All posts by Heather M

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.

Microchips for Pets

Today, the best form of pet identification out there is the microchip. If you haven’t heard of these, learn more here as your Floyds Knob, IN veterinary professional fills you in.

What’s a Microchip, Anyway?

A microchip is a very small computer chip that stores a number electronically. The number corresponds to the chip manufacturer’s database, in which your pet’s contact information is held.

The microchip itself is housed inside a small glass capsule which is inserted under your pet’s skin. If a pet is lost or runs away and is subsequently returned to an animal shelter or vet’s office, special scanners there can read the number on the chip. In this fashion, the lost pet can be returned to their rightful owner promptly.

What Are the Benefits of Microchips?

Microchips cannot be removed by a pet, the way ID tags on a collar could be chewed off or get snagged and ripped off. You never have to worry about your pet being identified in the event of an accident! In addition, microchips are easy to update. Rather than having new ID tags made every time you get a new phone number or have a change of address, you can simply contact the microchip manufacture to have them update their database. Your pet’s contact information can be updated electronically, without the need to ever see your pet.

Can I Track My Pet’s Movements?

No. It’s important to realize that microchips are not GPS devices, and a pet’s movements cannot be tracked in real time. While there certainly are devices out there that can do this, GPS technology is not included in personal identification microchips at this time.

What’s the Procedure Like?

A microchip capsule is implanted under the skin using a specialized needle. The capsule has tiny barbs on the outside that help it lodge into a pet’s skin; after administration, scar tissue forms around the capsule and keeps it in place. The administration itself won’t hurt your pet in the least. It’s just like a regular vaccination, and your pet will only feel a momentary pinch. In most cases, the chip is administered between the shoulder blades, just behind the neck.

How Do I Get My Pet a Microchip?

Your Floyds Knob, IN animal hospital performs the microchipping procedure in-house. If you would like to get your animal companion a microchip, set up an appointment at the office today!

Your Dog and Allergies

Does your canine pal seem to itch a lot? If so, your pooch could very well have allergies. Allergies are actually fairly common in our furry friends, and can make poor Fido quite uncomfortable. In this article, a Georgetown, IN veterinarian discusses allergies in dogs.

Common Allergies

Fido can have allergic reactions to many of the same substances that people can. Dust, pollen, dander, and mold are some common allergens. Your pooch could also react to cigarette smoke or perfume. Some dogs are allergic to ingredients in shampoos, household chemicals, or flea control products. Your canine pal could also be allergic to certain foods, such as corn or wheat. Fleas and fleabites can also trigger allergic reactions in our furry friends.

Symptoms of Allergies

Skin problems are one of the most common symptoms of allergies in dogs. Fido’s skin may look red or moist, and you may see scabs or crusty patches. He may scratch, lick, or chew himself. Red, runny eyes are another common symptom. Our canine pals sometimes sneeze or snore a lot if they have allergies. Itchy ears and recurring ear infections can also be symptomatic of allergies in our four-legged pals. More severe reactions include vomiting and diarrhea.

Anaphylaxis

In extreme cases, Fido may have a severe reaction. This is known as anaphylaxis. Although rare, this condition can be very serious, even life-threatening. If it isn’t treated quickly, your dog could suffer respiratory and/or cardiac failure, coma, and even death. The symptoms often come on very quickly, and include vomiting, diarrhea, shock, seizures, pale gums, and facial swelling. If you suspect your dog may be having an anaphylactic reaction, contact your vet right away for emergency care.

Treatment

There are several different options available for treating allergies in dogs. Before you and your vet can determine the best course of action, you’ll need to know exactly what is causing Fido’s allergic reactions. Your vet may order skin or blood tests to help identify the triggers. For food allergies, your canine pal may need to go on a special diet to pinpoint the culprit. Once your vet has identified what Fido is reacting to, he or she will be able to advise you on specific treatment options.

Do you know or suspect that your pup has allergies? Please contact us, your Georgetown, IN vet clinic, any time. We are always here to help!

Rounding Up a Good Dog Trainer

Your Labrador retriever Lance thinks you need more exercise. Since he’s a considerate pooch, this rambunctious three-year-old dog gives you several daily workouts. During each neighborhood walk, he happily yanks you down the street, your arms and legs screaming from the exertion. Clearly, Lance needs some discipline and direction. Your Floyds Knob, IN veterinary clinic has recommended a well-known dog trainer. Before you enroll your companion for an obedience class, though, observe the instructor’s on-the-job performance.

Secure, Well-Maintained Facility

Lance is a born rebel, always finding ways to circumvent the rules. He’ll try to break out of the training center, so you’re glad to see the heavy exterior doors. You’re even happier to see a sign requiring proof of current vaccinations before students can enter.

Expect a clutter-free training room with a squeaky-clean floor. The trainer should provide plenty of paper towels and disinfectant for the dogs’ potty accidents. Pet parents also want nicely equipped facilities. Each bathroom should contain toilet tissue, towels, soap, and cleaning supplies.

