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What You Should Know: National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day

National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day is November 7th. At Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach, we like to use the opportunity to help raise awareness with dog owners about this deadly disease and the veterinary medicine advancements that have been made in treating it.

What Is Canine Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects both dogs and humans. There are 30 different kinds of lymphoma that can affect dogs, originating in their lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). These different varieties of lymphoma can cause four different types of canine lymphoma in dogs including:
There is no one cause of canine lymphoma. Typically, it arises as a result of both genetic and environmental factors.
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Signs and Symptoms of Canine Lymphoma

The symptoms of canine lymphoma can vary significantly depending on the type of lymphoma and the organ or part of the body that is affected. Some signs and symptoms can include:
If you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior, appearance, appetite, energy, or attitude, we encourage you to schedule a checkup right away.

The Importance of Early Detection: Cancer Screening for Dogs

About 50% of dogs over age 10 develop cancer, and it’s even more common in certain breeds that have a predisposition. There used to be no course of treatment for dogs with cancer, other than to help alleviate symptoms with palliative medicine to improve quality of life. Today, however, there are treatments for several types of cancer in dogs. Early detection, however, is key to successful treatment.
In the past, most cancer was diagnosed in dogs after symptoms appeared. At this time, however, the disease is typically fairly advanced, and this makes treatment more challenging.
A new type of genomic test is available that helps to screen pets for cancer by detecting changes and markers in a pet’s DNA that might indicate the presence of cancer. These tests can indicate that a pet needs further testing for cancer – before the disease even begins to cause symptoms. With routine screening and early diagnosis, we can begin treatment incredibly early which gives pets a much better chance at overcoming cancer before it seriously affects their health and well-being.
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Canine Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Redondo Beach

If you have a senior dog (6 years or older), we strongly encourage you to talk with your veterinarian at Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach about canine lymphoma, other types of cancer in dogs, and the possibility of screening your pet. To learn more or schedule a checkup for your dog, we welcome you to contact our office.
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Join Us in Celebrating Pet Obesity Awareness Day by Learning How Weight Affects Your Pet's Health

This year, October 12th is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. It’s a special day that’s set aside each year to recognize the seriousness of obesity in pets while helping to educate pet owners about how they can help their pets maintain a healthy weight to live long and happy lives.

How Weight Affects Your Pet's Health

Overweight and obese pets face a variety of increased health risks including:
As a result of the secondary health problems associated with overweight and obese pets, these animals typically do not live as long as pets that are kept at a healthy weight.
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How to Tell If Your Pet Is Overweight

Pets are generally smaller than people, and this means it takes fewer extra pounds for them to become overweight. As a result, just a little too much daily food, too little exercise, or too many treats can quickly take a healthy pet into overweight and obese territory.
The best way to recognize when a pet is overweight is during a veterinary appointment. We can weigh your pet and provide you with a ballpark healthy weight for your pet to achieve based on their age, size, and breed.
You can also recognize an overweight pet by the shape of its physique. If a pet is at a healthy weight, its body should become more narrow in front of its hind legs; dogs and cats should not be sausage-shaped.

How to Manage Your Pet's Weight

Like managing weight in people, managing a pet’s weight typically requires a two-pronged approach that combines a better diet with increased exercise.
Our veterinarian can recommend a higher quality pet food, a weight-control pet food, or a prescription diet that can help your pet to reach a healthy weight. We can also talk with you about the best and safest way to start exercising more with your pet. It’s important to start slowly and not do too much too quickly to avoid injuring your pet.
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Nutritional Counseling and Prescription Pet Food in Redondo Beach

At Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach, we’re experienced in helping pets achieve and maintain a healthy weight. We can work with you using prescription pet foods, nutritional counseling, and lifestyle advice to help your pet shed some weight and stay healthy. To learn more or schedule a nutritional counseling appointment, we welcome you to contact our office today.
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We're Celebrating National Service Dog Month

For many, service dogs mean the difference between safety and danger or life and death. September is National Service Dog Month, and we’re using the opportunity to celebrate service dogs while educating our clients about service dogs, their importance, and proper service dog etiquette.

