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 If your cat is typically active, playful, and social when awake but suddenly becomes lethargic or withdrawn, it could be a sign of an underlying issue.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.
Whether or not your dog should wear a chain choker collar is a matter of debate among dog trainers, veterinarians, and animal welfare organizations. There are several factors to consider before deciding to use a chain choker collar:
1 Training Methodology: Chain choker collars are often used in training as a correction tool. However, they are associated with aversive training methods that rely on punishing undesirable behaviors through discomfort or pain. Many modern dog trainers advocate for positive reinforcement-based training methods, which focus on rewarding desired behaviors rather than punishing unwanted ones.
2 Breed and Size of the Dog: Smaller or more delicate dog breeds may be more vulnerable to injury when using chain choker collars. Breeds with thin necks, like Greyhounds, may be at a higher risk.
3 Health and Behavior Issues: Some dogs may have underlying health issues or behavioral problems that make the use of chain choker collars risky or inappropriate. For example, dogs with respiratory problems, brachycephalic breeds (i.e., Bulldogs), or fearful and aggressive should not be subjected to such collars.
4 Training Experience: If you are not experienced in using chain choker collars correctly, there is a risk of causing harm to your dog or reinforcing negative behaviors unintentionally. It is crucial to learn how to use these collars properly if you choose to use them.
5 Alternatives: There are many alternative training tools and methods available that can effectively train dogs without resorting to aversive methods. Positive reinforcement, clicker training, and head halters are examples of more humane and effective training tools.
6 Consultation with a Professional: If you are considering using a chain choker collar, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a professional dog trainer or behavioralist who can assess your dog’s specific needs and help you make an informed decision.
7 Local Laws and Regulations: Some places have laws and regulations that restrict or even ban the use of certain dog collars, including chain choker collars. Be sure to check your local laws and follow them accordingly.
Question of the month. What do Higgins ( the dog from the film Benji) , Laika ( the Soviet space dog), Pluto (Mickey Mouses’s pet dog) and Clifford the Big Red Dog all have in common? Believe it or not, they are all famous mixed-breed dogs and on July 31, it is National Mutt Day.
National Mutt Day, also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day, is a day dedicated to celebrating mixed breed dogs and raising awareness about their value as pets. It is observed on two different dates throughout the year: July 31st and December 2nd.
On National Mutt Day, people are encouraged to adoopt mixed breed dogs from animal shelters and rescue organizations rather than buying from breeders. The day aims to promote the adoption and well-being of mixed breed dogs and to combat the stigma and misconceptions surrounding them.
Mixed breed dogs, often referred to as mutts, are dogs that have a combination of different breeds in their ancestry. They can exhibit a wide range of characteristics, both in terms of appearance and temperament. Adopting a mutt can be a rewarding experience, as they often have unique and diverse traits.
If you are interested in celebrating National Mutt Day, you can consider doing the following:
- Visit your local animal shelter or rescue organization: Spend some time with the mixed breed dogs available for adoption, and consider bringing one into your family if it is the right fit for you.
- Volunteer at an animal shelter: Offer your time and help by volunteering at a local shelter. You can assist with walking the dogs, cleaning their encolosures, or providing general care.
- Spread awareness: Use your social media platforms to share information about National Mutt Day and the benefits of adopting mixed breed dogs. Encourage others to consider adopting a mutt or donate to local animal welfare organinzations.
- Organize an event: Consider organizing an event in your community that promotes adoption and celebrates mixed breed dogs. This could include activities such as doggie playdates, training sessions, or informational sessions about responsible pet ownership.
Here at Olsen Veterinary Clinic, we take pride in taking care of EVERY animal, no matter the breed or type. If you have any questions about your pet, don’t hesitate to contact our office today!
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!
Bringing a new puppy into your home is an exciting time but requires some preparation for your home. Puppies require a lot of attention and care, so this checklist will be beneficial if you are unsure where to start with the basics for your new puppy.
Some companies have created puppy starter kits. For example, this box made by Chewy has a set of toys, treats, and potty-training materials to help you with your new puppy. All top-rated items, new puppy owners are sure to appreciate it. It also makes a great gift. It can be found here.
Beyond toys, treats, and potty-training materials, puppies need food and water bowls. There are a lot of different options, but one that is slightly lifted is easier for your puppy to eat from. If you get one with walls, it is more likely your floor will stay cleaner.
Also necessary is a bed for your pet. An elevated bed is good for keeping your dog lifted and is helpful for teaching different cues. Other more traditional options are great too, especially as your pups are growing quickly.
Some owners choose to crate their puppies, and there are a lot of options but must be replaced as dogs grow. Crates help dogs have a safe place, especially as they adjust to a new space and lifestyle.
Also important for your new puppy is a leash. There are many kinds of leashes, with different uses. It will most likely be trial and error to find what works for you and your puppy, so be prepared for a trial period.
Puppies require hygiene efforts. This includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, nail clippers, brushes, and bathing supplies. Providing exposure to these items while young makes it less scary for adult dogs and easier for their owners.
Lastly, a collar is a great way to express your and your pet’s personality. Be prepared for your new pup with a collar and tag to provide some protection and peace of mind.
