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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Canine Physical Therapy–Does It Help With Recovery?

Rehabilitation or physical therapy can benefit your dog in many ways, including speeding up the healing process and ensuring better mobility and long term health. After any injury or surgery, plan to devote a substantial amount of time to your dog’s healing. Recovery is critical in healing and in minimizing the effects of physical trauma.

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What to Expect When Your Pet is Hospitalized

Dog in hospital recovering after surgery.

When your pet is hospitalized due to a surgery or is recovering from an illness or injury, it is a stressful time for both you and your pet. You will have concerns about how your dog or cat will be cared for and what you can do during this critical time in their recovery.

The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services knows that hospitalization is stressful but is sometimes required to help your pet recover. By outlining what to expect during this time, we hope to ease some of your fears, as well as better support you and your pet.

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Pet Weight Loss Facts: No Pain, No Gain?

Overweight cat sitting on floor

Weight Loss is Confusing in the Pet World Too

In the world of diets and weight management, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. One diet says to eat only healthy fats, while another says bacon is fine. One weight loss regime focuses on healthy protein, while another has you fasting on green smoothies. Confusing? Yes! We are seeing the same confusion around why pets gain weight and what they should eat.

It’s great to keep your pet at a healthy weight and avoid obesity, which causes many health problems. But, how does a pet owner gauge a healthy weight and the right approach to keeping fur friends on the right dietary track? The team at OVRS is here to separate fact from myths.

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Is Your Dog’s Shedding Related to Stress?

Shedding Pet

Your Dog’s Shedding — Normal or Excess?

This time of year, when the sun begins to shine a little longer each day and the heat index starts to rise, you may notice something… Your dog is leaving little hair tumbleweeds across the tiles. Shedding can be a major problem for some breeds, and many pet owners have the lint rollers in hand and vacuums going strong.

Shedding is a normal process of keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy. There are times, though, when hair loss can signal a larger issue. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants to tackle the question of shedding and explore the causes and conditions of excess shedding.

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Mother’s Day Gifts for Dog Moms & Cat Moms

mothers day gifts

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Dog, Cat and Pet Lovers

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate moms, and the many ways they make our lives wonderful. Mother’s Day is all about recognizing the spirit of nurturing, kindness, care, and wisdom of mothers. This same spirit is true for dog, cat, and other animal moms out there!

Those who care for animals are among the biggest-hearted people we know. On Mother’s Day, we choose to honor all of the dog moms, cat moms, rabbit moms, guinea pig moms, and so many others by suggesting a few simple, meaningful gifts. We hope you find something to add to your list!

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