As pet owners, we’ve all had times when we’ve wondered if our pets are okay or if we should bring them in to see the vet. We’ve taken some of the most common questions that we get at the Hospital and compiled them here as a handy reference guide. These answers should only act as a guide and, of course, if you have any questions or still aren’t sure, give us a call at 320.253.1061.

Questions:

 

Answers

A car hit my pet. I’m not sure but she may be dead. How can I tell if she is still alive?

Are its eyes open? If you touch the surface of the eye, does your pet blink? If you feel the ribs on the left side, can you feel a heartbeat? Tiny pupils usually mean that your pet is alive while dilated pupils, along with no heartbeat and no blink reflex usually means that your pet has passed away. Consider wrapping him/her in a towel and coming in to the hospital.

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I’m allergic to my Mother’s cat. Does that mean that I’m allergic to all cats?

No, some humans are allergic to cat dander and some are allergic to all cat fur.

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I have a lot of allergies. Does that mean that I can’t have any pets?

First check with your physician. Poodles may be a hypoallergenic possibility because they don’t shed.

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My dog is in heat but the male isn’t interested. What can I do to get them to mate?

By using artificial insemination, chances of pregnancy are nearly as good as with natural mating.

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I would like to breed my dog, what should I do to make her ready?

To prepare your dog for breeding, check for worms and be sure that all immunizations are up to date. Dogs, both male and female should be checked for Brucellosis, a contagious disease that causes abortion. If this were the first time breeding your pet it would be a good idea to discuss the breeding process with your veterinarian.

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My pet’s breast is swollen, could she have an infection?

If you suspect that your pet has an infected breast, bring her immediately to see the veterinarian.

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Is it safe to give my pet bones from the table?

Do not give your pet bones from the table. A hard rubber ball or leather-like chew toy is a much better bet than risking injury from bones that may splinter.

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From the smell of things it appears that my pet is experiencing a great deal of gas and bloating. What can I do to help both of us?

To avoid gastric torsion or bloating try dividing the meal into several smaller portions, allowing 30 minutes or so between each smaller feeding. Canned food should be mixed with dry food. Avoid dry food processed with added air. See that your pet does not drink large amounts of water or exercise for at least one hour after eating.

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Do animals have different blood types like humans do?

Animals do have different blood types. There are two basic blood types in animals: A Positive and A Negative. A Negative is considered the “Universal” blood type in dogs.

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My puppy is very playful but sometimes his bit can hurt? How can I stop him from doing this?

You can keep your puppy from biting by avoiding tug-of-war games and be sure not to tease him to the point of snarling. Should your pup start to nip, pinch one of its rear feet. They have a defensive reflex to withdraw when something unexpected touches their feet. Finally, be sure to avoid hitting or pinching the puppy’s body, neck and head (particularly the snout). This will only stimulate more biting.

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Before I think of spaying I’m curious…can I get birth control pills for my pet?

Yes, there are birth control pills for your pet. It has been used for several reasons. First it can eliminate totally or for a few months. The second is that it prevents ovulation during heat. While there are very few side effects from the pill, it is not designed for the first heat period or for extended use.

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My pet barks a lot. I’m concerned that he may be disturbing others. How can I encourage him to bark less?

If your pet barks excessively, call it to you as quietly as possible. “Shush” the animal if it starts to bark again. Next settle down and call the pet to stay close to you. Be persistent in this routine. Soon you will notice your pet look to you after its first bark. Praise him, as this is the sign of good watchdog behavior.

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I would like to give my pet a bath. What is the best way to do this?

Bathe your pet in a warm room to prevent chilling and speed drying. You can use your bathtub or shower. Place a small amount of petroleum jelly or mineral oil in your pet’s eyes to prevent soap irritation. Place your pet in a tub containing enough lukewarm water to come up to the middle of his legs. Wet hair thoroughly, apply pet shampoo, massage well, then rinse. Dry your pet by giving it a quick rubdown with a heavy towel.

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How often should I give my pet a bath?

Bathing your pet every 5 to 8 weeks is usually sufficient to maintain clean, healthy skin. Frequent brushing and combing between baths will help remove old fur and reduce the amount of shedding. Besides, that’s a great time for you and your pet to spend together. They usually like the added attention!

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Is a dry bath as good as bathing him in the tub?

Dry baths are not a substitute for the real thing. However, in very cold weather, it is a better option.

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I live in the city and want to get a dog. Are some breeds better for city life as opposed to country life?

When selecting a pet, space should be the major consideration. In the city, the smaller dog is recommended but a fenced yard would certainly be a welcomed area for a larger breed. Again, when choosing a pet, time and personal preference plays a large roll in your selection.

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I have heard that once my pedigree dog breeds with a mutt she can no longer have a purebred litter. Is this true?

Your concern about your purebred mating with a mongrel and ruining future litters is a myth. The myth that breeding purebreds with mongrels will “spoil” her bloodline is just not true.

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I am looking to bring a cat into our home. Would I be better off selecting a registered one or would I be just as happy with a housecat?

Registered cats are not necessarily better than common housecats. Each animal has his own unique personality. If you must have a shorthaired cat for allergies or other reasons, check into registered breeds. Remember that your local animal shelter has many lovable cats of all ages for adoption.

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Do different breeds of cats have different personalities or is it just in the way I raise it?

Different breeds of cats seem to have different personalities. As a rule, Siamese are more aloof and vocal than others. Persians and Himalayans require more care than shorthaired breeds, but are as affectionate as any other cat. Burmese are especially friendly and are good with children.

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I know my dog should be neutered. I am curious as to whether his testicles will be removed during the surgery.

When a male is castrated the testicles are removed.

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I’d like to take my pet in the car with me. How can I get her used to these outings?

To get your pet accustomed to riding in a car, first take short trips but not immediately after a meal. A child’s dose of Dramamine will help if car-sickness is a real problem. If this still doesn’t help, ask your veterinarian for a more potent drug.

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How old should my children be when bringing home a new pet?

Children need not be a certain age for the family to bring home a new pet. However, it is important that young children not be left alone with tiny puppies or kittens as they might injure their new pet.

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Sometimes my pet shivers. Does she have a chill? What does this mean?

Sometimes owners will notice their pet shivering with a chill. If your pet is normally calm, shivering may indicate fever or pain. It is wise to bring it in for an examination if the shivering continues.

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Whenever I leave the house, my pet’s favorite chew toy is my furniture. How can I stop this behavior?

To keep a pet from chewing on the furniture when you are out of the house, lightly dab Listerine Mouthwash on those things you want your pet to avoid chewing 30 minutes before you leave the house. Don’t let him see you doing this. On the first day only, take your pet out of the treated area and apply a little bit of Listerine across your pet’s nose. Also be sure to leave a favorite toy or chewy to keep him busy until you return.

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My Cockatiel stands with its head down and tail up with a constant quiet chirping. Could this be a mating act?

If your Cockatiel keeps its head down and tail up with a constant, quiet chirping sound, it is very possible that this is a mating act especially if it’s a female.

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My cat loves catnip toys. Is it safe for her to play with them?

Giving a cat toys with catnip is fine. For those cats that react to it, it’s lots of fun.

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