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Pet Blog
Welcome To Dr. Pinney's Pet Blog

Dr. Pinney's Pet Blog offers a glimpse into the dynamic and ever-changing world of veterinary medicine and pet health care.

In addition, our pet blog offers money saving advice and tips for the frugal pet owner in all of us!

Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013
Ringworm Trivia
Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 05:33

Did you know?

Ringworm infections are quite rare in dogs. Ringworm tends to get over-diagnosed in dogs presented with circular, scaly skin lesions. In most cases, these lesions are caused by either a bacterial infection or Demodex mange mites, not ringworm. Cats, on the other hand, are more likely to be affected by ringworm. Hair loss on the face, nose, and paws, especially in kittens, should raise a red flag. Cats can also be carriers of this fungus without showing any hair loss or clinical signs, and this makes them a major source of ringworm transmission to humans.

Monday, Aug 26, 2013
Cleaning Up Pet Stains
Monday, Aug 26, 2013 06:29

Here are a few tips for cleaning up pet stains from Linda Cobb, the "Queen of Clean" (visit

1. If you see your pet urinate on your carpet, blot the wet area with paper towels to absorb as much as possible. Then spray a solution of 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 cool water onto the area. If you own a carpet cleaning machine, extract it with cool water. If not, then blot the area again with a paper towels to get it as dry as possible, then allow the area to air dry. If a stain forms, use a product like Carpet CPR, Folex Instant Spot Remover, or Spot Shot (all available on Amazon) to remove it. 

2. To remove odor, use Odorzout. You can also get it at Amazon

3. If your pet vomits or poops on your carpet, your first inclination is to clean it up asap. But oftentimes that only serves to mash it down into and smear it in among the carpet fibers. A better approach is to dump a box of baking soda on the pile, covering it completely and leave it overnight. The baking soda will absorb the moisture out of the pile and dry it, making it easier to lift off without smearing. Once you pick it up, vacuum the remaining debris using the vacuum's hose (with no attachment). For any residual stains, use one of the stain-removing products mentioned above.

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013
Another Possible Cause of Food Allergies
By Dr.P
Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 10:19
Veterinary researchers have shown that vaccinations administered to puppies and kittens may also sensitize their immune systems to the foods they are eating at the time of immunizations. This is especially true for those breeds prone to allergies, such as Westies, Schnauzers, Labradors, and Cocker spaniels.

Vaccinations administered to puppies and kittens may also sensitize their immune systems to the foods they are eating at the time of immunizations. In other words, if a puppy or kitten is eating a food that contains primarily beef and corn during the time in which it receives its initial shots, there is a chance she'll develop an allergy to beef and corn in the future.

As a result, it may become necessary to switch foods (food ingredients) later on in life (i.e. after two years of age) to prevent a food allergy from rearing its ugly head.

Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013
A Neat Little Trick
By Dr.P
Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013 12:21
Have trouble giving your pet pills or capsules? Try the 3-Piece Method

Prepare 3 small pieces of tasty food in which hide a pill or capsule, but only fill one of them with the medicine. All-beef hot dogs, soft cheese, or bread work well. Now give the pet the first piece of food without the medication in it.

Next, let the pet see and smell the 3rd piece of food, but don't give it to him. Instead, give him the 2nd piece (containing the pill) instead, followed immediately by the 3rd piece,. That will prompt the pet to swallow the second piece quickly in order to get that 3rd piece.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Pet Food Stamps
By Dr.P
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 09:22

Pet Food Stamps is a non-profit organization based in New York. They've now expanded their services nationwide, offering assistance to low-income pet owners who have trouble purchasing pet food and pet supplies. This program helps fill the void in the government's SNAP food assistance program, which currently excludes pet food from its list of approved items. 


The PFS program provides free monthly home delivery of food from Pet Food Direct, an online pet food retailer, for a period of 6 months. Be sure to check out for more information about this worthwhile program and how you can help.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Another Potential Health Hazard To Pets
By Dr.P
Tuesday, May 07, 2013 01:01

A few years back, the EPA changed the rules for manufacturers of mouse and rat poisons in an attempt to improve in-home safety and reduce the chances of accidental poisoning in children, pets, and non-targeted wildlife. They've prohibited the use of certain long-acting anti-coagulants (chemicals that inhibit blood clotting) in products designed for in-home use and have required manufacturers to employ redesigned, safer bait stations to deliver the poison.
In response to the guidelines, many companies have since switched the active ingredient in their products to bromethalin, which is a neurotoxin that can lead to seizures and death within 24 hours after consumption. And this is bad news for pets.
Unlike the anticoagulant products, bromethalin has no known antidote. Severity of reaction is dose-dependent, so smaller pets and cats are at greatest risk. But if a large amount is consumed by a pet of any size, death will usually result.
The take-away: Check the labels of any rodent control products you buy and be sure you know what the active ingredient is.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Cold Therapy and Cold Packs
By Dr. P
Wednesday, May 01, 2013 07:11

Cold therapy is an excellent tool to help alleviate pain and inflammation associated with an acute musculoskeletal injury in pets. In order to achieve maximum benefit, it needs to be performed within 72 hours of the injury.

