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Your Questions Answered!
- I received a puppy for Christmas, now what?- ANSWER: Without hesitation, the first thing to do is make an appointment with your veterinarian (if you do not have one, your first examination at our office is performed at no charge). He or she will make sure your new pet is healthy and answer any questions you may have. The intention is to get you started off right, from the beginning. They will discuss with you things like vaccinations, nutrition, parasites, surgery, and behavior. After almost 40 years of being a veterinarian, I can reasonably predict which owners will have a successful relationship with their pet and which will
- Can my pet be in the car with me in the winter?- ANSWER: Just as your vehicle can become a sweatbox in the summer, it can also become a freezer in winter, so it is recommended that you not leave your pet unattended in a vehicle in the winter or summer. The cold temperatures can cause hypothermia, and your pet could literally freeze to death. Also, regarding your vehicle, it is a good idea to honk your horn before starting your car in the winter, as cats will crawl up onto warm engines and if you don’t believe me, stop in my office and say Hi to our clinic cat that has
- Is it OK to walk my dog outside in the winter?- ANSWER: Walks outside may need to be shorter and make sure you rub and clean your pet off when you return, as they may pick-up chemicals from the ground that has been applied for deicing. You may also want to trim long hair between toes, as they will cake-up with snow. Arthritic and older pets may have increased difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling. Long-haired or thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant but are still at risk in cold weather. Short-haired pets feel the cold faster, and short-legged pets may
- Is it OK to leave my dog outside in the winter?- ANSWER: Everyone is aware of hot weather problems for pets, but cold temperatures pose a significant risk also. There is much debate about what temperatures are the limits for our pets. Examples of Alaskan sled dogs are used, but these are individual cases of trained dogs and do not apply to my household couch dog. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that all pets be kept indoors in all temperatures below freezing (32F) I firmly believe pets should stay indoors in the winter. But we know that not all pets will be afforded this luxury, so if you know
- Are dogs paws safe in the snow?- Winter can be a difficult time for a dog and his paws. One of the biggest problems to healthy paw pads is the salt used to melt ice on driveways, roads, and sidewalks. Contact to salt can lead to chemical burns on dog paws. Always try to keep your dog off the salty sidewalks and roads whenever possible. Another threat from deicers is ingestion the deicer itself. Dogs may lick their paws or your boots and ingest deicing salts too. Another cause of sore paws during the cold months are the ice balls which form between the pads and toes.
- My pet lost a tooth the other day, do I need to do anything?- Answer: Yes – see your local veterinarian as soon as possible to examine the missing tooth pocket and other teeth. Missing teeth with exposed tissue can be very painful and could cause infection.
- Should I be brushing my pet’s teeth?- Answer: Have you ever had a toothache? Is it painful? Moreover, I bet you brush your teeth, don’t you? However, if you never brushed your teeth besides lousy breath and rotten teeth your health would also be severely affected. Why would you allow that for your pet? Oral and tooth difficulties are one of the most significant problems pets have because the infections that develop in the mouth affect every other system in the body. Often a problem in one area is secondary to a primary oral problem. Without question, daily brushing your dog or cats’ teeth is the best
- My kids like to give our kitten a little milk.- She loves it and quickly laps it up, but I’ve heard milk isn’t suitable for cats. Is that true? A: After a cat has weaned at 4-8 weeks they no longer need milk. Your cat may love milk but your carpet will not. Cow’s milk can cause diarrhea in cats. Cow’s milk has a different nutritional makeup than cat’s milk, one that’s hard for felines of any age to digest. I’d skip the serving of milk and if the kids keep feeding the cat milk assign them to carpet cleaning duty! If you have any questions, please give us a
- This winter my dog’s nose turned from black to a little pink, should I be worried?- A: There are several reasons a dog’s nose may turn a little pink. De-pigmentation or loss of pigment is usually harmless. It typically occurs in the winter and is called “snow nose”. We are not exactly sure, but experts believe it is due to the breakdown of tyrosinase – a temperature-sensitive enzyme responsible for producing melanin. Melanin is what is responsible for our skin, hair, and eye color. Some breeds are more prone to snow nose than others such as Bernese Mountain Dog, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Husky, and Shepherd. Other things such as old age, allergies, injuries, and infection
- When is it too cold for my pet to be outside?- A: This is a good question especially after the recent cold spell we had in January. The answer depends on many variables. But anytime the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit the issue becomes more pressing. The overall health of the pet, the pet’s coat type and of course the temperature are all variables to consider when taking your pet outside in cold temperatures. To me, if I am cold with my coat on, my pet is probably cold too. If you have an outdoor pet, provide shelter, unfrozen food and water and by all means bring them inside when