The last step for a new puppy is establishing an appointment with your veterinarian to get started on vaccinations and discuss your new dog’s life! Feel free to contact Dr. Olsen of Olsen Veterinary Clinic at 618-656-5868 to set up an appointment or discuss any questions!
The Tibetan Mastiff is a large-size Tibetan dog breed. It has a medium to long double coat and is found in many colors. These can be solid black, black and tan, various shades of red (from pale gold to deep red), and bluish gray. Sometimes, they can have white markings around their neck, chest, and legs.
The term mastiff goes back to when the Europeans first went to Tibet. They used the term to refer to nearly all large dog breeds in the West. Early Western visitors misnamed several of its breeds through this process. For example, the Tibetan terrier is not a terrier, and the Tibetan spaniel is not a spaniel.
In the early 20th century, the Prince of Wales, George, introduced a pair of Tibetan Mastiffs to the United Kingdom, which caused the breed to become prevalent enough in England to be shown at the Crystal Palace show in 1906. Since 1980, the breed has been gaining in popularity worldwide.
The Tibetan Mastiff is a primitive breed and retains the general hardiness that would be required of them to survive in the harsh environment of Tibet, Ladakh, and other high-altitude Himalayan regions. Because of this, they tend to have strong instinctive behavior, including canine pack behaviors. These help the breed survive in harsh environments. It has maintained many of the same biological processes as wolfs and other animals.
The dog has a long, double coat whose length depends ultimately on the climate. Uniquely, the Tibetan Mastiff lacks the unpleasant big-dog smell that affects many other large dog breeds. Their coat can shed dirt and odors on its own. Many of the dogs shed somewhat throughout the year, but there is generally one great molt in late Winter or early Spring.
Tibetan Mastiffs have a life expectancy of around 10-16 years, but this span can vary. Generally, the breed has fewer genetic health problems than many other breeds. However, cases can be found of hypothyroidism, entropion, ectropion, distichiasis, skin problems, etc. As with most large breeds, some will suffer from elbow or hip dysplasia.
Hypothyroidism is common in Tibetan Mastiffs, along with many other large “northern” breeds. They should be tested periodically throughout their lives using a complete thyroid panel. However, because the standard thyroid levels were established using domestic dog breeds, test results must be considered in the context of what is “normal” for the breed, not what is standard for all breeds. Many Tibetan Mastiffs will have “low” thyroid values, but no clinical symptoms. Vets and owners differ on the relative merits of medicating dogs that test “low” but are completely asymptomatic.
The Tibetan Mastiff is sure to be a large lovable friend for any owner. Feel free to contact Dr. Olsen at Olsen Veterinary Clinic with any questions at 618-656-5868.
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.
There are plenty of risks to your dog daily. Whether it be cars, other dogs, or something as simple as a plant, it is vital to know the risks that can affect your dog.
The most common poisonous plant to dogs is the Sago Palm. This plant is very popular in warmer climates. Every part of this plant is toxic to dogs. This plant is extra dangerous because some dogs find them very delicious and are very attracted to them. The serious side effects of this plant include liver failure and death in some cases.
Another common plant that is toxic to dogs is the tomato plant. When dogs consume this, it can cause weakness, gastrointestinal problems, dilated pupils, slow heart rate, drowsiness, and confusion. Make sure your dog steers clear of this plant to avoid any unnecessary vet visits.
Aloe vera is another summertime plant that is toxic to dogs. The saponins in this succulent can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, and general nervous system depression.
Ivy is also quite toxic to dogs, having the capability of causing diarrhea, vomiting, excessive salivation and drooling, and abdominal pain.
The amaryllis bulb is a popular garden ornamental but is poisonous to dogs. Be sure to pay attention to the bulbs if you grow them inside. Similarly, the gladiola flower can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy when consumed.
The holly shrub is a low toxicity plant, but your dog could still experience vomiting and diarrhea if eaten.
The daffodil, commonly found in the spring, can cause intestinal spasms, low blood pressure, salivation, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, and even cardiac arrhythmia if eaten by your dog.
Common in every flower arrangement is the baby’s breath flower. When eaten, this small flower can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Used to attract butterflies, milkweed is very common and pleasant to look at. However, this flower will induce vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing, rapid and weak pulse, dilated pupils, and even more serious issues such as kidney or liver failure and death.
Common in parks and other large-scale landscaping, the castor bean can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, extreme thirst, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. It is potentially fatal in severe cases which may present as muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, and even coma.
The azalea or rhododendron flower is poisonous to dogs and produces serious gastrointestinal issues. Additionally, it can cause weakness, discoordination, and weak heart rate. This flower has the potential to be fatal.
Next, the tulip is very popular for gardens but can cause gastrointestinal issues as well as central nervous system depression and even convulsions and death.
Similarly, the chrysanthemum flower can cause vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, and drooling for your dog if they consume it.
Lastly, the begonia is an extremely common garden flower that is toxic to your dog. It can cause extreme oral irritation and excessive inflammation of the mouth and drooling and vomiting.
