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Apr 08

Reverse Sneezing In Dogs

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Reverse Sneezing In Dogs

What does it mean? What causes it?  Can it be treated?

       Reverse sneezing- Formally known as a laryngospasm, a reverse sneeze often sounds as if a dog is struggling to draw in air.

It is termed "reverse sneeze" because the dog is inhaling air rapidly and forcefully instead of expelling air, as with a normal sneeze. Smaller breeds are more prone to reverse sneezing and may have several episodes a day.

The good news is that your dog isn’t dying, not even close. That loud snorting sound, which can go on for a few minutes, is most likely is caused by irritation to the throat, pharynx or laryngeal area. This can be from excitement, pulling on the leash, inhalant irritants (pollen, strong odors), respiratory infections, post nasal drip, or for some dogs, sudden changes in temperature -- i.e. leaving a warm house to very cold outdoor temperatures.

To help end the attack, stroke your dog’s throat to encourage him to swallow or very briefly place your hand over his nostrils.

Dec 06

Seperation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety Separation anxiety is one of the most common problems that dogs develop. It’s an anxiety disorder, and is defined as a state of intense panic brought on by the dog’s isolation/separation from her owner(s).

In other words: when you leave for work in the morning, your dog is plunged into a state of nervous anxiety which intensifies extremely quickly.

Dogs are social animals – they need plenty of company and social interaction to keep them happy and content. No dog likes to be left alone for long stretches of time, but some dogs do a lot worse than others: these are the ones most prone to separation anxiety. There are a number of contributing causes to the condition:

- Some breeds are genetically predisposed towards anxiety and insecurity, which is something you should consider when deciding which breed you’re going to go for (particularly if you’re going to be absent for long stretches of time). A few of these breeds include Weimaraners, Springer Spaniels, German Shepherds, and Airedales

- A significant proportion of dogs from shelters develop separation anxiety. Most of these ‘shelter dogs’ have undergone significant trauma in their lives – they’ve been abandoned by their previous owners – and thus they have little trust that their new-found owner (you) isn’t going to pull the same trick. -

Dogs that were separated from their mothers and siblings too early have been identified as being especially prone to separation anxiety. Puppies from pet-stores are a perfect example of this: they’re usually taken from their mothers well before the earliest possible age (which is 8 weeks), and confined to a small glass box in the petstore for anywhere between a few weeks to two months. This early weaning, coupled with the lack of exercise and affection while in the petstore, is psychologically traumatic for the dog.

- Neglect is the number-one cause of sepration anxiety for dogs. If you’re absent much more than you’re present in your dog’s life, separation anxiety is pretty much inevitable. Your dog needs your company, affection, and attention in order to be happy and content.

The symptoms of separation anxiety are pretty distinctive: your dog will usually learn to tell when you’re about to leave (she’ll hear keys jingling, will see you putting on your outdoor clothes, etc) and will become anxious. She may follow you from room to room, whining, trembling, and crying. Some dogs even become aggressive, in an attempt to stop their owners from leaving.

When you’ve left, the anxious behavior will rapidly worsen and usually will peak within half an hour. She may bark incessantly, scratch and dig at windows and doors (an attempt to escape from confinement and reunite herself with you), chew inappropriate items, even urinate and defecate inside the house. In extreme cases, she might self-mutilate by licking or chewing her skin until it’s raw, or pulling out fur; or will engage in obsessive-compulsive behaviors, like spinning and tail-chasing.

Upon your return, she’ll be excessively excited, and will leap around you in a frenzy of delight for a protracted period of time (more than the 30 seconds to one minute of a happy, well-balanced dog.) This extended greeting is a source of some misunderstanding: without realizing that such a greeting actually signifies the presence of a psychological disorder, some owners actually encourage their dog to get more and more worked up upon their return (by fuelling the dog’s excitement, encouraging her to leap around, paying her protracted attention, and so on.) If you’re behaving in this way with your dog, please stop.