What Is a Service Dog?

According to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), service dogs are dogs that have received special training to perform tasks to help individuals with disabilities. For example, a service dog might be trained to monitor, support, and alert seizures on behalf of a person with epilepsy or a service dog might be trained to safely lead a visually impaired person down the street or through an airport.

Can Any Dog Become a Service Dog?

Not just any dog can become a service dog. For starters, only a select few puppies enter training to become service dogs each year, and only a few of those puppies grow up to successfully complete their training and become service dogs. These puppies are specifically selected for temperament and aptitude. They then enter a rigorous training program that typically lasts for years and involves several steps and tests.

Understanding Service Dog Etiquette and Why It's So Important to Follow

Service dogs are not pets; they are working dogs. Service dogs have very important jobs to do. In fact, a person’s safety or life might depend on the service dog’s ability to stay focused and perform its job well.
For this reason, it is never appropriate or okay to pet, give treats to, interact with, or otherwise distract a service dog from the job they are doing. It’s also important to know that service dogs are legally allowed to go anywhere that their owner has permission to go. This includes restaurants, grocery stores, movies, and the hospital.
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Specialized Veterinary Care for Service Dogs in Redondo Beach

Service dogs are essential to their owners, and so ensuring that they have good veterinary care is a very important step to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of a service dog. At Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach, California, we take special care to provide highly personalized veterinary treatments to each of our patients, including service dogs. This helps ensure that each animal receives the care they specifically need when they need it most.
To learn more about service dogs or the comprehensive services available at Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach, we welcome you to contact our office today.
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Why Is My Dog Scratching Itself?

Pruritus is the clinical way to refer to itching or itchy skin. When a dog is itching, scratching, licking, or biting at itself excessively, this itchiness can be an indication of an underlying issue.

5 Reasons Why Your Dog Might Be Scratching

1. Fleas

Many dogs are allergic to flea saliva. In these dogs, the bites of fleas and subsequent exposure to their saliva results in a skin condition called flea allergy dermatitis which is marked by excessive itchiness (in addition to a rash). Parasite preventatives are the best way to protect your dog from fleas. If they have already been exposed to these parasites, however, a medicated bath can do the trick.

2. Ticks

If your dog has one or more ticks on them, this can result in itching and allergic reactions – not to mention exposure to a variety of serious contagious diseases. We strongly encourage our clients to keep their pets on a solid routine of tick and flea preventatives.

3. Mange

The mite known as sarcoptic mange is a type of skin parasite that burrows into the layers of a pet’s skin. As they bite their way through the skin, they cause lots of inflammation and discomfort which can result in excessive scratching.
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4. Environmental Allergies

Many pets have environmental allergies. Like in humans, these allergies can cause respiratory issues in pets. However, they more commonly result in skin issues, such as excessive itchiness. Pets might be allergic to allergens that are only around seasonally such as pollen and mold. They can also be allergic to things that are around all year like dust mites, perfumes, smoke, and household chemicals.

5. Food Allergies

In addition to environmental allergies, some pets also experience food allergies. Typically, pets with food allergies are allergic to a specific type of protein that might be present in their diets. Food allergies can cause gastrointestinal upset in pets, but they also result in dermatological issues like itchiness, rashes, hot spots, and hair loss.

Relief for Your Itchy Pet at Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach

No matter the cause of your pet’s excessive itchiness, our veterinarians at Pacific Pet Hospital of Redondo Beach can help you get to the bottom of their symptoms and provide your pet with treatments designed to relieve their itching while addressing the underlying cause. To learn more about excessive itching in pets or to schedule an appointment for your dog or cat, we welcome you to contact our office today.
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Post-Op Care for Pet Surgeries: How to Help Your Pet Recover

Whether your pet needs a routine or more complex operation, having your pet undergo surgery can be a stressful time. While we do our best to provide your pet with exceptional care, patient monitoring, and the highest quality of medications while they are with us, most pets do the majority of their post-operative recovery in the comfort of their own homes. As a result, it is up to pet owners to provide their pets with the required care to ensure a safe, smooth, and speedy recovery.

