5 Feline-Friendly Ways to Cat Proof Your Christmas Tree

Gresham Animal Hospital_5 Feline-Friendly Ways to Cat Proof Your Christmas Tree
If you have had your cat(s) for a while, you may have already found your own solutions for keeping both your tree and your cat safe from the hazards of frolic and play. New owners, however, may find out that bringing home a Christmas tree (or any plant during the year) is considered fair game for most cats.
From deciding what tree to buy to setting it up and decorating, here are some useful tips to help keep your cats and tree from hurting each other. The safest solution is an artificial tree, especially if your cat is notorious for eating what it shouldn’t. These tips are for those who opt for the real thing.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THAT BASE

Once that tree falls over, it is a danger for your kitty and a mess to pick up. If you can keep the tree upright, you have won most the battle. You have two options. The first is to spend a little cash on a sturdier tree stand. Popular Mechanics has a great 2018 Top Ten Tree Stands list. The list is based on multiple factors like ease of use, the amount of water it can hold, and of course, sturdiness. The best one for cats is probably the Goliath. The second option is to get a smaller tree with fuller branches at the base.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Christmas trees are not just where the presents go, it is also the focal point of your holiday décor and that means there are only a few places where it will look just right. This means you may have to look around to make sure you are not tempting your cat with nearby launch pads to jump onto the tree. A couch or table next to the tree is an invitation for cats to pounce from a perch.

HOLD YOUR HORSES (ORNAMENTS)

For some cats, if you wait a few days before you put up your ornaments, they can become bored with the tree. Give them a chance to get used to the tree and investigate it before you put up all those tempting decorations.

LOW-HANGING FRUIT (AGAIN ORNAMENTS)

A cat’s perspective is going to be below the tree. If you can keep the most tempting ornaments from the bottom, it can prevent the cats from becoming interested. The shinier the ornaments below, the more tempting the cat will be to explore all the way up the tree.

AGENT ORANGE (PEEL)

Cats naturally hate the scent of oranges, so keep orange peels under the tree to repel your cat. If it’s a plastic tree, a small amount of Citronella oil shaken into a bottle of water and misted on to the tree makes it smell unpleasant to the cat but fresh and citrus-like to you. You can apply the scent around the base.
But don’t be discouraged when decorating your home for the holidays, because there are ways to ensure a safe Christmas tree for cats. And there are plenty of decorations you can use to cheer up your home that won’t break and won’t pose pet safety hazards for your beloved feline.
Have a safe holiday season from everyone at Gresham Animal Hospital!
Gresham Animal Hospital_5 Feline-Friendly Ways Cat Proof Your Christmas Tree-1
Gresham Animal Hospital is equipped to provide the service and treatment your pet needs under one roof. Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog or cat needs a checkup, shots, or vaccines. Give us a call at 503.666.1600 to schedule an appointment today.

“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”

 

Helping Your Dog Adjust To Shorter Days

Gresham Animal Hospital_Helping Your Dog Adjust To Shorter Days
These days, many pet owners are leaving before dawn and returning home long after dusk. Managing the shorter days and the dearth of sunlight can be difficult for us humans, but it can be especially rough on our pet companions. Here are a few tips to keep your dogs (and to some extent, cats) healthy and well adjusted.

Go For A Walk

Invest in a reflective collar and find a comfortable route for early morning and evening walks. A vigorous walk once a day is great for you and your pets mental health which is especially tender during cold, dark winter months.

More Calories

If your dog is a healthy weight, gradually introduce more fat into your dog’s diet.  Cold weather requires more calories to maintain body temperature Help their body adjust to winter weather and keep them warm by boosting their caloric intake.

Brush More Often

Brush your pets out more often when the weather turns chilly. As our long-hair pets adjust to lower temperatures their hair can become stiff and matted a lot quicker than it would in the short-haircut days of summer.

Face the Sun

Raising your pet’s bed off of the floor will keep them warmer, facing their bed toward south-facing windows will also give them the full benefit of the occasional sunny day.
Gresham Animal Hospital is equipped to provide the service and treatment your pet needs under one roof. Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog or cat needs a checkup, shots, or vaccines. Give us a call at 503.666.1600 to schedule an appointment today.

“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”

 
 

No Thanksgiving Bones for Fido. Why Most Bones are Bad.

