How To Clip a Dog’s Toenails

Many dog owners have a feeling of dread overcome them whenever it’s time to clip their pet’s toenails. Either past experiences with this daunting task might have deterred them, or stories about what has happened with other dog owners and their dogs can scare people to postpone this necessary task indefinitely.

However, much like everything else, if you follow the correct steps by the book, you can go through with this scary task without a single hitch! Hence, here is what you need to do to smoothly trim the toenails of your dog:

Step 1: Toenail Clipper

The very first step to make this an efficient process is to get an appropriate toenail clipper. The clipper must be the appropriate size for your dog. A size mismatch can cause a number of problems and can lead to “quacking”, which is cutting the blood vessel in the nail. Once you have a clipper, you need to understand just what you have to do. For that, you can always go to Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital for some lessons in how to clip toenails of dogs.

Step 2: Figure Out Where To Clip

The trick to it is trimming and cutting off the nail areas that are dead instead of the area that has the blood vessel, called a quick, flowing in it. If the dog you own happens to have white nails, the quick is very easy to see and point out. On the other hand, it gets harder to point out in a dog with darker nails. In such cases, a small flashlight like the one in your cell phone can highlight the quick even in the dark nails. Just avoid the quick and trim off all the dead areas surrounding it.

Step 3: Keep Your Dog Busy

To keep the dog busy, have someone occupy them while you cut their nails. If you are very scared about cutting the quick, try to cut the areas that come right before the nail starts to curve. This helps you avoid the quick and deal with the trimming easily. Make sure to go slow, only cutting one or two at a time to ensure that your dog does not feel much pain. You need to trim a dog’s nails often for its own good. Well cut nails do not touch the ground and stick above it.

Indeed, trimming your pup’s toenails can be a quick and efficient process that can restore your confidence in your dog-rearing abilities after any kind of depreciation in it. You just need to follow a few steps and use some required equipment for the task. The most important thing you need to have is determination. You are determined to protect your dog’s hygiene and ensure that it’s in top shape. It can be nerve-wracking, but clipping the toenails is ultimately for the dog itself, not for you. For more information on proper grooming techniques contact Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital in Rancho Cucamonga.

Tips for Handling Dog Shed

Tips for Handling Dog ShedWe love our dogs, and even thinking about trading them in for a “hair-free home” isn’t an option for most people. Still, the build-up of dog hair shed on literally every surface of your house can be a nuisance.

First, it’s important to remember that this isn’t your dog’s fault. All dogs shed because they need to get rid of old hair growth. Especially in the winter, your dog will build up a thicker coat of hair that will then shed off as the weather gets warmer and they don’t need those extra layers for warmth.

So we know it’s not your dog’s fault, but what can you do to stop the hair buildup? Here are Dr. Shufer and Dr. Henderson’s tips for minimizing the build-up and reining in the problem:

1. Restrict Where Your Dog Can Go

Perhaps you don’t want to keep your dog from going into different rooms, but you might consider restricting them from laying on certain furniture. And if you feel bad banning Fido the floor, consider getting them their own comfy bed — sold at a nearly every large department store and pet store.

2. Brush Your Dog To Help With Shed

Daily brushing is one of the best ways to stop the build-up of hair in your home. Plus, most dogs love being brushed! Just be sure to purchase the right tool. There are numerous types, including shedding blades, “Love Gloves,” “Matbreakers,” and more. Read reviews to see which one may be the best solution for your dog and their hair type.

3. Vacuum Regularly

Hair often builds up on the carpet and in rugs. And if it has time to spread around the house, it will also have a tendency to gather beneath beds, in closets, and near baseboards. Regular vacuuming will curtail this build-up and will keep the air in your home fresher and cleaner too.

4. Leave a Lint Roller By The Door

For your own cleanliness and appearance, it’s a good idea to keep a lint roller by the door for before you leave the house. Especially if you’re wearing dark colors and have a light-colored dog (or the opposite), dog hair can seem to cling to materials like cotton, wool, and fleece. Lint those hairs off before you head out!

