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Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

November 20, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 5:42 pm

Pet Talk

By dr. Norette L. Underwood

 turkeyday pet talk

Fall: Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Keeping Thanksgiving Happy: 10 Pet Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful and meaningful holiday. Families and friends excitedly gather to show their gratitude for all they are so fortunate to have. Ovens are working overtime and delicious holiday aromas fill the air.

During this happy time of family, food and giving, people tend to become overly generous with their pets. This means that dogs and cats will get a lot of table food scraps. Sometimes, however, too many treats can lead to injury or illness for our pets.

North Shore Animal League America would like to offer some important tips to help keep your pets safe this holiday – and to keep the “Happy” in Thanksgiving!

 

  1. Fatty Foods: Too many fatty, rich, or unfamiliar foods can give your pet pancreatitis or gastroenteritis; two medical conditions that can be very painful and even life-threatening.
  2. Diet and Exercise: Maintain your pet’s regular meal and exercise schedule and avoid too many holiday leftovers. A disruption in his dietary routine can cause stomach upset, diarrhea and/or vomiting.
  3. Bones: Make no bones about it. Certain bones can lacerate or obstruct your pets’ insides. Save the bones for the broth – not your dog.
  4. Onions:  Onions and onion powder, widely found in stuffing and used as a general seasoning, will destroy your dog or cat’s red blood cells, which can lead to anemia.
  5. Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins contain a toxin that can cause kidney damage to both dogs and cats.
  6. Chocolate: Chocolate can actually be fatal to your dog or cat; so all those sweets must be kept well out of reach.
  7. Food Wrappings: Aluminum foil, wax paper and other food wrappings can cause intestinal obstruction. Make sure to place these items securely in the garbage.
  8. Fresh Water: Make sure your pet always has fresh water. When there are more people in the house, there’s more chance to bump into the water bowl leaving your pet dry.
  9. Quiet Time: Make sure your pet has a quiet retreat should the holiday festivities be too much for him. Watch his behavior to make sure he is not stressed.
  10. Garbage: Keep an eye on the garbage and keep it securely fastened! If your dog gets into it, he may think he’s hit the jackpot, but all he’ll be winning is health problems from something as simple as gastric disturbance, vomiting and diarrhea to the worst-case scenario – death.  These tips were from the North Shore League for Animal Rescue Group.

 

Please be careful with your pets during this holiday season. If you have questions about your pet contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at catdoc56@gmail.com



Winter Pet Tips

November 13, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 8:00 pm

Pet Talk

Winter Pet Tips

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

 

Brrrr—it’s cold outside!  With our temperatures getting ready to drop for old man winter, the following guidelines will help you protect your companion animals when the mercury dips.

 

  • Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.
  • During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. Bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give any cat a chance to escape.
  • Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags and are micro-chipped.
  • Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Consider getting a short-coated dog a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly.
  • Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
  • Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.
  • Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him, in tip-top shape.
  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centermore information.

Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect. If you have questions about winter weather and your pet, contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at catdoc56@gmail.com



Daylight Savings Time and your Pets!

October 30, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 9:28 pm

Pet Talk
By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

Daylight Savings Time and your Pets!

Daylight Savings Time officially ends November 5th at 2 AM. (Don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour!) For most of us that means we get an extra hour of sleep and relaxation before starting the day. Did you know that pets can be affected by the time change as well?

Dogs and cats don’t use watches, but they can tell when there is a change in their owner’s behavior.

Much of a pets behavior is linked to our schedules. Your dog might get up when you do, and learn to ask to go outside at a certain point in the morning routine. They might even learn other behaviors depending on yours. (One client of mine, a little Boston Terrier named Rez, has learned to go back to bed when she sees her owner picking up her purse to leave. Aren’t dogs smart?) 

Dogs thrive on schedules. Cats are more flexible. When those schedules are disrupted it can cause changes in their behavior. An extra hour in bed for you might mean your dog wakes up at the same time needing to go to the bathroom or to eat breakfast. If you’re not careful it can seem like you woke up to a dog who has lost all their training. 
Keep a close eye on your dog or cat for any changes in their behavior after the time change. If they seem to be more anxious or are having more accidents than normal, try getting up an hour earlier and seeing if the behavior continues. Of course, you might get lucky and have a dog or cat who will appreciate the extra hour of sleep, too.

If you have questions about pet care contact Dr. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic at catdoc56@gmail.com



Halloween Safety Tips

October 23, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 8:06 pm

pet talk

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

 

Halloween Safety Tips

No Scaredy Cats This Halloween: Top 10 Safety Tips for Pet Parents

Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year! The ASPCA recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!” all the way to November 1.

  1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause serious life threating problems.
  2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach.
  3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
  4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
  5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.
  6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.
  7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
  8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets. Also please make sure if you own a black cat to put it up on Halloween.
  9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside.
  10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.

 

If you have questions about Halloween and pets contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic at catdoc56@gmail.com



Leaf Piles, Labs and other Dogs!

October 16, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 6:40 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

 

Leaf Piles, Labs and other Dogs!

