Tag Archives: pet clinic Larimer County CO

Adopting a Stray Cat

Have you been considering adopting a stray kitty? This is a truly wonderful act of kindness! Many stray cats can make wonderful pets. However, there are some things to keep in mind before deciding to adopt Fluffy. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses adopting a stray cat.

Strays Vs. Ferals

While stray cats and feral cats are biologically identical, they are worlds apart in terms of purrsonality. Strays are used to humans, as they have been around people before. Many are former pets that either got lost or abandoned at some point, and learned how to fend for themselves. Feral cats, on the other hand, have always been wild. Stray cats can become feral if left on their own long enough. And, occasionally, feral cats can be tamed. A feral kitty that won’t let you get near her may not ever make a good house pet, but will still benefit from food, fresh water, shelter, and regular veterinary care.

Veterinary Care

The first thing you’ll want to do is make Fluffy a veterinary appointment. This is especially important if you have other pets! We recommend that all cats be microchipped, spayed or neutered, and kept current on vaccinations and parasite control. A full exam is also in order. Don’t let your feline friend interact with other pets or children until your vet has given the all-clear.

Settling In

Just like people, cats all have unique personalities. Some strays will happily walk right into your home, hop onto your couch, and curl up for a nap. Cats that are more timid and/or wary will need more time to settle in. Start Fluffy out in a quiet room, with comfy beds, toys, treats, and kitty furniture. Don’t force attention on your feline pal, however: let her decide when she wants to be petted.

Purr Activation

Many former strays become so accustomed to living indoors that they lose all desire to go outside. To convince Fluffy that the indoor life is both fun and luxurious, set out some pet-safe plants, offer lots of treats, and take time to play with her daily. With time, patience, and lots of TLC, you’ll have that little motor going before you know it!

Please feel free to contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help.

Guinea Pig Care Tips

Have you decided to adopt a Guinea pig? These little furballs make very cute pets! Although Guinea pigs—or cavies, as they are sometimes called—are fairly easy to keep, they do have some specific care needs. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some tips on Guinea pig care.

Comfy Cage

Making sure your furry friend is comfortable in his cage is very important! For one Guinea pig, we recommend getting a cage that is about 7.5 square feet. If you have more than one cavy, you’ll need a bigger cage. Add a suitable substrate, such as aspen. Avoid pine and cedar substrates, as they are toxic to small animals. Your pet will also need a hidey-hole, as well as some dishes and a water bottle.

Offer Proper Food

You can feed your Guinea pig commercial food for his main meals. Your pint-sized pal will also need plenty of fresh water, as well as good grass hay, such as Timothy hay. You can supplement these things with fresh produce. Always research a new food before giving it to your pet, as not all fruits and veggies are safe for cavies. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Chew Toys

Cavies must chew quite a bit to keep their choppers healthy. Offer your adorable pet lots of suitable chew toys. Many cardboard, wood, and wicker items are fine, as long as they don’t have small parts or sharp edges, and are not coated in varnish, paint, or glitter. (Tip: the cardboard tubes from toilet-paper rolls can make great cavy playthings.) Ask your vet for recommendations.

Buddies

Guinea pigs are very sociable, and are often happier with a buddy or two to play with. Just be sure to only keep same-sex cavies together!

Veterinary Care

Keep a close eye on your cavy, and watch for any potential signs of illness. Some common ones are lethargy, reduced appetite, weight loss, and unusual posture, behavior, or vocalizations. Contact your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss.

Love

Last but not least, make sure your pint-sized buddy feels loved, safe, and comfortable. Pay attention to your little pet, and take time to pet and play with him. You may be surprised how charming and lovable these cute furballs can be!

Do you have questions about Guinea pig care? We can help! Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, today!

Arthritis in Dogs

Is your canine buddy approaching his golden years? Fido will be just as cute as a senior as he was as a puppy! Your pet will slow down as he ages, and may develop a very calm, sweet demeanor that you truly enjoy. However, just like people, dogs often develop certain health problems as they grow older. Arthritis is one of the most common ones. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses arthritis in dogs.

At-Risk Breeds

While any dog can develop arthritis, some breeds do have a higher risk of it than others do. For instance, it is particularly common in retrievers and German Shepherds. However, there are also some additional risk factors that can increase the chances that Fido will become arthritic. Obesity is a big one. Infections, traumas, and joint abnormalities can also contribute to arthritis. Ask your vet for more information.

