Springtime Woes: Seasonal Allergies in Pets

A puppy sitting in a green grassy area scratching itself behind the ear.

It’s finally Spring, with the sun sticking around a little longer each day, and the early buds beginning to raise their heads. Unfortunately, seasonal allergy woes of itchy noses and watery eyes have also arrived–for both pets and humans.

Allergies, including the seasonal kind, affect our four-legged friends, too. In fact, your pet may have them year-round, or just when certain things are in full bloom. They can cause irritation and discomfort, and can even become a long term problem for a furry family member.

The team at OVRS takes a closer look at allergies in pets, and how they can be treated.


Coexisting with Urban Coyotes: A Pet Owner’s Guide

Graceful Coyote stands in the center of frame surrounded by green grass

Coyotes, and other wildlife, are no longer just remote animals we see when camping in the woods or visiting wild areas. Coyotes, raccoons, wolves, deer, skunks, and many other species have had to adapt and are now thriving in urban environments alongside humans.

Coyotes are predatory by nature, giving pet owners good reason to be concerned for the safety of their pets. Our goal is to help you better understand coyotes, and how they interact with small animals, so that our pets can more safely live alongside them.


Fun Activities for Your Pet During Cold Weather

A white dog with chin resting stares out of a window to a winter scene white with snow.

Brr! When Michigan’s winter comes, it can be a frosty, sleety mess. Even during those cold months, an active dog or cat will still need to get some exercise and mental enrichment. After all, you know how tired the same-old, same-old can be when you’ve exhausted all of the TV channels and cleaned out all of your closets.


Top 7 Tips for Running with Dogs

tips for running with dogsTaking Fido out for a run seems pretty straight-forward. Leash, water, run, done – right? Actually, there are several things to keep in mind for your dog’s safety before you head out together. The best exercise is one that is safe and worry-free, so use our 7 tips for running with dogs to help you both get the most out of your runs.


Heartworm Resistance in Dogs

heartwormHeartworm disease is one of the most serious diseases that can affect many mammal species, including dogs and cats. When an animal is diagnosed with heartworms, it means that they literally have worms living in their body, which mostly attack the heart and lungs and even sometimes the blood vessels. Over time, heartworms will cause damage to all of their organs and have the ability to eventually cause heart failure, making this a potentially fatal disease.

Fortunately, heartworm disease is very preventable. The challenge for pet owners is to use heartworm preventatives on their pet consistently. Heartworm preventatives on the market have a track record of virtually 100% protection if administered regularly with no gaps.

What are the Best Pooper Scoopers?

pooper scoopersWhat kind of pooper scooper is best? Do you need a heavy-duty pooper scooper, or maybe a pooper scooper with a bag attached? Or do you eschew using a pooper scooper at all–what would make your life easier? Part of the responsibility of being a good dog owner means picking up their poop. Because we love our dogs so much, most of us don’t mind (too much) picking up after them–but it helps to have the right equipment.

Whether you take your dog out for a daily walk around the neighborhood or they get to roam free in a big backyard, picking up your pet’s poop is simply part of the deal. And it’s completely worth it, right? In exchange for having to pick up after your dog, you get the benefit of receiving their unconditional love, which often includes a bunch of wet, sloppy kisses.

Dogs are the best, aren’t they?


The Power of Prevention: Orthopedic Injuries in Pets

Femur fractureHuman and animal athletes have more in common than you might think, including a wide variety of orthopedic injuries and problems. In both human and veterinary medicine, we are learning more and more about preventing this kind of trouble. We also have several new and effective options for treating orthopedic injuries in pets.

The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is your expert resource for keeping your active pets in tip top shape.

Pounds of Prevention

Bones and joints are the framework that carry the body. It only makes sense that adding additional weight, and therefore burden, to that framework might predispose the body to orthopedic problems.

In fact, helping your pet to maintain an ideal weight is one of the most powerful things you can do to prevent an orthopedic injury. Weight management is crucial to your pet’s overall health, whether he or she is a couch potato or agility champion.


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…

What To Do If You Find a Wild or Injured Animal

With summer upon us, the temptation to get outdoors and explore the wilds is pretty much inevitable.

The world is teeming with renewed life and without fail the urge to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of our area is irresistible.

But what happens when you’re out and about and find an orphaned or injured animal in the wild? Many of us don’t know. After all, it’s not a common occurrence. Do you know what to do or whom to call? How do you know when to help and when to walk away?

Thankfully, our community has a tremendous resource when it comes to helping wildlife in distress. The Howell Conference and Nature Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation program offers the injured and orphaned wildlife in our area a fighting chance for recovery and release.

If you find and injured or orphaned wild animal, please call the Howell Conference and Nature Center’s Wildlife Helpline at 517-548-5530.

What To Do

When you encounter an injured or orphaned wild animal, it is only natural to want to help. However, it is of the utmost importance that you take the precautions necessary to protect both yourself and the animal. Often—if not always—this means not attempting to touch or move the animal. Remember, animals that are scared or in pain often attack as a means of self-defense.

If you do find an animal in distress it’s best to call the Wildlife Helpline at 517-548-5530 and request professional assistance for the animal. The Wildlife Rehabilitation program’s professional staff can advise you on the best course of action and send assistance if necessary.

What to Know

It is not uncommon to see a baby wild animal on its own in the wild. Never assume an animal has been orphaned unless it is obvious (meaning you see the carcass of the parent in the immediate vicinity, and are certain there is not another parent nearby).

In most cases, it is best to leave young or baby animals alone, even if they appear to be in distress, you never know if its parent is on the way. If it’s obvious that help is needed, please call the Wildlife Helpline immediately and let the experts know where help is needed and why.

Other signs that a wild animal may need the assistance of the experts at the Wildlife Rehabilitation program are as follows:

    • Apparent or obvious broken limbs

    • Evidence of traumatic bleeding

    • A featherless or nearly featherless bird on the ground

  • Your pet presents the animal to you (or leads you to it with a sense of urgency)

Again, if you do find a wild animal in need of assistance, call the Howell Conference and Nature Center’s Wildlife Helpline at 517-548-5530 for help and please, keep yourself safe.