5. Give Your Dog Regular Baths

Finally, it’s important to clean your dog at least once a month and especially in the summer months. Use a gentle shampoo and give them a soothing scrub and rinse with warm water. This will help keep their coat healthy and will, in some cases, limit fur turnover.

The truth is, nearly every type of dog (and cat) will shed. This is regardless of their breed, size, or age. It is true that certain breeds shed more than others, but every dog owner knows the plight of constant lint-rolling, vacuuming, and dusting up hair. And while you can’t eliminate this annoyance if you want to keep your dog, you can use the tips above to help minimize the build-up and keep your home a little more dog-hair-free. Contact Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital today if you are interested in learning more about proper pet care!

How Often Should I Clean My Bird’s Cage?

How Often Should I Clean My Bird's CageYour bird’s cage has several components to it, and these will need to be washed off at various times. It is best to establish a routine for cleaning the cage, beginning with the tasks that need to be done on a daily basis. This will help you to perform these actions quickly, and it will also have a positive effect on your bird’s health. Here are some tips for properly cleaning your bird’s cage from Dr. Shufer and Dr. Henderson.

Items to Clean Every Day

The cage liner needs to be replaced regularly, and this can consist of a single layer or layers of newspaper. It also needs to be black and white, as colored ink can be toxic to your pet. Make sure your bird’s waste has not soaked through the bottom layers of newspaper when replacing the top sheet.

Your bird’s food and water dish need to be cleaned using hot soapy water, and this must be done in an area away from where your food is prepared. You can also use a disinfectant, or you can place them in the dishwasher. It is important to make sure that no traces of detergent remain. The cage needs to be completely dry so that mold does not form on top of food pellets. Some people will purchase more than one dish set so that they can use an alternate while one is being cleaned.

You can wash your pet’s water bottle by using a bottle brush, and the birdbath should be cleaned with hot soapy water, dried, returned to its place, and refilled with fresh water. You’ll want to run a vacuum over the floor space surrounding the cage to clear away any feathers, droppings, seeds, or other debris.

Cage Items to Clean on a Weekly or Monthly Basis

The frequency with which you’ll need to rinse the items under this subheading will depend on the number of birds that you own and their size. The cages of larger birds will need to be tidied up on a weekly basis, and those of smaller birds can usually be done once a month. You may want to move the bird to another location, so he/she won’t be exposed to chemicals, and you’ll want to remove all accessories from the cage.

You can place the cage in a shower and use a hand-held nozzle, or you can take it outside and use a hose to spray it down. Start with water and then wash it with a disinfectant. It is best to let it air dry in the sun. Perches and toys can be cleaned using dishwashing detergent, and your bird’s waste can be removed by using sandpaper.

Some toys can be placed in the dishwasher, and others, such as ropes, can be put into the washing machine. It is ideal to air dry these as well, but they can be placed in the oven 250º for 10 minutes instead.

We will be happy to answer any of your questions regarding your bird’s cage and its regular maintenance, and we invite you to choose Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital for all your veterinary needs.

My Cat Vomits Frequently: When To See Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital

My Cat Vomits Frequently When To SeeMost likely, all cat owners have seen their cat occasionally vomit. It most cases, it is an isolated event and not a cause for alarm. The cat perhaps ate too quickly or got too playful too soon after eating. But, if your cat vomits frequently, there may be a serious cause that needs medical attention.

Signs Your Cat Should Take a Trip to Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital

No matter how much your cat may resist being put in the carrier for a trip to Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital, chronic vomiting may be a symptom of a serious medical condition for which medical treatment is available.
Watch for any of these other symptoms so you can provide Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital with as much information as possible to help in the diagnosis and treatment.

  • Lethargy.
  • Blood in the vomit or stool.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Changes in appetite, either an increase or decrease.
  • Changes in water consumption.
  • Signs of dehydration.
  • Weight loss.
  • Any recent changes in your cat’s habits or activities.
  • Any medication your pet may be taking or any changes in the cat’s diet.

Although non-cat owners often ask how you can tell if a cat is lethargic, cat owners can generally tell the difference in their cat’s behavior and know when it is acting normally by sleeping many hours a day and a cat that is no longer playful, lacks energy, and may even seem depressed.

