Dog shows are more than just pretty dogs

2019 Annual Westminster Kennel Club Best in ShowCongratulations to last night’s best in show winner, GCHB CH Kingarthur Van Foliny Home at the Annual Westminster Kennel Club show at Madison Square Garden. Best in Show completes a week of canine events with a sprinkling of cats thrown in for variety.

In addition to the Westminster Kennel Club show, Westminster week features both Masters Agility and Obedience competitions. Meet the Breeds hosts both dogs and cats from the Afghan hound to the Turkish van and every breed in between. To get the inside scoop on the dog show, last week’s guest on “Ask the Vet” (SiriusXM Stars 109) was AMC’s own Anne Marie Kubacz, LVT. In addition to being AMC’s longest serving nurse, Anne Marie has shown dogs at the Westminster Kennel Club show, worked as an expert during the broadcast and been involved in veterinary care for dogs from the show treated at AMC. Here are some of her insights on the second longest running sporting event in America.

Dog shows are for families

Anne Marie got her start in dog shows when someone noticed her beautiful Irish setter in Prospect Park and suggested she show her dog. She met her husband showing dogs and her son is now a professional dog handler. This family trio of dog show specialists spends nearly every weekend at dog shows, but Anne Marie said devoting every weekend to dog shows is not necessary to have a great family experience.

Dog shows have something for everyone

Anne Marie’s family specializes in showing purebred dogs, but dog shows provide opportunities for every type of dog. Dogs in five height divisions competed in the Masters Agility event at the WKC show. These energetic dogs raced over and under obstacles, through tunnels and zipped back and forth competing for the best time. There were even cameras inside the tunnels and the view from inside made it look like the dogs were running inside a set of lungs! To see for yourself, watch the highlight video.

The Masters Obedience competition is a more creative event where the dog and his partner perform a routine of obedience moves. This year’s winner is the Tiger Woods of the dog world and became a four time Masters Champion in Obedience. This year’s performance will bring a smile to your face.

Dog shows have cats too

If you’re not interested in participating with your dog, Anne Marie suggested attending the event just to meet some dogs and cats. Meet the Breeds gives dog lovers the unique opportunity to meet and play with more than 100 different dog breeds in booths cleverly decorated to depict each breed’s country of origin, historical purpose/function and attributes as a family pet, all while learning about responsible dog ownership and which breeds may be right for them. This year, cats made their triumphant return to the AKC Meet the Breeds® event with The International Cat Association® giving animal lovers the unique opportunity to meet and play with 35-40 different cat breeds.

The dog show and AMC

When I asked Anne Marie what her best back story about the WKC show was, she recounted the story of a Doberman pinscher, Indy. He flew to New York City for the WKC and when he got off the plane, everyone knew he was not right. Indy came straight from the airport to AMC where a case of bloat was diagnosed and treated. Indy went on to win Best in Show that year to the cheering of many delighted AMC veterinarians.

AMC congratulates all winners from Westminster week, but the biggest winners of all were the humans who had a wonderful time with their dogs.

Dental Don’ts in Celebration of National Pet Dental Month

Pet Dental Health Month: Slab FractureDuring a routine examination of your pet, your veterinarian will look in the mouth to assess his pearly whites. During National Pet Dental Month (every February), veterinarians and pet owners alike should remember to focus just a little bit more on healthy teeth. This concern for animal dental health is nothing new. In a recent article from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, archeologists from the Max Planck Institute have found evidence of equine dentistry in Mongolia as early as 1150 BCE.

To help you celebrate National Pet Dental Month using the most up to date veterinary oral hygiene recommendations, this blog post points out some common pet dental mistakes to avoid.

