Tag Archives: vets Troutville VA

Caring For A Grouchy Cat

It’s Grouch Day! This occasion was made to honor the iconic Oscar the Grouch, but it turns out that many kitties also fit the bill. We certainly have had our fair share of grumpy cats! A Roanoke, VA vet discusses caring for a cranky furball below.

Get Fluffy Checked

If you aren’t sure why your kitty is a little ball of rage, take her to the vet for an exam. You want to rule out medical issues, as there is always a chance that Fluffy is acting out due to pain or illness caused by a health issue.

Offer Safe Targets

It’s important for Fluffy to have things that she can safely take her aggression out on. Make sure that your kitty has plenty of toys to bite, scratch, and kick. It’s also a good idea to play with your feline buddy regularly. Use toys that you can control from a safe distance, such as laser pointers and remote-controlled mice. Your furry friend will (hopefully) be calmer after she’s burned off her zoomies.

Causes

Cats can act up for many different reasons. Take a close look at Fluffy’s living situation, and see if you can find any clues. Does your feline pal have nothing to do but stare at the walls all day? Boredom or loneliness may be the source of her frustration. Have you recently adopted another pet? Jealousy and/or a territorial dispute could be the issue. Kitties that were neglected or abused may simply be acting out of fear. A protective furball may actually be enraged that the neighbor’s cat has once again intruded onto her yard, but is taking her anger out on you.

Don’t Punish Fluffy

Never punish your furry buddy for lashing out. We know, it’s never fun getting bitten or scratched. However, cats don’t understand the concept of punishment. Fluffy won’t know why you’re upset, and could feel threatened. That will only make matters worse! When she acts up, just leave her alone and let her cool down.

Don’t Force Attention

Cats often lash out when they feel threatened. Never corner your feisty feline, and don’t pick her or pet her against her wishes. Always let Fluffy decide when she wants to cuddle.

As your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care. Please reach out to us for all of your kitty’s veterinary care needs.

Causes Of Hot Spots In Dogs

Have you ever discovered how frustrating it is to not be able to properly scratch an itch? This is an ongoing problem for dogs. One issue that can make Fido quite itchy is hot spots. These are basically itchy, inflamed sores. While they can happen any time, they are particularly common at this time of year. Hot spots are treatable, though the treatment course needed will depend on the underlying cause. Hot spots can be caused by many different things. A Roanoke, VA vet lists some common ones below.

Bug Bites

It’s probably no surprise to find flea bites at the top of this list. Fido can also be bitten by ants, flies, mosquitoes, and, well, any other biting insect. Keep up with your four-legged friend’s parasite control products!

Infections

Skin infections are another possible reason for hot spots. Ear infections can also lead to hot spots on the head and neck.

Anal Gland Issues

As you probably know, dogs have scent glands under their tails. Normally, these are expressed naturally as Fido relieves himself. However, sometimes issues do develop. This can be very uncomfortable for your canine buddy! Your vet may recommend anal gland expression, which must be done by a professional.

Allergies

Allergies are another common culprit. Your vet would need to run some tests to determine what your furry pal is reacting to: this could be anything from ingredients in his shampoo to pollen to something in his food.

Poor Grooming

If Fido’s fur is matted, dirty, and/or greasy, it will soon start causing problems with his skin. An unkempt coat can be very hot and itchy! This is particularly problematic with pooches that have very thick and/or long fur. Keep up with your canine buddy’s grooming needs.

Compulsive Behavior

Itching and hot spots can be a sort of chicken and egg which-came-first situation, in that sometimes pups cause hot spots by worrying at their skin. This is often, but not always, caused by medical issues. In some cases, dogs will lick or bite themselves as a compulsive, self-soothing behavior due to loneliness, boredom, stress, anxiety, or depression. A good diet, toys and playtime, comfy beds, and lots of love and attention are all important to Fido’s health and happiness.

Do you know or suspect that your pooch has hot spots? Contact us, your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, today!

Fluffy’s Plans For International Cat Day

Did you know that there’s a special day coming up for Fluffy? The 8th is International Cat Day! Of course, if you tell your cat about this, she’ll probably just yawn and blink at you, then go back to her regularly scheduled naps. Then again, your furry friend may actually make an effort to celebrate her special day. A local San Antonio, TX vet lists a few of the things on your kitty’s agenda in this article.

Pounce (at least once)

Kitties are very, very good at getting us to pamper them. It’s probably safe to say that many of you would find at least a few cat toys under your sofa if you moved it. Get Fluffy a new toy to bat around!

Speech

Our feline overlords are very opinionated. It may be a good thing that they can’t actually express themselves verbally. Regardless, your furry little buddy may give you an earful … especially if you’re late with her dinner.

