Tag Archives: veterinarians Georgetown IN

Guinea Pig Care Tips

March is Adopt A Rescued Guinea Pig Month? Guinea pigs—also known as cavies—may be small, but they are full of personality, and make very adorable pets. Here, a Floyds Knob, IN vet offers some tips on caring for Guinea pigs.

Basics

Guinea pigs are quite sociable, and are much happier with a friend to play with and cuddle up to. These little furballs usually live 4-8 years, with proper care. They are often chosen as kids’ pets because they are fairly inexpensive, easy to care for, and have a sweet demeanor.

Diet

You’ll need to offer your Guinea pig fresh grass hay, such as Timothy hay. Commercial cavy food is fine for your cavy’s breakfast and supper. To round out your tiny buddy’s menu, offer the little guy safe, suitable produce. Include lots of food that include Vitamin C, which is essential to your pet’s health. Plenty of fresh water is also a must.

Cage

A good, comfy cage is very important. We recommend at least 7.5 square feet for one cavy. If you get more than one Guinea pig, you’ll need a bigger cage than that. Add a suitable substrate, such as aspen or fleece. (Tip: don’t use pine or cedar, which are toxic to cavies.) Your pet will also need some hiding holes, like a box or a cozy, which is basically a tiny tent for small animals, dishes, and a water bottle.

Toys

Cavies are very playful, so offer your pet lots of fun playthings. To keep your pet’s teeth healthy, you’ll want to give the little one plenty of chew toys. Many wood, wicker, and cardboard items can make great toys! Look online for easy DIY options. Just be careful not to give your furball anything with dangling threads, sharp edges, or small parts, or anything coated in varnish, paint, or dye.

Veterinary Care

Watch for signs of illness, such as lethargy, matted fur, strange postures or behavior, and lack of appetite. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss.

Fun!

Guinea pigs are very fun pets! Handle your furry friend gently and regularly to keep him friendly and sociable. You may even be able to teach him some adorable tricks, like jumping through a hoop.

As your Floyds Knob, IN pet clinic, we’re happy to provide veterinary care for Guinea pigs. Please feel free to contact us anytime!

Vaccines for Your Puppy

August is Immunization Awareness Month. If you’ve recently adopted a puppy or plan on adding one to your home soon, vaccines will be an essential step toward a lifetime of great health! Below, your Georgetown, IN veterinarian goes over the basics that you need to know.

What Vaccinations Do Puppies Need?

All puppies will need what are known as the core vaccines; these are given to all pups because of the dangerous and/or contagious types of diseases they protect against. Distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, hepatitis, and rabies are some of the most common. Ask your veterinarian for further specifics on these diseases and how exactly vaccinations help to protect your dog.

Are There Non-Core Vaccinations?

Yes, non-core vaccinations are also administered to most puppies. As the name implies, they’re not essential for all dogs but may benefit some; it depends on factors like risk of exposure, environmental elements, and others. The Bordetella vaccine and the Lyme disease vaccination are just two examples. For information on the non-core vaccinations that your puppy might benefit from, call your vet’s office today.

Puppies can usually begin receiving vaccinations as early as eight weeks of age. Talk to your veterinarian if your pup hasn’t already received vaccines, or if you’re unsure about what particular vaccines your dog requires.

Is There Any Risk of Side Effects?

Vaccines are extremely safe and are a very effective way to ward off dangerous diseases. Since a vaccine is introducing a small strain of disease to your pup’s system, however, it can occasionally cause minor side effects. Usually, these include general soreness or a possible low-grade fever, and they’ll usually dissipate on their own in a day or two. If you think your puppy is reacting adversely to a vaccination, let your veterinarian know.

What About Booster Shots?

Most of your puppy’s vaccines will require booster shots to keep them effective over the course of your dog’s lifetime. These are most often given on a yearly basis, although some vaccines only require booster shots every few years. Talk to your veterinarian for further specifics, and ask about setting up a convenient booster-shot schedule.

How Do I Get My Puppy Started?

Does your puppy need core or non-core vaccinations? Do you have more questions about the vaccines your puppy needs for a happy, healthy life? We’re here to help! Set up an appointment right away at your Georgetown, IN animal hospital.

