Latest Posts

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

What Cat Litter is Best for my Cat?

March 7, 2017 | Filed under: Uncategorized — Trumann Staff @ 2:59 pm

Pet Talk

By Dr. Norette L. Underwood


What Cat Litter is Best for my Cat?


Did you know that inventor Edward Lowe first invented cat litter in 1947.

Regular clay cat litter has litter-ally been reinvented over the last 10 years.  There are litter products that still contain clay, but may have other minerals alone or in combination.  You can find litter made out of wheat, corn husks, coconut husks, cassava plants, newspaper, silica gel, wood chips, peanut shells, and orange peels and the list goes on and on.


With all these choices where does a cat owner begin to select a litter that is pleasing and usable for their finicky feline.  From the cat’s perspective they do not like dust or fragrance.  Most cats like a litter that is the consistency of sand or dirt, so a clumping litter is ideal.  Other cats like a litter that is bigger like small wood chips or pieces of clay.


The best way to find a litter that your cat likes is to give them a variety of pans and litter to choose from. Most cats like an open pan, especially in a multi-cat household.  That is so they can see all the way around them to make sure other cats are not stalking them.  The rule of thumb is one box per cat in varying locations.  Make sure that the box is in a quiet secluded part of your home.


There is a huge selection of litter pans available.  Automatic litter pans are great because they are always clean and you don’t have to scoop daily.  Sometimes the noise from the motor can scare your feline.  Covered litter pans give privacy but also trap odors and allow stalking.  Make sure the litter pan fits your cat.  A big cat needs higher sides.  An arthritic cat may need a low pan because to hard for them to get in or out easily.


Eco-friendly litters that are biodegradable compostable, flushable and don’t clog up landfills are the biggest trend.  There are natural litters that are almost dust free and do not contain chemical odor-masking ingredients.  These litters are believed to help prevent aggravation of feline asthma and other respiratory issues in both cats and humans.


When selecting a litter odor control is the main priority of humans.  Personally I look for dust control and how easy is the litter to tract through out the house.  Many of the new clay-based litters have non-toxic unscented odor-absorbing ingredients that are being patented.   New litter additives and litter box filters help prevent odors.


Lightweight cat litters are also more popular because they are not as heavy and cumbersome to use.  Many containers now have a spout making litter box cleaning a breeze.  This lighter litter also allows more tracking of litter in the house.


One of the most exciting litter inventions is diagnostic litter.  It can alert owners to potential health issues such as bladder infection, kidney disease and diabetes.

Therefore a problem may be noted and the cat receives veterinary care for the problem before serious complications arise.


If you have questions about picking a litter and box for your cat contact Dr. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile service at