Latest Posts

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 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

Coping With Pet Loss

September 7, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 6:40 pm

Pet talk

Coping with Pet Loss

By Dr. Norettte L. Underwood


Losing a beloved family pet is never easy.  It can be therapeutic to honor your furry companion by spreading joy to others.  Just as your pet brought joy to you.  Consider these ideas:


Donate Food.

If you have any left over food or treats consider donating them to an animal shelter or rescue group. You might even help them have a food drive in honor of your furry friend.  Your veterinarian may help you organize and collect the donations for you.


Plant a tree or bush.

Choose a special spot that your pet liked and plant a tree or a bush in their honor.  Not only does this help beautify the area, but every time you walk by you can remember wonderful times you had with your pet.


Give to a charity.

There are many animal rescue or humane society groups that do memorials to your pet with a donation.  If your pet dies from a specific disease donate to research in their name.


Make a contribution for future veterinary students.

It is very expensive to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.  Many veterinary schools have a scholarship fund that accepts donations in honor of a pet.  The Arkansas Veterinary Medical Foundation has a memorial program where all of the donations go to scholarships for  Arkansas veterinary students and veterinary technician students.  It also helps fund some research.



Bringing a new pet into your home may bring you comfort and fill the void left by your furry friend. They will never take the place of your deceased pet but may help your heart heal.  So think about adopting a pet that needs love and a forever home.


If you have questions about how to donate to rescue groups or veterinary education please contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at

Nuts Dangers to Dogs

August 28, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 8:00 am

Pet Talk

By Norette L. Underwood, DVM


Nuts Dangers to Dogs

Toxic Poisoning and Upset Stomach a Common Symptom


Dog owners, beware of rewarding your four-legged companion with a variety of salty treats in the form of nuts. I found this wonderful article on nut toxicity and wanted to share with my readers.


Nuts are one more “DO NOT EAT” item to add to Fido’s list of toxic or harmful substances. Certain types of nuts can cause toxic poisonings, an upset stomach or an obstruction in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. This can lead to life-saving surgery and unexpected veterinary expenses.


With fall approaching and trees shedding acorns, these can be a real health hazard. They can cause an intestinal obstruction. Oak acorns can cause an intense gastritis from the stomach irritation.


Keep your pet safe and make sure the nuts listed below are out of your dog’s reach.


Dogs love the taste of almonds, particularly the flavored variety (jalapeno, barbecued, smoked, vanilla, cinnamon, etc.).

While not toxic, almonds are not easily digested can give your dog an upset stomach and create gastric intestinal distress.


Black Walnuts


Black walnuts contains a toxin called juglone which can cause a vascular disease in horses known as laminitis, but doesn’t appear to cause problems in dogs. Eating black walnuts can cause gastric intestinal upset or an obstruction.


In addition, moldy black walnuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.


English Walnuts


English walnuts can cause gastric intestinal upset (tummy ache) or even an obstruction in your dog’s body. Like black and Japanese walnuts, moldy English walnuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins (toxic chemical products produced by fungi) which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.




Hickory Nuts


Hickory nuts also contain the toxin juglone that can cause laminitis in horses. Eating hickory nuts can cause the same problems associated with black walnuts: gastric intestinal upset or an intestinal obstruction. Like walnuts, moldy hickory nuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.


Japanese Walnuts


Japanese walnuts contain no toxicity; however, they can cause gastric intestinal upset or even an obstruction.

Like English walnuts, moldy Japanese walnuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.


Macadamia Nuts


Macadamia nuts are very rich in fat which can give your dog a major upset stomach and may cause pancreatitis.

In addition, these nuts are reported to contain an unknown toxic principle that may result in neurological symptoms.




Pecans also contain the toxin juglone that can cause laminitis in horses. Feeding dogs pecans can cause gastric intestinal upset or an obstruction.

Like walnuts, moldy pecans can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.


Pistachio Nuts


Pistachios are also rich in fat and can cause your dog to develop an upset stomach. In addition, repetitive eating of pistachios can cause pancreatitis in your dog.