Show Affection …

Cats aren’t the easiest animals to understand. They can be cuddly one minute and playful the next, only to get angry at you … and then hop into your lap for a snooze. That said, Fluffy does have some pretty adorable ways of showing her love. Don’t be surprised if you get some affectionate purrs and kitty headbutts!

… Or Not

On the other end of the spectrum, Fluffy may take the opportunity to unleash all of that kitty angst. She may bat at your ankles, refuse to come when called, or smack something off your countertop or coffee table. She may also decide to attack your shoe, or leave a hairball in the middle of the floor.

Sleep

Being adorable is pretty exhausting. Fluffy may appreciate a new bed for all of those naps!

Beauty Routine

No matter what day it is, Fluffy will strive to keep up with her beauty ritual. Give your feline pal a hand with this by gently brushing her.

Enjoy A Special Treat

You can’t expect Fluffy to celebrate National Cat Day without a special meal. Your kitty can have some canned tuna in water, or perhaps some deli meat. Boneless, plain chicken, fish, or beef is also fine.

As your local San Antonio, TX pet clinic, we are dedicated to helping you keep your pet happy, healthy, and purring. Contact us anytime!

Signs That Your Pet Is Overheating

Summer is here! At this time of year, overheating is a big concern for those of us in the animal care industries. Fluffy and Fido are already wearing fur coats, and they can’t cool down by sweating. Pets can become dangerously hot in just a few minutes in scorching weather, so you’ll need to pay close attention to the potential warning signs. A local Roanoke, VA vet lists some of them below.

Panting

This is usually the first thing you’ll notice. It’s not unusual for Fido to pant a bit if it’s warm, or if he just chased a squirrel around the yard, but he shouldn’t continually be panting. This is also a red flag in kitties. With brachycephalic pets, who can easily go into respiratory distress, panting should be treated as an immediate concern.

Drool

While some pups are a bit slobbery, you should take note any time Fido is drooling heavily. Thick or ropy drool is also a cause for concern. Drooling in cats is also a red flag.

Reduced Urine Output

This is a sign of dehydration, as it clearly indicates that your pet needs more water. Dark urine is another warning sign.

Vomiting/Diarrhea

These things can be indicative of many different health conditions, but they are also potential indications that a pet is dehydrated or has heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Disorientation

If Fido seems to be dizzy, or is stumbling around, you’ll need to act quickly. This is a huge red flag!

Dehydration

Dehydration goes hand-in-paw with overheating in pets. Some things to look for would be dry eyes, fatigue, sunken eyes, and the dark or reduced urine output we mentioned earlier. Skin pinch tests can help with some animals, but it really depends on their skin and coat type.

Discolored Gums

Your fuzzy pal’s gums are an indication of their overall condition, and can signal heat exhaustion and dehydration. Dark, bright, gray, purple, or pale gums are all red flags.

Trembling

Heat exhaustion can also cause pets to have muscle tremors. This may just look like shivering or shaking, but is another sign that your furry friend is in trouble.

Lethargy

This is another serious indication that something is wrong. If your four-legged friend seems weak and/or listless, they need medical attention immediately.

As your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, we’re here for you. Call us anytime!

Kitten Care Mistakes

July 10th is Kitten Day! There are few things that bring as many smiles and joy into our lives as kittens. Fluffy is absolutely adorable as a baby. She’s also fragile, curious, and playful. That can be a dangerous mix! A Roanoke, VA vet lists some common kitten care mistakes below.

Not Petproofing

Little Fluffy didn’t get her reputation for mischief out of nowhere. As a rule of thumb, cats often beeline for things that aren’t safe for them to play with. You basically have a tiny, adorable bundle of chaos on your hands! Petproofing is a must during that adorable toddler phase. Some of the things you’d want to address include toxic plants, chemicals, medications, plastic bags and ties, and anything small or sharp. (You’ll also need to set down some ground rules about things like biting and scratching.)

Letting Fluffy Out

The Great Outdoors might be lots of fun for little Fluffy to explore, but it’s also very dangerous. As soon as your furball sets her little paws outside, she’s exposed to dangers such as cars, weather, and wild animals. Kittens are even more vulnerable than adult felines, because they are so small and fragile. Keep your tiny pet indoors!

Not Bonding

Cats think of their owners as secondary parents, and get extremely close to us. However, that love has to be nurtured. Now is the time to really bond with your kitty. Spend lots of time with little Fluffy, and make her feel loved and safe. It’s also important to pet her, play with her, and let her snooze on your lap if she likes.

Using Adult Litter

Once your furry pal is all grown up, you can use any litter you and/or she like best. For now, avoid clay and clumping litters. Baby cats tend to be a bit clumsy, and can ingest these by accident. That’s very dangerous, as it can lead to potentially-fatal intestinal blockages.

