Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for maintaining the overall health and well-being of your pets. These routine visits play a key role in preventative care and early detection of health issues. Here are some reasons why regular veterinary check-ups are important.
Regular check-ups allow veterinarians to administer vaccinations, parasite control, and dental care. Preventative measure can help protect your pet from various illnesses, ensuring they lead a healthier longer life.
Early Detection of Health Issues:
Pets, like humans, can develop health issues that may not be immediately apparent. Regular check-ups enable veterinarians to detect potential health problems early, often before symptoms become severe. Early detection can significantly improve the prognosis and treatment outcomes.
Veterinary check-ups may include screenings and tests for common pet diseases. These screenings can help identify conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and certain types of cancer in their early stages, allowing for timely intervention.
Dental issues are common in pets, and they can lead to various health problems if left untreated. Regular veterinary visits often include dental examinations and cleanings, promoting good oral health and preventing dental diseases.
Veterinarians can provide guidance on proper nutrition based on your pet’s age, breed, and health condition. A well-balanced diet is essential for maintaining your pet’s overall health and preventing nutrition-related issues.
Veterinarians can assess your pet’s behavior during routine visits. Changes in behavior may be indicative of underlying health issues and addressing them early can prevent further complications.
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for your pet’s well-being. Regular check-ups allow veterinarians to monitor your pet’s weight and provide guidance on nutrition and exercise to prevent obesity-related health issues.
Senior Pet Care:
As pets age, their healthcare needs may change. Regular check-ups become even more critical for senior pets to monitor and address age-related conditions, such as arthritis, dental problems, and organ dysfunction.
Veterinary visits are an opportunity for pet owners to learn about their pet’s specific needs, behaviors, and potential health risks. Education from veterinarians empowers pet owners to provide the best care possible.
In summary, regular veterinary check-ups are essential for preventative care, early detection of health issues, and ensuring that your pets lead healthy and happy lives. Establishing a consistent schedule of veterinary visits can contribute significantly to the overall well-being of your beloved companions. Contact our office today to schedule yours or if you have any questions.
There are several pet health myths that circulate widely. It’s important to separate fact from fiction for the well-being of our furry friends. Here are some common pet health myths debunked.
1. Myth: A Warm, Dry Nose Indicates Illness
Debunked: A warm, dry nose does not necessarily mean a pet that is sick. Dogs and cats can have varying nose temperatures throughout the day. Factors like weather, hydration, and activity levels play a role.
2. Myth: Cats Always Land on Their Feet
Debunked: While cats have a remarkable ability to right themselves during a fall, it is not foolproof. Cats can still suffer injuries if they fall from a significant height.
3. Myth: Milk Is Good for All Cats
Debunked: Many adult cats are lactose intolerant and feeding them milk can lead to digestive upset and diarrhea. It is best to provide fresh water as their primary source of hydration.
4. Myth: Garlic and Onions are Safe for Dogs and Cats
Debunked: Garlic and onions contain compounds that can be toxic to pets and cause damage to their red blood cells. It’s advisable to keep these foods away from pets.
5. Myth: All Humans Medications Can be Given to Pets
Debunked: Many human medications are toxic to pets. Never give your pet any medication without consulting a veterinarian, as the wrong dosage or type can be harmful and even fatal.
6. Myth: Dogs Will Only Eat Grass if They’re Sick
Debunked: Some dogs eat grass simply because they like the taste or texture. While it’s not entirely clear why dogs eat grass, it’s not always a sign of illness.
7. Myth: Annual Vaccinations Are Always Necessary
Debunked: Some Vaccination needs may vary based on the pet’s health, lifestyle, and age. Some vaccines provide long-lasting immunity, and over-vaccination can have risks. Consult with your vet to create an appropriate vaccination schedule
8. Myth: Pet’s Age Seven Years for Every Human Year
Debunked: The rate at which pets age can vary by species and size. For example, small dog breeds tend to live longer than larger breeds. The one-size fits all calculation is not accurate.
9. Myth: Dry Cat Food Helps Clean Teeth
Debunked: While some dental diets may promote oral health. Relying solely on dry kibble is not a substitute for regular dental care. Brushing your cat’s teeth and providing dental treats can be more effective.
10. Myth: Scratching Furniture Means Cats are Being Destructive
Debunked: Scratching is a natural behavior for cats. Providing appropriate scratching posts and regularly trimming their nails can help redirect this behavior without resorting to punishment
Cats are known for sleeping a lot, and it’s perfectly normal for them to spend a significant portion of their day napping. On average, cats can sleep anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day and some cats may sleep even more, especially if they are very young or very old. However, if you’re concerned that your cat is sleeping too much and it might be a sign of a problem, here are some things to consider:
- Changes in Behavior: Pay attention to any noticelable changes in your cat’s behavior. If your cat is typically active, playful, and social when awake but suddenly becomes lethargic or withdrawn, it could be a sign of an underlying issue.
