101 Metairie Road Metairie, LA 70005
reception@msah.com
Lobby Hours:
Mon-Tues: 7AM-8PM; Wed-Fri: 7AM-5:45PM;
Sat: 7AM-5PM; Sunday: 8AM-5PM;
Call Us: 504-290-0025
Emergency Care Available 24/7

Disaster Planning Includes Pets

September is National Preparedness Month - of course, it's also the height of hurricane season. Are you and your pets ready in case of an emergency or evacuation?

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Share the Care, Share the Love

Did you know we have a referral program that gives benefits both to you (our clients) and the people you refer to us? We do! We call it our “Share the Care” program. 

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Special Care for Senior Cats

If you have a senior cat, you may wonder what sort of special care they could need. Do they have different dietary requirements? What about their overall health and mobility? And perhaps, most of all, what defines a “senior cat”?

The general definition of a “senior” for cats (and dogs!) is those 7 years of age or older - even though you may not notice any age-related changes until they're 10-12 years or more.

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Ear Infections in Dogs

Most dog ear infections are caused by yeast or bacteria trapped in the ears; however, there can be other causes, like ear mites, wax buildup, and allergies. No matter the cause, ear infections can be painful, and, if left untreated, they can cause much more serious problems. 

While some dogs never have problems with ear infections (lucky them!), there are some that are more prone to them than others. For example, dogs with long and/or especially hairy ears like Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels often suffer from frequent ear infections. This is because their ears stay covered most of the time, so they're an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and yeast - dark, warm, and moist. However, any dogs with allergies or who swim a lot may be prone to ear infections. 

 

Common Symptoms

Among the most common signs of dog ear infections are whining, shaking the head, and pawing at the ears. After all, those ears hurt, and your dog is trying to stop the pain. You may also notice that your dog's ears smell and/or have a brown or yellowish discharge. Other typical symptoms include redness, scabs, and/or crusty ears.

More extreme symptoms can include hearing loss, loss of balance, and strange eye movements.

Ear infections may often be signs of an underlying condition. “Allergies to ingredients in the pet’s food, or environmental triggers, like pollen, molds, and dust mites, are most common, but anatomical abnormalities, masses, foreign material within the ear, chronically damp ears, and hormonal disorders are also possible.” (Source)

 

3 Types of Canine Ear Infections

While floppy-eared and hairy-eared dogs are most prone to ear infections, any dog can get them. In fact, it's estimated that about 20% of dogs have some form of ear disease!

Not all ear infections are the same, though. Just as there can be different causes, the infection can affect different parts of the ear: the outer ear (otitis externa), middle ear (otitis media), and inner ear (otitis interna). 

"Otitis externa means that the inflammation affects the layer of cells lining the outer or external portion of the ear canal. Otitis media and interna refer to infections of the middle and inner ear canal, and they are most often are a result of the spread of infection from the external ear. These more advanced cases can be very serious, and could lead to deafness, facial paralysis, or signs of vestibular disease, such as head tilting, circling, and lack of coordination. That's why it is important to prevent and seek early treatment for ear problems.” (Source)

 

Treatment

So what do you do if your dog has an ear infection?

The first step is giving us a call and setting up an appointment with your dog's doctor. If your dog has had ear infections before, it can be tempting to try to treat the new infection the same way you did last time. However, while it may turn out to be the same kind of infection, it may not be. Without a visit to the vet, you won't know if your dog has a fungal infection, a bacterial infection, or another problem. Knowing what kind of infection is involved determines the kinds of medicine that will effectively treat your pooch.

Next, your dog's ears need to be cleaned (putting medicine on dirty ears doesn't help much!). Click here to watch our "how-to" video for cleaning your dog's ears! After you've cleaned your dog's ears, it's time to apply any medication that was prescribed. The length of treatment will depend on your dog, the severity of the infection, and if there are any changes to the ear. Sometimes oral medications may be necessary to eliminate the infection. Finally, you'll need to bring your pup back for a recheck with the vet to make sure the infection is, truly, gone. (Source)

 

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6 Signs of a Happy, Healthy Cat

The world loves grumpy-looking cats (just ask Grumpy Cat!). Why? We tend to think of our feline friends as sassy, independent, and apathetic creatures—and for many cat lovers, that low-key attitude is all just a part of their charm.

