Today’s topic is disaster preparedness for pets, something to think about as fires rage, hurricanes threaten, and earthquakes lurk.

Our monthly podcast starts with Dr Patrick Mahaney talking about disasters he has had to face in his practice followed by these questions:

  1. Adrienne: could you touch on some of the common disasters encountered in regional areas of the country and perhaps some uncommon ones that people may not think of or are aware of?
  2. Kate: I'm guessing we should have a plan in place in case of disaster for our pets... what would that plan look like?
  3. Adrienne (who has a volunteer search and rescue dog): could you outline the necessary items to be included in a disaster preparedness kit: 
    • What things you will need to care for your pet in the event of a disaster or if you
      would need to evacuate (floods, fires, hurricanes, etc.) 
    • What types of contact information and identification for the pet do you need in case
      you should become separated. 
    • Also what the length of time the kit should cover and how often it should be
      updated/changed?
  4. Katie: During Sandy, those who didn't evacuate were forced to leave their pets behind for days, some a week or more, until the barrier island reopened. While we all know having evacuated sooner could have avoided the issue, are there any suggestions on what to do in that event to
    help keep your pet safe until you can return?

 Click on the link below for the podcast.

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Talking of pet poisons, here is Dr Patrick and me talking about pet poisons. Dr Patrick gives his top 5 reasons he sees pets from poisoning and the signs and symptoms of poisoning and what to do, plus questions from our friends on Facebook:

  1. Van: Which houseplants or cut flowers are a danger to cats? Which are safe?
  2. Kim: My dog Lola got into my prescription pills a few days ago and ate anywhere from 10-20 pills. She has some kidney damage and is back at the vet for another 48-72 hours of IV fluids. She is drinking excessively and her kidneys are not concentrating her urine, it is just going right through her. The ASPCA poison control have given our vets the protocol and we hope after the next 2-3 days she will fully recover. There is nothing more they can do so we are hoping her
    kidneys begin to function again. Is there anything else we can do to help the healing process?
     
  3. Laura: Are there breeds of dog or cat that are more sensitive to certain compounds?

Links mentioned in the podcast are:

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Last year, we challenged Embraced pet parent Arthur to start brushing his dog Pancho's teeth and he promised us a video. Fast forward to this year and here's what Arthur wrote to me: 

Clean Teeth 2-22-2013 01Last year around this time, you challenged me to demonstrate, on film, how to brush Pancho’s teeth. After a couple of hours of setting up and shooting, my cameraman lost interest, Pancho became uncomfortable and his teeth were not getting any cleaner. 

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Say cheese! Dr Patrick pulls a few tricks up his sleeve on the following topics so if you think you've heard it all on the topic of pet dental health, think again.

  1. How many people actively clean their pets’ teeth?
  2. Why on earth would we do such a thing?
  3. Are there some pets where teeth issues are more common than other dogs or cats?
  4. Is it too late to teach my older pet to accept me cleaning her teeth?
  5. What are signs of dental illness?
  6. What else can we do besides physically clean our pets teeth to prevent dental illness?
  7. Does fluoride in water have a positive impact on dental illness for pets?

Click below for the podcast audio file

Laura Bennett & Dr Patrick Mahaney Dental Health

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BatmanWhen I told Dr Patrick that we were covering eye care in this podcast, he was absolutely delighted! Eye care is one of his favorite topics.

Eyes are a part of the body we just expect to keep on working. A friend of mine (the human kind) had an unexpected detached retina last year and he said it really made him think how much for granted he'd taken his eyesight until then. It's the same with our cats and dogs - until something happens.

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This month we’re all about cats at Embrace so we have some intriguing questions from Embrace facebook friends on the topic.

Cat issues are also very interesting for Dr Patrick as he can sometimes be seen treating cats on the Animal Planet show “My Cat From Hell”, now going into its fourth season.

So let's launch into it. In the podcast below, you will hear the answers to the following questions: 

Monica B: My 12 year old cat pulls his fur out periodically. It is usually when he is very hungry. He has "hot spots" along his spine that I massage on a daily basis and this is where he pulls. Is there anything else I can do to alleviate these hot spots?

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Living in Cleveland OH, where it's rather chilly in the winter, we’re always focused on our weather and the changing seasons, and of course, winter is definitely with us. We can expect temperatures below freezing at night starting about now, developing into snow and ice on the ground permanently in January; however, other parts of the country have winter in different ways so Dr Patrick and I discuss winter dangers for pets in all parts of the country, chilly or not.  

The audio recording below covers the follow topics:

  1. Warmer clime winter issues
  2. Flea and ticks in dogs and cats in winter
  3. Ice and cold protection for your dog
  4. What to do if your dog falls into cold water
  5. Older dogs and cats and the cold

Laura Bennett & Dr Patrick Mahaney Winter Dangers

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I know the Olympics are over but Dr Patrick Mahaney and I had some fun talking about a couple of breeds that some Olympians known to you have in their homes, including the:

Bulldog

Catahoula

Border Terrier

Dalmatian

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I'm delighted with today's podcast with Dr Patrick Mahaney since alternative or complementary treatments are his area of expertise (not that he isn't an expert on all we talk about of course).

Here are some of the items we cover in this podcast.

First Patrick goes over what alternative and complementary treatments are and  you integrate them into a pet’s veterinary care.

Then on to questions from our facebook friends…

Michael: Can acupuncture be used to mitigate chronic pain in an aging dog with arthritis in place of medications like Rimadyl?

Laura: a lot of alternative therapies I see are for orthopedic conditions, including arthritis. Are there other conditions that you can use alternative therapies for such as allergies or inflammatory bowel disease?

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Today we're continuing to chat about summer dangers for your dogs and cats at Embrace Pet Insurance, and Dr Patrick Mahaney chimes in on the topic.

Here are some of the questions we cover in this podcast:

Kayla This may be silly, but when we got Tucker (a lab/golden retriever mix), he had lived primarily outside for his first six months, and his nose was all black. He's been a mostly indoor pet for the year we've had him, and now his nose is pink and black. With spending more time outdoors in the summer months, will his nose darken again? Should we do anything to keep it from darkening? Is that a puppy
tan?

Kate: Should I do anything different or be extra cautious about sun exposure for my black Doberman? It seems like he could overheat quickly being so dark or am I just thinking that because I know what it's like to wear dark colors outside and be sooo hot?

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