If you are concerned about any dangerous or toxic substances your dog may have consumed, please contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline.*


If you have questions about your pet please contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic or Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at

Secondhand Smoke Harms Our Pets!

August 22, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 3:21 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

Secondhand Smoke Harms Our Pets!



The history of smoking tobacco may reach back many hundreds of years, but research in the 20th century has made it clear how harmful this habit is.  Furthermore, secondhand smoke has been implicated in the illnesses and even deaths of non-smokers.  What’s even more disturbing is that smokers may have unknowingly contributed to severe disease in dogs and cats.


Most people understand that secondhand smoke from cigarettes contains an incredible number of hazardous substances and many of them are carcinogenic.  These chemicals are found in high concentrations in carpets and on furniture around the home.  Pets sharing this environment will get these toxins on their fur and then ingest them during normal grooming. Increased numbers of smokers and smoking in households corresponds with higher levels of the by-products of nicotine metabolism in pets sharing that home.


In the early 1990s, researchers found correlations between nasal cancers in dogs and the presence of smokers in the home.  There is also a concern that environmental tobacco smoke may increase the incidence of lung cancer in our canine friends as well.


Cats may actually be at higher risk for serious disease when they live in a smoking environment.  As mentioned above, many cigarette smoke toxins settle to low levels in the home and cats will pick up these substances on their fur.  Because of their fastidious grooming habits, cats end up ingesting a higher level of chemicals and this leads to a greater chance of several types of cancer.


With more than 46 million smokers in North America and about 60% of the population own a dog or cat, the risk for the animal is substantial.  Pets are often good at hiding signs of illness, so many smoking owners fail to realize the damage that their habit is causing to the four-legged family member.  Understanding that it’s not easy to quit this addictive habit, people who smoke and have pets should attempt to minimize their pets’ exposure by smoking outdoors.


Another important thing to remember is that smoking in the car with pets can create a toxic environment, even with the windows open.  Some states and Canadian provinces  ban smoking in cars when children are passengers because of the chance for serious exposures.  If you must smoke when you drive, leave your pets and kids at home!


If you have questions about smoke and your pet please contact Dr Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at




Gecko and Turtle Health

August 14, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 4:27 pm

Pet Talk

By dr. Norette L. Underwood


Gecko and Turtle Health


Gecko Hunger Strike


A friend of mine had a fat-tailed gecko.  He used to eat a few live crickets every few days, but lately he will not touch his food. He just lets the crickets die in his aquarium.

A gecko not wanting to eat is frequently a sign of an underlying health issue.  You should make an appointment to see your vet to rule out infections or other medical issues.  Your gecko’s environment may be off.  It is important that proper heating, lighting and humidity are correct.  The ideal home is a tank with a warm side heated to 90 degrees and cooler side in the high 70’s.  It is also important to keep the tank clean. Remove uneaten crickets or other insects after 30 minutes. If left in the tank, they can pick up parasites from your pet’s poop and make your gecko sick if he does eventually eat them.


Turtles and Sunlight:


A client asked me if there was a correlation between the amount of sunlight and her turtle’s appetite.  Yes there is.  When the lighting or environmental temperature range is not correct for a species it can have trouble digesting food and not want to eat.  All indoor turtles should have access to full-spectrum (UVA-UVB) lighting during the day. The light source should be 8-12 inches from your turtle and not shine through glass or plastic.  Some reptiles do fast seasonally, but loss of appetite can also be a sign of illness.  If your turtle doesn’t eat for more than a few days, have it checked out by your veterinarian.


If you have questions about geckos and turtles contact dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at

Doggie Home Dental Care 101

August 7, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 7:43 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

Doggie Home Dental Care 101


Your dog’s teeth are made up of the same components as all other mammal teeth, including yours. Without regular brushing and periodic professional cleanings, a soft, sticky film of bacteria called plaque builds up on your teeth. Eventually, plaque accumulates and hardens into calculus, allowing millions of bacteria to move into your gums and the structures that hold the teeth in place.