I know it’s tempting and very easy to do, and it seems harmless – after all, she’s so happy to see you, what harm can it do to return her attention and affection in equal measure? - but in actuality, you’re just validating her belief that your return is the high point of the day. So she’s as happy as Larry when you return – but, when it’s time for you to leave again, her now-exaggerated happiness at your presence is under threat, and she gets even more unhappy when you walk out that door.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize your dog’s tendency towards anxiety. Here’s a short list of do’s and don’ts:

Do:

- Exercise the heck out of her. Really wear her out: the longer you expect to be away, the more exercise she should get before you leave. For example, if you’re leaving for work in the morning, she’ll probably be by herself for at least four hours; and, if you’ve got a dog-walker to take her out mid-day instead of coming back yourself, she won’t see you – the person she really cares about - for at least nine hours. So she needs a good, vigorous walk (fifteen to twenty minutes is the absolute minimum here!) before you walk out that door. More is even better.

- Distract her from her boredom, loneliness, and anxiety by giving her an attractive alternative to pining, pacing, and whining. All dogs love to chew – why not play on this predisposition? Get a couple of marrowbones from the butcher, bake them in the oven for 20 minutes (so they go nice and hard and crunchy – and so she can’t smear marrow all over your furniture), slice them up into chunks of a few inches long, and give her one about 15 minutes before you leave. It’ll keep her happy and occupied, and will act as a smokescreen for your departure.

- When you leave, put the radio on to a soothing station: classical music is ideal, but any station featuring lots of talk shows is also ideal. Keep the volume quite low, and it’ll calm her down a bit and give her the feeling that she’s got company.

- If at all possible, supply her with a view: if she can see the world going by, that’s the next best thing to being out and about in it.

- Acclimatize her to your leaving. Taking things nice and slowly, practice getting ready to go: jingle your keys about, put on your coat, and open the door. Then – without leaving! – sit back down and don’t go anywhere. Do this until she’s not reacting any more. When there’s no reaction, give her a treat and lavish praise for being so brave. Next, practice actually walking out the door (and returning immediately), again doing this until there’s no reaction. Gradually work up – gradually being the operative word here! – until you’re able to leave the house with no signs of stress from her.

Do not:

- Act overtly sympathetic when she’s crying. Although it sounds very cold-hearted, trying to soothe and comfort your dog by patting her and cooing over her is actually one of the worst things you can do: it’s essentially validating her concern. Make sure she can’t tell that you feel sorry for her: don’t ever say, “It’s OK, good girl” when she’s upset!

If you’re interested in getting a more detailed look at how to deal with your dog’s separation anxiety, you might like to check out Secrets to Dog Training. It’s a great learning tool for anyone who wants to learn how to deal constructively with their dog’s problem behaviors. All of the common behavioral problems are dealt with in detail, and there’s a great section on obedience commands and tricks too. You can visit the Secrets to Dog Trainingsite by clicking on the link below:

http://www.kingdomofpets.com/dogobediencetraining

Oct 29

Why You Should Spay and Neuter Your Pets

Link

Check this out on Pinterest. Animals - www.pinterest.com/mysmegan85/animals/?s=3&m=wordpress

Mar 16

Why Dogs Eat Poop. How To Stop It

Why do dogs eat poop? Plus, tips on how to stop it!

Dogs, unfortunately, commonly eat their own feces, or another dog’s poop; it’s a very disturbing and frustrating behavioral problem for pet owners. The veterinary term for this is called coprophagia, and you may find some comfort in knowing that this is quite normal. This article will give you an understanding about why dogs eat feces, along with what you can do at home to stop it.

Feces eating (coprophagia) is common in other animals such as rabbits, rodents, pigs, horses and even primates. This behavior is considered to be a problem in dogs, especially as our dogs now are so close with us, licking our faces. Puppies regularly eat poop. They like to chew and eat anything. The problem is if this becomes an established habit. In some dogs this is secondary to a nutritional deficiency.

Some dogs will benefit from a diet change. I suggest first trying a quality premium food. If your pet is already eating one, then switch to one of the natural diets such as Innova or California Natural. You can also use some of the sample At Home dog diets, or try feeding some Raw Food. It is believed that a diet rich in fat, protein, and fiber and low in carbohydrates may cut the tendency.

