Tag Archives: veterinary Fort Collins CO

New Year’s Resolutions for Dogs

Happy New Year! As we move forward into 2018 and leave 2017 behind, many people are looking ahead at the next year and setting personal goals for themselves. If your canine pal could make resolutions, what do you think would be on his list? A local Fort Collins, CO vet makes a few educated guesses below.

Explore New Grass

Our canine buddies are very adventurous, and love checking out new places and lawns. Fido can actually get quite a bit of information about neighborhood comings and goings just from sniffing yards! Try a new walking route this year, or take your four-legged friend to a local dog park.

Get More Snacks

If there’s one thing dogs are always up for, it’s trying to score yummy treats. Fido may work on his sad-puppy face, or try a new tactic. (Note: treats are fine, but don’t overindulge your furry pal with fatty snacks.)

Get The Cat To Stop Stealing My Bed

If you want a chuckle, look up videos of cats stealing dog beds. If poor Fido is sleeping on the floor while Fluffy sprawls out in his bed, he may very well attempt to reclaim his doggy bed this year!

Catch That Squirrel

Does your canine friend have a yard to patrol? If so, he may be involved in some turf wars . . . perhaps with a feisty squirrel. Your four-legged friend may very well aim to catch his tiny nemesis this year!

Car Rides

Man’s Best Friend loves going on car rides! There’s nothing wrong with taking your furry buddy out and about with you. Just be sure to always put your pet’s health and safety first. Never leave Fido in a car unattended, especially in hot weather. This is extremely dangerous, as temperatures in cars can reach deadly levels in just moments. It’s also very important to keep your pet crated for travel.

Spend Time With The Humans

If Fido had just one goal for 2018, it would probably be to spend as much time as possible with his favorite human: you! Pay lots of attention to your furry best friend this year! Pet him, play with him, and offer lots of belly rubs and ear scritches.

Please contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs in 2018 and beyond. We are here to help!

Tips for Stopping Problematic Chewing in Dogs

Have you ever come home to find that your dog chewed up your shoes, or destroyed a couch cushion? If so, you’re not alone! Fido has many adorable habits, such as his tail wags, head tilts, and playful antics, but he also has a few not-so-adorable ones, like chewing. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses stopping problematic chewing in dogs.

Causes

Dogs chew for many different reasons. Separation anxiety is one common cause. Fido could also be chewing out of hunger or boredom, or due to excess energy. If you’re not sure why your pooch is chewing, consult your vet or a professional dog behaviorist.

Teething

Teething is also a common cause of chewing, particularly in puppies. Try giving Fido ice cubes to chew on. Kong toys are also a good option.

Toys

It’s important to realize that chewing is a natural behavior for Man’s Best Friend. It helps keep dogs’ jaws strong, and it also cleans their teeth. Therefore, it’s important to make sure Fido always has suitable chew toys. Keep an eye on your furry friend, to find out what he likes best. You’ll also want to change his toys out frequently, so he doesn’t get bored with them. Edible chew toys, like bully sticks, can be beneficial, but they can be dangerous if not used properly. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Tools

Taste deterrents can be very helpful for stopping problem chewing. Check your local pet store, and ask your vet for recommendations.

Petiquette

Training is also important. If you see Fido sniffing or licking something he shouldn’t, tell him ‘Don’t chew that’ and give him a chew toy. If he goes for it, reward him with treats and praise.

Don’t Tempt The Pup

It may seem like a good idea to give Fido that old shoe you were going to throw out, but don’t do it: this will only confuse him.

Keep It Pawsitive

Finally, when working on your pet’s etiquette, avoid negative reinforcement, such as punishment or muzzles. Focus on rewarding Fido for doing well.

Puppyproof

Remove or protect anything that could be dangerous, such as toxic plants; small or sharp objects; shoes, purses, and other personal items; medicine; chemicals; and plastic bags, wrappers, or ties. Ask your vet for more information.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, anytime. We’re here to help!

New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Owners

Happy New Year! As we leave 2016 behind and move on into 2017, many people are making resolutions for new personal goals and priorities. Your pet is a big part of your life, so why not make a few resolutions concerning your animal companion? Read on as a local Fort Collins, CO vet suggests some resolutions for pet owners.

