All posts by James

Doggy Obesity

Is your pup getting a bit round? Fido may be adorable if he’s a little pudgy, but if he becomes obese, he’ll be at risk for some very serious health problems. Those extra pounds can really take a toll on your pet’s health! Read on as a Norwalk, CA vet discusses doggy obesity.

Risk Factors

As one may expect, diet and exercise both play large roles in Fido’s weight. However, some dogs are more likely to become obese than others. Dogs that are over five are at increased risk of obesity, simply because they aren’t as active or playful as younger pooches. Pups that spend the majority of their time indoors are also more likely to get chubby. Our canine pals sometimes gain weight after being fixed. Certain health conditions, such as hypothyroidism, can also cause obesity.

Health Issues

As noted above, obesity can cause a variety of health issues in dogs, including heart disease, liver and kidney issues, skin problems, reproductive issues, and diabetes. That additional weight will also put extra strain on Fido’s bones and joints, which can exacerbate or contribute to painful medical issues like arthritis and hip dysplasia. Dogs that are overweight or obese also have higher risks of developing complications after surgery or anesthesia. They even have shorter lifespans!

Keeping Fido Fit

Making sure that Fido is getting the right type and amount of exercise is very important. Your pet’s exact activity needs will depend on his age, weight, breed, and health, so ask your vet for recommendations. For instance, small dogs may only need a walk around the block, while an active, medium-sized dog may need an hour of exercise daily. However, Fido’s workouts can be fun for both of you. Playing games like Fetch, or having your pooch chase a laser pointer, can help keep your furry buddy fit.

Diet

Man’s Best Friend is very, very enthusiastic about food. Fido is also an expert at convincing us that he’s starving, even if he just ate. We know, doggy theatrics can be pretty convincing. That’s one reason why it’s so important to follow your vet’s nutritional recommendations. If you know that your pet has eaten exactly what he should have, you’ll be less likely to fall for those sad puppy dog eyes.

Please contact us, your Norwalk, CA pet hospital, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here for you!

Taking Your Cat to the Vet

August 22nd is Take Your Cat To The Vet Day! We know, given the choice, Fluffy would much rather celebrate Hug Your Cat Day or Give Your Kitty Catnip Day. However, regardless of your furball’s opinion on the matter, your pet will be much healthier with regular veterinary care. A Norwalk, CA vet discusses taking your kitty to the vet in this article.

Your Cat’s Veterinary Care Needs

Your cat’s exact veterinary care needs will depend on her age, weight, breed, and health. That said, we strongly recommend that all kitties be microchipped, spayed or neutered, and kept current with their exams, vaccinations, and parasite control products. Kittens will need to come in a few times during that first year. Then, when your feline companion is fully grown, she may only need to visit us once or twice a year. When Fluffy reaches her senior years, your vet may recommend more frequent appointments, especially if she develops health problems. No matter how old your furry buddy is, feel free to ask for tips on your furball’s diet and care needs.

Emergency Visits

Just like any other pet, cats are susceptible to illness and injury. Keep an eye out for signs that something isn’t right. Some common ones include hiding, poor grooming, vomiting, diarrhea, sudden weight gain or loss, and fever. There are also behavioral clues to watch for, such as grumpiness, unusual vocalizations, and uncharacteristic behavior. Call your vet right away if you notice any of these warning signs. Cats often try to hide signs of illness, so Fluffy could be quite ill by the time you notice anything is wrong!

The Dreaded Car Ride

Most cats aren’t exactly fond of car rides. In fact, Fluffy may bolt for her favorite hiding place as soon as she sees her carrier. Put soft bedding and a few toys into the carrier to make it comfy for Fluffy. Keeping a window cracked, so that there is always fresh air circulating, will help keep your kitty more comfortable. Also, avoid sharp turns, bumpy roads, and sudden stops and starts. If your furry pal gets extremely frightened in the car, ask your vet for tips on using cat-calming products, like treats or sprays.

