Wacky Weed: Growing Your Own Catnip

catnip

Does your cat go crazy over catnip? Does he roll on the floor and zip across the living room in utter frenzy? This plant is like kitty crack to most felines! It can make them behave in ways that are both euphoric to them and hysterical to us.

You can buy catnip in a variety of forms, from stuffed toys to baked goods; from catnip-infused treats to bulk containers. No matter what form it takes, your cat likely goes gaga over it. If you are like most cat owners and go through catnip in no time flat, a cheaper approach is growing your own catnip. Your team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here to tell you how!

Continue…

Holistic Pet Care for Optimal Wellness

holistic pet care

The term ‘holistic’ gets a lot of press. It’s associated with lifestyle products, nutrition, exercise, and a slew of other things, but what does it mean exactly? 

When asked, most pet owners would opt for a pet diet or product if it is holistic because it sounds healthier and more “natural”. The trend in holistic products attests to that. But, there is something more essential in the concept of holistic pet care that greatly benefits your pet. 

Oakland Veterinary Referral Services (OVRS) is here to help you decipher this approach to feeding and care and why it matters.

Continue…

Pet Skin Cancer and Sunburn

pet skin cancer

We’re concerned about preventing sunburn and skin cancer when we slather on sunscreen or grab a hat. Most of us know at least one person who has a form of skin cancer. But did you know that cats and dogs are at risk of sunburn and skin cancer, too?

Learn more about pet skin cancer and sunburn and what you can do to protect your pet.

Continue…

How to Safely Remove Ticks from Your Pet

tick removal

We want everyone to know how to safely remove ticks since they are a terrible problem in the Midwest. Most of us pull at least one tick off of ourselves or our pets. Ticks carry diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and most notably, Lyme disease. 

Most people’s response, when seeing a tick on their pet, is to pull it off fast! But there is a technique to tick removal. By doing it correctly, you minimize your pet’s risk of developing disease or infection. Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants you to better understand the common deer tick and the proper way to remove them from your pet.

Continue…

A Prickly Problem: Porcupines and Pets

Porcupines and pets don’t mix very well. Imagine you are enjoying the great outdoors with your dog. It’s a beautiful day. All of a sudden, your dog yelps. A few moments later he wanders into view with quills sticking out of his face and chest. Ouch! What do you do? 

The team at OVRS hears many tales of dogs (sometimes even cats) who wandered a little too close to a porcupine. These quills bring trouble when not removed quickly. We are here to help you learn more about porcupines and their quills, and how you can avoid an emergency situation with your pet. 

Continue…

DCM and Grain-Free Diets and Dog Food

grain-free diets and dog food

Since July 2018, the FDA has conducted investigations into grain-free diets and dog foods and their potential link to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Since then, more pet owners have come forward after their dogs have been diagnosed with or have died of DCM. And, each of these pets was fed a grain-free diet.

On June 27, the agency published an updated listing of 16 brands of dog food as those with the highest correlation to this form of heart disease. Many pet owners are understandably concerned about this FDA warning and would like more answers about these diets. Are grain-free diets bad? Should you change your pet’s food?

The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants to address these concerns and help dog owners understand these precautions and what actions to take.

Continue…

The Sweet Spot: Why Do Dogs Kick When You Scratch Their Belly?

Have you ever noticed that when you scratch your dog’s belly, something unusual occurs? It happens every time you hit the “sweet spot.” You know the one. Suddenly, your dog starts kicking his back leg like he’s running on his side. 

Dogs are full of quirky habits, but this one is puzzling. What is it about that sweet spot that makes a dog’s leg twitch or kick? Are they ticklish or is it something else?

Oakland Veterinary Referral Services takes a look at this funny mystery of why dogs kick when you scratch their belly.

Continue…

When Your Cat Doesn’t Like to Play

cat play

Wondering why your cat doesn’t like to play? Picture it: you just got your cat the coolest feather toy from Amazon. You unwrap the box and get set for some excitement from your cat…only to see Princess look away, disinterested. Or, your adopted male cats, who should be a great match for playful companionship, are always relaxing…separately. They are completely disinterested in each other. What gives!?

Our feline companions may not always participate in providing the playful romps and pounces we’d like to see. Why is it that some adult cats love to play while other cats won’t play? Why do some just not seem to enjoy toys or games? Let’s take a look at this mystery of the disinterested cat.

Continue…

Heroine Spotlight: Dawn Myers’ Tireless Work for TEAR Foundation

Dawn Myers is a heroine to The Emergency Animal Relief (TEAR) Foundation. It all started with the loss of her precious Cocker Spaniel, Bugaboo Whitt. Dawn’s Bugaboo was diagnosed with canine lymphoma. That’s a broad term for one of the most common forms of cancer, which often originates in the lymph nodes.

Continue…

Veterinary Waiting Room Etiquette

veterinary waiting room

Veterinary waiting room etiquette is probably not so unlike that in a human hospital waiting area. Anticipation, stress, and impatience can run high, especially in an emergency. When a pet is unwell or has suffered an accident or injury, it’s understandable that it can create upset among pets and pet owners.

Even if you’re waiting for a scheduled appointment, the situation can be stressful due to others’ actions or unexpected delays due to someone else’s emergency.

A waiting area is one that ideally should be as welcoming, calming, and well managed as possible. How can a pet owner contribute to this? We’re glad you asked.

Continue…