All posts by James

Arthritis in Dogs

Did you know that arthritis is one of the most common afflictions that our canine buddies face? Well over half of senior pooches are affected. A local Roanoke, VA vet discusses arthritis in dogs below.

Signs

Like many other medical issues, arthritis often starts out mild, but gradually worsens. Limping is often the earliest warning sign. At first, Fido may only limp briefly, usually when he first gets up. Over time, that limp will become more pronounced. Arthritis can also cause dogs to have a hard time getting up or down, climbing stairs, and/or getting in and out of cars. Your canine pal may also lick or nibble at sore spots, particularly on his legs or the base of his tail. He may not feel very active or playful, and may whine or flinch when touched. These things may get worse when it’s chilly out, as cold, damp weather tends to exacerbate arthritis. If you see any of these red flags in your furry friend, call your vet right away. The sooner an issue is caught and treated, the better!

Treatment

There’s both good and bad news here. The bad news is that arthritis cannot be cured. However, it can be managed. In fact, there are now many different products and treatments that can help your beloved pet feel better. Laser therapy, for example, can be very helpful. It’s really wonderful to see a stiff, old dog becoming more active and playful again! Your vet may also recommend medications and/or other treatments. You’ll be able to discuss specific options once Fido has been properly diagnosed.

Home Care

In addition to proper veterinary care, there are also things you can do at home to keep your faithful buddy comfortable. A good bed is an absolute must. Fido won’t sleep very well on a thin pad! Your pup may also benefit from pet ramps or stairs, which will help him get around more easily. Supplements, such as fish oil, glucosamine, and Omega oils, can also be beneficial. It’s also worth mentioning that obesity often aggravates—and therefore worsens—arthritis. Keep your pooch at a healthy weight. It’s also important to make sure your pup is getting the right type and amount of exercise. Ask your vet for specific care tips.

Do you know or suspect that your dog has arthritis? Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic today!  

New Year’s Goals for Cats

Happy New Year! Are you setting resolutions for 2021? If so, your feline pal will be right there with you, closely supervising you as you strive to meet them. In fact, Fluffy may have a few goals of her own! A Roanoke, VA vet lists some key ones in this article. 

Work On The Pounce

Our furry pals are cute and innocent looking, but they’re also actually quite fierce predators. Fluffy really is driven to practice her hunting skills. Give your kitty lots of fun toys to practice on, and play with her every day.

Nap More

Did you know that kitties can sleep as much as 20 hours a day. However, it will take Fluffy lots of practice to reach that level of snoozing expertise. Make sure your drowsy pet has lots of comfy beds to snooze in!

Meditate

Have you ever found your furball just quietly relaxing somewhere, looking completely at peace? Fluffy may very well be meditating. What is your pet focusing on? Naps, treats, and boxes are all good guesses, but we’ll probably never know.

Kitty Fitness

Cats are very graceful and athletic. (At least, some of them are. Some kitties are complete clutzes. However, that’s beside the point.) Fluffy may try to stretch more, jump higher, run faster, or attempt a tricky sleeping position. Give your fuzzy friend some pet furniture to play on.

Sunbathe

Our feline friends just can’t resist finding warm, cozy napping spots. In fact, if there’s a single sunbeam on the floor, Fluffy may very well decide to snooze in it. 

Fur Distribution

Fluffy has very pretty fur, and she’s very generous about sharing it with us. Your furry little diva may try to spread her hair out more evenly this year. (Tip: try using a damp sponge, dish gloves, or a squeegee to remove fur from furniture or upholstery.)

Be Adorable

We suspect Fluffy won’t have much trouble making this goal. Snap some photos of your feline friend being her super cute self in 2021!

Snuggle

Kitties are really very cuddly little furballs. Even ones that aren’t lapcats often like to hang out with their humans. Pay lots of attention to Fluffy, and keep that little motor going!

As your local Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic, we look forward to helping you keep your kitty happy, healthy, and purring in 2021 and beyond. Call us anytime!

Cold Weather Dog Care

Winter officially starts next week. We know that some of you love the cold, while others are already crossing off the days until spring. This also applies to dogs! Some pups, like huskies and other snow dogs, absolutely love to run and play in the snow. Others will spend the next few months snuggled up in their doggy beds. No matter which camp your furry pal falls into, he will benefit from some extra TLC. Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on keeping your canine buddy happy and healthy in cold weather.

