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Pet Safety Tips for Spring

Springtime has arrived in the Nashville area, which means longer days and spending more time outside with your pet. In order to fully enjoyfamily with dog outdoors the warmer weather of spring, it is important to keep in mind certain safety practices. As the most comprehensive veterinary clinic in East Nashville, 5 Points Animal Hospital places a high priority on educating our clients on how to keep their pets as healthy and happy as possible. We would like to share with you a few pet safety tips for the spring season.

Be aware of holiday candy and decorations.

This season includes some major religious holidays, such as Easter and Passover, and food plays a big role in these celebrations. Cat owners should be careful of the possibility of their cats attempting to eat both real and fake plants. One of the most dangerous plants for cats is the lily. This flower can be fatal to your cat if he ingests it, according to the ASPCA, and if your cat eats plastic decorative grass, he can suffer from dehydration, nausea, and even an obstructed digestive tract. If you have a dog, you should also keep an eye on what he eats. Make sure to keep holiday candy out of reach from your pets.

Secure your windows.

Although it seems like a cliché, it is true that dogs love to hang their heads out of a moving-car-window; however, this, as well as riding unsecured in the back of a pick-up truck, can be very dangerous. Whenever your pet is riding with you in your car, you should always keep him safe by securing him in his crate or wearing a specially-designed harness as a seatbelt. You should also check your windows at home to make sure sturdy screens are properly installed before you open them. Cats are especially prone to jumping out of opened windows.

Store toxic chemicals out of the way.

Many homeowners have a traditional spring cleaning routine they do every year. When you are taking care of these tasks, make sure your pets cannot get into your cleaning products. Even if they claim to be all-natural, most contain chemicals that can be harmful to your animals. This includes paint, solvents, mineral spirits, and other home improvement products as well as gardening products such as fertilizer and insecticides.

Keep your pets safe this spring by staying aware of these tips. Contact us today at 5 Points Animal Hospital for all of your veterinary needs.

Questions to Ask Your Vet to Prevent Pet Obesity

All pet owners want their pet to live a long, happy, and healthy life. Keeping up with a regular routine of wellness and preventive veterinary care visits is vital to achieving this goal. Not only are you protecting them from diseases with annual vaccinations, but you can also ask your veterinarian questions about the best ways to prevent harmful conditions like obesity.

Each year, the number of obese cats and dogs is on the increase. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), about 56 percent of dogs and 60 percent of cats weigh are classified as clinically overweight or obese by veterinary professionals. 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to share with you a few relevant questions to ask when you bring your pet in for their annual checkup to help them stay in a healthy weight range.

At what weight is my pet considered to be obese?

2 cute pups sittingWeight can be a sensitive subject for both people and pets because of the emotions and stigmas involved. However, you should never shy away from asking us about their weight when you bring them into a wellness visit at 5 Points Animal Hospital. The weight of your pet has the biggest influence on his longevity and quality of life. Obese cats and dogs are at a higher risk for developing arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and other serious health issues.

How much food should I be feed my pet everyday?

Knowing the exact number of nutrients and calories that your cat or dog should be eating everyday is very important in preventing pet obesity. After examining your pet, we can give you a range of calories they need to be at a healthy weight. Because the type, brand, and formulation of food determine the amount of food, you should always check how many cups or cans of food you are feeding them in relation to their caloric need. Remember to include his treats in his daily calorie count too!

How much exercise does my pet need each day?

Generally speaking, dogs need to exercise at least 30 minutes each day, and cats need to play intensely for five-minute periods three times a day. The type of exercise activity make a big difference, and our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital will give you fun exercise recommendations based on the breed, age, gender, and overall health of your pet.

Preventing pet obesity is key to making sure your pet enjoys a long and happy life. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for your pet’s wellness and preventive care visit today!

What Is a Safe Outdoor Temperature for Pets?

Even though the summer season is coming to a close, the weather in the Nashville area can still be hot and humid throughout the fall. Our moderate climate allows us to spend more time outdoors with our pets, but you should still be aware of the temperature What Is a Safe Outdoor Temperature forto keep your pet comfortable at all times. As we get closer to winter, the weather can change from one day to the next, which means it is very important to pay attention to the weather forecast when you are planning an outing with your pet. Since 2011, 5 Points Animal Hospital has been providing professional veterinary care to the pets of East Nashville, and we would like to give you some tips on keeping your pet safe in hot and cold weather.

HOT WEATHER

When hot temperatures are combined with high levels of humidity, your pet faces a greater risk of dehydration and heatstroke, according to Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation. Here in the Nashville area, it can be uncomfortably humid, which means it is very important to keep a close eye on your pet for signs of heatstroke and dehydration when playing outside on a humid day. These symptoms include panting, drooling, rapid heart rate, muscle tremors, and disorientation. To keep your pet safe outside in hot and humid weather, 5 Points Animal Hospital suggests going out in the early morning or late evening hours rather than during the middle of the day, finding shaded walk routes, and bringing along water. One of the most essential things to always remember when the weather is warm is to never, ever, ever leave your pet alone in the car for even a minute. The Humane Society warns that it only takes 10 minutes for the temperature inside a car with its windows partially rolled down to reach 102 degrees on an 88-degree day.

