Eastside Veterinary Associates - Medical Articles The veterinarians and staff at the Eastside Veterinary Associates are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Current Newsletter Topics

Canines with a Cause: Dogs That Sniff Out Bed Bugs

Dogs help sniff out bedbugsDogs are not only our friends, but also our protectors. And in this case, they even keep our beds insect-free! Today, dogs are increasingly being used to help sniff out bed bug infestations around the nation. Companies like "Sniff K9" even offer bed bug certification programs – where dogs run the show. Sniff K9 works with people at their own homes, or those in the hospitality and retail business to ensure that rooms and products are bed-bug free. You can also buy these bed-bug sniffing companions.

The recent surge in these services is due to an increase in bed bug infestations experienced around the country. "Bed bugs are no longer common simply in cheap motels," stated the co-founder of Sniff K9, "but are now frequent at even 5-star facilities and luxury boutiques."

Dogs are used because of their incredibly keen sense of smell. What dog is best for the task, however, may be up for debate. Sniff K9 uses Labradors because they are characteristically fearless, especially when it comes to searching small spaces, relatively low maintenance, and are particularly good at detecting scents. Although seemingly odd or unconventional, the method appears to be a rather effective and quick way to keep these unwanted guests out of your bed.

Veterans and Dogs: Companions of Hope

With Veteran's Day quickly approaching, it is an opportune time to commemorate not only our soldiers and veterans- but those important canine friends that help our servicemen and servicewomen’s reentry to American life.

Engaging in military battles or conflict can create anxiety in even the hardiest of soldiers. Unfortunately, sometimes that anxiety permeates their emotional state in such a way so as to disrupt their attempts at a "normal" life once they return home.

Oftentimes, returned soldiers can suffer not only from anxiety but also from depression, fear and substance abuse. Anyone who has gone through a life-threatening event can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that can include reliving the experience through memories, nightmares or flashbacks. PTSD can also cause a victim to avoid situations that remind him/her of the event, create negative feelings, and initiate hyperarousal (living with a chronic state of fight or flight). These hard-to-overcome emotions can paralyze veterans, dismantle family life, and prevent an individual’s chance at happiness.

PTSD Therapy Dog

Pawsible Help

A specially trained PTSD dog can give its owner a sense of comfort, security, calm. Like all service dogs, a psychiatric service dog is individually trained to perform tasks that mitigate the owner’s disability. With PTSD, some of these mitigating tasks may involve:

  • Providing environmental assessments (entering a room prior to the owner and making sure “the coast is clear”)
  • Interrupting an owner’s repetitive or injurious behavior
  • Reminding the owner to take medication
  • Guiding the handler away from stressful situations.

PTSD Therapy Dog

Creature Comforts

Much research has been performed that demonstrates dogs’ ability to serve as good companions, elicit feelings of love and affection, and reduce stress in humans. These and other natural canine virtues make dogs the perfect therapist for a PTSD survivor. These well-trained service dogs draw individuals out of their shells and help them overcome their emotional numbness or fear. Researchers have also concluded that human-dog bonding has biological effects such as adjusting serotonin levels, lowering blood pressure and overcoming depression.

If you or someone you care about has been affected by PTSD and could benefit from special canine companionship, contact either of the following organizations for more information:

Average Lifespan Table of Some Animals
Small Birds5-10 years
Medium Birds10-20 years
Large Birds40-50 years
Small Dogs9-11 years
Medium and
Large Dogs
10 years
Giant Dogs7 years
Ferrets5-11 years
Gerbils3-5 years
Rats3-4 years
Mice2-3 years
Behavior - Urination Problems In Dogs


During times of high excitement, dogs may dribble or squirt small amounts of urine. This behavior often occurs when the owner returns from a trip or even a day at work. Some dogs are so excitable that each time they see someone familiar, they dribble a small amount of urine.

Generally, this behavior occurs more often in puppies and younger dogs (1 to 7 months of age). Most dogs outgrow this behavior without specific intervention


Regular Housetraining Helps Prevent Indoor Urination & Defacting Problems

Regular Housetraining Helps Prevent Indoor Urination & Defecation Problems

Description: A dog that is not housetrained or has lost it's housetraining abilities will urinate or defecate in the home whether the owner is present or not. Some dogs learn to avoid eliminating directly in front of the owner if they have been previously punished for this behavior. Dogs may find indoor locations more readily available or attractive. They often have a preferred substrate or location for the indoor elimination. Inclement weather can contribute to the development of the problem.

This problem usually occurs in young puppies (2 to 6 months of age) and elderly dogs (>7 years of age) but can occur at any age.This problem must be dealt with immediately.


Description: In an attempt to communicate a submissive status to a person, usually associated with a greeting or a reprimand, the dog may urinate. The dog will exhibit other body postures that convey submission (e.g., ears back, avoidance of eye contact, cowering, or rolling over). Submissive urination is more common in young female dogs. Most dogs outgrow this behavior by 1 year of age.

Submissive Behaviors Include Urination

Submissive Behavior Includes Urination

The age at onset for this behavior is early in life (1 to 7 months of age) but can occur at any age.


Description: Urine marking involves small quantities of urine usually deposited vertically on targets. Urine marking occurs despite adequate access to the outdoors. Triggers for marking behaviors may include the addition of another pet, female dog in estrus (heat), or a new item or person in the household. Sexually mature, intact male dogs are most likely to engage in urine marking behavior.The age at onset for this behavior is between 6 - 24 months of age.

