Tag Archives: pet clinic Fort Collins CO

Fluffy’s Thanksgiving Plans

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Many people are starting to make plans for the autumn holiday. As it turns out, our feline pals may also have a few things on her agenda. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses Fluffy’s Thanksgiving plans.

Supervise

Kitties like to keep a close eye on their human friends. Your feline friend will no doubt supervise you carefully as you prepare for your guests. She may even follow you around from room to room!

Steal Chairs

If there’s one thing Fluffy can’t resist, it’s a warm, cozy napping spot. If any guests get up from the table, your furball may immediately hop into that recently-vacated seat.

Naps!

Watching people and napping can be very tiring for our furry companions! After observing your guests for a while, your feline buddy will probably start yawning, and curl up for a nap, possibly on someone’s coat.

Find The Allergic Person

Kitties have a rule about people with allergies. If one person in the room is allergic to Fluffy, there’s a good chance that she will gravitate to that specific person.

Socializing … Or Not

If Fluffy is friendly, she may spend some time hopping from lap to lap, or just going around the room collecting forehead rubs and ear scritches. Shy cats, on the other hand, may spend a chunk of their day under the bed.

Beauty Ritual

Kitties certainly aren’t shy about grooming themselves. Don’t be surprised if Fluffy starts cleaning her bottom in the middle of a room full of guests!

Dinner

Fluffy can definitely have a special treat. Just be careful with what you offer her. Plain, cooked meat, chicken, or fish are fine, as long as you remove the skin, bones, and fat. Your kitty can also have some canned tuna or chicken in water; a bit of shredded deli meat; cat milk; or sodium free broth. Never give your cat dairy products; meat on the bone; raw meat, dough, or yeast; chocolate; nuts; caffeine; alcohol; or anything seasoned with garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; grapes, currants, and raisins; pitted fruits; and anything that contains xylitol.

More Naps

After a long day of being petted and eating, Fluffy will probably be tired, and ready for some snuggles. Kitty purrs are definitely something to be grateful for!

Happy Thanksgiving! Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, anytime!

Hamster Care Basics

Are you looking for a cute pet that is small in size, but big on personality? A hamster may be a great choice for you! These little guys are both adorable and charming, and can really make great pets. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses hamster care.

Cage

Making sure your pet is happy in his habitat is very important! Minimum cage size recommendations will vary, based on what kind of hamster you get, so check with your vet before you go shopping. Choose a cage with a solid bottom. Wire floors are dangerous, and also won’t hold substrate. Hammie’s cage should also offer suitable ventilation. A mesh lid is a great choice for that reason.

Accessories

Once you have the cage, you’ll need to choose a substrate. Aspen is a good option. Avoid pine or cedar substrates, as they are actually toxic to small animals. Add a hidey-hole and a water bottle. Hammie may also like some mazes and tunnels, and perhaps an exercise wheel. Choose a solid one, as wire wheels are dangerous. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Location

Choosing the right spot for the cage is very important. Hamsters shouldn’t be in direct sunlight, or too close to a vent, fireplace, heater, or air duct. If you have dogs or cats, raise your hamster’s cage off the floor: Hammie won’t feel very safe with Fluffy and Fido constantly looking into his home! A quiet spot where he can still see and hear you is best. Temperature is also important. Your hamster’s area should always stay between 65 and 75 ℉. If the little guy gets too cold, he may try to hibernate. This is extremely dangerous for pet hamsters!

Feeding

Hamsters are quite talented little beggars, and are notorious for hiding their food and then begging for more. Your tiny furball can have commercial hamster food for breakfast and dinner. Hammie will also need some fresh produce and, of course, the occasional treat. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice.

Toys

Hammie will need plenty of toys, including lots of safe, suitable chew toys. Many wood, wicker, and cardboard items can make great playthings for Hammie! Avoid anything with small parts, sharp edges, or dangling threads, as well as items coated in varnish, paint, glitter, or dye.

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

7 Ways to Keep Your Cat Out of the Tree

Are you putting up a tree this year? If you have a kitty, you may find yourself trying to keep her from knocking it over. While some cats will content themselves with curling up beneath the tree and purring, others will see it as a kitty playground. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some tips on keeping Fluffy out of the tree.

Distract The Furball

There’s no reason you can’t give your cat her gifts a bit early. Offer Fluffy lots of fun new toys to occupy herself with. If your kitty tires herself out playing with her new squeaky mouse, she may be too tired to bother with the tree.

