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Monthly Archives

January 2020

Orange Collars On Cats

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Today about 70% of the cat population is described as primarily indoor only. Even with the best security and monitoring cats can easily slip out of the house and with 30% of the cat population living outdoor how can we tell the difference between a cat running the neighborhood to a cat taking a trip around the block without mom and dad knowing? An orange collar! The Kitty Convict Project have developed orange identification collars to let people know that if you see a cat roaming around and has a bright orange collar they may need some help. The article below describes the project and the following link is directly to the Kitty Convict Project.

If you see an orange collar on a cat outside please stop. You may need to call Animal Control to let them know an indoor cat may have gotten out of their house.


Kitty Convict Project


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Toxin ingestion by your family pet can be a stressful and worrisome experience but I want to walk you through a few things to do that can save their life.

Rat bait
We all know that rat/mice bait (like Decon bait blocks) are toxic to dogs and cats but what do you do if your pet ingests these substances? The most important thing to do: bring the box of bait to our office. There are three main types of rat poison and all three cause different symptoms therefore if we know what type it is we can better treat your pet. Also providing us a timeframe when the toxin was eaten helps determine treatment as well.

Main thing to remember for chocolate ingestion is: Darker chocolate=more cocoa=more toxic.
Bringing the container,bag,or ingredient list into the office can also very helpful. It is imperative to always call us after a chocolate ingestion but know there are other resources you can contact if desired including ASPCA Pet Poison Control (888) 426-4435 or even online you can access a chocolate toxicity calculator that can help you determine what symptoms to look for after ingestion. The link is attached below
Understand that this calculator is only an estimate and does not replace bringing your pet in for us examine.

Raisins or Grapes
The most important thing to know about raisins or grapes is there is no known/researched minimal dosage that can cause renal (kidney) damage for pets. This being said any amount of grapes or raisins effects every animal differently. We all know that dog that has eaten grapes and has been fine but in my experience even one grape can cause kidney failure in a dog. What should we do then? Any grapes/raisins ingestion bring them in ASAP.

Things to remember
– Call us as soon as you think an ingestion has happened 970-663-6046
– Grab any containers or ingredient lists that include concentration of the toxin
– Understand that your pet will need to be dropped off for a period of time for treatment and observation
-Remain calm and we will work through this together


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Microchipping – an easy way to help keep your pet safe!

At Blue Sky, we have seen countless pets reunited with their owners due to these little lifesavers. We had a cat who was scanned at a shelter in a neighboring state who was returned to her owner in Loveland after a long absence! We get stray dogs in frequently and can return them to their owners with a quick phone call if the are chipped.

Microchips are tiny – about the size of a grain of rice. They are injected right under the skin on the back between the shoulder blades – it not anymore painful than getting a shot. They are also inexpensive running around $50.

The chip can be scanned by any veterinary clinic or animal shelter. A unique chip number is linked to the owners phone number and information. Make sure you pet is microchipped today!

Walking for Weight Loss

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Walking for Weight Loss

Walks are a great time to bond with our dogs. Walks are also an important form of exercise for maintaining a healthy weight for our pets. It’s important to remember that walking for leisure looks a little different than walking for weight loss. Here are some helpful tips from Dr. Ernie Ward (with the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention) on how to pick up the pace and get your pet in shape!

Get the right equipment
A head halter or harness is preferable to a collar, as these leads do not put pressure on the trachea (windpipe) of your pet when walking. A 4-6 foot leash (no retractable leashes!).

Set the right pace
“Draw your leash close – generally within two to three feet of your body – to your left or away-from-the street side and set off at a pace you feel comfortable sustaining. This should be about a fifteen minute per mile pace for most small dogs. It should feel like a brisk walk and you should break into a light sweat. The key is to keep it up! Don’t stop. Don’t look down at your dog when they inevitably want to stop and smell something or mark a hydrant. Continue staring straight ahead, tighten the leash (don’t jerk) and give a command such as “Come” or “Here” if their attention begins to stray. It is important that your dog understands that walking for exercising is different than a casual, relaxed outing. Head halters are a great tool for training dogs to heel during a fast walk and retain their attention. If they sit or refuse to walk, you may have to return home and try again another time. I have yet to encounter a dog that didn’t take readily to aerobic walking after a little training.”

Set time goals
Start with 30 minute walks for a minimum of 5 days a week. A sample schedule looks like this:
Week 1 – 30 min total (10 min brisk then 20 min casual pace)
Week 2 – 30 min total (15 min brisk then 15 min casual pace
Week 3 – 30 min total (20 min brisk then 10 min casual pace)
Week 4 – 35-40 min total (30 min brisk then 5-10 min casual pace)
Week 5+ – 35-60 minutes total (Try to do two 20-30 min walks per day: 15-25 min brisk then 5 min casual pace

Monthly weight checks
Weigh your pet at the clinic monthly to track progress and adjust goal weights as needed.

Please make sure to check with your veterinarian before starting a walking program if you have any concerns about underlying conditions (like heart disease or arthritis).

Overall, you’ll be surprised with the physical and mental health benefits of consistent walks for both you and your pup!

Adapted from the full article here:…/walking-the-dog-tips-for…


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 Batteries can be very dangerous when ingested or chewed by pets. When a battery is punctured or swallowed, the alkaline or acidic material can leak out and cause corrosive injury to the mouth and other body tissues. The most common types of batteries ingested or chewed on by dogs are alkaline dry cell batteries (e.g., 9-volt, D, C, AA, AAA) or button/disc batteries. Disc-shaped batteries or lithium batteries can also be dangerous and can cause tissue injury.

If a battery is swallowed or punctured, carefully flush the mouth with tepid water. Dogs that ingest batteries should not be made to vomit, as the corrosive contents of the battery can cause further damage to the esophagus. Immediate veterinary attention is required after initial flushing of the mouth. Ulcers in the mouth may not be seen for hours after battery puncture or ingestion. Batteries can also lodge in the stomach or intestines and burn and damage those tissues. X-rays can quickly identify the presence of batteries internally.

If you pet has punctured or swallowed a battery, call your veterinarian immediately!

Ear infections

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 Ear infections! So common, but so frustrating! Ear infections are the second most common problem we veterinarians see in dogs (after dental disease which gets first place).

Why do dogs get ear infections? They have LOOONNNGGG outer ear canals. This is the area between the ear opening and the ear drum. It is a dark, warm, moist area – perfect for yeast and bacteria to grow. (In the ear model in the picture, this is the whole long tube of vertical canal and then where it turns to horizontal canal right up to the ear drum).

Some underlying medical issues like allergies can increase the risk of ear infections. Allergies can cause the skin lining the inside of the ear canal to get inflamed, red and swollen making it even easier for yeast or bacteria to move in and take over.
Ear infections can be hard to treat because we are treating an area we can’t see or reach. Also, the swollen ear canal starts to close off and then it is even harder to get medicine where we need it. So, it is very important when you are prescribed medicine to put in ear dog’s ear to make sure you put in enough that it will run down and fill the whole canal, not just treat near the opening of the ear.

We have a variety of medications that may be used in your dog, cleaners, ointments, and sometimes medications by mouth are used depending on the type of infection (bacteria or yeast) and the amount of internal swelling. We also have some new extended release treatments that can be applied at the clinic and can last for weeks.

It is important to recheck ears after treating because often the upper canal is healthy, but yeast or bacteria is still hiding in the deep part of the ear canal. In that case, treatment needs to be continued for a longer period of time. Needing repeated treatment is common for ear infections.

So, if your dog’s ears smell bad, are red, or if they are shaking their head or seem uncomfortable – get them in so we can get them feeling better!