Don’t use human toothpaste

Fluoride-containing toothpaste has helped to revolutionize dental care in humans. But there is something drastically different about pets when it comes to toothbrushing: spitting. Dogs and cats don’t spit. This means toothpaste gets swallowed when you brush your pet’s teeth. Chronic ingestion of toothpaste can result in fluoride accumulating in your pet’s body, which can be toxic. Some toothpastes contain xylitol, an artificial sweeter. Dogs are exquisitely sensitive to xylitol and just a little bit can cause dangerously low blood sugar and liver damage. Way better to use the meat flavored toothpaste from your veterinarian’s office or get some nice dental wipes at your local pet emporium. Not sure how to brush your pet’s teeth? Watch our video featuring AMC board certified dentists.

Don’t chose anesthesia-free dental cleaning

The Animal Medical Center board certified dentists administer general anesthesia to all pets undergoing a dental cleaning. During this procedure they can clean both the cheek side and the tongue side of the teeth as well as beneath the gumline to prevent periodontal disease.

Anesthesia-free cleaning is currently in vogue in pet dental care. However, even the most well-trained pet will not tolerate dental instruments in their mouth and under the gums. Anesthesia-free dental cleanings just can’t provide the level of care your dog or cat deserves.

The American Veterinary Dental College has a policy statement on anesthesia-free dentistry in companion animals.

Avoid a nasty slab fracture of your dog’s tooth

The photo above shows a slab fracture (circled in red) of a canine premolar. This type of tooth injury is common and completely preventable. Dog’s given the opportunity to chew on bones, hooves, antlers, nylon dog chews and similar objects tend to crunch down on these hard, inflexible objects, cracking off half of their premolar. If the central pulp of the tooth is exposed, an infection can easily develop. AMC’s dentists either must repair or extract these fractured teeth.

By avoiding these dental don’ts, you will accomplish a major dental do – better oral health for your favorite fur person.

10 ways your family can enjoy animals without owning a pet

pet ownershipIn every family without a pet, there’s at least one child begging for one. But for health reasons, finances, travel or time in the daily schedule, a pet may not fit into your family’s lifestyle. But there are other ways, that you can bring animals into your family’s life without owning a pet of your own. Here are my top ten tips to add the fun and rewards of animals in your life without actually owning a pet:

  1. Attend a local animal show. The owners of dogs, cats, birds and reptiles love to show off their pets and talk to children about responsible pet ownership. In New York City we have the annual Westminster Kennel Club Show and Meet the Breeds. Local, smaller shows are great fun as well.
  2. Volunteer to walk dogs at your local shelter or to help socialize the cats residing there. Our friends at Animal Haven Shelter have a great webpage on how kids can help shelter animals.
  3. Be a foster pet family. My local rescue group is always looking for host families for cats in need. I wrote about my experiences with my foster cat family several years ago and since that time we’ve hosted more than 60 kittens or cats in our home.
  4. While it sounds a bit low tech, there are plenty of books on being a veterinarian for children of all ages. Here’s a really nice list of some of them.
  5. If your child loves dogs, but doesn’t love reading, sign up for one of the therapy dog programs where children read to dogs. This might be in a library, school or animal shelter. Participate in your library’s reading program featuring certified therapy dogs to promote reading skills in children. Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) has local programs nationwide. Therapy Dogs International sponsors “Tail Wagging Tutors.” A program like this might transform your child’s reading skills.
  6. Volunteer to pet sit for a neighbor while they are on vacation. This could be a really fun family project.
  7. Become a member of your local zoo. Many zoos have an area where children can pet the animals. In the New York metropolitan area, the Wildlife Conservation Society — which includes the Bronx Zoo, the Queens Zoo, the Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and the New York Aquarium — has hands-on programs for various age groups, as well as educational exhibits and free demonstrations daily. Some zoos even have sleepovers and summer camp!
  8. Volunteer at a pet outreach program at your local hospital, Ronald McDonald House or senior citizens home. Ask the program coordinator if they know of a pet volunteer who you can “borrow” for the visits.
  9. Check out veterinary camp. Besides camps at zoos, many camps like the ones on this list are run by colleges of veterinary medicine. Most are for high school age students, but some accept students as young as 10 years of age.
  10. If your child dreams of being a veterinarian, it is never too soon to start planning. For tweens, Vet Set Go provides age appropriate resources and fun games. The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges has information online for prospective students in high school and college.

