Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Poisonous Spring Lilies


Source: Patch.com
Warmer weather has left us excited for spring!  While you might be looking forward to adding new flowers and plants to your home, pet owners need to be extra careful.  We remind pet owners that certain seasonal plants can be deadly to our feline friends.

Although lilies are a common springtime flower, pet owners should think twice before keeping them around the house.  It is normal for many cats to eat plants and grass in small amounts, but these seasonal plants are dangerous if ingested by your pet.  Calla and Peace lilies can irritate a cat’s mouth and esophagus, while Lilies of the Valley can cause abnormal heart rhythm. 

The Easter lily is the biggest danger to your cat.  Even licking the pollen of the Easter lily can cause your pet to suffer from acute kidney failure.  If a cat eats part of the Easter lily, whether it is the leaf, flower, or pollen, they will begin vomiting and urinating frequently.  Early veterinary treatment is critical in this situation. 

The Food and Drug Administration is warning pet owners of these serious dangerous and reminding people to keep these seasonal plants away from pets.  If you suspect your pet is suffering from ingesting a poisonous plant, contact Bregman Vet Group immediately.  We can help make sure that your pet receives the treatment it needs.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tips to Prevent Cat Odor


Don’t let your cat keep your home from smelling fresh!  There are several ways to minimize and fight cat odor.  Keep your home clean and your cat happy with these simple prevention tips.

Tips to Prevent Cat Odor:

Source: pawnation
  • Litter Type – The type of litter that you use can play a role in controlling odor.  Certain litter varieties have built-in odor eliminators that help mask the scent.  Each home should have one litter box per cat. 
  • Deodorizers – If the litter your cat prefers isn’t naturally deodorizing, try sprinkling the litter with baking soda.
  • Air Freshener – Find the right non-toxic air freshener for the rooms of your home with litter boxes.  Purchase an air freshener that destroys odor molecules, not one that simply masks the scent.
  • Location – Litter boxes should be in quiet areas of your home both for your cat’s comfort and yours.  Just make sure that the area is well-ventilated.
  • Clean Often – Don’t forget to clean the litter box!  One of the biggest reasons litter boxes smell is because pet owners forget to clean them.  Litter boxes should be scooped at least once a day.
  • Diet – What your cat is eating has an effect on odor, as well as how often they go.  Good nutrition keeps your cat healthy, but it also keeps your litter box less smelly too!

Read more tips on how to fight cat odor in your home here.  If you are still having trouble keeping your litter box from smelling, contact Bregman Vet Group.  Our experienced veterinarians can help you determine if a change in your cat’s diet will help reduce odor.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Common Pet Pain Signals


Photo Credit: Sadeugra / E+ / Getty images
You always want to make sure that your pet is happy and well cared for.  Since dogs don’t show pain in the same way that we do, it’s important to be able to recognize when they aren't feeling well.  Here are a few tips to help you identify common signs that your dog is in pain.

Common Pain Signals:

  • Heavy Breathing – Panting is normal for dogs.  However, if they are panting for no apparent reason, it could be a sign that your pet is in pain.
  • Licking and Biting – If your dog is licking or biting a specific area, they may be doing so because they are in pain.  Dogs have a tendency to lick or bite and broken nails, wounds, irritated paw pads and tumors under the skin.
  • Loss of Appetite – Has your dog been eating lately?  If your pet is refusing to eat, they may be in pain.  Your dog might not want to bend over to eat from its food bowl if it is causing pain.
  • Limping – It seems obvious, but limping is a sign of arthritis, a pulled muscle, ligament damage, back injury, neck injury, stiff joints, or broken bones. 
  • Drooling – Certain dog breeds have more of a tendency to drool than others.  However, if your dog is experiencing excessive drooling for their breed, it could be a sign that they are having stomach pain or nausea. 
  • Behavior Changes – Is your dog acting more aggressively?  Does your pet seem sad and depressed?  Any abnormal behavior could mean that your pet is in pain.

Learn more about common pet pain signals here.  Remember, if you think that your pet is experiencing any of these common pain symptoms, visit Bregman Vet Group.  Our experienced veterinarians can determine if your pet is experiencing any health issues.  We can help provide your pet with the care they need for a speedy recovery.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Training Tips That Teach Your Cat to Play Nice


You love your cat – but it can be frustrating when they scratch or bite you or a family member.  If your cat is struggling with behavioral issues, take the time to train him or her.  While you don’t want to inhibit their biological instincts, it’s okay to discipline your cat to play nicely.  Here are a few tips to help train your cat to get along with you and your family.

