Tag Archives: vet clinic Troutville VA

Things Dogs Are Grateful For

Thanksgiving is almost here! While it’s great to enjoy some delicious holiday food with our loved ones, it’s also important to think about the things we’re grateful for. Dogs definitely make that list! But what about Fido? What do you think your canine buddy is most appreciative of? A Roanoke, VA makes a few ‘petucated’ guesses below.

Treats

No surprises here. Fido is super cute when he’s angling for a yummy snack! Treats are a fun way to brighten up your furry pal’s day. They also are good for training and bonding, and just making Fido feel loved and safe.

Toys

Dogs need enrichment and stimulation, just as people do. Toys and playtime help keep Fido occupied, help him blow off steam, beat boredom, and just keep him active.

Walks

Even if your pup has a yard to patrol, he still needs to be walked every day. Our furry friends need regular exercise, just as we do! The mental stimulation dogs get from sniffing things is also very important.

Beds

We can’t blame our canine pals for this one. Soft beds are one of those little luxuries that actually aren’t that little!

Belly Rubs

Does your pooch sometimes flip over so you can rub his belly? This is a huge sign of love and trust! That furry tummy is Fido’s most vulnerable point. He wouldn’t expose it if he didn’t feel safe doing so.

Us

We know, most of our clients would prefer to skip their appointments and just go for a walk, play Fetch, or enjoy any of the other things we’ve listed. However, Fido definitely feels better with proper veterinary care. Healthy pets are happy pets!

Training

This one may surprise people, but many dogs actually enjoy training. Fido really strives to please his humans, and he looks adorably proud of himself when he is getting praised for performing a command right. Training also helps you and your canine friend communicate, which can strengthen the bond between you.

You

At the end of the day, Fido’s world revolves around you, and the love and care you give him. All of these things we’ve mentioned help keep your cute pet happy and healthy, and keep that tail going. Love is definitely the secret ingredient in any good dog care regimen!

Happy Thanksgiving! Please reach out to us, your local Roanoke, VA animal clinic, anytime.

Kitty DNA

There’s a new kitty holiday! Cat DNA day is September 19th. In the last few decades, scientists have made remarkable progress in cracking the mysteries of genetics and DNA, in both human beings and animals. That of course includes our feline overlords! A Roanoke, VA vet discusses Fluffy’s DNA below.

Fluffy’s Family Tree

One of the most extensive studies done on kitty DNA was a 2007 project headed by a zoologist from the National museums of Scotland, Dr. Andrew Kitchener. Kitchener studied 979 DNA samples, from both wild and domestic kitties. The study focused on mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down from mothers. The results showed that Fluffy didn’t come from ancient Egypt after all, but actually hailed from Mesopotamia. The study also showed that kitties have been around for longer than we thought. Another fun fact? The last feline ancestor of both wild and domestic cats lived over 100,000 years ago!

Testing Fluffy’s DNA

There are now several companies that will test your kitty’s DNA for you. You just rub Fluffy’s cheek with a cotton swab, and then send the sample out for testing. You can also send blood samples that were taken by your veterinarian. Usually results will come in about one or two months, depending on the company you use and the package you get.

Benefits Of Testing

Why should you get your kitty tested? For many, sheer curiosity is reason enough. You may be wondering if your cat is a purebred: DNA tests can confirm that. Howser, the more pragmatic reason would be to protect your feline buddy’s health. While these DNA tests are evolving continuously, they are already able to identify certain genetic markers. Some can determine whether your furry pal is susceptible to specific illness, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Testing may also determine if Fluffy would be resistant to Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).

Coat Genetics

Kitties are full of fascinating quirks … and so are their genetics. There are some pretty interesting rules for how Fluffy can inherit and/or pass on certain traits. For instance, two longhaired cats cannot have short haired kittens. White furballs must always have at least one white parent, while bi-color kitties must have at least one bi-color parent. It will be fun to see what we learn next!