Possible Medical Conditions that can Cause Chronic Vomiting

There are a number of known causes of chronic vomiting. Some are more serious than others and Dr. Shufer and Dr. Henderson will likely need to do some diagnostic tests in order to determine the cause and order appropriate treatment.

The most common causes of chronic vomiting are diseases of the intestinal tract and the stomach. There also may be a disease in other organs, such as the pancreas and gallbladder, that allow toxins to accumulate in the blood and signal the brain vomiting center.

When your cat is chronically vomiting, this also means it is not getting the nutrition it needs to sustain life and is likely losing weight. Chronic vomiting can also lead to the cat inhaling the vomit which can block the airways and lead to upper respiratory problems and even pneumonia.
There are a number of causes of chronic vomiting. Some of the more serious ones include:

  • Pancreatitis.
  • Various types of cancer, including lymphoma.
  • Diabetes.
  • Ulcer.
  • Various organ failures, like liver and kidneys.
  • Viral infections.
  • Bacterial infections.

Diagnosis and Treatment If Your Cat Vomits Frequently

Since chronic vomiting is a symptom of an underlying disease, treatment depends on the proper diagnosis. This will involve blood tests and possibly x-rays. After diagnosis, Dr. Shufer or Dr. Henderson will recommend treatment for the underlying condition.

Some treatment options may include:

  • Changes in your cat’s diet.
  • Certain medications that will control the vomiting.
  • Antibiotics if a bacterial infection is discovered.
  • Corticosteroids to treat inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Surgery, if a tumor is determined to be the cause.
  • Medications for treating specific causes of the chronic vomiting.
  • Chemotherapy to treat cancer.

If your cat is experiencing chronic vomiting, do not wait. Contact Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital for an appointment as soon as possible.

Puppies and Parvo: What Every New Puppy Owner Should Know

Puppies and Parvo What Every New Puppy Owner Should KnowIf you have just adopted a new puppy, or are soon to get one, parvo should be something that you familiarize yourself with. Parvo is an illness that affects dogs, most commonly puppies. And if not treated, it can become deadly. Here at Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital, serving the greater Rancho Cucamonga area, we want all new puppy owners to know about parvo and to be on the lookout for it, as knowing this information can save a puppies life. Here is what every new puppy owner should know about parvo.

What Is Parvo?

Parvo is a disease of the stomach and small intestines caused by the parvovirus. This disease is highly contagious. Puppies can catch it through direct contact with an infected dog or by touching something that an infected dog touched, sniffed or licked, such as a food or water bowl or leash. This disease affects puppies aged six weeks to six months. Puppies younger than six weeks old have antibodies from their mother. By the age of six months, puppies should have received their six, eight and 12-week shots to protect them from the virus.

The Signs of Parvo

There are many signs of parvo in a puppy. The most common sign, and usually the first sign, is a puppy that just doesn’t seem active, normal or wanting to play. Other signs associated with parvo include not wanting to eat, dehydration, diarrhea with or without blood, fever, lethargy, noticeable weight loss, stumbling while walking, weakness and vomiting. If you have a puppy who just seems to be feeling under the weather and something isn’t right, you should get your puppy checked out. The sooner the condition is diagnosed, the better the outcome is for the puppy.

The Treatment for Parvo

There is currently no known treatment for parvo. Once your pet has been diagnosed with the virus, they can start your pet on preventative care to help the symptoms and problems that exacerbate the condition. Your vet will work to keep your puppy hydrated and give them the nutrition they need. A course of antibiotics will likely also be started to help prevent infections that can ultimately lead to death in a puppy caused by both the weakened immune system and infections in the intestinal wall.

What To Do If You Suspect Parvo

If your puppy shows any of the signs for parvo, or you suspect they may have it, it is important to get them to a vet as quickly as possible. Recovery is more likely when it is caught and treated early. Before you bring your puppy to a vet, call the vet and let them know what is going on and ask how you should proceed. Since the condition is so contagious, some may pull you into an exam room right away or ask you to avoid the waiting room so other dogs don’t catch it.

