level of glucose in the blood and presence in the urine. When cats experience stress, it may result in a temporary rise in glucose levels, so more than one blood sample taken over several days is often necessary.
An integrative medical approach to treatment focuses on a combination of traditional and alternate therapies best suited for the individual pet. Integrative veterinarians recognize that nutrition in animals is unique to the breed so it becomes a necessary component to resolving many medical problems.
A change in diet is often necessary in helping the pet safely reach an optimal weight and control blood sugar levels. It’s important to structure a diet which takes the breed, lifestyle, and medical history into consideration. Dietary therapy includes weight loss if the pet is overweight or obese, a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates, and eating the same food at regular times.
Herbal remedies can aid nutrient and pharmaceutical absorption, and the appropriate use of vitamins, minerals, and Omega-3 fatty acids can support the immune and digestive systems.
With appropriate treatment and consistent monitoring, your pet’s health prognosis is good. A healthy lifestyle focused on diet and exercise is vital in maintaining optimal weight to either avoid or successfully treat pet diabetes.
If you are concerned about your pet’s health or have noticed a change in behavior or regular habits, call your veterinarian or call 215-345-6000 to schedule an appointment at Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care.
Spaying or neutering is a simple, low-cost procedure that can improve the health and longevity of your pet, and decrease the overall cost of care.
For female dogs and cats, spaying provides many health benefits.
The greatest medical benefits are gained if the female never goes through a heat cycle —when the estrogen levels rise and the female is the most fertile and ready for mating. However, the benefits still outweigh the risks even if the pet has experienced multiple heat cycles or delivered a litter. The chances of developing malignant mammary gland tumors are significantly reduced if your dog or cat is spayed before her first heat cycle.
Spaying also eliminates uterine cancer, growths, or life-threatening infections that can develop in an intact female dog. Eliminating heat cycles also avoids the mess and unwanted behaviors which come with the twice-yearly cycles.
For male dogs and cats, neutering:
Eliminates testicular cancer and prostate problems
Reduces the desire to roam searching for a mate and unwanted sexual behaviors
Prevents overpopulation and stray/unwanted animals in a community
Decreasing the financial burden of care
The cost of the procedure is less expensive than caring for a dog or cat suffering from an infection or cancer.
There’s a greater chance of abandonment or dropping the pet at a shelter when owners are overwhelmed by the time and cost associated with caring for a pregnant pet and newborn puppies and kittens. The financial burden is then placed on the rescues and shelters which may not be funded to care for so many animals, therefore resulting in mass euthanasia.
Spaying or neutering eliminate certain infections, diseases and unwanted behaviors, are a low-cost part of your pet’s overall healthcare, and reduce the overpopulation of pets in shelters and rescues. Call Doylestown Veterinary Hospital at 215-345-6000 today if you have questions about caring for your new pet or when to spay or neuter your pet.
Why should my cat see a veterinarian for a check up and, more importantly, how am I going to get my stubborn cat to the vet office?
Every cat owner knows their feline can be fiercely independent, usually not requiring—or wanting—the daily care and attention that a dog desires. However, that does not mean that cats should not receive the same level of health care as dogs. Unfortunately, according to the American Humane Society, cats see a veterinarian half as often as dogs. But why?
Most likely, the top reasons are probably…
The cat looks fine…never goes outside…eats and sleeps like a normal cat.
Getting the cat into a carrier is near impossible
Cats need preventive healthcare because they age more rapidly than we do. Instinctively, cats are very clever at hiding pain and weakness as a way of protecting themselves.
Regular physical examinations—twice annually is optimal—help detect potential health concerns before they become more serious and costly to treat. Immunizations protect your cat (and you) from preventable diseases such as rabies, feline distemper, and feline herpes.
Even if you have an indoor cat, parasite prevention is important. Ticks and fleas can easily get in the house on another pet or clothing. Protection from ticks, ear mites, fleas, and a range of parasitic internal worms can avoid associated diseases and costly treatments. Testing for worms requires providing your veterinarian with a stool sample.
Speaking of testing, lab work is important in discovering medical issues such as diabetes or kidney disease which are common health concerns for an older cat. Talk to your veterinarian to understand why bloodwork is an important part of your cat’s care and which tests are appropriate for your cat.