Warning Signs

Arthritis often develops fairly slowly, but there are some ‘telltail’ symptoms to watch for. Limping is often one of the earliest warning signs that a dog is developing arthritis. At first, Fido may only limp right after he gets up, but that limp will become more pronounced over time. Reduced interest in play is another common sign. Your pooch may have trouble getting in and out of cars, or climbing stairs, if he has arthritis. You may also notice your canine friend licking or chewing his paws.

Veterinary Care

If you know or suspect that your dog is developing arthritis, contact your vet immediately. While arthritis cannot be cured, there are now many wonderful options for helping soothe pets’ pain. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Keeping Fido Comfortable

In addition to making sure that your canine companion gets proper veterinary care, there are some small but significant things you can do to help your pup get around more easily. We recommend getting a good, orthopedic doggy bed, which will help your pooch sleep more comfortably. Pet ramps or stairs will make it easier for your furry friend to get in and out of the car, or climb onto the sofa. Last but not least, follow your vet’s recommendations for Fido’s diet and exercise regime. Good food and safe, suitable activity will both benefit your pet, and help keep that furry tail wagging.

Do you think your dog is developing arthritis? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today!

Tips for Getting Through Shedding Season

Autumn is finally here! Fall is a peak shedding time for our furry pals. As the trees shed their leaves, our four-legged buddies are also exchanging their summer wardrobes for their winter clothes. You know what that means: pet fur everywhere! Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some advice on getting through shedding season.

Vacuum

Vacuuming regularly during peak shedding times is one of the best things you can do to keep your home fur-free. You don’t have to vacuum the entire house every day, though. Just do the main traffic areas and your pet’s favorite spots daily, and follow up with more thorough cleanings every week.

Furniture

To get pet fur off your furniture or upholstery, try using a squeegee. A damp cloth or rubber dish glove will work as well. It’s also a good idea to get a slipcover for your couch or sofa. Choose a washable one, something that is easy to get on and off. Even if you only use it during shedding season, a good slipcover can really help keep the fur off your things.

Brushing

Brushing your furry buddy regularly will help get the dead hair out of your pet’s coat. It will also trap that fur in a brush before it gets stuck to everything. If you have a dog, take Fido outdoors for his grooming sessions. That way, the extra fur will blow away, instead of ending up all over your clothes and furniture.

Proper Diet

Make sure your four-legged pal is getting proper nutrition. A good diet will help keep your pet’s fur healthy and shiny, and can even reduce the amount of fur they shed. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Clothing

When your furry friend is shedding, you may find yourself ‘wearing’ quite a bit of their fur. Choose clothes that don’t trap hair. Silk, denim, and polyester blends are good options. Stay away from textured fabrics for now: these tend to attract a lot of fur and dust. It’s also a good idea to keep a few lint rollers on hand. If you need to quickly get fur off a piece of clothing, toss it in the dryer with a damp washcloth for a few minutes.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us! As your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, we’re here to help!

Tips for Bathing Your Cat

One great thing about our feline friends is the fact that they are naturally very clean. Fluffy will carefully groom herself each day. This means that cats don’t really need baths, although you can bathe your kitty if you wish. If you do want to bathe your kitty, read on for some great tips from a local Larimer County, CO veterinarian.

Start Young

If you want to bathe your kitty, it’s best to start when she’s little. It’s much easier to get a baby furball used to taking baths than it is to convince an adult feline to keep an open mind about the process! This can also make things easier down the road. If Fluffy ever gets something on her fur that would necessitate a bath, you’ll have a much easier time cleaning her up if she’s already used to being bathed. Just be sure to get the green light from your vet first.

Products

When bathing your furball, always use products made specifically for cats. Shampoos made for humans are too strong for pets. If Fluffy is already on parasite control, don’t use flea shampoo, as doubling up on flea control products could expose her to dangerous levels of chemicals.

Preparation

First, put a rubber mat down in the tub or sink, so it doesn’t get scratched up. You’ll need a facecloth, a pitcher or teapot, kitty shampoo, and a towel. Just fill the tub part way: a few inches of warm, not hot, water is all you need. We also recommend wearing long sleeves. If possible, clip Fluffy’s claws a few days before her bath.

Bathtime!

Choose a time when your cat is feeling relaxed and sleepy. Brushing your pet before her bath isn’t a bad idea, as long as it doesn’t get her riled up. Next, gently put your kitty in the tub, and lather her up. Don’t pour water on Fluffy’s head: just use a washcloth for that cute furry face. Use a pitcher or teapot for rinsing.