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your Roanoke, VA animal hospital!

Doghouse Repair Tips

July is Doghouse Repair Month. If your pooch has a home of his own to hang out in, this is a great time to give it a good going-over. No doubt, Fido will be happy to ‘help’ with this task! A local Roanoke, VA vet offers some helpful ‘pointers’ on this below.

Safety Inspection

Take a good look at Fido’s house. Make sure there is nothing sharp sticking out that could hurt your pet, such as nails, screws, or long splinters.

Cleaning

Give Fido’s house a good scrubdown. Use a gentle, hypoallergenic soap, and rinse very, very well. Do this on a warm, windy day, so it will dry quickly. A pressure washer will do the job, though your canine helper would probably prefer a hose, so he can play in the spray from it.

Bedding

A doghouse may sound like a great place for a comfy bed, but in reality this will just attract uninvited guests, such as fleas and mice. Opt for comfy, weatherproof pads instead.

Evictions

Unsurprisingly, doghouses can make inviting retreats for all sorts of unwanted guests. However, you shouldn’t use pesticides or strong chemicals to get rid of them, as that may expose Fido to dangerous chemicals. Use non-toxic, humane methods.

Landscaping

Keep the lawn around Fido’s house trimmed. This will not only make it look nicer, it will also help fight fleas. If the grass is getting urine-stained, consider putting artificial turf down. This is easy to hose down.

Pupgrades

Why not make Fido’s doghouse into a fun feature in your yard? Give your pet a little deck, or add a sandbox or kiddie pool for him. You can also have fun with paint colors and accents, like a cute signs.

Setup

Doghouses should be raised off the ground a bit, so that rain and snow goes beneath them. Make sure Fido’s pad is level. Even a small tilt can make a doghouse uncomfortable! Just don’t leave an empty space underneath, as that may attract snakes or other critters.

Roof! Roof!

Don’t forget to check the roof. Look for any leaks. (You can test this on a sunny day by having someone aim the hose at it while you look inside.) Replace any shingles that aren’t doing their jobs.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? We can help! Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic, today!

Things That Are Toxic to Cats

March is Poison Prevention Month! Cats have a very inquisitive nature. Fluffy often investigates anything new she spots in her domain, and has been known to try and sample things by eating them. This can be very dangerous! A local Roanoke, VA veterinarian lists some things that are poisonous to kitties below.

Essential Oils

While some essential oils are more dangerous than others, it’s generally never a good idea to use these on or near your feline pal. The oils are much more concentrated, which can make them toxic. Some of the more dangerous types include oil of cinnamon, citrus, wintergreen, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), and ylang ylang.

Lilies

Those peace lilies may be pretty, but they are toxics to our feline friends, it is one of the ones that is most dangerous. Sago palms, tulips, daffodils, oleander, and rhododendrons are also unsafe. You can check the ASPCA site here for more information on safe and unsafe plants. 

Salt Lamps 

Those pretty Himalayan salt lamps can give any room a cozy, relaxing glow. However, keep these in spots Fluffy can’t reach. Some cats like the taste of salt, and will lick them. This can lead to salt poisoning, which can be fatal.

Antifreeze/Coolant 

Antifreeze is another big concern. It is very poisonous to Fluffy, and can even be deadly. Unfortunately, many brands have a sweet taste that cats enjoy. Be sure to mop up any spills right away. 

Certain Foods

While some cats are quite fussy, others will eat just about anything. That’s why it’s important to know what is and isn’t safe for Fluffy. The list of dangerous foods includes garlic, onions, scallions, and chives; grapes, currants, and raisins; chocolate; caffeine; alcohol; avocado; and xylitol.

Medicine

Any medication, whether prescription or OTC, should be considered a hazard to cats. Fortunately, Fluffy isn’t able to open bottles, so it’s unlikely that she’ll get into your medicine cabinet. The bigger concern is that people may try to give their pets medication, not realizing it isn’t safe.

