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Pet Euthanasia – When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

As another year draws to a close, we wanted to take some time to address a difficult subject: pet euthanasia. No matter how much we all want to avoid it, eventually the day every pet owner dreads will come. We hope that day is a long time coming.

Preventive care like regular wellness checks, vaccines, and dental cleanings are key to keeping good boys and sweet girls healthy for years to come. That advice applies to pet parents, too!

One thing we can all agree on: the goal is to reach a gentle, loving end without pain. To have time say ‘goodbye, good boy’, or ‘we’ll miss you, sweet girl’.

Pet euthanasia days are hard for us, too. We have to focus on keeping you informed, while we carefully assess and tend to your pet’s care and comfort. Difficult decisions must be made. It’s our job to be calm, informative, and prepared so we can help ease the transition for everyone. Some manage this sad time better than others. We want you to know that sometimes, it’s really hard to fight back our own tears.

Whether it’s in the comfort of your own home, or the privacy of one of our treatment rooms, we’ll do our best to keep your pet comfortable while you say goodbye. You can count on AZPetVet to help you stay informed at every point through the journey.

Young or old or in-between, we’ll help you keep your pets looking and feeling their best. Hopefully, that will be for many years to come. From your pet’s first visit with us all the way to their last, it’s our honor to help you look after them along the way.

Different Types of Pet Loss

And please remember, you can lose pets in other ways. With the right preparation and the help of lots of caring people, most of these goodbyes don’t have to be permanent.

Lost pets pass through our doors daily. It’s always sad when we scan a scared stray dog or cat and their contact details are so out of date there’s little hope of them finding their way home. We share news through our network of Facebook pages and local rescues, so be sure to follow. Social media has helped us reunite many families!

Sometimes lost pets are brought to us injured. We care for them all, providing them the best medical help whenever possible, ensuring that we ultimately ease their pain and suffering – all while doing our best to help them find their family.

Make sure your pets have their best chance to return home if they escape the house or yard and get lost. Microchip your pets, have them wear collars and tags, and please keep your contact numbers current!

Moving to a new home or neighborhood? Those goodbyes are a bit easier (for us). We’re happy to introduce you and your furry (or not so furry) family to the team at one of our 21 locations in the Phoenix Metro area. They’ll welcome you with the WOW service you have come to know and love from AZPetVet.

Five Reasons to Be Thankful For Pets

be thankful for petsThis Thanksgiving, we are thankful for many things. Don’t forget to be thankful for your pets. Cats, dogs, pocket pets, exotics, whatever floats your boat – pets are the best! Here are five great reasons to be thankful for pets:

1/ Unconditional love.

Animals don’t discriminate. Short, tall, fat, thin, young or old, animals accept us and love us for who we are, and there is no limit to their love – except time. Savor your time with them, and they’ll do the same. Especially when they know you’re the keeper of the treats.

2/ Pets are great companions.

Happy? Sad? Feeling sick? Your pet knows your moods, and will often try to make you feel better, or simply curl up next to you to make sure you know you’re not alone.

3/ Pets can be hilarious.

One of the greatest joys of having a pet is the laughter they provoke. When they’re running around the house like their tail is on fire, or simply playing with toys (or shredding them), it’s hard to keep a straight face watching their antics.

4/ Pets help us stay healthier.

In fact, the Center for Disease Control attributes decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels along with additional positive health benefits to owning pets. Owning a pet also promotes relaxation and reduces levels of overall stress. Dog owners are more likely to get outside for exercise, and to socialize with others.

5/ Pets are just magic, and their magic extends to people with severe health issues.

Therapy animals are becoming more mainstream as more organizations realize the positive benefits of pet therapy. From hospitals to age care facilities, therapy animals are making a huge difference in the lives of people of all ages. Pets seem to have the innate ability to break through barriers others cannot – and that, friends, is nothing short of magic.

From the AZPetVet family to yours – we wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Don’t forget to keep a close watch on your pets during the holiday season. Click for some safety tips for the Thanksgiving holiday.

How to Recognize Diabetes in Pets

diabetes sign with exclamation pointDiabetes is an endocrine disorder that affects the way the body produces or processes the hormone insulin, which helps the body turn glucose (sugar) from food into energy.

November is National Pet Diabetes Awareness Month, so we thought we’d take some time to review the symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats.

