What should I feed my pet?
The single most important fact to take into consideration when choosing a diet is that canned food, semi-moist food (usually sold in plastic baggies), and people food all are sticky when combined with saliva and promote tartar then calculus formation that can, if not controlled, develop into gingivitis and then periodontal disease. This is how our pets loose their teeth. Dry dog and cat food is the best thing to feed your pet. If you choose a high quality dog food (Eukanuba, Purina, Science Diet, etc) then you
shouldn't need to add anything to it. They don't need chicken or rice or canned food on top. We know that you love your pet so much that you are easily trained to feed your pet what it wants and not what it needs. Start out right with your new puppy or kitten. If they don't know how good people food tastes then they will never miss it.
What should I do if my pet gets bitten by a
You need to get your pet to the veterinarian as soon
as possible. We had 48 cases of rattlesnake bites last season in
2010. We have seen 3 cases already in 2011. The administration of anti-venom is ideal, but expensive.
Rattlesnake vaccines reduce morbidity and mortality from snake bites,
but they are no substitute for anti-venom. But we have seen wonderful
results with the vaccine. It is HIGHLY recommended. Dogs need 2
vaccines a month apart and then every 6 months. Vaccines are not approved for
cats, we need to weigh the risks versus the benefits with them. Snakes
are a problem all year round because of all the new construction in this
Can't I feed my dogs bones?
This is a very dangerous practice. You can get by 100 times and the
101st time it either kills the pet or makes it very, very ill. We see it all the time, probably on a weekly basis. We have retrieved bones from an animal's stomach a week after having eaten them. They don't dissolve very well. Instead they lacerate the esophagus or stomach or intestinal tract or act like ground glass and cause pancreatitis and colitis. They can get stuck anywhere from between the teeth or roof of the mouth to the esophagus (especially common over the base of the heart), stomach and intestinal tract. I had a woman in on emergency last week whose little dog had vomited up bone fragments and then aspirated (inhaled) them. The dog
understandably wasn't breathing very well. She told me that her vet said that it was o.k. to feed the flat part of the chicken bone where the
cartilage attaches(?), just not the round part. I've had people say that they were told no bones but beef knuckle bones. I even got on the internet to see what there was out there about the
practice of feeding bones. I was truly appalled. It's hard to believe the amount of dangerous misinformation out on this topic. My advice, play it safe, don't feed your dog any type of bone ever.
What is Parvo?
Parvo is a viral disease of dogs that is more common in Yuma than just about anywhere in the United States. It thrives on our hot, dry weather. Cats have their own
Parvo virus known as feline Panleukopenia. A mutation of the of the cat virus is probably where the canine
Parvo virus came from. People are not susceptible to Parvo. Contaminated feces is the most common source of infection. Contaminated clothing shoes, blankets and cages can also spread the virus. We do not recommend getting a puppy for at least a year if your yard or home was exposed to an animal with
Parvo. The incubation period for Parvo is 2 to 12 days. Clinical signs may vary greatly depending on age, breed, presence of other diseases like corona virus or internal parasites and the competence of the animals immune system. Owners usually notice listlessness and lack of appetite first
followed by vomiting and diarrhea which can turn into blood coming from both ends. They cannot eat or drink and can die either from dehydration or septicemia (infection in the blood). There is an in-house test that we can run to check any dog with signs of
Parvo. Any dog with Parvo is best hospitalized in our isolation ward with an I.V. catheter and fluid therapy. About 75 % of dogs that are hospitalized recover. They can recover when treated at home, their odds are just less. Parvo is expensive to treat. Prevention is easy. Keep your puppy appropriately vaccinated and keep it in your own backyard until it gets all of it's puppy shots.
Why does my dog scoot?
It's not because your dog has worms. It could mean that there is some fecal material trapped under the dog's tail or that it's anal glands are full. If you think about the face of a clock then anal glands are located about 5 and 7 o'clock about a 1/2 inch inside the rectum. Normally when the dog defecates a small amount of malodorous contents accompanies the stool. This unique smell allows the animal
to "mark it's territory" but other than that they are useless. When an animal scoots or spends an inordinate time licking the anus or "acts like something is biting him back there" it probably means that the anal glands are full. An animal that is scooting excessively multiple times a day should probably be checked. If an anal gland infection is present then sometimes it can't drain properly because the secretions are so thick that it can't pass through the duct . Infections can lead to abscesses. Some dogs that have had their glands removed because of chronic problems still scoot, so I know that some dogs scoot just because they like to.
My dog is scratching his ears and shaking his head. Can't I just pick up some ear mite medicine for him?
No for multiple reasons. Ear mites in dogs are extremely rare in this area. He or she could have an infection caused by, but not limited to a bacterial or yeast overgrowth. It might be caused by a foreign body such as a foxtail or grass awn, a polyp or growth in the ear canal or (yuck!) a tick in the canal. Sometimes a ruptured ear drum or middle ear infection can be involved. Often allergies or hypothyroidism is a factor. So if you want your pet's ear problem resolved properly, it really needs to be seen.
What is Feline Leukemia?
Feline Leukemia is a virus that is related to the human aids virus in that both are retroviruses and both are incorporated into the hosts DNA. People cannot get feline leukemia. Both viruses are fragile and cannot live for long outside the animal's body. Kittens can be born with leukemia (from their moms) and older cats can pick it up from the bite of another cat, or less commonly, hissing or grooming each other. It can also be passed in the urine. Like the human retrovirus it can be incubated for years before the cat/kitten starts to show clinical signs. Infected cats can become sick and die suddenly or they can battle the disease for years and finally succumb. There is a test, easily done here, to check for the presence of this disease. It only takes 15 minutes and 3 drops of blood. We recommend that all cats/kittens be tested before you get attached (like right away) so that you don't expose other cats at home or in your neighborhood to this devastating disease.