Gresham Animal Hospital_No Thanksgiving Bones for Fido. Why Most Bones are Bad
Many dog owners know that bones, especially cooked turkey bones, can be bad for dogs. This doesn’t stop the number of increased vet visits during the holidays for bone-related injuries.
There could be many factors why owners are still giving dog bones as a treat, after all, giving a dog a bone is a cliché. Many of us grew up during a time when dogs got ALL the leftovers. So don’t feel bad, here is an opportunity to find out why bones, and especially cooked bones, are bad for your furry family member.
The cooking process makes bones more brittle, increasing the likelihood they might splinter and cause internal injury to your dog. Plus, nutrition-wise, cooking can also remove the nutrition contained in bones. This splintering of the bones can cause injuries from the mouth to the tail-end of your pup, so lets start with the mouth injuries and work our way down.

MOUTH AND TONGUE

Cooked bird bones can splinter after the first bite. These splinters are naturally pointy and sharp and can cause a bloody mouth or pierce the tongue.

LOOPED AROUND the JAW

Not only is this painful for your pooch, but also this is also frightening to your dog. This usually requires a trip to the veterinarian.

ESOPHOGUS or WINDPIPE

Before those bones get to the stomach they need to go down the esophagus, even it makes it pass the esophagus, your dog can still gag and bring the splintered bone back up. This is also true if the dog accidently inhales while eating—except this will impact her breathing.

STOMACH and INTESTINES

Injury to this area almost always results in surgery. If the bone does damage to the stomach or intestine.

CONSTIPATION

Constipation can happen for two reasons. One, like all the prior risks we mentioned, those bone fragments can get stuck and cause other food not to pass. Two, the calcium in bones are also a stool firming agent.
We want your best friend to stay healthy this holiday season. There are plenty of treat alternatives and human food is rarely a good option for fido.
Gresham Animal Hospital is equipped to provide the service and treatment your pet needs under one roof. Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog or cat needs a checkup, shots, or vaccines. Give us a call at 503.666.1600 to schedule an appointment today.

“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”

 

National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

adopt-a-shelter-dog-month

OVERCROWDING AN ISSUE FOR SHELTERS

The term lifesaver is used so often in our conversations, we sometimes forget that we are capable of literally saving lives every day.
Shelters are usually the last chance for a dog or cat. The goal for the shelter is to upgrade “last chance” to “second chance.” The biggest challenge facing shelters today is the risk of overpopulation and funding for the resources to care for strays, rescues, and abandoned pets. When you adopt a pet from a shelter you help reduce overpopulation and provide support to a facility and a staff that is trying to provide a second chance.
Currently half the dogs and cats that enter shelters get adopted. Sadly 20% of dogs get euthanized and 27% of cats get euthanized.

SUPPORT ADOPT A SHELTER DOG MONTH

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Humane Association (AHA) have deemed the month of October National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and Adopt a Dog Month, respectively.

5 REASONS TO ADOPT A DOG

  1. YOU SAVE A DOG’s LIFE: Your new pup will never forget that you gave them a second chance.
  2. FIGHT OVERPOPULATION: The shelters continue to fight overpopulation, you can help.
  3. FIGHT PUPPY MILLS: When you buy a dog at If you buy a dog from a pet store, online seller or flea market, you risk buying from a puppy mill.
  4. ADOPT AN ADULT: Some adult pets are already trained, and they are the most at-risk for being euthanized.
  5. IT COST LESS: Most shelters cover the cost of spaying and neutering, first vaccinations and most even cover microchipping. This is a huge savings in up-front cost of a new pet. Depending on the pet it may already be housebroken and trained.

REASON NUMBER 6

Trade out those selfies on Facebook and Instagram with pictures of your new companion.

HELP CELEBRATE ADOPT A SHELTER DOG MONTH

Here are three ways you can help the cause.

  1. Donate your Facebook status. Just paste this message into the “What’s on your mind?” box at the top of your page: “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! https://www.petfinder.com
  2. Tweet, retweet and repeat the following (or your own brilliant message): “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! https://www.petfinder.com #savedogs”
  3. Contact your local shelter or rescue group (you can search for groups near you here) and ask if they have a donation wish list or other flyer they’d like to you to post around your office or neighborhood. They may be holding special events for Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month which you can help promote.