Lawn/Garden Chemicals 

Pretty much anything that you would use around your home or yard should be considered toxic. This includes fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, cleaning agents, paints, to name a few. 

Please contact us with any concerns or questions about your cat. As your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, we are here to help!

Adopting a Shelter Dog

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. If you’re ready to bring a new pet into your life, please consider going through a shelter. This is a great way to find Fido! Read on as a local Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on adopting a shelter dog.

Benefits

There are some truly great reasons to get your canine companion from a shelter. First and foremost, you’ll be saving a life, and giving Fido another chance at happiness. That’s a beautiful thing, and an experience many people find very rewarding. You’ll also be able to choose your pet from a variety of adorable pooches. Another thing to feel great about? You’ll be promoting good animal welfare and helping the shelter provide care for other homeless pets. Last but not least, you may also find that going through a shelter is easy on the wallet, at least in comparison to going through a pet store or breeder.

Finding Fido

Choosing a pet is a huge decision. After all, you’re making a commitment to caring for Fido for the rest of his life. While sometimes you only need to glance at a pup to know you’ve found your new pet, at other times, it can be tough choosing the right dog. Spend some time with your canine pal, and make sure it’s a good fit.

Preparation

Before you bring Fido home, you’ll need to do some shopping. Your list should include bedding, toys, treats, dishes, grooming supplies, waste baggies, leashes, a collar, and a pet first-aid kit. You’ll also want to go through your house, and make sure that everything is safe for your pooch. Remove or secure anything that could be dangerous. This includes things like toxic plants, chemicals, medication, and anything small or sharp. If you have a yard, make sure that the fencing is secure.

Tail Wags

It’s always heartwarming to see how happy and excited dogs get when they realize they’ve been adopted. However, it can take time for them to really realize that they are safe, and that things will be okay. Give Fido time to settle in. Talk to him, play with him, and offer toys and treats, but don’t force attention on him. You’ll be getting tail wags and affectionate smooches in no time!

Do you have questions about adopting a shelter pup? Contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, today!

Adopt a Cat Month

June is Adopt A Cat Month! Of course, we think any time is a good time to adopt a cat. However, this is the purrfect time to add a new kitty to your household. Here, a local Roanoke, VA vet discusses adopting a cat.

Why Adopt A Cat Now?

June tends to be kitten season. At this time of year, the sudden surge of kittens being turned in leaves shelters overloaded and scrambling to care for their furry wards. This year, the coronavirus has made things even more dire. However, it’s also made us really appreciate how good cats are for us. Fluffy has been a huge source of comfort over the past few months. She’s also provided us with quite a bit of comedic relief. Plus, she’s a great lap warmer!

Finding Your Feline

There is certainly no shortage of kitties who are in desperate need of loving homes. However, picking the right pet can be hard. In some cases, you may immediately fall in love with a cute furball. At other times, you may have to think carefully to decide. You may be able to browse adoptable pets online, which might make the choice a bit easier. Listen to your heart, and keep an open mind. Don’t overlook the less adoptable pets, like the one-eared kitty with the funny meow, or the senior cat that just wants ear scritches. Sometimes the cats no one wanted are the best pets!

Things To Consider

Adopting a cat is a wonderful thing to do, and something that will change both your life and Fluffy’s. However, it is a huge decision, so be sure to think things through first. Make sure you are ready to commit to caring for your feline pal for the rest of her life. Adoption is forever!

Helping Animals

When you adopt a cat, you’re also helping other homeless kitties. For one thing, you’re opening up space at the shelter. You’re also helping them financially, as Fluffy’s adoption fees will help the shelter care for other pets.

Purrs

The best thing about adopting a cat is knowing that you’ve made a friend for life. Something pretty magical happens when a kitty looks at you with that adoring look and starts her engine!