- Appetite and Thirst: Monitor your cat’s eating and drinking habits. A significant decrease in appetite or a noticeable increase in thirst can be indicators of a health problem.
- Weight Changes: Sudden weight loss or gain can be a sign of various health issues, so keep an eye on your cat’s weight.
- Bathroom Habits: Changes in litter box habits, such as straining to urinate, diarrhea, or constipation, may indicate a problem. Also, observe the color and consistency of your cat’s urine and feces.
- Physical Symptoms: Look for physical signs of distress, such as vomiting, coughing, sneezing, limping, or any obvious discomfort or pain. These can be clues that something is amiss.
- Age and Health History: The age and overall health of your cat can also influence their sleeping patterns. Senior cats may sleep more than younger cats. Consult with your veterinarian to discuss age-related changes in your cat’s behavior.
- Environmental Factors: Ensure your cat’s environment is comfortable and stress-free. Changes in your cat’s living situation, such as moving to a new home, introducing a new pet, or household routine, can affect their behavior and sleep patterns.
- Regular Veterinary Check-Ups: Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for maintaining your cat’s health. If you’re concerned about your cat’s excessive sleeping or any other changes, consult your veterinarian. They can perform a physical examination, run diagnostic tests, and provide guidance of your cat’s specific needs.
Obviously, you know your cat better than anyone. So if you have any concerns or questions about your fur baby, don’t hesitate to contact our office today to set up a visit.
Have you ever talked to animals? Have you ever wanted to converse with your pets’ and interpret their body language ala Dr. Dolittle? Our pets tend to be very important parts of our lives so interpreting their body language can be important to us.
Tail Position: A cat’s tail position can convey various emotions. A relaxed, straight tail usually means your cat is content. A slightly curved tail might indicate curiosity. A puffed-up tail can indicate fear or agitation, while a flicking tail could mean excitement or annoyance.
Ears: Pay attention to your cat’s ears. Forward-facing ears generally indicate curiosity or interest, whe flattened ears suggest fear, anger, or irritation.
Purring: Purring is often a sign of contentment and happiness, though cats can also purr when they’re anxious or in pain.
Body Posture: A relaxed and stretched-out posture signifies comfort and relaxation. An arched back could indicate fear or aggression, while a crouched stance may mean your cat is ready to play or is feeling defensive.
Eye contact: Direct eye contact can be seen as a challenge or a sign of aggression in the cat world. Slow blinking from your cat is ofter a sign of affection and trust.
Kneading: Cats may knead with their paws, pressing them against you or soft surfaces. This behavior is oftern associated with contentment and comfort, as it is reminiscent of their kittenhood when they kneaded their mother’s belly to stimulate milk flow.
Grooming: Grooming is a common self-soothing behavior in cats. If your cat is grooming itself after a stressful event, it could be a sign that it’s trying to calm down.
Remember that individual cats may have different personalities and quirks, so it is essential to observe your cat’s behavior over time to better understand its unique body language. Additionally, context plays a significant role in interpreting cat body language. Consider the situation and overall environment to make a more accurate interpretation of your cat’s emotions and intentions.
If you have any questions about your pet’s quirks or body language please call us at 618-656-5868 or contact us here. We are here to help.
A lot of people will be celebrating Independence Day on July 4th. It is important to think about our pets also and plan ahead. As much as we like a fun time celebrating, a lot of pets are scared to death with the fireworks and crowds. It is important to talk to your veterinarian about possibly getting some sedatives to relieve the anxieties associated with them and get advise from them to find out what might be best. It is best to leave your pets inside with the shades pulled down and maybe the tv or radio playing to try and muffle the explosions of the fireworks. Several communities have firework shows that are fantastic to watch, however LEAVE YOUR PET AT HOME. The loud reports can scare the pets and make them a nervous wreck.
Talking about celebrations, there is usually a lot of good food for people, but avoid allowing your pet to counter surf and eat the table food. Some foods such as grapes are toxic for pets, while other greasy and fatty foods may lead to a gastric illness like pancreitis. These illnesses might then require a trip to see your veterinarian and possibly be costly and deadly.
If you and your family are around water during the holiday, it is important to have a life jacket handy for your pet, as not all dogs are great swimmers. Whether it is on a lake or in the pool, the dogs may tire and then start to struggle and panic. A life jacket for your pet may be able to keep your pet safe.
We are happy to have a conversation about any concerns you have. Make sure to protect your furry companion this summer. Contact our offices today!