Gresham Animal Hospital is equipped to provide the service and treatment your pet needs under one roof. Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog or cat needs a checkup, shots, or vaccines. Give us a call at 503.666.1600 to schedule an appointment today.

“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”

5 Signs Your Dog Has Back to School Separation Anxiety and How to Manage It

Battling back to school sadness for pets

CHANGE IN ROUTINE CAN BE STRESSFUL

In September, when vacations are over and kids head back to school, your dog will have to adjust to a new schedule. Dogs are a social animal by nature. The stark difference from enjoying endless days of frolicky fun and developing a strong bond with the kids all summer to the sudden back to school momentum of fall may spark the uneasiness of an empty and quiet house for your pets. This change in routine can cause your dog to suffer from separation anxiety or depression—to miss your kids—and even follow them to school.

CAN DOGS REALLY GET DEPRESSED?

No one knows for sure if dogs suffer from clinical depression like humans, but we certainly know they can experience mood and behavior changes. Here are 5 behavior changes that may indicate your dog is suffering from the blues of separation anxiety.

  1. Different eating habits (usually lack of an appetite)
  2. Obsessive barking
  3. Chewing furniture or pillows
  4. House soiling
  5. Pacing or hiding

HOW TO MANAGE DOGGIE ANXIETY

  1. If it’s not too late, prep your dogs for being alone for short periods of time instead of leaving her alone cold turkey.
  2. Exercise your dog before you leave. Exercise your dog when you come home. These activities will build new routines that your dog will look forward to.
  3. Try not have highly emotional departures and greetings. Prolonged goodbyes and exciting welcome homes will amp up your dog’s anxiety when you are gone.
  4. If you are going to be gone for more than 8 hours, consider doggy daycare.
  5. Leave sturdy interactive toys to occupy your dog while you are out. Take the time to figure out which toys stimulate your dog the most. Not all dogs are the same, some like chewable stuff, some like crinkle noises, some like squeaky noises. For some dogs, a simple ball is all it takes.

Be sure to check with your veterinarian to have your dog fully evaluated and correctly diagnosed before trying to manage these symptoms. There may be an underlying medical condition that may be misconstrued as separation anxiety.
Gresham Animal Hospital is equipped to provide the service and treatment your pet needs under one roof. Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog or cat needs a checkup, shots, or vaccines. Give us a call at 503.666.1600 to schedule an appointment today.

“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”

A Simple Guide to Make Sure Your Dog and Cat Has All Its Immunization Shots

Gresham Animal Hospital_A Simple Guide to Make Sure Your Dog and Cat Has All Its Immunization Shots-1
National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. If you are like most people, you consider your furry companions as a part of your family, which is why National Immunization Awareness Month also applies to cats and dogs. And if you are like most people you might need help knowing when to vaccinate your dog or your cat. While you should consult your private veterinarian, below is a good guideline of what immunizations are needed and when.

DOGS SHOULD BE GIVEN IMMUNIZATIONS FOR CORE DISEASES EVERY 1-3 YEARS:

Immunizations for Distemper

Distemper is a viral disease that results in fever, watery eyes, loss of energy, decreased appetite, vomiting, and in severe cases, brain damage. The distemper vaccine is typically administered in 3 doses, given when the animal is between 6 and 16 weeks old. Puppies should receive a booster after 1 year, and adult dogs at 3-year intervals thereafter.

Immunizations for Rabies

Rabies comes in a 1-year and a 3-year vaccine. Rabies is 100% fatal to dogs, and rabid animals pose a significant public health hazard to humans. For these reasons, the 1-year rabies vaccine is considered a core vaccine. It can be administered in a single dose to animals as young as 3 months of age. Like the 1-year vaccine, the 3-year rabies vaccine is administered in a single dose beginning when the animal is about 3 months of age. A single booster is recommended after 1 year and boosters at 3-year intervals thereafter.

Immunizations for Adenovirus

This is also known as canine hepatitis. If untreated, canine hepatitis can result in severe liver damage or even death. Viral hepatitis in dogs is a contagious illness spread by contact with urine or feces from infected animals. The vaccine is typically administered in 3 doses, given when the animal is between 6 and 16 weeks old. Puppies should receive a booster after 1 year, and adult dogs at 3-year intervals thereafter.