Please reach out to us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, for all of your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to providing great care!

Signs of Sickness in Cats

Cats are certainly mysterious little furballs. We may never entirely figure out Fluffy’s box obsession, or learn why she is so sleepy. Kitties are also quite secretive when they don’t feel well. In fact, they often try to hide signs of illness. This is because, in the wild, predators pay very close attention to animals that are weak or sick. It’s important to pay close attention to your cat, and watch for signs of illness. Otherwise you may not notice she is sick until she’s quite ill. Here, a Downey, CA vet lists some signs of sickness in cats.

Hiding

Cats love to explore nooks and crannies. It really isn’t unusual for Fluffy to take a nap under the bed. However, if your kitty doesn’t want to leave her hiding spot, she could be sick.

Poor Grooming

Fluffy is usually very dedicated to her beauty regime, and will spend hours each day carefully grooming herself. If your kitty isn’t feeling well, she may not be up to her usual regimen. It won’t take long for her fur to show the neglect.

Tummy Trouble

The occasional hairball is, unfortunately, more or less par for the course with cats. However, frequent or violent vomiting is a sign that something is wrong. Diarrhea and constipation are also red flags.

Uncharacteristic Behavior

Kitties all have their own purrsonalities. Some are friendly and calm, while others are more reserved. Sudden changes in the way your cat acts or meows can be a sign that she is sick. For example, a kitty that is usually aloof, but suddenly starts demanding attention, may be ill.

Litterbox Issues

Litterbox trouble is another sign of illness in cats. If you see your furball straining, call your vet immediately: this is a serious red flag!

Respiratory Issues

Coughing, wheezing, and gasping can all be indications of sickness in kitties. The occasional sneeze may not be anything to worry about, but constant sneezing is sign that something is wrong.

Change In Appetite

Fluffy can be a bit of a picky eater, but even if she doesn’t like what you put in her bowl, she should meow to demand something else. A furball that is not interested in food may be ill.

Please feel free to contact us, your local Downey, CA pet hospital, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Beach Safety for Dogs

Do you plan to take your dog to the beach this summer? Many of our canine pals love to swim and play in the water. Just be sure to put your pet’s safety first. Here, a Norwalk, CA vet offers some advice on keeping Fido safe at the shore.

Swimming Lessons

Some dogs are natural swimmers, who take to water like furry ducks. Others? Not so much. If your pup can’t swim, take time to teach him. Support him gently while he’s learning. It’s also important to realize that some dogs—such as small dogs, brachycephalic dogs, senior pooches, and large breeds—are not well-suited for vigorous swimming. Ask your vet for advice.

Training

Before taking your furry friend to the beach, make sure he understands basic doggy obedience commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. This is very important, as proper training can keep Fido from swimming out too far, approaching dangerous areas, or running up to strangers.

Paw Care

The beach can be pretty rough on your canine companion’s furry feet. Fido can get painful burns and blisters from running around on hot sand or rocks, especially right after going swimming. Dogs can also cut their paws on sharp rocks, shells, or broken glass. Use paw wax to protect your four-legged pal’s paws.

Water

Dogs can overheat very quickly when running and playing at the beach. Bring plenty of water for your pup. You may want to get a collapsible dish, or a doggy water bottle with an attached dispenser. Also, watch for warning signs that your canine buddy is getting hot or thirsty. Some early ones are panting, drooling, and a warm back. If you see these red flags, immediately give Fido some fresh water and get him to a cool area. Contact your vet if symptoms persist.

Beach Safety

Choose a spot that is safe for dogs. Never take your pooch anywhere with steep drop-offs, heavy wakes, high surf, or riptides. Also, never leave Fido unattended near the water, even for a few minutes.

Fur

Before you go home, rinse Fido off to get the sand and salt out of his fur. If you really want to score some tail wags, give him some doggy ice cream when you get home.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Norwalk, CA veterinary clinic, anytime. We are here to help!