 

Fall is here! Such a beautiful time of colorful falling leaves and leaf piles.  Labradors, kids and many other dogs love to play in piles of leaves.  There are hidden dangers lurking in piles of leaves such as sticks, twigs, and debris.

 

One of the most common injuries can be a wound to the cornea.  This is the clear part of the eye that is in front of the colored part of the eye, the iris.  Sticks and small twigs can cut, and cause an abrasion and even poke a hole in this clear part of the eye. Just rustling through the leaves can cause small pieces of leaf debris to get in the eye. This can be very painful and cause your dog to rub and cause irritation to the eye. Your dog could suffer a very serious injury leading to loss of vision or even loss of the eye.

 

Dogs can sprain a foot or leg by jumping into the leaf pile.  Running and turning and rolling in the leaves can cause undo stress on the joints and also cause muscle strain.

 

Large sticks can puncture the skin and sometimes go into the chest or abdomen.  These can be a very serious injury and require immediate veterinary attention.

 

Sometimes your dog may have a stick get in their foot causing a puncture wound that can get infected. Leaf pile injuries are not an everyday occurrence but as an owner you should be aware that they could happen.  Let your dog play in the leaves but check the pile first for large sticks, twigs with ends poking out and glass or other foreign objects.  Have a Happy Autumn with your best friend frolicking in the leaves!

 

If you have questions about pet care contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at catdoc56@gmail.com



Should I Wake My Dog while Dreaming?

October 9, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 7:24 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

 

Should I Wake My Dog while Dreaming?

 

I had a client who asked me about her dreaming dog. She said her dog does a log of dreaming—you can see her limbs twitching and she often emits little cries.  It looks like she is in distress.  Should I wake her at those times to relieve her of the anxiety she may be experiencing?

 

What she is describing does not sound like a nightmare or bad dream.  Good dreams for dogs often involve twitching and soft sounds. Dogs also can twitch more during sleep when they feel cold.  So gently placing a blanket on them may help.

 

If you pet is having somewhat unpleasant dreams consider that just like people, dogs may dream to process things they have experienced, commit new things to memory and work through emotions.  If you interrupt the brain’s working to resolve issues during sleep this will hinder the psychobiology that restores equilibrium to the brain.

 

Some dogs do experience nightmares, where they scream in their sleep and are clearly afraid.  Should you wake a dog in the throes of a nightmare? If your dog is growling or crying or appears distressed during a dream, try to wait it out. Dogs like people, go through cycles in their sleep, including REM cycles.  Letting a nightmare continue and end is part of this natural sleep progression.

 

If your dog is clearly screaming or seems frightfully disturbed, you might consider gently calling their name. Don’t touch a dog to rouse them from a nightmare. You could be bitten.  When they come to reassure them with sweet words and gentle petting.  If this happens regularly consider taking to your veterinarian who can tell you the proper steps to take.



Who Cut the Cheese?

October 2, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 5:49 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

 

Who Cut the Cheese?

Do you ever wonder, “Why does my pet have so much gas?”

Years ago I had a cat named Marcel. We would all be sitting in the family room and all of a sudden this disgusting aroma would drift my way.  I had to ask my husband was that you are the cat? Fact is some pets are just more flatulent that others. So why is so much nasty gas coming out of the business end of nature’s most efficient composter?

 

Here is a short list of possibilities:

  • Eating food too quickly causes excess air ingestion.
  • Chewing certain toys or rawhide-style chewies may cause chronic, inappropriate ingestion of air.

Too much gas production inside the digestive tract

(bacteria, the gut’s co-digesters, cause the release of gas during digestion)

  • Dietary intolerances
  • Food allergies (sometimes it’s not just the skin that is affected)
  • Bacterial overgrowths secondary to dietary indiscretion (garbage eating, etc.)
  • Chronic bowel diseases (parasitism and cancer)
  • Pancreatic disorders

Flatulence (passing gas) is 100 percent normal and physiologically appropriate in most cases but too much gas or excess stink needs to be checked out by your veterinarian. To determine causes for excess gas, stool checks, blood work, X-rays, and ultrasound are standard methods of diagnosis.  But sometimes Endoscopy, abdominal exploratory surgery, and CT scans are required to get to the bottom of the problem.

 

Here are some Vet-Approved tips for resolving gas in dogs and cats.

 

  • Your pet maybe intolerant of certain proteins and/or carbohydrates. So eliminating ingredients one by one every eek is a good approach, or picking out a new, lower residue diet may help. Your vet can help you make a food selection.

 

  • Feed smaller meals more often.

Some pets are just pigs and gulping mouthfuls of air along with their food can cause gas.

  • Probiotics/Prebiotics

These may improve your pet’s digestive health b increasing numbers of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

 

  • Charcoal

Apparently, some gastrointestinally-focused internal medicine specialist like to use charcoal tablets to speed the nasty bacteria through the GI tract.

 

If your pet has a gas problem please consult with your regular veterinarian.  If you have questions about gas please contact Dr Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at catdoc56@gmail.com or 870-483-6275.



Something to Cluck about this week.

September 25, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 4:53 pm

Pet Talk!

Something to Cluck about this week.