Please contact us, your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

4 Things to Teach Your Dog

February is Dog Training Education Month! All dogs should know basic obedience commands. This is important for both petiquette and safety reasons. Read on as a local Roanoke, VA vet lists some that things your canine companion should know.

Basic Doggy Obedience

All of our canine buddies should obey basic commands. The five most important ones are Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. It’s usually best to start with Sit, as it’s the easiest for dogs to pick up. Teach Fido one of these at a time. Make sure your pooch has each one down before moving on. Dogs don’t have very long attention spans except when bacon is involved. Keep classes short and sweet. We recommend working with your pup every day, for about 15 minutes at a time.

Crate Training

Even if you don’t plan to crate your dog every day, you should make sure that he is familiar and comfortable with being crated. After all, Fido will need to be crated sooner or later, either for travel or when visiting his vet or groomer. The key is to make the crate comfortable for your furry friend. Put some toys and soft bedding inside it, and give him treats and praise in and near it.

At Least One Trick

Many dogs like learning new things. Once Fido has the basics down, why not show him a cute trick? Classic dog tricks, like Roll Over, Beg, and Shake Paw, are always adorable. You can also teach your pup to Gimme Five, Smile, Hide Your Eyes, or Play Dead.

You Are Loved

Last but not least, make sure that your furry pal knows he is loved and cared for. Training is a great way to spend time with Fido, and keep that tail wagging! Man’s Best Friend strives to please his humans, and loves being called a good boy!

Tips

When training dogs, patience and consistency are key. It’s also important to make the experience fun for Fido. How do you do that? Incorporate some of his favorite things: treats, praise, and ear scritches. For treats, you’ll want to choose small portions, so you don’t overfeed your pooch. Cut up hot dogs are good options. Pieces of kibble also work well.

Please reach out to us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all of your pup’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Understanding Your Feline Friend’s Hairball Production

Do you own a cat? If so, hairballs are a part of life for you and your feline friend. They’re certainly not pleasant to look at, and it doesn’t seem very pleasant for Fluffy when she coughs one up, but are they dangerous? Learn more here from a Roanoke, VA vet.

Why Do Hairballs Occur?

Your cat grooms herself often, as you know. When she does, tiny barbs lining the tongue pick up much of the loose hair from your cat’s coat. She swallows that hair, and most of it gets moved through the digestive tract normally and is ultimately expelled in the feces. Some of the swallowed hair, however, remains in the gut, clumping together over time to form a hairball. That gets regurgitated eventually, likely accompanied by a small bit of stomach fluid.

Do Hairballs Hurt My Cat in Any Way?

No, the occasional hairball doesn’t hurt your cat. It’s a natural part of life! There’s absolutely nothing to worry about if you see your cat cough up a hairball every now and then.

If your cat coughs up hairballs frequently, something could be causing her to shed more than normal. You’ll want to have your pet checked out at the vet’s office to be safe. Additionally, if your cat is gagging and retching but not producing anything, rush her to the vet’s office—your pet could be choking, or the hairball itself could be lodged in the esophageal tract.

Last but not least: vomiting and coughing up hairballs is not the same thing. If your cat is vomiting frequently, it’s time to see the vet.

How Can I Help My Cat Experience Fewer Hairballs?

You’ll be happy to learn that there are a few simple steps you can take to have your cat cough up fewer hairballs. That’s more pleasant for her, and it leaves less of a mess for you! First, brush your cat regularly; this removes a lot of the loose hair from Fluffy’s coat, preventing her from swallowing it in the first place. Secondly, make sure that your cat is receiving a high quality diet that contains all of the proper nutrients. When your cat’s nutrition is in tip-top shape, her coat of fur stays healthy with minimal shedding.

Does your cat need a veterinary exam? Schedule your four-legged friend’s next appointment right here at your Roanoke, VA animal hospital. We’re here for you!