Canine/Human Partnership

You (or another familiar family member) will be attending class with Lance. If your canine housemate frequently hears commands from one person, the training is more likely to be successful.

Ideally, the class will have six or fewer students. The trainer wants to provide each student with personal attention, and she’ll find that difficult if she’s overrun with dogs.

Respectful, Positive Attitude

Competent dog trainers use respectful training aids such as harnesses, head halters, and flat collars. You’ll probably see treats and toys used as incentives or rewards. Avoid an instructor who breaks out uncomfortable, negative training devices. If you see prong, choke, or electronic collars, steer clear of that facility.

Punishment’s Off Limits

An experienced, confident instructor always uses a normal tone of voice. Don’t tolerate a trainer who yells or yanks the students’ leashes so they’ll listen. If she hits, kicks, or otherwise abuses a trusting pooch, walk out immediately.

Afterward, learn about the trainer’s qualifications. If she belongs to a dog training organization, she’s likely serious about maintaining (and improving) her professional skills. If you’re pleased with what you’ve observed, sign Lance up for the next class.

When your companion next visits your Floyds Knob, IN veterinary clinic, the vet will be pleased with his obedience skills. If your dog needs some discipline, contact us for an appointment.

Does Your Cat Control You?

If you have a cat, you have probably noticed that our feline friends have a way of getting us to pamper them. In fact, your cat may very well have you wrapped around that cute little paw of hers. As we all know, it’s hard to resist those adorable furry faces! In this article, a local Floyds Knob, IN, vet lists a few signs that your cat just might be controlling you.

Lap Nap

There are few things more relaxing than settling down on your couch or armchair with a good book or movie and a purring cat. At least, until you need to get up, but hesitate because Fluffy looks so cute and comfortable. Sound familiar?

Bed Allocation

Have you ever found yourself relegated to the edge of the bed, while your kitty sprawls out in the middle? If so, your furry pal may be in control!

The Meow

Did you know that kitties may have started meowing specifically to manipulate us? Once past kittenhood, cats don’t meow at other kitties: they communicate among themselves using body language. Fluffy has, however, perfected the exact sound that will pull at our heartstrings. This often results in our furry friends getting a special treat or some cuddle time. Does your furball get snacks, playtime, or attention whenever she asks?

The Dinner Complaint

Kitties are known for being a bit finicky when it comes to dinner. If your furball begs for food, then turns that cute little nose up at your offerings, she might be a bit picky. Have you ever returned your cat’s supper, and replaced it with something more to her liking? If so, Fluffy might be pulling your strings! It is important to note that a loss of appetite can indicate sickness in kitties, so contact your vet if your cat isn’t eating.

Furry Alarm Clock

Our feline friends take breakfast very seriously. Every morning, countless numbers of cat owners are awakened to the gentle smack of kitty paws as their hungry furballs demand breakfast. Do you crawl out of bed just to feed your cat?

If any of these things sound familiar, take heart. Cats can only control people who love them, and whom they love in return!

Does your kitty need shots or an examination? Contact us, your local Floyds Knob, IN, veterinary clinic, any time. We are always happy to help!

Why Your Cat is Showing Aggression

Your tabby cat Morty has a superiority complex. This five-year-old feline housemate has always been convinced he’s running the house, regularly monitoring your family’s activities and loudly objecting when he doesn’t approve. Lately, though, your bossy companion has escalated his obnoxious behavior. He delights in lurking behind the furniture, leaping out to rake his unfortunate victims’ ankles. He also harasses your two adopted cats, driving them under the furniture to escape his wrath. You wonder what’s behind Morty’s antics, and you want them to stop. Tomorrow, he’ll visit your Georgetown, IN pet clinic for a physical exam and expert behavioral counseling.

Undisciplined Childhood

As a young kitten, Morty desperately needed mother cat discipline and moral guidance. However, he could have been unexpectedly orphaned; or maybe his mother simply abandoned him. If he was breeder raised, he was likely weaned too soon. Lacking that strong maternal support, he grew up without developing a sense of right and wrong.

Now, he sees nothing wrong with attacking his human and feline housemates. Give him more desirable targets, such as a challenging toy or a laser wand he’ll never really catch. Ask your vet if treat puzzles are allowed. Don’t punish your feline miscreant, as you’ll likely escalate his anger.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Your frustrated indoor cat is regularly tormented by neighborhood cats who parade through “his” yard daily. He arches his back, growls, and hisses from his window perch; however, the invaders completely ignore him. Now really angry, he turns his rage on any living creature unlucky enough to encounter him.

Break that negative cycle by closing off that room. If that’s not feasible, draw the drapes so your frustrated feline companion can’t view the marauding cats. Keep him isolated until he calms down.