I hope these suggestion will help fill the gap in your pet loving child’s life until the time is right for your family to love a pet of its very own.

How to feed your cat

Last fall, the American Association of Feline Practitioners released documents Tips and tricks to feed your cat for optimal healthfrom an expert panel of feline specialists including a client brochure entitled “How to feed a cat.”

Since one contributing factor to feline longevity is an ideal body condition, I thought summarizing the panel’s recommendations would be helpful to feline families.

Nota bene, this the point of these recommendations is not to help you choose between canned versus dry food, or premium versus grocery store brands, but how to take normal cat behavior into consideration when choosing feeding methodology.  Feeding strategies that capitalize on your cat’s normal predatory drive will enhance your cat’s health and well-being.

Feed frequently

In the wild, cats hunt multiple times per day to meet their daily calorie requirement.  Most housecats are fed one or two large meals per day.  This meal feeding method leaves your cat unsated and with time on her paws to pester you for snacks, irritating you and packing the pounds on her.  An automatic feeder will help in this regard, since it can dispense multiple small meals per day, but it will not be as mentally challenging as puzzle feeding or forage feeding.

Use puzzle feeders

Hunting for small rodents is a mentally challenging activity for cats.  Eating tasty, soft food from a conveniently placed bowl offers no mental challenge.  Puzzle feeders, also known as food puzzles, are objects that hold and release food when your cat manipulates the feeder.  No matter how smart your cat is, expect a learning curve while she solves the puzzle feeder.  Monitor your cat’s weight as she learns to use the feeding puzzles to sure she’s getting enough calories.

Try forage feeding

And no, I don’t mean feed your cat a bale of hale.  Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they must eat meat as their main protein source.  Here I use the word forage as verb meaning “to hunt.”  Since cats are programmed to hunt for their food, instead of putting the food in a bowl, make your home a cat buffet by putting bowls in various locations. Better yet, put puzzle feeders throughout your home and let your cat forage to find out where lunch is being served today!

Optimal feeding locations

Avoid putting food too close to the location of your cat’s litter box as cats do not like to eat near the box.  Be sure the food location works for all cats.  Cats don’t necessarily understand sharing and if there are not enough opportunities to forage, some cats may go hungry.  Some cats fare better if they are fed individually.  Don’t forget to use your cat’s elevated space (window sill perch or cat tree) as one of the feeding locations.

Ready to get started using puzzle feeders?  Try your hand at making some before you shop.

Everyday medicine: fecal analysis

Visual fecal analysis exam“Everyday Medicine” is an intermittent series of blog posts highlighting tests, treatments, and procedures common in daily Animal Medical Center practice. Some past examples of this type of blog post include hospital wards and vomiting or regurgitation.

Today’s post focuses on fecal analysis.

The 2011 American Veterinary Medical Association and American Animal Hospital Association Canine Preventive Healthcare Guidelines recommend a minimum of an annual fecal examination to diagnose intestinal parasites.  This recommendation explains why your veterinarian gives you a little cup or tube in advance of your dog’s annual exam and asks you to collect a fecal sample.  Fecal analysis is frequently part of the testing performed when your dog has a bout of diarrhea.

Visual examination

Most intestinal parasites are not visible to the naked eye.  The exception is tapeworms.  Tapeworms are a segmented worm and the little segments pass out of the intestine with the stool.  Above, you can see the tapeworm segments the owners found when cleaning up after her dog.

Microscopic examination

In cases of acute diarrhea, a bit of stool and some saline mixed on a microscope slide can result in a quick diagnosis of Giardia when your veterinarian sees the little parasites swimming around when the slide is examined using a microscope.  Occasionally, if I am are lucky, I might identify a coccidian organism or a worm egg.

Fecal floatation

The fecal floatation technique requires the stool sample to be mixed with a special solution and sometimes the protocol requires centrifugation of the sample.  The process causes worm eggs to float up and stick to a coverslip which is then placed on a microscope slide and evaluated.  This is thought to be one of the most reliable tests for intestinal parasite like roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms and stomach worms.

