Wednesday, Jul. 6th 2016

Pet Myths Debunked, Off-site chiropractic, Planning ahead

Hi! Let’s have a little summer fun. I thought I’d discuss a few common myths some people hold about dogs and cats—a little education but a little fun, too. You can wow your friends with your knowledge at the next summer get-together…

Pet Myths

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks: As long as the dog still has reasonable mental function, sight, and hearing, you can teach any age dog just like you would a younger dog. Positive reinforcement of desired behaviors will work as long as the dog understands what the reward is for. Don’t let this myth keep you from adopting an older pet!

Garlic is toxic to dogs: The study showing garlic toxicity was performed using huge amounts of garlic that would never normally be included in a diet. Normal food amounts of garlic are safe in dogs, and as a matter of fact can help repel fleas and ticks. We even carry a product just for that reason, ask us about it next time you’re in! We’ve used it for years, and have normal bloodwork in pets taking it to prove its safety.

Cats can’t be trained: Cats can be trained as well as dogs, to perform all kinds of tricks. The hard part in training a cat is finding a treat or reward that is sufficiently motivating. If you find a reward your cat loves, you can train it just like your dog.

Cats will steal breath from babies: This myth probably arose from infants suffering sudden infant death and having the cat found near them. Babies are warm and smell like milk, so cats are drawn to them for naps. But a large cat sleeping near the face of a sleeping baby could inhibit the baby’s ability to breathe just like a pillow would, so it is not recommended to encourage cats sleeping in baby cribs.

Indoor pets don’t need (rabies vaccine, heartworm prevention, vaccinations): Unless you can absolutely guarantee no bat or mosquito will EVER enter your home, that you will NEVER touch a dog or cat incubating a contagious illness before arriving home to your own pets, you will NEVER walk on animal-contaminated soil, and that your pet will NEVER go outside even to potty or travel to a kennel or veterinarian, you cannot ensure they will not be exposed to these diseases. All pets should receive annual exams and basic preventive care, and all dogs in the Kansas City area should be on monthly heartworm prevention. We have it for cats, too, ask us about it!

A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth: Um, seen your dog lick its butt lately? Or has it licked its feet after a visit to the dog park? Do you feed raw meat or eggs to your dog? Does your dog brush its teeth every day? Dogs are fairly resistant to illness from E. Coli and Salmonella. Many people are NOT. The presence of these bacteria in your dog’s mouth can possibly infect you or other family members. Do I let my dogs kiss me? Yeah. But don’t ask your dog to clean the baby’s face, K?

Some breeds of dog are more dangerous than others: Dog behavior towards people and other dogs is a little bit genetic, in that certain breeds were developed to guard or be more tenacious and scrappy than other breeds. But dog behavior is vastly more influenced by early socialization and life-long training than their DNA. A dog becomes dangerous because it isn’t trained how to behave properly around people or other dogs. This is one reason you should research your desired breed before getting one—can you properly train it given its natural tendencies?

Cats always land on their feet: While cats are amazingly flexible and agile, and do often twist in mid-air to land on their feet, a fall from a great height can cause serious injury. High-Rise Syndrome is seen in cats that have fallen several stories and includes liver or spleen injury, broken legs, fractured pelvis, and fractured jaws. Don’t test this theory on your own cat, please.

Dogs are color-blind: Dogs can see colors, just not the same way we do. Here’s a cool comparison:

A warm nose means your dog is sick: A warm nose means your dog’s nose is warm. Normal temperature for a dog is around 101.5 so in general they should always feel warm to a human with a normal temperature of 98.6. A nose may feel cool if they have been swimming or drinking, if they have lots of condensation from their breath on their nose, or if they’ve been hanging out in a shady spot. Or it may feel warm, just because. It doesn’t mean anything.

Local Chiropractic Opportunities:

At times, Dr Leonard is at various dog agility competitions in Carthage, Columbia, Springfield, Lawrence, et al. She often provides chiropractic exams (only) at these events and offers a show special cost of $40, cash or check only. Some events will not allow non-entered dogs inside, and if your dog isn’t trustworthy around other pets and people in a crowded, stimulating setting this may not be a good choice for you. BUT, if these interest you, CALL the clinic at 816-331-1868 to find out more information about the location of the show and when Dr Leonard is likely to be there and available to treat your dog. Depending on the weather, location, and timing she may also be able to treat your dog just outside the show site if coming in won’t work for you. Be aware that she is also competing, so you may have to wait a bit depending on your timing. Upcoming events are: Springfield MO, July 22 and 23; Springfield MO, July 29-31; Lawrence, KS, September 16-18; Carthage, MO Sept. 30-Oct. 1; Lawrence, KS, Nov 4-6

Plan Ahead!

We’ve been getting busier and busier! Be sure to make your follow-up appointments before you leave the clinic to have your choice of day and time. We try to give everyone all the time they need in their appointment, which includes at least an hour for new patients. That means our schedule fills quickly, and we’ve been seeing less open slots on our daily schedules by the beginning of the day. This means same-day appointments may be harder to get. Be sure to plan ahead for those routine visits! Also, don’t forget most boarding kennels require proof of vaccination. Many are now accepting our vaccine titer letters so that may be an option for the core vaccines, but rabies and kennel cough vaccines will still need to be kept current if your dog will be boarded. Don’t wait until the last minute!

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