Tag Archives: veterinary clinic Roanoke VA

Pool Safety For Dogs

Do you enjoy swimming? Many of our canine patients love going for a dip on hot days. Pools can be dangerous for Man’s Best Friend, though, so you’ll want to take some precautions to keep Fido safe. A Roanoke, VA vet discusses pool safety for dogs in this article.

Swim Lessons

If your dog can’t swim, take some time to teach him. Gently support your four-legged pal as he is learning, and encourage him with praise and compliments. It’s a good idea to put a doggy lifejacket on Fido, at least at first. If you know someone with a dog that swims well, enlist them to help. Your pooch may learn more quickly by observing another pup!

Steps

The first thing you want to do whenever you take Fido to a pool is show him where the stairs are. We can’t overstate the importance of this! Even dogs that are great swimmers can panic if they fall in and don’t know how to get out. Take time with this training, and make sure your canine buddy really retains the knowledge. It’s also a good idea to get pet pool stairs, especially if you have an above-ground pool.

Other Precautions

In general, follow the same pool safety rules as you would with a toddler. First and foremost: never leave Fido unattended near water. Also, don’t let him swim immediately after eating. We also recommend fencing your pool off when it isn’t in use. This is especially important if your dog can’t swim well, is a small dog or senior, and/or has health issues that affect his sight or mobility. Pool covers can also be dangerous, as dogs sometimes mistake them for solid surfaces, and try to walk on them.

Water

This may be easier said than done, but try not to let Fido drink from the pool. The best way to avoid this is to make sure he always has fresh water available.

Fur

Did you know that dogs can get sunburns? Pooches with pale and/or thin fur are most vulnerable. Ask your vet about putting sunscreen on Fido.

Paws

Dogs’ paw pads are very sensitive, and are extremely delicate when they’re wet. Keep Fido on soft ground after he gets out of the water.

Enjoy your summer! Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care.

What You Need to Know About Your Cat and Dairy

Cats and milk seem to go together like two peas in a pod. You might be surprised to learn that the two don’t actually mix very well! Learn more here from your Roanoke, VA veterinarian.

Why is Milk Bad for Cats?

It turns out that most adult cats are actually lactose-intolerant, just like many humans are. This means that they don’t possess enough of the enzyme lactase in their digestive systems to properly digest lactose, the main enzyme found in milk. While a small bit of milk might not do your cat any real harm, too much isn’t a good idea. It’s likely that a cat will experience an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea if they drink too much milk!

Don’t Kittens Require Milk?

You might be wondering about kittens, who do indeed require their mother’s milk—or a synthetic substitute if the mother’s milk isn’t available—in the early stages of life. During this time, milk is necessary for proper growth, but it won’t remain so as a cat grows older. Typically, a cat starts producing less and less lactase as they age, becoming entirely lactose-intolerant by the time they’re a full-grown adult.

If you’re raising a kitten, they may need to be bottle-fed with the mother’s milk or a commercial milk substitute. Ask your veterinarian for help, and also be sure to ask about transitioning your kitten from milk to wet food.

Is Any Dairy Safe for My Cat?

Other dairy foods like cheese and yogurt don’t contain as much lactose as pure milk does, so they might be a bit safer for your cat to eat. Keep in mind, though, that no dairy is a nutritional necessity for your cat and that too much of any foreign food can cause problems. If you insist on having your cat try cheese, yogurt, or other forms of dairy, keep the portion size extremely small.

A better idea for your cat is a “cat milk,” a relatively new product that can be found in many pet supply shops. It’s a special milk made just for cats that has had all lactose removed, meaning that it’s completely safe for your feline friend.

What Does My Cat Need to Drink?

Your cat only needs one liquid to drink: fresh water. Provide a full dish at all times!

To learn more about your cat’s nutritional needs, call your Roanoke, VA vet clinic today.

5 Things You Learn When You Adopt a Senior Cat

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month! This is a wonderful cause, and one that we are happy to support. Older cats have many wonderful qualities, but they often have a very hard time finding forever homes. That’s really sad, because there are some great benefits to adopting a senior furball. Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet lists some things you find out when you bring home a kitty in her golden years.

No Surprises

When you get a kitten, it isn’t always easy to know what your furry buddy will look like as an adult, or what sort of purrsonality she’ll develop. With older cats, however, what you see is what you get. If Fluffy is cuddly at the shelter, she’ll likely be just as snuggly when you get her home.

Senior Cats Are Very Calm

When you adopt a kitten, you’re basically bringing a tiny, four-legged bundle of mischief into your home. Kittens are adorable, but they need lots of supervision and training. Older cats, however, are more interested in snoozing on your lap than in pouncing on your toes or climbing the counters. There is a lot to be said for having a sleepy, relaxed pet!

