Latest Posts

How Summertime temperatures can soar in your Car and harm your pet!

May 25, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 2:15 pm

Pet Talk

How Summertime temperatures can soar in your Car and harm your pet!

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


All across North America, summer time temperatures can exceed 80, 90 or even 100 degrees in some areas.  While these sunny days may be great for sunbathers and swimmers, the heat can prove deadly for our pets, especially when left inside cars.  A “quick” trip to the store often results in owners finding pets suffering from heatstroke and near death.  How can you prevent such a tragedy?



Many pets, especially our dogs, love to go for car rides.


Unfortunately, this favored activity can turn deadly when warmer temperatures arrive and when owners misjudge the amount of time they will be away from the car.  Each year, dozens, if not hundreds, of stories of dogs dying in hot cars are reported by local media.


When confronted with the fact that their pet’s death was likely preventable, most owners will respond with statements like “I didn’t think I would be gone that long” or that they “didn’t know it was THAT warm outside”.   When looking at the facts, the reality of just how quickly the inside of a car can heat up, even in mild temperatures, can produce some startling revelations for pet lovers.


It’s probably common sense to most people that hotter days cause the inside of a car to heat up faster, but few people realize that even with outside temperatures as low as 65 or 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the inside of the vehicle will warm uncomfortably in just 30 minutes.  In fact, on a 75 degree day, your car’s interior will be at 100 degrees in just about 10 minutes and a blistering 120 degrees in a half hour!  Despite urban myths, cracking the windows has little effect on the rate of heating inside the car.


But, it’s not just the heat of the day that is an issue.  Your pet’s overall health status and behavior can also contribute to how quickly he will overheat in the car.  Veterinarians across the country have posted stories online about cases in which dogs have died when left in cars on days where the temperature never exceeded 60 degrees.  Short faced breeds, like Pugs and Bulldogs, as well as obese pets, heavy coated breeds and senior animals will have less tolerance for extreme temperatures.  In addition, excitable animals and those with separation anxiety issues may work themselves into frenzy, raising their body temperature to dangerous levels.


When in doubt, it’s probably best to leave your pet at home.  It’s far too easy for a quick trip to become complicated and take more time than you intended.


Currently, 14 states specifically have laws that prohibit leaving animals “unattended and confined” in a motor vehicle when physical injury or death is likely to result.  While that is a great thing, it does NOT give ordinary citizens the right to smash windshields or take the pet from the car.  Most of these states have included rescue provisions that empower police, peace officers, fire and rescue workers or animal control officers to use reasonable force to remove an animal in distress.


So, what should you, as an animal lover and Good Samaritan do if you come across a pet confined in a car?


First, if you are in a store parking lot, consider contacting the management of the store or even security.  It may be possible to page the pet’s owner and have them return to the vehicle.


Next, call 911 and try to get the local authorities involved.  This action will help lessen your liability if the pet is injured during the rescue attempt or happens to escape.  Allow the police or legally designated person open the vehicle.


Finally, realize that not every animal in a car is actually in distress.  As mentioned above, some pets may appear frantic, but others will lie quietly while waiting for their owners.  It’s important to stay calm and not over-react – in some cases the pet is not in danger!


If you have questions about your pet contact dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile service at

Celebrate National Pet Week

May 16, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 1:34 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


Celebrate National Pet Week


Lifetime of Love — The Basics: Tips to a happier, healthier pet.


Here are some wonderful tips I found on the American Veterinary Medical Association  Website for National Pet Week.

Everyone loves their pets but not everyone is aware of what their pet needs from them to keep them happy and healthy long into their pet’s senior years. Leading veterinary experts in animal health, welfare, and behavior invite you to take each of the essential actions highlighted during National Pet Week® that are vital to achieving a Lifetime of Love.


Select the pet that’s right for your family’s lifestyle, and make a commitment to that pet for its life. Even if you have already welcomed a pet into your home, your veterinarian can help you better understand the social and healthcare needs of your individual pet.


Socialize now. New doesn’t have to be scary.

Learn about how to appropriately prepare your pet to enjoy a variety of interactions with other animals, people, places and activities. Everyone will be more comfortable!


Exercise body. Exercise mind.

With an estimated 52.7% of dogs and 57.9% cats in the United States considered overweight or obese, and humans plagued by this issue as well, the AVMA encourages pets and their owners to get regular exercise—together! This improves cardiovascular health, maintains a healthy weight, and supports good mental health for both owner and pet, but it strengthens the human-animal bond.


