Sunday, March 28, 2010
Good grooming is good health
In this episode:
Pet Joke of the Week: Famous cat quote.
Headline News/Personal Comment: Celebrity pet gossip - Kelly Osbourne
Transcript of personal comment from this episode of The Web-DVM:
My personal comment tonight deals with a field of pet care that is far too often overlooked as a health concern: grooming. People think of dogs and cats getting groomed as simply a pampering day at the spa, getting bathed, cut, blown out, and made to smell nice, merely a luxury for the pet and its owner. Well ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you that grooming is also good for the pet’s health.
You see, a dirty, smelly, matted, pet, is not a healthy pet. Hair mats eventually spread outward incorporating more hair, while moving up the hair shafts toward the skin. At some point, they begin to pull on the skin causing pain, if large enough, severe pain.
Hair mats retain shed hair, preventing the hair coat from renewing itself, a crucial component to coat and skin health. Hair mats hold in air born allergens, such as pollens and pollutants, contributing to allergy related skin infections and contributing to overall poor health.
Washing, brushing, and blowing out the hair coat removes sebaceous gland secretions, bacteria, yeast, and allergens that lead to infections and poor skin and coat health. Cleaning the ears also prevents inflammation and infection of the ears. Case in point, a staggering percentage of my patient visits are disease of the skin and ears, approaching 30% of my appointments in a given day. Probably at least half of these circumstances could be prevented with good, regular grooming.
Regarding cutting of the nails, another important aspect of grooming, not trimming them regularly can lead to injuries and infections of the toes, such as ingrown toenails, broken, bleeding nails, or even dislocation or fracture of one or more digits. Not a week goes by that I do not treat some injury or disease that results from excessively long nails.
Last but not least is the anal glands, 2 glandular structures that secrete a fluid contained in pouches in the rectal wall, just inside the anal sphincter. These pouches, known medically as the anal sacs, under normal circumstances get expressed when feces pass through the region, with the fluid emptying onto the feces, coating it and giving it a signature scent unique to the animal.
In domestic dogs and sometimes in cats, these sacs do not empty as they should and remain full, causing itching and discomfort and often subsequent scooting behavior, and can even become impacted and form abscesses. Regular grooming prevents this, as most groomers manually express them as part of the regular grooming.
So you can clearly see that grooming is an essential part of caring for your pets. Grooming is far more than just smelling nice with bows and ribbons, far more than simply a pampering luxury. Good grooming is good health.
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Urgent Rescue Need!
14 hounds are scheduled for euthanasia because for whatever reason they were deemed not useful for hunters. This is the kind of dismal lack of respect for life some people have: dog not a good hunter, kill'em! Euthanasia date is set for 3/30/2010! Here is a pic of one of them:
Follow this facebook link to see the pics and bios of all of the other dogs:
Please call the shelter in NC if you have room in your homes and your hearts for one of these dogs whose only crime was that they are unwanted. Here is the shelter information:
Bladen County Animal Shelter
506 Smith Circle
Elizabethtown, NC 28337
Dr. Roger Welton is the President and chief veterinarian at Maybeck Animal Hospital in West Melbourne Florida, as well as CEO of the veterinary advice and health management website Web-DVM.net.