All posts by Heather E

Cats With Curls

Have you ever seen a curly-haired cat? While most of our feline pals have straight fur, there are some curly kitties out there. A local vet discusses cats with curls below.

Selkirk Rex

Did you happen to notice the buzz last year when a special kitty—an orange cat with curls—caught the internet’s heart? This furball’s story dates back to 1987, when a kitty named Miss DePesto, was born in a Montana shelter. Though her siblings had straight fur, Miss DePesto had curls. Later, she was bred to a black Persian. Their kittens, who also had curls, became the original Selkirk Rex. In 1992, The International Cat Association accepted the Selkirk Rex as a breed. Six years later, the American Cat Fanciers Association added it as well. Today, the Selkirk Rex is known for being gentle, loving, and cuddly.

LaPerm

The LaPerm also traces back to the 1980s, which is rather fitting given that perms were all the rage at the time. The first LaPerm kitten was actually born hairless. However, over the next few months, her curls came in. The owner, realizing that her feline pal was quite rare, began breeding the kitten’s offspring. Today, their descendants look rather like teddy bears. These sweet, lovable kitties are often referred to as the poodle of cats. Even their whiskers are curly!

Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex is a British kitty, originating in Cornwall in the 1950s. These cute furballs have cream-colored coats, and actually look like lambs. Cornish Rex cats have quite tight curls, big ears, and slender bodies. Their coats are very soft, which is a good thing, because these friendly, sociable kitties absolutely love to cuddle. They have fun, affectionate personalities, and even like to play Fetch!

Devon Rex

Last but not least, we have another British feline, the Devon Rex, from Devonshire, England. The breed is traced back to a stray who gave birth to a curly kitten in the 1950s. Today’s Devon Rex kitties are all descended from that cat, whose name, ironically, was Kirlee. Playful and curious, the breed is known for being super cuddly, and forming extremely close bonds with their humans. They often like to follow and supervise their owners 24/7, and absolutely hate being ignored.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Call us, your local vet clinic, today! We are always happy to help!

All About Antibiotics for Pets

Human patients commonly use antibiotics to treat bacterial infections. Did you know that antibiotics are also very commonly prescribed to pets? They’re essential for helping pets with infections make full recoveries! Here’s everything you need to know about antibiotics for pets:

What Do Antibiotics Treat?

Antibiotics kill bacteria—not viruses—in or on the body. Antibiotics will never be prescribed to fight viral infections directly, although antibiotics could be used to treat a pet suffering from a virus if that pet has developed secondary bacterial infections.

How Do Antibiotics Work, Exactly?

There are multiple types of antibiotics, and they work in different ways. Some antibiotics weaken the cell wall of the bacteria until it bursts. Others stop the bacteria from multiplying, and still others interfere with bacteria cells’ capacity to repair themselves.

How Are Antibiotics Administered?

Antibiotics can take several forms. Some are administered orally in pill form to treat internal infections, while others are applied topically. These are usually in cream or ointment form, and are used to treat external infections on the outside of the body.

It’s essential to follow the label instructions properly when administering an antibiotic to your pet. Keep in mind that some antibiotics must be given on an empty stomach to prevent the medication from binding with ingredients in your pet’s food. Other antibiotics, though, must be given with meals to improve the rate of absorption. If you’re unsure whether or not your pet’s medicine should be given with food, call your veterinarian right away. Also, make sure to ask before you split or crush a pill—this could render medicine ineffective, and it could cause serious side effects in some cases.

Always finish the full regimen of antibiotics that has been prescribed to your pet, even if your companion seems to look or feel completely better before all of the pills are gone. Stopping medication before the infection is gone, or lapsing during treatment, can lead to dangerous bacterial resistance. This means that the bacteria harming your pet develops a resistance to the antibiotic, rendering the medication useless!

Is There Any Possibility of Side Effects?

