Tag

pets

Close up image of chihuaha face

WHY YOUR DOG SMELLS BETTER THAN YOU

By | Behavior, Client Education

A dog’s sense of smell is about 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than a human’s (depending on the breed). While you have about 5 million scent glands, a dog, depending on the breed, has anywhere from 125 million to 300 million making your dog’s sense of smell 10,000 to 100,000 times better than yours. And the part of a dog’s brain that is used to analyze smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than a human’s.

Dogs’ noses function quite differently from ours. When we inhale, we smell and breathe through the same airways within our nose. When dogs inhale, a fold of tissue just inside their nostril helps to separate these two functions.

Dogs also have a second olfactory capability, due to the Jacobson’s organ, an organ not found in human. Also called the vomeronasal organ, it’s located in the bottom of a dog’s nasal passage and picks up a variety of pheromones, the chemicals unique to each animal species that signal mating readiness and other sex-related details.

So how good is a dog’s sense of smell? If we used the sense of sight as an analogy, it means that what you can see 1/3 of a mile away, your dog could see 3,000 miles away.

We might notice a teaspoon of sugar in our cup of coffee- A dog can detect that teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water. Or one rotten apple in two million barrels.

Face of a tan and white dog with a cute nose.

Cute face, cute nose! At Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic.

A drug sniffing dog detected 35 pounds of marijuana that was packed in a plastic container and submerged in a gas tank filled with gasoline.

A cancer-sniffing dog kept returning to a spot on a patient’s skin that doctors had declared cancer-free. A subsequent biopsy confirmed there was melanoma in a small fraction of the cells.

What does this super sense of smell mean for your family dog’s behavior?

It’s why male dogs that have not been neutered can pick up a scent and follow their nose to the receptive female that might be nowhere in the neighborhood.

It’s why your dog knows there’s a treat sitting on a table that is too high up for him to ever be able to see it.

It’s why the local fire hydrant and/or tree, acts as Fido’s Facebook- letting all the dogs know who’s been by.

Yellow fire hydrant.

Facebook for Dogs in San Tan Valley, waiting for someone to come along and “post” on its time line.

 

 

Have a question about your pet or its behavior?  Contact us at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic by texting or calling  480-987-4555

Sidewinder rattlesnake from San Tan Valley Area

Who’s Your Favorite Snake?

By | Client Education, News/ Events

These 6 contestants were collected in the San Tan Valley and Superstition Mountain area.

In honor of World Snake Day, vote for your favorite on our Facebook page.

A. “Go-fer Broke” Gopher Snake

Tan and brown blotched snake.

The Gopher Snake (also called a Bull Snake) is not venomous, but is often confused with a rattlesnake.

-Large and heavy-bodied, the gopher snake typically reaches 4 feet in length

-Because of its similar body markings and behavior when threatened (hissing, tail shaking and strike –posturing) it is frequently mistaken for a rattlesnake

-But a tapered tail, the absence of a rattle, the lack of a facial pit, and the round pupils all distinguish the gopher snake from the rattlesnake.

-A good climber, the gopher snake is active mainly during the day, except in extreme heat.

-.A constrictor, its prey is mostly mammals, although birds and their eggs are also eaten.

B. “Diamond Dave” Diamondback

Diamondback Rattlesnake, coiled and ready strike.

Diamondback Rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike. Most commonly encountered rattlesnake in San Tan Valley.

-The Western diamondback rattlesnake ranging from 3-5 feet long, is a heavy-bodied snake with a triangular shaped head and two dark diagonal lines on each side of its face running from the eyes to its jaws.

-Its venom is actually a toxic saliva: a mixture of enzymes that destroys blood or paralyzes nerves.

-Western diamondbacks are pit vipers which means that they have a heat sensing pit behind each nostril that can detect differences in temperature as little as a fraction of a degree apart. The heat given off by an animal is detected by the snake helping it to determine predator from prey.

-Mice, rats, rabbits, gophers, ground dwelling birds, lizards and other small animals make up the diet of this snake. But diamondbacks also have many predators such as eagles, hawks, roadrunners, king snakes, coyotes, bobcats and fox.

-During the heat of the day diamondbacks will remain coiled in the shade of shrubs or rocks, while in winter, they retreat into caves or similar places to hibernate.