Beds

Fido will need a good bed to curl up in! Make sure that your pet’s doggy bed is thick enough to offer good support and insulation. It also shouldn’t be in a drafty area, or too close to a heater or fireplace. If your pooch has thin fur, he may appreciate a thermal bed or blanket, or even a heated one.

Grooming

Did you know that Fido’s fur will protect him from the cold? However, dust, dead fur, and dander can interfere with its insulating properties. Keep up with your canine pal’s grooming needs!

Paw Care

As you can imagine, going barefoot on snow and ice isn’t much fun. Snow, salt, sand, and ice are all rough on Fido’s furry feet. Get some pet-safe de-icing products. We also recommend keeping your canine companion’s toenails clipped. If your pup has toe fur tufts, cut these as well: they can collect ice balls which, as you can imagine, aren’t very comfortable for dogs.

Dehydration

Many dogs don’t care to drink cold water. Dehydration can become an issue in winter. Don’t put Fido’s bowls in a chilly place. 

Coats

Does your furry bff have a thin coat? If so, Fido will need a doggy sweater or jacket to keep him warm on those frigid winter days. Make sure that your pup’s things fit him well, and are not tight, hot, itchy, or restricting.

Food

Some pooches need to eat more in winter, as they will burn extra calories just staying warm. Your furry friend may also benefit from certain supplements. This can be especially helpful for older dogs, as well as for pups with bone/joint disorders. Ask your vet for more information.

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

Autumn Care for Cats

Fall is officially upon us! Many people are seeing to seasonal chores and tasks now, and getting ready for winter. Your cat will probably sleep through most of your autumn activities. However, you will need to keep Fluffy’s safety in mind as the seasons change. Here, a Roanoke, VA veterinarian offers some helpful tips on caring for your kitty in fall. 

Bedding

Did you know that Fluffy will sleep even more than usual when it’s gloomy out? (We can’t really blame her: rainy days are great napping weather.) Make sure your drowsy little furball has lots of warm beds to curl up in. 

Grooming

Fluffy may shed more than usual in autumn, as she changes into her winter clothes. Get into the habit of brushing your pet daily. This will remove dust, dead fur, and dander from her coat. You’ll also find less hair on your furniture, and hopefully, fewer hairballs. 

Safety

The Great Outdoors is always dangerous for cats, but it’s particularly treacherous in fall and winter. Plummeting temperatures; snow; wild animals; toxic chemicals, such as pesticides and antifreeze; and shorter days all pose additional hazards to kitties. Halloween is particularly dangerous. Unfortunately, our feline friends are also at higher risk of being hurt or stolen around the autumn holiday. Keep Fluffy safe and purring indoors.

Parasite Control

Fleas and ticks are not as prevalent in winter as they are in summer, but they don’t go away completely. In fact, many of them will try to hunker down indoors. Mice and vermin might also try to get inside. These uninvited guests can carry dangerous diseases and parasites. Keep up with Fluffy’s vaccines and parasite control products. 

Decorations

Keep your frisky feline in mind as you hang seasonal decorations. Anything with dangling ropes or cords can be dangerous to a kitty. Small or sharp items are also unsafe. (This of course means that Fluffy will insist on playing with them.) Keep these items, and things like candles and potpourri burners, out of paws’ reach. 

Purrs

Dreary autumn days are perfect for relaxing at home with a good book or movie, a hot tea or coffee, and a purring kitty. Enjoy some down time with your feline buddy. Cats make great snuggle buddies! 

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

Fido’s Furry Feet

Does your dog know cute paw tricks, like Shake or Gimme Five? These charming tricks will never stop being adorable. Of course, Fido’s paws are crucial to his health and well-being. A local Roanoke, VA vet offers some ‘pawesome’ tips on caring for your furry buddy’s feet in this article. 

Claw

Keeping your dog’s claws clipped is very important! Overgrown claws can easily snag and tear on things. Plus, they’re uncomfortable for Fido to walk on. Your pup may carry his weight differently as a result, which will strain his bones and joints. Many people are (understandably) uneasy about cutting their pets’ nails themselves. You may want to get a clipper with sensors. These will indicate where to cut, so you won’t have to worry about hurting your pet. Your vet can also show you proper techniques. Of course, you can always just call us to schedule a quick nail trim. 