It’s possible for some pets to have adverse reactions to antibiotics, such as vomiting or diarrhea. Let your vet know right away if your pet seems to be reacting poorly to their medication!

Would you like to know more about antibiotics for pets? Call your vet’s office today.

Teaching Your Puppy His Name

If you’ve recently adopted a puppy or plan on getting one soon, one of the first orders of business will be teaching young Fido his name. It’s the foundation of your relationship and the starting point for all other training. Use the following tips to successfully teach your puppy his name:

Choosing a Name

First, set yourself up for success by choosing a great name for your pup. Try to pick a name with two or more syllables, rather than a single-syllable name; it’s easier for your puppy to distinguish and understand, and it won’t sound like any single-syllable commands such as “sit,” “stay,” or “down.”

Another naming tip: don’t use nicknames (“Bud” instead of “Buddy”, for example) when training your puppy, as this could confuse him. Consistency is key!

Training

Begin by simply saying your puppy’s name. Speak clearly and firmly, but use a pleasant tone of voice throughout the whole process. When your puppy looks at you, reward him with a treat. Allow your puppy to look away, then repeat the above process. Offer a treat as soon as he looks—this is reinforcing the notion that looking at you upon hearing his name results in a reward.

Repeat this process a few times, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want your puppy to lose interest and make things harder on yourself. Try breaking up name-training into a few short sessions per day, and try training in different rooms of the home so that your puppy doesn’t start to associate his name with one particular area. It won’t be long before your puppy has learned his name successfully!

Avoiding Negative Reinforcement

Many puppy owners make the mistake of accidentally providing negative reinforcement. This might occur, for example, when your puppy has an accident in your home. Your instinct is probably to yell “Fido, no!” or “Bad dog, Fido!” but this could backfire. It’s associating your puppy’s name with a negative scenario, which could lead to behavior and training problems in the future. When your puppy misbehaves, leave his name out of your reprimand. Simply say “No!” in a firm, authoritative voice without adding your pup’s name.

Do you need help with your puppy’s training or behavior? Does your pet need his initial veterinary examination or vaccinations? We’re here to help with all of your puppy’s care needs. Set up an appointment here at the clinic today.

5 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Has your dog or cat been fixed yet? If not, we strongly recommend that you see to this right away. Although spay/neuter surgery should ideally be performed before your pet reaches sexual maturity, it can safely be done on adult pets as well. Making sure your furry pal has been spayed or neutered is very important! Read on as a local veterinarian lists some reasons to get your four-legged buddy fixed.

Better Behavior

Good petiquette is one of the biggest benefits to spaying or neutering your furry friend. Dogs and cats that have been fixed are typically much calmer—and therefore better behaved—than those who are intact. They’re also less likely to engage in unwanted behaviors, such as mounting and marking their territory by spraying.

Safety

Safety is another concern with intact pets. They often try to escape so they can go looking for love. This puts Fido and Fluffy at greater risk of being lost or seriously injured!

Support Animal Welfare

Pet overpopulation is a huge problem, and one of the main reasons that there are so many homeless pets out there. A single pair of cats can have 11,606,077 descendants in just nine years! We know, kittens and puppies are adorable, but there are already far too many wonderful dogs and cats in need of loving homes. Also, even if you do find great homes for your four-legged friend’s babies, there’s really no way to guarantee that their own offspring will fare so well. Making sure your pet doesn’t contribute to pet overpopulation is a great way to support good animal welfare!

Health Benefits

Did you know that spaying and neutering can prevent certain health issues? Getting your female dog or cat spayed will reduce the risk of her developing uterine infections and breast tumors, which are often malignant. Neutering male pets protects them from certain prostate problems and testicular cancer. Ask your vet for more information.

Spare Yourself The Sound Of Kitty Caterwauling

Have you ever heard the “love songs” of an amorous kitty looking for a mate? If so, you probably will agree that being spared Fluffy’s singing is reason enough to get your furball fixed!