If your cat has not seen a veterinarian in over a year, please call to schedule an appointment. As pet parents, we want our furry children to be with us forever.
The key to longevity is good health—which can require situations that you or your cat may not enjoy, but will not regret in the long run.
Here are some tips for bringing your cat in for a visit with a veterinarian:
Acclimate your cat to the carrier and the vehicle
Start training your kitten at an early age
Make the carrier familiar at home by leaving it in a room where your cat spends time
Place familiar soft towels or bedding in the carrier
Consider a synthetic feline facial pheromone—ask our staff about the product Feliway to help alleviate some stress during travel
Call our staff to discuss additional tips for your cat’s unique personality
A wide variety of cat carriers are available–find the design that works best for you and your cat.
Doylestown Veterinary Hospital has been recognized by the AAFP as a Cat Friendly Practice, a program initiated to improve the health and wellness of the growing number of pet cats. This select designation means our practice has taken extra steps to understand a cat’s unique needs and behaviors, implemented feline friendly standards, and completed a comprehensive checklist of performance criteria.
July 4th may be over but that doesn’t mean the celebrations are too. While that may be great news for humans, some pets don’t like fireworks! Dogs and cats can be frightened and easily stressed by the loud sounds created by firecrackers and fireworks or large crowds. In some cases, the sounds and stress can cause a change in behavior.
This infographic offers a few tips for recognizing stress or anxiety in your pet.
If your pet is frightened, then consider not only keeping the pet inside but also closing the windows and turning on the A/C for added relief and protection. Create a cozy place for your dog or cat. If you crate your dog, you may want to consider covering the crate to create a peaceful, cozy spot.
Visit any pet store and you’ll find a variety of cat huts and cat trees with enclosed places for your favorite feline to curl up. And no matter how much money you spend on things for your cat, a free box seems to be the go-to attraction. For a custom cat hut, simply cut a hole in a box and add an old t-shirt or blanket that contains a familiar scent: Parfume du YOU!
Playing soothing music or turning on the television to a usual program can also help. Fitting your dog with a properly sized Thundershirt may be helpful.
Talk to your veterinarian about additional options for helping your pet to relax, and to make sure your pet is microchipped and your contact information is registered!
Call Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care at 215-345-6000 to ask about Feliway for your cat. The product is available in wipes or a diffuser and contains a synthetic feline pheromone which may help to calm your cat.
When slicing fresh vegetables for a salad, don’t forget your dog. Diced carrots, cucumber slices and green beans are healthy summer treats. Creating a fruit smoothie? Share some banana chunks, apples slices and blueberries with your dog too, or use these nutritious foods to create fun treats.
Need a few ideas for your summer gourmet creations? Here are a few simple recipes…
Using an ice cube tray, place selection of chopped veggies (and pieces of dry kibble if desired) in each section. Fill with chicken or beef broth (organic/low sodium is best). Freeze.
Mix small banana chunks with mashed potatoes and place in small wafer cone to create “ice cream cone.” Top with a dollop of peanut butter.
Mix blueberries and crumbled bacon with mashed potatoes and fill a small wafer cone. Top with a strawberry.
Dogs need large amounts of protein to keep them healthy and active. Your pup should get the majority of his protein from whole meat sources, such as fresh chicken. Beans also have a good amount of protein.
This recipe blends chicken, beans, and vegetables to create a healthy and tasty mix.
4 chicken breasts
1 cup of kidney beans, drained
1 cup of black beans, drained
1 cup of carrots, diced
1/2 cup of tomato paste
4 cups of chicken broth
Remove the excess fat and dice the chicken breasts into nickel-sized pieces.
Cook the chicken breasts in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink.
Add the chicken, beans, carrots, tomato paste, and chicken broth into a large pot and cook over medium heat until heated through – about 10 minutes.
Allow the mixture to cool before serving.
Store leftover chili in the fridge for up to five days.
Pro Tip: You can add a 1/2 tablespoon of fish oil to this recipe. The flavors are strong enough that even picky eaters won’t notice the added healthy ingredient.