Secure The Tree

If you know or suspect that your cat is going to bring the tree down, use fishing line to secure the top of the tree to the wall or ceiling. It won’t show, but will add extra support. A sturdy tree base is also a must.

Decorate Carefully

If you hang a bunch of shiny ornaments on the bottom of the tree, you’re pretty much offering your furball an irresistible assortment of toys to choose from. Keep sturdy, non-breakable items on the lower branches, and put the shiny, fragile ones on the top third of the tree.

Get A Fake Tree

Fluffy will have a much harder time climbing a fake tree than she will a real one. Consider getting a synthetic tree this year.

Position The Tree Carefully

Try not to put the tree too close to a sofa, desk, or chair that Fluffy can climb onto. These things make great launching pad for frisky felines!

Playtime

Take time to play with your cat every day. If you can get Fluffy to burn off her excess energy playing Catch The Red Dot, she may leave the tree alone.

Training

We know, you can’t really train cats. (Actually, Fluffy tends to train her human pals, but that’s another topic.) However, you can make your frisky pet think twice about getting too close to the tree. When your kitty goes near the tree, make a loud noise: clap your hands, bang two pots together, or sound a bike horn. Chances are, your furball will hightail it to her favorite hiding spot!

Happy Holidays! Please feel free to contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, anytime!

Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog

Do you walk your dog daily? If so, that’s terrific! Even if Fido has a yard to play in, daily walks will still benefit him by keeping him active, preventing boredom, and offering mental stimulation. However, it can be easy to overlook basic safety precautions when something becomes routine. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses walking your dog safely.

Leashes

Be sure to use a steady leash, and check it regularly for signs of wear. Retractable leashes are great in certain situations, but they aren’t necessarily safe for all occasions, as the mechanisms do sometimes jam or break. Don’t use retractable leashes while walking along roads, or in areas where you may run into stray dogs or wild animals. Ask your vet for more information.

Night Walking

Always use reflective gear at night. Save exploring for daylight: after sunset, stick to familiar, well-lit paths, and keep walks short and sweet. Many predators are nocturnal, so don’t let Fido sniff around in wild or wooded areas.

Paw Care

Don’t forget that Fido is barefoot! Keep an eye on the ground, and re-route your pooch around glass or other sharp objects. In summer, try to walk your furry friend in the mornings and evenings, when it’s cooler out. Dog can get painful paw burns from hot tar! In winter, snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical deicers can hurt your canine buddy’s feet. Fresh snow can also hide dangerous objects. Always try to keep your pet on soft ground, and use paw balm to protect his feet.

Hacks

Designate a specific jacket for doggy walking. Keep spare keys, a portable phone charger, waste baggies, treats, a small flashlight, and a whistle in the pockets. You may also want to clip a carabiner around your pup’s leash.

Roads

If you are walking along the side of the road, keep Fido to the outside. He has a shorter profile, and is harder for drivers to spot, especially on curves.

Pulling

Does your furry pal walk you, instead of it being the other way around? This can not only take the fun out of those daily walks, it can also be quite dangerous. To break Fido of this bad habit, you’ll want to stop and change direction every time he yanks on his leash.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime. We are here to help!

Cold Weather Care for Cats

Like it or not, cold weather will be here soon. Winter can be a very dangerous time of year, both for people and pets. Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses cold weather care for kitties.

Sleep

Given the choice, most cats would probably be purrfectly content to sleep through winter. Offer your drowsy furball lots of comfy napping spots. However, while Fluffy’s fondness for naps is certainly adorable, it also makes it easy for her to get out of shape. Provide your kitty with lots of fun toys, and play with her every day.

Outdoor Dangers

Cats that go outdoors face many dangers, especially in winter. Deep snow, ice, frostbite, predators, and freezing temperatures are all dangerous to kitties. Chemicals, such as deicers and antifreeze, are also a serious concern. We strongly recommend keeping your furry buddy inside in cold weather. If you do let Fluffy out, bring her in at night, on cold days, and whenever bad weather is approaching. It’s also important to offer your furball a suitable emergency shelter.

Food

Kittens, senior cats, nursing mamas, and kitties that go outdoors may need a bit more food than usual when it’s cold out. Pets that suffer from arthritis or other bone/joint problems may benefit from certain vitamins or supplements. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice.

Veterinary Care

Cats with bone/joint issues often get very stiff and sore in winter, and may benefit from pain management treatments. It’s also important to keep up with your furball’s regular veterinary appointments. Ask your vet for more information.

Grooming

Dead fur, dander, and dust all detract from the insulating properties of Fluffy’s fur. Although most of our feline friends are pretty good about keeping themselves clean, some of them –particularly senior cats, fluffy furballs, and kitties with thick coats—need a little help. Brush your cute pet regularly.

Litterbox

Don’t make your kitty use a cold bathroom! Make sure that Fluffy’s personal powder room is in a spot that is easy for her to access and isn’t too chilly.

Cuddles and Purrs

Purring cats make great snuggle buddies! On those cold winter nights, settle in with a good book or movie and your favorite beverage, and let Fluffy curl up on your lap.

Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health? We’re here to help! Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, today!

Puppy Care Tips

Have you recently welcomed a puppy into your home? Congratulations! Owning a puppy is lots of fun. Little Fido is bound to keep you smiling with his adorable antics and cute furry face. Being a puppy parent is a lot of responsibility, though: you’ve made a lifelong commitment to your furry friend, and it’s up to you to teach him the do’s and don’ts of being a good dog. A Fort Collins, CO vet offers some great puppy care tips in this article.

Socialization

Socialization is very important for baby dogs. By exposing your canine buddy to new places and faces, you’re helping him form positive opinions about the world. This will help him grow into a calmer, better-behaved adult pooch. There’s a pretty short window for socializing puppies: by the time little Fido gets to be about 12 weeks old, that window starts to close. Host a puppy party, or enroll the little one in doggy day care.

Training

Fido should start ‘school’ right away. He’ll need to be housebroken, of course. Your four-legged buddy will also need to learn basic obedience commands, like SitStayComeHeel, and Lay Down. Teach your furry student on thing at a time. Never discipline your puppy for doing something wrong: negative reinforcement often backfires, and ends up doing more harm than good. Focus on rewarding good behavior, rather than punishing bad habits.

Veterinary Care

Fido will need to see the vet several times in his first year. In addition to initial exams and vaccines, your furry pal will need spay or neuter surgery, a microchip, parasite control, and wellness care. Take time to ask your vet for specific recommendations on the little guy’s care, including suitable toys, exercise requirements, and, of course, diet and nutrition.

Play Time

Take time to play with your furry friend every day. This will help little Fido burn off excess energy, and will promote healthy activity. Plus, it’s fun!

Love

You’re starting out on a beautiful journey of love and friendship with your new canine buddy. Spend time with little Fido. Talk to him, pet him, and offer lots of belly rubs. It’s a wonderful thing to watch a puppy grow from an adorable ball of fur into a happy, healthy adult dog!

Do you have questions about training or caring for your puppy? Call us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today!

New Year’s Resolutions for Kitties

Do you plan to make any resolutions this year? This is a great time to set some personal goals, and clarify your priorities for 2016. Of course, our feline friends have some goals of their own. Kittens, in particular, have a lot of growing to do, both physically and mentally. In this article, a Fort Collins, CO vet makes an educated guess on what little Fluffy’s resolutions would look like.

Perfect My Powers Of Cute

Cats are adorable, and we’re pretty sure they know it. One look into that furry little face is often all it takes for humans to be completely enchanted by their baby felines.

Gain Complete Control Over My Humans

As the saying says, ‘Dogs have owners, but cats have staff.’ Our feline friends use tactics like meows, purrs, leg rubs, and cuddles to ensure that they have us wrapped around those little paws!

Grow Up Strong And Healthy

A proper diet, regular veterinary care, a clean litterbox, and lots of love will help your tiny furbaby grow into a happy, healthy adult kitty.

Don’t Scratch Or Bite The Vet

Going to see the vet may never make the list of Fluffy’s favorite things to do, but it’s for her own good! We use caring techniques to keep our feline patients calm during veterinary appointments, but we appreciate the thought!

Scratch My Tower, Not The Furniture

Kitties need to scratch, but they don’t necessarily need to scratch the sofa. Teach your furball to use a scratching post or tower now, while she’s little.

Never Let My Human Go To The Bathroom Alone

Many of our feline friends follow their owners into the lavatory. Is this one of Fluffy’s Golden Rules?

