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 If your cat is typically active, playful, and social when awake but suddenly becomes lethargic or withdrawn, it could be a sign of an underlying issue.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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
CBD can work wonders for dogs in oils or dog treats. CBD can provide the same benefits for dogs as medical marijuana for humans who experience seizures, extreme pain, anxiety, and cancer. CBD is not what you may traditionally view as weed. CBD is not psychoactive, unlike its more famous counterpart, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD is one of over 80 different chemical compounds called “cannabinoids” derived from the marijuana plant. Instead, CBD shares important metabolic pathways with a class of drugs called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and Rimadyl. These pathways control many processes in the body, from inflammatory responses to blood clotting. Never give dogs straight marijuana or any product containing THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. However, CBD-based products can substantially improve your dog’s quality of life when used in conjunction with other therapies.
CBD can help with many ailments your dog may experience such as pain management, arthritis, anxiety, seizures, and even cancer. Because CBD shares the same metabolic pathways as anti-inflammatory drugs, it can help with inflammatory conditions. Anything that ends in “-itis” is an inflammatory condition. This includes osteoarthritis (arthritis for short). 25% of dogs will be diagnosed with arthritis in their lifetime. By some estimates, as many as 60% of dogs exhibit some degree of the disease. CBD can provide relief for dogs that may be experiencing pain.
With any treatment, there are potential risks. Overall, CBD itself seems to be incredibly safe for both dogs and cats. However, it has been found that when given at the recommended doses, CBD does cause an elevation in an important liver value on bloodwork called alkaline phosphatase (ALP). It is too early in its research to see if the elevation in this liver value has any medical significance. It could signify that CBD causes irritation or damage to the liver. Alternatively, it could be an artificial finding in which the drug interferes with the way the lab measures the liver value. It is simply too early to know for sure. There are anecdotal reports of dogs becoming somewhat sleepy or sedate if they receive a large dose of CBD, but these effects resolve independently with time. Moreover, CBD doesn’t appear to have any drug interactions when given to a dog on an anti-inflammatory drug like Rimadyl. However, there is a theoretical risk of drug interaction, as with any other medication, so it is essential to consult with your veterinarian before treating your dog with CBD.
CBD can be administered in topical treatments; however, it is most often administered orally to dogs. The correct dosage is imperative. Studies on using CBD for dogs with arthritis or seizures generally use a dose between 2-8 mg/kg, with most papers erring on the lower side of that estimate. This is about 1-2 milligrams per pound of body weight, twice daily. This dosage has been found to be safe and effective for use with arthritis and seizures. Additional research is needed to evaluate the differences in CBD dosages for other conditions.
CBD can provide benefits for your dog that may be experiencing pain or anxiety. However, the correct dosage is imperative. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Olsen at Olsen Veterinary Clinic at 618-656-5868.
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!