DOYLESTOWN, PA, May 31, 2017—Child Home & Community (CHC), a non-profit social services agency based in Doylestown, received a $1000 donation from Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center Dog Daycare. The money was raised through generous donations from resort clients during a special event.
Back row, l to r: Nicole Carroll, Karry Feldman (CHC), Roe DeLuca (CHC), Dr. Laura Weis, Jessica Kulp, Brianna Lechner. Front row, l to r: Taylor Hopkins and Jessica Philip
The Resort’s dog daycare program held a dog prom and after-party for the pet parents. For a donation to CHC, daycare clients received an official prom photo of their dog.
“We truly have the best clients. Their willingness to generously support an important organization that provides a great service to young parents throughout the community was wonderful,” said Dr. Laura Weis who owns and operates the resort and Doylestown Veterinary Hospital with her husband, Dr. Randy Weis.
“CHC is thrilled to receive this generous donation from a wonderful group of people,” said Roe DeLuca, the agency’s Development Director. “The money will help us continue to provide free programming to at-risk young parents in the Bucks-Montgomery area.”
The Around the World prom theme–chosen by Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center staff and votes on Facebook–celebrated the heritage of the dog breeds that make up our daycare group and resort family. Decorations adorned the facility transporting clients and staff to famous sights around the globe.
“The dogs are keenly aware of the excitement and buzz during special events. Our daycare program is very focused on the wellness and enrichment of every dog. The dogs are family, so when our staff has fun, the dogs have fun. It’s a positive experience, and the benefits extend beyond the resort,” added Dr. Weis.
The Prom after-party for parents was a special opportunity to thank daycare clients and to bring people together. The Around the World backdrop added to the fun giving families the chance for a group photo and the time to chat with staff and other daycare families.
ABOUT CHILD HOME & COMMUNITY
Child Home & Community provides free prenatal, parenting, life-skills and prevention education to teens and young adults residing in Bucks and Montgomery counties. The agency offers evening childbirth/newborn care and parenting programs at 7 local hospitals and has established school-based programs in 19 school districts and sites to provide education, support and advocacy during the school day. For more information about Child Home & Community, visit www.chcinfo.org or call 215-348-9770.
ABOUT HOLIDAY HOUSE PET RESORT / DOYLESTOWN VETERINARY HOSPITAL
Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center offers overnight lodging for dogs and cats with activity packages, daycare, professional training programs, and grooming services. The facility is owned by Drs. Laura and Randy Weis, who also operate the Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care, a full-service veterinary hospital located on the same property. For more information about Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center, visit https://www.holidayhousepetresort.com or call 215-345-6960.
Holistic pet care therapies are a good match for pet parents seeking more natural and effective choices for the overall wellness of their pet. The blending of conventional medicine and holistic pet care therapies offers pet parents customized care for their unique pet. Healing is focused on the individual pet rather than a standardized approach to treating a disease.
Holistic pet care therapies include:
Nutritional counseling and targeted supplements
“Doylestown Veterinary Hospital has been integrating holistic modalities like acupuncture and laser therapy with our conventional offerings for some time, and we recently expanded our holistic services to provide therapeutic options that improve the lives of our patients,” said Dr. Laura Weis, who owns Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care with her husband Dr. Randy Weis.
The benefits of these holistic pet care therapies for dogs and cats can include:
Reducing or eliminating side effects from conventional medications
Improving pain management and mobility for aging pets
Addressing chronic diseases through improved healing, and strengthening of the immune system
Reducing healthcare costs over the life of your pet
Acupuncture is one aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine that can be applied to veterinary medicine in the same way by promoting the body to heal itself naturally. Tiny acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin where nerve bundles and blood vessels are located—called acupuncture or energy points—to improve blood circulation, oxygen flow, nerve stimulation, and the release of hormones that help relieve inflammation and pain.
As part of an integrative approach to veterinary care, herbal medicine can stand alone in the treatment of chronic and acute illnesses, or complement conventional medicine. Herbal therapy in veterinary medicine has a long history of effective and safe treatment for a variety of conditions and illnesses including: skin allergies, digestive disorders, heart disease, and pain management. Herbal medicine utilizes naturally occurring active ingredients found in either whole plants or their parts to offer therapeutic influence in the body.
