9-1-1: Is My Dog Having a Dog Heart Attack?

Is there such a thing as a dog heart attack? Yes, heart attacks in dogs happen, although they are rare. When they do occur, they are dangerous. Dog heart attacks occur in all breeds and sizes. Despite their rarity, dog heart attacks are on the rise in the United States. 

A heart attack, also called myocardial infarction, is when the blood flow to the heart is blocked. Without adequate blood flow, tissues lose needed oxygen and nutrients and die. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services can advise our readers what to look for when a dog is having a heart attack and the conditions that lead to it.


An Overview of CCL Injury in Dogs and Treatment Options

A CCL injury in dogs is the most common reason for canine orthopedic surgeries. Dogs tear or rupture their CCL (cranial cruciate ligament), also called ACL, through running, jumping, and heavy impact. A CCL injury can also be due to a congenital knee condition called patellar luxation, which is more common in small dogs.

No matter the cause, a torn CCL is painful and can lead to permanent lameness when not treated. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants to give our readers a better understanding of CCL injuries and how we treat them.


When the Unexpected Occurs: Disaster Preparedness for Pets

September is National Preparedness Month and a great time to focus on disaster preparedness for pets. You may have taken time to think about how to best keep your family safe during an emergency but did you make preparations for your pets? Fires, floods, tornadoes, and other natural disasters are a part of life. They can be life-threatening without proper awareness and preparation on what to do should a disaster occur. 

Our pets need advance preparation and precautions in case of a big or small emergency as well as a natural disaster. There are things to be aware of, as well as the need for a solid emergency plan, for your pet. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here to get you started to better protect your furry loved one. 


Cozy Canine: Best Orthopedic Beds for Dogs

Older dog lying on an orthopedic bed beside the window.

Orthopedic beds for dogs are a great choice when your pet is achy, stiff, or experiencing pain that makes it hard for them to rest on standard beds. If your pet is in their golden years or has had an injury, surgery, or chronic condition, there are good reasons for swapping out their old bed. This is because orthopedic beds are designed with additional thickness and comfort due to the materials used to make them.

It can be hard to find the right bed for your bestie when there are several brands of dog beds that promise to be the best. This is where we come in! Here are the top-rated and best orthopedic beds for dogs to help you narrow down the selection.

8 Great Orthopedic Beds for Dogs

Orthopedic dog beds range in size, material, thickness, and comfort, as well as the price tag. You don’t need to spend a lot for a bed, though, to get great quality. Pets with more serious arthritis or other joint degenerative conditions will likely need something substantial and supportive in a bed. You can always discuss with your veterinarian which types of beds are a good choice for your furry loved one.

Here are some of the better selections in orthopedic beds for dogs.

  1. Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed – This bed is for the oversized Fido, those large and giant breeds. This mattress gives even dogs over 100 pounds (ca. 45 kg) enough room to stretch out without spilling over the bed. With three cozy memory foam layers, this bed supports heavier dogs and is a comfortable choice for dogs with any condition that causes them to be sore or achy.
  2. Best Friends by Sheri Lux – This donut-shaped bed is perfect for small dog breeds, without compromising the integrity of the quality and comfort. Small dogs love the donut or walled style of bed, as it makes them feel more secure. This bed offers a water-resistant bottom and is machine washable.
  3. K&H Pet Products Lounger – This aesthetically pleasing dog bed is perfect for the pet owner who appreciates both comfort and style. This cushioning dog bed features three layers consisting of a foam base, bolster cushions and walls, and a pillow top cover. The extra benefit is that the pillows have zippers, so you can remove and launder them.
  4. Milliard Premium Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed – This simple style of bed has the extra benefit of having an antimicrobial slip over the top that you can remove and wash. Many pets dislike walled beds, so this is a good choice for medium-to-large breeds who love space. This mattress consists of two human-grade memory foam layers that are supportive and comfortable.
  5. Brindle Waterproof Dog Bed – The Brindle offers 4 inches (ca. 10 cm) of depth, with 2 inches (ca. 5 cm) of memory foam. Durable, comfortable, and easy for a dog to get in and out of, this bed is made so that it can be used inside a crate. If your pet is incontinent, the waterproof feature is a big plus, with easy to clean materials.
  6. PetFusion Ultimate Memory Foam Dog Bed – PetFusion Ultimate is a good choice for pets who are hard on their beds. It is durable and long-lasting, for even the roughest canine who loves to chew. The beds have 4-6 inches of memory foam, so your pet will feel like they are sleeping on a cloud!
  7. BarksBar Orthopedic Pet Bed – This super plush bed comes with side cushions to support the head and neck. Combining soft cotton padding with memory foam, this bed consistently ranks among the top ten orthopedic beds for dogs over the past few years. It’s also easy to maintain and you can launder it in the washing machine.
  8. FurHaven Round Snuggery Bed – For the pet who loves to snuggle under covers, this bed comes with a sheepskin hood that can keep your pup cozy. The perfect bed for a recovering pet (or the family kitty), the Snuggery also supports the muscles and joints with a comfortable memory foam layer. This is a popular choice for winter since it has extra warmth. 

Orthopedic beds can be a great asset for pets who have arthritis or other conditions that cause discomfort or pain. If your pet is recovering from a surgery, they also need the added comfort of a bed that supports their whole body.

If you are still wondering which orthopedic beds for dogs are the best or what your older pet needs, please reach out to the team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services. If you have any questions about orthopedic injuries or conditions in dogs, we are your go-to source of excellent veterinary care. We look forward to hearing from you.

The Rise of Leptospirosis in Dogs

Leptospirosis may not be the topic that great conversations are made of, but it is one every pet owner should understand. This illness not only affects our animal companions but it is also zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted to humans

9% of dogs are estimated to be shedding leptospires, the bacteria responsible for the disease, even if they are asymptomatic. Leptospirosis continues to be on the rise, especially in canines, so it’s essential to understand what it is and how to prevent it.

Your friends at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services want to update you on this potentially fatal illness in order to keep your dog and whole family safe.


The Lifespan of Cats

The great news is that the average lifespan of a cat has increased over the years. At one time, the family mouser lived in the barn or yard. They had to scruff around for their meals and avoid the usual scrapes that come with living outside. From encounters with wildlife to poisonous plants, they may have lived for 3 or 4 years if lucky. Now with advanced veterinary medicine, better nutrition and a safer lifestyle for our whiskered pals, the lifespan of a cat has increased considerably.

There are still many variables in determining how long a cat will live. This is why the team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants to explain the lifespan of cats and what you can do to improve your cat’s health and well-being.


Understanding the Types of Veterinary Care

There are many levels of care a pet can receive, depending on their medical needs. We often use the terms specialty care, critical care, and emergency services to describe what we do here at our hospital to help pets. Differences between types of veterinary care may be confusing as well as how they coordinate with regular veterinary care.

The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here to explain these distinct services and when a pet might need them. Let’s look closer at these terms.


Traveling with Your Pet During the Pandemic

After many weeks of the global pandemic, most of us are opting for road trips, camping, and other forms of getting out and about to shake off the boredom. This also includes using good social distancing precautions. 

As pet owners, we probably want to take our best furry ones along with us. After all, most pets, especially dogs, love to travel and sight see with us

There are a few considerations before venturing out with your paw pal. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants to get you out and on the road. Just use our tips for traveling with your pet during the pandemic. Let’s go!


Making the Grade: Why Choose a Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon

A general veterinarian performs many routine surgeries; however, you may find that they refer you to a board certified veterinary surgeon when the surgery is beyond their realm of expertise or perhaps needs 24 hour care and monitoring post-operatively. 

Both human and veterinary medicine have doctors who specialize. These specialists spend extra years accumulating even more advanced expertise and education. Just as with human medicine, a hip surgery or heart surgery isn’t going to be performed in your regular physician’s office. 


Why Is My Dog Itching? Understanding Dog Skin Conditions and Allergies

Is your dog itching? While the occasional scratch or nibble at the skin is normal for most dogs, a dog chronically scratching indicates something more serious. Intense itching is an indicator that your pet may have skin allergies or other medical conditions that affect the skin. Skin conditions can also become inflamed or infected. 

Oakland Veterinary Referral Services sees many chronic and complex cases of skin disorders. We can explain reasons behind them and help you get to the bottom of this uncomfortable problem.