Many people think dogs don’t need dental care because they come from wolves, and wild animals like wolves don’t have their teeth brushed or scaled. While that’s true, keep in mind that not only is a wolf’s diet different from what our pets eat, but the shape of a dog’s mouth, the size of its teeth, and the way they all fit together are also different. The size and shape of dogs’ mouths vary depending on their breed. The teeth of many canine breeds are crowded compared with wolves’ teeth because dogs have a smaller jaw and a more rounded face. What’s more, our dogs live longer than their wild ancestors, who don’t often live long enough to experience severe dental disease. The fact is that up to 85% of pets have periodontal disease by the time they reach age 3. And, as in people, this results in bad breath, painful chewing, and tooth loss. We know home dental care is a commitment, but it’s not as hard or time-consuming as you might think. Just follow these simple guidelines and see what you can achieve.

READY, SET, BRUSH! It’s best to start a dental care routine with clean teeth, such as when adult teeth first come in or after a professional dental cleaning. If you can already see tartar at your dog’s gum line, realize that brushing may impede the tartar’s destructive process but won’t remove the tartar itself.

Ideally, dogs’ teeth should be brushed every day, but any brushing is better than none. The process should not be a struggle for you or your pet, so take it slow, offer lots of praise, and have fun while improving your dog’s health.

Preparing:  The best brush to use is one with soft bristles that you can hold at an angle that’s comfortable for both you and your pet.  You can opt to start with a finger toothbrush, which is a piece of textured rubber that you place over your finger to massage your dog’s teeth and gums. Finger brushes allow you to reach the spaces between teeth where bacteria and tartar thrive, particularly in small dogs. You’ll also need to use a toothpaste that’s made just for dogs. Human toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed and  may contain artificial sweeteners that can be harmful to dogs. Canine toothpaste comes in flavors they like, such as chicken and beef.

Brushing:   Put some dog toothpaste on the brush, and let your dog lick it off. Once he looks forward to getting the toothpaste, lift the lips with your fingers and brush the teeth that you can reach easily in the front of the mouth. Don’t worry if you only get a few teeth the first week or so. Once your dog is used to the idea of having his teeth brushed, begin to work the toothbrush like you would your own—over both sides of all the teeth. Realize this may takes weeks to achieve and you may never get your dog to stop trying to chew the brush. Just relax, and do the best you can.

NEVER attempt home care if you think your dog may bite you. Discontinue if your dog growls, snaps, or begins to panic. Call or visit us, and we’ll help find a better way for you to keep your dog’s mouth as healthy as possible.

If you have questions about dental care contact dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at

Bee Stings Can Be Deadly

July 31, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 2:42 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


Bee Stings Can Be Deadly!


An angry bee, wasp or hornet can be a danger to your pet.  Rambunctious pets often chase, snap at flying insects, or dig up nests.  The result can be a sting on the nose, paw, or inside the mouth.


These stings can cause localized pain, swelling and mild redness to the site of the sting. Depending on the location of the sting and how many times your pet is stung, the effect can be mild, serious life threatening and even death.




When your pet is stung, he will likely yelp, or begin whining. You may see them pawing at the stung area or trying to rub their head on the grass to relieve the pain.  They may start to drool. Within ten minutes, healthy pink gums can turn white or gray.


Sometimes, even if the site of the sting is not on the dog’s face, you pet can suffer dangerous swelling on the neck. This could lead to constriction of the airway, which can be life threating. Some dogs may have a delayed reaction several hours after the sting.


All stings should be treated as a potential emergency.  Have your veterinarians phone number handy. Always keep Benadryl on hand for any type of allergic reaction for your pet.


What Action to Take:


If you see your pet get stung by a bee, stay calm, and keep your dog still to slow the spread of the venom. If you know the area of the sting try to remove the stinger right away. Scrape the stinger away with a credit card. Do not use tweezers.  When you go to squeeze the stinger you may release more venom into your pet.


Immediately apply a cold wet washcloth to reduce pain and swelling.  Then call your veterinarian.


Help prevent insect stings by keeping wasp nests and flying insects under control.


If you have questions about venomous insect stings contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at

How do you cope with summer heat and your pet?