The Aftermath

All done? Wrap Fluffy in a towel to soak up excess water. Your furball will probably immediately start grooming herself to get her fur back in order. Offer your clean kitty a new toy or a yummy treat, and let her be.

Do you have questions about caring for your cat? Call us, your Larimer County, CO animal clinic, today!

5 Key Points to Great Kitten Care

Have you recently adopted a kitten? Congratulations! We love seeing our feline patients grow from tiny balls of fur into healthy, happy adult cats. Read on for some helpful kitten care tips from a Fort Collins, CO veterinarian.

Veterinary Care

Your baby furball will need her initial vaccinations and exams, as well as spay/neuter surgery, microchipping, and parasite control, so a few trips to the vet are in order. You’ll also want to keep a close eye out for any signs of illness. Kittens are quite fragile, and can get sick very quickly. Contact your vet immediately if you know or suspect that little Fluffy isn’t feeling well.

Kittenproofing

Your tiny ball of fur is going to want to investigate every nook and cranny of her new home. That sense of adventure can lead your curious furbaby right into trouble! You’ll need to do some kittenproofing to keep little Fluffy safe. Secure or remove hanging wires and cords, toxic plants, chemicals, and medicines, as well as any small items that could present choking hazards. Also, keep major appliances, such as washers and dryers, closed when not in use.

Security

Our feline friends may be larger than life at times, but at the end of the day little Fluffy is still quite tiny, and can be easily scared. Offer your kitten plenty of safe hiding spots, such as kitty tents and towers. If she wants to curl up on your lap, let her. This will help your baby furball feel safe and loved, and will strengthen her love for you.

Proper Diet

Proper nutrition is very important to your kitten’s health. After all, little Fluffy has a lot of growing to do! Make sure that your furbaby is eating a good, nourishing diet, and get the best pet food you can afford. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Manners

Proper petiquette is very important! Teach your baby furball good manners now, while she’s little. Never punish your kitten for misbehaving. Little Fluffy may not understand why you’re angry, and could become afraid of you. If she does something wrong, just tell her ‘No’ and then ignore her for a while. Also, focus on the positive by rewarding good behavior with treats, toys, and praise.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet, for all your kitten’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Surprising Causes of Your Cat’s Aggression

Your cat Murray has stealth feline aggression down to a science. Your big gray tabby enjoys crouching behind the couch, leaping out to rake your family’s ankles as they walk past. This feline bully also delights in clawing your golden retriever Cooper’s nose and driving your two adopted cats under the nearest piece of furniture. Clearly, Murray’s aggressive antics must stop before somebody really gets hurt. You’d like your veterinarian Larimer County to give this unruly feline family member some behavioral counseling. Learn more about why cats can display aggression.

No Rules During Kittenhood

Murray’s feline aggression probably resulted from a less-than-ideal kittenhood. Whether his mother abandoned him, or he was orphaned, your obnoxious feline likely didn’t get enough mother cat discipline. If he came from a breeder, he might have been weaned too early.

Since Murray’s life hasn’t had much structure, he thinks it’s permissible to stalk his housemates. Divert your goal-directed cat by giving him a more acceptable prey, such as a laser toy he can pursue around the room. Also investigate other challenging cat toys. Don’t punish Murray, as that will probably make his aggressive behavior worse.

Unfortunate Household Victims

As an indoor cat, Murray can’t retaliate against the neighborhood cats who intrude on “his” yard each day. He tries to defend his territory, hissing and assuming aggressive positions from inside the window. However, Murray’s threatening display doesn’t command the cats’ respect.

With the invading cats off the target list, Murray turns his fury on everyone else in the house. To stop this vicious cycle, keep your angry cat out of that room. If that isn’t possible, close the drapes so he can’t see the troublemakers. Keep your feline bully away from other living creatures until he calms down.

Feline Turf Wars

Much to Murray’s surprise, your two adopted cats might be planning a counterattack of their own. Since that will really upset your feline fighter’s plans, he bullies the two cats daily to keep them under his thumb. Stop these confrontations by placing each cat in a separate room with food, water, and a litter box. Visit Murray frequently so he doesn’t think he’s been abandoned. Ask your vet how to resolve the hostilities.

After your veterinarian Larimer County helps Murray clean up his behavior, your household should become much more peaceful. If your own cat has become aggressive, call your vet for expert assistance.