Baerman technique

While the fecal floatation technique identifies eggs in the stool sample, the Baerman test looks for larva or immature worms.  Baerman technique requires special equipment and is not typically done in a private practice but in the commercial veterinary laboratory.  This is the test veterinarians use to diagnose lungworms which can cause a chronic cough in dogs.

New generation of fecal analysis

The newest type of fecal analysis uses a technology called enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that recognizes a protein on the parasite.  The advantage of this type of test is that the parasite does not have to be shedding eggs for the test to detect an infection like for a fecal floatation.  This allows earlier diagnosis and prompt treatment.  The most commonly used ELISA detects Giardia infection.

The importance of a fecal analysis in keeping your dog healthy is undeniable, so be sure to bring that sample to your dog’s next examination.

Making your cat live to be 100!

This photo is my patient, Jake, celebrating his 18th birthday which is approximately 86 in cat years.  But Jake is not my longest-lived patient, Sparky, an orange gentleman at 18 and a half takes that prize.  Weezer, a stripey spring chicken is the runner up at nearly 16 years.  What do these three elderly cats tell us about aging in our feline companions?

Many diseases, one cat

Research stemming from a Swedish pet insurance database indicates that cats like Jake represent the typical older feline patient.  In the Scandinavian cohort of cats, cancer, kidney disease and intestinal disease increase in frequency as cats age. Medically speaking, Jake has intestinal lymphoma, recurrent kidney infections, heart disease, pancreatitis and an occasional flare up of diabetes, all of which are currently under control.  Older cats, with a myriad of medical conditions, need a plethora of carefully titrated drugs to keep their problems well controlled.   From my veterinary viewpoint, these cases are incredibly challenging because one disease may need a medication like steroids while another disease like diabetes can flare up with steroid therapy.

Intestinal lymphoma

One diagnosis common to all three of these cats is cancer.  Jake, Sparky and Weezer all have lymphoma and for that matter, the same form of lymphoma, gastrointestinal small cell lymphoma.  This little fact should give you hope since all three cats have exceeded the reported average lifespan of cats which is 14 years, despite a diagnosis which is expected to send their owners into a blue funk.  Gastrointestinal small cell lymphoma has become the most common form of lymphoma diagnosed in cats and carries a good prognosis when treated early.  The take home message here is if your cat has a cancer diagnosis, despair should not be your first emotion.

Good news, cats are living longer

Sparky, Weezer and Jake reflect a new trend in cat lifespans.  Information from the Swedish pet insurance database I mentioned above suggests that cats are living longer.  For example, between 1998 and 2002, 58% of Birman cats lived on average 12.5 years and between 2003 and 2006 68% of Birman cats lived 12.5 years.  An increase in longevity was seen across the spectrum of cats including other purebreds and domestic cats.  The reason for this increase is currently a mystery.

How can you get your cat to live like Weezer, Sparky and Jake?

To have a geriatric cat, you first need your young cat to be healthy. Some very simple lifestyle modifications will help that happen.  Neutering has been shown to be associated with an increased lifespan.  Since trauma is a big killer of young cats, make your cats indoor ones.

Another killer of young cats is infectious disease.   Keeping your cat indoors will help protect your favorite fur person against contracting an infectious disease like FeLV and FIV, but vaccinations are another important component of protection against infectious disease.

Finally, feeding the right food will also help your cat grow old, but not too much, since overweight cats have a truncated lifespan.

Winter hazards in your home

Inclement weather brings all kinds of outdoor hazards for your pet:  ice melt, toxic antifreeze on the street and stray voltage from corroded electrical wires.

https://www.amcny.org/blog/2016/01/13/protecting-your-pet-against-winter-weather#

Although your home is a seemingly safe and snug respite from the cold, indoor hazards abound.  Safeguard your pets against them.