Stop Pouncing On My Human’s Toes And Fingers

Cats are predators at heart, so it’s only natural for little Fluffy to want to perfect her hunting techniques. Unfortunately, she’ll probably want to practice on you. When your kitten attacks you playfully, tell your frisky furball to play nice, and then ignore her until she does.

Get Lots of Sleep

We’re pretty sure little Fluffy won’t have too much trouble achieving this goal!

Happy New Year! All of us here at Fort Collins, CO vet clinic are looking forward to serving your kitty’s veterinary care needs in 2016 and beyond. We love watching kittens grow from adorable baby felines into healthy adult cats.

Obesity in Hamsters

Is your hamster getting a bit round? Like most pets, hamsters love to eat and snack. That means your furry little friend can pack on extra weight very quickly! Obesity is not uncommon in hamsters, and can cause or contribute to serious health issues in these little ones! A Fort Collins, CO vet discusses obesity in hamsters below.

Dangers of Obesity

Being overweight can cause many of the same health problems for hamsters as it does for people. If little Hammie is carrying extra weight, he’ll have higher chances of developing heart trouble, diabetes, liver problems, and other serious health issues.

Causes of Obesity

Diet and exercise are the main factors that will determine Hammie’s weight, although occasionally hamsters will gain weight because of medical issues. That said, hamsters have some cute but sneaky tricks that can contribute to obesity. Those adorable little cheek pouches allow Hammie to stash and store food to snack on later. Hamsters are also notorious for hiding their food, and then begging for more!

Proper Hamster Nutrition

Hammie can have commercial food for his main meals. Pellets are an excellent choice. Seed mixes are also popular, but often contain fattening nuts and seeds. They also give Hammie the option of choosing his favorite bits, which will usually be the most caloric ones! To supplement Hammie’s main meal, provide appropriate portions of healthy veggies and fruits. Be sure to choose only hamster-safe foods! Junk food, sugary foods, fried anything, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol are a few things on the forbidden list.

Exercising Your Hamster

Provide Hammie with an exercise wheel. Choose a solid one, as wire wheels can hurt those tiny paws! Runabouts, or hamster balls, can also help keep your little furball active. Choose one that is safe and appropriate for your hamster’s age, size, and breed. Always supervise your pet when he is out and about. You don’t want Hammie accidentally rolling down stairs!

What To Do If Your Hamster Is Obese

If you have a chubby hamster on your hands, ask your vet for nutritional advice. Never put Hammie on a crash diet, as this can be very dangerous for him. Like people, hamsters should take off pounds slowly and steadily in order to lose weight without compromising their health.

Do you have questions about feeding or caring for hamsters? Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, any time!

Can Your Dog Have Acid Reflux?

Perhaps you or someone you know has acid reflux disease; you know, then, how uncomfortable it can be. Did you know that dogs can suffer from acid reflux too? Learn more below from your Larimer County veterinarian.

What Causes Acid Reflux in Dogs?

Acid reflux in dogs is essentially the same as it is in humans—it occurs when gastric or intestinal fluids flow back up from the stomach in to the esophagus, causing irritation, inflammation, and damage to the esophageal lining. The fluids are allowed up by the sphincter, a muscle opening at the base of the esophagus. In healthy dogs, this muscle won’t allow stomach fluids back up. In dogs with acid reflux, it relaxes and lets the fluid pass through. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including improper anesthesia, chronic vomiting, or other health concerns.

What are the Symptoms?

In mild cases of acid reflux, there will be minor esophageal irritation, which may only result in the occasional cough or other signs of discomfort in your dog. Severe reflux, though, can cause damage to the deeper layers of the throat lining, resulting in pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, and loss of weight due to a lack of eating. Call your vet’s office immediately if you witness these symptoms in your canine companion.

How is it Treated?

Your vet will confirm a diagnosis of acid reflux by examining the esophagus internally, or by finding a direct cause of the reflux, like a throat disease or hernia. Medications can be prescribed that improve the flow of stomach fluids and strengthen the sphincter muscle. Diet changes may accompany these medications. Some dogs respond well to small-portion, low-fat diets.

Can I Prevent Acid Reflux?

While all cases of canine acid reflux may not be preventable, you can do your part by keeping your dog on a healthy diet with low fat content. Excessive table scraps and fatty treats only contribute to the problem, so keep these to a minimum.

Ask your Larimer County veterinarian for more advice on dealing with a dog with acid reflux, and contact the clinic today if you suspect this painful disorder is affecting your dog.