Itchy skin is more correctly referred to as “pruritus,” which is defined as an unpleasant sensation within the skin that provokes the desire to scratch. Itchy skin is the result of inflammation or irritation associated with the release of chemicals from inflammatory cells in the skin. When these cells are stimulated by a chemical trigger, they release a variety of chemicals that initiate the discomfort of itching. That is one reason that the more you scratch, the more you itch. The key is to break the cycle, let these 6 surprising itch facts help you with that.
It’s time for our twice-yearly clock adjustment to save energy and eliminate excuses to wake up earlier. Everyone in Canada, with exceptions within several provinces and the territory of Nunavut, including most of Saskatchewan, which observes Central Standard Time year-round, sets clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of each March. This inevitably causes many Canadians to be sleepy for the next couple of weeks. While we pour an extra cup of coffee to shake off the lost sleep, what effect does daylight savings time have on our dogs?
Growing older isn’t optional for your pet, but a lot of the suffering that goes with it can be, particularly during the colder months. The aches and pains that go hand and hand with getting to the upper reaches of middle age and beyond can be minimized during cold weather in three easy steps, without much effort or expense on your part.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to turn up the heat on the problems of older pets in cold weather.
When temperatures drop and winter weather moves in, it can become challenging to burn off your dog's seemingly endless energy! But we like a good challenge, and that's why we're sharing five creative ways to stave off cabin fever. These popular activities, both indoor and outdoor, can make for great winter exercise, enrichment and entertainment. Just remember to ask your veterinarian before starting any new exercise routine with your dog. Once you get the all-clear, consider these excellent options:
Walking the dog in the winter doesn't have to be miserable — or unsafe. With much of Canada who experiences cold and winter weather, we've pulled together some expert tips for protecting your dog from wind, snow and ice while you're out getting some exercise.
As winter continues, we want to make sure our four-legged friends are safe from the elements. After all, people can bundle up, but our pets can’t add extra layers on a whim. During the winter a change of sun exposure and sunlight will affect your pet’s hair growth, and stimulate a thicker coat. This adds some protection during the cold seasons, but for dog breeds with thin or short hair, cold weather poses a threat (e.g., greyhounds, Italian greyhounds, whippets and boxers). Keep in mind that underlying medical problems (like an underactive thyroid or “hypothyroidism,” skin disease, cancer, immune-related diseases) or certain medications (e.g., heart medication, diuretics, and steroids) prevent your pet from having a normal metabolism and being able to thermoregulate appropriately.
Despite the popular misconception, fur alone is not enough to protect dogs from the elements. The fact is that, much like people, dogs have varying degrees of tolerance when it comes to temperature extremes. Even the hardiest breeds are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. With hypothermia we worry about depressed temperatures affecting the normal function of the central nervous system (brain), as well as the pet’s ability to effectively circulate blood and breath. It’s this impaired ability to circulate blood (and thus deliver heat to the periphery of the body), as well as other factors, that can contribute to the development of frostbite. Pets can die from hypothermia and those that suffer from frostbite will deal with pain and may lose affected body parts. Luckily, hypothermia and frostbite can be easy to avoid by taking a few precautions:
Autumn can be tough on our dogs. Between kids going back to school and the days (and therefore, opportunities to play outside) getting shorter, many of our pups might be longing for those dog days of summer. And we might be thinking wistfully of warm, sunny days spent lounging in the backyard, too.
However, it's time to cheer up. Fall has its own charms to offer, and it's up to you to take advantage of them, both for you and for your dog. With that in mind, Abbotsford Animal Hospital are giving a few ways to shake things up and help make your pup a little happier this season.
We at Abbotsford Animal Hospital know you’re constantly worried about keeping your pet safe.
Here are some helpful tips for keeping them out of harm’s way for National Animal Safety and Protection Month.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 54% of American pets are estimated to be obese. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association estimates that around 60% of Canadian pets are obese or overweight. Being overweight or obese puts pets at significant risk for many health problems and shorter lives. The unfortunate thing is that fat is not an innocent substance that simply hangs around in undesirable places. It creates excess stress on the joints. Additionally, fatty tissue secretes hormones and other factors that cause inflammation in the body. This chronic state of inflammation predisposes the pet to numerous diseases.
We at Abbotsford Animal Hospital want to give you the facts to combat the pet obesity problem and make more aware of this issue on National Pet Obesity Awareness Day .