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.
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.
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.Continue…
We 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…
Most 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…
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
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.
If you need our assistance with pet safety around snakes, please let us know at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital. Stay safe out there!
Cats, 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…
Perspective can be an amazing thing. Looking at a situation from a different angle can shed light on many situations.
As cat lovers, we at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital find that sometimes looking at the world from a feline perspective can be very helpful. Keep reading to see the world through a cat’s eyes by understanding more about feline vision.
Humans, cats, and dogs alike are very dependent on vision for day to day function. Feline vision plays a central role in hunting and social behaviors, too.
No matter what your species, the eye works similarly in most animals. Light enters the front of the eye through the clear windshield-like cornea. It then passes through the lens, which focuses light on the retina. The retina is a layer of cells at the back of the eye made up of: Continue…
Online shopping has become the new normal in our modern world. You can order anything from groceries, household goods, clothing, and more to be delivered right to your doorstep. Pet owners aren’t excluded from the online shopping phenomenon, as they, too, can order nearly everything their pets need without ever getting off the couch.
While the internet and online shopping certainly has its place in our modern world, it can bring with it some serious, and even deadly, concerns, especially when it comes to ordering pet medications online. Carriage Hills Animal Hospital wants all of our beloved patients to stay safe and healthy, which is why we are now offering you the convenience and safety of a trusted online pet pharmacy.
It can be tempting to search out a good deal online for the medications or parasite preventives your pet needs. The lower prices and convenience of some online pet pharmacies can certainly sway you to order the medications rather than going through your veterinarian. Continue…
They are the most deadly creatures on Earth. Not to be outdone by the bear, the lion, or the shark, mosquitoes are responsible for carrying all sorts of deadly diseases, as well as being the epitome of annoyance.
Most of us just want to enjoy the outdoors in peace, without the hum of a winged nuisance in the background. With pest control, however, comes chemicals. What’s a pet owner to do when it comes to defending ourselves against these tiny pests? Carriage Hills Animal Hospital is here to help with pet safe mosquito control tips just for you.
The Deadly Mosquito
It is no secret that mosquitoes are the bearers of sickness and death to people and animals all over the world. They are able to transmit many blood-borne diseases through their bite, including: Continue…