VIDEO: Avoiding Dog Bites

Every year about 5 million people are bitten by dogs and almost 1 million of those people require medical attention. Medical bills are estimated in excess of $250 million annually and the emotional damage, especially to children, is incalculable. How can "man's best friend" be responsible for so much damage? Can we learn to avoid dog bites? Watch this video to learn more.

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Cats Encountering Other Cats

When cats encounter other cats, their meetings are often quite unpleasant. Here are some tips that may come in handy when dealing with these unpleasant encounters:

Sit out the minor battles - When cats meet, there will be a certain amount of hissing and posturing. In most case, this is their way of getting to know each other. If they do start arguing, chances are it will settle down in a few minutes.

Don't get in the middle of a fight - If the cats really do start to fight, stay out of it. In the heat of battle, they don't care what they bite or scratch - and that bite could well be you. Keep your hands clear.

Interrupt Correctly - If you see a fight brewing, try to stop it before it gets to a heated pitch. Interrupt the action with the deepest and loudest NO that you can muster. Cats associate a low-pitched voice with a threatening growl and will take it far more seriously than they will a, "Now, now, Fluffy—stop that, please."

Use Water - If you are lucky enough to have the fight occur near a water source, given them a blast with the hose. Even a pitcher of water or water pistol can do the trick. Hard to convince cats will take lots of water.

Think ahead - If you do want two cats, try to get them at the same time and as kittens. Cats that grow up together are less likely to squabble.

Provide an escape route - Make sure that when two cats meet for the first time that they have an easy way out. If they don't feel trapped, they will be less likely to fight.

Indoors vs. Outdoors - The safest place for your cat is inside where there is no chance of territorial fights. The average life span for an indoor cat is 12 to 14 years, for an outdoor cat it is 1 to 2 years.

Neuter your cat young - Cats that are neutered before they are six months old, may never develop the tendency to fight. Aggression is greatly reduced in males and even spayed females display a less quarrelsome disposition.

Thanksgiving Tips for Pets

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends and indulge (and, sometimes, over-indulge) in delicious holiday treats. You can be sure that if your cat or dog is around for the festivities, they'll want to share some of the goodies, too. But no matter how much your pets purr, plead, whine or whimper, owners should remember that holiday treats that are tasty for people can be potentially harmful for pets.

Thanksgiving foods may look tasty to your pet, but they could be harmful.

The typical Thanksgiving spread is flush with a variety of foods, from savory fare like turkey and stuffing to sweet foods like yams and cream pies. Your pet's diet is much blander and boring, and for good reason—foods with lots of fat, dairy and spices can cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets. For this reason, it's best to avoid letting Rover dine on the usual turkey day leftovers. If you must give your pet some holiday foods, stick to dishes like boiled potatoes or rice, which will not upset your pet's stomach.

Some holiday foods, however, can cause much more than an upset stomach in your pet. Garlic and onions are members of the allium family and, if eaten in large quantities, can cause hemolytic anemia, a blood disorder that causes red blood cells to burst. Raisins and grapes are also toxic to pets and have been linked to kidney failure.

Chocolate is one of the most dangerous foods that pets can eat—it's also one of the most prevalent holiday foods. Whether chocolate is found in cookies, cakes, truffles or baking squares, any amount can be dangerous. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both methylxanthines that can cause stimulation of the nervous system, increased heart rate and tremors. Signs of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity and increased thirst, urination and heart rate.

Chocolate is dangerous for pets

Other sweet treats, like gum and hard candies, can also make your pet ill. Sugar-free candies and gum are made with xylitol, a sugar substitute that can cause a drop in blood sugar, depression, loss of coordination and seizures in your pet. Xylitol is also linked to liver failure in dogs. Be sure to keep all candies, chocolate and other sweets out of your pet's reach. If you believe your pet may have ingested chocolate or candy, call your veterinarian immediately.

You may also be tempted to give your dog a leftover turkey bone or two once the table is cleared. However, poultry bones are small and easily breakable and can easily shatter and get caught in your pet's throat. These bones can cause damage to your pet's throat or lead to choking.

Holidays can also be as stressful for your pet as they are for you. Large gatherings of unfamiliar people may cause your dog or cat unnecessary stress and worry. If your pet does not interact well with strangers, keeping him or her in a separate room during the festivities may help keep your pet relaxed and worry-free.

During holiday gatherings, it's a good idea to keep your veterinarian's phone number handy. If your pet does get a hold of some Thanksgiving food and experiences mild vomiting or diarrhea, you can help settle their stomach by withholding food for a few hours then feeding small amounts of boiled rice and cooked hamburger. If the symptoms persist, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Fashion Fur-Pas? Tampa Woman Hopes Dog Owners Want Dog-Hair Purses

A woman in Tampa is seeking funding to launch a one-of-a-kind business: selling high-end purses made entirely of dog hair. Doris Carvahlo, an entrepreneur, says the idea combines her passion for animals and fashion. “I turn this groomed dog hair that would be garbage into these handbags,” she said in a video promoting the idea. “These handbags prove that high-end can be made eco-friendly from your pet for you.”

Carvahlo says the entire purse-making process, which begins with sterilizing the dog hair, takes up to 50 hours. She plans to sell the dog hair purses for $1,000, but she’s looking to raise $15,000 on Kickstarter first. That money will allow her to make 30 purses and start her marketing process, she said.