Feline Pecking Order Squabble

Morty might be convinced that his feline housemates are planning their own vicious attack. By bullying them daily, they’ll be afraid to carry out their plot. Defuse this simmering conflict by keeping each combatant in a separate room with food, water, and a litter box. Visit your agitator frequently so he feels included in your family. Ask the vet how to bring the hostile parties together.

After your Georgetown, IN pet clinic resolves Morty’s aggressive behavior, you can stop dreading the next ambush. To banish your cat’s undesirable antics, contact us for expert assistance.

Why Your Cat Finds His Food Distasteful

Your orange tabby Rudy has quite a hearty appetite. This five-year-old feline housemate has always eagerly scarfed down his vet-approved food. Sometimes, he twirls around your legs at feeding time, hoping you’ll serve his meal a few minutes early. Recently, though, your healthy-eating cat considers his bowl the enemy. He briefly picks at his kibbles before crunching a few bites and padding away. You wonder why he’s avoiding his food, and you’re concerned that he’s lacking nutrition. Tomorrow, your Georgetown, IN vet will give Rudy a physical exam and a good serving of nutritional counseling.

Unfavorable Dining Environment

Although Rudy’s not impressed by fancy restaurants, he appreciates peace and quiet while he enjoys his meals. However, you’ve plopped his feeding station in your super-busy kitchen, where family and friends often congregate. Your distracted feline housemate can’t focus on his food. Since your cat has scheduled mealtimes, maybe his human companions can alter their dining arrangements.

Poor-Quality Menu

Since your persnickety cat has consumed the same familiar kibbles for years, he might be completely sick of that food. Or, if your home’s air contains considerable humidity, he can’t stand the taste and texture of those cardboard-like contents.

Perhaps your feline chowhound prefers wet food. By keeping the cans in the refrigerator, they don’t stink as much after they’re opened. However, your quality-minded cat won’t consume that chilly, repulsive mush. Make the food more appealing by heating it slightly. However, don’t burn your cat’s delicate mouth.

More Negative Influences

Rudy’s meticulous hygiene extends to his meals. He won’t accept his food in an unwashed bowl, as a healthy bacteria colony might have settled there. Those nasty little organisms could upset his sensitive digestive tract.

Maybe your unfortunate feline has contracted a dental condition, making it painful to eat. After your vet diagnoses and treats his problem, he should happily return to his bowl.

Innovative Idea

Turn the tables on your finicky-eating cat. Purchase a top-quality feline blend; however, honor his desire for dry or wet meals. Avoid human leftovers, as they’ll likely irritate his digestive system. When he becomes really hungry, he’ll probably chow down on the high-end food.

If Rudy doesn’t eat for an entire day, ask your Georgetown, IN vet to investigate a medical problem or food allergy. To resolve your feline companion’s picky-eating antics, contact us for expert advice.

Keep Your Dog Healthy During Her Golden Years

Your ten-year-old golden retriever Sophie savors her golden years. She has a super-comfy custom bed, and she receives her food before your younger dog. Although Sophie is pampered silly, she’s also an energetic girl who enjoys her daily neighborhood walks. You’d like your canine housemate to stay healthy, so your Floyds Knob, IN veterinarian gives her regular physical checkups. She also benefits from a tailored health program.

Nutritious Senior Diet

Sophie has always been a canine gourmand, savoring her vet-recommended meals and snacks. Her top-notch diet provided her body with quality protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Although she still needs these nutrients, the proportions have likely changed. Since she has slowed down, she should reduce her daily calorie intake.

Before prescribing your dog’s diet, the vet pinpointed her daily nutritional needs and exercise habits. If Sophie had packed on weight, she might select a tailored weight-loss formulation. If she was affected by a chronic medical condition, she could choose a food that supported her treatment plan.

Consistent Canine Vaccinations

Although your companion is an older girl, she still needs vaccinations that protect her against dangerous and infectious canine diseases. After considering her age, health situation, and lifestyle, the vet will administer the proper vaccines.

Beneficial Dental Care

Sophie knows she’s a photogenic pooch, and her gleaming white teeth have enhanced her good looks. Of course, she has always received professional dental care. During each physical checkup, the vet examines her teeth and gums, handling emerging problems. With regular dental cleanings, and consistent home brushing sessions, her choppers literally shine.

Enjoyable Light Exercise

Sophie treasures her twice-daily neighborhood jaunts. Besides visiting with her canine friends, she angles for head scratches from her human fans. This beneficial exercise helps her to avoid obesity. Ask the vet to recommend other body-friendly workouts, such as slow-paced fetch games or delightful warm-water swims.

If your dog seems to feel pain when she stands or walks normally, or scales the steps, tell the vet. She can prescribe helpful medications and/or therapies.

During each physical exam, your Floyds Knob, IN veterinarian tweaks Sophie’s health plan and addresses emerging medical issues. If you’ve noticed changes in her food and water intake, or her urinary and/or defecation habits, inform the vet. To provide your senior companion with a tailored health program, contact us for an appointment.