Common Pet Toxins

Common household toxins for dogs and cats.

Toxins are often not the first thing on your mind when bringing a pet into your home, but there are many more than you may expect!  It is important to know the common pet toxins that can be present so you can take special care to keep them out of your pet’s reach. If you believe your pet has ingested or come into contact with any of these toxins, or if you are unsure, please contact your veterinarian or nearest emergency clinic immediately! Accurate and timely identification of the suspected toxin is very important— TIP: have the container, package, or label in hand; this can save valuable time!

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Give a Dog a Bone: Choosing Healthy Dog Treats

dog eating cupcake treat.

As loving dog owners, we use treats to our advantage every day. Essential as a tool to reward good behavior, show affection, and strengthen the bond with our pups, treats can sometimes do more harm than good. When treats are given to dogs out of guilt or for no reason at all, the extra calories serve little-to-no purpose, and can actually lead to unnecessary weight gain, obesity, and associated health problems. The good news is whether you embrace DIY recipes or purchase pre-made varieties, healthy dog treats not only make your dog happy, but they add to their vitality.

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The Most Common Orthopedic Issues in Dogs

Small toy dog at the veterinary after surgery.

You know your dog better than anyone, so it makes sense that you’d immediately notice any changes to their gait, behavior, and appearance. Orthopedic issues in dogs are among the most typical reasons for vet visits, in part because the culture of dog owners is becoming more active every year. What’s more, some breeds are genetically predisposed to problems affecting the musculoskeletal system. 

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3 Reasons to Microchip Your Pet

Yorkshire terrier wearing bow sitting next to chalkboard.

Have you ever had your dog get away from you while on a walk or escape from your fenced yard? Has your indoor cat ever slipped outside while the door was briefly open? It’s terrible to think about your beloved pet getting lost, so it’s essential to take every possible step to make sure your pet can be reunited with you if it should happen.

The team at Hampton Veterinary Hospital wants to help ensure our clients and their pets stay together. Pet microchipping is a simple, effective way to ensure your furry friend stays safe and secure with you. 

Here are the top 3 reasons to microchip your pet:

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February is Dog Training Education Month

Pet owner dog training their dog at home.

A well-trained dog is a joy to live with. He (or she) comes when you call, sits on command, and leaves forbidden objects in their proper places. Although they might occasionally test boundaries, deep down they realize it’s in their best interest to follow the rules. And really, they just want to make you happy.

Of course, getting to that point involves consistent training that begins in puppyhood. Whether you’re engaged in basic obedience training, Canine Good Citizen training, or another training regimen, keep these principles in mind when embarking on any training program. And if you’d like to know how to train your cat, visit this helpful resource.

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AAHA-Accredited Animal Hospital: Why Is It Important for Your Pet?

Hampton Veterinary Hospital veterinarian holding dog patient

Pets are part of our families, and we want the best for them. But with so many pet veterinary clinics available, how can you know what’s best regarding your pet’s medical care?

If you’re considering a new veterinarian for your pet, it’s important to know what AAHA-accredited hospitals have to offer.

What Is the AAHA?

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The Healthiest Dog Food for Hungry Pups

Mini yorkshire terrier with a bowl of food.

There’s no question that dogs are incredibly motivated by food. They love to eat! But sometimes the food in their bowl can actually go against their greater health. When issues begin to occur, it can seem like an impossible challenge to land on the right food for your pup. With aisles full of options, and possible digestive reactions to common ingredients, the quest for the healthiest dog food is not without guesswork. Have no fear–we’re here to help!

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The Numerous Benefits of Daily Dog Walking

Happy couple walking a dog through autumn leaves trail.

The opportunity to go outside is priority number one for most dogs, but their motivation goes beyond simply meeting their bathroom needs. Similarly, moving their body has advantages that surpass basic exercise. Walking with your dog is arguably one of the best activities, and it’s because of the synergy between all of these elements. Dog walking combines several life-affirming qualities, and dogs aren’t the only ones benefiting from the ritual.