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

 

CLUCK, Cluck,

 

With every one wanting to provide a safe food supply, raising chickens has been a very popular endeavor.  So I have gone away from cats and dogs this week to our fine-feathered friend the chicken. Chickens are cool there are many different exotic looking breeds. Many people raise chickens to show, and for meat and eggs. So I have provided some basic facts about raising chickens.

 

According to Colorado State University, eggs from hens raised at home may contain more vitamins and less cholesterol than other eggs.  Before adopting chickens, be sure to check with your homeowners association and any city ordinances prohibiting the raising of livestock.

 

There are 3 essential topics for chicken care;

 

The food: Chickens eat insects, worms fruits, grass, kitchen scraps, etc.  A proper chicken diet should contain a good amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Access to clean water is also essential for healthy chickens.  A 6-pound chicken can consume about 3 pounds of feed per week.

 

The Coop:  A well built and secured coop, including a laying box and a run area keep the chickens safe from the elements, as well as from foxes, raccoon, cats, and other predators.  There should be 4 square feet of interior space per chicken’

 

The maintenance:  Chickens raised in a backyard are usually very healthy. They spend their time pecking, scratching and quietly pecking.  A clean environment is necessary in keeping your chickens healthy and happy.  Make sure you routinely clean and disinfect the feeders, watering containers, the coop and the run.

 

If you have questions about care of chickens you local county extension office is a great resource.  You may also contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Best Friends Vet Mobile Service and Trumann Animal Clinic at catdoc56@gmail.com



How to Be the Best Pet Parent in Town!

September 18, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 8:13 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L Underwood

 

How to Be the Best Pet Parent in Town!

 

  1. Think twice before taking your dog to public places.

 

Before taking your pet into a public place make sure your pet is comfortable with crowds.  Your dog’s temperament has a lot to do with how they react around other people and pets.  Make sure you have an adequate leash and that your pup knows basic obedience commands.

 

  1. Vaccinate your pet on schedule.

Be sure and get your pups vaccines on schedule.  Vaccines start at 6 weeks and continue every 3 weeks until your pup is 18 weeks of age.  After the initial series of shots they are vaccinated and checked by your veterinarian every 6 months.  If your dog goes to daycare, travels, or competes in field or agility trials, or goes to dog shows make sure that they are vaccinated against canine dog flu.

 

  1. Keep Medical Marijuana out of reach.

    Be careful with any medications, chocolate and other toxic substances. These substances can be dose dependent. How much your pet eats makes a difference as to how intoxicated they get.  Contact your veterinarian immediately.  Your vet will force your pet to vomit and they continue with other treatments.

 

  1. Pick up after your pet.

    Pet feces can spread bacterial species and parasites that live in the stool.  People and other animals can get sick by coming into contact with this material.  So please pick up your pets poop. Not only does it spread disease, but also it is smelly and unsightly.

 

  1. Know when to seek the help of a professional trainer.

    If you have a dog that is aggressive or is difficult to control, consider hiring a professional to help you train your dog.  Small problems as a pup can turn into big problems as an adult.  Most dogs that are surrendered to shelters are due to behavior problems.  Remember your pet only know what it is taught.

If you have questions about being a good dog parent please contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at catdoc56@gmail.com or 870-483-6275



Electrical Hazards and your Pet

September 11, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 7:52 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

 

Electrical Hazards and your Pet.

 

Now that the kids have headed back to school, your pet is probably home alone.  This gives them time to get into mischief.  They often will tear up the house due to loneliness, boredom, or anxiety.

 

Consider making a room for your animals, where they can roam around un-caged, play all day, sleep, without getting into to trouble by eating your good furniture.  Convert a spare room on your garage or house into a pet-friendly area.  Here are some great tips:

 

  1. Remove all items you do not want chewed or scratched. Make sure there are no paint cans, cleaning chemicals, tools, or insecticides present. Look for anything with sharp edges or points that they could injure themselves on or chew.  If you don’t have anywhere to put these things consider a large pet proof storage container.
  2. Cover electrical outlets with protective covers and make sure all exposed wires are out of the way. Make sure plug ends are plugged in high above their reach so they cannot chew or get tangled in.
  3. Clean the floors and lower walls to make sure there is no trace of spilled poisons like antifreeze, gas, oil, paint and bug sprays or bug dust.
  4. Lock all windows and doors. Securely cover all holes or vents.  Your pet can be creative when it comes to escape.  You don’t want to come home and find them in the middle of the road.
  5. Make sure the flooring is an inexpensive, easy-to-clean surface.  Wood they can chew and scratch.  Concrete and wood both absorb odors. They can also pull up laminate tiles.
  6. Install insulation if your pet’s room is in the garage to help regulate the temperature. Make it pet friendly. Nice fluffy beds, toys, cat trees, play DVDs or music for entertainment.  Have a clean supply of water and food available.

 

Hopefully this information will make your pet a happier pet and you a happier owner by not having to contend with destruction.

 

If you have questions email Dr. Norette Underwood  of Best Friends Vet Mobile Service and Trumann Animal Clinic at catdoc56@gmail.com