Preventative Healthcare Basics for Cats and Dogs

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Preventative care is more effective, far safer, and more cost-effective than treatment. Here, your Georgetown, IN veterinarian goes over the basics of preventative healthcare for your dog or cat.

Pest Control

Is your pet on medications to protect against ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and worms like heartworm and roundworm? This is an essential preventative care measure, because eradicating the infestations and infections these critters cause can be difficult. It’s much better for your pet to be protected against them initially; call your vet’s office if your pet needs these medications.

Vaccination

Have your pet vaccinated early on in life to prevent dangerous illnesses like parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, leukemia, parainfluenza, and rabies. It’s far easier—and less expensive—to avoid these diseases in the first place rather than treat them. If you’ve recently adopted a young pet, or if you have an older pet who needs vaccinated, contact your vet’s office promptly to get an appointment set up.

Quality Diet and Regular Exercise

We don’t often think of diet and exercise as preventative healthcare measures, but they are just that. Feeding your pet a high-quality food throughout their lifetime is one of the best ways to keep all body parts and functions healthy. Having them exercise on a regular basis is key for staving off obesity, keeping the body fit, and maintaining mental stimulation and good behavior. Talk to your vet for specific recommendations on your cat or dog’s dietary needs and exercise routine.

Spay or Neuter

Having your pet spayed or neutered early on in life is about more than preventing unwanted litters and helping to control the homeless pet population (although it works perfectly to those ends, too!). Pets who remain intact are far more likely to be diagnosed with genital cancers or other forms of cancer, like prostate and breast cancer. UTIs and other common ailments are also more likely in pets who haven’t been spayed or neutered. If your pet needs the procedure performed, call your vet’s office to schedule the surgery.

Veterinary Visits

Don’t forget: another key part of ongoing preventative healthcare and overall wellness is regular visits to the vet’s office. Your veterinarian can keep your pet’s overall health in tip-top shape when they see your animal friend regularly. Contact your Georgetown, IN animal clinic today—we’re here to serve all of your pet care needs!

Tips for Brushing Your Cat

Do you brush your cat regularly? If so, good for you! Even though our feline friends are quite clean, they can use a little help with their beauty regimens. A Floyds Knob, IN vet offers advice on grooming your kitty in this article.

Benefits of Brushing

Regularly brushing your cat will remove dead fur and dander from her coat. This is good for your kitty’s circulation, and will help keep her looking soft and shiny. Because you’re trapping that extra fur in your brush, you’ll find less cat fur on your clothes and furniture. Brushing Fluffy will also reduce the amount of hairballs she gets. Needless to say, that’s a benefit both you and your pet can enjoy!

How Often To Brush

Long-haired kitties may need daily grooming. For other kitties, twice-weekly brushings should suffice. Senior cats sometimes have trouble cleaning themselves, so Fluffy may need to be brushed more often as she ages.

Timing

Pick a time when your furball is feeling relaxed. (This shouldn’t be difficult, given how much time cats spend napping.) Brush your kitty gently, going in the direction of her fur. You’ll want Fluffy to feel as though she’s being pampered, so incorporate lots of cuddles and compliments.

Supplies

There are several different types of brushes and combs available for kitties. We recommend getting your furry little diva her own beauty kit. Include a detangling rake, as well as a comb and brush. Clean these items after each use, using hot water and cat shampoo.

Know When To Stop

Your kitty will let you know when she’s had enough. Don’t force her to submit to more brushing. You’ll only end up with an angry cat on your hands, and probably won’t find Fluffy very cooperative the next time you try to groom her. Just let your feline buddy go, and try again the next day.

Problem Signs

If you notice brown specks or, worse, moving fleas, in your cat’s fur, you’ll need to get some parasite control products from your vet. Keep an eye out for skin problems as well. If Fluffy’s skin looks red, scaly, or crusty, or if she is missing patches of fur, call your vet immediately.

Is your kitty overdue for veterinary care? Please reach out to us, your Floyds Knob, IN animal clinic, anytime! We are happy to serve all your pet’s veterinary care needs.