Cool it off

Anyone who has lived in an overheated New York City apartment knows opening the windows in January is required to keep the inhabitants of the apartment from overheating.  The problem with that solution is lack of window screens in many New York City apartments.  Open, screenless windows put pets at risk for high rise syndrome.

https://www.amcny.org/blog/2014/07/09/high-rise-syndrome-in-cats#

The AMC animal ER treats falls from windows year round when windows are flung open for indoor climate control.

Turn up the heat

Not every home is warm enough during the winter and even the toastiest of homes rapidly becomes cold if your heat goes out during a winter storm provoked power outage.   Sources of heat keep everyone comfortable, but they can also be hazardous.  Pets can easily tip space heaters over and start a fire, or worse, burn themselves if they get too close.  Fireplaces create a cozywintertime ambiance, but like space heaters, an open fire can shoot sparks which can burn your pet or ignite their fur.  Steam pipes must be covered with pipe insulation to protect pets and humans from inadvertent burns.

Indoor air quality

To keep out the inclement weather, we keep our homes shut tight in the winter.  Indoor air quality can suffer.  This serves as a reminder for you to check the batteries in both your smoke detector and carbon monoxide monitor.  Just like humans, pets are susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning which is more common in the winter because of faulty heating and fireplaces. A recent article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/10.2460/javma.253.10.1328

described a serious respiratory condition in three kittens caused by an ozone generating air purifier.  High levels of ozone were suspected to be the culprit since the ozone air purifier was set for a room much larger than the room where the kittens were confined.  Happily, all three kittens recovered, but carefully read all the directions on any air purifiers being used around pets.

Coping with the cold

If the heat goes out in your house or apartment, your pet in its fur coat will cope better than you will.  Put on their coat or sweater to keep them comfortable inside.  To help your pet stay warm while they are sleeping, put a cozy blanket in their carrier or crate and then cover it with another blanket to protect against a cold draft.  Their body heat should be able to keep them warm inside the insulated carrier.  If possible, give them a warm meal rather than cold food from the cabinet.    If it is too cold for you inside, then book a room at the nearest pet friendly hotel!

Stay warm, keep safe and protect your pets against outdoor AND indoor cold weather hazards.

Although your home is a seemingly safe and snug respite from the cold, indoor hazards abound.  Safeguard your pets against them.

Cool it off

Anyone who has lived in an overheated New York City apartment knows opening the windows in January is required to keep the inhabitants of the apartment from overheating.  The problem with that solution is lack of window screens in many New York City apartments.  Open, screenless windows put pets at risk for high rise syndrome.

https://www.amcny.org/blog/2014/07/09/high-rise-syndrome-in-cats#

The AMC animal ER treats falls from windows year round when windows are flung open for indoor climate control.

Turn up the heat

Not every home is warm enough during the winter and even the toastiest of homes rapidly becomes cold if your heat goes out during a winter storm provoked power outage.   Sources of heat keep everyone comfortable, but they can also be hazardous.  Pets can easily tip space heaters over and start a fire, or worse, burn themselves if they get too close.  Fireplaces create a cozywintertime ambiance, but like space heaters, an open fire can shoot sparks which can burn your pet or ignite their fur.  Steam pipes must be covered with pipe insulation to protect pets and humans from inadvertent burns.

Indoor air quality

To keep out the inclement weather, we keep our homes shut tight in the winter.  Indoor air quality can suffer.  This serves as a reminder for you to check the batteries in both your smoke detector and carbon monoxide monitor.  Just like humans, pets are susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning which is more common in the winter because of faulty heating and fireplaces. A recent article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/10.2460/javma.253.10.1328

described a serious respiratory condition in three kittens caused by an ozone generating air purifier.  High levels of ozone were suspected to be the culprit since the ozone air purifier was set for a room much larger than the room where the kittens were confined.  Happily, all three kittens recovered, but carefully read all the directions on any air purifiers being used around pets.

