Support Your Local Shelter or Pet Rescue
At this time of year please consider a donation to a local shelter near you. Nearly all shelters and pet rescues operate on shoe-string budgets and rely largely on volunteer support and donations.
Call a shelter and ask if they have a particular need for items, if not money perhaps it could be towels, blankets or pet food. Medication that your pet no longer needs might be usable at a shelter, just call and ask.In the print version of this Derm Digest page 4, selected shelters and rescues have been listed in each of the cities Animal Dermatology Clinic is located. There are many, many more that need and would appreciate your support.
Did You Know?
- Prairie dogs are not dogs. A prairie dog is a kind of rodent.
- Dachshunds are the smallest breed of dog used for hunting. They are low to the ground, which allows them to enter and maneuver through tunnels easily.
- The Maine Coon cat is America's only natural breed of domestic feline.
- Boxers are named for their playful habit of using their front paws in frolic.
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Pet Obesity: A Growing Problem
As America goes, so go our pets? There have been numerous reports regarding the expanding waistlines of the population, but that trend is also mirrored in our pets, with one pet food manufacturer claiming that 60% of pets in the U.S. are overweight.
Just like people who are overweight that can suffer from health problems, an overweight animal might face diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung disease. Dermatologists may see infections in fat rolls where bacteria gets trapped. Occasionally there can be a medical reason such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease that is contributing to the obesity.
There are many guides to help determine the ideal weight of your pet or ask your veterinarian to help you in determining that number.
If you are not sure what the ideal weight of your pet should be, a good start would be to feel her rib cage. Place your hands on the rib cage with your thumbs over her spine. If you can easily feel the ribs, then your pet is probably a normal weight. If ribs are visible, then your pet may be too thin. If you can feel fat between the skin and ribs, or if the ribs are difficult to feel, your pet is overweight.
Cats that have a large abdomen that swings when the cat walks indicates obesity.
Ask your veterinarian for guidance before changing your pet’s diet, although a sensible start would be to cut back on treats or eliminate them altogether. Increased exercise will also help burn those calories; a daily walk will do wonders for your pet…and you, too. Bonus!