Doylestown Veterinary Hospital now offers homeopathy as part of its focus on offering clients a choice of holistic pet care therapies. Homeopathic veterinary medicine helps the body to heal rather than to suppress symptoms of disease. The use of conventional medicines can be associated with toxic side effects. By contrast, homeopathy is a gentler approach to healing. The body is presented with a set of symptoms similar to the natural disease process which triggers the body’s natural defenses to heal, especially when treating a chronic disease.
“Homeopathy can help almost every patient, and we can especially see the dramatic life improvements it can create in young dogs and cats. As a profession, veterinarians see more and more young pets with early chronic disease issues such as allergies, skin disease and orthopedic problems. I know there are pet parents who are looking for something different from conventional veterinary care,” added Dr. Weis.
If you’d like to meet with Dr. Weis about a homeopathic approach to care for your dog or cat, or you are interested in learning more about our other holistic pet care therapies, call 215-345-6000.
Why should you protect your dog from Lyme disease now?
There’s an explosion in the tick population throughout the Northeast. What’s the big deal? There is an increase in the numbers of tick-borne diseases and illnesses—such as Lyme disease—being diagnosed in dogs. And Pennsylvania is in the crosshairs. Without preventive measures to protect your pet, the risk for contracting a tick-borne disease such as Lyme disease is extremely high.
Protection from ticks may be necessary year round due to mild weather conditions during the typically colder months. Warmer temperatures mean we enjoy spending more time outdoors with our dogs.
And ticks don’t just thrive in the woods. They can be found lurking in manicured lawns or simply blowing in the wind, making it easy for your dog to unknowingly pick up a hitchhiking tick on a walk through the neighborhood.
What’s the risk?
The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) provides important statistics, on the county level, for the number of dogs diagnosed with various intestinal parasites and tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme. Here are the most recent statistics for Lyme disease in the area:
Just in February 2017…
Bucks: 1 in 9 dogs tested for Lyme disease came back with a positive result—that’s 247 dogs out of 2,177 tests in a single month.
Montgomery: 1 in 8 dogs tested for Lyme disease came back with a positive result—that’s 238 dogs out of 1,876 tests in a single month.
For the past year, over 500 dogs in each county (Bucks and Montgomery) tested positive for Lyme disease. Although the total numbers of tests and positive results are lower in Hunterdon County, NJ, the odds of your dog contracting the disease are the same as in the neighboring counties in PA.
Protect Your Dog from Lyme Disease
Prevention is the most cost-effective treatment. The cost and time associated with veterinary care after diagnosis is significantly more than the cost of preventives. Diagnosis requires a comprehensive history and examination, and can also include extensive laboratory testing. Medical treatment can take weeks or months. A full recovery is not always possible. Antibiotics are prescribed, and improvement of symptoms is usually seen within a few days. However, especially with Lyme disease, the disease may cause on-going joint and kidney damage, requiring lengthy medical therapy.
Talk to your veterinarian about your options for preventing tick-borne illnesses and intestinal parasites. Many over-the-counter preventives are not effective at killing ticks before they transmit diseases. Even worse, some over-the-counter products are completely ineffective and dangerous to the pet. Make sure that the preventive you choose is safe and effective.
“The chance of your dog contracting a tick-borne illness or intestinal parasites can be significantly decreased by taking proper preventive measures. There are several effective options for protecting pets, including vaccinations, oral medications and topical treatments. Because pets in our area are at an increased risk for these illnesses, the veterinarians and staff at Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care discuss prevention and address client concerns with every exam,” said Dr. Laura Weis, co-owner of Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care.
Preventive options include:
Providing regular doses of topical or oral preventives
Inspecting your dog’s or cat’s coat for ticks each night, especially if you’ve been in a wooded area or walking through high grasses and brush
Talking with your veterinarian about identifying ticks, removing ticks and identifying the symptoms of tick-borne diseases
Vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease
Annual testing for Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases
Call Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care at 215-345-6000 to schedule a comprehensive exam and consultation for your pet. We are happy to discuss preventive options to help protect your pet from tick-borne illnesses and intestinal parasites.