With the weather being nice, people and pets are tired about being cooped up inside. They are starting to enjoy the fresh air, the calm breezes in their face and the warmth of the sun. But whether it is a walk in the park, a weekend camping along the lake or even lounging around your front yard, fleas and ticks could be waiting to latch onto your pet and hitch a ride. So because of this, application of a flea and tick control or collar is essential to prevent them from infesting your home.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the optimal product. One must decide if they want a collar, topical or chewable tablet. Each one has their pro’s and con’s about them. The collars and topical products such as Frontline or Advantage have been around a lot longer and may be less expensive to buy, but we have seen breaks in protection because the fleas and ticks have gained resistance or the product has not been used properly. Some of those products are approved by the EPA so they might not be safe to use on your pet. Recently new products such as Nexguard or Bravecto have been developed that are taken orally. Because they are newer products, the fleas and ticks have not developed a resistance to them. Also since they are ingested, they are approved by the FDA to assure their safety to the pet.
There are several oral products available like Simperica Trio that will also control other parasites, along with fleas and ticks. So they may be more expensive but be more convenient in the long run.
The best thing to do is to have a conversation with your vet about what is best for your pet, as well as what works for you financially. We are happy to have a conversation about any concerns you have. Prevention is key, so make sure to protect your furry companion this summer. Contact our offices today!
Many of us have those 4-legged feline friends that love to hunt and no amount of domestication has changed their inherent desire to patrol their domain in the hunt for prey. We have all seen the look of pure joy on our cat’s faces when they watch birds and small rodents from the window. And because cats are naturally curious, they love to explore. That is why some people allow their cats to spend considerable time outdoors. The downside it that the outdoors has many dangers that can linger and it is our job as responsible owners to keep them safe.
While most experts would recommend that the best thing to do would be keeping them indoors, you can allow them to get some fresh air in a relative safe environment away from predators that would prey on your cat and making sure that they are protected when they go outside.
Some owners may try to leash train their cat. This is one of the easiest means of monitoring where your cat goes because you get to go along for the walk. Cat’s generally dislike harnesses, so they will need to be made accustom to using them first. This may entail having the harness on inside and provide positive reinforcement with treats. Supervised outdoor time is a great way to bond with your cat and give her the mental stimulation that her wild instincts crave.
Whether you allow her to roam free or keep her as close as possible, it is important for the cat to either have a microchip or some other form of identification on your pet. If you use a collar, a safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your pet to break free if it gets caught.
To allow cats to have the ability to go outside, some owners make a catio that keep predators out and their pet in. This can serve as an outdoor playground within the vicinity of your home. You can feel safe knowing where it is and that she is not running out into the street or being picked up by predator birds or other mammls.
If your cat goes outdoors, it is at risk to the diseases and parasites that the outdoor feral cats have. So it is important to have your pet’s vaccines updated and kept on flea and tick control.
Your back yard can be dangerous to your pet if you have planted some toxic plants for landscaping. Plants like lillies may look nice in your back yard, but they can be toxic to your pet. It is important to make sure that anything potentially toxic and dangerous be picked up and secured. I would also recommend not having mouse poisons available because not only would the poison be toxic, eating a dead mouse that has succumbed to the poison may be also lethal to the cat.
It is important to have a regular dinner time. That way when the cat’s return for it evening meal, they will be able to be locked up for the evening. This will protect her from the nightly predators and allow her to go on daily patrol the next morning.
Our pets are very important to us and we rely on them for comfort and support every day. So it is devastating and hard to believe that a pet would be stolen. Every year about 2 million pets go missing with only about 10 percent returned home. These figures have alarmingly risen about 37 percent since 2007. So in honor of National Pet Theft Awareness Day which is being celebrated on February 14, I am going to blog about why they are stolen and how to reduce the possibility of your pet being dog- or cat- napped.
There are quite a few reasons why someone may steal a pet. According to PetFBI, these are the most common:
- Pet Flipping: Popular breeds of dogs can be “resold” online or in the paper.
- Reward: Some pets are stolen in hopes the owner will offer a reward, which the thief will then claim
- Puppy Mills: Pets that have not been spayed or nuetered may be turned over to backyard breeders or puppy mills
- Dog Fighting Rings: Small dogs and cats have been stolen to be used as “bait” for dog-fight training. The large breed dogs are often used as dog fighting candidates.
- Neighbors: If pets have been known as “nuisances” neighbors have been known to take animals and dump them in other locales.
- Relatives: Sadly, many pet thefts come from family members who are upset with you like in a divorce or family dispute
- Good Intentions: Not all pet-nappings are maliscious. A good-hearted person may believe that they are helping your pet if they feel that the pet is being neglected in some way. This is why you never leave your pet tied up in your yard, keeping them outside only, or have a pet that has signs of being neglected.
