Tag Archives: veterinary clinic Larimer County CO

Getting Your Dog Ready for Winter

It’s hard to believe, but autumn is already here. Snow and cold weather are just around the corner. As you start stowing away your summer things and pulling those heavy coats out of storage, don’t forget about your canine buddy! Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some advice on getting Fido ready for winter.

Clothes

If your four-legged pal has thin fur, he may be more comfortable with a sweater to wear on cold days. This isn’t a universal recommendation, however: some dogs, like huskies, have thick fur that provides sufficient protection from the cold. Ask your vet for specific advice. If your pooch does need clothes, go through his wardrobe, and make sure everything is clean and still fits. Avoid anything that is tight, constricting, or itchy, as well as items with buttons or zippers.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, and ice can all cause painful paw abrasions. Use paw balm or wax to protect your dog’s furry feet. You may want to wipe Fido’s paws down with a damp cloth when you bring him inside. We also recommend using pet-friendly de-icing agents. Last but not least, if your canine companion has tufts of fur growing between his toes, you may want to trim these: otherwise, they may collect ice balls.

Bedding

Fido may spend a good chunk of winter napping. Make sure your furry pal has a comfy bed to snuggle up in. Older dogs and large breeds may appreciate orthopedic beds, which will provide extra support. If you really want to pamper your pup, get him a thermal blanket, or even a heated bed.

Food

Some dogs need to eat a bit more in winter, as they burn extra calories just staying warm. If Fido is outdoors a lot, or is a working dog, nursing mama, or a puppy, you may want to increase his serving sizes. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Doghouse

Does your canine buddy have a doghouse? Give it a good cleaning before it gets really cold, and make sure it is well-insulated. Hang strips of carpet or thick plastic in the door. This will help block the wind. The doghouse should also be raised off the ground a bit to keep snow out.

Please call us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

5 Common Signs of Sickness in Dogs

Dogs may not speak our language, but they are pretty good at communicating. Fido may run and hide when he hears the word ‘Bath’ and knows full well what ‘Do you want a treat?’ means. Your pet will also let you know when he needs to go for a walk or wants to play. However, Man’s Best Friend isn’t quite that clear when it comes to letting us know that he doesn’t feel well. Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some signs of illness in dogs.

Bad Breath

Fido isn’t exactly known for having winter-fresh breath. However, if your dog’s affectionate doggy kisses make you cringe, your furry friend may need medical attention. Bad breath can be indicative of many different health problems.

Excessive Thirst

It’s not unusual for dogs to gulp down some water after a vigorous walk or a fun game of Fetch. However, if Fido seems to be constantly thirsty, contact your vet. Excessive urination is also a warning sign.

Lack of Appetite

As you’ve probably noticed, our canine buddies have very healthy appetites. If Fido isn’t interested in dinner, he may be sick!

Tummy Troubles

Just like people, pets occasionally get upset stomachs. A single incident of vomiting or diarrhea may not be anything to be concerned about. (Note: we always advise erring on the side of caution, so check with your vet to be on the safe side.) Frequent, bloody, and/or excessive vomiting or diarrhea, on the other hand, is definitely a warning sign.

Lethargy

Although dogs do spend a lot of time napping, Fido should pretty much go from being sound asleep to fully alert at the sound of a cheese wrapper. If your furry pal seems listless, weak, and/or fatigued, however, he could be ill. A reduced interest in walks and playtime can also be indicative of sickness.

Tips

These are just a few signs of sickness in dogs. Others include grumpiness; skin problems; respiratory issues, such as shortness of breath, coughing, and/or wheezing; unusual behavior or vocalizations, such as uncharacteristic whimpering; red or runny eyes; and chewing or licking at a specific spot. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these signs in your furry best friend!

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to providing excellent veterinary care!