Coping with the cold

If the heat goes out in your house or apartment, your pet in its fur coat will cope better than you will.  Put on their coat or sweater to keep them comfortable inside.  To help your pet stay warm while they are sleeping, put a cozy blanket in their carrier or crate and then cover it with another blanket to protect against a cold draft.  Their body heat should be able to keep them warm inside the insulated carrier.  If possible, give them a warm meal rather than cold food from the cabinet.    If it is too cold for you inside, then book a room at the nearest pet friendly hotel!

Stay warm, keep safe and protect your pets against outdoor AND indoor cold weather hazards.

2018 Trending Viral Animal

At the conclusion of my monthly SiriusXM Stars 109 “Ask the Vet” show, I close with the trending viral animal of the month.  Since the arrival of a new year prompts us to review the old one, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the trending viral animals highlighted on “Ask the Vet” in 2018.  Be sure to tune in to the January episode of “Ask the Vet” Saturday January 5 at 9 am EST and Sunday January 6 at 8 pm EST.  Have a question for me?  Record your question by calling 866-993-8267 or contact us via AMC’s social media channels.

Misty of Chincoteague

The annual pony swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island in Virginia makes news every year landing the wild ponies on our trending viral animal list.  While Misty is long gone, children still love this classic tale of the Saltwater Cowboy round up of these charming creatures.  Thousands of spectators watch the pony round up and enjoy the carnival.  The foals are then auctioned to support the local fire department.

Haji Hernandez

“Keith doesn’t have a cat, I have Keith” proclaims the Twitter profile for @keithpurrnandez, the 15-year -old Bengal cat “boss” associated with former NY Met and current ESPN commentator, Keith Hernandez.  Hajii continuously tweets for tuna and criticizes the lack of high quality service from Keith.

Dia the detection dog

I have nothing but admiration for the working dogs who serve as our eyes, protect us against explosives and help people suffering from serious medical conditions.  This year I learned about a new type of working dog – an invasive plant sniffing dog.  Diaworks for the New York and New Jersey Trail Conference.

https://www.nynjtc.org/news/dog-will-change-way-we-fight-invasives

Dia, a yellow Labrador will work in concert with the efforts of Lower Hudson Partnership for Invasive Species Management to eradicate an invasive species known as scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius).  You can follow her on Instagram @DiaTheDetectionDog as she sniffs out invasive plants.  Her GPS collar will allow pinpoint location of the invasive plants and a team will use that information to facilitate eradication.

One big cow

Knickers is actually not a cow, but is a steer, the correct term for a neutered male bovine.  

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/28/world/australia/such-a-big-steer.html

Standing over six feet tall, this Australian Holstein-Friesian will live out his years on a farm in Western Australia since he cannot be sold for steaks since he is too large for the processing plant equipment.   Other animals on the farm look up to Knickers, literally!  

Goat babies in pajamas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfxUt9UM0nc

I know you think this is crazy, but just watch a few seconds of this viral video and I can guarantee your worst day will become just a little bit better.  

Like the goat babies in pajamas, all the other viral animals bring smiles to our faces and reinforce exactlywhy we have pets in our lives.  What a great way to end 2018 and we wish you all the happiest of New Year

Antibiotic resistance and your pet

Yesterday, I saw two limping dogs. Both had injured a toe – one in an accident with a door and the other in some unknown traumatic event resulting in a swollen toe with a fractured nail. My treatments were simple for both dogs: clip the fur on the one with the scraped toe, and for the second dog, I trimmed off the fractured nail and covered the paw with a medical boot to prevent licking. After the dogs left my office, I started to worry. Should I have prescribed antibiotics?

Appropriate antibiotic prescriptions

Antibiotics are only effective in treating infections caused by bacteria. Not every bacterium is killed by every antibiotic. The best way for me to select an antibiotic is based on a laboratory test called a culture and sensitivity. For this test, I submit a sample of the infected material (urine, abscess or biopsy) to the lab. They isolate and identify the bacteria. The lab then tests a panel of antibiotics against the bacteria to identify the best one to treat your pet’s infection. If I am highly suspicious of an infection, I will make a best guess as to an appropriate antibiotic and treat while I wait for the results of the culture and sensitivity.

Inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions

Infections caused by viruses do not respond to antibiotics, such as feline upper respiratory infections  and canine influenza.
If your dog has had the flu, he may have been treated with antibiotics, but only if the flu had allowed a bacterial infection in the lungs or pneumonia.

The risk is resistance

Why did I not prescribe antibiotics for my two canine patients with toe injuries? Unnecessary antibiotic use is responsible for creating bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Neither dog had evidence of an infection and both dogs felt well except for their toe. One dog had the canine version of a skinned knee and I am sure is already better today. The other dog probably had the fractured toenail for close to a week and it had not become infected. The medical boot I prescribed provided a barrier against infection.

The downside of antibiotics

You might ask is there harm in giving an antibiotic to these dogs as a preventive measure. All drugs cause adverse effects. Vomiting and diarrhea are common adverse effects from antibiotic therapy. My job is to make pets feel better, not worse. When there is no infection, an antibiotic might make your pet feel worse. The greater harm is creating resistant bacteria by prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed. When your pet really needs an antibiotic, I won’t have one that works due to resistance induced by unnecessary antibiotics.

What can you do?

If your veterinarian prescribes antibiotics for your pet, give them exactly as prescribed. Discontinuing antibiotic treatment early increases the risk of inducing antibiotic resistance without eradicating the infection.

Holiday Gifts

A Visit from St. Nick to Fido and Fluffy

I am certain if your dog or cat could talk, he would ask for a special gift this holiday season. To help you fill your fur babies’ stockings hung by the chimney with care, AMC has developed this list of unique pet presents, with a bit of help from former New Yorker, C. Clement Moore!

The children were nestled all snug in their beds

While waiting for Santa, tuck your hamster or guinea pig into a cozy bed with a silky soft, all natural kapok mattress. The Ware Build-a Bed  packaging can quickly be assembled into a critter bed. After a long winter’s nap, your pocket pet can safely chew their bed, which is printed with 100% pet safe vegetable ink, while they wait for Santa’s arrival.

While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads

Sugarplums, a luxury treat in the 19th century, should not be on your pet’s Santa list. Instead, your cat will go crazy for Terrabone cat sushi. Cat sushi is not really sushi since this product does not contain raw fish, but contains traditional Japanese bonito tuna flakes. Bonito tuna flakes are high in protein and your cat will agree they are a 21st century feline version of the sugarplum.

Give the luster of mid-day to objects below

Light up your late night walk with a the Headlight Harness and a reflective leash. Need more light to get a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer? Get your dog a USB LED rechargeable leash in one of six neon colors. Rudolph will be so jealous.

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof

Your cat will prance, paw and claw at the Calypso cat scratcher. The vertical design is perfect for stretching and the sisal weave appeals to your cat’s tactile senses. The base is weighted to prevent tipping. Your cat’s eyes will twinkle when St. Nick pulls this toy out of his pack.

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back

And your dog would love that bundle to contain a Snuffle Mat.
A snuffle mat is a food puzzle a reminiscent of a 1970’s shag carpet, but instead of your mother yelling at you for dropping food on her carpet, you hide treats between the tufts of fabric sprouting from the mat. This sends your dog on a snuffling spree.
A do-it-yourself version of the snuffle mat is available here.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

While St. Nicholas made a dramatic entry down the chimney, you want to be in control of your dog’s exits and entries. Consider installing a smart door controlled by an app on your phone. You can let your dogs in and out with a touch of the screen. The door limits entry so only your dogs can come back inside. Be sure to leave the door open on Christmas in case Santa doesn’t want to use the chimney to make a delivery.

I hope this list will inspire your holiday giving and put you in the mood for a joyous season. For more pet gift ideas, read our previous holiday gift blogs.

https://www.amcny.org/blog/2017/11/29/holiday-pet-gift-guide-2017#
http://www.amcny.org/blog/2016/11/23/pet-holiday-gifts-2016
http://www.amcny.org/blog/2014/12/03/holiday-gifts-for-pets

And in the words of St. Nicholas himself, “Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!”