Altering the flavor can help. Your dog will stop eating feces if it tastes bad (although you would think that it already tastes bad). Stool in the back yard or in your cat’s litter box can be spiced with Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper.

There are a few things that you can add to your dogs food to alter the taste of their feces. Meat tenderizers can be added to your dog’s food; this will help with digestion and make his stool taste horrible. The dose is 1/4 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight. Another option is to buy a product from your local veterinarian called For-Bid. It gives waste a taste that your pet will hate.

Many dog owner have found that by supplement the diet, the coprophagia then stops. Add a vitamin and mineral supplement to your pet’s diet, as some dogs eat stool who are nutrient deficient. There are several types; talk to your veterinarian to see what he or she recommends.

Lastly one study showed that using a citronella spray collar effectively worked for dogs that persisted in eating dog feces. A citronella spray collar reduced the frequency of coprophagia in dogs and that this effect persists after treatment has ceased. This requires you as the pet owner to be watching, and involved, triggering the spray in response to feces eating.

So, to sum it all up- Try changing your dog’s food to one which is higher in fat, protein, and fiber and low in carbohydrates. Consider supplementing with a complete, quality dog supplement. Then look at adding something to make the feces more adverse tasting, or a citronella spray collar to alter this unwanted behavior.

P.S. If your dog tends to eat unknown animals feces, I'd highly recommend getting a good dewormer from your vet. (this is separate from your monthly heartworm prevention)

 

Mar 15

My Dog Was Hit By A Car! What Should I Do?? Plus- Pet First Aid Kits

What to do if Your Pet is Hit By a Car, and What to Put in a Pet First Aid Kit.
by Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM

 

As a pet owner, one of my worst fears is having my dog or cat hit by a car. In the Vet world, we call this HBC.

SIGNS

You may see it, and then it’s obvious. Often though, cats and dogs are HBC's (Hit By Cars) and the only external signs are a few scrapes. They may be limping, or have difficulty breathing.

 

SOLUTIONS

         1.    CALL YOUR VET ASAP

         2.    ASSESS BREATHING.

Lung injuries are often seen from car accidents. Does your pet                             appear to be breathing normally or is she labored? (Breathing                             with her  mouth open) A common injury is pneumothorax, in                               which a part of the lung collapses causing progressive                                               respiratory distress. “Mouth breathing” meaning- large, deep,                             chest or stomach movements in an attempt to get air into the                               lungs). In this case, you need IMMEDIATE  veterinary care

         3.    CHECK HEARTBEAT.

The easiest way is to place your ear against the chest behind                                  the left elbow. You can also feel for a pulse by placing your                                    fingers in the groin (inside the thigh of the back legs)

         4.    CPR

If your pet is non-responsive, then go through the CPR steps.

1. Assess responsiveness

2. Establish a patent airway

3. Perform rescue breathing

4. Cardiac massage - establishing circulation

 

You will have to exert a lot of force with large dogs, but don't                                worry about breaking ribs for they will heal.

After every minute, stop and check for a pulse or breathing.

Continue heart massage compressions and the rescue                                               breathing until you hear a heartbeat and feel regular                                                 breathing. ONCE your pet is breathing and his heart is                                             beating, CALL your veterinarian immediately

           5.    GUM COLOR.

This is a great measure of blood pressure, to determine if                                       shock is present, and to evaluate for internal bleeding. The                                   gums should be a healthy pink color. If they are pale, then                                     your pet needs to be treated for shock and transported to a                                   vet ASAP

           6.    STOP BLEEDING.

If there are obvious areas of bleeding, then stop them NOW.                               Apply direct pressure with a clean cloth or gauze. Hold this in                               place for at least 5 minutes

           7.    COVER WOUNDS.

Covering open wounds will keep them clean and help prevent                               infection. Bandage material is preferable, but a towel will                                       work fine until you get to the vet

           8.    SUPPORT A FRACTURE.

If your pet is not using a leg, suspect a fracture. If the leg is                                    dangling, and bent at an unusual angle, then you should                                          attempt to immobilize it until you get veterinary care. Place a                              towel around the leg. Wrap the inside of the leg with material                                to partially splint the limb:  newspaper, magazine or even                                        bubble wrap. Cover this with tape to keep the newspaper next                              to the towel

           9.    MOVE WITH CARE.

Carefully transport your pet. A firm surface works best. If                                     possible, put your pet on a wooden board. This is best done                                   by first gently sliding him onto a sheet, then sliding the sheet                                 onto the board. If you don't have any of this available, don't                                 worry, the most important thing is rapid transport to your                                     vet. Lift your pet by cradling him (left arm around his chest                                   and right arm around his rear).

