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Holiday Hazards in Your Home

December 11, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 3:08 pm

 

Pet Talk

Holiday Hazards in your Home!

By Norette L. Underwood, DVM

 

HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS:

Holiday decorations such as snow globes or bubble lights may contain poisonous chemicals. If your pet chews on them the liquid inside could be could be dangerous to their health.  Pets being the curious creatures that they are, love to play with anything dangling.  They will eat plastic and glass balls.

TINSEL:

If you own a cat, forgo the tinsel. What looks like a shiny toy to your cat can prove deadly if ingested. Tinsel does not pose a poisoning risk but can cause severe damage to a cat’s intestinal tract if swallowed.

PLANTS:

Though they have a bad rap, poinsettia plants are only mildly toxic. Far more worrisome are holiday bouquets containing lilies, holly or mistletoe. Lilies, are the most dangerous plants for cats.  Other yuletide pants such as holly berries and mistletoe can also be toxic to pets and can cause gastrointestinal upset and even heart arrhythmias if ingested.

ALCOHOL:

Because alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, it affects pets quickly. Be careful with drinks and foods containing alcohol.

HOLIDAY FOODS:

With the holiday season comes a delightful variety of baked goods, chocolate confections and other rich, fattening foods. However, it is not wise (and in some cases is quite dangerous) to share these treats with your pets. Keep your pet on his or her regular diet over the holidays and do not let family and friends sneak in treats. Foods that can present problems:

  • Foods containing grapes, raisins and currants (such as fruitcakes) can result in kidney failure in dogs.
  • Chocolate and cocoa contain theobromine, a chemical highly toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion in small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea but large amounts can cause seizures and heart arrhythmias.
  • Many sugarless gums and candies contain xylitol, a sweetener which is toxic to dogs. It causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure.

Leftover, fatty meat scraps can produce severe inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) leading to abdominal pain, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.

SNOW GLOBES:

Recently, imported snow globes were found to contain antifreeze (ethylene glycol.) As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze when ingested by a cat or a tablespoon or two for a dog (depending on their size), can be fatal. Signs of early poisoning include acting drunk or uncoordinated, excessive thirst, and lethargy.  Immediate treatment with an antidote is vital.

LIQUID POTPOURRI::

Filling your house with the smell of nutmeg or pine for the holidays may seem inviting—but if you’re partial to heating your scented oils in a simmer pot, know that they can cause serious harm to your cat; even a few licks can result in severe chemical burns in the mouth, fever, difficulty breathing, and tremors. Dogs aren’t as sensitive, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry—so scent your home with a non-toxic candle kept safely out of kitty’s reach.

 

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

#wearethebest #veterinarianintrumann #veterinariannearharrisburg #veterinariannearjonesboro

 



Pet Hair, Pet Hair, Everywhere! What can we do to make it go away?

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

Pet Hair, Pet Hair, Everywhere!  What can we do to make it go away?

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

 

If you are a pet owner excess hair is your number one concern.  Just how can my pet loose all that hair in my house and still have hair left on its body?  I have three cats and four dogs, one of which is a black Labrador Retriever that sheds incessantly. My three terriers do not really shed, but the lab makes up for their lack of shedding.  I have white tile floors so it is visible all the time.  So as a small animal veterinarian what do I do to control hair loss in my home.

Continue reading and I will give you my formula for decreasing the volume of hair in your environment!

 

Brush your pet often. Daily brushing is the best thing you can do to decrease unwanted pet fur in your environment.  Not only are you making you making your pet’s coat softer, cleaner and helping with excess hair, you are bonding with your furry friend.

 

Feed a high quality pet food. Your pet’s hair coat is the outward sign of their over all health.  Your pet is what it eats.

 

Control fleas and ticks. Infestation with parasites can cause intense itching, which increases scratching. This leads to damage to the skin and hair follicles. Infection and irritation can occur which will cause hair to fall out.

 

Keep allergies and skin infection under control.   Scratching increases hair loss. It also can cause a skin infection and cause even more fur loss.

 

Feed a fatty acid supplement prescribed by your veterinarian.  Fatty acids keep your pets fur healthy by decreasing inflammation and keeping the skin barrier healthy.

 

Bathe your pet every 1-2 weeks in a moisturizing shampoo.  Keeping your pet’s hair coat shinny and clean makes their skin healthier. Plus they feel better when you pet them.

 

Cover your furniture and car seats.  Fabric is a magnet for pet hair. This will protect your original coverings and help contain pet hair.

 

Vacuum often.  I have several cordless vacuums located around my house.  This makes removing unwanted pet fur easy and quick.  I also recommend the robotic vacuums. They get under furniture and get that hidden hair you don’t see. Swiffer sweepers are great fur grabbers also.

 

Regular check ups with your veterinarian.  This will help insure that your pet is not harboring an underlying disease that can contribute to bad skin and fur loss.  Your veterinarian is also an excellent source for tips on shed prevention.

 

A healthy pet is a happy pet and that a pet’s hair coat is their sign of good health.

If you have questions about your pet contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile at cadoc56@gmail.com



Donate to a Canine Health Charity this holiday season!

November 27, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 2:55 pm
Pet talk
By Dr. Norette L. Underwood
Donate to a Canine Health Charity this holiday season!
This holiday season why not spread some cheer and love and donate to a canine health nonprofit. These are generally tax deductible.
Several great organizations are:
AKC Canine Health foundation.
This is the largest nonprofit funder of health research focused soley on dogs. Its mission is the One Health Initiative,a movement that links human, animal and environmental health and fosters global collaboration among all health care professionals. Last year they funded nearly 2 million dollars in new grants around the world. These included studies focused on lymphoma, epilepsy and tick-borne diseases. Visit akcchf.org
Arthur L and Elaine V. Johnson Foundation.
Arthur Johnson had a deep passion for German Shepherd Dogs and loved seeing them put to use to help people. In 1990 he started a foundation in honor of his wife, Elaine. They began making grants to assist other organizations in providing Guide dogs. Vist aljfoundation.org
National Canine Cancer Foundation.
This foundation funds research for cures, better treatments and cost effective diagnostic methods for different canine cancers. The foundations’ website suggests a great idea in giving is to honor a beloved dog, veterinarian or special occassion by making a donation in their behalf. Visit wearethecure.org
American Veterinary Medical Foundation.
It has funded more than $10 million in grants. All in pursiut to fulfill its mission of advancing the science and practice of veterinary medicine to improve animal and human health.
Visit avma.org/programs/research-support
The Grey Muzzle Foundation.
This organization funds shelters, rescue groups, sanctuaries and other nonprofits across the U.S. to improve the lives of at risk senior dogs. Since 2008 they have funded more than $1 million in grants. Visit greymuzzle.org
Morris Animal Foundation.
They have invested $44 million in 951 canine studies since 1950. The foundation keeps a focus on animals through lifting up critical scientific research that helps save lives.
Visit Morrisanimalfoundation.org
If the person that has everything is on your Christmas list maybe a donation in their honor is the purrfect gift.
If you have questions about organizations that benefit animals please contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood at catdoc56@gmail.com


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.