Caring for a Grouchy Cat

Did you know that today, October 15th, is National Grouch Day? While this holiday may technically be meant to honor grumpy people, there’s no reason we can’t take this opportunity to celebrate grouchy pets. Just like people, our animal friends all have their own personalities, and some of them are, well, a bit cantankerous. If you have a furry little curmudgeon on your hands, read on. A local Fort Collins, CO vet discusses caring for a grumpy cat in this article.

Veterinary Care

If your kitty is, well, rather cranky, schedule a veterinary appointment for her right away. Medical issues can have a huge effect on Fluffy’s temperament, so you’ll want to make sure that her grumpiness isn’t caused by health problem. If your feline buddy gets the all-clear, then you know you have an ornery pet, rather than a sick one.

Attention

While some kitties are basically furry little cuddlebugs, others prefer to be admired from a distance. Always let Fluffy decide when it’s time to snuggle. Keep in mind that cats can quickly change their minds about when and how they want to be petted. Never force attention on your cat!

Hiding Spots

Cats can get very uneasy if they have nowhere to retreat to. Make sure Fluffy has somewhere to go in every room, even if it’s just a spot under the couch or behind a bookcase. Kitties often feel safer in high, secure places, so vertical space is a good option.

Aggression

One curious thing about cats is the fact that they sometimes attack their human pals playfully. If Fluffy is just being silly, she probably won’t bite or scratch hard, and won’t sustain the attack. A feline that is truly angry will attack full-force, and may hiss, growl, lash her tail, or flatten her ears. If your pet is being aggressive, ask your vet for advice. Never punish your kitty for biting or scratching: this may just make matters worse!

Playtime

Offer Fluffy plenty of fun toys, and take time to play with her every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This will allow your feisty furball to take out her aggressions on an appropriate target – that fuzzy mouse toy—instead of on you.

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

Eco-Friendly Pet Care Tips

As you may know, Earth Day is coming up next week. This is a great reminder for us to appreciate the beautiful planet we call home. As you may have noticed, there are a lot of eco-friendly products available today. There are also many sites where you can pick up tips on how to conserve resources. But what about our furry friends? A Fort Collins, CO vet lists some tips for eco-friendly pet care in this article.

Spay/Neuter

Spaying and neutering are important for many different reasons. For one thing, pets that are fixed tend to be healthier, calmer, and better behaved than intact ones. Spaying and neutering are also very important for animal welfare. There are already far too many homeless pets in shelters, hoping someone will adopt them. If you let your furry companion reproduce, there’s simply no way to guarantee that your pet’s offspring and their descendants will all find loving forever homes.

Bag The Bag

Do you have reusable grocery bags? Use these at the pet store, instead of having your goods bagged by the cashier. Also, use biodegradable garbage bags to dispose of dirty litter and substrate.

Upcycle

You can give many old items new life by upcycling them into pet bedding or furniture. You can make pet tents, beds, and tipis out of all sorts of things, such as old tee shirts, sweaters, and pillows. You can also make your four-legged pal beds or furniture out of old end tables, hatboxes, hard-shell suitcases, or even pallets. If you have a pocket pet, you can make many cardboard or paper items into toys for your miniature furball. Look online for specific ideas and instructions.

Choose Eco-Friendly Products

Choose pet products that favor eco-friendly materials and practices. Using earth-friendly detergent to wash your furry buddy’s things can also help. (Note: Ask your vet for specific advice about pet products, especially with things like pet shampoos and flea-control products. In some cases, traditional products are still best.)

Donate

Is Fluffy ignoring the expensive new cat tower you bought her? Has Fido outgrown his doggy bed? Don’t toss your pet’s old things: wash them and donate them to a local animal shelter or society instead.

Do you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, today! We are always happy to help!

Celebrating Black Cats

Autumn is officially here, and stores and restaurants are offering lots of seasonal items and pumpkin-flavored treats. Have you happened to notice a lot of products with black cat motifs? There’s a good chance that you have. While we love kitties of all different colors, black cats are often unfairly stigmatized by old myths and superstitions, which often come to the forefront around trick-or-treating time. Read on as a local Fort Collins, CO vet discusses some of the myths surrounding black cats.