The Truth About Cats and Milk

For whatever reason, cats and milk seem to go together quite naturally. You’re probably already picturing a cat happily lapping up milk from a saucer! You may be surprised to learn that cats and milk don’t mix—learn more here from your Floyds Knob, IN vet.

Why Can’t Cats Have Milk?

The majority of adult cats are lactose-intolerant, just as some humans can be. This means that they don’t possess enough of the enzyme lactase in their digestive system to digest lactose, the main enzyme found in milk. In effect, the majority of cats simply can’t digest milk and other dairy products properly.

What Will Happen if a Cat Drinks Milk?

A cat who only drinks a small amount of milk or eats a tiny bit of other dairy probably won’t show any ill health effects. If they eat too much, however, you’re likely to have a mess on your hands. At the very least, an upset stomach will occur. Vomiting and diarrhea are more likely.

Don’t Kittens Drink Their Mother’s Milk?

You may be wondering about kittens, who drink their mother’s milk during the nursing period. It turns out that this is the only period in a cat’s life that milk is a nutritional necessity—young cats receive essential nutrients from their mother’s milk for proper growth. As cats grow older, though, they begin to produce less and less lactase, gradually becoming lactose-intolerant. By adulthood, milk and other dairy will most likely make your cat sick!

Is Any Dairy Acceptable?

Other forms of dairy, such as yogurt or cheese, contain less lactose than milk does. Small amounts of these foods may be safer to feed your feline friend than milk, but they’re not necessary. Your cat will much prefer a specially-formulated feline treat or her own cat food. If you must give your cat cheese, yogurt, or other dairy as a special treat, keep the portion size very small to be safe.

A better option is synthetic “cat milks,” which are available in pet supply shops, some vets’ offices, and certain retail outlets. These products taste just like milk, but they have the lactose removed so that they’re safe for consumption by cats. Ask your vet for a recommendation.

Do you have further questions about your cat’s diet? Would you like a recommendation on a high-quality cat food or treat brand? Contact your Floyds Knob, IN animal hospital today.

Five Signs That Your Cat is Sick

Cats can be fairly mysterious when it comes to how they’re feeling. Because of this, it’s difficult to tell when a cat is ill, as it’s their natural instinct to hide their discomfort or pain. Below, your Georgetown, IN veterinarian tells you about five key indicators of a cat who is feeling sick.

Behavioral Changes

Some of the first signs may include behavioral changes. If you’ve noticed your cat acting extra distant, hiding more than usual, or acting out aggressively when she’s usually friendly, something may be wrong. Excessive vocalization is another possible indicator of ill health. It’s best to get a veterinarian’s opinion if you notice changes like these.

Physical Changes

The way your cat looks physically can be a good indication of her internal health. A dry, dull coat, visible bald patches, an increase in shedding, or an obvious favoring of one limb over another are all signs that something is amiss. If you’ve noticed your cat looking a little different recently, let your vet know promptly.

Eating or Drinking Fluctuations

Have you noticed more cat food left in the bowl recently? Does your cat seem to be drinking water faster than ever before? Don’t chalk these changes up to random chance. Some disorders, like diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease, can cause a cat to eat or drink more. Others, such as dental issues or kidney disease, may make a cat consume less. Make your veterinarian aware if you notice fluctuations in your cat’s food and water consumption.

Waste Changes

If you notice differences while cleaning out kitty’s litter box, it may be worth a second opinion. Have your cat’s stools changed drastically in size, frequency, or color? This could be a sign of internal health issues, so place a call to your vet’s office for a professional’s help.

Bad Breath

It may not be the easiest thing in the world to get a whiff of your cat’s breath, but try to take a sniff every once in a while. Especially offensive breath could indicate a rotting tooth, gum disease, oral infections, and more, while fruity-smelling breath is a typical sign of diabetes.

Remember to keep regularly scheduled appointments at your vet’s office so that your veterinarian can keep track of your feline friend’s health. If your Georgetown, IN vet sees your cat consistently, he or she can catch minor problems before they develop into more serious issues.