Latest Posts

Shaving long-haired dogs in the summer

May 24, 2016 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 3:20 pm

Pet Talk
By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

SHAVING LONGHAIRED DOGS DURING SUMMER MONTHS
1. 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.

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

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

4. 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.

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

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

7. 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, etc that can cause mats and significant skin problems.

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

9. 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.

10. If you have questions about shaving your long haired pet please contact Dr. Norette Underwood of Best Friends Vet Mobile Service or Trumann Animal Clinic at catdoc56@gmail.com



Springtime Tips for Allergies

May 16, 2016 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 2:44 pm

Pet Talk
Springtime Tips for Allergies and Pets
By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

As the bitter cold of winter slowly gives way to springtime, pet lovers may notice a tickle in their noses. And while spring is synonymous with rebirth and renewal, I want to remind animal lovers and potential pet owners to take care when allergy season hits with full force.

Many who suffer from allergies are unable to appreciate the joys of springtime because their allergy symptoms become a real annoyance The symptoms of sneezing and itchy, watery eyes can become especially problematic for pet owners, but by taking some simple precautions, surviving allergy season with your animal companions should be much easier.

Here are just some of the ways animal lovers can make this spring allergy season a smooth one:

Thinking of bringing a pet into your home? If you are unsure as to whether your family members have allergies, have them spend time in the home of pet-owning friends before bringing home a dog or cat. If a family member does in fact have allergies, it doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot have a pet. If you suspect that you or a member of your family has allergies, take them to a specialist who will determine the exact cause of your symptoms and help alleviate your symptoms.” Medications and immunotherapy (de-sensitizing shots) can often
allow you and your companion animal to remain together happily ever after.

Consider creating an allergen-free room. A bedroom is often the best and most practical choice. By preventing your pet from entering this room, you can ensure at least eight hours of freedom from allergens every night. It’s a good idea to use hypoallergenic bedding and pillow materials.

Limit fabrics in your home. Allergens collect in rugs, drapes and upholstery, so do your best to limit or eliminate them from your home. If you choose to keep some fabrics as part of your décor, steam-clean them regularly. Cotton-covered furniture is the smartest choice, and washable blinds or shades make good window treatments.

Make sure your home is clean. Clean the litter box frequently, using low dust, perfume-free filler-clumping litter is a good choice. Dusting around the house regularly and wiping down the walls will also cut down on allergens. Vacuum frequently using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter or a disposable electrostatic bag, which will keep allergens locked into the vacuum. Washable pet bedding and cages are also a smart option. They can be cleaned often and easily, making it simple to keep allergens from accumulating. An air purifier fitted with a HEPA filter can also make a big difference in removing allergens from the air, but remember to still let in some fresh air daily. Anti-allergen room sprays can also deactivate allergens, rendering them harmless. Ask your allergist for a product recommendation. There are also wipes an sprays to help keep allergies down on your pet.

Make sure your pet is clean, too. Your veterinarian can recommend a shampoo that will not dry out your pet’s skin. Bathing your pet once a week washes off the allergens that accumulate in an animal’s fur. You can also wipe your pet with a product formulated to prevent dander from building up and flaking off into the environment. Since dander with the pets saliva is the main culprit in people being allergic to animals. Ask your veterinarian to suggest one that is safe to use on animals who groom themselves. Brushing or combing your pet frequently also helps to keep allergens at bay. It’s best to do this outdoors, if possible.

If you have questions about pets and allergies please contact dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile service at catdoc56@gmail.com



Safely Disrupting A Dog Fight

May 11, 2016 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 9:02 pm

Pet Talk
By Dr. Norette L. Underwood

SAFELY DISRUPTING A DOG FIGHT

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) 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.

8) 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.

9) 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!

10) 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.

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

12) 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 catdoc56@gmail.com, facebook messenger, or 870-483-6275.



All About Hairballs

May 10, 2016 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 9:02 pm

Pet Talk
By Dr. Norette L Underwood

All About Hairballs
Hairball Warnings Signs
Do you cringe when you hear your cat heaving? If so, you are one of many devoted cat owners whose pet may be suffering from hairballs. While coughing up hairballs is fairly common for cats, it’s important to keep track of how often it happens. Frequent hairballs could be a sign of gastrointestinal problems, such as inflammatory bowel disease or cancer.
If your cat is suffering from frequent hairballs, please contact your veterinarian for an examination.
Does your favorite feline leave you hairballs as gifts? If so, you’re not alone. Although we love cats for being meticulous groomers, it’s safe to say we don’t like finding hairy presents around the house. Let’s explore what causes hairballs and how to prevent them.
What Causes a Hairball?
Hairballs are clusters of fur, or hair, that your cat unintentionally swallows while grooming himself or herself. When enough hair is ingested and collects in your cat’s digestive tract, it forms a “hairball.” Cats that have long hair, shed excessively or constantly groom themselves are prone to developing hairballs.
Is It Harmful to My Cat’s Health?
Most hairballs are harmlessly coughed up by your cat and do not pose a threat to his or her health. Hairballs are usually passed in vomit or through fecal matter. However, frequent hairballs could be a symptom of abnormal gastrointestinal motility or inflamed intestinal tissue.
Please contact your veterinarian for an examination if your cat:
• Continues gagging for more than one day
• Seems constipated
• Suffers from chronic diarrhea
• Vomits several times a week or month
• Or you think is just a “puker”
Ways to Prevent Hairballs
You can decrease the amount of fur that your cat ingests while grooming himself or herself by brushing your cat regularly. The furminator is a great tool for helping keep hairballs under control. This should help prevent the formation of hairballs. If your cat has long hair, it’s recommended that you brush him or her daily. (In some cases, cats with long hair whom are not brushed often enough can suffer from extremely matted hair, which can be difficult to manage. Once the hair is matted, it is often too difficult to brush and may require shaving.
There are dietary options for your cat that may help decrease the risk of hairballs as well. Many brands of commercial cat food now include formulas to help reduce hairballs while improving the health of cats’ coat and skin. Feeding your cat these types of products may also decrease shedding and increase your cat’s fiber intake. If you do not wish to change your cat’s diet, you can opt for a hairball remedy or lubricant to help your cat pass hairballs through the digestive tract.
Another simple, and fun, solution is to purchase your cat a new toy. This will redirect your cat’s attention from grooming to playing with the new toy — and provide an opportunity to enjoy some quality time with your pet.
If your cat suffers from frequent hairballs or vomiting, contact your veterinarian to discuss possible treatment options, including changing your cat’s diet. Research has shown that frequent vomiting may be a sign of small bowel disease. Ultrasound is necessary to determine thickening of the bowel. The most recent research indicates that this thickening 50% of the time is either inflammatory bowel or cancer. So please seek treatment if your cat is just a “puker”.
Your veterinarian is your expert source for hairball information.

If you have questions about hairballs contact Dr. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile service at catdoc56@gmail.com or 870-483-6275