Keeping Your Dog Safe on the Fourth

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. This can be a dangerous holiday for Fido, so you’ll want to take steps to keep him safe and healthy, and keep that tail going. Here, a Downey, CA vet discusses keeping your four-legged friend safe on America’s birthday.

Food

Fido will definitely appreciate a special treat. Just be sure to only offer foods that are safe for him. Some things to avoid include garlic, onions, and chives; nuts; pitted fruits; avocados; grapes, currants, and raisins; meat on the bone; chocolate; and anything containing xylitol. What can you give your canine buddy? A plain cheeseburger or hot dog; cooked, boneless meat, chicken, or fish; or a cooked sausage or two are all safe. Store-bought treats are fine as well.

Trash

We recommend using trashcans with secure lids. Fido may get some bright ideas about scoring food from the garbage. This can be quite dangerous, as the trash could contain bones, can lids, skewers, toothpicks, plastic wrap, and other hazardous items.

Chemicals

Keep bug spray, fireworks, lighter fluid, and other chemicals out of paws’ reach. These things are definitely not safe for dogs!

Fireworks

Many dogs are frightened of fireworks. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for lost pet reports to spike after the Fourth. Fido may very well panic and run off if he gets scared! Bring your canine pal indoors before the show starts. If he is scared, put him in a crate or an interior room with bedding, toys, and a treat, and put a TV or radio on to mask the noise.

Heat

July is one of the hottest months of the year. Heat can be very dangerous for dogs! Make sure that Fido always has plenty of water, and access to cool, shady areas. We also recommend limiting his outdoor time during the hottest parts of the day. Walk and play with your furry buddy at night, when it’s cooler out. (Tip: to score some extra tail wags, set out a kiddie pool for your pup to splash around in.)

Parasites

Keep up with Fido’s vaccinations and parasite control. It’s much, much easier to keep your pooch safe from things like rabies and heartworms than it is to treat him for them!

Please contact us, your Downey, CA vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Cat World Domination Day

There’s a special kitty holiday coming up: June 24th is Cat World Domination Day! Are our feline friends plotting to take over the world? What will happen if they do? In this article, a local Norwalk, CA vet discusses Fluffy’s plans below.

The Evidence

As it turns out, Fluffy may have been plotting against us all along. We do know that our feline buddies managed to convince the ancient Egyptians to treat them as deities. Plus, scientists now suspect that kitties may have started meowing just to manipulate us. Adult cats rarely talk to one another, but instead communicate by body language and facial expression. Apparently, it didn’t take these little furballs long to realize that making sounds that remind us of babies’ cries is a great way to get us to feed them and offer them soft beds and ear scritches. Last but not least, cats have managed to take over huge chunks of the internet.

Kitty Takeover Plans

How would Fluffy go about taking over the world? She may cut our communications by sitting on our computers or knocking our phones off tables. Or, our furry pals may just use sleep deprivation to wear us down, by batting our toes and jumping on our chests as we are trying to rest. Then again, kitties may just charm us into giving up control. Those furry faces are hard to resist!

Fluffy’s Final Plans

What would happen if cats actually did take over? Well, given that our feline overlords would probably sleep even more than they do now, probably not much. However, Fluffy may very well have some demands for us. She may expect cat towers in every room; catnip gardens (with stocked fishponds) in every yard; daily play sessions; and never-ending supplies of catnip mice, tuna, and cat milk. We also wouldn’t be terribly surprised if Fido was suddenly banished to the doghouse … literally.

Keeping Kitty Content

Is there any way to stop cats from going through with this plan? Well, we do know that Fluffy is susceptible to bribery. Keep your furry buddy content by offering her great food, lots of toys and beds, plenty of attention, and, of course, proper veterinary care. Our feline pals may become so comfortable they forget about taking over the world!