Are you ready to make an appointment for your pet? Contact us, your vet clinic, anytime. We offer excellent veterinary care.

5 Easy Ways to Keep Kitty Cool

Summer is just around the corner! As the weather warms up, you may find your kitty spending more time sprawled out on the floor as opposed to curling up in warm blankets. Summer can be hard on our feline friends. After all, Fluffy is wearing a fur coat! Overheating can be very dangerous for cats. Unlike dogs, they don’t have any easy ways to cool themselves off if they get too hot. In this article, a Georgetown, IN vet offers tips on keeping your cat cool this summer.

Give Kitty Access To The Whole House

Cats are very, very good at making themselves comfortable. If you let Fluffy roam freely throughout the house, she will naturally gravitate towards the coolest areas. Don’t be surprised if you find your feline pal sprawled out on the bathroom floor. The tiles often stay cool, even on hot days. Just be careful not to accidentally lock your furball into an attic or shed!

Brushing

Brushing your furry pal regularly will remove dead fur and dander from her coat. This will help keep Fluffy looking and feeling good. It will also increase the insulating qualities of her fur, which will help keep her cool.

Hammock Beds

Did you know that hammocks are cooler than regular beds? This is because they allow air to pass beneath them. It’s quite easy to make your kitty a comfy pet hammock. Get an end table or coffee table with four legs, and a piece of material. Cut the fabric so that it’s just a little smaller than the tabletop. Then, attach the corners to the legs with twine or Velcro, and just tell Fluffy not to use it. She’ll hop right in!

Water

Proper hydration is very important! Make sure your cat always has plenty of fresh water. You can drop an ice cube into the bowl on hot days. Fluffy may also appreciate a kitty fountain.

Climate Control

We recommend that cats live indoors, as they are both healthier and safer staying inside. Keep your feline buddy cool and comfy in rooms that have air conditioning and/or fans. Even if you do let your kitty go outside, keep her indoors during the hottest part of the day.

Please reach out to us, your Georgetown, IN pet clinic, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help!

Caring for a Deaf Dog

Did you know that May 3rd is Specially-Abled Pets Day? Just like people, some of our animal companions have medical issues. However, our furry friends are very resilient, and can often cope with things like vision or hearing impairments, and even missing limbs, just fine. Deafness is one issue that isn’t uncommon in dogs. Some of our canine companions are born deaf, while others lose their hearing from injuries, infections, or even old age. However, Fido can do just fine, even if he can’t hear well, or at all. In this article, a Georgetown, IN vet offers some advice on caring for a deaf dog.

Ring The Bell

Put a bell on your pet’s collar. Fido won’t hear you if you call him, so this will help you know where your pup is in the house.

Stomp It Out

Avoid sneaking up on your pooch from behind, especially when he’s sleeping. No one likes to be startled awake! This can be both annoying and a little scary for dogs with hearing issues. Fido will be quite sensitive to vibrations in the floor. Stomp your foot before approaching him, and make sure he knows you are there. (Tip: if you want to wake your dog up, put some food beneath his nose.)

Hand Signals

Did you know that dogs can learn to respond to hand signals just as easily as voice commands? Teach Fido the doggy sign language versions of basic commands like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. Go through these commands regularly, so your canine pal doesn’t forget them.

Flashlight Code

Another thing that can help is to teach Fido to come to you when you wave a flashlight. This can be very helpful when calling your furry buddy in after dark!

Let People Know

If you have guests coming over, make sure they know that your pooch is deaf. You may also want to consider putting an extra tag on Fido’s collar that lets people know about your furry friend’s hearing problems.

Security

Never let Fido run around off-leash, except of course in a fenced yard. Your canine buddy won’t hear cars or people approaching. Needless to say, this can be very dangerous!

Do you have questions about caring for a deaf dog? Please contact us, your local Georgetown, IN pet hospital, any time. We are dedicated to providing excellent veterinary care!