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4959 Brainard Rd

Orange Village, OH 44022

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"Life Below 3 Feet"

where we'll share pet related stories and helpful information on raising your dog or cat.

By orangevilla1514320, Dec 27 2016 02:28PM

As I reflect back on thirty two years as a practicing veterinarian I realize just how much our professional lives revolve around crap. Not to be taken in a bad way, I am referring to poop, feces, excrement, bm’s. We see patients for producing too much, too little, too soft, too hard, in the box, out of the box, and everywhere they are or aren’t supposed to go. Half of our conversations with pet parents includes at least one crappy question. Our offices smell like it, our trash cans are filled with it and our floors cleaned of it. As disgusting as the thought may be, I am often asked why a dog chooses to eat it with the same mouth that then licks us in the face.

Their decision to seek out and consume cat poop has its basis in the fact that cats are very poor digesters. What goes in the front (mainly meat) comes out the back in neatly packaged bite sized morsels. A litterbox is a dog’s all you can eat carnivorous buffet. Why they eat their own feces is more conjecture and has many theories.

Evolution: when times were lean and meals small and far between, dogs would survive by eating what they could find including the droppings of other animals. Mother dogs consume the feces of their puppies to keep the “house” clean. Puppies learn from this behavior.

As a learned behavior: they see you cleaning up the yard and are trying to please you by helping, or they have seen the reaction that their coprophagia (poop eating in geeky medical terms) gets from you and continue the behavior for attention.

Illness: while not scientifically proven through double blind studies in prestigious universities it may be an indication that your dog is missing something in its diet. Unless you feed a really crappy (and in this context I do mean really bad) diet nutritional deficiencies are hard to produce.

They’re dogs: and being dogs means we can’t always explain why they do something.

What ever the reason may be, what has already come out should not go back in and the behavior should be discouraged. Regularly clean up after your pet and talk to your veterinarian about breaking this behavior.

By orangevilla1514320, Jan 15 2015 03:33PM

1. You punush your cat. Swatting and hitting ONLY teaches it to fear your approach and yelling no only

interupts the behavior. Instead show them what you want and reward them for doing it.

2. You grab thaeir head to tousle their hair. Nobody like to have their head grabbed and rubbed - cats are

no different. Most cats prefer a few long strokes from head to tail; others a small amount of

scratching around the chin or ears. Many cats get irritated by an extended period of stroking.

3. You restrain your cat. Cats like to be able to move and escape situations.

4. A dirty litterbox. Nobody likes to use a dirty toilet. Scoop regularly and empty week or so. Regular

scooping also allows you to identify urinary of bowel problems.

5. Your cat's litterbox is in an inconvenient location. Make it easy for the cat, not you. A cat that has to

navigate humans, other pet, stairs, or loud appliances might feel like the journey is a suicide

mission everytime it needs to eliminate and many will find a better place to go.

6. You use strong smelling cleansers, deoderizers, and products containing alcohol. Cats' noses are

sensitive and these scents can be offensive to them.

7. You add new cats to your home without an introductory period. When an unrelated cats appears and

tries to join a related group, it's in the cats' nature to attack and force the outsider to leave. Without

a prpoer period of controlled, gradual introduction, the chance of aggression and stress increases.

By orangevilla1514320, Jan 15 2015 03:11PM

Are you contributing to your dog's anxiety and behavior issues? Is it possible you do any of the following:

1. You punish your dog for situations you unintentionally arranged. Like leaving your belongings or the

trash within their reach. Dogs are creatures of opportunity, so avoid opportunities for them to get

into trouble. On the subject of punishment if you hit your dog all you are doing is teaching them

to be afraid of you. Instead show them what you want them to do and praise their effort to do so.

2. You keep telling your dog no. When you say "np" and your dog stops the behavior only to repeat it later

the no was just an "interrupter. Skeptical? Try saying "pickel" instead of "no" and the same thing

will happen. Instead show your dog what is expected of him.

3. You assume your dog knows english. Animals communicate through body language and are very

good at figuring it out. Unless you have specifically taught your dog s behavior associated with

words your dog has no idea what you expect.

4. You say to your dog, "It's OK." While this may comfort some pets, generally, owner only say this when

something bad is happening. It becomes a cue for the dog to become afraid or vigilant.

5. You stare at your dog. Direct prolonged eye contact with dogs is generally confrontational.

6. You point or shake your finger at your dog. Yypically when you do this you are also leaning over your

dog - this too makes your dog uncomfortable. The guilty look isn't because it's actually guilty, but

rather it's uncomfotable with the current interaction.

7. You don't let sleeping dogs lie. DOgs don't like to be bothered while sleeping anymore than we do.

By orangevilla1514320, Jan 8 2015 02:23PM

It might seem like your dog would be more comfortable sprawled out on it's side than curled up in a little ball in the corner—and he probably would be! But some dogs sleep curled up nonetheless. Why? Blame evolution!

Dogs in the wild will dig a nest to sleep in, and curl up in it—especially if it’s chilly. This will help keep them warm and also keep their most vital organs and soft belly tucked away from predators. So there are two good reasons why dogs developed this behavior. If your dog stretches out when he sleeps, he’s either really hot or he feels safe and secure.

If you have a ball sleeper you might want to get your dog a small, round dog bed that he fits in, which will make him feel cozier. Or you could give him a blanket and let him "dig" his own little nest.

If your dog is more like my Gypsy, you'll find her in our bed sleeping buried somewhere under the sheets and blankets like a little thermal bed warmer.

By orangevilla1514320, Dec 17 2014 03:07PM

When Is It Time To Say Goodbye?

Even after 32 years in practice it isn't any easier to answer people when they ask me how will I know when it's time to put my pet to sleep. I have always directed the way I practice medicine to quality of life not quantity of life.

I try to base my decision on the following guidelines:

Hurt - can the pain be controlled?

Hunger - is the pet eating enough to maintain weight?

Hydration - is the pet drinking enough to maintain normal bodily functions?

Hygeine - does the pet (especially cats) care or able to keep itself clean?

Happiness - does the pet express joy and interest in life going on around it or is it depressed

lonely, anxious, bored or afraid?

Mobility - can the pet get up without assistance and is it able to carry out normal daily activities?

More Good Days Than Bad - when bad days outnumber good days quality of life might be too

comprimised.

Acting as your pet's advocate and looking at what is best for them, I am glad that veterinarians have the option to stop the suffering of our patients.

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