Is Shedding Normal? How to Know

As you look around your house, you may despair at the sight of what looks like tumbleweeds drifting by. Shedding is a normal part of pet ownership, but if you’ve noticed a recent change in your pet’s natural hair loss, it’s right to explore it further.

Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center gets a lot of questions regarding shedding. Here are some guidelines for shedding, to get you started.

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Dental Disease in Pets

pet dental disease

Dental disease, also called periodontal disease, is the most commonly diagnosed condition in pets today. In fact, the American Veterinary Dental College estimates that by the time most pets are 3 years of age, over 80% of them have some form of dental disease.

Aside from bad breath, it’s often difficult for pet owners to know what’s going on inside their pet’s mouths. After all, who wants to look in there, with all those sharp teeth? And pets are masters at hiding signs of discomfort and pain, even from their closest people – making it even harder to tell if something is wrong.

But make no mistake, dental disease is painful for your pet. In addition to red and bleeding gums, difficulty eating, and loose or broken teeth, dental disease can cause damage to  the heart, liver, or kidneys when bacteria from the mouth enter the bloodstream.

Luckily, dental disease in pets is preventable. Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center tackles this important topic, here.

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Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center’s Best Pet Care Blogs of 2018

veterinary blog

Seventy years ago, Long Animal Hospital opened our doors to the dogs and cats of Charlotte, NC and the surrounding community. Although our staff members now work in a cutting-edge facility, our mission remains the same. As we work to provide the best possible care to our patients, we’re honored to continue serving our ever-growing community of valued pet owners.

Over the last 12 months, we hope you found our services helpful, supportive, and convenient. If you didn’t see us in person at our hospital, perhaps you were one of the many online readers who visit our pet care blog. Either way, we appreciate your dedication to responsible pet ownership!

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Respect Thy Elders: Caring for Your Aging Pet

senior pet care

Someday we may become scientifically astute enough to halt the aging process, but as a society we are not there yet. While many of us long for our youth, the reminder of getting older is much more visible on a day to day basis when we look at the animals in our life.

Pets age much more quickly than people, and often the process seems to unfold before our very eyes. Fortunately, we can help to prolong and better the lives of senior pets better than ever before. Properly caring for your aging pet is no small feat, but the staff at Long Animal Hospital is prepared to help you along the way.

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What’s the Key to Outstanding Cat Health? The Answer May Surprise You

Cat health can be illusive, be sure your cat sees a veterinarian regularly.

Cats are perceived as being “low maintenance” pets. But because they’re relatively easy to take care of, a common misperception of their special needs prevails. Just like other pets, cats benefit from routine veterinary care, grooming, nutritional counseling, exercise, and more. The outcome? When cat health is a priority, you have a happy cat at home.

The Real Deal on Cat Health

We understand the struggle that cat owners face when it’s time to bring their cat in to for their exam. Notorious for being terrible passengers in vehicles, cats detest being trapped in their travel kennel. And that’s if you can even get them inside it.

The other reason that cats aren’t seen as much as their canine counterparts is that cats always seem fine – until they’re not. Highly adept at covering up any telling symptoms, cat owners are often surprised to learn their cats may have been suffering for some time before the warning signs surfaced, such as:

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Tough Stuff: Cancer in Canines

Cancer in canine can be devastating

Your dog may think he is invincible, chasing squirrels and barking at people out of your front window, but the truth is that none of us are. Even as we learn more and more how to take better care of our pets, cancer remains a prevalent diagnosis in our four-legged friends. In fact due to the increasing lifespan of our household pets, veterinarians are diagnosing cancer in canines at a rate of 25% in our senior population.

Thankfully, your friends at Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center are here to help you and your pet understand this disease a little more.

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Obesity in Pets

Obesity in pets is one of the biggest threats to pet health. In the United States, over half of the pet population is overweight or obese. Just as in humans, this can lead to health issues such as joint disease, high blood pressure, organ disease, diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. Obesity in pets also negatively impacts quality of life and shortens lifespan.

The good news is that obesity can be managed, and pets can lose weight and become healthier once again. Keep reading for tips on how to tell if your pet is obese and what you can do about it.

Is Your Pet Overweight?

Because pets can accumulate extra weight gradually, you may not even notice that your pet is overweight. To know for sure, we use a tool called a Body Condition Score. This scale is used by veterinarians to standardize the level of a pet’s weight and to formulate a weight loss plan based on lifestyle, age, and breed. Learn more about your pet’s body condition score during their next pet wellness exam. Continue…

Pain-Free and Fancy Free: A Spotlight on Pain Management in Pets

Pain management in pets is part of pet health careOur pets are among the most important things in our lives. Not only are they beloved members of the family, but we also gladly accept their health, wellness, and comfort as our responsibility. Watching a pet suffering from pain is heart wrenching, and it can be difficult to know what to do or how to help.

Fortunately, veterinary science has made significant strides when it comes to pain management in pets. We now know that pets feel pain in much the same way as humans, and we’re better able to recognize the signs and work to prevent, treat, and manage pet pain.

Why Controlling Pain is so Important

Animals can experience acute or chronic pain for a wide variety of reasons. An injury, orthopedic issue, surgery, or illness can result in pain. Left untreated, pain can significantly decrease quality of life, increase stress and anxiety, and even negatively affect the rate of healing. Recognizing and treating pet pain has always been, and will continue to be, one of our most important goals. Continue…

Canine Influenza and Vaccination: Get the Facts

vetMaybe you’ve heard of the “dog flu” or canine influenza. It’s a real virus that’s highly contagious; it’s also preventable through vaccination. However, there’s a lot of misleading and incorrect information out there, so Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center has put together a simple primer on canine influenza and vaccination.

What is Canine Influenza?

Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. There are two known strains of the canine influenza virus (CIV): H3N8 and H3N2.

The H3N8 strain has been around for several years, but the H3N2 strain was just discovered in early 2015. It first affected around 1,000 dogs in the Chicago area; our Charlotte dogs may not have been exposed to it yet.  Continue…

Pet Loss Prevention Strategies

veterinarianIt’s estimated that roughly 10 million pets become lost in the U.S. each year, and the vast majority never return home. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year when shelters fill up even more with lost pets who escape during summer festivities. However, with our pet loss prevention strategies, you and your companion can avoid a heartbreaking situation.

Effective Pet Loss Prevention Tips

There are some things you can do in your home and yard to make sure your pet remains safe and secure.

Survey boundaries – Every so often, walk the perimeter of your property, and check for any points your pet could escape. Repair fences and gates and take any other precautions to make sure your yard is secure. Continue…