When performed 10 minutes every 8 to 12 hours for the for the first 72 hours, cold therapy temporarily reduces blood flow to the injured area, which in turn reduces the initial amount of swelling and moderates the immune response.

Gel packs work great for this purpose and they are readily available from any pharmacy or big box store . When using one, never put it directly on the skin, as this can cause frostbite. Instead, cover it with a thin, wet layer of fabric (i.e. the thickness of a washcloth) to protect the skin while at the same time maximizing the temperature exchange. Avoid using thick blankets or towels as coverings, as these will prevent the cold temperature from reaching the deeper tissues and thereby negate your efforts.

Obviously, if you suspect a fracture or a dislocation, or if the swelling, pain, or lameness persist beyond 72 hours, see your vet right away.

Sunday, Apr 07, 2013
Wrongly Accused
By Dr. P
Sunday, Apr 07, 2013 12:25

How many times have you heard it from pet food salespersons and other pet food "experts": This food is "grain-free"....By saying that, are they implying that it is healthier for the pet or that it will help with the pet's allergies or gastrointestinal problems?  

I'm not sure, but I'd like to see the science to back up those claims. Contrary to popular belief, grain-free diets cannot be considered "hypoallergenic" unless the main protein source (the meat portion) contained in the diet is hypoallergenic.  

There's no denying that corn, wheat, and soy have caused allergies in a few pets, but these cases are the exceptions rather than the rule. Fact is, gluten allergies and other grain allergies are just not common in dogs and cats like they are in people.  

Some leading veterinary nutrition experts believe that this "grain" myth may have been propagated on purpose to help smaller pet food companies compete with the big boys in a highly competitive marketplace.

Makes sense to me. It's a fact that many of these grain-free diets are priced quite high, and the companies do their best to convince consumers that price equates to quality. You need to be careful with that assessment, as it's not always the case!  

Quality does not determine allergenicity of a food. The ingredients do. If you are allergic to peanuts, it's not the quality of the peanuts that causes the reaction, it's the peanuts themselves.  

If you are looking for a hypoallergenic food to feed your pet, find one with a novel protein source like venison, duck, rabbit, or bison. Most of these are paired with carb sources like sweet potatoes, rice, or peas, making them excellent choices to feed. And not all of these foods are super-expensive either!

Finally, remember that your pet will need to be fed his/her new diet a minimum of 3 months before you'll really know that food was to blame for your pet's allergies.

Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013
Don't Get Busted!
By Dr.P
Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 12:15

Remember, whenever you take a pet across state lines in your car, you'll need a health certificate or certificate of veterinary inspection to stay out of trouble in case you are stopped by the police for an unrelated violation, especially in a non-metro area. The fine can be as much as $1000!

I come from a small town and know that traffic tickets are a big source of revenue, so I have no doubt our small town police would gladly scribble out a ticket for such a violation. No doubt most state troopers would do so as well. So don't give them the chance. Make sure to get that health certificate within 10 days of your departure.


Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013
Flea and Tick Products
By Dr.P
Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013 05:30

In case you haven't noticed, topical flea and tick products are proliferating like flies at the city dump. And these include new ones available only from your vet.

Almost all claim to be the latest and greatest, and that may be so when it comes to flea control. But not so fast on tick control. In fact, almost all of the new ones contain permethrin for tick control. Sound familiar?

This is the same stuff we used decades ago to control ticks and is also the same stuff that kills so many small dogs and cats through improper (dog) or accidental (cat) use. In other words, not much margin of safety in smaller pets.

I don't know about you, but I've got a problem with a product calling itself the latest and greatest while using the same toxic ingredients used in products developed 30 years ago. Not only that, when applied as a spot-on to a pet's back, people (especially children) can be easily exposed to permethrin through contact, and that isn't good.

Now, understand that there hasn't been a fantastic breakthrough in tick control in a long time. The most recent breakthrough was fipronil (the ingredient found in Frontline) and that was over 15 years ago. It still works pretty good against ticks, but fleas are becoming resistant to it as well as to the ingredient found in Advantage (which by the way, does nothing for ticks unless combined with permethrin).

Of all the new topical flea and tick products out there, I like the new one from the Frontline people. It's called Tritak and it contains fipronil (for the ticks) plus a new killing ingredient for fleas, so it remains effective against both fleas and ticks WITHOUT resorting to permethrin. The disadvantage: It's fairly expensive and is available only through veterinarians (by the way, you may find it online, but that Tritak is not manufactured in the US..probably in India or China).

So if a pet store or your vet is pushing a new flea and tick product on you, ask if it contains permethrin. If it does, it's best to politely decline.