If your dog is experiencing the following symptoms, make a veterinary appointment as they could be indicators that your dog has diabetes. Please note that these symptoms overlap with many other health conditions, so blood work is required to make a proper diagnosis.

  • Change in appetite
  • Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Cataract formation, blindness
  • Chronic skin infections

Diabetes is the second most common endocrine disease in cats. If your cat is experiencing the following symptoms, make a veterinary appointment as they could be indicators that your cat has diabetes. Please note that these symptoms overlap with many other health conditions, so blood work is required to make a proper diagnosis.

  • Increased thirst (polydipsia) and urination (polyuria)
  • Inappropriate elimination (cats also experience increased urinary tract infections)
  • Change in appetite (increased or decreased appetite is an indicator of a problem)
  • Weight loss
  • Change in gait (walking)
  • Decreased activity, weakness, depression
  • Vomiting

Still not sure? Take the quiz and see if your pet is at risk

Diabetes can be managed. If your pet has symptoms, make an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure your pet can live a longer, healthier life.

National Vet Tech Week is Here

Vet Tech Week 2018Veterinary technicians are some of the most important people in the AZPetVet family. A licensed veterinary technician, or LVT, has earned an associate’s degree or higher in veterinary technology from an accredited school. Most importantly, a licensed Vet Tech has passed a national exam demonstrating specific knowledge and competencies. A Vet Tech’s training includes laboratory and clinical work with live animals. You’ll find Vet Techs wherever you find veterinarians on staff – from animal hospitals like AZPetVet to the zoo. 

What Does a Vet Tech Do?

Vet Techs perform a variety of functions every single day. Here are just a few:

  • Educate about pet health
  • Initial evaluation of an animal’s condition
  • Collect blood and stool samples
  • Check vital statistics
  • Clean and wrap wounds
  • Provide nutritional advice
  • Assist in surgery
  • Administer medications
  • Perform rehabilitative therapies
  • Provide nursing care
  • Take X-rays of patients
  • Provide scritchies and cuddles

The Veterinary Technician’s Oath

“I solemnly dedicate myself to aiding animals and society by providing excellent care and services for animals, by alleviating animal suffering, and promoting public health.

I accept my obligations to practice my profession conscientiously and with sensitivity, adhering to the profession’s Code of Ethics, and furthering my knowledge and competence through a commitment to lifelong learning.”

AZPetVet salutes all of the hard-working Vet Techs who make a difference in animals’ lives each day! Looking for a job as a Vet Tech? We’re always hiring great team members! Send your resume to HireMe@AZPetVet.com for consideration.

Is My Pet Too Fat?

black and white cartoon of a fat catIf you’re asking the question ‘Is my pet too fat,’ the answer is probably YES. 

In the U.S., it’s estimated that 57 percent of cats and 52 percent of dogs are overweight or clinically obese.

October 10th is Pet Obesity Awareness Day, so it’s a great time for people who think their pet may be too fat to learn about the common causes of obesity in pets. Good information means you can act before excess weight negatively impacts your pet’s health, along with your heart and your wallet. Nobody needs extra vet bills.

How Pets Get FAT

Overfeeding is one of the main culprits in pet obesity – but it’s not just treat-based. Many people simply fill their pet’s bowl with food without thinking about the calories. Always use a measuring cup and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for weight, age and activity levels.

black and white cartoon dog begging for a treatKeep treats to a minimum. It’s easy to slip treats to a pet that wants your attention while you’re busy with something else.

Next it’s because they look so cute, sweet, sad.

If your pet learns you’ll reward them for a particular behavior, they’ll work it for everything they can get.

Lack of exercise is another issue – make sure your dog gets walks regularly (it’s good for you both) and that both cats and dogs get plenty of play time and activities to keep them moving. Even cats can be trained to walk on a leash – why not give it a try?

Remember, obesity in pets is not always due too many treats and too little exercise. Just as in humans, underlying health issues like diabetes, thyroid or adrenal disorders can also cause weight gain in animals. If your pet is gaining weight, or already overweight or obese, it’s time to schedule a visit to the vet. 

Check out your pet’s weight equivalent by breed, age and gender here to see if they are at a healthy weight or need to lose weight: http://www.petobesityprevention.org/pet-weight-translator/