Love your pet? See your vet!

Everybody love’s their pet, yet 53.9 percent of cat owners and 48.6 percent of dog owners do not take their pet to the veterinarian unless it is visibly sick or injured. Pets often hide signs of illness. Regular check-ups are vital to catching health problems early. Not only can early treatment mean better health for your pet, it can also save money.


Pet population control: Know your role.

Do your part to prevent pet overpopulation. Talk to your veterinarian about when you should have your pet spayed or neutered. Avoid unplanned breeding through spay/neuter, containment or managed breeding. To learn more, visit the AVMA webpage on spaying and neutering your pet.


Emergencies happen. Be prepared.

Include your pets in your family’s emergency plan. The AVMA offers a step-by-step guide to assembling emergency kits and plans for a variety of pets and animals.


Give them a lifetime of love

Thanks to better care, pets are living longer now than they ever have before – but as pets get older, they need extra care and attention. Regular veterinary examinations can detect problems in older pets before they become advanced or life threatening, and improve the chances of a longer and healthier life for your pet. Visit the AVMA’s special page for senior pets to find out what is ‘normal’ and what may signal a reason for concern about an aging pet. Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not age at a rate of seven human years for each year in dog years. Download the AVMA PetsAgeFaster chart to check how your pet’s real age compares with yours.


If you have questions about your pet contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at or 870-483-6275.


May 8, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 7:29 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood






  • More than 60% of American households have at least one pet and many have multiple animals. Even though we think our pets should always get along, it’s not always possible to keep our canine friends from having their own little squabbles.


  • Despite the loud barking, fearsome growling and baring of teeth, these fights between housemates rarely cause serious damage to the dogs. It is rare to see dogs accustomed to living together attempt to cause life-threatening injuries unless there is a possible medical or behavioral problem.


  • Because our pets are in a highly aroused and aggressive state during a fight, they are unaware of or even unconcerned about who they bite during the melee.


  • Knowing this, owners should NEVER reach their hands into the middle of a dog fight and attempt to separate the fighting animals. Doing so will often result in significant and serious injuries to the human, especially on the hands.


  • In addition, some pets carry specific pathogenic bacteria that could cause some serious illnesses if introduced into a human’s bloodstream. If you are bitten by a pet, thoroughly cleanse the bite with a good antiseptic and then seek medical attention.


  • There are some tips that might help an owner safely disrupt a dog fight in progress. First, consider using any sort of loud noise that might distract the animals.  Whistles, air horns or even bells could work.


  • Next, if your pet responds to the doorbell, go ring it. Other options might include using words that typically motivate your pet, like “walk”, “car ride” etc.  Be sure to use a loud, but happy tone of voice.


  • Physically interrupting the altercation by covering the dogs with a large, thick blanket can also help to disorient and calm them down. Another successful option is to use a baby gate or chair to force your way in between the dogs.  This might then enable you to move one dog out of harm’s way.


  • Smelly sprays, like citronella, bitter apple spray or even a well-shaken carbonated beverage could do the trick. And, the old wives tale about spraying the dogs with water might work too…try pouring a pitcher of water over the dog’s head!


  • An important thing to remember is that if your pet has shown any aggressive tendencies, towards people or pets, you need to seek professional help. Far too many owners wait until the problem becomes severe.


  • The longer a behavior issue continues, the more difficult it will be to correct. This could mean relinquishment or even euthanasia of the pet.


  • If your pet has shown aggressive behavior, please seek a consultation with your veterinarian immediately. He or she can help you find ways to help you correct the behavior or even have you consider a consultation with a veterinary behaviorist.





If you have questions about dog fights and other pet related issues, contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at, facebook messenger, or 870-483-6275.

Brown Recluse Spider Bites and Your Pet!

April 24, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 3:51 pm

Pet Talk


Brown Recluse Spider Bites and Your Pet!

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


With the arrival of spring means the coming out of spiders, especially the brown recluse.  They have been holed up somewhere warm for the winter and are ready to get out and be active.


One bite from a brown recluse spider will probably mean several weeks of pampering for your pet while she heals. Although the wound may appear nasty, your pet will usually recover fully, though you may want to take a trip to the veterinarian to be sure.


A brown recluse spider is a half-inch to 2 inches long. They are usually identified by a distinctive fiddle-shaped mark on their back. Although usually residing in the midwestern United States, the brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa) often travels with people as they move, hiding in boxes or other dark, secluded areas.


