Digestive Problems in Pets: How to Know When to Go

There’s nothing like waking up at 2AM to the sound of your sweet pet vomiting on the rug next to your bed. As annoying as it is to deal with a mess at that hour, you can’t help but wonder whether you should be calling the vet, or waiting to see if your pet starts to feel better.

Digestive problems in pets are relatively common and oftentimes pass on their own, but certain conditions can arise that spell big trouble for a pet. Knowing when to act quickly to get your pet help can prevent the condition from getting worse, and may save your pet’s life.

Continue…

Bow WOW! Ways to Add Excitement to Your Daily Dog Walk

dog walkIs your dog bored with the standard “walk to the park?” Are you reluctant to tread the same old path each and every day? It’s easy to get stuck in an exercise rut with your dog – and chances are that your dog is tired of the same old walk routine as well.

Daily exercise plays a key role in the lifelong health and happiness of all pets, and the daily walk is one of the best ways to keep your dog moving (it also offers important opportunities for socialization). Just because daily walks are routine, the OVRS staff doesn’t believe that your walks need to be dull! Here are ways to add a little pizazz to your dog walk to keep both you and your paw pal enthusiastic.
Continue…

Treat Talk: Navigating the World of Pet Treats

A pet’s love affair with treats is as old and deep as the sea itself. Well, maybe we’re being a bit dramatic, but all pet owners know how much their pets enjoy treats. From the humble Milk-Bone to the gourmet, handmade pet treats that are so prevalent these days, it can be tough to figure out what’s safe and healthy for our pets.

We are big fans of treats here at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, and we want to help you make informed choices when it comes to selecting the treat that’s right for your pet.

The Big “No-Nos”

There are a surprising number of dangers among certain treats. Balancing the risks and benefits is key when selecting a treat for your pet. Especially hearing about so many recalls in the news. Some of the problems that may result from treats include:
Continue…

The Owner’s Manual for Home Care for the Diabetic Pet

If your pet has been diagnosed with diabetes, you may feel a little overwhelmed and words like pathophysiology, insulin, and glucose curves may have your head reeling.

Obviously, diabetes is a diagnosis that requires a close relationship with a veterinarian. There are things that you will need to do at home as well. Home care for the diabetic pet is just as important as the care required at the vet’s office. Here’s what you need to know.
Continue…

Options for Helping Pets with Hyperthyroidism

Sleepy DogThe endocrine system is a group of glandular organs that secrete hormones, and is responsible for regulating bodily functions such as metabolism, growth, tissue function, and reproduction. It is composed of important players, including the adrenal glands, the thyroid gland, and the ovaries or testes. The endocrine system is controlled by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus of the brain, and Its health is essential for the proper functioning of the body.

One of the most common dysfunctions of this system we see in pets involves the thyroid gland.

Learn about how this affects our animal patients and what we can do to treat hyperthyroidism in pets.

Continue…

Delicious Pumpkin Pet Treats and More

Children in stage costumes of wizards with cat at HalloweenFall has arrived, and with it comes the inevitable smorgasbord of pumpkin flavored products. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pasta, and pumpkin beer are widely available. There are even pumpkin spice hair and nail colors to choose from at your local salon.

The pumpkin trend appears to be firmly rooted in our culture for the time being, so why not let pets in on the fun? Pumpkin pet treats are easy to make, and can bring happiness (and nutrition) to your pet’s day.

Pumpkin Pet Treats

Fall’s favorite squash is not only versatile; it’s packed with nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and beta-carotene. Pumpkins are also low-calorie, high-fiber, and fairly inexpensive this time of year. Continue…

What the Heck is in My Pet’s Food? Understanding Pet Nutrition

OVRS_iStock_000059360494_LargeSelecting the right pet food can be mind boggling, and trying to understand the nutrition label can be even trickier. It can be a tempting topic to avoid but our pet’s diet is an important cornerstone to proper care. Every pet owner should learn the basics about pet nutrition, what it all means, and what to look for.

Avoid the frustration of trying to sort through all of the information yourself and let Oakland Veterinary Referral Services help you focus on the most important things to know.

The Importance of Pet Nutrition

Feeding your pet a healthy, well-rounded diet is essential to good health. Pet nutrition is an extremely important part of animal husbandry. While there are many acceptable ways to feed a pet, every balanced diet includes several components: Continue…

Walkin’ In A Winter Wonderland: Cold Weather Pet Activities

dog making splashes of snow. Jack Russell Terrier playing on sunSnow? Ice? Freezing temps? …No problem!

Here in Michigan we’re used to winter (though blizzards may be a challenge), and we know that it’s no excuse not to give our pets the daily exercise and mental stimulation they need. Your friends at OVRS want you and your pet to enjoy everything winter in Michigan has to offer. We’ve compiled a list of popular winter pet activities for you and your pet. Whether you’re the outdoorsy type or prefer to avoid the elements, there’s something for everyone! Continue…

Diabetes in Pets: Are You in the Know?

iStock_000002977378_Large (1)With more pets leading a sedentary life and the increase in pet obesity, more dogs and cats are developing diabetes at some point in their lifetimes. This disease is an important one for pet owners to be familiar with. Do you understand what pet diabetes is, what the symptoms look like, and why it is so serious? If not, be sure to keep reading so that you can be in the know about diabetes in pets.

The Pathogenesis of Diabetes in Pets

When a pet eats a meal, the nutrients are broken down into parts that are usable to the body as energy. Fiber and starches (carbohydrates) are broken down into glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream then transferred into cells. In order for this transfer of glucose into the body’s cells, a hormone called insulin is required. Continue…

Unexplained Weight Loss in Pets

iStock_000010144870_SmallWith over half of the nation’s pet population being obese, many times weight loss in our dogs and cats can be a good thing. Sometimes, though, when a pet’s weight loss is sudden or unexplained, it can be a sign that something is wrong. This type of weight loss should never be ignored and is important to have checked out right away.

What To Do If Your Pet Has Lost Weight

If you are noticing that your pet is looking a little trimmer than usual, it is important to think about any changes that may be affecting his or her calorie intake and expenditure.

A change in your pet’s diet or activity level might easily explain weight loss. If this is the case, assess whether the weight loss was necessary or whether you need to make changes to allow for weight gain. If you are not sure, consult with your veterinarian. Continue…