The Plight Of Black Cats

Black cats often have a harder time getting adopted than other kitties. This is very unfair to Fluffy. These adorable kitties have wonderful temperaments, and make great pets!

Appreciating Black Cats

Black cats are so wonderful that they actually have a few special days dedicated to them. August 17th is Black Cat Appreciation Day, while October 27th is Black Cat Day in the UK. November 17th is also associated with black cats. We’re not in any hurry to see one official date chosen: these kitties deserve love and attention all year round!

Mythology

Superstitions about black cats being associated with witches are nothing more than old wives’ tales, but unfortunately, these misconceptions are still quite common. For instance, black cats often appear on seasonal Halloween decorations, and often appear as familiars in movies. Fortunately, this isn’t a worldwide issue: in many places, such as Japan, Ireland, and England, black cats are actually considered good luck. Actually, in Scotland, if a black cat shows up at your door, you may be about to win the lottery!

Breeds

Our adorable feline friends come in a variety of colors and patterns. While 22 of the AKC’s officially recognized cat breeds can be black, only one is always all black. That would be the Bombay, a sweet, friendly furball that looks quite a bit like a miniature panther.

Keeping Kitty Safe

Do you have a black cat? We strongly recommend keeping Fluffy indoors, especially around Halloween. Not only do those old superstitions sometimes endanger cats, the increased amounts of traffic and pedestrians can also put your pet at risk.

Do you have questions or concerns about your kitty’s health, diet, or care? Is Fluffy due for an exam, vaccines, or parasite control? Contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime! We are here to serve all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.

Planting a Pet-Friendly Garden

Warmer weather is on the way! With winter in the rear-view mirror, many of us are heading outside to tend to our lawns and gardens, and soak up some sunshine. Our furry friends will also be happy to run and play outside again after spending so much time indoors. Pets and gardens are both wonderful things, but they don’t always mix well. Therefore, you may need to take some precautions to keep both your furbaby and your garden safe. Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet offers advice on planting pet-friendly gardens.

Keeping Fido Out Of Beds

There are a few things you can do to keep your canine buddy from trampling your flower and vegetable beds. One option is to section off your garden by creating a barrier around it. You can use chicken wire, a low fence, or a stone, brick, or log wall. Or, distract Fido by giving him his own sandbox to play and bury toys in. Your four-legged pirate may have so much fun in his doggy play zone that he ignores the garden.

Keeping Your Kitty Out Of The Garden

The best way to keep Fluffy out of your garden is to keep her inside. While your kitty may love rolling around in your yard, she’ll be both safer and healthier living indoors, where she isn’t exposed to cars, predators, and other hazards. That said, if your furball does have outdoor access, try spritzing your plants with cayenne pepper to keep her out of your plant beds.

Choosing Pet-Safe Plants

Many of our favorite plants, such as daisies, lilies, daffodils, holly, and several ferns, are extremely toxic to our furry friends. Be sure to choose only plants that are safe for your beloved pet. You can find a complete list of toxic and non-toxic plants on the ASPCA website.

Cover

Did you know that cocoa mulch is toxic to pets? Mulch is also dangerous because it poses a choking risk to dogs. Additionally, it can harbor fleas, ticks, and even snakes. And, as if that weren’t enough, your pet could also get painful splinters in their paws by walking on it. Use something else instead. Pea gravel, flat stones, or tiles are good options for paths.

Do you have any concerns about your pet’s health or care? We can help! Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime.

DIY Pocket Pet Toys

Do you have a tiny furball for a pet? Mice, hamsters, rabbits, gerbils, and Guinea pigs can all make great pets. In order to keep your little buddy happy and healthy, you’ll need to provide them with plenty of suitable toys. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to keep your furry pal happy, however. In this article, a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some DIY pocket pet toys.

