Posts tagged with "adoption"

Pyometra in Pets

Providing a home for a furry friend can bring an abundance of love into the lives of owners. Many pet owners want to provide the best care possible for their dog or cat, but in order to do this, a key factor is remaining educated. Many know that spaying and neutering are common procedures for household animals, but what exactly are these procedures and what are their benefits? What are the risks, such as pyometra, of negating this responsibility?

With the surge of difficulties the pandemic has brought to being a pet owner, staying vigilant and prepared for the animals owners love is essential. With adoption rates of all kinds of cats and dogs exploding during the pandemic, first-time Gen Z and millennial pet owners might find the world of pet care complicated. Low-income families, whether they are new or already pet owners, have already faced additional hardships during the pandemic, with exorbitant fees for pet emergencies being an additional possible challenge.

In cities and neighborhoods where unfixed and stray animals are common occurrences, the risks of pyometra and other health concerns for humans and animals alike are increasing. In Houston alone, there are a million stray dogs. Other cities like Detroit and The Bronx neighborhood of NYC are challenged, while the geographic regions of the South and the West of the United States are where more strays end up in shelters. With millions of animals without a home, unfixed, and challenged with health issues, it is a serious concern for the U.S., especially those who choose to own pets.

Yet there are solutions, in preparedness through pet insurance and applications to nonprofits, as well as cases in which emergency assistance is possible. Veterinarian Dr. Lauren P. Davidson provides 360 Magazine with insights on these ideas as more, with a focus on keeping owners informed and your pet healthy and happy.

Can you break down what exactly is a spay or neuter?

Spay is the term used to refer to the common veterinary surgery that removes the uterus (the womb) and ovaries of a female animal. Medically, this surgery is known as an ovariohysterectomy. This surgery makes the animal incapable of having offspring.

Neuter is the term used to refer to the common veterinary surgery that removes both testicles of a male animal. This surgery results in the inability of the male to impregnate a female.

What are the ramifications of not having your animal fixed sooner rather than later?

First and foremost, by having your dog or cat spayed or neutered, you prevent them from having unwanted puppies/kittens. Additionally, in the female, you prevent uterine infections (also called pyometra) from developing as well ovarian cancer. Furthermore, by removing the ovaries, the main source of hormones that influence the development of mammary (or breast) cancer is removed and there is a great reduction in the risk of developing this type of cancer. As female animals get older, the surgery can also become more complicated due to the size of the animal or if they have already had multiple litters of puppies/kittens.

In males, the chance of testicular cancer is completely removed once the testicles are surgically removed and there is a reduction in the development of prostate disease as well.  Additionally, neutered male animals typically become less aggressive which results in a lower risk of fighting or aggression toward their owners or other animals.

What are the signs of a female dog having pyometra?

Pyometra, or infection of the uterus, only occurs in female animals. The signs of pyometra in non-spayed female animals can often be non-specific, but early warning signs include the animal feeling unwell, such as vomiting, refusal to eat, lethargy, increased thirst, and frequent urination. She may also appear to be uncomfortable because pyometra is a particularly painful condition for dogs while being somewhat less so for cats. Fever can also be observed. Symptoms of a pyometra usually begin four to eight weeks after the animal is in heat, and include:

  1. Drinking more than usual.
  2. Vomiting
  3. Pus leaking from vulva/vagina.
  4. Bloated abdomen (tummy)
  5. Panting and weakness.
  6. Off food.
  7. Urinating more than usual.
  8. Collapse

How soon should they be admitted into a veterinarian’s care or ER? if not treated, what will happen to a female cat/dog?

If any of these signs are observed and your animal is not spayed, you should seek veterinary care as soon as possible. If vomiting, fever, or lethargy are noted, the condition is usually more urgent and emergency care (ER) should be sought out if you are unable to immediately visit your regular veterinary clinic. If you have any doubts or are concerned, take your animal to the ER. Since many of the signs of pyometra can also be caused by other medical conditions, it is important to get your pet assessed by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

If left untreated, pyometra can cause your animal can go into shock, kidney failure, or develop severe dehydration. Pyometra is a medical emergency that can be fatal if left untreated.

Are there any resources besides the ASPCA that a pet owner can reach out to online? 

There are several resources online, but as with all things, make sure you consult reputable sources such as your veterinary clinic’s website.  However, do not try to diagnose your animal by what you read online. You are not a veterinarian and diagnosis and treatment of your animal should be left to a veterinary professional.

Since the pandemic, it has been increasingly difficult to procure an appointment with any veterinarian or pet care facility. In this type of event, what should a pet owner do?

Many veterinary clinics hold a certain number of appointments for emergency or urgent care cases. Call your veterinarian and inform them of what the problem is and they should be able to provide guidance. Alternatively, you can take your pet to your nearest emergency veterinary clinic (ER). Keep in mind that many clinics, regular and ER veterinary clinics alike, are not allowing owners to come inside due to the COVID pandemic. Please follow the guidance of the clinic and cooperate with these modified practices to keep everyone safe.

Why is pyometra surgery so expensive?

Pricing of all surgeries includes the procedure itself, anesthesia, required medications for pain, and other medications and materials that are necessary to support your animal through a successful surgery. Post-operative care and the time and expertise of the veterinarians and veterinary technicians are all considerations in pricing as well.

How long is the recovery time

Typically, sutures or surgical staples may be removed by the veterinary clinic in about two weeks.  During this time, it is very important to keep your animal as calm as possible and limit activity to reduce the risk of disturbing the incision site. Your pet may also have to wear a cone to prevent them from licking the incision site which would delay healing.

Is pyometra surgery easily performed? Are there any known complications? If so, why? What factors can be attributed to surgery complications? Age, overall health, or pre-existing conditions?

No, this surgery is not easily performed. Oftentimes, animals that have pyometra have complicating factors, such as fever, dehydration, and metabolic changes that require fluid support and medication. As with all other surgeries, pre-existing conditions must be identified to ensure the animal can be given anesthesia safely, and even still there is always a mild risk of complication.

In this surgical procedure, the veterinarian is removing the uterus which can be filled with a large amount of pus. Therefore, if not done carefully, a general infection can occur. Animals, especially dogs that have had several litters of puppies or those that have been allowed to have several heat cycles, can have very thickened uterine walls which tend to bleed more and make the surgery more complicated. Likewise, animals, where the infection has lasted for days on end, can have a very fragile uterus which makes it even more challenging for the veterinarian to perform the surgery. Due to the serious nature of this condition, we strongly recommend avoiding this scenario completely by spaying your animal.

Is there any way we can or should better educate pet owners about pyometra?

Generally, the ramifications of not spaying your pet, pyometra being one of them, are reviewed by your veterinarian when you first adopt them. Online information sources are also helpful in educating yourself on this condition and others related to not spaying your pet. Don’t be afraid to ask your veterinarians questions!

Once a female cat or dog has successful surgery, can pyometra reoccur?

This is a great question. In uncomplicated, successful surgeries, pyometra should not occur after spaying.  However, there is a small percentage of animals that may develop what’s called a “stump pyometra.” This usually occurs secondary to the presence of a small amount of ovarian tissue left behind during the original spay procedure. Under the influence of ovarian hormones, the small amount of uterine tissue that may remain at the base of the uterus can subsequently become infected. These cases are rare and can be quite challenging to diagnose.

How important is pet insurance? Are there any programs for low-income pet owners to assist with covering such a surgery?

Pet insurance is a great way to put your mind at ease when emergencies arise. There are many plans available which cover major emergencies, routine visits, and vaccinations as well. Check with your home or auto insurance company first to see what plans are available for pet insurance. Alternatively, there are pet-specific insurance companies and credit-based plans that clinics often have available if you do not already have an established plan.

There are several low-cost veterinary clinics and not-for-profit organizations across the country that assist with veterinary care costs. An online search of national humane organizations and even breed-specific organizations can lead you to multiple resources. Keep in mind, however, that before applying for aid, you should read the organization’s eligibility guidelines, which are usually available on their website. Also, carefully read the application and provide any necessary documentation that would show you meet the eligibility requirements for assistance. The best-case scenario is to explore these options before an emergency occurs.

Is there anything you wish to add that we haven’t already gone over?

Owning a pet can bring a wealth of joy and happiness to your life! It is a long-term commitment and one that can be quite expensive over time. Pyometra is one medical condition that can be prevented by spaying your pet early on. Take the time to learn as much as you can about pet ownership before you decide to make that commitment and be sure to consult with your local veterinarian to provide the best care for your pet.

About Dr. Lauren Davidson

Dr. Lauren Davidson is a practicing veterinarian and public health professional in the Washington, D.C. area. She has a passion for educating the public on animal care and how it impacts human well-being. A graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Davidson works in biomedical animal health compliance and has worked with underserved communities across the country to provide veterinary care and education. She enjoys spending time with her two rescues, her dog Betty and cat, Louie.

Adopting a Child: Five Reasons to Give Consideration To The Decision

You’ve undoubtedly gone through a lengthy process of attempting to have a child, like many other expectant parents. A variety of factors may have led you to question whether or not you wanted to become a parent, including issues with infertility, the absence of a suitable romantic partner, or just a lack of confidence in your abilities. Whatever the reasons are, you should be mentally prepared to adopt the child and can take help from Florida Adoption Attorney for a hassle-free process.

Many people have their own personal motivations for considering adoption. Nonetheless, the basic desire for adoption and what pulls a family ahead to finalize an adoption should be founded on the proper motives and an accurate grasp of what is involved. There are several things to think about if you’re contemplating adoption. Make sure you are adopting for the appropriate reasons and are ready for adoption before making a final decision about it.

5 Reasons to Make the Decision

The finest adoptions are those in which prospective adoptive parents are able to put the interests of the adopted kid first, regardless of whether they are trying to build a family or add to an existing one. Adoptions that succeed are those in which the prospective adoptive parents are able to put the interests of the adopted kid ahead of their own.

Five good reasons to think about adopting a kid are listed below. Adoption may be a good fit for you if you have any of these driving factors.

  1. Providing a Family for a Child

As long as your primary objective in adopting a kid is to create a loving environment in your house, you are likely to have the correct incentives for doing so. 

Adoptive families that wish to share their beliefs, pass down family traditions, and create lasting experiences with their adopted children have the highest chances of finding a place to call home. Children must be accepted for who they are, including their flaws, and their history and ancestry must be honored. This is part of a healthy approach to raising children.

  1. Life Coaching for a Child

Adoptive parents who want to assist a kid in overcoming the trauma of their past, whether that trauma stems from abuse, neglect, abandonment, or orphanage, have the correct motives to adopt a child. 

Adoptive parents who truly care about the kid’s welfare go above and beyond to assist the youngster in adjusting to his or her new surroundings. They also realize that adoptive parenting has its ups and downs, and they’re prepared for them.

  1. Taking Care of a Child in All Possible Ways

More than just desiring a kid in your house, being ready for adoption entails having the physical room for the child you are adopting. Adopting a kid requires a certain level of financial security on your part. 

For starters, you must be capable of providing food, clothes, schooling, and medical care for the child. In addition, you must be able to devote time and emotional energy to caring for a new addition to the family.

  1. Acknowledging the Adoption

It’s likely that you’re ready for adoption if everyone in your family thinks that adopting a child is the proper thing to do. However, if even one member of your family isn’t on board, you’ll need to take some time and reassess if this is the correct decision for you. A kid who has been adopted should never be placed in a setting that is not accepting or welcoming.

Everyone in your family, including your existing children, must be on board with your decision to adopt. Consider delaying adoption if not all of your children are on board. Attempting to adopt a kid if the youngsters in the household are against the notion is a bad idea.

  1. Knowing That a Child is in Need of a Loving Family

Seeing a kid in need of adoption may prompt you to explore adoption as a possible option. Whatever the cause, you and your family believe that you should step forward and take on the responsibility of providing a safe and loving home for this kid.

Once again, all members of the current family unit must be on board with the adoption before this step is completed. Adopting a product that fulfills a current need is a great incentive.

The Final Pick!

It is a lifetime commitment to becoming a parent. Assuming you don’t already have children of your own, be sure you are prepared for all adoption entails. In the event that you already have children, be sure you have enough time and space to care for another.

Adopted children may face additional difficulties in their lives. There are going to be times when you’ll have to deal with difficult situations. There is no harm in delaying adoption if you aren’t ready yet. Prior to moving forward with the adoption process, be sure you’re ready for everything it includes.

for use by 360 Magazine

BOBS FROM SKECHERS × PETCO LOVE

Skechers, The Comfort Technology CompanyTM, is celebrating its newest milestone for its philanthropic BOBS division: the Company’s total donations have now surpassed $7 million for animals in need throughout the United States and Canada. Through its partnership with Petco Love, a national nonprofit working to lead and inspire change for animals, and sales of its extensive BOBS footwear, apparel and accessory offering, Skechers’ funds have helped save and support over 1.3 million shelter pets across North America. 

The brand has continued to drive public awareness for animal welfare this summer with National Foster A Pet month in June—hosting pet adoption events at Skechers retail stores with Petco Love’s animal welfare partners. Community members welcomed home dogs and cats from lifesaving organizations in Dallas, Texas; Harahan, Louisiana; Hialeah, Florida; Marlton, New Jersey and Moreno Valley, California. Consumers across America were also able to support Petco Love and more than 4,000 of its animal welfare partners at local Skechers stores, by rounding up their purchases at checkout—a campaign that raised over $87,000 for dogs and cats independent of Skechers’ total donations. 

“As a brand with a vast network of stores, we love finding new ways to inspire consumers and mobilize our stores for good—and these adoption and round-up events have resonated with the public and help bring our BOBS message to life,” said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “We’ve given more than $3.4 million to Petco Love since we launched our partnership in 2019—a movement that’s already transformed thousands of pets’ and persons’ lives in America and is now building momentum across Canada.” 

“Our partnership with BOBS from Skechers helps further our mission to end preventable euthanasia and make communities and pet families closer, stronger and healthier,” said Susanne Kogut, president of Petco Love. “Shelter pets were there for us throughout the pandemic providing unconditional love and joy. Fostering, adopting, volunteering and donating are ways we can be there for them and make a difference.” 

Initially a philanthropic collection of slip-on styles that donated new shoes to children in need, the BOBS from Skechers movement has grown to include a popular offering of footwear, apparel and accessories dedicated to helping shelter animals. For every BOBS item purchased in the United States and Canada, a donation is made to Petco Love to help support shelter pets and its lifesaving animal welfare organization network. Skechers has helped save over 955,000 dogs, cats and other animals through pet adoptions, and contributed to the care of over 395,000 additional animals at nurseries, sanctuaries and medical care facilities. 

The BOBS from Skechers collection is available HERE, as well as at Skechers and Petco stores, and select department and specialty locations in the United States. To learn more, follow BOBS from Skechers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or click HERE. For more on Petco Love, click HERE or follow at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

for use by 360 Magazine