-Its rattle is made up of keratin (the same protein hair and fingernails are made of) and a new segment is added each time a rattlesnake sheds

-Male rattlesnakes engage in ritualistic combats during the spring mating season presumably to determine the sexual fitness of a male.

C. “Carol” Coral Snake

Beautiful red, black and pale yellow banded coral snake.

Beautiful red, black and yellow banded coral snake. Very secretive and rarely seen.

-The Arizona coral snake is a slender, small snake reaching only 13 to 21 inches.

-It is a brightly colored snake with broad alternating bands of red and black separated by narrower bands of bright white or yellow which completely encircle the body

-A secretive snake, it usually emerges after sundown, feeding primarily on blind and black-headed snakes. Occasionally it eats lizards or other small, smooth-scaled snakes.

-While its venom is similar to that of the cobra, because it is small with small front fixed fangs the venom does not pose as much danger to humans as that of rattlesnakes.

-Many people use a rhyme to identify a coral snake-“red on yellow kill a fellow, red on black venom lack”

D. “Longnose Rose” Longnose snake

Black and yellow banded snake with some red highlights.

Longnose Snake has a banded appearance like many other snakes in our area. It is nonvenomous.

-This slender snake varies considerably in pattern and coloring, reaching lengths of slightly over 3 feet.

-It is sometimes confused with the venomous coral snake because of its similar color banding pattern but can be distinguished by its long nose and banding that does not completely encircle it body.

-When disturbed, the longnose snake writhes and twists its body, vibrates its tail, and defecates feces and blood from its anal opening.

-An excellent burrower if the soil is sandy, it can also retreat under rocks or into rock crevices or rodent burrows,

-Active primarily at night, it feeds on lizards, lizard eggs, small snakes, small mammals, and birds.

E. “Sid” Sidewinder

The sidewinder's brown, black and tan blends in well with the desert floor.

The sidewinder coloration blends in well with its sandy surroundings. It can be a “feisty” rattlesnake.

-This small rattlesnake about 2 feet long can be tan, cream, or light gray with a dark stripe extending from the eye to above the corner of the mouth. Its coloring often matches the soil or sand on which the snake lives.

-During mild spring days it is out and about but seeks shelter in underground burrows during the hot summer months, only coming out at night

-In sandy areas this snake often coils partially buried in the sand, with only its head exposed.

-Its name is derived from its distinctive method of moving sideways with its body winding through an “S” shaped curve leaving distinctive parallel J-shaped tracks in the sand.

-As with other “pit-vipers” the sidewinder uses the heat sensing pits on each side of the face between the eye and nostril to detect warm-blooded predators and prey. –

An ambush hunter, the sidewinder coils and waits for unsuspecting lizards, mice, birds, and snakes to wander within striking distance.

F. “Lionel” Lyre Snake

The grayish banded lyre snake has a pattern on top of its head that resembles the musical instrument.

The lyre snake is named for the pattern on the top of its head that resembles the musical instrument. While mildly venomous, it does not pose a serious threat to pets.

– Named for the V-shaped marking on its head that looks like the musical instrument

-This mildly venomous, rear-fanged snake is about 4 feet in length

-Lives in rocks, crevices and fissures -Feeds primarily on lizards, but also eats birds and bats.

-Primarily nocturnal, it is seldom active during the day.

-When alarmed, the lyre snake will raise up, shake its tail, hiss, and strike, biting the intruder if not left alone. This behavior, sometimes causes the lyre snake to be mistaken for a rattlesnake.

 

 

Do you know what to do if a rattlesnake bites your pet?

Bonnie’s Parents knew exactly what to do.

Questions??  Call or TEXT us at 480-987-4555.

Your San Tan Valley Vets at       Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic.

Clinic cat Joe is prepared with his fire extinguisher by his side

Is Your Pet a Pyromaniac?

By | Client Education, News/ Events

 

Well, maybe not intentionally, but

almost 1,000 household fires are caused by pets each year.

How does this happen? Take a walk through your home and consider all the potential fire hazards just waiting to become an inferno.

  •      Lit candles, fireplaces, BBQs
  •      Plug in deodorizers
  •      Stove top burners (especially flat glass)
  •      Electrical cords

Can your pet reach candles and topple them so they set something else on fire?