Barbeque Hazards for Dogs

With summer here, we’re quickly moving into prime grilling season. Barbeques are one of our favorite summer activities, and we suspect that many of our canine patients share our opinions. However, Fido can get into quite a bit of mischief at barbeques, so you’ll want to take some steps to keep him safe. A Roanoke, VA vet discusses barbeque safety for dogs in this article.

Food

Many of our favorite foods are toxic to our canine buddies. Never let Fido have anything that contains garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; chocolate; alcohol; caffeine; grapes, currants, or raisins; mushrooms; or nuts. Meat on the bone is also a no-no, are raw meat, fish, and dough and anything containing xylitol.

Fire

Fires and pets are not a good combination. Keep your furry pal safely away from the grill. You don’t want Fido wrapping his leash around it, or snapping up a sizzling-hot burger that fell to the ground.

Chemicals

Lighter fluid, torch oil, citronella, bug spray, and other chemicals are all unsafe for pets. Keep these things well out of paws’ reach!

Open Gates

Keep an eye on your doors and gates, especially as people are coming and going. You don’t want Fido slipping out!

Heat

Summer can be tough on our canine pals. Make sure Fido has shade and water at all times. If you see him panting, bring him to a cool indoor spot and give him some water.

Parasites

Summer is a prime time for fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other bugs. Make sure your furry friend is current on his vaccines and parasite control products.

Trash

Dogs are very opportunistic, and will seize any chance they can to score extra food. Fido definitely is not above going through the trash in hopes of snagging himself some leftovers! This can be dangerous, as the garbage may contain things like bones, skewers, tin foil, toothpicks, and other hazards. Clear the tables and put away leftovers as soon as everyone has finished eating. Use garbage cans with tight lids.

Being Underfoot

Man’s Best Friend likes to stick pretty close to his human pals. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to Fido getting stepped on, or getting his tail caught in doors. Keep a close eye on your pup!

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, if ever we can be of assistance. We’re here to help!

7 Reasons to Brush Your Cat

Cats have many wonderful qualities, but one of the best things about them is the fact that they are so clean. Fluffy will carefully groom herself every day. However, your furry little diva will still benefit from being brushed. Read on as a local Roanoke, VA vet lists some great reasons to brush your feline pal regularly in this article.

Hairball Prevention

One benefit of brushing Fluffy regularly is that you’ll be capturing that fur with a brush before she can swallow it. (We all know what happens when cats swallow too much fur. Suffice it to say, this is not the best part of having a kitty.)

Circulation

Grooming is also good for your feline pal’s circulation. While it isn’t absolutely necessary to brush Fluffy for this reason, it certainly isn’t going to hurt.

Kitty Comfort

Some of our feline friends—such as senior cats, obese kitties, and pets with chronic pain—have a hard time reaching their whole bodies to groom themselves, and may need a helping hand. Brushing Fluffy will help her stay more comfortable, since, as one can imagine, dirty hair feels matted and itchy.

Insulation

Did you know that your four-legged pal’s fur has insulating qualities that not only help her stay warm in winter, but keep her cool in summer? Dead fur and dander interfere with the insulating abilities of your cat’s fur coat. Therefore, brushing Fluffy will help keep her comfortable temperature-wise.

Health Checks

While brushing should never replace veterinary appointments, it does give you a good chance to check your kitty for signs of injury or illness, such as lumps, bumps, cuts, or lesions. Call your vet right away if you notice anything unusual.

Less Fur Everywhere

This one’s a definite bonus! The more of Fluffy’s fur you can capture with a brush, the less you’ll find stuck to your sofas, chairs, carpets, and clothing. (Tip: use a squeegee, rubber dish glove, or a damp sponge to remove dead fur from upholstered surfaces.)

Purr Activation

Last but not least, brushing your cat is a great way for you to spend some quality time with her and keep that little motor going. Kitties are always happiest when they feel loved and safe and purrhaps just a little bit pampered.

Please reach out to us, your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime. We are always happy to help!