Winter Pet Hazards: Keeping Pets Safe

dog in winter outdoors.

Ark Animal Hospital and our Pennsylvania pet-owning families are no strangers to the winter. Living in a northern climate, it is likely you have some awareness of the unique challenges that the season can bring along with it. While the winter can be a little challenging for those of us that have animals, knowing about winter pet hazards can help us to weather the season a little better. 


Adopt A Senior Pet Month: Benefits of Owning a Senior Dog

patterdale senior dog looking up into the camera.

Is there anything better than a senior dog? When you think about all the love that senior dogs have left to give, it’s nothing short of inspiring. Adopting a senior dog is one of life’s greatest experiences, and we’re happy to tell you all about it. 


Importance of Regular Veterinary Care for Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, and Hamsters

bunny and guinea pigs eating hay together.

Small animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters are cute and cuddly, and make great family pets. And just like dogs and cats, these adorable little fur balls need wellness and preventive care to live their healthiest, happiest lives.

At Ark Animal Hospital, we offer full-service veterinary care for pocket pets, birds, and other exotic pets. Pocket pets and exotics have specific dietary, housing, and enrichment needs, and we’re happy to discuss these requirements with you at your new pet’s first visit. Keep reading for our team’s tips on caring for rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters.


Feeding Your Pet for a Longer, Healthier Life

cat with tongue out walking towards food.

If we were to tell you that there was a simple way to improve your animal family member’s chances at a longer life, wouldn’t you want to know what it was? Ark Animal Hospital knows that good pet nutrition isn’t a huge secret, but it can be a little overwhelming. Feeding your pet the right way can make a big difference, though, and we are here to help you. 


Cold Laser Therapy For Pain Management in Pets

ark animal veterinary providing dog with cold laser therapy treatment .

Ark Animal Hospital is dedicated to providing the best possible care for your beloved pets. We understand the importance of safe and effective pain management for dogs and cats. One such treatment that has shown great promise in recent years is cold laser therapy

This blog post will explore the benefits of cold laser therapy for pain management in pets, including its use in arthritis, wound healing, chronic pain, and more. Read on to learn more about this innovative treatment option and how it can help improve the quality of life for your furry friend.


The Dangers of Urinary Stones or Crystals in Cats

Maine coon cat sitting in litter box.

Cats are creatures of habit, and they typically stick to their routines as closely as possible. This is true regarding their meals, nap times, play, and patrolling their territory, and especially their trips to the litter box. If your cat struggles to pass urine, pees outside the box, or shows an uncharacteristic urgency or agony when urinating, they could be suffering from urinary stones or crystals. Excessive vocalizing (meows) and litter box problems are the most notable signs that your cat may possibly have urinary stones or crystals.

The Normal Baseline

Odd behavior is usually the first sign of urinary stones or crystals in cats. Increased frequency, crying in the litter box, straining, bloody urine, and peeing outside the box are all likely symptoms of this condition. You might also see increased attention to their genitals when grooming, diminished appetite, and lethargy. 

When Build-Up Is Bad

Urinary stones—or crystals—in cats are definitely cause for concern. In addition to causing loads of unnecessary pain, crystals or tones can cause various complications for a cat’s health.  

Magnesium, ammonium, calcium oxalate, and phosphate are naturally present in your cat’s body. Unfortunately, these microscopic minerals can build up in feline urine and solidify into bladder stones (also known as struvite stones). Often, these minerals pass without incident, but they can cause major disruptions to normal urination when they go beyond healthy levels of concentration. 

The accumulation of urinary stones or crystals in cats affects their ability to freely pass urine, sometimes resulting in bleeding, and causing serious pain. Obstruction in the urinary tract is not only painful, but if a cat is unable to pass urine for more than 6 hours, severe complications can arise. 

Act Quickly

We recommend that cat owners seek professional diagnosis and treatment immediately. A urine sample can confirm the presence of urinary crystals, and blood work can rule out other possible issues. Radiographs may also be utilized to learn more about the location and volume of the crystals. 

Urinary stones or crystals in cats can dissolve after a strict prescription diet. We might suggest veterinary surgery if the stones do not break down after some time. Urinary obstructions can be resolved with a catheter, but once the stones are pushed back into the bladder, they must be dissolved or surgically removed. 

Preventing Urinary Stones or Crystals in Cats

More research is needed to understand why this process affects some cats and not others. We do know that urinary stones or crystals in cats occur more often in domesticated individuals, and males tend to be significantly impacted due to their anatomy. Another contributing factor of urinary stones is stress, which can develop from changes in the home or your cat’s usual lifestyle.

Cat owners can influence their cat’s health by ensuring they drink adequate volumes of fresh water every day (approximately 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight). Wet or canned food can be used to increase daily water intake. Exercise is also a preventive measure against many health problems, including urinary issues. 

Urinary stones or crystals in cats can be highly dangerous, but understanding the needs of your cat improves their overall wellness and longevity. If you have questions or concerns, please call us at (215) 822‑3636. Our team at  Ark Animal Hospital is always happy to help your cat!

The Role of Dental Care in Your Pet’s Health

Cat at Veterinary for Dental Care.

Pet dental care does a lot more than help your furry friend enjoy sparkling whites. The majority of dogs and cats over about three years of age live with dental disease. Left untreated, gum disease in dogs and cats can lead to complications elsewhere in your pet’s body. It can contribute to changes in your pet’s kidneys, heart, and liver. 


What You Should Know Before Spaying/Neutering Your Pet

A puppy and kitten on a pillow.

You’ve probably heard that it’s important to spay or neuter your pet. And it’s true—there are many benefits of spaying or neutering your dog or cat. But if you’re anything like us, you like to know the reason behind the recommendation. Here’s what the team at Ark Animal Hospital wants you to know before you make an appointment to remove your pet’s reproductive organs. 


What Are the Signs of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

Hip dysplasia in dogs.

If you own a larger dog, you probably know that there’s a possibility your pup will develop the dreaded hip dysplasia. Even though dogs of any size and breed can get hip dysplasia, it’s much more common in larger dogs. So what is hip dysplasia in dogs? Is there anything you can do to prevent it? The team at Ark Animal Hospital is here to help guide you through the ins and outs of this confusing condition.