Clinic cat Joe practically has his nose in the electrical outlet.

Joe’s curiosity draws him to the electrical outlet.

Will your pet chew on electrical cords or drag them so they cause something hot to fall?

Is there food cooking enticing your pet to jump up on the stove?

The solution:

Repair, replace or remove these possible dangers and then…

  • Don‘t leave pets unattended near an open flame
  • Have pets microchipped so they can be returned if they escape during a fire
  • Train pets to come when called
  • Know their hiding places
  • Post window stickers to let people know there are pets in the house

Consider the likely scenarios when and how a fire could occur in your home- daytime, at night, when people are home and when no one is home. Every family should prepare for these eventualities with drills and an escape plan which should include the family’s pets. For more ideas on keeping your pets safe from fire visit the National Fire Protection Association’s pet web page.

 

QUESTIONS??

 Contact your San Tan Valley Veterinarians at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic   480-987-4555.  You can call or text us at this number!

 

Gold and brown Bengal cat

The Bengal- Looks Like a Wild Cat Acts Like a Pussycat

By | Breed of the Week, Client Education

The Bengal is a strikingly beautiful and unique house cat, whose sleek, muscular body and spotted coat evoke visions of a leopard ancestor, but its temperament is completely domesticated

The result of selective breeding Bengals were first bred in 1963 by crossing an Asian Leopard Cat with a domestic breed, such as an Abyssinian, American Shorthair, Burmese, or Egyptian Mau.  The goal was to create a confident, healthy, and friendly cat with a highly contrasted and vividly marked coat.

Not the cat for everyone, or for first-time cat owners, Bengals are extremely intelligent, curious and active. Don’t get a Bengal if you want a sedate, sweet, gentle lap cat. They demand a lot of interaction so if you’re gone all day get two of them or don’t get one.

A bored Bengal can take things apart and open cupboards and drawers to see what’s inside

Bengals love their people and crave for attention from them. Most co-exist nicely with other pets, including dogs but are best suited to homes with older children

A gold and brown Bengal cat.

A beautiful Bengal cat at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic.

Constantly on the move, they love climbing to high places, so give them tall cat trees and window perches where they can bird-watch.

They also like water and may want to join you in the shower or bathtub.

Challenge their brains by teaching them tricks and games and providing them with interactive toys or puzzles that reward them with treats.

Easy to care for with weekly brushing, the Bengal’s short, luxurious, soft coat comes in many colors, from golden, rust, brown and orange to sand, buff and ivory.

They are the only domestic cat with rosettes like the markings on Leopards, Jaguars and Ocelots.

The iridescent sheen makes their coat look as if it has been sprinkled with glitter, giving it a unique golden or pearly glitter effect that is found in no other breed

 

Adult Males typically weigh 9-12 pounds, females between 7-10

Their lifespan averages 10-15 years

Bengal cats are so sought after, that a British woman paid over $50,000 for her Bengal cat in 1990

 

 

Questions??   Call or text us at 480-987-4555      Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic

 

 

Dog at pool edge looking back

Hot Stuff – Summer Dangers for Your Pet in San Tan Valley

By | Client Education

 

It almost summertime and the living should be easy but too many pet owners get the “Summertime Blues” because they are unaware of how dangerous our desert heat can be for their furry friends. It’s very hot for very long and many everyday activities that include your pet need to be adjusted.

 

Small dog at pool edge looking interested at the water.

Be careful with your pet around backyard pools. Do they know how to swim and get out of the pool?

Swimming Pools

Pools, like pets, are everywhere in the greater Phoenix area. Many dogs love the water on a hot summer day and need no coaxing to jump in. But even good swimmers may be bad at finding their way out and can drown. Show your dog where the steps are and how to get out of the pool. Create a ramp or other device to help water-loving small dogs.
Consider a pet-size life jacket. Supervise old, sick or blind dogs around the pool. Remember, a doggy door can provide access to an unfenced backyard pool. It should also be noted that during winter months a pet falling into the pool may suffer hypothermia even if rescued in time.

 

Cars

Small dog with her front feet on the center consul of the front seat of a truck

Don’t leave your pet alone in a vehicle.