Massage

Dogs use their paws as shock absorbers. Fido’s feet take all the impact from those jumps and happy dances! Treat your canine buddy to a gentle paw massage on occasion. 

Hacks

Does Fido hate giving you his feet? Teach your pooch that he’ll get a yummy snack for letting you handle them. This can have a miraculous effect on your cute pet’s opinion on pawdicures! 

Toe Fur

Those toe fur tufts are cute, but it’s best to clip them. They can gather gunk, like mud and gum, and form mats, which can be quite uncomfortable. 

Inspection

Get into the habit of checking Fido’s feet regularly. This is easy to work into cuddle time! You’ll want to look for things like swelling, cuts, and abrasions. If you spot anything unusual, or notice your four-legged friend licking or biting his paws, contact your vet. 

Surfaces

Your furry pal’s feet are very sensitive. Fido can get painful blisters by running around on hot tar or asphalt. Ice, salt, sand, and chemical de-icing agents can also cause burns and abrasions. Keep your pooch on soft ground as much as possible, especially when it’s hot or cold out.

Paw Pads

Dogs’ paw pads can get dry, cracked, and irritated, just like human skin. Use paw balm or wax to protect and moisturize your canine companion’s paws. Vaseline will also work. 

Please call us, your Roanoke, VA pet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re 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!

Fluffy’s Life Goals

Many of our feline friendshave it pretty easy in life. Fluffy gets to spend the majority of her time basically lounging around, meowing orders at her humans, eating, and looking cute. Talk about a charmed life! However, if your cat had a specific ‘purrpose’ to strive for, what do you think she would strive for? A local Roanoke, VA vet goes over some of Fluffy’s life goals in this article.

Become A Master Napper

Did you know that senior cats can spend as much as 20 hours a day sleeping? That’s pretty impressive! Of course, Fluffy will spend a good chunk of her life practicing. She’ll also work on mastering specific positions, such as the Pretzel and the Backsprawl.

Control The Humans

Many of our feline overlords really do have their owners wrapped around their little paws. Does your kitty have you trained to feed or pet her whenever she cries? Does your house look like a luxury palace for a cat? If not, Fluffy may still be working on this one!

World Domination

We know, it’s a bit of a jump to go from training you to feed her on demand to complete domination. Could your innocent little pet be plotting to take over the universe? We’re not sure, but given that Fluffy did convince the ancient Egyptians to consider her a deity, it’s a definite possibility.

Become A Ferocious Hunter

Cats are always super cute when they are being playful. However, all that pouncing, scratching, and jumping your kitty does isn’t for nothing. Fluffy is a ferocious predator by nature, and she will never stop thinking of herself as a lion or tiger. (Your pet may only be hunting dust bunnies, but that’s besides the point.) Perfecting that pounce would definitely make Fluffy’s bucket list.

Get Rid Of The Dog

Some of our feline patients are actually quite close to their canine roommates. Others? Not so much. Given the option, we suspect Fluffy wouldn’t hesitate to lock Fido out of the house … for good!

Master Teleportation

Have you ever thought your kitty was in one spot, only to find her unexpectedly somewhere else? We can’t confirm, but we do suspect that Fluffy has been secretly working on teleportation.

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

Signs of Pain in Dogs

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. This is one area where it can at times be difficult to read our canine friends. After all, Fido can’t tell you if something hurts! That’s why it’s important to know how to recognize signs of pain in your furry best friend. A local Roanoke, VA vet lists a few common ones in this article.

Limping

When limping is caused by an injury, you may see obvious signs, such as a wound or swelling. However, limping can also be a sign of developing issues, such as arthritis. In the latter case, your pet may at first just limp when he gets up. However, over time, the limp will get worse.

Stiffness

If your canine pal is hurting, he may not be as mobile or flexible as he once was. He might have trouble getting up or down, climbing stairs, or getting in or out of the car.

Reduced Interest In Play

Dogs are very playful when they are puppies, but they do naturally slow down with age. However, if your cute pet has suddenly lost interest in his favorite toys, there could be something wrong.

No Appetite

If we know one thing about our canine buddies, it’s that they have very healthy appetites. If Fido just isn’t interested in his dinner, there may be something going on with him.

Vocalizing

Unusual vocalizations are another red flag. If Fido is whining or whimpering, when he usually just barks, he might not be feeling well.