Delaying Veterinary Care

In order for little Fluffy to get started out on the right paw in life, you’ll need to introduce her to your vet and get her started out on veterinary care. Exams, vaccines, parasite control, microchipping, and spay/neuter surgery are all on the agenda! (We throw cuddles and purr checks in for free.)

As your local Roanoke, VA animal hospital, we are dedicated to offering top-notch veterinary care. Contact us today!

Celebrating The Peruvian Hairless Dog

Our canine pals come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They’re also sporting a variety of hairstyles. Of course, a few pooches have no fur at all. One of the most beloved bald dogs has to be the Peruvian Hairless Dog. Once kept by the Incas, this lovable pooch is now a cherished Peruvian icon. A local Roanoke, VA vet offers some information about this unique pup below.

Temperament

Dogs without fur tend to give off a lot of body heat. Therefore, Fido often doubles as a living, tail wagging hot-water bottle, keeping his humans warm at night. (This can also be helpful for people with chronic pain.) These pups tend to be very smart and lively. They are very loving with their families, and are known to be protective of women and children. However, they can be a bit aloof with strangers. They prefer to be with their humans and/or other dogs, and don’t much care for being alone. The Inca Orchid is also very smart, and needs lots of playtime and mental stimulation to thrive.

Care

Hairless dogs do have a few specific care needs. They are very sensitive to temperature extremes. When it’s sunny out, Fido is at risk of getting sunburned. When it’s cold, he’ll get chilly quickly, and will need a sweater or jacket to keep him warm. You will also need to keep your canine pal’s skin clean. You may find it best to use a pure oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil, as your not-furry friend will be quite sensitive to chemicals. You may also need to care for your pup’s ears, as they may get dry and cracked.

Advantages

There are a few distinct advantages to having a hairless dog. First and foremost, you don’t need to worry about fleas. They also tend to be good matches for people with allergies. Another bonus? You won’t need to worry about finding fur everywhere. Fido also looks pretty adorable in his little wardrobe!

Health

Like any other breed, Fido may be prone to developing certain issues. Some common problems we see in these dogs would include skin lesions, strokes, seizures, and gastrointestinal issues, particularly inflammatory bowel disease. Do some research, and ask your vet for care tips.

As your local Roanoke, VA animal clinic, we are here to help. Please feel free to contact us anytime!

Protecting Your Pet From Ticks

You’ve probably noticed that the tick population has increased dramatically in recent years. As the numbers of ticks have gone up, so have cases of the diseases they can spread. Many of these, such as Lyme, can affect both people and pets. Read on as a local Roanoke, VA vet offers some information on keeping your pet safe from ticks.

Parasite Control

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure that your furry buddy is current on their preventative care. There are several options to choose from, such as topical drops, collars, and sprays. Talk to your vet to make sure you’re picking the one that is best for you. Also, be sure to get these from your animal clinic or an approved retailer. Avoid buying them at box stores or through discount sellers.

Lawn Maintenance

Keeping up with your property maintenance can also go a long way here. Ticks like to lurk in tall grasses, so regularly mowing your yard will help. You’ll also want to keep shrubs trimmed back so they don’t touch your house.

Vacuuming

Vacuuming regularly isn’t going to hurt, either. This is very helpful if you are fighting fleas. It’s also a good way to keep the pet fur under control. We recommend doing high-traffic areas daily, and more thorough cleanings about once a week.

Gardening

Do you have a garden? You may want to address a few things there as well. Keep fallen produce picked up, as it can attract wild animals that carry ticks. It’s also best to keep birdfeeders away from your house a bit.

Sun

It’s worth mentioning that ticks are not big on bright lights. Putting a three-foot gravel border around your property will help quite a bit, particularly in areas that border woods or fields. Ticks often turn back at these borders, as they don’t like being exposed.

Pet Checks

Get into the habit of checking your canine pal for ticks, especially after he’s been in fields or wooded areas. Look between his toes and beneath his collar. If you do find a tick, use tweezers or a tick popper to remove it. You need to be sure to get the whole thing; if any pieces break off, they could cause infections.

Do you have questions about your pet’s flea and tick medication? Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA animal clinic, anytime.

7 Ways To Help Rescue Dogs

May 20th is a pretty special day for our canine companions: it’s Rescue Dog Day. If you love animals, you probably have a soft spot for rescue dogs, as we do. There are still far too many rescue dogs out there who have been saved, but have not yet found their forever homes. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of pups who still need to be rescued. A Roanoke, VA vet lists some of the things you can do to help them in this article.

Adopt

The best thing you can do to help rescue dogs? Adopt one! Many people insist that the pups they rescued are the best pets ever. We’re inclined to agree! Just be sure that you’re ready to commit.

Speak Up

Do you know of a pooch that needs help? Contact local authorities or animal rescues. Many places allow you to make such reports anonymously. This can help eradicate the fear of reprisal.