While not aggressive, these spiders will bite if they feel threatened. The bite itself does not cause much pain, and your pet may not even know she was bitten. After a while, a reddened area develops, with fever and nausea. The underlying tissue may die, and bleeding may occur. With or without treatment, the wound may take weeks to heal. Sometimes the pet may have an autoimmune reaction to the venom and serious systemic signs may appear.


The best way to prevent a bite is to limit your pet’s access to places where spiders may reside. This means checking dark areas, like dark basement corners or rarely used closets, for evidence that spiders are also residing in your home.


The diagnosis is based on the appearance of the skin wound and whether the brown recluse spider is present. Although the wound may heal on its own, it’s better to be safe and have your pet checked out by a veterinarian. This may prevent further tissue damage and infection.


Home and Veterinary Care


At home, clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine or povidone iodine. Do not use a tourniquet; because the venom stays in the area of bite, a tourniquet is not necessary. The tourniquet may cause circulation damage.


If you see your pet acting lethargic, begin vomiting or the wound becomes larger, it is strongly recommended that you bring your pet to the veterinarian. Treatment may be necessary to reduce these symptoms.


Your veterinarian will treat the bite wound and may give your pet antibiotics to prevent infection. Surgery may be necessary to remove the skin around the affected area, if other treatments do not heal the wound. Generally, pets recover fully from these spider bites after several weeks.


If you have questions regarding spider bites, please contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Best Friends Vet Mobile Service and Trumann Animal Clinic at

What is heartworm disease?

April 19, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 2:14 pm

Pet Talk


Dr. Norette L. Underwood


What is heartworm disease?

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets, but heartworms also live in other mammal species, including wolves, coyotes, foxes, sea lions and—in rare instances—humans. Because wild species such as foxes and coyotes live in proximity to many urban areas, they are considered important carriers of the disease.

Dogs. The dog is a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. If untreated, their numbers can increase, and dogs have been known to harbor several hundred worms in their bodies. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries.  For this reason, prevention is by far the best option, and treatment—when needed—should be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible.

Cats. Heartworm disease in cats is very different from heartworm disease in dogs. The cat is an atypical host for heartworms, and most worms in cats do not survive to the adult stage. Cats with adult heartworms typically have just one to three worms, and many cats affected by heartworms have no adult worms. While this means heartworm disease often goes undiagnosed in cats, it’s important to understand that even immature worms cause real damage in the form of a condition known as heartworm associated respiratory disease (HARD). Moreover, the medication used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be used in cats, so prevention is the only means of protecting cats from the effects of heartworm disease.

How is heartworm disease transmitted from one pet to another?

The mosquito plays an essential role in the heartworm life cycle. Adult female heartworms living in an infected dog, fox, coyote, or wolf produce microscopic baby worms called microfilaria that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites and takes a blood meal from an infected animal, it picks up these baby worms, which develop and mature into “infective stage” larvae over a period of 10 to 14 days. Then, when the infected mosquito bites another dog, cat, or susceptible wild animal, the infective larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animal’s skin and enter the new host through the mosquito’s bite wound. Once inside a new host, it takes approximately 6 months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms. Once mature, heartworms can live for 5 to 7 years in dogs and up to 2 or 3 years in cats. Because of the longevity of these worms, each mosquito season can lead to an increasing number of worms in an infected pet.


Please see your veterinarian to get your pet tested and on heartworm prevention. If you have questions concerning heartworms contact Dr. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile at

Easter Lily Ingestion Toxicity in Cat

April 10, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 3:45 pm

Pet talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


Easter Lily Ingestion Toxicity in Cat




  1. Spring signifies renewal. New green growth and blooming flowers mark a new beginning.  Many people will celebrate during this time by adorning their households with flowers and plants. However, cat owners need to beware that some of the most common plants are highly toxic to their beloved feline companions.


  1. Easter lilies and other species of the genus Lilium (Tiger lily, rubrum lily, Japanese show lily, and Asiatic hybrid lily), are highly toxic to cats leading to kidney damage. All parts of the plant are considered toxic, and intoxication can occur with ingestion of less than one leaf. To date, the toxic component has not been determined.


  1. Within the first two to six hours of lily ingestion, a cat may manifest intestinal upset including vomiting, loss of appetite, and depression.


  1. Signs may temporarily subside only to return within twelve to eighteen hours as kidney damage ensues.


  1. Treatment consists of rapid decontamination (inducing vomiting to remove plant material and administration of activated charcoal), and intravenous fluid.