Photo credit: Inti St. Clair/Digital Vision/Getty Images

  • Verbal Commands – When your cat does something it’s not supposed to - say “No!”  Don’t scare your cat by yelling, but let them know that you are serious and that what they are doing is wrong.
  • Cold Shoulder – The other option is to give your cat the silent treatment.  Stop playing and showing affection as “punishment.”
  • Spray Bottles – If your cat is prone to biting often, keep a spray bottle on hand.  Once it bites, immediately spray it with water.  This behavioral method will teach your cat to avoid the action that results in getting sprayed.
  • Play Areas – Set up a play area with a scratching post and toys.  This will help your cat let out its need to scratch things without hurting you or a family member.
  • Rewards – Offer rewards for good behavior!  If you notice your cat chooses to leave a situation rather than attack, offer a treat.

If you are still having trouble disciplining and training your cat, contact our office.  Our experienced veterinarians can offer tips and tricks to help improve the relationship between you and your cat. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Springtime Pet Safety


Source: Flickr
Springtime means warmer weather and more time spent outdoors.  As you get ready for the change in seasons, remember to keep your pet’s safety in mind.  The ASPCA offers a few seasonal tips to keep your pets safe this spring.

Spring Safety Tips:

  • Easter Candy – Chocolates and candies are toxic to most pets, including cats and dogs.
  • Window Screens – As the weather warms you want to open your windows to let fresh air in.  Make sure that you have screens in your windows to keep pets from falling or jumping outside.
  • Cleaning – Spring is a great time to clear clutter and clean your home.  Remember to keep cleaners and chemicals away from your pets.  Don’t leave home improvement products like paints, nails, staples and power tools out in the open.
  • Gardening – Many popular springtime plants are highly toxic to pets, including rhododendrons, azaleas, and Easter lilies.  Pet parents should also be careful when using fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides on their lawns and gardens. 
  • Allergies – A change in seasons brings about allergy problems for both you and your pet.  If you notice your pet might have springtime allergies, bring them to our office!

Read more about springtime safety tips on the ASPCA website.  You can also contact our office with any questions or concerns you have about your pet’s health!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How to Care for Your Cat’s Litter Box


A litter box should be a safe and easy to access place for your cat.  However, both new and experienced cat owners are often confused about what to do when it comes to the litter box.  Here are a few tips that address the most frequently asked questions about litter box care.

Source: Pawnation.com
Litter Box Tips:
  • Teaching Your New Cat – Teach your new kitty how to use the litter box by introducing the cat to the box every morning and after meals and playtime. 
  • How Many Litter Boxes – You should have one litter box per cat in your house.  This provides enough places for your cats to go.  Put the litter boxes somewhere that gives your cat privacy, but is also conveniently located.
  • Choosing a Material – If you have a kitten or you are concerned about your cat eating its litter, biodegradable litter is a safe and eco-friendly option. Clay and silica-based litters are good for cats that are at least 3-4 months old. 
  • Cleaning the Litter Box- You should scoop your cat’s litter box once a day to keep the area free of germs and clean out the full litter box twice a month.  Cat owners can also use baking soda to refresh the litter box and reduce odor.
  • Picking a Size – Your cat’s litter box should be at least one and a half times the length of the cat.  If you’re not sure, pick the bigger litter box.

Cat owners can learn more litter box care tips here

If you find that your cat is spending too much time in the litter box, it could be a sign that something is not right with your pet.  Contact our office if you see your cat exhibiting this strange behavior.  Our experienced vets can also offer advice about choosing the best litter box for your pet.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Pet


We recommend that everyone considers spaying or neutering their pet.  While the procedure primarily prevents unwanted litters, it also offers several life-long health benefits to pets.  Here are just a few benefits that spaying or neutering can offer.

5 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet:
Source: Flickr

  • Life Expectancy – Spaying your female pet before her first heat helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer.  Neutering also prevents testicular cancer in males if done before they reach six months old.
  • Heat – Female cats will go into heat 4-5 days every three weeks during breeding season.  Spaying your cat will avoid many of the side effects associated with cats in heat, including yowling and urinating all over the house.
  • Safety – Neutering will keep your pet from roaming to find a mate and risking injury.
  • Behavior – Unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine around the house.  This aggression can be avoided by early neutering.
  • Strays – Stay animals are a serious problem in many parts of the country.  Spaying and neutering your pet can help reduce the number of animals on the streets.

To learn more about the benefits of spaying and neutering, visit the ASPCA website or contact one of our offices in Brooklyn or on Long Island.