 

Every pet owner should have a Pet First Aid Kit.

Here are some basic items that all first aid kits should contain.

  • Rectal Thermometer - the newer electronic kind works best. The electronic ones beep when they are finished registering a temperature. They are slightly smaller than the glass kind. They do not break as easily. They can be covered with thin sleeves to halt the spread of germs. They can also be used as oral thermometers. They do have a battery which will need replacing and they are more expensive then the glass ones. [normal canine temperature - 100.5 to 102.5F]
  • Lubricating jelly- To lubricate thermometer
  • Gel packs- that can be used for hot and cold compresses
  • Adhesive tape- to secure bandages - both non-stick tape and water proof tape
  • Blunt tipped scissors- (a must for animal first aid - used for cutting hair away from wounds)
  • Bandage scissors
  • Splints
  • Alcohol swabs- to sterilize instruments or small areas of skin
  • Antibiotic ointment for wounds- (not for eyes) (ie. Polysporin, for non puncture type wounds)
  • Contact lens solution- for rinsing eyes, to clean wounds (water can be substituted)
  • Cotton swabs- i.e. Q-tips
  • Hibitane - a mild antibacterial soap for cleaning skin, wounds
  • Sterile cotton or cotton balls
  • Sterile Gauze Pads- (the larger 4" size is better since it can easily be cut smaller if necessary)
  • Rolls of gauze- or cling gauze bandage(1-2")
  • Hydrogen Peroxide - 10 ml every 15 minutes to induce vomiting in animals that have ingested a non-caustic poison
  • Razor Blade- can also be used to shave away hair and abrade the skin following a tick bite.
  • Stockinet- to protect bandage on leg or foot
  • Rubber bulb ear syringe - used for flushing eyes, ears, wounds
  • Forceps and/or tweezers
  • Self-adhesive bandage-  i.e. VetWrap
  • Numbers for the Animal Poison Hotline & Poison Control for Pets- 800-548-2423 or 900-680-0000 (both numbers charge a fee). The National Poison Control Hotlines for humans should also be included. (No fee to call the human poison help line!)

/////////////////////////////

In and of itself, healing your pet at home is easy.

Diagnosing the problem with your pet - as you become comfortable with the exam, then you get to know which area of your pet's body is affected when they are sick.

The treatment: Every natural treatment option is in my book.

These things are simple.

These are the things I teach.

Why don't you get Veterinary Secrets Revealed today and find out more about how it all works.

You can grab your copy by going to: http://www.veterinarysecretsrevealed.com

 

Remember that no one product is going to do everything for you and your pet. You'll want to learn all the information you can -- from e-books and courses.

Learning is a great investment.

Don't read one book and expect to become an expert. It's a process and a learning curve.

Keep learning.

Keep trying.

May our paths cross often.

It's Your Pet- Heal Them At Home!

Best Wishes

Dr Andrew Jones
http://www.veterinarysecretsrevealed.com

 

Related articles across the web

 

Mar 11

Top 10 Ways To Save Money at the Vet

 

Introduction

Veterinary Care is expensive. I see how expensive it is on a daily basis working as a Vet Tech.  Veterinary Medicine has changed dramatically in the last 30 years… gone are the days of James Harriot when Veterinarians treated every type of animal, and regularly made house calls.

This is the 21st Century, where a dog may be man's best friend, but that pet has a price tag. Vet visits and surgery cost dog owners almost $800 and cat owners $500 last year, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.

If your pet becomes seriously ill, you can easily spend thousands. For example, each year about 400 pets, mostly dogs, undergo pacemaker surgery costing $3,000. Cats with renal failure, a common ailment, can now get an $8,000 to $10,000 kidney transplant, followed by $600-a-year regimens of immunosuppressive drugs. We can do wonderful advanced life saving procedures…but folks, it ain’t cheap.

Costly Practices

The costs of operating a veterinary practice are huge.

Veterinary Salaries have risen, and newer Veterinarians are demanding higher starting salaries before they even walk in the door. A new graduate will start at 60,000 dollars a year. Higher end corporate practices will pay even more. Those practice owners earn in excess of 100,000 dollars a year.

Veterinary Clinics have extremely high overhead costs. You need a lot of specialized equipment to perform exams, X-rays, Ultrasound and surgery… monitoring equipment, anesthetic equipment, kennels and cages, ventilation…the list is big.

You need a high number of staff to give quality patient care. Veterinary support staff members are now demanding higher salaries… gone are the days when you could pay a receptionist 8 dollars an hour.

No New Pets

Most of you reading this live in or near a city. In fact, that is where most Veterinary practices are located. The problem with that is that most cities have MORE veterinarians than they NEED.

The Pet Population is increasing, but it’s not keeping pace with the number of Veterinary practices.

This means that for a Veterinary practice to grow, it cannot rely on just increasing the number of patients, because there are not enough patients to go around for all the existing practices.

So what’s a Practice owner to do?

Increase fees to keep pace with increasing costs, you’ve most likely experienced that. Also, many vets try to be more thorough with existing clients, and recommend more procedures.

While many procedures may be necessary, if you are unsure, question your vet as to the necessity of a procedure – is it absolutely necessary?

 

 

1. Price Shop

Prices at animal hospitals can vary widely. In my small town of Nelson, I charge the least of all the practices, but many clients do not know that.  Make sure you get recommendations from other pet owners first.

There is a misconception that the higher priced practices give a better quality of care - but this is NOT True.

To ensure that you are saving money, plus getting quality care for your pet, you have to ask some specific questions.

  • Does the practice have an animal health technician? They should.
  • Does the practice have up-to-date anesthetic and monitoring equipment?

A must have.

  • Does the practice have all pets monitored after anesthesia until they are fully awake?

This will give you an idea about staff level - you need adequate staff to give the quality patient care that your pet deserves.

However, having up to date equipment and well-trained staff still does not mean that you have to pay through the roof.

Ask about the common procedures, like vaccines, checkups, neutering and spaying.

Plan on going to at least three vets before you decide on one. Make a mental note of just how clean the environment is when you look around. In addition, do not forget to ask for discounts from your vet. If clients ASK, they will often get a discount. Some vets offer multiple pet discounts as well as discounts for seniors.

 

2. Question additional procedures.

When your pet is being examined by your vet, and they advise having a dental cleaning,

ASK and QUESTION WHY!

Just how bad are the teeth – is the degree of dental disease really that significant? One of the major veterinary associations is advising that ANY pet with Grade 1 Gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) have a dental scale and polish. This procedure is at least 300 dollars.

It has risks - your pet would need to be under general anesthetic.

It has high profit margins - the Animal Health Technician or Assistant usually does all the work.

However, a pet with mild gum disease does NOT need this done. You can begin preventive care at home. You could begin to brush your pet’s teeth. You could feed a diet designed to break off some of the plaque and tartar.

This is only one example – although it is the most common extra procedure performed Veterinary Medicine today.

Question any recommendation!

Ask if it is absolutely necessary.

Ask about alternate - less costly and sometimes safer - options.

 

3. Hospitalization Fees

Your Vet will make A LOT more money if he (or she) can keep your pet in the veterinary hospital.

They can charge a fee for the day of hospitalization, plus a fee for re-examining your pet in the morning.

Ask to have the Procedure performed while you are there.

Let’s use X-Rays as an example.

You and your Vet suspect an arthritic knee, but you want to confirm with X-Rays.

Get the practice to schedule this while you are there and waiting - it doesn’t take long to perform X-Rays. They will likely comply if you only ASK.

And, by being a little bit of a ‘pain in the butt’, you will get better service at a lower price.

Your pet will have to spend less time away from you, and you will save money.

Now, doesn’t that sound good to you?

 

4. Vaccines - NOT every year

This tip alone will save you money, and help your pet live longer:

Your pet does NOT need to be vaccinated yearly.

Vaccines have a longer duration of immunity than 1 year.

Have your puppy or kitten vaccinated - this is the time when they are most at risk. Get them boosters at 1 year.

After that, give them vaccines only every 3 years - and ONLY vaccinate for what they need in your area.

STOP all vaccines between the ages of 10-12 years.

In the area where I live, we are now only vaccinating for the diseases that we see. NOT for the white elephants – the diseases that have a 1 in a million chance of ever showing up.

ASK your Vet about their vaccine protocols. If they are not with the “vaccinating less often program”, consider switching Vets.

It will be healthier for your pet and your pocket book.

 

5. Be Preventative

Do not wait until your bundle of fur's health gets very serious to visit your vet.

You should be performing weekly at home exams on your pet.

 

I still advise utilizing your veterinarian.

Getting an annual checkup is probably a good idea, especially if you have an older pet.

Have your Vet confirm a diagnosis, but then ASK about all the available options for solving your pet’s health problem.

You should have your pet spayed or neutered. Spayed females have a lower cancer risk and neutered males are not as aggressive and have fewer prostate problems. Costs for cats and dogs range from $80 to $300. You may be able to get the surgery for less if you check out your local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, at www.aspca.org.

 

6. What is going in your Pet’s Mouth?

After surgical procedures, food was the second most expensive item for pet owners.

Individually, Americans spent about $250 a year on food for their pets.

That is almost a $15 billion industry.

I firmly believe that a BIG key to avoid the excess Veterinary expenses is by feeding your pet the BEST quality food you can.

Diet is one of the BIG KEYS to a healthy pet.

In days gone by, dogs and cats survived on prey that they hunted. Cats seldom drank water as most moisture came from the dead bird or mouse.

Dogs chewed on bones and in the process kept their teeth clean. Pets have moved from the wilderness to the living room. They now wait (or demand) that we humans feed them. They feast on ready to eat packaged foods, and in some cases, this may be harming your pet.

Some symptoms of less than natural diets include bad breath, itchy skin, dull dry coats, and intestinal gas. A common disease that can be attributed to diet is diabetes in cats.

Commercial pet food does not always provide all of the nutrients that some dogs and cats need to be healthy at different times in their lives.

This food also contains things that your pet does not need, such as chemical additives and preservatives.

An example of a preservative that is commonly found is propylene glycol. It is used to keep moist pet foods fresh. It has been linked to anemia and bloat.

One of the single most important things you can do for your pet’s health is to feed a more natural diet. I have seen natural diets improve allergies, arthritis, diabetes, chronic vomiting and diarrhea.

If you are to use a commercial food, here are some tips to check for quality:

1. Ingredients are listed in descending order. The first ingredient should be an animal-based protein.

2. The entire protein should be listed first. Avoid foods that list by-products. Avoid those that list the food fractions – i.e. wheat middlings or corn gluten instead of the whole grain. These ingredients are leftovers from the human food processing and do not provide the best nutrition.

3. Look for natural preservatives. These include Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Vitamin E and mixed Tocopherols. Avoid Ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT and propylene glycol.

4. Avoid foods with artificial flavor enhancers, such as phosphoric acid.

5. Avoid artificial colors. These include azo, azo dyes, and sodium nitrite.

6. Essential fatty acids must be added – this is of utmost importance for allergies, arthritis and cancer prevention.

7. It should also contain additional antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, Vitamin C and flavanoids.

Some of the Commercial Pet Foods that I recommend are:

  • All of Those from Natura Pet Products: Innova, California Natural, Karma, HealthWise
  • Wysong
  • Solid Gold
  • Nutro Ultra Holistic Nutrition
  • Flint River Ranch
  • Azmira Holistic Animal Care LifeStyle

I am of the opinion that you should consider adding in Raw Food as a portion of your pet’s diet.

I also believe that the healthiest food is that which you make at home - i.e. homemade diets.

7.  Pet Insurance – A Scam?

The entire insurance industry gives me the ‘heebie jeebies’- and Pet Insurance companies are NO different.