  1. Postponing treatment for more than eighteen hours can result in renal failure, and death; therefore, prompt and aggressive veterinary care is paramount.  With prompt treatment, full recovery is possible. However, if treatment is delayed, varying degrees of permanent kidney damage will occur. If the cat is not treated at all, death usually occurs in three to seven days.


  1. Cats can be extremely inquisitive, and may graze on plants in and around a house. Therefore, cat owners are encouraged to avoid placing lilies where cats reside, whether indoor or outdoor.


  1. During Easter celebration and for that matter year around, substituting Easter lilies and other kidney toxic plants with plants such as Easter Orchids, Easter Lily Cactus, Easter Daisy or violets is recommended.


Internet Resources

Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). Easter lilies can be deadly for your cat!!!.


Lilies know to cause kidney failure in cats include*:


Common names           Scientific names

Easter lily                            Lilium longiflorum

Tiger lily                              Lilium tigrinum

Rubrum lily                         Lilium speciosum

Japanese show lily             Lilium lancifolium

Daylily                                           Hemerocallis species


Other members of the Liliaceae family are suspected to also known to be toxic to cats.


If you have questions about lily toxicity contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at

Rabbits and Chicks As Easter Gifts

April 4, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 8:28 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


Rabbits and Chicks As Easter Gifts

With Easter approaching here are some top tips about giving rabbits and chicks as Easter Gifts.


1.    Say no to live rabbit and chicks as Easter gifts


  1. Around Easter, many pet stores stock up on hot items including live chicks and rabbits. Theses animals are often given to young children as presents.


  1. Often many folks think rabbits are low maintenance pets that only require a small cage and pets.


  1. Truth is, they have dietary requirements that include a balanced diet of pellets, fresh lettuce and other vegetables, and grass hays. They also require daily exercise and space enough to perform 3 consecutive hops in a cage.


  1. Young children tend to be rougher and not understand that rabbits can easily break their backs when handled. Plus rabbits have long toenails that leave deep scratches especially if handled improperly.


  1. Chicks can carry salmonella and E. coli that may cause serious diarrhea and possible death to young children.


  1. Chicks grow into chickens. Roosters when they hit sexual maturity, have the potential to become aggressive.


  1. Rabbits are the third most relinquished pets to animal shelters, which are usually equipped to handle only a few rabbits and rodents at a time.


  1. After Easter many shelters, are overwhelmed by the number of relinquished rabbits and have to euthanize several.


  1. Rabbits are also often released to the wild to fend for themselves and those that do not starve to death, become easy prey for predators in the wild.


  1. For more details check out the Make Mine Chocolate Campaign by the HSUS and the American House Rabbit Society.


For more information contact dr. Norette L. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at if you have questions about pets as Easter gifts.

Shave or Not to shave My Pets Coat in Warm Weather, that is the Question!

March 28, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 2:57 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


Shave or Not to shave My Pets Coat in Warm Weather, that is the Question!


Each year, veterinarians, pet groomers and pet lovers have debates about the pros and cons of shaving a thick coated or long-haired dog during the warm summer months.


From our human perspective, higher temperatures mean less and lighter clothing.  Unfortunately, this is probably not true for the majority of our pets.


We know that we cool ourselves by sweating and as more skin is exposed, the sweat evaporates more efficiently, cooling our bodies.


Dogs, however, don’t sweat like we do.   Their main cooling comes from panting.   As the moisture evaporates off of the tongue of the panting dog, the blood is cooled and this cooled blood is circulated to keep the pet comfortable.


A well -groomed, clean hair coat will actually insulate the dog from the heat and help to keep them cooler.


Another concern about shaving any dog is the potential for sunburn in lightly pigmented breeds.


However, many of the protective functions of a full coat can be lost if the coat is not keep clean and free from debris such as grass awns, burs, sticks and twigs that can cause mats and significant skin problems.


In some cases due to age or lack of mobility, your veterinarian may recommend shaving certain areas (like the perineal region) in long -haired breeds to facilitate keeping the area clean and free from maggots.


Questions about shaving your dog should be directed to your veterinarian and staff.   They are best equipped with the knowledge of how shaving may affect your pet.


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

Taking Care of Box Turtles

March 20, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 10:28 pm

Pet Talk

Taking care of Box Turtles:

Species Name

Terrapene carolina carolina


I found this article on by Lianne McLeod, DVM, on box turtles and thought of my childhood.  Nothing was more exciting than to bring a box turtle home.  Since many of us have box turtles for pets I wanted to share this article on turtle care.