Most dogs love car rides but if you can’t take the pet into the store with you, leave him at home. Cars in Arizona can reach 150-200 degrees in minutes, even with the windows opened, even on so-called mild days.

 

 

 

At Home

Even your own backyard and neighborhood have dangers. Don’t leave dogs outside during the Arizona summer. If you do leave your pet outside, which is not recommended, make sure the animal has a shaded area as well as plenty of water in a dish that will not tip over easily leaving him with nothing to drink on a hot day.

 

Burned abraded pads on a dog's foot.

The pads on this dog’s feet were burned and abraded when he escaped from the yard on a hot day.

Out and About

Don’t walk or hike with your pet during the heat of the day. Adjust your pet’s exercise routine just as you adjust yours. Walk your dog very early in the morning or at sunset, or later. Remember, hot pavement hurts their paws just as it would your bare feet. Be careful where you walk. Pets can get cactus spines stuck on their muzzles, paws and elsewhere and extracting them can be a lengthy, painful process so teach your pet to avoid them.

Take extra care with overweight, thick coated and short-muzzled dogs like pugs and bulldogs, which are all more sensitive to heat. Pets with pale skin, thin coats and pink noses can get sunburned, even get skin cancer. But be aware that certain sunscreens and zinc are toxic

 

 

Summers in Arizona are not for the fainthearted. But the best cure for the Summertime Blues is….October.

 

 

spotted snake

Welcome to “Snake-tember” and “Snake-tober”

By | Uncategorized

Summer is winding down, fall is approaching and just as the warm days and cooler nights are ideal for people to be out and about, so too are the rattlesnakes who are busy looking for the perfect spot to bed down for their winter’s nap. Sooner or later there are bound to be inter-species encounters and when it comes to rattlesnakes biting pets, the victim is usually a curious dog. Cats can get bitten too but seem to be more wary (cat lovers would say “smarter”) around snakes.  Rattlesnake bites can take a heavy toll on a pet’s health as well as an owner’s wallet. The venom destroys tissue and affects the nervous system. It can even result in death. And antivenin doesn’t come cheap and a bitten animal may need more than one vial.

The best treatment is prevention. Don’t let pets and snakes meet. Check your yard, even if it is walled, for snakes. Supervise your dog on walks; don’t let your pet run on ahead of you where he might “sniff out” a snake hiding in a crevice or under a rock. If your pet does get bitten, it is a medical emergency so go to a veterinarian as soon as possible. There is no first aid for snakebites.

And know your snakes- not everything slithering by is a rattler. Snakes are very beneficial in keeping the rodent population in check.

Can you identify which of the following snakes are dangerous? Visit our Facebook Page today, and give us your answers!

A) 100_0253 B) FL000034 C) rattler

D) 295

toad

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

By | Uncategorized

It’s monsoon season and it just rained. They let Sassy outside and when she didn’t come when called they found her staggering around in the backyard. Was it

-Vestibular syndrome

-Stroke

-Muscle cramp

-Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

While the first three are possibilities, during monsoon season, a toad could be the right answer.

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT SONORAN DESERT TOADS? aka Colorado River Toads 

Last seen: at night, just before or during monsoon season. These large amphibians are out and about this time of year looking to mate and your dog may come in contact with them.

Danger: these toads secrete a powerful neurotoxin from a skin gland behind the eye. This  causes seizure-like symptoms if a curious or aggressive dog licks, bites or plays with the toad or drinks from a water bowl where toad was sitting. The neurotoxin is rapidly absorbed through the lining of the dog’s mouth and can quickly cause this adverse effect on your pet.

Symptoms: may include staggering, incoordination, drooling, panting, anxiety and disorientation.

Treatment:  If your pet shows any of these symptom after being outside consider that a toad could be the culprit. Immediately take a garden hose and gently rinse the mouth out, squirting the water sideways so as not to drown your pet. Afterwards, call your veterinarian for additional instructions because while these symptoms may start to subside shortly, in some pets the symptoms will progress to seizures and possible death.

Contact the Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic team at  (480) 458-5331 anytime during regular business hours with any questions you may have or for more information.

Contact Us

270 East Hunt Hwy, Ste. #4
San Tan Valley, AZ 85143
480-987-4555