Sun Valley Animal Center
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Springtime in the Wood River Valley uncovers new delights for our dogs who are attracted to the discovery of rotting debris emerging from the melting snow. These irresistible smelly and rotting “goodies” can act as toxins for your pet when ingested, causing signs of distressful gastro-intestinal upset. Watch for diarrhea, a painful abdomen, vomiting decreased appetite and lethargy.

Also, when you are on early spring  dog walks, pay attention to what your dog is picking up along the way. Chewing on rotten bones can cause dental problems by breaking teeth and long leg bone splinters can rupture an intestine.






Holiday feasting that provides great comfort and joy for us can make our dogs and cats extremely sick. High fat holiday food should not be shared with our pets. In fact, in some cases it can actually be fatal. Emergency visits to the vet skyrocket over the holidays  presenting such serious conditions as gastroenteritis, poisonings and pancreatitis. But, the good news is we can prevent this!

This Holiday Season Take These Precautions:

High fat food such as turkey skin, turkey necks, gravy and other high fat foods should not be shared with pets.

All bones, scraps and carcasses should be disposed of in a covered, tightly secured container.

Remember onions, garlic, raisins and grapes are considered poisonous for pets.

Consider desserts deadly if they contain chocolate or the artificial sweetner xylitol

Here is a Holiday treat you CAN share with your pet!

Pumpkin Smoothies

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

Place pumpkin and yogurt in a blender and blend on high until smooth

Pour into small cups and sere as liquid or freeze




As you prepare for the winter months ahead, remember to take precautions for your pet as well.

Here’s a Checklist:

Ethylene glycol or antifreeze can have a deadly after taste for pets. As little as one teaspoon ingested by a cat can be deadly and one tablespoon can be lethal to a 20 lb. dog or three tablespoons  for a 60 lb. dog. If you suspect antifreeze poisoning in your pet, call us immediately. The prognosis is excellent if treated within several hours after ingestion.

All pets need shelter from the elements and they should not be left outside for long periods in freezing weather. Just like us, they can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite. Young pets, seniors and pets with arthritis are prone to more discomfort in cold environments.

Always provide fresh water. Licking ice and eating snow is not an adequate water supply.

Trim between toes on dogs that have longer hair to avoid ice ball formation.

Pets walking on  sidewalks that have been de-iced, can end up with chapped and painful paws. After an outing, wash off your pet’s feet with warm water to avoid gastrointestinal irritants.

Ice skating is not a good winter pastime for your dog. Falling through thin ice can cause hypothermia and cruciate tears can occur from “skating” on icy walks.

If you have questions about your own pet’s winter well being, call us! 208-726-7777.

As we approach late summer, field grasses dry out and become full of cheat grass or foxtails. These pesky barbed seeds that get stuck in your socks can also get embedded in your dog- from his nose to his toes. Foxtails may be inhaled into the nose, and due to their barb-like shape, they are not easily expelled. This may cause violent sneezing.  Foxtails can penetrate the ear and the ear canal  causing rapid shaking and tilting of the head. Foxtails find their way between your dog’s toes to cause frequent licking and red inflamed areas.  If you find yourself facing any of these problems we suggest pulling out any foxtail that you can easily see.  If you notice any of these symptoms, but don’t see foxtails, contact us immediately because the barbed seeds can travel causing severe problems.



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Unlike your cat, your dog would probably jump at the chance to go to a lake or stream with you this summer.

Some common sense is a good thing to take along with you.

Read and obey all warning signs. “Do Not Swim,” applies to your dog as well as you.

Make sure your dog actually can swim. Some are afraid of water so start off in a controlled environment. Flat-nosed dogs have a harder time breathing in water and older and overweight dogs may tire more easily.

Stay away from any water that smells, is discolored or is known to be contaminated by  farm activity or municipal sewage.

To avoid hypothermia, remember that if the water is too cold for you, it is too cold for your dog.

Also, don’t allow arthritic pets to over do it. Swimming is an excellent exercise, but too much of a good thing  can result in pain.

If you happen to be in a situation where you should wear a life vest, it’s a good idea to have a properly fitted vest for your dog as well.

And finally, after a fun day in the sun and water, give your dog a bath with a mild pet shampoo.

Give us a call if you would like to discuss additional care  regarding eye, ear and skin sensitivities. 208-726-7777.

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The early temperature spikes aren’t giving us or our pets time to acclimatize to the early onslaught of high summer temperatures.
It’s time to become aware of signals that your pet is overheating.
Signs includes bright red gums, excessive panting, drooling, increased heart and respiratory rate, mild weakness and bloody diarrhea or vomiting.
Animals that are highly prone to overheating and heatstroke include flat faced dogs and cats like Pugs and Persians, elderly and overweight pets and black dogs.
Of course, there are many precautions you can take to take the extreme heat out of summer for your pets.
Make sure they always have access to fresh water; when outdoors, pets should have access to shade; exercise should be limited to mornings and evenings; and pets should never be left in a parked car – even for a few minutes.
Also, lingering on hot asphalt is not a good idea because of your buddy’s close proximity to the ground. And, be aware of paw pad burns from hot surfaces.
A short clip is a good idea for long-haired dogs, but shaving should be avoided since their coats protect them from overheating and sunburn.
And, frozen treats to nibble on are appreciated!
If you suspect overheating or heatstroke, contact us immediately. We’re always on call for you. 208-726-7777.

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More pets and livestock become lost on Independence Day than any other day of the year.

Taking a pro-active approach to alleviating the anxiety associated with this loud holiday could prevent a tragedy.

The “flight” response – running away from the noise – is a dog’s natural survival mechanism. Blocking the noise with canine-safe ear plugs or turning on familiar household appliances such as the vacuum or dryer can help block the sound.

If your dog seeks its own “safe spot” under the bed or in a kennel, leave him alone instead of trying to coax him out.

Also, be aware of your own emotional state. Your dog will feed on your anxiety and/or negative emotions. Remain calm.

A comforting body wrap or over the counter remedies also may be helpful. And, of course keep your dog on a leash outside.

If you think your pet – cat or dog – has an extreme fear of fireworks, call us to discuss anti-anxiety medications that will help your pet get through the day.

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Earlier this spring we offered an ounce of prevention regarding scuffed paws.
But, by the looks of our increased visits with patients presenting with this painful problem, it appears like this predicament is inevitable this time of year.
So, how to give a paw a hand?
If you detect lameness caused by deep blisters on pads, cracked paw pads or torn nails, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Minor pad injuries can be treated by washing with an antibacterial soap – treats to encourage cooperation may help.
Inspect the area for a thorn or other embedded material and carefully remove with tweezers. Disinfect with betadine and prevent infection by applying Neosporin. Discourage licking by wrapping the paw in gauze with a loose bandage. Change the bandage daily.
There are products available to help protect from paw injury.
Call us to chat about what is best for your best friend.

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106 S Clear Creek Industrial Park Rd.
Ketchum, ID 83340
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Phone: 208-726-7777
Toll-free: 800-699-BONE (2663)
Fax: 208-726-7770

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