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Halloween Safety Tips

October 25, 2016 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 1:42 pm

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. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
  2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.
  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 (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, 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 Best Friends Vet Mobile Service and Trumann Animal Clinic at or 870-483-6275.

Can Dogs Communicate and Be Identified by their Bark?

October 17, 2016 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 10:24 pm

Pet Talk
By dr. Norette L. Underwood
Can Dogs Communicate and Be Identified by their Bark?
Many pet owners can distinguish meaning from their dog’s various barks. One bark may be used when your dog is excited (such as when you come home), another when your dog senses a threat and another when he’s feeling playful. Chickens make at least 30 different sounds, including “cluck,” “pok,” “brawk” and “squawk,” each with its own translation.
They make different sounds for attention, food, warning about predators (even distinguishing between flying or ground-based predators) and more. If chickens have a complex language, then why not dogs? Even longer communications that seem to elicit no direct responses (like barking) may be misunderstood.
Studies have demonstrated that ground squirrels listening to long vocalizations from other ground squirrels change their activity and body postures in response. Even wolves may howl for hours on end, and it’s unlikely this is done with no purpose.
Dogs Produce Different Bark Subtypes
The late Dr. Sophia Yin, an applied animal behaviorist, explored the hypothesis that dogs bark differently in different contexts, essentially producing a variety of bark subtypes that may act as specific forms of communication.
She recorded 10 barking dogs in three different situations and found each could, in fact, be categorized into a subtype:
1. A disturbance situation: Dogs barking at the sound of a doorbell had harsh, low-pitched barks with little pitch variation.
2. An isolation situation: When dogs were locked outside, isolated from their owners, they used higher pitched, more tonal barks that varied in pitch and amplitude.
3. A play situation: Barking that occurred when dogs were playing with their owners or other dogs were similar to isolation barks but tended to occur in clusters, not singly.

Dogs Can Be Identified by Their Barks
Another intriguing aspect of the study related to identifying individual dogs according to their bark. It turned out that this is indeed possible, but if you’re the owner of multiple dogs, you probably knew this already.
Not only can you likely determine which of your dogs is barking at any given time (without actually seeing them), if you pay attention you should also be able to identify which one of your neighbors’ dogs is barking solely by the sound.
In addition, the study revealed that since bark subtypes tend to occur in different contexts, barking can provide specific information to listeners. For instance, your dog may have a specific bark to alert you of an intruder and another to tell you that a familiar friend is at the door.
He may also use different sounds (huffs, for instance) depending on the urgency of his requests (such as to be let in or outside).
Are Your Dog’s Barks a Form of Communication?
At least one study on dogs in Italy suggests this is the case. When small groups of feral dogs heard the collective barks of a large group of feral dogs heading toward a garbage dump, the smaller groups left the area (presumably rather than staying to challenge the other dogs). Dr. Sylvia Yin says
“For instance, when one dog barks at the doorbell and another dog, or even the resident human, joins in a barky ‘No! No!,’ the dog responds with louder and more prolonged bark.”
A Universal Animal Language
Some researchers have also suggested that a universal animal language unites all mammals, even humans, to some extent. In a study published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science researchers found both adults and children could easily identify fearful/lonely, angry and playful dog barks.5
Even people who had little experience with dogs were able to correctly interpret a dog’s emotional state based on its bark. It’s possible that all mammals are genetically wired to make (and interpret) similar sounds in response to certain emotions.
It’s also possible, as suggested by Stanley Coren, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia, that humans preferred dogs with more interpretable barks, and this trait was selected for over time. The end result may be that dogs are able to easily communicate different emotions to us via their barks (and they, in turn, are able to pick up on our emotions as well).6

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

Leaf Piles, Labs, and Other Dogs

October 13, 2016 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 8:45 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.

Pieces of glass or metal may be hidden in your leaf pile. These can cause nasty and deadly wounds by severing a major blood vessel, which can cause major hemorrhage. This also requires 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 or 870-483-6275.

Top 10 Reasons To Neuter Your Male Pet

October 5, 2016 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 5:03 pm


After working this past year with all the rescue groups and realizing the large population of unwanted pets I WANTD TO TALK ABOUT HOW YOU CAN HELP WITH THIS PROBLEM!

Please do not take your unwanted animals and “dump them in the country” thinking they can take care of themselves or someone will pick them up. It is mean, cruel and totally irresponsible to just dump an animal. So please spay and neuter or try to place animal with a rescue organization. THIS WEEK WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT WHY YOU SHOULD NEUTER YOUR MAE DOG. Below are reasons to neuter your male pet.

1. Prevent unwanted litters: Nearly 4 million pets are euthanized in the United States each year. Often, owners of male dogs fail to realize their pet’s contribution to the litters of puppies being born daily. Remember…it takes 2 to tango!

2. Eliminate the risk of testicular cancer: This seems pretty straightforward…no testicles, no risk of testicular cancer! Don’t forget, if your pet has only 1 testicle that has dropped, your veterinarian will need to find and remove the second testicle, otherwise there is a large risk of testicular cancer.

3. Reduce the risk of prostate enlargement, abscesses, or cancer: Without testosterone’s influence, the possibility of prostatic problems diminishes greatly. In dogs, an enlarged prostate can cause difficulty urinating or even cause constipation.

4. Reduce the risk of perineal hernias: A hernia is a tear in a body wall. In this case, body fat, or even organs, can migrate through a tear in the muscle wall and end up under the skin, along the side of the anus. This is an uncomfortable condition and can only be corrected with surgery. Intact male dogs are at high risk of developing this condition.

5. Decrease the urge to roam: Intact male dogs and cats love to patrol their “territory”. Whether they are just checking out the neighborhood or looking for girls, the chances of getting into a fight or being hit by a car are much higher for intact dogs. Neutered dogs are generally content to stay home!

6. Reduces aggressiveness: Neutered pets tend to be better behaved than their intact counterparts. And, a neutered dog is not very likely to mount your boss’ leg when he comes over for dinner!

7. Decrease odors in your home: Almost everyone is offended by male tomcat urine or embarrassing urine stains around furniture. Neutering your pet can minimize odors and remove “marking” behavior.

8. Decrease fighting behavior: Besides breeding, male tomcats are known for getting into fights, often resulting in severe lacerations and large abscesses. Male dogs also tend to have scars as a result of battles. Wounds = veterinary care = $$

9. It might be medically necessary: If your dog has a perineal hernia, enlarged prostate or certain types of tumors around the anus, neutering will help resolve the issue and improve his prognosis.

10. Avoiding spreading bad genes: Preventing unwanted litters was already mentioned, but a secondary effect of neutering is to stop the spread of genes for hip dysplasia, hereditary heart issues, and other genetic problems.

11. A female dog and her mate and their offspring can create 67,000 dogs in 6 years!! Wow
If you have questions about neutering your pet or about population control specials and benefits of neutering ,contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile Service at or 870-483-6275. CURRENTLY we are running low cost spay and neuter prices for month of October for cats and dogs. Please call to schedule yours today.