Summertime is the time to be outdoors, but that means an increased risk for your pet to accidentally consume something poisonous to them. Be sure to keep an eye on your dog and monitor what they try to eat. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet has, or may have, eaten, contact us today!
The Peterbald cat is a loyal and affectionate feline, known for being “dog-like”. They are very friendly, playful, energetic, and smart. The Peterbald is a descendent of the Don Sphynx cat, still bearing some of its qualities like its varying amount of fur, dexterous front paws, big ears, and wrinkly skin. The other feline in a Peterbald cat is the Oriental Shorthair cat. The Peterbald still carries its long and lithe body shape and oblong head shape from them. However, unique to a Peterbald is their long front toes with webbing. It allows them to hold and manipulate toys, unlike many other cats.
The Peterbald’s fur varies from a velvety, fuzzy fur to a completely hairless cat. There is even a type that doesn’t even have whiskers or eyebrows, making their skin feel sticky to the touch. Also interesting is that Peterbald’s fur changes throughout their life. This means that if a Peterbald has one of these coats at birth, it can change significantly during their first two years of life, and the hair can be altered, gained, or lost.
The care of Peterbald cats varies based on their coat. If they have a thin fur coat or no hair at all, they require weekly bathing and wipe downs to keep their skin free of harmful oils. Since Peterbald cats can have very thin coats, they need to be kept as inside cats. Moreover, many Peterbald cats can sunburn, have sensitivity to extreme temperatures, and can be easily injured when playing with other cats or children. But given proper care, these cats are relatively low maintenance and have very few associated breed-health issues.
If you are looking to adopt a Peterbald, know that these cats are still somewhat rare, so acquiring one is not an easy feat. Be sure to check with animal shelters, rescue groups, and reputable breeders to see if a Peterbald is needing a forever home. Since they are often not readily available, it can be difficult to find a Peterbald kitten. Important to note is that hairless cats are often sold for higher prices.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Olsen at Olsen Veterinary Clinic at 618-656-5868!
When you get into the car, you think about bucking yourself up. Your dog is most likely not getting their own seatbelt. In fact, 84 percent of pet owners don’t restrain their dogs on car trips according to a survey done by AAA. Even if you think you have the calmest dog in the world, your dog does need a seat belt. It helps keep them and the driver safe.
When dogs are restrained or contained in the car, they can’t distract the driver as much. According to the CDC, nine people are killed and 1,000 more injured because they were distracted while driving every day. While cell phones are the biggest distracter, your pet can be a major attention grabber too. Roughly two out of three dog owners admit to being distracted by their pup in the car. If you are in an accident, a dog without a seatbelt can turn into a deadly projectile. A ten-pound dog exerts 500 pounds of force during a 50-mph collision while a 60-pound dog becomes a 2,700-pound projectile at 35-mph. Overall, a dog without a seatbelt can cause serious damage in an accident.
Some states require pet restraint laws. So far, only three have laws that require your dog to buckle up in the car, Rhode Island, Hawaii, and New Jersey. Others forbid pets from riding in the back of pick-up trucks or on a driver’s lap. While Illinois does not have any specific pet restraint laws, you can still get a ticket for distracted driving if you get pulled over and your dog is not restrained. The safest place for dogs is in a carrier or harness in the back seat. Just as an airbag can damage a child, the same is for your pet. To get your pet used to a harness, start slowly with five-minute trips, and then expand to ten- and 15-minute rides. Eventually your dog will get used to it. During the outing, be sure to give your dog plenty of praise and a treat after the run.
When you get into the car, you think about bucking yourself up. Your dog is most likely not getting their own seatbelt. In fact, 84 percent of pet owners don’t restrain their dogs on car trips according to a survey done by AAA. Even if you think you have the calmest dog in the world, your dog does need a seat belt. It helps keep them and the driver safe. When dogs are restrained or contained in the car, they can’t distract the driver as much. According to the CDC, nine people are killed and 1,000 more injured because they were distracted while driving every day. While cell phones are the biggest distracter, your pet can be a major attention grabber too. Roughly two out of three dog owners admit to being distracted by their pup in the car.
If you are in an accident, a dog without a seatbelt can turn into a deadly projectile. A ten-pound dog exerts 500 pounds of force during a 50-mph collision while a 60-pound dog becomes a 2,700-pound projectile at 35-mph. Overall, a dog without a seatbelt can cause serious damage in an accident.
Some states require pet restraint laws. So far, only three have laws that require your dog to buckle up in the car, Rhode Island, Hawaii, and New Jersey. Others forbid pets from riding in the back of pick-up trucks or on a driver’s lap. While Illinois does not have any specific pet restraint laws, you can still get a ticket for distracted driving if you get pulled over and your dog is not restrained.
The safest place for dogs is in a carrier or harness in the back seat. Just as an airbag can damage a child, the same is for your pet. To get your pet used to a harness, start slowly with five-minute trips, and then expand to ten- and 15-minute rides. Eventually your dog will get used to it. During the outing, be sure to give your dog plenty of praise and a treat after the run.
It may be tempting to have your dog ride shotgun with you, but for their safety and yours, keep them buckled up in the back. With any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Olsen at Olsen Veterinary Clinic at 618-656-5868!