Provide Proper Veterinary Care

Taking your little (or big) animal pal to the vet regularly is very important for your pet’s health and well-being. Regular exams can reveal developing health conditions early on. Wellness care, such as vaccinations, dental exams, and parasite control products, are also crucial. Most pets, including Fluffy and Fido, should also be microchipped and spayed or neutered. Ask your vet to recommend an appointment schedule.

Offer Good Food

The pet food industry, like many others, is now filled with clever marketing ploys that make each brand seem like the best. However, at the end of the day, all pet foods are not created equal. Many contain fillers and other things that really aren’t great for our animal buddies. Ask your vet for nutritional advice, including portion control, suitable treats, and suggested supplements.

Comforts of Home

Just like people, pets are most content when they are comfortable. Keep your pet’s well-being in mind. If you have a dog or cat, make sure your furry buddy has a cozy bed and is properly groomed. If your pet lives in a cage, make sure that their home is roomy, fun, comfy, and clean.

Toys/Entertainment

Pets often get bored and restless with nothing to do. Offer your animal companion lots of fun toys to play with. It’s also important to play with your four-legged buddy regularly. This keeps your furry friend moving and active, and also offers them beneficial mental stimulation. Ask your vet for recommendations on safe, suitable toys.

Love

TLC is the special ingredient in any good pet care regimen. We know, belly rubs and cuddles may not be quite as crucial to your pet physically as good food and veterinary care, but they will keep your furry pal feeling happy, loved, and safe. Tail wags and purrs are a wonderful way to be thanked for your efforts!

Please feel free to contact us if we can ever be of assistance. As your Fort Collins, CO animal hospital, we are here to help.

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Do you sometimes come home to find that your canine buddy has made a mess while you were out? Perhaps Fido chewed up the couch cushions, or got into the trash. Or maybe he soiled the rug. These things are often mistaken for simple bad doggy behavior, but they are in fact often a sign of canine separation anxiety. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses separation anxiety in dogs.

What Is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety stems from the fact that your loving pet is hardwired to function as part of a pack. In the wild, dogs are always with their buddies, and are hardly ever left alone. Fido sees his human family as his pack mates, and may feel distressed, anxious, sad, and lonely when he is separated from them.

Signs of Separation Anxiety

As noted above, many of the signs of separation anxiety are often confused for bad petiquette. When left by himself, Fido may pace, whine, howl, or bark to vocalize his distress. (This may also be his way of trying to let his pack know where he is.) Your canine friend may also chew things, dig, defecate inappropriately, or try to escape. Sometimes dogs with separation anxiety engage in pica, which is the term for eating things that aren’t food. Some of these behaviors can be quite dangerous: Fido could hurt himself trying to get out, or could swallow something hazardous.

Dealing With Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is treatable, although the exact course of action you’ll need to take will depend on how severe your pet’s anxiety is. We recommend consulting your vet or a professional behaviorist for specific advice. That said, there are some general do’s and don’ts for helping dogs cope with their anxiety. First and foremost, make sure your canine buddy is getting enough exercise, and offer him lots of fun toys to play with while you’re away. Puzzle toys and treat-dispensing toys are great, because they can keep Fido amused for hours. You also want to avoid long, emotional greetings or farewells: ignore your furry friend for a few minutes when you are coming or going. Also, never punish your pooch for misbehaving when left alone: you may only make him even more anxious.

Does Fido need vaccines, microchipping, or spay/neuter surgery? Call us! As your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, we are here to help!

Anxiety in Cats

Do you have a scaredy-cat on your hands? Just like people, cats can suffer from different fears, phobias, and anxieties. Some of our feline friends are very anxious! Below, a Larimer County, CO vet discusses anxiety in cats.

Signs of Anxiety

Feline anxiety can manifest in many different ways. Fluffy may run and hide when approached. Your cat may also tremble, have digestive issues, or lick or bite herself obsessively. Some kitties can also become aggressive when they feel threatened or nervous. Have your vet examine your cat to rule out medical causes, as these things can also indicate health problems.

Causes

Cats can become anxious for a wide variety of reasons. Fluffy’s nervousness could stem from a bad experience she had in the past. Inadequate or improper socialization during kittenhood can also contribute to anxiety. Separation anxiety is also not uncommon in our feline friends, especially those that have been abandoned, re-homed, or neglected in the past. Of course, some cats are just naturally skittish.