How to Help Your Pet Recover From Surgery

(Please remember that these instructions are generic, and while they apply to most post-operative situations, you should always follow the specific instructions provided to you by your veterinarian upon your pet’s hospital discharge.)

The Day of Surgery

When you first bring your pet home from surgery, keep them confined to a calm, quiet space (away from other animals and children) in your house. You can provide them with water and, although they might not have much of an appetite, you can offer them a small meal of their regular food later in the evening.

Medications

Be sure to administer all of your pet’s medications as they were prescribed. If you’re having trouble administering a medication, contact our office for help or for a compounded prescription.
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Wound Care

Prevent your pet from licking or biting their incision site with an Elizabethan collar (cone).
Keep your pet’s incision dry for at least seven days after surgery. Do not wash the incision site, bathe your pet, or allow them to swim until healed. Watch the incision for signs of infection or tearing. A little bleeding the day after surgery is normal. Additionally, slight redness or swelling is also normal.
More severe bleeding, swelling, redness, or unusual discharge could be a sign of infection or other issues and should be treated with emergency veterinary care.

Activity Restriction

Restrict your pet’s activities for seven to 14 days after surgery (depending on the type of surgery).
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Pet Surgery at Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach

At Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach, we understand that having your pet undergo a surgical procedure of any kind can be stressful. That’s why we are always here to answer any questions you might have about your pet’s recovery and post-operative care. Before sending your pet home, we will provide you with thorough discharge instructions and ensure you understand how to help your pet have a smooth and complication-free recovery.
If you have any concerns or questions at any time during your pet’s recovery, we welcome you to contact our office.
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5 Beach Safety Tips for Pets

One of the best activities to do with your dog in the summer is to visit the beach and splash around in the waves. While visiting the beach is a good way to stay active and cool in the summer sun, there are a few things you should be aware of to keep your pet safe.

5 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe at the Beach

1. Know the Signs of Heatstroke

Splashing in the water will help to keep your pet cool, but dogs are still highly susceptible to heatstroke in warm weather. Be sure you know the signs of heatstroke (excessive panting and drooling, elevated heart rate, red gums and tongue, dizziness, loss of balance, vomiting, diarrhea, fainting, collapse, and seizures) and seek immediate emergency veterinary care if your pet overheats.

2. Bring Fresh Water

To help your pet stay hydrated and regulate their body temperature, make sure they have access to plenty of fresh, cool water throughout your beach day. It’s also important to do your best to limit the amount of salt water they drink because this will worsen dehydration and could actually cause salt poisoning because too much salt is toxic for dogs.
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3. Test the Sand

Before letting your pup run on the beach, feel the sand with your bare hand. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws. It’s best to visit the beach in the early morning or late evening when the sand is cooler.

4. Know the Rules

Not every beach welcomes dogs, and this means you could be at risk of getting a ticket and a fine if you bring your dog to the wrong beach. Make sure you’re visiting a dog-friendly beach before you head out.

5. Avoid Sunburn

Even though they are covered in fur, dogs are still at risk of getting sunburns – especially those with shorter coats. If your dog gets groomed, be sure to leave at least an inch of fur to protect their skin. You can further protect your pet’s skin by applying dog-safe sunscreen. Additionally, make sure your spot on the beach has access to shade.