If you have a puppy that you suspect has parvo, it is important that the puppy is taken to the vet as quickly as possible. When you need a vet in Rancho Cucamonga, contact Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital. We can help your new puppy receive the care he or she needs. Give us a call at 909-297-1813 to let us know you are on your way and we will be waiting for you.

Pet Grooming in Rancho Cucamonga

Pet-Grooming-Rancho-CucamongaAt our Rancho Cucamonga clinic, we offer professional pet grooming services for dogs, cats and birds. Our professionals are trained to prevent and respond to health concerns and maintain optimal cleanliness. Dr. Shufer and Dr. Kathy Henderson in Rancho Cucamonga will evaluate the needs of your pet, and then recommend a grooming solution designed for your animal.

Pet Grooming Services Include:

  • Flea baths, which remove fleas from your pet’s fur
  • Flea control and prevention, which reduces the risk of fleas infesting a pet’s fur in the future
  • Medicated baths for different skin ailments that may occur
  • Removing or addressing matted fur, which reduces pain and discomfort a pet may experience from clumped and matted fur
  • Shave downs for long-haired breeds of dogs and cats during the summer months
  • Nail trimming, which keeps your pet’s claws and nails in control to prevent tearing or overgrown nails
  • Cleaning the anal sac, which prevents infections and pain, and excessive licking or itching of the rear.

Bird Grooming Services

  • Clipping wings to prevent your bird from getting out of the house and flying away
  • Trimming a bird’s nails to prevent overgrowth
  • Beak trimming, particularly when a bird has overgrowth and faces health risks from the excess growth
  • Band removal, which is a delicate procedure and requires a professional to prevent health risks

Bird grooming prevents health risks and allows pet owners to feel confident that a bird will not fly into dangerous objects. It is part of ensuring your bird is healthy and active through life.

Frequently Asked Questions on Pet Grooming in Rancho Cucamonga

How Often Should I Brush My Cat or Dog?

Cats or dogs will need to be brushed anywhere from once daily to once a week, depending on how long and thick their fur. Short-haired animals with thin coats need to be brushed only once a week. Longer-haired animals and those with double coats should be brushed at least once a day.

How Often Should I Bathe My Pet?

Bathing your dog too frequently could cause dryness and irritation of the skin. Your dog’s bathing needs will vary depending on his breed and activities. Ask our veterinary grooming staff how often to bathe your dog. Cats typically do not need to be bathed at all. Your cat may need a bath if he gets into something and gets excessively dirty. You may want to enlist Alto Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital to bathe your cat.

You should bathe your bird at least once a week, but it is fine to bathe him as often as once a day if he likes it. Avoid bathing him if he is sick, since the chill could cause him distress or make his illness worse.

Can I Trim My Pet’s Nails at Home?

In most cases, yes, you can trim your pet’s nails at home, regardless of his species. While cats do not need their nails trimmed, many owners find that dulling the claws with a cat nail trimmer or a human fingernail trimmer prevents accidental scratches and keeps the cat from getting his claws caught in fabrics. Trimming your dog’s nails will prevent deformities of the toe that can result when the nail gets too long. Birds also need their nails trimmed regularly.

To trim a cat or dog’s nails, use a species-specific trimmer and cut off just the tip of the nail, right before the curve begins. You may want to have our team demonstrate how to trim your birds nails and show you how long they should be. Keep some styptic powder on hand to staunch bleeding.

Can I Clip My Birds Wings at Home?

It is best if you have our team clip your bird’s wings. Poorly-clipped wings can impair the bird’s ability to control itself, leading to injury. There is also a risk of injury to the blood feathers, which could require emergency veterinary first aid.

For more tips on pet grooming, check out the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Book your appointment for pet grooming in Rancho Cucamonga today!

Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe This Winter

Tips-to-Keep-Your-Pet-Safe-This-WinterHow much trouble can your pet get into during the winter? While your dog or cat may be spending more time inside and around you, accidents can still happen. Chilly seasonal temperatures in Rancho Cucamonga can affect your pet, especially smaller animals or those that spend a lot of time outside. Meanwhile, a bored dog or cat can chew on houseplants, decorations, and seasonal foods that are not healthy to be consumed. Here are some signs that your pet may need to visit Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital:

Tips To Avoid Hypothermia

Many dogs love playing in the chilly weather. Adventurous long-haired cats don’t even seem to feel the temperatures. However, these animals can catch hypothermia just like humans. Keep an eye out for these signs in your pets.

Signs of Hypothermia in Pets:

  • shivering
  • unusual fatigue
  • disorientation
  • stumbling as they walk
  • extremely cold ears or paws
  • ragged breathing
  • avoiding you (more common for cats)

What to Do?

  • Take your pet into a warm room.
  • Don’t put anything too hot on them.
  • Wrap your pet loosely in a blanket.
  • Call Dr. Shufer for advice.

Holiday Food

Did you know that some of the foods humans enjoy are toxic to pets? Even when you have the best of intentions, it can be easy for a wily cat or dog to sneak a bite of something that isn’t good for them.

Common Danger Foods:

  • chocolate
  • raisins and grapes
  • onions and garlic
  • macadamia nuts
  • cherries
  • fruit with pits like plums or peaches
  • meat with small bones like fish or chicken

Symptoms of Food Poisoning:

  • coughing and choking
  • vomiting
  • strange-looking stool
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty urinating

What to Do?

  • Try to figure out what your pet may have eaten.
  • Offer bland food and plenty of water.
  • Call Dr. Shufer for advice.

Holiday Decorations

From cheerful plants to bright light displays, your holiday decorations are eye catching, but potentially hazardous. Does your dog have a bad habit of chewing on light power cords? Is your cat eyeing that crimson-leafed poinsettia? This may spell trouble.

Dangerous Holiday Decorations:

  • poinsettias
  • holly and ivy
  • mistletoe
  • tree tinsel
  • fairy lights
  • delicate glass decorations
  • silica gel from holiday gift packages
  • packing peanuts
  • needles shed from the Christmas tree
  • candles or crackling fireplaces

Symptoms of Exposure to Dangerous Holiday Decorations:

  • upset stomach with vomiting and diarrhea
  • heavy drooling
  • watering eyes
  • coughing
  • bleeding scratches from broken decorations
  • singed fur and burns from fire sources

What to Do?

Start with a dose of prevention:

  • Teach animals not to chew on electrical cords, or keep cords bundled safely out of the way.
  • Place toxic houseplants in high, hard-to-reach places. Train your cat not to climb up there.
  • Check Christmas decorations carefully; older tree tinsel may have lead and older glass ornaments may be very fragile.
  • Consider replacing glass decorations with more durable plastic versions.
  • Don’t tempt your pet to misbehave by stringing edible popcorn chains up.
  • When opening gifts, immediately throw away the wrapping materials and packing peanuts. Also, check that silica gel packets haven’t fallen out.

However, sometimes prevention isn’t enough. If your animal’s hurt or has eaten something they shouldn’t, call Dr. Shufer and Dr. Henderson immediately for advice. Stay safe and happy holidays from all of us at Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital!

Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips Everyone enjoys the Thanksgiving season. It’s a time for great food, companionship of family and friends, and sharing good cheer and fellowship. And your pets can enjoy the holidays too. But it can also be a stressful and even dangerous time for your pets unless you are aware of the specific hazards that holiday celebrations bring and take steps to ensure their safety and well being. Here are some basic tips to protect your pet during the Thanksgiving season. Remember, if you have any doubts or questions, contact Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital for more information and advice.

Protecting Pets During The Thanksgiving Feast

Keep the food on the table. It’s natural for people to want to slip pets a treat under the table, but some foods that are safe for humans can be poisonous to animals, including onions, grapes, and raisins. Fatty foods, like turkey skin, can cause a dangerous condition known as pancreatitis. Instead, buy some treats just for them, and warn guests against feeding them.

Desserts are a no-no. Cats and dogs are often attracted to sweets, but chocolate and artificial sweeteners can be deadly for them.
Keep the bones away. Poultry bones are especially hazardous for pets, as the sharp slivers can easily scratch and lacerate the esophagus and the intestines.