COLD WEATHER

Although it may seem far away, the freezing weather of winter will be here before you know it. Being prepared for snow and ice can ensure your pet stays comfortable all winter long. Any time the temperature drops below 32 degrees, hypothermia and frostbite can occur in pets. If you must leave your pet outside in these conditions, you should provide him with proper shelter, such as a dog house with a solid, raised floor and bedding or straw for insulation, to keep him safe. Make sure your pet has plenty of food and available water that is not frozen. Be aware that even long-haired breeds should never be left outdoors for extended periods of time when the temperature is below freezing.

If it is too hot or cold for humans to be comfortable outdoors, it is likely that the temperature could possibly be dangerous for your pet. 5 Points Animal Hospital is here to help you keep your pet happy and healthy. Contact us to schedule an appointment for his or her routine wellness and preventive care visit.

The Importance of Year-Round Heartworm Prevention

When it comes to heartworm prevention, there is a common misconception about exactly how many months of the year you should be giving a pet his medicine. Since heartworms are typically transmitted to pets by mosquitoes, many people think that their dogs Heartworm Prevention - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospitaland cats do not need to take their heartworm preventive medication when these parasites are dormant during the fall and winter seasons. However, this is far from the best advice when it comes to protecting your pet from heartworms. In fact, the American Heartworm Society, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and other national experts strongly recommend that you should give your pet his heartworm preventive medicine every month all year long as well as have him tested for heartworms every 12 months. Since 2011, 5 Points Animal Hospital has been providing comprehensive and preventive veterinary services to the four-legged residents of East Nashville, and we are here to keep your pet safe from heartworm disease throughout the year. We would like to tell you more about why it is so important to make sure you take heartworm prevention seriously every month of the year.

What is heartworm disease and how does my pet get it?

Affecting dogs, cats, ferrets, and other mammals, heartworm disease is caused by foot-long worms that live in the hearts, lungs, and associated blood vessels of these animals. Severe lung disease, heart failure, and other organ damage can result from this serious and potentially deadly disease. The larvae of the heartworms are transmitted to pets and wild animals through the bites of infected mosquitoes. After maturing for six months, the larvae develop into adult heartworms, which can live in dogs for five to seven years and in cats for two to three years. These lifespans mean that the number of worms can increase each mosquito season. This is why it is so important to give your pet heartworm prevention medication every month.

If heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, why do I still need to give my pet preventive medicine against heartworms in the winter?

According to the American Heartworm Society, heartworm prevention medication works retroactively, so it can eliminate new infections even if they were transmitted months earlier. Additionally, you should also be sure to have your pet tested for heartworms every 12 months, even if he is on year-round preventive treatment. An infection opportunity could be created if you miss a dose, are late with a dose, or your pet spits out or rubs off his medication.

At 5 Points Animal Hospital, we carry a wide variety of heartworm prevention medication in our East Nashville clinic as well as in our online pharmacy. The best way to stay on top of protecting your pet from this deadly disease is to follow a routine schedule of wellness and preventive care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your pet.

When Should I Take My Pet to the Vet?

As a pet owner, you want your dog or cat to be as happy and healthy as possible. In order to keep your pet in good health, it is important to take him to the veterinarian at least once a year for his wellness and preventive care examinations. When Should I Take My Pet to the Vet - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital

At these annual visits, the vet will make sure your pet is up to date on his vaccinations and will also look for any health problems that need to be treated before they could potentially develop into a more serious illness. There are also times when your dog or cat may not be feeling his best, but you’re unsure of whether or not he should go to the vet to be treated. Since 2011, 5 Points Animal Hospital has been providing comprehensive veterinary services, including preventive and wellness care, diagnostic lab work, vaccinations, surgeries, and dental care, for the pets of the East Nashville area. We would like to tell you some of the symptoms that require immediate veterinary attention to help you know when to take your pet to the vet.

BREATHING DIFFICULTIES

Whenever your pet has trouble breathing, you should immediately bring him or her to the veterinarian, according to Dogster. This symptom is a huge veterinary emergency because your pet could die after only three minutes without being able to breathe. You will know if you need to bring your pet to the vet if you hear him make strange noises when breathing or if you see his lips puff when he tries to breathe.

REPEATED VOMITING AND/OR DIARRHEA

Occasionally your pet may vomit once or have a single loose bowel movement that can be treated at home by resting his stomach for a few hours and giving him bland food for a couple of days. However, if your dog is repeatedly vomiting or having diarrhea, there is a high risk of dehydration, which can be life-threatening. Our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital will give your pet the fluids he needs to rehydrate, and we will also check to make sure there is no other issue, such as a gastrointestinal obstruction, that could be causing the problem.

REFUSAL TO EAT OR DRINK

When your pet refuses to eat or drink, it is a clear sign that something may be off. Although your dog or cat may skip a meal from time to time, you should bring him into 5 Points Animal Hospital if he goes for a day or longer without eating or drinking. Not only could there be a serious health problem, but your pet could also be dehydrated and need veterinary care.

SEVERE WEAKNESS

When your pet is too weak to get up and walk around, it could be a symptom of a major problem, including internal bleeding, anaphylactic shock, poisoning, Addison’s disease, or heart failure. Your pet could also be having trouble getting up because of severe pain from a spinal cord, hip, or leg injury. All of these medical issues require urgent attention from our veterinary staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital. We have the most advanced diagnostic tools to find out the exact problem so that we can begin treating the issue as quickly as possible.

5 Points Animal Hospital understands that your pet may have an unexpected health emergency when our office is closed, which is why we have partnered with two local pet emergency clinics that are available 24 hours a day. If you notice any of these symptoms occurring with your pet, contact us immediately to let us know you and your pet are on the way to our East Nashville office.

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