As your Norwalk, CA pet hospital, we’re dedicated to providing great care. Please contact us anytime!

4 Things You Learn When You Adopt a Kitten

Will a baby feline be joining your household soon? Congratulations! You’re definitely in for some cute moments over the next few months. Little Fluffy has a lot to learn, and watching her figure out the rules of being a cat is bound to be both hilarious and adorable. However, your tiny ball of fur may also have some lessons in store for you. Here, a local Norwalk, CA vet lists some things you learn when you adopt a kitten.

Those Little Claws Are Sharp

Little Fluffy will be very interested in figuring out how all those claws and teeth work, and may very well try to practice on you. Ouch! Nip bad petiquette in the bud by blowing in your kitten’s face when she does this. You can also tell her ‘No’ in a firm tone of voice. Then, walk away and ignore her for a while.

Kittens Can Fit Into Really Small Spaces

Cats grow quite fast, but while your little furball is in her toddler stage, she’ll be able to get into some really small spots. This, coupled with little Fluffy’s natural sense of adventure and desire to investigate every nook and cranny in her new domain, can make an ordinary household very dangerous for her. Close off small spaces, such as the openings behind and beneath furniture and cabinets. We also recommend looking under blankets and checking recliners and sofas before sitting down. Keep large appliances closed when not in use.

Everything Is A Toy

Kittens are super frisky, and will play with, well, pretty much anything. Make your home safe for your frolicsome pet by removing or securing potentially dangerous items, such as toxic plants, small or sharp objects, chemicals, medication, wires and cords, and plastic bags and wrappers. Ask your vet for more information.

Baby Cats Are Impossibly Cute

You wouldn’t think that these tiny balls of fur can take up such huge spaces in our lives, but kittens have a special way of melting our hearts. Your pet will have you wrapped around those tiny little paws in no time with her adorable face, hilarious antics, and happy purrs. Pay lots of attention to little Fluffy! Make sure she feels loved, safe, and maybe just a little bit spoiled.

Please feel free to contact us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

Keeping an Indoor Cat Content

Do you keep your feline pal indoors? Fluffy may love going outdoors, so she can leave paw prints on your windshield, roll around in the driveway, and refuse to come in when called, but she’s really much safer living indoors. As soon as your pet sets her cute little paws outside, she faces some very serious dangers, such as cars, wildlife, and weather, to name a few. However, indoor cats don’t get as much exercise or stimulation as outdoor kitties. In order to keep your cute pet happy and healthy, you’ll need to keep her both comfortable and entertained. Read on as a Downey, CA vet discusses keeping an indoor kitty purring.

Toys

Toys aren’t just fun for kitties: they’re actually very beneficial for them! Playing keeps cats active, which is great for them physically. Playtime also gives your furry pal beneficial mental stimulation, and offers her a healthy way to unleash her inner predator. Offer Fluffy lots of toys, and take time to play with her every day.

Window View

One way to prevent kitty boredom is to offer your furball a comfy window seat with an interesting view. Fluffy can spend hours just watching birds and squirrels!

Beds, Beds, and More Beds

Kitties take their beauty rest very, very seriously. Fluffy can sleep up to 20 hours a day, though most of our feline buddies average about 14 hours. Offer your drowsy pet lots of comfy beds and napping spots.

Cat Furniture

Kitties really do benefit from having things that were made specifically to suit them. Cat towers are great, as they offer your furry buddy a lookout spot, nail-care station, napping spot, and jungle gym, all in one. Fluffy may also enjoy kitty condos, cat shelves, or pet tents. If you’re trying to save money, look online for DIY ideas. You may be surprised at how many great options you can find!

Kitty Comforts

Always keep your furball’s comfort and safety in mind. Do some basic kittyproofing, and remove anything that could be dangerous, such as toxic plants, small or sharp objects, and plastic wrappers. When you leave your feline friend home alone, keep your climate control running, and turn a TV or radio on for background noise to soothe her.