Small Touches Make Kitties Happy

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that really make us happy. This is also true for cats! Keep Fluffy comfy and cozy by offering kitty luxuries like soft beds, pet stairs, and thermal blankets. Your pet will also appreciate having a litterbox with low walls. Leaving a nightlight on for your feline pal is another small touch that can make a difference.

Older Cats Are Adorable

There’s no denying that kittens are almost impossibly cute. However, our feline buddies are just as charming as adults as they are when they are little. Older kitties are also very cute and lovable, and are often extremely affectionate. Purrs from senior cats are truly precious!

Helping A Kitty In Need Feels Great

Giving a sweet older furball a home is a beautiful act of kindness, and something to really feel proud of. You’ll also be helping other cats, both by promoting great animal welfare and by freeing up space at the shelter.

Please call us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your senior cat. We love keeping older kitties healthy and purring!

Keeping Your Pet Safe on the Fourth of July

In just a few days, we’ll be celebrating Independence Day with family and friends. Are you planning on including your animal companion in the festivities? Remember: the Fourth presents a few pet hazards to be aware of! Learn more below from a vet in Roanoke, VA.

Fireworks

Tempting as it may be, don’t bring your dog to the local fireworks display. Each year, thousands of pets are frightened into running off thanks to the deafening booms of fireworks. You don’t want to search for a lost pet in the dead of night! Keep your animal friend safely secured at home in an escape-proof area. If you plan on setting off smaller pyrotechnics at home—firecrackers, sparklers, and the like—it’s always best to keep your pet indoors.

Toxic Foods

Plenty of common party and picnic foods can prove harmful for pets. The list includes onions, garlic, chocolate and candies, avocado, salty foods like chips or pretzels, grapes and raisins, fatty foods, and much more. Alcohol is another big pet no-no. If your celebration will include adult beverages, make sure your animal companion doesn’t have a chance to sneak a sip! To be safe, keep your pet far away from the treat table; give them their own meal instead to keep them satisfied.

Heat and Humidity

The Fourth of July means heat and humidity, and that can be a dangerous combination for your four-legged companion. Make sure that your pet doesn’t stay outside for too long this holiday; allow them back indoors, where it’s comfortable and air-conditioned, on a frequent basis. Also make sure that there is a dish of cool, fresh water for your pet to drink from as they please. This is the best way to avoid deadly dehydration!

Outdoor Pests

When your pet does venture outdoors, summertime pests like fleas, ticks, heartworms, roundworms, flatworms, and much more present a real danger. If your pet isn’t set up to fend off these pests, infestations and infections can result that will cause serious health trouble! Keep your pet on high-quality pest preventatives to ward off fleas, ticks, and worms—talk to your vet if your pet is in need. You can also reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard by removing sources of standing water, trimming back tall shrubbery and grasses, and getting rid of any garbage lying about.

For more tips, call your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic today.

Catnip: Your FAQs Answered

Most people have heard of catnip, but there are many questions surrounding our feline friends’ favorite indulgence. To get answers to your most frequently asked questions regarding catnip, read on as your Troutville, VA vet goes over the basics.

What Exactly is Catnip, Anyway?

Catnip is actually an herb, classified together in the same plant “family” as mint. Catnip plants in the wild stand a few feet tall and are a leafy green with white flowers. The plant is originally from Europe but has since spread to many different parts of the world, including most of North America.

Catnip is dried and processed to create the product you’ll purchase in a pet store. Raw catnip looks almost like dried basil or oregano that you probably have in your spice cabinet. Catnip can also be infused into toys, sprays, and a variety of other products made just for cats.

How Do Cats React to Catnip?

Cats respond to catnip in several ways. Some run around erratically; some rub their faces and bodies in the area where catnip has been sprinkled; others simply stretch out their limbs and relax in a state of bliss! It all depends on your cat.

Why Does Catnip Affect Cats?

The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical substance called nepetalactone. It’s this substance that triggers a chemical reaction in your cat’s brain, producing the results that you see. Experts liken nepetalactone to a sort of aphrodisiac-like substance—it’s believed that catnip produces a nearly sexual response!

Typically, the effects of catnip wear off after only a few short minutes. The potency of catnip, and therefore how long the effects last, does depend on the type—raw catnip is usually more potent than catnip that’s been included in toys or other products.

Why Isn’t My Cat Reacting to Catnip?

Have you tried using catnip on your cat to no avail? Don’t worry—your feline friend isn’t broken! It turns out that cats require a specific gene, inherited from both parent animals, to feel catnip’s effects. If your cat does not possess this gene, catnip won’t have much of an effect at all!

Is Catnip Harmful in Any Way?

No, catnip is not harmful to your pet. There is no possibility of your cat “overdosing,” and you can give your cat catnip as often as you’d like.

For more information on catnip, call your Troutville, VA veterinarian.