Summer Safety With Pacific Animal Hospital

Make sure your pet is completely safe this summer with parasite preventatives, vaccinations, and pet microchips at Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach. To learn more about safely visiting the beach with your pet this summer, we welcome you to schedule an appointment today.
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Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Pet Owners

Dogs have been awarded the honor of being man’s best friend for many reasons, and if you’re thinking about becoming a first-time dog owner, then you’re in about to begin one of the best relationships of your life.
Dog ownership isn’t quite as simple and straightforward as it seems. With it, comes many responsibilities, and every dog has different genetics that lend it a unique personality and its own set of needs. Some dogs present different challenges to their owners than others. For example, some breeds tend to be stubborn, certain breeds are more active than others, and purebred dogs often have genetic predispositions to medical issues that will require special attention and care.
If you’re a prospective pet owner, considering adopting a dog, consider the following breeds for your first-time pet.

5 Great Dog Breeds for First-Time Dog Owners

1. Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are one of the most popular breeds for families. They tend to be wonderful and gentle with children. They’re also loyal, affectionate, playful, and energetic.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These dogs have a puppy-like appearance that stays with them for life. They’re adaptable and do well with children of all ages.

3. Boxer

These dogs are instinctive protectors, and they forge strong bonds with children that will run and play alongside them.

4. Labrador Retriever

Labs are loyal and affectionate, active and playful, intelligent, and adaptable to many different situations. They also do well with children.

5. Mixed Breed Dogs

If you aren’t sure which breed is right for you, you might consider adopting a mixed breed dog from your shelter. The shelter employees can usually give you a general idea of the dog’s primary breed in addition to their temperament and information on how well they fare with other dogs, cats, children, and new people. Plus, mixed-breed dogs tend to have fewer health issues than purebreds.
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New Pet Appointments at Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach

As a first-time dog owner, you’re about to step into a rewarding world of loyal companionship and fun. You’re also accepting a big responsibility in the care of your new pet. One major part of being a responsible pet owner is establishing care right away with a veterinary office to ensure your pet has all the wellness and preventative veterinary treatments necessary to lead a healthy and happy life. Additionally, our veterinarians can help you ensure your pet has the proper nutrition, training, socialization, supplies, and activities to set them up for the best possible life with you.
To schedule your pet’s first appointment, we welcome you to contact our animal hospital in Redondo Beach today.
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Should You Microchip Your Pet?

No one plans to lose a pet, but, unfortunately, pets go missing all the time. It’s estimated that 10 million pets are lost each year, and most lost pets are sadly never reunited with their families. At Pacific Animal Hospital, we strongly encourage all pet owners to have their dogs and cats microchipped to significantly increase the chances that they will be reunited with their pets should they go missing.

What Is a Pet Microchip?

A pet microchip is comprised of a small RFID microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) that is encased in a biocompatible capsule.

How Do Microchips Work?

Pet microchips are inserted into a pet between his or her shoulder blades, using a hollow needle. This process is quick and mostly painless. Your pet might feel a slight pinching sensation like getting a vaccination, but no anesthetics are necessary when inserting a microchip.
The microchip contains a unique, identifying number that can be read when scanned with an appropriate microchip scanning device. When scanned, the device will read the microchip’s number. If a pet is lost and turned into a veterinary clinic or an animal shelter, the pet will be scanned for a microchip. The number can then be located in a national database where the pet owner’s contact information is stored.
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Are Microchips Really Effectively?

Yes! Pet microchips very effectively increase the chances of being reunited with a lost pet.
A study including more than 7,700 stray animals that were turned into animal shelters showed a significant improvement in reuniting dogs and cats with their families. In the study, 52.2% of dogs with microchips were reunited compared to only 21.9% of dogs without microchips. Cats with microchips were reunited 38.5% of the time compared to just 1.8% of cats without microchips.
It’s important to remember, though, that your pet’s microchip can only be effective if you keep your contact information up-to-date in the microchip database. If your pet is found and scanned, but your contact information isn’t listed alongside your pet’s identification number, then there still won’t be any way to find you.

