All posts by Keri Ackerman

Beware of Summertime Pests

An important part of keeping your pet safe in the warmer months is pest prevention—summer is prime-time for infections and infestations caused by parasites and other unsightly critters! Is your pet ready to face the challenge? Read on to learn more about summertime pests and how to help your pet avoid the danger.

Fleas

Fleas are one of the most common pet pests this time of year. A flea infestation can be time-consuming and troublesome to eradicate, and fleas can quickly multiply and infest your family’s bedding, clothing, and furniture. That’s why prevention is the best method! Talk to your veterinarian for information about a good flea preventative that works for
your animal companion’s needs.

Ticks

Ticks can transmit serious diseases, such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more. Because ticks are difficult to detect, especially on pets with long or thick hair, you might not know your pet has been bitten until symptoms start to show up! Keep your animal friend on a high-quality tick preventative and check your companion whenever you return indoors, just to be safe.

Mosquitos

Mosquitos are problematic in the warmer months for both pets and humans. Not only can mosquitos give your pet serious diseases like the West Nile virus, they are the carriers of heartworm, something that affects thousands of pets every year. Keeping your pet on a heartworm preventative is the first step toward full protection; you can also limit mosquitos’ presence in your yard by removing any sources of standing water, where mosquitos like to breed.

Worms

Heartworm isn’t the only type of worm to be worried about in the summer months. Hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, and even tapeworms present a serious threat to your animal companion! Fortunately, a quality heartworm preventative will keep these pests at bay—if your pet is in need of a worm preventative, contact your vet’s office right away.

Botflies

The botfly is another warm-weather pet pest that can harm our four-legged friends, especially in late summer and even into early fall. Botflies lay eggs that eventually release maggots; your pet might contract the maggots when they brush up against grass or other plant life. From there, maggots can burrow under your pet’s skin and start causing problems. Luckily, heartworm medications and flea-and-tick preventatives usually prevent the problem entirely!

Is your pet in need of pest-control products for the summer? Contact us today!

Meet The AKC’s Newest Breed: The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

Have you heard of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen? The answer to that question may very well be no. This isn’t surprising: there are actually only about 400 in the US, and likely a similar number in Canada. These cute pups were recently added to the ranks of the AKC’s officially recognized breeds. Joining the Hound Group, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen—or GBGV for short—was recognized January 1, 2018, along with another adorable pooch, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje. There are now 192 recognized breeds … and we love them all! Read on as a local vet discusses the GBGV.

History

Originally bred in France to hunt rabbits and hares, the GBGV is known for having both speed and stamina. These scenthounds actually can be traced back to the 16th century, and are the ancestors of the Griffon Vendeen, which looks quite similar.

Temperament

These fluffy pooches are known for being smart, sociable, and laid back. They are great with kids, and tend to easily make friends with other pets. In fact, they get lonely without companions, and are generally happier with friendly, furry playmates than they are as only pets. Playful and lighthearted, the GBGV does need proper training from puppyhood, as otherwise they can get bossy.

Exercise

Active and courageous, the GBGV is definitely not a couch potato: they need quite a bit of exercise, even into their senior years. They tend to get very, very interested in following scents. A good leash and/or a fenced yard is a must with these guys: otherwise, they are apt to follow their noses right into mischief! This doesn’t mean that the GBGV won’t thrive in an apartment, however. They typically do just fine with proper exercise.

Appearance and Grooming

The GBGV isn’t a particularly large dog: they weigh about 40-45 pounds, on average. They have a rough but straight coat that looks tousled . . . almost like the doggy equivalent of ‘beach waves.’ They do need regular brushing, however, as otherwise they’ll get quite matted. These pretty pups are typically white with yellow, orange, black, brown, or grey accents. It’s worth noting that their claws grow very quickly, so they need regular pawdicures. Good ear care is also important. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have questions about caring for a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen? Call us, your pet hospital, anytime!

Clipping Your Dog’s Claws

Do your dog’s paws make a clicking noise when he walks? If so, Fido may need a peticure. While, as we all know, cats rather enjoy taking care of their nails, dogs need some help in this area. (Actually, Fluffy may be a bit too enthusiastic about her manicures, but that’s another topic.) Here, a Floyds Knob, IN vet discusses clipping your dog’s claws.

Dangers of Overgrown Claws

Keeping your dog’s nails clipped is very important! If Fido’s nails get too long, they’ll become quite uncomfortable for him, just as overgrown toenails are for people. Your pet may change his stride to lessen the discomfort, which will put additional stress on his bones and joints. Overgrown claws also make it more difficult for your pup to get good traction, especially on slippery surfaces.

