“Dedicated to providing gentle, compassionate care for companion animals”

 
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Cassie-Steffen

Cassie is a 10 year old Golden Retriever. We purchased Cassie from a local pet store. She was the last pup, and was so sweet we just had to bring her home. Cassie's favorite things include her adopted sister Mollie, swimming in the lake, and rolling in the dirt; especially after a bath. She also loves her Grandpa who will come over and let her out on days I am out and about. He has learned to hide his gloves as they will disappear as soon as they are put down.

My favorite story about Cassie is how she loves to over take any floatation device, whether it is being used by a human or not. She now has her very own. When Cassie was a pup was diagnosed with a heart murmur which was detected after we got her. She has had surgery to remove a bottle cap that she swallowed and was treated for chronic pain in her back leg joint. This resulted in the removal of this leg; pathology later determined there was cancer. She was recently diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia and is on medication to control it. She loves coming to AWC and knows the routine; she will not pass the front desk without getting weighed. She is our Miracle Dog and has been through a lot.

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Stop by the week of May 2-6, 2011 to celebrate National Pet Week with us.  We're having a fundraiser for Can Do Canines, a coloring contest, drawings for door prizes and a Pet Costume Contest.  Register for a free Pet Massage or Healing Touch for Animals session.  Register for free informational meetings with Dr. Carolyn Apker:  5/2 10:00am and 5/4 2:00pm "Understanding the Feline Psyche" and 5/2 2:00pm and 5/5 5:00pm "Laser Therapy for the Veterinary Patient".   Register for an informational meeting with Reggie Weber 5/3 at 7:00pm on "How Can Healing Touch for Animals Help My Pet?"  All meeting attendees will be eligible for special door prizes.  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 10:00am and 2:00pm we will have representatives from Can Do Canines with their assistance dogs to share information about their wonderful program.  Schedule a $5.00 nail trim for your pet 5/2 -5/6 and all proceeds will go to this organization.  Stop by with your pet in costume or 'dressed up' anytime the week of May 2nd to have their picture taken.  Winners of the Pet Costume Contest will be announced the following week.  Refreshments will be served all week.  Call today to register 763-420-7958.  Mark your calendars and join us in our celebration of our love for animals!

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Dogs and cats age far more quickly than we do. They age approximately 4 years for each calendar year. Likewise their health status is changing at the same rate. Cats are considered to be seniors at 10yr and dogs, on average, at 7yr. Large breed dogs age more quickly than small breeds. Giant breeds such as Great Danes are seniors at 5yr while a miniature poodle may not show signs of aging until they are over 10yr. As pets age they often have a more difficult time with mobility, mental acuity and discomfort.

There are many ways owners can modify the home environment to improve their senior pet’s quality of life.

•Provide ramps or stairs for pets that are allowed on furniture or your bed.
•Use softer and thicker bedding materials.
•Provide extra heat in sleeping areas. Never use an electric heating pad for an immobile pet.
•Cover slippery floors with a rubber backed rugs.
•Keep fresh water available on every level of the house.
•Massaging you pet is a wonderful form of relaxation and aids in reducing pain from sore muscles and arthritic joints.
•Use soft clumping kitty litter and add a box to each level of the home.
•Litter boxes with one low side are much easier to walk into for arthritic kitties.
•If your senior pet has impaired vision, do not move furniture or add new obstacles.
•Use a harness rather than a collar for pets with respiratory conditions or neck pain.
•Keep a routine. Dogs and cats like to know when they will be fed, when its time to play and when you are coming and going. Older pets often show anxiety when left alone. Having a routine can be reassuring to them.
•Vary the play. Mental stimulation is as important as physical activity. Rotate your pet’s toys so they are looking forward to what new toy they will see today Find interactive toys which require the animal to solve a puzzle to get their treat or reward.
•Include some quiet bonding time everyday.
Senior pets need thorough medical examinations every 6 months. Many of the age related changes you see will have an underlying medical cause which can be successfully treated especially when found in the early stages. Partner with your veterinarian to keep your companion healthy, happy and pain free as long as possible. I will cover more about senior pet medical care in an upcoming article.

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