Useful Tips for Keeping Your Dogs Safe at the Dog Park

Dog Park pic
Dog Park
Image: thebark.com

A member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince is a board-certified veterinarian and medical partner at the Elmhurst Animal Center in western Chicago. Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince leverages 25 years of experience to provide care to a wide range of companion animals, including dogs.

Dogs need to stay active in order to live happy, healthy lives, and one way that many dog owners choose to exercise their pets is through regular visits to the dog park. While dog parks can be an excellent opportunity for energetic play and socialization, owners should take steps ahead of time to best protect a pet’s health in this community setting.

Firstly, all dogs who enter a dog park should be up to date on vaccinations. The high volume of animals who visit dog parks make it easy for certain diseases to spread, such as dog flu and kennel cough. A dog that is current on vaccines is less likely to catch the more common illnesses transmitted in this setting.

To further prevent the spread of illness, owners should also bring a bowl from home to provide a dog with its own water to drink, as sharing water with sick dogs can also cause a pet to become sick. Additionally, owners should also consider using preventative tick and flea medication before bringing a pet to a dog park, as other canines may bring these parasites into the setting.

Adipose Tumors in Pets

Adipose Tumors pic
Adipose Tumors
Image: petmd.com

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince brings over 25 years of experience to his role as a veterinarian at several animal care clinics in Illinois, including as a partner with Elmhurst Animal Care Center. To stay up-to-date with the latest in veterinary science, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince attends continuing education classes in excess of 100 hours every year. He takes a special interest in veterinary oncology.

Adipose, or lipoma, tumors grow in the fat tissue of many pets. Most common in older dogs, especially Labrador retrievers, lipomas are twice as likely to appear in female than male dogs. Cats get this type of tumor rarely, but any obese pet is at a higher risk.

Most adipose tumors are benign and tend to grow slowly enough that they don’t necessarily cause other problems. Benign adipose tumors can sometimes grow large enough to cause pain or problems with other tissues in the body, and can usually be surgically removed successfully. Rarely, this type of tumor will metastasize to other parts of the pet’s body. Liposarcomas are malignant adipose tumors that may be surgically removed, but can recur in the same place later.

Pets with suspected adipose tumors will need a biopsy to discover whether the tumor is malignant or benign and to decide on the best course of treatment for the individual pet.

Diplomates with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners

 

What Does it Means When Dogs Lick Ears?

dog licking ears

 

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince is a partner at Elmhurst Animal Care Center in Elmhurst, Illinois. In this role, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince provides preventative care services and other treatments for a variety of pets. The team at Elmhurst Animal Care Center works with patients to help them understand dog behaviors, especially strange ones like licking ears.

Ear-licking behavior is largely motivated by a dog’s pack mentality. Licking ears expresses affection, respects, and dedication to the pack through mutual grooming. At the same time, other factors contribute to this behavior, such as a predilection for flavor of earwax. Dogs often use their tongues to explore the environment, and they can learn that it is a flavor they enjoy.

If a dog suddenly becomes obsessed with another dog’s ear, owners should take note since an ear infection or some other discharge could be the reason.

In general, licking ears is harmless. However, excessive licking can case moisture to build in the ear canal, which leads to other issues. For that reason, owners should discourage the behavior by using distractions like toys or treats to break a dog’s concentration.

Household Hazards for Small Pets

Small Pets pic
Small Pets
Image: petmd.com

Veterinarian Joel Todd Leroy Prince practices at the Elmhurst Animal Care Center in Illinois. A board certified veterinarian, Joel Todd Leroy Prince is particularly knowledgable about the care and treatment of small animals.

Health hazards around the home are one of the greatest health concerns for curious small pets such as hamsters and rats. Heavy metals and toxins found in common household items are of particular concern. Electric cords, a commonly chewed upon item, contain zinc. This can lead to zinc poisoning, which may be fatal.

Lead poisoning is another key concern, especially in older homes. Paint, drywall, linoleum, and other construction materials can contain lead. Small mammals routinely find ways to access and chew these materials, especially when permitted to explore unsupervised.

Some types of commonly sold pet bedding can be dangerous for small pets as well. Cedar and pine beddings are known to cause health problems in most types of small animals, and are to be avoided.

First Response Actions for Cat Seizures

Cat Seizures pic
Cat Seizures
Image: vetstreet.com

Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince serves as a veterinarian at several locations in and around Naperville, Illinois. With a strong background that includes board certification in small animal practice, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince focuses much of his practice on neurological disorders in dogs and cats.

As with humans and other animals, seizures in cats occur as a result of abnormal electromagnetic brain activity. Such events often manifest with unusual behavior, such as pacing or yowling, which is followed by the seizure itself, in which the cat collapses, stiffens, and enters convulsions that feature unusual movements.

When the cat wakes, it may continue to display postictal symptoms such as temporary paralysis and behavior changes. If a cat shows signs of an impending or an occurring seizure, the owner’s responsibility is to keep the cat safe until the seizure is over.

Staying as calm as possible, the owner should remove any potentially dangerous objects from the cat’s vicinity. If this is not possible, such when the cat near stairs, the owner may try to move the cat to a safe location.

Experts also recommend moving a seizing cat if the animal is on a table, bed, or other raised surface. If the seizure is in progress, the owner should be aware of the potential for uncontrolled scratching or biting.

Owners should then watch the cat to make sure that it stays safe throughout the seizure. If the seizure continues for more than three minutes or is immediately followed by another seizure, experts recommend that the owner call a veterinarian. When the seizure does stop, disorientation may cause the cat to act out, so the owner must continue to observe the cat to make sure it does not injure itself or others.

Canine Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears

 

anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)

As a board-certified small animal veterinarian, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince cares for dogs and cats at a number of practices in and around Elmhurst, Illinois. In his practice, Dr. Joel Todd Leroy Prince focuses on orthopaedic care and surgery.

Like humans, dogs are susceptible to tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Located in the back leg and also known as the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), this structure is responsible for connecting the rear of the upper leg bone with the front of the lower leg bone. This connection keeps the leg stable, but can tear if too much tension is placed on the joint.

Overweight dogs are at particular risk of an ACL tear, as are such breeds as the Newfoundland, Rottweiler, and Labrador Retriever. Many cases develop gradually, with the ligament weakening to the point where it ruptures suddenly, though it is possible for a dog to torque the leg and cause a sudden tear to the ligament.

Dogs who present with a tear, regardless of cause, undergo assessment that involves testing for abnormal forward momentum. Positive results of this or related testing most often leads to a recommendation for ligament replacement surgery, followed by restricted activity. Dogs ineligible for this course of treatment may receive a recommendation of medical management and minimal exercise.