The Problem with Dr. Google

We all know someone who has gone on the Internet to see what their symptoms might mean overall. It seems harmless, but too often, this leads to a misdiagnosis, causing far greater problems than if the person had just gone to the doctor to begin with. Now, it’s happening with our pets, too!

Overload of Information

With the Internet, information is available and at everyone’s beck and call. With the stroke of a few keys, you can easily find out how many steps are in the Empire State Building (1,860) or even the the depth of the Marianas Trench on the ocean floor (36,201 ft – almost 7 miles). There’s a litany of information that makes each of our lives a little bit easier. But there’s one element that it hasn’t helped: a phenomenon known as “Dr. Google.”

How it Happens

Dr. Google is what happens when individuals look up their symptoms on the Internet, trying to save a few dollars by diagnosing their pets’ conditions digitally rather than taking them in to the vet.

On the surface, this doesn’t seem like too terrible an idea. If your dog Spark has a slight cough, you might be tempted to simply enter the symptoms into an online search. The problem with this, though, is that Spark’s cough could be happening for a plethora of reasons. Furthermore, there could be some other symptoms you haven’t noticed or can’t detect on your own.

The Concerns

Veterinarians and vet techs go to a lot of trouble to learn all they can about the non-human members of our families. They often know a great deal about the specifics of Spark’s needs as far as what disease he might have as well as offering the best course of treatment. These are not idle issues, as there is often new research that the professionals at your local vet clinics have reviewed for your pet’s condition.

The only sure way to make sure that your pet stays healthy is to take him or her to the vet. Don’t put Spark in unnecessary peril by trying the “at home” self-diagnosis. Dr. Google might be cheaper in the short term, but it could also result in a misdiagnosis which will only cost far more in the long run. If you are in the vicinity of Evans, visit the link for Evans vet clinic to check out more information and find a team of doctors who can give Spark a clean bill of health.

Is My Cat Grooming Too Much?

Different cats, like humans, have different standards when it comes to self-grooming. Some seem to groom a little less frequently while others are fastidious, focusing on every single detail of their fur. But sometimes, excessive grooming can be an indicator of some other issues for which we really need to pay attention.

When exactly might your feline friend’s grooming patterns be a little too much?

Damaged Fur or Skin
Cats can spend sometimes up to half of their day grooming themselves and still be normal. Since it is impossible for all owners to observe their cats every second of every day, it can be incredibly difficult to figure this out until there is noticeable physical evidence on the feline’s body. One of the first and most obvious indicators is missing patches of fur. If you notice any such patches on your cat, contact your veterinarian immediately. You never want to leave problems like that unchecked as they could develop into serious medical conditions causing a lot of agony.

Too Many Hairballs

Another way to tell is by the number of hairballs. Depending on the breed, if you see more than one or two in a week, you should contact your vet, just to make sure there isn’t a more serious problem. You, the owner, will know when this number is excessive.

Other Factors

Our cats and kittens can sometimes appear to lead very luxurious lives. But that doesn’t mean that Fluffy is actually stress-free. Even though stress can lead to over-grooming, it is still essential that you contact your vet, as only she will be capable of making the best diagnosis. Home diagnoses can often times be wrong, so give your furry family member the best chance at a full recovery!

Remember that the reason this is important to watch for is that it leaves your cat susceptible to elements it normally wouldn’t have to contend with. Their fur is there to insulate their body and to protect the skin. This is true for both hot and cold temperatures. Furthermore, if the condition is left untreated, she could wear away at her skin, leading to major infections.

Cats are wonderful because they require so little maintenance and can get along just fine as independent creatures. Let’s just be vigilant and make sure that they are healthy and happy!

If you are in the Myrtle Beach area, visit pet clinic Myrtle Beach for more information about caring for your cat.

Saving Money on Your Pet Expenses

There are many ways that you can really stretch your dollar in dealing with pet supplies. Here are some really simple ways to save money without your four-legged companion seeing any difference in its quality of care:

  1. Buy Online and in Bulk

The internet is a wonderful tool that gives all of us the ability to find most anything we want – and cheap! The two most common things that our furry family members need are food and treats. So one of the best places to look for these is on the internet. You can often find larger quantities for less money. Amazon offers a subscription service where when some items are ordered on a regular basis, you stand to save up to 15% and have your purchases show up at your doorstep. It beats a trip to the store any day!

  1. A Coin Jar and a Pet Savings Account

A coin jar is an old trick, but has some very real applications. If everyone in the family hunts for coins and deposits loose change, before you know it, there will be enough money for a new toy! This is a simple way to purchase one just in time for the old one to wear out. Furthermore, an actual pet savings account with a little bit of money set aside each month can help to defray the costs of a procedure later on. Preparing for the rainy day could even save your furry family member’s life!

  1. Dental Care and Regular Exercise

Two of the biggest things that you can do to save money and extend their live are to make sure they get enough exercise and brush their teeth daily. No one doubts the positive health benefits of exercise to all animals – even humans! The key is getting it done. What does tend to surprise people is that brushing your pet’s teeth daily can result in huge savings on dental procedures. Letting plaque accumulate on their teeth all but guarantees you will have to spend money to fix them.

If you incorporate all of these strategies into your pet’s long-term care, you will come out a winner. There are so many small tricks you can do to save money on pet care, and without your dog or cat ever missing a beat!

If you are in the Oceanside area and you would like more information about pet care, visit your oceanside vet!

What Does my Cat Need as it Gets Older?

We all want to provide the absolute best care possible for our pets. It is a lot easier to care for the younger, more active animals. But as they get older and time begins to show on them, how do their needs change?

In cats, this can be especially difficult to determine. Cats have an independent streak more fierce than any teenager. They are so used to bathing themselves, taking themselves to the bathroom, and keeping themselves entertained that the subtle changes they experience as they become older often times escape our notice.

Compassion is Essential

It is really important for us to all remember that like our human family, growing older is not a disease. It is simply a reason to pay closer attention to them and help out more with the things they do that they can no longer do for themselves. This can be one of the most beneficial practices for ensuring that all of these are covered.

Careful with Infections

More senior cats, though, do suffer from a weakened immune system, so they can become sick more often. In addition, their skin is thinner than a younger cat’s, eye-sight might begin to deteriorate, as well as their olfactory senses. Some of the more common conditions to be watchful for involve their teeth.

How to Help

So what can you do? To keep its mind engaged and help slow mental decline, keep it active and engaged with toys, attention, and sometimes puzzles such as a treat hidden within a toy. Exercise will significantly improve its quality of life in many areas. As it is with humans, exercise keeps the body young. Finally, brush its teeth often. Since an older cat has obviously been alive for longer than its younger counterparts, it has had more time to accumulate plaque and with its weakened immune system, it is more susceptible to infection. Regular care of its teeth and gums will help prevent a potentially life-threatening disease by keeping the cat’s defenses sharp!

Our pets need love in their old age just as much as they did in their youth. They have helped see us through our best and worst and deserve to have us faithfully by their side when they start needing a little extra care. If you live in the Fort Collins area and have questions about an aging pet, talk to your fort collins vet for more information.

How Do I Know It’s Hurt?

Pain can be one of the most difficult things to endure, but nothing is worse than when you have to watch a loved one endure it. The last thing we want is for family to go around hurting. This is no different with the furry members of our families as well!

The More Obvious
First off, it is relatively simple to detect the obvious pain if your pet is limping or whimpering as these things are readily noticeable. The problem comes more from chronic pain, such as what results from arthritis. In cases like this, the only person who can really get the message is you the owner. So what are some of the signs that your friend needs to visit the vet?

Everyone’s Different
It’s important to understand that different types of pets will express their pain in different ways. A dog might hesitate to jump up on something that it used to do without fear. It might be a little more cautious or afraid than it normally is to do regular tasks due to a constant build-up of pain. Watch your dog’s ears – if they’re back for a long time and he or she cannot be consoled, there’s a good chance something is wrong.

Birds will actually pluck their feathers from areas which are hurting them (but this can also be a behavioral problem – your vet will know either way). Cats will sometimes paw at their own mouths when their teeth are hurting, or might simply avoid hard food altogether.

Some animals try to separate themselves from regular interaction with either the people or other pets in your household. Watch and see if they are exhibiting any strange behavior.

Keep Vigilant
The key to most every one of these instances is that your pet will most likely do something which is fundamentally different from its normal day to day life. You as the owner are the one who is best suited to noticing it. Hidden and chronic pains are often the worst, as we know from experience. They impede our quality of life for the long haul and the same is true of our pets.

Keep a sharp eye out for any irregularities you might see in how they walk, “speak,” eat, or even how they interact with other animals and humans. If you are in the Vancouver area and have any questions regarding specific symptoms your pet might be experiencing, visit vet clinic Vancouver for more information.