Partying With Your Pets

Crowds can be very stressful. Gatherings of unfamiliar people, with the inevitable noise and activity, can make a shy or nervous animal very uncomfortable, causing them to be irritable and more likely to bite or scratch. Consider keeping your pet in a separate room while your guests are present, protecting both your pet and your guests.

Guard the doors

Lots of people coming in and going out of your home creates an excellent opportunity for pets to escape outdoors, especially if they’re nervous and excited.

Keep Pets Away From Decorations

Holiday decorations can seem like an attractive chew toy for pets, but they can easily cause blockages in their intestines. Make sure to keep them out of their reach.

On The Road With Your Pets

Get a health certificate before you travel outside of the Rancho Cucamonga area. If you’re traveling across state lines or internationally, have Dr. Reid Shufer and Dr. Kathy Henderson give your pet a checkup and issue you a certificate of health. Many states require this within a certain time before traveling. Use restraints while riding in vehicles. Just like other passengers, your pet needs protection from sudden stops and accidents, so make sure to keep them in an appropriate harness or carrier. This also keeps them from unexpectedly distracting the driver.

Ensure Your Pet is Microchipped

At Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital, we’re concerned about the millions of pets that go missing each year. If your pet runs away or gets stolen, there’s only one way for shelters and law enforcement to identify it and get it back to you. Pet microchipping in Rancho Cucamonga is like an insurance policy on your dog or cat, allowing others to help it get home when it’s lost. It’s a simple procedure that only takes a few minutes, but one that can save endless hours of worry about your furry family member.

Always Stay With Your Pet

Never leave a pet alone inside a vehicle for any reason, no matter the weather or the length of time you’ll be gone.

Pack Essentials For Your Pet

Most people spend a lot of time deciding what to pack for themselves but often neglect to do the same for their pets. Make sure your pet has enough of any required medications, plenty of food and refreshments, and anything else that will contribute to their comfort and safety. It’s a good idea to bring along copies of medical records too in case of an emergency.

You love and care for your pet as a member of your family. A little knowledge will protect them through the holidays, and all the year round. If there is any question, contact Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital today for any pet health information.

The holiday season is also a great time to remember the pets in need who will spend these holidays in shelters. While your home might have all the pets it can handle, considering making a donation or volunteering at The City of Rancho Cucamonga Animal Care & Adoption Center this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

What to Do if Your Pet Suffers From Skin Problems?

What to Do if Your Pet Suffers From Skin Problems?It is hard to see watch a pet suffer in any manner. Watching pets repeatedly itch, scratch or bite at their skin due to skin conditions can be concerning for pet owners and lead to sores, hair loss, or infection for pets. The good news is that you can often help pets by treating the skin condition that is is the underlying cause of the irritation.

Common Skin Conditions Your Pet May Suffer From

The first step in treating your pet’s irritated skin is identifying what the condition is that is causing the hair loss, itching, or irritation. While there are many less common skin conditions that can affect your pet, some of the most common conditions include:

  • Allergies – Pets may be affected by a food allergy, contact allergy, inhalant allergy, or flea allergy.
  • Yeast Infections – Yeast likes to grow in warm moist areas and in your pet that is most often in their ears, paws, and jowls. If your pet is excessively scratching or biting at these areas, a yeast infection may be the cause.
  • Fleas, Ticks, and Mites – Fleas, ticks, and mites can set up a home on your pets fur, skin, and ears. These parasites will often bite or burrow causing your pets to scratch often to the point of damaging their skin.
  • Dry Skin – If your pet’s skin is flaky and their coat is dull, itching may be due to dry skin. Pets can suffer from dry skin seasonally or all year round.
  • Hot Spots – If you find your pet licking or biting red sores on their body, you could be dealing with hot spots. As the name sounds, these will be warm to the touch and usually look like wounds.

What Do You Do if Your Pet Suffers From Skin Problems?

Treating your pet for skin conditions could mean a commitment for the duration of your pet’s life so learning how to care for it properly is essential. Some things you can do to help your pet’s skin condition is:

Get a Proper Diagnosis
If your pet suffers from chronic skin problems or seems to have an acute condition, it is important to bring your dog to the vet so that a proper diagnosis can be made. Your vet will be able to check for fleas, test for allergies, and prescribe any prescriptions that might be necessary for treatment.

Upgrade Your Pet’s Food
A proper diet can help ensure that your pet gets the proper nutrients for healthy skin and coat. Try to find a dog food that is free of fillers and ingredients that are overly processed.

Maintain a Regular Grooming Schedule
You can alleviate some of your pet’s discomfort by following a regular bathing and grooming routine. This will help remove any irritants that come into contact with your pet’s skin and remove debris and buildup that can occur from your pet’s outdoor play. If your pet suffers from dry skin, find shampoos that utilize extra moisturizing or conditioning components.

Treat Your Pet for Fleas and Ticks
Many pet owners don’t worry about fleas until they see them, but by that point they probably have taken up permanent residence on your furry friend causing them serious discomfort. By treating your pet regularly, you will be able to prevent fleas from inhabiting your pet’s coat and prevent additional itching and bites.

If your pet suffers from skin problems contact Alta Rancho Pet and Bird Hospital today to schedule your appointment and get your pet on the road to recovery.

Understanding Psittacosis In Birds

Understanding Psittacosis In BirdsParrot fever, also called psittacosis, is a very rare disease in humans that can be caught by handling infected pet birds, usually parrots, parakeets, macaws, and cockatiels. Many cases occur that aren’t either reported or diagnosed. Bird owners, zookeepers, veterinarians, and pet shop employees are most at risk of infection.

At Alta Rancho Pet and Bird Hospital, we are dedicated first and foremost to caring for the health of your birds. Dr. Kathy Henderson, Dr. Reid Shufer, and their highly dedicated staff, have developed the best veterinary health care team in the area, and are happy to help you and your birds to live happily, and healthily, together.

How Can You Tell If Your Pet Bird Is Sick?

Avian chlamydiosis is the name for psittacosis in birds. Unfortunately the majority of birds might not show any symptoms. It’s possible that they may carry this bacteria for a number of months before you can notice any outward signs. This disease may be carried by your bird in a dormant stage, and can then be activated by a stress factor like moulting, weather condition extremes, transportation, or other illnesses. Here are a number of symptoms to look out for which will let you know that birds might be infected:

  • Infected birds may have problems breathing or may shiver frequently
  • There may be a discharge from the nose or eyes
  • Infected birds may have diarrhea or discolored droppings (both feces and urine) in a variety of shades of green
  • Weight loss caused by eating less or stopping eating completely
  • Sleepiness, lethargy, and depression
  • Birds may have red, inflamed eyes
  • Fluffed feathers
  • Seizures or other neurological symptoms

What Can Our Vets Do?

The veterinarians at Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital can do lab tests that will confirm the presence of psittacosis. When diagnosed, your birds will be given either an oral course of doxycycline or weekly injections for a period of 42 days. Sometimes drinking water medication is given, although many birds won’t drink medicated water. Most birds treated for 42 days will recover from the disease. Unfortunately, your birds can become re-infected in the future.

How Can You Reduce Your Chances Of Getting Parrot Fever?

It is very important for bird owners to clean out bird cages daily. They should feed birds properly, give them a decent amount of space (they should not be crowded together in a cage) and they should be checked for symptoms of sickness and taken to the vet promptly if any symptoms are discovered. If you have several cages, make certain that the cages are far enough apart so there’s no danger of feces being transferred between them.

Other Prevention Tips

  • Only buy birds from a reputable dealer or pet shop
  • Wash your hands immediately after handling birds and supplies
  • Don’t let a bird’s beak touch your nose or mouth
  • Keep all birds in an area that is well ventilated
  • Take any sick birds to the veterinarian
  • Treatment for parrot fever

Parrot fever can be treated with antibiotics, including doxycycline and tetracycline, for 10-14 days after any fever resolves. This illness is generally either mild or moderate. Please contact Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital if you have come into contact with infected birds.