July 27, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 7:20 pm

Pet talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

How do you cope with summer heat and your pet?

Summer temperatures might be great for tan lines and boating trips, but the excessive heat and increased outdoor activities could spell disaster for your pets.

The most common heat related problem for pets is heat stroke.  Also known as heat stress or hyperpyrexia, heat stroke is a real emergency for dogs.  Even on moderately warm days, an excited dog might show a body temperature increase of 2-5 degrees Fahrenheit.  Since dogs don’t sweat like we do, they are unable to dissipate the excess heat and heat stroke may soon follow.

Any outdoor pet can overheat on a warm summer day, but short -faced breeds, such as Pugs and Bulldogs, are at a higher risk.  In addition, every year thousands of pets succumb to heat stroke because they were left in cars while their owners ran “just a few” errands. On a 70-degree day, temperatures inside a car can soar to over 110 degrees in less than one hour!

Some owners try to help their pets by shaving the dog’s long coat. A well-groomed and clean hair coat can actually insulate the dog from the heat and help keep them cooler.

Veterinarians will recommend shaving specific areas in longhaired breeds.  For example, shaving around the anus and groin can help keep the area clean and free from infections.

In some cases, shaving the hair coat could expose a lightly pigmented dog to potential sunburn.  Boxers, Pit Bulls and Dalmatians are just a few examples of dogs that are at risk.  In these cases, chronic exposure to hot sunny days damages the skin and causes tender, red scaly lesions.


It is possible to enjoy the summer with your pets by taking just a few precautions.  Always be aware of the weather forecast.

Don’t leave your pet unattended outside or plan heavy exercise on hot, humid days.  If your pet is left outdoors, he must have access to adequate shade and fresh cool water.

When it’s time to run errands, leave your pet at home.  Even a few minutes in a hot car is enough to increase your pet’s body temperature dramatically. If the pavement or sidewalk is too hot for you to walk on, it is too hot for your pet’s paws to walk on.

If you find your pet disoriented, panting excessively and the tongue really wide and large or dog collapsed in the yard, move him immediately to a cooler environment.  Use cool wet towels on his backside; paw pads, armpits and groin to help bring his temperature down.  Fans are often helpful too.  DO NOT USE ICE!  Then, get him to your veterinarian immediately so that they can assess his status and begin life saving treatments.


If you have questions please contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile service at

The origin of the purr….

July 17, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 2:05 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

The Origin of the Purr

The purring of cats has long been one of the most interesting and controversial sounds in the animal kingdom.

Several theories for the origin of the purr have been offered.  At first, the larynx was considered the source. However, results of early experiments virtually dispelled this theory.  When air was allowed to bypass the larynx in some cats, they could still purr.

Next, the sound was attributed to vascular sources.  Researchers observed that cats most often purred while being petted and that they also tended to arch the back during that time.  The theory went something like this: the arching of the back bent the aorta, the blood eddied at the sharp bend, resulting in turbulence that was heard as a purr.  Investigators went so far as to induce local anesthesia at the site of an abdominal incision so they could manually palpate the aorta.

Not until recently has the mechanism for purring been found.  Results of electromyographic studies of laryngeal muscles revealed regular stereotyped patterns associated with purring.  As certain of these muscles contract, the glottis closes partially, causing a buildup of pressure caudal to or within the glottis.  The turbulence of the air passing through the narrowed opening produces the purr.  This explanation holds for purring that occurs when the cat is in positions other than the arched-back.

Meaning of the purr

Not all purring is associated with an audible sound. Cats often purr in the presence of their kittens or people.  Despite the fact we can never truly know why cats purr, it is fund to speculate on the reasons.  Some have said that a purr is somewhat comparable to our smile.  The behavior occurs most commonly when cats seen to be happy, content or relaxed.

The most unusual occasion for purring is one most often seen by veterinarians.  The chronically ill cat may purr during the late stages of illness right before death.

The conclusion is that the purr originates at the source of most vocalizations, the larynx. It probably communicates a feeling of contentment.  It is interesting that is has taken scientists this long to figure out what most of us always thought it meant.

If you have questions contact Dr. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile at