When Stress and Anxiety Run High, Strategize With Holiday Pet Safety

Pet stress and pet anxiety can be combated with holiday pet safety


There’s nothing quite like the holidays. Entire days at a time are devoted to seasonal revelry as we dine, dance, and dash through December. We all roll with it the best that we can, but the individuals that tend to be negatively affected by constant activity usually have four feet. Undoubtedly, pets have more stress and anxiety than we know sometimes, which is why even a modicum of holiday pet safety strategies go a long way.

Getting There

It’s possible that your pet has previously demonstrated an absolute distrust of all things holiday. Many pets run and hide as soon as the tree is installed and the lights go up. Creatures of habit, pets do not like their routines to be disrupted at all. The best way to soothe any frayed nerves before and during the holidays is to uphold their sense of security via strict adherence to meal times, bathroom breaks, and opportunities for exercise.

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A Wonderland of Winter Senior Pet Care

Winter senior pet care helps senior pets have a happy winter

Winter isn’t exactly brutal in Montgomery, but that doesn’t mean we don’t experience our share of ice, wind, and freezing temps. Although people may enjoy the seasonal change and relish the opportunity to wear boots and sweaters, senior pets are more likely to experience aches and pains, flare-ups of chronic conditions, or even depression.

As the temps drop this time of year, let Carriage Hills Animal Hospital help you tackle winter senior pet care with our expert tips!

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Big Turkey, Big Eyes: How to Maintain Proper Pet Weight During the Holidays

Pet weight can fluctuate over the winter holidays.

Most people embrace the holidays and really get into all the gatherings, events, and dinners (not to mention leftovers!). Guess who’s watching every move we make this holiday season? Our lovable pets, of course! They observe each slice of pie we eat, how much gravy we pour, and they (understandably) want in on the action themselves.

However, watching out for pet weight gain is always important, but this time of year can be especially difficult. Let our team help you find the best course of action to maintain your pet’s health and fitness this holiday season.

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Do Dogs Smile? Understanding Pet Facial Expressions

Pet facial expressions are one of the ways pets communicate with us.

Facial expressions are such an integral part of communication between humans that oftentimes we impart meaning on the expressions that our pets carry. Anyone who is an animal lover will maintain that their four-legged friends have meaningful facial changes, though. So what is the final verdict? Do dogs really smile or is it all in our heads? The team at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital  loves to decode pet facial expressions, and sharing our findings with you is part of the fun!


Pet Facial Expressions in Nature

You can tell a great deal about what another person is thinking or feeling based on their facial expression. Pets also rely heavily on nonverbal communication, but unlike people, they naturally use more body language changes than facial changes to communicate with one another.

Animal communication utilizes posture, ear position, tail carriage, and facial expression in order to convey information. All of these components are integral to the process. For instance, a dog with a low, relaxed tail, slightly open mouth, and perked ears communicates a sense of ease. A tucked tail, low body, and pinned back ears indicates a fearful demeanor.

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The Unfortunate Truth About Pet Obesity

Pet obesity is a major threat to pet health

A shocking majority of U.S. cats and dogs are considered either overweight or obese, but there are ways to prevent, recognize, and, in some cases, reverse this condition. That sounds encouraging, right? With a healthy approach to diet and exercise, you can add more years to your pet’s life. With pet obesity on the rise, let’s work together to keep every furry friend healthy and happy.

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Rabies Prevention In Pets

Rabies prevention in pets is a key part of keeping pets healthy.

Rabies is a deadly disease that attacks the central nervous system. It can affect all mammals, including wildlife, household pets, livestock, and humans. There is no treatment available for rabies and once symptoms appear, rabies is fatal.

Luckily, since the turn of the century in the United States, rabies cases in humans has become extremely rare. Where previously there were hundreds of rabies related deaths per year, nowadays there are only one or two human fatalities annually.

This is largely due to the success of rabies prevention, and rabies prevention in pets continues to be an important focus in veterinary medicine. Here, Carriage Hills Animal Hospital explores the disease and how you can help with rabies prevention in pets.

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Kitty Kryptonite:Feline Kidney Disease

Feline kidney disease can cause your cat to be sickWe all have our strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to our bodies, things are no different. Each of us have organs and body systems that work better than others, be it a diseased immune system, a congenital heart issue, or a sensitive gastrointestinal tract.