Pawdicure Procedure

As you may know, if you cut Fido’s nails too close, you could cut the quick, which is where your pup’s nerves and blood vessels end. This can cause some bleeding, and is a bit painful. That said, while you do need to proceed with caution, giving your pup a pawdicure may be easier than you think. One good option is to get some clippers with sensors. These will indicate exactly where to cut. Regular clippers also work. If you’re using these, start by making thin cuts and checking the clippings. When you see a pale oval appear, stop cutting.

Precautions

We always advise our clients to err on the side of caution when it comes to pet care. Keep a styptic pen or styptic powder on hand when cutting Fido’s claws. If you do cut too close, this will stop any bleeding. You can also just call us to set up a quick nail trim!

Tips

Does Fido run and hide when he realizes it’s time for a pawdicure? Work on desensitizing your canine buddy, and getting him used to having his paws handled. Teach Fido that when he offers you his paw, he gets a yummy treat. Once your pooch has this figured out, start holding his paw for a moment. Handle his toes, and run the clippers over them. Then, give him a treat and let go. Your pup may soon decide he likes getting his nails done!

Do you need to schedule a nail trim for your dog? Contact us, your Floyds Knob, IN pet clinic, today!

Fluffy’s New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! As we move forward into 2018, many people are reflecting on their personal priorities, and setting new objectives for themselves. As it turns out, our feline pals may also have a few purrsonal goals for the coming year. Read on as a Georgetown, IN vet lists some of Fluffy’s goals for 2018.

Improve At Yoga

Cats certainly are flexible little furballs. Fluffy can twist herself into configurations that even the best yogi would be hard-pressed to match. Your furball may very well want to take her kitty yoga skills to the next level in the new year.

Catch The Red Dot

Does your feline friend like playing with laser pointers? Fluffy is definitely intrigued by that elusive red spot! Your cute pet may vow to finally catch that pesky red dot in the coming months.

Get More Sleep

Kitties are expert nappers. By the time Fluffy reaches her senior year, she will be able to sleep up to 20 hours a day! Your furry buddy may want to catch even more Z’s in 2018 than she did last year.

Improve Sprinting Time

Does your kitty sometimes unexpectedly dash from one spot to another at full speed? These unpredictable bursts of kitty energy are definitely adorable! Fluffy may try to improve her sprinting times in 2018.

Finish Training The Humans

Fluffy may be small, but she certainly has a way of wrapping her human buddies around her cute little paws. If your feline overlord doesn’t have you trained to feed or pet her on demand, your kitty may work on that this year.

Explore New Napping Spots

Cats like to move around from place to place for their naps. Fluffy may doze in her favorite sunbeam in the morning, and then move onto a bed or couch later in the afternoon. Your drowsy pet may vow to change things up a bit this year, and snooze in some less-traditional places … like on top of your shoes, or on a magazine you’re trying to read.

Improve Computer Skills

Although it hasn’t been proven, we suspect kitties learn from osmosis. Fluffy may spend even more time napping or walking across on your keyboard in 2018 than she did last year!

Please contact us, your Georgetown, IN pet hospital, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We look forward to serving you in 2018 and beyond!

Keeping Fluffy Out of the Tree

Are you putting up a tree this year? If so, you may find yourself trying to keep your kitty from destroying it! For Fluffy, trying to climb holiday trees is an important annual tradition! There are some things you can do to make sure that both your tree and your pet make it through the holidays unscathed. In this article, a Georgetown, IN discusses keeping Fluffy out of the tree.

Choose The Right Spot

Picking the right spot for your tree is very important, not just for the overall look of your home, but also because of kitty shenanigans. Don’t put the tree near anything Fluffy could jump off to reach it, like a desk or chair. That’s just making it easy for her!

Get An Artificial Trees

Synthetic trees are much harder for kitties to climb than real ones. Consider getting a fake tree this year.

Decorate Carefully

Avoid putting flashy and/or fragile ornaments on the bottom of the tree. Keep delicate decorations, tinsel, and lights on the top part of the tree, well out of paws’ reach. Put just a few sturdy, unbreakable ornaments on the lower branches.

Provide Kitty Entertainment

If you make the rest of your home fun and exciting for your cat, she may not find the tree quite as tempting. Offer Fluffy lots of fun toys to play with, and spend a few minutes a day playing with her. In fact, you can even give your feline pal some of her gifts a bit early. A fun session of Catch The Squeaky Toy will hopefully satisfy your pet’s urge to make mischief, and tire her out a bit.

Add Support

Choose a tree with a sturdy base, so it won’t wobble or topple over on your furball. You may also want to secure the top to your wall or ceiling with fishing line. This won’t show, but it will provide extra support.

Training

When you see your kitty looking at the tree with a gleam in her eye, stamp your foot, clap your hands, or bang two pots together. This won’t hurt Fluffy, but it will startle her a bit, and may make her reconsider the benefits of getting too near the tree.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at The Animal Hospital of Lanesville, your Georgetown, IN pet clinic. Please feel free to contact us anytime!

Winter Care for Dogs

Winter is approaching fast! As the weather changes, you may need to make a few adjustments to your dog’s care routine, in order to keep Fido happy and healthy. Winter can be very dangerous for our canine pals! Here, a Georgetown, IN vet discusses winter care for dogs.

Food

Some of our furry friends need to eat a little more in cold weather. If your canine companion is a working dog, puppy, nursing mama, or just spends a lot of time outdoors, he may need bigger portion sizes in winter. Follow your vet’s nutritional recommendations.

Clothing

Fido might need doggy clothes to help him stay warm on frigid days, especially if he has thin fur. When shopping for your pooch, always take his measurements with you. (Tip: text them to yourself, so you always have them.) Avoid anything itchy, tight, or constricting. Also, stay away from items with zippers and/or small pieces that your furry pal may try to eat, such as buttons.

Activity

While you may not relish the thought of going to the doggy park on a freezing-cold day, it is important to keep Fido active. You can play Fetch or Tug-o-War with your pet inside, though you’ll of course want to choose areas without a lot of breakable objects. Stair runs will also give your furry buddy a great workout. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing products can all hurt your dog’s sensitive paw pads. If your canine buddy doesn’t like wearing booties, use paw balm or wax to protect his feet. Also, remember to choose pet-friendly de-icing products. Last but not least, keep Fido’s claws trimmed: this will make it easier for him to gain traction on slippery surfaces.

Walking

Since the sun sets so early in winter, you’ll probably be walking your four-legged friend after dark quite a bit. Get Fido a reflective leash and collar, and wear a reflective jacket yourself. Wear shoes with good traction, and bring a phone and flashlight with you. Keep an eye on the ground, as the snow can hide dangerous objects, like broken glass. Also, don’t bring your pooch near frozen bodies of water, riverbanks, or other dangerous areas.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Georgetown, IN pet hospital, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to providing excellent care!

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Cat

Did you know that cats only sweat through their paw pads? As you have probably noticed, kitties are chock full of interesting characteristics. In fact, our feline buddies have quite a few interesting quirks. Read on as a local vet lists some things you may not have known about your cute pet.

She Matches Her Sleep Schedule To Yours

We all know that kitties are, well, rather drowsy. Cats can sleep up to 20 hours a day! However, what you may not have realized is that Fluffy will adjust her snoozing schedule to match yours. If you work nights, and sleep during the day, she’ll doze while you’re gone, but still snuggle up with you in bed. Kitties also sleep more than usual in cold, dreary weather.

Fluffy Thinks She Owns You

Ok, you may have very well suspected this one. When Fluffy rubs against your legs, she may look like she’s just being affectionate. In fact, your feline overlord is actually rubbing her scent on you, which is a way of claiming you for her own.

Furry Little Divas

Kitties spend about a third of the time they are actually awake grooming themselves. Fluffy takes her beauty regime very seriously!

Leftie or Rightie

Cats have dominant paws, just as people have dominant hands. Boy kitties tend to be lefties, while females use their right paws more.

Whiskers

We all know that whiskers are cute, but did you know that cats use them to see if they can fit into an opening? Needless to say, this doesn’t always work with chubby kitties!

Telling Tails

Although no one is quite sure why, only domesticated kitties hold their tails upright. Stray cats tend to let their tails hang down. Maybe this is Fluffy’s way of announcing that she has successfully found a human to adopt her?

Scratchograms

In the wild, trees make the perfect scratching posts. When kitties scratch tree trunks, they mark them with their scents. This may very well mean that they are sending signals to other cats, or leaving signs for them to read. No one is quite sure what message our feline pals are trying to send, though. Perhaps these ‘kittygrams’ just are Fluffy’s way of saying ‘I was here?’

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care. We’re here to help!

Entertaining Guests When You Own a Pet

If guests are coming to your home for a party, meal, or special event, it’s important to make some considerations regarding your pets. This way, everything runs smoothly on the big day! Here are a few tips for helping your guests and your furry friends get along successfully:

Before Guests Arrive

First things first: vacuum and dust throughout your home to keep things clean and fresh. This is also very important if any of your guests suffer from allergies to pet dander. In fact, if a guest has severe allergies, it may be necessary to secure your pet in another room entirely for the duration of your gathering. Setting up air filters can also be very useful for allergy sufferers.

Don’t allow pets into bedrooms or closets where you store your guests’ coats or hats. Some of our animal companions—particularly our feline friends—might decide to bed down on clothing items like these!

Greeting Tips

Not everyone appreciates a big slobbery dog running up to greet them when they enter a home. If your dog is the type to do this, it might be prudent to keep him in another room or inside his crate until all your guests have arrived. This is also helpful if your pet is the type to dart out of the first open door he sees—you don’t want to deal with an escaped pet before your gathering even begins.

Mealtime Etiquette

No one likes to be bothered by a begging pet throughout an entire meal. Keep your pet elsewhere if they beg at the dinner table. Also make sure that your guests don’t feed your animal companion without your knowledge; politely let your guests know that your pet isn’t allowed to receive table scraps without your approval.

It’s also important to keep a close eye on any harmful foods you may be serving. Plenty of human foods—onions, garlic, avocado, chocolate, candy, grapes and raisins, and many more—aren’t safe for pets to consume.

Preventing Animal Anxiety

Some pets simply won’t be comfortable with the hustle and bustle of your party or special meal. In a quiet room, set up a “safe zone” just for your pet, complete with a bed, soft blankets, and a few of your pet’s favorite toys. Lead your animal friend here if they start to become anxious.

Please contact us for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.

Meet the Munchkin

Are you familiar with Munchkin cats? These super cute cats almost look like a feline version of the Dachshund! Read on as a local vet discusses this unique breed.

Basics

Munchkins are distinguished by the fact that they have very short legs. In fact, when the Munchkin was recognized by The International Cat Association in 1995, controversy ensued, as critics were concerned about possible health problems and mobility issues. However, these charming furballs are just as active and robust as any other cat.

History

Although short-legged cats have been known for centuries, the beginnings of the official Munchkin breed date back to Louisiana in 1983, when a music teacher, Sandra Hochenedel, found two pregnant cats that had been chased under a truck by a dog. She kept one of the cats, whom she named Blackberry. Blackberry’s kittens had very short legs. Their descendants are now known as Munchkins.

Temperament

Munchkins may be small, but they have very big hearts. These kitties typically have a very sweet and lovable nature. They tend to be very affectionate and playful, and love to snuggle with their owners. Munchkins are very playful, and love to pounce on things. Many also have a penchant for shiny objects.

Care

In general, caring for a Munchkin is just like caring for any other kitty. In order to stay happy and healthy, Munchkins need good food, clean water, a fresh litterbox, and regular veterinary care. Needless to say, they also appreciate toys, soft beds, pet furniture, and, of course, lots of love. The only thing one does need to consider is that, since Munchkins aren’t exactly the world’s best jumpers, Fluffy may need pet ramps or stairs to climb up to high spots.

Coat

There is no one specific color or pattern associated with Munchkins. These little furballs come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Munchkins can also have either short or long fur. There are even hairless Munchkins!

Record Breaker

Lilieput, a Munchkin kitty from California, made the Guinness Book Of World Records in 2013 for being the world’s shortest feline. This adorable furball was only 5.25 inches tall from paw to shoulder!

Do you have questions about caring for your cat? Is your kitty due for an exam or vaccinations? Please contact us for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. As your local animal clinic, we are here to help.

Maintaining Your Pet’s Wellness

What do veterinarians and veterinary professionals mean when they use the term “wellness?” In essence, wellness means maintaining your pet’s health over time, rather than dealing with a problem after it has already manifested. This approach to your pet’s health is not only more cost-effective, it’s much simpler and less stress-inducing. Learn about the specifics of maintaining your pet’s wellness below:

Veterinary Visits

A major part of maintaining wellness is bringing your pet to see their veterinarian on a regular basis. Not only can your vet evaluate your pet’s overall health and body condition, he or she can catch any health concerns early on, before an issue can develop further. Most veterinarians recommend that they see your pet at least twice a year, but this may vary depending on your particular pet’s health.

Vaccination

All pets should receive core vaccinations to maintain optimal health. These vaccines are so named because they’re considered essential for all pets; most animals receive core vaccines when they’re as young as six weeks old. Some examples of core vaccines include those that protect against distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, leukemia, and rabies, among others.

Some pets also receive non-core vaccines. As the name suggests, these vaccinations aren’t considered necessary for every pet. They may benefit some, though, based on exposure risk, geographic region, and other factors. Ask your vet for details about non-core vaccines that your pet may need.

Pest Control

Fleas, ticks, parasitic worms like heartworm and roundworm—there are all sorts of outdoor pests that love to latch on to our animal companions. Even pets who remain indoors at all times are at risk, because some pests can invade our homes or be brought in on clothing, objects, or other pets. Your pet needs to be wearing the proper preventative medications to ward off these pests, so talk to your veterinarian if your animal friend is in need.

Quality Diet

Diet is a key part of wellness! By feeding your pet a premium, balanced diet throughout their life, you’re maintaining good body condition, digestive function, skin and fur health, and more. Feeding your animal companion with proper portion sizes is a great way to provide them with essential nutrition without contributing to dangerous obesity.

Following these general guidelines, you can maintain your pet’s health for a lifetime and enjoy as many happy years with them as possible. Contact your veterinarian for even more great tips.