Capitol Illini Newsletter
In the Winter 2014 Issue ...
Winter Hazards for Outdoor Dogs
The winter months can pose many risks for our canine companions. Here are a few things to keep our pets safe this season.
Housing:Be sure to provide adequate shelter and warmth for your outdoor dogs. A dog house that is well insulated and large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around is ideal. Anything larger than that makes it difficult to keep your pet warm. For additional warmth, use old blankets for bedding material. Blankets are ideal since they're easy to remove and wash to maintain a clean and dry environment all winter long. Even dogs that are kept partially outdoors in kennels require protection from cold windy weather. Provide a doghouse or secure a tarp onto a portion of the kennel to create a windbreak.
Hydration:is a must in winter conditions. Dogs cannot eat snow as a source of water so water bowls need to be checked regularly or consider a heated water bowl to maintain a source of unfrozen drinking water.
Exercise:pets that exercise outdoors in the colder weather expend a lot of energy in order to maintain normal body temperatures. If you are planning a hike or some type of outdoor activity in the chilly weather, be sure to bring extra food. Dogs kept outdoors need about 30% more food than they require during the warmer months.
Antifreeze:can leak from car radiators and is very tasty to dogs because of its sweet flavor. Unfortunately, this chemical is also very dangerous and can severely damage kidney function. If your pet has come into contact with antifreeze, please contact Capitol Illini immediately!
Ice:may be pretty, but it’s pretty hard to walk on. Slippery sidewalks are a main source of injury during the harsh winter months. Our older pets that may also have arthritis have more of a difficult time maintaining balance resulting in injuries. Guide your pet to more of a grassy/sandy or gravel area. Booties may also help with traction when venturing outdoors
Grooming:your pet is important even during the winter months. If left unkempt, matting on the fur can easily trap in moisture and leave sores on the skin. Dogs with matted hair are less able to maintain their body temperature. Hair between the toes can pick up snow or ice which can irritate or lacerate the paws. Sidewalks that have salt or de-icing chemicals can cause irritation and inflammation to their paws.
Bring your dog indoors if he is shivering. Pay particular attention to older dogs as well as puppies. Older dogs will have special health considerations to address, especially arthritis. The cold can aggravate arthritic conditions and icy ground poses real dangers. Whenever possible, keep older dogs indoors.
Happy Cat = Healthy Cat
Cats are in need of constant stimulation when not at rest. This includes physically as well as socially. A cat in an under-enriched environment can develop problems such as:
- Destructive behavior
- Urinating Outside of the Litter box
- Over Grooming
- Self Mutilation
- Chewing Inappropriate Items
- Over Eating or Anorexia
- Compulsive Behavior
- Retreating into Isolation
Fortunately, there are some easy ways that you can provide a properly enriched environment for you cat.
1) Hunting and Play: Cats must be able to hunt, or be engaged in hunting-simulated behavior. Hunger can influence predatory behavior, but it does not completely rely on it. To stimulate your cat’s predatory needs, you can divide daily feedings and place them throughout your home in easily accessed areas. You can always satisfy a cats need to hunt by providing a wide variety of toys for him to play with. If playing with a laser pointer, be sure to end the session by pointing it at an object your cat can “kill” to help avoid excess aggression.
2) Litter Box: The litter box environment is very important to help prevent conditions such as lower urinary tract disease, idiopathic cystitis, urinary stones and urethral obstructions. Though some cats have different preferences, most cats prefer clumping litter in a large uncovered box. The litter box should be placed in a quiet and easily accessible location. One litter box per cat + one extra litter box is recommended in your household.
3) Resting and Hiding: Cats are constantly monitoring their environment by sight, sound, touch and smell. They like to perch on high areas of their home to survey their territory. Having an area that is off of the ground enables cats to have their own space and be free from stressful situations. They also like areas which they can hide in. A cardboard box provides an effective hiding space to suit your cats needs.
4) Sensory: Scent signals/marking are a very important part of cat communication and exploration. A cats sense of smell is fourteen times stronger than that of humans. Ways that cats “mark” their territory are facial rubbing and scratching items. You can help facilitate this natural act by putting out toys and Velcro on the corner of a wall for facial rubbing and then a vertical scratching post near where they usually like to scratch.
Now that you are aware of the natural instincts of your cat, it may be easier now to understand their behavior and hopefully prevent future behavior and health problems.
Our first soft-chew low fat treat for both cats and dogs! Made with Skinless Chicken in bite-sized pieces, Lean Treats are a great way to help with portion control and making sure that your pet maintains a healthy weight.
Lean Treats for felines are Taurine fortified to help support heart function and good vision.
Lean Treats for canines have added glucosamine and chondroitin for your pet’s joint health.
With just 3 calories for felines, and 7 calories for canines, Lean Treats are a great nutritional reward for your best friend.
Dr. Dunphy is Retiring
This winter the one and only Dr. Clyde Dunphy will retire from Capitol Illini Veterinary Services. Clyde has dedicated the past 40 years of his life to the wellbeing and care of animals. It has been obvious to me that he not only cares about the animals, but also for the people attached to the animals. He has invested in the science and medical advancements to keep our pet companions healthy. He is an exceptional veterinarian. A trusted partner. A wonderful role model. Dr. Dunphy is on of the most amicable and good hearted individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He will be greatly missed by his clients, patients and co-workers. Since 1995, 19 years ago, Capitol Illini has been home to Dr. Dunphy and it will not be easy to say our goodbyes! We wish you a Happy Retirement Dr. C! Enjoy your time in the Mustangs, don’t drive too fast…
-Kacie and the Capitol Illini Staff
Forever in Our Hearts!
Born in 1995, Venus came to Capitol Illini after a rough start to her life. Her spirit and story touched the hearts of our staff and doctors. It was quickly decided that Venus would call Capitol Illini her forever home. Over her years at the clinic, it was obvious Venus was the boss. She enjoyed welcoming clients and patients, laying in the sun, playing, eating, climbing on desks and counters and sleeping. Her favorite perch was the shoulder of a receptionist or records keeper. She was well known for her club foot and her sassy attitude. After 19 beloved years as our mascot, her health unfortunately declined. Despite supportive care, we had to say our goodbyes in November of 2014. She will be greatly missed by our clients and staff. 1995-2014