Support Legislation

We’re happy to see more laws going on the books that make animal cruelty felony. For instance, here in Virginia, animal cruelty towards dogs and cats are now felonies, as of July 2019. Supporting pro-animal welfare legislation is a small task that can have big repercussions.

Foster

Another thing you can do is foster rescue dogs. Many of them need training and/or socialization before being put up for adoption. Fostering isn’t for everyone, of course: it can be difficult to say goodbye to a pooch you’ve cared for and grown fond of. Think things over carefully. It never hurts to learn more!

Volunteer

Animal shelters and charities are doing great work, and there certainly is plenty of it. Consider giving up a bit of your free time to help our canine pals.

Donate

Many animal rescues rely on donations to care for their furry wards. Monetary donations are great, of course, but you may also be able to drop off food, toys, or supplies. Anything helps!

Spread The Word

Social media has transformed the world in many ways. One of the best things about it is the fact that it makes sharing information very easy. Share posts about pups that are in need of good homes. Who knows? You may change a rescue dog’s world with a few keystrokes!

As your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, we’re devoted to providing top-notch veterinary care. Contact us anytime!

Dogs And Toddlers

rmaDo you have a toddler on your hands? They definitely don’t call them the terrible twos for nothing. This can be a very fun age for parents, but it can also be a little overwhelming. If you have a pet, you’ll also need to take some precautions to help ensure that the interactions between Fido and his tiny human go smoothly. A local Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on this below.

Supervise

The number one thing is to never leave your canine pal and your little one unattended together. Toddlers can be clumsy, and can fall or trip over pets. They also have loud, high-pitched voices, which can make Fido uneasy. Even the sweetest dog can snap if they feel frightened or threatened!

Get Baby Gates

Baby gates can be a wonderful tool during this stage, as they can create a barrier that lets Fido and your little one see each other and interact safely.

Give Fido Room

Your pup should always have a spot where he can go to for privacy. A crate is a great option for this. You can leave the door open, so your furry friend can come and go as he likes. Teach your toddler that Fido’s ‘room’ is off-limits.

Teach Proper Manners

It’s never too young for children to learn to be gentle with animals! Teach your little one to be kind and considerate of Fido, and never pull his tail.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement can go a long way. Give your canine pal treats and praise with your toddler!

Petproofing

Petproofing and childproofing are typically very similar. Keep anything potentially dangerous out of the way, preferably in secure cabinets.

Separate Belongings

This is one area where kids and pets can have conflicts. That stuffed teddy bear may appeal to both your child and your pet. Try to keep everyone’s toys in separate areas.

Food

Kids sometimes try to share foods with their canine pals. This can be very dangerous, as your youngster could give him something that is bad for him. Keep a close eye on your child when he’s snacking!

Exercise

Dogs are always calmer once they have burned off their zoomies. Make sure Fido is getting enough activity, and that he has plenty of toys to occupy himself with.

Do you have questions about caring for your canine friend? Contact us, your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, today!

Adopting A Shelter Dog

April 30th is Adopt A Shelter Pet Day! That’s one cause we are more than happy to support! Every year, as many as 3 million dogs enter American shelters. Sadly, many only have a very short time to find themselves forever homes. If you are considering adopting a shelter dog, you definitely have our support! A Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on adopting Fido in this article.

Choosing Fido

It’s easy to fall in love with a furry face, but don’t only go by how cute Fido is. Our canine companions all have their own personalities and care needs. Do some research, and find out what you can about your potential pet’s breed, background, and character. It’s important to choose a pup that will integrate well with your family and lifestyle. Huskies, for instance, are very high-energy. Bulldogs? Not so much.

Things To Consider

Before you sign the paperwork, spend some time with your four-legged friend. If you have another pup, let them meet as well. While many dogs love having buddies, there’s always a chance of conflict. Better safe than sorry!

Shopping

You’ll need to hit the pet store. Fido will need food, toys, treats, a bed, a leash, a collar or harness, dishes, a pet first-aid kit, and grooming supplies. If he has thin fur, he may also need a sweater or jacket for winter. It’s a good idea to put these things in a quiet back room, especially if you have other pets.

Petproofing

Petproofing is definitely in order. Address potential dangers, such as toxic plants; plastic bags and ties; wires and cords; chemicals; medication; lawn garden products; and any small/sharp objects. Ask your vet for advice.

Veterinary Care

One of the first things you’ll want to do is schedule a veterinary appointment. Fido will most likely already be fixed, but a nose-to-tail exam is definitely in order. This is a great time to get some specific advice on your canine pal’s health and care needs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Settling In

It may take Fido some time to adjust to his new home, and really feel safe there. Don’t rush things. Offer great care, and be patient. You’ll be getting tail wags and happy dances in no time!

Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, today.