Decide first if you REALLY NEED Pet Insurance.

Unless you cannot resist a breed with chronic problems, pet insurance will probably cost you more money than it will save you. As with human health insurance, you'll pay deductibles, co-pays, and premiums, and you may bump up against lifetime payment ceilings if you own a chronically ill pet. In addition, you might find some needed treatments are excluded from coverage.

Some policies also limit the amount they will pay per incident and may make you pay more as your pet ages.

For example, with PetCare's QuickCare Gold policy for dogs, you could pay $36 monthly premiums for coverage for a 3-month-old bearded collie. If that pooch needs $3,000 pacemaker surgery next year, you'll have to pay a $50 deductible, after which the plan pays 100 percent (up to a limit of $3,000) of your costs. In this case, this is not a bad deal, because you will have paid just more than $430 in premiums. However, if the surgery occurs after that dog turns 8 years old, the plan will only pay 80 percent of your costs and you'll be out about $3,500 in premiums. If you want to set aside money for future medical bills, you might do better by putting the amount you would pay in premiums into a savings account.

Veterinarians like Pet Insurance in that the clients can actually afford to do what is recommended. But, if you and your pet end up at a “corporate” practice, BIG DOLLAR signs might start flashing as soon as they see your pet is insured.

All of a sudden they could be advising your pet has a host of diagnostic tests, which the insurance company may cover now - but you’ll likely see your premiums rise the next year.

 

8. DON’T Buy Your Medication From Your Vet

Medication is expensive - and it’s marked up a lot at your vet. The markups range from 50% to 125% PLUS the prescription Fee.

There are many ways to save money on pet medications. First, ask your vet about a drug's cost and find out if it is available through pharmacies.

Your local drug store may offer it at a much cheaper price. Also, ask your vet about lower-priced generic medications that would be appropriate. In addition to your local pharmacy, check veterinary-medication prices at DrsFosterSmith.com, 1800PetMeds.com, and PetCareRx.com. You have the right to ask your veterinarian for prescriptions that you can fill elsewhere, as well as medical records for your pet, which can be a big help if you decide to consult another vet for a second opinion.

 

9.  The Referral Expense

If your pet becomes seriously ill, you may need a specialist. Ask your vet to recommend at least two specialists so you can compare treatment quotes and options. Alternatively, contact the nearest veterinary medical school teaching hospital for a specialist or a referral to one in your area.

An initial consultation will likely cost $75 to $100. Get an estimate of all costs including surgery, treatments, and any lifelong medications that will be required. You'll also want to know about the prognosis for survival and the pet's expected quality of life.

Approach your specialist in much the same way you would approach your local veterinarian.

ASK a lot of Questions.

ASK why this Specific Diagnostic test is needed.

ASK so what would happen if you get “X” diagnosis. How does this test change the treatment?

Specialists have expensive practices to run, they pay themselves more, so they charge A LOT.

Make sure that you are as informed as possible about everything that is happening to your pet.

 

10.  Become an Empowered Pet Owner

The BIGGEST Key to save money at any Veterinarian is by being an involved and empowered pet owner.

Take Charge of Your pet’s health care.

You know your pet better that anyone else. How well do you think a Veterinarian can get to know your pet with a 15 minute visit once a year?

 

DISCLAIMER

All information provided on or through this site is provided for informational purposes only, is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice, care, diagnosis or treatment, and is not designed to promote or endorse any veterinary practice, program or agenda or any medical tests, products or procedures. This book does not contain information about all diseases, nor does this site contain all information that may be relevant to a particular medical or health condition. You should not use any of this information provided for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. If your pet has or suspect that your pet has a medical problem, you should contact your professional veterinary provider through appropriate means.

You agree that you will not under any circumstances disregard any professional medical advice or delay in seeking such advice in reliance on any information provided through this site. Reliance on any such information is solely at your own risk.

Information provided on or through this website regarding herbal treatments, home diets, dietary supplements, acupressure, human over the counter products, aromatherapy, homeopathy, and massage have not all been evaluated or approved for use in animals. You agree to consult your veterinarian before beginning any course of treatment

 

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