Pet Microchipping in Redondo Beach

While we still recommend fitting your pet with a collar and ID tags, we also encourage you to have your pet microchipped for their safety and your peace of mind. To learn more about pet microchipping or to schedule an appointment to get your pet a microchip, we welcome you to contact Pacific Animal Hospital today.
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March is Pet Poison Prevention Month, and our veterinarian at Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach is using the opportunity to help educate pet parents on how to protect their pets from toxins and poisons.
Unfortunately, many of the things people commonly keep around our homes and even several of the foods and beverages that we enjoy are poisonous for pets and can cause organ damage, severe illness, and even death if ingested. Consider the following tips to create a safer environment in your home for your pet.

4 Tips to Prevent Pet Poisoning by Pet Proofing Your Home

1. Store All Medications and Supplements Securely

Over-the-counter and prescription medications for humans are poisonous for pets. Additionally, many nutritional substances are toxic for pets, too. Be sure to store these securely and pick up any pills you might drop on the floor.

2. Keep Household Chemicals Out of Reach

It might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that most household cleaners, chemicals, detergents, and even toiletry items are toxic for pets. Store these in upper cabinets, out of the reach of your pet, and never leave them unattended around pets.
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3. Don't Grow Toxic Plants in Your Home or Garden

Several common houseplants and garden plants are extremely toxic and dangerous to have in or around households with pets. Check your houseplants and garden plants against this list of toxic plants from the ASPCA and choose to fill your home with non-toxic, pet-friendly greenery instead.

4. Don't Feed Your Pet Human Foods

The digestive systems and body chemistry of dogs and cats differ from our own. So, just because a certain food is safe for you to eat does not mean it’s safe for your dog or cat to eat. Some common toxic foods include chocolate, xylitol, onions, garlic, chives, shallots, alcohol, caffeine, raisins and grapes, citrus, certain nuts, and yeast dough.

What to Do If Your Pet Ingests a Poison

If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested a poisonous substance, it’s essential to take immediate action.
To learn more about pet poisoning and how to protect your pet from ingesting toxic substances, we welcome you to contact Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach today.
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Take a moment to imagine what it would be like if you never brushed your teeth in your life. This sticky, painful state is the unfortunate reality for most dogs and cats because most pet owners simply do not realize that their pets need dental care, too. Without proper care, pets inevitably develop dental disease.

What Is Dental Disease?

Dental disease refers to general diseases associated with the teeth and gums. The term is commonly used to refer to periodontal disease (aka gum disease) which is a bacterial infection of the gums.
Gum disease has several signs and symptoms including:
Left unaddressed, the bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, causing a variety of systemic health problems. In pets, untreated gum disease often causes organ damage and leads to premature death.

What Causes Dental Disease in Pets?

Dental disease in pets develops via the same process as it does in humans. Poor oral hygiene allows plaque to accumulate on the surface of the teeth. This plaque then hardens into a substance called tartar or calculus. As the tartar builds up, it pushes the gums away from the surface of the teeth, creating warm, dark, moist pockets where harmful bacteria thrive. Unchecked, this bacteria multiplies out of control, leading to a bacterial infection of the gums.

How to Treat Dental Disease in Pets

Like with humans, dental disease in pets is best prevented with regular oral hygiene including a combination of at-home and professional care. Pets that have already developed dental disease, however, can be treated with regular management including professional teeth cleanings and exams, teeth brushing at home, dental-friendly treats, dental-friendly chew toys, dental diets, and more.

Pet Dentistry in Southern California

At Pacific Pet Hospital of Redondo Beach, our veterinarian places a strong emphasis on the importance of oral health for all dogs and cats. Unfortunately, most pets go without proper dental care and develop periodontal disease by the time they reach three years of age. This not only causes painful symptoms of the teeth and gums, but it also puts the general health of these animals’ at risk.
To learn more about professional teeth cleanings and examinations for pets or to schedule a pet dentistry appointment for your dog or cat, we welcome you to contact our office today.