Cats as a group tend to have a temperamental urinary system. This organ system results in more than its fair share of vet visits for our feline friends, be it for a urinary tract infection, a cystitis flare, or for feline kidney disease. No matter what the issue, Carriage Hills Animal Hospital is equipped to help your cat make the best of a flawed urinary tract. Continue…

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words:  Advanced Imaging in Veterinary Medicine

Advanced imaging in veterinary medicine helps pet healthMost pet owners in the area have come to appreciate Carriage Hills Animal Hospital for the high quality care that we provide. Many patients come to us with serious illnesses or injuries, and we are sure to have the expertise and resources at our disposal to help them have the best prognosis possible.

For more complicated internal medicine cases, proper and expedient diagnostics are required in order to gain the information needed to provide the best care for our patients. Modalities such as abdominal ultrasound and echocardiography are included in important options for advanced imaging in veterinary medicine. Continue…

Leave It! What’s Your Policy for Pet Safety Around Snakes?

Pet safety around snakes is no joke.This time of year it’s increasingly common to have an encounter with a snake. Whether they’re swimming through the lake directly towards you and your pet, or you encounter one while out for a walk together, the fact is you have to be on your guard. Many pets are downright intrigued when it comes to a slithering serpent, while others may get struck in a surprise attack. Water moccasins, or cottonmouths, have a reputation for being rather aggressive, so it’s best to have a proactive approach to pet safety around snakes.

A Lay of the Land

There are many – venomous and non-venomous – water snakes. While you may teach and train your pet to leave all snakes alone, we recommend at least a fundamental, working knowledge of what a water moccasin looks like:

  • Heavy-looking or thick body shape
  • Tan to brown coloring with darker cross bands
  • Rough-looking scales
  • Thick or blocky head shape
  • A visibly narrow-looking neck
  • Dark eye stripe or facial band
  • Vertical pupil
  • Heat-detecting facial pits between the eye and nostril

These snakes will not retreat before attacking a perceived threat, increasing the need for pet safety around snakes.

Avoidance Is Key

Most pet owners are highly tuned into possible dangers facing their pets while out and about. Taking it an extra step further, we offer the following helpful measures for pet safety around snakes:

  • Keep your pet’s off-leash time to a minimum
  • Discourage exploration near tall grasses, overgrown areas, or thick underbrush
  • Do not play catch the stick with your dog in bodies of water known for cottonmouths (they may inadvertently get ahold of one in the mouth, but rattlesnakes and copperheads can swim, too!)
  • Do not pick up or turn over large stones
  • Do not reach into crevices or holes

You’ll Know When It Happens

Pet safety around snakes must also include knowing the signs of a snake bite, and what to do to help your pet. Water moccasins are venomous and can cause:

  • Extreme pain at the bite site
  • Redness and swelling
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Blurry vision or vision loss
  • Numbness in the face and limbs
  • Increased salivation
  • Weakness

Inspect the bites marks closely if if your pet allows you to. Attempt to wash the wound with clean, soapy water and then wrap the area in sterile dressing. Seek emergency care immediately and on the way be sure to:

  • Remove the collar from the neck if there’s swelling
  • Keep the bite mark below your pet’s heart level
  • Calm your pet as much as possible, taking care to keep them as stationary as possible

Pet Safety Around Snakes

Pet safety around snakes is so critical because of the terrible consequences of a venomous bite. Low blood pressure, kidney damage, and blood clotting disorders are among them.

Once your pet is examined, we’ll test their blood. Pain medication, antihistamines, IV fluids, and more may be necessary. Sometimes, effects of snake bites aren’t exactly clear until later, increasing the importance of monitoring and repeated lab work.

Move Quickly

If you need our assistance with pet safety around snakes, please let us know at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital. Stay safe out there!

Understanding Feline Leukemia

understand and learn how to help protect your pet against feline leukemia virusCats, like any other creature, are susceptible to a variety of infectious diseases that can have serious consequences on health and well-being. One such infectious disease that cat lovers need to have an understanding of is feline leukemia. This viral infection is truly one to avoid when possible, and at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital we are here to arm you with the knowledge you need to do so.

The Pathophysiology Behind Feline Leukemia

While the leukemia that affects our human loved-ones is the result of a cancerous process, feline leukemia is actually caused by an infectious virus. Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus, similar to HIV in people. It results in a serious infection that may appear even several years after exposure to the virus. Continue…