But are our cats really as unhappy as they may sometimes look? In honor of Happy Healthy Cat Month, here are six ways you’ll know if your cat is living his/her best life (even if s/he’ll never admit it).

 

He’s Using his Litter Box

Where your cat does his business can tell you a lot about his health—and his happiness. If your cat has made a habit of missing the litter box, or eliminating somewhere else entirely, a medical problem or stress may be to blame.

  • Choose an appropriate box. Make sure your cat has plenty of room to move around and can get in and out of the litter box easily.
  • Give him the pick of the litter. Experiment by offering a choice of litters in side-by-side boxes to see which type your cat prefers.
  • Keep it clean. No one likes a dirty bathroom—be sure to scoop your cat’s litter box twice a day and change litter weekly.
  • Consider your cat’s perspective. Often, litter boxes are located in places that are convenient for humans—and unknowingly cause stress for cats (think a laundry room with a loud washer or dryer). Instead, your cat’s box should be placed in a quiet, low-traffic area.
  • Follow the one for one (plus one) rule. When it comes to litter boxes, there should always be one for each cat, plus one—in different locations, of course.

 

He's Grooming Properly A clean cat is a happy cat

A clean cat is a happy cat. If your cat is not grooming as much as he used to, he could be overweight, painful, or just not feeling like himself—all of which warrant a visit to the veterinarian. On the other hand, overdoing it can also indicate a medical or behavioral problem, like anxiety. If you notice compulsive grooming behaviors, such as excessive licking or biting or a thinning haircoat, talk to your veterinarian. And don't forget - just because Kitty is mostly self-cleaning, that doesn't mean s/he might not need a little help now and then. A good brushing can rid your cat's coat of old hairs and improve the bond between you!

 

He Loves his Environment

We tend to think cats have it pretty easy (Sleeping all day? Yes, please!), but the truth is, they can and do experience stress. Environmental enrichment, particularly for indoor cats, can increase physical activity and mental stimulation, keeping behavioral issues at bay. If your cat is living in an environment of plenty—that is, plenty of room, toys, perches, windows, sleeping areas, food, water, litter boxes, toys, and human interaction—chances are, s/he’s pleased.

It's also important to remember what Kitty may prefer. Just because there are several perches, doesn't mean they're in the right spots. Pay attention to your cat to position his/her resources (from perches to scratching posts to litter boxes and more) in a way that makes him/her happiest.

 

He's Sending You Signals

From the tops of his ears (forward and alert or pinned back against his head?) to the tip of his tail (straight up and swaying or rapidly swooshing from side to side?), your cat’s body language speaks volumes about how he’s feeling. Is he kneading you, head-butting, or purring? Congratulations—you’ve got yourself a contented cat.

Pro-tip: If your cat's tail is normally a "question-mark", s/he loves you a lot.

Additionally, if Kitty sits paws tucked under his/her body, that's a sign of contentment, and if s/he sleeps "belly side up" (like the very fluffy kitty pictured on the right!) your cat is extremely comfortable and content. Why? A cat that's stressed will keep his/her paws on the ground in order to run away from danger. As for the belly, that's Kitty's most vulnerable spot. If it's exposed (especially while sleeping), your cat is absolutely secure in his/her safety. That translates to happiness.

 

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How to Help Children Cope with a Pet’s Death

Losing a beloved pet is never easy. It’s hard on the whole family, yet for children, especially younger ones, this is often their first experience with death and they may feel confused, angry, or scared more than sad.

For parents, it can be useful to understand children’s coping mechanisms so that we can best help them come to terms with the loss.

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The Importance of Keeping Dogs Busy

When it comes to your dog’s physical and mental health, daily walks and play sessions are key. Besides keeping your pet in shape, exercise acts as the equalizer against all bad behaviors, helping to keep a variety of problems—like inappropriate elimination, anxiety, eating disorders, attention seeking, aggression, and barking—at bay.

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