Treatment

Before you can help Fluffy conquer her fears, you’ll need to figure out what she’s frightened of. Watch your timid furball closely to see if you can identify any specific triggers. Making sure your cat feels safe is also important. Give your kitty hiding spots in every room, so she always has a place to go if she feels scared. We also recommend playing with your cat daily, using interactive toys. Vigorous play will burn off excess energy, and can help shy furballs gain confidence. In some cases, medication may be needed. If your cat is afraid of a specific person or thing, desensitization may help. Ultimately, the treatment that will work best will depend on the type and severity of your furry friend’s anxiety. Ask your vet for recommendations.

What Not To Do

Never punish Fluffy for being frightened. You may only end up making her feel even more scared. Don’t coddle your kitty too much, though, as this may just reinforce her anxiety. Also, never corner your cat, as she may feel threatened and lash out in self-defense.

It can take time and patience, but with a proper diagnosis, a sound plan of action, and a little help from your vet, you can help Fluffy get over her fears.

Do you have questions about cat care? We can help! Contact us, your Larimer County, CO vet clinic, anytime.

Caring for a Senior Cat

Is your kitty starting to slow down? Cats normally age gracefully, but as Fluffy enters her golden years, you may want to make some minor adjustments to your cat care regimen. In this article, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses caring for a senior cat.

Mobility

Just like people, kitties often develop aches and pains in their senior years. Your cat will probably still make herself comfortable on your bed or sofa at naptime, but make sure she has at least one good bed of her own. Put it on the floor so she doesn’t have to jump to get into it. If you find her kitty bed becoming her favorite spot, pick up one or two more, and put them in different rooms. Fluffy may also find it difficult to get in and out of her litter box, so look for one that has lower walls.

Handling

Be very gentle when picking up a senior cat. When you put her down, be sure to place all of her paws onto the floor. Don’t let her drop!

Confusion

Kitties often experience a decline in their cognitive functions as they age. Fluffy may forget where the litter box is, or lose her way between the bedroom and kitchen. Interactive play can be very beneficial, as it will keep your furball’s mind engaged.

General Health

Keep an eye on Fluffy’s behavior, and take note of anything out of the ordinary. Hiding; poor grooming; change in appetite, thirst, or vocalizations; and litter box mishaps are a few signs of illness in cats. If you notice any unusual behavior, contact your vet right away.

Diet

Your vet will be able to advise you when it’s time to move your furball onto a senior formula of cat food. Certain supplements may be beneficial to her as she ages. Fish oil, for instance, can help lubricate stiff joints. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Love

Most of all, just do what you can to keep your furry pal comfortable. Make sure that your feline friend feels safe, loved, and secure, and keep up with her veterinary care needs.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, if we can ever be of assistance. We know your pets are part of the family, and we always do everything in our power to keep our furry clients in excellent health.

The Canine Distemper Virus

August is Immunization Awareness Month, and one of the core vaccinations that all dogs should receive is the canine distemper vaccine. Learn more about canine distemper and how it’s prevented below.

What is Canine Distemper?

Canine Distemper is a virus. It attacks a dog’s respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, as well as the central nervous system. It also can affect the membranes of the eye.

How Did My Dog Get the Virus?

Canine distemper is contagious, and is almost always contracted through contact with other dogs. It’s easily spread through direct contact with urine, blood, or saliva. Regular activities like sharing food and water bowls or roughhousing together in the yard are possible ways a dog could contract the virus. If another infected dog sneezes or coughs around your dog, it could also be transmitted.

What are the Symptoms?

The first signs of a distemper infection are sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose. Some dogs may also exhibit a runny mucus coming from the eyes. As the virus progresses, weakness, depression, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite will occur. Call your Larimer County veterinary professional immediately if you witness any of these symptoms in your dog, especially if he’s been in close contact with other dogs recently.

How is it Treated?

There is no medication or drug that can destroy the canine distemper virus. Instead, treatment focuses on supportive care. Fluid therapy and antibiotics can help stave off secondary infections and keep your dog healthy until his immune system battles off the virus. Young dogs are especially prone to the virus, and need to be monitored constantly if they’ve contracted distemper.

How is Distemper Prevented?

It’s much easier to prevent canine distemper than to treat it and manage the symptoms. Luckily, the canine distemper vaccine is very good at preventing the disease. Plus, it’s part of the usual regimen of core vaccines that your dog probably received as a puppy. Talk to your vet to get your pooch a shot if he hasn’t already been vaccinated.

Your Larimer County vet can answer any further questions you have about canine distemper and its vaccination. Call the clinic today!