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5 Signs Your Dog Is Happy (And Healthy)

Happy golden retriever licking its owner's face.

One of the things we love the most about our clients is the extreme love they have for their furry family members. As a dog owner, it can be hard to tell if your dog is feeling his best both physically and emotionally without the help of verbal communication. Your friends at Hampton Veterinary Hospital have compiled this list of signs of a healthy dog to help you determine whether or not it’s time for a veterinary visit:

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Itchy Pet Awareness

Itchy dog

August is officially Itchy Pet Awareness Month. How has your pet been feeling this allergy season? Itching (or Pruritus) is an incredibly common symptom in our companion animals. It can be seasonal or non-seasonal, and can manifest in a number of ways:

  • Scratching
  • Chewing, licking, biting at skin
  • Rubbing on floor
  • Hair loss
  • Body or ear odor
  • Irritability
  • Secondary rashes/sores/redness on the skin

My Pet is Itchy… Now What?

If your pet is exhibiting any of these “itchy” behaviors or symptoms, it is important to call to schedule an examination with your veterinarian. The exam can show us many things – secondary infections on the skin, presence of parasites (fleas, etc), localization of itching/lesions (which can direct us towards certain diagnoses), etc. Sometimes, further diagnostics are needed to diagnose infection and/or parasites – such as skin cytology (collecting superficial swabs of the skin to look for bacterial or yeast infections), skin scraping (collecting deeper samples of skin to evaluate for skin mites), etc.

So Why is My Pet Itchy?

Sometimes, itching can be solely related to infection or parasites on the skin, though there is typically an underlying allergy of some kind. The most common allergies in animals include ENVIRONMENTAL or FOOD allergies.

Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies are the most common that we see in pets. It involves an immune response/allergy to pollens, grasses, weeds, trees, storage or dust mites, fleas, etc. Most pets that have environmental allergies have a combination of allergens that play a role in their itchiness.  

Food Allergies

Food allergy is MUCH LESS common than environmental allergies, but we do still see them in our companion animals. The more common food allergen is CHICKEN; less commonly beef or dairy. ***NOTE: Grains are NOT an allergen in our companion pets, and grain-free diets have actually been recently linked to cardiac disease.***

Skin allergies can get in the way of our pets’ daily activities, happiness, and the bond and relationship they have with their owners and surroundings. It is important to monitor for the symptoms listed above, and report them to your veterinarian; discussion, history, and examination can help to establish a diagnostic plan and obtain a diagnosis, as well as determine the best treatment option(s) for your pet.

How Can I Make My Pet Less Itchy?

Treatment options are tailored to your pet’s specific symptoms and diagnosis, but may include:

  1. A food trial to eliminate all food allergens from your pet’s system. This can be both diagnostic (to evaluate for specific food allergens) and therapeutic (to eliminate those allergens that are triggering an itch response). There are unfortunately no successful blood tests for food allergies at this time.
  2. Environmental allergy testing to create allergy VACCINES, to desensitize the body to allergens. Allergy testing is most effective when intradermal SKIN testing is performed by a Veterinary Dermatologist. Though we do have BLOOD tests that can be helpful, as well.
  3. Antibiotic or antifungal medications (oral and/or topical) are often needed to treat secondary infections that occur from self-trauma and itching.
  4. Anti-allergy/anti-itch medications are often used to give immediate relief for allergic itch. There are two medications that we typically reach for, that effectively target allergy molecules/pathways in the body:
    • Apoquel (oclacitinib) – this is a daily oral tablet that can be used in animals 12 months or older.
    • Cytopoint – this is an injectable medication that lasts for 4-8 weeks and can be used in DOGS of any age.

If you believe your pet suffers from itching, infection(s) and/or allergies – please do not hesitate to reach out so we can start making your furry friend more comfortable!