Latest Posts

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

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 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

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