There are steps that owners can take to prevent their pets from being stolen. First and foremost, HAVE YOUR PET MICROCHIPPED and make sure that their records are updated. Remember that the microchip is only as good as the registration, so make sure that they are microchipped. In addition, you can:
- Your pets should not be allowed to run free outdoors unattended and make sure that your pets are always wearing a collar and identification.
- Spay and neuter your pets
- Don’t tie up your dog outside of a restaurant or store and never leave your pet in a car.
- Keep dog doors and fence gates locked when you are not at home.
- Have updated photos of your pet with emphasis on special markings
- Install cameras. Indoor and outdoor camera networks are ideal for keeping your pet safe.
Nothing is scarier or upsetting to come home and find your pet missing. It is of most importance to act quickly as every minute matters when you are looking for your pet, whether they have escaped from your yard or have been dog-napped.
If you believe that they have been stolen, immediately report it to the police. This provides a record that is documented and can be used for further action. It is important to canvas the area on foot every day. Creating a “Lost Pet” poster and placing throughtout the community helps others watch for your pet in cars, on the street or at neighbors. Post a lost pet report through your microchip company and your animal control. Avoid posting a reward is being offered.
If you have any other questions about microchipping or keeping your pet safe, do not hesitate to contact our office today.
Don’t leave your pet out of the holiday fun! Furry friends like to open gifts too! Here are a few options to show your four-legged pal some love.
The Pupsicle is a great opportunity to give your dog a new treat experience. You freeze your dog’s favorite food in the mold, then when it is time for a treat, you put the frozen treat in the Pupsicle. When they’re done, you’re able to open the ball, wash it, and repeat! Find it here.
You can liven up your cat’s drinking experience with a cat fountain. Some cats enjoy moving water more than still, and a plastic cat fountain such as this one here circulates water for cats to drink.
Say you want to get a gift for your favorite pet owner in your life. The company West and Willow makes custom pet portraits that any pet owner will be sure to love. You can find them linked here.
Social media has allowed several pets to become Tik Tok famous. Pets have been trained to use buttons programmed with specific words to communicate with their owners. You can find a starter kit here to try your pet’s hand at internet fame.
For cats that love to play but whose owners don’t love obnoxiously bright-colored toys laying around the house, these handmade cat toys from an Etsy seller are stylish and aesthetically pleasing. They are environmentally friendly as well, made from leftover upholstery fabric. These toys are filled with grounds of a plant called silvervine which is like catnip. If your cat doesn’t really like regular catnip, silvervine is a great alternative. Find these toys here.
Whether you are looking for a gift for your furry friend or a close pet-lover, these gifts are sure to please all. Feel free to contact Dr. Olsen at Olsen Veterinary Clinic at 618-656-5868 with any questions!
Part of taking care of your pet is regular grooming efforts to keep their coat healthy and your pet comfortable. These tips will help you stay on top of their grooming and keep your pet happy and healthy.
First, be sure to regularly brush your pet’s coat to prevent matting. Especially with long-haired animals. Your pet needs regular brushing regardless of the breed to keep its coat shiny and healthy. The amount of brushing depends on coat length and texture. Longhaired breeds will need more frequent brushing of at least once a week if not every other day. Short-haired breeds like greyhounds or Labradors may need a good brushing only every other week. Matting can cause pain for your pet. This will lead to licking or biting, causing skin irritation which can then lead to skin infections. Be sure to brush your pet regularly to keep their coat healthy.
Second, many pet owners choose to have a groomer take care of their pet’s hair care. That said, if you proceed carefully, you can trim overgrown hair around your pet’s eyes or pays in between professional grooming appointments. Trimming the hair around your pet’s eyes can prevent overgrown hair from blocking its vision and rubbing against and damaging its eyes. When trimming, make sure your pet is calm and lying down, preferably. Move slowly and calmly and use extra caution with scissors. Make sure to reward their calmness with a treat after they are finished.
Third, trimming your pet’s nails will keep them from experiencing discomfort from overly long nails. There are many different tools to do so, and you may have some trial and error until you find what works best. There are plenty of resources found online for guidance on your specific pet and how to trim its nails.
When grooming your pet, be sure to check their ears for ear infections. Ear infections can be painful, so if you notice any inflammation, odd smells, shaking or scratching, discharge, or pain upon touch. If you notice any of these signs during your regular grooming, take your pet to the vet for a checkup.
Grooming your pet is part of their regular care of them such as feeding them and providing them with exercise. With these tips, you can be more prepared for helping your pet take care of itself. Of course, with any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Olsen at Olsen Veterinary Clinic at 618-656-5868.