The Eastern box turtle is usually about 4-6 inches long and has a high domed carapace (shell) that is usually a darker brown with bright yellow, orange and/or red markings. On the plastron, (bottom shell), there may be dark areas, especially on the margins of the scutes. The skin is brown with spots or splashes of yellow or red coloration, especially in males.

Sexing Eastern Box Turtles

Males tend to have longer, thicker tails than the females.  The plastron is slightly concave in males and flatter in females. The carapace tends to be more flattened in males (more domed in females). The males tend to have more colorful markings on the forelegs, and the claws on the hind feet are generally shorter and more curved than those on the females. Males more often have red irises. It can be difficult to sex box turtles unless comparing males and females side by side.



Eastern box turtles can be very long-lived, possibly up to 100 years. Sadly, many in captivity will not survive that long (30-40 years is more typical; even shorter with less than ideal care).


While it is possible to keep Eastern box turtles (especially hatchlings and juveniles) in a large indoor terrarium (most aquariums are too small), they do much better in outdoor enclosures where the climate is agreeable.

They should have easy access to a shallow pan of water at all times, access to hiding spots, and loose litter for burrowing.

Temperatures and Light

If keeping your turtle outside make sure they have both sunny and shady areas available so they can move from cooler to warmer areas as necessary.


Indoors, a terrarium will need a heat source as well as a UVB emitting reptile light. Provide a basking spot with temperatures of 85 – 88 F, maintaining the terrarium with a gradient down to about 75 F. The nighttime temperature should not drop below 70 F.


While box turtles are not aquatic, it is not unusual for them to wade into shallow water to drink and have a soak. Make sure a clean shallow pan of water is readily accessible at all times. On hot, dry days, run a sprinkler or mist their pen for added moisture.



Adult eastern box turtles are omnivores and can be fed a variety of items.  Approximately half of their diet should be 1     made up of vegetables, fruit, and hay/grasses. The remainder should be made up of low fat protein sources; whole live foods are ideal (earthworms, slugs, snails, mealworms, crickets, grasshoppers etc.) but cooked lean meats and low-fat dog food can be added as a supplement. Hatchlings are more carnivorous.



Natural Habitat: Eastern box turtles can live in a wide variety of habitats from damp forests to dry grassy fields. They will often venture into shallow water. Box turtles hibernate when it gets cold. They are found across the eastern US, from Maine to Northern Florida.

Box turtle populations are declining (listed by CITES as threatened, and import/export permits are necessary). Many states protect box turtle populations and have laws against collecting box turtles from the wild. It is best to get a pet box turtle bred in captivity from a reputable breeder. Wild caught turtles do not adjust well to captivity and many die from the stress. Pet stores often carry wild caught turtles.


If you have questions about turtle care you may contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile at

How to get Stunning Pet Photos!

March 13, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 4:28 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


How to get Stunning Pet Photos!


We all love to take pictures of our pets but sometimes it is almost impossible to get them to cooperate.  I want you to wow your friends with some fantastic and cute dog pics. Below are some tips to help you improve your pet pictures:


  1. Get rid of the glowing eyes. How many times have you photographed your pet and they look like something from the zombie apocalypse with those wild glowing eyes. This is caused by your camera flash reflecting off the shinny layer of the back of your pet’s eyes called the tapedum.   Put your pet in natural outdoor lighting to avoid the flash. Have the sun behind your back,  the natural light will enhance and lighten your pet’s face.


  1. Have cute props. Put a sign around their neck. Add a cute scarf or a hat. Great props elevate your pet photos to a higher level of cuteness.


  1. Brighten and Crop. Don’t be afraid to use your camera software to cut out unwanted background clutter and to lighten your photos.   Most edits can be done on your phone in seconds.  This may take your photo from ok to brilliant.


  1. Get rid of the clutter in the background. Your pet is the center of attention. Remove all the stuff in the surrounding area that does not pertain to your pet.  This will improve your photo by 100%.


  1. Missed Moments. We all love a photo of our pet looking inquisitive. That cute head tilt makes the photo. Try squeezing a squeaky toy the moment you push the button to take the picture.  It generally will help you capture that special picture.

Keep your phone or camera handy to snap those precious moments.


If you have questions about photography and your pet contact dr. Norette L. Underwood, she is an avid amateur photographer and enjoys photographing animals.  She may be reached at