Immunizations for Bordetella (Parvovirus)

Bordetella is more dangerous and severe for puppies than adults. It is a bacterial illness that is at greatest risk for dogs that board with other dogs often—like show dogs. Vaccine schedules and forms vary; and both intranasal and injected forms of the vaccine are available. Booster frequency depends on risk for exposure.

CATS SHOULD BE GIVEN IMMUNIZATIONS, EVERY THREE YEARS, FOR CORE DISEASES SUCH AS:

Immunizations for Rhinotracheitis

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) is an infectious disease caused by feline herpesvirus type-1. As with other herpes viruses, the virus is very species specific, and is only known to cause infections in domestic and wild cats. The virus can infect cats of all ages.

Immunizations for Calicivirus

Feline calicivirus (FCV) typically causes upper respiratory disease in cats. It is one of the two major viral causes of respiratory infection in cats (feline herpesvirus type-1 is the other). Cats may experience mild symptoms, but some do suffer severe, life-threatening manifestations of this infection.
This is a core vaccine. All kittens and cats should receive this vaccination. It is generally given as part of a combination vaccine that also protects against FHV-1 and panleukopenia.
This vaccine is administered by subcutaneous injection (injection under the skin) or by intranasal delivery (nose drops).

Immunizations for Rabies

According to the CDC, in 2008-2009 alone, “three times more rabid cats were reported than rabid dogs.” Even if you have an indoor cat, it only takes a single day out and about to get rabies.

Immunizations for Distemper

Feline distemper is a disease more appropriately known as feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), which is sometimes also referred to as feline parvovirus. Despite the name, this contagious disease does not affect a cat’s temperament nor is it related to canine distemper.
Several available vaccines are indicated for preventing disease associated with FPV. Most of the available FPV vaccines are combination vaccines that also protect against feline herpesvirus and calicivirus. It can be administered under the skin or via the nose.
Gresham Animal Hospital is equipped to provide the service and treatment your pet needs under one roof. Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog or cat needs a checkup, shots, or vaccines. Give us a call at 503.666.1600 to schedule an appointment today.

“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”

Is Your Cat Hiding Tooth Pain?

Gresham Animal Hospital_Is Your Cat Hiding Tooth Pain
Many of our beloved companions, the cats that pool in the cushy recesses of our laps, vibrating with soft warmth, have significant gingivitis and even periodontal disease by the tender age of four. This slow progressing but serious disease can cause pain that can seriously damage your kitty’s quality of life. Cats typically won’t show signs of oral discomfort, and since the pain associated with dental problems develops slowly over time, it is important that your cat has their oral health assessed at least semi-annually.
Our feline companions are remarkably skilled at hiding symptoms of pain, so keep an eye out for the symptoms of dental problems:

  • Noticeably foul breath
  • Pawing and scratching at the mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty eating or loss of appetite
  • Discolored, swollen, bleeding gums
  • Loose, broken, missing teeth
  • The sudden appearance of blood in saliva or nasal discharge
  • Visible lesions in and around your cat’s mouth

If you have observed any of the above symptoms or are simply concerned with maintaining your cat’s oral health, call 503.666.1600 to schedule an appointment with Gresham Animal Hospital right away.
Letting the team at Gresham Animal Hospital care for your pet’s teeth is one of the best things you can do for their health. Our team is skilled, professional, and willing to work with your pet’s specific needs to ensure a quality experience is had by both pets and pet parents alike.
Read our page in the 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards issue.
 

“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”

 

Summer Comfort Tips For Elderly Dogs

 
Gresham Animal Hospital_5 Summer Comfort Tips for Elderly Dogs
While we pet parents may be equipped to handle rising summer temps, the same cannot be said for many of our aging pets. We must pay special attention to the need of our elderly pets, and in the summertime, they often need even more thoughtful accommodations. These few tips will help you keep your pets safe and comfortable all summer long, no matter how high the mercury rises.

1. The Wet Blanket Trick

Place a damp hand towel (or full-sized towel depending on the size of your dog) in your freezer for a great cooling aid. Use this simple cold pack to cool your dog’s head, neck, or groin where overheating can cause irritation and discomfort.

2. Keep Pupsicles at the Ready

A pupsicle is simply diluted chicken or beef broth, frozen in ice trays, and served to your dog in their water dish. On days where relentless temperatures have you both feeling lethargic, these custom cubes can perk up your pup lickety-split.

3. Save Walks for Twilight

Walking your constant companion as the sun dips below the horizon is a smart way to prevent heatstroke, not just for your pup for you as well. The sun is at its most intense between 11 am and 3 pm but can still affect you and your dog before and after that window. Save your daily stroll for the magic hour, when the sun is low, the skies just have begun to darken, and the cool breeze of the night has begun lifting your hairs.

4. Dedicate One Fan to Your Dog’s Favorite Lounging Area

Keep the air around your canine in constant motion to increase their comfort in sweltering summer days. Smaller desk fans can provide the perfect amount of air flow without disrupting your pet’s relaxation station.

5. Stay Hydrated

The foundation of summer survival is constant hydration — for you and your dog! Always have water ready for your buddy on outings (collapsible water dishes are a great addition to your daypack) and make sure their water dish at home is always full of fresh, clean water. Pupsicles are optional.
Letting the team at Gresham Animal Hospital care for your pets is one of the best things you can do for their health. Our team is skilled, professional, and willing to work with your pet’s specific needs to ensure a quality experience is had by both pets and pet parents alike.
Read our page in the 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards issue.
Gresham Animal Hospital is equipped to provide the service and treatment your pet needs under one roof. Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog or cat needs a checkup, shots, or vaccines. Give us a call at 503.666.1600 to schedule an appointment today.

“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”

 

Doggie Dash 2018 is May 12th!

Gresham Animal Hospital_OHS Doggie Dash-1
On May 12, 2018 one of our favorite events in Portland, OR is taking place: The Oregon Humane Society Doggie Dash! Come out for the event to have a fun day with your dog, and support the OHS, one of the most important organizations in our community!

JOIN US FOR DOGGIE DASH!

Join thousands of animal lovers on May 12th at Tom McCall Waterfront Park from 9 am to 1 pm to celebrate the 31st annual OHS Doggie Dash. We’ll walk/run with our dogs on car-free streets and enjoy a pet-friendly festival featuring live music, food and drinks, contests, and more.
Doggie Dash has a very ambitious goal this year: to raise $1 million to help shelter pets. Everyone who participates will be helping to find homes for pets in need, fight animal cruelty, and give second chances to thousands of animals from shelters across the region.

Register online now.

SRC: Find more event info about the OHS Doggie Dash 2018: www.oregonhumane.org/doggiedash/
Gresham Animal Hospital, has been providing loving care to our patients and their owners since 1944. Whether you’re seeking a routine check-up or vaccination for your new puppy, an advanced diagnostic test to evaluate your adult cat’s health, or an intricate surgical procedure to save your pet’s life – Gresham Animal Hospital is equipped to provide the service and treatment your pet need under one roof. Call us at 503.666.1600 to schedule an appointment.

“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”

Traveling With Your Pet – 4 Tips To Make Summer Travel a Breeze

Gresham_Animal_Hospital_Traveling With Your Pet – 4 Tips To Make Summer Travel a Breeze
Summer adventures are right around the corner, but if you’re a pet parent who prefers to travel with their beloved companion, planning expansive trips can be difficult. Avoid common travel dilemmas by considering these few tips to maximize you and your pets comfort on long car rides, flights or other modes of travel.
1. Bring Food and Water From Home — Don’t rely on roadside convenience shops to nourish your pet on a long road trip. Make sure you have plenty of their everyday food with you and make sure to pack travel dishes for Fido as well
2. Call Ahead — Airlines, hotels, rental cars; many arrangements can be made much easier with a simple phone call. Automated booking may be easiest for lone travelers, but you can learn very specific regulations and guidelines by having a conversation with a booking agent, hotel manager or flight attendant.
3. Travel on a (Mostly) Empty Stomach — Your pet is far less likely to get airsick on an empty stomach. Limit large meals on travel days in favor of a few small treats. If your flight is particularly long, feed your pampered pet a smaller amount than normal approximately two hours before you leave.
4. Visit The Vet — Before embarking on your big summer trip, pay a visit to your trusted vet to review any potential travel issues your pet may have. Your vet may update prescriptions pre travel or provide medications that mae travel easier for timid or anxious pets.
Letting the team at Gresham Animal Hospital care for your pets is one of the best things you can do for their health. Our team is skilled, professional, and willing to work with your pet’s specific needs to ensure a quality experience is had by both pets and pet parents alike.
Read our page in the 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards issue.

“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”