Cardboard

There are lots of fun toys you can make out of cardboard. One easy option is to upcycle the tubes from paper towel or toilet paper rolls. Cut them into rings and then put them together to form little balls, or simply stuff them with fresh hay or herbs. Tissue boxes and shoeboxes can be repurposed into tunnels or hidey-holes for smaller pets, or filled with shredded paper for bigger furballs.

Paper

Shred unprinted copy paper, and put it in a pile or a little box for your pet to dig into. Hide some yummy treats under it to make it even more fun. Or, try folding the paper into fun shapes, like little trees. This can be a great project for kids!

Mazes

Little furballs love mazes! You can get kitty tunnels for larger pets, such as rabbits or Guinea pigs. For hamsters, gerbils, mice, or other small animals, use PVC pipe to construct fun tunnels and mazes.

Wood

Many wooden items, such as thread spools, wooden spoons, and children’s toy blocks, can make great toys for pocket pets. Just be sure to avoid anything that has been painted or varnished, as well as anything made of pine or cedar.

Foraging Toys

Put some safe herbs in a paper lunch bag, or hide some yummy veggies in a wadded-up piece of paper. Just be sure to choose foods that are safe for your specific pet. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Safety

Always put your furry friend’s safety first. Don’t give your pet anything with sharp edges that could cut them. Remember to remove staples! Small items should also be avoided, as they can pose serious choking hazards. Things with hanging threads are also on the no-no list. If you’re not sure if an item is safe, err on the side of caution and avoid it.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all your pocket pet’s veterinary care needs.

Learn About These Canine Phyiscal Therapies

Your border collie Lexi would be a shoo-in for the Canine Olympics Team. Lexi has always been an athletic girl, running at full speed around your friend’s farm and joyfully joining a canine agility group. Right now, though, seven-year-old Lexi is recovering from a leg injury that has your canine athlete on the sidelines. You know targeted physical therapy can smooth out human patients’ recoveries; and canine physical therapy centers can provide similar benefits for pooch patients. When Lexi next visits her veterinarian from Larimer County, you’ll ask if physical therapy is appropriate for your dog. You’d especially like to hear more about massage therapy and water therapy. Learn more about dog-focused physical therapies.

Potpourri of Physical Therapies

Since your vet is familiar with Lexi’s recovery process, he’ll oversee your dog’s physical therapy program; and he might prescribe several therapy techniques. Therapeutic massage therapy and water therapy are available at many canine therapy centers and some veterinary practices. Acupuncture, electrical therapy, heat and cold therapy, ultrasound, and targeted stretching can also prove helpful.

While it’s tough to predict Lexi’s physical therapy results, she’ll probably show increased mobility and strength. Lexi might also appear to have less pain, and she might even lose a few pounds. Lexi’s consistent physical therapy can gradually help her to resume many normal activities.

Massage Therapy Has Multiple Benefits

You know a professional therapeutic massage can decrease your stress level, and it can even help injured tissues to heal more quickly. Lexi might experience comparable benefits, although she’ll be too busy relaxing to say much.

Also, now that Lexi’s approaching middle age, regular massage therapy can help to decrease age-related joint stiffness. Besides widely available therapeutic massage, specialty veterinary practices offer focused deep tissue massage therapy.

Soothing Water Therapy’s Appeal

Lexi hasn’t been too thrilled with land-based workouts, as she doesn’t want to put extra stress on her recovering body. Lots of older and overweight dogs would likely agree with her. However, Lexi loves her water therapy sessions. Lexi works on her range of motion while the warm water’s buoyancy supports her. The water’s light resistance helps Lexi to improve her blood circulation and strengthen her muscles.

Lexi’s water therapy sessions also include some underwater treadmill work. During each session, Lexi walks steadily on an underwater treadmill that encourages her to move normally while banishing stress on her muscles, joints, and bones. As Lexi pads along underwater, her therapist praises your pooch’s progress as she builds strength and stamina.

If your Larimer County vet feels Lexi will benefit from physical therapy, ask for a referral to a regional facility or therapist. After all, your vet also wants Lexi to resume the active, fun-filled life she loves.