Please contact us, your Downey, CA pet clinic, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Caring for Your Dog’s Teeth

Have you had your dog’s teeth checked recently? If not, we recommend getting this done right away. Doggy dental care is very important! Just like people, dogs can develop problems with their teeth and gums. These issues are just as painful for Fido as they are for us! Here, a Norwalk, CA vet discusses caring for Fido’s teeth.

Doggy Dental Issues

Dogs can have many of the same issues as people can, such as abscesses, infections, and cracked, broken, or misaligned teeth. Gum disease is another common one. In fact, as many as 80 percent of adult dogs have some form of it! In its early stages, the disease is painless and asymptomatic. However, as the condition progresses, the infection can cause loose or missing teeth. It can also contribute to other health problems, such as heart disease.

Symptoms

Fido can’t tell you if his teeth hurt, so it’s up to you to watch for signs of trouble. Some common ones include bad breath; visible swelling or tartar buildup; ropy, bloody, or excessive drool; and blood on your pet’s toys or dishes. Reduced interest in play is another red flag. Your pup may also take longer eating, chew on one side of his mouth, start preferring softer foods, or lose interest in eating altogether. Dogs with dental trouble can also act uncharacteristically grumpy, and/or may not want their mouths touched.

Home Care

Dental care should be a regular part of Fido’s home care regimen. We strongly recommend brushing Fido’s teeth. You’ll need to take time to let your pooch get used to the idea, but treats and praise should sweeten the deal. Use products made for dogs, and try to do at least one section of your canine buddy’s mouth a day. You can also offer your furry pal oral rinses and/or dental-formula kibble, treats, and chews. Finally, make sure that your pup always has fresh water and lots of suitable chew toys.

Treatment Options

If you know or suspect that Fido has dental issues, have your vet examine him ASAP. Treatment for doggy dental woes is always offered on a case-by-case basis. Options can range from a simple deep cleaning to extractions and other procedures. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you know or suspect that your dog has dental issues? Contact us, your Norwalk, CA pet hospital, today. We’re happy to help!

6 Ways to Pamper a Senior Dog

Is your canine pal entering—or already in—his golden years? Your pet’s senior years are a very special time. However, while Fido may always be a puppy at heart, his needs will change as he grows older. Here, a Downey, CA vet lists some great ways to spoil a senior dog.

Comfy Bed

There are few things more adorable than senior dogs napping comfortably in their beds. One of the best things you can do to keep Fido comfortable is to get him a good doggy bed. Orthopedic beds are excellent for senior dogs, because of the extra support they offer.

Elevated Dishes

Fido may find it easier to eat from raised dishes than from bowls on the floor. This is because your pup may have to splay his legs to eat from ground level. This can strain his neck and back.

Swimming

Swimming can be great exercise for older dogs. Because the water will support Fido’s weight, it’s much easier on his bones and joints than other activities. Just be sure to check with your vet first, as swimming isn’t suitable for every pooch.

Pain Management Treatment

There are now quite a few different options for helping our canine companions feel better. Fido may develop hip dysplasia, arthritis, or other medical conditions that cause him pain and/or affect his mobility and quality of life. Ask your vet for specific treatment recommendations.

Massage

Massages can be just as soothing and beneficial for dogs as they are for people. Look for a good pet masseuse, and treat Fido to a relaxing session.

Love

The time we have to spend with our furry best friends often passes much too quickly. At the end of the day, Fido really just wants to spend time with his best buddy: you. Dogs don’t have as much time as we do, so by the time they reach their senior years, every moment we spend with them is precious. Make your canine friend feel loved and safe by offering him lots of treats, ear scritches, and belly rubs, and just spending time with him. Our four-legged friends often become super sweet and lovable as they age. You may really enjoy this special stage of your beloved pet’s life!

Do you have questions about senior dog care? We can help! Please contact us, your local Downey, CA pet clinic, anytime.