Lethargy/Listlessness

Being sick can really do a number on your energy levels. This is true for both people and pets. If Fido is suddenly spending most of his time sleeping, he could be sick. You may also notice a drop in activity levels. For instance, your furry friend may lag behind on his walks, instead of lunging for that squirrel.

Licking

Dogs often lick or bite at sore spots. If your four-legged buddy seems to be worrying at a specific area, he may be reacting to pain.

Behavioral Changes

Withdrawal can also be an indication of pain. Fido may also shy away from being touched, especially in areas that are hurting him. He may also act grouchy.

Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, we are dedicated to helping you keep your pet happy and healthy!

4 Ways to Make Vet Visits Easier on Fluffy

August 22nd is Take Your Cat To The Vet Day! We know, most kitties would rather stay home and take yet another nap. Cats can get very nervous at their doctors’. We understand this! We know that strange smells and sounds, combined with the scents and presence of other pets, can be a lot for a little furball. We do all we can to make Fluffy’s appointments easy on her, but there are also things you can do. Read on as a local Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on making veterinary appointments easy on your feline buddy.

Make The Car Ride Comfy

Although our canine patients usually enjoy car rides, cats are generally much less enthusiastic about them. In fact, for many of our feline pals, the ride itself is more distressing than the appointment. When you have Fluffy in the car, avoid bumpy routes, and try not to start or stop too suddenly. It will also help to crack a window, so your furball always gets some fresh air. Playing the radio softly can also keep your kitty cool. If your furry friend gets extremely nervous, ask your vet about using cat-calming products, like treats and collars. These can really help soothe uneasy pets.

Choose Fear Free

We’re happy to declare our commitment to being Fear Free. That means we take every possible precaution to make appointments easier on our feline friends. This entails doing things like minimizing waiting time, using gentle handling techniques, and making our waiting room as comfy as possible for kitties. These small steps can really add up!

Cozy Carrier

Does your feline friend run for her favorite hiding spot as soon as she sees her carrier? Make it less threatening to her by leaving it out between appointments. Adding comfy bedding and perhaps some fun toys to it will also help. You can also give Fluffy treats, catnip, and attention near the carrier.

Don’t Skip Appointments

Don’t wait until your cat is ill or scratching with fleas to bring her in. Keep up with your furry pal’s preventative and wellness care. This will help keep Fluffy safe from many parasites and diseases. Regular exams also increase the chances of issues being diagnosed early on. Early treatment is always beneficial!

Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs.

Your Pet’s Nutrition

Everyone knows that nutrition is essential for a healthy life. That’s as true for your pet as it is for you. As it turns out, the kind of nutrients that your pet needs are largely the same as the ones you do! Below, your Roanoke, VA veterinarian elaborates on the basic elements of your pet’s nutritional needs.

Protein

Protein is extremely important for your dog or cat because it’s the basic building block for every bodily tissue. Diets made for puppies and kittens tend to be very high in protein, since young pets need a lot of protein as their muscles and tissues develop. Pregnant mother pets are also sometimes prescribed a high-protein diet, as the extra boost of protein can help them deliver their litters safely.

Carbs

Your pet’s digestive system breaks down carbohydrates from food into glucose, a simple sugar that acts as the fuel for your pet’s body. So, carbohydrates provide energy for just about everything your pet does. That’s why most pet foods contain things like potatoes and rice—these kind of high-carbohydrate foods are great for providing energy and keeping your pet going.

It’s also worth noting that fiber, a type of carbohydrate, is another important nutrient that your pet needs. It slows the absorption level of sugar into your pet’s bloodstream, thereby regulating glucose levels. Fiber also helps your pet to feel full after they’ve eaten, which is why many weight-loss diets contain a lot of fiber.

Fats

It’s easy to think of fat as exclusively a bad thing, but that’s not true. In fact, your pet needs the right amount of healthy fats in their diet, just like you do. Fat provides your pet with energy. Plus, the fat that your pet’s body doesn’t use right away is stored as a reserve and used when your pet needs it. Pets that are more high-activity, such as a working farm dog, will need more fat in the diet than pets who are low-key by comparison.

Vitamins and Minerals

Don’t forget that your pet also needs the right vitamins and minerals, plus fatty acids and amino acids, for good health. Make sure that your pet’s diet contains the right vitamins and minerals for their needs—check with your veterinarian about your pet’s current food to make sure it’s up to par.

Do you have questions about your pet’s nutrition? Contact your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic.